Friday Round Up

Friday Round Up

Going back to work after such my time off felt like the beginning of term after the Easter holidays, which was a bit weird, but rather nice. Easter was excellent. We kicked things off with a classic chocolate egg hunt around my friend’s garden. Her ever patient husband hid eggs all round the garden and we ran around like idiots trying to find them. It was great to take the day off being adults and do Easter ‘properly’. Much hilarity was had, and we ate so much chocolate. It was excellent.

For Easter Sunday, Dave and I drove down to Amersham for a small family lunch of 18 people. We ate too much and then ate some more, and Dave survived meeting such an alarming amount of my family all at once. And I came home with half of my nan’s signature Chocolate Mosaic Cake.

This week, there’s also been brunch with the lovely Brummie Gourmand, games of Star Wars X-Wing, and of course lots of work. As always.

The Chop, at Rush Hair and Beauty

A drastic haircut is always a scary thing. I’ve had my hair lots of lengths over the years, but it’s been long for a long while now. It was more than time for a change, and I decided for a much shorter cut. I booked myself in with Rush, Birmingham. I’ve been to a blogger event there, but never actually as a customer. Rush are currently offering 50% off for new clients, which I used when I booked. I love to be able to book online, and their booking system was super easy to use.

For perspective, I took this blogger classic mirror selfie the morning of haircut day.

Rush is smack in the city centre, which is ideal. The salon itself is really nice, with huge mirrors so everyone can have a good gossip while they’re in. A friendly receptionist took my coat and I was handed over to my stylist, Richard. I’d actually met Richard before at their blogger launch, but he didn’t appear to recognise me. In the interest of disclosure, I did reveal my identity to him halfway through the cut, but by then, I was confident he was nice regardless of whether you’re a blogger or not. We talked through what I wanted, and I went off to have my hair washed.

Unfortunately, the young girl who washed my hair could not have been less interested in me. It stuck out, as everyone else at Rush was chatty and friendly. This one started badly by failing on all basic manners, instead roughly yanking my hair about, informing me “Your hair is so long” in a stroppy way while she struggled to get a towel round my shoulders and shove me back against the sink. She just about managed to ask if the water was too hot, before she went back to ignoring me all together. Instead, she chatted to the other girl washing hair, who appeared to be ignoring her client too. You’ll be glad to know both girls were incredibly bored, and they really hate listening to the salon’s playlist on a loop all day. Look, I’ve worked retail, I know it’s dull as hell listening to the same songs over and over, and I’m sure washing hair all day is a snore, but Rush isn’t a cheap salon. If I’m paying that much to be there, I’ve paid it because I want a nice experience. Listening to the girl washing your hair whinge, after she’s man-handled your head, isn’t really ideal.

Thankfully, it was back to nice Richard. He was friendly and professional, and had just the right amount of chat. I’m not really one for small talk, and I really appreciate it when my hairdresser is sociable, but not behaving like we’re besties. Being able to get the right amount of small talk for your client is a real skill, and Richard clearly has it.

The cut itself was done pretty quickly, and Richard asked lots of questions so he could get the best finish for me and the amount of maintenance I’m willing to do myself. A blow-dry with a round brush later, and I was done.

Hair cut

Here’s the finished do. Much shorter, with some long layers through. Exactly what I wanted.

Rush have offers running a lot, so it’s always worth checking the site before you book. Overall, I was pleased. The cut itself was great, and most of the people I dealt with were lovely. Maybe they need to have a little word with the ones washing hair though…

 

I paid using a 50% off voucher available to all first-time clients. I was not invited to review, and until halfway through the cut, Rush didn’t know I was a blogger. All opinions are honest and my own. 

New Menu Tasting at Bodega, Birmingham

A Bitters N Twisted event is always an invite I accept quickly, as I know there’ll be lots of my favourites bloggers to hang out with there, lots of delicious food and lashings of booze! Bodega has revamped the menu, so a group of us settled in the downstairs Sugarloaf bar to road test the new dishes and drinks.

Bodega Cocktails

We began, naturally, with a cocktail. This is the Blueberry and Elderflower Margarita, which has tequila, orange liqueur, elderflower cordial, fresh lime juice and blueberries. This is a more floral take on a classic margarita, and was sweet and tasty. Easy drinking.

Nachos

To go with our welcome drinks, we had a plate of nachos to share. Bodega’s nachos are, in my opinion, the best in Birmingham. So many places just dump some sour cream on top of plain nacho chips, but Bodega make theirs from fresh flour tortillas. The nachos are smothered in cheese and jalapeños with toppings of sour cream, salsa and guacamole served on the side. Perfect for sharing if someone is fussy about one topping, and it stops the chips going soggy. Delicious. We also nibbled on sweet potato fries and chipotle slaw, which were both lightly spiced and delicious.

Burritos in Birmingham

It wouldn’t be a trip to Bodega without a burrito, and this visit didn’t disappoint. Bodega offer great options on their burritos, so you can customise them exactly to your taste. I suggest the upgrade to the dirty rice, which adds a little extra heat. The burritos are crammed full of meat, beans, rice and cheese. Full of flavour, and generally super tasty.

Tacos Birmingham

I always get distracted by burritos and never order anything else, but I think I need to start ordering the tacos! The tacos have had a revamp, and are now served in a this fancy dish, which makes them much easier to get hold of and shove in your face. You can choose between chicken mole, Dr Pepper marinated pork and roasted vegetables. The Dr Pepper marinated pork was delicious, with the Dr Pepper marinade adding some subtle sweetness to the juicy pork. The vegetable tacos are excellent too, with the veg maintaining some crunch.

Salad in Birmingham

After a brief Sangria break, we got to try the new plantain salad. Piled high with fresh veggies, and caramelised plantain, this was tasty, but I found the plantain itself a bit firm compared to the rest of the salad. Bodega always have interesting vegetarian options, and if someone in the group is trying to eat healthily, this salad would be a filling and yummy choice. I don’t think you could talk me out of ordering a burrito or a taco though…

Gin and Tonic

Mezcal

As if we hadn’t had enough to drink yet, we then tried something a little different. Bodega now serve a Mezcal Gin and Tonic. The mezcal is infused with gin botanicals, then served with tonic and lemongrass. The taste of this was very striking, definitely a sipping drink. It reminded me more of  a whisky than a gin, and I don’t think I’d order it as an alternative to a gin and tonic. If you’re out for only one drink though, this would be a great choice, as you could easily sit and nurse this for quite a while. I did find the flavours of the added lemongrass worked well, but the lemongrass itself got in the way. It was either going up my nose when I was trying to sip the drink, or I was spitting out small pieces of it. Perhaps smaller pieces would be better, if not as visually impressive.

As always, Bodega put on an excellent evening, and I had a lot of fun and went home full and happy. Go. Order tacos. You won’t regret it.

 

I was a guest of Bodega to sample and give feedback on their new menu. All opinions are entirely honest and my own.