The Wedding Club opens in the Mailbox

Designer bridal retailer, The Wedding Club has opened a brand new store in Birmingham’s Mailbox. The brand already has stores in Knightsbridge and South Kensington, and they focus on quality dresses for stylish brides.

The Wedding Club

I went along to the opening party to check out the new store and their range of bridal wear. The Wedding Club stock dresses and accessories for the bride, bridesmaids and the mother-of-bride, from designers including Jenny PackhamTemperley London and Two Birds.

The Wedding Club Birmingham

Designer bridal

The new store is a chic, white, calm space full of gorgeous wisps of lace and sparkles. The dresses here are stylish, with intricate detail. There’s a lot of lace, a lot of crystal beading, and a lot of tulle. The dresses are like works of art, and I drifted around for ages admiring how incredibly beautiful they are.

The store will host regular events, with a good list already planned, with upcoming trunk shows from Atelier Pronovias and Kate Halfpenny.

The Wedding Club is also known for it’s impressive sales, with some designer dresses available for a fraction of their original price.

Bridal sale

Bridal events

Bridesmaid Dresses

The new store can be found on the first floor of the Mailbox, and is open between 10am and 6pm, by appointment only.

It’s a beautiful store, sure to make any bride feel like a princess.

I was invited to the opening party of The Wedding Club. All pictures, words and opinions are entirely my own. I was not obliged to write a blog post. 

Rofuto’s First Birthday

High above the streets of Birmingham, there is a magical land of sushi and cocktails. On the 16th floor above the Park Regis hotel, is Rofuto, a sky bar and restaurant specialising in contemporary Asian cuisine.

I was invited along to help them celebrate their first birthday and hear about their plans for their second year. I’ve reviewed Rofuto before, and being a sushi fiend, I was delighted to attend.

Rofuto Party

Rofuto

Sky Bar

I swooshed up in the lift with Bite Your Brum and Miss Pond, and was very pleased to be handed a welcome drink within seconds of reaching the door. Even with the rain outside, the sweeping city views from the floor to ceiling windows were still impressive and we bagged a spot by the window to gaze out at the city lights below us. Inside, Rofuto always feels modern and chic to me, like an upmarket bar in Tokyo, rather than a cheesy themed restaurant in rainy Brum! With the central bar and range of tall tables for sipping drinks and more intimate tables for dining, Rofuto is a great spot if you’ve got someone you’re trying to impress, be they a business client or a date.

Fiveway Sunset

Rofuto Cocktails

Eastern Medicine

A tour of the cocktail menu seemed in order. The Fiveway Sunset (£9) is a mix of Hendricks, lime juice, ginger syrup, guava syrup and ginger beer. With sharp, spicy flavours, this was a popular option on the night and I saw dozens being made. The Ringo (£10) uses one of my favourite whiskys, Nikka from the barrel, with apple juice, lemon juice, vanilla syrup and angostura bitters. Whisky and apple is a classic combination for a reason, and I really enjoyed this. The best cocktail I tried was the Eastern Medicine (£12) which is Hakashu single malt, wildflower honey, root ginger, lemon juice and angostura bitters. This was warming, and sweet with plenty of boozy punch.

One of Rofuto‘s team whose name I have now forgotten (sorry!) filled us in on their plans for their second year in business. The menu has had a little makeover, with additions of some new dishes that Rofuto hope will be more accessible, including a selection of steaks, ranging from a an Aberdeen Black Angus Beef Sirloin Steak at £22 to a Wagyu Beef Sirloin Grade 7 Steak at £45, and a Wagyu Beef Burger (£15). I tried a little sample of the Crispy Suckling Pork Belly (£16), and it was melt-in-the-mouth perfect.

Rofuto have also launched an early bird menu. This smaller menu is priced at £19 for two courses, or £24 for three courses, which is an excellent value way of trying out Rofuto‘s food.

Sushi Boat

Sushi

For me though, however good the main menu is (and it is good), the real standout at Rofuto is their sushi. A huge sushi boat was laid out for the party, and I made a good dent in it, with absolute joy. Their sushi is colourful, and pretty to look at, and prepared with real pride. The flavours are delicate and well balanced, and there is a truly massive variety to try out. Personally, I’d give the early bird option a miss, and blow the budget on some top quality sushi.

Despite their aim to become more accessible, there’s no denying that Rofuto is not a budget option (unless you’re on the early bird menu), but you are paying for a wonderful experience, with excellent food in truly stunning surroundings. I’d recommend ordering the Rofuto Platter which at £55 for a mix of 40 pieces of Nigiri, Sashimi, Uramaki, Hosomaki and Futomaki actually isn’t too wallet busting between two or three of you.

I was guest of Rofuto and East Village. My food and drinks were complementary. I was not obliged to write a blog post. All opinions are honest and my own. 

EGX – A First Time Visitor’s Tale

EGX is the biggest gaming convention in the UK, aimed at both industry professionals and fans, covering everything from big names releases, to indie titles, to the gear you need to play it all on. So really, the fact I’d never been was pretty shocking, considering my geek credentials.

PlayStation

Total War

VR headset

My immediate reaction was mostly amazement. The show is enormous, both in the floor plan and the sheer scale of the booths. With massive powerhouse brands like PlayStationUbisoft, and Nintendo showing off their latest and greatest creations, some of the stands are truly enormous, with mini stages and huge set pieces. I spent the first half hour walking around staring at everything.

I love retro games, so our first stops were for the old school consoles and remasters of classic games. It turns out that age and experience have not improved my skills at playing Sonic (or on pinball machines), but I am still inexplicably talented at Street Fighter, much to Dave’s disappointment.

Assassin's Creed Origin

In terms of new releases, the only thing I absolutely had to try out was Assassin’s Creed Origins. I absolutely love the previous Assassin’s Creed games and I was excited to get a little demo of the newest one. Set in Ancient Egypt, this game is the furthest back Ubisoft have gone for the historical setting of one of their games. Queues at the Ubisoft stand were enormous, but we found the wait times at with xBox were much better, so we headed that way for a twenty minute demo.

An insane amount of work has gone into overhauling the look and feel of this game and it shows. Visually, it’s stunning. The landscapes are beautiful and characters and NPC are highly detailed. The colours are vibrant and every detail has been thought about and created with incredible attention.

Unfortunately, I’ve only played past games on the PlayStation so it took me a minute to get the hang of the differing controls for the xBox (including an embarrassing moment where I couldn’t figure out what button I was meant to be pressing in order to dismount from a horse…). Despite my confusion, I immediately found the world immersive, and I’m sure I could easily sink hours into this game without noticing.

The underwater environments are stunning too, with the ability to dive and swim underwater in far more detail than ever before. Combat feels fluid and natural, and takes more skill than in previous games approach to just countering and dodging in order to take no damage.

One of the biggest changes is to eagle vision. It’s gone. Instead, your main character has an eagle companion, Senu, who can be used to detect enemies, treasure and locations. I wasn’t totally convinced by this change, but I think with more time to get used to it, it will be a wonderful addition to gameplay. I had also hoped to get time to try out the new options to explore more interiors (including the Library of Alexandria) but there wasn’t time, sadly.

I will definitely be buying this game.

Lara Croft

Photographer – Sandy Smith Photography

Tomb Raider

Photographer – Sandy Smith Photography

I was excited to check out the cosplay at the show. I chose to cosplay Lara Croft, a costume I haven’t worn in a long time. I caught up with my favourite photographer, Sandy Smith Photography, and got in a photoshoot outside. As always, I love the results, with the dark, moody atmosphere.

EGX is host to several different cosplay contests. If you want to just show off your costume, there are The EGX Casual Cosplay Masquerades. For the braver, there is the EGX Cosplay Championship, which was sponsored by Ubisoft this year. They also host the UK preliminaries for the European Cosplay Gathering. A winning individual and group from this will go on to represent the UK at the international championships in France. With a focus on performance as well as the costume itself, this competition was amazing to watch, with incredibly high standards. I love to see cosplay at this level, and I wasn’t disappointed.

If you’re a serious gamer, there is a staggering amount to see and do at EGX, but for the more casual players like me, there is still plenty to enjoy. For me, the full four days wasn’t needed, and I got round everything I wanted to do in the one day we visited, whereas more gamey friends felt they still hadn’t seen everything after four days at the show.

If nothing else, go and check out the cosplay. It’s truly amazing.

I was given press passes for EGX. All opinions are honest and my own. Exhibitors were aware I was press.