1580, Birmingham. Brum Bloggers Meet Up

Brum Bloggers have the best meet ups, it’s official. A few weeks ago, we set off on an epic trek across Birmingham (or an epic trek for those like me who pretty much never leave the city centre…) to check out 1580 Restaurant. 1580 is a contemporary indian dining experience in Erdington, named for the year Sir Francis Drake returned to Britain with sacks of exotic spices from the East.

1580 Restuarant

Indian Dining Birmingham

The whole restuarant is themed around the British links to India, and the impact on our cuisine that Drake and his spices had. Without being too obviously nautical, the decor has little touches that remind you of ships. With the beautiful ship mural, heavy dark wood and jars of spices, the interior is calm and cosy, while hinting at the mixed heritage this food now has.

Indian Food Birmingham

We started with a selection of dips and masala cone popadums. I’ve never seen popadums served in a cone like this, and it made a simple appetiser look interesting. We all dived in and were very pleased with fresh, spicy flavours of the dips. The green chutney was a real favourite, and according to our table mates who actually lived in India, was incredibly authentic.

Where to eat in Birmingham

Standard apologies for crap photography…this are the last event photos taken with my old camera and from here I should have better luck with ‘mood lighting’. Why is everywhere orange now? Anyway, less orange than it appears, we moved on to trying some of the starters. This is a doubled up version of the Drake’s Royal Meat Feast Platter for 2. The platter consists consisted of Murgh Tikka – Sizzling Chiken Tikka,  Kochi Kekraa – Tender strips of Crab, tender Lamb Chops  and Zaffrani Bada Jingha Tikka – Tiger Prawns. The prawns were so enormous that we ended up spending a good chunk of the evening what on earth prawns ate that would make them so huge. As well as enormous, they were juicy and delicious. In fact, the whole platter was perfectly spiced, with that right balance of heat and flavour. The portion size is perfect to share between two of you if you can’t decide on one thing on the starters list you want to try.

Curry house Birmingham

Indian meal Birmingham

Next, we tried a selection of curries from the main menu. We tried  Bater Curry on the bone, Murgh Tikka Chicken Masala, Pot Pepper Lamb Curry and a vegetarian curry that I cannot remember the name of for the life of me. The veggie curry seemed to be entirely sauce, which was very tasty, but I was surprised there seemed to be no vegetables or anything in there. All the curries were delicately spiced and packed with flavour. The lamb in particular was gorgeous. Big chunks of tender lamb swam in thick, rich sauce of tomato, onion and peppers.

Indian desserts Birmingham

Last up, we had a dessert of Gulab Jamun. This are dumplings made of milk reduction and cottage cheese, served hot in a sugar syrup and with a scoop of coconut ice cream. I’m not usually a big fan of sweet dumplings, and while the flavour of these was very tasty, the texture didn’t do it for me. I also don’t like coconut, so the ice cream wasn’t for me, but the syrup was good. Others around me devoured these in no time flat though, so if you are a fan of either coconut or sweet dumplings, definitely give this a try.

1580 is a fantastic neighbourhood restaurant, clearly being run with love and passion for Indian food. The owners and staff were incredibly friendly and we had an excellent evening of super delicious food. Go and pay them a visit for sure.

 

Brum Bloggers were guests of 1580 for a taster menu. All opinions are honest and entirely my own. 

Learning To Share Your Space With A Partner

I’m an only child. I never had to share my bedroom or deal with a younger sibling borrowing my toys. I like living alone, and I’ve chosen to spend more on rent and not share with housemates for quite a while since I left University. I have shared with partners before, and as some of you might know, my boyfriend David moved in with me just after Christmas. If, like me, you’re not a natural co-habiter, it can be tricky, especially if one of you moves to a house the other lived in alone before. I’ve picked up some tricks and tips along the way though, so here’s my guide to learning to share your space with a partner.

Remember it’s their home too
If you’ve been living alone for a while and then your partner moves in, it can be hard to adjust thinking of it as their home too, not just yours. Before they arrive, have a good clear out and a move round of your own belongings, so there’s actually somewhere for them to put their things and they don’t feel like they’re intruding. Don’t let yourself get precious about where things go. Choose homes for their stuff together, but let it go if they want to store something in a way you wouldn’t. Make sure some of their stuff is on display too, not just stuffed into a spare cupboard. It’s a shared space now.

Talk about your quirks first
Anyone who has shared a home will know that sometimes really tiny things make you really angry. Everybody has their quirks about what they like at home, that others just don’t think about. For example, my mum really hates plates being left in the drying rack after you’ve washed up, whereas I don’t care. It feels silly, but talk about these pet peeves before you’re under one roof. That way, you’ll know if your partner will be filled with irrational rage if your shoes are lying by the front door, and they know if you can’t stand it if the bed is left unmade. It saves arguments later.

Be honest and open about finances
If your other half has giant credit card debts, or something of that sort, it’s always best to know before you move in together. Discuss money. Decide how you’re going to divide up the bills, and if there’s something that only one of you will pay for. For example, when I lived with my ex, we split everything down the middle, except for the internet, which he paid for, as he wanted superfast fiber (which was pricey) and I was happy with the cheap option. Agree on any budgets. Don’t assume that your other half feels the same way about money as you do.

Divide up the chores
If it was originally just your place, that doesn’t mean you’re still doing all the jobs. Make sure you’re dividing up tasks fairly. That can mean taking it in turns to do each task, or splitting them up between you, say one of you cooks and the other does the washing up. You might find certain tasks divide up naturally, but find whatever works.

Choose large items together
Need a new wardrobe now there’s two of you? Eyeing up a new sofa? Remember it’s theirs too now, so make sure you’re choosing items for your home together.

Remember you’re both grown-ups
If you’re mature enough to live together, you need to get over yourself a little. Now is the time to let go of things like hiding your tampons or the spot cream at the back of the bathroom cabinet. Trust me, your partner knows you’re a human. Everyone has their own comfort levels on privacy, and that’s fine, but disguising the fact you’re a human is pointless. Plus, it’s much nicer to have your partner look after you when you’re dying of the flu, instead of hiding alone in your bedroom hoping they don’t notice how snotty you are.

Don’t be roommates
They’re your partner too, not just someone you’re having a flat share with. Don’t let yourself settle into just being roommates. Keep up date night, make an effort to do nice things for each other, even if they’re small like making a cup of tea.

Most of all? Enjoy it!

Mini Haul

Mini Haul

Living in one of the most beautiful cities around has it pitfalls; mostly that it costs me a small fortune to live here. I’ve had to really check my spending since moving here, and it’s been absolutely ages since I bought anything that wasn’t an absolute essential. This month I’ve had a couple of unexpected windfalls (thanks council tax refund), and while I’ve been sensible with most of it and squirreled it away, I thought I was well overdue a little shopping spree, as I’ve been so horrendously broke lately.

White Vest Top – H&M: Not the most exciting purchase, but I love these vest tops from H&M. They have adjustable straps, so you can make them fit perfectly, and avoid that annoying straps falling off your shoulders situation. I have these in several different colours, and wear them under shirts and such-like. My white one is not very white anymore after several too many trips through the washing machine, so I picked up a replacement.  

Cry Baby Vest – H&M: This doesn’t seem to be online anymore, so I can’t link it, but you can still get these in stores. Anyway, Cry Baby is a brilliant, if bizarre, early Johnny Depp film. It’s set in the 50s, and basically Johnny is rather delicious in it, so I couldn’t resist this vest. It’s got those really low armholes, so I’ll be wearing this with a strappy top or a bandeau top underneath. I’m looking forward to wearing this with denim shorts in the summer.

Sandals – Dorothy Perkins: Dorothy Perkins had 20% off shoes in store today, and I needed some summer sandals. I’ve got a gold pair from a couple of holidays ago, but I really wanted some simple black sandals for knocking around. These have got little diamante bits on the straps, but they’re really simple, and exactly what I wanted.

Feather Necklace – Dorothy Perkins: Also sold out online, so no link, I’m afraid. I spied this on my way to the till. I love delicate jewellery, and the bargain price made sure this was coming home with me.

Memoirs of a Geisha: There’s a good second-hand bookshop on the way back from the centre of town, so I popped in on my way home for an explore. I picked this up, as shockingly, I haven’t read it, despite hearing great reviews. I’ve actually not seen the film either, so maybe if I enjoy this I’ll make the effort to actually see the film.

MUA Pro Palette – Undressed: This palette is supposed to be a really good dupe for the Urban Decay Naked palette that all the beauty bloggers went gaga for. I’ve never tried the Naked palette, as it’s bloody pricey, but I’ve been loving a nude eye look lately, so decided to give the Undressed palette a whirl. I’ll let you know how I get on with it.

The weather has been gorgeous here again in Bath, so I really enjoyed my stroll into town. As always, there were great street performers around, including an acrobat I hadn’t seen before. I’ve got some pictures to share of him, but I think I’ll save them for my next life lately post.

I’ve got an extra day off work this weekend for the bank holiday, so I’ll be getting in some much needed relaxing, and getting a visit from my mum on Monday. What’s everyone else doing with their bank holiday?