The Beefy Boys, Hereford

It’s a good sign that you’re in for a good burger experience, when a restaurant gives you a whole kitchen roll. The Beefy Boys do exactly that, so from the moment I sat down, I was hopeful this was going to be a messy burger to remember.

The Beefy Boys

After starting as a street-food venture, this was my first visit to The Beefy Boys Meat Boutique venue, after years of stalking them round food festivals. The venue is classic cool – corrugated iron, industrial lighting, and lots of cosy tables.

Rappers Delight

Dave chose one of the specials, the Rappers Delight. The burger was designed in collaboration with none other than the Sugarhill Gang, and is made up of a 21 day aged Hereford beef patty, bacon, mushrooms, roasted peppers, onions, spinach, chipotle ketchup, roasted garlic mayo and mustard with American and Swiss cheese. The burgers here are a sensible size, large without being ridiculous. This was packed with delicious ingredients, and it vanished very quickly, so was clearly as delicious as it looked.

The Chilli Cheese Fries are piled with beef chilli, nacho cheese sauce and sour cream. This is a huge portion, so I’d suggest ordering to share. The chilli was deep with smoky flavour, and the fries are crisp and tasty.

Millionaire's fries

Jurassic Classic

The Millionaire Fries are served with truffle oil, parmesan, chives and a side of chipotle dip. The fries are fluffy inside, crisp outside, and were bloody beautiful.

My burger pick was the The Jurassic Classic Nozboy which was made in honour of local music festival Nozstock. The burger is smothered with honey mustard mayo, ketchup, spinach, an egg over easy, American cheese, Swiss cheese and bacon. The egg was perfectly runny, which made the burger a right mess, but gorgeous tasting. The meat itself is good quality, cooked to medium and full of beefy goodness. I was covered in egg by the time I’d finished, but full and extremely happy.

If you’re Hereford way, definitely go and visit these fabulous burger bosses. They’re making great quality food, with a focus on good local produce, and it’s delicious.

We paid in full. They didn’t know I was a blogger. All opinions, words, and bad phone pictures are my own. 

My Happy Place

Having  a happy place, somewhere where you feel content and at ease, is very important, I think. When SACO, who own serviced apartments in Birmingham which allow visitors to the city to live like a local, asked if I’d like to join in with their happy place campaign, I actually struggled to decide where to write about.

SACO surveyed Brummies to find out where we’re happiest. 23% of those surveyed chose a gastro pub in the Cotswolds as their happy place, which sounds excellent to me. A good cosy pub lunch is an excellent thing. Other popular options included eating ice cream on Brighton beach, eating fish and chips in Padstow (from Rick Stein’s I assume, having seen the queues out of the door when I visited Padstow recently), enjoying candy floss on Blackpool Beach and tucking into a pasty in St Ives. It seems to me that Birmingham residents are clearly pretty happy as long you as you feed us. I can relate.

Padstow

I thought about what makes for a happy eating place, and some of my own favourites. For me, there are several criteria. I don’t think somewhere fancy counts as a happy place, as I like to feel cosy, comfy and at home. Good food is obviously a must, as is friendly staff and good company. So where do I go to fill my face if I want to feel happy?

My first though was of The Lichfield Vaults in Hereford. The Lich, as it affectionately known locally, is a pretty traditional pub, tucked away behind the cathedral. They serve good beer, a selection of well-kept real ales and a menu of pub classics such as a Ploughman’s and a Soup of the Day. There is a twist though. Andy, the landlord, is Greek, and the bulk of the menu reflects his Greek roots, with amazing platters of mezze and greek dishes such as KlefticoKeftedes and Gigantes. The pub itself looks like a classic ‘old man boozer’ with dark wood and heavy beams, but I love the unexpected twist of the Greek menu. I frequented this place so much when I lived locally, that our group actually had our own table we nicknamed ‘the family table.’ Andy is the dream pub landlord; he’s so friendly and he always made sure we could get a table when we went in, and he’s always delighted to see us whenever we all make it home from our various scattered corners of the UK. I love mezze style food, so I’m always delighted by a menu of sharers, and the food here is always plentiful, delicious and reasonably priced.

Shawarma

A little nearer to home, I might as well move into the city centre branch of Damascena with the amount of time I spend there. I’ve written about it before, and it’s a very popular spot with foodie friends. The cafe itself is so welcoming. I think it always smells delicious as soon as you walk in the door, and the decor is warm and inviting. The food is a bit of a bargain, and is always beyond delicious. Take a friend, order some mezze and an excessive amount of hummus and feel all your cares melt away. We have to walk past Damascena to reach our bus stop, and after a bad day at work, a chai latte and some shawarma in their comfy seats is spot on, and always cheers me up.

This post was sponsored by SACO. All opinions are honest and my own. 

10 Tips to Have the Best Walt Disney World Trip

Taking up 40 square miles, across 4 theme parks, Walt Disney World can be a pretty overwhelming prospect when you first arrive. After a pretty epic trip to the parks, here’s my top 10 tips to have the best Walt Disney World Trip ever.

Magic Kingdom

buy a rain poncho

Look, I know you’ve spent weeks planning your holiday wardrobe or your Disney bounds, and you don’t want to wear those highly attractive rain ponchos, but honestly? Suck it up. Florida rain, especially in the summer, is no joke, and it will happen and it will be torrential. Disney’s own ponchos are about $10 each, so I’d suggest being more organised than us and buy some much cheaper ones before you go. You can buy a box full on Amazon for less than £6.

Hydrate for free

It’s Florida. It’s probably hot. Disney’s cast members are constantly reminding you to hydrate, so do it. There are water fountains around the park (often in queues, which is a great idea) which you can use, and you can ask for a cup of water in the restaurants too which they’ll give you for free.

Cinderella Castle

Get the my disney app

Before your trip, you can add your whole party to the app, and you can use it to book fast passes before you go. When you get to the parks, you can keep booking fast passes, access your memory maker photos, find park maps, get directions, check queue times, reserve tables for restaurants, browse menus, order food and see which characters are out and about. It’s really helpful, and we used it almost constantly.

Grab a badge

If you’re celebrating virtually anything, Disney have a badge for it. Birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, engagements, family reunions…there’s even a badge for first visits. Cast members do chat to you more with the badges, and I’ve heard rumour of some lucky badge wearers getting freebies. You can pick these up from guest services, or from the till in any of the shops.

Hollywood Studios

Get on the wifi

I guarantee you’re going to take approximately eight trillion photos and want to bombard your Instagram with your snaps. save your data. There is free wifi across all parks (it kicks in right by each park entrance, I found), and it’s strong, fast and reliable.

Get the picture

Charge your camera, and make sure you have plenty of memory space. I found I was taking around 150 photos every day. The Memory Maker pack means you can get professional shots taken at popular locations all over the park. If you haven’t gone for the pack, the PhotoPass cast members will take photos for free using your own camera, if you ask them nicely.

Cinderella's Castle

Hunt for hidden mickeys

There are several books and apps to help you hunt for Hidden Mickeys, but there are lots around the park. It’s a fun extra game for kids and adults. There’s also an Imagineering Field Guide which helps you spot some of the amazing hidden details around the park.

Ditch the shopping

If you’re staying at a Disney-owned hotel, you can have any shopping  you buy in the park sent to your hotel so you don’t have to carry it around all day. Much easier if you’re on rides!

Star Wars ears

Consider ditching your group to dodge the queues

Some rides have single rider lines that will save you a lot of time if you don’t mind splitting up from your group. You can save up to an hour on queue times.

Be ready for bag checks

Bags are checked as you go into all parks. The queues were moving pretty fast when we were there, but if you want to save time, ditch the bags and you can go through a seperate line. Be aware that Disney do not allow anything vaguely weapon like. This includes selfie sticks, and we saw lots being take away at the gates. You can leave it with guest services or take it back to the car, but save yourself the time and just don’t try and take one in.