Lifestyle blog by a thirty-something city dweller

Blogmas Day 8

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Whilst I can’t believe I’m now on day 8 of my quest to complete blogmas and had been planning on posting about work Christmas parties (mine’s tomorrow), I’ve done quite a lot of Christmassy things recently so thought I’d write a little run-down of them instead.

Christmas trip to London

Now, I feel like so many people are desperate to visit Winter Wonderland and see the Oxford Street lights every year. But I’m here to tell you that you really shouldn’t bother. I’ve seen both a few times over the years and they’re really not all they’re made up to be. We did however take a family trip to London two weekends ago to see a live stage show of The Snowman, at the Peacock Theatre, and also had time to visit Somerset House and see the lovely Fortnum & Mason Christmas Arcade.

The show was wonderful. So much more than I was expecting (I’ll be honest, I wasn’t exactly looking forward to it!). It was adapted to stage really well and was colourful and fun and packed full of lovely music and dancing. Just an all-round feel-good production and I honestly recommend it to anyone, although especially if you have children – my 4 year old nephew was completely enamoured.

the snowman, theatre, peacock theatre, london, snowman

Before the show, we walked down to Somerset House (where the usual ice skating rink is set up for the festive season) and had a walk through the Fortnum & Mason Christmas Arcade. They have rooms set up with themes (gifts for her, gifts for him, food & drink gifts, etc) and they are just a real spectacle. So beautiful and so well put together.

fortnum and mason, london, somerset house, christmas tree, christmas

ice skating, christmas, ice rink, somerset house, london

fortnum and mason, christmas, somerset house, christmas arcade, gifts

Snow Queen Vodka Tasting

Ok, so not strictly linked with Christmas but I went to this recently and haven’t written about it yet so thought I’d add it in! The fabulous Rose Villa Tavern recently hosted a Snow Queen vodka tasting and I went along with a friend to find out about this brand (which I’ll be honest, I hadn’t heard of).

Things I learnt: Snow Queen is an organic vodka from Kazakhstan; it was launched to the UK market in 2004; the owner is meticulous about his processes in making the product so everything from growing and harvesting the grain to bottling the product is done in-house; and it was bloody delicious. Really smooth and great on its own or in a cocktail (I reckon it’d made an amazing martini).

After the Snow Queen rep (I think his name was Luke but my apologies if that’s wrong) had told us all about the history of the brand and a load of info about the product, one of the Rose Villa bar staff whipped up cocktails for us to taste. Whilst I’m not a fan of cream soda, the cocktail that was put together using this was pretty yummy! Not too sweet and with an orange twist, I could have drunk a fair few (it was only a Wednesday though).

snow queen vodka, vodka, alcohol, rose villa tavern

Etsy Made Local

There were two Etsy Made Local events in Birmingham last weekend and I visited both. One was at the Custard Factory and another in the old Midland Bank building on Broad Street. They both had lots of local craft vendors and it was really lovely to see items in the ‘flesh’. Etsy is so amazing for gifts so these events are such a great way of bringing such wonderful hand-made items to a wider audience.

Winter Market

My family came up to Birmingham last weekend so we could visit some of the events I wrote about last week. We started our afternoon with lunch at the Winter Market, held at the Bond Company on Fazeley Street. With so many excellent street food vendors there, we did try a few different ones. I had amazing slow-cooked pork in a bun from Low ‘n’ Slow; my parents and sister-in-law had the most incredible indian food from The Indian Rasoi Street Food; and my nephew had an epic hotdog from Big Daddies Diner (a massive thanks to these guys who added haloumi and pickles to the hotdog for my nephew, he couldn’t have been more excited!). We also had the most delicious hot chocolate too.

pulled pork, burger, food, low n slow, street food, digbeth

We took a wander through the craft stalls set up as well and there were some really cool items. Great for gifts and although I didn’t buy anything on the day (I was with the people I’d be buying gifts for after all!), I have been on vendor websites and bought some things having seen them on Saturday.

We then had a family boogie to the music playing in the courtyard by the beer bus as my nephew loves to dance and we’re not the kind of family to say no to an impromptu party!

winter market, digbeth, birmingham, beer bus

This evening, I’m off to join the other members of the book club I attend for a Christmas catch-up at Cheval Blanc in Moseley (not been yet so looking forward to that and will report back at some point on here). And then tomorrow is my work Christmas party – not sure how I’m feeling on that but will discuss work parties in an upcoming post and let you know why I’m not super excited for it. 

Let me know what fun, Christmas things you’ve been up to so far and what you’ve got planned for the rest of December.

Author: amiiat30

Marketing Communications Manager, sports coach, crochet queen

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