Perfect Pizza at The Stable, Birmingham

April 23rd, 2017

There are some great places to find really good Pizza in Birmingham, but The Stable on John Bright Street must be one of the best. It has a menu that is full of delicious pizza combinations. and also has a range of over 80 ciders that you can team with them, making this perfect pitstop for a refuel on a shopping day. In addition, a great outside space is just glorious, especially when the mercury is hitting over 70 degrees, which it was on the Sunday we paid a family trip. With a relaxed atmosphere, and a child friendly menu and staff, you can easily enjoy fantastic food and a chill on a lazy Sunday.

The menu is interesting in that many of the combinations and dishes look Mediterranean, but are actually full of local produce and British ingredients. The menu also gives a nice nod to the local area, with pizzas named after Birmingham areas like Bournville (the Bournville Bantam is my pizza of choice), Smethwick and Perry Barr.

We started with a Cured Meats and cheese board (£12 for two). This is a dish that has the look of the Mediterranean, but is actually British through and through, specifically the West Country. The pickled cucumber in particular was excellent, and the cheeses were a great mixture of creamy (goats cheese) and sharp and flavoursome (the Wookey Hole aged cheddar.) The meat also showed that Prosciutto and Parma Ham are not the only choices when it comes to pairing cured meats with cheese.

Joe loves garlic bread, and The Stable has the traditional pizza style breads. These were again packed full of flavour with the butter literally oozing from the bread (not my favourite word but the only one to use in this case.) The bread didn’t last long and was totally proclaimed a hit by my boy.

Onto the Pizza. Joe chose a Margarita but added chicken to it. It was delicious, the flavours worked together very well, and it was great that he could add the extra ingredient to create his perfect pizza. I went for the Bournville Bantam, again with chicken, but I removed mushrooms (my idea of food hell) and was really pleased with the overall flavour. Pete went for the special – the Ali Baa Baa, almost a mezze on a pizza with Koftka style meatballs and feta Cheese, as well as tomato, oregano and mozzarella. Pete declared this was the best pizza he had ever had – high praise indeed. We also tried one of the salads, this was a salmon salad that could virtually count as a course by itself as it was full of leaves and pieces of salmon.

If you have any room left for a dessert, I would definitely try the ice cream. The clotted cream vanilla is just so lovely, and the presentation makes it look so special. You can choose three flavours, or opt for double of your favourite.

With friendly and knowledgeable staff able to recommend both dishes and cider, and fast and efficient service, The Stables is a real jewel in Birmingham’s foodie crown. This was my fourth visit, but the first with my family, and it was a big hit with all. We’ll definitely be coming back.

The Stable, Birmingham

Address: 115 John Bright St, Birmingham B1 1BE
Phone: 0121 643 8918
Reservations: bookatable.co.uk

 

 

The Essential Oils to have in your home.

April 22nd, 2017

One of my fondest memories I have of my mother-in-law Rita is her love of essential oils. She had a home office that always smelled incredible, and this was due to the burning of oils in an oil burner, filling the air with wonderful fragrances. Ylang Ylang, Lavender and Camomile were favourites, and eucalyptus would be used if she was suffering with a cold or flu symptoms. Now I have oils burning in my own home, often using an electric oil burner that I picked up from Amazon. I love the fact that, as well as producing lovely scents, they can also affect your health and  well  being, and can be an aid to relaxation, and can even help if you have problems sleeping. In my view, every home should have a selection of essential oils to hand.

New Direction Aromatics has some really wonderful fragranced oils that are suitable for everything from diffusers, to creating your own soaps and cleansers. They offer a wide selection of pure, unadulterated Essential Oils obtained from a range of sources, including  blossoms, leaves, bark and roots of flowers, herbs, fruits and spices. In particular, they are experts in Lavender Oils, being the Number 1 supplier of Lavender Oil in the Essential Oil industry.

Some of the oils stocked by New Direction Aromatics, that I would recommend for use in the home are:-

  • Tea Tree. One of the few essential oils that can be used neat, tea tree works well as an astringent, particularly for skin suffering from blemishes. In my previous life as a teacher this was a sometime cure for head lice – apparently ‘nits’ didn’t like the smell and avoided hair that had been treated with tea tree.
  • Eucalyptus. This is an oil that is brilliant when you are suffering from colds and flu symptoms, or blocked noses. Eucalyptus can be added to a hot bath or a facial steamer in order to clear a blocked nose, and will also work well with a diffuser to add eucalyptus to the air.
  • Chamomile. Chamomile is a mild, sweet oil that can help with relaxation, so is perfect to burn in your bedroom in order to help you drift into a blissful, deep sleep. Chamomile also mixes well with lavender and rose, and can be used for massage and as a natural antiseptic to treat wounds.
  • Lavender. We know that it smells divine when added to an oil burner, and it also aids sleep, but did you know lavender works well as an anti-aging treatment? It is said it can reduce the appearance of age spots when mixed with Frankincense oil and used after a morning shower. Inhaling Lavender oil can also help those suffering from Migraine headaches.

Clearly essential oils are just that – they can help in so many ways and are often inexpensive to buy.

Attention! The New Rules On Modern Military Dressing

April 19th, 2017

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There are a few fashion trends that never go out of style and amongst them is the most popular theme in women’s fashion. Military chic isn’t just super cool, uniform and streamlined but gives designers carte blanche to add zips, chains, brass buttons and fringe based epaulettes. Previously, loyal fashion foot soldiers have donned army jackets, structured khaki dresses and tightknit pants but thanks to a more off-duty approach to relaxed dressing military is ripping up the rulebook for a fresh utilitarian look.

 

Bright, White And Beautiful

 

In 2017, the fashion rules are being rewritten as dull greens, uniform trays and air force blues are being refreshed with off whites, fresh creams, and cappuccino tan shades. You’ll see a whole new range of lighter, breezier fabrics, however, die hard fans of camp will be relieved to hear that the traditional hue of a classic navy is still hugely popular. This year fashion and function have blended, creating structured pieces that all have a clean, contemporary look that still has a military vibe but also has an understated softness to it.

Thanks to new inspiration, young designers are leading the march towards starched collars, refined casual wear, structured skirts and, of course, buttoned trench coats. One of the hottest designers right now, Marni’s collections showed fabulously tailored safari jackets reminiscent of jungle missions as well as leather backpacks and bum bags plus cutout shapes and pockets.

 

Strong Structured Fabric

 

One of the cutest ways to wear military is to pair an olive green shirt, cream, wide leg pants and aviator glasses. It’s all about lightweight, spring worthy cotton and moving away from the idea of heavy duty army surplus denim, linen and fleece. This spring you’ll see boxy, square jackets and drawstring paper bag trousers in soft, yet crisp comfortable fabrics giving everyone, no matter your shape, a clean cut silhouette. One of the ways to include khaki in this lighter material is to think of it as a neutral, such as a taupe, beige or cream.

 

When it comes to accessories, keep things simple as you want to let the clothes do the talking. Classic jewelry such as diamonds will look gorgeous with a linen, white shift dress or if you’re looking to treat yourself to something new Diamond Registry has expert jewellers who’ll talk you through purchasing loose diamonds. Choose simple studs or drop earrings and pair them with an elegant gold tennis bracelet – ideal for a cocktail party!

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Bold As Brass

 

While military embellishments are lovely be careful not to overdo it! If you’re wearing ankle, or knee high boots, then keep the rest of your outfit flowing because you don’t want to look like you’re competing in a gymkhana or worse like you’re wearing a costume. Zips, buttons and ties are lovely but avoid ones that are shiny, or too realistic as military chic only works when it’s obvious there’s a definite fashion element and it’s not emulating what armed forces personnel wear. I.e it’s cool to wear an army jacket with badges on but lose the peaked cap or any ‘authentic’ army issue dog tags.
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