Sunday, 29 March 2015

Lunch at Eclectic Fizz, Aberdeen

Instead of Christmas presents this year, me and the girls decided we'd treat ourselves to a girly spa day. It didn't exactly go to plan... Amy couldn't come & Pure Spa mucked up our appointments. On the plus side we got a good massage, they've offered us a free manicure on our next visit and I finally asked the girls to be my bridesmaids! Lynne and I celebrated with a boozy lunch at Aberdeen's new champagne bar Eclectic Fizz.

A champagne bar could easily be tacky and over the top but Eclectic Fizz keeps it classy. It feels fancy but not stuck up. We arrived at 1 o'clock on a Saturday to be told they were fully booked all day and we couldn't get a table. We decided to have a drink at the bar anyway and after a word with a barman (or 2...keep trying!) we scored a table that somebody hadn't turned up for! 

As expected, the drinks list is a celebration of all things bubbly. They have everything from a £25 bottle of prosecco to a £550 bottle of rose Laurent-Perrier. There's a good selection of wines, spirits, cocktails and booze free options too. If you fancy just the one glass (who are you kidding?) then prices start at £4.50 for a glass of fizz. We opted for a bottle of Veuve Clicquot for £60.

The food at Eclectic Fizz is a pretty decent price as well. Lynne had the fish and chips, and I had the posh scampi. Mine looked like a bit of a small portion but both meals were really good and only a tenner each. For dessert Lynne had a strawberry cupcake and I went for one of their crepes... They do savoury and sweet versions - I'll be having brie and cranberry next time! The waiter recommended nutella and white chocolate. It was served warm with a scoop of ice cream and was amaaazzing! Such a treat.

We spent a good couple of hours and less than £90 between us. Not bad for 2 main courses, 2 desserts and a bottle of champagne. I can't think of a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon than with one of my best friends, some tasty food and a bottle of Veuve Clicquot. Next time I'll try afternoon tea with the girls or dinner with Gordon! 

If you fancy a visit you can find Eclectic Fizz at 150 Union Street and I'd definitely recommend booking ahead!

Friday, 20 March 2015

Dinner at Shri Bheema's, Aberdeen

For Mother's Day this year we treated our Mum to a feast. We celebrated a few days early so that Dad could come too, which is a pretty good strategy anyway as normal menus tend to be better than Mother's Day specials (in my opinion)! Mum & Dad got to choose where they wanted to eat (because we're such epic children) and they chose their favourite Indian restaurant in Aberdeen - Shri Bheema's.

 Mmm poppadoms! I love mango chutney.

Chilli chicken - Gordon had this as a starter and it made his eyes water! Mum had this as her main course and loved it.

Dosa - I can't remember what kind! These are basically different types of savoury pancakes with different fillings, all served with different sauces. They're huge, tasty & ideal for sharing! 

 Prawn biryani pot. The King prawns were huge but Dad said he needed more of them!

 Peshwari naan, pilau rice & creamy korma.

Spicy kadai - a mild flavoured chicken curry full of peppers and onion. I could of done with a bit more spice but really enjoyed this dish.

Some sort of chickpea curry... Sorry, I have a rubbish memory! There's loads of vegetarian options on the menu though so Laura had plenty to choose from - everything from chickpeas, to lentils, to aubergine, potatoes and cottage cheese. 

This was my first visit to Shri Bheema's and I really enjoyed it. I want to go back and try all of the dosa! The restaurant is easily missed - there's a wee door tucked away in a corner on Belmont Street, which leads to some dodgy looking stairs but don't let them put you off! It's well worth a visit.

Shri Bheema's - 17 Belmont Street, Aberdeen or Balgownie Road, Bridge of Don.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Protein Mug Cake

I've been getting more experimental in the kitchen again (in case you can't tell from my instagram!) and this is one of my latest creations. Eating the same thing over and over gets a little boring but that's what I love about the whole "IIFYM" thing. You can eat anything if it fits your macros. Obviously the "cleaner" and more natural the food, the better but a little bit of what you fancy every now and then isn't the end of the world. This easy peasy mug cake is surprisingly clean anyway.

1 scoop chocolate protein powder
1 tbsp cacao (or cocoa!) powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 egg white
2 tbsp almond milk (or any other milk)
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp natural peanut butter

Mix all the ingredients together in a mug to make a chocolatey batter then push the tablespoon of peanut butter into the middle. Stick it in the microwave for a minute and that's it. Just tip it onto a plate and serve with Greek yoghurt & strawberries. Or eat it straight out the mug - less dishes! 

I was confused about how this makes a cake but it actually does work. I put mine on for an extra 20 seconds because it wasn't cooked completely through but it ended up a bit dry - just stick to a minute!

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Saint Laurent

Saint Laurent A/W '15.

The 80's punk inspired show from Hedi Slimane is about the only one that actually got me excited this fashion month! Models had a bit of a Courtney Love/Debbie Harry look about them. Masculine tailoring with the usual smoking jackets, leather trousers and lots of rocked up tutus with ripped fishnet tights. I've always loved clothes with a rockier edge - I'm really not a cutesy person! It might not be anything groundbreaking but I love the collection.

Images from

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Dinner at The Courtyard, Aberdeen

I was recently asked to share my favourite Aberdeen fast feasts and destination dining spots for I'll be adding more to the list when I can so keep an eye on the website! It's such a handy site - wherever you're headed in the world, look up the city's page & you'll find epic places to eat, all recommended by local foodies!

Last weekend Glasgow foodies Emma & Mark came up to the Granite City to meet up for some foodie chat and (more importantly) actual food. It was the perfect time to try out a restaurant I've been meaning to visit for a while now - The Courtyard.

As a big fan of all the other Eat Beetroot outlets - Adelphi Kitchen, Rye & Soda, Bos'n, The Tippling House - I was confident that the Courtyard would be up to scratch. 

And I wasn't wrong. 

(I never am.)

Tucked down a wee lane in Aberdeen's West End, the restaurant is fairly small and cosy but not overcrowded - plenty personal space & privacy between tables! "People who love to eat are always the best people" - and people who love to eat will love the quotes on The Courtyard's walls. I was impressed before we'd even picked our starters. The bartender mixed me up a cosmopolitan in a flash, despite the fact that there's no cocktail list, and we were served some delicious, complimentary fresh baked tomato bread with bacon (!) butter and a plate of haggis bon bons. All of which went down a storm at our table of food lovers!

Rock Rose Gin Cured Scottish Salmon / Cucumber / Shallot / Juniper

Hand dived west coast scallops / Lamb Sweetbreads / Savoy Cabbage / Pancetta

The presentation at The Courtyard is top notch and the starters lived up to expectations. Although well presented, the large plates make the portions look fairly small but it's all an illusion! My main course had so much pork that I was struggling to finish it... It tasted so good that I forced it down obviously.

Mossimans Pork 2 Ways / Pan basted fillet & slow cooked belly / Sweet apple / Glazed potatoes / Pak choi & pan jus

8oz centre cut fillet steak / Roast vine tomato / Chestnut mushroom & squash fricasse / Chips / Watercress 

Look at the size of the chips! I was slightly jealous of Gordon's plate. My favourite course by a mile was dessert though. It took me ages to decide but I knew I'd be jealous of the tart if Gordon got it and I didn't. Food envy is not Gordon's favourite. The poached pear was my other option - I'm told it was a winner but I regret nothing!!!

White chocolate custard tart / Raspberry / Brown bread ice cream

Warm poached pear / Hazelnut textures / Speculoos

Dinner at The Courtyard is served from 5pm and 3 courses will cost you £40, including the additional haggis bon bons & "hand crafted sweets to finish". I reckon it's a reasonable price for the amount and standard of the food! The staff were great and the atmosphere is nice and relaxed even though the menu is more formal sounding. It's an ideal place to celebrate an anniversary or birthday! Or graduation... driving test... new home... promotion... any excuse really.

I slept very well that night.

*My photos are taken with my iPhone - for better Courtyard photography have a look on Foodie Quine!

Monday, 2 March 2015

Nike Tight of the Moment

How cool are these limited edition Nike Pro tights?! As part of the Nike Training Club Tour they've designed 3 pairs of tights inspired by the 3 original cities on the tour. This Shanghai design is the first - the LA & Stockholm versions will be released over the next couple of months. I'm loving the bold colours. Anyone got a spare £90 I can borrow? 

Sunday, 1 March 2015

The Coffee Apothecary

My mum has just introduced me to The Coffee Apothecary in Udny. My sister had introduced her to it the other week so she took me and Dad along for lunch this weekend. I'd already eaten so just had a fudge slice and a pot of "blooming marvelous green tea". Mum had a vegetable wrap and Dad had an epic looking brie and cranberry baguette that was bigger than his face! The Coffee Apothecary has only opened recently but seems to be popular already. All the products are fairly traded and locally sourced where possible. It's a cosy but modern cafe, filled with upcycled furniture and set in a tiny village post office in the middle of nowhere. They serve breakfasts, soups, sandwiches, cakes and now stock Brewdog too! Plans for an outdoor seating space are in action too so it'll be a great spot for lunch in the summer.

You can find The Coffee Apothecary at the Udny Post Office, Udny, Ellon. (Just outside Pitmedden!)
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