Syds Slaps Southbourne Review

Syds Slaps Southbourne Review

Syds Slaps Southbourne Review
With the south coast finally seeing its first proper sunny weekend of the year, Elliot and I decided it was only right that we head to the coast for a beach walk and some brunch. Rather than head somewhere that we've been before for brunch, I had a quick Google Maps scroll and stumbled across Syd's Slaps in Southbourne. With the slogan 'Neighbourhood Caff & Night Time Gaff', you know it's going to be good...

Situated on the high street, Syd's Slaps has indoor seating as well as outdoor seating out the front and the back. We opted to sit in their courtyard garden round the back. 

Their brunch menu consists of set breakfasts (your typical cooked breakfast combos) as well as muffins/brioche rolls and sourdough toasts. 

Elliot and I both had a sausage muffin and it far exceeded our expectations. As well as the delicious sausage patty, the muffin also had a fried egg, a humongous hashbrown, and cheese. I had a 'Builders Tea' with my brunch, Elliot had a latte and both were great. The coffee was one of the better ones I've tried recently.

Our bill came to £20.90 which seemed very reasonable in these current economic times. The muffins were just £8 each and very well-sized too. 

If you're looking for a brunch in Southbourne, definitely check out Syd's Slaps, we'll definitely be making a return! 


Have you ever been to Syd's Slaps in Southbourne?

A Chorus of Disapproval Salisbury Playhouse Review
A Chorus of Disapproval Salisbury Playhouse Review


PRESS TICKETS

A Chorus of Disapproval is currently at Salisbury Playhouse and we were invited down last week to go and see it on their Press Night. This is an Alan Ayckbourn play that was first produced back in 1984. It  first appeared at the Salisbury Playhouse in 1987 and is now back again, 37 years later... 


It's a play within a play about a local Amateur Light Operatic Society who are practicing for their upcoming production of The Beggar's Opera. The play tells the story of Guy, the newest member of the Operatic Society, who ends up with more than just the one line he was first given.


I loved the set of A Chorus of Disapproval, some of the scenes were really clever. In particular, I thought the pub scene was brilliant and I was really impressed by Olivia Forrest who played Bridget Baines. 


There was plenty of singing (understandably, being an opera) and jokes too. I thought Andy Cryer's character Jarvis was hilarious. He definitely deserved more airtime. 


A Chorus of Disapproval runs until 18th May and there are still some tickets available.


Have you seen A Chorus of Disapproval?

Wiltshire Creative Comedy Club: Glenn Moore

PRESS TICKETS

Two shows in one week? We truly were spoilt by Wiltshire Creative this week. Following Tuesday night's showing of Houdini's Greatest Escape, Elliot and I headed back to the Playhouse on Thursday for a night of comedy.

 

Wiltshire Creative's Comedy Club was MCd by the hilarious, Laura Lexx. She had everyone laughing within a minute of being on stage with self-deprecating humour and lots of interactions with members of the audience. Shoutout to Helen and Paula the bus drivers and Melanie and Martin, who 'definitely look like they have a conservatory'. 


Following Laura getting the crowd hyped up for some comedy, Bilal Zafar came out on stage for the first half. He shared witty stories about being in an inter-racial relationship, a recent gig he was booked for for 200 bishops, his experience doing jury service, and a recent air fryer advert that has been doing the rounds. 


Following the interval, and a few more jokes and heckles with Laura Lexx, Glenn Moore then took to the stage. Albeit not from the side of the stage. His routine focussed on his experience living with his brother during lockdown and the breakdown of his relationship with hilarious, genuine laugh-out-loud moments scattered generously throughout. There were crude jokes, political jokes, hand signals, the lot. The time absolutely flew by and I would absolutely go and see him on tour again. 


Having never been to a comedy show before, I am wholeheartedly converted. Elliot and I laughed throughout the entire thing. The jokes were just our humour and the time absolutely flew by. 


I'd highly recommend going along to one of Wiltshire Creative's Comedy Clubs, tickets start from just £15! 

Houdini's Greatest Escape at Salisbury Playhouse

PRESS TICKETS

New Old Friends' latest production (produced in association with Yvonne Arnaud Theatre) made its way to the Salisbury Playhouse this week and we were lucky enough to catch it whilst it was on. There were just 3 showings of 'Houdini's Greatest Escape' in Salisbury but they are touring various venues with the show until June. This is a new play written and directed by Feargus Woods Dunlop and here is what I thought...

Harry Houdini and his wife Bess have been performing their tricks for years. An opportunity then arises for them to be picked to perform for the King. Alas, things are never quite that easy... 

The Houdinis are framed for a crime they didn't commit. 

Without giving too much away, the plot involves their run-ins with a local gang, their competitor a Spiritualist named Agatha, and their involvement with the police. 

The show is made up of a cast of 4 people and the set is simple yet incredibly clever. Whilst Ben Higgins (Harry Houdini) and Lydia Piechowiak (Bess Houdini) were brilliant, I have to take a moment to give credit to Adam Elliott and Kirsty Cox who played SO many roles in the production. 

If there was one thing I didn't enjoy so much in this show it was the 'Nelly the Elephant' segment. I don't think it needed it and it felt a bit silly, but other people were laughing away. 

This thriller includes lots of slapstick comedy and I thoroughly enjoyed the storyline. Houdini's Greatest Escape is touring until the 30th June including shows on 17-18th May in Southampton!


Have you seen Houdini's Greatest Escape?

One Last Push at Salisbury Playhouse Review

One Last Push at Salisbury Playhouse Review
Photography by Craig Fuller


PRESS TICKETS

A play about childbirth... An interesting concept, huh? I never like to do too much research before watching a play in case of accidentally ruining it for myself, so I had absolutely no idea what to expect from this new comedy by Chris Chibnall when we took our seats in Salisbury Playhouse. The idea for this play was inspired by the story of Chibnall's youngest son's birth and is just one of his comedies based around big life events.

Set in Jen and Mark's new flat, the play focuses on the last few days before their first baby arrives. Like with anything, no matter how many books you've read, classes you've attended, or how hard you've tried to plan something, things never quite go smoothly...

With ongoing renovations, an estranged parent, a badger (yes, really), a parent live-streaming, and a deflating birthing pool in the mix, this certainly can't be considered a calm and tranquil setting for an ideal home birth.

The play is funny, littered with crude jokes and the acting is superb. With 3 of the cast members having appeared in Call the Midwife, 1 in Casualty, and 1 in Holby City it's fair to say that Jen (Laura Main) is in safe hands. Huge credit to the crew involved with this production, taking on hoses and leaking pools in live theatre is no mean feat. 

We thoroughly enjoyed our evening and would definitely recommend watching this play as part of its world premiere in Salisbury! One Last Push is running at Salisbury Playhouse from Thursday 15th February – Saturday 9th March and tickets start from just £13. 


Have you seen One Last Push yet?

Dick Whittington at Salisbury Playhouse Review
Dick Whittington at Salisbury Playhouse Review
Photo courtesy of The Other Richard

press tickets 

I'm happy to declare the festive season officially open, Elliot and I went to see the panto in Salisbury last night! Dick Whittington opened at the Salisbury Playhouse on Saturday 25th November and, having not been to the pantomime since I appeared on stage at our local ones many many years ago, I wasn't entirely sure what to expect. Wearing my best Lidl Christmas jumper (the only acceptable get up for an evening of panto), we headed to our seats totally unaware of what was to come...

And, spoiler, we were VERY pleasantly surprised. The cast was brilliant, the costumes were amazing and the dance numbers were a right hoot. Without ruining the story too much, Percy Rat was by far our favourite character, and his jokes were right up our street. Read: crude. 

With the bright colourful sets, costumes, and dances to entertain the youngsters and a healthy dose of adult humour sprinkled in for good measure, this truly is a good evening out for all the family. 

Elliot and I went just the two of us and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. This panto certainly isn't just for kids. I mean, the lad's name is 'Dick', the jokes almost write themselves. 

Dame? Check. 'It's behind you'? Check. Audience singalong halfway through? Check. Actually funny jokes? Check. Brilliant cast? Check. This panto had it all and has definitely changed my perception of what a panto is like. 

If you've not, like me, been to the panto in years but want a joyful evening out, definitely check out Dick Whittington at Salisbury Playhouse this Christmas. We had a truly brilliant time and weren't the only ones there without children in tow! 

Incognito Winchester Review
Incognito Winchester Review
Incognito Winchester Review

Incognito Winchester Review

On Saturday night, we headed to Incognito in Winchester for the first time, and wow, what an experience. We were very kindly gifted an Incognito voucher for Christmas by Elliot's parents and I have never had cocktails that cool before, ever! 

Located behind a very nondescript door in Winchester, Incognito is a heavily themed cocktail bar with theatrical cocktails. Based around the story of Chadwick Smithfield, a man who has the head of a cat and has travelled the world, the cocktails all have their own individual themes and stories. 

The bar itself has a 1920s vibe and I would highly advise booking, we had to book our slot weeks in advance! Four of us visited and had two cocktails each, meaning we managed to sample a fair proportion of the menu. From rum to vodka to gin to Aperol, the cocktail menu is full of lots of different choices suited to different tastebuds. They also have soft drinks, beers and mocktails if that's more your thing.

I had the 'Along For The Ride' and the 'Turtle Island' and I thoroughly enjoyed both. In terms of presentation and interactivity, of the ones we had, 'Candyman', 'Along For The Ride', 'Mr Chow' and 'Fullproof' were by far the best. 'Turtle Island' and 'Escargot' whilst tasty, didn't quite have the wow factor or experience as some of the others. 

With the service charge included the cocktails work out at about £19 each, so I'd definitely recommend going for the more theatrical ones so as to get the full experience! 

If you've not been before and don't mind paying a bit more for a unique night out, I'd definitely recommend visiting Incognito Winchester!

The Girl On The Train at Salisbury Playhouse Review


The Girl On The Train at Salisbury Playhouse Review
Photography by Ellie Kurttz 

PRESS TICKETS 

Okay, so, strong words incoming, but I think this might be the best thing I've ever seen at The Salisbury Playhouse. Now, that probably should have had a major spoiler alert as it removes any sort of intrigue involved in this review, but, if you've found this post and it's not too late, GO AND SEE IT! 

I've been fortunate enough to be invited along to see a lot of theatre productions in the last year or so, and whilst I'm by no means any sort of professional critic, I thought this was truly brilliant. 

I'd previously read the book and seen the film (admittedly, both many years ago now) and thought that this adaptation was fantastic. I loved the set and how each of the scenes changed, and the cast was incredible. Rachel, played by Joanna van Kampen, who was also in How The Other Half Loves, was outstanding. She spoke solidly for pretty much the entire running time of the show and I don't think anyone looked away from the set the entire time. 

In terms of production value, it didn't have the wow-factor of some of the other plays put on by Wiltshire Creative, but I think that is testament to the quality of the acting and storyline of this one. 

The Girl On The Train was tense, it was dramatic, it was everything I was expecting of a play depicting what ends up to be a pretty morbid story. The two hours absolutely flew by and I truly felt like I was a bystander watching it all play out in front of me. 

The Girl On The Train is playing at Salisbury Playhouse until Saturday 11th November and tickets start from only £13. 

Lina Stores, Bloomsberg Arcade, London Review
Lina Stores, Bloomsberg Arcade, London Review

Lina Stores, Bloomsberg Arcade, London Review

Lina Stores, Bloomsberg Arcade, London Review


A good few weeks ago now, Elliot and I had a very last-minute day out in London. We didn't have any major plans and were just keen to mooch around, eat some good food and then come back home again. Now, Lina Stores has been on my to-visit list for the longest time and this particular trip felt like the ideal time to try it. 

Now, the Bloomsberg Arcade restaurant (the one we visited) is the one that I've seen alllll over TikTok, so I knew if we were going to do it, we had to do it properly. That said, it's not in an area we usually go to, so if you're a day-tripper like me, it's not the most convenient. 


Lina Stores, Bloomsberg Arcade, London - Review

So, shall we start with the decor? I love. The restaurant is beautiful and I cannot get over that bar area, it's stunning! 


We just turned up on a Saturday lunchtime and there was absolutely no problem getting a table at all. So much so, in fact, I'm glad we actually didn't book a table. Just to note, there's a cancellation policy if you book a table online. It's £10 per person for no-shows and late cancellations charged to the card used when making the booking. 


Enough waffling... The food then. It was SO good. I had the 'Pappardelle con Ragù di Salsiccia di Agnello' which is pappardelle, lamb sausage ragù, cime di rapa, chilli and pecorino romano. It was delicious. I've genuinely never had a pasta dish with as much flavour as this one. Elliot had the chicken and mushroom ravioli and that was amazing too. The ravioli parcels were absolutely brimming with chicken breast and the sauce was incredible too. 


Not pictured, but I did also have a Limoncello Spritz which was great too. 


The only downfall of my visit to Lina Stores? The portion size. I know I tend to eat hearty portion sizes, especially when it comes to pasta, but I'm not sure this would have filled me up if I had had it for dinner. As a quick lunch, it was ideal. Are you meant to have more than one pasta dish? Is that the idea? Who knows... 


Finally, for anyone nosy like I am, we paid £47.25 total. We each had a pasta dish and a drink and there was a £5.25 service charge included in that too. 


Would I go again? Yes! Would I recommend a visit to Lina Stores if you haven't already been? Yes! 

Overherd Powdered Oat Milk Review

Overherd Powdered Oat Milk Review
Powdered Oat Milk... I can't say I've ever heard of it before. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm no stranger to oat milk itself. At my first marketing job, we exclusively had oat milk in the office, there was absolutely no dairy to be seen. I actually stopped buying oat milk this year (or all milk substitutes for that matter) as I found I just wasn't getting through it quickly enough, and unfortunately often ended up wasting it. 

So, when Overherd got in touch and asked to hear my thoughts on their powdered oat milk, I was very interested... Besides being able to just make the amount you need for a few days (and not committing to an entire carton) it's also handy just to have in the cupboard too. Elliot and I are often away over the weekends and there's nothing more disappointing getting back late on a Sunday evening to an empty fridge, aware that the working week is going to begin without a cup of tea in sight. 

Speaking of going away, how perfect is this for the campervan? Again, same problem. If/when we're off-grid and the sun isn't doing the solar panel any favours, without the electric fridge doing its thing, we're a little bit stumped. But, stocking a couple of scoops of this in the van ready? Sounds like a no brainer to me.

Overherd recommends making up the oat milk using one scoop of the powder per 200ml of water. I gave it a go in my tea but decided that two scoops was more my sort of thing. It tastes just like any branded oat milk you'd pour straight from a carton and only takes about 10 seconds to shake up. They recommend consuming it within 3 days, so that's one thing to bear in mind when making up a batch.

The bag I've got costs £6.99, and with my 'double-strength' preference, will make 2 litres of oat milk. Which, may not sound a lot, but as someone who only has it in their tea, will last me quite a while, especially with only needing to make a little at a time! 

So, the main question I suppose, why powdered oat milk? Well, according to their website, 'oat milk is 90% water'. So, by adding the water to the milk yourself means reduced packaging, reduced food waste, and a reduced carbon footprint. Wowzer. That's certainly something I can get behind. 

ps if you want to give it a try for yourself, the code: BECC15 gets you 15% off!

Are you an oat milk fan? Would you try a powdered oat milk?