Saturday, 25 June 2016

Delish Pride Cocktail Recipe - Getting Merry with Barefoot Wine on a Wednesday!

We've made it to Friday!

Pride London is tomorrow, and in celebration, Barefoot wine sent us a bottle of their Bubbly Pink Moscato and a request to try it in the Stride of Pride cocktail they created. Coincedentally, their moscato is our go-to wine, so of course we jumped at the chance! So on Wednesday that's exactly what we did - gathered together the ingredients, made it and had a lovely cocktail while watching Love Island (guilty pleasure, sorry we can't help it!)

Of course, it made our day to find out that our favourite wine company has a long history of celebrating and supporting the LGBTQ community - we go out of our way to support companies who support people like us! Extending its appreciation to wine lovers everywhere no matter who they are or whom they love, Barefoot is raising a glass to toast the LGBTQ community across the globe. Celebrating diversity with splashes of passionfruit, juicy pear and sparkling Barefoot Bubbly Pink Moscato – no Pride party should be without it this summer!

If you're heading to London tomorrow, you can check out the Stride of Pride at The Cocktail Trading Co. (London EC1A 9EJ), or you can make your own like we did!

Follow these simple steps to add a touch of sparkle to your life!

70ml Barefoot Bubbly Pink Moscato
10ml Passion Fruit Syrup 
10ml Pear Liqueur  
10ml Lemon Juice

1.    Combine well-chilled Barefoot Bubbly Pink Moscato with passion fruit, pear liqueur and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker
2.    Pour over crushed ice into a cup
3.    Top off garnished with some fun!

Serves 1

We replaced the passionfruit syrup with coulis, as per The Cocktail Trading Co.'s recommendation - we used Tesco's Finest Passionfruit Coulis, another LGBTQ-friendly company!

We'll be drinking this all summer, so cheers!

Happy Pride everyone!!

Thursday, 23 June 2016

PRYZM Birmingham! #Review

Last week was crazy busy, do ever have weeks where you have no idea how you kept going? I was done in Bournemouth for work for 3 days and on Thursday and Friday we were at the preview and launch nights for Birmingham's new club PRYZM courtesy of Lime Green Twist Communications!

The new and biggest club on Broad Street in Birmingham 
Check out their twitter for the latest news and offers:@PryzmBirmingham

PRYZM is awesome and we aren't just saying that because we had free drinks and a VIP pass. This club was straight out of Vegas but rather than just one dance floor playing club tunes this club brings together 3 other rooms - Vinyl for all the Retro / older chart tunes, House playing Garage and Curve playing R'n'B to provide an experience whatever your music taste.

There are actually a number of PRYZM clubs across the UK including Bristol and one opening in Nottingham soon!

All rooms have booths you can book should it be of interest, check out your options here: booths

We were invited in for a preview night on Thursday. This consisted of walking in, being handed a cocktail and then being whisked off for a tour by the manager Tom (who we LOVED!). Thankfully he knew where he was going as one room in we were lost - the scale of the club is hard to get your head around as the corridors start and end in different rooms so a wrong turn leaves you bemused.

The amount of seating and number of bars was far more than we had seen in any of our recent clubbing ventures and we were assured they were set up to make sure you never waited 2 minutes for a drink! Helpfully they also had a cash point inside but we were lucky enough to get to sample the cocktail menu without the need to pay!

Oh and the toilets - while this may seem like a strange thing to mention the toilet areas were a thing of beauty. The ladies all had ghd straighteners and hair dryers available free to use  and massive full length mirrors - always appreciated! And they had pink glitter walls - cue a ton of selfies!

The walkaround took just under an hour and by the end we were definitely impressed. The attention to detail made each room different - the Vinyl room stood out. With a dance floor that lit up, massive disco balls and a cocktail menus on old vinyl menus we made it our home on the opening night - the fact that the tunes were all amazing helped!

The R'n'B room had a touch of elegance and glamour and the booths looked so comfy. On opening night this room was so jam packed we were glad we had seen it empty.

The Garage room had a different feel, more urban. With graffiti on the walls and booth made of what looks like red PVC this was the perfect place to head at the end of the night to enjoy the music.

The main room / dance floor was the stand out though. With a Prysm chandelier worth more money that you can imagine hanging in the centre reflecting the light it added something special. Add in the gigantic screens and dancer area in the air and you have an amazing club scene. The booths surrounded the floor also meant you could relax and watch everyone else getting hot and sweaty as they partied.

View of the PRYZM dance floor, image from Birmingham Mail
Good to know:

  • THEY HAVE SNACKS! Yep that's right, crisps, pop rocks and other retro sweets - yum!
  • Get on the guest list- you can queue jump and get discounts!
  • Cocktails are £4.80 and 50% off before 11pm
  • Entry is £8 or free before 11pm (although check to make sure there are no events on)
  • While PRYZM's main purpose is a night club they will also be hosting other events - Jongeleurs comedy club, DreamBoys and others
  • Parking: You should really Uber / taxi so you can enjoy the cocktails but if you have designated driver there is a NCP multistory just down the road and free parking (if you're lucky) in the road a few streets away
The cocktails really are that good!

If you are in Birmingham and check it out let us know what you think!

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

#4 Top LGBT Blog in the UK, Youtube's Pride month video, and Other Pre-Pride London Musings

As it's only 3 (!!!) days until Pride London, some awesomely 'gay' things are happening this week that we wanted to share with you.

We are gutted that we won't be attending Pride London this year - it is our 'first' Pride, as we have been attending every year (except 2010, when we were in Sydney, and 2014 when we were getting married!) since we got together, over 7 years ago! Last year, we were honoured to be there for our first year wedding anniversary, and were featured in this beautiful video from Youtube in the wake of gay marriage being legalised across the USA:

This year's video to celebrate Pride month is about Identity - and it is beautiful and moving as always:

We have differing opinions on Identity - I have always liked labels, since I was a high school student, labelling myself as a choir geek and part of the 'second smartest group in my class' - as an adult, labelling myself a lesbian has helped me become prouder of that part of myself, and has helped me be a part of an amazing lgbt community I personally might not have had the courage to seek without my identity. To clarify, I only like self-made labels and identities - I'm not pro- people putting others into boxes where they don't want to be.

Sarah, on the other hand, doesn't like labels - she finds them derisive and restrictive and is way too picky to be defined by just a few descriptors.


We were notified today that we have made it to number 4 (!!) on Vuelio's Top 10 LGBT UK Blogs! This is fantastic news, and we are in great company - you can check out the article and the write up on us and our fellow bloggers here - make sure you check them out!

Photo courtesy of Barefoot

Finally, Barefoot wine has sent us a bottle of their pink muscato (coincidentally our favourite ever wine, we love a bubbly pink!) to make a cocktail they dreamed up specifically for Pride London this weekend. We've bought pear liqueur, passionfruit coulis, and we can't WAIT to have our own little celebration this evening! Look out for that recipe so you can try your own!

Happy Pride to our friends in London, have an amazing, safe time, and don't do anything we wouldn't do :)

Love is love,

Monday, 13 June 2016

For Orlando. Stand proud, Keep Dancing.

We didn't plan to write a blog post on the atrocity that took place in Orlando. Social media is filled with better written passages than we could ever create and stronger images than we could envisage. However over the course of today the united in love messages are giving way to something awful and we didn't want to stand by and not say anything. For taking no action is still taking an action - for letting the hate and support for the shooting take over and doing nothing is allowing negativity to win. Therefore we hope this post goes some way to pushing a negative post out of the way.

Before work today scrolling through comments on a number of Instagram posts we were horrified to see things like this on posts sending love to Orlando:

There were so many more but I don't want to give them any further publicity
It was only weeks ago that we wrote a post asking are gay rights still relevant - not because we don't think they are, but because so much of the battle seemed to have been won - at least in the Western world. These very comments we see posted on social media prove in fact that gay rights are still very relevant. While this one awful act does nothing to undo the work already done, what it shows it that changing hearts and minds is still very far from over. 

It is clear that people STILL do not understand that being gay is NOT a choice. 
Gay people are not perverted.

We are not an abomination.
Two people of the same sex holding hand is not a reason for disgust.
Two people of the same sex kissing is not a reason for anger.
Did you know in France in the 16th century there was no word for homosexuality or being gay?! That is because it was described as just a man loving a man - it was not judged or talked about in disgust, it just was. Love is just that - love. It shouldn't need a term to describe who the love is between, it should just be called love. 

Our marriage is just called marriage.

Our love is just love. 

'It matters not who you love, where you love, why you love, when you love or how you love, it matters only that you love' - John Lennon

To us this sums it up.
So while there are many in this world who are so ready to hate something they don't understand, those of us evolved enough to realise that love is a chemical reaction that can take many forms, we must be the bigger people. While awful, senseless individuals will find any excuse to hate we must do the opposite. While race, gender, religion and sexuality can all be reason to divide us surely love, peace and happiness are bigger reasons that could unite us?

Our hearts, thoughts and sympathies go out to everyone in Orlando and to anyone effected, while we may not have lost anyone we know, we know people who have. That is one thing we will take away from this - the world is really, truly, a small place, so the kindness you show to someone really can change the world. 

To anyone who is heading to a Pride this year, stay safe, stay proud, keep dancing, and never ever forget that by standing strong, by being 'out', we being brave. We are helping make things better for the next generation of LGBT people. Just as those who came before us risked their lives so we can attend these amazing Pride events, we must stand up in unity against the hatred and show that one individual cannot destroy the great work of many.

We are heading to a candlelight vigil at the Gay Village in Birmingham, tonight at 10pm. There are many similar events happening today around the world - if you can spare some time, head to one, remember the heroes that we've lost, and let's support one another.

Friday, 10 June 2016

Cereal Killer Cafe - London

I don't know how or why we never got around to publishing this post when we visited the Cereal Killer Cafe in Brick Lane, London back in December 2014 - so here it is 18 months later!

The good thing is the Cereal Killer Cafe is still going strong, so this is as relevant today as it was back then!

The concept is simple. Stock a fairly small cafe space with walls of cereal and not just your regular supermarket cereal - your international brand cereals! 120 varieties in total! Including Lucky Charms and Fruit Loops - the cereals you always 'treat' yourself to when visiting somewhere in the States (well if you are Laura and I).

Here's what you can choose from:

Started by Irish twin brothers, the cafe opened amidst protest and massive queues. The queues were for the food, the protests were about the gentrification of the area and capitalism - it just happens that the cafe opened blocks away from some of London's poorest areas and they weren't impressed at the prices being charged for a bowl of cereal!

Thankfully the drama subsided, but when we visited the queue was just as long as expected. On the gloomy December day the warm glow of the cafe was welcoming and after the 20 minute wait we were ready with our order - having changed our mind a dozen times.

The fact that have 30 different types of milk and 20 'additional toppings' really meant you had too much choice. it's why we ended up with one of the cocktails. We opted for the double rainbow and miss american was a hard choice though.

The cafe is themed with memorabilia from the 80's and 90's so as you take seat at the bar area, on one of the bench sets or in the brightly coloured seating area downstairs you are taken back to your childhood. I probably spent as much time checking out the old cereal box designs on the walls as I did eating.

Also if your serving finishes a box then you get to keep it! I don't know why but this made us happy.

Here's the owners' explanation of why they think you should try it.......

So if you are in London and fancy a breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack that you can't get anywhere else head over and find this place.

There are more details here:

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Cocktails (and Cheeky Thursday Evening Shots) at Island Bar

This Tuesday we are reminiscing about the Rum Runner.

It's one of the many delicious cocktails they make at Island Bar, which is located by the Mailbox in Birmingham.

We were invited for some revelry as part of 'Pride' - the sixth 'Sin' event in a series of seven .

We had seen Island Bar many times, but hadn't ventured in yet, so were very excited! We were greeted upon arrival by a Banana Colada (yum!!) and a chat with the bar's manager. The bar is very tropical-themed, with parrot wallpaper and tiki themed bars!

We mingled with plenty of lovely people, until it was time to make cocktails! I grabbed the girl I was chatting with at the time, and we set about becoming mixologists. Let me tell you, there's lots to remember!

I was successful (enough) in making the Rum Runner, but next time I'll leave it to the professionals.

Sarah thought she'd give a layered shot a go. She made the bar's special - Flaming Moe's. #tikiasfuck

And it was en flambé!

She thankfully remembered to blow it out before downing it!

She said it was so good that I had to try, so I made one too, and sipped it through a straw. Not a good idea, as I liked the bottom alcohol, which was cotton candy, best - but the straw had me end on a particularly harsh flavour!

It was lots of fun watching everyone else make cocktails and layered shots - almost setting the table on fire a few times! (I'm sure not, it just seemed that way!)

Island Bar has an extensive list of cocktails, and a great atmosphere. We will be back, with guests!

Check us out on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Youtube!

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Travel: A week in Paris

When we heard that Laura's Mum had wanted to spend a week in Paris for her birthday we were disappointed. Paris, for a week! I know poor us!

How spoiled we are that in our 7 years together we have already done Paris 3 times, separately we have done Paris even more. As it is a quick and fairly cheap trip from London to Paris on the EuroStar it was an easy trip to make when we were first dating and to enjoy the Christmas markets. That does leave it rather far down our to-do list when looking for places to go though. And it never on our top choice for a holiday.

However we had always had 'mini breaks' or long weekends - a maximum of 4 day at any one time. Like London it is a big, busy city and in our opinion not the place for a relaxing getaway, we thought a week would exhaust us.

We were wrong.

Actually it was quite the opposite. A week in the city of love was an entirely different experience to a long weekend. In this and a couple of subsequent posts we will break down exactly why we fell back in love with Paris. Let's just say it involves a lot of cheese and beautiful places!

Here's the highlights:
Day 1: Revisiting the must-do's: Eiffel Tower, Champs-Elysees, Sacré-Cœur, the Louvre
Day 2: Checking out Galleria LaFayette
Day 3: Inside the Opera house
Day 4: Notre Dame, Sainte Chapelle, Pont Nerf and adding our padlock to the bridge, Moulin Rouge
Day 5: Bastille market, graveyards under the city
Day 6: Versailles palace and gardens

The best bits for us were:
  • The area we stayed - right by the Sacré-Cœur so plenty going on and easy access to the Metro
  • Versailles - we could have stayed longer but didn't realise the area itself was a beautiful town, we thought it was just the palace.
  • The amount of delicious food we ate - including racellette, cheese fondue and snails (well Laura did)
  • Being lucky enough to get sunny days or sunny parts of the day! April is not guaranteed to be nice weather and we certainly experienced a mixed bag, i'm just glad our mix had plenty of blue skies :)

We'll be back with more details shortly!