CARLUCCIO’S – MET QUARTER

WWW.CARLUCCIOS.COM

TWITTER:@CARLUCCIOSCAFFE

Carluccio’s claim to be noisy about food, they try it ,taste it and argue about it until its exactly right. Well thats exactly like us!! We try everything in sight and then argue over who gets the last meatball. Usually Deena cos shes bigger than us.

When the first Carluccio’s caffe opened, the aim was to provide quality authentic Italian food at sensible prices and with a sneaky peek at their upcoming Christmas menu we cant dispute that.  Did you know that Carluccio’s is international, we didn’t, they have restaurants all over the U.K, Ireland, Qatar, Turkey and United Arab Emirates so now we know when we are on our journeys, we can pop in for a delicious meal almost everywhere!

We love the contemporary ambiance, its right up our street.

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We were eating early doors and kinda took over the place, for mid-week, the place got busy by 7pm but the service was still attentive and the waiter was still cute!  The cocktails were too good to be missed and a wednesday is a great reason to indulge.

Dee loves the vast gluten free menu and went for the steak and potatoes this time but had  the carbonara on another recent visit and it was gorg.

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Sharron slurped up her seafood linguine with great delight and it was piled high with massive prawns and mussels whilst Sarah tucked into a beautifully cooked sea bass with fondant potatoes and a tangy caper salsa.

 

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We popped in after a hard days shopping expedition in the Met Quarter once we finally dragged Sarah out of Mac (always with the eyebrow pencils!!!) We love Carluccio’s mainly cos of the deli shop as the food magpies that we are we cant resist the little foodie gifts (mainly for ourselves) and they dont shout at us drooling over the cakes on show. They do the best hampers in town starting from around £25 perfect for the foodie fatty in your life.

3 courses for only £22 and 4 courses for £32. Try the gorgeous rich fish stew with spicy sausage and top it off with the Christmas tree shortbread and poached pear with candied fruit, makes a change from the usual dry turkey fayre and chipolatas that have seen better days, and no girl likes being faced with a sad chipolata.


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Just some of Carluccio’s great events :-

Learn how to cook a 3 course meal

Risotto, gnocchi or pasta making classes

Wine tasting and even opera evenings.

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There are so many yummy desserts to choose from, the choc pot and ice cream was out of this world, all hot and melty chocolate on the inside, like a little pot of love…

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Our Sarah does love a good picnic in the park and the chefs will prepare one for you ready to collect!

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There is also a kids menu, which will keep the little nippers happy and out of trouble for an hour.  Pop in for an Italian feast, you won’t be disappointed.

 

Love Scouse Scran girls

 

xxx

HAVANA CLUB SUMMER PARTY @ ALOHA BAR

ALOHA BAR

22 COLQUITT STREET

home@alohabar.co.uk

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We were invited by our fav bar Aloha to attend the Havana Club summer party and seeing as we are there practically every weekend anyway, we thought why not. We invited one of our dedicated followers Chris to make up the numbers as Sarah had abandoned us to go “darn sarf” (London) for a dirty weekend. She will be sorely disappointed to discover they don’t even have chips and gravy in the chippies there! Anyway off we popped to Liverpool’s very own hidden gem, our sneaky tiki bar Aloha.

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When we arrived we were festooned with Fedoras to help get us in the Cuban mood but you can’t not get into the swing of things in Aloha which is Hawaiian/Polynesian themed decorated with lei flower garlands, bamboo,stone statues and tiki grafitti.  Tonight was all about the Cuban vibe with a specially crafted Havana rum cocktail menu with a purse friendly 20% off before 11pm.   The music was was live from a Cuban band and they certainly got the party started. Friday nights are usually pretty chilled at Aloha but the place was soon filled with people enjoying the strawberry mojitos (Cuban Cobbler) in elephant head cups and rum and ginger Havana iced tea cocktails in Havana tin cans. Our fav was always going to be the famous Zombie, named so because they leave you unable to remember your own name which is always fun.

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Our hostess extraordinaire Rebecca (super cute!!) kept the drinks coming fast and we were soon “Havana ball” (geddit? geddit?) We threw plenty of shapes on the dance floor and before we were thrown out ourselves we limbo danced off into the night.

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Thanks Aloha for a boss night and thanks Havana club for our sore heads the next day.

Love the Scousescran girls (and Chris) x

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THE ELEPHANT PUB & BAKEHOUSE , WOOLTON

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thelelephantwoolton.co.uk

A million pounds has been spent renovating the old elephant pub and bubble rooms with the help of celeb chef Simon Rimmer, star of our fav hangover cure Sunday Brunch on channel 4. The newly revamped Elephant pub and bakehouse is “Best of British” themed and next door is The liberty Tavern which is an American grill with an exciting brunch menu filled with pancakes and other belly busting USA goodies.photo 4

Host with the most at The Elephant is the gorgeous Rich who heads the team and does it well. The staff are really friendly and they know the menu inside and out and were quick to recommend the sticky chipolatas with honey and mustard (sticky!) and the runny middled scotch egg with homemade brown sauce and the orchard pig pork pie (we love our pork what can we say) with nigella and tomato chutney which was mahoosive with the tastiest pastry ever. The food came quickly despite it being chocker on a Monday night and it was washed down even faster with a cocktail or 2 or 3, the table water came with watermelon in which was a nice touch.

You can really tell this menu is by a proper foodie and we were told the meat is all locally sourced and they get their cheese from the local cheese shop a few doors down. We devoured everything and moved onto our main courses which were 28 day, dry aged rib eye steak with gluten free peppercorn sauce and chips which kept Deena quiet for once. Sea bass nicoise salad with the tasty crispy skin and beautifully cooked. Also hickory smoked sausages with patatas bravas, chilli and sour cream which is Simons signature dish and his kids eat every week (adopt us please Simon) it was super spicy and we all fought over the last sausage but that wouldnt of been the first or the last time. Loved noshing on that sausage mmmm.photo 2

Rich gave us the tour of the lovely function room upstairs and the well stocked bar complete with craft beers and 15 types of gin. Get the special Elephant gin that donates 15% of its profits to elephant conservation and do your bit elephant lovers whilst getting trollied.

photo 3With weekly cheese & wine nights, afternoon tea and quiz nights the elephant pub and bakehouse is perfect for families old and young and Wooltons yummy mummys and grannies are gunna love it!

love the Scousescran Girls x

BROWNS, LIVERPOOL

43a Paradise Street, Liverpool, L1 3DN – 0151 709 1693 – www.browns-restaurants.co.uk

Ski lover Sharron stood us up for the slopes of Manchester so we actually arrived to Browns early (for once). After announcing our early arrival for all of the Liverpool restaurant to hear, our waitress quickly assured us it didn’t matter as they were all bored anyway, errr actually we’re here to do a review… 

We were seated in one of the booths, clearly only reserved for such VIP’s as ourselves and ordered drinks to begin, a French Martini for Desperate Dee and a Diamond Fizz for Sober Sarah.

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To start we ordered Asparagus & Prosciutto with poached free range egg and a lemon & chervil hollandaise which did what it said on the tin and Chicken Liver & Brandy Parfait with a rhubarb & tomato chutney and toasted cinnamon brioche which was really smooth and tasty.

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Next up, fussy knickers Sarah swerved the man sized mains and opted for the Mixed Platter from the ‘while you wait’ section of the menu which consisted of: honey & mustard chicken, crispy chilli duck, prawn tempura, chorizo sausage roll, fish croquettes, bread selection & dips. Our mouths were watering the second we saw this fancy feast on the menu however it perhaps didn’t quite live up to our high expectations. Although, Sarah’s pallet is hard to please, quite akin to her personality…

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Gluten free Dee (who knew she was gluten free?! Anyone? No?!) wanted the lobster surf and turf but the sea supply had run dry so ordered Grilled Breast of chicken served with chips. She seems to think it came with prosciutto and pesto but there was no mention of this and can we really trust her wisdom several martinis later? However it went down a storm, she cleared the plate and would have happily polished off some veg too.

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We were stuffed to the rafters so swerved dessert and opted for a cowfeeee for Dee and a bog standard red tea number for Sarah (sadly her first choice of Rooibos was out of stock). All in all, we would probably head back for a pre-dinner drink in the bar area but we’re sorry to say, we may not be back for scran.

Love always

Scousescran x

The Marsh Cat

 

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We were invited to try the Marsh Cat in Parkgate but didn’t even know this little gorgeous black and white village existed until now and feel like we have been missing out on a wonderful jewel in the Northwest.  The restaurant has been here for 16 years but was taken over by new owners last year.

Only 45 mins from Liverpool City Centre by car, or you could hop on the Ferry cross the Mersey to reach this very quaint  haven, reminiscent of the Lake District, its well worth the visit and to soak in the stunning scenic views of the Dee estuary and North Wales.IMG_1638

This romantic, slightly nautical March Cat is renown for its British and World cuisine and not only boasts wonderful views but is proud to have a very creative Phil Williams, proper boss chef from New Orleans.

Phil has run restaurants all over the world, we asked him what his specialty was, he replied, everything!  He wasn’t telling fibs either!  We love a man who’s confident about his food..  he could run rings around Gordon Ramsey!  Everything is made fresh on site, nothing bought in and Dee loved that he could knock any gluten free food without notice, well impressed.

The place was packed, a testament to what great food, staff and atmosphere it is.

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Chef Phil wanted us to try a selection of his nibbles, but we had no idea how many nibbles that were to be bestowed upon us and wish we hadn’t eaten the week prior..  his new nickname is FEEDER PHIL!IMG_1822

STARTERS

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Seared monkfish on topping patatas bravas and a more-ish salsa.  Even the non fish lovers absolutely loved this dish, and could have eaten it as a main!  The sauce had a little perfect kick to it.

Next we had another starter to try, fillet of pork skewer coated in a fiery peppercorn and soy marinade on a bed of white fluffy rice, if you like hot hot hot, order this bad boy.

Seafood Thailandise – scallops, king prawns and monkfish sautéed with fresh Thai herbs and spices, finished with coconut milk, this was a taste sensation.

Last but not least (of the starters) was the Cajun crayfish popcorn with remoulded sauce, which was soft, juicy and flavoursome to the max.
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So, by now we were stuffed to the gills, but had another two courses to go!   Well, its a hard job but some cute chicks have gotta do it.IMG_1821

Ding Ding, ROUND TWO!

Sharron had seared pollock fillet, set on king prawn risotto with caper, lemon and parsley butter with a crispy skin which she polished off.

Sarah chose the strawberry duck, breast and confit of duck leg served with a tangy strawberry sauce which complimented the sweet potato fries, it flew off the plate into her big gob. Sharron was spitting feathers that she didn’t order it…

Gluten free Dee had the assiette of lamb, slow roast shoulder, Provençal best end and a black olive tapenade crusted rump set on potato onion and garlic purée with a light jus.  It was so tender and juicy, will deffo be back for more.

This was all washed down with vanilla ice cream in a ginger basket, just gorgeous.

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One word that describes our visit to the Marsh Cat…  GASTRONOMICAL!!

This place is not to be missed!

Girls vs food
Food won!

Love Scouse Scran Girls

x

 

 

Wine, women and song @ CHESHIRE MERSEY WINE SCHOOL

CHESHIRE MERSEY WINE : TWITTER @CMWineSchool

cheshiremerseywineschool.com

We would of missed our grannies funeral on the promise of a free bevy so didn’t hesitate when the boys from the independently run Cheshire Mersey wine school invited us to one of their classes we didnt need to be asked twice.

They are the new kids on the block and are the youngest wine school owners in the country so it promised to be a bit more exciting than the usual stuffy wine tastings of old. They’ve just started their wine classes here in sunny Liverpool (yeayyy its sunny!!!) and have already proven to be really popular in their usual haunt Chester.

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We rocked up late and not even fashionably so due to the fact we somehow managed to get lost in the Jurys Inn hotel hosting the class so not a good start, although we had missed the boring bit which was a bonus. As we started with the basics ie; the look, the smell and most importantly the taste Sarah decided to get the giggles like a 12yr old, I think it was all the stress from running up and down the hotel corridors that set her off and she decides to down all her wine to calm herself down. This did provide me with some welcome entertainment as a non wino I did find the lesson a little slow and the fact there was an annoying wine bore waffling on the whole way through it didnt help, theres always one isnt there!

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Anyway we went on to learn about what wines go with which foods which was really interesting and we tried different nibbles with each of our 6 wines. This bit was really helpful to us wine novices. Obvs by the end we were a little worse for wear but everyone seemed to really enjoy it. In our opinion it needed a little tweaking – wine pong maybe?? wine bingo? haha just something to liven it up a little but if you enjoy a tipple then you will love these classes.

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I’m not sure it converted us hardened cocktail drinkers but we sure had fun trying. Chin Chin ;)

Love the Scousescran Girls x

Ma Egerton’s Stage Door

Ma Egerton’s Stage Door, 9 Pudsey Street, L1 1JA, 0151 345 3525, http://www.maegertons.com, @Ma_Egertons

When we heard a rumour that Ma Egerton’s were hosting a World Cup themed Pop Music Bingo night we were straight down there. Admittedly, we may not be the biggest football fans but we can’t resist a man in shorts and we do love a blow (of a whistle).

The pub is nestled right behind Lime Street and the Empire, it’s probably one of those places you don’t think you know, then turn up and think “Oh yeah! I know this pub”. Iain (owner/manager/quiz writing master) met us when we arrived and told us a little bit about the history of the pub and then sat us down at our very own Scousescran branded table… The stage was well and truly set for our performance.

Our ball skills were put straight to the test as we sampled the Mixed Olives and Garlic & Cheese Dough Balls to start, quite frankly it was a disappointment that we had to share, we could have munched away on the cheesy balls all night.

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Next up was the moment we had been waiting for… *Drum Roll*… Pizza time! Ma’s have a selection of pizzas on their menu, all named after famous people that have stepped through their doors over the years. You can also mix and match if various toppings take your fancy, creating your very own Harry Houdini/Pamela Anderson lovechild… We let Iain order for us (brave trusting a fella aren’t we) – He brought us a ‘Tom Jones’  which consisted of chorizo, caramelised onion and semi dried tomato sprinkled with smoked paprika. England may have let us down but the pizza certainly didn’t!

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Just as we were loosening the string around our shorts, our cheeseboard arrived. It looked so good that the woman on the next table was on the verge of biting us. As we tucked into our cheesy, meaty selection, we dug out our bingo blotters and hoped we’d be lucky enough for a 69er.

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The bingo is hosted by Ma’s regular funny man Sam Avery (@samaverycomedy) who adds a lighthearted spin to the evening, without him it would no doubt be all blue rinses and batting grannies, plus he’s good for a hoot and a holler and we promise there’s not a knock knock joke in sight! Sadly we weren’t quite lucky enough to win one of the cash prizes (even after attempting to bribe both Iain and Sam) but we did walk away with a box chocolates, a belly full of scran and we had a lorra lorra laughs.

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Whether you pop down one lunchtime to sample the pizza or participate in one of the quiz nights on a Monday or Thursday, we’d definitely recommend a visit to Ma Egerton’s. Our trip there is quite possibly the only good thing to have come out of the World Cup.

The Botanist, Chester

This is the moment we’ve been aspiring to all of our blogging career… Our first international invitation… To Chester!! The Botanist sent us an official VIP invite to check out their new ‘digs’ and we simply couldn’t resist. After paying our food tax (aka tunnel fair), dealing with Dee who thinks she’s Lewis Hamilton, subjecting pedestrians to our rendition of “bye bye miss american pie”, arguing over the best route to take and getting lost in the car park (clearly why we never leave Liverpool), we finally arrived.

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We were shown upstairs to a garden courtyard area overlooking the bar, there was lots of ooing and arring from us girls so it must be cute! The best was yet to come though, we ordered a watering can (designed for four people to share), quite literally a watering can full of alcoholic and idyllic teacups… We were sold, when can we move in?! We may be un-invited from places for being so uncouth!

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Pardon the silly disguise

Pardon the silly disguise

To start, we ordered Chicken Liver and Rum Pate with plum and apple chutney and the Pan Fried Garlic Mushrooms with crusty bread and truffle butter (although we held the bread for gluten free Deena Turner). The Pate was smooth with a breadcrumb topping and the chutney was sweet and delicious. The mushrooms were fungalicious and served in a trowel… Doesn’t everything taste better when it’s served in a garden utensil?!

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We’d already drank the watering can dry so made a quick pit stop to order some more drinks (Watermelon Martini, Cherry Blossom and Blackberry and Rosemary Fizz).

 

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Next up we went for a Deli Board (made up from Houmous, Four Bean Salad, Mustard Seed and Red Cabbage Coleslaw and Chorizo). You can choose up to four items and is served with Turkish Flatbread), Gammon Cutlet with chips, fresh pineapple and fried egg and 9oz Ribeye with garlic butter and cheesy chips (well… You can take the girls out of Liverpool…)

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The deli board wasn’t quite up to our fussy Sharrons standards, the houmous was a little tasteless and needed more garlic and seasoning but with plenty of options to try you could easily find your own perfect combo. The garlic butter on the steak had soaked down onto the chips, winner winner Sarah’s steak dinner. The gammon was juicy and succulent, worthy of a good suck on the bone afterwards (luckily that’s something we have plenty of experience in).

The desserts swiftly arrived complete with our squeals of delight. Chocolate and praline mousse which was light and fluffy and lickabowlable and a marshmellow and strawberry hanging kebab with a hot butterscotch sauce to drizzle over both were swiftly devoured.

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Overall, it’s well worth a trip to the Botanist, the staff are friendly, there’s  live music every night, pop in after work for a fit cocktail, it’s an luxury alfresco eating experience (whilst still being inside… Those Chester kids are crazy aren’t they). Next time we visit we may even be tempted to do a Charlie Dimmock…

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Love your favourite Scousescran girls x

FREDERIKS

32 Hope Street, Liverpool. L1 9BX, 0151 708 9574, www.frederikshopestreet.com No sleep til Brooklyn! IMG_4954 When we were invited by Frederiks to come and taste their grub we bit their hand off. We are massive fans of the American food craze that has hit Liverpool. So we were hopeful it would rival its neighbour Free State Kitchen who were the winners of our burger challenge. They had a tough job on their hands but were off to a good start with our reservation sign, (also we got to park right outside- yes we are easily pleased.) IMG_4964 The menu is Brookyln born and bred but the interior is more “Skandi chic”, small but perfectly formed (just like us) with tables outside which will be lovely once Summer actually arrives. The decor was designed by the same peeps that did Camp & Furnace so if your expecting a log fire and couches you wont be disappointed. They also have an area called The Pillbox for parties and live music and has recently been used as a creative space and film club. IMG_4958 Yes its very “on trend” yes it has the obligatory bearded barmen (we are massive fans of the face fuzz so weren’t complaining) and yes they do Mac n Cheese and sliders like every new restaurant popping up but who cares. Frederiks Mac n Cheese comes topped with salt beef anyways so there! Don’t however do what Sarah did and pour Maple syrup on it. She had a headcase Heston moment and swears it was amazing, something me and the chef did not agree on. IMG_4968 The most popular dish on the menu is the pulled pork stack (us gals love a good pork) which comprises of 2 sweet waffles piled with juicy and lightly spiced  pulled pork and drizzled with the offending maple syrup. We promise you if you ever find yourselves on death row (probs for those sex crimes) and about to order your last ever meal then this has to be it. It was so good but so naughty it was the bad boy that had you in the alleyway then never called. The noises we made whilst eating this rivaled the famous When Harry met Sally scene which was slightly embarrassing, we would of given it a standing ovation if we hadn’t been so stuffed and couldn’t move. The reason being was that we had also pigged out on the babyback ribs smothered with a sticky strawberry and cinnamon glaze, which was a nice summery change form the usual BBQ sauce. We also had the biggest prawns we’ve ever seen perfectly cooked in a gorgeous salt & pepper spice. IMG_4967 We washed everything down with a few cocktails of course, make sure you try the Crystal cooler which was Prosecco, cucumber & blueberry voddy – delish. They also an amazing whisky cocktail topped with popcorn. IMG_4966 We were well looked after by Becky and Alex and we noted they really looked after the other diners also. Frederiks is just a really nice chilled place to hang out and have a few jars and makes a great starting point for a night out. we were expecting standard bar food but were blown away by the quality of the food. the prices are pretty reasonable for town and its certainly one of the cheaper places on Hope st. The sliders and small plates are perfect for sharing with mates and they do a Liverpool Sling cocktail, which is a big tick in our book. We will defo be back to try the Coca Cola sticky chicken. Love the Scousescran girls x

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Date Night at The Quarter

The Quarter, 10 Falkner Street, Liverpool, 0151 707 1965, http://www.thequarteruk.com, @TheQuarterLivpl

Our very own lonely heart Sarah has been spending her days swiping through dating apps so when the lovely folk at Match.com (check out their Liverpool dating page) contacted us and asked us to send her on a foodie date… And write about it, we simply couldn’t resist. For once, she wasn’t just boring us with ‘yet another’ dating story.

We set her up with a friend of a friend of a friend (you know how it goes) and sent them on their way to The Quarter, an Italian inspired independent restaurant set in the Georgian Quarter of Liverpool. This is the perfect place to visit at any time of the day, whether it be breakfast (if things went well the night before!), lunch, dinner or even just an Al-fresco glass of wine (although there’s probably more chance of a date with Brad Pitt than the British weather being on our side).

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Over to Sarah…

I spent all day getting ready, convinced myself this one was definitely ‘The One’ and was awaiting… Let’s call him, Jack! Yes, that’s right, Jack was coming to pick me up from my apartment, admittedly only a 5 minute walk away but even so, a true gentlemen (this one’s a keeper)! As we arrived at The Quarter we were seated in one of the cute tables right by the window (perfect for people watching – just incase the conversation runs dry a little later on). After scanning the menu and covering all of the usual small talk bases we decided to take a step into the deep, dark dating world and… Share starters!!! We opted for a Parma Ham & Fig Salad and Chorizo Baked in Cider which was absolutely a winning choice, the chorizo melted in the mouth and would be a perfect winter warmer.

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Things were going well, by the time the main courses had arrived I had resisted the urge to do a runner through the toilet windows. He ordered the classic Carbonara with freshly made Fettucine, and not wanting sauce all over my face I ordered the BBQ Smokey Joe pizza which was piled with chicken breast (the only breast he saw that night) and bacon. Both reasonably priced at £8.95.

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We munched away and I laughed at all his crap jokes – don’t judge…  My phone battery lasts longer than my relationships these days. I attempted not to stare at the Carbonara sauce flicking all over his t-shirt and tried to look interested at his stories about working out at the gym (snore!) whilst daydreaming about the impending pudding. Well if opposites do attract then I should meet someone who gets up early and does stuff!

Don’t forget, it is date night and nothing says romantic more than Red Velvet cake and The Quarter certainly know how to make cakes!  Three layers of red sponge, each layer filled with cream cheese, only problem is “Jack doesn’t share”, he’s been watching way too much friends re-runs and might not make a second date in my opinion, but then who am I to talk, I’ve just licked my triple ice cream for all to see… I’m not even ashamed, he may as well learn early on that the only way to a girls heart is through her stomach.

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The evening begins to draw to a close, now to the awkward bit, does he pay? Do I pay? Or do I offer to go dutch (mmm I do like a dutch man). Well he did invite me for dinner (sort of) and I have spent a small fortune on looking good so I reckon he’s lucky to have me as his date tonight, I might buy him a woo woo in the bar later!

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All in all, I’ve actually had a lovely night, apart from ‘cake gate’, we’ve laughed about our previous dating experiences and he held my hand, so it must be going well, right??  I shall keep you posted, maybe the slippery nipples later will make him run a mile!

To be continued…

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