Friday 24 June 2016

Event: Meeting Roland Mouret at Selfridges Birmingham

Ever heard of the Galaxy dress? If you haven't heard of it, you'll know it to look at it. A sexy, fitted and yet flattering pencil style, Roland Mouret is the man behind the dress. Internationally acclaimed for his attention to detail, expert tailoring and love of the female form.

Eleven years on, Roland Mouret is back, designing clothes that celebrate women's bodies. Sexy, chic, understated and sexy, his garments are real-women-ready.

To celebrate the launch of his Autumn Winter 2016 collection, the man himself, Mr Roland Mouret, made a special journey to Selfridges Birmingham.

Hosted in The Balcony, guests were treated to Champagne and chocolate truffles before taking a seat beside the catwalk to watch a host of glamorous models show off his designs.

Seated front row with Ting, Emma and Olivia, we didn't stop snapping the gorgeous garments as they made their way down the catwalk.

Met with a huge round of applause, the man himself took a turn too and this was our cue to meet him, post show.

This handsome Frenchman stole our hearts, and had nothing but praises to sing of the beauty of the female form.

Next, it was time to try on a few creations with Ting. Despite the fact that we are completely different body types, I think we both looked pretty good in Roland Mouret dresses.

If you'd like to see his delicious designs for yourself, then head to Selfridges Birmingham to get hold of a piece of Roland Mouret.

Tuesday 21 June 2016

Event: Pirlo's Dessert Lounge Birmingham Opening

When you're gluten free, dessert is something of a touchy subject. All too often I find it's ice cream or nothing when it comes to desserts, so my sweet tooth often goes unsatisfied.

I was invited along to the launch of Pirlo's Dessert Lounge in Birmingham recently, and knowing that I'm gluten free, the invite stated that there would be available options for me.

What I thought was just a token gesture, turned out to be a pretty healthy gluten free dessert selection, with one whole shelf of cakes dedicated to cakes and sweet treats that I can actually eat!

I headed to the official launch night and made it up the red carpet. Greeting with champagne and live music, I was also able to try a few of the desserts.

Served up by glamorous hostesses, I tried out the Peanut and Daim Cake and Gluten Free Victoria Sponge which were being handed out, canapé style.

Red Velvet cake and Salted Caramel Brownies were also being handed out at the event.

At the back of the bar, there was a cake buffet, and they were also serving up waffles, cookie dough, ice cream and cakes.

I can't wait to come back to Pirlo's to try out the rest of the menu, as I hear a rumour that they even make gluten free waffles.

Have you been to Pirlo's yet?

Wednesday 15 June 2016

Father's Day Menu Launch and Thai Cookery Class at Chaophraya

What comes to mind when you think of a Father's Day meal? Is it a Sunday Roast, pub grub, or maybe a steak. Thai food may not be your first answer, but why not?

Chaophraya Thai has launched a special menu to enjoy on Father's Day. For £14.95 per person, there's a choice of a starter, main meal and a bottle of Singha or Chang beer included in the price.

I was invited along with a group of Birmingham bloggers to try my hand at a traditional Thai dish and taste test the menu.

Making our way up to the first floor of the restaurant, a space which can be used for special events, private dining and in our case, for masterclasses, we started off by making a Strawberry Mojito.

Not traditionally Thai, you may say, but Chaophraya has an extensive cocktail menu, and I was all too happy to rustle up this particular creation. Refreshing and sweet, I made mine with just a touch much sugar than necessary to satisfy my cravings.

Next, we were able to tuck into a selection of starters from the Father's Day menu, including Chicken Satay, Chicken Tom-Kha and Vegetable Spring Rolls. Although I didn't sample the Chicken Satay as it's not gluten free, I did instead sample the Chicken Tom-Kha. Unusually, I had never tried this dish, and was surprised at the rich, creamy flavours of this coconut based soup. Complete with a piece of young coconut, straw mushrooms and the subtle flavours of galangal, lemongrass and chilli, I would happily order this again.

The final option wasn't delivered to the table, however, and for this one we grabbed a partner, headed to a cooking station and rustled up our very own Spring Rolls. Firstly chopping then cooking the filling mixture, we then filled and rolled our spring rolls before frying them until golden brown. Although I sadly couldn't eat my spring rolls, they looked pretty good!

Thai Red Prawn Curry, Panang Beef Curry, Tofu and Pineapple Curry

After all the hard work of cooking, we were then able to tuck into the main courses, which came served in adorable boat shaped bamboo plates for us to sample. The main course selection includes Panang Beef Curry, Massaman Lamb Curry, Thai Green Chicken Curry, Tofu and Pineapple Curry and Thai Red Prawn Curry. I was served a full sized portion of Thai Green Curry as this was the only gluten free option from the selection, but as I can tolerate soy sauce, I did also try small portions of the other dishes.

Thai Green Curry

As it happens, my favourite dish was the Thai Green Curry. Large pieces of chicken had been simmered in coconut milk with courgettes and aubergine, and topped off with basil and chillies. This dish to me is Thai comfort food, and served with a helping of Jasmine Rice to mop up all the great flavours in the sauce, makes a sublime dish.

Thai Red Prawn Curry

My favourites of the tasters was definitely the Thai Red Prawn Curry. The prawns were huge, juicy, and tender, and the sauce was creamy and full of flavour, balanced out in favour of sweet with some sour lime notes. The sauce was the best Thai Red Curry I've tried anywhere.

Massaman Lamb Curry

Panang Beef Curry

Tofu and Pineapple Curry

A big thank you to the team at Chaophraya for hosting such an enjoyable masterclass. If you haven't already booked for Father's Day then I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it; you could even book your dad in for the Cooking School is you're stuck for gift inspiration.

To view the Father's Day menu click here. To make a reservation or find out more, visit the Chaophraya Birmingham page.