28 March 2016

Deliveroo - Chilli Pickle Review

Hey m'dears!

Hop you had an eggcellent Easter!

Mine's been a positive rainbow of brilliance (I mean, any weekend where you find The One has to be pretty special, right?). The orange and yellow parts of the rainbow came courtesy of Deliveroo and The Chilli Pickle, who are now two of my favourite people*.

As a long-term fan of The Chilli Pickle's fantastic range of authentic, Indian veggie fare, I was just a little bit excited to hear they've started offering a lunch box delivery service(!) Anything combining 3 of my favourite things (great food, a box of surprises, and not having to get out of my pyjamas) is always going to be a winner.

The last time I experienced the delights of an Indian lunch box was on a 24 hour train ride from Delhi to Kolkata. I spent most of the journey gazing out of the window from my own little bunk bed, or reading Anna Karenina - the only English book I could find, and definitely not a page-turner**. The views were amazing but, for stomach-obsessed me, the highlight was the magical food trays we were given for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Opening each part of the box was like a savoury version of an Advent calendar!

This meant The Chilli Pickle's lunch box had a lot to live up to, and I'm very, very pleased to say it didn't disappoint! Especially as arranging Deliveroo delivery is SO much easier (and cheaper!) than trying to get a tray shipped from Delhi... In fact, it's as easy as pie. See:

P = Place your order on Deliveroo's website
The hardest part of which is undoubtedly going to be selecting your choice of curry, all of which come with rice, riatta, chutney, 2 snacks & masala pappad. If you're struggling to choose, I can whole-heartedly recommend the vegan-friendly Assamese Aubergine Curry (a tomato-based curry with beautifully soft aubergine and marrow) and the vegetarian Paneer Karai (chunks of pepper and spongy cheese soaked in a deliciously spicy sauce). We also ordered Mango Lassis, because we're officially addicted (and not a bit sorry about it).

I = Indian food arrives, courtesy of Man on Motorbike
In our case, 10 minutes earlier than the estimated delivery time. Which was a very pleasant surprise, even if I did almost break a leg trying to get out of my bedroom door. Which wasn't Deliveroo's fault, I hasten to add; I'd stacked 5 metal trunks in front of it while attempting to construct a giant mermaid out of felt. As one does. 

E = Enjoy delicious curry 
Yummy noises optional - but if you can resist them you're a stronger person than I am! It's also optional to stop eating once you feel full. There is A LOT of food in those boxes. Alternatively, you can choose to power on through and demolish the entire thing...  

Then collapse on you bed for 45 minutes with your jeans unbuttoned. Your choice.

Katie xxx

Disclaimer: Deliveroo very kindly sent me the food and drinks to review. The expressed opinions, rambling stories about Indian train travel, and stomach-busting gluttony are all very much my own.

*Yes, I know they're not technically people. Deliveroo is a kangaroo.

** I was actually relieved to discover circa 30 pages were missing from the middle part - there's only so much potato farming a girl can take! 

26 March 2016

For my homies

I've been feeling extra warm and fuzzy of late, like my insides are wearing a fleecy onesie; a sensation caused by being infinitely grateful for my very own set of special snowflakes who...

1. Cook me dinner
If it wasn't for them, I'd probably forget what a kitchen even looks like. Their grub is better than any restaurant's; not just because it tastes of love (the most important ingredient of all, obvs) but due to the fantastic company I get to share it with. Putting the world to rights over homemade pesto is my idea of bliss. We don't do a bad brunch either: 

2. Make sure I don't miss YMCA
By smuggling me into the men's toilets because the women's queue is crazy long and we need to get back to the dancefloor STAT.

3. Provide the perfect hangover cure
Combining country walks (massive sunglasses a must)...

... Easter egg rolling and graveyard exploring...

...and a bunny biscuit from the local farmhouse, to be eaten while sitting on the Long Man of Wilmington's face....

Which still makes you snort-laugh, despite being the age of almost eight and twenty. 

4. Got me one step closer to completing my Bucket List
Which has only contained one item since I was 13: Go on The Crystal Maze. I have yet to buy tickets for the London one, but Handmade Mysteries' Exit Game was a fantastic replacement! I can think of much worse ways to spend a Wednesday night than with 5 of my favourite people, using torches, blacklights and our smarts to solving a series of clues to get a bottle of magic wine out of a wardrobe... 

5. Share those life-changing moments
Like the time you find The One(!!) in the chiller cabinet at the Co-op (who knew?!) and end up laughing so hysterically your face turns inside out and you literally cannot stop crying. 

6. Nurture my (not so) inner nerd
By inviting me to three-day-long role-playing festivals, breaking out card games in the pub, and hosting house parties with entertainment provided by their very own apps(!). Humdingers has improved my Friday nights for ever more. I truly adore my gang of charades-playing, dice-rolling, logic-puzzling people; even if they mercilessly force me to act out phrases like "Julia Roberts eating a hot dog". 

Katie xxx

11 March 2016

Hangovers, Hipsters and Hygge

Bonsoir mes petites cerises!

How have you BEEN?! It's only ruddy Friday, innit! Three cheers for the weekend- let's crack open the wine. 

I'm still daydreaming about last weekend, when I easy-jetted off on a mini-break to Paris and Copenhagen. I was already expecting it to be a whole heap of magic, and that was before I found out there were complimentary copies of Men's Health magazine available on the flight to Paris... 

WHAT?! I'll have you know I read Men's Health magazine ALL. THE. TIME.

In what felt like mere milliseconds we were landing en France. At least, I assume it was that fast; I was engrossed in a very informative article on the best vegan recipes to increase my muscle mass. Yes, that IS what I was staring at so intensely. Shush.  

I'm lucky enough to have been to Paris several times before, so I stepped up to be a real life Lonely Planet for my travel buddy's first ever visit. Paris was as beautiful as ever, from the gorgeous gothic buildings to the perfect places for people watching... Hell, it's so chic even their vegetables are on trend:

We managed to fit in some serious sightseeing during our two day visit, from the classics (Louvre, Tour Eiffel, Sacre Coeur etc etc) to the more unusual (fancy escalator rides at the Pompidou Centre, the red light district's no 1 Erotic Museum, and a karaoke bar in which we heard a song where the entire chorus comprised solely of "la la la la la"). After our Museum visit, I felt like I should've had a quiet word with Notre Dame about its cheeky fundraising sign...

Sorry, love, but I've seen more impressive organs this weekend...

We also (literally) stumbled upon the most fabulous bar I've visited in my entire life. With house punch at €15 a litre, a bar-wide game of "find your pair" using playing cards, and colour-coded glowsticks for "taken" (red), "single" (green), and blue for "try and convince me" I was in my absolute element. Even the unsolicited offer of sex in a car (seriously, Paris?! Aren't you the city of romance?!) couldn't ruin the evening. 

Car sex in Paris: about as romantic as holding someone up by their right boob

Admittedly, this was mostly because I was too busy chatting to a tres, TRES beautiful French-Brazilian couple who'd met on Instagram(!!!), and the Brazilian then moved across the world to marry his husband (now of 3 years). Which may honestly be the most adorable story I've ever heard. And also the main reason I'm going to up my Instagramming...

...Possibly starting with this snap of a door I saw in Copenhagen.
That should snag me a beautiful French husband, right?

Copenhagen was the second stop on our mini tour of Europe. I think it might be my Spirit Animal in city form (Spirit City? Is that a thing?). 

Some seriously stylish cauliflower soup at the Museum of Danish Design.

It's almost achingly hipster, from the Ikea-chic tumblers of red wine we sipped (and I mean s.i.p.p.e.d. Copenhagen is crazy expensive) at a meatlocker-turned-bistro, to the rainbow of canal-side cottages we glimpsed through a perfectly timed flurry of snow, to the underground patisseries full of comfy leather sofas and be-cheekboned Danes serving up huge slices of cheesecake...

Also, their money is so pretty I've started wearing it like jewellery:

The icing on the cake (besides all the actual cake) was being bumped up to the easyjet equivalent of first class on our way home, when Dan (the man, the legend, the air steward) moved us into the over-wing exit aisle seats - I could actually STRETCH my legs(!!!) Bliss. 

All in all, an utterly brilliant first break of 2016. And, given that the flights cost a total of £69, I've got no excuse not to hop on over to Europe more often in future. I'm off to browse AirBnBs in Berlin...

Katie xxx