Balancing a day job with a blogger double life sometimes means rushing to change in the work toilets at lightning speed and scurrying out to the car all dolled up in the hope that no one will see. Some events are too exciting to miss and this was a big one: an evening with Raymond Blanc at Brasserie Blanc in Beaconsfield!
There are girls who unpack their luggage a soon as they get back from holiday and get the washing on right away. And then there’s me.
There are girls who plan their birthday out with military precision to get bookings where they desperately want to go. And then there’s me.
There are girls who print their wedding photos the moment they are received. And you can see where I’m going with this can’t you?
In Milton Keynes I think there’s something symbolic about a chain being replaced by an independent.
And not just anywhere: right in the heart of one of MK’s busiest spots for eating and drinking. Now sitting proudly on the square, sandwiched by chain restaurants either side and more opposite, Craft & Cleaver have landed.
“Why haven’t we been here before?”
“I don’t know, why haven’t we been here before? It’s so nice!”
This was the conversation Q and I had as we walked down the sunny high street of Towcester towards 185 Watling Street where we were off to spend the evening. Towcester is West of where we live and I guess because we have no friends or family in this direction, or adventures have taken is elsewhere, we’ve never visited before.
In my eight years of food blogging I couldn’t tell you how many times my friends have asked me to make them my plus one on a review. But I could tell you how many times I have met their requests:
Milton Keynes, being the oh so weird (we can dress it up as much as we want fellow residents, but the weirdness is undeniable) and wonderful place that it is, doesn’t have a high street as such. Instead we have hubs and centres and districts where we gather to socialise, shop and eat.
Most infamously of all in my opinion, is the Theatre District.
One day about two years ago, Q woke up with the ambition to master a homemade chicken Katsu. It’s one of his favourite dishes and now that he’s nailed it, we get to enjoy them at home!
This is a meal that can be cooked in around 20 minutes. It’s speedy and absolutely delicious!
My dad is Irish. My mum is Welsh. I live in England. But you’d be forgiven for thinking that I had some Scottish blood for all that I go on about it, how much I love it and over the past two years, how much I have visited.
Thing is it’s got all the things that I love the most: hearty food, dramatic landscapes, ancient architecture and a sense of adventure. I also have family who live not too far from Trossachs National Park so Bank Holidays are a great excuse to drive up and visit them. From Milton Keynes it takes 6 hours in the car: sure it’s a long drive but manageable. We spent three wonderful days this time.
“But what if you don’t like the food? What do you do?!”
It’s a question I’m often asked by friends, family and strangers. And it’s a valid one. I’m being invited to experience a menu and to share the experience with anyone who finds their way to my corner of the internet. So if the food is awful it’s a bit of a predicament, right?
We arrived to find The Rose & Crown conveniently perched right on the market square. Entering the pub there was a busy atmosphere of locals and visitors alike relaxing away their Saturday with a few drinks and nibbles. I spotted nibbles for furry friends before realising there were numerous dogs dotted about the place, much to Q’s delight!