Brunch at the 'Bel and Dragon at the George'

Brunch at the 'Bel and Dragon at the George'

It strange how as I get older, so much of my life now evolves around food. In my early 20s, it was all about booze but now, the majority of my social life is all about food. This is particularly the case when I either hang out with #Bangarang and when Gary and I go to stay with our friends out of London. Seriously, all we do is eat. A weekend brunch is definitely my favourite. It means that it's acceptable to drink before 12 and stuff your face. Definitely the ultimate treat (not every day. Drink responsibly, peeps).

On our most recent visit to our friends', the plan was to be productive all weekend and sort the Garden out. That didn't happen. When we woke up a little too late, it was then decided we would go to brunch/lunch and then relax before doing all the hard work on Sunday instead. #Typical.

A short drive away is a tiny little village called Odiham where you'll find The Bel and George at the Dragon., It's a quaint little pub that's so old it's all wonky. Our friends had been here before, as they're both Gluten and Dairy free so we tend to trust their judgement automatically when it comes to food as I'm sure it can be difficult finding GOOD allergy free food. They've never got it wrong so far!

In typical AJ fashion, I did that 'eyes bigger than my belly' thing. The menu just looked so damn good! I do this every time and end up pretty much needing to be rolled out of restaurants.

The Bel and the Dragon at the George Brunch Menu
Golden Bubble and Squeak

To start I ended up going for the bubble and squeak with eggs and bacon. Mostly because Gary said he was having the pancakes so I knew I'd be able to try both.

I actually couldn't... The bubble and squeak was SO HUGE Gary had to help me eat it. This is generally a standard at any meal we have but not normally for a starter. God, it was tasty though.

The Bel and the Dragon at the George Brunch Menu
Blueberry Pancakes with crispy bacon
For our mains, Gary and I both ordered of the rotisserie section of the menu. I mostly did this because I personally think Roast Potatoes count as a food group in their own right so HAD to have them... even though I had ordered the Bubble and Squeak...

My main was the Roasted Gessingham Duck Breast, served with Pak Choi and Split Peas. It was cooked perfectly to medium rare and was a more realistic sized portion. I managed to finish it rather quickly because it was soooo amazing. I didn't have many of the roast potatoes though... does that count as finishing. 

The Bel and the Dragon at the George Brunch Menu
Roasted Gessingham Duck breast

Gary isn't all that adventurous with his food really and opted for the Organic Chicken. When I say he's not adventurous, it meant the bread sauce was left untouched... All those onion rings though? Totally gone In a heartbeat.

The Bel and the Dragon at the George Brunch Menu
Organic Chicken with onion rings and bread sauce

There was no space for dessert... I struggled to even finish my after food latte. It was all so good, catering well to gluten free and dairy free customers and the portion sizes were more than generous, especially for me. I personally found it was a bit expensive (more than I can afford anyway) but it's clearly worth it. When I work out how to get to Odiham from here (or work out where it is) I will be going back.

Their Menu changes often but you can view their May Brunch Menu here.

Brazilian Wine and Food with Cabana

Brazilian Wine and Food with Cabana

*Warning* - This post contains a lot of pictures of delicious food. Only proceed if you think you can handle it.

Cabana have been oh so very kind to us recently. In Islington, they treated us to a wine tasting and in Brixton  they had us all stuff our faces on the new menu. I was so full when I got home at the end of both events, I barely had to the energy to just put on my onesie and get into bed. SO FULL... and a tad merry.

After each event there were some key takeaways:

2. These cheesy dough ball things are a revelation
4. #Balls 

To be honest. They were two evenings of revelation.

As much as I like to pretend, I know sweet bugger all about wine, except that I don't like chardonnay and red is clearly the best. I didn't know Brazilian was really a thing (New World, yo) but apparently, it's pretty damn good. We had the opportunity to taste red, white and sparkling (ooh, fancy and delicious) as well as guided through what you would expect from a wine tasting. Except for the spitting in a bucket part you see on the TV... such a waste of wine.

Cabana Islington

We also discovered that cheese with honey is possibly one of the best combinations known to man. I thought so anyway.

My favourite wine (although I think I can safely say 'OUR favourite') was the Miolo Family Pinot Noir. I'm a red wine girl anyway but the fact that a red wine Being Erica likes exists is clearly a VERY impressive feat.

At Cabana Brixton, we were greeted with smiles Caipirinhas (normally £6.95 each) and chips and dip. Seriously, give me booze as soon as I arrive and you have a very happy blogger. As we were sipping away, we had the privilege to meet the owner. As we nattered away about our experience in the Islington branch, he had a bottle of the Miolo brought to our table. Such a nice chap!

Cabana Brixton review

As our starters arrived, Katy and I were too busy taking outfit photos and left the poor girls waiting. Knowing blogger pain, they didn't touch a thing and waited for us to come back and take all the pictures before they had a bite. Such good girls!

To start, we had a combination of their street menu dishes; Halloumi with Guava dip (£5.45), Crispy Lula Squid (£5.95) and some cheesy baked dough balls (£3.45). We also had chicken dough balls too hence the #Balls thing...

I swear I could eat those cheesy dough balls until I explode.

Cabana Brixton review

Our mains on both evenings were pretty much plates of meat. Cabana serve Meat Skewers or your choice, it means the meat is cooked so well it just falls apart in all its barbecue goodness. We had a selection of their skewers but you can choose what you want. I can say with authority here that they will all be delicious.

The desserts. THE DESSERTS. Most importantly, Nutella doughnut ball things of heaven. I don't think I really need to explain much more other than desserts = divine.

I can't really write any more about Cabana, it's so far away from lunchtime and it's making me hungry.

Good things last week #4

Good things last week #4

Things haven't been 'good' for a while which is why I haven't really blogged, let a lone a good things blog post. Things finally seem to be looking up though and I have actually started having a social life again. In between the business of events, seeing friends and starting a new Freelance role, I have done some pretty GOOD things

1. Brunch with friends out of London

Gary and I have been spending a bit more time out of London, either with family or friends. It gives us time to escape the business that is the Big Smoke and actually relax. When we spend time with our friends, it mostly revolves around food, which makes me so happy. This time we went to Brunch in a tiny little place called Odiham. A blog post will follow but in the mean time, here's a snapshot of the delicious food we stuffed our faces with.

Pancakes with Bacon

2. Blogging Mojo is back

Blogging has always been a way for me to chill out really, as well as meet people and develop my career skills (social media, yo). It's been put on the back burner, again, and how I have missed it.

3. Goosebumps Alive

I was scared absolutely out of my skin last week when Milly invited me to join her at Goosebumps Alive plus backstage experience with Yelp London. Obviously, a comedy filled blog post will follow but just imagine... me, a person scared of the dark, scared of everything and just generally a wuss... holding Milly's hand so I didn't get attacked by monsters.

Goosebumps Alive London

4. I started a new job

Well, it's another freelance  role but is just as good. I'm being presented with a bunch of new challenges and an immense work load... it's certainly keeping my brain ticking! The people are lovely and, so far, I genuinely enjoy going in in the mornings. #weird.

5. Bagarang meet-up

Something happened that has never happened before. A year a go Bangarang started and has grown so it's now 11 people strong. As hard as we try, we have never managed to get all of us in one room. These girls are the best bunch of friends I have and the fact that we managed to get all of together (with Charlie on FaceTime.. totally counts) was an absolute dream/miracle.

Emma made us all the food, we drank all the wine, we laughed, we cried, we sang Mariah Carey and more... Typically, it was just THE. BEST. NIGHT. I love you girls.

writer's block and broken lenses
Bangarang = Little Miss Katy, Jasmin Charlotte, Being Erica, Captain Charley, Bloody Hell Brennan, Me, Emma Inks, Broke in the Big Smoke, Country Mouse Claire, Charlie Distracted (on the phone), Mini-Adventures (Photo by Emma)

Seriously, these girls are the best.

All in all, it was a pretty good week and I'm so glad I'm feeling more like myself again.

What did 

Dinner at Dirty Bones Soho

Dinner at Dirty Bones Soho

writer's block and broken lenses

THIS IS A VERY LATE POST! I have been a little bit crap recently.

To bid Charlie farewell before her travels, the Bangarang girls used this opportunity to get as many of us in one room as possible. Turns out it's pretty difficult.

Everyone was raving about Dirty Bones (I think Emma had been for brunch there recently...) but me being the rubbish Londoner I am hadn't heard of it. But I trust the Bangarang girls and their thoughts on food so knew that it would be good.

Dirty Bones is just of Carnaby Street in Kingly Court, Carnaby Street happens to be one of my favourite places in London so I'm always happy to be there as a standard.

The restaurant is beautifully decorated, albeit a bit dark, and seemed to be constantly busy, obviously a popular spot.

Dirty Bones Happy Hour Cocktails

In typical Bangarang style, the first thing we did was take a look at the booze menu. Turns out it was happy hour so I obviously went for the Top Dog cocktail. It's a vodka, strawberry delight with chambord and Prosecco. Pretty much all the good things. The happy hour isn't exclusive to cocktails though and the wonderful Emma went for the Queen of the Night pale ale. You can't really say no to it when you take one look at the bottle.

Queen of the Night Pale Ale

There was a common theme when it came to the food though... Apparently fried chicken with waffles is a thing. Apparently it's really good.

It does look pretty good. 


I went for the Yankee Dog and am adamant I made the best choice. It was absolutely delicious and I was upset when I genuinely couldn't finish it. 

JUST LOOK AT IT! (Note, restaurant with poor lighting = bloggers actual worst nightmare)

The sausage is so big, it is merely perched on the bun. As you do.

The food at Dirty Bones is wonderful. It's not the most expensive place in the world, my Yankee Dog only cost £7 and I was beyond full so if you're looking for somewhere cheap to go and still leave feeling like you're going to burst, go here.

I am an honest blogger though and I do have one niggle. They were clearly understaffed that night and I was forgotten about after we had to wait 20 minutes to even order more drinks. Everyone but me got theirs (although they did have to wait around 20 minutes after ordering them). I was very upset but as I have worked in restaurants before, I decided not to kick up a fuss. It did save me £5 though!

Have you ever been to Dirty Bones?

Nails Inc Paint Can Review

Nails Inc Paint Can Review

Nails Inc Paint Can

Anyone who knows me, AT ALL. will know that I am very vain about my nails and have been since I was a teenager. Recently, my poor nails have been neglected as I just have not had the time to keep on top of them and chipped nail polish should definitely not be a thing. End of.

Now it seems like things are finally on their way up after months of crapness so I can get back to being me again... With my Killer Nails.

No word of a lie, Nails Inc are one of my favourite Nail Polish brands. The majority of my collection is made up of Nails Inc and a regularly ask for new bottles of my favourite shades for birthdays and Christmas. Heaven forbid, I ever run out of Baker Street!

Whenever I do my nails, I'm an absolute idiot and always seem to do them before bed, this means they get ruined immediately. Even if I do the special claw hands, using only my wrists to open doors or get my boyfriend to help me change, I always wake up with them smudged or with duvet prints. You think I would have learned by now... but no.

I've heard a lot of buzzing about Nails Inc's Paint Can on the interweb and thought I should probably give it a go. Some people have been raving about it and others... not so much. I like to come to my own conclusions on these things and if it means I can get an easy mani and still manage to get dressed my myself, we're already on to a winner. The fact that it also comes in my favourite shade, Porchester Square, is seriously the delicious icing on the metaphorical cake.

A couple of things. I did not do the best job at this, purely because I am cack-handed, was fighting with lighting possibilities and missed my fingers a couple of times... People online have been moaning about how this is messy; to be honest, it's just expected when you're essentially attacking your fingers with spray paint, it's also a well known fact that I cannot aim. At all. The video below is my second attempt at application:

I then proceeded to let it dry for too long and couldn't get it off my finger tips... until I decided to be clever and used a flannel. Worked like a dream. How did it take me so long to think of it? Seriously, I suck.

When I was done, I honestly wasn't 100% sure. I love Porchester Square but it was different. I was certain that it wasn't the right shade and it had a bit of a matt finish which wasn't made clear on the packaging. HOWEVER! I used a top coat and it was exactly as I wanted it to be, it even has a very faint shimmer which I enjoyed.

Nails Inc Paint Can Porchester Square

Despite my initial doubts, I do absolutely love it. It has lasted for 5 days now with no chips and it was one hell of a laugh to put on. I have no idea how many uses you get out of a can (especially seeing as I made one hell of a mess) but I will be using it again and will more than likely get more colours too. 

Lots of love over here for the Nails Inc Paint Can.