The Park Pub & Kitchen Bedford

A singer from The Voice in the garden, impressive decor and a sophisticated ambience but how does The Park Pub & Kitchen Bedford perform in the, er, kitchen?

Happy 1st Birthday Rev de Cuba MK!

Last night I attended Revolucion de Cuba’s First Birthday Fiesta to mark a major milestone for the popular MK nightspot. 

Has the curse of The Theatre District been broken? Read on to find out… 

BROWNS BRASSERIE & BAR: AFTERNOON TEA

Afternoon Tea in the City (Centre)

Browns in The Hub is a Brasserie & Bar that exudes style and refinement. A place where even the staff look the part in stylish suits and serving outfits.

IMG_7835.JPG

BEST RESTAURANT, CAFÉ, PUB IN MK? HAVE YOUR SAY!

It’s that time of year again when local restaurants, bars, cafes (and more) call out for you to vote for them in the Milton Keynes Food & Leisure Awards 2016 (MKFLA).

429184_350932511662076_702232922_n

Milton Keynes Food & Leisure Awards are now in their fifth year. Most people have heard of them or seen the awards proudly displayed by businesses but how many of you have voted in them? Have you had your say?

I think it’s important for the people of Milton Keynes to vote and have their say in what they feel is the very best in local food and leisure.

Everyone is highly opinionated and vocal on social media, amongst close friends and family and even at their workplaces about their experiences. Whether it be dinner in a restaurant for someone’s Birthday or where they are regularly found enjoying a curry on a Friday night or even down to where they pick up their favourite cup of coffee, it’s these kind of people who need to be voting in the publicly voted MKFLA awards.

Categories are:

Best Restaurant
Chef of the Year
Best Newcomer
Waiter of the Year
Best Pub
Asian Restaurant
Family Restaurant
Bar of the Year
Hotel of the Year
Attraction
Branded Restaurant
Best Café
Local Produce Award
Best Use of Local Produce

So as you can see, there is a whole load of categories where you can get involved and have YOUR say on the best of Milton Keynes.

Deadline to vote is 30 April 2016 and to cast your very important votes go to the Milton Keynes Food & Leisure Awards website http://www.mkfla.co.uk/

Nights out in MK: Cocktails and paint brushes

My husband and I are always looking for new, fun things to do when we are lucky enough to have an evening off from our parental duties. We heard about this company called Social Paint who organise ‘pop up paint parties’ in Milton Keynes. Don’t know what one of those are? Don’t worry, we didn’t either at first. Think drinks, giggles with new faces and getting creative painting beautiful pictures. Usually held in pubs, restaurants or the like, they are places we tend to spend our evenings out anyway, but this time with a really quirky twist. We agreed to give it a go, so on Thursday night we went down to The Slug and Lettuce in the Theatre District to see what all the hype was about.

As a complete amateur, someone who hasn’t held a paintbrush since they were at school. I must admit I was a little anxious about painting a ‘proper’ picture. Worried I could make myself look like an idiot by making a big mistake or having the ‘worst’ painting in the class. EEK! But Social Paint’s slogan is ‘No experience required’ and they promised to help find our inner artist and help us express our creativity. We didn’t even have to bring anything with us as all materials and tools are provided. We were told to turn up and have fun making a big old mess. Okay, I’m down with that.

The

The “Banksy Inspired Love” we were hoping to recreate

The piece of art we were going to create is called “Banksy Inspired Love” and it was on display when we arrived. Looking at it, I couldn’t help but feel that I could never ever in a million years create something that remotely looked as good as this.

Waiting for the class to start and with my drink in hand, I tied my apron up and took a seat in front of the blank canvas.

And so it begins!

And so it begins!

Julie, the owner of Social Paint was hosting and was the ‘art teacher’ for the evening.  She welcomed us all and gave us the most impressive pep talk for those of us who were daunted by the paints in front of us. Within minutes she had me at ease. So much cheerful, bubbly and relaxing energy comes naturally spilling from this lady. She had us cheering, raising our glasses and made us realise we were all in the same boat. Not one of us there was a painter or an ‘expert’ we had all come because we were curious about spending our evening meeting new people, having a drink and trying something new.

Julie has a real talent for explaining things quickly and clearly. Her energy, passion and spirit is truly infectious and definitely helped make the night all it was. I thought it was hilarious that the paint brushes we used had nicknames. My favourite was the biggest brush we used for most of the blending of background, he was called Bruce!

Never once throughout the evening did it feel forced or uncomfortable. We were laughing with fellow painters around us and clinking glasses of drink. It genuinely felt like we were hanging with friends whilst doing something amazingly creative. If anyone did make a stumble or had a mental block Julie or her colleague were at our side in an instant to give us a bit of a pep talk, paint top ups or some expert advice.

Blending is your friend!

Blending is your friend

We had a break in the middle of the evening which was a good chance to refill our glasses and I was surprised to see an amazing spread of finger food laid out for us. There was nachos and dips, chicken lollipops, bruschetta, sliders and salad. Nom, nom, nom! The pit stop really invigorated us all and we were ready to push on to complete our painting.

There was no rushing or hurrying up to finish, but when we all felt like we had finished, we had a brilliant group photo taken of us all to remember the evening. When I stepped back from the easel and saw what I had managed to paint, I was so surprised. I had painted this!? Surely there had been some mistake. If Julie can help achieve this sort of result from me, then ANYONE can paint and enjoy it. Maybe the best part of Social Paint is that you get to take your finished canvas home to keep forever. Here’s my finished painting here (I’m already trying to decide where I can hang it proudly in my home as a momentum to the whole experience).

My finished painting!

My finished painting!

Social Paint can be found on Facebook and Twitter and they run regular nights out in Milton Keynes and the surrounding areas. They often offer early bird ticket discounts which make for an incredibly good value for such a unique night out. I came away from the evening feeling so chuffed and cheerful from the whole experience and I can only recommend for you to try one. Being creative is part of who we are and finding an outlet for it in an enjoyable way was definitely therapeutic. What a brilliant find in Milton Keynes!

The whole group with our finished paintings

The whole group with our finished paintings

HELP! Girl in need of a good night out…

As a mum to a very active ten month old little boy I do need to let my hair down once in a while. I’m sure I’m not alone as someone in their early thirties that gets confused on where to go out in MK nowadays. A place that will play music that you actually want to listen to and of course where they sell cocktails (yum) and won’t cost you the earth to get home from.

image1
Growing up in the 90’s really influenced my musical taste. Brit pop, indie music and the boybands (drool). It really was an exciting time to grow up.

Now, I’ve always been jealous that Northampton has its own dedicated 90’s night for some time as it is quite a mission to visit, but I am so, so, so happy that the guy behind the night, John Donaghue has joined forces with MKFM to not only bring a night to Milton Keynes once a month but will also be on the airways on our very own local radio station every Saturday night!

image1 (1)
The night called ‘Boombastic 90’s’ will be in the Theatre District at MK Social the last Friday of every month from 10pm until 3am. Entry is FREE before midnight and there’s 2-4-1 cocktails all night! It’s quite rare to find drink deals all night in any bar on a Friday in MK so you can’t sneeze at that. And when they’re promising to play all the 90’s big hits. You can find out more on their website http://boom90s.co.uk

image2
Maybe I’ll see some of you there this Friday 29th May at their latest night? 90’s fashion is totally optional – Some things might be better left in the past…