Wednesday 17 April 2024

Moulin Rouge At The Piccadilly Theatre Review

If you're a long time reader of my blog you'll know all about my love for London. We tend to go once a year or so and those trips are something I look forward to every time. We went in March for 2 nights and had a great time seeing the sights, visiting some of our favourite places like Borough Market and this time we even did a little bakery crawl to find some of the places we've been wanting to try for ages. Of course while we were there we had to see a show or two. I'm still a big fan of all things musical theatre and for our first night we decided on a show we hadn't seen before, Moulin Rouge.Moulin Rouge is currently at the Piccadilly Theatre and as far as I'm aware it's currently booking up until September 2024. Despite knowing a bit about Moulin Rouge and having a feeling we'd enjoy the show regardless as I'd already heard some of the soundtrack, we didn't actually watch the movie until a few weeks before we went. I'm glad we did as it meant we had a better understanding of the story and we both ended up really enjoying it! If you're not aware of it though, Moulin Rouge is set in 1980s Paris and it follows Christian, a writer, who has travelled to join the Bohemian revolution. It's here he visits the city's biggest night club, Moulin Rouge, and he meets and falls in love with its star performer, Satine. At the Piccadilly Theatre you'll find the film come to life on stage in a spectacular way.

'A celebration of truth, beauty, freedom and - above all - love.'

As with any musical we've been to see, I was blown away by the cast. We visited on a Monday evening which meant we had the alternate Satine played by Angela Marie Hurst. She was incredible and a had a beautiful voice. She partnered up perfectly with Dom Simpson who plays Christian. He was probably the standout performance of the night for me, partly due to the way he sang one of his big hits of the night El Tango De Roxanne but he was also funny and just fitted the character perfectly. The whole cast are great and I'm not sure how they do that show so many times a week, it seems so full on to perform! A few other special mentions though have to be Matt Rixon as Harold Zidler who holds the whole show together and also Ben Richards as The Duke who I recognised from Footballers Wives which I was bizarrely rewatching a few months ago.

Another thing I loved about the show was the soundtrack. It's classed as a Jukebox musical so similar to shows like & Juliet, it uses songs that aren't all original to the film and it has integrated some more current music to the plot which is really fun. I really enjoyed the Elephant Love Medley in particular which features snippets of In The Name of Love, Everlasting Love, Don't Speak and Fidelity, just to name a few!The last thing to mention is the theatre itself. Piccadilly Theatre has transformed into something sensational and as soon as you walk in to find your seats, you're transported to what feels genuinely like the Moulin Rouge. There's so much to look at and I enjoyed having some time to just take it all in as it was unlike any staging I'd seen before. The set up is incredible, music plays the whole time you're waiting for the show to start and the cast even enter the stage early and are near you dancing and performing so it feels like the show starts before it actually does!This is a show I'd love to see again one day so hopefully it stays in the West End for years to come. I'd love to know if you've seen the Moulin Rouge musical or if there's any other shows you recommend?

Keep upto date with me via - TwitterInstagram


Wednesday 14 February 2024

Birthday Trip To Oxford

 I'm starting to get a bit of a buzz again from writing so while I do, I thought I might aswell go with it and share another of our recent trips. George and I love going on little city breaks as you might know from various blog posts over the years and we tend to do a few throughout the year rather than one big holiday. In December we went to Bath for the Christmas markets and then for my birthday in January, George had planned a little getaway to Oxford for us. We've been to Oxford a few times, the last being in 2021 and I've even shared a travel guide on my blog before, I loved it so much so I was really excited to be heading back and this time doing a few new things.First things first, we stayed at the gorgeous Malmaison Hotel which is a converted prison. We've stayed there before, I weirdly find prisons fascinating so it's such a cool experience to walk through but this time was even better as we actually stayed in one of their cell rooms. Their cell rooms in the A wing where prisoners used to stay have been done up with just about everything you could need from a hotel room and we were really impressed.After we'd got checked in on the first day, we headed out to explore Oxford and find some of our favourites from previous trips. We walked through the Covered Market which is full of lovely shops, florists, cafes and more and we of course had to stop and take in the beauty that is Radcliffe Camera.Our trip to Oxford this time was mainly to find some Harry Potter locations. We're big fans of the films and one place we knew we could fit in on the first day was the Divinity School in the Bodleian Library. I'll probably do a full blog post on the Harry Potter locations to go into more detail but this particular place was used in the Philosopher's Stone as the Hogwarts Infirmary and you might also recognise it from Goblet of Fire as it's where the students practise for the Triwizard Tournament. This was such a cool experience and it's only about £3 a ticket to get in!That evening we went to one of our faves for my birthday meal, Mowgli. They do the best Indian food, it's almost tapas style the way dishes come out as & when they're ready and the cocktails & mocktails are always delicious. Some of our fave bits on the menu are the Himalayan Cheese Toast, Yogurt Chat Bombs and the Treacle Tamarind Fries. The whole restaurant is beautiful too, I couldn't recommend it enough, the Oxford one in particular is always perfect.Our second day started out with pancakes at The Breakfast Club. I went for the classic blueberry ones which were delicious as always and of course, got to have a side of hash browns. After a bit of shopping in Westgate we grabbed a coffee at Paul then headed to our next Harry Potter destination.I'd been particularly excited to visit New College as it was used in the Goblet of Fire which is probably my favourite film of the series. Here you'll find the famous tree from the scene with Mad-Eye Moody and Malfoy and the Cloisters too which were used for some of the hallway scenes. We spent quite a bit of time here taking it all in and getting lots of photos and videos before heading to Christ Church College.Christ Church College is one of the more expensive places to visit but I think it's worth it as you get to see so much and a lot of it isn't Harry Potter related so great if you're not as bothered about that. If you are though, one of the first places you'll see is the Bodley Staircase which is used in several films including Chamber of Secrets. At the top, you'll find the inspiration for the Hogwarts Great Hall and lastly you'll find the Christ Church Cloisters which were mainly used in the Philosopher's Stone.We continued our final day with some lunch and a walk through Oxford in the sun, stopping in the University Church of St Mary the Virgin which was still a little festive and then ended with Shake Shack at the hotel with a film which was a lovely end to the trip.We had such a great time and it was nice to go back to a city we love again.

I'd love to know if you've been to Oxford? or do you have any recommendations for other UK city breaks?

Keep upto date with me via - TwitterInstagram


Thursday 4 January 2024

A Festive Few Days In Bath

 A few weeks ago George and I had a festive break in Bath and I thought for my first blog post of 2024, I'd share some of it. I still love looking back on blog posts from trips we took years ago so I think this type of post is something I'll always try and keep up with.We actually visited Bath for the first time in July 2022 and we absolutely loved it. When we left we didn't think we'd plan a trip back anytime soon as it's quite a drive for us but then when we were thinking of places for a Christmas trip last year, Bath was somewhere that kept coming up again and again. We thought it would be really nice to see the city in a completely different time of year, get to experience the Christmas markets and also return to some of our fave places.

We ended up making really good time on the way there so once we checked in, we headed straight back out and went to one of our top places from last time, Mrs Potts Chocolate House. I have thought about their cakes and milkshakes numerous times over the last year as I definitely didn't appreciate them enough last time. We grabbed a slice of their Dream Cake and some sort of brownie chocolate milkshake and both were insane.We walked it all off via the Christmas markets which were so pretty in the dark but to be honest over the 3 days we were there, it was always chaotic, I can't even really remember getting a proper look at any of the stalls bar a few because it was just so mad. I know you expect it to be busy - we'd already done a few Christmas markets by then which weren't quiet but the Bath ones which are actually spread out over most of the centre, were next level.After working our way through the crowds though, we headed to Joya for a lovely meal. This is such a lovely independent restaurant in Bath. The steak is amazing (we had pasta last time and that is also gorgeous), the focaccia is perfectly salted and the desserts are beautiful.The next day, after a delicious breakfast at Rosarios, we had a day of wandering around the shops, mainly some of the really nice homeware shops which we don't have at home. I picked up some more little Christmas decorations that we definitely didn't need and we also spent a good amount of time in Toppings and Company which is basically book shop heaven. After a visit to Bath Abbey that afternoon which is a really nice calming escape from what's going on just outside, we were both shattered so had a chilled evening in the hotel with pizza from Dough and some baked goods we'd picked up that day.After a chilled evening the night before, we were much more awake and ready to explore on our final full day in Bath. After starting our morning with another delicious breakfast and coffee, we walked upto the The Circle and then headed down to the Royal Crescent. Unfortunately we got caught in the rain whilst we were there but it was still beautiful to see and we found some really cute little side streets with independent book shops and cafes all decorated for Christmas.  That afternoon we took in more of the Christmas markets, made a final visit to Mrs Potts for hot chocolate this time, took lots of photos of the gorgeous tree at the Abbey and the surrounding views and then that evening we headed out to Bandook. This is the restaurant we went to on our final night last time so we thought it would be special to do that again this time as it's genuinely one of, if not the best restaurant we've ever been too. It's an Indian restaurant and the food is just out of this world. In fact, everything about it is - the service, cocktails, atmosphere, all of it. We had an array of different foods which were all just as good as we remembered and then we had a slow walk back to the hotel and saw Bath lit up for the final time. The next morning we pretty much just grabbed some coffees and pastries and then set off on the long journey back. We left having done everything we wanted to do and I think now we've been twice in 2 years, it will probably be a while before we add Bath to our travel plans again. It's such a picturesque city and full of so many amazing independent shops and restaurants, there's so many museums we've not even had chance to do yet too. I do think I preferred it in Summer just because of how busy it was this time, it was hard to take things in sometimes but I'm still so glad we went and I know it'll be a trip I remember for a long time.I'd love to know if you've been to Bath before? or do you have any recommendations of where we could go next Christmas for a festive trip?

Keep upto date with me via - TwitterInstagram


Monday 2 October 2023

A Look At My 2023 Goodreads Challenge

 Gone are the days where I used to get through 100 books a year. Looking back, I genuinely don't know how I ever did that and I'm sure I did it at least 2 years in a row too. I used to love nothing more than getting stuck into a good book but over the last year or so in particular, I've massively struggled with it. I went into 2023 with the challenge of reading a book a month, so 12 by the end of the year obviously. Right now I'm just ahead so I thought I'd do a little roundup of what I've read so far this year, a bit of a throwback post as I used to these almost monthly!All Your Perfects - Colleen Hoover

When I'm in a bit of a reading slump, I find books by Colleen Hoover to be the perfect choice. They're always such an easy read and I tend to get through them ridiculously fast. I've read quite a few of hers now but the first of 2023 was All Your Perfects. This follows Quinn and Graham's troubled marriage and their quest to repair it. Memories, mistakes and secrets have built up over the years but promises from the past could be the one thing that saves them. I gave this 4 stars as it wasn't my favourite of Colleen's but still a great story that had me hooked.

Taste: My Life Through Food - Stanley Tucci

I don't know about you but I love Stanley Tucci. His films, his Instagram, he just seems like such a nice person 😂 Taste is a memoir of life in and out of the kitchen. Stanley talks about his life before films like The Devil Wears Prada which turned him into a bit of a household name, the highs and lows of acting and family life and he also shares some of his own recipes which I'm still yet to try out. It was just a really charming read and I love that there was a bit of everything in it!

London Block By Block - Cierra Block

I got this for Christmas last year and I was so excited to start it. It's a great guide to all things London and it's illustrated beautifully! Cierra literally goes block by block and talks all things Notting Hill, Chelsea, Piccadilly and so much more. Each section has a list of must see things and there are some dedicated sections like top London bakeries to visit, restaurants etc. Just a really cool little guide that I know I'll come back to before a trip!

Just Got Real - Jane Fallon

I've read quite a few books from Jane Fallon now, in fact she's one of the authors I used to absolutely love when I was in my major reading phases a few years ago. I picked up Just Got Real earlier this year and it was another enjoyable read. This book is about Joni who meets Ant via a dating app and neither of them are being entirely honest about who they are. Despite this they start a relationship and all is well until Joni discovers Ant is still on the app and has several other women in his life. I love how normal Jane's books are, they don't feel super far fetched and always keep me guessing how they're going to end and this was no different.

November 9 - Colleen Hoover

The second Colleen Hoover book of the year so far and I doubt it'll be the last. This follows Fallon and Ben who meet on Fallon's last day in LA before she heads off on a cross country move. After a great day together, they plan to meet up every year on November 9th and they do but then one day Fallon discovers Ben has actually used her eventful life as inspiration for his novel. Was anything between them ever real or has he been fabricating something for the perfect story? I really enjoyed this and it was another of Colleen's books that I just didn't want to put down.

One True Loves - Taylor Jenkins Reid

I actually watched the film adaptation of this starring Simu Liu and Phillipa Soo first, which I loved, before I read the book but I don't think that would have made a difference to how I felt about it. I loved both and the book has actually become the only one so far this year to get 5 stars from me. One True Loves follows Emma who is married to her high school sweetheart Jesse who later goes missing one day and is suspected dead. Years go by and Emma has no choice but to move on. She reconnects with an old friend called Sam and eventually they fall in love. Happy at her second chance at love and life, she never expects Jesse to one day turn up at her door but he does. Who is actually her one true love and where do they all go from here? I just love how this was written. I felt I could really imagine what Emma was going through and put myself in her position and I cared for all of the characters. This is a close second favourite of mine from Taylor Jenkins Reid, only beaten by the greatness that is The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.

Only Love Can Hurt Like This - Paige Toon

If you've been around since pretty much the start of my blog, you'll know my love for Paige Toon. I've read every book of hers so far and always have the latest release on pre-order so it was no different with Only Love Can Hurt Like This. We start by meeting Wren who has just realised her fiance is in love with someone else. On the other side of the world we have Anders who lost his wife 4 years ago and is struggling to move on. Wren decides to spend the summer with her dad on his farm in Indiana, hoping it will help her heal but when she meets Anders there, both of their worlds are turned upside down. As always with books by Paige though, someone has a big secret and it could have serious implications for everyone involved. I gave this 4 stars as it was another beautifully written, emotional book from Paige that I found myself racing through.

Happiness For Beginners - Carole Matthews

Carole Matthews is another author that I went through a real phase with and I've definitely read the majority of her books. Some of my favourites being The Chocolate Lovers series! Happiness For Beginners had been on my list for a long time but I'm going to be honest, it wasn't a favourite of mine. Molly Baker lives on a farm and is surrounded by pretty much every animal you could imagine. She has turned it into an alternative school for kids who struggle to thrive in mainstream education and this is where she meets Shelby, someone so far removed from a life like hers, when he enrols his son Lucas. Despite their differences, there's something there between them, could this be the start of something special? This was an easy read with lots of little happy moments but I just didn't find myself hooked by the story.

So that's where I'm at so far with my 2023 Goodreads challenge. My current read is None Of This Is True by Lisa Jewell so I'd love to know your thoughts if you've read it! Hopefully I'll be back at the end of the year with a few more books to talk about, I have a huge pile growing in my office just waiting to be read!

What's been your favourite book of the year so far?

Keep upto date with me via - TwitterInstagram

© Food and Other Loves . All rights reserved.
Blogger Template Made By pipdig