She and Hem Baby Shower

She and Hem Baby Shower | Cox and Baloney, Bristol She and Hem Baby Shower | Cox and Baloney, Bristol She and Hem Baby Shower | Cox and Baloney, Bristol She and Hem Baby Shower | Cox and Baloney, Bristol She and Hem Baby Shower | Cox and Baloney, Bristol

Last weekend we gathered our nearest and dearest, popped on some pregnancy friendly party frocks and wandered (slowly) on down to our favourite tea room in Bristol, Cox and Baloney. Why? Why, only to celebrate the imminent arrival of our little bundle of joys at the She and Hem Baby Shower! Yippee! After shooting at Cox and Baloney several times over the last few years for the likes of Emily and Fin, Boden and Joy, we knew we’d love to hold some sort of event there one day, as it really is the perfect party venue. Luckily for us they had some availability, so we jumped at the chance to book all our chums in for a lovely afternoon of mocktails, sandwiches, scones and oh so much cake! Not to mention an endless supply of tea. Perfect!

We are pretty easy to please and decided we’d rather not have any baby shower games. We had invited more people than the venue usually holds (oops!), and we really wanted a chance to spend time and catch up with everyone who’d given up their day to spend it with us, without any forced fun. One thing we couldn’t resist though was a jazzy photo booth. Come on, we are bloggers after all. Jo fixed up some excellent props, and then we joined creative forces and spent the night before hanging lots of ribbon to our sparkly backdrop. At no point did either of us get frustrated with it not all holding together. Nope, not at all. Fortunately, it looked great on the day and everyone was super keen to get involved, even the grandmothers to be!

She and Hem Baby Shower | Cox and Baloney, Bristol She and Hem Baby Shower | Cox and Baloney, Bristol She and Hem Baby Shower | Cox and Baloney, Bristol She and Hem Baby Shower | Cox and Baloney, Bristol She and Hem Baby Shower | Cox and Baloney, Bristol She and Hem Baby Shower | Cox and Baloney, Bristol

Alongside all of the incredible gifts we were both given by our very genourous friends and families (thanks guys!!), we were also sent this fun handmade nappy cake from The Bump Company and a wonderful personalised balloon from The Giant Balloon Company! Would you just look at those adorable little booties?! We really were so excited unboxing them both the day before the baby shower, and so touched that people are as excited as we are about our two tiny humans coming into the world. The cake and the balloon added an extra little something on the day, so thanks to both for sending them over to us. They were both big hits all round!

In true She and Hem matchy matchy style we wore dresses that complimented each other. Well, we like to think so! Jo’s beautiful Sequin Swing Dress is a maternity exclusive from ASOS and my Stardust Jewel Bodice Dress is by Rock-a-Bye Rosie from House of Fraser. I’d not heard of Rock-a-Bye Rosie before, but am now a big fan. I really love this dress. As it’s a maternity piece, I’m hoping to wear it to a Christmas party or two before I have to part with it! If not, I may just have to wear it around the house on maternity leave. Who doesn’t wear a party frock to watch This Morning?

She and Hem Baby Shower | Cox and Baloney, Bristol She and Hem Baby Shower | Cox and Baloney, Bristol She and Hem Baby Shower | Cox and Baloney, Bristol She and Hem Baby Shower | Cox and Baloney, Bristol She and Hem Baby Shower | Cox and Baloney, Bristol She and Hem Baby Shower | Cox and Baloney, Bristol She and Hem Baby Shower | Cox and Baloney, Bristol She and Hem Baby Shower | Cox and Baloney, Bristol

J&Vx

Akira + Neo Tokyo After Party: Watershed, Bristol.

Akira at Watershed | Bristol | She and HemAkira at Watershed | Bristol | She and HemAkira at Watershed | Bristol | She and Hem

Now for something slightly different.  We love going to the cinema, even though we often dip into our overdrafts to pay for a She and Hem worthy amount of popcorn. We feel so privileged to live so close to Watershed, a venue and event space in the centre of Bristol which always provides such an excellent, diverse and interesting programme.  One event we definitely couldn’t miss (mainly because my (Victoria) OH would most certainly leave me if we did) was the showing of iconic anime film Akira, with added Neo Tokyo Party.

First, the film. Shown in the original Japanese with English subtitles, this was a particularly immersive way to first experience the influential, thrilling and visually dazzling world of Neo Tokyo. To those of you who have seen it, the film needs no introduction and I doubt I can do it justice. To those who have yet to experience Tetsuo and Kaneda’s technicolour adventure, please allow me to Samurais it for you;  loud, brilliant.

The party? 80’s computer games! Japanese food! Graffiti wall! It was all very exciting. As I am off to Japan for my honeymoon later this year, I was eager to pick up some tips about how to join a gang of delinquent cyberpunk bikers. Be sure to read my Japan review in October to see how I got on with that. Unfortunately we were unable to wear our favourite Kiyoko and Takashi manga cosplay outfits as we had both came straight from work. Also, it would have caused a huge Japandemonium! But please don’t be koi, and for goodness sake let us know if that is something you would like to see.

Akira at Watershed | Bristol | She and HemAkira at Watershed | Bristol | She and HemAkira at Watershed | Bristol | She and Hem Akira at Watershed | Bristol | She and Hem Akira at Watershed | Bristol | She and Hem Akira at Watershed | Bristol | She and HemAkira at Watershed | Bristol | She and Hem Akira at Watershed | Bristol | She and Hem Akira at Watershed | Bristol | She and Hem

I hope you enjoyed the post. I really bento-ver backwards thinking of all the puns.

V&J

Beer52

She and Hem | Beer52 Review | LifestyleShe and Hem | Beer52 Review | Lifestyle

One of the many areas in which Bristol excels, alongside balloon fiestas, harbour festivals and street art, is craft beer. New establishments are popping up everywhere, showcasing the weirdest, wackiest and, most importantly, tastiest brews from near and far. Some have been critical of this upswing, but it is 100% fine by me. You can be a fan of traditional pubs and these new fangled craft beer hang outs. I know this, because I am one, and many others are too! Furthermore, as a budding connoisseur of all things hop, and a keen fan of having all my food and drink arrive on my doormat, when I saw that Beer52 were looking for people to review their beer delivery service, I was more than happy to volunteer. The opportunity to have 8 different craft beers delivered to my front door was too good to pass up, and having previously given a beer subscription as a Christmas present (Beer52 offer this service here) I was really keen to try it out for myself!

I was flipping excited when they arrived, so much so that I spent several hours days researching and meticulously planning and pairing the beers with the perfect food accompaniments to really make the most of the review experience. I roped my OH in to help with the cooking by promising to share of all the beers, and having prepped a little 4 course menu to spread over the day, here is how we got on.

She and Hem | Beer52 Review | Lifestyle

After some extensive background work looking through all the beers, researching the styles and earnestly discussing food pairings, we chose the beer with a pig on the label. Because, pig. Setting aside the excellent, porcine themed label design, this is “Cerdos Voladores” from the Barcelona Craft Beer brewery, a zesty, fruity IPA of a style very much at the vanguard of the craft beer movement. As a fan of the city, I was keen to keep in the spirit of our Catalan chums and pair this with something typically Spanish. Hence, gambas et ajillo! That’s garlic prawns to me and Google Translate. From my admittedly limited knowledge of beer and food pairings, I know that your typical IPA is said to best be accompanied by a spicy dish, and so we went for this chilli infused creation. I can confirm that the taste makers don’t lie – the punchy, lemon-y flavours of the beer took the edge off the heat, whilst enhancing the sweetness of the dish. A light and refreshing lunch, especially when paired with a simple salad.

She and Hem | Beer52 Review | LifestyleShe and Hem | Beer52 Review | Lifestyle

From such big flavours, there was really only one direction to go; bigger. The second beer we chose (and not just for the equally excellent label art) was “Ascendancy” from the Panda Frog Project, an experimental offshoot brewery of North Tyneside’s Mordue. As a girl normally into her chocolate stouts, and one known to get a bit giddy at just the thought of a second round, I was a bit nervous about this higher ABV beast of a beer! Especially one described as a “Belgian Double IPA Weizen Hybrid”, I had no idea what to expect! After being assured by the OH that it would be a good ‘un, we dove on in, pairing this big flavoured brew with an equally big flavoured Teriyaki Chicken stir fry (with home made teriyaki sauce and garlic paste of course). I can confirm that the floral, tropical kick of the DIPA side of the beer was present and correct, a lovely thirst quencher after the spicy, marinaded chicken, and an appealing accompaniment to fresh crunchy peppers, bean sprouts, pak choi and red peppers. The “weizen” element (a traditionally German style of hazy wheat beer, brew fans) gave the beer more body than I was expecting, and helped to soften the impact of that big tropical tartness. Unusual, but highly recommended.

She and Hem | Beer52 Review | LifestyleShe and Hem | Beer52 Review | Lifestyle

And now we’re back in my comfort zone. For afters, we naturally opted for my go to sweet food of choice, the prince of puddings, the don of desserts, the sultan of sweets, the chocolate brownie. Paired, most appropriately, with the delicious coffee-infused Toasted Porter from Iceland’s Einstok brewery, a brewery from which I’ve tried and enjoyed beer from before when visiting Iceland. It was a satisfying and waist expandingly indulgent way to end a satisfying and waist expandingly indulgent day. As keen coffee fans (who, us?), we even added a little local flavour to the brownie, sticking some of Extract Coffee RoastersKiangoi in the batter. The porter was smooth and rich, and unlike a lot of similar beers, neither too heavy nor overpowering. As we head into winter, I can imagine settling down in front of a Christmas box set or two with a bottle of this, idly sipping over the course of a few hours.

She and Hem | Beer52 Review | LifestyleShe and Hem | Beer52 Review | Lifestyle

Oh sorry, you didn’t think we were done did you? All that eating really made us work up an appetite, so a little more research later, and we found that you simply can’t enjoy an Oatmeal Stout without a good chunk of aged cheddar. So naturally, we followed this advice and opted for a simple, paired down snack of cheese and beer, using the Belhaven Brewery’s Scottish Oat Stout. The oatcakes, crackers, apple, pickles and chutneys just forced themselves on us, ok? Again, the tastemakers are on it with this – the velvet-y, silky texture of the stout was a nice base for the strong cheese. As a person not normally into such cheese, I was surprised and impressed! This was another delicious beer from the darker end of the scale, perfect for warming one’s cockles by the fire candle on a cold night.

candle

Thanks Beer52 for expanding my beery horizons and for giving me a good excuse to get creative in the kitchen! If you fancy having a little tasting session yourself and want a cheeky discount code, just pop SHEANDHEM10 into the ‘got a special code’ box on the Beer52 website for £10 off of your order. Also, if you would like any of the recipes for the food items in this post, please get in touch!

Vx

Tequila Mockingbird

Tequila Mockingbird Cocktails | She and Hem | Lifestyle

Tequila Mockingbird Cocktails | She and Hem | Lifestyle

Happy Friday everyone! Most Fridays upon finishing work we head to an all night disco party home, put our pyjamas on and drink all of the gin. Sometimes with friends, but usually alone with our cats. Luckily, when we can persuade our pals (they do exist, honest!) to hang out with us, they all love a simple G&T too. Very fortunate, as we can be predictably lazy when it comes to the art of mixology. However, last weekend we decided to step out of our boozy comfort zone and hit the hard stuff. Fruity pink cocktails! When excitedly hitting the supermarket, we quickly realised that neither of us really knew how to make anything other than a snowball, so we had a little helping hand from the experts at thebar.com.

Tequila Mockingbird Cocktails | She and Hem | Lifestyle

Tequila Mockingbird Cocktails | She and Hem | Lifestyle

Tequila Mockingbird Cocktails | She and Hem | Lifestyle

Luckily for us, thebar.com is really simple to use, with a handy search function on the main page, you just type in a spirit that you like (it doesn’t have to be gin!) or a cocktail you would like to try and hundreds of tasty recipes will pop up in seconds. As most have been sent in by members of the site, there are lots of fun ideas with suitably charming names, and well, they just all look so pretty. As a gift to you our loyal readers, we decided to try and throw ourselves a She and Hem style cocktail party. With added massive birthday cake. No, it wasn’t anyone’s birthday, we just like massive cakes, ok?

Tequila Mockingbird Cocktails | She and Hem | LifestyleTequila Mockingbird Cocktails | She and Hem | Lifestyle Tequila Mockingbird Cocktails | She and Hem | Lifestyle

I’m pretty partial to a Prosecco (not that I like to wine on about it…), so I was very keen to try a French 21. Oh là là indeed! For some of the cocktails, we went a wee bit rouge with the ingredients to suit our tastes, but with the French 21, the only switch we made was using a lemon peel spiral rather than lime spiral. These were used a lot elsewhere, and we didn’t want them hogging all of the limelight…

Tequila Mockingbird Cocktails | She and Hem | LifestyleTequila Mockingbird Cocktails | She and Hem | Lifestyle

After lining up our top three cocktails from the evening, there was no clutching at straws and, in a strong field of creatively named confections, the clear winner was the decidedly more Ronseal Archers Peach Schnapps & Cranberry Juice. Easy to make, refreshing and fun. It was sodalicious!

Tequila Mockingbird Cocktails | She and Hem | LifestyleTequila Mockingbird Cocktails | She and Hem | Lifestyle

Cheers!

V&J