The Great Escape 2015 – day 1…

Its that time of year again. Time to put a wristband on, grab a programme and spend three days queuing running around Brighton trying to catch as many of the 450+ gigs as possible. This year is The Great Escape’s 10th birthday, and my sixth consecutive year. Year one was a failure, I had a day ticket and didn’t understand the queuing so saw a total of two bands. Year two I worked at the wristband exchange, told Fyfe Dangerfield’s wife I loved him more than she did and fan girdled obsessively over the Guillemots. Years 3, 4 and 5 we successfully partied and so I’m excited for what this year will bring. 

The wristband exchanged has stayed at its new Spiegeltent home and this year features an inside exchange area (perfect for today’s weather!) leading into the Spiegeltent area. Felt like a proper festival and was worried I hadn’t bought my sleeping bag. Grabbing a programme I ran back through the rain to the downstairs of Komedia for the end of the Australian Showcase. I arrived in time for Fraser A Gorman, a lad with a mighty head of hair (not that dissimilar to my fathers hair in the 70s) hailing from Melbourne. Considering it was 3pm on the first day, the room was packed and from the cheers arising from the crowd as song names were mentioned, he clearly has a following here in the UK. He kickstarted the set with “Better take your washing off the line because it’s raining” – very apt for the rain sodden city outside. Featuring catchy riffs, harmonicas and brand new tambourines, his set was good fun and got me in the mood for the weekend. Uplifting and highly bop-able. 

Deciding against going back out into the rain I stayed inside for Holy Holy, which the programme describes as “huge, full band builds and crescendos, mixing distorted duelling guitars with warm, close harmonies and wild percussive rhythms.” Certainly a mouthful. As the room filled up around me and the buzz started to build, I started to think I had picked a winner. Hearing them for the first time reminded me of when I first saw Prides. Slightly blown away by the noise, and intrigued as to how much sound could come from so few people. They did indeed have full band builds and crescendos. They also had a bassist so tall I thought he would hit his head, and a guitarist that looked like Jesse Bradford in Bring It On but with Jon Snow’s hair (GoT Jon Snow, not channel 4 news Jon Snow).

The plan for this evening: Jagaara, Tenterhook, Astronomyy, Fismoll and Jack Garratt (if I’m still awake). Blog to be updated, probably when I get in tonight. 

Don’t forget I’m on Twitter for random updates of who I’ve seen. 

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Two Birds Gin – a review

This review is a bit late. I actually first experienced Two Birds gin in October after the lovely Morgan Rees bought me some as a present (October 10th for those wondering when to send gifts). Then I started my blog and got distracted by other gins and unemployment and new job and working all bank holiday weekend in Liverpool. But a conversation with my manager prompted me to get my act together and do this. Plus I was scared because I have so little left and I’m dreading the moment when it runs out 😦

So. Two Birds. Another small batch gin, this one made in batches of around 100 bottles in Market Harborough, Leicestershire. As well as their London Dry gin, they also make a Vodka and Absinthe (plus some fun flavoured Vodkas depending on the season). This is the bottle that started my love of pretty designs on bottles.

(Note: the bottle doesn’t normally come with a polka dot bow. This is Morgan’s version of wrapping and I enjoy it too much to remove it)

The bottle is a screw top so whilst you don’t get the satisfying noise of a cork popping out the bottle, it is much quicker to break your way in (an important factor in my gin drinking life). The smell from the bottle is dry with the juniper coming through as the predominant note. I did the standard mixing it with water to release the botanicals and, unusually for the gins I’ve been drinking recently, you don’t get a hit of citrus. It tastes smooth on the tongue, no nasty screwed up faces ensue when drinking. It leaves a warm lingering tastes in the mouth and the dryness comes through leaving you wanting more.

Time for the G&T test.


For the test I’m using Tesco Low Calorie Tonic Water. This isn’t to be sniffed at. Tesco do a great range of tonics from normal tonic water to some flavoured with cucumber, jasmine and elderflower. They also do a great bitter lemon, and they are 4 for £1.50. And, most importantly of all, it isn’t Britvic.

Moving on. It is reminiscent of the Blackwater No.5 Gin in that it is smooth and fresh as you drink it. Whilst it doesn’t have the big punchy characteristics of some other gins, the smooth quality makes it very quaffable (it is seriously running low in the bottle). I usually love a citrus garnish but I don’t feel this needs it. Quite dry on the tongue (a good point in my books), Two Birds leaves you wanting more. I imagine it would work well in a cocktail or as a good base to any mixer as the simple flavourings would allow any added flavours to come through.

The gin is made with four botanicals (and juniper) which helps to explain why there is less going on, but bottled at 40% and a 70cl bottle setting you back a mere £28, I think this is a good buy. This gin will be great as an everyday G&T but it is special enough to feel like a treat. Plus look at the bottle. How beautiful will that look on the shelf filled with fairy lights (the current fate of all my empty gin bottles).

You can order Two Birds spirits from their website here, and you can follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and Instagram for daily rantings and gushes.

Tarquin’s Gin – a review

I spent most of March unemployed. This meant I was pretty bored and feeling a bit down. So my Dad decided he would try to cheer me up and sent me a present. A box bearing the marks of Southwestern Distillery arrived. Underneath a mountain of packing chips was a bottle of Tarquin’s Gin and a card.

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IMG_5013I had mentioned this gin to my Dad before as he lives down in Falmouth and I knew it was made nearby. Only after receiving the gin did I look it up – it is made 36 miles from his house. Good local gin. For those that don’t know, Tarquin’s Gin is made by Southwestern Distillery in Wadebridge on the north(ish) coast of Cornwall. They make their gin in batches of no more than 300 bottles at the time, each bottle corked, sealed, labelled and waxed by hand. Each bottle comes with a unique batch number and information about that batch’s individual tasting notes. The key botanicals in play here are hand-picked Devon violets and orange zest. These aren’t my favourite things in the world so I’m a bit cautious about what I’m about to drink.

IMG_5016Now the best part – drinking it. Peeling off a wax seal is one of the most satisfying feelings. The first smell that hits you is a strong citrus note – good start in my books. I pour out a measure with an equal amount of water. It smells like flowers, the citrus notes dropping off for the violet to come through. It smells quite sweet, which I’m not used to experiencing with a gin. I take my first sip. It’s very easy on the tongue for want of a better phrase. It doesn’t taste harsh or too strong (bottled at 42%). The zest comes through at the front of the mouth, giving way to the aromatics. It’s one of the most flavoursome gins I’ve ever had, there’s lots of tastes going on in my mouth. To quote my brilliant notes that I wrote: “Good hit to it. Definitely drinking gin. Not so powerful it’s overwhelming.” I clearly have a career in drink tasting ahead of me.

Deciding that I shouldn’t just drink straight gin, I mix a new drink with some tonic – because the real test of a gin is how it works as a G&T. To quote my rather brilliant notes again, “lovely stuff”. A hint of palma violets (can be added to the list of drinks that taste like sweets alongside Southern Comfort and Lemonade). My batch (104) has the tasting notes of candied oranges, and there is certainly a hint of it at the back of the throat. Not so much it is overpowering – which is good because (as we all know) I’m not an orange fan. But this tastes nice, the bitterness cuts through the sweet violets and balances quite nicely. It produces a very distinct flavour which, on first tasting I wasn’t super keen on. But I always believe in giving things a second chance, and once I had got used to the taste I found myself rather enjoying it.

Aside from the taste, the other thing that makes Tarquin’s Gin unique is that they have launched Taste with Tarquin.

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To celebrate the unique tasting notes of each batch, they played with Apple’s FaceTime code so we can have a chat with Tarquin (sort of). I tried calling when I first tasted the gin but couldn’t get through. On my third attempt the call connected. Then the connection dropped. Twice. But once it finally worked it was good fun. It starts with Tarquin talking about Southwestern Distillery and what makes them different. Then you battle with voice recognition software to tell them your batch number. Tarquin (who, by the way, is rather beautiful) finds your bottle, pours a glass and tells you – well, pretty much what it says on the bottle. He told me my bottle tasted of orange. He wasn’t wrong. Then you have a chance to leave a video message. I think I accidentally left one going “your gin tastes like sweeeeeeeeeeetiiieeeeesssss thanks!” You’re welcome Tarquin.

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Slightly disappointing FaceTime adventure aside, it’s a bloody good gin. If you’re into floral, aromatic gins then this is for you. According to their website, Tarquin’s isn’t available in Brighton yet, but is widely available around Devon and Cornwall and some places in London – you can find stockists here.

Southwestern Distillery are also on Twitter and Facebook.

If you’ve enjoyed my ramblings, you can hear more from me on Twitter or see more of my shoddy photos on Instagram.

Blackwater No. 5 Gin – a review

A few weeks ago I made a wonderful life choice that my bank account doesn’t quite agree with. I signed up to Craft Gin Club, getting a premium, craft gin delivered to my door monthly (well, I get it every 3 months because I can’t quite afford the £40 fee every month). I was very excited when they tweeted a photo of a van packed full of boxes, and even more so when I received my edition of Ginned! which said more about the gin I was about to get to taste.

As some background, Blackwater Distillery is based in Ireland, on the banks of the Blackwater River (unsurprisingly). Their gin (Blackwater No. 5) is new, the first commercial batch came off the still on February 9th, and is the first craft gin to come out of Ireland.

Let’s start with the bottle. What a beautiful bottle it is. The picture you see through the bottle depicts the 90 degree turn that the river makes. The design is simple yet so effective. I currently up cycle my nicer (empty) alcohol bottles by filling them with fairy lights, but that’s not going to happen to this one. Once this is finished and I’ve finished sobbing about my loss, this will sit as it is, the stunning label standing as decoration on its own.

Now I’ve finished nerding over the label, let’s move on to the gin. And oh what a gin it is.

So I returned to my pretentious tasting method as first demonstrated in my review of Brighton Gin. I added equal amounts of gin and water to a cup to release the aromas. The first thing I can smell is the juniper and citrus notes. It smells very clean – and most importantly for my untrained nose, no nasty sharp alcohol smells (something I haven’t missed since my student days of Asda value vodka. Even the thought of that brings back bad memories). The first sip is very smooth. Just the simple taste of juniper and citrus. They claim that they have liquorice botanicals in it, which I can’t taste but I’m fine with that as I’m not a liquorice fan, but there is a satisfying tang at the back of the mouth.

After a few sips I felt I should make a G&T to really test it/not just drink straight gin all evening. I had run out of Fevertree tonic so plumped for the solid Schweppes and a lime wedge for good measure. It made one of the best gin and tonics I’ve ever had. The coriander tastes come through more clearly when mixed with the tonic. It’s clean, smooth and simple. Exactly what a G&T needs to be. I love the citrus taste (I usually make gin and bitter lemon at home because I’m an old lady). Very drinkable. Worryingly drinkable as I can see an evening disappearing into that bottle with no problem at all.

The gin is currently listed on the Blackwater Distillery website but it isn’t available to order so I can’t encourage you to buy it quite yet, but when this comes out, get one. I think this gin will suit all palettes – except possibly those people who enjoy the strong alcohol flavour of a drink. But for those that want a lovely, uncomplicated drink to sip on in an evening, this is it.

If this is the standard that I will be getting with every delivery, then I would love for someone to fund the monthly subscription for me (and buy me a drinks trolley as our kitchen is overflowing…)

Remember, you can follow me on Twitter and see more of my terrible photos on Instagram.

The Salt Room

I’m going to start by apologising. I actually went to The Salt Room a week ago. Then I was lazy and it was my housemates birthday and I was lazy again. But here we go.

So because said housemate (thanks Jenny Bernarde!) does some of The Salt Room’s marketing, we got invited to the soft launch on Wednesday (ahead of the main opening on the Friday. I felt well fancy) where we got 50% off food which was even more exciting. I’ve been following The Salt Room on Twitter since they announced it, then they released the menu the day before we went so I was very much looking forward to going.

From the outside the building looks slick and upmarket – a long terrace across the front of the Hilton which opens in the summer and is heated in the winter gives views over the main road the seafront with the Palace Pier to the left, the West pier to the right. We walk in to find the standard exposed brick that now features in every pub and restaurant combined with fresh white walls and great lighting (until it gets a bit later when the light drops and we have a few issues reading the menu).

We were seated at our table next to the window (lovely views in the summer I’m sure, night time in February – slightly less so) and started pouring over the drinks menu. A long list of wine, cocktails and a special gin and Tonica menu with no Bombay Sapphire in sight (hurrah!). I settled for the Garden Fizz – beefeater gin, sage, dried citrus, lemon and bitters. These are my favourite things (admittedly sage isn’t usually in my cocktails but gin and lemon are made for each other) so I was very happy. The gin and tonic of the birthday girl came in a balloon glass which, according to our waitress, holds a pint of liquid. I’m currently finding some for my flat.

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Now the food:

Starters – one lobster and shellfish cocktail, one salt baked and smoked beetroot with goat curd, cocoa nibs and blood orange. I can only vouch for the beetroot, but it’s safe to say my saying “everything is better smoked” remains true for beetroot. The only thing I would have changed would be to have a slightly smaller piece of beetroot – mine was quite large and after a while you realise you are just eating a whole beetroot. Lovely as it was, perhaps just slightly smaller in the future.

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Mains – one steak (ordered well done but arrived beautifully pink in the middle), one shrimp and crab burger and one spiced monkfish (mine).

The monkfish was meaty and soft – my complaint here was that it appeared to be a big medallion of flesh, only to dive in and find the big tailbone running through the middle (and sadly I felt it was too nice a place to pick the bone up and suck the flesh off). That aside, it was lovely. Pickled cauliflower and ginger were wonderful and went well with the subtly spiced monkfish.

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Having stolen a piece of crab burger, I want to go back purely to eat more of that. Small shrimps combined with crab meat made for an interesting burger – a mix of textures from the meaty shrimp and the flaky crab work well with the bun and flavoured mayo. The fries that accompanied the burger and the steak were salty and crispy and perfect – and it’s nice to not see sweet potato fries on a menu for once!

As our dishes were whisked away we started lusting over the pudding that had been delivered to the table next to us. Made to share, the Taste of the Pier platter features candy floss, mini 99’s, donuts, marshmallows, chocolate pebbles and honeycomb. Unfortunately our full bellies didn’t allow us to order one but next time I’ll forgo the starter to give it a good go!

Whilst the food was wonderful, there were a few little problems. Whilst they were super quick taking our order, we waited over 15 minutes for our drinks, 25 minutes for our after dinner drinks which never arrived so we asked for the bill, which took another 10 minutes to arrive. The lobster and shellfish cocktail had bits of shell throughout which was tricky to see through the sauce leaving my companion to pick bits out of his mouth (super attractive). I presume these are all teething issues that will be worked out when they’ve been open a bit longer. The 50% off food helped to make me not mind about the waiting, and I would certainly go back again.

I want to go back to try all of the gins. And all of the cocktails. And should probably give the wine list a good go. Then it’s on to the steak, the crab and prawn burger, the fire roasted crab claws, the raw beef, the cured salmon, the turbot, the taste of the pier…

Basically all of the food and drink. In my belly. Preferably with someone else picking up the bill.

You can perv on The Salt Room’s menus on their website www.saltroom-restaurant.co.uk and they’re on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

If you enjoy my rambling I’m on Twitter and my blurry pictures are on Instagram.

H.en – a review

Thanks to working with Laura Evans, I find out about new restaurants because she gets invited to openings and to review them (check out Places I Eat). When she mentioned H.en – a nicer Nandos – I gave it a google. Never, I repeat NEVER, google ‘hen Brighton’. All that comes up are photos and articles showcasing the worst of Brighton (take note potential hen parties: you are not welcome here. We [I] hate you). But I persevered and found their menu online and forced the boy to join me for dinner there on Friday evening. We arrived about 8.30pm and we rounded customer numbers up to 10. I was expecting it to be busier, but this always happens when we go out before pay day. The restaurant is decorated as most new restaurants in Brighton are – unfinished walls and tables, a less is more kinda thing.

So we took a table in the corner and one of the staff bought over their menus. The options are a quarter or half a chicken with two sides, or (as we went for) a chicken burger (plus a veggie burger option). We both went for sweet potato fries with our burgers (the other options: corn on the cob, salad or halloumi) because we, like the majority of Brighton, are pretty obsessed with sweet potato fries.

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The burgers arrived and we were very excited. Sauces were delivered in three little bottles – the Herbie, the Miles and the Duke. Sadly, the teeny tiny nozzles get a bit blocked, and my childish impatience led to one of the most embarrassing things I’ve ever done. As I squeezed the bottle to try to get some sauce out, the lid popped off and sauce hit my plate with such force that it rebounded over the table, my fries, my face, my hair and my clothes. Obviously as this point I yelled quite loudly and Dan laughed at me. A lot. Luckily we had sat at the table nearest the toilet so I ran out and hid in the toilet to wipe my face and hair clean and slunk back in to eat my dinner.

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The photo of my plate is after I had cleaned up the table. Face not shown.

Sauce was literally everywhere. But anyway. The food. The burger was huge. It was basically half a fried chicken in a bun. A big pot of fries to go with it. I really enjoyed my meal (post sauce explosion) but I had two issues (other than the sauce bath). Firstly, bits of the chicken burger were quite dry which I can only assume is because parts of it were so thick (but I had lots of sauce in my plate so I managed with that easily enough) and secondly the fries were more like stumps. The fries themselves were probably some of the best sweet potato fries I’ve eaten in Brighton, but the average length of each chip was about 1cm.

But moving on to the good bits. The fried chicken was nice and crispy and not soggy and greasy. The sauces were delicious (what was left of them anyway). The Herbie was light and citrusy, the Miles had a nice tomato warmth to it and the Duke had a nice chili kick that I LOVE in a sauce. All worked brilliantly with the burger, and I imagine a grilled chicken portion would be delicious dunked in all three of these. The bottles were an issue, and as we left we heard another table suggesting they put them in pots instead so you can actually get them onto your plate. H.en say on their website that they are the first “local and happy (high welfare) chicken shop”. I wasn’t able to work out from the taste whether my chicken was free-range but there was certainly a lot of meat. And it made me happy so I’d like to think the chicken was happy as well.

I am definitely planning on going back to H.en. But next time, I’m going to unscrew the lids from the sauce bottles.

To save yourself the horrors of drunk women stumbling around Brighton, you can check out H.en’s website here: www.henrestaurant.com/ and they are on Twitter here.

If you like my ramblings then I too am on Twitter and for more food and gin photos, check out my Instagram

Stockholm shenanigans – part two

If you missed part one, here it is.

So, when you left me I had stuffed my face with Salmon after a day of excitement with an old boat and the Abba Museum. So it was with full stomachs that we retired to hotel to pass out.

We awoke, refreshed, early the next morning and once again breakfasted on some of the best granola I’ve ever eaten and headed out for a free walking tour of Stockholm (thought we should try to learn something whilst we were there!). We went with Free Tour Stockholm and had the wonderful Australian Ryan as our guide. He was really nice and remembered where we all came from and had spare hats and gloves in case anyone was cold. The week before we went (remember, we went in December) some Australian girls had been there in flip flops. Fools. Note: whilst this tour is definitely worth going on, if you go in winter make sure you wear warm socks. I couldn’t feel my feet by the end of it. But back to the tour, fun facts I learnt:

1) Stockholm means ‘log island’ – back in the day a tribe got invaded and they carved out the biggest tree they could find and filled it with their gold. They pushed it out to sea and said “wherever this lands will be our new settlement” and it (conveniently) wove it’s way through 60km or something of archipelago and landed on what is called Gamla Stan (old town). And so Stockholm began
2) The H&M global headquarters are a very boring looking set of offices. Also, there are 8 H&M’s in one square.
3) The story behind Stockholm Syndrome is awesome but fairly long but basically inept bank robbers held people hostage for a few days with wire around their necks that could have killed them, when they got out the hostages formed a human shield around the robbers to prevent the snipers from killing them. Swedes are good folk.
4) The architect that designed and built half of the Royal Palace burnt down the other half before fleeing the city. He then returned with plans to rebuild it and got the job.
5) According to our tour guide, so I’m not 100% certain how true this is, Alfred Nobel’s wife cheated on him with a mathematician so there will NEVER be a Nobel Prize for mathematics. Physics, Chemistry, Medicine and Peace (and Economic Sciences), yes. Maths, no.

And many more. I don’t feel I do Ryan justice. He was much better. Trust me.

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Speaking of the palace, the tour conveniently finishes across the bridge from the Palace so across we meandered and wandered into the changing of the guards. Swedish guards have very snazzy white boots. And do NOT like people standing too close to them. Entry to the palace is 150 SEK which is about £12.50 and you get to see the Palace, the Treasury and a museum that we didn’t go into (oops). The Palace itself is an odd combination of cold, stone staircases and luxuriously decorated state rooms. Whilst it was interesting to look around, you don’t see as much as I seemed to in Buckingham Palace or in Prague Castle. The Treasury was nice as it is deep underground (note: lots of spiral stairs) so it was lovely and cosy warm. The Swedish version of the Crown Jewels are basically lots of swords and crowns, good for the Game of Thrones fans.

After the castle we wandered around Gamla Stan and stumbled upon a small Christmas market selling sweets, waffles, sausages, Glögg, wooden horses and more. Sadly, we couldn’t find the Garlic bar that I was so desperate to go to, but we had a nice walk as the sun set through the streets. I finally felt rather Christmassy.

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Now to dinner. Oh my. We were recommended Rolfs Kök (yes it is pronounced how you think it is and no that’s not what it means, it means kitchen), and Trip Advisor reviews cemented this. We booked a table (good thing we did as we got the last table at 9pm) and headed to The Flying Dog for a pre dinner drink. We had walked past this pub a few times and they claim to be a part of the craft beer revolution. Dan, ever adventurous, went on the barman’s recommendation of one of the beers on tap, I asked for a cider and got a Somersbys. Apparently that’s a good cider in Sweden. The bar itself was nice and had a huge range of beers on taps. Were I a beer drinker, I’d be able to give a better review, but alas I am not so I shall skip to what I know. Dinner.

First off, their wine list is huge. I would go as far as to say ridiculously huge. Pages upon pages list wines by country and grape variety. I ignored this and went for a Pamplemousse Royale aka champagne bitters and grapefruit liquor. Much like my lemon elderflower earlier in the holiday it was beautiful and in a glass so clean that there was just one stream of bubbles floating up from the very centre of the glass above the stem. The bitters and the grapefruit meant it was dry and sour but the champagne evened it out to a wonderful drink. I would recommend this place just on that cocktail.

We wanted some ‘traditional’ Swedish food so shared a starter of brawn of reindeer with cheese and lingonberries. Reindeer, both a beloved Christmas animal and a tasty tasty meat. I’ve never been so happy to eat a symbol of my childhood. The creamy cheese with the lingonberries offered different textures and flavours with the meaty reindeer. The waitress was really nice and helped us with recommendations, bought us bread (four little rolls on a skewer with a bowl of salty butter and a little wooden knife) and checked if we wanted drink top ups and if we were enjoying the food. The layout of the restaurant is rather clever, the walls are covered in hooks for coats, hats and scarves and the tables are designed so an extra piece of wood can be inserted to make the tables suitable for groups of four or, as the couple next to us did, those ordering the sharing platter.

Our mains arrived promptly after our starter plate was cleared. Mine: red wine braised ox cheek with truffle and puréed potato, his: pork sausage with fried potatoes and vegetables in a creamy sauce. I had never had ox cheek before, I was being brave and trying new things, and it didn’t disappoint. I tentatively put my fork in, with images of a lump of fatty chewy meat ahead of me only for it to fall apart on impact. It was tender and juicy, the sauce was rich and the puréed potatoes with truffle were so good I nearly cried.

I nearly cried in a restaurant.

Boy had no complaints about his meal (although I have rarely heard him complain about any food). His sausage (excuse the innuendo) was huge, spreading the length of the plate and more. The potatoes and veg were plentiful and – a very important fact – the vegetables were no mushy. Nothing irritates me more in a restaurant than over cooked vegetables. The meal, with the cocktail and drink, came to about £80 but I think it was worth every penny. Even now, nearly a month later, I am still dreaming about that reindeer and ox cheek. Stuffed t’brim, we staggered back to the hotel to fall into very happy food comas.

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Day four. Final day. We’re nearly done I promise. Our flight wasn’t until 8pm so we went down for breakfast as late as we could and left our bags in the left luggage room. They offer lockers, but sadly everyone else had been more prepared than us and filled them up earlier. Check out consisted of throwing a key into a box. Done. And we wandered. Long story short, I threw a strop because it was cold so we walked across to Södermalm to a photography gallery. Despite my bad mood, it was really good. ‘In Full Light’ by Herb Ritts featured famous models, actors and singers, ‘Daughters’ by Lisen Stibeck showed women aged between 16 and 25 from around the world and Adi Nes’ exhibition on narratives looks at men in contexts of recreated biblical scenes and the army. Well worth the walk (only about 20 minutes but by this point it was around -1 degrees so it felt a lot longer). We decided to brave the public transport getting home (because of my strop) which was super easy. Self service ticket machine at the entrance to the station, show your ticket to a man at the gate and get on train. Lots of seats even on a weekend and really fast. I feel you’ve mastered a holiday when you’ve mastered the public transport. We got the train up through the city and got off next to Flippin’ Burger. This time, we only had a 10 minute wait (much better). The Swedes have really nailed customer service, we were given English menus when we sat down and the staff all spoke to us in their fluent English (seriously, everyone speaks really good English). Two burgers (one flippin and one cricket) with fries, a cider, a coke and a milkshake came to 480 SEK so £40. Which, yes, is expensive, but a Byron burger with fries will set you back £11, and this was better than Byron. They cook their meat so it’s still nice and pink and juicy (correct) and the chips were salty and moreish. I’ve never had a burger with jalapeños and cream cheese before and I was again dubious about my choice, but once again was pleasantly surprised. Cream cheese should just be on everything. Go here. Maybe book ahead or go at 5pm on a Sunday, but go here.

With our final meal in our bellies, we made the last trek back to our hotel to collect our luggage, got on the bus and trundled back to the airport. Fare thee well Stockholm you were lovely. I will definitely be going back. But maybe in the summer.

My that was long. Thanks for sticking with me. If you would like shorter bursts of chat, follow me on Twitter and for more of my wonderful photography, I’m also on Instagram.

Once again, Dan takes better photos than I do and his Instagram is here