Where’s Your Happy Place?

Where is your happy place? Recently, SACO asked 1500 adults across Britain about their happy place, and the results are really interesting!

If put on the spot, I would have to say that my happy place is somewhere by the seaside. Living in Birmingham, about as far from the sea in the UK as you can get, I often feel starved of the sea and sea air, so maybe this is why I love it so much when I am there. Saying this, I am equally happy closer to home. Having a staycation in my home city of Birmingham and eating out at one of brilliant restaurants here gets me just as happy!

The research, carried out by SACO who offer serviced apartments in Birmingham, showed that almost one in four (23%) people from Birmingham said a cosy gastro pub in the heart of the Cotswolds was their preferred choice, closely followed by eating an ice cream on Brighton Beach (22.6%) and hiking around the picturesque Lake District (22%). Tucking into fish and chips in Padstow came in fourth place (20%), while walking in the Peak District rounded off the top five (19%).

I would say that the top result was a little surprising to me but I would wholeheartedly agree with the others!

I think my top 3 happy places in the UK would be

  • Eating fish and chips on the pier in Bournemouth
  • Ice creams on the beach (any beach!)
  • A relaxing cream tea in the countryside in Devon

Oh look – they all include food, no surprise there!

Cornwall came out on top in the staycation stakes, with 28% of people listing it as their preferred destination , with Devon hot on its heals. I can totally see why people choose these places, however having recently visited Dorset for the first time, I would put this up there too.

Food was found to be a big factor in Birmingham residents’ happiness levels on holiday too with 57% saying that eating fish and chips by the sea is an absolute must, while 53% liked going for pub lunches while on a staycation and 35% lust after cream teas. These are certainly people after my own heart!


According to SACO’s research, the top 10 happy places for Birmingham residents were:

Pub lunch in the Cotswolds
Eating ice cream on Brighton Beach
Walking / hiking in the Lake District
Eating fish and chips in Padstow
Walking in the Peak District
Enjoying a pasty in St Ives
Admiring the white sandy beaches of the Hebrides
Enjoying a cream tea in the Isles of Scilly
Visiting the Roman baths at Bath
Eating candy floss on Blackpool Pleasure Beach.

Have a look at the infographic below for the results in full!

*This post was in collaboration with SACO who supplied the infographic and research.



Where would your happy place be? Let me know in the comments!




Trying Out A New VonShef Food Processor

Over the last few weeks we’ve been trying out a new food processor – the 1000 watts perfomance range from VonShef in Matte Black, available to buy from Domu.co.uk


First off, lets look at the design, because obviously, if it isn’t aesthetically pleasing then you’re probably not going to buy it. Black might not be to everyones tastes, but It was very appealing to me and fits in well with our kitchen, looking sleek and modern.  I find white/cream appliances of which there are a lot out there,  show up dirt and water marks more readily, even when kept clean. The design is quite compact, so doesn’t take up much space on your counter top, although is quite tall when the blender jug is in use.


The facts:

  • This model has a 3.5-litre capacity bowl and generous 1.8-litre blender jar so it’s easy to process large amounts of food at once – great for batch cooking and freezing.
  • The processor also features a twin-speed operation with pulse option too
  • There’s a lid-locking system to avoid accidental spills
  • Dishwasher safe detachable parts make cleaning simple.

The processor also comes with various attachments including, Medium and Fine Slicing Blade, Medium and Fine Grating Blades, Shredding Blade, Kneading Blade and a Plastic spatula which is a lot more than some on the market.

The processor also features an integrated storage drawer at the bottom of the machine meaning you can safely store your all the blades and attachments when not in use. This is possibly the greatest feature for me – no more rummaging around at the back of the kitchen drawers and cupboards trying to find that grating blade because there is nowhere to store them and then accidentally cutting your finger when you do find it!

The actually main processor blades are also stored in this drawer down the side too – everything  in one place – perfect.

In the process of testing it out we’ve made soups, smoothies and pestos as well as slicing and grating copious amounts of veg for meals, and it has done all of the above with ease. The only thing I think we’ve yet to try out is the dough blade – I love making bread and cakes but it’s something that I’ve not done much of recently due to the mini foodie but I’m sure I will get into again soon.

Overall I would have to give a huge thumbs up to this food processor, it stands shoulders above our last machine in both design, performance and ease of use and I look forward to using it more and more!




Review: Wagamama Birmingham New Street

Wagamama is now one of those high street staples, along side Nandos, Pizza Express etc. You can find them in every major town and city and then some.  Despite this, it’s somewhere I’ve only every been twice before. Once when I decidedly hungover in Manchester  many years ago and really couldn’t have given two hoots what I was eating, and once a couple of years back when we were a bit underwhelmed with the food. With only these experiences under my belt, when so many other are so complimentary about a place, I wondered whether I was missing something, so when the guys at the New Street Wagamama asked us to come and try some of the new summer menu, it was time to try again, and I think I finally see what other people have been telling me.

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Review: Original Patty Men

It’s possible you may have to call me out here for currently being one of the most useless food bloggers in Birmingham. It has taken us a whole year to manage to get round to visiting Original Patty Mens permanent digs down in Digbeth. Blame it on babies, broken arms or whatever you like, all poor excuses I know. I’ve not been short of seeing praise for the guys on my social media feeds so when we finally got around to heading down I was a bit like a kid in a sweet shop. Or a burger shop. I wanted it ALL!

I liked the unusual soft drinks. The Karma Cola was delightlyfully old school with root beers and cream sodas also available amongst others.

I did manage to reign in the fact I wanted to eat ALL the food not he menu and restrained my self to one burger and sharing some sides. I loved the presentation of the food – old school style paper wrapped burgers on trays.

Lee chose the BACON CHEESE – Aged longhorn beef patty, maple coated bacon, American cheese, fresh red onion, lettuce, pickle, ketchup, mustard. It really was as good as the picture looks!

More points here for worst blogger of the year. I had the special burger that was on that day – can’t remember its name and can’t really remember what was in it apart from jalepenos. What I do know is that it was awesome.

We had some very moresih sides of O.D.B FRIES – Triple cooked skin on fries with o.p.m spice mix, creamy house slaw with coriander and lime, sriracha mayo, crispy fried onions & fresh spring onion and SLOW COOKED BEANS – House made bbq beans cooked with bacon. Both were totally spot on. Unlike a lot of loaded fries that just get lost in the toppings, get really soggy these were so much better.

Family friendly? Yes – there were several families eating there whilst we were there and a couple with prams too. Theres a few steps down to the main eating area but these are easily negotiated, but there are bench style tables also in the first space you come into where there are no steps. They have Ikea high chairs too which is a bit of a win!

Great burgers, Great place. Go.