Time to actually uncork the finer things

I’ve had an incredibly busy few weeks and feel like I haven’t blogged for some time. Delighted to have sat the French Wine Scholar exam a couple of weeks ago – it’s the culmination not just of nine or so weeks of study but it also feels like a natural ‘end’ to the six months since I left the corporate world. The study book travelled around France with me and it definitely helped to see much of it in-situ. I hope that now translates to a positive result in about three weeks’ time!

Celebrating at the end of our French Wine Scholar exam

About two weeks before the exam my head and well my focus was starting to move towards ‘work’ – I’m quite impatient and had to really bring myself back into line so I could study hard and increase the communications for my client given the busy Christmas season. So I’ve allocated two days on 29 and 30 December as MY planning days where I hope to create a good solid path to hopefully a successful new career.

In the meantime I decided to have some fun! Other than taking Rex out I haven’t been getting out that much. I have truly addressed that over the past week and been ‘uncorking the finer things’ as this blog was initially intended to do!

I started off at a lovely new local Italian restaurant with my friend Shanaz; I just love it when something amazing lands on your doorstep. I’d walked past it lots of times and it looks like a gorgeous little deli from the outside; go in and there’s a lovely cosy restaurant downstairs, the staff are fantastic, the food is incredible and of course the company was excellent.

The following day my friend Lee took the hellish trip up the M4 from Cardiff to visit; and along with our friend Sue we whiled away the afternoon at the local followed by one of the best evenings you can ever, ever have – the wonder that is Hip Hop Karaoke. It was the highlight of Festival No 6 this year and so it was a no brainer buying tickets for it – especially as it was at the Tate Modern. Couldn’t recommend highly enough – keep an eye out if you just want a few hours of unadulterated fun!

Last Tuesday I joined my friend Tina at the new Fortnum and Mason in the Royal Exchange – well well, it’s quite upmarket! We had lovely seats at the bar – where else? We had some great food (the braised ox cheek was divine) and wine despite quite a few things not being on the menu. We had a ‘late lunch’ which rolled on quite easily into the evening… and whilst it was a brill night the bill does serve as a reminder that I no longer have a corporate wage and my financial resolutions have to start very soon!

The following day I was treated to lunch at Kettners by my friend Scott. Another meal of decadence and a lovely reminder of France as I chomped through a delicious Beef Bourgignon along with a shared bottle of Cabernet Franc from Chinon which was a delight. I do think wine is about personal taste and I get a little shy sometimes of recommending wine (especially when it’s of a price) but this was definitely a good choice and I was quite chuffed with myself for just really understanding that menu.

And then Friday… I met my wonderful ex work colleagues Michelle, Mairi and Carmen for a late lunch followed by many a bottle of the brilliantly named ‘Debbie Does Pinot’ (you can get Grigio or Noir!) and porn star martinis in the work local. It was just like the ‘old days’ – a few hours of raucous, loud, laughing behaviour and gossip and the finest thing we ‘uncorked’ was our continuing brilliant friendship outside of work.

So now I’m sat here, waiting for my parents to arrive from Turkey – I’ve got a trip to Gatwick later to pick them up – I’m so excited to have them here for Christmas, it’s the first time we’ve been together in a few years and they still haven’t met Rex yet! They’re in for a shock with that bundle of energy.

It’s been lovely just to write about good things that I’ve been up to; I get they’re not work related and for once it’s a blog without any stress or drama (I didn’t bother stressing out about the ever growing waistline) but hey you don’t want to be reading about that ALL the time!

Have a super super Christmas all.