Friday, 30 May 2014

Golden Triangle Art Trail - (you might find treasure too!)

Fancy doing something different this weekend or next? I know, I know, ideally this would be a treasure hunt in the glorious Golden Triangle, but who's to say the art and culture you soak up won't be priceless!
The trail started on the 24th of May and runs until the 8th of June with all of the studios being open this weekend and next from 11-5, info can be found

This treasure map which I picked up in a local pub shows all the artists working studios, and the places you can stop in between for a beverage or a nibble, I recommend The Alexandra on Stafford Street and The Garden House just off Park Lane. I'm going to check out as many as I can on Sunday, I'm excited to see Rebbecca Clifford's mixed media textile work, she's on Park Lane (handy!).

I'm also keen to see Anita Staff's delightfully dark portraits and prints, she is also a successful photographer so lots to see and talk about, you can see her work

Anita is only open for viewings this weekend but there are many more amazing local artists to go and see next weekend, tell us all about your favourites afterwards please, oh and your favourite pubs/cafes/etc you stopped in. Thanks!



BUMS life drawing class

Once upon a time I probably thought a life drawing class would be a bit weird and definitely not something that you would expect to become a weekly feature in a city pub! It's clear to me now that I was totally wrong!

The Birdcage in Norwich started these classes a while ago now and have become so popular that they have made the decision to put them on every week
The next one is 3rd June starting at 6.55-9pm 

We suggest you  Email for all enquiries and please book and pre-pay for your place in advance at the bar to guarantee your spot.

Beers and Bums what more could you want!


Norfolk Bakes (really good cakes!)

A month or so ago over on my personal Instagram account I noticed people sharing some photo's of the most amazing looking cakes. It turned out these were made by Emma over at Norfolk Bakes.

We interviewed the lovely Emma and this is what she had to say...

"I've always loved baking and my love for it comes from my Nan. 
I started Norfolk bakes as a way of sharing what I bake with others. I joined Instagram a few years ago and have always shared what I bake on there with the people who follow me. After a while I had requests from people wanting to buy what I had made. So in March 2014 Norfolk bakes was born. I wanted to keep things simple and let what I bake speak for it's self. I want it to be seasonal and made using local ingredients. Everything I make is using Norfolk products where ever possible. The flour, eggs, chocolate and fruits all come from Norfolk.

I thought the best way to celebrate Norfolk's seasonality was to do packages contains delicious bakes and homemade products.
My first package was for Easter and contained most things you would associate with that time of year. Freshly baked hot cross buns, traditional Easter biscuits and vanilla short bread bunnies.

So this is it, my newest package is the Father's Day package. It contains Bounty brownies, a gooey chocolate brownies topped with a coconut macaroon layer and drizzled with milk chocolate, Peanut brittle, Chocolate chunk cookies and Snickers popcorn. Which is Home popped popcorn with a homemade caramel sauce, salted peanuts, chopped snickers bars and more milk chocolate! All packaged up and ready to give to any man (or whoever you choose) for Father's Day, and for £12 including delivery it's an affordable homage gift that certainly is worth sharing."

I think we can all agree the cakes and bakes Emma produces really do look delicious and if you check her Instagram out you will see even more baking delights and picture of how beautifully she packages the treats.  

Emma's Username over on Instagram is @emma____bakes 
She currently doesn't have a website and prefers the image based element of Instagram but you can contact her by email 

We hope to feature Norfolk Bakes again in the future when Emma launches the next seasonal box! 


Thursday, 29 May 2014

Feast on the Street with an Ale Theme - May

I've seen Feast on the Street being advertised before but never managed to get there so I've been planning this all week hoping that the weather improved for the traders and excited that this one had an 'ale' theme to tie in with the City of Ale Week.

This morning I leave for the day job... it's grey and drizzley so for some reason I go coatless, umbrella'less and leave my camera at home! Good work Amber nicely prepared there! This didn't put me off though and I made my way down to The Forum just after 6 (luckily by this time the rain has cleared) and the traders all had people bustling around their stalls.

It was a tough decision for me and being on a diet I naturally chose to buy some cupcakes from Cupcake and Co who by the sound of it are going to be taking Norwich by storm over the next few weeks, (I should probably say here mine was banana, practically diet food right?) now I know it is a street food event but I did take them home, mine was delicious and the other which was a 'City of Ale' themed Bacon, Cheddar & Ale cupcake is sitting in the kitchen waiting for it's fate.

There really was something for everyone with some excellent names 'Duke of Pork' and 'The Duck Truck' good work excellent name choices. A really cute vintage 'Citroen' (I think) van was there and this housed Hushwing Cafe who were serving teas and cake, lovely! If I had been eating something more substantial than cake I probably would have chosen something from Bullitt and I really hope I get to catch them at another event soon.

Thanks to Feast on the Street for organising such a great event I can't wait for the next one!



Halfway - Second Year NUA illustration Students Exhibition

I was very pleased to see another exhibition in the delightful St.Margerets church on St.Benedicts Street in Norwich. I love a good exhibition as much as I love a well utilised church!

St.Margrets has played host to many art exhibitions and it's open space and high ceilings are a perfect vessel for any artist to display their work. The current Halfway exhibition has been organised by the Illustration students at NUA, these will be exhibiting next year at their degree show so this has been a good experience for them. NUA is renowned for its illustration course and it's easy to see why.

Ryan Vautier invited guests to involve themselves in live print demonstrations at the private view, he was there yesterday too offering mono-printing....get involved!!!

Jessie Whitehead 'The Doll Games'

I enjoyed seeing portraits intertwined with local buildings by Jessie Whitehead, it was fun to recognise the train station and other landmark buildings. Quite a few students had used the rich history of Norwich to base their work on, I really liked Kate Bryan's screen prints using the Castle's ancient Medieval graffiti....

Kate Bryan 'Cathedral Graffiti'

Anna Povey explored the ordinary being precious in her colourful work using ceramics, they are too cute!

Anna Povey 'Precious'

This exhibition has something for everyone, I love, love, loved Sarah Thornton's tiny replicas of buildings, the attention to detail was amazing and I wanted to be in them like Beetlejuice!

Sarah Thornton 'Little'

Illustration uses such a broad range of media, this exhibit shows perfectly just how versatile an illustrators work can be. Lacey Law wowed me with her enormous lino-print, that must have taken some time to cut, I was amazed, here's some detail below but you really need to see it for yourselves. This exhibit runs until Saturday so get down soon, there are prints for sale and lots of lovely students to talk to too! 

Lacey Law 'The Protection of Boddhisattva'



Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Rhianna Ellington - Local Designer

We've shown you local beer and local food, but there's so much more than that in Norwich, try local fashion! Today I went to visit the amazingly talented Rhianna Ellington in her studio. Nestled in the heart of the Golden Triangle is a bright and cutting edge textile design work space.

From here Rhianna has been producing designs since she left University last year, I was lucky enough to see her silk scarves which will be for sale on her website any day now! (update to come). 

She has also produced a range of men's scarves which would look superb in any grooms pocket this wedding season. Rhianna has had one of her designs produced into clothing by the company The Whitepepper and can be found here I honestly can't get enough of Rhianna's bright and beautiful prints..I was also lucky enough to see a sample of something very exciting happening in the future (I want one eeeee). 

I can't wait to see where Rhianna's prints end up, and when we see them on people and on clothing we can all say "she's from Norwich". Check out her whole shebang here new website dropping soon, and we will keep you informed.



Franks Platter & More Cocktails...

You might start to notice something about us 'Life in a Fine City' girls, we love cocktails! We had a super busy day which you will get to read about in all the exciting posts we have in the pipeline soon. To ease our weary feet (absolutely not dramatic in the slightest) we stopped off in another fav place Franks Bar.

Franks is super cool, cute and cosy all at the same time, located on the quaint cobbled Bedford Street, ladies a word of advice cocktails and heels are a dangerous combination on these cobbles!

We were restrained and just had one cocktail each, I went for a 'Bramble' a fruity berry'ish gin type affair while Ruth went for a 'Negroni' something that looked cool and sophisticated and wouldn't look out of place in a James Bond movie. The Bramble was light and refreshing and very easy to drink (quickly), whilst the 'Negroni' was deep and aromatic definitely more of a sipping drink. All this work had left us rather peckish and we teamed our cocktails with a 'Franks Platter' an absolute steal at £5.50 for 2 people (£4.00 for one) it came with pretty much a whole loaf of gorgeous fresh bread, olives, hummus and balsamic with oil. We devoured the lot in record time and looking at the pics can you blame us?

Not only will the staff serve you amazing food & drink but when you leave a box containing your wedding dress they will run up the road after you! Excellent service!

Franks we will be back soon...



Feast on the Street

This Thursday is the May 'Feast on the Street' a glorious gathering of local 'street food' businesses. Held outside The Forum in Norwich from 12pm right through to 8pm (meaning you could sneak lunch and dinner in)

We will be there after work so around 6pm looking forward to trying some of the food on offer.

You can see what the May menu has to offer Here

Check back here on Friday to see what we had to eat at our first visit to 'Feast on the Street'



Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Meet the Brewer -Woodforde's at The Jubilee

Another meet the local brewer evening at The Jubilee Nowich, I didn't realise quite how many local brewers there were locally!  Norwich you really are brilliant!

Woodforde's are and award winning brewery who have been in the business for over 30 years. Us lucky people of Norfolk cannot only attend this 'meet the brewer' night this Thursday 8pm at The Jubilee but we can visit The Woodforde's brewery in Woodbastwick for a tour Tour Details



Henry Boon at The Birdacge

Not only is The Birdcage a fantastic place to drink (and eat chips!), they also regularly feature art exhibitions. Right now you can see some original art smashed straight onto the wall by local artist Henry Boon.
here he is hard at work!

Boon's exhibition features his character Patrick in a World Cup theme, the work looks stunning in the white stairwell of the pub. Boon has a distinctive simplistic street art style which works well in the super hip Birdcage, it's a pleasure to see local art in the public domain, art is for us all!!
Boon has featured in other exhibitions such as the Moosey Art exhibition at Stew Gallery, his pieces on love and life really stood out and were my favourites. We plan to tell you all about the exhibitions you can go and see from now on, we promise!
Henry has a website if you'd like to see more of his delightfully colourful illustrations or indeed hire his artistic services.....


Redwell Brewing at The Jubilee Norwich

As you might have guessed we are currently in the midst of  'Norwich City of Ale 2014', you might have been taking part in the 'ale trail' collecting stamps as you visit the different pubs on the list, sampling different ales as you go.

If you fancy learning a little bit more about one of the brilliant local brewer's we have in the city Redwell Brewing who couldn't be more central based in Bracondale Norwich. Get yourselves down to The Jubilee pub on St Leonards Road on Wednesday 28th May at 7.30, tickets are £4 (price includes a donation to The Hamlet Centre) and include tastings and nibbles along with a Q&A session with the guys from Redwell!


Monday, 26 May 2014

The Fur & Feathers - Woodbastwick

Good Afternoon (or whatever time of day you are reading this) I hadn't planned on writing anything today but sitting outside The Fur & Feathers Inn for the second time in as many days I thought well, why not!

I hadn't heard about this gem of a pub until recently and didn't manage to get there until I 'finally' passed my driving test and got a car. It takes abut 20 minutes from Norwich City Centre and is in the teeny tiny village of Woodbastwick (near Salhouse).
The beautiful thatched roof pub from across the mini duck pond

It appears this pub is pretty well known and is connected (like next door) to the Woodfordes brewery. I'm not a beer or ale kind of girl but I am assured the ales are a dream if you like that kind of thing. What I do like is food and sadly my camera was out of battery when we ate on Saturday but it is pretty immense. the menu is proper food with something for everyone, a real friendly pub which you could visit with friends or family. It is also worthwhile noting there is loads of parking and outdoor tables (great!) you probably need to book a table in advance if you are wishing to eat as it gets very busy.

Being designated driver I had a J2O but the Ale is Woodfordes 'Bure Gold' and is very tasty I am told

We didn't stop for food today and made our way back to Norwich, stopping first at a pub on Thorpe Road, the menu didn't look very appetising and we heard a couple on another table complain so gave it a miss and moved on down to Coach & Horses  on Thorpe Road, Shockingly we got a parking space easily (getting out not so easy)! The Coach and Horses is another real ale pub and the boy had a Redwell ale/ that looked like a lager, I again had a J2O, we both had amazing  BBQ burgers but were too excited and forgot to take pictures, we will be back for a proper review soon.

So another fine day in our fine city and just outside, hope everyone else has enjoyed the lovely sunshine



Sunday, 25 May 2014

Chris 'Migs' Mickleburgh- Local Artist Showcase

We shall be shouting about local art just as loud as all the other great things about Norwich, starting off with Migs. Migs studied Fine Art at the University for the Arts in our fine city, he produces beautiful works using a dotwork technique.
here he is in front of one of his designs

A personal favourite of mine is the bear, the fur is so fluid and lifelike which is amazing since it's made up of tiny dots and pen strokes.The skill and patience that goes into these works is incredible, they take anything from 20-30 hours each!!!
Using dotwork allows Migs to produce such depth in his drawings, his recent works of animals have been stunning and I can't wait to see his next offering for our eyes!

A toucan of our appreciation to you Migs! (couldn't resist)

If you would like to have these stunning works on your walls or your bodies, well you're in luck as you can buy things


A Brew With a View

Sunday! Possibly my favourite day of the week, a day for chilling out and visiting more Norwich hot spots. Today's Choice is The Sir Garnet brought back from the dead by the same people who also gave The Birdcage a new on lease of life all those years ago.

The Garnet as it is known by regulars is set to the side of the iconic Norwich market, the view from the window really is something special all those colourful market rooftops!

The Garnet is a free house so stock a wide range of drinks, definitely somewhere for you connoisseurs. The food is all locally sourced with the majority of it coming from the market next door. How fabulous is that! You will be served with a smile and staff are happy to chat about the rich history of the pub.

Feeling slightly delicate today we went for a fruit beer and a diet coke

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