Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Let's Get Quizical - The Rumsey Wells

Here at Life in a Fine City we love a good pub quiz! I started to do a bit of research with what was originally going to be a list of the best pub quizzes to go to, after some suggestions from our great readers it became apparent that The Rumsey Wells had quite a good thing going on and a few lines as part of a list just wasn't going to cut it, so we have decided to dedicate this first (now in a series) of pub quiz posts to

'Brendos Big Quiz' 

Brendon is the name of the resident quiz master over at The Rumsey, and you can find him there every Tuesday with the quiz starting at 8.30 (be warned it does get very busy so we recommend that you arrive early) it is a mere £1 each with a max of 6 per team... bargain! 

Look at that concentration
Not your average pub quiz each team is given a 'lump of Brendo' the Play Doh round, Brendon will give you a theme and your team has to model a object, scene or scenario from the Play Doh... Fun!! 

Lump of Brendo
There is the usual rounds of questions but with added bonus questions, anagrams and each week Brendon will post the name of a real but rude sounding English town or village name on The Rumsey Facebook page, anyone who quotes it at the start of the quiz earns their team a bonus point!  

If you are lucky enough to win (but lets face it when you have as much fun as you do at Brendo's big quiz, prizes are only an added bonus) you could win Pieminister Pies for 6 (1st place) occasionally these are beer tokens but the pies are much more popular, there are spot prizes of sweets, cakes and crisps. My friend went a while back and they won a pint of Haribo and packet of Jaffa Cakes (YUM!) 

Quiz Master Brendo with his Quizee's!

All in all a great night using your brain and having fun!

You can definitely count us in "Life in a Fine City" will be there next Tuesday 



Monday, 28 July 2014

Street Style - Pride Edition

Saturday the city was buzzing with colour and fun, we went out and snapped you guys looking cool, and what beautiful weather it was too.

Jo caught our attention with his on trend look, from the feet up he wears limited edition Nike trainers, Primark shorts and tee, and vinatge Ray Ban sunnies. I love this super cool street look.

We love love loved Carla's look, she wears from the feet up New Look ballet pumps, amazing rainbow dress from Quiz which she has accessorized with on point round sunglasses from Rock Collection and a bag from our fine market. I think she wins best dress of the day easily.

Andy looked great in his Magnum steel toe cap boots, a perfect contrast to the vintage sequin dress. Accessorized with neon vintage bag and Bloc Scorpion shades,this outfit is a great mix of hard and soft.

Gemma looked so colourful in her rainbow Converse, tie dye tee from Ebay and Primark dungarees. Her hair took seven hours the night before, a beautiful rainbow with leopard print sides, I don't think she could be any cuter if she tried!

Chris looks London cool in his mix of vintage and modern, he wears from the feet up, Adidas ZX trainers from Philip Browne, vintage shorts from Goldfinches, a vintage shirt and Adidas sunglasses.
Norwich Pride was a fantastic day, it was great to see so many people getting involved and flags flying all over the city, well done Norwich you should all be proud of yourselves.



Thursday, 24 July 2014

Gennadiy Ivanov at Stew Gallery

Last night LIFC went to the private view of Gennadiy Ivanov's exhibit 'Love and Other Stories' at Stew Gallery on Fishergate, the exhibition now runs until the 27th of July and this is not to be missed. Ivanov had put in so much work for his PV there were traditional Russian salads, caviar and vodkas, I felt really spoiled, it was probably one of the busiest opening nights I have been to at Stew. Onto the art which is outstanding and truly inspirational. My favourite pieces were Ivanov's 'tenderness' series, the subtle body parts hidden among the swathes of colour and texture were fun to make out.


Ivaonv is such a talented painter, it was a joy to get up close and look at the layers upon layers of paint and wonder what was under them, aborted paintings or carefully constructed layering? What I really loved was how he had painted over tape and then peeled it off, leaving sharp chasms in the thick paint and revealing the colours underneath.

As well as these abstract expressionist style paintings, Ivanov is a master of realism. There are many portraits to be seen at this exhibition, the naked body is a great thing to paint and Ivanov paints it to perfection. All of Ivanov's pieces have something to say, a message about society and life, they also have a raw essence which I find utterly enticing.

The Last Stand
Ivanov's love of tape can be seen on the floor of Stew too, the lines around his hanging sculpture are obviously there to tell you where not to stand. However the tape continues throughout the gallery in less obvious ways, this appears to be signifying conformity and it shows his playful character.

You are invited to participate in the art by writing on his painting 'How do you Feel Today?', after seeing Ivanov's paintings I was feeling overjoyed! I was so blown away by the art and I am definitely going back for another look, you've got until Sunday to check out this amazing work the gallery is open 10-5 (4 on Sun), enjoy!



Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Pandora's Kitchen

Pandora's Kitchen is fast becoming a favourite for Norwichites, we stopped by today for a quick bite and a chat with fellow local blogger Missy Vintage. The location is perfect on busy London Street, with ample seating outside for soaking up some sun and people watching. There is table service outside and in, the menus are super quaint having been bound in old books they look great.

 We were only a bit peckish today so Amber had a coffee and I opted for a 'poshage roll', a vegetarian sausage roll made with sweet potato and other lovely veg. The presentation was great, the roll itself was very tasty and being partial to a good chutney I felt this was the real test..they passed! .

After a good chin wag and a bit of dog spotting I went inside to have a look around and take some pictures, the ground floor area is full of tasty treats, I have heard the pulled pork on brioche is particularly good. There are cakes a plenty, local ice-cream from Lakenham Creamery and freshly made lemonade. So many great things to choose from, the takeaway sandwiches looked great on display in a vintage suitcase.

I was a bit jealous of all the amazing looking ciabatta sandwiches I saw being plated up, a return visit is in order me thinks! The first floor is a light and lovely tea room, with pretty furniture and decorations, this floor was busy so I continued to explore. Up another flight of stairs was another beautiful room, I noticed plenty of highchairs on the landing too so kids are very much welcome.

With tiered afternoon teas and fresh local produce being used Pandora's has cornered a niche nicely, the decor is appealing and the bustling London Street location is great for getting traffic. I think what they have achieved here is a great vintage feeling cafe without being too obvious, not a single piece of taxidermy to scare the kids!



Sunday, 20 July 2014

Street Style

This week saw the sun back out and on Friday we took the opportunity to get out and snap you guys looking fresh. We grabbed a cold drink and scoped out the surrounding outfits. First to catch our eye was Daniel aka 'Frodo'.

From the feet up Frodo wears Etnies trainers from Drug Store, Altamont jeans from Drug Store, Palace tee from..yep...Drug Store and a vintage cap. We liked Frodo's dedication to his look in this heat, that hat was not coming off!

Sunny was living up to her name today, we loved her playful mix of fluro and floral, with dungarees yes! She wears from the feet up Dr. Martens boots, Primark dungarees, top from a London market and Primark shades. Sunny looks ready for relaxing at a festival with her headphones poised and her cute lilac hair.

James looks so stylish in his neutral tones and performance wear. Working upwards he wears New Balance 620 trainers, Nike socks, Our Legacy chino shorts, Norse Projects top and he accessorizes with his Grandads beautiful 1943 Omega watch and ultra cool Maui Jim shades.   

We thought Lusa looked chic in her burgandy Topshop loafers and pretty patterned skirt from Mango. The black three quarter sleeve Zara top tucked in looked elegant, and she finishes the look with round Topshop shades.

We loved Louis's modern take on mod! He wears Adidas trainers with super skinny Topman jeans and Fred Perry top, River Island shades hang ready. We thought the use of similar blue tones in this outfit was quite striking and it really brought out his great tan.



Friday, 18 July 2014

Swagger & Jacks

If you haven't heard of Swagger & Jacks you must have been living under a rock! A traditional yet stylish and luxurious mens barbershop nestled in the lanes Bridewell Alley (although soon to be moving to bigger and better shop on St Benedicts opposite Pizza Express keep an eye on their social media for more information). For a business that has been open for just over a year it is a huge accomplishment and we are super happy for them they really deserve it. 

We popped in to see Mark and the other guys, it's clear to see they are really great barbers who are friendly, welcoming and passionate about what they do. Their work is outstanding and if you see a guy with a really great haircut or beard there is a high possibility they got it done at Swagger & Jacks. 

But.... It's not just great haircuts from Swagger & Jacks, they have also developed their own product range, carefully developed to provide you boys (and possibly ladies, maybe not the beard range though) with top quality products to keep all of your hairs in order. I have been told the defining cream is most excellent by my lovely fiancee (Mathew) who can be found in Swagger & Jacks cutting hair on a daily basis. I can also confirm that the beard shampoo and oil really does keep your other half's beard nice and soft, an absolute must in my opinion. 

Also available online and in Jarrolds

I think the above pictures speak for themselves sharp, stylish haircuts and excellent facial hair. Lets face it the beard isn't going anywhere and where better to get yourself groomed. 

Swagger & Jacks is (as you can imagine) very busy so you will need to make an appointment, they make it pretty easy though you can even book online HERE  

If we were men we would definitely go to Swagger & Jacks! 



Thursday, 17 July 2014

Cinema City - Splendor City!

So we have the best of everything in Norwich right? Best art house cinema? Yes! Cinema City is not only a stunning Medieval building, with intimate screens where you can enjoy indie and arty films with like minded film buffs, its has a beaut cafe bar with glorious courtyard, and also holds an amazing restaurant called The Dining Rooms (longest sentence ever!).

all this under one Medieval roof!

We were very excited when we arrived last night, we needed a dinner and a chat, it's been a busy week for Life in a Fine City. We were seated by the lovely staff and perused the menu, I was tempted by the oysters but went for the Gurney Gold and Sweet Garlic Tart with Asparagus and Artichoke Salad and Amber chose the Cinema City Burger Deluxe. We asked for a fruity white and were recommended the Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc, it was perfect.


Wow..I was in heaven with my meal, the tart was a delicious combo of soft balsamic marinated garlic and light cheese. The artichoke was without a doubt one of the tastiest things I have ever had, and the asparagus was cooked to perfection, cute salad boat too! I think £9 was a good price for this meal, I want to go back and try some of the small plates.

deluxe edition

Now I think it's safe to say you can judge a place on it's burger, and this was an A star burger. A huge chunk of handmade patty with bacon and cheese, twice cooked chips and sweetcorn relish. I stole a few chips and they were so good, so crispy. Amber's cost £11, great value for the quality.

lording it up!

It really was a great dining experience, I enjoyed the high backed chairs I think they fit in well with the Medieval building, it feels quite a princley place to eat. We did have a look at the deserts and wanted to try the peach melba but we decided to save room for popcorn.

courtly courtyard

We had a bit of time before the film so we enjoyed the splendor of the courtyard, there are seats out front too for all your outdoor people watching/drinking needs. We were recommended by Sam at Cinema City to see 'Boyhood', a groundbreaking film which charts the life of a boy, he literally grows up before your eyes. We took another glass of Spy Valley in to the screening and enjoyed every second. I would say if you wanted to wow a special someone with the perfect date then this is definitely the place.



Monday, 14 July 2014

Droplet - A New Way To Pay

I have noticed the Droplet signs about The Lanes for a while and decided it was time to check it out, and I wish I had sooner. When I asked in my fave place The Birdcage about it they had a few £5 promotional top up vouchers, and they gave me one, bonus! I promptly downloaded the app and within minutes I had topped up and paid for my tea. I then went over the road to Grosvenors Fish Bar and paid for my chips too, who said there was no such thing as a free lunch? 

best chip shop in the world

The app uses your location to bring up a list of nearby places and recently used ones so if you're a regular somewhere it couldn't be easier. Life in a Fine City's Amber said she is going to put a weekly budget on her Droplet account for drinks and lunches etc, sounds like super savvy cash control to me.

a few of the places you can drop in and droplet

We got in touch with the Droplet rep for Norwich and he said this...
"Norwich is the third city in the country to comprehensively get Droplet, first it was Birmingham, then London and now Norwich. 
It's all started in the Lanes, with places like The Birdcage, Strangers, Franks, Grovesnor & The Playhouse all accepting Droplet. It's almost like having our own currency here in the Norwich Lanes, free from traditional banking systems.
Quick, easy & free mobile payments are unanimously agreed to be the future, so it's pretty cool that the Norwich Lanes are the progressive hub of it all"

Strangers Coffee House

I like the idea of The Lanes currency, sounds fancy. No charges, no minimum spends, and so easy to use, I'm totally sold on this.



Sunday, 13 July 2014

Street Style

It's been another well dressed week in our fine city, we took to the streets with Rory James and his camera looking for stylish people who stood out! It wasn't hard and we soon found ourselves stopping on near The Maddermarket for our first photo

Laura's look is timelessly cool with popular Topshop 'Mom Jeans' a vintage top from Goldfinches Kate Moss for Topshop leather jacket and matching tan accessories, her belt was vintage and used to belong to her grandpa, another vintage bag from a local charity shop and super cool Saltwater Sandals! One of the things which made us notice Laura was her stunning hair which she gets done by Sophie at Flint Hair

Jack looks great in his Asics from Main SourceRaised by Wolves tee, Nudie Jeans from Dogfish10 Deep Hoodie and aNYthing cap. 

We met the lovely Ellie in The Birdcage garden and loved her cute little white socks with her Dr Martens Polley shoes, we thought she matched it great with the tropical print on her Topshop skirt and Hoodie from Amazon. Clearly an optimist on this grey day Ellie wears Prada sunglasses pushed back on her head waiting for some sun.   

'Double Trouble' 
The most stylish twins that we know! Rich (Left) from the waist down is in Adidas, his Beavis & Butthead tee is from Thailand via the internet and he tops it off with a Ralph Lauren hat. Wink (Right)  is wearing Adidas trainers, HUF socks and top and vintage Fila. Wink went on to say he wears "anything weed related"

Last up this week is Amy Louise who we stopped to admire the gorgeous lipstick she was wearing, which is from Topshop (If you haven't tried their make up yet, you should! Highly pigmented for bright colours and long lasting at a great price) 

Amy wears Boots that she found at an event at the NEC, M&S tights which are a great alternative to the Black Milk ones, H&M skirt and Miss Selfridge bag. 

All brands have been linked if you like what you see, and remember to keep an eye out for us in The Lanes where we will be every week looking for more people to feature on the Street Style pages. 

All photos by Rory James Photography



Friday, 11 July 2014

Amaretto and the Bestest Pizza

Earlier this week we met up for a spot of lunch, after some discussion (lunch is a serious issue at LIAFC) we decided to pop into Amaretto and then head over to The Playhouse to eat it with a cuppa. 

Amaretto is pretty well known for its delicious pizza but they also have a few different hot meals & salads to take away, bagels, ciabattas, amazing cakes and olives! 

We settled on Pizza which was just hot enough that it didn't burn your mouth. The dough was soft but thin which is how I personally like it, with a fresh homemade tomato sauce. I went for the rocket topped pizza which was great the peppery rocket really complimented the other flavours. 
Priced at just £2 for a massive slice it is a total bargain too! 

We will definitely be going back and recommend it to anyone in the area, Amaretto are a couple of doors down from Delaneys and opposite St Andrews Hall. 



Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Moosey Art and SHhhh - 'Get Walls'

If you know your Norwich art scene you'll have heard of Moosey Art, if you haven't let me tell you a little bit about them. Founded by Frazer Bailey they curate art shows and generally make cool stuff happen, exhibitions like 'Art in Your Mouth' at Stew Gallery brought artists from all over the world to Norwich. You may have seen Moosey Art on Sunday at The Lanes Fayre painting boards as part of their new project 'Get Walls'.

Well known local artist Gnasher was there painting a Stephen Fry portrait with lightning precision, it was a pleasure to see him at work.


Also painting was Liam Clarke, I loved his faces, a mix of painted heads with pen drawn features. Liam's work is humorous and colourful, perfect for brightening up grey days in a city.

Liam Clarke

Get Walls is a collaboration with the SHhhh collective, a Norwich based clothing and art brand and it aims to bring top street artists to Norwich to paint (with the owners permission) anything from walls to shop shutters and doorways. If you have a wall you'd like made awesome you can contact Frazer by emailing Places like Bristol and Brighton have already embraced street art and are vibrant and thriving urban environments, they have been enthused with energy and colour.
Great street art also brings recognition and tourism, and that's something Moosey Art and Life in a Fine City both want for Norwich. I'd love to see some of our dull grey buildings adorned with colour, this is a great city full of art and culture and we want everyone to know about it. You can follow Moosey Art on Facebook, look out for something exciting happening on Friday!


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