I struggled to think what books to take away with me on holiday.
I’ve actually been trying to read this for a while now, but found I haven’t had the time to sit down and read it properly, and so far, it’s looking to be something that needs my full distraction and that can’t be dipped in and out of easily. It’s about an eighteen year old girl named Nella Oortman, who arrives at a grand house in Amsterdam to meet her husband Johannes Brandt. Her wedding gift is a cabinet-sized replica of their home, soon to be furnished by an elusive miniaturist. It’s supposed to be mysterious with lots of twists and it will be the perfect alternative to my chick-lit reads this week.
Admittedly, I don’t have high hopes for this story. I have read a couple of Giovanna’s books – most notably Billy and Me, which is the prequel to this novel, but didn’t find myself thoroughly impressed. She can write, that’s for sure, but her stories just didn’t seem like anything special or didn’t particularly move me, nor her style of writing. However, I personally think she’s such a lovely and inspiring person and have decided to give her writing another go. Always With Love looks at the distance between average Sophie and rockstar Billy, when he flies out to LA and extends his stay there, meaning Sophie has to come home alone. I’m intrigued, especially as I love any stories with a rockstar in them, so let’s see how I feel about it.
I absolutely adore Paige Toon’s writing, although have found nothing quite lives up to my love of her Johnny Be Good series! I did consider buying the spin off books that relate to Johnny’s ‘long lost daughter’ (for lack of a better explanation) but I read a preview and it didn’t really grab me so I thought I’d try this, especially as many people have been praising it online. It tells the story of three very different girls who once fell in love with the same man (not at the same time, I don’t think) and I anticipate that this will be the perfect book to get stuck into whilst lounging about by the pool this week.
Anyway, do enjoy. I’ve even thrown in a little bit of Calvin Harris, who is recently single..!
I was beyond excited, first of all because it’s so nice to have a blog opportunity close to home and to focus on somewhere so lovely and local – especially with all the bad rep Luton used to get.
Secondly, because everyone I’ve spoken to has always raved about the Brache and I’d been eager to visit for a while now, following their makeover and to see if the restaurant had improved since the last time I’d been there.
The last (and only, actually) time I’d visited the Brache in Luton had been for a work Christmas meal a few years back, and although it was enjoyable, I wasn’t overly impressed. The food was nice, but I remembered the look of the restaurant being quite dark and crowded. So although I did enjoy it, my experience there wasn’t really anything to write home about!
So obviously I was really glad to have the opportunity to visit the restaurant following its makeover.
parking but such a pretty car park! I know it’s not a necessity to have a
pretty car park but let’s face it, many places just have something
basic and not nice to look at. The Brache Beefeater had lots of trees and
bushes and it just generally made the building seem a bit approachable.
I found myself continually impressed. The makeover had given the
building a world of good – it’s now spacious and bright with a modern
bar but very homely seating and deco. It was ever so welcoming and
although it was the perfect basis for a family meal, I think some parts
were a little romantic, too.
her if she was okay with us sitting upstairs. Although this isn’t
something that applies to me personally, I do know the plight of there
being many stairs/not enough seats for the elderly when out and about.
She was over the moon that he bothered to check her ability, even though
she was absolutely fine with seating upstairs. It was the small gesture
decor upstairs was lovely too – enough to peak your interest – for
example there was a lovely wall piece explaining the different types of
chopping knives – but not enough to be over the top.
chicken, bacon, cheese and avocado burger which came with fries and
coleslaw and, as I love my mushrooms, I ordered the crispy flat cap
mushrooms as a side for the table. It was all so, so good. I had no idea
bacon and avocado could work together so well!
also not generally a fan of grilled chicken but I was pleasantly
surprised. Even on its own, the chicken had tons of flavour and even a
bit of a kick to it.
and my Nan fish and chips – and both were thoroughly impressed. The
portions were very generous too and unfortunately I could not finish all
of choice on the menu. The steak menu was varied which is good, but we
also found there wasn’t ‘just’ steak, obviously, and we had a lot to
made our visit. From checking my Nan was okay to be seated upstairs to
serving us promptly, I couldn’t fault them. I also found that they
genuinely seemed happy to welcome us – as I know often when being served
in a restaurant it can feel like a member of staff is serving you but
just going through the motions – but not here. The staff were lovely.
also have to say there were lots of toilets too! Yes, the restaurant is
large but many times I’ve been to a large restaurant and found not
many facilities so this was a bonus. Plus they were kept clean and tidy.
I found my visit to The Brache Beefeater spot on. Often I go to a restaurant
and have a great time but tend to have just one or two niggles like
having to wait too long for food or the staff seeming a bit off, but I
honestly couldn’t fault The Beefeater in the slightest.
those of you who might want to take my word for it and visit
yourselves, I have very kindly been offered an exclusive code for 25%
off! That’s as good a reason to visit!
also like to thank the team at The Beefeater for letting me pop down
and visit – I’m already looking at the menu online and deciding what I
want for my next visit soon!
Oh, and by the way, you can find me on Instagram at Louise_Joy_!