Cocktails at The Forum

Last night I was lucky enough to attend the wonderful ‘Bloggers Cocktail Evening’ at Sheffield Forum on Division Street.  They are currently in the process of launching a new drinks menu and so had a group of us along to sample a selection of cocktails and learn how to make them at home too! (This could be dangerous come September when I’m back in student territory…)

Upon arrival we were each given a glass of Gin and elderflower fizz. Served in champagne flutes with a cute decoration consisting of a tiny wooden peg and sprig of rosemary, this is an alternative to the usual bubbly. It’s an (aptly named) fizzy mix of gin, elderflower liqueur, apple juice and Prosecco which would be perfect for special occasions. Forum host ‘Fizz Fridays’, where their selection of four different sparkling drinks are all two for one if you fancy giving this one a try with a friend!

The new menu is coming into play as the team at Forum begin to focus on quality over quantity, reducing the number of drinks on the menu but ensuring that those served are perfect every time.

Throughout the evening we were on constant rotation between creating cocktails and drinking them, never left without a drink in our hand. The first cocktail we were taught to make is also the first on the menu- the Polish espresso martini. This is an alternative take on the classic, with the additions of mint and honey vodka which create a sweet taste to counter the sharpness of the coffee.

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Polish espresso martini

Forum have their own brewery next door to the bar in which they brew their own beer, as well as creating gin which is not only used in their cocktails but is available in miniature gift sets alongside Fentimans tonic (these would be perfect for any G&T-lover birthdays you have coming up!).

Following the tour of the brewery, our next cocktail demo was for the Candy martini. I’m a bit of a sucker for anything pink and sweet, so I could tell from the name and description that this would be a favourite. Made from equal measures of Liquor 43 and pineapple juice, along with a handful of raspberries, this is definitely one that I will have to try again.

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Candy martinis- pretty as a picture

For our final drink of the night, we made ‘Lemon Cheesecake’.. by this point I was wishing I had eaten a lemon cheesecake before coming as I’d had insufficient food and the alcohol was starting to hit! This one was (surprisingly for me) even better than the Candy martini- silky smooth and tasting exactly like the dessert but without the eaten-too-much regret that often goes alongside it. This would be a perfect alternative to finish a meal- a mix of Limoncello, Amaretto, Absolut vodka, cream and lemon juice all finished off with a sprinkle of crushed biscuit.

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Thank you so much to The Forum for having me..  it was a great evening and I’d 100% recommend booking one of their cocktail masterclasses (£20/pp) for the next time you want a night out with the added bonus of becoming a (semi) cocktail pro!

http://www.forumsheffield.co.uk

 

 

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Cocktails at The Forum

Oxford wandering and an almost duck attack

I’ve been meaning to visit one of my best friends in Oxford since September. Yesterday I finally made true on my promise and hopped on a train to a place which made me feel as though I had either gone back in time or stepped through the looking glass..

Oxford. The word summons ideas of grandeur and elegance, and rightly so. With almost every new view my breath was taken away. In summary, spectacular buildings, good gardening and dreamy waterways.

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I was promised a good date and oh did Bessie deliver. First I was taken on a tour of the city with facts dropped left, right and centre about the history of the university (why pay for a tour guide when you have your very own Oxford Uni student?), before a wander through Port Meadow, punting, and finally ending the day with stargazing in Christchurch.

The mini heatwave gave the whole day a holiday-like feel and it was wonderful to catch up with one of my favourite people. As well as surprising her by bringing another of our friends from back home along with me, yet another fellow Sheffield-er (hey Frankee) spontaneously jumped on a train and came to meet us in the evening, making for a full blown reunion.

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By the Radcliffe Camera

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Arch goals

Following a walk to The Perch pub by Port Meadow (well worth a visit if only for the wisteria-covered archway) and some unexpected swimming in the river for people who were warned to wear aqua-appropriate underwear, we headed to the Magdalen Bridge Boathouse to fulfil the ultimate Oxford expectation and hit the punts. We managed to get about 10 metres before Frankee called to say she had arrived and was stood at the dock, which meant promptly turning back around to fetch her in a dramatic turn and being hit by several tree branches along the way.

 

Things learnt through this experience:

  • punting is harder than it looks
  • the evening light is best for well lit punt selfies
  • do not feed ducks doughnuts

An especially pushy creature, the duck was determined to follow our boat for the length of our journey once it discovered that we had food. Throwing a small piece of sugared doughnut to distract it whilst we made a (not so) fast getaway is amongst my biggest regrets. It was promptly gobbled, before the duck returned to claim the rest and in doing so ended up flapping it’s way across the punt accompanied by my screams and my friends’ hysterics.

After my heart had recovered from this incident, and our punt session had sadly finished, we headed back into town to collect jumpers and blankets before making our way to Christchurch College to do some stargazing.

Because in Oxford, laying in a bed of blankets watching the stars from surroundings featured in Harry Potter feels completely normal.

The perfect day with lovely people, in a place which I fully intend to visit again at the soonest opportunity.

 

Dress: Topshop, Sunglasses: ASOS, Fringe sandals: Next

 

 

Oxford wandering and an almost duck attack