American Idiot The Musical | Gifted.

Thursday, 28 March 2019

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American Idiot Review Sheffield

Earlier this week I was given the opportunity by the lovely folks at Sheffield Theatres to watch Green Day's 'American Idiot' the musical at the beautiful Lyceum Theatre.

Following the story of three friends 'American Idiot' turns the 'punk rock opera' album of Green Day's 'American Idiot' into a literal one following the Jesus of Suburbia and American youth coming of age in disillusionment during the Iraq War.

White noise on a TV hung above the stage and with one of the cast loitering whilst a loop of George W Bush began before they launched into the title track.


[American Idiot The Musical]

The three friends find themselves going down different paths, leaving for the city, joining the army, and unintentionally getting pregnant. With each of the stories unfolding on stage, it is that of Johnny played by Tom Milner that creates some of the darkest scenes.

'American Idiot' has pushed the boundaries of the musical, bringing the band onto the stage and making them characters within the set to the point that you do not need to be a Green Day fan to appreciate it.

Every song packs punch and I could feel myself trying not to sing! Although there was much less dialogue than most musicals it was easy to follow with the base messages of their music coming through onto the stage.


[American Idiot The Musical]

I felt it was all over so fast! As the friends came back together after very different disheartened and painful experiences the entire cast joined in with guitars to perform 'Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)' with the audience joining in. Just like every Green Day encore.

Green Day touring 'American Idiot' was the first gig I ever went to without a parent so it brings me a lot fond memories! What I just couldn't believe was how long ago that was, my studded belt and pencil eyeliner definitely didn't last that long.

American Idiot Review Sheffield

The musical started in 2009 and now sees itself touring in its 10th anniversary. Just incredible!

'American Idiot' is on in Sheffield until Saturday! There are still tickets available so don't miss out! After that it moves on to Manchester, Birmingham and the rest of the tour!

Have you seen it? What other albums could you see as musicals?


*tickets for American Idiot were gifted but all words and opinions are my own
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Hanami. Karakuchi Pairing Menu with Wagamama & Asahi Beer | Gifted.

Sunday, 24 March 2019

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Karakuchi Pairing Menu with Wagamama & Asahi Beer on Typewriter Teeth

On the first day of Spring I had the pleasure of heading to Wagamama in Leopold Square Sheffield with the talented Shannon for their #hanami event. Hanami, or flower viewing is the Japanese tradition of celebrating the season of the cherry blossoms, known as sakura. 

During this time friends and families come together to eat, drink and celebrate together under the beautiful cherry blossoms to welcome spring in and enjoy the beauty of sakura.  To bring this into their restaurants Wagamama have introduced beautiful cherry blossoms onto their placemats and have even installed cherry blossoms into some of their venues. 

Wagamama have also teamed up with lastminute.com and Asahi Super Dry to give one winner the chance to be able to go to Tokyo next year to celebrate Hanami! All you have do to enter is share your Hanami experience on instagram next time you eat in Wagamama using #hanami and tagging @wagamama_uk and @asahisuperdry. How incredible is that! 

Karakuchi Pairing Menu with Wagamama & Asahi Beer on Typewriter Teeth Menu

Karakuchi Pairing Menu with Wagamama & Asahi Beer on Typewriter Teeth Menu

To celebrate Hanami we were invited to Wagamama to try their karakuchi pairing menu alongside Asahi Super Dry beer. 

In Japan complex concepts can be expressed in a single word and karakuchi is one of these. 

Karakuchi Pairing Menu with Wagamama & Asahi Beer on Typewriter Teeth Beer

After we all settled in with an Asahi Super Dry we were then given a brief history Asahi,  the brewing process, it's taste and how we can find the meaning of karakuchi in a sip of Asahi, a super dry taste.

Inspired by the dry or karakuchi taste of sake, Asahi Super Dry pairs perfectly with the dry spice of the dishes on the Wagamama menu. So I couldn't wait to try it alongside some of my favourites, edamame with chilli garlic salt and bang bang cauliflower!

Karakuchi Pairing Menu with Wagamama & Asahi Beer on Typewriter Teeth

Karakuchi Pairing Menu with Wagamama & Asahi Beer on Typewriter Teeth

Asahi Super Dry brought an entirely new concept of beer to Japan and is credited as the first beer to perfectly pair with delicate flavour palate of Japanese food. So as part of this pairing menu with Wagamama, Asahi cuts through the spicier dishes with a crisp, dry and clean taste or complements the more subtle flavours.

Karakuchi Pairing Menu with Wagamama & Asahi Beer on Typewriter Teeth Edamame

Karakuchi Pairing Menu with Wagamama & Asahi Beer on Typewriter Teeth Cauliflower

Where a heavier beer would have imparted on the taste Asahi worked like a palate cleanser, meaning I didn't have to relent to the firecracker sauce on the bang bang cauliflower! It's dry, crisp flavour and quick clean taste working a treat.

Karakuchi Pairing Menu with Wagamama & Asahi Beer on Typewriter Teeth

After we enjoyed the sides we had an incredible break in the menu by learning how to create this amazing origami with the talented Coco

Usually anything with super glue means I am going to be covered but I actually managed not make a mess and really enjoyed the process. Coco was a superb teacher and we all picked it up pretty quickly. Creating our own little pocket of spring to bring home and continue to celebrate hanami! 

Karakuchi Pairing Menu with Wagamama & Asahi Beer on Typewriter Teeth

We then moved onto the mains which were split on the Karakuchi menu to allow Asahi Super Dry to either cut through or complement the dish. On the 'to cut through' section the vegetarian option was kare burosu ramen so I went straight for that! 

Karakuchi Pairing Menu with Wagamama & Asahi Beer on Typewriter Teeth

Karakuchi Pairing Menu with Wagamama & Asahi Beer on Typewriter Teeth

The kare burosu ramen had this beautiful silken tofu coated in shichimi, a Japanese spice blend made up of red chilli, sansho, roasted orange peel, black sesame seed, white sesame seed, hemp seed, ginger, nori and poppy seed! And I am glad I had the Asahi Super Dry to cut through that kick.

Along with the tofu, mixed mushrooms, pea shoots and carrot sat on a bed of chunky udon noodles in a curried vegetable broth and now my belly is rumbling writing about it.

Karakuchi Pairing Menu with Wagamama & Asahi Beer on Typewriter Teeth

The Karakuchi pairing menu is such a fab idea from Wagamama and Asahi and a fantastic way to try different dishes or see their flavours develop in different ways. I loved our evening and it was so insightful to see the ideas behind a menu and how Asahi Super Dry changed that. So now I'll be thinking of bang bang cauliflower until I have it again! 

Karakuchi Pairing Menu with Wagamama & Asahi Beer on Typewriter Teeth

Let me know if you try the Karakuchi pairing menu, i'd love to know what you think. But for now, cheers or kanpai to Hanami! 

*meal and drinks were gifted from Wagamama but all words and opinions are my own



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Brewtown Yorkshire Gin Tours | Gifted

Monday, 18 February 2019

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Brewtown Gin Tour TypeWriterTeeth Blog Cooper King Lemongrass botanicals

Earlier this month on a pretty dreary Tuesday I grabbed a train from Sheffield to York to meet up with Mark from Brewtown Tours, Sophie from Blog Up North who arranged the event, Sarah from SunshineSarahXO and whole host of other strangers for a lovely little gincident!

Although I had previously met Mark at Beer X (a craft brewing trade show) and a visit to Thornbridge Brewery every one else is just like most of my life, talking to strangers about similar passions and eventually meeting them at events!

Brewtown Gin Tour TypeWriterTeeth Blog Cooper King Brewtown bus

As an avid beer lover Mark set up Brewtown Tours upon returning to Yorkshire after sixteen years abroad and seeing the incredible increase in microbreweries and the wide range of styles they were producing. BrewTown Tours gave people the chance to experience Yorkshires best kept beer secrets, enjoying, supporting and sampling from working breweries with insight from the people making the beer themselves.

Brewtown Gin Tour TypeWriterTeeth Blog Cooper King botanicals

With the ever increasing popularity of the beer tours and continuous interest in a gin tour Brewtown Tours created another answer to THE perfect booze knowledge filled day. All whilst enjoying the products and the wit, knowledge and accessibility of your very own designated driver! Each tour consists of a minimum of 6 people and a maximum of 8 (if you need more just ask Mark for a quote) so you know you are getting a true hands on experience!

Brewtown Gin Tour TypeWriterTeeth Blog Cooper King botanicals

The first stop on the tour was to Cooper King, to visit the lovely Chris and Abbie and England’s only self built whisky and gin distillery. Chris greeted us and took us through their story, whilst travelling in Australia and Tasmania in 2014 Abbie and Chris ended up researching eight operational whisky distilleries in Tasmania for a friends whisky blog and here they found their inspiration and passion for hand crafted whisky and made it their mission to bring that enthusiasm back to England.

Brewtown Gin Tour TypeWriterTeeth Blog Cooper King Yorkshire Gin Map

In 2016 they founded Cooper King Distillery, using their Founders’ Club to raise funds and interest for the distillery whilst sourcing the finest local ingredients and established craftsmen to self build their distillery from an old stable.

During our visit it was clear that Cooper King were closer than ever to distilling their first whisky so although we were there for gin it was so interesting to hear about the process! 

As equally interesting was their unique approach behind Cooper King Dry Gin. All hand distilled, bottled and labeled at their distillery using a state of the art vacuum distillation process Cooper King have created a distinct Dry Gin using locally grown lavender, beautiful lemongrass and honey from their family beehives.

Brewtown Gin Tour TypeWriterTeeth Blog Cooper King

After a tour of the distillery we went back into their beautiful tasting room to sample their Dry Gin neat for an exceptionally smooth gin with floral notes that weren’t too sweet, thanks to the lemongrass. We then added a little tonic and some fresh rosemary as a garnish to enjoy the rest of our sample.
Brewtown Gin Tour TypeWriterTeeth Blog Cooper King

Chris was then kind enough to let us sample their limited-edition gin made in collaboration with Skosh a Michelin awarded restaurant. The Smoked + Spiced Dry Gin balanced perfect flavours across the palate using black cardamom, Szechuan peppercorn and nori for full bodied flavour with a kick. And we were lucky enough to try it!

Brewtown Gin Tour TypeWriterTeeth Blog Cooper King

As if they could make their Dry Gin any better, Cooper King try to be as sustainable as possible so for every bottle of gin sold one square metre of woodland is planted through their Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust partnership. They also constantly look at ways to reduce waste and it was so interesting to hear about all the inventive ways Abbie and Chris are reducing, reusing and recycling.

 Brewtown Gin Tour TypeWriterTeeth Blog Cooper King

Just before we left Chris also explained the history of the Cooper King name, showing us his family history and crest which his great-great-grand father painstakingly researched including the Cooper King shield and how it made its way into their logo. It was so interesting to hear all the history behind the name and brought a perfect connection to the distillery itself. Find out more here or even better book on the tour and hear it all for yourself.

Brewtown Gin Tour TypeWriterTeeth Blog Cooper King

Cooper King Distillery was the perfect way to start the gin tour, settling into an late morning tipple in a beautiful setting before moving onto the second stop.

Brewtown Gin Tour TypeWriterTeeth Blog Rare Bird Distillery

Our next stop was Rare Bird, based in Malton, run by Matt Stewart who after retiring as a firefighter took a shine to making Gin. We entered their stunning distillery, gin school and shop in the North Yorkshire market town with picturesque views and a beautiful interior, i'd have happily drunk their gin with that view all day!

Brewtown Gin Tour TypeWriterTeeth Blog Rare Bird Distillery

Matt and his wife Elizabeth dedicated a lot of time to refining their signature London Dry Gin made in their 300-litre copper still ‘Florence’ who takes centre stage in their distillery. Using the finest botanicals including green pepper, juniper, hibiscus, rosemary and citrus for a smooth dry gin Rare Bird London Dry pairs perfectly with blood orange or pink grapefruit with a simple tonic.

Brewtown Gin Tour TypeWriterTeeth Blog Rare Bird Distillery

Their second gin, a Rhubarb and Ginger Gin was a complete revelation! Rare Bird did not give into the sweet liqueur trend that has swept the UK. By adding no sugar throughout the process their Rhubarb and Ginger Gin has a strong powerful flavour, keeping the tartness of the rhubarb with warming notes from the ginger. Matt recommended a slice of orange and a mediterranean tonic as the perfect serve for this one. You could have left me on the beautiful chesterfield sofas in the Rare Bird distillery, this gin in hand, the Malton view and a book and I’d be in heaven.

Brewtown Gin Tour TypeWriterTeeth Blog Rare Bird Distillery

If this isn’t enough, Rare Bird also run a gin school where you can distill your own 70cl gin to take home and even reorder! With an incredible and unusual stock of botanicals I can imagine some very unique gins leave their distillery from these gin schools. This is not part of the Brewtown tour but can be added if you enquire ahead of time.

Brewtown Gin Tour TypeWriterTeeth Blog Rare Bird Distillery

The end of our tour at Rare Bird fell perfectly into lunch time and it’s perfect location in Talbot Yard meant I could get beaut veggie pastries alongside an array of independent bakers, patisserie, coffee roaster and ice cream parlour.

Brewtown Gin Tour TypeWriterTeeth Blog Hooting Owl Distillery

Our final distillery of the day was Hooting Owl Distillery at Barmby Moor House. Our host Dom exceeded his hosting skills with incredible anecdotes, hospitality and generous measures!

With six gins in their roster Hooting Owl brought a complete profile to this distillery. From their Signature Gin, Veterans Gin and their Tour de Yorkshire range exploring Yorkshire’s incredible diversity!

Hooting Owl’s Signature Gin brought together sixteen botanicals including grapefruit and cubeb pepper for a smooth gin with a rich aroma with it’s much stronger brother the Veterans Gin at 48% bringing a much more robust flavour to the table. We sampled each gin neat before adding tonic and the taste difference was unbelievable and really showed what difference the ABV made to the flavour.

Brewtown Gin Tour TypeWriterTeeth Blog Hooting Owl Distillery

Dom then took us through their Yorkshire range, where Hooting Owl Distilleries character really shone through. Each gin used botanicals based on the characteristics of the area and mirrored what a diverse county Yorkshire is.

Brewtown Gin Tour TypeWriterTeeth Blog Hooting Owl Distillery

Their North Yorkshire Gin was inspired by the North Yorkshire Moors, using heather and bilberries harvested between Thirsk and Whitby for a smooth and slightly fruity gin wildly different in comparison with their West Yorkshire Gin. Inspired by Bradford and incorporating spiced cardamom, turmeric and cumin sweetened with cassia bark and liquorice. Before we added tonic (or in the West Yorkshire case ginger ale) to our neat sample of the West Yorkshire Gin we added star anise which completely changed the gin again. Part of the day that really showed the uniqueness of each gin was the ability for a small garnish to completely change the flavour profile and bring another level to the gin.
Brewtown Gin Tour TypeWriterTeeth Blog Hooting Owl Distillery

We then tried their East Yorkshire Gin which incorporated kelp, lavender, sage, honey and hawthorne berries to echo the Yorkshire coastline. With this gin the botanicals really hit the nose before you even try the gin for a maritime hit with the lavender, honey and hawthorne berries sweetening the kick from the kelp. The final gin we tried was Hooting Owl’s South Yorkshire Gin inspired by the Barnsley Chop for a herby gin infused with mint and rosemary. Finishing with a refreshingly savoury and bitter orange note.

Brewtown Gin Tour TypeWriterTeeth Blog Hooting Owl Distillery

Dom's passion to share not only Hooting Owl’s wide range of gins but also their ever developing distillery was incredibly interesting. There has been the story behind each gin and their flavours that has really made this gin tour stand out. These are real people putting passion into a product they love, and it is through this tour that Mark has brought them all together and given the public a chance to see a side of gin that you can never get in a bar or a single distillery tour.

Brewtown Gin Tour TypeWriterTeeth Blog Hooting Owl Distillery

One thing I do think i've missed in this post is the fun we had, I don't think I stopped laughing from the moment we met Mark at 10am till our final pint before getting on the train at the end of the day. Mark has managed to create a knowledgeable experience day in a relaxed, stress free environment and I met some talented, lovely and insightful people in the process.

If you're passionate about gin and fancy doing something a little different I highly recommend one of Mark’s tours. Be it a present for a partner, a day out, corporate day or an event like a hen or stag party it really will be something to remember and something completely different to any gin distillery tour you could do anywhere else!

Mark seriously knows his stuff, and the distilleries you get to visit reflect that. Passion shone through each distillery and shows you just how different gin can be. From the differences in the distilling process to choosing flavour profiles and serves. But what they do have in common is the passion and enthusiasm for creating the best gin possible with the finest ingredients whilst supporting Yorkshire independent businesses.

The Brewtown Gin Tour is just £80 per person including transport for the day from York Station, three guided gin distillery tours and gin sampling. BARGAIN. Find out more here.

This gin tour was kindly gifted from Brewtown Tours in return for honest feedback so all thoughts and opinions are my own. But I bloody loved it!
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New Year, New Tea with Tea India

Saturday, 19 January 2019

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Tea India Typewriter Teeth Blog Review

Last year a selection of Tea India Chai teas came with an issue of Oh Comely magazine and i've been obsessed with them ever since.

This obsession with tea isn't new, I think there is more tea in my kitchen than cutlery but as a lover of chai the beautiful flavours of the Tea India range are ones I keep coming back to. 

From Chai to Ayurveda and their latest Chai Latte range Tea India's strong knowledge, intention and thought behind each blend and taste means that they are slowly becoming one of my favourite tea brands. 

Tea India Typewriter Teeth Blog Review

Their Ayurveda range is named after one of the oldest systems of medicine, guiding a holistic way of life with preventative healthcare as a lifestyle. This can help maintain a balance of mind, body and emotion through daily practices. In the teaching of Ayurveda these are personalised to our individual mind & body types known as prakruti

Prakruti centres around three bio-energetic forces called doshas that combine the five elements, ether, air, fire, water and earth. The doshas work together to maintain, influence and prevent behaviours, habits, personality and appearance. 

I am only summarising what i've read about Ayurveda and how the Tea India range relates to the practice but I love the idea and intention behind each blend. Becoming familiar with your dosha type can help you make choices for health, happiness and creativity whilst connecting to everything around us and create balance. It is with this that Tea India created the Ayurveda range to connect with each dosha

You can find out your dosha here through the Tea India website. 

Funnily enough before doing this test my favourite blend from the range was 'peace & calm' an infusion of fennel, camomile, rose petals and peppermint and of the three doshas of vata, pitta and kapha I came out as pitta with 'peace & calm' recommended! 

Although 'peace & calm' comes out as my favourite I really love 'harmony & balance' and 'vitality & energy' too. I often struggle to create the right levels of flavour in turmeric milk and the blend within 'vitality & energy' comes with the perfect level of warmth and spice. Whereas 'harmony & balance' is a life saver when bloated, sluggish or after a big meal. 

I throughly enjoyed reading about Ayurveda, doshas and how the teas work within them so I highly recommend checking them out. 

Tea India Typewriter Teeth Blog Review  Chai Tea

Before I tried the Ayurveda range I fell in love with Tea India's classic Chai range. They come in Ginger, Cardamon,  Masala and Coconut and they are all amazing! 

I currently only have Ginger & Cardamon left from the last set I bought because they are all such a treat. Each tea is the perfect blend of black tea and spices with the Masala a more warming and comforting blend and Coconut for a creamier sweeter treat. 

Tea India Typewriter Teeth Blog Review  Ginger Chai Tea

As much as I adore tea lattes (especially from my faves at Birdhouse Tea Co) I do make attempt them at home more than a normal brew! 

Whilst my tea of choice infuses with boiling water (usually just enough to submerge the tea bag) I warm up oat milk and then whisk it with my little IKEA milk frother (which I have to change the batteries so often in I just probably just invest in proper one) and then pour in. Home made tea latte! 

Although you can experiment with different teas the Tea India chai range is my absolute favourite with great flavour and focus on the spice rather than mixed spice chai teas. 

Tea India Typewriter Teeth Blog Review

It wouldn't be a blog post about tea without talking about my love for the bedtime beverage. A warm drink and getting cosy in bed with a book is bliss and although I love Ovaltine & Horlicks I like to mix it up! 

Anything chamomile, lavender or floral is right up my street so this blend from Celestial Organic or my go to favourite is the nighttime tea from Heath & Heather.  I love a bed time tea recommendation so let me know if you have any. 

Tea India Typewriter Teeth Blog Review

2018 was basically the year I didn't sleep so I am really happy that as i've come into 2019 I found a way to settle in my evenings. It may seem trivial but tea brings a moment of calm and just taking that five minutes to make it and the time to enjoy it can really change how you approach a day. 

Tea India are available in most good supermarkets, their website and can sometimes be spotted in TK Maxx for a bargain too! 

Tea India Typewriter Teeth Blog Review

*Ayurveda Range was gifted from Tea India 
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Pages: 'Everything I Know About Love' by Dolly Alderton

Monday, 7 January 2019

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Dolly Alderton’s ‘Everything I Know About Love’ is on everyones reading list and it completely deserves it.

The intimate memoir follows Alderton’s life through her rich and relatable writing style that reflects, reaffirms and questions as she looks back through the book. Through all of this I found myself flitting between fits of giggles or balling up with tears, re-reading and connecting with Dolly Alderton's words. This connection reaffirming the popularity of ‘Everything I Know About Love’ as although it is a young age to write a memoir, Dolly’s writing has hit readers that clearly needed it.

Everything I Know About Love Review Dolly Alderton Typewriter Teeth

With an unusual layout the focus on her stories are interjected with party planning, recipes and lists as if Alderton is helping others navigate their lives and past by making them feel less alone with her stories. Although ‘Everything I Know About Love’ sometimes feels like a glamourised rom-co Alderton does not let us forget the low points. From all the amazing stories we hear of skint nights out, houseshares and parties we are also reminded of the lonely days, the debilitating hangovers and poor decisions. What’s interesting is how Dolly Alderton writes with such a nostalgia and sentiment for something that is not that long ago but with the speed the world is changing seems a lifetime ago.

Everything I Know About Love Review Dolly Alderton Typewriter Teeth

With each endearing part of the book Dolly Alderton continues to put herself out there, each raw moment insisting empathy, laughing along with her wild anecdotes to crying with her heartbreak. Within the anecdotes Alderton is also assessing her own pain whilst exploring her love for her friendships. ‘Everything I Know About Love’ is about experiences, her own lessons and friendships with the universal call that you are not alone. And even if you cannot relate to any of Alderton’s anecdotes, I am sure that at some point in all our lives we have felt uncomfortable in our skin or that everyone else in the world is moving faster than us.

Everything I Know About Love Review Dolly Alderton Typewriter Teeth

So as moving as it is funny, ‘Everything I Know About Love’ through it’s wit, wisdom and heartache is a beautiful reminder for all the moments in life, and a love letter to the people that fill them. Dolly Alderton has created an incredible, relatable work that has swept readers up and although I have refrained from going into her stories I hope my enthusiasm makes you want to pick it up.

Pick it up here and let me know what you think.
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