Monday, 16 July 2018

Summer road-tripping and keeping your car happy


Photo credit: Pixabay


Well, this heatwave is getting a little excessive isn’t it?! I’ve honestly never known such consistently hot weather and I’m the first to admit that I wasn’t emotionally prepared for this weather. In between complaining that I’m too hot and trying to sleep through the noise of the cheap desk fan I panic bought from Argos, I’ve actually tried to embrace the weather a little by making some summer plans.

A few months ago, I brought my precious Polly (aka my Hyundai i10) over to Leeds and I must admit, having my car over here gives me a new found freedom. I mean, for the first time in nearly 4 years, I’ve been able to go to a supermarket for a weekly shop – I know how to live life on the edge. I’m quite lucky in that I have a space in the carpark underneath my building as whilst I pay over the odds for it, I don’t run the risk of her getting her windows smashed (which happened the last time I parked her out on the street here, still fuming).

Car maintenance is just as important in summer as it is through the winter as nobody wants to end up cutting a roadtrip short by ending up stuck on the hard shoulder with a car that has overheated so here are my tips to keeping your car in tip top condition.

Check your fluid levels
It’s not just important to keep you hydrated but your car needs it too. Check your oil, transmission fluid, break fluid and power steering fluid periodically to make sure they’re all topped up to where they need to be so that your car doesn’t overheat.

Keep your car hot-weather friendly
If your car has air con, use it! Take cold drinks with you for long trips and switch your coffee for an iced latte so that you’ve got some caffeine in you to keep you perked up for long journeys. Hot weather can easily make you sleepy which is really dangerous, especially if you’re driving a long distance.

Make sure your tyres are summer ready
Once the temperature is regularly over 10 degrees, you can switch back to summer tyres which will perform better on both wet and dry roads. In hot weather tyres will lose twice as much pressure than when it’s cold and deflated tyres work harder, get hotter and therefore are more likely to experience a blow out. By checking your tyre pressure, you can reduce the risk of a costly repair.


As this heatwave is showing no signs of relenting, pick up your summer car tyres at Jet Wheel Tyres and they'll be able to sort you out.


*This post was sponsored by Jet Wheel Tyres but all thoughts, opinions and road trip plans are my own.

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Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Brunching with Gusto

Brunching with gusto
Gusto York brunch


The brunch market is pretty extensive right now as let’s be honest, going for brunch is way better than going out for dinner, but Gusto has just levelled up the pre-lunch dining offering in York. Most people don’t know that Gusto have a brunch menu and it’s an absolute hidden gem, in particular in such a beautiful city in a restaurant just a stone’s throw from the Minster. I was invited down to review their menu and I took my mum along with me.


Gusto York brunch


The menu covers off all of your brunch basics but I decided to go for pancakes as wanted to go for something different – usually I’m a savoury gal at breakfast time. The dish included three pancakes with Greek yoghurt and fresh berries and was absolutely delicious. I’m absolutely rubbish at making pancakes myself (mainly as my last attempt included trying to cook them in a wok...) so having them when I’m out feels like a treat – clearly I’m fairly easy to please!



Gusto York brunch


Mum went for a full English and I must admit, the food envy kicked in a little as it looked so good! My mum has to have a gluten free diet (though she isn’t celiac) and the staff were really good about ensuring that her requirements were catered for. They have a tablet which shows the breakdown of all dietary requirements across the whole menu and this information is available online which is ideal if you’re dining out with a big group or with someone with a specific allergy.


Gusto York brunch


Gusto York brunch


When it comes to drinks, there’s an extensive menu of teas, coffees, smoothies and juices but what I love is that they have Taylors tea on the menu. They’re Harrogate based so fairly local to me and I absolutely love all of their flavoured teas so they’re a perfect accompaniment to breakfast.



Gusto York brunch


Overall? I was definitely impressed by brunch at Gusto and I’d be keen to go back as the prices are very reasonable for a city centre and the setting is absolutely gorgeous. Also, unrelated but the reed diffusers in the toilets of the York branch smell absolutely incredible and that really did add to the experience. (No joke, they're that good).

Are you a brunch fan? Do you fancy a brunch date? Let me know in the comments.

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Sunday, 1 July 2018

Wagamama - White Rose

Wagamama White Rose Leeds
I’m already a big fan of Wagamama so I’m sure you can imagine how happy I was to be invited to visit their restaurant at the White Rose Centre in Leeds to review it. I must admit, it’s one of my favourite Wagamama restaurants as the branch sits a little separately from the centre, meaning you don’t feel like you’re eating in the middle of a load of shoppers but at the same time, you can easily hit the shops after work then head for a bite to eat afterwards.

I headed there with Maz for a girly night with plenty of food and naturally we spent about a week planning what we were going to have to eat. Wagamama has a few new additions to their summer menu including a couple of glass noodle salads and even a vegan katsu curry which I’m sure is a gift from the heavens for every vegan out there!

We both decided to stick with what we knew and went for our favourites on the menu. Maz had fried duck gyozas and I went for pulled pork gyozas to start, both of which were incredible. I do quite like that the food in Wagamama just comes out when it’s ready as it makes it feel a bit more relaxed and informal. It meant that we didn’t feel restricted or that we had to leave once dinner was over too - you know when you just need a night of just catching up and properly unwinding? It was one of those nights.


Wagamama White Rose Leeds


For mains, I went for grilled duck domburi which is tender, shredded duck in a spicy teriyaki sauce, mixed with carrots, mangetout, sweet potato and red onion on a bed of sticky white rice and topped with a crispy fried egg, cucumber and spring onions. It’s my absolute favourite on the menu and though it is very filling with the sticky rice, it’s so full of flavour. Maz chose the teriyaki soba with steak which is soba noodles cooked in curry oil with mangetout, bok choi, red and spring onions, chilli and beansprouts in a teriyaki sauce.


Wagamama White Rose Leeds


Wagamama White Rose Leeds


We were both impressed, as always, with the mains but of course made room for dessert as why the hell not? Maz got the white chocolate and ginger cheesecake whereas I went for the chocolate layer cake and a pot of flowering jasmine tea. The desserts were delicious but I’m really glad I finished the night with a tea as I can never resist flowering tea when I see it on a menu.

Wagamama White Rose Leeds


Wagamama White Rose Leeds


Wagamama White Rose Leeds


Overall, we were really impressed by Wagamama at the White Rose, the food was delicious and it was just one of those really lovely evenings that we all need more of.

Have you been to Wagamama recently? Will you be going soon? Let me know in the comments.

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