The Plough, Pyecombe – Sunday Roast Review

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This weekend was the sort of weekend you don’t want to be lying in bed watching films & snoozing. Sunday was the sort of day you woke to the sunlight streaming through your curtains & the birds chirping away. And to me that’s not the sort of day you should be wasting.

It’s very rare that I get a Sunday free, so on the uncommon occasion I do, and hangover free, I don’t want to waste it. And this Sunday the only thing I was craving was a good Roast Dinner. Throw in the sun & living in a beautiful part of England means I am spoilt for choice when it comes to beer gardens & yummy traditional roast dinners.
The boy & I took a meander up to The Sportsman, Goddards Green. However we very quickly realised that, although it was a beautiful day, the wind was quite bitter & eating in a garden would only be enjoyable if you wore a hat, scarf & gloves. Another downside was that I am not the only one who thinks eating a roast on a beautiful day would be a good idea and inside The Sportsman, and many pubs in the surrounding area we’re fully booked.
By this point we had met up with another couple & we were all starving, despairing at the thought of having to wait over half an hour for a table & even more for food we decided to make a journey to Pyecombe, fingers crossed that we could find some food there.

Nestled on the foot of the downs, and just off the A23 you have Pyecombe, a small village with beautiful views & a stone’s throw away from the hustle & bustle of Brighton & Hove. Here lies a traditional country pub with a great reputation.

I am always nervous when I leave my comfort zone & go somewhere that I have never been before, but I was glad that my usual haunts were fully booked, forcing us to try this little pub.

Set off the South Downs Way, The Plough is the only restaurant in the little village of Pyecombe. It has parking out the front & it very easy to access from either way that you’re travelling from.
A sign on the door says ‘please remove muddy boots’ showing this is a popular dwelling for ramblers, and who can blame them – it’s in a perfect setting, roughly halfway between Ditchling Beacon & the Dyke.

When you first enter, you enter into the bar side which is immediately on your right, with seating all around it. The restaurant is straight on, rather small, but in a warm conservatory which you can see out into the terraced beer garden.
The décor is wooden & fresh, lots of light which is great because sometimes you can feel you’re in a dingy ol’ pub, regardless of the way it looks if there is barely any light.
There is a huge beer garden, terraced and in the summer they do BBQ’s. It was too windy to eat out there however I’ve been out in the garden before and it’s wonderful. It has stunning views of the surrounding countryside, the only downside is the A23 is close by so you can hear traffic but unless you really want to be picky, that doesn’t affect the loveliness of sitting in a beautiful garden surrounded by stunning scenery.
The menu is huge, mainly Italian and all the food of the other customers around us smelled & looked wonderful, making us doubt the decision to have roast.
However, three out of four of us stuck with ordering roast dinner & boy was that a good idea.

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Out came the roast, I opted for Beef. The presentation the second it was front of me was wonderful. I am somebody who really thinks good presentation is a key factor in a great meal. Don’t get me wrong, I make a mean Turkey Dinosaurs, waffles & beans but it doesn’t look that great on the plate!
The portion size wasn’t huge, great for the fact I’m on a diet – bad for my stomach who just never wants to stop eating. But it did mean you could if you fancied squeeze one of their stunning looking puddings in and not walk away feeling like you had eaten a house.

Now I love roasts, really I do. And I love nothing more than a good Yorkshire pudding, preferably not burnt. This roast came with the Yorkshire on top, beef, potatoes & vegetables underneath. On the top of the Yorkshire were crispy little things that I have never had before, on investigation these were parsnip crisps, not overly bad on the calorie front when checked, and divine when dipped in my gravy.

The beef was lovely and tender, not over cooked, maybe could have been a little rarer if I was going to pick holes but it certainly left my tummy with a great big smile. The potatoes & spring vegetables were perfect, not too much & not too little. Also, and this is a big point for me. I haaaaate hate HATE too much gravy, even to the point I would rather pour my own as it could ruin the food, and I really don’t like gravy on my Yorkshires. They had the perfect amount on everything bar the Yorkshires which were gravy free. Perfect!

The roast really was amazing & I would highly recommend anybody who is craving a roast that doesn’t involve cooking and washing up, get yourself to The Plough. The service was brilliant, they were all friendly and helpful and full of smiles, which on a busy Sunday is often a rarity in customer services. It was really reasonable, £10.25 a head which truly is a bargain for what you get.

I can’t wait to go back and give myself a huge food baby while working through the menu. It would be a great place to come for a special occasion, couples, families, anybody really. Some places you feel uncomfortable going in if you’re not a local, not The Plough though. It truly was a lovely afternoon & like I said, I can’t wait to get back!

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Coast 2 Coast – Brighton Marina

photo (4)I had what can only be described as one of the worst days of my life yesterday, hospitals – blergh. So my boyfriend said he would take me out for dinner & cinema to cheer me up. Who is going to turn down a free meal aye?!
After much deliberation, we decided to try Coast 2 Coast in Brighton Marina. We’ve never been here, but I have always heard how good it was. I now realise why, as we walked in the 4 big screens showing football made me understand how it was a bit hit with most of the males I knew.
We were shown to our tables, which my other half couldn’t stop laughing as they weren’t practical for eating really as your elbows just bag on the partitioning next to us.

The main menu is quite pricey, if your just out for a normal meal so we opted for their Early Evening Meal – 2 courses for £12.95 which is pretty good! However, after the woman took our drinks order we had to wait 15 minutes for them, and the the woman still didn’t take our order. I get rather grouchy when I’m hungry and did sit there being very disgruntled until she came back. 20 minutes after we had sat down.

I ordered Cheese & Bacon Potato Skins to start & Chicken Skewers with Chips for my main. My other half opted for Spicy Calamari for starter & Cheeseburger for his main. Thankfully – before I started eating my napkin, our starters came out very quickly. Despite being slightly disappointed at the fact I only had 2 – I am a hungry girl! The skins were lovely, they weren’t burnt or dry which you can get in other restaurants. I tried a bit of my boyfriends Calamari – it was nice, not too spicy but I would 100% recommend the Skins over them though.

The mains came quite quickly after that and I was really pleased I picked Chicken Skewers, they were loooooooovely! The chicken was not dry, and they hadn’t gone over-board on the Cajun spices on the skewers. It came with Cajun Mayonnaise which was really good, so good my boyfriend stole most of it! His burger was really nice, thought I didn’t try it due to all the Tabasco sauce he put on it. The chips were good, thin and crispy.

We weren’t too full up, so we decided to look at the desserts but nothing really tickled out fancy. They don’t give you desert as an option on the Early Evening Menu either so it’s about a £5 per pudding, and they were quite small from what we could see on a table next to us. So we asked for the bill – our hostess brought it over with a happy squeal of ‘JELLY BEANS’ & placed a pot down in front of us filled with jelly beans & the bill. It was reasonable £28 for 2 courses each & 1 coke 1 water. The Pepsi was a nice large glass, they don’t offer unlimited refills like most their competitors but its such a big glass I didn’t run out till I had finished my meal.

Overall conclusion;
Despite a slow start, not ideal when hungry, the food was lovely and good value. I would like to go back and try the main menu and maybe a cocktail. It’s a good place to go with friends and the other half, but not for a romantic meal in my opinion. There is a sports bar feel to it slightly and it wouldn’t be somewhere I would personally chose as a special occasion food choice. The presentation was good on the food & the portions kept you full. Dessert menu looked a little lackluster but maybe next time I would have to try one to have a proper opinion.

Next review – Jimmys. All you can eat buffet just opening in the Marina – too excited!

How to Make a Girl Happy

Sometimes, I have to kick myself. Really I do. I can have the sort of day when I am sitting there thinking I deserve so much more in life because I feel I put an awful lot into my relationship, and look at my boyfriend wondering if he will ever pull his finger out.  Admittedly, these days are also the days I am sat in my onesie watching The Notebook on repeat while I stuff Ben & Jerry’s Cookie Dough into my mouth, cursing Mother Nature for being an evil bitch who wants to eat my ovaries.
Also, normally on these days I am hating my boyfriend, refusing to text him because when I am on my period I fully expect him to be bursting into my room with chocolate brownie, ice cream and tissues because I am a hormonal wreck. This really does only happen in movies ladies, but that does not stop me thinking I have the worst boyfriend in the world.
The fact of the matter is, my boyfriend is not horrible & he does make effort, but us women as a whole will always feel we deserve better, this is normally down to films, TV, books, instagram quotes ect.

I do think men have it hard, I mean how do you honestly make a species happy who, really doesn’t know what makes them happy. Women in general are so blind-sighted by films & books. We’re brought up thinking a Prince Charming will sweep us off out feet is the shoe fits – the moral of that story really is that Cinderella only wanted a night off and a nice pair of shoes, now what woman can’t relate to that? But that’s not how we perceive the story, we dream of our lives being like that, men sweeping us off our feet and forever spoiling us and looking after us. So how do men honestly deal with that, the pressures of making a person happy who believes in fairy-tales and happily ever after.

The answer is, you can’t.

Not what you were expecting? However, there are a few things you can do that will keep your girlfriend happy, obviously one of them being bringing her ice cream when Mother Nature has decided to make her miserable and achy for a week.

Take Her On Dates

This may seem like a silly thing to you; once you’ve got the girl and put all that effort in why should you have to continue using you brain to take her somewhere special. The main reason, it makes your other half feel special. It makes her feel like she is worth something to you that you would take your time to plan something to put a smile of the face you love. Just because you’ve won the girl – that does not mean you should ever stop wooing her. Girls NEED to feel wanting, this is something very imperative for you to know. The job I work in, I get told and hear a lot of things. Most women will only find comfort in another man when they don’t feel they get the attention they crave, when they feel their partner would rather be playing golf then making them laugh. So this is one thing you need to remember, never ever stop dating your girlfriend, fiance or wife. Never stop surprising her by taking her for a nice meal when she has had a bad day, planning a night away with her for an anniversary, or just booking a random day of work and planning a day of loveliness with your beau.

Send Her Text Messages

Not the type that say, what would you like for dinner. The sort you used to send when you first got together. The text you would send when you had spent the night together and they leave in the morning. The sort of text that gives her butterflies, makes her sit up in her chair and smile & probably means she will have a smile on her face for the rest of the day, come home & give you a big kiss on the lips and tell you she loves you.
Spending the night away from her? Working on nights? Give her something to wake up too, even if your not really thinking of her, make her feel it. Tell her you wish you were there to wake up with her, pepper her face with kisses and start the day the way you love too. Tell her how much you love her and appreciate her and make her feel special. Chances are she is hating sleeping without you, no matter how much you hog the covers, so make her feel loved.

Flowers

This should be obvious really. But not just for birthdays and anniversary’s. She expects that, do it when she last expects it. One random Sunday morning wake her with breakfast & flowers. She’s been to the hospital or doctors for a particularly nasty trip, surprise her with flowers when she gets home – makes her smile. Flowers aren’t that expensive, don’t just buy them when you’re in the dog house, seriously its so cliche. Has she had a bad day? Do it, maybe followed by cooking for her and making sure she has a glass of wine while she unwinds from her day & rants to you about it! Flowers really do make a difference to a woman, they’re something to come home too & smile because they are sat in a pretty vase reminding her that you were thinking of her and wanted to make her smile.

Little Things

Yes, yes, a vague header but a very important subject. There are a lot of things in life we all take for granted, when she cooks for you and you don’t lift a finger & then she’s done the washing up too – there is probably a reason for that, she probably knows you’ve had a hard day or are about to have a stressful evening. Have you ever woken up to breakfast and fins she’s made you lunch ready, and when you ate that lunch you found a note telling you she loves you & hopes you have a good day? That’s because she wants to make you smile, and make your working day just that little bit easier reminding you that you have somebody waiting for you at home who loves you. Those are little things, and they mean so much to us women. Has she got her hair done, even if you can’t notice, let her know she looks beautiful. Leave her a note every now and again, doesn’t cost anything but makes her look at you and smile. Offer her a back rub when she’s stressed. Cook her dinner and don’t let her help, put her favorite TV show on and let her relax. Take the rubbish out, maybe put the washing on every now & again, things she does that you don’t even realise she does. Little things.

Take Her Away

Occasionally. Maybe once a year, and this doesn’t include holidays. Just go away to a hotel, even if its for one night. It’s one night just the 2 of you – turn your phones off & just be. Remember why you’re together & spend the night reminding each other of these things. There are millions of people in this world, feel lucky that the two of you are in love & together. Those unlucky people wandering the world alone wont be snuggled up in a four poster bed with each other in some country manor or some spa hotel, giggling and remembering you are in love & that sometimes the stress of life gets in the way, you don’t get quality time together. She will love it, love the fact you took time out to take time of work and whisk her away. No washing, cleaning or cooking to be done by either of you. Don’t even have to come out of the room if you don’ t want. Just make sure you have quality time together. We all spend far to much time paying attention to Facebook & Twitter to appreciate what’s right in front of us.
We’re all guilty of it, not appreciating what we have. Ask yourself this question, when was the last time you woke up and looked over at the person sharing the bed with you and just looked at them, realising that you are the luckiest person in the world that this person is lying next to you, nobody else, just you. And when was the last time you woke them up by peppering kisses on they’re face instead of leaning over them and grabbing your phone to see what has changed in the last 12 hours since you last looked at Facebook? When was the last time you thanked your other half for giving up their favorite program so you could watch Match of the Day? When was the last time you thought about doing something, a complete surprise just to see the smile that you fell in love with?

We all change, and we all get lazy. It’s life. As long as you remember every now and again to go that extra mile, not just aiming this at men, but women too. How many women take for granted that their other half has given up lads holidays to take you to Rome. How many women realise that yes, he is playing football, but no he’s not going to the pub afterwards. He’s rushing home to see you, and yes you probably will spend your evening listening to how badly the team played & how awful the ref is. But hello?! Girls, he’s telling you! Not cosying up to some tramp in Wetherspoons telling them!

I started this blog asking how men can make women happy, and it is true. Most women don’t know what they want, but a little attention will never go wrong.
I also started this blog moaning that I feel we all want more in life, really I am a lucky girl. I have somebody to cuddle up with every night, who see’s me at my utter worse, when I am drunk, crying & covered in blood where I couldn’t work out how to get up a step. Somebody who holds my hair back while I’m throwing up, not berating me but rubbing my back making sure I am okay. I have somebody who brings me Frosties most weekdays & makes me bacon sandwiches on a Sunday, who cooks pizzas for me for Football just so I can lie in a little bit longer. I have somebody who when hes asleep is still drawn to me, reaches out and pulls me into a sweaty hot hug, but I don’t pull away because I know how vulnerable he is and the fact he’s half asleep and is searching for me, its quite lovely really. Just because you feel your man doesn’t make an effort, doesn’t mean he isn’t. Those little things are just normal to you, but they’re not to him. He hasn’t just made bacon sandwiches for himself girls! He’s made them for you!

Life is too short to think somebody’s going to climb up your hair, enter your window and be your one true love. Men, take note from my blog & women too…. Stop being such hard work, if you’re not happy – tell him. If he’s done something to make you smile – tell him. If you love somebody – tell them!

Fifty Shades of Grey

I am somebody who loves literature, and one of those sad people who also – when her favourite book series ends, will find herself on Fanfiction.com reading story after story about my beloved characters as I can’t seem to accept it’s over. It’s very much like a bad breakup, and I found myself once reading a story about Edward and Bella in a human universe, not vampire/human love story.
Things happen & I never finished reading the story because by the time I came back to it, it had been withdrawn as the rights to it had been brought and turned into the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy.
Being a great lover of books, and a girl who does love a bit of risqué, I have read the series, and although I loved it, I also hated it. I found it poorly written, gave girls unrealistic expectations of sex, had more holes in the story than my bathroom sponge & by the 3rd book the sex scenes were just getting boring.

To say I didn’t have high hopes for the film said a lot, and the reviews that came out of it made me worried my booking of a Saturday showing was a mistake, a mistake that was going to rip my version of Christian Grey up into tiny little pieces & destroy my ‘inner goddess’ as Ana would say.

But, what I wasn’t ready for was Sam Taylor-Johnson’s turning all the faults within the book into something worth watching.
So why was the film slated? Because people came into it expecting too much. The hype around it is unbelievable and most men probably expected it to be a porno with the promise of getting something when they get home. If they did play the book out page by page you would not be able to show it on the big screen, just in some graphic version online. People who haven’t read it have only heard of the phenomenon that is this book full of sex yet what they are seeing in the cinema is a film that actually has a story-line.

The film plays out as a love story which is more likely to appeal to the 95% of the audience that is female, you don’t need me to tell you that when the female, not the few males (such as my boyfriend) who have been dragged along as company.
The difference from the traditional love story is that Christian Grey is; a) a control freak, and b) a Dominant. He doesn’t do relationships and he requires his Submissives to sign a contract stating what is expected of them. Failure to comply to the contract results in punishment. So in falls Anastasia Steel, 21 year old virgin with a penchant for biting her lip. She is stubborn and has no intention of being controlled by Christian, but the hopeless romantic in her – despite his warnings – is hoping she will be able to change the way he is and embark on a ‘normal’ relationship.
Throughout the film you do see the changes Ana has on Christian, and as I am a hopeless romantic just like she is, it’s quite lovely to see – especially when he takes her on a date in his Glider. It isn’t all romance & loveliness however as you do have the issue of his ‘Red Room of Pain’, where Christian is taking his time in turning Ana into the perfect submissive and it is in there that you have a 20 minute sex scene involving floggers, spanking, a brief view of Jamie Dornan’s pubic area and lots of Dakota Johnson moaning.
An elderly couple (not entirely sure what they thought they had paid to see, The Second Best Marigold Hotel wasn’t out for a week) upped sticks and left the film after this, never too be seen again. It’s as classy as you can make a scene like that without breaking certain rules or disturbing people.

Apparently E L James wants more input in the next installment after coming to blows with Taylor-Johnson, but I personally think that could ruin it. Did you see J K Rowling demanding to write the scripts of Harry Potter? No. That’s because she is an author, not somebody who understands films and the sooner E L James learns that lesson the better. There are some truly woeful moments to sit through and Rita Ora’s acting is one of them. The whole four minutes she is on screen is painful and it is hard to escape the conclusion that she is just in there for her name and what the producers think it will bring to the film. Which is absolutely nothing. Another negative is Christian and Ana’s parents – especially the mothers do not get enough airtime. Even Elliot, who is played fantastically by Luke Grimes, is only in a few brief scenes.

The reason why I think this is not as a disastrous film as the critic have made out, nor the people who go and see it say is;
a) people who have not read the book do not understand just how much of an improvement the film is, it takes a poorly written novel with an okay plot and turns it into the sort of film you want Christian & Ana to work, and you want to know what happens in the second one.
b) what male, or critic in their right mind is going to admit to liking a film that shows soft-porn, nudity & an awful lot of spanking. Some people can lose the actual meaning of the film by concentrating on the sex, whereas what is really happening is how Ana is changing Christian, breaking down his barriers & ultimately winning his heart.

The film is not ‘Fifty Shades of Fucked Up‘ as Christian describes himself, however there is room for improvement. Not in the actors, they really hit the nail on the head there. But they need to improve it so people aren’t embarrassed to like it, women aren’t ashamed to feel like Ana does sometimes & that we all have an inner goddess whispering naughty thoughts to us.