Time To Think About Books As Gifts? Ideas From Me.

I haven’t blogged any books for a while. As it is coming up to Christmas I thought I would post a review on 3 books that could be handy as gifts. I read for Hachette NZ and love downloading a book and not really knowing what I am getting. I have read some excellent books this year that I probably wouldn’t have chosen off a shelf but have enjoyed.

 

Wish You Were Here?  By Sheridan Jobbins

 

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Could be for your Sister In Law, your friend who needs a kick in the butt to go on that big adventure or even your heart broken friend?

I really didn’t know what to expect from this book but I loved it. Reading it you can tell that she is in show business as she has a way with words and enjoys a bit of drama. The adventures are crazy, the stories as she travels are amusing and then in the emotional stuff adds to the package. All up, a great read and would make an excellent gift. The kind of book that could be read in a couple of days over the festive season.

 

The Inaugural Meeting of the Fairvale Ladies Club

By Sophie Green

 

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Could be for someone heading off on summer holidays, a book worm who like the odd easy read to devour over the festive season, I think it could appeal to many.

I read this because I saw something that said it was like a modern Thornbirds. I loved Thornbirds and the hype around it. I can’t remember enough about the Thornbirds to compare the two but I enjoyed both!

This is a tale of what it is like to be isolated in the Northern Territories in the late 1970’s and how friendships form. There is a cross section of age groups and it is one of those books where you feel like you got to know the characters. A great easy read with a bit of drama thrown in.

 

The Little Breton Bistro

by Nina George

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Another relaxing read and dive into some one else’s life story. I would say more suitable for the forty plus in your life.

I enjoyed the life adventure the main character found herself on and the various twist and turns in her story. There were a couple of parts that caused me to stay up way later than I should have done to see what happened and a few audible gasps escaped me. This was a well-told story and I enjoyed reading it. I have been to many of the places mentioned in France but as a child, reading this makes me want to return as an adult.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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High Teas Society And Me.

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A few months ago I got a surprise message on twitter from a fellow former blogger, Lady Loves Cake. The message was asking if I would be interested in taking over her post as reviewer of all things High Tea in the Wellington region for the High Tea Society. The answer was a swift yes.

After a few emails back and forth and pinching myself a few times, I got my first assignment at Martha’s Pantry. As photography was required I invited my birthday buddy and fellow food focused Brit along, Lucy from Wellington Foodies. We are now a High Tea Team.

Our first experience was lovely and at the same time, overwhelming. We ate, we laughed and were made to feel very welcome. After a couple more reviews we are both more confident and enjoying our journey.

This weekend we will be at another venue scoffing our faces and trying to behave. I can’t wait. Thank you Michelle Milton for giving us the opportunity to indulge.

Here are the reviews Lucy and I have sacrificed ourselves for so far. I would like to say to my personal trainer Tim that I don’t eat it all but we both know that is a lie.

 

Martha’s Pantry

The Intercontinental Wellington

The Gear Homestead

 

 

 

 

 

Holding By Graham Norton, Marvellous.

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I love books. I was one of those kids who spent hours looking at my parents book about anything, birds and food were two favourites. A couple of weeks ago I had a lovely evening listening to the wonderful people from Hachette New Zealand talk about the latest book releases.At the end of the evening I got to take a bag with books in it home. One of these books was Holding by Graham Norton.

I have to be honest, I didn’t expect to like this book. I thought I would read it, put it on the shelf and not think much more about it. I was wrong.

I am not a fast reader but I finished this in one week. I spent that week thinking about the people who live in the village the book is based in, Duneen. My thoughts drifted to what was going to happen.

I am not going to go into the tale that unfolds, it wouldn’t sound that interesting. A few paragraphs doesn’t do it justice. It is interesting, the characters are marvellous and the story that unfolds does so gently but with twists and turns.

This book is a perfect Christmas buy, holiday read or something to read when you have a good bit of me time. I will be passing it onto Mr to read.

 

 

 

 

Richard Hammond – A Short History Of The Motorcycle Review And Lunch At Grill Meats Beer.

The sun has arrived in Wellington and it feel like Christmas is on its way. This weekend is a long one in NZ and what a beauty it is turning out to be. Today we have taken the dog to Petone beach, dropped her home and popped out for a very decent burger lunch at Grill Meats Beer. You can see more about that below.

A Short History Of The Motorcycle By Richard Hammond.

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Mr Muffin is a fan of the Motorcycle and has a purple one, when I saw this book available for review I thought it was time to let him has a go at reading and reviewing. With Christmas coming up this may be a good idea for a gift for someone you know?

The book is published in NZ by Hachette NZ.

Mr Muffin says –

A very enjoyable read.
It was like Richard Hammond was on my shoulder reading to me, so if you like the hamster then you will enjoy this.
Amusing, informative and engaging with short chapters making it easy to pickup and just read, i.e. A good toilet book but its really far to nice for that.
Many interesting photos and illustrations
Good for anyone with an interest in motorcycles or even just automotive history.
A great Christmas gift.
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Today I decided we needed burgers, good burgers. We had been to GMB once before and it was time to return and we left very happy we did. The food was damn fine, the service was excellent and we left full of food and smiles.
To start we had the Japanese Fried Chicken with Sriracha Mayonnaise. Me and Mr enjoyed the chicken, Miss was not so sure. I hung onto the mayo like it was my baby, there was no way I was giving that up when I knew fries would soon be arriving.
A good burger is subjective, some like real fancy with all the things, others like the plain and GMB caters for all of these needs without having one of those huge menus. Miss Muffin and I opted for the Classic Beef, she added bacon and I added Cheese. Mr M went for the special of the week as it contained crumbed jalapeños. We were all happy with our choices and I was impressed with the buns. The portion of fries didn’t look like much but was plenty, they were perfectly crisp too.I also added a rather lovely fluffy fried ball of goodness in the form of a Manchego &   Jalapeños Hush Puppy. To keep up with the specials have a look on their Facebook page, it is listed on Tuesdays.
All up, we really enjoyed our lunch and even though we have now used our Entertainment Book Voucher, we will be returning. When the burger urge hits we will be back.

We Tried Out PappaRich In Wellington.

PappaRich NZ opened a few weeks ago in Wellington, it is just opposite the Intercontinental Hotel. Today was our day to go and try it out. To be honest, we left feeling rather underwhelmed and not very impressed with the price.

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We eat lunch out at least once a weekend and our average spend for the 3 of us is $40. This is a meal that is enough to be a main meal and often something like Indian curry, rice and naan bread.This meal cost just over $60 and didn’t leave us full. My Telur Bawang Curry Chicken Curry was $15.90, I think all 3 mains were around this. We had an iced lemon tea each too. There was nothing wrong with any of our meals, they just weren’t exciting. One good thing was Miss M found that she likes beef rendang.

 

 

All three of us thought that there are better places to eat Malaysian food and we would rather give our dollars to the little mum and pops operated restaurants. As I was eating my $15.90 meal I was thinking about the $8.50 Masala Dosa at Pandan.

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Sweet Enough Less Sugar, More Taste- A Great New NZ Baking Book.

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A couple of months ago I was lucky enough to receive a copy of this lovely book. If you enlarge the photo you will see that it mentions my birthday buddy, Lucy Mutch from Wellington Foodies. She got to take all the wonderful photos as The Isherwood Sisters who wrote the book live in Wellington. You can find out all about the sisters and the books aim, to reduce sugar here.

Sunday afternoon Miss was baking for her week and I decided to help fill the oven and put a Monday smile on my colleagues faces by baking from the book. I chose the Wholemeal Ginger Crunch. The base has little sugar in and the icing is delicious. To top it all, it was very easy. I do enjoy a good one pot recipe. My colleagues enjoyed the slice.

You can arrange to sell the book for fundraising, I think that is a pretty nifty fundraising idea. So, order yourself the book and have a look and see for yourself.

 

Tahi On Courtenay Place, Now My Happy Place.

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Green Curry With Crumbed Chicken and Mr M’s Basil Chicken.

Last night I had a wonderful night out but very mediocre food in a place I had high expectation of. I don’t want to talk about that because the restaurant will get there and be good when it has got its self together.

My food sulk vanished with a lovely lunch.It was one of those meals that left me with a very big smile. Us Muffin’s love a good weekend lunch, one that is big enough to be a dinner and generally served with rice. Today we tried somewhere new and we are very happy we did.

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Miss Muffin with her Beef Massaman , she loved it.

Tahi is on Courtenay Place on that corner that has been a few things. Yes, it is number one as the name says and the name works really well as it serves Thai food. The decor is lovely and not your average Asian restaurant. You have to go and see.  It was the kind of decor that impressed us old parents and Miss 13. Even the toilets were lovely.

If you want to know all about the food you can read my Zomato review. If you are in Wellington I really do recommend you go. The food was excellent, the presentation impressed and us Muffin’s left very happy. We will be back soon to eat our way through the menu.