Last week I scored an invite to what is basically my perfect foodie event – BBQ and beer at Bodean’s!

bodeans2

Photo provided by Bodean’s

To celebrate the recent opening of the Covent Garden branch, Bodean’s put on a special food and beer pairing for us in collaboration with some of their favourite breweries.

IMG_0333

Now I tend to avoid pairings usually as they’re usually wine – and while I like a nice glass of red now and then, too much of the stuff will have me under the table. But, beer on the other hand… beer I can drink!

The Pairings

Course 1 – Kona Brewery from Hawaii ‘Big Wave Golden Ale’ with Mexican Chicken Salad

IMG_0439

When I think Bodeans I don’t think salad. Well, I might in future because the Mexican Chopped Salad with Grilled Chicken was pretty special.

With avocado, tomatoes, black beans, radish and wild rice, dressed in honey, lime and coriander, this was basically a naked burrito. And I love burritos. In all their forms.

I’ve recently started thinking I need to do something about my weight, but I love food so much! This salad however has made me realise that there are healthy options even in the most unexpected of places. And without the chicken this is a fantastic Vegan option – I didn’t expect anything Vegan friendly at Bodean’s!

IMG_0440

Big Wave Golden Ale was the perfect accompaniment. Smooth and easy to drink, with mango and lychee aromas, I could drink this one all day.

Course 2 – Boulevard Brewing Co. from Kansas City ‘Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale’ with Pulled Pork and house coleslaw

Ah, the pulled pork – one of Bodean’s stand out dishes. What can I say about it? What do I actually need to say about it? It was delicious. But you knew that already.

I will give the house coleslaw a mention though, as it’s unusual for me to actually like coleslaw. I really dislike mayo, and coleslaw is usually basically just that. Not this coleslaw though. This was cabbage heavy and light. A perfect contrast to the pork.

IMG_0438

Boulevard Brewing Co actually had a representative at the event who gave us a little insight to the drinks of theirs we were sampling (as well as Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale, an IPA was served with course 4).

Tank 7 was my favourite of the beers we tried. Typical given it had a whopping 8.5% alcohol content – trust me to like the one that will get me wasted! Named after the rather difficult fermenter number 7 it was brewed in, Tank 7 is a complex, fruity Belgian style ale with a dry finish. I’ll be honest, this is one I’d prefer for standalone drinking to pairing with BBQ though.

Course 3 – Sierra Nevada from Chico, California ‘Tropical IPA’ with Cajun Swordfish with mango salsa and pan fried okra

Now this dish was the most interesting for me. I’m a bit of a novice when it comes to fish – I’m always a little hesitant to try it. And not only was this my first time trying swordfish but also okra! I’d heard bad things about okra but it was actually pretty nice. It tasted, erm, a bit furry? But not in a bad way. I know how weird that sounds.

Anyway, the swordfish. It was really nice! Texturally a bit meaty, but I’m sure I don’t need to tell you what generally eating swordfish is like. I’m not sure it was particularly ‘cajun’? But it was good so I didn’t really care.

IMG_0437

Funnily, the foods I hadn’t tried before were served with the one beer I had – Sierra Nevada’s Tropical IPA. So I already knew I liked it. Tropical IPA is their special seasonal beer for Spring 2016 – created as part of their Beer Camp in which beer fans visit the brewery to make their own creations. Each season one is picked to go into production. I’m not surprised this light, refreshing IPA with hints of mango, papaya and bitter orange made the cut, it’s lovely.

Course 4 – Boulevard Brewing Co ‘Single-Wide IPA’ with Baby Back Ribs with seasoned fries

Apparantly Bodean’s do the ‘best ribs this side of the Atlantic’ (no idea who actually said that but it’s quoted on their site!). I won’t argue to be honest because if I have had better baby back ribs in London then I don’t remember them. Not too messy but just messy enough, the meat just falls off the bone. Meaty, barbecuey perfection.

IMG_0436

They were served alongside another Boulevard Brewing Co beer – this time the Single-Wide IPA. I do enjoy a good IPA and this was a nice one. Medium body, medium bitterness with a floral aroma and slight caramel flavour. Another that I could just drink and drink.

Course 5 – Fullers Brewery from London ‘Black Cab Stout’ with Homemade Chocolate Brownie and vanilla ice cream

Does anyone ever make it to dessert at Bodean’s? I was stuffed by this point but who could resist a mini portion of homemade chocolate brownie? Decadent and delicious.

IMG_0435

And it went perfectly with the Black Cab Stout. I was a little unsure of this one – I’m not usually a stout drinker – but it was good! With hints of red berry and caramel, the chocolate malts in the stout made this perfect to go with dessert. Not sure I could drink it all the time though!

The Restaurant

Now, if you’re not familiar with Bodean’s, I’m pretty certain you’ve either not been to London or just don’t like BBQ food.

But just in case – Bodean’s is London’s original smokehouse, with six branches across the city – Soho, Fulham, Tower Hill, Balham, Covent Garden and the newly opened Old Street.

bodeans1

Photo provided by Bodean’s

Located in the heart of London’s theatreland, the Covent Garden branch is a pretty recent addition, having only been open a couple of months. I’d never been to this Bodean’s before but now it’s one of my favourites!

I love the detail that has gone into the décor – there are little pigs all over the place!

From the bar…

IMG_0359

to this giant artwork made up of lots of teeny piggys…

IMG_0441

to the flashy BBQ sign. Cute.

IMG_0434

I had such a lovely evening with Bodeans and some other bloggers – including a couple of my favourites; Kariss from Shy Strange Manic and Milly from Mini Adventures.

Thanks for having me Bodean’s!

L xx

All photo’s my own unless specified otherwise.

Bodean's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

After a quiet few weeks (I’ve recently started an awesome new job and been recovering from a chest infection), things are starting to pick up again, and I’ve actually done some pretty cool stuff this week!

Le Boutique Bazaar

Le Boutique Bazaar is something I want to tell you about in more detail at some point soon, so for now I’m just going to say what it is and what I bought. Held at McQueen in Shoreditch, it’s an alternative fashion event, I believe run in conjunction with Torture Garden – think latex, corsets, bondagewear and accessories all with a festishy twist.

Usually things I want at Le Boutique Bazaar are out of my price range, but this time I picked up a couple of things.

Elissa Poppy does some gorgeous lace effect latex pieces, and I bought a really great value (£10!) wrist and ankle cuff set, which will be perfect for an event I’m going to in the next couple of weeks – The Goblin King’s Masquerade Ball.

elissapoppy

I also put down a deposit for a bespoke ring collar from Darkest Star. You can see it in the picture below with gold rings – mine will have silver.

darkeststar

Photo from www.darkeststar.com

At a discounted price of £112.50 it isn’t cheap. But it is really great quality and it’s so very me.

I also won a competition with Beautifully Undressed and got myself a lovely gift set from Tallulah Love with some lacy panties and an eye mask. I never win anything so I was over the moon!

Yelps Golden Ticket Charlie & The Chocolate Factory Event

You’ll have noticed by now that I do quite a lot with Yelp, and this event was one of my favourites so far – there were limited spaces and I was so lucky to get one!

hotelchoc

I’ll be telling you all about it in the next few days – we started with some chocolate making at Hotel Chocolat in Covent Garden and finished with the musical Charlie & The Chocolate Factory at Theatre Royal Drury Lane (remember the ghost stories? You can read about them here).

Secret Cinema – 28 Days Later

Another thing I want to tell you about in more detail – Secret Cinema, the 28 Days Later experience. It was SO GOOD. For now, have me and my friends Kat and Georgia in our scrubs and masks…

28days

Ginder

You know I love gin, right? I mean I even did the blogging for Gin Festival recently (see my post about it here). Oh, and a review of the Gin Explorer subscription box is coming soon. Anyway, I digress.

On Friday I received an invitation (through Yelp) to the Ginder experience at World of Gin in Bethnal Green. Running for this weekend only, World of Gin were hosting half hour gin tasting sessions to match you with your ideal gin and tonic combination. It was fun. And boozy. Check out their upcoming events on their website – I believe they have Cardiff and Birmingham coming up.

Psst… it’s only on writing this that I’ve realised that Ginder is a play on Tinder, it’s all about finding your perfect match. Clever.

ginder

So, that’s about it for this week. But I have another fun filled week coming up, so watch this space!

L xx

All photos my own unless stated otherwise.