A Busy August

August is always a busy month for Dean and I, it’s our anniversary at the start of the month and my birthday towards the end. This year it was even more chaotic than normal with friends celebrating their birthdays or getting married. It has been a great month though so I thought I’d share some of the highlights (including lots of food!) with you.

Even though Dean and I we are not married we like to celebrate the date we made our relationship official. This year was our 5th and we decided to go to a spa for the day to celebrate. Dean booked a night at a hotel and spa in the Cotswolds called Whatley Manor. The sun was shining (for once!) the whole time we were there and we had a fantastic day of relaxation and pampering. We both had a a full body massage which was exactly what we needed.

A Busy August - Whatley Manor, Cross Kenilworth, Itihaas Birmingham-15

After a relaxing day we sat down for dinner in the 2 Michelin Star restaurant which comprised of a 7 course tasting menu. There were three different menus to choose from and you could mix and match dishes if you wanted to. We both went for the seasonal tasting menu but I changed the starter and the dessert. I was so pleased that I did so as the dessert was one of the best I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating!

Our amuse bouche
Our amuse bouche


Our first starter


Deans starter he chose guinea fowl
Dean’s starter he chose guinea fowl.


My starter I chose scallops
My starter – I chose pan fried scallop dressed with caramelised eel, confit leek and pickled cockles.


A Busy August - Whatley Manor, Cross Kenilworth, Itihaas Birmingham-8


Native lobster. Topped with mango and coconut, served with a lightly spiced Thai consommé
Native lobster topped with mango and coconut, served with a lightly spiced Thai consommé.


Pork tenderloin Roasted, dressed with black pudding and liquorice cassonade, slow braised pigs trotter
Pork tenderloin roasted, dressed with black pudding and liquorice cassonade, slow braised pigs trotter.


Pre desert
Pre-dessert. Crème fraîche panna cotta served with raspberry sorbet and aniseed granite.


Dean desert. Strawberry and lemon soufflé Served with strawberry and chartreuse cocktail and lemongrass ice cream
Dean’s dessert. Strawberry and lemon soufflé served with strawberry and chartreuse cocktail and lemongrass ice cream.


My desert. White chocolate sphere Filled with a pistachio kirsch mousse and compote of cherries
My dessert. White chocolate sphere filled with a pistachio kirsch mousse and compote of cherries.


Dean and I had a fabulous night away at Whatley Manor and enjoyed it so much I really didn’t want to leave. I would highly recommend staying there and would love to return one day.

A Busy August - Whatley Manor, Cross Kenilworth, Itihaas Birmingham-17

I really couldn’t believe that August had come around so quick again – last year I celebrated my 30th in Sicily and had a wonderful time. This year we decided to stay at home as my friend Becky was turning 30 and our other close friends Gemma and Tony were getting married.

My birthday was on a Sunday so we decided to take a trip out for the day with my parents’ dog Chester. We went to a place called Witley Court, which is managed by English Heritage. It was a lovely day, we had a light lunch and a walk around the grounds. Their famous water feature was on for the last time that day as it’s being closed for several months for maintenance.

A Busy August - Whatley Manor, Cross Kenilworth, Itihaas Birmingham-20


A Busy August - Whatley Manor, Cross Kenilworth, Itihaas Birmingham-19

Dean had booked for us to go for an Indian meal on the night in Birmingham which I was very excited about so I tried hard not to have too much cake with lunch! 😂

We arrived at Itihaas at 7.30pm to be greeted by the lovely staff. We got seated to the table with the menu – it took us a while to choose as there were so many dishes that sounded delicious and honestly, we wanted to try it all! We finally chose and couldn’t wait until the food came out. It was all amazing but the star of the show were the lamb chops we had for starters! They we bursting with smoky, spicy flavour and were delicious. Dean said he could eat a bucket full of them!

The mains were all fantastic too but we definitely ordered too much so had no room for pudding. Ah well, we both just like trying as many different dishes as we can!

Lamb chops to start
Lamb chops to start


Salmon and goats cheese samosa
Salmon and goats cheese samosas


Dean went for a lassi for his drink which is made from yogurt, he had the mango flavour
Dean went for a lassi to drink which is made mostly from yogurt. He tried the mango flavour and said it was amazing!


We went for a selection for our main course and the basket of mixed breads
We went for a selection for our main course including Butter Chicken, Lamb Rogan Josh, Makhani Dhal, paneer cooked in a spinach puree and a basket of mixed breads.


They wished me a happy birthday with this surprise desert
They wished me a happy birthday with this surprise desert


Dean wanted to take me out for a romantic meal for my birthday, as well as the curry. I thought he’d done more than enough but he insisted so on Tuesday 23rd of August we went to the Cross at Kenilworth. We had a lovely night and opted for 3 courses rather than a tasting menu as we’d had so much food of late!

The food was superb, every course spot on. We would have expected nothing less from the people behind our favourite restaurant in Birmingham, Simpsons. If you live near Kenilworth or Birmingham you have to give either restaurant a go!

Crispy Duck Egg White Asparagus, Cumbrian ham, chicken velouté
Dean’s starter. Crispy duck egg, white asparagus, Cumbrian ham, chicken velouté.


My starter. Roast Cauliflower Smoked eel, capers, sultanas, smoked butter, sorrel
My starter. Roast cauliflower, smoked eel, capers, sultanas, smoked butter, sorrel.


Deans main course. Blade of beef, buttered mash with a marrow bone jus
Dean’s main course. Blade of beef, buttered mash with a marrow bone jus.


My main course. Cod Crushed potatoes, girolles, tender stem brocoli, brown butter sauce
My main course. Cod with crushed potatoes, girolles, tender stem broccoli and brown butter sauce.


We both had salted caramel and chocolate chip soufflé
We both had the salted caramel and chocolate chip soufflé.


I got wished happy birthday again
I was wished happy birthday again! 😂


We were honoured to be asked to be witnesses to our close friends Gemma and Tony who got married on the 27th August. What an AMAZING day it was!!! Some of you may have seen Tony featured on the blog before. He does a daily vlog called the Tony James Show on YouTube. He is also our chief cake taster along with his new wife Gemma, whom I have known for at least 20 years or more.

It truly was a special day, seeing some of our best friends get married and being such a big part of it all. We won’t forget it in a hurry!

Being witnesses to Gemma and Tony
Being witnesses to Gemma and Tony.


Phew! August certainly has been a hectic month, but I can’t complain – it’s better to be busy than bored.  We also have lots to look forward to in September including another wedding for one of Dean’s best friends.

For one of my presents Dean decided he’s going to take me all the way to Valencia for a proper Spanish paella (I’m a very lucky girl). It’s going to be very exciting to try a real one and all the different variations they do out there along with some tapas. So we are off there towards the middle of the month. What a real birthday surprise that was!

Also stay tuned as we’re working on some great new recipes which will be landing on the blog very soon!

Lucy x




One response to “A Busy August”

  1. That scallop and EEL situation up there – UMMMMM sign this girl upppp! Two of my favorite things. However, I would have definitely needed, ohhhh, you know, 10 plates!!

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