Penderyn Celt

img_1308

A good friend from Edinburgh recently had a mild heart seizure when I informed him that the fine single malt he was enjoying was not of the Scottish persuasion. This paled in comparison to the confounded flabbergasted look that followed the news that it was in fact Welsh in origin. Having already suggested that this was a damn fine dram, there was no escaping the fact that he had just betrayed his Scottish ancestry. Thankfully a few more sips of this fine amber jewelled nectar soon put pay to any patriotic pretence as to what makes a good whisky. In no time at all he was sampling as many whiskies of the world as he could cram into one night. My personal bar was lucky to survive the encounter, mostly intact. My friend assured me that this was a small price to pay for expanding his horizons.

Established in 2004 Penderyn is a fiery young upstart in the world of whisky, which has taken a hefty haul of awards and accolades since coming on the scene. Despite this, it was only recently that I tried this fine dram when some friends gave me a bottle for Christmas, a most excellent present indeed. Penderyn is a very young whisky, I would imagine no more than six year old. Nevertheless it is fairly complex in flavour. It comes in a variety of bottlings, and from what I hear all are very good. The one I tried, the Celt, is lightly peated.  The nose gives just a hint of smoke, some zesty orange, pear drops, cranberry, vanilla, and a medicinal smell reminiscent of TCP. The drink itself, is incredibly smooth, with a lot of honey, orange citrus, some vanilla, and a superb mild smoke note that majestically reveals itself mid-sip. The finish is a long one, it’s peppery with some fennel and orange peel, plus a good amount of smoke.  I think this whisky really is quite special. It’s uniquely sweet, in that it’s heavy on the honey but has little to no brown sugar. I would thus urge you to support this daring scheme whose origins lie in a half-baked idea around a pub table. I really love this stuff, a perfect after dinner enlivener.

Verdict: It’s Sweet Whisky Mead

Score: 84/100

The Sunshine Blogger Award

sunshine-blogger

Hello Dear Reader,

I am absolutely ecstatic to have been nominated for the Sunshine Blogger award by Pradita Kapahi, I’ve always wanted to do one of these things as they’ve always looked like such fun, thus I cannot thank Pradita enough for this honour. Pradita in addition to being absolutely wonderful writes a brilliant blog the Pradita chronicles  which is a must for anyone with a passion for words, stories, and reading. I really can’t recommend it highly enough so please do check it out.

On with the rules…

*    Thank the person(s) who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.

*    Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.

*    Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.

*    List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post and/or on your blog.

 

How Long have you been blogging, and what made you get started in the first place?

I’m a young fellow relatively new to the Blogosphere having only been around a mere six months. In my imagination the origin of my Blog is shrouded in mystery. In reality however, it is the result of mind numbing boredom. By the end of 2015 I finally had several parts of being an adult down to a tee. Fast forward to the middle of 2016 and the results of this materialised, there was a distinct lack of the fun and silly in my life. My blog then was an attempt to make space for a little silly childish fun. So far it has worked a treat with all sensible parts of life still running smoothly but now with the addition of occasional bursts of pure whimsy.

What is your blog about?

The specifics of my silly escapades are all to be found in my Blog’s title. Firstly there is a predominant focus of finding the most interesting and somewhat less talked about gems in London.  Past examples include sensory deprivation, a perplexing curiosity museum, and most recently an insanely awesome cake shop. Secondly I review a fine bottle of whisky each month having concluded that this is essential to surviving the more foolhardy side of my adventures. Speaking of proper adventures, the Blogs last remit is that I have occasional big proper WOW adventures, such as sky diving, thus far they have yet to materialise but I am ever hopeful that they will before the year is out!

What do you hope to achieve through your blog?

Many, many, years of adventure and a fair few people reading about it to boot!

Who’s that one person you’d most like to invite over for a lunch/dinner date?

I really haven’t a clue on this one, sadly all that comes to mind is a host of fictional characters. (Agent Peggy Carter topping the list.) I suspect I need to engage more with reality though it’s frightfully difficult these days.

Who would you most like to interview on your blog?

Now this one is easy, though highly unlikely to ever occur. For quite some time now I’ve really wanted to do an article on the importance of talking bollocks. I simply love meandering conversations that go everywhere without getting anywhere and which involve spectacular leaps of the imagination. To my mind the improvisational comedian Ross Noble is the undisputed champion of such deranged flights of fancy. His mind is like an acme firework factory on steroids. I don’t know how he thinks such intriguing oddities but I’d love to interview him for his top tips on talking complete and utter bollocks.

What’s your ultimate goal in life?

Is it me, or are we suddenly plummeting into the heady depths of the philosophical? In terms of ultimate life goals, for me there is one that stands head and shoulders above the rest. Namely that in life one should ultimately be able to say that one has sincerely tried to make a positive difference in this world. It doesn’t have to be huge, nevertheless it should be tangible, and obviously I give allowances in cases of sweet Fortuna laying waste to one’s efforts.  I do occasionally worry that this amounts to a make do and mend ethics, which can in some cases encourage apathy in the face of life’s big challenges. Nevertheless I’d maintain that the ultimate goal of simply doing ones best to be kind and make a positive change is all one can aim for, without introducing delusions of grandeur that is. To quote the late great Sir Terry Pratchett, ‘You have left the world much better than you found it, and if you ask me, said Death, nobody could do any better than that’.

Name your favourite blogging moment/memory?

The best moments I’ve had writing my blog are those unexpected occurrences that really make one feel like an adventure writer, mad unexpected events that one simply can’t force but can only hope for. To date my favourite was when I went for an ice cold swim at Hampstead Heath’s open air pool. To my horror I found myself being lapped by old age pensioners. Then some incredibly buff gents turned up and I braced myself for complete humiliation. Only these herculean specimens couldn’t stand the ice and left after a mere thirty seconds, though they high fived and congratulated themselves for a full two minutes before actually making their exit. The next thing I knew, I was mentally lauding it over the young demi gods, while secretly wishing I had the stamina of a sixty year old!

 Name your worst blogging moment/memory?

My worse blogging memory happened very early on. I had booked the Holi festival of colours at Wembley and was most excited. I got there and a rocking band was playing and before I knew it everyone around me was throwing coloured powders into the air in a beautiful act of joy and happiness. Five minutes later I suddenly realized I was having an allergic reaction to whatever was in the powders. I had to fight my way out of the crowd, clean myself off to the best of my ability and head home after only twenty odd minutes there. I then spent next few days feeling god awful. In the end I wrote my first whisky review instead, as I couldn’t really say anything about the event.

 Who or what inspires you?

So many people have inspired me in life, but for me top of the list is Gandhi. His autobiography is beautifully open and honest; a must read if ever there was one.

What message would you give to new Bloggers?

That it’s worth the effort. I’d then go on to give them tons more advice only to then conclude that they shouldn’t take any of my advice as I haven’t got a damn clue what I’m talking about.

Give a quote that inspires you every time.

My all-time favourite quote is on the ultra-cheesy side of life. For me it gets straight to the point and never fails to lift my spirits.

‘Be Most Excellent and… Party on Dude’

Now on to my Nominations

Laura McDaniel

A4Alice

An Idea A Day

Rediskot

AmateurDrammer

TheShowersofBlessing

TheRedPhoneBoxTravels

BreakingNewGroundinZone5

SavvyGeekMom

ColoradoTravelingDucks

DreamyMichaela

And Ze questions

How Long have you been blogging, and what made you get started in the first place?

Are there any Blogging lessons you wish you knew before you started?

What is your favourite Blog post?

What experience is at the top of your Bucket list?

If you could interview anyone for your blog who would it be?

Coffee or Tea?

Recommend an unusual book or film?

Think of a really silly question that I could ask?

Answer your answer to the previous question?

What is the most beautiful place that you’ve ever been too?

What inspires you in life?

 

Don’t feel any pressure to participate, but if you can I’d be delighted.

I do hope you’ve enjoyed reading this slightly unusual post.

All the Best

LondonWhiskyAdventure!

Pure Imagination: Choccywoccydoodah!!!!!

img_1187

Tucked away on a side street near Oxford Circus is one of London’s best hidden gems, the gloriously named Choccywoccydoodah is a mecca for those with a sweet tooth. Primarily a cake shop, it has some truly extraordinary creations in the window. How anyone can spend a fortune on a bog standard wedding cake, when they could have a Goth Rock Opera in the medium of sponge, I’ll never fathom. Fortunately in addition to the shop there is also a splendid café above, allowing us common folk to briefly sample something spectacular before returning to our bleak existence. I first heard about this place from an acquaintance at a party, who informed me that they ‘elevated chocolate to an art form’. In an instant I knew I had to give this place a whirl. Wasting no time, the very next day I woke up early, hopped on the tube, and hurtled towards sweet, sweet, oblivion.

img_1169

I must insert an interlude at this point in my adventure dear reader and inform you of something most important. As you are aware I’m a great lover of hard liquor and if need’s be I can drink it by the bucket load. It will no doubt come as a surprise to you then, when I say that if I consume the merest soupcon of sugar, it precipitates within me the human equivalent of a thermonuclear reaction. In the world of cake and confectionery, I’m a lightweight. Suffice it to say when I came into contact with the slab of awesome pictured above, I became ecstatically silly. In fact as I left, I could be heard trumpeting at the top of my lungs ‘Cake for the Cake God’. I swear this is no exaggeration, to think I only ate half!

img_1156

Now that you are aware of my weakness for sugar, which often exaggerates my already fantastical perspective of life, I shall return to my review. I LOVED this place!!! It was magical, whimsical, deliciousness, wrapped up in scrumdiddlyumptious goodness. The décor is warm and welcoming, the staff friendly, and the cakes, the cakes…  Oh My. That’s my review, seriously that two word sentence. I’ll say it again if you like. Oh My. It isn’t really, but part of me wished I had the guts just to put that. It says everything I want to say. In that short sentence, there’s a ton of silliness, a note of exuberance, and dare I say it an undertone that suggests that for many of us chocolate cake is a deeply erotic experience.

Oh My!

 

Yum Yum (The Clue Is In The Title)

img_1123

After several days filled with pure undiluted skippity hoppity joy, last week the empire struck back and my arch nemesis ‘Darth Real Life’ returned to the fore. Suddenly I was in a world of necessary, dull as ditch water, irksomeness. Life’s little tasks called, dentist appointments, internet providers, family occasions. Good lord I forgot the mountain of dirty dishes!  I’m not sure how it happened, but at some point it appears that society revoked my child status and stuck a grown up badge on me. I won’t lie, it’s been downhill ever since. Returning to the particularity of my troubles, suddenly, within this maelstrom of the mundane, I sensed a brief opening in the force, a teeny tiny patch of that rare commodity, free time! Thus at lunchtime today, I decided to take it easy with a brilliant meal at one of my favourite restaurants and so restore balance to the force.

img_1139

Yum Yum is a Thai restaurant located on Stoke Newington High Street and its simply goodness I tell ya.  Located in a gorgeous Georgian house the environment is low lit and delightfully mellow. It serves nutritious and delicious food that always proves uplifting. They also do magnificent cocktails, but I swear I didn’t indulge on a weekday, even if they are purely medicinal. The staff are the most remarkable feature of this restaurant, wonderfully unobtrusive and yet simultaneously such, cheerful, charming, caring, people. I spent a little over thirty minutes here today and without fail Yum Yum worked its magic. I left feeling most calm and relaxed. I have no doubt that if this restaurant was located in Shoreditch it would be better known and queued out the door. If you ever get the chance to go, don’t hesitate, I cannot recommend this place highly enough. It is an absolute delight.

img_1148

New Year 1940s Blitz Party

 

img_1102

Hussar a New Year!  I love the symbolic over the top cheesiness that comes with the simple thought that a particular day marks a new beginning. What day that is may be arbitrary but all that we humans make of it certainly isn’t. It’s a fantastic time for reflection, hope, and a bloody good party. Sadly the latter has not always been forthcoming in my life and I’ve had quite a few New Years that have been more than a tad lacklustre. Including one in which merriment was in short supply due to a funeral the previous day.  After the shear lunacy of 2016 I was hell bent on insuring that this time around that would not be the case. I am most pleased to inform you then, that in this my first endeavour of the year I was most successful, as I welcomed in 2017 with some aplomb at a 1940s Blitz party!!!

img_1092

I adore this period of time, the fashion is super stylish and the music is divine. I also think that there is much to be learnt in the spirit of the age, a steady dogged determination that successfully saw people through one of the bleakest periods of history. Returning to the more fanciful side of life, the real stars of this party were all the partygoers themselves. So much effort had been put into the costumes and the result was that one genuinely felt transported back into the past (minus the smart phones). In all seriousness though it was incredible and everyone looked amazing. Throw in a marvellous live band and a few good cocktails and a spectacular result was assured.  Sadly it took a good while for me to get into the dancing. Over the previous days I had allowed some halfwit to talk me into some running. As a result I initially could barely walk, let alone boogie. Nevertheless with the aid of cajoling from my friends I did eventually get my legs grooving and promptly got lost in the moment.  And that was that…

Finally let me wish you dear reader a most spectacular New Year, filled with adventure, friends, and random acts of kindness.