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Last weekend saw Lee and I return to Mhor 84, the location of our mini-moon back in May, for a rather indulgent lunch which as expected was delicious.  To start we both savoured a seafood chowder which is served with warm soda bread.  Orange in colour, this creamy fish dish has the right amount of kick and is one of the best chowders I have ever tasted (infact it is on par with the chowder served at Pier 39 in San Francisco).

Next, we cheers’d with a couple of oysters in a shallot and whisky sauce, yum (I only recently tried oysters and was pleasantly surprise at how unlike salty bogies they actually are), and then shared beer battered cod and chips and Moules et Frites.  For some reason, I have gone off mussels of late (prob due to a period of severe over eating on them), but the fish and chips with homemade tartar sauce were melt in your mouth good.  The batter was crispy yet moist and reminds me of the type of batter my gran and papa used to make.

And not satisfied to end on that fishy note, we both then squeezed (and I mean reeeeally squeezed) in cakes from the bakery buffet table (lee going for the chocolate and hazelnut meringue served with Chantilly Cream and I, a big fluffy warm scone served with homemade jam and more Chantilly Cream).  Truly lovely, however my recommendation would be to always try to enjoy the cakes on an emptier stomach, eating when you are full is never as fun…

Stuffed beyond belief we then set off to Pitlochry.

Enchanted Indeed

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If you live in Scotland and have not yet visited the Enchanted Forest Festival in Pitlochry, then make sure you do next year.  Running throughout the month of October, this is a magically mesmerizing show for the senses and is an event you would expect to find somewhere like Universal Studios.

First launched 13 years ago, this is only the 3rd year the Enchanted Forest has made a profit, which comes as a great surprise based on how good this multi-award winning festival is and also for the fact it was very very busy last Saturday night with busloads of people getting taxied to and from the forest.

Each year the festival takes on a different theme – a good way of encouraging repeat visits – and this year there was a focus on ‘Elemental’ with shows surrounding water, fire, air, lightening – there was even a girl dressed like an icle on a trapeze!

And to keep you warm there are a variety of stalls along the forest track (which takes you roughly 40 minutes to walk at a slow pace) there are an array of stalls selling warm soups, hot chocolate and mulled wine to get you in the festive spirit.

Ticket prices are very reasonable and you’ll find the 2014 prices below which are likely to increase slightly next year (the show closed on the 26th October), but this will give you an idea of what to expect.

Monday – Thursday

Child Under 3: FREE; Child 3 – 15: £7.00; Adult: £14.00; Family Ticket: £35.00

Monday – Thursday Prime Time (7pm – 8pm)

Child Under 3: FREE; Child 3 – 15: £8.00; Adult: £16.00; Family Ticket: £43.00

Friday, Saturday & Sunday

Child Under 3: FREE; Child 3 – 15: £10.00; Adult: £20.00; Family Ticket: £55.00

As we waited for the bus back to Pitlochry main street (the wait for the bus only took about 7 mins and the bus back to town is 5 mins), we got speaking with a Druid who was overseeing the queue…he told us that next year the organisers are hoping to run a ghost walk away from the light show and into the darkness of the forest, which I can only imagine will be shit scary, but completely amazing…especially if a similar druid-like giant takes the walk…

The Scottish Wedding Show

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Having been blogging for the Scottish Wedding Show for the past 6 months, they very kindly invited me along as a VIP too the show last weekend.  Surrounded by brides-to-be and watching the catwalk, a showcase of all the new season wedding dresses, I could not help but feel a pang of sadness that my wedding is over.  My cousin Dreanie’s wedding however is happening in 7 weeks time and so taking her along with me to the show and helping where needed with her plans is giving me my wedding fix at the moment.

Fake Bake also had a stand at the show, promoting the number 1 tan which offers bespoke bridal bronzing.  If you fancy finding out why, have a read of my post on Fake Bake Gold at the Scottish Wedding Show blog.

Not so enchanted…

Having started this post boasting about the face stuffing session, I end it this weekend having weighed myself and discovering that I have put on a whole 9 pounds.  To be honest, it comes as no surprise to me what with the freedom I give myself with eating and boozing at the weekend (did you hear the chat on Radio One this week about a large glass of wine equating to the calories of a doughnut?  I mean what hope does one have if they are drinking the equivalent of…well lots of doughnuts over 2 nights?).

Like many a female, I have a bad relationship with food.  I am either trying to avoid it on a low calorie diet or I am inhaling the stuff like it is going out of fashion.  Take tonight for example, Lee and I were dining on our usual Sunday night dinner of mixed pakora, spiced onions, tikki masala, chicken tikka chasni, boiled rice, poppadums’ and spiced onions and we actually (I am pretty ashamed to type) finished two full trays of curry.  This has never happened before and even now a few hours on, belly feeling and looking like a big turgid potato, I am considering a chocolate muffin that wee Lindy and Big JK brought over earlier today…

Anyway, I could ramble on for ages about my issues with food, but tomorrow I am back on the Herbalife Monday-Friday.  This weekend also marked the start of a new fitness chapter, as Lee and I have joined our local gym with the aim of getting bikini body ready for our honeymoon in 7 weeks (Australia baby!).

The gym and I have not always seen eye to eye.  I tend to favour getting outdoors for my exercise rather than be stuck inside, but what with the freezing dark nights now rolling in, it has become too easy to get in from work, make dinner and then sit down for the whole evening.

One of my main issues with the gym is the very poser-ish vibe that can bog one down when trying to work out.  There’s overly-inflated (often unnaturally so) guys who sit on the weight machines just staring at the girls who go with a full face of make-up, the tightest of work out leggings and bra tops (even at my skinniest, I would never have the confidence to have the full stomach out during a workout, or at any time for that matter, so kudos to them) who never break a sweat, but are uber slim all the same.

I am more of the Bridget Jones-esque female at the gym.  The one who steps off a machine, sweating like hell, rocking the tomato face, with jelly legs, feeling light headed and ready to leave after that gruelling 5 minute work out.

Take today for example, after 20 minutes on the treadmill, sure only 30% of that was running, but still a good 20 minutes all the same, I dizzily stepped off, fringe stuck flat to my face, sweat running like a waterfall down onto my top, cheeks on fire and as I walked towards Lee looking for some kind of congratulations for showing that treadmill who’s boss, he just looked at me and said in a rather surprised tone ‘god, really sweaty already Kegs and we have just started!’…well, I could have punched him…that is if my arms were playing ball and weren’t so limp.

More than just losing weight, the plan for us both over the next 7 weeks is to get fit and feel healthy again.  I want to be capable of anything that our Australian adventure throws at us, whether that is trekking or even just lying on the beach, so the motivation is undeniably there.  If any of you guys have some hints and tips on how to survive the gym life, I would love to hear them 🙂

Hope you all had a great weekend, Sunday night already xx