[AD] The Fox & Hounds – Review

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[AD] This post is a gifted opportunity which included a complimentary three-course meal in return for Social Media Coverage and a Blog post.

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The Fox & Hounds of Harlestone has just had a complete make-over, from the decor and interior design to the menu and food itself, and this Saturday 13th July they open the doors again for you all to come in an enjoy their new look. I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek before the grand opening and I have to say the whole experience was phenomenal, amazing, Amazingly Phenomenal. Both my GF and I walked away in awe of the entire night and to the team there, we are truly thankful.

I had always heard good things about The Fox & Hounds but never found myself in that neck of the woods to try it out – so I never knew what it was like, but I can safely say now even though it’s a little out of the way from us (20 mins from East Hunsbury so not that far), it is most definitely worth a visit and we will most certainly be going back.

Enterance


 

Imagine this, a lovely warm summers evening. We are greeted by Heather the smiling hostess who shows us through to the bar and gives us a brief rundown on the refurbishment and the new decor before leaving us to explore for ourselves. First stop was the Gin bar. With strawberry and slice of grapefruit in one of those massive gin glasses, we were off and exploring.

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The decor is a fantastic rustic animal themed experience. Mixing old classic woods with modern quirky twists. From portraits of animals in suits. To a wood burner in the middle of the dining room. The Fox and Hounds have its own unique vibe that both my GF and I instantly fell in love with. With a dark Emerald Green colour tastefully covering the dining room, the whole place felt cosy and warm. Then tucked away at the back is the Gin Garden Room – what I can only describe as a botanical garden styled dining room, with flower pots all down the side and overhanging vines and plants across the rafters and windows that overlooked the garden.

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After some time checking out the place, tasting the canapés that were flowing around the bar and enjoying the general fun ambience. We finished our tour and took our seats ready for dinner


This is where the fun begins.

Menu

The passion in Daisy our waitresses voice as she spoke about the menu was superb. She was as happy to be serving us the food as we were to actually eat it. The menu felt like it went on forever, in a good way, the options were widespread which catered for everyone. With Vegan options having their own separate menu. From locally grown produce to 21 day matured prime cuts of meat – it was a tough pick from the amazing selection but we managed it. The choices were made. The order was placed.


Starter

We started with a Sharing Starter. Truffled Honey Baked Camembert. Which as any cheese lover and friend of my GF knows, is a top choice. It was served with honey drizzled walnuts and figs on top and a selection of sourdough and rye bread bites. This went down a treat, perfectly cooked and so Moorish. The only tidbit we had was it could have done with a couple more slices of the bread. The cheese to bread ratio was very Pro Cheese. But we didn’t grumble too much. It just meant more cheese smothered on the bread. Yum Yum


We moved onto the main which, like everything, looked amazing. The detail and commitment to presentation rang through the whole evening and honestly we couldn’t fault it. If anything it just made us fall more in love with the place.

Main Course

So I ordered the Rib Eye steak and the GF ordered the Pork Belly with broccoli and some Halloumi Fries for the table. The steak is always a bold choice at any restaurant. The fear of not having it cooked how you like it. Well, The Fox and Hounds team of chefs launched those worries out the window and I was presented with a juicy, tasty, succulent Rare Steak. It was divine. I also had a ‘Signature caramelised onion, stilton and panko crumb tart’ on my plate which when ordering I was unsure what it was. But after a couple of bites, it turned out I really enjoyed it. While opposite me the GF was tucking into her mountain of Pork Belly and mash potatoes. We traded bites like any lovey romcom film would and I have to say. The potatoes were amazing and the pork just melted in your mouth. She thoroughly enjoyed her meal but at one point it looked like the drinks, canapés, starter and main had won. There were talks of no dessert as were both very full. Scary right.

 

Then Daisy came over and asked the dreaded dessert question and we looked at each other. The GF said – none for me. (Noooo). So I took the leap and asked for a menu, I had just enough space for something sweet. We gave it a minute, asked for some time to decide and just took a moment to bask in the ambience of the pub. The second wind kicked in and we both ordered a desert! The GF went for a mini pud and coffee, opting for the Chocolate Brownie and I went for the Eton Mess featuring Cassis . . . . which I was not sure what that was but with Daisy on hand to find out we were about to learn something new. Moments later she came back to explain its a red berry liqueur. Well, I was sold. And when it came out it was the freshest fruitiest dish which was perfect after a big meal. It didn’t feel heavy or filling it was just right. The GF and I sat chatting and sharing desserts as the night came to a close, which during this, Becky the General Manager popped over to check in, see how we were and how we were finding our experience. Which we couldn’t fault at all. Smiles beamed across our faces as we discussed the pub, the menu and the decor with her.

 

All of the staff were amazing, everyone we spoke to was friendly, polite and passionate about us having a great dining experience which in this day an age of chains and takeaways is so refreshing.

It was truly an amazing evening that we both genuine loved.

Overall my review of The Fox and Hounds of Harlestone is this: Set to the backdrop of the countryside, the Fox and Hounds new refurb is a stunning breathtaking place that has everything you could ask for in a pub; from friendly happy to help staff, to luxurious decor and cosy settings, to a menu that just keeps giving. Whatever the occasion, and I suggest you find one just to go here. Birthday, Date Night, Random Wednesday out. Whatever the reason you will not be disappointed with what you find.

The grand reopening is this Saturday 13th July, use their website now to book a table.

WEBSITE

The Fox and Hounds.

TELEPHONE

01604 821251

ADDRESS

The Fox & Hounds,

Harlestone Road,

Northampton,

NN7 4EW


 

1561376214907

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Far From Home at Rushden Lakes.

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[AD] This Post is in association with Cineworld Cinemas. Who gave me and guest tickets to their 4DX experience and Gala evening to celebrate their 100th cinema opening.

Last night I had the amazing opportunity to visit the new Cineworld that recently opened in Rushden Lakes Northamptonshire and to top it off we got free tickets to watch Spider-Man: Far From Home in the 4DX experience.

img_20190702_210029_290Firstly let’s talk about the Cinema and Building itself. Rushden Lakes is the 100th Cineworld to open across the nation and I’ll be honest. They haven’t held back with this one. It’s fresh, sparkly and new. Housed in a unit that also offers Mini Golf and Play Zones. It’s not just a cinema experience anymore. It’s a day out.

This Cinema has the facilities for all the latest movie tech. Including an iMax Screen, Screen X – a 270degree screen, and the stunning 4DX experience. Which is a fully immersive experience that, by using high-tech motion seats that move in perfect synchronization with the film. As well as the moving seats, special effects are added in line with the action on the screen. These effects include wind, water, fog, lightning, bubbles, rain, scents and snow.

This cinema is a state of the art place that just adds to the film going experience.


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The evening began not knowing what to expect, as we took the escalator up to the shiny cinema heaven, we had our names ticked off a list, handed a ticket and escorted through a red velvet rope into the busy cinema lobby where staff were ushering around trays of food and glasses of champagne. It felt very fancy, like a low key James Bond film – just needed to acquire the target and make contact.

We headed into the screen, where we were given more freebies of popcorn and water. We picked our seats and got settled in. I’ve done 4DX before but I didn’t think too much of it. That was a couple of years ago now and I am so glad we opted for this style of viewing because honestly, the experience has changed so much and for the better. The interactive capacity of the chair just put you straight in the film. Feeling every punch, every swing and every bullet fly passed Spidey’s head. It’s an experience I would recommend anyone try especially now that they have improved it so much – Spider-Man in the 4DX style was the perfect pairing.


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Brief paragraph review of the film.

I loved it. Simple as that. I thought it was a really good expansion of the MCU world and the Spider-Man storyline. Introducing some cool new characters and revisiting some old ones that you never imagined you’d see in this film. Tom Holland brings it every time and Jake Gyllenhaal as Mysterio is amazing – a truly underrated actor in my eyes.

There were several throwbacks and nods to the bigger world – one which made me smile so much it almost bought a tear to my eye (but you’d never guess which bit). It flowed really nicely, had the same smart level of humour, action and teenage awkwardness that the first one had and tackled the bigger picture questions left over, as the first film to be set after the amazing Avengers Endgame.


The Lobby

If you are looking for a date night or social afternoon out, I highly recommend Rushden Lakes Cineworld, for the full cinema experience and selection of films. So what are you waiting for? Grab yourself some popcorn, ice cream and a cinema ticket today. Honestly, this is one of the nicest cinemas I’ve ever seen and even though it’s still rocking the new car smell I can see it holding it’s own and becoming a pillar of the community.

Thankyou Cineworld – as always it was a pleasure.

Getting Camera Ready [AD]

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[AD] This post is part of a paid opportunity.

With the summer rolling in, the BBQ’s being fired up and the late summer nights going on forever, what’s a better time to get yourself a new camera. A perfect way to capture those moments of fun; from road trips to music festivals to beach days and just moments you want to remember forever.

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Whatever the event, occasion or reason, Latest Deals have some amazing deals on a range of digital camera; from Action HD Cameras, to DSLR’s, to Pocket Digi Cam’s and even Security Cameras. Check out the following link to find the latest deal – Latest Deals Camera’s

Some of these offers and discounts are unbelievable, but they are constantly changing so if you miss one great offer rest assured another is right around the corner. As I write this there is a £100 saving on a Nikon DSLR which is a significant discount which could be the selling point for your purchase – and why wouldn’t it be.

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I think the camera is one of the best things you can spend money on. A way to capture moments and memories that will last a lifetime – yes I am aware of how cliched that sounds, but it’s so right, isn’t it? Birthdays, Weddings, Parties, Memories. All stored with the click of a button. And Latest Deals is a great place to supply you with the equipment, with handy guides and information about the different styles and types of camera’s, they give you all the know-how and insight you might need to make an informed decision about buying a new camera. What’s not to love. Even the cool flow diagram (above) is a key part of their marketing design to assess what style of a camera might be best suited to you. Are you thinking of pocket size, viewfinder, interchangeable lenses? Whatever style or piece of kit you are looking for and for what you are looking to do with it – Latest Deals will guide you to the right choice at a crazy discounted price. Can’t say fairer than that on service right.

So what is stopping you, break open that piggy bank, check out the guide and order a new camera today, all in time for the long hot summer of fun and memories that will last a lifetime.

I love my DSLR and wish I got it out more, there is some real beauty in the world and it would be a shame to not capture it forever.

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IPFooty Tips & The World of Betting.

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This is an [AD] – I have been asked to promote IPFooty Tips with a blog post.

With the world of sport becoming more and more entertaining each week, the Football seasons are looking to be coming to a climactic end, the mighty Norwich are looking set on heading back to the big leagues, Liverpool are looking to clinch the top spot of the Premier League and England are two for two in the Euro’s Qualifying. But as we all know – in this game anything can happen.

image4Now I’m not much of a gambling man – but if and when I do have a little flutter on the football I follow IPFootyTips (IP) and of recent, they have been smashing it.

Starting back in 2015 with nothing but a head full of Football knowledge, a laptop and the drive to make something amazing happen, IP sat down and started InPlay Footy Tips. An online service that gives football tips and odds for the betting world. Within these first four years, IP has gone from strength to strength and now has three dedicated pages (which we will go into later), 25,000 twitter followers and a handful of staff manning the behind the scenes work. Proving what many of us wish for – with determination and dedication you can make your dreams come true.


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IPFootyTips has three active page – A Free Tips page and two V.I.P Pages (one for football and their newest one for Ice Hockey). Which works on a subscription basis, the free page is, well . . . it’s free obviously. This has daily tips that anyone can follow and then the V.I.P pages have subscriptions on offer which include; Monthly, Quarterly, Bi-Annually, Annually and Lifetime memberships. With these Subscriptions, you are given access to private Twitter groups, more tips and competitions.


How does it work? IP works in methods of ‘Units’ which was new to me when I first found them but once you know it, it makes perfect sense. A Unit is a value that you are comfortable with. So imagine I have £10 and look to make 10x £1 bets – a unit for me would be £1. Over the past three months alone their profit rate has been: +13 Units in January, +33 Units in February and +360 Units in March. Which means in March if your unit stake was £10 you would have seen a profit of £3,600. Which is a nice little win isn’t it.

IP’s strike rate is at 87% – which for a tipster is a ridiculously high success rate. But to get to this level IP has put a lot of time and research into ensuring his tips are accurate as possible and he prides himself on never posting a tip that he wouldn’t back himself. This research is a full-time job and it wants to be to offer betting tips 5 days a week across 3 twitter pages.

So why not check them out on their Website or Twitter Page and if you fancy, have a little flutter – who knows after this weekends football games you could have made a pretty penny.

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Now I wouldn’t be my supportive loveable self if I didn’t say this – Please remember Betting and Gambling should be recreational and fun. But in the hope to sound cliche – When the Fun stops, Stop!

If this post’s content has affected you in any way, please call the National Gambling Helpline: freephone 0808 8020 133 8 am to midnight, 7 days a week. Or if you don’t think you can then drop me a message. Help is always there. You just need to want it.

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Caroline’s Kitchen: The Review [AD]

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[AD, Gifted] – I was asked by the Royal & Derngate Theatre Northampton to review Caroline’s Kitchen in return for free tickets to the play – this is my review.

Last night I had the pleasure of watching “Caroline’s Kitchen” a dark domestic comedy from the mind of Torben Betts, produced by Tom Hackney of The Original Theatre Company and directed by Alastair Whatley at the Royal & Derngate in Northampton.

The play follows Caroline Mortimer (played by the fabulous Caroline Langrishe), a beloved celebrity chef who has it all; an amazing career, loving family and a top end kitchen that we could only dream of. Life is good – or so it seems, but once she is away from the lights and the camera’s, a dark cloud begins to appear over her private life. A storm is brewing and it’s about to wreak havoc.


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Set across the course of one day, the whole play is set in the Kitchen – the heart of the home, as we watch Caroline’s life spiral out of control, the set and the kitchen mirrors this. Starting off as a prim and proper, clean set by the end of the play it’s just like Caroline, the Kitchen is a mess – it’s broken and disjointed. Which is a subtle but very clever way of personifying an object or space to represent a characters transition or mental state. Caroline’s perfect life revolves around her work and more importantly her Kitchen, which is a mirror of herself.

For me it started off at a slow pace – I was a bit lost on what was going on and where it was going but halfway through the first act it really got into its stride and by the interval, I was hooked and on the edge of my seat. Eager for the second half to kick off and continue this mini roller coaster.

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The turning point for me was the introduction of Mike (Caroline’s Golf-loving Husband, played by Aden Gillett) a retired banker who is dealing with a form of depression, looking at life in a bleak miserable way – wishing he had gotten more from life instead of working and then being left as an old broken man. Playing the role of a stereotypical upper-middle-class white man, with his casual racist and politically incorrect outlook on life, he resembled a lead from an old Ealing Studios film. Which I found hilarious and couldn’t get enough of. I guess this probably suggests something about my level of humour and old man mentality.

This is also in no disrespect to the rest of the cast, I really enjoyed both Jasmyn Banks and Elizabeth Boag’s performances. As Amanda, Caroline’s Sassy Drugged up PA and Sally a disgruntled visitor with more on her mind than a house viewing. Both of these women in my eyes dominated the play when they were on stage. Drawing focus from the likes of Caroline, Leo or Graham the remaining cast members. There is a clear divide where the cast range from amazing and captivating, to lacklustre and boring. The latter in my eyes was Graham – the carpenter. I couldn’t gauge his accent as it changed from North London to pure Northern at times. His timing wasn’t on par with the other cast mates and when he was on stage I just felt awkward wondering what he was going to say or do next. I’m not sure if it was meant to be intentional and that his character was a bit slow but sadly that is how it came across.

This was my only gripe so let’s move swiftly on and not dwell on the negatives too much.

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Overall I really enjoyed this production, the best way I can describe it is by comparing it to that final episode of season one of Dr Foster. Where the truth is coming out and the repercussions are flying around that family meal. It rolled around nicely and with every comment or quip, I was left on tenterhooks waiting to see how the next character would react. It might leave you thinking what just happened for a moment but then once it has settled in you can really appreciate the tone, themes and dynamic of the play. Questioning Morality, Monogamy, Depression and Mental Health – while spreading a dark twisted sense of humour on top.

I would say this play could engage a younger generation who aren’t as ‘Into’ theatre as other generations and something like this would be a great way to spark that passion. The script is snappy and sassy which I would say would be appealing to a younger audience, but still with enough humour and references to engage a more mature audience. As I saw last night, there was young and old sitting together laughing at the same things, bringing people together.

It is showing at the Derngate Northampton for the rest of this week before moving onto Liverpool, Cheltenham and a few other places until the end of it’s run in April. I would highly recommend watching it if you get a chance. You will be pleasantly surprised.

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I also want to thank the Derngate again for giving me the Opportunity to review this production.