23 November 2014

Sunday Lunch at Elysium Leeds

Happy Sunday everyone! Hope I'm finding you well. I'm cuddled up on the sofa with my Fireside Treats Yankee Candle burning, fairy lights on and a huge mug of tea. I thought I'd start by telling you about the roast dinner Paul and I had at Elysium Restaurant and Cafe in Leeds today! We've never been here before, and I think it may get overlooked as it's on the outskirts of the city centre, but I would highly recommend it! It was absolutely delicious. We had a Groupon voucher giving us both a main course for £9.95, but I would have absolutely no problem paying the usual price of £11.95 each. The portion sizes were just right, generous but not too filling and everything tasted amazing - especially the roast potatoes! They're my favourite part of any roast dinner but I've been disappointed before. Not here! Perfectly crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. I even managed to trade Paul my parsnips for an extra one...

Elysium is actually an Italian restaurant which I think is another reason it might get overlooked, on a Sunday at least. I really expected it to be much busier than it was and it really deserves to be! They have definitely found two repeat customers in us.

Afterwards we went for a stroll around town and picked up a few Christmas presents. I'm starting to feel more festive every week and I really love the atmosphere at this time of year, especially seeing everywhere all decorated. One of my favourite places in Leeds is the Corn Exchange so I was happy when we stumbled on a Christmas gift market there. It's a beautiful building anyway but it looks extra lovely during the festive season, complete with a giant tree!

So what else happened this week?

  • Monday saw our return to our pub quiz night after about three weeks off. We came second by a painful one point but at least we still won the second prize bar tab. £10 is enough to guarantee that we won't be paying for drinks next week!
  • On Friday night, we saw Mockingjay P1 and to be honest, I'm not sure my nerves have recovered yet, and I knew what was coming! Those films are seriously intense, but I think at least Paul might understand a bit better now why I hardly spoke to him for the two weeks it took me to read all three books one after the other. Gripping! I love the films just as much as the books and, unusually for me, I don't have any complaints about the way they're adapted. Can't wait for the next part!
  • Alice got us tickets for S Club 7 next year! So excited and so grateful I have people like Alice in my life to share things like this with. I love reliving my childhood!

What have you been up to this week? If you've seen Mockingjay, let me know what you thought!

17 November 2014

The Princess Bride

On Goodreads here | On Amazon UK here
The blurb: Beautiful, flaxen haired Buttercup has fallen for Westley, the farm boy, and when he departs to make his fortune she vows never to love another. When she hears that his ship has been captured by the Dread Pirate Roberts - who never leaves survivors - her heart is broken. But her charms draw the attention of the relentless Prince Humperdinck who wants a wife and will go to any lengths to have Buttercup. So starts a fairy tale like no other, of fencing, fighting, torture, poison, true love, hate, revenge, giants, hunters, bad men, good men, beautifulest ladies, snakes, spiders, beasts, chases, escapes, lies, truths, passion and miracles.

Rating: 3/5 stars

I liked:

• The Princess Bride really does tick all the fairytale boxes! I loved the mixture of romance and adventure and I really enjoyed reading about the love story between Buttercup and Westley. I thought their relationship was quite realistic even though they were in a fairy tale, and I like that Goldman included times that they bickered as well as times they were proclaiming their love for one another.
I thought the narrative flowed really well and Goldman's writing style, although quite different, was really easy to read and lended itself brilliantly to the fairy tale genre.
• The mixture of characters was brilliant and I loved how much you got to know about each person's back story and their motives. All the characters are really memorable - I liked Fezzik the giant most!
• It's probably one of the funniest books I've read in a while!

I didn't like:

• The book is written as a novel within a novel, in the sense that the reader is told that Goldman is actually abridging a much older story by fictional author S Morgenstern. Because of this, throughout the book the narrative is interrupted with snippets of Goldman's own (fictional) account of hearing the story for his time as read to him by his father, detailing where Goldman had himself left parts out or summarised whole chapters of the original work. This is different from anything I've read before and, although I think it's a very clever idea, I found this to be quite annoying, especially as at times the narrative was cut off in the middle of a sentence. I found myself skipping these to read the fairytale without the interruptions.
• In a similar point, Goldman's voice in these extracts made me think he wasn't really a very likeable person, and this spoilt my enjoyment of what is otherwise a great adventure story just a little bit.

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