New House Renovations (Part 2) 2023

The Next Step

In part two of my home renovation journey, the excitement from part one had given way to a whirlwind of thoughts racing through my mind. I was overwhelmed by what needed to be done, worrying about costs, potential missed details, and the order of tasks. Stress was creeping in, despite well-meaning advice from friends and family.

After taking a deep breath and regaining some clarity, I decided to start by knocking down a wall.

This particular wall had once been a hall cupboard, and by removing it, I could create a seamless flow from the entrance to the living room, a significant improvement from the old layout. The next step was a bit more daunting. I had to relocate pipes from the kitchen, close off a wall, reroute radiator pipes, and handle electrical work – a massive headache.

With my budget in mind, I began searching for professionals to tackle this intricate work. Thankfully, a friend recommended someone reasonable, and we managed to make crucial changes without breaking the bank. Pipes were moved, squeaky floorboards fixed….well some but I will get to that, and radiators shifted, all while keeping costs under control.

I was also fortunate to receive beautiful doors from my generous friends, which enhanced the entrance from the hall to the living room.

Aided by a helpful friend, I added some spotlights throughout the house, bringing my vision to life.

As the chaos in my mind slowly subsided, I began to grasp the necessary tasks, their sequence, and the timing. I patiently waited for the joiner to work their magic before I could proceed.

In the meantime, I turned my attention to the front and back gardens.

Overgrowth was trimmed back, not just for aesthetics but to prevent potential issues with roots causing dampness under the house. It was a small one-bedroom bungalow, and I wanted to maintain its open and welcoming appearance.

Once the joiner finished their part, it was time for more choices. I was determined to install new patio doors, a crucial upgrade. But there was another expense I had been dreading: replacing the aging living room, bedroom, and bathroom windows due to rot and poor quality. With winter approaching, I decided it was best to invest in new, energy-efficient windows..

Finally, there was the matter of the front door. The existing one offered little security, being more of an internal door. With suggestions from friends and family, I decided to relocate the front door to the main wall, which not only improved security but also created a more modern look. After crunching numbers and getting an acceptable quote from my joiner, I gave the green light to this last essential change.

Stay tuned for more updates on my home transformation journey! the next part was plastering and more!!

It’s important to note that all the views and opinions expressed in my blog posts and vlogs are entirely personal, have not been influenced in any way and reflect my individual perspective. I value authenticity and honesty above all, and my content is a genuine reflection of my thoughts and experiences.

Easy Asian-Inspired Flat Iron Steak : Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound flat iron steak
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, grated
  • 2 green onions, sliced (for garnish)

Instructions:

  • Marinate the Steak:
    • In a bowl, whisk together soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, minced garlic, and grated ginger.
    • Place the flat iron steak in a shallow dish or a resealable plastic bag.
    • Pour half of the marinade over the steak, ensuring it’s well-coated.
    • Allow the steak to marinate for at least 30 minutes, or refrigerate for up to 24 hours for more flavor.
  • Grill or Pan-Sear:
    • Preheat your grill or a pan over medium-high heat.
    • Remove the steak from the marinade and let the excess marinade drip off.
    • Grill or pan-sear the steak for about 4-5 minutes per side, or until your desired level of doneness is reached.
  • Rest and Slice:
    • Let the steak rest for a few minutes before slicing.
    • Slice the steak against the grain into thin strips.

  • Serve:
    • Arrange the sliced steak on a serving platter.
    • Drizzle the remaining marinade over the top.
    • Garnish with sliced green onions.

Serve your easy Asian-inspired flat iron steak over rice, noodles, or with your favorite side dishes.

It’s important to note that all the views and opinions expressed in my blog posts and vlogs are entirely personal, have not been influenced in any way and reflect my individual perspective. I value authenticity and honesty above all, and my content is a genuine reflection of my thoughts and experiences.

El Santo (Glasgow) 2023 : Review

Visit & Vibes

I recently received an invitation to El Santo in Glasgow, a place that has been on my list for a while. Despite my ever-growing list and ongoing house renovations, the timing worked out perfectly.

The entrance to the restaurant was stunning, with a pleasant atmosphere complemented by cool and warm lighting.

The staff was exceptionally friendly.

Seated in a comfortable booth with a great view of the impressive bar and surroundings, the only concern I had was that the red lighting might affect my photos.

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The Food

I will start by mentioning unfortunately where I was seated the lighting wasn’t the best for photos, so I apologise in advance but I have tweaked it to the best of my abilities.

CROCANTES CON GUACAMOLE (VG)(GF) Β£8,50/15,00
Three house crisps, salsa loka served with guacamole, mixed at the table.

Unfortunately, as I mentioned earlier, the photos turned out a bit too red and not as sharp as I would have preferred.

Let’s move on to the food, which is, after all, why you’re here.

To begin, we ordered the salsa, a dish served and mixed at the table.

Everyone was raving about it, and though I found the tableside mixing interesting to watch, my primary focus was on the taste.

Trying a crisp with the salsa, I found it truly delightfulβ€”fresh and tasty. The crisp had the perfect texture, being nice and crispy.

Overall, it was an excellent little starter that I would gladly have again, as I thoroughly enjoyed the flavours. While the tableside mixing wasn’t entirely to my preference, flavour-wise, it was spot on.

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PASTEL DE POLLO AHUMICADO Y QUESO Β£8.00
Savoury pastry filled with smoked pulled chicken breast, cream cheese, herb aioli.

For the next dish, I opted for something entirely random – pastries filled with smoked pulled chicken breast, cream cheese, and herb aioli.

Initially, upon their arrival, they seemed just okay visually.

However, once I took the first bite, everything changed. The pastry had a delightful crispness, and the filling was exceptional.

I could easily have had two or three more; I’m not exaggerating. Surprisingly, they were fantastic even without dipping them in the accompanying sauce.

Although I tried it with the dip, it was only okay for my taste.

On their own, they were absolutely amazing.

I highly recommend trying this dish if the description intrigues you. I can’t wait to have it again on my return.

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VIERAS SELADAS CON MEL TRUFFADO (GF) Β£16.50
Three seared scallops, sweet potato mousse, rum truffled honey, poppy seeds.

The next dish, which I had seen other bloggers try, immediately caught my attention.

Being a big fan of scallops, I couldn’t resist trying it.

Upon arrival, three perfectly cooked scallops accompanied by sweet potato mousse, rum truffled honey, and a sprinkle of poppy seeds were placed in front of me.

The initial visual presentation was quite pleasing, and then the aroma hit me – it was amazing. With no hesitation, I dived right in and tried one.

The scallops were cooked to perfection, and the combination of the mousse, truffle honey, and poppy seeds made the flavors explode in my mouth.

It was yet another outstanding dish, one that I could easily have had two or three more of tonight because it was just that good.

I highly recommend trying this dish if you visit El Santo, and it’s one I will definitely be having again on my return.

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TACO – CHIPOTLE POLLO (GF) (DFA) Β£7.00
Pulled chicken, chipotle mayo, pickled onion, lettuce.

and

TACO DE BACALAO (DF) Β£8.00
Beer battered cod, pea guacamole, aioli, jalapeΓ±o, caviar.

The final dish before dessert, and it was a must-try for me to sample some tacos while at El Santo.

I couldn’t pass that up. I opted for two: the beer-battered cod and the pulled chicken tacos.

Upon arrival, they looked decent, though I apologize for the picture quality due to the red lighting in my seating area.

I started with the pulled chicken, and once again, it was delightful.

The chipotle mayo and pickled onion stood out initially, followed by the wonderful texture and flavor of the pulled chicken. It was really enjoyable.

Next, I tried the beer-battered cod, and this one was my favorite between the two. It had significantly more flavor, at least for me. Every aspect of it was truly pleasing, and I could easily have had another one.

So, I recommend checking out the tacos. There are a few other options I’m eager to try on my return visit.

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EL SANTO CHARTO CIGAR Β£10.00
Chocolate cigar, blackberry gel. A five-sensory chocolate journey, dusted with a smoked tea ash.

I couldn’t leave without indulging in dessert, and I discovered the El Santo Charto Cigar on the menu.

This piqued my interest as it promised an abundance of chocolate – perfect for my sweet tooth. Although I captured a video, the blurry footage due to the lighting makes it advisable to check out other bloggers who might have been seated in a brighter area.

The presentation is truly impressive; a sizable cigar box arrives with a side dish.

Upon opening the box, smoke emerges, enhancing the atmosphere and providing a visual treat. Chocolate sauce is then poured over the side dish, adding to the spectacle. This part of the presentation is noteworthy and should be retained.

Now, it was time to savor the dessert.

Starting with the cigar, I dove in without knowing exactly how to eat it, and it was exceptionally good. The blackberry kind of jelled drops on the cigar dust in the dish added a unique touch, and the cigar itself was bursting with flavor.

Transitioning to the side dish, the combination of different textures, chocolate sauce, chocolate ice cream, and the topping created a perfect blend.

Surprisingly, despite my sweet tooth, I didn’t find it overly sweet; it was just right for my taste. Additionally, it wasn’t overly heavy, which is another positive aspect.

This dessert is a must-try for chocolate lovers or anyone with a sweet tooth like mine. I highly, highly, highly recommend it. On my return, there’s no doubt about which dessert I’ll be ordering again – it’ll be this one.

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Strawberry & Habanero Margarita Β£10
Tapatio Blanco Tequila, Strawberry cordial, lime juice, habanero

With my meal, I intended to order a cocktail since I had heard that the cocktails here were excellent.

Unsure of what to choose among the intriguing options, I asked a staff member for a recommendation suited for someone with a sweet tooth. She suggested two cocktails, making it a tough decision. Ultimately, I let her surprise me, and the one that arrived on the table was the Strawberry and Habanero Margarita.

Visually appealing, I eagerly anticipated my first sip. True to her words, it had a small kick from the habanero, making it more of a sipping cocktail than one to drink quickly.

Despite the kick, the flavor remained delightful, and it didn’t diminish my overall enjoyment of the drink. I would certainly order it again, along with trying another one of their cocktails.

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Final Thoughts…

Overall what a great invite! the food and service were spot on and so good that I am adding it to my top spots page.

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It’s important to note that all the views and opinions expressed in my blog posts and vlogs are entirely personal, have not been influenced in any way and reflect my individual perspective. I value authenticity and honesty above all, and my content is a genuine reflection of my thoughts and experiences.
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