Katie’s Taki Bar

It was about time I showed you around my pride and joy of my entire house. A true centrepiece to any party and a half-decent conversation topic. My home bar, named “Katie’s Taki Bar”, a twist on the good old tiki bars. You don’t need a fancy cocktail cabinet, antique globe or oak cabinet to have an equally as impressive and functional home bar, maybe you’re lacking space, funds or you live in a rented property (like me). Here, I give you, a piece of flat pack and functional furniture that I’m sure every blogger is familiar with, an IKEA BILLY bookcase.

The inspiration came to me when I came to view the flat. It was originally occupied by two lads who had the bare essentials in the furnished property: TV, xbox. As I looked around, there were two bottles chilling on the otherwise empty bookcase, albeit a bottle of nearly finished Malibu and some Aldi’s finest Cream liqueur. That idea lightbulb that everyone tends to dread with me lit up.

I’ve always had a passion for mixology. At the time of moving in, I was working for a hospitality group with a number of bars and restaurants. This meant I was surrounded by great mixologists whom I call friends, so when I was joking about having my own bar shelf they quickly gave me a lot of inspiration (think full on Miami Vice). Some even donated equipment from their own personal collections!

A few months on, the bar shelf is no longer a shelf but almost the entire corner of the room. Over the months, Christmases, birthdays and friends in duty free, my collection has grown from the tackiest possible decor you can imagine, to some interesting brands of different booze.

I tend to have a mixture of branded and Aldi alcohol. I find this works as I often have people round for a tipple, night cap or full-blown cocktail party. It also seems to work to have a rule of “If you bring a bottle (and leave it), I open the entire bar. Many a-memories have been had already.

For my birthday, my sister gave me an engraved martini glass and some tacky sunglasses. It sits pride of place in front of my copper shaker and copper ice bucket, the flamingo filament lightbulb in the copper hold was one of the first things I bought. You may ask why I have coins stuck in wine corks in a Hendrick’s Gin tea and saucer set? It’s a family tradition to stick a penny (or in this case, 5p and 10p – inflation) in the cork of your first bottle of champagne at age 18 and 21.

My friends, Kieren and Sarah bought me the personalised “Katie’s Taki Bar” sign spelt exactly for my birthday, I am SO happy with it. I must mention the Newcastle Pub Stops framed poster, I got it from my mam Santa for Christmas. Again, such a conversation topic whenever anybody comes round, including decorators! I tried to keep the L-shape serving space I had for my most recent house party, but I think that might have just tipped my housemate over the edge.

Other nicknacks include the Luxe Lounge stainless steel cocktail compass, my nana and grandad’s crystal glassware (they’re meant to be used, at the end of the day) and all the other bits and bobs you might be able to see on there. If I’ve missed anything you want to know about, just drop me a tweet! The bar grows and changes CONSTANTLY.

I am ready for any themed get together. Have you seen the latest from my 1920s Gatsby themed party recently? What do you think I should get next? I can’t wait to share my cocktail ideas with you…

…So, what’s your poison?

Antony Gormley: Another Place (Crosby Beach, near Liverpool)

See also: In Pictures.

The next post about my old stomping grounds around my hometown during Christmas is about Another Place. I’m sure if you’re following my blog, you’ll have roots to either the North West or NewcastleGateshead, so the name ‘Antony Gormley’ might just ring a bell.

Most years after each Christmas or perhaps on New Year’s Day, we head to Crosby beach for a walk to “blow off the cobwebs”. This year marks the 10th anniversary of Another Place which makes it even more nostalgic. View Post

Dehydrating fruit cheaply using an oval shaped crock pot (precisely)

Stemming from my previous post, “Jingle Smells and Christmas Pre-scents”, here’s how you can dehydrate the oranges yourself without worrying about your electricity bill.

To dehydrate in the oven, you’ll need to have the pieces in there on a low heat (around 80c) for about 3 hours, I can imagine that would use a similar amount of electricity as boiling your kettle for a long period of time.

cut fruit.png

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Jingle Smells and Christmas Pre-scents

A Christmas blog series from me wouldn’t be right without a little bit of science.

Your senses can be exercised like a muscle. The more you practice your sense of smell, the stronger it gets and if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it! There’s nothing better than the scents that remind you of Christmas, just one whiff in a German market, a fresh pine Christmas tree or, for us, Bacon and Buck’s Fizz.

Christmas candles are great, but I’m literally setting my money on fire and I don’t feel like they last too long. Instead, I’ve come up with a little alternative that you can make yourself and put in your room to smell a little bit more Christmassy, or even give to a friend to stink up their stocking (in a nice way!).

A combination of a couple of ingredients can create a new “smell”. Here’s a little post on how to make a ‘Mulled Wine’ Christmas smell out of simple, Christmassy ingredients.

ingredients

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How to do all of your Christmas Shopping without leaving the house

I’ve just got a bit sassy with a man in a carpark, the space WAS MINE. Chivalry is dead.

CBA with that, I like going out for a mooch but I get stressed when I’m on a mission and people are coming between me and my destination. I turned the car round and came home for a coffee and a pasty. Here’s a list of places where you can do all of your Christmas Shopping.

 

Notonthehighstreet

This site is great, you can really get away with some beautiful, personal and bespoke pieces for not-a-bad-price. I’ve bought two special people their Christmas Gifts from Not on the High Street this year, I’ll show one of them as he’s not old enough to read yet.

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