Priya's Blog

If you can’t say anything nice..

I’m sad to say that I have been the victim of cyber bullying. Someone said really horrible, nasty things about me (to someone else and not even directly to me) on Twitter which were entirely untrue and really upset me. The culprits never came forward and apologised for this but I never wished bad on them and I never would. I would however appreciate an apology but that is a different matter.

I wrote a blog post recently called Embrace Your Inner Single Girl and it generally got amazing feedback. However, there is that minority of people who will always make comments like ‘you’re writing this because you’re bitter about being single.’

Actually no.

I have an amazing life and enjoy sharing the fun parts of my life in these blogs and there are so many amazing women who can identify with them. The best feedback I get is that ‘I can really relate to this blog...’  but when it is my time I will have amazing life partner. Those people who leave such comments PLEASE REVEAL YOURSELVES INSTEAD OF HIDING BEHIND NAMES LIKE JO BLOGS (they have used that name I kid you not), you don’t actually realise your comments are hurtful and try and make us think we lack something in our lives – actually you are extremely wrong because it would appear that you may be unhappy in your relationship when we are out enjoying our lives and maybe you’re not. I’m not saying if you’re married/committed you aren’t going out and enjoying your life because on the contary I know so many couples who have an amazing social life but the fact you have time to read and make such comments suggests otherwise……………

My blog which is clearly about single women, dating and relationships so do you really think I am going to be writing about finding the love of my life? Because this would mark the end of this blog.

So I am politely asking you to refrain from making such comments; if you can’t say anything nice please do not say anything at all.

 

The end.

 

Priya Mulji

Apres Review

Apres bar & restaurant Review

Website – http://apres-london.com/

Closest Station – Bond Street

Food – 4.5

Drinks – 5

Service – 5

Ambience/location – 5

***Happy Hour daily from 5-8pm (£5 on selected cocktails)***

It was a rainy Tuesday afternoon and my feet had become tired as I had been wandering around London sightseeing all day. So my friend and I decided to seek solace in Apres bar, based a stones throw from Bond Street station. We wandered in and were shown to a cute, dimly lit corner table. The bar was quiet but it still had a fantastic atmosphere and I almost felt like I was sitting at a trendy underground bar in New York. We started with a couple of cocktails. The cocktail menu is extensive with many cocktails unique to Apres. Happy hour is every day (including weekends) from 5-8pm and you won’t be disappointed by the Happy Hour selection of cocktails. My initial observation of the restaurant/bar was that it had good chilled out music, dimly lit so it has a relaxed ambience where you could go on a first date, girly dinner/drinks or post work drinks. The décor was deeply warm yet vibrant.

I started with the Candice Cocktail and my guest had the Tall, Dark and Stormy. The Candice was a fruity, martini type concoction which went down a treat after a long day. It is made from Gin, Aperol, Sugar and Watermelon among other ingredients. The Tall, dark and handsome is a long cocktail made with gin, blackberry puree, passion fruit, soda and other ingredients. Both cocktails looked classy, well presented, the alcohol wasn’t skimped on so went down a treat!

Apres - Candice & Tall Dark & Stormy

Apres – Candice & Tall Dark & Stormy

Apres Cocktail

Apres Cocktail

During the course of the evening we ordered more cocktails and we were not disappointed by those. We had between us a Negroni, Passion Flower, Lav Me Tander, Katleya and a Pushkin. I could go on and on about these cocktails but I think it would suffice to say each and every cocktail was unique, fruity, alcohol fused and delicious in every single way. You can view the cocktail menu here to read about all the other elements of the cocktails we had.

Apres Cocktail

Apres Cocktail

We then went on to order some food. We started with the Sweet Potato Straws which were thin, nibbly, noodle-like pieces of sweet potato which were lightly spiced and fried. These were absolutely delicious and very more-ish. For those of you who are familiar with Gujarati cooking these were almost Sev like. This dish was a good accompaniment to the other dishes we were about to order.

We then went on to order the Jerk Chicken Arancini and the Chilli Smoked Hot Wings. I think my friends comment on the Arancini says it all ‘the best Arancini I’ve ever had, even better than an Italian restaurant’ the Arancini balls were a generous size, delicately spiced with traditional jerk seasoning, a good crunch, crumbly texture and a good fusion of Caribbean and Italian cultures.

The wings were bite sized hot wings with a smoked spice flavouring, tender and the good quality chicken just fell to pieces in your mouth.

Apres - Hot wings, Arancini, Sweet Potato

Apres – Hot wings, Arancini, Sweet Potato

We then ordered the sourdough pizza to share. The pizza generally comes ‘Margharita’ and we ordered the pizza with extra olives, jalapeno and mushroom. The pizza was bought out to us by Chef Nino who hails from the Philippines but has worked in some top London Michelin Starred restaurants. He told us that the yeast used in the sourdough is made from scratch and they grow the bacteria for the yeast in their kitchen. They use homemade sauces and the dough is kept for 3 days before making it into pizza. And that was absolutely evident in the taste of the pizza! It was thin, crispy, tasty, fresh and like the other dishes totally more-ish! I could’ve eaten a whole other pizza! (Sadly I forgot to take a picture of the pizza, do’h!!)

We ended with the Oreo Brownies which again were a unique take on a brownie. They were more biscuit based rather than the traditional brownie but was still rich and chocolatey. Personally I would have liked the brownie to be served with perhaps a little cream or ice cream but was still the perfect end to a perfect evening.

Apres - Oreo Brownies

Apres – Oreo Brownies

Overall everything was delicious, well presented and in a nice central location. For fabulous cocktails and good quality, fresh food Apres is the place to be!

 

Priya Mulji

Interview with Manisha Tailor

Personally I know how hard it is to overcome norms in the Asian community so when I heard about a female, Asian football coach I just had to speak to her! London based Manisha Tailor has followed her passions and dreams to become an amazing role model to all Asian youngsters out there. It hasn’t been easy for Manisha though and she has become somewhat of an ambassador for mental health issues, I spoke to the talented and beautiful Manisha recently about her life, her passion and what’s next.. 

Where does your passion for football come from and how did you begin coaching?

One of my earliest memories is my twin brother and I playing football when we were about 8 years old. We lived and breathed football and we had an extremely special bond. My parents were not really happy about me pursuing football as a career and wanted me to focus on education; like most Asian families. However I continued to play football during school hours and played football matches at lunchtimes. I loved it. It was my passion from an early age. Then things took a turn though when at 18 my brother was diagnosed with depression due to bullying and traumatic events. My brother has now been non-verbal for 15 years.

I fell into teaching as I didn’t want anything to do with football anymore but the opportunity to coach then arose to coach when I met Rachael Yankey who inspired me to coach and I was able to combine teaching with my passion for football. I’d go home after coaching and would see that my brother is happy. I realised  I was following the right path and he could potentially recover. The rest is history

 

Manisha Tailor at the Asian Football Awards

Manisha Tailor at the Asian Football Awards

Who would you say inspires you most?

I am a huge fan of Arsene Wenger and his youth coaching and development philosophy. His understanding of how to develop young players inspires me as a coach. There’s a coach at Brentford FC called Stuart English who is one of the best coaches I have seen and was in complete awe and hope to learn more from him and the club. The Nabi brothers at West Bromwich Albion and Yan Dhanda at Liverpool will hopefully inspire more Asian players to make it pro”.

 

You must also face comparisons with films like Bend it like Beckham. Is this something you love or hate and do you think it has helped or hindered your path?

It is nice to be compared to a film that proved to be extremely popular as well as one that focused on a subject I love – football.  It has not hindered my path at all and when comments are made I smile!

 

What advice would you give to girls and women who want to play football?

 

Be willing to gain a wide range of experience and volunteer.  Gaining experience at grassroots and community schemes is invaluable as that’s where it all begins.  Setting up and securing a good foundation is imperative if we want to see longer term impact and that’s why I have a lot of passion and love for grassroots football.  It is where my journey began and what has helped shaped me as a person.

 

Manisha Tailor

Manisha Tailor

Do you think people’s attitude to female footballers is changing?

 

Yes I do, I think that the women’s game is gaining more popularity and we can see that via the expansion of the women’s super league in addition to women’s games now being show on TV.  This is most definitely a move in the right direction.  It perhaps is not on par with the men’s game, but I wouldn’t like to compare them as I think each is valuable within its own right. Hearing about women in football having ambitions to work in the men’s game is brilliant, such as mentioned in a recent feature on Emma Hayes, Chelsea Ladies FC manager.  Things have certainly moved on and I feel having male managers within the women’s game, like Mark Sampson managing the England women side illustrates a shift in thinking.

 

What has been the biggest highlight for you in your career?

 

Seeing the smiles on the faces of those that I can make a difference to is my biggest highlight and it really can’t get any better than that; being able to re-shape the lives of others is extremely rewarding.  I did win the Woman in Football award the Asian Football Awards in 2013 which I was over the moon about.  Being recognised for the work you do is a great feeling and to have the support of so many kind people is wonderful.

Manisha Tailor

Manisha Tailor

 

What is next for Manisha?

I want to continue to learn and develop as a coach and tutor and now work towards my UEFA B Licence.  I passed the Module 3 Youth Award early this year which I was really pleased about and thoroughly enjoyed my year long journey working towards the award.

 

I would like to thank Manisha for taking the time to speak to me about not just football but issues which people sometimes do not like to talk about in the Asian community. Manisha is an extremely wonderful role model for us all and I wish her all the best for her future. Go Girl Power!

Follow Manisha on Twitter

 

 

 

Embrace Your Inner Single Girl!

So in an ideal world my mum would have me married with a kid by now (note ‘a’ because I have always stated I am only having one child).

Recently I have been feeling a little lost and don’t know what I want or what I am looking for, I don’t know what I want and have been questioning certain things like if I ever want to get married or have children.

And then I realise that of course I do, it is just that right now is not the right time.

Recently I was reading an article by one of my favourite writers Katy Horwood about why being single totally rocks! And then I got it. I’m not lost but I am just not looking for anything because I have everything I need. An amazing family, fabulous friends, a potentially fantastic career, a column in a national newspaper and if I want to have….erm…an intimate encounter…well I’m sure I could have one! (Not that I will because I’m not that kinda girl but let’s face it that is the only bad thing about being single!) but basically I think at the moment I am so content with being single that there perhaps isn’t room for a significant other in my life.

Katy states in her article reasons why being single rocks is for instance being able to have a gin n tonic in the bath on a Wednesday at 3pm and here are my reasons why being single totes rocks:

  • I can eat my dinner whenever I like. If one day I want to eat at 7pm as soon as I get home from work and the next day not eat until 10pm then I will
  • If I want to have a bottle of wine and tweet shit, on a Monday night, I can and will
  • I can flirt with whomever I like
  • I answer to no one (well apart from those who continue to question why I am single)
  • I can write blogs like this
  • You don’t have to pretend you like the movies/films/friends/restaurants and everything he likes!
  • If I want to go to the gym I will. If I don’t I wont
  • I can drink wine in the bath. Or in the shower. Everyday.

One day I will find a guy, live with him, get married and have kids (perhaps not all in that order) but until that day embrace your inner Bridget Jones. Eat, drink and be merry!

Interview with Author Bekki Pate

It is wonderful when you have a talent for writing and even better when you have the chance to share this with the world. To get caught up in a whole different world full of  where imagination takes over with characters, fantasy and story telling is something phenomenal! I recently reconnected with a wonderful writer Bekki Pate whom I used to work with. She is on her way to becoming a world famous author and I really wanted to have a little chat with her. So here is what we spoke about:

Bekki tell us a little about yourself..
I grew up in Nottingham and recently moved to Cannock in Staffordshire. I have been writing all my life and my latest books – The Fragment Trilogy – are my most ambitious and the work I am most proud of. I work full time in admin, and in my spare time I love reading – I am really into Stephen King at the moment.

How did you discover you had a passion for writing?
I have always written fiction, ever since I can remember, so it was just something that always was, rather than something I discovered or fell into. It started with silly ghost stories at school, and then a few crappy teenage novels that make me cringe. Finally, this book was written and I am immensely proud of it.

Where did you get inspiration for your novel?
I wanted to write a book about strong characters, and I have always loved horror and paranormal, as well as romance, so something that encompasses all these things was the basis for my story.

Bekki Pate

Bekki Pate

You’re very close to getting your first novel published? How do people go about pre-ordering?

The book sadly will not be published unless I can get a good number of supporters for it. All the supporter needs to do is click here: https://britainsnextbestseller.co.uk/index.php/book/index/TheFragmentTrilogyTheWillowTree

Then click the “pre-order” button fill in the delivery details and email address – That’s it! The supporter pays nothing until mid September when the campaign ends, and that is ONLY if I am published. The book is £8.99 and with that the supporter gets: a signed copy of the book, a FREE bookmark and their name listed inside the book as an official supporter.

How did you go about speaking to people to get your novel out in the public domain?
I created a facebook page and set myself up on Twitter and tried to reach out to as many people as possible. It’s been a steep learning curve for me as I really didn’t know anything about marketing, so it’s been fun and emotional. It’s also surprising and humbling that I have had so much support from people.

Without giving too much away tell us a little about the story…
It’s rather dark and gory – not for the faint-hearted! But alongside the disturbing basic plot, emerges a love story, a story of friendship, of loss and mystery, and through the perspectives of three different protagonists.

What’s next for Rebecca?
I am currently drafting chapters for a fourth book, as well as sending a few short stories to creepy pasta. I have also entered into the Costa Short Story Awards, so fingers crossed!

 

I’d like to thank Bekki for her time and wish her all the success in her future writing career! Do let me know if you purchase the book and what you think of it!

 

Priya Mulji 

Restaurant Review – Tamatanga Nottingham

Website – http://www.tamatanga.com/

 

Food – *****

Service – *****

Ambience/Location – ****

 

You can tell that a restaurant is going to be just fantastic when on a Tuesday lunchtime it is almost full to the brim.

 

I visited my hometown for a week last week and had the opportunity to visit Tamtanga. Now I have been there before but not in a few years and was happy to be going back there. I was babysitting my 8 year old niece and 12 year old nephew for the week so they were my guests on this occasion and the prospect of this I thought was going to be interesting because children have their own take on everything. As it is school holidays I could see there was a variety of groups on this particular sunny Tuesday; groups of friends, work colleagues and friends. Tamatanga used to have big communal Wagamama style tables but these have now been replaced with smaller, more intimate tables. The décor is vibrant, colourful and a great representation of modern India and the way people all around the world know it.

 

Tamtanga Nottingham Review

Tamtanga Nottingham Review

Tamatanga is located in the Cornerhouse in Nottingham town centre with nearby public transport and parking facilities not too far away. We arrived around 12.30 and we were shown to our table quickly by a friendly waitress who took our order too. The kids and I decided to go for the lunchtime deal which is £6.95 for a main and drink and this consists of a curry bowl with naan or rice and a soft drink. You can add a little more money and choose a thali or biryani. The kids meal costs £3.95 and there is a kids menu to choose from. My niece decided to choose the chicken korma with rice and had a creamy mango lassi. The dish was a classic korma, the chicken was tender and it was a generous portion for a hungry 8 year old. My nieces comment was “this is the softest chicken I have ever tasted!” so lets say she really liked it. The dish also came with a side salad.

Chicken Korma - Tamatanga - Kids Meal

Chicken Korma – Tamatanga – Kids Meal

 

My 12 year old nephew decided he wanted to go for one of the adult dishes and we paid an extra £1 for a thali. With this you got a daal, two veg curries, a curry dish of your choice, popadoms, a snack, mango chutney and then either rice or naan. My nephew ordered the homestyle chicken curry which was tender, flavoured with very homestyle Indian spices and it was really moreish. The other dishes were set and tarka dal, onion bhaji, mixed veg curry and Bombay aloo were on the menu that day. It also came with salad. These were all lovely, traditional, perfectly cooked and not overly spicy. The flavours came through well on each dish. The veggie dishes had Punjabi and Gujarati tones to them and reminded you of home. The perfect dish for people wanting to try different things but not break the bank. He ordered a coke to wash this down with.

Tamatanga Thali

Tamatanga Thali

 

I decided to go for a curry bowl and as a lover of paneer I decided I would go with the paneer makhni. And what a great choice! The paneer was just soft and melt in your mouth. The sauce was rich, thick, tomatoey, creamy, delicate and the perfect paneer makhni. I decided to have rice with the dish which was light, fluffy and airy.

Tamatanga Paneer Makhni

Tamatanga Paneer Makhni

 

We ordered a portion of naan and in one portion you get two naan breads. We also ordered a portion of the tamtanga chips which are like fries and seasoned in tamtanga’s Indian spice mix.

 

Tamatanga Chips & Naan Bread

Tamatanga Chips & Naan Bread

 

Now one more thing I must mention to you is that my nephew wants to be a chef when he is older and what just made my nephews day was that he had the opportunity to meet the chef at Tamatanga. Chef Himanshu hails from New Delhi where he was trained by his uncle who is a director at the Taj Group of hotels in India. His uncle also trained top Indian chef Sanjeev Kapoor. Himanshu told my nephew about how he was trained by his uncle and his passion for food shone through the entire conversation. My nephew was left really inspired and wanting to go home and experiment with his own ideas.

 

Overall the dining experience at Tamatanga was an exciting, modern but authentic, tasty experience and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the restaurant to existing lovers of Indian food, people who want to get their first taste of Indian food and for people who want to try lots of delicious and authentic dishes. There is plenty to choose from on the menu from curry bowls to thali’s to biryani’s and grills so head on over to Tamtanga today for an authentic yet modern treat! (Don’t forget to mention you read this review when you visit!)

 

Priya Mulji 

 

Normality doesn’t suit me…

As a 32 year old old I am expected by society to have been married for at least 4 years, have kids and I should be content with that…

Normal is boring

Normal is boring

I sometimes think back to when I was a kid and I realise that I have never done anything like I should’ve. As a teenager I never had a boyfriend as all the guys would fancy the other girls I hung out with due to my severely Eczema covered face. When others were getting grade A’s I was more a of a C, D and E student (I have a degree and write a column for a newspaper now so who cares!). Now when people my age are getting married and having kids I’m enjoying my life, hanging out at parties with celebrities, being creative and exploring the world. And you know what… I am the happiest I have probably been for a long time. Ok, so I may be single but I would rather be single, not have to answer to anyone and be creative rather than have to answer to someone who may not approve of my life choices. Actually I have been questioning a lot of things in life recently in terms of what I want.

Truth be told I realised the other day while I was driving up from London to go my hometown of Nottingham that I don’t think I could be one of those people who works 9-5, goes home, cooks dinner, chills for a bit then goes to bed. That’s fine for some people but not for me and once I had realised that and accepted it, well, it actually made me a whole lot happier.

Being-who-you-are

Recently I attended a number of premieres at the London Indian Film Festival. I am lucky to be in a position where I get invited to such things. One of the things which really made me realise that I don’t think I could ever go back to my ‘old’ life was when I was speaking to an old school friend who had also moved to London and he said that when he went back to Nottingham it was like a time warp.

I think that London is such a wonderful and culturally open place that I don’t ever want to live anywhere else (well unless it is San Francisco or Valencia!)

On that note this is a message to anyone who feels that they don’t fit in, well it is ok, you don’t have to no one will ever make you. Being unique and individual is such a wonderful thing. I often feel like a misfit in so many areas in my life and sometimes it can be upsetting when people don’t understand where you are coming from. My priorities in life are not to get married and have kids. Like I said earlier it is ok for some people but not for me and on that note I want to leave you with this quote by Matt Groening “Living creatively is really important to maintain throughout your life. And living creatively doesn’t mean only artistic creativity, although that’s part of it. It means being yourself, not just complying with the wishes of other people.”

Picture sources -

1. https://twitter.com/Notebook/status/498937122808934400/photo/1

2. http://www.windowofinspiration.com/inspirational-quotes/being-who-you-are-quote/

Priya Mulji

How Not to Write an Online Dating Profile

@katy_red (creator of All Sweetness and Life) is one of my favourite bloggers! She always covers fantastic topics and I Katy recently posted this blog which I think will resonate with many of you! I often get asked what should I put on my online dating profile? Well with this article that Katy has written she hits the nail on the head and tells you what you SHOULD NOT put on your dating profile… Read it here…

 

Priya Mulji x

Fifty Shades of Grey – Trailer Release

Women, if you haven’t read Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James you may as well stop reading this post now. Women who have (and have openly or secretly loved it) then you’re going to love this! The movie version of the best selling trilogy is set to release Valentines Day 2015…. ahhhh we have so long to wait! But the trailer has been released today and effing hell it looks HOT!

Starring Jamie Dornan & Dakota Johnson, and directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson this movie is set to be an absolutely sizzling one and no doubt November 2015 may see a baby boom! I am not afraid to admit I loved the book no matter what people say and am really looking forward to it, I hopwe I have a man to go with then! Also Starring Rita Ora and Luke Grimes with a special version of Crazy in Love by Beyonce this movie is going to get pulses racing!

Warning: not for prudes!

Watch the trailer here.

 

Priya Mulji

Shai Hussain interviews Farhan Akhtar

So, we all know I have a mild obsession with Mr Farhan Akhtar.. Last week he was in town at the London Indian Film Festival taking part in a screentalk which was an amazing experience to hear him talk about his life and his work so far… interestingly my friend Shai Hussain managed to catch up with the man himself so of course I had to share the interview with you!

Farhan Akhtar Priya Mulji loveliff

Farhan Akhtar Priya Mulji loveliff

“Last week, Farhan Akhtar – director, producer, actor, musician, writer, poet, philanthropist – visited London to partake in an evening Q&A at the Southbank Centre. We had an opportunity to speak to him beforehand and used our limited time with him to gauge how his mind manages to focus on so many things at any one time. The conclusion? One thing at a time…Read the rest of the interview here “

 

11 THINGS YOU DIDNT KNOW ABOUT THE FILMS OF FARHAN AKHTAR

Follow Shai on Twitter here

Priya Mulji

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