Priya's Blog

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The book sadly will not be published unless I can get a good number of supporters for it.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

Wild Food Cafe – Review

Food – 5

Service – 5

Ambience/location – 4.5

Website: http://wildfoodcafe.com./

 

It was a sunny Wednesday evening in Covent Garden when I was making my way to Neals Yard to visit a restaurant I had been intrigued by for a while. I knew this was going to be an experience unlike any I have had before so the way I have written this review is slightly different from others. I could go on and on about the flavours, smells and textures of the food at the Wild Food Café forever but I’m going to share with you everything which I thought was absolutely unique.

P1000219

Laverstock Beer & Organic Wine - Wild Food Cafe

Laverstock Beer & Organic Wine – Wild Food Cafe

Olives - Wild Food Cafe

Olives – Wild Food Cafe

 

Located above bustling Neals Yard The Wild Food Café is the mastermind of Joel Gazdar where wild, organic, vegan food is blended to create an explosion of unique flavours in the food they serve! What struck me from the beginning was the almost village like vibe with tables of laughing, joking, happy people. Gemma Arterton has even been known to frequent the place!

I met with their manager Andrew Holloway who has been at the Wild Food Café for just over a year and the cafe has been open for 3 and while I was visiting Andrew began to tell me about the philosophy behind their food. He believes foods heal and all their food is made with fun, celebration, appreciation and above all Love (which you know I am a big fan of!). They source their food from local places such as Borough Market, get their dairy products from Neals Yard Dairies and their food is mostly Vegan.

Moving onto our meal I started off with a glass of biodynamic, organic red wine (Novas Gran Reserva 2010). This was a luscious, deep Pinot Noir and complemented the food which I was about to taste perfectly. My guest had a Laverstock Beer.

We started with some fresh green and black olives which are marinated in oils and herbs by the chef. It seemed that every olive had a different taste and that is something I have not experienced before.

First of all my most favourite thing on their menu which I had tasted and had never even heard of before or had even imagined was the Coconut Cheeze (yes it is spelt like that!), this was tangy, rich and actually not too coconutty.

Coconut Cheeze & Halloumi - Wild Food Cafe

Coconut Cheeze & Halloumi – Wild Food Cafe

 

Next we tried sundried tomatoe & sunflower seed crackers which weren’t your average cracker! They were soft, flavoursome and left a nice taste in your mouth.

The halloumi cheese was fresh and tasty but not at all salty like some halloumi can be.

The I Love Ewe was unpasteurised Neal’s Yard dairy sheep cheese, caramelized onions, Dijon mustard, gherkins & tomato – it was like an organic sandwich of tastes exploding in your mouth!

All the foodie delights at Wild Food Cafe

All the foodie delights at Wild Food Cafe

 

The Wild Pizza is a raw pizza containing coconut cheeze, wild sea purslane & basil pesto, raw cultured tomato & goji berry marinara, Turkish olives, artichoke hearts and avocado. Totally yummy and this is a dish which will appeal to everyone visiting, especially kids as the colours and textures are absolutely beautiful and you can get stuck in with your hands and fingers.

Wild Pizza - Wild Food Cafe

Wild Pizza – Wild Food Cafe

I Love Ewe - Wild Food Cafe

I Love Ewe – Wild Food Cafe

 

The next thing I would highly recommend is the Ayurvedic salad served on a bed or organic lamb lettuce, wild rocket topped, amaranth, courghetti spaghetti, hijiki seaweed, slices of artichoke hearts, avocado, cucumber, red pepper cubes, finished off with coriander, rocket & parsely pesto, mango salsa, activated savoury seeds flavoured with leafy greens and spices, and marinated shitake mushrooms.

Ayurvedic Salad - Wild Food Cafe

Ayurvedic Salad – Wild Food Cafe

 

For dessert I went for the raw lemon cake which was extremely tangy just the way I like a lemon dessert and rich. My guest went for the raw chocolate and tart. For those who like organic food and chocolate this is a dream!

 

Dessert @ Wild Food Cafe

Dessert @ Wild Food Cafe

We tried other dishes but this blog would go on for pages if I told you about all of those but please do feel free to contact me if you wanted more details.

Overall the Wild Food Café was a delight from start to finish, every dish is unique and I have never tasted raw, vegan ingredients like this (and my mum is a vegetarian!) for those of you who are thinking….’well…. I’m not sure if I’ll miss meat or not’ just give it a go… you will be pleasantly surprised. The Wild Food Café is a must visit place!

 

Priya Mulji

Sometimes I Forget How Lucky I Am..

This time two years ago I was unemployed.

 

…………………………………………………………….

Sometimes I forget how lucky I am. Sometimes I moan about being single, or get jealous because things are happening for other people and I want those things to happen to me; some people may call that selfish but I think it is natural for people to feel like this.

 

At that point I stop to look at what I have in my life. I write an amazing and unique column for an award winning newspaper, I have supportive family, I have been lucky in the sense that I didn’t have to try too hard when I moved from Nottingham to London just under 2 years ago to make friends because the people I already knew welcomed me with open arms and  I now count them as some of my best friends (Asjad, Rita, Ush, Mala I’m talking about you).

 

I recently attended the premiere of Disney’s Million Dollar Arm and it was a wonderful and inspiring film based on true life events about the two first Indian baseball players who get signed by an American team. The film stars Jon Hamm (Madmen), Suraj Sharma (Life of Pi) and Madhur Mittal (Slumdog Millionaire). It is released at the end of August so please do check it out!

 

Now if you know me I love celebs! So when I tell you I was sitting in front of Tommy Sandhu (whom my niece absolutely loves) behind Kulvinder Ghir, close to Meera Syal and Shobhu Kapoor.. I mean I was absolutely overwhelmed. Inside I will always be that girl from a suburb in Nottingham whom dared to dream and lives life without regrets.

 

If I do something and it doesn’t work out then fine, if I fall in love and my heart gets broken then it doesn’t mean I won’t love again BUT whatever happens we must never forget to be thankful for what we have and never stop believing in our own strengths. I have some fantastic things to look forward to and a life which if certain things had happened, well, then I wouldn’t be where I am today.

 

Lets take a moment to be thankful. x

Foodie Pics

As you all know I do restaurant reviews. People often ask me to post more pictures of the food on here but it can get a bit too much! I have set up a folder on Facebook which you can all view if you wanted to look at more pictures of my recent reviews. Just click here.

 

Thanks

 

Priya Mulji

A little note…

Hey guys!

It has been a while since I left you a little note, I have some new columns that I have written which some people may like and some people may not but you know what.. I love writing and I really do not care what people think because the best feedback I get is from those of you who say to me in person or via Twitter/Facebook that you can relate to what I write about. I love that and it really touches me, without you guys these columns would never exist..

We all go through a lot in life and I am no different, recently things have been pretty hard for me but I get by with a little help from my friends, family and strangers.

So…

Thank you each and every one of you for reading, loving and even hating my blog! Keep all the comments coming because this is what really keeps me going.

I uploaded some new columns so please do have a read here and let me know what you think.

 

Love,

Priya x

 

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