Shoryu Ramen Oxford Exterior - Gudetama X Shoyru Autumn Set Menu October 2018

Gudetama X Shoryu Autumn set menu review

When Shoryu Ramen announced a Gudetama X Shoryu Autumn set menu, it was safe to say, I was pretty excited over it. I love Gudetama. Gudetama is probably the best thing to happen to Sanrio after Hello Kitty herself.

The new Gudetama themed Autumn set menu offers a delicious three course meal, drink and a limited edition Gudetama coaster to take home with you. There is vegetarian, meat and even a vegan main option.

Your drink arrives in a Gudetama cup with a choice between Mango Iced Tea and Calpico. Calpico is a milk based beverage with a sweet taste – which reminded me of Yakult in a lot of ways.

Gudetama menu exterior - Gudetama X Shoyru Autumn Set Menu October 2018Shoryu Ramen Oxford Sake Decor - Gudetama X Shoyru Autumn Set Menu October 2018Gudetama tote bag - Gudetama X Shoyru Autumn Set Menu October 2018

 

So, what did I think of the Gudetama X Shoryu Autumn set menu?

To start, you will devour steamed buns with a choice between BBQ Pork and Pumpkin Croquette. These are plentiful, embellished with lettuce and cucumber, finished with a dash of Japanese mayonnaise and hirata sauce.

I found the pumpkin croquette to be utterly sublime, something I would buy again and again, be it as a lunch or delicious snack. I have to say, I preferred it to my main. The hirata sauce really brought the bun to life, alongside the crispy coating on the pumpkin croquette with its deliciously soft and fragrant interior.

Ramen came along next for the mains, naturally. You could choose between the famed Shoryu Gatsu Tonkotsu with pork or the vegan White Natural (it can be requested with an egg on the side, if desired).

The White Natural broth is made from a combination of soy milk, miso, konbu and shiitake mushrooms. It is then decorated with ramen noodles, atsuage tofu, spring onions, menma bamboo shoots, nori seaweed and kikurage mushrooms.

Gudetama Steamed Buns - Gudetama X Shoyru Autumn Set Menu October 2018Gudetama Ramen Noodle Mains - Gudetama X Shoyru Autumn Set Menu October 2018

The ramen was nice, but without the added kikurage mushrooms (at my request – I am not a fan of mushrooms), it felt a little weak. Saying this, what I did really like, was the condiments available alongside your dishes.

These allowed you to get creative with your ramen. With a sprinkling of sesame seeds, soy and garlic, you can really customise to your taste. It proved a nice touch and made the dishes very flavoursome.

For dessert, a mini mochi icecream in a moody Gudetama paper cup. you can choose between matcha and yuki and both were lovely. Be warned, if you haven’t had mochi before, you may find the texture a little odd. It’s almost like the skin of fruit, with a vibrant ball of flavoured icecream inside.

Gudetama cups - Gudetama X Shoyru Autumn Set Menu October 2018

So, would I recommend the Gudetama X Shoryu Autumn set menu?

Overall, the themed menu was fabulous and oh so fun. Flavour is big at Shoryu Ramen and the selection of condiments really added to the dishes, allowing for a more personal experience. Once your food is devoured, there is even cute Gudetama merchandise to buy instore or online!

The Gudetama X Shoryu Autumn set menu is available exclusively at Shoryu New Oxford Street, Shoryu Manchester and Shoryu Oxford from October 1 – 14, 2018. You can take a bite with Gudetama for ÂŁ22.

Have you been to Shoryu Ramen before? Would you like to try the new Gudetama X Shoryu set menu?

Stephanie xox

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This post is in collaboration with Shoryu Ramen 

Spellbound exhibition witch, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford - The LDN Gal

Spellbound exhibition, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

The Spellbound exhibition at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, features a quirky and eccentric collection of oddities, thwrawt in superstition. The exhibition illustrates over eight centuries of magic, ritual and witchcraft.

As a country, we have always been wary of magic and Spellbound illustrates this fear, showcasing many a mystical and fascinting object and artwork to entice discussion and reflection.

It looks at our ongoing and emotional relationship with magic, superstition and ritual – ever avoided stepping under a ladder or putting new shoes on the table? 

Within Spellbound, discover a collection of “spellbinding stories, fascinating objects… from crystal balls and magic mirrors to witch bottles and curse poppets.”

Spellbound: Magic, Ritual and Witchcraft exhibition

Exhibition highlights include a witch in a bottle, a heart in lead and silver casing and a copy of The Discovery of Witches by Matthew Hopkins, 1647.

You will explore the history of magic, ritual and witchcraft over 800 years. The objects and artwork on display highlight people’s superstition, witches practice and the tools used to eventually condemn them.

Magic and the unknown has always historically caused people to be fearful, and when married with religious views, it was linked closely to devil worship and ultimate despair.

Once inside, you will discover Medieval texts, binding jewellery and crystal balls, as well as magical objects aplenty alongside contemporary art instillations. If you are a fan of magic, the supernatatural, the cosmos and the occult, this enchanting exhibition is for you.

To book tickets for the magical Spellbound exhibition at the Ashmolean Museum, please take a look here. The exhibition runs until the January 6, 2019.

Are you fascinated by magic? Which exhibition highlight would you be most intrigued by?

Stephanie xox

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Library Lates: Tolkein exhibition, Oxford

Library Lates: Tolkien exhibition

This weekend gone, the Bodleian Libraries held a very special evening, a Library Lates: Tolkien exhibition. As the largest J.R.R Tolkien archive in the world, they certainly know a thing or two about Tolkien.

Curator of Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth, Catherine McIlwaine, held the first talk of the exclusive evening. Detailing her journey, she told the audience how it took 5 years to plan the exhibition, which included travel across to the US on more than one occassion and the approval of the Tolkien estate.

Her expert knowledge was simply astounding, and Catherine wrote two publications to compliment the exhibition itself. It was originally meant to be an exhibition solely on hobbits, to tie in with Peter Jackson’s films.

After visiting Seven Stories, the National Centre for Children’s Books, she decided that this exhibition needed to be bigger and better. It needed to present more than just hobbits and it must delve deeper into Tolkien’s world – it was to be a never before seen event. 

The Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth exhibition itself, all stems from the creative genius of its curator and the dedicated work of many within Oxford University.

Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth exhibition review

When planning, Catherine sought to borrow Tolkien’s manuscripts and visual items which had been sold to Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for the sum of ÂŁ1,500 in the 1950’s.

Tolkien had been informed by his publishers that Lord of the Rings would not sell well, so he agreed to the selling of his manuscripts after two years of no revenue. The Tolkien archive is highly prized to Marquette and includes plot notes and visual items which are now on loan to the exhibition.

These include interesting things such as character name changes, plot amendments and alternative endings. Catherine said that she “was looking for items that would shed new light on Tolkien’s work” and that each item had to speak strongly for itself. “I chose items that would surprise the visitor,” she added.

Tolkien’s attention to detail was phenomenal. So much so that not only did he map the realistic distance a hobbit could walk but also invented his own Elvish script for the books. As Tolkien said, “mythology is language and language is mythology.”

He agonised over numerous elements of the book, frequently changing his mind back and forth as shown is his rapidly written plot notes within the exhibition. He finished Lord of the Rings in 1949 and it was meant to be one text but proved far too long for the publishers, eventually being split into three.

Discover Tolkien’s family, educational and literary history in a city which proved a massive influence in the creation of Middle-earth, right in the heart of Oxford. You can book tickets here until the 28 October, 2018.

Are you going to attend the Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth exhibition? Who is your favourite Lord of the Rings character?

Stephanie xox

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Nosebag resturant, Oxford review

The Nosebag resturant Oxford review

Suprisingly, I have never been to the Nosebag resturant in Oxford. Located up a flight of stairs on Saint Michael’s street, this resturant has an incredibly homely feel with wood furnishing, quaint decor and carafes on each table. The environment is welcoming and relaxed. – it has even been around since the 1970s.

With a ton of seating inside, it is perfect for groups and a fab stop for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as offering cakes and alcoholic drinks. The Nosebag resturant offers a limited but varied main menu which also caters for vegetarians and vegans.

You order at the till, choosing your dish and salad or sides as you wait for your plate to be made up. If the item needs a little preperation, you pay and leave and sit with a number. I personally really like paying beforehand as it makes the dining process that little bit swifter.

So, what did I think of the Nosebag resturant Oxford?

For my first visit, I devoured a homemade vegetarian quiche with two side salads. The salad bar selection at the The Nosebag is quite simply amazing, with a creative mix of fresh, delicious and vibrant side dishes. I have to be honest, I would come in for salad alone.

The following week, I savoured a jacket potato with cheese and beans – I am a giant child you see. My boyfriend had the burgandy lamb with seasonal vegetables and thought it superb.

Both occasions, these simple and wholesome dishes were great and the fresh salad bar really is such a fabulous addition to the resturant.

I will be returning to this charming little eaterie again. I think I may have just found my new favourite place for lunch within Oxford.

Have you been to the Nosebag resturant, Oxford? Do you like homemade cuisine in resturants? 

Stephanie xox

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John Lewis Oxford - White Rabbit Alice in Wonderland - The LDN Gal

John Lewis Oxford review

If you are an Oxford local, the news of a new John Lewis store opening has probably had you excited for many years now. Well, now it is here, along with the shiny new Westgate and it is time to spend galore. I was lucky enough to be invited to the new store to get a feel for what they were offering and to tour the services it provides.

The most incredible thing about the John Lewis store in Oxford is its rather subtle Alice in Wonderland theme, a nod to Oxford’s beloved literary history. All around the beautiful interior of the store are hidden secrets of Alice and her time in Wonderland. The main seating area on the ground floor presents an open book, adorned with towering roses telling the story of Alice within printed petals. Each week, this area acts as a storybook museum for children and as an event space when needed.

As you continue around the store you will find teeny tiny secret doors (great for keeping young minds busy), the White Rabbit down the rabbit hole and even an Alice mannequin with a very Rapunzel-esque blonde wig – encouraging you to leave no corner untouched.

John Lewis Oxford - House by John Lewis - The LDN Gal

So, what do I think of John Lewis Oxford?

Once you get over the sheer genius of the theme you discover a store that satisfies every whim and sense. Within the store, you will discover a gargantuan beauty, homeware, clothing, famed haberdashery, technology, and leisure department.

A unique feature is the Experience Desk, which enables guests to visit and see the daily events on offer within the store and ask any questions that they may have. The John Lewis Oxford store also offers appointments on home decor, beauty, nursery advice, travel, personal style and lingerie fittings – they even have an onsite optician! 

Surprisingly, John Lewis Oxford has more services available than any other John Lewis store in the country and are paving the way when it comes to the success of the stores.

It is music to my ears to discover that the beauty and skincare events are very popular in my hometown, with near-daily events and a first-of-its-kind nail and brow bar, ensuring quick and flawless fixes. Dining is also covered with The CafĂŠ Bar by Benugo, The Place to Eat restaurant and the highly-recommended KuPP.

It is no surprise that people are so excited to come and shop. If you do visit, be sure to pop up to the Experience Desk on the first floor for the latest and greatest from John Lewis Oxford!

Have you been to John Lewis in Oxford yet? Do you like the Alice in Wonderland theme? 

Stephanie xox

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This review was produced after an exclusive blogger tour

Pink Golf Cart at Junkyard Golf Club Oxford - The LDN Gal

Junkyard Golf Club Oxford review

I have to admit, when we discovered Junkyard Golf Club Oxford while exploring the shiny new Westgate one day, I knew I had to go. I’m a sucker for a unique experience.

The whole concept is a little bit fabulous, play crazy golf in central Oxford and have a few quirky cocktails in some American-esque red party cups on route – quite simply, what’s not to love? 

Myself and my partner made our way to the venue where we were greeted with a photo oppurtunity pink golf cart, boothed seating and the main Bunker bar. Once checked in, we sauntered over to Bunker with two of my lovely girl friends now in tow and fussed over what to order.

Bunker Bar at Junkyard Golf Club Oxford - The LDN GalCocktails at Junkyard Golf Club Oxford - The LDN Gal

I treated myself to a Hotline Ting – mainly because it had bubblegum flavours and I am a giant child. I must admit, these cocktails kind of remind me of all your favourite childhood flavours, garnishished with beloved sweets and dashed with alcohol. It’s almost slightly unethical when I think about it but who cares, it was delicious.

Cocktails aside, Junkyard Golf Club Oxford presents three crazy golf courses to play, each with nine pretty peculiar holes. Expect bright lights, great music and some creative decor. You will either discover Pablo, Gary or Bozo when you go to play – or all three if you are super commited!  

Pablo has a pretty consistent jungle theme with animals galore and some odditys thrown into the mix, whereas Gary is a car fanatics junkyard with enough scrap to create a shelter. Finally, Bozo takes you to a circus almost as creepy and downright strange as the one in Silent Hill 2. So, a nice variety is certainly on offer.

Putt Up Or Shut Up Mini at Junkyard Golf Club Oxford - The LDN GalPablo Course at Junkyard Golf Club Oxford - The LDN Gal

So, what do I think of Junkyard Golf Club Oxford?

We decided on the jungle themed Pablo, informed it was the slightly longer of the three courses. Each course operates on a one way system with each group going in turn. Even though it was busy, we never had to wait too long for the next hole, if at all.

Saying this, when you do visit, it is probably far better to go as a slightly larger team, as you will find the game lasts that little bit longer. There’s even a pit stop bar for cocktails if you fancy another sweet and satisfying drink along the way.

Pablo Hole Glass Boned Pig at Junkyard Golf Club Oxford - The LDN GalPablo Bitch Don't Kill My Vibe Hole at Junkyard Golf Club Oxford - The LDN Gal

All in all, the entire experience is great, it is truly something different and much needed on the often traditional Oxford scene. Junkyard Golf Club Oxford is super fun and well-themed – even if that theme is animals-meets-industrial-meets-circus madness.

I had a great time, even though I lost as per. Although saying this, I was the only one to get a hole-in-one. Better luck next time eh? I think I fancy a go on Bozo when I next visit…

Have you been to Junkyard Golf Club Oxford yet? Which course or cocktail do you fancy the most?

Stephanie xox

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This experience was exchanged for an honest review