Wednesday 19 March 2014

A Few Photos of Enchanted Iceland

My friends and I took some lovely photos during our time in Iceland so I thought I'd put a few here for you to see, hope you enjoy them! All photos (c) by Dianne and Danielle Beeaff and myself.

Out and about in Reykjavik

Hallgrimskirkja at dusk
I called Reykjavik the City of Lights, there was light everywhere, this was
Skoladustigur where we stayed

Inside Harpa

A view down a street towards Mount Esja


Carving on a door we passed

Bright and cheerful!

Traditional House

There were some  beautifully decorated windows in the shops, here's number 1

Number 2

Number 3
Solfar (Sun Voyager) sculpture

Out in the countryside
Gulfoss partly frozen 

The Westman Islands

Wall of dappled ice at Solheimajokull - it shone like glass
Solheimajokull (glacier), the dark areas are ash from the eruption in 2010 of the
nearby Ejafjallajokull volcano

Black beach at Reynisfjara near Vik  
Vik beach
Sea near Selfoss

Thursday 13 March 2014

Restaurant Review - Buddha Restaurant, Reykjavik

Buddha Restaurant

Laugavegi 3

Buddha Restaurant


Modern Asian Restaurant decorated in a Chinese/Japanese style. There was lots of space between tables and the seating was very comfortable. The atmosphere was relaxed. We looked out on Laugavegur and so could sit back and watch life pass by on this busy street. Staff gave excellent service and spoke perfect English.

Buddha serves Japanese and Cantonese dishes and on this occasion we all decided to go for the Cantonese menu. We skipped starters and I chose Wok-fried  Beef in Buddha Sauce (I asked what the Buddha sauce was and was told it was a fruity sauce) I loved it. the others had Sweet and Sour Pork, Chicken Satay and Chicken with Noodle and Vegetables and not a scrap was left when we finished, so that  says it all!

The Buddha Restaurant was a bit more expensive than the Italia. My Beef with Buddha Sauce was the most expensive meal at 3590 ISK (£19.30) and the Noodles with Chicken and Vegetables was the cheapest at 2490 ISK (£13.39.)  Everyone thoroughly enjoyed their meal and not a scrap was left, so that tells how delicious it was!

My View
A smart and modern restaurant that has a relaxing atmosphere. The Chinese food we ate was delicious. The prices were reasonable for Reykjavik and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this restaurant.

Restaurant Review - Italia Restaurant, Reykjavik

Italia restaurant
Laugavegi 11

Italia Restaurant


There was a cosy, homely and rustic feel to the restaurant. Seating is in little booths which give a good level of privacy. The booth are each named after various Italian towns/cities, we were in Sorrento. There is a brick pizza oven which I could see from my seat. Service was attentive and friendly, the staff spoke excellent English and were very helpful.

Garlic Mushroom Starter
We all went for garlic mushrooms to start. the portions were large, accompanied by garlic bread and were absolutely delicious.

I had ham and mushroom pizza for my main and again it was large and came fresh out of the brick oven close to our table. It was delicious, one of the best I've had. Danielle had a seafood pasta and said it was the best she'd ever had, and both Dan and Dianne loved their meals too.

My Yummy Ham and Mushroom Pizza!
We had a lovely Italian Chianti to accompany the meal. we could not manage a dessert as the        portions were so large, but I'm sure they would have been as delicious as the other courses.

The Italia Restaurant is reasonably priced compared to the general expense of eating out in Reykjavik. Strangely, starters are almost the same price as mains, the garlic mushrooms cost 2200IK (£11.63) and my pizza was 2500IK (£13.44). So if you want to keep the meal cheap, it may be best to skip a starter as the main is an good price and portions are generous.

My Overall View
I have been to the Italia Restaurant twice and both times the food was very good, plus the ambiance of the place is cosy and easy going. For a restaurant on the main shopping street of Reykjavik the Italia is excellent value and I would not hesitate to recommend it if you visit that wonderful city. 

Wednesday 12 March 2014

Spring Definitely Has Sprung!

What a glorious day it's been today, sunshine, blue skies, birds chattering in the trees. I love days like this when it's clear spring has arrived and we shake off winter's cloak and emerge from the enforced semi-hibernation into an awakening world.

I spent hours in the garden today, mowed the lawns, pruned back some bushes, did some weeding and clearing up autumn's leaves. My tame wood pigeon arrived, along with a girlfriend, so I put food out for them. It's amazing how a bit of good weather rejuvenates and inspires. Looking forward to lots of lovely long walks with the dogs soon and, hopefully, a good summer!

Saturday 8 March 2014

For Goodness Sake U2 Get a Grip!

I could have phrased that more strongly, but hey, there's enough swearing on the Internet. The latest information according to Billboard magazine, regarding U2's next album and tour is that they will not be happening until 2015. After all the recent publicity and strong hints of an album release this year it looks like it will not be happening. They are going to work with more producers and Danger Mouse (aka Brian Burton) seems a bit vague as to what is happening though in the Billboard article it says that he is "remains onboard as the project's central producer," In a recent interview with he says:

As for the fate of his work on the highly anticipated U2 album, Burton claims to not have a clue despite the Irish band already releasing two songs from their sessions with him, the Golden Globe-winning and Oscar-nominated Ordinary Love and the single Invisible.

"I don't really know - I just know it's not done," he said.

But is he still the producer?

"I don't know. I'm working on [Broken]Bells right now I have no idea what they are doing. I've been working on it for YEARS but I'm sure they're still working on the record."

For me that quote says a lot, sounds like the same old story, instead of just going with it U2 is being anal again and bringing in more producers and probably working the music to a safe death, It's now over five years since the last album and it's pretty poor if they can't release a new album they are happy with after all that time. 

Read the full Billboard article hereI could go on and on and on, but that would be pointless, suffice it to say that, if this is true, I will not be a happy bunny!