Review: Carluccio's in Colchester

Sunday, 25 February 2018

In January I spotted a voucher mentioned in the Money Saving Expert news letter - buy one main course and get a second for £1 at Carluccio's. I'd recently spotted a Carluccio's tucked away in the corner of the top floor in Fenwick's in Colchester, so this seemed like the ideal time to have a discounted lunch date with my husband! 

We booked ahead and I was very glad we did as the space was quite small. We saw several people get turned away as they didn't have a reservation and all the remaining tables were booked up. Despite it being busy the service was still very good and we order drinks while we browsed the menu. Well, I should say while my husband browsed the menu - I'd already looked at it several times on Friday night and decided what I wanted XD

For a drink my husband had a very odd "Rosemary water", which I'd never seen before. It's sparkling water infused with rosemary, and came with a sprig of the herb in the glass. I had a little sniff at the bottle and smell was overwhelming, but my husband said it was very nice. 

For starters I ordered the garlic bread. This was possibly the best garlic bread I've had in years. The bread was a freshly made focaccia, with a lovely garlic butter melted on top, and then placed on a grill to give a fabulous chargrilled taste. I'd already told my husband to have half of it, as I don't like filling up on starters, but I seriously regretted saying that after finishing off my piece XD My husband had calamari, which he said was very nice and came with a little pot of sauce and a slice of lemon.

My main was a spaghetti carbonara. This was the key reason why I was so happy at getting the voucher, I'd been wanting a proper Italian carbonara for weeks. It was as good as I had hoped, although I thought there was a bit too much parsley on top. But apart from that it was lovely, the pancetta had a wonderfully strong taste and there was just the right amount of sauce to cover the spaghetti. Husband went for the Penne Giardiniera, which was large penne with courgette, chili and garlic, with crispy spinach balls on top. It genuinely wasn't something I thought he would pick as he's not a huge fan of spinach, but he said it was delicious and he was very happy with his choice.

The only problem I had was that at the end of my very large bowl of pasta I had no room for dessert! I had sacrificed half my starter to no avail. I'd already seen someone's tiramisu go by (husband thought my reaction was hilarious) and had been determined to order one myself, but there was no way I could fit a dessert in to my full tummy. 

2018 Goals - February

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Did January seem to stretch on endlessly? Judging by my Twitter dashboard and I'm going to say that answer is - yes! But we're now in to February and in the back garden the crocuses are starting to come up. It's still very cold but now we know that spring is on it's way.

Because it's February I can now review my goals from January and tell you all about my aims for the new month! I was actually quite impressed with everything I managed to tick off last month, only one thing needs to be carried forward!

So my results for January were;

- Drink 2 litres of water a day < Not quite there yet but I'm definitely getting a lot better at drinking more.
- Reduce biscuit eating to twice a week < Was doing really well on this and then fallen off the wagon this week, but again I'm improving.
- Take a vitamin c every day. < This is the bit I have real problems remembering, even though I keep the bottle on my bedside table 

- Open an ISA (future house move funds). < Opened and first payment made!
- Open an easy access savings account for car and holiday savings, and a fixed rate savings account as a future maternity fund. < Did both of these! The rear tyre replacement meant that I didn't pay anything in to the car fund this month, but I did make a holiday saving payment, and paid £150 in to the maternity fund. I also opened another easy access account for an emergency pot and shoved £1000 in there so it's out the way.
- Print off wedding photos for a frame we got as a wedding gift, and hang it up. < This is the one thing I didn't do, DH needs to pick a photo of me as part of it, and I need to decide what other family ones to print off. It's on the list for February.
- Sort out all the filing for bill paperwork. < Done, although when sorting through some papers the other I found another few bills so I need to file those.
- Buy a blind for the living room. < Did this right at the end of the month, Blinds2Go had 5% off on the one we wanted so we saved a few pennies. It should look really nice when it arrives!

Phew, what a list! As you can see the only thing that didn't get completed was the wedding photos. I'm especially excited about the blind as our living room is south facing. It gets lovely and warm but the sun really gets in my eyes when I'm on the sofa. I've been planning on buying a blind for months so getting it done at last is a big relief!

And I'm now all nicely set up for February;

- Reduce portion sizes for dinner
- Only eat crisps at work < Going to really struggle with this DX
- Exercise video once a week < Going to struggle with this too
- Take a vitamin c and d every day

- Print off wedding photos for frame and hang it up
- Sort & photograph wedding china < Can then start selling some of it!
- Sort out all the used stamps and send them to a place that buys them < Going to donate the money to my favourite charity, the MND Association
- Buy a tumble dryer
- Comment on one blog post a day
- Update car log book with married name and address

I think that's all quite enough to be getting on with for the time being, what are your aims for February?