I was a stone lighter before I moved in with my fella - and it's all down to his top notch skills in the kitchen. But I ain't complaining, I've enjoyed some delicious treats along the way and tried foods I'd never considered putting on my plate before.
We rarely pass a food stall or market without stopping for a look (he just can't resist) and he receives at least three cookbooks each Christmas or birthday.
So when his 30th birthday came around last year, I knew exactly what to get him - tickets to Birmingham's Good Food Show Winter - an absolute feast (ahem) of culinary goodies. And seeing as he'd reached his 30th year, I figured I'd push the boat out and get us some VIP Plus tickets, which included a two-course meal in the Master Chef restaurant at the show, goody bag, front row seat to see the Hairy Bikers, and plenty of refreshments throughout the day.
While we were ridiculously excited to attend the show, we weren't much looking forward to the early start (the event started at 9.30am but we'd have had to set off at 7am from our home in Yorkshire to make it on time). Thankfully, the people at the stunning Hyatt Regency hotel in Birmingham came to the rescue, offering us a complimentary night's stay with breakfast.
|Festive scenes: View from our Regency Hyatt bedroom|
An evening's relaxation in the stunning four star hotel was exactly what we needed. I enjoyed a swim in the gorgeous pool while the mister chilled out and played on his tablet, and later we munched our way through a massive burger (me) and a huge steak (him). Yum.
|The stunning bathroom in the Hyatt Regency hotel, Birmingham|
The service was great and the food delicious. In the morning, we enjoyed a huge breakfast of eggs, bacon and pastries before making our way to the hotel. If you're looking for a lovely, centrally-located hotel in Birmingham, you'll love this one. We even had a few of the festive ice rink and gorgeous Christmas tree-lined shopping streets.
At a very respectable 9am, we set off for the show, trainers on feet and ready for a day's spent wandering around the many stalls on offer at the packed event. If you haven't been to the Good Food Show before and have even a passing interest in great food, you should definitely book your ticket to the next one (taking place in the summer).
While the day was a treat for my food fanatic chap, I was in my element too. A huge fan of the Bake Off, I was chuffed to listen to Q&As with some of the show's stars and have a snap with three of them - what a lovely bunch. Glen and James even offered some baking tips, while Christine told me (shock horror) her favourite thing to make was puff pastry.
Later, it was time to battle the huge NEC hall, where hundreds of brands had set up stall selling all manner of tasty treats. We each came back with around £40 worth of stuff we'd bought, including some deliciously chocolatey truffles, a huge slab of pancetta, some luxurious pates, and some local ales.
We'd enjoyed free food sample aplenty already, but we made sure we had room for a delicious meal in the Master Chef restaurant.
My fella's salmon starter looked mouth-wateringly delicious, while I opted to sacrifice a first course for a tasty desert instead - the beautifully light lemon tart (below).
|The stunning starter|
For the main, we both opted for duck breast with lentils and a super rich gravy - an absolute taste sensation.
After we'd shopped until we were about to drop, it was a huge relief to sit down in the supertheatre and watch the show - Hairy Bikers. Whipping up a cooking storm to create four meals between them in just 20 minutes (including poached pairs, and low fat pies), the duo was hilarious. We were even treated to a spot of dancing from Strictly contestant Dave Myers - a feast of a different kind.
Looking for a unique way to treat someone this Christmas? Why not couple a night's stay in the Birmingham Hyatt Regency with a trip to the 2014 Summer Good Food Show - you'll love it.