Zouk Lounge, Wolverton a review against all the odds

Food fashions, like most types of fashion in this country, usually come to life in London and are incomprehensible to me. I despise the ‘clean eating’ epidemic for it’s miss-information message wrapped up in a so-called healthy lifestyle (that is usually anything but) and for similar reasons that I will not wear low riding jeans or anything that has been pre-ripped before I buy it. But there are some fashions that do catch my attention and the paired back focus of less ingredients, more flavour approach of Turkish cooking is one. The Zouk Lounge is one of the four Turkish restaurants that have opened in Milton Keynes over the past year or so and with family living in Istanbul I feel qualified in providing you with a mildly insulting, colonially British judgment of their food.

EDIT – the Zouk Lounge has got in touch and has asked me to clarify that they are a Lebanese restaurant and not Turkish. I stand corrected and will immediately research the difference between the two.

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Carluccio’s, Milton Keynes – Review: A Recipe In Getting It *Royally* Wrong

Carluccio’s Milton Keynes restaurant review

A cold and wet late October’s afternoon in Central Milton Keynes Shopping Centre doesn’t perhaps present one with the wealth of independent eateries that I’ve become accustomed to in my midweek London escapades, but there I was, hunting for some warm sustenance to continue braving the crowds. Strolling along I saw the lunchtime set menu offer at Carluccio’s, two-courses for £11.95 and headed on in, never having set foot inside a Carluccio’s before but having high hopes of an Italian lunchtime tasty treat.

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Kaspa’s Desserts restaurant comes to Milton Keynes; holy crêpe!

Milton Keynes dessert Kaspas icecream cones

From waffles and crépes, to chocolate fudge cake, crème brûlée, icecreams and milkshakes, there’s something really comforting about a good dessert.

The thing is, with the exception of a few places we’ve reviewed on TwoMenAboutTown, a large chunk of the restaurant trade of both chain and independent variety source sweets ready-made from suppliers, charging a silly amount for the fuss of sticking a refrigerated pre-made brownie on a plate with a scoop of icecream. Desserts are an art form that kitchens struggle to cope with or find time for, instead opting to focus on their appetisers and main menus, often far too big for their own good.

My blogger-in-crime RobsRibs has said many times that Milton Keynes is in dire need of a good pudding restaurant – even proclaiming to one day open one himself – something to take on the pre-made and homogenised dessert menu world, or at least that seen in Milton Keynes. With this in mind then, would Kaspa’s hold a torch to the big man’s vision and fill a sweet-void, or would it fall by the wayside? Independently, both Rob and I headed down within the last week under the radar to check out what Kaspa’s Desserts is all about.

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COMPETITION TIME! Win a years Gym Membership from Fusion Health Clubs Milton Keynes

Fusion Health Club Milton Keynes Competition

If you follow this blog regularly then you’ll have a suspicion that between the two of us, my compadre SuburbanGent is the popular one who always looks good in his perfectly manicured suit, beautifully styled hair and shiny expensive shoes. Me? I just eat a lot and understand the truth in the fact that I’ve got a face (and body) for radio. So when Fusion got in touch and asked if we would like give away a years free membership, I thought ‘that’s one for him then, he loves a bit of gym action’. So I said; ‘Sounds good, can we come in and do a class to check it out? Maybe the super hardcore, ultramax cardio madness that is INTENCITY? How many different sessions are there? Four? That would be perfect, yes we’ll have a go at all of them.’ I chuckled to myself with the gleeful malice of a really good friend as I rang to break the news to him.

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Why we love Milton Keynes #LoveMK

Milton Keynes 50th Birthday

Monday 23rd January 2017 saw Milton Keynes celebrate it’s 50th birthday!

As a town, Milton Keynes receives a lot of unfair stick; often the target of ridicule by comedians and critics who think it’s just about concrete cows and roundabouts, it’s fair to say the city town has had an unfair reputation for a number of years.

But why is it the case? Milton Keynes is hailed as an architectural marvel, an economic power-house that has seen the town creating jobs faster than anywhere in the UK for six consecutive years, boasting vast swatches of open public space, great entertainment facilities and recognised as a fantastic place for families. I’ve lived in MK all my life and love it, the first to jump to it’s defence when it unfairly gets a bit of stick.

To celebrate Milton Keynes’ birthday – and, well, just to show some love for MK, as resident Milton Keynes bloggers – here are (just a few) of our thoughts on what makes Milton Keynes a great place to live and work.

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The Don Indian Restaurant – Milton Keynes; Review

The Don review Milton Keynes Indian restaurant

Mention The Don Indian restaurant to most people in Milton Keynes and you’ll either be greeted by a vacant stare, or a “oh, that’s that place tucked away in the train station isn’t it?”. I’ll be honest, I was of the latter; The Don is situated in a unit in the town’s train station that has been home to a number of Indian restaurants over the years, most famously the site of the Jaipur until it moved across the road.

However, it was perhaps wrong of me to dismiss The Don as just another run-of-the-mill Indian tucked away, after all a recent Best Newcomer award at the Milton Keynes Food and Leisure Awards 2016 and a string of positive word-of-mouth recommendations suggests that something quite good was afoot from the new owners and worth taking a look at. Naturally, I jumped at the chance to take a look for myself when the opportunity presented itself and the chaps invited me down to sample a meal.

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City Stay Apartments, Milton Keynes review; the best combination of hotel and house?

City Stay Apartment review lounge

Whether you’re a young professional attending a corporate event or client visit in Milton Keynes, a cool and hip (yes, hip) socialite going out to soak up the sights and sounds of our town or perhaps something in between, at some point you are likely to want overnight accommodation. Life on the road with business isn’t much fun and crashing somewhere unfamiliar without home comforts and space isn’t much better either. Let’s be frank… that Travelodge can be a bit grim.

Sure, the hotel market in Milton Keynes covers everything from budget hotels to the dizzying heights of luxury (that’s the Holiday Inn to you and I… *eye roll*) – and yes, such a thing as Airbnb does exist – but you’re likely to end up either be very disappointed, struggle to feel at ease in somebody else’s home, contract some form of mattress-based disease or spend a small fortune on a pretty mediocre overnight stay. And you are better and more demanding than that.

You can imagine then our interest when the people at City Stay Apartments got in touch, offering us the opportunity to come and try out one of their two-bedroom executive managed apartments located in central Milton Keynes. We’d been looking for a location for our #UltimateNightIn (more on that in a future post), so we jumped at the chance to see what an executive apartment could offer us.

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MK Digital Awards – We’re a finalist!

Two Men About Town Blog - MK Digital Awards Finalist

Wow – what a crazy four months it’s been!

From our opening posts including RobRibs’s musings about why he loves Spotify and my top tips for visiting Dubai, we’ve had nothing short of a blast sharing our travel and lifestyle posts… and of course, not forgetting our many, many food posts. Most recently we’ve really found our feet in supporting local independent food traders and have had much enjoyment expanding our waistlines with the very best, and perhaps less than great, grub (and plenty of drink to wash that down) that Milton Keynes has to offer.

You can imagine our surprise and delight then in receiving a lovely email Monday morning informing us that Two Men About Town is a finalist in the upcoming MK Digital Awards in the ‘Blog – Entertainment’ category. Woohoo!

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