Much as I love this fair city of mine, I have to admit that big blogger events are pretty thin on the ground within the BD postcode area. I usually have to follow any invitations that come my way over to Leeds, where I will spend the evening passively-aggressively complaining about how much I hate Leeds, and subsequently never get invited back anywhere. Oops.
But hurray, a blogger evening in Bradford? With food and bowling and a cinema trip? I was all too happy to avoid my neighbouring city and spend a happy evening at Bradford's Leisure Exchange!
It's been aaaages since I've step foot inside Pizza Hut, despite it being very popular with the young 'uns - we do occasionally get them to deliver when I'm feeling very lazy, way too lazy to actually go out, so I never really think of the restaurant as a 'going out to eat' option. I just figured it'd be the same as at home but with less comfy seats, but there's a shiny new menu with loads of unexpected offerings - definitely worth popping out for!
The staff on the evening seemed very proud of their new milkshakes, so we thought we'd best give them a go. My Salted Caramel milkshake was delicious! I got to try my partners Lime Sherbert Milkshake too - this was interesting, very sweet, bit I'd have struggled to get through it all for sure! Mine, I had no problem with, despite their generous size! The only problem with the milkshakes as part of a meal is they are pretty filling so might not be the best choice if you want to stuff yourself with pizza, but they'd make a great drinkable dessert option!
I generally have pretty simple pizza tastes (honestly, boring as it is, it takes a lot to beat a good plain cheese pizza!) but this was not the time to fall back on familiar staples. There were loads of interesting topping combinations I've never seen pop up on the takeaway menu, and after toying with a couple I settled on the Beef Fajita Pizza - shaved steak, beef, caramalised onions and mixed peppers on a salsa tomato sauce and, in this instance, a cheese stuffed crust base.
Now, my plus1 for the evening doesn't eat pizza (no, I don't get it either), so was a little worried about what we'd find for him to eat at Pizza Hut. I knew they did a couple of pasta dishes,... but he doesn't eat pasta either. So it was a relief for us both when we spotted the Rack of Ribs on the menu. This is the last thing I'd eat is somewhere that specialises in pizza, but glad it served the purpose for my fussy fella - he said they were grand too.
Another dish I liked the look of was the Hot Crisps with BBQ Pulled Pork, that were ordered to share for the table. Such a dead simple but potentially tasty idea - unfortunately I was way too stuffed at this stage to appreciate them!
When no one could eat any more, we forced ourselves up and across the way to Hollywood Bowl. We often end up here on our works Christmas night out, and I rarely think of it through the rest of the year but we really should come more often. I'm an incredibly inconsistent bowler - I got a few strikes, and a few times I missed the pins altogether - I like the idea of secretly getting really good at it so I can beat my colleagues next Christmas!
After our various successes and failures on the lanes, it was time for dessert so we headed off to Frankie and Benny's to check out their new offerings. My kids love Frankie and Benny's so I'm pretty familiar with the place but 'new desserts' seems like a great excuse to visit again! Unfortunately I was still too full of pizza to really make the most of the opportunity, but I did try a few nibbles 'for journalistic purposes'... My favourite thing on the menu is 'The Can't-Decider', mini-slices of four of their top desserts served with ice cream! I'm terribly indecisive when it comes to desserts, mainly because I want to try everything, and this way I can get pretty close!
I've been meaning to go to Grosvenor Casino for ages - I wanted to go before I went to Las Vegas to get myself prepared, I've been meaning to go since I got back to compare experiences. I've mainly wanted to go because I heard the food is surprisingly good and they do some grand deals. But this was the first time I've actually made it! Despite my previous not-so-good blogger gambling experiences, I was doing ok at blackjack (with pretend money, I'd never be so brazen with my own!) when it was time to make our last stop of the evening!
We finished up at Cineworld, where we had tickets waiting for Captain America: Civil War. It was actually the second time in as many weeks I'd seen the film there, our most-visited cinema! Though the film has been the source of much falling-out over recent weeks (I'm squarely on #TeamCap, t'other half disagrees... strongly), I love it! (Incidentally, if you are a fan of Marvel and have lots of money to spend on really wordy academic type books, I can highly recommend this wonderful book!)
After a couple of hours of super-hero angst, it was time to go home, and how nice that home on this occasion was just a couple of minutes up the road, no sketchy train stations or dark motorways! I've always insisted you can have a great night out in Bradford, but it turns out you don't even have to leave this small area to have a full experience!
* Our night of food and fun in Bradford was provided free of charge.