All Together Now 


Four strangers in the midst of difficult life transitions find friendship, purpose, and perfect pitch in in this heartfelt comic novel.

In the small English village of St. Ambrose, the members of the Bridgeford Community Choir have little in common. But when their singing coach dies unexpectedly before a big contest, the motley group must join forces — and voices — in pursuit of an impossible-seeming goal. Featuring an eclectic cast of characters — including a mother suffering from empty nest syndrome, a middle-aged man who has just lost his job and his family, and a 19-year-old waitress who dreams of reality TV stardom — ALL TOGETHER NOW is a poignant and charming novel about small town life, community, falling in love, and the big rewards of making a small change.

What I thought: I was excited to read this book as I loved the cover, I enjoy stories set in village communities and also, Gill Hornby is the sister of Nick Hornby.

I got into the story, and whilst some of the characters are harder to warm to than others, I wanted to keep reading and know more about them. There are a lot of characters in this book, which I would have found hard to keep up with if I hadn’t read it over the space of a couple of days. However, Tracey and  Bennett were the focus of the story and I was very intrigued by them, particularly what Tracey was hiding from her past.

Overall, this wasn’t the fastest paced book I’ve ever read, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I’d definitely read another book by Gill, and would also like to read more about the town and characters of Bridgeford. I found the ending a bit of an anticlimax, but enjoyed reading about how the choir got to know one another and the various musical references.

My rating: A solid four stars

I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher for review as part of the blog tour for this book in June. I was unable to post my review at the time due to my personal circumstances 

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The Hellenic Eatery

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One of my greatest pleasures in life is eating out. As I’m nearing 30 and working a lot harder than I’m playing, being a bit of a foodie is one of the things I really enjoy. And luckily, Cardiff has become a much better place for eating out over the last couple of years and is no longer only filled with rubbish chains and dodgy chip shops.

For the last two years we have been on holiday in Greece and I loved the local cuisine. What was disappointing though was how difficult I found it to get my Greek food fix when back in the UK, other than the odd bit here and there I found in supermarkets.

So when I saw a review on the Gourmet Gorro’s food blog of The Hellenic Eatery, I couldn’t wait to try it!

Although they have a Facebook page, they don’t have a website or email address yet. It took a couple of attempts to book a table over the phone, but it all worked out well in the end. As soon as we walked through the restaurant door we were greeted with what to us smelled like holidays – proper Greek food! And in Cardiff!!

When we were seated, we were a bit disappointed that despite booking a table in advance, we were seated at the high table near the back of the restaurant that we ended up sharing with two other parties. It turned out not to be an issue, but was a little intimidating for our meal for two to start with!

We took a bottle of wine with us after reading online that it was BYOB, but the restaurant had just got their alcohol licence, so you will be able to buy authentic Greek drinks there now.

We had to wait quite a long time to order, but when we did we ordered the Hellenic Platter as we didn’t want to miss out on anything and shared it between the two of us.

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It included pork and chicken souvlaki (one of my favourites from Corfu last year), pork gyros, Greek burger, Greek sausage, along with chips, proper Greek pitta, some salad and the best Tzatziki I have ever tasted! It was all absolutely lovely and perfectly cooked. My favourites were the Tzatziki, the sausage and the pork souvlaki. The only improvement I could suggest is that the chips aren’t placed under the meat and I would love if they were seasoned with some oregano like I had on holiday!

After the initial blip with waiting to order, the service was very quick and friendly. The staff are all Greek and clearly care about being true to their country and cuisine.

We are looking forward to going back for a little pick me up when we feel like we need a holiday, and I will definitely be trying their houmous and Greek wine next time I go. A little slice of Greek feel good food, nestled in the busy Crwys Road in Cardiff!