Restaurant review: ORSO Leicester… does it live up to the hype?

During Leicester Restaurant Week, Ana Goncalves pays a visit to ORSO Leicester to see if the place lives up to the hype after tirelessly hearing numerous recommendations.

ORSO is a quaint coffee shop on Market Place, right next to Leicester Market, and has been open for just over a year now.

In that time, it has been busy carving out a nice reputation as an affordable and cosy place for students, pensioners and busy shoppers to spend the cold winter days.

I’ve heard so many good recommendations, and whenever I pass by, catching a whiff of the freshly-made coffee and a hint of cinnamon, I can see full tables and happy faces through the windows. It looked – and smelled – great. 

My experience? Not quite as positive, unfortunately.

When I arrived, I was immediately greeted by staff and went to the till to grab a menu. Orso offer different types of toast and drinks. Their prices range between £3.50 to £7 for sourdough toast, and between £1.80 to £4.50 for drinks. 

I got ‘The Avo One’, a sourdough toast with fresh smashed avocado and lime, topped with poached eggs and seeds, a Chai, and an OJ. 

‘The Avo One’, Chai & OJ – taken by Ana Goncalves

First, they brought the Chai. I have to say, it was as white as milk, which is quite weird because chai is supposed to have a light brownish colour. And as I took my first sip, my fears were confirmed. It was just sugary milk with a dash of cinnamon on top.

Definitely disappointed, as Chai is meant to be a very flavourful mix of herbs and spices. 

The avocado toast, on the other hand, was good. I had to ask for salt & pepper, as it needed the seasoning for the flavours to be more accentuated, but other than that, it was okay.

And the OJ was my favourite – freshly-made like OJ is supposed to be.

I believe ORSO is perhaps one of those places you only go to once. The price-quality ratio is not worthy in my opinion, and I was very disappointed with the Chai, mainly. 

Overall, it doesn’t live up to the hype. I would give it a 3/5.

Leicester to have a smashing time this weekend

By Zarina Ahmed

Leicester’s Stokes Wood Allotment will be holding a pumpkin smash this weekend aiming to motivate locals to take part in environmental impact reduction.

A pumpkin smash offers the chance for any leftover pumpkins from Hallowe’en to be smashed and composted, reducing food waste.

So far, the organiser of the event, Carry on Composting, have collected over 100 pumpkins for the event, with another 40 at a local school.

Last year, 100 pumpkins were collected, with local schools joining in for the event, according to Rod Weston, an active participant in community composting.

Mr Weston said that small efforts done by groups, such as Carry on Composting, have been influenced by charity hubs that encourage the reduction of food waste.

He said: “We’ve been encouraging composting for years.

“I’ve been doing this for 10 years now, and similar events have always been successful.”

Going to various universities, schools and events, he and other groups have been encouraging others about leftover food waste, especially after Hallowe’en, which is a peak time to compost and reduce food waste.

The non-profit organisation has been set up to promote the reduction of food waste and the amount of waste sent to landfill sites.

The pumpkin smash is one of a number of similar events taking part across the city.

Leicester City Council, which has promoted the event, estimates: “That 15 million pumpkins are binned in the UK every Halloween – but the flesh, seeds and even the stringy bits can be used to serve up some delicious treats instead.”

Councillor Adam Clarke, Leicester’s deputy city mayor for the environment, said that across the city, there are: “Thousands of dedicated allotment-growers who are committed to reducing food waste, so it’s great to see these events happening that will help spread the message.

“We’re keen to encourage people to recycle more.”

The pumpkin smash will be held on Saturday(NOV13), from 10.30am to 12.30pm at Stokes Wood Allotment in Leicester.

Girls Night In: A Night to Fight Against Club Drink-Spikers

by Abigail Beresford

Students in Leicester plan to boycott clubs in the city this week, to raise awareness of the ‘scary’ increase of drink spiking cases in clubs.

Campaign group “Girls Night In” took to Instagram to create a social media movement to encourage girls throughout the UK to boycott clubs for one-night only to raise awareness for the growing cases of drink spiking.

“We would like to reinforce that our boycott is not a stay-at-home order. The purpose of our boycott is to encourage all local clubs, bars, and pubs to re-examine their precautions, to ensure that all members of the community can feel safe again,” said a spokesperson for the Girls Night In movement.

“We also want to clarify that our Instagram page is to raise awareness of spiking, whilst also providing a safe platform for people to share their experiences.”

The action of boycotting clubs hopes to make it a legal requirement for nightclubs to thoroughly search guests upon entry, to ensure the safety of those attending.

The movement has created a storm throughout the UK, with 50 locations joining in, including Leicester, Birmingham, and London, to raise awareness of the ever-growing problem and pave the way for a solution.

“We have been taken aback by the continued support and hope that we can all stand in solidarity,” added Girls Night In.

Students in Leicester planned a boycott of clubs on Tuesday(OCT26) night, to stand in solidarity with women up and down the country who have frequently fallen victims of drink spiking cases.

“Personally, I have never been spiked, but I know many girls who have,” said Hannah Phipps, 22, a second-year Interior Design student at De Montfort University.

“It’s scary what is happening right now. When I go on a night out, I want to be able to go out and have a good time, and not ensuring that my thumb has to be over my bottle or focusing on my drink 24/7.”

To sign the petition to make it a legal requirement for nightclubs to thoroughly search guests before entering, visit petition.parliament.uk/petitions/598986.

To see if your local area is participating in the boycott, search @girlsnightin on Instagram, followed by your city.

DMU alumnus creates football league for students

By Joshua Solomon

Former De Montfort University student Mark Abolaji has created a new football league for students who don’t have a place in the university’s official squads, named ‘Active League’.

Mark, 23, who was raised in East London, Hackney, came to De Montfort University in 2015 and studied Mechanical Engineering and also got a PHD in Business Management in Sport.

Mark had been coaching in Leicester for a year before he was approached by a colleague about an idea of a separate league.

It piqued his interest so he took it further, looking at what was on offer at the university.

After his research he found that the official football squads didn’t take into consideration the hundreds of students who were turned away or didn’t get to have a trial for the university. He wanted to do something about it.

Pioneering: Mark Abolaji, DMU alumni.

Also, during his coaching of DMU teams, he said he has found a disparity between all the players he knows and sees plus the range of ethnicities that they bring from all over the country and those who are lucky enough to be picked for the DMU official teams.

So, with the creation of the ‘Active league’ he wanted a pathway for those who maybe have talent but have not had the opportunity to be seen.

Mark said: “We created the active league for people who wanted to coach and wanted to play. To give them equipment and to be able to have competitive games.”

Mark spoke about his passion for the game of football as that drove him to push on with the league and he knows there are others who have the same passion.

He said: “People need to play football; football wasn’t there when the world was created but football created a new world.”

Mark found that coaching at DMU some of the players didn’t share the love of football that he did. He said: “It’s not that the players don’t love ball, it’s just that they’re here for the what comes along with it. The social.”

Mark’s main aim was to create a ‘football purist environment’. He said: “This platform is for people to express themselves, not only to play football but to coach, ref, record and to support.

“To create comfort for people who love football, because there is no better feeling than having a talk about football.”

Mark also talks about the importance of the league on people’s mental health, especially coming out of a pandemic.

He continued: “Football is a release for some people and a way to block out whatever else is happening. To not have that outlet must have a knock-on effect.

“It’s physical and mental exercise, you’re using your brain and your body, it is a pressure release for people.”

Rocket Round Leicester comes to an end

by Joshua Soloman

Public art project Rocket Round Leicester went on auction yesterday (WED,OCT13).

Rocket Round Leicester managed to raise £153,095 for the LOROS Hospice.

LOROS Hospice is a hospice in Leicester that provides care and support for adults who suffer from a terminal illness and their families.

The De Montfort University sponsored event was a success as all 39 rockets that were on auction have been sold.

Creative artists from all over the country took part in the project and painted each of the 39 rockets.

All of the rockets were painted in different designs such as the Yin and Yang by artist Adam Khalifa. He called the chance to participate an ‘amazing experience’.