Tag Archives: Bristol

The Inbetween Coat

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Originally this post was supposed to feature my big fluffy winter coat. It’s furry and yellow (in a good way) and I lovingly refer to it as my Honey Monster coat. I look slightly like Big Bird in it, but I kinda really like that. But as you can see that did not happen, as despite it looking rather gloomy in these photos it’s only a tad bit chillier than it was a few weeks ago and just didn’t warrant such a large and warm coat.

Instead I bring you my ‘inbetween’ coat. This is a fairly recent purchase, spurred on by the fact that from my leather jacket and honey moster coat I had nothing, well inbetween. My saviour of this ‘it’s December, why is it so warm’ weather is this slightly military inspired number from New Look. A few years ago I had such a big thing about military inspired clothing and I guess it hasn’t completely left me as I have not taken this off since buying it. The fit is right, the colour is right, it goes with my bobble hat and makes my tartan scarf pop – not to mention it’s the perfect weight. Not heavy and thick, but more substancial than a jacket. On top of all that my Dad referred to it as ‘very smart’ which is about as big a compliment as you get from my Papa.

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Thanks to Dom John for the photos.

 

 

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Four Ways To Enjoy An Autumn Weekend.

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Are you sick of Autumn based posts yet? I know I’ve read my fair share of them, but since this is only my second seasonal post I figured you’d all forgive me, right? I always feel that the weekends in Autumn are slightly different to other seasons of the year, especially now that the clocks have changed. Having a shorter amount of daylight makes me want to get up and run around trying to fit everything in, because once it gets to four o’clock it’s just a race to get home and into the warm before it’s dark once again. So I’ve come up with a few ideas to help make the most of the shorter hours and of course, the colder air and crispy orange leaves.

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  1. Lunchin’ and Brunchin’

Brunch is actually one of my favourite mealtimes, if it even counts as an official mealtime. Man, I just love anything where eggs on toast is a firm favourite. And possibly pancakes too. But soon it wont be getting light until about eight thirty in the morning, which on a weekday is more OH MA GAAD WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME, but on a weekend simply means you’re not allowed to get up until you can see sun in the sky. The next appropriate meal after that is brunch; one to enjoy while catching up with friends and coffee just tastes so much better when you don’t have to throw in back and run back to the office.

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2. Countryside Walks

Lets be clear here – I’m not a hiker. In terms of exercise I like it to be short and sweet and I tend to be in and out of the gym in about 45mins. So a long, drawn out climb up a mountain is not really the one for me. BUT who doesn’t want to run like a child through piles of fallen leaves? Autumn is the perfect time to really enjoy what the countryside has to offer. There’s no high sun turning you into a sweaty mess after the first mile, and the leaves are still around rather than the spindle-y stumps that are left in winter.

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3. Carve a lil Pumpkin

Whether you have embraced Halloween into your life as a full on holiday to celebrate, or you aren’t really that bothered about the scariest day of the year there’s no way to avoid the mountains of pumpkins dotted around every supermarket in the country. It’s the perfect way to dip a toe in the day if your not that bothered, and get a little craft action going on. One year when I was still a student, my friends and I left it too late for a pumpkin and had to resort to carving a face in a melon instead. Has to be said, it was a lot tastier…

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4. Pay a Visit

This is not strictly an Autumn weekend activity but I get excited about day trips at any time of the year. I tend to get a bit restless by the end of the day if I haven’t got out for some air and seen a few things, so day trips are a regular feature for me. My recent one to London included the Ai Weiwei exhibition at the Royal Academy. I would highly recommend a visit and it’s right across the street from Fortnum & Maison, perfect for a little post-exhibition snoop around their pretty displays.

These are just a few ideas of what I like to get up to while it’s not so cold you need five layers on before leaving the house. I’m always up for trying something new though, so let me know if there’s something to add!

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Where to Have Your Cake and Eat It: Bristol

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I don’t think I have ever lived in a place where literally every culinary need and desire is pretty much taken care of. In Bristol you can find such an array of cuisines that even the fussiest of eaters can find something really good. It almost makes me long for the days when Pizza Express was the only place in my repertoire and budget. St Nicks market in the Old Town is a lunch time delight for the hard working people of Bristol. Under the glass arcade is an abundance of stalls all serving the freshest of food from falafel, to sausages, to flatbreads and hummus.

But what about if you need something a little sweeter to get you through the afternoon back at the office? This is where Ahh Toots come in to save your sweet tooth from a miserable afternoon. They’re nestled amongst the other stalls, they have a cart full of different flavoured cake. They have some really unique creations such as Croissant cake (sign me up right here) and even an ombre cake. They cater for intolerances with a selection of gluten free choices and each is decorated so beautifully it makes you wonder how they can slice into them every day. They have a small seating area if you’ve got some time to sit and watch the hustle and bustle of St Nicks market or just take your cake to-go and watch the office jealousy unfurl.

If like me, you often spend your lunch times running around dealing with errands that you CBA with after work, and then enjoy a sorry looking sandwich back at your desk, then maybe you’ll be looking for a little summin’ summin’ at the weekend? Harbourside market takes place every Saturday and Sunday and they seem to have expanded slightly in recent weeks. Included in this mini-expansion is The Big O Donut Co. selling, you guessed it, donuts! They have a slightly different Polish dough recipe which I’m not sure how it makes them different, but the proof is literally in the pudding. The blackberry and almond was pretty damn tasty.

This post was mostly produced out sadness at the loss of the Bake Off (what am I supposed to do with my evening now!) but if there are any other places I should take my sweet tooth for a visit, just lemme know…

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Independently Published.

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For longer than I will ever admit to anyone I have spent far too much money on magazines. From my childhood pocket money, earnt by managing to keep my bedroom from looking like a Barbie massacre had occurred, to my hard earned barista wages – if I didn’t have a hardcore magazine habit I could possibly be very rich by now.

But I have no regrets, I love spending my time and money on a number of great publications and I probably always will. It’s the combination of words and design that keep me coming back on a weekly or monthly basis, ready for all the fresh new content that’s been carefully curated and beautifully put together. Of course, some were not so carefully chosen and far more to do with my need to know what’s going on in Kim K’s life (I am not ashamed). On the whole, although I’ll never say never to another celebrity mag, my tastes have improved and matured enough to move on to a totally different kettle of published fish. The independent titles.

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I first came across these publications by finding Cereal magazine and even then I think it was only through my publishing course and proximity to Bristol, the mags birth place, that I heard about it. This was then followed by a long Insta-stalk before finally getting my keen little hands on a copy of my own. Primarily a travel mag, it’s mostly a combination of beautiful photography and articles about places that are now secured on my ‘Must Visit’ list. They also have really fab little guides for a number of cities, with the best and most stylish places to sleep, eat, see and shop – all can be found on their equally stylish website.

So what started as a one independent magazine habit quickly turned into more when Suitcase mag came trotting happily into my life. Another Travel + Fashion themed beauty of a publication that has a style closer to your traditional fashion mags, but even more pretty and interesting to read. If you’re anything like me a quick flick through these pages will induce a wanderlust so bad that you immediately start checking flight prices and finding a fab Airbnb. Ahhh to be able to just fly away…

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The final mag from my little selection here is another new one to me. Unlike the others this is a free journal covering multiple areas across South East London. Since I hail from this particular region and having heard about its growing regeneration, this little publication is far better than any local newspaper. Not only am I excited to see something far more interesting design-wise, but all the contributors are actually from the SE neighbourhoods too and promoting any independent coffee shops or smaller fashion outlets is something I’m very keen to support. I mean, can you get much more authentic. It’s making me think I should throw my hat into the ring for the next issue.

As far as my magazine habit goes I’m also looking to get hold of Betty magazine, maybe even a copy of Frankie too just to boast my collection and give more than a little inspiration for when I’m lacking. Are there any other titles I should keep an eye out for?

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One Afternoon in Cardiff.

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Back at the start of September my boyfriend and I were slightly at a loss for what to do. This is unlike us as there’s pretty much always something one of us has in mind, or needs to pick up, or wants to visit – you get the idea. This weekend though the sun was shining and nothing was springing to mind. The thought of getting out of town for a little bit was too good to ignore, so we hopped on a train and were fast outta here.

To be honest I’m not sure why it’s taken me so long to get to Cardiff – it was a very simple and inexpensive train journey to the central station and the journey was nothing but lush green fields to watch as they fly by. I will admit we definitely could have picked a better day considering there was a pretty major Rugby game on and the town was just heaving with people clad in red jerseys and Welsh dragons painted on their faces. Once the match had started though, the town cleared and we saw what was really on offer. I wasn’t expecting such a lovely, traffic free town centre, not to mention the Castle situated so close to everything else.

A few places we visited were Coffee Barker for a bit of lunch, conveniently found in Castle Parade which is also conveniently full of cute, independent shops. There’s the Castle as I already mentioned – we didn’t get a chance to look around as it requires a bit more time that an hour or so. But after just a little bit of wandering we also found the National Museum of Cardiff, which has a fairly decent Natural History section and also a cracking NME Photography exhibition on at the moment.

So what seemed like it was going to be nothing but an undecided chill day, turned into an afternoon exploring a fab city. Cardiff, you were lovely and I’ll be pleased to make a return visit soon!

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Bristol Coffee Guide

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I distinctly remember hating coffee. I tried a sip of my mum’s latte, hated the bitterness and vowed never to try it again. At the tender age of 16 I started my first job, trained as a barista in a local coffee shop and so began my love story with flat white’s. And latte’s. And the occasional cappuccino. Having now worked in a number of coffee joints and sampled a lot of free coffees, my aversion to the beverage went out the window pretty quickly. My favourite kind of caffeinated beverage often comes from the independent places, rather than your usual high street chain numbers, and Bristol is just full of options. Here are a few of my faves:

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Co-LAB – Paper Gallery:

Co-LAB is a coffee shop with a bit of a difference. Firstly it’s a collaboration with Paper Gallery, a creative enterprise to set up to create and enhance new opportunities for creatives. They have a pretty cool set up going on, with half the shop selling pieces by local businesses and half creative space used by local artists and for workshops. Sitting pretty in the corner is a little coffee shop, ready to convert the shopping masses away from their chain coffee. Until recently Ape About Coffee has been in residence – not worry though, they may be moving on but CoLab will still be there providing for all your caffeine needs.

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The Crazy Fox:

The Crazy Fox is another central place saving us from the evil high street giants (that’s a joke btw, I have been known to visit Costa once or twice). At the moment they’re serving Roasted Rituals coffee, a locally sourced and very popular coffee served at various spots across Bristol. Situated right in the centre of the shopping area with a nice little seating area outside, it’s the perfect spot for a well-earned retail break or a bit of people watching.

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Small St Coffee

Small St. Espresso:

Small St is small. It’s a genius name really. Found on Small Street in the old town, and housed in a tiny cavernous little shop, it definitely lives up to it’s name. Small St is fast becoming one of my new faves, partly due to the fab coffee and wooden interiors, but also because if you pick the right time of day you can grab a little corner seat where the bright sunlight pours through the massive windows.

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Tradewind

Tradewind Espresso:

The newest recruit to the Bristol coffee scene is Tradewind, high up on Whiteladies road. They are the original inventors of Roasted Rituals coffee, and having served the coffee shops of the South West for too long, they’ve now (thankfully) decided to join in. I’ve spoken their praises before over on my Instagram @becca_cart93 but they’re worth a mention here too. They have a beautiful shop front with original stained-glass windows and a great little decking area out back. I sampled the French toast topped with peaches on my visit, whilst my boyf went for a savoury option that gave me serious ordering envy. Oh my lordy is a return visit needed.

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Playground Coffee

Playground Coffee:

Playground Coffee intrigued me for a long time before I made my first visit. The reason I held off for so long is purely because I always found myself there around lunch time when I needed something a little more than a flat white to keep me going. Once I did finally make it, it was fully worth the wait and finding myself there on a rainy Sunday afternoon meant I had full choice of which swing seat to sit it. Yes, a swing seat. The coffee was so smooth and gently rocking on an inside swing might sound a bit odd, but was actually very therapeutic and enjoyable. And it’s not just the swings that call for the name Playground coffee, but more to do with the games room found on the second level.

This is just a quick round up of the places I end up visiting most often, but I’m always on the lookout for somewhere new. Any other places I should add to my list, just lemme know!

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Almond-y Little Biscuits

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In the UK it’s currently the time of year where you can spend the majority of your evenings outside in the open – providing it’s not raining of course. But with it being light until at least 9pm, there’s not really any excuse not to take the opportunity while it’s here.

Except… now there’s a huge reason to ignore the evening light, get yourself home and settle in on the sofa. And that’s Bake Off season. Yes, the GBBO is back and I’m as excited as I am every summer. There’s cake, there’s Paul and his icy stare, Mary Berry being all cheeky. And the ultimate duo of Mel and Sue as the cherry on top, full of fresh witty cake puns. At University it was an official night ‘Bake for Bake Off’. Every week we ate cake and we watched cake. Now unless I’m super organised, I don’t think I’ll have time to bake on a weekly basis, but to ring in the new series I thought I’d make a batch of little almond-y biscuits and share them with you.

For those with a keen eye, you’ll notice that the recipe I’m using here is actually for some very chocolatey biscuits, but unless it’s an actual piece of chocolate, I’m not too hot on the flavoured kinds. So for now I’ve substituted the cocoa for some ground almonds, and I think it might actually be worth it!

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Cafe Kino – The Vegan Dream

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Other than my one time three-week-long foray into vegetarianism, my eating habits have been very normal. I’m not particularly fussy and I don’t have any weird habits – I’m fairly average when it comes to consumption. However as I said in my previous post, Bristol has a habit of opening your eyes to different ways of life that you wouldn’t necessarily be exposed to in other cities. Now I’m not talking anything ground breaking in this case, it’s only the local vegan café down the road.

Café Kino is a vegan cooperative run by a very dedicated team of local Bristolians. Every part of Kino is exactly on point. From the décor, to the community style tables, the tiled floor (I can never resist!) to the fab range of salads. They have almost every type of milk under the sun including almond, soya and oat which I’m yet to try but have high hopes for. I’m a fan of a flat white, especially one that has the sweet and nutty taste of almond milk. Should you happen to want something more substantial then I cannot even tell you what the falafel is like. UH-mazing.

What’s great about Kino is the amount of light it lets in. The huge clear windows at the front that open out onto the heart of Stokes Croft make it possibly the best people watching spot. The café also has its fingers on the pulse of the community and has a downstairs space that is used by local groups and the odd bit Life Drawing; something I’m very keen to get back into after my A-Level art days gone by.

I think I’ve gone to town singing the praises of this little local gem, probably in a manner that’s not all that cool and definitely a bit nerdy. But ya know what? Chilling in Kino kinda makes me feel cool. And that’s that really.

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Way Out West

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It’s come to my attention recently that, although I bang on about seeing different places and itching to see more, I have completely neglected my current hometown – Bristol, in the south west of Britain. My life hasn’t been based here all that long but Bristol is not a place that takes time to make an impression. Pretty much on the very first day here, I got a feel for the area that I live in, and the area that neighbours it, and the town centre, and the Harbourside. And every other area here, to be honest!

I can tell you straight up that there is no place quite like this city. Each individual area or neighbourhood is so different from the next. And the exact same goes for the people that live here. While I can’t say for definite that where I live is ‘Home Sweet Home’ forever, nor can I say that I fit in to a Tee around my present digs, but Bristol can only be described as an experience.

It’s for sure a lively place, there’s pretty much something going on all the time. I have a feeling that something’s bubbling away and ol’ Brizzle, as the locals call it and it’s going to explode in the summertime. Stay tuned, there is a good few posts in the making on this topic…

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New Toys and Weekend Fun

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It’s been a long time since I posted around here and although I have no decent excuse to disclose, I have come back with an exciting post that’s been in the making for a good few months. That makes it sound a whole lot bigger and more important than it actually is, but for me it IS exciting. For longer than my close family and friends care to remember I’ve been banging on about getting myself a nice little camera, and today I can tell you that it’s finally happened!

It’s taken some time to find the right one for me, but eventually I made the choice of the small but mighty Panasonic Lumix GM1 and I’m thrilled to pieces. Of course after purchasing my long awaited new companion, I immediately had to give it a run around the block, which brings me onto the second part of this post: Papersmiths. I don’t think I’ve expressed my love of stationery on here before, but it’s right up there on my list of favourite things to browse and buy. As if my habit needed a helping hand in any way, I’ve found a haven of all things paper and pens. Nestled away in Clifton is Papersmiths, a stationery boutique if you fancy. Stocking all things niche and independent, I mentally wrote my next shopping list as I wandered around. We happened to arrive just as the sun was starting to go down and had turned that beautiful golden colour that makes all photos look fab, even though I’m definitely still learning what all the different buttons do! All in all it was a very successful day and I can’t wait to get snapping some more. And ya know, buy some more pens and pencils. Don’t even get me started on the Washi tape choices!

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