Tag Archives: Weekend

Feeling Twenty-Three…

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I’ve titled this post purely because I’m mourning the fact I can no longer legitimately sing Taylor Swift. This day has come around quickly and it’s hard to believe it was just a year ago I was wandering along Weston-Super-Mare pier and getting ready for my first day at work, at my first proper post-uni job. This week marked my twenty-third birthday and I celebrated in just the right way. It started at the weekend, and with the arrival of one of my oldest and closest friends. She and her boyfriend came over for the weekend and we showed them the sights of Bristol. I always feel it’s a good way to remind you of what you draws you to a place, when you show someone new around and almost see it through their eyes.

We shopped around town, had lunch in one of my favourite places, Bagel Boy, which is also one of Bristol’s most loved local chains with a few locations popping up across the city. This was followed by a swift walk up Park Street and onto one of my favourite places in town, Brandon Hill. On a nostalgic note, this is where I often used to come for a bit of fresh air and to clear my mind back in my unemployed days. Ah memories…

As it was also my friends birthday on the Sunday our evening meal out was in joint celebration of us both turning one year older and wiser, and swiftly followed by some drinks and a card game or two. After spending many years at uni going out and partying with big groups of people, followed by waking up feeling more than a little worse for wear, it was so lovely to spend some quality time with loved ones and something a little more low key.

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After brunch prepared by my boyfriend and me (it was cracking, in case you were wondering) Sunday was spent at the Arnolfini, one of Bristol’s biggest art galleries and they are always bound to have something interesting on show. A quick coffee stop at another of my favourite’s, Spicer & Cole – the riverside location as it’s always a bit quieter and there’s less yummy mummy’s than the Clifton branch. Sadly that brought us to the end of the weekend and my friends had to make their way back to the Big Smoke.

That was not the end of the celebrations though! Oh no, you see, as my company is nice enough to give you the day off on your birthday I gratefully took it and spent the day with my boo. It was a gloriously sunny day and we spent it walking in the park, drinking coffee and eating cake and then… Well a surprise was pulled out of the bag as we headed across country to picturesque Bath and the Thermae Bath Spa. I have been before, but I have to admit that visiting the rooftop pool at sunset is my all time favourite visit.

It’ safe to say that I have been throughly spoiled over the last few days, not to mention the upcoming present of a macaron making class in a few months time! Normally around these times of year, birthday’s, new year, season’s change, I can get a little down and out. I reckon it’s something to do with the nostalgia as well as the unknown. It just makes me uneasy. And there might be a tiny bit of that lingering (read here), but actually for the most part I feel really great. There have been a few realisations recently that the people in my life are really really great. I want to see more and more of them and I just have this feeling that 23, I hope, will be the best yet.

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Where, What, When: Prague

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As I promised back here, I’ve put together a mini guide for Prague, even though the thought of it is making me want to hop back on the plane for a little bit of extra exploring time. As I vaguely mentioned before it’s a very walkable city and not only that but I would fully recommend walking just to take in all the sights and sounds. Prague is definaitely the place for any architecture fans out there, with each building offering a different visual delight.

So first things first, where to stay. I can only offer one or two suggestions here as we only stayed in the one hotel during our short trip. Hotel Elysee is very central, right on Wenceslas Square and the room was HUGE. Because this was  gals trip with my Mum and my Gran we opted for a triple room and it came supersize with a little hallway, huge room and bathroom. For the price we paid it was certainly value for money and of course there was a breakfast buffet every morning. The other option that I would whole heartedly suggest is looking around on Airbnb for accommodation. I’ve spoken before about how much I love this company and I’m sure Prague has some very cool apartments to offer.

As for things to do, Prague definitely offers enough to fill more than the two days we were there. A few places to note are the Castle, which sells handy tickets for either the whole thing or just certain parts; perfect if you fancy just the afternoon as there’s enough to fill a whole day here.

The Charles Bridge is your ultimate route to get there and another must see. It is lined with many statues, each with there own story and history and a number of which you should definitely stroke for good luck/ make a wish. Or maybe that’s just my superstitions kicking in.

There’s no way I could leave out the Astronomical Clock in the Old Town Square. Coincidently this is where the Christmas Market is also based should you be there in the festive season. But make sure to take a look out of the top of the tower – as you know I have a big thing about a good high-up view and this is not one to miss. The lift itself is also pretty incredible, so you don’t even have to take the stairs.

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I always make a point of finding out what the local cusine is and giving it a go, as what’s the point of going abroad just to eat chips, eh? For Prague it was Goulash  and boy was it everywhere. I will admit it was far tastier than I expected, with huge chunks of meat and a nice thick gravy; it even came served in a bread bowl.

For a little sweet treat I would recommend a Trdelnik and likewise with the Goulash, you cannot escape them in the city. I spent most of the weekend walking past each stall with longing eyes and claiming to be back for one later. I eventually had one on the very last night of the trip, basically refusing to leave without trying one. They’re almost pretzel-like, only cooked over hot coals and coated with cinnamon sugar and almonds. They’re basically Christmas wrapped in some dough.

Municipal House is worth checking out if you fancy a mid-morning coffee break. Don’t get your hopes up about the coffee (I’m pretty sure it came for a Nescafe machine) but if anyone is into interiors then get yo butt down there. It’s a completely beautiful Art Nouveau house with both the outside and inside decorated to a very fine standard. Those chandeliers? I would have put one in my carry-on if it had fit.

For those that have more time in the city then I would head to the John Lennon wall, the Jewish Quarter and the Jewish Cemetery, definitely some places I would have visited if I had a little extra time. This has turned into possibly the wordiest post of all, but I think my thoughts on the city have been truly shared.

I’m most definitely planning  second trip so if there’s any places slightly off the radar then please share too!

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The Doors of Norwich

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Pink House

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As I mentioned I was going to in a post not so long ago, I recently paid a little visit to the main city of Norfolk, Norwich. Having not visited before I didn’t really know what to expect, and since coming home I still can’t quite put my finger on the general vibe of Norwich. I liked it for sure, the town centre is a lovely mix of green squares and little lanes, like Brighton but on a larger scale. I think it’s the outer edges that confused me, they seem to turn into countryside much quicker than other cities, especially London or Bristol. A more country-fied city, if there is such a thing.

However small a city it might be there are still so many great places to visit. My trip was mainly to visit a friend so involved a lot of eating and drinking and catching up, so the vast majority of happened to be bars, coffee shops and restaurants, just as a little warning. If you’re looking for some really good coffee then Strangers Coffee and Artel (more to come on this!) are both excellent choices. For a nice casual pint I recommend Playhouse, but be prepared to sit outside whatever the weather. In terms of food we popped into Franks for some dinner – great for a large range from big meals, fab salads and smaller tapsa-y dishes. Just down the road there’s a classic fish and chip shop, famous for doing deliveries to the pub next door, so you can enjoy your cod with a nice pint.

In terms of things to see and do Norwich is the perfect size for a little weekend roadtrip. There’s a castle for something that takes up a bit more time, and also a cathedral that’s well worth a look. Mousehold Heath is slightly out of town but fab for a walk in the woods and great panorama of the city. As you can see from these photos I was rather taken with exploring the older side of the city and took a fancy to many of the doors and shop fronts.

If you have a car then head out to the beach to spot a few seal puppys. The weather prevented us from doing so, but word is that you can get pretty close without them flopping back out to sea. Observe responsibly though, it’s their home after all. No doubt I’ll definitely be back to see them…

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Cream Tea, Always.

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I’m someone who is very partial to a bit of weekend baking. I definitely gave the cupcake trend my full support and I have a number of pretty recipe books sitting on my bookshelf. But there’s one type of baked good that I’ve never tried my hand at; the humble scone.

 

Although, of course, I’ve had a number of cream teas in my time – it’s practically a ritual whenever you visit a National Trust property, but I’ve not thought of whipping up some of my own before. I think I was always a bit too preoccupied with creating a perfectly frosted cupcake! This selection were thrown together on a chilly Sunday evening and were surprisingly easy to make. They might not be the prettiest of cakes and bakes but they’re a classic English treat. Sadly though, we were lacking in cream, that’s what happens when you rush to the shops just before closing on a Sunday!

 

Still, with a cup of tea in hand and bit of jam they were pretty damn good, if I do say so myself. I’ll have to see what else I get up to in my kitchen, in case it’s something a bit more interesting than my usual pasta based dishes. Although, I have just realised how un-photogenic my poor kitchen is!

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A belated Joyeux Noel

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City Loving

After my previous day trip to Paris it’s safe to say I was very keen to head back over the English Channel to see what else the city had to offer me. This time I made sure it was longer than a daytrip, not by much, but we sure packed a lot into those few days. Being a Londoner I like to think that I adapt quite well to new city surroundings fairly well and we hopped on and off the metro like true Parisians.

The weather could not have been more opposite to the brilliant sunshine that greeted us back in May, which is why all of my photos have a slightly soggy look to them. I’m an absolute sucker for a good view so another trip up the Eiffel tower was necessary, which we climbed up again, but I like to think I beat my time from before!

Paris (apart from the rain!) was lovely in December and like many European cities was host to a Christmas market. It was ideally located on the Champs-Elysees and full of Christmas-y trinkets. The Arc de Triomphe was on our list of things to see and was typically a prime spot for everybody to take a selfie or two! You’d think that we got our fill of all things Christmas-y, but in our two days we also managed to squeeze in some crepes and mulled wine (of course!) and window shopping the fab displays at La Galeries Lafayette.

Paris is definitely a city that has wormed its way into my heart and I feel like there’s still so much to see and do! It doesn’t help that one of my favourite bloggers parisinfourmonths.com is a constant source of beautiful images that fuel my travel bug!

Champs-Elysees

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Room with a view

The view from our apartment!

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Trekking in the Woods

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Living in the city, I sometimes forget how beautiful it is out in the countryside. Although I love Bristol and living right in the thick of it, I also get a lot of enjoyment out of visiting friends and family who live a lot more rurally than I do. Nothing can beat putting on your wellies and marching through the woods, invincible to the all mud and puddles!

My latest trip was out to Wales in early December, only this time there wasn’t so much walking through the woods, as racing through on segways! Up at the beautiful Chirk Castle, which is run by the National Trust you can not only walk through the 460 acres of grounds, but Segtrek offer a pretty damn cool experience for you too. It’s safe to say I fully enjoyed having a little break from busy city life!

I’ve always been a southern girl at heart, but every time I visit the north of England it charms me just a little bit more. In a few weeks time I’m taking another little trip up north, and maybe there will be a few photos to share.

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By the Seaside

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All my good intentions of keeping up to date and blogging on a regular basis seem to have slipped already. My trip to Bournemouth, where these photos were taken, was a long time ago. Way back in May, to be precise. But looking at them again has me remembering how much I love the British seaside.

The weather was typical of good ol’ England and ranged drastically between glorious sunshine and throwing down rain like it was the middle of winter but my friends and I still managed to have a paddle in the sea, have lunch on the seafront and just generally get our fill of sea air. We visited on the weekend of the annual Wheels Festival so there was all kinds of activities involving cars, bikes, rollerblades… Of course, I couldn’t leave without a trip along the pier, a stick of Rock and even a few cocktails at the bar overlooking the sea. There is just something about the amount of space and air of the coast that calms me down like no where else can.

As well as trips to the seaside I have been further afield in the last few months, so there’ll be a few posts coming up that are decidedly more sunny, warm and Spanish!

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