This month I feel like all it’s taken is a blink and we’re in autumn – the leaves have started to fall, there’s a chill in the air in the mornings, and I’m searching the shops for new jumpers. I’ve got quite a bit in the calendar for October and I’m not usually one for planning ahead, so it’s an odd feeling for me to have so much of my month already spoken for – it feels like the month will just fly by. First I’ve got a trip to London to go wedding dress shopping with one of my best friends, then Oktoberfest and London Grammar at the Leeds O2 Academy, and I’ll be spending the last week of the month exploring Marrakesh and the Moroccan desert. But let’s see what’s going on closer to home… Continue reading
On my last day in Krakow, I awoke to torrential rain. The weather forecast had been predicting it all week, but it was still disappointing to open my curtains and see the water bouncing off the pavements, streaming down the gutters in mini rivers. I pulled on my very un-waterproof shoes, grabbed my umbrella and headed out towards Kazimierz, accepting that I would be flying home feeling very soggy.
I could have headed for cover – spent the day in a museum or watched the world go by from a cafe. But today was the day of the street art tour I had been looking forward to since I arrived in Krakow, and I wasn’t about to miss it because of a little rain. It’s always seemed odd to me how rarely street art is mentioned in guidebooks – while cathedrals and galleries take pride of place in city break itineraries, this living expression of a city’s culture and identity is always strangely absent. Maybe its transient nature makes it hard to record in books, but it makes it hard to track down and understand without a guide.
Luckily Krakow has a fantastic street art tour run by freewalkingtour.com, which meets by the old Synagogue and takes you on a 2-hour walk around Kazimierz and Podgórze. Our guide Alicija was so informative, and handed out a great Krakow guide that was packed with tips I wish I’d had when I arrived. Here are some of my favourite art pieces from the walk, and the stories behind them. Continue reading
Last week I found myself at the gates of the Harewood Estate, with very little idea of what to expect from the evening ahead. The event was the secretive Hidden Harewood, a pop-up supper club with Ox Club chef Josh Whitehead that promised to showcase the best the Harewood state had to offer. I knew I had to dress for the outdoors and that I was going to be fed…and that was about it.
We were greeted outside Harewood All Saints Church by Eddy Lascelles, the founder of Harewood Food and Drink Project, who gave us a quick intro to the evening and explained the concept of Hidden Harewood. Josh Whitehead was challenged to create a menu that captured the taste of Harewood, relying as much as possible on produce that could be sourced directly from the estate. Continue reading
When I was searching for a city break earlier this year Krakow never even crossed my mind until several friends recommended it to me, but it ticked all my boxes and I fell completely in love. It was cheap, safe, compact enough to walk everywhere, and packed with beautiful sights and cool little cafes that made it a perfect weekend break for me.
I love planning my holidays almost as much as I enjoy doing them, so while I did leave my research a little late, by the time I arrived in Krakow I had several big lists of things to do, see and eat while I was there. This is my ultimate guide to experiencing the best this city has to offer. Continue reading
I’ll hold my hands up and admit it – I’ve been a lazy blogger this month. I’ve scribbled down title ideas, half-written a couple of things, but for the most part I’ve just given my neglected blog a guilty half-thought before rushing out the door to whatever I’ve got planned for the day. August had busy work days and a holiday and a wedding and so many nice little things, but they tired me out. I needed my small amounts of free time to rest and recharge, and I think it’s ok to sometimes prioritise that over being productive.
The arrival of September always makes me feel a little sad. I’m a summer girl and the start of autumn means saying goodbye to the possibilities of sunshine and long afternoons in beer gardens, and hello to dark mornings and months sealed inside a big coat. Hopefully I’ll get a few more good days before I have to pack away my sandals for another year, but if not at least I have some exciting plans to cheer me up. Continue reading
Brunch has become my favourite meal – it has most of the same food and drink elements I love about breakfast, but without the requirement of getting up early in order to enjoy it. For me there’s no better way to start the weekend than rolling out of bed after a lovely lie-in and catching up with friends over pancakes, bacon and endless refills of tea and coffee.
There no shortage of choices if you’re looking for brunch in Leeds, but if you’re indecisive (like me) so many options can just make it harder to choose. So where can you find the best brunches? These are my five favourite places in city centre to get a brunch that sets me up for the weekend. Continue reading
Well. July was A MONTH. My big change was that I left my job at a company I’ve been settled in for 3 and a half years, and threw myself into a Digital Marketing Manager role at an agency. Agency life is fast-paced and exhausting and so, so different to client side, but I’ve been leaving work every day with the biggest smile on my face and that has felt awesome. I also had a packed weekend in London sailing dinghies down the canal and dancing all night, and booked myself a solo weekend in Krakow for this month which I cannot wait for. But what’s going on at home in Leeds? Continue reading
Throughout my Cuba trip I stayed exclusively in casa particulars, and I cannot recommend it enough. While hotels are impersonal and relatively expensive for Cuba, casa particulars are basically homestays where you stay with locals and get to benefit from their knowledge and advice. It’s also a great choice for responsible tourism, as your money is going directly to locals instead of large hotel corporations.
While we’re talking money, staying in a casa particular is also cheap! We paid around 30 CUC a night (roughly £20) for a double/twin room with private bathroom and air conditioning, and a generous breakfast is added on for 3-5 CUC per day (£2-4). Included in this price are, in our experience at least, beautiful Cuban homes to stay in and amazing hosts who will go above and beyond to help you with anything you need, and see you off to your next city with a big hug! Continue reading
As some of you may know, I’m currently doing a reading challenge to read 40 books in a year, after falling way short of my 52 books target last year. To be honest this year is going pretty abysmally too – at the halfway point of the year I’ve read 14 books, about 6 behind schedule, so I have some catching up to do if I’m going to make it to 40 by the end of the year.
In the meantime, this is my 6-month mark review of the best books I’ve read in the last three months (yes I know it’s a bit late – I’ve been busy!). And what I have lacked in quantity, I have certainly made up for in quality… Continue reading
Those who know me will know that gin is my go-to drink of choice, and that over time I’ve become a bit of a gin snob. I love trying new brands and going to tastings, so when Gin Festival came to Leeds it was basically my ideal night out.
The festival brings together over 100 gins across four bars in one venue, with some brands attending in person to do masterclasses and free tasters, so it’s a fantastic opportunity to try out some top quality gins that you won’t stumble across in your average pub. I’ve found some of my favourite gin brands at events like this and Gin Festival was no different! I have a preference for light, fruity gins so if you have a similar palate, this is what I recommend you try. Continue reading