Certificate from Barista Class at 200 Degrees North

4 Fun Classes to Take in Leeds

Do you ever miss your school days? No, me neither. But that doesn’t mean I don’t miss learning, having all that dedicated time when you were not only encouraged but expected to be filling your brains with new skills and information. But learning doesn’t have to stop when you leave school – here are just a few of the ways you can pick up a new talent and have loads of fun along the way. Continue reading

52 Books in 52 Weeks Reading Challenge

52 Books Reading Challenge: 9-Month Review

I’m now nine months into my ‘read 52 books in 52 weeks’ challenge, and I’m still a million miles behind reaching my target but I am so happy that it’s pushed me to dedicate more of my spare time to reading. I’m also really pleased with the book choices I made in the past three months; in my 6-month review I felt like I struggled to find even five books to talk about that I’d really enjoyed, but recently I’ve loved almost everything I’ve picked up. Here are my thoughts on some of my favourite books from the past three months. Continue reading

Hake at Iberica Leeds

An Evening at Iberica Leeds

Last Wednesday I was invited by Emma to be her plus one for an event at Iberica, a fairly new tapas restaurant on East Parade that’s drawn a lot of attention on social media for having the most beautiful bathrooms in Leeds. While I’d heard a lot of praise about the toilets, initial reviews I’d read of the food were not that enthusiastic, but a few weeks ago my Spanish housemate mentioned that she’d been with her parents and thought the dishes were excellent. I figured she ought to know, so I was thrilled to be able to try it out myself. Continue reading

Why Ghostbusters Is The Film All Little Girls Need To See

On Saturday night, I went to the cinema for the first time in god-knows-how-long, handing over the extortionate amount of cash Vue now charges and settling down with a knot in the pit of my stomach and one thought running through my mind.

“Please be good.”

Why? Because I was here to see the new Ghostbusters, which was subjected to huge amounts of criticism, outrage and downright vitriol online after it was announced that the cast would be played by *gasp* women. Legions of whiny men took to the internet to claim that their childhoods would be ruined, apparently sparing no thought for all the girls and women who have grown up accustomed to their gender being sidelined in film since the dawn of Hollywood. I was lucky enough to have a fairly gender-neutral upbringing, but I’ve still put up with years of seeing my gender reflected back at me as one-dimensional, hyper-sexualised secondary characters. I wanted Ghostbusters to be the anti-thesis of all these lazy character profiles, but I also really wanted it to simply be a good film. Continue reading

Gin and tonic at Old Tom's Gin Kitchen, Leeds

Review: Old Tom’s Gin Kitchen at The Hedonist Project

This is just going to be a short appreciation post about my new favourite haunt – The Hedonist Project’s latest incarnation, Old Tom’s Gin Kitchen. I love their idea of a ‘permanent pop-up’; a bar that always exists in the same place but can look completely different from one visit to the next, but their winter venture, a Whisky Parlour, was unavailable to me due to me really, really hating whisky. Gin, on the other hand, is my drink of choice, and I’m already hooked on Old Tom’s. Continue reading

52 Books Reading Challenge: 3-Month Review

At the start of the year I was determined to kick start my reading habits, and set myself a challenge to read 52 books in 2016. Rather than being a target that I’ll race to hit, I’m treating the challenge as a way of reminding myself to always have a book on the go, and to read more widely.

As we reach the 3-month mark, I’m looking back at how I’m doing and what my favourite books have been. I’m currently 2 books behind schedule due to one long and challenging read, but I’m catching up fast and am feeling much better about the amount of time I’m committing to reading instead of aimlessly scrolling Twitter or watching Netflix. These are the books I’ve most enjoyed in the first 3 months. Continue reading

A Lunch Break at The Weather Cafe

This week, I had one of the most relaxing and therapeutic lunch hours of my life, returning to work so chilled out my colleagues were actually unnerved and cautiously asked if I was ok. So what had I been doing? Getting a massage? Smoking a joint? No – I’d spent my lunch at the Weather Cafe, a pop-up cafe/art installation on the Headrow.

The Weather Cafe, Leeds

Information about the Weather Cafe has been infuriatingly sparse until now, with press releases and the website putting out intriguing soundbites like ‘immersive experience’ and ’emotional climate of the city’ without really giving away any details. The cloak and dagger approach completely worked on me – I couldn’t wait to go along and see what it was all about. Continue reading