2018: A Year in Review

My #Best9 of 2018 on Instagram

2018 has been a mixed year. There’s been a few personal and professional changes, some of which were not as positive as I would have liked and I’ve allowed myself to wallow in a funk on more than a few occasions, at one point even contemplating giving up blogging altogether. However, when I looked through my Bullet Journal and the photographs on my phone in preparation for this post, I was reminded that this year has actually been full of more incredible experiences than almost of any other. 

Here’s just some of the highlights…

The Bloke won a camera for a squirrel picture. That squirrel picture was more popular than our wedding photos.  Continue reading

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Peggy Porschen Cakes, London

Visiting Peggy Porschen Cakes, London

Whenever I go to London I always research interesting ideas on Pinterest  for places to visit and experience as I find that tips from locals are always much more useful than some of the bigger travel guides. During every search there is always one thing that appears repeatedly: Peggy Porschen Cakes ‘Parlour’, an Instagram haven with a pastel pink frontage, adorned with gorgeous floral displays that change throughout the year. 

Opened in 2010 by award winning cake designer, author and Creative Director Peggy Porschen and her husband, the bakery is situated in Belgravia, and I discovered that it was in the vicinity of the station I was travelling from on Monday, so I decided to take a little detour and treat myself to a cupcake (for breakfast – why not!). Continue reading

A Visit to East Croydon and Crystal Palace

After my awesome afternoon experiencing a street art tour in Shoreditch with my bloggy friend, Tiffany, I headed on over to Victoria and caught a train to East Croydon to meet another bloggy friend: Donna, the creator of Jot to Jot. We connected a few years ago online and have met several times in person since (she even came to my wedding), and since the birth of her little girl last December I had been promising to visit.

It only took nearly a year. Better late than never I suppose! Continue reading

An Incredible Street Art Tour of Shoreditch, London

A Street Art Tour of Shoreditch

At the weekend I experienced a street art tour of Shoreditch with Tiffany, the creator of A Girl and Her Passport in London.

She was back in the UK for a little while, and it was the perfect opportunity to catch up as it’s been over a year since she was last here. I  still find it amazing that I get these sorts of opportunities – we connected via the blogging community a few years ago – and she is someone I would never have met otherwise as at the time she lived in Qatar and is from Texas.

She booked the tour through an Airbnb experience and it was something I had been really looking forward to – I’ve seen some of the street art in the Shoreditch area before when The Bloke and I had an inexpensive trip down to London – but I was really interested to find out a little more about the artists and see some of the things I had missed.  Continue reading

An Egg Sandwich and Train Hell

I’ve been lucky enough to have just spent another few days down in London, this time meeting up with several bloggy friends, experiencing a street art tour, Crystal Palace Park and slowly working my way round the awesome bakeries that the city has to offer (which of course, was breakfast). It was only a few days after The Bloke and I got back from his 50th birthday Wicked and Harry Potter extravaganza, and it felt like I had just about unpacked before I had to pack again so I could get a train back down south at ridiculous o’clock.  Continue reading

The Annual Bloggers Bash 2019: The Bash is Back!

The Bash is back! Yes, preparations and planning are under way for the 5th Annual Bloggers Bash, to be held in Central London on 15th June 2019! And this year we have a brand new website which will serve as the hub of all things Bash and Bash Awards! Check it out here:

http://www.annualbloggersbash.com

I’ve been to every single event, I’m now on the committee and I credit the first Bash as being the catalyst for giving me the confidence to make the (rather scary) leap into blogging as a career. I’ve made friends through this event that I now see and speak to regularly in real life, and it is the highlight of my blogging year.

Never heard of the Annual Bloggers Bash? Continue reading

Visiting the Harry Potter Studios Tour

The Harry Potter Studios Tour, London

Yesterday we went to the Harry Potter Tour at the Warner Bros. Studio in London (technically, it is known as the Warner Bros Studio Tour, but everyone seems to just refer to it as the Harry Potter Tour instead). It was part of The Bloke’s ongoing 50th birthday celebration, and while I’ve never been a fan of the films (although an avid reader of the books), it was something that I knew he had been looking forward to for quite a while. In all honesty, I was prepared for it to be something that I just ‘did’ that I could add to my list, purely for the sake of saying that I had visited and experienced it.

I take it all backit was fabulous. The sets, the costumes, the atmosphere – it was amazing just to see everything on show, to the point where half-way through I was resisting the urge to steal a cloak and wand from one of the children wandering around (seriously, shouldn’t they have been in school?) and run around yelling EXPELLIARMUS at everyone in my way.  Continue reading

A Wicked Evening on the West End

The Bloke and I are in London to celebrate The Bloke’s 50th birthday. We’re staying in an awesome apartment and have had a whole bunch of things on the itinerary for the last few days. 

Last night we went to see Wicked for the first time. It has been something that we have both wanted to watch, and I have always been jealous of the fact that I never got to see the Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel partnership. Whenever we have come to London and wanted to see a show it has always seemed to either be sold out or too expensive and we have ended up going to watch something else instead. However, this time at least, as if the stars had aligned, we were able to get reasonably priced tickets in great seats, and I had been looking forward to it. Continue reading

London, Airbnb and Wicked

It’s been a surprisingly beautiful day and The Bloke and I have just been on a train to London. We were really lucky with the seats, it was quiet and we had a really nice chat with a Ugandan-Canadian girl who is studying at uni here. It’s always interesting to meet new people – she told us about her education in Uganda and her plans to go into robotics, used words like ‘hella’ and ‘legit’ and told me I had a baby face. 

Bonus points for her then… Continue reading

Lunch at the Rose Villa Tavern

The Rose Villa Tavern, takes from their Instagram page

I received a text on Sunday morning:

Fancy going to the Rose Villa Tavern for lunch today?

I love waking up to texts like that.

Located on Warstone Lane in the Jewellery Quarter, the pub is part of the popular Bitters and Twisted venues and is a refurbished Grade II listed building with ornate stained glass windows, an old fashioned casual vibe, function room and a beer garden. In contrast, it serves a contemporary American style menu, a wide selection of beers and ales and fabulous cocktails. I’ve been to the Rose Villa Tavern on several occasions in the late afternoon and evening when it was quite busy, so I was interested to see whether it was any different during a weekend lunchtime. Continue reading