31 Jul 2017

July Reads: Into The Water by Paula Hawkins

A review of Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

Confession: I’ve only read 119 pages in one month. I know right, who am I? I don’t know what happened. I’ve let you down, I’ve let myself down… etc etc.

Those 119 pages were of Into the Water by Paula Hawkins.

23 Jul 2017

9 Amazing Places We Ate At In New York City

A descriptive list of places to eat in New York City, America

Before I kick off some serious food porn, I feel that I should mention that everywhere we ate in NYC was ridiculously sexy. So this list is, in my limited experience, the places that you absolutely MUST go to, that will leave you in a state of pure foodie happiness, that you will want to go back to immediately.

A few things first. For starters, I HAVE to mention the 230 Fifth Rooftop Bar. Not included in this list for obvious reasons but what a place to go to for a cocktail. You can sit directly in the shadow of the glittering Empire State Building and basically cry at how beautiful it is.

Next, I haven’t included The Boathouse in Central Park because we weren’t blown away by the food. It was nice, don’t get me wrong, but it didn’t feel like it was worth the price or the fuss. The location, however, was so dreamy particularly if you manage to get a table by the water. My advice? GO. It’s a gorgeous location and will make you feel like you’re in a film, but just grab a drink or snack and then go to one of the below for the main event.

And finally, a shout out to Maxwells, a cosy little place G discovered in Midtown which did some sexy mac n cheese, Patsy’s on the upper west side for delicious oven-baked pizzas and Junior’s near Times Square and/or Brooklyn for top notch NYC cheesecake (in about eight million different flavours).

And now for the main event:

Jack’s Wife Freda

Hands down, the best place we ate at in the week we were in NYC. We went for dinner here on our last night and it was so flippin’ good, we went back for our final brunch the next morning. There’s two locations and both have major Instagrammable décor (check out their dreeeeamy instagram account here). It’s American food with a Mediterranean twist and it was tasty, scrummy; all of the descriptive words. Just so good. Brunch is what they do best (I’m salivating at the memory of the eggs and halloumi) but try and squeeze in an evening trip as well. Also the cantaloupe juice is a must-have. Oh and we saw David Schwimmer here so if that’s not reason to go, then I dunno what is.

A descriptive list of places to eat in New York City, America

A descriptive list of places to eat in New York City, America


Bubby’s 

The main menu is kinda like a posher version of Nandos in that you pick a meat, sauce and two sides but that’s not why you should go. Bubby’s is famous for the pie and for a bloody good reason. I had their peanut butter and chocolate pie and it was literally the best thing I have eaten. Seriously, I haven’t stopped going on about it since. It also has a cute décor, an awesome old-school playlist and is located right on the high line.

A descriptive list of places to eat in New York City, America


ShakeShack 

You may judge me for this one but look at me, not giving two hoots. I bloody loved ShakeShack and it felt so New York. I know we now have them in the UK but I’m almost scared to go because how can it possibly be as good when you’re not sat in the sunshine in Madison Square Park? Which btw, is apparently the original ShakeShack. Their SmokeShack burger may be the best burger I have ever had (the sweet pepper is what does it for me I think). Just sayin’. The crinkly fries and milkshakes are also crackin’.

A descriptive list of places to eat in New York City, America


The Meatball Shop 

If you don’t love a hearty bowl of pasta at least once a week, then we probs can’t be friends. Soz and that. You can choose between pork, beef, chicken, veggie or speciality meatballs as well as different sauces like homemade pesto or spicy meat and different pasta like spaghetti or penne. There’s also a good selection of sides; I panic ordered some chilli broccoli cos WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME I ATE VEG. Each bowl comes with lashings of parmesan and a slice of focaccia bread. Heavenly.

A descriptive list of places to eat in New York City, America


Dough

Lol at how poor doughnuts are in the UK compared to ‘Merica. These babies are as big as your face and I’m not ashamed to admit I ate it all. I ordered the lemon poppy seed and can confirm it was as sexy as it looked.

A descriptive list of places to eat in New York City, America

A descriptive list of places to eat in New York City, America


Absolute Bagels

I was kinda expecting something a bit more from this place cos it was recommended to me more than once (and there are a lot of bagel places in New York) but, nope, just a side street bagel shop with kinda rude staff. But there were HUNDREDS of different types of cream cheeses. Sweet and savoury. And the bagels were doughy and warm and really rather sexy. We took ours into central park and sat in the sun as the adrenaline from our helicopter ride seeped out of us.

A descriptive list of places to eat in New York City, America


Emack and Bolio’s 

About two blocks out of central park and a necessity on a hot day. Not only does it do every flavour of ice cream you can imagine, it also specialises in the sexiest (and weirdest) cereal toppings, coated in melted marshmallow so it sticks to your cone. G said it was too much and, okay after a while I did feel like I was eating radioactive sugar… but who even cares? LOOK at it.

A descriptive list of places to eat in New York City, America

A descriptive list of places to eat in New York City, America

Tick Tock Diner 

Probably the most stereotypical American place we went to during our week. It was actually the place we went to on our first morning and it was so perfect for making us feel like we’d arrived in the US of A. Exactly like you imagine an American diner, full of colour and waitresses filling up your coffee cup as you walk past. Oh and the pancakes and bacon were the stuff of your filthiest dreams.

A descriptive list of places to eat in New York City, America


Rice to Riches 

Imagine Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour for rice pudding instead of beans and you’ve got Rice to Riches. IT’S A WHOLE SHOP FOR RICE PUDDING, NEED I SAY MORE? Ngl, there were so many flavours that I actually kinda panicked. Too. Much. Choice. I asked if I could have two different flavours not realising that I’d actually ordered two portions. And G doesn’t like rice pudding. Oops. It’s quirky, fun and full of the best pudding in the world. I’ll say no more.

A descriptive list of places to eat in New York City, America


Can I just go back now please? There are still so many places to try.

13 Jul 2017

41 things I learned at university


July 2017 marks 4 years since my graduation. Can I freak out now? Where the effing heck did those 4 years go? I seemed to have jumped from downing jagerbombs to shiny (and alarmed) new graduate to like, can I say it, a somewhat functioning adult?

Heck.

Uh huh. I just said ‘heck’. Cool, I’m now in my mid-fifties.

Here’s what three years as a student in Bath taught me anyhoo. It’s not got much to do with my degree subject, ngl.

9 Jul 2017

Video: Let's go to Corfu...

A video of our trip to Corfu island, Greece

Just a little video from our week in Corfu (more here).

There's a lot of sea views, stray cats, enormous duck/goose/turkey bird things and excessive pastry eating.

Kay, cool, bye.

Where to buy a house?

Musings on where to buy our first house

Part of mine and G’s vague five-year plan involves buying a house. Whilst we’re not planning on moving right now, we have recently started to think about it a bit more because, quite frankly, it’s a bloody big decision.

The first step of the whole big, complicated process is deciding where we want to live. It goes without saying that we can’t afford to buy a house where we are now, as much as we would love to. Good old St Albans is one of the most expensive places to live in the country, with house prices being approx. 8.7 times higher than the average salary…yay. At a push, we might be able to afford a one bedroom flat in a less-than-desirable area but we want a house. Heck, I want a bloody garden.

We knew this when we moved here. We knew our time here was limited even before we’d arrived. The whole point was that we (okay, me) wanted to live in the place we’d (okay, I) always wanted to live, even if it was just for a couple of years. Just for the experience, to know that’d I’d done it. Because life is short and all that. Problem is, when you’re already living in your perfect location (because G now loves it too), how do you decide where to move to next?

3 Jul 2017

June Reads: Let's Talk About Sex

A review of Doing It: Let's Talk About Sex by Hannah Witton

The older I get, the more I realise how poor my sex education was at school. My main memories are watching a video of a couple playing tennis naked on a beach and discussing body parts (year 4), being told that the amount of period blood you produce is approximately half a cup (year 5), being taught to put a condom on a cucumber (year 9) and being shown pictures of genitals riddled with STIs (year 12).

So that’s nice. All you need to know right?