25 Oct 2019

The Perfect Way To Spend A Summer’s Day In Brooklyn

How To Spend A Day In Brooklyn

It was a lazy start to the day, one where you couldn’t be in a rush even if you tried. Gary was watching ‘soccer’ on the tv and I was whiling away time in bed with the balcony doors open, enjoying the gentle breeze and sounds of summer in New York City

It was Saturday and we only had one plan for the day: Smorgsburg. Brooklyn’s famous food market; the largest weekly open-air food market in America. Apparently, it attracts 20,000-30,000 people to Brooklyn each weekend which could only mean one thing: the food was crackin’. We were staying in the East Village so getting there was literally just a case of hopping on the subway over the water to Williamsburg.  

The sky was a glorious blue and the heat was already ramping up when we arrived. Me and midday heat don’t usually mix but I was far too distracted by two things to care. The first being the sheer amount of different food stalls available – I wanted everything. And the second being holy shit the view. Smorgsburg is located right on the water so not only can you pick up food and go sit down by the beach, the view is of the NYC skyline – with the Empire State perfectly placed in the middle. Sexy food and NYC? Yes please and forever, thank you.  

How To Spend A Day In Brooklyn
How To Spend A Day In Brooklyn
How To Spend A Day In Brooklyn
How To Spend A Day In Brooklyn

We picked up the Smorgsburg cups for $3 a pop which you could re-fill at any water point and make a cute souvenir to take home (great cups for using outside). After much deliberating, we started with mozzarella sticks from Big Mozz. They were kind of mozzarella sticks on steroids and I was here for it. We went and found some shade and munched them down whilst soaking up the festival-vibe. Then we shared (I stole some of Gary’s) a sandwich from a stall neither of us can remember the name of but it was full of lamb and dates and rocket, and was seriously tasty. We took this down to the water and hung out there for a while. I will never tire of that skyline. And then for pudding? Oh man, pudding! I wandered the length and breadth of the market before settling on #Baonanas. I wasn’t entirely sure Gary was gonna go for it because he’s a weirdo who doesn’t like bananas, but there was a blueberry option so we were all good. I don’t want to be dramatic – but these were like little pots of heaven. I’m not even entirely what I was eating but it was cakey, waferey, bananary, creamy and downright dreamy. 

How To Spend A Day In Brooklyn
How To Spend A Day In Brooklyn
How To Spend A Day In Brooklyn

Once we were full and because we were pretending we were swish New Yorkers, we decided to head to a rooftop bar that I’d seen online (cough Instagram cough). It was actually on the roof of a hotel so you had to know it was there – we were specifically looking for it and still got confused. Eventually, we stopped and asked a security guard who turned out to be the guy responsible for letting people up so wayhey. 

Lemon’s atop the Wythe Hotel is this little Mediterranean oasis with a view of the Manhattan skyline across the water on one side and Brooklyn stretched out below on the other. It made excellent people/view watching and we were very happy to sit drinking cocktails and toasting our one-week-wedding-anniversary

How To Spend A Day In Brooklyn
How To Spend A Day In Brooklyn
How To Spend A Day In Brooklyn

After a brief trip back to our apartment for an afternoon nap, we then moved onto DUMBO. I just love that area of Brooklyn and it was a joy to get reacquainted. I love the bridges stretching across the water, and that incredible view of downtown Manhattan. I love all the nooks and crannies under the bridges; the random bars and flea markets. I love the perfect shot of the bridge and empire state on Washington street. I love all the people posing for photos; the tourists, the photoshoots, the weddings and proms. 

After a little wandering, we stumbled across the Archway Lighthouse, the seasonal pop-up bar that’s in the Archway under the Manhattan Bridge. It felt very hipster (in a good way) and we grabbed ourselves some wine and beer and hung out there for a while, chatting about life and listening to the trains rumble overhead. There was that summer evening feel now, when the oppressive heat has died down and you’re left with the comfortable balmy air. 

How To Spend A Day In Brooklyn
How To Spend A Day In Brooklyn
How To Spend A Day In Brooklyn
How To Spend A Day In Brooklyn

We planned to go to Juliana’s for dinner which we didn’t make it to on our last visit but, just like last time, we couldn’t be arsed with the queues. So, we went and grabbed food from Shakeshack and took it down to the waterfront. And this turned out to be a crackin’ decision because my word, we were treated to the most beautiful sunset. The sky was on fire as the city began to light up and I’m not sure I could have been more thrilled with my lot. The photos are some of my favourites from the whole trip. 

Once darkness had descended properly, we took a slow walk back to Manhattan over the Brooklyn Bridge feeling sun-kissed and chipper.  

How To Spend A Day In Brooklyn
How To Spend A Day In Brooklyn
How To Spend A Day In Brooklyn


24 Oct 2019

A Photo A Day | September 2019

A photo a day, September 2019
1 September 2019
Location: The Yard, Faversham, Kent
Apologies to summer lovers cos the beginning of September always makes me go YAAASS. This is the beginning of Autumn in my eyes and I will now be eagerly embracing cooler temperatures and golden leaves ๐Ÿ˜ P.S. this was a vegan passion fruit & coconut cake and it was ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿป

A photo a day, September 2019
2 September 2019
Location: Home, Ely
Starting the week with pasta and a plumber, who began by ripping out our hot water tank. This is where the house work properly begins! Have made peace with the fact that I will be covered in a permanent layer of dust for the foreseeable....

A photo a day, September 2019
3 September 2019
Location: London
This makes me SO HAPPY ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‚

A photo a day, September 2019
4 September 2019
Location: Home, Ely
Ello ello, it’s a dining table! Progress! (If we ignore the piles of unpacked boxes, hole in the wall and exposed pipes....) 

A photo a day, September 2019
5 September
Location: Ely
Very early starts are very painful... but there are sunrises... 

A photo a day, September 2019
6 September
Location: London
Another too-early start to get into London town & day 2 of an all-day meeting ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿป‍๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ’ค

A photo a day, September 2019
7 September 2019
Location: Ely
Counter balancing commuter exhaustion with weekends that include fresh air & countryside ๐Ÿฎ

A photo a day, September 2019
8 September 2019
Location: Ely
As above 

A photo a day, September 2019
9 September 2019
Location: Home, Ely
The knits are out....

A photo a day, September 2019
10 September 2019
Location: Home, Ely
Bake off is back which means cosy nights in with cake. I am HERE for it ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿฐ

A photo a day, September 2019
11 September 2019
Location: Home, Ely
The feeling when you plonk onto the bed at the end of the day ๐Ÿ’•

A photo a day, September 2019
12 September 2019
Location: Ely
Lunch break wanders are better when working from home, in my humble opinion ๐Ÿ’•

A photo a day, September 2019
13 September 2019
Location: Ely
Living for the regular sunsets around here ๐Ÿ˜

A photo a day, September 2019
14 September 2019
Location: Ely
Proper work on the house began this weekend. Whilst I wandered around Ely eating scones, sitting in the sunshine and taking photos of the cathedral, my step-dad and Gary knocked through a wardrobe and cupboard and filled in a doorway so that our bedroom could be significantly bigger. Did mean I spent most of Monday finding dust EVERYWHERE but ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿป‍♀️๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป Next stages: plasterer > rip up carpet > new skirting boards > new floor > paint ๐Ÿ”จ ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿป

A photo a day, September 2019
15 September 2019
Location: Home, Ely
Work in progress 

A photo a day, September 2019
16 September 2019
Location: Home, Ely
A weekend's work

A photo a day, September 2019
17 September 2019
Location: London
Being cute there are ya London?

A photo a day, September 2019
18 September 2019
Location: Regent's Park, London
Still trying to figure out if it’s summer...

A photo a day, September 2019
19 September 2019
Location: Ely
...or autumn

A photo a day, September 2019
20 September 2019
Location: Ely
Investing in a new pair of autumnal boots for the golden season ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‘ข

A photo a day, September 2019
21 September 2019
Location: Home, Ely
Finally getting a mirror on the wall so I can now actually check I look presentable before leaving the house 

A photo a day, September 2019
22 September 2019
Location: Home, Ely
Visiting kitchen showrooms is a fun way to spend a Sunday. 

A photo a day, September 2019
23 September 2019
Location: Home, Ely
Monday night’s dinner because that’s about as interesting as the day got...

A photo a day, September 2019
24 September 2019
Location: Home, Ely
Digging out the running shoes today for the first time since June...

A photo a day, September 2019
25 September 2019
Location: London
Didn't take a picture of Ele, but did take a picture of our drinks soooo 

A photo a day, September 2019
26 September 2019
Location: Train
Submission done, sunset on the train home and off on holiday tomorrow. Have a feeling I’m about to come down with a cold but you can’t have everything I suppose ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿป‍♀️

A photo a day, September 2019
27 September 2019
Location: Home, Ely
Books, funky shoes, bath oil... got my holiday essentials ready to go ๐Ÿ˜‚ Six hour journey to Devon ๐Ÿš˜๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿป

A photo a day, September 2019
28 September 2019
Location: Dartmouth, Devon
Thrilled to be back in this lovely place and have absolutely no commitments for the week ๐Ÿ˜

A photo a day, September 2019
29 September 2019
Location: Dartmouth, Devon
Briefly ventured out for a Sunday roast and a look at the beach before hunkering back down with blankets and books ๐Ÿ›‹

A photo a day, September 2019
30 September 2019
Location: Dartmouth, Devon
Brunch of dreams @yarn_bar_eatery ๐Ÿ˜

21 Oct 2019

A Small Note About Loss

Grief and loss


I have a number of half written blog posts sitting in my drafts and I feel like I can’t post any of them. For fear of seeming callous or like I don’t care. But I also don’t want to publicise death and grief – I know some people find a certain cathartic feeling in posting about a loss on social media and I have no judgement, but I am not one of those people. I find it a tricky line to tread and prefer to just stay away full stop. 

And yet, I write a blog. I publish aspects of my life onto this little slice of the internet and leave it open for anyone to peruse as they wish. 

I don’t want to put my loss on the internet. But I don’t want to finish a blog post about a week in Devon because writing about fun things and pressing ‘publish’ seems inappropriate somehow. And yet I also do want to do that because writing about the nicer things in life feels, well, nice right now.

What I want to say is ‘hey I’m going to blog about other things – nice things – because it’s nice to do so. But, just so you know, I’m also dealing with a loss and I want that noted in case you think that writing about the nice things means I’m not thinking about that loss.’ Maybe that should have been the title of this blog post. Not very catchy though is it? 

Death, grief, loss… they are a bugger. A virtual hug to you if you are also currently trying to get your head around them.





Photo by Karim MANJRA on Unsplash 

8 Oct 2019

Where To Eat In New York:
Are The Hyped Places Worth the Fuss?

Where to eat in New York

When we were sat in a restaurant on the upper west side of Manhattan back in June (admittedly not our usual haunts; our holidays overlapped), my friend Dan and I were comparing our New York food maps. This is why we are friends. Dan rightly pointed out that when you research places to eat in New York, certain recommendations come up time and time again. But are they all worth the hype? Well I worked hard to find out… we all gotta take one for the team right?

Where to eat in New York
Where to eat in New York

Rocky Roadhouse @ Big Gay Ice Cream

What: Chocolate soft serve ice cream with toasted almonds, chocolate morsels & mini marshmallows served in a cone but also with a paper plate. Paper plate is needed!

Dreamy? Duh. It’s outrageous and chocolaty and messy. What’s not to like?

Worth the hype? If you like bonkers chocolate ice cream, then hell yes.

The Meatball Shop

What: A favourite of ours from last time. A chilled out restaurant serving – you guessed it – meatballs. Pick your meatball (there are veggie options), your pasta, your sauce & your side should you want it. The veggie sides are worth getting if you’re particularly hungry (although bear in mind the portions are generous and come with focaccia) – would recommend the chilli broccoli and the garlic & white wine kale.

Dreamy? Yes, it’s a big bowl of carby goodness. They often have outdoor seating and sat on the streets of NYC in the sunshine eating spaghetti is a delight.

Worth the hype? It’s not mind blowing but a firm favourite of mine. I’d be a regular if I lived in NYC.


Pancakes @ Bubby’s 

What: Thick, fluffy pancakes that would make an incredible pillow. Served with your choice of topping; G had blueberries, I had Nutella & strawberries. We loved Bubby’s last time we were in NYC but we went for dinner last time so went back to check out their famous pancakes.

Dreamy? I didn’t love them tbh. By all appearances, perfect pancakes. But I kept having to add syrup because they sucked all the moisture out your mouth.

Worth the hype? Hmmm a bit of a let-down. Perhaps I had the wrong topping. I’ll shout about the peanut butter pie at Bubby’s until the cows come home though.

Where to eat in New York
Where to eat in New York
Where to eat in New York

Milk + Honey bagel @ Black Seed Bagels

What: Bagels of course! Shop in general is highly recommended but the Milk + Honey did seem to be mentioned more than others. Generous helpings of apple, honey & ricotta sandwiched between a freshly toasted bagel.

Dreamy? Yes, yes, yes. I ate 4 of them over the week.

Worth the hype? God yes. Would be right up the top of my list of recommendations.

Dark chocolate chip cookies @ Levian Bakery 

What: Like the best cookies in the world? The dough is clearly that of a cookie recipe but honestly, they look like epic rock cakes. A subtle crunch on the outside and then so soft, so gooey on the inside. Still warm from the oven ready to warm your soul.

Dreamy? Like you wouldn’t believe. I’d fly back to Manhattan just for these cookies.

Worth the hype? YAASSS. I did go back to try the chocolate chip & walnut which was also delicious but there’s a reason the dark chocolate chip cookie gets the most fuss. 10/10.

The Egg Shop 

What: Eggs of course. Bright little cafรฉ with a simple dรฉcor – white boards and hanging plants – and a menu full of eggs.  Popular but sitting at the bar suited us just fine. We both went for the ‘Pepper Boy’: scrambled egg, gruyere, bell pepper, caramelised onion aioli & maple cured bacon in a roll (although you can also have in a bell pepper). Plus truffle hash browns – I know.

Dreamy? Filling. But, yes, I’d go again.

Worth the hype? Wouldn’t lose my shit over it but cute and tasty for sure. Am keen to get my hands on the cookbook because I reckon it’s one you could actually utilise every time you fancied a sexy brunch.

Where to eat in New York
Where to eat in New York
Where to eat in New York
Where to eat in New York

Cereal milk soft serve @ Milk

What: Soft serve ice cream that somehow manages to replicate the exact taste of the milk at the bottom of your cornflakes. Made by the famous Milk Bar bakery. I think it’s important to note that one must get it with the cornflake sprinkles.

Dreamy? Like reverting back to being a five year old. Putting the toppings at the bottom of the tub under the ice cream, as well as on top, is a genius move.

Worth the hype? I’d suggest this could be a bit of a marmite situation. I absolutely loved but Gary was not at all convinced.

Tingly Lamb Noodles @ Very Fresh Noodles, Chelsea Market

What: Tucked away in Chelsea Market – worth a visit in its own right – is the Very Fresh Noodles bar where you can watch the noodles being hand pulled by the chefs; stretched to over a metre long and then slapped down onto the counter. Everyone said to get the Tingly Lamb Noodles so I did.

Dreamy: Wow, so good. The freshness of the noodles was so delicious that I kept stuffing my face long after the heat had become too much – they really do tingle! Watching the chefs make the noodles was a highlight.

Worth the hype? Yes, but be prepared for the tingling.

Cookie Dough @ Do 

What: A whole shop dedicated to edible cookie dough with a load of different flavours. I went for the signature chocolate chip to keep it simple because it was technically my third pudding of the day.

Dreamy? Er, it’s cookie dough. Of course it was dreamy. I have regret about not going back and trying EVERY FLAVOUR.

Worth the hype? If cookie dough is your thing, then absolutely. If it’s not, it’s probably not one of those you-absolutely-must-go-no-matter-what places. Although, what kind of cretin doesn’t like cookie dough? Oh and there’s a cookbook coming out this month. Sadly, they don’t deliver their cookie dough internationally. I checked.

Where to eat in New York
Where to eat in New York
Where to eat in New York

Smorgasburg 

What: The famous food market in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The largest weekly open-air food market in America, with 100 different local vendors. It’s worth going for the views alone; it’s right on the water and the Manhattan skyline sits before you.

Dreamy? Seriously dreamy. We had mozzarella sticks from Big Mozz and a delightful sandwich from a stall neither of us can remember the name of but it was full of lamb and rocket and dates and tasted uhmazing. And then we had dessert from #Baonanas which was some kind of cakey wafers, bananas, creamy combination and tasted like a lil pot of heaven. Oh and you can buy Smorgasburg-branded re-usable cups to use at all the water points for $3, and the cup makes a cute souvenir.

Worth the hype? 100%. Try and time your visit to NYC with a Saturday during the summer so you can go. You won’t regret.

Square pepperoni pizza slice @ Prince Street Pizza 

What: People queue around the block for a slice of Prince Street Pizza’s square pepperoni pizza pie. We got there before midday and the queue was only just out the door, so we weren’t waiting long. The shop is tiny – and covered in photos of famous visitors – and the staff are blunt; it’s only about the pizza here. Thick crust that treads the line between soft and crunchy perfectly, generous layers of melty cheese and tomato sauce and thick slices of pepperoni slices with a bit of a kick.

Dreamy? Put it this way, I regret not immediately going back and buying a second slice.

Worth the hype? Yes for sure. I’m not sure exactly why it stands out against other slices of pizza, but it just does.

The Dead Rabbit 

What: Voted the best bar in the world 2015 & 2016, The Dead Rabbit is an unassuming-looking pub tucked away in the Financial District. You could easily walk by and not notice it although that wasn’t possible for us as a very tipsy couple stumbled out as we approached and loudly told us what a great place it was. Inside, you’re transported into a completely different world. There’s sawdust on the floor, hundreds of old pictures hanging from the rafters and the best-stocked bar you’ve ever seen.

Dreamy? Most definitely. We pulled up stools, propped ourselves up against the oak bar and then sort of just forgot to leave. Their cocktails are all original and the woman behind the bar was happy to make recommendations, after establishing what kind of flavours I liked. Gary tried a few different beers and we soaked it all up with truffle parmesan fries. The vibe of the place was just spot on, a little bit unique.

Worth the hype? One of the best bars I’ve ever been.

Where to eat in New York
Where to eat in New York
Where to eat in New York
Where to eat in New York
Where to eat in New York
Where to eat in New York

Pastrami sandwich @ Katz Deli

What: The iconic Katz Delicatessen which has been hanging out in the East Village since 1888. Otherwise known as the When-Harry-Met-Sally-diner. Their mile-high sandwiches are legendary, particularly the pastrami and corned beef. The deli is chaotic and crackling with energy. You take your ticket to the counter, order there and then watch them slice the meat and make up your sandwich in front of you. We shared a huge pastrami sandwich layered with mustard and a plate of pickles; these came with the sandwich which was a touch I particularly enjoyed.

Dreamy? I wouldn’t normally go for a pastrami sandwich but I’d have this one again in a heartbeat. It melted in the mouth. It is pricey but the sandwiches are enormous and it is such an iconic setting. The atmosphere and wonder of being in the diner are what makes the experience.

Worth the hype? Absolutely. It’s a New York must!

Jack’s Wife Freda 

What: Direct quote from their website: “If you were going to give the cuisine a long and unwieldy name, it might be South African Israeli Jewish Grandmother Cuisine.” I highly recommend the beetroot dip.

Dreamy? Top food, top vibes. It’s a lovely, lovely restaurant. We went twice on our last visit and saved it for our final meal in NYC this time around. I have no doubt we would go back should we ever return to NYC (which we will because I have an obsession).

Worth the hype? Can’t really imagine anyone not liking this place to be honest.

Crack Pie @ Milk 

What: Now called ‘Milk Bar Pie’, I’m assuming due to political correctness, but supposedly as addictive as crack. Another one from the famous Milk Bar bakery. Gooey, buttery, oaty, flakey… a little bit maple syrupy?

Dreamy: Gary described this as ‘absolutely filthy’; you could practically feel it clogging the arteries. So good.

Worth the hype? Describing it as ‘addictive’ is a bold claim… and yet I find myself fantasising about another slice on a regular basis...


So, in conclusion, yes the hyped places are most definitely worth the fuss. Which I suppose I could have said at the beginning of this post but where would have been the fun in that?

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