Tuesday, 6 December 2016

INTERIORS: Our new house (the before pictures)

New house project - the before pics of a Victorian terrace

Well, we did it. We officially own a house. We have just about moved in... to the kitchen (the luxury of moving out of your parents' house, there's no rush to do it all in one day), our sofa is on its way, we don't have internet yet but we have painted. Painted!

Anyway, I thought I'd start off my new house posts with a glimpse of what the house looked like when we moved in. It's going to take a little while before the 'After' shots will be exactly as I want them to be - there are carpets I want to replace and a fireplace I want to rip out and a kitchen I want to redo, but these won't all be things we achieve in the first six months. But already it's so much better.


Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Reasons to be Cheerful

I have had a great year. I'm not saying that to be smug, but rather to remind myself, because when I think about it, I've spent the year doing a lot of complaining. Going from sharing a flat to sharing a spare room hasn't been one of my favourite things ever, and that's been the source of much moaning, but when I step back and look at it, it gave me the opportunity to save up a house deposit which I would have never been able to do alone. And this year's been good for other reasons. I've spent it working in a job that I really love, I got engaged to a stone-cold weirdo who I adore and I've visited some amazing places. Yes, 2016 has sucked and overall, the world is a bit broken, but doesn't that make it even more important to count our own blessings? I kind of think it does.

So I'm bringing back my Reasons to be Cheerful posts - at least sporadically - because I used to be so good at updating them regularly, but I've lost the habit. So here's what's making me happy at the moment.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

TRAVEL: Places to eat and drink in Dublin

Food and drink recommendations in Dublin on a long weekend

My Dublin post got super long as I was writing it, so I felt it made sense to split it into two parts. We ate a lot of good food when we were there, and went to some great bars, so I wanted to create a compendium of our favourites. Honestly, I think we barely scratched the surface - there's just SO MUCH there, and in my limited experience, it's basically all amazing. Aaaanyhoo... here are our faves.


Saturday, 26 November 2016

REVIEW: The Crooked Chimney pub, Welwyn

Review of new menu at The Crooked Chimney, Welwyn, Hertfordshire
Review of new menu at The Crooked Chimney, Welwyn, Hertfordshire
Review of new menu at The Crooked Chimney, Welwyn, Hertfordshire

Living in Hertfordshire, I get the best of both worlds. Any time I want that busy city life, I can hop on a train to London and be there within an hour. But if I want to escape to the country, and be somewhere quiet and scenic and pretty - well, that's right there on my doorstep.

As such, there are lots of pretty places to go around here, and where there are pretty places there are pubs. Lots of pubs. And while I was offered the chance to review The Crooked Chimney, if I'd stumbled across it whilst exploring, I would have absolutely gone in. I mean, look how adorable it is.


Wednesday, 23 November 2016

INTERIORS: We're buying a house!

After talking about it for what seems like forever, we are finally getting ready to move into our new house. Contracts have been exchanged, the completion date is set (for next week!), and we are spending all our free time looking at sofas, beds, paint and the entire contents of Ikea.

Where I live has been quite a big part of this blog’s identity for a while now, and this move will change that a little. As of next month, I will no longer live in St Albans – I’m moving to Tring, which is a lovely town on the Hertfordshire/Buckinghamshire border.

I’m not going far. Tring’s about 18 miles away from St Albans, and my family and several of my friends still live in the area, so I’ll be back regularly and it will still very much feature on this blog. All of my favourite restaurants are in St Albans, after all! But I’ll be casting the net a bit wider now when I blog about local restaurants, including Tring, Berkhamsted and other local towns in my reviews. I’m excited to explore Buckinghamshire more, which has a wealth of stunning scenery and amazing pubs and restaurants. If anyone is reading this who wants to work with me, I’m still happy to come to St Albans – but am open to anything in Herts/Beds/Bucks. I drive, I’m flexible.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

TRAVEL: Crieff, Carradale, Edinburgh - Scotland

Trip to Scotland with food recommendations in Edinburgh, where to stay in Carradale, wedding in Crieff
Trip to Scotland with food recommendations in Edinburgh, where to stay in Carradale, wedding in Crieff
Trip to Scotland with food recommendations in Edinburgh, where to stay in Carradale, wedding in Crieff

I've already talked quite a lot about our trip to Scotland - it was somewhat eventful - but we did so much when we were there that I haven't even touched on! So here's what we got up to...


Wednesday, 16 November 2016


Review of DSTRKT club and restaurant, Leicester Square

I don't often go out in the Leicester Square area - while I'm in London quite a bit, I tend to shy away from the super busy, touristy parts, apart from the occasional visit to Oxford Street because I gots to have my H&M Home, y'know? So when I was asked to review the food at DSTRKT, I was intrigued - it's really not in one of my usual haunts. DSTRKT is a club with a restaurant attached, and they've been making more of their food lately, so I headed along with a friend to see what was on offer.

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