Travel Diaries: Berlin June 2017

Berlin Buildings

I love going back to cities I’ve been to before. It always gives me a completely different perspective. The first time around I’ll usually tick off a bunch of particularly touristy things, immerse myself in more of the history, go to a particular monument or climb that well known hill. The second time around is usually a bit different. I use it as a chance to actually properly get to know a city; where people go to eat, how they spend their lazy days, which bars or parks are best for relaxing or which markets give you the best stalls. I went to Berlin a couple of years ago and when I decided to head back that was exactly what I did. Last time I went I stayed on my friend’s couch, and while staying with a friend did give me a different view into Berlin, I still ended up doing a lot of the normal tourist things, from walking tours to museums. This trip, well lets just say it involved my body weight in food, hardly any central Berlin, hammocks and quite a lot of wine…
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Travel Diaries: Isle of Mull Christmas 2016


Oh man January started quietly but finished incredibly busy. It meant that a couple of posts I had planned in for the month didn’t happen when they were supposed to, so that means you’re going to hear all about my Christmas in February. To be fair it’s not really about Christmas, and more about the time I spent up on the Isle of Mull, which just happened to be over Christmas. If you’ve read my blog in the past you know that it’s where my parents live, and you’ll also know that over Christmas it has a habit of being pretty dreadful weather. From hurricane force winds through to torrential rain it generally means that I spend more time indoors there than I usually do, with less walks, more cooking and baking and generally hiding away from the elements. On this trip I didn’t even really get outside until Boxing Day, but it ended up being one of the more stunning, if short, walks I’ve done on the island. This was mainly down to the weather actually adding to the scenery. I’m ahead of myself though.
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Travel Diaries: Isle of Mull September 2016

Loch Beg in the rain

As alluded to in a couple of recipes recently, I went up to the Isle of Mull to see my parents in September. I have been many times, and every time try to do something different. This time included popping to the idyllic island of Iona (twice, due to poor weather stopping ferries the first time) as well as a walk from Loch Buie to Carsaig (which includes a using a rope to climb down some rocks) and a number of other shorter walks. The trip also featured a 3 day period where we had no running water, as my parent’s pump on their private supply broke. This meant we had to carry about 1000 litres of unfiltered water from the stream up to their house, and we could only really use that for flushing toilets and running a dishwasher. Fortunately we managed to get a pump sorted in a few days, but it was a harsh reminder of why living on an island isn’t necessarily for everyone. This was also the first time I got to meet my parent’s new dog; Meg. She will feature heavily here.


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Travel Diaries: New York Pt. 2

Brooklyn Bridge

As you’ll have seen from Part 1, I recently travelled to New York. If you want to see what happened on our first couple of days, or even how the trip came about, then go read that. This post picks up on Day 3 and runs through to our journey home.

Jack's Wife Freda

The Sunday morning wasn’t quite as early, but we were still up at about 7am. First up for the day was breakfast at Jack’s Wife Freda, which even at 9am on a Sunday was bustling. We took advantage of their bottomless drip (coffee) and while Maddie had a Rosewater Waffle I tucked into a Madame Freda (Pressed sandwich with duck prosciutto, cheddar béchamel, gruyere & a sunny side up egg). Out of the two main breakfast spots we tried this trip, this one was the better. The setting is charming, service friendly, polite & quick and the food was spot on. We’d booked in a slot to visit the Top of the Rock (Rockefeller Center) so this was our next stop. As someone who has been to the city before, and done the Empire State, I can safely say I prefer the view from the Rock. Coming out of the elevator after a, very short, queue you instantly get a view across central park, something the Empire State doesn’t offer, and the view the other side has the Empire State and the southern end of Manhattan. After 25 minutes of indulgent selfie taking and view admiring we went back down in the lift and walked from the center down towards Grand Central(via Sephora so Maddie could look at make up she couldn’t afford). We deliberately zigzagged on this walk so we could soak in the noise and sites of Manhattan. Next was a walk over to Time Square.
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Travel Diaries: New York City Pt. 1

Manhattan at sunrise

Jet lag is a hell of a thing. When you find yourself sat on a balcony at 5.30am, already having been to a coffee shop, to watch the sun come up over the Williamsburg Bridge and you’ve not even considered going back to bed despite having a completely full day planned, you know its hit you. We’d landed the day before at about 11.30am New York time, after getting up at 4am UK time.Despite it taking 1.5 hours to get through passport control and lugging our bags across a hot & sweaty Manhattan, we pushed on, grabbing food at Tiny’s Giant Sandwiches while we waited to check in, and freshening up super quick so we could make the most of the afternoon. The buzz of arriving in New York helped us power through the tiredness that kept threatening to hit. We’d only found out a couple of weeks before that we’d even be doing this trip, having won it through the post I wrote on London’s food scene, and in a couple of short weeks we’d organised our flights & hotel and created a list longer than all of our arms combined of things to do and places to eat.

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