Travel Diaries: Budapest

Danube Sunset Cruise

I was sat sipping on a glass of wine, atop a boat sauntering down the Danube, my tour guide headphones discarded as they’d kept changing to Spanish, when I realised our decision to make the trip to Hungary was the right one. The clouds that had been lingering cruelly since we landed had finally parted and played their part in creating one of those sunsets you see on Pinterest or Tumblr, but a lot more real, and a lot less photoshopped. By this time we’d already feasted on a disgustingly cheap but hearty meal in the courtyard at Mazel Tov (Shakshukah Mergeuz for me, Falafel Wrap for her) and meandered around the Jewish District, where our stylish AirBnB was located. The first night of a 4 day trip to Hungary’s capital wound to a close with a few drinks in one of the cities many ruin bars before having an early night (and some chilli cheese bites from Burger King because hey, I’m on holiday) so we could get up early the next day.

Budapest - Buildings
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Travel Diaries: Recent Adventures

Dawlish - Devon

As well as trips to Paris and Glasgow/The Isle of Mull I’ve had a couple of other small trips. Before I inundate the blog and my social feeds with photos of my recent trip to Budapest I thought I’d share a number of the photos from recent trips we’ve taken to both Devon and Edinburgh. These photos will be shared simply with a clarification of where they were taken.
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Travel Diaries: 36 Hours in Paris

Paris Euro 2016

It’s just past mid day on a Saturday and I find myself sat on a train emerging from a dark tunnel onto the shores of France, giddy with childlike excitement about what the next 24 hours is going to hold. I’ve already filled up on breakfast at Dishoom in Kings Cross (bacon & egg naan and more bottomless chai than any human should probably drink) and resigned myself to activating the roaming ‘deal’ (in the loosest sense) EE have offered me, which’ll allow me to use data and texts while abroad, in the knowledge that after so many reports of fan violence coming from the south of the country my family will want me to be in constant touch. We’re sat planning how we want to spend our fleeting visit to Paris, which a core focus on football. With the huge increase in security, partly due to the devastating bombings at the Stade De France last year, and now the disgusting scenes of hooliganism, we’re having to build in ‘getting through all that extra security’ time into all of our plans. Before all that though, we’ve got to check in at our AirBnB, actually see a bit of Paris and eat five million pastries.

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Travel Diaries: Isle of Mull April 2016 Pt.2

Pennyghaell - Loch Na Keal

So a while back I started my photo diary posts of the last trip I took up to see my parents on the Isle of Mull. You can see those here. As alluded to in a previous post, I took some time away from the blog in April/May for personal reasons, but I wanted to complete the photo diary. So here’s the last photos of our trip, taken at Easter 2016 on the Isle of Mull. This entails a drive to Ulva, a waterfall, the Ulva Boathouse (where we had a particularly special meal) and then the trip back to the mainland on the ferry. We had some wonderful wildlife spots on this trip, which sadly didn’t get photographed. A good few of them were in the dark like an Albino Deer and Barn Owl, and others, like the White Tailed Eagles, are just too far away to capture without a decent zoom lens.

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East London Liquor Company

East London Liquor

Going to post about something a bit different today. The other week I was supposed to be going to see Slipknot in Sheffield (my inner mosher just has to come out from time to time) but, due to not really being able to afford another trip up north as I’d been up the weekend before for a friend’s wedding, and due to suffering from a bit of burn out, I sold my ticket. This did mean that I had half a day booked off work already though, and rather than put it to waste I took up the opportunity of popping along to a Gin Experience at the East London Liquor Company. It was a great chance for me to learn a bit more about a very good independent distillery and also to do a bit of networking.

East London Liquor (1 of 26)

East London Liquor (16 of 26)

ELL Light (1 of 1)

We were taken around by distiller Tom Hill, who was a self-professed science enthusiast, who talked us through the history of Gin (why it’s popular in the UK, the reasons behind “mother’s ruin” etc) as well as the process which they undertake when distilling their gins (as well as the vodka and a whiskey which they hope to have on the shelves in approximately 3 years).  They are one of the only small distilleries in London to bottle their own spirits, with a bottle machine set up specially for their bespoke bottles and labels.

East London Liquor (6 of 26)

Before we got to tasting we popped into their bottle store, which was very well stocked. From gins through to whisky, beer and bitters. They have a number of their own special limited run gins (like their two collaborations with Transport For London, for the DesignJunction pop up restaurant) as well as imports from around the globe.

East London Liquor (17 of 26)

East London Liquor (10 of 26)

Afterwards we got to try the core spirits which the East London Liquor company makes, their Vodka, and 3 Gins.  The house Small Batch Vodka and London Dry Gin both come in bottles specifically designed for speed of service (long necks so they can be grabbed from speed rails with ease), and both are designed to mix well, although both are very drinkable straight (more than can be said for many “house” spirits).  They had originally planned on making two gins, a premium and a house, but after taste testing they ended up deciding on three distinctly different gins. The two premium gins, known as Batch 1 and Batch 2, with Batch 1 being more floral containing Pink Grapefruit, Cubeb Berries and Darjeeling tea (less keen on this one, too sweet for my gin tastes) and Batch 2 being a more savoury affair with fennel seeds, sage and lemon peel at its core (I love this one).

East London Liquor (22 of 26)

East London Liquor (20 of 26)

They also allowed us to try a couple of the other gins and rums they have in stock. Including a barrel aged gin, that was slightly peaty. Not sure how I felt on that one. All in all I’d highly recommend popping down. They are a great group of guys running an excellent distillery and producing some very good spirits. Want to see more pictures from the trip, head across to my Flickr.What’s your favourite Gin, let me know in the comments below.