Monday, 17 June 2019

My Guide to the Causeway Coast, Northern Ireland

I'm very lucky that I get to call Ireland my second home because it really is one of my favourite places in the entire world, especially the north of Co. Antrim where my family have a house. Every time I visit I get to check out favourite locations from my childhood, as well as visiting something new.

It's also given me the unique perspective of experiencing how Game of Thrones has had a dramatic impact on tourist numbers, something I have very mixed emotions over. Once quiet and tranquil spots where I spent my summers running around are now overrun with coach tours. The surge in tourism has had an amazing impact on the country's economy but does it come at a price? Cities like Amsterdam and Dubrovnik have complained about the growing stress of tourism, and this uncomfortable mass of people is something I recently experienced in Lisbon. Northern Ireland has a limit as well and I really hope we don't reach a point where the magic of this country is spoilt by vast numbers of visitors.

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Hello 2019

Long time, no blog. I can't believe it's been nearly a year since I last published something. But it's not without trying, I have plenty of half finished drafts in varying degrees of completeness sat in my posts folder. I haven't fallen out with the blogging world so to speak, but I have found that updating my blog has dropped off my list of priorities. This makes me sad. I love writing here and I have so many things I want to share. Perhaps I'm overwhelmed, so many blog posts but so little time. But I want to do better. I still love food, travel, and life in London and I want to continue talking to anyone who'll listen. I'm not promising anything other than I will try to be better, for my own sake.

So an update on my life. The end of 2018 was a busy one for Steve and me. We travelled a lot, Norway for my birthday in October, Lisbon in November because why the hell not, Amsterdam in November for a gig, Prague in December for our anniversary, and Paris for a few days after Christmas because I love to visit Paris every year. And that's not even talking about the half of 2019 we've just experienced. Two trips to Ireland and weekends in Glasgow and Bristol. Doesn't sound too busy but that's because our holiday quota is about to begin. Stockholm, Dublin, a week in the Faroe Islands and Copenhagen, Geneva, two weeks in Mexico, Ireland again, and Germany. Maybe even a day trip to Paris, because I love to visit Paris every year.

Phew, I feel exhausted just typing all of that. But of course I'm not complaining, it's been wonderful, except Lisbon but that's a story for another day.

Norway was a particular highlight. My last visit had been 2013, just before I met Steve, and I couldn't wait to show him the fjords and the idyllic Nordic landscapes. Scandinavia really is my favourite part of the world. But to top of the year, Steve had a surprise for me. On the evening of our fifth anniversary, whilst we stopped on a hill overlooking the beautiful city of Prague, Steve got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. Obviously I said yes. The date is set for June 2020, in our home city of London, and I am 100% determined to make this planning process as stress free as possible. We're booking things little by little, including our six week long honeymoon across Canada. 

As for 2019, I'm not one for big resolutions, plus it's a bit late for that now, but I'm determined to finally wear in my Dr Martens, go for more runs than I did in 2018 (I did one run in 2018), and continue to cut down my waste and live a more sustainable life. Thanks for staying with me, despite my sporadic blogging, and here's to not going another nine months blog free.

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Friday, 31 August 2018

My Guide to Canggu, Bali

There was only ever one contender for where we would stay in Bali, and that was Canggu. My sister Helen has been living there for over two years and her stories of beach bars, cool cafes, and relaxed vibes instantly sold the town to me. Bali was never a huge wish list destination for me, the tales of drunk teenagers and raging beach parties isn't really the holiday vibe I go for, but Helen assured me that Canggu is not like this, and she's absolutely right. Once a secluded surfing spot, the town is now a busy haven of local businesses, whilst still retaining that relaxed and easy-going energy that makes SE Asia such a wonderful part of the world to visit.

Canggu, pronounced Chan-gu, is most definitely Bali's current slice of cool. It lacks the overrun resorts of Kuta and the hecticness of Seminyak, whilst boasting excellent surfing conditions, beautifully secluded accommodation, and some of the best food on the island. If I ever return to Bali I'll be back to Canggu in a blink of an eye.

Here's my guide for everything you need to know about this great, little town.