My Top 5 places to eat and drink in York.

When we decided to take a road trip from London and head on up to York I had no idea what to expect and once I started telling friends and colleagues about our little getaway, without fail, they ALL said what a lovely, historic city it is with quality pubs, restaurants and bars lining the streets…. They weren’t wrong! I had a work colleague send me a list of places to try and so these places are based on those recommendations. We ventured into other bars too but these listed venues were our favourites.

1). Revolution York: This bar is an iconic building with an amazing view as it is right on the river. There are 2 levels and it is very spacious which as we saw on the Saturday night, is required because it can get so busy! There were hens parties everywhere! If you’re trying to meet a lady, it’s the place for you…. obviously don’t go for the women wearing the veils and ‘Hen’ sashes. The decor is trendy and hip and you can walk through the patio doors to wine or dine outside. We were in luck with the weather and everyone was out enjoying the warmth of the sunshine! On Fridays they have 2 for 1 cocktails and we had the best Espresso Martinis (in my opinion)! On the Saturday we had an Espresso Martini in a funky reggae bar, Turtle bay…. It didn’t compare with Revolution. The food at Revolution was very tasty too… We enjoyed a burger with fries/sweet potato fries. Overall, fantastic view, ambience and cocktails!


2). The Evil Eye: A lounge/bar specialising in my favourite beverage, gin, and they’re popular for their cocktails. I had a sensational gin (a double) and started giving Kurt the eye so we had to go. 😉




3). The Three Legged Mare: We stumbled into this pub on our way home Friday night for ‘one last drink’ and we were so glad we did! There was a group of locals casually playing the most epic folk music! They were amazing! We danced and we danced… Ok, I danced and I danced. So, I recommend heading along on a Friday as they have open folk music night every Friday.

4). Mumbai Lounge: an Indian restaurant suggested to us with impeccable service! The food was superb too. We shared some garlic and cheese naan as well as Chicken Tikka. When I saw another couple’s meals come out before ours I was concerned the one meal wouldn’t be enough but it was the perfect portion for us to be satisfied, full but not bursting at the seams needing to undo our buttons full.

5). Mannion and Co. Kitchen: A popular brunch venue which we found through Trip Advisor. We arrived at 9:45 to see they opened at 10 and there was already a queue! We took this as a good sign and they did not let us down! I enjoyed a yummy Eggs Benedict with ham and Kurt enjoyed a Yorkshire Rarebit (melted cheese and bacon on toast) as well as a sausage roll which was also very tasty. We took a slice of Rocky Road for ‘the road’ and ohhhh myyy goodness…. DELICIOUS!!


Please, do let me know if you go to these places or if you have been. York is such a beautiful, old city and we also loved the Museum Gardens (where they have the best little ice cream stand), walking the walls, seeing Clifford’s Tower and also admiring the York Minster. 

Christmas Abroad Tips

No matter what your religion (or non-religion) Christmas time usually equates to being with loved ones, celebrating with loved ones, enjoying carols, good food and giving; presence or presents with loved ones.

Being abroad for Christmas can be so incredibly exciting (and perhaps a little daunting) especially being in the opposite hemisphere. Perhaps it’s a new Summer Christmas experience for you sipping on a cool beverage by the beach or pool with ongoing cricket challenges. Perhaps it’s a first ‘White Christmas’ with Christmas sweaters on the top of your list to buy before Advent.

This is my first ‘Winter Christmas’ and the entire lead up has been so fulfilling and exciting for me. Growing up, I’ve always watched the Christmas movies with snow, goofy sweaters and watching the film characters getting cosy by the fire places with a glass of chosen beverage in hand.

It can be hard being away from your home, your family and your Christmas traditions though. I know I’ve had my moments of thoughts creeping in and feeling that pang BUT I am also wanting to make the most of this Christmas abroad and experience it as such. 

Here are some tips to help:

Look up the traditional Christmas rituals where you are living and also within your workplace. Note: Secret Santa, whether you give presents on the 24th or the 25th, enjoying winter markets or ice skating.

Do they wear certain things or have  acitivites leading up to Christmas that you can do? Think: Christmas sweaters or shirts.


Organise an orphan’s Christmas party with others in the same position as you. If you don’t know anyone, keep an eye out on social media pages such as the ‘Aussies in London’ Facebook group. Our housemates are all Aussies so we all chipped in for an Aussie Orphan’s Christmas lunch at ours in the true English manner with a roast and home-made mulled wine! *This will be an annual recipe although perhaps we will have  Christmas in July in Australia so it’s cool enough outside to enjoy it!

​Be excited about your upcoming unique Christmas experience. You know it is a one-off so make the most of it! Wear those goofy Christmas sweaters with pride! 

Talk to your loved ones back home. Naturally, you may feel a little low but just remember that you are having an incredible experience and are making memories. Remember to be grateful of your opportunity. 

Admittedly, I’ve been so fortunate this year as my mum flew all the way to London from Australia for a week before Christmas. We gave her a taste of the Winter Christmas too, topped with a Christmas sweater, of course! She left on the 21st and on the 24th Kurt and I will be flying to Latvia to spend Christmas there with friends. We are incredibly excited for this trip. New Year will then be celebrated in Edinburgh for Hogmanay. 


Please, if you’ve had a Christmas abroad, I’d love to know your experiences or perhaps you can add some more helpful tips! 

Merry Christmas Everyone! xo

3 THINGS TO DO IN BRIGHTON

A ‘must do’ when you are in the U.K is put aside some time for a trip to Brighton. If you’re from Australia, think Byron Bay/Manly (QLD)/a ‘show’ (Ekka comes to mind)… yep, the Ekka!

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1. Stroll through Brighton Open Market.

There is plenty of bric-a-brac, antiques and collectables. Kurt was like a kid in a candy shop when he spotted a Tin-Tin book which is now sitting on his book shelf! Thankfully we ventured to Brighton with a British friend who was able to lead the way. Otherwise, I’m certain we would never have stumbled across it ourselves.

2. Visit Choccywoccydoodah

I L.O.V.E chocolate and this shop is a chocolate lover’s dream! Their bespoke cakes sitting in their windows are exquisite, intricate and just a glimpse of what is on show inside. I couldn’t help but feel I was observing a scene from ‘Alice in Wonderland’. Word of warning: it gets busy!

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3. Plan a trip to the pier

This pier is unlike any other I’ve seen before and I have seen a few! It is an experience in itself.  Dodgem cars, a bucking bull, a Merry-Go-Round, countless rides, a game arcade, hot dog stands and deck chairs to sit back, relax and admire the view of the ocean meeting the pebbly beach. It was typical, grey English weather for our visit but it sure felt amazing to be near the beach again!

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While you’re near the beach go and dip your toes into the water. Or, if you’re brave, go for a swim and enjoy a cold beverage on a Summer’s day at one of the many bars along the waterfront. If you’re like me, you’ll enjoy ‘people-watching’ here.

 Also, there are so many bohemian and quaint looking cafes and buildings. Get lost, pick a cafe and enjoy a good cup of coffee.

Greece in a Week

There is nothing quite like wading in the ocean, looking back at the landscape of a foreign place and absorbing the scenery it has to offer.

thumb_IMG_1047_1024There are so many exotic and unique looking islands and areas when googling, “where to travel in Greece”. I am so grateful we went travelling with friends and together, we narrowed down three locations where we wanted to relax and explore.  After also searching, “top 10 islands to visit in Greece”, we chose Santorini (how could we not!), Naxos and Athens. We then decided to stay in Santorini for 3 nights, Naxos for 2 and Athens for 2. Great choice!

Helpful Hints

Language: Greek. Kurt had the helpful idea of screen-shotting the basics. E.g

Yassou/YAH-sue: hello

Kalimera/kah-lee MEHR-rah: Good morning

Efkharisto/eff-kah-rees-TOH: thank you

Currency: Euro

Weather in July: 20s to 30s (degrees celsius)

seajetTravel: We flew into Santorini, caught ferries to Naxos and Athens and flew back to London from Athens. At each location we mostly explored by walking or caught a bus (tour and hop on/off). Whilst in Santorini, we enjoyed a sunset cruise, which went for over 7 hours and it really was a special way to see more of what the island had to offer and of course devour the sun setting over the ocean.

Accommodation: It certainly wasn’t a 5 Star trip but nevertheless, each place we stayed served its purpose well, was prime location, clean and had very welcoming and friendly staff. In Santorini the four of us stayed in an Airbnb apartment. In Naxos we stayed at Hotel Camara in which each couple had our own room, we were a convenient 10 minute walk from the ocean, bars and cafes and the hotel manager, Stavros made us feel so welcome; as if we were great friends. There was also a pool across the road which Hotel Camara guests can use with a poolside bar serving refreshing ouzo on ice (a favourite on the trip). In Athens we stayed at Hotel Adonis which was value for money; not the most modern room or facilities but the view of the Acropolis from their rooftop bar was breathtaking and again, it was prime location- a decent walking distance to the Acropolis and around the corner we could stroll past restaurants and shops.

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Food: I really wanted to immerse myself in tasting their traditional foods. Souvlaki, gyros, mousaka, baklava were top on my list and I LOVED them all! I also went out of my comfort zone in Naxos and tried octopus which was rather tasty and on our last night I ate the most tender veal and risoni meal cooked in a clay pot – I am not sure if that was a traditional meal but mmmm it was good (sorry vegetarians).


Other:
The Greek people are so friendly, especially on the islands. To be honest, I was wondering if there may be some resentment or strain because of tourism in their local beaches and local areas. I would have understood if this was the case too BUT it was far from the reality of what we experienced. A local man was educating us on the value and importance of tourism for their economic situation… Made sense given the last few years. Welcoming, friendly and generous are the three words I can best think of to describe these beautiful people right now. They went out of their way to ensure we were enjoying their beautiful islands, their food, the experiences.

Highlights/Experiences/Must Dos:

Santorini: Watch the sun set in Oia and if you can, observe it from the village and one of my favourite experiences was the Oia Sunset Sailing cruise. There is just something about being on the water and sharing the experience with other people on a boat. There would have been near fifty people on the catamaran and for ten minutes prior and during the sun going down, everyone silenced and watched in amazement at what our universe has to offer; the energy, the movement of the sun disappearing over the water with gentle waves and ripples, spectacular colours; red, orange, pink, purple and blue, the stillness of the people as the brightness fades and the moon became more apparent, and finally, the clapping and cheering to celebrate the beauty of it all.

Naxos: Naxos was rather different to Santorini. Santorini had the narrow, jagged cliffs with amazing views of the villages and ocean whereas Naxos was quite flat. The beach near our hotel was a typical tourist type beach with big beach umbrellas and waiters/waitresses walking to and from restaurants over the sand with trays of drinks and food. I loved it. I loved being able to walk down to the beach – sunbake and swim in the ocean whenever I pleased. The evenings would roll in and then we would find ourselves at one of the restaurants along the beach road sipping on a mojito or pina colada… Bliss!

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A must-see sight in Naxos… a popular location to watch the sun set.

Athens: We only had one full day in Athens and we spent the day immersing ourselves in the history of Greece. First, we went to the Acropolis which includes the Odeon of Herodes Atticus and the Parthenon, followed by the Acropolis Museum and the Panathenaic Stadium. History has never been my strong point which is why I really try to make the effort to visit historical buildings and places. Being there can be really moving and naturally, so much more meaningful than simply reading about it. I found the Parthenon, in particular, very interesting as I love the stories about the Greek Gods and Goddesses. Actually, the museum is hands down the best museum I have ever visited – the layout, the design… brilliant!

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The Parthenon in Athens

Thank you for reading! Below are a few more pictures of our time in Greece. Efkharisto!!!

 

*All images have been taken by Kurt or myself…. The better ones are Kurt’s 😉

 

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Having some fun on our sunset sailing cruise

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A ‘couple selfie’ post cocktails in Naxos xo

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Stumbled upon these pretties while strolling through the streets in Naxos

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Delicious gelato in Athens, around the corner from our hotel.