Veggie Eating In Porto

This has been such a highly requested post and it's taken 6 months of nagging Tom to finally post it. I would say that one, he actually offered when we were out there and two, he takes more notice of details when it comes to posts like this. I'm more like 'mmm that was yummy!' the end.

Anyway, if you are visiting Porto (and you should!) and are veggie (or not) here is where you should eat.

Click below to read on


A Weekend in Berlin

I'm the second eldest of five children (and first oldest girl) my two youngest siblings are ten and fifteen years younger than me. When my youngest brother was born I felt maternal over him rather than sisterly, I LOVED taking care of him and when I visited from uni I would walk him to and from school, read his bedtime story, play dress up... all of which he has zero memory of course!

My baby brother somehow turned 18 years old this year, I'm not quite sure how considering I'm only just in my twenties... but anyway

Me and my youngest sister Serin decided he deserved a real treat as he's had a rough for years lately for various reasons so we both pitched in for a city break just as soon as his A-Levels were over. We picked Berlin as he'd shown an interest in Germany before and also because its a super cool city.

I flew by myself for the first time in my life (I am NOT a good flyer) but with three glasses of wine and two episodes of Greys Anatomy downloaded it was ok! (Not so much on they way back when I had no time for pre wine and had forgotten to download my shows).

I thought I'd share a few pics of what we got up to, where we stayed, ate and what not. I did think about doing a video but my siblings are like startled deer whenever a camera is pointed at them and tbh I just wanted to enjoy some sibling time, hope you understand.

So we stayed in Kreuzberg in this AirBnb I thought the location was great but I wasn't used to staying somewhere which was directly on the street. At home, we are in a very residential area a little off the main roads and previously we lived in a cul-de-sac so I found the hustle and bustle from outside hard at times. That being said my siblings didn't notice it at all so that was just my personal bugbear I think. The AirBnb can also host up to 7 (with two sofa beds) so would be a good one for a group of friends maybe although it only has one bathroom.

We spent the first day walking around the area and also Neukolln which is full of cute cafes, vintage shops, and art galleries. I was also super impressed with how many parks are dotted around everywhere and I think it would definitely be fine to come back with the kids (although we probably couldn't walk around so much with them in two). Right next door to our Airbnb was a cafe called Pola which was SO good. I had a headache the first morning and being able to drink a flat white (with Oatly Barista) and an avocado toast ticked all my millennial boxes.

We also took in the Berlin Wall and had my sister Serin as our historical guide (she had researched a tour for us bless her heart and was laden with facts) she also recommended the film 'Goodnight Lenin' which I'm adding to my list to watch asap. Have you seen it?

On the second day, we went for a more sober but important trip to the Topography of Terrors then to Check Point Charlie and the Holocaust Memorial. I'd say out of the three the Holocaust Memorial had the most impact on me, the Topography of Terrors was of course..terrifying but in a way that it's so awful you sort of can't believe it? I would recommend skipping that one with kids until they are older for sure..

On a lighter note, we were also made to eat Currywurst (my sister lives in Germany and said it was important to try it) mine was way too hot as I got cocky at how much spice I could handle but I was impressed they had vegan sausages at most of the stands. In fact, I found shopping for food in Berlin so easy, there are loads of organic supermarkets around with aisles of veggies plastic free which is such a joy to see. They also have organic vegan supermarkets which we didn't stop in but great to know they are there. The cafes also seem to all have Oatly and lots of hipster lunch options, not sure why was surprised about that as Berlin is the capital of hipster right?

See what I mean about deer in headlights? ;)

The other thing I LOVED about Berlin was how many plants and greenery was everywhere! Growing on the buildings, pouring out windows and cafes as full of pot plants as people. Add to that the wide streets and tree-line streets and the sense of space and green in the midst of a city was beautiful.

The Holocaust Memorial was designed to give a sense of unease which it definitely did.

The only photo of my baby brother I'll share on he, but how is he 18 and off to uni already??

An example of the organic or 'bio' supermarkets and look at all these beautiful veggies!

And cacti!

One of the places we were recommended a lot was this cafe/bar/museum 'The Ramones Museum' we actually didn't get a chance to pop in but we did walk past. Another time for sure.

SO many classic cars on every street. Apparently, there is a big tax deduction for cars past a certain year so lots of people take advantage of this and the result is much more beautiful cars on the streets :)

There were so many great suggestions over on my Instagram when I asked for things to do in this great city. As we only had two full days I didn't even skim the surface of them but if you want to see then just click on this post for a full list!

Thanks so much reading! 


A weekend in Liverpool with Jurys Inn (AD)

A couple of weekends ago we were invited up to Liverpool for the weekend. A city I had only very briefly visited once before and was eager to check out with the gang. We were guests of Jurys Inn, a hotel I'd heard of but not had a chance to try yet so we were thrilled to hop on the train and head to the home of The Beatles (more on that later).

Our first impressions were brilliant, Jurys Inn Liverpool looks modern and fresh with Scandinavian inspired interiors that are right up my street. We were early for check-in so we decamped to the restaurant for lunch and a rest before storing our bags with the helpful staff and heading out the door to explore our surroundings.

(p.s Tom and I went for the tempura fried halloumi and chips and the kids went for a margarita pizza. There were so many great veggie options and also a kids menu with lots of veggie options for them too.

Breakfast also had a great selection for veggie options and hot and cold choices. Jurys Inn also have Costa coffee for those like me who need a latte in the morning.

It was such a sunny weekend and we strolled around the docks, with vintage style ice cream and street food vans all around the water it felt almost like a step back in time to the sixties and definitely added to the whole aesthetic of the area.

We hadn't planned to visit Tate Liverpool but when we saw how close it was to us we popped in and were so glad we did. They have a dedicated children's area upstairs which we could have spent hours easily. After a bit of a play and ice cream by the water though we headed back to check in and check out our room.

 I love this picture because the kids just look so chill and Tom is being so extra haha!

We had a family room which consisted of two large beds, dressing area, desk and armchair and coffee table by the window. The bathroom also had a bath (which is great when staying with kids I think) and was bright and clean and basically all you could want from a bathroom. Jurys Inn actually uses DREAM beds in all their hotels which I can confirm are very comfortable.

The bar and restaurant called 'Odd Socks' we actually found it was always pretty quiet and even at busier times there was plenty of space and really fast and friendly service. We were staying at the same time as a few hen parties but everyone was really lovely and we never heard any noise at night so it never felt like a problem.

The next day we headed out to the Beatles Experience which we were all really excited to see. Wilf is a big Beatles fan and has recently started to learn some of the songs on the piano. Mabli is at an age when she would prefer to run around and through an exhibition pretty fast so we didn't really get to spend as much time as we would have liked but we still got enough out of it and the kids went away with a Beatles blind bag each (they got Old John and Old George) which they played with all afternoon back at the hotel.

When it got to dinner time we decided to go for a stroll and then pretty out of character for me I decided to give the 'Adventure Dock' a go! I mainly did it to impress the kids haha and was actually kind of scared but I did it!

We called it an early night with a glass of wine at the restaurant and room service and card games in our room. Also, new family tradition is now to watch 'Catch Phrase' after we ended up watching it in our room that night and Wilf loved it so much, I think Tom was pretty pleased with how many he got right. I love little moments like that, all snuggled in bed winding down for the evening and enjoying something together even if its a gameshow on the TV. We made so many memories over two days but little things like that are very much part of it.

Then it was time to head home on the bus.. ;)

Thanks so much to Jurys Inn for sponsoring this post and inviting us to make memories in Liverpool we had such a great time and wouldn't hesitate to book with them again. Their hotels are so family friendly without scrimping on style and also providing a great nights sleep and great food!

Life Lately - Pokemon, Park Days, Plant Pots and Graduation shows

I somehow just found this blog post sitting in my drafts with all the pictures uploaded, a title and no words. So here are the words.

Going to art shows with the kids where their favorite game is to pick up a business card from their favorite artists (apart from the snooty lady a few months back who asked they put it back). Having been an artist at a degree show I know those cards really don't cost all that much and would have been thrilled if a seven-year-old wanted a little picture of it.

The UWE art show at the Arnolfini was so good, we left with Tom buying the show book and a list of prints we want to buy (not sure how the house will have enough space for the amount of art we want to buy!)

Summer finally hits the UK and these two buddies with their love/squabble/love/squabble relationship both fill up my heart and drive me round the bend ;)

Wilf is nearly ending his first year at his new school and we are behind proud of how he has made friends and really integrated into his new surroundings. This move was so good for him and I'm so happy it worked out like this. Even if it does mean we are carting him around to birthday parties almost every other week ;)

Mabli started two and a bit days just after Christmas at nursery school which she also loves. She has a best friend who she's had play dates with outside of school too. It's kind of odd to be in a situation now where the kids make their own friends and then you meet the parents. I'm so used to them only being friends with my friend's kids because they kind of have to be haha. The last two days of the week are all about miss Mabli before she starts school for real next year!

I'm still learning how to deal with blonde hair..

My new thing is gardening which I hope is a sign that I am really settling into being a grown up. I'm finding it so relaxing to actually focus on one task and also to get outside and touch the earth. Y'know all the good hippy stuff. I might not know what I'm doing but I'm enjoying the process so thats what counts right?

P.S last pic is my totally find of a vintage printing press I picked up for Wilf's Pokemon collection. I actually arranged all these myself for him to find when he got back from school (their old home was a shoe box) and I may have had a bit too much fun organising them for him ;)

Thats all for now, thanks for reading! xx
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