Tuesday, 12 February 2019

 

Atypical Antwerp: A Visitor's Guide to Belgium's Jewel of the North

When you think of Belgium, the first things that come to mind are most likely of the food related variety; beer aplenty, scrumptious chocolate and the iconic 'French' fries to be exact. But what about a shopping centre in a century old dance hall, a giant severing hands, or the only museum in the world to make the UNESCO world heritage list? Antwerp, a city in the north of Belgium on the bank of the river Scheldt (or Schelde in Dutch) and just a 45-minute journey away by train from international travel hub Brussels, has all that and more to offer visitors.

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

 

Come From Away at the Phoenix Theatre


Have you ever had goosebumps watching a piece of theatre come alive on stage? I experienced this for the first time during the electrifying 25th anniversary performance of Miss Saigon quite a few years ago now – reuniting the original West End leads alongside the then London ones – and again this week when I had the immense pleasure of watching one of the first preview performances of Broadway hit musical Come From Away in its brand-new London home; the Phoenix Theatre.

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

 

When All Is Said by Annie Griffin


I've recently become a member of the 'Friends of Bookends' community, which means that the kind folks over at Headline send me a selection of not yet published books every few months, in return for me sharing my thoughts on a couple of the reads with them. With the new influencer/social media advertising standards having come into force in the UK recently I'm putting this disclaimer up front, before delving into my review for my favourite book of the bunch so far: When All Is Said by Annie Griffin. I didn't know anything about this novel before going in and wow, I was blown away!

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

 

Love for Imperfect Things by Haemin Sunim


For many people, January is the time of year for a fresh start and promises to better themselves and their lives in the year ahead. They resolve to eat healthier, exercise more, and kick a habit they're not happy with. But what about the things that can not be seen on the surface, yet which can lead to anxiety and depression? Your mental health is just as important as your physical one, and The Things You Can Only See When You Slow Down helps you tackle one of the biggest challenges out there: self-care.

Thursday, 17 January 2019

 

Evermore (Everless #2) by Sara Holland


Everless by Sara Holland is a young adult fantasy novel set in a world where blood is a powerful currency with which the rich literally drain the proletariat of their precious time. And it was one of my favourite reads of 2017. Its imaginative and unique concept was executed so very well that despite really despising open endings and cliffhangers I've been patiently waiting for the concluding sequel for over a year. And the wait is finally over!

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

 

Top tips for a day exploring 'Hanzestad' Zutphen in the Netherlands


As a Dutch person living overseas I've gained a renewed appreciation for my home country. And I love promoting the Netherlands, especially lesser know places that are a delight to visit and explore. There is so much to discover beyond tourist magnet Amsterdam with its canals, cannabis and cyclists... In my I Love Holland series I've already covered the meaning of 'gezelligheid', what to see and do on a day trip in Haarlem, I've shared a recipe to bake real Dutch pancakes, and I've spoken about one of my absolute favourite and unique Dutch outings: fairy tale theme park Efteling. Today I shine the spotlight on beautiful historic Hansa Town Zutphen, also known as the city of towers.

Thursday, 10 January 2019

 

The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton by Anstey Harris


Happy New Year everyone! My posting has been very sporadic in the latter half of 2018 and there's only so long I can blame a new job (which I'm now nearly six months into, so it's hardly new any longer). It's time to get my blogging mojo back, and what better way to do it than with the book I read last year and rated as the debut novel of 2019? The wonderful team at Simon & Schuster even included my quote in the final hardback edition of this gorgeous novel, which I'm very proud of.

Friday, 14 December 2018

 

The Band at Theatre Royal Haymarket


Five teenage girls win a competition to see their favourite band live on stage, but the night changes the course of their lives in unexpected ways. 25 years later they come back together for the first time as once more they win tickets to see The Band. During their reunion they look back on their childhoods, regrets and accomplishments, trying to reconnect with their childhood selves. Set to the backdrop of the music of 90s heart-throbs Take That performed by a quintet of performers that won their spot in the musical through TV-show Let it Shine, Tim Firth's new musical is less the story of boy band and more that of five women's life anchored through friendship, loss, reconciliation – and their love for The Band.  

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

 

Don Quixote at the Garrick Theatre


Who hasn't seen the classic novel with a knight pictured on the front in the middle of a duel, his lance strangely pointing in the direction of a windmill as if the inanimate object were his opponent in battle? Don Quixote de la Mancha, the novel's titular character is an infamous protagonist in the literary world, and on his legendary adventures he has now journeyed to the stage; the Garrick Theatre in London's West End to be exact.

Monday, 15 October 2018

 

Top Picks From the Quercus 2019 Showcase


As you guys have seen in the lack of posts on here in recent months I've been in a massive blogging slump due to changes in my life. I have tons of ideas and things I want to talk about (I have dozens of unfinished blogs in my drafts) but when I actually sit down to write a post... nothing comes out. However, I was SO inspired by the Quercus 2019 showcase last week, which was filled with incredible sounding books that they'll be releasing in the next six months, Instagram-worthy displays and amazing people, that it not only made me excited to finally create one of my bookish Twitter threads again, but I've been itching to write about it on here too to share the amazing upcoming releases with you guys as well.