Monday, 25 September 2017

Trying Japanese Biscuits! (Japan Centre Haul)

In the last couple of weeks my Twitter feed has been flooded with people sharing their excitement over the opening of Japan Centre on Panton Street. I initially thought it'd satisfy all my Japan dreams by being stocked with fluffy toys, anime-covered homeware and kawaii galore, but actually it was a supermarket and not even the first London location at that, I'd just been completely out of the loop until now. Nonetheless, I made the most of my visit and stocked up on some Japanese biscuits to try, which were cute, colourful and extremely yummy.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Luxury Chocolate Workshop at MyChocolate With Red Letter Days

Chocolate is most definitely in my list of favourite c-things (alongside Canada, cheese and Christmas). Whether a solid bar to nibble on, a spread to upgrade my sandwiches with or a rich liquid to cosy up with on a rainy autumn day; I love my chocolate in all shapes and sizes. However, I don't often stand still by the process that makes all the chocolate I devour so scrumptious. Until I was given the opportunity to attend an actual chocolate making workshop courtesy of Red Letter Days and MyChocolate, where not only we got to make our own truffles, giant chocolate button and cocktail but we learned some nifty facts along the way too. 

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James

I already teased this gorgeous new YA sci-fi in my recommendations for autumn reads to curl up with this upcoming season, and for a good reason. Out of all the young adult novels I've had the pleasure to read recently this was by far the most interesting and innovative one. Author Lauren James has created a chilling and completely gripping adventure set in the bleakness of space and I was hooked from the very first page and now crave more books like it.

Monday, 18 September 2017

5 Books to Curl Up With This Autumn

Some books are perfect for scorching summers and others for the iciness of winter, but today I've compiled a list of 2017 releases for my favourite season of them all: autumn. This time of year is cosy, chilly and with the setting in of the darker days and the arrival of Halloween just a little bit creepy; so the books I've selected are a real mixture going from horrifyingly bleak to heartwarming and cosy. But they all have one thing in common: they're great to curl up with while enjoying a hot drink and burning a scented candle to set the mood.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Kinky Boots at the Adelphi Theatre

I had the pleasure of seeing Kinky Boots for the first time on Broadway among an audience of its creatives such as Harvey Fierstein and Cyndi Lauper in the week before it swept the Tony's by winning six of the thirteen categories it was nominated in, including Best Musical – it was a memorable experience. The show strutted into the West End in 2015 and while it's taken a little while to find its feet (I wasn't as blown away by the original West End cast back then as I was by the Broadway one), it has really managed to carve out a 'kinky' niche for itself in London.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Seek by Anthony O'Neill [blog tour]

I grew up on classic tales such as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Treasure Island, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oliver Twist, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. While I may not have read these tales in many years, I have fond memories devouring them and of the adventures and the depictions of historic times within the USA and UK within their pages. I'm always interested in exploring new cinematic adaptations but what doesn't happen often is getting the chance to return to the bookish setting for a whole new story. Until now, with the release of a sequel to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

The Little Book of Lykke by Meik Wiking [blog tour]

As soon as it hit September the skies started to weep; a miserable way to commence the changing of the seasons. The days are getting shorter and darker, and it's so very easy to get pulled back into the routine and stresses of school and work, the quieter and more relaxing holiday period disappearing into a distant memory. I for one actually prefer the colder seasons, but I too got dragged back into the rut of work and it sometimes can be hard to find enjoyable moments to look forward to. The Little Book of Lykke has been the perfect antidote for me these past few weeks; its sunny exterior and positive contents providing inspiring moments of happiness.

Monday, 11 September 2017

Afternoon Tea at Colonnades in the Signet Library

It's been a while seen my last travel post because life has been crazy busy, but I am finally continuing with my Edinburgh series! As this blog started out as a book one I always love it when I can write posts with a literary connection and my Scottish getaway was filled with bookish inspiration. One of the first things I discovered during my research is that you can have afternoon tea in an actual library, how cool is that? We of course had stop by for a visit and it was one of the highlights of our trip. Not only were our surroundings in the Signet Library stunning, but the afternoon tea delights on offer were as scrumptious as they were inspired.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

What I Read in August 2017 – Wrap Up & Mini Reviews

After reading a massive eleven books in July, August was a bit of a quieter month as my reading high halted. My siblings stayed with me for two weeks out of the four meaning I wasn't commuting by myself, diminishing my reading time to the few longer train journeys we took out to Brighton and Oxford. Still, out of the six books I did manage to finish in August, five were 4-star reads which wasn't bad at all. My favourites this past month were YA alien invasion sci-fi I Am Traitor by Sif Sigmarsdóttir and magical fantasy epic A Shiver of Snow and Sky by Lisa Lueddecke.

Monday, 4 September 2017

How to Spend a Rainy Day at London Zoo

London Zoo is the perfect summer holiday outing, strolling through the park with an ice cream in hand with friends or family while admiring the exotic animals is pretty idyllic. But what if it rains all day and some of the animals are in hiding? When we went for a visit last week it was the one miserable day sandwiched between 28 degrees summery ones, but that didn't stop us from exploring London Zoo and making the most of it; we just had to be a bit creative (and no, this didn't include a swim with the penguins, though by the end of the day we did slightly look like we had done just that...).

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

The Glow of Fallen Stars (Ventura Saga #2) by Kate Ling

Last year I joined my friend Laura at the Books With a Bite blogger evening, where YA and children's teams across the Hachette Group presented some of their most exciting upcoming titles. One of the books that came on my radar during the evening was The Loneliness of Distant Beings, a debut by UK author Kate King. The space opera adventure sounded both intriguing and romantic, and I really enjoyed it. So I was very excited when I was unexpectedly sent a copy of the sequel, The Glow of Fallen Stars.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

I Am Traitor by Sif Sigmarsdóttir

They say you shouldn't judge a book by its cover but surely I'm not the only one who gets pulled in by a stunning design? I rarely read science fiction novels, and if I do they're more on the post-apocalyptic / dystopian side of things, they almost never are about alien invasions. But the striking red cross on top of the otherwise monochrome cover art was so eye-catching that from the moment I saw I Am Traitor, I was bought in and it was calling me from my to-read shelves so much that it magically made its way to the top of my to-read pile just days after I got my copy.

Friday, 18 August 2017

13 The Musical at Ambassadors Theatre

Photo credit: Roy Tan
I first became aware of 13 The Musical back in 2012 when the National Youth Music Theatre performed songs from the show at West End Live and I was instantly hooked. The tunes by Jason Robert Brown (of The Last 5 Years, Honeymoon in Vegas, Songs for a New World fame) were immensely catchy and I've been keen to see a full version of this musical ever since. And I finally got a chance to do so this week with the British Theatre Academy's incredible West End version comprised of a mega-talented cast of young performers. Combined with the funny book and excellent score it makes this production an absolute must-see.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

The Lustre of Lost Things by Sophie Chen Keller

Sometimes you're in the mood for a feel-good read to take you away from the stresses of every day life – and The Lustre of Lost Things is just the novel to fit this purpose. It is a wondrous tale filled with eclectic characters and magical realism, bringing the dark and greyness of New York City alive through the imagination of a young boy on the adventure of a lifetime. Sophie Chen Keller's story is whimsical and delightful, the perfect anecdote to all the horrible things currently happening in the world.

Friday, 11 August 2017

Plan52 escape room at clueQuest

Ever since trying my very first escape room in Canada last year I've loved this strategic adventure game where you have to put your puzzling skills to the ultimate test to uncover a mystery and (as the name may give away) escape from a locked room – usually several consecutive ones, where each room gets just a little trickier than the one before. It's an activity that has really gathered popularity in recent years with a variety of adventures popping up across the UK capital too and this week I had the chance to try the first game at clueQuest near King's Cross: Plan 52.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Moonrise by Sarah Crossan

The mesmerising One by Sarah Crossan was my absolute favourite book from 2015. Not only was her use of verse unique and beautiful, adding another level of depth to the book, but the story of conjoined twins Grace and Tippi was also a stunning mixture of normal teenage angst and heart-wrenching extra-ordinary circumstances. It certainly was a young adult novel like no other I had read before (or since) and she has captured that same combination of elegantly written verse and a highly original story in her new novel coming out next month: Moonrise.

Monday, 7 August 2017

An Immersive Night In With Sony and Currys PC World

Last month I had the pleasure of joining Sony and Currys PC World for an immersive night in at a vibrant London location, which meant a night of murder mystery mayhem, movie-themed cocktails and finger food, and dazzling acrobatics to showcase how you can create an epic cinematic experience from the comfort of your own home (or in very beautiful and cosy event space that I now want to move into!).

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

What I Read in July 2017 – Wrap Up & Mini Reviews

Wow, July was a whirlwind reading month. I went to Edinburgh for a long weekend, which means I was on trains for a good ten hours providing plenty of reading time, and I picked up quite a few quick reads in the past month as well – so I ended up reading eleven books in total! In an attempt to finally read some of the ones that have been gathering dust on my shelves, I've also made a (small) dent in my TBR, which feels awesome, though being less picky did mean that I read three books I rated with just 2 stars and another I gave 2.5 stars. To balance that out though, I got lost in the magical worlds of Lost Boy by Christina Henry and Moonrise by Sarah Crossan, both of which were so incredible that they will likely make my top 10 of favourite books for all of 2017. 

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Truth or Dare by Non Pratt

The first time I heard about Truth or Dare was all the way back in December, at the Walker Books YA showcase. Not much was revealed about the book just yet other than that it would look at the question: 'what does it take to be brave?', but the intriguing way Non Pratt talked about her writing – and the enthusiasm from everyone around me about this author already had me sold on this young adult title.

Monday, 24 July 2017

The Blues Brothers Summer Special at The Hippodrome

The Blues Brothers is a cult classic for a reason. Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi's portrayals of brothers Jake and Elwood on the run from the cops, set against a back drop of catchy jazz and blues tunes, is one I've rewatched many times on rainy Sunday afternoons. They were criminals, sure, but they were also multi-talented showmen, and their charismatic performances were the heart and soul of the film. And with an extended set list and subtle nods back to the origin story, The Blues Brothers Summer Special at the Hippodrome could be one of those shows the famous band performed during their career.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Dinner at the Bite Me Burger Co. Pop Up in Holborn

I love foodie pop-ups and one of the newest to make its way to London is Bite Me Burger Co., which opened in Holborn last month in a temporary residency inside Hong Kong café Cha Chaan Teng and will receive more pop-ups across London, including in Soho and in West London, throughout the summer – in addition to offering deliveries and catering. Bite Me Burger is the brain child of award-winning chef Adam Rawson who made a name for himself as the winner of the Slider Decider competition two consecutive years and, unsurprisingly, sliders are front and centre on the menu.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Lost Boy by Christina Henry

Adaptations of traditional fairy tales or classic literature have really seen a surge in recent years within YA books especially, and what's particularly notable is how often the same source material has contemporary versions published around the same time – even though the publishing cycle means that the majority would've worked on this separately without knowing about the upcoming releases. Sometimes this is driven by a major movie release (see Beauty and the Beast), and at other times it seems more of a coincidence. I'm loving that Neverland is the latest hype as this is one of my all-time favourite fantasy worlds and now I get to explore it all over again.

Monday, 17 July 2017

A Book Lover's Guide to Literary Edinburgh #1: Book Sculptures

On my recent visit to Edinburgh, the majority of my plans (unsurprisingly) revolved around books. After all, Edinburgh was named the first City of Literature by UNESCO back in 2004 for a good reason. What I didn't expect, was quite how many bookish things and places I'd come across. Way too many for a single blog post, so rather than cramming them all into one piece, I've split up my bookish Edinburgh guide by: sculptures, people, food, places and book shops. And today I'm kicking it off with the mysterious book sculptures that appeared across the city a few years ago and are now on display in various literary location. 

Friday, 14 July 2017

The Daily Prophet Exhibition at House of MinaLima

I love the work by design duo Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima (aka MinaLima). They created the incredible fully illustrated Beauty and the Beast and Peter Pan hardbacks I've blogged about before, as well as all the design work for the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films (from product packaging to posters and anything in between). They have an awesome shop and exhibition space in London's Soho which I, not gonna lie, frequent. I've blogged about the Harry Potter exhibition before, but they change it every few months so I always try to pop by when I'm in the neighbourhood. After their recent Fantastic Beasts exhibit the focus has now shifted to The Daily Prophet, the newspaper from the wizarding world.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Interview with Lucy Clarke about Last Seen [blog tour]

If you've been on my blog or social channels before you know that British author Lucy Clarke writes some of my all-time favourite books. I've been journeying across the world with her novels ever since The Sea Sisters back in 2013, and in Last Seen she brings her beautifully descriptive and atmospheric writing to British shores in a gripping missing person's read. I'm delighted to be a part of the blog tour for Lucy's brand-new book today as it gave me the opportunity to ask her about her story settings, writing tips, the highlight of her publishing career to date, and much more.

Monday, 10 July 2017

5 Highlights From My Weekend Break in Edinburgh

Last weekend I was in Edinburgh and it was wonderful. I'd been only once before a few years ago and I'd forgotten quite how amazing the city is. With the sun out every day this time, it was even more delightful to wander around the city to explore. I hit up a lot of literary hot-spots for future blog posts (there are SO many bookish things in Edinburgh), in addition to checking out the sights I didn't get a chance to go to last time. The weekend was pretty much non-stop awesomeness and I'll be writing dedicated blog posts about many of the things we did, saw and ate over the coming weeks, but as a teaser here are my top five highlights from the trip.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

What I Read in June 2017 – Wrap Up & Mini Reviews

I posted my first monthly book round-up in May, which received a lot of nice comments on social channels and on my blog for which many thanks. I loved writing it and I'm glad you guys enjoyed it too, as I'm back today with June's book wrap up! It has been an exceptional reading month with just one 2-star read and the others all 4 stars or more. My favourite books in June were political courtroom thriller Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan, missing person mystery Last Seen by Lucy Clarke, teenage action adventure Never Say Die by Anthony Horowitz and contemporary YA Juniper Lemon's Happiness Index by Julie Israel.

Monday, 3 July 2017

A Photo Tour of Colourful Notting Hill

Notting Hill is an iconic part of London. Being the star of a film by the same name and the location of the annual Carnival as well as the famous Portobello Road Market, it's a wonderful area to wander into and explore without having a destination in mind. It's vibrant neighbourhood filled with eclectic shops and a ton of independent places to pick up drinks and snacks to keep you going, making it the perfect place to spend a sunny afternoon. And with its pastel houses, eye-catching street art and flower-covered pubs, it's also very photogenic as the colours pop around every corner.

Friday, 30 June 2017

Candy Crush Board Game Café Pop Up

One of the things I love about London is that there is always something new and exciting to explore, whether it be a new theatre show, festival, exhibition or a discovery of the food variety. Particularly fun to check out are temporary pop-ups, usually trials for a concept or shop that only run for a few weeks to a few months. Though sometimes you have to be especially quick to not miss out as a pop up can last for only a few days! That was the case with the Candy Crush Board Game Café earlier this month, which was four floors of candy-coloured gaming fun on Greek Street in Soho that was open for just two days – and we of course had to check it out.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Last Seen by Lucy Clarke

Ever since reading her debut The Sea Sisters (a Richard & Judy Book Club pick) back in 2013 I've been a fan of Lucy Clarke's novels, always eagerly anticipating the next one. With A Single Breath and Blue I travelled the world through Lucy's vivid description of the many exotic locations depicted within the pages. Each book was a completely different adventure, their only constant being the pull of the sea a the heart of stories. And never more so than in her latest book; Last Seen.

Monday, 26 June 2017

My Plans for a Weekend Break in Edinburgh

A few years ago I made my first visit to beautiful Edinburgh and I loved everything about it; the architecture and sights, the scrumptious food, the castle looking out over the city, and most of all the many literary spots I came across during our wanderings. I've been meaning to go back to the city ever since for further explorations but as always life and work got in the way. Until a very good train deal came along (London to Edinburgh for just £28 return, yes please), finally prompting us to book another trip. With the visit having been in my calendar for quite some time now, I've been doing lots of research into what to see, do and eat during our long weekend this Friday until next Monday to make the most of our break.

Friday, 23 June 2017

The Da Vinci Exploration Escape Room at Escape Land

Escape rooms – where a team is locked in a room filled with puzzles and clues to help them escape – have become all the rage in the last year or so and I had my first encounter on my trip to Vancouver in October. I had an absolute blast trying to solve the riddles in that archeology/Indiana Jones-inspired room (even though we filled miserably) and had been itching to try it again, now knowing what I was getting myself in for and hopefully being better at spotting clues. So when the opportunity came up to try the Da Vinci Exploration at Escape Land in London, I jumped on the chance.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Exciting New Book Releases From HarperFiction

I do love a good book event, getting a sneak peek at upcoming titles while connecting in person with the publishers I regularly communicate with over email to discuss book reviews, author interviews, and other bookish fun? Yes, please! So when my friend Laura was invited to a HarperFiction event last month and she kindly asked me to come along, I of course said 'yes' as soon as the invite hit my inbox! HarperFiction (a division of HarperCollins) publishes some of my favourite authors, including Lindsey Kelk, Alex Brown, Lucy Clarke and Cressida McLaughlin – and there are lots of goodies in the publishing calendar from them and others (highlights below).

Monday, 19 June 2017

Inspirational Street Art – A Photo Tour of the Bees Buzzing Around Manchester

The worker bee has been a symbol for Manchester dating back to the Industrial Revolution and can be found on bins, Town Hall, and even the city's Coat of Arms. So it's unsurprising that this Mancunian symbol has been popping up in new street art across the city to show its strength and unity in the aftermath of the horrifying attack in Manchester Arena last month. When I visited Manchester last weekend I saw many of the beautiful works by graffiti artists such as Qubek, alongside touching drawings from children and even an anonymous Canadian chalk painting showcasing global solidarity for the people of Manchester ♥

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig

First you wait for ages for a swashbuckling time travel YA adventure to come along, and then two arrive at once. And I'm loving it. While I don't read many series nowadays because I lack the patience to wait the agonising publishing gap for the next one, both Alexandra Bracken's Passenger and Heidi Heilig's The Girl From Everywhere pulled me into their magical worlds through their innovative settings, characters and stories that I happily waited a year for their second installments, and I wasn't disappointed.

Monday, 12 June 2017

World Burger Tour Launch at Hard Rock Cafe London

Last week I made my first visit to the London branch of The Hard Rock Cafe (well... its Back Room location just across the road) for the launch of their brand new World Burger Tour menu. Offering four unique burgers with flavours from across the globe, and matching cocktails to boot, this is a super fun addition to their existing offerings for any burger lovers who want to try something new and unique.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Trouble Makes a Comeback by Stephanie Tromly

Hot Key Books has been one of my favourite publishers for years and Stephanie Tromly's novels are still the most unexpectedly delightful discovery from their list. They unfortunately aren't books that are everywhere in the media and on blogs (though they should be), so the only way I found out about them to begin with is by following the HKB social accounts, and I am so glad that I did because Tromly's books are now some of my favourites in the young adult genre. 

Monday, 5 June 2017

Brunch at Brownies & downieS in Emmen, Netherlands

I love checking out places to eat that are just a tad different and so on my visit home last week I had to pop into Brownies & downieS, which serves a huge selection of delicious lunchroom and coffee shop food and drinks. The thing that makes them stand out from the crowd (in addition to their excellent food, of course)? Many of the staff members, from waiting staff to the chefs creating beautifully plated dishes in the kitchen, have intellectual disabilities and the restaurant provides training opportunities and jobs for them which are often hard to come by in the hospitality sector. Hence its hugely catchy and fun name.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

What I Read in May 2017 – Wrap Up & Mini Reviews

While I post book reviews on this blog, I actually read more in a month than I can cover in a weekly review and I thought it was high time to start with monthly reading round-ups, so all the books I've had the pleasure to enjoy that month can be spotlighted on here! This post marks the first monthly wrap up and is a real mix of adult reads (fiction and non-fiction), young adult and even children's. Out of the books I read in May my favourites were When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi and Trouble Makes a Comeback by Stephanie Tromly ♥

Monday, 29 May 2017

Trying Healthy Drinks at 42 Juice in Brighton

I've been really into fresh fruit and veg juices lately, especially ginger shots and any combination that has carrot and orange in it. I love smoothies too and I make those at home but for juices I don't have the right equipment (yet). So I'm always on the look-out for new juice places to try out and I heard great things about 42 Juice in Brighton. Not only do they serve a huge selection of cold-pressed juices, freshly prepared smoothies, shots, and alkaline waters, but their interior is super Instagrammable too. ♥

Friday, 26 May 2017

I Love Holland: Gezelligheid

Ages ago I promised you more posts on the Netherlands, and then life happened... oops. But I finally have some blogs planned for you guys and since I'm visiting my family again for a good week from tomorrow I thought it'd be a perfect opportunity to start with gezelligheid. You've likely heard about the Danish word hygge in the past year and gezelligheid is similar (though better, of course, ssshhh) as it describes a cosy and homely feeling, atmosphere or past-time and is one of the biggest things I love about being home (in addition to seeing my family). In this blog I highlight the things that define gezelligheid in the Netherlands. 

Monday, 22 May 2017

An Instagram Tour of Oxford

After my Instagram tours of Paris and Brighton, it was inevitable that I would do one of beautiful Oxford as well. The city of colleges, Narnia, Harry Potter, Middle Earth and more bookish greats (which you can read about in my Literary Guide to Oxford) is also called the city of Dreaming Spires and it's easy to see why with the beautiful college buildings seeming to go on forever as you look up and around you ♥ I shared a few of my snapshots on Instagram already but most of these are new, and I hope you enjoy them!

Friday, 19 May 2017

The Addams Family at New Wimbledon Theatre (UK Tour)

I adore the score of The Addams Family musical. It's fun, catchy and makes you instantly want to snap your fingers along to the beat of the music. I've listened to the original Broadway soundtrack tons of times, and may have played the clips on YouTube more times than I can remember. I love the music so much, in fact, that I went out of my way to see an amateur production of the show a few years ago.. it wasn't good. Needless to say I was very excited when a UK tour was announced, because finally I could see a production of this wonderfully cheesy musical that would do the source material justice.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

A Photo Tour of Wisteria Hysteria in London

If you follow any London-based Instagram accounts you can't have missed the wisteria hysteria sweeping across everyone's photos. This gorgeous purple rain cascading along the walls in mostly West London, not only leaves a gorgeous fragrance in its wake but it also looks incredible pretty (especially when a picture-perfect pastel-pink door peeks through the flowers). The wisteria season is unfortunately almost over already, but if you didn't have time to check it out for yourself don't despair, I spent a sunny Sunday wandering through the Kensington and Notting Hill areas, capturing some of the best #wisteriahysteria moments for you to enjoy.

Monday, 15 May 2017

7 Easy Ways to Boost Your Instagram Engagement – Top Tips & Handy Apps

I've had my Instagram account since the app became available on Android but I never used it for my blog. Instead I posted very irregular random updates of my life that didn't really have any cohesiveness to it. And if there is one buzzword in the Instagram world then it's 'theme', and you should apparently have one to create a clean feed that people want to follow and engage with. With my Twitter account growing quite slowly, a little over a month ago I decided to put my efforts into Instagram instead and see if it'd be worth it. Could I grow this channel to become a valuable addition to my blog? While my audience isn't big, in one month I did grow by over 50% to 500+ followers with an engagement of 20%-30 on each photo. In this post I'll share some of my learnings and useful apps I've found, and I hope they help you grow your Instagram engagement too.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Trying the Gousto Food Box – Is It Worth It?

I love spending time in the kitchen and I cook most of my dinners myself from scratch, but I do sometimes feel I'm making the same dishes over and over again. While I have shelves full of cookery books and I love flicking through them, salivating over the scrumptious imagery within their pages, they rarely inspire me to actually cook outside of my comfort zone right then and there, because I don't have all the necessary ingredients at hand. Gousto perfectly solves that dilemma by not only having enticing food photography on their website and recipe cards, but by also providing you with everything you need to recreate the dishes in one handy box, delivered straight to your door. I'd heard a lot about this foodie subscription service before and I was keen to put them to the test myself. Is cooking with Gousto as effortless and delicious as it sounds?

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Noteworthy by Riley Redgate

I was super impressed by Riley Redgate's debut novel Seven Ways We Lie, which I had the pleasure to review last year. It was a superb contemporary YA read, touching upon many different issues facing young people today and with a diverse cast of characters. It was clever, gripping and hugely relatable, making it not only fun novel for today's teens but also a very important one. So as soon as I heard about Riley's second novel, which would be set in the competitive world of university a cappella competitions, I was sold.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Celebrating Women's Fiction & Thriller Authors at HQ

HQ is the latest division from HarperCollins and it's one that I'm very excited to explore. Rather than sticking to a single genre, their list is an eclectic mix of women's fiction, thrillers, non-fiction and young adult, the theme bringing them all together being books that are written exceptionally well. I've already been hearing great things about them, but it wasn't until their first blogger event last week that I had a chance to meet the team and see some of the fabulous new titles they're bringing out soon – or have just published – with my own eyes.

Monday, 8 May 2017

An Instagram Tour of Brighton

A few months ago I posted An Instagram Tour of Paris, which was a fun way to feature a place I had visited without getting lost in a super lengthy blog post (I know I can be wordy at times!). And since I loved my recent visit to Brighton so much it was inevitable that I would do yet another post about this colourful and eclectic seaside city. I figured doing a photographic tour would be perfect to show off the city's Eastern-inspired Royal Pavilion and famous pebble beach, and it would also give me the opportunity to share my Instagram feed with you all as I've been working hard in the last month on creating a beautiful feed and growing my channel. Enjoy! ♥

Friday, 5 May 2017

Behind-the-Scenes at Alice's Adventures Underground at The Vaults

Imagine walking into a wondrous bar where cocktails have jam tarts on the top, the stirrer is a lollipop, and you can have a hearty dose of mock turtle chips or a Jabberwocky burger. Now imagine wading through the pages of a book before you're given the choice between 'eat me' and 'drink me', your decision defining your path for the rest of the fantastical evening. Will you be a rebel, or do you cheer for the Queen of Hearts and all she stands for? There is only one way to find out and that is to go to Alice's Adventures Underground at the Vaults, an imaginative and immerse theatrical experience created by Les Enfants Terrible.