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.