Tuesday, 23 April 2019

 

A Shakespearean Evening With Viking


[AD - Gifted] Last month, office suppliers Viking hosted a Shakespearean evening filled with themed workshops, networking opportunities, and delicious food, which they kindly invited me to come along to. And since today, 23 April, is the day we celebrate the Bard I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to share my blog of the event. Fun fact: it's also 'National Talk Like Shakespeare Day', but since I don't really want to translate this post into old English, I'm going to pretend that isn't the case...

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

 

How to Spend a Rainy Day in Bruges


The Belgian city of Bruges is known for its picturesque beauty; filled with cobble-stoned winding streets and stunning architecture showing its rich history. On our visit we were planning to spend a lot of time walking throughout the compact town and get lost in its charm. Unfortunately the weather had different plans, and the day we visited it was cold, pouring non-stop with rain. We'd also managed to coincide our visit with a festival, which meant the iconic square was obscured from view by large white tents. Not ideal. We are planning a do-over in sunnier weather, but in the meantime here are my top tips for making the most of a rainy day in Bruges, as there is still plenty to see and do when trying to avoid the cold and rain.

Thursday, 7 March 2019

 

Everybody's Talking About Jamie at the Apollo Theatre


[AD – gifted] Everybody's been talking about Jamie. Inspired by the BBC documentary Jamie: Drag Queen at 16, the musical with a book and lyrics by Tom MacRae and music by The Feeling frontman Dan Gillespie Sells has been a West End hit since transferring to London from Sheffield in 2017, winning a slew of WhatsOnStage Awards and being nominated for five prestigious Olivier Awards too. And this week I finally had a chance to see for myself what all the buzz was about.

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

 

Gingerline's The Grand Expedition – A Steampunk Dining Experience


[AD – gifted] The Grand Expedition is a new immersive dining experience promising to provide visitors a "flying, feeding, floating" night out. Set up in a secret location not too far from Central London, audience members are encouraged to dress up as aviators to fully immerse themselves in the Jules Verne-esque adventure.

Friday, 1 March 2019

 

Rock of Ages at New Wimbledon Theatre [UK Tour]


[AD - Gifted] When Rock of Ages was playing in the West End I was obsessed with the show. The feel-good story, rockin' 80s score, absolutely perfect casting, and the hilarious absurdity of some of the characters, mashed together in a winning combination that had me return 20+ times. Yes, I thought it was THAT good. There is no other musical or play I've seen that often (or even more than a handful of times), so needless to say I was very excited when a new UK tour of my favourite 80s-inspired musical was announced. This week the tour hit the edge of London at the New Wimbledon Theatre and I was thrilled to be invited to attend the gala night.

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.