Friday 29 December 2017


I Love Holland: Efteling

When UK friends plan a trip to the Netherlands they often don't look beyond Amsterdam. However, one of the places I always recommend as one of the very best things to do when crossing the North Sea – and so must be a part of my I Love Holland series – is fairy tale theme park Efteling. Less Alton Towers and more Disneyland, this intricately designed and imaginative destination is 65 years old this year, making it one of the oldest theme parks in the world and so a big nostalgia fest for us Dutch people. Its beautiful design by famous artist Anton Pieck is as impressive today as it was in the 1950s, and what used to be 'just' a forest filled with displays and figures from famous fairy tales has been expanded into a fully fledged theme park with tons of rides for different ages and impressive shows – making it the perfect day out for all ages.

Wednesday 27 December 2017


My Top 10 Favourite Reads of 2017

Since starting my Goodreads challenges I've been reading 125+ books in a single year... until 2016. Last year I still racked up just over 100 books, but this year life and work was busier than ever before and I didn't even make the 100 mark. Still, I was a lot pickier with the books I choose to get the most out of my limited reading time, meaning that the vast majority were ones I thoroughly enjoyed. Out of the 96 books I read in 2017, most were young adult and lifestyle non-fiction. Though while 7 out of my top 10 books can be classified as YA, just one is non-fiction and there are three adult novels in there too – two of which are crime/thriller, which I hardly ever read before 2017. So it's been a pretty eclectic reading year for me and I can't wait to continue to explore different genres and authors in 2018. For now, here are my top 10 picks from my 2017 reads!

Friday 22 December 2017


Celebrating 25 Years of Disney's Aladdin

You know those moments of realisation that suddenly make you feel very, very old? Like thinking about the fact that someone born in the 2000s can almost be a legal adult? Or accidentally muttering the words 'back in my day'? *shudder* Well, I have another one for you... Disney's Aladdin is officially 25 years-old this year 😱 If like me you remember catching the movie in cinema first time around and/or you owned it on VHS, then it's official... it's time to get nostalgic!

Wednesday 20 December 2017


Everless by Sara Holland

As a book reviewer I am incredible lucky (and grateful!) to regularly receive unexpected new reads in the post. Often it's a gorgeous cover or intriguing blurb that decides which book I pick up first, but in the case of Everless while both were excellent it was the hype on social media soon after I'd added it to my to-be-read shelf that had me properly intrigued. Everyone was suddenly talking about this new fantasy series and the early buzz was nothing but positive so needless to say it whizzed up my TBR at record speed and am I glad it did!

Friday 15 December 2017


LMTO's A Christmas Carol at the Lyceum Theatre

A Christmas Carol is a staple this time of year. After reading Mr. Dickens and His Carol and seeing The Man Who Invented Christmas (based on the similar premise of Charles Dickens writing his famous festive tale) in cinema recently, you might think I'd be all Dickensed out, but you'd be wrong. When the London Musical Theatre Orchestra announced that they'd be reviving their concert staging of the musical adaptation this year I added it to my calendar before you could say 'bah humbug'!

Wednesday 13 December 2017


Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan Interview [blog tour]

Anatomy of a Scandal is one of the best books I've read this year (even though it's not published until 2018!) and today I'm delighted to be a part of the blog tour for this stellar court room thriller, political thriller and marriage thriller all wrapped into one incredibly gripping package. My full review will be published in January, but first I have an insightful interview with author Sarah Vaughan about the timely topic of the book, her background as a political journalist and what she's working on next.

Friday 8 December 2017


The Lost Boy Peter Pan at Pleasance Theatre

The story of Peter Pan has been adapted in many shapes and sizes, into other novels, for the screen and even the stage. So it's quite a feat if a new version manages to be original and stand out from the crowd. The Lost Boy Peter Pan at the Pleasance Theatre captivates audiences with an enchanting contemporary version featuring well-known pop rock tunes performed with just a few instruments. It's as whimsical as the origin story but less dark, instead capturing the magic of the written word and adding a level of poetry through its beautiful musical performances and stellar young cast of actor-musicians. 

Wednesday 6 December 2017


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

October was a bit of a dud when it came to my reading list. I couldn't really decide on what books to pick up and very few managed to capture my attention fully. I am very pleased to say that this feeling completely turned around in November due to an excellent mix of books that managed to get me excited again about reading! Not only did I devour 11 books (which is a lot in a single month for me) but there were many I really fell in love with along the way, most notably evocative YA Vanilla by Billy Merrell told in verse, funny memoirs The Amazing Book is Not on Fire and Dan & Phil Go Outside by YouTubers Dan Howell and Phil Lester, fantasy YA Everless by Sara Holland, and the fact-filled 147 Things by Jim Chapman. (Excuse the poor quality of the photos in this post though, I had no day light to work with this weekend 😢)

Monday 4 December 2017


The Dickens Festival in Rochester

When I lived in south east London I loved exploring Kent as there are so many picturesque towns to visit, filled with cobble-stoned streets, castles, homely pubs and tons of history. One of the places I particularly enjoyed going to in December was Rochester as their annual Dickens Festival was the official start of the festive season for me. However, after moving to North London I haven't made the trip down for quite a few years – until now! I've been raving about the festival to friends, family and colleagues for ages and was excited to return.

Friday 1 December 2017


The Wedding Reception at Kingsway Hall Hotel

Interactive Theatre International is the company that managed to make me an immersive theatre convert after years of dreading unexpected outbursts of audience participation in a show. Their Faulty Towers Dining Experience, transporting diners to the mayhem of Basil Fawlty's hotel through the medium of some excellent rehearsed sketches combined with improvisation on the night, was hilarious from start to finish and we loved the uniqueness of enjoying a meal while surrounded by the iconic characters. The Wedding Reception is the latest endeavour of the company and needless to say we had high expectations after our previous experience.

Wednesday 29 November 2017


Vanilla by Billy Merrell

I love the variety of YA novels that are currently released, especially by publishers such as Scholastic. Whether I'm in the mood for sci-fi or a comedy, they'll likely have something to suit my every mood. The last Scholastic book I read was fairy tale fantasy A Shiver of Snow and Sky, and while this may sound a million miles away from the contemporary Vanilla, which explores gender identity and sexuality, both were very excellent in their own right.

Monday 27 November 2017


Christmas at Kew Gardens

When I lived in South London I had a membership to Kew Gardens and I loved visiting during different times of the year; in spring to see the beautiful gardens in full bloom, in summer for a relaxing picnic with a good book, and in autumn for a crisp stroll while surrounded by reds and yellows. But somehow I'd never visited in winter time. Now living in North London, unfortunately Kew Gardens is quite a trek to get to and I haven't been in years. But when a friend invited me to join her on a preview night of Christmas at Kew my festive senses started tingling and I was more than willing to make the journey down to check it out.

Monday 20 November 2017


Getting Festive With Maplin Electronics

I'm a huge Christmas geek and if I get an invite for anything with a festive angle, I'm in. And so with the promise of getting a sneak peek at some of the most exciting tech and toys for the holiday season – and the lure of a mince pie, or two – I set out for Maplin's headquarters last week. While it may have been the seasonal fun that captured my interest initially, it was fab gadgets such as a mini chocolate fountain (yes, it is as divine as it sounds), that have made my wish list a lot longer in the past week.

Friday 17 November 2017


Aladdin at The Prince Edward Theatre

I was eight years old when Disney released Aladdin and I fell utterly in love with it; from Aladdin's cheeky antics to the glittering Cave of Wonders and from his adorable animal side-kick Abu to the Genie's impressive dance skills. It being a much-loved classic from my childhood I wasn't too sure how much I'd enjoy a theatrical adaptation and whether it'd live up to my memories. However, I needn't have worried as the musical version currently threading the boards in London takes some of the best elements from the animation, and turns it into its own dazzling spectacle.

Wednesday 15 November 2017


5 Books to Cosy Up With on Cold Winter Nights

A few months ago I wrote about 5 Books to Curl Up With in Autumn, which was filled with reads that matched the chill and creepiness of the season. As the days are getting even colder and darker, the time has come for a follow-up with my top picks for the frosty winter months ahead. These are books that evoke the feeling of freezing with snowy landscapes, as well as a dash of heartwarming kindness thrown in to reflect the season of sharing. So grab your cosiest flannel PJs, fluffy bed socks and a fleece blanket as it's time to hibernate with a bunch of wintery reading delights.

Monday 13 November 2017


Backpack Flashback: Let's Start at the Beginning...

Back in 2005, before travel blogging (or any kind of blogging as a career, really) was a thing, I started a Livejournal account to keep my friends and family back home updated on where in the world I was and the wonderful things I saw and explored along the way. I lived in Canada for a year, Australia for another, went to New Zealand for six weeks and hit up some places in Asia and the US too. It was an incredible, life-changing experience.

Friday 10 November 2017


Top Picks From Transworld's Debut Fiction Showcase

Transworld (part of Penguin Random House) was one of the first publishers to ever invite me to a book event all the way back in 2013, and I have been a big fan of their diverse list since. I've reviewed a ton of their women's fiction books for Novelicious throughout the years and even picked up a thriller or two (which I don't tend to read very much normally). However, most exciting I've found reading new voices and their annual Debut Fiction Showcase provides the perfect opportunity to discover what's coming up next.

Wednesday 8 November 2017


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

After September's incredible selection of reads, in October when I was looking at my TBR I found it harder to decide on what to pick up next and some books I did end up choosing still didn't grab me quite as much. I did read a variety of genres to mix things up, which helped a little bit to get excited about my chosen reads again. My two absolute favourites in October were the excellent Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman and non-fiction title Why the Dutch Are Different by Ben Coates.

Monday 6 November 2017


A Tale as Old as Time Afternoon Tea at The Town House

Themed afternoon teas are all the rage right now. Whether you'd like to try something autumnal or a touch of Wonderland, there is an afternoon tea to suit every mood. The latest one to join the ranks is the A Tale as Old as Time afternoon tea at Town House (though this isn't the first one to take inspiration from Disney's Beauty and the Beast I've tried), which was a particularly well-thought out menu with intricate details of the classic animated film reflected both in the food choices and the place setting. We even had the real Mrs Potts and Chip looking on while we tried 'the grey stuff', alongside Lumiere lighting our table and an adorable little edible Cogsworth as a part of the sweets selection.

Friday 3 November 2017


Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You!

When Pokémon GO took over the world last year I got pretty addicted to it. I wasn't super familiar with the franchise outside of watching the anime when I was younger, but the clever way in which it let players explore real-world locations, combined with the competitive video game element, was right up my street. The only reason my addiction lasted for just a month is that a crash in the game locked me out of my account and I couldn't be bothered to start again from scratch. I am, however, still interested in it (I even watch YouTubers playing it online, still) so when I heard about the new Pokémon movie exploring that same world and characters I was keen to check it out.

Wednesday 1 November 2017


Otherworld by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller [blog tour]

I have been really fortunate with the books I've recently read as they've all been incredible. You know how sometimes nothing really grabs your attention and you end up in a bit of a reading slump? I have been experiencing the exact opposite this past month and Otherworld was another winner. It was a proper geekfest with incredibly intriguing world-building that had me thoroughly hooked throughout. I'm normally not much of a sci-fi reader, but after discovering the imaginative world hiding within the pages of this book I'm definitely keen to explore the genre more.

Monday 30 October 2017


A Book Lover's Guide to Literary Edinburgh

I can't believe it's been four months since I was in Edinburgh, I really don't know where my time has gone! One of the things I have been planning since I arrived back, is a comprehensive guide to literary Edinburgh, combining all the places I visited that have a connection to an author, novel or reading in general. It's a pretty extensive list, but I managed to do all of the below (and then some) during my long weekend in this beautiful Scottish city – and I definitely recommend checking it all out if you can for a proper geekfest of the bookish variety.

Friday 27 October 2017


Annie the Musical at Piccadilly Theatre

When I went on holiday to New York City a few years ago, my friend and I ended up seeing more shows during our stay than days we were actually in the city – and one of them was Annie the Musical. It's a film I always loved growing up and I was excited to see it on stage. A few years down the line, however, that was probably the least memorable musical we saw that holiday and so when it made a comeback in London I was keen to check it out, hoping the UK production would dazzle me more than the US one had done.

Wednesday 25 October 2017


Mr. Dickens and His Carol by Samantha Silva

It may only 'just' be October but the festive season is less than two months away, so it's no longer too early to talk about Christmas, right? I mean, I've started buying my gifts for friends and family, and I may just throw in a cheeky listen of Josh Groban's Noel this weekend (the weather is definitely getting cold enough to warrant it). Amid the browsing of Christmas decorations and wish lists online it was inevitable I'd pick up a seasonal read this month as well, which very suitably was Dickens-themed.

Monday 23 October 2017


How to Spend an Autumnal Day in London

Last October I was in Vancouver and the bright autumnal shades were out in full force. Spending this season in London isn't quite basked in the same kind of colourful scenery, however there are plenty of autumnal things you can see and do in the English capital as well as I have discovered in recent weeks. If you're also looking to make the most of the autumn time in London, here are my top tips for the best seasonal outings in the city!

Monday 16 October 2017


Autumn Afternoon Tea at Emmeline's Lounge, Conrad London St. James

I have mentioned many a times before that autumn is my favourite season, and with the leaves turning beautifully bright again my friend Laura and I planned a proper autumnal day in London last weekend. I'm posting a blog on all things autumn you can enjoy in the city soon, but one of the things we did was so cool (and photogenic) that it deserves its own post: Autumn Afternoon Tea at Emmeline's Lounge in the Conrad London St. James.

Friday 13 October 2017


Ink at The Duke of York's Theatre

Despite having a degree in print journalism, with digital having taken the world by storm this century I am painfully ignorant when it comes to the history of the print press, especially the British one as I grew up in the Netherlands. However, I am fascinated by the origins of Fleet Street and so Ink, detailing the history of one of the UK's biggest and most popular newspapers, was the perfect opportunity to learn more. What I didn't expect though, was quite how gripped I'd be by this fast-paced drama, which was as brilliant in its writing as it was in its execution.

Monday 9 October 2017


Eye Test at David Clulow Opticians and New Glasses!

I have a confession to make. I have been living in the UK for over seven years (where has the time gone?!) but I still go to my opticians back in the Netherlands for eye checks and new glasses every time I am back home. I always find it a reassuring feeling to visit someone who has known my glasses history for many years and who I know provides quality service and products – and here in the UK the cheaper brands you see pop up on every high street never appealed to me. However, I recently discovered David Clulow opticians, which while having multiple stores across the country, felt as personal as my family-owned opticians back home.

Friday 6 October 2017


My May – September 2017 favourites

In my last favourites post I said I would return to monthly round-ups didn't I? Well, I absolutely failed at that one... It's not that there weren't any things to enjoy, but with work and life still being crazy busy I haven't had as much time on the weekends for blogging and taking photos as I would've liked so this is one series that has suffered as a result. I will try to do better the rest of the year (try being the operative word here), but for now here are some things I've thoroughly enjoyed recently, from an autumnal hand soap and a cosy scented candle to charcoal toothpaste tabs and my old Nintendo DS, which I've rediscovered.

Thursday 5 October 2017


Flashdance at New Wimbledon Theatre [UK tour]

As a young teen I was obsessed with 80s musicals, especially the TV adaptation of Fame which received steady reruns throughout the 90s and early 2000s in the Netherlands. However, despite watching all of the classics, one movie that I somehow never saw was Flashdance. It was a story I thought at the time wasn't very interesting and so I never made the effort to seek it out. Fast-forward a few decades and a musical adaptation has come to London. On a whim I decided to check it out and I fell head over heels in love with the stunning choreography, catchy soundtrack and cheesy but totally captivating love story at the heart of the show. 'Oh what a feeling' to discover a new musical love!

Wednesday 4 October 2017


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

I'm not sure if I have just been incredibly lucky or if I've become more selective with the novels I choose to read, but whatever the reason September was a stellar bookish month in which I only read novels that I absolutely loved (seriously, 4 and 5 stars  across the board!). It's hard to pick favourites from such an excellent bunch but if I must narrow it down, I have to shout-out meta-fictional murder mystery The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz, gaming sci-fi Otherworld by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller, wondrous children's fantasy Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend, and the inspiring The Little Book of Lykke by Meik Wiking. 

Monday 2 October 2017


Monday Inspiration From the Founder of kikki-K

Swedish stationery brand kiki-K is a blogger's dream. Adorned with gold accents, polka dot detailing and pastel colours, the ranges are not only right up this stationery lover's street, but they also make a gorgeous addition to any Instagram or blog photo. What I love most about the brand though are the empowering messages on their products and the thought that goes into helping people dream, do, enjoy and share. And these principles come straight from kiki-K founder Kristina Karlsson, who at an event in London last week shared her inspiring story to making kiki-K the success it is today.

Friday 29 September 2017


Highlights From the Bloggers Festival 2017

Blogging events are the perfect place to connect with like-minded people, be inspired by bloggers who have done something new and exciting in the field, and discover blog-friendly brands to potentially work with. I really enjoyed the Bloggers Festival organised by Scarlett London last year, so when the return of the event was announced my friend Laura and I immediately booked our tickets. I arrived just as it was about to start, allowing little time for networking with other attendees this time around, unfortunately, however I did have the chance to meet some great brands I love to highlight in this post!

Wednesday 27 September 2017


A Shiver of Snow and Sky by Lisa Lueddecke

A Shiver of Snow and Sky has been on my to-read wish list for a very long time and on my to-read shelf for a few months already but since it's not published until October I've been trying to be really good and not read it just yet. It was a hard task but I managed to refrain from cracking the spine until this month and it was definitely worth the wait. Epic and original, it's been a long time since I've been this gripped by a novel.

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


Literary Edinburgh: 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.