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.