Cider I up! – Where to get your cider in Bristol

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Cider, cider everywhere, so let’s have a drink! (Credit: Countryfile Magazine)

*Updated April 2017*

If there’s one thing that everyone can agree on when they think about the West Country, it’s cider. For that is what this oft-forgotten end of the country does well; fermented apples, and sounding like pirates.

I’m not much of a cider drinker these days, mainly due to overindulging when I first moved to Bristol and never quite being able to shake the memory of those first few vicious hangovers. But I still think that you can’t beat a good perry on a sunny day, or a dirty mulled scrumpy on a bitterly cold evening.

If you want the real deal when it comes to cider, the best thing I can suggest is a tour of Bristol’s establishments. Just watch out for the stronger varieties (quite a few can be over 8% volume) and whatever you do, stay away from Thatcher’s Cheddar Valley. Continue reading Cider I up! – Where to get your cider in Bristol

Why these are Exciting Times for Bristol

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I could list plenty of things that led me to Bristol and have kept me here for the past 5 years, whether it be the thriving and eclectic music scene, the quirky urban art across the city orjust being able to walk around the harbour.

I read a fantastic post about Bristol recently that I thought perfectly summed up the city and why I’ve come to love it so much; you can read Rachel Schraer’s post here.

Recently, I’d say that Bristol has come in to its own even more, with its independent muisc, art and food scenes becoming even more pronounced and successful. The support for local businesses here is astounding, so I thought it was about time to take stock and appreciate just what Bristol has achieved in the past 12 or so months, along with some exciting things still to come. Continue reading Why these are Exciting Times for Bristol

The Best Breakfasts in Bristol

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I’ve mentioned on this blog before just how much importance I place on having a good breakfast; in fact I went so far as to write a post about The Perfect Eggs Benedict not too long ago.

Up until recently I had a weekend Breakfast Club with a friend, until he selfishly decided to make food for complete strangers a priority and open his own bakery (The wonderful East Bristol Bakery in fact – if you’ve not been I strongly suggest you pay it a visit). I’ve missed my weekend routine of taking turns with a friend to make some extravagant and experimental breakfast concoctions, so I’m very excited to be reinstating Breakfast Club with my friend Cat (along with whoever else amongst our friends can be bothered to get up before 11am on a Sunday). Continue reading The Best Breakfasts in Bristol

Roast Dinners: The quest for the best in Bristol

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Roast dinners: A hug on a plate.

It always annoys me whenever I hear people lament the slow death of British culture; how we have an ever-decreasing lack of national identity, traditions and pride. I grew up in Central London and always enjoyed the multiculturalism my hometown afforded; I have also lived abroad a couple of times and think this has all allowed me to appreciate other cultures whilst noticing the pros and cons of my own.

When I was living overseas and feeling homesick, the main things I missed aside from my family were (unsurprisingly) the quirks of English cuisine; Marmite, Branston Pickle, Cheddar cheese,  chip shop chips (for these are a specific breed of chips native only to these windswept isles), full English breakfasts, and of course, the mighty Roast Dinner. Continue reading Roast Dinners: The quest for the best in Bristol

Pub Crawl Bristol #3: Stokes Croft

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Bristol is known for many things; Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the Clifton Suspension Bridge, colourful houses, hot air balloons, boats, slavery, a ridiculous accent and lethally strong cider. But Bristol has also come to the fore in recent years as the epicentre of some of the best urban art in the world.

As well as the numerous festivals and arts events every year (including See No Evil and Upfest) you can see world-class graffiti all over the city, but nowhere is more of an open air gallery than Stokes Croft, also known as The People’s Republic of Stokes Croft.

Allow me to illuminate a more artistic and less-likely-to-lead-to-liver-cirrhosis route, through Bristol’s most alternative and artistic neighborhood.

Continue reading Pub Crawl Bristol #3: Stokes Croft

Eggs Benedict: It’s all in the small details…

eggsbenedictI like my food. I like cooking for friends, going to restaurants and picnics. I’ll try any cuisine and any combination of flavours at least once. Obviously I have my preferences and cravings though, and this weekend has been all about Eggs Benedict.

My favourite breakfasts would usually have to be Eggs Royale (essentially just Eggs Benedict but with smoked salmon in place of the ham) or Huevos Rancheros (Google it – best hangover cure you will ever find, trust me), but this weekend I decided to keep it traditional and get myself to my nearest cosy cafe for some much-needed protein to prepare for the heavy weekend ahead. Continue reading Eggs Benedict: It’s all in the small details…

Modern Communcation: Where you say what you mean, but does it mean what you say?

Scrabble wordI’m very glad to have English as my mother tongue; I think it’s one of the most versatile, diverse and exciting languages in the world. I love using puns and double entendres, using needlessly flouncy words and just generally playing with words and meaning. Speaking a couple of other languages also gives me an added appreciation of linguistics and the need to be articulate and precise in the way I communicate. Recently, I’ve been finding it very interesting the way that the rise of digital communication is affecting all of this. Continue reading Modern Communcation: Where you say what you mean, but does it mean what you say?

Hej, Hotdogs, Hygge! 4 days in Copenhagen

As I’ve said elsewhere on this blog, I’m a bit of a Scandi fangirl. Yet despite my fervent interest in all things nordic, I’d not made a proper visit to Scandinavia in quite some time, my last visits being a day trip to Helsinki in 2010 and 4 days in Stockholm in 2003.

This time, I was determined to properly experience a part of Scandinavia, and so set my sights on the trendy and laid-back city of Copenhagen. Continue reading Hej, Hotdogs, Hygge! 4 days in Copenhagen

Music: It’s all about the context, y’all…

I read an interesting article from the imitable Stewart Lee last week, in which he commented on how the increasing availability of previously inaccessible or forgotten artists is changing the way their music is being enjoyed (you can read the article here).

With Spotify, Last.fm, Grooveshark, Soundcloud and other online music streaming sites & blogs, you can access almost any artist or song you want, in any order, at any time. There are even websites such as Musicovery which will find music to fit whatever mood you’re in. All these channels not only provide a great way for you to enjoy the music you love, but also create in roads for new artists and genres that you’d probably never have discovered otherwise. Continue reading Music: It’s all about the context, y’all…

Big Girl

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Credit: Alex Poulter

A stranger in the street today stopped me in my tracks to tell me,

“You’re a big girl. I love big girls, fair play to you.”

I immediately went from being in a peppy mood to feeling frustrated and patronised. I don’t know exactly how that man expected me to take his comment, but I certainly don’t feel buoyed by his voiced ‘support’ or his perceived right to comment on my appearance. Continue reading Big Girl

Ghostbusting in Gloucestershire

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For a good friend’s hen do, 12 of us ventured in to the Cotswolds and decided to do what any hedonistic group of twenty-somethings should on such an occasion – we went on a ghost tour. In an old man’s house. In the middle of the night.

The Ancient Ram Inn in Wooton-Under-Edge is notorious among fans of the supernatural for allegedly being the most haunted place in England. Quite the statement; we have a lot of old, creepy buildings here. We arrived there at 9pm and met our guides from Haunted Evenings, who we would be entrusting with introducing us to all things spooky and paranormal. When we arrived, we were greeted with 4 boxes of wine – one of which was already empty – and 3 half-cut Ghost Hunters. Continue reading Ghostbusting in Gloucestershire

The Rules: How to take the fun out of dating

Romance 'n' stuff: This could be YOU.
Romance ‘n’ stuff: This could be YOU.

“The course of true love never did run smooth.” as bardy smartypants William Shakespeare once said. Fear not if you’re single in this day and age however, as there is now a multitude of literature and websites to help steer you through the murky waters of singledom.

Now that our elders have unhelpfully done away with betrothing us from birth or palming off their daughters to the highest bidder, it’s down to us to seek out our fame and fortune in the big bad world; and make no mistake, the dating world is as bad as they get; that is, if you disregard places like downtown Johannesburg, or Walkabout on a Friday night. Just how does one find their ideal match now that we’ve expanded our tribes from villages of tens to conurbations of millions? Continue reading The Rules: How to take the fun out of dating

3 Ways To Ruin My Favourite Songs…

I’m not usually a possessive person when it comes to music. I don’t mind duets, remixes or covers, as long as they’re done well, with some integrity and respect to the original song.

Now. That said, sometimes people do terrible things to songs that I love, and it makes me cross. Here are some recent examples, so that if you happen to be a creator of music I like, you literally have no reason to screw things up. Continue reading 3 Ways To Ruin My Favourite Songs…

What a difference, a name makes…

Last night I went to see Father John Misty perform at the Thekla in Bristol. I first saw him 3 years ago at End of the Road Festival when he was still performing under his real name, Josh Tillman.

That first performance was pleasant enough; thoughtful, humble and slightly haunting acoustic folk from a beardy, demure man. I only knew him as the drummer from Fleet Foxes back then and didn’t think much more about him after his set at the festival – it was a nice way to pass half an hour  and nothing more (incidentally, you should definitely check out End of the Road Festival if you get a chance, some of the best live music experiences of my life have been there, and I go to a lot of gigs). Continue reading What a difference, a name makes…

So so so Scandi-alous!

I’m so fickle.

DurImageing my early teens, my unashamed fandom for Hanson (no sniggering in the back) gave me an obsessive (or as I liked to say, “Dedicated”) love for all things American. I memorised all of the states and their capitals, I started watching NBA and I developed an irrational craving for over-sweetened and flavourless snacks like Twinkies and Hershey bars. Continue reading So so so Scandi-alous!

Why I love…Ibiza

Ah, Ibiza. Also known as Eivissa, the most hedonistic  Balearic Island, The White Island, or the larger of the Pitiüses (to about 4 people). I first went to Ibiza with my family when I was 14, and I’ve been back almost every year since.

At my first job in Ibiza, July 2004

I lived there for 7 months in 2004 – it was the first place I chose to move to once I decided to move out of home for the first time. I was only 18 and absolutely terrified, but it ‘s still the best decision I’ve ever made – most of my favourite memories and the qualities I like most in myself I can attribute back to what I learnt that summer. I’ve been there with most of my close friends at one point or another, and I still have many good friends on the island – I can’t imagine a place that will mean more to me other than London. Continue reading Why I love…Ibiza

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