A Postcard from Bangkok: First Impressions

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Travels in Myanmar

Bad Travel Day

A Bad Travel Day

*Please don’t read if you have an aversion to toilet humour* So yesterday I told you all that I’d had a bad day, but a serious hotel review didn’t seem like quite the right place to write about it. So here is the full story, in all its disgusting, squat toilet glory. It’s embarrassing, up there with this one, but I think it’s important not just share the sitting watching the sunset side of travel,…

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Alamanda Inn, Yangon: A Boutique Hotel Review

I’d had a bad couple of days. I’ll tell you about it in another blog post so as to separate out the toilet humour from the serious business of a hotel review, but for now it is enough to know that I had reason to treat myself. I should probably clarify here that I am by no means ‘slumming’ it on this trip. Pretty much every place I have stayed at I would clarify as…

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On the importance of pootling: Bagan, Myanmar

Pootle. It’s a good word isn’t it? It’s nice to say; it feels good in the mouth. And it’s an even better activity to do: To travel, or ramble, in a leisurely or indirect manner. It’s something I’ve really forced myself to do more of on this trip. I’ll put my hand up, I can be a bit of a guidebook obsessive. Before I get to a place I’ll read the relevant section in my…

A Postcard from Myanmar: First Impressions

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London Supper Clubs

Madalines at The London Foodie's Japanese Supper Club

The London Foodie’s Japanese Supper Club

Whenever London supper clubs are discussed among the food-enthusiastic someone always asks, in a reverential whispered tone: ‘Have you been to the London Foodie’s Japanese one yet?’ (It’s always ‘yet’, because you can’t be a London-based self-declared foodie and not heard of it and desperately want to go, if not actually been). And until last week I had to reply through gritted teeth, ‘no, not yet’. I hate being the one who hasn’t been to the…

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Sabrina Ghayour’s Persiana supper club

I’m writing this from my parents’ kitchen in North Norfolk, looking out over the river, my nose occasionally pricking up as a waft of the beginnings of a meal cooked from Sabrina Ghayour’s Persiana floats in my direction. I went to her supper club last week, and, as I have been a particularly bad daughter this spring, forgetting both Mothers’ Day, and, even worse, my Dad’s birthday (in my defense I was at a wedding, although how…

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Malaysian Nyona Supper Club

One evening back in January, I was sitting quietly writing in my room when Jen came in: “Dude, I think we went to school with one of the guys on The Taste” “No way. Seriously? Are you sure?” I went downstairs to find the TV paused on a guy’s face I definitely recognised – Guan’s. I (obviously) tweeted this, he saw and got in touch to say he remembered me too. I watched the rest of…

London Street Food

Bite Street Food Market

Bite Street Food Market

If you chat to anyone about London street food certain names are bound to crop up: Kerb, Street Feast, Broadway and Maltby are the headliners. Yet while they might be the ones attracting attention, for me the surest sign of the rude health of London’s scene is the number of smaller markets popping up in their wake; meaning you are never too far away from a delicious lunch!

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Eating London: A Food Tour of London’s East End

You know what really gets my goat? People who say they’ve ‘done’ a city. On my way to Copenhagen last year I sat next to two American students on the flight, whose conversation quickly turned into a competition over how many European cities they had each ‘done’. I sat quietly, biting my tongue, until one advised the other to only spend 24 hours, ‘if that’, in Venice. What? 24 hours? In a city stuffed to…

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City Pantry’s Westival: a new street food festival.

There’s a new street food market in town, and this time there’s no need to schelp all the way out to Dalston and stand in a disused, graffiti-covered car park, in order to sample its delights. Street food has finally made its way west of Old Street, all the way west in fact to Kensington. Yep, Kensington, the land of white-linen-clothed tables and waistcoat-wearing waiters, has finally got its own street food market. City Pantry,…

Everything Else

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A Postcard from Bangkok: First Impressions

I love it. Like proper butterflies-in-the-stomach dreamy-look-in-the-eyes love it. When I told people about going travelling and blogging quite a few said “so what are you going to do about the name of your blog?”, and I did think for quite a long time about changing it. Yet aside from the hassle involved in this, and the potential stat-loss, I also felt that while what I was doing was going to change, who I was…

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I’m going travelling. Gulp.

I’m going travelling. Indefinitely. As in I have no idea when I will be back. Maybe a month. Maybe two. More likely twelve at the very least. I’m going to travel until I stop enjoying it or I run out of money. Whichever comes first. Oh, and I leave tomorrow. While it’s been in the pipeline since the Summer, it only became an actual feasible, this-is-going-to-happen plan just before Christmas when I finally exchanged on…

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How to Enjoy Travelling Solo

Travelling solo had always been something I’d wanted to do, but rather like climbing Kilimanjaro, running a marathon or learning how to change a fuse, I had repeatedly filed it away under ‘sometime in the future’. I have enough friends who like going away as much I do, I’ve only ever had to decide where I want to go, ask a few people, and found myself with a travel buddy. So if I hadn’t been…

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My Most Embarrassing Travel Moment: The Bus to Kota

I needed to pee almost as soon as I left our Bundi guesthouse. Having spent most of the day before walking around in the blazing sunshine I’d been wary of keeping hydrated, and drank a lot of water the night before, and that morning; downing a couple of lassis and a big jug of water about an hour before. The tuk-tuk ride to the bus station was bearable, but I knew as soon as I…

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Pepparkakor

On Pepparkakor Biscuits: Celebrating the Festive Season Travel Link-up

So this is my very first travel link-up post, and I’ve somehow managed to make it not even vaguely related to travel. Oh dear. I’m sorry girls, please let me come back next month. I’ll bring a bottle of gin. The problem is that the subject of this month’s link-up is ‘Celebrating the Festive Season’ and up to this point, I have only spent one Christmas away from home. It was a couple of years…

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Salmon

A Christmas Gift Guide for Foodies

Urgh. Foodie. God I hate that word. It’s just so ugly sounding. I try to avoid using it as much as possible, but sometimes it’s just unavoidable, because what other word is there? Food-obsessed sounds like you stalk your brioche before eating it; gourmet is just plain wanky; and food-lover, well everyone loves food don’t they? Have you ever heard anyone say ‘food? Oh no, I hate that’. I haven’t.

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How to Spend Not Enough Time in Frankfurt

A few weeks ago I went to Frankfurt with work. It was for the Book Fair which is, incidentally, the largest in the world. I was there for just one night, flying out early Wednesday morning and then home late Thursday night. With back-to-back meetings in the ridiculously large exhibition centre, Messe, (there are airport style travellators to get people from A to B, via C and M), I did not have nearly enough time to…

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Restaurant Review: Picture

Butternut squash. Cavolo Nero. Pheasant. Cinnamon. Crumbles. Custard. Crumbles with custard. Autumn is my favourite season and not just because of the food. Rows of neatly folded knitwear on shop shelves. That first punch of cold, crisp air when you leave the house in the morning. The crunch of leaves underfoot, and the riot of colour overhead. Crackling fires with chestnuts roasting in their midst. Pink cheeks after a long walk. Fireworks. New leather boots….

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Donostia Social Club’s kitchen residency at The King and Co, Clapham

Why do people who live in Clapham think that Clapham is the centre of London? No wait, the centre of the universe? Do all maps suddenly shift a couple of miles south when you sign a tenancy agreement? I’ve had a few friends live in Clapham (thankfully they’ve all since seen the error of their ways, and moved on), and whenever it came to discussing plans to meet they would suggest we (me and my…

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A baking masterclass with Eric Lanlard, Cake Boy, and a recipe for Mini Red Velvet Cakes with White Chocolate Frosting

It is no secret that baking and I do not have the easiest of relationships. I love it, it just doesn’t love me. I wish it wasn’t this way. I want nothing more than to be able to whip up a batch of chocolate chip cookies at the shortest of notices. I want to be able to invite Martha from across the road over for a cup of tea and a slice of something fruity,…

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Blitz Party

The Blitz Party

I meet him on the street outside. I spot his hat first, set at a jaunty angle, as he emerges through the gloom. We walk in, past the sandbags, and down into the cavernous space below. Union jack bunting is strung between the arches. The women are wearing tea dresses and seamed stockings, lips painted bright red and hair carefully pulled into victory rolls. The men are in braces and caps, or military uniform. We…

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Where to Go on a Tinder First Date in London

I first drafted this post back in January when EVERYONE was chatting about Tinder. Even the Guardian ran an article on it, which in the words of one of my dates made it ‘like totally legit’. Nine months later and, according to The Debrief at least, the app has already lost its mojo. Yet while I can see their point (one of my girl friends said to me recently: ‘I think I’ve swiped left on…

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