Book Review: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice & Virtue – M. Lee

“The queer teen historical you didn’t know was missing from your life.” (Teen Vogue)

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When I started this book it was not at all what I expected it to be.

I have to thank Majelle again for leaving me yet another shiner of a book when she left from the UK and couldn’t take all her books back to Canada with her. Best believe they came to a good home that enjoyed them.

To summarise;

Monty heads off on his Europe Tour after finishing school, his sister Felicity will go to a boarding school in France en route, and he shall return to help his father run his estate and other things accordingly as a Lord should. Crushing hard on his companion Percy, things are not quite as easy as the three of them think it is going to be on this trip that’s for sure.

With endless adventure, illness, excitement, love and horror I’d say this story had me too immersed for my own good. I have a lot to say about this book.

Firstly, how well written the characters were;

How they acted and spoke really made you feel close to the three of them, Monty, Percy and Felicity on their adventures. So much so that the sequel which follows Felicity, The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy’, is well and truly on my ‘to read list on Goodreads and my to buy’ list on Amazon. 

I felt like Felicity was so badass but SO looked down upon for being a woman, naturally in those days. Every time she came through in the book my mind was screaming: YES GIRL GET IT’She had sass, smarts and her wits about her. She was a great character who I thoroughly enjoyed the most.

Monty to me was a bit like a wet flannel to start and I didn’t originally like him. Written phenomenally as he was supposed to come across as the rich boy who loved to drink and fuck his life away and moaned at everything; which he totally did BUT I ADORE HIS CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT!! It’s absolutely wonderful coming to the end of the story.

Although Percy is one of the main characters he was the one I felt least connected too. Shy and discriminated against, his character was naturally quite quiet and incredibly self aware, the best and driest sense of humour and some common sense too! He came out with a few crackers which got me liking him more and near the end of the book had me sobbing a plenty due to this growing like for him!

Secondly, wow, some particularly good stand out points for me; 

This book was full of adventures and although slightly predictable still had me sat biting my nails as I read wanting to know what and where we going to go next! Being set in the Victorian era was a real reminder of the ways they used to travel around in those days. I’m mortified of boats so the fact these lost (but only slightly), excitable teens did all of their journeys via boat or horse and carriage would be the adventure and excitement in itself for me. 

The era it was written also shows the take on relationships back then, how difficult it must have been for young men and women to be gay which also hinders them from being themselves at heart. It really shows the hardships and strains on family relationships but also highlights how far we’ve come since then in a really heartwarming way. 

I love how a lot of the main storyline adventures are based around the 3 of them being cheeky and Monty taking something he shouldn’t have. God forbid how boring their Europe Tour would have been if not, I guess these things happened for a reason, right? DUH.

Finally it also made me realise and remember being taught about how difficult it was to treat illness back then! We are incredibly lucky. I really rate M. Lee’s absolute consistency in being able to make sure us as readers don’t forget wha era we are in, some authors really struggle to keep that maintained and I find in previous books based in these Victorian or ‘olden scale era’s’ I would tend to forget, but not this time!!! Really impressed and it wasn’t an annoying reminder either.

Thirdly, IS THIS HOW TRAVELLING EUROPE BECAME A THING? HAS IT BEEN A THING FOR THAT LONG?  ITS AWESOME.

I guess our version of A Europe tour is finishing university or school and Inter-railing Europe, travelling around Australia and New Zealand. Or America. Or Asia. The list goes on. But to have it known as a tour and be chaperoned, GOD FORBID MY PARENTS GOT SOMEONE TO CHAPERONE MY TRAVELS. I wouldn’t go (Sorry fam if you’re reading this).

Its still very much a thing to this day which is pretty cool to know that they even then when ‘on tour’ meant an old fashioned way of inter-railing. I doubt if I went it would be as action packed and wouldn’t take us 3 weeks to get from France to Venice by boat. And hopefully my parents wouldn’t send someone to breathe down the back of my neck.

All in all this book really impressed me with its adventures, the era it is based in and the romance, I highly recommend!

4/5

(Not quite up there as my standards are too high, but still pretty up there).

J x

Iceland – The Full Video

So after a year of life and editing every now and then, finally an Iceland film roll was born…

With the help of my wonderful man Brad we put together this wonderful video of me and my friend Jess and all that we did in Iceland, 2018!

It was a really amazing trip, we did so much in such a short time and it was a great laugh with Jess, I will never forget the experience so you can find the video in the link below!

I am going to start posting film rolls of my trips whenever I go away so next up will be Norway and then Sri Lanka when I get back! It won’t be frequently updated but you’re welcome to subscribe to the channel if you wish to see what is to come!

Enjoy & Let me know what you think!

Music: Intrinsic / Odd Mob & Loving Life / Rationale (Frankie Rizardo Remix).

Budapest’s Beautiful & Creative Street Art

All throughout the streets of Budapest are some of the most beautiful pieces of art I really have ever seen painted on the side of buildings! 

The aim of the Budapest street art was too ensure that the rejuvenation of their streets was successful in making the area more welcoming and also spruce it up a bit, making it more lively.

I wish I had taken a day to do the map but they offer a map of Budapest and all of its street art and where in Budapest you can find them! IF YOU GET THE CHANCE, DO IT because some of the pieces are really really beautiful and impressive!

So I’m not going to talk much more in this post, My favourite piece of street art I will post at the top, after that I will leave you to scroll through the photos of the art and appreciate it!

LET ME KNOW WHICH ONE IS YOUR FAVOURITE!


This Piece is my favourite, I will very much be getting her tattooed onto my leg, sorry family! 

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Here are some of the other pieces of art that we saw dotted around the spectacular city!

Let me know what your favourite piece is.

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Stay tuned!

J x

Our Flying Visit to Bath, Somerset!

Me and Brad took a trip down to Bath in Somerset! We had never been but it was on the list and especially because two of our really close friends, Ben & Milly, have just moved to Bath we thought we have to go!

So we landed from Budapest Friday and jumped in the car Saturday afternoon! It was about a two and a half hour journey with a stop on the way because sometimes I get hangry. The views on the drive were something I was not expecting. I knew it was hilly but Jesus the size of the hill we come up and then come down the other side of to get into bath was a struggle for Brads lil Seat car. We then with only 5 minutes till we arrived had no idea where we were going as BOTH of our sat navs had died, so we THEN had to find somewhere to charge our phones.

IMG_20180901_191004.jpgEVENTUALLY we made it to Bath! The guys had the cutest lil house its crazy when all your pals start adulting in some way! So from their cutest little house its only a 5-10 minute bus ride into the centre of Bath so we decided to head for some dinner.

As jumped off the bus there was a pathway into a shopping area and the entire walkway was just shrouded with flowers hanging down above us as we walked! It was so beautiful. That was also when I started to realise the architecture of this beautiful city. The buildings are all so old fashioned but all positioned so perfectly and its so CLEAN. I loved it.

IMG_20180901_191037.jpgWe went to a restaurant called ‘The Black Fox Pub‘, it had a really small food menu but a really big bar menu that the boys had to come back to the table to tell us they didn’t understand. We managed to somehow order anyway! After a wine and sausages and mash later we headed to a bar called the Cork Bar. It was the funkiest bar with records all over the walls and inside the toilet on the back of the stall doors it was just a wall of memes to amuse yourself with on the toilet! We ended up getting worse for wear, heading back to the house and carried on the party!

The next morning the aim was to get up early and go into Bath! But when the boys bedtime ended up being 6am, we left the house at 1pm with 3 hours to sight-see before we headed off! We hopped off the bus by the Bath Thermal Pools but alas we didn’t have time for it this time and headed on to Shakeaway instead. Because when you’re feeling like dirt (the boys anyway) or want something refreshing what more can you want than an ice cold milkshake yes PLEASE.IMG_20180902_135101.jpg

So we headed off on our mini Bath adventure with Milly and Benzo as out tour guides, but mainly Milly whilst Ben died a slow and painful death. It was quiet literally a walking tour of Bath. As we wondered through the streets we came across The Pump Rooms! All I could think about was when I was back in high school and we performed a piece which was based in The Pump Rooms of Bath in the Victorian Times, brought back a lot of good memories so it felt really good to be able to visit. Next time hopefully we will be able to go inside!

IMG_20180902_135324.jpgAs we kept on wondering through we passed by The Abbey! The beautiful church/cathedral in the centre literally just next to The Pump Rooms, although it was a shame as we couldn’t get a good look at it as it is under construction but it was beautiful none the less. Churches and Abbeys always are! After a little meander behind The Abbey we came across The Parade Garden, although it was only a brief walk by it looked very colorful and like you could just relax with a paper between the flowers!

Pulteney Bridge was the main thing on the agenda and it was great. The Bridge and Weir have been there for years and years so it was great to see and again such beautiful architecture for the city! The bridge was created in the 1700s and is also a Grade 1 listed building, so its pretty important and looks it as well.

Once we had wondered past Pulteney Bridge and Weir we headed into the Bartlett Quarter! But not before seeing the Walcot street art they had on display! A beautiful red ember woodland scene up on the street, it was amazing!

IMG_20180902_140918.jpgAfter we had a good nose at that we headed into the Bartlett Quarter. The Bartlett Quarter was home to The Assembly rooms! Another building that was used in our drama performance back when I was younger, so even to visit The Assembly rooms was wonderful.

IMG_20180902_141647.jpgAlthough next time we will definitely go inside, I want to go inside The Assembley rooms, The Thermal Spa’s AND the Pump Rooms! as we kept wondering the one place Milly really wanted us to see was The Kings Circus. It was pretty awesome, a circle of buildings all around a small roundabout with threes in the middle in the centre of Bath, it was a marvel for what it was. I couldn’t even begin to imagine the cost of the houses to live there.

We then headed down Gay Street and just off of Gay Street found Hall & Woodhouse! We originally thought we may be able to get something to eat here but we were considerably wrong. It was a rather fancy place and as we visited on a sunday they ONLY did Sunday dinner! Which is great when you’re not 4 broke students. 4 pints of coke and a quiet sit down after all being tired and hungover, we headed on back home!

Nachos were devoured and goodbyes were said about 2 hours after we got back, It was sad to say bye but we shall all see each other soon I have SO MUCH I want to do still, so we shall be back!

Bath, Somerset, It was a pleasure.

 

The Budapest Bucket List

So Naturally even though I’m not going to Budapest until August, I wanted at least a brief overview of some of the things I wanna see and do!

SUGGESTIONS WELCOME!!!!

I feel like the list is already pretty long but if you all know any places I have missed off then that would be amazing, I’m there for 10 whole days, so that is a lot of sight seeing to get done.
I’m really into the architecture in Budapest because it looks absolutely marvellous and so beautifully done. My wonderful friend Sophie has just been to Budapest and all her photos look amazing and she sounded like she had the best time so its giving me the anticipation I need! I get the feeling its going to be a very aesthetically pleasing visit and this makes me happy. Apparently you can smoke in the bars as well (this matters to me because I smoke like a chimney).

Any Recommendations regarding food and bars and drinks as well would be really appreciated! I don’t want to elaborate on too much about the places I’ve got on the list already because I will talk about them plenty when the time finally comes to go to Budapest!

So here are some of the wonderful things I want to see and do;

  • Buda Castle – Currenty houses the National Gallery in a very beautiful building.
  • Fisherman’s Bastion – A 19th century Fortress!
  • Hungarian Parliament Building – Explains itself really but apparently the building is one of the more beautiful ones to see.
  • Szechenyl thermal bathI’ll be heading here for definite as I’m going to Budafest, so one of their parties is the Spa Parties! Which is held in the beautiful and yellow coloured heated spa facilities!
  • Matthias Church – More gorgeous architecture.
  • St Stephens Basillica – Roman Catholic Place of worship!
  • Chain Bridge – 19th Century landmark and suspended bridge.
  • Hosok tere – Part of the UNESCO world Heritage sites! With statues of the 7 tribes who founded Hungary! Also smetimes know as Hero’s Square!
  • Margaret Island – A Really lovely Park between Buda and Pest!
  • Great Market Hall – A small shopping mall! Souvenirs on the 1st floor and food on the bottom!
  • Gellert Hill – 235m Hill overlooking the Danube!
  • Vajdahunyad Castle – The evolution of Hungarian Architecture in on castle!
  • City Park – A huge park to relax and plenty to see inside as well i’m sure!
  • Liberty Bridge Connects Buda and Pest!
  • House of TerrorA museum on the nazi and soveit reign! I love things like this, its so historical and moving, really catches my interest. I adore dark tourism.
  • Citadel – This building is the symbol of the city!
  • Shoes on the Danube – A memorial for those who were killed at the river by a fascist party in the holocaust time.
  • Budapest Zoo & Botanical Garden – Says it all really! A gorgeous Garden and A zoo!! Whats more fun than that!!
  • Gellert Hill Cave – Before a monastery, now a grotto chapel in the mountain!
  • BudafestTHE BEST DAYS EVERRRRRRRRRRRR, A 3 day festival where some of my favourite artists are performing, one part of the party is even in the thermal spa! Its going to be an awesome, cheap and fun few days!

My London Bucket List – Part 9, My FIRST Art Gallery/Exhibition!

This was an incredibly interesting day, my first art gallery!

(The first of many to come)

My friend from work, Anastasia, is incredibly cultured in the arts and knows her stuff!

So naturally when we were talking about art I was a little bewildered, but she knew what was what, so of course the right person to take me to an art gallery was going to be Ana!

So I ventured to Waterloo station for the first time to meet Ana, FYI, the station itself is absolutely fucking huge and we couldn’t find each other for at least 10 minutes.

Once we met (eventually) we wandered over to Southbank where we went to the Hayward Gallery, there we went into the Andreas Gursky Exhibition!

Now as a person who has never experienced art or an art gallery generally, it was a very wonderful experience. I found it really calm and quiet, with space to think it was really peaceful.

The Gursky exhibition is photographs by Andreas Gursky in which he captures ‘the pure joy of seeing’ and reflect the nature of image-making and ‘the limits of human perception’. It features over 60 pieces of his photography and if I do say so myself some of the are incredibly fascinating and a marvel to look at.

Of course having Ana with me quietly telling me little bits about pieces of art/photography I found it more and more fascinating.

The pieces in the exhibition were really busy and interesting to look at, they’re eye catching and really get you gripped, you want to look closer so you can find out more of what is happening in the pictures.

Of course upon arrival you’re given a small booklet with more information on the gallery and the exhibition itself so its really helpful to have with you when you’re walking around because it informs you on the background of most pieces in the gallery, the reason and the meaning behind it.

I would highly recommend this exhibition although is only at the Hayward Gallery until the 22nd of April 2018! So If you wanna go, GO SOON!!

I personally found it very helpful to have with me, so I’ve kept it and stuck it in my scrapbook to keep! I’ve even got the entry tickets up on my wall.

The exhibition really opened my eyes to the happiness, joy and peacefulness that comes with art, photography, galleries and exhibitions. I even purchased a book called ‘How art can make you happy’ to help me understand it more, its almost like a beginners book for understanding the art and galleries, and its really helpful!

After a nice hour wondering through the gallery we headed to a really nice cafe which was in the Farringdon area called The Catalyst, another recommendation from Ana, and a good one at that.

We meandered along the Thames from the Gallery before we visited the cafe, along Southwark, and it was wonderful. I love seeing the city and going to places I have never IMG_1483seen before, so the day was really exciting and something new for me. The Catalyst Cafe was a really lovely place. With white walls and furniture, its very minimalistic and really cosy! A great place to relax afterwards.

 

Does a really nice cuppa tea and brownie too, its really well priced (plus the boys who were behind the counter that day are something I certainly can’t complain about #ohmy).

My first gallery really was a day I will always remember, and a big thanks to Ana for showing me how wonderful art and photography really is!

 

Here are some more pictures from our day! Enjoy!

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My London Bucket List – Part 5, Winter Wonderland & NYD!!

Naturally I’ve been incredibly late with my bucket list posts purely because I’ve been to Iceland so apologies!

I am back and I have about 4-5 London Bucket list posts to do for you lot so don’t worry!


So Brad and I headed out on the 5th of November, Bonfire Night, to Wembley!

Just moving to London meant that we weren’t sure what was happening for bonfire night anywhere! But I love fireworks so naturally I wanted to do something.

I was at work on shift until 6pm which is always a nice bonus as I’m always usually working late. The Lobby of the hotel is all glass so I could see a commotion outside and it made me wonder if Wembley Park did its own fireworks!

Lowe and behold, they did!! What could be better than watching fireworks over Wembley Stadium? I actually managed to somehow speak to the organiser of the fireworks which was a nice touch and he confirmed with me that at 7pm there would be SOMETHING which was better than nothing.

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So I called my man and he met me in Wembley where we watched the street entertainment that was also there consisting of light up men with drums and their funky dance routines! It was awesome to watch them dance and play back and forth.

I didn’t stray to far from work as We headed up to the 9th floor Sky Bar on the top of the hotel! So up to the 9th floor for the view of the fireworks and the stadium! What could be better!? It really was something lovely, so if you ever find yourself in Wembley on Bonfire Night head to the Hilton!


Now New Years for me this year was nothing shy of awesome which makes a drastic change to my New Years last year which was absolutely horrendous. 

New years eve we just stayed in drinking and chilling out at a friends flat in central London which was lovely and relaxing after Brad and I got back from Winter Wonderland (which is written below!), it was also so nice to have New Years of work as typically I was working Christmas Eve, Day and Boxing day.  

It was New Years Day that the party really started.

Tobacco Docks. 

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There was an absolutely huge all day rave at Tobacco Docks in London, and I had never been to Tobacco Docks before, so why not?

The Line up was pure Techno and House starting at 12:30pm and ending at 10:30pm, We arrived at about 4pm and what I didn’t realise was the size of the Venue.

Tobacco Docks is unreal. There were 2 floors and at least 3 different rooms all with different types of music. The main room was pure deep techno house, There was a second room just across the way from this room where the music was a lot more upbeat, and then there was The Car Park, because it was quite literally in the car park beneath the venue.

The Car Park was the filthiest room with the best music, it was unbearable warm but with a baseline and music like that, I couldn’t care less.

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When you match your phone case.

We ended up leaving at 10, so even though we arrived after the start time I’d say we stuck it out for a pretty decent amount of time.

Plus there is NOTHING better than being wasted on the tube, its like a whole new comical experience. The rest of the evening was spent with more drinks and eventually ending the night at 2am.

I had work the following day and was a shell of a woman I’m sure you can imagine but I would absolutely one hundred percent go back there for another event hands down. You wouldn’t even need to ask me. 


New Years Day was spent at Winter Wonderland with my man!

Now they upped the game of Winter Wonderland this year as there was even more security and even more queues to get in. But it was just as wonderful although if you go without booking anything or not really taking any money then its an interesting one.

We didn’t have a game plan, I just knew I wanted Mould Wine and Something festive. So the two of us queued up before being bag searched, and then we were all systems go! 

Naturally I was straight for the booze, My wine kept my hands warm as we had a wonder around the entirety of winter wonderland. Because but didn’t actually book anything, nor did we have any change, we couldn’t really go on anything, but the rides all looked awesome and so did all the German sausage stalls, entertainment and the music was so festive!

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(Sorry Brad)

 

We sat down in a German Drinking Area and ate some Churros with hot chocolate to dip it into, it was lovely and although by the end of the day I was freezing it was enjoyable.

We watched people Ice skating as we hadn’t booked and It really does make you realise if you don’t book it is very very limited on things to do. Of course there are rides which you don’t have to book for but everything else like Santa’s Grotto and Ice Skating was all pre-booked!

You live and you learn,

Guess that means I’ll have to go again next year! What a Shame!

 

 

 

My London Bucket List – Part 4: The X Factor Finals, Two 21st’s & Wishing I was Spanish

Hello and welcome to PART 4 of My London Bucket List!

This post is based on lot on heading out, please don’t judge me on my drinking habits (Jokes I don’t have any because I’m broke). So one day before i stepped into work I noticed the X Factor were at the SSE Arena in Wembley, Well I say I noticed but you couldn’t miss it! Extravagant people all singing and dancing, being interviewed and just generally warming up for Boot Camp auditions! Now the X Factor is sponsored by Just Eat, the magical food takeaway company, and of course Just Eat were outside the SSE Arena with a ‘Spin the Wheel’ and win game, so of course as I was bored before work, why not? Typically I spun the wheel, and managed to win two tickets to the final!

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So December 3rd rolls around and My Younger sister and I are off to enjoy the night! We stayed in the Hilton Canary Wharf. Its a very business orientated hotel but it was incredibly accommodating. We stayed in a comfy twin room, en suite and all other hotel comforts and it was lovely, we ordered room service desserts (of course) after the show and they were gorgeous and did not take long to get delivered either! I’d highly recommend the Hilton Canary Wharf to anyone staying in that area or nearby as my sister and I were heading to the Excel Arena!

So to the Excel Exhibition centre we went, The Excel is an incredibly huge building used for shows, presentations, conventions and of course the obvious, exhibitions of all sorts, so it is a large building indeed. But with perfect transport links arriving on the DLR at the Prince Regent stop, its really not difficult to get too at all, depending on which way you’re coming from you may even get to see the O2 Arena on your way!

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Once we arrived we were ushered to a ‘Pize Winner’ queue which felt pretty fancy. We were given our tickets with our seat number and row and send off into a Just Eat area with food, they took photos of you as you arrived with the X Factor background behind you, almost like a mini red carpet! There were lots of you typical corny X Factor photo booths and cheesy music, it was set up with park benches and a bit of fake grass, it was funky but we didn’t stick around for long before we went off to get a proper burger! FYI, I couldn’t tell you where I got it from, but it was amazing.

24312605_10210104814128715_8857701371266376113_nOnce being told at 16:50pm that the doors had opened and we could start queuing we were like Hell yes as we’d been waiting around for hours now, only to get in the queue and wait until 18:30pm. But it was absolutely worth the wait because the show was amazing and our seats really weren’t all that bad at all! Not only that but we got to see Little Mix, P!nk and Sam Smith perform live and watch Rak Su win the finals! (Sorry if I ruined it for anyone!).

Although I’ve never been a fan of the X Factor it was really enjoyable, and the Excel is an incredible building, so if you ever get the chance to see both either at the same time or separately, don’t hesitate!

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I’m at the age now where myself and a lot of my first are turning the wonderful 21 years old, Now legal and able to drink in America, how exciting. But turning 21 means a large session is at hand. My first 21st was a big one, Maddie’s 21st. I’m almost certain we 24312483_10210104807688554_7886318755466502035_nwere just going to wing it around London and just see where we ended up. We started at a friend (Mason’s, I’ve mentioned him before as a wonderful tour guide, sorry mase), And then headed to Old Street in London.

Now we had absolutely no plan at this rate. It was amazing. We started in The Craft Beer Co. literally nearby Old Street station, the atmosphere was great and it was relatively cheap as well consider how central we were! After consuming a few drinks and listening to some ultimate cheese music we then headed a little further down the road to a Bar/Club called Floripa! MY GOD was it expensive, £10 entry into this Brazilian themed club, but the vibe was amazing, the drinks were flowing and of course there was good music too! I paid £21 for two doubles, boy do I miss uni prices of £2.50 doubles at Superbull every Friday!! But the place was super cool, all summer themed with Floripa up on the wall with bright bulbs and a large dance floor that was absolutely packed out!

It was a good night that did end with being superglue’d out of masons flat due to his neighbours not liking how loud we were BEFORE the noise curfew of 11pm. 11pm may I add is when you should stop being too loud or noisy in a residential area in the UK. 11pm – 7am are the exact time. So we left at around half 10, to come back to a superglue’d door and no way of entry from 3am, to 5am. It was a pa-larva and a half but it was a great night none the less!

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My second 21st was in Watford for my wonderful friend Shannon, she was 21, we hit up Watford town and headed to Pryzm, a massive nightclub in the centre of Watford. With 2 floors with different music and a funky rooftop smoking area, the music is a main factor as it is amazing. Mixed with your typical chart music and house music that you’d hear in Ibiza it was a crazy night being picked up in a LIMO.

The best part of the night wasn’t just celebrating with Shannon but the fact that I also got to see some of my university friends, its nice to see them in/outside London and not in Lincoln for once! It was a really fun night, and Pryzm in Watford, for £7 entry, is where it’s at on a Friday night! Compared to Floripa where I paid that £21 for doubles I paid £6 for a double in Pryzm! I dont understand clubs sometimes but then Watford isn’t as central as Old Street in London!

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Now I saved the best for last! My wonderful friend Miriam turned 21 back in October and as she is from Spain it made perfect sense to go to the Spanish night they have at the club Tiger Tiger in Piccadilly, London! I went out with Miriam, Carlos who is also spanish, Alex, and Joanna who is Portuguese! There were a few more of us as well all to celebrate such a good night!

The club itself was huge with a large bar and dance floor as you walk in, flashing lights and what looked like a VIP Area up some stairs as you came in. The drinks weren’t too expensive, with a Double being £8-10, which isn’t so bad but also incredibly extortionate! Of course the music was your traditional and typical Spanish music, I discovered this night that I LOVE Spanish music and want to learn the Spanish Language. We discovered a second dance floor a little later on in the night and it was the best part of the whole night!

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We hit the club at about half 1 in the morning and stayed until the lights came up, I’ve never danced the way I danced in that club that night! It was phenomenal, it wasn’t just your boring typical trashy dancing you would see in a club, people were dancing traditionally and with partners and moving their feet and their hips like no ones business, it was an amazing place and atmosphere. When the lights came up even then the fun and singing didn’t stop as people were still dancing and singing, everyone was so merry and there were no problems at all, just like a huge family night, and it was a night I know I will never forget.

Shout out to Miriam, Carlos and Joanna for showing me how to REALLY move my hips to the wonders of Spanish music! I will be going there again one Wednesday!

 

My London Bucket List – Part 3, Brads Birthday adventures!

Our next London Adventure was a good one, it was for Brads 21st birthday!

I thoroughly enjoyed this one because I planned the wholeeeee day for Bradders and what he wanted to do in London, so I’m going to enjoy telling you about it! So we were headed to central London! Of course we started with some food as we set off around 12ish. So where else to be for that but Camden?

89We arrived and as per usual it was busy busy! It was a lovely day as well which meant we could walk about in just T-shirts, so we headed down all the different alleyways looking at the clothing stalls and smelling all the food. I went for the old school Chinese chicken and noodles, The stall I got it from was incredible, I chose it because the last time we visited Camden they gave me a sample from the stall and it was AMAZING. So of course I went back for more this time! We had a proper wonder around Camden and there are so many different stalls I want to go back and try, for example the cereal Killer shop looks incredibly cool. More reason to come back hey!

We found the main area of the market, kitted out with deck chairs on different levels and places to sit, theres a statue of Amy Winehouse as well as a memorial to her, it was really lively. But my personal favourite shop that we found was called Cyberdog. Its a ravers shop with two huge metal statues outside the front, its all luminous and loud bass line music pumping out the shop, I didn’t even realise until after we went inside the shop it has 3 FLOORS. It was crazy fun!

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93.jpgOnce we decided it was probably about time to head from Camden the next part of Brads 21st was somewhere he kept talking to me about going, so if course we headed straight over to the Imperial War Museum!

When we arrived we had a couple hours to go around the entire building, it was incredibly impressive and moving, really enjoyable and insightful too! The outside of the building had two massive gun statues placed right out in front of the building. It looked so good. As we headed up the pathway and inside the who place opened up and there was a huge open space in the middle of the museum. With the building rising up 5 floors and being able to see each display roughly from the outside of each floor from the balconies above, it was a pretty cool place. 99There were huge planes hanging from the ceiling and a number of tanks dotted around, with all these different displays of the trenches and how brutal the war was. You could see each story of WW1 & WW2 on different floors. There was a new floor that had opened also dedicated to the holocaust. It was eye opening and moving, dark tourism at its finest, with there being a model of what Auschwitz would’ve looked like from above, behind the model in glass cases were real shoes left over from those who were hoarded into the gas chambers, it was chilling.

We stayed right up until we had to leave because it was closing, it was a wonderful place, we didn’t quite manage to get all the way around, gives us an excuse to go again!

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Once the museum had closed we headed to the hotel! We’d booked in to stay in the Doubletree Hilton Docklands, right on the Thames/Docklands area of the Thames, And just opposite Canary Wharf!

It was a beautiful hotel on the water, we’d booked a king room and it was wonderful and huge, with a view of Canary Wharf and the thames one side and a skyline view the other side of the window! The beds were comfy, of course we got warm cookies upon arrival, and the en suite was so clean and fresh. Of course I wore my robe religiously around the room. Nothing better than hotel robes.

We had a lovely stay, a cracking breakfast as well, like my god did it set me up for the day. But it was nice to stay in London for a change, we were pretty close to everything we wanted to do and it didn’t take us long to get back from dinner at the Savoy to the hotel either!

One thing I wont forget was when we were heading back to the hotel from the bus stop literally 2 minutes away, there was a small park and as we were walking past, there were 3 urban foxes all fighting and playing in the middle of this park. I’d never seen anything like it, and it was so dark and quite they didn’t even see us. it was wonderful to watch and I never thought id get the chance in such a big city to see such a thing.

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109Finally, Brad and I went for a wonderful Dinner together at the Savoy Hotel in London, In Gordon Ramsey’s restaurant to celebrate Brads 21st Birthday!

It was a very fancy place, the Inside of the hotel was beautiful. It was marble floored and the bathrooms were something of royalty, yes the bathrooms were a high point, but if you’ve seen them you know they’re fancy as hell! There was a piano in the middle of their open seating and dining area, and the woman playing the piano was so talented and she had a wonderful voice.

We then headed into the restaurant, two glasses of rose and our food orders later and we were incredibly impressed. With someone to ask us what when we wanted before we ordered the wine, and incredible service and food, it was a lovely experience.

I ordered The Lamb and it melted in my mouth and the flavours were incredible, and brad ordered a Steak with Peppercorn Sauce and chips and it was cooked exactly bow he wanted it, They even put something together for Brad for his birthday which was also lovely!

After we were done we headed down to the Thames and had a little walk down to the London Eye and back before heading back to the hotel. The city lights looked so pretty from there, with St Paul’s also lit up in the background. I’d never even walked along the thames before this, so it was really nice. A wonderful way to spend such a lovely night!

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The next part of the bucket list coming soon guys, thanks for reading!

J x

 

My London Bucket List – Part 2, Notting Hill Carnival & EGG

SO HERE IT IS, INSTALLATION NUMBER 2!

(apologies for any delay)

This time on my London Bucket list we ticketed of two pretty fun and memorable things!

NOTTING HILL CARNIVAL & EGG LONDON

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Now Notts Hill Carnival was something I NEVER thought I Would be lucky enough to  experience, but I was and I was also very lucky to experience it with Brad! The atmosphere, the streets of London, the tube, the music and dancing, the drinks, it was all such a surreal experience and also so much fun!

21686502_10209590355547572_6929236103481512279_n.jpgSO we jumped on the tube to Notting Hill, of course it was absolutely rammed. Getting out of the station was like sardines in an oven. I have never seen so many people trying to get out of a station before and it was a beautiful day. Minus the 40,000 I tried to walk against going to Wembley Stadium from Wembley Park, that was difficult. Once we’d gotten out of the station there were people EVERYWHERE.

We headed over to carnival on the Sunday, prior to this someone had been idiotic enough to throw acid the day before at carnival which you may have seen in the news or paper, so there were incredible amounts of police, but it quite obviously didn’t dull the shine or traditions and general atmosphere because everyone was still enjoying themselves in the moment. No one could ruin something like this, and even if they tried, it wouldn’t work, we won’t live in fear here, its the way London is!

21617567_10209590357307616_493999236797992347_nThe build up of people was incredible, there was music coming from every direction. Once we got to all the streets and madness there were different stages down each road, I could feel the baseline in my chest as we walked the streets. We stopped at a stall and bought what I think was 10 beers for £6, trust me as you can imagine it wasn’t GOOD beer. But beer is beer at an event like this and for that price in London, anything goes. The FOOD oh god it was amazing even if it was just from a market stall, I got a Jerk Chicken skewer and it tasted incredible. It was about £8 for something rather small 21462689_10209590349547422_3538097775363721314_nthough so I did go a little bit hungry. The toilets were literally holes in the cubicle with rips in the side and everything, it was hilarious going to the loo and being able to chat to someone next door, its always enjoyable to look back at the fact I went to the toilet with the girls using the only cubicle without a door.

There was quite a lot of us so we were trying to get too Hyde Park, the main areas of the carnival, this was a huge struggle and in the end we didn’t get there, there was just so many people we were never going to make it there anyway! We ended

21558662_10209590355027559_8199868914592284400_nup on one of the end streets, dancing till our feet hurt and enjoying ourselves. There were girls dressed in their little outfits looking incredible and all different types of music, I’ve never had so many people offer me weed on the streets on London! Amsterdam sure, but London and the police literally standing by and watching? It was another level, it was like this small part of London had been completely transformed for 2-3 days.

We never actually did catch the parade, which is quite funny because it was what we went to see! When Brad and I were leaving we actually caught the end of it! It was great, the buses were pumping out their tunes an the girls dancing,  It was so incredibly and phenominally enjoyable, and it goes to show how much different cultures have moved worldwide!

Carnival is Caribbean culture, so the fact that we celebrate it here in London with happiness and laughter is really great. Its all about being a community after all! I can’t wait to come again next year, at least thats what the plan is!

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EGG London was one of the nightclubs I had on my london bucket list to go too, and when we did, It certainly did not disappoint. Its Situated in Camden and not too far a walk away from Camden Town station!

From Outside EGG looks like the dingiest club you’ve ever seen in your life, With the strictest security dawdling about outside waiting for the punters, like us, to come in! Tickets were about £6-10, but the joys of this place are that they have flash sales, so we all got out tickets for £1!!! Its a phenomenal night club.

21430608_10209590362627749_3125597419639237790_nSo once you arrive and have been frisked right down to the underneath of your bra and practically your gooch (yes, seriously), The first thing you see on your right is the KITCHEN! So apparently its called EGG for a reason, every wandered were you’re gonna get food after a night out? well in EGG the kitchen does pizza’s and all sorts whenever you’re ready to leave the club!! Apparently if you stay until morning they start serving eggs and breakfast, but I’m still yet to stay until 6am to find out! Next time!

So our first visit we spent most of it dancing away to the deep techno tunes of the basement, the club itself has 3 floors and 5 rooms/areas. Theres a large main room as you walk in, then the basement through another set of doors at the back of the main dance floor. From there its a flight of stairs and another room and some toilets, then all the way to the attic where its a huge open plan floor and a terraced smoking area. Its a pretty massive place with incredible dance, tech and house floors to enjoy! Drinks aren’t incredibly expensive either!! Which is nice considering we visited a bar in Old Street, London called Floripa and 2 doubles were £21 (funky place though)

21615991_10209590361427719_116666540737806104_nThe first visit was just a club night that we went too, the second time we visited EGG for for a proper gig! Went went to see Amine Edge and Dance live, the main gig was based in the main room of the venue and the vibes were incredible. The music was pumping and of course with two of the best DJ’S playing it was hard not to enjoy it. The funniest part was that I did the whole night sober with work the next day, and Amine Edge and Dance didn’t come on stage until 3am, so that was a tired shift later on in the day for sure.

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So this is the end of this chapter of The London Bucket List!

Plenty to talk about in the next post about My London Bucket List for sure, Brad’s birthday trip to London was a busy one!

Jessie

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