Tag Archive | food

My Poland Adventure!

Hey guys! I’m back from my week long blogging break (I have to admit, I did miss writing!) and feeling a little chilly in England again.  This is going to be photo heavy – most are my own, any others are from somebody I went with.

It was surprisingly warmer than you’d expect when you think of Poland – luckily as we did a lot of walking! Never seen so many churches in my life, there was one wherever you looked! It was amazingly cheap at the same time as seeming expensive (if that makes sense at all). The UK exchange worked out around 4.5 zlotti to a pound, so a bill for an entire meal at 200zl worked out at about £7 each! Needless to say, we drank and ate a ridiculous amount…

There was some beautiful bars, and I definitely found ‘my drink’ in one that did a cocktail called the ‘Gryffindor’. The Harry Potter nerd in me will never die!

As well as looking around the old town and market square and visiting a shopping centre, we were lucky enough to visit Aushwitz, Birkenau and the Wieliczka Salt Mine. It was a ridiculously sunny day when we visited Aushwitz and Birkenau, which felt wrong considering the atrocities which had taken place there. Even when I was there, it was unimaginable that I was standing in the actual place that so many people had died, particularly when we went into the gas chamber bunker. Almost everything there was original, not a reconstruction. I didn’t get many pictures inside out of respect, but here are some;

After this, we needed some severe cheering up so went onto some beautiful little bars around the city. We had to drag ourselves to the Salt Mine the next day, and personally I wasn’t expecting much. But I have eaten my words – it’s incredible! The amount of sculptures made of salt and the detail in them is just amazing, as well as a chapel hundreds of feet underground that you can actually get married in. If you follow my instagram, you’ll probably find a lot more pictures of that (@lauragois!)

So yeah, overall I had an amazing time – it was much prettier than I ever expected! I’ve wanted to go for a couple of years now, and am really glad I got to go with some of my good friends! 

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The Positives of Winter.

love summer. I love it being light late into the evenings. I love not having to worry about taking a jacket out. I love getting to lie in the sun. I love driving with my windows down and not having to worry about ice on the roads. I love going on walks through the woods.

If you’re in the North West (and maybe the rest of the country too?), you’ll have noticed that summer has disappeared and autumn has come in with a (freezing cold) vengeance in the last couple of days. My mood has been somewhat dampened by this, being a full time sun/heat worshiper. Given the slump in my mood, I thought I would write down some positives about winter that will make me feel better about the upcoming months! Disclaimer: all photos are my own.

1. Everywhere looks pretty.

I’m unhappy to admit that I’ve started waking up, and groaning when I see the snow. For someone who has to drive to work/uni pretty much every day, snow is a nightmare. Especially around where I live where it’s full of little country roads that turn into cunning death traps. But it makes it worth being cold when everywhere looks this pretty, and I’m going to try my best to appreciate that instead of complaining about it!

2. My Birthday/Christmas

                             

 

My birthday is November, which makes a usually dull month have something to look forward to! This year I’m 21, so hopefully am going to be planning something exciting and a little bit different! Christmas is also exciting, and buying gifts for people is one of my favourite things. TV is awesome, you get a holiday from work/uni, and you get to give and receive lovely things (can you tell I’m not religious?!)

3. Clothes and shopping

          

As much as I love summer, I have one gripe: I’m not a huge fan of summer clothes. I don’t really go for loads of floral prints and candy colours that are typically in. Winter clothes are much more my forte – dark reds are my favourite – and September/October is my favourite time to shop. Plus you can cuddle up in massive jumpers and woolly hats/scarves. Ohhh, the shops are calling! Even better when they all have their Christmas offers and displays up – perfect. Boots gift sets? Hell yes.

4. Christmas Songs/themes.

Cliche maybe? But who doesn’t love it when a bit of Slade comes on the radio? I know for a fact, when we play the Christmas CD in work, we all get much happier than usual! Ditto shops playing festive tunes. By ‘Christmas themes’, I mean little markets and stalls that spring up. Every year in Liverpool, they have a market along Church Street, and a Christmas style fair in Chavasse Park (on top of Liverpool ONE). The smell of gorgeous food wafting over while you shop – heaven.

5. Food

Continuing with this theme, winter means the arrival of Mr Kipling’s seasonal cakes: mince pies, festive chocolate cakes mmmm. Yule Log, Christmas Pudding. Special edition hot chocolates and gingerbread latte’s in Starbucks and Costa. Having a steaming hot cup with you on your walk to lectures makes you forget about the cold, just a tiny bit. And you can eat all you want because you’ll be hidden in jumpers until at least March. See below for the amount of chocolate they already have in the shops….

 

 

 

There’s quite a lot to look forward to really. It’s much more satisfying to come home to a warm house when it’s been freezing outside, and watch a Christmas special with a hot chocolate. While going dark early is a pain, it just means that the Christmas lights around town can shine for a little bit longer. And writing this has actually made me quite excited!

Do you love/hate the winter? What are your favourite parts of it?

Review: The Hub – Alehouse & Kitchen

Source Credit to the Hub Website

Only recently have I discovered this gem of a restaurant and it’s fast becoming one of my new favourite places in the city. It’s a more high end pub owned by the Bistro Qui? Ltd (many of you will have walked past Bistro Jaques: Hardman Street of the same owners) and is situated in the Casartelli building at the end of Hanover Street (around the corner from John Lewis at Liverpool ONE). The gorgeous interior makes it something a little bit different, with exposed pipes and copper pans hanging from the ceiling: it’s the perfect combination of buzzing restaurant without the prices that will make you weep.

Source Credit to the Hub Website

I’ve visited twice now – once for lunch, once for dinner – and feel it’s now my job to spread the word! It also opens for breakfast which I am very tempted to try out soon! The menu’s are varied: the lunch and dinner menus both consist of mains, lite bites/starters, pizza, cheese boards and desserts; plus there is also a children’s menu available. When I visited for lunch, it was pretty quiet and service was rapid. I ordered ‘Stuffed Potato Skins, Cheese and Bacon’ from the ‘Lite Bites’ menu (all dishes under £5, and they feature offers such as 3 dishes for £10.95). Lite bites suggests that portions will be small (especially for the price) but when they arrived – with side orders of chips and crusty bread – my friend and I were pleasantly surprised:
Safe to say, we were completely full by the time we had finished eating, and the food was excellent. The Lunch Menu also features sandwiches, pizza and a selection of mains also available in the evening. The interior of the restaurant and the friendly staff meant that the atmosphere was amazing, even at a quiet time, and the bill came to less than £10 each!

So by now, I wanted to see how dinner compared to that tasty lunch! This time, we went on a Friday evening and the place was packed out with people enjoying some after work nibbles, or having a few drinks before hitting the town. A slight hitch to the start of proceedings was handled smoothly – they hadn’t made a note of our telephone booking. However, by the time we’d ordered drinks from the crowded bar, our table was ready and the staff were apologetic.

Between us, we ordered: 2x 8oz Steak Burger (served with bacon, cheddar cheese, chips and ‘hub-slaw’, 8oz ‘Conway Valley’ Fillet Steak (with chips, tomato and field mushroom) and Salmon (with saffron rice). The food arrived without too much of a delay, given how full the restaurant was, and the burger was really lovely. I’d never had a steak burger before – and you weren’t offered a preference of how it was cooked – but I found mine was just right at medium-well done. I don’t have a picture to show you guys, but it arrived on a massive plate with a side salad and chips. The salmon was enjoyed (although he wished he’d got the burger in hindsight) but the steak probably could be improved. For £18.95, it’s the most expensive main on the menu, but it was pretty small and only came with a couple of chips and two tomatoes. Although it was great quality, a little bit more quantity probably would have been more filling for an evening meal. New drinks were offered frequently, but even with the three I was with all drinking cocktails and whiskey (booo to being designated driver, sitting left out with my cokes ! ), the total bill came to £95 between us for food for four, plus all our drinks.

Source Credit to the Hub Website

Maybe not somewhere to visit frequently when you’re running low on money, but if you’re in need of a little treat or celebration I would urge you to get down to The Hub. It’s perfect for birthday drinks (especially if you visit in Happy Hour: 5-6.30 where you get 2 cocktails for £8, or 2 jugs for £25) or a family meal. Full of 20-somethings getting ready to forget about work for the weekend, The Hub is one of my new favourite places to eat in Liverpool City Centre.

The Hub: Alehouse & Kitchen can be found at 16 Hanover Street.
Call 0151 709 2401 to book a table or visit http://www.thehub-liverpool.com

Are the Olympics making Britain fat?

Months before the 2012 Olympic Games began in London, I was getting sick of the hype. It seemed like every advert – whether it be on television, in the cinema or in magazines – was related to the Olympics. David Cameron and other politicians took every opportunity possible to say how excited everyone in Britain was – really? I live in the North-West and felt (along with many people I know) that it would be exactly the same watching the games as anywhere around the world: the only thing that even came near to where I live is the torch relay. Even the plans for the Opening Ceremony looked embarrassing initially, with the grass-covered hills providing a dull landscape compared to Beijing in 2008.


Since the games have actually begun, it seems that most people have similarly embraced the spirit as well. The gymnastics, cycling, rowing and athletics seem to generate the most activity on my Twitter news feed and cheering Team GB to Gold gets the adrenaline pumping. I’m among the many girls that have posted about body envy – Jessica Ennis is currently long jumping away on my screen. Political figures have been quoted saying that the London Olympics will make Britain healthier and embrace sport. Sure, people might take out a gym membership, or take up a new sport that looks interesting on their screens. But, how are the majority of us watching the games?

That’s right. Slobbing out on the sofa. With 24 special BBC Olympic channels (as well as coverage on BBC1, BBC2 and BBC3 for most of the day) means that once you start watching, you could channel hop the entire days events. Not moving. Usually with a snack. Or five if you’re me. I justify my laziness like this: ‘they’re professional athletes that train every day – I am not. Therefore, that body will more than likely not be mine. So I may as well just watch, hope GB win some more, and eat cake’. It’s a tasty strategy, but one that is making me feel more sluggish than motivated to get on that cross trainer.

For these few weeks,  it’s an unhealthier culture in the UK than ever. Large supermarkets have extended their opening hours in anticipation of increased buying. The Games are sponsored by Coca Cola and McDonald’s – can’t see the athletes taking part touching either of those products. But we will consume them in their millions. Hopefully the lasting legacy will influence more people to put down the remote, get out of the house and get fit. At least I’m hoping so, because I’m feeling very unhealthy right now.