I’m posting a whole bunch of stuff I found in my drafts (almost ONE YEAR AGO), yes I am a terrible blogger.

Whirlwind business trip to Delhi last September (which I didn’t think was going to happen after my Visa debacle – who knew being an Australian in London would cause so many visa headaches?!). I only had one weekend there, but if my weekend trips in Europe have taught me anything it’s that much can be accomplished in 36 hours.

Had a 2.30am wakeup call on Saturday (after a later than expected Friday night) to make the 3 hour drive from Delhi to Agra for the Taj Mahal.  Being able to see her in the early morning light with fewer tourists was well worth the lack of sleep though.

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If you know anything about me, it’s that I love a good weekend brunch. I may be biased but I think Australia does some of the best brunches in the world but luckily there are some pretty decent options in Shoreditch as well. Below are some of the tried and tested places in my ‘hood.

  1. Ozone, Leonard St. Ozone is one of my favourites – it doesn’t help that it’s round the corner from where I live. Consistently good food with a great open kitchen in the middle of the restaurant. I’m not a coffee drinker but apparently the coffee isn’t bad here either!
  2. Maison Trois Garcons, Redchurch St. Quirky, cute cafe where you can also do a spot of shopping whilst waiting for your food. Few menu choices but everything I’ve had has been excellent. Bonus: they also a brilliant chai tea (so hard to find in London). Note: This has now been closed and replaced with Counter Albion.
  3. Hoxton 100, Hoxton St. I love the vege big breakfast here and their yummy juices.
  4. Albion, Albion is consistently on top breakfasts lists. Whilst I think their food is good (but not outstanding), it’s the decor, buzzing weekend vibe and drool worthy baked treats (including gluten free options) that I love the most.
  5. Dishoom, Boundary St. For something a bit different to your usual eggs benedict, try Dishoom for their Indian inspired breakfasts. Everything I’ve tried has been delicious, including their house chai and amaaazing homemade granola (being a granola addict and snob, this is saying something!)
  6. Lantana (formerly Salvation Jane), Oliver’s Yard. Salvation Jane was one of the first breakfasts I tried in London and I’ve gone back many times since – always bustling, the service can be a bit hit or miss but the food is consistently good.
  7. The Breakfast Club, Hoxton. The lines on a weekend at The Breakfast Club are always out the door and around the corner – it’s well worth the wait though. Generous portion sizes and they have avocado on many of their menu items – something that seems to be more the exception than the norm here in London, which for an Australian is practically sacrilegious!
  8. Long White Cloud, Hackney Rd. I personally haven’t eaten at this Kiwi owned joint (yet!) but my foodie bestie and roomie has and can vouch for the food and the gigantic mug sized coffees
  9. The Modern Pantry, St John’s Square Clerkenwell. Whilst not technically in Shoreditch, I would be remiss to leave this gem off the list. Lots has been written about this place and I’ve rarely read anything negative – for a reason. Beautifully made and presented food, it’s always a treat to eat here.
  10. Caravan, Exmouth Market. Again technically not in Shoreditch (there’s also one in Kings Cross), but had a brilliant meal here recently. Be prepared to wait on a weekend if you arrive after 10am – well worth the wait though and also appreciated that they let us stay for as long as we wanted (unlike some places, Copapa, ahem).

Sailing Croatia

I feel like this post should be titled ‘Why I will never sail with Yacht Week again’…

My week sailing in Croatia could’ve been one of my favourite holidays to date – “could’ve been” because we ended up with a ‘situation’ at the end of our holiday. Yacht Week took our deposit – 3,000 euros (!!!) – for a sail that snapped as our skipper (who works for Yacht Week) was reeling it in. Basically, trying to fob it off like we broke a sail  when it was obviously a maintenance issue (compounding this, the yacht we were on wasn’t even the one we paid for – it was an older model). Despite our best efforts to get the money back – surprise surprise – they have totally ignored us since the end of our trip.

That was just one of a myriad of issues we had throughout the whole week, which was a real shame because as otherwise it would’ve been a top notch holiday. This experience has completely put any of us ever dealing with Yacht Week again – there are plenty of other operators out there (Sail Croatia, Med Sailors etc) which I would encourage everybody to go through, unless you enjoy paying extraordinary amounts of money for their issues.

Anyway, with that out of the way – here are some holiday snaps! Sunshine, unbelievable scenery, crystal clear waters, amazing food (when we didn’t follow Yacht Week’s suggestions – here’s a tip for you)… there is nothing quite like napping on a yacht in the middle of the ocean.

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Ahh Firenze – I don’t think there’s anybody that visits Italy and doesn’t fall in love with the country.   Had a wonderful girls trip away for the long weekend, made even better by the fact that I was joined by my oldest (in terms of friendship years, not people years!) friends from back home. Florence was also properly warm in May (unlike London’s BS ‘summer’) – I might have actually broken out in a sweat walking along the Ponte Vecchio.  Of course the only way to combat heat like that is to (over)indulge in gelato (a massive weakness of mine) and ridiculous Nutella treats. Three gelatos a day keeps the doctor away…right?

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Istanbul has long been on my places to visit list and it didn’t disappoint. Some of the most beautiful mosques I’ve ever seen (the Blue Mosque really does live up to the hype), amazing rooftop bars on every corner (seriously, there are so many more places in the world that need to capitalize on this) and delicious food everywhere (pistachio chocolate anyone? And who knew I’d love salty yogurt drinks – oh Ayran I do dream of you). We even managed to master saying ‘ thank you’ in Turkish, which is possibly the most difficult thank you I’ve had to learn – but I don’t think I’ll ever forget now!

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Despite the fact that I injured my knee halfway through ski week (along with accidentally ending up on a black run on my second day and having to do a walk of shame for half the route, losing my ski pole on the chairlift and splitting my ski trousers – all in the same day I might add) – Zermatt was still a brilliant holiday. What’s there not to like when you get to spend your week in a ski lodge with a a private chef, apres ski parties and surroundings like this?  I’m definitely not going to be winning any medals for skiing anytime soon but you know what, riding the gondolas all across the resort is amazingly fun.

Also, if you would like to know how £28 of asparagus looks like, click the link below…

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Wow, I really am terrible at keeping a blog. I actually think it’s because since Brugge, I stopped taking my DSLR around with me and instead resorted to my Canon S110 which lets be honest, whilst is a decent point and shoot just isn’t the same. But laziness (as always) won out in the end – the freedom of not having to carry an SLR with me everywhere was just too good to resist… until I look back at the photos and see every limitation and missed opportunity! Mid year goal: stop being lazy. Or improve my shoulder carrying muscles. Or just harden the f up.

Anyway, I’ve got a ton of photos to try an upload… starting from my birthday weekend in Paris earlier this year. I’ve been to Paris before (co-incidentally I was in Paris for my 21st birthday) and wasn’t overly impressed. This time however, I fulfilled every cliche and fell in love with this undeniably magical city.

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