Shiny Shoes and Street Food

On Friday, Matthew and I took a semi-spontaneous trip into London, having been in Luton in the morning for a job interview. We caught the train from Luton Airport Parkway into St Pancras, and after going to see Platform 9 3/4 in Kings Cross – rookie mistake during school summer holidays cos it was pretty crazy! – hopped on the tube to one of my favourite places in London: Covent Garden.

It was gone 2:30pm by the time we actually got there, so lunch was really first on the agenda, and we decided to forgo our usual go-to restaurants and instead we went to Wahaca – Matthew had been before and raved about it, and I was up for seeing if it was as good as he said it was. The Covent Garden branch is actually just a few roads outside of the main square, but the restaurant was easy to find and as soon as I stepped inside I was pretty excited by everything going on. The decor was fun, the whole place smelled amazing and the staff were super friendly from the offset which is always a huge plus for me.

The menu consists primarily of ‘street food’ options, which are smaller dishes designed for sharing around the table, and although there are some dishes which are supposed to be more like a main course, I wanted the proper experience. We ordered 6 dishes between the two of us:

  • Frijoles and tortilla chips – a creamy bean dip with crumbled cheese and a bucket of chips for dipping
  • Four cheese empanadas – two crispy, crunchy pastry parcels filled with the creamiest and stringiest cheeses
  • British steak tacos – three small tortilla tacos filled with chunks of steak and salsa
  • Buttermilk chicken baja tacos – two larger soft tortilla tacos filled with crispy fried chicken and salsa
  • Mexican style chorizo and potato quesadillas – two grilled tortilla ‘sandwiches’ filled with chorizo and crushed potato with cheese
  • Chicken club quesadillas – quesadillas filled with grilled chicken, lettuce and spicy salsa

All of the dishes are brought out as soon as they’re ready, so you can just dive into whatever comes first, and it was really fun to be able to pick and choose and share. My absolute favourite dish was the cheese empanadas, which I haven’t stopped thinking about since, but also the buttermilk chicken tacos and the chicken club quesadillas are both dishes that I would order again.

While we tried our best to finish, we didn’t quite clear our plates, partly because we wanted room for dessert. Again, we decided to share two options, ordering the churros and chocolate dip, and the salted caramel ice-cream, both of which were absolutely to die for! Fully fuelled for the rest of the day, we went back to Covent Garden and wandered around the shops, including the Moomin Shop where I met Moomin himself!

When we left Covent Garden, we headed for the Natural History Museum to fill a little bit of time, then walked down to another of our London must-dos, Ben’s Cookies, to pick up a selection box of our favourite cookies, then got the tube back to Victoria as that morning we had booked tickets to see Wicked at the Apollo Victoria.

It was Matthew’s first time seeing the show, having only heard Defying Gravity before, and while I had seen it once before, it has been probably about 8 years since I last saw the show. In fact, the first time I saw Wicked in London was when Idina Menzel was still playing Elphaba, and nothing will ever top that for me! That said, the show was amazing, and of course had me in tears on more than one occasion. Wicked was the first musical that I fell in love with, and Defying Gravity and For Good are two of my all time favourite songs from any musical, and back in the days where I was confident enough to sing on stage in front of an audience, I once performed I’m Not That Girl.

I don’t know if it was just the progression and development of the show over time, but I felt that watching it after so many years I found it funnier, but that could just be down to me being a little older and understanding more of the jokes. Honestly though, despite a love of all things musical theatre, Wicked will always have a special place in my heart and I was so happy to see it again after all this time.

While I might not have ruby slippers, my feet were pretty damn comfy in my gorgeous new rose gold trainers from Truffle on Asos. Would you believe I only paid £11 for them?! I took a risk wearing them for the first time ever for a day walking around London but I am blister free and there was not a single complaint all day! I don’t normally go for this sort of style of trainer – I’m a strictly Converses kinda gal – but I’m so glad I bought these, and let’s face it, they’re the ultimate blogger shoe – even Matthew keeps referring to them as my shiny blogger shoes haha! I think they’ve got back up to £14 on Asos now but I still think that’s a bargain for such comfy and pretty shoes!

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My First Time at Five Guys


We all love a good food hype, right?

Well I’m small-town (relatively), and with the exception of on occasional trips to London, I’ve always been miles and miles from one of the latest hypes from the last year or two: Five Guys. Yep, that’s right, I’ve only just been for the first time.

However, on our trip to Manchester last weekend, Matthew promised to take me for my first ever Five Guys at the Trafford Centre, and it went a little something like this..


First up, Matthew advised me to order the ‘little’ options on the menu, so I chose a little bacon cheeseburger and a little fries. Now I’m not a fussy eater, but I often find that in most burger places I end up picking out half of the junk they stuff into the bun, so when I realised that I got to choose exactly what went into my burger, it made my little heart so happy! There are 15 different extras available, from lettuce, onions and tomato to different sauces, so you can build the exact burger that you want without the worry of pickles hidden under the cheese or looking like a fuss-pot when you deconstruct your burger just to remove that pesky tomato. Goodbye unnecessary food waste!

Drink-wise, I had to go for the refillable Coke machine option, and I swear my mission in life from now is to try as many different combinations of fizzy drinks as I possibly can. I settled on a peach flavoured Sprite, quite honestly because I love anything peach flavoured, but it was delicious and I 100% feel like it should be offered as a standard Sprite flavour..


The wait for the food to be ready was a little longer than some fast-food places, but I’ve waited longer in McDonalds at times, and trust me when I say its well worth it. A brown paper bag and foil wrapped burger may seem humble as its passed over the counter, but don’t be fooled by a plain appearance.


It was so nice to eat a burger that not only was perfect in terms of its contents, but the bun didn’t go soggy or disintegrate in the time it took me to eat it, and the fries weren’t cold by the time I got to them. While its a little pricier than a Maccys or BK, I’ve paid more for burgers I’ve liked less, and compared to these ‘gourmet’ burger places out there, I’d say my little bacon cheeseburger shone out above these. Not a single chip was soggy, or burnt, and they too were delicious. Also, despite all my portion sizes being ‘little’, I was STUFFED at the end of it, and actually left some fries behind because I couldn’t manage them all.

I’m not gonna lie, I actually haven’t stopped thinking about Five Guys since, and now I have to wait an agonising few months because Five Guys is coming to Bournemouth, but not until the summer, waaa! However I’ve heard a rumour that they’ll be on Deliveroo when they do open, so that could get dangerous.. Also I’m dying to try one of their milkshakes!

I can’t wait for another brown bag of burger goodness, bring on the Bournemouth opening!

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Haidilao Hot Pot Restaurant, Beijing

This is a fun little story.

So it was one of the first nights we were in China, and we were in Beijing with no idea what restaurants were near us, so we did what all good tourists do: we turned to Trip Advisor, and lo and behold, #4 on the top restaurant list was literally just down the road, so off we trotted.

We come to the shopping centre that the restaurant is listed in, and take the escalators up and up until we eventually found it on the eighth floor..

Beijing Haidilao Hot Pot

It looked good, but when we arrived there was no English menu available for us to look at, so we decided to just take a chance and we lead to a table with a giant hole in the middle.. The staff were really friendly, but there only seemed to be one person who could speak a little bit of English, so ordering was interesting, especially considering we still didn’t really seem to know what was going on!

Here’s the deal: that hole in the middle of the table is filled with a big bowl of a soupy-stock, split into two halves for two different flavours. We were advised which options were spicy, so we opted for the mildest two: tomato and mushroom. This bowl is heated through the table, and bubbles away in front of you.

Beijing Haidilao Hot Pot

Next up, you pick what you want to go into your stock. We did this purely from the pictures in the menu, choosing beef, prawns, glass noodles, spinach and other veggies, and these are then brought to your table raw for you to add to the stock of your choice to cook yourself!

Beijing Haidilao Hot Pot

Beijing Haidilao Hot Pot

That’s right, you’re totally in control over what’s bubbling away in the hot pot! Because its so hot, most things take less than 5 minutes to cook, and then you have the fun task of attempting to scoop it out into your bowl without pouring soup all over the table – which I did every time.. They clearly knew we’d make a mess as they brought us aprons to wear and hairbands!

Haidilao Hotpot

Haidilao Hot Pot

The whole experience seemed really daunting at first, especially with the stress of understanding what it was we were ordering, but it turned out to be so much fun and the food was delicious! And how much did the bill come to for all of us? £20.

Interested? Check out the listing on Trip Advisor here!

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Friday Favourite Five – Disneyland Paris Restaurants

Today I’m sharing five of my favourite places to eat in Disneyland Paris! There’s a mixture of table and counter service, all of which serve some incredibly delicious food, because what is a Disney trip without way too much food?

Bistrot Chez Remy

1. Blue Lagoon

I love everything about Blue Lagoon: the setting, the food, the ambience.. Pirates of the Caribbean is always one of my favourite rides and I love that Disneyland Paris has a restaurant inside it like there is in Disneyland California, and the food is SO GOOD!

2. Bistrot Chez Remy

This is the absolute cutest restaurant ever. It really feels like you’ve been transported into Ratatouille, with every detail of the decor being so well thought out!

3. Walt’s

There is so much to love about Walt’s. Firstly, you’re on Main Street USA and if you’re sat by a window you can watch the world go by below you, and even catch the parades if you time it right! I also adore the decor; each room is themed to a different land of the park, but in such a classic way that its not glaringly obvious, but the little details really make it! Oh, and the food is to die for!

4. Earl of Sandwich

Ok, so this is in Disney Village and isn’t specifically a Disney restaurant, but OH SO GOOD

5. Hakuna Matata

We all love chicken nuggets, right? For a counter service restaurant, its a great size and there’s always seating available, and I love that there are healthy options available – even if I don’t always choose them!

Where are your favourite places to eat in Disneyland Paris?

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The Skinny Kitchen

You know when a place is really hyped up and you worry that it won’t live up to the expectations?

Well that was me with The Skinny Kitchen. I’d made three attempts to eat there before I was actually successful due to it being so busy, so when we finally managed to squeeze ourselves in for lunch, I was praying that it was worth the amount time I’d spent hoping to eat there!

The Skinny Kitchen Bournemouth

The Skinny Kitchen originated in Ibiza, and as the name suggests, is all about providing clean, healthy and delicious food; eating and feeling great about it. The menu ranges from protein shakes and smoothies to pancakes to burgers, with all the nutritional information carefully calculated, and has its own key to highlight dishes that low carb, GF, veggie friendly and vegan friendly to help customers make an informed decision about their meal.

But you want to know what I thought about the place, right?

The Skinny Kitchen Bournemouth

The Bournemouth restaurant is actually pretty small – part of why its always packed! – but is fairly minimalist in design so it doesn’t feel crowded. I loved the lighting features, including the neon sign ‘Pancakes, Weights & Protein Shakes’ and the natural wood effect tables pleased the blogger in me so much!

So I ordered the Pumpin Iron protein bowl; just reading the contents from the menu made me happy so I couldn’t resist – so many of my favourite foods in one dish! To save myself for the food, I just asked for tap water, which came with a lemon slice, but Jess had the Super Skin smoothie which looked amazing; shame I’m not an avocado fan! The wait for the food was torture because I was so excited, and I worried that because it was busy that we’d have to wait some time, but it soon arrived and I can honestly say I squealed a little – such a pretty bowl of food!

The Skinny Kitchen Bournemouth Pumpin Iron

Photos taken, and it was time to dive in, and oh my gosh.. All that over-hype and anticipation disappeared, and instead I just got to enjoy possibly my favourite dish of food ever (once I’d ditched the tomatoes onto Jess’s plate). I feel like I’m gushing but it was all just perfect, from the chicken to the sweet potato cake and pesto dressing, and can you believe its only 260 calories, and under £10?!

The Skinny Kitchen Bournemouth

The staff were also so lovely and friendly, which always goes a long way for me, and the whole experience has had me totally overlooking the three failed attempts! I can’t wait to go back and try more of the incredible sounding food on the menu!

Bring on the protein pancakes!

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Disneyland Paris: Walt’s

There are certain places in Disney parks that are just that little bit more magical, and Main Street USA is no exception, so dining on Main Street is an experience in itself, and you can do that at Walt’s.

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If you there a little early, the waiting area is a classically decorated room with a grand piano, pictures and plush furniture, and a bust of the main man himself! The restaurant is upstairs, and spans several rooms, which makes every table feel a little more personal, rather than sitting in a large restaurant. The decor upstairs is just as elegant and classic as the waiting room, with pretty wallpaper and curtains, and paintings on the walls, but each room is themed to reflect an area of the resort – ours was Adventureland.

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We chose from the set menu that was part of our dining plan; I had a Caesar salad starter, chicken main and chocolate fondant dessert.

The salad was the perfect size, with croutons and big strips of chicken. It came with a dressing, but I asked for mine without and they were all too happy to oblige. My main course of chicken in Marsala sauce was beautiful! The chicken was tender and moist, and the potato and veggies went perfectly. The portions here were a little smaller than elsewhere, but I definitely didn’t feel that I was left hungry.

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The chocolate fondant was a clear winner out of the dessert options for me, although they all sounded great. It was warm with a gooey centre, and a thick vanilla cream; the best way to end a meal, even if I did wolf it down so I could get outside in time for the parade!

Dining on Main Street was a real treat to end our trip with, and great food and beautiful views overlooking the park just made it even more magical!

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Disneyland Paris: Bistrot Chez Remy

Did you ever see a restaurant in a movie that looked so great you wished you could eat there in real life?

Well now you can!

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Based on the Pixar classic Ratatouille, Bistrot Chez Remy gives guests in the Walt Disney Studios Park at Disneyland Paris an opportunity to shrink down to the size of a rat, and dine on Remy’s gourmet menu.

And the setting?

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Giant fairy lights, corkscrew chairs, cocktail umbrella parasols and giant tableware match the setting from the film so perfectly, and if you’re sat near the big glass window, you can watch guests on the adjoining Ratatouille ride!

Needless to say, the food was divine, but you’d expect nothing less from a great chef like Remy!

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With our dining plan, we could choose from a set menu of delicious options. The starter was a nice leafy salad, with cheese (of course) and beetroot. I asked for mine without the chef’s dressing, but our waiter was nice enough to bring some balsamic dressing for me instead. Our waiter was so lovely, it really made the meal memorable!

For main, I couldn’t not have the steak! It came with a good helping of chips, and a small bowl of the signature ratatouille – well would you expect anything else? Dad, Hannah and I all had steak, all cooked differently, and all of them were perfect, which really says something about the skill of the chefs. Dessert for me was a chocolate fondant, with a perfect gooey centre and vanilla cream. The waiter brought it out with a candle and sang happy birthday, which made it even more special!

As a family, we were blown away by everything about Bistrot Chez Remy, and would recommend it without a doubt! Hats off to the chef!

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