The best weekend in Edinburgh

I went to Edinburgh a couple of weeks ago to have a reunion with friends from University and to get into the Christmas spirit! It was honestly one of the best weekends I have had in a very long time (one of those where my jaw hurt from laughing for 3 days afterwards). We did some really Christmassy things as well as having long catch ups, so I thought I’d share what I did whilst I was up there.

Edinburgh’s Christmas

If anyone has ever been up to Edinburgh and to the Christmas markets you’ll know what I mean when I say they definitely put you in the festive mood! I went to Winter Wonderland as well in London this year, but I do have to admit Edinburgh topped London. I’m not sure if it was the fact that we won a massive penguin or that we went on the Ferris wheel but I came our feeling so much more festive than before! I also discovered that I am in fact still scared of heights and I won’t be going on another ferris wheel anytime soon.

Virgin Street of Lights

This was recommended to me by a friend who lives in Edinburgh and it was really good! It’s free and there is a light show to music along one street. It was really cool and definitely added to the Christmassy mood! (Plus made for some good photos!)

Usquabae

This was a small whisky bar that one of my friends found on google maps. It was such an amazing find and I really do have to give him credit for it! We drank wine (not whisky as I guess we should have) and chatted all evening and was just one of those evenings I’m going to remember for a long time.

 

Brunch at Loudons

This was the best brunch I have ever had. So good that we actually went twice. Oops. This place was really good for allergies and catered for me being gluten and dairy free both time really well. I had a coconut latte both mornings (and now I’m completely sold on coconut milk in coffee!) I had French Toast for the first time and I keep dreaming of going back and eating it again!! I’m not sure I can quite re-create it at home as all their bread is home-made including the gluten free bread so it tasted even better! I may have also gotten cake to takeaway both days…

 

Drinking lots of mulled wine

We basically did a tour of Edinburgh based on where the mulled wine was! We went to the Royal Mile Tavern on the Saturday night which had live music and the BEST mulled wine I’ve had. I would definitely recommend going. The mulled wine was also such good value, especially in comparison to London prices!

Have you guys been to Edinburgh recently? What did you think of it?

 

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Two of my favourite festive events 

I hope you guys have all had fantastic Christmasses! I had a very chilled one this year with lots of family which is exactly what I needed amongst lots of revision.

I went to two Christmassy events this year which I absolutely loved. They really put me in the spirit of Christmas and took my mind away from work before Christmas Day and Boxing Day kicked in.

The first was the light show at Kew Gardens, which I think is called “Christmas at Kew”. Mum booked it as a surprise for me on the 23rd so we both went together. It was really lovely and mulled wine put me right in the mood! We also got some roasted chestnuts for the walk around whilst we explored all the lights.

We also found a toasting marshmallow stall where you bought a flavoured marshmallow and then toasted it over a fire – I thought this was the most amazing idea! We went for the raspberry and champagne flavour which was definitely a good choice as we polished it off very quickly…

The lights themselves were absolutely beautiful. My favourite had to be the set of lights themed around the 12 days of Christmas song. It took us a little while to figure out the theme but we got there eventually!

The last part of the walk around Kew was the light show. This was really amazing and themed to Christmas songs. I loved all the pretty colours but of course had to get a photo when it was the colour pink…

 

The second Christmassy event I went to was on Christmas Eve with my parents and best friend. Our family has a tradition that we go to Carols by Candlelight at the Royal Albert Hall at some point before Christmas. My favourite time to go has always been Christmas Eve as it makes it extra special.

I absolutely love singing carols and this has been the only time this year I have managed to do it so it definitely put me in the Christmassy spirit!

I also love the Royal Albert Hall as a venue so it was so nice to be back and the of course spending time with my parents and friend who I don’t get to see very often!

A day in Brighton

I went to Brighton last weekend and I completely fell in love with it. There is something quite calming about walking to the station on a Sunday morning and not seeing anyone – I love that feeling of being up before anyone else! I got to London Bridge and got myself a coffee and hopped on the train to read my book “Spectacles” by Sue Perkins. I don’t normally like train rides but this felt so calming and almost like I was just relaxing at home.

Brighton is so pretty and quaint to walk around it was a lovely way to spend a Sunday. I love little independent shops and Brighton is brimming with them, I bought some little goodies as Christmas presents for some friends. I definitely felt like I could have spent hours in all the shops though so I think I’ll need to make another trip soon!

Brighton also has the highest concentration of vegan and gluten free restaurants and cafes I have ever seen. We had a roast dinner at a place that did vegan roast dinners (as well as meat ones) and all the sides were plant based. I honestly couldn’t believe it!! There are so many cafes that I want to try, there seemed to be such a huge range of places unlike some areas of London!

The Christmas lights were also up and they were so lovely I really began to feel Christmassy!

We had a wander around the Pier and it was so good to look out to the sea and see such a huge open space. I was sad to get back on the train in the evening but I also felt so contented coming back to a warm flat after a chilly walk back from the station.

Perfect Sunday ❤

 

 

 

 

Link Love #3

Hey gang! How are all we all doing on this lovely morning? Here are some fab links you can get your teeth into on your commute…

  1. Lauren’s post about dealing with a chronic illness I could totally relate to.
  2. This idea for a kindness advent calendar.
  3. I have definitely had all of these thoughts whilst on the tube, especially no 48!
  4. I also loved this post also about commuting in London….
  5. Madeleine Shaw’s tips about how to survive the festive season are well worth a read.
  6. I loved these 50 ideas for how to practice self care.. something I need to remind myself in this festive period!
  7. Finally, If you have 1 minute it would be amazing if you could sign this petition to fund more research into Ehlers Danlos Syndrome.

I’m loving these sunny winter days we’ve been having and the evenings have been great to catch up with all the blogs I love to follow (and I’m A Celeb of course!)


What have you guys been reading recently?!

London’s Winter Wonderland

On Saturday night I went to Winter Wonderland with one of my best friends. It was such a lovely evening to take a trip to Hyde Park. All the lights from the distance were getting me massively excited from the start, and it definitely didn’t disappoint me!

I was worried I wouldn’t enjoy it as much as everyone had been saying on social media, but the atmosphere was amazing! There were so many different food stalls and drink stalls – my fave was definitely the mulled wine. I basically live for mulled wine, it’s probably one of my favourite parts of Christmas! The moment I walked in I beelined for the wine stall!

I’m not a massive fan of rides so we didn’t go on any of the rides – but if you are a fan I can imagine you would love them!! Even the kids spinning rides were making me feel slightly ill, but they were definitely some bigger rides for people that are… you know… not wimps like me.

The park is so much bigger than it has been in previous years and the organisers have really out done themselves this year with the live music, markets and all the different entertainment there is.

Plus, coming in from a cold evening out and snuggling up in front of the TV with a warm cup of tea is a feeling that I absolutely love. It really makes me appreciate home more!

Here are a few photos from my night – I’m definitely feeling more Christmassy now!!


What have you guys been doing to get into the Christmas spirit?! 

Link Love #2

This is my second share all the links I love session. I’ve been reading some really incredible things recently so here is my good deed for the day – sharing them all with you!!

Let me know what you like and if you have anything you think I need to read asap!!

  1. This description of how all that flatlay on Instagram came out…
  2. During Mental Health Day a few weeks ago I read quite a few posts on mental health, this is an article that I think is really worth a read.
  3. I loved this post by Amelia on how to become a morning person… the glass of water in the morning was something that really resonated with me.
  4. This article described chronic pain in such a good way.
  5. This is the best description of what will happen on election night in U.K. times. I’ve been trying to find out what time I need to stay up to / wake up again tomorrow morning for to see the election coverage and this has answered all my questions.
  6. Sophie’s post about why she loves airports I thought was a great way to reframe that frequent travel stress…

What have you guys been reading recently?!

Social Media vs Reality

I think everyone on the internet has written a post about the evils of social media and how it can negatively impact our mental state. I’m pretty sure everyone has also written a post about how social media is an edited, snapshot version of someone’s life and not to buy into it in its entirety.

I totally believe that social media is never a true portrayal of someone’s life. Even those who are more honest than others are still posting a momentary highlight of their life. Even though there are so many posts about this around I thought I would do something a little bit more personal.

When I was in Cádiz, on our first day it was absolutely CHUCKING it down with rain. Torrential, soaking feet kind of rain. Mum and I were walking around the town to get a feel for it and I was taking some photos. I took one photo of a really impressive tree with a fountain in front of it as well as these pillar type things. 

Being totally honest with myself I wanted a photo for Instagram, I still feel this need to show to the world “hey look I’m on holiday”, even though I can see the flaws of social media and that everyone is doing the same thing, I still want to do it. 

So here is the photo I posted:


BUT 

here is the original: 


See what I mean? 

Even though I have read tens of blogs about social media not being a true portrayal of reality, it only truly hit home to me how much every photo is edited when I realised how much I had just done it myself.

So, I guess this acts as a reminder, to both me and you, the extent to which social media is actually edited. I mean, if I do it without even being properly aware of how much I am editing my photos then I hate to think how heavily edited other photos are on Instagram, especially people who rely on Instagram for an income.

So yeah, basically don’t compare your life, holidays, friends, relationship, home or “lifestyle goals” with Instagram, you’ll never win as everyone on Instagram is cheating with those pesky filters and saturation filters.