Friday, 30 October 2015

Eating in the North East - Shijo

Did you know that in Japan, slurping noodles is a sign of the food being delicious and rice is present at every meal? Honestly, the knowledge I pass on is truly something, you’re welcome my friends, you are welcome.

If you’ve been keeping up with my latest food posts (and if you haven’t, I mean, that’s really rude but whatever) you’ll know that I have been maybe a tad bit obsessed with Japanese food.

Well, can you just imagine my excitement when I found a new Japanese food spot in the heart of Newcastle city centre. A brand new place to devour a Salmon Teriyaki dish, win!

Before I go any further:

If you’re looking for luxury dining, this isn’t the place for you.

If you’re looking for a comfortable seating area, this isn’t the place for you.

But, if you are looking for great quality Japanese food that’s quick, convenient and fairly cheap, this is basically your dream lunch time location.

Shijo, which is located in the Haymarket Metro building, is a Japanese Asian street food cafe which serves both hot and cold dishes. Having only opened at the start of the summer, it seems to have already gotten itself quite a reputation, and when my friend suggested that I try it, I definitely didn't need asking twice.

There is a pretty big lunch time rush with queues out of the door, which is a great sign for a new business however this did affect the wait for our food. My friend received her order within a few moments however I waited around 10 minutes for mine which is perhaps not great if I'd have been at work. The staff were lovely, and apologised profusely for the delay and for me, it wouldn't be something that would put me off going again.

Especially when I'd tasted the food.

I had chosen to try the Salmon Teriyaki (of course) and I can honestly say it was the same, if not better quality than what I have previously eaten in restaurants. Served in a round, burgundy dish, the freshly cooked salmon was laid on a bed of sticky rice, with steamed vegetables on the side. The quality and the quantity of the meal was really great, especially when it was a fraction of what you would pay in other places, at just £5.50.

Whether you fancy something a little lighter such as sushi or soup, or are feeling pretty ravenous and are fancying a curry or teriyaki dish, Shijo is a little hidden gem in Newcastle city centre which will definitely not disappoint you!

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Monday, 26 October 2015

Study tips for university

So you’ve moved to university, had a Fresher’s week that you either can’t, or don’t want to, remember and now you’re in the midst of your first semester. 

Now you have to actually attend lectures, work hard and study (which you totally didn't sign up for..) and you're a tad lost. Don't worry though as you are most definitely not alone.

As you probably all know, first year doesn’t actually count towards anything apart from your hideously high student debt, which is all kinds of ridiculous but anyway, I digress.

The grades that you achieve in your first year at university don’t necessarily count towards the degree qualification that you will come out with in 3 years’ time (the 3 fastest years of your life believe me, as I cry into my dissertation notes) but working out a way of studying and revising sooner rather than later, definitely makes second and third year that bit easier.

Unlike school, lecturers won’t be breathing down your neck, checking if you’ve done last weeks recommended reading. You are given a reading list, you are told to attend all lectures but if you don’t, that’s your own decision. For many, this is the ultimate excuse to kick back, relax and get every last pennies worth of your Netflix subscription but for others, it completely and utterly freaks them out because where’s the structure and the guidance and the spoon fed information?!?!

It's gone. Soz guys.

It can be difficult to find a routine that suits you, as well as the environment that you live in. Before coming to university, I found it easier to study in the evenings however try that when you live in halls especially, and you’ll (most likely) fail. That is, unless you have A LOT of willpower to not join your other flatmates doing all the fun things. Which I lack. Greatly.

So. Because I’m such a perfect student (as I’m writing this instead of working on an assignment) I thought I would put together a little list of tips and tricks on how to be an absolute pro at studying whilst at university...

Put your god damn phone down
No but seriously, phones are the root of evil when it comes to procrastinating from working. You aren't missing any inane posts on Facebook, Candy Crush can totally wait and you can catch up on who's retweeted your super funny tweets later, turn your phone on silent, put it somewhere out of view, concentrate and crack on with working. It'll be finished so much quicker with no phone-related distractions.

Copy up lecture notes straight away
Not everyone does this, but I find it so helpful when it comes to revising towards the end of the semester if I have notes from each lecture of a module, in chronological order, already written up. Even if you don't get chance to do the some/any of the recommended reading, make a conscious effort to write up the info from the lecture and you'll be thanking 'past you' when everyone else around you are running around like headless chickens, frantically trying to find out what the hell they're supposed to be revising.

Read, highlight then type
This is basically my 'uni life' motto. For every journal article or textbook chapter that I read, I first go through and highlight any relevant points ('Mendeley' is fab for doing this on your laptop) then type up all the highlighted notes into a word document. That way, you have all the information that you need for future reference without having to tear your hair out looking for those scrappy pieces of paper that used to resemble a journal article later on.

Get a head start on assignments
At the start of the semester, those December deadlines seem an absolute age away but in reality, they'll be upon you faster than a hare on speed (just don't even ask where I got that from, I have no idea myself). Seriously though, your assignment briefs are usually handed out very early on in the term so instead of filing them away and forgetting about them until 2 days before the deadline, actually take the time to look at them, read into it a little bit and if you're feeling super prepared, write down a rough essay structure. You'll be giving yourself a rather large pat on the back when it comes to sitting down and writing it later on in the semester.

Don't be that person
How funny is it being a 'typical student' leaving 4 assignments until the last week and cramming them all in, doing 3 all nighters in a row? Yeah, it's not funny at all actually. Don't be that person. Give yourself the time to be able to sit down and work really hard on it. At the end of the day, you're paying an insane amount of money (thanks Dave C) so it would be silly to not put all of your effort into doing the best you can.

University can be made out to be really hard and really scary, but people do make it out in one piece, I promise! It is hard and at times the only thing you can do is grab the tub of peanut butter with one hand, and put a spoon in the other to drown your sorrows but, it's not impossible and you can do it. Make time to relax, to socialise, to eat (a lot), to explore the city you're living in. Basically, make time to live your life too.

There we have it - a few tips which might make studying at university that little bit easier!

Hope you enjoyed this post! If you did, it would mean the absolute word to me if you could take 10 seconds to vote for me as Blogging Edge's food blogger of the year! Who would've thought my blabbering would make me a finalist in their UK Blog Awards 2015 - not me... The link is:  

Thanks in advance!

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Wednesday, 21 October 2015

New in town... River Beat

It takes all sorts to make the world go round. Different people have different interests. Some people get excited for the new Fifa game to be released, some people get excited when a celeb collaborates with a fashion brand and some people get excited for new restaurant openings…

…or, is that just me?

Having stuck to my life goal of attempting to eat in every restaurant in Newcastle before I leave to go travelling next May, I’m really rattling through my list, which I’m not sure I should be proud, or ashamed of. (I know for a fact my bank balance is begging me to stop, but it just doesn't understand, ok...).

That’s why then, when I heard about the new restaurant River Beat opening on the other side of the Tyne river, I was pretty excited to find out more. A place which sells food in Newcastle that I haven’t yet been to, is becoming a bit of a novelty.

Overlooking the Newcastle Quayside, sits brand new restaurant River Beat. Offering customers the chance to experience tapas with an Asian twist, this place is for all those out there who love trying foods that little bit different, foods that you can’t find anywhere else in the city.

From pink salt n pepper squid with plum and tamarind dip, to pork, fennel and apricot meatballs in an apple hollandaise sauce, River Beat is a total treat for the taste buds.

Boasting modern d├ęcor, fancy lighting and a lovely decking area which will be great for those (occasionally) sunny days, it seems to me that this restaurant will turn into a Toon favourite.

I for one, am excited to return!

For more information about the new kid on the block, head over to their website...

Hope you enjoyed this post! If you did, it would mean the absolute word to me if you could take 10 seconds to vote for me as Blogging Edge's food blogger of the year! Who would've thought my blabbering would make me a finalist in their UK Blog Awards 2015 - not me... The link is:  

Thanks in advance!

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Friday, 16 October 2015

Eating in the North East - Mog on the Tyne

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I kind of think cats are a bit like marmite. You have people who love them, want to constantly stroke them and hold them in their arms like a baby (which I have absolutely never done) and you have people who think they're the spawn of satan.

I personally like them, although my relationship has been reeeally tainted by an experience with my own cats. I have two at home, one which I love, one which is a complete psycho. The one which I love, or should I say loved, has had the cheek to pack her bags and leave to go and live with some strangers down the street. After all that. She didn't even have the decency to say goodbye.

But I'm so over it, like I'm so over it, I'm basically under it.

Still though, what an ABSOLUTE LIBERTY. 


At a recent bloggers event with Iles Tour in Newcastle, I met the lovely Heather and after chatting away, we decided that we should meet up again and take a visit to Mog on the Tyne which had recently opened.

Mog on the Tyne is Newcastle's first ever cat cafe, and is located on Pudding Chare. I wasn't sure what to expect if I'm completely honest, with the idea of cat hair flying around everywhere not my idea of a good time, but having seen and heard so many great things, I was excited to experience the cafe for myself. 

As we arrived at the cafe, we were asked to take our shoes off, pop on a pair of slippers and wipe our hands with anti - bacterial gel. Good sign, liked that a lot. 

Given the freedom to sit wherever we fancied, we sat down at a wooden table, chatted away and ordered a hearty soup, accompanied with crusty bread. 

The cats were very calm and completely content just chilling in their beds (hard life) however their ears pricked up and their eyes snapped open at the scent of treats on their way. Each person in the cafe was given a handful of treats (I want to say they were Dreamies, which my cats go absolutely mental for) and were advised to lay our palms out flat and wait.

We waited approximately 0.0000001 seconds before being completely surrounded by cats (it felt like a glance into my future) as they demolished every single last treat.

Aside from that though, I would say it is 100% your own choice as to how involved you want to be in petting the cats. If you are imagining cats to be flying around, jumping everywhere, it is completely the opposite. It's actually quite therapeutic and really, apart from being laid on a beach with a cocktail in each hand, what's more relaxing than stroking a cat?

There are 11 cats in total, all from the Westgate Ark city cat shelter and yep, they're all pretty cute! I even think it would be difficult for people out there that aren't huge feline fans to not be sat silently urging them to come closer so they can have a quick stroke!

Since opening, Mog on the Tyne has been very busy, so if you do fancy a visit be sure to book beforehand. Admission fee is £5 which goes towards taking care of the animals and the menu is packed full of good stuff, with a variety of sandwiches and pawnin's (geddit??) as well as lots of cakes and other sweet treats. 

Overall, I really enjoyed my time at Mog on the Tyne and would definitely recommend it to others. It really is a cat lovers paradise!

For more information, head over to their website...

Hope you enjoyed this post! If you did, it would mean the absolute word to me if you could take 10 seconds to vote for me as Blogging Edge's food blogger of the year! Who would've thought my blabbering would make me a finalist in their UK Blog Awards 2015 - not me... The link is:  

Thanks in advance!

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Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Eating in the North East - The Great British Cupcakery Bakehouse & Parlour

There isn’t much in life that cake cannot make better? Obviously cheese toasties and cups of tea are firmly on that list but that’s another matter. Some people believe cake is solely for celebrations… I wholeheartedly disagree. 

Cake brings people together, makes everyone happy and tastes GOOD. It’s arguably one of the most versatile foods there is out there… You’ve got the classic Victoria Sponge, the traditional chocolate cake, carrot cake if you’re feeling healthy (ahem) and the modern cupcake, to name but a few.

What’s not to love, really?

With cake permanently on the brain, a trip to The Great British Cupcakery in Newcastle was an absolute must, and with two failed visits due to it being too busy to be seated, I was getting increasingly desperate to go. (Yes I get desperate about eating cake, no judgement please).

Located near the Quayside, The Great British Cupcakery is basically the dream for anyone with a sweet tooth. With gorgeous cupcakes on display, gigantic scones and the best looking milkshakes you will ever see, it’s a real challenge to choose what to treat yourself too.

Even on a Thursday afternoon, it was super busy with tables inside and out taken up. This did reflect on the service, with our order taking quite a while to be to us however the staff were really polite, and apologised profusely.

Now to the important business: the hot chocolate.

I may not be on the smashed avocado with chilli flakes shot on a marble background instagram bandwagon but I am an absolute sucker for a drink in a mason jar. If it's a hot drink in a mason jar, just stop it because it is too. much.

The Great British Cupcakery delivered on all mason jar fronts with so much cream, that I basically died and went to hot chocolate heaven. With a dollop of squirty cream, a dash of chocolate powder and a sprinkle of marshmallows on top, it was so good I didn't speak for about 10 minutes. I didn't have time, I had to consume the whole drink immediately.

I'm great company, I know.

My friend made a rather fabulous choice and went for the cream scone which was served beautifully and (apparently) tasted just as good. I perhaps got a little bit envious, and yeah, maybe I did contemplate ordering one myself... But y'know, moment on the lips, forever on the hips as they stupid people say.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this lovely little cafe to any sweet tooth's out there but please take me with you, I need to try one of their insanely amazing looking milkshakes immediately. (Instagram 'The Great British Cupcakery' to see for yourself but don't blame me when you get food envy, this is your warning!) *update* I went back and had a milkshake and it was just as heavenly as I thought it would be and mooooooreee...... LOOK!

Hope you enjoyed this post! If you did, it would mean the absolute word to me if you could take 10 seconds to vote for me as Blogging Edge's food blogger of the year! Who would've thought my blabbering would make me a finalist in their UK Blog Awards 2015 - not me... The link is:  

Thanks in advance!

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Monday, 12 October 2015

10 thoughts every girl has at the start of Autumn

Autumn is upon us in the UK which basically means, the weather will get colder and wetter, it will become so difficult to get up in the morning you actually don't know if you're going to make it through until Christmas and there's a high possibility that you will slip over on those stupid wet leaves falling all over the place. . What a happy and positive way to start a blog post, HAPPY MONDAY TO YOU.

Here are 10 thoughts every girl has at the start of Autumn...

1. Pumpkin spice lattes are my spirit animal.

2. I think it would actually be easier to get up in the morning if I had lead weights on my feet than it is right now like how it is still dark, is this a practical joke???

3. No but seriously, how can I be expected to get up and leave the house when it’s barely LIGHT yet, it’s just unreasonable

4. Give me aaallllllll of the chunky knit jumpers and cardigans and maybe even a couple of pairs of those knee high boots from Topshop. I love the cold weather so I can layer my clothes up and look all fashionable…

5. …Ok I don’t think I’ve been warm in about 7 years and I look like an actual rhino in this coat. Totally starting a campaign to bring back summer immediately.

6. So buzzing for Halloween this year – I’m going to absolutely smash it with my costume because either go hard or go home, amiright?

7. The start of autumn basically means I have to start thinking about buying Christmas presents for people but that will be so funny because I’m BROKE.

8. But candles are an essential and so are those pumpkin fairy lights that I saw in Primark last week because omg so cute

9. I’m so excited to wear fluffy socks and snuggle up under a blanket with hot chocolate and cute films with candles, like it’s going to look so good on Instagram…

10. …Holy shit how is it so cold, my feet are like actual ice blocks and socks aren’t doing a THING to help me out here and I have no squirty cream for my hot chocolate anyway so basically what’s even the point of Autumn, like it’s October 12th and I. Am. Done.

Hope you enjoyed this post! If you did, it would mean the absolute word to me if you could take 10 seconds to vote for me as Blogging Edge's food blogger of the year! Who would've thought my blabbering would make me a finalist in their UK Blog Awards 2015 - not me... The link is:  

Thanks in advance!

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Saturday, 10 October 2015

Eating in the North East - Osaka

Can I have a raise of hands from all the people who get completely and utterly obsessed with a type of cuisine and just can't stop themselves eating it 6784 times a week?

My hand is firmly raised in the air, as high as it can reach, because over the past few months, Japanese food has become my kryptonite.

It all started with 'forgetting' to bring in my lunch to work so absolutely having to go to North East  sushi company, Nudo, for the salmon set which is basically what dreams are made of. I may or may not have spent at least half of my wages this summer on that exact takeaway dish and I'm not going to lie to you guys - we're all friends here - I do get the tray meant for 2 people and I do eat it all at once. I could even probably manage a seaweed roll too, I'm just that greedy crazy.

But then, it happened.

I found out about Osaka, a Japanese restaurant in Newcastle city centre, and that was the moment I knew that my life would change forever. Or y'know, that I would probably love it loads and I could go all the time and spend all my money there. Same thing really.

Located in the heart of Newcastle, Osaka is a contemporary Japanese, sushi and noodles restaurant. Sourcing all fish from the finest fishmongers in the North East, all dishes are made to order, with a view of the chefs hard at work in the open kitchen.

Named the best sushi restaurant in Newcastle, it would be an absolute crime not to sample of the very best as a tasty starter and yep, it was all kinds of good. My friend and I have actually been twice now, with the restaurant jam packed (always a good sign) and  have been incredibly impressed with everything we ordered both times.

On my first visit, I ordered teriyaki salmon which was cooked beautifully, the flavour was just perfect and accompanied on a bed of sticky boiled, rice, it was a real struggle to eat it all. Don't worry though, I soldiered on and finished it.

The second visit though, is when things heated up and I got real excited, real quick when I came across 'the box of dreams'. As I was perusing the menu, the table next to me were served what looked like an absolute banquet of Japanese food, served in a neat, square box. If I'd have made it anymore obvious that I was desperately trying to see what they had ordered, I would basically have been sat on their lap but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do to order a feast of food.

It turned out to be a magical thing called a 'bento box' and if I could recommend anything to you from Osaka's menu, it would definitely be this. A creature of habit, I ordered the teriyaki salmon, with it accompanied in the box by salad, japanese pickles, 3 pieces of salmon sashimi, 2 pieces of maki, 2 pieces of sushi rice as well as miso soup to start with. Each served in a little compartment within the box, it was absolutely delicious, the fish was so fresh and the presentation was so sleek. Personally, for the quality of the food, I thought it was good value at £15.50 for the bento box and will definitely be ordering it again upon returning. Which will be soon. Like tomorrow probably.

If you're a fan of Japanese food, and find yourself looking for a new place to try in the heart of Newcastle, this is definitely the place to go. I absolutely loved it and it is fast becoming my favourite restaurant in the city.

Amazing news! I've been named as a finalist as one of Blogging Edge's Food Bloggers of the Year! I didn't expect it at all but it completely made my day so if you're feeling super nice, have enjoyed this post and can spare 10 seconds to vote for me in the 'Food' category, I would really appreciate it - thanks in advance :) The link is:  

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Thursday, 8 October 2015

5 things you absolutely have to do in Amsterdam

Last month, I flew to Amsterdam for a weekend trip as a surprise for one of my friends 21st birthday and it was pretty great. Perhaps being the last person on earth to visit the city (did I mention that I exaggerate a tad?), I was really excited to see for myself if this place I'd heard so much about, lived up to expectations.

Staying for just two nights, it was a short but sweet trip so if, like me, you're on a pretty right schedule, here are the top five things you have to do in Amsterdam...

Anne Frank House
The Anne Frank House is incredible. The historic house and museum, which is dedicated to the Jewist wartime diarist, Anne Frank, offers information about the young girl's life, the house that was her hiding place during World War Two and the famous diary she wrote there. With so many museums to see in Amsterdam, you are completely spoilt for choice but in my opinion, the Anne Frank House is the number 1 pick. The queue to get in is l-o-n-g however, and even at 5pm, we waited in line around 25 minutes so be prepared but it's completely worth it. After visiting the museum, I immediately went straight into the stop and bought her diary to read.

Eat and drink (obvs)
Amsterdam is known for its coffee shops of course but if, like me, you prefer the smell of sweet, sweet waffles, worry not, because Amsterdam is also pretty well known for those doughy treats too! Cheese is also one of their specialities and holy moly, I was pretty much in a food coma the whole time we were there. Just so, so good.

Rijk Museum
Upon the words 'art and history' being spoken, I can't help but switch off and start thinking about what I'm going to eat next, so when I heard about the Rijk museum, I wasn't that fussed about paying it a visit. However, upon stumbling across it (which is ironic if you've been because it's absolutely ginormous and definitely something normal people don't 'stumble' upon, bless me), I was so so glad that I had the chance to change my own mind because it's great. Even people who have little knowledge of art (read: none whatsoever) can appreciate it, and if I'm being honest, it's far better than the IAMAMSTERDAM signs located behind it, which were a complete disappointment to me - an unpopular opinion, I know.

Blomenmarket is the world's only floating flower market and it is just stunning. Not somewhere that you would visit for more than 30 minutes, but definitely worth seeing. And smelling.

Ride bikes
I can't even believe I'm about to say this but... We didn't ride bikes :( With staying for such a short amount of time, we just didn't get the chance to do it but if you're planning a trip soon, make time. Be careful, because there are cars, buses, trams, cycles and pedestrians flying about everywhere but yes,  hire a bike for me. Please.

Amsterdam is a beautiful city, with gorgeous views wherever you turn. The amount of photos I have on my phone of different canals at different angles is actually pretty ridiculous but who can resist a scenic shot? Not me.

Amazing news! I found out yesterday that I've been named as a finalist as one of Blogging Edge's Food Bloggers of the Year! I didn't expect it at all but it completely made my day so if you're feeling super nice and can spare 10 seconds to vote for me in the 'Food' category, I would really appreciate it - thanks in advance :) The link is:  

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Sunday, 4 October 2015

10 thoughts every student has after Freshers Week

So Freshers Week has been and gone and after all the awkward conversations, embarrassing drunk stories that have given you all the lols the next day and filling your boots with the free crap from freshers fair that you will never ever use (but it's free right, and your a student so yeah you need those 7 pens, 14 fridge magnets and 3 bottle openers in exchange for a lifetime of spam emails), it's time to kick back, relax with your new best friends and enjoy life.
Yeah, no, it's not the time for that at all (because FYI, not to be the Grinch or anything but Freshers isn't real life) so here are 10 thoughts every student has after Freshers Week...

1. Ok I've just looked at my timetable and I like, have to go into university this week for actual lectures?

2. What? Not only have I got to leave my bed (which I'm pretending is really comfy but actually resembles lying on a plank of wood) but I have one 9am lecture too? Are they trying to kill me?!?!

3. I seriously cannot believe they expect me to pay £9,000 of my hard earned money (ahem) to do work? Can they not just like, give me the degree now? I've basically paid for it.

4. If I have to ask one more person where they come from and what course they're doing just so we don't all die of awkwardness, I am literally going to scream.

5. Omg I've been at uni for 3 hours today I am literally exhausted, I totally need to take a nap.

6. Wait, why isn't my bed made when I come home? Isn't that done automatically by like, fairies or something?

7. I am totally not taking the rubbish out again. I've done it twice already like I'm just not doing it, it's not fair.

8. I'm taking the rubbish out, I literally live with pigs I am so not ok.

9. How is cheese THIS expensive?

10.  The 'freshers 15' weight gain is so not a myth is it. I'm the size of a rhino, damn those 3am pizzas. Why do I think they're always a good idea? They are NEVER a good idea.

11. Real life is totally getting in the way of my relationship with Netflix - it's really affecting the bond we have and it's really just not ok.

12. I'm so skint...

13. ...but if I'm going to be poor I may as well spend my last £7.20 on a night out because jaeger bombs, duh

14. I really cannot be arsed to go out tonight but if I don't go I feel like everyone else will think I'm super boring and they'll hate me and speak about me behind my back and NEVER TALK TO ME AGAIN.

15. Can I like, go home now?

Can you relate to any of these thoughts? Let me know in the comments!

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Friday, 2 October 2015

I'm going travelling!

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to travel, in particular Australia. It's always been the place I'm 'going to go to soon' but with little money at school, to then studying for my A Levels to go onto university, it's always been in the future, something that will happen eventually.

Well, it's now happening.

The plan has slightly progressed from Australia, with a few other places on my list but yep, this time next year - if all things go to plan - I'll be on the other side of the world. So exciting but oh my god, so scary too.

I've been very lucky in that at the end of my first year, I got a job in media and communications (basically PR) at the university I study at, which allowed me to work full time both summers I've been a student, as well as part time when September rolled back around. Travelling would be pretty damn difficult without money and being able to afford to do so without having to work for a while after I (hopefully) graduate is not something that I take for granted at all.

I sacrificed slightly by not going home for the four month summers like my housemates did. Living alone is sometimes not the best when you're scared of the dark, although of course that's not me because I'm 20 years old and obviously I'm over that fear now hahaha.... Ahem. It was also the time where I truly experienced what Instagram envy was like, because let me tell you, despite obviously being pleased they were having an amazing time, scrolling through your feed looking at all the incredible places your friends have jetted off to whilst you're sat in the office, is not enjoyable. At all.

So yes, I've saved up (although I still have a few more pennies and pounds to collect yet) and I'm actually allowed to start getting excited! And start planning! It's that moment where you realise that after years of saying 'I'm going travelling soon blah blah', the time has actually come. A few months of dissertation hell to get through - which will be made a tad more difficult as I obviously procrastinate all the places I want to visit and see and go - but then, I'll graduate and be off... Crazy.

I haven't rambled on here for a while but I'm EXCITED. I also feel that by writing it down it will actually dawn on me even more that it's really not that long away, that time will fly by and with a blink of the eye, I'll be sat at the airport waiting to board.

Here's to planning for a trip of a lifetime!

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Thursday, 1 October 2015

Eating in the North East - Byron Burger

I think we can all agree that the only thing better than food, is free food, yes? Well, it’s a pretty good job Byron’s has come to town because their Newcastle launch night saw them offer free burgers all round - result!

I’m going to very quietly say (in the hope that you skip past this and don’t actually read it because it’s super boring and you won’t want to waste your time on this part of the post) that I had maybe told myself, and my housemates, that I wasn’t eating out for a whole week and it kind of went out the window in less than 24 hours. But really, how could you possibly say no to the chance of a free burger? You just couldn’t, my hands were tied, they truly were…

After excitedly signing up to the Byron Burger Club on Monday night, I eagerly waited for the email to tell me I was in, that a free burger was mine.

Guys, it came. It swooshed into my inbox and it was a beautiful moment, one I shall never forget.

Tuesday evening just could not come quick enough and as I got off the Metro in the city centre, I’m not going to pretend I wasn’t power walking to the restaurant. I had most probably walked off the calories I was about to consume, my body is basically a temple.

As I came up from the Metro (it’s underground for those of you who aren't familiar with Newcastle), I saw a queue. A long one. It turns out that I wasn’t the only one who was excited at the chance of a free Byron burger although it did mean I could look at how beautiful the city was looking on what was an early evening in September. It was however, pretty nippy so thankfully, my friend had been waiting a while already and after just over 20 minutes, we were shown to a table.

To qualify for the free burger, you were allowed to choose anything from the main menu, including the chicken and veggie options and oh boy, it was a tough one. I ended up getting the classic Byron Burger with courgette fries and for a Tuesday evening at 6pm, it couldn't have gotten much better (I mean I could’ve eaten it on a Caribbean island maybe but y’know).

Byron’s hamburgers are cooked pretty rare, however you do have the choice for it to be cooked more if you so wish. The burger I chose consisted of a patty, with the chain using premium Scottish beef, melted cheese, crispy bacon, salad, drizzled with the Byron’s sauce and a gherkin on the side too! The courgette fries, which I had never tried before, were absolute heaven too. Perhaps a strange condiment to go alongside it, but I also dipped both the burger and fries into the Byron’s hot sauce and holy moly, it was good.

The restaurant was buzzing with people, and the atmosphere was really great. The staff, who were super busy, were absolutely lovely, served our table quickly and didn't make us feel at all rushed, despite the long queue outside waiting to get in.

I think Byron’s, which is situated near Monument and is where a H&M shop used to be, is a really great addition to the city centre, which is seeing huge amounts of renovations in recent months. It’s an exciting time for Newcastle.

I suppose I should now say that the ‘not eating out for a week’ thing, starts now but thinking about it, eating out is basically my hobby and my parents always told me that practise makes perfect when it comes to things like that so… Life’s too short to not eat out (that could totally be a new hashtag).

Are you happy Byron’s is in town? What’s your favourite burger toppings? Leave them in the comments below!

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