Just Saying Hi

So it’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post. Even longer since I’ve written a post that wasn’t a book wrap up! Radio silence all summer. But you’ve got to assume I’ve been doing something, right? We all know how bad I am for staring at walls and letting life pass me by! However, I think I’ve done quite a bit this summer! But I’ve missed writing posts so want to ease myself back in. Today, I thought I’d give you a quick overview of what I’ve been getting up to recently in everyone’s favourite form: a list!

I completed a week-long readathon, reading seven books in total.

Did a run in the rain. (Thanks, British Summer)

Met my friend and did tequilas at 5pm on a Monday.

Watched hours of a Devil May Cry Let’s Play on YouTube with Danny. (Mainly assume Danny’s with me for most of the list so I don’t have to keep typing his name!)

Tried to eat at two pubs on a random Wednesday and was told there was no seats so settled for a chippy instead with my nan.

Finally completed a 750 Harry Potter jigsaw after a long ten-week slog (we thought it would be a piece if cake, how wrong we were). Thanks Dad, Claire, Neil, Jules, Keith and anyone else for your help!

Opened an ISA to buy a house cos I’m an adult.

Sat up chatting all evening with my sister. Mainly about her upcoming wedding!

Went to The National Gallery in London and realised, damn, art is stunning.

Did a morning run in Hyde Park.

Went to so many London book shops including one on a boat!

Met a couple of friends for a drink in Camden and then went to an arcade.

Played board games for hours at Draughts.

Went for a fancy tea and drinks with my family and listened to live jazz with espresso martinis.

Celebrated my mum’s birthday by baking loads of cakes.

Rearranged my bookshelves!

Played mini-golf with Danny’s mates then drank too many beers.

Saw Feeder play four songs.

Got insanely drunk with Danny and my brother and did karaoke.

Went to Frost Burgers (a vegan junk food place) in Liverpool and wanted to cry about how good the food was.

Drank more beers with Danny’s friends and played board games.

Watched Love, Simon then Rambo: First Blood immediately after, you know, for variety.

Walked around Ogwen Lake in the Wales with Danny and my dad. Then we visited every takeaway in Bethesda to create the ultimate combination feast.

After camping overnight we went to Penrhyn Castle and Gardens and it was amazing, go.

Did a run after a two-week break, we almost passed out.

Had a big nap.

Read loads as I was doing a month-long readathon and after 19 days of August had read 1 of my 9 books!

Went for a walk on Crosby beach with the Iron Men.

Danny made me a Katsu Curry from scratch.

Went to Birmingham with my sisters for lots of wedmin (Wedding Admin).

Made a set of cupboards for my dad that had the absolute worst instructions I’ve ever seen in a flat pack. Got treated to a Pizza Express for our efforts!

Made another cupboard and wanted to jump off a cliff. (Still one to go!)

Won my first ever game of Blob (it’s a card game.)

Went back to Frost Burgers.

Saw Once Upon A Time In Hollywood.

Downloaded an app called Libby that let’s you rent all the e/audiobooks your local library has to offer!

Drank more beers and played more board games with the Wirral Boys.

Finished my ninth book of August on the last day of the readathon.

And there’s my summer! I hope you enjoyed the endless scroll there.

How was your summer? I’d love to hear the most bizarre thing you did. If you’re sad that summer is over, just remember it’s autumn now and that’s even better!

Soothsayer – Of Monsters and Men

Berlin Vegan Food + Drink

I’m currently sat on the Eurostar to Paris for the week with Danny, so I thought what better time to continue the world adventures series. Today we’ll be flashing back to February when we were in Berlin. I love Berlin. If I could live anywhere in the world it would be Liverpool, Dublin, Berlin or New York. I’ve always felt an unusual affinity with Berlin and I have no idea why. Before I ever went there I knew I’d feel at home. And since going in twentyseventeen I’ve been rushing back whenever I can. One of my favourite parts of Berlin is the insanely good and varied vegan food as well as the relaxed, alternative nightlife. We only popped over for a quick couple of days this time but we managed to fit in some delicious food and, of course, unlimited bier. Okay, let’s get going!

Dada Falafel

My sister recommended this to us and as we arrived at our Airbnb in the early evening we were famished! I got a falafel platter and it was amazing. Gigantic, crunchy falafel balls as well as hummus’, salads and pittas. Beware: there was an insanely hot sauce on this plate that looked like an innocent tomato sauce, don’t be fooled! Not solely vegan but very tasty and lovely staff who were happy to politely take the piss out of two English dickheads trying to use German fresh off the plane.

Die Bar

This little bar is in Prenzlauer Berg right by our apartment. It’s small and cosy with very low atmospheric lighting. Table service when it’s not rammed. This gin bar has over forty different gins as well as good beers and moorish cocktails. One thing to note about Berlin is it’s still legal to smoke indoors. If that’s something that might bother you then just be careful where you go. This place had a very cave-like ambiance that we really enjoyed but it meant smoke was very much in your lungs the entire time!

Samadhi

After spending a morning touristing around the Reichstag Dome and the Tiergarten we were ready for some delicious food. After a quick look on HappyCow we saw this little southeast Asian place just past the Jewish memorial. And man, are we glad we found it! It was delicious. They’re fully veggie but more than happy to make most of their dishes vegan. I had a tofu fried rice which just makes anything you cook at home taste like utter garbage. We also had a beer there that was like a German Guinness type thing. Was tasty.

Brammibals Donuts

Need I say more? This is a fully vegan donut shop! Really cute interior and friendly staff. We had oat milk lattes and too many donuts. They seem to switch the donuts around a lot however if the chocolate peanut butter one is there, get it! So good.

Soulcat

This bar is a lovely cosy venue with bright red walls that plays only vinyl records selected by the bartender. Very welcoming and great music choices. The Liverpool/Bayern Munich game was being shown when we were there (we tried to keep our scouse voices on the down low, turns out most of the people were actually Liverpool fans since Munich is obviously a Berlin rival) but we just sat in a little nook away from the big screen and it was perfectly pleasant. Another thing to note about Berlin is a heck of a lot of the bars are still cash only so don’t be caught out!

Lerchen&Eulen

This is hands down my favourite place in Berlin. What I love most about the Berlin nightlife is the fact you don’t have to go to the pub then come one am go off to some horrendous club and dance. A lot of bars are open til five and six am but they just stay as relaxed, causal, cosy places to sit and drink wine by candlelight. Literally so calming and fun. I first stumbled across this place a couple of years ago when I was with my sister and her boyfriend. She wanted to go in cos they had lots of nice plants outside! So glad we went in and now it’s a cosy bar I’ll head to every time I’m there.

Street Angels

This place, man, this place I had the most disgusting burger of my life. Zero exaggeration. I was so feeling just like a really good veggie burger and then we found this place on HappyCow so headed over. I don’t want to slate the venue itself because the place was nice, very quiet but it had just opened, and the staff were very friendly. But under no circumstances do I want anyone reading this to ever eat that burger! So I had to warn you. It was all kinds of wrong. Had like potato in, looked so crispy and good on the outside but then was just like a weird mushy fiasco inside. Tasted of nothing. Don’t do it. On the plus side, for any meat eaters, Danny had a schnitzel and said it was very good!

Bämeräng

On our last night we went to this vegan rock bar and boy, we were not disappointed. We had some nachos and garlic bread and some really weird Berlin delicacy which was just like dense bread with thick butter on and crispy onion bits (we were not a fan). We also had some huge steins of beer, cos, Germany. It was a small little place and we didn’t want to take up space for too long but the guy was really friendly and when he brought us another beer he brought some pretzels. Then he convinced us to try the tiramisu and I was easily convinced because I love tiramisu but have never had a vegan one. It was incredible. Next thing we know the guy puts a shot down on our table and we’re thinking errr we didn’t order those and then he said it’s a peppermint liqueur that’s very popular in Berlin. Oh, and it was free. It was delicious and we left feeling completely satisfied but also happy about how fucking lovely the service had been. Feels intimidating at first because it’s so small but we would definitely go back!

Hunger – Of Monsters and Men

World Adventures: Manchester Food + Drink

As promised, here, for our second World Adventures post, is my food and drink recommendations for Manchester. Where to even begin! Just reading this is gonna make you feel full. Not hungry, full. We were so full all weekend we could barely drink a pint! Just too much liquid. All the vegan food we had was absolutely amazing though! We also found a few favourite pubs around the Northern Quarter. Everything we went to was less than ten minutes walk away from our Airbnb. We’re now big fans of the Northern Quarter! Let’s stop this chit chat though cos we’ve got a lot to get through!

Go Falafel

Dude, best falafel in the North West. Without a doubt. It saddens me every day that I haven’t found a better one in Liverpool and I’ll keep looking. But for now I’d rather pop on a train when I’m craving insanely tasty deep fried chickpea goodness. Get a wrap or get a bowl, you literally can’t go wrong.

Pasta Factory

My first time at the pasta factory. It’s an authentic Italian restaurant with fresh pasta made in the kitchen. And a surprising amount of vegan options. I got a creamy, pesto, courgette spaghetti. Was fucking divine. Note to self: you will not need a starter, even an innocence breadoilolive combo. Also try the red Coca Cola, really good.

Little Aladdin

Dude, where to even begin with Aladdin’s. It’s a little kebab looking shop with plastic seats that turned vegan a while back. But don’t let your prejudices cloud your judgement. This place is no bullshit. The curries are amazing. There’s cheesy fries and burgers and wraps and homemade brownies. The people are always very friendly. Great value. And I’d definitely recommend the tofu/falafel wrap combo.

The Koffee Pot

Our apartment was literally on top of this place and people always looked like they were having a great breakfast inside! We finally caved on the Sunday and went in. They boast a different cooked breakfast from all four corners of the U.K., Danny can recommend the Scottish. The vegan breakfast was great though, could have done without the vegan black pudding but that’s just me!

V Rev

This I’ve known about for ages and just figured it wouldn’t live up to the hype. I was, of course, wrong. Burgers don’t come with fries, if you want to leave with your jeans closed I wouldn’t add them. I got a Jimmy Pesto which was buttermilk seitan, cashew pesto goodness. Such delicious goodness. Also loads of cocktails. Just go.

Castle Hotel

Probably my favourite pub of the weekend. Can be a bit of a squeeze if busy but if you get a seat you could stay all night. Nice atmosphere, dingy in all the right ways. Open late and even had mulled cider on! It was Christmas like, but still! Also has a venue room where live bands play.

Crown & Kettle

This place is a must if you love cider cos they have a cider bar! Yeah. An entire bar for cider. It’s bliss. There’s also lots of games to play. It’s a nice circular pub with a few nooks to sit. Just a lovely chilled out vibe, definitely recommend.

Shakespeare Pub

This one we honestly ran into to avoid the rain. I did appreciate the name though. It ended up being quite cute, aside from the loud drunk people next to us at three pm. But it was pay day weekend and the week before Christmas so what can you expect? Nice little place.

Sinclairs Oyster Bar

Right round the corner from Victoria station, this small and very old pub is a delight. Small selection of drinks but cheap. Lots of chairs and little hidden areas. We spent hours here just playing cards. Very relaxed.

And there you have it! I’d love to know your Manchester recommendations. Next week we’ll be jumping on a train to Birmingham!

Hey Now – The Regrettes

Summer in the City

Proof that Liverpool is the best city, I’ve got the next few weekends sorted for you.

Brazilica

14th July

Starting in 2008 as part of Liverpool’s Capital of Culture celebrations, Brazilica is a parade that celebrates Brazilian music and culture as well as the magic of carnival. The parade sucks in around 30,000 visitors each year; this is probably due to the intoxicating atmosphere. There’s so much going on between drumming bands, samba dancers, colourful costumes and intricate floats. The parade begins on Abercromby Street and will wind down through the city and end in Williamson Square. The event will also host live Brazilian/Afro Latin music on a stage at the waterfront. It’s not to be missed! The event is free. http://brazilicafestival.co.uk

Liverpool International Music Festival (LIMF)

@ Sefton Park, 21-22nd July

As always this is one of Liverpool’s biggest events of the year and you should be there. The two day festival showcases music from many countries and cultures to celebrate the vibrant history and diversity of our city. This year LIMF has named their theme ‘Co-Exist and Connection’ which seems like an excellent idea to explore this year given the current world political climate. It’s also a great way for Liverpool to celebrate it’s ten year anniversary of Capital of Culture. Artists include Basement Jaxx (DJ set), DJ Jazzy Jeff and Jax Jones. Tickets start at £5 and under 11s go for free. http://www.limfestival.com

Liverpool Pride

28-29th July

Pride is always guaranteed to be an excellent weekend. As it’s still quite a new event in Liverpool, the event continues to blossom an get bigger and better each year. Ran by an entirely volunteer-led charity Pride aims to combat homophobia and transphobia in Liverpool and across the world. Their website states their core values to be FREE, INCLUSIVE, VISIBLE. So whether you’re part of the LGBTQ+ community of just an enthusiatic ally, this weekend is not to be missed. Whether you want to be in the colourful parade through our streets or celebrate from the side of the road it’s up to you. The march will start at Liverpool Central Library and twist though the city to end on Tithebarn Street where a main stage will be set up full of excellent performers including, Atomic Kitten and Sophie Ellis-Bextor. This year Pride will also be hosting events on the Sunday that are more casual, family-friendly. Sunday is about learning, experiencing and making a difference. This event is free. https://liverpoolpride.co.uk

There’s just something magical about the summer, don’t you think?

T-shirt Weather – Circa Waves

Beer Gardens and Roof Terraces

We’re finally starting to see some sunshine here in Liverpool so I thought it was about time for an Indie Liverpool pt.3! To match the warmer weather I thought it would be perfect to share with you some of the excellent beer gardens and roof terraces Liverpool has to offer. To all you parents though, this article is not going to be very kid-friendly so start digging out those babysitter phone numbers now!

Ye Cracke

An oldie but a goodie. If you remember from the first Indie Liverpool I mentioned this pub as a perfect independent location to visit in our city. You may also remember that I mentioned it had a beer garden. Well it was winter then but now that we’re heading into summer this is a must-see! The atmospheric beer garden is situated right in the middle fo the city with many tall buildings around it. You get a great slice of blue sky there though and it’s just a sublime place to sit with a scrumpy cider and bask in Liverpool’s glory. http://www.yecracke.co.uk

HUS

Now again, if you’ve not managed to get to this venue yet after it was mentioned in a Indie Liverpool pt.2 you might want to get it on your list. HUS’s rooftop terrace is the best place to while away your evening hours. From the rooftop you can see the beautiful Liverpool skyline including St. John’s Beacon as well as a lovely slice of the Mersey. The terrace is fitted with a grill, some lovely grass and some twinkly lighting making it the perfect place to spend sunset. https://www.facebook.com/HUSLPOOL/

Kazimier Gardens

There has been many reincarnations and renovations of the great venue Kazimier and whilst the main indoor music venue was closed down a couple of years ago the excellent sister location Kazimier Gardens is still going strong next door. This boho kind-of-indoor, kind-of-outdoor bar is brilliant for a mulled wine or gin and tonic alike. Whether you’re huddled in the bustle of excited conversations or the entranced crowd of a bluegrass show this venue is a must visit. All the wooden furniture and wild plants give the location a great outdoor feel whilst really being in the centre of town. https://www.facebook.com/KazimierGarden/

OH ME OH MY

This Water Street venue boasts one of the most intoxicating views of Liverpool with their roof garden, Goodness Gracious. The good news is they’ve opened it for summer again! From the top you can see the whole front and all the Graces. With the same owners as Leaf on Bold Street you know this venue is going to deliver. So whether you want something casual and creative or something a bit more classy, this is the venue for you. https://ohmeohmyliverpool.co.uk/roof-garden/

Other honourable mentions (I know you want a bar crawl really!): Heebies, Red Door, 30 James Street, The Peacock, Constellations, Botanical Garden, District, The Lodge, Pump House, Free State Kitchen.

Pt.4 is coming.

In The Morning – The Coral

Indie Liverpool Pt.2

The long-awaited second instalment of Indie Liverpool is here. In case you missed the first one, I’m just telling you some of my favourite independent bars, pubs, clubs, restaurants, cafes in Liverpool. If we’re honest, this series could go on for another sixty-three parts because there’s just so many boss places in Liverpool! I’m glad a get to call it my city and I’m glad I get to show you some of the cool hideouts. Enjoy.

HUS – If it’s a great pint you’re after, look no further – HUS offers the first Tank Beer in Liverpool. This new venture by the Baltic Social owners has Scandinavian vibes, a rooftop terrace (I’m super excited for this to reopen) in the business district and amazing cocktails with chilli in them. Weird, I know, but worth a try. https://www.facebook.com/HUSLPOOL/

The Egg Cafe – An awesome hideout off Bold Street if you can hack the winding stairs up to the cafe. It’s BYOB as all the best places are, just pay a contribution. The Egg is one of Liverpool’s original vegetarian hangouts featuring many classics on the menu as well as new rotating mains, very quirky and excellent anytime of day. I would definitely recommend the garlic bread meal after years of eating maybe eighty of them. Offers Independent Liverpool Card Discount. https://www.eggcafe.co.uk

Leaf – Whether it’s food, tea or a boss gin cocktail you’re looking for, Leaf has it all. Obviously named after their tea, this venue offers a ridiculous array of lose leaf teas just waiting to be brewed for you. With a relaxed atmosphere in the day time, Leaf also turns into a pretty busy bar at night with live music. I don’t think you could go wrong with any time of day. Offers Independent Liverpool Card Discount. https://thisisleaf.co.uk/liverpool/

The Grapes – This hideout is a must for any good city centre pub crawl. It used to be known for the squish you’d have to endure from one side of the venue to the other but after having a facelift last year, the pub now boasts almost double the amount of seating space as well as an upstairs roof terrace. Fair warning, it will still get crammed in the evening, what can I say, everyone wants to go here! There’s not much to say about The Grapes other than that it is quintessentially Liverpool. It’s good booze and good people. And what more could you want? https://www.facebook.com/pages/Grapes/160498220633965

Matta’s – Something a bit different. Matta’s is not a bar or a restaurant but a supermarket. Why is it on the list? Because it has literally everything you could ever want. It has all your bougie grains and nuts available in bulk. It also has a wide range of vegan essentials that you can’t find in many other places, for example Vegenaise! The grocer also offers almost every spice, herb or condiment you could dream of including a lot of great international foods. Offers Independent Liverpool Card Discount. https://www.mattas.co.uk

Pt.3 is coming.

Mersey Paradise – The Stone Roses

Liverpool, The Indie Way

Liverpool is my hometown and I feel pretty stoked to come from here. The people are boss, we’ve got tons of history and culture and if it’s hedonism you’re after you need look no further. I’ve been back here for about a year since finishing uni and in that time I’ve spent most of my wages on drinking too many pints and cocktails and trying every veggie meal the restaurants have to offer. Liverpool has a great independent vibe that is only growing so I figured I’d share with you some of my favourite indie spots across the city. These are cafes, restaurants, bars, pubs, clubs. Anything boss, basically. So whether you’re from the city and looking for something new or new to the city and looking for something quintessentially Liverpool, I got you.

Ship and Mitre – I’m putting it out there, this is possibly my favourite pub in Liverpool. Simply, it does what a pub should, serves great booze. The energy is addictive, relaxed. Being on Dale Street it’s also walking distance from the financial district so if anyone’s looking for a Friday pick me up they’ve got cask ales, craft beers, scrumpy ciders. http://www.theshipandmitre.com

Down the Hatch – Standing on the ashes of the legendary club, Le Bateau, I had reservations about this new veggie/vegan restaurant. Located in a basement on Duke Street I was pleasantly surprised. The interior is atmospheric but cosy, the food is comfort – DTH boosts a veggie junk food menu. If that’s not enough the cocktails are amazing, definitely try the Scouse 75. Offers Independent Liverpool Card Discount. https://www.facebook.com/downthehatchLIV/

EBGBS – Heebie Jeebies little brother, completely renovated last summer, the venue is a dark, basement, biker style bar that homes Liverpool’s longest running indie club night, Liquidation, on Saturday nights. So let’s dance to Joy Division, Bowie and the Bunnymen. Offers Independent Liverpool Card Discount. https://www.ebgbs.co.uk

Ye Cracke – One of Liverpool’s oldest pubs on Rice Street, off Hope Street, The War Room section is actually a listed building. The place is steeped in history; the pub was Lennon’s old watering hole when he was at art school. Also offers a large beer garden where you can waste the hot days away. Just so you know, it’s pronounced ‘The Cracke’ if you don’t want to sound like a prick. http://www.yecracke.co.uk

The Brink – The first dry bar in the UK, The Brink focuses on being inclusive. It’s a recovery social enterprise and often houses local artists, poets, musicians. They have a great range of mocktails and other juices for just £2.95. Extensive menu, offers an afternoon tea and is great for vegetarians. Offers Independent Liverpool Card Discount. http://thebrinkliverpool.com

Part Two is coming.

Paperback Writer – The Beatles