Monthly Archives: October 2015

Kotor: The ‘must-visit’ city for 2016

30th October 2015

KOTOR (1)
Soooo Lonely Planet has published their long awaited Must See Places for 2016 and Kotor has been named best city in the world to visit next year. As a Balkan-born-blogger I am obviously overly proud.
The list is assembled by the LP team of travel writers and tourism experts and I honestly don’t get why they made the city a must visit and not the region on the whole. But then again, Lonely Planet has been having an ID crisis for a while now. I mean Kotor is on the cruise ship tour (where the ghosts of travel bloggers go to die) – not quite an undiscovered gem right?
And yes, the city is a) overcrowded, b) way to expensive for the Balkans and c) not a unknown place at all.
But hey … look how freaking photogenic this place is. I need to get cracking on all those Kotor posts (think: where to find the lovely woman that makes the freshest pomegranate juice, some insider tips and a follow-up on my hike adventure – Hike 2 – the Revenge of the Thigh Burn). But for now I just wanted to share some photos. KOTOR (2) KOTOR (3) KOTOR (4) KOTOR (5) KOTOR (7) KOTOR (8) KOTOR (9) KOTOR (10) KOTOR (11) KOTOR (12) KOTOR (13) KOTOR (14)
Have you been to any of the Must See Places for 2016?

Yes, No, Maybe: What (Not) To Do In Sydney

28th October 2015

sydney to doI must confess I’ve only been to Sydney for three days! So that, and the fact I’m not a big fan of the city meant I wasn’t sure I could do a full post on my own (I’m a Melbourne girl through and through). But my lovely friend Adam (you may have read his posts here or here) just returned from Sydney and together we bring you this very special and pretty incomplete edition of Yes, No, Maybe: What (Not) To Do in Sydney.

 

sydney to doYES
Obviously you should do the Coogee to Bondi Beach and without a doubt it wins all the most panoramic ocean view awards. Depending on how many photo snap stops you make it takes around 1 and a half hours. My favourite stops were the Waverley Cemetery (now that’s a jaw-droppingly good vista) and the pool next to Bondi Beach (which is actually a public swimming pool), but Adam was all about the Bondi Rescue tv-show shootings.

If you are a bit more adventurous (or ‘manly enough’) then Spit to Manly Walk might be for you. In three hours it takes you from the Spit Bridge at Mosman, through the Sydney Harbour National Park where you can catch a peak at some Aboriginal rock art, before heading down to Manly’s famous beach. And don’t worry if you’re not keen on the walk – just hop on a ferry that’ll take you there faster than you can say Crocodile Dundee.

Manly is hipster heaven. You’ll find a ton of must-blog-about places to eat and drink, but Adam highly recommends that you down a beer n’ burger at 4 Pines Brewing Company – their Mega Burger requires you to dislocate your jaw in order to cram it in your mouth, and contains with more cheese and bacon than should be humanly possible. If that sounds a bit heavy in the stomach, head to Daniel San for some Japanese-Asian street food – yes it’s named for the Karate Kid! Sadly, Mr Miyagi couldn’t be found, but I guess he’s balancing on a tree log somewhere or maybe he catches the fish for the sushi in his little boat.

Take a trip to the Blue Mountains. I did one a day trip with a tour company, but Adam went back to basics and did a camping weekend trip. Of course there’s breathtaking scenery, but the Jenolan Caves were probably the most impressive bit, it was like a giant upside down warehouse of nature’s ‘marital aids’.

sydney to do sydney to do

No
Unless you are a movie nut and want to see an action packed blockbuster at the biggest IMAX screen in the world you should stay as far away as possible from Darling Harbour. It’s a soulless crapfest (we actually shouted at the same time) and the typical tourist trap where you’ll find restaurant chains and dull museums/attractions like Madame Tussauds where you can go see low definition giant candles that may look someone you follow on Instagram, or like they looked five years ago.

Don’t get too excited about the Sydney Opera House. It’s so small and dirty brown in real life, it was one of the biggest disappointments. I think it’s only saving grace was that The National played here, only Matt could probably just about make me forgot where I was.

sydney to do

Maybe
If you’ve got £170 or €250 left then why not do the The Bridge Climb experience? You’ve probably dreamt about it since you saw the Olsen twins climb it in the Our Lips Are Sealed. Why don’t they make their films anymore?? It’s a crime. Well, some might say the cost of the Bridge Climb is the real crime. I’ll let you decide. But anyway, for a much cheaper £10 (well a bit under) you can go up to the Pylon for a less energetic view.

I unfortunately didn’t have time to go to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, but Adam said it was one of his favourites as it was like one vivid trip – and a free one too!

Go to the Royal National Park is what pretty much everyone recommended to both of us, but we ignored them, but still want to pay it forward and make someone else go. This place has nature for everyone – beaches, tick, rainforest, tick, wetlands, tick, giant cliffs, tick, even Aboriginal rock art if that’s your thing.

Do you have any tips for Sydney?

 

Lost In Translation – Finnish Words We Could Use in English

18th October 2015

finnish for beginnersWhen I did my student exchange in Finland I tried my best to learn Finnish, but never made it past the essentials like ‘Hello’, ‘ Where is the nearest bar?’ and ‘ Yes, sure I’ll join you to the sauna!’  But I did pick up some of their unusual words, because it turns out the Finnish have found the right word for certain situations that I’d love to import into English.

jaksaa
used in situations to express the lack of energy to do something

kalsarikannit
drinking alone in your underwear with no intention of going out

pilkunnussija – literally “comma fucker”
a person who points out all spelling mistakes

perskärpänen – literally “ass fly”
a person who keeps following you without you wanting them to

raivoraitis – literally “rage sober”
a person who never drinks alcohol and might preach about it

sisu
taking action against the odds and displaying courage and resoluteness in the face of adversity

äpöstää
is when you are eating while drunk and forget about table manners and cutlery

rääppiäiset
a leftover party where you and your friends get together the day after a party to eat and drink the leftovers together

hiprakka
is mild drunkness or that phase before the actual drunkenness where the drinker gets all smiley and more talkative

laskuhumala
the phase that comes after intoxication. You know … when drinks begin to run out, you start to get tired and end up in a bad mood, where you start crying at your shitty life

What’s your favourite word that needs an English equivalent?

HALLOWEEN HOTSPOTS IN LONDON: 2015 EDITION

13th October 2015

halloween

Halloween happenings in London

THE MANSION HALLOWEEN BALL // SATURDAY 31st OCTOBER
This Halloween, Baron Vrykolakas will again be hosting one of the most anticipated and exhilarating events of the season as the Mansion London returns to a secret London location with their annual Halloween Ball.

Renowned among London’s top partygoers for their unmissable, addictive parties and sexy crowd, The Mansion London will on Saturday 31st October fill a private underground venue in Holborn with their most beautiful guests, featuring their most spectacular program yet.

Spread over two floors, resident DJ Joffrey Bogart, DJ Fabrizia and DJ Hatim will be playing a top selection of house music, electro tracks, Ibiza anthems and R&B all night long. The talented percussionist, Nahini will be adding to it all with his electrical djembe beats, while the amazing vocalist, Sofia Di Vuano aka The Little Mistress will be joining in with her soulful and powerful voice, bringing guests out in goose bumps… Other acts will include, two sinfully sexy dancing devils, and Cate Cassi Brick, one of the most famous human statues in the country.

The famous psychic, Erica Maxwell will also be making an appearance on the night, performing free tarot readings to those who dare, while an exclusive art exhibition by Argentum Gallery will display a mysterious painting from Miranda Morley. A truly talented team of make-up artists will also be circulating the building, transforming guests into their most terrifying alter egos, and in true Mansion style, VJ Dalton will project a selection of terrifying, vintage horror movies until early morning hours…

DEAD CARTOONS AT TLYD // // SATURDAY 31st OCTOBER
For a Halloween out of the ordinary, the flatmates of The Little Yellow Door will be throwing a dead cartoon house party, set to be the quirkiest 31st October celebration of them all. Fancy dress mandatory, guests are invited to dress up as their favourite childhood cartoon, zombie style.

Soak your Donald Duck suit in blood, pimp your Powerpuff Girl costume with fangs, or go as mutant Hello Kitty. The more bizarre the better and the best costume will be rewarded.

DIAL M FOR MURDER THIS HALLOWEEN // // SATURDAY 31st OCTOBER
In honour of the dastardliest darkest day of the year, Halloween, M Restaurants will create a night of murder and mystery for their diners. On Saturday 31st October M will be transformed into a 1920s, Hollywood speakeasy where the moonshine flows like water and the gangsters plot their next hit.

Blackwatch Entertainment will be running the show at M with their professional actors on site to create a marvellous Murder Mystery dinner where diners will be asked to get involved, solve the clues and possibly even be the murderer.

Head Chef Jarad McCarroll has created a devilishly good Halloween set-menu with naughty but nice treats including thrilling cured trout, hot as hell yellow fin tuna yakotori and a selection of deadly desserts such as the ginger and lemongrass pudding.

ARCHER STREET PRESENTS THRILLER // SATURDAY 31st OCTOBER
It’s in true Archer Street style that the Soho bar presents Michael Jackson’s Thriller for this year’s Halloween. Famed for their multi talented staff who both sing AND waiter, Archer Street will put on a musical showdown of a celebration inspired by the infamous 1980’s music video.

The sophisticated cocktail bar will be transformed in a glowing graveyard with mini tombstones and scary skeletons lurking in the corners, and for a ghoulish treat, guests will also get to order a special Thriller cocktail for only £4,95. The staff will be dressed in all black with hats and gloves, and MJ himself will even make an appearance with a spooktacular live performance on the night.

Will it be Trick or T-R-E-A-T This Halloween with Pet Pavilion // SATURDAY 31st OCTOBER
London’s favourite pedigree pooch boutique, Pet Pavilion will be transforming itself into a haunted hound parlour for Halloween. Pet Pavilion is equipping their Kensington and Chelsea stores with treats and goodie bags for local customers, to ward off furry, four legged witches and warlocks this Halloween.

On the 31st October, there will be doggy dress up as our favourite four-legged friends are transformed into Halloween hounds, taking the form of characters including Dracula,Yoda and Batman.

 

Barts Presents YELLOWEEN // SATURDAY 31st OCTOBER

Uncle Barts is celebrating his favourite holiday, YELLOWEEN, with a champagne fuelled evening in partnership with Veuve Cliquot, on Thursday, 29th October. Adding bubbles to this bewitching holiday, the Chelsea-based speakeasy will welcome ghoulish guests and goblins to sip on the world’s favourite potion – champagne. Expect frightful fancy dress fever, devilishly dramatic decorations and daring deals on Veuve.

EL PATRON CELEBRATES DAY OF THE DEAD WITH INSECT TACOS // SATURDAY 31st OCTOBER

Calling all daredevils – guests of El Patron are in for an extra special treat this Halloween as the Mexican bar & kitchen marks the Day of the Dead and their first birthday, with a one-off menu, featuring a bespoke selection of Insect Tacos & Cocktails.

A delicacy in Mexico set to challenge even the bravest at heart, diners can sample dishes such as dried worms, marinated cockroaches and glazed scorpions all served on soft corn tortillas with various spices and toppings. Think chilli dried worm tacos with fresh coriander and chunky guacamole, washed down with a Cricket Luchador, made with Mango Margarita, a kick of Jalapeño infused Aretto Blanco, Mango Chillies, Lime and garnished with Crickets.

As evening falls and the cockroach cocktails kicks in, the vibrant restaurant will turn up the heat with their renowned house band, Truly Meadly Deeply playing a selection of Latino classics and top hits. Guests are encouraged to dress up in their most fearless outfits and there will also be face painters circulating the room on the night.

Beaver Lodge Invites You to Buddy’s Haunted Cabin in the Woods // SATURDAY 31st OCTOBER
This Halloween the Jackson Hole inspired nightclub Beaver Lodge, is set to transform from it’s usual warm and cosy atmosphere into a chilling cabin full of ‘spooktacular’ fun, where guests can expect Beavers, Brews and plenty of ‘BOOS’ on Saturday, 31st October 2015. Guests can also enjoy Jim Beam Devil’s Cut Cocktails from 10 p.m. till the earlier hours of the morning where the DJ is spinning on the decks to play a spine chilling set. Other entertainment will feature Sinister Buddy’s cursed cousin ‘X’ the mystical magician. Dressing up on the scariest night of the year is highly encouraged to all our partygoers.

Bunga Bunga Halloween Bash // SATURDAY 31st OCTOBER
Bunga Bunga is bringing the ‘BOO’ factor this Halloween as they host a fun and frightful Halloween bash, which will take place across all three floors. Upon arrival guests wont’ be tricked but will be treated to a complimentary punch. There will be plenty of music as the DJ takes the decks and ensures to put the thrill in thriller from 7 p.m. until the early hours of the morning. Fancy dress is essential and a prize will be given to the best-dressed guest. A makeup artist will also be at the event to transform your boring self into a terrifying ghoul.

Maggie’s Celebrates the 30th Anniversary of the Return of the Living Dead // SATURDAY 31st OCTOBER
Send in the paramedics, as this Halloween Maggie’s is celebrating the 30th Anniversary of The Return of The Living Dead on Saturday, 31st October 2015, a perfect fit for Chelsea’s 80s hotspot where guests can expect a fun, funky and frightful night. Expect sexy and scary Zombies, brains and plenty of gore whilst guest rave to the grave. The Maggie’s bar staff will be dressed up as their favourite spooky characters and guests are encouraged to follow suit. Guests can expect Belvedere Vodka Creepy Cocktails being served by Maggie’s ghouls and ghosts until the wee hours of the morning.

20 Reasons Why Britain is Great

12th October 2015

Ah  … Fish & Chips, tea – the elixer of life – and some of the most iconic land marks: All of this and more await you in Great Britain. Check out this infographic the awesome folks at Citybase Apartments created.

50-reasons-why-britain-is-great

 

What do you like best about Great Britain?