In the previous edition of ‘The Posts That Never Were‘ I covered blog posts ideas that never reached by keyboard. Today I’m covering some of the drafts I came across during my last attempt to clean out the behind the scenes mess. Maybe some self shaming and naming will inspire me to actually finish and publish them or delete them forever!
Budget For Georgia – I loooove reading budget breakdown posts and money diaries and wanted to do one for my Georgia trip, because I wanted to see how cheap it really was and I have a great formula for it. I kept it for day one and two and then just didn’t add anything. Sadly most costs were spent in cash so unless I can time travel I don’t think I’ll be able to remember everything.
An Afternoon in Bratislava – I had planned this whole day as I only had 9 hours. In the end it was just seven hours and included a city tour, food, a stroll and drink which I definitely can get a post out of. The Polaroids I shot there are the highlights though, so maybe they can save the day, or post.
Mexico Memories – How my friends and I left our hotel at 10 PM for a stroll and got back at 6 AM after a night full of dancing, interrogation by the very kind police on the beach and 3 AM search for beer. Most of them are just ‘you had to be there moments’, so I’m trying to make something more shareable out of it.
Barcelona Packing List – In addition to money/budget posts I love packing lists, specifically reading and writing them. But my trip to Barcelona was just 2.5 days … is it even worth it to highlight the skirt, 2 shirts, 1 t-shirt and jeans that I took with me? Don’t think so.
Living In London Musings – is an ongoing project and while it made sense to start off with, it has now a list with very random notes that I have been typed in a hurry and don’t always make sense any more. What does “stairs at Brixton station” even mean, Tea??
Museum Musings – The project I did last winter and spring to keep me from staying inside all weekend every weekend was to revisit museums and rank them. I managed to visit quite a few and the photos and random notes for Tate Modern, Dulwich Picture Gallery and Childhood Museum ready. It just needs to tidied up.
Ways To Can Reduce Waste When Travelling – this is another ongoing project because I obviously want to try them out before writing about it. It would be easy for me to say that one should get a reusable bag for hand luggage toiletries, but twice already I had to transfer my toiletries from my transparent reusable bag (that fits the measurements) to one of the plastic ones at the airport because staff wasn’t sure. Those bags are being reused until they literally break apart.
Do you have any posts that never saw the light of day?
Honestly? When I went to Brighton for the first time a few years ago I thought it was a bit of a faded seaside town. During my last few visits it was a completely different experience, I came across one lively spot after another which really excited me.
Brighton is sometimes called London-by-the-Sea (or even Shoreditch-on-Sea) so obviously there’s a beach and water to play in, but beware it’s a stone/pebble beach, so no sand for you! Even if the weather isn’t bikini proof you can still walk along the beach, dip your toes into the sea and take photos of the derelict pier. If you’re feeling a little peckish why not try a barbecue on the beach, after 6 pm you’re apparently allowed to, but I wouldn’t recommend trying to catch and roast a seagull – they are everywhere but sadly I doubt they taste very nice.
My favourite thing to do was walking through the Lanes and exploring the cute (vintage) shops and small markets in the tiny alleys. Also make sure to pop by the Photo Booth in Snoopers Paradise which comes with a dress-up box – I was a cowboy, safari ranger and crocodile all in the space of 3 minutes (I’m not crazy I swear!). These areas are full of street art too, so get snapping, staring or being inspired.
On my last visit I spotted Eden Perfumes on the Lanes and got very excited to see the shop. Eden Perfumes create vegan, cruelty-free versions of your favourite perfumes and I got their their versions of Black Opium and Flowerbomb last Christmas. Though they don’t claim these are identical I honestly can’t smell the difference, they only fade a bit quicker than the original. But at £15 for a 30 ml bottle that is still super afforable.
There are so many coffee places in the Lanes and it’s a definitely gamble if the place you walk into is going to be any good. Thankfully Bond Street Coffee do damn good mocha and latte as well as tasty treats, like their banana bread that I’m still dreaming about.
While one of its piers has been long since abandoned, the major Brighton Palace Pier is still going strong, with its cheesy arcade, fairground rides and fast food stalls. Ignore the trashiness and it’s perfect for an evening walk topped off with a portion of fish and chips, the walk was quite a while, the pier seemed to go on forever!
If arcades and rides aren’t your thing, then why not try a round or two of Mini/Crazy Golf? You’ll find three places to putt away on the promenade, two of them are themed – as we like it these days – but the one closest to the pier, which is simply called Crazy Golf, is a stripped down and no fuss old fashioned one where it’s all about simple joy of hitting the ball. And for £3, who can really complain?
When you’ve worked up an appetite crazy-golfing like a pro, head to Lucky Beach for a lunch. They have selection of top-notch sandwiches and delicious burgers and use locally-sourced and sustainable produce where possible and have lots of vegan and vegetarian options. But really, the hardest part for me was choosing between passion fruit, watermelon, rhubard and elderflower fizz.
Unsure on your evening food options? Well, 64 Degrees is the place to be. It has one of the best concepts ever: they serve 16 small and dishes (four meat, four fish and four vegetables) on the menu, the idea is that you share your food and that way try as much of the menu as you can. This is perfect for someone who can’t choose (yours truly). And because they feel the kitchen is the heart of a restaurant, you sit at the bar overlooking them prepare, just order dish after dish and watch them do some culinary magic. The portions are not huge and the menu is kept light so you get to have dessert without feeling too guilty. And in case you’re wondering, their name is after the temperature they cook their eggs at.
If you decide to lay your head to rest in the city then make sure it’s on a pillow at Arts Residence Brighton, a quirky hotel-meets-art boutique. I really loved the background story too: the hotel had been in the family for years and when times were harder they changed course and enlisted the help of local artists.The artists each took one of the 23 rooms and gave them their own theme. This really adds some extra character – and there is also the killer view.
Have you visited Brighton recently, and if so, have any good spots I should check out on my next visit?
Last month I was lucky enough to spend a few days in Barcelona, most of which was spent enjoying food…lots of food. Here are some dishes I had which I still can’t stop thinking about!
Bunyols de Vent
Bunyols de Vent is Catalan’s answer to the doughnut…and it was one answer I couldn’t get enough of! All the more special was the fact I’m not a fan of deep-fried desserts – be that doughnuts, Dutch olliebollen or Spanish churros – but these deep-fried delicacies filled with custard and fennel seeds did the impossible and converted me…well just a bit.
Calçotada and sangria at Vinitus
The evening we walked into Vinitus I had my doubts about the place as in the middle of a busy street and looked too hip for tapas. But everything was so delicious, from the veggie croquetas and various potato dishes to the fried mini peppers and everything else I could cram into my mouth. But most of all two things stood out for me: the roasted spring onion/leeks that gave my taste buds pure joy and their Sangria with its secret ingredient that I’m still trying to track down for my own tipples back home.
Cheese and baguettes from La Boqueta Market
This market was fill to the brim with things I wanted to chow down on and take home in the bucketloads, but my pick had to be the three cheese mix and baguette that made my sunny picnic complete.
Croquettes at Sagrades Tannines
As croquettes are traditionally made with pork they’re usually off limits to me, so I was super happy to see chicken and cheese versions at Sagradas Tannines that I finally could order. The place also did a raclette type of potato dish that had my mouth watering.
Patatas Bravas at Enkel
Now Enkel isn’t a traditional place and offers everything your hipster brunch place back home has, so feeling obligated to order something local I opted for their patatas bravas with green chili sauce and garlic mayo … and boy I was happy I did! They were without a doubt the best ones I had in Barcelona and possibly even the world!
What holiday meals and treats do you still dream about?
Stay at Locke Hotel in Edinburgh
Oh check me in already ! My visit to Edinburgh was way too short and I need to go back to check out Edinburgh Castle, visit a museum and walk up Arthur’s Seat. And I would honestly consider this place.
If I ever head towards Cornwall it would be for the Eden Project, but North Cornwall looks very cute and I wouldn’t mind visiting some of their coastal towns.
I do want to! There are castles, seaside towns and Jurassic Coast and they all look amazing, but I don’t have a car or even a licence so it looks like that’s one for maybe someday.
Another one of those ‘shires I did not know anything about. Though after Googling I do remember a few bloggers writing about their world famous pottery factory. It’s not on the top of my list, but if I ever head in that direction I’d love to check out the Lichfield Cathedral, Weston Park or Kinver Edge.
Aberdeenshire has a castle (and it’s pink!!). I think we have a theme here as it’s the third place with a castle/palace that’s trying to get me there. Also Huntly Castle is giving me urbex vibes and I would love to go there. I wouldn’t mind staying at the Fife Arms while heading out there.
Stay the Boardwalk Apartments
All great, but if I ever book another overnight stay in Brighton it would be at the Artist Residence again. If only for the fluffiest pancakes in the world for breakfast.
Wilderness Hotel Suffolk
A stay in a manor house? That has Tea written all over it. But I don’t think it can top staying in Hever Castle, so I might want to give this one a miss.
Go To Cromer
Surprisingly for me, I actually did know where Cromer was … well I had to guess it was in Norfolk as I regonised the pier on the photo from Alan Partridge: Alha Papa. And honestly? I would visit if it didn’t take 3 hours 45 minutes on the train each way.
I’d love to visit one of the UK’s islands. I always thought Isle of Wight was the go to place (there is the Garlic Farm, Antique Dolls Museum and Osborne House) but Jersey looks ok too. I mean if only to eat all the Jersey potatoes I could get my hands on.
Travel inspiration can come from all sorts of places, whether it’s a book, film/TV or your latest sponsored social media post. But one place you not think is from computer games. While I don’t tend to play them, I occasionally see watch them from afar and they surprisingly are quite the travel adverts. So in the spirit of my post on Travel Movies I Wish I Was Part Of, here’s my top picks which will get you booking holidays ASAP.
These Indiana Jones-inspired platform shooters feature some of the most desirable travel locations you can think of – the Himalayas, Borneo, Madagascar, the Amazon, Yemen and even London. The way the games tie actual historical facts and figures to the locations is one most impressive feats – and ties directly to the fascination of some travellers who love to explore the history of the place through its historic stories.
With countless games traversing the world, these history-based adventures take you from the Caribbean to Egypt and Ancient Rome, and many many more. The most recent games have also had ‘tourist’ style modes, allowing you explore without having to dodge arrows and swords, so at a much more leisurely pace, getting you read for your real-life adventure.
While this fantasy role playing game is set in an entirely fictional world, the inspirations the creators have taken in their level design more than give nods to real life locations that begged to be visited. The icy fjords and islands of Skellige could easily be Scandinavia, while Novigrad takes inspiration from Amsterdam and Gdansk, and Oxenfurt pays homage to the university city of Oxford.
Again, it may be an adventure series with dragons, magic and all kinds of fantasy malarkey, but the places you visit owe a hefty debt to bits of planet you can actually go and see. Skyrim is a bit of a mixed-bag, with inspirations taken from Norway, Wales, Northern Ireland and Switzerland to name but a few, while Oblivion has obvious nods to Western Europe and New Zealand (in a Peter Jackson, LOTR sense).
Grand Theft Auto
The GTA series is a rather vivid take on the USA, but despite the extreme cartoony violence and general ‘over-the-top’ themes, the remarkably realistic depictions of cities like New York (Liberty City), Los Angeles (San Andreas) and Miami (Vice City) are more than worth coming back to. The fact you can even explore the cities and beyond by air will get your travel imagination going ever more.
Apocalyptic game series might not be the ideal tourist advert, I mean who wants to be gouged to death by radiated zombies, mutants and horrifically large sized insects while sightseeing? But aside from that, these games give a picture-postcard take on most of the main landmarks you’d be hitting up on your travels. Fallout 3 is a reasonably decent take on Washington DC and its surrounds, while Fallout 4’s version of Boston and its surrounds is remarkably well done.
Red Dead Redemption
While you can’t take to your horse, kidnap bounties and engage in mass shootouts like you could back then, the cowboy GTA games do produce some of the loveliest North American landscapes and love letters to the everywhere from New Orleans to the Appalachians and Mexico. Definitely one to get your travel taste buds tingling.
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