• Train travel in Ukraine: What you need to know

    I don’t know about you guys but I love travelling overland, especially by train. Give me a window seat, snacks and a good book and I’m a happy camper. Sadly, the train system in the UK is prohibitively expensive and, for the most part, rubbish. So when I had to make the train journey from Kiev to Lviv in Ukraine, I was probably a little more excited than the average person. What’s more, the journey was 7 hours long meaning I had the perfect excuse to do nothing but daydream and read for pretty much an entire day. Getting around a foreign country by public transport is something I’m very…

  • How to spend one week in Ukraine

    What do you imagine when you think of Ukraine? The endless fields of wheat that earned it the nickname “bread basket of the Soviet Union”? Little old ladies wearing headscarves? Or perhaps your thoughts immediately turn to darker issues. A war zone? A nuclear disaster? Donald Trump’s latest scandal? Until you actually visit a country, you’re only getting half the story. Ukraine may not seem like an obvious holiday destination but then I’m not an obvious holiday destination sort of person. However, it is safe to visit (the war with Russia is only affecting areas on the eastern border), it’s beautiful, offers great value for money and the people are…

  • A food lover’s guide to London Bridge

    As I was travelling up the escalator in London Bridge station, I overheard two guys behind me say “shall we go straight to Pret?” and I inwardly screamed “WHY???” Choosing Pret over any one of the many independent businesses in London is a questionable move at the best of times, but when you’re literally minutes away from Borough Market I have to ask again: why? However, Borough Market isn’t where London Bridge’s food and drink scene begins and ends. London Bridge is a great place to base yourself when visiting the capital, with ample choice of hotels and within easy reach of all the main sights – but if you…

  • 7 of the prettiest cafes in London

      London’s cafes have got so much more going on than the stereotypical greasy spoon (although I do love a good old fashioned caff fry-up). And there’s NO excuse to head for a Starbucks or Cafe Nero. Although the march of the bland chain cafes relentlessly continues its grubby, tax-dodging way across town, there are a vast number of gorgeous and inherently Instagrammable independent cafes waiting for your business. Here’s my pick of the prettiest: Palm Vaults, Hackney It’s an obvious choice, but it’s obvious for a good reason. IT’S BLOODY LUSH! Palm Vaults has already graced the Instagram accounts of a thousand Londoners, with its exposed brickwork, its baby…

  • The prettiest streets in west London

      The beauty of living in such a big, old city is that there is always something new to discover. London is full of hidden corners, delightful cobbled mews, and secret squares. I love west London and its candy coloured houses, especially in spring when the blossom is out. It really does feel like being on the set of a Richard Curtis film. Here are a few of of my favourite streets. Now, where’s that lottery win so can I move into one of them? Godfrey Street, Chelsea Lennox Garden Mews, Knightsbridge Hillgate Place, Notting Hill Bywater Street, Chelsea Kynance Mews, Kensington St Luke’s Mews, Notting Hill Pond Place, Chelsea…

  • 5 top places to drink a Negroni in London

    I discovered the pleasures of a well-mixed Negroni a couple of years ago and have been addicted to them ever since. A Negroni is a cocktail made with one part gin, Campari and vermouth, served over ice, usually with a slice of orange. It’s not for the faint-hearted. Dry and packing a pretty punch, with no mixer this is all thriller, no filler. The last few years have seen Negronis become increasingly fashionable, and you’ll likely find one on most cocktail menus throughout town. Here are 5 of my top picks: Bar Termini Bar Termini is THE place to go for a Negroni.  It’s the where I popped my Negroni cherry…

  • 5 London travel hacks all tourists should know

    After living in London for 12 years I’m now able to navigate this vast city with relative ease.  But I still remember how it felt arriving here as a total newbie.  London can feel like a pretty intimidating place at times.  Working out where to begin, navigating public transport and the sheer volume of people swirling around you at 100mph can be enough to make your head spin.  So here are my top 5 travel hacks to help you get the best out of your time here in the Big Smoke. 1.  Rush past rush hour  I cannot stress this enough.  It’s called “rush hour” for a reason and trust me…

  • Taking A Bite Out Of…..Rye

    With cheap flights to Europe seemingly a dime a dozen, it’s easy to overlook the delights of our very own green and pleasant land.  For a start, travel in Britain is expensive!  So, of course, it’s tempting to forgo a trip to the English countryside in favour of something a little more…well…foreign.  That’s a real shame though, because there are some darling destinations right on London’s doorstep.  The historic town of Rye, on the border of East Sussex  and Kent, rises up out of the endless flats of Romney Marsh as if it wants to flaunt its medieval beauty to the world.  And rightly so, because Rye is movie-set stunning.  What’s more, it…

  • Taking A Bite Out Of…Krakow (Part 2)

    Having resigned myself to the fact that I may put on a pound or two while in Krakow (although calories on holiday don’t count, right?), it was time to fully embrace a cold weather diet.  This was helped along by the fact that the best pierogi shop in Krakow – Przystanek Pierogarnia – was situated right at the end of my street.  Pierogi are boiled dumplings usually filled with potato, cheese or meat – sometimes all three – and topped with fried onions.  This is food that really sticks to your ribs.  I went for the potato and bacon dumplings, and just kept going back for more….  Comfort food has…

  • Taking A Bite Out Of….Krakow (Part 1)

    Winter in London is a bit of a non-event really.  On the rare occasion that it does snow, you can guarantee nothing but grey slush and deadly pavements in a matter of hours.  So this year, I decided to escape the capital for somewhere that can offer a proper winter.  The Polish city of Krakow did not disappoint.  Not only did it provide lots of fluffy white snow for me to jump around in, it is also the best place to experience good, hearty winter cuisine to warm you through. My first meal in Krakow set the tone for my visit.  Braving the drunken hoards of the Old Town, I headed to Pod Aniolami,…