Monday, 29 December 2014

5 Reasons you should watch the Paddington movie

1. It's not just for kids
This is the kind of film that all generations will enjoy; from adults who grew up reading the Paddington books to their children who are getting to know him for the first time. At the screening I went to everyone of all ages was laughing along throughout the whole film.
2. There's a back story
I love that the beginning of the film is set in darkest Peru where we get to see Paddington at home with his aunt and uncle and learn the reason behind his journey to London. And the reason for his love of marmalade sandwiches!
3. They're all in it
It's one of those films where you keep going 'oh it's him from that television programme' 'and it's her from that film we watched the other day.' The stellar cast includes Hugh Bonneville, Nicole Kidman, Julie Walters, Peter Capaldi, Sally Hawkins, Jim Broadbent and even a small cameo appearance by the author of the books, Michael Bond.
4. Old fashioned slapstick and hi jinks
There's confusion over escalators, tooth brushes, bathtubs and sellotape. There are races and chases through a jolly London filled with black cabs, double decker buses and pastel coloured houses. And there's the best scene which is a whole reason in itself to go and watch the film...
5. Hugh Bonneville (aka Earl of Grantham in Downton Abbey) dressed as a cleaning lady
Do you really need any more of a reason than that!

Have you seen the Paddington movie yet? Do you want to see it?

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Travel Tuesday: Holland Park

When I was in London with my mum, we dropped into Holland Park in Chelsea. All of the gardens are really beautiful but for me the main attraction was the Kyoto Garden because before I started University I spent a year living in Japan. The garden was designed in 1992 to celebrate the Japan festival in London. It was so nice walking around the Kyoto garden, like a slice of Japan in London.
Next to the Kyoto Garden is a Fukushim Garden which was made in 2012 to commemorate the gratitude of the Japanese people to British people for their support after the earthquake and tsunami in 2011. If you ever go to Holland Park make sure you find the Kyoto Garden and Fukushima Garden, they're really beautiful and its cheaper than a flight to Japan! 

Have you ever been to Holland Park?

Linking up with Travel Tuesday

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Northumberland: Derwent Resevoir and Blanchland

I'm back again! It's been over a month since I last blogged, been a bit busy with uni, but now it's the christmas holidays so hopefully I'll get back to blogging more regularly. Anyway, without further ado here are some photos from my family trip to Northumberland in October.

On the first day we went for a walk around part of Derwent Resevoir which was really nice. Then on the second day we went to Blanchland, a small picturesque village seeped in history. Many of the buildings are built with stones from the remains of Blanchland Abbey which got it's name due the French canons who lived at the Abbey and wore white habits.

There are many great scenic walks around Blanchland, we kept on walking in and out of County Durham and Northumberland because the village is so close the border of both counties. At the end of our walk we popped in to The Lord Crewe Arms, a pub and hotel dating back to the 12th century. If you find yourself in this area of County Durham/ Northumberland then you must go and get a drink from their amazing medieval Crypt Bar.

We may have been talking to the sheep to try and get them to look at the camera...

Between two counties
Do you like going for country walks when you go on holiday?

Linking up with the Bring Your Own Post linkup

Thursday, 30 October 2014

The House of The Trembling Madness

I am back home in York! On Saturday I got the train down from Newcastle, where I go to uni, because I have an 'independent study week'.  This basically means you are set loads of work to do on your own instead of going to lectures, but it also meant that I could come home!

Last night it was the first night of Illuminating York which is an annual light festival in York. Anyway, as well as wondering around looking at lit up buildings, my mum and I went into a pub called The House of Trembling Madness. I mean for starters doesn't it just have the best name ever!

The House of Trembling Madness has got to be one of the most atmospheric pubs in York. Situated along Stonegate in a medieval hall above a shop which specialises in beers from all over the world,  they serve micro-brews, beers and ales as well as some delicious food in generous portions. The decor is amazing with high ceilings, exposed beams, antique furniture and lots of candles.

When we arrived it was packed with people but luckily a couple were just leaving so we got their seats. We had to share a table and wait quite a while for the food to come, but when it did, boy was it worth it! We shared a dish called chorizo in scrumpy which I highly recommend!

Food and Drink: 5 stars | Service: 4 stars | Value: 5 stars | Atmosphere: 5 stars

Location: 48 Stonegate, York

Sorry for the really bad quality of the photos, in my defense it was dark and I took them on my phone. Not a good combination. For better photos visit their website.

This photo doesn't do the food any justice. It looked really good and when it came everyone else looked on with envy!

Have you ever been to a really atmospheric pub like this?

Linking up with Treat YoSelf Thursday

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Selfridges window displays

We were on a bus on our way to the John Lewis exhibition when it stopped outside Selfridges. 
Me, 'ooh look at those window displays.' 
Mum, 'do you want to get off now so you can take some photos?' 
Mothers know us so well don't they! I am always stopping to take photos of window displays and the ones in Selfridges were worth the extra walk.

The window displays were part of their campaign, Meet the Makers, which profiled some of the makers of food products sold in their stores. I really liked this idea and thought that the displays were very eye catching. While I was there they gained a lot of interest from passers-by; I could see other people were stopping to look at the windows.

Meet the cheese maker: Gringer Dairy

Meet the cake artist: Scott Hove

Meet the coffee roaster: Origin Coffee

Meet the brewers: Camden Town Brewery

Meet the charcutiers:  Cannon and Cannon

Meet the meringue makers: Meringue Girls

Meet the bug-eating blogger: Girl meets Bug

Meet the mixologist: Mr Lyan

My favourite window was the Girl meets Bug one as I love how it's set up as an American Diner. 
Which is your favourite?

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Travel Tuesday: The Best Gardens in Kyoto

A while ago I wrote a guest post for Claire who blogs over at Somewhere Beyond The Sea. In case you don't follow her blog (which you should do!) and therefore didn't see the post, I thought I would share it with you today. You can view the original post here. Japanese gardens are really beautiful and each one so unique. They are peaceful and walking around admiring the beauty is a great way to relax. Here are my five favourite Japanese gardens in Kyoto.

1. Shosei-en garden
I went to this garden just a few days before leaving Japan. It is only a 7 minute walk from Kyoto Station and yet when I went it was practically empty. Unfortunately there are some high rise buildings surrounding the garden but I liked the view of the empty, green garden with Kyoto Tower in the background.

2. Tofuki-ji temple
Temples in Japan have really beautiful gardens, some are small but the one at Tofuku-ji is pretty big. I went in autumn when all the leaves were amazing jewel colours. As it is one of the most famous places in Kyoto for autumn leaves there were hordes of Japanese tourists which I wrote more about in this post, however it was definitely worth it.

3. Aizu Governor’s Temple
Aizu was a samurai clan from Tohoku who were called to Kyoto to protect the Emperor (ironically they ended up fighting against the Emperor.) Anyway this was the temple where the Aizu Governor lived while Kyoto. The temple itself is very interesting and the garden is very traditional in its style with perfectly manicured lawns, bonsai and a teahouse.

4. Murin-an villa
This place is the definition of a hidden gem. Tucked away in the Higashiyama area of Kyoto near Nanzen-ji temple it has the added bonus of the Higashiyama hills in the background. Compared to other Japanese gardens this place has a slightly more western feel, with an open lawn scattered with wild flowers.

5. Shinsen-en garden
This is a very small garden but it is near Nijo castle so if you are in the area it is worth coming. Stand on the bright orange bridge and watch all the fish swimming around then walk up to the dragon boat. Out of all the gardens I have talked about this is the only one which is free.

Which of these gardens would you like to visit?
Linking up the Let's be Friends linkup