I think that brunch might be my favourite meal of the day. In fact, if I lived in a city and wasn’t spending as much money visiting places I could quite easily get into the habit of going for brunch every weekend. It’s nice being able to have a lazier morning, enjoy a big meal and then not worry about eating for the rest of the day, but still having plenty of time to do things. I also think that brunch is late enough in the day that you can follow up your meal with some cake, whereas breakfast is just a bit too early for that unless it’s a special occasion.
Ever since I first saw Aladdin being advertised I knew it was a West End show that I wanted to see. For a start, I’m a huge Disney fan and (thought I) knew all the songs. My best friend also wanted to see it. The costumes were bound to be spectacular. I love going to see musicals, particularly in London, and this was added to my list straight away. And, when Sophie and I finally managed to get our diaries to align, we went to see it!
A few years ago before I was about to visit Spain for the first time, I made the mistake of admitting to James that I was worried about the food because I didn’t like tapas. He hasn’t let me forget it since, although I will now willingly admit that I really like tapas. Before I had properly experienced it, I thought it was all olives and calamari and other things that I would prefer not to have. However now I’ve been to Spain, and had tapas in the UK multiple times since, I can confirm that whilst I may not love those specific dishes, I definitely do not have a problem with tapas generally. Which is why I was pleased to hear that we would be going to a Spanish restaurant while we were in Manchester for the weekend, although it gave James another opportunity to tease me.
I really enjoy going to the theatre so I’ve now got into the habit of checking theatre listings when I know I’m going away for the weekend, just in case there is something that catches my eye. When we were headed to Manchester James asked if I had seen anything and as nothing really appealed I explained that there wasn’t really anything on. This didn’t go down too well. Whilst Bat out of Hell was not really my idea of a great evening, James was really keen to go and apparently it was the preview run before it headed to London. So we booked tickets and let ourselves in for a night of Meat Loaf classics.
The benefit of going somewhere off season is that you can usually get a lot more for your money, or afford somewhere that you wouldn’t usually be able to. James and I had wanted to go to Kielder Observatory for a while and knew that this would involve an overnight stay. However, we discovered that lodges are much cheaper off season than they usually are so we decided to stay for a few days which meant that we could enjoy a long weekend in the area.
Sometimes in life you just need to step back from everything. When work is busy, your diary is overflowing with things to do and places to see, and you just can’t quite turn off. It’s at times like this that I find it can be really soothing to spend some time outdoors and just relax. Our trip to Kielder came at exactly the right time, and was the perfect place to recharge my batteries.
One of the benefits of living in the country is looking up and being able to see the stars at night. Despite the fact that I can see much more than I would ever be able to see living in a city, I can still tell the difference when I go somewhere which is even more remote. James loves star-gazing, so for his birthday it seemed like a fantastic opportunity to go to the Kielder Observatory which is situated within a dark skies area.
One of the best things about booking just a room in a hotel, rather than bed and breakfast, means that it gives you the opportunity to go out for breakfast. I love going out for breakfast or brunch, although I usually find my appetite is three times the size of what it would be if I was just having breakfast at home. Anyway, given the fact that breakfast wasn’t included in our room tariff, and the time of our trains, it made sense for me and James to go out for brunch when we were in Birmingham and following a recommendation from a blog we headed to York’s Café.
Birmingham is not somewhere I had ever really imagined going for a weekend away. Admittedly my only experience had really been changing trains at New Street Station, but it seemed large, overcrowded, noisy and the sort of place that I would usually try to avoid. However, it is a useful midway point between the north and south of the country, so a weekend in Birmingham was on the cards. A trip to Cadbury World was top of my list of things to do, but I hadn’t realised the abundance of other things that could easily fill a weekend.
I love food. I’m not quite sure when it all started because as a child I was quite a fussy eater, but I really enjoy food. When exploring somewhere new, or even somewhere familiar, one of my favourite things to do is look up places to eat out. Reading restaurant menus is great fun and if I’ve planned where I’m going in advance I’ll often know what I’m going to eat before I set foot in the restaurant. So much for spontaneity… Anyway, when it was decided that James and I would be heading to Birmingham for the weekend, I just couldn’t help but do some research which led to us booking a table at The Lost & Found.