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Three Ways to Eat Dim Sum in Hong Kong

Yum Cha dim sum, Hong Kong

Dim sum was my first foray into Chinese food, way back when I was still a fussy eater (can you believe I was ever anything but a never-ending stomach?!). It's bite-sized food filled with all sorts of delicious things; it's canapĂ©s that have been souped up and they are generally more plentiful than the food you'd be served up on a silver platter, too.

It was the first traditional food I ate there during my first trip back in 2014, but each time I've been back, I go in for so much more. No matter what your budget or palate, there's a way for you to enjoy dim sum in Hong Kong:

An Indulgent Brunch at Angelina, Paris

Mont Blanc patisserie

Finding the place to eat the famous foods of Paris is like finding a needle in a haystack. There's baguettes and macaroons and red wine on every corner, but that obviously doesn't mean it's good, which is why I insisted on returning to Angelina during my most recent visit to France.

My Three Favourite Brunch Spots in Melbourne, Australia

Hardware Societe brunch, Melbourne

Brunch has become a staple part of my social life at home in London, but the Australians really nailed it first. I'm not a smashed avo on toast cliché, but early mornings aren't my thing either so this new tradition means a lie-in followed by coffee and carbs, and the people of Melbourne sure do know how to start the day off right.

Ping Coombes' Breakfast Club at Chi Kitchen, London

Hainanese chicken rice

Food has this amazing way of triggering memories, don't you think? Apple pie reminds me of my mum (because her homemade one is the best ever), goulash make me think of my losing bet on Hungary for Eurovision 2014. So often I'm reminded of places in the world when I happen to stumble I've eaten abroad here in the UK, and Ping Coombes' Breakfast Club at Chi Kitchen took me right back to my favourite foodie destination: Singapore.

Five Places That Prove Hobart, Tasmania is a Food Lover's Paradise

Lamb sausage roll and pumpkin salad

I'd heard on the grapevine before arriving in Tasmania that Hobart is a bit of a unknown foodie gem, but nothing could have prepared me for the unbelievable food I had for almost every meal during my visit. I indulged in brunch, lunch, dinners and desserts that have seared themselves into my memory as some of my favourite meals ever, and if there's one thing that would make me travel back to Tasmania - it's the food. A full post on the incredible Salamanca Market is to come, but for now, here's the other places my stomach fell in love with:

Brunch at Jar Kitchen, Covent Garden

Toast, mushroom, baked beans, bacon, fried egg

A stone's throw away from unbearably busy Covent Garden piazza is Drury Lane. Saint-like calm in comparison to its neighbour, it's home to the beautiful greenhouse style facade of the Royal Opera House, around the corner from the cool coffee shops of Holborn, and the location for my most recent brunch: Jar Kitchen.

Three Awesome and Affordable Places to Eat in Hong Kong

Chilli scrambled eggs, bacon and rocket

Hong Kong has strong elements of London's vibe, with food trends and brunch culture being alive and well. Each time I've been to Hong Kong I've been overwhelmed by where to eat, because generally, you can't really go wrong. However, you can end up overspending. It's not the cheapest place to visit, but it is exciting.

Brunch at Fika Swedish Kitchen, Sydney

Swedish brunch in Sydney

My first trip to Manly, a suburb north of central Sydney, came on a day when the weather wasn't quite right. Both times I've visited Australia it's just so happened to fall at the end of summer, so it's a little too blustery for sunbathing but still too hot for any layers, which is a shame as Manly is known for its beautiful beaches.

Shakshuka Brunch at Cafe Loren, Camden

Traditional shakshuka and white shakshuka

I do all I can to avoid Camden Town on a Saturday. Being one of London's most accessibly eclectic areas, it draws in huge crowds with its outrageous 3D store facades, bizarre street performers and cheap 'alternative' tat available the whole way along the main strip. As a teenager, I went to Camden for all of the above, but as a twenty-something living in North London I now go for three specific reasons: haircuts, gigs and food.

Three Awesome Brunch Spots in Cape Town

Toast, bacon, mushrooms, rocket, halloumi, poached egg

I had high expectations of Cape Town before visiting. A couple of my most well-travelled friends told me that it's their favourite place in the world, but aside from the obvious tourist traps, I wasn't entirely sure what to do. So I did what I do best: hunted down somewhere for breakfast to plan out my adventures for the day.

Three Delicious Places to Eat on the Isle of Wight

View from ferry port on isle of wight

We are lucky to have some beautiful food heritage here in the UK, from Cheddar cheese to Yorkshire puddings, you can find fresh produce and tried and tested recipes that are staples of the nation in every county. I knew very little about the Isle of Wight before my recent trip; my previous visits being in my childhood or a few weekends at Bestival.

How to Spend a Day in Victoria, London

Townhouse in Victoria, London

There's a whole heap of guides out there on the hidden gems of London, and I love to explore my city to find the weird and wonderful. Recently though, rather than one shop or cafe that I happened to stumble upon, I found the quirky charms of an entire area and one which I've visited numerous times in the years I've lived here.

Four Great Places to Have Brunch in Dublin

On my recent trip to Dublin, I had three things in mind: quality time with my favourite cousin, a trip to the Guinness Storehouse and a lot of brunch. In four short days, I clocked up four amazing brunches, spread out around the city. Each one offered something completely different from your standard eggs benedict and prosecco situations (not that those two things are bad in any way whatsoever). First up:

San Lorenzo's Brunch of Champions

Review of San Lorenzo's Brunch of Champions, Dublin

Breakfast at Granger & Co

scrambled eggs avocado toast

Going out for breakfast still feels like such a luxury. I like my lie-ins on a weekend and so I often can't be bothered with getting dressed to go out in time for the breakfast service cut-off, but when I do I remember why I like it so much. I love the ceremony of eating that particular meal in a restaurant: the pot of tea, the setting up for the day with a meal rather than a sugary bowl of cardboard at my desk.

Brunch at The Soda Works by Square Root

pancake brunch

A couple of weeks ago, the wonderful Jasmin Charlotte invited me to a meet-up she was holding in Covent Garden. I got to meet lots of lovely bloggers including Etta from The Brunch Diaries and Lucy from Lucy Loves to Eat, and we instantly clicked over our mutual love of food. When I spotted an obscure Hackney pop-up I automatically knew that these two would definitely come with me, and so through the power of Twitter, we arranged to meet one Saturday morning for brunch and a catch-up.

[Food] Trade, Commercial Street

I once had an argument with a friend about what time counts as brunch. On a weekend I could eat breakfast at 1pm if I'm feeling particularly lazy and can't quite bring myself to go to the shop and buy something. Similarly, I can demolish lunch by 12pm if I'm having a sugar crash at work. I don't think brunch is defined by time, rather it is decided by what you have to eat. Essentially, if you're having a kind of breakfast food around lunchtime and you're in a social setting, you've got yourself a bonafide brunch. It's also a word now synonymous with being pissed by midday, but a trip to Trade was more suited to a pot of tea.

I've walked past Trade a few times and have stopped in to grab a bacon roll after going to the gym (I'm of the 'I did exercise so I can eat this cake' school of thought'). Peeking beyond the till area, I could see the secret garden advertised on the board outside, and was genuinely excited about an outdoor space away from the main road, set in such a busy part of east London.

A few weeks later, I suggested it as a place to meet a friend late one Saturday morning, and by 11.30am, the place was already packed. Long benches and wooden tables are taken up with your standard Shoreditch types, but delighted tourists and young families too. The place isn't big and maybe sits around 40 people at a push, so you may have to perch on the end of an already-taken table, but the buzz and atmosphere means you're neighbours won't be listening to every word you say.

I had poached eggs, pancetta and asparagus on sourdough toast, with the obligatory pot of tea. The toast was crisp, the eggs were runny - it's a simple dish, but it was so nice to have something offered up with eggs other than avocado (which I hate, to the horror of quite a vast majority of people). This isn't a place to come for a greasy fry-up, we're not looking at mounds of baked beans and a fried egg cooked in the same pan as the bacon. It's a lighter, yet not necessarily healthier, choice.

Speaking of not being healthy, I couldn't resist ordering the last bread-and-butter-pudding-croissant. As an amateur baker and professional cake eater, I was fascinated as to what this would be like. Slicing into it, you could see the flaky layers of a croissant, but when tasting it it was much more like a bread and butter pudding - surprisingly thick and really delicious. Luckily for me, there weren't any raisins as you would find in the traditional dish, but there were a couple of berries on the top to make me feel slightly less guilty.

Only a stones throw from Spitalfields Market and Brick Lane, Trade on Commercial Street is a secret well worth sharing. Escape the crowds and disappointing sandwiches and head down to see what new cake hybrids they have in store!

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As of 20th November 2014, any products marked with an asterisk (*) have been provided as a sample for unbiased review