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Nine Things to Know When Visiting Barcelona

One thing to remember if you're attending a hen party abroad: it's not a holiday. When you get a group of women together who don't all know each other, you will never please everyone. That's why I didn't plan much for my recent trip to the Catalan capital - I was ready to go with flow, especially as I've been there before. We stayed in a fantastic apartment on Passeig de Gracia. It slept eight of us easily, was a short walk to Sagrada Familia and La Rambla, and had buses connecting the whole city right outside, plus the owner, Miguel, was so lovely and extremely helpful. Here's a few tips for those of you planning a trip soon

Goodbye 2013 (and good riddance!)

Finally, 2013 has come to an end!

This year has been full of huge ups and downs, and frankly I cannot wait for it to be over. 

On the downside, I've had to deal with relatives and friends being seriously ill, resulting in me knowing the hospitals of London a lot better than I wish I did. On the plus side, I earned my first ever promotion! It's obviously come with a lot more work and pressure, but it's a big step in the right direction for my career.

On that note, let's keep it positive! Here are my top 10 moments from 2013:

1) Retreating to the idyllic silence of the Lake District twice, once in January and then again in December

2) Taking an epic road trip to Scotland with my wonderful housemate and being proper tourists

4) Buying my beautiful Mulberry Del Rey!

5) Camping out on the Sherlock set (twice) and meeting Mr Cumberbatch himself!

6) Revisiting my old uni town of York, remisicing about days gone by and catching up with distant friends

7) Spending a solid seven days on a beach in Spain with my boyfriend

8) Getting tickets to see Nine Inch Nails at their tiny sold out Scala gig (and then again at Reading Festival a week later!)

9) Exploring Cornwall and eating my weight in pasties and ice cream

10) Dancing like a crazy lady at Future Cinema's Dirty Dancing event

2014 so far promises more Nine Inch Nails gigs, a big house move and an amazing month long trip to Australia! It's looking great already.

Happy new year!

Life: July, 2013

July was great. I got some much needed sun and managed to escape London for a fair chunk of the month. Life should be all about good food, good company and good booze in the sun!
The view of our hotel from the clifftop walk to dinner
My new perspex clutch looking good!
Beer and sunglasses
My view for a whole week

And after coming back from holiday I obviously had to comfort eat to cheer myself up. Lots of new discoveries and some baking fun happened this month. The summer berry loaf is a new favourite!
Monty Python ale?! Couldn't resist and strangely delicious
I don't like peanuts but these Walkers Sensations are amazing
Homemade summer berry loaf. Recipe from Domestic Sluttery
Yummy eggs benedict at Aubaine, Dover Street
 I also got out and about around the UK this month, with a trip to my university town of York and a few gigs including Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Lots of fun things planned for August so keep eyes peeled right here!
The famous graffiti of York Uni (famous to any students anyway!)
I booked my ticket to Future Cinema's Dirty Dancing - so excited!
The clock at Somerset House ticks down to Edward Sharpe coming on stage
The beautiful and majestic York Minster

Explore: Costa Brava, Spain

With finishing university and having to grow up and get a job and all that kind of stuff, I haven't had the time or money to have a proper holiday abroad. But finally, I got sorted and found a great bargain online to the Costa Brava in Spain. If you're looking for a cheap and cheerful break in the sun I really recommend the area we went to: Calella de Palafrugell. About 1.5hrs drive from Barcelona it has quiet, clean beaches, quaint  restaurants and of course, sunshine!

This isn't a place to go if you want loads of things to do, it's a place to relax, sleep and chill out which is exactly what I needed!

We did break away from the beach on a slightly cooler day and go up to the Jardin Botanic del Cap Roig (botanical gardens for those who don't speak Spanish!) which were beautiful and had amazing views over the Mediterranean sea.

As we were at a small town by the sea we mainly ate fish and seafood. This was a regular sight at dinner time:

Now I've got a tan and have spent a week sitting down I feel so much more relaxed and healthy. Hopefully it won't be two years until the next one!
As of 20th November 2014, any products marked with an asterisk (*) have been provided as a sample for unbiased review