Monday, 30 June 2014

Le Weekender - Issue 1

Snapshots of my weekend

I won’t say that my typical weekend is usually jam-packed with a diverse range of events – Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th just so happened to be the exceptions.
The Glitter Ball
Heaven's lights
And for me, any weekend, be it exciting or boring, HAS to include good food (see below):

Scrambled eggs in a tea-cup (aka. how a grand day should start); recipe upon request :)
Cheese and mushroom croissant and a grande sized hot chocolate with whipped cream - dieting can wait :)
Fashion in Durham ‘14


Basically summarizes the whole gist of the extravaganza that lasted a whole 5 days. For me, it started off on Friday night with canap├ęs, cocktails and shopkeepers displaying the latest trends in the jewelry industry.
Simply stunning
The tubfa (bath-tub + sofa)
Too cute!! #themugwump
Personally, I thought one of the highlights was the display-windows - each were unique and cleverly decorated with a whole range of trendy pieces from local, Durham boutiques.
Trendin' in Durham

To top it off, the organizers of “the Glitter Ball” had hired a fashion illustrator to produce professional sketches of the guests for free (and upon request/ queuing up of course!).


Obviously I had to get mine done (especially since I was wearing my new maxi dress).

A special someone decided to join in/ invade my professional fashion sketch done by the amazing Melissa Bailey
Sunday was Durham does Thrift accompanied with city-center catwalks – I didn’t take any pictures (the camera decided to, quite inconveniently, die/ run out of battery life just before I left the house). Nevertheless, I felt it was a great way to end fashion week – definitely looking forward to another great one next year!

Fashion in Durham '14
Liverpool – A sneak-peek of Saturday

I shan’t say much more than the above (otherwise it’ll ruin my upcoming blog post!). If you’re ever in Liverpool (and if you’re not planning on visiting, I suggest you change your mind – literally), look out for the Superlambananas (see below); they’re simply ADORABLE.

Superlambanana :D
In a nutshell, you can never get bored in this metropolitan hub.

Tees Barrage – the Sunday Stroll

Was, in truth, a complete accident – I had been heading to the swimming pool…until I realized I left my towel at home. 

I then got changed for the gym but ended up crossing the Infinity Bridge and heading towards TeesBarrage International White Water Centre where young kayakers were eagerly waiting for the signal to head-off on their journey around the course.
Morning stroll down the infinite pathway
It was truly inspirational – I’m definitely going to try white-water rafting one day (when it’s warmer of course!).


And with such a spectacular and natural scene, I think it’s fair to say that I had the best start to a beautiful Sunday and a wonderful ending to another fantastic week.
Natural perfection

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Quirk of the Day


Goat cheese mousse - meeting the colorful, summer salad

I'm all for cheese, be it Parmesan, mozzarella, cheddar, leicester and even blue (not everyone's cup of tea, I know, but hey, I find it yummy). Goat's cheese is another all time favorite but goat's cheese mousse (the white poofs of cream in the picture)? (Khoo, 2012: 21). Now that's not something you hear of everyday (in my life anyway). Despite this, my daredevil instincts pushed me to give it a go. Obviously I couldn't eat it by itself (unlike chocolate mousse), so I paired it with a nice summer salad made up of roasted capsicum, baby spinach and sausage slices. I absolutely loved the colors...and then it was time for the taste test.

The final verdict? Absolutely scrumptious.

Recipe from: Khoo, R. (2012) The Little Paris Kitchen. London: Michael Joseph


Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Conisbrough and Doncaster

“Let’s start at the very beginning…”

If there’s one thing I’d missed more than anything else (apart from my family) during this long and stressful academic year, it was traveling. The freedom to travel anywhere at any time is best experienced, in my opinion, on the railway. 

The next train departing from platform 6 is for...
And it’s not just the journey to the destination (in this case, Conisbrough then Doncaster) that’s exciting. For me, part of the joy is simply standing on the platform waiting for the train to arrive. Because whilst you’re there, you become immersed in a world full of gossip and chatter from arriving passengers, and the heartfelt and at-times tearful goodbyes to loved ones. 

It’s a colorful scene, both visually and in speech.

Conisbrough

If photography is a hobby of yours, then choose Conisbrough as your next shooting location (my photos can support my statement, no joke).





I think it’s crystal clear by now that I am an ABSOLUTE castle-fanatic. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else on a pleasantly sunny day than going castle-hunting. On this occasion, I had little Conisbrough Castle set on my mind. Visible from its local train station, this 12-century castle is notable for its circular shaped keep (fyi, a type of tower). 


Personally, I felt that the best part of it was being able to head all the way up to the recently restored roof top and simply admire the beautiful scenery South Yorkshire has to offer (look out for the viaduct and the passing trains btw, it’s an absolutely magical scene!).

    



If it’s not crumbling walls you fancy, fret not. There’s a new and free exhibition explaining the castle’s history just behind the ticket office where you get your tickets to enter the castle. And if it’s a sunny day (like it was for me), taking a casual stroll around and on the castle grounds is another (or should I say, mandatory) option. 
Looking out from the top of Conisbrough Castle

Doncaster

The mighty minster of Doncaster
If you’ve been following my blog posts, you’ll realize that most of my adventures start out by train, followed by hours and hours of power walking (absolutely necessary if you’re on a strict time-limit and want to see a good 80%, on average, of what the town has to offer!). 

Throughout all these trips, the one thing I’ve learnt is that you need to check 1) the train ticket price and 2) the duration of the journey to see if the destination you’re aiming to go to is actually worth going to (e.g. you wouldn’t want to waste 3 hours going to somewhere and 3 hours coming back (making it a total of 6 hours on the train) for 5 hours only, and simultaneously, having to pay more than 60 quid << yikes!). 

After thorough investigation (well, in truth, a 10 minute scan on nationarail.co.uk), I figured that it would be worthwhile stopping at Doncaster as well on my way back from Conisbrough as the ticket I paid for would allow me to do so before I went home.

Next stop: Doncaster.



I can't say that I found Doncaster strikingly enchanting at first. However, after walking around and giving it some time, I soon found comfort in my surroundings and highly attracted to its minster ( a complete architectural masterpiece in my opinion).


So, in case you didn't know/ haven't already realized, I have a thing for religious buildings (particularly majestically decorated cathedrals).


Honestly, who wouldn't? :)

Flags of the minster
Final thoughts

It’s good to strive for perfection but nothing’s perfect in life. So when you can find happiness and peace in something you like to do (i.e. traveling, particularly after a long and stressful year at uni), then I believe that your life is close to perfect (at least it is for me anyway).

Too cute! 
Let my travel adventures and blog posts continue. 

Hello Summer 2014