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Tuesday, 26 March 2013


A tonne of my friends this year have decided to go interrailing or at least want to go travelling around Europe. What I found when I began travelling around Europe is that there were a lot of things I wasn't prepared for. So I've comprised a little list of tips and hints for all you budding travellers as to what to visit, what to take and how to be generally prepared for your interrailing journey.

In terms of background considering my trip; I spent around 2 months or so travelling Europe (I can't really remember, I lost all sense of time and space as mystical as that sounds) and me and my other three companions went from Grenada to the Czech Republic. It was amazing and mad and we did something new everyday, I highly recommend Europe by train.


This is the first thing you should know about interrailing  On one hand, there are plenty of free and interesting places to visit in Europe, for example, the beaches in Barcelona or just admiring the city landscape and cathedrals of Florence from outside. However, visiting museums, or climbing Domo's will cost you a pretty penny. Many of these places usually have student discounts and I managed to barter my way into a museum in Naples to see the Battle of Alexander and Darius. Food and drink is especially expensive in Italy and France, so be wary when planning your journey, a pizza in Venice nearly bankrupted me.

Note: Booking trains in advance often has a surplus fee, found this out early on in the trip when trying to get from Paris to Barcelona.

Very Pretty/Pricey-to-climb Eiffel Tower

2) Visit Prague

Prague was probably my favourite city of the trip, despite the Czech Republic being one of the last places we visited. It is honestly an amazing city and has a surprisingly bloody history for anyone who is interested in murderous revolutions. My favourite things about Prague were; the beautiful bridges over the Vltava river, the ridiculously cheap beer and the generally laid back bohemian style of the region.


3) Take a pack of cards

Honestly one of the most useful things for treating boredom. If you are travelling alone to start with, I advise; don't. Re-assess your situation and convince someone to go with you, you'll have much more fun with a companion, you'll be safer and you'll save more money. Friends buy you things when you're poor. Anyway; a pack of cards is useful in all boring 4 hour train journeys, I recommend playing Hearts and Cheat and also using them for drinking games pre-Berlin clubbing. I know you may think; what about admiring the scenery on the journey? Trust me; you can do this whilst playing cards, my friends and I had a long conversation about the beauty of the Julian Alps over a game of Snap.

P.S You can switch cards for sleeping; you will need it.

As this post was longer than expected, I'll break these up into little bites. My next installment of interrailing tips will be posted soon!

Saturday, 23 March 2013


So now I've started studying at Leeds University, I feel I can experiment a bit more with Northern cuisine; you know; Yorkshire reared ham, pork pies and blue cheese from the Dales. Or I could be more adventurous with flavours, in the style of a Northern friend of mine, who on pancake day, smothered her pancakes in gravy. Leeds, is a foodie's heaven, alongside all the usual chain restaurants, there are a great number of deli's and cafe's, as well as a number of amazing restaurants.

A new favourite of mine has to be Arts Cafe Bar, located on Call Lane. This intimate little cafe/bar/restaurant hybrid serves the freshest and most interesting food I've had in Leeds so far. I went there a couple of weeks ago and I felt spoilt for choice when it came to the menu. I ended up picking the wild mushroom gnocci with blue cheese to start and for not being a huge fan of blue cheese, this was delicious, creamy goodness. For a main course, I had the seared chicken breast on pancetta ragu with olive tapenade, this was a lot richer, with stunning aromatic Mediterranean flavours. And to finish my meal, I had a gorgeous chocolate raspberry bakewell slice with a beetroot parfait. Although it came with some questionable looking chocolate soil, the only complaint I had.

The menu changes regularly and seasonally, so these exact dishes may not be on offer at the time of publishing, but what is important is the quality of the food, which is really impeccable. What's also great to know is they have an early bird menu, meaning you get three courses for £15 or two for £12.50, a steal when it comes to this standard of cooking. I would definitely go again! Also, check out their lunch menu for yummy looking sandwiches and plates!

A Confession

Ok, so I tried this whole blogging thing a while ago and I wasn't very good at it... It has been over a year since my last post after all. Anyway after a successful year of gap-yahing, I've started university and not much has changed. My two main passions in life are still food and travelling. But now I've got a little less money to do either and I'm a bit more student-y and saver-y and trying to save up next year to go to Bali or Croatia... 

So, my Easter resolution has been to start writing on this blog again. I think I'll be doing some reflective posts (I can help out on some useful student inter railing tips), some recipe posts (think baking) and some restraunt  reviews (when I have enough money to go). So hear goes...again. I hope this is useful to anyone who reads it!