Sunday, 26 November 2017

Cosy Winter Reads

If any of you read my 2017 Goals post you will know that I have been trying to read for fun a little more this year. I say for fun because as part of my degree I get through a lot of books, sadly an in-depth review of German Linguistics is not what I really want to be curled up in bed with at night! I definitely don't read enough still, but over the past few months I have picked up a couple of books, some festive themed and some not, that I think will keep me going into the winter months. My favourite time to read is in the bath with a cup of tea, it's probably the only point in my day when I am not on my phone or laptop so sometimes if I am feeling a little stressed or overwhelmed, I'll run myself a quick bath and read a book for half an hour. As it's getting colder, there are definitely some hygge vibes about being cosy inside with a book. I thought I would share what I have been reading and also what is next on my list if any of you are looking for some inspiration on some festive themed books to read!

The Little Paris Bookshop; Nina George
"On a beautifully restored barge on the Seine, Jean Perdu runs a bookshop- or rather a 'literary apothecary', for this bookseller possesses a rare gift for sending which books will soothe the troubled souls of his customers. The only person he is unable to cure, it seems, is himself."
Now this is a book that I actually started when I was still living in Germany but I never got round to finishing it. I don't think I ever really gave it a proper chance or my full attention so I am definitely looking forward to giving it another chance on a cold and rainy day with a mug of tea. The book presents itself as one for the person who has read it all, so it might even make a great gift for a friend. Having only read half, it does have some twists and doesn't necessarily go completely the way I had expected so hopefully I will enjoy it a second time round. The cover is also beautiful and covered in snowflakes so it definitely has some Wintery feels.

My not so perfect life; Sophie Kinsella
"Katie Brenner has the perfect life: a flat in London, a glamorous job, and a super-cool Instagram feed. OK, so the truth is that she rents a tiny room with no space for a wardrobe, has a hideous commute to a lowly admin job, and the life she shares on Instagram isn't really hers. But one day her dreams are bound to come true, aren't they?"
I love Sophie Kinsella books for a really easy and fun read so I am really looking forward to starting this one! Her writing style is chatty and witty, making her novels the perfect break when you want some down time! I read some great reviews of this on amazon before I ordered it so I can't wait to read it over the Christmas holidays after exams.

#GIRLBOSS; Sophie Amoruso
"In the space of ten years, Sophia Amoruso has gone from high-school dropout to the founder of two companies, Nasty Gal and the #GIRLBOSS# foundation. Sophia's never been a typical CEO or a typical anything, and she's written #GIRLBOSS for other girls like her: outsiders (and insiders) seeking a unique path to success."
I had read so many blog posts on this book and a lot of people have recommended me the Netflix series. I am nearly at the end and it is definitely one that I'll pick up if I am needing some inspiration or a quick five minute boost. Sophia's story is incredible and it shows just how much hard work can pay off. I think this one would make a great gift too for anyone that likes reading or is at the point in there life where they are making life/career decisions as it is definitely a follow your dreams kind of book!

The Hygge Holiday; Rosie Blake
"Everything is going wrong for Yulethorpe this autumn. it's cold, drizzly and the skies are perms-grey. The last business on the high street - an adorable little toy shop - has just shut its doors. Then Clara Kristensen arrives."
This is the book I am currently reading and it was this video from Alix that made me pick it up. The cover is beautiful (I am definitely a buy because of a pretty cover kinda gal sometimes and I am not even sorry) and so far I have to say I am enjoying it. It's not the most captivating read ever, but I am still not quite into the nitty gritty of the story. Clara obviously has a secret that is constantly alluded and I do think the characters are pretty believable ever if the story seems a little far fetched at the moment. It's a nice, easy read and since it centres round a toyshop I definitely think it's the perfect Christmas read!

Tanya's Christmas; Tanya Burr
"Tanya's Christmas is a pure celebration of the season. Within its pages, Tanya shares everything you need to make the most of Christmas. From finding the perfect gift, decorating your home and hosting a party to remember, to cooking roast turkey with all the trimmings, baking indulgent festive treats and her own hair and makeup tips."
This is the first of Tanya's books that I read and to be honest, I don't really know what made me pick it up. It was half price on amazon and since I am a bit of a Christmas fanatic I thought it would make a lovely coffee table book, or one to delve in and out of throughout the season. The book itself and the images inside are beautiful and I so glad that I picked it up. Some of the recipes inside sound incredible and I can't wait till I have a little more time (or as a revision break) to try some of them out. It covers everything from wrapping presents, baking, festive outfits and more and it is the perfect book to have on your coffee table or bedside table throughout December.

If you have any Christmas themed book recommendations then please leave them in the comments as I am always looking for new books to add to my reading list!

Friday, 24 November 2017

St Andrews Eats; Pancakes at The Vic

Guess who's back with another brunch related post?! Really not that hard to work out it's me considering it seems to be all I'm blogging about these days with my post on brunch at Bread Street Kitchen and the ultimate brunch date in Copenahagen at Mad & Kaffe but I love it and let's be honest, who doesn't love it!

The Vic is one of Saint Andrews's staples. With pretty much the only dance floor in town and an absolute classic of a pub quiz on a Sunday night, I have to say I am a big fan. They recently launched a new menu though so I thought I would pop along and see what their brunch offerings were like and I brought my friend from Germany Danielle along for a second opinion.

The Vic has recently been refurbished inside with the help of "Mr. Doodle" who has created the most incredible mural to Saint Andrews on the walls. Covering the stairwell interior with doodles featuring the most iconic landmarks in the town really helps create a fun vibe and definitely a unique atmosphere.

The brunch menu isn't exactly vast, there are the staple full Scottish and its veggie counterpart, but apart from that there are just a couple twists on some classics and I definitely think an avo toast with feta wouldn't go amiss. However there were three delightful pancake options; blueberry jam and coconut yoghurt, bacon and maple syrup and nutella and toasted almonds. Both Danielle and I decided we were going all out and got the bacon and maple syrup pancakes and they were yuuuuummy. Despite not looking like the biggest portion, the bacon was piled high and we were both very much content till dinner time!

Sadly the day we were there the Vic seemed to be having a bit of an off morning as our pancakes took around an hour to come, but the staff were so apologetic and gave us free tea and coffee so it really wasn't too much of a bother. We were just there to have a catchup but if I was in more of a hurry I would have definitely been a little more agitated. As I go there quite often I can honestly say I haven't had that problem before so it definitely seems like more of a one off experience.

Whilst there are perhaps places in St. Andrews that truly gear themselves towards brunch, the Vic is definitely an option not to be forgotten if you are looking for a really chilled atmosphere and some funky interiors.

What's your favourite place for brunch in St. Andrews, or where you live? Let me know in the comments!

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