Leaving London… ?!

Posted by Corine.

It is so hard to leave something or someone you love behind even when you know it is for the best… isn’t it? Well this is exactly how I feel about leaving London! I love this city  to bits and I am so proud that it has been my home for almost 10 years, plus there are many people here that I love just as much and who make this place even more special… but I have come to a stage in my life where I am trying to listen to that little voice in my head that is begging for less stress and a life closer to nature. London is such a fantastic place to live, especially in your twenties, but there comes a time where the rat race gets a bit too much as, let’s be honest, this city likes to throw many obstacles at you and everyone here is as driven and ambitious as you are so it sometimes feels like a constant fight to come out on top! Also you can’t really buy, you can’t really have a car, you can’t really have kids, you can’t really have a pet, you can’t really this, you can’t really that… so why just not move out to a smaller town or go crazy and settle down in the beautiful British countryside?! Well, it is not that easy but I think that I am getting there and I have come up with a few tips to make the right decision…

  • I am talking about my plans to as many people as possible! Some friends and colleagues actually have had similar thoughts and they have done their own research so why not take advantage of that!?
  • It is also important to talk to family, friends or acquaintances who have already taken the plunge. These people survived leaving the city so why not ask them how they are coping with their new life? It helps me get a better picture of how life is going to be like and have real expectations.
  • My husband and I now have a shorlist of some possible cities so the next step for us is to book ourselves train/plane tickets and spend some time in those places. It goes without saying but visiting and spending some time in your potential future city is a must! I know Google Earth is cool and all that but there is nothing like seeing a new place with your own eyes!
  • Also I believe it is primordial to research the job opportunities. Sadly it all comes down to surviving and making a living so I don’t want to fool myself by thinking that I will have as many job opportunities as I do in London so research is key here to avoid bad surprises…
  • In light of the above we made sure to save some money before even considering mooving! Having savings to live on for a little while will definitely make the transition into our new life easier and lower the stress levels!
  • Not rushing! I have accepted that it is a long process and that it is OK to come back on some of my initial decisions. I have drafted my list of pros and cons a while ago and I come back to it now and then… and it is really interesting to see how my views have changed over time!

Following my own advice, the hubby, our doggy and I will be visiting Chester, a lovely city in Cheshire, at the weekend and I will let you know all about it next week… Everyone keep your fingers crossed that we will like it!

Thank you for reading! Like the post and leave a comment if you feel like it ; )

 

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A fun night out in London!

Posted by Corine

We are so spoiled for choice with cool and quirky bars and restaurants in London that it sometimes is a bit overwhelming to plan a night out that suits everyone’s tastes and we  end-up staying at home with a Deliveroo followed by a few drinks in our local pub… Although there is nothing wrong with that, challenging yourself to try new places and break the routine is always a good thing. So if you are looking for a night filled with good food, fun and a relaxed atmosphere all in one place, keep on reading!

Just off the hustle and bustle of Regent Street in London, and a few minutes’ walk from Piccadilly Circus, Heddon Street is a small U shaped alley which offers a great choice of restaurants and bars. I recently spent a night out there and loved every minute of it!

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The night started with an early dinner at Tibits, a vegetarian and vegan restaurant concept from Switzerland. Even if you are a meat eater you will enjoy some very tasty, colourful and satisfying food there. It is served buffet-style on what resembles a boat displaying salads, mains, sides and deserts. The food is charged by weight at the till and I think you get two bread rolls for free. The choice of dishes is huge and it is very tempting to add a little bit of everything onto your plate, plus it is a real feast for the eyes!  The cost of your meal will of course depend on the quantity of food you eat which seems pretty fair in a way! A full plate of different salads and mains accompanied by a large glass of red wine was around £18… adding a small plate of desserts and another (large!) glass of red, I ended up with a bill of £30-ish which is not cheap for a buffet meal but the food is really great and of good quality.  Will I be back? Yes definitely as I really enjoyed the modern feel and concept of Tibits which is the perfect place for a relaxed catch-up with friends or a date! The food is quite heavily seasoned though, which makes it lovely taste wise, but I ended up with a bit of an upset tummy that night… something you should keep in mind if you have a sensitive stomach like mine and can’t handle your onions and spices! Check their website for menus and recipes.

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We then headed out for a ‘chilled’ drink at the IceBar next door. Well the name speaks for itself so I do not need to explain the concept here! It is a very cool experience and great fun to do with a bunch of friends as I remember having to wait 15-20 minutes for our slot to get inside so it was good to have a laugh and a chat while waiting. The staff will provide you with a thermal cloak and gloves and you will be extremely grateful for it as it is cold in there… it basically feels like hanging out in a giant deep freezer for a drink or two! The walls, bar, glasses and furniture are all made of ice and are beautifully sculpted. Overall I really enjoyed the experience and I would definitely do it again as it is a bit of a laugh when everyone loses sensation in their hands and feet and the only remedy left is to have as much drinks as possible to keep warm! So make sure to dress for the occasion by wearing warm clothes and shoes. The only downside is the price of the drinks on top of your entrance ticket (£16.50 per head) but again you kind of need the drinks to keep warm so there is no way out!

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We ended the night in the best way possible by warming up our frozen bodies just a few meters away at MoCafe. The atmosphere is truly amazing at night and we ended up dancing to the rhythm of Maghrebi music (probably still buzzing from all the shots we had at the IceBar…). Make sure to relax and soak in the exotic atmosphere with a mint tea, some sweet baklavas and a shisha. And if you love the items displayed on the walls and the hanging lamps in the café,  they are all for sale!

ziggy-stardust-heddon-street-1Plus if any of your mates are fans of David Bowie (who isn’t?!) it will be pretty cool for them to take a picture in the Ziggy Stardust Street… Well the K. West sign is long gone and Heddon Street looks really different from the artwork these days but there is a plaque just outside the MoCafe stating “This marks the location of the cover photograph for the iconic David Bowie album ‘The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars’ – Ziggy Stardust 1972” … so it is pretty cool and worth a picture!

Please leave a comment if you have any questions or want to share your favourite places to dine out and drink in London.