Bar crawls are actually my favourite. If you’re in a different country and are looking to make new friends, then go to a bar crawl. Looking for cheap drinks on a night out? Bar crawl. Looking to just let loose for one night with no some consequences? Bar crawl. I mean, if you ask me, then bar crawls are the answer to all your problems.

But who am I? A guru?

Mutay and I got to join London Party Pub Crawl last Saturday and it was so much fun! The last time we both went on a bar crawl was in Croatia, which ended up… messy. Thankfully, whilst we were grooving and moving all night it didn’t get too messy.

They have 3 different bar crawls to choose from – Central London, Shoreditch and Camden. We decided to go to the Central London and so we found ourselves meeting our hosts outside Picadilly Institute! The ticket includes free entry to 5 bars/clubs, discounted drinks and a free shot at each venue. We actually missed out on the first bar, but nevertheless still had a blast at the remaining 4 we visited.

There’s nothing quite like going on a night out, getting cheap drinks and dancing to some good, good music. We started off at Piccadilly Institute then made our way to Zoo Bar, the Long Acre then Ruby Blue before ending the night at Rumba.

Ruby Blue was definitely my favourite – if you go upstairs they have a balcony where you get a really pretty view of Leicester Square. It was actually the Lumiere festival that weekend, so they had some really pretty lights up.

The highlight of the night: random Irish guy standing outside in the smoking area singing all the words to Angel by Shaggy ft. Rayvon. I mean all of them. 😂

I must be showing my age because I was absolutely shattered by 1AM, but nevertheless, I had such a fun night despite a few mishaps, like the bouncer shouting at Mutay just because our bags were on the floor next to the ‘VIP’ section. 🙄

The bar crawl definitely ignited a need to go out more, which is actually one of my goals for this year. Sometimes just gotta let your hair down and shake a leg, right?

Thanks, London Party Pub Crawl for an awesome night out and a big shout out to our hosts for the night!  I will definitely be going to more crawls in the future. 🍻

I was provided with free tickets in return for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own and are not influenced by London Party Pub Crawl in any way.

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London is one of the most expensive cities on the planet, and yet it still manages to attract hundreds of thousands of visitors each and every year. But not all of these tourists and visitors are well-heeled travellers. So, there must be some ways you can visit London on a shoestring budget, right? There totally is, you just need to know where to look for some great deals and discounts. Here are my top tips, just for you!

Book In Advance

There are quite a few attractions that you have to pay to enter, such as Madame Tussauds, the Tower of London, and Westminster Abbey. Some are so expensive, you might think that you need a cash advance to pay for them all! But there is a way to get cheaper ticket prices – you just need to book in advance! If you book your tickets early through the attraction website, you’ll be able to get a percentage off the full price of a ticket.

Seek Out Free Attractions

But you don’t have to pay for every single attraction in London. There are some fab ones that are completely free and ideal for very limited budgets. The majority of galleries and museums in the city are free to enter, though they might have a special exhibition that you need to pay extra for. There are also lots of great outdoor spaces that don’t cost anything to check out, such as Hyde Park and Regent’s Park. You’ll also be able to watch the daily Changing of the Guards for free.

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Eat Away From The Beaten Path

Dining out in London can end up being very expensive if you stick to the usual tourist hotspots. But, if you are up for exploring away from the beaten path, you will easily be able to find some more affordable eateries. It’s also a good idea to eat at street-food markets as well as these are considerably cheaper than eating in a proper restaurant. There are various street-food markets around London but one of the most famous has to be the one at Borough Market. Some other great ones include the one at the Southbank Centre and Leather Lane Street Market.

Get West End Tickets On The Cheap

Going to see a theatre show at the West End is a must-do when you are in London. Unfortunately, though, some of the ticket prices can be eye-watering! Even if you book well in advance, you might find that the price of tickets is a lot more than what you are willing to pay. But there is one way to get very cheap tickets – you need to buy them at the last minute from one of the booths on Leicester Square. Sellers sell any remaining tickets at super discounted prices. You might not be able to get a ticket for your preferred show, but at least you can see something!

As you can see, a trip to London doesn’t have to cost you a fortune, and all budget travellers are made to feel welcome!

This is a collaborative post. May contain affiliate links.

“Food, in the end, in our own tradition, is something holy. It’s not about nutrients and calories. It’s about sharing. It’s about honesty. It’s about identity”. ~ Louise Fresco

It has been a hot minute since I last posted an entry to The Food Diaries!

Last November, I was invited to Lotus Bar to try out their new Christmas canapés. I also had the opportunity to try out one of their Christmas cocktails, as well! 

Located on Clapham High Street, Lotus Bar specialises in Italian food making an emphasis on unique flavours. Their recipes come from family secret ingredients and I could definitely tell this when I got to try their food!

Lotus Bar is a great place to hang out with friends, if you’re on a date or if you’re looking for a new place to try out solo.

My companion and I arrived at Lotus Bar and were immediately given a seat by the window. I had already emailed over my preferences for which canapés we would try and so I was excited to get going. Our waiter kindly explained what cocktails they had on offer and I decided to go for the Christmas Tease. This contained rum, dark rum and Wray & Nephew – it was like a party in my mouth. 😍 Rum is sometimes too overpowering for some, especially if there are more than one in the drink, but this was surprisingly sweet and not too strong.

It didn’t take too long for the canapés to come out and we feasted on the following:

▫️ King prawn skewers with strawberry and balsamic vinegar
▫️ Deep fried croquettes with parma ham and cheese
▫️ Bruschetta with pan-fried aubergine, fresh chopped tomato, basil and ricotta cheese
▫️ Creamed dried cod served with warm bread
▫️ Warm chocolate brownie with custard

Everything was so delicious. My favourite canapé had to be the king prawn skewers! The sourness of the vinegar was offset by the sweetness of the strawberry, making it even tastier. I really liked the croquettes, as well, although I do feel there should have been a little more ham in them. 

When the dessert came out after we finished out canapés, my eyes lit up. I love brownies and I love custard – put them together and you’ve got gold. Heartwarming, delicious and filling; I definitely could have eaten another helping!

The presentation of the canapés was really beautiful, so not only is your stomach feasting but so are your eyes. I didn’t even know where to begin when the food came out!

The service was really good and our waiter was patient in explaining everything on the menu. This is something I always look for when I go out to eat. If your waiter is rude and not willing to be accommodating, then what is the point? 

Will I be visiting Lotus Bar again? Yes! I also love that it is so local to me. If you love Italian food, then you should definitely check this place out.

76 Clapham High St
London
SW4 7UL

T: 020 7720 2516

I was provided with free food and drinks in return for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own and are not influenced by Lotus Bar in any way.

I think this is what one would call a blog post… yes?

This post was intended for October, but better late than never, am I right? I reopened this post this morning and looked at what I had already written and realised it was no longer relevant because why? I FINISHED NANOWRIMO!

NaNoWriMo actually helped kickstart my creative juices again and ugh, it was so good to actually be writing every day again. Such a sweet feeling to reach 50k, as well! At this point, I have no idea where my plot is going. I have a plot outline and a vague notion of what I want to happen, but so far I’m just taking it as it comes and letting my MC do her own thang.

Independent woman and all that.

Moving on – I wanted to give you a quick rundown of my cosplay for Comic Con because guess what? I’m still on a high. My costume was actually a rush job because even though I knew I was going Con months in advance, ya girl likes to procrastinate so it wasn’t until Oct. 10 that I found myself in Hobbycraft panicking over whether to get three sheets of craft foam or two – just over two weeks before Con. Turned out that I would need more than three because I ended up going back a further two times. 🙊

Tools of the trade

I went as Gamora from Guardians of the Galaxy who I have wanted to cosplay for the longest time especially more so once I got my new wig which is similar to her hair in the film. I promise you I didn’t get the wig just so I could cosplay Gamora.

Gamora has all these accessories and an elaborate outfit which I didn’t replicate to a T but I did the best I could. Thanks to many hours of Internet crawling I managed to find some decent tutorials and templates to start making my costume.

I started off with her neckpiece which I made out of black craft foam and shaped with a hairdryer. It would have been much better with a heat gun, but I didn’t want to spend money on something which I wouldn’t use that often. Thankfully my mum has a mannequin body which helped a lot with the shaping. I used ModPodge and black acrylic paint to make it shiny and then used white craft foam hexagons which I spray painted chrome silver for the decoration. I also cut the neck piece in the middle and fastened Velcro, so it would be easy to take on and off.

The next port of call was her belt pieces. I found this template which called for a 3D printer, which I do not have, unfortunately. I decided to wing it and use craft foam again and it turned out amazing! Hot glue guns are such a saviour, honestly. I had a black belt which I ordered from ASOS, but it was actually the wrong size for me so I just chucked it to the side because I couldn’t be bothered to return it. Luckily, I got to use it for my costume and the belt pieces slid on perfectly.

I also made my own leather gloves using my sister’s old leather jacket. I found a tutorial via DeviantArt, which I didn’t follow completely because I didn’t have all the materials (again, didn’t want to spend tooooo much money) but it still turned out well!

I also agonised over making the sword or buying one. I ended up making it because the specific sword Gamora has is not available anywhere. Using mount board, I traced the outline of the sword before cutting it out and using papier-mâché to strengthen it. I spray painted it with chrome silver again. It wasn’t as strong as I wanted it to be and it actually ended up breaking when I was at Con because people kept bumping into it ☹️, nevertheless I still managed to get a few photos with it. I ordered a holster online which had brown bits on it, so I spray painted that black to blend with the rest of the outfit.

Last bits were the boots, but I just ended up wearing my normal black heeled boots which still went well with the outfit. My mesh top and leggings are from Amazon, and I actually wear the leggings all the time now – mainly because they make my arse look great, but that’s irrelevant. I was going to do the pattern that Gamora has on her leggings using fabric paint but figured I could reuse the clothes again, so decided against it.

I had a hard time finding green lipstick until I went to a Superdrug with a friend and she found it for me! The green face paint is from Snazaroo, which lasted basically the whole day. My two friends help me turn green for the day. Eyeshadow, silver eyeliner for the markings on her face and false eyelashes completed the look and bam!

I go by many names, my Tick-Ridden Troll, but I’m sure the one that Black Knight knew me by is Gamora, the Deadliest Woman in the whole Galaxy!

Comic Con itself was so much fun! A little girl came up to me and asked to take a photo with me, and you best believe my heart melted. I was like, “Me?!”. I’m usually the one who goes up to people asking for photos, but ah omg.

I didn’t buy much this Con, unlike last time, but I got my hands on some cookies and cream Pocky and a Pikachu fizzy drink. The main highlight was the Geek Gear box I received. I waited until the next day to open it and it was filled with SO MANY GOODIES. I got so excited over the Marvel alarm clock and the rest of the box was filled with Harry Potter merch, which made me so so happy. View the videos here and here what was in the box. (TL;DR – can’t be arse to take photos)

I cannot wait until Comic Con next year and I really want to go to both in May and October. I’m thinking maybe Nebula, just because I can rock her bald look and also blue paint. I just really like a face paint, not gonna lie. I’ve already started researching her costume and accessories 😏.

 

I will also be trying to get back to my regular posting and the regular habit of actually returning comments! I’m going to be doing Weekmas as suggested by Mutay because I really don’t have time to do Blogmas or 12 Days of Christmas, so this is more manageable. I’ve already got my list of posts sorted, so stay tuned!

Until next time (whenever that will be).

My blogger meet up list is becoming extensive and I am LOVING it. This is what I love about the blogosphere – the opportunity to meet up with people you’d probably never meet in your day-to-day life.

A couple of weeks ago, I got to meet up with Amy and it was definitely a long time coming. She messaged me to say that she’d be in London and I just knew we HAD to meet up. Gotta take every opportunity you can, especially as she lives all the way in Leeds!

I decided that we should go to Carluccio’s, as you can’t go wrong with some good ol’ Italian. We met outside this massive statue of a man and woman kissing in London’s St. Pancras International. I don’t get as nervous when meeting new people, anymore, but there’s still a moment of, “Omg, dude. What if they’re not real and I’m just being catfished” (Which I’m sure I’ve mentioned before in other blog posts about meeting other bloggers, haha). Thankfully, I wasn’t being catfished and was greeted with a massive hug from Amy!

I also got to meet her boyfriend as well, who was really cool and super funny.

We basically spoke about everything from what’s it like living in Leeds (apparently there’s not much to do there, haha) to blogging to dating – it was so much fun. Also, yes, the food was amazing. I love Carlucci’s – I ordered the garlic focaccia with provolone cheese and the beef ragu linguine.

Amy nearly gave me a heart attack when she told me she likes her steak well done, though. 😭

Because there’s needs to be evidence that I’m real and she’s real and that together we’re both real, we HAD to take some photos in front of the massive statue. I have no idea what was going on but we just found everything so funny – doing funny poses and all sorts. Amy’s bf did manage to get some photos of us that weren’t us moving around like mad men, though!

Afterwards, we wandered around the station and stumbled across a mini Hamleys where they were playing some old skool *NSYNC. We literally just walked around still chatting before ending up out side Kings Cross station and trying to have an impromptu photo shoot outside Pret A Manger – except it smelt so bad that we had to evacuate immediately.

The night ended with us just chilling and talking about some fucking hilarious things – shout out to Cedric 😉

SO GLAD I FINALLY GOT TO MEET YOU, AMY! You’re amazing, sweet and hella funny IRL and you definitely need to come back to London, soon 💕

If you haven’t already, you should definitely check out Amy’s post about our meetup here.

PS. Here’s a bonus video of me dancing along to ‘Bye Bye Bye’.