Run Club and Cocktails

After months of procrastinating, on Monday evening I decided to finally go to the Sweatshop running club. I had seen them earlier in the year running along the seafront and have been meaning to go ever since.

When I got to the shop we stood around for 10 minutes waiting for everyone to arrive, I resisted the urge to get out my phone to look busy (ie check facebook). Everyone was chatting in their own groups and although the vibe was very friendly I felt like a bit of a lemon standing waiting. Luckily I got chatting to another lady, who was also there for the first time & I then clung to her until we started the run.  

The run was just 5k, starting opposite the the Brighton Centre to The King Alfred leisure centre and back. It was a mixed group so there were a few who whizzed off and I saw them returning before I even felt like I had gotten started. However, the overall pace was good. My competitive spirit kicked in and I tried my best to keep up with a guy who was just slightly ahead of me the whole time and I finished at just over 27 minutes. The fastest time I heard mentioned when 17 minutes!

It was great to get out running with a group, I love running and the peace you find but it was great to feel part of a pack. Tomorrow looks like rain so I might wait until next week for my next visit.

On Tuesday evening we got last minute tickets to see Bombay Bicycle Club at the Brighton Dome. It was a great gig, I rarely listen to them now but this is the second time I have seen them and they were awesome. It was a great mixture of tempo, I was surprised at the big pit that formed in the crowd and was glad that I had lovely sitting seats with the oldies upstairs.

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The week was topped off with a visit All Star Lanes in Bloomsbury for a old school friend’s birthday. It was great to catch up with people I really don’t see enough of, enjoy a cocktail or two and some good music.

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Last by no means least, I have been watching everyone put up their no make up selfies and have now been ‘nominated’. It’s a great cause and the campaign has been huge on social media. It is worrying how nervous some people seem to be to post,  make up is great for giving your natural beauty a boost but we should all be a little more confident in our own skin…maybe this campaign will do a more than just help raise money for charity.

I shall be making my donation and posting up my no make up selfie.

City Lights

I could tell this week was going to go quickly when I mentioned it being Monday morning to someone but actually, it was Wednesday.

I have spent most of the weekend in London, Saturday night was a tapas night with lots of yummy homemade food and sangria. Today I went to meet some old work colleagues for Sunday lunch at The White Hart . The plan was to have a roast but as the sun was blazing down on us, I opted for the toasted cous cous, fried halloumi, bean & avocado salad, it was really tasty and a lot more filling than it looked (or that could have been the large glasses of wine..). It was great to see people I haven’t seen for a couple of months and have a good catch up.

After I stopped commuting from Brighton to London, I think I went on a travel boycott and the last time I was in London for the day was back in November when I did a city walk called hidden city.  Hidden city is a ‘treasure hunt’ around the city, you receive a series of clues which need to be solved to find out where you have to go next. Each new location has the answer to the second part of the clue, once you have the answered correctly- you are receive the next clue. 

We did the City Lights Evening Trail which started at the Barbican &  finished near Borough market. It was a great way to explore the city and see parts that you would never normally venture. This trail is rated as easy- medium, I would say we are a pretty intelligent bunch but there were some clues that we found impossible. We were a bit worried when we spent 15 minutes trying to solve the first clue, luckily you can text for hints!

The highlight of the walk was visiting the roof terrace at One New Change where there are amazing views of St. Paul’s Cathedral. I am sure that regulars to the area would have been there many times but for me, it was a great find. My friends have previously done the Brighton walk, maybe it’s because we are Brighton locals but they were a bit disappointed however,  would thoroughly recommend the London walks.

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(Note: There are two pubs called The White Hart within a very close proximity, if meeting friends- make sure you have the right pub!)

New York, New York

This New Years I was incredibly lucky to spend in NYC accompanied by my lovely Mum.

We left on Boxing day & arrived in New York around 3pm. Initially I wanted to travel like a local, getting the metro to the hotel but  we were so exhausted we jumped in a taxi. Trying to resist sleep we headed out for a walk as soon as we arrived and headed up to Washington square & then set ourselves to the task of finding dinner.  The Result: Philly cheese steak at Fanelli Cafe, it was so good we went back on the last day for lunch. The perfect combination of relaxed but lively atmosphere, homely and tasty food.

New york 4.

As it was our first visit much time was spent on typical tourist things like the 9/11 memorial, Staten Island ferry, the Rockefeller Centre and so on, I won’t bore you with the details. However, if visiting the memorial,  for a quick lunch I would definitely recommend the Italian deli next to the memorial ticket office. Shout your orders & don’t be shy, I ordered the Californian wrap, crammed with chicken, avocado & salad- possibly the best wrap ever.

Two very tasty dinners of the trip were

Boyd Thai (I take my pad Thai addiction with me where ever I go). We shared the Crispy Duck with Pineapple Cashew Nut Salad to start with, it was a little salty for my tastings but my mum devoured it, just as well as our Pad Thai portions were huge but very tasty so I didn’t want to leave even a mouthful.

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Mekong bar, arriving earlier than most diners we were sat in a very quiet dinning room (it got busier) and had the full attention of the waitress, who talked to us for a while about England, the local area and our plans before leaving us to enjoy our meal, which was incredible. Especially the Goi Ga (chicken  and cabbage salad).

The first two days were spent doing so much walking meant I had to pick up a new pair of trainers, we gave up after day 2 and spent the rest of the week whizzing around on the metro.  Part of all this walking was a trip to Serendipity which, knowing my love of ice cream and all things sweet had been recommended by the lovely Abbey at fashionGrace. We arrived around 5 o’clock to a 3 hour waiting list, so sad we didn’t get to go. This will be added to my to-do list for the next trip and I will definitely be booking in advance.

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Unintentionally this has been slightly food focused. I could write forever about the trip. I think it is safe to say that I fell in love with the city. I loved how vibrant it was, the spaces, the architecture. Oh, and the amount of dogs and doggie parks. Let’s be honest, it’s enough in itself to make you love the city.

New york 2.

Sunshine & Shiny things

This weekend was the first bit of glorious sunshine this year which is a near miracle after all the rain we have had. Friday was also the first payday in a while that I have been able to go splurge…well by splurge I mean buy myself some urgently needed essentials.

First stop was Next for some black skinnies. I have always been slightly negative about Next, it conjured up an image of those who have forgotten fashion existed and lack imagination (Sorry next-ees!). However, I have recently found lots to things to love and they have a great range of wardrobe essentials so I picked up a pair of jeans for just £22

With the sun out, I headed to h&m for some new sun glasses (previous pair falling victim to my bottom) & new pumps. Look completed.

Sunday morning was spent at the gym with a Pilates class, I have been going to Body Balance for a while which I love so thought I would try my hand at Pilates. Whilst it was a lovely way to end the week I think I enjoy the extra movement and energy that comes with Body Balance. The afternoon, along with what seemed like the majority of Brighton, was devoted to the seafront with a stroll up the marina, lunch &  home.

Other great things about this weekend included

–          Homemade humus- recipe here. 

–          The arrival of The Body Book, I am halfway through and completely addicted. More to come on it soon…

–          And a delivery from the wonderful not-another-bill of a gorgeous art deco mirror by designer Haidee Drew. 

PicShells

The week ahead will hopefully involve lots more sunshine, the walking dead and a lovely roast along the south bank with some old chums.