The Bruce Peninsula Ontario

My friends, Will and I took an Easter adventure to the Bruce Peninsula in Northern Ontario. It was still pretty wintery there, with snow on the ground, but the skies were SO BLUE.  It was truly beautiful! I would love to go back in the summer (although apparently there are rattle snakes and bears…soooo..)

Tobermory

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The Tobermory Lighthouse.

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Bruce Peninsula National Park

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The trails at the park were so clear and well maintained – even in the winter!

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A pebble beach overlooking Georgian Bay.

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Easter snow angels!

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Ice and turquoise water.

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And then suddenly we walked into Narnia….

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Feeling happy at Indian Head Cove in the Bruce Penisula National Park.

Lion’s Head

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Lion’s Head Lookout – look at the water! SO CLEAR!

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Lion’s Head Pothole, formed by ice! Peek-a-boo!

Miller Lake

We rented a beautiful Airbnb in Miller Lake.

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The cottage.

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Above is Miller Lake in all its placid and icy glory.

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Snow BBQs are the best kind!

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The grounds had an old abandoned car that looked amazing in the snow! It was like a film!

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My YEAR In Pictures

So I have just emerged in 2016. YAS I know it’s the 3rd of January but I needed some recovery!  Usually on a Sunday I hit you with my week in pictures but today I thought I’d reflect on my year. It’s been one blaaaaady great journey (co-voyaged in parts by some equally great huns and bros.) SO ….here is my YEAR in pictures. FEAST YOUR EYES!

January

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It is my birthday in January. Always has been, always will be. The annual tradition is to get passsshed with whichever huns I can assemble. In 2015 those huns were premium.

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My beautiful sister had a pretty big bun in her oven in January and we threw her a baby shower. It was lovely and look how fabulous she is.

alpaca

In January I celebrated three years of knowing this chap (the one with the scarf, not the alpaca…although I WISH I’d known him for three years too!) To mark the occasion, we went on an alpaca trek near Folkstone, UK.

February

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We cocktail in skyscrapers like city wankers. That was a huge theme of the London part of 2015. The picture above shows me and my bff Snozzle Wozzle, aka Ruth Norris, in a glass lift on the 42nd floor of the Heron Tower about to buy a wildly over-priced but wildly delicious cocktail. Cheers, life!

Red smoke in the street

Koelle alaaf! Back once again for the renegade carnival-goer! I returned to Cologne to party with my favourite Germans and adopted German.  This is ALWAYS fun and I am sad I won’t be there this year :'(!
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Happy Birthday Emma Minihan! The glory that is my friend Emma turned 25, so we dressed up like adventure time characters and had a ball.

March

My niece - a baby!

One of the more important things to have happened this year was that this little lady came into the world. My first ever niece – Miss Isobel Jane Barker <3

Gins in tins!

On the SAME evening that Isobel came into the world, I was filming a hard hitting documentary about various gin flavours with my glorious friend, Katie Brennan. You can watch the results here.

FISH!

March will forever be the month I ate this seafood feast of dreams #takemeback.

April

Enjoying a sunny Sunday!

To Amsterdam! Will and I met up with our German contingent in Amsterdam and it was DAMn fun. We camped and drank gin. What more do you need?

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Will and I spent a weekend with his family at a cottage in Norfolk. There was a SEAL BEACH. I repeat, SEAL BEACH. I managed to get close to one.

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This picture may not look like much, but I am about to have THE BEST evening watching Imelda Staunton in Gypsy at the Savoy Theatre in London. I saw around 100 shows last year, but Gypsy was THE BEST.

May

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One of the best weekends of the year was spent at the Gower in Wales with Will and our friends Jonny and Candice. We camped by the sea, we drank, ate, swam, walked. Perfecto.

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I was invited to be a paid speaker at the Southbank Centre’s Web We Want festival.  I was discussing professional blogging and this picture is of me about to go on stage 🙂

May 2015

My lovely friend Amelia and I RINSED the pop up Campari bar in Shoreditch in May! It opened right next to our office and was giving out unlimited free cocktails……….so…yeah.

June

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The Emerald Isles! Will and I used up our holiday at work to take a little trip to Ireland. This is Carrantohill in Killarney, the highest mountain in the country and we CLIMBED that honey on a REALLY hot day.

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June is Kate Martin’s Birthday. A day spent with Kate Martin is a fantastic day indeed!

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June was rounded off by fun in the sun with my best friends watching Taylor Swift in Hyde Park.

July

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July was mostly spent trying to watch Seven Brides for Seven Brothers at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre with the above beauties….but like a good old English  summer, it was rained off a LOT. I did finally watch in the end though and it was worth the wait.
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By July Will and  I knew we were leaving to move to Canada. Positive as it was, leaving my home of 8 years (London town) was sad so while I was still living there I enjoyed it to the MAXIMUM. The above champagne was one of many with my friend Sammi.
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So long and thanks for all the fish. Off I went. Leaving my job of three and a half  years was a mixed bag of fabulous and sad. In a blaze of exit glory, this picture was taken. Ciao for now!

August

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Will and I took the WHOLE month of August off to spend time with our families and friends. This picture was taken near Scafell Pike on a camping trip with Will’s parents.

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One of the glorious things about 2015 was that my friend Clarkie got married. She is the first of my friends to have taken a husband and we had a blast at her hen do (pics NSFW!) and wedding. This was also the last time I saw all of my school friends in a group before I left for Canada.
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This was the last day I spent with my friend Kate. WHAT A DAY we had. Tears were shed  the next day because saying goodbye to your best friends SUCKS.

Mum

So does saying goodbye to your family. This is mum and Isobel at  a party my mum was throwing for Will and I.

September

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The first chapter of the rest of our lives – this is mine and Will’s first day in Toronto :)!

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Hi Niagara Falls!

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Do you want to party with this guy? Here he is at a beach party in Montreal!

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Our first Baseball game! This is Toronto Blue Jays v New York Yankees.

October

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I popped over to New York for a week to hang out with Michaela and drink some coffee. It was glorious.

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Will and I explored more of Toronto. I took this picture of the city skyline on a boat ride to the islands.

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Our first Canadian Thanksgiving was a fantastic one hosted by our friend Harriet’s mum.

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YES! One of the major events this year was getting a job as a presenter. I did a radio show in London but being an on camera host has been a dream. I LOVE working for Inform Overload and Most Amazing Top Ten.

November

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Will and I moved into our new apartment. Here it is in its basic and semi-furnished state. It has blossomed into a home since!

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Drinking and having fun with these two in November was, and still is, a glory. These beauties have made settling into life in Canada much better.
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I did a lot of food reviewing in November for the Toronto Guardian and it was GREAT. This is from an incredible Icelandic feast I had which you can read about here.

December

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Will, Sam, Harriet and I went to see the ice hockey. Watching our first game from the front row was incredible!

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December is when this beauty was born. We enjoyed his birthday to the max which included finding this record player on Free Cycle and buying this beaut of a marble table.

Our first Canadian Christmas! We had Sam over for the day and over the festive period a few more friends dropped by. Yeah, it was weird without family but we had a lovely time!

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This was me today….so the first picture of a whole new year! Happy new year to all and all those involved in making my year the hoot and howl in really was. Let us do it all over to a brand new tune. xxx

 

Overground – I Trusted You

Overground I trusted You

I wanted to share with you the real reason I decided to up sticks and move to Canada. Like many tales, this is one of heartbreak, disappointment and rejection. There were countless cancellations and infrequent services. I just could NOT cope with the London Overground any more.

Just kidding. Sort of.

The London Overground always seemed like a beacon of light and joy to me before I had to regularly use the service. Firstly, look how gloriously orange it is! Secondly, have you ever been INSIDE one? They are so spacious and the interior is highly reminiscent of a 1970’s scouts camping trip; a much simpler era before the perils of the modern day grind could truly take hold. Don’t you feel at ease? Not yet? Okay well there is also air con. Sweat be gone! So long to the woes caused by the Central Line, or as many call it “the sweat glad of London.”

When I moved to Brondesbury in May 2014 I was about to get down and propose to this somewhat mythical and godlike mode of transportation. Unfortunately, like many things that seem too good to be true, the London Overground was nothing like I first anticipated. This started a series of unfortunate events that managed to firmly topple the Overground from its pedestal in my mind. Watch the video below to gain some insight into the full story that ended up with me moving continents and the Overground having to post notifications of apology at several stations about its shit service.

The Video

I absolutely recommend watching this full screen.

The Lyrics

My knight in Orange Armour
My journey’s so much calmer.
You were so sublime,
You always arrived on time.

Upholstered in a 1970’s interior
(Just so retro)
You make all other trains seem inferior
(You always stock the Metro)

I could get a seat,
There was always room to eat
My breakfast on the train.
Oh how I can’t complain.

Oh Overground I trusted you.

One day you just flew by me
On your way to Highbury.
You never told me why,
You just left me here to die,
In EFFING Peckham Rye.
ERGH.

Oh Overground, I trusted you.
You made me think our love was true.

BUT, y’know, I thought “Honey,”
“Just because you’ve been ridin’ it for three months
Exclusively
Doesn’t exactly give you any rights,
So pop a fiver on that Oyster and get back on that train.”

I waited for you at Brondesbury
To catch the 8.43
But as time ticked on
I knew something was wrong….

Turns out you failed to function,
You were “stuck” at Clapham Junction
Oh Overground I despair,
I feel like you don’t care.

OH Overground I trusted you.

One weekend we had plans,
You were gonna take me to my nans.
Oh yeah, it was raining, but I was not complaining.
Until I saw your sign for a rail replacement service.
Oh Overground, you know I don’t deserve this!

OH OVERGOUND I TRUSTED YOU.
YOU SAID IT WAS JUST ME AND YOU.
INSTEAD OF ORANGE YOU MAKE ME BLUE.
IN THE TUBE STRIKE YOU WERE UTTER POO.

Ergh.
Argh.
Accch.
Whooa.
Huuh.

I’ll wait for you for hours
Then two will come along
And of course, fool I am,
I will just jump on.

Oh Overground, you are a joke.
But only you go to Gospel Oak.

I trusted you babe.

The Journey

The Making of Overground I Trusted You
Behind the camera! A shot from the filming of “Overground I Trusted you.”

LOLZ see what I did there. This is a level of wit that the Overground could only hope to aspire to. However its only ability to make jokes is with its dubious service.

I wrote “Overground I Trusted You” as a piece for the Soho Theatre’s Comedy Lab. I took part in the Stand Up Comedy Lab and, amongst other things, I performed an early version of this song on our sharing day in December 2014.

The original “music” was “composed” (I am using quotations to demonstrate how un-legit my music and composition skills are) on a glockenspiel with a moustache whimsically pinned onto it. Since the original conception, I drafted in some super fabulous friends to help make this song a touch more profesh. My amazing friend, Emma Minihan, sat down and listened to me bash out this song on a glock and politely worked with me to create some actual music accompaniment on her guitar. She is a star.

Emma and I at Peckham Rye on filming day!
Emma and I at Peckham Rye on filming day!

Emma, my boyfriend Will and I got together one day to lay down the music and vocals (including Emma’s cameo for “just so retro” and “you always stock the metro”). Will then mixed it together and sent me the completed version.

Will and I in "the studio" - AKA his old bedroom at his parents house.
Will and I in “the studio” – AKA his old bedroom at his parents house.

Meanwhile, Emma, my friend Jack and I got together and ran around London on the Overground (which surprisingly behaved like a great sport on the day) to get some shots to make a music video. Jack shot all of the footage on my camcorder and made some great suggestions to the rough direction I had already thought of. For example, the rose at the end of the video was all Jack’s idea and I love it!

Credits

This crazy ‘ol project wouldn’t have been possible without a few major huns. Here are the credits and special mentions.

Conception – Rebecca Felgate

Music – Emma Minihan and Rebecca Felgate

Lyrics – Rebecca Felgate

Footage – Jack Ewins

Direction – Rebecca Felgate and Jack Ewins

Sound Recording and Editing – William Bembridge

Video Editing – Rebecca Felgate

Special thanks to the London Overground for being a nightmare (dressed like a daydream) and to the Soho Theatre and everyone from the Stand Up Comedy Lab.

Love xxxx

The Lockheart / The “Harry Potter” Bar Toronto

Not only has JK Rowling recently admitted that it is the dawn of the age of Hufflepuff, meaning it is my time to shine, a Harry Potter themed bar has just opened up in Toronto. Obviously this must be a sign, right?

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After a plethora of encouraging messages from my UK friends, I begged Will to accompany me to “The Lockheart,” obviously named after the golden haired Gilderoy. Personally I think Gilderoy is a bit of a dick and would rather they had called it “The Dobby” or “The Longbottom,” but a honey has to go where the magic is.

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After queuing for just 10 minutes, Will and I got seated at a trendy wooden bench style area, that was a far cry from The Hoggs Head Inn. As we perused the “Potions and Elixirs” menu, we were tempted in by “The Lockheart” Caesar, a Bloody Mary type affair (that probably would have been better named “Bellatrix’s revenge.”) However, after careful consideration, will ordered “The Botanist,” a cucumber and gin delight and I ordered a “Ludo’s Debt” which was rather like a Negroni.

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As we waited for our much anticipated elixirs, I had a little peruse at the decor. Some decorative nuances hinted at an affinity to the wizarding world. There was a huge sign repeating the “potions & elixirs” sentiment, some vaguely magical pink lighting, a neon quoting the last 3 words of the series, a mildly disturbing stags skull and a stag-key symbol I dint quite get? There were no couldrons, dry ice, or weather projections on the ceiling… Hmm.

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Taking my mind off the lack of Harry Potterness, our drinks arrived and were looking pretty buff, even though they weren’t served in elaborate vials or delivered by an owl.

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Will’s Botanist won the cocktail lottery; it was limealicious with fabulous blend of gin and cucumber. Plus the glass was quite fun! Mine was tasty and whole precious galleon (dollar) less than Will’s at $8 (that’s £4 back home guys!) although it tasted distinctly like a slightly weaker than average negroni. That said, I slurped it back and enjoyed every drop.

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Surely a magic themed bar would have some kind of magically tempting food menu? No. It was very much bog standard trendy bar fare, including popcorn. Popcorn. Bertie Bott would turn in his grave (actually, I’m pretty sure he is still alive in the wizarding world…but y’know.)

Harry Potter Bar Toronto Review

The only thing I can think is that a) the newspapers blew this place out of all proportion creating unreal expectations for die hard fans or b) these guys took it is far as they could without getting sued by JK Rowling for Copyright infringement? That said, surely no one has ever got served for having just a teeny smidgen of dry ice or some popping candy?

Harry Potter bar Toronto

My inner badger was a little bit let down. However I don’t think my disappointment will change anything; these guys have clearly swallowed a bucket load of Felix Felicis – by the time we left there was a queue round the block just to get in.

Bang Bang Ice Cream Toronto

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ICE CREAM. Apparently, or so the rhyme goes. Only I have never actually heard anyone physically scream as a result of ice cream. Well, actually, maybe as a kid when we heard the ice cream van jingle by (“MUMMMM CAN I HAVE A POUND…” or…er..dollar to my new Transatlantic mates.)

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Anyway. Ice-screaming was barely a thing, however after a trip to Bang Bang Ice Cream in the trendy Trinity-Bellwoods part of Toronto, I totallllly get this nursery rhyme. Adults, full grown adults, were losing their sh*t over a scoop of Bang Bang’s. I had heard that late night ice cream is very much a trend here (as much as going out for drinks is a social thing to do, so is going out for ice cream), however I did not expect to see a line down the street for the stuff.

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I dragged a somewhat reluctant Will into the queue with me. We had seen the place full to the brim the night before but walked by. This time there was no stopping me.

Chatter was rife in the ice-cream queue. We were comrades in search of one thing; a taste from the promised land of creamy goodness. Gleeful front-liners came pouring out in their swathes, assuring us that we were doing the right thing by waiting in line (which is so not something Toronto-ians like to do in my experience.) “it’s so worth it!” they would say in their smug but encouraging positions of hindsight. One even gave me a taste of their miso cherry scoop. It was what I needed to keep me holding on.

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As we got through those golden doors, the options became very apparent. Guys, it was better than we could have thought. They have ALL THE FLAVOURS AND they serve ICE CREAM SANDWICHES. I REPEAT. ICE. CREAM. SANDWICHES. Ice cream sandwich between TWO COOKIES OF YOUR CHOICE. Oh God. HELP.

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Sensing my need, the major honey in the place in front of me offered me a taster of her “totaro” tub (YES, tub, they do take away tubs!) A better woman than I may have politely refused, but I was out for blood..or..er..purple “yam” (sweet potato) so I went for it. I can happily report that potato ice cream is glorious. Glorious!

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Entertained by the choice of the boarderline artsy Homer Simpson décor, I pondered my options. Miso cherry and torato were swimming in my mind, but my heart lay elsewhere. It was then I read the sign telling me I was allowed one taster. Tactics came into play here. I am no fool, I had made my choice, but strike me down if I was about to let an extra taste go by. Heathens! “I’ll try the key lime pie, please.” Ho ho ho, I had no intention of buying it…oh…no wait….yum. Now I want it. BUT NO REBECCA, YOU ALREADY MADE YOUR CHOICE. Blind panic and hysteria had set in as I ordered a scoop of avocado and a scoop of burnt toffee for me and an ice-cream sandwich comprised of “campfire marshmallow” (lol, guys) betwixt a cocoon of peanut butter cookies.

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Dare we try our first little lick? We dare. OH. GOD.

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Soon we were the smug ice cream hoarders spilling into the streets with euphoria clutching at our bounty. I can even provide you with a picture of Will’s smug face. Look who is pleased they waited in line for 30 minutes now!

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The avocado was delicately flavoured and creamy, just like an avocado should be. My burnt toffee was just the right side of caramelized and sugary sweet. Yum. Did I make a mistake by not going ice cream sandwich? Yes, yes I did. Will’s whimsically named campfire marshmallow was nothing sort of a godlike treat between two clapping peanut buttery hands. That said, I regret nothing. Except maybe not ordering a scoop of key lime. Is three scoops too many? Maybe. I was already starting to feel a bit like the queasy decorative Homer they had hanging on their wall, such is the testimony to their scoop sizes.

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So, ice cream is a thing out here and ice-screaming is something else that pretty much just applies to ones attempt to secure a hotly sort after scoop from Bang Bang.

Bang Bang Ice Cream is located at 93A Ossington Avenue and is open Tues-Thurs from 1-10pm, Friday 1-11pm, Saturday 12-11pm, Sunday 12-10pm.
Price range:  $$ – A scoop was roughly $3.50, a sandwich of glory was roughly $6.

My Week in Pictures 6-12th September 2015

Hello beauties! SO I have decided to go for a slightly new format with the Week in Pictures posts to account for the varying time zones of myself in Canada and my readers in the UK. I am going to try and post these on Sunday mornings Toronto time, which will hit you Sunday afternoons. Therefore I am starting the week from Sundays and ending the week on Saturdays. It makes sense!

SO THIS WEEK WAS AWESOME and could possibly be my best picture post yet. Hold tight.

Sunday

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I KIND of covered Sunday last week, but basically we explored a bit more of the city during the day then later had a bbq on the balcony of the place we were staying with our lovely hosts. It was a meat feast!  After that we headed out for some drinks as the next day was a bank holiday. Labour Day!

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Monday

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Totally casual, but I started this week with a trip to Niagara Falls. NIAGARA FALLS! It was incredible.

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I won’t share all of my Niagara pictures as I think I will write a post about the whole (crazy) place soon.

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After our trip to Niagara (with some new Canadian friends!) we had worked up a hunger! We all returned to the city and dined like royalty for next to nothing at Sushi On Bloor. You can read my post about this place and generally ogle at sushi here.

Tuesday

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SO on Tuesday I had to have an emergency filling and it cost me $323! Whilst this made me want to cry, I drowned my tears in beer and tasty food with Harriet at a place in the city called El Furniture. The bar itself sells legit tasty food for $4.99 a plate, which very much helped!
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I then walked back to where Will and I were staying and trotted past this ‘ol familiar friend of a sign which was lit up all pretty in the dark. Mega babe.

Wednesday

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Is it okay that I am in a happy relationship and we went to Hooters as a couple for lunch?! It has been sort of a running joke for a while?!

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Anyway, the food was good and the margaritas were better …although the whole place was quite on brand with its seediness.

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The only way is up from Hooters, right? Right. Will and I walked past the Bell Lightbox Movie Theatre (where they hold the Toronto International Film Festival) and got a couple of tickets to see one of the shows in the programme. I ALSO purchased a subscription to the Mirvsh Theatre Season, with the first show being Motown. I can’t wait!

Thursday

To Montreal!  Will and I got up super early and got the bus to Montreal – Quebec! It took 6 hours and we arrived at 12 HUNGRY and ready to party Montreal style!

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We headed to Schwartz’s for lunch – it is a famous deli style place that serves ridiculous (incredible) smoked beef “sandwiches” (LOL.)

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After our meat feast, we walked to the old dock in the city, passing some pretty cool street art as we did!

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Later we went on a boat ride around the dock and managed to get an awesome up close look at Habitat 67 – a residential block built in 1967 by a local architect as part of the ’67 Montreal Expo. Some people think the building is ugly, but I think it is SO COOL.

Friday

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OH WOW FRIDAY, It was almost a joke… Will and I went to a day party at a beach club (where Kylie Jenner had her 18th Birthday :-/ ) with the guy we are staying with in Montreal.  The place isn’t actually on a beach, but is on a big fresh water lake and had a big pool, all of the sun loungers and a massive PARTY going on. It was …. just crazy.

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The party started at like 11am and went on til 6pm…by which time we had danced in the pool with several beers, laid on the “beach”, danced on a deck to some DJ’s (who were hilarious and obviously though they were God’s gift to the human race!) By the end of it, we were RUINED. That said, even after grabbing some dinner, we were in bed by 11pm, which leads me to think that DAY PARTIES ARE THE WAY FORWARD!

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Saturday

So it took me about 20 years to get out of bed. Fine. Also,  after the glorious weather of Friday, Saturday decided to pee it down wit rain. Also FINE.

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Eventually Will and I headed to the Biosphere on the islandy bit of Montreal. This was also built for the ’67 Expo and is structurally awesome.

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The sphere is now an environment museum, which is pretty cool. Inside we learnt all about humans relationship to nature and technology and what we can do to move forward without destroying both things. Tres Interessant! (Did I mention they speak FRENCH in Montreal?!)

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I dream of cheese. We all know that. The only way Will and I could make sure our hangovers were well and truly gone was to cover them in cheese. Oh HAI FONDUE! Yep – we had a glorious three course fondue meal that is absolutely worthy of its own post. So watch out for that!

SO now it is Sunday and it is still raining! It has been like 30 degrees everyday, so I really shouldn’t complain! We are going to head out soon to (hopefully, weather permitting) see some street drumming! Sure.

Love to all xx

Sushi On Bloor Toronto

One of my major concerns when deciding to move to Toronto was that the city’s food game might not be as strong as London’s. Whilst careful research told me otherwise, I was still somewhat dubious. After a week in Canada I have to truly and literally eat my words…

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On arriving in Toronto, I decided to check out one of the many (like….SO many) Sushi restaurants, with a new friend recommending Sushi On Bloor as a good option. It was.

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Greeted with green tea and miso soup, myself, Will and our two new friends we had made poured over the menu. For the two locals we were with, they knew what they wanted, with one quickly snapping up a Bento Box filled with goodies for only $10.50.

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Whilst the box seemed like a ridiculously good option (Joel’s came with terrayki chicken, tempura shrimp (or king prawns to us British Huns,) rice, tempura vegetables, salmon rolls and some fruit) I decided to pick n mix from the extensive menu.

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Hiiiiiiiii Pork Gyoza, you salty and crispy fried slice of meaty dreams! These were delish and we got 5 good sized dumplings for $3.35!

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I fancied a bit of seafood so we also ordered some calamari which was lovely and not at all rubbery. I would say the batter could have used slightly more seasoning but Will seamed content.

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Sushi sushi, what to do? I decided to opt for yellow tail sashimi along with tempura sweet potato and avocado rolls and crispy tuna rolls.

Will is kind of a sushi novice, however I am quite well versed so he went with me on the order and was surprised how much he loved the raw chunks of yellow tail. I was unsurprised but equally delighted by the beautiful, clear fresh fish taste.

Sushi On Bloor Review

The rolls were good too, although in future I think one set between two is more than enough for me. The sweet potato (or “yam” to our North American friends) was surprisingly creamy when offset with the avocado and the tuna was tasy, if underwhelmingly crunchy.

Joel let us try a little bit of his tempura vegetables, the broccoli being my favourite, and one of his shrimp, which was predictably juicy and good. I have to say, from looking at it and having a little nibble, I was very much sold on the Bento box!

Will and I couldn’t eat all of our spread so had it packed up to take home (dinner and a doggy bag – winning!) although that didn’t mean I could squeeze in a complimentary scoop of green tea ice cream. Yes, that’s right, green TEA ice cream! Thus may not be to everyone’s taste, but I very much liked it!

Green Tea Ice Cream Suhsi On Bloor
The best part about the meal? Including tip, mine and Will’s spread cost us just over $30. Yep…. $15 each with food left over for lunch. To put that it perspective to my British friends; that is a hearty meal for £7.50 each. Sorry huns, I’m not coming back to London. The food is too good here. Good news is, there is room for you all over here too. So come! With dinner at £7.50 a head, first night out is on me!

Thanks Sushi on Bloor for being a totally delicious babe, I am sure I’ll be seeing you soon!

Sushi On Bloor, 525 Bloor Street West, Toronto, M5S 1Y4.

My Week In Pictures 31st August to the 6th September 2015

It’s actually pretty early here – Toronto is 5 hours behind the UK. I am not sure whether this will affect my posting schedule in the future or my Sunday picture just needs to be something taken earlier on in the day. Who knows. ANYWAY…HI FROM CANADA! Will and I made it in one piece and the weather is INSANELY hot out here right now!

What happened to get us here this week? I’ll tells ya!

Monday

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Argh. After the joy of Sunday, Monday was rubbish. Not only was I a touch hungover (obviously Laura and Michaela’s fault!) but I also had to do some serious actual packing. Crap! It also rained pretty much ALL DAY. However by the evening the sky got clearish but still pretty moody. I feel ya sky!

Tuesday

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Okay onwards and upwards. I was FINALLY packed and my mum, Andrew and I headed to my friend Sammi’s in East Grinstead as we were going to be staying the night before my flight (it’s MUCH closer to Gatwick than their house. )

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To take the edge off thinking about the impending move, we all headed into London for a last hurrah and watched Kinky Boots the Musical at the Adelphi Theatre. It was INCREDIBLE!

Wednesday

The BIG DAY. AH!

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So obviously at the airport we started the day with a glass of prosecco and a full English breakfast, because what is life and travel without deep fried food and alcohol before 10am? NOTHING.

The flight was good and went quite quickly. I managed to watch Disney & Pixar’s  Inside Out as well as an awesome food documentary on Canada. It got me pretty excited for touch down.

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Yes, of course, here is the obligatory “in air” shot.

We touched down at 3pm local time (GMT – 5hrs) and it was the hottest day of the year. You can imagine how much fun carrying a 25kg case through the subway was, but actually the whole experience was made better by how LOVELY all Canadians seem to be!

Thursday

I don’t have much to report from Wednesday night as we were shattered and pretty much just went to bed (after some hearty Jerk Chicken!) However after a lonnnngggg sleep, we were ready and raring to go on Thursday morning!

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We started the day with a Tim Horton’s breakfast, which I am told is some kind of right of passage for Canadians, and it was good! Then we headed over to city hall to get our SIN numbers, got a bank account etc etc! Huzzah.

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Later we explored Kensington Market, which is like the Camden of Toronto. Here we had a few beers, found a CHEESE SHOP, a CAR GARDEN and generally just had a great time chatting to locals.

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Later we met Harriet, who has been the MOST helpful person in getting us here, so we bought her a beer and we all had some food at the Amsterdam brewery on the harbour front.

Friday

Did I mention it is HOT here? On Friday we decided to chill out and escape the mid-day heat by staying in for a bit and applying for a couple of jobs. It is weird because we both kind of feel like we are on holiday, but we aren’t so we need to be proactive on the application station.

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Later we headed to St Lawrence Market (foodie heaven) and generally touristed around before heading to the Distillery District downtown for a cheeky early evening pint.

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Here you can’t buy beer at a corner shop like you can in the UK so we had to go to a massive bottle shop to pick up some local beers to take back to the apartment we are renting. We went with a lovely hoppy IPA brewed in Vancouver and then completed our experience by getting take out Poutine. It was LUSH.

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Will had the classic Poutine (chips, gravy and cheese curds) and I had a pulled pork toping (still with cheese, OBVIOUSLY.)

Saturday

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Fun in the sun! On Saturday we went to a bar uptown called Scallywags to watch the England match in the sun with Harriet and her friend Helen.  Will and I started the afternoon (ha, barely!) with a Caesar (Canada’s answer to a bloody Mary.)

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Later we had a couple more pints and watched a bit of the Blue Jays game (basketball) – Will, Harriet and I are off to see them play against the New York Yankees on the 22nd September! How North American are we?!

Sunday

Well, as I said, it is quite early. Will and I are having pancakes and maple syrup for breakfast and then heading out to do some more exploring.

The guy we are staying with in our Airbnb place is a) awesome and b) has mentioned something about a bbq on the balcony later which I can definitely get on board with!

Tomorrow is Labour Day out here, so Canadians have the day off work. I am not sure what this means for Will and I, but there is loads of stuff happening across the city, including a parade!

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I hope all is well back home, love to all! xxx

Things I Will Miss Most About the UK

I am now on my way to the airport to catch a one way flight to Toronto. There is a sentence I never imagined saying.
Luckily I will not be alone as I will have my lovely boyfriend of 3 and a half years, Will, with me. That said, even though I won’t be totally on my own out there and even though I will be on a great adventure, I will still miss the UK and the people in it SO MUCH.

To try and get over what I am going to miss so much, I thought I would put exactly what it is into words…SO here is a post about what I imagine I will miss most over the next few years.

  • English Summer – Yeah, I know “lol” right?! But when it does show up, it DELIVERS! Obviously the picture below is of a hearty Pimms in an English summer garden, because the two go hand in hand.

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  • The Seaside – I am sure I will be able to go to the coast in North America (Toronto has a beach even though it is on a big lake) but it is just so much easier to get to the sea here. There is also a HUGE charm in some British seaside towns. My favourites are Brighton and Southwold for their unique charm but I also LOVED camping at the Gower earlier this year.
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  • Camping / Camping in Will’s Orange Tent – I LOVE camping! Some people are surprised when I say this as I love a good bit of lippy and some hairspray, sure, but I also love hearing nature while I sleep, smelling fresh air first thing in the morning and cooking my breakfast on a travel stove. I am sure we will be able to camp in Canada…but….BEARS.
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  • Boots – Guys, Boots is such a great shop. It has all of the essentials and more under one, big “drug-store-y” roof. Boots FTW!
  • History – This country is “older” than Canada…the cities there can feel very new and shiny, which is lovely…but where are the thatched roofs and Medieval castles?
  • Tea – For so many obvious reasons. Tea tea tea!

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  • Cadbury’s Chocolate – I eat WAY less chocolate these days than I used to but that doesn’t mean that I don’t carve a good old chunk ‘o Cadbury’s every now and then. Chocolate heals what many things cant. Sure they have chocolate in Canada, but where is the Cadbury’s. Boo…hiss.
  • Cambridge – My hometown. It’s full of English charm and is so pretty. Plus punting…always fun!
  • Pubs – I bloody love pubs. England and the UK is rammed with fantastic boozers – the best of which I have found in both London and the Yorkshire Dales. Pints, merlot, roast dinners, board games, open fires in the winter. You make me British and you make me happy!
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  • Roast Dinner – ROAST POTATOES…Am I riiiight?! Roast beef with smoked horseradish, roasted veg, roasted pots, Yorkshire pudding, stuffing, sprouts, bread sauce (all washed down with a glass of merlot.) YEAH, COOL, THANKS.
  • Cheese – I have actually googled “price of cheese, Canada” and I could have cried. Someone tell me it is not true?! This is a biggie for me. I hear Toronto is great for food…but…cheese! The UK is so close to France that Camembert, Comte, etc are cheap imports. PLUS WENSLEYDALE!
They see me rollin'....
They see me rollin’….

The Yorkshire Dales – Speaking of the Dales….OH GOD I WILL MISS THEM. So much it makes me ache. Some of my happiest memories of the UK are from time spent in Hawes and the surrounding places. It is BEAUTIFUL, the beer is great and so is the cheese. What more do you need?

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London

Whilst the Dales are my favourite place, London is the city I have lived in for 8 years and it has been glorious. It is filled to the brim with fun, culture, food and fabulousness so it deserves its own section!

  • Theatre – again, not to state the obvious, there could well be a huge theatre shaped hole in my life. Toronto is filled with theatre and culture and fabulousness but I can’t deny that I won’t miss seeing a different show two or three times a week. The picture below is from the Globe Theatre as it the most traditionally “English” theatre I could think of.

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  • Music – London has a shit hot music scene. Any day you want to see some live music to suit your taste you can, you’ll be spoiled for choice. Not only do all of the big bands play here, this is the birthing place of small bands who are still finding their sound. Red stripe in a plastic cup, bass pumping through my stomach, lights blaring in my eyes…..you never know, there may even be a smoke machine. God, London sounds amazing. I will very much miss presenting my Shoreditch Radio show *tear!*

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  • Cocktailing like a Wanker (see also skyscrapers) – this is a whole different ball game than having a cheeky one in the pub. London is king of the cocktail! The best places I have found so far are the Duck and Waffle in the Heron Tower for a classy and delicious drink, Graphic for gin based dreams and the Shoreditch Grind for a world class Espresso Martini.

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  • 4 am fried chicken – Toronto, do you do this? Please say yes? You can take the girl out of London but you can’t take the London out of the girl. #SamsChicken4Life
  • Restaurants – be still my beating tummy. I love food. London has restaurants with food from all over the actual universe to suit every budget. My favourite places include wahaca, Little Bay, Burger and Lobster, Dishoom, The Breakfast Club, Ping Pong, Murakami, the Red Dog saloon, Meat Mission, the little pizza shop round the corner from my office called the Barrel Boulangerie. (They do actually say Toronto has an INCREDIBLE food scene – so we’ll see about this one!

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Piccadilly Circus
I actually fucking hate Piccadilly Circus, the crowds make me homicidal, although I have to admit that the teeniest part of me looks at those bright lights and is all of a sudden that 18 year old girl who was so in awe of her life having just moved to the big city. I am not her anymore, but I love her and know now she will be fine.

Skyscrapers – Yeah, we aren’t New York, but London has some buff sky scrapers, often shaped like humorous objects like “gherkins” (who you kidding London? #butplug) a walkie talkie and a misc shard of glass. Getting in a lift and soaking up the view from the top floor of a London sky scraper will literally make you feel like you are on top of the world. If the city looks so small now, it can’t be so hard to conquer. Keep trying. Oh god.

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The Southbank – Hands down my favourite place in the whole of the city. My favourite weekend pastimes involve strolling from London Bridge to Waterloo via Borough Market. I love the vibrancy and smells of the market even if I am not buying food (which by the way there is plenty of!) the pubs round the Southbank are also pretty bang on and the river is just.so.pretty.

Shoreditch and Brick Lane – My area of work for over three years and home to the best vintage shops, pop up shops, pubs, restaurants, record stores, clubs and curry in London, not to mention loads of quirky art galleries. On the first Thursday of each month, if you take a walk down brick lane popping into open galleries as you go, you can get very drunk on a very short walk due to the free drinks being given away at “private” views.

Art – Be it street art or a public gallery, London has got this shit! Is there anywhere else in the world where you can see a famous Salvador Dali painting for free? The Tate Modern is the shit. End of.
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Museums – See also art. These babies are generally very free. Also, we have some excellent quirky museums such as. Yeah London, you are expensive, but it is still easy to have fun with no funds.

My Friends and Family

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My friends and family get a category ALL of their own because they are the biggest mega babes of all time and to be honest, everything above would be irrelevant to me if I didn’t have one of these people to enjoy it all with.

I am so lucky that I have a big group of friends across the UK, although most of them live in and around Cambridge, where I grew up. Somehow between the ages of 12-16 I managed to make friends with some of the loveliest girls in the universe who loved me back, even though I was a massive chav when we all started school. These girls have been there for me through thick and thin and I will never stop being thankful for knowing them.

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Similarly, I have a lovely group of close friends in London who I love and will miss sassing around with. PLUS there is a honey out there in New Zealand…does that count as something I’ll miss about the UK?! Sort of.

One of my closest “friends” has always been my sister, who is so FIRMLY on team Rebecca Jane Felgate it is crazy. I am on team Wuzle Rachel Badger Felgate Barker for LIFE. Also, she has contributed to the world for making this wonderful being, Isobel.

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MUM – oh mum. Dad, Andrew…you guys are excellent. I have my mother to thank for SO many things! ALSO Bracken….how can I go a year or so without hanging out with that beautiful black lab! Woof!

Waaaaaa. I LOVE YOU ALL! PLEASE COME VISIT ME!

ANYWAY – after all the missing, I am looking forward to living in a new city and experiencing everything Toronto has to offer Will and I. I can only hope if/when I come to leaving that place that I have a list as full as the one above, which I am sure I will!

So now…..to the airport!

XOXO

Moving to Canada