Eating (and drinking) your way around Budapest

I’ll admit it, I like food.
I like starting the day with an amazing coffee and maybe some gluten free chocolate cake…

 

Flat white in Budapest

Flat white in Budapest

And Cake!

And Cake!

Got to support the local economy with a Langos for lunch..

Shared between two of course

Shared between two of course

Walking around all day does leave me feeling a bit peckish, doughnut for afternoon tea perhaps?

So many choices!

So many choices!

And there's more

And there’s more

Need something to line the stomach before heading out? A hotdog should do the trick with all the topping (except for the beans, they have cow in!)

With tornado chips of course

With tornado chips of course

And after all that I think I’m finally ready to start drinking on boats again…

One of the many Ruin Bars in Budapest

One of the many Ruin Bars in Budapest

I didn’t really eat all this in one day. We were there for 4 days, there were healthier meals involved… Though I do think I could eat Langos all day it’s that delicious

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Exploring Gozo, Malta

Malta is made up of three islands, Malta, Gozo and Comino.

Getting to Gozo is easy (as long as you can get on the bus to the ferry terminal) From Balluta Bay the bus take 90minutes, again it’s very full so we were driving past very angry people who had been waiting ages to be picked up. Ferry takes 25minutes, and you pay on your way back to Malta. I would suggest picking up a return ticket when arriving in Gozo since otherwise you’re lining up with the busload of people who got off at the same time as you.

Victoria (the capital of Gozo) is in the middle of the island, and all buses go to here and from here you decide where you want to go. I only had one place that I really wanted to visit and that was in Dwejra Bay.

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Azure Window is a natural stone arch, with some of the most gorgeous looking water around. So impressive that I had to break my no getting into a swimsuit in public rule and (NSV right here) stripped down to a bikini so I could take a dip.

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I had only planned to stay here for a short time so I could explore other parts of Gozo, but ended up staying 2 hours so had just enough time to get back to Victoria and explore (there’s really not that much to see there, trust me) and then the journey home from hell started.

First bus to the ferry was cancelled, second was full and the push to get on immense ( I expected to get trampled) The ferry was the easiest part of the trip because once we got off the boat, came an hour wait for the next bus (which again contained a stampede to get on the bus) Driving back to St Julian’s, the city was in black out (or whole country).. which made the 5 flights of steps I needed to walk up to my apartment interesting to the least.

sunset over Gozo

Gozo by night

Jenna

And so it ends… part 2

#24. Take 6 photos of Ad and I to turn into Canvas… (Completed 14/2/14)

This one took a bit of a different turn then I was thinking initially, but I was pleased with the result and still have grand plans to stick up photos of our time in Europe (maybe not only of the two of us) when we get home.

#23. Attempt to see the Northern Lights…  (Crossed off 21/2/14)

So TLDR I didn’t get to see the Northern Lights but I did get to explore a beautiful country in my attempt to.

#4. Visit 5 new countries… (Completed 23/02/14)

Or 6 in my case. But each of them have been an experience, and I’m glad I had the chance to visit each one, even if I wasn’t completely enthralled (here’s looking at you Portugal) but I did have one of the most amazing Christmases ever (United States of America) See some of the most beautiful landscapes I’ve ever witnessed (Slovenia…Especially Lake Bled) Took a family road trip (Iceland), tried to see a whole city in one day (Sweden) And experienced sweet treats and boat rides in Turkey… There was also the odd trip to Gibraltar complete with door opening monkeys, a dolphin spotting trip and a hike to a lighthouse.

#23 Go to a West End Show… (Completed 18/3/14)

Or 3. So far I’ve got to see War Horse, Mama Mia! and The  Lion King. On a side note I did also go to the filming of the Graham Norton show. Missed out on Channing Tatum by one week!

#25. Go to a fancy afternoon tea… (Completed 1/5/14)

Your parents always warned you about meeting with strangers especially off the internet but this was exactly how I decided and managed to cross this one off the list. I love the idea of afternoon tea, but the big question really is, is it worth it, or is the cheaper high tea just as good?

#10 Spend a weekend away alone… (Crossed off 3/5/14)

This was one that changed over time. I no longer wanted to spend extra time away from Ad but instead wanted to spend as much time with him and share experiences as well, since we weren’t doing it during the weekend. This was really just one of many. Another Day was spent in Windsor. Then there was Canterbury, with a side trip to Dover to see the White Cliffs.

#11. Do a European Festival…(Completed 10/05/14)

 Oh I had high hopes for this one. Plans to go to the Isle of Wright, Glastonbury, Oktoberfest ect. Then the reality of work set in (no holidays in term time for me) and oh yeah… I don’t really like camping in mud. But I did manage to do it and even better it contained tulips! Oh tulips how I adore thee!  It is one that given that I’m planning on travelling over the summer I hope to complete but we’ll see how much money I have by then.

#9. Sleep under the stars… (Completed 24/5/14)

I have been camping yes. But like with hiking, I wanted to do it knowing that it was my choice and I could do it happily. Honestly, I don’t think I would be very good proper camping. I like toilets. I admit it. So when the idea of glamping instead came about, I was more then happy to go with it. And it did make me want to do it again, maybe even try proper camping (in a hot place, with no rain.)

#17. Make a new Friend…(Completed)

OKay so this is a weird one. You don’t really go around announcing “me and you are now friends”. Or at least most people don’t (Side story.. drunken night, I ended up with one of my best friends name saved under my phone as “My new best friend” So I guess it can happen like that.)  But anyway,there’s no blog post, no pictures. Just a sentence to say that over the past year, especially since moving to London, I’ve had the chance to meet some amazing new people and had some amazing times with them , and hopefully will be having more!

And here’s some I didn’t manage to d0

3. Skydive

I was going to do this but then I backed out of it. one day

5. Stay up till sunrise

 I think as soon this one was confirmed on my list, I regretted it. In essence I think I’ve done this a few times, especially when I’ve been drunk and stumbling home. It was way to wide, did I need to be sober, did I need to watch the sunrise? Oh the questions!

12. Start saving properly (£3000 in savings account at the end of the year)

Most of the above cost money. Money that I have preferred spending on trips and experiences, I’ve got time to save (not really) but I will try!

13. Visit Euro Disney

Not easy when the you only get holidays when every other child does and the price triples!

So there you have it. I managed to get 16 out of 25 ticked off. Lots of room for  improvement I’d say.  It has been a fun year, but the next few will be so much more….

Stay tuned for where the blog heads to next….

Jenna

And so it ends… part 1

So I’ve been 25 for almost a month and am only finally getting round to writing a round up post about my list. At the beginning it was about how many I could tick off… then it sort of became less of a priority, and I started to question why I chose to complete some, some I still wish I had tried, but hey I’m still young and I’ve still got time to do them.. (more about that in a later post)

But until then here is the final tally of the things I completed and those I didn’t (I’ve tried to put them in the order I completed them)

#7. Start a blog... (Completed 29/05/13)

Well I had to start somewhere it got me on here didn’t it. And through it I’ve gotten the chance to complete several link ups, and meet some wonderful people.

#23. Go to a concert… (Completed 28/6/13)

I know it’s sad and most people wouldn’t admit to it but Michael Buble was the one person I’d always wanted to see live so when the chance came, I had to take it. Even if it did mean a three hour drive one way! (I love you Ad). I’m also not that much of a concert person. I also got to go to Ed Sheeran at The royal Albert Hall. Cool for two reasons.

#1. Run a 5km race…(Completed 30/6/13)

This one meant a lot to me since it showed how far I had come since the Christmas before when I could barely get off the couch without getting puffed out. Since the first there have been overs,  Pretty Muddy, and getting to dive and run through obstacles, The colour run (terrible in the heat.. all I needed was water) and the Mo run. I really need to get booking another one soon.

#6. Give Blood… (Completed 07/08/13)

of course there had to be a charity/ giving one. I think for this one it was the build up to it that was the worst. Being sent away the first time I was worried that with a history of High Blood pressure (which I put down to being overweight since it has evened out since I’ve lost weight) I would be sent away from the chair, but Yay! I got to do it. I now just need to find time to donate again.

#15 Go hiking…  (Completed 20/8/2013)

This was another one I out on to remind myself how far I had come. When adding this one to the list initially, all I could think about was being 14 and being made to go a hike with college. Oh how I moaned and bitched and I think there could have been tears (mine, not the teachers.) I pretty mush wanted to prove that I could do it and I could do it happily. Which I did. Happily.

#8 Stand under a waterfall… (Completed 21/08/13)

By far one of the most fun experiences I’ve had during my whole journey. Canoying took me out of my comfort zone and was something I never thought that I would have the courage to do (I hate jumping off heights). It helped that the scenery was amazing. I also got to walk behind a waterfall in Iceland… just beware of the icicles!

#14 Lose 2 Stone(Completed 18/9/13)

Oh this is still a struggle and I work on it every day. I got to Gold, then slowly found myself relaxing into old habits. Eating what I want, going drinking every weekend. I need a big kick up the butt to get me motivated and to lose those few pounds that seem to have crept on since this was completed. Especially with Summer and a boat tour in Croatia coming up.

#18 Take a cooking class… (Completed 15/11/13)

I love cooking. I admit it, so this was just one to make sure I  tried something new. My favourite thing about completing this one was getting to do it with Ad and proofing who was the better cook (kidding).

And some I didn’t do :

#2. Run 10km… 

I am going to do this. I got lazy and gave up but slowly I’m running again and I will do it. Maybe I need to enter a race to motivate me?

#16. Take a dance class… 

Again one that I really wanted to do but unfortunately it pushed me to o much out of my comfort zone. Which I know is something I need to get over. I went as far as booking the class but then to the wonderful thing that is London Transport I never managed to get there. I’m still getting their emails.

#19. Try kite surfing/ Paddle boarding… 

Want to know something funny. Back in New Zealand, I live 5 minutes away from a  surf beach. I also live 15 minutes from at least 2 surf schools both of which I’m sure will teach Kite surfing, so maybe this is one I save for when I am back in New Zealand.

#20. Get a tattoo (yaya)… 

This one is important to me and I will do it. I’m just a chicken. Anyone know of a good tattoo place in London and I’ll do it before I leave.

#21. Buy an outfit without looking at the price… 

It is almost physically impossible to do this. Have you ever been shopping and not automatically looked at the price. Unless of course moneys not that important and you’ve got it  to spare then I apologise for the assumption. Also this is one that by the end I was thinking of doing at a charity store just to cross off, I really didn’t care about it that much.

Stay tuned for Part 2

Jenna

#25 Go to a fancy afternoon tea

Twitter. What a fantastic place to meet people, find out what’s happening in the world and to make arrangements. Twitter was where I first heard about the  #LDNBloggersTea, and knowing I still had this to tick off my list (as well as having the chance to meet some amazing bloggers) I decided to join. One of the hottest days of the year (so far) saw me rock up at the Milestone Hotel in Kensington. The nervous thoughts of “oh no, will I talk to anyone” or even worse “will anyone actually want to talk to me” was quickly put to rest as I sat next to Jade and Danielle, who along with the rest of the table made sure that conversation flowed. I think it helped that the glass of bubbles was brought out first…

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Tea was on offer but disappointingly there were only two types on offer. After seeing their menu, I had had my heart set on a flowering tea my friend raved about. Maybe next time. The food arrived shortly after.  Being vegetarian, I had prepared myself for only getting the normal egg and cress, cucumber and cream cheese, and tomato and cheese. I do admit I was presently surprised with the addition of a humus and aubergine sandwich as well as an avocado one. The scones were nothing to rave home about. Imagine the horror at only getting one pot of cream on the table. Of course we needed more!

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The more cream the merrier really.

The sweet stuff was a little disappointing, mainly because the amount they gave of each was limited so if you weren’t quick enough you missed out.

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What I did eat was delicious and by the end was very full.

I had a great time meeting new people as well as seeing a few people I hadn’t seen for a while and here’s hoping I’m still around for the next one.

Jenna

#4 Visit 5 new countries- United States of America (day 6, 7& 8)

Finally a round off post. At this point in the trip the camera seemed to spend more time in the bag then out and we tended to go back and revisit places that we didn’t feel we saw well enough the first so of course, the first place on my list was the Statue of Liberty.

Day 6

When we saw it from the ferry , I was disappointed. It had been built up so much in my mind, I picture seeing it the first time close up would be like seeing the Eiffel Tower. But Nope, I deemed  it to small and ultimately, not that good. So on redo day, we got up early and bet the crowds to be able to walk onto the boat to Liberty Island without having to wait in line (which was HUGE when we got back).

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Lady Liberty from the back

 I was glad we decided to spend the money and actually visit Lady Liberty. I found seeing her close up you really got to see how large and imposing she was, a feeling you didn’t get on the Staten Island Ferry. 

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Me and the BF

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Amazing weather

The ticket price also included entry to Ellis Island, which is now a museum.

When we got back to the mainland we headed back up to Soho/Little Italy, where it became my mission to find an Italian Bakery. Just thinking about it makes me want to find one in London right now! We managed to Ferrara by chance. We lined up and left with a cannoli each and a lobster tail to share.

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Absolutely delicious (one Cannoli had already been eaten by this point)

Again the rest of the day was spent wandering around New York. Dinner was in Greenwich Village, again nothing special enough to recommend to other people.

Also we found this building… Anyone recognise it? IMG_9000

Day 7

Something we had planned before we went to New York was a Greenwich Food Tour . It was recommended to me and I would recommend to other people in an instant. I only had two negatives with it and one was that we didn’t do it when we first arrived so we could revisit all the shops again.

My other was that while the BF got this

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The biggest meatball I’ve ever seen

I got a plate of limp vegetables that had been thrown together simply to give me something to eat.

The rest of the food was much better. We had AMAZING white truffle popcorn (which has now resulted in a search for truffle salt in London) Cheese tasting, arancini, pizza…

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COOKIES!!!

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And more cannoli (not that I’m complaining)

There was also lots of history about Greenwich village told and lots of walking so I didn’t feel as bad when I was eating.

We made sure to come back to Greenwich Village for dinner which I had Mexican of Epic portions (Yeah read that sentence again to make sure it makes sense) Basically it was a huge meal and a Huge cocktail.

Day 8

Our last day in New York and having spent most of the last few days downtown we decided to head Uptown to The Natural History Museum. *Tip* if you don’t use the Central Park entrance you can pretty much walk in without lining up. So again we got to walk in. Also depending on how cheap you are, you can get away with paying as little of the recommended donation as you want.

We spent a couple of hours here before the amount of tourist.. and children started to get to me.  I had one more food place that I wanted to try, right by the Natural History Museum.

Levain Bakery

These were the most delicious cookies I had had the whole trip. In fact, they would rival most of the treats I had had.

IMG_1176[1]It cost $4 but it was huge. Almost the size of my hand. We got two and ate one right there. The chocolate inside was still gooey, and it was moist and with just enough chew on it. The other cookie I saved for a day and ate back at home and it was still just as good as the one I brought on the day.

We ended up walking back through Central Park all the way to 34th street to get our bags from the hotel and sadly began our trip back to the airport and back to reality. Another amazing trip over.

Jenna

Count Down: Week 8/9

Another few weeks where I’ve felt a lot busier then I really have been.

Week 8

Started back at work, which I guess is why I felt so tired. I can’t remember if I mentioned this in my last count down post but I couldn’t start school again without something to look forward to so a weekend in Lisbon was booked (any advice on what to do, I’d love to hear it.)

Not only that but flights to Iceland for a week in the next school holidays was also booked so yay! Two more countries to looks forward to.

Apart from that there was cocktails at The Loft in Clapham Common on Saturday night. IMG_1215[1]Two for one during happy hour is always good by me. Especially for a good tasting Cocktail.

And Sunday Night I finally managed to get to Hampton Court Palace for ice skating on the last night. The lights weren’t on and the weather was a bit damp, but it was still lots of fun. IMG_1245[1]

Week 9

Again I said I’d do lots during the week but hardly did anything. It doesn’t help that I haven’t been paid for a bit (Cannot wait till next week!)

This week was a lot about food. I tried out new recipes…

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Homemade Samosas

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Trying out the slow cooker for a meal not designed for me at all. Pulled pork

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The BF and I also went to Bubbledog in Soho where along with a glass of Champagne, I managed to convince the BF to get a veggie dog so I could try two without having to buy two.

IMG_1269[1]They were good. Almost better then the ones I had in New York. I got a horney dog, which was really a corn dog. and the BF got a Mac Daddy, which was a hot dog and bun with Mac and cheese and crispy onion on top (so good!)

Next week, I’ve got plans to meet a friend, am on the hunt for an 80s costume (Ideas please!) And am looking forward to a weekend away in Lisbon. So until next time

Jenna