April began on Easter Sunday and for me that day was spent out with my friends in Tynemouth, enjoying drinks and tapas from Allards. I was pretty ready for the four day weekend, and I think I really made the most of it, with a trip to Edinburgh, some good sport, and drinks out with the girls. April felt like a short month for me, as I only spent three weeks of it at home, but more on that later…
One of my first posts of the month was a review of the Principal Hotel Charlotte Square, which was another lovely stay from this chain of hotels. It was decorated beautifully, and the Garden Bar was my favourite spot in the whole hotel.
If you’re visiting Edinburgh I’d definitely recommend it, almost as much as I’d recommend visiting Rabble. Located just off George Street, Rabble is a bar/restaurant and the food was amazing, as were the gin cocktails. We both had steak, and as it was pouring down we didnt move on from the bar after our meal, we stayed there for the rest of the night. I’ve had a few people ask how it was after seeing it on my Insta stories, and it really was excellent, I’ll be going back.
My hectic months of travelling earlier in the year had caught up with me a bit, and I really enjoyed a few weekends of just relaxing at home. I ate at some of my favourite places, including Aveika for sushi, Cake Stories in Jesmond, and Ahar in Whitley Bay. They do a really good Indian tapas deal on a Thursday and a Sunday, which you can find out more about here.
New places I tried for the first time included the Butterfly Cabinet in Heaton. When I used to work up there I’d drive past huge queues for brunch so it’s always been somewhere I’ve fancied going. I went one Saturday and it was very good, I can see why people are happy to queue and wait. If I wasn’t dieting at the time I’d have gone all out with pancakes and milkshakes, but instead I had eggs benedict and a smoothie and I’d have both again.
I didnt get as many blogs up about my travels as I’d have liked this month, but I did move on from Tallinn, and got my first post up on Hamburg and it’s famous Warehouse District. I’ve got another Hamburg one to go, and a couple more on Norway and Copenhagen, as well as one on all the treats I ate over those weeks!
I also shared my full experience of the ‘pink palace’ in Amsterdam, also known as MaMa Kelly’s. Dani and I went as part of our girls weekend away in February, and it was a great place for cocktails, chicken and lobster! Located a short way from the centre it’s worth a visit, take a look!
The chocolate waffles, and donuts caught up with me a little bit, and after weighing myself on the Tuesday after the Easter weekend I started 5.2 diet. I know people always have opinions on diets, and I dont often do them let alone stick to them, but when I do this one it really works for me. For the first three weeks of April I stuck to it fully, and by the time I boarded the plane to Rome, excited for a carb fest I’d lost 11 pounds in three weeks. I was really chuffed with myself, and I’ve thought about doing a post on it but I’m not really one for sharing recipes or stuff like that – but let me know if you’re interested and I will do.
The only treat I allowed myself aside from one visit to the Ahar, was a Proven donut from the Newcastle quayside market. I went along to the market twice in the last month, and trust me those donuts are a MUST. I put together this guide to the Newcastle market, which includes more info and some other sweet treat options.
I was invited along to Artisan at the Biscuit Factory fourth birthday event, and despite eating with them for their Dine over the Tyne evening last year, I’ve never paid a visit to their actual restaurant or the Biscuit Factory.
I was so surprised by the place when I went along, it’s a beautiful arty space and some of the local artwork and photography is very impressive. I really enjoyed the evening wandering around looking at all the displays, and it was one of those places I’m not sure why I’ve not been before. I really want to go one Sunday for Sunday dinner, has anyone been?
If you follow me on Instagram then you will know that my week spent in Rome was my absolute highlight of the month. I’ve got so much to share after spending so long there, and it was such an incredible city. The FOOD though?! I dont want to go in too much detail now becausue I absolutely will be continuing to overshare on the entire trip throughout May so you can expect that all to come.
When I got back one of the first things I did was go along to my friend Lucy’s dance show. Lucy runs a local dance school called Dance Envy, that she has built up over the past four years, and if your kids show any interest in dancing and having fun then seriously check them out. Lucy and her dance pupils (age 3-18+) are incredible, I’m always totally blown away by how good they are and they put on one hell of a show.
This week I’ve been in Amsterdam with work, and paid a visit to the tulip gardens at Keukenhof. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it, and it wasnt at all what I expected, a great way to round off our first month of real spring, with plenty of sunshine and bright colours!
My dads 60th in May means I have a few celebrations and meals here and there, as well as of course making the most of the two bank holiday weekends. Looks like we’re set for a sunny one, so enjoy!