This year for Halloween I hung up my cat woman leather pants and my sugar skull face gems, and instead find myself in bed at 8pm with a double gin and tonic and the wrappers of all the sweets I ate myself. Halloween for adults and I couldn’t be happier about this. I’ve had some really good times this last month, but also as it currently stands I am so drained, so tired, and so run down.
I think everyone starts to feel it a bit at this point, when a Christmas break is still just out of reach, and there’s a mountain of ‘stuff’ to get through before any sort of festive cheer can set in. I have a lot on over the coming month, and I’m really trying to plan enough that I’m having a life outside of work, but not too much that I just run myself into the ground too.
I suppose this brings me on to my first recap of blog posts I shared in October, the Mental Health Awareness Day post. It wasn’t the first but it was definitely the biggest and most personal one I’ve probably ever wrote, and I decided the time was right ten years on to share my experience of the anxiety and mental health problems that I suffered with at university. I was genuinely really taken back by how many people messaged me off the back of it that I would never have known have experienced or are experiencing similar problems. I hope it made some small difference in some way.
In early October I went to Hamburg with work for a big team meeting, and one of the evenings we were there we went along to a traditional German bierhaus. They were still celebrating Oktoberfest, and it was a really good night with authentic food and steins of beer. You can read more on the place we went to in my Oktoberfest at Hofbrau Wirtshaus post. Would definitely recommend a visit!
Hamburg was the only travel I did this month, but after a cancelled flight and an entire day to get home it was more than enough. I’ve put a claim in for flight compensation which I’ve never done before, so will probably do a review of the company once it’s all sorted. Worth a try isn’t it, considering I missed my Friday night plans because of it – grrrr.
I did do trip to Amsterdam for a meeting, and I’m only mentioning this because the office block was right next to the most amazing bakery, that sold the most amazing cakes and fruit pie tart things. The lemon was incredible. It’s called Le Fournil de Sebastien and it’s a bit of a way out from the centre but well worth the trip.
We got the ship over and on the outbound sailing from Newcastle we had the pleasure of this view…
What I lacked in travel myself through October I tried to put into an inspirational post about winter city breaks. I love this type of trip and there are so many amazing places to go at this time of year. I covered some of my favourites including Amsterdam and Paris, but also some newer ones that I’ve been very pleasantly surprised by this year including Copenhagen and Tallinn. For places I’ve not yet been to I got some help from other travel bloggers who shared their thought with me for the post.
My winter break this year is New York, so this month has largely been about trying to save for it. With this post on solo travel I pulled together some of my thoughts on the challenges of traveling alone. I’ve done it so many times this year for work and it is a totally different experience. I’m not sure I’ll ever venture off on my own by choice, but there are perks to it so take a look if you’re interested.
Despite intending my social life to be on the back burner for a month of saving, I’ve still had plenty meals out which I can’t currently stop doing, it’s getting a bit out of control and I need to reign it in. I’ve had some very nice steaks (plural) at the new Miller & Carter in Gosforth, a divine Sunday dinner at the Broad Chare (no surprises there), and a few others too that I’m too scared to admit to myself as the list really is never ending.
If you follow me on Instagram (here) you might have seen a week or so ago I went to the newly refurbished European wine bar next to the Broad Chare. It’s called Saint Vincent’s and is a chic sort of cafe with breakfast, coffee and brunch type snacks through the day, but transforms into a wine and cocktail bar later in the day.
They specialise in wines from France and Italy, and I’ve really enjoyed both my visits there. I’ve not ate there yet, just had coffee on one occasion and drinks on another, but I can’t wait to sample the tapas. It’s not the cheapest but it’s very nice and will be a great pre dinner bar.
I spent one of the Sundays this month in York with Kieran. We drove down as both were on antibiotics so couldn’t get the train and have a few drinks, but taking the car meant we could get to the designer outlet just outside the city centre. I picked up a lovely Kate Spade bargain for the festive season.
We had dinner at The Botanist in the city centre afterwards, did a bit more shopping and stocked up on Betty’s breakfast tea bags. I could spend a fortune in their tea room shop, but again had to exert some self control so I just stuck to a novelty marzipan pumpkin sponge cake. Worth every calorie.
Everywhere is looking so lovely for Autumn at the moment, and more people than ever seem to have embraced the change in season. Just bonfire night to get through and then I’ll be ready to start thinking about Christmas. I did hear that Fenwick’s window opens this weekend, and Christmas lights are starting to pop up places….how exciting…I’m here for the wine…
November is a busy one for me, with trips to London for the big travel conference next week, and a trip to Copenhagen later in the month. I’m going to a wedding, a christening and the theatre soon so lots going on, but what I’m mainly looking forward to is the new Attenborough series starting. Life made.
Have a great November x