24 June 2022

The NYC Caffeine Chronicles: Manhattan Speciality Coffee Update

Earlier this week, I wrote about three of the excellent new-to-me speciality coffee shops I visited in Brooklyn during my recent visit. But I had the opportunity to stop by a fair few coffee spots in Manhattan too. I was staying near Bryant Park, which meant that Midtown coffee shops feature quite prominently on this list. There used to be a real dearth of speciality coffee in this part of town, but there are now dozens of places to get a great cup of coffee. I did find, however, that many of the Midtown coffee shops I visited had a real focus on takeaway and served coffee in disposable cups even if you are drinking in (COVID has been a driver, of course). This isn't that surprising, given the high proportion of tourists and office workers in that part of town, but it is worth noting.

20 June 2022

The NYC Caffeine Chronicles: A Brooklyn Speciality Coffee Tour

After a two-year absence, I finally returned to New York City earlier this month, for a holiday with my parents. We were originally supposed to go in May 2020, but we all know why that didn't happen. With six days in the city, I had plenty of time to visit some new and new-to-me speciality coffee shops. And three of my favourites were all in Brooklyn. 

6 June 2022

The SW London Caffeine Chronicles: Lane Eight, Juliet's Quality Foods and Walker Wyatt

If you've been following me on Instagram, you may have seen that I've recently moved house — this is also why I've been posting less frequently over the past few months. My new home is pretty close to where I used to live, but during the search, I also ventured out into the SW postcodes more often than usual. Of course, house-hunting is much better when caffeinated and luckily, there were plenty of great speciality coffee shops to visit, including the following three, listed from north to south.

18 May 2022

My 25 Favourite London Brunch Spots

I've been living in London for 14 years and I've had a lot of brunches during that time. A guide to my favourite places to enjoy my favourite meal is, therefore, long overdue. I've been brunching at some of the venues on the list for more than a decade, while others are more recent discoveries. You'll probably notice that savoury dishes feature prominently in the photos below because it's fairly rare for me to order something sweet for brunch unless a) it sounds unmissably great or b) I am able to order a savoury main course followed by a smaller dessert. And if you're also into speciality coffee, fear not; most of these places will have you covered.

16 May 2022

My Five Favourite Books of March and April 2022

This year, I've been trying to get my for-fun reading back up to pre-pandemic levels and I've also been picking out and writing about my favourite five books every two months as a way to hold myself accountable. I read 20 books in March and April, taking my year-to-date tally to 42. Here are my five favourites from among the books I've read in the past two months.

26 April 2022

How To Spend a Long Weekend in Bristol

There's something about Bristol. Although the long weekend I spent there recently was only the third time I've been in two decades, both of my previous visits made me fall for the place enough to seriously consider going to university there and moving there, respectively. With a population of around 470,000, Bristol feels like a proper city, with great food and culture, but parts of it still retain a relaxed, villagey feel and it has a fantastic alternative scene too. I've always blamed expensive rail fares and hotel rates for not travelling very much within the UK but with Bristol only being a 1h30 train ride from London, I really have no excuse for visiting so infrequently. Here's what I got up to on my recent city break.

20 April 2022

15 Speciality Coffee Shops To Visit in Bristol

I've known for some time that I was long overdue a return visit to Bristol, a city that I've loved each time I've been and yet, like many places in the UK, I don't get to often enough. In particular, the city's speciality coffee scene has changed a huge amount since I was last there (whisper it) a decade ago. A three-day trip over the Easter weekend wasn't enough time — when is it? — but the sunny weather was perfect for coffee-shop-hopping and I managed to visit 12 coffee spots.