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A love letter to... my crappy old flat

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A mouse came out from under the fireplace. I screamed and it ran back under, hopefully down the chimney. But still, it was the latest in a number of unfortunate reasons why I am dying to move out of my tiny flat and into the house me and my boyfriend had an offer accepted on in November, seven months ago. In my tiny flat, the TV aerial is no longer working, the oven isn't good for baking, the toilet chain is on the blink and there's just not enough space for both of us when Jono is staying with me. The last thing I need is a rodent infestation.  An admittedly huge part of the problem was I hadn't planned on staying in this flat long, and I certainly hadn't envisaged someone else spending so much time here with me! When I first moved in I was decidedly moving on soon, and moving on solo. I'd taken it on without looking at many other places as I needed to leave the house I'd shared with my ex-boyfriend quickly. It needed to be cheap enough so I could afford the bi

Mancia - a restaurant review

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HU5 is home to plenty of neighbourhood restaurants - small, friendly, family run places loved by locals and less well know among people from outside the postcode. The latest of these eateries is Mancia on Newland Avenue. I first noticed Mancia pop up in a couple of local Facebook groups and thought the food looked amazing. I love Southern Italian cooking and this restaurant specialises in Sicilian cuisine, so I knew I had to try it.  We booked in at 7pm on Saturday and weren't really sure what to expect! The restaurant is in a former cafe and looks pretty small from the outside.  Ready for food! On first appearances, the restaurant looked fresh and modern, it was tiled white and decorated with lovely shelves of pots. The dining room is pretty small, so it's no wonder they're always fully booked, with the chef cooking in an open area at the back of the room. When we arrived we gave our name to the waitress, who was a lovely, motherly Italian woman. She showed us to our table

Valentine's Day Restaurant Review: J Johnsons Wine Bar and Bistro

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J Johnsons is somewhere I’ve been for lunch and drinks but I’ve never been for a proper meal there, despite the main menu looking really inviting. The setting of the restaurant is really nice too - and I thought it looked like a really romantic location for Valentine’s Day, so we decided to book a table. Last year was our first Valentine's Day as a couple, but as we were locked down we ended up having a lovely afternoon tea delivered from Artisan on Newland Avenue. So going out was really nice for us this year! The restaurant is normally closed Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday so they opened specially to welcome us loved-up couples on Valentine’s Day last Monday. The upstairs restaurant    First impressions were good, the restaurant was lit with candles and had roses and red napkins on the tables, creating a lovely romantic setting, which looked great in the rustic venue. We were eating upstairs, and were guided to our table before being given a menu. There was a little bit of a wait

Winter Walks in Hull and East Yorkshire

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Winter is a great time to go walking. It’s cooler than in the summer so you won’t overheat, you don’t have to worry about sunburn and bugs, and if you end the walk with a hearty pub meal to warm you up it’s well deserved! Lately me and Jono have been doing a lot of countryside walks - but they’ve been so muddy! We turned up to the Triton for a nice meal at Christmas time covered from head to toe after doing a Welton stroll.  So these walks are a little different - I’ve placed them in towns and cities and a few less-muddy countryside and seaside spots so you don’t come back blathered!  There’s a few in Hull and the rest are dotted around East Yorkshire. Let me know where you like to walk when it’s not as nice out there!  Hull Victoria Dock: Parking on Fruit Market, I’d start this walk with a visit to the newly renovated Victoria Pier, which is open again after the completion of some recent floodworks. Walking past the Minerva pub down to the Marina, take a right down Humber Street and t

Restaurant Review: Eden, Princes Avenue

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A horror story took place Saturday October 31st, 2020.  Hull was about to be plunged into the new Covid-19 tiering system, and it was the last night before the City's pubs and restaurants had to close for many months. There was a bottomless Halloween brunch... things got messy . More cocktails than brunch food was consumed. There may have been green vomit (not mine thankfully!). The scene of this ghastly atrocity was Lucca, a trendy if somewhat inauthentic Italian restaurant on Princes Avenue. We'd had a great few hours, loads of fun, but didn't really pay much attention to the food being served between all the cocktails on offer! Fast forward to January 2022... we're all triple vaxxed and several covid variants and Downing Street party revelations older.  And somewhere in between the craziness of lockdowns and tiers and scotch eggs counting as a substantial meal, Lucca had a botanical makeover and became Eden . We'd noticed the transformation from the slick black b

Our First London Trip

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There was a time in my life when it felt like I was visiting London every few months. I’d never been to the capital as a kid, so as a young adult I loved getting to know the city, which was just a few hours' train journey away. Me and Jono had been talking about visiting for ages, and with some time off booked we decided now was a good time to get back to the capital! One place I’d never been to in London was Camden, so we got ourselves a night at the Camden Enterprise Hotel (above the pub!) and made an itinerary of fun things to do. We booked duo tickets with Hull Trains to save 33%, and set off nice and early from Hull at 8.30am, I had lots of fun telling Jono all kinds of boring things, like how Howden train station is in the middle of nowhere and how Doncaster station didn’t used to have lifts and I got stuck taking huge cases home from uni up and down the stairs. Arriving in London, our first stop was Borough Market ! Both being big foodies with big appetites, we loved this

Restaurant Review: The Hispanist

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One of the last places I ate out before the pandemic began was the Hispanist in Hull city centre's Paragon Arcade, a small but perfectly formed restaurant with a nice view over the renovated arcade. In early 2020 me and my dining companions tucked into a casual post-work dinner of tacos and croquettes, having a couple of cocktails too, little did we know what was around the corner. Now the restaurant is back fully open, I couldn't wait to go back and try some more food, taking my boyfriend for lunch last weekend. The menu has a lot of new and improved dishes since my last visit, too. Me excited about tapas! Taking refuge from an unseasonably cold and rainy May day, we slipped upstairs into a cosy table for two. The decor of the restaurant is quite hip and modern but welcoming too - making the most of the original features of the building, with Spanish and South American inspired artwork.  We were given a drinks menu to look at first, and slightly worse for wear from the night b

You have to break an egg to make a cake

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Anyone would think it would be the seagulls stomping across the roof that would wake Zoe every day, but it’s hard to hear their drumming footsteps when there’s a baby bawling for blue murder. Zoe stared at the digital display and willed it say something different, but no matter how many times she blinked it was still 3.14am. Less than two hours before she had to get up for work. “Hey, hey,” Zoe whispered to her daughter Sophia, just ten months old and crabby, while trying also not to wake her gran in the next room. “Ssssshhhhh” she cooed, cradling her in her arms while Sophia’s hot tears soaked into her chest. By 6am, on just a few hours’ sleep and with a familiar guilty feeling sinking deep down into the pit of her stomach, Zoe was on her way to work. Cycling down from her gran’s estate at the top of the East Cliff, Zoe took in some spectacular views of Whitby as she made her way work.  This morning was particularly picturesque.  A low autumn fog hung over the harbour, enveloping the

A fairytale in real time

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Alex Gaston had swiped through tinder for 25 minutes before deciding to just watch some porn instead. He couldn’t be bothered to start up another conversation - one which would undoubtedly lead nowhere - and decided a quick hit of dopamine was much easier to find elsewhere. Feeling grubby but sleepy, Alex set his alarm for 7.30am and tried not to think about work. 7.30am - alarm. 7.40am - shower. 7.50am - get dressed. 8am - walk to the tube station. 8.07am - get on the train. 8.35am - breakfast from Pret. 8.50am - sit down at the desk. This routine had been firmly established by Alex after moving to London six years previous. He’d got a fairly decent but boring job in IT security at a bank, but he was surrounded by quiet, nerdy blokes and despite having a laugh most days, he hadn’t made any good friends.  At home, his life was almost all online and in general Alex avidly avoided anything that involved human contact, ordering takeaways online and always using the supermarket self-servic