Entries Tagged as 'Travel'

Super, Pretty, Funny n°48



Wilton Crescent

Only one weekend left before its back to reality… so I’m opting to stay in a state of complete denial, drink coffee (if only I’d remembered to buy milk), scour the internet for goodies, share some of my favorite reads from the holidays… and refuse to take down my Christmas tree.

Enjoy the first few days of 2015 and let me know what you’ve been reading!


The NYTimes matches its old headlines to Downton Abbey storylines

Bollywood goes to Bruges

Peppermint tricks us into staying cold

Bill Nye uses emojis to explain evolution

The Protojournalist

The NYTimes best recipes from 2014


Isla Van Damme returns to India

Jenna’s pictures from her travels across Asia! (Not to mention her usual pictures from South Africa!)

The style of this movie

The AirBnB offices in (clearly hipster) Portland


SNL’s Serial Christmas parody – it doesn’t get old

A bored actress does impressions in traffic

Tom & Lorenzo explain how crazy Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is

This trailer

Photo taken by JessOnThames at Wilton Crescent in London

Goodbye, 2014. Hello, 2015.



St Pauls Kensington London poppies

Amsterdam Brussels Lisbon

St Michaels Mount Kew Cornwall

Rodin museum Seville Paris

Wilton Feurzabruta Geneva

Alcazar IMG_2617 Pipps

Sitting in a freezing London and thinking back on 2014, its nice to realise it was better than you thought it was.

Despite settling into my first full year in the big city, I managed to travel to Cornwall, Amsterdam, Paris, Geneva, Lisbon and Seville. I’ve confirmed my love for tiny European streets, ate my fill of Dutch apple pie, seen views in England that look like they belong in Italy, stood in awe of the Tower poppies, brainstormed on Lake Geneva, ate crepes in the pouring rain, toasted Southern European sunsets, wandered countless museum hallways, I’ve laughed with comedians and fallen in love (again) with Michael Palin (twice) and cooked two Thanksgiving turkeys. I bought my first pair of wellies. I saw the Book of Mormon and took three days to recover from the aches from laughing. I got to stand at the top of the Heathrow Air Control Tower and film in the National Gallery after hours. I started to find London’s many hidden villages and then finally made it to Duck & Waffle (where yes, I ate the duck & waffle…)

And not a single one of those things was on the books when the year started.

2015 on the other hand, is already looking much more planned. Trips to Sweden and France (twice) are already on the books. Hopefully a few more weekend trips will appear in there somewhere… (Iceland? Croatia?)

But when is it more appropriate to dream than on New Year’s Eve? What if I was given plane tickets tomorrow? I’d like to visit Japan, Namibia or Argentina. I’d like to travel to Australia and New Zealand. Basically anywhere that will get me really jetlagged and ignite that sense of adventure.

If the last year has taught me anything, it is that the travel bug grows stronger.

Wishing everyone a wonderful 2015.

Looking forward to hearing everyone else’s wishlists over on this month’s travel linkup. Take a look over on Emma, Kelly, or Rebecca‘s blogs for more.
**The blog is a little quiet these days but fear not, a bit of a rehaul is in the works!**





Two weeks ago, a small group of friends invented a new holiday. This is the kind of wonderful and hilarious thing that can happen when you are an expat… you share your traditions, you find they mold to fit both your surroundings and your lovely company. And in the end, you realise the combination might even enhance what you’d come to so firmly recognise as the original…

So it is without any further ado that a group of adventurous Brits and Kiwis, one American and a lovely representative from The Netherlands – randomly and proudly – present you the ingredients for a new “international” holiday.

#SinterThanksgiving – a mix of American Thanksgiving and the Dutch holiday of Sinterklaas.


SinterThanks 6

Ingredient 1: Traditional American Thanksgiving dishes

I would like to state for the record that there have never been any sweet potatoes (yams) with marshmallows on top of them cooked in my family. But having expats ask me in horror if I’m going to serve them is secretly one of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving. Every family has a different dish or a different recipe that revolves around the one essential ingredient: a turkey. Finding space in the fridge is like putting a puzzle together and the cat meows its face off for five consecutive hours while the turkey cooks.

On the menu: following an amazing starter of baked brie with rosemary & garlic, followed by cheese, cheese and some more cheese, the main course featured turkey (I cook it upside down, with oranges, apples, onions, celery and fresh thyme stuffed inside and then baste it with chicken broth and white wine), gorgeous sausage stuffing, mashed & roast potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans and the most important ingredient: freshly made cranberry sauce. No, you can rarely eat too many kinds of potatoes. If you’re looking for a gravy recipe, this one is fantastic (thanks Mom!) And let’s not forget the pumpkin and pecan pies.

Fridge on Thanksgiving



Ingredient 2: Sophisticated beverages

Surprisingly, when people asked me what the traditional beverage was to drink at Thanksgiving, I didn’t know what to answer. I’ve almost always served red wine. So when the nice folks behind this blast of a wine tasting asked if we’d like to try something which some might find unconventional, we thought it might be fun. The challenge was to pair what would usually be considered to be summer wines with a winter holiday meal.

Thanksgiving being the only holiday I am capable of cooking, I thought why not? A white 2012 Bougrier Muscadet went really well with our turkey! Call me silly because turkey is a white meat but for some reason I’d never thought of drinking white wine with it. The muscadet was cold, fresh and crisp and contrasted nicely with the masses of warm food we found ourselves surrounded with, without competing with it. We also tried a fruity 2013 Bougrier Rose d’Anjou, though to be honest, I felt it struggled to compete with the more traditionally festive champagne which we had on hand.

The only problem (and I cannot believe I am saying this) with having too much wine in your house is that when lovely guests bring you two bottles of US & New Zealand Pinot Noir for a friendly international “wine-off”… you don’t have enough people to drink them. (silly problems, I know, but this needs to still happen.)

SinterThanks 5

*Ahem* Focussing issues…

SinterThanks 8

Ingredient 3: Gift bags

I am being incredibly rude in this post and not running through a list of the gracious contributions everyone brought to this dinner because I will never stop gushing about it – nor will I stop contemplating how to turn my entire living room into a gigantic dinner table so we can more than double the numbers for next year.

But I do need to give two very special shout-outs and thus hint at the superiority of our new holiday…

Rarely have I ever seen someone more excited at the idea of Thanksgiving than the adorable and wickedly smart Rebecca aka Runaway Kiwi who convinced me this whole thing needed to happen. She made everyone fun little gift bags, filled with sweets, heart-shaped toothpicks, mustache-shaped wooden laundry pins and – here’s the real winner – lovely necklaces she makes in her Etsy shop. (A sucker for cute packaging, I loved the little envelope of old English maps she’d made to keep them in.) I’ve been wearing mine ever since.

Home necklace

Ingredient 4: Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, the Dutch blow it all out of the water

What do you do when you reach the point of the evening where everyone who isn’t Dutch thinks they’ve already seen it all? You bring out cookies and gift wrapped chocolate. And this is where #SinterThanksgiving is truly born. My favorite moment of the night was when Jacintha shared the traditional Dutch holiday of Sinterklaas with us and I watched faces across the dinner table light up with smiles.

I’ve argued with some precious Finnish friends over the years about where Santa Claus comes from (thank you, Thanksgiving 2005…)  I argued The North Pole. The Finns claimed Lapland. The Dutch on the other hand, say Sinterklaas arrives on a steamboat from Spain and I absolutely love it. Celebrated on December 5th in The Netherlands – the eve of St Nicholas Day – she explained that the holiday is almost bigger than Christmas, with gifts exchanged.

We ate pepernoten, kruidnootjes, taai-taai poppen, chocolate coins, and marzipan potatoes and then were presented with giant chocolates in the shapes of our initials. I have been delightfully chipping away at a giant “J” for days.

SinterThanks 9

Chocolate letters

Not even the piles of dishes could have kept the smile from my face at the end of the night.

#SinterThanksgiving is a keeper for sure.

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