Thursday, 22 July 2021

Where we ate in Kefalos

Last year I visited Kefalos, an area in the west of the Greek island of Kos. It's a beautiful place with gorgeous beaches, plenty of hotels, a calm atmosphere and of course, a huge range of delicious restaurants. Here's where we ate in Kefalos, in case you're visiting and looking for recommendations! 

Sydney Bar & Grill


This is a really classy restaurant on the seafront, with gorgeous modern decor and a slight industrial vibe. There is an extensive cocktail list, and the food is gorgeous. I had a delicious pasta dish, and they do burgers, steak, curry and more! There is a pool table inside, and of a night time they have live entertainment too. Mum and dad actually ate here twice while we were in Kefalos, it's that good.

Maria's 


We ate here on our first night, exhausted from a long day of travelling and desperate for something filling. I had chicken a la creme and it was one of the best meals of my life; we went back again later in the week and I had the same thing, that's how good it was. Family-run and just a no-nonsense Greek restaurant, I highly recommend Maria's. Again, it's right on the seafront too!

Taverna Cavos


This is down the end of the seafront near the harbour, and we visited here for lunch a few times - Greek cheese, succulent chicken, nice sandwiches, tasty chips and plenty of cold beer. What more could you want?! Not expensive either, and they have a boss patch of beach for sunbathing where they will come down and serve you drinks if need be.

Galinis


This was close to our hotel and we visited on a particularly rainy day - they have a really broad menu, including traditional Greek dishes and loads of other options. My dad had liver and onions! The food was nice, not the best we had in Kefalos but still good, and the owner even gave me a lift back to the hotel because the rain had become absolutely torrential. That's the sort of thing you get in Greece, and I love it.

Captain John Restaurant


We had lunch here on our last day, as the beach in front was one of the only places still to have sunbeds out - Kefalos was winding down for the end of season. I had moussaka (delicious) and the staff here are soooo friendly, and there's loads of cats outside who will give you as much or as little attention as you want. Also, we felt earthquake tremors when we were here. An interesting day - but the food is great!

Antonio's


This is down the main road and came highly recommended -  a must visit purely for the big fluffy dog that sleeps in the office by the toilets, in my opinion. I had a stuffed pepper dish and it was soooo flavoursome; apparently they have loads of good vegan options too, so definitely worth checking out if this is something that you require. Gorgeous atmosphere here and, like everywhere, friendly staff.

We did eat in a few more places in Kefalos, but frankly it's been 9 months since we visited and I'm only just getting round to writing this post - so please forgive me! It's a gorgeous resort and if you're heading out there, I'm SO jealous. Have the best time! If you're in the early planning stages and haven't booked a hotel yet, try the Hermes. Great location and a gorgeous hotel - would highly recommend.

Monday, 19 July 2021

Hard Days Night Hotel, Liverpool | review

Recently, my boyfriend and I took a little trip over the water to Liverpool - I booked us into the Hard Days Night hotel on North John Street, a gorgeous building themed around The Beatles. Here's what I thought of the hotel itself!

Booking the Hard Days Night Hotel, Liverpool


I booked the hotel through trusty old Booking.com at a cost of £60.75 for a Tuesday night in June. I only booked it a week or so in advance as we changed our plans last minute so frankly, I thought this was a steal! It's one of the fancier hotels in town, with a really central location.


You can also book the Hard Days Night Hotel directly or via Hotels.com, Trip Advisor and other booking sites.

Arriving at the Hard Days Night Hotel


We arrived (by taxi) and went straight inside - to check in we had to fill in a track and trace form as well as the usual details. Only one of us needed to fill this in. Masks were required in public spaces, and then we took them off in the lift up to our room. The lifts are really small, FYI, in case this bothers you. 

There is a bar in the hotel, called the Lounge & Bar, which is on the same floor as the check in desk - you can't miss it. Filled with Beatles-themed artwork and a really chilled atmosphere, it's a nice place to sit and have a drink. The barman on shift when we were there was the nicest, most polite person ever! In fact, all of the staff we encountered at the Hard Days Night Hotel were lovely. There is a restaurant called Blakes, and another bar known as Bar Four which hosts live music too.

We had a drink in the Lounge & Bar - it cost us £21 for a double JD & coke, and a double vodka & lemonade. My jaw hit the floor when I heard those prices, but for a posh city center hotel it's probably pretty standard. Maybe...

Rooms at the Hard Days Night Hotel


We had a luxury double room, another reason why I was so impressed with the price. The room was a really decent size with a big bathroom (it had a bath!), TV, desk and chair, plenty of sockets, coffee equipment, a safe and the biggest bed I've ever seen. I reckon you could have fit 5 people in it comfortably. And god it was comfortable! I had a nap before we even made it out to watch the Euros, that's how good it was.


We both slept really well - it was a bit hot and we couldn't work out how to get the air con to go any colder but it didn't bother us *that* much. The TV only had freeview, rather than Netflix or something similar as you might expect in a modern luxury hotel; other than that, though, I've no complaints about our stay at the Hard Days Night Hotel!

Have you stayed at the Hard Days Night Hotel in Liverpool? I'd definitely recommend it if you can get a bargain like we did.

Wednesday, 14 July 2021

2021 summer book haul

Is there anything better than getting new books? The answer is no, obviously, unless it's the feeling of buying a new book in the airport on the way to explore a new destination... But there's not been much of that lately, so for now it's just the books. Without further ado, here are the newest books in my collection!

What's a Girl Gotta Do? by Holly Bourne


One from the queen of YA, my mum got me this for my birthday last week and I've finished it already. It's part of the Spinster Club series, of which I've read the other two. They're feminist teen fiction, and this instalment follows Lottie - set to go to Cambridge and with her interview just weeks away, she decides to embark on a project where she has to call out every example of sexism she sees. It's a fun and interesting adventure of a story, complete with friendship, young love and cream pies. Buy it here.

The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz*


This was sent over by the publisher, Faber & Faber, and it looks SO good. It's about a failed writer who steals the plot of someone's novel, and of course - it all ends in disaster. I'm really excited to read this one! It'll be my first from this author, which is always fun. Buy it here.

The Secret Life of Writers by Guillaume Musso*


This hardback is from Orion, and was sent to me as a proof copy. I believe it's a translation - the author is French, and really well-renowned. This follows author Nathan, who has decided to end his career and head off to live alone on an island, and the journalist that follows him there two decades later to try and get an interview. All sorts of drama follows, obviously... Buy it here.


Passenger List by J S Dryden*


Another proof copy, this one came with a little boarding pass bookmark with my name on it - an adorable touch that made me yearn for a plane journey! The author actually hosts a podcast, a historical fantasy podcast about a flight that goes missing. This is the accompanying novel, which is so cool, and it's about a woman who tries to find out what *really* happened to that plane... Buy it here.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo


The lovely Rebecca from Rebecca Reads gifted me this for my birthday and it was the most gorgeous parcel to open - so thank you SO much!!!! I've never read a Taylor Jenkins Reid book, but everyone raves about her/her writing/this book! It's about a Hollywood recluse, coming forward to finally tell the tale of her glamorous life... and that's all I know about it, so I'm really intrigued! Buy it here.

I Found You by Lisa Jewell


This was also from Rebecca - I felt so spoilt! Lisa Jewell is up there in my top 10 authors of all time, so to get one of her books is always a treat for me. This one is a few years old, about a man who shows up on the beach outside a woman's house, and how he can't remember anything, and the wife he's left behind. It sounds sooooo interesting. Buy it here.

The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd


Tied for my top two authors of all time (with Sophie Hannah), I am obsessed with Sue Monk Kidd. Mum bought me this for my birthday and I'm sooooo excited to finally have it in my hands. Set in biblical Galilee, it's about Ana - the wife of Jesus. I don't know much else about it but I do know it will be as magical as her other three novels. Buy it here.

Suddenly Single by Carol Wyer


I bought this on The Works as part of a haul I did where I bought all the books based solely on the covers without reading the blurbs - this is the only one still sat in my new-in pile, so I must have put the others away, but I did haul them on Instagram and they're in my 'barg hauls' highlight. Anyway, this is a romance book about an author who's marriage breaks down and she moves away and I think it's going to be very fluffy and nice! Buy it here.


A Glasgow Kiss by Sophie Gravia*


This is an erotic fiction book (not my cup of tea) which I think was written in lockdown, but it's meant to be good and Orion sent it to me - I will get round to reading it, just probably not all that soon! It's about a single nurse in Glasgow and her crazy dating life... Buy it here.

Have you read any of these books yet? I'm soooo excited to read each of them!!!

Wednesday, 7 July 2021

7 books to read this summer (and what to drink with them...)

There's no better feeling than laying on the beach or by the pool, headphones in, cocktail or fanta lemon in hand and a good book on the go. Sadly, 2021 doesn't seem like the year most of us will experience that - though if you are, have the best time!!! We still need some good summer reads, so I've put together a list of some of my favourite books for sunny, chilled out days...

The Summer Job by Lizzy Dent


I'm so obsessed with this novel - it follows Birdy who takes a summer job as a sommelier, which she is not, in drizzly Scotland. Of course this unfolds into a catastrophic nightmare with plenty of fallouts, a little bit of romance, and plenty of laughter. Perfect for enjoying with a glass of (white/rosé/sparkling) wine, obv! Buy The Summer Job here.

Tigers in Red Weather by Liza Klausmann


I haven't read this for years but it's so good; it's about two cousins who grew up holidaying at the same summer house with their families, and about what life was like on those long sticky days in the sun, and how everything can change in the blink of an eye. The kind of book that pairs well with an espresso martini, in my opinion... Buy Tigers in Red Weather here.

The Switch by Beth O'Leary


This is one of my recent reads and I really enjoyed it - it doesn't massively center around holidays or summer or anything but with two months off work, Leena heads to a tiny Yorkshire village and swaps lives with her grandmother. They throw themselves head first into the adventure of living as each other, finding love and friendships along the way and letting themselves heal... Really the kind of book that requires a cup of tea, or maybe a lovely heavy red wine. Buy The Switch here.

Melt My Heart by Bethany Rutter


There had to be *some* YA in here and my first was, of course, Melt My Heart. It's got teenage angst, beautiful friendships, nights out, summer jobs, results day (remember that feeling...), finding yourself, family drama and so much more. With great representation (plus-size and LGBT+) and a gorgeous storyline, I'd highly recommend this with something like rhubarb Lambrini or a delicious boozy milkshake. Or just a regular milkshake. Or an iced coffee... Buy Melt My Heart here.

Last Seen by Lucy Clarke


Set on a sandbank frequented by families during the school holidays, this is a summer thriller filled with secrets, sunshine and suspense. Once upon a time two boys went missing at sea and only one came back - this novel unravels the truth, as well as examining the *here and now* of this strange microcosm. Read this with a fruity cider, I think. Buy Last Seen here.

The Lying Game by Ruth Ware


One of my favourite books of all time - I recently gave this to my mum and she couldn't put it down either. I read it in lockdown one, curled up on the garden furniture with my dog, and I can vividly remember so much of the plot; this is the sign of a good book for me. Again there's nothing hugely 'summer' or 'holiday' about the story but it's so gripping that it's perfect for a sun lounger read. It follows four school friends, now in their thirties, reunited under dismal circumstances to revisit a tragedy that occurred during their youth. It's so full of twists, turns, drama and well-written characters... I'd recommend to anyone. Best read with something strong - rum and coke, maybe, or gin and tonic. Something to settle your nerves! Buy The Lying Game here.

You Me Everything by Catherine Isaac


What a gorgeous book. This sees Jess and her son William head to the sunny French countryside to stay in William's dad's chateaux, alongside their friends. It's one of those books that has it all - gorgeous setting, humour, sadness, complicated back stories, little things you don't see coming. The chateaux in France makes it the perfect summer read, in my opinion, and it should absolutely be enjoyed with champagne. But prosecco will do! Buy You Me Everything here.

Have you read any of these summer reads? Will you be picking any of them up? And what do you think of the drink recommendations - I wasn't planning on that but of course a book about a sommelier should be enjoyed with wine and then I got carried away...

Wednesday, 23 June 2021

ad | Sleep Cycles with TEMPUR®

This is a paid partnership with TEMPUR®.

I absolutely love sleep - it's my favourite thing ever alongside orange flavoured chocolate, true crime documentaries, and perusing the snack aisles of a European supermarket. I'm thrilled to be working with Tempur® to talk about sleep cycles, and how they can help you balance sleep and exercise!

What is a sleep cycle?


When we sleep, our bodies go through repetitive sleep cycles which last around 90-110 minutes each. Depending on how long you sleep, you'll have multiple sleep cycles each night. And each cycle itself is made up of 5 stages of sleep! Obviously over the past year a *lot* of peoples' sleep cycles have been a bit messed up, what with everything going on - mine included. It's been really interesting to read about sleep cycles and what your sleep means. Sleep cycles alternate between REM sleep and non-REM sleep, which you can read more about below...


What's the difference between REM and non-REM sleep?


REM stands for 'rapid eye movement'. This is the type of sleep where your brain copies the sort of activity it does while you're awake - this is the time during which you are most likely to have vivid dreams. In lockdown one, I was having *such* vivid dreams. They were SO boring, usually just a dream about working behind the bar or going for a walk. None of your dragon-slaying, deep-sea-diving princess adventures here! I noticed I would wake up exhausted, though.

Non-REM sleep is the proper deep sleep - your sleep cycles are supposed to be 75% non-REM and just 25% REM. This is what a good night's sleep should look like, and a TEMPUR®  pillow and mattress can help you achieve that.

My sleep cycle


As I mentioned, I love sleep. However, I'm not that good at it - I don't tend to get a lot of non-REM sleep. But since I've been using my TEMPUR® pillow, I have noticed that I've been getting a deeper sleep and waking up less tired. Another thing I've found that helps me sleep well is exercising. I'm not a huge fan of exercise; as a kid I did gymnastics, badminton and dancing, but as an adult you're more likely to find me watching sport than playing it! But during the most recent lockdown, I was going for long walks every day with my boyfriend - miles and miles around where we live. Not only was this a lovely way to spend time together and explore our hometown, it definitely helped me sleep better. Now things have opened up we are walking less, but it's something I need to get back into to ensure my sleep cycles are mostly non-REM sleep...

Exercise and sleep


There is a link between exercise and sleep. Exercise has been shown to make you fall asleep quicker, and it also stops you from being so sleepy in the day - this is a big one for me, because I often find myself needing a nap partway through the day... told you, I just LOVE sleep! Polls and studies show that the more you exercise - and the more intense that exercise is - the better you'll sleep. This is almost enough to get me onto a football pitch! TEMPUR® are a big fan of exercise, given its link with getting a good night's sleep - they are now supporting the wonderful Drops Le Col women's cycling team. TEMPUR® are helping ensure the team gets the optimum amount of sleep, and can therefore perform at their very best.


TEMPUR® - helping sleep cycles


TEMPUR® have their own mattress material, which comes from NASA-created technology. So not only are you using the same pillows and mattresses as some incredible athletes, you're also sleeping like an astronaut which is pretty cool. I'm loving my TEMPUR® pillow, which is the Comfort Pillow Original. I'm obsessed with it, and I'm probably going to have to order another one so me and my boyfriend can have one each...

What's your sleep cycle like? Mine is definitely improving!