Life

By on November 3, 2017

This is a bit different for me, in the term that it’s a poem (one that rhymes as I’m not cool enough for it not to rhyme lol) I’m also a bit nervous posting it, but it’s my blog and it’s for me….so yeah here it goes ahah (I credit kirsty for posting her poem recently which gave me the guts to do this)

You should be smaller, no wait, be taller

Walk straight and proud but don’t stand out from the crowd.

Look coy and demure, no one likes a tease

Real women are the best, do as you please

Who would fancy a woman who’s fat

Why would you want to be skinny like that?

Break that ceiling, it’s only glass

It’s only playful when he smacks your ass

You could be a model just lose some weight

You would be prettier if you just ate

Don’t speak out, be content with your pay

It’s only for attention if you’re a lady who’s gay

She’s crying, she’s sad, she must be bleeding

Our only function must be breeding

Don’t post selfies you look too vain

You should wear make up you’re far too plain

Pose from the back, do it for the gram

Your life is too filtered you must be a sham

Shopping all the time she must be rich

She’s not smiling she must be a bitch

You party too much, clearly like a drink

Keep your voice down what would they think?!

You’re much too smart, she’s far too dumb

She’s so boring but you’re so fun

It’s me versus her, you versus me

Who decided that’s how it’d be

I want to scream, I want to shout,

I want to keep it in but let it out

Relax and breathe 1,2,3

You be you and I’ll be me

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Features | Life

10 things I’ve learnt in 10 years of being an adult…

By on October 25, 2017

Last weekend I turned 28, not milestone birthday but one that does mark 10 years of me being a fully fledged GROWN UP.

I had a think about some of the most valuable life lessons I feel that I’ve learned/been taught

Love is fluid
I have said ‘I love you’ to four different men, yet it’s meant and felt different each time. It’s the same words, the same sentence, but the ‘I love you’ I said at 19 to the abusive controlling partner I had is nothing like the ‘I love you’ to my partner now, but that’s okay. Just because they sound the same doesn’t mean they mean the same. My expectations of what love should be at 19 were far lower than they are now and indeed my self confidence and self love was much lower, so I accepted less, by having these higher expectations you weed out people who aren’t right for you, that you say ‘I love you’ to for a variety of reasons, until you say it and you don’t just say it you feel it, with every atom, you don’t just say it, you show it.

Friendships are hardwork
And so they should be, there’s a reason there’s a cliche that nothing worth having comes easy. You have to be there for other people, put others needs before your own, sometimes maybe listen to not that interesting stories, or listen to their hurt whilst you’re hurting yourself, but the pay off is worth it. A good friendship is invaluable, the kind where every part of you smiles and radiates in their company, where you can tell them to do one if they’ve annoyed you, where you can confess your fears and they don’t judge you. I’ve also learnt that you shouldn’t have to guess if a friend cares about you (thanks woodsy) so in turn don’t make your friends wonder if you care about them…they’re worth it. I know to trim the fat, if a friend shafts you, oust them. I’ve had too many people in my life I’ve considered friends treat me rotten and now I just cut them out, if they’re willing to make me feel that way then I don’t really feel I owe them an explanation

Mental wellbeing is important
…is so goddamn important. Even if that means you need to be alone, if it means you need to be surrounded by people, if you need to go out dancing or drink hot chocolate, wear PJs and binge on Netflix. Don’t push it to the side because it will help in the times when you will want to scream and cry and hate the world.

Bullies will always exist
I thought after I left school that the bullies would be a thing of the past, but they really aren’t, some of the worst bullies I’ve met have been people far older than me, but the trick is not letting them get away with it, call them out – don’t let their bullying make you hide like it did when you were a kid

You don’t really get worms from eating too much sugar
Just that really

It’s okay to give up
Whether it’s a book that is just boring you or a big decision you made that you think was wrong, you can shrug your shoulders and change your mind, even if you look or feel silly.

It’s okay to change
I am not the same person I am when I was 18, I’m smarter and no where near as naive, I’m also more assertive but with that comes not as nice. I am not as gullible but I’m also not as optimistic. I’m more open minded and think that comes from living in a cosmopolitan city. I used to hate certain types of music or books or films and now I like them and vice versa. It’s okay to change as a person, to not be consistent, parts of our body physically change completely, so why can’t our personalities? Our likes and dislikes etc… people will judge us regardless, so we might as well be as true to ourselves as we can.

School doesn’t prepare you enough
I don’t think it should be entirely the schools responsibility but I truly think the odd subject or class could be scrapped in turn for a life class, where you’re taught about council tax, tax, renting and mortgages, when you need insurance etc.. etc.. it’s a minefield and not enough is done to prepare you for the REAL WORLD

The world is a bit shit
From small scale to big – people will stab you in the back (small) and there’s rapists and murderers out there, entire countries are being bombed and more people are in poverty in the modern UK than ever before. It doesn’t matter how much you wish it were different, it isn’t you just have to try and do your bit

The world is a bit amazing
If I died tomorrow I’d be gutted, I have big plans for my 30th birthday as well as holidays booked (priorities, clearly :P) but I also wouldn’t feel like I hadn’t been making the most of life – the people in it it, the opportunities I’ve had. The way the seasons change and people will help a stranger in their time of need, from the big to the little it’s all there and it’s been pretty amazing to witness.

 

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Travel

Hills, hills and more hills – Portugal trip

By on September 20, 2017

Being the amazing girlfriend that I am 😉 I booked my partner a trip to Portugal for his 30th birthday. His birthday is in August but though I love him deeply I refuse to pay August flights, we’re also both as pale as pale can be and summer sunshine is not the kindest to us. So I booked for us to go in September, flying into Porto and heading down to Lisbon.

I’m very much an in and out traveller, I don’t go with lots of money so it’s more about exploring for me rather than fancy food and activities.  I’m also trying to not make the blogs so long they’re a bore to read – but it’s hard to include tips without going into detail…. any road:

Whilst in Lisbon we stayed at Good Morning Hostels, which I can’t recommend more – they’re super central, the staff are fab and the prices are brilliant. There are shared bathrooms but for the price difference it’s worth it.

LISBON HIGHLIGHTS/TIPS:

Firstly be ready to get those thighs a-pumping, Lisbon is a city built on steps and hills and a lot of them. You can use the trams but they’re €3.70 a time and seconds so don’t feel worth it to me personally. Possibly worth a go if you want the experience, but otherwise get the boot moving.

On our first evening we just went on a stalk around the town, heading towards Time Out Lisbon market via pink street. This is simply a painted pink street, but it makes for some nice photos. Time Out market is a collection of food stalls all house under one place. It’s great if you want to dabble in or sample a variety of different foods because the choices are plentiful. We opted for meat and cheese boards and mojitos from the Time Out bar. The bar prices for cocktails are quite similar to London but the measures are much friendlier and each one spot on in taste.

Sometimes, when travelling, I like to just amble along with no google mapsdestination in mind, by doing this we fell across a bar called Stupido which was having a Pantone pop up. Apparently they often have pop ups and I recommend it for the amazing prices and nice atmosphere. €4 glasses of prosecco? GET IN MY FACE (which they did)

There was more ambling, up many, many, many stairs and then we headed to a burger bar. We have a tradition of trying the best rated burgers regardless of what country we’re in -A Cultura Do Hambúrguer had a great rep and the queue outside consisted of both tourists and locales backed up the notion it’d be good. Also the smell every time the doors opened.

(I’m so trying to avoid these travel blogs being AND THEN, AND THEN, AND THEN)

The next day we went to Sintra, Sintra is good, it is worth the journey. It costs less than €5 to get there which is just ridiculous. (In the train station they will be happy to help you) When you get to Sintra there is a bus for €5 that takes you round all theattractions, we were only heading to the castle but it’s still a huge hike so we jumped on there. This bus gets full so be prepared to potentially stand. We decided we weren’t going to go into the castle because it’s all about them aesthetics with this castle haha and for €7 you could walk around all the gardens and the castles outsides. It is one of the weirdest but coolest pieces of architectural design I’ve ever seen, but if you’re going to go I 100% recommend it.

For dinner (back in Lisbon near Alfama) we had pizza at Restaurante Casanova it was a lovely place to eat and watch the sun go down and they also had prosecco for €7 for half a litre… once again in my face it went.

PORTO HIGHLIGHTS/TIPS
The airport is semi far out from the main town but there is a metro (E line) that goes straight there for just a couple of euros. It gets busy though. On first glance I was a bit meh about Porto, Lisbon was so clean and fresh and Porto seemed a bit down and out. However this opinion rapidly changed when we made it into the city – it was so shonky and colourful and built up and I fell in love.

JK Rowling lived in Porto and it’s not hard to see where she may have been influenced, students walk around in long flowing black cloaks, the buildings are all different colours and shapes very reminiscent of the Burrow or Diagon Alley.

Porto is also the home of Livraria Lello, regularly visited by JK during her stay in the city, and said to have inspired more of her world. The line is very busy and I’d recommend going in the early morning or end of the day as it gets pretty busy quickly! You also have to buy a ticket (€4 from the shop on the left hand side of the building, on the corner)

The first day then we literally just walked around and took photos and took in everything there was to see, Porto is a photographers dream, blue tiled buildings, and so many many nooks and crannies to explore (and hills).

We decided to try a local delicacy called Francesinha at a small local cafe O Golfino. I felt a bit out of place at first as we were the only ones there, but the food was good and ridiculously cheap €15 for us both to eat mains and have drinks. I would recommend stepping outside of your comfort zone, your purse and stomach will thank you for it

In the evening we headed to the Gin Club, now I love gin even more than prosecco and they had so many choices, however I felt it was a bit pricey for Portugal, looking at closer to London prices and in some cases more. After a couple we headed to a bar a few doors down which had much more reasonably priced cocktails, and there are few nicer things than sitting outside on a warm evening with a good drink and a better person.

The following day we went on a boat trip these are priced at about €15 p/p and last about an hour but the tour is interesting and gives a great insight into the town of Porto. Hanging out by Douro river afterwards is just lush, there are so many bars/cafes to choose from, we read, drank gin and appreciated the beautiful views and hustle and bustle

Finally, we had another meat and cheese board in the ridiculously cheap Lareira Baixa there’s a bit of a wait but it’s 100% worth it, I couldn’t believe just how cheap it was and the food is top notch! Can’t recommend it more highly.

One really cool place in Porto is a sweet shop called DreamPills – you get to go in and pick the sweets using latex gloves, it’s themed really well and defo worth a look if you find yourself in Porto!

If you’re thinking about Porto, also check in Mackinstyle’s blog post HERE

 

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Books

Why is “chick-lit” embarrassing?

By on September 14, 2017

As someone who reads a lot I’m often asked for recommendations from friends, co-workers etc… and sometimes find myself racking my brain as to which will make me look the most interesting. Offering up a book rec is a little vulnerable, it’s an insight into what you enjoy and what you feel. I will always throw up ‘Memoirs of an imaginary friend‘ which was recommended to me by my best friend, possibly one of the most fascinating books I’ve ever read, as well as Room by Emma Donoghue, Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill and You by Caroline Kepnes.

I’m probably never going to throwout the Handmaid’s tale, or Chaucer or pride and prejudice, because a) people already mostly know them and b) I don’t find them the most enjoyable. That’s not to say I didn’t appreciate Handmaid’s Tale, God, that stuck with me throughout my life but I didn’t enjoyyyyy it. It depressed the bejesus out of me.

Sometimes I just want to recommend chick-lit, to give it it’s fluffy title (I prefer women’s fiction) but I feel I’ve been conditioned to feel embarrassed by this. I once brought a pile of books into work (including some women’s fiction in it) and had at least 2 people scoff them. “Holiday reads” is the most common non-compliment. There’s the insinuation it doesn’t take much brain power to read them.

However, I want to stop being embarrassed, I bloody love women’s lit. I went to a talk last night featuring Lindsey Kelk, Paige Toon and Louise Pentland, who were discussing their recent releases. All 3 women have very different paths into the publishing industry, but they all are incredibly smart, funny, hard working and most of all inspiring. Between them they have millions of followers, number one best sellers and over 25 novels between them. They write FEMALE characters that you root for, that you want to succeed, that you laugh with, laugh at, cry with, get frustrated at and most of all want to get to know.

Yet we’re still kinda scoffing at them (I say we as a plural, not necessarily me haha)  yet David Nicholls writes what I have to decided to refer to as dick-lit. His characters are no different, no more fleshed out than any of those written by the women above or the likes of Marian Keyes but David Nicholls is a serious author, who has serious respect, and I love his work but fail to see a difference other than the fact he’s a dude.

And I’m not going to make this into a sexism rant because it’s not, but I think it’s time to stop scoffing at women (and men) that enjoy these so called easy, holiday reads. Feel free to laugh at them when you’ve written something that invokes the feelings that these women do, but until then appreciate that a book, like all art forms doesn’t have to be something that leaves you feeling depressed or ready to take on the world one patriarchy at a time, sometimes it can just leave you with a warm feeling and ready to take on the day. That’s certainly not embarrassing.

Lindsey Kelk’s I heart New York
Louise Pentland’s debut ‘Wilde Like Me’
Paige Toon’s most recent ‘Last Piece of my Heart’

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Events

What I learnt going to my first festival in my late 20’s

By on August 29, 2017

Lying in bed one night I said to my boyfriend “There’s rumours that Emienm will play at Reading Festival, if he does should we go? He said yes and the very next morning Eminem was announced (score – wish I could have that kinda luck on the lottery) Anywhoooo, fast forward many months and we were all packed, tickets, tent, blow up double etc… and we were off, even if I was very hesitant, about being too old, about the camping… This is what I learned:

 

  • I am now that adult that hates teenagers. They pushed all over the place, with no bother how long anyone else had been somewhere, had zero manners, the boys were argumentative and shouty, a lot of the girls were dressed in just underwear with slogans such as ‘trash’ and ‘sex 4 ket’ painted across their chests, I didn’t quite know where to look.
  • Eminem is worth going to a festival for
  • The kindness of strangers, a couple on Facebook offered to give us free access wristbands meaning we’d be able to camp in a quiet area, with cleaner toilets, more room and right by the main arena (it was fantastic) I was initially dubious but it taught me sometimes people are just kind
  • Eminem is worth going to a festival for
  • Some artists draw much nicer crowds, whilst watching Tory Lanez (in anticipation for Queens) we had an argument had drinks knocked over us, my sunglasses were snapped, we were shoved all over the place, at points I was actually quite scared, but then the Queens audience were amazing, taller folk moving out of the way for shorter, passing water back, genuinely nattering, it was lovely.
  • Eminem is worth going to a festival for
  • Unless you are hell bent on being near the front of the main stage being further back is MUCH better, due to the fact the ground is mostly flat unless you’re right at the front you can’t see the act, whereas near the back you can, the sound works fine and you can actually dance, drink move and breathe
  • Eminem is worth going to a festival for
  • Camping is scary lol, as I mentioned we were lucky, but we took a look at some of the other areas and frankly it was like the Hunger Games with things on fire being thrown through the air
  • Eminem is worth going to a festival for
  • Some acts will surprise you, I like Muse but I don’t LOVE them, however they were absolutely up there with my faves, you might be surprised if you head along to an act you like but aren’t massively fussed about!
  • Eminem is worth going to a festival for

  

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Features

Ridiculous things I’m scared of….

By on July 13, 2017

… that in turn plague my dreams (aka nightmares) and genuinely cause concern for me.

Rats/mice eating me/running over my body – When I was little a mouse somehow got in our house, and made a little bed under my bed, it absolutely terrified me, the idea of a substantially sized living creature cohabiting without my permission. Also the speed they run, and then I found out that rats can basically chew through anything and mice can squish their bones. They’re basically ninja assassins. I also saw rats this morning and burst out crying on the spot cementing my fear. I would take 100 spiders for one rat.

Pooping during pregnancy – I have no up and coming plans to become pregnant, or indeed have a child, but once I learnt that a lot of women poop during pregnancy it has bothered me far too much, and is probably my number 1 fear associated with having a child.

Dying and their being nothing afterwards – I genuinely cannot sleep sometimes thinking about this, about life ending and their being a black abyss. Even though I’m aware that I wouldn’t in fact be aware. It still creeps me out no end though.

Tornados – I live in the UK, the probability of a full on movie style, sucking up cows and cars tornado is probably close to nil. However I still get nervous, I imagine picturing one on the horizon and it’s like mental torture.

I’m very aware all of these things are batshit insane – but I’d love to hear other people’s ridiculous fears!

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Features

Pinch me *This* is real life

By on July 10, 2017

I spend a lot of my time telling myself I haven’t made it, that I’ll be forever bitter for missing out on *that* job, for not being super fit and healthy, I don’t have long glossy hair or a petite nose and the right amount of freckles. I can’t drive, or swim or speak another language.

But I have a lot….a lot I probably take for granted. At 16 years old I’d been bullied almost consistently for 8 years, for being too smart, too fat, too freckly, for trying too hard, anything that was slightly different I was picked on for. I lived in a council estate, went to a school that was rated the third worst in the country by OFSTED and my career advisor told me I should forget about a career in the media and focus on nursing or teaching (?!) Both amazing careers but neither had I expressed interest in, her words being “It’s hard to work in the media as a woman, it’s mostly for men”

I look at my life now and I think 16 year old me would be astounded. I live in London, in a lovely 2 bed flat. LONDON! – I have walked and worked on many red carpets, attended world premieres, I have worked with everyone from Salma Hayek to the Avengers, from Google to Diet Coke. I have been paid to write. I have been headhunted (more than once) I have an amazing partner who is a real grown up, who treats me with the upmost respect. I have a good relationship with most of my family. I have the best friends, people who will support you when you need it, who will send you postcards, who will offer their bed/their sofa/their homes when needed. Who will have you for Christmas, who’s parents will make you the BEST pasta and the BEST tea. Some of their family may even become part of your own (I’m looking at you pseudo nephew Callum). I’m still good friends with my two best friends from school. I have been to 23 countries and visited countless of cities within them. I have lived in America, I have worked for the Walt Disney Company (twice), I’ve been nominated for awards,  I am able to eat out and go the cinema when ever I want. I am loved and have loved.

I may not have THAT dream job, I may not be THAT size 10 I may still be the things I was bullied for, but when I compare my life to those that bullied me…well lets just say the cliches about peaking in school are true.

And comparisons aside, I think if 16 year old me knew where 27 year old me would end up, she’d be pretty damn excited 

And may I suggest, if you come upon this, to have a think about the things you’re proud of, the things a teenage version of yourself may have been shocked to see you achieve! Everyone’s successes are different and should be measured as such xx

 

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Features

Know your worth….

By on June 29, 2017

This is a funny one, I think especially as a woman who works in a business minded commercial industry. I have been called out a fair few times for being “outspoken” or laughed at because “Talie will have something to say” Something that when the men say similar or call out something that seems unfair – there’s a camaraderie action of laughter or shoulder patting.

But this isn’t really about the whole men vs women thing, especially as sometimes it doesn’t exist. It’s more about finding your footing in work and in life where sometimes I haven’t always felt comfortable.

I have grown up always feeling a bit apologetic for speaking out, or for “making a demand” such as a pay rise, even if I know I deserve one.

Recently I’ve been in the great situation to be offered three jobs, I say great and not lucky as I’m taking a moment of confidence to say I earned the offers, I went through hours of interviews, of presentations, of call backs to get those offers.

One of the jobs I turned down there and then as myself and the interviewer clearly did not gel and he would’ve been my future boss.

One of the jobs was for a company I would absolutely love to work for (and still would!), they are right there on my passion point, and as much as people will tell you to follow your heart you also have to be aware of what your negotiables are and indeed what your non negotiables are, and we didn’t agree on one of mine.

However,  I have felt so utterly guilty and apologetic every time I’ve pushed back on any of them. ‘The salary isn’t high enough‘ ‘The annual leave isn’t enough‘ and when I last emailed one of them –  I stopped for a second after sending a thanks but no thanks email that made me feel dreadful- The stop was a question – WHY?! Why am I feeling guilty? I hadn’t asked for anything ridiculous.

And I said sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry, so many times – when in fact I am NOT truly sorry, it’s a caveat to justify your questions, but, a job is a partnership, yes they pay you, but in return for a service. A service I know I’m good at.

Yet even writing that, I’m wondering do I come across as obnoxious, as cocky?

I want to do less of that, I want to be more like a lot of men I know in business, I want to OWN my shit, I want to be less apologetic, and KNOW MY WORTH

 

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Books

My Potter top 5

By on June 26, 2017

Harry Potter has been part of my life since I was 8 years old (so 20 years, nearly as long as the book has been out – 20 years today!) And never has something fictional felt so real, it has dictated so many emotions in my life – Mainly happiness, occasionally some sadness, usually over a fictional death (or nearly getting to work for Pottermore – an opportunity I lost and still very much grieve over) I will never be truly able to articulate what the world means to me, but I have whittled down five of my favourite Potter moments that I’ve experienced:

 

Meeting JK Rowling
I’ve been lucky enough to meet Jo a few times, once I physically ran into her at the Olympics (sorry Jo!) However, one time I was walking down the road on my lunch break (heading to Primark to buy a Hogwarts tee) I looked up from my phone for the tiniest of a second and a woman who looked just like Jo walked past me – I shook myself, there’s no way it could be her right? So I double backed, because she was on her own, and if it was her there’s no way I could let this situation pass, she went to t he bank and the ATM and after that I tapped her on the shoulder and rambled at her “ImSoSorryButImAReallyBigFan….” she pulled me to the side and I spent around 5 minutes with her, she signed for me and took a selfie. Every year when the date comes around that I met her, I pinch myself, I’m generally not a believer in luck but in that instance….

Getting the last book
Growing up my mum was quite strict and we didn’t have a lot of older family members, we also didn’t drive which meant midnight launches were almost impossible. I begged my mum to let me go to the one for DH (I was 17) this was the last book and I’d waited 10 years for the final answer, eventually she relented, as long as my sister came with (which she did for £20….) and that I got a taxi back, the last Potter book essentially cost me £60, but reading it along with the world meant everything to me. (Especially as someone on a forum I used created a fake ID to msg me everyone who died….)

Diagon Alley for the first time
I’m counting both the studio tour and Universal Florida in this. Diagon Alley is one of my favourite locations from the film, the bustle of it reminds me of all the reasons I love London, only it’s paired with MAGIC. The studio tour is amazing because it’s the actual set and the lighting changes, but in Florida it’s the closest you’re ever getting to being IN it.

DHP2 Premiere
This was FOUR DAYS – of waiting, four days in blistering heat and thunder storms. Four days of guarding your place like a lioness with a baby cub, of excitement, of eating Tesco sausage rolls, of build up and anticipation and it was all worth it. Along with thousands of other fans I got to say goodbye to the film series – I got to hear the speeches first hand, and despite all the stress it was worth it, especially as I got Jo to sign my copy of Deathly Hallows

Invited to FB premiere
Like Deathly Hallows ended one Wizarding World Saga, Fantastic Beasts starts the next, the adult saga in my eyes, the grown up Wizarding World, five years after the last film I was involved with the new film, but in a totally different and unexpected ways, thanks to a film blog I’d set up I was considered an “influencer” (I hate that word but whatever haha) I was invited to fan events and then to the Red (blue) carpet itself, I got to walk down the European Premiere carpet with my boyfriend and some of my best friends, and that itself is pretty damned special

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Travel

Timisoara – {Romania} Trip

By on February 22, 2017

So Ryanair recently started flying to a small city called Timisoara in Romania. I’ve been to Romania before and loved it because it was crazy cheap and I went with some of my best mates. So because the flights were only £18 return me and my boyfriend jumped at the chance to see somewhere new for the weekend.

We managed to snag an entire suite for £95 for two nights at a hotel called Ioesfin Residence and it was stunning, bedroom, living room, bathroom, kitchen and only ten minutes away from the city centre.Timisoara makes no pretences, it is no Prague or Krakow but it has its own beauty. A bit shabby and bit magnificent with a wide variety of rainbow coloured buildings. It’s a very small city but the people are lovely and there are small cafes with an abundance of pastries and hot drinks. Our favourite cafe we found was a place called Senneville, where we had some of the nicest, if not sweetest cakes we’ve ever had. We couldn’t find many places that were open to sample local food so we ended up stuck with a McDonalds.

Drinks are crazy cheap and we found a lovely cocktail bar called ‘Hype’ where it was about £4 a drink and they were really, really good cocktails.

All in all the city is lovely and well worth a visit if you can get there on a really cheap deal like we did, however, I would only otherwise suggest it if you were on the way to another city such as Bucharest or Brasov.

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