Weekend Break in Belgium

Heaven

Heaven

Two weekends ago I went to Belgium to visit my brother and an old flatmate from Prague. I managed to see a lot of Belgium in the space of 3 days (thanks to my brother having a car). I visited Brussels, Mons, Bruges and Ghent. I also got to practice my French, and find out it’s even worse than I thought, and watch the hilarious In Bruges for the first time.

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Exploring Eastern Europe

In Sultanmet

Ginger cat in Sultanmet, Istanbul, Turkey

Whilst on my year abroad in Prague I have been itching to go traveling, and where better to go than the region that I study in my degree?

My trip started in Prague and ended in Istanbul. In total I went to 7 places: Zagreb in Croatia, Jajce and Sarajevo in Bosnia & Herzegovina, Split in Croatia, Belgrade in Serbia, Sofia in Bulgaria and finally, Istanbul in Turkey. Here are some pictures from my travels:

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Neither Prague nor London: Christmas & New Year in England

Tips cup at the Santa's Grotto in Shoreditch

Tips cup at the Santa’s Grotto in Shoreditch

So I haven’t blogged in a while. Since late November and December I was writing lots and lots of essays and exam papers. (Luckily I chose courses I already knew a little bit about, so I had an easy time – I recommend this to everyone going on a year abroad!)

For Christmas and New Year I came back to England with an American friend I met in Prague, Katie. I said that I would show her around London and true to my word, we spent the first 3 days back in the capital. And we didn’t see (or taste) everything. I immediately decided the best thing to do was to get the sight-seeing out of the way, once that was done I showed her some of my favourite coffee shops and food places. I managed to put on more weight in London over those 3 days than I did in the first term in Prague. We got cinnamon buns at the Nordic Bakery, burgers at Honest Burgers, cheese fries at Meatliquor, Vietnamese pho at Camden’s Thanh Binh, huevos rancheros at The Diner and coffee at my favourite place on Brick Lane, Full Stop. And that’s not everything we ate.

The rest of the holidays we spent in Northampton with my parents, Oxford for a day trip and Windsor for another day trip. But we mostly watched a lot of TV and films and I finally finished watching the entire Breaking Bad series (omg).

Here’s some of my pictures from my break:

 

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Coffee the Czech Way: Cafe Louvre

The waiters still wear these uniforms

It’s about time I wrote a post about coffee again and Cafe Louvre, a grand cafe with a very Viennese feel to it feels like the perfect subject.

Cafe Louvre has an exciting history. It has been standing since 1902 and has had such notable visitors as Franz Kafka and Albert Einstein. But during the Communist period in Czechoslovakia in 1948, the cafe was closed down and only re-opened in 1992.

Despite a shakey existence, the cafe has a very authentic feel to it. The waiters still wear bow-ties and waistcoats, the interior is decorated with rich textured wallpapers and bright pinks and creams. Unfortunately, it’s also full of tourists (like me) who were gawping at every elegant little detail.

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Keeping Happy and Healthy Whilst at University

I’m not sure this apple will make my reading go any quicker… maybe I need some chocolate instead.

University is a great time of your life, but with such a limited budget and time away from your degree to spare, it might also mean that you end up forgetting healthy eating and exercise.

In my first year of university I didn’t really care about either. I was just focused on grades/having a social life. (And I guess with a blog mostly about eating cake and burgers, I’m not exactly that bothered now!) I am of the mindset that as long as you are happy with your body and you feel healthy, then you are absolutely fine and don’t need to change a thing. However, it’s not just about the outside, but also about how you feel psychologically. Nowadays many students suffer from depression and other mental health disorders at some point in their academic career (about 1 in 4 UK adults are diagnosed with a mental health issue in any one year), and that number is increased when living with the day to day pressures of a big city like London. Thus, making a few adjustments to your lifestyle may make you feel a lot better. Here’s some of my tips on how to stay healthy/happy whilst at university:

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Afternoon Tea at Sketch

Birthday macaroons at Sketch

Last week my friend treated me to an afternoon tea at Sketch for my 20th birthday (yes, I’m officially no longer a teenager *sob*). As you may be able tell from my blog, I love any excuse to post pictures of cute looking food, and especially cakes, so I thought I’d share some of the pictures I took.

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Coffee at Hurwundeki

The garage exterior of Hurwundeki

Cafe and a salon

Hurwundeki, a cafe in Bethnal Green, instantly sparked my curiosity when wandering around the area. Surprisingly situated between car repair garages and discount furniture outlets, the cafe is like a hidden gem in an otherwise lifeless road.

Just like its mixed-matched location, the cafe also sells vintage clothing, is part hair salon, specialises in Korean food, and has an array of what looks like a children’s junkyard playground outside, complete with toy horses and a Cinderella inspired pumpkin coach.

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A Long Weekend in Vienna

The new Danube

Karlskirche – Church of St. Charles

This week I went to Vienna, Austria to visit my friend Dalia. Having never been to Vienna before, I only ever see Dalia when she makes her annual trip to London for Fashion Week. But I was very excited to go and see Vienna for myself, in the eyes of a local, so jumped at the offer to stay at Dalia’s parent’s house in Vienna.

Vienna is very different to London. If not just because of the architecture which makes you feel like you’re in a fairy-tale, but also the transport which runs all night long on weekends, the cuisine, and even the universities have a very different atmosphere.

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