This fortnight, the second instalment of the new ‘My Favourite Ten’ Series is all about places. They can be far afield, countries, cities or even as simple as ‘my sofa’ just write about why, and then link up below! Or just leave a comment if you don’t have a blog and would like to join in- I can’t wait to read them.
So here we are. My Favourite Ten Places (in no particular order)
I knew I’d love Bangkok before I had even been. I may live in the Yorkshire countryside and appreciate the gorgeous hills surrounding our home every day, but I am a city girl at heart. I like most cities, I like busy. I like hustle and bustle, and I like the twenty-four hour vibe that most cities tend to have. I’d always wanted to visit Thailand, it seemed the perfect choice for our honeymoon as it was the ‘adventure’ we were after, it’s a place filled with fantastic culture, and it hosts some really beautiful beaches and scenery too! We went to Thailand for about a month, this meant we could spend some time in Bangkok before and after visiting the island of Koh Samui. As soon as we arrived, I fell in love. The tuk-tuks, the people, the buildings and the ‘fast nature’ of the place. It is like another world, and no where else I have visited has come close. Bangkok was also the first place I saw ‘street food’ so utterly cheap, yet it tasted amazing, in fact it was the best Pad Thai I have ever tasted and I ate it sat on a dusty car bonnet! On the opposite end of the scale it’s also the place where I ate the most expensive meal I have ever had, and it was amazing! (Not sure the credit card liked it too much though..) Bangkok is certainly a place where ‘anything goes’ and some aspects of the city, well are probably best left undiscussed- but I found the place absolutely fascinating and it is not often a place has left me captivated and well, gob smacked all at the same time. If you have not visited Bangkok, you really must.
I call Manchester my spiritual home. I went to University in Manchester, without even a prior visit to check out the University buildings, halls or even the area. I just knew that I would love it. Of course, living not too far away, I had visited the Trafford Centre and the old-style Granada Studios before, but I hadn’t actually been into central Manchester alone previously. I still remember the day my Dad drove me to University, he dropped me and my belongings at the halls of residence and helped me settle in. Then he was gone! I sat there in the room alone, but suddenly feeling excited. I knew that this was the start of something amazing and instead of feeling scared I felt strangely welcomed. Within hours, I had met new friends, and we were exploring the city. I knew then that the city was the place for me; I felt at home.
I would love to move closer to Manchester one day, but for now it is not to be. I spent an amazing three years of my life there and I will always remember them fondly. I still visit fairly regularly, and even now as I drive across the M62, or the train pulls into Piccadilly I feel so excited and welcomed. Manchester will always hold a piece of my heart.
3. My Kitchen
I spend a lot of time here, cooking, baking, dancing with the kids (and alone!) and eating. It’s my space to relax, to think and to plan. The kitchen in our house is pretty big too and has a cute country feel to it. It’s a lovely space and I genuinely fell in love with it as soon as I saw it, it’s large enough for a huge family dining area and after searching for the perfect table, I found a beautiful oak one on eBay for a bargain price of £150 that seats twelve and it just makes the room more lovable!
When I am stressed, I bake. It calms me and sometimes I spend Saturday afternoons baking, or preparing the evening meal just inside my own little bubble, often accompanied with a lovely gin and tonic or glass of prosecco. Blissful.
We live so close to this wonderful little village and as I have grown up seeing so much of the famous cobbles I have grown to truly love them. It’s not just the idyllic cobbled street or the lovely quaint independent shops and cafes that I love to visit it’s the romantic feel of the place that I love too. Haworth is where the Bronte Sisters lived and grew up of course and wrote their wonderful novels here, Charlotte’s novel Jane Eyre (1847), Emily’s Wuthering Heights (1847), and Anne’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1848) were written while at the Parsonage in the village and I love to think of the history as I’m driving through on my way home from work on a miserable, rainy evening.
5. Dare Cafe, Headingley Leeds
This little cafe/restaurant may not be fine dining at Michelin star level, but it’s a brilliant little bistro to enjoy good food at great prices. When I lived in Leeds (2003-2011) I think I probably visited this restaurant over a hundred times! I still go now occasionally, but not as much as I’d like. The staff are lovely, the atmosphere is intimate but it’s also big enough to give you space to have your own conversation. The vegetarian choices are good too, give it a try if you’re ever in the Headingley neighbourhood.
I’ve been to Paris six times. Each time was wonderful. It may not be the cleanest of cities, or the most welcoming (prepare to be pushed about and NOT queue) but I think it’s utterly romantic and breathtaking. I love everything French, I just wish they catered more for vegetarians!
The Seine cruises, the Eiffel Tower, the art galleries, and the bakeries… Ooh the bakeries! I love it all. There really is nothing more romantic than a picnic of macaroons, and a bottle of champagne sat enjoyed by the Seine! When I visit Paris, I’m excited as Carrie is when she moves there on Sex and the City! (Except I do not buy expensive designer clothing!)
7. The West End, London
Anyone who knows me will know that I adore the theatre. Especially musicals! I love to see the musicals, plays or music performed as I like to be entertained and so I adore London’s West End. The pre theatre excitement and queuing. (Yes, I love to queue at the theatre!) ordering the interval drinks, buying a programme, I just love it all! I’d love to spend a week in London seeing a different show each night, that would be wonderful! I remember going to see Buddy whilst on a school trip age ten and becoming hooked to London’s West End’s shows, I just wish I lived a little closer.
8. Starbucks (any)
I like coffee. Any coffee, but mostly I prefer Starbucks. My preferred choice is currently an extra hot Soy Latte. Sometimes with an extra shot. I find Starbucks relaxing, welcoming places and wherever you are in the world, there’s usually a Starbucks. I like their food too, the mushroom croissants are especially tasty, and sometimes despite their whopping TEN Weight Watchers points, I also occasionally like to treat myself to a blueberry muffin.
For me, my holiday starts at the airport. I love nothing more than to browse the duty-free, buy myself some make up, nip into Accessorize and purchase some holiday ‘essentials’ going into WH Smiths to purchase a pile of magazines and then sitting relaxing in the bar with a glass of wine and maybe some nice food awaiting boarding the plane, feeling the impending excitement of the flight, and the holiday! I bloody love holidays in the sun. I need one, soon.
The festival, that is. I’ve been lots of times and it’s just amazing. From queuing to get in, to experiencing the grotty long-drop toilets. It’s such a great place. I love the music, the arts and just wandering around taking it all in. What’s great about the festival is, that for five days no matter who you are, you can be what you want to be at Glastonbury. It’s the ultimate break away from the 9-5 grind of life, and the only place I know where you can walk around dressed in what you like, doing what you like and nobody bats an eye lid! I also love the array of vegetarian street food and the amazing friendly atmosphere, everywhere! The stone circle is a place I have spent many, many hours and I have some amazing memories to keep forever. A wonderful place where everybody should spend five days of their lives at least once in my opinion!
So what are you waiting for? Write about your favourite ten places and link up below!