Hiking the Korea Friendship Walk – The Cotswolds, England

DSC_0249

One of the things I love most about living in the UK is the closeness to so many different places and experiences.

You can drive for less an hour from Bristol and be in Wales, for example, or just over two hours to London.

There are so many possibilities for day trips, and Dan and I have made it our mission to take advantage of this fact whilst we can.

One activity we’ve decided to do more regularly is to go on day trips to walk different hiking trails nearby Bristol, and – on longer trips – further afield across the United Kingdom.

We both enjoy hiking, and although Dan is more experienced at it than I am, I’m keen to step up to his level.

Hiking is great for many reasons, but two of my favourite are:

  • The exercise factor –  It’s great for both your physical and mental wellbeing
  • The nature factor – I love getting out into nature, and I know it’s probably related to the fact that being outdoors has been proven to enhance mental wellbeing as well.

Continue reading “Hiking the Korea Friendship Walk – The Cotswolds, England”

A wicked weekend at Alton Towers theme park

Alton Towers
The sun wasn’t out, but our guns were!

As a foreigner living in the United Kingdom, it’s almost a rite of passage for me to visit Alton Towers, one of the major theme parks in England.

Practically everyone who has grown up in the UK, or lived there for some time, has visited the park before.

But, after almost a year living in Bristol, I (an adrenaline junkie and rollercoaster lover) had somehow not gotten around to it yet!

So, to combat this problem, recently Dan, our friends Will and Elyse, and I headed to to the Towers for a weekend of fun.

Continue reading “A wicked weekend at Alton Towers theme park”

Celebrating Ethical Living and Pride in Bristol

DSC_0138

Last weekend Bristol was inundated with rainbow flags, banners, decorations and fashion as the annual Pride March was held in the city.

Following a week of LGBTQ+ events across Bristol, the March and harbourside festival, held on the Saturday, was the headline event of 2018 Pride, as it is each year.

As if that wasn’t enough for me, another amazing event was happening in the city on the same day: The first-ever Viva!City Ethical Life Festival.

From the same creators of the Viva!Vegan Festivals (Such as the one I went to in Cardiff earlier this year), the Ethical Life Festival celebrated sustainability and green living alongside veganism.

Continue reading “Celebrating Ethical Living and Pride in Bristol”

Learning how to make gin with Brennen and Brown’s Lab Experience

DSC_0074

I must start this blog post by stating that I don’t really like gin.

Yes, I’m actually beginning a post entirely about gin by remarking that I don’t even enjoy the stuff. Good job, Marnie, good job.

But this point is very important to this story.

Gin, to me, is hugely associated with the English – and with a history surrounding English and Dutch soldiers, then it’s major rise in popularity over the last five years in the UK, plus it being my British fiance’s drink of choice, it’s no wonder I associate the liquor with England.

Being from Australia, where gin is not often a drink of choice (in fact, I only have one friend that I’ve EVER seen drinking it) I’d hardly been exposed to gin before meeting my now-fiance, Dan.

Since then, it’s been Dan’s mission to get me to enjoy the spirit, of which he has served to me with various mixers, a large array of garnishes and a number of different botanicals, but to no avail.

However, Dan and I were lucky enough to recently take part in a Lab Experience at Brennen and Brown Distillery in Cheltenham, England.

Despite my lack of fondness for gin, I know how much Dan loves it, so I organised it as a present for his 30th birthday (What an awesome fiance I am, I know! 😆)

Continue reading “Learning how to make gin with Brennen and Brown’s Lab Experience”

Low Impact shopping at Bristol’s first Zero Waste store

Like many other South-West UK zero-wasters, I was delighted to hear about the opening of Zero Green in Bristol recently.

The gorgeous and green shop was opened by two passionate women, Lidia and Stacey, who said:

“Zero Green came about for two reasons; firstly, we were both becoming frustrated about how much packaging there is on everyday items and our understanding of how much damage plastic, and specifically single use plastic, was doing to our planet. Secondly, we realised that if we wanted to see something done about it we would have to do it ourselves! 

Continue reading “Low Impact shopping at Bristol’s first Zero Waste store”

My First British Christmas

IMG_3318
My family-in-laws beautiful Christmas tree

My first Christmas in the UK was exactly how I imagined it to be:

Filled with love, lots of smiles with my family in law, and, of course, more layers of clothing than needed in Australia.

I’ve been dreaming of a winter Christmas for a long time.

Even before I was in a long distance relationship with Dan, I’d always imagined spending at least one Christmas in the northern hemisphere, just to experience a cold (or, if I was lucky, a White) Christmas.

Continue reading “My First British Christmas”

Winter Wonderland in Birmingham

IMG_3175
Part of the group at the Birmingham Christmas Markets

Dan and I recently headed to Birmingham for the weekend for a friend’s birthday celebrations, including Christmas markets, seeing Kasabian live in concert, and a whole lot of snow!

It was a fabulous weekend filled good company, good drinks, good music and good food.

I didn’t photograph and vlog it as I normally would, but I did link together a “through my eyes” video on my iPhone for your enjoyment:

Continue reading “Winter Wonderland in Birmingham”

Getting into the Christmas spirit

Sorry for my largely absent appearance on social media of late, and my complete lack of blog posts and videos for the last month or so, but I’ve been pretty busy (life has been getting in the way!).

But here you are: Here’s a short glimpse at part of my life here in the UK – a short video of my first ever Christmas Markets experience!

Christmas Markets are a huge part of the special season across Europe – in fact some of the large Christmas markets in places like Germany, Budapest and London for some examples, are often destinations in themselves for travellers who love Christmastime.

What better way is there to spend an afternoon than sipping mulled wine and snacking on market foods while browsing through the goods on sale – everything from trinkets and candles, to coffee beans and unique liqueurs here at Bristol.

If you haven’t been to a Christmas Market, make sure you check one out before the silly season is over – if you weren’t feeling in the Christmas spirit before your visit, you sure will be afterwards!

Merry Christmas everybody!

A very vegan weekend in Bristol

DSC_0036.jpg
Enjoying an incredible vegan freakshake at VX Bristol

Last weekend was VegFest in London, and I was so excited to go.

Unfortunately, things didn’t turn out the way I wanted them too, and so I was unable to attend – which meant I missed out on hearing some of my favourite inspirational vegans speak, meet more like-minded individuals, and (of course) eat all the amazing vegan food on offer.

Safe to say, I was pretty disappointed to not be able to go.

Continue reading “A very vegan weekend in Bristol”