Wednesday, 4 February 2015

New Year in Paris

You may or may not be aware that I spent my New Years in Paris with my best friend  and Cousin Rhyanon! I know this is so late but i really wanted to share my fun trip with you all!

This trip came about so randomly. We first started discussing me going down south to spend New Year with her and Winter Wonderland was thrown into the mix and then all of a sudden we were like lets go to Paris! This was all thought up in the summer of last year so we had plenty of time to plan and get some good deals! We had booked most things by September and excitement levels were sky high waiting for December to roll around.

I traveled down to London First Class on the train tucking into a free Bacon Sandwich, ample leg room and free WiFi.I met up with Rhyanon  ready to make our way to Paris the next day. It was such an early start for us having to be at St Pancras Station for 07:30 in order to clear security and all that jazz ready for our Eurostar at 08:00. We both slept the whole two and a half hour journey to Paris so it didn't feel long at all. We made our way to our hotel by Metro getting confused with platforms along the way but we eventually found where we were staying and it was in a great location minutes from the Arc de Triomphe and Champs Elysees and 15 mins from the Eiffel Tower! The room we had was small and cosy but I had been told that most Parisian hotels are intimate due to the age of the buildings, we had enough room for what we needed and the place was very clean and the staff very friendly and accommodating.

After we had dropped off our suitcases and freshened up we made our way to the Musee du Louvre not realising that it wasn't open on Tuesdays so all we were able to do was take some selfies outside by the glass pyramid we then walked through a park until we ended up at the Champs Elysees and wandered around the Christmas Market that was there. Wei finished off with some Cosmos in a cute little bar not far from our hotel before heading back to get ready for the evenings pursuits.

In the evening after eating we made our way over to the Eiffel Tower to see the lights show that is on every night at the top of the hour. Not realising how close the Eiffel Tower was to walk we ended up getting the Metro and as we had arrived a little early we found a nice bar and had a drink before heading over to the tower. We found a good spot to get some pictures of the Eiffel Tower all lit up and the light show was nice too see. After this we made our way back to the hotel.

New Years Eve day we decided that the best way to see all the sights we wanted to see was to go on a hop on hop off tour. There was a stop a short walk away from our hotel and we decided to stay on the bus listening to the commentary and learning all about the history of all the buildings in Paris, We were so lucky with the weather it was a sunny crisp winters day, meaning I was able to get some good pictures as we went around. Before we hopped on the bus we indulged in a french favourite Croc Madamme with a Hot Chocolate both very delicious!

We decided to get off the bus at the Notre Dame to get some pictures and this was one of the sights Rhyanon wanted to see. We saw the queue was massive and decided that some snaps outside would be enough. I think with it being the New Year not that many places were open so the crowds had flocked to explore those that were. After our photo session we had a little walk around the area around the Notre Dame and found a little greek fast food joint and I just had to have a Gyros one of ,my fave dishes not very Parisian ill admit but it was lush. After eating we hopped back on the bus and made our way back to the Eiffel Tower to see it in the daylight.

We walked back to the hotel from the Eiffel Tower and started to get ready for our New Years Eve celebrations. We had our names on a guest list for a masked ball at a club not far from the hotel on the Champs Elysees but as soon as we stepped out into the street it was packed full of people and we couldn't be bothered fighting our way through so we just partied in the street right under the Arc de Triomphe. We made friends with some Polish people who just kept pulling bottles of Champagne out of their bags and they were more than happy to share with us which was nice. At midnight there was a fireworks show from the Arc. After all the fireworks had finished we made our way with our new friends to a cute little bar to have some more drinks before we called it a night and made our way back to the Hotel suitably merry!

The next day both me and Rhyanon were feeling a little worse for wear but we dragged our arses out of bed as we needed to check out by 12. We were able to leave our bags at the hotel as our trian home wasn't until 6 that evening. We had made the clever decision the day before when booking our bus that a boat tour would be a good idea hungover on New Years day, how wrong we were after what felt like an age queuing for the boat we only lasted around 10 mins before we had to get off. We had no idea where we were so we wandered around for a while feeling worse and worse, we stubbled across the love lock bridge which i was a little disappointed by the bridge itself was rather scruffy but the locks looked good all piled up against each other. Walking around a bit more we found ourselves back at the Notre Damn and hopped on the bus heading back towards the Eiffel Tower. Both me and Rhyanon fell asleep almost immediately as soon as we got some seats a creepy clown tapping on the window at the Champs Elysees woke us up briefly before sleeping again waking up just in time for the Eiffel Tower, I think we must of been asleep for a good hour and a half.

We then had some food before grabbing our bags and heading back to Gare du Nord to get the train back to London, Again me and Rhyanon managed to sleep most of the journey Home.

We had such an amazing time in Paris for New Year and we are already planning our next trip in September to Florida! Cant wait

Monday, 2 February 2015

Kapadokya York ~ Authentic Turkish Restaurant ~ 24 George Hudson Street

A while back now, I’m talking November last year (bad blogger) me and my sister went to York to visit York Dungeon you can read my post HERE, Mummy and Daddy Lines came along too and while we were busy being scared they had a little look around the shops. Whenever we are in York we always go to Akbars an Indian restaurant that has various locations around the north of the country and as we paid a visit to the Newcastle branch the weekend before, me and Mummy Lines saw this as a good opportunity to visit Kapadokya an Authentic Turkish Restaurant one of our favourite cuisines. We have been here before but as I said earlier it will most times be over looked for our default restaurant Akbars so this was a refreshing change of pace gastronomically.

As I said Kapadokya is a family run Authentic Turkish restaurant a short walk from York’s city centre just across the bridge off Micklegate. A bright and colourful place, showcasing photos and art work from Turkey helping to add to its authenticity. A nice sized restaurant, spacious but still having a small Turkish restaurant feel. It was quiet when we went as it was early on a Sunday afternoon but I can imagine at peak times it would be a bustling vibrant place to eat.

This restaurant like the French restaurant in my last restaurantreview had a set menu that went alongside the normal menu meaning you could have 2 courses for £12.95 or 3 courses for £14.95 and the choices that they offered were a good variety. They also have a general menu which you could order from again with a vast array of traditional Turkish dishes. We all decided to order from the set Menu ordering a starter and a main dish each.

Me and my Sister went for the Garlic Mushrooms to Start, Daddy Lines went for the Humus with fresh baked bread to dip and Mummy Lines went for Sigara Borek filo pastry stuffed with spiced minced lamb and deep fried. The Garlic Mushrooms were delicious, creamy and infused with the perfect amount of garlic and topped with cheese that once melted in gave a gorgeous gooey texture, just the right size for a starter not filling you up to much that the main dish was spoiled. Daddy Lines said the Humus was very tasty although he was filling up a bit on bread as they gave such a generous amount but again it didn’t spoil his main meal. The Sigara Borek Mummy Lines said was nice she had two filo parcels that looked a lot like spring rolls that were stuffed with minced lamb; it was perfectly spiced with loads of flavour but not over powering.

For the mains Me, Mummy and Daddy Lines had an Adana Kebab, spiced minced lamb put onto a skewer and flame grilled,  it was served with rice and a chilli dip but me being awkward I asked for chips and it was no bother at all. I also asked for a side of a mint yoghurt dip which wasn’t on the menu as a side but part of another dish and again this was no bother. The kebab was incredibly tasty and as I said before perfectly spiced not to hot but full of flavour and very generously sized getting 2 kebabs plus the sides. My sister opted for the Chicken Shish cubes of chicken marinated and placed on skewers and once again flame grilled and served with the same sides as the Adana Kebabs. She said the chicken was very tasty and the marinade gave the meat a lovely flavour.

I can’t recommend this restaurant enough the staff were very friendly and welcoming the food was delicious and real value for money! So next time you find yourself in York looking for some tasty food give Kapadokya a whirl you won’t be disappointed.

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