Frankie & Benny’s

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This post is so out of date – 2 months to be exact. I’m currently doing bridesmaid duties for a wedding on Saturday so, my posts have been a little out of sync. I haven’t been able to blog twice a week, but once the wedding is over, I will be able to get back into the swing of things.

When in Bournemouth, I took the hubby to Frankie & Benny’s for his birthday meal. I secretly chose it because I’ve never been and had always wanted to try it.

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For starters, I had the calamari. Calamari is my favourite starter ever! Frankie & Benny’s dish was the perfect combination of crisp on the outside, and soft on the inside.

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For the main, I chose the spicy meat pasta. And boy, is this exactly what it says on the label: spicy and meaty! I’m usually not fazed by spice because it is a staple in my mother’s cooking, but they really overdid it with the heat. There were so many green chillies. They could have toned it down a little, but the fact that there was just so much meat in my meal, made up for my burning tongue. I feel like Vapiano’s should take a note out of Frankie & Benny’s book. Don’t tell them I said that.

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I chose the Amalfi Sunrise – orange, mango and lemon juice and grenadine. Deliciously sweet, but I probably should have gone for good ol’ government juice (water) to help with the fire in my mouth.

I enjoyed my birthday dinner as much as the hubby did. I will definitely be going back. Have you ever been to Frankie & Benny’s?

Mich x

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A Bournemouth photo diary

Last Thursday, I took my hubby to Bournemouth for a weekend staycation for his birthday. I seized the opportunity to use it as a break away from my routine too. It was very much needed.

We left on Thursday morning and upon arriving in Bournemouth, we settled into our room at the Hampton by Hilton.

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Our view from our room.

That afternoon, we went to Nando’s and watched Spiderman: Homecoming in the cinema.

The next day (my hubby’s birthday) is when we really got to explore. We went to the beach and discovered beautiful gardens. Even though it wasn’t as warm as we hoped it would be, and though the waves were quite rough, I loved feeling the cold water on my feet. It was so refreshing. My hubby ran away from it. He said it was too cold for him. I laughed so much. I just loved being there, unable to see where the waters ended. It was fascinating.

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Bournemouth Pier

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I loved these ombre coloured huts. I couldn’t resist snapping pictures of them.

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I loved the view of the pier from above.
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I thought that this hotel was so pretty.
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This was a museum, but we didn’t go in, so I just took a quick pic instead.

Fortunately, we got hungry and took McDonald’s back to our room before the torrential rains began to pour down. We fell asleep in the comfy beds, and managed to make it out again for the hubby’s birthday dinner at Frankie & Benny’s. Unfortunately, it was still raining, but the restaurant was just round the corner, so we didn’t get too wet.

We had to leave on the Saturday, but not before a delicious breakfast. Breakfast at this hotel is just the best. Full english, is there any other way?

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I loved being in Bournemouth. I only wish that that the weather had been warmer, but who could have known. It’s July for crying out loud! But I believe that the hubby and I will be back.

Mich x

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P.S This post is not sponsored.

 

From Selfie to Self-Expression

On 20 May, Mr. Sun decided to come out to play. It was a perfect day to visit the From Selfie to Self-Expression Exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery, which I discovered on The Londonder. Unfortunately, the exhibition ended on 28 May. That’s the great thing about blogs. You can discover all these awesome places to go, places that you wouldn’t have usually known about until you do a little reading.

I asked my friend to join me, and off we set the next free Saturday we had to view some art, which we are both a fan of.

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The From Selfie to Self-Expression Exhibition is a play on the selfie generation, and combines the old with the new. It plays on the concept that people have been taking selfies since back in the day, in the form of portraits.

The lined strokes in this portrait by ALO reminded me of pointillism, developed by Georges Seurat. He used small dots to create a bigger picture.

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A portrait by ALO

This was the CCTV room. As soon as you walk into this gallery, the cameras zoom in on your face, what you are doing, and your proximity to other people in the room, so that it can be seen by all on the walls. It’s a big reminder that we are constantly being watched.

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This room was so interesting. Portraits of famous artists were displayed on large screens with the same images on phones next to them in the form of Instagram posts. You were able to ‘like’ the post, and it tallied up to how many people had liked the image.

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Van Gogh
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Frieda Kahlo

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Some famous selfies.

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A random wax work of a man with a gun. There was actually no explanation as to why this was here.

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The first ever selfie. Look at that box camera!

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I love photography.

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This metal sculpture looks like a random blend of twigs, vines, skulls and rodents. But with the light shining on it, its shadow reveals…

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…this! A head with two faces.

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Time went by so quickly that we could hardly believe it when we were kicked out of the gallery at 6pm. We headed to Covent Garden to get a bite to eat.

After settling down to a greasy burger and crimped chips at the Shake Shack, we opted to get dessert at a cosy french cafe called Chez Antoinette. We both went for the homemade apple crumble, mine sans a dollop of cream. And still, it was delicioso. The crumble was crunchy, yet soft (is that even possible?) and the apple was moist; not too sour and not too sweet. It was just right, as Goldilocks would say.

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I really enjoyed myself and aim to plan more trips with my artsy-farsty friend, because she’s the only one who will go with me.

Have a fab day!

Mich x

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Shades of lilac

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Dress: ASOS

Sandals: Shoebou

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This is the dress I wore to my friend’s wedding in Portugal. Lilac is one of my favourite colours, but I don’t wear it often. The dress code for the wedding was elegant so, I thought I would take a chance with this cold-shoulder dress.

The material is light so, it was easy to keep cool in the Portuguese heat.

I couldn’t miss out on the opportunity to have my picture taken underneath this wisteria tree, which I initially thought was lavender. Shows how much I know about flowers! It matched my dress so, that was all that mattered.

The wedding was stunning! It was my first one abroad and one of the best ones I have ever been to. It was the first time I travelled without my husband and although I thoroughly enjoyed the wedding, I would have loved for him to be there too.

I hope this won’t be my last wedding abroad.

Have you ever been to a wedding in another country?

Thank you for reading.

Mich x

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72 hours in Portugal – part 2

On day two of my time in Portugal, we spent it in Sintra. I had really wanted to come here, for one reason only, but we’ll get to that later. Sintra is full of colourful buildings, although these are popular throughout Portugal.

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It was wonderfully warm that day. We decided to fuel up and found a nice little restaurant, which I forgot the name of. I ordered the pork.

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The food in Portugal is delicious. This meal was only six euros. Everything is so cheap there. I came back home with 50 euros to spare!

After we had eaten, we were ready to go on our quest (the one I had been looking forward to)…

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…all the way up there! To the Castelo dos Mouros (Castle of the Moors). I love sightseeing and I had mentally prepared myself for the crazy feat we were about to pull off. While everyone paid for rides up, my friends and I had decided to walk.

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And walk we did. For a good two hours. Closer to the beginning of the climb up, we saw little handmade trinkets and pieces of art for sale on the side of the road…

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…sculptures…

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…gorgeous views…

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…and hidden gems.

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Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see the actual castle. We arrived five minutes before closing time, which we were annoyed about because we hadn’t been made aware of that. But I’m still proud of myself for that incredible walk all the way up. It was painful, but so worth it. I wonder how many calories I burnt?

Afterwards, we went to Centro Vasco da Gama in Oriente. Think of Stratford Westfield shopping centre. The architecture in Oriente station is beautiful, especially at night.

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I did no shopping and had another late night. The wedding was the following day, so that was all the sightseeing I got done on this trip, but I was very content. Like I said, it was the most fun and adventure I’d had in a long time.

Thank you Lisbon. It was fun while it lasted.

Mich x

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72 hours in Portugal – part 1

As some of you may know, I spent three nights in Portugal at the end of March for a friend’s wedding. If it hadn’t been for the wedding, I wouldn’t have had the chance to discover such a beautiful place. I got to see so much in such a short space of time, so I was grateful for that.

I arrived on Thursday and as soon as I landed, my friends came to get me. After settling into my room at the hotel we were staying in, we set off to Setúbal. It’s a quiet city with pebbled streets and a port.

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For dinner, we went to a restaurant along the port called Tasca da Fatinha. You can choose whatever fish you want and they grill it for you. It’s all fresh produce. Some of us shared prawns for starters, which looked and tasted delicious. I ordered the salmon. It was my first time having it, and I loved it, especially with the grilled, smokey taste.

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Unfortunately, the chips were a bit dry, but the salmon made up for that.

We stayed out late, and found this beautiful building on the way back to the coach station — the Monastery of Jesus of Setúbal. I went to bed the latest I have done in a very long time, but I also had the most fun I’ve had in a long while, so it was all worth it.

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Look out for part two next Thursday, and thank you for reading.

Mich x

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