March Reading


I was 16 when I first got my hands on Ralph's Party by Lisa Jewell and she fast became one of my favourite authors. 

Before I Met You had been on my desk since summer when it was released and I'm annoyed I've only just got round to reading it as it was so good. 

The book goes between two time periods - the 1990's and 1920's - with our main characters being Betty and her step-grandmother Arlette. 

Betty finds herself looking after Arlette in her big house in Guernsey. With all her friends leaving the isle, Betty remains loyal and stays behind to look after Arlette. 

When Arlette dies her will becomes a mystery with a large sum of money left to a Clara Pickle who no one has heard of. 

Betty has a year to find Clara Pickle and so takes on the adventure and heads to London. There she receives clues and begins to unravel the pieces of Arlette's younger life… 

I was hooked from the start of Before I Met You and was desperate to know the outcome. It didn't disappoint. It's a great read and I thoroughly recommend. 

Patty & Bun


After pizza, burgers are my favourite thing to eat, and living in London I am always spoilt for choice with all the pop-up burger bars and restaurants.  

I've been wanting to go too Patty & Bun since it opened at the end of last year, as have my burger buddies Lizzie & Nic, so on a rainy Tuesday night I raced from work to meet them and try it out. 

I say raced from work for a simple reason, as bang on trend right now, Patty & Bun do not take bookings so the queues can get a little crazy. 

We timed it perfectly, arriving just before 6 and were shown straight to a table by a friendly waitress.  

The menu was mind-blowing, so many great options to choose from, but as much as I love beef I was drawn to the 'Lambshank Redemption' - a lamb burger made with coriander and chilli, lettuce, braised red cabbage, cumin aioli and feta packed into a brioche bun. The 'Ari Gold' cheeseburger also looked amazing so Nic and I decided to order one of each and share. 

We also ordered the chips which were seasoned with rosemary salt.  

We were amazed at how quickly it came , we'd only just started on our bottle of wine, but we fell on it hungrily so much so that I only had time to quickly take a picture of my lamb burger but not the cheese burger!  

The three of us were silent for a few minutes as we devoured the burgers, making appreciative sounds, Lizzie declaring it was the best burger she'd had. I certainly agreed that the lamb burger was one of the best I'd tasted. 

Looking out the window to see the large queue forming we knew we'd done well to get there early! 

Afterwards we were keen for something sweet so we ordered a peanut butter and hazelnut choc ice which was delicious and not too much that we felt overly full. 

Full and satisfied we got the bill - my only regret being that I hadn't tried the 'Winger Winger Chicken Dinner' chicken wings but that is definitely on the list for next time. 

With the burgers priced between £7 and £8 and the chips £2.50, the bill was a bargain for how much we'd had.  The only negative I'd say is we couldn't help but feel a bit rushed to pay the bill and leave. While we appreciated how busy they were it would have been nice to finish off our wine without feeling the pressure to down it and get out!  

All in all though, Patty & Bun is a fabulous burger destination in a fantastic central location and well worth a visit  - but get there early or be prepared to queue. 

54 James St, London, W1U 1HE 



I can see you all being slightly baffled  at the title of this post. What does it mean? 

Well it's a phobia. Not just any phobia. A phobia I have. 

Papyrophobia is defined as a pathological, irrational fear of paper. 

It could either be a clean sheet of paper or crumpled paper or even the size of the paper. Others who are suffering with Papyrophobia fear the ripping of paper and even wet paper.
Mine is the latter. Wet paper, wet tissue, wet newspaper… All make me truly shudder. And I can't even say the word s-o-g-g-y. Urgh!
Some people can't stand spiders or snakes. Or maybe heights. For me it's walking into a toilet cubicle and finding wet toilet roll on the floor. 
It's hard to say where it really started. I remember having swimming lessons at the age of seven and being truly freaked out by the dirty wet tissues that had fallen from the sleeves of other swimmers when they changed. 
It's got worse as I've got older. I don't like going to public swimming baths or even public toilets. I really struggle at festivals and on nights out. 
Moving to London intensified it. 

When it rains there seems to be wet newspaper EVERYWHERE. I find myself walking round on my tip-toes just so I don't have to walk with my foot fully on the ground just in case the worst happens and some gets caught on me. And it has happened… 
One evening I was heading home from work tip-toeing about in the rain. Stepping on the escalator I realised there was something between my foot and flip-flop. 
Looking down I saw it was a piece of newspaper. WET newspaper. 
What happened next involved me looking like I was having a massive fit as I tried desperately to shake it off, shrieking. 
Londoners are used to weirdos doing very strange things and often ignore. But the sight of me doing some crazy dance had them sniggering though a couple of kind souls actually did ask if i was OK. I wasn't. But was when I managed to get to the bottom and scrape it off my foot onto the wall. 
Then there was another time when I was heading to Victoria station, again in the rain. 
I was pulling my suitcase when it suddenly became very heavy and hard to pull along. I glanced down to see wet newspaper had been caught up in it. And there was a lot. 
Yelling, I abandoned my suitcase and took a few steps away from it, terrified that some of the paper might actually get stuck onto me. 
What am I going to do? I thought to myself. 
I began to panic, There was no WAY I could get the paper off myself. I mentally was trying to think what was actually in my suitcase, was it really worth anything, could I just abandon it? 
All these (crazy) thoughts were passing through my mind when a nice man, obviously sensing my distress came over. 
'Are you OK?' he asked. 
'Er, yes, I just don't like wet tissue, and there is loads caught up in my suitcase,' I say. I felt like I could cry.
'I'll sort it out,' the stranger kindly offered. Relief flooded through me. 
I turned away as he does the job. 
'All done,' he said, bringing the suitcase over to me. 
'Thank you so much. I don't know what I'd have done without you. Can I buy you a coffee to say thanks?' I said.
The man smiled at me. 
'I've got to get on,' he said. 
He was polite but I could see in his eyes what he really meant: 'There is no chance I would take a coffee from you, you utter mentalist.' 
I didn't really blame him. 
Another time I was in a bar in Liverpool when my friend Shauna said we had to leave.
'You wouldn't be able to cope with the state of the toilets,' she said. 
I shuddered as I realise what she meant. 
There are countless other stories but this post is freaking me out just writing it! And I obviously can't illustrate it with too many pictures because I wouldn't be able to ever look at this post again… 
Phobias are mental. I think it would be a lot easier if I just didn't like spiders… 
Do you have any phobias? And do you think I am crazy?!  

Fire & Stone - Best Pizza in Town


I love pizza. Like REALLY love pizza. And two years ago I stumbled upon a pizza gem that has become a firm favourite. 

Fire & Stone is tucked away within Spitalfields market, surrounded by other chain restaurants. It's easy to forget F&S are a chain and I often do mainly because they have two things that most chains don't - good service and excellent, fresh food. 

One night after work my friend Elaine and I headed to Fire & Stone. Elaine hadn't been in a while and I never take much persuading to go for a visit. 

We were greeted by a super friendly waitress who gave us a lovely table in the window so we were able to see all the stall-holders packing up and the general hustle and bustle of the market. 

We ordered a bottle of white wine and to start a vegetarian sharing board which included crispy butternut ravioli, fried zucchini sticks, parmesan flatbread strips, rocket, mozzarella and tomato salad, houmous, tomato salsa and olives (£9.95). As if that wasn't enough we also ordered a calamari - my favourite starter at F&S (£5.95). 

It was all YUM especially the fried zucchini sticks. 

Next up - the main course. Choosing a pizza at F&S is never easy. With so many unique flavours to choose from, and all sounding delicious, it's hard to decide which ones to go for. For me though it has to be the Sans Sebastian - chorizo, mozzarella, roast garlic and rosemary potatoes, roasted red peppers topped with garlic mayo (£9.95). 

Don't turn your nose up at potatoes on a pizza. Trust me, it works. Double carb heaven! My housemate always says F&S pizzas are like having a meal on top of a pizza. She isn't wrong and it's not necessarily a bad thing. That's why I love F&S so much! 

As always the pizza was delicious. The flavours really work together and you can tell the ingredients are all fresh. 
After pizza and the huge starter we were full. Really full. So I'm not sure why but we found ourselves ordering dessert - dough strips and Nutella dip. How could we resist? 

They arrived warm, the Nutella gooey. Heaven. But it did defeat us though. One more dough stick and I was about to fall into a carb coma…  
You won't find a pizza place anywhere in London that does such unique toppings, has amazing service and is great value for money.  If you haven't been already you really must get down there. 
As Elaine and I walked back to Liverpool Street station, we went past a well known, popular pizza chain with a queue snaking out the door. 

I shook my head. 

Do they not know what is minutes round the corner? I thought. 

Obviously not. And more fool them. 

Fire & Stone (Old Spitalfields Market branch)
Address: Fire and Stone, 4 Horner Square, Old Spitalfields Market, London E1 6EW
Other Fire & Stone branches in London include the original in Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, and Westfield in Shepherds Bush.
Fire and Stone website Follow on twitter here: @FireandStone