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Photography, Scotland, Travel, UK

Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh

June 11, 2015

Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh

I have a bit of a thing for finding a high point in a city so that I can look over it, and get a good view of the whole city. When we went to Edinburgh in April, a trek up Arthur’s Seat was at the top of my list.

We were blessed with a gloriously sunny, fairly still day, which made the trip even more enjoyable. 

Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh

To start with, we got lost trying to find the top. There were a couple of paths, but no clear signs, so we followed the one that looked most used. 

It turned out that it wasn’t quite the path we wanted, as this one just went around Arthur’s Seat instead of up it. We weren’t going to complain though because it provided us with beautiful views over Edinburgh, including the glorious Edinburgh Castle. 

Edinburgh Castle from Arthur's Seat

View over Edinburgh from Arthur's Seat

Interesting fact: In the photo above, on the right hand side, in the grass, you can kinda see a couple who were full on going at it. 

View over Edinburgh from Arthur's Seat

Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh

After getting about halfway round on the path well worn, we decided to turn back around and went in hunt of the path up to the top. We found it, and it turned out to be a little treacherous. You know the kind of path that just looks like it’s desperate to break one of your ankles? 

On the way up we were passed by a bloke who was running. He was running up something that I was out of breath from just walking up! It was so steep. Major props to him, he must have been fit as a fiddle. 

At the top, we were treated to spectacular views over Edinburgh. 

Edinburgh from Arthur's Seat

View from Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh

View from Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh

We sat at the top for a while and drank in the view. I love being able to view a city from above, you spot things that you don’t see while your wandering around the streets. 

I always find that memories of cities from afar, like this one, tend to stick with me a little more than 

Do you like seeing places from above? 

Travel

Edinburgh Castle + the Hard Rock Cafe

January 15, 2015

Edinburgh Castle at night

Edinburgh Castle in the day

Edinburgh Castle is a majestic looking thing; it sits perched on a rock watching over the city. 

The castle looks pretty impressive from the front but when you go in through the castle gates, or see it from down on Princes Street, you realise how big it is.

It’s a huge, sprawling castle with paths that take you off in different directions.

My favourite part of any castle is never the inside. It’s the grounds, where you get to look at the beautiful buildings and down on the area surrounding it. It’s in moments like that where I can imagine for a second what it would have been like to live in the castle in it’s heyday.

View of Edinburgh from Edinburgh Castle

View of Edinburgh from the castle

The most impressive thing inside the castle was actually something you aren’t allowed to take photos of; the crown jewels.

They were absolutely stunning and every bit as lavish as you expect they would be, but annoyingly it was very, very busy in that particular room. That’s understandable, of course everyone wants to see the sparklies, but I think perhaps there should be a system in place where only a certain amount of people can go in at a time.

After we’d finished at the castle we went to the Hard Rock Cafe for dinner. I do not consider that I’ve actually been to a country if I haven’t visited the Hard Rock Cafe there and I their collect t-shirts / hoodies.

The staff at the Hard Rock Cafe in Edinburgh were great and as usual, they complied with my awkward request to have the twisted mac n’ cheese without the chicken and as usual, it was amazeballs. (There I finally said it in a sentence!)

I also surprised myself by trying something new (I don’t do that very often at all); a strawberry and basil lemonade. It was delicious, I keep meaning to try to make my own.

I completely forgot to take a picture of the Hard Rock Cafe itself because I was distracted by this beautiful building next door. I think it was a fancy restaurant. I don’t really care what it is, to be honest, because look at how beautiful it looks with all those Christmas lights on it.

 

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Life, Travel

I cannot deal with big cities

February 23, 2017

Natural History Museum London

Last week, I went down to London with my university for a trip to the Natural History Museum and was quickly reminded why I do not like London; it. is. too. busy.

That’s not to say I’m not a city person at all because I’ve visited and loved some beautiful cities, like Edinburgh, Reykjavik, and Stockholm. What I can’t deal with is cities with people everywhere.

Honestly, we got off the coach and in approximately 10 seconds there were far too many people for my liking. I hate that feeling of being surrounded by people and having to bustle your way through crowds, and get touched by strangers, eww. That’s not my thing at all and makes me feel claustrophobic and a bit panicky.

Cities I do like feel kinda half empty. They might be geographically big or small, but you can walk down the street without walking into people and can easily stop and take in your surroundings, without feeling like you’re in someone’s way.

A good rule of thumb for me is kinda like how teachers used to tell you to space out during PE lessons in primary school; if you hold your arms out and you’re touching someone, you’re too close. If I can (mentally, obviously because actually doing it would look weird…) put my arms out and not hit a stranger, we’re good; there’s enough room here and I’ll like it.

Ideally, I would move to the edge of a lake, at the foot of a mountain, and live in a cabin with my only neighbours being deer, moose, and the odd bear. I know, I might have to forgo Domino’s delivery, but I think I could deal with that.

What about you? Do you like busy cities?

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Life, Travel

Longing for the wilderness / pining for the fjords

September 17, 2015

Strone Hill, Scotland

There’s the consuming ache inside of me to wander to some remote place and just be there. It’s like that itch you get to have a new piercing or get another tattoo; you have to scratch it.

I remember being aware of my mortality as a kid (who wants to think about Barbies when you can worry about life being too short?) and wanting to travel the world to explore new cultures and scenery has always been something I’ve placed a high importance on.

My eyes are greedy, and there are so many places I long to see.

I can’t be doing with modern day busy life. It’s hectic, it’s a mess, and all we hear day in day out is terrible things going on in the world. I want to just get away from that and be away from the ‘outside world’.

When I went to Scotland earlier in the year, it felt just like that. It was just me, my Mum, and Tom exploring and appreciating beautiful scenery. Though we went to towns, and even popped into Edinburgh, most of the week it felt like we were removed from civilisation, and that was so nice.

Maybe you call it burying my head in the sand, and perhaps it is to a certain extent, but it’s nice not to hear about all the terrible stuff that’s happening in the world.

Most days, I feel like I’m just not wired right for modern day life. Sure, I love technology but I wish life was easier and simpler. I’d love to spend my days exploring nature and the wilderness.

Who says I have to sit behind a desk forever? Who says I can’t go adventuring and exploring beautiful and stunning places where there’s no trace of civilisation? No gaudy skyscrapers or advertising boards. Just miles, and miles of mountains, trees, or water.

  • I want to explore forests
  • I want to watch a sunrise from the top of a mountain
  • I want to kayak across beautiful lakes
  • I want to see the Northern Lights

And dammit, I’m going to do my best to do those things.

Do you long to travel? Or have you not been bitten by the travel bug? 

*If you did not get the reference in the title, watch this. To this day, it’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. John Cleese might be my patronus.

Photography, Scotland, Travel

Scotland travel roundup

July 28, 2015

A couple of weeks ago, I posted my final blog post about my trip to Scotland in April. As I posted a few posts, I thought I'd stick them all in one post as a roundup in case you've missed any. 

Oban from Strone Hill

Oban & Strone Hill

On day one of our Scottish adventure, we battled through a snowstorm to reach Oban, where we were treated to stunning views. 

Rainwbows at Lochawe

Rainbows at Kilchurn Castle, Lochawe

At Christmas, I went to Kilchurn Castle on Lochawe and were stunned by it's beauty. I went back with my Mum in tow this time, and managed to actually find the way into the castle this time. This time, the weather stole the show from the castle and we saw the most beautiful, and the brightest rainbows I've ever seen in my entire life. 

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Urquhart Castle, Loch Ness

Loch Ness & Urquhart Castle

No trip to Scotland is complete without a trip to Loch Ness. To my surprise, it wasn't as tacky or touristy as I was expecting it to be. 

We took a boat up the loch to Urquhart Castle, which is perched on the edge of Loch Ness. It must have been a beautiful place to live back when the castle was in it's heyday. 

 

The Glenfiddich Distillery Tour

The Glenfiddich Distillery Tour

Just like a trip to Loch Ness, an adventure to Scotland isn't complete without a tour around a distillery. I'm not a whiskey fan, but even I can't deny that the place smelled absolutely wonderful. 

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Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh

Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh

A day in Edinburgh saw us wander around the city, visit the Hard Rock Cafe (of course), and conquer Arthur's Seat. It was more than worth the trek, and our reward was views across Edinburgh. 

Falls of Dochart, Killin

Killin & the Falls of Dochart

On the final day, we explored the area we'd been staying in and had a walk around Killin and spend some time at the waterfalls which run through the town. 

Glen Coe, Scotland

Glen Coe - the most beautiful place in the world? 

We passed through Glen Coe a few times, which is perhaps the most stunning stretch of road in the world. It's unlike any other place I've driven through. It's so untouched, for the most part, and you can imagine it being pretty much exactly the same thousands of years ago. 

Loch Tay, at Kenmore

Kenmore & castle ruins

On our final adventure in Scotland, we explored the other end of Loch Tay, tried to find a castle, saw a baby red squirrel, and wandered through some spooky castle ruins. 

I'm pretty sure I've used the word 'beautiful' far too many times in this post, but as you can see for yourself, it's such a stunning place. I can't believe that it took me 22 years to visit. There's no way that I'll leave it that long before I go back again. 

Where are you off adventuring next? 

Share The Love

Share the love – May

June 1, 2015

Share the love May

I’m going to spare you the “OH MY GOD HOW IS JUNE ALREADY!?” because you don’t need me making you feel like life is going too fast and you want to get off right now too. 

Blog: The Everywhereist – I’ve been following Geraldine’s blog for about two years, and her tone of voice is what keeps me coming back. She’s brilliantly sarcastic, which my brain adores. Every time I read one of her blog posts, it’s like my brain has discovered a long lost friend. 

The Everywhereist is primarily travel, and Geraldine talks about the fantastic places she’s been, the food she’s eaten, shares tips etc, but there’s also a good mix of posts about her life. It’s one of my favourite blogs because I’m 99% sure that when I visit her blog, I’m going to end up laughing. 

Blog posts I’ve enjoyed: 

Music: This month I’ve mostly had Hunter Hayes and the three new songs of Joy Williams’ forthcoming album on repeat. 

I saw Hunter Hayes last weekend, and he was fantastic live. He was so good that I’ve booked tickets to see him when he comes back to the UK in September. 

Books: There’s only really one contender this month: The Heir by Kiera Cass. I was worried that The Heir was going to be a cash cow to squeeze some more money out of a really popular series, but to my relief it’s a worthy addition to The Selection. 

You can read my review of The Heir here

Food: Since returning from Scotland, my Mum has made vegetarian haggis a few times and it’s so delicious. If you ever go to Scotland, or every find yourself wondering what to have to dinner, I highly recommend vegetarian haggis.

What you’ve enjoyed on Eat Read Glam this month

Instagram: And finally, I want to give a quick nod to Instagram. I’ve never really used it a huge amount, but in May I used it a lot and it’s so darn addictive. I had so much fun, discovered far too much book p0rn, and took part in the May Book Challenge. If you want to follow me, you can at @eatreadglam

What did you enjoy in May? Feel free to share links! 

 

Food

How to make strawberry basil lemonade

May 27, 2015

How to make strawberry basil lemonade

Here in England, we occasionally get warm days that leave you wanting to sit in the garden, talking, and drinking something refreshing. Strawberry basil lemonade is exactly the drink you’re looking for on those days.

I first discovered strawberry basil lemonade at the Hard Rock Cafe in Edinburgh. I’m not a fan of fizzy lemonade so I’d not had it in years, but there was something about the idea of strawberry and basil lemonade that piqued my interest.

Since coming back from Edinburgh at the start of the year, I’ve been saying I wanted to make it and with a little bit of warm weather, I found myself craving it. 

My recipe is bitter because that’s the way I like it, but if you want it sweeter, just add more sugar. 

I’m going to walk you through it step by step with photos, but if you scroll further down you’ll find a recipe card.

Quartered lemons

1. Cut your lemons into quarters. You can remove the pips if you want, but it doesn’t really matter as you’ll be sieving it anyway. 

Lemons, water, and sugar

2. Put the lemons and sugar into the blender, and add 1 / 4 litre of water.

Lemonade in blender

3. Blend until the lemons have been reduced to mush, add another 1 / 4 litre of water, and blend for another few seconds. You may need to place your hand, or a towel, over the lid of your blender if the water is likely to escape. 

4. Taste it at this point. Though you will be diluting it in a bit, you should be able to figure out whether it’s way to bitter for your liking. If it is, add more sugar. 

Lemonade mulch

5. Pour the mixture through a sieve and press the mulch with a spoon to get as much lemonade out as possible. 

Homemade lemonade

6. Add the remaining 1 / 2 litre of water to the lemonade, and mix. 

Strawberry and basil in a blender

7. Cut up 1 and a half cups of strawberries, and put them in the blender, along with half a cup of basil leaves, and blend. You don’t need to press the basil leaves down in the cup, just throw them in. 

8. Pour the strawberry and basil mixture to your lemonade and stir. 

Homemade strawberry and basil lemonade

9. Serve with ice, a strawberry on the side of the glass, and a few basil leaves. Enjoy in the garden on a warm afternoon with good company, or a good book. 

Strawberry basil lemonade

Strawberry basil lemonade
A delicious, refreshing strawberry basil lemonade, which is perfect for lazy summer afternoons in the garden.
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Prep Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
605 calories
150 g
0 g
5 g
22 g
2 g
723 g
64 g
90 g
0 g
2 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
723g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 605
Calories from Fat 39
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5g
7%
Saturated Fat 2g
9%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 64mg
3%
Total Carbohydrates 150g
50%
Dietary Fiber 41g
163%
Sugars 90g
Protein 22g
Vitamin A
13%
Vitamin C
549%
Calcium
173%
Iron
375%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 3 unwaxed lemons
  2. 1/3 cup of sugar (this is fairly bitter, so use more if you want it to be sweet)
  3. 1 litre
  4. 2 cups of strawberries (1 1/2 cups for the lemonade, the other 1/2 for decoration)
  5. 1 cup of basil leaves (not pressed down, just thrown in the cup)
Instructions
  1. 1. Quarter three lemons. You can remove the pips if you want, but as you'll be sieving them it doesn't really matter.
  2. 2. Put chopped lemons and 1/3 sugar in the blender, and pour in 1/4 litre of water.
  3. 3. Blend for a few seconds. Once the lemons have been reduced to mush, add another 1/4 litre of water.
  4. 4. It's worth tasting it at this point. Though you're going to dilute it with the remaining 1/2 litre of water, you can get a good idea of whether it's too bitter or not. If it is, add more sugar.
  5. 5. Pour the mixture through a sieve and press the remaining mulch down with a spoon to get as much lemonade as possible.
  6. 6. Add the remaining 1/2 litre of water to the lemonade and mix.
  7. 7. Cut up 1 and a half cups of strawberries and put them in the blender, along with half a cup of basil leaves, and blend.
  8. 8. Add the strawberry and basil mixture to your lemonade and stir.
  9. 9. Serve with ice, a strawberry on the edge of the glass, and a few basil leaves. Enjoy in the garden, with a BBQ, and a good book.
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calories
605
fat
5g
protein
22g
carbs
150g
more
Girl In Awe http://www.girlinawe.com/

Have you ever tried strawberry basil lemonade?

Life, Photography

Instax Mini 90

January 26, 2015

Instax Mini 90

Instant photos

I take so many photos on my phone but rarely do I get round to actually printing them so I was really excited when I received an Instax Mini 90 for Christmas.

My sister and I had a mini Polaroid camera for Christmas one year when we were kids and I loved it. I drove my Mum crazy though because I’d get through a pack of film instantly and I’d start nagging her for some more, and it was not cheap.

At some point I lost it and forgot about it.

Since joining a photography club about a year and a half ago we’ve been going out on photography adventures and I found myself wishing I had my instant camera again so I could capture that moment and hold the photo in my hands straight away.

There’s something about instant photos that I love. They kind of look like memories; they aren’t entirely perfect but they seem to have this nice glow to them.

With a digital camera you don’t get that eager anticipation as you wait to see how your photo turned out, you don’t have to stare at it as you wait for it to develop and you certainly don’t get to hold it in your hands straight away.

The Instax Mini 90 is fairly easy to use but trying to get the exposure just right without relying on an LCD screen is a bit of a challenge, a fun one mind you.

I took it to Edinburgh with me and after a lot of trial and error, I ended up with a handful of not quite perfect, but pretty good, photos. I don’t care about perfection truthfully because my SLR can take care of that, I just want to try and capture that moment.

Have you got an instant camera?

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