One of the great things in life is discovering new places, but there has to be something said for going somewhere you’ve been before that has that familiarity element.

Living like a local in another city seems like such a fun thing to do, and today I’ve compiled a list of all the places I would love to go back to that I’ve visited through my life.

1. New York

I went to New York back in 2008 on a school trip to the UN, and I’ve always wanted to go back. This year, I was looking at flights in December, but with buying a house and having a number of wedding and hen do’s, the responsibility took over me and I refrained. I would love to visit at Christmas and take in the city in all its glory.

2. Amsterdam

I visited Amsterdam as a celebration trip when I finished University. There were 5 of us who went in total, and we had such a fun time and still even talk about the memories to this day. There was so much of the city that we didn’t get to explore though, so on my next trip, I’d like to see all the sites that we missed – I believe autumn is a beautiful time to visit.

3. Lisbon

I went to Lisbon in 2014 with a couple of girls that I worked with. We went in November, which wasn’t the warmest month by any stretch, but the city itself was just stunning. Compared to other European capitals, it was much cheaper, but there was still so much to see and do. I’d love to go back in summer and visit the Time Out food market again and admire the beautifully tiled walls.

4. Barcelona

I went to Barcelona for my 21st birthday with a few friends and I remember thinking that I definitely wanted to go back there one day. We had about 4 full days there and crammed loads in, but I would love to go back and appreciate some of the sites that are off the beaten track.

5. Iceland

Iceland was one of the most surreal places I’ve ever been to in my life – but also absolutely incredible. I visited in June where it was sunlight for 24 hours (not something I’d recommend) so I would love to go back at the start of the year and hopefully see the Northern Lights.

6. Dubai

One of my closet friends lives in Dubai, which is why I went in the first place, but I ended up having one of the most fun weeks of my life. I visited with my friend, Phil, and we had so much fun going to brunch, quad biking across the desert and visiting the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. The next time I go, I would love a chilled beach holiday.

And there you have the 6 places I would love to visit again given the chance – donations welcome!

Have you been to any of these places? Is there anywhere you would love to go back to? 

xx

This has been one of my busiest weeks in a while, which has been great, but it also meant that I spent most of Saturday in bed with a migraine because I was doing too much.

This week I’ve still got some big things on, but I’ve decided to slow down a bit, take each day as it comes and hopefully be up to full health quickly.

1. Rosso Meal

You might have seen my post over the weekend about my visit to Rosso in Manchester (if not, you can find it here.) It was such a brilliant night that I wanted to mention it here as well. It was arranged by my friend Georgie, who did a brilliant job of bringing together such a lovely group of girls, with great food and an amazing goodie bag. I already can’t wait for the next one.

2. Salon Success Event

I’ve been lucky enough to work with Salon Success for over a year now, which is why I couldn’t wait to go to their Blogger Christmas Dinner on Thursday. It was my first Christmas event that I had in my diary, and I’ve been looking forward to it for a good few weeks now. I knew some of the bloggers there, but it was also great to meet some new faces too.

3. Stylist Live

I want to do a whole post dedicated to Stylist Live because I had such a brilliant day there and I wanted to share my experience fully. I went with my Mum, who also thought it was great. We got the train early Friday morning to London, fit in a little bit of Christmas shopping, and spent the day at the event, nipping out to experience the Kensington Roof Gardens too, which, if you haven’t been, I would highly recommend – they have real-life flamingos!

4. Inspiration

I get a lot of inspiration for my blog by my everyday life, but I felt like I was lacking a bit in the last couple of months. I don’t know whether it was the day in bed on Saturday, but I feel really inspired with the ideas I have for this little blog, and I hope that I can pull them off in the next few weeks.

5. Brand Collabs

On the same note, I’ve been really lucky to have been contacted by some amazing brands in the last fortnight who have given me free rein of the campaigns too – always a plus. I can’t wait to share these posts over the next month or so and get your feedback on them.

6. Brunch

On Sunday morning, I went for brunch with my good friends Sophie and Abi to Sugar Junction in Altrincham. I hadn’t seen either of them in a few weeks, so it was really lovely to catch up over some great food and coffee. I went for the avocado stack (because I’m basic as hell) and it was absolutely amazing.

7. Ideal Home Show

I was invited to the Ideal Home Show a few weeks ago, and it’s something I’ve been looking forward to ever since. If you didn’t know, my boyfriend and I bought our house together back in March, and I’m always looking for inspiration to make it feel more homey. The show also hosted the food and drink festival and the cake and bake show so we had a really nice afternoon wandering about.

8. Kosmos Taverna

If you know me, you’ll know I’m a huge fan of Greek food – I love the amount of different flavours they use and the fact you can have a bit of everything. We had the set mezze platter, which was three courses of pure deliciousness, and really well priced.

What have you been loving this week? 

xx

On Wednesday evening, I was lucky enough to be invited by my friend Georgie Glass, a very talented photographer, to attend the new menu launch at Rosso restaurant in Manchester. It had been a while since I’d been to a foodie related blogging event so I was really excited to catch up with some of my favourite girls over what I knew would be a great meal.

It had been a few years since I’d been there, and in that time they’ve gone through a multi-million pound revamp, meaning that the decor is beyond dreamy. They pulled on this girl’s Christmas-obsessed heartstrings by already having their Christmas tree up and beautiful decorations all over, including fairy lights, luminous stars and bauble wreaths, which only added to the already stunning backdrop. Even from the outside, the lights, grand entrance and architecture are your first indication that there will be a spectacle beyond the iron door – and that there is.

The first thing I noticed was how bright the restaurant was, but not overpowering in the slightest. The white interiors were really beautiful and gave an overall luxury feel to the place. There is a separate bar and dining area (with little alcoves for people to come and do work – a blogger’s absolute dream) a grand dome ceiling and stunning marble surfaces everywhere. The bar isn’t cramped at all either, which can be the problem with some of the restaurants in Manchester.

For the dinner, we were seated on a raised section of the dining area, in a stunning booth with white leather seats, enough for the group of us that there was without us feeling cramped at all. The table was laid out beautifully with gifts from Evelyn’s House of Beauty, Louboutin perfume, a ring from Brand Attic and a little treat from Hey Little Cupcake. Being the blogger cliches that we are, we immediately all got our cameras out to capture the stunning dinner setting and gushed over how good a job that Georgie had done.

I was lucky enough to be sat next to my partner in crime, Jacinta, and the beautiful Faye from The Fussy Feeder. I was also able to catch up with the founder of We Blog North, Holly Wood, and Spamella, which was lovely as I hadn’t seen either of them in a while, and Pam brought her little boy with her who was an absolute dream.

We were there to sample their new menu for winter, which is always music to my ears. The main course was tagliatelle con gamberi e pollo (egg pasta ribbons with garlic chicken, prawns, courgettes and fresh cream) and the dessert was crostata di mandorle (almond tart, pickled damson and homemade Garstang Blue cheese ice cream).

The main was such a delicious pasta course, nice and creamy and probably one of the nicest dishes I’ve had outside of Italy… and I’ve eaten A LOT of pasta in my lifetime: You can tell that Rosso is up there with their knowledge of true Italian flavours, and the dish was put together really well.

The dessert was an interesting one: Once I read blue cheese ice cream on the menu, I was immediately intrigued as to what that might entail. The tart was light and flavoursome with a puff pastry crust, and the pickled damson was a very welcome acidic accompaniment to break the overall sweetness. I couldn’t recall a time of ever trying damson before, but it really complimented the whole dish. The ice cream worked well with the overall flavour of the pudding, but I’m not sure I would have enjoyed it as much by itself.

Once dinner was finished, we had a group catch up and started talking about our Christmas plans which made me really excited for the season ahead. As much as I love putting Christmas music on as soon as it turns to November, I’ve refrained slightly this year, so it was nice to be eased into the festive spirit ever so slightly. Georgie did such a fabulous job with the whole evening, and it was nice to meet the team behind the food choices as well.

Rosso is such a stunning venue to go for a meal, and I would definitely recommend the food that we had. The ambience of the restaurant matches the sumptuous food that we experienced and I can’t wait for there to be more meet up’s coming up in the future.

Have you ever been to Rosso? What were your thoughts? 

xx

My meal at Rosso was complimentary. All views are my own. 

Whenever I meet someone new in the blogging world, one of the first questions I get asked is what I write about, to which I always answer, a little bit of everything.

Back when I first started out blogging, I never wanted to be restricted to what I write, and although I mostly tend to focus on travel, food and recommendations these days, I like the thought of not being tied to a particular genre; it makes me feel freer with my writing, allows me to change my content up when I feel like it and gives me a bigger scope for the future.

To the blogging world, my posts would fall under the ‘lifestyle’ category, therefore making me a lifestyle blogger, something I used to feel quite discontented with because of the sheer amount of others in the same category, whose blogs, I felt, were much more substantial than mine.

But once I got more into the groove of writing posts, I became much more proud about what I was producing and the opportunities I was been given and being a lifestyle blogger was something I was honoured to be called.

You might have heard the term ‘Lifestyle Blogger’ banded around over the years, but what does it actually mean? Well, in Layman’s terms, a Lifestyle blog is best defined as a digital representation of its author’s everyday life and interests, which, when I think about it, definitely describes Eleanor Graceful.

For a lot of bloggers I know, they fall nicely into a niche, whether its fitness, fashion, beauty or travel, but the beauty of not having one is that you aren’t confined to what you can write. Obviously, there are no rules when it comes to blogging and creating content, and that is what is great about the industry.

With blogging, there are two ends of the spectrum – those who have been doing it for years, where it’s their full-time job and the main source of income, and then at the other end are the people who are just starting out – and everyone in between.

I fall somewhere in the middle on the scale – I’ve been blogging for a few years now, but I also class myself as a much small blogger in comparison to others. In an ideal world this blog would be my full-time job as I adore putting posts on the internet, but at the minute, that is just a pipe dream.

In some ways, you could say it’s harder being a Lifestyle Blogger because you have to keep your content fresh with lots of different topics but also different to the other Lifestyle Bloggers out there; whereas, when you have a niche you become an expert in one category. That said, the more things you can talk about on your blog may also increase your audience reach, so there are pros and cons to both.

For the future, I personally can only see the Lifestyle category getting bigger and bigger. I think we’ll see more Lifestyle Blogs coming to fruition because of the scope of people they appeal to and the number of different topics we have to talk about.

Do you write a lifestyle blog? How do you feel about the industry? 

xx

You’ll have to bear with me for the time being, as I’ve just transferred my blog over to WordPress (via Pipdig, highly recommend) and I’m just getting used to it – but I wanted to get this post out on a Monday.

I hope everyone had a lovely start to November, and you’re all starting to get excited about Christmas – I know I am. I had quite a jam-packed week, but a fun one nonetheless.

Here are all the things I was loving last week.

1. Liam Gallagher Tickets

This week started on a high because I found out that one of my closest friends had managed to get us Liam Gallagher tickets for his Finsbury Park show next year. I’ve never seen him live so I’m really looking forward to it, and Finsbury Park is one of my favourite places to go for a concert after seeing Arctic Monkeys there back in 2014.

2. Reunited With Liz Earle

On Tuesday, it was payday for me after the longest month known to man. I’d been putting off buying new skincare, as I knew as soon as I started paying for things on my credit card, I would get carried away. I repurchased my trusty Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish which is something I’ve been using since May and I felt lost without it.

3. Halloween Bake Off

To celebrate Halloween at work, they organised a bake off, which was judged by a professional chef, and the theme was to make it look as gruesome as possible. I didn’t take part in the baking side of things, but definitely the eating – I always enjoy a Tuesday afternoon with a side of cake.

4. Alex Ward Exhibition

I felt very cultural going to a photographer’s exhibition on Thursday evening in the city, and it was such a fun evening looking at Alex’s previous work as he’s such a talented guy. I’d spoken to him a few times before actually meeting him so it was nice to put a face to the name. I also got to catch up with Hannah as well which was an added bonus.

5. Gin Festival 

For Jordan’s birthday back in August, I bought him tickets to the gin festival at Victoria Baths, so we’ve been looking forward to it for a while. I went to the same one back in March, so I made it my mission to try some of the gins that I’d never tasted before. Victoria Baths is such a cool venue, and we had an awesome night getting tipsy and enjoying the atmosphere.

6. Countdown To Christmas

I don’t know if its just me, but this last week has made me feel so Christmassy. I think the clocks going back has added to the overall Winter feel, but it definitely felt colder this week. I may have even had a cheeky listen to my Christmas playlist on Spotify to get me in the mood for the festive period.

7. Manfrotto Photography Masterclass

On Saturday, I was lucky enough to be invited to the Manfrotto photography masterclass at Great John Street Hotel in Manchester. The day was a mixture of networking with other bloggers but also learning about the products and how you can use them for different types of photography. My good friend Lily was also at the event which was a nice surprise.

8. Come Dine With Me

You might have heard me talk about the ‘Alphabet Come Dine With Me’ that I’m a part of with a group of close friends, well this weekend it was my turn. My letter was Q, and as Qatar is the only country that begins with that letter, I incorporated other places. For a starter I did Brazillian cheese breads from Queimados, for the main I did a chicken stew from Qatar and the dessert was a sugar pie from Quebec. It was lovely to host at my house as most of them hadn’t seen the house.

9. Knutsford Makers Market

On Sunday, Jordan and I ventured over to the makers market in Knutsford, as it had been a while since we had been to that one. I had a bit of an ulterior motive to go as well, which I can’t mention on here just yet. The market was heaving because it was such a lovely sunny day, but that didn’t stop us from trying all the food avaialble.

10. Bonfire Night

We’re really lucky that where we live there is a park opposite, so we didn’t have to go far to watch any fireworks this year. It was a busy occasion, but I love bonfire night as it makes me feel as though Christmas is just around the corner – I even bought a toffee apple to get in the mood!

 

What were you loving last week? 

xx