I’m Getting Married, And It’s Frightening!

Getting MarriedI’m Getting Married, And It’s Frightening!

Wait, what? Yes I’m getting married. Don’t worry I’ve been pretty quiet about it, only occasionally referencing it. It’s pretty typical of me, and my fiancé is even more subtle. That said, Ben and I have been engaged for a few years now. However we had both agreed that we would wait to get married until the perfect moment. And after viewing an amazing venue a few months ago, it would appear that that moment is now. Well, Summer 2018 to be more precise. It’s incredibly exciting, but at the same time very frightening.

I’m Getting Married, And It’s Frightening!

Why is it frightening? Well because unless you didn’t already know, this is my first time getting married. I did stop and think of hiring a wedding planner, for all of five seconds. Then I remembered how much of a perfectionist I am, and how that would never work. So the task comes down to me (and Ben). However I’ve only been to one wedding in my adult life, and I wasn’t involved in any aspect of it. Unless you count eating, celebrating and partying. And if that was all there was to it, then I’d probably be a lot less nervous, and a lot more qualified. But let’s be honest, there is way more to getting married.

And luckily for me I was recently invited to the Not on The Hight Street wedding press day. Everything was laid out so expertly, making things seem so simple…and appealing. Alongside some amazing friends who have offered to help me along the way, it showed me that wedding planning doesn’t have to be complicated and confusing. And I want to be involved in all of it along the way, even if it is a little frightening.

I’ll be documenting my wedding along the way, so keep an eye out!
You can find the products featured in this post on Not on The Hight Street.

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24 Hours in Aarhus, Denmark | A Travel Guide

24 Hours in AarhusIt can be pretty tough visiting a new city, or country. You’re not sure where to eat, what to see, or even where to stay. Well I’m here to change all of that with my handy guides! They’re full of tips, tricks, and the best places to go. So stop worrying about how you’re going to make the most of your time in a new place; here are my recommendations for spending 24 hours in Aarhus, Denmark!

24 Hours in Aarhus

24 Hours in Aarhus, Denmark

  • Do breakfast at Bills Coffee 
    • The Danes know their coffee, but they know their pastries even better. And Bills Coffee won’t let you down on either front. They offer up the best pastries in town (in my opinion), and a relaxing atmosphere. Don’t be afraid to chat to the staff – who are super lovely – they’re full of great recommendations.
  • Tour Aarhus City Hall
    • If there’s one thing you don’t want to miss in Aarhus, it’s the city hall tour. This architectural marvel is the epitome of Danish design. You can find photos and tour information here.
  • Enlighten your senses at ARoS
    • The art museum features an array of amazing artwork, and possibly the world’s most colourful rooftop.
  • Refuel at La Cabra, Coffee Roasters
    • This ridiculously stylish coffee shop also offers up plenty of fresh, local produce. My recommendation: the crayfish sandwich, which is hands down the most delicious sandwich I’ve ever had!
  • Fancy some retail therapy?
    • The streets around Vestergade are littered with independent designers, well known brands, and Magasin department store.

24 Hours in Aarhus

  • Take a bus out to the Deer Park
    • Just a 10min ride from the central bus station is Dyrehaven (Deer Park). This piece of woodland is open to the public, but you’ll have to share your walk with some of Aarhus’s friendly deer – and there are lots of them!
  • Stop by the beach!
    • The woodland borders the Kattegat sea by Dyrehaven, and it’s absolutely beautiful. There are showers and changing facilities for those who are brave enough to take a dip.
  • Choose street food for dinner
    • Conveniently located next door to the bus station is the Aarhus Street Food market. You’ll find a wide variety of cuisines, including traditional Danish food. But don’t fork out on the alcohol, instead…
  • Finish the night at a local craft beer bar
    • Mig og Ølsnedkeren is a cozy – some might even say hygge – spot, filled with groups of young stylish friends and couples. Their main offering is a variety of specialised craft beer, but don’t worry they also serve other drinks.

24 Hours in Aarhus

If you have some extra time…

  • Visit Den Gamle By
    • A must-visit for budding architecture nerds and historians alike. Den Gamle By is a small recreation of a Danish town throughout the years, including houses, shops and more.
  • Pop by the Botanical Gardens
    • Nestled right next door to Den Gamle By, and with free entry too! It’s small, but worth a visit – especially for the butterfly room!

Well there you have it, my travel guide to 24 Hours in Aarhus, Denmark!
And don’t forget to check out the my other 24 Hours In… guides.

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The Yauatcha City Summer Tasting Menu is Hot!

Yauatcha CityYauatcha City | Dim Sum Teahouse | Nearest Tube: Liverpool Street | Map

Working right next to Yauatcha City used to be oh-so convenient. Anytime I fancied one of the most beautiful desserts in London, I’d just skip on over. So when my office moved, I was almost certain that was the end of my love affair with the dim sum teahouse. But it was just my luck that I was invited back to try their new Summer Tasting Menu last week, which I dragged my friend Zarna along to (spoiler: she wasn’t unhappy).

And so rather than being petty and keeping all the good food in London to myself, I decided to let you all know about it too.

Yauatcha City Summer Tasting Menu

The Yauatcha City Summer Tasting Menu comes in two varieties: meat or vegetarian. We both chose the meat option, however Zarna can’t eat beef, and Yauatcha were very kind and replaced her venison puff (incl. beef gelatin) with a duck spring roll. I like to mention these little gestures as customer service is very important to me, and all these little things add up to an even better experience.

But of course I’m here to talk about what we ate…or more accurately, what we devoured:

  • Cocktails
    • Asian Daiquiri
    • Thea Martini
  • Steamed Dim Sum
    • Champagne scallop & prawn dumpling
    • Wild mushroom dumpling
    • Crystal dumpling wrap with pumpkin
  • Fried Dim Sum
    • Venison puff
    • Mushroom spring roll
  • Mains (1pp)
    • Stir-fry sliced beef
    • Stir-fry pepper chilli seafood with asparagus
  • Sides
    • Chinese vegatables
    • Jasmine steamed rice
    • Macarons (2pp)
  • Tea (1pp)
    • Classical beauty
  • Desserts (not included in tasting menu)
    • Fromage Frais
    • Tropical Dome
    • Chocolat Mint Delice

How hot is the Summer menu?

My favourites from the menu were: Venison Puff (the pastry & filling is to die for!), Stir-fry Sliced Beef (melted in the mouth), Thea Martini (sweet & fruity), Fromage Frais (beautiful & tangy), and the Chocolat Mint Delice (rich, indulgent…with popping candy!).

The Yauatcha City Summer Tasting Menu is £34 per person (min. 2 people), which includes a glass of wine/cocktail, macarons (2pp) and tea. For such a generous menu, I think the price is more than fair. We were pretty much full by the time our main course came round, but of course we couldn’t let good food go to waste so we devoured everything.

Check out more: Where to Eat in London

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5 Inspirational Instagram Accounts You Should Be Following

It’s been a rough time for Instagram. There have been scandals, controversy and people have generally lost their interest. But us long-term plans have stuck by it, and so I thought it was time to bring back my ‘Instagram 5′ series, and this time I’ve picked out 5 of my favourite inspirational Instagram accounts, to keep us all motivated.

Inspirational Instagram Accounts

Who? @asiyami_gold
Where? Worldwide
Why? Asiyami is a lady of many talents. As an art director and visual storyteller, her Instagram boasts beautiful images from her travels across the globe. However my love of her Instagram comes from her authentic, heartfelt messages, and inspirational designs.

Inspirational Instagram Accounts

Who? @streetview.portraits
Where? Worldwide
Why? I was first introduced to Streetview Portraits by Worshipblues. The account is run by someone with agoraphobia and anxiety, which limits them from travelling. Therefore they decided to see the world digitally, via Google Streetview. There’s something very inspirational about understanding where this account is coming from, not to mention travelling the world through someone else’s eyes.

Inspirational Instagram Accounts

Who? @vikkeview
Where? Copenhagen, Denmark
Why? 
Karen’s account is centred around ‘urban minimalism’. Her unique take on architecture, Danish lifestyle, and people is incredibly refreshing. Not to mention it’s extremely colourful and fun. I really love how she interprets ‘everyday’ things, and creates something beautiful from the ‘mundane’.

Inspirational Instagram Accounts

Who? @mikkoputtonen 
Where? London, UK
Why? You won’t find a more stylish guy than Mikko. His Instagram account effortlessly blends fashion, architecture and design. So much so that it reads like an editorial feature in a lifestyle magazine. I’m constantly inspired by Mikko’s dedication and individual photo style. Not to mention, he’s a great guy.

Inspirational Instagram Accounts

Who? @colorpalette.cinema
Where? n/a
Why? If you’re a photography/cinematography geek like me, then you’ll find inspiration in Colorpalette Cinema. The account takes stills from iconic movies, and combines them with their colour palettes. Design aficionados will find the Instagram useful, as well as an inspiration for their own work.

Do you have any favourite inspirational Instagram accounts?
Let me know in the comments!

Source: Please see the individual Instagram accounts listed above.

XU London – Authentic Taiwanese Food Worth Waiting For!

XU LondonXU London | Taiwanese | Nearest Tube: Piccadilly Circus | Map

My inner friend circle is pretty much made up entirely of foodies. When I think about it, food is actually the thing that brought a lot of me and my close friends together in the first place. Which means it’s not odd to see us getting excited about new restaurant openings, or the latest street food craze. One of said friends is Joe, who first introduced me to Taiwanese food. And we’ve been on a mission to find the best Taiwanese food London has to offer ever since. So when Joe messaged me about XU London (the team behind Bao) opening, we agreed to make a reservation straight away.

My first impressions of XU came from their Instagram. I was pretty much sold straight away, but part of me wondered if it could live up to such a perfect image. Little did I know, it would be even better than I expected.

Xu London

As soon as you enter, you’ll notice the restaurant is sharp and sleek. It really does feel like you’ve been transported back to 1930s Taiwan, with nods to the era in the dark wood and art deco stylings. The menu – in the shape of a newspaper – also mirrors the feel of the restaurant.

But what did we order? Well we decided to go for a selection of smaller plates, to share…

  • XU’s House Blend Tea (for the table)
  • Selection of Bak Kwa (Taiwanese jerky)
  • Xiao Tsai (
    • Lotus Crisps – chilli, peanut, wintermelon syrup
    • Tomato & Smoked Eel – dried soy daikon
  • Mian Shi
    • 2x Xian Bing (2pc) – pan fried aged pork pancake, vinegar & chilli oil
    • Taro Dumpling (3pc) – taro stuffed with Taiwanese sausage, kow choi oil dressing
  • Cocktails
    • Lo Tsui Ke – Hong Yu tea, gin, white miso, apple
    • Takkiri – 10 Year oolong, Kavalan Single Malt, curdled milk soda

Our total came to £64.13 (with 12.5% service charge). Not overly pricey when you consider we had cocktails, but it certainly isn’t a cheap lunch. However I should point out that whilst the menu does include some pricier dishes, it also has it’s fair share of cheaper ones too.

Does it live up to the hype?

Quite frankly…yes. Taiwanese food really doesn’t get enough love in London, so XU is a welcomed breath of fresh air. Right from the service (exemplary), down to the dishes. Authentic flavours and ingredients are scattered across the menu, and presented elegantly. My personal favourites from our visit were the Tomato & Smoked Eel (refreshing, unique flavours), XU’s House Blend Tea (light & thirst quenching), and the Xian Bing (juicy, soup laden dumplings made with quality meat). The Xian Bing were so good we ordered another portion. In fact everything was so good I would have ordered it twice. I can’t wait to go back to XU – numerous times – and work my way through the menu.

Check out more: Where to Eat in London

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How To Make A Small Apartment Look Bigger | Interior

Small Apartment Look BiggerHow To Make A Small Apartment Look Bigger

I recently decided to do a big overhaul in our apartment. Over the years I’ve become pretty good at making the most of the space I have. And gradually with that has come the ability to make a space look bigger than it actually is. It’s something I have naturally picked up living in big cities with small apartments – oh hey Tokyo and London!

But one of my biggest challenges to date has been trying to add new pieces to our home. Well, without chucking out a bunch of stuff I’d really like to keep that is. The items in question? Trinkets we picked up on our travels, as well as gifts from friends. Small items that can so quickly make a small room look cluttered. So after taking on this challenge, I decided to share a few of my own personal tips on how to make a small apartment look bigger.

How To Make A Small Apartment Look Bigger

  1. Colour Scheme/Theme
    • White walls will help make a room look bigger
    • Sticking with a colour/theme will make the room look more put together (i.e not cluttered)
  2.  Storage
    • Make sure you have plenty
    • Built-in storage is heaven sent
    • Storage that doubles as decorative is even better
  3. Lighting
    • Natural lighting is primary – big windows, skylights etc
    • But if you don’t have it, try recessed lighting
  4. Buy a rug
    • Place it under your coffee table/chair to make the room look wider
    • The size of the rug should be based on how big your furniture is/size of your room
    • Light colours and basic patterns will work in most rooms
  5. Be Practical
    • Go minimal with chairs and tables
    • Choose furniture that has several purposes (e.g. hidden storage)

Items in this post:

Don’t forget to check out more of my interior posts.

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Danish Design Heaven at Aarhus City Hall | Denmark Guide

aarhus city hallAarhus City Hall | Rådhuspladsen 2, 8000 Aarhus C | Map

You know you’re an architecture geek when you base your holiday around a building. Ok well I didn’t base my whole holiday around seeing Aarhus City Hall. But it was definitely number one on my to-see list!

Aarhus City Hall

Stepping inside, I felt like I was walking into a film. Or perhaps an episode of a classic tv show. That’s the only way I can try to get across how magnificent the interior is in Aarhus City Hall. Every single detail of the building has been thought out meticulously. Right down from the gleaming gold of the banisters, to the delicate flowers adorning the walls of the marriage ceremony room. It was like stepping into Danish design heaven.

Built by Arne Jacobsen, the city hall represents Danish architecture and design at it’s finest. The building may be over 75 years old, but Aarhus City Hall is timeless.

How? When? Where?

Although the main floor is open to the public, naturally you can’t just wander around the whole of the city hall. Luckily guided tours are offered in both Danish and English, for around £9 (80DKK). These tours take place on Saturday mornings at 10-11:00 and 11:30-12:30. You’ll be able to see rooms and halls that are usually restricted to the public. And if you’re lucky – and there isn’t a wedding scheduled – you’ll be able to go into the beautiful marriage room, which is covered in hand painted flowers (matching every season). Of course some parts of the city hall are still restricted to staff only, however the tour allows you to see a side of the city hall not open to the public. It’s definitely not to be missed, whether you’re an architecture geek or not.

Don’t forget to check out more of my Denmark travel posts.

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