Fave of the week!

There have been so many collections and products I have been loving recently, I decided to share them with everyone on here once a week, every week for as long as I keep finding things I adore!

This week I am absolutely in love with Primark’s winter collection. As a lover of velvet, this store has everything I need this winter; and all for brilliant prices!

Primark have also really stepped up their underwear game this season, and have some absolutely adorable bras and undies for sale! Having recently bought some underwear I can confirm; they are super cute, and super comfy. Their bras I generally find do not fit me too well, but as a 32DD/E this isn’t uncommon, so I would still recommend them to anyone who has a smaller bust or is looking for a bra for aesthetic rather than comfort.

As I own a lot of velvet already I have had to restrain myself from buying items similar to the ones I already own. However, I have already made one purchase; a pair of grey velvet platform heels. They are honestly so beautiful and though I don’t normally buy heels due to my inability to walk properly in them, these were too good to miss, and were great value at only £14.

Other items I love include a red velvet jumpsuit, their mock neck velvet long sleeved tops and dress, velvet bombers and their gold maxi dress.

Until next time,

Nicole x

Things To Do On A Sick Day

Sick days. Whether we use them generously or take them as little as possible, we all get ill sometimes. I always imagine that a sick day sounds ideal; lying in bed all day, no school, watching TV, reading…that is until it actually happens and I swear never to take my wellness for granted again. The reality of sick days (as I have once again experienced today) is constant tiredness, headaches, nausea, a great deal of feeling sorry for yourself, and usually a fair dose of boredom. So I have compiled a list of things to do that won’t delay your  all important recovery, whilst making sure you get the most out of your day!

1. Sleep as much as possible 

Obvious yes, but your body needs time to fight off the illness and it is essential you aren’t using too much of your energy for anything else. Sleep is the perfect way to pass the time whilst resting; sleep as much as you can!

2. Start/continue with a project

Whether you’re an artist, writer, musician or anything else, spending time doing the things you love is really important. Use your sick day to start a new project in something that you enjoy doing; begin a new piano piece, maybe start that painting of your dog you’ve always meant to do. I started this blog post! Whatever suits you and feels like more fun than hard work, do it.

3. Spend quality time with your pet

I spent most of my sick day stroking my cat, who has also been ill recently. I liked to think of it as solidarity, though I’m not sure she did.

4. Do not feel guilty 

This is a big one. I felt guilty for missing lessons today. Many people feel guilty for missing work, not doing the work that they have or ‘wasting a day’. This is simply not true. Wasting your day would be forcing yourself to do some mediocre work whilst your illness gets worse as you refuse to rest. Rest is the best cure for common illness, and I promise that it doesn’t matter if you miss one or two workouts. The world will keep turning.

5. Watch crap TV

Crap TV makes you feel better; it’s a proven fact! (Okay, maybe not.) But still, I don’t think I’d get through my sick days without a good helping of Come Dine With Me and The Millionaire Matchmaker. Don’t judge.

6. Try to move around a bit

If you’ve spent all morning in bed, consider moving to the sofa in the afternoon. That way you’ll sleep better when you return to your bed at night.

7. Take care of yourself

Paint your nails, take a bath, shave, do whatever you need to do to treat yourself. The more refreshed you feel, the better you’ll feel.

8. Sort out your computer documents

If you’re anything like me you’ll have several organised folders for the really important stuff, then everything else thrown into one file. Take the time to clear this out. Cleaning can help clear the head, and though you may not have the energy to tidy your room or house, you can certainly sit down for half an hour and clean up your PC.

That’s everything for today! I hope you guys are feeling better than I am, please leave feedback and any of your own ideas below!

Don’t forget you can follow me on tumblr here.

My Travel Bucket List – United Kingdom

I love bucket lists. Maybe that’s a little odd, but they give me something to hope for and get me excited about all the wonderful adventures ahead of me. Just over a year ago I remember making a recovery bucket list, which included goals such as “Eat a meal out with friends” or “Be able to wear dresses without feeling self-counscious”. These days it’s kind of sad to look back on that and remember what a horrible place I was in – but it also reminds me of how far I’ve come, and how life can and will get better when you decide to allow yourself freedom.

Today, however, I am writing a different kind of bucket list: a travel bucket list. There are so many places I want to go and things I want to see on this planet, I thought it would be lovely to track them and hopefully give you all some inspiration too! I am splitting my lists up into a series of travel bucket list posts according to country, state or city so you’ll be able to find inspiration easily, and to make sure I don’t go on and on in just one post!

Today I am going to start with my beautiful home country; England and the United Kingdom. Despite being fortunate enough to be a well-travelled person, I actually don’t even know my own country that well – I have always been more interested in foreign travelling. Despite that, there are many places I long to visit in the UK, and it’s important that I appreciate where I do live rather than always looking overseas. So here, in no particular order, is my current bucket list for the United Kingdom!

1. Giant’s Causeway, County Antrim, Northern Ireland

Despite being a city girl I still have a place for nature, and Giant’s Causeway has always seemed to me one of the very finest natural attractions in the world.  I have also never been to Northern Ireland, so that would be an added bonus!

2. Newcastle Upon Tyne, England

Several of my places on this bucket list are just going to be cities that I haven’t yet had the chance to visit, and Newcastle is the first. It looks like a gorgeous place, plus a cat cafe has just opened there. Thumbs up all round!

3. Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh, Scotland

I took my first trip to Edinburgh (and in fact Scotland) earlier this year, and was absolutely amazed by the beauty of it. I fell in love with the city of Edinburgh, but because I only spent one night there I didn’t have the time to actually explore the historic castle which overlooks the city. I hope to go back soon, and this would definitely be on my to-do list if/when I returned!

4. Liverpool, England

Another famous English city that I haven’t visited…sometimes I feel quite ashamed at how little I have seen of my own country! I have heard great things about Liverpool though, especially from my twin sister who adored it when she visited on a university open day. A definite must see for me!

5. Hay Festival, Hay-on-Wye, Wales

A festival of books? Sounds incredible. A place where everyone else loves books and you are surrounded by literature – I honestly couldn’t think of a better weekend. Perfect place to bring out my inner (or perhaps not so inner) English nerd.

6. Manchester, England

Yep, another city I haven’t ever seen that I’d love to visit. I’m not really sure why, I just feel like there’s always going to be an important part of England left to see until I’ve seen Manchester.

7. Brighton Beach and Promenade, Brighton, England

Brighton beach is just one of those quintessentially English places that I feel I simply cannot live in England and not visit. Plus they have the only current Green MP, so it’s an area with good politics too. I like their style.

8. Notting Hill Carnival, London, England

I may have done and seen a lot in London, but I have yet to experience one of the most famous and renowned annual festivals. Notting Hill always looks slightly crazy but a lot of fun, and I can’t wait to be a part of it!

9. Glasgow, Scotland

As previously mentioned, Edinburgh is the only place in Scotland I have had the pleasure of visiting and it was definitely a hit! I’d love to see more of the country and explore another of its famous cities.

Do you have any suggestions? I’d love to hear them! Leave them in the comments below and if I like the sound of them, I’ll add them in. I’ll be constantly adding to this list, so be sure to come back and check it every so often!

You can follow me on tumblr here.

Vietnamese Spring Rolls Fillings and Dips Recipe

Vietnamese spring rolls are something that has been on my radar for a little while now, though I hadnWP_20150915_014 (1)‘t had the opportunity to try them. However, last week in Sainsbury’s a Vietnamese spring rolls kit caught my eye, and even though the recipe suggestion contained meat and I am a vegetarian, my sister and I decided to put them to the test with
three different fillings: cheese and chutney, cold vegetable and peanut and pesto. We assembled the spring rolls as suggested on the Nem Viet brand packet, then started filling according to these recipes:

Cheese and Chutney 

(makes 3 cheese and chutney rolls)

Ingredients:

80g cheddar cheese

3tsp Baxter’s Caramelised Onion chutney

1/3 Nem Viet Vietnamese Spring Rolls kit (noodles and rice paper)

Method:

1. Follow the instructions on the back of the box to cook rice noodles (if using kit). If not, cook noodles.

2. Grate the cheese and split into three piles .

Cheese and Chutney roll

Cheese and Chutney roll

3. Dunk rice paper into a bowl of warm water, submerge then withdraw after 2 seconds. Lay it down on a dry surface and place inside one pile of cheese, 1tsp of chutney and a small handful of noodles. Massage together with hands to make sure chutney is evenly spread.

4. Fold the bottom of the rice paper completely over the filling, then fold over the sides, then roll! Do this for three spring rolls. Serve heated so the cheese is melted.

Cold Vegetable

Ingredients:

1/3 Nem Viet Vietnamese Spring Rolls kit (noodles and rice paper)

Soy sauce

1 lettuce

1 carrot

Method:

1. Follow the instructions on the back of the box to cook rice noodles (if using kit). If not, cook noodles.

2. Shred about three handfuls worth of lettuce and cucumber.

3. Dunk rice paper into a bowl of warm water, submerge then withdraw after 2 seconds. Lay it down on a dry surface and place inside one handful of salad and one handful of noodles.

4. Fold the bottom of the rice paper completely over the filling, then fold over the sides, then roll! Do this for three spring rolls. Dip in soy sauce to serve.

Roasted Red Pepper Pesto and Peanut with Peanut Butter Dipping Sauce

Ingredients:

1 jar roasted red pepper pesto

20g salted peanuts

1/3 Nem Viet Vietnamese Spring Rolls kit (noodles and rice paper)

1tsp peanut flour

2tbsp peanut butter of choice (I used Meridian crunchy)

3 tbsp dairylea soft cheese spread

Method:

1. Follow the instructions on the back of the box to cook rice noodles (if using kit). If not, cook noodles.

2. Chop peanuts into small pieces.

3. Dunk rice paper into a bowl of warm water, submerge then withdraw after 2 seconds. Lay it down on a dry surface and place inside half a teaspoon of pesto, 1/3 of the peanuts and a small handful of noodles.

My creamy peanut sauce!

My creamy peanut sauce!

4. Start to prepare the sauce by putting three tbsp dairylea spread into a bowl. Mix in the peanut flour and peanut butter, stirring vigorously until all three are combined.

Serve with crudites, sweet and sour sauce and whatever other dips you want! Whether on the go as a quick snack or at home for a light meal, these spring rolls were delicious, and my personal favourite were (of course) the pesto and peanut ones. Enjoy!

Blogger Recognition Award

I would like to take the time to thank the wonderful Evgenia for nominating me for the Blogger Recognition Award! This means such a lot to me as I am still quite new to WordPress, so I am so glad that you are finding enjoyment from my blog.

The purpose of this award is to motivate and encourage bloggers and let them know that they’re appreciated, no matter how big or small their blog is. The idea is to share the love;  so at the end of this post I will be tagging 15 more bloggers who I’d love to nominate! The rules are as follows:

Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog

Write a post and give a brief story of how your blog started

Give a piece of advice or two to new bloggers

Select 15 other blogs you want to give the award to

Let the nominees know you have nominated them and provide a link to the nomination details.

My Story (in brief)!

I started this blog when I began to truly recover from my anorexia, and realised that there was something worth appreciating in every single day. I have always loved to write, and I wanted somewhere where I could tell people about my life in the hope that it would help me to see how lucky I am and how wonderful the opportunities that I have are. I am here to share and to grow, and I hope to inspire and to learn.

Advice

I’m still a pretty new blogger myself, so I’m not sure I feel quite qualified to be advising others! One thing I would say, however, that goes for all writing, is to always proofread it before publishing. Reading text with good grammar and spelling is so much easier and looks way more professional!

Nominations

The lovely bloggers that I nominate for the Blogger Recognition Award are:

girlslifeetips

itstartedinoxford

sarahlearnslife

sittingprettyinthequeencity

thatsamanthagirl

If you wish to be nominated then just let me know and I’ll add you to the list! I need lots of new blogs to follow, so feel free to share your blogs below! Also don’t forget that I am on tumblr and I have a peanut butter blog that you can check out!

Cereal Killer Cafe Camden Review

After my fabulous weekend in London a couple of weeks ago, with my visit to Camden’s Cereal Killer Cafe being the highlight, I thought I’d do a proper review so that any of you in or visiting the beautiful city of London soon can decide whether you want to put it on your to do list or not!

My sister had booked us a table (I didn’t know as it was my birthday surprise) as she was expecting it to be busy and didn’t want to take any risks, but it was pleasantly quiet when we arrived at 10:30 on a Saturday morning. There was a steady stream of customers but nothing too outrageous, and we didn’t need to tell them we’d booked; there was plenty of room anyway! I imagine the cafe does get busier throughout the day, as when we passed again at lunchtime the queue was certainly much longer, so I would recommend booking just for safety.image4

We took a while to try and figure out all the different cereals, milks, bowl sizes and drinks available whilst in the queue, but for a first time customer the detail wasn’t clear and we were still feeling perplexed by the time we reached the counter. However, the staff were absolutely lovely; they took the time to explain everything to us and help us out! Top marks for that, though I do think their displays could have been more obvious. They even gave us a little bit of cereal to sample to see whether we wanted it or not, and were happy to make recommendations or tell you what each cereal was like!

Eventually, peanut butter addict as I am (you can check out my peanut butter blog here!), I settled on a large bowl of American cereal (£4.40). The varieties I chose were Barbara’s Bakery Peanut Butter Puffins, Reece’s Puffs and Rocky Mountain with Almond. I opted for peanut butter milk (£0.40) and Reece’s pieces, Reece’s peanut butter chocolate chips and Mars Mix as my toppings (£0.60 each). I also grabbed my chance to try the peanut bimage3utter iced coffee, which came in at £2.40. The staff were very helpful and patient as I mentioned earlier, but I did feel a little like I was being laughed at by them with the amount I was ordering, which I didn’t enjoy…but perhaps that says more about me than it does the staff!

We decided to sit outside and watch Camden Market come to life on a busy Saturday morning. The cafe is located right in the centre of The Stables, and so is an excellent location which is both easy to find and pleasant to sit in. The cafe also has an inside area which I did take a little peek into, but since the weather was lovely for our trip, we wanted to make the most of the sun.

The seats. This is my issue with this place. The seats were just so uncomfortable! They were aesthetically pleasing so I can see why they were chosen – wrought iron and old – but they had no cushioning whatsoever and were awful to sit on! It was a shame because I would have enjoyed my meal just that bit more if I were sitting in a comfortable seat. If you plan to sit outside, bring a coat to sit on!

However, my actual meal was beyond delicious. Perfectly sweet peanut butter milk blended with peanut butter chocolate and peanut butter cereal; I was in heaven. Yes, the bowl was big and very filling, but that was what I paid for; I wouldn’t have wanted anything less! The toppings were generous and though £4.40 was a lot for a bowl of cereal (minus all the trimmings) they didn’t skimp on size.

The cafe also had several souvenirs available for purchase from T-Shirts to badges. I bought a postcard for £1 so I’d be able to keep a little something from my 17th birthday surprise. I felt reluctant to buy anything more extravagant, as the prices were high for the not particularly impressive products.


RATINGS 

Atmosphere: 5/5 – I cannot think of anywhere better. A trendy, exciting cafe situated in the middle of Camden Market…what more could I ask for?

Ability to cater for all needs: 4.5/5  Okay, I’ve left it at 4.5 because I’m sure there are some dietary requirements that this cafe would find it difficult to meet. However, there was a wide range of choice for vegetarian, vegan and gluten free diets both with drinks and food, meaning it earns an impressive 4.5.

Drink: 3.5/5 – I enjoyed my peanut butter iced coffee immensely, but my sister’s chocolate one was disappointing. She then ordered a peanut butter one only to find that it tasted rather less sweet than mine had. Due to the inconsistency of the making of the drinks we tried I have had to dock a few points, but my peanut butter milk was also delicious.

Food: 5/5 – Okay, so they don’t actually manufacture the cereal…but what they sell is delicious and there is a huge variety! I cannot fault it.

Pricing: 4/5 – Expensive, but not overly so for imported food and Central London. 

Overall experience: 4.7/5 – I desperately want to give this place a five-star rating, but the lack of comfortable seating really let it down. Still, I highly recommend it; just remember to bring a large coat to sit on!

I hope you found my review of the Cereal Killer Cafe helpful! Don’t forget that I also have a peanut butter blog for peanut butter reviews and recipes, and I have tumblr! Find it here. Feedback and comments are always appreciated!

New (School) Years Resolutions and Tips

Year 13; the year of university applications, hard studying and the dreaded A2s. Sometimes I wonder how anyone makes it through school with three good A levels and a place at university! However, through all my ups and downs of school in the twelve years I have completed, I like to think I’ve learned a few things to help you along – but I’ll admit it, many of them I don’t even do myself. So I thought, why not write myself out a list of New (School) Years Resolutions and then a handy list of tips for you guys? That way I’m setting myself goals whilst reminding myself of all the little things it’s important to do in school and in life to look after yourself! So here are my resolutions:

1. Go to bed on time. I am terrible at going to bed at a good time. Really, awful. But I know how much difference it makes to me the next morning when I’ve had a good sleep, and as a teenager I need to get a good rest more than ever so that I can grow! So here’s the resolution; go to bed on time, wake up more alert and ready for the day ahead. No more falling asleep in lessons!

2. Drink enough water. Recently I have been very very bad at bringing a water bottle with me to school. I don’t agree with any set amount of water that we ‘need’ each day, especially considering we get water from food too, but it’s definitely good for us to drink throughout the day in order to hydrate our bodies. Drinking water has good effects on the outside too; it helps your skin stay moist and clear!

3. Think positively. This year I will believe in myself. No more telling myself I’m going to fail or doubting my ability; all this seems harmless but actually has a terrible effect psychologically. You believe you’re going to fail? Well that makes you more likely to. Plus, it’s terrible for your self-esteem! Show yourself some love and respect by simply believing that you can – I promise that you’ll notice the results! Keeping your self-esteem high is difficult, but incredibly important, especially at school where the environment is often stressful and sometimes judgmental. Make sure you have a good set of friends who love you and encourage you; they are there to lift you up, not bring you down.

4. Don’t compare yourself to others. This is probably my worst habit, and I know I’m not the only one. Everyone is different, and that’s okay! So if you catch yourself comparing your grade or anything else to someone else’s, stop and take a moment to remind yourself of all the things that make you great and all the ways in which you and the other person are different. It’s tricky, but focusing on others will only ever bring you sorrow, which leads back to low self-esteem and can be a great cause of unhappiness. Don’t let it get to you.

5. Eat well. I mean it. And by that I don’t mean “Eating Clean” or “Fruit and veg only” or “Chocolate and sweets will poison your mind”! What I mean is eat enough, and eat everything in moderation. Sure, have some fruit! But are you still treating yourself to some chocolate occasionally? Great, take that biscuit! But are you getting enough veg in too? You should be eating three meals a day, with snacks too to help your body grow. If you’re hungry, you need to eat – just remember the key word is balance.

6. Have fun. Okay, this gets a bit harder as soon as you enter Year 10 and your GCSEs start. But seriously, try to have some fun! Enjoy school, embrace the opportunity to spend the day with your friends. I certainly wish I hadn’t worked so hard in Years 7 and 8 and had  left more time for enjoyment; it’s good for you mentally, and it will make the difficult parts of school easier, too.

7. Pick subjects you enjoy. I cannot stress this enough! Especially when you get to A level, the only subjects you’re going to be motivated for and able to study for are the ones that actually appeal to you! I had so many friends say things like “I’m going to do Maths even though I hate it because universities like it” at the beginning of the year, and guess what? They all dropped out. They couldn’t take the hard work of a subject that was simply killing them inside. (Okay, dramatic but you know what I mean). Don’t let anyone else influence you either; this is your life, your choice and all subjects are useful and valid. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.

So there’s my list of tips and resolutions for the New School Year! I’m looking forward to starting Year 13, but I am worried about the workload…

Do you have any tips or resolutions? I’d love to hear them! Leave them in the comments below!

A Weekend in Camden

Last August, my family and I were lucky enough to secure four tickets to go and see the highly anticipated production of Hamlet at the Barbican Theatre, London. Since we booked for the Friday night of the August Bank Holiday weekend, we decided to stay in the city for two nights for a short break; that way we’d have the Friday afternoon to explore The Barbican, and Saturday and Sunday morning to browse my favourite area, Camden Lock.

One of the most exciting things about Camden Market is all the different types of food you can get there! They have everything, trust me; whether you’re looking for a light bite, a burger, pizza, gluten free, vegetarian, vegan…your wish is Camden’s command. As a vegetarian myself I am often irritated by lack of choice, but in Camden I feel totally at home!

After arriving at our hotel we dropped off our bags and headed into the market to find some lunch. After fighting through the crowds we found a free table outside a quiet little cafe towards the back of the food area. I ordered avocado and lime on toast, which I thought was totally picture-worthy, and sat down to watch the world go by!image5 (1)

Another great point about Camden – it is the perfect spot for people watching. The shopkeepers are eccentric, the items unusual, the shoppers interesting; each time I go I am fascinated by all the individual stories going on all around me. Somehow to me, the whole borough of Camden feels like an area of people, not just an area of London.

Anyway, I digress. Once my delicious avocado toast had been munched, we made our way to The Barbican Centre via the tube. Despite feeling that I know London fairly well, this was an area I had yet to visit, and I can’t pretend that I was enamored with what I saw of it (which was mainly grey flats). I did, however, really enjoy spending the rest of my afternoon sitting outside The Barbican Centre watching the ducks on the lake – it was a peaceful environment and somewhere I can imagine would be lovely to go and get drinks with friends. I was also pleasantly surprised by the lack of crowds; even when we were entering the theatre the centre didn’t seem overcrowded.

We got a late night on Friday, arriving back from the Barbican at well past midnight. However, we still woke at the reasonable time of 9:30am on Saturday morning, eager to see what the day had in store (or so I thought)! Little did I know of the true nature of the early wake-up call…

A booking at the Cereal Killer Cafe in The Stables! Cereal is one of my favourite foods in the world, and I had been desperate to visit this cafe ever since I had first heard about it over a year ago. A place that has every type of cereal imaginable – what could be more perfect?! I admit, I was pretty excited…I may have gasped when I saw the sign, and I gave my sister a massive hug when she told me that she’d booked us both in for breakfast as my late birthday present; I just couldn’t stop smiling! image4

The experience was, of course, incredible. Due to my obsessions with a. American food and b. Peanut butter, I knew exactly what I had to try; the American peanut butter cereals! Believe it or not, you can’t get any in England. I know. Pity me. The staff were incredibly friendly and eventually helped me pick Peanut Butter Puffins with Reece’s Puffs and Rocky Mountain almond cereal, topped with Reece’s pieces, Reece’s chocolate chips and Mars mix, covered in peanut butter milk and accompanied by a peanut butter iced coffee (yes, I wasn’t joking when I said I liked peanut butter). I wanted to try everything, but there simply wasn’t the room in my stomach – or my sister’s purse! Because however unique the cafe was, it was also incredibly expensive. image3

Honestly, it was probably one of the most delicious breakfasts I have ever had. I will be reviewing the cereals on my new peanut butter themed blog soon, so go follow and keep your eyes peeled for that if you love peanut butter as much as I do! I can’t say I usually have cereal topped with chocolate, but it was perfect for a birthday treat, and the peanut butter milk was scrummy too! I left feeling suitably stuffed, but incredibly content and blessed. What more could a peanut butter addicted cereal lover want?!

We spent the rest of the day exploring the market – the cute little bimage3 (1)ookshops and vintage bric-a-brac never fail to amuse me! Iimage1 (1) even found room for half a fried calzone stuffed with peanut butter and nutella – yep, fried pizza. When in Camden… 

The next morning we took another trip to the Cereal Killer Cafe, totally for research purposes of course! I was able to try all the peanut butter cereals I hadn’t managed to fit in on Saturday morning so that I’d be able to review five cereals, rather than just the two.

Cereal on Sunday!

Cereal on Sunday!

Unfortunately all good things must come to and end, and after one last look round The Stables, it was time to make our way home. I had such a fantastic weekend I thought I should share it with you all – have you ever been to Camden? Leave your experiences in the comments below!

The Migrant Crisis – Does Europe’s Answer Lie In the Past?

History repeats itself. It’s a famous phrase, and not without reason; whether we are considering Hitler making an identical error to Napoleon in under preparing his troops when marching into Russia or the Great Depression of the 1930’s in comparison to the more recent global depression, it seems that as human beings we simply are unable to learn from our past mistakes.

Over the last few months, thousands of migrants from Africa and the Middle East have been attempting to make the hazardous trip not only from their own home country to Europe, but then onto France and finally through the Euro tunnel, leading to the UK. It is by no means an easy situation; the UK government have been stepping up their security measures and trying to prevent entry due to the already hugely dense population in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, but the migrants are desperate and it’s no wonder why. Their countries are dangerous and militarised, many of them being under the threat of so called Islamic State. They’ve risked their families lives to come to Europe in the hope of seeking asylum, many with other family members already in their desired country, and because of this I feel reluctant to call them migrants. To me, they are refugees.

Today, the UK as a nation would be ashamed to admit that, to at least some extent, we were reluctant to let Jewish refugees into the country before and during World War II. Of course we did grant some asylum, but it was generally only when the authorities felt that Britain as a country would benefit from the arrival of the refugee. Sound familiar?

However, Britain is immensely proud of the fact that from 1938-1939 the government took in over 15,000 mainly Jewish children from Nazi-occupied Germany and Eastern Europe. If our government hadn’t chosen to give those children a safe country to live in, what would we think of them now? We would say it was awful, cruel, selfish. It’s easy to see that none of the Jewish refugees before World War II left their home countries easily; they fled because they were being persecuted. So what is the difference between the Jewish refugees of yesterday and the African and Middle Eastern refugees of today?

In my opinion, their reasons for coming to the UK are exactly the same; they feel that the future ahead of them and their families in their respective native countries is so hopeless that it is worth risking their lives to escape, and starting from scratch somewhere new. Yes, Britain is a densely populated country, and that is something that has to be thought about, but surely what should come above all else is the safety of other human beings?

Imagine if we had said no to those 15,000 European refugees before and during WW II. Today we would look back in disgust. Looking to the future, when historians study the rise of ISIS and the migrant crisis in Europe that is our today, would we be proud that we stood back and refused to grant asylum to so many in need?

By no means is this an easy problem to solve, and there are hundreds of issues surrounding migration that I haven’t touched upon today. However, as I said at the beginning of this post, history has a funny habit of repeating itself; and I think it’s doing just that.

Cafe J. Noworolski Review – Krakow

Situated in the center of Krakow’s main square, cafe J. Noworolski is hard to miss; yet somehow it took my family and I a good quarter of an hour to find, even once we reached the Rynek square. Yes, you have permission to laugh – if you have ever visited Krakow you will perhaps know how easy this cafe is to find; it is easier to find than to miss, yet we missed it. Yep, slow clap it out for the clever English tourists.

The main appeal of the cafe for my sister and I, both 20th Century History students, was the history of the place. The guidebook stated that many claimDSCF2520ed this was Lenin’s choice of cafe whilst in exile in Poland; here he would meet with his revolutionary friends and dream about a Bolshevik-led European revolution whilst he was exiled from his home country of Russia. Whether there is any truth in this story or not is debatable; but still, there was something quite special about imagining Lenin sat in the very same spot, gazing out into the century-ago Rynek Square.

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Even if wining and dining in the same place as arguably the world’s most famous revolutionary doesn’t appeal to you, there is plenty more to cafe J. Noworolski. Well-kept hanging baskets brighten up the outdoor seating area, whilst the gold and red velvetDSCF2525 indoors gives the place a plush, expensive feel. The location is magnificent; perfect for people watching, or just a meal and drink in the centre of Krakow.

Unfortunately, the service let this cafe down; it took over twenty minutes for a waiter to even notice we were there and take our orders, and another thirty for our meals (salads) to arrive. I ordered the Greek Salad, a mix of lettuce, olives, feta, rocket, tomotoes, red peper and cucumber, and it did not disappoint! Presented beautifully with a delicate dressing and accompanied by freshly baked bread, I couldn’t fault the meal – only a shame that it took so long to arrive.DSCF2528

Dessert options here were extensive, and though we did not stop for dessert I would definitely recommend taking a look here if one is ever after an  ice cream sundae in Krakow! I saw some quite stunning ones as well as expertly baked cakes. The atmosphere was lovely; sitting outside in the sunshine, it felt like a perfect cosmopolitan European lunch out!


RATINGS

Atmosphere: 4/5 – Comfortable and very European feeling due to its location.

Ability to cater for all needs: 2/5 – Some vegetarian options, but it would be a struggle to get a vegan or gluten free meal here!

Drink: N/A – I feel unable to comment as all I had was bottled water, which was perfectly fine but not exactly special.

Food: 4/5 – I would have liked more variety of lettuce leaves, but overall the salad was lovely, crisp and fresh.

Pricing: 3/5 – More expensive than other places in Krakow, but Krakow is extraordinarily cheap compared to England so I can’t fault them!

Overall experience: 4.5/5 – Lovely cafe, fantastic location and great atmosphere with fresh food and a decent selection; what more could I want?