Barcelona is amazing – it’s one of my favourite places ever, even though I have barely had a chance to explore any of it yet! They keep us so busy at Ironhack that my spare time is mostly spent reading about the topic we just learnt or practicing the techniques I didn’t master in class.
Still, the first weekend that I was here two friends from home were also in Barcelona and Tom came down from Montpellier (there was a French public holiday on the Monday, so he took a long weekend). Tom and I had brunch (Rasoterra was amazing) on the Saturday morning and walked around a bit looking for coffee bars (Satan’s Coffee Corner was pretty great!) and vegetarian restaurants. Continue reading Barcelona Dreaming→
Karneval time in Cologne is frighteningly busy: there are crowds everywhere (huge portions of which are drunk), terrible music (schlager, of course) in every bar and none of the shops are open. There are of course the charming traditional parades and celebrations but for me, it is all bit much.
Instead, we embraced the fact that Mark Sultan (aka BBQ) was touring Europe and playing a show nearby in Antwerp, Belgium to take a long weekend away from the insanity. We took the train West on Friday, checked into our flat then grabbed a dish of frites and headed straight to see Mark Sultan perform. Continue reading Antwerpen Report→
Something I have struggled to adapt to since we moved to Germany is the local preference for strong, darkly-roasted coffee beans. Outside of Berlin it is difficult to find locally-roasted fruitier, spicier and lighter-style beans that I prefer to use. This also means that the coffee in cafes and restaurants is almost always also super-dark and not really to my taste.
So, what to do when one is a devoted lover of coffee? When the day that starts with a lovely cup of coffee is a day that starts right? Well, one improvises.
At home, we order beans online from various roasteries around the country with some success. Our favourites at the moment are deliveries from The Barn and Five Elephant in Berlin and Vits in Munich. Hilariously, Vits have beans all the way from Australia and these are actually my favourites (although the most expensive that aren’t ‘novelty’ *ahem*catpoocoffee *ahem* beans). Coffee at home is made using the espresso machine or a Hario syphon, depending on the beans (espresso or filter).
An additional difficulty is that I often work four days of the week in a different city, living in a hotel room and far removed from the beloved Rocket and Hario. So, what to do now? One puts together a CoffeeKit to throw into one’s suitcase every week. After months of refining, my CoffeeKit has been streamlined and improved and currently looks like this: Continue reading Undercaffeinated→
I don’t sleep well anymore. I used to, crawling under the cotton sheets and closing my eyes I would drift off within minutes , not waking until the alarm went off. Dreamless, for the most part, but satisfying and without issues. These days I lie awake or am jolted out of anxious dreams. I wake up in terror of missing my alarm. I’m tired and grumpy a lot of the time, even though I have so much to be thankful for.