Our Stay at 41 Hotel | BEDIS

At the weekend Aaron and I visited London for a 5* weekend away, using up two gifts he received for his 21st birthday. Not only did we get to go the amazing City of London Distillery, but we stayed at the 5* 41 Hotel; the beautiful hotel that sits just around the corned from Buckingham Palace. It’s safe to say that I felt like a Disney princess as we entered the grand lobby before heading to the executive lounge to check in and receive a complimentary glass of champagne. *Dreamily sighs.* We had such a magical stay and I thought I’d share with you a few snaps and stories about the unbelievably stunning hotel that we would like to go back to as soon as possible… If only!

IMG_4203IMG_4238IMG_4252We were like children on Christmas Eve as we sat with our bubbles at 11am on Saturday morning. As I admired the decor─it’s so fairytale-like─I almost had to pinch myself. I was in hotel heaven. Beforehand each member of staff that dealt with us chatted to us; asking how we were, what we were up to that day and if there was anything else they could do for us. Over the weekend they definitely learnt about our love for gin and we felt extremely looked after from the word “go.” Even though we were too early to check in (which we did know!) they happily kept our bag for us as we informed them we would be heading back out for our gin making experience.

IMG_4289IMG_4330When we returned from a few too many double G&Ts with three new bottles of gin in our hands, we were shown to our room where our bag was waiting for us in the, if you like, lobby (!) of our bedroom. If it wasn’t obvious already that we didn’t belong in such a stunning hotel, it certainly was at this point. Wide-eyed and goofy smiles, we explored the fanciest room I have ever stepped foot in. With an almost Paris meets London vibe─I could be totally wrong about this description─I fell in love. On what-I-like-to-call the “Putting on your shoes area” (so very fancy) we were gifted with little lovely treats and a slice of Happy 21st Birthday cake for Aaron! We I fangirled about the natural lighting while we looked at the charming pictures hanging on the walls and, if it wasn’t yet clear that we weren’t used to this kind of hotel, excitedly admired the freebies- free bottled water?! we exclaimed.

IMG_4360.JPGIMG_4364.JPGThat evening we headed to the executive lounge in our fanciest clothes for the three course meal that was included in our stay. We ordered a bottle of Bouchard Finlays Walker Bay Sauvignon Blanc and I ordered the prawn and crayfish cocktail to start. We both ordered sirloin steak (medium rare) or what-I-like-to-call Royal Steak (the Queen eats the very same steak- eeek!). We both also opted for a creme brulee and each and every part of the meal was de-licious. I watched Aaron take his first bite of his steak (less creepy than it sounds) and I watched him not believe his tastebuds. We adored our meal and finished off the evening with a nighttime walk around Buckingham Palace as we felt our bellies order us to move off some of the scrumptious food. Without a doubt it was the best meal my tastebuds have ever encountered.

best hotel everrrrAfter the best night’s sleep I’ve had in months, I was excited for breakfast. As a foodie, I knew I was about to experience something pretty special and that I did. With the most incredible continental buffet I have ever seen in my whole life, I chose a few cold meats, some salmon, a pastry and some fresh fruit. Waking up the next morning was wholly disappointing without this display of yummy food. Both Aaron and I ordered the full English and it was just the best full English in the world. We were even asked how we would like our eggs. Now that is a 10/10 breakfast experience.

Aaron and I had the best time ever at 41 Hotel. I must note that the whole place smelt like something that was taken straight out of a Keira Knightley perfume advert. While the hotel was amazing in terms of decor, funky cushions (they deserve their own category) and stunning food (compliments to the chef!) it wouldn’t have been as once-in-a-lifetime without the staff. Even though it’s nearly Aaron’s 22nd birthday now, the staff treated us so wonderfully that I felt like it was both of our 21st birthdays at once. Thank you to everyone at 41 Hotel for such a perfect weekend!

If you’d like to find out more about 41 Hotel, check out their website HERE! You won’t regret it.

~ Kat ~

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The Palace Gin | BEDIS

After a ridiculously good weekend in London, today has felt a little dull in comparison. Flicking through the many photos I took, however, has proved useful in tackling the weekend blues and I thought I’d share with you pictures from our trip to the City of London Distillery. For Aaron’s 21st birthday last year, his parents bought him a gin making experience at the City of London Distillery and I was super excited to get to go along with him. After arriving in London late morning, we headed to Blackfriars and found the bar that also happens to have a lab for making gin.

gin.jpgIMG_4210Upon arrival, we met Alfie, our awesome gin experience tutor who poured us our first double G&T. We explained that we’d already been greeted at our hotel with a complimentary glass of champagne and, after he asked us if we’d had lunch and we told him no, he said, “Good luck.” We admired the gins and funky interior as other gin lovers filed into the bar, ready to try City of London dry gin. This was paired with tonic and a slice of grapefruit and was definitely up my street. I adore grapefruit and maybe sipped this too quickly as we waited for the session to start.

IMG_4220.JPGIMG_4222After a brief but detailed introduction to gin (what it is, how it’s made and why it’s such a competitive industry), we began measuring out the core ingredients. Depending on the kind of taste you are going for depends on the amount of each ingredient you pop in. After noting down each measurement, we began developing our own flavours. I knew I wanted a summery, fruity kind of gin so alongside green tea and liquorice (doesn’t smell how you’d expect it to!), I added grapefruit, lemon and orange. As we did so we enjoyed their sloe gin which was, again, delicious.

IMG_4227IMG_4334We headed into the lab, the third and final complimentary drinks in hands. This time we enjoyed the Square Mile London dry gin. We chose our stations which were named after the seven dwarfs; I lovingly chose Dopey. We attached the components and waited for our gin to work, firstly filling up a tub with the rubbish stuff before switching to a jug to catch all of the good stuff. We were filled in on some history, being told how gin came about. We learnt that gin evolved from the famous Dutch drink, jenever. Us English watched Dutch courage come alive and decided we need our own. We, however, couldn’t spell jenever so instead created gin. We told our tutor the names of our gins and they were made into labels as we watched our gin pour from the copper device. I named mine The Palace Gin since our hotel (41 Hotel) was round the corner from Buckingham Palace. Aaron named his 2141 as it was a gift for his 21st birthday and 41 Hotel was where we stayed.

IMG_4305IMG_4307IMG_4320We sealed our gin (which I royally messed up) and got to make our own G&T from our remaining gin. Both Aaron and I really liked the tastes of our gin and we enjoyed them from the comfort of the cosy bar. I highly recommend this experience. There was a lovely atmosphere in the session and our tutor, Alfie, was fantastic. As we said goodbye I (maybe with the help of the plethora of double gins) exclaimed it was one of the best experiences of my life. It was a truly brilliant experience and Aaron and I have excitedly chatted about it since! If you would like to check out this experience on their website, you can do so HERE. I also bought Aaron a bottle of the City of London dry gin so we now have three bottles to get through. Gin-gin!

~ Kat ~

P.S. I am blogging every day this month and you can read yesterday’s post HERE! ❤

Three Blogs | BEDIS

Although I do try to avoid my phone as I’m waiting to drift off into the Land of Zzz, it can be the time where I get some bedtime reading in. Sometimes that’ll be in the shape of a physical book. Sometimes that’ll be in the shape of one of my favourite blogs on my rectangular device. Reading other people’s adventures, recommendations and stories makes me fangirl a little. I’m just a bit nosey and like finding out about other people’s lives and thoughts! Today I want to share with you three blogs that make for excellent bedtime (and, well, anytime) reading.

IMG_4263.JPGMackenzie – I’ve followed Mackenzie’s blog almost since the start of having Binging on Beetroot and I despise missing a post. Catching up on Mack’s life is just part of my life now. From reading about her journey as a nurse, to catching up about her running or reading about her adventures with her husband, her blog has it all. Mack gives us a wonderful lifestyle blog full of recipes and cheesy jokes that make me know our real-life selves would get along. Mackenzie’s blog is a ray of sunshine and makes me feel warm and fuzzy while I’m winding down from a late shift at work.

Christians for Feminism – Ran by some really cool women, Christians for Feminism is a super interesting and informative blog that explores why being both a Christian and a feminist definitely works. I think it’s a blog for everybody as you definitely don’t need to be a Christian to learn from the writers’ thoughts or have an opinion on the topics they’re discussing. Every post opens my eyes to thoughts I’ve never thought before and I enjoy reading blogging material that’s pretty unique!

The Flying Android – My brother Jordan runs The Flying Android; his platform that allows him to share all of his flying adventures as he is on his way to becoming a fully-fledged pilot. I like to believe I am the writer in the family but was a little offended to see my brother has quite the way with words. I like catching up on the blogs I miss as my eyes get sleepy because it’s always nice to read content created by someone who really loves something. And since I remember my brother’s childhood room that saw model planes hanging from the ceiling, I can confirm that the dude likes planes.

What blogs would you recommend? I’m always looking for more blogs to read!

~ Kat ~

P.S. I am blogging every day in September (BEDIS) so if you’d like to check out yesterday’s blog post you can do so HERE! ❤

How to Plan for a New York Getaway | BEDIS

This November I am heading to New York for five days with my best pal, Tarryn. Her favourite band Tegan and Sara are touring their ten year old album, The Con, where they will play every track on the album in chronological order. Their tour won’t be coming to the UK and Tarryn pitched to me why we need to go. Of course, being the impulsive fangirl she is, she had already ordered the tickets. After finally agreeing to what promises to be an epic adventure, we spent an afternoon planning. While this blog post covers far from everything─we haven’t finished planning just yet─here are a few ideas to get your planning juices flowing.

IMG_4249.JPGTime to go old school: Draw a map

We soon realised understanding where everything is via Google maps was a bit stressful. Our fun let’s plan the best trip away ever afternoon turned into a oh my goodness, this is stressful afternoon. I laughed as Tarryn decided to draw a picture of New York, telling me we will pinpoint where each destination we want to go is. You may laugh too. But soon enough, Tarryn had a map full of numbers that worked with a key, showing us how each day should be planned out, considering where exactly each destination, attraction and place is. From here we made a Word Document, telling us how each day would work out. Considering we have two gigs to go to (Tegan and Sara and also Macklmore), we factored in these into our plan. This sounds a bit chaotic but we felt at ease as we stared at our drawn-out map and key.

The wonderful Lonely Planet step

So with all of the main attractions covered─you know, the Statue of Liberty, Times Square and Cheesecake Factory─I did what I do best. I got out my Lonely Planet book and started nerding out at how fabulous it is. A 2017 edition, the New York Lonely Planet guide covers everything you need to know about New York. Well, I haven’t been yet but I am very trusting of the Lonely Planet’s work. Needing tips and tricks and hidden gems, The Lonely Planet has given me more than a few ideas.

To Instagram

As I advise in every travel post, head to Instagram. If only to drool over glorious skyscrapers and artsy photos of Times Square, follow your favourite accounts. This way you can find the lesser known but brilliant food stops and inspiration for all the photos you’ll take in New York. I highly recommend Top New York Photo, Sam Horine and New Fork City! It might feel unproductive but it will at the very least get you super excited to head over to The Big Apple.

Planning for a New York is quite the task but make sure it’s a fun one. I didn’t realise how much I wanted to get to New York ASAP until Tarryn and I sat down to plan so grab your pencil, Lonely Planet book and phone and get going. New York, here we come!

~ Kat ~

P.S. I’ve been blogging every single day this month. You can check out yesterday’s post HERE! ❤

Feminism Up: Three Books for a Feminist’s Reading List | BEDIS

Being a bookworm with a to be read pile bigger than two of me─which may not seem all that threatening if you saw me in person but I assure you it is─I can be a bit reckless. Well, as reckless as a bookworm can muster being. I will continue to buy books about inequality, feminism and empowering people while my pile of books begins to crumble under the weight of shiny new pages. Or maybe it’s under the weight of the patriarchy. *Eyes narrow and thinks deeply for a few minutes.* For this reason, I thought I would impart some of my bookish wisdom in this issue of Feminism Up; tell you a bit about three books that should be on every feminist’s reading list.

Books.jpg
Little Black Book by Otegha Uwagba – This little delight is just over a hundred pages long and is sure to be a HQ for many of my questions and worries in the future. The pink pocketbook is described as a toolkit for working women and I think it’s essential for many working women; especially those navigating the creative industry or those who wish to ASAP. *Waves nervously, remembers Otegha’s empowering words and then waves unapologetically.* Otegha informatively walks readers through subjects such as productivity, invoicing clients and approaching a pay rise (and much more!). I highly recommend this read; if only to be encouraged to label yourself as a complete powerhouse.

Animal by Sara Pascoe – In this funny but poignantly serious “autobiography of a female body,” Sara Pascoe seeks to understand what makes us ladies tick. In exploring a lot of science─a subject I kind of loathe and yet I was hooked from the word “go”─Sara discusses topics such as sexuality and periods and consent, inviting us to think alongside her. Sometimes we need the tension that can be felt when discussing feminism to be broken by a bit of humour. Animal delivers just this. I’d encourage all humans to pick up this wonderful exploration into the female body.

I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai – I could fangirl about this book all day long. Knowing she wanted to change the world, Malala set out to do just that. She stuck up for her and every girl’s right for education and was horrifically shot point-blank after school one day. Fearlessly, Malala teaches us about her life─the wonderfully ordinary young woman she is and her awesome family─while challenging some really scary beliefs. I Am Malala is a read full of honesty and charm.

These three books are a few of my go-to suggestions when I’m asked for recommendations. It’s important to empathise with other people’s viewpoints and experiences even if “We can’t understand the world from anyone’s perspective but our own” (as Sara Pascoe puts it in Animal). If you have any recommendations, head over to Feminism Up’s Twitter or Instagram to let me know or even write a book review for an issue of Feminism Up! I for one am needing to top up my to be read pile.


This blog post is an article written by me which will be featured in issue #5 of Feminism Up, out October 1st. You can subscribe HERE if you like! I am, once again, embarrassed by the repetition of the brick wall background for yet another blog post. I am, however, blogging every day in September (BEDIS) and you can read yesterday’s blog post (and view the brick wall once again) HERE!

~ Kat ~

 

Stolen by Lucy Christopher | BEDIS

A year ago I read Stolen by Lucy Christopher; a book I am always recommending. Since I’m blogging every day this month (you can read yesterday’s post HERE!) and am running out of things to write about─and original backdrops for photographs─, I thought I’d write a book review of this very intense but thrilling read. One of my favourite books, Stolen by Lucy Christopher is written as a letter from our protagonist Gemma, to her captor, Ty. Immediately, I was sucked into the book that took me a day or so to devour.

IMG_4196Sixteen year old Gemma is at Bangkok airport, grabbing a drink. A little charmed by the stranger she meets, Gemma is soon terrified for her life when she finds herself in the Australian Outback. Ty has spent a disturbing number of years building a life for he and Gemma; a life he can’t wait to share with her… for ever.

Although always faintly aware I was reading a letter written by Gemma, I became lost in her fear, confusion and thoughts. It felt too real to be a work of hindsight. The story is poignantly vivid; probably because Gemma’s experience will always be ingrained in her mind. We continue to read because we are surrounded by the tension of feeling hopeful for Gemma before feeling terrified all over again. It feels horribly real as Gemma repeatedly attempts to break free before she is greeted by Ty’s explanation of his love for her. We feel repulsed but, as readers, we do listen. Like Gemma, we don’t have a choice.

I’ve heard differing opinions on Ty─for reasons I won’t explain─but I never felt anything but disgusted by him. While I sympathised with Ty for reasons I won’t go into, right Vs. wrong always wins as a reader. We adore Gemma and admire her honesty. As a reader it’s hard not to begin to understand Stockholm Syndrome a little more than we did previously. We empathise with Gemma but, in our minds, Ty remains a villain. Despite feeling on edge all the way through the novel, I believe the disturbing feel urged me to turn the pages.

Stolen isn’t like a book I’ve read before. Not only does it tell us a story about kidnapping; a story that helps us see inside of both the captor’s and the captured’s mind. It’s undeniably gripping and, I think, a book for most.

~ Kat ~

Three Stories | BEDIS

Dear Sexism,

RE: A few things have happened in the last week, all in your name.

The lazy statement, “She’s just on her period” was thrown about at work when referring to a colleague of mine. She was annoyed with a young lad and this was his go-to response; which he uttered more than once. No one addressed what he said even though it definitely needs to be addressed. Us ladies aren’t irrational human beings because it’s our “time of the month.” How can we be so far along in the world of sexism and yet so stuck in the past?

Further, I was at the gym the other day when I heard a woman say, “Look how skinny his legs are!” As a man was training, a woman─who looked like a personal trainer─said to the two ladies she was training, “His arms are coming along now, aren’t they? But hey, he always skips a leg day.” Flip the situation and a man says a woman has fat legs. Do I need to say anymore?

Lastly, while I was working recently, a male customer touched my stomach as he laughed at his own joke. Shocked and in did-that-really-just-happen mode, I continued with my job and headed straight to the bar, eyes widened as soon as he was out of sight. Of course I now wish I had addressed the scenario but feeling dumbfounded is quite the experience and I blame you, Sexism.

With all due respect, Sexism… Sort it out.

Regards,

Kathryn

How to Open a Wine Bottle | BEDIS

I have recently started working at an Italian restaurant. We are required to open a customer’s wine bottle at their table with a waiter’s friend before pouring some of their wine for them to test first. But before the pouring happens there’s the very particular task of actually opening the wine bottle. A task that has caused me a fair bit of anxiety over the last few weeks. I am still not polished at the slicing and twisting and lifting but I’m finally getting to grips with it. Here’s a quick how-to for you!

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  1. Select the desired bottle of wine
  2. Slice around the first obvious line at the very top of the bottle. Do so a couple of times until the “lid” is easy to remove
  3. Open your tool and place the corkscrew firmly into them middle of the cork. Twist clockwise (I find you have to be pretty confident at this point) until you can see 1-2 springs of the corkscrew left
  4. After placing the first groove of the waiter’s friend on the top of the bottle, pull the corkscrew out halfway- or just over
  5. Then use the next groove to lift the rest of the corkscrew out

At least I think this is how you do it! *Looks unknowingly into the distance.* Well, if it is, it’s time to follow my own advice! Next it’s time to become a pro at carrying three plates without burning all of my fingertips. Easier said than done.

~ Kat ~

P.S. I am blogging every day in September (BEDIS) and you can read yesterday’s post HERE! ❤

How to Train for a PB | BEDIS

In a month’s time I’ll be running one of my favourite races: the Great South Run. I’ve run it twice before and after struggling the first year, last year felt a lot easier. Even though I ran it minutes faster, I haven’t yet reached my goal PB which is 1:20:00 or under (although I never intended to either and nor am I aiming to this year). I’m hoping to run a sub 1:25:00; I’m dreaming for about 1:22:00-1:23:30. As a runner it’s easy to get caught up in goals such as these, without really thinking about what’s going to help us achieve them. While I’m no personal trainer, here are a few things I do to keep my head in the game when it comes to achieving a personal best.

IMG_2759Buy a new pair of trainers: Naturally this is not a necessity but I’ve got myself into the habit of buying a new pair of trainers a month and a half/two months before the Great South Run. I don’t then buy a new pair before every other race during the year but I simply find that a pair of trainers that my feet are accustomed to means they shouldn’t have too many─if any─problems on race day! By the time the race has rolled around my feet are best friends with the new trainers and this allows for one extra feeling of comfort on the day.

Build up over time: When I am training for a PB, I try to build up my distance and speed in a staggered kind of way. This way, each week I can build up my distance and hopefully find an improvement in time. I don’t panic if I don’t and I don’t panic if it’s not significant but it feels reassuring to have some kind of structure to my training.

PBs don’t have to happen in training: A secret: they never do for me! I tend not to overthink my PB when I’m on my runs. While I try to speed up on most runs, if I imagine event day, I might become so nervous about reaching a goal that I’ll just run super slowly. For this reason, I don’t put pressure on my training. Last year my final run before the Great South was not only 1.5 miles shorter than the 10 miles the day requires, but each lap was about 30 seconds slower than what I achieved on the day. Adrenaline is a runner’s saviour.

Take a break: Whether this means simply not running for a few days or a week or so, or alternatively ensuring a run a week is just a really chilled out run and not part of your training, it’ll be worth your time. Otherwise you’ll become bored and uninspired by training which won’t help when it comes to achieving a PB.

Schedule in other types of training: Similarly if your only form of exercise each week is running, not only will you get bored but you could be damaging yourself. I’ve sucked at swimming this last month, but I aim to swim each week, train my legs at the gym and focus on my core. This way two crucial parts of my body that help with running are strengthened and ready for a race; making a PB far more feasible.

~ Kat ~

P.S. I have been blogging every single day this month and you can read yesterday’s post HERE! ❤

Where to Find Fitspiration Online | Blogs | BEDIS

The internet is a glorious place for feeling inspired when it comes to health and fitness. It can also be a little overwhelming and sometimes even uninspiring, when faced with personalities who are promoting unhealthy messages. I adore reading blogs that motivate me when it comes to health and fitness, whether that’s the core message of their blog or just a little section of it. Today I wanted to share with you my go-to health and fitness blogs that could just inspire you too!

IMG_4145The Anna Edit  – Anna is such a brilliant source for people looking for health and fitness inspiration because she’s very honest and open about her love for sugary treats and a night with pizza too. She recognises her body’s want for healthy food and admits she feels better when she is eating healthier. It’s so easy to feel inspired by her healthy recipes and workout blog posts because most of us empathise with her “Ooops, I ate a lot of cookies today” moments. I love her blog post all about shaking up your workout routine.

Deliciously Ella – As someone who aspires to include a few more plant-based meals in my lifestyle, I adore scrolling through Ella’s website. It’s like an extension to her awesome recipe books, providing readers with lots of flavourful-looking recipes. It’s where I’m heading next for recipe inspiration.

Poppy Deyes – Poppy shares some really useful, healthy and yummy recipes over on her blog. While her blog is a lifestyle blog─and a brilliant one too!─she is a foodie who likes to eat healthily. She’s a vegetarian and I adore reading about food from her perspective because I do like to incorporate vegetarian recipes and dishes into my lifestyle. I have been meaning to make her raspberry and coconut bites for ages and intend to make as a before-the-gym snack soon.

The Body Coach – I have mentioned Joe Wicks already in another instalment of this mini series but I must also mention his blog. Over on The Body Coach he explores fitness-related topics; coaching us about gym-related workouts or how to stretch. It’s a very useful source for fitness lovers of any experience.

I have written two other posts that make up this three-part mini serious all about health and fitness online. I have written all about who inspires me on Instagram and YouTube! Who inspires you online to slip on your trainers or throw in some extra veg into your dinner!

~ Kat ~

P.S. I’m blogging every day in September and you can read yesterday’s post HERE! ❤