T in the Park! 2013

For our 21st birthdays, my cousin Vanessa and I decided that we were going to go on a holiday together. Our birthdays are a day apart, so the idea of spending a long weekend in somewhere like Rome or Paris sounded perfect. Then 21 came and went….and we still hadn’t left the country together.

Fast forward a couple years later (not saying how many!) to find ourselves staring at the line up for T in the Park with wide eyed faces… and instantly we both knew we were going.




Music Festival.


Could there be a more Angela-approved combination?



Casual bagpipers. Well, when in Scotland.


Oh, and then there was Fancy Dress Friday (as if I need a specific day of the week to have an excuse to dress up on!)

This year: Superheroes and Villains.

And being the little video game nerds we are, we decided to be Sonic and Shadow the Hedgehog for the day. A lot of posing and needless running involved.



In fact, so much running that Shadow ended up spraining her ankle…. smooth Van, smooth.


But other than the injury, and the fact that you had to battle through a wall of dust every time you walked onto the campsite, I couldn’t fault the weekend.

The weather was fudging amazing! – I mean, I came back from Scotland browner than my aunt who had just come back from India. Dafuq?


The bands were incredible/inspiring. – I am genuinely thinking about starting up a folk band after watching The Lumineers live. Anyone play the accordion?


The camping experience was surprisingly better than expected. – Shelling out the extra £16 for a ‘Refresh’ wristband for entry to the luxury loo’s, showers and pamper stations was definitely a good call.



And then it ended in fireworks. Perfect.



Photo credit for some *cough* MOST *cough* of these pictures goes to the lovely Vanessa :).



Can I just say that I fricking love Edinburgh (well, Scotland in general…but i’m gonna focus on just Edinburgh in this post!). I love everything about it.

The unforgettable scenery.

The vibrant music scene.

The Scottish accent…. 😉



It’s absolutely beautiful… I mean just look at that architecture! Phwoar.

The common theme for our weekend away was to see the sights and to absorb ourselves in the live music scene. We were obsessed with the idea of sitting in a cosy pub and swooning over a Scottish musician. So literally on our first night there (after a quick but delicious dinner in ‘The Newsroom’ – highly recommend it! Find my attempt at recreating what we ate here!) we headed to Grassmarket – renowned for hosting many a live music night in the various pubs dotted around. After some serious bar hopping we took refuge in a cosy little Irish pub called ‘Biddy Mulligans’…. because well, when in Scotland, you clearly go to Irish pub?!


The next day was spent sightseeing; Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Mile, Grassmarket (by day), and visiting the museums.







Sexy tram lines.




Then later we moseyed on down to Rose Street on a mission to find cake.


Oh, and we found it. And not just any cake… but arguably the best there cake there is.


After standing there wide eyed/mouth agape at all the treats for an embarrassing amount of time, one lovely waitress suggested we try the Selva. Chocolate, cream, and loaded with fruit. It was beautiful.


After chowing down, we then decided to find a pub….and the one we chose struck us for its name. (We’re dead mature, promise!)


Though we came in for the name, we stayed for the pub itself! The place was decorated with collectables, ornaments, signs, instruments, random objects (erm…toilet seats, really?)… you just couldn’t take your eyes off the walls!


A few ciders later we decided it was probably best we get some dinner. Both of us craving an authentic carbonara, we headed off in search of an Italian restaurant. Luck seemed to be on our side as we soon found ‘Caciopepe’, a quaint little restaurant on Hanover St.

The food absolutely hit the spot, the Aperol Spritz’ were lethal, and the waiters seemed more than impressed that we didn’t want cream in our carbonara. Earned some serious Italian points. Issy you’d be proud.




The night still young, we headed back to Grassmarket because we clearly hadn’t had enough of Biddy’s. Tonight the live musician was rocking the likes of The Goo Goo Dolls, Ed Sheeran, and even a souped up version of TLC’s ‘No Scrubs’. Van and I definitely added a lot to our list of ‘songs we need to cover’ that night.

On our way back to our hotel we walked past a club. Now, it looked completely dead, but there was a man with a guitar in the window…. so naturally we walked in. The guy was playing requests, so given that the place was deserted, we managed to get him to play us The Lumineers and The Beatles. Score. He even did an acoustic cover of Nelly’s ‘Ride Wit Me’ …. which went down very well with Van and I.

The highlight of this club however was befriending the bar lady. She was clearly dying for someone to talk to/something to do, so when we walked in she was extremely quick to suggest we try their Drumstick Lolly Cocktail.


We were so impressed she even gave us the recipe!


Lessons learned from this adventure:

1) Edinburgh is easy on the eyes.

2) Take advantage of the Castle discount you get when riding the tour buses. Avoids queuing.

3) Bring sensible walking shoes….because you’re going to want to climb Arthur’s Seat. 😦

4) Befriend bar staff.

Cuba! – Arrival and First Impressions

Cuba has always been on my bucket list. From a young age I’ve always had an interest in its history… and always felt like a distant dream.

Unfortunately for my close friends, this resulted in me pestering them endlessly to come with… without much luck.

Finally struck gold when my friend Mark revealed that it was on his bucket list too! Overjoyed, we then joined forces into coaxing the rest of our friends… and took Claire as our willing hostage!

As we landed in Havana, it was clear we brought the rain as angry clouds greeted us with heavy rain.

So yeah… it was clear to us that exploring was not on the agenda that evening.

The next morning however, we were relieved to wake up to blue skies and sunshine. We were staying at at Hotel Beltrane de Santa Cruz, just off Plaza Vjeja in the old historic quarter, Habana Vjeja.


It was an old Spanish colonial building; the water pressure wasn’t always reliable but they made up for it with the large spacious rooms and a mean breakfast of fresh fruit and toast.

They also had a resident parrot. Need I say more.

Look at that face. Sat up there judging.