Out and About: Zoo Nights

Let’s talk about zoos. I love them. There’s something about seeing all these gorgeous animals in one place that’s magical. Granted it would be nicer all round to see them out in the world, but logistically and financially that’s not a possibility! I know morally a lot of people don’t agree with zoos. But I do, as long as the animals are treated well and cared for, which they definitely are at the zoos I’ve been too. I think you can tell if the animals are being mistreated. Anyway, I digress (shock)! I’ve been meaning to try ZSL’s Zoo Nights at London Zoo for ages and ages, but every year I promptly forget to book tickets until they’re all sold. Cue massive disappointment. But this year we were organised and on Friday we went to the zoo and it was the best!

Now if you haven’t heard of Zoo Nights, let me fill you in. It’s an evening event at London Zoo that runs from 6 – 10pm. It’s only for adults, strictly no children, and tickets costs about £17. The Zoo Nights only run on certain Fridays in the summer, so as you can imagine they sell out pretty quickly. As well as the usual animal stuff there’s also a whole host of other activities. There’s the addition of acrobats, a bar, music, street food stalls, quizzes, competitions and loads more. So it’s basically the best thing ever!

We arrived at 6 to make sure we made the most of the experience and headed straight to the bar for ‘Jungle Gin’ cocktails, beer and wine (all in boxes or plastic bottles). From there we staked a spot on giant beanbags and discussed our plan for the night. As we definitely didn’t want to miss anything!

From our planning session we headed to the tiger enclosure to see some snoozy cuties as well as some monkeys. Next it was on to see the penguins being fed before spotting some flamingos. From there we saw the giraffes being fed, found the slow lorises and bush babies as well as the zebras, warthogs and otters (too cute)! Oh and there were butterflies and lions too. We didn’t visit the lions until 9ish and by that point they were snoozing all curled up together. So that was pretty special. And then one of my favourite bits, walking through the enclosure with the monkeys who are literally a foot above your head larking around and having fun with their friends – so cool!

We literally saw all the animals in the zoo, except for the gorillas as the gorilla babies need to go to bed early and we weren’t allowed to disturb them – fair enough though! During our exploring we also stopped for plenty of food and drinks. From the duck burgers and chips, to the mini pancake situation and more cocktails, we were pretty well fueled! I honestly spent ten minutes wandering around all the street food stalls, there was so much choice: mac and cheese, curry, hot dogs, Greek wraps and churros. So good!

We finished off our evening sitting with a drink watching some of the acrobats perform. Not a bad way to end the night!

Have you ever been to Zoo Nights, or London Zoo, what did you think of it?

Life Rambles: Friday Favourites #77

Yeah for the weekend – it’s almost in touching distance. Yippee! To be honest this week has been loooooong and that’s entirely the fault of the heat. I am so not a fan of the heat. I’m the one who has spent the last six days going ‘when will it go?’, why isn’t it winter yet?’ and ‘how am I meant to function in this heat?’. I’ve been a joy to be around me I’m sure! Anyway, the stifling heat has vanished from London town and we’re left with a much nicer temperature – just perfect for gallivanting and joyful adventures. Which is point one on today’s Friday Favourites post – fun things!

I know I spent half of my first paragraph in this Friday favourites post complaining about the heat but it has been good at times. Like being able to sit in the garden of an evening. On Tuesday we took an old mattress out into the garden, along with cushions and just enjoyed the sun. It makes a change from usual evenings of rushing around doing all the jobs or Netflixing. And it reminds me of why I wanted a garden in the first place!

What else has made me happy this week? Well there’s been the perfect ice coffees that Lau’s perfected for us and the delicious grilled chicken wraps I’ve been craving all the time. Plus baking banana bread, reading brilliant books and catch ups with lovely friends mid-week to discuss all the things. Oh and a trip on Saturday to Borough Market. Not only to show our support on its opening weekend, but also to buy all the lovely food from our favourite stalls. It had been ages since our last visit so it was entirely necessary. We spent a pretty awesome morning ambling round and choosing donuts and cheese straws, juices and bread galore and it’s reminded me of how awesome a space it is. Plus everyone was super friendly as usual.

So this weekend I’ve got a gloriumptious weekend planned – and knowing fun things are in my future is definitely a Friday favourites! Tonight I’m off to Zoo Nights where we get to eat, drink and visit all the animals until 9pm. Apparently there are loads of ‘extra’ things happening at the zoo – like quizzes and competitions, treasure hunts and demonstrations. It’s going to be amazing! And then tomorrow is BBQ day – YES! Before a trip down to Kent on Friday to see one of the besties for a good old catch up. I can’t wait! Obviously they’ll be boring things in that weekend too – cleaning, washing, meal planning, blah, blah, blah. But it’s still a pretty epic weekend plan!

My final Friday favourite has to be Sundays picnic with the family. We ventured to a new park with plenty of food and the pupster to celebrate Father’s Day and it was just perfect. It’s so nice spending time with these lovely people, especially when there are no other distractions. And it helps when your Dad is the King of Picnics. He’d made chicken croquettes, sweet potato fries, sausage rolls, incredible sandwiches, an insane salad and even my favourite chicken vol au vents. It’s fair to say we had quite a feast!

So there we go, Friday Favourites #77 is done it’s definitely been a good old week. How’s yours been, what were your highlights?

-Fi x

Out and About: Alice’s Adventures Underground

Greetings friends! And how are you on this lovely day? Today I wanted to talk about the awesome gift that the sisterlings got me for my birthday this year. A trip to Alice’s Adventures Underground because, spoiler, it was awesome! What is Alice’s Adventures Underground I hear you cry? Well it’s a brilliant immersive theatre show, which is currently taking place in the Waterloo Vaults in London.

If that doesn’t mean anything to you, because if I’m honest it didn’t mean much to me at first either, then let me explain… It’s basically a theatre show that you are in. So you go through the story of Alice in Wonderland during the performance. How cool is that?!

Without giving away any spoilers it’s a two-hour show that starts with you diving into Alice’s world in an English drawing-room and ending in a room of mirrors. In the next room two performers give you the option of ‘Drink Me’ or ‘Eat Me’ as per the famous book. At that point you go through one of two doors before being split up again into groups of playing card suits. So we chose ‘Eat Me’ and then become part of Hearts. From them on, so for the next 90 minutes of the Alice’s Adventures Underground experience you’re with the rest of the hearts trying to work out which of the cast were the true spy, working against the Queen.

As you’re trying to work out the truth you go through all sorts of different rooms. From meeting Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum to visiting the kitchens and attending a tea party and spotting Alice herself as she ventures into Wonderland. You also learn a certain part, which you have to play at the very last scene when the entire audience is back together again. It sounds odd, I know, but it’s absolutely fascinating and it’s incredibly immersive. Plus, while the story is familiar, there are just enough twists and turns that keep you on your toes and constantly entertained.

Now let’s talk about the set – it’s simply incredible. There are so many different rooms all within the warren of the Vaults, but all of them are completely different. I won’t go into details but it’s safe to say you’ll be surprised about just where you’ll be transported and the set and the cast are all part of that. It’s brilliant. Another brilliant thing about Alice’s Adventures Underground? There is something like twelve different versions of the play, so you can go and watch it numerous times and get a different outcome. Awesome right?

If you’re not sure about the £30 cost then I highly recommend you at the least visit the bar. It’s in the foyer of the Vaults and it’s free to visit. And it’s decked out in Wonderland attire – flamingos, giant teacups, hidden corners. It’s awesome!

So there we go, that’s my verdict on the awesome Alice’s Adventures Underground, you must go and visit. I think it’s on until September! Tell me, are you tempted?

-Fi x

Wishlists: Summer Garden Makeover

Now that the sun has made an appearance I’m even more keen to sort out the garden and turn it into an extra room to enjoy. We’ve finally got a handle on the lawn, and are even remembering to mow it frequently – a sure sign of adulting in my opinion. The flowerbed is full of plants, that are still alive, thanks to regular watering and constant weeding. I’ve also discovered that I find weeding quite addictive, it’s quite therapeutic I think. Anyway, the garden looks good, but it still needs some love, in terms of extras. And that’s what this wishlist is; a summer garden makeover wishlist. It’s the things that have caught my eye recently that would pull the garden together into a relaxing place to spend time.

We’ve already got a table and chairs, which need a little love and a repaint, plus we’ve got blankets by the bucket load, but we really need an umbrella to shade us from the sun, and some light and heat for when it gets dark, but we don’t want to leave the garden and head inside.

Garden Delights

plates / hanging plant pot / hanging basket / lights / umbrella / firepit / chair

We have a giant shed at the back of our garden which needs a huge sort out, but the plan is to turn it into a games room someday. But not for awhile, as the funds are definitely not in place for the new doors, new lighting and bucket loads of paint that are required to tart the space up! But the outside of this shed is the perfect place to add some lights to jazz the garden up a little and give us light well into the evenings. Plus can you imagine curling up in this chair with a blanket and those lights? Heaven!

I spotted the hanging baskets and pots during my last Ikea visit, and I very nearly bought the whole lot. As we’ve only got one flower bed I figured these would look good hanging on the fence and the back of the house to give more space for flowers. I’ve also heard that strawberries grown in hanging baskets is a thing, and strawberries are my favourite fruit so that needs to happen soon. Definitely an easy win in terms of giving the garden a makeover.

And finally, those picnic plates. Now I know that these aren’t technically going to help in the garden makeover situation, but imagine eating dinner off these once the makeover is complete. Perfect right? You can’t beat a snazzy plate to liven up any eating occasion.

So there we have it, my garden makeover wishlist. What are your garden plans for the summer? Do you have a garden paradise? Or is it still a work in progress like mine?

Laura xx

Life Rambles: Friday Favourites #76

Gosh this week has been an odd one. I feel like I can’t write this post without talking about events in London right now. Waking to the news about the Grenfell Tower fire on Wednesday morning was such a shock. Each update on the situation is horrifying and the number of missing people is heartbreaking. I really have no words for the whole situation. I feel like the more we learn over the coming weeks the more horrified we will all feel.

But alongside these more negative feelings are the positive ones. It is awe inspiring the way that everyone is trying to help. Both the number of donations that are being received and the amount of money that people are giving is remarkable, and reminds me again what a wonderful city I live in. So the goodness of the human spirit has to be one of my favourite moments of the week. And it will be the thing that I focus on in all of this.

On Sunday the sisterlings and I had a Evans sisters brunch. We split the shopping list and all meet up for a homemade brunch. Fi did all the cooking and Becca and I were chief coffee maker and table layer. Both very important jobs obviously! Anyway we say down to a feast of homemade pancakes with all the toppings. I’m talking yogurt, nutella, honey and all the fruit. So so good. We then spent the post brunch lull having a lego competition, as you do and it was perfect. I think this sort of Sunday could become a regular occurrence now that Becca has moved nearer to me and Fi.

Next up on the list of favourite moments of the week is the fact that I went for a run on Tuesday evening after work. Despite what you might think this is a happy thing as I’ve not been for a run after work for such a long time. In fact the last time was probably when I was training for my last half marathon in March last year. Anyway, I went for a post work run and it was actually really good. Yes, I still find it hard to get home and then head out again, but it was well worth it. The fact that the sun was shining probably helped.

Wednesday night saw me take a trip to the National Theatre to watch The Barber Shop Chronicles which I adored. We were lucky enough (or well planned enough) to have seats on the stage which gave us a brilliant viewpoint to the whole play. This is the first Inua Ellams’ play that I’ve seen, and I loved everything about it. From the story, the characters, the music, even the way they switched scenes and reset the stage was remarkably clever. I highly recommend you watch it if you get the chance.

One final thing to mention is tonight’s dinner which I have just finished prepping. I’ve decided that I need some sort of comfort food tonight, so i’m making this macaroni cheese. Now while I have my normal macaroni cheese recipe I’ve decided to make this one because I had a cauliflower to use up, so it seemed sensible to incorporate it. Hopefully the sauce will be thick and flavoursome, so fingers crossed. I know it’s not really the weather for it, but this is what I fancy, so this is what I’m going for tonight. Because I’m an adult and these are the sort of choices that I get to make!

So there we have it, my favourite moments of the week. What has helped you get through this week? And what are your weekend plans? I’ve got Father’s Day plans with the family and then I’m hoping to get to both Borough Market and then Tooting Lido too. So watch this space!

Laura xx

Life Rambles: Summer Plans

Now that the sun has finally arrived, and we are properly into June it really does feel like summer is just around the corner. Which is so a good thing, I think. I mean I’m trying to ignore the fact that we are flying through the year and instead focus on the fun that this time of year brings. And that’s what I’m sharing today, my summer highlights. All those little moments and plans that are coming my way over then next three months.

Long afternoons in a pub garden

Imean seriously is there anything better? Sipping cider or glasses of Pimms, munching on delicious pub food, and chatting late into the day. There are a couple of newly updated pubs in Streatham that I am keen to check out. One of them has a lovely looking pub garden full of twinkly lights that will be perfect for late night chats.

A week off in July to explore the UK

Which is actually pretty close right now. Although I still haven’t decided what to do! There’s talk of trips to Wales and the Isle of Wight but whatever we decide there will definitely be plenty of relaxation and puppy cuddles, obviously!

Weekend barbecues in Surrey

Evans barbecues are legendary so I want to make sure I fit in as many of these as I possibly can. Hooray for chilli prawns, ribs and all the potato salad imaginable. So far I have only one in the diary, but it’s an Evans family gathering, which is bound to be pretty epic. But I really must schedule a couple more ASAP.

Twenty20 cricket at The Oval

The last time I was at The Oval was about 10 years ago, where I was pouring pints for The Ashes series. While that was a lot more fun than you would think I am definitely looking forward to being a spectator and enjoying more of the cricket this time.

Visiting Tooting Bec Lido

I’ve lived near this for almost two years and I’ve still not managed to visit. The fact that Sherlock and Watson have been there should be enough to prompt a visit. Never mind the fact that I enjoy swimming and that it’s an outdoor lido. Here’s hoping for a warm weekend soon so that I can take advantage of the sunshine and while away an afternoon in the water in the sunshine.

Spending time with family visiting from Australia

My Aunt and Uncle are visiting this summer so I’m looking forward to catching up with them. Emails, phonecalls and Instagram charts are really no substitute for face to face catch ups.

Exploring London parks

London has so many lovely parks, and yet I always stick to the same ones. This summer I’d like to venture further afield and visit more of the green spaces that my city has to offer. I’m hoping I can make some trips to Green Park and St James’ Park after work and then spend my weekends exploring Hampstead Heath.

Friday summer hours

One of the best perks of working where I work is the summer hours scheme. This means that you can take Friday afternoon off as long as you make up the time during the rest of the week. Which is actually easy done, as I tend to arrive for work 30 minutes early every day anyway. So for the summer months this actually works in my favour. I’m already a couple of weeks into this, and i’m loving it. I’ve managed to organise various appointments for this time, plus I’m also enjoying starting my weekend half a day early. If only this perk was a year round perk, how great would that be?

Half Marathon training

I’ve signed up for my fourth Half Marathon in October so i’ll start training for that in July. In hindsight this wasn’t my best plan as I’m not a fan of running in the heat. But I have always wanted to do the Royal Parks Half so there is a plus side. I’m raising money for BookTrust here if anyone fancies donating to a good cause.

So there we have it, my summer plans and I’m so excited about all of them. Hooray for sunshine (hopefully) and plans with family and friends and new adventures. What are you lovely lot up to? Do you have a big trip planned or are you staying and exploring things closer to home?

Laura xx

Life Rambles: Friday Favourites #75

Happy Friday! {Disclaimer: I’m actually writing this on Thursday, so I’m nicely unaware of what the outcome is of the General Election. Something tells me I’m gong to wish I could stay in this limbo for longer…} I’m very glad we’re almost at the weekend, this week feels soooo long. Tell me that’s not just me? I’m not sure what’s made it so long, perhaps it’s the hideous weather? Who know! Anyway, as it’s Friday we’re on to my favourite things post, I wonder what’ll have made it on to the Friday favourites list today, hhhmmm? Read on to discover more!

So first on the Friday favourites list, we have Wonder Woman. I watched it on Sunday and it was perfect. It’s so refreshing to have a superhero movie with an actual story line. Not to mention properly developed characters, in particular female characters. The female characters in this film were just brilliant, from the incredibly strong, fierce Amazonesque warriors to the hilarious Etta, but most of all Wonder Woman herself. She was the perfect mix of compassion, strength and naivety. She’s the superhero I’ve been waiting my whole life for, without even realising it. And that scene when she runs across No Man’s Land, simply incredible.

Getting to vote and have my say is always going to be a brilliant thing for me so that’s definitely on today’s Friday favourites list. It doesn’t matter what we’re voting for, the simple act of democracy in action is always a good thing. Does anyone else feel that immediate sense of pride once you’ve ticked that box? It can’t just be me, can it? Also bringing me great joy yesterday was the #dogsatpollingstations. Such a lovely idea and it’s just full of so many cute pupsters. Although I’m outraged that the parents wouldn’t join in and take Lunabean there – what a missed opportunity.

This week has been chocked full of lovely friends. Whether it’s been sharing lunch, constant WhatsApp messages or perfectly planned emails my friends have been pretty awesome this week. I love that I have friends all over the country and world and from all aspects of my life and that they’re always there with just the right response. That’s pretty awesome isn’t it?

A day of no plans. Yes you read that right, one of my Friday favourites was the fact that last Saturday involved absolutely zero plans. It’s been a while since I had a day like that and it was blissful. I went for a run, made a yummy breakfast, caught up on loads of emails and life admin, before settling down with a good book and then Gilmore Girls. Just what I needed!


I’ve read two brilliant books over the last week and after a book that I didn’t enjoy at all – More than This I’m looking at you – that was pretty awesome. So while it’s not my June book post yet I thought I’d add both of them to my Friday favourites list. So here’s to When Dimple Met Rishi and The Keeper of Lost Things. If you’re looking for a new book to read then definitely give those two a try. You won’t regret it!

So there we go, my favourite things from the last week. What would be on your list?

-Fi x

The Book Corner: May Reading Update

Happy June everyone! So were well into month sixth of 2017 and so far, I have to say I’ve had a pretty good reading year. I’ve read some absolutely glorious books and still have so many more on my TBR pile. 2017 looks set to be a pretty epic reading year! So without further ado let’s jump straight into May’s reading update. Read on to discover what books I loved the most and those I wouldn’t necessarily recommend to anyone else…

May Reading Update #1 and #3 – Siege and Storm and Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

There’s absolutely nothing to hate about Leigh Bardugo’s glorious Grisha trilogy. These books are insanely good. Packed with incredible characters and a jaw-dropping storyline all wrapped up in the most wonderfully realised world I couldn’t even begin to imagine. Everything about the Grisha verse is a joy and I’m bereft that I’m caught up on Bardugo’s epic books now. What will I read next?!

May Reading Update #2 – The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd

I didn’t read this book when it first came out in 2007, but with Robin Stevens’ much-anticipated sequel due out later this year I thought it was high time I gave it a whirl. And guess what? I loved it! This is the most perfect middle-grade mystery story. You instantly feel part of Ted’s world and there are just enough clues peppered throughout the book for you to feel like you know where the story is going and that maybe, just maybe, you’ll work out the mystery. If you’re a detective novel fan, this one is a must read for you.

May Reading Update #4 – I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes

The sisterlings have been waxing lyrical about this book for ages and ages. So I knew I’d love it. I just needed to find a time where I’d be able to read for a couple of hours uninterrupted so I could get stuck in. At almost 900 pages I knew it was imperative I was hooked straight away. Really I shouldn’t have worried, Terry Hayes has a way of hooking you in from page one. This book is incredible. I totally get the hype and it’s not been exaggerated at all. This is possibly the best twisty, thrillery spy novel I’ve EVER read. And I’ve read a LOT!

May Reading Update #5 – Mad Girl by Bryony Gordon

This book should be required for everyone. Bryony talks so articulately and beautifully about mental health and it really made me stop and think. I thought I was quite aware and sensitive to how others feel and what mental health is and how it affects you, but I clearly didn’t know anything. Bryony’s book really is eyeopening and I was amazed at her strength, not only in dealing with such a dreadful disease but in articulating it so well. My eyes have definitely opened and hopefully I’m more sensitive than I was before. No more insensitive ‘I’m so OCD’ jokes from me ever again.

May Reading Update #6 – Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han

I can always count on Jenny Han to pen a book that’s the perfect mix of joy and pain. That has me racing through 300 odd pages in a day. If you’ve not been introduced to Jenny’s writing now’s the time. Her books are beautifully written contemporary YA tales and are the most perfect escapism. The final book in the P.S I Love You series is no different. This is perfect holiday reading material. I promise.

May Reading Update #7 – A Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys

This book surprised me. From the blurb I was expecting a kind of Agatha Christie detective novel, instead I got an intriguing novel about secrets and lies, adventure and loyalty. It was definitely a surprise, but a good one that’s for sure. I flew through this book in a couple of days and was sad to say goodbye to the characters I’d met.

This novel follows a young girl as she emigrates from London to Melbourne on the eve of World War Two. As she makes the three-week long journey by boat she meets a cast of characters from all walks of life all with different secrets. The book opens with the end of the journey as a young girl is led from the ship in Australia having been arrested, we then go back six weeks to see what happened on the ship. Who can she trust, is everyone as she seems, and just which women is arrested as they’re leaving the boat…

May Reading Update #8 – The Guggenheim Mystery by Robin Stevens

It’s no secret that I’m a huge Robin Stevens fan, I’m a big advocate that everyone should read her Murder Most Unladylike series. It’s tremendous. I don’t care if you’re ten or 40 or 99, if you’re a detective novel fan you’ll love her detective tales. The Guggenheim Mystery is a slight departure for Robin as she writes the second book in Siobhan Dowd’s London mystery series. Siobhan passed away before she could write book two, all she had decided on was the title – The Guggenheim Mystery. Thankfully Puffin got Robin to pick up Siobhan’s mantle and we’re left with this glorious book. The Guggenheim Mystery is a brilliant detective novel, which sees our favourite characters reunited in New York as a painting is stolen from the Guggenheim. Once again the ‘who dunnit’ element had me completely stumped!

May Reading Update#9  – More than This by Patrick Ness

I so wanted to love this book, so much so that I stopped reading it last year as I didn’t love it straightaway. This month I decided to give it another go, not least because I currently have ten started and not finished books on my Good Reads ‘shelf’. While I definitely enjoyed it more than on the first attempt at reading, I didn’t really like it. It was well written and an intriguing concept but it still felt like a chore to finish it. I just wasn’t really that interested. Although I still raced through it – it was an easy read – and I did want to know what would happen. I just didn’t really enjoy reading it at all. This is very unusual for me as I loved the other Patrick Ness books I’ve read. Perhaps I was in the wrong frame of mind this time around, who knows?

So there we go, that’s my May reading update. Nine brilliant, or not so brilliant, books that I read last month. Have you read any of them before, what were your thoughts?

-Fi x

Out & About: Top Three Salzburg Sound of Music Sites

So you may have heard tell of our recent Salzburg trip, which was amazing. We’d been building up to this family trip for ages so I couldn’t want to get a visiting! I was excited about this trip for many reasons – time with the family, four days off of work, exploring a new city, going to Austria for the very first time. the list goes on! But the main reason I was so excited about visiting Salzburg is that I’m the world’s biggest Sound of Music fan. I must have watched it a hundred or so times and always pop it on if I’m feeling ill. It’s the ultimate in comfort watching. So to visit the many Salzburg Sound of Music sites was definitely a bucket list moment.

However, the rest of the family were not so keen. They’re not big fans of The Sound of Music, in fact I don’t think Becca, my youngest sister, has even watched it. Craziness. So early on in our Salzburg planning they put their (collective) foot down and so no to an organised Sound of Music tour. I was devastated. Gone where my visions of us singing together on a bus tour and posing for photos at all the film spots.

Eventually I picked myself off the floor and started to look at what else we could visit in Salzburg if we weren’t going to do a Sound of Music themed tour. You can imagine how surprised I was to discover that there’s a lot of stuff you can visit from the film without going on an organised tour; as the city itself was the film set for much of my beloved film. Phew. Who knew? Not me that’s for sure. So if you’re a Sound of Music fan and you’re visiting Salzburg with heathens that don’t want to go on the organised tours then read on as I share my top Salzburg Sound of Music sites!

Top Salzburg Sound of Music sites

The Mirabell Palace and Gardens

The Mirabell Gardens are right in the heart of the city along the river, so you don’t have to go out of your way to visit the best stop on my Salzburg Sound of Music sites list! To me this is the location out of all on this list that’s the most recognisable from the film. They filmed the ‘Do-Ri-Me’ scene in the park and there are so many spots that still look exactly the same! One of the main things in the Mirabell Gardens is the beautiful Pegasus fountain, which the children run around during the song. You’ll definitely want to stop and pose here.

From there you’ll spot the hedge tunnel that the kids run through, before stumbling into the Dwarf Garden. This is where (unsurprisingly) loads of dwarf statues reside, which the Von Trapps pat during the song. Although I guarantee it’ll take you a while to work out which one they patted! But perhaps the most famous of all the spots in the gardens are the steps in front of the Rose Hill. These are the steps the children jump up and down toward the end of the song. You’ll definitely recognise it and need to stop for a picture or three at this point!

Schloss Hellbrunn

Next on my Salzburg Sound of Music sites list is the most stunning yellow castle, Schloss Hellbrunn. It’s only about fifteen minutes out of the city by bus and is the site of the brilliant trick fountains. So really easy to get to and somewhere you’ll want to visit anyway. Schloss Hellbrunn itself doesn’t actually make an appearance in the film, so you won’t recognise it. But the pavilion that Liesl and Rolf dance around when Liesl is singing ‘I am 16 going on 17’ has since been moved into the castle’s grounds. And it’s free to wander around the gardens – even better!

Residenzplatz Square

This square is in the heart of Salzburg and just a stone’s throw from the tourist information and Salzburg’s Cathedral. So you’ll probably wander into it without really realising it! The Square is seen when they’re singing in the carriage as it passes the fountain. Plus, at the very start of the film, Maria splashes water from the fountain as she’s leaving the Abbey for the Von Trapp family home.

So there we go, my top three Salzburg Sound of Music sites. I hope it’s useful if you’re travelling with people who don’t want to do the tour either!

-Fi x

Life Rambles: Friday Favourites #74

How is it Friday already and how are we into June? Seriously where is the time going? It’s totally flying by! And now I sound just like my parents! But seriously I’m not ready for it to be the summer yet. Can we rewind just a little bit please? Just a month or two? In order to cheer myself up, or at the very least ignore the upsetting passage of time, let us jump right into today’s list of Friday favourites.

First up on on the Friday Favourites list is the bank holiday weekend. I was off work on Friday afternoon so I actually had 3.5 days of bank holiday fun. Which was glorious. I wrote this post a couple of days ago about everything that I got up to, so head that way if you’re interested. Suffice to say I managed to do all the cliche bank holiday things – gardening, a trip to Ikea and lots of baking. Totally blissful.

Friday favourites number two is my organisational skills and the fact that I made these muffins on Monday, which means that I have been eating these for breakfast all this week. Although not this morning as they ran out yesterday, but still I had bacon and cheese goodness for breakfast three days in a row. Hooray for that.

Next up is Thresholds, the Mat Collishaw virtual reality exhibition that is currently on at Somerset House. I nipped over to see this on Monday lunchtime, not really knowing what to expect. And left utterly amazed. Basically it’s a virtual reality retelling of one of the first photography exhibitions bak in the 1800s. So you get led through a talk on what virtual reality actually is, before getting hooked up to headsets and headphones and entering the exhibition to see the recreation. It’s a bit odd to start with, but it becomes normal super quickly. I now get what VR actually does, and I can’t stop thinking about how we may use this technology in the future.

I’ve had zero plans this week which has been great, especially as Fi has been a busy bee and out and about a lot. Which means I have been able to binge watch my way into season three of The Americans. Anyway, last night we decided to have an evening in together, with good food and the last in the series of Grey’s Anatomy. Spoiler, I balled my eyes out during the show! Anyway we stocked up on salad, pitta breads, vegetable couscous and prawns ready for optimum food situation, because who wants to think about cooking something when it’s as warm as it’s been this week? Plus I walked passed the newly opened Crosstown Doughnuts and had to nip in for a couple of sugary treats. We shared the jam doughnut and the chocolate ring and it was the perfect combination.

To round up today’s favourites list is a couple of recent reads. First up is The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas which is excellent. It might just have become my favourite book of the year. The characters are well-written, fully formed and interesting and the story is so important. The book explores the issue of race in America and to me it feels like a must read for everyone.

After The Hate U Give I started reading The Power by Naomi Alderman. Now this I actually gave up on after only five pages as I wasn’t feeling it, but I decided to persevere and give it another go. It turns out that all I needed was a slightly slow commute to work and suddenly I’m hooked. I guess technically it’s a sci-fi book but it’s more than that. It’s got a really clever concept, girls suddenly (and literally) hold The Power in their hands. The book follows four different characters as they adapt to this power and the changes that it brings to the whole world. I’m about a third of the way through and I can’t wait to read the rest.

So there we have it. My Friday favourites list for the week. How has your week been? What’s been your highlight and what are you looking forward to this weekend?

Laura xxx