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What I’m currently jamming to

I’m pretty sure one of the first things that I fell in love with about Dan was his taste in music. I’m also pretty sure that it was one of the first things he loved about me too, as we used to spend hours driving around and listening to music.

I have always had a really varied taste in music, something that’s been a bit of a blessing and a bit of a curse depending on what way you want to look at it. My open mindedness towards music genres meant that I wasn’t the most popular amongst my peers when I wanted to listen to Babyshambles at 15, whereas all of my friends were listening to that god awful “Umbrella” song by Rihanna.

But I’m not a music snob. No no, don’t take what I am saying to mean that I was some alternative girl who, you know, ‘really was alternative you guys’. I wasn’t. I tried to be at one point when I went through a weird ’emo phase’ and I even went as far as to go up to Camden market for my red and black striped sweatbands and black nail polish, but I was 100% a fraud, as were most of us.

My problem was that I would also listen to bands like Westlife and Backstreet Boys. So you’d switch on my laptop and find pop boybands mixed in with punk rock and christ knows what else, which was obviously a bit weird and led to my friends absolutely never trusting my taste in music. Except my best friend Emily, who has always trusted me when it comes to music and has impeccable taste, if I do say so myself!

Anyway, as a result of this, I have a really hard time making playlists now that it’s a thing people do. For example, I have to have two “current favourites” playlists to accommodate for my love of folk, indie, acoustic and light rock, compared to my love of rap, hip hop and R&B, because nobody wants to be listening to The Smiths and then listen to Snoop Dogg, like, 5 seconds later. So here’s my solution for that:


Can you imagine if those two playlists mixed? It’s so ridiculous that I can’t even think of something comical to say.

Aside from my current favourites playlists, I recently made a “Teen Angst” playlist after being reminded of the band Panic! At The Disco (anyone else remember them?) and I’m also ashamed to admit that I have been listening to it recently whilst writing. But then I remember that all music from your childhood is awesome, no matter how shit it might actually be, and then I think about sweatbands, heavy eyeliner and mohawks a little bit more.

Or sometimes I listen to a playlist I’ve entitled “Oldies”, but is basically the pop version of “Teen Angst”. The second playlist is the one I put on and dance to after my third glass of wine, just to put that into perspective. Oh… and I sing too, obviously.



The rest of the music on my Spotify is made up of playlists others have made that I follow. I generally listen to those when I am working on a design project because I just want background noise and not to be distracted, which happens a lot with songs I know because I burst into song as soon as the chorus kicks in. Does anyone else do that?

What are you currently jamming to?

The Hoxton Shoreditch, London

A couple of weekends ago, I found myself in London celebrating my sister’s hen do with dinner, drinks and a stay at The Hoxton in Shoreditch.

Our stay at The Hoxton didn’t go as smoothly as I would have liked, and I would like to point out that I did pay for my hotel with them (although I was offered press rates), so you’d really expect better from a hotel that attracts a lot of attention. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy certain parts of the stay, but they were overshadowed by this situation.

When I had arranged my hotel booking with the PR department, I was advised that I would be on the same floor as my sister and the rest of the hens booked into the hotel. I mean, of course we would all want to be close as we were spending a lot of time going back and forth for drinks and food in the area. However, once I had checked in at the hotel, I found out that there was no note made of this on my booking, which began a drama that lasted well over an hour into my stay.

First of all, I was sent up to my room on a totally different floor to the other hens and asked to wait for a solution. I was called within 10 minutes and basically told that there was no solution to my problem. I then explained that I had e-mail proof of the promise to put me on the same floor as the hens and how unhappy I was, to which I was told to sit tight and I would get another phone call.

I took this opportunity to take some of the pictures in this post, as I’ve explained later in this review, I was really about the interior of the hotel and you can’t fault them in terms of design.

The first hotel room

A rare smile during this hour of drama!

A rare smile during this hour of drama!

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25 minutes later and I hadn’t heard anything, so I called reception to be told that apparently there was no problem. This didn’t make sense to me as there was very much a problem and I’d been sat waiting like an idiot in my room for 25 minutes when I could have been sipping champagne with the other hens on the floor below.

After I mentioned I would be reviewing the hotel online (something I hate having to discuss when I visit hotels as a blogger), I was transferred to the manager and as it turns out, not one member of staff had even understood my problem initially and therefore the manager didn’t understand what my problem was either. So much for people sorting it out!

I tried to explain my situation fully to the manager and again had to drop in I was writing a review before I really got anywhere. I don’t really feel like he understood that I had been promised something that wasn’t delivered, but he did eventually agree to transfer me to the same floor as the other hens.

The room I was transferred to must have literally just been vacated because the bed was unmade, dirty glasses were everywhere, it stunk of cigarette smoke and the cleaning lady had just abandoned her mops in there. As you can imagine, I was not impressed at all and at this point I very nearly left the hotel to find somewhere else to stay.

I made a phone call to the reception and someone came upstairs very promptly to move me to another room (and so they should have!), although the damage had already been done by that point as I’d wasted an hour of my evening waiting around for the staff to get it together and sort out my issue.

The silver lining here was that my room was adjacent to my sister’s room, however had they done what they said they would initially, that should have been the room reserved for me from the get go. Right?

The third hotel room

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On a more positive note, I did enjoy my time at the hotel once this drama was out of the way. The interior is impressive and the hotel has a lot to offer. I found the bar prices to be quite reasonable, especially as it seems to be quite a popular bar to drink at, and I had one of the best breakfasts I’ve ever had the following morning. Honestly, I’ve never had poached eggs so perfect in all of my life!

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Something I also found to be a nice touch was the complimentary breakfast bag brought up to your room in the morning. This was quite the saviour when my buddy and I woke up hungover and as it wasn’t too heavy (some OJ, granola yoghurt and a banana), we were more than ready to crack on with a full English at the restaurant before check out!

To be honest, I’m not sure how I feel about the hotel overall. As I’m sitting here trying to sum it up in a final paragraph, I’m mostly just disappointed at the customer service. My sister also had issues with her room where she was promised connecting rooms with her friends which they didn’t provide and without going into too much detail on specifics, the manager accidentally offended her the following morning when she was trying to sort out a minor issue.

In all honesty, I’ve got no idea what’s going on over there, but the customer service side of things is really not what I was expecting from somewhere that seems to be so popular. Maybe they were having an off weekend? Who knows.

I’m off on my Euro trip! + the updated plan

Airport

After installing the blog’s latest design, I had to do a little re-jig (is that a word?) of my post schedule which means that this post was originally intended to go live on Monday, at the start of my mini Euro trip, but obviously it’s live on Wednesday. Clearly I’m a pro with my editorial calendar.

As of right now, I’m in Hungary exploring the wonderful city that is Budapest and it’s safe to say I’m probably eating something and taking pictures of something else. Does anyone else find that in a new country all they want to do it eat all of the things? That’s pretty much number one on every country’s agenda for me on this trip.

The trip has actually changed a fair bit since I posted about it last month because once we got into the real logistics of booking things we found that our original plan wasn’t the most cost effective way to do things.

I am on this 8 day trip with my buddy Tom, who has been staying with Dan and I in Frankfurt for about a month now as he is taking some time out from the UK to travel. Unfortunately, Dan couldn’t get the time off work to come on the trip with us, but we are meeting up with my other buddy, Emily, for a couple of days in Vienna. I am super excited for the 3 of us to get together as we always have the best holidays!

Kate, Fems & Tom
Tom, Emily & I at my hen do in Frankfurt last year

So, on to the trip’s agenda. I’m really excited to get back and share some budget and trip planning posts related to this mini adventure because I feel like there’s a lot out there to take advantage of when country hopping in Europe, some of which I’ve discovered in the past but others have been quite recent discoveries. And I’m saying this with just my experience from research, let alone how much I’m sure I will have learned once I’ve done it first hand. Wait, I’m going off topic again aren’t I?

So, THE AGENDA! We took off from Frankfurt on Monday evening and grabbed a short flight to Katowice in Poland, which was then followed by a two bus journey to Krakow. We stayed in Krakow for two nights before taking a 10 hour long overnight train to Budapest for the next two nights, both of which are cities that have been on my ‘must see’ list for some time!

(P.s. It’s so hard to get the tenses right for this post because I’m writing it before I’ve left for Poland, but by the time this goes live I will have left Poland already and be in Hungary. Like I said, editorial skills for the win.)

Following on from Budapest, we will be taking a 3 hour train to Vienna where we will meet up with Emily to spend a couple of nights. Out of all the cities we are visiting, Vienna is the one that I have heard the least about and so a lot of my recent research has now filled me with insane amounts of wanderlust for Vienna! I’ve got a feeling it’s going to be a highlight.

After Vienna we had intended to travel to Paris, however the flight prices increased so rapidly that we had to look at alternative options. Originally, I had wanted to include Italy in this trip but it didn’t seem possible, however after a second look we found we could take a cheap flight from Vienna to Rome and spend two nights in Rome. This is the shortest part of our trip, as we are only having one full day in Rome whereas with all the others we have managed 2 or 3 days, so I’m hoping to squeeze in a few sights as well as pasta, pizza and gelato. Basically, I’m super excited for ALL carbs in Rome.

Finally, we will be leaving Rome very early in the morning of the 26th May and taking a short (and crazy cheap flight) to Munich as we make our way back to Frankfurt. As the flight is a little over an hour and a half, we’ll be able to spend the majority of the day in Munich, which is one of my favourite German cities, before taking a high speed train back to Frankfurt in the evening. At which point I imagine we will stumble in the door and fall straight into bed!

Words can not express how excited I am for this trip! I’ve always wanted to take a ‘backpacking’ style trip across a few countries in Europe and I feel like this is finally going to be a chance to experience that. Admittedly, we aren’t ‘true backpacking’ it by staying in budget hostels, but we found some really amazing deals through Airbnb, particularly for Krakow and Budapest.

Make sure you’re following me on Twitter and Instagram to follow along with my trip!

See you soon guys!

Check out Relokate’s new look!

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Hey guys!

Today’s post is a short and sweet one because in a few hours I will be hopping on a bus, then a plane, then a bus and probably a taxi which will take me from Frankfurt to Krakow to kick start my mini Euro trip, but there will be more on that (including my full agenda) on Wednesday.

For now, I just wanted to pop a quick post up showing off Relokate’s brand new design! I’d been tinkering with various ideas for a while but ultimately I felt unsure of what direction I wanted to take my branding in. This will all begin to make a bit more sense in a couple of weeks when I can finally talk about some really exciting things we have coming up this year. Believe me, not saying anything for 5 months now has been a killer!

Anyway, as soon as I started playing around with these colours I knew I was on to a winner and I love the colourful space I have turned Relokate into. I keep saying it’s a look for summer, but to be honest it’s just a much brighter look and I feel it reflects my writing a little more. All the blue in Relokate’s previous look began to really grate on me, especially as I don’t even really like blue all that much as a colour.

So, what do you guys think?! Make sure to take the time to check out the menu too, particularly the “Life” category which has had a serious revamp and a lot of my posts have been moved around into different sections to help you find what you like a little easier. As I was deciding what categories I wanted, I was amazed at how many lists and rants I’ve posted here over the last 2 years. I’m not entirely sure if that’s a good thing, but you guys seem to like it so I must be doing something right!

I’m also pretty happy with the way my latest posts and popular posts are laid out now so you guys have a lot more choice over the type of content you want to take a look at. Overall, it’s a winner in my books!

Please let me know if you spot any errors floating about and I can get those fixed when I’m back next week. Also, let me know if you notice errors but stumble across my ADORABLE 404 error page. I did that just for you guys.

Ok, I need to go and get in the shower now and finish packing. I’m massively unprepared, my bag doesn’t fit all of my stuff and I’m probably going to forget something, so I’m experiencing all of the usual pre-travel woes. Why haven’t teleporters been invented yet?