Friday, 21 April 2017

New York Day 2 - Grand Central Station, Library, Times Square

My second day in New York was just as exciting as the first, and fairly busy too. We had breakfast in the apartment and hopped right back onto the J train from Gates Avenue, Brooklyn. We started off by heading to the public library, the one used in the film 'A Day After Tomorrow' (amongst others no doubt!). We didn’t intentionally plan to visit here but happened to be nearby so thought it was worth stopping in and was something we wanted to see during our trip. We had a quick look around, it was massive - we wouldn't have had time to see the whole thing so we looked for the most exciting rooms and then left. A lot of people were just like us, popping in and taking photos but there were people actually using it as a library so you had to be quiet so you didn’t disturb them.

After going here we continued walking and happened to see Grand Central Station which wasn't far away. I wanted to go here after seeing it in so many films and it was huge - across multiple floors! The marble décor was beautiful, although the area was not well lit so I couldn’t take too many photos without them blurring. Me and Phoebe climbed the stairs and had our photos taken Serena Vanderwoodson style. I hoped I'd see a flash mob or a proposal but sadly saw neither of these things. When I came home from my holiday I found out that you could do an interesting audio tour so if I ever venture back to New York I will have to add that to my to-do list!

We then went for a walk to a museum we had tickets for but turns out I had read the map wrong and took us completely the wrong way so we went to Times Square instead. Oops. On route we visited St Patrick's Cathedral which is directly opposite the Rockefeller Center. It was huge! Phoebe lit a candle whilst we were there and we had a quick walk around but did not want to disturb the songs that were going on. We then finally arrived at Times Square. It was smaller than I thought and quite underwhelming as some of the screens were broken but I knew I wanted to return at night where I imagined it really came to life. We went to the M&M store as it is a must for me, I have been to 4 in the world, I just need to visit the Shanghai branch now and I am done!

After this we then went to Macy's. By this point I really needed the toilet and spent ages climbing multiple floors to find one. I then finally found the mens after following various signs and it turns out the ladies was a fair walk around the corner. It was so complicated! Macy’s is absolutely huge, there was no way I could navigate the store. I did find the giant floor piano however so that was fun. After another long walk back to the closest subway station we all made our way home and got a chinese take-away for tea. It was good, but I prefer my local! It was a full on day, over 10 miles walked in total – my feet were hammered already and we had many days of walking ahead of us yet!

Please watch the daily vlog if you're interested in seeing this day come to life!


Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Fresh Ground Coffee feat. The Coffee Mate*

There is no better feeling than settling down with a hot cup of coffee (and possibly a slice of cake too) on a Sunday morning. What makes the experience even better is when the coffee is fresh so when I was approached by The Coffee Mate to try some of their coffee beans and manual grinder I jumped at the chance to improve my coffee experience. 

At The Coffee Mate, they select only high-quality coffee for their clients. They then started to roast some of their own beans in order to create an impeccable cup. I was very kindly sent Coffee Mate's Beans Kivu and a Hand Coffee Grinder

The Kivu Beans retail at £26.00 for a 1kg bag. When I opened these I was greeted by that familiar coffee house scent, it was delicious. This coffee is grown in the valley of Virunga towards the north of the Lake Kivu, hence the name. When roasted and prepared these coffee beans reveal a taste of sweet driued fruits and marzipan with a black chocolate aftertaste. I think this coffee would be perfect for an expresso but equally as tasty with milk as well. The flavours are rich but not too strong and it was an absolute pleasure drinking this coffee. There are no added flavours and you can rest assured that these coffee beans are 100% original and natural.

I would not have been able to prepare my coffee beans without the Hand Coffee Grinder, which costs £42 on The Coffee Mate website. This little gadget was a life saver when it came to preparing my beans. It is so simple to use, I simply popped my beans into the grinder, chose which level I wanted them to be ground to and then I wound the handle until the beans were down to granules. The design is modern and the grinder fits in perfectly with my kitchen and would suit all decors. 

Being able to enjoy fresh coffee from fresh ground beans from the comfort of my own home was somewhat of a luxury experience for me. Guests complimented the delicious flavours of the coffee stating it was like something they've only ever experienced in specialist coffee shops. 

If you’re a coffee lover and would like to try some fresh high-quality coffee then I can really recommend The Coffee Mate, there are so many different brands and flavours to choose from.

*I received these items free of charge in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not influenced in any way. 
© UK Lifestyle and Beauty Blog. All rights reserved.