goodbye wordpress…

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Hey everyone, how are you?

So this is an announcement post to say I am leaving wordpress (the site you’re looking at right now, is ran on wordpress.com not self hosted).

I’ve felt for a while that my blog needed a little bit of a revamp and I have already pushed this current template and design to the absolute limits of what it can do!

When I was looking at my blog I no longer felt inspired, even though I had content ideas I wanted to get out there and still wanted to blog, I was finding it hard to find the motivation. For a while I thought about giving up this blog all together and starting new, but I knew that whatever new thing I started would have the same essence and core that Tea in Your Twenties does, and I didn’t want to flippantly discard all the years of posting I’ve done here. I figured that what it needed was a new frame, not a blank canvas.

So I am moving (back) to blogger. I want to be able to respond to comments made from bloggers from other platforms, and have more control over the design and look of this space, without signing up to self hosting and a money commitment I just can’t make at the moment.

Over the weekend I transferred all my old posts over, and I’m just waiting for my domain to switch over and then the new design will be up and running. Hopefully in time for my Birthday, and September when I plan to return to my scheduled posting now that I’ve had a bit of a break and a revamp over the summer holidays.

The web address will be staying the same (teainyourtwenties.com) and if you follow me on Bloglovin’ all my posts will still appear as usual in your feed (touch wood) but if you are following me through the wordpress reader, sadly I won’t come up in your feed any more.

WordPress has been great and I know a fair phew of you found me through it but I’m excited to get back into my blogging groove and I hope you’ll join me over on my new (not really new) site!

In the mean time, it might be quiet on this space for a few days, I won’t be posting again until the blogger site is properly up and running, so please bear with me, and I will hopefully see you soon!

Live life & drink tea as always x

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Review | The Gate, Islington…

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Happy Saturday everyone! What are your plans for today? I’m currently on route to Ingleton for a weekend of walking and waterfalls! No doubt many of you will have weekend plans which involve going out for dinner, whether that’s a date night, girls and cocktails or Sunday lunch tomorrow.

One of the things that makes me feel most uncomfortable about having gone vegan, is how much other people worry about what you are going to eat when you go out for a meal. Don’t get me wrong, I love that I have friends and family that care enough to make sure I’m well fed, but I hate being the reason people can’t concentrate on what they want to order because they are too busy worrying that there isn’t anything for me to order.

Truth be told, in most decent restaurants (ie. not chain pubs) it’s actually pretty easy for me to find something to eat, but I can see why this might be hard for other people to understand. Of course the best place for me to eat is a restaurant dedicated to vegetarian food, but unfortunately these aren’t always the easiest places to convince meat eating friends to go to.

And with good reason. So many vegetarian restaurants, or vegan eateries, let all the best things about eating out fall to the way side. It’s so rare to find a vegetarian cafe where the food isn’t only delicous but the decor is delectable too. Esepcially up north, in London town you do have a few more options.

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One of these options is The Gate in Islington.

It’s a lot easier to convince meat eating friends to eat at a vegetarian restaurant if it looks good, but what really maters is the food. Because when you’re the one who suddenly has a whole menu of food to choose from, and your sat with none veggie friends, suddenly you’re in their shoes, and you’re worrying about what they are going to eat. Of course everything on the menu sounds delicous to me, but is it going to sound delicous to the guy who eats fried chicken once a day?

Luckily, at The Gate, the answer is yes. On it’s ‘A’ board outside, The Gate boasts a review which says ‘The Gate isn’t a good vegetarian restaurant, it’s just a good restaurant’ and that sums it up in a single sentence what I am likely to spend this whole blog post doing!

The decor is modern, open and very clean looking, the staff are friendly, informed, and seat you to your table in that ‘we’re in a proper restaurant’ manner that makes the difference between grabbing something to eat while you’re out, and going out for dinner.

The menu, while having a good range of dishes to choose from, wasn’t so big you felt like they were trying to cover everything instead of doing any one thing well. Which isn’t something that can always be said about a place that has mexican and thai food on the menu, but I can say from personal experience that when it came to those two cullinary influences, they’d pretty much nailed it. I went for the thai curry which was very clearly labelled as being vegan and my friends went for a trio of wraps which included, beetroot, goats cheese and sweet potato (again this could have been made vegan if you asked) and after the obligatory ‘oh my gosh this looks amazing lets take a photo’ moment we all devoured our main course. And the side of polenta chips that we ordered to go with it. And, for that matter, the second side of polenta chips we ordered after the first lot ran out. My thai curry was delicous, creamy and fragrant, and my friends both loved their wraps. Not a single person mentioned the C word (chicken). In fact my friends were so full they passed up on pudding. I, however, did not.

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Using the excuse (as if I needed one) that I so rarely have the option of a vegan chocolate torte that it would be foolish to say no. Besides the more people who demand vegan pudding, the more places that will start to supply it right?

Now forgive me, because it’s been a couple of weeks since my visit to The Gate, but I can’t remember exactly what my dessert was called (and I’m a rubbish blogger who doesn’t get around to doing reviews when they happen) but it was essentially a chocolate mouse, with black cherries, on a base of crushed nuts and dates. And it was to die for. Which naturally is the most important thing to remember when reviewing dessert.

We all left feeling full to the brim on good food, but not feeling sickly, which for me, is one of the best things about eating vegan. The Gate isn’t cheap but a main meal was no more than you would expect to pay in any other restaurant where the food is freshly prepared, the staff know what they are talking about and the none alcoholic cocktails are so good you kind of feel drunk afterwards.  It treads the line between being just a little too expensive to pop in for a bite to eat, but not so expensive that you need it to be a special occassion to book a table! Having said that, it is in London and I am Northern, so I’d use the word reasonably priced, and expect some one to tell me, actually for that area it’s a bargain!

I’d definitely recommend The Gate to any foodie, whether your vegan, veggie, or fully fledged carnivore, and I hope other places start to take note of restaurants like this which encourage other vegetarian places to up their game, and show none vegetarian restaurants that the veggie option doesn’t always have to be some cheese based pasta dish or a quiche.

Have you ever been to The Gate? Or do you have a favourite restaurant which just so happens to be vegetarian? If you do let me know, I’m always looking for recommendations!

Live life & eat your greens x

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life simply in just a few obsessions…

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Happy Sunday everyone! And hello August! Seriously. August. I turn 25 this month, it’s basically time to start working out a new name for this blog. Because a) I’m over dramatic and feeling like my twenties is nearly over and b) I hate naming things. Anyway, enough of that nonsense. It’s been a while since I shared a life lately post, but I was inspired by Katy’s Obsessions post to share with you just some of the things that have been making life lately run a bit smoother…

My new phone… 

So I don’t have the best luck with phones (or rather they don’t have the best luck with me). I’ve had one stolen, one disappear in a friends house, and more than one loss at tea (I actually drop them into tea – cos you know, Instagram). With this in mind, when the screen on my last phone cracked but was still perfectly workable (to me) I held out as long as I could before exploring newer shinier options. A cracked screen meant nobody was going to steal it, and any further accidents would only cause minor disruption, besides who wants to pay contract get out fees etc. etc. HOWEVER, I then realised, summer was going to be pretty darn exciting and the camera on my old phone just wasn’t cutting it anymore, this paired with EE actually having a special upgrade early for free offer, finally pushed me to bite the bullet and I’m so glad I did. My Samsung S5 is only a month old, and my already have a wee scuff, but I love it none the less. It has also inspired a new obsession with apps, and photographing everything and anything, and generally ignoring the people around me. I need to be careful though, or I’ll actually miss summer.

Headspace

One of my missions for this year was to read into mindfulness a little bit more and then actually practice it. I’m a natural stress head, and to some extent I run on this, however, there are only so many sleepless nights one girl can take, and it’s becoming increasingly apparent I need to learn how to switch my mind off. I downloaded the headspace app a couple of months back and never got into it, but the other night, it was 3 am and I was wide awake worrying about a problem I could do absolutely nothing about, so I decided it was probably time to give meditation another go. Headspace is a free app, that guides you through a ten day course of meditation, prompting you to take ten minutes each day. At the end you can either stick with just those 10 guided meditations or take out a monthly subscription and get access to hundreds of guided meditations. If the problem I hasn’t been worrying about so much lately wasn’t money related, I’d be taking out that subscription, but even though it is less than netflix, for now I’m happy to just keep going over the ten day course. Meditating isn’t really meant to send you to sleep, it’s actually meant to give you the opportunity to reboot, but practicing how to control my busy mind, is definitely helping me get a better nights rest!

Getting down to business…

I’ve decided I want to start taking my freelance theatre work a bit more seriously. I’ve got to a place in my day job where I think I now could not only juggle taking on another project but also kind of need it to feel creatively fulfilled. In making this decision I’ve also been trying to work out, how all the different things I do fit together. This will be a long project which I think starts with redoing my theatre website, but will hopefully end in me taking on lots more different creative roles. You won’t see much of a change here, except maybe one or two more theatre based posts popping up. In doing all this I’ve been listening to some great podcasts by creative entrepreneurs lately which have really helped me make sense of it all, in particular Love Being Boss and Invisible Office Hours, which I’d recommend to anyone who wants to make more of their creativty or side project.

Evernote…

I first heard of Evernote when Holly mentioned it on her blog, and while I gave it a quick glance, I decided it wasn’t really for me. At least not in terms of organising my blog. However, with a new season at work starting, and having made the decision to start taking my freelance theatre work more seriously again, I’ve found Evernote is a great way of keeping all my thoughts organised in one place. I will always prefer a paper notebook for jotting down ideas in but having an online place which I can access from anywhere and link all related documents too has been a godsend. For those of you that don’t know, Evernote is an online workspace where you can create multiple notebooks for different projects. You can make to do lists, clip and save whole webpages to it, and what I’ve found really handy is being able to upload all the documents related to one project on to one page. Oh, and it comes as an app for your phone, so I can quickly find out all the information I need all the time (see this is why I need to meditate!)

Grimm…

Besides meditation the other thing I’ve been using to switch off, is Grimm, on Netflix. I don’t know if you’ve watched this yet, but the first couple of seasons it’s pretty much a formulaic cop drama where each episode follows pretty much the same structure, expcept for the fact that pretty much all the bad guys, are creatures from Grimm fairytales. This makes it perfect background tv that you don’t really need to concentrate on, until the longer sub plot kicks in in season 3, and then you can wave good bye to trying to concentrate on anything else at all. Sigh. It’s a good job I’ve nearly finished it, otherwise that serious freelance work would never get done!

So there you have it, those are the things that have been featuring in my life pretty much every day lately and perfectly sums up this weekend. Yesterday I did some freelance work in a library, then came home, spent no money, worked on my new website and spent the evening watching Grimm. Today is blog, run, tidy and again spend no money as the rest of August is one big spendathon! What have you been obsessing over recently? And how is the rest of your weekend looking?

Live life & indulge in an obsession or two x

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