Since I first arrived in Bristol I had heard a lot about Story Slam, largely through my colleagues who are involved with it. I was intrigued and keen to go along since I first heard about it, but this month is the first time that I’ve been free to go. As I’d been intrigued by the concept, I was keen to see it working in practice.

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I’ve always enjoyed going out for breakfast or brunch. It’s so far from my usual bowl of cereal that it feels like a real treat, often more so than going out for an evening meal. In recent years going for brunch seems to have become increasingly popular (blames us millennials and our love of avocado) and as a result there are all sorts of different places that you can go which are open for breakfast. However, as much as I enjoy it sometimes the menus do get a little repetitive and so it’s nice to have something a little different, which is exactly what Souk Kitchen offers.

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There are certain restaurants that everyone seems to have heard of, regarding of whether or not you ever have any intention of going there. For me, The Ivy is one of those places. I’ve never been to the famous London restaurant and yet the name evokes images of classic glamour, sophistication and very expensive food. What I hadn’t realised was that The Ivy Collection brings The Ivy experience to a selection of brasseries and cafes around the UK – or I hadn’t until I went to The Ivy Clifton Brasserie. Initially I was put off going by assumptions I made about the price and atmosphere but having been once I have no doubt I will return, either to the Clifton Brasserie or to one of the others in the collection.

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Australia has never been somewhere I’ve had a burning desire to visit. Sure, if the opportunity came along I would go but there were lots of places much higher up on my bucket list. Most people seem to want to visit Australia, and then go to see New Zealand almost as an after thought, whereas for me it was the other way round. I wasn’t sure what I’d make of it and to be honest I’m still not sure. It’s such a big and varied country that you can’t possibly do it justice within a week, so I would be keen to go back and explore some more, but I don’t think I’d be bitterly disappointed if I didn’t get chance to.

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When you’re away, the last thing you want to think about is coming home. But slowly and surely the end of our big trip began to creep up on us and before we knew it we were facing our final night (excluding the plane flight). I was dreading it. I knew I’d had such a good time but still had so many places I wanted to see I just wasn’t ready to stop. But I also didn’t want to spoil the last night be being upset about leaving. Luckily we ended up staying the night in Brisbane for ease of access to the airport the next day, and Brisbane was somewhere we were yet to explore. Suddenly our final night was more about discovery than saying goodbye.

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