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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After a few nights in Sydney our Australian adventure continued with a flight north to the area between Byron Bay and Gold Coast. You can’t really fly to the other side of the world and not visit a family member living in the area which was the whole reason we went to Australia. Not only was it lovely to spend some time with James’s family, it also meant that we were able to explore an area of Australia that I probably wouldn’t have paid too much attention to otherwise.

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I first started my blog as a project to keep me occupied once I finished my dissertation. I had no idea what post-university life was going to hold, but knew that I wanted a way to continue and improve my writing. Having started reading blogs earlier that year, it seemed like blogging was a good way to go about it. I wasn’t expecting to keep it up for two months, let alone be sitting here two and a half years later still writing, but I’m really pleased I did as not only has it made sure that I continue writing, I also look at the world in a different way. It’s not entirely down to blogging, but I’ve found myself more keen to do and try different things. I question things and reflect on them more. I read more blogs and as such have opened myself up to more knowledge,…

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