iamafeeder.net



“I Wish You 10,000 Camels”: On Visiting Marrakech


May
30

I’ve been meaning to write this post up for a really long time but, obviously, life just kept getting in the way. So apologies, I know I’ve been promising it for a while!

Back in March, when the weather was still cold and dreary in London, I hopped over to Marrakech for a few days with my “sort-of cousin” Allison who had just turned 21 and was taking a little holiday around Europe to celebrate. I wasn’t supposed to go with her but last minute her friend had to drop out and so I slipped into her place – rather happily, I might add! The trip was lovely, it was wonderful to spend some time with Allison who was heading back to the States shortly (she was only in London to study for a semester) and Marrakech itself was great fun… but three days was enough!

You see, as beautiful as it was, there were times when Allison and I were downright terrified to be two young ladies in a foreign country by ourselves. Allison’s French is non-existent and my French is only at GCSE level and hidden beneath years of Spanish (a language I have always found to be much more intuitive), which meant that we were mostly relying on me to fumble my way through misconjugated verbs and wild gestures. By day three I was managing to communicate – my proudest moment was having a conversation with a stall vendor in the souks about traditional Moroccan sweets and where I could find them – but there were times when we thought we were going to either be run over by the ridiculous traffic or mugged down a dark alleyway by gangs of children.

So here’s my guide to Marrakech – we really only scratched the surface and if I were ever to return I’d probably want to go with a male companion, not ever by myself or with another girl.

(more…)

When in LDN: How to Eat Like a Local


Jan
16


This is Tower Bridge. Not London Bridge. You can tell because it has towers. Duh.

I get asked a lot what the best restaurant in London is and where tourists should go. The former I find a bit tricky to answer (and we’ll get to that in a minute) and as for the latter, I’ve sent out that list of ‘must dos’ so many times in the past year you’d think I’d have written this post long before this point. I hadn’t because I tend to steer away from this becoming a review blog – I review restaurants in my day-to-day so like this to be my own space; this time it’s a plea.

Guys, you have no idea how infuriating it is when somebody visits London and their response is, “meh, it was okay, the food is terrible, though”. What do you mean the food is terrible?! Where did you go? What did you have? Why didn’t you like it?! I usually find out it’s because said individual wanted to “eat like a local” and this meant dodgy fish and chips, watery tepid tea, a big name chef’s restaurant which did not live up to the hype and at least one obligatory pub lunch where everybody around them seemed more interested in drinking than eating; it drives me insane. When I see tourists lining up around the block at Planet Hollywood or the Hard Rock Cafe I want to grab them by the shoulders and shout, ‘WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS TO YOURSELF’ and the truth is they do it because they simply don’t know otherwise. We all know that feeling – you’ve been walking all day, you’re tired and you spot a beacon of familiarity amongst a land of grey and people trying to get from A to B: it happens. But did you know that just around the corner there’s a place which is a million times better and half the price? Probably not or you wouldn’t be subjecting yourself to tourist traps.

Well, that’s why I’m writing this, but first take every pre-conceived idea of “London” out of your head and throw it away: we’re not all friends with the Queen, my school life was not a scene out of Harry Potter, we aren’t obsessed with William & Kate’s every move and we don’t drink tea by the gallon… well, okay, we probably do the last one but we don’t go out for afternoon tea all the time. Now listen carefully because I’m about to blow your mind.

(more…)

A Little Slice of Americana – Spuntino, Soho


May
23

Hello. If you don’t remember me I’m the girl that used to blog over here. Hi. How ya doin’.

Sorry I’ve been away for so long – I took a wee break from blogging as there are quite a lot of things going on with me at the moment. I’ve been to a lot of events lately (which I will be writing up very soon), have declared my self-employment and started a new job, am moving out and moving house in mid-June, and have been so crazy busy it’s been a little ridiculous. So no wonder I’ve disappeared from the blogosphere for a short time.

Today I’m not giving you anything fancy, this is good, honest food, located in the heart of London’s Soho, and really at times like this that’s what you need.

(more…)

On Being A Traveller


Apr
02

Ah, the curse of being a traveller: once you start you just can’t stop. I often wonder to myself how amazing life would be if I could be a nomad, travel around discovering new places, new foods, new people. I imagine that I would be known as ‘That Travelling Girl’, I would carry my possessions on my back, I would write about my experiences and live the perfect existence… and then I think about my comfortable double bed, my jingly-janglies that I always wear, and my love for pretty shoes… yeah. Maybe not. But it’s still nice to dream, no?

Some of you may know that the other week I disappeared to Copenhagen for the day to have lunch at the number one restaurant in the world, Noma. After such a huge trip around the world you may have wondered why I was still travelling and, even more importantly, why for only one day. You may have said, ‘but Jackie! You only just got home! Why can’t you be satisfied with home?!” Well, I’m sorry – I just couldn’t help it. Home is where my heart is and at heart? I’m a traveller.

(more…)

This Is The End, My Friends: New York


Mar
23

As I write this I’m sitting in my own bed in London, my clothes strewn across the floor, my bag unpacked but my trusty backpack still sitting next to me, as it did every single day of my travels. I’ve been back for a week and, despite the fact that it’s quite nice to be settled for a bit, I wish I was still travelling, still exploring and still meeting wonderful people across the globe. But I’m back, though ‘home’ I’m not sure if I could use.

I think people underestimate the power of travel and the feeling of freedom it brings. I took the trip to discover, to meet friends and to eat, I did all of those things and more, but I also took the trip to escape. I visited cities I have never known before, caught up with old friends, solidified friendships that have hitherto been solely based online, fell in love with people, with places, with ideas… and so yes. Yes it is a come-down to be back in a place where I do not – have never – felt that I belonged, but it’s also an opportunity for me to prepare myself for what may be many more Big Adventures, to recharge my batteries, and to wait for another chance to meet so many more friends and discover where it is in the world that I may call ‘home’.

This is the last post in my travel series from the Big Adventure. Thank you all so much for the friendship, the support, the laughter and the tears, the singing, the food – everything. It’s been wonderful.

(more…)

The Beginning Of The End: New Jersey


Mar
19

I really wanted to put New Jersey and New York into one last post, a nice little button-ending on my travel series, but I found when I was trying to pull it all together that there was far too much for just one.

You see, even though there were no food bloggers to meet up with in New Jersey, I was staying with my Uncle Ian and Aunt Wai, Momma Lee’s youngest brother and his wife. My Uncle Ian has always been the relative who would send crazy-awesome gifts in the post at Christmas, such as this past year, when he sent me a pair of socks that look like Lucha Libre wrestlers (they even have little arms and legs, they’re the coolest; yes, I realise my excitement over this is entirely juvenile, but it’s the simple things that excite me), and also, like all of my family, has quietly followed along with my adventures through the blog.

When I arrived he told me that though they had been thinking about where to take me to eat, as I was visiting them right at the end of my trip they couldn’t compete with the rest of the world, so they would just take me to their favourite places, or feed me “crap”, as my Uncle Ian put it. How silly, because you know what? I ate well, I ate heartily, and to be honest it was nice just to have a bit of a breather with family for a stint, catch-up and make stupid jokes (many of which were made, including an extended conversation about the Double Rainbow video/song, which then ended up in the sermon he delivered at his church that Sunday). In fact, I think I ate more in New Jersey than I had anywhere else on the trip: weird, right?

Thank you Uncle Ian & Aunt Wai!

(more…)

Mhm, I Loves Me Some Boston


Mar
13

It has taken me a ridiculously long time to write this post up – I guess it’s because I’ve been having far too much fun running around. But Boston was wonderful, and even better than the city was my fantastic host, the amazing Brian, who not only gave me a comfortable bed to sleep in but also pulled out all the stops for food (he made me lobster on my first night!), and kept me entertained with his list of Boston must-dos. I also met up with Jen for a quick coffee and a bite, which, though brief, was equally fabulous. Come to my side of the world soon, Jen!

As with everywhere else, it was a short trip, but it was full of fun, food and friends, and that’s the most important part, right? Oh, and we also did a little video, because we’re awesome like that. Thanks Brian – you are such a superstar!

(more…)

Welcome Ta Chicahgo


Mar
06

Oh how I wish I’d planned to spend more time in Chicago. I’m not sure why I thought a day and a bit would be enough (I arrived in the afternoon on the 1st, had the 2nd to play, then left on the morning of the 3rd: error) because it wasn’t! Not at all! There was so much to see and do, so many to play with, so much to eat, and yet I only gave myself that weenie amount of time. Oy-vey. I didn’t try an Italian beef sub, I didn’t even get deep-dish (or stuffed) pizza; what a disaster!

However, it’s not all a loss because I can always return, and after meeting the wonderful Alice, Mara and Mike, I know I have plenty of good company in town too! And although I didn’t get to try “typical” Chicago fare, I did have the best meal of my life when I was there, a meal that I would happily get on a plane and return for, in fact that I would specifically travel to Chicago just to have again. If that’s not a reason to love the Windy City then I don’t know what is. Thanks to Alice, Mara & Mike, and, of course, my baby cousin Lorraine, for the food, the fun and the complete awesomeness. You guys were the best!

(more…)

This Hurr’s Texas – YEEHAW!


Mar
04

When I was packing for this trip I wasn’t sure what I should bring with me. It was going to be Spring-like in Hong Kong (it was actually pretty cold), Summer in Australia (steaming hot), cold in the Pacific North West (remarkably not that cold, I had good weather), warm on the West Coast (San Diego love!), and freezing as I went further towards the East Coast. What I didn’t really account for, however, is the fact that Texas pretty much has summer the whole year round. As I left San Diego I packed all of my summer items at the bottom of my suitcase, threw all my jumpers on top and headed to Austin. What a mistake. As soon as I touched down in Texas all I felt around me was intense sunshine and humidity, and what was I wearing? Far too much.

As I waited for Megan at the airport, I started pulling off clothes and stuffing them into my bag, trying to get over just how oppressively hot I felt, much to the amusement of the other travellers around me. Well, these things happen! So here’s my tip to you: if you’re travelling to Texas, regardless of the time of year, it’s hot: don’t wear too much clothing. But, once I’d figured out the clothing situation, I had a great week between Austin and San Antonio, with two fantastic friends: Megan and Andres. You guys were the best – awesome hosts, super fun and made me feel right at home. Thank you both so much! If you head into Texas hit these two up: they know where the hot spots in town are!

(more…)

Stay Classy, San Diego


Feb
27


Photo credit: Ashley Jeanson.

You know the saying, ‘when life gives you lemons, make lemonade’? It’s all about making the best of a bad situation, turning it around into your favour and enjoying yourself. Well I’ve got a new saying: ‘when your birthday comes around, grab a good friend and get your ass down to San Diego’.

I’ve had my birthday once before whilst in America (Portland, obviously) but I’ve never had a birthday like this. It practically lasted for three days, it was crazy, it was fun, it was awesome, and San Diego? San Diego is incredible. When I was planning my trip I deliberately chose to be in town for my birthday because my very good friend Ashley lives there (or at least does at the moment because she’s about to up sticks and move to Turkey for a year! Super brave girl and I am incredibly proud of her for following her dream!). I was worried that we were going to miss each other, but she, being the rockstar that she is, not only made sure she didn’t leave for Turkey until after I had left, she also totally took me around town, introduced me to her lovely friends, and made my 24th birthday one of my best.

Ashley calls me her ‘Oven GF’ because of my passion for food, but the story of how we met is kind of brilliant. Y’see, when I was living in Portland I was writing a blog for my friends and family back home, all about being a Brit living in America, and Ashley found me randomly. We became “Blog Buddies”, then when she came to London two summers ago I insisted that she come and stay with me. One night out at my favourite bar in Convent Garden where Ashley told the bartender that we were a) not lesbians but she was buying me a drink, b) I wasn’t a prostitute, either and c) that despite those things we did meet on the internet; and our love was solidified. Ever since, though we rarely see one another, we have been great friends. I was so excited to hang out with again, see her city, and also spend my birthday with some awesome people. And wow, if you need somebody to help pack as much stuff as possible in a city into three days: call Ashley. She’s on it.

(more…)

Older Posts »