Travel

Manchester, UK: Not So Grim Up North

Some may say it’s grim up north but they’ve obviously never had a night out in Manchester!

Bear with me. I’m going to bang on about Manchester again. I really don’t think I can stress enough how much I love the North West. We have some of the best restaurants, museums and nightlife in the county. Of course, I’m biased but honestly one of the factors that made moving back from Paris easier was the knowledge that I wouldn’t be missing my culture vulture wanderings.

My first recommendation from grey old Manchester has to be the Cathedral. I’m not a religious person however I think a lot can be gained from spending a few quiet moments in peaceful contemplation. If that doesn’t tempt you then they have a fabulous tea shop across the courtyard which serves gorgeous cakes and a wide selection of hot and cold beverages.

Usually, whenever we go out we like to try somewhere new so we know a restaurant must be good if we keep going back. The Patron is one of those restaurants. They do a cracking Sunday Lunch as well as inventive small plates. My advice would be to not miss out on the shawarma fries!

Gin has become such a popular drink that it isn’t surprising that bars dedicated to the stuff have popped up all over the place. Allotment is a stone’s throw from my other half’s flat and he has been meaning to take me for ages. Luckily the last time I was over we had a chance to go. They have dozens of guns; many of which I had never heard of but was keen to try. We didn’t try the food there as we had already stuffed our faces at the Patron!

If you’re also a milennial then you are probably on the lookout for great brunch places just like me. Well, you can’t go wrong with Ezra and Gil. Part café, part general store, this place serves up fantastic food and coffee in a buzzing, friendly atmosphere. There may be a slight wait but it is totally worth it!

Have you got any recommendations for Manchester? Let us know in the comments!

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Travel

Melbourne, Australia: Live Like A Local

If the cold weather in the northern hemisphere is making you feel down then let Caitlin transport you to Melbourne!

As a student who has pretty much lived her entire life in Melbourne, you do find your own secret (or in most cases not so secret) gems around this city that only the locals know about. And bonus – I know a thing or two to suit any budget!

South Melbourne Market

A hop, skip and a tram’s journey away from Melbourne’s CBD, the South Melbourne Market is a foodie’s dream. It sells everything from fruit and veg to cakes and pastries, dried fruit to cheeses and antipasto. And it also has lots of hand-made goods.

It is open every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 8am – 4pm and bonus, the market is open for an extra hour on Fridays 8am – 5pm! What has really caught my eye this year is that the market has gone completely plastic straw free which is amazing news as it was once a bit overrun by plastic.

It is also super easy to get to the South Melbourne Market on the Corner of Coventry & Cecil Streets in South Melbourne with 2 hours free parking on market days if youre in a car. Just make sure you leave early enough to get a spot. I’ve been caught out a few times and had to park in the paid parking zones or had a long walk!! So, I now often go by tram from Melbourne CBD. The easiest route is to get the No. 96 tram from Bourke St and get off at South Melbourne at Stop 127 or you can take the No.1 from Federation Square to South Melbourne at Stop 25. It’s then just a quick walk up to Cecil St. (Quick thing with the trams, make sure you have money on your myki card and touch on and off, the same for trains as well).

If you like the look of this sophisticated Melbourne market and are a visitor to this city that I call home make sure you check out the Market to Market Tours which happen on every third Saturday of the month. It is $15 AUD for 1 ½ hours from 10am until 11.30am and includes food samples (which are divine and I’d do it for this alone) and a market bag. The only downside is that you need to make a booking but you can find all of that and more information on their website https://southmelbournemarket.com.au/

Shopping

Right in the heart of Melbourne are the best shopping strips. You can look to Bourke Street Mall, Emporium andMelbourne Central for student budget friendly shops. They are all a tram’s journey up from Flinders’ Street Station along Elizabeth Street. AND they are all within the free tram zone – whoop whoop!! – so you don’t have to worry about a myki card and touching on and off to get between them all!!

If your shopping budget isn’t so student friendly, make your way down to Chapel Street where you can find all of your high street brands. This area is extremely famous for itsfashion, food, coffee, vintage stores, coffee, street art, markets and did I mention coffee… 😉. It’s even worth a visit if you don’t have a high-end budget just to get a feel of the Melbourne vibe!!

Unless you’ve got a car, the two easiest ways to get to Chapel St are tram or train (remember your myki card)! For the train, get on a Sandringham Line train at Flinders’ St Station to Prahran Railway Station then it’s just a quick walk up. Or for a tram, get on at City Square/Swanston St tram No. 72 for Camberwell. Then after about 20 mins jump off at Chapel St/Commercial Rd (Stop 31) and you’re there. Make sure you do some shopping for me!

Sport

It has been said that Melbourne is the sports capital of the world and it is easy to see why!! Any sport you can think of, there is a place to either watch it or play it! Watching sport is a main part of Melburnian and definitely Australian culture!

In January, head to Rod Laver Arena and the Australian Open. A good tip that all the locals know is to just buy general admission tickets and go and watch the matches in the first week. You’ll be able to see some good names playing on the outside courts. I guess that this happens at all tennis events, but Melbourne is definitely the place to do it!! And make sure that you have a hat and sun cream and drink heaps of water – IT IS HOT!!

Definitely go and watch a game of the Australian Football League (AFL) in the winter at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). It’s our national sport. And don’t stress – the rules are very confusing – even for someone who religiously watches Friday Night Footy! It is easier to drive to the MCG and Rod Laver Arena because it’s out of the city a bit however parking is hard to find and quite expensive in the grounds. So, once again train and tram are your best bets. Richmond or Jolimont Train Stations are the closest or alternatively take the No. 75, 48 or 70 trams into this area.

Or if you are in Melbourne in the summer still nip down to the MCG to watch some test cricket and the Boxing Day Test. Or even have a wander around the MCG museum (although I haven’t done it and don’t know what it’s like). If the MCG doesn’t take your fancy, there is always the Big Bash League and Twenty20 cricket down at the Docklands and Marvel Stadium which is always entertaining!! I love watching the Big Bash League, it’s fun and exciting and a lot cheaper. You can find prices around the $20 AUD mark for adults and $5 AUD for kids!! If you get yourself to Southern Cross TrainStation it’s a quick walk across the footbridge to Marvel Stadium.

Now if cricket, AFL and tennis aren’t your cup of tea then there’s always Albert Park for the Grand Prix in March. But if you are visiting outside of this time you can drive your car around the track – it’s a part of our road system surrounding Albert Park – just please don’t drive at the speeds that the professional drivers do, you will most definitely be arrested!! 

Head to Melbourne Sports and Aquatics Centre (MSAC) for all swimming, diving, badminton, table tennis, pilates and more. You can even swim at MSAC and access to all swimming facilities costs $11.10 AUD for one adult. I’ve often had swimming competitions here and it gives a really nice atmosphere (somewhat similar to an Olympic Games 😊). Driving once again is the easiest option because the centre is out of the city a bit. However, you can take a tram from the city centre on Route 12 towards South Melbourne and St Kilda and hop off at Stop 131.

Or alternatively, head down to AAMI Park, Hisense Arena or Margaret Court Arena for everything soccer, rugby, netballand basketball. You can have a look on www.ticketek.com.auto buy tickets to see some of the games!

St. Kilda

For everything involving fun, head down to St. Kilda. It’s common to see people running and cycling along the promenade in one of Melbourne’s more well-to-do suburbs. If you are shaking your head at me and saying ‘well that’s no fun’ 😂, St. Kilda is also the home of Luna Park, a typical seaside amusement park. So, have a walk through the mouth(the entrance 😊), into this park and go wild!!! Entry is a $5 AUD fee to preserve the park because it is heritagelisted with the scenic railway around the outside. But, its $49.95 AUD for unlimited rides for anyone over 13 years old (definitely worth it!!) and check out the website here for more information https://lunapark.com.au/. 

You can go and have a swim at St. Kilda beach. If you go early enough in the morning and in the winter, you can see some of the AFL players doing a recovery session in the water. Beware, the water temperature is freezing at this time of the year!!! Then after a morning of running, cycling and swimming, have a wander up into the streets. There are some amazing cafes for brunch or even just coffee and cake in the afternoon 😊. You’ll find some really quaint ones that I probably haven’t even been in yet 😉.

St. Kilda market is a definite go-to if you’re in the area. Along the beach front you’ll find all sorts of handmade arts and crafts as well as gorgeous foods 😊. It’s open every Sunday from 10am-4pm and until 5pm in daylight saving times – it’s along the promenade and you can’t miss it!!!

Lygon Street

The home of Italy in Melbourne!! Some say that you don’t need to visit Italy in order to try the food because it is all there in Lygon St (me, personally I’d still go to Italy to see everything else and try the food in their home country). It also brought coffee to Melbourne and integrated it into our culture. I am greatly thankful for that 😉.

Brunetti’s is a must-eat if only for the pastries alone!! But they also serve pizza, gelato, pasta and COFFEE!! Even so definitely check out the other awesome restaurants and cafes here in the area!!

To get to Lygon St from the CBD, youll want to hop on a tram at Federation Square/Swanston St (opposite Flinders’ St Station) Stop 13 towards East Coburg and get off at Albert St/Lygon St Stop 123 and you’re there!!!

Thank you all for making it to the end (I know – it was a long one 😊) but I am truly grateful and really passionate about my little gem of a city, Melbourne!!

You can find me at overthenextwave.com and on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @overthenextwave, but for now until next time, let’s see what’s over the next wave.

Caitlin

Travel

Paris, France: Where They Fight for Their Bread

Another Parisian post for you! This time about another of my favorite pastimes – eating!

It is super easy to get really fat in Paris. When there are sweet smells coming from every bakery you come across then it is rather hard to resist. With a sweet tooth like mine, I end up finding myself frequenting bakeries quite often in order to try all of the delicious items they have on offer. French patisserie is the best in the world. In my unbiased opinion. They do everything, from gorgeously savoury bread that is perfect for cheese to sticky pastries that feel like your calorie consumption for a whole week, they really know how to do it all!

Pain Pain

If you make it up all of the steps of Montmartre to see the Sacré Coeur then you will need a little pick me up on your way back down to reality. Funky wallpaper, great coffee and even better desserts make Pain Pain on Rue des Martyrs a great little spot to take the weight off you in. I had only ever walked past at night until just a few months ago and I must admit it definitely did not disappoint!
Pierre Hermé 
I think I’ve told this story before but it’s a good one so I will tell it again. In my first few months here I received a strange message from Mum telling me to go to a certain address after a particular time. It turned out she had ordered some breakfast treats for me to ease the awkward first few months of living alone in a foreign country. I seem to recall the croissant being my favourite item in the care package. Weirdly, I’m not the biggest fan of croissants as they can be too flaky and messy for me but this one was top notch.
Aki 

Yuzu flavoured écalir? Why not?! A Japanese/French bakery in the heart of the 2nd arrondissement, Aki is a great local treasure. If you want katsu curry followed by a green tea mille-feuille then you need look no further. The hustle and bustle of this shop adds to its atmosphere and they get through customers at an astonishing rate by serving you at lightening speeds. 

Maison Privat

Now we come to the pièce de la résistance of French baked goods. This one won’t be in the travel guides but by all accounts it should be. Try everything. No seriously, you have to. I lived around the corner for over a year and I made a jolly good stab at trying to eat my way around the counter. The Kouig’ Aman (a Breton pastry that is basically sugar and puff) is to die for but impossible to pronounce and their pissaladière with anchovies, onions and olives is incredible. The efficiency of such an immaculate establishment is only bettered by the warm, delectable baguettes they have on offer. Don’t expect to just walk in though, there is always a queue. 


Comme À Lisbonne

You may think that you have to venture all the way to Portugal to taste a pasteis de nata however you can try this delicious Portuguese sweet treat in the French capital! I stumbled across this bakery/cafe on my Sanders through the Marais and I highly recommend you check it out. You can sit in or take one to go. I always have mine with a dusting of cinnamon and a cheeky espresso to help wash it down.

Boneshaker

If you have had your fill of continental delights then full your stomach with a sugary donut from Boneshaker. I’d been meaning to go for years but always arrived just as they’d run out for the day! Luckily though when I went back at Easter I made it there in time to try their festive offering.

There are many more spectacular boulangeries and bakeries in Paris, I have no doubt about that. However, these just happen to be a few of my favourites. There is something quite personal about patisseries and bread in France. Everyone likes something different. Some people ask for a well cooked baguette, others like their pain de campagne sliced. I pretty much just like it all, but I will never pass up an opportunity to eat chouquettes! I’m feeling rather hungry now that I’ve written that. Anyone for cake?
Travel

Paris, France: Bookworm’s Paradise

The team at More Native Than The Natives are big readers! If you want to make us happy then give us a good book and a cup of tea. The only thing that could be better is visiting bookshops..

Paris had been the inspiration for many writers throughout the years so there are no surprises that the city boasts dozens of bookshops that you can lose yourself in. I’ve just booked a trip to go and visit a friend in my favorite city which led me to thinking about some of the best bookshops in the city.

Shakespeare and Co

This is the one that everyone knows. Located in the shadows on Notre Dame, this bastion of literary delights is as good as everyone says it is. I lived just up the quai from S&Co for a short while and I loved to just nip in and browse the titles. They hold regular events in the shop itself so definitely check out their calendar for a truly local experience of the city.

Abbey Bookshop

A stone’s throw away from Shakespeare and Co, the Abbey Bookshop is a bookworm’s heaven! Books are stacked from the floor to the ceiling and even down in the basement there are piles and piles of books just waiting for you to search through them for your next literary endeavor. I found this place thanks to a friend who was shocked that I had never been. The books are mostly in English and much cheaper than any of the others on this list!

Librairie Galignani

I can never spell this one! LG holds the accolade of being the oldest English language bookshop in France. If you prefer your bookshops quiet without lots of tourists then check this one out. When I first went in I was drawn to the way they ordered some authors by nationality. This led me to read my first ever book by an Icelandic author (Under the Glacier by Halldor Laxness if you’re interested!)

I’m sure there are many others that I just haven’t got round to visiting yet. Maybe you have a favorite that isn’t on the list? Let me know in the comments!

Travel

Denmark: Happiest Country in The World

If you haven’t had the chance to visit Denmark yet then this post might just make you want to book a plane ticket! Thanks to Cilla for this fabulous tribute to her country. Follow her blog here!

So I’ll start this post with telling you a bit more about myself before quickly sketching out reasons to visit my home country Denmark. When I was very young, my family and I moved to California. We lived there for 3 years before moving back to Denmark. I’d say my cultural understanding of other countries is pretty good. My father is married to a Brazilian woman. I’ve had an exchange student from Latvia living with me. I’m curious and openminded. I’m especially interested in the innovation part how do we do something even better or getting a better value? What can we learn from other cultures or countries?

Why visit Denmark you might ask? We’re lucky of we get one month of really good weather during the summer. The living-expenses are high. Getting a cheap hotel in Copenhagen is almost impossible. When visiting the countryside, you’re pretty much left alone withoutanything to do. Danes? All pale and wearing black. Taxes are insanely High.

Well besides all that. Denmark has a lot to offer. The Danes are well known, as being polite, happy and helpful. Oh yes, the happiness. Danes has been voted the most happy people in the world over and over again. You can hardly hit a bar without making new friends – might be short-term, but I ensure you, they’ll help making one hell of a night out.

The old architecture in the different cities, especially Copenhagen is just stunning. Copenhagen has for example being voted the most livable city in the world several times. There’s a lot of culture in Denmark. There are actually still living viking villages, fortresses, castles and art museums.

While travelling with a younger audience, I’d highly recommend Legoland – everybody is familiar with Lego right? Did you know it was founded in Denmark? I’m going be honest with you guys. I’ve visited Legoland even without my kids as well. I’ve been there with grownup members of my family, just to ride rollercoasters, dig out my inner child and have fun.

Tivoli is another great and historical place to visit. During the different seasons, specially Christmas it is almost even more magical than Disneyland. I know you are wondering – and the answer is yes, I’ve been there without my kids as well. Tivoli is also used for concerts, events and restaurants.

Okay, I think I made my point. I could go on about fun outdoor Activities, biking all over the entire country, danish design and stuff like that – but here’s what matters. Here’s what all of us want to know. NEED to know. Food.

Oh yes, the New Nordic Cuisine. Seriously – it is remarkable. I promise you, you will fall in love with the danish food. I’m not talking about chain restaurants here – yeah, you can find a McDonald’s here as well. No, I’m talking about those restaurants, which in using local products, everything is freshly produced and authentic. Noma, a restaurant in Copenhagen, was even voted the worlds best.

Let’s talk about fashion then. Scandinavian pieces has been dominating the catwalk the past through years. Danes know style, period. You can find everything, from fancy-clothing stores to exclusive second-hand shops with unique items. I even find myself, sitting on a bench in the middle of Copenhagen, just getting inspiredby the thousands of fashionistas passing by.

The scandinavian style is here to stay. Both in fashion, but also in interior. The raw materials. The black/white/grey-colors. The boom in green plants. The minimialistic, but yet cozy way. The luxury danish design chairs. Go check for yourself. Brands like Nordal and House Doctor are gorgeous with affordable prices. I’ve seen tons of interior pictures on Instagram and Pinterest from allover the world inspired by the scandinavian style. Look it up and be inspired too.

Allthough it’s cold – I wouldn’t want to live any other place. It’s safe for my kids here, free medical-care, they are secured a good education. And I simply love the danish way of sarcasm used everywhere. I love Denmark and I’m sure you will too. Feel free to reach out, in case of comments, questions and so on. I’d also love to hear from “foreigners” moving to Denmark.

Behind the author; Living in Soenderborg, Denmark – which is pretty close to the German border. Approximately 300 km away from the Capital city. New blogger mamma. 29 years old. Coffee-loving, shopping, beauty and dog-enthusiast. Owner of Cillaes.dk