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Happy Christmas to my readers (and a few tips if you’re staying put in the capital)

Wishing all Memoirs Of A Metro Girl readers a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2017

Wishing readers of Memoirs Of A Metro Girl a Happy Christmas

Wow, what a year! Here we are again, it’s Christmas Eve and we’re all ready for some down time to relax. If you are working over Christmas, I feel your pain, I’ve worked Christmas Day before and it’s tough working while getting major FOMO.

It’s that time of year when London gets the quietest it can. A mass exodus leaves the capital’s population dramatically shrunken with many bars, restaurants and shops closing up for days. I was out having Christmas drinks with some friends last night and was loving how quiet it was and easy to get a seat everywhere we went.

Wishing all my readers a merry Christmas and hope you’re having a good one wherever you are. I’ll be having another London Christmas as usual, still no white one is sight.

If you’re staying in the capital over the festive period, here’s a few things on around town if you do venture out:

  • Try a spot of ice-skating on one of the capital’s pop-up ice rinks, including one on a rooftop with a view of London’s skyline, Skylight.
  • Get merry this Christmas with a festive cocktail from one of these London bars.
  • For a general guide to what’s on in December, check out this post.
  • Party with Santa’s naughty elves with live music, winter warmers, street food and more at the South Pole Saloon.
  • Start planning your New Year’s Eve with my Metro Girl’s guide to the best parties in town.

See you in 2018 for more exploring the capital!

Metro Girl

Happy New Year! A look back on Metro Girl’s 2016 of blogging

Here's to a sparkling new year

Here’s to a sparkling new year

Happy New Year! It’s that time of year when we look back and reflect on the past 12 months. Well, it goes without saying that 2016 is going to be one year that stands out in the history books years from now. The huge volume of celebrity deaths, the shock Brexit and Trump results, among other events, have provided plenty of things to talk, lament and worry about.

In terms of my blog, it has continued to grow and the feedback and engagement I get from my audience is encouraging. Every new year since I launched MOAMG back in 2012, I wonder how long I can keep my blog going. Well for now, I am still enjoying it as much as ever and documenting my exploration of my hometown so expect plenty more posts in 2017.

Taking my listings guides out of the equation, here’s Metro Girl’s most popular blog posts of 2016.

  1. Artist Julian Opie creates new permanent artwork for Carnaby as Lumiere London kicks off
  2. Revisit the romance and energy of Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet with Backyard Cinema
  3. Beyond The Waterfall: Take a boat trip to a magical cocktail bar at Westfield London this Christmas
  4. Trade Union review: London’s most versatile day and night destination opens in Wapping
  5. St Katharine Docks: A hidden oasis in the centre of London

Wishing all my readers a very Happy New Year and see you in 2017 for more London adventures.

Love Metro Girl

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Hills, pasteis and ginjinha: The many charms of lovely Lisbon

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2016

Torre de Belem, the 16th century fortress in the seaside suburb of Belem

Sorry Barcelona, I think you may have lost your place as my favourite city in Europe. After seeing some fabulous Insta-photos of Lisbon over the past year, I finally booked a break in the Portuguese capital. Outside peak times, you can get incredibly cheap flights to Lisbon with Easyjet and Ryanair, while hotels in Lisbon offer very good value compared to most Western European capitals.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2016

The ruins of the 14th century Convento do Carmo, damaged in the 1755 earthquake

Lisbon is a compact city, spread across seven hills overlooking the River Tejo. As a result, you’ll find many stairs, elevators and funinculars to help you get up and down the different levels. Many tourists opt to stay in the neighbouring old districts of Baixa or Rossio. We used Air BnB to find a three-bedroom apartment in the Mouraria region, with two balconies giving views of the Castello and Martim. We were just one flight of stairs away from Praça Martim Moniz, where we could pick up the historic 28 tram and or it was a few minutes walk to the lovely Rossio square.

During your time in Lisbon, you’ll expect to rely on various modes of transport to get you up and down the many hills. We rode the Ascensor da Gloria, a funicular railway line which connects Restauradores Square with the Bairro Alto. It was a tight squeeze on the tram car as it climbed the steep slope, passing by the houses and street art. Just near the car stop is the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara, a small park with great views of Lisbon. A short walk in the neighbouring Chiado district are the stunning ruins of the Convento do Carmo (Carmo Convent). Built in 1389, it was significantly damaged by the 1755 earthquake. Today, what’s left of the Convent – walls, columns and other monuments – is open to the public as a museum. Meanwhile, not far from the Convento is the Elevador de Santa Justa, an neo-Gothic street elevator built in 1902 connecting the lower streets with Carmo. Unfortunately, when I was visiting it was partially covered in scaffolding for maintenance so I didn’t get to see the full beauty of the designs. Read the rest of this entry

Happy New Year! A look back on Metro Girl’s 2015 of blogging

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2015Happy New Year! It’s at this time of year that a lot of us look back and reflect on the past 12 months. I’ve been doing the same and looking back over all my London discoveries and adventures this year. I would like to thank all the people who have read, shared and commented on my posts this year. I blog on the side of a demanding full-time job so admittedly it is very tricky at times to juggle both. It is down to your feedback and response which spurs me on when I have moments where I think I don’t have time to do both.

Taking my listings guides out of the equation, here’s Metro Girl’s most popular blog posts of 2015.

1) Lose your head in a good book: False Ceiling at Leadenhall Market.

2) Nice to see ewe: Follow the Shaun In The City trails around London.

3) Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings review: Brunch and bottomless cocktails… what’s not to love?

4) Open House London 2015: Highlights and advice on how to make the most of the weekend.

5) St Bartholomew’s Gatehouse: A rare survivor of 16th century London.

Wishing all my readers a very Happy New Year and see you in 2016 for more London adventures.

Love Metro Girl

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Wishing readers of Memoirs Of A Metro Girl a Merry Christmas

Wishing all MOAMG readers a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2015Would just like to wish all my readers a very Merry Christmas wherever you will be. As for me, it will be another traditional London Christmas with my family (have given up expecting to see a white one in my lifetime!).

For those who are staying in the capital over the festive period, here’s a few ideas of things to do:

– Visit the London Eye for a special festive adventure above the capital with Christmas cocktails or skate in their pop-up ice rink.

– Sip on a festive cocktail from one of these London bars.

– Or if you fancy a spot of ice-skating at one of London’s many pop-up rinks, check out where to go here.

– For a what’s on guide to what’s on in London this Christmas, click here.

– Or if you need some ideas of how to see in the New Year, click here.

See you in 2016 for more London fun and frolics!

Metro Girl

Happy New Year! Metro Girl looks back on blogging in 2014

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2014

Seeing London from The Shard at a Silent Disco was the most popular post this year

Yes, it’s that time of year again when most of us reflect on the past 12 months. Personally, 2014 was one of my best years in… well years and I hope 2015 will equal it. No doubt there will be many more restaurants and bars to review, history to discover and festivals to party at. Memoirs Of A Metro Girl has really grown in 2014, having over doubled my traffic in the past six months so I’m grateful to all the readers that have taken the time to read and share my posts.

Taking my listings guides out of the equation, here’s Metro Girl’s most popular blog posts on 2014.

1) Silent Disco at View From The Shard: Shaking your booty at 800ft

2) Secret Cinema presents Back To The Future review: Great Scott, I’ve gone back to 1955!

3) Swiss glockenspiel in Leicester Square: The last survivor of the Swiss Centre

4) Who do you sphinx you are? The history behind the camel and sphinx benches on Victoria Embankment

5) Duck & Waffle review: A pretty fabulous brunch on the 40th floor

Wishing all my readers a very Happy New Year and see you in 2015 for more London adventures.

Love Metro Girl

Happy 1st Birthday to Memoirs Of A Metro Girl

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2013

Memoirs Of A Metro Girl turns one today!

One year ago today, I finally made a long-held fantasy of becoming a blogger a reality. I’ve worked in the media, and more specifically online, for over a decade and was eager to fulfil my passion for my other interests outside work. Anyone who has read my blog, won’t take long to realise I’m a vehemently proud and patriotic Londoner. I had an amazing childhood in the city, am loving working and playing here during my career years… and health and finances permitting, hope to retire here too. This blog has made me find out more about the city I live in and has inspired me to utilise my free time more.

Over the past 12 months, I’ve reached many milestones, have had thousands of hits and am currently at over 200 Twitter followers. I really appreciate all the support of my readers by sharing, retweeting and ‘liking’ my posts. However, I am still striving to grow my blog and reach even more readers, so if you like what you see, please tell your friends, family and colleagues about MOAMG.

Here’s my top five most popular blog posts of the past year:

Follow the Wenlocks: Olympic discovery trails around London. August 2012

Can lampposts be fashionable? The myth of the Coco Chanel street lights. February 2013

Rock ‘n’ rollin’ at the Rivoli: Jive Party at a 1950s ballroom. November 2012

Inside out: A rare chance to step inside the Lloyd’s Building at Open House. September 2012

Ooh la la! Crazy Horse cabaret comes to London with Forever Crazy. October 2012

Thanks for the continued support.

A Metro Girl in London

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A Liebster Award Nomination

LiebsterI was thrilled to be nominated by Lizzy at The Ropes in London for a Liebster Award, so thank you!  I’ve been blogging for about nine months and it’s become my saviour. I work erratic shifts in my full-time job which leave me exhausted a lot of the time, so finding time to blog is hard, but I love it. The Liebster Award is a fun way to recognise and promote new up and coming blogs of a good standard with less than 200 followers (on WordPress). Liebster comes from the German word for ‘dearest’ or ‘favourite’, which is cute.

As a nominee, I’m required to:

1.  Thank the Liebster Blog presenter who nominated you and link back to their blog.

2. Post 11 facts about themselves, answer the 11 questions they’ve been asked and create 11 questions for your nominees.

3.  Nominate 11 blogs of 200 followers or less who you feel deserve to be noticed and leave a comment on their blog letting them know they have been chosen.

4.  Display the Liebster Award logo (there’s two of ’em).

11 Random Facts About Myself

1) I was born, brought up and live in South London, went to university in North London, spent most of my working life based in West London and have often partied/ate/shopped in Central and East London so I like to think I have a good, balanced knowledge of the whole capital.

2) I’m an adrenalin junkie – I’ve done two skydives, a bunjee jump, a trapeze lesson, abseiling and a parachute jump off a mountain.

3) I have travelled to over 40 countries, although as I get older and obtain more financial responsibilities, my goal of visiting 100 before I die seems a bit optimistic.

4) I make a mean Mojito – taught myself the recipe after drinking a lot in Cuba. Do NOT grind up the mint leaves!

5) I hate winter and the cold, I was born in August so I would prefer to be in the warm all year round.

6) I was a camp counsellor in New Jersey when I was 19. It was quite possibly the hardest job I have ever done in my life. I didn’t sleep for the best part of three months while looking after seven seven-year-olds 24 hours a day.

7) I published a book in 2007 – a biography of a pop act. Not what I dreamt my first book would be, but I am proud of it.

8) I’ve been a pescatarian since I was eight.

9) Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day – the possibilities are endless: pancakes, waffles, English muffins, fry-ups, muesli…

10) If money was no object, I would love to buy National Trust ‘at risk’ properties and restore them.

11) I try to live by the slogan ‘Do it, move it, make it happen – no one ever sat their way to success’ – although I am guilty of not always applying it to my life.

Now, here’s my answers to my questions from Lizzy:

 1. Which is your favourite month and why?Liebster Award

August. It’s my birthday month and tends to be warm.

2. What is your single, most important possession?

My passport.

3. Describe your very first memory?

Sitting on Father Christmas’s lap at daycare when I was three. I was very self-conscious of being stared at.

4. Who is your favourite author?

Arthur Conan Doyle.

5. If you could only visit one city in the world, which would it be?

Hong Kong.

6. Facebook, Twitter or both?

Both.

7. What would you choose for your last meal?

Lobster with garlic butter with buttery mashed potatoes and spinach and sultanas on the side.

8. What made you decide to start your own blog?

After years of being the ‘go to’ girl for London information from friends and family, I thought it was time put it down in writing in the run-up to the Queen’s Jubilee.

9. What is your favourite film?

Back To The Future

10. Who do you think is the world’s most loved celeb?

Nelson Mandela (not technically a celeb, but he’s one person that doesn’t divide opinion)

11. What is the last song you listened to?

You’ve Got The Love – The Source and Candi Staton (the original and the best, sorry Florence And The Machine!)

And here’s 11 other blogs and 11 other questions.

Sequins and Cherry Blossom

PeanutButtered

A Spoonful of Sugar

Effra Blog

View From The Mirror

Organise A Hen

Out And About In The City

Rag-picking History

Mark Rowland’s London Rambles

Marlow Travels

The London Perspective

Here’s my questions for the nominees:

1) What’s your favourite (non-blog) website?

2) Given the choice, what holiday would you prefer – city break, beach break or adventure holiday?

3) Is there any world city you found disappointing or underwhelming when you visited it?

4) What’s your favourite book?

5) What epitaph would you have written on your gravestone?

6) What is your favourite dessert?

7) What is your ‘guilty pleasure’ TV show or film?

8) If you could time travel to any decade in the 20th century, what would it be?

9) If any Hollywood star, dead or alive, could play you in a movie of your life, who would it be?

10) First record/cassette/CD/download single you ever bought [depending on your age ;-)]?

11) Favourite colour?