Cuckoo’s Bakery Edinburgh

We love finding independent coffee shops when visiting new cities, we refuse to purchase a chain coffee when there are so many other choices! This was exactly the same during out time in Edinburgh and one of the coffee shops on our hit list was Cuckoos Bakery.

There are two Cuckoo’s Bakery coffee shops in Edinburgh one is located on Dundas Street which is just a short walk away from the centre of Edinburgh, we chose to visit this bakery as it was on our way back to our hotel which was located in Leith. The other bakery is located in Bruntsfield which we had planned on visiting after our hike up Arthurs Seat.

We had spied their ice coffees on Instagram and as soon as the sun started to shine our iced coffee craving kicked in and we headed straight to cuckoos bakery.

When we arrived there was a table available outside in the sun so we sat down before going inside and ordering our coffee, Rachel opted for a soya milk latte and Annie had an Iced Americano with a dash of soya milk (if you follow us on IG you will know already this is always our go to order).

We were admiring the cupcakes Cuckoo’s Bakery sell and if we hadn’t of been full from our brunch we would have definitely purchased a couple. The cupcakes looked absolutely delicious and they were iced to perfection.

The two girls who were working at the Dundas Street branch were incredibly friendly, polite and obviously enjoy their job a lot (why wouldn’t they when they get to work here).

It was definitely worth the visit and we would highly recommend it if you are visiting or live in Edinburgh!

The Hub Edinburgh Brunch Review

As you might have already guessed from our copious amounts of brunch reviews we are completely obsessed with breakfast and brunch is is our favourite meal of the day.

We jumped at the chance of visiting The Hub for breakfast when in Edinburgh and we are so glad we did because it was so delicious.

Upon arrival we asked the waiter if we could sit outside on the terrace as it was a beautiful sunny day and it seemed a shame to sit inside.

We were shown to our table outside and the waiter took our order (usually you have to go inside to order and they give you a wooden spoon with an allocated number and the waiter will then bring your to the table). During the summer months they will have full table service but at the moment the weather is so unpredictable so they don’t have enough staff to provide full table service.

The menu isn’t huge but sometimes that is a good thing because we often find it SO hard to choose what to have!

The smoothie menu however is great and we were unsure on what smoothie to order as they all sounded so refreshing. Rach decided to go for the pineapple smoothie and Annie had the raspberry one as it had mango in which is her favourite.

We both opted for the Hub made brunch which consisted of smoked bacon, Crombie’s sausages, fried egg, grilled tomato, rosti potatoes, baked beans and a morning roll.

The Hub were very accommodating Rach asked for no fried egg and the waiter said she could choose another breakfast item to have instead, so she chose an extra sausage. Annie swapped the fried egg for scrambled egg which she is so glad about as the scrambled egg was DELISH!

The breakfast was served on wooden boards which we really enjoyed and they were ideal for that perfect Insta photo!

The beans were served in a little ramekin dish which we thought was so cute and it kept the beans nice and hot.

The staff were super friendly and went above and beyond to make sure we enjoyed our time at The Hub. Someone was always on hand outside to help the customers from handing out extra ketchup to checking everyone was happy with their food.

The location of The Hub is perfect, it is right behind the Edinburgh Castle! We often find that restaurants that are this close to tourist attractions are often incredibly overpriced and the food is never that good. This definitely was not the case at The Hub the food was great and the price tag that came with it was also!

Why A Camping Trip Is Good For Your Soul

Recently we went camping, okay so we didn’t go full on camping we went glamping but you know what we were in the wilderness, we woke up to the sounds of the birds and it felt fantastic.

We always used to camp when we were younger, we used to go away with the brownies and guides and had such a great time cooking on the campfire. When we were older we did the Duke of Edinburgh and that was a completely different experience but we still loved it!

Camping is one of the best ways to explore the UK and see what it has to offer It can also be far cheaper as well! Just make sure you load up on on camping supplies, pack the tent and get going.

ITS A BREAK FOR THE MIND

Getting back to nature means getting away from it all, and that can be a really valuable thing in today’s fast paced world. Why not just enjoy your surroundings, turn off your phone and log off the social feeds sometimes a digital detox is just what you need. In fact, research by the Camping and Caravanning Club found that 93% of regular campers said it made them happier people!

BONDING TIME

As camping is something that people of all ages can do, it can be a great way to spend some quality time with family or friends. The focus on conversation and time together is invaluable, don’t forget to pack some games!

RESET YOUR SLEEP

Going on a camping trip can actually help the many of us who experience issues with insomnia and sleeplessness. Research has found that camping can help to reset our circadian rhythms– the hormonal patterns that dictate when we feel sleepy and awake. It has a balancing effect that counters our increasing use of artificial light and blue-light emitting devices that are known to disrupt the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone. Getting enough good quality sleep has a huge range of health benefits.

BOOST YOUR EXERCISE

Working out in the great outdoors is a fantastic boost to your mental and physical wellbeing, and camping trips are ideal for combining with other types of exercise.Hiking is one of our favourite forms of exercise and it’s great because you get to explore your surroundings as well. Plus, doing all this outside ups your body’s exposure to daylight, which results in greater Vitamin D production. This has many upsides, from improving your mood to giving you stronger bones.

Combining a brilliant way to explore the UK with all these other benefits means your next trip should definitely be in a tent. From the stunning coastlines of Cornwall to the beautiful wilderness of the Scotland there are so many diverse areas to explore and get to know a little better.

Bills Secret Garden Opening & Meeting Bill

So you may remember our blog post from a couple of months ago where we were lucky enough to be invited to see the newly renovated Bills in St Albans and to also sample the new menu (which by the way is incredible)!

We were fortunate to be invited back to see their new secret garden which is situated at the back of the restaurant in St Albans.

We did not know what to expect but it was a beautiful Thursday evening and the sun was (thankfully) shining! We arrived and were told to make our way to the back where we were greeted with delicious summer cocktails.

The garden/courtyard is the perfect size that fits about 5 tables and a couple of umbrellas. Surprisingly the whole courtyard is surrounded by residential flats (which means the garden has to shut by 9). There is the most lovely rustic feel in the garden and because they are not allowed to hang anything on the walls instead they had big mirrors, fairy lights and foliage lent against the walls.

The secret garden seats up to 24 guests and we were both discussing how popular weekend brunch is going to be in the secret garden on a beautiful sunny morning. We know we will definitely be visiting, not only to enjoy the beautiful secret garden but to eat the delicious brunch Bills has on the menu.

We spent the evening mingling and first met the Chief Operating Officer of Bills, he was great and we all shared a love for the brownies and sticky toffee pudding which is on the new dessert menu! then we met Bill himself. The restaurant chain is named after him and he is still so involved in the restaurants and it’s so amazing to see. Despite having 83 restaurants Bill still wants to get stuck in and even had his own vision for the secret garden at the St Albans brand and helped with the gardening too!

For us this makes going to Bills an even more enjoyable experience as we could see how much Bill still cares about his restaurants and the staff too, which is very very important to us.

We had a lovely evening enjoying canapés and peach iced tea and also met some lovely bloggers too.

We didn’t leave empty handed either as they were very kindly handing out goody bags which had some of Bills products in; Pink Lemonade, Lemon Curd, Cookies and Tea.

We are so excited to see the Bills restaurants around the country slowly change and are hoping it will be the Watford branch next!

If you want to visit one of these new Bills they are in St Albans, Covent Garden and Westfield White City!

Laughing At Bloggers

Kindest doesn’t cost a thing, so why are many people so unkind?

This is something we have wanted to write about for quite some time but have put it off as it isn’t the most positive of topics. But you know what we want to be real and with that sometimes comes a bit of negativity.

We both work full time during the week so the weekends are the only opportunity we get to create as much content as possible for our blog and Instagram.

Last Saturday we visited a coffee shop in Shoreditch and ordered our first iced coffee of the summer (exciting times), we stepped outside and decided to photograph our coffees, true blogger style of course!

We will set the scene; Rach was holding the coffee in the air as we wanted to get the shop sign in shot, when we noticed a group of friends pointing and laughing at us from inside the cafe. They were doing it in such a way that they actually wanted us to see, it was incredibly rude and made us feel really self-conscious. I asked one of them if they had a problem with what we were doing, to which one of them deliberately tried to get into shot trying to make it impossible for us to get a photograph without him in it. He was laughing hysterically covering his mouth and pretending to spit out his drink, did he not have anything better to do with his Saturday?

We eventually gave up and sat down on the outside seating area angry and upset with what had just happened, we were discussing the situation with one another when the girl sitting beside us who was also friends with this guy turned around and said ‘this is a public place’, we are not really too sure what she meant by this but surely with it being a public place your friend should have a bit of respect and shouldn’t be so rude?  Would he find it funny if we turned up to his job and started laughing at his work?

We don’t mind if people want to laugh about what we do but when you are deliberately being so unkind about us in front of our faces it’s just not very nice at all. We felt like we were back in the school playground and felt so awkward with the situation we had to leave. We wouldn’t have the audacity to be so cruel to someone, how do these people live a life like that? We would feel awful for being so unkind.

This isn’t the first time it has happened either, if happens every single weekend without a shadow of a doubt we will have at least one person point and laugh, sometimes we ignore it, sometimes we wave at them to which they usually look incredibly embarrassed and run away and other times it really gets us down.

We can’t be the only ones this happens to? When are people going to realise that it’s not that weird being a blogger? Especially not in London!

Jazz Apples Overnight Oats

We love oats they are our go to breakfast almost every day, they keep us fuller for longer and they are so versatile so we never get bored.

In the winter we love a warming bowl of porridge whereas in the summer we always reach for overnight oats.

We love overnight oats they are delicious and super convenient as you can make them the night before in a jam jar and take them with you to work you the next day. We especially love adding fruit into our oats during the summer months and Jazz apples seemed like the perfect choice.

Jazz Apples were our Apples of choice, if you haven’t heard of Jazz apples before they are a funky fusion of a Braeburn and a Royal Gala, they are tangy-sweet and refreshingly crunchy. The great thing about Jazz apples is that they have a fruit bowl life of up to four weeks.

Jazz Apples are grown all year round in the UK, New Zealand, France, Italy, USA, Chile, Switzerland, Austria and Australia. You can purchase Jazz apples in all major supermarkets in the UK; Aldi, Asda, Co-op. Lidl, Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsburys, Tesco and Waitrose.

You can find our delicious overnight oats recipe below which we have enjoyed on several occasions either outside in the sunshine whilst having a summer breakfast picnic or when we need a quick and easy breakfast during the week which we can enjoy dining al desko.

Ingredients (serves 2)
80g oats
100ml milk (we used soya milk)
150g Greek Yoghurt
1.5 tsp Cinnamon
1tbsp Maple Syrup
1 Grated Apple
1 Sliced Apple

Method

Grate the apple into a medium sized mixing bowl

Add the oats, milk, yoghurt, Cinnamon & Maple Syrup and mix with a wooden spoon until well combined

Leave to sit on the side and slice the 2nd Apple

Place 2 slices at the bottom of each Jam jar and top with a table spoon of oats- continue to do this until your jam jar is full.

Chop two of the slices up and use as a topping as well as a sprinkle of cinnamon

Put the lid on the jam jar and put them in the fridge overnight or for a couple of hours

When you are ready to eat remove from the fridge and enjoy!

This was a sponsored post, all views are our own.

Why we decided to go Self Hosted

For those of you that dont know we set up our blog in October 2015 on wordpress.com, it wasn’t until August 2016 that we purchased our first domain which was www.threebrits.com, in August 2017 our domain was up for renewal and we decided to take the plunge and change our domain to www.two-brits.com as there was now only two of us. Luckily we had only had our domain for a year and although it was annoying because our domain authority was back to 0 we worked our little butts off and got it back up in no time at all.

All throughout 2017 we were talking about going self hosted, we knew we wanted to do it but we just never got round to it. We were confused by the entire process and we didn’t have a chance to research more about it. One of our goals for 2018 in fact it was probably our top goal for 2018 was to go self hosted.

In February we finally purchased a self hosting plan, we did a bit of research on a couple of self hosting plans and decided to go with HostGator. They had a good package and it appeared that their customer service was rated highly as well.

We decided to go for the 36 month plan because it was cheaper to do it this way and it also means we don’t have to worry about paying for another hosting plan for 3 years.

We were about to go ahead and purchase the plan when a pop up appeared offering us ‘3 years for the price of 2 53% off’ so of course we clicked on it and it dropped the price to $200. So a top tip would be to go off of the page for a couple of minutes and when you return you may have a discount code waiting for you!

We payed $200 for the 36 month plan, just a small thing to note is that they will charge you EU Value Added Tax which was about $42 so if you are in the USA it would be even cheaper than $200.

So our plan had been purchased and we were already smashing through our 2018 goals we did a little celebratory dance before thinking OH GOD WHAT DO WE DO NOW!!?? We are not technical in the slightest we have no idea how to export from WordPress.com and import it to our WordPress.org dashboard? LIKE WHAT? in fact we didn’t even know this was part of the process at this point.

So STRESSED does not cover it, we didn’t know what to do! HostGator offer a free migration of content and domain but after a few chats with them on their 24/7 chat we decided to go with WP Beginners (WordPress for Beginners).

We are so glad we went with WP for beginners as they also offer a free migration service. All they require is your WordPress Login & Password & the self hosting Login & Password so make sure you update these to a password you want them to know and and can easily change after the process is complete.

So during the process we were still highly confused and we thought instead of confusing ourselves even more at this stage we will just wait to the migration to take place and we can then go from there.

Make sure you turn your wordpress.com site to private so readers arent still access your site via wordpress.com.

Add in the plugin JetPack and it will move across all your followers to your new and improved site.

WordPress for beginners were literally incredible and we cannot praise them enough! They talked us through the fact we would not be using WP Admin to write out posts, which we didn’t even know about (LOL).

We have now been up and running on our self hosted blog for just over 3 months and it was honestly the best decision we ever made.

Our views have improved, our Domain Authority has gone up and we realised we could finally start making some money from our blog, how you ask? We added google ad sense!

We are so glad we took the leap and went self hosted. If you are completely confused by the entire process just like we were then please do ask us any questions you like! We finally feel like we understand it all now.

By Chloe Review

NEW VEGAN PLACE TO EAT IN LONDON ALERT! IF YOU HAVEN’T HEARD ABOUT IT WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?

By Chloe is a new vegan restaurant in the heart of London. This restaurant has come over from America and is taking London by a storm.

Located in Covent Garden opposite 42nd Street the premises are surprisingly huge. We didn’t know what to expect and were pleasantly surprised at how large the restaurant was.

The great thing about By Chloe is that it is not table service so this meant there was no queue for a table and we didn’t struggle to find a table either. However we did go on a Monday afternoon so it was probably more quiet than usual.

Guests order their food from the counter and are given a receipt, the staff call your name out once your food or drink is ready.

We were surprised to see that at the weekend there is more choice on the menu and they offer a weekend brunch menu. We want to return to try the pancakes on this menu as they took our fancy.

We decided to go for the pasta pot as we had just come from a gym class. The one we opted for was the avocado-cashew pesto pasta which was served with cherry tomatoes and vegan Parmesan. We chose the large pot and oh my it was so filling that we actually struggled to finish it, the sauce was so creamy and flavoursome.

There was also vegan mac and cheese which was made from sweet potatoes. We were not brave enough to try this, but maybe next time.

Other items on the menu included salad, burgers, juices, fries, cupcakes and even treats for your pets!

We both ordered an iced latte made with almond milk which was small but delicious! We have been craving an iced latte for a while so it definitely hit the spot.

We absolutely loved the decor of the place, you could sit on circle tables, benches or even in a swinging chair. The iconic Guac Save the Queen sign was also lit up and made the most instagramable picture.

There was also a filter tap for water and agave nectar bottles too. However our highlight was the pile of colouring sheets and pots of crayons you could help yourself to to colour in whilst you wait. Food was served on a tray and a colouring paper sheet lined the tray too which was such a kitsch idea.

Let us know if you decide to visit and what you think!

Is The Cost Of London Living Getting A Big Too Much? You Do Have Options!

There’s a whole lot to love about living in London. We have always lived close to London growing up and it was only ever a tube ride away and as Rach got older she decided to make the move to the big city. London city is so alive and diverse that no matter what you’re into or what you’re looking for you can usually find it only a tube ride away.

While there are many cities across the UK that are amazing and we love visiting the Big Smoke really does have it all. Are you a foodie? Don’t worry, London has you covered. Wine fanatic? London has some of the classiest and coolest wine bars anywhere in the world! Into art? You can’t throw a rock in the capital without hitting a gallery packed full of exquisite and challenging works. And theatre? There are so many incredible shows that you will have to see!

While there are certainly cheaper places in the country to live most Londoners (including us) consider the high rent and cost of living completely worth it.

Don’t get us wrong some months can be a struggle and it can be hard working out finances but there is no need to stress though as there are things you can do about these worries.

We have always been fairly good at saving money, but there are also times when you would rather not spend your savings on say your broken down car. When something like this happens it’s important to know that there are places that can help you!

There are many options available to you, but knowing the right one to suit your needs can make the difference between resolving your problem or digging yourself deeper and deeper into an avalanche of debt which of course we don’t want!

Credit cards aren’t always a bad thing and in actual fact they can work in you favour when further down the line you are looking to get a mortgage. Be sensible and remember to pay off your credit card before you start paying interest.

Credit cards- These can be helpful, and many come with attractive 0% interest rates for an introductory period. Just make sure that you pay off your debt within this window or the interest rates could spike rather quickly.

Secured loans- Secured loans are ideal for those who are lucky enough to own their own property and may not have the best credit rating. Just make sure you look for a lender who gives you an APR and monthly repayments that are manageable for your circumstances.

It is perfectly possible to live on just £40 a day in London inclusive of rent, bills and living expenses. It may just mean you have to keep an eye on your spending. Do you really need to buy a coffee every morning? Could you take a pack lunch to work? Could you save yourself some money by walking part of the way to work?

That’s not to say that you should become a recluse because what fun would that be? And what would be the point of living in London if you’re not going to do any living.

MIA Chocolate Review

We had never heard of MIA chocolate but oh my are we glad we have been introduced to the brand because we have fallen in love with the majority of the flavours (the candid orange one is to die for and so is the hazelnut and cranberry)!

One of the things we particular like about the brand MIA is their name. The name MIA is quite cool for a chocolate brand but it actually stands for Made In Africa; everything the company produces is sourced and made in Africa. In addition the company believes in making delicious, unique and premium food fairly.

Did you know that 65% of the world cocoa is produced in Africa, but only 1% is actually made in Africa? That is so crazy!

Each and every product that is made by MIA is entirely crafted by communities in Africa. They want to create more jobs on a continent where a single income can support an entire family.

One of the many things we love about MIA is the packaging. It’s so beautiful and really makes the chocolate stand out from other bars.

100% COCOA
We had never tried chocolate with a percentage of 100% so we were particularly excited to try this. This was the first of the flavours we tried and it sure is bitter! We have really enjoyed mixing it into our porridge in the morning and also making hot chocolate with it. Personally for us 100% is a bit on the bitter side we can cope with 90% but that extra 10% really does make a difference.

75% DARK CHOCOLATE
75% was the perfect % of cocoa for us and we thoroughly enjoyed this bar, it was the perfect post dinner snack. It was sweet enough to satisfy our sweet cravings but didn’t result in us eating the entire bar which was good as we wanted to savour it and enjoy it on several occasions and not just in one go. We can also imagine this would taste delicious in home baked cookies or muffins.

65% ALMOND & COCONUT
In every mouthful you could taste the savoury almond and sweet coconut flavours coming through which were are great combination and really work well together as flavours. The coconut makes the chocolate taste creamy and delicious as well which we thoroughly enjoyed. We would definitely recommend this flavour it was the perfect snack.

65% CANDID ORANGE
This flavour tasted amazing, the smooth 65% dark chocolate with candid orange was the perfect mix. We love anything orange flavoured especially chocolate so we had a feeling we were going to love this bar before we had even tried it. If we weren’t careful we could’ve eaten the whole bar! This the perfect sweet treat to enjoy in the evening whilst chilling on the sofa! We would also be more than happy to give these as presents to people as the packaging looks pretty and not to mention how delicious it is.

65% CRANBERRY & HAZELNUT
Chocolate and Hazelnut has got to be one of our favourite combinations EVER! We are obsessed so we were really excited to try the cranberry and hazelnut MIA bar. We certainly were not disappointed with the bar we especially loved the sprinkling of roasted hazelnuts that covered the bar giving it that extra crunch. There was a good amount of dried cranberries as well giving the bar a sweet yet slightly sour taste.

65% COCONUT
we loveeeee coconut and always forgot how amazing it tastes when added to chocolate. MIA use caramalised coconut shavings in this bar which adds the perfect amount of sweetness to the 65% cocoa bar.

You can purchase MIA chocolate online on their website, the chocolate is £4.00 per 75g bar or you can purchase a 6 bar multipack for £20.40. MIA chocolate would make the perfect gift for any chocolate lover.

You can also purchase the chocolate over on http://www.cocoarunners.com/ and http://www.boroughbox.com/