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Wednesday, 15 November 2017

I Want To Go Away This Weekend

Dublin, Ireland


I haven't traveled or experiences a new place in so long it's starting this drive me nuts! I've had plans but lately life has been happening to me. I've been moving and working a lot the last few months with college and now a full time job basically I haven't had much time to do nothing except relax in the little down times I make sure to get.

I've a week's work holiday request in for the first week of December and I'm looking to go away. I've compiled a lit of top 5 places I'd like to visit.

1. Paris, France

Its not a city that I've expressed much interest in going before because of questions of racism and how precious they are about the language which I do not speak.



With that said it's pretty close to Ireland so there's a short flight and I'm all too aware of the romanticized image of Paris to not want to see it for myself to see how it really neasures up.


2. Amsterdam, Netherlands

Earlier in the year I was in talks of visiting with two other friends, in the end they went but I stayed behind. Unlike Paris, Amsterdam is a city I definitely want to visit.



From what I've heard and read it doesn't take too long to get to know the best of the city so it would be great for a weekend getaway.


3. Bruges, Belgium

I visited Bruges for a day last October while traveling around Belgium. I immediately fell in love with the old Bruges city centre but I didn't really get to spend as much time as I would've liked.



Returning to Bruges for the weekend, especially at this time could be a very relaxing weekend. I'd be treated to sights of beautiful architecture, delicious food and gorgeous city views. Plus very few tourists!

4. Bormida, Italy

I read about this small country side city of italy in a BuzzFeed article titled " This Town will Pay You To Live Here". I don't necessarily want to live there but I'd love to get a dose of it's beautiful country side atmosphere.



Additionally I really want to practice my Italian some more, a language I speak on very rare occasions but adore it. And after seeing Call Me By Your Name, I'm convinced what I need to get over the bittersweet hole it's opened up inside me is a visit to the Italian countryside.


5. Lombardy, Italy

If I really let myself be honest here, I just want to visit Lombardy because Call Me By Your Name was filmed here. It seems so beautiful and yes I know it's a movie it's meant to be beautiful, but I just want to visit it for myself and experience the undeniably beautiful Italian countryside.

A post shared by Luca Marin (@luca51268) on
Again the chance to speak italian and the temptation of homely italian cooking is enough to make my stomach flutter.

All these places in time will be visited but fir the weekend coming up I can only choose one.

Have you been here or planning to go? Got any tips or advice? I'd love to hear them.

Till Next Time
xxx

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

What Its Like To Fear Failure and then Fail

Dublin, Ireland


So a funny thing happened in college. Basically I was really worried that I wasn't good enough to pass my photography class at the level I thought I could and then my photography lecturer told me that yes I'm definitely not good enough, in fact I'm struggling. Now isn't that the gosh darn funniest thing you've heard all year? Yeah me too.

As a child and for the early stages of my teenage years I would sit when told to sit, walk when told to walk, eat when told etc. I didn't do much that wasn't what was asked or expected of me. When I first started blogging as a way to start finding my own voice and with all projects that I have ever taken on, there's always been a strong fear of failure. Fear that by not following some plan set in place by another who probably knows better than I, I'd undoubtedly fail.


In going out on my own, I would fail and confirm my inadequacy. The skills and characteristics I pride myself on will be proven useless and I'll revert back to a routine of structures and processes I can follow strictly.

So yeah receiving this news for a short while threw me back into the deep end of that feeling of failure and inadequacy, a place I've slowly swam out of the last few years. Now I'm a better swimmer than I was back then so I've managed to move away from the deep end and can feel my toes touching ground again but I've come back with a little nugget of new perspective.


I tried so hard to please the opinion of this one lecturer, so afraid of what they'd say that I sabotaged myself. Every click of my camera or thought about this module has been an almost unhealthy obsession with what they would say to the point of simply tiring myself out and giving up. My work could be a lot better than what I have produced but it could also be worse.

For all my fear of failure am I not just setting myself up to fail if all I see is what I'm failing to do right or perfectly according to someone else's subjective views? I feel like I have this talk with myself every few months where I have to reassure myself of where I am, where I've been and where I'm going.


I'm tired of the sound of my own voice in my own head. I feel like I have let the Hormone Montress from Big Mouth inhabit my body whilst I took a little gander off with the fairies.

There's been a lot of complaining, worrying and negativity underlying all these beautiful lovely moments I'm having the last few months. It's just time for an attitude detox and the clock has struck thirteen. I'm not worried about failing this module, just a little disappointed with how it's gone so far. However, it's a nice lesson to brush up on again so early in this course so I remember why I am here and who I'm doing this for.

So yes I'm failing at the very thing I didn't want to fail at but I guess all I needed was a strongly opiniated lecturer to stump on me and remind me of who I am, someone who doesn't like being stumped on!


What character flaws do you find yourself slipping into periodically but learning from?

Till Next Time
xxx

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Thursday, 28 September 2017

Cliffs of Moher

Dublin, Ireland


*DISCLAIMER* This post is NOT sponsored by Paddywagon or any other party.

Back in July, which feels a lot longer than two months ago, I took a day trip with my best friend Karen to the lovely Cliffs of Moher. For this occasion, we used the delightful service of Paddywagon tours to finally see one of Ireland's most famed attractions.


The day started off messy, to say the least. Having forgotten my purse at a friend's the night before there was the stress-inducing race against the clock to get to their house and into town for the 7am pickup arranged from our stop. With major thanks to my wonderful housemate, we made it with plenty of time to spare to get ourselves back into the exciting headspace for the day's adventures.


The thing that made using Paddywagon so attractive to me was that you weren't only buying a ticket to the cliffs but there were a few other stops along the way that I didn't even know about until Karen looked at the itinerary and told me.










First up was a rest stop at Obama Plaza Moneygall then another stop at Bunratty Castle. We spent approx. 40mins was spent here and I can't for the life of me remember why we didn't even manage to make it inside the castle. It must've been all the pictures we took outside Durty Nelly's!


Our specific tour operated the schedule backward in order to avoid crossing paths with the other Paddywagon groups and other tour company groups. This way the locations we visited would as little crowds as possible. This meant up next was the piece de resistance, The Cliffs of Moher.


Our driver was great to emphasize how miraculous it was that after so many rainy consecutive days, the skies on that day had painted themselves blue with the sun shining graciously down on us.
It was beautiful to see. Not unlike the cliff face of any other cliff but still lovely to be able to say I've been there now. We took plenty of pictures, stared in horror at the surprising amount of people who would sit at the end edge for pictures or simply to look cool or feel whatever thrill they found in the gasps they elicited from those of us around them. 







I also got electrocuted feeding the cows although that was completely my fault. I was completely blind to the many warning signs of electric fencing. We laughed and climbed as much as our feet and time would allow. Following the thrill of the cliffs, we shuffled ourselves unto the bus where our tour guide entertained us with honest reviews of where to eat and drink on our next rest stop in Doolin. It was so sunny we even had to pick up some ice cream!


The Burren, known for its Limestone rocks was next on the itinerary. We had a relaxing drive through the park, all the way down to the 'Baby Cliffs' where we could look out to sea and enjoy the late afternoon breeze.


The day was brought to a fairytale end with a drive along The Wild Atlantic Coast known for its mesmerizing natural beauty and on this beautiful sunny day, it did not disappoint! We stopped at Kinvara where Karen and I enjoyed a quick albeit somewhat slippy stroll around Dunguaire Castle.





It was almost 7pm when we returned to the city and 12 hours on the road although fun really did take its toll on us. I was desperately in need of food and a nap. We bundled ourselves into Boojum and hurried home for my nap. All in all a beautifully spent day.


I definitely felt like I'd made the most of the trip crawling into bed that night. Our tour guide full of knowledge and fun was hilarious to listen to. I had an awesome day with my best friend. Even the fact that my phone proceeded to die immediately after couldn't ruin it! €40 most definitely well spent!




I haven't discovered as much of Ireland as I wanted to at the start of the year but I'm so glad I have this ticked off my list. I'll definitely be returning again when I manage to drag some mates along.

Till next time

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Sunday, 17 September 2017

Textures

Dublin, Ireland




It's September and not only is it my birthday next week but we're in my favorite season ever. Autumn! The thing I love about this time of year is the overall coziness of it all. We experience so many different textures, thick cozy jumpers to sractchy blankets that soften next to the fire on a cold night's cuddle.

The warm, fuzzy feeling of staying in on a Saturday night with the rain pounding against the windows, the takeaway expected in 45mins and the movie just about to start is one I always look forward.





I wanted to express this in these pictures and just have a bit more fun with it like I said in my Let The Pieces Fall Where They May post. This jumper is one of the coziest and warmest items I own. It's very versatile and I absolutely adore the color of it.

I especially love wearing it over plain long dresses for a different look that can be dressed up to be smart casual or dressed down to be cozy and fun. It's also great paired with my black leather leggings or black jeans.




This was a really fun post for me to do and I look forward to doing more artistic shoots. It's especially exciting now given that Ill be studying photography and audio for my first semester of college.

I'll be talking more about college and general life in the first episode of Faking Adulthood Now coming our next Friday along with my return to the Get In The Know newsletter which I had also stopped updating when I hit my block. 

There is now a subscriber's only section of the blog for bonus posts, tips, and tricks, roundups, travel announcements etc. There will be a new access code every week for the Subs only section so be sure to subscribe here for it.


Till Next Time

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Thursday, 14 September 2017

Saying All I Need to Say

Dublin, Ireland



Top- H&M
Skirt - H&M
Tights - Claire's Accessories
Socks - Primark
Boots - Primark
Bag - Primark
Earrings - Primark
Glasses - Glasses Shop (Use Code: GSHOT50 for 50% off! )

I had typed up all of last night's post as I very often do on my phone and sent it as a text message to myself. At the time my Google account on my new-ish phone was experiencing errors that the basic methods of repair could not fix. In the end, I had to resign myself to an FDR, or Factory Data Reset. Unable to back up my messages and lost in the frustration of having to experience such an issue with my new phone I threw caution to the wind and went ahead and did the FDR erasing a lot of data on my phone, which I knew would happen.


However, when it came to time to copy and paste my post from messages to my Blogger app so I could edit it online, I saw my mistake. My foolish mistake. I couldn't bear the thought of typing out all the sentences I'd worked to carefully curate. Sentences structured to convey the emotions felt at the time, happier emotions compared to the frustration and slight annoyance that now replaced it. I was grasping at words and phrases as they fell out of my temporary memory bank still unaware that they are no longer stored in the secure confines of the blue coloured speech bubble of my text message dialogues.


Needless to say, I felt gutted. Especially when I was so proud and happy with what I had written. But alas, I will concede and deal with the consequences of my own actions. I will also try not to think about why I didn't just send it to myself on messenger too!







In this said deleted post, I spoke of the days before I started taking blogging a little more seriously than I'd like to right now. It's undeniable that the world of blogging has changed significantly since I started writing on blogs over 5 years ago. There are now blogs successful enough to gain money for a full-time living and also blogs successful enough to have a dedicated audience to drive the person(s) that write on it. Both are different forms of success.


When I decided I wanted to go for the kind of success that had the potential to bring in some money after the birth of Albatroz & Co, I read a lot of tips and tricks on improving my blogging game. And although I didn't necessarily fall into an obsession with money and numbers, there were times where these factors did affect my blogging experience and enjoyment. I picked up a lot of habits from my readings. Some have helped me be a better blogger like joining facebook groups geared at helping you become your best blogging self in a community of like minded people and others that I have tried, tested and kicked to the kerb like the idea of pods or follow for follow threads.


Today I am kicking another one to the kerb. I don't remember where I came across it or why it became so ingrained in my mind this idea that to rank higher and improve my SEO, I should be writing approx. 1500 words otherwise I may as well not be trying. Did this improve my SEO or bring my views to my page? To be honest I can not see the correlation between long texts and views on my site.







My most read posts are a combination of my most promoted and also well-written pieces with engaging content. If you're writing about something people want to read and you say all you have to say, what difference does it make how long it is? Especially if I am just writing for people to read and not necessarily to become no.1 on google search? The idea of having to write a certain amount to get a certain result may be proven and I am by no means disputing its validity, I'm just saying it doesn't always work for me.


I have tried it and yes it has tested me and challenged me to research my views or get informed on my opinion before broaching a post to ensure I am confident in the knowledge of what I have to say. However, there have been times where I have not had much to say but felt as though for my work to be significant I need to at least write this amount of words to make an impact.


It's restricting and has gradually become a habit I do not like. An inbuilt characteristic I now want to get rid off. Like an antigen my body has just become aware of, I no longer want this idea that morphs into a necessity to write more than I want to or more than I have the knowledge of to take over and influence the joy I get from writing and navigating this creative space that is my blog.





I fell in love with the blogs I follow not because they write endless pages of text, I fell in love with them for their content which then inspired me to create my own. When I first started out in Fashion  blogging, I looked up to Luanna of Le Happy blog who's beautiful outfits and pictures were always enough to speak for themselves. I too wanted the big, pretty pictures and I didn't put too much focus on the text. I want to go back to this simpler time and share outfits and speak through pictures. Not all the time but some of the time.


Like I said I am not disputing the benefits of writing lengthy text ( of good quality), I'm just simply not going to make it the main focus of everything post I write here on Albatroz & Co. For the likes of articles and sponsored posts, I'll want them to perform really well so of course, I will acknowledge points such a length and keywords that will help it perform better in search engines because at the end of the day if you're looking to earn money and want people to find something, you have to make it somewhat easy for them to find. But I will not be selling my soul and will embrace this mentality to write as much as I need to say what I have to say.


To find out why it is important to have long text and keywords for SEO ranking, check out this rather helpful post from Yoast here.


Till Next Time

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Sunday, 10 September 2017

Let The Pieces Fall Where They May

Dublin, Ireland


I find it a little bemusing that at this stage of my life where everything is more or less changing it feels as though everything is just falling into place. More pieces of my jigsaw life are connecting and I'm not gonna lie, the feeling is comforting.

In my last post before taking my unsolicited break from Albatroz and Co. I spoke of how broken and drowned I felt by the responsibilities in life. Letting worries steal many nights of sleep and lack of energy from my at times demanding job all came crushing down on me. To cope I became an autopiloted being with an undercurrent of unsettled thoughts and worry that corrupted every attempt I made to stray away from the permanent routines of life I knew I could do.


I would go to work, eat, sleep and then see friends and that was great. I loved my job, I would do my best to eat healthy and at the suggestion of my therapist indulge a little bit more in the little pleasures of life instead of trying to save every single penny even when I had enough to spend. It brought me back to a challenge I did last year where I tried to get out of my own head and just do things cause I wanted to albeit wisely and not at the expense of making things worse.

I would just meet up with people, go out with friends...midweek like waaahh ( so wild I know). I can't quite find the words to describe the parallels of this time. On the one hand I was a capable young woman, going to work, seeing friends having fun and on the other hand I was smothered by the feelings of failure and lethargy. I'd been focusing too much on executing my responsibilities to the highest level that I was creating more pressure than needed. It was an unsettling and tormented time for me. The thought of it feels alien now and uncomfortable.


It's been a nice relaxing changing few months and I wanted Albatroz and Co to reflect the new clutter less approach to live that I want to take. I want to enjoy life and enjoy college which I start Monday!
I am also finally recording my first few episodes of Faking Adulthood Now and it talks a bit more about the change that has occurred the last two months and some more about starting therapy, college and generally trying to understand life and whatever else is to come.


You may have noticed a change of view with Albatroz and Co. Like I said, I wanted this site that's become so much of me to reflect the change of mind and stage of life I'm at right now. Which coincidentally is 'Simplicity'. I'm no minimalist, the amount of clothes and box full of shoes I own will attest to that but I'm really going to try and channel a simple easy way of thinking into everything I do. I'm trying to overthink things less and say yes to more things.


There's been a big change in terms of what Albatroz and Co now is. I've said goodbye to the Lifestyle niche and I am welcoming Wellness. Why? Because I think giving the stage in life that I have begun, moving out and living alone, there's still a lot I have to learn about taking care of myself and I want to share all that with you.


Lifestyle is such a broad category which is lovely but  I want to focus more on the Wellness as my lifestyle now. Expect more posts of Self-Care, Self-Love and Health and Fitness ( but not too much fitness). I'm going to try super hard to up my fashion game and play more with my photography so expect a lot of abstract and moody toned pictures.



Travel well, that's not going away any time soon. I'm also taking away the 30 Day Challenge from the site and making it exclusively a Newsletter feature. From the Get To Know You survey I did a while ago I saw that many of you enjoyed it but it's also hard for me to write long posts on these sometimes so I figured it'd be better to keep it as a feature in the newsletter so I won't be righting a page of text and you my beautiful readers will still get the updates.

Along with the changes is a Subscribers only page where I will be sharing pots of my own and links to other people's posts about blogging tips and tricks, and long posts that won't fit into a newsletter, bonus posts if you may. Each week the newsletter will contain a new password to the page so you better sign up if you want more of a behind the scenes look at my life!

That's all I have ton say for now. Next post will be dropping Wednesday evening.

Till Next Time

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

I Burned Out

Dublin, Ireland


If you've been wondering where I've been the last few days, the answer is pretty short. I burned out. It all started with one busy week of seeing friends and going out with work and my nephew etc. and then I was blindsided by an overwhelming funk, that's really the only way I can explain it.

I burned out and I burned out hard. Creatively I had so many ideas of posts going on in my head but no desire to put them to paper only misery as I watched the light of inspiration I had for them die out and soon the idea would be silly with no foundation and no point in writing it cause nobody would want to read it. Which is crazy cause I know you guys are out there and regularly stop by to read my rambles.

Couple that with feeling lethargic about life in general, "swept away by responsibilities, expectations and pressures" as Anne from Fraulein Doktor put it in one of her latest posts. I'd recommend checking it out here. It helped me put into words what I was feeling as her post generally do. 

In her post she talks about being kinder to herself and that got me thinking about how much I have also enjoyed the past few weeks, even  though I felt like I was failing my blogging game and at times life in general, I was really enjoying the time I spent hanging out with my friends, seeing my nephew, barely catching enough sleep before meet-ups and just enjoying how carefree my life actually is.

It has been an almost out of body experience as the logical rational side of me tries to reiterate the importance of taking care of myself. That I will be okay. That I am okay. Whilst the emotional side of me faces a conflicting whirlwind of self-doubt, self-judgement but also a resilience to push through this burnout.

It is all quite exhausting and I am aware of how conflicted I sound and that's all the more draining and contributing to this burnout

In my 5 Simple Ways to Love Yourself post, in which I shared ways I show myself kindness and love, I talked about how much I valued my time here on this fabulous earth of ours, how I spend it and the people I spend it with.

I've found myself harking back to it the last few days, working that little bit harder on putting myself forward and taking care of me, spending time with people that make me feel good and just enjoying how great and worry free my life is at the moment.

I'm still dying to hit the ground running and dominate my various creative projects but I know that if I don't take this time to give myself some TLC now, I'm going to burn out a lot quicker and recovery will be ever out of reach.

So rambling over, back into my cave I crawl, I'm still here, don't worry about me. I'm just taking some extra TLC time to make sure I return my best. I will still be posting on my regular blog schedule that is Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings and I hope to be back more actively on social media too.

 Also this week's newsletter will be out as usual on Friday ( unlike the last two weeks and I apologize for that, I am only one human )  so don't forget to sign up for it here!

Light a candle for me or send me a prayer. Recovery is in progress.

Till next time 
xxx

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Sunday, 16 July 2017

Every Awesome Thing You Need To Know About The Clockwork Door Before Visiting

Dublin, Ireland



*Disclaimer* This is not sponsored content in any way. I simply visited a place I really like, paid for it with my own money, out of my own pocket, no discount, no strings. Just a good old fashioned post about a place I really enjoyed. Now business aside, let's move on shall we?


The concept of a time house is to pay for the time you spend there whilst availing of whatever luxuries are supplied for free e.g the food, wi-fi, games etc. The Clockwork Door is the 1st and only time house I've ever been to. Since reading about it's opening in Lovin Dublin article last November, it's been on my list of things to do and whilst spending a birthday day-date with my friend Orla, we finally got to tick it off both our lists.


Location

Situated in the heart of South side Dublin of Temple Bar, about two steps from the Merchant's Arch pub on the front steps of the Ha'Penny bridge it's not that hard to find. Although the door is pretty small and when open can be easily missed, the A-Sign outside screams for attention amongst the often busy street.




Atmosphere

I'd have thought having a time house in one of the busiest spots in town would be counter-productive to the relaxed vibe of the house but I was quite surprised by how quickly and easily time passed in the building. With credit to it's location there was always a steady stream of people coming and going, each group big or small receiving a tour of the house and the niceties available. 


The entire atmosphere of house is steeped in homely comfort and respect which is reflected in it's three simple house rules. Respect for the house, others and yourself. The house doesn't permit the use of drugs or alcohol and no fighting etc. the basic common senses. 





Building & Rooms


There are in total 5 rooms to spend your time in as you please. The Board Games Room also known as the Main Room, Video Games Room, Study Room, Cosy Room and the Kitchen ( one of my favorites in any house free or paid ). On the website is listed that there is a Ha'Penny Room but unfortunately this room was not open to us on that day.





Upon arrival at The Clockwork Door, we received a tour of all the rooms available and what each had to offer. We settled ourselves into the Main Room where I taught Orla how to play Oware, a childhood game of mine from Ghana that I was incredibly surprised to find there.


The lady giving us the tour told me how none of the visitors knew how to play this game and yet here I was. It took me a while to refresh my memory of the rules and was so happy once we got playing.




Having never played Where's Waldo, Orla introduced me to the troublesome stripey character and it's tactful hiding abilities whilst cosying up in the rightfully named Cosy Room. I even did some knitting and only managed to drop almost all the stitches!


The most interesting things about the cosy room, aside from the ridiculous amount of stuffed teddies to cuddle with,  is that you can also take naps and put in time requests and the greeters will come wake you up! It even comes with bubble wrap so you can pop bubbles to your heart's content.







After two and a half hours, we realized we'd only spent time in these two rooms and didn't even get to hang out in the Video Games room which I wanted to do but we had other places to go, sadly. Now I just have more of a reason to go  back.


These rooms can be rented for special occasions as was the case with the Study Room so we were unable to see inside. I'd say this room would be great for holding group studies and out of the ordinary meetings.


What You Get


If the rooms alone aren't enough to attract you then maybe the unlimited supply of tea, coffee and biscuits will do it. The choice is definitely there from green to herbal to earl grey. Lyons, Barry's, Lipton etc you name it, the Kitchen probably has it. Or even bring your own.








If you're like myself and not the biggest fan of tea or coffee, they have hot chocolate too. There are fizzy drinks and even a popcorn machine. You can go crazy.







PRICE

You may be asking yourself why anyone would want to pay to spend time in a house and honestly I can't tell you that. I can only say why I did it and in short it was for the experience. Within your first two hours, each minute spent at The Clockwork Door comes at the low cost of  8c. That's four 2c coppers or eight 1c coppers that you probably find at the bottom of your purse or wallet.


After two hours the cost goes down to 6c a minute and if you're there over four hours, which could easily be done, it's 5c for the rest of the day! The most you'll ever spend, should you stay for the entire business day is €20.






Our time at The Clockwork Door came to a total of €11.40c almost equal the price of a meal at Bunsen, a burger joint you should most definitely check out if you're looking for a reasonably cheap filling and tasty meal before or after your visit. There's one also in Temple Bar about 3 minutes away from The Clockwork Door.


When you're finished this post you can check out this piece on how great Bunsen is and why you should stop by for some grub. 

People


We saw many different types of people come and go whilst we were here. We saw families playing games in the main rooms, teenagers playing game sin the games room and some serious looking D/D players popping in and out of the Study Room where their D/D Tournament was being held, backpackers, camera wielding tourists etc.


Young and old alike, this place has an atmosphere to suit anyone because you choose how you spend your time there.







I love the communal aspects of the place. They're always look for guest speakers and events to be held there so if you want to host anything and feel like this place would suit, their site says the're open to calls! I'd love to hold a Debate or Speaker's Corner event there. It'd be so cool!


Needless to say I'm a little bit enamored with this new spot and as with anything good you want to share it with others. In my books it's well worth checking out.

Have you heard of this place? Is it on your list too? 

And if you've been what did you think of it? 

Let me know below in the comments.

Till Next Time 
xxx


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