Emma O Donnell
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July Photo Diary: Mums 50th, moving house and all the food

July flew by, I took two trips home to Ireland and I was flat searching which those of you who have done it before know it is very very stressful!

The first trip home was to see Mum on her birthday, she was 50 this year so there was lots of celebrations. We went to our favourite restaurant in Letterkenny The Yellow Pepper for dinner and drinks!

this breaded brie tasted as good as it looked

sex on the beach

we also went to the Glebe House Gallery in Churchill, it was home to the painter Derek Hill. It is such a lovely place to visit if you are in Donegal. We took a tour of the house and it has such major decorating inspiration and a very impressive collection of art.

Mum and my auntie then flew back with me to Bristol. The first night they were there we went to Fishers restaurant in Clifton. I would totally recommend it for seafood lovers. I had salmon fishcakes and they were gorgeous
That night we decided to to visit the Clifton suspension bridge. I have been in Bristol almost a year so I thought it was time I visited the iconic landmark. It is really spectacular especially at night, you need to have a head for heights though!
The next day we took a shopping trip to Cabot Circus. We had food in Cote Brassiere which is a chain of french restaurants in the UK. We were able to sit outside in the courtyard in the sun so it literally felt like I was on holidays again

Cod, lentils and spinach, yum!

I didnt buy much in the summer sales this year but I did pick up these espadrilles from Zara. I really love how good they look, Im very fussy when it comes to shoes! They are so versatile, they literally go with anything from jeans to dresses.

cute photobooth of me and Chris on a night out that I love so much! :) sometimes you just need a good night out 

I flew back home again to go to my Mums party, she held it two weeks after her birthday so everyone could come. We had a marquee, lots and lots of food and the best company. I had to leave the next day which was sad because I left behind so much gorgeous food.

After lots of stress, we finally secured a flat in Cardiff and are moving tomorrow. I'm sad to leave Bristol but excited for our new move :)

June Photo Diary: Sunshine, Weston and the Manics

I didn't get up to much hi-jinx in June because of the expensive trips we took in May to Paris and London. We did however have a heatwave which meant trips to beer gardens and lots of summer dresses

unreal for England 

spinning records on hot afternoons

our fridge broke during the heatwave so we were desperate for cold drinks under the shade of a beer garden

On one of our days off we took a trip to Weston Super Mare which is about an hour from Bristol. It has a pier by the beach, lots of arcades, a Ferris wheel and everything you expect from a seaside town

fish and chips is a requirement

forever too scared to go on these

so pretty in the sun

cutie with a Mr whippy

still as pale as ever despite a month of sunshine

We bought a last minute ticket to the Manic Street Preachers in Bristol Harbour. The harbour was such a nice place for a gig and it was nice seeing the Manics again. It made me feel a little better about not being at Glastonbury, just a little though! :P 

May Photo Diary: Dot to Dot festival and The Kills

I put together a few pictures I had from May. I left out the pictures from Paris but you can see those in my last post

I love this t-shirt from Topshop, they have a great selection of slogan tees this summer

I've been obsessed with the Alexandra Savior album Belladonna of Sadness. The music is written by Alex Turner and most of the lyrics by Alexandra (as far as I am aware). Its really sultry and cool and I would definitely recommend listening to it!

I've also been listening to the new album from Cherry Glazerr Apocalipstick. I loved the last album and I'm liking their new style, in particular I like the songs Nuclear Bomb and Trash People

I went to Dot to Dot festival this month in Bristol and it was a lot of fun. It was about £25 a ticket and it got you into most venues in Bristol. We missed the afternoon slots but we still managed to catch four or five bands

The first band we saw was Cherry Glazerr, the frontwoman Clementine Creevy is a bit nuts on stage but she's also a great guitarist, her new band members also sound really great live

I also seen The Big Moon, its my third time seeing them, I caught them earlier this year after the release of their debut album. They are a really fun indie band that I would definitely recommend going to see if you get the chance.

I also seen Pins again, they were the highlight of the night for me. They are always such a fun band to see and their new EP is really great too!

The last gig this month was the Kills at Shepherds Bush Empire in London. Although I had already seen The Kills twice in less than a year, I bought tickets for the 15th anniversary tour because I thought it would be the last time I'd get the chance to see them for a long while.

Dream Wife supported them on their London dates which was great because I love Dream Wife. Its always that little bit nicer when you know the support band too. 

The Kills always put on a great show and never disappoint. I was standing in front of Jamie this time and his guitar was very very loud. Although he sounded great, it took away from the songs a little. I'm still glad I seen them one last time!

Three Nights in Paris

 Earlier this month, I went to Paris for three nights with my boyfriend. It was our third visit so we decided not to visit some of the typical tourist spots and instead explore some parts of the city we missed last time. The highlight of the the trip for me was visiting the Luxembourg Gardens and walking around the Latin Quarter.

Luxembourg Gardens

The Luxembourg Gardens was the first place we visited on our first full day. It was a really hot day so we decided to pick up some fruit and pastries and take them to the park. The Luxembourg Gardens are a really lovely place to relax and take a break from the busy city. There's lots of seated areas where you can stay in the shade or soak up the sun. The fountains and the palace are really beautiful. I found it unusual that there were palm trees around the fountains but it makes the place feel a little tropical, especially in the sun.

Saint Germain Des Pres

Saint Germain Des Pres is a really lovely area to walk around. It's quite a wealthy part of town, often known for housing LaDuree and the famous Cafe De Flore but there are also some really lovely spots such as The Fountaine Saint Suplice that we stumbled across. We also visited the Musee D'Orsay. It has some really beautiful pieces including a collection of Van Gogh's works. It also has a great viewing point from the top and a large clock face which overlooks the Seine. As it was so hot during our visit, we sat down by the Seine for awhile and took in some of the views.

Notre Dame and the Latin Quarter

The Latin Quarter near the Notre Dame has quite a mix of cafes and bars with some gems hidden away off the main streets. It often can be quite touristy so you have to wander down a few alleyways to find more secluded spots. I really liked a little park we found across from the Shakespeare and Company shop. It has some really beautiful views of the Notre Dame and it feels quite peaceful for being so central.

Palace of Versailles

On the third day we decided to visit the Palace of Versailles. The palace is quite breathtaking and the gardens are really amazing. The only thing I didn't really like was how touristy it was. A lot of the rooms inside the palace were very packed so I didn't really want to spend too much time inside the palace. I much preferred the palace gardens and grounds.

Maison De Serge Gainsbourg

Serge Gainsbourg's house is a personal favourite. We visited it last time we went to Paris and its just a really special place. Its located in Saint Germain Des Pres, not far from the Seine. The house of the French singer has been left exactly as it was since he died in 1991. However, outside the walls change every other month with new street art appearing in commemoration of Serge Gainsbourg and his partner and muse Jane Birkin.

Where We Ate

Food was a bit hit and miss this time. However, wine and desserts were the highlight for me most nights. On the first night we arrived pretty late so a lot of the restaurants were closing. We didn't have long to choose somewhere so we ate at a place called Le Lutece. I had fish on a bed of vegetables but it was a little plain. However, I did enjoy an apple tart I bought and the waiter was very nice.
On the second night we went to Montmatre and ate at the square near the Sacre Coeur at a restaurant called Au Cadet de Gascogne. We didn't a have the best service there but I did enjoy my pizza and wine (very Fernch lol). The square which I think is called Place de Tetre has a really nice atmosphere at night. I would definitely recommend visiting Montmatre at night.
The next night we weren't really sure where to eat and were really tired from walking so we ate at a cafe near Shakespeare and company called La Bucherie. We didn't have the best experience there. The food was average and the waiters were more interested in talking around new customers than the customers they did have. I would recommend trying to find cafes on side streets. They have a much better atmosphere. After leaving the restaurant, we took a walk along the Seine and Saint Germain Des Pres. Even though it started raining really heavy, we decided to walk to a restaurant we ate at the first time we visited Paris. Its called Zero Zero Sevres and its in an area called Vaneau. I had a gourmet coffee which is honestly the nicest thing, we need it in the UK. It consists of a shot of espresso, and a trio of desserts. I had a mini creme brulee, a pot of tiramisu and a chocolate mousse ... yum!
On the last day, we had lunch in a nice cafe near our hotel in the 14th arrondissement. I think it was called La Bouffarde. I had a lovely omelette and a cappuccino. On the way to the airport, we stopped off at Saint Michel and I had an amazing flower shaped gelato with a macaroon on top from a shop called Amorino. I think they have one in London too. I spotted it earlier that day and decided that I needed one!

Well done on making it this far, its been a long post! I hope you've picked up a few ideas of where to go the next time you visit Paris.