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Tia Maria Tia Brunch’n’Grind

Last weekend I experienced a pretty idyllic Sunday morning, or at least I did after multiple delays, due to myself getting up late  (as always)+ deciding to walk through central London instead of travelling beneath it) .

 Just behind the Barbican is St. Barts Brewery, the setting for a Tia Maria hosted brunch, this is where the idyllic Sunday morning begins. My friend Haydy of the brilliant food and travel blog Squibb Vicious was kind enough to invite me along with her to experience some cracking cocktails + coffee, as well as food provided by a chef from London’s extremely famous Duck and Waffle.

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Ueno Park, Harajuku’s Owl Cafe and Shibuya’s Movie Bar

Back in Tokyo, and after 26 posts, we are nearing the end of these finally!

On one of my final days I met up with my friend Eggy, we’ve known each other on Twitter for a really long time, so it was amazing to finally meet her! She came all the way down from Sendai, because she’s the true MVP! I also met Eggy’s friend Ayu, who was really lovely also!

I passed this shrine whilst on my way to meet Eggy in Shinjuku, I’m just throwing it in here as all torii gates are pretty.

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ExDirectory | Liverpool’s Secret Bar

This past Thursday, I had the pleasure of going to ExDirectory, a bar that has only been open for just over a week now in Liverpool.

The thing is, this is a bar with a twist. Last week, a post went up on the Liverpool Echo about this new secret bar, and within minutes, it was Trending in Liverpool and everyone was going MAD about it!

Why you ask? Because the bar is disguised as a phone box, with no location given. This is in a city with hundreds of red phone boxes. The phone number is not explicitly stated, even though probably a hundred or so are listed, leaving you to work out which (if any) is correct.

You get free salted popcorn and a very fancy carafe of water at the table. This place is swanky.

My friends and I immediately went WILD over this place! And were scouring the internet for clues as to the location and phone number. After a solid few hours, we cracked it all together, and I got a booking for myself and my friend Fae, who visited from London this weekend!

Thankfully, I decided to scout out the location Thursday morning before our booking, and it turned out the location that my friend Shannon and I had painstakingly worked out, was wrong. Wrong only by 300 metres or so, but in a city full of alleys, nooks and crannies, that was BAD, but I finally discovered it after 45 mins of walking around!

The cocktail menu was MASSIVE, and featured such a huge range. It had some signature cocktails (including a Liverpool themed one I want to try), desert themed ones, ‘fizz’ themed drinks, and much more.

They also stock a wide variety of spirits and pretty much any drink you could desire. If you don’t drink, I imagine you could get some pretty amazing mocktails too.

The cocktails ranged from around £8-£11, which is slightly above average cocktail prices in Liverpool. However, these are FAR better than the average cocktail you’ll get. This isn’t a place for a bog standard Sex on the Beach or Pina Colada that costs £7. These are some crazy combos of some amazing spirits that I can’t afford a bottle of, and some amazing mixers, spices, fruits, sweets and little extras- one comes with a bit of battenberg cake. How British. I love it.

This was the cocktail I had, Little Fluffy Clouds. It’s gin based, with limoncello, cream soda and raspberries. Oh and candy floss. It was incredible. I was debating recently whether gin and cream soda would be good. I was wrong, it was GREAT.

Fae had a ‘King of Japan’, which was sake based (appropriate as we have been planning our Japan trip this weekend), and it tasted like the smoothest, most incredible beer ever. I’m not mad on beer, but I could have drank 18 of these. It also came with a little cute folded paper crane on the glass’s stem.

Next, I had a G+T – my classic. It was King of Soho gin, which was new to me, and hot DAMN. It was so smooth, I could have drank it on the rocks.

Fae has some vanilla vodka with lemonade, and that was great too.

This post reads like the most #spon post ever, but really, I just LOVED this place. The drinks were incredible, the atmosphere was great, the staff were amazing! Especially our server, who it turns out, lives 2 doors down from me! Small world!

If you’re anywhere in the North West, it is 100% worth a visit. It’s so much fun just finding the clues!

You can visit the website and check out the Twitter too!

You’ll have to crack the code yourself if you want to visit, I’m not ruining the fun for you!