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The tattooist of Auschwitz book cover

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

Powerful, moving, and unexpectedly uplifting, this novel was a real struggle to put down. Heather Morris tells the story of Slovakian Jew Lale Sokolov and how he fell in love while working at one of Nazi Germany’s most notorious concentration camps. SynopsisWe first meet Lale onboard a packed-out train destined for Auschwitz-Birkenau. Hungry, dirty, and exhausted, he was one of the countless young men who offered themselves up to the German government to spare the lives of their families. While living at Birkenau, Lale contracted Typhoid fever and was cared for by the camp’s Tätowierer, Pepan. It was Pepan’s job Read more…

Five tips for visiting Dubrovnik, Croatia

1) Stay outside Dubrovnik Dubrovnik is an incredible Croatian city, but there’s so much to explore outside of its medieval walls. If you’re staying in Croatia for anything longer than a few days, the nearby village of Cavat provides a much prettier (and arguably more enjoyable) base away from the hustle and bustle. Cavtat is a quiet fishing harbour lined with trees, shops and restaurants. With stunning walks that take you around the bay, you will also find numerous old churches and some incredible views – hike up to Cavtat cemetery for some of the best in the area. If Read more…

Walking for mental wellbeing

It’s well known that walking is good for you. From helping with weight loss and heart health to strengthening bone and muscle, there are a wealth of studies that show what a great form of exercise walking can be. Indeed, research published in the journal Experimental Biology found that walking can also benefit brain function and sense of wellbeing (Source: Science Daily). Boost blood flow In the study, scientists at New Mexico Highlands University (NMHU) found that the impact of the foot hitting the ground can send waves of pressure through the arteries and significantly change and increase blood flow Read more…

Autumn Bonfire Night sausage traybake

This simple recipe is super tasty, easy to prepare and light on washing up. The paprika gives a fabulous smoky flavour, but honey and mustard make a delicious alternative. For a vegetarian version, simply swap the sausages for vegetarian ones, adding them in the last 20 minutes as they will require less cooking time. Recipe adapted from The Roasting Tin by Rukmini Iyer. Serves: 4 Time: 60 minutes You will need: 8 higher-welfare pork sausages 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges 2 red onions, sliced into eighths 6 garlic cloves 4 teaspoons of smoked paprika Olive oil Read more…

The couple next door book cover

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

I’d been looking forward to reading this book. Many people said they “couldn’t put it down” and seeing as it’s a global bestseller, my expectations were pretty high. When I received a copy for my birthday I couldn’t wait to get stuck in, and I was initially hooked. But this feeling didn’t last and by halfway through I found myself getting frustrated with the predictability of the plot. SynopsisThe Couple Next Door follows the story of Anne and Marco Conti, who return home from a dinner party to find their baby girl has disappeared. Lapena jumps straight into explaining that Read more…

A bowl of carrot soup on a plate with wholemeal bread

Healthy food, healthy mind

Eating at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day can have great benefits for physical health. But did you know that eating your greens can be as important for mental wellbeing? That’s what researchers at the University of Leeds found when they analysed data from more than 40,000 people in the UK. Their study revealed that snacking on one extra portion of fruit or veg per day could have an effect on mental wellbeing as around eight days of walking a month, for at least 10 minutes each time. With lack of time cited as one of the Read more…

An introduction to Menorca

Small but perfectly formed, the island of Menorca holds a special place in my heart. I was six years old when I first visited with my family and we stayed in a small, white apartment surrounded by vibrant pink bougainvillaea. Since then, I’ve been incredibly lucky to return to the island several times and have picked up a few tips about what to see and do along the way.  So, without further ado, here’s my whistlestop guide to the ‘Jewel of the Balearics’, including when to go, where to stay and what to get up to while you’re there. A Read more…

A little guide to Prague

The fairytale metropolis of Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. It is perhaps most well known for its incredible architecture that has survived centuries of war and change. Here you will find cobbled streets, gothic cathedrals, medieval squares and stunning bridges. With a lively night scene and great restaurants, it’s easy to see why this has become one of the most popular destinations for a weekend break in Europe. Let’s take a closer look at what this spectacular city has to offer: Prague Castle You can’t miss the castle district of Prague. It’s one of Read more…