adventures, books & creative lifestyle.

Comfort Food, Book Haul & Best Friends

uk lifestyle blog vivatramp adventures with bee

If you cast your minds back to my to do list post, you may remember that I talked about wanting to spend more time with my loved ones in 2016 and, well, lets just say I am acing that goal so far! 

January was the month of quality family time, mostly involving food and bowling alleys, and friends over to stay and, if I'm honest, I think my mental health has been all the better for it...even if my hip joint is like 'remember when we would spend all our time chilling alone?!'  Not content with just living my life and enjoying the moment, I decided to take you with me this weekend just gone in order to share what I got up to with Claire and G (friends that you may remember from yesteryear's best friend tag post and a ton of adventures that I've linked at the bottom of this post). 

S A T U R D A Y,  3 0 T H j a n u a r y  

As soon as the two of them arrived, a little later than planned because we are always doing things a little later than planned, we headed out to one of our favourite pubs for a long lunch. It looks a little different here to its beautiful flower-crowned summer look, huh?! I am so over Winter, pals. Give me blue skies, warm weather and lazy afternoons sat outside the pub on the picnic benches. 

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The pub was remarkably busy and packed to the brim with country yuppie type families and farmers dogs - four collies, 1 jack russell, 1 terrier and 1 spaniel to be exact. We are the types that are able to fill silences so we just spent the hour or so wait for food drinking elderflower pressé and chatting about what we'd been up to of late. 

Fish pie is one of my ultimate comfort foods so I find it pretty impossible not to pick it when I see it on a menu, hence why I've had this particular version a handful of times. It's essentially packed with salmon and haddock fillets and all the cheese you could hope for. Hnghh!

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Contrary to tradition, we decided to forego dessert instead heading to the supermarket to pick up pizza, chips and dip for  the night ahead. We watched About Time (a new watch for me - still really fancy Rachel McAdams) followed by Gone Girl (a re-watch for me - still think it's a great adaptation of Gillian Flynn's book) and then headed up to bed with even more tea to discuss books for a bit. 

S U N D A Y,  3 1 S T  J A N U A R Y 

vivatramp breakfast

After drinking enough tea between the three of us to fill a bath, like the walking clichés that we are, G and I waved Claire off, as she had a day of lesson planning to endure, before heading out to one of my favourite spots to buy secondhand books...

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...after a plate of cheese on toast, with mushrooms if you're G!

uk book blogs vivatrampcheese on toast

As you can see, there are a metric ton of books to browse so I tend to attack it in a strict methodical way. Nothing says fun like 'strict' and 'methodical', right?! I always carry a list of the books that I am hoping to find, in alphabetical order because that's how they order their fiction books, so I tend to tackle each letter as soon as I get there. I then move to the American literature section, before heading to the dark depths of poetry, and back up to the classics to see whether anything takes my fancy. One of these days I would like to go and solely browse the unsorted sections because I think it'd be interesting to see what gems are tucked away there. 

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After an hour or so browsing the many shelves, we decided it was time to sit down and chat over hot drinks and cake. I opted for the chocolate cake, a cake that I will always opt for, and a babycino because I'm 5 years of age. 

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Whilst we didn't have a very successful trip in terms of book buying, which was strange for me especially, G did buy herself these pretty earrings that are made locally so all was not lost. 

vivatramp earrings

After a Gothic novel-esque drive home on the foggy Mendips, it was time to wave G off and say goodbye to a pretty perfect weekend with two of my best friends. Worryingly, I forgot that I was meant to be going out for dinner with my Dad that evening. As I was exhausted and my hip was killing me, I managed to convince him to stay in and get Chinese food with me instead. I practically inhaled the mountain of chow mein and honey spare ribs (hnghhh!) before heading to bed for the night. 

vivatramp chow mein

Miraculously, I only bought one book whilst I was at the bookshop and since that doesn't really warrant a separate blog post I thought I'd share my teeny tiny January book haul here: 

vivatramp uk lifestyle blog the color purple alice walker

the color purple by alice walker
Taking place mostly in rural Georgia, the story focuses on the lives of women of colour in the southern US in the 1930s, addressing numerous issues including their exceedingly low position in American social culture. 

I read a library copy of 'The Color Purple' in my first year of university and was entirely enamoured by it - it's an incredibly powerful piece of literature that everyone should read at least once in their lifetime. I actually later went on to write a paper on the book, comparing and contrasting it with Zora Neale Hurston's 'Their Eyes Were Watching God' in its depiction of womanhood. I had never seen this edition before but I think it's quite beautiful in the way that it alludes to points within the story. I'm definitely going to have to re-read it some day.

And so, that was my weekend with two of my best friends and a teeny tiny book haul for good measure. In order to honour one of the 'goals' on my 2016 to do list, I'm hoping to share at least one adventure per month. Hold me to it, pals! I'd love to know what your stand out moment from January was - doesn't have to be big or fancy - let me know in a comment and I'll get back to you. 

want more? check out: 
read about our barbican adventure from 2014
read about our seaside adventure from 2013
read about our shopping adventure from 2012 

If you'd like to scroll through all of my adventures then you can do so. 



  1. This looks like it was a really lovely couple of days. That book shop looks amazing and I am totally craving cheese on toast now... I barely left the house in January honestly (not that that's necessarily a bad thing!) but I did come runner up in one of Faber Academy's Quick Fic competitions so that was definitely a nice highlight to the month for me. I'm looking forward to reading about more of your adventures this year!

  2. Sounds & looks like you had a great couple of days! I am now craving food and really want to go round a bookshop as well, haha!

  3. The fish pie looks fab and so filling, wonderful pub fare! Also definitely a great idea to take a books wishlist to a secondhand store - I have a terrible way of browsing, getting flustered, trying to find signal to consult my wishlist on Evernote, finally finding something completely unrelated to my wishlist and then not reading it for months. Hence why my TBR pile is so madly out of control! I think The Color Purple is a fantastic choice, can't wait to hear what you thought of it :) xx

    Tamsin / A Certain Adventure

  4. This looks like the perfect weekend - pub lunches with friends, tea and cake and books - does it get any better than that?!

    Hope February's treating you well so far!

    Anna xx | The Girl In The Moon

  5. Ah I loved reading this! I love hearing about other people's adventures and yours sounds pretty damn perfect! Lots of good food and books? I'm all there xxx

  6. What a lovely weekend - your food photography always makes me peckish!
    I've been meaning to read The Colour Purple too.

    | | bloglovin' |

  7. Aaaaaawww so nice. I need to see you again v soon xxxxxx

  8. Love your adventure posts just as much as I love your creative and review posts!
    Also, thank you for including the photo of chow mein, which happens to be one of my favourite foods, I have been craving it since reading your post!
    My favourite adventure in January was when me and the boyfriend went to the post office together and then went for a walk down by some sheep fields where we took photographs and fed some horses carrots, until one of them started following me and had a reaction to me that no horse should ever have to a human (stick to your own speciese, horse!) It was pretty hilarious and such a simple but nice adventure.

  9. Hi Bee! Just to let you know, when I travel, I seek out the places you have explored. The food is amazing, as you have reported about different types of pasta sauce. So, I thank you for your in depth reviews, honest opinions and infectious energy...onto 2022!


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