Why Sagrada Familia NEEDS To Be On Your Bucket List

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If Barcelona’s arguably most famous attraction hasn’t been on your radar before, then now is the time to make a change. The sprawling, multi-towered cathedral can be spotted from miles away, whether by plane or boat and unsurprisingly up close it blows you away. With construction starting in 1882 and it still going on (!!!) this is a Cathedral like no other. It features the artistic style of 9 architects with the overarching vision being created by the legendary Antoni Gaudi and combines the architectural styles of neo-gothic and art nouveux.

Outside the entrance- featuring the Gothic-Architecture side

Should I Pay to Go Inside?

You can come all the way up to the fences and see the basilica up close without having to pay a penny but if you want to get beyond the fence and see the inside, grounds and museum then you need a ticket.

My personal opinion is it is so worth it!!!! Seeing the inside has been on my bucket list for years, having been to Barcelona a few times and the people I am with either not wanting to go in or something has come up which has stopped us, so when I knew I was coming back there was no stopping me.

The inside is breathtaking. Literally. I gasped so hard when I walked in. Gaudi took a lot of his inspiration from nature and imagined the inner chamber to be like a great stone forest, with towering trees (the columns) and light filtering down like sunlight through foliage. It features a minimalist, art nouveux interior that you will not find in any other cathedral in Spain or around the world.

But, the pièce de résistance has to be the multi-coloured stained glass windows. Don’t get me wrong, I know a lot of churches have these, but trust me when I say you will never see any like this again. A whole spectrum floods the room creating an ethereal light that you just can’t stop staring at. If you want a taste check out these pictures from my visit.


How do I get tickets?

There are lots of sites you can get your tickets from (or you can queue on the day but it might be rammed super busy so I recommend booking in advance.

When I went, my family and I bought skip the queue tickets from Tiqets. They were just under £30pp and provide access to the interior and the museum. They also let you skip the queue completely!

You can also get tickets that allow you to go up a couple of the towers but ew stairs we didn’t do that this time.

I would recommend booking tickets a few weeks in advance as, especially during peak season, it books up very quickly and on-the-day queues can be rather long.


Fun Facts

Need more convincing to come and check out Antoni’s Gaudi’s masterpiece? Here are a few nuggets of information about this Catalonian gem:

  • Gaudi wasn’t actually the first architect to work on the Basilica. The original architect Francisco de Paula de Villar y Lozano but he left the project after just a year.
  • Gaudi spent 43 years dedicated to the Sagrada Familia, focusing solely on it during the final 12.
  • Inspired by the crystalisation of minerals in Nature, Gaudi implements these fantastical shapes throughout.
  • There are 6 central towers, each representing Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, and the 4 Evangelists
  • The heights of the towers correspond to celestial importance, with the tower representing Jesus Christ being the tallest.
  • The first tower to be finished was the tower dedicated to the Virgin Mary, whom Gaudi was very devoted to.
  • Only a quarter of it was completed when Gaudi died (by a tram accident no less!)

Convinced yet?

If not, then I think this final photo of the roof will do the trick!

The roof inside the Sagrada Famlia

Have you ever been to the Sagrada Familia or do you plan on adding it to your Spanish adventure? Let me know in the comments below.

Keep on living life free!

Charlotte x

The 5 Best Coffee Shops in Newcastle

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I don’t know about you, but coffee is my life blood. I live, breathe and practically cry the beans.

I loved living in Newcastle. Uni was definitely one of the best few years of my life and I could not have gotten through it without coffee.

Whether you’re a flat white kinda queen or a cortado king, I have complied a list of the best non-big boy-chain coffee shops for all your Arabica needs. 

Coffee Trader 

I don’t know if it’s written in the contract that everyone who works in coffee trader has to be a lovely person, because everyone I interacted with was just so nice!

I decided to try the latte as they told me that it was their most popular coffee drink and I was not disappointed. It was smooth and velvety, just what I want in a latte, and the pattern on top gave it that little extra oomph. I also just had to add a splash of honeycomb syrup from their extensive collection of flavours.

Try a slice of the carrot cake, I definitely recommend it!

Coffee Trader has a really chilled out vibe. Whether you’re with friends, meeting someone for work or even just going to study this is a great place to do so. 

Here are some key facts about the café:

Non-dairy alternatives?: Yes

Charge for them?: Not for soy, 20p for Oat and Coconut

Location: Just off Northumberland St. 16 Northumberland St, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7EL

Honeycomb latte

Coffee Yolo

Although the name is a little 2017 cringe, YOLO is great if you want something quick and cheap without sacrificing quality. As part of The Stack, an awesome shopping location, the inside of YOLO is really small so if you’re with a group of friends, sitting in might be tricky. Despite this, the interior is super chic and gives the space a cute, boutiquey vibe.

I ordered a Flat White and that qualified for the £1.50 coffee offer! All their 8oz coffee’s are only £1.50, meaning I could get a proper treat (because the coffee is awesome) whilst not feeling guilty about spending.

Be careful- the coffee’s here are HOT! It helps to get a sleeve and make sure to give it a minute if you don’t want a burnt tongue (I learnt that the hard way!).

Non-dairy alternatives?: Yup

Charge for them?: No cost 

Location: Stack

Flat White

Camber Coffee

Camber was the one that surprised me the most whilst compiling this list. Being above a cycle shop, you wouldn’t think that the décor would be any good, right? Wrong. Camber is absolutely beautiful, with light wood tables and lots of greenery. The natural light also gives the room a really calming atmosphere. 

Out of all the cafes I visited, this was the best place to come and work. The Wifi is free and fast and there are tons of tables with a lot of space. 

I ordered a Vanilla Iced Latte with the house blend. What I liked about this one was that it did not taste syrupy at all, which can be a problem in flavoured iced coffees. 

These guys don’t just make good coffee, they also know their stuff. They have multiple blends to choose from, with a few different origins- I for one can’t wait to go back and try some more! (Also bonus point: the staff here were so lovely to chat to!)

Non-dairy alternatives?: Yah boi

Charge for them?: Nah boi

Location: Above Cookson’s Cycles. 33-35 Market St, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 6JE

Pink Lane Coffee

Like Camber, these guys know their stuff when it comes to coffee. They have multiple blends to try, including two from Brazilian female roasters (yass feminism, big thumbs up from me!), and sell their coffee in bags if you want to take some home. 

PLC has a cool, edgy vibe but is a pretty good place to work too due to its free Wifi!

I got a Flat White, which came in a glass as opposed to a mug, something which made me feel very fancy- I’m not going to lie! The coffee itself was quite intense, so if you don’t like a very strong flavour I would recommend trying a longer drink, but for strong coffee lovers this is the drink for you. I also had a cheeky monch on a beautiful Dulce de Leche banana loaf (the slice was quite thin- still tasted good though!)

Non-dairy alternatives?: Yes

Charge for them?: 20p (they are considering getting rid of it!)

Location: Opposite Central Station. 1 Pink Ln, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 5DW

The Grand

Campus Coffee had the glow up of the century when it turned into The Grand last summer. Not only did the coffee significantly improve, but the light blue themed décor is stunning! If it is before 4 (sadly it closes then), I would choose to stay on campus when I was a student and get my drink here 100%. 

They also sell sandwiches, pasties and cakes which makes it a super lovely spot for students to take a nice break from studying.

This round I was on a cappuccino without the chocolate (its healthier that way right?) and it was pretty good! It’s awesome to have a place that does such great coffee on campus.

Non-dairy alternatives?: Yes (soy and oat)

Charge for them?: 30p for oat

Location: Newcastle University Campus. 162 Northumberland St. 

So there you have it! Five of my favourite Coffee Shops in Newcastle City Centre. Next time you’re procrastinating, try procaffinating instead and check them out!

8 Exciting Eats- Manchester

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With the government asking us all to eat out to help out, I thought I’d put together a few of my favourite food spots in Manchester to help you guys out when you can’t decide what to eat.

Want to grab a quick bite or relax into a good meal with a cocktail? Check out my top picks below.

1. The Ivy

Situated in Manchester City Centre’s classiest area Spinningfields, The Ivy hosts three separate restaurants: The Ivy Brasserie, Ivy Asia and The Ivy Roof Garden, all of which are amazing. My personal favourite is going to The Brasserie for brunch with the gals.

Top tip: try the buttermilk pancakes with fruit, Greek yoghurt and strawberry sauce- they’re to die for.

2. Mackie Mayor

Mackie Mayor is the coolest food hall you will ever see.

You can find it in the Northern Quarter where it is open every single day of the year. Serving artisan versions of all your favourite foods, it even has fantastic veggie/vegan options so that everyone can have an incredible meal. 

3. Victors

Victors can be found in South Manchester, with one restaurant in Alderly Edge and the other in Hale.

If you’re looking for a place to eat that is full of elegance and class, then this is the place to be. The Alderly Edge location has one of my favourite interiors of any restaurant I’ve ever been to, using florals and botanics to create an otherworldly vibe.

My suggestions are the sushi (which is unreal)for food and for a cocktail, the Victor’s Garden for Her.

4. Northern Soul Grilled Cheese

Another Northern Quarter classic, the UK’s first ever Grilled Cheese Restaurant is a can’t-miss.

These are far from just your average cheese toasties. Northern Soul takes a basic staple and turns it into a gourmet masterpiece.

5. Rudy’s

Who would have thought you’d find one of the best pizza spots in the world in Manchester?

Rudy’s has an official ranking of the tenth best pizza worldwide by food website Big Seven. To top it off, the prices are super reasonable.

If you’re a pizza lover, Rudy’s is a must-visit on your trip to Manchester

6. Crazy Pedros

Staying on pizza for a minute, Crazy Pedro’s Pizza Parlour lives up to it’s name– the flavour combinations are crazy!

From their ‘World Famous Hotdog Pizza’ (featuring hot hogs, crispy onions, mustard and ketchup) to their ‘Giuseppe’s Not Sloppy, He’s Vegan’ (Hot spiced fake beef chilli, vegan cheese, peppers, onions and jalapeños), you know you’re in for a wild time. Plus, their cocktails are awesome.

7. All Star Lanes

What doesn’t All Star Lanes have? With an A La Carte Menu, Brunch (until 4pm!!!) and insane cocktails, you’ll struggle not to have an amazing meaI almost forgot to mention the best part- it’s a bowling alley.

 I’ve had some of my best nights out starting with a meal, drinks and bowling here.

8. Indian Tiffin Room

I don’t know about you, but in my family, curry is the ultimate food and The Tiffin Room is the hands-down family favourite.

With two Manchester locations, you can either visit in the City Centre or down in Cheadle. Personally I’d recommend the Cheadle location as the staff are so lovely. 

Top tip: Try the Gobi Manchurian, Chana Batura and ITR Curries. 


Have you been to any of these places? Let me know what you thought of them!

Enjoy your food!

Charlotte