The Best Restaurant For Sushi Lovers

Anyone reading this post who knows me will know food is my saviour in life. If I'm ever grumpy it's probably down to the fact I haven't eaten and I'm one of those people who reaches for food no matter what mood I'm in. Happy? Eat. Sad? Eat. Stressed? Eat. You get the gist. And as I sit here typing this post for the second time (as for some bizarre reason it disappeared from my blog) I am annoyed/sad/stressed so as you can imagine, I am eating!

One type of food I'm really enjoying at the moment is Asian cuisine and if I had the choice to eat anything, it would definitely be that. I just feel as I'm getting older, it's time to experiment with different foods and step out of my comfort zone a bit more. And everyone knows I love me some noodles anyway!

So let's bear in mind my obsession with Asian food, now imagine my face when I get invited for dinner at the brand new YO! Sushi restaurant in Canterbury. Of course, I was super excited and couldn't wait to hop on a train there!

I'll be honest and say that I've never been to YO! Sushi before so I didn't really know how it worked. All I knew is that your food turned up on a mini conveyor belt, which I now know is called a kaiten, and the dishes were colour coded. Now I know how freshly prepared the food is, the story behind it and more importantly, how delicious it tastes!

When we arrived, we were greeted by some really lovely waitresses, one of which seated us and explained how to order and a bit more about the menu. She was so helpful and really sweet, haven't got a bad word to say about her! She encouraged us to try the Ramune Soda which is apparently the Japanese equivalent of coke or lemonade, it's basically their number one fizzy drink. They arrive in glass bottles with a plastic lid and a glass ball inside, so basically you have no clue how to get into them. After a couple of goes we managed to crack the puzzle, no spoilers here though to how we did it! It tasted a little like cream soda and despite it being super sweet, we both guzzled them down in a couple of seconds!

Now for the exciting part... FOOD!

We wasted no time in picking freshly prepared dishes off the kaiten and before we knew it, our whole table was covered with colourful bowls of the most delicious smelling food - I couldn't even see the menu underneath! My absolute favourite was the hoisin duck rolls which you can see in the pictures above. They were so tasty and Toby actually had to stop me from picking them off the conveyor belt every time they came around because I couldn't stop myself from tucking in! We also picked up some furikake fries, various types of gyoza, ebi katsu and Toby's favourite, spicy chicken rolls. I have to say, even though I don't like spicy food, they were actually really yummy and the rest of the cold dishes were so yummy. It's so hard not to keep picking them up time and time again!

After tucking into the cold dishes, it was now time to order the hot ones. Even though I literally wanted to order everything on the menu, I opted for the chicken chahan which is essentially rice, veg and chicken mixed together and hoisin duck bao which is a fluffy bun filled with duck and pickled cucumber. I did enjoy both of them but surprisingly, I much preferred the cold dishes!

One of the hardest decisions of the evening was selecting a dessert. I'd had my eye on the custard dorayaki since seeing the menu but souffle cheesecake was a close competitor. In the end, I went with the first option which is essentially two pancakes stuck together with custard and a raspberry coulis type of sauce on the side. Now let me tell you, it was so much more than that. So scrummy and I could've eaten them all day long. I'm even going to try and recreate it at home so I can eat it breakfast, lunch and dinner EVERY DAY! That's the dream anyway! Toby opted for the raspberry ice cream mochi which after a short bout of brain freeze, he demolished.

If you're ever in Canterbury and in need of a quick bite to eat or really fancy some flavoursome sushi then you know exactly where to go. It's also worth noting that the restaurant is positioned in the cutest little lane next to the war memorial and infamous Canterbury Cathedral. So once you've spent your day seeing the sites, you can pop in!

Let me know if you've ever been and what your favourite dishes are! I'd love to try out some more next time! Also, a huge thank you to YO! Sushi for having us, we'll definitely be back!



How To Spend A Day In Whitstable

A few weeks back I took a trip to Whitstable with Toby for a quick getaway and chill out. I've already written a post about why you should try a staycation and now it's time to write one dedicated to my favourite little seaside town.

Elliott's Whitstable
Elliott's Whitstable
Whitstable harbour
Whitstable harbour
Whitstable beach huts
Whitstable beach
Whitstable harbour
Whitstable harbour

First and foremost I cannot recommend a trip to Whitstable enough! It's on the north coast of Kent, only a couple of hours' drive from London and so worth it. It's famous for its oysters but the other seafood there is incredible too and you can't leave without trying the mussels! And there's such a sense of serenity as you drive into the narrow streets when the salty sea air hits you and you hear the seagulls calling to each other. That's one of my favourite things about the seaside, the transition from rolling fields of green to cobbled paths and crashing waves. It just makes me feel so at home despite only ever living by the sea in our holiday cottage when I was younger.

So if you're lucky enough to take a trip to Whitstable, here's how you can spend your day there.

Book yourself into an Airbnb

This is definitely the most flexible and affordable way to stay. We paid around £90 for this room for a night and it's more than we could've asked for. Everything about it was perfect from the central location to the shabby chic interior to the little touches. Sian was the best host I've ever had and even left a list of her favourite places in Whitstable for breakfast, lunch and dinner. So definitely start your trip to Whitstable by booking an Airbnb!

Breakfast at Elliott's

As I just mentioned, our Airbnb host left a list of her favourite spots for food and on there was Elliott's at No. 1 Harbour Street. I opted for the poached eggs on sourdough with avocado, tomatoes and pesto and it was a solid 10/10. I was extremely tempted by the smell of maple syrup and bacon pancakes wafting over from Toby's plate but a couple of forkfuls were enough for me. They also had classics on the menu like a full English which smelled incredible and porridge for a healthier option. It was reasonably priced and the cute decor was perfect for Instagramming! Also, it's worth bearing in mind that they also have an afternoon and evening menu with local produce and the infamous Chapel Down sparkling wine so if you can't make it in time for breakfast then just head back for lunch!

Wander through the town and little shops

I adore the independent shops on the high street full of coastal clothes, trinkets and quirky homeware. Toby got a little spend happy in Quba and Co. but somehow I managed to resist the urge... Don't ask me how!

Lunch at the Lobster Shack

After your little trip through the town, you can walk through the harbour right round to the Lobster Shack, one of my favourite places in Whitstable. If it's warm enough then grab a bench outside but as we all know what British weather is like, you might be more inclined to sit inside! If mussels are on the menu (they're only available in certain months) then you absolutely have to get them! Or since you're at the Lobster Shack then lobster wouldn't be a bad choice! Last time I had the fresh lobster baked in garlic and parsley and my God, it was incredible! It's a bit messy so if you're anything like me and don't like dealing with greasy fingers then maybe get whoever you're with to dismantle the lobster (in my case, this was Toby) to make it hassle free eating!

Walk along the beach

There's nothing better after a big lunch than a gentle stroll along the beach. It's a perfect photo opportunity too with the colourful beach huts and old boats that have beached.You could also take this time to gobble down some bonbons from The Sugar Boy, blue raspberry flavour of course!

Dinner at Birdie's

After a quick freshen up and maybe an afternoon coffee somewhere, it's dinner time aka my favourite part of the day. We went to the unassuming Birdies restaurant and it was the best decision we made. At first, it looks nothing more than a family run little restaurant with a handful of tables dressed with gingham table cloths but the food was soooo tasty. We both opted for beef wellington which Toby had a few months back and swore I had to taste it. It came with sides of new potatoes and veg and a red wine jus and it was so good I can't even explain! It felt like proper home cooked food that your Mum would cook and I wish I could've had more! I followed it up with a vanilla creme brulee which was without a doubt the best I've ever had!

Drink on the beach

Post dinner means only one thing. And that is a good old drink! We headed to a local pub for a drink outside on the terrace yet I can't remember for the life of me what is was called. But the other idea I really like is grabbing yourself a couple of beers, or lemonades or even a bottle of wine and some plastic cups and enjoying them on the beach where you can watch the sun set. As you can see from my snaps, we saw the most beautiful orange sunset while we were there. It will instantly relax you and really is the perfect way to end your day.

I feel so blessed to be only an hour away from my favourite coastal town and if you're close to Whitstable you must go! You won't regret it, especially if you're in desperate need of a quite day to relax and explore!

I'm still keen on visiting more places in the UK so if there's anywhere you recommend whether that's your hometown or even just somewhere you've heard is really lovely then please comment them below or tweet me!

And finally, if you've made it to the end of this post then thank you, I know it's been a long one!


How To Use LinkedIn As A Blogger

LinkedIn is one social network in particular which I don't think grabs bloggers' attention enough. I login to LinkedIn at least once everyday and rarely do I see any beauty, fashion, travel, food, lifestyle, whatever-you-are bloggers appear in my feed. I always connect with bloggers when they pop as their content can break up my news feed a bit as I get so sick of seeing boring old recruitment posts!

It's definitely an underrated platform and I have no idea why. It can drive traffic to your blog and social media as well as getting your name out there for others to see. Another huuuuuuge benefit of using it, is that sometimes PR companies will get in contact with you through LinkedIn and if you connect with them, then their posts will always appear on your feed where you can then engage with them and comment!

Join groups

A simple search will bring up all the different blogging groups which you can join. The ones I'm a member of are Beauty Bloggers, Fashion Bloggers and The Blogger Programme but there are loads out there!

What I'd recommend doing on those is checking out other people's blog posts as well as posting your own. It's really that simple! I just copy the title, first paragraph and link and post - easy peasy! Then you can start interacting with others on the page and connecting with them if you feel they're suited. It's also worth checking out the digital marketing and social media groups for tips and tricks as you'll find a lot of people posting SEO hacks, etc. Just be aware though that people will post absolute rubbish on there too!

Publish your articles

Now this is debatable due to opinions/facts about SEO but some would say it's good promotion to post your blog post as an article on your profile. Here's an example of one of my posts I wrote for work which is exactly the same content as the post on the blog. Now it's a known fact that you lose SEO points (if it could be explained that easily) for duplicated content so even though I was recommended to do this by an industry expert, I have no idea what the effect on your SEO would be!

If you do go down this route then please let me know how you get on!

Include your links and add media

Don't forget to include your links to your blog and social media (if appropriate) in the personal info section of your profile so if anyone's interested, they can find out a bit more about you that way. It also bulks up your profile a bit more which is always a good thing!

Another way to drive traffic to your blog is to include media on your profile summary and experience sections. It only takes a couple of minutes and adds a more visual aspect of your blog to your profile. The only problem you may have which is why I don't actually have it on there myself, is that sometimes it doesn't show up to date images so it could show your blog image from a few months back which is the wrong size, pixelated, etc. 

Engage with others

Just like any other platform (except Instagram because we all know what that's like *eye roll*), the best way to grow is through liking, commenting and just generally engaging with others and LinkedIn is no different. So every time you login, share a bit of love with some fellow bloggers and hopefully they'll return the favour.

I hope this post has introduced you to the idea of LinkedIn a bit more and please do let me know if you join! The link to my profile is at the top of my blog so connect if you can! It would be fab to see some more bloggers in the LinkedIn community!

Have you got any other top tips for using LinkedIn as a blogger?

P.S. How cute is my new phone case?  Big thanks to Olixar for sending it to me, it's the perfect rose gold colour!


What Happened When I Stopped Shopping On ASOS

I won't be the first person who spends all their money on ASOS and I certainly won't be the last. But when you spend 50% of your monthly income on anything and everything on ASOS, then the warning lights start flashing. If you read my '21 things I want to do this year' post then you will know that one of my goals for 2017 is to properly start saving some money and to do this I'm having to dramatically cut back the late night shopping sessions on my favourite ever website. So I put my resistance to the test for a week and I can confidently say I completely stopped for a whole week!

'How did you do it' I hear you scream. Well it was hard, very hard. First thing I did was remove it from my Bookmarks Bar (a drastic action, I know) so it was out of sight out of mind, kinda. Next step was to delete all my ASOS emails before even opening them. Sorry to anyone on the marketing team there, I'm sure it won't affect your open and click through rates! And finally, mental strength!

The best trick for me was removing the emails from my inbox, normally I'll have a good nosey through them and open every single link in a new tab but as always, it's a dangerous road from there to the checkout button.

I saved money

You might be thinking 'well duh obviously you saved money' but I've surprised myself at how much I saved! I'm not really going to go into this too much as it's a bit of a blatant statement. The main reason why I wanted to stop shopping for a week was to work out how much I could save and I can safely say it's a lot!

Stuff got done

You wouldn't believe the difference in my productivity when I didn't spend every spare minute on ASOS. Before, I would naturally open a new tab in Chrome and type a-s and automatically my favourite website would pop up. It became second nature so even when I was deep in checking bank statements, I'd be shopping before I knew it. In the last week I've been able to tick off everything on my list without being distracted. Priorities have remained as priorities and I've just been able to get a lot of shit done!

I rediscovered clothes

I have a mass of clothes in my wardrobe, drawers and boxes under my bed. No matter how many I throw away, there's still a shit tonne in there! By not being able to just order a new top for the party I'm going to at the weekend or buy a new pair of Converse for the sake of it, it meant I had to actually start using what I had. It's made me feel very ungrateful for what I have, despite buying all my clothes with my own money. How can I have so many unused clothes lying around gathering dust when some people have nothing? So I made the most out of what I already had and rediscovered a few key items in my wardrobe that I'd forgotten about for so long! I also discovered some summer pieces in my Mum's wardrobe too!

My attitude changed

My attitude to money has completely changed in the last week. I've now developed the mindset that the £40 I was going to spend on a new pair of jeans which I don't need, could be a week's food shop when I move out. The tenner I bought yet another foundation with could've been used for my petrol money. I used to feel like online money wasn't real because it wasn't cash or a bit of plastic in my hand, please say I'm not alone ladies! But after the amount of money I've saved this week, which I can swiftly transfer to my savings account, I've come to realise the true value of it.

I'll definitely be curbing my shopping habits from now on and reaping the benefits of extra money and time. You should try it too, see what changes for you by quitting the shopaholic lifestyle for just one week!

Could you cope without ASOS for a whole week?

© The Rawrdrobe

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