What I Read: February & March 2020

Beth O’Leary: The Flat Share

Tiffy Moore needs a cheap flat, and fast. Leon Twomey works nights and needs cash. Their friends think they’re crazy, but it’s the perfect solution: Leon occupies the one-bed flat while Tiffy’s at work in the day, and she has the run of the place the rest of the time. 
But with obsessive ex-boyfriends, demanding clients at work, wrongly imprisoned brothers and, of course, the fact that they still haven’t met yet, they’re about to discover that if you want the perfect home you need to throw the rulebook out the window… 

I can’t believe I enjoyed this book so much that it will go on my favourite book ever shelf! It’s a romance book! Who am I? I don’t even recognise myself any more. The best kinds of books are those that surprise you with their perfection. I was expecting this to be a cheesy light read. It was and it wasn’t. The characters were more complex than I had expected and so was the plot.  This was an adorable fluffy chick-lit book that also deals with some heavy material like emotional abuse, gaslighting, and stalking. The book is told from the alternating perspectives of Leon and Tiffy, as they get to know each other by sharing their thoughts on those sticky “post it“ notes, (fun to read!) and by leaving food for one another! If you are looking for a romance book which will make you smile, laugh, and root for the characters to get their “happily ever after” endings, I recommend you add this one to your list.

5/5

C.J. Tudor: The Other People

Driving home one night, stuck behind a rusty old car, Gabe sees a little girl’s face appear in the rear window. She mouths one word: ‘Daddy.’ It’s his five-year-old daughter, Izzy. He never sees her again. Three years later, Gabe spends his days and nights travelling up and down the motorway, searching for the car that took his daughter, refusing to give up hope, even though most people believe that Izzy is dead. Fran and her daughter, Alice, also put in a lot of miles on the motorway. Not searching. But running. Trying to keep one step ahead of the people who want to hurt them. Because Fran knows the truth. She knows what really happened to Gabe’s daughter. Then, the car that Gabe saw driving away that night is found, in a lake, with a body inside and Gabe is forced to confront events, not just from the night his daughter disappeared, but from far deeper in his past.His search leads him to a group called The Other People.

The plot, although not complex, is too complicated to explain. There are multiple threads, voices, and timelines, but all are seamlessly woven together. There are lots of characters to keep track of in the beginning, but hang in there and you will be rewarded with a great story. Part ominous fairy tale with some paranormal elements, part mystery, part thriller, I wasn’t sure where the plot will take me but C.J. Tudor delivered once again with a gripping, thrilling, dark and creepy book that just keeps you hooked from beginning till end. The storyline is full of unexpected twists and turns that was so cleverly plotted that totally sucked me right in. The only reason I didn’t give it five stars is because of the supernatural bit at the end, even though it made sense and fits into the story, it’s just my personal preference.

4.5/5

Celeste Ng: Little Fires Everywhere

In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is meticulously planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colours of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules. Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother – who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenage daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than just tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the alluring mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past, and a disregard for the rules that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.When the Richardsons’ friends attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town and puts Mia and Mrs. Richardson on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Mrs. Richardson becomes determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs to her own family – and Mia’s. 

You should start this book expecting what it is; slow-moving, lots of character portraiting, complex family dynamics and small-town politics. There’s several stories going on in here, but the book begins with literal fires lighting up the Richardson household and the knowledge that the youngest daughter, Izzy, the wild card, has disappeared. Presumably because she is guilty. Then we move back from there. We start to get a portrait of the events leading up to this dramatic fire. Further back, we get the past stories of almost every character who comes into this book. I love how this book explores so many themes – such as motherhood, race, friendship, community, children-each one a little fire that slowly burned into an explosion. I didn’t think I would enjoy this type of book because I usually don’t but they way Celeste wrote this really kept me invested until the end. The only thing I didn’t like was the ending but mainly because I expected something else, maybe a more happy ending?

4.5/5

Lesley Kara: The Rumour

When single mum Joanna hears a rumour at the school gates, she never intends to pass it on. But one casual comment leads to another and now there’s no going back . . .Rumour has it that a notorious child killer is living under a new identity, in their sleepy little town of Flinstead-on-Sea.Sally McGowan was just ten years old when she stabbed little Robbie Harris to death forty-eight years ago – no photos of her exist since her release as a young woman.So who is the supposedly reformed killer who now lives among them? How dangerous can one rumour become? And how far will Joanna go to protect her loved ones from harm, when she realizes what it is she’s unleashed?

It is one of those novels that makes you suspect everybody and shows us how an innocent rumour can cause so much pain. There were a lot of characters so I did get a bit confused trying to remember who they all were. Also I couldn’t really connect with any of them. I have to admit, the story was a bit rocky, it went fast through some pages and slowed a bit in some but on the other hand there were plenty of twists and red herrings. The book was more like a thriller and a drama rolled into one which definitely made it better. The best thing about it was that I didn’t see the ending coming. I suspected everyone of being the child killer, everyone that is except the person who it actually was. And the author didn’t stop there, she had one final surprise that left me with my jaw dropped! However, I wouldn’t put it on my shelf of 5-star books, as I didn’t get those nail biting moments but I will definitely follow Lesley Kara in the future.

3.5/5

Peter Swanson: Rules for Perfect Murders

(US)Eight Perfect Murders

Books are time travel. True readers all know this. But books dont just take you back to the time in which they were written; they can take you back to different versions of yourself. 

Years ago, bookseller and mystery aficionado Malcolm Kershaw compiled a list of the genre’s most unsolvable murders, those that are almost impossible to crack—which he titled “Eight Perfect Murders”—chosen from among the best of the best. But no one is more surprised than Mal, now the owner of the Old Devils Bookshop in Boston, when an FBI agent comes knocking on his door. She’s looking for information about a series of unsolved murders that look eerily similar to the killings on Mal’s old list. And the FBI agent isn’t the only one interested in this bookseller. The killer is out there, watching his every move—a diabolical threat who knows way too much about Mal’s personal history, especially the secrets he’s never told anyone, even his recently deceased wife. To protect himself, Mal begins looking into possible suspects—and sees a killer in everyone around him. But Mal doesn’t count on the investigation leaving a trail of death in its wake. Suddenly, a series of shocking twists leaves more victims dead—and the noose around Mal’s neck grows so tight he might never escape.

I have to say, I’m one of the biggest fans of Swanson’s writing since reading The Kind Worth Killing years ago, but I wasn’t impressed with this one. This one had a slightly different feel to it than the author’s previous novels. First, I think you should read all the books mentioned on the list before you start reading this one because there are some major spoilers about each of them. I felt like the in-depth discussion into these novels halted the flow and pacing of the actual story.  Also there was too much talk and not enough action for long stretches. Aside from this, I thought the final 50% was well done and I found myself glued to this book. Swanson pulls his trademark twists and turns, which is always a pleasant experience. Another positive thing is that I finally read a book a that doesn’t involve a missing child or unstable female and that actually it’s not as much about who and why they did the killings but about more about the narrator and the power that the narrator has.

3.5/5

Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen: You are Not Alone

Thirty-one-year-old Shay is a market researcher. From a very young age, Shay realized that numbers affected the way people saw each other. She then started keeping track of stats in data books (her version of a diary).  She’s single, recently lost her job and now lives with a roommate that she is secretly in love with and has to endure his girlfriends giggles in the next room making home the last place she wants to be. One day, while waiting for a train,Shay witnesses a young woman, Amanda, jump in front of an oncoming train. Shay is horrified and can’t stop thinking about the woman. She ends up going to a memorial for Amanda where she meets her friends, The Moore Sisters. Cassandra and Jane become very interested in Shay which flatters her. Shay is not in a great place in her life and the attention makes her feel good about herself again. But what do the sisters really want from Shay? And can she stay one step ahead of them.

I am a huge fan of Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen. I loved their previous novels An Anonymous Girl and The Wife Between UsSo of course, this book was immediately added to my “to be read ASAP” list. And it didn’t disappoint.

The novel is told from multiple points of view and alternating past and present timelines. The story is divided into three parts, with each part serving a purpose. I enjoyed reading from Shay’s data book, the opening to each one of her chapters, where she writes down crazy stats, and makes her character more believable. The book is fast paced and intriguing with short chapters finishing with cliffhangers which makes it very hard to put down. This book played like a movie in my head. I could easily imagine the successful Moore sisters and lonely Shay in a big city like New York. Some parts of the book made me question everything I read. I changed my mind several times on who the evil person of this book was because nothing was as it seems. I really loved the twist at the end, and even though I was on the right track I wasn’t quite there.

The only thing I didn’t like and I still have hard times to believe is why Shay didn’t question the sisters’ motives more, because she’s such a rational and smart person. Towards the end I got so annoyed with her and the way she’s blinded by everything that sisters do. But I guess that could be explained with the fact that she met them at times when she was very vulnerable. Also, without giving any spoilers away, what happened to Daphne, the Moore sisters’ friend? Her story was important through the novel but she was left out from the ending.

Overall: It was a smart, exciting, riveting, entertaining page-turner. I had a great time and highly recommend this to the die-hard thriller and mystery fans.

4.5/5

What I Read: January 2020

Caroline Corcoran: Through The Wall

An apartment block in London. The neighbours do not know each other but they see and hear everything. Lexie and Tom are going through a rough patch in their marriage. They are trying to have a baby but things have not been easy. Harriet is next door who is alone and miserable after her boyfriend left her. She knows everything about her neighbours, and she wants what Lexie has… at any cost.

The book is based on a concept: The grass is always greener on the other side. In the beginning it was slow and a little confusing but once you get through the first part it does pick up. It got me thinking how we live next to our neighbours/friends with this picture already formed in our head, on how their lives are and how the photos we post on social media don’t actually say anything about who we are and what are we going through.

I found that the characters could become annoying at times, especially if you haven’t been in the situations they have, as it is hard to understand their actions, so you have to take that into account. The chapters are told alternately between Harriet and Lexie and the story covers issues like obsession, lies, jealously, secrets, controlling behaviour, mental health issues, stalking and fertility issues. It’s not a classic thriller with the big twist at the end and you can see where it’s going but I really enjoyed the psychological side of the characters.

4/5

Kiley Reid: Such a Fun Age

Alix Chamberlain is the textbook well-meaning rich white woman: She has black friends. She’s read everything Toni Morrison wrote. She’s trying to land a gig with Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Emira Tucker is the 25-year-old black woman who babysits Alix’s two young daughters. She’s aimlessly trying to figure out her life—preferably before she turns 26 and loses her parents’ health insurance.One night when Emira is at a grocery store with Alix’s daughter, she’s confronted by a security guard who accuses her of kidnapping the young girl. A white man named Kelley films the incident, and he and Emira begin dating. Horrified that this happened to Emira, Alix resolves to make things right, but as it turns out, Kelley is someone from Alix’s past, and things start to get messy.

This book is very thought provoking and gives a look at issues of class, race and privilege.I felt this was very much a cautionary tale; we all must be aware of who the people around us are and what purpose they think we serve in their lives. The two major characters going for one another in this book are both perfectly happy to use Emira as their sword – both trying to prove something to each other and neither are concerned that their battle does not involve Emira in the slightest. I loved the way the book was paced. I didn’t want to put it down and it made me angry, sad and happy all at the same time. I liked the setup of the last chapter where the writer gave us a glimpse into the future. Alix and Emira are very different characters and even though I liked Emira, I really disliked Alix. However, two very strong female voices and message of the book is also very important so I would definitely recommend this book.

5/5

Ruth Ware: The Turn of The Key

When she stumbles across the ad, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like an opportunity too good to miss—a live-in nannying post, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan Caine arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten—by the luxurious “smart” home fitted out with all the modern conveniences by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family. What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare—one that will end with a child dead and herself in prison awaiting trial for murder. Now she’s in prison and she’s writing a letter to her lawyer, trying to explain what actually happened because even though she’s not innocent by any means, she’s definitely not guilty of murder.

I can’t remember the last time a book gave me chills. I was actually scared to read it at night when I was alone. The house is super creepy, every night thing keep happening, things that you could inteprert as supernatural but you know they are not so it makes it even more creepy. The fact I was a live in nanny made it even worse because I could imagine myself in the same situation. This story kept me on edge the whole time. I didn’t see some of the twists and the ending coming….it all caught me by surprise. The only thing I got annoyed about was the ending, I thought I was missing some pages. But overall, this book will definitely go my ‘Best’ bookshelf.

5/5

B A Paris: Dilemma

It’s Livia’s fortieth birthday and tonight she’s having a party, a party she’s been planning for a long time. The only person missing will be her daughter, Marnie. But Livia has a secret, a secret she’s been keeping from Adam, her husband, until the party is over. Because how can she tell him that although she loves Marnie, she’s glad their daughter won’t be there to celebrate with her? Adam is determined everything will be just right for Livia and the party is going to be perfect… until he learns something that will leave him facing an unbearable decision.

I loved the two previous books by B A Paris but I was a bit dissapointed with this one. The whole book is set over a period of 24 hours which seemed like ages for me. The characters become very irritating the more you read and I just couldn’t understand how and why they are not talking to each other. Liv was especially annoying just because I could’t understand this big need to replace the wedding she never had with her birthday party and making the whole day about her. Adam on the other hand was a frustrating character that I just wanted to shake until he wakes up. There is no mystery really, you find out after few chapters what’s Liv’s and what’s Adam’s secret and you just spend the rest of the book waiting for something to happen. Towards the end I just skim-read the pages because it was dragging so much, I found the whole thing painful.

2/5

Tim Weaver: Never Coming Back

Emily Kane arrives at her sister Carrie’s house to find the front door unlocked, dinner on the table, and the family nowhere to be found—Carrie, her husband, and two daughters have disappeared. When the police turn up no leads, Emily turns to her former boyfriend David Raker, a missing persons investigator, to track the family down. As Raker pursues the case, he discovers evidence of a sinister cover-up, decades in the making and with a long trail of bodies behind it.

This is the 4th David Raker book but it can be read as a standalone, even though I would recommend reading the 3rd one because otherwise the beginning and the relationship of the characters could be confusing. The story takes place in Devon and in Las Vegas. It initially starts in December 2007 in Las Vegas before quickly moving back to Devon and to November 2012. At first I found this very confusing and couldn’t understand how this brief chapter connected to the story. Stick with it though because the story that follows is a real rollercoaster of a read with twists and turns that I didn’t see coming. I had my doubts about the ending but on the whole I found this to be a tension filled read. Is it my favourite David Raker book?- definitely not! Is it worth the read?- definitely yes.

4/5

Lucy Foley: The Hunting Party

During the languid days of the Christmas break, a group of thirtysomething friends from Oxford meet to welcome in the New Year together. For this vacation, they’ve chosen an idyllic and isolated estate in the Scottish Highlands—the perfect place to get away and unwind by themselves. They arrive on December 30th, just before a historic blizzard seals the lodge off from the outside world. Two days later, on New Year’s Day, one of them is dead.

The narrative alternates between Miranda, the Queen Bee, Katie, Miranda’s quiet and less attractive friend, Emma, the mousey new girl trying so hard to fit in, Doug, the Gamekeeper hiding a dark secret, and Heather, the lodge manager who is running from a tragedy. In addition to switching POV’s, the narrative also shifts between the past and the present. It’s a lot to keep up with! I was a little confused in the beginning about why we were only seeing these characters and I think that this could have been more interesting having only one character narrate. That being said, it became apparent pretty early who was killed even though it was revealed at the end so I was only waiting to find out who is the killer. If I’m being honest, in some parts it was really boring and it took me long to finish. I expected a classic whodunit – Agatha Christie book but instead I got a book that was focused on an old friends drama and betrayal of the past.

3/5

What I Read: November and December 2019

Lucinda Berry: The Perfect Child

Christopher and Hannah are a happily married surgeon and nurse with picture-perfect lives. All that’s missing is a child. When Janie, an abandoned six-year-old, turns up at their hospital, Christopher forms an instant connection with her, and he convinces Hannah they should take her home as their own.But Janie is no ordinary child, and her damaged psyche proves to be more than her new parents were expecting. Unable to bond with Janie, Hannah is drowning under the pressure, and Christopher refuses to see Janie’s true nature.

This is one messed up book and Janie is one messed up child. You’d think that the more psychological thrillers you read, the less they will affect you. But actually, it doesn’t work like that. This book really disturbed me in some parts but still I couldn’t put it down. Probably the most disturbing part was the animal abuse bit and I think I should warn everyone who wants to read this book to be prepared . What I liked most was how wrong I was about everything. You think you know what will happen, who will die, and how they will die, but it turns out you have no detective skills because your assumptions are 5 km away from the truth.  The way the writer decided to end the book is an odd choice but I am satisfied and slightly impressed.

4/5

Sally Hepworth: The Mother in Law

When Lucy marries Ollie, she desperately wants to be accepted into his family, especially by his mother Diana, as Lucy lost her mother at an early age. But from day one, Diana appears reserved and distant. That was five years ago. Now, Diana has been found dead, with a suicide note near her body. Diana claims that she no longer wanted to live because of a battle with cancer. But the autopsy finds no cancer but does find traces of poison and suffocation. 


Who could possibly want Diana dead? 

This story is told from two points of view, mother-in-law Diana and daughter-in-law Lucy, filling in the blanks of Diana’s life and leading us to the circumstances surrounding her death. I felt this was a very good way to tell the story as you could really see how much misunderstanding there was between these two women. I was expecting more of a thriller but the story ended up having more of a domestic mystery vibe with a twist at the end so I can’t reveal much. I really enjoyed reading it and never saw the last piece of the puzzle until it was added.

4/5

Fiona Cummins: The Neighbour

On a hot July day, Garrick and Olivia Lockwood and their two children move into 25 The Avenue looking for a fresh start. They arrive in the midst of a media frenzy: they’d heard about the local murders in the press, but Garrick was certain the killer would be caught and it would all be over in no time. The neighbours seemed to be the very picture of community spirit. But everyone has secrets, and the residents in The Avenue are no exception.After six months on the case with no real leads, the most recent murder has turned DC Wildeve Stanton’s life upside down, and now she has her own motive for hunting down the killer.

Let me just say, I don’t want to ever live in a street like this. This street is full of people with dark secrets which makes you want to second guess your own neighbours. The first 20% of the book was all over the place, and I was feeling pretty frustrated, I just couldn’t get into it. But then things started coming together. Even though I liked the twist at the end(which I didn’t predict), I felt something was missing. Maybe the fact I couldn’t connect to any of the characters or confused with the way the killer was narrating his life. So many new characters were introduced, and instead of giving some sort of background on each, their chapters would start in the middle of one of their thoughts. But as I said, it all made sense at the end.

3.5/5

Tim Weaver: Vanished

For millions of Londoners, the morning of 16 December is just like any other. But not for Sam Wren. An hour after leaving home, he gets on a Tube train – and never gets off again. No witnesses. No trace of him on security cameras. Six months later, he’s still missing. Sam’s wife Julia hires David Raker to track him down. Raker has made a career out of finding the lost. Once David Raker starts looking into Sam’s case it becomes obvious to him that there are untold secrets that need to be discovered. He is sure that both Sam and Julia have secrets that are being kept well hidden and will need to be exposed if this case is to be solved.

This is the 3rd book in the David Raker series by author Tim Weaver. I accidentally read this series out of order, starting with the latest one and then going back but it didn’t ruin the enjoyment. And I enjoyed reading it so much that I finished it in two days! I loved the idea of just vanishing from the packed train, which is highly believable if that train is a London Tube (if you’ve ever used it, you will know no one is paying attention to anyone). This book has a very clever and original plot, and I personally enjoyed the amount of time spent in and around the London Underground, and it’s history. I love Weaver’s style of writing, how quickly the story pulls you in and keeps you turning the pages. I already have the next book in series waiting to be read because this one ended with a bit of a cliffhanger.

4.5/5

Mark Edwards: The Lucky Ones

After his wife leaves him for another man, Ben and his 11 year old son, Ollie, move from London to Shropshire to make a fresh start. With his personal life in shambles, Ben wonders if he made the right decision to move. Very slowly, Ben’s luck changes and good things start happening for him and Ollie. However, what Ben doesn’t realize is that the good luck he has been experiencing is not what it seems.  At the same time, a serial killer known as “The Viper” is creating a state of terror. After killing his victims, he manipulates their bodies in such a way that it seems like they died in a state of “bliss.” The killer believes that dying happy makes one “lucky.” This deranged individual targets his victims, makes their dreams come true, and then kills them. Without an obvious link between the victims, the police have little to go on to find the killer. Detective Inspector Imogen Evans is desperate to find The Viper before he strikes again.

I already read and reviewed a few books by Mark Edwards. What makes his books different and more interesting is his way of writing – he makes the characters in the book become real, his chapters are short and snappy and the plot is always very clever. The story alternates between Imogen, Ben and the killer and it’s a gripping page turner. So many times I thought I had worked out who it was only to change my mind and choose someone else. It’s one that will certainly mess with your head and a definite read for fans of psychological thrillers.

5/5

What I Read: October 2019

Rachel Abbott: Shape of Lies (DCI Tom Douglas,#8)

Anna is a woman with a secret past that she has done her best to cover up, and keep from her husband and children.
She is the successful head of a primary school, and all seems well until she hears a radio program mentioning someone called Scott who wants to talk about his past relationship with a girl called Spike, and Nebraska. But Scott is dead, Anna is sure of it, or is he?
This sends her into a panic, and in a series of flashbacks we begin to understand what happened in her first year at university.

Alongside her story, Tom and Becky and the team are investigating the discovery of a body in a car park, while Tom is also facing personal problems.

This is the 8th book in the DCI Tom Douglas series, but provides sufficient background information that this novel can be read as a stand-alone. I usually love her books but I could’t really put my finger on this one. I found Anna’s story very far-fetched, how could anyone be so naïve to get into the situation she did, and not call it a day very early on rather than getting in deeper and deeper?! Also too much Anna in this book and not enough Tom Douglas. I feel in this book he wasn’t even needed because finding the killer was more by chance than real police work. It is well written, suspenseful and kept me wanting to know more more more of these old secrets but I ended up being disappointed in the end.

3/5

John Marrs: When You Disappear

Married for 10 years with 3 children it may seem that Cathrine and Simone have the perfect marriage. But when Simon disappears without a trace Catherine realises she never actually knew him. Fast forward 25 years and Simon is back, determinate to sort things out between them. The two share with one another what happened over the course of their time apart and the secrets start to emerge…

But as they share more and more, nothing really happens! For me things moved too slowly and all I wanted to know was why Simon left?!I bought this book just because of the amazing reviews and the fact that two previous Marrs’ books that I read were so good! For me, this one was not as good and I was struggling to read it so much that in some parts I ended up skim reading it. The ending had a great twist so my mark would be much lower otherwise.

3/5

Mark Edwards: Here To Stay

Gemma Robinson comes into Elliot’s life like a whirlwind, and they marry and settle into his home. When she asks him if her parents can come to stay for a couple of weeks, he is keen to oblige – he just doesn’t quite know what he’s signing up for. The Robinsons arrive with Gemma’s sister, Chloe, a mysterious young woman who refuses to speak or leave her room. Elliot starts to suspect that the Robinsons are hiding a dark secret. And then there are the scars on his wife’s body that she won’t talk about . . . As Elliot’s in-laws become more comfortable in his home it becomes clear that they have no intention of moving out Elliot delves into the Robinsons’ past. But is he prepared for the truth?

There is something about Mark Edwards and his writing that I find intriguing, no matter the topic. I have read several of his books and I have to say they just get better and better. The story is claustrophobic, unsetteling and chilling. The houseguests from hell who at first are a nuisance but quickly turn into unstable and dangerous sent my stress levels through the roof. There are twists and turns, jump scares, and chapter cliffhangers culminating in a stunning, jaw-dropping conclusion, that I did predict, but made it no less impacting. Edwards will definitely remain the ‘auto-buy’ author for me.

5/5

Søren Sveistrup: The Chestnut Man

Set in Denmark, a psychotic serial killer is terrorising Copenhagen. His signature is the chestnut man- a doll made out of matchsticks and chestnuts- which he leaves next to the body. Examining the dolls, forensics make a shocking discovery- a fingerprint that belongs to a minister’s daughter kidnapped and murdered a year ago! An unlikely pair of detectives Thulin and Hess have to put aside their differences and piece together the gruesome clues left by the Chestnut man.

When I heard that the writer of the tv show ‘The Killing’ has published his first book I simply had to read it! Well, I can only say this debut will not have you dreaming of chestnuts roasting on the open fire anytime soon! Reading the book was like solving a puzzle, classic ‘Nordic Noir’ with a dark setting and complex characters. There are numerous twists, turns, cliffhangers and an unexpected ending! For me, that’s a sign of a good book.

Definitely not for the fainthearted but if you are fan of Scandinavian fiction or the TV show The Killing this one is for you!

5/5

What I Read: September 2019

Jojo Moyes: Still Me

In Still Me, Louisa keeps her promise to Will, her love from book one to say yes to new opportunities. This opportunity brings her from her home in England—and her hunky boyfriend the paramedic Sam—to New York City to be an assistant to a wealthy young wife of a wildly rich man. Louisa acts like something of an emotional bodyguard for Agnes against the society women who assumed she stole Leonard from his first wife because she was just after his money and citizenship (she’s from Poland). There are perks to her job, like going to charity balls in $3,000 dresses purchased by her employer, but it puts a huge strain on her relationship with Sam. Can they make the long-distance thing work, or is this going to be the end of them?

This is the 3rd book in the Me Before You series and I was pleasantly surprised. I am a huge fan of Louisa and her personality and I enjoyed the journey she took. First things first ‘Still Me’ is not ‘Me Before You’. Its not even close. There are a few situations that border on being cliches and the whole novel reads like a rom-com. But I did not care, not one bit. I can genuinely say I absolutely love this book. 

4/5

Alice Feeney: I Know Who You Are

Aimee is an up-and-coming movie starlet! Everything is falling into place for her…at least professionally. Her home life however, could use a little Hollywood magic. Her husband has grown distant as her star-power has risen, leaving him in the shadows. 

After a long day of shooting on the set, Aimee returns home to find her husband missing. His wallet, phone and shoes are still in the house the car is parked in the garage, and most disturbing of all, a bouquet of flowers on the table with a simple note that chillingly says, “Sorry”.

I read all of the comments about this book before starting it, and they were so bad that at one point I was just going to give up. But I managed to finish it and I have to say, most of the bad reviews are true. To be honest, the book is gripping, and I couldn’t stop reading it because I was curious as to what happened next but some things just didn’t make sense. I’m not going to say much so I don’t spoil the story but the fact Aimee kept going to work and acted like nothing was wrong while her husband was missing is just too stupid. Also the ending had the most ridiculous, unbelievable and revolting twist!

2.5/5

Greer Hendricks,Sarah Pekkanen: An Anonymous Girl

When Jessica signs up for a psychology study conducted by the mysterious Dr Shields, she thinks all she’ll have to do is answer a few questions, collect her money and leave. But as the questions grow more and more invasive, she begins to feel as though they know what she’s thinking . . . and what she’s hiding. As Jessica’s paranoia grows, it becomes clear that she can no longer trust what is real in her life, and this is one of Dr Shields’s manipulative experiments. Caught in a web of deceit and jealousy, Jess quickly learns that some obsessions can be deadly.

I’ve enjoyed reading the authors’ breakout book The Wife Between Us (which is now being turned into a movie), so I was excited to read this one as well and in my opinion is even better than the first one. I wasn’t hooked from the beginning but once when I got into it I couldn’t stop reading. Until the very end I didn’t know who was good and who was bad and what their motives are. Chapters are short and alternate between Jessica’s and Dr Shields’ point of view, the story is very fast paced, full of twists and turns and it kept me glued for hours.

4/5

Shari Lapena: Someone We Know

Neighbourhood gossip and hidden secrets makes this an addictively gripping and thrilling story that was impossible to put down. 

In a quiet suburb where everyone knows everyone, there has been a string of break-ins. A teenager has been sneaking into houses and hacking into personal computers. Secrets are uncovered. Then a neighbour is found dead in the trunk of her car. Could the exposed secrets uncover who is responsible for the murder? Whose secrets will be revealed and whose will be kept hidden? Is anyone in the neighbourhood safe?

I have read and loved all of Shari Lapena’s, books. There is something about her writing that keeps me on the edge of my seat. A classic whodunit book where literally everyone is suspicious at one point and until the very last end, when you are absolutely sure the case is solved, you will be wrong. Well, at least I was!

4.5/5

Michelle Frances: The Daughter

Katie had her daughter Becky when she was a teenager and bought her up as a single mother. She has sacrificed a lot to give her the best start in life. Although life as a single mother is hard, the 2 of them are very close and Katie couldn’t be prouder of her daughter getting a position as a trainee journalist.

Without giving this amazing plot away, there is a terrible accident involving Becky, Katie’s life is changed forever and when she discovers what Becky’s undercover story is she carries on investigating even though she is going against dangerous people who do not want this becoming public.

The narrative moves between the present and the days leading up to Becky’s accident with the occasional flashback to Kate’s earlier life with Becky.While I don’t want to mention anything about Becky’s secret investigation in order to avoid spoilers, it does focus on an important subject. In the author’s end notes she outlines the real life issues that inspired this story.

I loved Michelle’s previous book The Girlfriend but this one wasn’t as amazing. I found the flashbacks a bit boring so I just skim-read it. I would probably give it a 4 otherwise because it was an intersting subject.

3.5/5


What I read: August 2019

So, as I am a big reader and don’t have anyone to share my opinions with about the books I read most of the time, i’ve decided to write a blog post on a monthly basis and give my honest opinion about each one.

The Silent Patient

Painter Alicia Berenson lives a seemingly a happy life with her photographer husband in a big house overlooking Hampstead Heath, until one night Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word. Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivation.

The book is narrated through Alicia’s diary before the murder and through Theo’s point of view. I don’t want to talk too much because I might spoil the big twist at end- and I mean it’s so big that I stopped and re-read the page. Nothing is as it seems in this novel. This story is complex and multi-layered with a labyrinth of characters, each playing their part in the development of the plot.

4.5/5

The Family Upstairs

25 years ago, police were called to 16 Cheyne Walk with reports of a baby crying. When they arrived, they found a healthy ten-month-old in her crib. Downstairs in the kitchen lay three dead bodies, all dressed in black, next to a suicide note. And the four other children reported to live at Cheyne Walk were gone.

There are three stories entwined in this book. First storyline is about Libby, she’s twenty five. She had been adopted and has now inherited a large family home from her birth parents. She’s about to learn some terrible events that led to her being adopted. Story two is about Lucy. She’s a single mother of two children who is trying to get back to Britain from France. She has no money and they are living on the streets. Story three is about Henry. It’s told twenty years ago. It tells what happened to his family when people started moving into his Chelsea Mansion.

There are 432 pages in this book and I finished it within two days. I read Lisa’s previous books and I have to say this one is my favourite. At the beginning the story line might seem confusing because there are different characters and timelines but once when you get going the story flows. This isn’t your average domestic thriller, or classic family drama… this is twisted, dark, emotionally disturbing, Netflix documentary level crazy! I can’t recommend it enough.

5/5

The Perfect Wife

Abbie wakes up without a memory of who she is, the man next to her claims to be her husband. He’s the owner of one of the biggest and innovative tech companies in Sillicon Valley. He says she had a terrible accident 5 years ago and he brought her back. She’s a miricle of science. But of course when her memories start to return, she starts to question his motives and his version of events.

Some of you probably remember The Girl Before success a few years ago. Everyone was reading it. That was the first book by J.P. Deleney so I naivly expected The Perfect Wife would be just as good. I got hooked and I read it very quickly because I expected something good to happen with some amazing twist…it was the biggest let down! The book is actually in my opinion complete science fiction where the main character is a robot (this is not a spoiler as it’s revealed in the first few pages) so it’s very hard to connect with her.

3/5

Everything is Lies

The lead character Sophia discovers her mother is dead and her father critically injured in what appears to be a murder, suicide. Sophia does not believe this to be the case and searches for the answers when she discovers her mother has finally written a book of her life. The story switches between present day and excerpts from Sophia’s mothers book which really adds to the suspense.

Despite some plot flaws the book was a real page turner with lots of twists. I’m not going to say much more, except that this book did take me by surprise and I felt everything from being annoyed, to feeling sad, and that kind of fear where you know something bad is going to happen but you can’t take your eyes off of what is going on.

4/5

The One

A simple DNA test is all it takes. Just a quick mouth swab and soon you’ll be matched with your perfect partner—the one you’re genetically made for. That’s the promise made by ‘Match Your DNA’ a decade ago. Millions took the test but it has its downsides – breakups, divorces, and changed views on romance and dating.

The book switches from 5 different characters stories and the individual journeys they embark upon when they discover who they are gentically destined to be with – their so called perfect ‘one’. What could possibly go wrong…? Well, it turns out absolutely everything.

If you are a fan of the Black Mirror series this book is for you. I thought at the beginning I was going to find it confusing to retain 5 stories, with subplots, and many characters that literally don’t intertwine but the author did such an amazing job at keeping me invested it was clear which story I was reading. You have to know, this is not a love story…far from it.

Also the big news came last Spring that ‘The One’, will be turned into a 10-part series on Netflix, with filming beginning this summer and ready for its debut in January. How exciting is that?!

The New York City Guide

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And here it is – the second part of my New York City guide. Before you start, tip number one is: wear comfortable shoes! We wandered around so much that step counter on my phone went nuts. We walked between 15km and 20 km every day! Considering we used public transport a lot, this is shocking. But I loved every minute of it and hope to come back soon.

Get Around

Even though yellow cabs, Uber and Lyft (which works same as Uber and may even be better!) are everywhere to been seen, the fastest way to get around the city is the Metro. The weekly Metro card which gives you unlimited travel for 7 days, and costs only $30. A bargain, compared to London.  The other positive thing is that Metro runs 24/7.

Where To Shop

What Goes Around Comes Around

Experience both old and new at this  SoHo boutique, popular with stylists and celebrities. Whether you look to the past for inspiration or are decidedly fashion-forward, What Goes Around Comes Around will provide clothing, shoes and accessories that are stylish and timeless, even if the prices are very contemporary. The shop also produces and markets its own vintage-inspired collection.

351 W Broadway, New York, NY 10013

Glossier

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Even though they ship to UK now, there is something in actually seeing and trying products before buying so I decided to go to the physical Glossier shop while in New York. They have a showroom on top of their offices on Lafayette Street down in Soho and it’s pretty cool. It’s always busy so you might end up in a queue outside but it moves pretty fast.  All the products are out for you to have a play with, plus the place is Instagram gold.

123 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10013

If you are into beauty products make sure you also visit Sephora on Union Square which is massive and Barney’s if you’re after some luxe and harder to find brands.

Reformation

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With a couple of stores across Manhattan (one on the Lower East Side, and one in Soho), Reformation is without a doubt one of my favourite shops in the city. With their infamous mini (and maxi) dresses, rad denim, accessories and cute t-shirts in store, I’d dedicate a good bit of shopping (or browsing) time in here…

39 Bond St, New York, NY 10012

Sézane

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Like all of the Sézane locations, the NYC store is designed to look like the apartment of that stylish girl, and between the chic little cafe in front, the gorgeously styled built-ins, and the herringbone floors, well, I wouldn’t mind moving right on in! I don’t know about you, but I do 90% of my clothes shopping online these days because most stores just aren’t fun or well-designed, so it’s really nice to see a shop that makes you actually want to come in and browse.

254 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10012

What to See

If you’ve never visited before then there is a long list of tourist spots to tick off : Central Park (it’s huge, take a half day for this), Times Square, Empire State and Flat Iron Buildings, Grand Central Station and The Met Museum, to name a few. Here are some of my favourite spots:

Liberty Island

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To be honest, we didn’t want to visit the Liberty Island and famous statue because of the crowd and a feeling you can see it better from the land. But we had an afternoon free so we decided to give it a go. Seeing Ms. Libery in person was pretty cool indeed. Also, Ellis Island Museum is super interesting but if you are not into that I suggest taking the ferry to Staten Island. It’s free and on your way there you will have a great view of the Statue of Liberty even without stopping on the islands. If you want to visit both of the islands you will pay $18 and spend at least an hour in queues.

The Views

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No matter what, avoid going up the Empire State Building for the view. There are so many more better views than that. The first one is Top of The Rock. We paid around $50 each for Sun&Stars ticket, allowing us to come in the morning and then again for sunset. I have to say, the morning session was nice, not to busy. We arrived around 8:30 and there were no queues at all. In the evening it became a bit hectic and it was very hard to even see the sunset or the lights turning on.

The other option is to visit One World Trade Centar Observation Deck, 6th tallest building in the world. Entrance is $34 and you get a complimentary drink with it (beer, wine or prosecco)

DUMBO & Brooklyn Bridge

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Situated a little across from the Brooklyn Bridge, and just across from the Manhattan Bridge (DUMBO = Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass), Dumbo is a neighborhood boasting pretty beautiful views of the Manhattan Bridge as well as some cute places to eat (Grimaldi’s and Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory) and shop. Tip: you can get here from Greenpoint by taking the boat which was the best decision we made. You will get the best views of Manhattan and Brooklyn but also their bridges.

While you are there, make sure to walk the famous Brooklyn Bridge. The best times to walk are early mornings or evenings after sunset. During the day it can become a little bit crowded. It’s worth it though as the views are stunning.

High Mile

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You will have a pretty hard time finding a park as unique as this anywhere else in the world. The High Line is a one and a half mile long suspended green space that allows visitors and residents alike to enjoy plants and car-free space deep within the city. It was built on the raised platform of a former railroad, and the old architecture mixed with the fantastically maintained gardens makes for a memorable experience. There are several great passages and overlooks throughout the park that provide for interesting city views and, if you’ve worked up an appetite, there are even a few food vendors!

Chelsea Market

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There is nothing quite like exploring a great food market in a new city and though New York has several, Chelsea Market reigns supreme. You can get everything from wine, spices, and popsicles here as you roam through the stalls. If you really want to experience the ins and outs of the market, you can even take a food tour to learn (and sample) more.

75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

The Village

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This place is so chilled you will forget you are even in New York. We had a long stroll from High Line all the way to Washinton Square. On the way we passed the famous Magnolia bakery, as well as Carrie Bradshaw’s and Friends apartment.

Washington Square Park is a people watcher’s paradise. Musicians, sunbathers, skateboarders, dog owners, chess players and NYU students all hang out around the historic fountain in the shadow of the arch, often used as a location in films and televisions shows.

Nolita

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NoLIta (for North of Little Italy) might have many of the same features as nearby neighborhoods SoHo and Little Italy, but has a distinctly charming vibe all its own. The area’s cozy cafés, stylish boutiques and bar scene make it a destination. Visit to browse the independent designer shops and sit streetside at cute restaurants, lounges and coffee shops.

Williamsburg

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We were staying in Williamsburg but if you are not, make sure you come and explore. Williamsburg sits across the East River from Manhattan’s Lower East Side and it’s one of Brooklyn’s most popular and exciting neighborhoods where you can explore the lively arts, music, and boutique scene here. The mile-long stretch of Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg is lined with art galleries, bars, and secondhand boutiques that have made the area popular with the hipster set.

The New York City Food Guide


I started writing this blog post a week ago. Originally it was supposed to be one big post, covering everything in New York from eating, shopping to sightseeing but it was way too big. New York has so much to offer and it simply can’t fit into one post. So I decided to split it in two. This post will be about my favourite places to eat and drink while in NYC and in a week I will be posting part 2 – where to shop and what to see including the best ways to move around and where to stay.

So let’s start.

Brunch

Butcher’s Daughter

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Even though the word ‘butcher’ is in the name, this place couldn’t be further from meat. Butcher’s Daughter is a plant-based restaurant, cafe, juice bar and as they say on their website: “vegetable slaughterhouse”. The interior is more LA-like, with lots of white and yellow, plants, pillows and rattan chairs. You can find them in five locations around the city and we liked it so much we visited it on two occasions in one week.  Even though they serve breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, we only tried their brunch menu. Usually, I would recommend the best thing from the menu but they tend to change their menus quite often so it would be pointless. But, whatever you choose you can’t go wrong. Everything is so delicious. Bare in mind that it can get very busy so try to come earlier.

Various locations

http://www.thebutchersdaughter.com

Egg Shop

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As the name says, this place is devoted to serving all types of eggs all day and night (well until midnight). The local, organic eggs get prepared in a variety of ways: poached atop avocado toast, mixed to make a mayo-free egg salad, or scrambled with seasonal vegetables. There’s also a nice balance of hangover cures – you can even get sides of excellent fried chicken and buttermilk biscuits! but if you are looking for something quick and healthy it’s an even nicer place. I visited the one in Nolita but they have another location in Williamsburg.

The space itself is bright and airy, and feels more like a cool California café—neon teal chairs, a chalkboard menu and big window. I got ahead of myself and ordered a spicy chicken and egg burger which was absolutely massive for a 10am breakfast but so good.

151 Elizabeth St,New York, NY 10012

http://www.eggshopnyc.com

Bakeri

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This Scandinavian style bakery is located in the residential area of Greenpoint, Brooklyn. It’s their second branch(the first is in Williamsburg) opened as they needed larger baking space due to the increasing demand for their high-quality freshly baked goods.  Both, the interior and exterior, are wonderful. From the tall decorative wooden doors to the over-scale botanical wallpaper.  The space is decorated with handmade crafts fitting perfectly with the vintage-rustic vibe and the exposed brick walls.  Stepping in, you will get the feeling you’ve arrived into a different decade. Everyone wears boiler suits (or a variation of it) and a headscarf – the same as working women during WWII. Everything feels intentional. And everything adds up to the warmth and coziness of the café. Order at the counter and grab a seat at the large rustic communal table or at the breakfast bar overlooking the kitchen. It was so hard to choose what to have, the delicious pastries on show were tempting but we opted for biscuits and eggs.

105 Freeman St, Brooklyn, NY 11222, USA

http://www.bakeribrooklyn.com

Other brunch places: Citizens of Chelsea, Jack’s Wife Freda,Pietro Nolita, Banter NYC, Maman,While We Were Young

Lunch

Tacombi

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This place was our lunch stop on days when we were feeling a bit peckish around 2pm. It’s a chain and it can be found around NYC. We found it accidentally because I couldn’t stop talking about tacos for days. I certainly can have tacos in London but these ones were the best I tried. Their chorizo with potatoes or chicken tacos are so delicious you will come back for more. If you are not into tacos they serve quesadillas and Campechanos. They also make everything from scratch with sustainably sourced ingredients, including their corn and flour tortillas which are rolled daily.  We had been to several locations but my favourite one is the one at the Empire State Building because of its interior and natural light which comes through the windows.

Various locations

http://tacombi.com

Dinner

El Almacen

This Williamsburg located, Argentinian restaurant came as the biggest discovery of our New York trip. We walked past it every day on our way to the place where we stayed and it never occurred to me that something so cool lays behind lace curtains.  What’s behind them is a red-brick covered space that feels like the sort of cozy spot you’d stumble into on a random side street in Buenos Aires. Or at least, what I imagine that would be like.

The only light inside is from the candles on the tables and at the back there is a small garden with a fairy light so the whole atmosphere is relaxing and cozy which made us very sleepy after dinner. We got very excited on seeing the menu and ended up ordering too much, starting with actual avocado fries, $24 steak and probably the most heavenly dessert of them all: dulce de leche filled crepe with caramelized bananas.

557 Driggs Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211, USA

http://www.elalmacennyc.com

Caracas Arepa Bar

Before coming to New York, I had never been to a Venezuelan restaurant and I certainly hadn’t tried their famous arepas. Arepa is a bread made of white cornmeal, water and salt. The dough is formed into a patty, grilled, baked, split open and stuffed with a variety of ingredients like a sandwich.  We visited their Brooklyn branch and simply loved it. It’s a small, cozy place, with the garden at the back filled with Latin music. They serve happy hour margaritas and the most delicious arepas. Even though they look small at first they are quite filling so I would advise starting with one and then ordering more if you like.

Sorry that there are no pictures of dinner places. It was way too dark.

291 Grand St, Brooklyn, NY 11211, USA

http://www.caracasarepabar.com

Other Places for Dinner: Souvlaki GR,NoMo Kitchen,Pizza Beach, Freemans,Mexicue,1830.

Coffee & Cake

Urban Backyard

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According to their website, Urban Backyard “is a coffee shop that is committed to being environmentally and socially responsible.” Alongside the classic caffeinated beverages — Americano, macchiato, mocha, to name a few — look for the specialty drinks like lavender peony iced tea and masala chai. They serve different sweet bits but I would recommend the cutest cacti cupcakes and a wide range of macarons flavours which you can get as part of their ‘Afternoon tea’ offer. Also, this place has the cutest interior and exterior which will look great on your Instagram.

180 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012, USA

https://www.urbanbackyardnyc.com

Woops

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I know we are not in Paris but here is another macaron shop. This one stays open until late (12pm) and it serves over 20 flavours of macarons which taste heavenly. They even offer workshops so you can learn how to make them yourself. You can find them in various locations around New York but we visited one in Williamsburg which had an interior to die for and it wasn’t as busy.

Various locations

Drinks

For this one I suggest you cross the river and have the best views of Manhattan from one of the many rooftop bars.

We’ve been to two and instead of describing them I will just compare both of them as they are equally amazing.

First one we went to was rooftop bar at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge. Because we are not the guests of the hotel we had to pay $20 to get in. As the name says, the hotel is located just next to Brooklyn Bridge and offers amazing views of both the bridge and  Manhattan. On the down side, you will be restricted to a small space and you won’t have access to the whole rooftop and the amazing swimming pool as it’s guests only.

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1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge

The second place we visited was Westlight rooftop bar, located on the 22nd floor of William Vale Hotel. We got there pretty late on our last day, too tired and in desperate need of sleep but the view we saw was simply breathtaking. Because the hotel is located on the east of Manhattan, you can imagine how amazing the view is, right? Not only can you see Manhattan but also Brooklyn and Queens – basically the whole city skyline. For me, this view was on the same level as the Top of the Rock and the One World Trade Center Observatory. The rooftop is covered with fake grass and beanbags and rattan chairs with comfy cushions are scattered around. I was tempted to lay down, have a nap and miss my flight in the morning.

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Westlight

1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge: 60 Furman St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Westlight: 111 North 12th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11249

Copenhagen Guide​

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Regularly voted as one of the happiest cities in the world for the last 40 years, Copenhagen, with its 1.2 million people offers miles of harbor promenades, green spaces, and a mix of modern and historic architecture.  The Danish capital has always attracted people with its New Nordic cuisine – full of local, natural and seasonal food, and an increasing fashion and design scene. However, the thing that put Copenhagen and the top of everyone’s bucket list for certain is hygge, the Danish concept of living a happy life.

Also, according to a new report published this year, Copenhagen was named the best city for women to live in. The government promotes gender and income equality, safety, progress and human rights so there is no surprise that they can focus on things that really matter.

By visiting Copenhagen you will notice that the people there just enjoy the simple things in life, every day, every minute, without overthinking it. Starting from coffee shops and restaurants which have candles lit up all day to meeting their friends after work for a coffee on the rooftop restaurants, eating dinners early and heading home on their bikes to relax before an early bedtime. The fact that there are more than 500 000 bikes in the city shows that Danes love biking and a healthy lifestyle, and many families with children don’t even own a car.  So what is their secret? To understand and experience this for myself, I visited Copenhagen for a long weekend and found the things that are usually missed by tourists but capture the real spirit of the city.

Eat

Møller Kaffe & Køkken

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To experience the real, traditional Danish breakfast I visited  Møller Kaffe & Køkken. It’s a cosy cafe situated in Nørrebro, with recognisable Danish interior. The best time to go and avoid the queues is 9 am, as soon as they open because here going out for breakfast is a big thing and Danes usually get up early. Møller is awarded best brunch spot in Copenhagen and they are serving breakfast all day without dinner or lunch menu available. As seated they will give you a menu and a pencil, asking you to tick everything you want and take it to the counter. Maybe easy to order but hard to choose because menu consists of nearly 20 dishes, from traditional bacon, eggs and øllebrød(Danish porridge) to homemade chicken nuggets and apple with lime and sea salt.  The one thing I would recommend a selection of fresh made breads and fried eggs with kale.

Møller Kaffe & Køkken, Nørrebrogade 160, 2200 Copenhagen N

Mad & Kaffe

Located in one of Vesterbro’s hotspot locations, you can combine your own tasty breakfast plate by ticking the list of various breakfast possibilities. The café is known for being an Instagram-darling with an aesthetic and colourful morning plate perfectly shareable – with a friend or on social media. Avocado with chili oil and baked almonds, cinnamon bun with organic chocolate on the top, yogurt with muesli, matcha tea and basil are just some of the small dishes you find on the menu. Mad & Kaffe also offer lunch and bigger meals. You can order burger, salad or famous open sandwiches.

Bæst

This pizzeria is as close to Italy as you will come in Denmark, and yet very few of the ingredients they use are actually imported. Only the highest quality meat is chosen from the organic free-range Hindsholm pork. The restaurant even makes its own fresh cheeses like mozzarella, burrata, and ricotta. Bæst is the third restaurant of chef Christian Puglisi – the famous Noma alumni and owner of acclaimed restaurants Relæ and Manfreds.

 

Shop

Hay

It’s pretty likely you’ve already heard of Hay before. It could be their beautiful sofas, Instagrammable trays or even stationary – but if you haven’t let me introduce you to this gorgeous Danish design company. With their city centre store laid out like an apartment; this place is home to beautiful furniture, small accessories and more colour co-ordinated stationary than you could wish for.

Østergade 61, 1100 København K, Denmark

Jægersborggade

As mentioned by locals, this is the most important street you need to see if you are staying in Copenhagen for a short time. Jægersborggade is home of more than 40 different shops including the art gallery CMYK which exhibits and sells Danish graphics and illustrations, gågrøn! sustainable interior boutique, Resecond the world’s first dress-swapping shop, Panache which sells vintage clothes from the 60s and 70s, Lady Fingers handmade jewellery designer, handmade Ro chocolate, wine bars and the highlight of the street, Michelin starred restaurant Relæ – creative and free of cultural heritage, this restaurant serves food from all over the world.  Further down this street, you will also find Copenhagen’s most famous coffee shop, The Coffee Collective, which is a coffee consulting company and specialist micro roastery,  owned by Klaus Thomsen, who is the World Barista Champion and a two-time national champion.

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Kaktus Kobenhavn

See

Nyhavn

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Originally a busy commercial port where ships from all over the world would dock, Nyhavn is a must while visiting Copenhagen. Aside from colorful buildings and beautiful boats, this area is filled with people enjoying the relaxed atmosphere by the canal, jazz music and great food.

The word København means “merchants’ harbor,” so many of the city’s most impressive buildings, are visible from the water. You can take sever. We opted to explore on bikes like the locals instead- although we did park them to walk along the harbor and have a drink.

Christianshavn

One of my favourite neighborhoods I discovered in Copenhagen. It’s an area of small islands known for its hip coffee culture and canals with colourful boats. One of the main attractions set in Christianshavn that’s worth visiting is Our Savior’s Church —which is famous for its helix spire with an external winding staircase and you can climb to the top for impressive views of Copenhagen if it’s not too windy that day.

Tivoli Park and Gardens

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This amusement park and pleasure garden opened in August of 1843 and is the second-oldest operating amusement park in the world. You won’t find many other city centers where more than 80,000 square meters have been set aside for a magical amusement park like this! Whether you visit during Christmas or in the warm summer months, this attraction has seasonal activities and celebrations year-round that are worth visiting.A

Arken Museum of Modern Art

If you are an art lover make sure you visit Arken Museum of Moder Arts in Ishøj, 25 minutes from Copenhagen. This museum is truly spectacular and worth the visit. If you go on a nice day, you will surely appreciate the surrounding as the museum is close to the beach.

Polka Dots Brunchin’

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Few weeks I finally got a chance to visit one of the London’s prettiest places. Tucked away down a quiet street in Farringdon, Bourne & Hollingsworth sits between a  garden park and a children’s play park and it is exactly the kinda place I like to brunch in; peaceful, quirky and with serious interior goals – real Pinterest and Instagram heaven.

Inside, the main dining area is all white wood and old-timey furnishings. In the back is conservatory like area with beautiful floral furniture and green plants everywhere. I was lucky enough to get a table in that section.

The brunch menu features a choice of single serving or bottomless cocktails – offering unlimited refills on classics such as Bellinis and Bloody Marys for £15/£16.The food menu, was a great mix of sweet and savory, meaning it took me a while to finally commit to a dish. I went for banana and fresh coconut pancakes with fresh berries and honey which was delicious.

Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings, 42 Northampton Road, Clerkenwell, EC1R 0HU. Nearest station: Farringdon or Angel. The weekend brunch runs from 10am-4pm on Saturday and Sunday. For more information, visit the Bourne & Hollingsworth buildings website.

What I wore: Hat: Accessorize(sold out) | Top: Zara | Skirt: Pretty Little Thing| Shoes: M&S | Bag: Zara| Cardigan: Boohoo

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