21 January 2018

Oh What A Night!

This week saw me pay two visits to the Liverpool Empire to see Jersey Boys. I love musicals and Jersey Boys is my absolute favourite - I saw it in London for the first time in 2015 and it's been my number one ever since. I don't know if it's the music, the story or the pure sixties vibes, but I love everything about it. 

So you can imagine what I was like when I found out that the UK tour was stopping in Liverpool - absolutely, unbelievably, incredibly excited! Tickets hadn't been on sale very long and I'd already snapped up three seats in the stalls for me and my parents. It was part of my Dad's Christmas present, I knew he'd love the show and it seemed like the perfect present for him. Plus Mum and I were desperate to see it again. In the build-up to seeing the show, the soundtrack was (and still is) on repeat and Dad still thinks he can sing like Frankie Valli. 

On Tuesday, we jumped on the train to Liverpool, had a lovely meal (and a gin or two) in Pizza Express before making our way to the Empire. It was absolutely freezing, so we were thankful to get into the theatre and wait in our seats for the show to begin. Before we knew it, the lights went down, the band sounded and I started dancing in my seat - I was so excited I could've cried.

Jersey Boys follows the true story of The Four Seasons; how they started out, the troubles they faced and the classic hits they blessed us with. I'm going to cut to the chase - it was beyond words. I've never come out of a theatre feeling so much joy and positivity, I just wanted to dance my way down to the Albert Dock.

We were very fortunate that we had a brilliant, talented cast; Michael Watson as Frankie Valli, Simon Bailey as Tommy De Vito, Declan Egan as Bob Gaudio and Karl James Wilson as Nick Massi. Michael absolutely shone in his role as Frankie Valli. My Eyes Adored You is my favourite song, I hold it really close to me and he literally brought me to tears when he sang it - he's incredibly talented and one of the nicest people I've ever met. Declan was hilarious in his innocent portrayal of Bob Gaudio and Nick's rant about the wet towels was just pure gold.

They had us laughing, singing and dancing from start to finish. They even struggled to stop the crowd from cheering at one point, but who doesn't love a good rendition of Walk Like A Man? We were sat in the stalls and I think that our seats made the experience as brilliant as it was. There was an electric atmosphere, everyone was stood up singing and people were dancing in the isles. I've never seen anything like it, but it goes to show that it's true what they say - Liverpool crowds are the best.

We saw the highs and lows of being in the band, each member getting the chance to tell their side of the story, as well as an insight into life on the road and an argument about wet towels. Simon Bailey's sassy, confident portrayal of Tommy De Vito was hilarious. But if the story isn't your thing, then I guarantee that the music will be - I promise you'll know more songs than you think, and you'll be singing them for days, even weeks, to come.

They received a standing ovation from the audience who stayed on their feet to dance to the end songs of Who Loves You and December 1963 (Oh What a Night!). We were even dancing when we left the theatre and our train was full of people singing along to the songs on the way home.

It was just amazing, so much so that Emily and I spontaneously decided to go and see the show again on Wednesday night. It was Em's first time seeing it and as you can imagine, I didn't take much convincing. It was brilliant, as always, and I walked out of the theatre feeling so happy and humming along to the soundtrack.  I can't even express my love for this musical, I think I love it as much as I love Disney (and that's a lot!). A lot of the adults around us started talking to us, asking us why we'd come to see the show as they thought we'd be too young to enjoy the music. How wrong could they be? I've always said that I was born in the wrong generation as I love anything sixties.

After the show, Emily and I were stood outside Lime Street saying our goodbyes when I spotted Michael Watson across the road. After seeing him give two flawless performances, I had to go over and say something. I tapped him on the shoulder and told him how brilliant the shows had been. He couldn't have been lovelier. We chatted for a while and he remembered me tweeting him the previous night because of my photo on Twitter. I mean, I'm glad I've got a memorable face. We had a photo (thanks Em for being the best photographer) and he was so patient and kind - he really is a credit to the show and I urge every single one of you to get tickets to see it. Also, can we just talk about how cute this photo is?!

It's the perfect show to beat the January blues and it'll have you dancing and singing along from start to finish. If you want to find out more, you can get details and tickets here.

What's your favourite musical?

Lots of Love,
Meg
xxx










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10 January 2018

My Top 5 Places to Shop in Disneyland Paris

Recently, I've been missing the Disney bubble. I miss the characters, the music, the shows and the rides but most of all I miss browsing around the shops after the park has closed. I know you don't go to Disney to shop but at some point, you will find yourself browsing down Main Street picking up souvenirs and presents for family and friends. 

I'll admit that shopping in Disneyland Paris can be daunting - there are so many shops and you want to make sure that you're not missing out on your ideal piece of Disney merchandise. I find it easiest to shop on the last day of my trip or when I'm waiting for Main Street to clear so that I can get my photos in front of the Castle. Although most of the shops are a repetition of one another, I thought I'd narrow it down and share my top five places to shop in Disneyland Paris. 


World of Disney

I'm going to kick things off with the shop of every Disney fan's dreams. Situated in the Disney Village, it's the biggest shop selling everything you could ever want; homeware, clothes, toys, pins, plushes - it's all there! It stocks rare, one-off pieces that can't be found anywhere else in the park and is the perfect layout for a Disney fan to browse - it's so big you'll have to take a seat on the circular benches in the middle of the shop. If you're looking for a last minute gift for a friend, World of Disney is the place to be. 

Galerie Mickey

If you've read my previous blog posts, you'll know how much I love the boutique in the Disneyland Hotel. You'll find this magical place on the first floor of the Disneyland Hotel, stocking a selection of accessories, collectables and clothing. Just a quick tip for you: if you're after a unique or rare pin, then this shop will most likely have what you're looking for. It's normally really quiet and the staff are lovely too. Also, the window displays are the most beautiful I have ever seen! 

Thunder Mesa Mercantile Building

This is definitely one of my favourite shops in terms of theming and they always have such rare items that you won't find anywhere else in the park. If you couldn't tell from the name, you'll find this western inspired shop next to Thunder Mesa and right in front of Big Thunder Mountain. It's based both indoor and outdoor, stocking Wild West clothing, old style sweets, Disney themed clothing and refreshments. I only discovered this shop in June but it's quickly becoming one of my favourites. 

Lilly's Boutique 

There are many reasons why this shop has made it into my top 5 but I think the main reason is the authentic, homely feeling you get when you walk through the doors. Walt dedicated the shop to his wife and if you look above the fireplace, you'll find photos of Walt and Lillian. It's the small personal touches that make me feel so close to Walt, and I'm sure it'll do the same for you too. Situated on Main Street, it represents the 'home sweet home' motto, selling everything you could ever want for a Disney inspired home; candle holders, photo frames, crockery, mugs - I always buy my Mum something from Lilly's, I think she's got every single tea towel Disneyland Paris have ever sold. 

La Chaumiere De Sept Nains

Also known to me as the Snow White shop, you'll find this magical place in Fantasyland, opposite the Carousel. I remember shopping in here as a child and it's still one of my favourite places to visit. Explore the forests, watch the woodland creatures play and visit Snow White's cottage as you browse through a wide selection of costumes and Princess themed merchandise - its every little girl's Princess dream. There used to be a Snow White figure in the cottage when I was younger but sadly, they've taken her away. 

So there you have it, my top five places to shop in Disneyland Paris. It was so hard to narrow the list down to just 5 as I like to browse all of the shops around the park, even if they do sell the same thing. My other favourite places to shop include Main Street Emporium, Flora's Boutique, The Pin Trading Stand and Sir Mickey's Boutique. 

Where's your favourite place to shop when you go to Disneyland Paris?

Lots of Love,
Meg
xxx


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7 January 2018

Brunch at the Quarter

Liverpool is great for so many things, but nothing compares to the quirky little café's that you'll discover around the city. Recently, my lovely friend Emma and I went for brunch at The Quarter for the first time before heading off to the Georgian Quarter to take some blog photos. 

We first saw the café on Instagram and fell in love with their perfect Christmas decor, so whilst we were in the city, it was the perfect opportunity to visit. Situated on Falkner Street (just off Hope Street), The Quarter is a quirky, Italian inspired restaurant. If you'd like to check the menu before you go, it's easily located online.  

The staff couldn't have been more friendly and as there were plenty of tables available, they let us choose where we wanted to sit. There's more than enough room in the café and they'll even let you take your dog inside which makes it so unique - I'll always go back to places that welcome dogs. 

If you're looking for somewhere warm and cosy to read your morning paper, catch up on emails and enjoy delicious food, then The Quarter is the place to be. There are so many different walks of life visiting the café on a daily basis and for a moment, it'll feel like you're not in the city anymore. The decor on the inside is just as quirky as the outside with dim lights, paintings and cartoons hung on the walls and a little Christmas tree sparkling in the corner.

We ordered very quickly and to our surprise, we both ordered the same thing; a cup of tea and eggs benedict; two poached eggs and roast ham on a toasted English muffin with hollandaise sauce. I was really impressed with the large selection of food on the menu, there was something for everyone. 

The teapot was massive, definitely great value for money. If you know me well, you'll know that I'm not a keen tea drinker but I made an exception and I'll admit that it wasn't all that bad. Our food arrived soon after and it was cooked to perfection; the eggs were perfectly runny and the muffin was toasted just the way I like it. Our meal was lovely and really filling - it definitely put us on for the rest of the day. 

The Quarter is really good value for money and I'll definitely be paying the team another visit. They also have one of the prettiest Instagram accounts I've ever seen, so if you'd like to give them a follow, you can do that here. Also, thank you to Emma for taking some of the photos in this post. 

If you're in Liverpool and are looking for somewhere new to try, then you should go and pay The Quarter a visit. As I said, it's on Falkner Street, right next to Hope Street. 

Lots of Love,
Meg
xxx



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