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Ten happy things – April 2023

Valencia Cathedral

Each month I like to look back on the month just passed and reflect on what made me happy and brought me joy. Here’s my ‘ten happy things’ for April!

Easter in Valencia

We were going to spend Easter in Manchester, a city we’ve never been to, but then the train company decided to do engineering works that weekend so we had to come up with another plan. After such a lovely Easter in Seville last year, we opted for Valencia.

Valencia is a gorgeous city and we had lovely weather – although it could’ve been a bit warmer. We enjoyed sightseeing, cycling around the city and eating delicious food.

View of Valencia from an archway

Fantastic meal at Fierro

We had wonderful food in Valencia but a real highlight for me was the incredible tasting menu we had at Michelin-starred Fierro. It’s a really small restaurant, with only four tables! There were lots of courses and I honestly enjoyed every single one. The food and service was fabulous and I’d really recommend it if you visit Valencia.

Canapes from Fierro restaurant

Cycling in Valencia

We love to hire a bike and go cycling when we visit a cycle-friendly city and Valencia is a great city to cycle in. There are lots of cycle lanes and it’s very flat so no hills to have to cycle up! We hired a bike one day to cycle to Casa Montana for lunch, which is near the beach. We then cycled to the beach, had a walk around and then cycled to the City of Arts and Sciences – which was very cool. Although we got told off for cycling in an area we weren’t meant to!

Kirsty cycles around the City of Art and Sciences in Valencia.

Aperol x Nugs pop-up

I was invited to the Aperol Spritz pop-up with Nugs in King’s Cross. I took my lovely friend Sarah, who happens to be contracting at the same charity I am. Unfortunately the weather was absolutely awful, cold and raining, which is a shame as the day before it had been sunny with blue skies! Still, we made the most of it and enjoyed an Aperol Spritz and the Mozzar=hella good Nugs and the Simply the zest Nugs. As Sarah is vegan, we had the cauliflowers nuggets instead of chicken and they were very yummy!

Two glasses of Aperol Spritz on a table with a box of cauliflower nuggets.

Lunch with Jenny

Jenny and I hadn’t seen each other in person since before the pandemic so we were way overdue a catch-up! We met up in leafy Richmond and had lunch at the Ivy Cafe. We opted for the set menu, which was really good value.

Steak, egg and chips and a salad on a wooden table

After lunch we had a walk around Richmond and popped into a few shops. It was a really lovely afternoon and so wonderful to spend time with Jenny.

Saw Tower Bridge go up

I have lived in London for 17 years and only seen the bridge on Tower Bridge being raised twice! We had lunch at the wonderful Legare one Saturday and whilst we were walking towards Borough Market we saw the bridge going up. It’s so cool to see it! If you’ve never seen it, apparently you can go on their website to see the timetable of when it will be raised for boats passing through.

Tower Bridge raising its bridge for a boat

Read the most amazing book

Everyone had been raving about Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus so when I spotted it in my local supermarket I just had to buy it. Set in the early 1960s it’s a story about a female scientist, Elizabeth Zott, who becomes the unlikely star of a TV cooking show after she’s forced to resign from her laboratory job. It’s a story about feminism, love and friendship.

Lessons in Chemistry book cover

Ice-breaker for our trustee away day

I was tasked with putting together the ice-breaker for our trustee away day. It took ages but was so much fun. I loved getting to know my fellow trustees and our senior leadership team – I learnt so much about them that I didn’t know.

Wisteria hysteria season

The cherry blossoms have been in full bloom and now it’s the turn of the wisteria! I adore Wisteria – it’s so very pretty and also smells gorgeous. It’s just a shame it doesn’t last very long…honestly the window is about 2-3 weeks. Luckily for me there are quite a few houses in my area that have wisteria so I can admire them on my walks.

Purple wisteria creeping across a white townhouse

Delicious lunch at a local restaurant

The last weekend in April was a long weekend due to a Bank Holiday on the Monday. So we did something we very rarely do… go out for lunch on a Sunday! We tried Carmel in Queen’s Park, which is fairly local to us. The food is inspired by cuisine from across the Eastern Mediterranean and they cook on fire. It was amazing! The mezze with the Za’atar Flatbread was absolutely delicious. Can’t wait to return!

Mezze dishes and flatbread from Carmel

So that’s my ‘ten happy things’ for April. How did your month go? Let me know what made you happy and brought you joy!

Kirsty Marrins

Reader, writer, occasional runner, travel lover.



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