The Caley Picture House in Edinburgh – REVIEW

While traveling in Edinburgh for just a few days, I wanted to keep a budget because we were returning to London after a few days in Portugal. So I was pretty stoked that we were brought to this place, which definitely was a cheaper way of eating in Edinburgh!

We found The Caley Picture House, which used to be a movie theatre back in the day. It was totally up my alley because I majored in Film Studies, so I was getting a lot of nostalgic vibes after entering the restaurant, which is quite large!

A photo of Caley Picture House's interior, with a staircase on the right, and the stage on the left. Many light fixtures are hanging from the ceiling.

Brunch

We actually went to this place two times in one day! We went for brunch just before 10am and the place was pretty empty. I got a half size of a traditional Scottish breakfast, which was only about £4. The prices were super reasonable for the amount of food that you get. It reminded me of El Furniture Warehouse here in Calgary, where every dish is just under $6.

My favorite part about my dish was the sweet potato cake/pastie. I’ve never had anything like it! It was crispy on the outside, and the inside was not too sweet and had mashed sweet potato inside.

A sunnyside egg, saucy beans, bacon, sausage and a pasti on a plate
Traditional Scottish breakfast with beans, sausage, bacon, an egg and sweet potato cake!
A photo of the menu which lists the different breakfast items at The Caley Picture House
The menu

I believe it’s so cheap because if you want any kind of drink (coffee, tea, non-alcoholic, alcoholic), you actually don’t get table service and have to place your order at the counter and get your drinks at the counter. The only table service you get is when the food is brought to your table and cleared. However, if you don’t want to get up and grab their own drinks/pay at the counter before getting their food, you can download their app on your phone, and place your order, then you’ll be brought your food/drinks directly from a server! Since it wasn’t busy at lunch, I don’t think a lot of people would use this feature at that time.

The food I had was really tasty and it filled me up even though it was a half-size (and I usually eat a lot!).

Evening Eats

Dinner time/late night was a different story. The restaurant is packed on both floors, and it was a bit tough at first to find a table. I ordered their standard veggie burger with chips (fries), but it wasn’t that great. The burger was deep fried, and dry… I should have opted for the luxury veggie burger instead. The burger I had was about £6 but it did come with a free drink.

Fries and veggie burger on a plate, next to beer on a black table
Haggis pizza and a veggie burger

There were a lot of younger people at the restaurant during this time, and it was only a weeknight!

The Verdict…

The prices are super affordable, you get a lot for what you pay for, and that the breakfast menu is great! Since my dinner wasn’t what I had hoped it to be, I would definitely be open to trying their other menu items!

If you’ve been to The Caley Picture House before, let me know in the comments about your experience!

Want to read more content like this? Take a look at my travel posts!

Edinburgh Castle & Double Tree Hilton – REVIEW

Edinburgh Castle

Our hotel was conveniently located near Edinburgh Castle. It’s an attraction that used to be a part of Scotland’s rich history. We spent the entire day learning about the times of war, such as how people were put in prison, the kinds of tactics that were used in the war and how Scotland used to be ruled back in the day. Plenty of ground to cover!

Castle entrance

The various buildings of the castle were remarkable! Here’s a photo of the Great Hall where banquets were held… it was massive! I would love a party space like this in my house.

The Great Hall

We also got to see where the crown jewels were held in Scotland. After entering a snug room that could hold about 10 – 12 people, we saw the jewels! They were so polished that they glistened in glass display cases. From what I remember, there was a crown, a few scepters, and some jewelry as well.

Entrance to the crown jewels
One of many windows around the castle entrance

Throughout the castle they had various gift shops, that sold a variety of Scottish souvenirs and drinks. There was even a little cafe and a high tea restaurant, but we didn’t try these as it was a little bit pricey! It probably would have been a very highlighting experience for those with a bigger budget or who only had some time to explore the castle and not nearby places for dinner.

Amazing art and architecture
The view from the castle

We probably spent a good 3 – 4 hours at Edinburgh Castle, and learned so much about the deep wartime history of Scotland. I would recommend going here for a day of learning and sightseeing.

Hotel

Like I mentioned previously, our hotel was near the castle. We stayed at the Double Tree Hilton in downtown Edinburgh.

I have to give a special shout out to them because at both check-in and check-out the concierge would pull out fresh and warm chocolate cookies from their drawer to give to us as a treat. The cookies were chewy and super delicious!

The lobby

I didn’t take a photo of our room right away as we headed out ASAP to The Scotch Whisky Experience.

The room was very spacious and the beds were so comfy! I fell asleep quite fast each evening while being in Edinburgh for two nights. Our room had a smaller bathroom with a powerful shower head, and I learned that hotels in Europe have little bags on the side of the toilet for feminine products. I thought that was a really unique and a good way to keep things sanitary.

They also had a set of instant tea and coffee packets with shortbread and a kettle, as well as two bottles of complimentary water (sparkling and still) included in the refrigerator. There were also a set of comfy and fluffy robes for us to use to get cozy during the evenings!

They also had a continental breakfast offer for
£12, which was a pretty decent price as you could eat as much as you wanted. We didn’t end up going with this, but it was really nice to know that was an option.

I would recommend staying at the Double Tree Hilton if you’re looking to walk around a lot in Edinburgh. There is no parking available though, but they do give you a discount on parking in a parkade just a few minutes away from the hotel!

If you went to Edinburgh, where would you go? Let me know in the comments!

The Scotch Whisky Experience – Edinburgh (REVIEW)

I recently went traveling in Europe and our first stop was to Scotland. One of the places we went to was Edinburgh, a city full of rich architecture, history, and a lot of sights to take in!

It was very much an impromptu road trip. We had not researched Edinburgh much (and I am usually someone who researches reviews and everything before planning things) so we were definitely in for a surprise.

In my next few posts, I will share some of the places we went to so that you can see what Edinburgh has to offer!

The Scotch Whisky Experience

When checking out places to check out first while we still had a little bit of daylight left, we decided to head on over to The Scotch Whisky Experience to learn how whisky was made.

Going into a barrel ride…

Instead of a traditional walking tour of the facilities, we rode in a barrel ride that stopped at different areas of the attraction. Each stop had a short video of the different steps it takes to make whisky.

The barrel in front of us

Scratch and sniff!

After the ride, we watched a semi-IMAX experience like video to learn about the different types of whisky produced in Scotland, and even got a cool scratch ‘n’ sniff card that allowed us to smell the flavours of each region. There are five different regions: Highland, Islay, Speyside, Lowland and Campbeltown.

After the video, we headed into the tasting room where projectors made little circles appear on our tables. To select the whisky we wanted to sample, we had to place our cup on top of the colour of the region. Neat!

Into the whisky room…

They also had really cool holograms of whisky bottles projected in various areas of the room. It was really neat and reminded me of Harry Potter.

Afterwards, we were brought into their whisky room. There were lots of glass displays with tons of whisky bottles, it was quite colourful and felt like we were in a movie, looking at all of them… priced in the lows and highs!

Time to taste!

Did you know that every year, 2% of whisky evaporates from the bottle? They showed us one whisky bottle in the corner of the room that was unopened, but had no whisky in it. This is because whisky just fades away every year! So if you want to have your whisky, don’t leave it for too long!

When the tour was finished, we ended up in the cafe area where you could order more whisky or get a flight if you held a gold ticket.

I thought it was a pretty unique experience. I would have liked a more personal tour of the facilities, but this is not really a distillery, so they don’t actually make anything at this location. If you like whisky, or want to learn more about it and try something new, I recommend giving this attraction a try!

Have you ever had whisky before? Let me know in the comments!

Point Sushi Bullet Train Sushi Bar in Calgary – REVIEW

A brand new sushi restaurant called Point Sushi Bullet Train Sushi Bar opened up in Calgary just a few weeks ago, where the old Sakana Grill was located. This completely renovated space was revamped from its predecessor with new seating arrangements and built-in tracks to accommodate a high-speed bullet train sushi system.

Point Sushi Bullet Train Sushi Bar Interior

The concept is pretty simple, order straight from their menu on an iPad screen, ordering only four items at a time (to fill the available spots on the bullet train), then send your order up to the kitchen using the “Order” button. Moments later, your food will dash to you on the bullet train and stop at your table. The iPad will then notify you on the screen that your specific item has arrived, and you’ll get a sound notification too. Once you remove your plate(s) from the train, the bullet train then dashes back into the kitchen, waiting for its next shipment.

I noticed that although we ordered four items at a time, the train had four slots on it, but only a few of those would actually be filled when the items were delivered to our table. However, that’s not too much of a downside, as you can pretty much order again, straight after sending your four items up to the kitchen.

At the time I was there, there were only 29 menu items available. I’m pretty selective when I eat sushi (pricing and if they have a variety), so I only got a few sushi items plus some non-sushi items to try.

Spicy Salmon Roll from Point Sushi Bullet Train Sushi Bar in Calgary

The Spicy Salmon Roll was the first roll I ordered to trial the sushi quality/rice. The place had only opened a few weeks ago but I had a few people mention to me that the sushi wasn’t great, so I proceeded with caution. I had to say, the sushi was good! Not a lot of salmon was inside the roll, however, this roll was only $2.00, so it was a pretty great deal. Usually, a roll like this would cost around $3 – $5 at other places. I was itching to order some more of this because it was yummy and cost-effective, but of course, I had to try their other items to review more of them. Heh-heh!

Salmon Nigiri from Point Sushi Bullet Train Sushi Bar in Calgary

I then ordered the Salmon (Sake) Nigiri. It tasted good and the fish tasted fresh. However, the fish did fall apart from the rice very easily. I would still order it again though! The price for this small dish was $3.00.

I decided to take a break from eating rice/sushi and ordered one of my favourite salad dishes… Seaweed Salad. I was super surprised when it was brought out on the bullet train, “this mountain of seaweed was sitting in front of me, and only for $3.00?” is what I thought. Underneath this mountain was some shredded carrots. It didn’t taste that great. It was missing the strong sesame/vinegar taste that I really like about seaweed salad. It wasn’t my favourite dish.

Takoyaki from Point Sushi Bullet Train Sushi Bar

Hot food! I was craving something fried and delicious…. and this Takoyaki dish satisfied that craving immediately. I think this was $5.00. It was piping hot like takoyaki should be, and had the right amount of batter with octopus inside. Each portion was pretty small, but it was super tasty!

Point Sushi Bullet Train Sushi Bar Salmon Sashimi

Lastly, I glanced over at another table while trying to catch a video of the bullet train coming down our way… it stopped at the table before us, as they had ordered two plates that looked like they had a heaping amount of sashimi. So… I had to get one! At $6.00, I was really worried about how much sashimi that would get me. It wasn’t too bad for the price, as I got three big cuts of salmon sashimi. They were pretty good!

Now I usually don’t boast about bathrooms… but, they have some cool bidet toilets in the washroom. The bidet has options to wash you after you do your business, and you can control this right from the remote control that’s mounted on the side of the stall. Pretty cool if you ask me. Felt like I was in Japan again! No photo available, because that would’ve been weird to take one… Sorry!

After we were done eating, we had to bring up a piece of paper that had a barcode on it, up to the counter to pay. Splitting the bill was super easy, as we just had to tell the cashier how much each of us wanted to pay on the bill. They also had a huge bowl of fruit candies, great for those with a sweet tooth.

Overall, I’d recommend going here for the experience of having a bullet train deliver sushi to you. It’s a great place for those who are on a lunch break as well and need somewhere quick to grab a bite to eat alone, or if you’re just really craving sushi. The food was delivered quite quickly and the prices are budget-friendly. I actually went here again a week after with some more friends, and some of the prices actually were much lower! They do have a bit to work on, like adding more items to the menu and the quality of some of the food, but I would definitely recommend this place. 🙂

Beanpod Chocolate in Fernie

Earlier this month I got out of my comfort zone and traveled to Fernie with some cool people for a weekend getaway.

While most of my friends went to go check out the slopes at Fernie, my friend and I decided to go on an adventure and explore the downtown area. We came across many ski/snowboard shops and quite a few interesting gems…

One shop, in particular, caught our eye and our stomachs. This was a chocolate shop called Beanpod Chocolate. When you walk into the store, you’re first greeted by these bean-shaped couches in vibrant purple and red colours. I thought I was walking into a kid’s playroom… and as soon as you walk in you’re also greeted by the smells of milk and dark chocolate processing in the back of their factory. That’s what we were there for!

All of the chocolate is made on-site and there was such a wide variety to choose from… my friend and I had such a hard time deciding on which chocolates we wanted to take back with us!

Since we were taking a long time to decide, the owner gave us some samples from what looked like a neverending tap of chocolate coming out of a faucet! It was milk chocolate, and it really stimulated our taste buds. Then we tried a sample of their dark chocolate, at that moment I was SOLD.

I decided to buy just one chocolate bar that day… I took home the Gingerbread chocolate.

I had to resist eating it on the last night of our trip, so I ate some at home and it was SO delicious! It was not too sweet and tasted very similar to a gingerbread cookie. After eating it all a few days after (I had to hold myself back from eating it all at once!) – I told myself that I should have bought more. It makes me wonder what other chocolate shops are out there.

 

What’s your favourite chocolate? Have you gone to Beanpod Chocolate before? Let me know in the comments!

New Year, New Resolutions

Hey readers! It’s been a while. Looking back at 2017, I kept up with my resolutions as much as I could, but of course there were a few months where I was too busy and unable to post any content. My most active times were during the summer and during the fall, where things slowed down a little bit and there were a lot of new products coming out that I wanted to try, or new fashion items that I wanted to wear.

I have actually been working on something different this month… I never posted this on my blog, but my dream for this blog was to grow it to the point where it could be my full-time job. It hasn’t gotten to that stage yet (lol) but I’m at a point in my life where blogging is actually going to have more involvement in my everyday routine.

I’ve decided to work for myself/remotely. This is probably one of the biggest decisions I’ve made, but I have always told myself to wait things out, save up and then go ahead with these passions of mine once they take off. That was really difficult for me to do, because I wanted to spend more time on my passions but with a full-time desk job, that was something I could only pursue after work. So, I’ve made the decision that I will be doing my own thing from now on and trying this out, and blogging is a part of that journey!

Here are my resolutions for the new year:

  1. Post at least once per week

    I had this resolution this year, but I want to try it again. I have a lot of content ideas and a lot of time to devote to this blog, so I will try to make this happen!

  2. Post some tech and how-to posts

    I’ve really thought about what kind of content I want to put on my blog and channels. I am quite the nerd when it comes to tech, and because I can’t really review too many things (no more disposable income!), I should really make some tutorial posts – It’s what I’ve always wanted to do, but I felt that I didn’t have enough time and energy to do them, but now I do!

  3. Make some more YouTube & Instagram Content

    I’ve had my YouTube account for a long time now and this year I didn’t post a lot to it. I want to use my background in film (I have a film degree!) and put it to good use and create more content… as well as keep my Instagram updated more frequently. Perhaps one video per week and at least 3 – 5 posts per week on Instagram?

  4. Be more active and eat more healthy

    This year I have had lots of healthy meals, but I felt that I ate a lot of junk as well. I would like to improve my healthy eating habits in 2018 and also maintain a healthy physique by going to the gym more often. This is always a resolution for me… it’s probably the toughest one to keep up with!

  5. Start networking

    Something I’ve always wanted to try was networking, but I didn’t know where to start or how to even network. Just a few weeks ago, I went to an event for work and instead of using it as a network opportunity, I was mostly just there for the food! Now that I’ve kind of had a taste of what things are like at networking events, I want to try more of them and also network with other bloggers too.

What are your new years resolutions or goals for 2018? Let me know in the comments!

 

VIDEO: Vlogmas Day One!

This time of year is one of my favourites! Every year I do a Vlogmas series over at my YouTube channel, PhixienVlogs and I try to vlog everyday up until Christmas and I sometimes do some vlogs afterwards until the end of December. This year my December is full of exciting events and activities going on, and not all of them will be on camera, so I’ll be doing as many vlogs as I can as possible!

Check out my newest vlog and the first day of vlogmas here:

Do you take part in vlogmas? Share your vlog links in the comments!

GU Japan Sailor Moon Luna Purse – REVIEW

One of my favourite anime to watch as a child was Sailor Moon. I watched it in English on YTV, and managed to find a French dub and Japanese version of the series later on. After a few years,  I no longer had new episodes to watch so I watched the live action drama and the new Sailor Moon Crystal. As soon as I found out GU Japan was having a collaboration with Sailor Moon, my inner fangirl screamed with soooo much excitement! But of course, it’s difficult to get things from GU Japan overseas… luckily we have JBOX Japan which helps customers like me get the products we want and love from Japan.

When I saw that JBOX had some Sailor Moon items, I knew that I had to look no further. I purchase this super cute Luna purse.

It is the perfect size to hold a few items, such as my cellphone, wallet, keys, lip balm and even other small items! The purse is made with a very sturdy pleather material and the crescent moon on the front of the bag with the engraved eyes makes it look and feel authentic. It’s definitely an eye-catching purse and I get a ton of compliments on it all the time!

It retailed for $30 USD. Unfortunately the Luna bag isn’t in stock anymore, but I was also thinking of purchasing the Artemis purse which you can find here. If you’re a fan of Sailor Moon, I’d recommend getting the purse fast because these items are limited edition. A lot of things in Japan are limited edition and they really don’t come back… which is sad, but that’s what makes the items so unique, right? 🙂

Do you have this purse? Are you a fan of Sailor Moon? Let me know in the comments!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I do make a small commission if you purchase through these links.

OOTD: Autumn Bells

This year I decided that I would try to incorporate some fall colours into my wardrobe. Maybe I was too early, but I couldn’t find a lot of fall colours that I enjoyed… then I stumbled upon this beautiful dark crimson top from Simons, and decided to make an outfit around it.

Top: Simons / Socks: Either from Ardenes or Japan / Shoes: Aldo / Shorts: Asia Fashion Wholesale

This outfit was actually inspired by Rin from Fate/Stay Night. I always wanted a nice crimson top like hers and I adored the zettai ryouki (absolute zone) style she had going on with her black skirt and thigh highs. My outfit is a variation, but it incorporates all the elements. If I had black hair I would have also done some twin tails too!

The top is a great fall staple. It’s warm, and makes you feel like a wizard cruising the cold winds!

What kind of outfits are you inspired by? What is your favourite autumn outfit? Let me know in the comments section below!

Thanks for reading my post today 🙂

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored. I just really like Simons. 🙂

Video: Simons Fall Clothing Haul

It’s been so long since I last made a clothing haul. Fall is here now and so I thought about adding some more autumn items to my wardrobe this year. I have been obsessed with this Canadian store called Simons lately and I couldn’t resist the sales that they are having right now. There are some pretty good markdowns on clothing that I have been eyeing! You can watch my haul video on YouTube by clicking on the preview below!

What are your favourite clothes to wear in the fall? Let me know in the comments!

Disclaimer: This video and post was not sponsored. I just really like Simons 🙂