Why I've become a mid-week vegetarian - and how I'm finding it


I made the decision back in January to try and be a vegetarian at home Monday to Friday. Part of the reason was because I was becoming more conscious on what we are doing to the world but the biggest part if I'm honest was to try and save some money on our shopping bill. Connor and I love to travel and do things but we don't have an endless pot of money to do that. So I'm always looking at ways to keep our bills down so we have more money to have a social life. I chose to sacrifice food.

We've always shopped in Aldi ever since we moved out so our food bill is never really too high. But since we've been going veggie our food bill has gotten even lower. I do buy a Abel & Cole British veg box every fortnight which works out about £6.50 a week. Our weekly shop at Aldi usually comes in around £30 so we spend £36.50 on a non-meat weekly shop. That includes dinners and lunches because I always cook for four in the evening so we can have leftovers. Not too shabby!

I do like eating meat but I think I was just buying it out of habit. I grew up in a meat eating household  and eating meat was just the done thing.  At the weekend we sometimes treat ourselves to a nice piece of meat from the butchers but now we even go without it at the weekend too. I find eating a mostly vegetarian diet at home really pushes me in the kitchen. I'm on a mission to help my boyfriend forget about meat! I'm much more adventurous in my cooking as it's so easy to just serve meat with some veg every evening. My favourite cuisines are probably Indian and Persian which are quite vegetarian heavy anyway. We eat a hell of a lot of curries now!


I'm becoming more and more aware of what we're all doing to the environment and trying to make little changes to help cut down on my carbon footprint. I invested in some bamboo make ups remover pads, bamboo cotton wool buds, washable freezer bags and a bamboo toothbrush. Eating more vegetables and staying away from meat is yet another way I'm trying to do my bit. If all of us make even the littlest of changes then it all makes a difference.

A few weeks ago I ended up eating meat every single day for a week because we had a BBQ at our house and had some leftover meat. By the end of the seven days I felt awful, I was so sluggish, gelt a bit gross and my skin really flared up. It really shocked me how much of an impact it had on me. I couldn't wait to get back to eating a vegetarian diet again. At the moment I do tend to go for meat dishes when I go out for dinner but over the next few months I'm going to try and ween myself off that and only opt for vegetarian dishes. I'm finding if I do it slowly then it's a lot easier for me to make the change. I'm not sure I'll become a full time veggie any time soon but I'm definitely looking to keep up being 80% veggie forever!

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#52 recipes: 17-21


Otolenghi's harissa and confit garlic potatoes from Simple
I mentioned the roasted cauliflower dish I made for my blogger girls in the previous #52recipes instalment and the next three dishes are part of the same spread. Oh my gosh these are one of my favourite things in the whole book. I'm obsessed with Harissa at the moment. It seems to make everything taste so much better, giving it a fantastic spicy, garlicky kick. The potatoes could have been crispier which was my fault for being too impatient but were absolutely fine as they were!

Ottolenghi's two bean and two lime salad from Simple
I served this with roast chicken and the zesty lime really went well with the citrusy chicken. I made a boo boo and used freeze dried kaffir lime leaves which Ottolenghi said not to do. It was still tasty but I think it would be even more delicious with fresh. Ottolenghi just does side dishes so well and they're always my favourite recipes from his books. I seem to have misplaced so many of my pictures as couldn't find this one!


Ottolenghi's crushed courgettes from Simple
I love a courgette and especially loved them like this. It tasted very summery, so fresh and light. I think it was the mixture of mint, dill and thyme. The portion wasn't very big though for four people so I would double it to make sure everyone can enjoy it! Picture taken from Michelle's blog.


Rachel Allen's date and banana loaf from Home Baking
I'm always in the market for a new banana loaf recipe and the stars aligned when I had some brown bananas in my fruit bowl and half a packet of dates leftover in the larder. The dates help to give the cake a subtle caramelised flavour. A great upgrade on a banana cake recipe.


Diana Henry's greens on toast with chilli, feta, sunflower seeds and a poached egg from Simple
At the weekend I like to make more of an effort for breakfast rather than my normal every day cereal. We had some feta and kale left over in the fridge so this was the perfect brunch to use them up. While it was a little effort, it was well worth it. I loved the saltiness of the feta paired with the kale. Who knew kale on toast would be so delicious!
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#52recipes: 11-16


If you want to keep up with my recipe challenge on Instagram, check out my highlights where I've been posting everything I've been trying. I'd love to know what you've been cooking recently for some inspiration! You can see that from what I'm posting about, just how obsessed I am with Diana Henry's cookbook Simple. It is such an incredible book and I've loved everything I've made. It's definitely become my go-to book in the kitchen.


Diana Henry's chicken, cauliflower and parmesan bake from Simple
The first thing I cooked from Diana Henry's Simple was this traybake. For something so simple, it was unbelievably delicious. Definitely one for a weekday meal as it's nice and quick. You simply bung everything in a roasting dish then leave it alone in the oven to cook. I'm rarely make the same thing twice but this is good enough that I'm going to add it my monthly rotation!


Ottolenghi's honey, thyme and yogurt cheese cake from Simple
Loved the combination of thyme and honey but feel it needed a bit longer in the fridge to set. I'd recommend to leave it overnight if you make it. The hobnob biscuit base was a game changer and I'm going to use it in my future cheesecakes. So much nicer than the normal digestive biscuit.


Diana Henry's spiced Turkish chicken from Simple
Another Diana recipe that I LOVED. If I'm going to cook meat at home, chicken thighs are one of my favourite pieces to cook. They taste so flavoursome and are really the best part of the chicken in my opinion. The spice blend of this dish was so delicious. I served it with my signature salt and pepper wedges along with the salsa Diana recommends.


Gouda, spring onion and spinach quiche (loosely based on a Mary Berry recipe)
Quiche is one of my favourite ways to use up veg. It's the ideal summer dish in my opinion. I base it on a Mary Berry recipe which allows for lots of chopping and changing depending on what you have on hand. I had some gouda in the fridge and I think it might have become my favourite cheese to use in a quiche. It was fab! I suppose using basically a whole block helped...



Diana Henry's Huevos Roots from Simple
Gosh I'm still so obsessed with this book and can't wait until her next one comes out. This is a dish we've made quite a few times now when we don't want to go shopping. All you need is paprika, eggs and potatoes - three staples we always have in the house at any time. It's a dish that will work well for breakfast, lunch or dinner. A true all-rounder!

Ottolenghi's whole roasted cauliflower with green Tahini sauce from Simple
I did this dish when I hosted a Sunday roast for my blogger girls. Who knew a simple green tahini sauce could be so addictive! This was absolutely delicious and the whole cauliflower was a great showpiece for the middle of the table. It's one I'm going to keep on making for when I'm entertaining.
(Picture taken from Michelle's blog)
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Four ways to budget your weekly food shop


When you're looking to save money, one of the easiest ways to cut back is on your shopping list. But cutting back doesn't mean you have to cut back on the quality of food you eat. You just have to be savvy! I've become obsessed with trying to lower the price of my food shop each week. Anyone else play that game at the checkout where you try to guess the final total? No? Just us weirdos then! We do treat ourselves to an Abel & Cole box delivered every fortnight which works out around $6.60 each week on top of our food bill. When we buy meet every so often we try to make sure to go to the local butchers to ensure it's free range. We buy cheap cuts of meat like chicken thighs but often find they're the most flavoursome. Here are my four money-saving tips that I swear by when I'm scanning the aisles of Aldi each week...

1. Shop around
It's so convenient to go to one supermarket and get all your shopping completely done in one go. But the supermarkets you visit might not always be the cheapest. We've discovered that Aldi for the bulk of our shop, Home Bargains for cleaning/washing products and specialist cuisine shops for our spices, herbs and ingredients a little out of the ordinary works out to be the cheapest for us. It can be a bit of pain having to go to three different shops but I like to think of it as a little adventure!


2. Go veggie during the week
Since January we've been trying to make a conscious decision to become 'mid-week' vegetarians. Part of it was because I'm trying to do my bit to be more sustainable and the other was because we are trying to cut down on our weekly food bill. We average on around £30 for a veggie food shop compared to around £50 for a food shop including meat. We buy a lots of pulses in the form of tinned beans and lentils to help keep our protein up. Meat is kept for the odd day at the weekend where we'll go to the butchers or a treat if we have dinner out. I haven't really found myself missing it and I'm loving how much more adventurous its making me with my cooking. It's so easy to fall into the trap of always cooking meat and veg without giving it too much thought. I'm determined to create meals where meat isn't missed and think I'm succeeding 75% of the time.

3. Meal plan
The day before we do our shop I'll go through our larder, grab my cookbooks and meal plan for the upcoming week. I tend to choose dinners for four people so I can cook enough for us to have lunch the following day. I only do five days as we always have one day where we're both out and another where we're home alone - that night it is toast of some sort. My favourite comfort food! I don't always cook the meal on the day planned but it will be cooked sometime that week. I find this stops me panic buying and spending unnecessary money. I try to only buy produce that I will use that week to minimise food waste.


4. Stock your cupboard with tins
I love tins. In fact I can't rave about tinned food enough! It's amazing how versatile they are. And cheap! I always make sure I have tinned tomatoes, fish and different types of beans to ensure that even when the cupboards feel bare there is always something to be able to made into a meal. You can easily put off shopping for a few days if you have a well stocked cupboard.
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An honest opinion of a vegetable subscription service


I'd been interested in subscribing to a veg box since I moved it but it seemed a bit frivolous. But now after living in our house for two years, money isn't as tight as it once was so I took the plunge and signed up to see if they were really worth the money. I opted for Abel & Cole because I loved the idea of their British veg box priced at £12.50. I've been trying really hard this year to make more ethical food choices to try and help the environment. One of those is only eating vegetables that are season to help cut down on the transportation.

Consisting of six different varieties of vegetables, everything in the box is organic. It changes each week but you'll find you'll sometimes get a lot of the same things due to the fact the U.K is limited in what type of veg it can grown. That darn British weather! Sadly you can't ask for replacements like you can for the other boxes so if you don't like something that's included then that's tough. You'll find the contents of the box for the next two weeks on the website so you can decided whether you would like it delivered. In the particular week pictured we got free tofu included in the box and I added some wild garlic after being influenced on Instagram! Occasionally we will add other stuff, this week I added some bread and salted butter.


We decided to get it delivered fortnightly as £12.50 each week did seem a bit expensive and a waste of money. As there are only two of us in this house I've found this works out perfectly. I don't know if it's because its organic but it really does last a long time so we barely finish eating it before the next box gets delivered. I plan my meals around what we will receive in the box so it's so helpful to see the contents online in advance. The packaging is all recyclable, even the plastic. I love the fact you can leave the box outside, and all the other packaging if you wish, and they will collect it to reuse it again for another box.

So is it worth the money? In a short answer yes! I love having it delivered every week and the produce is always so delicious. In particular the tomatoes are incredible. They actually taste like tomatoes which is more than what you can say for the ones in the supermarket...  Having the box makes me much more adventurous with my cooking as I'm using ingredients I never would have thought to use. As we're making more of an effort to go veggie, it's making it a lot easier to get more of our daily allowance. It's so easy to bulk up dinners with potatoes but this is making sure I get my five a day. We are sometimes still buying a couple of veggies in our weekly shop but that's mostly if I'm cooking for other people than our household of two. I even don't mind that the veg is a little grubby when it arrives - Sophie a year ago would have hated this! - as this means that it really is organic. Nothing a little rinse under the tap can't sort! We've been enjoying the box for two months now and I can't imagine we'll be stopping anytime soon.
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#52 recipes: number 11-15


I feel like I'm on a roll now with my recipe challenge and really am enjoying it. I'm still not pushing myself too far out of my comfort zone but I am trying lots of different cuisines. I really want to try my hand at making different types of bread. I just need a weekend free - it's been pretty hectic of late!


Spiced cherry tomato pasta from Simple
If done well, you can't go wrong with a simple tomato pasta sauce. This was slow cooked which really helped to add to the flavours. It was really easy to do and was pure comfort food. It's one that is best to wait until British tomatoes are in season as they can sometimes taste a bit watery if not.  I'm not quite sure if this tomato sauce is 'the one' though. I'm still looking for my perfect recipe!


Mange tout and baby sweetcorn Laksa from Veggie Lean in 15
We ate a lot of laksa in Malaysia and this recipe really didn't do much for us at all. It was a really simplified recipe and I think perhaps Laksa is one that should be done right and authentically in order for it to taste amazing. There can be no shortcuts! It didn't really have much flavour and tasted quite bland. In fact I wasn't too impressed with this cookbook again and think it might be one for the charity shop.


Gorganzola, sage and walnut tagliatelle by Rachel Roddy
I'm a frequent reader of Rachel's column in the Guardian and this pasta dish is the first thing I've attempted from it. It definitely won't be the last. I used it with some spring onion tagliatelle that had been sitting in the larder from a spontaneous trip to the Aldi middle aisle. I adored the salty richness the gorgonzola added to the dish and the crunch of the walnuts. It's not a combination I would ever have thought up myself but it all worked so well together. I'd definitely try it again! But next time I'd add a bit more cheese.


Lemon and buttermilk pound cake by Diana Henry
This is the best lemon cake I've ever made. It was so moist and the lemon flavour was out of this world. Exactly how a lemon cake should be! It was really simple to make and just confirmed to me how much I love anything Diana Henry does. I think I'd happily just cook her recipes for the rest of my life.


Spiced apple cake from Simple
This smelt and tasted exactly like Christmas thanks to the cinnamon. I think this is the best Ottolenghi bake I've done so far and it' s such a crowd pleaser. Make sure you use a big cake tin as it rises a far bit. The first time it spilled all over the oven, This is a cake I can see myself making time and time again.
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Recipe: my favourite roast chicken recipe


I didn't grow up in a household where we religiously had a roast dinner every Sunday so I've always been a bit nonplus about the traditional British dinner. I always thought that roast chicken was a bit boring and not really my jam. But as I continue on my quest to become a whizz in the kitchen (very much a work in progress),  I've been trying out a few recipes and decided that I actually do really like it. It's a really simple dish to do when you have guests over and is always a crowd pleaser. I've been trying out a few different recipes and come up with a mix-matched recipe from Ottolenghi and Rukmini Iyer that I think is a corker.

Ingredients
1 large free range chicken
1/2 bunch of thyme
1 preserved lemon
1 unwaxed lemon
70g of unsalted butter
1 garlic bulb plus two cloves
200g potatoes
200g sweet potatoes
Generous sprinkle of sea salt (Maldons is my favourite)
Generous grind of black pepper
Rapeseed oil



1. Get the chicken out of the fridge and leave to rest on the side so it gets to room temperature.

2. Put the butter, preserved lemon, pepper, salt, three teaspoons of thyme leaves and two peeled garlic cloves in a food processor and pulse until all mixed together.

3. Chop the potatoes into slightly bigger than bite size pieces and place in a large roasting. Pour over some rapeseed oil.

4. Cut a garlic bulb in half and nestle the bottom half within the potatoes. Peel six strips of lemon peel and scatter over. Mix it all together in the oil with your hands.

4. Place the chicken in the large baking tray on top of the potatoes with the legs facing towards you. Gently peel the skin back and start rubbing the butter mixture. Make sure to rub it on top of the legs too. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.


5. Cut the unwaxed lemon in half and put in the chicken's bum along with a few springs of thyme and the rest of the garlic cloves from the bulb.

6. Put the chicken in the oven with the legs facing the back. Cook for around two hours. I usually start checking after 90 minutes as my oven cooks rather quick.

7. Once it's cooked take it out and leave it to rest for 10-15 before carving. Serve with all your favourite trimmings!

Let me know if you make it on Twitter, I'd love to see pictures!

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What I've been cooking #8: Simple by Diana Henry


I feel like Diana Henry is one of the most underrated food writers out there. Hardly anyone I talk to, who isn't an avid collector of cookbooks like me, just hasn't heard of her, which is a complete shame. Simple is the first cookbook I've cooked from and I've fallen head over heels for her. Simple isn't about quick meals that will get on the table in 30 minutes flat on a weekday. It's about subtle, simple flavours that really help to elevate a dish. Nothing I've tried has been too difficult, the recipes are pretty simple yet create such an explosion of flavours. I don't think I've had a dud one and would quit happily cook out of this book for the rest of the year. Some of the ingredients are slightly harder to track down in the supermarket, you won't find the in Aldi. But I wouldn't put this down as a criticism, I quite like the thrill of finding a new ingredient, to me, when I'm least expecting it in a random little deli or shop. This book is definitely going to be so well loved and I can see myself cooking from it for many years to come.


Rhubarb and raspberry crumble cake
The perks of living a five minutes from your best friend is being able to raid their rhubarb patch! I ran out of almonds so it looks a bit bare on the crumble but despite that it was delicious. The cake was really easy to make and took no time at all. I loved the raspberries and rhubarb together - such a great combination.


Chicken parmesan and cauliflower bake
This was the first dish I tried and what an introduction! I adore traybakes as they couldn't be more simple and they always come out making you feel like a Queen with your shit together. The addition of parmesan to this was a game charger. Just when you think you've had chicken every single way... I will definitely be making this again, it's perfect for midweek.


Spiced Turkish chicken with parsley and tomato salsa
I am obsessed with chicken thighs. We have been trying to really reduce our meat consumption and have only been eating it once or twice a week. We've been trying out all the local butchers, choosing to invest in a decent piece of meat rather than buying from a supermarket. Chicken thighs taste absolutely delicious, they have so much flavour. The salsa really made this dish, it tasted so fresh and cooling against the slightly spicy chicken. I could have eaten it with a spoon! Paired it with salt and pepper homemade wedges, it was a lovely dinner as the weather started getting warmer.


Lemon and parsley orzo
This was incredibly quick to make - I think it might have taken me less than 20 minutes! Orzo is a fairly new discovery and I'm quick becoming a fan. I think it needs a touch more stock to cook it but other than that it was pretty much flawless. It tasted really summery because of the zesty lemon yet stodgy enough to be eaten on a gloomy day. I think it might become a weekday favourite!


Huevos Rotos
Translated to broken eggs, this brunch dish didn't quite go to plan. I didn't use a big enough frying pan so the eggs didn't cook quick enough as they didn't touch the bottom. I ended up having to finish it off under the grill so it became more of an frittata. Despite it not quite going to plan this was absolutely delicious. The paprika-spiced potatoes were seriously addictive and it was so simple to make. A real store cupboard meal!


Eggs with child, olive oil, eggs, feta and seeds
We really struggle to use up a huge bag of kale when we buy one - is anyone else like this? So this recipe was perfect for finally using it up. It was really quick to make and the only thing that took too long was poaching the eggs. The salty feta went perfectly with the fried greens and I loved the crunch the seeds added to it. A great brunch to try out at the weekend.

Lamb chops with walnut, chilli and honey salsa verde
Sadly I've lost my photo for this! I'm not too much of a chop fan but I think that was because I'd only ever had ones from the supermarket. We took a special trip to a butchers to buy some chops and they were a revelation. I will never buy them from a supermarket again! The salsa has a good kick to it and really elevated the meat. I served it with salt and pepper potato wedges and crispy kale because you have to have some carbs in there!


Berries and melon in elderflower syrup
These were extremely sweet! I think they may have even been a bit too sweet for me... The syrup was pretty simple to make but the sheer amount of sugar made my teeth hurt. You certainly couldn't eat too much of it!
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Recipe: tomato, spring onion and spinach quiche


Quiche is one of those dishes that always reminds me of balmy summer evenings spent outside with a glass of wine. It's the perfect summer dish and one that I think I'm going to be making a lot this year. I came up with this vegetable combination because it was what I received in my Abel & Cole box.

Ingredients 
I pack of ready-rolled shortcrust pastry
200g spinach, chopped
6 spring onions, chopped
Handful of cherry tomatoes, chopped in half
180g gouda cheese, grated
300ml double cream
Drizzle of olive oil
4 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper


Method
1. Scatter the roasted tomatoes and spring onions on a roasting tin, drizzle with olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook in the oven for around 40 minutes.

2. Liberally grease a quiche dish with butter. Roll out the ready-made shortcrust pastry and and line the dish. Use a knife to cut off the access. Don't be afraid to patch up the pastry if you accidentally tear it. Cook the pastry according to packet instructions. Once cooked, take out the oven and leave it to one side.

3. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and lightly season the water with salt. Once it is boiling, drop in the spinach, pop on the lid and turn off the heat. Leave it in there for five minutes. Drain well and squeeze out as much water as you can using a tea towel.

4. Sprinkle half the gouda in the pastry and then layer the tomatoes, spring onion and spinach on top.

5. Whisk together the rest of the cheese, eggs and cream in a large bowl.

6. Pour on top of the veg mixture already in the quiche.

7. Bake the quiche for around 25-30 minutes until a nice colour on top. Serve it warm or eat it at room temperature. It's lovely the next day too!

Let me know on Twitter if you end up making it, I'd love to see some pictures!


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#52recipes - number 6-10

My 52 recipes challenge for 2019 is still going strong, here are some more dishes I've tried my hand out this year.

Mediterranean tart from Veggie Lean in 15 by The Body Coach
We've done The Body Coach programme before and had success on it. But it's really expensive to follow due to the sheer amount of meat. We've cut out meat Monday to Friday and started to only buy one nice piece of meat from the butchers as a treat. I was pretty excited to try this book but it was a bit of a disappointment. Everything just tasted a little bland. This tart was ok, I loved all the roasted veg but it could have done with more seasoning to give it more oomph. It was a great option with some salad for weekday lunches though. I don't think I'll be rushing to make this one again. I also have no idea what I have done with the picture this but it is featured in my Instagram highlights.


Peas with roasted shallots from BBC Good Food
I had some friends round for Sunday roasted and one of his favourite vegetables is peas. They went on the menu but I wanted to jazz them up a bit and found this recipe on Good Food. They were tasty but they didn't wow me. I don't think I'd go to the effort of making them again. You just can't beat simple buttered peas!


Roast cabbage with tarragon and pecorino from Ottolenghi Simple
This was delicious! I don't think I've had a dud from Simple yet and I've tried about a dozen recipes. I didn't have pecorino in my fridge so used parmesan instead - it still turned out great. This side dish got the most comments at the roast dinner and is definitely something I would make again.


Biscoff layer cake from Jane's Patisserie
Decorating cakes is not my strong point and I wish I had more patience. But alas patience is not my strong point. This year I'm keen to up my baking game and stumbled across Jane's blog. Oh my god, it is pure indulgence and has fast turned into one of my favourite baking blogs. I'm obsessed with Biscoff so knew I had to make this cake. It was delicious, such a beast of a cake. I'll definitely make it again if I had a special occasion coming up as it's a LOT of cake.


Bengali egg curry from Fresh India
I really cannot stop cooking from Fresh India. I was intrigued by this dish as I would never have though to have egg curry. I was pleasantly surprised! It was really cooks, the sauce had a good kick to it and the eggs made it really filling. Definitely one to add to my list of things to make again!
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George Town, Penang: How to get there, where to stay, what to do and where to eat


George Town was one of my favourite stops on our Malaysian trip and I wish I had stayed for longer. We opted for two nights but I really think that three nights would be best. It's such a fantastic place to spend a few days soaking up the atmosphere and dipping in and out of the brilliant cafe culture.

How to get there
You can't fly direct to George Town from the U.K so you'll have to fly into Kuala Lumpur first. You can either then catch another internal flight or you can choose to use the train like we did. I really enjoy getting trains in foreign countries plus it helps to reduce your carbon footprint. We ordered our tickets online in the U.K via KTM Train and printed them off before we left. Book a train from KL Central to arrive at Butterworth in Penang. It will take 4.5 hours but the trains are air-conditioned with decent toilets. The journey flies by but make sure you bring some snacks and water with you. You will be harassed by taxis as you step out of the train station but keep following the signs to the ferry terminal. Here you can get a ferry - for the equivalent of 20p! - over to George Town. It's a quick 15 minute journey.

Where to stay








Our first choice of accommodation was fully booked and boy am I glad. Betel Nut Lodge was the best place we stayed our entire trip. I don't think I have ever experienced service like it, it was impeccable. We paid around £50 a night which included breakfast and a four poster bed! Check in was seamless and we were very kindly brought up a pot of tea and a couple of sweet treats to help us settle in. The room was spotless and the bed provided a very good nights sleep - so comfortable! When we arrived we were given three maps to help us navigate around the city. One had a list of all the Penang specialities, one had a map of all the street art and the other had handwritten notes in with personal recommendations. We based our trip around the latter map and I honestly believe that is why we had such a fantastic time. It's a brilliant location in the UNESCO centre and everything was within walking distance.

What to do





Blue Mansion
One of the most iconic buildings in George Town is the 'Blue Mansion' and they offer English-speaking tours twice a day - once at 11am and again at 2.30pm. It's now a hotel so you can't just turn up and wander around, you must be booked on to a tour. For just under £4, you'll be taken on a tour by a very enthusiastic guide full of knowledge about the building. It certainly has a colourful history!





Street art walking tour
George Town is famous for its cool street art dotted around. The best way to explore this is to arm yourself with a map, a camera and keep popping in and out of the many cafes when the heat gets too much. It was my favourite things to do. Pop out early in the morning unless you are prepared to queue to take a photo. Tour buses come into the city for street art tours so it can get very busy!




Chew Jetty
The Chew Jetty is is largest and most intact of the clan jetties in George Town. It's a nice place to have a wander. The evaluated wooden walkways are full of souvenir shops and food stalls with a temple, people's houses and community hall.






Khoo Kongsi
This Chinese Clanhouse was probably one of the most beautiful buildings I've seen. It was so stunningly designed - no wonder it is the grandest clan house in the whole of Malaysia. Clan Houses were built by the Chinese as meeting centres, they became a place for immigrants to go when they first stepped foot in Malaysia so they should gain a sense of community in a place so far away from home. The British has no idea what used to go on in them and used to call them secret societies. As the years went on the clan houses became more and more impressive as the different clans tried to out do each other to show off their wealth.

Where to eat

Street food
The best places to eat in George Town are the hawker stalls dotted around. It takes a while to get used to eating at the side of the road with cars whizzing past. Here you'll find meals for a £1 or less so they're great if you're sticking to a budget.



The Jetty Food Court
I'd really recommend this place if you're not in town for long and really wanted a hawker stall experience. It's located opposite Chew Jetty and only open in the evening. You find a seat - sharing is more than acceptable so ask to perch on someones table if they have room. Someone will come over and take your drinks order. Make a note of your table number and wander around the stalls to decide what you want. Tell them your table number when you order and they will bring it over when it;'s ready. You pay them when they bring it over, they always have change so there's no need to have the exact money.


China House
Consisting of three buildings all knocked through, China House is the perfect place to stop for a slice of cake and drink to refuel. It's not cheap but the slices of cake are huge and very delicious. It's very hipster and a really cool place to people watch. It also consists of shops, a theatre, library, restaurant and bar. It does get very busy so be prepared to queue.
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A Essex based lifestyle blogger who lives a champagne life on a lemonade purse!

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