Lifestyle

Adventures that don’t require a long-haul flight

Sweet tooth? Then you’ve surely heard of – and tried – the classic English Bakewell Tarts. Ever wanted to go to the home of this iconic treat? Look no further than the small market town of Bakewell in the Peak District.

I visited during our trip to the Peaks. Most of my favourite small towns and villages have a cute river or stream winding through, but Bakewell is enchanting enough without any water. It’s an easy maze of stone buildings with hidden-away tea rooms and souvenir shops, plus beautifully maintained gardens.

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Is there anything better than a week off work in the summer? Maybe when I get to leave behind the hustle and bustle of London and exchange it for the peace and quiet of home in Shropshire with my family.

This year, we decided to go on a mini break to the Peak District. We stayed in the spa town of Buxton and used it as a base to visit some beautiful towns and villages throughout the National Park. It was a great two days and we discovered some lovely places that I can’t wait to share with you.

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Recently, this has question has been sticking in my brain. How many people wear make-up to work? Do most people do their normal routine every morning? The more that I realised that a lot of people wore no make-up at all, the more that sounded appealing for me. So this week I’ve been doing a little experiment.

I already don’t wear any eye make-up to work, and there’s a good reason for this. My eyelashes are quite long, and it’s impossible to wear mascara without it rubbing off a bit under my eyes, giving an unappealing zombie look. At the weekends and when I’m doing something fun, this is very manageable, but I can never be bothered when it’s 7am on a Monday morning. So I have my unframed eyes, but all my foundation and powder usually finished off as usual before work every day.

But this week, the foundation has gone.

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Dreamgirls the Musical has caught the eye of London’s West End, and much of the attention has been due to the leading lady. Amber Riley is best known for her role in Glee, where she admitted that the script writers mostly got her to come on at the end and belt out the big number to wrap up to episode. She’s certainly getting to do a lot of belting in Dreamgirls – not that I’ve got to see her yet.

The main role of Effie White is hugely demanding vocally, and it has meant that an alternate has played the role on many occasions. In fact, I’ve been to see the show twice, both on days when Amber was scheduled to perform, and I’ve now seen both of the alternates.

There’s no need for concern if you’re coming to see the show, though. Both of the Effie’s that I’ve seen have been amazing. My favourite is Marisha Wallace, who has perfect comic timing and can belt out ‘And I’m Telling You’ like it’s no-one’s business.

The music – and vocals – are definitely why I will keep coming back to this show. Think Elphaba’s Defying Gravity riffs are good in Wicked? Come to Dreamgirls and prepare to get your head knocked off. These women give it everything on stage with performances so powerful and captivating that it’s impossible to not feel the emotion. There is a lot of deep emotional moments in this show, too. Singing about rejection, loves and friendships that are lost, and being true to yourself are all key moments.

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This video was so much fun to film! It started with an intense (and hilarious) competition while having lunch. My sister and Alice and I were in a tough battle to find out who is the Disney song expert.

We quickly decided that it needed to be settled on camera.

How did you do compared to us? I like to think that we’re both pretty good, guessing the film and song title of nearly every round within a second or two.

Did you do better than us? Or do you need to brush up on your Disney song knowledge?