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City Connect was first established in Cambridge and aims to spread to other cities nationally and internationally in the future. City Connect's online magazine style website reaches out to a wide audience and has something for everyone. City Connect offers a comprehensive range of features and articles, such as news, film and music reviews, trends and hot topics, dating advice, culture and style to name but a few. City Connect also holds networking events to join our writers, advertisers and readers together. City Connect events range from the casual to the formal, but everyone with a passion for networking is welcome.

Fiona’s Christmas Countdown – December 20

Have Your Christmas Cake AND Eat It!

Fiona Kirk’s Christmas Countdown to Fending Off The Festive Flab

Nutritionist and author, Fiona Kirk (fatbustforever.com) is on a yuletide mission with her fabulous fat busting daily tips to help YOU body swerve the festive pounds this Christmas.

Fiona Kirk

Each day, from now until Christmas Eve, Fiona will be helping YOU to party hard whilst eating to love your waistline during the holiday season and into 2013!

December 20: If you can’t function without your morning latte, ask for it to be made with soya milk to keep your blood sugar balanced for longer and avoid cravings. And, while you are waiting in the queue pick up a piece of fruit and a small bag of nuts for snack attacks later in the day.

The Dating Diary of Miss X – Chapter 4

In Chapter 4 of The Dating Diary of Miss X, our very single and very anonymous Miss X talks about her new flatmate and Mr Arty 

Living centrally does have its perks although costs a fortune!   I live in a gorgeous flat with some lovely flatmates. As I’ve previously mentioned 4 of the old couples have met through this very flat. Why has it not happened to me yet?   You probably think because you sound a bit desperate but actually no; one has to be actively out there perhaps sending out the vibes that you do want something without appearing desperate?

I have a new very hot flatmate who only moved in a month ago. I was on the “deciding” panel of course since I and another guy here have been living here the longest. It was most fun “interviewing” potential male flatmates. There is such a thing as flatmating. Let’s see how it goes with him: I’ve been trying to spend some time with him but again he works all the time and we both have our own lives. He’s on holiday at the moment for 2 weeks so let’s see what happens after…

I think the fact that a relationship hasn’t happened before is mainly down to work being so busy and probably me not wanting anything or if you don’t meet the right person why settle?  Nothing wrong with it.

I also tend to meet up with friends at the weekend: many of whom are partnered up, married, babies so really there do seem to be fewer eligible men around. But as my mother always puts it “Stop being so fussy”  I think if the guy did walk in and I felt enough connection then that would and should be it – maybe just to stop analysing!

The thing is I have fancied and been out with a few guys this year already. I did try dating one guy, a creative arty sort of a guy - let’s call him Mr Arty - and despite the fact he was consistently late and frantic most of the time, I really liked him and would have considered a relationship or something with him. It didn’t happen.

We met initially at a party for an art gallery back in January and it continued from then on. He was a landscape gardener and oh so deep. Just analysing everything to how he was feeling, how his friends were feeling to the point where it was starting to trouble himself. I told him to sort his own stuff out before anyone elses!  He needed a dose of positive thinking and luckily started to change (I think with my positive outlook)

To start with it was all very innocent: we’d meet up for the latest art exhibition as he had a Tate Members card, frequent galleries and museums galore. He’d talk about art in a very ethereal way and I hadn’t been out with a cultured guy for a while.  The guys I’d met had been mainly through the drinks business so the main focus drinking and partying.

It came to a point where we were seeing each other for a while and I used some honour points I’d accumulated for a weekend in Brighton. It was fantastic – however I just sort of assumed we were seeing each other. That evening at an incredible Oyster restaurant in Brighton (he was treating me) the clanger was dropped when we were talking about us and he said “Yes you need to be seeing other people”  I was quite stunned as I had sort-of-assumed we were an item and also thought to myself damn I hadn’t saved the free nights stay for a real boyfriend!

We then talked about it albeit a bit tiddly and worse for wear. It was decided that he had “just come out of a relationship and still fragile” I just decided to take this as it was and continue to see him but just for fun. It has been hard to have a real “Friend with Benefits”  as inevitably someone will get hurt.

Since then he has been going through a bit of turmoil, very down at times – hasn’t eaten, talks about his ex so I think it was probably best he sorts it out. I am always there to talk to him and be the understanding friend. At the moment he is in rehab for some depression, poor guy. I’ve decided to be on hand but not to get too close again….  So let’s leave that one there.

With all the guys I’ve dated I could now combine all the qualities and make one!

Check back next Friday for Chapter 5 of The Dating Diary of Miss X

UK RumFest 2013: World’s Largest Rum Festival

rum03Returning to the UK’s capital this October, the world famous UK RumFest will take place on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 October 2013 taking each visitor on a voyage of rum discovery at London’s ExCeL Exhibition Centre. The seventh annual UK RumFest showcases over 400 of the rarest and most exquisite rums from across the globe, as well as cocktail demonstrations, intimate seminars and masterclasses hosted by industry aficionados. The delectable Tropical Food Market will feature mouthwatering food from all over the world, plus live music and main stage presentations creating an incredible two days of rum infused fun. This year UK RumFest presents for the first time the Connoisseur’s Cove area giving the discerning drinker the opportunity to delve further into rum’s rich culture and sip, savour and discover some of the rarest rums on the market. Limited tickets are available with standard tickets priced at £25 plus booking fee or the Connoisseur’s Cove tickets priced at £45 plus booking fee, all available with more information from the UK RumFest website.

rum01Rum’s popularity has soared in recent years, becoming the UK’s fastest growing spirit and the drink of choice for millions across the globe. The Rum Experience, founders of the UK RumFest are thrilled to invite rum lovers to join them at the world’s largest celebration of rum culture, the seventh annual UK RumFest. After 2012’s sell out success, this year’s UK RumFest will feature a series of innovations to the programme designed to deliver an excellent experience for UK RumFest visitors wanting to enjoy some rum-fuelled fun and entertainment. This year’s event will feature a mixture of rum bars, providing the opportunity to sample the best known brands on the market, either as a 1 centilitre free sample in exchange for a token or as a professionally mixed cocktail, alongside a series of stands from carefully selected rum brands.

rum02RumFest knows good rum and featured top rum brands from around the world including the likes of Lambs, Mount Gay, Havana, El Dorado and Zacapa, plus a live cocktail competition presented by Angostura inviting the public to submit their cocktail recipes now by entering here. The six finalists will be invited to RumFest on Saturday 12th October to compete live on the Main Stage to win a bottle of Limited Edition Angostura No.1 Cask Collection. Bringing together the industry’s top blenders, distillers and mixologists, visitors are invited on a journey of rum discovery with a vast array of masterclasses, talks and seminars available to all ticket holders. For those who have a passion for cocktail sampling, creating or spectating, worldclass mixologists will be showcasing their skills through cocktail battles and demonstrations. The Carnival atmosphere as always will be electric and will be heightened by a bill of live music that will reverberate throughout the weekend featuring a heady mix of reggae beats, samba rhythms and traditional souk dancers. There really is no other show quite like it.

TROPICAL FOOD MARKET

Taste buds will be tantalised at this year’s extended Tropical Food Market hosting an abundance of street food outlets on hand to help soak up the rum drenched day. Embracing cuisines from across the rum regions, where the sweet sugar cane grows in abundance, traders have been invited to bring their flavours from the Caribbean, South America and Africa. Generous samples will be available and for those enticed by the cuisine on offer will be able to purchase meals from each of the food outlets. For those interested in discovering more, celebrity TV Chef Hasan De Four will be hosting the live presentations on the Demo Kitchen Stage showcasing exclusive one-off masterclasses including rum & food pairing, cooking with rum and much more to be announced very soon.

CONNOISSEUR’S COVE

For the first time, UK RumFest introduces the brand new Connoisseur’s Cove area inviting the discerning drinker to an exclusive rum haven. Visitors can sip, savour and discover some of the rarest, most exquisite premium rums from across the globe. This exclusive area is perfectly designed to take the connoisseur on an extensive rum discovery, set away from the lively Carnival crowds and creating an incredible journey. Expect some very special rums of distinctions to sample whilst educating palates like never before.

SEMINARS & MASTERCLASSES

Over 20 seminars will take place across the weekend, including a delicious Caymanas rum cake seminar hosted by Jonathan McCulloch, who will let audiences into the secret of how to make his popular rum cake. Brands such as Havana Club will be bringing their Mojito Embassy to the festival, teaching fans how to make the perfect, authentic Cuban Mojito using only the finest natural ingredients – a surefire hit for this popular drink! Diplomatico tasting will take place on Saturday 12th with Master Blender Tito Cordero, which will be offered on a first-come-first-served basis on the day. The Rum Experience University Masterclasses conducted by industry experts and master blenders top off a diverse and extensive rum program. As well as an afternoon of luxurious rum and cigar pairing courtesy of Amathus Drinks and C-Gars Ltd, aficionados can learn and create the perfect rum and chocolate match hosted by Havana Club and Rococo Chocolatiers.

Ian Burrell, Global Rum Ambassador and founder of The Rum Experience comments, “UK RumFest is the destination event for rum lovers and we promise two days that will take each and every visitor on a journey of rum discovery. With the brand new ticketing options we aim to cater for the discerning drinker and the casual enthusiast creating a one-off experience for all. We look forward to seeing you in October!”

UK RumFest is presented by The Rum Experience and takes place on Saturday 12th & Sunday 13th October 2013 at London’s ExCeL Exhibition Centre. Standard tickets for this year’s RumFest are now on sale from £25 and includes access to central zone featuring Rum Bars and selected Rum brands, the Tropical Food Market, seminar rooms and the Main Stage presentation area in association with Pusser’s Rum & Coco Re’al. The Connoisseur’s Cove tickets priced at £45 allowing an additional exclusive access to the most exquisite rum brands available at the moment where visitors are invited to take their journey of rum discovery to the next level. Weekend tickets are priced at £80 and include access to the Connoisseur’s Cove.

A Weekend in Prague

Forget country cottage weekends in the UK; if you really want to broaden your horizons, the only way is Prague. The Czech capital is fast becoming one of Europe’s trendiest city break destinations, thanks to its jazz scene and strong pub culture, but there’s also plenty of history to uncover once you know where to look.

Prague by Night

Prague by Night

Day 1

Morning: Getting to grips with the Old Town

Many of Prague’s most talked about sights are in this part of the city, such as the Astronomical Clock at the Old Town Hall, Franz Kafka’s birthplace and the Charles Bridge. As with any tourist-heavy destination, you may find it tricky to combat the crowds in peak times, so it’s best to watch the clock chime in the early morning if you want to get a good view of this unique spectacle, which includes appearances from the 12 apostles and Death himself. Afterwards, explore the Old Town Square and the narrow streets that run off from it, full of boutiques and cafes.

Lunch: The Josefov

The Jewish Quarter, or Josefov, is foodie heaven, boasting everything from classic pubs to luxury restaurants. You should explore the cobbled streets before you choose your lunch venue, as there’s history around every corner, from the Jewish Museum to the synagogues. If you’re short on time then grab a snack at the ever-popular Bohemia Bagel during your walk (found on Masná 2); alternatively, savour the art deco feel and the tasting menu at the Sarah Bernhardt restaurant (U Obecního domu 1080/1), named after the actress who appeared in several posters by Czech artist Alphonse Mucha. You can even buy tickets to Mucha’s nearby museum in the New Town, which is well worth a visit for its Art Nouveau vibe.

Afternoon: Prague Castle and art hunting in the Lesser Town

Step into the Lesser Town, or Malá Strana, where you’ll find the city’s famous castle, which is an essential pit-stop for any self-respecting tourist and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Whether you want to watch the changing of the guard, see the crown jewels or discover paintings by old masters, there’s plenty to keep you occupied within the grounds. If castles aren’t a big draw for you and you’re more tempted by modern attractions then you might prefer to seek out David Černý’s conceptual art sculpture, Quo Vadis – a Communist-era Trabant car with legs. It pays tribute to East Germans who sought political asylum at the West German Embassy back in 1989.

Continue your modern art tour by stopping at Lennon Wall (Velkopřevorské náměstí), which is a graffiti-based reminder of John Lennon’s life and his peace activism. The wall art has been constantly evolving since 1980, with the original Lennon wall portrait hidden under more recent scrawled additions from tourists and locals.

Dinner: New Town

The New Town Brewery is the perfect place to enjoy Czech food and, of course, a glass of Pilsner beer, but it’s also very popular for nights out, so it’s best to make a reservation. Follow up your meal with a quick 20 minute tour of the brewery, available after 6pm, to see how they manage to make it taste so good. Just as the place begins to get really busy, leave the revellers to it and head for the bright lights of Prague’s best music hubs.

Nightlife: Jazz Clubs

Even if you’re not normally a jazz music fan, the city’s intimate clubs and talented live acts may well change your mind. Soak up the atmosphere in Reduta, one of the most renowned venues, which has been bringing music to Prague since 1958 (found at Národní třída 20). There’s entertainment every night, covering more than just jazz – expect to find anything from swing and blues to reggae and cabaret being performed. For advice on where to stay in Prague after your jazz club experience, click here.

Day 2

Morning: Petrin Hill and Tower

Start off with plenty of fresh air and a stroll across small parks that are scattered around Petrin Hill. Don’t get too comfortable, as you’ll need plenty of energy to climb the 299 steps of the Observation Tower, which is a quirky tribute to Paris’ Eiffel Tower and can be reached by travelling on the funicular railway from Ujezd. The views from the top certainly won’t disappoint, with the chance to see the country’s highest mountain, Snezka, on a clear day.

Lunch: Vinohrady

The area that used to be King Charles’ personal vineyards is now an up-and-coming part of the city that is very family-friendly and has plenty of good value places to eat, from pizzerias to casual coffee shops where you can people watch in peace. Try Pradelna Café, which used to be a laundry, where you can pick up a steaming bowl of soup, a homemade slice of cake or one of the speciality loose leaf teas.

Afternoon: Vltava River

End your trip on a high note by cruising along the Vltava on a rowing or pedal boat in the summer, allowing you to choose your own route. There are rental areas by the National Theatre and also by the Charles Bridge, which tend to be open for business between April and October. Seeing the city from the river will give you a totally different perspective and you can test your skills as a rower.

By following this guide, you’ll get a good grounding of Prague’s best sights in just two days and you’ll know why it’s so popular for weekends away. Find out more about Prague breaks and get planning your escape to the Czech Republic.

The Dating Diary of Miss X – Chapter 11

woman_head_silhouetteDecided to stay an extra day in the Hotel due to bad weather. You’d think we’d be all over each other but he seemed slightly cold – I found out this was due to the “past”  Was just so lovely to be off work and enjoying doing nothing in this lovely Hotel.

Went out in the evening and had the most fun evening with Mr French. We chatted, we laughed, talked and he was the perfect gentleman. Perhaps it wasn’t just about the naughty stuff, we could get to know each other – but some naughty stuff was always good.

The next day we travelled to his flat near Cannes. It was built away from the sea in the smallest most remote little village. Very picturesque but I could tell why he talked so much – he was starved of any human interaction and had to let it all out.

We stopped off along near our favourite village Eze and out came his prized possession… a picnic basket with a special Bordeaux and cut glass glasses. The obligatory French cheeses, bread and charcuterie (meats) came alongside. It was very romantic. The most romantic picnic I’ve ever had hailed from Subway and consisted of
the weekly special.

We spoke and spoke – well he spoke at me for most of it but I loved to hear him talk. We were just so similar or so I thought but then he dropped the line – I just don’t feel ready for anything. I hadn’t even hinted at anything as until this point we were still friends – ok a bit of hanky panky but friends. It was just quite strange and he told me the main reason he’d left the UK was to escape his ex and start afresh. His job was also on the blink… I could understand this.  Prior to this I was thinking to myself… I could probably do this lifestyle even for a bit or to be with him…getting carried away again… but he seemed so nice indeed.

Oh well. One of those things and obviously we weren’t meant to be.

The rest of the holiday consisted of another 3 days together. At times it felt like it was dragging. Towards the end when we continued to enjoy the local sights we went out clubbing on the final night and had quite a wild time. it was probably just the fact that I’d be leaving and not seeing him for a while. We’d got on so well – just clicked I thought.

Saw another side to the South of France too which wasn’t just the glitzy Monte Carlo or St Tropez. It was unspoilt, pretty: time seemed to go very slow and I was really enjoying my time out there.

We got very drunk on the final night – it was the local nightclub on the beach and what a lovely evening. Stars twinkling and vodka was flowing. He was supposed to drive me the next day to the airport as he had done from Nice but somehow was still drunk the next day so I ended up getting not even an airport transfer but a taxi  –
1 hour away. What a way to end. 150 euros!

Felt quite sad to leave and we were still messaging from the airport and back in the UK.

Read Chapter 12 next Friday to find out what happens next and we meet another new fancy… he comes from yet another continent – how will this one fare? Also back on the scene is Mr Toyboy and Mr Stockings…

The Dating Diary of Miss X – Chapter 10

woman_head_silhouetteI met Mr French at 11 am and he collected me from the Hotel Reception. I was quite nervous prior to meeting him: what if I didn’t fancy him and I’ve booked 2 nights in this Hotel plus I knew we’d be travelling to his place near Cannes towards the weekend.

What if I didn’t really know this guy at all and he was going to do something nasty. You just never know. But I knew my instinct was always right: he was a good friend of a friend so I wasn’t just going out on a whim and we’d be fine.

He seemed quite nervous too but luckily took charge and with the weather so sunny but forecast not great for the week, decided to drive us to Italy. Italy was only an hour away along the French Riviera. We went towards San Remo: a very pretty fishing village in Italy and spent quite a heavenly afternoon there.

He was exceedingly chatty – almost too much. He seemed to talk about himself consistently. However I am a very good listener. I figured he was just starved of human contact or speech and needed to practice his English. His English was almost fluent with hardly any French accent but he’d lived in the UK for many years. He just decided to move to France due to the end of a relationship and to look after his father who is quite frail.

We travelled back from Italy along the coast. San Remo was the most picturesque little village: very unspoilt and traditional. We then went via the Riviera, Menton followed by a beautiful little village called  Eze which had its own castle and Hotel at the top of the hill.

I was loving the South of France already. It was just so laid back and relaxed. Still couldn’t work out what Mr French was doing to earn a bit of money – of course that’s not really important but you must be living on something as from what he was telling me there aren’t many jobs in the South apart from Hotel (and even they don’t pay well) I didn’t really ask too much but knew before he was some sort of Security consultant.

It was all very romantic but still no real romance yet. We then went back to my Hotel where he left his car and even then it all felt a bit awkward and slightly strange… I knew I fancied him quite a bit but we decided to pop out for some drinks as it was holidays!

We then had a little kiss and I almost wanted to stay there and then. We found a really trendy bar near the city centre and had a few drinks which was really nice. That evening was fun, not that I remember too much but it was ok. Ok I say not great!

The next few evenings were more fun however we then travelled to his home town near Cannes and that’s when he really opened up to me.

Check out Chapter 11 next Friday to find out if Miss X and Mr French end happily ever after or not!

The Dating Diary of Miss X – Chapter 7

In Cha pter 7 of The Dating Diary of Miss X, our very single and very anonymous Miss X talks about how things went with Mr LinkedIn from Chapter 6.

It was very bizarre as I contacted Mr LinkedIn just before Christmas on a social network site as a new contact and he was in touch from the off. It was like we had not lost touch at all. He was most interested by my status of single or not.  He was most interested as to who I’d been out with over the past few years and most interested in my sex life. Yes that was quite odd but he was always a bit odd. Another reason why I went off him then (which I remembered recently) was the fact that we hadn’t actually got to that intimate side as he would somehow put me off quite easily. The only way to really seduce a lady is to be charming and not mention sex every 5 minutes. He would mention all sorts of intimate things without us even having slept together. It was weird.  When we were facebook friends he’d do the same. Even this time he told me he wanted me in stockings as “tights were the devils work”   I do concur with this statement but could he put a stocking in it until we’ve at least met up a few more times and then perhaps….

We tried to meet up pre-Christmas but of course it didn’t happen due to parties and the like. Over Christmas/New Year we were in touch and he was very quick on the texts plus we arranged to meet up early in the New Year once he was back at work. I was working a bit in between Christmas/New Year in my new PR and Marketing role.

We met up once since the New Year and it was a great date. The first time we were due to meet up he stood me up!  Well he had to “work late” I took the benefit of the doubt and believed it. I didn’t want to as after cancelling the date due to a “conference call” he called/texted and generally pestered me again for a date so I agreed to one more chance.

We met up for the first time in 5 years and had a great evening. I felt an instant attraction to him and it was like old times. The venue he picked was ideal: Gordon’s Wine Bar on Villiers Street which is the most perfect first/second/tenth date venue in London. What makes it so perfect is the intimacy of the place: it is such a non-secret venue, very sexy, dark, dingy and oh so perfect. Their red wines are to die for and you can easily get lost there literally!  Love the cheese boards and sharing meats too.

So date went really well. We reminisced over old times, old dates from the Agency. He was still upset at my terrible matchmaking skills having sent him on some awful dates (I smirked to myself) but also told me about his recent dalliances with ladies. He was most interested in my situation and recent one. I actually didn’t have much to say although there was a dalliance at the beginning of the year with another ex friend from My Single Friend.  He asked me when my last encounter was and I of course lied and told him last year but was very sketchy on that (none of his business, after all).

I really liked him: what I like about him is his humour, fun, intelligence, good outlook and enjoys life. He is now 40 and I had the feeling he was also ready to meet someone.

However for some unknown reason we still haven’t managed to meet up in around 2 months.

He started out being pretty good on texts/emails but “work has been busy”. I really feel he want’s to meet up but it just hasn’t happened. I have resigned myself to the fact that we may not meet again and have been busy myself with long days and some evenings.

However he still sends the odd email which is so odd as he still refers to me in that naughty way and always checks to see I’m behaving. It’s a bit odd. He has since gone skiing as it was “ski season” and he’s busy again. Whatever!

Check back next Friday for Chapter 8 of The Dating Diary of Miss X

When in Rome…

It’s fair to say that Rome is one of Europe’s most in-demand cities right now, making the headlines for the new Pope, Francis. There’s no better time to visit the Eternal City and see it all for yourself on a short break to Rome.

St Peter's Basilica

St Peter’s Basilica

Iconic Ruins and Historical Sites

Grab yourself a Roma Pass (€30) to make the most of your time here and help your money to go further – it gives you free entry to two historical sites, museums or galleries, and discounted entry to many others. Start by using it at the Colosseum, where your pass will give you fast-track entry and you can admire the amazing architecture at your own pace. If you want to get your photo taken with a costumed ‘Roman Centurion’ outside, bear in mind that they tend to charge €5 for the privilege! Afterwards, head across the road to the Roman Forum and see the former centre of business and politics in the city, consisting of several different temples and spectacular arches.

For those of you really short on time, the best way to cover all the basics is to take a Vespa tour around the streets, ticking off key landmarks as you go, with a company such as Scooteroma. You’ll be able to stop off at regular intervals for photo opportunities and have the chance to quiz your drivers about their insider knowledge of the city, so be prepared to learn as you travel! An easy three hour tour gives you an excellent grounding of where the main sights are in relation to each other, as well as allowing you to access some of the neighbourhoods that the tour buses miss out altogether, such as Trastevere, which is full of rustic charm and has Rome’s only medieval piazza.

Some of the busier highlights should really be saved for early mornings or after dark, when the crowds will disperse and you can get a much better view. The Trevi Fountain is a perfect example; during the day you’ll struggle to get past school groups and other tourists, but it’s much quieter at night and you can get right to the front to throw a coin into the fountain for luck. Other places to try outside of peak time are the Mouth of Truth (or Bocca Della Verita) and the Spanish Steps.

The Spanish Steps

The Spanish Steps

Museums and Galleries

Again, you can use your Roma Pass in many of the most popular sites, including the Borghese Gallery, which sits in the Villa Borghese Gardens, and the four branches of Rome’s National Museum, which are scattered around the city. Meanwhile the Vatican Museums are a firm favourite with visitors, due to the breath-taking artworks in the collections.

Of course, St. Peter’s Basilica is a must-see for culture lovers, who can marvel at the huge dome and climb the steps to see a stunning view, before moving onto the Sistine Chapel to admire Michelangelo’s legendary ceiling frescoes. For something more modern, try the MAXXI Museum, designed by architect Zaha Hadid, which is full of 21st century art, from the likes of Gilbert & George, to keep kids and teenagers interested.

Scooteroma Vespa Tour

Scooteroma Vespa Tour

Restaurants and Cafes

The best way to discover more authentic Roman food, and to avoid paying high tourist prices, is to step away from the restaurants closest to major monuments. Instead, be a bit more adventurous and head to the smaller streets to get a real taste of the city, with traditional and filling dishes such as wild boar ravioli, pasta with grilled artichokes and rustic pizza.

The former Jewish ghetto, which is right on the banks of the Tiber, is the perfect place to find cheap and hearty meals in family-run restaurants. Alternatively, over the river you’ll find that Trastevere is full of reasonably priced, independent trattorias and cafes. There’s also a lively food market here where you can pick up essentials.

Meanwhile, for food on the go, head to a café that serves pizza al taglio, which is pizza by the slice, measured in size or weight. It’s very cheap and easy to enjoy if you don’t have enough time for a sit-down meal. If you’re popping in for a coffee then this is also best enjoyed standing up, as you’ll pay much less for the privilege – typically around €1. Italians tend to enjoy cappuccinos and espressos early on, followed by a macchiato in the afternoons. Those of you who try and order a cappuccino after lunch may get a few strange looks, as it’s regarded as a morning-only drink here.

If you miss a good old-fashioned British cup of tea then head to Babington’s Tea Rooms, right beneath the Spanish Steps, to enjoy a bit of Blighty in an unlikely location. A convenient hotel close to the area is the Domus Romana, which is within easy reach of Babington’s and also the Trevi Fountain and the Forum – perfect for maximising your sightseeing potential.

Whatever you choose to do in Rome, you’re never far away from a slice of culture in the Eternal City. The hardest part will be narrowing down your wish list of places to see!

The Relationship Between Snoring and Insomnia

You lay there night after night with your pillow wrapped around your head, listening to yet another night filled with the loud bed-rattling sound coming from the person laying next to you. You know that you are going to have yet another sleepless night. So you reach over and nudge your significant other to get him to roll over and give you a few moments of blessed silence. This is a scenario that is common in a lot of homes. But there are some things you need to know about what is happening here.

It appears that the snorer is the one causing the insomnia problem, but that may not be the case. There are a lot of people that suffer from insomnia at some point in their lives. Stressful days, upcoming events, physical ailments, and other factors can cause periods of insomnia. Normally, you return to a regular sleep pattern when these factors are resolved. However, for some people the insomnia problem becomes more serious, causing them difficulty in falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking too soon in the morning. Their sleep is restless, preventing them from getting the sleep their body needs. Believe it or not, an insomnia problem can lead to snoring when the insomniac falls asleep and the muscles of the face and throat relax.

On the reverse, a snoring problem can cause insomnia. Not only does the noise keep others awake, but also makes the snorer wake up to change positions if sleep apnea is present. Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is when the airways become
obstructed when the muscles in the face and throat relax, allowing the collapse of the airway. This causes brief periods when the snorer stops breathing. He or she wakes up, changes position and in a lot of cases is unable to return to sleep. And even if they do get back to sleep, the snoring begins again and the cycle repeats itself.

In the definition of insomnia, the periods of wakefulness for the insomniac as well as the snorer are a symptom. In addition, the sluggish feeling they have the next day and the irritability they have are symptoms, too. Both the insomniac and the snorer are more prone to other health problems as well. Hypertension, elevated cholesterol, and the development of excess body fat may contribute to developing heart disease. In both cases, a visit to your doctor is recommended.

About the Guest Author
Andreas Henderson, MR, published author and medical researcher has spent many years supporting people stop snoring. He published www.StopSnoringAdvice.com with one mission; to help those who wish to put an end to their snoring.

Image reproduced from stopsnoringadvice.com

Fiona’s Christmas Countdown – December 24

Have Your Christmas Cake AND Eat It!

Fiona Kirk’s Christmas Countdown to Fending Off The Festive Flab

Nutritionist and author, Fiona Kirk (fatbustforever.com) is on a yuletide mission with her fabulous fat busting daily tips to help YOU body swerve the festive pounds this Christmas.

Fiona Kirk

Each day, from now until Christmas Eve, Fiona will be helping YOU to party hard whilst eating to love your waistline during the holiday season and into 2013!

December 24: Forget the fat busting, go for broke and have fun! As long as Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day don’t turn into a two week-long gorge you can throw caution to the wind for a few days. Merry Christmas!

Fiona’s Christmas Countdown – December 19

Have Your Christmas Cake AND Eat It!

Fiona Kirk’s Christmas Countdown to Fending Off The Festive Flab

Nutritionist and author, Fiona Kirk (fatbustforever.com) is on a yuletide mission with her fabulous fat busting daily tips to help YOU body swerve the festive pounds this Christmas.

Fiona Kirk

Each day, from now until Christmas Eve, Fiona will be helping YOU to party hard whilst eating to love your waistline during the holiday season and into 2013!

December 19: Tired of hearing that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? Don’t fret. If you can’t face food first thing in the morning or time is against you just ensure that you have something for elevenses – half an avocado stuffed with a mix of tinned salmon and salsa is a delicious, nutritious and filling solution.

Fiona’s Christmas Countdown – December 18

Have Your Christmas Cake AND Eat It!

Fiona Kirk’s Christmas Countdown to Fending Off The Festive Flab

Nutritionist and author, Fiona Kirk (fatbustforever.com) is on a yuletide mission with her fabulous fat busting daily tips to help YOU body swerve the festive pounds this Christmas.

Fiona Kirk

Each day, from now until Christmas Eve, Fiona will be helping YOU to party hard whilst eating to love your waistline during the holiday season and into 2013!

December 18: Dates abound at this time of the year and if you have a sweet tooth they are the cat’s pyjamas! They are so sweet that satisfaction is guaranteed with just two or three and if you aim for the ones stuffed with almonds or pistachios you get the ‘protein extra’ which blunts the sugar spike – a great wee snack for a sugaraholic!

Fiona’s Christmas Countdown – December 17

Have Your Christmas Cake AND Eat It!

Fiona Kirk’s Christmas Countdown to Fending Off The Festive Flab

Nutritionist and author, Fiona Kirk (fatbustforever.com) is on a yuletide mission with her fabulous fat busting daily tips to help YOU body swerve the festive pounds this Christmas.

Fiona Kirk

Each day, from now until Christmas Eve, Fiona will be helping YOU to party hard whilst eating to love your waistline during the holiday season and into 2013!

December 17: Christmas is getting perilously close and you are probably feeling the stress! Cereal bars are a brilliant, quick and portable snack but many have more sugar than a Krispy Kreme doughnut! Go for Nine bars and Food Doctor bars.

Fiona’s Christmas Countdown – December 16

Have Your Christmas Cake AND Eat It!

Fiona Kirk’s Christmas Countdown to Fending Off The Festive Flab

Nutritionist and author, Fiona Kirk (fatbustforever.com) is on a yuletide mission with her fabulous fat busting daily tips to help YOU body swerve the festive pounds this Christmas.

Fiona Kirk

Each day, from now until Christmas Eve, Fiona will be helping YOU to party hard whilst eating to love your waistline during the holiday season and into 2013!

December 16: It takes around 20 minutes for the brain to get the ‘nutritionally-satisfied’ message from the stomach so have a nourishing snack (light soup and a small mixed salad is a good combo) when you get in from work and wait. You will eat a lot less at your evening meal.

Fiona’s Christmas Countdown – December 15

Have Your Christmas Cake AND Eat It!

Fiona Kirk’s Christmas Countdown to Fending Off The Festive Flab

Nutritionist and author, Fiona Kirk (fatbustforever.com) is on a yuletide mission with her fabulous fat busting daily tips to help YOU body swerve the festive pounds this Christmas.

Fiona Kirk

Each day, from now until Christmas Eve, Fiona will be helping YOU to party hard whilst eating to love your waistline during the holiday season and into 2013!

December 15: Difficult to believe but lemons and limes promote alkalinity within the digestive system and prevent acid build-up which increases fat accumulation. Get them into your foods and drinks wherever possible – a warming mug of hot water with lemon and ginger is a great and cleansing way to start the day.

Fiona’s Christmas Countdown – December 14

Have Your Christmas Cake AND Eat It!

Fiona Kirk’s Christmas Countdown to Fending Off The Festive Flab

Nutritionist and author, Fiona Kirk (fatbustforever.com) is on a yuletide mission with her fabulous fat busting daily tips to help YOU body swerve the festive pounds this Christmas.

Fiona Kirk

Each day, from now until Christmas Eve, Fiona will be helping YOU to party hard whilst eating to love your waistline during the holiday season and into 2013!

December 14: Ever tried a wheat-free day or two? You will be amazed at how much looser your waistband feels. Much of the wheat now grown for global consumption is light on digestion-friendly fibre and can cause bloating which is nothing short of a disaster when you want to get into those skinny jeans! But, you have to read the food labels – wheat is everywhere!

Fiona’s Christmas Countdown – December 13

Have Your Christmas Cake AND Eat It!

Fiona Kirk’s Christmas Countdown to Fending Off The Festive Flab

Nutritionist and author, Fiona Kirk (fatbustforever.com) is on a yuletide mission with her fabulous fat busting daily tips to help YOU body swerve the festive pounds this Christmas.

Fiona Kirk

Each day, from now until Christmas Eve, Fiona will be helping YOU to party hard whilst eating to love your waistline during the holiday season and into 2013!

December 13: Do you suffer from SAD at this time of the year? Countries where the most fish is eaten suffer the lowest levels so ‘up’ your consumption and if time is tight mash some tinned sardines onto a few oatcakes for lunch today and reap the fat busting, calcium-rich benefits.

Fiona’s Christmas Countdown – December 12

Have Your Christmas Cake AND Eat It!

Fiona Kirk’s Christmas Countdown to Fending Off The Festive Flab

Nutritionist and author, Fiona Kirk (fatbustforever.com) is on a yuletide mission with her fabulous fat busting daily tips to help YOU body swerve the festive pounds this Christmas.

Fiona Kirk

Each day, from now until Christmas Eve, Fiona will be helping YOU to party hard whilst eating to love your waistline during the holiday season and into 2013!

December 12: Many fruit yoghurts are heaving with sugar. Go for 0% fat Greek yoghurt and add your own fresh fruit and a few nuts or seeds or sling the whole lot into the liquidiser, blast, strain and flask it for sipping throughout the day.

Fiona’s Christmas Countdown – December 11

Have Your Christmas Cake AND Eat It!

Fiona Kirk’s Christmas Countdown to Fending Off The Festive Flab

Nutritionist and author, Fiona Kirk (fatbustforever.com) is on a yuletide mission with her fabulous fat busting daily tips to help YOU body swerve the festive pounds this Christmas.

Fiona Kirk

Each day, from now until Christmas Eve, Fiona will be helping YOU to party hard whilst eating to love your waistline during the holiday season and into 2013!

December 11: If you are low in zinc not only are you more likely to get an infection, but it is likely to last longer. It also plays a major role in keeping your metabolic rate up. Shitake and chestnut mushrooms are great sources so make a vat of soup, freeze in portions and have a warming bowl two or three times a week.

Fiona’s Christmas Countdown – December 10

Have Your Christmas Cake AND Eat It!

Fiona Kirk’s Christmas Countdown to Fending Off The Festive Flab

Nutritionist and author, Fiona Kirk (fatbustforever.com) is on a yuletide mission with her fabulous fat busting daily tips to help YOU body swerve the festive pounds this Christmas.

Fiona Kirk

Each day, from now until Christmas Eve, Fiona will be helping YOU to party hard whilst eating to love your waistline during the holiday season and into 2013!

December 10: Cravings can be the dieter’s nemesis and this is often because of blood sugar highs and lows which see us heading obsessively for the sweet trolley. If this is you, consider a daily supplement of Chromium Picolinate which has been extensively researched and really can knock cravings on the head.

Fiona’s Christmas Countdown – December 9

Have Your Christmas Cake AND Eat It!

Fiona Kirk’s Christmas Countdown to Fending Off The Festive Flab

Nutritionist and author, Fiona Kirk (fatbustforever.com) is on a yuletide mission with her fabulous fat busting daily tips to help YOU body swerve the festive pounds this Christmas.

Fiona Kirk

Each day, from now until Christmas Eve, Fiona will be helping YOU to party hard whilst eating to love your waistline during the holiday season and into 2013!

December 9: Out last night? Feeling a bit delicate? Try my hangover cocktail for breakfast; tomato juice with celery salt, powdered ginger and a few drops of Rescue Remedy and some cold ham and cheese if you can force it down!

Fiona’s Christmas Countdown – December 8

Have Your Christmas Cake AND Eat It!

Fiona Kirk’s Christmas Countdown to Fending Off The Festive Flab

Nutritionist and author, Fiona Kirk (fatbustforever.com) is on a yuletide mission with her fabulous fat busting daily tips to help YOU body swerve the festive pounds this Christmas.

Fiona Kirk

Each day, from now until Christmas Eve, Fiona will be helping YOU to party hard whilst eating to love your waistline during the holiday season and into 2013!

December 8: If you are going out tonight have a good protein-rich snack to keep the munchies at bay and ensure the alcohol element of the evening doesn’t see you gorging on fatty snacks or leaving the party earlier than planned. Top choices: lentil and bean salads, cold cooked chicken or turkey, a quick omelette, a mug of miso soup, a fruit smoothie with yoghurt, quick porridge.

Fiona’s Christmas Countdown – December 7

Have Your Christmas Cake AND Eat It!

Fiona Kirk’s Christmas Countdown to Fending Off The Festive Flab

Nutritionist and author, Fiona Kirk (fatbustforever.com) is on a yuletide mission with her fabulous fat busting daily tips to help YOU body swerve the festive pounds this Christmas.

Fiona Kirk

Each day, from now until Christmas Eve, Fiona will be helping YOU to party hard whilst eating to love your waistline during the holiday season and into 2013!

December 7: Soup is a great hunger-buster. Make it your mid morning and/or mid afternoon snack of choice instead of coffee/tea and a bickie! See Soup Can Make You Thin for a delicious range of Skinny Soup recipes and recommendations.

Fiona’s Christmas Countdown – December 6

Have Your Christmas Cake AND Eat It!

Fiona Kirk’s Christmas Countdown to Fending Off The Festive Flab

Nutritionist and author, Fiona Kirk (fatbustforever.com) is on a yuletide mission with her fabulous fat busting daily tips to help YOU body swerve the festive pounds this Christmas.

Fiona Kirk

Each day, from now until Christmas Eve, Fiona will be helping YOU to party hard whilst eating to love your waistline during the holiday season and into 2013!

December 6: If fizzy soft drinks have become a regular habit, try replacing them with sparkling water mixed 50:50 with fresh fruit juice – half the calories, no strange-sounding chemicals and way more refreshing!

Fiona’s Christmas Countdown – December 5

Have Your Christmas Cake AND Eat It!

Fiona Kirk’s Christmas Countdown to Fending Off The Festive Flab

Nutritionist and author, Fiona Kirk (fatbustforever.com) is on a yuletide mission with her fabulous fat busting daily tips to help YOU body swerve the festive pounds this Christmas.

Fiona Kirk

Each day, from now until Christmas Eve, Fiona will be helping YOU to party hard whilst eating to love your waistline during the holiday season and into 2013!

December 5: Chillies really have the X factor for fat loss; the body burns more calories just trying to bring the heat down so sling more into your cooking and top your salads and vegetables with chilli flakes or a few splashes of chilli oil.