Bruntsfield Challenge – brunch at La Barantine

La Barantine - Bruntsfield

La Barantine – Bruntsfield

La Barantine is a small patisserie/ boulangerie/ cafe in the heart of Bruntsfield and a perfect spot for our brunch this morning! It was quite early – just after ten so we got a seat easily – as we were leaving around an hour later it was much busier.

We had brunch – toast with scrambled eggs and salmon/bacon – with a little salad on the side. Both utterly delicious!

Salmon and scrambled eggs (I forgot to take the photo straight away!)

Salmon and scrambled eggs (I forgot to take the photo straight away!)

The staff were lovely, friendly and welcoming.



As well as being a lovely cafe for breakfast/brunch/lunch/afternoon tea – it’s also a takeaway patisserie. We were a bit full up from brunch but bought some for later. Nom!

Delicious food to take away

Delicious food to take away

So all in all, a great place to eat/drink and be merry – recommended.

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Lists – Cineworld Pass – one year on

My black Cineworld Unlimited Card signifying a year of movie watching arrived this month.

My black Cineworld Unlimited Card signifying a year of movie watching arrived this month.

In the last year, we made the decision to re-invest in Cineworld Unlimited cards. We live super close to the Cineworld in Edinburgh and we do like going to the cinema – we figured regular payments for a pass would also motivate us to go more often. I also love the indulgence of going to see a film I enjoy more than once, without the guilt of paying lots of times, so I doubled up on a couple of movies this year. I’m impressed with the number in the last year and look forward to more in the next. My list of films in the 12 months since I’ve joined is:

  1. Insurgent
  2. Cinderella
  3. Fast and the Furious 7 (twice)
  4. John Wick
  5. The Duff
  6. The Avengers: Age of Ultron (twice)
  7. The Age of Adaline
  8. Pitch Perfect 2
  9. Tomorrowland
  10. San Andreas
  11. Man Up
  12. Jurassic World (twice)
  13. Terminator: Genysis
  14. Ant Man
  15. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation
  16. The Fantastic Four
  17. The Man from UNCLE
  18. Trainwreck
  19. Straight Outta Compton
  20. Everest
  21. A Walk in the Woods
  22. The Martian
  23. Pan
  24. Inside Out (I saw this as a Kids Movie special in the morning and felt very weird being the only one without a child. Next time time I’ll bring one!)
  25. Suffragette
  26. James Bond: Spectre
  27. Brooklyn
  28. Mockingjay: Part 2
  29. Steve Jobs
  30. Sisters
  31. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (twice at Cineworld, three times in total!)
  32. Joy
  33. Zoolander 2
  34. Deadpool
  35. Hail, Caesar!
  36. London has Fallen
  37. Allegiant
  38. How to be Single

Having been to see The Force Awakens three times in total, it’s pretty obvious what my favourite film this year was, but apart from that I also loved The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (just a great laugh, and, you know, Henry Cavill) and Straight Outta Compton. No terrible movies* in this list either – hurrah!

Henry Cavill may have influenced my enjoyment of The Man from UNCLE

Henry Cavill may have influenced my enjoyment of The Man from U.N.C.L.E

What are your favourite films of the last year? I’d love to hear about them!



*Was pretty disappointed with Joy

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My favourite work apps

Being a PA, I’m quite often told that I’m going to be replaced by technology (nice!) but I know that technology only makes me even better at my job. Anything that saves me five minutes or helps me to get something done – means I have free time to do even more work! This can also explain why the role of PA has developed so much in the last few years so that our workload variety has expanded exponentially.

Here are a few of my favourite apps:

Trello – (App Store)

Our Book Group Trello

Our Book Group Trello (granted this is the browser version, but this looks better!)

I think of Trello as an online post-it note action board. For any project that needs breaking down – and this is whether or not I work with a team – I create a Board. My Boards generally start with a To-Do, Doing and Done Card, which obviously develop depending on complexity. I mostly use the browser version but I do regularly check and update my Boards from my phone.

I simply couldn’t do my day to day life without Trello now – I have Boards for household maintenance, menu planning, work projects, book group, party planning – you name it!

(NB: My love of Trello knows no bounds, I think a separate blog post might be in the offing!)

Audible (App Store)

Having been an Audible member for about five years, I use this app, without fail, every day. My current favourite (whilst not work related) is Ben Aaronovich’s Peter Grant Series read by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith – books I heartily recommend! There are so many business related books that I want to read – it really helps me out – even if it’s 20 minutes to and from work every morning. My boss has been incredibly useful with giving advice on books to read (Creativity Inc by Ed Catmull and Mastery by Robert Greene being excellent reads lately).

Obsessed with Audible stats? Me?

Obsessed with Audible stats? Me?

Slack (App Store)

Slack is a great tool for the modern workplace team. As a lot of our team is out and about and not always able to sit down and read emails every day, it’s a fab way to communicate news which everyone needs to know (but doesn’t require a meeting) or get a quick decision. Having the app on the phone means you can catch up even when you’re not at your desk/work.


Companies House  – (App Store)

Nothing like a tiny bit of company stalking – or for me – verification! I use Companies House to check out registered addresses, directors’ full names and the like. It’s very useful for me and if you work with a lot of different businesses – this is a great free tool to get accurate information on people/ companies you’re working with.

Instapaper – (App Store)

I think everyone has a favourite read it later app – and this is mine. I use it to save articles not just to read later, but also to tweet/write about or share with others. It’s a clear fresh version of an article without adverts/the original article’s layout which makes it easy to read.

I must confess, there are a LOT of unread articles!

I must confess, I have a LOT of unread articles!

Camscanner – (App Store)

CamScanner (I have the Pro version) can scan and flatten documents for uploading/emailing. Need a paper signed and scanned and emailed? This is the way to do it! I also upload invoices to Xero which saves a lot of time and effort. Thank you Joe Tree for the Hot Tip.

Headspace – (App Store)

You might not think about this being a work app – but I’ve been a Headspacer for about 15 months now and this is now, pretty much, a daily practice. I’ve noticed the difference in my concentration, calmness and way of approaching things since I started so I absolutely view it as a tool for work. Similar to Audible, there’s a gamification of the app which works well to keep me motivated. In addition to this, there are regularly new packs to keep you on your toes in your meditation journey.

So, I’ve shared my favourite work apps – what are yours? I would love to hear about them? In addition to this, if you want to know more about any of the apps I’ve featured, please do comment to get in touch.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

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Bruntsfield Challenge: Lunch at 181 Delicatessen


The Bruntsfield Challenge is going very well so far – as in – we’re having great fun so far. I actually visited this wee place, 181 Delicatessen, for the first time last week – but then took Rich again at the weekend. All in all I’ve been three times in the last week – it’s a lovely welcome from the owners – and a great place to kick back and eat lunch.

From the front it’s a lovely wee deli with lots of awesome products – from local areas, and further afield. Towards the back is a lovely wee cafe with four tables (seats about 08-10) people. I’ve managed to get a seat every time, although the owners do say that sometimes it’s quite busy.

We had a lovely light lunch with fresh homemade ingredients. I’m impressed that nearly all produce is made in-house (soup, quiche, hummus) and it’s lovely and delicious!


Antipasti plate

The good thing about 181, opposed to Falko (who we visited last week), is that you can call and make a wee booking – which means, I’m sure, that we’ll be back soon!


Salmon quiche and salad

To conclude – lovely place for a lovely catch up for tea/coffee/lunch. Why not give it a try next time you’re in the area?

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