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16 December 2014

Meet Lisa from Not Quite Enough

I absolutely loved getting to know Cat from Oddly Lovely and Saskia from Girl in Brogues through the art of interviewing them, if you haven't seen the interviews yet check them out as these will be your two new favourite bloggers. Following on from interviewing Cat and Saskia, I am continuing to get to know about (and share with you!) the lives and blogs of some of my other favourite bloggers. So without further ado let me introduce to you, or at least let you get to know a bit better, Lisa from Not Quite Enough

Not Quite Enough is a lifestyle blog, packed full of restaurant and bar reviews, travel snaps and first-hand reports on the latest events in town, while also featuring the occasional book review and general day to day life updates. This blog will become your pocket guide to where to eat, where to go on holiday and what to do on your days off, all of which are accompanied by great photos. And it is worth consulting the guide, of the restaurants she's been to quite a few have now made it onto my list of places to go, including DF Mexico, and Dinosnores at The Natural History Museum is only my dream sleepover.

The history behind Not Quite Enough was that Lisa felt she wasn't getting enough out of London, she was stuck working hard and not playing as much as she wanted, so she decided to make more of London and start having some well deserved playtime. This is one of the reasons why I wanted to interview Lisa, as I was in the same situation when I first moved to London. Other reasons included her love for dinosaurs, where to eat recommendations and great taste in holiday destinations...she visited my home town (well, neighbouring town). In summary, I might be Lisa's number one blog fan. However, I'm open to challengers to knock me off my top spot, so go ahead and read the interview with Lisa below.


First things first, as a fellow London lady with a taste for good food, where are the best places to eat in town?

As much as I love eating out in wonderful restaurants with fancy food, I think that my favourite thing about the food scene in London is the vast array of street food purveyors. I love being able to eat food from a variety of cuisines and not pay a fortune for it. My favourite is Kimchinary who do the world’s most amazing Korean burritos. Their pulled pork burrito is definitely one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. They’re worth tracking down!

Having lived in London for 3 years, Not Quite Enough comes from you wanting to get more out of London and enjoying your life there away from the sofa, and you've certainly done that with going to the hottest new restaurants and events in town, do you ever think you'll have enough of London?

I really don’t think I ever will. When I was a child we used to visit London every year to see a musical, and from the age of about 10 I decided that when I was all grown up that I would live and work in London. There’s something about arriving in London which sort of makes me feel like I’m able to relax, like I’m supposed to be here. A lot of people I know are now starting to move to the outskirts of London to buy a house, one eye on having a spare bedroom and a garden for children one day, but I love being so close to all the goings on and can’t ever imagine moving out to the suburbs, it just wouldn't be the same.

We know a lot about what you like to do for play through your blog but what do you do for work?

For work I’m a solicitor, practising in a firm in the city, so that keeps me quite busy and can involve some pretty long hours. It’s my dream job though, it challenges me and forces me to develop so many skills and I can’t really imagine doing anything else. I love that even the partners still encounter new and difficult questions and situations even though they've been doing the job for years, it’s impossible to get bored of it. The thing I enjoy the most about blogging is that it’s so different from my day job, I enjoy being able to explore my creative side through photography and being able to write without having to agonise over the precise meaning and formulation of my words.

I've loved reading your posts and getting your perspective on exploring places, my favourites taking me down memory lane with trips to Margate and Bruges, but what's been your favourite place you've visited so far this year?

I’ve loved being able to do quite a lot of shorter breaks this year and really make the most of my precious annual leave. I loved Cordoba, it’s a fantastic city for a few days and it has whet my appetite to see more of Spain. The surprise place of this year was Tokyo which was a last-minute (for me) business trip. Japan has been top of my wish list for a while now and so to get to go was amazing, now I really want to go back and see everything I want to see but couldn’t in my one free day there.

Do you have any travel plans in the pipeline at the moment for next year?

Absolutely none, which is killing me as I need something to look forward to. The exams for the postgraduate course I’m doing at the moment are in May so I think any annual leave I do take until then will mostly be used for essay writing, studying and revision. However, once that’s over I’ll be looking to get away and some of the places I’d love to visit include Prague, Budapest, Lisbon, Thailand, New Zealand, Vienna and Seville (just to name a few).

What are your short-term/long-term goals for yourself and your blog and what are you doing to achieve them?

In terms of personal goals, I’m currently studying part-time for a postgraduate diploma related to my area of specialism, if I pass well enough then there is the option of doing a second year which would involve writing a dissertation and which would mean I end up with an MA, which I’d love. So I just have to make sure that I work hard enough to be able to of the second year. I’m also dying to have a house of my own (after ten years of renting being able to have something of my own would be amazing) so I’m gradually saving for a deposit and stamp duty which in London is crippling.

In terms of my blog, unlike a lot of bloggers, I have absolutely no desire to make it into a career or something I can make money from. I just hope that it will continue to inspire me to go out and do things, and provide a creative outlet for me to develop and improve my photography skills.

I'm off to Hamburg in December, having lived there previously, do you have any suggestions on where to go?

Oh exciting! I’m afraid I haven’t been there properly for a while now and so I can’t recommend specific bars and restaurants anymore, but the Schanzenviertel has a very cool East London vibe and should have some good options. The Reeperbahn (the red light district which also home to a number of bars and clubs) is tacky but is probably worth a visit.

As for daytime activities, a visit to Michaeliskirche (and a trip up to the top) and St. Nikolai Kirche (now a war memorial) are must-dos for me and a walk around the Speicherstadt (the old warehouse district gives a flavour of old Hamburg. Located in the Speicherstadt is Miniatur Wunderland which, if I were to describe it as a model railway would be a massive understatement. It’s apparently the largest model railway in the world and spans several rooms and more than one floor, it's a whole miniature world, where every few minutes the lights go out and the little twinkly lights in all the buildings turn on.

If you’re going in December though, I imagine the Christmas markets are the biggest draw. There are several dotted throughout the city with the biggest being in front of the Rathaus (town hall). I love the Christmas markets and my favourite thing to do after a day of lectures was to go down there with friends and hang out and drink Gluehwein and eat our way around the stalls. The mugs make great souvenirs if you’re happy to forfeit your deposit! Plus, three times a day in the afternoon, Santa ‘flies’ over the Christmas market, pausing in the middle to tell the story of Rudolph, it’s very cute.

If travel was no issue what would be your perfect day out? 

Although I hate the cold with a passion, my perfect day out would have to be a day spent at the Ice Hotel in Sweden. I’d spend the day snowmobiling, sipping on hot lingonberry juice and maybe even go on a dog sled safari, hoping to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights before turning in for the night in an ice room. Maybe one day...

And if the sofa was calling, your perfect night in? 

I must admit that I do love a good sofa night in and as I’m a girl of generally simple tastes, my perfect night in would involve a takeaway (pizza, Chinese or Indian), a bottle of wine, a packet of Fruit Gums and a few episodes of something not too emotionally or mentally taxing. Oh and probably my boyfriend too, although of course there's sometimes nothing better than some alone time - painting my nails, watching whatever I want to without compromising and not having to share food!

What up and coming blogs have you followed recently?

One of my favourite bloggers at the moment is Tamsin of A Certain Adventure, although I’ve been following for a while now she only started blogging in March and so I think she counts here. I love that her blog posts cover a wide variety of subjects and in such an intelligent way (plus, she loves a good dinosaur, as do I). Everyone should add her to their blog reader of choice.

To find out more about Lisa and keep up with her travels visit her blog Not Quite Enough.