Wednesday Walks | Doctor Who Experience

Being a nerd, I quite like a bit of Doctor Who – so, obviously I needed to visit the famed Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff Bay. The building is in Porth Teigr, not far from the BBC Studios where filming for Doctor Who takes place.  Though it’s not exactly the cheapest, the general admission ticket allows you to enjoy the Interactive Experience as well as a wander around the Exhibition Hall.  When I went, the interactive part starred the Eleventh Doctor (AKA Matt Smith) but since then they seemed to have updated it with the Twelfth (Peter Capaldi).  The Interactive Experience is made for the little ones, but it doesn’t mean I didn’t poo myself when it came to Weeping Angels section.  It was dark and had the odd flash of light to illuminate the Weeping Angels as you walked passed – to make it look as though they were moving every time you blinked.  Nope.  Nope.  NOPE.  (I’m a bit of a scaredy cat, could you tell?)

I would definitely class the Doctor Who Experience as a museum visit, due to the extensive amount of props, costumes and sets, almost all which have been used during the filming of various episodes across a 50 year span – which is AWESOME. Now we weren’t allowed to take photos or film the Interactive bit, but we did have free reign in the Exhibition Hall to take as many photos as we wanted.  I won’t be sharing ALL the photos I took (mainly because there are too many), but because it would take away from personally experiencing it for yourself – so I have included just a few of my favourites.

Wednesday Walks | Doctor Who Experience | Tenth Doctor

Wednesday Walks | Doctor Who Experience | Eleventh Doctor

Wednesday Walks | Doctor Who Experience | Tardis Console

Wednesday Walks | Doctor Who Experience | Tardis

Wednesday Walks | Doctor Who Experience | Cyberman

Wednesday Walks | Doctor Who Experience Dalek

Wednesday Walks | Doctor Who Experience | Weeping Angel

Wednesday Walks | Doctor Who Experience | Eleventh Doctor Tardis

Needed a picture with Tennant’s Tardis of course

I really enjoyed my time at the Doctor Who Experience, and think it’s a great place to check out if you haven’t already – especially if your children enjoy watching Doctor Who!  I’ll definitely be going back again and hopefully get a chance to do The TARDIS Tour and the Walking Tour.

You can check out my previous posts when I visited the National Museum Cardiff for a bit of a natural history fix and also when I checked out the Museum of Science & Industry in Manchester.

Thank you for reading this post, and please do give it a like if you have enjoyed it (and give the blog a follow using the links if you haven’t already!).  Let me know if you have visited the Doctor Who Experience before, and if so, what did you think? Leave me a comment below 🙂

Until next time! x

Wednesday Walks | Museum of Science & Industry Manchester

If you didn’t know already, I love museums.  I love strolling through them and immersing myself in history, culture and art – always makes me feel like I’m learning something new about the world all the time.

Today’s post features my visit to the Museum of Science & Industry in Manchester, on what was a very cold, wet and windy day.  Horrific.  Unfortunately this was not helped by the fact that the Museum itself is split up into four separate buildings (all of which are very large warehouse type buildings, meaning there isn’t a lot of heat!) and that I have terrible circulation.

Nevertheless, I got to see some awesome stuff, some of which I took some very rubbish pictures of! (Not totally my fault – it was just a very dimly lit museum!)

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This very delicate garment is made entirely out of dandelion seeds – how cool is that!? IMG_5645

 I know it’s a turbine, but I just imagined that it was a very large seashellIMG_5650 IMG_5652 IMG_5654 IMG_5655 IMG_5658 IMG_5642

Aside from the terrible weather, I had a good little browse.  I think it’s a great sort of place for a family day out as it’s right in the middle of Spinningfields – so afterwards there are plenty of places to grab a bite to eat or do a little bit of shopping.  I’ll be sure to check it out again…maybe when the weather warms up a bit and stops raining!

Don’t forget to check out how I spent my lunch break last week at The National Museum Cardiff.

If you have enjoyed this post, please do give it a like (and give the blog a follow too using the buttons if you already haven’t!) And comment below if you have been to the Museum of Science & Industry before, and if so, what did you think?

Until next time! x

Wednesday Walks | National Museum Cardiff

If you read Stylist, you may have heard about the #ReclaimYourLunchBreak campaign, aimed to get people out of the office and away from their desks for an hour in order to create a better work-life balance.  This is such a great campaign, as so many people will work through lunch with a sad little sandwich to see them through, often leaving them tired and low.  In support of this campaign, I decided to go out and get a little bit of fresh air and wandered down to the National Museum for a bit.

I absolutely adore going to museums, I love to walk around and immerse myself in the history of our world and learn things I never knew before, so this was always going to be a good idea!  Aside from the day being as gloomy as it could possibly be, I went along to see what I could nose at for an hour.






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It was actually really nice to be able to stretch my legs and have a walk around, even if it was only an hour long, but I definitely felt that I had a bit more energy and focus for the rest of the day, and I saw some pretty cool things too!

Are you one to chain yourself to your desk and work straight through your lunch hour, or do you relish an opportunity to escape when you can?  Don’t forget to like this post if you have enjoyed reading (and give me a follow too using the links!) and comment below if you have any lunch break escape ideas 🙂

Until next time! x

Exploring Britain | Wales: Ogmore-by-Sea

If you live in South Wales, then chances are you have been to Ogmore-by-Sea at least once.  I used to come here with my family when I was a little girl, and my siblings and I would have hours of fun playing in the little rock pools and building sandcastles.  Ogmore-by-Sea is a wonderful place to explore, and as you can see, I had quite a bit of fun fiddling around with the settings on the DSLR to try and capture some of the dramatic scenery that day.  As beaches and sea fronts tend to go, it was a little more chilly than it was in Cardiff, even in summer, so make sure to wear an extra layer or two!  If you have never been to Ogmore before, there are quite a few craggy rocks about before you reach the sand so sensible footwear is also a good idea (and not flip flops like I was wearing!).









 If you couldn’t already tell, it was a VERY windy day at Ogmore.






Although the pictures I took that day concentrate on the beach, there are actually quite a few different activities you could do in the area such as trails and walks, pony trekking (check out Ride on the Beach) and if you’re brave enough – swimming!  There are also two castles in the area to explore, Ogmore Castle and Candleston Castle.  There are also a few places to eat, namely a lovely little country pub called The Pelican in her Piety which offers up hearty home cooked food – just what you need after a long day exploring.  However, nothing beats watching the sun slowly sinking in the horizon whilst you’re wrapped up in warm layers a few blankets and a little picnic.  A great day out for all the family (and the dogs!).

More information can be found on the following websites:

Have you ever been to Ogmore-by-Sea?  What are your favourite beaches/sea fronts that you like to visit around Britain and why?  Do let me know in the comments below 🙂

Until next time! x

Fresh New Look

If you haven’t already noticed, my blog has undergone a slight change.

Firstly, I have a new domain name – I did think about using a creative and/or obscure title (I did title my blog as ‘The Toasted Brunette’ for a little while) but in the end I stuck with using my name… well, a shortened version of my name anyway!  Let’s face it, ‘Samaiyyah Siddique’ is a tad too long and I only have but 25 years of experience of just about everyone getting the spelling wrong.

Secondly, I have moved my blog from Blogger to WordPress.  No offence to Blogger, I think it’s a great tool for beginners to use and plenty of well known bloggers still use it but personally I feel that WordPress offers me more.  My blog now has a clean, fresh look to it which will hopefully allow my writing and photos to take centre stage.

Thirdly, you may have spotted the sub-title now reads ‘Lifestyle | Food | Travel’.  For a while now, I have wanted to expand the contents of my blog as I seem to have been concentrating on the ‘Lifestyle’ genre more than I originally intended to.  

I absolutely love to cook, especially if it’s baking.  I will be hoping to do more posts about the things I cook and bake (including any kitchen mishaps) along with the recipes and method I use so you can also give it a go!

In case you are wondering, the cake below was a 4 tiered spiced apple birthday cake I made – it smelled like Christmas ❤


Another passion of mine will be to start blogging about the places I have travelled to in a little series called ‘Exploring Britain’ which I aim to start soon as I have been to some wonderfully lovely places this year right here on my doorstep.  It will be nice to share that with you all as people often tend to overlook the things nearest to them.


Now that I’m feeling more confident about how my new blog looks and feels, I am looking forward to churning out a lot more posts!

RAWR! (Bank Holiday weekend at Longleat Safari & Adventure Park)

Yesterday was my niece Nina’s Birthday so we decided to go to Longleat Safari and Adventure Park.  Though I think I have been there once in my childhood, I certainly don’t have any memories of going there.
Saturday really was a lovely and sunny day to start with but as we got further to Longleat (situated 45 minutes outside of Bath) the weather grew a little colder and cloudier which was a bit of a shame.  Due to the Easter holidays this meant that every man, woman and child had also up and left their nests early in the morning to go and explore the Great British outdoors.  Unfortunately for us that meant the queues when we had arrived at the Safari Park were overflowing like no tomorrow!
We had four cars full of people and as usual we had to park up on some grassy knoll near the African Village and wait for them.  Apart from the fact that we were eating out cars, it was actually not a bad picnic spot and there was plenty of scrummy food to go around (and lots of snacks too!).  Once the final car had turned up and we had a chance to chow down, we went on our way into the Safari.
There was an immense amount of traffic through the park that stretched for miles on end.  This also meant that the line was slow moving and I don’t think I touched third gear the whole time I was in there.  As you can imagine, the hold up wasn’t helped by the fact that cars would want to stop and take pictures of all the animals they could find, my car included!
One of the best areas of any Safari drive would have to be the Monkey Drive Thru!  Though, you are warned prior to entering the area that not only do the monkeys climb on the cars but that they will cause some sort of damage.  Of course, this didn’t put anybody off.  My little sister and cousin were quite disappointed that no monkeys wanted to climb on my car (maybe they have a thing against Nissan Micras?) but I did get some great shots otherwise.  Can you spot the monkey in the first picture?



I always find it quite cool to see exotic animals just roaming about minding their own business, and though safety is imperative you can see that the animals are so used to seeing humans and cars that it has become the norm for them to be ogled at.


The longest of the queuing was spent in the Big Cats section.  Everyone wants to see a big, beautiful and powerful animal in the flesh.  Of course you are warned that you are strictly not allowed to open your windows or get out of your cars (though some people did sneakily open their windows) because tigers, lions and cheetahs are dangerous and unpredictable.


The thing I was the most excited to see was the penguins!  They are by far my most favourite animal.  They are awesome!  When I found out you were allowed to feed them we went and inquired but they had run out of fish to sell us!  How could they run out!?  I was almost tempted to kidnap a penguin… But don’t worry, I didn’t!  Pretty sure that’s a felony (please don’t go kidnapping penguins!).






Little yellow trains can be rickety too!


Shameless “outside the dodgy toilet” selfie.


Beware, big cats can be dangerous – RAWR!


And finally, Madame Butterfly (who looks a tad moody because she was tired out) on her Birthday.


Did you guys do anything fun this Bank Holiday weekend? 🙂

A Big Fat Asian Wedding

If you’re Asian you know that an invitation to someone’s wedding means one thing:
And that is exactly what my family and myself have been doing these last few weekends is preparing everything from travel arrangements to what we would be wearing.  I had gone to Birmingham to get my outfit – this style is called a Churidar (usually a long dress accompanied with skinny trousers).  I had purchased my outfit from a shop on Soho Road called Jia Creations Designer Wear and though it was a tad expensive, I really loved the colour and the design of the embroidery and jewels.  What you see here is how it came in the shop – unfitted and minus some sleeves.
The actual wedding was at Fennes Manor House, Essex and I have just noticed that I did not take a single picture of the front of the Manor as parking was situated at the back by the barns.  Being that there were twenty-seven of us (kids included) from Cardiff, we had booked nine rooms at the closest Holiday Inn Express that had availability.  I was one of the drivers and my poor little Nisssan Micra had to deal with the extra weight and I often found myself whispering to it and willing it to move up hills!  I wouldn’t say that I am normally a nervous driver, I just have this thing where if I haven’t been to a certain place before I need all the help and concentration I can muster – having an integrated satnav helps but being able to hear the satnav lady also helps!  I was a bit of a grumpy driver on the way I’ll admit but we made it there in one piece!
I love that feeling when you finally arrive at your destination after such a long journey and you see something cosy that you want to fall face down onto.  After collection ALL the stuff from our cars (clothes, food bags, rubbish, handbags) and checked in, stuff was then dumped into the rooms and I face-planted a pillow.
The rest of the evening consisted of sorting out everything that was needed for the next day as we had to check out as well.  Of course everyone also did a quick job of painting their nails to match their clothes, I didn’t have quite the right colour gold but I was knackered and it was close enough!.
The next morning, after (little, on my part) sleep there was the usual scramble to use the shower/hairdryer/straighteners/mirrors – you can imagine how long it takes the average girl to get ready but when you have at least 3+ sharing a room you can imagine the madness.  Myself and N2 had been nominated to do what seemed like everybody’s makeup.  I had a queue of the younger girls who wanted sparkly eyes and little cat flicks and N2 had a queue of the mothers.  I brought my Urban Decay Naked 2 and 3 palettes as I do more nude looks and N1 and N2 brought their Urban Decay Book of Shadows palette which consists of a lot more intense colours.  I think I was one of the last ones to finish getting ready after all that!
The wedding itself was a segregated wedding, which I have to say I haven’t actually been to before so it was an interesting experience.  The manor was quaint and had that old vintage charm to it and the two halls were cordoned off with a separate walkway for the ladies to get to their hall.  I am a sucker for fairy lights and candles and this wedding wasn’t short of any!  The best thing about coming to the wedding was seeing my sister and nephews and seeing how much they’ve grown and seeing them in their adorable clothes – how can you not love a kid in a little suit?


The Three Musketeers
Dad and Isa
Isa – AKA “00 Dangerous”
Mum and Myself
My Niece and Me
Baby Nuh and his chubbly cheeks
Farah, Myself and Isa
Zara, Granny and Myself
Nina and Myself
The Bride and Myself
As you can see, there were a fair amount of selfies taken at this wedding – but what I found is that when a wedding is segregated there’s not an awful lot to see in what I’ve become used to at other Asian weddings I’ve been to.  I have another wedding to attend in May which I am quite excited about because it will be the first non-Asian wedding I have ever been to (ok so it’s just the reception, but still!) and I need to start finding a nice non-Asian dress to wear (YAY!).
What has been the most interesting wedding you have been to and why?

When in Caerphilly

I always like to have a bit of an explore but I find that I don’t get many chances these days to do so.  I feel somewhat ashamed that, apart from in my childhood I have never really explored any surrounding areas around Cardiff properly.
I really am a big nerd and love walking around historical sites and museums so was excited when I finally got to have a look around Caerphilly Castle and let me tell you, it is bigger than I thought!  I had a local tour guide show me around – my best pal Nathan.  My sense of direction is quite awful so it was just as well he was there otherwise I might not have made it back!  From this shot you really can’t tell just how big the place is but as you can see it was a lovely day if not a tad muddy (I really should have worn my wellies).
Nathan @ Caerphilly Castle
When you look at an aerial shot you can get a better idea of it’s true size – making it the largest castle in Wales.
Caerphilly Castle
Caerphilly Castle and grounds
As it was numbingly cold I attempted to take as many pictures as I could so it was just as well that I had my nifty smart phone compatible gloves with me as I think otherwise, my fingers may have fallen off from frostbite.  I have to say that as awesome as it all was walking around and looking at the ruins, I wish there was more… stuff.  Stuff like more plaques with information to read about certain areas or what certain rooms might have been used for, or even having items and objects displayed in those rooms as all of them were bare.
Taking sneaky shots of my tour guide
Wooden carving “holding up” the leaning tower
The bareness of the Castle was beginning to get to him…
When we got to the Great Hall we were greeted by a man who referred to us as “Sire” and “Lady” (I am definitely no Lady) and just before he went on his break he told us that that they were doing talks about castle life for all the school children visiting for the day but had covered up the tables of pretend food so that no one nicked anything.  Nathan mentioned that usually there were various shields and armour displayed in the Hall but all that remained were some flags and a few tables.
The Great Hall was by far the prettiest of rooms and have found that quite a few people have hired this as a wedding reception venue which I thought was quite lovely – the room has a lovely sort of rustic look if you’re into that sort of thing.
Great Hall ceiling
A quick photo before masses of school children turn up
There were various statues and models of some things such as how the castle defences would work, complete with sound effects.
I did spend most of the day playing photographer as I had just gotten my new iPhone 5s as a birthday present, so was excited to play around with different shots as I was wandering about – I have to say I am quite impressed with the quality of pictures.
I am quite nerdy when it comes to taking photos of ruin – I guess I just fancy myself as a bit of a photographer sometimes (I must get it from my dad) – you can see that I got quite into it and I’m sure Nathan was shaking his head at me when I wasn’t looking!
What I found quite interesting was that, as many times as the castle came under siege, it was never once taken – meaning it had one bad ass defence system in place!  Some of the castle was cordoned off for safety reasons but it really made me want to climb on all the rocks even more and pretend I was Indiana Jones.
Speaking of bad ass defence systems… the picture doesn’t do it justice really as the trebuchet was HUGE and probably works to this day.  I’m sure it could still do plenty of damage.
I believe this was called the Ballista, I might be making that up but it was basically a massive sort of crossbow and is quite heavy to operate.  At this point whilst we were checking it out, a gaggle of small school children turned up and joined us and blocked us in.  They kept attempting to lift the weapon and move it around, which, fair play to them they actually managed to do between five of them.  The teacher who was with them kept apologising to us and then made a side remark that watching and listening to the kids was actually hilarious – he wasn’t wrong.  Instantly, these kids and their amazing imaginations were pretending they were part of a siege and began “loading and firing” the weapon and trying to take down the castle and barking orders at each other.  Eventually we managed to escape with good timing as we had spotted a kid that was the spitting image of the character of Russell from ‘Up’ (except he was ginger) and Nathan could not stop giggling every time he caught sight of this kid.
Ballista… I think!
I guess maybe the castle is a little more bare in the winter months because of the weather perhaps, so it might be worth re-visiting in the summer when the warmer weather returns and we remember to take a packed lunch with us – by the time we were done I was cold, sniffly and starving!  But it was a good day out with my best pal in any case – I should learn to get out and explore more!