Let It Beet: Iceland Edition

Let it beet! Aka, a post dedicated to my favourite vegan spot in Reykjavik, Iceland.

An introduction to Gló.

During my time in Iceland, I was a meat-eater. However, like everyone should, I was making a conscious effort to eat less meat, and choose regular veggie options. For the first couple of days I thought grabbing my own options at the supermarket would be easier due to the language barrier and not doing enough research beforehand into the best vegan restaurants. Luckily, I came across Gló.

…and I’m so sad it only exists in Iceland.

But, if you are planning a trip to Iceland I would highly, highly recommend popping in. A common misconception of Vegan food is that you have to eat salad, and the food that you eat has no flavour. This is so wrong. As time goes on we are finding more and more protein options to replace meat, but that taste just as good if not the same. Gló was a perfect example of that, and whilst eating, I never thought about the fact that I wasn’t actually eating meat.

As you walk in, you are met with a “food bar”. Here, you can either choose a bowl option that is already made up or you can choose the varying different elements that make up your Gló bowl. The options are endless, and full of flavour.

A main aspect of Gló that I love, is their passion for the world. Their passion for protecting the planet we live on and caring for the environment that surrounds us. Glow constantly works to make fruit and vegetables mainstream since it was founded. More than 90% of the raw Gló restaurants are vegan, making sauces without dairy and from scratch. The idea of making meals from scratch is something that I feel passionate about. Cutting out pre-packaged foods and the sheer amount of plastic that comes with those, is highly important to me and a subject that I believe everyone should be aware of.

I am not in any way writing this blog post with the intention of forcing someone to eat less meat, or even cut meat out of their diet completely. I am writing this post to make you aware of the incredible options out there for the non-meat eaters, or even if you are fancying a full veggie meal. The stigma of only having to eat a salad needs to be banished, and this post is a simple push in order of making people aware of what you can eat without having to consume animal produce.

To look further at Gló, check out their website below:

https://www.glo.is/

*Disclaimer*

All opinions written within this post are my own. All photography was taken by myself. To book for Videography or Photography, please visit my website http://www.chandlermedia.co.uk 

No Signal & No People

My experience spending the night in a Bothy.

Something I had never even heard of up until a couple of weeks ago, when I made the decision to stay in one overnight for the purpose of a documentary myself and my team were shooting.

What is a bothy you ask?

Well, a bothy (in Scotland) is described as a small hut or cottage, used to home farm labourers or for the use of mountain refuge. Or, in our case, a home for the night in the middle of the wilderness. After weeks of preparation and planning into the routes we were going to take across the Highlands, we decided to choose one specific Bothy and spend the night.

Jumping in at the deep end, the first time I was going to visit this Bothy, would also be the first time I stayed an entire night, and due to the nights drawing in a lot quicker this time of year – it would mean we spent a large amount of our time in darkness.

To give you an idea of what is inside a bothy – to be honest, very little. The simple purpose of a Bothy, to provide shelter and (very little) warmth. No signal, no facilities, no food or water just a room with a fireplace and window. To a few people, I’m sure this sounds slightly daunting and not everyone’s cup of tea. I understand that, and I was also slightly nervous about what I was letting myself in for.

However, I actually thoroughly enjoyed the experience. If you are well prepared with food, water, warm clothing, a positive mindset and potentially a group of people – the entire experience of staying completely in the wilderness is exciting and almost something you could become addicted to.

How to stay in a Bothy

Simply turn up. One of the main differences between a hotel and a bothy, is the fact that you do not need to book. A Bothy is free to stay.

Although the idea of this is exciting, an aspect that I was certainly worried about was the fact that anyone could walk into the Bothy, at any point during the night, and would also be potentially sharing a room with you. This didn’t actually happen to me, however the Bothy we chose to stay in actually had numerous rooms – so this worry disappeared pretty quickly.

Our fascination with Bothies started when my colleague and bestfriend, Tom, grabbed ‘The Bothy Bible’ by Geoff Allan from Waterstones. The book tells the ins and outs of “bothying” and everything there is to offer. The book shares the locations of these odd little houses, how many people they sleep and a bit of background information on each.

We used this as our guide to Bothies.

As you can see in the image above, I managed to capture a picture of one of the visitor books left in the Bothy. These books were highly interested (a little strange in some areas), but told stories of each of the other guests that had previously taken our place and stayed in our Bothy. I was somewhat glad I read the book and some of the stories it had to offer after spending the night as some were a little creepy to say the least. (It goes without saying that I was glad we chose not to stay in the attic).

How the night went

After arriving at the Bothy mid-afternoon, we decided to grab as much (already fallen) wood that we could, before nightfall. This is something I would highly recommend you do as after the sun goes down, this task becomes significantly more difficult.

After this, we began setting out our sleeping bags, and began making the fire. We did this early so we could warm up the room before the evening when we knew the temperature was going to drop. After doing this, lighting a few candles and grabbing a bite to eat, the room instantly had a “cosy” feel to it. We played music and games, sat by the fire and had long, deep conversations late into the night.

When it came to sleeping, I’m going to be honest, I am a slight wimp when it comes to the dark and this is mainly down to being a horror movie fanatic. I slept OK – drifting in and out of sleep throughout the night, jumping up as soon as we saw the first signs of daylight. Apart from the odd noise or two and the loudest mouse I have ever heard, the night wasn’t so bad after all. One thing I am sure of however, is that it gets really cold in the Bothy. Ok, we didn’t choose the warmest time to year to start this expedition, but nevertheless a Bothy is essentially a wooden shed with no form of heating, so please do pack enough warm clothing and a heavy duty sleeping bag.

However, from a Filmmaker and Photographer’s point of view – these Bothies were well worth the trip. At least for the Bothy we stayed in, the views surrounding the exterior were utterly beautiful. Surrounding us for miles upon miles of stunning mountains, it really was a photographer’s dream, and I would highly recommend delving into a trip like this simply for the views and potential captures.

If you are planning a trip or even a stay in a Bothy, I would highly recommend purchasing Geoff Allan’s book and utilising his advice to do some serious research into the perfect Bothy for you. You can purchase his book below, using the following link:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Scottish-Bothy-Bible-complete-Scotland/dp/191063610X

Our documentary will be released within the next few weeks, so I will keep you updated on it’s progress and of course, post a link for you to watch when you have the chance.

Ultimate Beach Dress: Barbados Edition

The Ultimate Beach Dress: Barbados Edition

On the final leg of our travels across Iceland, Canada and America – we visited the beautiful Barbados. Staying in the heart of Bridgetown, it had always been a childhood dream of mine to experience the Caribbean culture and epic scenery in which surrounds it.

Before arriving in Barbados, I had researched into almost every aspect that the country had to offer – this including the weather.

The Arrival

By the time we made it to Bridgetown, it was the 11th of September, so it was around the time that hurricanes and storms were present within the area, meaning that we had 36 degree heat during the day, and treacherous rain at night. This didn’t bother me in the slightest, it just meant that I could wear the one dress I decided to bring with me that I was ever so desperate to take some photos in.

Before this trip, it had never been in my interests to purchase an item of clothing from Free People. This is simply because I have always felt that the clothing items they do offer, feature a boho style to them – obviously something that I can’t get much wear out of living in the UK.

However, I decided to treat myself for the purpose of the trip. I purchased the most beautiful maxi length dress, with a deep burgundy and cream floral pattern across the entirety of the dress. The style meant that the dress offered a low V neckline, and a long, floor-length skirt which captured the light and fell beautifully.

I didn’t actually purchase the dress from the Free People website, I decided to use ASOS, as they do stock a wide array of Free People items.

When the dress arrived, I instantly fell in love and I couldn’t wait to capture the most idyllic looking photos wearing it.

As you can see from the images featured, the dress is perfectly suitable for a beach holiday. Although the material is to the highest of qualities, it didn’t feel too heavy or warm to wear it during the evenings. Although long sleeved, the dress felt airy, due to the light and flowy skirt which fell and looked stunning against the sunset behind me.

After purchasing the dress, Free People has become a brand that I would love to delve and experiment further with. Although their styles may be more suited to a warmer climate, the quality and general style of the clothing pieces is stunning. I do not have an exact link to this dress on the ASOS Website as it was bought back in June of this year – however, ASOS do offer various different dresses with similar styles.

If you have any further questions on sizing, or the style of the dress – please do not hesitate to leave a comment below or private message me on my Instagram (wherekatiewanders), so we can have a chat.