Firstly, apologies about my disappearance, the past month has seen everything else in my life take a back seat whilst I’ve been running the final stretch of the dissertation marathon. On Friday I finally handed it in. It’s been all the things that I expected it to be: hard work, laborious, intense, draining and terrifying. But, to my complete surprise, I’ve actually really enjoyed it. I feel as though I’ve gained a wealth of knowledge and an appreciation for academic writing. Seeing all my research come together at the end has been quite overwhelming and I feel like I’ve completed one of the student milestones! I’ve finally joined the exclusive club that is known as ‘I hate dissertations’ and I now have a justified right to moan about spending numerous weekends tucked up with books. That’s right guys, I’m a degree student, with a completed dissertation!
There really is nothing like a dissertation to make you appreciate freedom! After handing it in, I feel as though I’m a bird let free from its cage. There are so many things I want to do and one of them is to get back to blogging…so here it goes!
Before I disappeared from society I visited my younger sister Zoe, in Plymouth. She has just begun her university degree studying phycology and welcomed me for a weekend of student antics and seaside views.
One of our first stops was The Caffeine Club, the almighty student haven that serves cooked breakfasts, burgers, nachos, milkshakes, smoothies, Panini’s and cocktails TWENTY FOUR hours a day. Situated just a few minutes from Plymouth halls, the majority of it's customer’s carry a student ID card. I know my dissertation would have been a lot easier if I could have popped over the road and grabbed a 'Terrys Chocolate orange mocha' at 4 o’ clock in the morning! Plus theres always the intriguing 'Discussing the Divine Comedy with Dante' picture to keep you entertained.
Upon arrival, I was overwhelmed by the casual jeans and hoody apparel that surrounded tables, being so used to students of the London College of Fashion sort I forgot that the standard UK degree student attire doesn’t usually contain killer heels, designer accessories and all black ensembles. I felt like i'd stumbled upon a muggle version of the Hogs Head.
The caffeine clubs extensive menu really is impressive, ranging from healthy goats cheese salad to the sober me up 'monster chips' with melted stilton topping, and all at student prices. Unfortunately, that isn’t a phrase that exists in London so naturally I treated it like an all you can eat buffet. The names of the dishes are worth it alone, 'Big MacDaddy' and 'Junk Yard Dog' are two particular favourites. I've never seen such an extensive selection of drinks either. With a Nutella hot chocolate, various vodka filled expressos and a peanut butter latte, it's fairly evident why this place is popular with students.I ordered the 'Get ya goat you've pulled' burger, a spicy bean burger topped with goats cheese, peppers and caramelised onion chutney. It also comes with chips, salad and coleslaw and costs just £6.45! It was absolutely delicious and very filling. If the portion sizes weren’t so big I would have happily tried one of the other meals, it was so cheap I couldn’t help but see it as a taster menu! Having heard my sister rave about the 2 pint milkshakes for months though I was determined to have one last treat. I had the 'Milkybar madness' milkshake, which tasted incredible and definitely a must for anyone who has a sweet tooth. My sister (a Caffein Club veteran) chose 'Death by chocolate', a concoction of brownies, chocolate buttons, chocolate sauce and chocolate froth. As delicious as they were, we were defeated.
The following day we went shopping and explored the coast line, it was lovely being so close to the ocean! Plymouth has a fascinating history and was once known as 'the servicemen's playground'. Today it is home to the largest naval base in western Europe.
As the sun began to set and the feeling in our cheeks began to disappear, we hastily made our way down to a sea view tapas bar called Maritimo. The warming colours and smell of paprika infused oil cooking away was a welcoming sight indeed. We ordered calamares fritos, fig & goats cheese parcels, patatas bravas, chorizo in wine and tomato bread. The food was absolutely divine, and I was extremely impressed with the amount of calamari I received. Can all calamari portions be like this please?
Despite shamelessly demolishing off all the plates, we ordered the most gorgeous churros! The prices were also very reasonable and if anyone finds themselves in Plymouth, I recommend checking it out.
That evening I ‘got down’ with the cool kids and joined them for a wild night of predrinking Sainsbury’s own vodka and replacing basic human needs such as sleep and water with jagerbombs. With club names like ‘Cuba’ and ‘Bang bang’ it was as expected, filled with students, a completely different experience compared to the city boys adorned in suits that grace the London party scene. That being said, I absolutely loved being carefree, young and experiencing the student lifestyle!