While in Northern Ireland, Karen was determined to get us in the water and have a go at surfing... OK, I stuck with body boarding, but it was still something I had never done before. It was so much fun! After a chilled out first day, we got up on Thursday ready for a day on the waves. With the boards balanced on the roof of Karen's car, we travelled up to Coleraine on the north coast and got stuck in. Despite the vile-tasting seawater rushing up through my nose and down my throat after falling off my board a couple of times, I LOVED IT, and if you have never done it, go and do it!
I hadn't been to the beach since last summer and I couldn't wait to be beside the sea again. I feel like the coast is where I should end up. I was born in Dover, but moved to Wales when I was 12, so I never really made the most of living by the sea. Now when I'm on a beach, I find it so relaxing, even just watching the waves come in. It's such a natural kind of beauty and it's a great place to be with friends, and on your own too.
After a couple of hours in the water we headed back to the car, dried and changed and drove down the road for some food at Bob and Berts. I swear food never tasted so good. We were exhausted.
Bob and Berts is exclusive to Northern Ireland, and specialises in coffee, but serves food too – hot and cold, sweet and savoury – making it quite the hangout for passersby like us, as well as locals. Like Niki's, this place had so much to choose from and it took me a while to decide what to order.
There were even more cakes than the ones I photographed. Just look at them. That coffee cake was calling my name, but I needed something savoury first.
Everything was presented so beautifully – how gorgeous is the table centre piece?
I had worked up quite the appetite in the sea so I wanted something nice and savoury to fill me up, as well as warm drink to warm my insides, and I can never say no to brie and bacon...
It came with two side salads of my choice so I picked the beetroot and orange and the salsa which were really good. Bethan and I also got fries to share but they were gone before I could take a photo.
My mocha came with a little flake balanced on the rim of the glass – so sweet! And I can honestly say that this was the nicest mocha I have ever tasted. EVER. You know how some places make it and it just tastes like milky coffee? This was like a proper hot chocolate with a hint of coffee. Exactly how it should be.
I swear, food never tasted so good as it did after spending two hours body boarding in the sea. It's not even like we were working that hard, it was so much fun, but I was SO hungry and cold afterwards that my first visit to Bob and Berts was one to remember and I'll definitely be returning when I'm next in Northern Ireland.
Have you been to Bob and Berts? There are three of them in Northern Ireland and I highly recommend you go and grab a coffee, brunch or late lunch in one of them. Its atmosphere was relaxed and homely – similar to Niki's – maybe it's an Irish thing? Find out more about Bob and Berts here.