November’s etc. round up

I’ve decided to start doing a bit of an etc. round up at the end of each month, discussing my favourite eats, places I’ve travelled and what I’ve created. Plus any thing extra I feel worth noting down too. It’s already the mid December so I definitely won’t guarantee a ‘last day of the month’ posting, but I’ll aim for it!


We’ve started eating at home more often to try to be healthier. I’ve got a biiig pinterest board full of veggie recipes we’re eating our way through (there’s obviously some recipes on there which do not fall into the ‘healthy’ category) . It also means that when I do go out, I want it to be somewhere I either love or somewhere new. The thing with Hanoi is that it’s so cheap and easy to eat out/takeaway, so we’d be doing that most nights, but I suppose that meant the food didn’t need to be amazing.

So, here are my best foodie finds from November:

  • Dragon Cello
    A lovely Italian restaurant perfect if you want something a bit fancier for a dinner with friends or date night. It’s out of the main tourist area, it’s stylishly decorated and the food is good. I had an aubergine pasta which was delicious, and now I want to go back to try the pizzas!
  • Tranquil Coffee
    Anyone who follows me on instagram will know about Tranquil Coffee – I’ve posted about them a LOT recently. It’s my new favourite weekend hang out when I’ve got reading or writing I want to do. You have to be quiet, so it’s peaceful and calm. The mochas are great and so are the waffles.
Tranquil Coffee
  • Ma Xó
    Another Truc Bach hotspot I’ve been meaning to visit for months is Ma Xó. I headed there for brunch and sat on the terrace with a view over the lake, making a great start to a Sunday. I ordered Shakshuka, without eggs (yep, essentially just tomato sauce), but with halloumi (because my attempts to be vegan are curtailed by cheese). It comes with roti. Halloumi + roti + shakshuka saucey stuff is the thing of dreams. You heard it here first.
  • Sồi Đỏ
    This pizza place (yes, I love Italian food) is less than 5 minutes walk from my apartment, yet it’s taken all this time to visit. There’s a big range: you can choose different sizes, different crusts and obviously toppings. The pizzas are good – I can’t comment on the rest of the menu because it’s mostly meaty. A good option if you’re around Truc Bach or want something less busy.


It’s taken 16 months of living here for us to have a month firmly based in Hanoi. Every other month we’ve popped somewhere for the weekend or had a school holiday planned. We did toy with the option of a weekend break near Hanoi this November, but decided against it in the end.

I feel like I’ve had chance to fall in love with Hanoi again. November is my favourite month here – temperatures are in the low 20s, pollution isn’t usually too high and there’s not much rain. I’ve enjoyed wandering round my neighbourhood without getting too hot and bothered. I haven’t felt like I needed to get away.

Plus, I’ve been doing major travel planning for New Zealand later this month and Cambodia with my parents in January. I’ve been researching, planning, booking so much and I’m so excited for what the next couple of months hold travel wise!


On the whole, this month was about writing and photography. I didn’t draw much and when I tried, I had major creative block. So I’ve had a break and been writing for some other publications and my journalism course.

On my strolls around Hanoi, and with the great weather providing good light, I’ve enjoyed stopping and taking pictures of the quirky buildings in the city, all shared on my instagram. I’ve got something lined up for those when I get chance! I also bought a new camera (the Olympus Pen EPL-9) which I’ll review after I’ve had a proper chance to use it in NZ. I did a photography class for a couple of hours to get to grips with the camera and was really pleased with some of the pictures. Maybe it’s finally time for me to start shooting on manual mode!

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