Monthly Archives: February 2015

Jamie’s Italian in Bath, England


Family night dinners become a special place in your life once you get married and have children.  For my husband and I, who rarely get a date night without the kids, choosing a great location is key.  Choosing where to eat out with the family can involve many decisions that may include:

– What distance is it from the house?
– How easy will it be to get there?
– Will we need to make a reservation?
– Do they have a kids menu?


For food lovers like my husband and I, we really want to go somewhere that not only has a great menu but somewhere that has been talked about highly by our friends and coworkers.  Jamie’s in Bath has been one of those places we have been excited about trying out.  A few weeks ago we were invited to have our family night dinner at  Jamie’s Italian Bath.


We really liked the atmosphere and friendly staff upon our arrival.  While it was a busy time of night and looked like they were fully booked, our waiter was very attentive and helpful.  The boys really liked the over head lighting which striked a resemblence to the Pixar lamp. It gave great lighting for our food for all of our instagram photos of our expat life and travels to share with family and friends around the world. I had a difficult time choosing just one thing to order off the menu.  It was not for the lack of enticing options and I ended up choosing a couple of half sizes with the promise that my husband would share his choice too.  I like to keep my options open. A nod to my father who would change his order if anyone ordered the same dish.  Sharing is caring and with that let me show you the coolest kid menus by far.



You are seeing correctly.  The view masters, a popular toy since the 1960’s, have replaced the paper menu at Jamie’s Italian resturant in Bath.  While they still get a tried and true activity placemat with dining options, the view master was a huge hit and stole the show. The retro toy gave a futuristic experience to the family night dinner and displayed what each main course looked liked on the plate before they made their order.  Plus while they kids play with their menus it gives us time to focus on our menus too.


We decided to order both off the main menu and from the specials.  After splitting half of Ryan’s dinner, it was clear that was a perfect choice.


We began with our starters of cured meats and seasoned vegetables.  The antipasto boards contained a selection of fennel salami, pistachio mortadella, prosciutto & schiacciata piccante, chargrilled & marinated vegetables, mini buffalo mozzarella, pecorino & chilli jam, pickles, olives, and crunch kale slaw. It was one bite after another of satisfying tastes and was truely delicious.


For my main selection we chose two half portions of the following mains from Jamie’s Italian pasta menu.  Pictured above is the Squid & Mussel Spaghetti Nero. It contains a flash-fried squid & mussels with slow-cooked octopus, capers, and anchovie in a tomato and white wine sauce.  I almost wished I had just ordered the full size until I tried the equally yummy Penne Carbonara, pictured below.  With crispy chunks of smoked pancetta and sweet buttery leeks, this was a comforting dish that reminded me of my years growing up in Naples, Italy.  I would definitely reccomend both dishes, or even say try something I did not order off the menu.  Just remember to tell me how it was so I might try it next time too.



Ryan ordered one of the specials, the pulled pork, which made me want to break my father’s cardinal rule of ordering food.  It was so good I could have easily had my own plate so that I did not have to share.  Since family dinner night is all about sharing and having a good time, we did just that and saved room for dessert too.




Ice cream was had by all. Since it was a special night out I had my ice cream on top of a brownie.  This epic brownie was served warm with vanilla ice cream and topped with caramelised popcorn.


Of course Ryan and I had to finish it all off with espresso and some final dinner conversations.  When you are enjoying a night out you definitely have to make the most of every moment.  We really enjoyed our selves and left with full tummies and smiles on our faces.


After going to Jamie Oliver’s Italian resturant in Bath I know we will have to return again.  Not just for another fun family night dinner, but so we can try some of the other things that looked so good but did not get to order this time around.  It is a great place for a date night or with the family and it does not disappoint.  Until next time, ci vidamo!


Q: Have you been to Jamie’s yet? If yes, where and what did you order?  If no, what are you looking forward to trying?  You can see their full menu here:  Jamie’s Italian Bath



Paris Opera House

Next week will be the themed Travel Tuesday for March and the theme chosen by Amanda is:

‘Local legends’ | The urban myths and stories you have come upon while traveling, in your expat, life, or ones from your hometown.

I have Amanda guest posting a few times this month as co-host for Travel Tuesday. Without further word from me here is Amanda!



Hello everyone and welcome to Travel Tuesday! My name is Amanda and I blog over at Rhyme & Ribbons. I’m originally from America, but I live in London now. I’ve been lucky enough to go to Paris several times now. One of the attractions in Paris that sticks out in my mind the most, was a tour of the Paris Opera House (Palais Garnier). I was blown away. I haven’t been in a theatre that beautiful before. And I’ve been in some stunning theatres. Although it’s important to keep in mind that at the time the Opera House was built it wasn’t about seeing the opera, it was about being seen AT the opera.

The Palais Garnier was commissioned by Napoleon III in 1861, and was completed in 1875. It was designed by Charles Garnier, and seats 2,013 people, with many of the seats being private boxes.

One of the most stunning things about the auditorium was the contrast of the ceiling by Marc Chagall with the heavy gilding and detailed 7 ton chandelier. Chagall did the ceiling in 1964 to cover the old one by Jules Lenepvue (which was preserved intact). It’s one of the largest stages in the world (the largest in Europe) and I would have loved a chance to run around on it; perhaps giving my female Hamlet.

The Palais Garnier is the setting for the Phantom of the Opera, and in 1869 the chain holding up the massive chandelier snapped killing one audience member. And while I didn’t see any ghosts, it was easy to imagine Christine Daae running around up and down the many beautiful staircases.

Today the Palais Garnier is used primarily for ballet.

outsidecandles in operabalconies insidedetails grand ceilingstaircasetilesopera box seatschagall ceilinggrad hallwayoutside on balcony view from opera house

Corner of Rues Scribe and Auber. 75009 Paris. Tickets cost 10€ and students get a discount.

I could just imagine being Christine Daae here!


Amanda chose Under the Ash Tree’s post in Florence for her favourite post in the link up from last week!

Two Years Later

so called expat life


My So-Called Expat Life
I have been in our current location of Bath, England for the past two years and a couple of months. Only one more year and a few months to go until we have been here as long as we lived in Hawaii, which would be the longest I have lived anywhere in one time. This highly nomadic life of mine that has spanned over two continents (I am not including my travels), seven US states, and three countries in Europe has impacted my life and world view.

How Much Longer in Bath, England?
This is one of many questions I get asked regularly as I have a job that involves personal introductions on a daily basis. In the past I at least had a rough estimate if not an exact date.  If my husband were still in the military, we would already know where we would be stationed next. However, that is no longer a factor in the equation, nor is schooling or any job searching in general. For the first time in my life, I do not have to move anywhere in the near future. We could actually stay here in Bath for the forseeable future, if not indefinitely.

Already my brain is coming up with lists and thinking of the pros and cons of staying or going.

Pro: My children can keep the same friends for a longer period of time and continue their education in the UK.
Con: My children are not forced on a daily basis to use another language beside English in their day to day life.
Pro: My entire family has been involved in eight different productions with four different theatre groups in Bath over the last two years and we will be in our first one all together as a family this summer.
Con: We no longer live near a beach, have beach days, and rarely have a warm sunshine day.
Pro: We can buy all our food from local farms and have it delievered to the house more affordably than shopping in a supermarket.
Con: In the UK, we live a bit isolated from mainland Europe where bordering countries with different cultures awaits.
Pro: We do not have to have a car in England and can walk 45 minutes to the boys school and 70 minutes into work.
Con: We do not have a car and have to walk roughly 45-70 minutes one way on cold and rain days (though I’m not really complaining…we live in England and I love it here)

To be fair any of us could make lists like this ‘until the cows come home’, but finding a state of happiness in your current life is a better feat. All it takes is looking at our current location with the awe filled eyes of a traveler, with the expat soul, and a heart filled up with love from my husband and sons.

Two years later and I continue my so-called expat life in England as the British American girl who moved back for ‘a proper cup of tea’.

Meet Your New Co-Hosts | Travel Tuesday



Welcome to a new batch of #TravelTuesday co-hosts!  This is my most favourite part is introducing you to some new lovely ladies.  One of my most favourite things is finding new blogs to read and new bloggers to befriend.  It makes the world that much smaller as your network gets that much bigger, and more friends to further encourage your wanderlust to grow.  Plus now you can find out where to find them online through their favourite social media sites and click through their banners to read their blogs.  I look forward to getting to know them much more over the next few months and I hope you do too! Make sure to pop around and introduce yourself to them and check out the link ups below!








Throw Away Travel Books

I am in Spring cleaning mode already at home. This means going through each room by room deciding what we really need to keep and what can go.  It can be a daunting task but afterwards it is freeing to just have less and feel like you have gained ‘more’.  More space.  More time.  More contentment.  More happiness.  Yet despite the growing boxes of books marked for the charity shop, there are certain books I just cannot seem to part with yet.
To throw away travel books seems to be an easy task.  Is it an outtdated book?  Has the trip already been taken?  Would it be a trip we would be taking in the next year?  Any of my travel books could have been easily given or tossed away many times since in the  last few years.  Yet these books have made the cut through each spring cleaning task.
I love my travel books.  I have only gotten rid of one, from Hawaii, and not before I cut up many of the maps inside for a heart inspired art piece of a few canvases I had to put up on our walls.  The books are from past trips and ones yet to be taken.  These books are like friends.  I should probably explain.
In the decade I lived in the US (from age 17 onwards) I was dealing with issues of being an undiagnosed Third Culture Kid (TCK), culture shock, and home sickness.  I would often fill up hours of my day by going to a bookstore, getting lost in the travel section, and then reading about places where I had once called ‘home’ through the eyes of a travel writer.  It was the one way I dealt with being landlocked in the US and missing all the places I had left pieces of my heart.
Now that I finally live overseas again I find I still like picking up and rereading these books.  Reading the notes I wrote in the books while on travels, in pencil scribbled in the margins.  Reading about the places I traveled too after spending many hours organizing every detail of the trip.  Still also reading about the places I have spent significant parts of my life, places I long to return ‘home’ to one day.
So maybe I will not be throwing away my travel books this time around, but right now that suits me okay.  Probably helps that I have a travel & map themed living room for these paper weights to be displayed.
Q: Do you keep your travel books, how long for, or what do you do with them?
Our nominated girls for next week are:  Marcella from What a Wonderful World, Caity from Where the Heart is,  Michelle from MishFish13, and Amanda from Rhyme and Ribbons blog.  Will be contacting you lovely ladies this week for more information. If you know these girls on social media, send them a shout out of congrats!
Remember to link up this week!

New Travel Tuesday Co-Hosts for 2015


We have come to announce the new travel co-hosts for the next bit of 2015.  Before we do I want to let each of the girls that nonimated the next lovely ladies to have another chance to to share with you here at A Compass Rose.  I have been so blessed to have had such wonderful people to share with you guys these last three months, it has been a blast!





Yalanda from We Laugh Anyway blog.

This blog started in early 2014. We were fairly newly wed. Not quite bored, a little bit restless and certainly not ready to settle down. We looked around and realized we were not living the life we wanted to live. So we decided to make a change. We sold our first home, packed our bags and moved to South Korea. About a month later, our furry little shrimp cat named Clark, joined us. The three of us currently call Seoul home and we are pretty flipping excited about it! We do have an end goal in mind, but first, we’re indulging a bit of wanderlust.


Social Media: 






Cynthia from Adventurings blogcythnia2

Cynthia is an American in her late-twenties who became an “accidental expat” in the Czech Republic. After quitting her job and buying a one-way ticket to the UK, she made her way over to the “Heart of Europe” +2 years ago and hasn’t yet returned! She writes about her expat life and travels on her blog, Adventurings, and is currently planning her wedding this year from abroad. Stay tuned!



courtney3Courtney from Adelante blog


Courtney is a Seattle native living in Madrid, Spain and working as an assistant English teacher. Besides venturing around Europe, she likes drinking tinto de verano in the sunshine, tapas crawling, embarrassing herself by trying to speak the local language, and attempting to seek out the best brunch in Madrid. You can follow along with her expat adventures on her blog Adelante, as well as on Instagram and Twitter.


Our nominated girls for next week are:  Marcella from What a Wonderful World, Caity from Where the Heart is,  Michelle from MishFish13, and Amanda from Rhyme and Ribbons blog.  Will be contacting you lovely ladies this week for more information. If you know these girls on social media, send them a shout out of congrats!
Remember to link up this week!