Well aren’t I a lucky devil, I have just returned from my second holiday so far this year. This time we went a little off-piste though and holidayed in the UK, with a trip to Snowdonia with our beautiful little pooch-faced babychops (Lexi).
Here she is in case you’ve forgotten how stunning she is:
Usually we go further afield but we really wanted to find somewhere dog friendly to explore, so we rented ourselves a little house in a coastal village called Harlech, packed up our impractical BMW coupé and off we went.
What a trip!
If like me you haven’t really holidayed in the UK since you were a small child, I highly recommend it. We saw some of the most beautiful places I have ever seen, my phones had no signal most of the time and we had loads to occupy us. I can’t remember the last time I felt so relaxed. That’s not to mention the fact that our little girly LOVED it and had a wonderful time getting the sand in her paws.
Here are some snaps / highlights in case you’re thinking about a trip (these are just phone snaps; imagine the colours in real life!):
Throw in some zip lines, lots of delicious food and a steam train ride and you have yourself a holiday. I can’t recommend visiting Wales, especially the traffic-free, stunningly beautiful Snowdonia enough.
Much love! x
Here we are, it’s 31st December 2015 and I have to say this year has been the best year of my life so far. It’s been simply amazing and if 2016 is even half the year that this one was, I’ll be one lucky girl.
I know everyone does it but I can’t resist bragging a bit because here are some of the things that have made this year fantastic:
Adding Lexi to our family* Moving in with the boy* Paris* Warsaw* Greece* France* New York* Dog walks on the beach* Turning 30* Buying a house* Winning an award at work* Hanging out with friends* Great food* Family*
I’m unbelievably grateful to all who have contributed to making my year what it’s been. I’m on cloud 9 and appreciating every moment of it.
Here’s to a super 2016, may it bring you everything you could possibly wish for! x
As you may have gathered from my previous post, I have recently been to New York so it seemed rude not to post a little something about my trip.
What can I say? The city is HUGE and completely unlike any city I’ve ever been to before! All of the buildings are so tall that I don’t think you really appreciate how big they are until you come home and look at the tiddlers we have in the UK again.
Loads of people offered me hints and tips of places to go and things to see while I was there but even a week is barely enough to scratch the surface. I always recommend following your gut; if you think you’ll like it, go and if not, well don’t go.
On advice from a friend, we stayed out in Brooklyn, away from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan and I’d thoroughly recommend that. Try and get central Brooklyn though as there are loads of great bars and restaurants there. It means you have somewhere to explore if you fancy having a more relaxed brunch or a quiet(er) drink.
We also made it out to the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey to watch an American football match. I really wanted to watch a sports match out there because I’d heard that they make a huge event of it and I wasn’t disappointed. American football is great if you’re not usually a sports fan because they play for a few seconds, then there’s a minute or so when you can chat and then the play resumes and so on. Ideal for short attention spans!
Overall though, my top tips are just these:
Right, now here are some photos!
There’s so much to see and do in the city, I really just suggest you pick a little part of it that you think will suit you and start there.
Happy travels! x
One thing I have been massively lax about this year is sharing my travel experiences so I’m going to start the catchup process now with a quick note about my most recent trip which was to Istanbul. Sadly my camera gave up the ghost part-way through the trip so I don’t have as many photos as I would have liked and a good chunk of them have been taken on my phone but hopefully you’ll find something useful here.
We stayed in the old part of the city, very near to the Blue Mosque in a hotel called the World Heritage Hotel. It’s a small, boutique type hotel which I cannot recommend highly enough. The hospitality was like nothing else, we were offered the receptionist’s iPhone charger to take home with us when we thought we’d lost one and we also bumped into one of the staff of an evening who stopped just to check that we knew where we were going. AMAZING!
Before I went to Istanbul, I imagined it might be a bit like Marrakech in that we’d be constantly harassed as 3 females travelling alone. It wasn’t like that at all. There’s a huge police presence in the most touristy areas and as soon as you say your first no to the traders, they back off. That was really refreshing. What was also nice was that almost all tourists respected the culture of the city and dressed conservatively, in longer sleeves and trousers.
Food-wise I was underwhelmed. The main courses were “ok” from what I experienced; I mean they were great value for money but nothing I’d rush back for. The baklava and the Turkish delight were fabulous though! I don’t usually eat Turkish delight but it revealed its true colours here and the pistachio flavour with the bits of nut in is just the best!
What’s interesting is that you might think that the Asian side of the city would be the more conservative but actually it’s the more modern side. We took a boat trip across there one day and it was great. Approaching it from the boat, it looked run down, cheap and not at all like the sort of place you’d want to go. Walk a couple of streets down from the docking station though and you’ll enter a maze of shopping streets, bars and restaurants and find the most western part of the city.
You’ll also find some awesome street art so be sure to wander slightly off the beaten track. Check out the example below, there’s so much going on in one picture, it’s brilliant! For travellers in their 20s, I’d suggest staying on this side of the river and taking the boat across for the sight seeing rather than doing it the way we did. The boat’s only about 4 Euros per trip so it’s virtually free.
There are only two things we encountered which I would suggest avoiding. The first is the cafe / restaurant in the Topkapi Palace grounds and that’s purely because it’s insanely expensive. We had some delicious chocolate cake in there but it was at least 3x the price of everywhere else and seemed to be on a par with English tourist attraction prices. It was a bit of a nasty shock.
The second is the hammam. We went to Cemberlitas Hammam and while it was ok, I really didn’t enjoy the experience very much. The place was heaving like a cattle market, the women were rude and there weren’t even any signs to say where to go so we were wandering like lost lambs when we first arrived. If you fancy a Hammam experience, I’ve had much better in Marrakech so I suggest saving your pennies towards another holiday.
Overall, Istanbul is a hustling, bustling city and there’s certainly a strong presence of religion there but it also feels really safe and it’s not especially huge so you can easily walk around it. My favourite part of the whole trip was when we went to Gulhane Park. It’s big, it’s well laid out and it’s beautiful. On a warm day in the summer, I could easily imagine lazing around here for hours, not least because there are loads of friendly stray dogs around! The dogs are tagged and one gentle giant followed us around for about half of our walk 🙂
Definitely visit if you get the chance but for my money, Budapest is still the winner if I had to suggest one city for you to visit x
As 2014 draws to a close, I’ve taken some time out to reflect on what an awesome year this one has been. I couldn’t possibly describe all of the brilliant things that have happened so I’ve picked a few snapshots which sum up my year and popped them into a collage. For me, this year has been about new beginnings; I’ve been lucky enough to attend 4 weddings, get together with my amazing bf and spend a huge amount of time with friends and family. I have so much to celebrate and I can’t wait for 2015!
Here’s my year in pictures. I encourage everyone to try this as it made me smile so much thinking back over the memories associated with these pictures 🙂
Have a wonderful new year, everyone! xxx
I feel like I’ve been rather slack the last couple of weeks when it comes to posting on here but it’s been for a combination of reasons, including not feeling too well and also going on a trip to Berlin with my daddy!
My wonderful father turned 50 back in August and for his birthday, I booked us a trip to Berlin which was last weekend. We had a great time and it’s a fabulous city. Both of us agreed that we’d happily go back there just for a shopping trip, they had all of the shops you could possibly want and lots of them. It’s a busy city with loads going on but it’s not all grimy and rammed to bursting like London is.
We stayed at the Pullman Berlin Schweizerhof hotel which I thought was fab. It’s in a great location, has an lovely pool and sauna area for rejuvenating the feet after a day of sightseeing, the rooms were very clean and the staff were very friendly. Obviously we did all of the touristy things while we were there and of those, I’d highly recommend a trip to the Holocaust Memorial. The actual memorial is just right there in front of you as you walk down the street and at first glance looks just a bit strange. Walk through it, really get right into the middle of it and you’ll feel so much more the significance of why it is so.
Other than that, the Tiergarten is beautiful, especially in autumn when the leaves are all different colours and of course there are many museums and architecturally stunning things to look at. I’d also really recommend just grabbing a coffee and sitting in the middle of a plaza somewhere, people watching. On a Sunday the shops are shut but there are still heaps of people just milling around doing their thing and it’s really quite nice to sit back and take it all in.
Here are a few of my photos from the trip:
I hope you’ve all been having fun, let me know if you have any questions about my trip 🙂 x
I know I posted on Friday but prior to that, there were a couple of weeks when I was as quiet as a mouse so I figured I should share with you the reason why. The main reason was that I went on a family holiday to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic…
Yes, that’s right, I was quiet because I was too busy lazing on the beach and enjoying the sunshine! There may also have been rather a lot of food thrown in 🙂
Whilst we were out there we went on a couple of trips, the best of which involved a short flight to Samana which is an even more beautiful area of the island. I felt like I’d won the jackpot with this trip because I even got to sit next to the pilot on our short flight out and back, watching him fiddle with all the dials and watching us nose-dive back down to the runway…amazing! That made me want to learn how to fly a plane!
You don’t want to hear me banging on about our hotel, etc. and the fact that we flew upgraded and stayed in an upgraded room, because that’s just bragging (!) so I’ll just share some of my favourite photos with you and you can start planning your own trip over!
That was just a little snippet of our holiday, hopefully the pictures have inspired you to book yourself a little holiday if you haven’t already! x
Last weekend I was lucky enough to get 2013 off to a cracking start with a weekend in Paris 🙂 My birthday was back at the end of November and this was my present from my fabulous friends. So we got up at some ungodly hour on Saturday, hit the Eurostar and spent 2 amazing days in a truly beautiful city.
We stayed in a hostel – yes I said hostel! This was my first hostel stay but one of my friends had been before and it was just like staying in a cheap hotel; as there were 6 of us we had a room and bathroom to ourselves so I now feel like a proper traveller but without the whole bathroom sharing thing! The hostel is called Oops and has great bus and Metro links; you can check out their website here.
As we were in Paris for just 2 days and 1 night, we literally flew around the city taking in as much as we could but without spending too long in any one spot. The things we spent longest doing were eating (obvs) and in an amazing book shop which deserves a post all of it’s own so watch out for that. I’ve decided I won’t bore you with any more details, I’m just going to post some of my favourite pics of this stunning city and let you decide what you think of Paris 🙂