A Week In Portugal.

Lifestyle, Travel

Grass

Red Flowers

Sofa

Villa
Close-up of Red Flowers

Putting Green

Flowers

Tennis Courts

The Pool
Inflatable

Legs in the Pool

Pool and Flowers

Rocks

Rock Climbing
Climbing the Rocks
Sea bashing against rocks

Sea View from the Rocks

Pirate Ship

Beach
Carveiro Beach

Sight-seeing, cultural walking and wandering has my heart. I may be a stereotypical millennial cliché, just traipsing around the same old hipster area as everybody else but I love it. Which is why I’d *usually* always opt for a city break. However.. a big however. This year I went back to Portugal with my family and had ~the~ most relaxing week of the year (so far.)

After taking a few hours to actually locate our villa, we arrived and my fears of not seeing a spectacular building (I’m not an architect or anything but I really appreciate a good building) was no longer present as it was heavenly inside and out. From the modern décor, a balcony with a sea view to the tennis courts- it had ~everything~.
We stayed -just- outside of our usual destination Carvoeiro, but still ventured into the town each night.

I spent most of the days laying flat sunning on a lounger, flicking flying beetles that landed on us, having dips in the pool, watching Portuguese Netflix from my walk in shower and eating my body weight in fish for dinner. We also had a mini golf tournament on our putting green- which reminds me we never actually finished it. As well as, a walk on the cliffs/climbing rocks whilst wearing a mini skirt and espadrilles. It was the ultimate relaxation break (even though I feel like I now need another one) but at least the sun is starting to make an appearance in England.

 

Travelling to Eat: the Ultimate Pleasure in Life.

Food, Lifestyle, Travel

 

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If you love food, then you probably have a love for travel as well. Eating some exquisite Asian cuisines or classic American diner-style food from the comfort of your town is great, but have you ever wondered what real Asian food tastes like, or how delicious proper American-style food would be? Travelling to eat isn’t a new concept, but it’s certainly something that has been gaining a lot more traction thanks to informative food blogs like https://migrationology.com/ and YouTube superstars who travel, eat and record their findings for people to drool over and convince them to travel.

Going Solo: The Adventure Awaits.

Life, Travel

Travelling

Deciding to travel on your own is a brave and bold thing to do.  Especially if you are a woman. It is, however, incredibly rewarding and is a brilliant way of exploring other cultures, getting to know the people and finding a little inner peace.

Family holidays or a trip away with your friends are great fun and give us lots of brilliant memories to take home and enjoy, but packing your bags and heading off on an adventure without having to worry about anyone other than you, is a truly great experience.  It doesn’t matter where you are heading, there is adventure out there, so let’s take a look at a couple of great destinations for one person breaks.

Grabbing yourself a little European culture is a brilliant first step for first time lone rangers.  Cities such as Paris or Venice demand more attention than a beach side resort.  With endless architecture such as the Eiffel Tower in France or the stunning galleries of Venice, you can take an easy stroll on your own time without being concerned by your travelling companions not sharing your love of a little arts and culture tourism.  Rome is another fantastically romantic city for the single traveller.  You can spend hours people watching at the gorgeous Trevi Fountain where legend has it that by throwing a coin into the water, you are insured a return trip to Rome.  It is a place that will capture your heart and inspire you regardless of your personality.  Just keep yourself up to date with safety travel advice, nothing comes for free in the tourist areas and whilst you might be showered in roses as you walk through the cobbled streets, bear in mind there is a price to pay for their affection!

If you fancy something that packs an adrenalin punch then setting off on a skiing adventure is going to tick all your boxes.  Whilst a lot of the accommodation is prepped for larger parties there are plenty of shared chalet’s for you to find yourself a spot in.  If you do a little research online, you may even be able to bag yourself something more luxurious with other solo travellers looking to meet up.  Chalet La Varappe in Meribel is a super luxurious place to find yourself in and meeting up with other, like minded, adventurers to share stories with could bring you back the warmth after a cold day.  One of the most fun things you can do at any ski resort is strap on a backpack and head off piste.  Trekking through the mountains Nordic style will blow the fuzz out of your mind and walking to the top of piste will offer you a perfect spot for a little bit of ‘on top of the world’ yoga.  Perfect for resetting your mind and finding a few answers to any questions that have been playing on you.

When travelling alone it is important to keep yourself safe.  Learn about the troublesome areas of your destination and make sure your friends and family know where you are going and that you stay in regular contact with them.  You also need to make sure you have good insurance, incase anything goes wrong.

 


*This post was contributed by Sam Watts.

3 Nights in Budapest.

Autumn, Life, Travel

 Budapest; with it’s grand Fairytale-like buildings, rich history and a unique culture, there is so much to offer. It’s a glowing picturesque city that is beautiful, yet rough round the edges.

Day 1: As our train pulled away from Prague, I was excited to arrive in Budapest. Although, I didn’t really know what to expect. Most cities have their clichés, that most tourists go looking for. However, I hadn’t heard much about Budapest. I certainly hadn’t heard how beautiful it is. After 6 hours on the train passing through Bratislava,  we finally arrived in Budapest!

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Day 2: In the morning we were refreshed and ready to explore. The bus station conveniently was on the road next to our hotel so we started off doing a near enough full circle on the bus, passing all of the main landmarks in Budapest. We then got off at Gellért Hill. This is on the Buda side and over looks the Danube river, the view from here is magnificent.

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We hopped back over to the Pest side, which is were we caught the river cruise. We were super excited for this, as we had seen how well lit up the city was at night.

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After the river cruise, we went for dinner in the Pest district. Which is full of lovely restaurants, bars, cafés, shops and hotels. I really loved the vibe there, it was relaxed and sophisticated.

Day 3: We started off exploring City Park as it was minutes from our hotel, there is history and beauty around every corner. The Vajdahunyad Castle and gardens were full of detail.

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We then walked around to the Széchenyi Thermal Baths.

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Next, we walked to Heroes Square- the spring for the baths is actually located underneath the square! The numerous statues scattered around the square reiterates just how much history the city has.

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We also wanted to pay a passing visit to the Jewish Quarter (Budapest has such a strong Jewish heritage) to see the Synagogue. The detail and architecture is remarkable and impossible to capture on camera.

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We walked across the Chain Bridge (from Pest to Buda) to take a ride up to Buda Caste.
Everywhere I looked there was something more breath-taking; buildings and rich history. We also, watched the changing of the guards which was really great.

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After I’d taken millions of more photos we went back over the bridge for dinner and drinks.

Later on we took a late night walk to see the parliament one last time as seeing it on the river cruise wasn’t enough.

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We made sure we were on the other side of the river…

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The building is indescribable. My camera definitely couldn’t capture how amazing it really is. The detail is just astounding. At night the glowing lights brings it to life.

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We then walked back to Pest, by walking over the Margret bridge and had our last stroll along the Danube river. As you can see the city is just magical by night; it sparkles.

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It truly was a wonderful trip and writing this post has only heightened my desire to visit the charming city again.

3 Nights in Prague.

Autumn, Life, Travel

Prague; the city that was spared by Hitler… or so the story goes. Prague is a total juxtaposition; it’s old and dirty, yet beautiful and graceful. It’s a very well preserved medieval city oozing rich history, whilst also offering a buzzing night life and a hint of romance.

 

Day 1: 
After I was settled at the hotel, I got a taxi to Wenceslas Square to meet my cousin who had got a later flight. Straight away I realised it was the shoppers dream, there are so many shops there. It was pretty late so we just had dinner and a few drinks before going back to the hotel to sleep (in the most amazing bed btw.)

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Day 2:
This is the day we went all out and saw as much as possible.
We woke up early and was ready to try and tackle the metro (I had no idea.)

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We worked out the route and started with Prague Castle. Before walking up to the Castle, we had a little walk around the gardens which are beautiful (especially in Autumn.)

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The walk up to the Castle was a lot longer than I expected it to be, but on the way there are a variety of shops, view points, cafés and museums!

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Once we finally reached the Castle I was so taken back by it’s beauty. The detail and history is breath-taking.

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After taking millions of photos we decided we wanted to climb the bell tower. After climbing a 300-stepped spiral stair case we finally reached the top and it was SO worth it. The view is incredible!

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Later on we hopped on a tram and went to the Old Town- straight away I fell in love. The Old Town Square is so perfectly set out, with elegant buildings and churches surrounding. After watching a light show which was projected on the art gallery we noticed another bell tower. Thank goodness, the tower had a lift to get to the top which our legs definitely appreciated.

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We ended our very busy day exploring with walking across Charles Bridge with muled wine.

Day 3: We woke up with very achy legs but we still wanted to make the most of our last day. We planned to visit the Old Town again as we wanted to see the square in daylight and visit the churches.

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The churches are just WOW!!! Týn Church especially, was incredible however you are not permitted to take photos. (I mean look at this Chandelier!)

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We ended up walking around the whole of the Old Town and after a long time exploring we retired back to our hotel, to get ready for a night tour we had booked for the evening. We booked the tour through our hotel. It started with a bus tour around the city and then a river cruise on the Vltava river. I really enjoyed it but, unfortunately Prague isn’t lit up very well at night. So most of the spectaculars were hardly visible from the bus or boat.

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Prague was an absolute pleasure. As you have seen, we managed to cram in as much as possible. I think we did really well for the time we had! In the morning, we caught the train to Budapest- click here.

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A weekend at Reading Festival…

Favourites, Life, Travel

reading
Sorry I haven’t been writing as often as I usually do.
I have been at and recovering from Reading Festival and unfortunately  it’s all over for another year. Reading is place in Southern England and is pronounced r-e-d-ing. Every year people arrive for music festival that is held for around 4 days, just in case anyone who is reading this thinks I may have gone to a festival to read literature- which definitely wasn’t the case!

I’ve been to Reading before and had such an amazing time, without a doubt Reading Festival is one of my most favourite places. Obviously, the music makes a huge difference and Reading always pulls out the most incredible line-ups.

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Musically a few of my favourites were… Firstly, The 1975- probably because they are my most favourite band ever, so maybe I am biased. Secondly, it has to be The Red Hot Chilli Peppers. I wasn’t a huge fan of theirs and didn’t really know many of their songs, but there’s no denying that they are amazinggg and seeing them is something I will never forget. They are sooo talented and now I can’t stop listening to them. Imagine Dragons were also great, along with Twenty One Pilots, Fall Out Boy, Jack Ü…

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Apart from the music which makes the experience amazing, it wouldn’t have been the same without the people we went with. I went to Reading with two of my oldest best friends. We also went with new friends and we made friends whilst there.

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Although going to a weekend festival seems tough- and trust me it is. All of the cold nights in a tent, not washing, vile toilets- if you can call them toilets, dirt and mud is all worth it. It’s all part of the experience and adds to the amazing vibe.

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Until next year Reading!

Wedding Weekend.

Life, Travel, Uncategorized

Aideen & Paul 2

My cousin married his beautiful fiancé on Saturday in Ireland, I have had such a lovely weekend filled with family and love.

Plane

Planee

We flew to Knock, where my cousins Wife is from and stayed in The Clarion Hotel in Sligo, which is also where the wedding was. The hotel was amazing, the outside looks very Elizabethan with beautiful green grounds and an idyllic scenic view of the mountains. And the inside is modern with several pieces of abstract art on each floor. The rooms are huge and well decorated and guests have access to the spa which we very much took advantage of.

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Hote

Hotell

Grounds

We started the day with a lovely breakfast and trip to the spa.
Then we prepared for the wedding.

Chapel

The ceremony was so emotional and truly beautiful filled with; Irish traditions, crying, singing, lovely music, jokes, their adorable nieces and their dog Ruby bringing them their rings.

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The speeches were layered with jokes and memories. My cousin loves horse racing, so each table was race course themed and everyone was allowed to place a bet on how long they thought; the Groom, Best Man and Father of the Bride’s speech would last. It was a great idea and added a little fun to the emotion and lovely words in the speeches.

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It really was a really great day and everyone is so happy for the happy couple.

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The next day most of the wedding guests were invited to a BBQ at the brides parents’ house and then on to their Pub- Mooneys Bar. It was great to see everyone again and get to know our new Irish family even more.

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What’s In My Carry On?

Beauty, Fashion, Life, Tags, Travel, Uncategorized

Today I am off to Ireland for a wedding and I thought I would share my essentials for the weekend.

Outfit
Wedding outfit- I am wearing a floral two-piece with a white scallop jacket, and white shoes. Along with a clutch.

Bag

Hair

Hair Accessories… I always bring hair bands whenever I am leaving my house for longer than a day, because I know there will be a time I want to throw it up out of my face.

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Make-up… I always end up taking my whole make-up bag when I go away, despite trying not to. However, for this trip I’ve managed to try my best to only bring the products I need.

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Shadow
Eye

Morphe

(I spy a Mojito…)

Blush

Mac

Liner

Curlers
Electronics… hair curlers, phone charger, iPad etc.

Toilet
Toiletries… this Dove pack is great for travelling. It includes all of the essentials and is below 100ml (perfect for a carry on.)

wipes

glasses
These items are definitely essential! I love to read when I am travelling.

Pass

I also packed the usual essentials such as, underwear, change of clothes, pyjamas, purse, phone, headphones, swimwear and anything I’ve forgotten to mention.

Carryon

Birthday Camping.

Life, Travel

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I can’t believe it’s July already and my birthday is next week, the year is flying by!

A few months back my friends and I set a date to celebrate mine and my friend Kristina’s birthday. The date came around so fast, and before we knew it we was on our way to West Sussex to go camping.

We set off on Saturday morning, filling our cars with all of the essential camping bits.
We arrived at lunch time and started by unloading the cars and putting up the tent.
I think we all surprised ourselves by only taking ten minutes to put up the tent.

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site
The site is in Washington Pulborough, East Sussex and is a really lovely campsite with lovely views, friendly people and a heated chalet style building with toilets, showers, dishwashing and laundry facilities.

Once we were settled we took a quick trip to Waitrose to buy everything we needed for a BBQ.

After our shopping trip, we went for a nice walk in the forest that surrounded the campsite. I don’t think we expected it to be as quite as hot as it was, especially in the forest with no breeze. After walking for over an hour and passing streams, tall trees, fields and lots and lots of stinging nettles we returned to have our BBQ.

woods

walk

field

We spent the rest of the evening drinking our Champagne in plastic cups, playing games and toasting marshmallows around the camp fire whilst laughing in the sun. (As you can probably tell we aren’t your typical group of girls. Despite loving fashion and make-up we usually choose pretty adventurous ways to celebrate our Birthday’s… Next up is paint balling and go-carting.)

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cheers

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Florence.

Life, Travel

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I’m currently having a lazy Sunday under a blanket, watching Gossip Girl whilst bolts of lightening and rain falls outside. As much as I enjoy the sound and love a good storm, it has made me think about what I was doing this time last year. This has me reminiscing about the trip my Mum and I took to Florence. (I apologise for the photography! This was when I didn’t know how to take very good photos and the quality is shocking!)

We only visited Florence for the weekend and we could have done with an extra day or two to explore more of it’s beauty.
I would say it’s more of a trip/break than a holiday as such, as it’s somewhere to go to ‘sight-see’ the amazing history and culture, rather than stay in a hotel and lay around a pool. We stayed in the centre of Florence and it was nice to be so central. The San Lorenzo Church is literally next door so it was lovely to be so near.

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We spent our time in Florence visiting all of the greatest treasures. We pretty much walked around the whole of Florence by the end of the weekend so, we managed to see most of the landmarks. I photographed a lot but, to be honest everywhere you look in Florence there is beauty and history so it was impossible to capture everything. In addition, we went on a dusk trip around Florence’s greatest landmarks which included dinner. It was great to have a tour guide who was from Florence. He was so passionate about his city and knew so much. It was really amazing to listen to his knowledge and hear how proud he was of his home. If I had to pick, my favourite parts would be- Michelangelo Square (The view!!!!) and the Uffizi Gallery.

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I felt as if everyone in Florence really appreciated where they were and the ground they were walking on- including the locals. Everyone was taking in the history and beauty. Which is something I don’t see as much in London, people do not appreciate the city as much (me being one of them.) Florence made me realise I like art and history a lot more than I thought I did and also, that I needed to try and see the beauty and history in everywhere I go.

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Obviously I have to mention the food, it’s Italy! The food was amazing, everywhere we went was real traditional Italian food- SOOO good. (Not to mention the Gelato!!!!!)

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It really was what I expected it to be- pretty cobbled narrow streets, good food and drinks, friendly Italians, traditional Italian street music, fashion, sun and culture.

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Florence is  filled with class, sophistication, art and true history. It really is one of-if not the most beautiful places I have visited. It has the whole package and the perfect balance. I hope one day in the near future I will be reunited with the city.

Firenze, sei sempre nel mio cuore – Florence, forever in my heart.”