Barcelona part two, La Sagrada Familia and beach fun…

We were so lucky with the weather during our time in Barcelona. Travelling in Europe during January is always a risk in terms of weather but we lucked out and had sunshine with blue skies everyday during our time in Barcelona. Having good weather meant that we could make the most of being outside and were able to walk everywhere without resembling a soggy raccoon upon reaching our destination.

With the sunshine smothering us, we decided to walk to the beach from our hotel near Eixample. I’m at my happiest at the beach and I just feel so grounded and chilled out whenever I’m near the sea.

We meandered down to the marina which was such a lovely surprise. I didn’t realise that the marina would be so lovely, laced with palm trees and pretty views. There is also a shopping centre which is open 365 days a year and is home to a variety of shops and some great restaurants too.

I wasn’t expecting a particularly special beach in Barcelona. I’d been told that it wasn’t that great, so I was thrilled when we arrived at the beach and were greeted with golden sand and clear blue sea. In all honesty, the beach was much more desirable than many of the beaches here in the U.K., so I’m so glad that we weren’t put off and still popped along for some salty air and a stroll along the sea front.

I love gazing out at the ocean and seeing absolutely nothing connected to human life. Just the waves meeting the Earth, the ocean filled with life and the sky above. It makes me feel so chilled out and grounded. Exactly what you need on a birthday!

After we had embraced beach life, we decided to head on over to a cafe for coffee and cake. Unfortunately my Spanish is not so great and we actually found ourselves in a gluten free cafe where I had the weirdest crepe I’ve ever seen. It looked like a prawn cracker and had a spongy consistency. Anyway, I’ve decided I need to work on my Spanish before our next trip!

Following on from our gluten free cafe experience, we walked over to La Sagrada Familia because have you even been to Barcelona if you haven’t gawped at Gaudi’s masterpiece in the flesh?!

What a beauty! Such sumptuous architecture bathed In Mediterranean sunshine. Phil said that it was the most beautiful building he has ever seen and I am inclined to agree (although Italy has some real treasures).

We then walked back over to Eixample where we stumbled upon a traditional Spanish restaurant and had a glass of Sangria with our seafood paella. Not going to lie, the paella was a bit too fishy for my liking, but I was instantly hooked on the Sangria. It was divine!

Have you visited La Sagrada Familia?

L x

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Celebrating my birthday…

I absolutely adore a fun evening with my closest buddies and so for my birthday this year, I decided to invite a few people over for a pyjama party at our house. I also loved having a shower and throwing on pyjamas before people arrived, it was a no-fuss evening!

We’ve had a few bbq’s with around 20 or so people and we have an annual Eurovision shindig, but this was the first time that we’d had a few people hanging out and it was super fun!

The boys played Super Smash Bros and We all played a few ‘party’ games including beer pong. I added a few shots of vodka too, which I’m not sure I’d recommend!

I had an amazing Oreo flavoured cactus cake made by Bluebell Bakes. I always get our special occasions from Bluebell Bakes because they not only look incredible, but they taste divine all whilst helping out a small business. I feel really strongly about supporting small businesses and also about having a special occasion cake made fresh. You just can’t beat it!

We had a really fun evening and it was great to see my closest buddies. They are all wonderful.

How do you celebrate your birthday?

L x

Budapest Day 3: Buda Castle, Gellért Spa and Pinball…

We had a super jam packed Wednesday in Budapest following on from the Christmas break. The shops were finally open, the sun was shining and there was Life all over the city.

We started our day by having breakfast at Matthias Church. I’m such a sucker for Starbucks Pain Au Chocolats (or chocolate croissants as they like to call them Stateside!), so we decided to pop over to a Starbucks with a view for breakfast.

Unfortunately we had to walk up ten million stairs and Starbucks didn’t have any pains, so I had to settle for cake instead (certainly liveable!), but the views were incredible and it was such a treat to witness such a beautiful city smothered in golden sunshine.

It really was a glorious morning. I would highly recommend heading over to Matthias Church and walking along to Buda Castle. It was really lovely.

Budapest has so much history and culture sunken into its veins and each building has a story or a sight that it’s seen. Buda castle is no exception. There’s so much history there and it’s gorgeous too, so definitely worth a visit!

Following our visit to the castle, we made our way over to Gellért Spa. Gellért Spa resides in the most beautiful building and although it was smaller than Széchenyi, it was grander and felt cleaner. We had a relaxing afternoon there.

We then decided to walk to the Pinball museum. It took us over an hour as we stopped to breath in the sumptuous architecture that Budapest displays in abundance and although we were in need of a rest after our mammoth walking day (we had walked everywhere that day), I’m glad that we did because you simply miss out on the small things of you are whizzing by in a taxi.

We had lots of fun at the Pinball Museum, it was great to play on all of the different machines and they sell drinks there too, which is nice.

Soon it was time for us to stuff our faces, so we headed over to the Budapest BBQ for dinner and drinks. The food was great! We had a lovely evening.

I thoroughly enjoyed Budapest and I feel as though it’s a city that offers so much. I think we will definitely visit again one day.

Have you visited Budapest?

L x

Exploring Vegas and the weirdest dining experience ever…

Dress: Asos Sunglasses: Michael Kors Tabitha 

I’ve been to Vegas three times now and each time I’ve fallen deeper in love with this colourful world hidden in the desert. I just love all that it has to offer. I’m not a gambler or even remotely seedy, which is the reputation that precedes Vegas. I love having fun, seeing different things, eating delicious food, shopping and seeing shows. Vegas has all of this in abundance.

I think that it’s that ease of convenience that helps me adore the place so much. Everywhere is open late, you can walk along the strip (I’m a big fan of walking!). Basically the place is your oyster. You can go out pretty much anytime and always find something to do. 

Anyway, on our first full day in Vegas, we took Phil’s Dad Steve (or P Diddy as I like to call him), for a tour of the strip, weaving in and out of various hotels that are devoured in detail. We also went to the Fashion Show Mall which is one of my favourite places to shop in Vegas (they have a Topshop!). 

It was great to feel the warmth on my skin, which is something I’m really missing now that autumn has set in. We took in the sights of the strip before heading Downtown.

I really like going Downtown because I find it a little bit raw. It’s not quite as glitzy and it just oozes retro charm. It’s more humble and less crowded and I just love the neon.

There’s a fair bit to do Downtown too, including zip lining, which I really wanted to do, however, I was inappropriately dressed for it! Next time though…

We ate dinner Downtown at the Heart Attack Grill, which I can only describe as the weirdest place I have ever eaten. I still can’t quite work out whether or not I enjoyed myself.

The hospital theme is really immersive, so we all sat there wearing hospital gowns awaiting our giant burgers and full calorie drinks (the waitress was unimpressed when I ordered a Diet Coke and announced that they don’t do diet there). 

They also have a policy where if you don’t finish your meal you get spanked. Hard. I couldn’t finish my burger and spent at least fifteen minutes freaking out about the spanking, coming up with irrational solutions such as hiding it in Phil’s rucksack or sneaking to the bin myself before realising that as it turns out, spanking isn’t compulsory. Who knew?

We then chilled out for a bit before heading back to New York, New York where we found a bar that had games (Beer Haus) so we spent the rest of the evening drinking and playing games such as Jenga.

Have you eaten at the Heart Attack Grill?

L x

Disneyland Day Two…

Our second day at Disney was just as exciting as our first although for the most part we based ourselves in the main park. There are so many iconic attractions in the main park and we wasted no time in showing them off to Phil’s Dad.

We took him on all the classics from Pirates, Haunted Mansion and Small World. He loved it!

For lunch we had turkey legs and watermelon. I really love the turkey legs at Disney, they are just so flavourful!

Playsuit: Topshop two years ago (!). I always feel like I wear this playsuit on holiday. Its just so comfy with a really pretty rose print. Sunglasses: Vans  Sandals: Tesco

We also made sure that we squeezed in a parade and two evening shows, World of Colour and the Fireworks.

The parades are so magical, you can’t help but be enveloped in a warm hug of happiness watching them. When I visited Disneyworld as a child, I used to think that the characters I was seeing were the real McCoy. I’d go around collecting autographs and spending my days in awe of their celebrity status. As an adult, I’m quite aware that they are cast members and I certainly don’t go around collecting autographs, but I still appreciate the effort that goes in to portraying the character as well as the level of detail that creates the Disney parks and just makes them so, so special. We were sat next to a guy who works at Disney but was on his day off. He told us lots of interesting facts about the parks and some changes coming up. Disneyland is only going to get better!

We did a spot of shopping before leaving Disney and I picked up a hand drawn sketch of Hay Hay from Moana. It’s so cool that a Disney artist drew it. I’m not sure where in the house it will live exactly, but it’s definitely finding a wall somewhere.

Because our hotel was so close (and Phil had manflu) we went back to our rooms for an hour or so before heading back over for the night shows.

World of colour is such a gorgeous display on the lake over in California Adventure. It’s such a treat featuring so many iconic characters.

We then finished our time at Disney by watching the fireworks over the castle in the main park. The fireworks at Disney are the best I’ve ever seen. They just know what they are doing! We loved it.

Have you seen the Disney parades/shows?

L x

Our weekend in Brussels, a photo diary…

A few months ago I discovered Eurostar Snap which is a website that sells Eurostar tickets super cheap. There are some rules, you can only choose the dates you want to travel and whether or not you would like morning or afternoon train times and you don’t find out your exact times until 2 days prior to departure. The savings are brilliant so we decided to take Phil’s Dad away for Father’s Day weekend. The three of us travelled from London to Brussels for only £150 (£50 rtn pp), which is such a steal as the Eurostar is traditionally rather pricey. I would highly recommend it, especially if you have no specific time commitments. 

The three of us had such a gorgeous time exploring a city that we had never been to and eating tonnes of delicious food so I thought I’d pop together a little photo diary of our trip.

I think that a couple of days is the perfect time frame to get under the skin of this beautiful city. We all had a great time!

The architecture is super lush and everywhere we turned we were greeted with beautiful, decadent buildings.

Mannekin Pis, smaller than we imagined!

Stopping for a beer…

I sometimes call Phil ‘Philippe’ so was pleased to find a shop with the same name!

Breakfast in the square.

The photo above is my favourite from the entire trip. I never really edit photos because I love things to be raw and exactly how I saw them. This is the exact view we were greeted with as we turned a corner.

Fun in a pretty little park that we found.

Have you visited Brussels?

L x

A weekend in Munich…

Over the summer, we were lucky enough to escape to Munich for a long weekend. I hadn’t been before, but the hubby had and said that it was really gorgeous, so I was excited to go. Being the type of person I am, I immediately began researching what we could cram into our weekend, I wanted to see as much of this city as we could in a short space of time.

After a flight cancellation followed by a flight delay (cheers BA!), we arrived in Munich. The sun was shining as we rode the train from the airport to the city. I loved looking out of the window and catching a glimpse of the countryside. There’s something so serene about fields dipped in sunshine. 

Upon our arrival I ditched our bags and headed out for a walk to explore. We were so, so lucky with the weather. It was just one of those perfect summer days. Warm and enchanting. I had a mooch around town, stopping for an ice cream whilst absorbing the sumptuous architecture. I felt really safe walking around and free too. I had a lovely couple of hours.

Later on we went for a walk along the river. It was so alive with people swimming and catching the last of the day’s rays. I had a paddle and the water was lovely, so clean and refreshing. I couldn’t imagine an atmosphere like it in London with the murky Thames!

I was so surprised at just how beautiful the city is. With its architecture, people and atmosphere it’s just such a positive place.

We found a great Mexican restaurant for dinner and had amazing burritos before continuing our stroll around until the sun set.

Munich is quite an active city with cyclists galore, runners and dog walkers. It was great to see so many people out and about.

On our second day we were up and out quite early, eager to explore as much as we could in our weekend in Munich. The streets lining the river have some great street art and I loved just taking it all in. 

Munich made me feel so light and free, it is such a relaxing place. 

We had decided that we were going to visit the zoo which was an hours’ walk from our hotel. I like to walk a lot when we are away so that I don’t miss the little details. I’m so glad that we did because we stumbled across a little market in Mariah Platz. The market sold fresh, local produce, plants and cute gifts. My favourite part was looking at all of the gorgeous flowers in full bloom.

We continued our walk and found an Italian restaurant with Al Fresco dining. Again, the weather was divine, so it was lovely to sit outside stuffing our faces!

Once we arrived at the zoo I was so surprised by how large it was. For a city zoo, I was impressed with the enclosures and also the amount of free space for families. There are lots of play areas and you could literally spend the whole day there. My favourite spot was on the sun loungers by the giraffe enclosure. So much love for lounging in the sun!

Soon enough it was time to start our walk back to our hotel. We were almost there when a thunderstorm started, so we ran into a shopping centre to grab dinner and shelter from the rain.

The following day was our last in Munich and we really wanted to check out a restaurant that we had seen on the first day and explore the English Garden.

The restaurant was Speisen and Getranke, a trendy burger place with an amazing woodland interior. The food was super lush and we loved it.

We then headed over to the English Garden which I think is Munich’s version of Hyde Park.

The park was lovely and filled with people enjoying the weekend. We found some surfers practicing in the river, which I really wasn’t expecting. I loved watching them though, we spent ages there!

Before long it was time for us to head back to rainy old London.

We had such a lovely time in Munich and I feel like it’s the kind of city that I would love to return to. It has everything needed for a weekend getaway.


Have you visited Munich? Where’s your favourite place for a weekend away?
L x 

9 things to do in Munich…


We were lucky enough to escape for a cheeky weekend away in Munich this summer. I hadn’t been before and was pleasantly surprised – it’s a gorgeous city packed with things to do. Here are nine things that you can pack into your trip to Munich.

1. Shopping. Now I’m quite aware that this may seem like a bland thing to do whilst in such a beautiful city, but Germany have amazing treats hidden in their supermarkets from tasty chocolate to strong beers, it’s all there and worth a nose at.

2. Hire a bike. Literally everyone cycles in Munich and with their well planned cycle lanes and just general awareness for cyclists, it’s a great way to get around whilst exploring.

3. Check out the architecture. Munich is home to some of the most gorgeous buildings riddled with history. You only have to walk around to become enveloped in their beauty.

4. Hang out by the river. On a sunny day, an evening by the river is where it’s at. Bring your swimmers if you fancy and soak up the bohemian atmosphere.

5. Check out the local markets. There are a few markets on all over the city on weekends. We visited the market on Mariah Platz that runs every Saturday. You can find local produce from little gifts, fresh fruits and plants. We loved having a little nose around!

6. Eat, eat and eat some more. There are so, so many restaurants dotted around the city covering every type of cuisine. We found lots of independent restaurants that served delicious food from Italy to Mexico!

7. Visit the zoo. Munich is home to a lovely zoo that is actually quite large. It’s really family friendly and they are working on a lot of conservation projects too. 

8. Go to the English Garden. The English Garden is a wonderful park in the heart of Munich. Filled with dog walkers, joggers and surfers, it’s a great way to spend a few hours. We loved watching the surfers at the park (something I never expected to see!).

9. Take a day trip to Neustwanstein Castle. You can easily catch the train from Munich Central and head on over to the iconic castle that’s been used in many films. Sadly we didn’t squeeze it in this time, but I’m all over it the next time we visit!

Have you visited Munich?

L x 

12 Things you must do in Venice…


As we flew above the sea, descending into a new world, I couldn’t tear myself away from the plastic oval window that I was sat beside. I looked down at the tiny islands surrounded by water and tried to distinguish which one was which. Was I looking at the famous glass island or the one with the coloured houses?  I had heard many great tales of this little spot in Italy. Stories of magnificent beauty, magic and untold amounts of gondolas guided by men singing ‘just one Cornetto’. I couldn’t wait to explore.

You see, Venice had been on the ‘list’ for a while and as a huge fan of everything Italian, I knew I needed to go. That’s why I was super thrilled when our lovely friends Kim and Simon (or Kimon as I like to call them), suggested a trip, I had my passport in my hand before you could say ‘gelato’. 

We had chosen to travel in the summer, which was something that I had been warned against. Told that it was smelly and crowded. I had heard about such an odour from so many people that I genuinely wasn’t sure whether or not I needed to pack a peg for my nose. I was absolutely delighted when upon our arrival I discovered that it really isn’t that smelly and no more crowded than London, so I tossed my carefree nose in the air and began to enjoy the beauty that is Venice. 

The sun was shining and the water glistened as it danced underneath, surrounding us on our little island. There were no roads, no traffic lights, just bridge upon bridge over little canals weaving through the land. Boats were an accessory to the water, like a new pair of boots on a rainy day. Enjoyable, yet completely convenient. I have always had a charming love affair with both the sea and travelling by boat. I love how free I feel bobbing along, taking in my surroundings. Needless to say, I fell completely in love with Venice. The people, the food, the beautiful architecture, the boat rides, the beach and mostly, the fact that in all of the places that we have visited, the sights we have seen, Venice is remarkably unique. 
We had such a tremendous time exploring what Venice has to offer. I find that when I am visiting somewhere new, I need to experience it. Fully. I need to walk the streets the locals walk, I need to see all of the famous landmarks. I need to eat the local cuisine. I need to absorb so much that I can barely move. 

In case you haven’t guessed, I loved our time in Venice and I now present to you twelve things you must do in Venice.


1. Take in the architecture.

Have a meander around the cobbled streets that are swallowed by buildings, creating tiny walkways, but don’t forget to look up for there are so many gorgeous buildings oozing Italian history. Forget your Millenium Dome, these buildings have been here for centuries and they are pretty gorgeous! 

2. Visit Murano – the glass island.

Murano is a great little island to explore, especially if you want to get away from the rush on the main island. It’s a little quieter, but just as beautiful with gorgeous buildings and cute little glass shops.

3. Go on a Gondola ride.

Whilst they are a little on the pricey side (80 € per boat for around half an hour), I simply couldn’t imagine having visited Venice without going on a gondola. The idea just feels criminal. You can find slightly cheaper rides just off of the main canal, and to be honest the best part of our ride was meandering down the narrow paths, away from the big boats on the main canal, so if you are looking to save a bit of cash it’s a good way to go. We all loved our ride on the gondola. Just don’t expect them to be singing ‘just one Cornetto’. I was terribly disappointed.

4. Stuff your face with the most scrumptious authentic Italian cuisine.

Eat, eat and then eat some more. There are so many cute little restaurants lining the streets of Venice, each one offering wonderful traditional dishes. I am a big fan of Italian food and loved shovelling pasta in my face. They are all pretty reasonably priced too, and there are a few pizzerias where you can grab a slice of pizza for a Euro or two.

5. Visit a glass making factory on Murano.

There are a few factories on the island of Murano and many of them offer free tours where you can watch the glass being made. Definitely worth a nosey!

6. Visit the Lido island.

The Lido island feels a bit more familiar with its roads and larger shops. It’s still very beautiful and worth a stroll around.

7. Have a day at the beach.

The beach on the Lido island is so lovely with golden sand and warm waters. There are also little restaurants nearby and beach shops, so it’s so easy to spend the whole day there. They also have volleyball and boat hire facilities if you are feeling fun!

8. Hire a bicycle

Why not explore the islands by bicycle? There are a few places dotted around, especially on the Lido island. With virtually no cars, cycling is a great way to get around. 

9. Head over to Burano

Burano is a stunning island riddled with brightly coloured houses. It’s so unique and there are lots of restaurants and shops around to spend a few hours.

10. Eat copious amounts of gelato.

When in Italy it is of paramount importance that the consumption of gelato takes place on multiple occasions throughout the day. There are so, so many different flavours to try and each gelataria has their own speciality flavour. Try them all!

11. Grab a Venetian mask 

Venice is reknowned for its unique masks and there are so many shops on the main island selling traditional Venetian masks. We loved looking at all of the crazy designs and seeing how they are made. 

12. Watch the story of Venice

Something that I wish we had done was watch the story of Venice performed on stage. There is a show that runs most nights on the main island, but unfortunately I only heard about it on our last day, so we were unable to go. It’s performed in English and sounds really good, so give it a go if you can!


So there you have it, my guide of things to do in Venice.

Have you visited Venice before?

L x 

A birthday celebration at the Bluebird in Chelsea… 

I absolutely adore Chelsea and it’s one of my favourite places in the world. With its shops and gorgeous restaurants, it really is a gem. There is so much character bursting from the streets and it just feels rather lovely. London can be gritty, grubby, harsh and fast paced, but Chelsea is never any of those. Always calmer, cleaner and brighter. It’s also home to one of my favourite restaurants in the world – The Ivy Chelsea Garden. I am so in love with that cute little restaurant nestled right into the heart of London with its voluptuous garden. It is simply beautiful. Oh and the food is good too!

On this occasion, we were in Chelsea to celebrate my wonderful friend Kimberley’s thirtieth birthday and recent engagement (but it was mostly all about the birthday girl). Kimberley had opted for the Bluebird to play host to her celebrations and it was such a nice place to celebrate in. With its clean, crisp and modern interior down to its tasty menu with unique choices and delicious cocktails, the Bluebird was rather great.

We started our evening having drinks in the bar which is situated in the middle of the restaurant and littered with stunning flowers. Apparently a guy from Made in Chelsea was in our presence, but as I don’t watch the show, it went completely over my head!


After we had relaxed in the bar, we went to the mezzanine room for our private dining experience which was totally lush. The room was spacious and well presented. There is a glass wall which overlooks the restaurant. I think that this was a nice touch as it brought the sumptuous Bluebird atmosphere into our room whilst still offering upmost privacy. 

We had a three course set menu and for starters I opted for pate. A bit of a staple choice for me as I love a bit of pate and toast! Unfortunately, it didn’t live up to my expectations and I soon traded my starter with my hubby’s watermelon and beansprout choice. Although it sounds a bit wild, it was deceptively tasty and I much preferred it to the pate.For my main course I chose lamb with Cous Cous. It was absolutely delicious and I am quite convinced that I could eat it every day of my life and remain quite contented. It made much more of a positive impact than the pate!


Dessert for me was ‘Burnt Cambridge’ aka Creme Brûlée and was rather tasty, although I found it a bit too sweet towards the end.


Soon enough the evening began to draw to a close and we sang Happy Birthday to my lovely friend. Kimberley had a pretty cake chosen by her fiancé Simon and the staff at Bluebird were really brilliant at packing it all up for us to take a slice home.


We then popped back down to the bar for more cocktails and catch ups before the night carried us away along King’s Road and to the tube station, where we were super lucky enough to just catch the last train home. Phew!


Have you visited the Bluebird? Where is your favourite place to eat in London?

L x