So it’s been an exciting couple of months for me… After spending last summer in Hong Kong for a project at work, I got the opportunity to move back to this city for a longer stint and I jumped at the chance! I moved back […]
So we ate all of the food at Christmas, drank all of the champagne on New Year’s Eve and rang in the new year with excitement and fervour to be better people. Whether it’s dry January, vegan-uary or just a general healthy kick, it feels like everyone was determined to start the year right!
Three weeks in and I don’t know about you, but January is kicking my ass! 😂 It’s freezing, working full weeks is feeling particularly long, especially as the sun insists on setting before I leave the office.
But hey, it’s still my birthday month, it’s my 2-year blog-iversary soon and it’s nearly pay day! So I’ve decided to treat myself…
For starters a massage and facial are definitely overdue. But I’m starting by treating myself to some fabulous dresses from Quiz Clothing. Their maxi dresses are bomb! This black number just oozes luxury and it’s on sale. Check them out yourself and thank me later 😀
And it gets even better! Check out my Instagram to win yourself a treat of your own…I’ve got one of these dresses to give away but you’ll have to be quick…
Something I’ve really gotten into over the past year is podcasts. It’s either the in-thing now for everyone and their dog to have a podcast or it’s just me showing my age, because I’m obsessed! There are so many brilliant podcasts to choose from. Here […]
Happy New Year lovely people! Hope your 2019 is off to a great start. I myself have had an absolute blast so far – helped greatly by the fact that it’s my birthday!! As each birthday rolls around I find myself getting more and more […]
Kyoto was a pleasant surprise! With only a few days to spend in Japan, the girls and I were determined to make the most of our time there.
We arrived at Kyoto Shinkansen station by bullet train from Tokyo and strolled 10 minutes to our conveniently-located Airbnb. We had rented a traditional Japanese house, with mat flooring, sliding doors, and super-low furniture (I’m talking mattress on the floor low!)
There would be plenty of time to spend admiring the architecture, but first we had to explore. Our hosts had bikes ready for us so we hopped on and headed straight out. First stop…
The bike ride there was only about 20 minutes long but about halfway into our journey it started to drizzle (typical, right?) A quick stop at a 7/11 for four very handy raincoats and we were back on the road. A little hot and bothered and of course there was no escaping the wet feet but we made it intact. Finding somewhere to park the bikes was another adventure but hey, that’s a story for another day.
Sometimes called Kyoto’s Kitchen, Nishiki Market is a collection of mostly food shops and stalls selling everything from fresh fish to delicious grilled treats. It’s a loooooong road plus quite a few stalls try to entice you with free samples, so by the time you walk from one end to the other I almost guarantee you’ll have a full belly – I certainly did!
I had just about the largest shrimp I have ever eaten, some interesting-flavoured ice cream and of course picked up some cute gifts for friends and family back home. There are also quite a few shops selling clothes, skincare products and all sorts nearby so you can till you drop (all those calories ha!)
Definitely a must visit if you’re ever in Kyoto.
You know how I said you’ll have a full belly by the time you’re done at Nishiki Market? well if you press on with the rest of the shopping you’ll have worked up an appetite again and helpfully there’s this AMAZING restaurant nearby. Hiro is chain of Yakinuku restaurants in Kyoto, with one just 5/10 minutes walk from the market.
They specialize in grilled wagyu beef and you do the grilling! A hot-plate/grill is set on your table and you choose different cuts of beef to try (and sides if you want). The beef was sublime – tender and flavourful, I didn’t know it was possible for meat to melt in your mouth! I couldn’t recommend it enough.
Price wise, it was very reasonable too. The meal plus drinks came to roughly £25 each and we were all stuffed. Cycling home after that hearty meal was admittedly not my favourite activity.
No trip to Kyoto is complete without a visit to Gion, the most popular geisha district in the city. People often say early evening is a popular time to see the geishas as they make their way from one building to another.
Warmed up after our cycle home from the restaurant, we hopped back on our bikes around 11pm and made our way along the canals and winding roads in the cool evening breeze. We had no idea what to expect, but we definitely knew when we arrived. It was like stepping back in time…
The streets were lined with quaint wooden buildings and restaurants, and it was almost eerily quiet (not surprising given the time of night).
After wandering around for a while, taking in the sights we were content to head on home until a group of geishas emerged from one of the buildings talking and chuckling quietly amongst themselves.
Till today I still get a big grin across my face when I think about it – I was so excited to see these women, almost preserved in history, with my own eyes! We greeted them with smiles and I shyly asked one if I could take a picture of her. She graciously accepted and posed for me – as I silently willed my DSLR not to let me down. Thankfully it didn’t…
Touchdown in Taipei A weekend in Taipei was just what the doctor ordered. In the couple of months I spent in Hong Kong I wasn’t able to book in as many weekend getaways as I would have liked, so when my friend recommended Taiwan I bit […]
So you’ve booked your flights to whatever slice of paradise is on your bucket list, packed your bags and headed out for some well-deserved R&R. You might be one blurry, off-centre picture away from dumping your boo for his lack of photography skills. Or maybe […]
Living in Hong Kong has been a dream so far! (Check out this post and this one for some Hong Kong highlights). So much so that it’s taken me a whole month to plan a weekend trip to other nearby cities. At the very last-minute, I decided on a weekend break to Phuket in Thailand. Skycanner always has great deals on and a found a hotel easily on Booking.com.
Phuket is an “interesting” city to say the least, but when you visit, here are some things you absolutely need to make sure you tick off your list!
Things to do in Phuket
See the Siam Niramit show
Probably the highlight of my whole trip, Siam Niramit is a colourful, visually stimulating and highly entertaining journey through Thai history. I used the Klook app to book discounted tickets. Transfers + Gold Seats + Buffet Dinner for just over £30 – an absolute steal! (This is basically half price compared to buying direct or through other vendors).
The show is set in its own grounds, and as you arrive you are greeted by performers marching through the halls playing drums and chanting/singing. Not to be outshined, elephants, guided by their keepers, amble past with grinning kids (and adults) on their back. Before the show even starts, you’re treated to a mini performance by the troupe in the outdoor area, followed by a whole parade of dancers in glittering costumes and the elephants of course!
By the time you head into the auditorium for the show to start, you are left wondering what more they could possibly do…and boy-oh-boy, do they deliver! Each scene walks you through a different age and/or kingdom in Thai history, with the most vibrant and elaborate costumes and sets. I was even picked to play a part in one of the sets – my claim to fame for sure. It’s an absolute must-see!
Eat Street Food at Jungceylon
To be clear, Jungceylon is actually a shopping centre (which I didn’t go into so don’t know much about). What you should be asking for specifically is Banzaan Night Market. It’s a collection of outdoor food stalls serving amazing local dishes! Food is super cheap and delicious. It might be best avoided if you have a super-sensitive stomach but otherwise I recommend trying different dishes.
To be honest, you can get street food just about everywhere. In fact you’ll often see locals on motorbikes with a mini-kitchen (complete with hotplates and pots) as the sidecar. They stop and set up shop selling pad thai, roti, pancakes or whatever delicious food they specialise in. And of course, don’t miss out on the fresh fruit – I was completely obsessed with the fresh mango!
Have Lunch “On The Rock”
Enjoy amazing views and delicious food at On The Rock, a gorgeous little restaurant on the edge of Karon Beach. They have a ton of tasty cocktails, the food is exquisite and the ocean is right on the doorstep. I recommend the bang-bang chicken, it’s divine. When you book, ask for a table by the water – you won’t regret it.
It’s quite a romantic spot, so if you’re on bae-cation, definitely one to add to your list. Not to say that you need to be boo’d up to enjoy it though. Head there for lunch so you can fully enjoy the view (and avoid all the couples gazing into each others eyes ha!)
Party on Bangla Road
It’s as simple as this – if you visit Phuket and you don’t have at least one night out on Bangla road, did you even go to Phuket??
So it’s one long road of bars, clubs and all sorts. The all sorts being the immaculately dressed ladyboys looking for customers, half-naked women advertising “European strip shows”, promoters trying to pull customers into “ping-pong shows”. I won’t go into too much detail on that point – all you need to know is it involves all sorts of household items going into or coming out of surprising places.
So if you’re into a more “alternative” scene, Bangla road is definitely the place for you, but they do also have more regular clubs and bars. I really liked the music at Shark Club and Tiger Disco had a pretty good vibe too.
Explore Phuket Town
Phuket Town is the old town of Phuket and is a flood of colourful pastel buildings. I’ll be honest, it doesn’t feel like you’re in Thailand and I really don’t know if that is a good thing. Cute little coffee shops and cafes scream of gentrification, not to mention the souvenir shops full of your typical tourist trinkets. I really hope I don’t sound jaded here but I can’t quite work out my feelings about this part of the island. Regardless I found it very pretty and met a few lovely locals.
And of course, how could I forget the local restaurant where I had the best roti and beef curry I’ve ever tasted!
Get Spiritual at the Big Buddha
The Big Buddha statue is on top of a mountain in the Chalong area of Phuket. Construction has been going on for a few years now but the statue itself is complete and breathtaking! Compared to the bustling, noisy streets of the main town and beach areas, you get to the site and feel almost overwhelmed by the near-silence. It’s sort of eerily quiet even with the crowds of people who flock there.
The first thing you should note is that it is a sacred/religious site so be sure to be respectful and not rock up in beachwear or some ashawo-shorts. (In case you missed it, I mentioned this in my post about surviving Phuket as a tourist, read it here). To be honest, even if you go under-dressed, they have sarongs you can use to cover up.
You can walk through the temple even though it’s under construction. In fact, you can donate a tile to be used in the construction. What’s also great is you can stop to pray or meditate in the temple. Depending on the time, you might also meet the monks prayers and hear them chanting. And finally the view! Given you are so high up you get a 360 degree of basically the whole island. What’s not to love?!
These are my top picks of things to do in Phuket but I’m sure there are loads more amazing spots that haven’t made it to my list. Where else in Phuket would you recommend? Share in the comments below!
Phuket is a beautiful island, with gorgeous beaches, a crazy nightlife and everything in between to make for an entertaining trip. For this reason millions of tourists flock there each year, and the locals take full advantage. So what can you do to navigate the […]
My second weekend in Hong Kong and it rained THE WHOLE TIME! On the plus side, even though it’s super-rainy the temperatures are still pretty high so I donned my summer dress, popped an umbrella into my basket bag and headed to Repulse Bay.
Repulse Bay is a gorgeous area with restaurants, shops and a winding promenade along the beach. All that and it’s only a 15/20 minute taxi ride from Causeway Bay. There are also several buses that go straight there, making it very accessible.
The rain came down hard almost immediately after we set off in the taxi, but unfazed, we alighted and headed straight to a seafood restaurant called Limewood for some lunch. What better way to pass the time, right?
They had this “jerked coconut corn”, which was just divine! Coconut is not a particular favourite of mine but it worked really well with the corn. It was sweet and slightly salty all at once, defintiely a must-try.
An interesting take on plantain – unripe plantain, battered, fried and sprinkled in cinnamon.
Deep fried, thai-style snapper fish. I rarely (and by rarely, I mean never) eat whole fish but this was delicious. A creative take on battered fish – well-presented and tasty!
A yummy salad and some wings on the side too…
By the time we finished lunch the weather had improved so we strolled along the promenade, stopping to see the Tin Hau temple and the Kwun Yam shrine.
As soon as we figured that we had done enough walking to atone for our delicious lunch, it was time to head home. Great memories from an afternoon very well spent!
Hi guys, I know it’s been a hot minute since my last post. Let’s just say life has been craaaazy: working stupid hours, moving to Hong Kong, a whole new city, and still trying to live my best life! I’m writing this from my cute […]
Mykonos Day 2: Boat Tour After two days spent on the beach and exploring Mykonos, we were keen to make the most of our last day on the island. What better to do than a boat tour? It would be a full day of touring, […]
So you’ve read all about the first day of our Mykonos adventures (if not, read it here). After getting home at 6am – and wolfing down a gyros before going to bed, no less – we didn’t get up till 3pm!
There was no way we were going to waste the rest of the day though. By 5pm we were dressed and had rented a car to explore some of the island…
Our first stop was the Old Town. Although we had seen it the night before, I was keen to look around in the daytime.
Passing by a few stores to pick out souvenirs to take home…
…And I had to get a crepe, of course. Trio Bambini has some of the best crepes I have ever tasted!
A few more minutes spent exploring before we headed back to the car to drive to our next stop…
The 25-minute drive to Armenistis Lighthouse was no joke, the island is basically a series of rocky hills so you find yourself driving down winding roads that are at times both incredibly steep and very narrow. The views as we headed up higher and further north more than made up for it though.
As we (finally) approached the clearing in front of the lighthouse, it was well worth the drive! Set against the stark, almost bleak landscape, the lighthouse jutted out – literally a beacon in the day.
Although the wind was unrelenting, it could not deter us from climbing out onto some rocks to take in the view. And what a stunning view it was!
In good spirits, although somewhat windswept, we trooped back to the car to make our final few stops before the sun went down…
Ano Mera and More…
Next on our route was the village of Ano Mera. A few of the locals we met on Saturday had suggested we stop by Ano Mera to get a better idea of the truest form of life on the island. It seemed to be a simple, sleepy but thoroughly chaming village. Kids were playing outside – chasing footballs, some in a game of hide and seek. It was almost like going back in time, and as we walked around it was as if time melted away.
Our drive continued, and we stopped at a couple of coastal beaches as the sun started to set.
The final stop on our route was at the infamous Scorpios, one of the island’s hotspots where the elite and “beautiful people” mingle. I can’t say much – I absolutely loved the vibe but not the music! (EDM is not for me haha).
Finally it was time to shimmy on home, we stopped for dinner at a charming restaurant a few doors down from our apartment before calling it a night. Not bad for a day which started at five in the afternoon, right?
Mykonos Day 1: Super Paradise Mykonos, a charming Greek island sprawled across rocky hills, where better to catch some sun and sea? I landed at noon on Saturday, the two-hour time difference belying the fact that I had left home for the airport at the […]
If you’ve been to Cape Town you will have no doubt have appreciated the dramatic skyline of Table Mountain. With the option of taking a cable car to the summit, hiking up is not necessarily at the forefront of most people’s minds. For me though, […]
Bo Kaap is one of the most recognisable backdrops in Cape Town. The brilliant hues of the houses are an incredible sight and you can’t help but smile!
I was out in Cape Town for a wedding – yes another one! This time, my friends Jumi and Tunde (#JumiToons woooooooooo!) and it was soooooo muuuuuuuch fuuuuuun. I met some amazing people, including my little “Cape Town Crew” – we were basically joined at the hip.
So Bo Kaap was historically a predominantly Muslim area, referred to by some as Cape Malay Quarter due to the heritage of the original residents.
There are a few versions of the reason behind the brightly coloured houses: some say the residents painted their houses to mark the end of Apartheid and celebrate their freedom.
Walking through the pretty streets, no doubt you’ll come across locals and tourists alike, going about their business, or with cameras snapping away in front of the brightly-coloured walls. We were no exception.
We wandered through the streets at snail pace, stopping for literally millions of pictures…”hello, ANTM”
Soon we were craving a cold drink and some food. All that picture-taking is hard work you know!
We ambled towards the cool shade of Marcos African restaurant for a (semi-) traditional lunch.
They have all sorts of local game on the menu, a great test of how adventurous we were feeling. An easy choice was the “Pan-Africa platter” which has Springbok, Ostrich and Kudu. The Springbok especially was absolutely delicious!
A not-so-easy choice was the chicken hearts and livers – I won’t go into too much detail but you have to be open-minded, right?
Bellies full, it was a casual stroll back to our apartments, happily recounting the highlights of the afternoon.
If you’re looking for a great city break, Rome is a great option. Beautiful architecture, rich culture and delicious food – what more could you want! There was just too much to see (and eat) so I decided to do two separate posts. In this […]
I haven’t spent much time in Brixton but my friend Lauren is constantly raving about it, so when she suggested brunch at Canova Hall, I jumped at the opportunity. The first thing you notice when you walk into Canova Hall is how (surprisingly) big the […]
After what felt like the rainiest weekend in Marrakech, my friends and I had made the absolute best of the trip so far, but I for one was very pleased to see the sun come out on my birthday!
We checked out of our Riad and headed out to see the Jardin Majorelle. Got there and *plot twist* the queue was down the block! #aintnobodygottimefordat! We headed straight to the Four Seasons for lunch instead.
Those guys don’t play, the vibes, the views and the service were all amazing!
We had a table in Inara, one of three restaurants on the property. We considered sitting out in the sun on their lovely terrace but figured we shouldn’t tempt fate. We needn’t have worried though, the sun stayed high in the sky.
As we were seated we didn’t waste time ordering our lunch, so much to choose from…and of course the pressure of it being our last proper meal before leaving Marrakech.
I chose the fresh prawn rolls with peanut sauce, but it was Sareena and Tee’s spinach, goat cheese and cherry tomato quiches that stole the show…and of course they would not shut up about it!
We all went for a more traditional main, which was pretty good but definitely not mind-blowing.
The highlight though was my surprise birthday cake! The girls had arranged with the hotel to get me a small chocolate cake which was just delicious!! There’s something about the word “birthday” that transforms any cake into the real deal! I was so pleased!
Our waiters joined in to sing happy birthday too!
Well fed and very pleased with ourselves we finally said goodbye to the Four Seasons and headed back to the medina to grab our bags and head home! What a great end to a fabulous trip.
I guess you could say we truly experienced all four seasons on this trip (literally!)
If you don’t know Joko Edu, you need to know! A Nigerian designer based in Lagos , her fabulous bags come in many different colours and styles but the Seyi is my absolute favourite. They are available off the shelf or can be personalised to your taste.
Marrakech has been on my bucket list for ages now, so for my birthday this year I was determined to make it out there. With three friends I booked flights for a long weekend away, but as luck would have it the weather was not on […]
Can you believe Real Life With Lou is a year old?! One whole year since I started this blog and it’s been a blast!
It took me so long to get the balls to finally start it. For the longest time I umm-ed and ahh-ed about whether or not to do it – would anybody read it? would I have the time? would I be any good at it?
It’s so easy to get stuck in our heads and over-analyse instead of just leaping. This year I am determined to leap more and take action.
What are you going to do more in 2018?
Top: ASOS | Jeans: Zara | Shoes: Gucci | Jacket: Ted Baker | Bag: Joko Edu
Hi Lovelies! I know it’s been a minute since I posted. The last few weeks have been a whirlwind with my birthday, trip to Morocco, work and the highlight – my close friend’s baby shower! Knowing that she’s having a baby boy we chose blue as […]
By now you must know I love my girlie catch ups over brunch. I was super excited to catch up with my friend Bambo after so long and where better than Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings? We had heard great things about B&H Buildings: Instagram-worthy décor, […]
Can you believe it’s nearly Christmas already?! If like me you’ve left your Christmas shopping to the very last minute then don’t worry, I’ve got you. Here are 12 last minute Christmas gift ideas to give you some inspiration. You can thank me later!
Canvas or Wall Mural
If you’re looking for a unique Christmas present this year, why not give a gorgeous canvas or an interesting wall mural? Photowall.co.uk has some amazing designs and you can even upload your own picture to make a cool framed print or special wallpaper. In addition you get an additional 20% off with the code RLWLCampaign2017, which is valid for 30 days!
For example, this world map would make a great gift for someone who loves to travel, or how about this sea-themed mural for your favourite niece or nephew.
Price: from £26/m for murals, £38 for canvases Perfect for: The Traveller, The Little Sailor, Pretty Much Anyone
Natural Hair Care Set
Now all my curly-haired girls (and guys maybe) know how hard it can be to find great products for natural hair. So better believe they’ll love you forever for this gift. The Cantu Natural Set is an easy choice. Known for taming and priming curls, Cantu has taken the natural hair world by storm and is a great gift for any natural/curly-haired friends or family. It also smells great!
Price: £25.99 Perfect for: Curly-Haired Guys and Gals, The Melanin Queen
Kitchen Gadgets from Uutensil
We all know that one person that’s an absolute whizz in the kitchen. Whipping up a seven-course meal like it’s nothing, all the while looking cool and glamorous.
On the other hand, there’s the one that loves to try to cook (key word here being “try”). Experimenting with all sorts of gourmet dishes but getting more points for effort than actual taste.
Well never fear, Uutensil has all the out of the box but insanely useful kitchen gadgets you can think of. From the automatic stirrer (which I have) to the “squish”, a combined garlic crusher and ginger grater, there’s something for everyone.
Price: £5.99 – £27.99 Perfect for: The Kitchen God/Goddess, The Wannabe Chef, The Kitchen Burner Downer
Taotronics wireless headphones
I can’t recommend these wireless headphones enough! It’s always a struggle to find well-priced headphones with decent sound quality. Now add that to the fact that they pair with your device over Bluetooth, sit comfortably in even the most oddly-shaped ears and even have a magnetic clip on the back of each ear pod so they fasten around your neck when not in use. What’s not to love?!
Price:£25.99 Perfect for: The Runner, The Friend That Never Stops Dancing
Yogasphere offers yoga classes across numerous London locations including at The Shard. Not sold yet? They also do yoga brunches and yoga retreats to suitably exotic destinations like Bali. Definitely on the pricier side, this is probably a gift to reserve for your inner circle but it’s certainly something a bit different… and even better if you get to go along too!
Price:Various (currently 5 passes for £30 for new joiners) Perfect for: Someone Special, The Yogi, The Fit Freak, The Friend With A Million New Year’s Resolutions
A stylish weekend bag is always a necessity. Why not get this classic Ted Baker holdall for the special man in your life? (Yes, I’m sure your brother is very special too!) Plus, once they have the perfect going away bag, maybe they’ll finally get around to taking you to that spa hotel you’ve been eyeing up!
Price: £99 Perfect for: The Gentleman, The Traveller
Hi Lovelies, hope you’ve all had a great week! I’m counting down to Christmas like no man’s business. It’s been ridiculously cold in London in the past couple of weeks so I’ve been dreaming of the perfect winter getaway. Here are a few of my […]
Hi Lovelies! So remember in my post about Duck & Waffle Local I mentioned that I was headed to a dance class with my girls? Well “dance class” doesn’t even cover it, it was more like a dance PARTY! Scroll all the way down for […]
Hi Lovelies! I don’t know you’re as obsessed with Duck & Waffle as I am, but did you know there was a second branch?! Okay let’s start from scratch in case you’re wondering wtf I’m talking about. Duck & Waffle is the bombdiggity.com. Period. A restaurant on the 40th floor of Heron Tower near Liverpool street, it boasts views to die for and serves interestingly paired foods such as, you guessed it, duck with waffles.
Strange as it may sound, if you’ve ever had American chicken and waffles, or even crispy duck pancakes at a Chinese restaurant, your taste buds have been preparing you for this all your life! Okay I’ll dial it back, but seriously, duck and waffle is a thing and it works! The restaurant serves other strange-sounding but delicious combinations, like bacon-wrapped dates and ox-cheek doughnuts. So combine the amazing views with the genius menu and you’re left with a restaurant that’s fully booked for brunch months in advance. They do open 24/7 so if you fancy a 5am meal then why not? (I had a 2am reservation there just last weekend in fact.)
Now imagine my joy when I found out about their second branch, named Duck & Waffle Local. A stone’s throw from Piccadilly Circus station, it was a great spot for a last-minute brunch with friends. We had a dance class right across the street (details coming soon) and wanted to catch up before heading over.
The classics were there: the famous duck and waffle, rosemary fries. What more could we ask for?
And the decor, bright and pretty spacious; admittedly, it would never beat the views of the HQ but it still made for great vibes. Definitely worth checking out if you have a hankering for an atypical, last-minute brunch.
Have you been to Duck & Waffle Local? Let me know what you thought of it in the comments below.
Hi Lovelies! If you follow me on Instagram you’ll see that I have been obsessing over the autumn weather and recently shared this outfit on my feed. I wear a lot of black, especially in the winter, but occasionally I’m partial to a pop of […]
Today’s post is a bit of a different one to normal. Rather than my usual adventures, I wanted to address a question I get asked quite a lot: How Do You Afford To Travel So Much? By no means am I professing to be some […]
It feels good to be back home in London, after spending most of the summer away. In case you missed it, check out my adventures in San Diego and Lisbon. Now it’s back to reality and as much as I never thought I’d say this – I freaking LOVE autumn! From the crispness in the air and leaves turning brown, to fabulous autumn fashion – what’s not to love?
What I love most about autumn fashion is the layers. If you’re the type that’s always cold, you can jump straight in with the sweaters, thick coats and boots. But if like me, you’re constantly too warm, you can pair your summer clothes with jeans and mix in simple pieces like capes and shawls.
Happy hump day people! Hope you’re having a good week. For me, it’s my last week before I go back to work so I’m mentally preparing for having more structure to my days. But in the meanwhile I’m slowly getting back to my normal (read: fabulous) […]
If you’ve been following my blog or my Instagram stories, you’ll know I took some time off to travel and spent some time in the US. San Diego was my first stop, and I spent a gorgeous afternoon in Coronado (check out the post here, in […]
Over the summer I managed to wrangle quite a bit of time off work to do some exploring. My first stop was Portugal (in case you missed it, check out 5 Reason to love Lisbon and this amazing Portuguese steakhouse). After a quick stop in Nigeria for a friend’s wedding, I was on a flight to the US. First on the list was San Diego in sunny California! And of course I just had to check out beautiful Coronado.
I drove over the iconic Coronado bridge and took in the amazing views over the water. It was a sunny, clear day – as you would expect in California so you could see for miles and miles. Of course as I was driving I wasn’t able to take pictures so you’ll just gave to take my word for it haha!
I headed straight to the Hotel del Coronado, probably the most iconic spot in the area. I parked up and left the car to explore the hotel and the sunny palm tree-lined streets.
A cheeky peek into the hotel and I was surprised to find it decorated quite traditionally, with rich, dark wood lining the walls leading to a maze of small gift shops and the like.
I found myself missing the bright sunshine so I quickly headed back outside through the back of the hotel. You can walk along the beach behind the hotel, so I did just that.
There were gorgeous villas and a couple of restaurants and cafes to grab a bite.
There was even a proper lounge area right on the sand!
Before long I stopped at one of the hotel’s beachfront restaurants, Sun Deck Bar & Grill, for a spot of lunch. Recently I’ve really had a thing for lobster (clearly I’m a classy gal haha!) So of course I just had to order a lobster roll…
The garlic fries were out of this world!
I wolfed down my lunch in record time and continued my walk towards the marina. What a sight – beautiful, mirror-like waters! I sat for a while enjoying the view but too soon it was time to head off.
The afternoon just flew by! Next on the list was Little Italy in San Diego for drinks with my friend Nat. Post coming soon…
Have you been to Coronado? Please tell me I’m not the only one obsessed with this little slice of heaven! As usual, let me know in the comments below.
Hi Lovelies! Hope you’ve all had a great week. I’ve had a restful one recovering from my eye surgery and meeting my friend’s newborn baby boy. He’s adorable and I’m absolutely obsessed! As you might know, I was out in New York a few weeks […]
Oh Lisbon! What a beautiful city. I booked a trip there on a spur of the moment. I had taken time off work and was determined to squeeze in a quick trip before travelling to Nigeria for my friend’s wedding. Monday morning I was up […]
Today I’m going to tell you all about this amazing little spot in Victoria Park, Stratford called Pavilion Cafe. Living in the east end of London myself, I’m always on the lookout for new brunch spots close to home. So when my friend Ahmad suggested this little place overlooking a pond in nearby Stratford, I jumped at the chance to try it out.
Being in the middle of my extended leave from work before my eye operation, I was glad for the chance to have brunch on a weekday morning when it wouldn’t be too busy. We arranged for noon on a Thursday.
To start with, Victoria Park is just lovely! I haven’t spent much time there but have done a couple of 5K runs around the park in the last few years. There were joggers, people with families, couples strolling – all just lovely really. And in the middle of it or was this little round building overlooking a pond.
By the time I got there Ahmad was already waiting – surprise, surprise (African time is real guys haha). Looking around the room I was pleased by the warm and cosy vibe of the wooden tables and counter that surrounded the round room. Most impressive were the large windows and skylight in the ceiling that brightened the room and made it seem much bigger than it actually was. Clearly here simplicity was key, and it suited it to a tee.
We both went up to the counter to order. Ahmad chose the vegetarian breakfast (don’t bring that near me LOL) and I had the eggs Royale. We sat inside as it was windy as hell outside and I wasn’t ready to lose my breakfast. Food arrived in no time alongside large cups of tea, and we wolfed our meals down as we caught up.
I have to say deciding on a meal was pretty simple as their menu is not particularly expensive, but I was pretty satisfied with my breakfast and Ahmad with his.
Once we had finished, we moved outside to sit overlooking the water – it was so peaceful! I personally love being near the water so I couldn’t have been happier, although I was a bit worried I would drop my phone in haha.
All in all, it was a lovely little cafe. I would definitely recommend it for a quiet brunch on a Saturday morning. Although I do get the impression it might get crazy busy at the weekend.
My rating – 7/10
Hope you enjoyed this post. What are some other good brunch spots to try in London? Let me know in the comments below. My current favourite is still Christoper’s (check out my post about Brunch at Christopher’s)
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If you saw my previous post about my Day Trip to Montenegro you’ll remember I mentioned that my friend Nono came to visit, and we went on a girls’ trip to Dubrovnik in Croatia.
We got there on a Wednesday morning, dropped our bags at the hotel and headed straight out to see the city. A quick Uber ride later and we found ourselves at the gates of the Old Town. It was a magnificent sight! High walls surround it, and you can climb up to the top of the walls to get a view of the whole city.
The Old Town
We wandered through the Old Town marvelling at the beauty of the tiled streets. Dozens of charming little restaurants lined the steps and we had to grin and politely decline their eager hosts as we ducked through the crowds in the heat.
Ah, that is one thing to mention – it was H. O. T! I think because of the limestone, the heat from the sun is reflected througsh the town. I was literally melting so was very glad when we got to the dock as the breeze from the water made things a lot cooler.
As we strolled along the port, we were approached by numerous vendors offering us day tours, boat rides to different islands and other excursions. Lokrum island seemed like the easiest and most flexible option so we bought our 15 EUR tickets and hopped on the little ferry to take us across. It was a 15-minute ride over the glittering water and in no time we could hear the sounds of wildlife – yes, I said wildlife! Probably a little dramatic as it was probably only birds or insects, but there was a distinct chirping/humming sound as we approached the lush island.
We followed the path through to the botanical gardens, thankful for the shade of the trees. Peacocks were roaming around freely, especially near al fresco diners, hoping to be fed leftovers. Nono and I explored the south-eastern part of the island and headed to the Dead Sea Lake. Clearly a popular spot with other tourists, it was pretty crowded so we bowed out and opted to splash about in the cool water of the cliff beach instead.
We ate a delicious mini lunch of prosciutto-topped bruschetta in the former monastery on the island. You could very easily spend an entire day on Lokrum Island but we had limited time so we took the boat back to the old town by the early evening.
Game of Thrones Tour
Before we left London, the one thing we had absolutely promised to do was the Game of Thrones tour. If like me you’re obsessed with GoT, then I would absolutely recommend the combined history and Game of Thrones walking tour. Our guide, Iva was AMAZING! She has worked on the GoT set for years so gave us all sorts of insight into the show and cast. I have to say the tour was probably the highlight of my trip!
Other Fun Things to Do
Walking around the Old Town made me feel like I would bump into Cersei Lannister any second. We made sure to see the Rector’s Palace, Fountain of Onofrio and The Square of the Loggia. And of course, one of the best decisions we made was to take the Day Trip to Montenegro. Two trips in one!