At the start of the month, myself and a couple of other bloggers enjoyed a night in London, but a different one from which we would usually experience.
Whilst living in central London for three years, I never had the need to stay in hotels - and now I’m back living at home 20 mins outside of London on the train, I usually just go home.
But La Suite West kindly gave us the chance to experience all that their hotel has to offer, along with the challenge of an escape room beforehand, as a bit of fun.
We did our escape room experience at Lock’d near Waterloo, and I’ll have to admit, I really wasn’t sure what to expect beforehand. The day before I found out we would be participating in an escape room, one of my friends was telling me about her experience of a horror escape room, so when I found out that we were doing one - I was terrified! I didn’t actually realise that escape rooms are actually fun, and not horror based. The particular experience that we did was named ‘Grandpa’s Last Will’.
We all ended up loving our escape room experience, and wanted to do it again. It made me feel like I was doing some sort of bushtucker trial for an hour (minus the creepy crawlers of course), and we managed to escape with 3 minutes to spare. It’s a great team building experience and a great way to bond with people too.
Prices for Lock’d start from £80 and can be booked for groups from 2-5 people. You can book your experience here.
Later on, we arrived at La Suite West in Kensington. This is where we would be having a late afternoon tea, dinner, and staying for the night. Above is the lovely room I stayed in for the night - the beds really are as comfy as they look, the bathroom is a bloggers paradise made completely of marble, and the floor was heated to a very toasty temperature!
The location of the hotel is also idyllic, situated on the edge of Hyde Park - a stones throw away from Oxford Street or Kensington Palace. The street outside is lovely and quiet providing a good night’s sleep, which I find is actually very rare to get in London.
Prices for a room at La Suite West vary from on average £140 to £170 per night and can be booked via their website here.
Not being a vegan or vegetarian, this was the first time I have ever properly tried a vegan menu. I was pleasantly surprised at how good vegan food can actually taste, as admittedly I was skeptical about how much flavour the food would have - but we certainly weren’t disappointed. The BBQ Tempeh and Rocket sandwich was a particularl favourite for all of us, and the combination of strawberries with coconut cream was lovely.
At a price of £29 per person, I would say that this is pretty decently priced for central London - the majority of afternoon teas in the London area range around the £45+ mark.
Dinner was served in-room, and as the usual restaurant was shut for refurbishment, we were able to choose food from the Greek restaurant across the road. There was a wide selection to choose from and the flavours were spectacular - the Greek salad was particularly divine. I found the staff at the hotel very accommodating to the best of their abilities, and consistently went out of their way to help us whenever we needed. The hotel was also impeccably clean and I simply couldn’t fault it in any way.
We were also able to have breakfast in-room the next day, which had a wide selection of fruits, meats, and traditional breakfasts selections.
Disclaimer: please note that this blog post was created in collaboration with Social Network Solutions. I did receive all experiences and gifts for free, in exchange for an honest review on my blog - however all thoughts, opinions and experiences are of my own.
So unless you don’t follow me on Instagram… (in which case, I'm intrigued to know how you got here?) You’ll have found it pretty hard not to notice I’ve been gallivanting around Europe recently on the worlds worst boat trip. I mean I'm not gonna lie to you, I'm on a floating prison. Never the less, the stops (that we've made it to) have been incredible, (they're rushed - but still) I made it to Santorini!
Santorini is everything I had dreamed and MORE - those pristine terraces of houses upon houses, with the occasional break for a private pool, are everything I expected! (I'm promising myself that one day I WILL stay here, and I WILL have a pool).
The small town of Oia is the place you want to go to (you know, the one from pretty much every social media site going) and everywhere you turn is a photo opportunity. Unfortunately I was only there for a mere 3 hours so I didn’t get to experience what I can only imagine would be the best sunset ever (one day), but in my short time in Oia, I got to see why this place is so popular. It really is so beautiful and well kept, and Greece has totally stolen my heart - what more could you want; it’s close to home, picture perfect, clear blue skies, and not to mention the greek cuisine!
The next stop was Mykonos. Just when I thought I’d peaked in travel destinations, my heart was stolen from Santorini and given to Mykonos. This place is insanely perfect, and as much as I loved Santorini, Mykonos is just as beautiful but with a little more life about it. There's beaches, bars, restaurants, historical interests... there's nothing I love more than grazing like a washed up whale on a nice beach and Santorini (from what I saw) is lacking in beaches!
As soon as I stepped foot in the town I was literally speechless, and I didn’t know where to look first (although that's probably because it was the first time I'd seen land in about 3 days, and let me tell you I was absolutely sick of the sight of water at that point) all the little white restaurants with vines hanging above them and cute red table cloths, I felt like I’d just stepped into something from BeautifulDestinations Instagram!
We also had longer on Mykonos so we opted to spend the day exploring instead, and pictures speak louder than words so you can see for yourself!
Our next stop was a surprise to say the least. It was advertised as Monte Carlo/Cannes/Nice, but we actually ended up in some random French town named Villefranche for 3 hours. With the option of a 1 hour taxi each way to Cannes or Nice, this seemed a little pointless after getting the crossing boat from the cruise ship to dry land, and I dread to think how much it would have cost. We stayed in Villefranche, and as you all know by now I'm all about being honest on my blog... this place was actually boring as hell, seriously, don't go there.
The last day we docked back in Rome, and after the week from hell we took it a little slower. I ate double my body weight in bread and pasta while I could (yolo) afterall, Rome is probably one of my favourite places in Italy. We did fit in time to visit all the interesting sights and discovered new places as I'm never one to leave a stone unturned!
Back in April, I visited Orlando on a personal trip for my 21st birthday.
Of course, we spent the whole 10 days doing the theme parks there. I am fortunate enough to have been taken to Florida many times when I was younger by my parents so I have experienced most of what Florida has to offer, but my friend had never been to a Disney park. EVER. Not even Paris!
The parks themselves at Florida really are a world of their own, and you can't just go for a day. It requires planning beforehand, and organisation whilst you're there.
My top tip for you guys is to not stay in the WDW resort. Its mega expensive, and also more practical to either rent a villa or stay in a hotel nearby. If you are staying for 2+ weeks, then hire a villa. You will be spending at least some time there, so your accommodation will matter more to you. But if you're going for less than 2 weeks, stay in a cheap hotel. Trust me, you will be so busy that you'll pretty much be leaving the door every day at 7am, and not getting back until 11/11:30pm. So it's literally just a place to sleep.
Kissimmee is an ideal location to stay. The part where we stayed was a 5 minute drive down a straight road, and then we were on WDW property. It's also really close to Disney Springs (hands up if you remember when it was called Downtown Disney?!), the Orlando Premium Outlets, Hooters (don't judge, the 3 mile island hot wings are INSANE), and about 30 mins from Universal.
For me personally, I think that the Disney parks are in a complete league of their own. Universal just simply doesn't compare - and I'm also not a huge fan of VR rides. Saying that though, Universal Studios Hollywood is a really incredible experience, and it's totally different. I'm really interested in media/filmmaking/tv production etc (I studied it for 3 years at uni), so to be able to do a backlot tour there is just phenomenal. You can see the set of Desperate Housewives, The Grinch, King Kong etc. Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood is also OUT OF THIS WORLD for film and tv geeks like me. I was lucky enough to see the PLL set when it was still up, but there's still the Friends set, Gilmore Girls, Ellen DeGeneres show etc.
Anyway, back to Florida... My favourite ride at Universal is The Mummy, mainly because it's one of the only non-VR rides (BUT its just a really incredible ride anyway!) But I just think the level of detail that goes into everything at WDW is on another level. My favourite rides have always been Big Thunder Mountain, The Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean (with a new addition of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Expedition Everest! These two were not there last time I went). These are the rides I'll run to first, and then keep repeating.
I feel like the pictures speak for themselves when it comes to Disney, so I'll leave most of the writing at that. But if you scroll down to near the bottom, you'll see some pictures about dining inside Cinderella's Castle, some information about it, and how you can book it.
Oh yeah, and there's also a pic of me looking terrified on the Tower of Terror. But don't worry, I make this face every time I go on it.
If you have any Qs about anything Florida/Orlando/Parks related, I'm always happy to answer!
Thanks so much for stopping by! Xo
Couldn't not include this. LOL
This pic was taken from inside Cinderella's Castle, at the restaurant called "Cinderella's Royal Table".
You can eat here at any time of day for breakfast, lunch or dinner, but you must book prior to your trip if you want to do this. (I'm talking MONTHS in advance.)
The idea is you get to eat really INCREDIBLE food (like, seriously good breakfast), but mingle with the princesses at the same time. When you first enter the castle, you join a short line to meet Cinderella. Once you have done this, you head upstairs to the banquet hall, where you'll be seated for your meal. Whilst you are eating, the princesses will come round to your table one by one. You'll know when they're coming as you'll hear the trumpet sound.
If there is just two of you, the best table to get is the one directly by the window. I was lucky enough to get that table, but I think you can also request it in advance.
The breakfast costs about £100 per person and can be booked here.
I did this on the morning of my 21st birthday, so it's a lovely unforgettable experience to mark a special occasion.
Don't be alarmed - but last week, my mum and I had a sleepover at London Zoo. We pre-planned the whole thing; we waited until the zoo closed for the day, and then we snuck in at the dead of night with our sleeping bags, and slept over with the animals all night.
Jokes aside, we did sleep over at the zoo... but we didn't have to sneak in. I'm not that much of a rebel! We spent the night at ZSL London Zoo's Gir Lion Lodges. (Open Wednesdays - Mondays from Feb - Dec)
The Gir Lion Lodges are based right next to the Zoos resident lion enclosures, and I'm talking pretty much wall-to-wall. This is great for all the animal lovers who want to feel like they're on a safari (in the middle of Regent's Park!).
There are 9 lodges that can accommodate either pairs or groups/families of up to four, and all come equipped with tea & coffee, magazines, and a wet room with disabled access.
With your nights stay, two day access to ZSL London Zoo, after hours tours and night time tours, and breakfast and dinner is also included in the experience (drinks at dinner can be purchased for an additional fee).
The first part of the evening was a champagne reception, where we were informed about the resident asiatic lions, and explored around the zoo's very own remake of Gujarati.
We then went on to tour around the rest of the zoo, as well as getting involved with feeding the Hippos (Thug was my personal favourite) and the Warthogs.
After this, we then went for dinner at about 8:30pm, where we had an all-you-can eat style two course buffet meal. The food was absolutely INCREDIBLE, you know it's good if I go up for seconds.... or thirds.... don't judge!
After dinner, at about 9:30pm, we went back out for our last tour of the night, the torchlight tour! This was my favourite one. We walked around the zoo by torch light, and went to interact with the Zoos Aardvarks (who are very friendly by the way!), and we got to feed them.
We then headed back to our lodge about 10/10:30pm, where we settled in for the night, but left our window open so that we could hear the animals all night.
The next morning, breakfast was at 8am, which was also buffet-style all you can eat and drink. You're also able to take food with you in little bags for the day ahead.
Unfortunately, I had to leave after breakfast was over as I had to be somewhere, however there is another tour after breakfast. This tour takes you down into the enclosures kitchens, where you can see the animals food being prepared for the day ahead, as well as participating in enrichment activities with the animals. This tour lasts approx. 45 minutes, and then you are free to spend the rest of the day at the zoo.
This experience was an absolutely incredible experience, and it is something that is enjoyable for people of all ages.
Please visit the ZSL website for more info and how to book your visit! Prices start at £219pp (£197.10 if you are a ZSL member).
Bonjour - Welcome to my Paris city guide!
Paris is such a popular destination for us UK'ers these days, it's so easy to get to. Who doesn't want to hop on a train and an hour later be sipping wine and eating French stick next to the River Seine?
Below I have listed my favourite tips for your paris trip, to make it that little more special.
Places to see (landmarks as well as those not well known):
- Eiffel Tower
- Notre Dame
- Arc de Triomphe
- Palace of Versailles
- Marie Antoinettes Estate & The Petit et Grande Trianon (a lot of these photos featured on here were taken there)
- Musee du Louvre
- Avenue Montaigne
- Rue Cambon
- Champs Elysees
Things to do:
- Do a river cruise (Bateaux Parisiens is a good one - I did their sunset cruise and loved it)
- Eat in the Laduree on Champs Elysees
- Explore the little side streets along the Eiffel Tower and near the Concord area
- Shop in Bon Marche
- Have lunch in Four Seasons George VI
- Buy a giant Babybel (you won't regret it)
Places to eat:
- Four Seasons George VI
- Bon Marche
Places to stay:
- Hotel Trianon Palace Versailles
- The Peninsula
- Four Seasons George VI
- Citadel Notre Dame
- Paris Perfect Rentals (for apartments)
- Hotel Plaza Athenee
2 key tips:
- Try and speak French if possible. The locals really appreciate it!
- Use the metro. Cabs are ridiculously expensive, the traffic in Paris is a nightmare. The metro is so cheap and quick, and really widespread with good connections.
One piece of advice I have is that if you stay outside of central Paris outside of summertime, then be prepared to be getting back to your hotel late every night. I have stayed both in central Paris next to the Notre Dame and outside of Paris in the Estate of Versailles, and outside of the summer months, there is not a lot going on outside of Paris in the evenings. However that's not necessarily a bad thing, if you're in to relaxing and having a chilled out trip then that's probably best for you anyway.
The transport links both inside and outside of Paris are very good and cheap, so you'll have no problems with this.