Tag Archives: Travel

How to spend a Solo day in London

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There’s something quite refreshing about spending some time on your own. Not on the days when you’re already feeling a bit lonely and then go and spend the rest of the day in your own company. But on days when your full of energy and sass and just wanna get out and get some air, what the hell’s gonna stop you from just going?

This week I found myself in London with a little bit of time on my hands – so I guess this should really be called ‘how to spend a few hours solo in London’. But here’s a list of a few things that are easily accessible and don’t take too long to travel between; a couple of places to stop and chill, a few places to shop and a few cultural highlights just to give a nice balance.

  1. Oxford Circus

I’ve included this because it’s basically where I started from, and really every time I’m in London I end up here a my starting point. From Oxford Circus you can head for a little bit of retail therapy down Oxford Street of Regent Street. The giant Topshop is always a good place to start if you need pointing in the right direction.

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2. & Other Stories

& Other Stories is found just behind Oxford Circus and is always worth a little look around, mainly for the shop decor. The clothes and beauty products are also well worth a look, really beautiful contemporary pieces perfect for anyone trying to create a capsule wardrobe. If that’s not really your kind of thing then you could always pick something small and beautiful.

3. Joe and the Juice

This place holds a little something in my heart, with it being the place my boyfriend and I used to meet for day dates in London back when we were doing the ol’ long distance thing. They’re situated just to the left of Oxford Circus and serve every kind of fresh juice you can think of as well as a cup of well, joe. They have a really fab upstairs seating area, perfect for a little chill if you took my first advice and indulged in some retail therapy.

4. National Gallery

The National Gallery is one of my favourite galleries in London. That’s mainly because it’s so big that I forget what’s actually in there and it’s a bit of a surprise to find out again. But it’s also bang next door to the National Portrait Gallery which always has a new and super interesting exhibition on, including an Audrey Hepburn exhibition that I was just dying to see.

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5. Covent Garden

You could fill your whole afternoon with a visit to Covent Garden. There’s street entertainers, shops, usually on weekends there’s a market and just the general vibe of the place is worth going to soak up for a while. You can get there pretty easily from Oxford Circus on the tube, or you could go the scenic route and take in Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus and tick those off the list too. There’s something about the crowds in Covent Garden that kind of absorb you, so don’t worry about being on your own.

Sadly my day (read: few hours) had to come to end here, but if you have more time then I fully recommend a quick trip across the river to the Southbank. Again there’s plenty to do – there’s the Tate Modern which is such a classic London attraction, but there’s also the aquarium and usually a great book and record market under one of the bridges. So don’t be afraid to spend a solo day in the country’s capital, it’s really not that lonely or scary.

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The Year Ahead.

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So the sun has well and truely set on the last day of the year. This post was supposed to go live on January 1st, but there have been some internet issues that go beyond my control. But enough with the excuses – for New Years I was in Wales with my boyfriend and his family and friends, as they celebrate with a little trip away every year. As I’m not one to go all out at New Year, it’s always seems slightly anti-climatic to me, so something a bit more casual is right up my street.

I thought rather than look back on the year, I would again look forward to the next year and things to come. I am trying to avoid the whole ‘lose weight, keep fit’ resolution type post so hopefully things won’t stray into that territory.

  1. Blogging

2015 has been the year I have really committed to my little blog. Girlglobalising has become a proper hobby for me and something I really really enjoy working on. WordPress tells me I’ve posted 53 posts this year, so just over one per week, which I think is something to be both proud of and improve on. Next year will be focused on increasing that to a couple of regular posts per week, definitely a redesign and possibly a look at some self-hosting options.

2. Photography

Kinda linked to point número uno, but this year I’m going to try really hard at getting to grips with my camera. And to start with I will be reading the whole manual! I was lucky enough to receive a snazzy new lens for Christmas so I’m hoping to take a few half decent photos with it.

3. Zen

This is a more personal point but 2016 will be the year I transform, Buddha-style into someone completely at peace. I may be going slightly to far with that statement but what I’m focussing on are the little things – stupid little things that normally make my mood take a fast downturn when really they can’t be helped. I’m talking about late trains, time keeping, comments for people who don’t really matter, just dealing when the best laid plans still don’t work out. I’m going to close my eyes, count to ten, slap a smile on and carry on with my day.

4. Travel

I mean, if it wasn’t already pretty obvious, to me the world is an oyster that I really want to explore. I’ve already curated a little post on my wishlist for this year and actually I have already booked some tickets for a little adventure in February! This year I’m hoping to explore the world and my own country more and more.

5. Consciousness

One final point that I’m going to focus on in the upcoming year is to be more conscious. That’s not to say I would walk past my Mum in the street becuase I’m so busy away with the fairies, but I mean the amount of times I walk back to check if I locked the car door (yes, every time!). Focus is key and I’m going to make sure I’m conscious of everything that’s going on. This will also come into some more personal goals of mine. There’s no more time for losing track of how many biscuits you’ve had – it’s time to be conscious of all sourrounding as well as your own body and mind.

Lets hope 2016 brings some wonderfulness to every single person this year.

 

 

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2016’s Travel Wishlist

It’s that time of year when my Bloglovin’ feed is full of roundups and what-I’ve-Learnt and lookbacks and while I will probably do one of these posts myself (it’s a blogger obligatory, right?) I thought I would jump the gun slightly and look to 2016. I know Christmas is only just over and New Year is fast approaching, but I’ve never been a huge fan of the midnight celebrations, so I’m looking towards the next year instead.

2015 took me to some incredible places and I loved every one of my little adventures this year, but I can’t help but constantly look for the next place to visit. So I’ve curated a small list of the top places I’m dreaming of going in the next year. Let’s get this travel ball rolling…

NYC

  1. New York City

Let’s start with the biggun’. I visited NYC in 2008 with my family and while we had a look around and got a feel for the place, but my Brother had a big thing for Abercrombie and Fitch at this time. I definitely know the inside of that shop well now. There’s so many places left to visit, like Brooklyn, and Bleaker Street and Central Park which I am dying to go and look around. Hopefully sometime this year will be the year.

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2. Berlin

This is a bit of a cop out because, fingers crossed, I will be going to Berlin in February. A little Christmas present from me to my Boyfriend was a pair of gig tickets to see Foals and you know, maybe he’ll take me along too! Again I have been to Berlin before but I feel like it’s one of those places that you could visit many many times and never quite get to the bottom of it. My favourite kinda place.

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3. Malta

I’m determined to make Malta my summer destination this year. I think it’s the influence of the sassy Amy Bell, behind The Little Magpie blog and her recent holiday to Malta. It’s not somewhere I’ve every really considered but looks absolutely beautiful – with lots of little winding streets, like an older and more historic Rome which was my summer adventure this year.

STOCKHOLM

4. Stockholm

Pretty much anywhere in Scandinavia has been on my travel wishlist for as long as I can remember, but in particular Stockholm. From what I’ve heard it’s stunning but more than that I just want to immerse myself in Scandi style and interiors and roll around in it until every part of my life is as cool as it gets. The only problem is the general cost of going, but I reckon it’s more than doable with a little look around Airbnb.

All photos sourced from Pinterest.

 

 

 

 

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Where, What, When: Prague

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As I promised back here, I’ve put together a mini guide for Prague, even though the thought of it is making me want to hop back on the plane for a little bit of extra exploring time. As I vaguely mentioned before it’s a very walkable city and not only that but I would fully recommend walking just to take in all the sights and sounds. Prague is definaitely the place for any architecture fans out there, with each building offering a different visual delight.

So first things first, where to stay. I can only offer one or two suggestions here as we only stayed in the one hotel during our short trip. Hotel Elysee is very central, right on Wenceslas Square and the room was HUGE. Because this was  gals trip with my Mum and my Gran we opted for a triple room and it came supersize with a little hallway, huge room and bathroom. For the price we paid it was certainly value for money and of course there was a breakfast buffet every morning. The other option that I would whole heartedly suggest is looking around on Airbnb for accommodation. I’ve spoken before about how much I love this company and I’m sure Prague has some very cool apartments to offer.

As for things to do, Prague definitely offers enough to fill more than the two days we were there. A few places to note are the Castle, which sells handy tickets for either the whole thing or just certain parts; perfect if you fancy just the afternoon as there’s enough to fill a whole day here.

The Charles Bridge is your ultimate route to get there and another must see. It is lined with many statues, each with there own story and history and a number of which you should definitely stroke for good luck/ make a wish. Or maybe that’s just my superstitions kicking in.

There’s no way I could leave out the Astronomical Clock in the Old Town Square. Coincidently this is where the Christmas Market is also based should you be there in the festive season. But make sure to take a look out of the top of the tower – as you know I have a big thing about a good high-up view and this is not one to miss. The lift itself is also pretty incredible, so you don’t even have to take the stairs.

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I always make a point of finding out what the local cusine is and giving it a go, as what’s the point of going abroad just to eat chips, eh? For Prague it was Goulash  and boy was it everywhere. I will admit it was far tastier than I expected, with huge chunks of meat and a nice thick gravy; it even came served in a bread bowl.

For a little sweet treat I would recommend a Trdelnik and likewise with the Goulash, you cannot escape them in the city. I spent most of the weekend walking past each stall with longing eyes and claiming to be back for one later. I eventually had one on the very last night of the trip, basically refusing to leave without trying one. They’re almost pretzel-like, only cooked over hot coals and coated with cinnamon sugar and almonds. They’re basically Christmas wrapped in some dough.

Municipal House is worth checking out if you fancy a mid-morning coffee break. Don’t get your hopes up about the coffee (I’m pretty sure it came for a Nescafe machine) but if anyone is into interiors then get yo butt down there. It’s a completely beautiful Art Nouveau house with both the outside and inside decorated to a very fine standard. Those chandeliers? I would have put one in my carry-on if it had fit.

For those that have more time in the city then I would head to the John Lennon wall, the Jewish Quarter and the Jewish Cemetery, definitely some places I would have visited if I had a little extra time. This has turned into possibly the wordiest post of all, but I think my thoughts on the city have been truly shared.

I’m most definitely planning  second trip so if there’s any places slightly off the radar then please share too!

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Mini Visual Diary: Prague

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A few weeks back I headed off to Prague for a few days of sightseeing and festivities. I mentioned a while ago that I was going with my Mum and my Gran as a sort of tradition we’ve started and to look around the Christmas Market.

As usual and as with most old European cities, I loved it. There’s something about the history, the architecture and the general vibe of these kind of old cities that really appeals to me more than places like London, which are still old but sometimes just don’t have the same atmosphere. There is so much to see in Prague, definitely more than the two days we were there for and with the added bonus of the Christmas Market there couldn’t be a better time to visit. It was cold, but not unbearably so, and in some ways I prefer a winter break for taking in the sights, rather than sweating my way around in the height of summer, especially with a place as walkable as Prague. The architecture is beautiful and I fully recommend getting yourself up high – first for getting your bearings and second beacuse there’s no other way to fully appreciate the amount of red roof’s there are in the city!

I’ve put together a little post now to give a feel for the place, but I’m planning a proper ‘what to see and where to go’ post for the near future, so keep yo’ eyes peeled for that.

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Artel: Small Coffee Heaven

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How many times have I spoken about coffee on here? Probably far too many already, but I will whole heartedly admit that I’ve fully jumped on the artisan, flashy, hipster coffee scene despite being none of those things myself. Let’s just call it one of the simple pleasures that help my week run smoothly.

For a fairly small city Norwich sure has an abundance of independent coffee shops to choose from. I mentioned that Strangers Coffee House was a good place to head to, but the newest of the scene is Artel. Not only is it the newest, it’s also the smallest – possibly ever! With room enough for about four/five/six people and serving only the freshest roasts from Nude Espresso, Artel know they’re coffee craft. It’s quite a treat of a coffee shop, offering a cosy spot, a friendly barista and even  a selection of pastries and donut’s to choose from. I know my boyf would fully recommend the salted caramel.

A friend of mine actually helped out with the branding which is just as much of a treat to look at – note the stamp card featuring hanging plants, just like the ones hanging from the ceiling. Genius! If you’re in the area, pop in for a little caffeinated beverage, squeeze on into the little bench seat and make some new friends. It’s worth it.

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The Doors of Norwich

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As I mentioned I was going to in a post not so long ago, I recently paid a little visit to the main city of Norfolk, Norwich. Having not visited before I didn’t really know what to expect, and since coming home I still can’t quite put my finger on the general vibe of Norwich. I liked it for sure, the town centre is a lovely mix of green squares and little lanes, like Brighton but on a larger scale. I think it’s the outer edges that confused me, they seem to turn into countryside much quicker than other cities, especially London or Bristol. A more country-fied city, if there is such a thing.

However small a city it might be there are still so many great places to visit. My trip was mainly to visit a friend so involved a lot of eating and drinking and catching up, so the vast majority of happened to be bars, coffee shops and restaurants, just as a little warning. If you’re looking for some really good coffee then Strangers Coffee and Artel (more to come on this!) are both excellent choices. For a nice casual pint I recommend Playhouse, but be prepared to sit outside whatever the weather. In terms of food we popped into Franks for some dinner – great for a large range from big meals, fab salads and smaller tapsa-y dishes. Just down the road there’s a classic fish and chip shop, famous for doing deliveries to the pub next door, so you can enjoy your cod with a nice pint.

In terms of things to see and do Norwich is the perfect size for a little weekend roadtrip. There’s a castle for something that takes up a bit more time, and also a cathedral that’s well worth a look. Mousehold Heath is slightly out of town but fab for a walk in the woods and great panorama of the city. As you can see from these photos I was rather taken with exploring the older side of the city and took a fancy to many of the doors and shop fronts.

If you have a car then head out to the beach to spot a few seal puppys. The weather prevented us from doing so, but word is that you can get pretty close without them flopping back out to sea. Observe responsibly though, it’s their home after all. No doubt I’ll definitely be back to see them…

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Hello November

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Last week I successfully missed my usual Wednesday post by a pretty wide margin. It was strange, but my planned post was postponed (excuse the alliteration) because I went from feeling completely inspired to write a fab piece about travelling, to feeling like I just couldn’t get the words out in the way I wanted.

So a week late, but here’s a different kind of post; a kind of round up of October and look forward to November (even though we’re about a third of the way through the month…). There’s a couple of favourite things and a few things I’m certainly looking forward to coming up in the month. So without any further delays, let’s get this show on the road:

Party Pieces

Pretty Party Items:

At the very end of October I had a rare invite to a party that actually had a dress code. I may seem a bit over excited about a house party where the average age was between 50-60 years old, but hey I got some super pretty things to wear to it. An outfit of firsts for me as I threw together a very adventurous all-black outfit featuring this lacy jumpsuit and cheeky pointed flats. Somebody call the colour police. I did however, sass it up a bit with a rose gold nail polish. You heard me right, ROSE GOLD. I might even do a little post on my low-key evening makeup routine.

Jumpsuit – Missguided | Shoes – River Island | Orly Nail Polish – Free with Elle magazine (November Issue)

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Knit wear, all day errryday:

My body thermometer is so very confused right now. It’s November and I’m pretty sure this time last year I was wearing my big fluffy coat and a scarf and a hat. And probably some mittens too. This year, while I desperately want to cover my body in knitted items it’s so freakin’ mild right now. I get all autumn ready in the morning and then end up a sweaty mess by the time I reach the office. So here’s hoping the temperature drops ever so slightly in November and I can fulfil all my cold weather clothing dreams.

Roadtripin:

In a few weekends time my boyfriend and I will be trekking across the country to Norwich in Norfolk. I’ve said on here before that it can be difficult to create a travel blog while working full time and having a limited amount of funds. But what I sometimes forget is that my own country has some very beautiful places to visit that I haven’t been to before – and without the expense of a plane ticket. We’re off to visit some friends, but I’m going to make sure I take lots of photos and get a few good recommendations to share with those who might be interested!

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Prague and the C word:

Speaking of travel I am actually venturing across the border to European soil at the end of November! I’m off the Prague for a few days of winter-y escape – a gals trip with my Mum and my Gran. The C word is not what you’ll be thinking but in fact, Christmas. I still feel it’s far too early to be talking about all things festive, but the main reason for our little adventure is to check out what delights the Prague Christmas market will have on offer. My Mum and I seem to have made a bit of an unofficial tradition out of these markets, starting from when I was a student. The Bath Christmas market is pretty unrivalled, mainly because Bath is such a picturesque place, but in recent years we made it to a few further afield including Bruges, whose market may have been a bit of a let-down, but definitely knocked Bath off the picturesque podium. By the time the end of November rolls around I’m hoping to feel distinctly more festive. Either way I’m super excited to head off on a little adventure, because those ladies sure know how to have a giggle.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little round-up and update of what’s rockin’ and rollin’ in my life at the moment. I think writing this post has got my creative juices aflowing again and hopefully my less than inspired spell was just a fleeting moment in what will be a month full of posts.

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Summer’s Cold Shoulder

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This is the first fashion related post to be featured around here, and since I don’t feel particularly comfortable posing in front of the camera, never mind actually asking someone to take my photo while I stand awkwardly in what I think is an attractive pose; so I thought I would use the opportunity to share a few more of my photos from Italy.

What spurred this new topic on my blog was somewhat of a revelation in my books. Having admired a number of off-the-shoulder/ cold shoulder tops for the past few summers, for some reason I’ve always shied away from the purchase. That reason is mainly because a childhood spent training with a swimming club has given my some slightly wider than average shoulders, which while help my glide through the water with ease, also make a few fashion choices slightly trickier. But after spotting this floaty white number on Asos, I just thought ‘why the hell not’? The slightly wider straps make me feel happier about how the shape looked on me and boy was I happy about the lightness of fabric once I was in the middle of the Italian heat.

This first purchase pleased me so much, that I only went and bought the same style in a dress format – this time going the whole way with a spaghetti strap. It seems that waving goodbye to my shoulder/fashion worries has given me more than just an updated wardrobe but the incentive to wear what I bloody well please! That, and two nicely tanned shoulders.

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Sorrento Stole my Heart.

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I don’t think I’ve ever visited a place and it’s been exactly, to-the-point, how I imagined it to be. I mean I’ve liked a lot of cities and countries – I’ve really really like some of them (Barcelona I’m looking at you). But I think Sorrento is the first place I’ve been to that was exactly how I imagined it would be.

The journey to actually get to Sorrento was stressful. From Rome to Naples we were on a nice, cool, air conditioned high speed train. Not so stressful you must be thinking? Well, due to a closure on the Naples metro system, we then had to trek through the city centre and down to the port, in the midday heat, with our backpacks. I’ve never missed my wheel-y suitcase so much! But eventually we got there and, although my face said a different story, getting the boat across to Sorrento was the perfect way to arrive.

Sorrento itself was a beautiful little Italian town. We were on the very cusp of the summer season so things were getting pretty busy, but that didn’t stop us from wandering the tiny lanes, popping in and out of shops, and trying the towns famous Limoncello. Compared to our much busier previous days in Rome, then Sorrento was just the perfect chill time.

Although not the cheapest of day trips, I can recommend getting the boat across to Capri. Like Sorrento it was an equally beautiful Italian coastal town, although slightly more favoured by the rich and famous and judging by the yachts floating around the harbour they were all out sunning themselves! A trip back to Sorrento and the surrounding areas is definitely needed – we didn’t get a chance to visit Pompei or Almalfi or Postiano, which as pinterest tells me, is the most beautiful of all.

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