Milano

Hi All,
It’s me again.
So I wanted to start proceedings with a little look back on my Mini Birthday Trip to Milan. For my 25
thBirthday. Which was in July last year. He likes to make me wait for everything.

So Jimbob organized for us to enjoy a long weekend in Milan over the May Bank Holiday. The trip was picked off my bucket list which can be found here on my blog. There are over 500 items so I’ll be here a long time trying to complete this bad boy. The particular item for this trip was ‘Eat Pizza in Italy’, which if you ask people who know us as a couple this was definitely a trip where Jimbobwasn’t going to be unhappy. He’s a right pizza face – well so am I. 


So we took the Friday off work and traveled to Manchester Airport. People tell me we live closer to Leeds-Bradford than Manchester but I am a creature of habit and I love Manchester Airport. I know where everything is and I have literally so many great memories. We used Meet and Greet terminal 3 which if you haven’t used it before I totally recommend, why anyone would want to get off a plane, no matter how long and then proceed to get on a bus to a frigging huge car park which is further a way than where you live is literally beyond me. The fact is it’s super close to the terminal and if you fly out of one terminal and fly into another they will move your car. Plus you never pay full price more than once because if you sign up/subscribe to their marketing emails they are always offering 15/20% off- sweet! Cant grumble there can you. 

Once we parked in bay 4 and dropped off the key at the mini reception we took the very short walk to the terminal building. Now I wont get in to it here, but click here for my travel pet hates- worth a read if you’re not a seasoned traveller and learn what not to do.
We booked fast pass tickets and sailed through security before heading to Costa for a cup of tea. Now I will not lie to you I hate T3 at Manchester its like a small bar where nobody is sure where to stand. Short history lesson here, but T3 was originally designed for BA (British Airways) I think they realized that although they are somewhat British and sleek, they are over priced and that people prefer a slightly cheaper option and it became Ryanair’s Terminal- so the terminal is filled with Hen and Stag do’s that just get in the way if truth be told. But, I digress. I purchased some Cards & Top Trumps from
W.H.Smithsbefore boarding.
Milan Bergamo Airport is roughly a 1 hour and 50 minute flight time and is located only 55 minutes away from the centre of Milan.
For a cheap price of 5 Euros per person there are several coach company’s that will take you to the central station located north of the center- 30 minute wall from the cathedral. 

We could’ve taken the metro-yellow line two stop for a cost of 2.50 Euros per person but with the warm sun beaming down we wanted to get our first look at Milan. It took us 20 minutes to walk to our hotel –
SenatoHotel Milano. It’s located only 10 minutes walk from the Cathedral and 5 minutes walk from the very fashionable Via Sant’Andrea.
We checked in to our room-104. Our room was simple and stylish, with a huge bed and marble bathroom I was very pleased. But for the icing on the cake was the Terrace that was just wonderful. I love to have outside space with my hotel room but I realise this isn’t always possible. It was a small shame there was no view as it was an internal facing terrace, but it was still a great space. By the time we arrived it was around 19:30 so we had a quick change and then walked the streets of the Italian City to find food. 
 

 

We came across what looked like this tiny roadside café, we sat outside and wanted to enjoy alfresco dining. The restaurant was quiet until around 21:30 for those interested but the quiet atmosphere didn’t affect our mood. We ordered drinks; Aperol Spritz for me and a beer for Jimbob. We chose meatballs and a meat and cheese platter to start. We were expecting them to be small, well we were very wrong. The meat platter was massive! It included artichokes which were great to try, and the meatballs were the best I have ever had. No joke. During dinner we moved inside as it started to drizzle, and found that the tiny café was move of a large restaurant with some beautiful features. We had another round of drinks with our pizza main, which to be honest weren’t the best pizzas we have ever had. Jimbob said his pizza needed sauce as it was a bit dry (Rocket, Parma Ham and Cheese Salad) and mine was too wet and was sloppy (Margarita). We left the restaurant to find it properly raining but the night was still warm. We took the 15 minute walk home and got a earlyishnight (around 11pm).

With a great night sleep under my belt we awoke and enjoyed the sunshine on the terrace before heading down to breakfast in the small café with a small courtyard garden. The breakfast was included in the price of our room and could have been enjoyed in our room at a small charge of 10 Euros each. We chose to enjoy it in the café to make sure we weren’t missing out and I am so pleased we did.
The café is so cute, laid out buffet style but everything is immaculate. A large selection of pastries, along with cereals and Scrambled egg and Bacon, perfect for a couple of days. (The waiter was the same both days made an effort to remember our drinks order; he got it wrong but the effort was both sweet and comforting). We ate and headed out into the world around 10:30am. 

 

We walked down towards to Cathedral to bask in the beauty and atmosphere of the cultural center. We walked around and enjoyed the amount of people taking both traditional photos along with what one might describe as Instagram photos. We took our walk to a small café for a beverage in the warm sun, I sipped coca cola while Jimbob had a beer- my beverage tasted even better thanks to the fact you don’t pay sugar tax in Italy because their government believe it’s the individuals right to decide what he or she might drink (I’m not bitter I swear). 
After we finished our drinks we took a short walk to the beautiful stores that house the worlds fashion. I love going into designer stores to enjoy the beautiful pieces, deciding if something is worth the price tag. Occasionally you know it totally is and enjoy the luxury of buying that all important piece, that piece you have saved up for or just thought ‘What the Hell’. We scouted round all the big brands but nothing was catching my eye and I knew I would be totally disappointed leaving a fashion capital with nothing but my memories. You see every Fashion Capital I have purchased something to remind me of the memories and to share a story how this piece came to be mine. We arrived in Prada, having been in every other store I had already expected to not see anything that would impress me enough to share my happiness smile (I have one smile that as of late does not come out that often, it’s my content smile that only the most amazing action, person or item can achieve). I turned to the right of the store to see the smaller size wicker bag in green with a pop art face on and the black version along side. I had been lusting after the Natural one ever since Claire Chouquette had purchase one for Wimbledon – but as far as I was aware it had sold out. I wandered round the store to see if anything jumped out at me; no, nothing. I took my last glance at the bag before a wonderful lady asked me ‘Can I help?’ My only response was ‘Do you have this in the cream?’ when the lady had finished conferring with her colleague the response was ‘yes we do, I’ll go pull it out’. 3 Long minutes later she returned and so did that smile! She was beautiful, everything, the perfect summer bag for a lifetime. I tried it on, enjoying myself in the moment. Now I don’t believe in the old ‘if you have to ask you cant afford’ because it’s your hard earn cash at the end of the day, you should be entitled to see if you are willing to part with it. The sales assistant confirmed the price, and then Jimbob whispered, ‘do you want it for your birthday?’ ‘Yes, Yes, YES’. I was beaming! My dream of buying a Prada bag in Milan in its home had come true and I had that man, that beautiful man to thank for it. The lady invited us to enjoy some water while she boxed my beauty up which has been given the name ‘Pea’ (we name all our bags in this household). He paid, and we left the shop both happy, for different reasons of course, but both very happy. We took a short 10 minute stroll, huge carrier bag in hand to an ever so cute café I had seen when we walked from the station . 

 

I was in my element, not only had my beautiful James taken me to an incredible place where the sun shone so amazingly amongst the picturesque streets but he had ticked off another Bucket List item and made me very happy at the same time. For those that are new to the blog, I am not all about the material possessions, I just have a thing for bags and I was overly humbled that he wanted to make me happy.  As I sat at the table the day got even better by a uber cute Labrador puppy chilling in the air-conditioned restaurant while his family dined above him. We both enjoyed a salad and water – healthy I know – and Jimbob had a Baileys coffee thing. Before you ask, I paid for lunch.

We had a leisurely stroll back to the hotel and when we arrived I enjoyed my bag before having an afternoon nap; I think the happiness had warn me out. Around 5pm we got dressed and headed out, back towards the Cathedral, which was 50% busier than earlier in the day, because I had seen an Aperol Terrace over looking the square and if there was anywhere I wanted to enjoy my Saturday Early Evening it was there.

 
On arrival we met a short queue and after 10 minutes we were at the front of the line being told it was a 13 euro entry fee which included 1 drink at the bar plus finger food which was circulating. A further drink would be 10 Euros. We thought it sounded reasonable as truth be told the majority of places we went to drinks were about 10 Euros. We paid, grabbed our drink tickets and headed for the bar and two Aperol Spritz’s. The bar had a great DJ set and the mood was very chilled with glam vibe and the view was incredible. We stayed for a few drinks and enjoyed the finger food; pizza, pasta, and mozzarella on a stick. 

We headed to a restaurant around 9pm and shared an amazing freshly made pizza and two beers. It came to around 30 euros off the top of my head. We finished and headed to the hotel for a night cap or two on our terrace and played the longest game of Minion Top Trumps ever.


The last day in Milan was a shame it was over far too quick but like all good things they come to an end. We packed up and had breakfast in the courtyard again. We settled our bill and headed for the metro to Grand Central Station. And for those of you who might use this form of transport, if you chose to travel by bus, when approaching the station the buses to Bergamo & Linate are on the right side of the building the buses to Malpensa are on the left. Just saves you walking round the entire building like we did. 

I hope you enjoyed my little diary of Milan, I had an incredible time, maybe it was the food, maybe it was the weather, maybe it because I felt like me again or maybe it was because of him.
Whatever the reason, Milan you have stolen my heart
Cx

Beauty is only Skin Deep

Hi All,

I’m 25 and over the last couple of months I have become much more bothered about what I’m putting on my skin. I used to have the occasional face pack night which was funny and everything but other than that I didn’t care for my skin as such.

But for whatever reason I started to care and since then have put a bit of a beauty regime together which I think works for my normal/slightly dry skin.

It all starts in the morning with Clinquie Quick Start. I purchased it on the way back from Benidorm and even though it was a impulse purchase(it had been a long time since I’d shopped) I can see that it really is starting to make a difference on my ‘black bags’ and because of its nifty design you don’t need to get all creamed up.

Now, I hate wearing make up. I like the way it makes me feel, yes, but if I could get away with not wearing it I would. But more recently I have worked out how to not detest it so much. It’s a two step process 

1. Oil

It smells and feels amazing and I only use half a pipette per application. It gives your face a really smooth feel and what I think of as a great barrier between my face and the make up.

2. Primer

I am aware so many people use this and I only discovered it late last year but this makes my make up go further and last longer. And combined with the oil I don’t think my pores feel as clogged up with crap.{they probably still are}

End of the Day

I have a shower every evening, I sort of feel it’s like washing the day away. And I use two items daily. And one weekly.

Daily

Clinique & Soaper Duper body wash.  I purchased the Clinique bottle years ago and I’m making it last due to the fact I simply can’t find it on their website. The little beads and the cool wash it gives your face is super refreshing. The Soaper Duper is a new find from Glossybox. It’s rich and cream Shea butter and the smell and silkiness feel lovely over your skin.

Weekly

Now I’m not a huge fan of bodyshop as their products often bring me out in a rash. But this stuff feels great on my skin and I do feel it helps. I apply it to my arms and feet mainly(don’t ask my why but they’re the lucky areas of my body that get the treatment). It’s a dead skin remover and you work it into your skin in circular motions and the dead skin literally comes off just like that. It comes of in like mini balls of skin, it’s insane. And it leaves your skin feeling great.

 

 

I hope this guide to my skin products makes you consider yours.

Have an amazing day people.

 

Cx

Prague

Good morning All,
Happy Hump Day! I wanted to give you all some travel reading as it’s nice to have a bit of light reading on a Wednesday.
So a couple of weekends ago myself, Jimbob and two friends headed to Prague in Czech Republic for some city break fun.
Top Tip of the day; Prague has its own currency, the Czech Koruna, so don’t pack Euros. But for those of you struggling on where to buy Currency Asda is a great start.
We set off around 14:00 to get to the airport around 15:30. Meet and greet booked, keys handed over and through Security we went – honestly feel the airport have cut back becuase the plastic bags for liquid would not stick together -massively annoying!! If you haven’t flown before or aren’t sure of what not to do while travelling, read this – if I see you at security looking baffled becuase they asked you to take your belt off, I might slap you.
We took a seat in the MCR Bar which was a little treat as it’s always rammed and I’ve never seen an empty table, so go Chris for snatching us a little booth.{We travelled with Chris and Katie-newlyweds}. We grabbed a couple of drinks including a peach liquor thing that was surprisingly lovely. And then proceeded very quickly to get to gate 12B (I call it end of the left wing of T1-like the furthest point basically) after final call had been announced -never done that before.
The plane was just a huge c**kfest, as in like a whole plane of stag do’s and us. So only one alcoholic beverage per person. Which was fine – they serve Aperol spritz on the plane which was a true delight, so I enjoyed that with some sea salted crisps.
We landed and got an Uber for the just under half an hour journey to the hotel which totalled 370CZK, around £15.
We checked in and freshed up and went straight out. Now the plan was to eat nachos in Hard Rock but to be quite frank the servicee was extremely odd and if anything rude so after being plonked on a table I didn’t want(I had requested a high table) the waitress proceeded to tell me I couldn’t order from one menu it had to be from this group booking one. Which was total crap as it had a total of 9 things on it. No bother we left with the intention of back another time so I could enjoy my Cocktail.
We headed into the square and walked just to the right to find a bar/club with purple lights at the door. It was called Macim Bar. The beverages were expensive here around £7, we had one drink and left.
We headed to a place that the boys called Leo’s, after a deliberation outside to suggest it could be closed, we realised they were looking at the wrong door. The place it’s self is next to a comic museum, and is called Batalion. It was very resonable in drink prices. We took our table around 11:45 roughly and after around 15 minutes from a quiet 1 or 2 tables taken it became the busiest place in Prague, as it is the final stop for a bar crawl. So if you seek this place out grab a table before the masses arrive.
By 12:30 we grabbed a burger and some chilli cheese bites from the Burger King across the road and headed ourselves off to bed.
Saturday morning, Katie alerted me to the news of a beautiful snow dusted city with a picture. This meant two things, Prague was beautiful, and I was going to be cold. I hadn’t packed anything for this kind of weather – rookie mistake, as it reached -11! I don’t do well below -4 or over 36 degrees but hey.
We headed out to find breakfast and the streets were beautiful and even though I spent more time making sure I didn’t slip on the icy street it was still an enjoyable walk.
We went to Cisty Stul for breakfast which was a place I found through Trip Advisor. It was such a cute little find and the minute you entered the smell was so welcoming. We sat at the back of the Resturant away from the chill of the street. We dabbled around with decision making before setting on 3 English Breakfasts & 1 French. The price was around £12 each which some might find expensive but it did include two beverages each. The presentation was amazing and even though I didn’t select it I was pleased to see the beans were safely contained and let’s be frank, not swimming around on the plate (ramekin good). I tried the mushrooms from the English breakfast which were lush really well seasoned and garnished with rosemary. I had the French breakfast which was filling and it felt healthy. I swapped my boiled egg for scrambled and I was extremely happy with the 3 big slices of cheese. The care and attention gone into cutting up grapes made me smile (having been told that this is a thing people do for children to avoid choking, I felt that it’s most important for the restaurant to think of the health of their guests). We enjoyed nattering over the food and set our plan to walk around 11 minutes to the Charles Bridge. The streets were packed with tours, all ages were flooding the streets with cameras.
With the smell of mulled wine in the air, it felt only right to grab a cup in the cold snow dusted streets.
We drank our wine and headed into a quiet Irish bar which to be honest I won’t be returning to, which is located just behind the Irish Times. We had more mulled wine and left. Then we went to the more upbeat Irish Times and enjoyed the music and absinthe, which if taken like Heroin, is still no more pleasant! (ok for all of you think what the f***- we were shown that if you put sugar on a teaspoon set it alight, quickly stir it into the absinthe and drink I think it makes it stronger. Personally it was vile but it was nice to try the “local stuff”. Won’t be becoming a heroin user soon if this was anything to go by). Back to it we enjoyed a couple of rounds including green lager, which did have a weird after taste but hey! A belated Happy St Paddies Day to all my Irish Followers. But it was nice to get into the vibe.
We left and went to our Third Irish Bar of the day (but not the last). We hadn’t intended to go here but the boys got lost looking for a place they’d been to before. It was extremely packed and the Irish balloons made it feel fun. We supped our drinks and headed on to the 4th Irish bar of the day (where the boys had been before) Rocky O’Reilly’s. It was a long bar which it does not look from inside. We got in and watched the rugby -we lost (I have no idea what score line was but I know we lost).
So I know what your thinking, time to get changed and go for dinner. Well, that didn’t happen. We went back to “Leo’s” where things got a little hazy to say the least (the absinthe was catching up to us).
But wait, we did manage to eat at Pizza & Pasta factory. And from what I remember it was good. With a few more beers in I was ready to call it a Night. Well Katie had other plans, taking me to get a Sugar donut roll thing. I ate what I fancied and then headed to a gentleman’s club called Goldfingers. So for a quick minute let’s talk about that. If you are a women you have to pay to go in. 500 CZK each.  If you’re a man you get 0 entry fee plus a round of beers. We on the other hand enjoyed a small round of two ciders and two vodka and Cokes for a cool 1300 CZK (£50)
So, is this place for women? Well if you aren’t offended by the female form and you like decent music it’s a nice way to kill a few hours. Is it seedy? No this is a big concern and the women are beautiful and extremely talented at a. Walking around in those heels and b. Moving up the pole.
We left Goldfingers to some how end up in another Strip Club called Rios. Now to describe this is probably like saying if Goldfingers is like Champions League, Rios is Sunday league. We got totally screwed with the entry fee and the ‘free drinks’, becuase we had to spend £16 on mixers (4 cokes). Sorry, Rios is not for me.
So by this point we know it’s a really good idea to go to the Hard Rock and get a Cocktail and tick that all important bucket list item. And it was mint. I haven’t been to a Hard Rock Cafe like it, it’s fun, it’s loud. It’s more party than Restaurant and it’s a good time. Highly recommended to get your groove on for 0 entry fee.
We called it a night around half 1 and went back to the hotel.
Sunday. Well you know that day you wake up and you really just want to lay there all day, well that didn’t really happen. We had to check out at 12 which was a bummer as weren’t flying till 19:00 (which ended up as 23:10 -weather delays).
We headed out to see the Easter Square and grab something to eat at Food Story. Bit annoyed that they gave us breakfast menus, then wouldn’t let us order breakfast because it was like 12:01. So the service there isn’t the best but the food is homemade and the garlic wedges were delish!
We took a tour of the Sex Machine Museum which is 250CZK each to enter. It has 4 floors of bizarre stuff-probably not for the faint hearted. The cinema room hosts some unique viewing-let’s just leave it there.
We went back to the hotel to relax until home time.
Now I realise this isn’t a massively cultural review, it possibly isn’t even a good read. But if you learn anything from me here today, if you’re up for a good time, Prague will happily have you.
Thank you to Chris and Katie for their company and Jimbob for showing up.
Till Next time
Cx

The Search for the Perfect Afternoon Tea | Doubletree Hilton Leeds

Hi All,
Exactly a year to the day yesterday I discovered and enjoyed my first afternoon tea! I know, who could believe I got to 24 without trying this idea of designing a meal time around sipping tea.
For one of my best friends Christmas/Birthday present, I took Miss Curtis to the Double Tree Hilton in Leeds, a 5 minute walk from the station and only a hop skip and a jump from one of my favorite restaurants in Leeds – Fazenda.
I booked in advance but was surprised to find only one sitting available, noon! But not to worry, we were enjoying tea and each other’s company so that’s all that matters. The Doubletree allow you to book up to 90 days in advance and I can understand why, if it’s good enough for Claridges it’s good enough for them. (Cheeky smile)
We arrived by train, with only a short walk, literally 5 minutes, and took the elevator to the 13th floor. The elevator door opened and the sound of hoovering wasn’t exactly the greeting we were expecting, along with staff rushing to clear away the breakfast selection.
We were greeted by a lovely host, sorry I didn’t get his name but of the two gentlemen hosts he was the one not wearing glasses. He showed us to our table, situated at the window.
The menu listed was priced at £19.95pp. There was the option for unlimited prosecco for a further £13pp, a standard glass at £5 or a glass of champagne for £8. It was a Sunday so as good as unlimited prosecco sounds it’s never wise when you have to get up at 6am the next morning to complete your Couch to 5K. We were celebrating though, the upcoming birthday for Curtis, so Champagne had to be consumed, if only to be pleasant if nothing else.
For those of you interested I wore my Christmas present, my orange Hermes stole with a black low drop vest dress which I overlaid with a black velvet skirt. Make up simple because I’m not one for over doing it on a Sunday.
Hannah looked beautiful as ever in a floral top and jeans teamed with over the knee boots and a leather jacket. Oh, on that, I wore a denim jacket, just in case you wondered.
And my nail varnish is Pink Pixel by Orly, which was also the nail varnish of choice for my wedding. And for those who like a good thick polish it’s amazing. A little goes a long way, and it’s great as a cover up nail polish as well as being pretty.
Back to the afternoon tea..
Once we made our selection this box of goodies arrived, slightly after the champagne which allowed us to feel not rushed.
 
Verdict 
Chloe | Curtis
Slow cooked salt beef with red onion marmalade on granary bread
“Very pleasant not sure it was granary bread tho”
Applewood smoked cheddar and apple chutney on granary malt
“I really liked it and I’m fussy” 
Prawn cocktail wrap with Marie Rose sauce and baby Gem lettuce
“Surprising really good and really enjoyable, glad I got two”
Oak smoked salmon on a toasted croute and micro cress
“The worst savory option, I think it didn’t add anything-swap this please”
Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting
“My favorite”
Apple crumble tartlet
“I don’t like apple crumble but I like this”
“Not the best to be honest but the pastry was nice, very tart”
Triple chocolate brownie
“My favourite”
“It’s very rich”
Famous Grouse cranachan shot glass
“I like this, not really sure what it is but I like it. Can’t taste the whiskey tho”
The Cranachan shots contain strawberries which are a big no-no for me as I’m allergic, so for this they substituted Caramel Flapjack. I was impressed they did this for me as I hadn’t forewarned them before we arrived so I didn’t anticipate getting an alternative sweet.
“Chewy and sweet-perfect combo”
Scones
“Super scrummy”
“I love the sugar on top”
“Its pink inside” 
“There massive”
Ok so let’s break this baby down;
Myself and Curtis agreed this was the best yet! But it did have some small and easily solvable niggles..I mean it would be a quick search if this was 100% perfect right!?
Positives
The Scones where massive and fruity and crumbly and pink in the middle. And the dusting of sugar on top made them extra scrummy. Plus they were still warm when they arrived so it was incredibly fresh!!
The service was impeccable-nothing was too much
The care and consideration for a Strawberry allergy
Neutral
This is both a positive and a negative. Why? Well I appreciate that every Restaurant, eating establishment etc has to keep moving with the ever changing clientele, but listening to someone Hoover is never something you want while eating.
But if that hadn’t of happened the buzz and the ambience was top notch. It was casual yet sophisticated, formal yet relaxed. Like pairing a blazer and jeans. If you get my meaning
Negative
For a table for two people sipping champagne or just drinking tea the size of table would suit, but for the serve ware that comes with afternoon tea an extra few inches all the way round the circular marble table is required. There was too much shuffling of plates, and because the stand for the food sets such a presence and it’s rather large and bulky, it practically cut the table in half. But that really is my only main critique. That and you can always have more clotted cream. But given the 4 pots of tea we consumed, I can’t see an extra pot of cream would’ve been a problem.
Bravo Doubletree very impressive take on the Afternoon Tea.
Cx

Kitchen Styling

Hi All,
The kitchen is pretty much complete and I wanted to share how it has changed over the year and a half.
The Kitchen Before…
Yes we stripped out a white cheap kitchen and revealed the real scale of the room.
This kitchen had the most going on with both the chimney breast being partly knocked out along with the opposite wall. And moving the fuse box downstairs.
And After…
We chose a Wickes matte grey handle-less kitchen which is sleek and allows even more space for parties, as many appliances are fitted to save room on the work tops. I would of had the hot water tap but I’m still sure I’ll end up burning myself when I come to run the tap. And the kettles is the only thing we are still undecided on.
The area which I love and I take so much pride in (as Jimbob thought it was a terrible idea) is my bar area. Before we knocked the wall through this was just an area where tins lived but now it’s a functional space where the alcohol lives plus with the mirrors it adds so much light into the room.

 

 

 

I hope you like!!
Cx

Multi City Stop

Hi All,
I wanted to share what I’ve been up to this month.
We decided to go on a mini European trip, including Sweden, Poland and Belgium, starting off in….
Stockholm
So we were slightly delayed because of an inbound flight, but this meant we got to enjoy the Escape Lounge for a little bit longer. Which of course wasn’t a massive problem! FYI the T3 Escape Lounge is nicer than T1. There’re no windows in T1 so I’d probably say use the Aspire Lounge if at T1.
The flight was super quick with the help of ‘Trollied- thank you SkyGo. Stockholm Arlanda airport is very easy to navigate through and it was very quiet when we landed, between getting off the plane to getting through the door it was probably about 7 minutes.
We had booked our transfer with Flygbussarna which cost us a total of 396 SEK (approx £35) for 2 return tickets and it dropped us off at the Central Terminal 4 minutes walk from our hotel.
We checked in to our hotel, room 401 and went straight to the Hard Rock via Uber for a cool £8. We enjoyed the usual – cocktails and nachos. Safe to say Stockholm avoids HR in January, as it was super quiet. We returned to the hotel and asked for a kettle for our room and he returned with everything we needed for a cup of tea. Winning!
The following day we slept in, missing breakfast by just 15 minutes. But it didn’t matter, we walked down the road to find the IKEA bus stop, having found it we wandered off in search of food. A small coffee shop only round the corner filled out stomach, and we were ready for the day. We walked back round to the bus stop to find that the free Ikea shuttle bus only runs during the week. So we totted off down to the tube. It costs 88 SEK for a single trip or 75 minutes and you can use the ticket on a bus or tube. The SL app is just as easy to buy a ticket too.
Looking to go to IKEA? Take the red line to Norborg 13 stops. Then come out of the station and take a left, you see a lidl to your left and a bus station to the right. You need to go to the other side of the bus station and get the 740, just two stops and wa-la.
On our way back we stopped off at Gamla Stan, a recommendation from a friend. This is the old town – it’s beautiful. So quaint in fact we cancelled our dinner reservation to enjoy it all evening.
Sunday morning we awoke and went down to breakfast and the spread was top notch. There really was a bit of everything. Even the complainers of the world would struggle to moan.
Once checked out we walked the short distance to our transfer. Flygbussarna is a great way to get to and from the airport, with transfers every 10 minutes you’d be silly to go any other way.
Then on a flight to…
Gothenburg
The west side of Sweden was only a stop over for us, it’s a real shame we weren’t there longer but hey, in our short time there we enjoy the beauty and quaint style of the sea port.
We used Flygbussarna gain. It was a 36 minute transfer and cost a total of £32 for 2 returns.
We were staying at the Elite Plaza Hotel which is just a short 12 minute walk from the bus terminal. The hotel is equiped with a small gym, sauna and English pub.
We took a stroll around the city as soon as we dumped our bags. At -1C it was colder than Stockholm, but it felt a lot lot colder. We enjoyed a cocktail in the Hard Rock -obviously! And then had dinner at La Gondola. The food was ok, apart from the garlic prawns and the roasted artichoke – They were really delish!
We headed back to the hotel for an early(ish) night with Netflix.
The next morning we were up and back to the airport to fly to…
Warsaw 
After a short delay at Gothenburg airport we were on our way. A note I’d like to make is that Ryanair, as cheap and convenient as they are, aren’t as smooth as SAS & Norwegian. I’ve said it before the need to show your boarding pass again and again really isn’t necessary, I don’t understand Ryanair’s need. Plus the boarding process was slow. The need to queue to show your boarding pass and then queue again to actually board the aircraft is stupid. Why not just ask people to board when you’re ready? But at £19 for the flight I can’t complain that much.
On a side note the Gormet Snack Boxes priced at €6 are pretty great if your a little pekish on the flight.
We landed around 13:00 and grabbed an Uber for £12 to the hotel, the can journey took around 40 minutes.
We checked into Hotel Indigo and found our room on the 3rd floor. The room was the biggest of the trip and also the cheapest. The interior is beautiful – top marks to the designer.
We had a quick change and grabbed a snack and cocktails in Florentin, the hotels Restaurant. We ate at the bar, and had a hummus platter, which honestly was a lot better than it sounds, and lamb croquettes. The bartender was very attentive making me 3 cocktails not on the menu. We grabbed our coats and went to enjoy the nightlife of Warsaw. We visited Hard Rock Cafe-honestly a little dull for the cafe we know. We travelled to Klaus, a small cocktail bar, where I had a warm mulled prosecco which is probably better than mulled wine. We then took the lift at the Marriott 40 floors to the panoramic bar. The highlight was definitely not the garlic infused vodka.
We knew we needed to eat, so we travelled to Hoza for a steak. And to be honest it was a little disappointing. Firstly because my steak was massively overcooked, if you are a chef at a steakhouse you obviously failed. But it was more the wait between receiving a second steak(replacement) poor Jimbob basically ate alone. Not great but hey, it was cheap.
We then went to a gentlemens club! “Why?” I know you’re going to ask. Mainly cause I needed to understand what all the fuss was about but to be fair it’s not as scary as I thought it would be. I just talked to two ladies about their life really. I think their dancing was a little lost on me. But with two vodkas and Pepsi costing £8 and good music, I saw no reason to leave. Safe to say we got home at midnight, a little worse for wear.
The following day we had a duvet day, we extended our check out and enjoyed Netflix and Uber Eats which is just incredible. Around 3 we pulled ourself out of the warm of the big bed and took a stroll around the old town in the snow before we had to leave for the airport.
Brussels
To be honest in terms of logistics Brussels was knackering. We arrived at the most horrible arrival area of my entire life. You have to walk in the wet snow literally instantly, there’s no nice waiting area, just a carousel and then bang you’re outside. But hey. We had organised the Brussels shuttle, please note this is not the easiest to find. Tip, as you reach the glass box to the hire car company take the lifts opposite to the second floor, departures- from there you are instantly in the bus depot. We had to ask two people as we ended up in the queue for the shuttle to collect your car.
Once on the coach it takes roughly 45 minutes to arrive and the best thing we found was that taxis are waiting for you no matter what time it is BUT use Uber instead of the local taxi, it cost us just under €15 to go a 7 minute journey and he told us he couldn’t get to our hotel because of roadworks, so we’d have to walk “200m”- lies! We walked longer than we we’re in the taxi, and at almost 2 in the morning it’s hardly what you want to be doing in a city you don’t know. It cost us only €6 euros on our return and they picked us up right outside the hotel.
So back to it, after checking in we were upgraded to a superior double which was a welcome improvement as there were 2 balconies to enjoy. But at that time all we wanted was sleep.
Around 10am we pulled ourselves out of bed and enjoyed a long and enjoyable walk around the Grand Place, the architecture is beautiful and the smell of chocolate and waffles makes it all even better. We had a small lunch at Le Roy D’Espagne. We seriously enjoyed it and the beers went down a treat; I had a cherry beer – lush. After lunch we continued our walk around the beautiful city and obviously enjoyed a cocktail in the Hard Rock. We grabbed some chocolates for family and friends, along with a hot chocolate to enjoy back at the room- honest it was literally like drinking liquid chocolate. Far too sweet for me but I enjoyed it diluted with a bit of milk.
We watched the sun set from our balcony and tried to decide on how to spend our evening. As both of us were still exhausted from the journey here we ordered Italian and had it delivered to our room. We were asleep pretty early!!
Our alarm was set for 3am and we knew we needed to be back on the shuttle for 4. As I said above, the Uber was brilliant, as were Ryanair. I usually criticise them for the lack of time keeping but the flight home was quick on only 2 minutes away from being on time. We were home by 9:15 and ready to just relax and unwind.
I hope this small multi-city trip has made you consider travelling more. Or has helped you with planning a trip to one of the destinations.
My only thoughts would be I wish we had had an extra day in each place to explore more. But right now I’m happy to be at home with my puppy.
Cx

Ladies Christmas Afternoon Tea

Hi All,
 
Yes I’m still talking Christmas and you’ll either love it or hate it but I’m sticking with it because I can! Plus there’s a few things that you might enjoy all year long. 
 
On the 16th December I had my girlfriends over for a Christmas catch up and a little gift from me to them. We’re so busy and it was great to make time and be together, just for a change. 
 
This afternoon was a little bit of a logistical nightmare. I had planned it perfectly (so I thought) but was forgetting we had a wedding the day before, so my prep time needed to be moved just a little so I wasn’t rushing on the day. I wanted to enjoy my time, not be in the kitchen faffing…because where’s the hosting skills?! 
 
So what did I have in store….
 
Menu 
 
French Onion Soup with a mini Cheese Toastie 
Turkey & Stuffing Sandwich
Ricotta Filo Cups
Goats Cheese, Pear & Rocket Parcels 
 
Pineapple Vodka Panna Cotta 
Mini Chocolate Velvet Torte 
Gingerbread Fudge
Christmas Biscuits 
 
Cherry Scones with Raspberry Jam & Clotted Cream  
 
The weekend before I got my prep on and made my French Onion Soup, it’s super easy to prepare. 
 
We had a Turkey Parcel from aldi on Sunday so I saved some of the turkey and froze it ready for the event. And just a note the Turkey Parcel was delish and not dry for those interested! 
 
On Thursday evening in between a blow dry I got most of the elements together. 
The Panna Cotta, which was meant to be Limoncello but I couldn’t find it anywhere so became Pineapple Vodka, I used a Good Housekeeping Recipe but swapped the spirits and it was really easy to put together. I knew they would set nicely over the next day or so…no prep on the day job. I pulled the turkey out to defrost to so one less thing to think about. 
 
The fudge which I have never made before was super easy to make thanks to this lady, and she is right; don’t over mix! It took over a day to set properly but it was worth it with my tree cutters.
 
The Christmas Biscuits, like literally the easiest biscuits I have ever made because they didn’t end up one massive biscuits. The dough is very dry so don’t be alarmed and baking time for me was 11 minutes. Recipe here.
 
Lastly I put together a Mary Berry Chocolate torte. It didn’t turn out anything like I wanted and the less said about that the better!
 
On the day I was totally freaking out about having to make a cheesecake and an additional savory element so I bobbed in to Tescos(I am sorry-It was a god send in the end) to get ricotta and red onion filo cups and Sicilian Lemon Cheesecakes.
 
When I got home I put together my Parma ham with pear and goats cheese- no cooking required just smear a good dollop of goats cheese onto the ham and add a bite size chunk of pear and roll. Done. 
 
The last thing to assemble was my Turkey butties. I tried to be all posh and made mini finger sandwiches with turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and a smidge of mayo. #yum
 
After everything was made all I had to do was assemble onto my stand and serve.
 
And what an afternoon we had, we sat for 4 hours round my coffee table in the living room infront of the fire laughing and joking, it was a great way to start the festive season. 
 
I hope this post encourages all people to consider something later this year.
 
Cx