Barcelona

Hi All 



Monday 

 

20:20 Touchdown in Barcelona | 21:00 Taxi Transfer to the Hotel, we booked through the hotel but to be honest apart from a sort of tote bag there was 0 benefit. I don’t mean to sound high maintenance but I thought he might of offered to take our bags, or spoken on the journey. Or shown us through to the check in desk. | 21:15 After check in which was a little slow, we changed and went to the roof for Sangria and Beer. Ok just a point on the sangria. It is strong!! Our friends Lovat and Scott met us for drinks and food.|23:30 We walked up the La Ramblas, to O’ Toxo Tres Hermandos For food…amazing!!! | Bed 02:15

Tuesday 
| 18:45 We made ourselves presentable for our last night. I wore an ASOS dress obviously! And we headed to the W hotel which is in the best location, with the best view also at the best price, costing roughly £1000 a night. We ate at Bravo24 and it was incredible. I for the first time sent the steak back for being far too over cooked but I’m so glad I did…melt in the mouth. The whole atmosphere is great and the food really was the best I’ve had in a while. The Restaurant bill came in just over €137 for 3 courses and drinks. And you get a cute little chocolate bar to enjoy on the ride home. Would visit again!!  | 22:25 we took the 15 min ride home costing €12 off the top of my head. We were charged a premium rate on the way to the W but neither of us were very sure why. Just a point on this if you pay with notes, be prepared you might not get exact change | 23:00 We were knackered, the sun really takes it out of you so only one thing for it, cocktail and a Movie in Bed.


Wednesday 

09:00 I wake up super early abroad, I think it’s the temperature, which to be honest our air con was crap it went to 16 degrees and didn’t really do much at all. | 10:00 I have a love of Room Service, it’s probably because I enjoy eating in bed so much and there are people dedicated to bringing it to you. So Breakfast in Bed it was. And at €30 for continental and English breakfast which fed us both I was super pleased. An array of delicious items, from eggs to fruit to donuts…there was more than enough for us both.  | 13:00 we headed to the pool after watching BBC News for 3 hours and watching the events that happened in Kensington. My thoughts go out to all involved. But so much community spirit.
| 15:00 We paid an additional € 22 to Check Out late which I thought was well worth the money. As it meant we could linger for longer and not have to be sticky when we went to the airport.
 | 16:00 We took a stroll around Barcelona to enjoy the sights and sounds of the place but to be honest I just got asked if I wanted to smoke weed 5 times, we declined and went to Hard Rock Cafe, this place was so busy and had a great buzz. 5* | 19:00 Leave for the Airport, which cost €35 and took around 30 minutes| 21:45 It had been a long day, to be honest it felt like we’d been away ages…time to board that plane and go home. I stupidly had work the following day.

Bye Spain

Hope you enjoyed both my recent travel diaries. Love to know your thoughts and opinions 

Cx
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Madrid

Hi All,

                   I thought I go for a diary style of our mini trip to Madrid. I hope you enjoy the read.
Saturday 
3am Alarm goes off, drop our puppy of at his grandmas (he’s not a puppy he’s almost 8) | 4:55 Arrival at T3 Manchester Airport, grabbed a new security approved plastic sealed bag, and follow all the rules. But why is it every time I get to this point in this airport I see several people get to the front of the queue. And even though there is roughly 4 people loudly repeating what all the pull up banners, signs and such. People get there and are baffled as to what to do. The process would be so much quicker if people took more notice. Now I’m not saying if you forgot to remove something or are asked to remove an extra item but some genuinely get to the end of the line and then sort of stand there until the security ask them to remove X, Y & Z. Come on people the process is simple. | 6:30 I will state this for you those that don’t know I hate Terminal 3, the terminal was designed for British Airways many moons ago. But when that didn’t work it became Ryanair’s terminal but my only issue with that, Ryanair are a cheap supplier of short haul flights, which genuinely means groups of Hens and Stags, again I have 0 issue with either party(I had a wonderful Hen do in Ibiza) but there just isn’t room, the terminal is very small with a circular bar in the centre which you can image is packed with groups spilling out. And there’s never anywhere to sit. So I usually choose the lounge in T3 as you can often get it cheap for roughly £18, and when you consider food prices in the airport it’s very much worth it. Sorry I’ve gone completely off topic. 
This time we didn’t opt for the lounge, as we were only in the terminal around an hour. Jimbob was hungry what a surprise?! So we went to a small Resturant just off the circular bar, and to date it has to be the worst Eggs Benedict of my life! It doesn’t require any further airtime. I grabbed a Grazia from WHSmiths along with 2 small Graze boxes(so pleased they are available in stores now). | 10:00 (Local Time) touchdown!
 11:02 took the number 8 line Metro two stops(take the left hand side escalator-it’s the side towards Mar De Cristal) 11:11 waiting for line towards Pinar de Chamartin 11:52 Checked in. So pleased that the hotel was so accommodating and allowed us to check in early. The hotel was a last minute pick but how it delivered in my style! 100%! |12:49 back on the Metro to the Bernabeau Stadium! By 13:26 we had picked up the City Tour Madrid to Retrio Park! 

But before we headed to he park, a girls gotta eat. Literally right where the bus stops there is an array of terrace restaurants which spray cool water at you every so often so you can enjoy your lunch in almost an air conditioned outside- ‘Ramses Life’ was the Resturant we went for. We both ordered the club sandwich, but to be honest Jimbob was more of a slightly toasted ham and cheese sandwich. Also note when we sat down some olives, cheese and bread arrived, we thought what a lush touch but being we paid €4 each I could of done without it. Jimbob had a beer I kept it light with an Aperol Spritz | 15:30 We didn’t make it to the park the heat was so intense so it had to be Cocktail in Hard Rock Cafe, I had a Big Kablue (What a surprise) and I rated the experience 4 out of 5 as the atmosphere was incredible and the bar staff were fun. Plus the moment a Frozen song came on everyone(except me and Jimbob -we’ve never seen it) was singing 
|18:30 After arriving back at the hotel I changed for the evening, as the hotel is what I could called the suburbs the choices are less but still delish. Since it has been such a hectic day we took a short stroll and then headed back to our hotel |20:00 Dinner in the Resturant, the food was good plenty to choose from. We had Gucamole to begin, then I had a salad, Jimbob ordered a burger. Because of the heat, it was only fitting to have ice cream. The waitress surprised me on flavours and the one with honey was amazing!!| 10:45 Early night for us both as we’d been up for like ever….Sleep.




Sunday
 10:00 Breakfast in Bed, sorry I didn’t mention this, we stopped at a sort of Spar for supplies. We grabbed Spanish meats and cheeses along with some bread…as you can well imagine I got crumbs everywhere | 12:50 We really wanted to enjoy the Rowing Boats in Retiro Park, so we took the Metro like 19 stops and ended up right at the bottom of the park and walked through its beautiful grounds-Did you know that Roller Skating is big here?!| 13:30 We pre-booked the Madrid Tour Bus, which allows you to hop on-hop off as you please. With two tour routes it’s great value for money, we sat up stairs and listened to the headphone tour along with seeing beautiful Madrid
15:00 Ok so sitting at the top of a bus in 37/38 degree heat wasn’t the smartest move and as soon as we could see a decent eatery we left-Pizza it had to be, Jimbob had gone so long without having it I think he was having withdrawal symptoms. The Resturant was located to the right side of the Santiago Bernabeau (if you take a picture from the metro entrance) to be honest the Resturant wasn’t anything to write home about so I won’t. | 16:00 Hands down the best thing about our hotel was the pool. For a couple of hours we Frolicked in the pool, the cool water and the sun made it feel like a holiday to me.|18:00 With the sun being so warm it was natural we both just wanted to ‘Nap Time’ 
20:00 Every Intention of having a couple of beers and a burger from the King. We ended up at an Italian, with too much food. So this places Ginos was so cute and they barely spoke English, but it was truly incredible. We ordered a patter of Bruschetta, a garlic bread with cheese fondue and a pizza for sharing. Now if the lovely waitress could of spoken English she probably would of said ‘that’s a lot of food’ but she didn’t and we found only 15 minutes later. The place had a great family atmosphere with family’s all around celebrating. We enjoyed a couple of beers , of course the food and then had the leftovers boxed up for Jimbobs breakfast | 22:30 We really wanted one last drink in the hotel bar but it had closed which we thought was a rather big shame. So we settled for a beer in bed.



Monday 

09:00 Wake up| 12:00 Leftovers from last night, I had the piece of garlic bread, strangely I enjoyed it. We packed up and got ready to leave | 14:00 We had booked the Romantic Package meaning we got a bottle of Cava on arrival(which was super dry) and a late check out of 14:00 -and I think it only cost £15 more- worth it | Upto this point both of us hadn’t enjoyed a brew. So the only place we wanted to go was Starbucks, we were there for hours, I had a Iced Tea,a Toastie & a British brew. Jimbob had a latte and a berry yogurt thing and a cake, it was the perfect spot to chill and reminisce about our last couple of days| 16:10 We took the 150 bus 3 stops costing only €3 euros for us both, quick change to the train. 

Tip. If you go to a blue machine that’s for the Metro. Red Machine is for the train service. |17:00 Arrive at the Airport, to enjoy a few beers and some cheese!!
|19:00 Leave Madrid 

Cx








Extra Photos for you 

Recipe : More Than Just Mac & Cheese

Hi All,

Happy Sunday! Today is a very special day as its my mums birthday and I’m heading to see her soon. But right now I needed to share my dinner last night. 

We have some very special friends who basically look after me when I’m bored and lonely…which is surprisingly a lot! I feel for them having to but let’s be frank I am a pretty good house guest. 

So for about a year Leaine and Steven have said that Leaines Mac and Cheese is incredible and yesterday I got to watch it being made and also eat it.


The good news for you guys is that I get to share this recipe with you… you lucky people!

So let’s begin; 

What you need in your fridge and cupboard is the following;
150g red leister grated 
200g Mature Cheddar Grated
100g Smoked cheese (dependant on strength) we used Oak Smoked Cheddar grated
Cream cheese
10 rashers of Bacon cut into lardons 
4 slices Black pudding cut into cubes
1 whole Onion-diced
Full bag of Spinach 
1 large table spoon /1 oz Plain Flour
1 large table spoon /1 ozButter 
1 Pint milk
400g Macaroni (Pasta)
Bread 2 slices 

And to get the ingredients to become an actual dish you need to follow these steps:
Fill a a pan of water and put it on the hob and bring to the boil. Put your oven on 200 degrees. 

Make a white sauce with your flour, butter and milk. Melt your butter don’t let it boil though, add your flour and whisk…don’t stop. Once it’s come together add the milk, must continue whisking. It will go lumpy if you stop whisking. When thickened add the cream cheese and half of the grated cheeses stir in until combined. 

Fry the onion, bacon and black pudding together until cooked, add to the White sauce 

Cook the macaroni in the boiling water as per instructions on packet. 

When everything is ready, combine and add the spinach in an oven proof dish. 
Put your bread in the oven to toast. When it has a nice colour put it in the food processor to make fine breadcrumbs. 

When it’s almost dinner time. Sprinkle the rest of the grated cheese and the breadcrumbs on top and bake in the oven 25/30 minutes if still hot or even warm. If you prepared the night before then allow 30/40 minutes.


Once cooked serve with whatever you fancy. Personally I think it’s prefect just on its own. 

Thank you to Leaine for letting me share your delish dish!

Cx