Luxury Travel and Lifestyle Blog

Tale As Old As Time: A Winter Weekend In Bruges, Belgium

“The impulse to travel is one of the hopeful symptoms of life. ” 

For as long as I can remember, Belgium's historic city of Bruges has been on my travel bucket list and a few weeks ago, Tom and I spent four (terribly rainy) days enjoying the sites and exploring the quaint cobbled streets. Beer, hot chocolate, waffles, Flemish stew, gin and moules frites all made an appearance and only now can I fully appreciate what all the fuss was about. 

Time Travellers: 24 Hours in Old Sacramento, California

“Study the past if you would define the future.” ― Confucius

There are many places in the world that have such a wonderfully rich history to share but it's so often concealed by 21st Century life that there's ordinarily no real cohesion between the stories we hear and what's in front of us. For a lot of the world, it seems we have to dig deep through the layers of Topshops and Zaras and H&Ms and Gaps and Nordstroms before we find any inkling of the past. But there's one city that has fought tooth and nail to be true to its heritage - and that's Sacramento, California.

A Little Piece Of Cornwall: The Fistral Beach Hotel

“The sea always filled her with longing, though for what she was never sure.” 

― Cornelia Funke

Cornwall is one of those places that, no matter how hard you try, it will steal a little bit of your heart and touch your soul so deeply that you'll wistfully mourn for her until the day you return. Endless miles of beautiful beaches, rugged coastlines, clotted cream ice-cream, traditional Cornish pasties, delicious seafood, enviable surfing schools, welcoming people and quaint English seaside towns doused in folklore... it's the perfect place to forget your incessant city life without having to leave the country.

What To Do When You're Sleepless In Seattle

“In the midst of a busy life, don't forget to live.” 

You may not realise this but we owe so much of our modern lives to a little city that exists right on the West Coast of America: Seattle. That grande vanilla soy latte that you order every morning from your local Starbucks? It actually came all the way from Seattle. The Microsoft computer systems that you're so familiar with? They were created by some of the best minds in the world, who happened to be born in Seattle. And what would we do without Amazon, one of the world's largest retailers? We'd probably have to leave the house to go shopping, but thanks to Seattle - we can shop for pretty much anything from the comfort of our own homes. Or we can binge-watch a new series on Amazon Prime. Or read something spectacular on our Amazon Kindle. Basically, Amazon owns our souls.

Summer Staycation: 48 Hours In Brighton

“A little piece of everywhere I go becomes a big part of everything I do.” 
― Richie Norton

It's fair to say that the UK is by no means a tropical paradise but it has such charming ways, it's very easy to fall in love with. Apart from it being my place of birth and my home for the last 25 years, one reason why I love Britain is for our quintessentially British seaside - something I've only come to appreciate in my adulthood. 

Travelling Tales: Why We Should All Vacay In Vancouver, BC

“I read; I travel; I become” 
― Derek Walcott

I've always wanted to travel but unless you live a flexible, carefree (and well-paid) life, it's not often convenient to put your life on hold, pack a bag and jet set halfway across the world. It takes a lot of time, effort and money to be able to reach your dream destination. Well, that's what I thought, anyway. But this summer, my boyfriend and I did just that. We travelled.

Travelling Foodies: A Guide To Eating Out In Vancouver

“I am not a glutton - I am an explorer of food” 

Deciding where to eat out in the Canadian city of Vancouver is like asking a child to choose their favourite sweet treat in a shop full of sweet treats; they're all equally delicious in their own right and it's much better to educate the taste buds than to stick to the same flavours (in my view, anyway). From hearty Canadian cuisine, sustainable seafood and upscale Italian dishes to casual Korean fare, American comfort food and delicate dim sum, Vancouver's food scene has something to satisfy every palate. My boyfriend and I spent 8 days eating our way around this wonderful city and here is a small (and by no means exhaustive) selection of the restaurants that we stumbled across on our travels.

Food For Thought: Mango Tree Restaurant, Harrods Food Hall

Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what’s for lunch.” 

My boyfriend and I spend the majority of our relationship asking each other what we should have for dinner - and it usually goes something like this: 

               Me: What shall we have for dinner tonight?
               Tom: Seriously? You're asking me what I want for dinner at 9am in the morning...
               Me: Yes. Do you want me to cook something or shall we go out?
               Tom: (silence)
               Me: Tom? (Pause) So what are we doing for dinner tonight?

As you can see, I do the majority of the asking. Actually, I do all of the asking - I can't help it. As soon as I wake up, I have food on the brain. It doesn't feel right to go about my day with no idea of what we're doing in the evening. Can I slob around in my harems after work? Have I got time to go to yoga tonight? Or do I need to wash my hair and faff around for an hour making myself look pretty? 

I like to have a plan; that way, I know when I'm getting my next food fix and I'm less likely to get hangry. So, when we were invited to sample the menu at Mango Tree's concession a few weeks ago, I was grateful that there would be one more day in the year where I would know exactly when, where and what I'd be having for dinner.

How I Fell In Love With Copenhagen

"To travel is to live" - Hans Christian Andersen

If we think about it logically, visiting a foreign country for the first time is quite a daunting prospect. A different climate, a different currency, a different language, a different travel system, different foods, different customs; a completely different way of life. Yet despite all these differences, many of us are becoming creatures of travel, with statistics showing that on average we each venture abroad 1.4 times per year.

Veganuary: Matcha Chia Pudding

Whatever time of the day it is, you can bet I'm thinking about food.

As I approach the wrong side of 25, I'm becoming more and more conscious of how I'm fuelling my body. For me, eating well isn't about striving for the 'perfect' body. It's about caring for my body from the inside out and I'm slowly beginning to understand how my body deals with being well-nourished compared to when it's pumped with junk.

Something For The Weekend: Gliffaes Country House Hotel

"Not all those who wander are lost" - JRR Tolkien 

Life may be full of endless opportunities, mind-blowing experiences and breath-taking adventures but it also comes with its stresses. As much as we strive to live the 'perfect' life, it's not always plain sailing. Above many other things, life can be demanding, unsettling and complicated so when it begins to take its toll on our health and wellbeing, it's nice to know that we're able to put the world on hold, escape to a place of peace and clear our minds for a day or two. 

With the skies at our disposal, it's often more convenient to hop on a plane to somewhere far far removed from our normal environment - with guaranteed sunshine, idyllic landscapes and a slower pace of life - that we forget that there are so many beautiful places here in the UK that can offer the same respite as a faraway fairytale.  
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