26 February 2016

A Weekend In Paris

I was in Paris in November and was also due to visit for NYE but as I mentioned on the blog that I missed my flight to Paris from Cambodia I would be heading back soon. When that time as come! The last few trips to Paris have either been with friends or sisters. This time I will be playing tour guide to my boyfriend. With have both been to Paris but just not at the same time or with each other. If you haven't seen the posts, you can read about why you should rent an Airbnb apartment when visiting Paris or a Visual Diary of Sunrises in the city of light or see Paris In Black and White.

You can follow along via Instagram.


24 February 2016

Do Not Leave Andalusia Without Dining At El Mirador

We spend a couple of days exploring Ardales, a beautiful little town in Andalusia. Typical in its style of Spanish villages which come with character-filled white-washed buildings. If you haven't been to this part of Spain I details 7 reasons why you need to visit this part of Andalusia in my post. A couple of days into our stay in Andalusia we also took on El Caminito del Rey in El Chorro but by the time we came back from the walk we were too tired to check out El Mirador and thought instead to come back the following day. The  setting for the El Mirador restaurant is what attracted  me that most before I had even looked at their menu.

Dining that comes with a spectacular view is always a plus in my view and adds to the memorable getaway. Imagine eating your paella with panoramic views of Ardales's Guadalhorce reservoir and the beautiful countryside. As its sits besides the lake you can also walk off you lunch in perfect surrounding. There are many viewing points from the restaurant itself, with steps that lead to the bottom as well as viewing points a few meters from the Restaurant and the Guadalhorce dam.

The food was great and they have a selection of salad, seafood and meet dishes and prices are reasonable. Getting via the same as the directions I provided for El Caminito del Rey in El Chorro.

22 February 2016

El Caminito Del Rey | Hiking Spain's Most Dangerous Hiking Trail

I learned about El Caminito Del Rey  through some climbing articles I was reading a couple of years ago. I have been rock climbing on and off  for a couple of years now and being the adrenaline junkie I can be, this was just one of those climber's bucketlist items. Sure, El Caminito Del Rey was touted as Spain's most dangerous hike and that's what made it all that much more attractive. Fast forward a few years later and I totally forgot about this bucketlist item only to have my boyfriend surprise me with a trip. There I was conjuring up all sorts of romantic destinations then be told I would be needing hiking boots. Uh Oh! Thoughts of kisses under the twinkling Effiel Tower quickly dashed as no one ever needed hiking boots to explore the  streets of Paris while scoffing down macaroons faster that smarties.

The time came and we were headed for sunny Spain, as lovely as Paris is, its never guaranteed sunshine to anyone. So a trip to Malaga, Spain's sunniest city was just what the London weather man ordered. If you haven't been to Malaga or Andalucia for that matter then I have 7 reasons why you should visit Andalucia. I learned about our planned activity to El Caminito Del Rel about 2 days before we  were leaving so in my excitement I researched a little only to find out that it had been repaired so I would not be needed any of my climbing gear never the less I was still reeling in excitement of the thought of exploring a dizzying trail on the cliff edges of that were in use since 1921. 

17 February 2016

Ardales | 7 Reasons To Visit Andalucia

Dress - ASOS // Sandals -  Topshop // Bag - Mango

When I think of Spain my mind conjures up scenes of sunny disposition when I can actually feel the warm sun on my skin and just how cozy that feeling is. I guess it helps that as I write this the sun in London it out with clear blue skies, although very deceiving because its just shy of 5 degrees. When I think of Spain, I don't see false promises like that when it comes to the weather. Even more so when I think of Andalucia. This rocky, sun-baked region in Spain's southern coast is just a picture of pure bliss; sunshine included! Andalucia is said to be the heart and soul of Spain, if you have visited then you will know why and if you haven't you will understand why when you visit.

Andalucia consists of eight Provinces; Almería, Cádiz, Cóodoba, Granada, Huelva, Jaén, Málaga and Seville. Each with its own intoxicating heritage and charm from its glorious past. From Renaissance splendor, Moorish legacy, Mosque-Cathedrals and beautiful palaces. The various cultural influences passing through Spain in past centuries have left gems waiting to be discovered. This region also embodies what the world thinks of Spain; flamenco, tapa, matadors and bullfights. Many of the provinces dedicate days sometimes weeks of street shows and performances. Cádiz celebrate Carnival with colourful costumed street performers for 10 days before Easter Sunday, Granada has tango street performances through out March, Seville devotes the half of April, sometimes spilling into May just for bullfighting, horse parades. While Malaga has fire works and flamenco concerts in August and Ronda waits till September for flamenco festivals. With all that song and dance people get famished so expect a lot of tapas and that all famous paella. 

Each of Andalucia's Villages villages are whitewashed and set against mountain backdrops and stunning landmark architecture such as Alcázar castle in Sevile, Mezquita Mosque-Cathedral and Granada's Alhambra palace. If that's not reason enough I have listed 7 more reasons to visit Andalucia below.

13 February 2016

Valentine's Day Surprises

I love a  good surprise as much as the next person so when I heard the door bell ring and the post man handed me a package, I was struggling to remember if I had ordered something online. I certainly wasn't expecting any delivery. To my surprise the people at the Co-Operative Food had sent over a little Valentines Day breakfast package by way of their 'Love at First Light' gift box, which included that aromatic coffee, chocolate teddy, croissants and a few other sweets that never made it to the shoot below. Well let's just say none of these will make it to Valentines Day as they have been happily consumed between me and the boyfriend. Now, I have to come up with something else to do for Valentines Breakfast as I woofed that down almost as quickly as I opened it....there is still plenty more of that aromatic coffee for the gift box so I suppose we will be okay...

11 February 2016

5 Great Reasons To Use Airbnb When You Travel

When I travel, accommodation is an important part of planning my trip. That also involves consideration on the cost, location, amenities near by as well as what's included in that too. So looking at apartment rentals has become a natural aspect of booking my trips, whether flying solo or exploring with friends and lovers! I am kidding, there is only one man in my life. Originally I was going to just put 5 reasons to use Airbnb, but it now appears I have to add a 6th; because Beyonce is using Airbnb as well! You haven't heard? During her stay in the city when she did the Super Bow performance of her latest Single Formation, she rented out an Airbnb mansion. Granted this place was $10K a night, I am not saying that's what you should all be booking, well unless you can afford it. In which case I may just be asking you to invite me to tag along, but I digress. So why should you use Airbnb when you travel? Check out my 5 reasons on why you should use Airbnb below. Just so we get this out of the way, this is not a sponsored post nor am I getting paid by Airbnb to post this. If you do want to start hosting your apartment on Airbnb or if you want to book your first Airbnb stay you can get £14 off your first booking with my Airbnb link.

1. Value For Money - Most cases I have found you get much better value for money compared to hotels in the same location, offering same amenities in the area they are located in but are charging a premium solely based on location alone. You can usually find Airbnb to be much cheaper and you get to come and go as you please without dealing too much with hotel staff and guests. 

2. Late Check Out And No Fees - Usually you can check out much later without late fees or any qualms you will normally face in hotels. I have had late outs as late as 7pm and sometimes 8pm depending on whether I had a late return flight home.

6 February 2016

Paris Noir

Turtle Neck Dress - ASOS //  Watch - Vivienne Westwood // Earrings - Swarovksi Crystal

The second installment from my weekend in Paris with friends. I love the sense of mystery black and white adds to images so I thought for this installment on our little weekend in Paris, I would do in black and white. We visited  Musee dOrsay, walked in and around the Louvre, passing through parks and gardens, taking the views of Paris 52 floors up, above Montparness Tower and walking along the Seine. The weather was cold but we had plenty of sun shine during the day. I am glad to be going back at the end of the month as there are so many places I wanted to visit last time that I didnt get to visit. Like Sacre Coeur, St Germain, Champs Elysees  and La Defense. 

For my next visit I have chosen to stay near Champs Elysee so get a different view of the city and take in the sunrise and sunset shots from a different perspective in the city. Below are some of the shots from our photo walk around the Paris.

3 February 2016

A Weekend In Paris | Through A Photographer's Eyes

A weekend in Paris is something I always add to my travel list almost every new start to the year but for some reason, it always goes on the back burner. Considering, from my London flat to Paris would be under 3 hours. It takes longer to get to some parts of the UK! Las November my friends and I embarked on a weekend in Paris for a little quick self-guided photography tour. I have found this to force you to look at the city in a rather different perspective.  It was more about the capturing of the architecture and street life than it was about the experience of Paris life, well for that weekend anyway. From exploring different techniques of photography to learning from other photography friends on not only getting the best shot through experimentation of camera settings to the gadgets to buy when it comes to getting that ''money shot'' without heavy equipment. Think table tripods, remote control shutter release, camera filters and all that good stuff that makes your pictures pop!

We also managed to do a few sunrise and sunset photography shoots. We woke up to see the sunrise at Trocadero, explored the Louvre and its Pyramids after sunset, saw the aerial views of Paris from montparnasse Tower, Moulin Rouge just before midnight but not before stopping to refuel the body and top strategy on what to shoot the following day. Our explorations of Paris was also a week after the Paris terror attacks hence the Eiffel Tour shots below are in the colours of the French Flag. All the while we explored the city, not once did I feel unsafe. You could sense a little tension or the sudden reaction to any noise but city is resilient and has shown it self to be united. 

While I was in Paris I also rented a beautiful studio apartment with views over the river Seine overlooking the Eiffel Tower, so I will share more pictures and details on that as well as where to get the best views of Paris shortly. Stay tuned for that. 

Below are some pictures from the weekend with a few more to come. I am heading back to Paris at the end of this month but this time my boyfriend is coming with me. Make sure you follow along on my Instagram for the journey.

1 February 2016

10 Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Travellers & Food Lovers

Valentines is upon us once again (well in 13 days time for those that need a reminder) and as commercial as it is I am not a believer on handing each other empty gifts for the sake of Valentines day. Although I will gladly accept those 5 carat diamond studs, if they were coming my direction. For me valentines days is simply a day to appreciate your partner''s company and if under a romantic setting then all the better. So I thought what better way that to inspire you with 10 Valentines gift for lovers of food and travel. This post is not just for the men to take their ladies out to these places. I am an equal opportunities kinda girl so that means its also open for you ladies to treat your men to a get away much like these below.

They have been tried and tasted by myself and my boyfriend so rest your heart in that you will have a great time. There is something for everyone in there too. For those that prefer time alone, those up for a little adventure while spending time alone with your partner. Did I also mention they involve a little bit of travel? Hence why I am posting this early so you get a head start in coordinating them travel-wise, if you are in Europe these are a piece of cake to get to also perfect if you are already in or near that city. Also for those across the Atlantic, Icelandic air and WoW air are offering some amazing discount that you can be in Europe for under $200. See below for 10 Valentines Day Gift Ideas for Travels and Food Lovers.