Thursday, 31 July 2014

Frites, Waffles & Mussels Here We Come!

Tomorrow we fly to Brussels for a long weekend to celebrate our second wedding anniversary. We have decided to try and visit a different city each year by going through the alphabet! Last year we were up north in Aboyne, this year Brussels and next year we are thinking about Copenhagen. We thought it would be a good fun way to see more cities and celebrate our anniversary.

I am soooo looking forwarding to eating lots of frites with mayo, waffles and mussels whilst exploring the city.

Does anyone have any tips for things to do in Brussels?

Monday, 28 July 2014

Walking Chocolate Tour of Edinburgh

A few weeks ago Drew bought me a voucher for a chocolate walking tour of Edinburgh. I was really excited to indulge in tasty treats so went online and booked it for this weekend. As my friend Debbie from back home was coming through for the day I invited her along for lots of yummy chocolate and walking in the rain!

The tour is by a company called Great British Tours and they do a variety of similar walking tours in other cities in the UK. Our tour guide was very friendly and shared interesting facts at each shop. We were also offered 10% discount if we wanted to purchase anything at any of the shops.

The first stop was Hotel Chocolat on Fredrick Street. Here we sampled some truffles, pralines and iced chocolate drinks. Everything was delicious but as this is a shop I can go to any day I didn't buy anything. 

I love the cupcakes at BiBi's but on the tour we were given a pretty big slice of raspberry chocolate brownie which was amazing! I might treat myself to a brownie the next time I am there if I can resist the cupcakes and macarons.

Selfie outside BiBis

Our next stop was Coco Chocolate on Broughton street. I live quite close to this shoo but I've never been before so was excited to try it. As it was raining outside the whole tour group squeezed our way into this little shop. We were treated to a selection of delicious individual chocolates such as sea salt caramels, chocolate cherries and champagne truffles. I think I will hint to Drew to buy me chocolates from this shop if he's feeling generous :)

The Fudge Kitchen on the Royal Mile is a great shop which normally has free samples out to tempt you. I had already planned to make use of the tour discount at this shop so treated myself to a slice of Belgian chocolate swirll fudge and peanut butter fudge - both are delicious!

This shop was my favourite as it was full of traditional Scottish sweets and cute little gifts. They dont take card so with the little cash I had I bought some Scottish tablet and some macaroon. 

I highly suggest popping in if you are in the Royal Mile area of Edinburgh.

All in all a good tour however it is quite expensive if you dont get a 2 for 1 voucher. I also think a lot of the shops give out free samples anyway so if you live in Edinburgh I probably wouldn't bother going on the tour. It is a great way to see some more of the city whist enjoying a 10% discount in all of the shops.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

American Wedding

On the 29th March my little brother (well not little in height!) got married to his beautiful wife in a cute little white church in a small town in West Virginia USA. Up until about 4 weeks before the wedding I didn't think I would be going, but after some chatting with Drew we decided that I couldn't miss his wedding so I got the credit card out and booked my flights over!

As we had been living in Spain for 3 months the first leg of my journey involved getting back to the UK. After flying from Spain to Newcastle, to the in-laws, I quickly packed up some clothes and caught a train to Fife to my mum and dad's house. It was all very exciting, especially for my Gran who had never been to America before. Early the next morning we made our way to Edinburgh airport for our flight to Paris where we would change onto the Airbus A380 to Washington DC. The flight to Washington was great, the food was actually really nice and the TV screen provided hours of entertainment - I watched some films, tv shows and played sudoko! Honestly if you are worried about a long flight, don't be! It was actually quite enjoyable to sit back and watch some movies and catch up on some sleep.

After landing in Washington DC out journey was far from over as we still had a 7 hour drive to where my brother lives. Luckily we were travelling in luxury...

Our snazzy car

After about 20 hours of travelling we finally arrived at my brother's apartment in the small town of Montgomery, West Virginia. It was so good to arrive at our final destination, see John and meet their cute kittens Mia and Ella (Note - now they have expanded their family with another kitten and a puppy!)


After a few hours sleep the wedding fun began with a girls afternoon at the nail salon and lunch at the mall - oh so American! We then joined the bride's family for a fun evening of baby pictures, wine, pizza & chocolate.

The Big Day!

The big day arrived and everyone was so excited and full of emotions. Once we were all ready we Alex's mum picked up in a pick up truck - wish I had a picture of my mum, gran and me trying to climb into this thing in dresses - it was hilarious!

The ceremony was held in a little church in Charleston and it was so beautiful. I am not religious but I thought the way the minister told stories about John and Alex was lovely and gave the ceremony a real personal touch.

Just Married!
After the ceremony and lots of photos we headed back to the hotel for cocktail hour and the reception. The room was decorated beautifully with these really cool photo frames with pics of John and Alex as kids as the centre pieces.

After a yummy meal, dancing, drinking and wedding cake we were exhausted so we headed back to our hotel for an Appletini (basically only wanted one because of JD in Scrubs! haha) and then me and my mum decorated the newly-weds room with lots of cute flowers and chocolates!

Next read about what we got up to in West Virginia and about our trip to New York!

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Hi Again Blog!

After the best of intentions I have well and truly neglected this blog - terrible! I am now back at it with some posts in draft including an American Wedding, New York and Tips for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Here's a terrible wonky selfie of me with the New York skyline in the background!

Monday, 21 July 2014

A Trip to Bristol

A couples of weeks ago Drew was working in Bristol for the day so as I hadn't been there in a while I decided to fly down and meet him. I had the full day to myself to explore the city and I was quite excited about being a solo tourist for the day, although slightly nervous that I would get lost!

I started the day by walking towards and going to a museum called M Shed. This was free to get in and was full of interesting facts and history about Bristol. I would definitely recommend visiting if you are in Bristol as it's fun and you can walk around at your own pace.

After this I was pretty hungry so walked towards St Nicholas Market as I had heard there was an amazing choice of food. Not going to lie lunch was the best part of my day! As there is a lot of multi cultural food in Bristol I decided to try a falafel pita wrap from Eat a Pita which was the most delicious, fresh food I had eaten in ages! If I could've went back again that weekend I would've been there!


After refuelling I decided to do what I do best and shop. I popped into Lush where I hadn't been in a while and ended up treating myself to Ro's Argan body conditioner which smells so good and I use it every day (I might do a full review later). I then went to Dorothy Perkins and picked up a few things for my trip to Brussels next month.

Later that night Drew and I met up with my friend Cat and her flatmate for dinner and drinks. It was great catching up with everyone and continuing with the multi cultural food theme we went to a Moroccan restaurant (can't remember then name!). We ordered far too much food but it was worth it.

I have been to Bristol quite a few times as I have friends down there but we rarely do much exploring so I will definitely need to plan our next trip and include some touristy activities.

Do you have any favourite places to visit in Bristol?

Friday, 30 May 2014

Hummingbird Bakery Cupcakes

For Christmas I received a copy of The Hummingbird Bakery Cook Book which is full of tempting treats such as cupcakes, brownies, muffins and pies. I couldn't wait to attempt to make something but our little (ha!) 3 month trip to Spain meant I had to put my baking plans on hold. Finally last night I got messy in the kitchen making their vanilla cupcakes and I was impressed how easy they were!

After only 1 potential disastrous mistake (forgetting to add sugar to the mix!) the cupcakes turned out quite well. The were a lovely golden brown colour and the frosting was nice and soft (and tasty!). I added some sprinkles and edible butterflies for decoration...

After a taste test I thought they were suitable for sharing at work and everyone seems to have enjoyed them. Only downside is there isn't any left for me! Oh well, I will need to make more next time :)

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Mum and Dad visiting Spain

Okay so this post is very late and so much has happened since then but I still wanted to share this.

So at the start of February when we had been in Spain just over 1 month my parents came out for a long weekend.

As I was living the life of a self employed person I entertained my mum and dad the first couple of days whilst Drew had to work (haha). On the first day we took a trip to Málaga and since Drew and I had been a couple of weeks before I felt like I knew the city so took the parents on a mini tour.


We wondered down to the marina area, which is a must if you are in Málaga, had some drinks and some refreshing frozen yoghurt; which was the best I have ever tasted!

I then took them to visit the Acazaba for a bit of culture before we spent the remainder of the day in bars :)

A good day was had by all and was made even better by a home cooked paella when we returned in the evening!

The next day we stayed in Benalmádena and visited a few of the local sights. First stop was the Buddhist temple which is really interesting and the views from it are just amazing.

Next, after getting slightly lost, we went to Castillo de Colomares which is a tribute to Christopher Columbus. The castle reminds me a sandcastle or something from The Little Mermaid! We had fun exploring the castle and taking photos.

After enjoying a couple of days of glorious sunshine we headed north to Seville for 2 nights - where it rained, no it poured!! We still enjoyed the trip despite the soggy clothes but I definitely want to go back when it's nicer weather.

Oh how I wish I was back enjoying some sunshine in Spain...

Monday, 24 March 2014

Jerez & Cadiz - a very late post....

So after my blog planning post I kind of lost track of time and forgot to update this with my recent adventures - terrible! Anyway better late than never...

At the end of January Drew's parents, sister and a couple of our friends flew over to Spain for the Formula 1 test days at Jerez.

Drew posing with a can of olives...

So whilst the guys were enjoying some beers and watching the F1 (and enjoying their 5 minutes of fame being interviewed for Sky Sports), Alma, Vicky and I headed out exploring in Jerez (day 1) and Cadiz (day 2).


We spend the day wondering around, and getting slightly lost whilst sightseeing and doing a spot of shopping. Jerez itself is pretty small and full of cobbled streets and orange trees.

Jerez Cathedral


Cadiz was lovely and I wish I had time to go back with Drew. The day here was spent much like Jerez with us wondering around the sights with the added bonus of a delicious lunch at a vegetarian restaurant. If you are vegetarian then Spain is not great for eating out as you are basically limited to potatoes and omelet in most restaurants. I found La Cueva through searching on my TripAdvisor app (a must have when you cant decide where to eat!) and we all loved it. They served vegetarian and gluten free food in tapas style and every dish we had was delicious (sadly we were so hungry we forgot to take photos!). 

If you are visiting Jerez or Cadiz I highly recommed visiting both of them. Very easy to get to by train or by car in around 40 mins.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Blog Planning

I think i'm starting to get a hang of this blogging malarkey... I've put together a list of blog post ideas to do over the next few weeks so watch this space!

  • Jerez/Cadiz - I'm going away for a few days to Jerez and Cadiz so will put up a post about this.
  • Tapas - a post full of tasty food to make you hungry!
  • Seville - Planning a trip to Seville with Drew and my parents next week which I can't wait for!
  • Museum of Glass and Crystal (Málaga) - I forgot to mention this lovely wee museum in my Málaga post so I am going to dedicate a whole post to this as it was so interesting.
  • Learning Spanish - hoping to write a post about learning Spanish (which i'm attempting to do!)
  • Zumba! - started going to Zumba here in Spain so will blog about that.
  • Restaurant reviews - we've been to so many good restaurants so I will pick my favourites and do a post on them.
So there you have it, my list so far and no doubt I will think of some more!

Friday, 24 January 2014

A Trip to Málaga

Last weekend Drew and I decided to visit Málaga as we had never been into the city before which is surprising as we have been on holiday here many times before. The trains are pretty good here but we decided to book a cheap hostel to save us getting the late train back to Benalmadena. So a quick visit to we found a room at La Casa Mata hostel for €28 which we thought was great so booked us in.

Travelling to Málaga itself is so easy, just hop on a train and you're there in half an hour. When we arrived we headed down to the port (puerto) and had lunch next to the boats. It was really lovely at the port with lots of little shops, bars, restaurants and even a place to hire segways and go karts! We didn't do this but maybe next time haha.

After wondering around the port we headed to the Alcazaba - an old fortress built to protect Malaga. It was only a couple of Euros each to go in and it was really lovely to walk around and see the views over the city. We didn't go to the very top but we'll go back soon and go further up the hill!

The old bull ring

Where does this door lead??

Trying not to fall over the edge!

Drew the giant!

Timed selfie!!

After all of this sightseeing it was time for some refreshments so we headed to El Pimpi which is a popular bar/restaurant right next to the Alcazaba. We just went for drinks with me having a delicious strawberry smoothie and Drew going for his usual - a beer. After this we headed in the direction of the hostel but this meant passing a bar that Drew was dying to try, Arte & Sana Beer Cafe, as they sold every beer imaginable! So we went in for a drink and he was like a kid in a toy store looking at all the bottles of beer. We even came back the next day with Drew sporting his beer t-shirt....

Later that night we went for tapas at the closest place to our hostel which we later discovered was number 1 on TripAdvisor! Sadly I didn't take any pictures but the food was delicious and almost like Michelin Star tapas so we might have to go back again and try more of the menu.

After food we basically went back to the hostel and had an early night. I had to sleep with my jeans on as the room was soooo cold! Spanish don't do heaters as it's hot most of the year but it was a bit chilly last weekend and Spanish buildings are designed to stay cool so not great during the colder months.

On Sunday we just walked round a bit more, had more food and then headed back to Benalmádena. All in all a great night away and i'm already planning on going on a day trip to Málaga when my parents visit in February :)

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