Browsing Category

UK

Europe, Travel, UK

Glastonbury Festival 2016

July 5, 2016

Anyone else still suffering from the Glastonbury blues? The long journey to get there, the horrendous mud and the toilets are now a distant memory and all we can remember is the great music, the fantastic array of food and the incredible atmosphere that surrounds Glastonbury festival.

glastonbury 2016 2glastonbury 2016 3

This year was my third Glastonbury and it honestly just gets better. Whether you’re there for the headliners or the smaller acts, there’s something for everyone. You could go to Glastonbury and not see a single performance and still have a good time. Each area is filled with the most random activities and stalls. Boredom is simply not possible at this amazing festival in Somerset.

These were my highlights for 2016:

glastonbury 2016 1

The food! I could dedicate a whole blog post to the food at Glasto. Every cuisine imaginable is available and it’s all amazing. I actually get sad that there isn’t enough time to try more.

glastonbury food

The tributes to Bowie, Prince and Lemmy. These were everywhere – from stage installations to toilet graffiti. A touching nod of respect to these great artists.

david bowie eavis tribute

Bowie tribute pyramid stagelemmy tribute other stage glastonbury 2016

Coldplay’s tribute to Viola Beach. A moving tribute to a band who never reached their full potential. This was the closest to tears I got all week.

coldplay glastonbury 2016

Adele’s accent. The contrast between her singing and speaking voice is crazy. I loved Adele’s anecdotes and jokes between songs. She was phenomenal.

glastonbury 2016 4

I always go through a stage after Glastonbury when I say that I won’t be going again. Then I forget how disgusting I felt and watch some of the performances again on Youtube and before long I can’t imagine spending the last weekend in June anywhere else… See you next year Glastonbury!

Glastonbury 2016

Europe, Travel, UK

A Weekend in Center Parcs- Longleat Forest

May 10, 2016

Last Christmas, we booked a weekend away with Stu’s sister and her boyfriend to the Longleat Forest Center Parcs and last weekend, after months of waiting, the trip was finally here! Stu and I are lucky enough to have seen a lot of the world but we’ve both said that we need to make an effort to see more of our own country. Center Parcs was a great opportunity for us to do this.


Stu hadn’t been to Center Parcs before and I was still in nappies last time I went so we were both really excited to see what all the fuss was about. Lorna, Stu’s sister, is a Center Parcs veteran so we were in good hands to make the most of our visit.

A weekend at Center Parcs is Friday to Monday. We arrived at 3pm on Friday and were really lucky that we didn’t have to queue to check in. When we left on Monday, the queue of cars waiting to check in for the week was ridiculously long. You can use the facilities before check in so come early and hit those rapids before the crowds!


We stayed in a cabin near some open water which was great because we felt really secluded and had lots of wildlife for neighbours. A deer came really close to our cabin on the first day so we were basically David Attenborough for the weekend!


Center Parcs is all about being active and appreciating the great outdoors. Longleat Forest is a no vehicle zone so everyone gets about by walking or cycling. Most of the activities are centered around being active as well so the exercise combined with the fresh air means you’ll be shattered at the end of each day – good job the beds are comfy!

There’s absolutely loads to do so you can either have a busy weekend crammed full of activities or you can chill out and relax all weekend. I’d like to think that we struck a happy medium. Over the 4 days, we played badminton, went swimming, won the geocaching, played snooker and stuffed our bellies full of food. We were really lucky with the weather so made the most of the sun with ice creams and a BBQ.


The food at Center Parcs is AMAZING. The cabins are self catering but there are a few different restaurants to choose from if you do want to eat out. We went to The Pancake House and to Rajinda Pradesh, the Indian restaurant. Both were really good, but we were all particularly impressed with the Indian. I didn’t expect one of the best curries I’ve ever eaten to be at Center Parcs but it was seriously good.


We were all sad to leave on Monday but I definitely won’t be leaving it so long until I visit CP again! Have you been to any of the Center Parcs? What did you think?

Europe, Travel, UK

Easter Weekend in London

April 13, 2016

Easter may seem like forever ago but I’ve been a bad blogger and haven’t got round to writing about my trip to London with my family. So now you can sit back and remember how nice having a 4 day weekend at Easter was and look forward to our next bank holiday in May! Not that I’m counting or anything…

Anyway back to London! Over the Easter weekend, I went to London with my Dad and Stepmum. Thinking about it now, it’s probably the first time that we’ve ever done something just the three of us as there are usually other family members in tow. I’m really glad we got to spend that time together. Travelling definitely made me realise how important it is to see your friends and family as much as possible.

We stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn hotel which is right next to the Hatton Cross tube station. It’s about a 40 minute journey into Central London but you get a bigger and much nicer room than most inner city hotels which is a big plus for me! We stayed for two nights and I thought it was a lovely hotel. It’s full of lots of people going on holiday as it’s near Heathrow airport which made me extremely jealous! I also loved the breakfast buffet – purely because it had a toast conveyor belt and those little glasses of juice you get on holiday. It made the trip feel even more like a holiday for me (I know I’m weird…).

Now obviously there’s tons to do in London and this post isn’t going to tell you how to see all the typical tourist sights in one weekend. What I will do is share with you some of the highlights of our weekend. We seemed to do loads and I enjoyed myself so much. So in no particular order, here’s what we got up to!

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

Both Sarah and I had read the book by Mark Haddon, which is fantastic, so we were really looking forward to seeing how it translated into a play. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone but you definitely won’t be disappointed. It’s a very clever set with talented actors who draw the audience in to the story. One of my pet peeves is when a play or film deviates too far from the original story so I was relieved when the play did stay true to Mark Haddon’s book.

The London Dungeons

Now I had no idea what to expect from the London Dungeons. Friends had told me that it was really scary and I’ve been around the Saw Maze at Thorpe Park before which has actors and that seriously freaked me out. However this was a lot more family orientated. All of the actors were good and stayed in character the whole time but I only jumped a couple of times and that was probably due to my Dad trying to scare me! It’s more of a fun thing to do and not scary but you do learn some of London’s history which can only be a good thing.

The Imperial War Museum


Now if you really want to learn some history then I suggest you visit the Imperial War Museum. This is a fantastic place to go if you like your military history. I had quite a few modules in my degree about the different wars in the 20th Century so I found it particulary interesting. I don’t think you have to be a history nerd like me to appreciate the IWM though as it covers such a broad timescale that there is bound to be something that interests you, whether that be Hitler or 9/11. One of the best exhibitions is the floor dedicated to the Holocaust. It’s a harrowing exhibition which might make some people feel uncomfortable but it’s a subject that everyone should learn about to ensure it doesn’t happen again. If you’re after something a little different to do in London, you should definitely visit here!

Camden Markets


Last on my list is Camden Markets. Incredibly, I’ve never actually been to Camden before. Seeing all the different stalls selling such an array of items and food reminded me of Glastonbury festival. I love wandering about markets and seeing all the different shops and smelling all the food – even if I rarely actually buy anything! We walked through the Stable Market with all the horse statues and then saw the Amy Winehouse statue on the way out. I’d like to visit the markets again soon and see what hidden treasures I can find.

So that was our weekend in London! It was good to be a tourist in my capital city and explore some different parts of London. Thanks to my Dad and Sarah for a such a good weekend!

 

Next time I’m in London will be in just over a weeks time for the London Marathon. Wish me luck and please sponsor me if you can – details here.

Europe, Travel, UK

IceBar London

November 3, 2015

I recently spoke about my trip to London and mentioned that we visited IceBar. I wanted to write a whole post about the bar because it was such a fun experience! I’ve never really been to a novelty bar before so it was all new to me and I had a great time.


My Mum pre-booked our tickets as we’d heard it can get quite busy – especially on a Saturday. I think our time was about 5pm so it was full of people getting ready to start their night out in London. We arrived about 10 minutes before our allotted time and got to see the previous group leaving – all looking very cold! It was soon our turn to enter the Ice Bar but first we had to put on our thermal coats and gloves. I loved our outfits with the fur cape,I felt like I  was in Lapland!


 We then entered the bar (or the giant freezer) and was greeted by a wave of cold air, good music and lots of ice! Literally everything is made of ice. I’m talking the bar, your glasses, tables, sculptures, everything! It looked really impressive.

As you only get 40 minutes in the bar there is an initial rush for everyone to get their free drink and then take pictures with everything in sight. This did calm down once people realised that 40 minutes is more than enough time to enjoy the surroundings and have a few drinks.

Now if you’re like me and really feel the cold, you’re probably thinking that standing in a freezer for 40 minutes doesn’t sound fun in the slightest. The truth is, you don’t actually get that cold. The cape and gloves keep you warm and you’re constantly moving around anyway which helps. So don’t worry about the cold and give IceBar a try! It’s an ideal place to start a special night out or just to try something a little different when visiting London.

Have you ever been to an Icebar? What did you think?

Europe, Travel, UK

One Day in London

October 23, 2015

Last Saturday I spent the day in London with my mum for a bit of mother daughter time. We booked a return coach (so cheap with Megabus!) and had a loose plan of going round the shops and having a meal somewhere.

  
I was in London only a couple of weeks ago for work but I didn’t get a chance to see much more than the tube station and the office so it was nice to be a bit more of a tourist for once. First stop was Harrods as we knew they would have all the Christmas stuff out in the food hall. This made me seriously excited for the Christmas season to be upon us! Keeping in the tradition of shopping in expensive stores, we went to Harvey Nichols next. They also had their Christmas gear out so we really couldn’t get away it all.

Now lunch was something to get excited about. One of mine and Stu’s favourite restaurants in Australia was Vapiano. We went to one in Sydney, Mebourne and Surfers Paradise. In fact the only one we missed out was Brisbane! Anyway, Vapiano is now in the UK! They have 3 branches in London and one opening in Manchester next month (Vapiano if you’re reading this – please come to Bristol next!). Mum and I went to the Soho branch and I was filled with happiness as soon as we walked in. The restaurant was so similar to the ones in Australia and brought back so many memories. The menu was the same as Australia and Mum and I both had bruschetta followed by a pasta dish. If you haven’t been to a Vapiano before, your meal is cooked in front of you as you order and you can really taste how fresh it is. We loved it! I can’t really recommend it enough – just go!

   
    
 After lunch we headed to Regent St and Oxford St for a bit of retail therapy. It’s so busy shopping in London on Saturday and I can imagine its only going to get worst in the build up to Christmas.

  
Come 5pm, Mum had a treat booked for the two of us, a trip to Ice Bar London! This was so much fun and I’ll write a whole blog post about it soon.

  
Before long, it was time to head back home. It’s only a couple of hours to London from home and I sometimes forget just how easy it is to get there. I might see if I can squeeze another trip in soon…

Europe, Travel, UK

A Trip to Frome.

September 27, 2015
Frome

This weekend Stu and I stayed in Frome as one of my good friends from university was getting married. It was so lovely to see her again and amazing to see her married. I know her and her husband will have many happy years together.

IMG_0574

Anyway this was mine and Stu’s first time in Frome and it is such a pretty place! It’s got the beauty of Bath but much more quaint. The main high street has a real community feel as everyone seemed to know each other or they were just overly friendly!

IMG_0569

Frome is full of small independent shops selling gorgeous items and country pubs selling good food and drink. After a little wander around the cobbled streets, Stu and I decided to try out The Artisan. It was a really nice sunny day so we sat out on the garden terrace with a drink each, making the most of the last of summer sun. All the food on the menu sounded amazing but we decided on a sharing board from the specials menu. It came out on a wooden slate and looked incredible. To our joy, it tasted even better than it looked. I actually want to go back now and eat it all again.

The Artisan The Artisan

Frome is definitely worth a day trip if you’re ever in the area. It’s even a nice drive if you’re heading to Frome from Bristol way. Lots of villages that I would love to live in!

Frome

Have you been to Frome? What did you think?

Europe, Travel, UK

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta

August 11, 2015

It’s official. Bristol loves balloons. The whole city went balloon mad last week. Facebook and Instagram were full of arty shots of the Clifton Suspension Bridge and some balloons in the sky.

To be fair, when the weathers good, the Balloon Fiesta is a good day out. We went to Ashton Court on Saturday afternoon with some friends so we managed to watch the balloons go up, have a few drinks in the sun and then watch the night glow and fireworks afterwards. There’s also lots of fairground rides and stalls to keep you entertained if you spend the whole day there.

You don’t have to go in to Ashton Court, lots of people sit in the Clifton area and just watch the balloons take flight which can be a much nicer experience than battling the crowds to get a good spot to watch the night glow.


If you haven’t been before the night glow is basically the balloons being lit up in time to music – it looks much better than it sounds, trust me! The balloons are all different shapes and sizes, from Minions to Penguins and everything in between. What was your favourite this year?

The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta is yet another reason why this city is so great! Did you enjoy the balloon fiesta this year?

This post Bristol International Balloon Fiesta appeared first on Frankie Goes To…

Europe, Travel, UK

The Cotswold Way – A Walk to Remember

May 27, 2015

Going for a walk with your family and dog on a bank holiday Monday seems like a lovely idea doesn’t it? My family don’t do things by halves and we decided to walk 16 miles in the Cotswolds with my little Cocker Spaniel in tow.

_MG_0797The Cotswold Way is 103 miles long in total, running from Chipping Camden to Bath. My mum and Gary have been walking it over the weekends for the past few weeks and Stu and I joined them for the last stint, Hailes to Chipping Camden. I don’t mind walking but this was a hard walk with lots of uphill sections. Even my dog was tired and I have never seen him actually want to go to bed before! I’m still aching 2 days after finishing so it’s not for those wanting a gentle stroll in the countryside.

The views made up for the pain though. Last year Stu and I saw so many wonderful sights around the world so it’s really nice to remind ourselves just how pretty our own country is.

_MG_0775 _MG_0780 IMG_0789IMG_0791

The Cotswold Way – A Walk to Remember appeared first on Frankie Goes To…

Europe, Travel, UK

A Cornish Adventure!

May 19, 2015

Last weekend, Stu and I travelled down to Cornwall to visit some friends we travelled around Australia and Bali with. We stayed at their house near Penzance but explored quite a bit of the surrounding area.

On the Friday night we ate at The Godolphin Arms in Marazion which overlooks the famous St Michael’s Mount. The food was amazing but I ate way too much and drank too much cider so left with the biggest food baby Cornwall has ever seen. Yay!


Saturday was spent riding quad bikes on our friend’s farm, walking to St Michael’s Mount, relaxing on the beach and visiting Lands End. I went to Lands End when I was younger and remember the sign being quite big so I had to laugh when I realised just how small it is.


          Stu’s family have a ‘Cornish Pasty club’ which to join you have to eat a large pasty in one sitting every time you visit Cornwall. It was a struggle and a half but I’m now a official member! This brought on another food baby unfortunately so I was glad of the amount of walking we did this weekend.


 On Saturday night we had dinner in St Ives at The Firehouse restaurant. I had the seabass risotto which was delicious, especially when washed down with lots of wine and cocktails!


We were treated to a night out in Penzance afterwards which despite us being warned not to expect much, was actually quite good! We went to a few different bars and finished up in The Sound nightclub.


We woke up on Sunday expecting to feel horrific but we were all okay and felt better again after breakfast and then a coastal walk by Prussia Cove. Thank you James for driving us all over Cornwall, we had a great time! It was fantastic seeing friends from travelling again, reminiscing about Australia and Bali and talking about where we want to go next.

A Cornish Adventure! appeared first on Frankie Goes To…

Europe, Travel, UK

From Western Australia to Weston Super Mare! 

April 23, 2015

The last time I went to a beach, it looked a little like this…

  
Last Sunday I went to the nearest beach to my hometown, Weston Super Mare. Usually calling it a beach can be a bit of a stretch because it can look like miles of mud before you hit the sea. However, it didn’t look too bad this time and it was good to see the traditional donkeys were still walking along the beach. 

  
We may not have had the heat that Australia has but the sun was shining so we got to have a walk along the sea front and experience Weston’s biggest attraction – The Grand Pier! 

  
The Grand Pier burnt down in 2008 and had to be completely rebuilt, opening again in 2010. I haven’t been on the Pier since it reopened so I was excited to see how it had changed. 

From memory, the exterior hadn’t changed too much. Most piers look very similar don’t they? The train that runs up and down the pier is still there, as well as all the benches to eat your fish and chips on! The inside of the building, where the arcade is, was a lot more modern than I remembered. It was a relief to see the penny slot machines amongst all the fancy games and rides (that makes me sound so old haha!). You have got to love the penny slots though. There’s nothing better than spending all your 2ps on trying to win a silly little prize that you don’t really want. We also went on the ghost train which was more funny than scary but I still jumped a couple of times! 

  
We also went out for lunch in Weston, eating at The Old Thatched Cottage – Weston’s oldest building. It was really busy in there, which is usually a good sign. As it was a Sunday, some of us had the Sunday Roast and others chose from the normal lunch menu. I had the oregano chicken on ciabatta bread which was delicious! The roast looked really impressive too, especially the cauliflower and broccoli baked in cheese. What really sets The Old Thatched Cottage above the rest though, is the service. The manager goes above and beyond to make me feel special and to make your visit an entertaining one. He kept the whole restaurant happy and laughing at his jokes. Definitely a reason to visit again!

You can view their website here. 

 All in all, I had a really good time at Weston. It’s always nice to spend quality time with family and to visit a childhood haunt!