We had such a fun time in Barcelona- which means we ate lots! Michael and I absolutely love food so our days we’re quite focused around where we ate. We really indulged (trying to be super healthy now!) but we walked so much whilst away that we didn’t feel super guilty and to be honest I just had such a great time that I’m not too worried about the calories. I think what I’m trying to say is that if you’re looking for a super healthy list- this isn’t it. We ate doughnuts from local bakeries, Filipinos (biscuits we don’t get in the UK) from the supermarkets, pancakes for breakfast and burgers for dinner- it was great!

Brunch & Cake
If you’re in Barcelona for the Instagram posts you simply have to visit here, just check our their Instagram here. I have never seen such Instagramable food! That said the lighting inside is awful so I’d recommend sitting outside if you can. Michael went for Pancakes, which were completely covered in beautiful fruits and a pink coffee (I can’t remember what it was), I opted for their take on egg benedict: shrimp, poached eggs, lobster hollandaise and salad on house made black bun with a fresh juice. It was one of our healthiest meals but the portions are huge- although I’d say it’s a tiiinny bit of style of substance, the food was nice, don’t get me wrong, but not amazing, although it looked amazing. It’s great for breakfast, lunch and dinner and has vegan/gluten free/dairy free options too.


El Petit Princep
This is a really cute little cafe that services coffee, breakfast and lunch. Great if you’re looking for something not too fancy but still delicious. It had a nice mixture of locals and tourists. We went for pancakes, toast and an acai bowl. It was my first acai bowl ever and I really like it. Service was a little slow so probably not the place to go if you’re in a rush but great for a little stop off and to relax with some great coffee, a fresh juice and a delicious sandwich.

365 Cafe
Unlike some cities (particularly Rome) Barcelona is a city where you an easily find good, affordable food/coffee. We stumbled into 365 coffee on the way home as we still had a 30 minute walk and to be honest needed a little hit of caffeine and sugar. It’s probably not worth going out of your way for but it was lovely, we had a doughnut and a coffee each- it was affordable and they had white marble tables.


El Tiet Taver Teca
I really wanted to have some tapas whilst in Barcelona but they can be quite pricey. I’m not too sure where I originally heard of this restaurant but I had it pinned to my map and it was just round the corner from our hotel. As it was Valentines day we did book but when we arrived after 8PM the hotel was completely empty and although it didn’t really fill up whilst we were there they were turning people away as the tables had been reserved so I’d definitely recommend booking. We shared about 7 tapas, which came to about 60Euros with soft drinks, which I think is quite reasonable for tapas but quite expensive for the amount of food. Everything was delicious but it’s not necessarily the most filling food (well my boyfriend doesn’t think so) but I love the idea of small plates and getting to try lots of different things. We had patatas bravas, Spanish omelette, the octopus, squid, the veil and a few other bits.


Granja Petitbo
We visited here for breakfast on route to Park Guell (don’t get me wrong, it’s a long walk but doable) and it was our favourite breakfast of the trip. It’s a really cute restaurant with high ceilings, the staff was super friendly and I’m so sad I didn’t get a photo of the pink bathrooms! Michael opted for Huevos Rancheros (which I did test and they were amazing!!) I went for simple scrambled eggs, which were delicious too- although Spanish bacon is nowhere near as tasty as English Bacon! If you’re in Barcelona a little longer and looking for a good place to work from I also think this would be great as it big enough that you’re not taking up too much space. Would definitely be going back next time I’m in Barcelona.



Marmalade
Everyone had recommended we go to Milk restaurant- literally everyone! I had decided to go there for breakfast the morning after and instead go for dinner at Marmalade, which is Milk’s Sister restaurant. We didn’t end up going to Milk as I wasn’t blown away by Marmalade. Cocktails and atmosphere were great! If you’re looking for a cool place on a weekend, it even has a pool table, I’d definitely go here but the food was just average. I wasn’t blown away but the vibe is great- again I’d recommend booking.



Citizen Cafe
Our final breakfast of the trip was here, quite a dark restaurant so if you’re looking for that Instagram shot ask for a table outside/at the front of the cafe. Michael and I got eggs Benedict and scrambled eggs- they were great.


Chök
We went a little out of our way for this (although it’s near the food market which we were too late for) and I must admit it wasn’t anything special other than providing a few pretty shots I may later use on Instagram. They weren’t bad but I’d rather the ones we bought in a little bakery that we happened to stumble across, they were far more minimal and therefore had less calories, they we’re cheaper and easier to find.





SURF HOUSE
If I had to go to any of these restaurant again tomorrow I’d chose Surf House. It’s on the beach, so I was basically sold before I even before we got there but the food was the best we had to. Food is only served outside so remember that if the weather isn’t great but otherwise it’s the perfect spot. Michael has a Chicken Burrito, I had a burger and we shared fries. The must have item though has to be the Kinder Bueno Milkshake, I don’t usually like Milk Shakes but it was AMAZING! And it’s outside, on the sea front. I’d happily go there again tomorrow. 10/10.

I’m now currently Googling ‘Kinder Bueno Milkshakes in London’, if you know where I can find one let me know

There were still so many places I wanted to visit so hopefully I’ll be back in Barcelona soon! Since returning to London, I’ve been eating far less burgers and I’m back in the gym but it was so worth it!

Have you been to any of these? What is your favourite place in Barcelona?

PS- Check out my first Barcelona vlog below

Earlier this month Michael and I had a mini staycation in London.

I almost felt silly packing to stay less than 30 minutes from my house but sometimes a stay at a lovely hotel is all you need to help shift the January blues.

We stayed at the St Martins Lane hotel, which is a sister hotel to the Mondrian (which I’ve been lucky enough to stay at a few times, read Jess’ post here) and the Sanderson (which is probably top of my London hotel Wishlist). I’ve visited the hotel a few times before for events but never noticed just how amazing the location is! It’s just off Covent Garden/Trafalgar Square and I think probably the best located hotel in London.

Decor wise it’s perfect, stylist and minimalistic with a touch of fun, they even have leopard print carpet! Ultimate carpet goals! The rooms are light and spacious, perfect if you’re after a few Instagram/blog photos like I was. Also, the lobby (which I stupidly didn’t get photos of) is really beautiful, I love the giant chess pieces and the gold teeth seats.

We made the most of being so central and went for dinner at Flat Iron, I’ve been meaning to go for ages but I know there’s always a long wait (we waited 2 hours) but during our wait we went back to the hotel, watched Friends on Netflix (obvs!) and then went for a little stroll down to the South Bank as it’s just stones throw from the hotel too.

If you’re a steak fan and are ever in London then I’d recommend Flat Iron if you have a little time to wait (but they take your number and text you so you can go off and do a little shopping or have a drink whilst you wait for your table.) They do great £10 steak, which is basically unheard of in London but for me, more importantly, the fries are great too!

As I haven’t been too well, we headed back to the hotel for an early night and to watch some more Friends. It’s all I’ve wanted to do all month, January is just the perfect month to hibernate and stay warm and cosy.

In the morning, I had planned to head to the gym as you can use The Gym Box next door when staying at the hotel but the extra hour in the incredibly comfy bed was too tempting. Seriously, what sort of magic makes hotel beds so amazing?!

Once I was ready for the day I made the most of the amazing mirror, it’s like there was a whole room dedicated to mirror selfies! I need one of these at home- the blogger dream!

We ordered room service and of course took a few photos, shout out to Michael for taking all my photos for me and as a consequence having a slightly cold breakfast.

I’m not sure how we fitted it in but after an amazing breakfast we still headed downstairs for a bottomless brunch as the Bellini’s were calling! We were joined by a group of other bloggers and their boyfriends and since I was having so much fun I totally forgot to actually photograph what we were eating- which is always a good sign! Brunch at Asia de Cuba did not disappoint, it’s asian inspired Cuban food, something I’ve never had and I love trying new things. There were lots of sharing dishes, we both loved our mains and I drank far too many Bellini’s for 12PM but I had such a lovely time!

There is also a really cute speakeasy (with the awesome hand on the door) which I had a peak inside of but which we didn’t really visit, I’ll definitely be popping back there soon!

Huge thanks to St Martins Lane for having me, I had such a lovely time! If you’re looking to book a room they start just over £200 and are great if you’re looking for an amazing hotel in the heart of London.

Really hope you enjoyed this post and I’ll be sharing a few more hotels throughout the year!

PS- I’m off to Barcelona next month so if you have any recommendations please leave them in the comments!

Last month ASK Italian took Jess (from Cocoa Chelsea) and I to Venice, Italy- to eat like an Italian (which is the dream!). If you follow me on Instagram (or YouTube, I uploaded a daily vlog here) you may have seen a few photos/videos already but if you haven’t I thought I would update you.

 We had a super early flight out of Gatwick and once we landed in Venice we jumped in a Taxi Boat to the city and I must admit it was quite the experience- I wouldn’t mind getting a taxi boat everywhere! Once we checked into our hotel the eating started and we went on a food & drink walking tour. We made our way around the Bacari’s, drank Aperol Spritz and ate all the cicchetti we could.
With a tummy lined with delicious food, we did a little bit of exploring, we wondered around the tiny streets, followed the signs to Basilica de San Marco and picked up some gelato for a touristy photo over the canals. I hadn’t Googled Venice before the trip so didn’t know what to expect but it’s beautiful, we didn’t get to go inside the Basilica (saving that for next time) but even the outside was breathtaking. We ended the afternoon at Danieli Hotel for cocktails on the terrace before it started to rain and we had to take it inside.

But the best part of the trip was in the evening…

We jumped in a taxi boat back to our hotel to get ready for dinner, I didn’t have time for much, I just added a bit of dry shampoo and changed into a jumpsuit but I was so excited for dinner!
We were lucky enough to have the opportunity to eat at a Venetian Family’s home, share their dinner table and food. The table was set up outdoors and absolutely stunning, we started the delicious food outside but were interrupted by lightning, thunder and rain. We managed to have our antipasti outside and the most delicious pesto pasta but ran inside, plate in hand for meatballs and tiramisu. I can’t do the evening much justice but I hope you can tell from the photos and my video just how magical it was, huge thanks to ASK Italian for organising it!

Day two in Venice started again quite early for me, I think I was just excited so couldn’t sleep, I went for a little wander before breakfast as there’s something very special about getting up before all the tourists are out. It was Burano-day and I had very much been looking forward to it since I had seen it on Instagram.

We took the water bus and arrived on the beautiful island, lined with beautifully multicoloured house and we were very lucky to have the sun shining. If you’re ever in Venice then make an effort to get to Burano, it’s well worth the trip! We wandered around, took photos, ate more ice cream and had a delicious lunch at Trattoria al Gatto Nero.
And to end the trip perfectly we finished with a Gondola ride. We got to wear the gondolier’s hat and see the city from the small narrow canals and we did ask the gondoliers to sing but he told us he only sings to his wife!

Overall, an amazing trip and huge thanks to ASK Italian for having me. Since I’ve been back I’ve been dreaming of the pasta and have been into ASK Italian for a cheeky bowl or two. Find your local ASK Italian here

I really didn’t think I’d fall for Venice like I did but I’m already desperate to go back!

PS. Post coming up soon about Spain!


I’ve been back from Madeira almost two weeks now and I’m already missing it.

It was my fifth time there, as Michael has family on the island but I think I was starting to take it for granted;  however this time round I explored it with new eyes and fell in love all over again. I’ll do an in-depth guide soon but for now, I want to share my lovely afternoon at the Reid’s Palace for afternoon tea.

Michael had been paragliding in the early afternoon and after getting a little sunburnt watching him, we headed across the island to Funchal. I’d spotted Reid’s Palace before as it’s a beautiful pink building and seeing as I love an afternoon tea, it was the perfect opportunity to visit.

Reid’s Palace is so unlike most of the other hotels on the island, it has quite a British feel so it, which I actually love, especially as it’s very much a luxury hotel. Back to the afternoon tea. Although I love afternoon tea, this was actually Michael’s first and it was a spectacular first. Afternoon tea is served on the most beautiful terrace, with an amazing sea view- unlike any other afternoon tea I have ever experienced. The tea list was extensive – which was convenient as Michael hates tea- I’ll admit he added a stupid amount of sugar but actually enjoyed the tea (or at least the sugar.)

The standard afternoon tea comes with (as you would expect) delicious sandwiches, scones and cakes, all sourced locally. It was the perfect amount of luxury: a good classic afternoon tea, in a beautiful location but nothing too showy.

The waiters were all very friendly and we may have taken them up on their offer to refill a few of the sandwiches and scones – they were just that good!
Probably one of my favourite afternoon teas ever; the setting really made it a wonderful experience.
After an hour of enjoying the view and the delicious food, we were lucky enough to be given a tour of the hotel. My favourite part was the hall which housed all the photos and history of the hotel – I didn’t photograph it but it you ever visit, I would highly recommend spending half-an-hour exploring. It was amazing to see all the iconic figures that have stayed at the hotel over the years and how the hotel has developed- the hotel is 125 years old and with the incredible history to prove it.

We explored the suites, inspired by both England and Portugal, the outdoor area, the spa and the sea area, where visitors use to dock when visiting the hotel when it first opened. If you’re ever in Madeira I can’t recommend Reid’s Palace enough; I haven’t stayed the night but I would imagine it’s a dream. If it’s a little out of your price range then I would recommend at least popping in for afternoon tea. It’s pretty affordable, especially compared to London prices.

I’ll be back soon for another serving of tea.

ps. If you are visiting in the summer months, remember men have to wear long trousers for the afternoon tea, Michael went wearing smart shorts and had to return to the car where he luckily had a pair of trousers or the hotel would have had to lend him a pair.

hotel-windor-bed
Before my holiday in Portugal, I spent the night in Windsor in a beautiful hotel which I just have to tell you about.

I’m always on the lookout for cool places to stay just outside of London to get away even for just a day and relax. I’ll share all my favourite places soon but if you haven’t been to Windsor I would highly recommend it.

The whole trip was planned by AccorHotels and I was lucky enough to tour a few of their London ones before hand. The tour started in Euston at the Ibis Euston, when I’m on a budget but still want a nice hotel I always go for an Ibis as I find them to be a great price point and I think I might book another one for a trip I’m considering next month.
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hotel-the-pullmans-food
However I really fell in love with The Pullman Hotel, I’ve driven past it so many times and had no idea just how beautiful it is inside! Really modern and luxurious as well as located in Kings Cross so in a great location too. We stopped here for some canapes and cocktails and they were really good, it’s a great location for weekend drinks or even work lunch/drinks and the decor is very chic.
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hotel-novotel-chicken
For our main dinner we headed to Novotel London Brentford where we had a Moijos in a bag (genius idea!) and a chicken main, again the food was delicious and decor was perfect, maybe not quite as beautiful as The Pullman but not close behind. Location wise it is a little further out near Chiswick but it’s just off the M4 so easy to get to and a great option if you’re looking for a hotel in the area.
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Our final stop and where we stayed the night was the Mercury Castle Hotel in Windsor. If you haven’t been to Windsor it’s a really great little town a short drive/train journey from London with things to see and do or also the perfect place to relax. Even if you’re not planning on exploring Windsor and are just looking to relax I’d still highly recommend the Castle hotel, the service was better than in most hotels, decor is perfect for a non-city hotel and I slept amazingly. I had a really lovely evening enjoying a cocktail before just chilling in the super comfy bed.

Breakfast was also amazing, I enjoyed my tea in bed before tucking into my full English breakfast. We even managed to catch the changing of the guards before we left, although it did start to rain heavily!

Can’t wait to visit the Mercury Castle Hotel again and if The Pullman wasn’t so close to my house I’d simply have to book to stay there, such beautiful hotels!