Spain has to be my go-to location for a quick summer break; flights are affordable and short- plus the sun is almost shining- what’s not to like?!

So when Jess (from Cocoa Chelsea) and I decided we needed a little bit of sunshine, that’s exactly where we headed!

We stayed at the Kempinski Bahia Hotel in Estepona, Malaga, a beautiful 5-star hotel right on the southern coast of Spain. Our room was perfect; terrace, living room, huge wardrobe area, bath tub, shower and most importantly, a beautiful view over the sea. It did have a glass bathroom door, meaning one of us had to sit in the living room the whole time as the other one showered but, we worked around it and it’d be okay if you were going with your partner.

We were only there four days but it would be a great room to spend 10 days in, it was so homely but yet a large room and the hotel is the perfect place to relax. It’s also pretty well priced for a 5-star hotel with prices starting at £178 a night. Although, I would recommend asking for a more modern room if you like the look of my photos as some are more traditionally European.

All rooms come with breakfast which Jess and I had everyday. There’s a good variety of hot and cold food, as well as an omelette station and a children’s breakfast area with the cutest cakes. I went for eggs everyday as I do back home but the juices were great and I did have a cheeky cake or two as I simply couldn’t resist!

The hotel has a great gym and spa, although I didn’t quite make it to the gym (but did take a yoga class!). I definitely made it to the spa. They have some great treatments but nothing will ever beat a full body massage for me! I also had the Bastien Gonzalez Pedicure which was a great intensive pedi (but no polish).The reason I was there was basically to top up my tan so naturally the pool area was very important to me. It was super quiet, clean and didn’t feel even a little crowded which is great if you just want to relax! However, if you want to glam up your day there is also a Moet & Chandon Pool (Pool by Moet) at the hotel, where you can sip champagne whilst relaxing on a sun bed.
Since I don’t like to stay in a hotel for too long we did check out the Puro Beach club, Malaga, which is a short walk along the beach and I’d highly recommend doing so. We spent a lovely day there, it wasn’t too party-ish on the day we went and there was a really great vibe. It isn’t too expensive for a beach club and far less intimidating and more chilled than most beach clubs. We also booked another full body massage (massively spoilt!), drank cocktails and had the most amazing sushi for lunch! I actually think this was my favourite day, the pool is beautiful as it everything else.

The beach club is in Laguna Village which is also a great place for lunch/dinner if you don’t want to eat at the hotel but also just want a short walk.




Most of the nights, Jess and I had dinner at the restaurants and the food is great, there isn’t a huge selection but we tried two of the restaurants. We had an amazing steak and beautiful wine at Alminar Wine & Steak House but my favourite was probably La Cabana Del Mar, we got to eat by the sea and the food was amazing! We really wanted to explore the town of Estepona so headed in at dusk for a little walk and some paella for dinner. We did walk but it’s a long walk. I’d recommend opting for a cab which is what we done on the way home as it’s under 10 Euros and a really short drive. It’s a really traditionally Spanish town, with friendly locals, adorable roads and delicious food. We had dinner there in a local restaurant and the paella was exactly what I wanted!
Overall, it was the perfect mini break and I’d highly recommend it if you don’t want to go too far and just want to relax in a beautiful hotel.

A huge thanks to Kempinski Bahia for having us and for spoiling us over the four days!

Check out the Kempinski Bahia website here and the Puro Beach Club here it’s the perfect getaway if you still don’t have summer plans.

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I love being from London but most of the family I have in the UK are also from London which means I rarely get the luxury of escaping to the country for the weekend but last month we did just that.

We drove down to Axminster on Friday evening and checked into our lodge at the Hawkchurch Resort & Spa. The drive was actually not too bad from London and the lodge was really nice! Neither Michael or I had ever stayed in a lodge but it was really beautiful and the perfect place to spend the weekend. We had a large kitchen/living room/dinning room area, a nice bedroom with a huge bed, two bathrooms and even a hot tub!

We arrived pretty late on in the day as Michael had work until a little later and we made the rooky mistake of thinking we could get dinner at 9.30PM as you can in London but luckily there was a Tesco not too far and we had a quick make-shift dinner.

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The following morning I discovered that the internet is currently not as good as I’d hoped (something that they’re working on) but it was actually the perfect excuse to switch off. We played board-games which Hawkchurch Lodge kindly provides, went on walks by the sea, cooked and chilled in the Hot Tub.

Sunday afternoon we headed out for lunch and I must admit we failed at this a little, we really wanted to visit The Tytherleigh Arms but didn’t realise we needed to pre-book but I will definitely check it out next time we’re in the area.
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We then drove back on Monday morning and were back in London after two hours, feeling far more relaxed and having really enjoyed some country air!

I was surprised by how much I feel in love with Hawkchruch Resort & Spa, it was the perfect way to spend a weekend in England and I’m already planning to book and go back. They’re part of Darwin Escapes and there are lodges up and down the country so I may actually check out one of the other locations but I can’t recommend Hawkchurch Resort & Spa enough.

I’m always hunting new places, not too far from London to explore over the weekend.

Would love to hear your recommendations in the comments!

madeira a little obsessed travel ALO

I always joke that I am the least travelled person ever (it’s not really a joke), I am 24 years of age and I have never left Europe. It’s never really bothered me, we use to go to Portugal for the month of August every year (and still do), visit family in France regularly and I’d been to Spain as were a 30min drive from the border in Portugal (plus it’s one of our nearest beaches). In the last two years I’ve also managed to add Beligum to the list as I’ve been there twice for work but that’s it. I’ve been to four countries in my 24 years, five if we include England.

I’ve decided it’s probably time I start traveling a little bit more, I feel if I want to travel I should probably do it now before I attempt to buy a house (who know when that will- have you seen London house prices?!) or even start thinking about having kids (this won’t be too soon either). This doesn’t mean I will be booking a 5 week backpacking trip across Asia and I can’t even promise I’ll make it out of Europe this year but I feel that with Europe City breaks being so cheap I really have no excuse! (well Mike’s a teacher and half term prices are cray!)

I have so far booked Berlin and Amsterdam for this month plus Rome at the start of April. There will be no change in my regular month in Portugal although I have seen that we can get from our house (in Portugal) to Madrid in a four hour drive so I am considering squeezing that in too.

I’ll be taking you all with me on my holidays through my blog, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat (alittleobsessed) and Twitter so make sure you follow me. I have lots of post ideas from city guides to how to book an inexpensive holiday and any luxury hotels I may stay at, which I really hope you will all enjoy. I’m also working on a few London guides for any of you looking to come to London.

In the comments I would really love recommendations on countries I should visit and what I should do in Berlin, Amsterdam and Rome. I’d also love to hear about your favourite holiday and also what you have coming up. Let me know what sort of posts you would like too, I’m really looking forward to sharing a different part of my life on here.

PS. I went through my holiday photos from last year to find the images for this post and I miss my tan and the sun so much I could cry.

Please hurry back summer.

Last week I touched on my trip to Spain in a blog post (here) but since my vlog is up too I thought it was a great time to talk a little more in depth. I went with SantaVerde an Aloe Vera based, natural skincare brand which recently celebrated 25 years and is based in the south of Spain (although the business/brain side is based in Germany).

The truth is that I don’t know a lot about organic or natural skincare and, if anything, it has always scared me a little so it was a great opportunity to learn. We arrived on the plane in Malaga and headed to Estepona where the Santaverde finca is based and run by Kurt and his wife Sabine.

They welcomed us into their beautiful house and shared both food and their stories with us. They originally bought the Estepona fina as a holiday home but later learnt about the power of aloe from a Texan neighbour who gave Sabine some to try on her own skin. After falling in love with the effect the aloe had and with their entrepreneur background the couple thought it would be a great business opportunity.

They spent a long time researching, experimenting, planting and harvesting the raw aloe vera and although their initial plan was to sell it on to cosmetic giants they realised that the big worldwide brands were misleading and using barely any aloe in their aloe products, often opting for aloe powder, knowing that it wasn’t as affective.

Instead of helping the leading companies mislead their customers they decided they we going to both grow the aloe and manufacture the products on their finca as a 100% natural, organic and honest brand.

The finca is now filled with aloe vera plants and a glass building used to harvest and process the aloe. Whilst we were there we got to witness the harvest and I even got to pick my own leaf. We then got to help the lovely girls with the washing and peeling, which looked far easier than it actual was. It gets prepared to be sent to Germany where the products are made and the companys business side is run from.

Unlike most aloe products the final results are pure, it doesn’t have bulking agents or powdered aloe and is designed to really work rather than to mislead people. All the products are unisex and don’t catered to a certain skin type. Santaverde is certified organic, cruelty free and vegan!

The finca is compleltey opened to the public and to it’s competitors (so if you’re ever in Estepona- it’s a great place to go) really showing that they don’t have anything to hide or a fancy recipe,  I learnt so much on the short trip and has really made me think about were my cosmetics and skincare items come from, what in them and how good they are for the enviroment,

Santaverde is available online and in Harvey Nichols  

It feels like a life time ago already but it was only last month that I was in Madeira. If you don’t know too much about Madeira it’s an island which is part of Portugal, but actually more off the coast of Morocco than of Portugal. I’ve been there a few times as my boyfriend’s family are originally from there and since his parents have a house there it’s a nice place for an easy and fairly affordable holiday. Although the tourists there are usually a fair bit older it’s actually a beautiful island and we always have a great time; consume far too much food and usually have some fabulous weather too.

I’ve done most of the touristy things in the past but there were a few things we never got round to ticking of the list. We went up to visit Pico Do Arieiro which involves is a bit of a scary but enjoyable (and safe) drive. It’s Madeira’s third highest peak which leaves you above the clouds and is potentially my favourite place in Madeira!

Another place I discovered this year was Santa Catarina Park, a fairly small but truly beautiful and free to visit park. We ended up here after visiting the CR7 museum (not my cup of tea), it was a really warm day but the perfect place to relax and have a leisurely stroll.

We also stayed a few days at the Porto Mare hotel and I’m so glad we did! The room we had was amazing: large sitting room, a good size kitchen, a perfect bathroom, balcony and a huge comfy bed. We spend the whole day by the pool, drinking cocktails, relaxing on our pool floats and playing games. We made the most out of the pool loungers and inside pool, although we didn’t get round to trying the outdoor hot tub.

For dinner we went to Kyoto Da Ilha which we were recommended to by some of Mike’s family. They serve some of the best sushi I’ve ever had, in a beautiful location too. It’s a little expensive compared to other restaurants out there but pretty cheap for sushi. I think this has joined O Lagar with being my favourite restaurant in Madeira.

The following day, after a great nights sleep at Porto Mare, we had a great breakfast outside in the hotel’s gardens where we had choice from a huge breakfast spread and then went on to enjoy the pool some more. We had such a lovely stay that I hope to be able to book there again for the next time we go.

Boy did this post give me the holiday blues but check out my YouTube channel where I’ll be sharing my Madeira vlog once it’s been edited.