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!

Sunday are potentially my least favourite day.

I mean, they’re okay.

Sundays can get a little boring.

I love spending time with my friends and family but there isn’t usually much to do which is why my friends and I started Sunday Funday. I was going through my camera and had a few photos from a few weeks back which I thought I would share.

Mini were nice enough to lend me a car, the Mini Cooper Clubman 4X4 which lead me and my friends to come up with a few different mini road trip ideas. I must admit I’m a road trip fan (I’d love to do one across Europe!) so have been to most places which are a 2hour drive from London and although I really wanted to go to Bath I was told it was too far and we settled for Cambridge. I say settled but I do love Cambridge and since my friends hadn’t been I was excited for them to explore the city.

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Since Mini lent me the car and I fell in love with it, let’s talk a little about it.

I had never really wanted a Mini, I liked them but I wasn’t sure if they were for me but boy was I wrong. From the outside, the Mini is a beautiful car, a very classic and loved car but I probably fell more in love once I got inside and drove it around. My first trip in the Mini was actually to Ashford Mc Arthur Glen Shopping centre (average Outlet stores, nice but not worth a whole blog post) and by the end of the drive, I had already called my boyfriend asking if we could trade my car in and get a Mini.

We didn’t have the standard Mini (I think it’s important to note, in case anyone is looking to buy one), we had the Cooper Clubman which is a little bit longer and is very spacious inside. Everyone that got in it this weekend commented on how comfortable and luxurious the inside was. It had burgundy leather seats, you could control the colours on the inside, build in Sat-Nav and other cool tech and drove like a dream. It had a standard, Eco and Sport Mode- I, of course, had to try all of them and they were all amazing. It’s a four wheel drive with decent size engine so it picked up speed quickly but you always felt very in control due to its size. Anyways, I don’t know too much about cars but I loved it and if I were on the market for a new car (sadly, I am not) it would be a big contender.

So we drove the Mini to Cambridge and if you haven’t been I would highly recommend it. It’s up there in my top 5 cities in England (should I do a blog post about the rest) and a great place to consider for a day trip. Although it’s quite a traditional city in terms of history and architecture, it’s also a student city meaning there are great cafes, restaurants and bars! They do however get busy and finding somewhere for breakfast was tricky, so do book a few days in advance. We then had a wander around the university and the city before going on a little Punting tour. If you’re in Cambridge I’d highly recommend the Punting, it’s not too expensive (you can haggle for a better price too), the tour guides are knowledgeable (or at least good at pretending they are) and generally quite funny. I think this might be my third Punting tour and would definitely go again.
cambridge arch cambridge breakfastcambridge bikes cambridge me cambridge puntin cambridgeWe then had another little stroll around, grabbed a hot chocolate to keep up warm, jumped back in the Mini and headed home.

I’m hoping to do a few more road trips this year, would love some recommendation! I’m thinking somewhere up north in February!

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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!

mischief-sure-3163 mischief-sure-3216 mischief-sure-3235 mischief-sure-3329 mischief-sure-3223Earlier last month, the lovely girls at Sure invited me down to Bourne & Hollingsworth for breakfast and to discuss everything related to deodorant with Dr Christian Jessen. Since breakfast is probably my favourite meal of the day and Sure is a brand I use daily, off I trotted to Farringdon.

After ordering my tea, I was actually fortunate to be sat opposite Dr Christian Jessen and I was really wowed by his knowledge on what seemed like everything

I’ve been using Sure for many years but have just started using Sure Antibacterial Odour Protection.

I’ll admit I haven’t given my deodorant too much thought; I know that Sure works so I have stuck to it for many years but for anyone in need of a little extra help, the antibacterial properties in this product are amazing,  especially since up to 10 million  bacteria live in our underarms. Sure Antibacterial Odour Protection is designed to reduce up to 90% of odour causing bacteria.

Dr Christian spoke a lot about deodorant and antiperspirant, and being in the beauty community, we all wanted to know about aluminium. I read so many articles suggesting you shouldn’t use antiperspirants with aluminium so it was great to hear that there hasn’t been anything to prove it is linked to cancer. And did you know that what you eat also affects how you smell?! So eating onions and garlic can scent the sweat coming out of you pores, which is worrying as I love garlic but thankfully have had no such experience.

I’ll admit that deodorant and sweaty underarms isn’t my usual topic of choice over breakfast but his knowledge was really impressive, even over a cup of tea and muesli. I’ve been using the Sure Antibacterial Odour Protection ever since and really loving it! The 75ml compressed can is perfect for travel/my handbag and I’ve even had to share it with my boyfriend.

*This is a sponsored post

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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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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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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!