A gorgeous weekend at the Moorland Garden Hotel

The English countryside just takes my breath away every single time. It is the best place to de-clutter your mind. I absolutely adore the rolling heaths, the moorlands, the clean crisp air, the natural scenery everywhere you look and watching the horses and cattle, roaming around grazing whilst you drive through quiet country lanes. It is the perfect escape from the daily urban madness of the concrete jungle I experience everyday, not to mention so romantic too! What I love most is the tranquility and how serene it all is.

PS: I did (Sheepishly) have to try and look cool as cars drove past whilst I tried to pose with these clouds with legs which was rather amusing for both me and for the drivers!

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We recently visited south-west Devon, close to the Dartmoor National Park, as well as a short drive away from the ocean city of Plymouth for a staycation. Our home for the weekend was the Moorland Garden Hotel, which was absolutely gorgeous.

With amazing and enviable views of the moors, the aptly named Moorland Garden Hotel is accessed through a scenic driveway and it just has stunning greenery all around it. We felt instantly relaxed as we drove in and parked in the car park, which has ample parking. We did spot a horse and a rabbit whilst we drove in and as urbanites we squealed with excitement. It is so peaceful and quiet – an oasis of calm and just the perfect location for a little escapade.

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Check in was so quick and seamless and the hostess was so lovely. Our room was the Lily of the Valley Suite and it had serious interior goals inside! It was all just so pretty. The hotel has forty four rooms in total and is a 4 star hotel.

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It was spacious and comfortable and I was so excited to have this as my home for 2 nights. The colour scheme is eclectic and I adored the wallpaper and furnishings used in the room. There was a cupboard for storage, a desk, sofas, and a television. Our view looked out to the Moors and the gardens and it was just serene.

There were bath robes on our bed which were lush and the bathroom was spacious with fabulous toiletries and a bath tub. The perfect way to relax after a long day exploring is definitely to run a bath and take a soak!

There is a lounge area within the room with a long coffee table with lots of magazines and novels tucked inside it. I love it when hotels think of all the little extra ways to make your stay that much more special and thought this was such a lovely way to encourage people to relax.

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We also had a fresh fruit bowl and some cookies to welcome us with which we thoroughly enjoyed after an unexpectedly long drive thanks to London traffic. What was lovely was that these were replenished the next day!

 

The hotel has an award winning in house restaurant called the Wildflower restaurant, which recently retained its AA rosettes. How stunning is the restaurant?

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The food we had for dinner was exquisite in terms of taste, presentation and choice and I loved that a lot of local regional produce was used in the dishes.

We especially loved the cheese selection we had for dessert so much so that we had to go find the cheese at a local farm shop before heading back to London. Big thanks to Moorland Garden Hotel for the recommendation as the farm shop was amazing.

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The Wildflower restaurant is also the venue for breakfast and you could have either continental, cooked or both. It was a really good selection and there was also a lovely spread of fresh juices, pastries, fresh fruits and cereals if you fancied something lighter.

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There is a separate bar and lounge area with a roaring fireplace which is such a lovely comfortable place to spend time. There is a shelf with books and board games to keep you busy or you can simply just chat and catch up over a lovely drink.

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The hotel also serves an award winning Devon Cream Tea, as awarded by The Cream Tea Club and at an amazing £5.95 per person you would be mad not to try it! I did of course indulge wholeheartedly and can happily report that it was absolutely incredible!

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We had a mix of fruit scones and plain scones and just to be on the safe side I tried one scone the Devon way with cream first and the other the Cornish way, with jam first. Both tasted really good 🙂

The hotel is in such a good location as you can explore the ocean town of Plymouth, Dartmoor, south-west Devon and the eastern fringe of Cornwall from it. The area is perfect for walks and there are some activities near by, including the Buckland Abbey which is really worth a visit. We especially loved driving into Plymouth, which has a marina and some cute fudge shops and team rooms, as well as a Gin Distillery where you can go for tours.

If you are looking for pretty destinations to get married, the hotel has some beautiful grounds and a massive bridal suite! They offer wedding packages and with such amazing food on site it is a fabulous venue to have your big day. As well as weddings, it is a great venue for conferences too and there was actually one on whilst we were staying there.

If you fancy some pampering, the hotel does offer in room treatments such as massages, reflexology and beauty therapies. Whilst there is no spa on site this is a fantastic service available from the comfort of your own room.

If you fancy taking your pooch along for a break, this hotel is very dog friendly and there are little water bowls I spotted everywhere to keep your dog hydrated.

We had a truly wonderful stay and loved our room as well as the dining options and food in the hotel, especially the cream tea, and would love to come back one day for a break from the city! It was just the best way to re-energise and rest.

If you are looking for a little country escapade I can’t recommend the Moorland Garden Hotel enough. The location, the food and the service make it the perfect place for a staycation with beautiful surroundings.

For more information on Moorland Garden Hotel you can visit their website here.

Our stay was complimentary but all views and photos are my own.

 

 

 

A regal stay at Bovey Castle

Introduction to the Angles

Once upon a time, in a land surrounded mostly by high rise buildings, the London Eye and Big Ben, properly known as The Elizabeth Tower named after a real life Queen, were four friends known as the Angles, who had all assembled to this land and made it their chosen home. One Angle (me) originated from the continent of Africa, the other New Zealand, whilst the remaining two were born in England.

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Photo credit: Angie

These Angles, for the sake of this story, happened to be Prince and Princesses too and the Prince in this tale is our one and only Aftab from Fresh and Fearlesss, whilst the Princesses are Angie from Silverspoon London, Emma known as the London Kiwi Emma and myself, Binny from Binny’s Kitchen.

So how did this Prince and 3 Princesses cross paths? Well as strange as it sounds, it was actually through the blogosphere through their common love for blogging, and they firmly became friends over copious amounts of Mojitos, Pornstar Martinis, Champagne, breakfast dates and generally because they had so much in common and all complimented each other’s vast personalities.

Before anyone thinks my spelling has gone all crazy, Angles is used deliberately and was our fitting name born from an auto correct error on Whatsapp by the Prince of the group, who had meant to call the Princesses his Angels but ended up calling them Angles. It was also said Prince’s birthday recently and so the 3 other Princess Angles had decided to surprise him with a birthday trip away.

PS: all 4 Angles make a perfect square 🙂

The secret plot

The Princesses created a secret Whatsapp group called “Don’t tell Aftab” and quickly plotted options of where to take the Prince on his surprise trip. Train tickets and Junior Suites were booked once the destination was chosen and then the Prince was taunted with threats of selfies with Paddington Bear, McDonald lunches and camping (not glamping) on muddy terraines forcibly wearing backward caps. It turns out the Prince doesn’t even own a cap! (Don’t worry Aftab, this will be rectified soon).

In reality, the Princesses had gone all out and booked massive rooms at Bovey Castle, a luxury castle in Dartmoor, for an overnight stay. The only clue Prince Aftab had been given was that Princess Angie was getting her hair done and that it was a good idea to pack a suit. All other questions were ignored swiftly to avoid giving away even the tiniest of detail.

The Journey to Bovey Castle

The Princesses and the unsuspecting Prince began their journey at Paddington station at 11:30am on a Sunday morning. They jumped on to a train with the Prince not allowed to read the destination. Princess Angie had kindly brought Champagne for refreshments which were well consumed after many boomerang attempts had been made.

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Prince Aftab was still none the wiser during the journey and when the train pulled up at Exter St Davids was when the Prince and Princesses all jumped off.

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However, it was still another 40 minute drive to the castle and this further added to the anticipation as even the driver, known as Mr Apple (that was the name of the taxi company so he has inherited this name) decided to join in the taunting fun and scared Prince Aftab with descriptions of muddy campsites with no wifi and having to eat daffodils for survival. The funny part is that they were actually without wifi for a good couple of hours.

It was all worth it though, driving through the gorgeous English countryside and Prince Aftab spotting horses and ponies along the way being a massive equestrian lover. The car soon arrived at regal looking glossy gates and then a winding road leading up to the castle and Prince Aftab shrieked with excitement realising that he was going to spend the night in a castle.

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The rooms at Bovey Castle

Check in was smooth and seamless and the Prince and Princesses were all shown their individual rooms, where they quickly took obligatory room photos and videos for insta stories and then re-assembled for lunch outside on a glorious day as they were all absolutely starving.

All the rooms were Junior suites and had some serious design features, breathtaking views and just all massive!

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Princess Binny’s room is pictured above and had a super comfy bed complete with Mulberry England pillows, a separate lounge area and a spacious bathroom with both a dreamy tub and a shower.

However, Princess Angie’s bathroom was the one that they were all super jealous of. Look at that!

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Lunch at Bovey Castle

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How gorgeous is this lunch spot and how amazing are the views?

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Lunch was delicious and the Prince and Princesses were all so hungry so everything was devoured rapidly. Princess Binny went for the SMITH’s fish ‘n’ chips, Princess Emma chose scotch eggs, and Princess Angie went for smoked salmon whilst Prince Aftab opted for the roast chicken sandwich with lettuce and tomato.

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After lunch the Prince and Princesses relaxed in the bar area with some coffees whilst they planned what they were going to do that evening and the next day.

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The Princesses had arranged for some champagne to be sent to Prince Aftab’s room and he somehow ended up with two, so one bottle was consumed before everyone went to their rooms to freshen up and get ready for dinner.

Dinner and Drinks

The Prince and Princesses wore their respective fancy outfits and met up for dinner, which was the most excellent affair. Starting off with champagne (Ruinart), they enjoyed some luscious starters, mains and desserts and it was a fabulous fine dining experience.

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The selection of starters included smoked & cured South coast sea trout served with winter beetroot and goat’s curd, seared diver scallops, accompanied with a Oyster emulsion, pickled onions and beer battered clams and beetroot salad with goat’s curd. I do apologise for the quality of these photos as my camera just did not like the lighting that evening!

 

The mains included a poached fillet of Cornish turbot, rosette of Devon lamb and fillet of “Dartmoor Beef Welly” which had to be shared between two people.

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Dessert was a selection that included warm dark chocolate fondant with fennel ice-cream and blood orange, honeycomb ice-cream and a baked rum pineapple served with coconut cake and raisins.

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Breakfast and Exploring the grounds

After a champagne fuelled evening, the Prince and Princesses had breakfast with slightly sore heads and opted for cooked breakfasts from the menu, before heading off to explore the gorgeous grounds of the Castle. Pictured below is a delicious Egg Benedict.

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A Golf Buggy was hired and Prince Aftab and Princess Emma took it in turns to drive.

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There is so much to do and see within the vicinity and they just could not stop marvelling at the perfectly manicured green gardens, rolling hills, lakes and features. The majority of the grounds is a golf course so if you are a keen golfer this is an idea holiday venue.

There are also tennis courts and lovely areas to walk around in.

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All was going well with the Golf Buggy and exploring the area snapping away taking various photos and the Prince and Princesses were thoroughly enjoying themselves. It was a lovely sunny day with warm temperatures and that fresh crisp countryside air to breathe in while birds chirped away happily.

An Outtake and Crime Scene

…Until disaster struck and the Golf Buggy managed to get stuck in the mud. The below area will forever be etched in the minds of the Prince and Princesses.

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All four royals descended the buggy and attempted to push it out of the mud and after several attempts were successful, even though with muddy shoes and slightly bemused faces.

The Golf Buggy had also been decorated with bits of mud. This didn’t deter the Prince and Princesses, who continued their journey across the grounds to get the best shots.

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This is what you get when bloggers are faced with an amazing view of the castle! Thanks to Princess Emma for capturing this action shot!

Saying goodbye to Bovey Castle and resident Beaky

After a very thorough exploration, the Prince and Princesses returned to the castle for a final lunch and to catch their breath before taking a taxi drive back to the station to return to their promised land, London.

The blog post cannot end with mention of resident Beaky, who lives in a gorgeous room at the castle.

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Yes we all know how much Princess Binny loves African Grey Parrots so this made her very excitable and she loved getting to know Lord Beaky.

The verdict

The Prince loved his stay at the castle and was totally in his element. The princesses also had an amazing time and they would all recommend Bovey Castle for a fabulous escape without any hesitation.

The rooms were just brimming with wow factors and the bed was so comfortable. They had lovely little touches such as complimentary Sloe Gin in the room.

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The grounds are stunning and so picturesque. Sometimes it is a great reminder of how serene the English countryside is and how a staycation is so ideal to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. You don’t always have to fly abroad to have a holiday 😉

It is also very romantic, as well as being perfect for a family break. Dogs are very welcome too so if you are looking for a dog friendly venue, this is perfect.

There us so much to do, as well as there being a spa on site if you want to pamper yourself, as well as an indoor pool.

The food and drink is fabulous and the Prince and Princess thoroughly enjoyed all their meals on site.

All in all it was the perfect escapade and choice of venue for Prince Aftab’s birthday surprise and all the royals were keen to come back one day, as well as already planning the next Angle adventure.

For more information on Bovey Castle go to their website, which can be accessed here.

 

 

Highlights of 2016 for Binny’s Kitchen & Travel Diaries

2016 has been a whirlwind year where plenty of Mojitos were consumed, lots of new friendships were made, several destinations were visited, both in the UK and abroad, and lots of dining out occurred at various new and classic restaurants!

Best Mojito of 2016

First things first! My favourite Mojito was at the Langham hotel. Trust me I have had a lot of Mojitos in the name of research to come to this conclusion 😉

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Now we can carry on to the rest of the year. Here is my round up of my year with lots of photos.

January

The year started quietly as we had just returned from a trip back home in Kenya which had been pretty hectic with a wedding to attend and some family time split between Mombasa and Nairobi. The highlight of January however, was getting to meet Jason Atherton and getting a signed cook book. I somehow managed to win an Instagram competition on Jason’s feed and had won a meal for 2 at his restaurant Social Wine and Tapas, which was brilliant. I didn’t take my camera though and didn’t blog about it. A lesson I learned from and didn’t repeat for the rest of the year. That camera is permanently in my handbag!

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February

The shortest month of the year and we had our first staycation of the year in Nottingham. It was fun exploring the city and visiting the castle. The highlight of the staycation was visiting the Kitty Café because if you know me you know I am a super crazy cat lady!

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In London we also visited the Magic lantern festival and that was quite spectacular! I hope that there is something similar to see next year!

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March

March was the only month where I seem to have stayed in and cooked more than I went out for some bizarre reason. I did however go to Hoppers London for some Egg Hoppers, which has definitely been a very fabulous experience.

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I also had Bao, and fell in love with the Horlicks Bao. It is heavenly!

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April

April was a month of celebrations with my Blog having its first year anniversary as well as it being our sixth wedding anniversary! We celebrated both and went for meals to Bob Bob Ricard, famous for its “Press for Champagne” button/switch as well as one of my favourites, and evidently a favourite of Michel Roux Jr too, Michelin starred Gymkhana.

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With spring settling in we also visited the Cotswolds for a weekend trip and stayed at The Falcon, in the very cute and quaint town of Painswick.

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We also celebrated our anniversary with a long haul trip to Mauritius where we stayed at the St Regis, which was out of this world.

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May

May was the UK Blog Awards 2016 ceremony for which I was a finalist in both the Food & Drink and Travel categories. My work bff Anne came to stay the night with me to attend the ceremony, along with Mandy, and we went to the ceremony in a chauffeur driven BMW 7 series which had massage seats! Thank you to BMW for that little treat!

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The next day we went on a road trip to Liverpool, and Amit and I explored the city and had a memorable meal at Mowgli Street Food. If you go to Liverpool it is a must try!

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I went on my first ever press trip abroad too and to a destination I had visited when I was 15! It was to St. Malo in Brittany and it was such a lovely trip and I ate all the Salted Caramel I could, as well as some delicious pancakes. I got to go with my blogger friends Sandra, Omo and Eulanda and we had such a fabulous time.

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June

June was the start of good weather and I enjoyed the Taste of London festival, a food festival where you can try dishes from most of the restaurants in London.

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Got to catch up with one of my faves – Chef Vivek Singh too and got a copy of his book.

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I also got to meet one of my food heroes in June and had the opportunity to have a short interview with him – the legendary Antonio Carluccio. He is such a cutie! He did answer a very important question I had for him too. Click on the link on his name above to find out what!

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I also went for a fix of Asma Khan’s delicious food at Druid Street Market, where proceeds of her food went towards charity. Excited to have more of her amazing dishes in 2017.

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June was also the month I worked on my first big campaign with Nescafe! It was such fun to shoot and it is my favourite brand of coffee too so worked out perfectly.

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July

In July we made the most of the gorgeous weather and visited Rye, were we stayed at the marvellous Gallivant hotel. If you are thinking of visiting Rye, it is such a gorgeous hotel!

I also took a day out to volunteer at the charity I wholeheartedly support, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. Amit and I make it a point to do this yearly. To find out how you too can help have a read about it here.

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I had my fix of summer ice cream in Suffolk too with a dose of some much needed beach time and some fantastic Indian food at Sea Spice restaurant in Aldeburgh.

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The highlight of the month, however, (and I probably am showing my craziness here), was meeting Grumpy Cat! I stood by myself in a queue for an hour and a half and no I am not ashamed to admit it lol.

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August

August started with a super fun tea-athon with Starwood hotels and I later returned to review my favourite afternoon tea venue at the Sheraton Grand London.

The launch party of the much anticipated Symmetry Breakfast cook book was also in August and could not be happier for Michael Zee. It was an extra special evening as Michael proposed to Mark in the book and at the launch party and a few tears of joy were shared.

Amit’s birthday is in August and this year I treated him to a 3 Michelin star meal at the Waterside inn. We loved our meal and even had the opportunity to meet Chef Alain Roux as well as get a sneak peek into the kitchen.

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September

September was a month of travel for me and we started off with a Mediterranean Cruise with P&O where we sailed to Cadiz, Barcelona, Monaco, Rome and Naples. I also got to meet the lovely Karen from Lavender and Lovage as well as Amanda from Glamourous Glutton on the trip and we all had such a fantastic time!

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As part of the cruise, we had a dinner date with THE James Martin and I am sure everyone is sick of me gushing about him now but I can’t help it. I love the man and especially love his monkey bread and snickers ice cream too.

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I bravely went to Mexico City by myself too to attend the Latin America 50 Best Restaurant awards and this was such a wonderful experience and such a superbly organized press trip. I got to experience the food, culture, arts and main sights in Mexico City.

October

I went to the glitzy Sheraton Grand London relaunch party with my blogger friends Em and Aftab and had a fun filled evening of champagne, good chat and fantastic food.

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I also went to a pasta making masterclass hosted by Theo Randall which was great fun. Most of the month was spent planning our upcoming trip to Dubai and India.

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November

November is always my favourite month as it is my Birthday month! This year I decided to have my birthday meals at Michelin starred Kai in Mayfair, a birthday brunch with my favourite bloggers Angie from Silverspoon London and Aftab from Fresh and Fearless in the Mirror room at Rosewood London and a very special meal with Amit at Vineet Bhatia London.

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We then flew to Dubai, where we stayed at the Sheraton Dubai Creek, and spent a few days on a family holiday.

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We then went onwards to India where we visited Bhuj and my husband’s ancestral home, followed by a luxurious break in Mumbai at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, which had been high on my list of hotels to visit.

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December

December kicked off with one of my favourite meals of the year at Jamavar. If you haven’t been yet it is a must! I have already been twice and already looking for excuses to go back. If anyone wants to go with me let me know!

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I was also lucky to meet another food hero, Eric Lanlard at his Patisserie ,Cake boy thanks to Meantime Brewing Company. To kick off the festive period we made some Mince Pies with a special ingredient – Cake Boy’s Hazelnut Ale. Utterly scrumptious!

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For the rest of the month I have spent some much needed time relaxing, catching up with family and friends and spending some time getting to know my brand new godson.

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2016 has been a wonderful year and I am so grateful for all the experiences I have been fortunate to have, especially in terms of travel, and for the fantastic friends I have made along the way. I am really looking forward to 2017, which is set to be a year of change for me in terms of career.

As for New Years Resolutions, I want to continually improve on my blog, spend some time improving my photography and getting to use my Canon 760D better and learn Spanish (Geri if you are reading this I am learning Spanish for my return to Mexico one day).

The travel priority is going home to Kenya as I didn’t manage to make it home this year. We have also booked a weekend in Paris so am looking forward to that too.

What have been the highlights of 2016 for you? I would love to know in the comments section below.

Packing more efficiently for a weekend away or a short break

Packing for a weekend away or mini short break can be harder (well at least I find it harder), than packing for a long haul trip.

Here are some ideas on how to pack more efficiently:

  • Pick the right bag! I love the Antler backpack as it has so many compartments, spacious, and so convenient as you can carry it like a backpack and leave your hands free. (This is not a sponsored post I bought this bag for my weekend trip to St Malo)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  • It is worth having a rough idea of what you’ll be doing. This will make it so much easier when it comes to getting the balance between smart, casual and comfortable clothing and shoes right.
  •  ‘Team work makes the dream work’ – Avoid packing too much by  thinking about pieces that can easily be teamed together.
  • Check the weather beforehand as it will be a good indicator of what to pack for long weekends.
  • Wear your bulkiest items, especially shoes!
  • Only pack what you need. Avoid the temptation to pack “just in case” outfits.
  • Put toiletries into smaller bottles to save space.
  • Roll your clothes when packing. Not only will this save space, it will avoid your clothes getting creased too.
  • Make the most of your technology. If you are planning to read, download the book on your tablet or phone instead.
  • Take screenshots of maps and save them on your phone. This is so useful especially if you are in an area with limited data coverage and means you don’t need to pack additional things.
  • Utilize the space inside your shoes – you can stuff them with things like phone chargers, socks, nail polish, and extra pairs of sunglasses.
  • Check if your hotel already provides a hairdryer and if so, don’t take yours.
  • For bulky items such as camera chargers, pack a spare camera battery instead.

Do you have any tips on packing more efficiently? Would love to know in the comments below.

For more information on the Antler range of bags go to: https://www.antler.co.uk

Conquering my fear of heights at the ArcelorMittal Orbit Slide #RideTheSlide

For someone with a phobia of heights and not a daredevil by any means, going on the ArcelorMittal Orbit slide, designed by Belgian artist Carsten Höller, as part of a team afternoon, with R, M and P, filled me with dread and when the day arrived I was a bundle of nerves.

What didn’t help was I read reviews that stated “not for the fainthearted” and for “adrenalin rush seekers.” I am a wimp.

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The ArcelorMittal Orbit, which is Sir Anish Kapoor’s sculpture in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, to me, looks like a giant Shisha pipe, and the slide looping around it from a ground level view is slightly terrifying. You can even choose to abseil down it but I personally don’t have the courage to go that far! It is pretty new, having opened towards the end of June.

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Once we took the short DLR ride from work to the park, we first went to the viewing platform, which has an alternate view of the cityscape of London, the Olympic park and Stratford in general. It is lovely up there and you can even walk on the outside bit with a mesh floor. Just don’t look down if you are scared of heights!

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We then walked down the mesh stairs to the floor where the slide starts from and joined the queue of excited people waiting their turn, as well as onlookers watching each person take the plunge. You could hear lots of screams, but it was unclear whether they were of terror or excitement.

It is said to be the world’s tallest, longest and fastest tunnel slide and guaranteed to give you a hair-raising London experience. It definitely did do that.

The scariest bit is when it is your turn to go,  you have to push yourself down the slide into the unknown and as each person took their turn, most let out a scream or gasped, which really did not help mine or M’s fear, and the closer we got to our turn the more I was starting to chicken out.

M even almost gave her ticket away to another lady at one point who wanted to go but the tickets were sold out. So glad she didn’t and lesson from this is really recommend booking in advance!

We were soon kitted out in dodgy looking head gear, tight arm pads, and if you weren’t wearing trousers, you were given knee pads too.  I am so glad we weren’t allowed our phones or cameras up there so there is no evidence of how bad we looked!

You can store your belongings safely in lockers as I am sure you don’t want to lose anything in that slide.

Once it is your turn to go on the slide, you are given a upmarket version of a helter skelter style mat, that you have to keep your feet firmly in and hold on to.

We sent R, our manager first, as we were still so scared, and he didn’t even scream as he descended down the structure, absolutely loved it and waited for each of us to arrive at the end.

M went next and it took her a few minutes to pluck up the courage to go through with it and in the end the attendant pushed her down. She let out a scream initially, and as I was going next, I could see her arrive at the end on a screen next to where I was lying down and waiting my turn, and she looked terrified, which made me more nervous so I said to P, that I couldn’t go through with it.

A few words of encouragement later from P, and there I was, lying down ready to experience the slide. I couldn’t bring myself to push myself down as I was totally freaked out at this point and so I asked the attendant to push me while I shut my eyes.

In order to go down the slide correctly, you have to lie down, tuck your chin in and keep your elbows in.

After 178 metres of scary but exhilarating twists and turns, loops,  jumps and a little bit of throwing around whilst weaving 12 times around the structure at rapid speed,  I arrived at the bottom, having absolutely loved all 32 seconds of it.

I won’t lie, the scariest bit is right at the start when you are initially about to go down as you have no idea what to expect, but after a few seconds it is amazing! You can get glimpses of the city and Olympic stadium as you go down if you haven’t closed your eyes, as the top part of the slide is clear.

The last stretch is a 50m drop named the  “the bettfeder” (bedspring in German)  for a final bit of butterfly inducing fun, before you finally come to a stop into the bright open.

It is less scary than a rollercoaster, and you definitely do get an adrenalin rush, which I discovered, I was actually fine with.

I was left wanting to go straight back up on it, and as I chatted to M and R, while waiting for P to arrive at the finish line, we all felt “euphoric”, word of the day by M. I would definitely go again and next time it will be less shrieks and more attempts to catch glimpses of the views as you go down the structure.

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I really recommend booking tickets in advance. The Slide cost £15 for adults, £10 for children. Even if you are scared of heights, it is so worth it, not that bad at all, and so much fun! Something to do at least once 🙂 You can go grab food or drinks in neighbouring Westfield after, meaning you can make a day out of it.

For more information and to book tickets go to: http://arcelormittalorbit.com

Coconut Water and Mint Ice Cubes 

In the heat it is so important to keep hydrated and if you don’t like drinking plain water, here’s an idea to spruce it up in a healthy way without cordials or mixers.

I have simply filled an ice cube tray with Innocent coconut water with a pinch of chopped fresh mint leaves in each slot and frozen these.

All you then simply do is pop a couple of Coconut Water and Mint Ice Cubes into your glass or bottle and not only will the ice keep your drink cold, it will infuse the water with the flavours of the coconut water and mint. Delicious!

Keeping hydrated is very important because, aside from preventing you from getting dehydrated:

  1. It boosts your mood
  2. It prevents headaches
  3. It helps keep your mind sharp
  4. It helps digestion
  5. It helps keep your blood pressure relatively normal

What are your favourite ways to stay hydrated?

This post is in collaboration with Innocent Coconut Water, which is best served chilled.