Outings

The Brunch Afternoon Tea – Piccadilly, London

 

2Last week my friend and I visited another afternoon tea! This time the twist was that it was a brunch inspired one. It was called the B n T.

It took place at Le Meridien Hotel, Piccadilly, it was served in the Terrace Grill & Bar. We had a table overlooking the street.

Whilst we was there, there was a special offer on – the afternoon tea, plus a hot tea and a cocktail for £27.50 each (usually £35), there was another option instead of a cocktail was bottomless prosecco for two hours!

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The food was so tasty, I enjoyed every ‘level’ of the tea! It was also one of the most filling afternoon tea’s I’ve ever had. I took a photo of the menu so you can see what we had.

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As you can see every dish was unique and different. Just what we like with afternoon teas – a bit of variety! I chose the Elderflower Fizz – which was yummy but very strong. My friend had the Berries & tea (which reminded us both of Mr Fogg’s).

I’ve included some close ups of each layer of the tea.

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I don’t know about you, but I love Afternoon Tea and I love brunch – so its a winning combination!

I would definitely recommend you check out this afternoon tea, if you are on the hunt for something a little different, and are ticking off all the tea’s – tick this one too!

Before our tea we also visited Oxford Street, where we peeped in T2, a few clothes shops and of course the famous Oxford Street Disney Store. So I did my own version of a ‘Disney wall’ that day!

 

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Outings

Bucket List – Guns N Roses!

cA few weeks ago, I got to tick off another bucket list item – one I never thought I would be able to!

I saw GUNS N ROSES! And even better it was Axl and Slash together!

I’ve loved Guns for a while now, and knew I would never see them, as they had broken up, Slash had left, and also the 90s was over!

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But then last year, there was rumours that the band was getting back together. So I found the official Guns n Roses website, added it to my favourites page, signed up to the emails and literally checked this website once a week!

It was announced they was then going to tour!! I think it was the East they started in, and I was obviously bouncing up and down. Because if they was starting, surely they will hit Europe / London on the way?!

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Guess what – they announced a London date! My dad had a credit card which allowed one day presale, so I begged him to get tickets. I only needed two, I didn’t care where – just as long as I got them!!

He did, he rang me whilst I was at work. He got seated, and I had tickets! This was in December 2016, and the show was in June 2017. My  boyfriend agreed to come with me (why wouldn’t he?!).

The gig was at the London Stadium at the Olympic Park in Stratford. Since we had booked the ticket’s, they did announce another show the next day, so they was playing twice in London.

 

It was amazing! They played for two and a half hours! They sounded great, Slash’s guitar playing skills are legendary. The audience (quite an old audience, as the band have been around for a while now) loved it all. I also admit, when they played my favourite ever song – November Rain, I did shed a little tear as I really didn’t think I would ever hear that song played live!

It really was a bucket list tick! I also got a very cool new band t-shirt!

If they ever come back to London, I’m going again!

Outings · travel

Flashback Friday – Cumbria, UK

 

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A few years ago, my boyfriend and I stayed in one of the most unique hotels ever! We stayed three nights.

It was a castle! A couple had bought, and then converted an actual castle. They then converted into a hotel, and also live there. It’s located in Cumbria, which for us is quite a drive, but I’m glad we went.

Each room is completely different, when we stayed – there was only 12. They have added some addition’s / changed a few more rooms since. We stayed in the Middlesmoor – which they describe as ‘ Elegantly decorated in blue & gold with a leaded bay window extending the entire width of the room. The bed is dated the same year as the castle was built. The bathroom is delicately decorated in blue & white with an original nineteenth century corner basin’.

What I truly loved about this place was the open door policy. On your room key, is also the front door key to the castle. So you can come and go as you please, and let yourself in. They also had a honesty bar (I had never heard of this until this stay!). They had a whole bar with a big selection of drinks, you go helpful yourself, then just write in the book left in there – your room number and what you had! That then gets added to your bill, no miniatures here!

There was rooms – Drawing Room, Great Hall, Dining Room, Music Room and Library all over the castle in which you could explore, and just chill out in. The family also had their own dog and cat which roamed the castle.

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The food was lovely, we pre-booked a dinner one night, which is held with the rest of the guests in the dining hall and the breakfast was so good! So many different option’s.

Whilst we was in that area of UK, we drove to the Lake District, had an afternoon there – had an afternoon tea, went out on a boat ride, bought some fudge (one of my favourite’s is clotted cream fudge!).

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We also visited The World of Beatrix Potter attraction. That was a little cute hour!

 

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But the main attraction for me, was the Castle. I really loved it, and even though we stayed over four years ago, I still talk about it! They also offer afternoon tea and weddings now!

Sadly I don’t have many photos!

Highly recommended, here is the website link to have a nosey! http://stayinacastle.com/

 

 

 

Disney World · walt disney world

Backstage Tales Tour, Animal Kingdom – Walt Disney World

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On my last trip to the world, as I mentioned I did a few backstage tours. One of them was the Backstage Tales tour located at Animal Kingdom.

The tour costs $90 plus tax. It starts at 7.30am, but you need to arrive fifteen minutes before. The tour lasts four hours. We chose to drive and park. You meet just inside the front of the park, you are given your name badge and head set.

The tour starts as you walk through The Oasis, where they talk about the history of the park, and Joe Rohde (I got a few questions right too!). At this point as we was still in the park, we was allowed to take photos.

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As the park was so empty, and it was so pretty in the morning sun, I was already snapping away! When else would you get a selfie in front of an empty Tree of Life?! So all of the photos on this blog post, are all from the very start as no pictures was allowed during the backstage portions (which was the rest of the tour!), but they was such pretty photos I’ve included them!

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We walked through to Africa to the Pangani Forest Exploration and then through to the bird aviary. I t was so nice, as it was so quiet just our tour group in there! We had our own cast member talk through all the birds, and their charactristics and a few stories. We was also given the option to feed them live meal worms.

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After this we then went backstage straight away. We was led to a mini bus, which would then remain ours for the whole tour. As you know Animal Kingdom is huge, so the bus was used to get to one part to the other.

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I don’t want to spoil the tour for people, as I love surprises but you do visit the kitchens where all the food is prepared, quite a few backstage areas of the animals housing parts, which was amazing. You get really close to the animals! I was desperate to stroke a rhino!!

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At each animal part, you spoke to a specialist who works with these animals day in and out, and also answers any questions you have. Every Cast Member we met was really friendly, knowledgeable and clearly loved the animals!

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There was also a break, where you could have a hot drink or water, with a snack. This was then followed by a little talk about the conservation fund. The animals they spoke about on my particular tour was tortoises. Here we was told that a portion of our ticket for the tour went to the conservation fund!

At the end of the tour, you can keep your name tag and you are given a water bottle.

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Overall, I did really enjoy the tour, and it was nice to see some more of Animal Kingdom. It did feel a little over priced, but we had two cast members for the whole tour, and the use of the bus.

 

Outings · travel

Flashback Friday – Hampshire, United Kingdom (Forest Holidays)

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A few weeks ago, my fiancé and I, his brother and girlfriend hired a cabin at Forest Holidays. we chose the Blackwood Forest location, as that is the nearest one to us. I have previously stayed here, and also been to another site.

It had been booked for a good few months as they go quick! We did the three night stay – Friday to Monday. You can also do the Monday to Friday, or week long stays etc.

It really is such a lovely cabin, there are spacious, we had a 2 bedroom one which also has two bathrooms, space for two cars and the hot tub!

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There is decking out the back with a table, and a rack for disposable BBQ’s. You have a TV, on which you can add a internet package – which would then include wifi and sky movies.

There was 62 cabins at this site, but it doesn’t feel like it! They are all spread out and you have your own space. They encourage you go to for walks, there is lots of activities you can book, and there is also dog friendly cabins.

At the centre is the Forest Retreat – which is reception, a restaurant, bar and shop! This has tables inside and out, and is open all day.

Whilst we there, I organised a trip to the Bombay Sapphire Gin distillery, as we had booked with Forest Holidays, we actually got a discount on our ticket! This was a nice few hours out. It was quite a big site, and is actually one of the only distillery’s to win a BREAM award. You are given a map which has a chip in – this is then interactive with points all round where you listen to a spoken recording. You go inside the botanical gardens. A fun part was the Aroma card room – you smell lots of ingredients, whole punch a card and from that, it gives you an idea of what gin cocktail to choose at the end!

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I chose the orange and black peppercorn twist. Yum!

During the weekend, we ate lots (we did a foodshop before), drank and just relaxed. We chilled in the hot tub during the day and the evening.  There is scrabble and jenga left in the cabin for your use. we also went to the Forest retreat on the Sunday afternoon, and sat in the sun with a cider.

It was just a nice chilled out weekend, I highly recommend Forest Holidays if you ever wish to have a cabin getaway in the UK! They do have smaller cabins available for just two people, and there is also a treehouse with a cabin for up to twelve people!

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Disney World · walt disney world

World Showcase: DestiNations Discovered – Walt Disney World Tour

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On my last trip to the world, as I mentioned I did a few backstage tours. One of the ones I had been looking forward to was this Epcot one. This was the World Showcase one! I had done the Future World tour a few years previously so wanted to see the other side of the park.

The tour costs $109 plus tax. It starts at 8.15am, but you need to arrive fifteen minutes before. We chose to drive and park. You meet at Fountain View in Future World, you are given your name badge and head set, also strangely had to choose your lunch! (This tour includes a lunch at Rose and Crown).

The beginning of the tour, was the much known history of the Epcot Centre park and an introduction to the tour. Our tour guide was Christopher and very knowledgeable, He had worked there over 10 years.

There was so many facts and trivia you learnt along the way. One at the beginning, (which I think most people know) was that he pointed out the back of Tower of Terror, from some points you can view it, and it seems like its in the Morocco pavilion, So they changed the back of the Tower and chose a colour that blended it in to the landscape!

You start clockwise in Mexico, and work your way around. You stop at each pavilion, and the guide will share details / history of the country and the pavilion itself. You go backstage a few times, so they can show you example’s and describe facts.

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Also did you know most of the pavilions have a museum/ gallery dedicated to the country? For example in Norway – go inside the Stave Church!!

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One of the best parts was that the park was absolutely empty! (Well except for Norway – that was crazy!!) He encouraged us to take as many photos as we liked whilst there (not backstage!). We made it all the way to Morocco before World Showcase opened! Then I just got lucky with my photos, as it still wasn’t busy.

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I really don’t want to spoil the tour for anyone, as its so much fun to learn whilst you are there! And obviously ask and answer questions. At one point he asked a question, and I answered it – correctly! He was so shocked, he said in all the years he had done this tour no one had answered right! I was SOO proud of myself! (It was about illuminations and the torches – again, not spoiling for anyone).

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The only part to me, which was a not a let down, but seemed a waste of time was the lunch! As it was in the UK pavilion, you are almost at the end of the countries anyway. We was there an hour, and then only had Canada to see! We also got a sneaky ride on Soarin’ .

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I really did like the tour, but it was a long and tiring one. It’s 5 hours long, its an early start, its a lot of walking and the day we had it, it was absolutely roasting so it made it hard going!

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But overall, I suggest if you are a huge Disney World geek like me and love learning about the construction, process and other trivia about the parks – book it! I also hope you like the empty park photos, and get some good shots for yourself!

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travel

Flashback Friday – Montreal & Toronto, Canada

 

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So late last year (about Mid October) we flew to Montreal in Canada. We was looking at another European break, but I found some crazy cheap flights to Canada, so we went with that option!

We stayed three nights in Montreal. On the first day we wondered all round the old town (which is by far the prettiest). We also went through all the underground malls, as the winters get so bad there, there is basically underground towns which are connected all over. To save people braving the weather up top!

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We also tried Poutine for the first time that evening (not one of my favourite’s!). We also visited the Botanical Gardens, where at the time the Gardens of Light was on. Was really pretty with all the light up animals and displays, but it was chilly!

The next day we took an Uber to Mont Royal – a massive park with a cool look out point. For the rest of the day, again just grabbed a lunch and took in more of the city. We had a very early start the next morning, so had an early night!

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We got a train from Montreal to Toronto, I think it took about four and half hours, also because it was the earliest one, it was the cheapest option! We was going to stay in Toronto four nights before flying home from there.

 

We dropped our cases off as the room wasn’t ready and walked into the city. We saw lots of people wearing Blue Jays tops, so went to a Starbucks for some free wifi! There my fiancé found out a game was being played that night, and the stadium was a ten minute walk away! So he booked tickets! We didn’t realise until we was there, how big of a deal the game was! So we went to our first baseball game in Canada – we both did enjoy it, but such a long game!

The next day was another early start as we had a tour booked to go to Niagara Falls! Another bucket list item! The driver was really good and informative, gave us loads of interesting facts about Canada during the drive.

It was chilly that day, but you were given a poncho to wear, as the wind made the water go everywhere! The boat ride was about twenty minutes and takes you right up to the falls. You can’t believe how powerful it is! The noise and the spray, was a really cool experience. After the boat ride, you had a free hour and a half, so everyone had lunch.

We was then driven to this cute town called Niagara on the Lake, it’s been used in films and tvs. And you cant have a chain shop / restaurant there (but we did see a Starbucks so I’m not sure how it got through!). It was just just such a nice place, we went into a lovely café/coffee shop and I had a Maple tea. The last stop was a Canadian winery, where you were given samples of ice wine (yuk!) and the opportunity to buy some. This part really wasn’t needed on the tour, and at this point I just wanted to lie down and rest!

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The next day we had a lie in and relaxing morning, then we walked all the way back into town again to go up the CN tower. On most of our trips, we go to the towers/view points etc, and I think this was one of the worst!

As we was in the same area, we also went to the Steamwhistle brewery. A little tour and a beer included. It had a lovely wedding venue, that had over a two year waiting list for a Saturday!

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The next day, was our last full day. We visited the Distillery District – it was pretty with old building and cobblestones etc, but it was very small! We then walked to the famous food market – St Lawrence. It was huge! Stupidly, we didn’t get anything to eat or try here!

We also walked through the Yonge-Dundas Square – which is Toronto’s version of Times Square. We also had a quick walk through of the mall there. Since it was the last day, and we had already done so much in one week, we headed back to the hotel, watched a film and packed!

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I did like Canada, but I don’t think it was the parts I wanted to see. They were both busy built up areas, so was almost two city breaks. We both agreed we wanted to see more rural and country sides. But most of that seemed to be on the Western side – which then knocks flight prices up. I also was disappointed with the lack of maple flavoured things – I thought there would be loads!!

Has anyone ever visited Canada, where did you go? Did you like it? I  know this year is a big year for Canada, as its their 150th birthday!