We decided to escape last weekend, away from Cumbria and to the North East coast. Northumberland is somewhere I've wanted to visit for such a long time and with us promising each other to see a little more of the UK this year we thought that a short break whilst the sun was still shining would do us some good before I started my new job. We booked an Air BnB the night before, packed a box of food and drove up on Friday evening. There were a number of thing's I wanted to see, Alnwick castle & the garden's were top of the list but it was SO expensive and we just didn't have enough time in the day to make the most of it (and if I'm being honest, I'm f**king skint) so we decided against that and just visited a few local towns/villages. Alnmouth beach is beautiful, it runs right alongside a golf course and is a must-go if you're visiting Northumberland. We enjoyed fish n' chips in Alnwick and explored the cute little shops in the town as well as finally visiting the Treehouse Restaurant for Sunday lunch before heading home. It is a bit overpriced for what you get, I was still hungry after my roast beef dinner but it's a nice place to go and see, perhaps they can work on their portion sizes or maybe I'm just greedy (most likely the latter). I would recommend booking too as it gets busy fairly quick! There's been a few people asking where we stayed so I'll link that here for you guys! It was lovely, the hosts were welcoming and it just felt like we were away from everyone and everything even though the Shepard's hut was at the bottom of the garden, don't get me wrong it's probably the longest garden I've ever seen but still a garden nonetheless! Also, I never got chance to VLOG, god dammit. We were so exhausted so we just took each day as it came and made the most of each others company before getting back to work and I wanna focus a little more on my photography and I do enjoy updating my Instagram stories more often. I feel more connected and in the moment that way! Anyway, now I know I am rambling so I will end this post here. Have a lovely rest of the week and I will be speaking to you again very soon. Love, L.
Started off the morning with a 5km run, at least I think that's how long it was, I paused my strava half way through and forgot to resume it again. Ps, you ever seen a neck this long before?
Okay, wow.. my new breakfast favourite! M&S chunky guacamole with poached eggs, fucking delicious. I will make my own again though when I can be bothered. Convenience and all that.
This lil tiger literally lives outside now so I don't get to see him that much 🙁 he greeted me back from my run when I was trying to catch my breath on the back door step, too cute.
I sat in mum and dad's garden from 9am til around 12pm doing a little work, in a pair of shorts and a tee - yes it is that hot here in the North, I can't believe it. This is the summer weather I used to remember us having when I was a kid. Love it!
Me and mum went for ice cream <3 We are working together a lot more for her cooking business which I really am enjoying and she loves that I've also taken an interest.
I did a poll not long ago on Instagram asking whether you preferred to read daily blog posts or less posts in more detail.. the verdict was pretty much 50/50 and as much as I'd like to post as often as possible, there's not that much for me to talk about, besides from my usual moans and groans about how tired I am and how I have to wake up at 5:30am for work, lol, poor me. I've decided that I'm not going to stick to a schedule, in fact I've rather liked just coming here when I've felt a burning desire in my stomach to reach out to you guys and talk about it. I love getting feedback and it's nice to know that I have people of all ages reading the blog, which is something I always hoped for. Forgive me if I'm wrong but I think my writing has come on a tremendous amount since I first started back in 2016, which I'm super proud of.
So today I thought I'd share a few snapshots of how my day went! I woke up very early and headed out for a my second run this summer. It felt so good and I didn't come across anyone, it was pure bliss (besides the beetroot face and sweat dripping down my chest). I spent the morning baking slowly under the sun putting together a menu for my mums cooking business, go give her a like on Insta @nooleksauthenticthai or here. We'll be sharing lots of delicious pictures! And then we went for a food shop, had a stroll around town, ate ice cream and then I had a lie down in the garden because the weather is just so beautiful I felt like I needed to make the most of it!
Tonight, I guess we don't have much planned although I really want to go for a walk and take some photos! I couldn't sleep last night, my stomach was full of butterflies and I had SO many ideas running through my mind which is a good feeling but I really wanted to sleep, so it's a catch 22 but I'm just so happy I feel back to my normal happy self. Anyway, much love and I will speak to you again very soon, L.
How hard is it to introduce you to a post? I've decided that I hate saying 'Hey guys', it's so not me and a little goofy 😉 So, today I picked up my film photographs from Boots, which I've been so excited to collect for almost a week now. I'm sure we took a few selfies of the two of us but they aren't here which is strange and very disappointing as those were the ones I was looking forward to seeing the most.. Maybe we didn't or maybe we just thought there were some films left, hmm interesting. Anyway, I decided to purchase a little Kodak with my Boots points before our hols as it's something my Mum and Dad used to do when we were kids and I adore looking through our childhood photographs, even if the quality isn't great. It's really exciting not knowing what the photographs are going to turn out like and you totally forget about what moments you captured so I've been reliving our week in Santorini all over again this afternoon. This is the last of my holiday photos so you'll be happy to know that I will no longer be bombarding you with turquoise waters, white building's and quad bike pics, until next time, whenever that may be! These are going to go in to my first photo album that I'm going to keep as up to date as possible. Hope you've enjoyed the holiday spam, speak again soon, love L.
Location: Ammoudi Bay, Santorini
Swimming costume from ASOS by Missguided, here. (Perfect for tucking your tummy into if you've eaten too much)
Did I mention that Ammoudi Bay was my favourite place on the island? This was our 'spot', the place we loved and returned to even if it was a long ride away from our base in Kamari. On our first trip we ventured down from Oia, walking very steadily down some very steep steps, avoiding donkey poo but coming across some of the most stunning views and cafe's. After spending the entire afternoon at Ammoudi Bay, the climb back up outfaced us and a Canadian couple convinced us to take a donkey each to the top with them - so we did. It was €6 each and although a little scary I loved it. The day after, we found there was parking closer by which we took full advantage of because it would mean no leg burn on the way down and no donkey ride back up to the top. However, I fully recommend the walk and the donkey ride just once for the experience!
Location: Unknown but it was along the North East coast on route to Oia.
Renting a quad bike for three days during our time in Santorini was the best thing we did, even if it was a little pricey. We paid €90 for the three days and filled the tank up with petrol for €25, which we thought was rather steep. We explored the whole island, visiting Red Beach on the first day, Thira for lunch and then Ammoudi and Oia on the second and third day. Just remember to stay topped up with sun cream as you don't feel the heat so much driving around on them!
Location: Oia, Santorini (Pronounced ee-ya not oi-ya)
I heard SO many people pronouncing Oia as oi-ya and I'm not going to lie, it really annoyed me haha! Anyway, besides from the pronunciation, Oia was beautiful. It was more than I imagined it would be, the white washed buildings, the marble floors and THAT view. It was breathtaking but far too many people for my liking, it was merely impossible to enjoy it as there were photoshoots going on everywhere.
Location: Santos Winery, Santorini
We had two recommendations on where to watch the sunset. One being Oia and the other Santos Wines. As we had visited Oia earlier in the week, we only imagined how busy and crazy it was going to get for sunset so we booked a table for 7:30 at the winery. The menu is a little weird so if you don't like wine then I don't recommend this place for you. We opted for the set menu for two which included 5 wines to compliment each dish, starting with salad, then some kind of octopus mousse dish, pork and then dessert. It was pricey but SO worth it for that sunset. Honestly, I've never seen a sunset so beautiful before.
Location: Kamari beach, Santorini
We spent our last day chilling on Kamari beach, a short 5 minute walk from our hotel. I much prefer the sea to a swimming pool and found the sea to be warmer! However, you will need some sort of footwear as it's very stoney and the sea bed is rugged which makes it difficult to get in and out with the waves hitting you. Most shops sell them there for around €9-€12 but you might find it cheaper buying them at home before you go.
Location: Somewhere in Oia on the way down to Ammoudi Bay.
The main thing about Santorini was that there was a bloody fantastic view around every corner. You really don't need to go and spend a lot of money at Santos Wines or an expensive cafe in Oia. You can drive and park up somewhere, take some water and something to nibble on and just take it all in. I can never sit still when I'm on holiday as I always like to be doing or seeing something, otherwise I feel like I haven't made the most of my time there but it's so important just to take it all in, relax and just enjoy where you are with who you're with. I can't wait for the next destination!
If you're wondering where the title came from, it's from The Carter's new album and is my favourite song of theirs FYI. If you didn't know Beyonce is my favourite artist so I didn't hesitate to buy the album when it came out on iTunes because she will never disappoint me! Can we all just take a moment to appreciate this British summer time? Wow, I've never known it so good! Little bit gutted that it's going to be nice whilst we're away because there's nothing more uplifting than seeing rain at home whilst you're lying on a beach, sipping a cocktail.. haha, I'm cruel, I know! I really hope I haven't jinxed it now. Yesterday we celebrated Marie's 81st birthday in her garden, with plenty of G&T of course.. (one too many might I add). I ended up playing rounders with a group of people I had never met before who most likely saw a little too much of my lady bumps bouncing around *note to self, next time there is a family gathering, wear a god damn bra!* Tomorrow I have my first ever Brazilian wax booked in which I'm super nervous about so I'll update you all about that experience when I've recovered 😉 I probably won't post now until we're away in Greece, so I guess I'll catch you in the Mediterranean! Love, L.
This weekend my dear friend and colleague, Becky got married to her now husband Ryan. It was so magical, she looked incredible and the dress was beautiful. The venue was stunning and the hog roast towards the end of the evening was perfect, especially with a G&T in hand 😉
So, when you have the wedding of the year to attend to, you got to get a new frock right? Okay, let me rephrase that because it's not very often that you will find me in a frock. In fact, I think it's become quite apparent to myself and possibly you guys that I'm a sucker for a pair of palazzo pants, so when I spotted these with the matching dress I just had to have them! I had actually bought these for our trip to Santorini which I have just started packing for this evening and suddenly realised that my wardrobe is pretty much non existent when it comes to 'summer holidays clothes'. I'm sure Josh will disagree so you're going to see a lot of recycled outfits during my trip away as I am skint - as per. However, I do have a few new pieces I'll be wearing too which I will share here with you guys during our time away. I'm so disappointed I never got a proper picture of my outfit because I loved it but we were in such a hurry and when we got there I didn't think to take any pictures which is why there are only these few. Speak again soon, L.
Dan, Meg and Josh on our first break in the sunshine.
The first peak we reached, 1 out of 13.
The rain closing in on us.
Helvellyn summit, always brings back the best memories. This was where Josh and took me on my first 'proper' walk on the 1st June, 2014. 4 whole years ago - almost to the day but not quite.
Finally back out on the hills! What started off as a beautiful, warm day ended up turning into the most horrendous weather, with cold rain lashing down for almost an hour half way in to our hike. It really did suck! I was thankful Josh made me pack my waterproof and I had a fleece with me to stay warm because the rain was so cold, Josh's hands went white because of poor circulation 🙁 So for those of you who don't know what the hell a Bob Graham round is, it features 5 different legs and is a running route for those who are very keen runners. It can take 24 hours plus and much much longer if you're not a runner or haven't trained. We did the second leg which wasn't even the hardest part and consisted of 13 peaks in 20km. We didn't even complete it fully as Meg's leg was very sore from a fall the day before and to be quite honest I could not be arsed after having walked in a thunderstorm with soggy feet! We did manage most of it and only cut out 3km which would've taken us up Farifield Horseshoe and back down the way we came so I guess we completed it pretty much 😉 I'm not sure I want to give it another go, it was very tough going and was up-hill for most of the way, it wasn't pleasant, especially in the muggy weather. I much prefer to walk in the Winter, your water stays cold, you can wrap up warm and the views are much clearer on a sunny day. Plus, you don't get a snotty nose and itchy eyes from hay fever either! For those interested in a bit of hiking and would like to see the route we did I'll share the link here. Now, time for dinner, a cuppa tea and I might catch up with Love Island as I've not bothered with it for a week. Not sure I'm into it this time around... We'll see. Love, L. x
Hey, hey, hey loves! How're you doing? It's been a very long time since I posted but it's felt good to have some time not worrying myself about updating you with pointless pictures, haha! But I have missed it and I guess I haven't been up to anything too exciting over the past week or two. Do you remember I did some photos a short while ago for Sophie for her final collection at London College of Fashion? Here are some of the pics we got back! Becky was our photographer and you can find her work here, she was absolutely incredible and I surprisingly felt so at ease but I'm only sharing the pictures I think I look okay in as I'm very fussy 😉 but there are some amazing shots in there! We were shooting Sophie's final ever collection and I felt honoured that she had asked me to help out. We both studied Art and Design at Kendal but she was a year ahead of me and went on to go and do some totally wonderful things, woo go Soph! If you're interested in her project then you can see more photos here.
Since our trip to Glasgow a couple of weeks ago (which feels like forever ago), all I've done is work, gym, eat and sleep. I'm quite enjoying getting out the house a little more now that the weather is warmer and the nights are lighter, it's total bliss living here when it's warm! I've also started putting together my outfits ready for Santorini in three weeks time and I have bought a few new pieces for our trip which I will maybe share with you before we go because I absolutely love some of the item's I've got. I went to my friend's wedding last weekend, the first school friend to get married! I can't believe it, since when did we grow up? Anyway, I have to run as I'm helping my Mum cook tonight and I need to wake myself up this hay fever is making me sooooo drowsy. Speak again soon, love L.
We arrived in to Glasgow fairly late on on Friday evening to a stunning 2 bedroom flat in Shawlands. It was sat right next to Queen's Park, the perfect place for a picnic and a stroll or a run in the morning but that never happened 😉 It had high ceilings, creaky wooden floors and it was just spotlessly clean. If you're interested in staying, here is this link to Lynn's flat!
We hadn't done any researching before our trip so we had a quick google when we arrived for somewhere to go. We decided to head to the West End, Ashton Lane which was a fair taxi drive from where we were staying but so worth it! It was bustling and we even ended up finding a ping pong bar and having a few games against each other which was so much fun, we definitely need one of those here at home - I'm pretty good, if I do say so myself 😉
I woke up early as always and sat with a brew in front of the tele before every body else woke up. Those are my favourite mornings, when you can get thing's done whilst everyone else is still sleeping. I also got to watch a little bit of the Emmerdale omnibus so that was a plus, haha! We made breakfast in the cosy kitchen and I was just so thankful I had picked a great Air BnB! It was perfect and I'm so excited to return again in the Winter months and visit the Christmas markets.
Later that day we ventured in to the city and visited the botanical gardens. Surprisingly they were free and so beautiful, if you like that sort of thing. Josh wasn't overly impressed but I guess I have to put up with football most of the year so... who's the real loser? Me! 🙁 For lunch, a friend suggested trying 'bread meats bread' and I finally got to try Poutine for the first time! This is like cheese, chips and gravy on a whole other level. I always thought that it was a Northern thing but it's actually a dish that originated in Canada!
Then of course no meal is complete without pudding so a short walk up the road to 'Loop and Scoop' for gelato and churros! I went for the filled churro's and got one of each flavour but I wished I had just stuck to Nutella because the other flavours weren't to my liking...
Where did we stay?
We were fortunate that our friend Sam has a hostel in Bucharest so of course that's where we stayed during our 3 nights in Bucharest, so if you are on a pretty low budget and don't mind sharing rooms, showers, toilets and a kitchen then this place would be perfect for you. Podstel is located 10 minutes from the city centre, far away enough from the hustle and bustle but close enough to walk. We had a private room, although we did have to share showers and toilets which for me was a little uncomfortable. I would probably feel differently had I been travelling alone as it's a good way to make friends and get to know other people but as a couple, I think I'd prefer a room with it's own bathroom as I like my own privacy. It was a good experience nonetheless and every single person we came across were so lovely and friendly and surprisingly from all corners of the world!
You can find Podstel here.
Where we ate
On to my most favourite part of going away on holiday, the food. I was never sure what to expect when we arrived in Romania, I had heard that there were a lot of stews and very filling meals which was true. We ate so much during our stay, some good and some exceptionally good. In Bucharest we ate out at a number of restaurants but my favourite place was most definitely Biutiful by the Lake. This is where we spent our last evening and although the most expensive place we ate out during our whole stay, it wasn't any pricier than a good pub meal back here in the Lakes which I think is pretty reasonable.
Another favourite for a lunch time snack was SIMBIO. Of course, I couldn't resist the burger with caramelised onions, avocado and cheese. My mouth is watering right now just thinking about it!
We also tried out Stadio, as we all fancied some Italian food. The guys went for pizza and Lena and I had the asparagus pasta which was yummy but not as yummy as the dessert! You have to check out 'Papanash', a traditional Romanian dessert served with sour cream and jam.
Fancy a tipple?
There are some really cool bars dotted around Bucharest. Unfortunately we didn't have enough time to sample them all but the ones we did were awesome. Depending on what kind of night you are wanting, you can head into the city centre or 'old town', where you'll find a lot of British stag do's and crowds of people looking to get wasted or you can head to the fancier bars and clubs a short taxi ride out of town. After our meal at Biutiful by the Lake, we headed to Nuba Summervibes. This place was so pretty with all the fairy lights and separate seating areas.
We also had a few cocktails in town one evening at NOMAD Skybar, where we experimented with a few different cocktails. I loved the atmosphere of this spot, it was so chilled and laid back. The sofa's were comfy and the music was good!
What to see and do
If there's any reason to book a holiday to Bucharest, it has to be to experience Therme. Seriously, it's out of this world and like nothing I've ever experienced or seen before. There are pools with bars in, mineral pools, sauna's, steam rooms, restaurants, slides, jacuzzi's and something going on every hour from body scrubs sessions to facials. It's honestly so insane and very affordable too. We spent the whole evening there, from 6pm until closing time - midnight.
If you're a coffee lover then this city is also for you. I'm not a fan but the other guys were so I settled for a lemonade instead, which was still fantastic but apparently the coffee is on another level. I don't see the hype even though I so wish I did, haha!
I also recommend visiting the church's and old building's dotted around all over the city. They're beautiful buildings which date back hundred's of years. There is so much history and nice to see if you're interested in architecture.
Lastly, just go an explore. Buy a comfy pair of shoes, take a backpack with your camera, phone, purse, whatever else you may need like hay fever tablets (mine was rife in Romania but not so bad now I'm home) and explore the city on foot. You can stop for pastries at one of the popular bakeries, which name escapes me at the moment but I'll post it if I remember... drink coffee, buy ice cream, take the tube, walk in the park, see what events are going on etc. There is so much to see and do here and it's so affordable too. And if you get fed up of the city and want to wander further afield, get a car rental and head in to the countryside and go see the quieter areas of Romania. Car rentals are cheap and the petrol is even cheaper! I can't wait to go back 😉
So sorry it's taken so long to getting to post all my photos from the trip. There are still hundred's more but there are my favourite! If you're planning a trip, get in touch and I can try and help you out or get you in touch with Podstel if you need somewhere to stay. Hope you enjoyed this post, it's a little different to what I usually post. Love, L.
And from the heat, the pretty little houses and old cobbled streets.. we ventured in to the mountains. Wow! You've probably heard of the Transfagarasan and you might have even seen it on an episode of Top Gear a few years back. Unfortunately for us the most famous part of the road was closed due to avalanches which is a shame because we would've loved to see it but I guess that means we can go again in the summertime, maybe in the Golf?! European road trip is calling! 😉
This was the view from our balcony at the cabana. So beautiful! The fog kept drifting in and out but I managed to get a few photos when it cleared. It was so peaceful.
When we arrived, we were greeted by this little fella/girl and her friend who reminded me a little of Gandalf.. (he was white, besides from that nothing else reminded me of Gandalf haha). Anyway, she was the sweetest dog and followed us around all morning before we jumped back in the car. I sooooo could've brought her back home with me so she could've made friends with Theo.
Josh captured this photo of me and it's my absolute fav! It's always the ones you don't expect that turn out the best 🙂
What a view from Dracula's castle after a tough slog up some steps and through the woods that had recently been set on fire earlier in the month due to someone dropping a cigarette! Everything was black! I hate humans. Anyway, Dracula's real name was Vlad Tepes and he wasn't actually a vampire and no he didn't drink people's blood. I can't remember the exact story but he impaled a load of people from one particular town and fought off a Russian army from this castle, you can read all about it online though and it is very interesting, although I'm pretty miffed that Dracula wasn't a real thing.
I was going to post the rest of the photos from that day but I'm literally about to fall asleep and we have a busy day tomorrow, work and then Glasgow with Hannah and Tucker! Probably won't get to speak until after the weekend now. Have a good bank holiday! Lots of love, L.
"What a difference a day makes.. 24 little hours!"
So photo number 1 was taken on the night we arrived in Sibiu and shortly after dinner and a bloody lovely snickers ice cream, the heavens opened and it poured. To top things off, we ended up buying two 'out of date' bottles of wine from Carrefour. I never even knew out of date wine was possible! But we managed to get them swapped just before they closed.
Josh and Coops outside our air BnB. The bed was probably the worst bed I have ever slept in but it was cheap so I can't complain too much.
We spent the morning exploring the city and I fell in love with the buildings! The little 'eye' shaped windows on the majority of the roofs were so quirky. There were hundreds of amazing doors but this one in particular was special (lol, as special as doors get). As we were taking some photos I could see a pair of feet stood behind the door waiting for us to finish. She invited us in and showed us around. Behind the doors was a huge court yard, with several dorms as it was in fact a boarding school for foreign students! I would never have thought it, especially in the heart of the city.
Then it was back on the road and in to the mountains, although we had a little dilemma. The route we were originally going to take to our cabana was through the mountains, up past the waterfall and over the top. Instead, we had to visit the waterfall and go back on ourselves adding another 3 hours on to our journey because of snow and road closures! To be honest it went pretty fast, what with the best road trip album we had on in the car, plenty of snacks that we picked up from a little stall and the company of course. At the top of this waterfall (and a little further on) lies the ice hotel, popular for a lot of British tourists but unfortunately we never got to see it as the gondolas only go up and down the mountain when there are more than 8 people and we didn't have much time to burn so we gave it a miss.
It was at this little pit stop that I tried deer for the first time and wild boar but it's fair to say that I wouldn't ever eat them again! We bought so much salami, nougat and the best cheesy bread type thing with sour cream but I can't remember the name of it. And then our journey into the Fagarasan mountains began...
It was so eerie and the mountains that surrounded us were huge! They were even bigger than the ones in the Scottish highlands and it really did feel like jurassic park. When we stopped at the dam, I was overwhelmed by the silence, until some wild dogs started howling so we quickly jumped back in the car and carried on up the mountain to our cabana. An hour later, we reached our cabana. The last one before the road closure! We were the only guests staying there which was a little spooky but I managed to sleep really well after a huge glass of red and some cheesy mash potato, haha!