Copenhagen

So if you know me personally or follow me on Instagram you will have seen that Jack and I recently visited Copenhagen for a couple of days. It’s a city that has been on my visit list for a couple of years and in the summer we both decide 2016 was the year for it, so we booked a stay for Autumn half-term.

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Where we stayed

When we were looking for places to stay, as usual we took a look at TripAdvisor, because all the blog posts in the world aren’t going to help me see reviews, ranking and a price comparison between over 100 hotels.

We settled on Hotel Alexandra, and stayed in their standard double room which was around £90 per night. We booked through booking.com via the Avios website, because we are busy collecting points these days in the hope to aid our future travels.

The room was a great base, not massive but comfy and a good nights sleep. The hotel hallways and lounge were beautifully put together and if you like mid century design, you’d enjoy a stay here.

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The hotel has a environmental policy, and to encourage  guests to participate they reward you with a DKK100 voucher towards the honest bar or restaurant, instead of having you room totally cleaned each day of your stay. We took advantage of that, see wine above.

Where did we eat

Day 1

We arrived around lunch so headed into the city centre to hunt some food. We did have a snoop again on Trip Advisor, as we’ve been known to eat in some dud restaurants on our travels, and we found ourselves outside Café Norden.

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O my goodness! This place was so lovely, the food was delicious. It wasn’t super obvious if you could just grab a table, so initally we hovered downstairs, so if you go, head upstairs – it’s massive – and grab a table and then order at the bar. They have english menus behind the bar so ask if you want one, it made ordering much much easier!

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The vegetarian triple burger and the Smørrebrød

People did warn us: Copehagen is expensive to eat out. To give you an idea, my triple veggie burger and Jack’s open sandwich platter (Smørrebrød) were just over £20 each. So be prepared before you go!

For dinner I had booked an early table (6:30pm) at Almanak, as I had read some good reviews before we’d set off on our trip. It is a beautiful setting and just around the corner from the gorgeous Nyhavn canel, so I would recommend a lunchtime visit so you can visit both.

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Day 2

We didn’t choose to have breakfast included at the hotel, so that we would be forced to get out and explore. Thankfully there a lot of bakeries in Copehagen and a short walk from our hotel we found Lagkagehuset, which is a prolific chain which you can find throughout the city.

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Mid morning we had been walking for two hours or so and got pretty peckish so snuck into the Lounge area of Hotel Guldsmeden Babette, for a cup of tea and half a panini each. It was a really lovely space, sofa, rugs, books, candles.

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Hotel Guldsmeden Babette

Lunch was our most low key of the trip, at Friends & Brgrs, which was actually way better than I thought it would be from street level. I have no idea when or how the deal works but when we were there on the Thursday it was 2 for 1, so best value meal of the three days. Also Chipotle Mayo…

Dinner that evening was pizza at a restaurant recommended by our hotel, which was just a street away: The Italian. It was a good pizza for each of us, if you are after an easy meal this was it. Walking distance back to our hotel won, after a day of lots and lots of walking.

Day 3

O my goodness the rain on our third day in Copenhagen was epic. We scurried to the 2nd best bakery in the city: Andersen Bakery. No, I’ve no idea what the pastries I had were, but they were delicious.

Something to note is that you need to get a table before you can order in. So if you want to sit in, go grab a seat and then go up to order.

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Lunch was in a museum, yes you read that right. As I said, it was raining a lot on the Friday so we hid in the National Gallery of Denmark for most of our final afternoon. The café there is at the back in a massive modern extension, which had a gorgeous view out over the surroundings.

National Gallery of Denmark
Snap taken the day before, in the winter sunshine.

We had left our bags at the hotel, as checkout was at 11am, so on our wander back, once the rain had slowed we walked the long way back a snuck in one last pastry. One of my recommendations for anyone visiting the city would be to visit Torvehallerne, which is an awesome indoor market. One half is more of a food shopping market with delicatessens and butchers etc. and the other is brimming with lovely cafe’s a tiny eateries.

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Torvehallerne

Inside we stopped at Laura’s Bakery. 1. because my name’s Laura so… and 2. see the photo below.screen-shot-2016-11-21-at-20-30-58

Seriously good pastries!

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This was our last morsel before heading to the airport in plenty of time. Yes, we did have dinner at the airport and yes it was good, but I draw the line a meal photography, and that didn’t pass.

Now. You could mistakenly assume that we just sat around in various restaurants and cafés and saw very little of the city. But you would be wrong. We walked around the city a lot. On our sunny Thursday we clocked up 16miles of walking.

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Amalienborg

I recommend packing your comfiest sneakers and going for a walk. So many of the streets are cobbled, or paved that sensible shoes are a must.

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Storkespringvandet with Café Norden behind

 

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Inderhavnbroen with a view over to Almanak

We had an awesome couple of days, I do wish I has packed a bigger brolly (which I lost whilst there) and I am glad I took full winter garb, mitten and all. We didn’t hit up Tivoli Gardens whilst we were there, Jack doesn’t like theme parks and I don’t like going on rides alone, but it look amazing, so if you are keen definitely give it a go!

We’re off to Bruges in Belgium next, for a little Christmas market/8 year anniversary weekend before Christmas, so if you have any recommendations for us I am all ears!

Summer Holiday: What I’m packing

I’m going to Majorca for a week in July and this rain has got me thinking about sunshine and ice-cream. This year I have a new carry on case to take with me. And that’s all I’m taking. So what am I going to pack?

Luggage

Let’s start with my new case, recently bought online from bags etc, which if I’m being honest is because you can collect Avios via them and it was a really great price.
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Swimsuits

I have three swimsuits on the go at the moment. My favourite is the bright green halterneck. They are all from Marks & Spencer, because I trust them, they keep their shape and hold things where things need to be held. No itsy, bitsy triangle bikinis for me.

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Shorts

I have a few pairs to pack. Two from H&M, one Dotty P and one Marks & Spencer pair. They all have a similar length and three of them have excellent pocket depth.

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Dresses

Gap wins here. I really only tend to wear dresses in the evening, when going out for dinner, when it’s a little cooler. Three dresses: two white, one black.

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Tops

Keeping things simple with a couple of vests, and a couple of t-shirts.

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Shoes

Wearing sneakers on the flight, black haviannas, m&s silver sandals.

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When I travel I like to be comfy, and I get super cold on airplanes, so I’ll be travelling in my nike leggings, Converse sneakers, a long t-shirt and a hoody. I like to have a sensible option to travel in, because you just don’t know what weather you will get when you arrive back in the UK. After a week of sun, the UK cold can be a bit of a shock to the system. I have also been caught at an airport at 1am due to a delayed flight in a sundress – that chilly at 1am!

In terms of make up and toiletries, I’ll likely take a very minimal amount of make-up and we tend to buy sunscreen and shampoo etc out there for Jack and I to share. One of the perks of this trip is we’re staying at my Grandparents flat, so we can leave anything not finished for my sister and parents who are staying there the week after us.

Are you of on holiday this summer? Do you have any tips for packing light?

Things to do and see in 2016

Selfishly this is really a list for me. But really this whole blog is for me – no offence meant, but if I were writing it for reader numbers I wouldn’t still be going : )

  • Bodiam Castle (ideally in the sunshine please Jack)
  • Wakehurst
  • Walberswick and Southwold – My grandparents lived in Walberswick when I was little, and I would love to go back for a long weekend.
  • 65 Degrees in Brighton is on our “to eat at” list. It has some brilliant reviews but is tiny and we never remember to book.
  • Majorca – cheating here – this is my summer holiday.Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 8.31.05 am
  • Edinburgh
  • Venice – I am determined to visit with my sister this year, even if it will be a little delayed for her March birthday…

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    Venice: It was pretty amazing on our honeymoon, and I’d love to go again!
  • Sh*t-faced Shakespeare – looks hilarious

What’s on your to-do list this year? And do you have any recommendations for me?

A brief visit to Bath

Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 12.19.13 pmBath holds a special place in my heart. Jack studied at Bath University and when we were “courting” back in the early days we would take it in turns to visit one another during term time. I think I was pretty lucky – it’s a lovely city – I’m not sure Jack was quite as thrilled to visit me in sleepy, little Falmouth…

Back in August when making plans finally became a thing we could do, with the wedding being over (freeing up our weekends – yay!) I was keen to find a weekend to visit J’s awesome friends Malcolm and Kate and my uni buddies Charlotte and Andy. We saw them all at our wedding but didn’t get to catch up as much as we would’ve liked so we (I) got planning and found a date at the start of J’s half term when we could “pop” to Bath for a visit and a dinner out with them all.

One of my favourite meals out there in the past had been a Tapas place, and I found some great reviews for Olé Tapas which none of us had visited before, so we gave it a go.

It was delicious, I highly, highly recommend a visit if you are in the area. It is tiny, so you will need to book. But their veggie options were good, and the sangria went down a treat.

What would you get up to over a long weekend or if you’re a teacher, half term?

Trip to Lyme Regis for a…. wedding whoop whoop!!

Sooooo May is looking blog bleak! Sorry about that folks. I don’t know what happen. Got busy…?! Not busy. Lazy Laura!

A couple of weeks ago I took a brief / long trip to Lyme Regis for my lovely friends wedding reception and it was lovely! A massive, massive congrats to the newly married Mr and Mrs Fossey. I am so happy for them. The brief part is: we only stayed one night. The long part is: it took over 5 hours to get there in bank holiday traffic.

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 12.43.35 pmWe had a to hire a car, which put a spanner in the works, as I ended up being the only one legally allowed to drive. But the car hire was super cheap and the car was great (please can someone buy me a brand new ford focus? I’m in love)! From Thrifty Care Hire, but booked through rentalcars.com. There was a damage deposit of £150 that I didn’t know about when I collected the car, but I got that back pretty quick after dropping the car back.

We stayed at The Cobb Arms, in Lyme Regis, which though not beautiful, was so convenient for the wedding reception which was right next door, and right on the beach front so we had a gorgeous walk in the morning. Their breakfast was also hella hearty, definitely was not hungry on the drive home.

Full english please!
Full english please!

So I didn’t want to post too many pics of the reception, because we you know, they’re on my instagram anyway, but it’s not my day to share. It was so great to be able to celebrate with the newly weds and they had some lush lush eats. Posh pasties and meringues and it was all yum. And also… a lot of prosecco.

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How cute does it all look! And yep, there’s the lovely lovely bride : )

Had a great time and just sad we couldn’t stay longer. If you get a chance, check out Lyme Regis: it is beautiful!

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Wales, Wales, beautiful Wales

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Sunrise and sunset respectively in Morfa Nefyn.

 

If you ever find yourself in Morfa Nefyn, be sure to walk along the beach to the Ty Coch Inn, which was voted the 3rd best beach bar in the world.

Paris

The Olympic rings at St Pancras International

So it was just over a month ago that I disappeared off to Paris for a few days with J, and it was amazing.

I am so used to spending my holidays sunbathing with a book or in some secluded holiday home in the UK that going to a city for a few days was a completely unknown experience. I loved it!

On the first day there was a fair amount of train based time, but the Eurostar was very comfortable and quite quick, and we bought our ‘Carnet’ of metro tickets on board which was handy and they lasted us the whole time there.

Beehives in the Jardin du Luxembourg

Our hotel, Hotel Lenox Montparnasse, was only about 20 minutes from the Gare du Nord nr the Vavin metro stop and the area around it was quite quiet despite some of the reviews I had read. There was a really nice park ( Jardin du Luxembourg) nearby where we had our breakfast on two of the mornings.

The first afternoon we dumped our things and went for a wander about, with our trusty map. It was so very hot most people were sensibly chilling out of the hundreds of green chairs that were all over the park.

Note to Self: Cities are very hot in July. Pack more appropriately in the future!

Love Locks on the bridge

One of the first things I was excited to see, in true girly nature, was the famous bridge over the Seine that was completely covered in padlocks left by couples. The numbers were impressive to see and while we were there, there were more being added.

On the second day we went and added out own and had quite chilled out day, with not too much site seeing and more just getting our bearings and eating some “interesting” food.

On the third day we realised we had an awful lot to fit in and promptly headed to the Eiffel Tower to get started. When we arrived, we were greeted with a three hour long queue that snaked it’s way all the way down the road along the river. Thankfully someone in front of us mentioned that there might be a shorter queue for the stairs.

It was so much quicker, we only waited about 25 mins and it was cheaper! 3 Euros each ( boy did I feel  generous, having offered to pay for J months ago!)

The queue had got marginally smaller in the time we were up there.
It was a gorgeous day to take in the view.

Once we came down from the tower, I joined the longest queue in the world for the public toilets (go up in the tower, it’s much quicker!) And then we went and got tickets for a river cruise on the Seine. I do wish we had found a guided cruise with chat about the building we passed as it really was a bit of blur as to what was what.

After the river cruise we went and found a lush place for lunch beside the river and chilled out for the rest of the day, with a short stop to add our own padlock to the bridge.

The following day we had the Arc de Triomphe, the Champs Elysees, the Place de la Concorde, Notre Dame, Sacre-Coeur Basilica, and the Louvre  to get through.

That’s not quite the order that we wanted to visit them in but actually it worked out for the best I think. We started at the Arc de Triomphe fairly early, and then walked along the Champs Elysees (which is a very, very long road, don’t let it fool you) which brought us accidentally to the Place de la Concorde ( I hadn’t really noted where abouts in the city it was.

We walked through the Jardin des Tuileries towards the Louvre. I don’t think I had been more excited on the whole trip than I was as we approached it, only to realise there was a 2 hour queue in the midday sun. So instead of wasting precious time, we headed over to Notre Dame, the next closest place.

It was FREE to get into.

I wish we could have had a bird’s eye view while we were queuing to get in, because somehow the queue that had formed was in a spiral shape, with new people joining having to locate the centre and the walk outwards as though uncoiling.

Inside it seemed so distant from the noise of the city centre, as no speaking was permitted and people were wandering round silently, or lighting prayer candles, or listening to the service.

As nice a place as any for a spot of lunch.

After that we headed back to the gardens because we’d passed a cafe that looked like a likely spot for lunch. I had probably the largest Feta to salad ratio meal I ever wish to consume, but it was mighty tasty, if quite unhealthy.

Once we were fed and watered, we headed to the nearest metro station to head up to the Abbesses station,  which is one of the closest ones to the Sacre-Coeur Basilica. We headed in the right direction, after a small falling out over which was the right way( I was wrong). It seemed pretty quiet for an area that was home to one of the most popular tourist attractions in Paris, and as we got the the top of the hill we saw the beautiful church, and wandered inside, where a few other people were sitting quietly. After we had had a few quiet minutes ourselves we went to see the infamous view of the city and then realised the beautiful church that we had wandered into was not the Sacre-Coeur at all, but Saint-Pierre de Montmartre Eglise.

And the Sacre-Coeur looks more like this:

It was massive and had hundreds of people around it. Can’t believe we nearly missed it!

On the wander back towards the station, in the boiling heat, we hit up this ice-cream parlour, that had the lushest flavors.

I think the place was called Tutti Sensi Gelaterie.

 

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