Monday 29 February 2016

February Days

Sing it from the rooftops! February is over which means the arrival of daffodils, fluffy lambs and I'm pretty sure I can smell Easter eggs.

Here's what I've been up to in February on Instagram


Argh my hair!  I have such a mission with my hair - it's thin, dry and so frizzy making it almost impossible to manage.  It doesn't matter what products I use or how long I spend on it in the morning it always looks a mess.  So I absolutely love it when hair cut day arrives cos I get to spend a couple of days having fabulous hair.  This selfie of my fabulous hair was taken in the Topshop changing rooms where I was trying on a khaki coloured shirt dress that unfortunately stuck to all of my lumps and bumps and did not look good!

Cake Stories

I've been wanting to visit  Cake Stories in Jesmond for such a long time so when I met up with my friend Sarah for a cake date I knew the time had come for a visit.  We were very lucky to bag ourselves the last table and had a fantastic morning chatting over creamy lattes and eating huge chunks of cakes.   I was hoping to do a blog post about it, but the place was so busy it wasn't the right time to be pulling out a DSLR. I will return, you guys really do need to see Cake Stories!

New Slippers

Maybe to most people new slippers isn't that newsworthy but after tripping about the house in broken slippers for months I was very happy to get them into the bin and put my tooties in this cute new pair from Primark.   I love these guys, and I kinda want to give then names (all suggestions are welcome!)

Happy Birthday to the Botanist!

One of my favourite bars, the Botanist has recently celebrated its First Birthday so I decided it was only right to go and say happy birthday with a few drinks on a Saturday afternoon when the wet weather made it far too miserable to go and play outside.  I enjoyed two of my favourite tipples, the Rose Cosmo and the Passion fruit and Basil Crush.

Transformation Tuesday

This months "before and after" photo is probably one of my favourites.  I find it hard to believe that the two girls in the picture at the same person!   Chloe on the left is eating some ice-cream at Ranworth Broads back home in Norfolk and Chloe on the right is enjoying her first holiday abroad with her boyfriend having just been brave enough to have her first ever spray tan! 

The Dress

Wedding planning is still in full swing and I can't believe how much progress I've made over the last month.  I was back at the bridal shop a few weeks ago to get measured and I couldn't help but try my dress on again, it's been about 3 months since I last had it on and I love it just as much as the first time.  I honestly can't wait for Simon to see me, it's so hard not being able to tell him anything about it!

Sunshine on the Quayside

We had a few days of sunshine this month and I couldn't help but get excited about Summer.  The skies were blue and it was pretty warm in the sun.  I can't wait to make some plans now.

Up, Up and Away!

It's 7 months until our wedding and I'm so excited I'm finding it very hard to keep our plans to myself.  I don't think there'll be many surprises for anyone at our wedding, with the amount of gossip I'm spilling.   My latest obsession are the gorgeous balloons from Glitter Burst Balloons who are based here in the North East.  They create the most beautiful balloons for any occasion.   I'm in love with this one filled with feathers which is currently sitting in my bedroom.

Brunch at Blagdon Parlour

We love when people come and visit us, mostly because we get to show off the amazing food we have up here in the North East.  When Simon's friends were visiting from Manchester we were eating all weekend!  The highlight was breakfast at Blagdon Parlour, the pancake stack with berries is the most delicious start to the day.

For more adventures from New Girl in Toon make sure you're following me on Instagram!

Thursday 25 February 2016

Kirkley Hall Zoological Gardens

Last weekend was rather special.  Simon's "Best Woman", Jo (our wedding packs a serious amount of Girl Power!) came over from Manchester for a visit with her daughter Faith.  Since moving to Newcastle Simon's barely got to spend any time with his friends and each time we head back to the North West the weekend passes in a blur without us being able to spend any proper time with anyone.  So to have Jo and Faith stay with us pre wedding was very exciting.

Unfortunately Simon and I are a little out of touch with how to entertain children and we did worry a little about keeping 10 year old Faith entertained.  We spent a good while thinking about what  we could do and then I remembered I'd been wanting to visit Kirkley Hall Zoo for a long time.  Taking advantage of our weekend car hire we decided it was the perfect plan.

Kirkley Hall Zoological Gardens is just 8 miles north of Newcastle yet has all the tranquility of the Northumberland countryside.  Sitting on the bank of the River Blyth and a stones throw away from the gorgeous Grade II listed Kirkley Hall it's a beautiful place for a family outing.

It was a particularly cold day with a pretty biting wind so we were glad we'd bundled up in our warmest Winter coats.   We were handed a map with our entrance tickets which I immediately handed to Simon, I am useless at map reading and have been known to get us lost on more than one occasion.   Unfortunately maps and gusts of wind don't really work well together so it wasn't long before we decided to forget the map and just find our own way round.

Kirkley Hall Zoo is small enough to make it easy to manage with or without a map.  There were plenty of signs everywhere letting us know which direction to adventure in as well as plenty of information boards introducing us to the animals.

Our first stop was to say hello to the Bush Dogs.  Originating from South America we were all completely smitten with the cute furries who looked a bit like tiny bears crossed with otters.  We spent ages watching them and were enjoying ourselves so much we almost forgot the cold, until I was suddenly aware that my feet were beginning to go a little numb.

Luckily there were quite a few indoor enclosures at the zoo, perfect for hiding away from the British weather.  We took shelter in the Walk of Life, a fantastic collection of snakes, spiders, lizards and miniature monkeys.

Faith was completely taken with the ghekko and spent a good long while sitting on the floor with her eyes fixed on the glass.  Simon and I were thrilled to see her looking so happy and enjoying herself.

My favourites were the monkeys who were having a great time swinging about in their enclosures.  I could have watched them for hours, they're such little characters.

Once we'd warmed up we headed back outside to enjoy the Emus, Pygmy Goats and Reindeer before stumbling across the picnic area that had a rather fine collection of peacocks.  I love peacocks although am a little wary of them after I got chased by one as a child (something my family still like to laugh about all these years later!)  We were very lucky and a beautiful white peacock showed us its tail feathers which made my day.

My favourite part of a zoo when I was younger was always the petting barn, getting to play with animals that I wasn't allowed to have at home was always such a treat.  Kirkley Hall has the PETALZ petting barn with guinea pigs, rabbits and donkeys.

We visited during an "Animal Encounter" so there was a keeper in the Barn with a guinea pig for the kids to stroke.  Luckily for me I managed to get a cheeky little stroke myself when there were no kids waiting.  The keeper was happy to chat to us about the animals in the barn, although I'm not sure I'll be taking his advice of getting myself a pet rat!

There were plenty of Animal Encounters throughout the day including Ring Tailed Lemur  Feeding and Meet the Meerkats.

Simon and I are keen fish watchers (is that a thing?) we just find them so relaxing.  Kirkley Hall Zoo has an Aquatic centre full of colourful fish.  I was straight over to the Clown Fish.  Nemo!  Is it just me who feels a bit starstruck every time I see one?  I'm sure it's the closest I'll ever get to seeing a movie star.
There are a few bits of the zoo that are currently undergoing construction including the Outback experience, which allows you to walk amongst the wallabies and kookaburra.  Unfortunately it was shut when we were there but it looks brilliant so a definite incentive to return.

One of the things we really loved about Kirkley Zoo was that it was small enough to easily explore without getting tired legs.  Perfect for younger kids!   There was also plenty of open space which Faith particularly loved as it gave her extra room to swing poor Uncle Simon around.

After an enjoyable few hours walking round the Zoo the cold was beginning to get a little much for us so we decided to head to the Orangery tea room for a much needed sit down.  It was a little busy with loads of families sheltering from the Winter wind but we were lucky to nab the last table and it was hot chocolates all round to warm up.

With the feeling returning to our hands and feet it was time to leave Kirkley Hall Zoo so we bundled back into the car and spent our entire journey home discussing our favourite parts and animals.  It seems the zoo was a great success and Faith had had a great time.

It wasn't till I was reading through the map that evening that I realised we'd actually missed out on exploring more of the grounds at Kirkely Hall.  There's a walled garden and a river and forest trail to enjoy. 

A great reason to return and a lesson on why we should study the map before leaving somewhere!


Monday 22 February 2016

Hinnies; Home of Geordie Comfort Food

I'm starting this post with a bit of a confession.  I was recently invited to new restaurant Hinnies, but I had absolutely no idea what "hinnies" meant and had never heard the word before.  I may have lived in the North East for a few years now but I learn new Geordie sayings and words every week, reminding me that I am still very much the "New Girl in Toon".  Luckily I've made myself some great Geordie friends who are my tutors in my quest to learn the lingo of my new home.  So I can tell you that "hinny" is a term of endearment, a little bit like "honey".

Geordie slang lesson over, I'm actually here to tell you about new restaurant Hinnies that has just opened in Whitley Bay.  Hinnies promotes everything that I look for in a restaurant - a relaxed, warm and friendly experience and a menu of hearty Geordie influenced classics using local and seasonal produce.  My idea of the perfect comfort food.

If there's one thing I love in the Winter its a belly full of warm food so I headed to the coast with my friend Sam for an evening of fresh sea air, gossip and some delicious food.

Walking into Hinnies we immediately both commented on how lovely it was to see a restaurant so busy on a Wednesday evening.  It seems that the restaurant is already a roaring success and it's no surprise.  It's been a decade since owner, Andy Hook (who also owns Newcastle's Blackfriars Restaurant) sold his first restaurant, Sidney's in Tynemouth and locals have clearly been waiting for his return to the coast.

This time Andy has set up home on Whitley Bay's seafront which is currently part of an exciting £32 million redevelopment.  Having seen lots in the local press about the plans for Whitley Bay, I'm very excited about the future of the seaside town.

The interior of Hinnies is warm and comfortable with a beautiful coastal colour theme of warm natural wood features mixed with a range of vintage furniture and fittings.  We were interested to learn that most of the things round us were recycled including the tables, chairs, booths, light fitting and front bar - even the cutlery!

I'd spent most of my day eagerly studying the Weekday Dinner Menu, not that it helped with my decision making.  It's not often you find a menu that's crammed full of so many delicious sounding dishes that you want one of everything.  The Weekday Dinner Menu is available from Tuesday to Saturday and is a very reasonable £12 for two courses or £15 for three courses if you dine between 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm.

If you're a fan of Blackfriars you'll be excited to hear that Hinnies showcases Blackfriar's best-selling dishes over the last 10 years, but with more of a Geordie twist.  North East coast creamy crab soup, Slow-roasted belly pork with pease pudding and Creme brûlée served with Tynemouth Garibaldis are just some of the locally inspired treats you can order.

There was a generous choice of 9 dishes on the Starter Menu plus some amazing sounding Specials.  I ordered the Foraged mushrooms on toast with poached hens' egg.

It was absolutely beautiful, I was quick to pop the egg wanting the full delicious experience of the yolk with the mushrooms.  Heaven!

Wanting to warm herself up after our brisk walk in the night time sea air Sam decided to order the Special - Cauliflower soup.  I was a little jealous watching her eat the soup, it looked really thick and warming, the perfect dish to order after a seaside stroll.

For the Main Course I decided to order a local dish that I hadn't had a chance to try before.  Pan Haggerty served with greens, poached hens' egg and mustard cream.  For those of you who aren't from the North East, Pan Haggerty is a delicious combination of potatoes, onions and cheese and I can't believe I hadn't tried it before.  I really loved it and am very pleased I can now tick it off my Geordie list.

Sam ordered the Newcastle Brown Ale slow-cooked beef with horseradish dumplings.  Now we all know that I'm guilty of stealing food off my boyfriend's plate but I tend not to wave my fork in the direction of a friend's food.  But I couldn't help but get slightly crazy food eyes watching Sam tuck into her meal.  The beef looked absolutely beautiful and sensing my interest Sam very kindly offered me some to try.   Wow!  I don't think I've ever had beef so tender.  I'll definitely be ordering the beef next time I visit Hinnies.

By this point we were pretty full but it's not often I can turn down pudding, especially when the menu is full of some of my favourites.  I was very tempted by another local dish and the restaurant's name inspiration "Singin Hinnies" but in the end opted for the Sticky toffee pudding with salted caramel sauce and banana ice-cream.

I was a little disappointed that the ice-cream ended up being a vanilla flavour rather than banana but all was forgiven as soon as I took a spoonful of the pudding, it was love at first bite! 

Sam ordered a perfect Winter warmer with the Spiced apple crumble and custard.  The jug was more than generous and she was pouring lashing of delicious hot custard all over her pudding.  It looked amazing.

We loved our first experience of Hinnies - the atmosphere, food and people were all fantastic and we both agreed that we'd make plans to return with our other halves.  

Its not all about Dinner at Hinnies it's also a great spot for Lunch and has a rather epic Weekend Brunch menu including some tasty sounding breakfast dishes that are served between 9:00 am and 12:00 pm.  Personally I have my beady eye on the Corned beef hash, Eggy bread and Poached eggs.  If you have kids to keep entertained then the "Wor Bairns Scran" (that's Geordie for "food for your kids", incase you didn't know) looks great fun with make your own pizzas and decorate your own ice-cream.

As for me?  I'll definitely be returning to Hinnies, probably for some Weekend Brunch, and I'm pretty sure there's some Singing Hinnies with my name on!

Thursday 18 February 2016

Sunday Lunch at The Bottle Shop Bar and Kitchen

Is there a better way to end the weekend than with a roast?  Especially if it involves heading into Newcastle to try somewhere new.  Last weekend we were invited to try Sunday lunch at the recently opened Bottle Shop Bar and Kitchen.

The Bottle Shop is somewhere we've been wanting to visit for a while, the craft beer hotspot has been high on my list ever since its opening last year.  The bar offers beers from around the world with 12 draft lines and more than 40 bottled beers.  If you prefer beer from somewhere a little closer to home local favourite Wylam Brewery is also served on tap.

If that wasn't enough to tempt you, the food at Bottle Shop Bar is also something to shout about.  Head Chef, Matthew Stephenson, sources local, seasonal produce to create a mouth watering menu that changes daily.  Hot roast sandwiches, pies, crumbles and treacle tart are just some of the treats that you can expect if you visit.

Stepping into the busy Bottle Shop on Sunday, we were glad to escape the pretty horrible Wintery conditions outside and were more than ready to make our way straight to the bar.  The blackboards showed off an extensive range of beers, the largest we've ever seen in Newcastle, and slightly overwhelming at first glance. 

Simon realised pretty quickly he'd never be able to reach a decision easily so asked the barman for help who recommended a bottle of Cloudwater, a modern Hopfen Weisse, based on Simon's love of Belgian Beer.

I'll admit I'm not a big fan of beer, but was happy to try a little sample of Omnipollo Raspberry Gose that the Bottle Shop currently have on tap.  I have to say it was deliciously fruity and went down a treat, the perfect beer for people like me who aren't too sure about beer.  We were really impressed with how friendly the bar staff were and how they offer little samples if you're not sure about your choices.  Brilliant!

Grabbing our drinks I was keen to have a little nose round.  The Bottle Shop has a great industrial feel to it with lots of wood and metal and an amazing graffiti quote from JRR Tolkien created by Sunderland based artist Frank Syles, spread across the back wall.

A range of events including pop up food, markets and live music are all being planned and next month a comedy night is set to take place.  On 2 March the Bottleshop's first comedy gig will see an impressive lineup of award-winning comedians.  Steve Bygeha will be headlining and bringing his Edinburgh Festival show to Newcastle.   The show starts at 7:30 pm and tickets cost £5 per person from here.

I particularly loved the little comfy area of Chesterfield sofa and armchairs perfect for chilling out with some beers.  Simon is already planning to take a few of his mates from Manchester out for some Bottleshop beers pre-wedding. 

We loved what we'd seen so far and were keen to get feasting on a roast.  The Sunday Lunch menu at Bottleshop is a great bargain with one course for £9, two for £14 or three for £17.  Keen to get to the main event we decided to skip starters and headed straight for the roast.

I chose the Rosemary Chicken Breast and Simon opted for the Roasted Sirloin of Beef.  Both lunches were served with all the trimmings - giant Yorkshire puddings, honey roasted parsnips, beetroot (an unexpected extra that we both loved!), beautifully crispy roast potatoes and plenty of veg.

I don't know about you but I like my roast completely covered in gravy and at the Bottle Shop they really do understand how important gravy is, serving it in a massive jug with the promise of more if we needed it.

I completely swamped my lunch in gravy and there was more than enough left for Simon.

Now, I hope you're all sitting down for this.  We couldn't manage dessert!  Crazy I know!  Our roast lunches were so filling we were completely stuffed and more than ready for a nap.  Ah well, a great excuse to return another time!

We both really enjoyed our lazy Sunday lunch at Bottle Shop Bar and have added it to our little list of special places to show off to visiting mates. 

So make sure you try the Bottle Shop next time you're heading into Toon for a roast.  I'd love to know any places you've enjoyed a roast lunch - where should we try next?

Monday 15 February 2016

A Lighter Start to the Year

Winter is not my favourite time of the year.  I'm sure I've mentioned it on the blog a few times before, I definitely struggle to stay happy and positive in the darker months and tend to waste the first few weeks of the year wishing my life away counting down the weeks until March.

So when Mini Baybel Light told me about their campaign for a lighter start to the year I was eager to get involved.  They've done some pretty interesting research with surprising results.  Most of us are feeling pretty positive at the start of 2016 with only 26% of Brits feeling negative about the Winter months. They've also enlisted the help of TV personality Stacey Solomon to help spread the word by encouraging commuters in London to pogo stick to work .

I'm not sure I'll be jumping on my pogo stick any time soon, but here are a few little steps I've taken at the start of 2016 to try and make my year a positive one.

Being a tourist in my home

I'm a huge promoter of people enjoying and exploring their home.   I've been on the Norwich Tour Bus despite it being my home for 27 years and when I lived in London I once got up very early on a Saturday to go to Buckingham Palace to watch the changing of the guard - I was the only Brit in a sea of tourists.  Appreciating the little things on your own doorstep is a great way to get out in the fresh air and make you realise how lucky you are.  I'm looking forward to planning more adventures in Northumberland this year.

Trying something new

I'm a self confessed wuss so it's not often you'll find me being brave and stepping out of my comfort zone, but this year I have taken the plunge.  For years now I've been wanting to try out different ways to keep fit and have been very curious about trying an exercise class but memories of being bullied at school and hating PE put me off.  When my friend Lisa suggested trying out a local Clubbercise class I nervously agreed and I'm so glad that I did.  I love dancing about in the dark with glow sticks and it feels great to have something new in my life at the start of the year.

Write a Bucket List

We all have things we've always wanted to do, but have you made the time to make them into a list? Giving yourself things to look forward to is a great way to stay positive in the Winter months and creating a bucket list is a great way to plan your ideas.  Bucket lists can be as elaborate or as simple as you like - from flying in a helicopter to learning to knit, it's up to you!  Mine is always full of places I want to visit, not only overseas but also in my own neighbourhood.

Pay a compliment

Who doesn't love getting a compliment?  It may sound like a cliché but if you make someone smile it tends to give you a warm fuzzy feeling inside that never fails to make you feel happy.  I've been trying my hardest to compliment my friends if I like their outfits and thanking businesses who've given me fantastic service.

Look up

We're all guilty of burying our heads in our phones, you only have to look round a restaurant to see that most people are more interested in their phones than who they are eating with.  Make it your goal to put your phone away and give the people in your life your full attention.  With your nose constantly buried in your phone you miss out on so many things.  I try to keep my phone in my bag when I'm out for dinner and keep it well out of reach if I'm out with friends.

Get plenty of sleep

I love sleep!  Getting a good solid amount of sleep a night will always make you feel happy.  It's a lot easier to find the positive in life when you're feeling wellrested.  It can be hard to get an early night but I do my best to start prepping for bed a lot earlier than I used to and I can feel the benefits in my overall attitude to daily life.

Event planning

One of the biggest joys in my life right now is planning my wedding.  Organising our big day is helping me so much with my Winter blues this year and it's a great way to keep myself feeling happy.  Why not keep yourself busy by volunteering to plan a friend's hen do, your sisters birthday party, a baby shower or a Mothers Day surprise?

Watch a sunrise or sunset

One of my favourite things to do on a clear day is a watch a gorgeous sunrise or sunset.  Finding yourself a beautiful spot to watch the sky turn gorgeous pinks and oranges is a great way to put life in perspective.

Let me know if you have any tips of your own to staying happier in the darker months and giving yourself a more positive 2016.

This post has been sponsored by Mini Baybel Light


Friday 12 February 2016

The most Romantic Dates in the North East

Welcome back to my monthly guides to the North East.  If you missed last months guide, then make sure you check out my guide to the Best Afternoon Teas in Newcastle

As we're fast approaching Valentines Day I thought that for February's guide I would share my tips for the most romantic dates in the North East.

These ideas aren't specific to Valentines Day and can be enjoyed all year round, don't forget that love and romance isn't just for 14 February!

A Coastal Walk at Tynemouth

Simon and I love the walk from Tynemouth to Whitley Bay.  The stretch of coastline is gorgeous and there are some wonderful cafes and restaurants to enjoy along the way.  Our top tip would be to have brunch at Dil and the Bear before a very slow amble along the seafront to Cullercoats where all that fresh air and exercise will definitely justify an ice-cream at Beaches and Cream.  For the ultimate romantic date ask for one spoon and share a mammoth sundae.

See the stars at Kielder Observatory

This is something we haven't done ourselves yet but it's high on our wish list and I think it would be perfect for a romantic date night.  The Kielder Observatory hosts events all year round including Aurora Night where you have a chance to see the famous northern lights.  Snuggle up in blankets, drink hot chocolate and spend your evening gazing at the stars with your love.

Have dinner in a tree house

Another thing on my wish list that we're yet to do is have dinner at the Alnwick Garden Tree House.  Dining up in the trees, sitting by a roaring fire and surrounded by twinkling fairy lights sounds so romantic and I imagine that eating here is pretty special.

An overnight stay in Northumberland at St Mary's Inn

Don't worry if you can't afford to whisk your love away to Paris, who needs to go abroad when we have beautiful countryside hotels right on our doorstep.  St Mary's Inn in Stannington serve delicious local produce, have plenty of romantic fireplaces to sit by and the  most gorgeous rooms to stay in. Surprise your other half with a countryside staycation and you'll be scoring yourself a serious amount of brownie points.

Spa Day at the Garage

Something else we haven't done yet, but we have just booked ourselves in for my birthday next month and to say I'm excited would be an understatement.   The Garage Spa is a luxurious rural spa hidden away in Couty Durham.  Relax in the Shepherds Hut Log Sauna, discover the outside hot tub in the Secret Garden and when it all gets too much book yourself a treatment and enjoy some lunch.

Afternoon Tea at the Running Fox in Felton

It's not only Newcastle where you'll find amazing afternoon teas!  The Running Fox at Felton have one of the best afternoon teas in the North East, making it a great place for romance.  With the freedom to create your own cake stand you can pick your own sandwich fillings, select what quiche and pie you want and even choose which cakes to enjoy

Hire a private chef

Unfortunately we've not all been blessed with natural talents in the kitchen so if the thought of preparing a romantic dinner for your date leaves you feeling a bit stressed then why not hire a private chef to do the hard work for you?  Paul's Private Dining offers a bespoke service to create the perfect evening of your dreams. You may think that having a private chef for the evening would be very expensive but Paul's prices are no more than enjoying a slap up meal in the Toon, not only that but he'll even do most of the washing up for you!

Stay in a fancy suite at the Vermont Aparthotel

It's my dream to stay in every luxury hotel in Newcastle, so far I've only made it to Jesmond Dene House so I really do need to work harder!   The Vermont Aparthotel on Newcastle's Quayside gives you a little taste of luxurious city living and is a great place to play "dream home". 

Cruise the Farne Islands

Yet another thing that's still on the list. Explore the Farne Islands on Serenity and see the puffins and seals.  For the ultimate romantic date sunset cruises depart from May until September, where you can watch the sunset behind the beautiful Bamburgh Castle. 

Eat Lunch in the Cheese Loft

I think Simon may take some convincing before he agrees with me that cheese is romantic, he really doesn't get my obsession with it.  I'm dying to take a trip to the Northumberland Cheese Company and enjoy one of their tours.  Doing something different with your other half is a great way to spend a romantic date and I think learning how to make cheese followed by a feast in the Cheese Loft would be a fantastic way to spend a day.

Glamping at Druridge Bay

Not the best idea for the Winter months, but definitely something to save for the Summer.  The Bells of Hemscott offer wild glamping and camping experiences, perfect for a romantic weekend away with your partner.    Simon and I stayed in the Shepherds Hut last year and loved the experience.  If camping isn't your thing then you'll probably enjoy a stay in the beautiful Poppy Cottage or, perhaps the most exciting news I've heard so far this year, the Bells of Hemscott now have alpacas! I am going to start seriously dropping some hints to Simon about going alpaca walking this year!

Let me know if you have any other ideas for romantic dates in the  North East, I'd love to add some more ideas to my list.

Wednesday 10 February 2016

My Holiday WIshlist

Simon and I haven't been on a proper holiday for 3 years!  Needing to dedicate ourselves fully to buying our first house and budgeting for our wedding hasn't left many spare pennies for overseas holidays.

Obviously we are hoping to make up for it later this year with a well deserved Honeymoon, but before we start planning that I can't help but dream a little about maybe booking a last minute holiday somewhere hot and sunny for some much needed rest and relaxation before the wedding takes over.

I've not really done much travelling at all with Simon, in fact we've only been abroad together once, when we made a trip to Rhodes in 2013 so we really do have some catching up to do. 

I love this list of the world's most romantic destinations but I also have my heart set on taking Simon to some of the places I've already travelled to.


I went on a fantastic adventure to Australia with my friend Sarah 9 years ago (where did that time go?).  We visited my half sister in Melbourne before moving on to Sydney.  Flying to the other side of the world was a dream and is something I'd love to share with Simon one day.  I'd love to take him to Phillip Island to see the famous penguin parade, fly over the Twelve Apostles in a helicopter and I know he'd love the Sydney Harbour Bridge climb.


One of the most romantic countries in the world, I loved exploring Rome, Florence, Pisa and Venice and I'd love to go back.  Simon would enjoy the pizza and gelato (it just doesn't taste the same anywhere else in the world), and I'd love to take a gondola ride with him in Venice.  Could a holiday be any more romantic?


Paris, the city of love and somewhere that I loved visiting when I went a few years ago. The delicious food and gorgeous architecture made me feel like I was travelling around inside a painting, it was just so picture perfect. 

Los Angeles

I've been to America twice and both visits were to LA.  In a way I feel like I have "been there, done that" but I know that Simon would love exploring the TV sets, experiencing the American culture and eating loads of burgers.  I'm pretty sure if I asked him, LA would be top of his destination list.

Heads out of the clouds and back to reality!  Where should we go on our last minute holiday?
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