Panini Durini Milan Coffee Shop

We came across Panini Durini on Instagram before we visited Milan. The coffee cups they use caught our eye and we knew straight away that we would have to visit (anything for that Instagram shot right?).

We walked into the city on our first day and headed straight to the Duomo di Milano There were so many pigeons flying around (people hand out bird feed) that we left pretty swiftly as Rach has a fear of birds! We decided it was time for a morning coffee, we googled mapped Panini Durini (what would we do without google maps) and we realised it was just a 5 minute walk from the Duomo di Milano so we headed there!

It was such a cute coffee shop and the coffee was SO cheap! We actually couldn’t believe our ears when we heard the price of our coffees, they were just 2 euros 60! WOW we wouldnt even be able to get one coffee for that price in the U.K!

We didn’t actually realise that Panini Durini was a chain, we kept coming across them throughout Milan and since coming back we have done a bit of research! There are a total of 18 coffee shops in Milano, we didn’t see them all but once we had spotted a couple we kept seeing them!

Panini Durini reminded us of Gails, it is a chain but is isn’t nearly as big as some of the other high street chains.

They sell Panini’s of course, which looked absolutely delicious, we didnt try them as it was the morning and we hadn’t long had breakfast!

Rach went for a cappuccino with Soya Milk which cost 1 euro 50 and Annie had an Americano which was just 1 euro 10 cent! Remember if you order a ‘cafe’ in Italy you will be given an espresso!

We asked the lady behind the counter for one of each of the cups as we wanted to photograph both of them LOL! We loved the one that said ‘I drink good coffee’! The tropical cup was also really pretty so we had to get a shot of both of them of course!

We sat outside as it was a lovely fresh November morning, but there was also plenty of seating inside.

If you visit Milian we would definitely recommend you visit Panini Durini, the coffee is cheap and the taste is absolutely delicious… what more could you want?

Transport From Milan Airport to the City

We arrived in Milan Malpensa Airport at around 11pm on Friday evening, we had planned to get an Uber from the airport to our hotel in the city centre like we do in most cities we visit! We opened our Uber app and put in our hotels destination in and we were so shocked to see that it was going to cost us 120 euros! Our hotel was only 27 miles away from the Airport and we couldn’t believe it was going to be that expensive.

I had a look on google and saw that there was a 90 euro flat rate from Malpensa Airport into the City Centre so knew there would be no point in getting a taxi from the taxi rink as well. We knew there must be other ways of getting to our hotel, but it was late so we were worried this would be out only option!

We decided to take a gamble and once we had got through passport control we headed to the train station. We looked the station destinations and realised that we could hop on the train and get into the city centre for just 13 euros per person bargain! You use the red line from Milano Malpensa to Milano Cadorna, its an express train!

From the Station Milano Cadorna it was going to cost us just 12 euros in an Uber to get to our final destination. So this worked out to be just 38 Euros as opposed to 120!

It actually cost us even less as we realised we didn’t have to go into the city centre we could get off a couple of stop beforehand!

We had planned to do the same journey on our return to the airport but we spoke to the staff at our hotel and they advised us to get the Airport express bus to the Malpensa as it was quick and only cost 8 euros. Rach used her excellent maps skills and we walked 10 minutes to the bus stop and hopped on the bus.

We are so glad we decided to not just get an Uber due to convenience and instead save ourselves a bit of money for more food and drink during our trip! In future we will definitely be doing a little bit more research so we can be much more prepared!

No1 Lounge Gatwick Airport

Airport lounges are simply the best way to start your holiday! If you have never visited an airport lounge before your holiday for whatever reason then hopefully after reading this post you may just change your mind. For the past couple of years we have been converted! We almost always book the airport lounge unless we have a ridiculously early flight or we are rushing from work and just don’t have the time.

No1 Lounges are open daily from 4am to 10pm costing £32 online and £40 on the door. We think this is a great value and we would definitely spend a similar amount on food and drink (less of it) if we were in the departure lounges.

You can use the lounge three hours prior to your flight time which we made sure we made the most of. We arrived at the airport extra early as we don’t like feeling stressed or rushed. No1 Lounges gives you access to premium security as well which is a nice little bonus, once we have made our way through security at a nice leisurely pace we then make our way to the lounge where we were able to relax for the next few hours.

The No1 lounge has a fully tended bar offering a wide selection of beverages including sparkling wine, bottled beers and spirits. We both enjoyed a glass or two or prosecco before moving onto the red wine which was a delicious Malbec!

There are also plenty of soft drinks, fizzy drinks can be enjoyed from a self serve machine or there are is flavoured water and iced tea too.

No1 Lounges have a fresh seasonal menu, you are able to help yourself to the self-service food selection.

Breakfast is served before 11AM they offer Bacon Rolls, Beans on Toast, Toasts and preserves and baked vegetables which are all made to order. On the self-serve there is porridge, croissants, Greek yoghurt, cereals and fruit salad.

We arrived at the lounge after 11AM so there was a selection of meals to choose from including, macaroni cheese, soup, lentil Shepard’s pie and much more.

On the self-serve counter there were a selection of bar snacks including cakes, nuts, soup and salad- so much choice!

On arrival we both opted for a glass of prosecco and then scooped the bar snacks from the jar into cute little dishes whilst we did some blog admin on our laptops.

Rach went for the macaroni cheese and bean sausage stew with a side of salad! It was really tasty especially the macaroni cheese as it had mustard in the mix! We did say that it would have been nice to have had a Caesar dressing instead of just balsamic! Annie had the macaroni as well but also tried to lentil shepherds pie which was really flavoursome! We both also shared a bowl of new potatoes that were cooked to perfection and sprinkled in sea salt!

We finished our meal with a selection of desserts! The carrot cake was absolutely delicious and so moist we were really impressed! If we hadn’t of eaten so much before hand we definitely would have gone back for me! There was also a selection of fresh fruit as well!

The lounge also has Runway Views, which we loved! We sat watching the plans wondering where each of them were flying to! We love doing this, we have a fascination with planes, does anyone else use the app when they are out and about to look at where are plane is travelling to?

There is also unlimited Wi-Fi, which was great as we both had a bit of work to do! Rach also managed to upload our YouTube video winning! They also have a selection of magazines on offer- Mens Fitness was our magazine of choice as they didn’t have women’s health!

The toilets are lovely and have L’Occitaine soap which smells divine- we love a good smelling soap!

The dress code is smart casual so make sure you don’t turn up in leggings and trainers as they could turn you away, if you want to be comfortable on your flight just change in the toilets before you leave.

So the next time you are going on holiday or for a weekend away make sure you book the lounge and if it’s Gatwick then it has to be No1 lounge!

Natural Wonders Bucket List

We have put together a natural wonders bucket list that will give you all those wanderlust feels. There are so many beautiful places to choose from and we hope we get the chance to visit each and every one of them. There are so many wonderful sights from crystal caves to magnificent waterfalls, lakes and mud volcanoes that have made rock formations that look like a work of art.

Mud Volcanoes, Gobustan, Azerbaijan
The mud volcanoes are Just 65 kilometres south of Azerbaijan’s capital Baku, we have heard the mud volcanoes of Gobustan have a strangely Martian landscape appearance. Small volcanoes that still throw out some mud, which is thought to have medicinal qualities apparently you will see people stripping down and smothering themselves with it.

Pembrokeshire Coastal Path National Trail, Wales, UK
Situated in southwest Wales, this path twists for 300 kilometres from St. Dogmaels to Amroth. The weather is not always good (as expected), but rumour has it on a sunny day, it is one of the most beautiful places you will find on your travels. You can join the trail in different locations, and if you are lucky you might even see seals in the waters below. There are also guided walks if you prefer to be with someone who knows the trail well.

Great Barrier Reef, Australia
The Great Barrier Reef in Australia has some of the most stunning views trust us! The sea life and coral is just stunning and something everyone has to see once in their life. Some of the Great Barrier Reef tours from Cairns offer glass-bottomed boats, which will let you see even more. They also give you the chance for snorkelling and diving as part of your trip which I (Rach) did when I travelled Australia and it was INCREDIBLE!

Verdon Gorge, Provence, France
Verdon Gorge is known for being one of Europe’s most beautiful gorges. We really want to swim in the clear blue waters of the Verdon River that flows through for 25 kilometres. It is also meant to be a popular destination for rock climbers if that takes your fancy.

Ayers Rock, Australia

This is probably ones of Australia best-known landmarks.  To the aboriginal Anangu custodians, it is a sacred place and climbing it is considered to be disrespectful to them. It is also dangerous but viewed from as close as you are safe to go, it is a truly amazing sight.

Angel Falls, Venezuela
This waterfall cascades from the largest tabletop mountain in Venezuela and is the highest waterfall in the world. It is located in a remote jungle, which you can only reach by plane. The local people work as guides so that you can see how most of the water evaporates on its way down and never reaches the bottom.

Cascate del Mulino, Saturnia, Tuscany, Italy
The waters that come from the natural springs have a temperature of about 37.5 C, and they run down as a series of small waterfalls to different levels. It is said that a 10 minutes soak in these mineral waters will help to relieve the discomfort of many ailments, including muscle and joint aches and pains!

Iguazu falls, Argentina
Located in Argentina, these falls are simply stunning that they have to be on our bucket list. Just look up images and you’ll want to head there tomorrow. These are the largest waterfalls in the world so are pretty impressive.

Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada
With the bluest waters ever seen you must add Moraine Lake to your bucket list. Trust us you will want to sit and stare at this lake for hours. You can also hire a canoe and really impress your friends with incredible pictures. Whilst you’re here find some time to visit Lake Louise and walk to Big Beehive for incredible views. There is so much to see in Banff National Park, just keep a look out for bears!

These are just a few of the places that you should consider including on your natural wonders bucket list. Every country in the world has amazing sights somewhere in them; it is just a case of finding the ones you want to see!

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The Spa at Lochgreen House Hotel

Lochgreen spa is a 5 Star hotel located in Ayrshire in Scotland. If you are looking for a luxury place to stay during your visit to Ayrshire then Lochgreen is your answer.

During our visit to Ayrshire we were lucky enough to visit Lochgreen spa!

Lochgreen Spa opened last year and is the perfect place to visit, it will certainly allow you to rebalance and relax without having a care in the world. There offer a number of different calming treatments including soothing massages, signature facials and luxurious body wraps. They also have a beauty salon which offers manicures, pedicures, make up and hair styling services.

Wow, where do we start here! We had the most relaxing time at the spa at Lochgreen and we are actually started writing this post as we chilled with a glass of prosecco in hand looking out at the stunning views of the Sea, If you don’t believe us, check out the picture below!

When we arrived we were welcomed by the loveliest lady called Kimberley who took us to the changing rooms where there was a robe and slippers in a locker.

She asked us if we would like to sit in the jacuzzi before our treatment and of course we jumped at the chance. Kimberley said she would fill up the jacuzzi for us whilst we got changed. Before doing anything we completed the consultation form and were given a glass of infused water (which was so refreshing and delicious!). We were then taken to the spa room which had 2 massage beds set up and the jacuzzi.

We enjoyed 25 minutes in the jacuzzi before getting ready for our back, shoulder and neck message and of course we had to take a few cheeky photos!

This 25 minute massage was incredible. Rach has been for many a massage and it was definitely the best one yet. Often the massoose doesn’t give enough pressure but this time it was perfect and you could really feel all the knots being pushed out. Annie is ticklish so was worried about it, however it wasn’t ticklish in the slightest!

We both felt so zen after our massage, we were given a few moments to chill before putting our robes back on and we were then taken to the relaxation room. Like we mentioned previously we were handed a glass of prosecco and some handmade chocolate which were divine. The views from the relaxation room are stunning!

The staff at Lochgreen we’re incredibly attentive and made sure we had everything we needed. They made us feel really special and really wanted to make sure we had the best time we possibly could. It came totally natural to them and you could tell they really enjoyed their job.

We sat and chilled for a good length of time and if the weather hadn’t of been so nice outside we could have stayed there all day. The grounds of Lochgreen were beautiful and we just had to get outside and explore (you know us)!

We had a nosy around the spa and we noticed there was a nail parlour and make up area. Lochgreen hosts many weddings so this would be an added bonus if you had booked to get married at the venue. Imagine being able to have a massage the evening before your wedding! (There is also a bridal package available). We also spotted there were champagne glass holders next to the dressing tables which were so cool (see photo below).

We made our way down to the hotel reception where we were introduced to some of the staff. We then made our way outside and spotted the tables outside the front of the house which we sat at for a couple of hours taking in the atmosphere and the beautiful surroundings, it was just so peaceful!

Lochgreen spa was absolutely stunning, and from what we could see from the hotel it definitely deserves the 5* award. We would love to return to do a full review of the hotel and the food they serve. We had a nosy in one of the restaurants and the food looked absolutely incredible.

There honestly isn’t anything we could fault about our experience at Lochgreen it was just the perfect way to end our weekend.

6 Things to do in Dublin

If you had to make a bucket list of things to do in Dublin before you die, what would you choose? Here are a few suggestions of some of the most popular excursions, and some that are more off the beaten track.

Kilmainham Gaol Museum
This is one of the largest unoccupied prisons in Europe and it has a history stretching back more than 200 years. It is said to be haunted by the ghosts of prisoners, but if you can stand the chill we have heard it’s well worth making the tour. It has been used several times as a movie location as well which is pretty cool.

Experience The Bars
The nightlife of Dublin is something not to be missed. There are bars and restaurants all over the city. Live music is played in many of them which is incredible! We actually came across an amazing band when we visited Dublin called Keywest, they were busking in the Street. Since then we have been to see them play in London. The atmosphere around the Temple Bar area is incredible.

We stayed in this hotel when we visited- https://www.maldronhotelpearsestreet.com/ in Pearse Street, they also put on a delicious breakfast! YUM.

Watch An All Ireland Final At Croke Park
Croke Park stadium is one of the largest in Europe with a capacity for 82,300 spectators WOW. It is very easy to spend a whole day at Croke Park. By the time you have taken the tour, watched a match and had a meal you will have had ones of the best sporting days you are likely to experience.

A Lazy Day At St Stephen’s Green
Taking a stroll round St Stephen’s Green wouls be ideal. It is the perfect place to take a picnic with you, http://www.heritageireland.ie/en/dublin/ststephensgreen/. There are shops close by where you can enjoy an ice cream in the afternoon.

Shop Till You Drop
Bypass all the big shopping centres and head for places like Capel Street or Henrietta Street. These are places where you will find the likes of the original Louis Copeland outlet as well as the craft beer joint known as the Black Sheep. These may not be the cities most fashionable streets, but you will find hidden gems that are well worth exploring.

Guineas tasting
You can buy Guinness in every bar, hotel and restaurant in Dublin, but why not go to where it originates from. The Guinness store charts the history of the brew from when Arthur Guinness first made it to the present day. You will find out how it is made and get a pint to drink while you are there. We visited during our time in Dublin and we couldn’t recommend it enough.

There are no doubt many other things to see and do in Dublin before you die, and these are just a few of the things you might like.

What to do in Skegness

Skegness is a seaside resort that we have heard has a lot to offer! We have not yet visited Skegness but we would love to and therefore we decided to do a bit of research!

It appears that there is a lot to do in Skegness from relaxing scenery and lots of different attractions. It has always been a popular spot for tourists to visit for a weekend away.

BEACH

There is only one way we would want to begin our weekend away and that would be visiting the beach. There is a pier on the beach that we would definitely take a walk on! The beaches are known for being clean, sandy, and long, and the Central Beach has been awarded the coveted Blue Glad Award. Lifeguard cover can be expected from June to September, and swimming is good here. There are also body boarding and surfing opportunities.

SEAL SANCTUARY

Close to Central Beach, there is also the Seal Sanctuary, which looks like a great place to visit while you are in Skegness. We would potentially visit this after spending the day on the beach!

WALKS

We love to walk so we would of course research a couple of walks we could go on! Sometimes we even just like to put our walking shoes on and see where the path takes us!

HOTEL

Last but not least, the importance of choosing accommodation with care cannot be ignored when it comes to any type of trip. After all, a hotel or B&B can make or break your trip. The good thing is that there are lots of hotels Skegness-based and in the surrounding areas, so you should have no trouble choosing something suitable. Whether you want to be based on the seafront or in the Lincolnshire woods, you will be able to find somewhere beautiful and comfortable to stay with ease.

THE EMBASSY THEATRE

There is always something exciting going on at the Embassy Theatre. Many acts have played here, including Jimmy Carr, Jools Holland, and Lee Evans. From stage shows and live bands to comedians, we would definitely check out the events page to see if there is anything going on during your visit.

As you can see, there are plenty of different things to see and do while in Skegness, as well as lots of amazing places to stay too.

Hopefully, we have helped with suggestions of what you can do. One thing is for sure; you are bound to have a great time, especially if the sun is shining!

Typical Tourist things to do in Rome

After visiting Rome, it would be rude not to write a post like this, plus we want to share our lovely photos with you all!

The Colloseum
This place truely is a thing of beauty! Its so magnifcant and its amazing to think how old it is! We bought tickets in advance online and despite doing this you still have to queue up. The queue was over an hour long standing in the sun. We were advised to pay 15 euros each to have a guide and you skip the queue. We didn’t fancy waiting in the sunshine but also didn’t want to waste our day so decided to go for it. To be honest our guide was so boring and you could tell she hated her job so we ditched the guide and went exploring. Our tickets also included entrance to the Forum which is opposite the Coloseum.

The Trevi Fountain
This fountain is another typical place to visit when in Rome. Make sure you get that coin and chuck it over your left shoulder and make a wish. In the height of the season it is very busy here so be prepared to push your way to the front for a picture!

Pantheon
This is the famous church with a hole in the roof, its simply stunning and so cool to look up and see the sky! The sun shines right down the middle and its beautiful. As this is a church you will need to cover your shoulders to enter.

The Vatican
Again another place you must go and see when in Rome. If you want you can book in advance and the full tour and see the Sistine Chapel etc. However if you don’t want to pay then you can go into St Peters Basilica for free. Everyone said to us that the queue was ages but we queued for about 20 minutes. As its such glorious weather in Rome we didn’t want to spend our whole day inside so this worked out perfectly for us. We were still able to take pictures and say we had been to the Vatican City.

The Spanish Steps
To be honest we were a bit underwhelmed by these steps because basically they are just some steps with a monument at the top. It was so so busy that we literally looked at the steps and then left!

Not so touristy places but so worth the visit:

Roseto Comunale
These rose gardens are soooo pretty and its nice to get away from all the tourists. We literally took so many pictures of flowers! If you fancy some time away from the hustle and bustle of the main city then we suggest venturing here. They are close to the Orange Gardens (below) so you can visit both at the same time. There is also a water fountain here which is useful to know.

The Orange Garden on the Aventine Hill
The view you get from these gardens is spectacular. We chilled up here in the sunshine surrounded by pretty trees. It is worth the climb up here and is pretty underscored too so you won’t see many tourists.

Palazzo Venezia
These gardens are so well hidden and the perfect place just to sit and relax. There is also a water fountain here to fill up your water bottles. We kept going back to this place to fill up our water as it was quite central.

Top tips: you can basically walk everywhere in Rome all the places you want to visit are all close by so wear comfortable shoes and get exploring. You also stumble across some pretty stunning places on route so its defs worth it

Most of the fountains are drinking water so get yourself a water bottle and keep filling up your water, you will save a fortune!

The Cotswolds: Planning The Perfect Weekend Break

Stretched across six counties, The Cotswolds are made up of lots of beautiful Cotswold villages. Think thatched cottages, golden coloured townhouses, beautiful churches, and country estates. The Cotswolds is a beautiful location and a place we like to visit frequently.

The Cotswolds is a great location because there is so much to do and see! From hiking and horse riding to shopping and enjoying the local surroundings, there’s plenty to keep you occupied.

We have come up with some great ideas of things to do in The Cotswolds that should help you organise your trip.

The accommodation is incredible

Throughout The Cotswolds, there is some amazing accommodation to choose from. From traditional pub inns in Bourton-on-the-Water, such as The Old Manse pub and inn to Cotswold lodges at Watermark near The Cotswold Water Park (which we visited the other weekend and absolutely love, if you visit you have to go to the beach and go on the giant inflatable). Cheltenham is also a great place to visit and also has a number of pubs and bars if that is something you enjoy.

The food is fantastic

The Cotswolds is home to some of the best food in the UK, Think organic produce, seasonal dishes, and locally reared meat and fish. The number of farms in The Cotswolds mean that the food on offer is truely what you would call fresh. You’ll be spoilt for choice with a range of Gastro pubs, quaint English tea rooms, delis, and farmer’s markets to choose from. We always make sure we visit Trip Advisor and have a read of the reviews for each place before going!

The villages are stunning

The Cotswolds is made up of some incredible villages (and towns too). There’s Bourton-on-the-Water, crowned ‘The Venice of The Cotswolds’ due to the lovely river running through it. Just a short walk from here, down a country path you will find Lower Slaughter, a quaint hamlet with a beautiful country pub called The Slaughters Country Pub we have read that this is the perfect place for a spot of lunch or even a quick coffee.

Stow-on-the-Wold, the next town across is a market town that is home to the Fosse Gallery and the Famous St. Edwards Church. It’s also home to the historic postbox, one of the oldest postboxes in the UK.

Winchcombe is another Cotswold village that has a beautifully timeless quality to it. Imagine Cotswold stone cottages combined with black and white Victorian-era buildings, narrow cobbled streets and charmingly quaint houses. This small town is famous with walkers, due to the number of trails it has all around it.

There are towns and cities within reach

In addition to the villages and towns of The Cotswolds, there are also an array of other towns and cities within each reach.

Cheltenham is one town that has a lot to offer as we have previously mentioned. There is great shopping facilities, hotels, bars and restaurants.

Burford is also a beautiful town. It’s smaller than Cheltenham and far more traditional, but it’s still a wonderful place to explore. Complete with a small high street full of delis and eateries, this small town is so beautiful and we recently visited and went on a lovely long walk, it was just stunning.

The Cotswolds has so much to offer, which is what makes it such an ideal location for a weekend getaway! We would highly recommend a visit.

Highgrove House Hotel Review in Ayrshire

Highgrove House hotel is a beautiful house located in Ayrshire on the outskirts of Troon. Highgrove House Hotel was incredible and we couldn’t have picked a better place to stay ourselves, we thoroughly enjoyed our final night in Scotland (Ayrshire).

Highgrove house is part of the Costley & Costley group which was founded in 1988 by Bill and Cath Costley. Since 1988 they have built up a business and now have four award-wining country house hotels. Highgrove House has a special place in their hearts as it was the first hotel in the Costley group.

Highgrove House is located on a hilltop overlooking miles of coastlines across the firth of Clyde and to the Isle of Arran. We particular enjoyed the views during the evening when the sun was setting as it was a beautiful sunny day.

There are eight individually decorated bedrooms complete with en-suite bathrooms at Highgrove House. We were in bedroom number one which was located at the top of the stairs. The room was luxurious and had all the facilities we needed including TV (with Sky), Hairdryer, tea and coffee (which took us a while to find it was tucked away in a cupboard).

The bedroom was a good size with two single beds, arm chairs and a chest of drawers. We loved the decoration of the room it was very countrified and we immediately felt at home.

The en-suite bathroom was ginormous, we could have had a party in there! It has a shower, bath and double sink. We loved the shower products they provided they smelt great and the shower cap came in handy when we didn’t want to wash our hair.

We arrived at Highgrove house in the late afternoon, unpacked and made our way down to the outside terrace. We enjoyed some rose Whilst sitting outside in the evening sun watching the sun starting to go down. The wine was delicious and we liked the fact we could order a jug Instead of a bottle.

We chatted on the terrace for ages it was so peaceful and the waiter came out every so often to Check we had everything we needed.

Highgrove House is renowned for its cuisine which was evident to see as the restaurant was full all afternoon with customers enjoying Sunday lunch. The restaurant sells seafood, steak dishes, along with home-made ice creams and chocolates. We have written a post all about the restaurant (it really does deserve a post of its own) at Highgrove House which we will be posting soon.

We also have to mention the breakfast because it was absolutely delicious. We will also be posting a separate blog post all about it so stay tuned.

The staff a Highgrove House were incredibly polite and always on hand to help. They really do take pride in ensuring everyone is happy during their stay or visit.

The hotel is only 2 miles away from Troon and on Sunday morning we decided to go for a run. It didn’t take very long at all and you can definitely walk there.

It’s was nice to stay in the countryside overlooking the town of Troon but also be able to easily access the town without having to get a taxi. It as a lovely run and very picturesque!