The Best Travel Hacks Out There

We love a good hack especially when it saves us money! We go on lots of weekends away and therefore never really need to pay for a suitcase in the hols! Read our travel hacks below and see if they help save you a little extra cash! That money you were spending could even be put towards another weekend break!

It doesn’t matter where in the world you heading off to, these travel hacks are total game changers (well they have been for us).

FORGET ABOUT FOLDING
Did you know that folding your clothes actually takes up far more space than rolling your clothes, oh and it also reduces crease marks! You can thank us later. Were possible we always carry our bags with us instead of putting them in the hold, you can actually take on a relatively big bag as well so there is no need to spend the extra money. So the next time you go away try and roll-up your clothes or if you are feeling particularly snazzy vacuum-pack them.

READ ON KINDLES
Gone are the days where you have to choose only two books to take on holiday! We read SO much on holiday two books just aren’t enough and we end up not know what to do when we are on holiday! Well you don’t have to Kindles (other e-readers are available) are a great way of saving space, saving on weight and, best of all, reading while on a lilo without a worry in the world. Yup.. the latest models also tend to be waterproof (so cool)!

FIND CHEAP FLIGHTS
Sites like Skyscanner have so many cheap flights and there are also subscription services out there which will find cheap flights for you. Sure, going down this route doesn’t allow you to search for your bucket list destinations, from Brisbane to LA, but it will convince you to go-go-go when your destinations come up.

CITY CAR RENTALS ONLY
We’ve all been to airports and seen that row of car rental booths and there is no denying that car rentals are a great way to see the country you are visiting but just don’t hire from the airport as they up the prices so wait until you reach your destination instead.

DUTY FREE BAG
This is a hack we only recently discovered and we LOVE it! We hate that all the different airlines have different rules on hand baggage some you can only take one bag others you can take 2 bags (1 small wheelie suitcase and a hand bag). This make travelling much more complicated, especially if you fly somewhere with one airline and back with another. However we have a sneaky solution, all airlines also allow a duty free bag. So why not head to duty free buy something small and ask for a large carrier bag, you can then put your hand bag in here and not have to worry about stuffing it into you suitcase….. genius!

Brunch Review 202 Notting Hill

We LOVE LOVE LOVE Notting Hill and had planned a fun day out at Notting Hill in the sunshine and of course a brunch, which is in our eyes the perfect Saturday. The weather was awful so we basically ended up going to Notting Hill just for brunch. We had a number of places we want to go in Notting Hill for brunch but this time decided to try out 202.

202 is basically a boutique shop and a restaurant, so when you arrive it feels you are entering a shop. However the restaurant takes over the top floor and the basement is the cute boutique shop. It has quite chilled vibes and there are a couple of communal tables.

We were taken to our seats, which were in the corner of the restaurant close to the kitchen. If you ever go, do not accept these seats as they are in the most annoying location ever. You constantly have staff brushing past you with plates of food and we found it hard to fully relax as it was so busy and noisy by our table.

We did happen to notice a cute outside terrace out the back of the restaurant and there was also seating out the front. had it been a warm summers day we would have definitely opted to have sat outside.

We both ordered coffees, which were small and overpriced but we needed our morning coffee fix and we took a cute picture of them too! The coffee was REALLY strong so it definitely woke us up a little bit, Rach opted for a Soya milk latte and Annie had an Americano with Soya Milk.

Rach went for the French toast with bacon and maple syrup which was £10.50 and Annie went for the 202 healthy cooked breakfast which came with avocado, poached eggs, tomato, spinach on brown toast and that cost £12.95. Annie was originally going to go for the smoked salmon bagel with cream cheese and watercress, but it was £17.50, they charge an absolute fortune for smoked salmon (we would like to hope it’s the crème de la crème of salmon at that price!!)

One thing we would like to mention is the toilets becasue as you probably already know this is something we comment on in all of our brunch reviews. the toilet were situated in the shop in the basement definitely are not something we would rave about. We always judge a place by their toilets and the toilets were not up to standard considering the feel the restaurant is going for and how much they charge for brunch. We thought it might be because of where the toilets are located, it does mean that members of the public are free to the use the toilet.

We both really enjoyed our food, it was tasty and portion sizes were generous. We are glad we have visited and ticked 202 off our list of brunch places. Would we return, probably not, but we still had a lovely time.

5 UK Cities We Want to Visit in 2018

We do love to write about the places we have visited, but this time, we thought we would write a post about the cities we want to visit in the UK. City breaks are great because you can go away for a long weekend, and it can feel like you have been away for ages.

York

We have wanted to visit York for a while not only to see the beautiful cobbled streets but also to visit Betty’s. Of course, with us, it’s always food-related, but Betty’s Tea Rooms are famous in York, plus the food looks divine. However, we would be torn whether to go for brunch in the morning or for tea and cake in the afternoon because they both look so yummy — guess we could go for both.

We would also like to walk down The Shambles, which is the maze of twisting lanes that we have seen in lots of pictures. Of course, we would also visit the famous York Minister, which is the largest gothic cathedral in Northern Europe.

Canterbury

Canterbury is only an hour’s train ride away from London so it’s easily accessible and a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of London.

Someone recommended we do a walking tour that takes 90 minutes, so we would definitely take part in that. We often go on walking tours when visiting a new city as firstly, we love walking, and secondly, it’s a great way to see all the city and learn about it. The tours leave twice a day, so you’ll be able to join one of them!

Manchester

We stumbled across a blog post about Manchester once, and ever since then, we have wanted to visit! It seems like there is so much to do there, and it is so easy for us to get to Manchester from London!  We would start our day with a run through Heaton Park like we do with any trip we go on!

We would head down to the quays at night to grab some dinner along the waterfront. We feel like when in Manchester, you have to do something football-related, so we would do a football stadium tour.

Newcastle

Newcastle is another city in the north of the UK, and although it may be famous for that crazy TV show called Geordie Shore, it’s also a City we would love to visit!  Newcastle sure does have a crazy night out (including a treble vodka mixer for £5), but there’s much more to the city than that. We would  choose to walk over the Tyne Bridge, as we feel like that is a must if you ever visit Newcastle.

Edinburgh

We have only ever heard good things about Edinburgh, so a visit will definitely be on the cards for 2018. As you probably already know, we love walking, so this would be the perfect city break, as we could visit Arthur’s Seat and challenge ourselves to climb the main mountain in Edinburgh. It wouldn’t be a trip to Edinburgh without a visit to the famous Edinburgh Castle.

Have we left any cities off our list that you think we should visit? We would love to hear your recommendations; there are so many beautiful cities in the UK that we need to explore.

Brunch Review: Quaglino’s

Quaglino’s is an iconic restaurant located on 16 Bury Street, just a 5 minute walk from Green Park Station. We recently visited qualigios one Saturday afternoon For a birthday celebration as as soon as we stepped foot in the location we fell in love. 
The decor charming, classy and incredbily lavish, one word we would use to descrie it would be ‘plush’. Its the sort of place you walk into and feel special and immedietly like to think can afford to live this life every single day (we wish).
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Our reservation was from 2oclock and we were allocated a two hour time slot for our table but after two hours we were not told to move. As we were in a large group we had the 3 course brunch menu  which cost £29 but smaller parties can opt for the 2 course brunch menu which is £25.
For groups larger than 13 you have to pay a £20 deposit per head which we paid a few weeks beforehand. We also decided to have the bottomless Prosecco which was an additional £20. The staff were very observant and constantly went round topping up our glasses, it’s safe to say none of us walked out sober!
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There were around five options on the menu for each of the courses so it’s likely you are going to find something you like on the menu. I have to say though not all of the courses are your ‘typical’ brunch courses which we kind of liked seeing as we were not seated until 2o’clock.
The quality of the food was impeccable, this so something that couldn’t be faulted. There were clear plates all round and no one complained about anything.
Rachel opted for the London smoked salmon, capers, horseradish, cream and Belinis to start and Annie had the Poached egg & Avocado.
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For main we both had the Fresh rigatoni with sauteed wild mushrooms and oh my gosh this was INCREDIBLE! We wanted to eat it all over again it was just so tasty and not too rich.
For dessert Annie went for the selection of cheeses which was delicious but was a mistake on my behalf because by the time I had made my way through the pasta all I wanted was something sweet. Rach opted for the Raspberry creme brulee which was utteraly divine.
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They had live music playing when we first arrived but this stopped at 3pm. If  we were to return which we definitely will be we would book a table slightly earlier so we could enjoy the music for a longer length of time. The music was incredible and they played such a vast variety of songs which was great.
Overall we would score this brunch a solid 10/10 although slightly pricier than your average weekend brunch and not somewhere I would go every weekend it really did tick all the boxes and would be the perfect place to go if you have an occasion to celebrate.

Barry’s Bootcamp London Review

This is the room where everything becomes possible. Where you push through the “I can’t’s” and “If Only’s.” Where you run faster, lift more, lean out, quiet down. This is what transformation looks like. Where you become the best version of yourself. – Barry’s Bootcamp

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We had wanted to try Barry’s Bootcamp for a really long time and we finally got round to purchasing a class.  We booked ourselves into the 11:00am full body class one Saturday and we were super excited to to try the workout that has been the talk of London town for a while.

We had read on the website that we needed to turn up to the class 15 minutes before the class so being super keen beans we somehow managed to turn up 40 minutes before hand (we blame google maps it always says it takes longer than it does!). When we arrived we were checked in and each given towel- luxury.

After checking out the post workout shake menu we headed straight to the changing rooms and we were already impressed. When people say it is the small things in life that make you happy they are certainly right, the changing rooms were equipped with GHD straighteners, hair dryers, hair spray, deodorant, tampons- you name it they had it.

As it was our first time the instructor took us into the room beforehand, the lights were dimmed and there were bright red lights lighting up the room. The instructor Briefed us on how to use the treadmills before inviting the rest of the class to join.

When booking into a class on Barry’s you have to decide whether or not you want to start on the treadmill or on the floor, we opted for the treadmill. The class was a mixture between interval and strength training. We sprinted until our legs nearly fell off and lifted weights heavier than we would usually opt for, we pushed our bodies and it felt blooming fantastic.

When people say Barrys Bootcamp is hard they certainly were not lying! It was the sweatiest we have ever been and probably the hardest workout we have ever been to but we loved it and we cannot wait to go back again!

After the class we jumped in the shower, which by the way were amazing the shampoo smelt incredible. Once we were dressed and refreshed and the last ones out of the changing rooms we headed to the refuel bar to order a shake. We stupidly didn’t order them before our class so we had to wait about 20 minutes as they were busy making lots of shakes ready for the next class so top tip pre-order your shake guys. The shakes were reasonably priced costing us £5.00 each and trust us when we say they were a decent size as well.

Barry’s costs £20 per class but you can also purchase packages and the more classes you buy at once the cheaper each class becomes. We definitely think it is worth the money but it isn’t something we would choose to go to every week as it would become incredibly expensive, we will be returning though!

We Vlogged the day we went to Barry’s so if you want to see more you can catch up on our vlog here.

How to spend a healthy day in London

We love spending a healthy day in London. A typical day for us would be the below, we love trying new classes and new food especially brunch food!

Attend a class/ visit a new gym- There are so many great fitness classes in London, it would be impossible for us to name them all but some of Londoners favourites include; Barry’s boot camp, F45, unit London, Kobox and bests bootcamp. You can also look on the app ‘class pass’ where you will discover hundreds more classes. If classes aren’t really your thing you could always look on the ‘payasugym’ app where you can search by location for a gym.

Go for brunch- Brunch is massive in London, everyone seems to be having brunch these days which is great if you love breakfast food as it means you can eat it for both breakfast and lunch. Some of our favourite brunch spots in London include; daisy greens which is behind Marble Arch, Mauriels kitchen in South Kensington, The good life eatery, Daylesfood farm in Marylebone high street, Grind (lots of locations), Chiltern Firehouse and so many more!

Rent a boris bike- Renting Boris bikes or Santander bikes is so much fun and a great way to explore London. It is an absolute bargain as well, it only costs £2 for 24 hours meaning you could cycle your way around London. We especially love cycling through the London parks as cycling on the busy London roads can be slightly terrifying to say they least!

Walk- don’t use the tube- We have a rule that when we are visiting London we walk everywhere! We hate getting the tube it’s so busy and also can get really expensive if you are using it all the time. Most places in London are a lot closer to each other than you probable think. Next time before you hop on the tube open your google maps and look at how far away you are, you’ll be surprised at how little time you save getting the tube. Walking also means you get to explore parts of London that you perhaps wouldn’t have seen otherwise. We always like to take the scenic route in the hunt to find the hidden gems of London.

A toursits’ guide to London

Despite both living close to London we do love having a touristy day out in London and exploring the amazing city. London is incredible because there is so much to do regardless of your age and there is also so much history to the city.
We have decided to pull together some ideas if you are planning a day out in London. You can pick your favourites from the below list and tailor the day to suit your needs. The great thing about London is that a lot of it is walking distance away from each other and the best way to explore a city is by walking. When you walk somewhere you find areas that you wouldn’t normally discover and really explore the city.

Central Tourist locations:
Buckingham Palace – get off the tube at Green Park and walk to Buckingham Palace to see one of the most famous sites in London. This place is swamped with tourist so be careful in the crowds, but make sure you get that good shot. The best time to go is to see the changing of the guard at 11am.

Trafalgar Square – You can walk to Trafalgar Square along the tree lined Mall from Buckingham Palace, or the closest tube is Trafalgar Square. You can visit the National Gallery here or the National Portrait Gallery and also take pictures of Trafalgar

Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament – You can easily walk to Big Ben from Buckingham Palace or from Trafalgar Square, or the closest tube station is Westminster. Big Ben is so iconic so you have to visit here when coming to London. If you are lucky you may see lots of protestors outside too. Make sure you walk along Waterloo Bridge to get a good shot and this bridge then takes you to the London Eye

London Eye – The London Eye is a great tourist attraction and personally we think the best time of day to go on it is at dusk so you can watch the sun set over London. The London Eye may be slightly expensive but if you haven’t been on it before then its highly recommended. You can spend your visit pointing out the iconic buildings across the skyline.

Sea Life Aquarium – a great day out for the family is the aquarium which is right by the London Eye. For those who love aquariums and sea creatures this is a fun day out!

Tower Bridge & London Bridge:
These locations are very close to each other so it’s a good idea to visit all these places together

Borough Market – Borough Market is foodie heaven and the closest tube is London Bridge. The best time to visit the market is early in the day as it is less busy, however the market is only open Wednesday to Saturday There are so many different food stalls here to purchase food from but also street food stalls to purchase delicious hot food. You could spend hours here tasting samples of different cheeses, meats and sweet treats. Make sure you visit Rabot 1745 for the most incredible hot chocolate.

The Shard – the tallest building in London is guaranteed to provide you with incredible views of London. You can be on the 72nd floor of this building admiring the London skyline with 360 degree views. To visit the viewing gallery you need to book in advance, but you could also visit one of the many bars or restaurants for dinner and drinks with a difference.

HMS Belfast – the HMS Belfast is moored between London Bridge and Tower Bridge and is such a fun day out for the whole family. There is so much to do and see on board the ship and of course great views of the iconic Tower Bridge. On the HMS Belfast you will learn all about live at sea but also about World War Two.

Tower of London – Tower of London to see the crown jewels is an excellent way to spend the afternoon in London. To make the visit enjoyable for kids you can download an interactive app to keep the kids encouraged throughout the visit. The great thing about a visit to the Tower of London is that you can spend as little or as long as you like here.

Tower Bridge – one of the most famous bridges that people often think is called London Bridge, but make sure you do not mix the two! Tower Bridge is a suspension bridge that consists of 2 bridge towers tied together at the upper level by 2 walkways and you can visit Tower Bridge and climb to a glass floor walkway for impressive views of London. Your ticket also included a visit to the engine room to learn about the inner workings of the bridge.

Covent Garden/West End/Soho:
Covent Garden – you have to visit here purely to see how beautiful it is, the covered market place is gorgeous especially at Christmas. You will also see some amazing street performers here

Theatre – a trip to London isn’t complete without a trip to London’s West End to see a play or a musical. There are so many amazing shows on at the theatre you will want to see them all! Aladdin is incredible and so is Lion King if you are a Disney Fan. Mamma Mia is an amazing sing a long musical that is guaranteed to make you feel good. Matilda is also incredible and highly recommended. Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera are also excellent choices

Eating – There are SO many restaurants in this area that you are spoilt for choice. There are too many to put here, but look out for a post about pre-theatre menus in London soon. However, many restaurants offer excellent value pre-theatre menus so make sure you research or book in advance.

Regents Park/Camden:
London Zoo – London Zoo is amazing if we do say so ourselves! It’s such a big zoo so you could easily spend the day here. Nestled in Regents Park and close to the stunning Primrose Hill this is a great place to visit with the family. There are lots of events on throughout the day in particular learning about different animals. We love bringing a picnic to the zoo, however there are plenty of places to buy food too.

Madame Tussauds – Madame Tussauds is on the edge of Regents Park and is part of the famous wax work museum chain. You can take your picture with a number of famous people and pretend to be mingling with the celebs! The wax works change of a regular basis. When booking your ticket online you get to pick a time slot, its advised to book in advance otherwise you could be queuing for hours to gain entry.

Camden – Camden is very very close to the beautiful Regents Park. Camden is a very vibrant and eclectic part of London right by a beautiful lock. Camden is famous for its market so make sure you visit it for a browse. There are also many different street food stands to buy delicious food.

This is only scraping the surface of visiting London, make sure you check back for more blog posts about the best city in the world (we may be biased!).

Dao Vegan Cafe – Sihanoukville 

I am absolutely loving the Cambodia food here however sometimes you want something other than rice and noodles 3 times a day!

So when we came across the vegan cafe on our arrival to Sihanoukville  you can imagine the sheer delight on our faces. We just had to go for breakfast, we skipped the free breakfast before the boat trip and headed to the cafe.

The cafe was situated right by the pier above another cafe with views over the sea. The menu was amazing so much to choose from it was hard to decide. I went for the pancakes which were incredible but two of the girls had avocado and spinach on toast and the other had banana and peanut butter on toast which both looked equally delicious.

The food tasted super fresh and healthy and just what we all wanted! We all also enjoyed fruit smoothies which were incredible.

I would recommend this cafe to anyone visiting Sihanoukville! 

Hitchen Lavender Farm

Now who would’ve thought visiting a field full of lavender could be such fun!?

We came across this farm by chance after seeing some friends visiting we googled lavender farm and found the beautiful farm in Hitchen and just had to go!

Hitchen is about an hours drive from us but it was well worth the trip, you arrive at this farm pretty much in the middle of no where to a car park heaving with cars. We overheard the carpark attendant telling a customer that when he took the job he didn’t ever think it would be this busy. I think this concept has really taken off.

You pay 4 pound fifty and get give a large brown paper bag, pick up (borrow) some scissors and the huge field is yours. You can spend as long as you want and fill your bag with lavender that you have cut yourself. It was soon therapeutic and lovely to walk through the delicious smelling lavender and of course take many instagram worthy pictures!

You can even get married here in a marquee looking out over the fields – imagine the photos!

There was also a cafe, however as it was such a sunny day the cafe was heaving. Instead we headed to the local village and went to the pub.

We cannot wait to return next year (the farm is now closed, season is over!), and I think I might have to treat my mum to a visit, she would love it!

Enjoy the pictures!