A Christmas Weekend in Basel

We love a Weekend city break, we love squeezing as much into two days as we possibly can, soaking up the atmosphere and of course trying all the delicious food on offer. A few months back my mum suggested that we went on a girls weekend away (two sisters, my mum and myself) and we all jumped at the idea. Last weekend we hoped on a plane and got the chance to explore the beautiful city of Basel.

Basel is in Switzerland and it certainly isn’t cheap, we realised that when a 15 minute cab ride cost us 40 CHF! We also popped into Zara and a top that was £20 in the UK was being sold for 45 CHF crazy!!

Old Town

We stayed in the old town in a quirky Air Bnb, we loved the old town it had so much character and loads of cute shops and bakeries. They have so many cute Christmas shops the first one we wondered into was a shop full of baubles, there were sooo many.

We visited a popular bakery that had a que out of the door, selecting a delicious almond pastry to enjoy with a cup of tea. It was so tasty and the inside was basically stuffed with marzipan, so festive!

Markets

There are two Christmas markets in Basel and they are considered to be the best in Switzerland!

Münsterplatz is located in front of the historical cathedral on a beautiful square in Basel, we headed straight to Münsterplatz before it got too busy and each enjoyed a glass of Glühwein which is basically mulled wine YUM my favourite!

We decided to have fondue for lunch and headed to one of the tents at Münsterplatz. The fondue was served in a giant saucepan with a generous portion of bread to dip in, it was fairy pricey costing CHF per person, but it was so delicious and definitely worth it.

Before leaving the area we took a wander into the cathedral to defrost a little bit as it was SO SO cold outside temperatures were hitting -2! The cathedral was so stunning and it would have been great to have visited during a service (not that we would have understood any of it).

Barfüsserplatz market is much bigger and also a lot busier as it is located closer to the city centre. We wondered around in the afternoon but also re visited the following morning when it was much quieter! Both markets sell very similar things!

Food

For dinner we visited a local restaurant that was recommended to us called Hasenberg. It was a lovely little restaurant that was full of locals (always a good sign). To start I enjoyed a delicious pumpkin soup that had so much flavour. For mains I ordered a sausage with onion gravy and a potato rostie.

We only needed breakfast on the Sunday morning and forgot that the majority of places were likely to be shut or at least not open until 11am! We visited Hotel Basel for breakfast which was 27 CHF which was a little pricey but it was delicious and kept us going for the rest of the day.

If you fancy a 10 mintue walk out of town for some street food then go to Markethalle! We took a wonder there not really knowing what to expect and it was basically just an inside market selling so many different cuisines. We stopped off for a coffee in a cute little coffee shop and of course had to take some pics!

When in Basel it would be rude not to tuck into a Bratwurst, we came across a market stall that were selling Bratwurst and enjoyed one for lunch. Instead of serving the Bratwurst in a bun they serve it with a slice of soda bread.

All in all we had such a fabulous weekend away, it really did make us all feel extra festive!

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!

La Prosciutteria Milan Review

We came across La Prosciutteria on Instagram before our trip to Milan and put it at the top of our list of places to visit during our stay. The photos of their boards looked absolutely incredible!

La Prosciutteria has two locations in Milan. We visited La Prosciutteria Milano Navigli which was located in the canal district. We had actually planned on visiting the other location which is located close to the Arco Della Pace.

We visited La Prosciutteria at lunch time, the venue was buzzing and it was full of customers ordering either a board or a sandwich! We love it when you arrive at a bar and the atmosphere is alive, it sure is a good sign!

We looked at the menu and knew straight away that we would be ordering their Gourmet Board which was priced at only 30 Euros. That may seem expensive for a cheese/meat board but trust us it was massive and only 15 euros per person!

The boards had lots of different special meats, cheeses, crostini, bread and much more! We managed to eat everything on the board and trust us when we say we were stuffed!

We are so glad we visited for lunch as our original plan was to visit and have as our starter before dinner- don’t think we would have fitted dinner in!

We also ordered a glass of red wine to enjoy with our board and we couldn’t believe a glass of wine costed just 2.50 euros! What an absolute bargain, we could have sat drinking it all afternoon it was so delicious.

It was raining during our visit but we still opted to sit outside as it was sheltered. It was November but it was actually very mild out so we were not cold in the slightest.

If we could recommend just one place to visit in Milan we would 100% say La Prosciutteria!

Experiencing The Outback This Summer

Australia is such a fab country that Rach visited in 2016 and would love to go back to! Australia is also coming into summer whilst we are preparing for winter so we know where we would rather be! Perhaps one of the most vast and unexplored places in the whole of Australia is the outback.

The outback is a term we brits have heard for years and years and maybe we haven’t put two and two together to realise this is a vast desert area down under. For an amazing adventure we have got to visit the outback and we have heard it’s one we certainly won’t forget any time! Here are some of the places you have to see in the outback this summer or in your lifetime.

Ayers Rock
Uluru is a stunning sandstone rock which has acted as the most popular Australian outback destination for years and years. It is thought that this rock is over 700 million years old which is staggering and as such, this rock is incredibly sacred to the aboriginal people who live there. It is definitely a place you have to see before you leave and we have read it will blow your mind.

Alice Springs Desert Park
If you fancy going somewhere more contained and organised In the outback then you may love a trip to the desert park. During your visit to the park you will be able to see some stunning landscapes, natural flora and fauna of the area and you can also learn more about the aboriginal culture which resides here. We most definitely think It would be a fascinating trip and a fun one.

Kings Canyon
If the idea of seeing a canyon close up is your thing, then you can’t miss the chance to visit this Kings Canyon also known as Watarrka which is located 300km away from Uluru. It is meant to be a beautiful place and it offers the perfect photo opportunity for you during your stay! Woohoo! The canyon walls tower more than 100m over head and the area is incredibly important to local wildlife and therefore no swimming is allowed here.

Lake Eyre
For a stunning experience which you won’t forget any time soon (according to everything we have read), a trip to the largest lake in the whole of Australia is essential when you visit the outback. Lake Eyre is a mind blowing place to see and it is so vast that you will be mistaken for thinking the water goes on forever and ever. This is the ideal place to come on a nice sunny day to bring a picnic and have a hike.

Port Augusta
If you fancy seeing the point which the desert meets the sea, you will be in for a treat when you visit Port Augusta. This is an amazing place that we would love to see. It can be surreal to see the point where the desert ends and the ocean begins. It is a good place to come for a relaxing day sunbathing and catching some waves.

The outback is a beautiful place which will make you feel like a tiny little ant as you explore its vast length and breath! When we return to Australia we will certainly be exploring the outback and we cannot wait!

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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2 weeks in the Canadian Rockies: Banff & Johnston Canyon

Two weeks in the Canadian Rockies has been split into a number of posts as there is just so much to say. However there is also a post of 2 weeks in the Canadian Rockies in a Nutshell if you want to read the summary.

Tips:

– We suggest that where you can reserve campsites online on https://reservation.pc.gc.ca/ParksCanada for what you can. Don’t worry if cannot book everywhere as there are walk in campsites available too as detailed in the post below.

– How the walk up campsites work is you turn up and find an empty plot. Plots are reserved with a slip of paper which you pick up from the hut at the entrance, which states your arrival date and how many nights you will be staying. Picky your plot and then put your money in an envelope, which is also provided at the camp entrance and you post into a letter box. We suggest you arrive at about 11 as people have to vacate at 11.

– You will need to buy a parks pass to visit the rockies. You can buy this pass on entrance Banff national park, if coming from Calgary then he place to buy is a couple of km after Canmore. Don’t worry you won’t miss it and will more than likely queue with everyone else! If you are staying more than 6 Days it is cheaper to buy a year long pass.

– Pick up maps from the tourist information, these are so so helpful and you will take it on all your hikes/use them to plan your hikes. The great thing about this trip is that all the walk are signposted and will also tell you how many kms so you will NEVER get lost!

– We flew into Calgary, hired a camper and headed from Calgary to Jasper and back and it took 2 weeks. We hired our Camper through Wicked Campers and couldn’t recommend them enough. They are cheap, cheerful and suited us perfectly for what we want.

Banff:

We suggest staying 3 nights here to make the most of it, which gives you 2 full days.
The couple of campsites to stay in are: Tunnel mountain (largest With tunnel mountain 1 and 2) or Two Jack (Two Jack and Two Jack Lakeside)

The best way to get around is by bus, there are 5 bus routes in total which take you to the Main places. The bus is free from your campsite to wherever you want to go and then $1 return. Each day work out how many buses you will be taking as you may find it cheaper to get a day pass for $5

The busses do not give change and you can pay with a maximum of $20 However if you need change the bus driver gives you a slip of paper with how much you are owed and you can collect this money in cash from a number of shops on Banff high street. Ask your bus driver and he will give you a slip with all the participating places.

When in Banff we suggest you hike to the top of Sulphur Mountain . You can take the gondola but it will set you back $64 each Which is a little crazy. The walk takes 2-3 Hours and is constantly up hill so make sure you wear hiking boots. However the good news is the views are spectacular and so worth it, also another bonus is that after 7pm the gondola is free to ride down so time your walk so you can take e gondola back down for free.

At the bottom of Sulphur Mountain is Banff Upper Hot Springs. Now we are going to be frank here and we genuinely were disappointed with these springs. We had an idea in our head that there would be a number of different hot pools to visit, hot tubs swimming pools etc. However there is just one swimming pool that’s nice and warm. After a long walk it is nice to relax but if you are pushed for time don’t worry about making visiting here a priority.

A visit to Lake Minnewanke is an absolute must. If you are staying at Two Jack Campsite it is pretty close to here. The lake is simply stunning and you can walk along the edge and take some epic photos. You can also rent a number of different boats, from speed boats to canoes. We also walked to the Lake Minnewanke lookout and picked the bus home up here.

Banff itself is a very busy place and there are many shops, bars and restaurants. Bars we suggest you enjoy an evening drink at are Park Distillery who make their own gin and vodka. This place is very popular and busy especially for food, if going for a drink request to sit on the balcony upstairs. We also really liked Banff Avenue Brewing Company, again this place has gorgeous outside sitting at the front. A little tip is on a Monday they do half price beers which is brewed in Calgary and the local area.

Somewhere to go for delicious ice cream is called Cows and there are soooo many flavours to choose from, they all very unique so it will be hard to pick your flavour! They also make their own waffle cones.

The supermarket to visit here is called IGA, so you can pick up any groceries here, but its always busy so be prepared to queue.

Johnston Canyon:

We suggest staying for 1 night in Johnston Canyon, a couple of campsites to stay in are: Johnston Canyon Campground or Castle Mountain Campground

30 minutes from Banff is Johnston Canyon which is very popular. We suggest trying to get a reservation online for Johnston Canyon Campground however we didn’t manage to so jut did walk in at Castle Mountain. We also recommend getting to the carpark for Johnston Canyon super early to get a car parking space otherwise you could be parking 1-2 miles away from the start of the walk on the road. We got up early and left our campsite and headed straight for Johnston Canyon.

We did the long walk all the way to the Ink Pots passing the Lower and Upper Falls on route. Personally I preferred Lower Falls as they are amazing and you go though a tunnel to see the waterfall. The round trip takes roughly 4 hours. We did the walk and then headed straight to our campsite to get a spot on the first come first serve.

In the afternoon we hiked to the top of Castle Mountain Lookout. This was an epic walk which was constantly up hill and took us also 4 hours return. This walk was not as popular as the others so we hardly saw other people, only a couple of serious hikers (like ourselves, haha!!).

We loved Castle Mountain Campsite as it was so rustic, we had a little fire and our cute little plot. You can share spots if you want to save money as 2 vehicles are allowed per plot. A camper came in late looking for a spot so we kindly offered to share to get some extra dollar!

Read more about visiting the Canadian Rockies: Lake Louise & Moraine Lake and Icefields Parkway & Jasper

Tourist Guide to Covent Garden & Surrounding Neighbourhoods

Covent Garden is one of London’s most well known areas. It is often on every tourists to do list when visiting London and we can totally see why. Covent Garden has a lot to offer from restaurants and bars to history and culture and it is also home to several London theatres including the Lyceum, where the Lion King is performed. Whether you are visiting Covent Garden for a civilised dinner, a night at the theatre or you plan on dancing the night away Covent Garden is the place to be.

If you want to be in the heart of the city during your stay then we would definitely recommend staying in Covent Garden as there are plenty of hotels on offer.

There are so many hidden gems both in Covent Garden and it’s surrounding neighbourhoods. If there is one tip we could give you when exploring London it would be to walk and wonder everywhere. Don’t waste your time on the tube places are far closer than you think! Oh and don’t stick to the main roads go down the side roads that are off the beaten track because that is there that you will stumble across all the quirky and independent places!

Below are some of our favourite places in and around Covent Garden that would make the perfect day out for you and a friend!

Another Space
If you are fitness fanatics like us that like to try out the local fitness scene in whatever city we visit then why not kick start your day at this boutique gym. Another space is located in soho just a few minutes walk from the centre of Covent Garden. Give spinning or boxing a go and it will certainly leave you feeling ready for the day ahead!

Coffee & Brunch
There are coffee shops on every corner you turn in Covent Garden (or just London I fact)!

Ladurée– A must visit if you are a macaroon lover as they are known for their macaroons. Enjoy a macaroon and an English breakfast tea or coffee in their outside seating area.

The Ivy Market Grill- sitting outside on the terrace overlooking Covent Garden Square is a must! They have an all day menu and also a brunch menu so it would be perfect anytime of day.

By CHLOE- One of the coolest vegan restaurants around has recently opened in Covent Garden serving incredible vegan comfort food YUM!

Dishoom- We would advise arriving earlier than you plan on eating to avoid disappoint as it is likely you will have to que for a table, but don’t worry they hand out free coffee in the que whilst you wait! The brunch menu is served daily until 11:45!

Apple market
Apple Market was once home to a well known fruit and veg market. Although it no longer sells fruit and veg they still continue to support market traders selling a range of unique products (on Mondays the market is dedicated to antiques). The market is open form 10-6.

Royal Opera House
The Royal Opera House is renowned for its outstanding performances of traditional opera. Some of the world most well known opera singers have performed at the Royal Opera House. If you are a fan of the ballet then we would definitely recommend this show.

Street performers
Why not stop and watch some of the street performers in Covent Garden for a chilled after in the Square. You could even go to the Punch and Judy bar and watch whilst enjoying a beverage. Street performers at Covent Garden have to go through auditions in order to perform so they sure do have talent!

Shops
There are so many shops to visit in Covent Garden, some are chains and some are independents so you’ll certainly find some nice goodies. The shops are really quaint so the perfect place to pick up a present for someone.

Dinner
Balthazar- is a US chain that only recently made its way across the pond and to London. The restaurant is in the heart of Covent Garden so the perfect location for some food. Despite being a US restaurant this place is vey French/Parisian with Paris style decor and delicious French food.

The menu is simple but elegant, a variety of starters including selection of artisan bread (which we ordered) and pate de campagne. To drink we went for a cote de Provence (our favourite)!

There is also the dish of the day ranging from duck pie to coq au vin (which was delicious!). Annie went for the fillet of salmon with warm lentil, spinach and walnut salad.

The staff are very friendly and attentive too, which is something we really appreciate.

Theatre
There are plenty of box offices in Covent Garden, Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square so if you haven’t pre booked theatre tickets then pop along and choose the show you want to watch! There are so many AMAZING shows! Some we can recommend are: Lion King, Kinky Boots, play that goes wrong, Mamma Mia, Matilda & 42nd Street.

Dessert
In recent years so many dessert places have opened up in London (its incredible). Some people just go out for dessert instead of dinner!

Milk train– this place is loved by all instagrammers as it’s a dream place for a picture. Their signature is ice cream with candy floss around the edge. You pick a cone, a flavour of soft serve ice cream, toppings and then candy floss. It sure does make for a pretty epic picture, and tastes good too!

Bubble wrap– nestled in the heart of china town this place is very popular and quite often there are queues out the door. Despite not being in Covent Garden it is only a short walk away and gives you the opportunity to explore China Town too. The bubble wrap cone is pretty cool and you can watch the staff make them. You pick your flavour ice cream, your topping and your sauce and hey presto your first bubblewrap ice cream!

Yorica – closer to China Town/Soho Yorica serves dairy free frozen yoghurt and ice cream with all the toppings. For those with an allergy but a sweet tooth we highly recommend this place for dessert.

We had such a fab day out exploring Covent Garden and it’s surrounding neighbourhoods. Our spending money was kindly gifted by Hotels.com but all views are our own.

Helping you prepare for your trip to China

There is no denying that China is one of the most unique and fascinating destinations in the world. From the interesting culture to the amazing attractions, it is a place that so many travellers want to experience (including us). We thought we would answer a few questions about China as we researched them ourselves and wanted to share them with you!

When is the best time to visit China?
Because of the size of China, you can visit at any time throughout the year. Peak tourist months for the most popular destinations are April, May, September, and October. Prices tend to lower from June through August and again from November through March. In terms of visiting Hainan Island and the Northeast Harbin, winter months are peak-visiting time, especially for the Ice-Lantern Festival in Northeast Harbin, which has become world-famous.

How long will it take to walk the Great Wall of China?
A trip to China would not be complete without witnessing the Great Wall of China, but how long does it take to walk the Great Wall of China? Well, of course, this all depends on the route you are going to take and your general fitness levels however on average most people walk The Great Wall of China in five days. A lot of people are happy with just seeing the wall from a certain viewpoint, though, so it is entirely up to you.

What should you pack for your trip?
Casual clothing that is good for walking in would be best. One necessity is a good pair of walking shoes. Remember to dress for comfort, especially during the warmer months. Wearing shorts is acceptable in China, so long as you are not visiting a religious shrine.

Do I need a visa to visit China?
You are going to require a visa for visiting most places in Asia, and China is no different. You need to make sure your passport has at least six months’ validity remaining and you will need to obtain a visa prior to arrival. Please note that this is the case for Mainland China and Hainan Island but not Macao or Hong Kong. For example, a visa allowing a second entry into China is needed for visiting Hong Kong, so make sure you have all the required documents before flying.

We hope you enjoyed reading some of the information we have picked up along the way with our research!