Madrid 18 | Needed Girl Time

Madrid 18 | Needed Girl Time

My bestie and I have managed to get away every summer for the last few years, for some much needed girl time and time off life. This year we couldn’t decide where to go at all, so left it down to the days we wanted to go and the most reasonable flights. Finally, we decided on Madrid, as it all worked our perfectly and it was somewhere neither of us have been. We have this new pact that we can’t go anywhere that we have been before as there are so many places in the world to see. In fact, this is also a pact that I have made with myself no matter who I go away with. My one exception may however be Venice, as I have never been to such a beautiful place in my whole life. It was honestly like being in a giant movie set. Anyway, back to Madrid, the amazing capital of Spain.

I think my favourite thing about Madrid had to be the architecture. I don’t know exactly what I was expecting, but it certainly exceeded what I thought it could be like. The Palace was one of the most beautiful buildings I have ever seen.

Our aim for the holiday was not at all to explore the whole city and tire ourselves out by walking around all day everyday – that is just really not our thing. We both needed a rest from work and life, to enjoy the sunshine, some good food and lots of cocktails by the pool. We are very good at eating and drinking our way through a trip. Obviously we wanted to see the city, so we tried our best to get the balance right, but as we are both on the same page it always makes life much easier. Which was, in our true style, after a very generous lie in each morning. I never get to sleep all night and until late in the morning nowadays, so it honestly did feel like I had died and gone to heaven every time I woke up!

Situated just about 20 minutes from the airport, and a 30-euro taxi ride to the hotel, it was a very easy transition into the city. We booked a hotel right by the Plaza de España, the giant palace home to the Spanish royals, that boasts a handy 3,000 plus rooms. Imagine all the space! ‘Dear, Hotel’ is a handy city boutique hotel, with generously sized rooms all decorated in a light and Scandi style interiors. Just my cup of tea. Overlooking the popular street named Grand Via, we were in the best location, with restaurants and shops all around, as well as slow walks around to explore the city. The hotel also has an amazing roof top bar and plunge pool, which let’s be honest, is the main reason I booked it. We decided that we simply couldn’t be in 38-degree heat without an outdoor pool. The hotel was convenient, peaceful and had all the facilities you could wish for on a relaxing city break. Although, one drawback being the extreme road works going on, on the main street meaning that the sound of drilling was very apparent for the duration of our stay. Not a deal breaker, and by no means the hotels fault, just a little annoying when you’re trying to sleep!

As we wanted to use these few days away to rest, we used the rooftop quite a lot, once for a whole day, then a few afternoons when it just got too hot to be walking around. The girl time was just what we needed, sitting and chatting for hours with drinks, soaking up the sun and getting through a book or two. I never have time to get through chunks of my book, or even talk about half the stuff we got to, so it really has made me feel like a massive weight has been lifted off my shoulders. It was also really nice, as one day we got there early before anyone else, so had a good opportunity to get some gorgeous photos of the pool with that amazing view! When Abby and I get going with the camera, there really is no stopping us!

One of my favourite things about traveling is taking pictures and being able to document the memories that we have made. Obviously, having an aesthetically pleasing photo for Instagram is a bonus, but having this bank of photos to reflect on is one of my favourite things.

If I’m being completely honest, we didn’t get too far walking through Madrid, however on our first day we did make it to the Plaza de España, strolling through the gardens, stopping for a cocktail and enjoying some Spanish tapas. It was so gorgeous just to sit and see the world going by. My first impression of Madrid on that day was how up together the city is. The gardens are perfect, everything is clean and it feels very safe with an extensive number of police every time you look around. Everyone was polite, and as you would expect from a European country, the fashion was on point. There is something about how people dress in Spain, France and Italy, that just isn’t like the UK. Everyone has such a beautiful sense of style and are very poised in their stride.

On the Friday, before we left as we had a late flight, we decided that we hadn’t seen enough of the city so we only had one option left. A city bus. This is my go to in every city, as you really see everything and get all the facts that you don’t get from just walking around by yourself. We got on right by the whole town and did the whole hour and a half tour around the entire city. We saw absolutely everything and could appreciate everything the city had to offer. In a way, by the end of this, I felt like we had seen absolutely everything we need to and had made the most of a new place. We learnt so much in that short space of time, and really got to understand the history behind the capital.

Overall, I absolutely loved Madrid and would definitely go back if given the chance. It was so nice just to go somewhere new and enjoy a proper rest from work and the stress of life. As well as some quality time with the bestie, which is always needed as we now live about 4 hours away from each other 

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White Bikini – New Look

Red Dress – New Look

Blue Dress – H&M

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I have not been paid to feature any brands, and all views and opinions are my own.

Where to Eat in Paris | 2018

Where to Eat in Paris | 2018

Oh Paris… my favourite city on Earth. Last week I was lucky enough to spend a few days in this beautiful place with my grandparents, as it is somewhere we try to go to as often as possible. Every time I go there I feel utterly at home and completely happy in myself. The vibrant buzz of the city is everything you expect after watching the city in movies and nothing ever really disappoints. You can walk around the beautiful park and streets, admire the views of the Eiffel Tower, indulge in countless calories of delicious food and shop to your hearts content. This trip was definitely more relaxed than others, with us just all enjoying some time together and taking a break from the hectic lives that we were leaving behind in the UK for just a few days. Don’t get me wrong, I do not by any means think that city breaks are a rest, but mentally they do wonders for the human mind. 

Paris is probably my favourite place in the whole world. The buzz of the city intertwined with the beautiful, historic culture is something that I have never found anywhere else before. It is relaxing, whilst also being exciting.

My favourite thing about Paris every time I go is the countless amazing meals that I get to eat. There really is no such thing as a bad meal, or a horrible glass of wine. Wherever you go, you are guaranteed to be indulged by even the simplest of recipes, which definitely tastes even better when you can sit outside in the sun watching the Parisians going by. It really is an incredible feeling, and probably the one thing that brings me back every time. We ate in a few different restaurants this time, all offering delicious food, great wines and amazing hot chocolates. I thought I would just sum up the best places that we ate, with a few little pictures to sum up the amazing trip that we had.

La Coup D’or

This restaurant is situated right by our hotel, Hotel Duminy Vendome, by the beautiful gardens. We went there on the first night for convenience, as we had been twice on our last visit. It is such an easy restaurant, with traditional seating outside and dark toned gold interiors. To celebrate being in the beautiful city, I treated myself to a steak with French fries and béarnaise sauce. It was beyond delicious and everything you would expect from such a traditional French meal. I think a big part of eating in France is the atmosphere, as well as the food. It genuinely makes it taste better when you can see all the French life walking past the window, and for me, admiring all the beautiful clothes. As you can find in most restaurants in the city, they offer a very traditional menu, including ‘Croque Monsieur’s’, packed up salads and chicken and chips. We actually did go back one night, where I had the delicious chicken and chips. It is a very relaxed restaurant, with doggies wondering around, traditionally dressed French waiters, and a delicious glass of Bordeaux served in an instant.

Paris London

This beautiful café is placed perfectly in the middle of Madeleine, around the beautiful square that surrounds the amazing French architecture. We have been to this café a few times and it really is the perfect spot to sit with a drink, soaking in the sun rays and watching the world go by. In fact, it is quite an eventful area of the city… we even got to see the French police pull over a motorcyclist. I must say, the French really don’t hold any prisoners. Whilst my grandparents enjoyed a coffee, I opted for a Venetian hot chocolate. To be honest, it is very hard to ever find a bad hot chocolate in this city, unlike in the UK where they are mainly watery and have absolutely no flavour or rich taste of real chocolate. This one though, was incredible. It was a thick, dense tasting chocolate, topped with the most delicious vanilla whipped cream. It really was the perfect thing to enjoy whilst having a mid afternoon sit down.

La Rotande St Honoré

This restaurant is situated a little higher than the hotel, along the beautiful road of Rue Saint-Honoré, with a view of three beautiful Parisian streets. We went to this restaurant twice, as I think I actually had one of the best meals of my life. For lunch on the second day, we sat outside this beautiful restaurant, in the blazing sunshine. I had a much needed glass of cold Prosecco, which was utterly delicious, as I was celebrating the fact that I was 6 month post my operation. I mean really, is there anywhere better in the world to celebrate such a special day?! 

Anyway, back to the food, we all went for the Chicken with a tarragon sauce and potato puree. Oh my gosh, it was incredible! The sauce was packed with the right amount of mouth watering flavour, and I have never had such a smooth and delicious posh mashed potato. It was everything you would expect from a good Parisian meal, and in fact, maybe even a little bit more. It was so good, I had it twice.

Ladureé Paris

 

I’m sure this is somewhere that most people have probably heard of, and probably even been to if you have been to Paris, but it honestly is my favourite place to go in the whole world. My grandparents and I have a little tradition of what we have when we go in there, and all three of us absolutely love it. We always share a massive Pistachio cream cake as it is beyond rich, but honestly the yummiest cake in the whole entire world. I always have a Ladureé hot chocolate, which is thick and creamy and the best tasting hot chocolate in the world. I love how it comes in a beautiful silver jug and the waiters pour it in front of your eyes.

My grandparents actually had iced chocolates this time as it was such a hot day, but I just couldn’t stray from my tradition. This restaurant/ café is not just great for the food and drink, but the interior is the most beautiful design I have ever seen in my life. There is beautiful artwork on the ceiling, the most Parisian table and chairs and the attention to detail is just incredible. After our hot chocolates, I always then have to go into the shop next door and buy myself a ridiculously expensive box of macaroons. They are the best you can get and no others will ever compare once you have had those. My favourite flavours are the Pistachio and the Blackcurrant.

Café Palais-Royale

This restaurant is right by the Musée D’Orsay and is so traditionally French. It is a very easy going restaurant with dark leather interiors, perfect for a quick and delicious lunch. I opted for a hearty salad, with goat’s cheese, beans and that one of a kind French dressing. Again, that dressing really doesn’t taste the same anywhere else in the world. Paired with a delicious glass of wine, it couldn’t be a more perfect combination. In France, I am really always leaning towards a dry and crisp Rosé, which is something I cannot stand to drink at home. For some reason, I can never really find one that isn’t overly sweet. Paired with the goat’s cheese, it was ideal.

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Black Coat – Ted Baker

Denim Jacket – New Look

Pink Bag – Mulberry England

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I have not been paid to feature any brands, and all views and opinions are my own.

 

4 Years of Lady Hunter

4 Years of Lady Hunter

Four years ago today, I wrote my first ever blog post. I’m pretty sure it was some sort of extremely cheesy introduction, probably incredibly boring with me just going on and on about how I needed to find a hobby and all the things I wanted to share on here. I can kind of forgive myself, as I hope you can too, as it was just the childish 16-year-old me writing on something in a way that I had never done so before. Before blogging, I had always felt like I was missing something – something to keep me occupied and somewhere to express all the thoughts and creative energy going on in my mind. I came up with the idea of starting a blog after I was sharing lots of photos on Instagram and really enjoying the thought process, taking and editing photos, as well as the engagement that I got from it. To be completely honest, I had never read a blog before and hadn’t even heard of the YouTube sensation, Zoella. I mean, I literally must have been living under a rock or something. I was never really someone who was constantly glued to their phone, so I guess that is why I didn’t really know that this huge blogging bubble industry really existed.

I still remember now running into my grandparent’s bedroom and screaming to my grandma ‘I’M GOING TO START A BLOG, I’M GOING TO START A BLOG!’ I was always coming up with new and extravagant ideas, so by this point she was probably just thinking it was another phase that I would not stop talking about. Well, four years later, I am still here and I think it probably is a shock to both of us!

“I am very excited to be writing my first ever blog. So, let me introduce myself. I am Abigail Hunter. I have been debating about whether to start a blog for a while, as i just love capturing all aspects of life and sharing it with people over social networking sites… my favourite being the amazing Instagram! I am a very passionate baker, even though I struggle to find the time with all these dreaded exams, however they will shortly be over and I will have a lot of time to bake and blog! I cannot stress enough how much I cannot wait to leave school and never have to wear my horrible uniform again. It is dreadful. This leads me nicely on to my next major love, fashion. As my best friend would probably tell you, I am very much in love with fashion, especially when it comes to shopping. I live with my grand-parents in Bristol, which means that I am able to take full advantage of grand-parent perks, such as clothes! It is truly fantastic.

Lady Hunter, May 9th 2014

OMG – I CANNOT READ THAT quote WITH A STRAIGHT FACE! So so so so cringe!

I say this a lot, but I am going to say it again anyway, blogging has become such a big part of me as a person, to the point where it has just become more than a part of my life. I think about the blog at all times of the day and night, whatever I am doing. It is like a baby, that I have to nurture, protect and drive to do well. Yes, sometimes it can be incredibly overwhelming, but that never seems to out scale how much enjoyment I get out of it. I don’t do this to make loads of money by becoming a successful blogger, or even to please and entertain others, it is very much something for me that just so happens to be read by others. I feel incredibly lucky to have found a hobby that I love, that can follow me through all the important stages in my life, as well as how I have used it to create a career for myself. I am not a full time blogger – but I do work in social media, and the jobs were opened up to me as a result of blogging. So in a weird way, all those hours of photographing, editing, writing and marketing the hell out of everything on social media really has paid off. It has saved me going to university for a degree and getting into lots of debt, as well as messing around for a few years working in a minimum wage job, not knowing at all what I actually want to do with my life.

I think my favourite thing about Lady Hunter is how it has already followed my life through some pretty tough and amazing times. I have got my life when I was a teenager at school, my proms, family holidays, choosing not to go to university, living a bit more in the real world, falling in love, becoming a cat mummy and going through major surgery. A lot has happened to me in the past four years, and I am so different to the girl who sat writing her first blog post on this date four years ago. It makes me feel so happy to know that I have that transition and time in my life documented somewhere that I know I can always come back to and hopefully it can follow me through with the next stage of my journey – travelling, buying a home, getting married and maybe even having a baby. I mean how incredible would it be to have all that on here?

I just wanted to put together a little post to reflect on the amazing four years Lady Hunter has had, getting the opportunity to work with some incredible brands, meet so many people through this online world and be able to share my experiences in a way that others can relate to what I have been through, and essentially help each other along the way. It also feels quite good to know that I have proved everyone wrong who has ever been nasty about me blogging, or just generally take the piss. It never really bothered me because I was enjoying it, but it is still quite a nice feeling to know that I have proved people wrong and carried on despite what they thought.

<3 <3 <3

This industry has become such a huge part of the world we live in, where companies actually get more traffic and customers out of working with bloggers than they do with original marketing strategies. I feel proud to be doing something that so many others creators do so beautifully, with their really being room for everyone to shine and appeal to different audiences. The blog itself has grown massively since I started, and I do always joke that it is like I only started properly last year. At the beginning of last year, I was going through a pretty tough time in my life and really used the blog to help me get through. I started to use photographers for my photos, I was writing much more detailed and thought out posts and in general started to get a lot more engagement. In the years before that, the blog wasn’t my priority and I didn’t have the time to do what I do now. Last year was when my motivational level for blogging really shot through the roof, and I was proud of the content I was creating. Over a year later, I hope that I am still producing just as good content, perhaps even better?

My 5 Favourite Blog Posts

In the last year I have got so many posts that I am so proud of, but these are probably the top five for photos and content!

Things I Need to Change

How I’ve Become More Confident

Become a Cocktail Expert with Fentimans

My Office Reveal

My Everyday Fashion Tips Ft. Joy Clothing

Do you have a favourite of mine?

<3 

Thank you so much to everyone who supports what I do, loves being a part of this journey and constantly motivated me every day to carry on doing what I love! xo

Shop this Post:

Top – Primark

Skirt – New Look

Belt – Gucci

Shoes – Lacoste

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Imagery by Hana Dallimore Photogaphy | Location: Anna Cake Couture, Clifton, Bristol

Birthday Celebrations & Venice

Birthday Celebrations & Venice

Last week I celebrated my 20th birthday, followed by a trip to Venice with my partner. I booked the tickets whilst I was in recovery and it was the perfect thing to look forward to when I was twiddling my thumbs away at home. Venice has always been somewhere that I have had a really big urge to visit, mainly because of the originality of it. When I started to tell people I was going everyone raved about it and couldn’t wait to tell me more. It made life so much easier with all the advice people had given us and the places we simply had to see. They were not at all wrong – it is one of the most amazing places that I have ever been and I simply cannot wait for the chance to get back.

Venice was the perfect way to celebrate entering my 20’s. It was the perfect place to relax and unwind, whilst also discovering the history and culture of the magical city.

 

My actual birthday was the day before we went to Venice, so I opted for a seriously chilled day. The first part was a lovely lie in, which actually was kind of different. My boyfriend had work that morning, so he woke me up early and gave me my presents. It was the perfect start to my birthday. I had giant balloons, my gifts and a delicious cinnamon roll cake with birthday candles. He really did pull out all the stops and it was perfect. In the day I then spent the day at my grandma’s house with my family, having a really chilled out lunch, lots of delicious pink Champagne and time to spend with everyone. In the evening I had to pack, which takes me a very long time regardless of where I am going, and had a lovely dinner. It was nice to just have a really chilled day before heading away.

 

On the Sunday our flight wasn’t until 3pm, so we had the morning the get organised and sort nelson the kitten out. He went to stay with my grandma, who I think found him a real handful! I am so not down for the early 4am flights – they make me feel so ill! Anyway, so we landed up getting to a very wet Venice at around 7pm. It was absolutely pouring and the streets were literally flooded. It wasn’t the best start to the trip, however once we were dry again and had food in us it was all good. Even though I hate the early flights, a part of me does really wish that we could have got there a little earlier as it would have been much less stressful figuring out where we were going in the light.

So we basically had two full days to explore the city, of which the first one was to go a little further afield and explore one of the islands just off from Venice. Once we had left the hotel, after breakfast, we walked to San Marco square which was only a convenient 5-minute walk from the hotel. The square itself is absolutely breath-taking, with the incredible architecture and views of the water. However, it was so busy with tourists, which isn’t particularly my favourite thing in the world. We then went to Murano, which was recommended by my boyfriend’s mum who had been there before. Murano is where they make the most beautiful glass, from fantastic vases to the most incredible chandeliers. The island itself is small and a real extension of Venice. The minute we got off the water bus we stopped for lunch on the island, where we landed up having a delicious meal and trying the most delicious balsamic vinegars. It was a real treat to learn so much about the history behind the gorgeous food, including vinegars, truffle oils and different kinds of pasta. Once we had eaten lunch, we walked around the island and went to have a look in the glass museum where we learnt about how they make the glass and the whole history behind it. It was such a mesmerising place to visit and somewhere I am now really glad I have seen. That afternoon we walked back through San Marco square to get back to the hotel, again taking in the beautiful views and buildings.

Late in the afternoon we decided to have a bit of a rest and go out a bit of a late dinner. Since my operation I am really not able to be walking around all day and seriously need an hour or two to recharge in the afternoon. It makes me feel like a complete old lady! Although, seeing as the holiday was also about having some time to chill, I didn’t feel guilty about my power nap. That evening we decided to just have a quick dinner, which consisted of red wine and tomato spaghetti which I had been craving for so long! I find it so hard to find really good tomato spaghetti.

 

The food in Venice was really good; I don’t know exactly what I was expecting but it was so nice to eat some proper Italian food and not feel guilty about eating all the carbs. The main thing I had learnt from other people’s previous experiences of Venice was that you need to be careful about where you eat and always check the prices. To be honest, we didn’t find it a problem at all. We stayed away from the squares and main tourist attractions and there was no problem at all. It was nothing like eating in Paris or Geneva. We stayed well within budget every day and I didn’t feel at all ripped off at any point. I had been told that the dish of the city was Spaghetti with Clams, which I can’t eat as seafood just doesn’t sit right with me. I am sure it is amazing though!

On the second day, we decided that we wanted to get lost in the city. Everyone had told us that the best thing to do is just to walk around all the little streets and see where you land up. So that is exactly what we did. We headed off over the Rialto bridge and just kept walking and walking. It was so magical to explore all the little streets and I couldn’t believe just how narrow some of them really were. We had lots of coffee stops enjoying the Italian espressos and stopped for lunch early in the afternoon and even managed to sit outside. I think everyone thought we were a little crazy but it was warm enough with coats on and there was a cover which was great for the two minutes it decided to rain. That day I had a beautiful Salmon dish, as well as lots of red wine which was perfect whilst watching the world go by. It was so sunny on the second day, which made walking around even more enjoyable. I must admit, I don’t think I would want to go there in the middle of August. The heat and the crowds would definitely be a bit much for me.

So again, after my inevitable afternoon nap, we decided to find somewhere really nice for our last dinner in the city. We looked on TripAdvisor and found somewhere really good which was luckily only two minutes away from the hotel. We had the most incredible dinner, lots of wine, a delicious steak and a crème brulee which was served on fire. I can actually say I have never seen that before! This place was so well placed in the city and an amazing place to really enjoy what food Venice has to offer. This was by far the best meal we had on the whole trip.

 

Overall I couldn’t rate Venice enough. It as a must see destination to visit and really was the perfect place to celebrate my birthday.

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Splendid Venice Hotel 

Birthday Blow Dry by Rush Hair Bristol

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I have not been paid to feature any brands, and all views and opinions are my own.

A Girly Trip to Edinburgh

A Girly Trip to Edinburgh

After my operation, my grandma and I made a pact that three months afterwards we would go away somewhere. The main reasoning was that I was on warfarin for three months, which meant that I was restricted by certain foods and importantly to me, I couldn’t have a drink. As you can imagine, this was pretty crap over Christmas. So I knew that as soon as possible I wanted to get away. My grandparents had never been to Edinburgh, so after I had fallen in love the city last year, I really wanted to take them. In the end my grandad couldn’t come, so it turned into a much needed girly trip with just her. We planned to go for just three nights, enough time to see it all and enjoy a little bit of a rest, staying in a new hotel situated in the heart of the city as well as just getting a quick flight from Bristol.

We started the trip with a very leisurely flight, which luckily was at a sophisticated time in the afternoon, meaning that we didn’t have that dreaded 4am wake up call. This meant we could relax in the airport, have some lunch and enjoy a much needed glass of Prosecco. The perfect start to any trip I would say.

Getting into Edinburgh at about 4pm, meant we could get to the hotel and unpack, whilst also enjoying a slight rest before starting to explore the city. We are not really the kind of people to be up running around the whole time trying to see everywhere, so we planned on just taking it easy that evening. The last time I was in Edinburgh I discovered this delicious tapas restaurant, so decided that on the first night I would take my grandma here to experience the delicious food. We walked there from the hotel, which did turn out to be a little further than I had anticipated, but well worth the trip. The interiors of the restaurant are gorgeous, extremely unusual for anything you see here and such a cosy atmosphere to enjoy a good meal. To go with our rather large glasses of wine, we ordered six tapas dishes to share, which obviously we devoured very quickly.

The food in this restaurant is some of the best I have ever had, with so many different options available and such good sizes for the money. If you ever do land up going, I would really recommend the salmon or the honey battered chicken. It is so good! As you can imagine, we both had a very good night’s sleep after the walk and all the food!

A big part of this trip was having a rest as well as seeing the city, so a much needed lie in was very much appreciated the next day before a delicious breakfast in the hotel. We started the day by heading up into the heart of the city, walking along the road with a perfect view of the beautiful castle. One of my favourite parts of this city is how the castle completely dominates it – it is the key feature situated right in the middle, to be seen most of the time. We landed up swaying into most of the shops along the way, where obviously I manged to pick up more than a few goodies. Edinburgh is definitely the best place I have ever been to for shopping.

It literally has every single shop you could ever think of, everything you ever need and even the things you don’t. This is one of the main reasons that I wanted to bring my grandma, because she is definitely someone who appreciates all the shops being in one place! Through the day we landed up stopping for countless coffees, as well as a delicious lunch in Cote, one of our favourites. Unfortunately, all didn’t go to plan as they seemed to get a few things mixed up, but nevertheless we were both feeling so relaxed that nothing at all really seemed to bother us! Later that day, after walking around the city a bit more and admiring everything it had to offer, we landed up in one very special shop where I had already planned on making quite a big purchase.

For such a long time I have had my eye on a very special bag, for more reasons that just how beautiful it is. I have always wanted a really nice big tote bag, which I can use every day, especially for work, where I can just easily throw everything in it that I need. I’m guessing this is part of the reason why this bag is so popular. I chose to buy the Louis Vuitton Neverfull bag, and went into the shop to decide between the medium or large. For a £40 difference I went with the large, as it can actually be made smaller and to be honest, I could easily fill it every day. It is probably one of the biggest purchases I have ever made, but I don’t regret it one bit. I absolutely love having it and it honestly makes life so much easier with carrying everything around.

That evening, my grandma and I decided to do something a little different. Our favourite film of all time to watch together is The Sound of Music, so when we saw it was on at the Edinburgh Playhouse right next door to our hotel we immediately bought some tickets.

So after having a quick dinner in the hotel, as well as a predictable Prosecco, we headed to the theatre. It was something a little different to do that evening and we had such a great time. The play so good and the children in it were outstanding. I can’t quite say the same for the man who played the father, but I will leave that to you to figure out. I think he is known for being in EastEnders, but seeing as I don’t watch it, I wouldn’t be able to say for sure.

The next day I actually got up to something extremely exciting. A big part of my blog this year for me is starting to develop my photography and location choices. I decided that I really wanted to find a photographer in Edinburgh to get some good outfit photos to use on the blog. I found someone through Instagram who turned out to be way better than I had expected. She was so passionate about helping me and I felt like I was having an educational tour of the city whilst we did our shoot. It was so amazing to be shooting somewhere so beautiful, and also so different to where I usually do so. We went everywhere, tying the outfits into the location and making the most out of an extremely sunny day. Obviously this took us a little while, but we got there in the end and I was so exhausted afterwards! Well worth it though! My grandma and I then headed out for a late lunch, whereby I introduced her to her first ever Wagamamas.

I think we have both decided that it is officially one of our favourite places to eat. The katsu curry and ‘bang bang’ cauliflower is just heaven… especially when you’re hungry and have been running round all morning! After a final walk around and look around the shops, we decided to have an earlier night, attempt to pack all the things we had bought and get ready to head home. Due to the big, late lunch we were a bit naughty and opted for some chips from the fish and chip shop for dinner whilst indulging in married at first sight!

The next day we had the morning the kill some time before heading off to the airport, so we decided to leave the bags and head out to go on a bus tour. I did this last time so knew it was the way to experience the city. We chose to go on the Edinburgh Bus Tours (the green bus), as you get someone at the front talking into a microphone and telling you all the history and everything about the city. It lasts about an hour and a bit, and was the ideal thing to do so that we had officially been all over Edinburgh during the trip! As opposed to just having been shopping! So after a quick coffee, we headed back to the airport ready to go home.

If you would like to know more about LJ Horton Photography, head to her website here.

 

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Patterned Coat – Topshop

Black Coat – Ted Baker

Berry Tote – Russel and Bromley

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I have not been paid to feature any brands, and all views and opinions are my own.

 

Edinburgh & The Scottish Highlands

Edinburgh & The Scottish Highlands

As part of my time out over the past few weeks, before going ahead with my surgery, I landed up in Scotland twice. The first, a girls’ city trip with my Italian bestie to Edinburgh for a few days, then a tech free week away a few days later with my wonderful partner. They were both very different trips, both extremely enjoyable and very much needed. Scotland is somewhere I developed a huge love for last year on my first ever trip there, and have been dreaming of going back for the months ever since. It was never somewhere I had thought of going to for a holiday, but now it is actually somewhere I would one day love to call home. I have never felt so relaxed like I do there, completely in awe of the beautiful scenery, yet feeling very much familiar with the surroundings and comfortable with the life. Seeing as they are technically both in the same place, I thought I would include both trips into one post, to show the similarities and differences, as well as why you should visit both for very different reasons.

Everything about it makes me smile. The breath taking scenery, amazing wildlife and a much more natural approach to life.

Edinburgh

Edinburgh was the first stop for my long time spent in the beautiful place, and I was so excited as I had wanted to go for such a long time. I had heard so many things about its unique beauty and spectacular history. I had very little expectations on arrival, as I only had images that I had made up in my mind of what people had said and had left most of the planning to my friend. It took us a few hours to get our bearings and get to know the city, but to be honest, we felt comfortable very quickly. It is a much smaller city than I had anticipated, with everything being within walking distance between the old city and the new. There is so much to explore within the area and so many amazing things to know about the history and how it has made Edinburgh today.

The new city is everything that you would expect from a capital city that wants to thrive and make a name for itself. The buzzing atmosphere, an amazing shopping experience and little touches of Scotland make it the perfect area to relax and indulge in some major retail therapy. It is the perfect area to enjoy the views of the city, appreciate the architecture and make the most out of the wonderful galleries and museums. A favourite part of mine was the incredible view the castle, which could be seen from all around the new city.

The old part of the city is a mere 5-minute walk from the new city, where most forms of transport will get you to from your journey. We booked our accommodation in the old city, purely by coincidence, and we were so happy with where it turned out to be. The hotel was situated on the main street the travels down the whole length of the town, names Queens street. At one end you have Parliament, followed by the Queens palace, up the street towards all the attraction and right at the end the castle. During our trip we visited a few museums, went underground and explored inside the enormous castle. When we went underground we did a tour at ‘The Real Mary’s Kings Close’ where we went underground to see where people used to live over the years of the Black Death. We had a really good tour guide who took us around the whole area and told us so many little stories from the rather dull and unsanitary times. Whenever doing trips like these, I am always so amazed by the history and it makes me appreciate the world we live in so much. It takes looking back very often just to remember how lucky we are to be here now, despite some things going on.

The castle was obviously a trip that had to be done. We left it until the end of our time there, as we wanted to go and spend a few hours. The easiest way for us to learn about the castle was by using the audio guides. I love these ones that take you around and give you a little direction, with all the small facts and information. There were so many things to see inside, such as where they shoot the cannon, the uniform museums, the smallest chapel and residence for the different people who would once have lived and fought within the castle. It was so much bigger than I had realised, and the view was something else. It was the perfect end to the trip.

The Scottish Highlands

The second part of my time in Scotland was spent all the way up at the top – a ten-hour drive from Bristol. I went to the highlands for the first time last summer, and have been craving a trip back ever since. We stay in a beautiful little cottage in somewhere called Onich, about a 20-minute drive from Fort William. It is a very long drive, but worth every single minute.

Fort William is very well known for walking – which I was actually quite looking forward to. This was until my beloved partner decided it would be a good idea to do a 21 mile walk the day before we left, where he managed to damage his knee. So, walking was off the agenda unfortunately. However, we were still determined to spend as much time outside as possible and enjoy the Scottish air. There is always something about it there, where everyone just seems so much closer to nature and life is just a little easier and simple. I just want to spend all the time watching the lochs and driving around in the mountains, being constantly astounded by the views.

The first day of our trip we landed up in our favourite little place called Oban, about an hours drive from our cottage. It is a gorgeous little town, with a few shops and a promise of a very good day in terms of food. We walked around, looking in the local shops and stopped for some lunch in our favourite fish and chip shop. Honestly, it is the best fish and chips I have ever had…My mouth literally waters whenever I think about it! After another little mooch around we then went to the most incredible chocolate shop, where they do the best hot chocolates and milkshakes, as well as the best selection of chocolate treats! I think it’s safe to say that we consumed a lot of calories on this day. The great thing for me though, that apart from one evening, we were able to cook a meal every night. I love cooking, and enjoy making a lovely meal and enjoying it in front of the fire with my babes.

During the trip we also visited the sea life sanctuary, where they have resident Seals, an Otter and it is also a Seal hospital where they take care of pups who have been abandoned and in need of looking after. We spent the time enjoying the aquarium, watching the animals get fed and obviously learning about the other wildlife that Scotland has to offer. We saw a lot of other wildlife whilst we drove around, including highland cows, deer, sea life and birds. I get so mesmerised when I see the wildlife and it makes me feel so relaxed and happy. This is all on offer by just driving around, stopping occasionally and keeping an eye out constantly. You really do never know what is going to be there next.

The highlands to me is all about enjoying the nature, having a proper rest and totally switching off from life back at home.