Posts in Lifestyle
Who said the Maldives was just for Honeymooners?

It was our first time to the Conrad, Maldives, Ranhali Island and boy were we blown away! As most of you know we came to the Maldives, the Christmas before last with my Mum after a much needed getaway. 

This time it was a tad different, Loanne and I were joined by our two blogger pals Sabrina and Amy and our good photographer pal Charlie (Charlie’s angels we called ourselves ha!) We spent 4 days at the award-winning Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, an untouched slice of paradise that boasts awards winning dining featuring 12 world class restaurants and bars, two spas and an abundance of locally inspired experiences. 

I have to admit that it’s hands down the most beautiful place we have ever stayed, from the serenity of the island, the unparalleled service & attention to detail, the sumptuous cuisine & the jaw-dropping settings, boy did we feel blessed and extremely privileged to be here. It’s not everyday you get to experience such unrivalled beauty, no wonder the Conrad has twice been voted ‘Best hotel in the world.’

We maxed out in a dreamy water villa which had it’s very own outdoor decking/ veranda with a private jacuzzi and wooden steps leading into the crystal clear water.

Now most people would assume that the Maldives is for honeymooners or couples looking to have a romantic getaway and although you are right, let me tell you that doing it with friends or a sibling gives it that extra dynamic, the late night chats, the jokes and laughter and of course sharing wardrobes & a common interest in photo-taking! I may go as far to say it’s even better. Below I've listed the best activities to do with friends on the Island..

Massage at the Spa Retreat

You can’t really get better settings than the spa retreat, set over a lagoon at the tip of Ranhali finolhu Island and built on stilts over the turquoise water even just stepping foot on the premises leaves you in a tranquil and zen mood. We were taken through to our very own private spa room with beautiful ocean sea views an an open plan outdoor toilet… extremeley bizarre. We had a 1 hour full-body massage that allowed us to sink further into the realms of relaxation. The spa also offers a range of holistic spa and beauty treatments that will cater to your needs. 

Dinner at Koko Grill

It was near impossible to decline any sort of culinary dish at the Conrad as the food was so incredible, each chef a master of his own craft whose attention to detail on food pairing, flavours and presentation exceeds it all. Not great for the bikini shots but 'hey ho' we couldn’t resist the sumptuous food that was presented before us. Koko grill had to be my favourite restaurant though,  it’s an open air restaurant on the beach where the chef prepares 10 exquisite Japanese courses featuring locally sourced produce and the finest ingredients imported from around the globe in front of you. The fish is so fresh and the Sake was the best I’ve tried! We spent the evening indulging in a variety of different flavours, sipping on Sake and and taking in the stunning views.

Private Sunrise Yoga

If you’re going to wake up and watch the sunrise, this is how you do it! Loanne, Sabrina and I woke up at 5am and had a private yoga session with long time Keralan yogi Manesh Johny who adapted his class to our particular capabilities. This took place at the quiet pool where we spent 40 minutes perfecting our flow, hatha and vinyasa whilst watching the sun slowly creep over the horizon diluting the sky a pink and orange blush. 

Swim with Sharks & Manta Rays

Usually on snorkelling trips you don’t expect to swim with anything bigger than a few tropical fish and a stingray if you’re lucky… but the Conrad is one of the best locations to spot giant whale sharks and Manta rays so when we got to swim with them, it was rather surreal, we were snorkelling with a 10m whale shark directly beneath us! If you’re not a huge snorkeller you can always sit on the deck and soak in the sun rays, we were lucky enough to have our very own private snorkelling trip so it felt more relaxed and intimate.

Luxury Sunset Cruise

What a way to watch a sunset! A small group of around 10 of us took a luxury Yacht out for a couple of hours to watch the sunset with champagne and canapés. Whilst the sun was slowly setting over the horizon we spotted a school of spinner dolphins gliding and jumping in unison with the yacht, it was so magical, only something like this happens in paradise. 

Morning Champagne at The Underwater Restaurant

I’m sure you have all seen the photos of the undersea restaurant on instagram… well yes, that’s here. We literally couldn’t contain our excitement when we arrived here in the morning for champagne, 16 feet below sea level It’s the world’s first undersea restaurant offering 180 degrees panoramic views of the vibrant coral garden’s surrounding it, the morning was spent laughing away, sipping on champagne whilst watching sharks, manta rays and beautiful tropical fish swim above our heads! 

Champagne & star gazing in the hot tub! 

One of the best things about having our own water villa was the outdoor decking with our own private jacuzzi, so at my favourite time of day sun set, we opened up a bottle of bubbly whilst playing music from our speakers, sat in the jacuzzi and ended up dancing whilst watching the sun turn shades of blood orange over the water, we then proceeded to do some star gazing whilst enjoying each others company and taking in the breathtaking views!

 

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Our Ultimate Christmas Hamper

There's nothing better than receiving a Christmas hamper full of  delicious treats and goodies. So Loanne and I have put together our very own dreamy Christmas hamper full of our favourite gifts just in time for the big day. Hurry though you only have two days left!

 Jo Malone - They have a variety of Christmas gift sets that will be a sure winner! Something delightful. Unexpected. Unique. Why not spoil your loved ones with the Pomegranate Noir Collection Or, indulge with the deluxe candle collection

LuLu Guinness - There are so many cute and quirky Christmas gifts at LuLu. See the new year in style with the cute 2018 planner and pen. A perfect addition to your handbag or desk space, as well as this adorable, sparkly coin purse which makes for the perfect stocking filler. 

Whittard's hot chocolate - If you're all about indulgence over Christmas Whittard's hot chocolate makes for the perfect stocking filler or hamper. Take a peek at their Christmas gifts that will be sure to satisfy someone's sweet tooth!

Lore Originals -  This is the essential kit bag of products for your hair! The hair products are amazing and provide long lasting integrity and health for every hair type, the bonus is the beautiful packaging!

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LifestyleCollyer Twins
Christmas Trees and Hot Herbal Teas :)

Cosy nights by the fire, warm knits and slippers, constant supplies of warm teas, decorated Christmas trees and fairy lights, mounds of presents and lots of family time. This is how we’ll be spending our christmas this year! Contrary to the norm, this year we’ve decided to stay put and swap the tropical sunshine and warmer climates for a truly British, cold and wintery Christmas and you know what? So far we’re loving every minute of it!

Now if you know me and Jordan, there’s nothing we like more than a hot drink to warm up the palate and keep us toasty on a cold winters night and that’s exactly why we’ve linked up with one of our favourite tea brands this Christmas, Heath & Heather.

Heath & Heather is a herbal tea brand and infusion specialist. Their range of flavoured herbal teas are to die for and we haven’t stopped drinking them from the moment we discovered them. (PS the organic oriental chai and liquorice is an absolute fave of ours!)

Now me and Jordan try our best to live and lead a healthy lifestyle which aligns well with the brand as it embodies the traditional principles of growing natural and organic ingredients aiming to enhance the wellness and health of todays very modern population who lead busy and stressful lifestyles. (We know a few too may people who this applies to and even ourselves sometimes!)Their campaign ‘Me to the Power of Tea’ is all about exploring and restoring your ‘best self’ with their range of 100% natural infusions, each made using nature’s finest botanicals, herbs and roots! YUM! 

So in alignment with the style of the campaign, we thought what better way to get in to the Christmas spirit and back in touch with nature than adventuring out and foraging for our very own Christmas tree and decorating it? And believe it or not, this is something me and Jordan have never done, seeing as it is currently our first Christmas living on our own! Exciting! So we decided to go down to ‘Pines and Needles’ in Shoreditch, a Christmas tree farm and go foraging for our very own Christmas tree! 

Now, despite the freezing cold and the snow that began just as we had just left the house, we got really stuck in to exploring round ‘Pines and Needles’ looking for the perfect tree for our front room, and ended up finding an amazing one that fit perfectly in to our cosy living room space! 

We spent the evening decorating it with our fave baubles whilst sipping on our delicious herbal tea, feeling more in the christmasy spirit than we had done for a long while! 

Now for those that haven’t tried this incredible natural tea, NOW is your chance. We’ve worked alongside Heath & Heather to give you guys a chance to win an incredible luxury Christmas hamper :) Inside are a selection of Heath & Heather teas, organic light teas, delicious organic mince pies, an organic Christmas pudding, organic plum and cranberry chutney and a beautiful fresh mistletoe! What a hamper! This is an absolute fab Christmas pressie for yourself or if your feeling generous, a great Christmas gift for someone else.

All you need to do to enter is LIKE AND RETWEET our last photo on Twitter (of us sipping on our delicious Heath and & Heather teas!)

We will then announce a winner on Tuesday 19th December 2017 and will send this hamper over to you!

GOOD LUCK!

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LifestyleCollyer Twins
A Hush Christmas

 Christmas is a time for giving (and receiving of course) but nothing feels quite as good as seeing loved ones faces light up when they unwrap a gift you know they are going to love! For some people Christmas isn't all its cracked up to be, partly because you end up in even more debt than you started with as well as running the risk of your gifts being underappreciated. That is an incredibly scrooge attitude to have but we understand that keeping a close eye on those pennies is certainly on most people's minds, so, we've put together a very cute gift set with the help of Hush that won't break the bank account and that every best friend or sister will appreciate! I mean what's not to love about a lovely lacy bra & knickers set and a cute leather card holder that all falls under £60.

Buy the gift set here

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LifestyleCollyer Twins
A weekend in Portugal

Home sweet home, I say as we land at Lisbon airport, bright blue skies and warm temperatures on an unlikely Autumnal day.

Having spent our teenage years here from the ages of 14 to 18 there’s always a sense of nostalgia and excitement to come back to the place that shaped and influenced the critical years of growing up. We spent four years in a place called Cascais (a coastal resort town 30 kilometers west of Lisbon) and it’s always lovely to go back to see old friends, familiar places and how things have changed and progressed from when we lived there.

In the past couple of years Lisbon has been destined as one of Europe’s coolest capital, not only for it’s beautiful architecture and quaint cobbled streets but it’s trendy night life heaving with great roof top bars that boast incredible views of the city. The cuisine has to be one of our favourites and what I constantly crave after too many roast dinners and Haribos!

 The typical Portuguese cuisine of bacalhau (dried cod) and fresh seafood is incredible, and whilst Lisbon has embraced its' traditional roots it has also adopted an experimental, modern and sophisticated cuisine that is affordable in it’s own right.

Our once unknown & humble little Portugal has transformed in recent years to a much sought after and talked about place amongst brits.

Now although Lisbon may be top of your list, we can’t stress how much more there is to see and do in Portugal!  Below I’ve outline some great things to do in and out of Lisbon if you’re over for a very short flying visit!

TO STAY:

PENHA LONGA RESORT

What a beautiful hotel, located in 545-acre national park on the southern Sintra Mountains, we stayed here for a night in the executive suite that had views to die for. The luxurious hotel, sits amongst a nineteenth century palace, 27 golf holes set within historic ruins and a stunning Spa and Wellness centre. This has to be one of the most tranquil and serene spots I have ever been to! It’s perfect for a little rejuvenation and down time. Loanne and I spent the evening on our roof terrace sipping on wine whilst watching a sunset that could only be compared to that of an African safari sunset as the whole sky lit a blood red orange!

We had dinner at a place called Arola one of the 8 restaurants within the hotel, a contemporary twist to Spanish tapas with contrasting flavours and textures! If you go you must order the ‘Copa Catalana’ similar to a crème brulee but with a twist!  It is hands down one of my favourite desserts.

 

DAY OUT:

SINTRA

This is where we rented an AirBnB this holiday. Forty minutes from Lisbon's main station (Rossio). It’s a time warped village located in lush, wooded hills surrounded by whimsical palaces that emanates an aura of mysticism and romanticism. Be sure to visit the beautiful ‘Palacio De Pena’ and 'Quinta da Regaleira' then afterwards stop off for a sweet Queijada at Casa Piriquita. If you're feeling adventurous get off the beaten track and explore the Sintra hills where witchcraft is rife! If you look hard enough you’ll come across sacrificial tombstones and red ribbon wrapped around trees where practices still occur. (Eerie)

BY NIGHT:

SKY BAR

The Sky bar is one of the best roof top bars in Lisbon and located on the roof of the Tivoli Avenida da Liberdade hotel with incredible cocktails, good vibes, live music and a panoramic view of Lisbon. Come here around 9/10pm for pre-drinks and make sure to ask the waiter to whip you up a pineapple Margarita, it’s not on the menu but they’ll do it if you ask and they are super scrumptious.

JNcQUOI

The latest contemporary restaurant to hit Lisbon, it’s comfort artisan food is modern and sophisticated just like the ambience and interior, the best feature is the dinosaur skeleton perfectly positioned in the middle of the restaurant, and don’t forget to head to the bathroom for a boogie where you’ll find a DJ spinning some tunes from a circular DJ booth! Cool or crazy, call it what you like… We loved it!

 LUX

One of the best Clubs in Lisbon, especially for house music! The venue which is divided into a club space, bar and terrace, is known for its stunning waterside location and regular appearances from international DJ’s. If you love house music make the downstairs area your party place, we didn’t stop dancing for 3 hours straight when we went! Order the luxtinis, a personalised cocktail that is as sweet as can be!  

BY DAY:

GUINCHO BEACH

This has to be my favourite beach in Portugal, not only because we spent most of our teen years on this beach surfing and sunbathing but it’s 800 meters of golden sand and shoreline is absolutely stunning and has the perfect surf and windsurf conditions. Be aware it’s very hit and miss in terms of wind! But when you have a calm day there is nothing more beautiful! It's 5km from Cascais and 33km from Lisbon.

 

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 Shop the look:

Outfit 1


Pink silk dress | Bec and Bridge

Outfit 2

Polka dot dress | Zara
Yellow kitten heels | Topshop
Hat | ASOS
Sunnies | Ray Ban

Outfit 3:

Green Jumper | Weekday Stores
Jeans | Weekday Stores
Hat | ASOS
Silk Skirt | New Look
Beret | ASOS
Bags | Kurt Geiger
Boots | Kurt Geiger

Outfit 4:

Black Jumpsuit | Only Child
White Mules | Vagabond shoes
Sunnies | Ray Ban

Outfit 5:

Jeans | Weekday Stores
Green velvet Jacket | Weekday Stores

Outfit 6:

White Kitten Heels | Topshop
Black Skirt | Urban Outfitters
Top | All Things Mochi

Outfit 7:


White floral top |Zara
Denim shorts | Urban Outfitters

Outfit 8:

Blue bikini |Sea Folly Australia
New York Top | Topshop



 

Travel, LifestyleCollyer Twins
BoardMasters with Visa

Most of you probably know how much Loanne and I enjoy festivals, so when Visa invited us to experience Boardmasters festival as a VIP in luxury bell tents with surf lessons and a private flight experience over the picturesque Cornwall countryside we were ready to sign up straight away!

This year Visa was a sponsor of Boardmasters working with its partner, Square to bring up to 100% card acceptance to the festival for the first time in its 36-year history.

We arrived on Wednesday evening to our luxury bell tents complete with beds, duvets, electricity and charging facilities and to top that off every morning we pre-ordered breakfast - using contactless no less - from our tent, which was delivered right to us by our dedicated Visa butlers. A faraway cry from what we are used to at festivals, so it was an extremely pleasant surprise!

The festival grounds were spacious and location wise probably the most beautiful location in the UK for a festival. The music was great too and we were able to enjoy the most epic sunsets whilst dancing away to some incredible DJs amongst stretches of beautiful beach as a backdrop which made the experience even better.

During our 4 days we spent time wandering around the festival going on rides, eating the delicious food and drinks from the food trucks and bars. Visa provided us with a pre-paid debit card and a wearable to make simple transactions throughout our time there which made everything so much easier, time- efficient and allowed us to forget about money! Usually at festivals it’s such a pain to have to find the nearest cash machine and then walk around with loose coins and change in our bum bags, so being able to pay with a tap of the wrist or card was ideal.

We also had access to the Deck, Visa’s exclusive viewing platform, which offered the best seats in the house and its Visa Everywhere Lounge where we watched thousands of people dance along to Jamiroquai, what an amazing experience! On Friday, we watched some epic DJs and danced for 6 hours straight to Camelphat and Sonny Fodera which was certainly our highlight.

To top off the ultimate Boardmaster’s experience Visa  organised a private flight experience where Loanne got to fly the plane over the festival, the views were breathtaking as we flew over the picturesque festival and stunning stretches of sandy beaches.

On our final day we had a 2 hour surf lesson which was so much fun, it was great to pick up the board again and surf some beginner-friendly waves.

Overall it was an incredible trip made so much more enjoyable with Visa. Although it was a very young crowd at the festival, the music and surroundings were stunning and definitely a festival we would recommend to music heads and those who love a breathtaking setting.

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Lifestyle, TravelCollyer Twins