Posts in Travel
Montenegro

Montenegro, a stunning little gem full of natural beauty with a tiny population and a vast landscape boasting gorgeous mountain ranges, beautiful beaches, clear lakes and quaint old towns. It is steeped in rich history and truly is a country everyone needs to visit. 

Now let's be honest, how many of you know anything about Montenegro? Or for that matter, where it sits geographically on the world map? Hmmm.. 

We will tell you, Montenegro is a tiny Balkan nation situated in the South of the Adriatic sea wedged between its Bosnian, Serbian and Croatian neighbours. To enter the country we flew in to Dubrovnik in Croatia and took a taxi an hour to the boarders where we then crossed in to Montenegro.

Although tiny, the country is bursting with a rich culture invoking picturesque landscapes that an Instagrammer would only dream of! The cuisine in itself is enough to make anyone want to return! 

So although we were merely there for a flying visit, we managed to squeeze in a good amount of activities which I would highly recommend if you decide to visit. So here are our top tips for a few days in Montenegro:

 

Where to stay:

 Regent Porto Montenegro -

 This has been voted the best 5* luxury hotel of the country and I’m not surprised why. We stayed here for two nights and were each spoilt with a deluxe room with a sea view, overlooking the hotels stunning waterfront location and its backdrop of beautiful mountain ranges. 

Porto Montenegro is the leading marina village and luxury yacht homeport in the Mediterranean, thriving with superyachts,  restaurants, bars and boutiques. It is well worth an afternoon roaming around the port, to do a spot of shopping or just to grab a bite to eat in one of their many delicious restaurants and soak up the beautiful surrounding views.

The hotel has two outdoor pools and an indoor spa and wellness area which looks stunning! Unfortunately, we didn’t have the time try it out but it would be the perfect place to unwind for a couple of hours. The interior and decor of the hotel is nautical themed and reminiscent of a private cabin on a luxury liner. Very easy on the eye indeed!

 

What to do:

Visit to the Savina winery :

Along the Southern coasts are some of Montenegro’s most beautiful vineyards. After hopping off our two and a half hour plane journey, we drove straight to the Savina winery located at the entrance of the Bay of Kotor. (Nothing like a glass of local wine to wake you up!) The views from the winery were breathtaking and we spent a few hours discovering the vineyards and learning about the distilling processes whilst sampling all the delicious local wines and Mediterranean-style tapas of olives and cured meats. A perfectly delicious spring time activity if you’re there! 

 

Guided tour of Kotor old town :

A UNESCO world heritage site, this old city is riveted with tradition and culture, it was built between the 12th and 14th centuries. Kotor is filled with Medieval architecture and historic monuments, churches and museums. If you’re looking for a cultural day out- this is your best bet! The cute cobbled streets and brightly coloured buildings ooze such character and personality. We had a brilliant tour guide as well who led us through the city’s narrow streets and busy squares, explaining everything with such interest and enthusiasm….Not going to lie, he was pretty easy on the eye too...that could have helped the education process!

 

Boat trip to Perast & Our Lady Of The Rocks:

If you are in Kotor then you must take a short boat trip to the small and beautiful town of Perast across the bay. With sixteen palaces and nineteen churches and ZERO development, this is an absolutely beautiful undiscovered little gem. Have lunch on the edge of the Adriatic sea at the Conte restaurant and hop back on a boat to visit the stunning church and museum located on ‘Our Lady Of The Rocks’. 

 

Lunch, Leisure and Retail Therapy at Porto Montenegro:

If you’re looking for a leisurely afternoon why not head to Porto Montenegro and stroll along the stunning marina in the sun surrounded by a jetty of super yachts.

If you’re a slight shopaholic (like us) you can splash out in shops from Dior to Valentino, MaxMara and Heidi Klein. The retail complex offers tax free shopping for visitors from outside Montenegro...Score...And if you get tired of shopping you can choose to have a nice lunch in one of the marinas many restaurants, cafes or bars, serving a variety of food from light bites, fresh seafood, pastas and pizzas. I wouldn’t say no to a glass of local wine either.

 

Relax and Unwind at the Porto Montenegro Yacht Club:

Ok, so this really is a breathtaking location and the perfect chill spot! We spent the afternoon relaxing on the poolside daybeds sipping on cocktails along the iconic infinity edge swimming pool. Head there for an afternoon sunbathing session and a leisurely swim in the pool with its beautiful backdrop of mountains. Or if you're slightly peckish you can enjoy some food at the bar and restaurant or later in the evening at the mezzanine fine dining restaurant followed by a boogie at their nightclub.

Tip - Ask for the coconut or pineapple cocktails. They are mouth-wateringly delicious!

 

Where to Eat:

 

Conte Restaurant - Perast

This was such a beautiful setting for lunch. Sitting right on the side of the Adriatic sea with the sun beaming over us and tucking in to the most fabulously fresh sea food platter. I tried my first Oyster here which was actually way less scary than I had always made out it to be….even though I’m not sure I’d rush at the chance of having another one but I was spoilt for choice with everything else on the platter.

Everything freshly caught from king prawns to grilled and fried squid, mussels, clams, seafood paella. You name it, it was on there and all of it accompanied with baskets of fresh bread and olive paste and of course the local wine which just completes the entire meal. Thank you please!

 

One Restaurant - Porto Montenegro:

Located in the village of Porto Montenegro, this delicious Mediterranean restaurant is situated right on the marina with a spacious terrace ideal for romantic dinners/ outdoor brunching or sunset drinks.

We spent our last night for dinner here and were recommended a dish of fresh sea bass wrapped in paper with freshly grilled vegetables and wow, was it tasty! One of the best fish dishes I had eaten in a while. We were also spoilt for choice with the wine list boasting of the widest rose selection in the country. It’s easy to have a few too many…I mean, it would be rude not to.

I’m an absolute sucker for all things sweet- deserts are my weak point so I was determined to try a few options on the menu. 

Tip: Go for the strawberry cheesecake, it is to die for! The chocolate mousse, mind you, swoops in at a very high second! 

Overall, a delicious dining experience. 

 

Murano Restaurant - Regent Hotel:

We dined here on our first night, located in the hotel with views overlooking the glittering super yacht marina and Boka bay outside. The food is centered around fresh seafood prepared with locally sourced and organic herbs, all offering a distinctive take on the regional Adriatic cuisine.

This meal set the standards high for the rest of the trip with its delicious risotto and barbecued fish kebab for starters and deliciously fresh grilled monkfish for mains. All beautifully presented and accompanied with some of the regions most delicious rose wine. This is a definite hot spot dining choice!

 

Gourmet Corner -

So I think you already got the gist, I’m a sucker for a great desert! I was in for an absolute treat when we discovered the ‘Gourmet corner’, a quintessential patisserie, gourmet delicatessen and bakery just on the corner of the hotel offering the most beautiful and delicious cakes, pastries, teas and coffees. If you’re having that midday sugar craving (that I tend to suffer from) come here and order a slice of carrot cake.….You’ll thank me later.

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Outfits

Outfit 1

Striped Top -  Here

Denim Jeans - Here

White mules - Here

Beige Dress - Here

Straw Mules - Here

Outfit 2

White embroidered blouse - Here

Jeans - Here

Outfit 3

Ciao Top - Here

Beige shorts - Here

Outfit 4

Red Bikini - Here

Outfit 5

Red Jacket - Here

Blue shirt - Here

Leather trousers - Here

Cami coat - Here

Green astrology bag - Here

Straw pompom clutch - Here

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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Kuramathi Island Resort - Maldives For The Restless Traveller

 

Kuramathi. Island number two. A week into paradise and although far from ready to leave the Conrad hotel, we were excited at the prospect of something new and different. And Kuramathi provided just that….

Kuramathi is one of the largest of the Maldivian islands in the Northern Atoll. It is a short one hour boat ride from the capital , Male, and is renound for its beautiful coral reefs, making it ideal for diving, snorkelling and all the water sports the island has to offer.

Now, I’m sure you’ve heard this familiar phrase from at least one person before “ Oh you’ll definitely get bored and restless in the Maldives if you stay longer than a week” or “ It's great for someone who loves to relax and sunbathe but there’s not much else to do” …..well ladies and gentleman, I introduce you to Kuramathi, the island that proves the exact opposite. With over 360 beach and water villas, a fully equipped sports centre, a fully equipped dive school, watersports galore, an aqua centre providing excursions, 9 à la carte restaurants, 3 buffet restaurants and 7 bars (*breathe*) I can guarantee you boredom will not even be an option!

The island provides five different types of accommodation from deluxe water villas to beach villas. As a  group of five we booked ourselves in to the two-storey beach villas, which was such a great choice. We each had our own floor with a huge double bed and a massive ensuite bathroom each one leading to our own outdoor showers which really do provide that ‘wow’ factor!

Oh and to top it off….it is, as it says, on the beach. So step a few feet from your bed and soak up the sun and sand. Dreamy!

Now, obviously the Maldives also has a reputation for the being the perfect honeymoon destination, and don’t get me wrong, I still believe it is one of the best place to go, however, Kuramathi also provides a holiday perfect for families and groups of friends alike. Even more so in fact, with its vast range of activities, restaurants and bars. We only had two days in the resort so unfortunately didn’t have time to do as much as we wanted ( we were secretly very busy trying to soak up our last rays before heading back to London!) However we did manage to go on a snorkelling trip on the second morning in order to discover the islands abundant marine life. And boy oh boy was it abundant! As we jumped in, the colours were breathtaking. The ocean was alive with turtles, reef sharks, octopus and an array of multi-coloured fish millimetres from reach.  This is a definite must- do if you visit the island!

Obviously we had to check out the spa… How can you be in such a relaxing place and NOT want a massage? And it certainly didn’t disappoint. With its communal area dotted with lounge beds overlooking the lush blue waters and fresh fruit water on tap, this provided the perfect place to have a few minutes of relaxation whilst waiting for our treatment. Both Jordan and I had full-body 60 minute massages in an air-conditioned room, which was amazing. Re-setting our whole moods and sending me off in a deep and peaceful sleep a fair few times! They have a range of different treatments in the spa, so if you’re looking to escape the midday heat or just an afternoon to unwind, head to the spa and you’ll be in for a treat.

One of the most beautiful and unique parts of the island for me, was the private sand dune at the end of the island. It is so stunning and proves for one of the best places to watch the sunset. (Aside from the islands ‘Laguna bar’ with its infinity pool and delicious espresso martinis!) But this is truly picturesque and for me sets it aside from the other islands. One of the evenings, we all decided to grab a few drinks and sit amongst the sand dunes, watching the horizon turn a glowing pink which slowly filled the whole sky with a tinge of fiery-orange.

Food, food, food. Food for me is always and has always been a very important part of a holiday. I wouldn’t say Jordan I are fussy eaters, at all. In fact, put something on our plate and we’d probably have devoured it by the time you could blink (aside from any meat, thank you very much.) So Kuramathi was like a dream for us in terms of its vast variety of food options. They boast all different types of cuisine from Indian to Mediterranean, Thai, Barbecue, Seafood you name it they have it. Most of the restaurants are buffet style so you are bound to find something you like. Our favourite was definitely the Reef restaurant, which is their signature seafood restaurant. Situated over the turquoise lagoon, you’re in for a very picturesque dining experience full of fresh seafood, prepared any way you like it and a yummy selection of wines.(*Mouth drools*)

 In all honesty I’m gutted we only had such a short amount of time on the island as there were so many other things we wanted to do whilst there, an island hopping excursion, wake-boarding and diving being just a few of them, but this certainly gives us all the more reason to return! Well thats what I keep saying anyway….

So there you have it, a short glimpse into our brief 48 hours on Kuramathi. An island well set up for the restless traveller and one that certainly breaks the stereotype that the Maldives can get boring!

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Shop the look: 

Our Maldives Wardrobe

 

 

Bali

Bali. The land of Bintangs, beautiful landscapes, beaches and bronzed skin. A travellers dream,  a foodies paradise and an instagrammers heaven.

This was my second time in Bali, after spending over a month there the first time, so I think it’s safe to say I think I know the island fairly well. This was a trip to refresh many of those amazing memories from over 3 years ago and to refine my expertise on all the island has to offer. 

So sit back and relax (it’s only most appropriate) I’m here to offer you what I believe are the best couple of weeks in Bali you could get! 

This blog post is split in to four main areas in Bali. Even though I have visited other places, these were my personal favourites. UBUD is definitely one to go and visit as well (even if it's just to see the monkey kingdom) however personally a couple of nights there was enough for me so I haven't delved in to it in this blog post….

Ps - Apologies for the image quality. I used a phone for these photos so they're not as sharp :(

 

CANGUU -

This was the first time I had been to Canggu and I absolutely loved it! It has a range of amazing cafes, restaurants, cool quirky shops and amazing beach bars yet still holds a very much authentic and rural feel toward the area. It is less built up and busy than seminyak but has slightly more going on there than Uluwatu. I think most would agree its the 'coolest' place to be in Bali at the moment. I highly recommend renting out a moped for easy access ( and to fit in with the locals, OBVI!)

 

Where to stay:

La Lasa Villas-

This was an amazing little villa we found by luck on bookings.com and upon arrival, we were so pleasantly surprised. There was only two of us, but we had our own pool, outdoor lounge bed and a whole open kitchen and living room area. The double bedroom was huge with an ensuite bathroom decked out with a luxurious huge bath tub and outdoor shower. 

It was around £130 a night, which for Bali isn’t the cheapest (so maybe not the one if you’re on a budget)  but if you share it between four people obviously the price dramatically drops so it's definitely worth it. Breakfast is included too and the staff are always on hand to help you. (Even when asking to get spiders out your room!)  

It’s only five minute drive from Berawa beach and super close to all the cafes and shops. We intended on staying 1 night and ended up staying 4, so it’s fair to say we absolutely loved it!

 

Where to eat:

Bali bowls -

This is a great spot for breakfast or lunch and is super cute!  White washed walls, wooden seats and big green plants, the scandi interior looks nothing short of a scene from the flinstones. They have an amazing range of fresh juices and super healthy vegetarian options. As you can tell by the title, they are famous for their ‘bowls’ . These are not only amazing fresh fruit bowls full of tropical fruits but they also do a variety of savoury bowls, like scrambled eggs with veggies etc SO good! 

 

Cafe Organic - 

This was a little spot we stopped by for lunch. Really small but again very aesthetic and loads of great delicious and healthy options. 
TIP: Get the sweet potato burger and the sweet potato fries. Mouthwatering!

 

Milu By Nook -

So this is a beautiful spot in Canggu and in all honesty we only had an iced coffee and a couple of juices there, which were really delicious BUT it is an instagrammers heaven. I suggest just checking it out even if you aren’t going to eat, its located right by the rice paddys so its super peaceful. 

There are a few other places I suggest trying out that we didn’t get a chance to try when we were there BUT they look amazing and I was recommended by a friend:

La Laguna ( Amazing hippie vibes)

Betel nut Cafe

Nude Cafe

 

What to do:

Surfing - 

Canggu is one of the best places to surf in Bali and especially great for beginners. If there’s a perfect spot to try, it’s here! The water is warm and the waves aren’t too big. Hire a surf board for a day and get riding those waves with the locals! Lessons are super cheap too and you'll have a lot of fun!

 

Sunset at Finns Beach Club - 

This is an amazing and vibey beach club and one you must try out if in Canggu! It has a huge outdoor pool overlooking the beach and a DJ which plays all afternoon/evening. There is always a great vibe there and the food and drinks are equally relish! The sunsets are absolutely killer so make sure to go for around 5ish before sunset, grab a bintang, lie on one of the sofa’s, listen to the chilled beats and watch the surfers under the picturesque sunset. You can’t beat it!

 

Old Mans (Wednesdays) -

This is a really cool surfer-vibe bar, again right by the beach consisting of a good mix of locals, visitors and expats. It’s like a hip beer garden and most evenings/nights have something going on from beer pong challenges to live bands and DJ sets, however its normally the best place to be on a Wednesday evening!

 

The Lawn (Fridays) -

This is another great beach bar / chill out spot. Hang out and sun tan on the lawn from 11am onwards, whilst watching the long board surfers slide along the Canggu waves, directly out front of the premises. Or head in the evenings to watch the magical sunset and listen to the DJ spin some chilled tunes. 
TIP: Try the Mojito. So yum and refreshing!

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ULUWATU:

Uluwatu is in the south of Bali. It is more rural and less built up than a lot of the other areas but you will find the nicest beaches here. Expect a very laid- back surfer vibe. Don’t expect many shops, restaurants or nightlife. You won’t find as much to do as you will in Seminyak or Canggu but you do get a real authentic bohemian feel to it which I absolutely love. It's super chilled and a surfers paradise!

 

Where to stay:

Kellys Warung / Bingin Ombak Warung -

Now both these places are located on Bingin beach. This time round we stayed at Bingin Ombak but previously we had stayed in Kellys and both are next door to one another and pretty much identical.

If you’re looking for luxury then these places are DEFINITELY not for you. They are extremely basic but their charm is their location slap bang on the beach. Open your balcony and the sea is below you, go down the stairs and you're in the sand. If you like the sound of falling asleep and waking up to the sea, then this is the place to be. I loved it! 

We paid around £40 / night for this accommodation and the staff went compleltey above and beyond to accommodate us and helped us with all our luggage.

Other accommodation reccommendations - 

Gravity Hotel

Sal Secret Spot 

 

Where to eat:

Kelly’s Warung - 

This is the best breakfast / lunch spot on the beach. Sit in the sun on the stools and poofs whilst watching the surfers ride their waves. A lot of healthy options with local produce and great for veggies too.
TIP: Go for their breakfast Pitaya bowls. Full of loads of fresh blended tropical fruits! Nom Nom...OH and great for that insta shot too.

 

The Cashew Tree- 

The Veggie breakfast toastie. Enough said.

 

What to do:

Single Finn (Sundays) - 

Now if there’s anything to do in Bali whilst you're there, you HAVE to go to Single Finn on a Sunday for their sunday sessions. The first time I went I declared it as the best beach bar I had ever been to, I still stand by that declaration! Located just above the beach, it has three stories of wooden decking which are dance floors and bars. A DJ or live band plays as you watch the sun setting over the most picturesque beach. The music gets pumping, the party gets going and the hot surfers keep on coming! Haha (Not a joke...hotties galore in this place!)

 

Ulu Cliff house -

This place has only just opened its doors and I think it is going to be one of Single Finns biggest competitors. Located on the cliffs overlooking the ocean, the views are to die for. This bar / restaurant / hotel is amazing! Perfect for a chilled day by the pool, listening to the DJ play some chilled house and sipping on cocktails, yet equally as great in the night as the music kicks off on an amazing sound system, strobe lights flow and the party gets pumping! We had an amazing night there.Check out the line up of DJs too, they have some really good ones playing.  

 

The Cashew Tree (Thursdays)

Cashew Tree is a great place to hang-out, enjoy a bohemian community and eat fresh, healthy food. Go on Thursday night as they have live music which is a fun, community style event. Usually a surf-reggae themed band comes in, there's a DJ that plays house and trance between sets. It's entertaining and a great place to mingle!

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SEMINYAK:

This was my second time to Seminyak and in all honesty it was a lot busier and built up than it was three years ago. It is more hectic than Canggu and Uluwatu and there are many more restaurants, high-end shops and hotels etc. If you want to do a spot of shopping, Seminyak is your place and if you want to go for a really nice meal you’ll be spoilt for choice here. However, if your looking for something very chilled, quiet and peaceful, Seminyak won’t be this.

 

Where to stay:

Aria Villas - 

We ended our trip staying at these villas and they were amazing. They're a new set of 19 exclusive Villas designed for the discerning travellers. They come with a private pool, well equipped kitchenette, comfortable lounge area, as well as an amazing bathtub and outdoor shower! Dreamy! This was around £130 a night. Again, not the cheapest for Bali, but for this place, well worth the money.

The villas are a 5 minutes drive from the beach and Ku De Ta Beach Club and a 10 minutes walk from Potato Head Beach Club (Read on to understand why that is a GREAT thing! haha)

 

Where to eat:

Nalu Bowls - 

This place is the bomb! If you haven’t heard it then you’ve probably seen it all over instagram (well our instagram anyway). They are famous for their tropical fruit bowls which are divine! They source all their fruit daily infusing the tastes of the local dragon fruit, coconut flesh, mango papaya, spinach and banana. Healthy and scrumptious!

Tip: Go for the Mavericks bowl. Yum!

 

Sisterfields - 

This place is perfect for breakfast or lunch. They have a range of different all-day breakfast and lunch options. From amazing fresh salads, to burgers, to pancakes and red berries, to shakshuka style poached eggs. A great variety and everything I had was so delicious! If you’re feeling slightly healthy too they have a great range of fresh juices and smoothies, packed with goodness.  Sister fields also own Boss Burgers which is next door and is supposed to be the BEST BURGERS around. (I mean I wouldn’t know, being veggie, but heard it through the grapevine!)

TIP: Order a side of polenta fries with parmesan and truffle aioli. They are utterly delicious!

 

Mexicola - 

This is the perfect place to go for a fun and delicious Mexican dinner. There’s such a great vibe in here and after about 7 it really starts to kick off. The music turns up, people get up dancing on the tables and margaritas are ordered left, right and centre.

The food is really tasty (The Fish tacos are INSANE!) and all the cocktails are delish! Be sure to wear your dancing shoes because it will most likely turn in to a wild night!

 

 

What to do:

Sunset & chill day at Potato Head - 

Ok, so if you’re in Seminyak, spending a day and watching the sunset at Potatoe Head is an absolute must. Live DJs play by the pool whilst you chill and sunbathe on your beach beds being served delicious cocktails and yummy food. Definitely stay for sunset. One of the best I’ve seen in my life. The whole sky lights up a pinky orange colour. Absolutely stunning.

TIP: Make sure you go early doors around 11am to reserve a bed for the day. They get booked up fast!

 

Pool Vibes at the W -

This may not be for everyone. But if you don’t mind spending a few bob, the W hotel is really pretty and we spent a day there chilling by the pool as the hotel is beaut and really picturesque. It’s worth going there even just for a visit. The seared tuna wrap is a MUST TRY  as well!

 

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GILLI AIR:

 

Where to stay:

Mola2 resort - 

This is a row of cute beachy huts located right on the beach front with the most stunning sunset view of the island. We paid around £80 a night for this place (but we got the deluxe room, the simple ones go for around £40 ) and it was well worth it. Mola2 Resort is perfectly nestled in the quiet part of Gilli air where many water activities can be done such as diving, snorkeling, sea kayaking, and more.  Breakfast is included in the restaurant on the beach opposite, which serves food and cocktails throughout the day ;)

 

Where to eat:

Scallywags - 

This is the place for a perfect candlelit beach dinner.In fact its the only place we went for dinner on the island (slightly guilty) only because the food was SO good and fresh, we had to go back! Scallywags is a great beach bar/ restaurant serving a variety of seafood, barbecue, American , Asian food, European and also caters for the veggies and has gluten free options.

Tip: Get the calamari for starters. I'll be surprised if you don't order a second round!

 

What to do:

 

Paddle Boarding - 

I highly recommend renting out a couple of paddle boards in Gilli. The water is so calm so it's really easy to do and you’ll definitely have a laugh (if you do it with someone). The first time we did it in Gilli T it suddenly began to rain and almost magically, out of nowhere, appeared this beautiful rainbow followed by a pod of dolphins jumping around us on our boards. It was insane! This time round, we unfortunately saw no dolphins or rainbows but instead schools of flying fish which was also pretty cool. Haha. We did a spot of meditation on the paddle boards too. Pure serenity.

 

Snorkelling - 

Rent out a couple of snorkels for the afternoon and go swimming in the clear waters. You’ll be sure to spot some beautiful, multi coloured and tropical fish.

 

Morning yoga class - 

There are loads of yoga classes which take place in the mornings. Go for a cycle round the island (it takes less than an hour) and you’ll find loads of signs pointing to yoga classes. Breath and stretch whilst watching the sunrise. The perfect way to start your day!

 

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TravelCollyer TwinsComment
A little taste of Senegal

It was our first New Year that Loanne and I parted ways to join our respective other halves on a end of year getaway.  

Whilst Loanne whisked away to Bali, I ventured to the Western coast of Africa to Senegal.

I know some of you will be unfamiliar with Senegal which isn't surprising as it is often overlooked as a holiday destination amongst brits. This made it even more exciting to know that I was about to embark on an adventure without any preconceptions or ideals (despite the little bit of information my boyfriend had shared with me) and what a pleasant surprise it was indeed.

Senegal is a country full of rich traditions, textured landscapes and an infectious optimism and vitality that reverberates amongst its inhabitants, if it's never been on your list of places to go, I highly recommend adding it now!

I spent the majority of my time in Somone, a seaside village nestled in the heart of a beautiful lagoon, classified as a nature reserve and home to several species of migratory birds, fish and lush vegetation made up of mangroves. 

In ten days I got to experience Senegal in all its glory from the lively metropolis of Dakar (the capital), the majestic seaside village of Somone to an impoverished rural village in central Senegal (Petit Meka) where I became acquainted with some of the most enlightening kids. (As you can see most of my photos were taken of the kids in the village. Their energy and positivity despite their primitive living conditions was inspiring and a moment I won't forget!) If you get a chance to venture this far, it's definitely worth a visit.

Below I've listed a few recommendations of things you must do in and around the Somone region. Just make sure you brush up on your French as English is hardly spoken amongst the Senagalese. 

 

To Do

Watch the sunset on the Someone Lagoon

Take a fishing boat out on on the Somone Lagoon to watch the sunset. The lagoon is a sanctuary of migratory birds from Pelicans, silver herons, flamingos and other birds that stroll on the waters filled with beautiful mangroves. Hidden amongst the mangroves lies an ancient Baobab tree stub embellished in hundreds of sea shells. Make sure you stop off and place a shell on one of the stubs, make a wish, this majestic 'tree of life' will be sure to  give you good luck. After stop off at the Paradise Rasta for some locally sourced seafood and chilled reggae vibes.  

 

Visit Goree Island

A short ferry ride from Dakar, lies Goree Island, at first glance the island bestows a beautifully quaint village with gorgeous faded buildings, rich in colours and architecture highlighting its’ european colonial history, yet beneath the beauty of the Island hides a brutal history. Goree Island was the largest slave-trading centre on the African Coast, African men, women and children were held and traded here before being loaded onto ships to the Americas. 

It’s a must visit if you fancy doing something cultural, it's geared up for tourists, with plenty of stalls, places to eat and beautiful views and walks. It’s a rather somber and eerie experience but nevertheless an important one that serves as a reminder of severe human exploitation.

 

Drink Senegalese tea with the locals

I fell in love with the Senegalese tea, not just for it’s sweet taste but the intricate process by which it is prepared and presented formerly known as Attaya in Wolof. (Wolof is the language spoken in Senegal.) Keep an eye out on the sidewalks for locals preparing the tea by repeatedly pouring the brew from one glass to another, to achieve a nice foam.  The tea ritual is an important part of daily and social life and is the customary beverage offered to guests. It is a sweet, pungent brew of (Chinese) green-tea leaves, plenty of sugar, and often mint.

 

Crocodile spotting at Niokolo-Koba National Park

We spent a good two hours trekking in the car through rustic terrain, eyes glued to the binoculars in the hope of spotting Lions and leopards, unfortunately the best we saw was a few antelopes lurking around the premises, so don’t come here in the hope of finding these wild animals. What I would recommend however, is the boat trip we did down the beautiful Gambia river spotting hippos and crocodiles. A tranquil and stunning setting that makes you feel like you’re part of the Wild Thornberry's ! 

 

Dance with the locals

Senegal is home to one of Africa’s most unique and sexy dances called Sabar dancing, performed to the beats of the Sabar drum which incorporates every part of the body. Head into the capital Dakar to the bars/ clubs or to a street party and immerse yourself in the world of Sabar, you will be in awe of their rhythm. I tried my hand at dancing with the locals on New Years eve and trying to emulate their style of dancing was like trying to learn to dance all over again, regardless of whether you can do it or not, let go, feel the rhythm and let the peoples infectious energy take you on a journey!

Quad biking in the Baobab forest

Rent out a quad and ride through the Baobab forest, there are local stations where you can hire quads for the day, it’s a great way to see the place and discover some hidden gems.

 

Massage at the Rhino resort hotel and Spa

If you’re into pampering this 5-star resort based in Saly boasts a luxe spa within a unique african setting. Soak up the sun by the pool before indulging in the spa.

Tip: Get the body massage, be prepared for a massage that touches you in all sorts of places. (Not for prudes!)

 

Sundowners at the Les Manguiers de Guéréo resort nature lodge

After Quad biking around frantically looking for a perfect spot to watch the sunset, we stumbled across this resort, set in the heart of a preserved natural environment offering panoramic views of the Somone lagoon and ocean. Its’ huge infinity pool and beautiful interiors made for an idyllic spot to watch the sunset and take in the stunning views. The newly opened resort, plays host to wildlife observatories flower gardens and diverse birdlife.

Tip: If you’re looking for somewhere to stay the superior lodges offer private pools with stunning views of the lagoon and sea with reasonable prices. 

All of these images were taken on my new Google Pixel phone! :) 

 

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TravelCollyer TwinsComment
Orlando: Shoppin until we droppin'

Last week Loanne and I jetted off on a shopping trip to Orlando. (Casual I know and just in time for Christmas! Woophee!)

The last time we visited Orlando was of course to visit the wondrous world of Disneyland so the place always conjures up feelings of a magical, movie-like show where dreams come true! Haha this visit was a little different, more mature shall we say. We were lucky enough to be invited by ‘Simon Shopping Destinations’, which offers the largest collection of shopping destinations in the US. 

As a global leader in the ownership of premier shopping, dining and entertainment we pretty much immersed ourselves in the world of Simon and literally shopped until we dropped with a little room in between to visit Orlando and its various attractions!

With one shopping centre and two outlets in the area, we really were spoilt for choice. Simon has two outlets centres (International and Vineland) and one generic mall (Florida Mall) some of the outlets had savings of up to 65% like Victoria Secret, KSNY and Salvatore Ferragamo so for all you bargain hunters this is certainly the place to visit. 

We thought it would be a great opportunity to do some early Christmas shopping, however, that didn’t really go to plan as our wandering eye combined with the variety of incredible clothes and discounts got the better of us and we ended up splurging a little more on ourselves than expected. Oopsiee!

Below we have listed our favourite places to visit at Simon as well as things to do and visit!

Hope you enjoy.

Top spots at Simon  

   Bath & Body Works at Orlando International premium outlet

We loved this place firstly because you can’t get it in the UK but also the variety of amazing smelling body creams, soaps and lotions on offer. Our friend Sabrina, another influencer on the trip recommended coming here as she had tried and tested the lovely body lotion before, it was totally worth the visit.

Tip: Make sure to pick up the Coco Shea cucumber Aloe Gel lotion, It’s light and leaves your skin feeling as smooth as a baby’s bottom (The price point is reasonable too!)

 

  Victoria Secret at the Florida Mall

The discounts here are incredible, we spent a good 45 minutes trailing through beautiful bras and underwear, some retailing for as little as $6! What a bargain, I ended up coming out with the cutest silk Pjama set for $24 dollars which usually at home would retail for around £50. Bargain or what!

 

Tommy Hilfiger at Orlando Vineland outlet

As most of you probably know, we’re huge Tommy fans so we were super excited to check out the discounts on offer. We managed to get a couple of Christmas presents here from socks and underpants all ranging from around $15 another great bargain!

 

Things to do whilst in Orlando:

 (A huge thanks to Visit Orlando for organising so much of our trip and allowing us to do take part and experience all the below !)

Universal Studios

I mean you simply cannot go to Orlando and not visit Universal studios. This is for anyone who loves to channel their inner child once in a while. Make sure you go on the HULK ride (multiple times) and take a trip on the train to the Harry Potter world, if you’re not a Harry Potter fan, you will be after this!

      

Botanical Gardens

If nature and walking are your thanggg look no further than the Harry P Leu gardens, an amazing 50-acre botanical oasis minutes from Downtown Orlando. Meander through the trails shaded by 200-year old oaks and forests of camellias and stop off by the lake to do some crocodile and sea snake spotting! (Not for the faint hearted! )

 

Visit Park Avenue

We spent an evening on Park Avenue and I have to confess this was our most enjoyable evening. Tick off the cultural box and visit the Morse Museum, it has the most comprehensive collection of the works of Tiffany found anywhere and the most beautiful graphics and American paintings dating back to the 19th and early 20th century.

After head to the Wine Room for wine tasting. An electronic self-service wine tasting store that allows you to try a variety of different wines from around the globe!

Tip: give yourself an evening for this activity as after a couple of glasses of wine we went off for dinner but came straight back as we were having so much fun. This is perfect for those that love wine, delicious nibbles and an animated atmosphere.

Mather’s Social Gathering bar

If you’re into Speakeasies, well this one is pretty special! Located in on 30 S. Magnolia Avenue. it’s an antique-filled, parlor-style cocktail lounge which is currently decked out with the most amazing Chrimbo decorations. It’s definitely the most festive I’ve felt this holiday and the largest Christmas tree I’ve seen! Great vibe and yummy cocktails!

East End Market

Food lovers this is one for you. The East End market has a vast array of artisanal vendors in one marketplace, from bakers to pasta makers to coffee roasters. Make sure you stop off at Gideon’s bakehouse and indulge in the chocolate chip cookie. There are no words to describe the taste of this absolute delight, and if you don’t believe us, it’s actually the winner of countless awards ranging from the best in Florida to the best in the world! (It’s truly sensational!)

 

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   Shop the Look:
Baker Boy Hat | ASOS
White Frilly Top | ASOS
Black Jeans | And Other Stories
Dungarees | Tommy Hilfiger
Blue Jeans | And Other Stories

Sunnies| RayBan 
 

TravelCollyer Twins