Postcards from Pena Palace | Lisbon

Travel

Some tips for visiting Pena Palace from Lisbon:

  • The train from Lisbon is super cheap, around €5 for a return ticket. Trains run twice an hour, they get pretty busy so get there early to avoid standing for 45 minutes
  • When you arrive in Sintra, there are quite a few options for what to do, if you just want to visit Pena Palace then get a taxi
  • There are two different tour buses which are €20 each and offer a hop on hop off service
  • I recommend just getting a taxi as it works out cheaper because Pena Palace might take you the whole day
  • The palace is €7 to get into the gardens or €15 to get into the palace and gardens
  • The busiest time is the mornings, the queue to go around the inside of the palace is long in the morning
  • If you only want to take pictures of the outside then just buy a ticket for the grounds
  • If you pay to go inside the palace, no photos are allowed, if you go in the morning it is very over crowded
    After lunchtime the crowds ease up
    It is very easy to spend the whole day here wondering around

The cutest shop in Amsterdam

Travel

Before I go on holiday I always like to check out Instagram and find the “most instagramable” places to go to, to get the best photos. I came across Polaberry and thought it looked so cute and knew I had to visit it whilst I was in Amsterdam.

Inside the shop they had a hanging flower backdrop and a lovely wicker chair, the whole shop was set up so lovely!

This is pretty much Amsterdams answer to Peggy Porshens, however I much preferred it here, because it was less busy. There was no huge queue, no crowds of people trying to take photos which meant to battling for the angles.

I ordered a unicorn cakesickle and a hot chocolate. The hot chocolate was (I’m pretty sure) just melted chocolate so it tasted heavenly.

I cant get over how adorable and how perfect these cake pops are! Polaberry definitely lived up to expectations and beyond!

Pricing wise I thought it was fairly reasonable, the cake and the drink were €4 each which I don’t mind paying knowing I’m getting Instagram content.

I carried the cake around all day and still have not ate it because I am still wanting to get more photos with it, so fingers crossed it makes it home!

My Year: 2018

Uncategorized

January

In January I visited Bournemouth for one night with my mum as a birthday trip, this is near enough an annual trip for us as we have been going since I was born. I then also decided to have a trip out of the country for my birthday as well and visit Paris with my best friend. We did one day in Disney Land and then one day exploring the city.

February

In February half term my mum and I took a 1 night trip over to Belfast. We explored the city, and it even snowed on the second day.

April

In April my mum and I headed over to Italy, this was pretty much a once in a lifetime trip where I got to tick a lot places of my list including Positano. We visited Pompei, Positano, Capri, Sorrento, Naples. After that trip I went up north to visit my best friend in Manchester for a couple of nights.

May

In May I went to London to visit my favourite cafe, Peggy Porschen where I got super cute photos. I then discover another bakery just down the road where they sold the cutest watermelon ice creams.

July/August

July and August are the busy months, as I work in a school I’m lucky enough to get 6 weeks off during the summer which is great! I went on a luxury holiday to Fuerteventura where I really got into taking outfit photos.

That was then followed by multiple trips to the sunflower and lavender fields and a trip to Friends Fest in Manchester along with a day trip to Cambridge.

I also went on the cutest little picnic with one of my friends and got the cutest photos!

October

In October half term I went to Porto for a little bit of sunshine before winter, I think this is one of my favourite places I have been this years as it was just the perfect balance between city and beach. Once I was home by best friend from Manchester came to visit for 2 nights, this meant heading to the pumpkin patch.

December

On the first of December I went to Arras, France and Bruge, Belgium with some friends from work and my best friend. We had such an amazing time, and got so many photos!

Porto Travel Diary

Travel

Last month I jetted off to Porto, Portugal for a couple of days of sunshine before the winter hits.

Day 1

We arrived late in the afternoon so we headed down to the waterfront and to the bridge to take some quick photos before heading to Hard Rock Cafe for dinner.

Day 2

We purchased a tourist bus 2 day ticket to find our way around the city, we did both loops this morning and spotted my favourite ice cream shop “Amorino” to get the flower ice cream from.

We then headed up to the top of the bridge to take some photos over looking the water and the city.

Day 3

On the final day we headed over to the furthest point on the bus which was to the beaches, we took a long walk back walking along the coastline which was beautiful.

We then found the most “beautiful fast food restaurant in the world”, the McDonald’s Imperial for a pretty classic shot outside it.

And finally before heading back to the hotel to pick up our luggage to go home we found “Porto Chips” which does chips/crisps on a stick which tasted pretty good!

Lastly, I really wanted to recreate this photo I saw on Instagram, surprisingly it wasn’t as hard to do as it looks!

Thanks for reading xx

A Postcard from Positano

Travel

When I booked my holiday to Naples I had no idea that going to visit Positano would even be possible, that being said it was a little bit out the way but well worth the visit! The photos I got here were some of my favourites from the whole trip!

Positano is such a pretty place and much like what you see plastered all over Instagram.

We arrived early afternoon, we were dropped off at the top of the hill by a bus and started the walk down. We had no idea where we were actually going but decided to just wing it and see where we ended up. Walking down the little alley ways was rather painful and in my mind I was dreading the walk back up at the end of the day.

When we made it down to the beach, we headed straight for food which consisted of pizza followed by ice cream. Then the photo taking commences and continued until we left.

It is such a quaint little town, I can’t imagine how busy it gets in the summer, it must be absolutely packed full of tourists!

Positano is such a photogenic place regardless of the weather.

There is not a lot to do there unless you literally just want to lay on the rocky beach all day and eat ice cream (which doesn’t sound half bad), so we decided to we would get a boat round to Sorrento so we got to tick another place off the list. Also this meant I didn’t have to walk back up all those stairs which was a result.

Victoria xx

A magical day in Disney Land Paris

Beauty

Every year for my birthday my best friend and I like to take a little trip, this year’s trip was to Paris and more importantly Disney Land! I had not been to Paris in about 7 and the last time I had been to Disney was in LA in 2011 so it was a long awaited trip!

We flew out to Paris on Friday night straight after work and headed to the hotel which was one stop away from Disney. The next morning we headed to park, much to my disappointment the weather was horrible! I was really looking forward to being about to get amazing photos of the castle with a lovely blue sky, but no, we could barely see the castle when we arrived!

That being said, the photos did look pretty awesome with the castle faded in the background.

Our first ride was Space Mountain, somehow we ended up with the front seats, I was very glad that this ride was mainly in the dark so I couldn’t see! We actually only ended up going on 5 rides which doesn’t seem like a lot but when each queue is roughly an hour it makes sense. Even though it was a weekend in January the park was still so busy!

We went on Space Mountain, Indiana Jones, Buzz Lightyear, Tea Cups and Rockin Rollercoaster.

Jumper: Primark Leggings: New Look Hat: Primark

At 5pm the parade down Main Street commenced and it was so magical! I don’t think it matters how old you are, but you just can’t hell get emotional when you hear all the Disney songs and see all the character dancing along.

After the parade we quickly headed to the second park, the studios. We only spent about an hour in this park as we had to queue for the Aerosmith ride, so by the time we finished that ride it was too late to queue for another.

At 7pm we left the park and went to find some dinner, we initially tried to go to Planet Hollywood to eat but the queue was nearly 49 minutes! Instead, we went opposite to a Annette’s Diner which only had a short queue.

After dinner we headed back to the main park ready to watch the fireworks at 9pm.

This was another magical part of the day, the atmosphere is amazing, the effects are brilliant and it’s just an amazing experience that can’t be missed!

So there you have it, 12 hours in Disney Land Paris!

Some tips:

  • Dress for the weather! I did not dress appropriately for January and froze the whole day! Standing in queue is a cold process and you will not warm up!
  • Take snacks for the queues.
  • Print your tickets as soon as you book them!
  • Plan what you want to do/where to go

Thanks for reading

Victoria xx

What to do between Christmas and New Year

Beauty

This is the question I’m sure everyone asks and is thinking about, I work in a school so I have the whole of the festive period off, but this means I need to make the most of it and do something every day. But of course, the 4 and a bit days between Christmas ending and NYE we all need some motivation to get up and go somewhere instead of lounging around eating chocolate and left over food whilst watching more Christmas movies. I have come up with some ideas (mainly for myself to look back on and do) of what do on those days where your going stir crazy sat in front of he tv for yet another day.

Go for a walk

Nothing beats going for a wintery walk!

Movie day

Invite your friends around, watch some movies, eat some chocolate and mince pies!

Sale Shopping

If you feel like your ready to battle the sales, then heading into the shops is good idea to get some real bargains!

Visit your closest city

Heading into your nearest city for the final Christmassy vibes before the January blues!

Have a pamper day

Pamper days are my answer for everything, enjoy an afternoon pampering yourself, do a face mask, run a bath and just relax.

Plan your 2018

Plan what you want to do/achieve and where you want to go!

Go ice skating

There are some really gorgeous ice skating rinks around these days, especially in London at the Natural History Museum and Tower of London!

Clean & Sort

Having some free time before the end of the year is a great time to declutter and tidy all your belongings!

Go on a trip

Go for a night away anywhere and explore!

Bake

Find some really yummy things to bake in a cooking book or on Pinterest!

Hope these have given you some ideas of what to do, I will definitely be doing most of these while I’m off work!

Victoria xx

What’s in my handbag for the airport

Beauty

Tomorrow I am jetting of the Geneva, Switzerland so I thought I would share what I am taking for the airport in my handbag. This pretty much just includes all the essentials I need to the flight and either side of the flights.


My bad is from Primark and was only £7, I really liked the fact it’s simple and pretty plain apart from the gold beetles on the circle. 


So here is an overview of what is going to fit into my bag, this bag is fairly small so I think I will actually end up keeping my money, passport and phone in my jacket pocket to free up some space. 


Firstly I have my passport which is on this super cute holder from Amazon, I love how summery and cute it is! It also stops my passport from getting damaged when it’s going in and out of bags. 

Next up is some chewing gum from Peppersmith, but not just any chewing gum, this is dental gum! This means that it actually cleans your teeth! This is perfect for when your travel and don’t have access to a tooth brush for over 16 hours. 

Ofcourse I need to pack my Elizabeth Arden Eugt Hour cream as I cannot live without this! 

I have also decided to pack my IPod, although I do need to download some new music onto it as it’s all a little out of date now. 

And then we have my purse, this one from Victoria’s Secret is my travel purse as it’s quite small but can fit a lot in. 


Snacks! Snacks are essential because you never know how long your going to be stuck on a flight for, I learnt my lesson after being stuck on a Thomsons flight for 10 hours when the actual flight time was 4 hours! 

A hair brush, this is the smallest hair brush I own so it’s the only one that will fit in my bag. It’s not great, but it will do the job as I imagine I’ll be wearing a hat both days anyway. 

And finally my phone charger case, I literally could not live without this, this has saved me so many times! 

What do you take in your bag for the airport? 

Victoria xx 

Autumn Lip Picks 

Beauty

Welcome back, today’s post is all about my autumn lip picks! I have gone throw my collection and picked out the lipsticks which I think scream fall! 

I have picked out a real variety from the typical dark berries to the dark nudes. 

The three lipsticks across the top are pretty much my staples for autumn time. On the left is Charlotte Tilbury Very Victoria, this is a less typical fall shade, but is very ideal for wearing to work as it’s still a dark nudey brown. In the middle is the prettiest shade, Charlotte by Nars! I need to wear this a lot more this year as it’s such a gorgeous dark plumy red shade perfect for adding a pop of autumn to your make up. And on the right is another work autumnal shade, Pink Cocoa from Tanya Burr Cosmetics. 

I have picked out two Colour Pop shades, on the left is Saturday and in the middle is Avenue. I really love the shades of these, but I don’t get along very well when wearing them, they flake off half my lips and look awful! Please let me know if there is a way to make these stay put, because I have so many and can’t use them! I then have two Mac lipsticks in the shades Whirl and Amourous. Whirl is definitely the more typical brown woodland shade where as Amourous has a hint of purple and berry shades. I have then also picked out a Mac liquid lipstick in the shade High Drama, this screams autumn and is the perfect dark lip! I also really love he formula of the Mac liquid lipsticks as they last for so long! 

I have also picked out a Revlon Liquid Lip Colour in the shade Addiction, this is really creamy and longlasting. And finally I have two soft matte lip creams from NYX, these are in the shades Transylvania and Copenhagen. To be honest I won’t be getting much wear out of these as they are really old and dried up but I can’t bring myself to get rid of them! 

After wiring this post I’ve realised how many autumnal lipsticks I need to start wearing! I’m sure I will pack quite a few of them to take away with me on my next holiday! 

Victoria xx 

The cutest cake shop: Peggy Porshen Cupcakes 

Travel

A few weeks ago during the summer I made it my mission to get to the infamous Peggy Porshen Cupcake shop! This place has been on my hit list for the longest time and finally I went! 

This place is an Instagramers paradise and you can see why! When we arrived there was luckily only one person having a photo shoot outside, I’d seen lots of people saying that it would be really busy so I didn’t think I would even get a decent photo of the building itself. But luckily, going early in the morning means you beat the queues. 


I totally planned my outfit to match the aesthetics of the shop! Just kidding, but it did look like I did! 


Even though it was a lot less busier than anticipated, we still had a wait to get a table outside. The lovely lady who worked in the shop could see we were waiting so she came over and had a chat and told us about the owners which was really nice. After half an hour, and me constantly saying let’s just go, we won’t get a table, we finally got one! And it was right next to the big flower display. 

Even the menus were cute! 

Going to eat here is defienlty a one off, it’s a treat, a long awaited treat so no matter how much a cupcake is I was having one! 

The best sign EVER! 

I didn’t even feel embarrassed about being in the middle of the street having a photo shoot with my red velvet cupcake! 

So the cake, I chose red velvet and I’m so glad I did. This was without a doubt the best red velvet cake I’ve ever tasted so definitely worth nearly £5! 


This place is just wonderful! There are no other words to describe it other than pink cake heaven! I definitely do want to go again, maybe in winter on a nice cold brisk morning! 

It’s definitely an experience worth checking out! 

Victoria xx 

My Thomson Holiday Disaster

Travel

Today’s blog post is dedicated to the first 3 days of my supposedly relaxing summer holiday.

Background
So, myself and my mum had booked a week away on the Portuguese island of Madeira as soon as we had both broke up from work for summer. A couple of weeks prior to our departure we received an email saying there was building work going on next door to the hotel and it would not be the peaceful environment you normally expect on your holiday. They gave us two options, one was to cancel the holiday and the other was to transfer to a different hotel free of charge. Now bearing in mind we chose a Adults only Sensimar hotel so we were not just going to transfer to a normal hotel off free will. The ladies down at our local Thomson branch did some research and found a hotel which was apparently better than ours, but it wasn’t adults only so that wasn’t an option. We then decided to just put up with the noise, how bad could it be? Later that night I looked to see if the hotel booking said anything about the noise on the Thomson website, and to our shock the hotel had a discount on. So we rang the local branch and said can we have the discount, the discount was obviously because of the noise. They said no they cant give the discount out. So, we decided to cancel the holiday and re-book with the discount saving another £200 so this holiday ended up being very cheap for a 4 star adults only Sensimar!

Flash Forward to the morning of departure

It was a normal morning at the airport, the typical queue to drop your bags, the waiting in the departure lounge, buying a meal deal from Boots and waiting for our flight to be called. We found our seats on the place, and to my dismay, I was sat in front of Devil Child, who proceeded to kick my chair, play with his tray and just annoy me whole way. Now this wouldn’t of bee so bad you see, if we were on the flight for 3 hours and 15 minutes like the captain had said. However when we got ready to start the descent into Madeira airport is when unforeseeable happened, we couldn’t land! The captain informed us that there were high winds in the Madeira airport and that meant he could not land the plane safely, so we kept circling and circling! It then go to the point where we had circled for so long we needed fuel, and in order to get that we had to fly to Tenerife and refuel and then go back up. At this point we had been on the plane for over 5 hours already. We headed back to Madeira, and circled a few more times, we even came close to landing! But as we got beneath the clouds we pulled back up again due to the high winds. After researching the airport and the flights on this current day we found out that at one point there were 5 planes circling above one another!

We eventually landed back in Tenerife after spending 10 hours on an air plane, we were offered nothing but a tiny cup of water! We later found out from two other passengers who had worked in the industry that they had caught the Thomson cabin crew eating sandwiches while we all sat there with no food. On arrival in Tenerife the captain told us that they are going to put us up in a 5 star hotel with breakfast and dinner provided. We had already paid for all this so it was no favour to us at all!

We arrived at the Palm Beach which instantly did not look 5 star, it was 3 star. We were extremely lucky to be third off the coach and able to check in to the hotel at a reasonable time. You would not believe the queue from the check in desk right out into the road! The hotel had 2 people checking in 193 passengers. My mum and I went up to our sub standard room and got ready to go down for dinner, when we went down the queue to get rooms was still ridiculously long (they queued till midnight).

Second attempt at flying to Madeira 

For the second day in the row we got up at silly o’clock, we went down for breakfast which was of course rushed as the hotel didn’t put it on earlier enough for everyone. We were picked up from the hotel late, which is always a bad start and headed to the airport. When we arrived to the airport we were kept waiting to check in our bags, eventually we got through. On this day we even got as far as there was one group of passengers on the bus ready to head to the plane, while we were in the holding area before we were told the flight was cancelled. We were then hoarded back up to the gate where we sat waiting for updates, the announcement said there would be an update at 12. Well, do you know what that update was! It was, there will be an update at 1! Like what the actual hell! We were kept waiting again and again only so Thomson could try and sort out a plan. Eventually we were all told to go and get our bags from baggage claim and we would be sent back to the same hotel. At this point it all started kicking off, tempers were a blaze, angry passengers were infuriated at the prospect of going back that hotel. The ground staff were not equipt for dealing with this situation at all, also the Thomson reps within the airport were the rudest bunch of people who were of no help and just threatened their customers. The attitudes of the Thomson staff at the airport really needs looking at this was not appropriate, they customers who have spent hundreds of pounds on their goods and they are being sent to a inadequate hotel. That being said there was one Thomson rep who went above and beyond and really understood where everyone was coming from and was lovely. We did not have a problem with the fact the airport was closed and we could not fly, we understood that is was not safe. What we had a problem with is the hotel, we should be getting what we have paid for not less!

Third attempt at flying to Madeira

By the third day we were all at the point of, we want to go home, we were all fed up getting ferried to and from the airport. We had an early pick up again and were told that the check in desk would open shortly. After an hour or so standing in the queue, the desk opened, oh look more wonderful Thomson customer service. Eventually after nearly two hours in the queue we dropped out bags. Of course everyone was very sceptical, we had been told that no matter what we were taking off, but where would end up would be a surprise, Madeira or home. With any flight you get on these days, it was late but we took off! Everyone was in suspense after we circled a few times and then eventually the captain said he was going to make an attempt. If you haven’t heard about Madeira airport, the please YouTube it! It is one of the top 10 hardest to land airports, had we know this we probably wouldn’t of chosen it. So its in the top 10 hardest to land, now add on the wind! It actually turns out that we landed on the run way the opposite direction due to the wind. It was the scariest landing I have ever experienced! The angle we came in at, you just need to go and watch some videos to understand.

When our wheels eventually touched the runway of  Madeira there was a round of applause! 49 hours later and we made it to our destination!

So if your thinking about booking a holiday with Thomson, really consider it, when your out of the UK they dont really want anything to do with you.