Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Magical Lantern Festival

Chiswick House and Gardens Feb 3rd- March 5th

Yesterday I was lucky enough to visit the Magical Lantern Festival which will open to the public on Wednesday the 3rd of February to the 5th of March. It was 50 minutes away from us on tube (Piccadilly) and we were already running late so we decided to take a chance and jump an Uber which was £5 there and £14 back which was little bit odd considering it was the same distance. You can buy your tickets on ticketmaster.co.uk and search up Magical Lantern Festival. It's themed around Chinese new year since its on the 8th of February which is just around the corner. The festival includes stunning sculptured lanterns in all different shapes and sizes varying from plants, animals and buildings and even a 60m dragon spread across the whole lake! There's also full size pandas, zebras, horses, flamingos and giant ants. If you look close enough you'll see beautiful swans swimming down the lake. I definitely recommend to take your kids, brother, sister, mum dad, cats, dogs and goldfish because its an event that shouldn't be missed.
The Giant Ants!

Life-size pandas

Colourful flower petals



The 60m Dragon

Add caption


Chinese New Year

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Star Wars:Force Awakens


All year I've been waiting for the new Star Wars film as it was supposed to be amazing and it finally arrived on Thursday. Me and my mum ran to Leciester square where the premier was and we were lucky enough to see chewy and C3-PO walk down the red carpet and loads if storm troopers march down it too. My mum tried her hardest to get us tickets but it was impossible. We even tried going into Burger King and going to the top floor to see a bit better but it was no use. I was still thrilled that I had the chance to see some main characters even if it was their backs. After all that we got some pictures taken with some of the odeon staff dressed up in Star Wars characters which was also quite fun.

When we walked home my mum promised me that we would go see Star Wars on Sunday night and so we did. I was so excited because I was going to see Star Wars in the cinemas with the old characters in it! I recommend buying tickets online because my brother tried to see on a Friday but it was packed with people buying tickets at the counter. I've heard people have watched it again and again and once you've watched it once you understand why. If you have the chance watching it twice I recommend watching it normally and then watching it in 3D! It's a humorous and sci-fi film great for family's. My grandma was never really a fan of Star Wars and when we took her on Sunday with my dad and mum she loved it. You need to watch as soon as possible because sooner or later someone is going to spoil it for you. 



Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Soho On The Cheap

There's a great offer I'd like to share with you this week, the new Vietnamese restaurant Pho And Bun  is offering any Pho Soup for just £5 between 12-5pm ending on the 15th December. All they want in return is a photo share on social media. What you waiting for get yourselves down there and fill your boots. www.phoandbun.com 76  Shaftesbury Avenue W1D 6ND

Beef Pho

Tea & Coffee for Just £1

Have you noticed how expensive these coffee shops are now and you can't seem to buy a coffee for less than £2.60. My mum is always complaining at the price of a coffee until she came across this little place just on Greens Street in Soho. For tea or coffee its jus £1 nothing fancy like your Cappochino's or Lattes just a nice simple filter coffee. You can also get home made cakes and scones for just £1.50 and sandwiches for just £2. So next time you're in Soho and you fancy a cuppa check it out.  3 Greens Court Soho W1F 0HD




Friday, 11 December 2015

John Lewis Roof Terrace

Lunar Look Out

If you haven't been already you must visit The Lunar Look Out on John Lewis Oxford Circus roof terrace. It's decorated with over a hundred Christmas Trees and you get the chance to look at the moon in one of their big telescopes. You can also get a your photo taken next to the moon whilst sipping hot chocolate whilst mum drinks a mulled wine. It's really lovely and it gets you into the Christmas vibe. I got recommended to go by one of my friends who went to Monty The Penguin one last year. It will be available until the 31st of December but the roof terrace is open throughout the year and has fabulous views. I do recommend going around christmas time because you can get a hot beverage and you can look at  Oxford Street lights from above. I give it 5/ 5 for getting you into the Christmas Spirit.
they had cabins you could sit in with cosy blankets.

Luna lookout backround

Look through the telescope and see the moon


Wednesday, 4 November 2015

France Road Trip

France


During half term we decided to take a road trip through France. Although we've been to France before and stayed just outside Le Touquet in a couple of lovely Gites we didn't really know it too well  I've also been thinking in buying a holiday home in France for sometime so I thought by booking a holiday to France it would also be a great opportunity to combine it with viewing some properties.  Our first stop was Bordeaux which didn't start of too well. We were flying out of Luton and had to make our way to Kings Cross St Pancras. We were a bit rushed when we arrived we had missed our train. My husband  was getting the tickets and I had to check which platform we needed to be. However there are two platform B's so if you're not careful you could end up on the wrong one like we did waiting for the slow train instead of the fast one. The station is huge and is not well sign posted and after a lot of confusion and messing around running from one platform to another we gave up and jumped into an Uber and we just about made it. As we all ran to the gate we noticed it was closed so after a lot of begging and pleading with not so happy staff they agreed to open the gate and let us on. One hour and 20 minutes later we arrived in sunny Bordeaux.


Bordeaux

Bordeaux Airport is small but there is two terminals one for the budget airlines and another for the premium carriers like Air France & BA. Upon arrival we took a small stroll to the next terminal  to pick up our hired car. Picking up the car was very easy and we made sure it was big and comfortable since we were planning to do a lot of driving. 45 minutes later we arrived in Bordeaux city. I booked a cute little apartment on Airbnb for one night in the heart of the city with 2 bedrooms for just £59 per night. In the evening we walked around a little and found a cheap little  typical French restaurant offering a menu for just  €13 euros each for a 3 course meal. We opted for Onion Soup, Foi Gras and we all had steak. The food was good and cheap and cost just €60 euros for all 4 including half a bottle of wine. It's probably the only place we came across that served Onion Soup. Bordeaux is breathtakingly beautiful and is full of stunning Architecture. There's plenty of museums, restaurants, bars and shops.  We only stayed for one night but managed to sneak a visit to the spectacular "Miroir d'Eauon". It's located opposite the beautiful "Place de la Bourse" and was built less than 10 years ago, designed by Michel Corajoud and is now one of Bordeaux's most visited and photographed sites.  The following morning we woke up early packed our bags tidied the apartment and went to have breakfast at Karls on Place du Parlement. It was a Saturday morning and it was really busy so it was difficult to get a table inside so opted to sit outside. There's a good choice of breakfast menus between €8-25 euros per person. We had the continental basket that included lovely freshly baked bread and Croissants coffee and a freshly squeezed orange juice. Unlike most  restaurants you'll find in France they serve food all day which is always good to know. 


Karls for Breakfast




Chez Les Ploucs for Onion Soup



After breakfast we all jumped back into the car and headed for a place called Chalus to view a couple of properties. The first one needed too much work and was in a small town just outside Chalus which was really quiet. The house needed far too much money spent on it plus we didn't like the layout was all a bit odd inside.  As we carried on driving towards Chalus we went and had a look at another one which was huge and had 8 bedrooms. The reception room was large  something that would be ideal however the house it self didn't feel welcoming and had an eerie feel to it. The crosses over the beds and bibles left in the kitchens didn't help with what I was feeling from it. All the furniture had been left along with personal belongings as if a family had left the house in a rush in the 70's. Our next stop was Bellac a small market town outside Limoges and by this time it was 2.30pm and we were all getting hungry. We tried stopping at so many Boulangeries  to grab some food but no one would serve us sandwiches because it wasn't lunch time. It was only when we go to Bellac and the agent recommended a place where we could buy some quiches by this time it was 4.30pm and we were famished. Although Bellac seemed to have a bit more life neither of us could picture spending out holidays there but we went to have a look at another just on the ouskirs of the town. It was a small cottage next door to the local butcher that reared his own meat from his cute little cows we could seet at the bottom of the garden so that was a big no no of us.

Next stop Limoges....



Pont de Pierre




The fabulous "Miroir d'Eau"


Monday, 12 October 2015

Julia Fullerton-Batten Photography

Real Stories of Feral Kids

If you remember back in February I let you in on a secret that I had just finished a photo shoot with Julia Fullerton- Batten in one of the last remaining WW1 sites in Essex Stow Maries Aerodrome.  The location is fascinating and full of history but at the same time some buildings stand abandoned. It's amazing how Julia transformed the rooms into stories of feral children being left to feed themselves. My character was called Madina. She lived in Russia with three dogs sharing food and sleeping areas. Her mother was a alcoholic so she was usually too drunk to look after her own daughter. When Madina's mum got angry she would run away to the local playground but most kids wouldn't play or talk to her because she was violent and couldn't speak so her best friends were the dogs.
Photoshoot in Essex

Madina age 3

Friday, 11 September 2015

Patisseries in Soho

Coffee & Cake

Cherry Kirsch


Leto

It's very hard to walk around Soho and not be tempted by a devilish cake and if it's not a cake then its a bubble tea either one is very sweet and naughty. I'm going to share you a few of my favourite places I like to eat cake first one is Leto. They have a window full of cakes that make's it very difficult to walk past without licking your lips and popping in for a cheeky slice. They do a good selection of fresh juices too juice. The price for a slice of cake doesn't come cheap at around £4.90- £5.20  so consider it a cheeky treat. There's a good mixture and age varies from mid 20's - 40's. Don't go in without trying their delicious Cherry Kirsch £4.90 and Millefeuille £5.20
155 Wardour Street Soho W1





Princi

Another favourite is Princi just a couple of doors down from Leto. It's much bigger and always packed full of shoppers. It's quite famous for its pizza's although I've never tried one myself they're supposed to be really good. Unlike Leto you would need to go inside to look at the cakes along the bar. They have an excellent selection all hand made Italian. There is no waiter service so you need to order and pay at the bar. I chose a delicious Mixed Berry Cheesecake and it was just as good as it looked. Mum chose a fruit pastry with strawberry and custard which she really enjoyed. Expect only the best Italian cakes here.  The atmosphere and good cakes makes this place  a winner for me. Prices start from £4.50-4.75 and worth every lick.
135 Wardour Street W1

Half eaten Berry Cheesecake

Maison Bertaux

The Queen of cakes because this is one of Soho oldest and most famous bakery. We often choose this place to make our family birthday cakes, Lilly Allen had her wedding cake made here  so that just tells you how it good it is. It's not at all modern but more cute and traditional. The crowd is much older than the ones mentioned above and you can see that it has some long standing loyal residents who've been coming for years. Apricot & Almond tart is a favourite £3.80 along with the small mixed tarts £4.20

Greek Street 28 Greek Street W1











Thursday, 3 September 2015

Christmas Holidays

Christmas In Thailand

I know you might think this is a bit early to be thinking about Christmas Holidays but if you are then book it now. Last year me and my family went to Thailand and we had a great time and we got some great prices because we booked it in advance. Flight prices can double if you leave it to the last minute so don't get caught short. We wouldn't have been able to afford to go if my mum didn't plan ahead and have everything booked by October. We flew to Bangkok via China Airlines and made a stop at Beijing. My mum got some passes for us to all sit in a lounge during our stopover at Beijing which made it more enjoyable especially having to wait 3 hours for a connecting flight to Bangkok. We downloaded the DragonPass app paid a membership and we were allowed into the lounge. I would definitely recommend it especially travelling long haul. Once you are in the lounge you can take a shower, watch a movie, eat and drink whatever you like. When we arrived in Bangkok we jumped into a taxi straight to The Ascott Sathorn apart hotel.  But be careful when leaving the airport and don't pay over 250 Thai bhart to the city. Definitely check the price before you jump in and tell them you want the meter on. If they say its broken don't get in move to the next one. That was our mistake but we soon remembered for our next taxi ride.
Silom at Night

The Ascott Sathorn  Is such a cool place to stay. It cost just over £80 a night for a 2 bedroom apartment. My mum chose it for 4 reasons. 1) It had a large pool for me and my brother, 2) Has a pool room for my brother 3) A big gym for my mum and dad 4) It was 5 star luxury just what my mum and I like. The breakfast was lovely and in the morning you could sit and eat it around the pool. The apartments were spacious and the location was great just a few minutes walk to the sky train and  Silom.  I can't say enough about this place it truly was a great stay and I would love to go back again one day. They made us feel so welcome and it was lovely to wake up on Christmas day in such a lovely place.  For Christmas lunch we spent it at The Novotel Hotel Ploenchit. it was a big buffet and they served Turkey and all the trimming it was delicious and only cost £35 per person. After  the lunch we took a flight to Chiang Mai  to do a trek. Mum has done one before over 20 years ago and she was desperate for us all to do one together. She tried to book the night train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai because she thought it would be fun but the VIP rooms were fully booked so we decided to fly instead. The flights were really cheap with Nok Air I think around £25 each and took less than an hour. Chiang Mai is a great place to visit you get to see lots of beautiful temples and the accommodation is really cheap unlike the South. My mum wanted us to rough it out a little and stay in a guest house. So we booked and stayed at Kamala Guesthouse right in the centre near to Tapae gate. It was really good value nice and spacious, clean, comfortable and in a great location. We booked a family room 2 double beds and an extra bed and cost just  £27 per night. It was close to lots of lovely restaurants and very easy to walk to the Night Bazaar and Walking Street Market. They also arranged our Trek and were very nice. The Trek was so much fun, we rode on Elephants watched them get bathed, visited a butterfly farm, swam and washed ourselves in a waterfall. We walked a 4 hour trek until we arrived at a hill tribe where we spent the night in a village hut. It was a great experience and something that I will remember for the rest of my life. I also loved having massages every day paying just $2. My mum used to sneak off for one every day and have a little nap. After our Trek in Chiang Mai my mum had another surprise she planned a trip down to one of the islands  Koh Chang where one of my dads oldest friend was living. We flew back to Bangkok and took a minibus that cost just £50 for a 4 hour journey. We then had to jump on a ferry when we arrived at Laem Nap in Trang. The ferry crossing just took an hour and a half. The minibus took us straight to our hotel and organised the tickets for the ferry. It all seemed really easy although the minibus from Bangkok was long and boring.
Pad Thai at the street food market next to Tapae Gate Chiang Mai 

The hotel we stayed Para Resort. The manager was so sweet and funny and was always trying to help and offer advice. The room was really nice, clean and felt like it was new. Our nearest beach was White Sands but we felt it was a bit too crowded and popular .  My mum wanted something a little bit quieter and more beautiful so the manager recommended Klong Prao Beach which was beautiful , white sands and turquoise sea, exactly what you'd imagine from Thailand. As much as we loved Koh Chang my mum had another surprise and put us all back on a ferry to Koh Mak. Koh Mak is a small beautiful family owned island. Its very unspoilt and because its owned by a family they don't allow any other hotels other than their own. We stayed with Good Times Resort. The owner was really lovely and made us feel very welcome by picking us up at the ferry port and he showed us a lovely beach Ao Phra where we played with his kids until the sunset. I would have loved to stay a bit longer than 2 nights but if we did we just wouldn't have been able to cram everything else in. The accommodation  cost just  £40 a night for a 2 bedroom villa. I'm sure we will go back one day because you really do need to spend more time  to experience all of Koh Mak.

Arriving to Koh Mak
It wasn't long before we were heading back to Bangkok but this time we stayed at Urbana Sathorn easy walking distance to Silom where the night market is. It's a great place and had a lovely breakfast my mum and dad loved the squash court although they were rubbish and couldn't hit the ball and spent the entire game just laughing at each other. The cost per night for a 2 bedroom was around £65 and was very close to the sky train which made our trip to Chatuchak market very easy. The market is one of the biggest in the world  and has over 7,000 stalls and sell everything including animals. There's nothing you can't buy at this market its great and I loved it. I bought loads of cheap clothes and bags.
My view from my bedroom at Urbana Sathorn

Street food at Chatuchak

I loved everything about Thailand we lived off street food and avoided restaurants not meaning to but just because we could. It only cost us £3-£4 per day to eat  so cheap and yet so delicious. My mum said the whole holiday including flights, ferries, trekking and  accommodation cost just £4,000 for a two week holiday. booking.com and Agoda.com these sites are good especially if you change your mind on where you want to visit you can just cancel the room for another without being charged. But check their terms when booking because offers change all the time and you only have a certain time period where you can change if needed.  Flights were searched via sky scanner and was booked through travel up

Picking Coconuts in Koh Mak

Raffy managed to find an English Breakfast in Chiang Mai






Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Back To School

So happy to be going back to school as much as I love the summer holidays I also miss school and my friends. The time has gone so fast I haven't even had the chance to get my new uniform my mum has just realised I'll be returning to school next week so as usual we will be dashing around for uniform and shoes this weekend thats if the stores haven't run out. John Lewis is always stocked up and its great because they have shoes there too. For my brother my mum shops at Marks and Spencer because she loves the quality and the uniform fits really nice. Last year I bought a pair of Clark shoes and I can't believe they lasted a full year.

I just love Dr Martins but they're so expensive

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Shoes for Summer

SHOES, SHOES, SHOES

Recently I have been shoe browsing on the web for trainers or a pair of converse. I'm into the colours Mint Green, Grey and Metallics. So here are the Must buys on my wishlist.

Mint green Chelsea boots. Comment below if you know where to find them.

Grey basic Vans
 £30


Wont come up on the nike store. Comment if you know where to find them.

Basing Chelsea boots
Topshop/£40

Comment if you know where to find them