Wine On Vacation With Lazenne

Making the most of the British summer is so important. More often than not we're doomed to spend most of our summers indoors, slowly fading away into autumn and then the only thing to look forward to is Christmas. Spending time outdoors is such a brilliant way to socialise, and whether it's a picnic, or an evening drive, you can be sure that you don't have to be too far away from a beloved glass of vino!

Pack up your wine in one of these Lazenne bottle protector pouches, and take it anywhere on the go. It won't leak, it's secure and keeps the alcohol cool. They even have specialised cases, to ensure you can take a large batch of your alcohol abroad, from different coloured and styled cases. Perhaps you're wanting to take some wine home, or take some alcohol overseas as gifts for friends, or it even may be for a wedding or event abroad, Lazenne cases are tailor made to transport bottles. They have every accessory you could wish for when it comes to travelling with bottles of wine! A friendly team and very passionate about food, wine and travel, they provide the perfect service for these easy summer months, when wine and good food is on everyone's lips!




Traveling With Your Wine

These travel friendly, approved by airlines cases and sleeves from Lazenne allow you to travel with your wine or alcohol bottles, in safe and protected pouches. So when you arrive at your destination in the most stunning location, you know your wine evening, sat overlooking the sea is taken care of, and it's perfect if you're wanting to socialise. A lot of holiday destinations don't have convenience stores just around the corner, and if they do, you're likely to pay a pretty penny for the luxury.

Lazenne Wine Pouch

With a warehouse based in France they ship to almost all of Europe and internationally, and there are plenty of styles to choose from for your needs, including long strapped pouches, so you can look ultra stylish heading to the beach! Settling with your wine, and your nibbles whilst on holiday should be an easy delightful task and using your Lazenne means your wine will not get too hot whilst it sits in the sun, and you can be sure there'll be no spillages in your summer beach bag on the way home! Their styrofoam wine shippers, fit many different types of bottles, from beer, to olive oil, there's a secure way to travel with your liquids. Enjoy travelling all over the world, and bring your wine too!

Courtesy of Lazenne.com


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*This post was in collaboration with Lazenne. All views are my own. Please drink responsibly.

Taste Of Luxury At The Grand York

York is the epitome of elegance; from its stunning architecture, to the historical shambles, quaint windy streets, beautiful shops filled with treasures, and so many spots to sit and soak up traditional English culture. If you're looking for a UK weekend break, with fun, culture, and a good glass of vino (by the river Ouse if the weather is good enough),  York is the place to visit. I was fortunate enough to spend a night at The Grand Hotel & Spa York, which, from start to finish of my stay, I felt like royalty. It is Yorkshire's only 5 star hotel and is leading the way as far as luxury and hospitality goes. Glancing out of your window and catching sight of the incredible York Minster is always such a joy, and one of the highlights of York itself. The hotel is every bit as classy as you could imagine, with customer service at its core.

TV/Chill Out Space

Morning Vibes

With a warm, regal welcome, the hospitable staff at the hotel were incredibly friendly and respectful, helping with luggage, and after stepping out of the car feeling utterly exhausted and deshevelled after a busy day, I still felt incredibly special. First impressions are everything and it isn't difficult to see why this hotel is 5 star, and with a quick and easy check-in, helpful staff, it's already gone onto my favourites list. If you're looking for elegance in a hotel, The Grand is your place.

The Room

Our twin room was both plush and classy. With a touch of class everywhere, from the colour schemes, and the coffee making facilities you wish you had at home, lots of choices in the mini bar, and cleanliness ranked very high. It was spotless. Home away from home is vital when you're travelling; especially if you're travelling often. You need to feel relaxed, safe and with a true element of luxury. The Grand Hotel & Spa is in the heart of York, and everything ready to explore on the doorstep. All the ameneties were provided and anything additional can be requested at the front desk and they will do their best to assist. It's the perfect place to bring your laptop, drink a vanilla latte and be inspired. Books and magazines on hand, there's always something to pass the time and the decor was a beautiful beige neutral with crimsons and wood finishes, feeling super cosy yet modern and stylish. The attention to detail was noticed from start to finish, with the range of toiletries being from the lavish Molton Brown, including a stunning room spray for evenings to relax you; everything is perfectly in its place to ensure a comforting, cosy and warm stay.

TV seating area

Coffee & Tea making facilities (Nespresso & Taylors of Harrogate)

Room 403 - living space

Details

Molton Brown Night Spray
Molton Brown Mouthwash
Coffee In The Morning


The Restaurant

The Rise Restaurant is ultra plush, copper and wooden tones, with modern art, comfy soft chairs and the tasting menu is absolutely incredible. You can choose as many dishes as you wish, but 6 for two people is recommended. Carefully crafted food with delicious delicate tastes, the cuisine is a deluxe special treat, it is fine dining at its best and better yet, the tasting menu offers many smaller dishes, like tapas almost, so you are able to get the best tasting experience. Nothing was over flavoured, or under flavoured, it was also incredibly aesthetically pleasing and the chicken melted like butter in your mouth, incredibly delectable and the smaller dishes still filled you like a large plate. Vegetarian, gluten free options are available; with five star care and treatment, nothing is too much trouble. After opting for a cocktail, I came to realise there are definitely no short measures, and the perfect atmosphere for a cocktail (or two)!

The Rise Restaurant

Tomato & Avocado salad

Chicken Dish

The Spa

The spa check in is simple and easy. The keys to your locker are given at the desk, along with towels; then sit back, relax and enjoy the atmosphere. With a steam room, sauna and jacuzzi, you can really enjoy your me-time and with the sultry mood lighting, the ambience is incredibly zen. Purples and oranges, make for such a relaxing atmosphere, with drink facilities, and chairs around the pool, there is always somewhere to sit. Ideal for couples, lone travellers, or families, the atmosphere is relaxed and the helpful staff will be there to give you any advice you wish; they do offer treatments but booking in advance is best. The spa also has changing facilities, including hair straighteners, which is ideal for the ladies and a big bonus if you're heading straight out from there. The day spa is open to non-residents at £20 a day, which is perfect for a lazy weekend day out, and pop into the Whisky Bar afterwards for a cool beverage after your stay.

Viewing area of pool - mood lighting 

Poolside

York never disappoints, from culture, to museums, to river walks and shopping, it has so much to offer, and with The Grand Hotel & Spa York sat right in the centre, this is a perfect choice whilst staying in the city. For more information on the hotel's gift vouchers, click here, and make someone feel very special with an afternoon tea or spa day luxury! It was almost impossible to find any faults with my stay, and I will definitely be back, that is for sure. So take the plunge, and click here to book that weekend break you've been desperately wanting!


*I was kindly invited as a guest of the hotel, but all opinions and words are my own.

For more information on why York is worth a visit, click HERE

www.leilanijewelry.com

The Newbie's Guide To Corfu

Greece is by far one of my favourite places on Earth. Full of hospitable people, delicious food, olives and feta for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and unforgettable views that become engrained in your mind and soul, Greece is a brilliant destination. After exploring mainland Greece and visiting the beautiful Athens, I had a yearning to come back to see more; and this time my travel plans are to visit the islands. Specifically Corfu. Here is the ultimate guide I’ve put together for my trip to Corfu and some things to plan before you go to make your trip smooth running and enjoyable.

Photo Courtesy of: Pixabay

For accommodation, my ultimate goal is to get a real taste of the island and island life, by renting a villa. For the true taste of Greek island life, coming home with your tote bag full of groceries, and eating outside overlooking the still, serene waters, is exactly how to experience it. Have privacy and contentment, take life at your own pace, and be sure to take a dip to cool off in that hot summer air. That is for me, exactly the perfect Greek island trip. Corfu is specifically known for its friendly tourist atmosphere, plenty of things to do and see. Take a peek below to the ultimate guide.

Getting Around

Getting around Corfu is not overly difficult depending on what your goal of travel is. Hiring a car can be beneficial if you would like to see the island in its entirety, but be sure to consult maps for parking arrangements before you go. Cars can be picked up at the airport. If you want to take the bus, be sure to make sure you know the times, by asking, as they can change often, but it is a cheap and cheerful way to get around from old town to the beach. If you are feeling a little more adventurous and want a taste of luxury, especially if you are in a larger group, then hiring a motorboat is the ultimate for those warm afternoons when you need a cool off and relaxing before heading back to your villa.

What To Do

Old Town Corfu is particularly popular with the sightseeing tourists, who would love to capture a bit of the culture as well as soaking up the beautiful coastline. It is unbelievably quirky and beautiful in the Old Town, and you do not need a map, have a little explore on foot, like most parts of Greece, the more you see on foot the better, especially to reach those beautiful high points for Instagrammable views.

There are outdoor activities, from hiking and a scuba centre, where you can hire equipment and go scuba diving in the crystal seas. For the more low key tourist, who isn’t so hyped for energetic water sports, the island boasts many museums, such as the Andivouniotissa Museum, which is €4 entry and open Tues-Sun 8:00am until 2:45pm; and there are plenty of other choices with a multitude of different cultures to learn about; with Corfu’s rich history and ties to Italy and France.

Where To Eat

You will never go hungry in Corfu. Plenty of taverns but some top picks are Avli Restaurant, Taverna Bikolis and if you want to splash out a little on a special holiday meal, then the luxurious “The Venetian Well” is surely a good place to start, with some Mediterranean cuisine and a bottle of chilled fine wine.

Photo Courtesy of: Pixabay

After your long days searching the cities, tasting the culinary delights and enjoying a little ouzo and traditional Greek dancing, take a leisurely stroll back to your villa, and retire for the evening. For more information on the best villas, take a little peek at Clickstay for more information, and make your trip to Corfu a holiday to remember. There are plenty of other Greek island locations to browse through, from classic Santorini or Kefalonia, or even mainland in Athens (well worth a visit). Click on the photo to book a villa!


Have you ever been to Corfu? What are your top recommendations?  


The Ultimate Guide to China

China is a travel bucket list item for a lot of people and for good reason. There are many reasons why people are scared to travel to China, but the positives definitely outweigh the negatives. A few fears that I have heard about from people are: being scared about the language barrier, being scared of the food (food poisoning and not liking the food), the air quality since China is such a polluted country, the toilets, and many other things.

Photo Courtesy of: Pixabay


Well, I am here to tell you to stop being so scared and just go for it. Do your research, plan out your trip andcross off China from your bucket list! There are so many things to know before travelling to China, so make sure you reserach like I mentioned above, but here are a few things that I have put together that you should know.
  • China is extremely tourist friendly. A lot of people do speak English, but when you run into someone that doesn't, don't worry. There are many ways to communicate - I usually use my hands a lot, which always works, but there are also many apps that help with translation, even when offline in another country. Although I wouldn't be too worried about it, I would learn a few key phrases or words, like "Thank You", "Toilet" and "Hello".
  • The currency in China is the yuan and while a lot of places do accept Visa and Mastercard in China, cash is always preferred, especially when going to smaller busiensses. Don't forget to tell your bank that you are traveling to China. If you do end up using your cards without letting them know, they could deny your requests. This could get extra tricky if you do not have phone service and/or internet whilst you are travelling. 
  • You cannot drink the tap water in China! Make sure you always drink bottled water while travelling to China.
  • Toilet paper is not a "must have" for public bathrooms in China, so make sure to bring your own. I usually carry around a small packet of tissues to add to my travel bag. Also, a lot of public bathrooms do not have soap, so pack the hand sanitizer also.
  • Cars have the right of way in China, not pedestrians! Chinese drive a lot differently than we do, so be careful. 
  • China is very crowded and locals are used to pushing their way through the crowds, so don't worry if you are being shoved - it is part of the culture, but make sure to always conceal your valuables to be safe.
After you do some more research, start to plan your itinerary. These cities are a few that I would interested in going to:
  • Beijing - The Forbidden City used to be home to emporers and advisors - it did not allow the public in, but now it is one of the most-visited places on earth. According to Skyscanner, there are nine million bicycles in Beijing, so biking is always a fun way to see the city. 
  • XI'an: XI'an is the capital of Shaanxi Province, the People's Republic of China, so it's a great place to see. Some of the attractions found in XI'an are the Famen Temple, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, and the Bell Tower.
  • Shanghai - Some think that Shanghai is the world's greatest city, for many reason, so it is definitely a must-see when travelling to China. 
  • Hong Kong - Situated on the southeast coast, Hong Kong is a SAR or a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. Some of the top sights in Hong Kong are the Peak Tram, the Man Mo Temple and Lai Chi Wo.

Photo Courtesy of: Stock Photos

When you go to China, make sure to soak up all of the sights (and food) because this trip is something that will make a million memories that will last a lifetime. Also make sure to bring back a few great souvenirs that will remind you of your travels. One special souvinir that I love is a sword from Swords of Northshire. Hand forged in Longquan, China, this is the perfect item to purchase to remember your trip because you can display it on your wall for all to see. Swords of Northshire offers an option to customize your Katana so you can make it exactly how you like! You can choose the blade's material, scabbard, length and other features like engraving. Don't worry though, if you have no idea where to start, they have a sword glossary to help you with understanding exactly what you are doing and they also have Samurai Swords that you do not have to customise. One benefit from ordering from Swords of Northshire is is their customer service.

Photo Courtesy of: Swords of Northshire 


They offer a 100% money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied with your product, for thirty days after your purchase. They offer complete replacement, re-shipments and also refunds. This shocked me because most companies do not offer this kind of customer service. On top of all that, they have free shipping! Placing a sword from Swords of Northshire on your wall would be the perfect way to showcase your souvenir from China, so that you will think of your trip every day.

Are you planning a trip to China or have been recently? What have you learned or want to learn?

www.leilanijewelry.com


Hotel Faro - Dreamy Summer Holiday

Faro is such a brilliant destination for people wanting to explore the Algarve and the endless beaches of the country, that have been so popular with tourists for so many years. Faro was my first trip to Portugal, and if you're looking for a hotel, then Hotel Faro is the perfect place to get all the experience of the city that you'll need. Take a little look at why it was the ideal spot for your first time in the Algarve! Portugal is brimming with tourists, but that doesn't take away from its authenticity.

View from Hotel Faro Rooftop

Situated just next door to the beautiful old town, Hotel Faro is a brilliant location for a spot of historical sightseeing, and plenty of restaurants to taste some fine Portuguese cuisine. A fabulous location, right on the marina and most places within walking distance. The hotel itself has a rooftop restaurant, and pool, where you can go for breakfast, and soak up the views with your morning coffee, or have an exquisite dinner on an evening and watch the sunset over the marina. The staff are incredibly hospitable and friendly, from booking tours, to asking advice about the local amenities, they are very helpful. The hotel has such a fresh modern feel to it.

The Rooms

The rooms boast clean white walls with a gorgeous marble effect in the bathroom and a shower and bath which is always handy. The hotel rooms are a good size, and are very clean and there are two large windows which let in a lot of light. Our room was down the side street, and on the evenings, the street sounds and people can be heard below but this of course has nothing to do with the hotel, but ask for a higher room or a front view if you're quite particular about any kind of noise.

The rooms aren't carpeted which is always good during those summer months and there is a wide and easy to select choice of TV channels, including some film channels which are lovely to relax with at the end of a long day. There are tea options, peppermint (really necessary for me), and breakfast teas, but no coffee, but you can always nip to the local shops to pick up your necessities. There are no balconies in the rooms, but I didn't feel this was any negative, there are plenty of outside places to sit and relax in the marina area.

View from the room (first floor)


Room details, white and cool blues


The bathroom, marble effect and complete with shower & bath

The Restaurant

The Ria Formosa restaurant is the ultimate in elegance and class. The decor is incredibly chic and the food is delicious. For breakfast, the fruit in Portugal is a must. Definitely start out with a fruit salad, and taste a couple of traditional delights. There is something for everyone, including non- dairy milk. Having your breakfast up here is such a treat, and a perfect way to start your day.

Breakfast view


Dinner was especially magical, with class and such Instagram worthy photo spots, it boasts panoramic views and you can either opt for dinner Al Fresco, or stay in the cool indoors and watch the sunset from inside, no matter where you sit, you will always have a fabulous view. Try and have a meal in here if you come to stay, with a glass of wine and relax the evening away.

Ria Formosa Restaurant

Rooftop views - Faro  by sunset

Amenities


The hotel also has a beach house, over at the Praia de Faro, an area with plenty of restaurants, shops and of course the coveted beaches. The hotel offers a free shuttle service to and from the beach house which is perfect including beach towels that you can pick up at reception. You would normally have to catch the bus from the station and pay a fee of 2.50 euros each way but this shuttle is comfy and takes you straight to the beach house, where you can either eat, hire sun loungers on the beach (15 euros for the whole day) or sit upstairs and relax on their terrace (for Hotel Faro residents only). The area is very popular with tourists but it shouldn't be difficult to find your perfect spot on the beach and enjoy the sea - the sea is usually very cold even through summer, it tends to only rise to around 15 degrees but it is very cooling and you easily get used to it.

Hotel Faro beach club - private upper terrace

Hotel Faro beach club - sun loungers on the beach 

Beach at Praia de Faro

The hotel's swimming pool is very chilled, overlooking the lovely views and a few sun loungers. It is much quieter on the evenings and that is when I think the most special also. Nothing nicer than doing some gentle exercise on a warm evening, when the sun isn't at its hottest. The hotel offers a spa, and also a gym which is brilliant if you love keeping fit whilst you're away from home.

Photo Courtesy of: Hotel Faro

With Hotel Faro being one of the most popular hotels in the city, you can really have the best of all worlds. If you want to know more about Faro click on the photo for my latest blog on visiting the area as a whole and why this makes a lovely first trip for first time travellers to Portugal.

*I was a guest at Hotel Faro but all views and opinions are my own.




www.leilanijewelry.com