Rosa's Thai Cafe Trinity Leeds

Rosa's Thai Cafe in Trinity Leeds is the perfection location for a quiet and stylish spot for a traditional Thai delight. I was kindly invited along to try out everything they had to offer and it did not disappoint. Recently, I can say, Thai Food has become my new favourite cuisine and it's taken me thirty years to realise it! Having tried my first red curry only a few months ago, I've been hooked on Thai and I have now a place to pop on my list for some authentic cuisine.

Rosa's Thai Cafe Leeds

The staff are warm and friendly, and I opted for a refreshing ginger iced tea to begin with. Summer has been warm and muggy so far and it's been a welcomed refresher. For starters, I began with some delicious crispy prawns which were so good. Served with sweet chilli sauce, the batter was not greasy, not over or under done, but perfect and the shrimp were huge and meaty. Really impressed and it was delicious!

For the main event, I was really craving a savoury and aromatic curry and nothing hits the spot quite like a Thai Green Curry. It was the first time trying a green curry, as usually I would opt for a red curry but this sounded so good and it was well worth it. Sweet from the coconut milk but spicy from the chillies and it was a delicious combo. Not too spicy that it lingered for hours after, but it was just enough to give it a real kick! I ordered the tofu and vegetable curry (I'm a Pescatarian so this was perfect) and there were some classic veggies in too which was lovely. Rice is included with the curry in the price which I was highly impressed with - most restaurants do charge extra for rice so this is such a money saver if you're doing it as a lunch date! The service was fast and waiters attentive!







For dessert, I wanted to cool off a little with a refreshing mango sorbet and although it outfaced me (so full from all the Thai goodness), I really enjoyed it. Tasted incredibly fresh, with a little bit of an orange taste to it, really refreshing and the good thing is it wasn't icy, just smooth as many sorbets can tend to be a little too icy, this was very nice. I will definitely return to Rosa's, it's such a lovely informal place to hang out with friends or even colleagues and it has incredibly pretty decor! Book a table today - click here!

*I was invited to review this restaurant complimentary, but all opinions are my own



Gateway To The East: Rhodes

After spending four glorious days on this eastern Greek island, I can truly say that it feels like the gateway to the East. It's full of Turkish design and architecture, many old Ottoman mosques remain and it has the remnants of the empire throughout Rhodes old town, but with the hospitality and culture of the Greeks! I stayed at the Ibiscus Hotel in Rhodes Town, it was a little quick getaway with my favourite go-to Jet2Holidays and after trolling so many hotels, I decided upon a quiet, small city hotel which had a pool and also the vibes of the city without being too remote.




Art in Rhodes Town



Rhodes offers so much. The harbour is crammed full of tourists stands for boat rides, adventures, day trips, there is no way you can miss it and it makes it perfect for tourists who don't travel too often. Everything is at your fingertips. Take a day trip to Lindos (highly recommend although it is very busy through summer) and also I recommend looking at a day trip to Turkey with Tourtlee (make sure you get your e-visa online before you go if you're a UK national). If the water isn't for you, I'd recommend getting lost in the old town, everything is stone, rustic, a little reminiscent of Malta and has plenty of untouched streets, local cuisine and cafes. The Palace Of The Grand Master Of The Knights is in the main hub, you can't miss it when you're wandering through the old town, you'll find it is very busy but not too crammed and of course there is the Acropolis of Rhodes which is at the very highest point of the city, with panoramic views of the city. Good for walkers especially but not quite the spectacle that is the Acropolis of Athens. 


Mosques of Rhodes
Archeological Museum of Rhodes is another good spot for history lovers, and you'll also find art galleries in the town also. Food is very varied, you'll find a good mix of both Greek and western food, we even spotted a Starbucks (they're everywhere!) and there are lots of Italian pizzerias too, so I would not worry about cuisine in Greece. I think the fun part about travelling usually, are the memories that you bring home with you from a trip. The places you've seen, the people you've encountered and the historical information you've learned. Rhodes is nearby to the island of Kos also and if you wanted to island hop, Rhodes can accommodate you with their huge marina - there are boats that transfer you to many of the neighbouring islands.

Lindos

The ideal day trip, although the boat ride is long, it's worth it for the exhilarating sea breeze and many of the tours allow a swim stop. Ours stopped off at the incredible Anthony Quinn Bay, which was a refreshing (and very cold) stop for a dip but incredibly memorable. To do things that I would not have dared do before and conquering anxieties and fears feels wonderful; so to be able to say yes to new things really helped make the trip even more special. Lindos is down the eastern coast, a beautiful white village is awaiting and sandy beaches with warmer bays. It is idyllic and charming, albeit hilly and a little unstable under foot at points but the town itself is well maintained and flat once you reach it. It seems a popular hotspot for British tourists and many of the buildings are little villas which is the most beautiful place -I would love to go back. Take a look at their official tourist site for further information here


Lindos Village Greece

Lindos
Overall, this lovely island has plenty to offer and is an island I had never thought to explore, as many people opt for the picturesque Santorini, although parts of Lindos already have a feel of Santorini. There's plenty to explore in Greece - make sure Rhodes is on your list! It's a travel Blogger and Instagrammer's heaven! For more insight into the trip, check out my Vlog on the island! 

If you prefer villas, then see what Clickstay has to offer you for your next holiday villa in Greece!


*This Blog is not sponsored. Some links my be affiliate links.

The Magic Of Corfu Holiday Palace

Nestled within copious amounts of luscious eucalyptus and cypress trees, the Corfu Holiday Palace Hotel is beyond extraordinary for summer, because undoubtedly, there is nowhere quite like Greece in summer. Crystal waters caress cultivated landscapes, overlooking the famous Pontikonissi island, this hotel has so much to offer. Family friendly but also quiet and romantic for couples, it was truly a magical experience for my first time in Corfu.

Greek hospitality is prevalent throughout the entire hotel, lots of helpful staff, a willingness to engage with you and assist you to ensure you have the most spectacular time on your holiday. The views are incredible, watching the sunset on the balcony of the Eptanissa restaurant whilst sipping on fine wine and indulging in a plethora of delicious cuisines, full of flavour, plentiful and a vast array of choice for all pallets. Choose the pool or the sea, both are brilliant and on hand for an incredibly relaxing day. There are plenty of things to see in the area, a twenty minute drive into Corfu town, where you can envelop yourself within the history of the city, or take a short boat trip to Pontikonissi for lovely views, the beautiful monastery, a tiny charming place to visit.


Food & Drink

The hotel itself is home to four restaurants, Kukutsi Sushi restaurant, a wonderful place to nibble on delicious Asian cuisine, whilst enjoying the panoramic views of the Ionian. Brachera beach bar is the ultimate snack bar for those long summer afternoons at the beach, Almira pool restaurant is full of delicious snacks for pool days, and the incredible Eptanissa restaurant, a buffet style restaurant where residents can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner, with fresh foods, salads, meats and more! Each and every single night there were new treats, with some old favourites and a delightful choice of desserts. The hotel also is home to the Kefi bar, home to good alcohol, times to socialise with friends whilst being entertained by traditional and modern music; every hour of the day, there's somewhere to relax!


There are so many different style rooms in the hotel for different budgets, making this a real resort. Bungalows, rooms with private pools, sea view rooms, or lake view rooms, where you can watch aeroplanes all day long, with spectacular views. Corfu town is only a fifteen minute bus ride away, explore the old town, great food, shops, boat rides and seaside restaurants, it is a stunning place for a summer holiday and highly recommend!


For more information on Corfu Holiday Palace click here! Now is most definitely the best time to make the most summer and book a holiday to remember. I also always use Welcome Pickups for airport transfers they are convenient and well priced.


*This is not a collaborative post. 

Dakota Deluxe - Lunch Date

I am a huge fan of the Dakota Deluxe in Leeds. I was lucky to stay the night last year and was blown away by the style, hospitality and charm of this place. It’s quiet, cosy, dark and stylish, and I had to take advantage of checking out their new Market Menu for lunch. Brilliant for people wanting to dine in their lunch hour, you can have a three course meal in one hour with colleagues or friends, and sample some delightful culinary treats!



The menu was delightful; varied and well priced. Three courses for £20 is incredibly well priced for a city centre restaurant and this is a relaxing chilled zone that is away from the hustle and bustle of the city. I brought my mum along for a little post birthday lunch, and we both were very impressed. We were served by the lovely Sofia who was attentive and welcoming. We received some bread with a tomato and goats cheese sauce which was such a different twist for a bread dish and really heated plain butter. I opted for the chicken samosa, lightly fried, with mint yogurt sauce. Delicious and not too filling for main. I chose a gnocchi main because I haven’t had it in so long and felt that I had to try it out here and it didn't disappoint. It was a lovely texture, complete with a delicate pesto sauce which was not too rich and sun blushed tomatoes for an extra zing. Very filling also! The dessert was a complete delight, it was a take on an eton mess but with mango! It was perfect for spring and although I am not alwyas a fan of meringue, this was so good, the cardamom cream made it really sweet and creamy and not sickly at all.











They offer a range of side orders too as you can see below from their menu and wines and coffees, which makes it fantastic choice for lunchtime diners. Dakota Deluxe pride themselves on brilliant customer service and also above the restaurant is a bar which is perfect for a drink afterwards. The menu was incredibly well thought through and each dish was incredibly fresh, tasty and attention to detail with the presentation which makes such a difference!

*This experience was gifted by Dakota Deluxe but all opinions are my own.

Falling In Love With Bratislava

Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia and the newest capital city in Europe. Formally part of Czechoslovakia, it has close ties with Czech Republic and you can see the influence of this in Bratislava but this city is definitely a quiet, off the map kind of town that's quiet, pretty and full of history. I had previously visited Vienna in the days before and there is only a forty mile difference between the two cities, so it made perfect sense to visit this gothic town. Despite feeling a little under the weather with lack of sleep, I had my trusty vitamins from Voost which I've been using to keep me a little perked up with energy and feeling ready to take on the day (my favourites are the multivitamins!) We arrived in the city at around 3pm and it already felt a calm and relaxing little city.

Bratislava has a very eastern european feel, which was incredibly exciting to me. It meant a little more culture to soak up, less of a cosmopolitan feel, which Vienna most certainly had, and it had so much history, but above all, it is the perfect place for a mini-break because it is a compact, clean and well oiled city, easy to get around and most things you can walk to. I was so impressed with the amount of bars and cafes in the old town, which is a maze of gothic colourful buildings, museums, and much more. If you're working away from home, there are amazing cafes with WiFi which are specifically for people who are working on laptops. Other cafes are perfect Instagrammable such as this Pink Garden Cafe in the old town. What a place! We also were kindly given Bratislava Cards which gave you free access to many museums and public transport and also percentages off your bill in certain restaurants which I thought was incredible! Always incredible for transfers is Welcome Pickups who I always use for holiday airport transfers, they are affordable and brilliant service.

The Pink Garden Cafe
To Stay & Eat 

There are plenty of hotels in Bratislava, from big chain hotels to smaller chains and of course apartment and rental options. For all my villa rentals worldwide, I love Clickstay villas. I stayed in the Radisson Carlton Blu hotel for a little treat but there are plenty of affordable places to stay. I had been wondering where to eat in Bratislava for some time, because I felt incredibly spoiled for choice. There must be so many cuisines in the city that I truly didn't know what to opt for. There is a huge Asian food community, with plenty of sushi restaurants which was a huge surprise but a welcome also! The places I ate at were:

D. Steakhouse - this is in the main square Hviezdoslavovo which was a very plush and expensive restaurant with the most incredible fresh fish and meat. It was a solid 4 stars and with a lovely view of the square!

Five Points - this is a little coffee shop that serves well priced food and plenty of good WiFi! This was really a lovely little spot in the old town and highly recommend!

Korzo Cafe & Restaurant - this was our first stop on the first day and we had some delicious Slovak soup which was incredibly watery with spinach dumplings (interesting taste!) and beef strips. It was a really laid back and stylish cafe! [10% off your meal with Bratislava card]

The Skybar - this is a must see for anyone wanting a beautiful city view and a cocktail! It was such a delicious stop off for a mid afternoon drink and the view as you can see is incredible.



What To See

The Castle is a must see of course it's at the top of the hill and boasts incredible city views. It also has so much history, this castle was built in the 9th century, and you can either jump on a city bus from the main square upto the castle [€12 per ticket] or a chaper option would be to walk to it, and along the way stop off at the incredible St Martin's Catholic Cathedral which is open to the public but closes for mass.








Here are some other places you should stop off at whilst you're in the city:

  • Blue Church of St Elizabeth
  • Man At Work 
  • Most SNP (the new bridge with a viewing platform at the top of the bridge!)
  • Michael's Gate 
Another place to stop off at which is free to get to and go inside with your Bratislava card is Devin Castle. It's a small suburb of the city in a quaint Slovakian village with beautiful countryside and on the border of Austria, you're also very close to the Danube and can walk along it and see it well from the top of the castle. Take the number 29 bus from the city centre to Devin and get off at any of the stops around the village, either at the castle itself or on the main country road for a little river walk and some fresh country air! 






For airport transfers around Europe I always use Welcome Pickups! Overall Bratislava was brilliant for a short break and with plenty of culture. It's easy to get to Vienna from here also either by train or car or boat! To watch my 48 Hours in Bratislava vlog, click below to see what I got upto!


*Some of our experiences were complimentary in collaboration with Bratislava Tourism Board. 

Hotel Beethoven Vienna

Vienna is full of charm and majestic buildings! It is home to opera, classical music, theatre and much more! I have been totally charmed by this fabulous city, but what has made it even more special is the home away from home, with so much character and style! I've been staying at the Beethoven Hotel Vienna, in the hum of the city, with so many places to eat and drink in just less than five minutes! The hotel is absolutely stunning, the design is chic and insanely gorgeous, golds, colours, textures, it has blown me away, so let's take a little peek at this lovely 4 star hotel, and show you some of the reasons it's so incredible. Firstly the staff are lovely, Barbara has created such a beautiful relaxing place to stay, the check in was incredibly easy and from what I gather, all the bedrooms have different styles and themes. Ours was pink and purple, with so many incredible pieces of vintage furniture, and of course a music stand! So authentic! Scroll down to see my Austria vlog with a full room tour!

The Hotel

The hotel has a gorgeous seating area for use all day and this is where you can sit for breakfast.  Plenty of little spots to sit, read, work, have a drink, and all with pretty (and thankfully quiet) street views. There is a grand piano on the first floor, such a lovely addition and a little bit of vintage mixed with exciting modern twists. Scroll down to see a few photos of the interior!










The style is impeccable and the staff are so warm and inviting. The breakfast choice was varied with vegan options too, delicious coffee and all the croissants were incredible. I really enjoyed the bircher museli and also the Nutella in it, for me, this was such a cute bonus! The cosy niches are very perfect for couples, it has a lovely quiet peaceful vibe, whilst combining the culture of Austria with music and beautiful interior design. It has been a pleasure staying here!

The Room

The room we stayed in was room 305, with a street view, a modern bathroom and a lot of space! It was so stylish, with gorgeous patterned wallpaper, an old telephone, a mini statue of Beethoven of course, and very good range of tea and coffee. Of course an added extra were the dressing gowns and slipper and USB ports which made charging up electricals so easy! The plush blue velvet curtains were stunning, and the room in general had an apartment type feel, which definitely made me feel like I was truly experiencing some Viennese culture!

The room had a lovely rainfall shower, which was definitely a welcome break after a long day of sightseeing. There was a good range of TV channels, good working space and it was spotlessly clean. That is such an important factor for any hotel.









The room was a lovely place to work, specifically because of its space and the windows truly block out all traffic sound. It has been such an enjoyable stay here at Beethoven Hotel and I would love to return to Vienna, but also I highly recommend stopping and staying here if you're planning a trip. It's both charming and enchanting and has a lot to offer both solo travellers and couples travelling. To book your trip here or to take a peek at their website (they offer direct booking discounts!!) then click here. Thank you for a memorable stay! Transfer as always by Welcome Pickups.


*I was staying here compimentary in collaboration with this post, but all feelings and opinions are my own.


The Magic Of A New Language

As a travel writer, I have realised over the years, the importance of being able to communicate in other languages. Although most countries have a wonderful grasp of the English language, sometimes it is good to be able to delve a little deeper into culture and life by speaking another language. For me, I have always struggled with this. Despite my studies in English language, I have struggled picking up other languages when I've tried to learn. For a few years, I've been slowly trying to learn Greek but without having a solid teaching method, I am still only at elementary level (if that sometimes!).

Where To Stay In Greece
It's not just wonderful as a traveller to be able to speak another language, but also for the mind itself; because learning another language can help decrease your risk of developing dementia in later life, and also it's just brilliant for the mind. I remember travelling to Belgium just last year, in an area that is perhaps not particularly tourist focused, on a layover from a trip. Not being able to speak much French didn't really help when everyone there could barely scrape two words of English together, which was to my surprise as I've never experienced this much, but it really did make me stop and think again about trying to at least be able to grasp a basic knowledge of a couple of languages. That is why Listen & Learn is a brilliant website for people wanting to learn a new language right from their own city. With so many to choose from also, it is simple to navigate and you can enjoy learning straight away. I have always been fascinated with Greek mostly because I adore the country and now I have friends there, who I'd love to be able to communicate with in Greek as well as English! I've also had a desire to learn French, after finding out that I have French heritage from many years ago. This is all part of an exciting journey which I know will make me feel an even more confident traveller. There are so many exciting ways to learn language but putting them into practice is key. Babbel and Duolingo are also great resources, but as with any new goal you set yourself, the desire to want to learn is paramount.

Setting the time aside to learn can be the most difficult. I have found myself doing little bits in between work or maybe in bed at night but having a better routine with it will allow your brain to kick into gear more. Taking an hour or two hours to specifically sit and learn will help you to realise that it's time to learn! Use flashcards for specific phrases and start practising reading text in another language as well as listening to the language also, because this will help you to process the language quicker, as usually hearing someone speak in another language is very daunting, especially when they speak quickly and it's hard to grasp what they're saying. However all in all, this is a challenge I will be continuing on with and I'll be sure to document it here as I go! What language would you choose to learn if you could?!


*This is a collaborative post