Alicante - The City With So Much

As we slide into 2018, and reflect over the year passed, I felt what better time than to talk candidly about health, travel and general life. In January, I took a little trip to Alicante, a little for work and a little for pleasure, and had no idea what to expect. Having only ever been to Barcelona before, I did a little research and believed Alicante was usually heavily saturated with British tourists and loud bars. I was very wrong.

Granted, this was off season, however I cannot asy I encountered many Brits at all, and in addition, did not feel that the English language was widely spoken much at all. However, they could speak basic and got by, with a friendly attitude towards tourists. I want to share with you some of my favourite photos of the trip, as well as sharing some of the things I got upto in the city, as well as some little places of interest to feast your eyes on and get the walking shoes out for, if you should find yourself in the city.

Alicante is in southern Spain, not too far from Benidorm, yet also a world away from it also! Pleasant traditional streets, friendly locals, clean, sunny and a long beach, it has so much to offer. I stayed at the Sercotel Spa Porto Maris Hotel. Nice, simple, but the highlight was the balcony view - if you are wanting to stay at this hotel, it's worth the extra money to wake up to the sea every day. If the sea brings calmness to your anxiety, then this is what you should look for when you're booking your next getaway. I was absolutely blown away by the view, it was exactly what I needed in the morning and sat replying to business emails was also a very delightful prospect. There are many hotels in the area, The Melia hotel is just next door to the Sercotel Spa, and it is a little step up in luxury, but if you're wanting a more modest family friendly holiday resort kind of feel, then Sercotel is the best bet.

The beach is lovely and long, and I imagine in summer it's heaving. The waters are crystal clear and perfect for a swim most time of the year - although it was particularly cold in January, but I did still see people swimming, for a little health kick, despite the icy waters. There was no real evidence of water sports, but we spotted a few boats, there is of course a marina on the water, where you can hire a boat if you should wish, but mostly they are inundated with larger yachts!

Places You MUST See

Barri Vell Santa Crue

You cannot help but amble towards the area of Barri Vell Santa Crue, it's a little area in the centre which resembles a tiny little Spanish village, very traditional and out of the way of traffic, and there are some seriously Instagrammable spots! At first wander, it had a very similar feel to Plaka in Athens, with a large castle at the top of the hill and a rock formation, it felt just like Athens, however, a totally different culture and vibe. Read about my Ultimate Athens guide here. Just like in Plaka, people live there, so although it is a tourist area and you're free to roam, try to keep quiet if you can just out of respect for the residents of the area.

Santa Barbara Castle

The castle is situated on the top of Mount Benacantil, and this place is stunning. It has three different enclosures from three periods, including 14th, 16th century and 18th century and there is lots to see. It is incredibly windy up there, so hats aren't advisable but the ruins are incredible. You can drive up by car to the ruins and park up, or you can go up in the elevator for €2. The entrance is on the main road opposite the beach, there's a large tunnel going inwards under the rock formation, which you can't really miss if you're looking for it. Get your tickets at the machine and a member of staff will check them and operate the lift for you. At first it looks a little daunting and strange but there's usually a few stray people around, it's a popular spot in the city. There's also a cafe with incredible views, a perfect little pitstop for a coffee and slice of cake!

Basilica Of Santa Maria 

This is a very famous gothic church in the city and it's absolutely a true gem of a building! The outside is intricate and full of design; it's truly something you need to look at. It's a true treat for those who love history and it's just off the street of Calle Jorge Juan. It was built over the remains of a mosque and  there has been some significant Islamic influence over the years, with Tunisia and Algeria just across the water.

Archaeological Museum of Alicante 

For information about the museum, you can click on the link here and you can find out about the methods of archaeology as well as the history of the city. Alicante also boasts an archaeological site, which can be viewed, for a small fee.


There are plenty of places to eat. Alicante is full of little bistros, of all cuisines, and plenty of fish restaurants, especially on the little promenade by the harbour, just off the Plaza Puerto Del Mar.
There are plenty of Tapas restaurants and all are found just off the main road, in the centre down the little small sidestreets. There are so many! A few of my favourites, include the following, The Melia restaurant on the ground floor, La Crispeta, Taberna To-Bar L'Atelier, Casa Julio and Teatro Bistrot.

Overall, Alicante is cheap and cheerful with some little surprises along the way, and it's all good. Thankfully flights to Alicante are frequent and all year round from the UK. It's safe to say I would love to return to Spain for more adventures, but for now, I'll be remembering those gorgeous mornings waking upto the incredible sea views.

For more information on Alicante and what to see there, click here!

Dakota Deluxe Hotel

Dakota Deluxe Hotel is a brand spanking new hotel in the centre of Leeds; and I for one, being a true Leeds girl have always yearned for a hotel that is central, luxurious and has a brilliant bar and area to work in if I am ever in the centre of town. Somehow, when I'm writing, I enjoy the comfort of a hotel over a coffee shop. I was delighted to check out the hotel, and it's moody lighting and stylish sultry decor did not disappoint. It immediately created a warmth and comfort that some hotels just cannot offer. The low mood lighting already made me feel cosy, and ready to crawl up into their comfy fluffy sheets.

The Hotel

Dakota hotel Leeds is the main new hotel outside of Scotland, and Leeds is the perfect place to bring Dakota! It is a 4 star luxury hotel, with great amenities, wonderful style and friendly staff. They call themselves the 'new modern classic'  and a 'luxury hotel that Leeds deserves' and I don't think there is a better phrase to use, that really resonated with me. It's taken Leeds a long time and effort to bring itself to be the brilliant city it now is, with brand new bars, and offices, it's truly the city of the moment. The hotel has a bar and restaurant, perfect for single business trips, couples or to visit with friends. The whole place has a chic vibe, almost masculine but didn't feel overdone, it was tasteful, and moody, dark but by no means dreary, and felt very homely. They have fast complimentary Wifi which is just a dream for people on the move!

On the first floor, the hotel has a beautiful bar area, which you can access straight from the street which is a brilliant idea, and makes it more welcoming to the people who find going into hotels a little imposing - always remember, the best bars and restaurants can sometimes be found inside hotels!  The bar is large, plenty of places to sit, and during the day it makes a great work space. The velvet chairs were big hit for me, makes everywhere feel much more lush, and the hotel is literally less than a ten minute walk to the train station so it makes it a brilliant pit stop for commuters.

The Room

The room was a generally good size. I personally prefer a medium sized room; it feels cosy and a true home away from home. They offer suites also, but I was in room 311; a standard double room that overlooked the city. The bed was very comfy and had a small work area and a separate table with two chairs. It also boasted two large full length mirrors which will be a big hit for any female! The TV screen was huge, wide screen with an extensive choice of Sky Channels. The colours of the rooms were muted greys, whites, browns, and wood and wool textures, that create a really luxurious vibe. The room comes with drinks facilities, an ironing board, hairdryer and slippers. Little added bonuses like this always make your stay so much easier.

The Bathroom

The bathroom was my ultimate favourite style. Modern, white, black, clean, and very easy to navigate. The shower has a rainfall effect, so soft on the skin, easy to turn on and off and the heat was very easy to alter also; there's nothing nicer than standing under a hot shower after a long day and battling the cold winter weather outside! The one thing I always look at is the toiletries, and here at Dakota they have their own bespoke toiletries which was super cool and smelled very good indeed. There was a ring light next to the vanity which was perfect for make-up touch ups!


After a lovely night's sleep, I was up and out early, definitely too early, but not before I headed down to the lower floor for some delicious food. Breakfast included a hot choice of food and a cold continental buffet with juices, yogurt, fruit, cheeses and gorgeous croissants! The restaurant itself is incredibly stylish, carrying on with the sultry theme, the art work is colourful and it's a nice welcome pop of colour. The staff are very friendly, and hot food is ordered by your waitress. I opted for the Eggs Florentine but there is a large choice of food, and most definitely something for everyone. I also chose some cranberry juice, an English breakfast tea and some delicious sweet pineapple; everything was fresh and delicious. This also becomes their main restaurant at night, and undoubtedly I will be back to test their restaurant food. I have high hopes!

Overall, I rated my stay very high. It is truly the hotel that Leeds did need and deserve, with a nice social vibe but also brilliant for businessmen and women, and really enhancing the city centre. Nearby are many of the trendy bars, next door there is Greek street, which is one of Leeds famous stretches for new restaurants and bars, and a short walk to the main shopping area of the city. It's made me see Leeds in a whole new light, and this for sure has given me a new found love of the city. To book your stay at Dakota Deluxe, click on the link here! It would make a lovely stop for mother's day, a long day of shopping and then a chic stay at Dakota!

*I was a guest at Dakota Deluxe Leeds however all views and opinions are my own.

Copenhagen Stays - Ibsens Hotel

During my stay in Copenhagen, I had the chance to stay at the Ibsens Hotel, part of the Arthur hotels chain. I was going to stay at their Kong Arthur Hotel, but they were undergoing restoration work. Ibsens Hotel is actually only a 3 star hotel. It is in a good location, central and within walking distance to the sights, and near to the river, which is a fantastic site to be seen! Especially in January when the river is frozen it looks incredible.

The Hotel

The hotel itself is very artsy, the entrance is artsy, modern, art-deco feel, small and intimate. Friendly and accomodating staff, and even though we checked in early, the room was ready. Based on a street, a lot of the rooms have street views, some have views into a small courtyard. Street rooms are great, but of course, naturally a little louder. The hotel offer a lovely service, known as Cosy Hour, which is in the evening and you can pop down to their bar and indulge in a free glass of wine! What a perfect idea! They have a little library/games area which is cute and nice to work in. It really brings the word Hygge to life!

The Room 

The room was a reasonable size, with large windows, and a comfy double bed. However it was lacking in a few of the mod cons, and the room was incredibly cold. Only a radiator that didn't quite cut it for the January sub zero temperatures. The bathroom was sadly quite outdated, with a wet room, and basic ameneities, but it would make very good value for money if you are wanting to have a stop in Copenhagen. The room had a lot of potential, pretty artwork on the walls, small mustard coloured bedside tables and long cream drapes. Staff were very hospitable which made things a little easier and were willing to give us another room, but we opted for the one we already had due to its size and view.

The Restaurant

The Italian restaurant attached to the hotel was very chic and stylish! It was named La Rocco. A little expensive but that is Copenhagen in general and for the quality of food it was worth it. I opted for a vegetarian pizza which was gorgeous! There are plenty of restaurants in the area if you wanted to try something else, nearby a sushi bar, but there is plenty of food inside the hotel and a bar area of the hotel which serve food, drink and coffee.

The Breakfast

The breakfast was traditionally Danish. It had a particularly Danish slant on all food, or known as a nordic buffet! Danish cheeses and pastries. There were no hot food options, but a good selection of hot teas, herbal with lemon and honey which warmed you up. Nice selections of yogurt, and cereal, including healthy seeds and nuts, which I sometimes find to be lacking in other hotels. Four selections of juices and smoothies, and a genral pleasant atmosphere!

I would say the friendly staff and location made it a lovely choice as it is only a 10 minute walk to Rosenborg Castle. I would like to thank Arthur Hotels for this stay. If you would like to book your stay here then click here!

*I was a guest at Ibsens Hotel but all views and thoughts are my own.

Copenhagen - Northern Chic

After spending 48 hours in Copenhagen, I have come to realise that I should have visited here much sooner than I have, considering how close it is to the UK and what an artsy European city it is. It has so many choices for food, coffee, including a few vegan cafes that were a nice little surprise. It almost has a London vibe to it in parts, with the cream buildings and brick buildings, I did not feel far from home and heard a lot of English spoken. It is very widely spoken, like most European cities. However it is a very expensive city. It can be done on a budget, however in my experience, most dishes average at about £17 and a coffee at around £4-5.

Things To Do

There are plenty of things to do in Copenhagen and although I didn't quite get chance to do them all with limited time and work to do, I did manage to compile a good list of what you can do, and the places I visited that I think are a must if you are in the city, to really truly feel the vibe of the city.

Tivoli Gardens

For the fun lovers, this place is a 19th century amusement park. I first saw it driving to my hotel, and it is such an interesting looking place! I've never known an amusement park in the centre of a city before but it seems to work, and it's a major tourist hotspot. Plenty of hotels in the area and bars, it feels like the more glamorous and party-ish end of town. It's also opposite the train station so if you're not staying in the centre, it is very easy to find. More information can be found here.


This is the famous area of Copenhagen that distinguishes the city. Most photos you see of Copenhagen are from this area. The doorway to the harbour, with colourful buildings, and a row of restaurants and bars. It is of course a little more expensive in this area, but a walk around it really does give you the true feel of the city. On a good day, you could walk along the waterfront, but in the colder months, shielding inside with some mulled wine and log fire! There is also a lock bridge, which is far from full but is slowly filling up, and is reminscient of the famous bridge in Paris; it's such a cute idea, and really a vibrant area of the city.

Photo Courtesy: Pixabay
Rosenborg Castle

This dates back to the 1600's, and was inhabited by royals. It has so much history and its architecture is slightly gothic but also regal, almost like something you may expect to find in southern England. Inside you will find royal jewels and famous portraits! Although you do need to pay to enter the castle itself, the grounds are beautiful and set in a little park land, which would be perfect for summer! Take a stroll around and soak up the Danish culture here. More details on prices and tickets can be found here.

Wander Around & Shop

My favourite thing to do in any city is wander and see where it takes me. Tou just never know what you may find just by exploring! There is a famous food market here in Copenhagen, called Torvehallerne, which is situated on Romsersgade. So much food to feast your eyes on and plenty of fresh flowers; in fact there are many outdoor sellers and it is all so colourful and pretty. There is a large shopping area with the standard shops you may expect to find, such as H&M, Urban Outfitters, Sephora and more, as well as some designer brands, Gucci, Ralph Lauren and Louis Vuitton. In addition to this there is also some small Danish boutiques which look incredible.

Botanical Garden

These are very near the castle and they are quite large, you can't miss it from the roadside, and you can see a lot of the inside from the outside through the windows, but of course, it's worth a look inside if horticulture and botanics are something you're interested in. It contains over 13,000 species and is really well frequented. It's quiet early on a morning during the week, and overlooks some gorgeous grounds with a little fountain. Click here to read up about prices and opening times.

The Little Mermaid

This famous statue, on the waterside is a huge landmark in Copenhagen and Danish history. A small unassuming bronze mermaid sculpture, created by Edvard Eriksen, is in essence, a statue of a mermaid sitting on a rock, attracts many visitors, although I did not have the chance to get to it, and feel sad that I didn't get to tick that one of the Copenhagen list, however, this is what the statue looks like before you go, so if you're wandering exactly what this little statue looks like, here it is! The Langeline Park which is where the mermaid sits, has many little historical elements and plenty of cafes, and of course the major sightseeing tourist buses stop here (mermaid line).

Photo Courtesy: Pixabay
The Royal Stables At Christiansborg Palace

For those who love a little bit of history and culture, and are big castle fans, (I know I am), then this may prove to be very fascinating. Get a taste of Danish royalty and see the 20 horses in the royal stables. Prices are around 50DKK, or £6 ish.


Because most people seem to love food (as do I), I thought this would be a good place to start. There are no shortages of places to stop and eat whilst in the city. Down in the main attraction, Nyhavn, the harbour, you'll find restaurant after restaurant. It didn't seem too busy (early January) but I imagine this place is crowded in summer. You'll find all cuisines here, and just like most European people, coffee is the hot topic on everyone's mind. You will find lots of good coffee shops, most look to be independent and beautifully decorated. I assume the competition is very high in this market, so making somewhere look and feel good is a must. The Danish Hygge (cosy homely feel) is in full force in most places. Find the smaller cafes, they are less commercialised and more traditional to the city.

Places I ate at: 

Feel Good Cafe (55 Norre Farimagsgade) - this all natural, mostly vegan cafe (chicken is available) was an absolute gem of a find! If only places like this existed in the UK! I chose a warming soup, pumpkin with kale and spices, and it was so wintry and perfect! I love healthy cafes and especailly when they go above and beyond to make their dishes look like little pieces of art. This dish was around £14 but it was huge, much bigger than it appears and just almost looks too good to eat! The design of this place was also stunning, very Pinterest worthy, and full of plants, rose gold and very intimate feeling.

La Rocca (23 Vendersgade - Ibsens Hotel) - La Rocca Italian restaurant was attached onto the hotel I was staying at. It is an independent restaurant but this restaurant was incredibly stylish, with a chic classy feel, a little bit of luxury, with the best Italian pizzas I've ever tried! The vegetarian pizza had pesto on it and plenty of tomatoes and veggies!

Noma (Strandgade) - this luxury Michelin star restaurant is the perfect place if you're wanting something a little lush during your stay. We all like a little bit of class and glam and this is the place. Boasts fresh seafood, it's speciality and an array of delicious delicassies to feast your eyes on!

Photo Courtesy: Business Insider
A good way to get the best deals for sightseeing is to purchase a Copenhagen Card. Sadly I found out about this a little too late, but it does allow free entry to 79 attractions, and you can read about how to pick one up here.

To read about where I stayed in Copenhagen with Arthur Hotels, click here.

Stay With Dream Villa Rentals

During these snappy cold winter days, the summer wanderlust inevitably kicks in, and with Christmas around the corner, the pressures of buying a meaningful gift are prevalent. So why not look to the summer seasons already, be dreamy whilst you sit by the crackling fire indulging in your Camembert and see where you could jet off to when the warm sun makes an appearance again. 

Photo Courtesy of Dream Villa Rentals
Ibiza is often renowned as the misunderstood island, often renowned for its party scene, but hidden beyond the summer crowds, stands a beautiful island, full of history, charm and private villas. Sat waiting for you, are Dream Villa Rentals. They feature over 200 luxury villas in Ibiza to rent. They offer many other locations although Ibiza is quickly becoming a hot spot; only this year it has become a popular location for many luxury bloggers. The bohemian chic style, crystal waters and Michelin Star Restaurants to feast your eyes on; with luxury beach clubs and at your Dream Villa Rental, make Ibiza your home away from home. With your own private pool, soak up the vitamin D and vitamin Sea, whilst cooking up some Spanish tapas and watching the sun go down. Opt for a beach villa or a villa in-land; there are plenty of villa choices for everyone. Take your stay on the island to the next level, and hire your own private chef to create some delicious Spanish cuisine; the brilliant team at Dream Villa Rentals will cater to your every need. Take upto 10 people, and prepare to have the holiday of a lifetime on this gorgeous island of Ibiza!

Photo Courtesy of Dream Villa Rentals
Photo Courtesy of Dream Villa Rentals

Ibiza itself, a beautiful Spanish island has traditional Spain at its core, with plenty to see and do. Such as history, walks through the old town, a spot of shopping, high street or luxury, and aqua sports on the beaches, it has something to offer everyone, not to mention it’s insanely Instagrammable views.

Why not look at Dream Villa Rentals and check their full collection of beautiful villas worldwide to book direct.

Top 5 Locations With Jet2

November 30 marked the date of the Jet2 Influencer Dinner held at the ever-so-stylish off the map The Tetley in Leeds, a venue I'd never been to before and one I'm edging to go back to already. Jet2 are my go-to travel company, for flights and holidays, and have served to quench the thirst of my wanderlust on many an occasion, just recently in Krakow, I took a Jet2 Holiday to Poland, and what an adventure it became! The Influencer dinner was a lovely evening, in a gorgeous traditional themed Christmas room with delicious food, and even better company. Chatting to fellow bloggers and like minded people is always such a blessing, and even better when your love of travel can be honoured, over glasses of free flowing wine!

The Evening

The evening began with chit chat, we sat down at our seat, all cute and labelled out for us. We indulged in a three course meal, and finally, after far too much food, Camembert, Nut Roast and Rice Pudding, I endeavoured to complete the Jet2 Christmas quiz where a city break was up for grabs. Berlin, a fantastic location which I have yet to explore; however I am sure one day I will get there! Stumbling through the Christmas themed questions, I didn't quite make the winner's spot but the prize did go to a deserving winner, the lovely Emma over at Paper Planes & Caramel Waffles. Scroll down for a stereotypical 2015 bathroom mirror pose.

The Tetley. Outfit: Closet London

Jet2 have such a friendly team and there is definitely no disputing their incredible deals, and their last minute deals are definitely hot picks! The night was delightful, and there was even a little appearance of snow, adding to the definite spirit in the air. Thank you for an incredible night. Here are some of the destinations I've been to with Jet2 and what makes them super special and the reason why you should book for 2018! Be prepared for some ultra retro photos from way back when but let's call it an early Throwback Thursday!


You can read my detailed breakdown of my visit to Krakow and some fun things to do here, but I took this last Jet2 Holiday trip back in November from Birmingham at an incredibly good price (under £200) for 4 nights. We stayed at the INX Design Hotel, which I'd highly recommend for its interior, brand new, clean and modern, although a good ten minute walk from the main hum of the city. Krakow is a fantastic first time city for people who have never been to Poland before. In a prime location for some of Poland's fabulous skiing spots, and of course, Auschwitz concentration camp. For history and culture, Krakow is a brilliant cityscape!


Budapest is the Paris of the East and it is easy to see why. My first visit was in 2011, during a beautifully crisp Autumn. Walks down the Danube, strolls around the market and coffee stops around every corner, I was sure to find happiness there. Budapest is genuinely a city I would return to, possibly in the warmer months, to enjoy the city even more, however for a quiet weekend break, Budapest is perfect. It's quiet, and although some may say a little repressed, it is friendly and relaxing, making it a brilliant choice. Such a magical little city and I wish more and more tourists begin to flock here. Hungarian Goulash is also something you must try if you're in the city but of course there are plenty of western restaurants in the city also.



Faro is the main pit stop in the south of Portgual. When you head to the Algarve, you head straight to Faro and it's the gateway to the wanderous beaches of the Algarve. I stayed in Faro back in July, staying at The Faro Hotel overlooking the marina in this charming little town. Although it is a bus ride away from the main beach, most hotels in the area offer transport shuttles there and the Praia De Faro has plenty of beach clubs and restaurants. It is a cheap and affordable summer hotspot without the fuss of a long haul flight you can lots of very hot sun and good food. Be sure to wander round the Old Town of Faro, it was quite possibly the prettiest 'Old Town' of any city I've visited, and very well kept with lots of history to soak up. Read my review on The Hotel Faro here.


Barcelona is the beating heart of Spain, in my opinion more so than any other Spanish city, it's vibrant, artsy, multi-cultural and has the perfect dose of city and sea, to make it a brilliant city break but during the summer, you can make the most of the beach. Barcelona itself has so much to offer, and not just its shopping scene, but it's views. You would need at least three to four days in the city to see all its sights as it is vast and you do need to hop on a tour bus to get round to all the major points.


I visited a very busy Prague in the summer of 2015. Full of culture, Prague is an incredibly gothic, historical city with a lot of charm. It's renowned for it's party scene for stag and hen dos, although it's a generally quiet unassuming city, with no sign of rowdiness. It is in reach of Vienna for a day trip. It has a distinct European feel, and I imagine at Chrismas, the lights would be lovely. Summer can get incredibly busy, but the perfect excuse to stop for a large double scoop of ice-cream!

To book your next Jet2 Holidays, please click here to see what amazing offers they currently have!

*I was invited to the Jet2 Influencer Dinner as a guest but all opinions and words are my own.