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 The bathroom was sadly quite outdated, with a wet room, and basic ameneities, but it would make very good value for money if you are wanting to have a stop in Copenhagen.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.

Nyhavn

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.


Food

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 click here to see what properties in the area they currently are offering, and start planning your next vacation in advance. Whilst you sit at home dwelling on the business of the Christmas festivities, your next adventure is never too far away!


I've Discovered the World Now it's Time to Discover Love on Badoo

There comes a time in your life, when the luster of your ever expanding travel itinerary suddenly becomes a little dull, and it’s easy to become burned out. Soaking up culture, and immersing yourself in historical cities is still a boon for my mental and physical wellbeing, I can’t pretend it isn’t, yet there can be a lack of connection to life at home. A certain disruption to the homely obligatory agenda; go for Friday night drinks, or perhaps, catch up with an old friend on Skype that always seems to elude your memory. It’s easy to become burdened with work and travel, but avoiding this emotional burnout doesn’t have to be difficult. Discovering the world is enlightening and perhaps opens up your mind to other cultures, religions and races; it allows you to create a bigger network of friends in the long run, but finding them is not always easy.

Photo Courtesy of: Badoo

I’ve been exploring the exciting vibrant online world of Badoo; a dating focused social network, with a plethora of key features that put this network ahead of the game. Badoo is the largest dating app in the world! Essentially a place to find love, Badoo offers a safe environment to chat, make friends, with both male and females, and engage is enticing conversation, expanding your network of friends, whilst still allowing a distance. Badoo can slot perfectly into your busy travel life, whether you’re at the other side of the world, or stuck pinned to your office chair firing out emails; it’s easily accessible.


Discover 366m people at your fingertips; is one of Badoo’s most exciting slogans. In simple terms, it’s a vast exciting network, and you are guaranteed to find someone who shares your hobbies, passions, problems or postcode! Here are some of the major reasons to use Badoo, and it’s not just their security or safety features, it’s not just their huge collection of people worldwide, but it’s the fun features that they’ve added to Badoo, which create an electrifying buzz whilst you’re using the network. Face recognition allows the app to find the closest person in their network to your celebrity crush; it’s fun, fresh and simple! Highlighted below are some of the most modern, incredible features that Badoo has to offer, which focus greatly on women’s security, which is a prominent topic for any single lady, myself being one of them, I like to ensure the people I am talking to are the people who match their profile photos.  

1.  Video Calls & Selfie Request

Chat to anyone you connect with via video calls, it’s simple and easy and doesn’t require picking up and meeting a stranger for the first time outside of your comfort zone. Play by your rules, and first and foremost stay safe. The ‘Selfie Request’ simply means the person you’re talking to, is required to pop over a selfie as proof that they are the person showing in their photograph. In essence, it is photo verification, and this is a novel idea, especially for first time online daters. If anything seems untoward with any activity on your account, there is a helpful team available 24/7 to assist. 

2. Location, Location, Location

Badoo offer a ‘People Nearby’ feature, which allows you to tap in any location you’re in, whether you’re on the road traveling in Europe or at home perusing the local shops, you can connect. It’s easy to feel a little claustrophobic and potentially concerned when you feel that apps are receiving information about your location, but Badoo only access your location on a 30-mile radius, so you’re always safe.

Photo Courtesy of: Badoo
3. Finding & Maintaining Connection

This makes finding mutual friends incredibly easy. Badoo offers a ‘Friends In Common’ feature, allowing you to find people you may not realize are nearby you often; including a ‘Bumped Into’ feature, such innovative ideas have been sunk into each and every aspect of this dating site, and with this feature, you’re able to see who you may have walked past earlier in the day, whilst stepping out of your favourite coffee shop, maybe even leaving the gym. It’s a brilliant way to make new friends, a new gym buddy, or even a new boyfriend!

It’s a safe, fun way to connect, and of course you can access it by the tap of a button on your phone, no matter where you are. For me, playing around making new friends whilst on a long train journey to work, is an exciting new concept; allowing me to discover life and maybe love on my terms, my time, and my way. Download Badoo today, and find out who you may discover. Our journeys have only just begun!

Follow them on Twitter here.





Top 5 Locations With Jet2 & Christmas Festivities

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!



Krakow

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

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

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

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.





Prague

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.

Festivities At East 59 & Christmas Cocktails

Victoria Gate in Leeds is by far one of the most elegant shopping areas in the centre of Leeds. Filled with beautiful shops and trendy restaurants, it's definitely my favourite new place to go with friends. I was lucky enough to go upto East 57 with my best friend Janine for some Christmas cocktails and delicious foods just as the festive period begins! East 59 is a Manhattan-style restaurant and bar and it's perfectly located so you can sit out on the rooftop terrace and see the graceful rooftops against the gorgeous sunset over the city. It's a brilliant place to hang out with friends, have a good catch up and enjoy all the delicious cocktails on offer. It has a nice vibe, cool, stylish, open and bright, a brilliant lunch spot after a spot of shopping in nearby Victoria Gate.


The Restaurant & Food 

The restaurant is large and friendly, the staff are incredibly attentive, helpful and will gladly be of assistance with advice on what to choose from the menu. The Christmas menu is now in full swing but we were just a little too early, so we picked from the standard menu. We enjoyed some spicy chicken wings and I opted for the aubergine tacos - not too spicy, but spicy enough that you could taste the seasonings well. We perhaps had only one critique which was, perhaps a little bit more chicken and pasta could have been added to the menu but the food was incredibly good. Cooked well, presented nicely, nice and hot and good service, there is no reason to fault the staff or the kitchen in any way. The dessert however was a treat! You can't resist a brownie with ice-cream if it's on the menu, so we decided to take advantage! This wasn't before we were treated to some delicious xmas cocktails that they have just introduced. More on those later!

The design of the restaurant is modern and stylish, it's large and can get very busy but isn't intimidating like some places, the acoustics seem fabulous and you can still have a good conversation with friends; it's really lovely! The terrace outside has its own bar, great views, outdoor heaters, and blankets on the chairs, making it incredibly cosy and homely. It was probably the highlight for me!








The Cocktails

The cocktails were absolutely delicious. Creamy, sweet, and serves as a dessert in themselves, they are utterly divine but perhaps a little strong for us alongside our brownie heaven! Our cocktails were the Gingerbread Eggnog specialty and Mince Pie; you can browse the full range of their menu here. Creamy and very festive, complete with gold glitter, it was super cute and needless to say got all over our lips -we called it a new fashion look!

At night, this place would be perfect for an after work pick-me-up, or a Friday night with the girls, for the cocktails, the atmosphere and East 59 has events on, and it's incredibly social, so be sure to head down there this Christmas for an elegant night out.



Now that their Christmas menu has launched, and the festivities have begun, make sure you book your table this month and enjoy one of Leeds' trendiest and newest restaurants. Click here to make a booking today.

Or be sure to take advantage of the other menus and events they have to offer.


*I was invited as a guest to East 59 but all opinions and words are my own.