TRAVEL: Why I Want To Go Back To NYC

New York city is one of those cities that is like no other. The buzz of bright lights, imposing skyscrapers that look like they're reaching infinity and beyond and the drizzle of American culture, makes it all the more satisfying and delicious. After visiting the city at Christmas, it was the perfect taste of New York, a fantasy land mixed with magic, festive vibes and inviting cosy bars.

It isn't just one of the most popular cities in the world, but it is also the hub of art, fashion, film and theatre, with Broadway of course being the most popular place. I was undoubtedly captured by its beauty. It is definitely a concrete jungle and finding a quiet spot or place to think in New York can be difficult but Central Park is so vast that there is bound to be somewhere to retreat to. So here are some reasons why I want to go back to NYC and why you will want to also.

Hudson River
W 57th Street
It Will Inspire You

The big magnificent city of New York is home to so many business people, young and old, entrepreneurs. The taxi honks, the vibrancy of people and the fast city life is inspiring. It gets you feeling creative and of course there is always something to explore in New York. No matter your profession, it gives you a taste of the elite and success and it's dripping in money, which is also another huge inspiration. It'll leave you feeling utterly satisfied, perhaps a little tired too, but it'll give you the feeling that anything is possible; and any dream can be a reality.

It Is The Place For Foodies

All those new Instagram photos of exciting new food trends have probably started in New York, or if they didn't originate there, they probably have begun to recreate them there. Take a trip to stylish Soho for some incredibly amazing vegan cafes, there are so many rooftop cocktail bars, to suit all styles, from lower budget to high budget all out luxury, and the street food is incredible. A slice of pizza in New York is a must, or one of their famous pretzels that you can find on street corners. Sadly, I failed to try any of the street food which is another reason why I need to return!

Shopping & More Shopping

The shops in New York are among the best in the world. There isn't a shop you can't find in New York City, and the one good thing is that you can find good high street brands in New York, such as H&M and Sephora. The variation is huge and this is what makes it such a fabulous city. There is something for everyone. You don't of course have to buy anything; the window displays are incredible on their own, and are incredibly artistic visions in themselves. New York is the fashion centre of the world and around every corner there is fashion, art and culture. It's a fashion lover's dream! Take a trip during New York Fashion Week to see even more art around the city!

So let your next trip be one to remember, and one to savour, without a doubt, it is one of the most fantastic cities in the world. For ways to find good bargains for tourist attractions, take a look at Vacation Pass and make your holiday a very special one.


Luxury Treat At Thorpe Park Hotel

I have had the delight of visiting Thorpe Park Hotel & Spa before but it had been quite a few years ago. The quality was top notch then and today, its consistency in style and treatment is still as wonderful, if not better! Thorpe Park Hotel & Spa is in Colton, Leeds, just off the A1 so it is conveniently located, with Leeds and York being in reasoable driving idstance for day trips. It is a beautiful hotel, stylish, modern, impeccable service with lots of reasons to stay. In fact, Thorpe Park Hotel & Spa are nominated in the World Luxury Spa Awards and after experiencing the spa to its full potential, I can easily see why. For my little pre-birthday treat, myself and my best friend Janine decided to take full advantage of what Thorpe Park Hotel has to offer!

The Hotel & Where To Relax

Before or after your spa day, you can have a cup of tea, afternoon tea, light lunch or a quick coffee break in one of their lovely sitting areas. Overlook the pool with an afternoon tea, or perhaps have a light lunch in this outdoor inspired courtyard sitting area, it's so lovely and airy in there! Lunches are available, and it would also make a brilliant place to bring a work colleague or have a quiet meeting, as the environment is incredibly chilled out whilst still keeping a chic vibe!




The Treatments

There is a huge list of treatments up in the spa. Check in to the spa is easy, you're given a lovely robe and slippers, and a wrist band that gives you access to your locker. We headed up for a taster session; we both opted for neck, shoulder and back massage, the treatment was 25 minutes long. You can pick and choose, and the list is endless, including beauty treatments which I was highly impressed with, and would definitely try out second time around! A pedicure would be heavenly!

The relaxation lounge can be taken full advantage of before and after your treatments, with hot herbal teas on tap and little snacks as well as magazines and lounges, chairs which are perfect for stretching out on, or even a nap, which is definitely what we felt like doing. The lady who did my massage was lovely, worked on the areas of my shoulders that were incredibly tight and knotty, and the environment was lovely and quiet, with a choice of two beautiful oils - I picked the fitness oil, perfect for tired muscles. I then retreated to this quiet corner with a herbal tea and chats with my best friend; it was an easy, relaxing experience.










The Pool Area

I've always been in love with the pool here. It has a beautiful Grecian feel, with tiles and ornaments, it is relaxing, clean and easy to get around. There is a pool, jacuzzi, steam room and sauna, including a lot of little areas to relax, nap or even work. It would have been a brilliant place for me to set up office for the afternoon. The sauna is a great way to start out to relax those muscles and a good way to end your spa trip too. The steam room is lovely, very hot and definitely clears your head and sinuses. The jacuzzi is very warm but not too overpowering with the bubbles - a great place to have a good girly chat! The details of the pool area are exactly what I love in a spa, miminal but classic.





You can easily spend a full afternoon alternating from pool to jacuzzi and then another stint in the steam room, all with a glass of prosecco or coffee - whatever takes your fancy, drinks are on tap! Saunas and steam rooms are renowned for being good for aching msucles and good for your circulation. Thorpe Park Spa is such a relaxing environment for seasoned spa goers or people who like to take things a little slower paced. There's no pressure, and the changing rooms have good facilities, with little areas to redo your hair and make up (a must after a spa trip), and good amenities.

This was a lovely day, and would be a wonderful treat for someone's birthday, to allow them to step out of their busy lives, and enjoy a little bit of luxury! I know it was truly a relaxing experience to remember, you could even kick it up a notch with an evening meal and overnight stay, where the pool facilites are complimentary.

If you would like to vote for Thorpe Park Spa in this year's award, then you can click here and support them!

Click here to explore what Thorpe Park has to offer!
Follow Thorpe Park Hotel on Instagram here.

*My experience was kindly provided complimentary by Thorpe Park but all opinions are my own

LIFESTYLE: The Movie That Will Make You Fall In Love With Dogs Even More


They say a dog is a man's best friend. A companion for life with a trustworthy and kind nature, they are undoubtedly an irreplaceable friend in your life. Dogs still remain the number one choice in pet, around the world. A dog is the icing on the cake for any family, or even perhaps an older person who lacks companionship and of course guide dogs who assist those of us who are more vulnerable in society. Assistance dogs are vital to those people who find life that little bit tougher to deal with.

In the world today there are over 200 million stray dogs that are never given happy homes; but every dog should be entitled to being part of a loving family. I briefly spoke in a previous blog, about the challenges that disabled people face in day to day tasks, and that how dogs can ease and eliminate the worries of everday life. For a disabled person, living with a dog can be the difference between having no independence, and having the freedom to enjoy life without the sinking feeling of suffocation. This is something very close to my heart, as my cousin is on the waiting list for an assistance dog, as she suffers greatly with a physical disability and poor vision. Every year, dogs are abandoned on our streets. Some succumb to the poor conditions and lack of food, and some manage to escape the horror, but spend months wandering the streets with nowhere to go. Sometimes dogs can be fortunate, and with the help of the public, charities such as the RSPCA and animal companies across the globe are made aware of any dogs in distress and are rescued. It is not always as simple as that.
With Tzeni Kazakou (Τζενη Καζακου)
Photo Courtesy of: Pixabay


That is why, this new short Greek movie will make you fall in love with dogs all over again; with a strong moral message, focused on animal welfare. I have so many Greek friends, both in the UK and in Greece, and I have a strong passion for the country, my trip to Athens was such an eye-opener, so when I find little gems like this, I love to support them the best I can; especially when it carries such an important moral message. Supporting good causes is one of the most powerful things a writer can do. This became even more important after visiting the offices at Jenny Karezi Foundation in Athens last month with my dear friend, Giannis. Please click here for more information on my support for the Foundation.

Re-Action, a Greek produced film, by a group of talented Athens filmmakers, follows the story of Roxy the dog, and highlights the importance that stray dogs can have on people's lives and how they can create a positive and meaningful impact on the lives of people from all walks of life. With a heavy focus on animal welfare, its story is one that can resonate with any animal lover. With an incredible cast, leading the film is the ever-so-talented Tania Tripi, and her lovely daughter Jenny Kazakou, making her acting debut; and the chemistry is delightful! The cast is large, but to name a few, Dinos Karydis, Joyce Evidi, Gregoria Avgerinopoulou, Thodoris Anthopoulos and Apostolos Bouras. Written by Alexander Katsaris and Artemis Samothrace, this carefully crafted piece of art really delicately and effortlessly highlights the fact that dogs, stray, abandoned, or perhaps living in shelters, are so important for a range of different reasons. There is always a reason to adopt a stray, and give one more dog the chance of a happy home.

Re-Action Trailer 2017
And the tagline of the film is even more cute - "Give the opportunity for a stray to change your life!" For all the animal lovers out there, this is surely one to watch out for and of course, the film will be available with English subtitles! #reaction




Cycling In The Lakes!

It is the best thing in the world to take that deep breath of clean countryside air, escaping city life and really immersing yourself in natural beauty. My favourite part of the country has to be the Lake District. It's sprawling countryside, and plenty to do and see, it's a perfect holiday getaway, but there are plenty of ways to see the country that don't involve driving everywhere! Some of the best hotspots that offer lots to do and places to shop, drink and eat is Windermere, the main hub, and then higher up is Penrith. Both quite large spots that can get very busy, so here are some tips to see some of these incredible views away from the crowds, and in a more innovative way!

Photo Courtesy: Pixabay
Bike It 

Cycling is not just great for your wellbeing, but it's also a brilliant way to see the places in the countryside that you can't reach in a car, and see them twice as fast than walking, therefore you get to kill two birds with one stone. If you're searching for a new bike, your first bike, a bike for your kids, or parts for your bike, or even bike accessories, then pick these all up on a budget with Latest Deals, so click here and find some brilliant priced things! It's always my go to when looking for travel gear, but if you're on your bike (no pun intended), then you can get around the large lakes much quicker, and here are some of the great tracks to look at.

  • Coniston Cycle Trail - Lake Coniston is a large incredible lake, and perfect to go biking, either alone or with a group, it is realtively long but worth it for those lake views! 
  • Hawkshead to Claife Heights - This route takes in both Coniston fells and also Windermere! 
  • Kentmere - a quiet relaxing route, beginning in Staveley and with plenty of cafe stops in between! 
  • Duddon Valley - not for the fainthearted, this is more of a mountain trek and is long and hard but the Duddon valley stretches around the north of the Lakes 
  • Ullswater North Western Falls - Ullswater is huge, and it is definitely reminiscent of Scottish beauty, but it's definitely one to try for the more hardened bike rider!
  • Askham Fell - more of a family route, not overly taxing and great if you want to take the kids on a fun day out! 
For more information on all the routes for bikes in the Lake District you can click here.  


Photo Courtesy: Pixabay 
So has this at least slightly wet your appetite for a more exciting trip? Biking is a brilliant form of exercise, in fact some of its health benefits include: increased cardiovascular fitness, improved joint mobility, decreased body fat levels, strengthened bones and much more. You can make your cycling journey even easier with finding the best deals over at Latest Deals! I raved about them back in 2015, and they have gone from strength to strength with better deals than ever and they have all your bike needs covered! Happy shopping and happy travelling!