Marvel At Marbella

For better or for worse, Britain’s long standing relationship with Spain has caused certain regions to evolve into a kind of shorthand in the minds of British tourists. Ibiza, for example, has still to live down its reputation as a party Mecca for young Brits itching to embody every negative stereotype about Brits abroad. Scratch the surface, however, and you’ll find a family friendly resort town with some truly stunning sights. The same goes for Benidorm. If you’re willing to overlook your ITV sitcom preconceptions, there’s a lot to fall in love with in this misunderstood and oft-reviled resort.





Marbella has a similar image problem. Its reputation for tacky nightlife and appearances on reality TV shows where it’s referred to as “Marbs” belie the elegance and beauty of this city. For those tourists who are willing to let go of their preconceptions, there’s a lot to see and do that flies in the face of the stereotype. 
Luxury apartments
It’s not all high rises. If you’re looking for somewhere luxurious to stay (or even an investment property) you’ll find some opulent yet surprisingly affordable luxury living in this beautiful city. Spend a little time looking for a luxury apartment to rent in Marbella and you’ll find that wherever your tastes lie, there’s something for you. A luxurious and elegant holiday needs to start with luxurious and elegant accommodation and Marbella certainly does not disappoint.
Hidden beaches
If you think that all of Marbella’s beaches are heaving with orange hued TOWIE rejects, think again. Like many resort towns in spain, Marbella has a great many well kept secrets that only the locals (and a few knowing and discriminate foreigners) know about.
Steer well clear of tourist-riddled Playa de la Fontanilla, the city’s largest and most popular oft-visited beach. Instead, head a little further east and you’ll stumble upon the unassuming but stunning Playa de la Bajadilla. This quieter stretch next to the fishing port is a far more pleasant and serene place for the discerning tourist to sun herself or lose herself in a good book. 
Explore the old town
The ancient barrio may draw its fair share of tourists, but after a few minutes marvelling at the cobbled streets and stunning architecture, many quickly set their sights elsewhere. Take the time to dig a little deeper, however, and you’ll find hidden nooks and crannies, tapas bars known only to locals and a sense of local flavour that’s so integral to an authentic experience.
Wander a little further inland and you’ll find the residential neighbourhood of Divina Pastora with its lively market and sumptuous street food. If you want to immerse yourself in local colour, there’s no better place to do it. 
Try the best seafood of your life in the fishing quarter
When you tire of the unassuming Playa de la Bajadilla, take a short walk over to the Barrio de Pescadores (fishing quarter). Within this picture postcard tableaux of whitewashed fisherman’s huts you’ll find tapas bars so good that only the locals know to eat there, as well as some of the city’s best seafood served in unassuming bars and restaurants that are largely missed completely by the vast majority of tourists. 


I sincerely hope you’ll set aside your preconceptions and get to know this wonderful city! If you're looking for a pickup service, then Welcome Pickups are brilliant for reliable taxi services!

Summer Styling Your Brassybra

Since getting to grips with my Brassybra, I have been really playing around with ways to use it and I can easily say that so far, it's been my summer saviour. In Corfu, I was staying for a week through summer in a villa and Brassybra truly became my best friend, not only to allow me to wear the dresses that I wanted to wear, when I wanted to wear them, but also to give me that added support when wearing my swimsuit. Being a little bit bigger chested, I always like to feel secure, especially when going in and out of the sea and ensuring that I am adequately covered and don't have to worry about the waves shifting my bikini top out of place. Here are just a couple of the ways that I've been enjoying wearing my Brassybra.

Similar swimming costume (get ahead now for next season!)

Leaf Swimming Costume [Swimoutlet.com]

Shop Sunglasses HERE
Dresses

Everyone wants to wear that beautiful summer dress. Whether it's a halterneck, a strapless or a cut away dress, there are so many beautiful ones to pick. I was recently gifted a stunning cut out dress from ChiChi London, but had never found a bra good enough to support me to wear it, without feeling uncomfortable, until I found Brassybra. It easily fits on, I used a C/D cup as it fits me nicely, and using the little nipple protectors first, I then stuck my Brassybra and I was good to go. The Vanilla shade bra I used worked perfectly with white and would highly recommend a lighter colour for Caramel or Vanilla. Perfect, right?!





Swimwear

I love wearing swimwear, but I do not often feel fully supported going in and out of the water. I try to find supportive swimwear but this isn't always possible and even if it is, I love the option of having extra support. I decided to try out my Brassybra with my swisuit in the water; yes Brassybras are waterproof and they are amazing! Not only did they do their job well but they also proved to be much more comfortable in general. I hate the feeling of peeling off a wet costume, but it did seem to really protect my chest area so well that it was a little more bearable taking the costume off! Ten out of ten and for this I used the black chocolate coloured bra as it seemed to be the best fit for my outfit. A little island stop for some swimming was exactly what I needed! Even the salty water did not budge the bra, and I cleanly removed it with some of my favourite body oil, which is what I needed after a day in the sun anyway!



I am sure that by autumn, a whole new set of fashion items will be the perfect accompaniment to my Brassybra but for now, summer is still clinging on and if you have any last minute summer trips (hopefully you do!), then Brassybra is the way to go! To shop Brassybra, click here.

*This post is a sponsored collaboration with Brassybra
*This post may contain affilate links, which means I earn a teeny tiny percentage of any sale with no additional cost to yourself 

Thessaloniki, Greece

Thessaloniki, in northern Greece is the country's second largest city. In the far north, not too far from teh Macedonian border lies this lovely artistic and incredibly vibrant city. A relaxed way of life, where coffee and cigarettes in the sun is practically their religion, it is a brilliant place for young people or groups of friends. Seeped in history, with remnants of WW2 everywhere and of course the iconic White Tower, it is full of cafes, bars, lots of shops and a very bright cheerful atmosphere. It may be a small city but it is mighty and there are plenty of ruins and historical sites to see. The sightseeing bus is €10 per person and takes you to the big sights but possibly isn't the best value, as it seems to miss out some huge churches and monuments but you could pick the nearest bus stop and explore fully on foot; although my tired body did not allow it.





What To See

The White Tower is a historical point in the city and is beautiful. You can enter the tower and climb the stairs to the top to see the view of the sea and the city. Castro is also a brilliant place to see for views, you can hop on the city tour bus (€10 for the day) to see the sights, although it doesn't stop at many great places, it is a good way to get around if your time is limited there. At Castro there are little neigbourhoods to explore and a few ruins, including cafes and taverns with great views. The shopping area is huge in Thessaloniki. It is one long main street with boutiques and high street names, that make it a great stop off for shopping and treating yourself. I saw quite a few beautiful bag shops, good quality at good prices, it really was impressive for shoppers and can see its attraction for that alone. The main shopping street is on Tsmiski. If you take a walk along the waterfront, there are little gardens and artwork dotted around. It is very interesting for those who enjoy a little bit of culture and art. The city is famous for its students, so it's lively and always something going on!

















The history of Thessaloniki is very fascinating and you will notice the architecture is slightly different to the south and the islands. It is stone mostly and has a definite influence from it's Macedonian roots. Of course, there was a large Jewish community and there is one lasting synagogue in the city from WW2 when sadly most of the Jews were exterminated by the Nazis. The holocaust memorial is not too far from Aristotelous Square on the main road.

Where To Stay 

I stayed at the Electra Palace Hotel. It was my second stay at an Electra hotel, as I have been to the one in Athens before and loved it. The location was perfect in Aristotelous Square, near to all the shops, all the cafes and within walking distance of the sea edge and the White Tower. There are lots of affordable hotels in Thessaloniki, many are based right in the city centre, but beware, it is a very LOUD city!! There are bikes, street noise, workers noises right through until about 4am and then it seemed to settle a little until about 7am but it's such a vibrant city, I found it to be even more noisy than Athens, but perhaps that was partly bad luck! For rentals and holiday homes I always use Clickstay!

I took this photo from the breakfast suite of the Electra Palace - those skies! So moody yet so beautiful!



My ultimate travel companion was this amazing heavy duty yet still soft bag from Rox and Ann
What Is Accessible From Thessaloniki

The answer is quite a lot! Down the coast, you have the beautiful resorts in Halkidiki, around an hour or so away, with beautiful hotels and stunning beaches, which are becoming very popular with holidaymakers in recent months. Also, there are plenty of your companies in the city which can take you to the nearby Mount Olympus and Meteora (I was highly impressed) which are all magical wonders of this fantastic country! I always book with Welcome Pickups anywhere in Europe to ensure reliable services to and from the airport!

So why not make this charming, small and friendly little city your next city break! For brilliant prices on villas with Clickstay click here!







Mycanae & Epidaurus With Key Tours

After two previous wonderful trips with Key Tours, I had the opportunity to work with them again, this time going on a bigger trip, a full day trip to Mycanae and Epidaurus in mainland Greece! It was an incredible trip from start to finish, the staff and guides are always informative, friendly, and our guide Katia was very good, telling us about the history of the city and information about the areas we passed. Our itinerary was jampacked, with a stop off at the Corinth Canal on the way and it was a fantastic sight to say the least! Here is a breakdown from start to finish of my amazing trip, including lots of photos which are guaranteed to give you Greek wanderlust!

Dress: Klass Collection 
8:15am - pick up from hotel and head out to the Peloponnese to our first stop at Mycanae. We have a short coffee break at Corinth Canal which is a 4 mile canal which is an absolutely wonderful sight, from the bridge above, looking down into the unforgiving waters! See below how huge the drop is!



Mycanae

Next it is onto Mycanae, an archeological site with fantastic ruins and a beehive monastary which is shaped like a dome and hive, where dead bodies were stored...it was truly fascinating and definitely a little creepy! Mycanae is also home to ruins on the top of the hill where their Acropolis was situated. It was interesting to know that many cities have an Acropolis, meaning the highest point in the city but of course the Acropolis in Athens is the most famous. There is a walk upto the ruins but with the bad wind and rain on the day, we were unable to climb to the top, but even just going half way gives you the opportunity to see the most wonderful views of the surrounding countryside. It is wonderful to hear about the mythology of the area and the site has a museum which is also incredibly informative. There is plenty to see and learn about!









After this, we moved forwards onto a pottery shop in the area to have a little chat about how the famous pottery is made, including the famous justice cup which spills out if you fill it too much, which holds a moral message that we should never be greedy. It was great time to look at the amazing shop and I picked up two little pots that were just €2!! The shop was fascinating, there is something very beautiful about the Greek styles, they are timeless and even today they are copied by some of the biggest brands in the world. Before our stop off for lunch in Nafplio (Greece's first capital before Athens took the throne), we had a small walking tour through the old town. It is an incredible place and truly would be a brilliant place to stop for a weekend, if you are in a car. There are boutique hotels, plenty of trendy restaurants, beautiful streets and shops and at the top there is the Fortress of Palamidi at the top boasting beautiful views. We were shown down to the harbour where we had a lunch waiting for us!





The town of Nafplio is used on the weekends mostly by Athenians who escape the heat and the hustle and bustle, for the quiet streets and relaxing waters in the area. It is also home to Greece's first ever pharmacy, which is incredible. Scroll down to see this gorgeous little town and why it was one of my highlights, I am sure you'll be able to see why!







Epidaurus

Epidaurus is a popular and stunning ampitheatre and the best preserved in the world. It's not as big as I expected but it is majestic and certainly humbling. Every year, festivals are performed here, available in English also so all can enjoy! The area is surrounded by parkland, cafes and is a hotspot for tourists. Also, there is a museum with in depth details about the history and Greek mythology. The whole area is dripping in history and it is a very inspirational place to visit. The area of Epidaurus is also popular with its town on the coastline, which also makes this a fantastic place to visit if you have time. I was impressed with our tour guide for her consistency and knowledge of the history, it was so fascinating to hear about so much, there was too much to take in, but it was definitely worth it!





The drive back to Athens was also a magical experience. Driving down the coast all the way across back to Athens, you have stunning views high up of the Saronic gulf, and all its luscious villages and landscapes on the way back. The rain had held off, the sun was beaming and bright beautiful rainbows hung in the sky so perfectly. It had been a dreamy trip and I was certainly ready to look back at all my photos!

Key Tours are consistent with performance and prices, they are undoubtedly my go to when in Greece and they also offer airport transfers at competitive prices. If you would lke to see more or are thinking of booking some tours whilst you're in this stunning country, then click here! Thank you for an unforgettable day!!


CLICK TO BOOK






Bottomless Brunch At Issho

Issho is the new "in place", oodles of style and the ultimate in chic. Issho is a Japanese restaurant, which has a huge range of sushi and traditional Japanese dishes, served beautifully, artistically and in the most gorgeous rooftop setting in the new Victoria Gate. The restaurant has a rooftop terrace, which is divine and so comfy, on a beautiful day the blue skies and the tops of the buildings in Leeds really made you see the city in a way you haven't before; especially for a native who, after twenty nine years of living here, is a little sick of the sight of it. Issho is one of the reasons why I'm falling back in love with Leeds again. It's trendy and above all, it's top notch food and service.




They recently launched their bottomless buffet which is a buffet of carefully crafted sushi rolls, salads and a choice of warm food. It is £35 per person and if you should wish, you can add a glass of prosecco to your lunch, but the best part is, that is bottomless too! You can eat as much sushi as you wish which includes Robatayki, Bao buns, Maki, Nigiri and Sashimi, available from 12-3pm on Sundays! The whole experience was lovely, and it was definitely worth a try for me. Very laidback atmosphere and no rush at all. The sushi rolls included spicy tuna and salmon, nothing too difficult for the palate so if you're a newbie, this is a great place to come. They offered a beautiful tomato salad in a whipped tofu sauce, which was so delicate and cleansing. Also they had plenty of meat options which were being served by the waiters, so there was always something new to try if you fancied! There were chicken skewers and pork which looked lovely although I stuck to my regular veggies. If you're a vegan, you do not need to worry, there are vegan options too, I was enticed by the gorgeous looking veg rolls, which were just so delicious. I spoke to the head chef who was a delight and she told me that they are the only place in Leeds to offer this kind of buffet which is freshly made sushi prepared in an authentic way. The staff were attentive and friendly, willing to help, discuss the food options in detail; there to make your experience really good and I have always found them to be of a high standard. Some of the dishes I opted for were: chargrilled asparagus, edamame beans, tomato salad, california rolls, veggie rolls, and a type of veg dumpling to start with which was mildly spicy but delicious!






For dessert there was a mix of fresh fruit and caramel sauces, which were a lovely sweet addition to the fruit. Everything was very fresh and the fruit was a beautiful way to refresh after the sushi. You can request your hot food at the table and it will be made to order. It's a brilliant way to finish a day of shopping or even just for that girly trip you've been meaning to take forever. Or impress on a business date, or even show your friends from out of town what Leeds really has to offer at Issho! It's even a brilliant place to pop in for a drink, on the terrace, after work or for a relaxing pitstop.

For more information on Issho and their menus, including the bottomless brunch, then click here. I would suggest booking for your bottomless brunch as it is likely to get busy and this way you can ensure you have a guaranteed table.

*My visit was provided complimentary in exchange for a review but all thoughts and views are my own. 

Looking For An Affordable Yet Efficient Car?

A car marks a substantial investment and so there is a lot of thought and consideration which needs to go into the purchasing process. It is imperative that you do not rush into a decision regarding which car to buy because you can easily end up lumbered with a car which you find difficult to drive or which does not match your requirements. 


Photo Courtesy: https://www.autotrader.co.uk/cars/peugeot
You won’t be short of choice when it comes to purchasing a vehicle that’s for sure. Therefore, the more information you can soak in regarding various different cars the better. Peugeot cars are certainly worth considering. Peugeot is a well-known and highly reputable French car brand. In fact, it is actually the second largest car manufacturer in the whole of Europe. Therefore, quality and popularity are pretty much assured. 
The range of cars which Peugeot have available are diverse. There are compact cars as well as bigger family based cars. Nevertheless, all cars possess that sporty quality to them which is highly desirable in any vehicle – it gives it that sleek and stylish element which makes others turn their heads. One of the sportiest looking cars available today is the Peugeot RCZ; this car is a sight to behold, to say the least. 
The Peugeot RCZ may not be for everyone, and that’s ok, because there is bound to be another Peugeot car which floats your boat. After all, sporty cars can be more expensive in terms of insurance, so there is a lot to keep in mind. You can head to https://budgetboost.co/the-general-insurance-review/ for more information on your options when insuring your new car. The Peugeot 107 is a great vehicle for those who are looking for something small and practical. At the other end of the scale, there is the Peugeot 5008 which has seven seats, making it the perfect car for those with a big family. And, then there is the Peugeot 308 which has three different designs to suit all; the convertible, the hatchback, and the SW. 
If you have found a Peugeot car which you would like to purchase then it is recommended that you take a look online and find a car dealer which sells used Peugeot vehicles. Head to https://www.autotrader.co.uk/cars/peugeot for some more details. Even if the idea of a used car does not take your fancy, you should still have a quick browse. You may find that there are actually some fantastic used vehicles which have barely been utilised by their previous owners. You will be able to benefit from substantial savings whilst having a car which is almost as good as new.
In addition to this, when you consider the current economic climate in the country at the moment, buying a used Peugeot seems to be the most sensible option. You will reap the rewards of a cost-effective vehicle, and this is worth its weight in gold at present. It seems like everything is getting more and more expensive in the current day, yet money is getting tighter. The process of making a substantial purchase, such as a car, can be very worrying for individuals. Yet used cars provide a great alternative. 
If you are on the lookout for a new car then you should consider French heavyweight Peugeot. They sell a fantastic range of vehicles which is bound to boast something suited to you. Nevertheless, remember to consider the used options available on the internet at present.

Beginner's Guide To Palma De Majorca



Palma De Majorca (Mallorca) was on my travel bucket list specifically because of the majestic Cathedral that is the staple of Spanish beauty and the fact that I had never explored the Spanish islands. Majorca seemed the best place to start. It's relatively large and is also relatively easy going, unlike its sister island, Ibiza. I booked a hotel outside of the city (by complete mistake, but worked out for the better), in the area of Playa De Palma. Admittedly, I had no idea that this area catered mostly for German tourists, nevertheless, it was a lovely spot, there were some Brits and of course many people speak English. Before I talk about Palma and share with you some of my favourite photos, I'll chat to you a little bit about the area I stayed in with is south of Palma, and around 25 minutes out of the city. Palma in April through to October is usually good sunny warm weather. The temperature reached 28 degrees whilst I was there. Taxi fares to and from the airport are usually around 20-30 euros depending upon the time of day. Most taxi drivers are English speaking to some extent but they can drive a little erratically but this is the same for a lot of taxi drivers worldwide! It is a safe city, streetsellers are prevalant but I do not see why this would not be suitable for a lone traveller, even a lone female traveller. Let's take a little look at some of the attractions you should have a peruse at whilst you're staying in the magical Palma De Majorca! Firstly I want to point out that I had been insanely obsessed with this little playsuit from ChiChi London, shop here! It was the perfect fashion accompaniment and just perfect for that glorious weather!





Playa De Palma

This area itself is laid back, very 'German-oriantated' (some say the Magaluf of Germany) however I did not see any rowdy tourists at all, and most of the tourists seemed to be 40 years+. I was happy with the area, clean, a lovely long beach with an abundence of shops, restaurants and the most lavish chic modern hotels you will ever see. I was highly impressed with the choice of gorgeous hotels in the area. I was staying at the HM Hotel Balangeura Beach which was insanely amazing! White, stylish, chic and they had a brilliant choice for food. Getting into Palma from this area was easy, two regular buses and they stop near the Cathedral. Here are some of my photos from the hotel, and I would definitely recommend this hotel if you would like to spend some time away from the city and get the best of both worlds (beach and city!)



Swimsuit available at www.ukswimwear.com
Palma City

Palma City itself is absolutely stunning! I was so pleasently surprised but I had heard very good things about it. The Cathedral, an old Catholic Cathedral is the main attraction and point in the city, with lots going on and the architecture is inspired by the gothic era. Palma is also home to a large marina and lots of lovely parkland that is small, quaint and picturesque which is perfect for sitting down and enjoying an ice-cream. Here are some of the main attractions that you must see:

  • Bellver Castle - This is a beautiful castle up on a hill, buried deep within a beautiful dense area of woodland. It can be seen from the city and it boasts panoramic views of the city. It can be accessed by foot, but there are around 500 steps. You can also access it on the Hop On Hop Off Tourist bus.
  • Royal Palace of La Almudaina - This can't be missed as it is right next to the Cathedral and the gardens and areas surrounding it are incredibly beautiful. Although they do get busy, the earlier you go the better, you can grab your photos without a mass of tourists also trying to get shots.
  • Shop til You Drop - There is a huge amount of designer shops and it is easy to overspend! You will also find so many highstreet shops as well as Spanish boutiques and much more! It's a brilliant place to go with your girls, for shopping, good lunch dates and plenty of sun! 
  • Llotja - This was found by chance whilst walking back from a stroll along the marina. The museum's interior architecture was fabulous! Would make a beautiful wedding venue. This was once a Merchant's School and to enter it is completely free which is always a bonus! 
Like I state in every single city Blog, the best thing you can ever do is explore on foot! Grab yourself a map, or make sure your sat nav on your phone is working and get walking! Sometimes you find little gems away from the hustle and bustle! Scroll down for a little photo diary of my short and sweet trip to Palma and why you should make it your next weekend city break location! 

Who did I fly with: Ryanair from Leeds Bradford airport. I always book dates that match cheap airflights, because this makes sense to really get the most of the good deals and that way, travel more and often! 








SHOP THIS DRESS HERE



SHOP THIS DRESS HERE