The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Travelling with Kids

Toddler’s First Holiday To Fuerteventura

holiday-plane

Holiday booked.
Fuerteventura, here we come!

We simply cannot wait… well, I simply cannot wait. I don’t think LO is aware of my travel plans just yet. It’s going to be his first holiday and the first time he’ll be abroad since he’s been born. I went on a babymoon with him to Nice, France when he was still a bump but we haven’t gone anywhere abroad since then.

We are planning for a bit of winter sun and plan to visit this lovely place in January. Tickets were cheap but now I’ve realised it’s because it’s actually not that warm in Jan which is why the tickets were such good value for money. Woops! Well, I am more than happy if the temperature is around 18-20 degree Celsius with mild wind. I have heard a-plenty that this island out of all the Canaries is the most windy. Not to worry, we can just bring our light wind-breaker jackets I am sure that will be enough.

LO and I will be going with one of my college friends Coco. We used to holiday a lot together and stopped since I had LO so this will be like a mini-reunion for us too. We will be staying at the Barcelo Castillo Beach Resort in Caleta de Fuste. A lovely port area about 10mins away from the airport with its own beach area. 🙂

The Greenwich Mummy | Holiday to Fuerteventura
Photo Credit: Google

I just can’t wait to get away to be honest, I just want a bit of sun. As much as I love snuggling in the covers, the darker days really gets to the best of me.

I haven’t planned anything for the travels yet but have been looking into things I can take with me to keep LO entertained for the 4hr flight there and back. I’m thinking to purchase a little tablet with something that allows me to save the YouTube videos that he loves to watch and probably bring some of his beloved books to read to him. I’m hoping the plane engine will also soothe him to sleep as he sleeps well on buses and cars so maybe the same effect will apply up in the air.

One can hope for the best!

– x –

The Greenwich Mummy | UK Family Lifestyle Blog

Sunday’s Trip To Westgate Beach

Last weekend we decided to go on to a day trip to Westgate-on-Sea (West Bay Beach) and what a fabulous choice it was! We had sun, sand, and lots of fun. I think it was the best Sunday weather we had this month so it was a pretty good choice to go as the weather’s not been too great this week.

The weather was balmy (around 25 degree Celsius) and the wind was warm which I think is the ideal weather for young children. Any hotter and they’ll probably feel uncomfortable and any cooler, they probably would’ve felt cold. It was perfect. We got to Westgate-on-sea by car which took roughly 1.5 hrs as there was a little bit of slow-moving traffic on the way there. LO was pretty good in the car and slept for about half of the journey which made life a little easier, especially when he and his little friend kept fighting over some toy cars.

The Greenwich Mummy | UK Family Lifestyle Blog

I hadn’t even heard of this place, it was my friend that told me about it. I knew where Margate was and this little gem is just a short drive away from there. There’s no amusement park here just a little town with a local pub and a sandy beach – that’s all I wanted anyway so it was perfect for us. I think if you have older children or teenagers Margate may be a better choice so the kids don’t get bored.

The children had so much fun… Even us mummies had fun too! I highly recommend Westgate-on-sea to any families with young children.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Manny | The Greenwich Mummy Signature

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | The Scarlet Eco Spa & Hotel in Newquay Cornwall

My Well-needed getaway to Newquay beach and The Scarlet Hotel Spa

Things were getting on top of me and I could feel all of the tension, stress and anxiety building up on my shoulders. I was constantly snapping at LO’s dad, and the little things LO would do that I would usually find cute i.e. messing up the house or trying to help out with the tidying was really grating on me resulting in me shouting my head off and upsetting him. Even work was becoming exhausting for me – I knew it was time for a break away from it all.

The girls at work and I have been talking about going away for a spa break for a while so we finally decided it was time for our spa break to The Scarlet in Cornwall. We all paid for a flight there as it worked out quicker and cheaper to fly than travel by train.

The Greenwich Mummy | The Scarlet Spa Day One

It was early afternoon when we got into Newquay and decided to stop off at Watergate Bay as we couldn’t check into our apartment until after 4pm (it was 1pm when we arrived). We had a lovely beach stroll, a great catch-up chat about work and other gossip, and then decided to have a quick lunch at the stunning Living Space restaurant right on the beachfront at Watergate Bay.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog

The restaurant was aesthetically beautiful. The decor completely complimented the sea view and location. The food… the food was deliciously fresh, tasty and quite healthy.I shared with a friend the hot salmon bagel and chips whilst the other friend opted for a salmon salad. I shared as I wasn’t too hungry and just wanted something small to fill the void. The hot chocolate I ordered was frothy, milky and chocolatey… super yum! 🙂

On our way to the apartment we stopped at the shops to make our own dinner as we thought we’d be too lazy to go out to eat (and were on a budget). That night we two of us had breaded chicken and wedges, our vegetarian friend had spaghetti bolognese made with Quorn mince and we all settled down with a nice movie before going to bed.

The Greenwich Mummy | The Scarlet Spa

Day Two

Today was the day we went to visit The Scarlet Spa. Hidden away in Mawgan Porth, this eco-friendly spa is simply stunning and despite its modern look, in no way it sticks out like a sore thumb in its surroundings. The building itself is nestled away in a small road up one of the many cliff roads in Cornwall. Upon entering the spa, we were gobsmacked at how beautiful the place was. As we arrived slightly “late” as an itinerary was planned for us which we were unaware of however as it was a weekday visit, the spa were able to re-jiggle our spa day to make sure we could still experience everything our spa day package offered. The Scarlet spa is a part of the hotel so as we arrived early, we headed to the main restaurant for a drink whilst we waited for our spa host to collect us.

The Greenwich Mummy | The Scarlet Spa
From left to right; manuka honey tea, mocha, ginger biscuits, and cappuccino

When our spa host collected us and escorted us down to the spa restaurant as we arrived at the time we were supposed to have our spa lunch. We had to pre-order the food before coming; two of us ordered the salmon dish and the other friend ordered the chicken. It was a light lunch (and very healthy) but we loved it as we really wasn’t looking for a heavy meal whilst trying to “detox” at the spa.

The Greenwich Mummy | The Scarlet Spa The Greenwich Mummy | The Scarlet Spa

The hummous was so delicious! It tasted like it had paprika and harissa spice added to it which was divine with the homemade bread. The apple juice was freshly squeezed and tasted so fresh like it had just been juiced that very second. We were very satisfied with our meals. After we had finished, we all made our way down to the spa area were we enjoyed 2 blissful hours using the spa facilities and experiencing the rhassoul.

Time flew by so quickly at the spa and before I knew it, it was time to leave. I was fully relaxed and even fell asleep in the spa’s meditation room… once again, snoring away! 🙂 When we left the spa, we went back to the apartment for a little rest. We decided we were going to go out for a meal so headed back out to Watergate Bay and had something to eat at Zacry’s which was lovely. Two of us opted for lamb which was really tasty and our vegetarian friend opted for the cod. The total bill wasn’t too much at around ÂŁ30 each including drink and dessert which is reasonable.

Day Three

This was the day I set off as I decided I was only going away for 2 nights. I thought I would miss LO too much so I cut my trip short. The flight wasn’t until the evening so the first part of the day we decided to go for a lovely beach walk which was calming and just what I needed to chill out before heading back to my busy lifestyle. It was so foggy that morning I got a great image of it on our walk.

The Greenwich Mummy | The Scarlet Spa

The fog was so thick, it felt like it engulfed the horizon. Looking out towards the sea, it was just all grey… you couldn’t see anything else. When you are walking up a hill/cliff, the last thing you want is limited visibility but luckily the road was still clear so it wasn’t too bad. When I arrived at the airport ready to fly home the flight was slightly delayed because of the fog but luckily we were still able to fly and despite the late departure we arrived back in London on time.

The short break was a well-needed getaway for me. After feeling so stress-out and exhausted it was the first time I was able to fully relax and unwind without having to worry about anything. Unfortunately the relaxed feeling didn’t last long – just two days to be exact. Then all the exhaustive demands came back. Now when I start to feel stressed, I think back to this wonderful trip.

Manny | The Greenwich Mummy Signature


Check out my #ThrowbackThursday post with more stunning photos of The Scarlet Spa

Review: You Can Keep Your Adventure, Just Leave Me The Toilet Paper

This is a book review on “You Can Keep Your Adventure, Just Leave Me The Toilet Paper” written by Ben Pastore who is the owner of the popular travel blog, Trip Accomplice.

I love to travel and before LO I set myself the challenge of travelling at least once a year which I did manage to do; I’ve visited a few places in my travels; mainly Europe or Northern Africa but I would love to extend my travels to Central Africa and Asia but not yet have the time or money to do so. Especially now with LO, it’s a little more difficult in terms of money however thanks to books like “You Can Keep Your Adventure, Just Leave Me The Toilet Paper” I can suppress my wanderlust for a little longer and keep my ‘armchair traveller’ status. 🙂

The Greenwich Mummy | Ben Pastore Book Review

When Ben kindly sent me a free sample copy to review, I was very excited but also a bit apprehensive about reviewing the book. Firstly, because I wanted to know that I was able to do the book justice in my review but also, because I didn’t know what to expect. It’s taken me a little while to get round to doing it simply because my iPhone 4S is simply quite crap at opening large files. I’ve divided the review in to bitty sections to make it easier for you to read… here goes! 🙂

Book Review

So the book starts off like all other books. The publications, dedications and an interesting section titled “READ THIS FIRST!” in capital letters like how I’ve typed it here. Naturally, it sparked my curiosity and I had to read it. It is an explanation of who the book is for, who it is not for, what the book is about and a quick overview of the whole book for those who want to know (in short paragraphs) what each section of the book contains. I found it brilliant because it means I could skip to the ‘juicy bits’ straight away… however as I am reading to write a review, I had to take my time and go through each section of the book.

Section One: Introduction to Wanderlust

This is the first section of the book where the author introduces himself as well as provides us with his definition of ‘wanderlust’. I’m quite a visual person so sometimes I find it hard to read a lot of text without photos. Also, because I know that this was a travel book so I was just really eager to look at the photos only. After the self-introduction and book introduction the author provides us with some very handy tips to remember when travelling and recommendations of good travel guides to invest in and the reasons why they make good travel guides.

Section Two: The Witty Traveller’s Guide to the Planet

Now here is where all the magic is. The author starts off his travel destinations in North America visiting places like Montreal, Quebec City. Then goes on to the Carribean Islands and tells us the difference between the islands (yes, they are very different from one another) which was interesting to know as I didn’t know anything about the islands before reading this, South America, Antarctica, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and Oceania.

You can expect a fabulous in-depth story for most of the destinations. My favourite stories were:

  • getting your face licked by cheetahs at Makuni Safari in Zambia
  • admiring in awe the beauty of the Taj Mahal in India
  • the envious Hong Kong skyline

There are so many stories to read and when you’re reading them, you become fully immersed and almost feel like you are actually there with him. The wonderful advice given throughout this section of the book is invaluable to any traveller, whether they are experienced or a complete novice.

Section Three: Looting the Planet – A Collection of Lessons Lifted from the World

After being indulged with stunning destinations and photos that make you envious, the author provides you with more travel tips and genuine advice that can help enhance your travel experience and fully fulfill your wanderlust. You can expect tips and advice on how to make the most out of your travels, how to take the best photographs and present them and the best ways to travel when you’re abroad. The author also offers his response to common travel excuses like mine such as “I can’t afford to travel” and “I don’t have the time to travel” as well as a few others which really motivates me to stop being an armchair traveller this year. Good thing I have Ibiza and Vietnam on mine and LO’s travel list this year then. 🙂

Summary

It’s an excellent book/travel guide – it’s packed full of popular travel destinations, envious photographs of the destinations, amazing stories, useful advice and travelling tips. Everything that makes a great travel guide book I would say. If you are tired of being an armchair traveller and want to get out there but don’t know where to start why not take a look at this book as a starting point for your wanderlust? I am so grateful I was able to review this book and next year when I plan my travels to Congo, I may have to take a detour to Zambia to get a chance to play with those big cats!

Signature2


benAbout Ben Pastore
Blog: Trip Accomplice
Instagram: @tripaccomplice
Twitter: @tripaccomplice

For more info on the book or to buy click the following link below:
http://bastionpublishing.com/you-can-keep-your-adventure.html


NB. I was kindly sent an e-book to review by Ben Pastore. All thoughts, opinions are words are my own.

Once upon a time in Andalusia.

I think Andalusia may have to be the bext Spanish trip I make! 🙂

Once the bug bites, it won't stop

I came. I saw. I fell in love.

With Granada.

I loved both cities in the Andalusia region – Granada and Seville. It was hard to choose between the two. But with deeper introspection, Granada won me over. An affair that lasted just 2 days.

I have never been to Greece but the first image that comes to mind is white-washed houses infused with blue set atop hills alongside bright colourful flowers. Granada looked like that. But with orange trees ofcourse.

We reached on Christmas morning after a tiring overnight bus journey. The hostel was the first positive sign. Quaint and home-like with wonderful staff around. Then started the walk to nowhere. Through narrow alleys, trudging uphill, running downhill, encountering a few souvenir shops, seeing families in their festive best coming out of IMG_4085churches laughing. And inhaling the cold air fragranced with the smell of citrus. I should have seen…

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The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Family Lifestyle & Travel

Reminiscing About Barcelona

Looking back at my previous holiday photos is making want to go away again! I went to Barcelona earlier this year for a short break (2 nights) which was a lovely getaway but it’s simply not long enough. It was a spur-of-the-monent decision; I saw the deal on Lastminute.com for ÂŁ89pp inc. hotel and I could just not resist!

I went with my all-time travel companion Coco – she is the only person I go on holidays with since college times but after LO I stopped all the holiday trips as money became tight.

Our Barcelona break

When we got to the city centre we decided to walk to the hotel, not realising it was 19 kilometres away! I had totally underestimated how far the distance was and after 3hrs of constant walking we reached the hotel knackered so we only could be bothered to chill out. The hotel, Attica 21 Barcelona Mar is right next to the beach promenade which was a pleasant surprise. If only we knew how close we were we probably would’ve spent an afternoon chilling on the sandy beaches.

The next day we walked everywhere again but also made use of the tram system to help us get around. I have to say, Barcelona is a beautiful city, physically and culturally. It’s no wonder why thousands of people flock there especially in summer when the weather is amazing. When I went, I was only sunny on the day I got there.. After that, it was all grey clouds and overcast. Still, I had a great time exploring the place.

Jazz Nights

The last night was spent at the local jazz bars Jamboree and Marula CafĂŠ, and the entertainment for the night was simply awesome. It was Funk night at Marula Cafe so the DJ played funk and soulful jazz  – there was also a live act from a local band called Sugar Drop who were absolutely amazing. As the venue is small and intimate, it felt almost like a private gig 🙂 Even though it was only for 2 nights, I missed my boy a lot but I was also quite happy that I was able to get away for a few days for complete R&R. After that, it was back to the rat race and full-time work.

Tourist or Traveller?

When you’re with the kids, you become the tourist.. When alone, you can be the traveller- wouldn’t all mummies agree?

Once the bug bites, it won't stop

We are planning the next vacation. Which is exactly a month from now. And nothing has been done as yet.

While having an Indian passport is a lot better than many others, it is still a long-drawn application procedure if you want to visit countries around the UAE’s proximity. I have a deadline of 2 days for looking up a list of countries offering visa-on-arrival for Indians and rounding up on the shortlist. Watch this space.

Next comes the quintessential question of how you want to visit a new place. As a Tourist or Traveller?

Yin is the tourist. He believes that with a steady job and limited vacation time, one should fly non-stop and not necessarily on a low-frills flight. ‘2 vacations a year is what we can afford so splurge’ is his mantra. Yin is Mr. Organised and would want his tickets and schedule well before he embarks on the holiday. The idea is to…

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