The Peak District – Bakewell

With our check out of our little cottage in Eyam being at 11am we decided we weren’t quite ready to go yet and wanted to go and get some food together before going our separate ways. We were in just the right spot to go exploring somewhere else so we decided to head to the infamous Bakewell!

Bakewell is known for it’s world famous Bakewell tarts. And they really are top notch if you haven’t had a Bakewell tart before I definitely recommend it. For those who aren’t aware a Bakewell tart is pastry with jam inside and a layer of frangipane with a cherry on top! topped with some almonds traditionally. I think the cherry was a recent one. So of course being in Bakewell we headed straight to the Famous Shop and Cafe!

I didn’t buy a Bakewell tart from the shop itself but now I’m looking back at it I regret it massively because I could really eat one of them right about now.

Once we were done in the shop we next walked through the high streets because me being the moany cow I am I needed new shoes. I had a massive hole in my shoes because they were at least two year old Vans and unfortunately discovered with very wet toes that they had this hole in.

Bakewell itself was really lovely with stone buildings and architecture all through the streets, as you walk into Bakewell you walk over a stone bridge with the river running underneath. Its such a pretty old town and I understand why its so popular! (Not just for the Bakewell tarts).

We had lunch booked at Piedaniels just of the high street in Bakewell (Pronounced Pee-eh-daniels, the best description I could use). It was such a beautiful restaurant I can’t say I felt dressed for the occasion especially in my broken Vans. I absolutely sat at the dinner table with one shoe on and the other on the radiator (the shoe shop was not successful).

We had 3 courses and it was so tasty, for starter I had French Onion soup which was delicious, followed by Duck Breast for main and a lovely fruity sponge pudding for dessert with a tonne of custard all whilst in amazing company. It was a little more on the expensive side but the food was definitely worth the money, the service was fantastic and the atmosphere was pleasant. I’d definitely go again if we had the chance!

Couldn’t have asked for a better trip with better people and a glorious few days off work walking and catching up. It was sad to say goodbye to everyone and it’s probably going to be a while until we see everyone again with lockdown happening again, but I’m glad we managed a trip and can’t wait to do it again when we can!

SW Coastal Road Trip Day 6 – Hangloose Eden Project Zipe Wire & Bath

Leaving Newquay definitely made the two of us sad, we really didn’t want to leave so have decided we will absolutely go back again as soon as we can. Before we hit the road we headed for breakfast at Fore Café, a cute independent café in Newquay for some sausage and bacon sarnies and a cuppa tea (of course!).

Then it was off to our next stop! We were heading towards Bath for our last night but we couldn’t head that way just yet as we had one more activity planned for the day and that was the Hang Loose Eden Project zipwire! The Hang Loose zipwire is half a mile long and goes over the entirety of the Eden Project so you can have aerial views of the facilities! You are flying on the zipwire for a good 45 seconds at speeds of up to 60 mph so you’re definitely not messing about.

We arrived at the Eden Centre and got parked up before walking to Hang Loose centre! We didn’t unfortunately pay for access to the Eden Project but that means we will definitely go back which is a bonus. Once we arrived and put our bags into storage it was off to get our harnesses sorted. You book a time slot for your flight but definitely make sure you have nothing planned for afterwards or somewhere to be. The time we were waiting just to get our harnesses on and to get up to the zipwire start point was well over an hour from our allotted time. But once we were sorted and ready to go it was so exciting! I had my go pro so I could get some top notch footage so I told them I had it on me and they gave me an appropriate helmet with the correct clasp on for me as well! It was so exhilarating I was smiling the whole way down, Brad and I went side by side as we went and it really was such an awesome experience. I couldn’t recommend it more. See my footage here!

It was a really fun experience and only £35 per person, I definitely recommend this as something fun to do. There are also more activities much like the zipwire as well like huge pillow jumps and an aerial swing as well. I definitely want to go back to do more and also just to visit the Eden Project in general.

Once done here next stop was Bath!

Now as we left the Eden Project I decided I’d drive us to Bath and the regret was so real. The roads as we left the Eden project were just awful. I wouldn’t even really call them roads, maybe vehicle able one way footpaths. Honestly if you met another car coming the other way you genuinely had to wonder who was going to go where and just how far you’d have to reverse if you were the one going back. BUT after a stressful but very well handled drive we made it to Bath in time to freshen up and find some food but not before checking into the most BEAUTIFUL townhouse in the centre of Bath.

We stayed in a place called the Broad Street Townhouse. We couldn’t have been any more central if we tried and especially for such a great price, we only paid £89 for the night with breakfast included but that meant that everywhere we went for the day was in walking distance. We parked our car for 24 hours in the Charlotte Street car park which was really well priced and walked to the hotel.

Broad Street Townhouse is attached to a pub, The Pig and Fiddle, which was perfect for us, although typically in the evening we got back too late to have a drink before it closed. We did manage to have the most amazing breakfast there though as they served the breakfast in the pub and it was awesome. But before we get too carried away with breakfast… We arrived to this beautiful room with a wooden and dark green theme. It was so fancy and beautiful with a few green plants in the room and matching furniture and even matching mugs for your tea and coffee? They also had a coffee machine I the room and TV, the bedroom windows were basically floor to ceiling with lovely deep green curtains, the bathroom was out of this world, it looked brand new and sparkling clean and the décor was straight out of Pinterest. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever stayed anywhere so nice, and the bed was SO BIG and comfortable I wish we never had to leave. All in all a solid 11/10 for somewhere to stay in bath that’s worth the money 10000%.

Once we were all freshened up we decided to go for our favourite food and walked to a Thai restaurant called Salathai. The service was quick, attentive, the atmosphere was really lovely and the windows being huge it was lovely and bright, and the food was just to die for. I always overeat whenever I go out for food but with food this good? how could I not? We had duck pancakes to start and the rest is history (aka I do not remember what we both ordered because it was gone in a matter of minutes). But we could walk too and from the restaurant back to where we stayed which made it even nicer as the weather was lovely.

This was our LAST meal of our road trip and we were super sad about this, I didn’t want it to end. Tomorrow (the next post) leads to some Bath exploring, Stonehenge and unfortunately, home.

SW Coastal Road Trip Day 5 – A Day Dedicated to Newquay Surf, Fistral Beach

This was without a doubt the most anticipated day for the both of us, we were so excited!

We headed out nice and early for some breakfast on Newquay high street at a place called the Concho Lounge! Here we both had a fry up and an entire gallon of tea before we headed down to Fistral beach for some surf. I would say sun but there was definitely no sun and absolutely a lot of rain but that didn’t stop us and if anything made the swell so much better!

Brad had never surfed before but I had done, although it had definitely been a good 3 years since I had been so we both started as beginners. We headed down and rented two board for the day, both of us got foamies. Brad got 8 foot and I got cocky and got 7 foot and I definitely regretted this choice later on! We also rented a couple of wetsuits, I went for a shorty because they’re my fave to wear and Brad got a full wetsuit! £37 Later we were ready and raring to go!

The surf zone was down the very other end of the beach so carrying our boards down to the flagged area was a mission I itself but we managed it! Especially with foam boards and the wind was absolutely crazy. Of course when surfing look for the black and white flags and make sure to stay well and truly out of the red and yellow flagged swimming zone when on your boards! Last thing you want is to hit a swimmer!

Brad and I spent at least 5 hours out trying to stand up and ride the waves all the way in, Brad was so good I considered packing my hobby in a finding a new one he wasn’t good at. We had a great time and It was really important to me that Brad also enjoyed it because there will plenty of learning how to surf once we move to Australia, its also just something I enjoy doing when I do get to go (rarely) so the fact he enjoyed it as much as he did was such a bonus!

For some comedic surfing footage you can check out my YouTube video here!

Once we were done for the day we were lucky because our Airbnb literally backed onto the beach so it was an exhausted 10 minute walk in sandy towels and I could not WAIT to get a cup of tea in me. Once showered we had absolutely NO plans until 9:15pm when we had managed a dinner booking last minute through all the Eat out to Help out madness, at a Mexican called Senor Dicks Mexican (It made me giggle as well). But in that time beforehand it was used to just lay in bed & eat endless pot noodle and Jaffa cakes. I also tried to nap but I figured if I stayed awake I’d sleep better that evening.

Once 7pm followed round we were up, showered and out the door and back to the Lost Brewing Co where we had food and beers the night before for a very special occasion. They brew their own beers and were releasing a beer that tasted like a Pornstar Martini cocktail and was only available whilst it was in stock. Once it was gone, it was gone as it was a one time only brew! So we got there and managed to got two and my god they were so sweet but also so damn tasty! We actually managed to take one home with us as my dad is a beer drinker and we wanted him to try it. I don’t usually enjoy that sort of stuff but it was so worth it.

Once we’d have a few drinks we sauntered over to Senor Dicks and enjoyed a Mexican sharing platter with quesadillas, a burrito to share, nacho hips, a couple of tacos as well and endless sour cream, guac, cheese sauce and salsa. And of course, because I cannot go without them at a meal. ONION RINGS. The meal was really well priced especially as nice as it sounded, we wont be rushing back as it was pretty average. But I’d never been anywhere with the option of a sharing platter for 2 with so much variety so that was pretty awesome.

After dinner it was straight home to pass tf out in bed, we were well and truly exhausted after this day and what a day it was. We were also really sad as it was coming onto our last morning in Newquay and our last few days on our road trip! Stay tuned for our remaining couple of days!

SW Coastal Road Trip Day 4 – St Ives, Lands End & Newquay

We woke up refreshed andready to go for another day of exploring the South West coast!

Waking up In the Hobbit Homes was really cool and very refreshing. You stepped straight outside into the fresh air so it was nice to have a cuppa and enjoy the fresh morning weather! Once we had walked down to the washrooms, had a shower and freshened up check out was at 10 so we got sorted and headed out to explore St Ives! The washrooms were also really clean and fresh. Although it would have been nice to see someone cleaning it straight after we had used it for other guests we also understand in todays climate that might not be possible!

So we jumped in the car and drive the 10 minute drive into the centre of St Ives. The first mistake we made was driving. Parking is really very limited so if possible park at the top of the hill on your way into St Ives. The walk back up might be painful but not as painful as trying to find parking in the centre because it isn’t really plausible on a busy summers day.

St Ives from the off was so beautiful, the blue water and the beautiful beaches and harbour. It was low tide so all the boats were resting on the sand in the harbour as we waded through the masses of people who had finally escaped after the coronavirus lockdown. Admittedly this was the only location out of the many that we visited where I didn’t feel Covid safe walking through the streets. Usually when we were outdoors I’d keep my mask off but when we were walking through I felt incredibly uncomfortable especially being basically shoulder to shoulder and popped my mask on until we had reached the other side of the harbour. All the restaurants were open and it was Ice creams galore! I love all the stone buildings and the cobbled streets. I imagine in winter its the cosiest town of them all.

We wandered across to Smeaton Pier and followed the coastal pathway along the seafront around to the piece of land known as ‘The Island’. To get there we walked past Bamaluz beach and also Porthgwidden beach to finally make our way up to St Ives head, situated on The Island, and also to take a nosey at St Nicholas Chapel too! It was a really lovely walk with beautiful views of St Ives beaches and the harbour. We then finished off with a picture overlooking Porthmeor Beach and a walk back through the cobbled streets of St Ives (trying not to buy even MORE fudge from some of the delicious shops) and up the dreaded hill to the car!

Next up on the agenda was to drive across from St Ives to Lands End! I was really excited for this as I’m from Lowestoft (although no longer residing there now) and Lowestoft holds the landmark on our coast for the Most Easterly Point of the UK! So Complete opposite sides of the country which is pretty fun. So I was very excited when we arrived.

We paid the £7 parking fee which is basically your entry fee and then headed down to the entrance! When you arrive there are so many facilities I really didn’t expect. I was expecting to arrive to the lands end landmark post, the flag and that was really about it. I was shocked to find children’s amusements and also multiple food stalls and places for drinks! There is even a hotel and place for you to stay if you wanted too! It was good as I was hungry so had a portion of nachos for the price of a small London Flat. It was massively overpriced but I guess its the tourist attractions that do that to you!

We wandered past the stalls after some food and headed down to look at the actual Lands End landmark, unfortunately again you had to pay for a picture in front of it. But we didn’t do that and just took a pretty good picture from the other side of the line and our own pictures as we walked down the slope towards the first and last house! It was cool to see the first and last post box and the first and last house, the first and last flagpole and the Lands End viewpoint. I never imaged I’d be that far South West in my entire life. Now all I want to do is go to the most Northern and Southern point! It would have made sense really to go to the most Southern point whilst at Lands End as it was just an hours drive away! Highlight of Lands end was definitely the proposal we saw by the Lands End sign, so nice that even the bad weather didn’t bring the mood down for such a special occasion!

Next location on the adventure for the next two days, the longest we will have spent anywhere on the trip, was Newquay! Now I was so excited to go to Newquay so I could teach Brad how to surf! The drive from Lands End to Newquay was only an hour or so and was really easy.

We arrived at our Airbnb and it was absolutely beautifully decorated and so cosy. We had everything we needed from a coffee machine, bathroom with a shower next door to the room with towels, a TV, a place to put our sandy things from the beach, the COMFIEST double, wardrobe space, Wi-Fi and a TV to relax and watch when we weren’t out exploring. It was like an upside down house, Kylie the host lived upstairs and the room ad bathroom was downstairs. During these Covid times she kept the bathroom sparkling clean also which was amazing. The best part about this Airbnb though? I went to the toilet at 6am and was greeted in an open kitchen door to A HOUSE RABBIT. I must have missed this part on the listing as it definitely states she’s in there but I was so pleasantly surprised, what a great way to wake up! She was super cute!

As we arrived quite late in the evening we decided to walk into Newquay and find some food. Unfortunately at this point the Help out to Eat out scheme had just started and we didn’t even think to book, everywhere was SO busy. We manged to find a table on the main high street at a place called Lost Brewing Co. On a complete whim and reluctantly we went inside and I am so glad we did, it was so good we went back the following day for drinks before our meal elsewhere. Not only do they brew their own beers and sell them here but the food was amazing. I had Halloumi fries, Battered prawns, Chicken strips and some fries as well for finger food as I was just so hungry and couldn’t make my mind up but they are actually super popular for their burgers as well!

All in all another successful day, we headed back to the Airbnb shortly after so we could get some good nights sleep ready for a day full of surfing the next day!

Our South West Coast Road Trip Introduction!

With Lockdown easing in the UK and both My man and I having been at home inside doing nothing but exercising, reading books and getting a tan living that furloughed life for about 5 months, my stepmum suggested a road trip. We had money saved for a future trip that keeps being pushed back and back due to Covid, and now with more time to save EVEN MORE, why not go out and spend some of it?

So thats what we did.

We decided on a 7 day South West Road trip! So where did we start? Easy, we headed straight down to Bournemouth from Bedfordshire. From there it was 7 days of driving and exploring different cities, beaches and places we had never been!

Here is our itinerary, this absolutely 100% changed as we were going because there is just SO MUCH to see. We did so much and every day was such an adventure, so the below was our original Itinerary, below THIS is our ACTUAL itinerary;

Stop 1: Bournemouth

Stop 2: Durdle Door

Stop 3: Exeter

Stop 4: Torquay

Stop 5: Salcombe

Stop 6: St Ives

Stop 7: Lands End

Stop 8: Newquay

Stop 9: The Eden Project

Stop 10: Bath

Stop 11: Stonehenge, then Home!

All in all you are looking at a good 15-17 hours driving across 7 days in a little Renault Cleo with the two of us an our bags! We split the journey between us as we are both insured on the car and only spent a grand total of £60 in petrol! Thats it!

So below, see out ACTUAL itinerary and what we actually got up too, because there were definitely a few more stops than the above, but we also removed one stop, see if you can figure out which one it is!

Stop 1: Bournemouth

Stop 2: Durdle Door

Stop 3: Exexter

Stop 4: Torquay

Stop 5: Brixham

Stop 6: Totnes

Stop 7: Dartmoor

Stop 8: St Ives

Stop 9: Lands End

Stop 10: Newquay

Stop 11: The Eden Project Hangloose Zipwire

Stop 12: Bath

Stop 13: Stonehenge & Home

So we added another 2 stops after not going to Salcombe and exploring more of the area around Torquay, so Brixham, Totnes and then Dartmoor national park and even going to see the Dartmoor Prison! This was all with my lovely friend Tasmin who lives down this way, it was amazing to see a familiar face who I haven’t seen since September which was also a dream and could be our tour guide!

So here is the route we took below, this is a very basic look as Google maps only lets you have 8 stops and I didn’t add Home (at the start or the end) to the stops but from there to Bournemouth is 2 and a half hours (4 hours if you go along the M25 Car park which we absolutely did). Also from Stonehenge to Home is another 2.5 hours. I also missed out the small stops we did around Brixham, Totnes and Dartmoor but that added another hour and a half to the journey going between these places as you can see below! I added the map separately below.

In total driving time was 17/18 hours including the journey home from Stonehenge which I haven’t shown and from Home to Bournemouth (because as much as I love you guys I don’t want you knowing where I live, haha!).

So over the next week I’ll be sharing with you our epic adventure, I’ll also be posting all the Airbnb’s we stay in and what we got booked in!

If you don’t want too wait and read it you are also more than welcome to watch my youtube video right here!

J x

The Blog Brew – My New Adventure Book!

So I guess you’re wondering, what is The Adventure Book? I am here to tell you!

I would also like to confirm I was not asked to post this, this is something I wanted to share with you all as I feel its such a great creative outlet and also such a cute idea, it kept me busy for a while and I wanted to share as part of my blog brew collaboration as I’ve really gotten into it and I think others will enjoy it too.

So this book originally came up on my Instagram feed as an ad, I already have 3 scrapbooks, 5 photo albums, one bullet journal, surely one more creative outlet can’t hurt? Especially because it was travel related and I love documenting all my travels, so this just seemed another great way to do so. The book is really well priced including shipping from the Netherlands and created by a couple by the names of Nicole and Robin! Their aim is to have all your memories in one journal on one page!

So as you can see from the instructions there’s a page for all 196 independent countries so that means SO MUCH ROOM FOR ACTIVTIES, and also your creative side. I can’t wait to fill in the multiple places with pictures, money, paint and washy tape galore. I have a lot of washy tape, its my favourite part of my arts and crafts box.

The best part is at the start of the book you can colour in the world maps of where you’ve been, you can also tick the checklist of countries where you’ve been, which is great for planning which countries you need to edit and do in the book! Ive got quite a few to get started on;

Spain, South Africa, America (they have half a page for each state), Portugal, Iceland, Hungary, Norway, Sri Lanka, France, Turkey and more!

So not only do they have these checklists and world maps to colour in of course they have a section for each country. They’re really good size, enough for some key memories and bits & pieces.

They also offer on other pages through the book stamp pages, where you can out the stamps from that country (postal stamps) but they also have a passport stamp page! They also offer a ‘Surprise’ page where it tells you to go to the airport with no destination in mind and choose the first place on the list and go. In the book you’ll write the details of where you went and all! They also offer travel bingo pages, you can colour in all the flags of the countries you’ve been too (which isn’t as easy as it sounds) and just so much more.

It’s been a really good pass-time especially with Lockdown and isolation taking a toll on everyone. I was really glad I went ahead and got it because I miss travelling so much, it was just another way to reminisce and remember just how much fun I’ve had in the past going to different countries and having huge adventures with my friends and family.

Its a really good gifts for friends and family who love to travel and its also really well sized, not to small not to big! So you can totally carry it with you too! I just don’t think it would be as easy to carry all your arts and crafts stuff with you to do it, haha!

I highly recommend it for all travel lovers! I’ve really enjoyed the purchase and I’m glad I did it! This post was a part of the Blog Brew Collaboration, for the other girls blog posts and websites head to the links below!

July Collab – Head Over to Chimmyville.com

July Collab – Head over to Introverted Creativity

July Collab – Head over to Perselem

July Collab – Head over to Wanderer and Traveller (THATS ME).

July Collab – Head over to Tales of Belle

July Collab– Head over to Kirsty Marie

July Collab – Head over to The Makeup by Beth

July Collab – Head over to Mrs Slee-Jones

July Collab – Head over to My Breaking Views

Amsterdam – Some Great Food Recommendations!

Hippie Fish

Heading to the Netherlands a second time around was a little more authentic as we had Stan to show us some of the country we had never seen before, but most importantly, he also had new food places to take us!

Our first stop shortly after we landed was to get some dinner! SO we headed to a restaurant called Hippie Fish which is right on the Beach in Zandvoort. It was SUCH a beautiful restaurant with the most beautiful aesthetic Ive ever seen. Its an instagramers wet dream. Not only that but we chose the most beautiful night to go and the sun was blazing through the windows and a beautiful sunset across the beach the later on in the evening it got!

For dinner I got a king Prawn Linguini and it was so tasty and so worth the money, beautiful presentation as well. We also had a couple of Dutch beers and for dessert they bring it to you on a tray and you pick what you want and they add it to your bill! It was really beautiful and I’d love to go back. Once we had eaten we could even go onto the beach for a walk and the sunset was beautiful.

An experience I will never forget as I never thought I’d go to the beach in the Netherlands!

Mellys stroopwaffle

Melly’s Stroopwaffles can be found in the centre of Amsterdam!

It does the most beautiful Stroopwaffles, you get to choose all your toppings and flavours and they even come out WARM. They were so tasty and so with the short wait whilst they got them prepared. Defintely not expensive either! So tasty, a proper sweet treat.

I ordered a Stroopwaffle with vanilla and chocolate swirl shaving with half dipped in white chocolate and man was it heavenly!

HEMA

I believe HEMA is actually a dutch supermarket/variety store but they do the NICEST hot dogs in buns! They’re so tasty and a proper quick snack if you’re spending your day touring around Amsterdam!

FEBO

THE BEST INVENTION I HAVE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE. Its a HOT FOOD VENDING MACHINE. You can get burgers, chips, Frikadel sausages, a beef or vegetarian croquette, if you go to the counter you can also get milkshakes and fizzy drinks! They even do FRIED CHICKEN. Everything is in the price range of €1.60 – €2.20 so all reasonably priced as well!

My all time favourite, Bamistrife which is Fried Noodles and onions in batter. The ULTIMATE snack when you’re trekking around Amsterdam central and don’t want to stop for lunch or a sit down meal!

Lost in Amsterdam & Bulldog Cafes

We had been to Amsterdam before but we wanted to try some new coffee shops, one of these places was Lost In Amsterdam. This coffee shop had a proper bedouin feel to it and was the first smoke lounge in Amsterdam! They also have BOMB Milkshakes like no other, they serve alcoholic drinks and other soft drinks as well.

They do offer DJs and Cocktail nights as well as shish pipes! They eve have a house cat! but we didn’t get the pleasure of seeing him/her on our journey!

We also visited another Bulldog cafe, we had been to all the ones in in the centre and decided to visit the Bulldog Rockshop Coffee shop. Definitely the smallest of all the Bulldog coffee shops but really really cosy. we even managed to get a seat by the window!

BurgerBar

We headed to Burger Bar for dinner one night and DAMN if you want a good burger this is where to go (they also sell grape Fanta, it didn’t take much to sell it to me).

They boast that they do the best burgers in Europe and thats a pretty big statement. I Definitely enjoyed my meal and they have 4 locations across Amsterdam Central, it also has vegetarian options as well! Best part about the experience, naturally, is that you get to build your burger yourself or you can choose straight from the menu a set meal!

Its really reasonably priced and good quick service! Definitely recommend here for some good food!

Cafe Loetje

This was the most beautiful meal of the trip, something Mel and Stan were desperate to take us too as we are also steak lovers and this place was just phenomenal.

Located just outside the main Amsterdam Central Station in a beautiful white building on the water, you walk down the steps and into a smart casual white and dutch blue aesthetic restaurant. All the staff are welcoming and we were seated to our table!

We were sat with a view overlooking the water and it was just so lovely, the service was quick and the FOOD OMG, the food. The steaks were done to perfection, the dreamiest of all meals. I had the Loetje Tenderloin Steak with the Loetje Gravy and my lord was it just so tender and perfectly cooked to how I wanted it. I even has room for the lightest and dreamiest cheesecake afterwards.

Although the meal itself wasn’t cheap cheap it was TOTALLY worth it, its not that much more expensive but if you’re wanting a nice meal for your trip this is definitely the place to go. They also have more than one location as well around the Netherlands.

If you do go to any of these places or have already been, let me know what you think!

Exploring Paris – Day 3, Sent home by Covid-19.

Day 3 we woke up very aware of the situation.

Although we didn’t let it dampen our moods or our experience we decided, especially with family calling and messaging us as well urging us to come back, it was time to go home to the UK a day earlier than anticipated at the risk of being locked down in Paris, France.

Luckily with our breakfast goodies we bought the day before we enjoyed our Brunch in the hotel room and a relaxed morning before getting all packed up and heading back to the centre. We still had one more stop before heading to Gard Du Nord.

Walking down the streets of Le Defense to the tube stations were unusual as everything was closed and everything was very quiet. When we arrived at the tube station no one was in sight but this was the cheapest way to get back into the centre for us and we didn’t mind. This made it easier to manoeuvre with our cases.

We then arrived at the Eiffel Tower! I wanted to just at least walk past it, underneath it, take a picture, SOMETHING. So I was very grateful that Brad let me do this. We sat in the park below the Eiffel tower and ate what little food we had left and a quick smoke break to then head across to the Gard Du Nord Station. The Eiffel tower was just as beautiful and impressive as the pictures. I was so happy I got to see it and sit underneath it and enjoy the weather before we left. The park itself was busy and there were people everywhere. It was a lovely atmosphere.

They were very good when we arrived at Gard Du Nord and stated we had tickets for tomorrow but would like to leave a day earlier. The gentleman serving us seemed slightly confused and asked us why we were leaving early which shocked me. I did think that this would be obvious and I knew were certainly weren’t the first ones today to request a train home today. Brilliantly we managed to get the next train out!

16:10pm we left Gard Du Nord on the Eurostar home a day early. It was still an absolutely amazing trip. I loved every second of it and spending quality time with my man, the best birthday present a girl could ask for. The fact everything was closed museums and viewpoint wise was no let down or bummer and didn’t influence the trip negatively. If anything it made me want to go back once this is all over do everything we couldn’t do properly.

Watch out Paris. We’ll be back!

Stay safe and healthy during Covid-19. We will push through!

May Reading Round Up!

She’s done it again, I smashed my 20 books of 2020 as my reading goal so I’m absolutely going for 30 books now. This month has been really enjoyable with most of my reads but some not so much! So here is what I’ve managed to get through this month and what I would recommend!

A Map of Days / Ransom Riggs (The Miss Peregrines Series book #4)

This book was a serious let down, as was the 5th book in the series below as well. I loved the storyline in the first 3 books and was so into them. I feel Ransom Riggs really should have just stopped at the third book in the series, super disappointing.

Conference of the Birds / Ransom Riggs (The Miss Peregrines Series book #5)

Same as the above, another book which I felt was truly disappointing. I won’t say anymore on this because no one likes to start on a negative note!

The Wives / Tarryn Fisher

This was a gripping book which really made me think, with one hell of an ending. I could sense all the way through that something was going to happen, I just wasn’t sure what. Although it did drag at times it was all from the POV of the main character and sometimes I wondered if I could skip parts (obviously I didn’t) but I highly recommend this one!

Turtles All the Way Down / John Green

I’ve always wanted to read this book and I loved the storyline and friendship between the two main female characters. I learnt a lot in terms of the anxiety Aza experiences. I also love the relationship between the main girl, Aza, and the boy, it wasn’t your typical love story which I enjoyed due to the unfortunate circumstaces mixed in with murder mystery. And as a girl who used to write fanfiction, I loved how that aspect was included within the storyline and friendship between the girls!

Pines (Book #1) / Blake Crouch

THIS ENTIRE SERIES ABSOLUTELY BANGED. I was hooked from the first chapter, I hadn’t read such a good series since I read the Lunar Chronicles. The whole premise was fantastic and It just NEVER STOPPED. Something was always happening, I literally finished one book and got straight onto the other without hesitation. See the other books below in the series!

Wayward (Book #2) / Blake Crouch

The Last Town (Book #3) / Blake Crouch

The Tattooist of Auchwitz / Heather Morris

This was a book that really got me right in my heart and in my feels. I loved this book so so much I bought a physical copy. I found it fascinating learning about the german camps and Lale’s experiencer and the tattooist of those who arrived. But the ultimate killer for me was how throughout so much hardship, A love story still developed and in completely engulfed my heart. I can’t wait to read Cilka’s Journey, the next book from this one!

Normal People / Sally Rooney

I did not understand the hype for this book. Although I enjoyed the premise of the story it did only get a 3 star on Goodreads from me. It threw me how there are no speech marks in the book, so I regularly had to go back and re read passages to figure out who was talking and that really threw me off. The storyline itself was interesting and you knew that the two main characters, no matter what they did or went through, would always go back to each other. Even though maybe, just maybe, they weren’t meant to be at all.

Battle Scars / Jason Fox

A really interesting and eye-opening autobiography from Jason Fox regarding PTSD and the things he experiences at war. There was a lot of things I didn’t know about PTSD and the effects it has on those who return from war which were thoroughly interesting. It was heartbreaking how much it took for him to come forward and say he had a problem and it was destroying him from the inside out. Although learning about the outcomes of speaking out about this and providing the service needed for others to recover is heroic in itself.

The Secret Race / Tyler Hamilton

This book had me. I had absolutely NO interest in cycling at all, whatsoever. So I was a bit apprehensive picking this up. YET AGAIN, I WAS MISTAKEN. I loved this book from start to finish. A few points; Lance Armstrong is a missive dick. I did not realise that to be a top cyclist you basically had to dope. I like how it was almost a secret code back in the day for cycling that everyone did (doping) EPO or BB’s, BB’s (blood bags or blood transfusions) being actually disgusting but if it worked to make you win the Tour De France then it works. The Cycling world is actually SCANDALOUS and I had NO idea. Highly recommend this, you will be shocked at what you’re reading!

Stars Above / Marissa Meyer

Finally, the creme de la creme. This tied up all the loose ends of the Lunar Chronicles series that had me hooked. I was so pleased to find how how Ze’ev (Wolf) was taken and became part of Levana’s Army, show Cress ended up in her satellite, the aftermath of the entire series and how Scarlett and wolf got married and so many more loose ends that were so nicely tied together. It just made my heart swell and when I finished it, yes, I absolutely did cry.

So here you have what I read in May!

You can check out my Goodreads here!

The Global Quarantine Diaries – Jess

1. Where in the world are you located? 

I live in Barnsley in South Yorkshire, England. A nice northern town well known for our accents! Not the most exciting place to be for lockdown though. 

2. What is lockdown regulations like there? 

In England at the start of lockdown it was a strict ‘stay home, protect the NHS, save lives’ and don’t meet anyone outside your house which was hard but now it has been eased to stay alert, control the virus, save lives’. As you are probably reading this we have eased lockdown further with more shops reopening now such as Primark, Matalan and other non-essential shops. We are hopefully coming out of the worse of the virus but I am praying that there isn’t a second spike. 

3. How are you keeping busy? 

I have been baking like mad since been off work! Its relaxing and helps me also to pass the time as it feels like forever since we were allowed to leave the house! This is one of my best creations; 

I have also been going for lots of walks, I am very lucky to live near some woods and have been doing my daily exercise in there! It has been nice to have the chance to get out the house and see some beautiful scenery! I have also been looking after my sisters lovely German Shepard dog Arrow who is such a softie. We only started looking after him when the message changed, and we were allowed to do so but having a dog around definitely helped pass the time! 

I have also been playing a few games on my xbox and recently got the old classic game Spyro! Which is such a fab game. But really I have been doing anything to pass the time as boredom has hit me hard! 

4. What do you miss doing the most? 

I miss being freely able to see my friends at the pub or meeting up in a new city for a catch up. 2 of my best friends live down South and it’s a long drive so due to the restrictions I have being unable to meet them! We also had a catch up Pub Golf for one of my uni friends’ birthday where we were gonna meet up in Lincoln for a bev and chin wag but this got cancelled 

I also miss work sadly enough or just having the opportunity to leave the house and do something as I now realise, I need to keep occupied or I lose my mind! 

5. What is the first thing you are going to do once lockdown is over? 

Once lockdown is completely lifted, I am going to go to the pub! I did not miss the pub as much until we were not able to go but I need a nice cold pint in spoons! Hopefully, we will still get a good summer and be able to use beer gardens more! 

I also would love to drive down to see my 2 best friends down South but lockdown will have to be fully eased so I am able to stay over as it’s a long day to drive there and back! But definitely something I am looking forward to a lot!!

Jess’ Socials

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