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Head Above Water

Don't forget, truly forget, how much you have always loved to swim.
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Thursday, 26 May 2016

THE TOP 4 THINGS TO DO IN LANZAROTE.

Today’s post is a new one from me – my first press trip as a blogger. I love to travel and 2015 saw me explore the world in ways I’d never done before. With that being said, I was determined to have 2016 follow a similar vein, and it was like the universe was listening when an email landed in my inbox inviting me away to Lanzarote. 

I wasn’t sure what to expect from a press trip, but this one had 9 other bloggers, a jam-packed three-day itinerary and I, was excited – this was a big deal for me. 
I was nervous though, spending time with so many people that I don't know, in a pretty intense situation was going to be a challenge for me. I'm, for want of a better word, a little socially inept. I find it hard striking up conversations with new people and I suffer quite badly with anxiety. But I wasn't about to let that get in the way of me exploring a new place. 

I do have to be honest though and admit that Lanzarote wasn’t an island I had on my travel bucket list – with the nickname Lanzagrote and a party place stereotype attached, I just didn’t think it would be for me. 

I stand corrected.

I couldn’t have been more wrong and hopefully you’ll feel the same once you’ve read this post.

So let's get down to it. What can you do in Lanzarote?

It's a Spanish island, right off the coast of Africa (so expect it to be packing some serious heat) and makes up the trio of the canary islands, including Tenerife and Gran Canaria.

There's definitely options to just totally chill on this island, but today's post won't be about that. I'm here to speak to all you go-getters. The ones who want to explore every inch of the island and make the most of your time there, no matter how long you're visiting.

1. Timanfaya – National Park

I think this will be the only time where my feet are firmly placed on planet earth that I’ll feel like I’m actually on Mars. With a ‘martian’-esque landscape it’s clear to see why this is such a hot spot for tourists – it’s like a whole other world.

The Montanas del Fuego were created when over 100 volcanoes erupted, devastating the area but leaving such beauty in its path. The centuries old lava fields make up this epic landscape and whilst the volcano is still active it is a safe place to visit and 100% worth the trip.

Whilst you can’t roam around freely throughout the volcanoes, you can participate in a free coach tour as part of your (again, free) entry, see demonstrations on just how active this volcano still is with mini geysers, and take some incredible landscape photos from the restaurant viewpoint area (where you can totally have a BBQ cooked over the volcano heat too...yeah, I know). It’s just absolutely breath-taking.








2. Mirador Del Rio

My personal favourite had to be this viewpoint. Standing at 475 metres high the views are like nothing else - the turquoise sea and the brilliantly blue sky blend in to one and the solitary island that separates the two makes for a crazy beautiful setting. With enclosed viewpoints including a cafĂ© and gift shop, you can spend as long as you want taking in the sights – although you don’t want to miss the insane view from the very top in open air; you'll feel like you're literally on top of the world.







3. Cueva de los Verdes

A lava tube, stretching over 6 kilomotres above sea level was created around 3,000 years ago after an eruption from a nearby volcano; in its wake it left this stunning attraction. It’s now illuminated by colourful lights and contains a concert hall – but at one point, the people of Lanzarote would hide in the cave to protect themselves from Pirates…pretty cool, no? It's one of those places you definitely have to experience first hand to see just how impressive it is.

4. El Golfo 

Another stunning sight (and one you can see in action on my video here) was El Golfo, a beach of pebbles and black sand with a Cliffside lagoon. Made up of trapped sea water turned green from the algae, it really is startlingly beautiful and offers a calming juxtaposition to the aggressive sea beating at the cliffs on the other side.






Sightseeing is great, but lets be honest, food is everyones priority on holiday. We ate at some fantastic seafood restaurants, but my favourite had to be Casa Torano. Situated right on the sea, we watched the chef catch the fish for our meal out on the rocks, feeding the surrounding stray cats any unwanted bits and even letting me hold one (fish, not cats) (and not without major squirming may I add). The food was delicious and the setting was really lovely, a perfect spot for lunch or dinner.





Everywhere we visited was in truth a ‘tourist’ spot, but I was genuinely surprised at how calm and peaceful each place felt. Nowhere was cramped or overrun, in fact I remember thinking whilst looking out on to volcanoes or sea how relaxed I felt.

And regardless of all the amazing places we visited, what really makes a trip is the people you share it with. I was given the opportunity to do something wonderful whilst facing my fears head on, and I'm so glad I did. I made real, true friends on that trip. They accepted me being petrified of flying and moaning about my sun burn. They drank too much honey rum with me and stuffed their faces as full as mine with paella. We spoke for hours over cava in our apartments bedrooms and I left feeling like I'd made friends for life.

It goes to show that when you step out of your comfort zone, not only do you get to make new friends, but you break down barriers so you feel braver in those situations next time.

So thank you, Thomas Cook Airlines, for making this trip a reality. For arranging such a thorough itinerary for us to see all the sights the island had to offer. And for putting together such an outrageously wonderful group of people to share it with.

I can safely say, if you're looking for a holiday this summer that's full of sun, sites and sea, Lanzarote is where you need to be (apparently it turns you in to a poet too). And Thomas Cook Airlines offer incredible deals on flights, so last minute trips aren't an issue, either.

Have you ever visited the island? I'd love to know what you thought, or which of these four were your favourite!

Until next time Lanza, you total babe.

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Friday, 13 May 2016

A WEEKEND IN MARGATE.



Since starting my blog over 4 years ago I’ve made some truly incredible friends. Bonded through our love for similar lifestyle choices (amongst many other things) it’s natural for us to completely understand when the other requires some time out.

So when Laura messaged me and asked if I’d like to get away for the bank holiday weekend with her and Alex, I didn’t hesitate. 

Margate wasn’t a town I’d visited before, nor was it one I had on my list to - but a trip away was a trip away and heading somewhere with two of my best friends? It could’ve been anywhere and I’d have been happy.

We set up camp in Crescent Victoria a cute boutique B&B hotel, with a sea view room and complimentary White Company toiletries (important, obviously). And with the only solid plan being to eat ice creams on the beach we began our weekend of adventure. 


Margate, strikes me as a town that will before long be the place to visit. If I was to take on the title Mystic Meg, I’d quite safely say it could be the next Brighton.

Stepping out of the car and on to the high street was like we’d been transported back in time. With most shops and restaurants not having been updated since the 70’s I felt like we were visiting a museum town, not one that is inhabited by humans. It was almost eerily old-fashioned but beautiful and colourful and intriguing all in the same breath. I hope, the more popular that it becomes, it doesn’t lose what makes it truly unique. I hope they keep the excessive amounts of Beano cafes and laundrettes and old little indoor markets with fortune tellers and Caribbean food. Because for me, that’s what made it so special. 




Margate isn’t a showgirl - she doesn’t come with frills and laces; she’s honest with her flaws and doesn’t try to cover them up. And how rare is that? To visit a place so unapologetically itself. Margate isn't trying to be cool, it just is.

We ate lunch at Buoy and Oyster. Laura and I had moules frites and Alex a roast dinner. Sitting in the corner of the restaurant with a sea view, watching the setting sun light up the water, I felt lucky. Lucky to be sat at a table, exchanging stories with two incredible women. Women who both, individually and as a collective, have changed my life in immeasurable ways. 

The air smelt salty and fresh and I could see and feel the immediate sense of calm that washed over all three of us once our bellies were full and the stress of the long journey was left behind. 

The seaside offers me a medicine for the soul that I can’t find anywhere else, if ever I need time away, the sea is where I gravitate. And just lately I've been feeling like lots of little breaks are really needed - that just taking some time out really helps to give me the perspective I can so terribly lack back in the 'real' world.
And I was grateful in that moment, to be taking that time out with Alex and Laura - who both make my heart feel so full but also understand that words don’t always need to be spoken to appreciate what being together, meant for all of us. We laughed, we talked, but we also sat in comfortable silence. 











We got stuck in the tide coming in on a little patch of sand and had to splash our way back to safety. We ate our ice creams - Laura a Mr Whippy and Alex and I a rather posh gelato (because: twats). Laura got a tattoo and I stepped in dog poo and we ate dominos pizza on the hotels bedroom floor at 10pm.









That weekend I learnt two things. That allowing myself to be brave enough to make friends on the internet was one of the best things I ever decided to do. And, secondly, that you don’t always need to hop on an aeroplane to feel like you’ve really taken a break. Sometimes, those special holiday memories we all crave, can be made right on your doorstep.

Photography by Alexandra Cameron.


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Wednesday, 27 April 2016

WHAT SUMMER MEANS TO ME.

There's something about the summer months that makes us Brits so much more joyful. Lighter, warmer evenings equal frolicking in the park and sitting in beer gardens on a weeknight - it kind of goes without saying that we have more to be happy about.

And with that joy comes an element of calm - everything becomes just that little less urgent. We can take a moment, stand, and appreciate what is going on around us - get lost in our own world and thoughts.

And when I let myself stop to think about Summer, I think:

Summer is adventure: Is it just me or when summer rolls around do you feel like could take on the world? I leave my inhibitions, reservations and cautious behaviours at the door. I want to explore the winding path ahead of me, see the world and have as much fun as physically possible.

Be somebody nobody thought I could be.

Summer is family and friends: Throughout the year we visit our friends and family - some of us all the time, others less frequently. But when summer rolls around we consciously make that time and that makes me really happy. We all feel like we can book that time off from work because we're halfway through the year (and god knows we've earned it) and subsequently, our mood is lifted because of the people we surround ourselves with more frequently.

We didn't realise we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun. - Winnie the Pooh

Summer is Hayfever: Now as much as I love this time of year it does leave my face as something much to be desired (thankfully we're focusing on the feet in this post!). Pollen is not my friend and so it's a bloomin' good job I really enjoy wearing sunglasses and that there are some many to choose from ;-). And even on the highest pollen count days, I'd still rather walk with my head high in the sun than down in the rain.

If I had a flower for every time I thought of you, I could walk in my garden forever - Alfred Lord Tennyson

Summer is You, the Ocean and Me: Summer feels like my escape. When we all live such hectic lives it can be incredibly difficult to not get bogged down with the here and now. But when it comes to Summer I make plans. To get away, even if just for a few days, to feel free of responsibility and just be. It clears my head, and allows me to listen to what's really important in a much clearer way.

You will never be able to escape from your heart. So it is better to listen to what it has to say. - Paul Coelho 

What does summer say to you? I'd love to know! By uploading a summer picture to instagram or twitter using #SummerSays and the @UGGUK tag, you're in with a chance of winning £500 to spend at UGG! Not a bad way to kick off this sunny spell, eh? Find more details by clicking here.

This post is brought to you in collaboration with UGG Australia but all views are my own. I love these sandals and I bloomin' love summer, too.

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Photography by me and the last shot by COMB - who are just a little bit amazing. They're the place to go to find the best alternatives for the fashion pieces you desperately want, but can't find. Simply upload a snap of an outfit via their app and they'll find you what you're looking for!


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