Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Top 5 Apps You Need To Get The Best Out Of London.


{Photo: MapWay}
Tubemap


When in London, whether you live here, or are visiting, you really do need a tube map app. While I can remember my most common routes and what lines go out of what stations, if I needed to get from Hackney Wick to High Street Kensington, I wouldn’t have a clue off the top of my head. I’ve found Tubemap by Mapway to be so useful. It’s not only a route planner, but they also have a live departures and status section. So I know if my tube is delayed, or what time the train for a certain branch of the central line is coming in at. It’s the little things though that make traveling around London so much more efficient. Which carriage should you get on to be closest to the exit? It’ll tell you. Trust me in rush hour, you want that feature! It’s also really good for telling you what stations are pushchair friendly- as in with lifts, and those not so friendly- those with hundreds of steps. 

More Info: Mapway

{Photo: YPlan}
YPlan

According to the founders, 10% of iPhones in London have YPlan installed on it. That’s some serious usage. But it’s not surprisingly really as the app will organise your night out with very short notice. If like me you find yourself bored one night and nothing on telly will do, it’d perfect for finding something. You set your location and the distance you are prepared to travel, then the app will tell you about 10 events happening that night. The events can be from big events, to quirky things you probably would never find on your own. What’s good is that they also work with event companies to offer discounts and special deals because you are booking so last minute. I mean no organiser wants empty seats so will offer you discounts to tempt you off your sofa. 

More info: YPlan

{Photo: Uncover}
Uncover

Another last minute app is Uncover. Some of London’s most famed restaurants are ridiculous to get into. I’ve still never been to Duck and Waffle as frankly I don’t want to be eating dinner at 11pm. Do you remember when Chiltern Firehouse opened? You could wait 6 months for a table. Well frankly I don’t want to plan 6 months ahead to where I’m going to eat dinner. Uncover is a genius app where restaurants tell Uncover about any last minute cancellations and Uncover put these on the app, so you can snag a last minute table to prime restaurants. I’m talking the likes of prime 8pm slots at Kitty Fishers or Alain Ducasse. So if you have a last minute date you want to impress, or just fancy treating yourself then you can’t really go wrong.

More info: Uncover

{Photo:Bidvine}
Bidvine

London is so overwhelmingly big, getting a local service can actually be really difficult. In the past I’ve needed a local cake maker, a cleaner and I tried and failed to find a French teacher (I still will learn, I promise!) but sometimes I just have no idea where to begin Googling. I loved it in Warrington as we had this little monthly booklet that was sent to every house with adverts from local business and fun little articles, which made things more personal. Which is why Bidvine has come to my attention. Basically on the app, you submit a request for what you need and you’ll receive up to five quotes from local professionals in your area, and choose the best for you based on their reviews, qualifications and price. It’s not just household DIY, there are also local photographers, personal trainers and yoga teachers on there and around 250 other categories. I like it as it brings back a more personal local feel to London and I’m all for supporting local business owners. 

Download the iOS app here: Bidvine

{Photo: Hailo}
Hailo

There is always controversy over cab apps in London. “You are killing the Black Cab Trade” “Uber is unethical” blah blah blah. However I really like Hailo for this reason, the convenience of an app to get cabs but those cabs being Black Cabs. It’s very much like Uber in that it uses your location and you digitally hail a black cab to you and it tells you how long it will be, which is so handy when you are in a part of London where Black Cabs are unlikely to just pass by. Yes it’s Black Cab prices and not Uber prices, but then you are getting the Black Cab service of them having ‘The Knowledge’ and actually knowing where they are going (I had one Uber driver take me to a random street and say we’d arrived at Euston station. You think you’d realise Euston was not some random shop…) Plus you can also pay on the app, which let’s be honest is half the reason why I don’t flag down cabs on the street. Who carries cash anymore?

More info: Hailo

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Hope you find these useful, and if you have any more suggestions, just let me know in the comments below.

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Friday, 24 June 2016

Finding Villa Dubrovnik with Sheradill


If that isn't an entrance, I don't know what is.

I've always wanted to go to Dubrovnik. Ever since seeing it advertised in some travel brochure when I was young; the orange topped roofs stuck in my memory. Hopping onto a plane for a solo adventure, I was told by countless people that it was beautiful, but I couldn't have prepared myself for just how beautiful it really was.

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Thursday, 23 June 2016

What Is It Like to Solo Travel? My Experience In Dubrovnik + Giveaway


I've talked many times about the benefits of solo travel on this blog. I think it is an amazing thing you can do and has improved my confidence no end.

I got alot of questions about solo travel, so I thought I'd share my latest solo travel adventure with you and debunk a few myths and share my top tips along the way. 

But, that's not all, to celebrate me now doing YouTube videos regularly- basically starting properly, I'm hosting a little giveaway! All you have to do is subscribe to my YouTube channel and you could win any MAC lipstick of your choosing (not including palettes). It's open for 2 weeks and international.

So what are you waiting for, go on and subscribe, I promise to make good videos :)




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Tuesday, 21 June 2016

A Spa Weekend In Hawkchurch, Devon


I told you yesterday all about my mission to discover more of the UK after never really exploring it before. Well true to my word, I recently took my mum away for a little girlie spa weekend in Devon, as I never really get to see her much and I really should treat her more often.

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Monday, 20 June 2016

Escape To The Cotswolds with Lower Mill Estate



I think this is one of my first Mondays in the UK for a while. I've been travelling nearly back to back recently, flying here, there, catching trains up and down the country; it's been a magical whirlwind. But now that I'm back in London, it mean's I can start sharing my adventures with you and let you know about some awesome places that I think you'll love.

For a native Brit, I actually haven't done loads of traveling around Britain. My childhood holidays were to Wales and Norfolk, but apart from my home town and London, I don't know too many other places. So keen to discover more of Britain this year, I stayed in the Cotswolds.
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Friday, 17 June 2016

World Duty Free Airport Beauty Haul


I have to admit I never buy anything from Duty Free. Ever. I'm quite an in and out airport kind of girl. But when I went to Lanzarote a month ago on a blogger trip, World Duty Free kindly gave us some spending money. So I filmed my travel beauty haul which included my first ever visit to MAC! I know, the ultimate blogger sin.

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Monday, 13 June 2016

Riding to the Farmacy


London has some amazing parks, but how often do we just get to have some down time and just explore with no real sense of purpose?

One of my favourite things to do is go for a nice long walk with my other half, usually we have no aim, we just start walking. You'll be amazed at what you find.

So now that I have a bike, I've turned to cycling with no real aim, just to get away and clear my head. However this weekend I had a little more aim, I was off to meet Phoebe from Wood and Luxe for a little girlie catch up, but first we met in Regent's Park to have a cute cycle around.

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Friday, 10 June 2016

Radio Rooftop Afternoon Tea


This weather is killing me here. One minute it is baking hot, the next it’s raining hard, I just never know what it’s going to be like. However on days when the sun is shining, it’s best to make the most of it, so why not do something quintessentially British and summery too? A rooftop afternoon tea is in order I think. 

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Thursday, 9 June 2016

The Tweed Run With Electra Bikes







London is a fantastic mix of cultures, a hub of different events and styles and a general busy, fast moving city. Just one hop on the tube and you can be anywhere. But what I’ve never actually tried was cycling in London. I know it’s very popular in European countries such as Sweden and Holland but to be honest I always had an apprehensive nature to London and bikes. I mean have you seen the way people drive here?



However keen to get into cycling (hello nice slim thighs) I thought doing a group cycle would be the perfect way to be introduced to London roads, and a lover of anything quintessentially British, I signed up for something called the Tweed Run. And oh it was fabulous. 
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Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Priceless London Alchemy Experience


Fashion can often be something quite allusive. Just out of reach to us mere mortals.

Yet I’ve learned over the last few weeks, spending time with the Alchemy Festival, that it should be about inclusion, learning about new cultures, new expressions and new ways of thinking. After all, isn’t that what fashion is about? Expression and creativity.

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Sunday, 5 June 2016

How To Be More Confident At Work, The Gym And Dating.


Confidence. It’s something that I’ve often struggled with. I may come across as confident and self-assured, and yes, I have worked a lot on my confidence and for the most part I’m pretty good, however there are those times that just washes away. All of a sudden I don’t know how to form words, forget that I have things going for me, and suddenly think I’m an insignificant person who doesn’t belong there.

Confidence isn’t a black or white concept, it changes depending on where we are, who we are with and what the situation is. It’s also about how we feel about ourselves that day. 

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Saturday, 4 June 2016

Royal Salted Caramel and Cream Tea Fairy Cakes


I know with the rain pouring down here in the UK, it seems like summer is a distant memory, but I promise you it isn’t.

I love nothing more in summer than going for a long, lazy picnics in the park, or in the evening having a few people over for drinks and nibbles on my balcony.

Crack open the Pimms, open a couple of punnets of strawberries and nibble on some classic sponge cake and it’s a perfect gathering.  It’s very British of me, but I love all of that. Which is why I’m going to be hosting a few friends over on the evening of the Queen’s Official 90th Birthday on June 12th. Any excuse to have a good knees up… again a very British thing to say.

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Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Getting Your Moles Checked And Mapped


Looking after yourself and your health is very important, and something very important to me. There are a lot of blog posts on health and beauty out there; skin care regimes, diets, fitness, but what about skin care that's more than just surface deep?

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