Day 4 & 5 in Newquay: High Up in the Blue Sky

Beautiful sight of Tolcarne Beach

Despite a potential forecast of rainfall, I was very lucky that my time throughout Newquay was blessed with amazing sunshine and comforting temperatures. Even after spending my first day here visiting all these incredible beaches, I just couldnโ€™t get enough of it! So I decided to continue to head west, passing by Porth Beach again and journey beyond to Watergate Beach. ๐Ÿ–

Perfect weather for a day out!
Back to Porth Beach
Perfect sunshine! โ˜€๏ธ

Watergate Beach is quite far out in Newquay – about a 30-minute walk from Porth Beach along the high cliffs on the coast, so I definitely did well in my step counts for the day! ๐Ÿ˜‚ On the way, I also passed by Whipsiderry Beach – a quiet, hidden little spot underneath the tall cliffs (possibly the tallest one out of them all I felt!) If you arenโ€™t a fan of stairs, this place is definitely quite a โ€˜journeyโ€™ to get to going down and back up. ๐Ÿ˜ค (At least it wasnโ€™t like when I tried to climb the Eiffel Tower on foot two years ago…)

Giant rock over Whipsiderry Beach
Whipsiderry Beach
The beach hidden under the tall cliffs (after a VERY long flight of stairs… ๐Ÿ˜ช)
Getting down those cliffs to the beach felt like an adventure though!

Even though the stairs in Whipsiderry Beach completely wore me out, I finally managed to slowly made my way around the coast to Watergate Beach. It was a great spot for me to finally to sit down for some lunch! (Bought a salad meal deal from Tesco, along with my rocky road bar that I kept all this time from Penzance! ๐Ÿ˜‚)

Watergate Beach
Full view of Watergate Beach
Snacking on my rocky road bar on the beach ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

Watergate beach was very busy which I wasnโ€™t as much of a fan of, so I decided to head back to Porth beach (personally it was my favourite one out of all the beaches) to enjoy the sunshine! ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Taking a dip in the water ๐Ÿ’ฆ
Sunbathing on the low-tide Porth Beach ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ–
Flying high ๐Ÿช

After a bit of a nap and sky-gazing, it was almost dinner time! Newquay really had given me a feel of the Mediterranean, so I was feeling a crave for tapas! ๐Ÿ˜‹ Unfortunately, two of the top-rated tapas bar were closed for the day, so I decided to try another recommended place called the Fish Bar. This place is a great value for money, offering a three-tapas tasting platter for only ยฃ15 in the bar area. (The main dining area of the restaurant was fully filled.) The food, especially the dessert, was absolutely delicious! So glad to have come to this place after all! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

Which one to choose? ๐Ÿค”
Incredible tapas tasting platter for ยฃ15! ๐Ÿคค๐Ÿคค (In the end, I went with the Pescaito Frito, Gambas Pil Pil and Sesame Honey Chicken Sizzler.)
Spectacular dessert ๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ’›: Sicilian semifreddo ice cream bomb with a Limoncello core coated in crushed meringue
Incredible! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿค๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿค

The next morning, I had some time to kill before my train around lunchtime, and headed to the Blue Reef Aquarium by Towan Beach. Like many other places now, bookings need to be made in advance online due to COVID restrictions. I booked my ticket two days ago when I arrived in Newquay – still places are limited, so do make sure you book ahead of time if you can. (I initially wanted to visit the day before, but all tickets were sold out within a day. It is half term break after all! ๐Ÿ˜›)

Kipper in the hotelโ€™s breakfast
Visiting Blue Reef Aquarium ๐ŸŸ๐ŸŸ
Sharks over my head ๐Ÿฆˆ
Havenโ€™t seen a lionfish in years!
Iโ€™ve never heard of a Unicorn tang until now
Scary piranhas ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ
Hello again Nemo!
Giant turtle ๐Ÿข
Omiros the giant turtle
The story of Omiros ๐Ÿ˜ขโค๏ธ
He kept popping his head out from the water! It was cute! ๐Ÿ’š

After visit the aquarium, I took a walk down the town centre and got my belly filled before my long 5-hour train journey home. โ˜บ๏ธ๐Ÿš‚

Brunch in Fore Street Cafรฉ Bar before long train ride back to London ๐Ÿš‚ ๐ŸŒƒ
Mad dash to the train station with my ice cream in hand! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿจ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚๏ธUntil the next time!

Day 3 From Penzance to Newquay: Closer to Paradise

It was almost a bit difficult saying goodbye to Penzance but knowing it was the beginning of another journey made it all the more easier! ๐Ÿ˜‚ After a 2-hour train journey (with a changeover in Par), I arrived in Newquay just around lunchtime when the sun continues to be hanging high up in the sky! ๐ŸŒž

The beautiful sea view of my hotel room towards Towan Beach

After dropping off my stuff in the hotel, I wasted no time heading down to the coast (starting from Towan Beach heading west to Fistral Beach) and enjoyed the beautiful views of the deep blue sea under the bright blue sky. ๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’™

Towan Beach
Busy beach indeed! ๐Ÿ–
The cliff by Towan Beach
I wonder who lives in these houses in this amazing spot? ๐Ÿค”
Fistral Beach
Just as busy here!
Look at the waves! ๐ŸŒŠ ๐ŸŒŠ
Paradise! โค๏ธ
The Headland Hotel looking over the beach

Situated by Fistral Beach is The Fish House – highly recommended by the Michelin guide, and it certainly didnโ€™t disappointed! I know I had been having a lot of seafood lately, but this one certainly topped it for me! ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ”ฅ I was very lucky too to be able to get a booking as I managed to reserve the only spot available this month last night, so if you are planning to visit make sure you look well ahead of time as the restaurant is an extremely popular choice!

โ€œGrilled scallops with pea and mint purรฉe and crispy Serrano hamโ€ – the purรฉe was so good I licked the shells clean! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ’š
โ€œPanko sesame fried tiger prawns with mangetout, fresh coconut and chilli salad with curried mayonnaiseโ€ – that salad I can eat a full bowl of! ๐Ÿคค
Got a bit greedy with ice cream flavours! ๐Ÿ˜‚ The four I chose were roasted coconut; lemon curd; blood orange sorbet and passion fruit sorbet.

After an amazing lunch, it was time to walk off the calories by exploring the beach and coastline! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I walked across almost the entirety of Newquay from west to east, eventually reaching Lusty Glaze Beach and Porth Beach.

Exploring barefoot ๐Ÿฆถ along Fistral Beach
Looking for little fishes lol! ๐ŸŸ๐ŸŸ
All mussels! ๐Ÿ˜‚
Tides incoming! ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚๏ธ
So many dog walkers around! ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถ
A hidden spot by the beach
Newquay Bay on the left and Fistral Bay on the rjght
Spotting the wind farm from afar
Towan Head
This building reminded me of those in Greece
Newquay Harbour
Harbour Beach
The quieter Towan Beach after the sun
Under the bridge
Keep dragging my trainers ๐Ÿ‘Ÿ into the water ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ’ฆ
The vast sky and sea
Little hut in a field of flowers ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒผ
Lusty Glaze Beach
Porth Beach

As the sun set over Newquay, I ventured out into Porth Island (as the last destination for the day) hoping to get a full view of the beautiful scenery.

Bridge to Porth Island
Beautiful flowers on Porth Island ๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ’
Looking back at Porth Beach
Scaling the rock!
Under the glow
At the top ๐Ÿ”
Over Porth Island
The colours! ๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿงก
Canโ€™t get enough of this!
Heading back to the hotel – canโ€™t wait for more tomorrow!

Day 1 & 2 in Penzance: Summer Lovinโ€™

Happy bank holiday from the U.K.! Such a blessing to have the holiday and my week off coinciding with the hottest day of the year thus far! โ˜€๏ธโ˜€๏ธ Hope you all had a great day too as I have most certainly enjoyed my time here in Penzance! ๐Ÿ˜

Penzance is one of the most southern towns in the U.K., lying within Cornwall. It was a long train ride from London with the whole journey covering over 5 hours and a changeover in Plymouth (where I visited last summer!) – but I figured it was the time to do it now with me having an entire week off work! ๐Ÿš‚

Lunch on the train ๐Ÿฑ

I was most certainly prepared for the long train ride as I have done lots of food shopping ๐Ÿ› before hopping on to the train! (And yes, I finished everything just on the first train alone! ๐Ÿ˜‚ Unfortunately a 15-minute delay caused me to miss my changeover in Plymouth, so I ended up making a quick stop there before moving on to the next train (which was also further delayed. ๐Ÿ˜…)

Revisiting Plymouth after last year ๐Ÿ˜‚- but I only had enough time to hop to the shops so didnโ€™t get a chance to see its beautiful coast again
Another delay… ๐Ÿ˜ช

After over an hour behind the initial scheduled time, I finally arrived in Penzance and I was immediately in awe of the slight Mediterranean feel of the place! ๐Ÿ– Weather wasnโ€™t the best when I arrived on Sunday but I was still definitely on a holiday mood – though this place seemed to be a bit of a dead zone for phone signal! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ“ฑ(Maybe it will be actually good for me to be off the grid for once…? ๐Ÿ˜)

Penzance harbour
By the harbour
Twilight by the shore (looking towards Newlyn)

My initial plan was to visit Mackerel Sky Seafood Bar in Newlyn for dinner (the place seems to be extremely popular and does not take bookings, so couldnโ€™t even reserved beforehand.) Newlyn is a seaside town and fishing port situated just right next to Penzance accessible by just a relatively short walk (around 20 minutes from my hotel.) Sadly, the train delays earlier meant that I couldnโ€™t make it in time before the restaurant closed at 9. And it appeared that, in general, most places in Penzance were closed by that time- including the hotel restaurant… ๐Ÿ˜ด๐ŸŒ™ (I guess it was a Sunday after all or perhaps I am just too used to all the late night openings in London ๐Ÿ˜….) Thank goodness though I didnโ€™t have to starve for the night as I eventually managed to find a kebab place in the town centre (after much searching! ๐Ÿ˜‚)

Kedgeree and poached egg for breakfast in the hotel- my first time having kedgeree!

Despite many bumps in my first day of travel (as per usual for me ๐Ÿ˜‚), I woke up this morning with a fresh determination wanting to make the most of my day – with a morning swim in the Jubilee Pool. ๐ŸŠโ€โ™‚๏ธ

Jubilee Pool on the outside
Jubilee Pool
Geothermal pool on the right next to the main swimming area
Loving the sun โ˜€๏ธ and water ๐ŸŒŠ

The pool is very unique in that it extends directly into the sea, making it a landmark in the area. (I certainly loved the Art Deco feel of it! ๐Ÿ’™) Due to COVID restrictions now, bookings must be made in advance. Luckily, the main swimming area is readily available for bookings (up to one hour before the time slots- but only the shallow end is opened for use right now, which is fine with me as I am not that massively strong of a swimmer anyway. ๐Ÿ˜‚) Sadly, the geothermal pool is now completely booked until next month. โ˜น๏ธ Would have loved to go into the geothermal pool as the water in the main swimming area is rather cold ๐Ÿฅถ – so a lot of us just ended up โ€œwalkingโ€ and paddling along the pool, or just sunbathing by the poolside lol. ๐Ÿ˜Ž Still great fun though! (And I will take it as my workout for the day done!)

Heading to Newlyn (for the second time lol!)
Welcome to Newlyn!
Mackerel Sky Seafood Bar

After a quick shower back in the hotel, I made my way to Newlyn hoping it will be a second time lucky!๐Ÿคž Literally went there banged on before their opening time at 12, so was seated very quickly. ๐Ÿ˜‰ The seafood dishes were all very fresh and delicious, so I was so very tempted to order a dessert as well!

Menu of Mackerel Sky Seafood Bar- what would you have picked? ๐Ÿ˜‹
From the left: pan seared scallops, grilled mackerel and crab salad
Raspberry fool (coulis and whipped cream) with Amaretti biscuits – simple and lovely! โค๏ธโค๏ธ

With my stomach full, I ventured out into the town of Newlyn, aiming to make my way on foot to the fishing village of Mousehole (one of my main goals of this travel!) The 1-hour coastal walk is beautiful especially on a sunny day like today! ๐ŸŒž

Town of Newlyn
Newlyn harbour
Loving the sunshine!
Look how blue the water is! ๐Ÿ’™
Interesting building ๐Ÿฆˆ
Full view of Newlyn Harbour (looking back at Penzance)
View of the coastal walk ๐ŸŒŠ

Afterwards, it was time for a quick recharge in Rock Pool Cafรฉ- enjoying a drink and some food in the open view to the coast before exploring the rest of Mousehole! ๐Ÿฅฐ

Rock Pool in Mousehole
A drink under the sun๐Ÿน๐Ÿ˜Ž in Rock Pool Cafรฉ
Homemade mackerel pรขtรฉ with gluten-free toasts
Mousehole Harbour
Everyone is out enjoying the heat and sunshine! โ˜€๏ธ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ”ฅ
A tropical fruit smoothie ๐Ÿฅญ๐Ÿ to round off the day!

After taking the shuttle bus from Mousehole back to Penzance- I settled in for an easier night in with a supper from a well-established fish and chips shop just right next to the hotel. (There was quite a queue!)

Takeaway and night in ready! ๐Ÿ‘Œ
Loved the battered Cornish hake with the curry sauce and mushy peas! ๐Ÿ˜‹

This is not the end of my journey in Cornwall yet! More to come tomorrow, so stay tuned! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Journey to the End of the World

Today marks my last day in Folkestone, but there is still plenty of time to kill before I make my way back home. There is so much to do in this small town, I wish I am staying around for longer!

Lobster & Scallop Sunday brunch by Folkstone Harbour

After checking out the hotel, I visited a seafood bar right in front of the harbour and enjoyed a luxurious brunch (it was a ยฃ20 whole lobster ๐Ÿฆž, which to me was quite a bargain!) Though I needed to keep warring off a seagull who had been eyeing my food from the get go! ๐Ÿ˜  Once I finished and left the table to get some tissue, it wasted no time hopping onto my leftovers and took off with the empty lobster shell! ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ˜‚ (Sneaky bird!)

Mermaid on Sunny Sands Beach

Todayโ€™s weather was much more pleasant compared to how it was the past days, so I decided to journey along the other side of the coast, heading into the Folkestone Warren area.

By the beach ๐Ÿ–
Wasnโ€™t too cold for a mango ice cream! ๐Ÿจ
Hidden path leading straight to the sea
Sign to Folkestone Warren

The hotel receptionist did warn me it was tough to get to the beach area down Folkestone Warren, and boy, was he right! I somehow picked the more difficult route along the coast too (typical me- as I found out later I would have had a much easier time walking uphill past the golf courses then back down.) The slippery mud along the path ๐Ÿ’ฆ resulted from the rain the previous days certainly didnโ€™t help (and I really should get a different pairs of shoes besides my usual flat trainers… ๐Ÿ˜“) The views were definitely worth the effort though! I would take it as my workout for the day done!

The โ€˜easierโ€™ path uphill which I didnโ€™t take… ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚๏ธ
So many graffiti around the place!
Journey on! ๐Ÿฅพ
Was so knackered by this point… ๐Ÿ˜‘ (My trainers were covered in mud by then!)
Finally down by the beach! ๐Ÿ˜€ (Getting through that large pile of rocks was also tricky haha!)
Took the chance to rinse off my trainers in the water! ๐Ÿ˜‚
So calming here! ๐Ÿ˜Œ
Had this โ€˜End of the Worldโ€™ ๐ŸŒŽ feeling here ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

โ€˜Exerciseโ€™ done – itโ€™s time to head back to the town centre to get a bubble tea to recharge! (The two ladies in the shop were so nice and funny. Turned out they were both from London too! We had a great chat about Folkestone and why they decided to settle here. Maybe I should do the same? ๐Ÿ˜‚)

Reenergise with bubble tea! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜

I am going to miss little town! What a special place Folkestone is! ๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’š

A Long-Waited Weekend Getaway

A weekend like this has been a long time coming! With lockdown easing finally allowing overnight stay this week, I wasted no time a few days ago booking my city break from London. As soon as I got off work on Friday, I jumped on an Uber to the train station and away we go! ๐Ÿšž๐Ÿšž

Welcome to Folkestone!

For this trip, I picked the coastal town of Folkestone just to be close to the sea. The town overlooks the English Channel and is a nice little touristsโ€™ attraction along the English coast. Taking that into account, I also picked a hotel situated by the seafront. Weather, however, was not on my side from the get-go with strong gusts of wind ๐ŸŒฌ๐ŸŒฌ (and rain ๐ŸŒง) throughout the Friday evening. (Mind you I did expect it as the weather in London have been absolutely miserable this past week too โ˜น๏ธ) In fact it was so windy, I was struggling to even walk (and snap photos ๐Ÿ“ธ – in fear of my phone getting blown away into the sea! ๐ŸŒŠ) So, I basically retreated to my hotel room and restaurant for dinner.

Storm in the harbour ๐Ÿ’จ๐Ÿ’จ (You might just be able to make out the large ripple on the water)

Knowing lockdown easing will probably mean that restaurants may be fully booked up, I spent some time before my trip calling up restaurants to reserve tables for me. (Which is very unlike me as I usually just go on the fly! ๐Ÿ˜‚) After going some researches online, I decided to head to Marleys for dinner on Friday. Absolutely loved the food there and itโ€™s cute, cosy interior! ๐Ÿ’“

My cosy little spot! โ˜บ๏ธ
So cute! (I do miss playing Scrabble! ๐Ÿ˜‚)
Crispy sweet potato balls with beetroot hummus
The best tuna steak ever! ๐Ÿคค๐Ÿคค (It even smelt incredible!)
Perfect cook! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

The staff were all very warm and welcoming, and to top it it off – I think I had the best tuna I had ever eaten in my entire life! ๐ŸŸ Perfectly cooked to medium rare and well seasoned – I couldnโ€™t get enough of it honestly! ๐Ÿ˜‚

The next morning after enjoying some โ€˜me-timeโ€™ in the bath ๐Ÿ› (and the night before! ๐Ÿ˜‚) I decided to head along the coast as the weather took a nicer turn! (Thank goodness! ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ™Œ)

Looking upon the English Channel

The Folkestone pier was just simply breathtaking. The sea was so calming and the view truly did throw away all my worries for the week out the window (albeit temporarily! ๐Ÿ˜‚) It really let me appreciate the freedom of being able to travel again.

Folkestone pier
Little orange house by the sea
Look at the waves! ๐ŸŒŠ
Beautiful view for a drink! ๐Ÿธ
If only I can get a little sun… ๐Ÿ˜‚ โ˜€๏ธ

I also headed to the creative quarter – a quirky, colourful area of the town. Marleys where I visited yesterday was also situated in this unique alley.

Creative Quarter
Meet Oliver the Octopus! ๐Ÿฐ ๐Ÿฐ (so impressed by the artistry of this cake!)

When you are in a coastal town by the sea, surely seafood is a must, right? ๐Ÿฆช๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿฆ€๐ŸŸ Hence my visit to the Harbour Inn for lunch (again booked in advance.)

The Harbour Inn
Beautiful deco inside
The dining area I sat at โค๏ธโค๏ธ
Delicious dressed crab! ๐Ÿฆ€
Can one wish for more seafood? ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿคค
Yum! Yum! What a feast!

After the luxurious seafood lunch, I left the restaurant just as rain poured heavily over the town. โ˜”๏ธโ˜”๏ธ Just so happened I left my phone charger in the hotel, I walked back into my room with my trousers ๐Ÿ‘– all soaked. ๐Ÿ’ฆ


After taking yet another hot bath and a brief nap in the room, I decided to head to the beachfront (umbrella in hand of course!) as the rain started to fade. Walking gradually into the sun, I was taken by surprise of an amazing view from behind! ๐Ÿฅฐ๐ŸŒˆ

Breathtaking! ๐ŸŒˆ ๐ŸŒˆ

And more colourful surprises down the beach! (I think folks in Folkestone really do love their colours haha!) Maybe I should think about moving here lol? ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿค”

Rainbow on land! โค๏ธ๐Ÿงก๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’œ
Canโ€™t get enough of these colours!
Felt like a hidden paradise
Want to live in one of these! ๐Ÿ 
The vast blue sky

To cap off the day, I went back to the Folkestone harbour for some light seafood snacking by the water.

At Rocksalt by the harbour
Whelks and Prawns
And a nojito – canโ€™t get better than this for a Saturday night! ๐Ÿธ

And lastly, a few more snaps of the pier as night falls. โœจโœจ

Oh, and also, happy Eurovision day! (Caught the last hour or so of it back in my hotel room! ๐Ÿ˜‚)

Two Foodiesโ€™ Trip to Brighton

So itโ€™s finally half term, which means I will be taking off a week away from work! YAY! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘ It also just happened to coincide with with my mumโ€™s work break, so we decided to travel together this time. ๐Ÿ‘ตObviously, with the current pandemic, we had to think long and hard about which was the best place to visit, and we finally settled on visiting Brighton for a four-night stay! ๐ŸŒŠ

I baked some egg tarts the night before to take with me on the travel ๐Ÿ˜‚

It wasnโ€™t a long train ride to get to Brighton (and I took off immediately after work! ๐Ÿ˜‚) This time, we had to travel separately, so I ended meeting my mum at the hotel there. With her working as a chef for a hotel group, we were also very lucky to get a free stay in the city. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‘Œ

Greetings from the hotel! How cute are these! โค๏ธ

Since my mum and I were both enthusiastic foodies, we were so happy to get to enjoy so many great food on this trip! ๐Ÿ˜‹ One of the first places we visited was Riddle and Finns just by the Brighton Seafront. Nothing can really beat a luxurious seafood lunch by the sea! ๐Ÿฆ€๐Ÿ™๐Ÿฆช๐ŸŸ (And how can one possibly say no to seafood when you are in Brighton? ๐Ÿ˜‰)

The view from the restaurant (before it started raining heavily! โ˜”๏ธโ˜”๏ธ) We were so lucky we chose to eat inside (not that my mum could stand the cold ๐Ÿฅถ anyway! ๐Ÿ˜‚) as the people eating outside were then ushered back in all soaking wet!
Complimentary bread basket with four different condiments (our favourite was the mackerel ๐ŸŸ I really enjoyed the horseradish too but my mum wasnโ€™t a fan! ๐Ÿ˜‚ ) I thought it was really cute for them to serve the butter on a shell.
Starters: braised octopus with confit egg yolk and miso yoghurt (left), New England clam and bacon chowder (centre) and tempura monkfish cheeks with a jalapeรฑo and basil dip (right)
Jersey oysters three ways: (From the left clockwise) Porthilly (deep fried with pickled vegetables), Oysters Rockefeller and creamy champagne sauce. ๐Ÿฆช๐Ÿฆช๐Ÿฆช
Malaysian style wok fried whole crab ๐Ÿฆ€
My mum is working hard to try to get all the crab meat out! ๐Ÿคฃ

My favourite dishes there were the oysters (the Rockefeller style was the best of the three for me), octopus and the tempura monkfish cheeks (loved that dip!) The clam chowder was okay, but I personally would enjoy it less thick and the vegetables more cooked. My mum (who is even pickier than me with food) really enjoyed the oysters too, but she also liked the crab, though it was hard work and a messy job getting all the meat out! ๐Ÿ˜‚ ๐Ÿ’ช Actually felt like a proper workout after! ๐Ÿคฃ (I found the dish okay, but we both thought the Malaysian coconut sauce was slightly too sweet and I wasnโ€™t a massive fan of crab to begin with… ๐Ÿ˜…)

Luckily the rain stopped pouring when we finished our lunch, so we got to enjoy a stroll around the seafront and the city, including visiting the famous Brighton Pavilion. We snapped many pics! ๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿ“ธ

Look at the waves! ๐ŸŒŠ ๐ŸŒŠ
Brighton Palace Pier
Brighton Seafront
Beautiful sky! โค๏ธโค๏ธ
Brighton Beach
Glorious sun above โ˜€๏ธ
Brighton Pavilion
Royal Pavilion Gardens
The Lanes
Mural in the Lanes
Love the market feel here with all the boutiques

Brighton is truly hidden gem with its ambient, relaxing atmosphere and a beautiful seaside. Over the new few days, it was such a delightful surprise to discover all these great food places within the city! ๐Ÿคค๐Ÿคค Here are some of the best ones!

Delicious, healthy salad lunch in Foodilic ๐Ÿฅ— That mango and avocado salad was so yummy! Itโ€™s great value for money too – only ยฃ8.50 to sit in with one hot main and three side salads. Very generous portions too! We were so stuffed afterwards! ๐Ÿ˜ฌ
Blue cheese pizza in Fatto a Mano. Simple and scrumptious! And I introduced Burrata to my mum – which she absolutely loved! ๐Ÿ˜‚ (We wandered into this restaurant as a shelter when the sky suddenly started pouring ๐ŸŒง๐ŸŒง one day. Weather hadnโ€™t really been on our side throughout this trip… ๐Ÿ˜…)
When I visited Salisbury last month, I found a Rolyโ€™s Fudge store and bought some of these back for my work colleagues. They absolutely loved it and devoured the whole box before I got to try any. ๐Ÿ˜› So I finally got to have some this times around, but I found them rather too sweet for my liking… ๐Ÿ˜–

Our last meal in Brighton was a French dinner in the Petit Pois Restaurant. ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท And we managed to finish on a high as this was our favourite meal throughout the trip! ๐Ÿ‘

Complimentary appetiser: apricot and chestnut croquettes
Starters: pan fried scallops with artichoke purรฉe, apple and hazelnut salad (top) and classic garlic and parsley snails (bottom)
Bouillabaisse- fish soup with sea bass, mussels, squid, king prawn, seaweed and potato
Duck breast with celeriac Dauphinoise, grilled spring onions and blood orange sauce

We absolutely loved the earthy nuttiness of the croquette appetiser! ๐Ÿ˜‹โค๏ธ The dish of the night though was the scallops. The artichoke purรฉe and the acidity of the apples marries perfectly with the lightness of the scallops. ๐Ÿคค My mum also really enjoyed her Bouillabaisse. For me, the duck breast was also very yummy with a medium-rare cook (which itโ€™s how I always like my duck) and I wished they gave me more of that delicious blood orange sauce! ๐Ÿ˜‚ I couldnโ€™t get enough of it!

Once we finished dinner, we ran back into the hotel passing through a storm โ˜”๏ธ โ˜”๏ธ as the rainy night marked the end of our trip. ๐Ÿ˜

Birthday Weekend Getaway: Salisbury and Stonehenge (Part 2)

I didnโ€™t realise how tired I was last night until I was back in my hotel room and quickly fell fast asleep. ๐Ÿ˜ด Lately, I have been struggling with insomnia and intense dreams, so I was glad to wake up this morning feeling really refreshed. Guess this weekend away from London did do some good for me after all! โ˜บ๏ธ

Breakfast at the hotel

After enjoying a Full English in the pub area of the hotel (I genuinely was quite surprised to see that there were a good handful of people staying in the hotel last night ๐Ÿ™‚) and another bath time ๐Ÿ›€ back in my room, I headed out to round off a few things in town and visited Salisbury Cathedral among a few other noticeable places in before hopping on the train back to London which was scheduled just after lunchtime. The weather was just as miserable as it was yesterday ๐Ÿ˜…๐ŸŒง๐ŸŒง, so it was a bit of a hassle at times juggling between the shoppings (mainly some sweets for my colleagues at work) and the umbrella in my hands. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ› โ˜”๏ธ (I was determined not to lose my umbrella again today! ๐Ÿคฃ)

Salisbury Cathedral
Under the rain โ˜”๏ธโ˜”๏ธ
Sculptures in the park surrounding the cathedral
Army museum (Didnโ€™t go in, since I spent too much already yesterday and try to save money… ๐Ÿ˜›)
A bridge (?) over High Street
Market Square
Council building (I think… ๐Ÿ˜…)
Thought this was cute so took a picture lol… ๐Ÿ˜‚
A monument in town centre with the Haunch of Venison just right behind it

A friend of mine who originated from Salisbury recommended me to check out the Haunch of Venison, a gastropub in the area. I loved the old, historical interior look of the pub immediately which made me the more excited to try out their game menu! ๐Ÿ˜‹

The interior of the dining room
The staircase
Had a wander inside the pub ๐Ÿ‘€
The pigeon starter – loved the crispy kale it came with! ๐Ÿ˜‹
Venison Sunday roast with a trio of sauces – horseradish, mint and cranberry

Now I am ready to board the train ๐Ÿš‚ with a full stomach!

Birthday Weekend Getaway: Salisbury and Stonehenge (Part 1)

Happy weekend, everyone! Hope all of you had a good week. In my case, this week has certainly felt long, so I was glad I have finally made it to my โ€œbirthday weekendโ€! ๐Ÿ˜› Despite my original plan of going away abroad is now thrown out of the window, I decided (at the very last minute) that maybe it was worth going away from London for a bit after all. Therefore, on Thursday, I decided to book a train away to Salisbury to see the famous Stonehenge. I appreciate that, for some people, the place is nothing more than a pile of rocks, but 10 years old me would have been so excited! (At that point in my life, I was obsessed with a lot of the mysterious locations in the world such as Loch Ness, the pyramids in Egypt and Machu Picchu among many places.)

The weather in London has been very rainy in the past days! โ˜”๏ธโ˜”๏ธ As a precaution, I checked weather forecast (something I normally donโ€™t do if I am honest! ๐Ÿ˜‚) and anticipated that it would also be raining in Salisbury. Before I stepped out of my house, I kept on reminding myself not to forget the umbrella (more on that later lol) since I have an awful habit of leaving it behind whenever I go!

Initially I was worried if it would be complicated to get to Stonehenge from Salisbury (since I donโ€™t drive), but it turns out that there is a direct bus one can board from the city centre. I purchased the all included ticket (total to ยฃ32.50) that covers the bus and entry to both Stonehenge and Old Sarum Castle. The bus journey wasnโ€™t very long (around 30 minutes from the city centre of Salisbury) and I quite enjoyed the scenery of all the open fields around the area – since I really needed a break from city life lately. ๐Ÿ˜๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒพ

Stonehenge Visitor Centre
A replicate of the apparent homes (?) for the builders of Stonehenge

To get to the Stonehenge from the visitor centre, there is a choice of either taking a shuttle bus (which arrives in less than 5 minutes) or walking (around 20 minutes). On a nicer day, I might choose to walk, but today I decided to take the shuttle bus. The foot path is designed to be a circuit around the Stonehenge, so I have taken lots of snaps ๐Ÿ˜ and here is Stonehenge from all directions!

Before leaving, I also took a scroll in the exhibition area and sat down for the a small lunch in the cafรฉ.

Feels like this is the weather today ๐Ÿ˜‚
Inside the exhibition
Wish I can go to all these places one day! ๐Ÿ’ช
Steak Cornish pasty ๐Ÿ˜‹ plus an apple juice I bought from M&S before I boarded the bus ๐Ÿ˜†

Boarding the bus again, I then headed to Old Sarum Castle (which was about 20 minutes away from Stonehenge and only about 7 minutes away from city centre.) The castle was situated in a very peculiar spot (in my opinion at least ๐Ÿ˜‚) that required one to cross a long winding footpath through the fields and up the hill. And only when I was halfway gone, then I realised that I left my umbrella on the bus! ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘ by the hill
Donโ€™t know why it took me a long time to figure out how to open this lol…
Entrance to Old Sarum Castle
View from the top
360 view of the castle
Feels a bit like walking in a tight rope ๐Ÿ˜ฌ the slope on the side is very steep!
Very foggy day today

As the rain started to get heavier ๐ŸŒง๐ŸŒง, I tried to still go around the castle (without my umbrella of course…) but it did gradually get to a point when I had to retreat since I was soaked from top to bottom (if anything, my frustration was more with my own forgetfulness than the weather! ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ) So I finally settled down at a spot underneath a tree and patiently waited for the tour bus to come back. ๐ŸšŒ (And luckily, since it was the same tour bus that kept going around in circle, I was thankful that I was able to get my umbrella back ๐Ÿ˜‚โ˜‚, otherwise it would have been long gone!)

After checking in the hotel and soaking myself in a warm bath, I then headed out for dinner in Zizzi. (Tonight felt even busier than I imagined a Saturday night would be, so it took me some time before I finally found a place with spaces. And it was pouring rain as well, so I didnโ€™t walk around looking too much.)

And the perks of staying above a pub means I got to take a pint to my room to enjoy! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Wasnโ€™t feeling alcohol today, so went for a lemonade instead lol! ๐Ÿ˜‚ Just needed something to quench my thirst to be fair.

Day 2 in Plymouth: The Lobster, the Waves and the Waterfront

So grateful I am blessed with beautiful weathers these past days! โ˜€๏ธโ˜€๏ธ Yesterday was possibly the sunniest day throughout my trip – making it a perfect day by the coast. ๐ŸŒŠ (I was absolutely drained by all the walking I did yesterday, hence the late posting. ๐Ÿ˜‚)

Beautiful day!

My main goals yesterday were to visit the Mayflower Museum, the National Marine Aquarium and also to do some more sightseeing around the coast. Unfortunately, the museum was closed due to the pandemic, but thankfully aquarium was still opened. โ˜บ๏ธ (I actually visited the place already the day before, but just missed the last entry time of 4pm… ๐Ÿ˜”) The National Marine Aquarium is said to be the largest aquarium in the UK and has the deepest tank in the whole country. ๐Ÿ ๐ŸŸ๐Ÿฆˆ This certainly brings back some memories of me visiting the aquarium in Ocean Park in Hong Kong every summer when I was growing up back there.

Is this supposed to be a fish or a lobster? ๐Ÿค”
Waiting for the sailboats โ›ต๏ธ to pass so we could cross the swing bridge towards the aquarium…

But before stopping at the aquarium, I decided to sit down for lunch at Rockfish, which is just right next to the aquarium at the Sutton Harbour. The place offers fresh seafood straight from the market – which is definitely something completely up my alley! ๐Ÿ˜‹ I went for the dayโ€™s special which was a garlic butter grilled whole lobster ๐Ÿฆž served with a side of salad ๐Ÿฅ—. A lobster lunch by the sea under the glorious sunshine – life doesnโ€™t get much better than this! โค๏ธโค๏ธ

The menu of seafood – which one would you have picked?
A delicious lobster lunch! โค๏ธโค๏ธ
Mmmmm ๐Ÿคค๐Ÿคค

With a full stomach, it was time for the big underwater adventure as I headed into the aquarium. I took lots of photos and videos while inside, so do enjoy below. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Hello, Mr Lobster! ๐Ÿฆž
Initially I thought they were mushrooms, they turned to be some sort of shellfish… ๐Ÿค”
Cute! โค๏ธ
Never seen these before!
I love jellyfish! They are so pretty! โค๏ธ
There is something about this bright red colour that makes them really scary looking… ๐Ÿ˜ฅ
Can you spot the stingray in the tank? (It used to be a game I played a lot when I was a child ๐Ÿ˜‚)
Staff with stingrays swimming underneath my feet ๐Ÿฆถ
A shark ๐Ÿฆˆ sleeping over your head
Umm youโ€™re blocking my view… ๐Ÿ˜‚
Giant fishes ๐ŸŸ๐ŸŸ
These fishes are huge!
The deepest tank in the aquarium
Spotted a tortoise ๐Ÿข at last!
Beautiful โค๏ธโค๏ธ
Where are you, Nemo?
Hello, Dory! ๐Ÿ‘‹
The Coral Reef

Following the aquarium, I decided to take a long walk around the coastline, going further than I did the day before- I simply couldnโ€™t get enough of it from yesterday! ๐Ÿ˜

Yeah, I think I might have had too many ice creams in the past few days… ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿฆ

I just kept walking following the coastline (think about an hour or so) and reached Royal William Yard before also making a visit to the Devilโ€™s Point.

Entrance to Royal William Yard
View from Royal William Yard
Looking towards the English Channel ๐ŸŒŠ
The Devilโ€™s Point

And despite my legs starting to give in ๐Ÿ˜‚, I also took a walk down to Devonport Park. ๐ŸŒณ

After making my way back to Barbican, I (at last) sat down and enjoyed my dinner at a Greek restaurant before falling asleep back at my hotel room. ๐Ÿ˜ช๐Ÿ˜ด

It feels sad that my road trip is coming to an end now (almost too quick really), but it was nice to be able to travel again. This morning, I visited the Snack Box cafรฉ for breakfast before taking my train back home. The owner was very friendly and ended up talking to me as I enjoyed my Full English at the roadside. It was very sobering and sad to hear about his struggles with the business due to Covid-19, and I wonder how many small businesses are suffering the same way right now… Life may not be quite the same after the pandemic, but hopefully good things will all eventually come along for us all! โค๏ธ

Full English at the roadside before jumping back on the train to London ๐Ÿš‚

Day 1 in Plymouth: Magnificent Coastline

This trip is especially exciting to me because this is the first time I will be staying in two different cities in consecutive days. ๐Ÿš‚ After a fairly short one hour train journey from Exeter this morning, I finally arrived in the city of Plymouth.

Arrival in Plymouth
Sundial at the city centre

The vibes of Plymouth were most definitely very different from Exeter. The place felt a lot more busier and commercial, but I was most looking forward to seeing the beautiful coastline by the hotel. It was still quite some time though before I was allowed to check in when I arrived, so I first made a short trip to the Plymouth Market in the city centre.

Sign of Plymouth Market
Scenes inside and around Plymouth Market

Visiting marketplaces always bring back some childhood memories when I used to follow my grandpa around in the wet markets in Hong Kong. Though the Plymouth Market was nothing like a wet Market, the snapshots of the stalls and the pedestrian bridge nearby brought back a nostalgic feeling. โค๏ธ

Cornwall Street Fish Bar
Fish and Chips – the quintessential British food

I decided to drop by Cornwall Street Fish Bar for lunch after seeing its reviews online. It seemed very popular among the locals as many were visiting when I was there today. I really liked the crispy batter around the haddock- probably one of the better ones I had. Though, personally, I feel the mushy peas could do with a touch more seasoning. But what I will remember the most are the warm atmosphere and the sense of community here. โค๏ธ

So after lunch, I decided to head straight to my hotel for a brief rest. It was still before my check in time, but I decided to try my luck as it was hard work carrying my suitcase around town. However, when I finally arrived at the hotel, I was surprised to find out the front door was locked! ๐Ÿ˜จ (Turned out the owner went out for some shopping, but thankfully they were able to get back as soon as I called. ๐Ÿ˜…) While waiting, I went ahead and took a stroll around the beautiful coastline. โ˜€๏ธ (And then again after I dropped my luggage in the hotel.) The view was absolutely breathtaking! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ (I honestly couldnโ€™t get enough of it! โ˜บ๏ธ)

Here is a thank you ๐Ÿ™ to the kind ice cream van lady who gave me piles of tissues after a seagull pooped on my shirt ๐Ÿ˜‚ (What is it with me and seagulls lately!?)

Lastly, to finish off a perfectly beautiful day by the sea, I decided to go to KUKU for a delicious Japanese dinner. ๐Ÿ˜‹ Absolutely loved the two appetisers of scallops and oyster! โค๏ธโค๏ธ The beef was slightly overdone, but the teppanyaki vegetables had a nice grilled flavours to them. The sorbets were a great, refreshing way to finish the meal- I especially enjoyed the orange sorbet! ๐ŸŠ

Seared Scallops
Tempura Oysters
Seared Diced Beef with Teppanyaki Vegetables
A Trio of Sorbets (From the left: Orange, Plum Wine and Pineapple)
And enjoyed an happy hour! ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿธ

Now, I am sitting on the bed, looking forward to tomorrow with a full stomach and a slightly tipsy head! ๐Ÿ˜‚