Jubilee Weekend

Made this cake a few days ago for a best friend’s BIG 3-0 birthday! πŸ₯³πŸ₯³ Had so much that evening at the bowling alley, and now I am enjoying the glorious sunshine β˜€οΈ at Folkestone for Jubilee weekend. Really don’t want to go back to work on Monday… πŸ˜ͺπŸ˜…

The cake is a strawberry wine cake! πŸ“πŸ“
Had a bit of fun writing those tags using edible pens on wafer paper
Love being by the sea! 🌊

Last Trip of the Summer: Back to Brighton

Going back to work this week really did make me realise I will be soon facing reality again and back to routines. So I decided to make use of the bank holiday weekend to do one last trip to Brighton before the end of summer, hoping for some nice sunshine! β˜€οΈ The last time I visited Brighton was all the way back in October last year with my mum during the half term break (come to think of it that was before the last national lockdown- time really does fly!)

Vegetarian brunch at Iydea in The Lanes

On arrival it was all bright and sunny and I headed down to the hippy area of The Lanes, stumbling this vegetarian café for food. I ordered their mushroom and courgette lasagne and it tasted really good (I do enjoy having plant-based stuff 🌿🌿 every now and then, it just feels less heavy at times lol!)

While the sun was indeed out, the beach was generally still quite windy so it felt actually colder than it looked! πŸ₯Ά However, after checking into the hotel and having rested a little, I decided to head out to the beach for a mini picnic.

Brighton Pier
A very clumsy picnic… 🧺 πŸ˜‚

Afterwards, I journeyed along the beach (passing the naturist’s beach at one point haha! πŸ˜†) and reached the Brighton Marina Square.

A huge wind farm on the horizon
The white cliff from afar 😍
Brighton Marina Square
Scallop and crab linguine at an Italian restaurant there – tasted alright but some of the scallops were a touch overcooked

I also got to enjoy the beautiful sunset and the vibrant night lights of the Brighton seafront πŸŒ…πŸŒƒ (making the most of staying in a hotel by the beach this time! πŸ˜‚)

Sunset
The soft shade of orange
The vibrant night view from the pier
So beautiful! ✨✨
Looks like Christmas night from afar!

The next day, I also paid a visit to the Royal Pavilion (which was doing renovations when I was here last time.) Also pleasantly surprised to find out that the normal ticket is all year around, so I can visit again and again for free! 😁

Royal Pavilion
The stunning Banqueting Room
These chandeliers are just gorgeous! 😍😍
Fantasying myself cooking in this kitchen haha! The dream!
The Saloon – reading how this room was restored was really impressive!
The Tomkison Piano
Absolutely in love with the Music Room! 🎡🎢🎡🎢 (My favourite one of them all!)
The King’s Library
A proper King’s bed!
Love the Asian touches around the entire place!
Beautiful stained glass ceiling
Queen Victoria’s bedroom
…and her toilet! 🚽🀣🀣

After the visit to the Royal Pavilion, I still had time to revisit the other side of the seafront and sit down for a seafood lunch at a restaurant by the i360 tower! 🀀🀀

Garlic butter scallops! My favourite! πŸ˜‹
Skate Wing – trying it for the first time! πŸ‘
Feel so zen staring out into the open sea…
🌊 🌊

Summer is finally over, but I know plenty of adventures are still out there! πŸ™‚

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 couldn’t get enough of it! So I decided to continue to head west, passing by Porth Beach again and journey beyond to Watergate Beach. πŸ–

🌼🌼🌼
Perfect weather for a day out!
Back to Porth Beach
🌊🌊
Perfect sunshine! β˜€οΈ

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! πŸ˜‚ 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 aren’t a fan of stairs, this place is definitely quite a β€˜journey’ to get to going down and back up. 😀 (At least it wasn’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… πŸ˜ͺ)
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! πŸ˜‚)

Watergate Beach
Full view of Watergate Beach
Snacking on my rocky road bar on the beach 😬

Watergate beach was very busy which I wasn’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! 😎

Taking a dip in the water πŸ’¦
Sunbathing on the low-tide Porth Beach πŸ˜ŽπŸ–
Flying high πŸͺ

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! πŸ˜‹ 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 Β£15 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! πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

Which one to choose? πŸ€”
Incredible tapas tasting platter for £15! 🀀🀀 (In the end, I went with the Pescaito Frito, Gambas Pil Pil and Sesame Honey Chicken Sizzler.)
Spectacular dessert πŸ’›πŸ’›: Sicilian semifreddo ice cream bomb with a Limoncello core coated in crushed meringue
Incredible! πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ’›πŸ€πŸ’›πŸ€

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! πŸ˜›)

Kipper in the hotel’s breakfast
Visiting Blue Reef Aquarium 🐟🐟
Sharks over my head 🦈
Haven’t seen a lionfish in years!
I’ve never heard of a Unicorn tang until now
Scary piranhas 😟
πŸ¦žπŸ˜‹?
Hello again Nemo!
❀️❀️
Giant turtle 🐒
Omiros the giant turtle
The story of Omiros 😒❀️
He kept popping his head out from the water! It was cute! πŸ’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. β˜ΊοΈπŸš‚

Brunch in Fore Street CafΓ© Bar before long train ride back to London πŸš‚ πŸŒƒ
Mad dash to the train station with my ice cream in hand! πŸ˜‚πŸ¨πŸƒβ€β™‚οΈπŸƒβ€β™‚οΈπŸƒβ€β™‚οΈ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! πŸ˜‚ 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! 🌞

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. πŸ’™πŸ’™

Towan Beach
Busy beach indeed! πŸ–
The cliff by Towan Beach
I wonder who lives in these houses in this amazing spot? πŸ€”
πŸ’™πŸ’™
Fistral Beach
Just as busy here!
Look at the waves! 🌊 🌊
Paradise! ❀️
The Headland Hotel looking over the beach

Situated by Fistral Beach is The Fish House – highly recommended by the Michelin guide, and it certainly didn’t disappointed! I know I had been having a lot of seafood lately, but this one certainly topped it for me! πŸ”₯πŸ”₯ 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!

β€œGrilled scallops with pea and mint purΓ©e and crispy Serrano ham” – the purΓ©e was so good I licked the shells clean! πŸ˜πŸ’š
β€œPanko sesame fried tiger prawns with mangetout, fresh coconut and chilli salad with curried mayonnaise” – that salad I can eat a full bowl of! 🀀
Got a bit greedy with ice cream flavours! πŸ˜‚ 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! πŸ˜‰ I walked across almost the entirety of Newquay from west to east, eventually reaching Lusty Glaze Beach and Porth Beach.

Exploring barefoot 🦢 along Fistral Beach
Looking for little fishes lol! 🐟🐟
All mussels! πŸ˜‚
Tides incoming! πŸƒβ€β™‚οΈ
So many dog walkers around! 🐢🐢
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 πŸ‘Ÿ into the water πŸ˜‚πŸ’¦
The vast sky and sea
Little hut in a field of flowers 🌼🌼🌼
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 πŸ’πŸ’
Looking back at Porth Beach
Scaling the rock!
Under the glow
πŸŒ…πŸŒ…
At the top πŸ”
Over Porth Island
The colours! πŸ’›πŸ§‘
Can’t get enough of this!
Heading back to the hotel – can’t wait for more tomorrow!

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! 🚞🚞

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 tourists’ 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 🌬🌬 (and rain 🌧) throughout the Friday evening. (Mind you I did expect it as the weather in London have been absolutely miserable this past week too ☹️) In fact it was so windy, I was struggling to even walk (and snap photos πŸ“Έ – in fear of my phone getting blown away into the sea! 🌊) So, I basically retreated to my hotel room and restaurant for dinner.

Storm in the harbour πŸ’¨πŸ’¨ (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! πŸ˜‚) After going some researches online, I decided to head to Marleys for dinner on Friday. Absolutely loved the food there and it’s cute, cosy interior! πŸ’“

My cosy little spot! ☺️
So cute! (I do miss playing Scrabble! πŸ˜‚)
Crispy sweet potato balls with beetroot hummus
The best tuna steak ever! 🀀🀀 (It even smelt incredible!)
Perfect cook! πŸ‘πŸ‘

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! 🐟 Perfectly cooked to medium rare and well seasoned – I couldn’t get enough of it honestly! πŸ˜‚

The next morning after enjoying some β€˜me-time’ in the bath πŸ› (and the night before! πŸ˜‚) I decided to head along the coast as the weather took a nicer turn! (Thank goodness! πŸ™ŒπŸ™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! πŸ˜‚) 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! 🌊
Beautiful view for a drink! 🍸
If only I can get a little sun… πŸ˜‚ β˜€οΈ

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! 🍰 🍰 (so impressed by the artistry of this cake!)

When you are in a coastal town by the sea, surely seafood is a must, right? πŸ¦ͺπŸ¦πŸ¦€πŸ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 ❀️❀️
Delicious dressed crab! πŸ¦€
Can one wish for more seafood? πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‹πŸ€€
Yum! Yum! What a feast!

After the luxurious seafood lunch, I left the restaurant just as rain poured heavily over the town. β˜”οΈβ˜”οΈ Just so happened I left my phone charger in the hotel, I walked back into my room with my trousers πŸ‘– all soaked. πŸ’¦

β˜”οΈβ˜”οΈ

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! πŸ₯°πŸŒˆ

Breathtaking! 🌈 🌈

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? πŸ˜‚πŸ€”

Rainbow on land! β€οΈπŸ§‘πŸ’›πŸ’šπŸ’™πŸ’œ
Can’t get enough of these colours!
Felt like a hidden paradise
Want to live in one of these! 🏠
🌊 🌊
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 – can’t get better than this for a Saturday night! 🍸

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

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