Birthday Weekend @ Eastbourne

The past month had been absolutely hectic ๐Ÿ’จ๐Ÿ’จ, hence I have took some breaks away from my blog and baking. It did start to feel a bit depressing as I had been spending most of my evenings and weekends doing work stuff ๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ˜ช๐Ÿ˜ช, so honestly this birthday weekend did come at the right time for me to find any excuse I can to get out of London! ๐Ÿ˜‚

For this getaway trip, I decided on Eastbourne (kind of come out of blue to be fair lol) as I hoped some rare sunshine ๐Ÿ–โ˜€๏ธ will be a perfect change of scenery to the miserable weather in London in the past week or so.

Straight after work on Friday evening, I took the tube to Victoria Station to board my train to Eastbourne. Though my initial train was cancelled, there were plenty of replacement lines which meant I only arrived slightly later than expected. ๐Ÿš‚ However, it was pitch dark by that time, so I headed out straight to dinner after checking in the hotel.

Charlie Brownโ€™s Diner
A Statue of Liberty as tall as me lol ๐Ÿ˜‚
Charlieโ€™s Special Burger (with egg and bacon) plus a Blue Lagoon cocktail ๐Ÿน
And Snoopy!

My mum was a big fan of Snoopy and Charlie Brown, so growing up I did read a lot of the Peanuts comics. (Immediately sent pics to her after! ๐Ÿ˜›) The diner was a quirky little place with a lot of American references and deco. The menu wasnโ€™t exactly wow, but the portions were absolutely massive (just like America would lol- I barely finished the whole plate.) And that Blue Lagoon was certainly getting into my head afterwards haha! ๐Ÿฅด๐Ÿ˜ตโ€๐Ÿ’ซ๐Ÿฅด๐Ÿ˜ตโ€๐Ÿ’ซ

Tipsily walked into the supermarket to get a chocolate and mint ice cream hahaโ€ฆ

After a rather early night (for me at least lol), I woke up to the worst weather possible on Saturday morning! ๐ŸŒง๐ŸŒงโ˜”๏ธโ˜”๏ธโ˜”๏ธ So I settled for a more indoors day (far from what I had initially plannedโ€ฆ๐Ÿ˜“) and ended up going to a cafรฉ in the shopping mall for a nice brunch and doing some work stuff on the laptopโ€ฆ (The wind was so strong that day, I actually felt absolutely battered by the time I got there! ๐Ÿ˜ฎโ€๐Ÿ’จ๐Ÿ˜ต)

Mushroom Brunch – and then worked some more lol ๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ’ป

Even by late afternoon, the rain seemingly had no plan of stopping. ๐Ÿ˜•๐Ÿ˜• After some long pondering, I ended up buying an ice cream takeaway back to the hotel (sticking to traditions regardless of weather lol!)

Awful weather outside!! ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ

Whilst I took a semi nap soaking in the bath tub ๐Ÿ› , the rain somehow miraculously stopped (honestly I had totally given up hope by then lol!) So I decided to brave the winds (it was still super strongโ€ฆ actually used that to dry my wet clothes earlier ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ‘Œ) and headed out to an Italian restaurant called Rostick.

The rain has finally stopped ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘
Eastbourne Pier at dark
The sizzling Brodetto di Pescatrice (mussels, clams, prawns, scallops, monkfish, skate wings, razor clam, langoustine and baby octopus)

I ordered their signature Brodetto di Pescatrice which is cooked in a hot clay pot (it was still sizzling when it served.) The flavours of the broth were good, but some of the seafood was a little overcooked (octopus and monkfish was good, but the scallops were a bit rubberyโ€ฆ)

The next morning, the rain and wind has completely ceased, with rays of sunshine shining brightly across the beach front. Finally got to enjoy what Eastbourne was really about! ๐Ÿ‘ (Essentially squeezed what I wanted to do yesterday into 3 hours before I hopped on my train back to London!)

The weather has finally calmed down
Eastbourne Pier
Victorian Tearoom at the centre of Eastbourne Pier
Inside the Victorian tearoom – beautiful chandeliers
The classic combo of sandwich ๐Ÿฅช and soup ๐Ÿฅฃ
The sun is finally out!! โ˜€๏ธโ˜€๏ธ
Where was this weather yesterday lol??
Glorious weather
Always love to see beach huts in these coastal places
Glimpses of Beachy Head (was supposed to hike across yesterdayโ€ฆ ๐Ÿ˜ฃ)

Whilst the trip didnโ€™t go fully as planned, it was still memorable in many aspects! After arriving in London, I caught up with some of my old pals from my uni judo club in Mercato Metropolitano- all in all not a bad weekend to complain! (And I had one too many mixers whilst with them lol! ๐Ÿฅด)

Had this delicious Korean fried chicken with my drinks! ๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜‹

Isle of Wight: Beyond the Sea

This weekend I really needed a recharge! ๐Ÿ˜ฉ Whilst it is not far away until my long summer break, things have been a bit intense lately so I really felt the need to detach myself from my work life in order to be able to refocus myself again later.

For this weekend getaway, I decided to do something I have never done by myself before- taking a ferry โ›ด and sailing across the sea to the Isle of Wight. ๐ŸŒŠ ๐ŸŒŠ To get to the island, it is a rather straightforward one hour trip across the water from Southampton via the Red Funnel Ferries. So I opted for an overnight stay in Southampton on Friday and going on the ferry the next day. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Ocean Village Marina in Southampton
Giant cruise shop by the harbour (not my ferry tomorrow ๐Ÿ˜‚ but certainly made me a bit envied!)
Westquay shopping centre ๐Ÿ›
Enjoying a Chatime bubble tea๐Ÿฅค (havenโ€™t done that in a while ๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿ‘)

After a cosy night in the hotel, I woke up early in the morning at just before 6 (saving enough time for a long bath ๐Ÿ›€ of course! ๐Ÿ˜‚) and made sure I am on time for the Red Funnel ferry at 9. (I booked in advance but I believe it is just as easy to buy ticket there at the time.)

Breakfast before departing โ›ด
Red Funnel Ferries
Very busy inside the ferry today ๐Ÿ˜–
Eating my second breakfast. So busy I had to sit by the window (also raining โ˜”๏ธ outside…)
On the deck after the rain has stopped (couldnโ€™t sit on the chairs though as they were all soaking wet ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ’ฆ๐Ÿ’ฆ)
Sailing time ๐ŸŒŠ
Arriving at East Cowes in the Isle of Wight

To get around the Isle of Wight, I opted for a 24-hour bus ticket for ยฃ12. Even though it is a small island, locations of interests are quite spread out and not really walkable, so I decided that was the best option (as I neither drive nor cycle… ๐Ÿ˜›) As I was only there until Sunday morning, I focused exploring on the east side of the island (unfortunately missing out on famous landmarks like the Needles.)

Heading south,my first stop was the beautiful beaches on Shanklin- only though it was raining (again) when I arrived. I managed to shelter at a nearby cafรฉ (that was part of a hotel lodge) and enjoyed a nice bowl of chips. ๐ŸŸ The staff there was so friendly and let me charge my almost dead phone, and I ended up spending the idle time doing some work (so much for the detachment I know lol! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ’ป They thought I was so in the zone that they didnโ€™t want to bother me! ๐Ÿคฃ) By the time I was ready, the sun was out again! โ˜€๏ธ What perfect timing!

Shanklin Beach
A seaview is only as good as the ice cream you have! ๐Ÿฆ (I went for the โ€œfunky bananaโ€ and jelly & ice cream ๐Ÿ˜‹)
Coastal walk to Sandown
Cute little beach huts! ๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿค
By Sandown Pier
Sandown Beach โ˜€๏ธโ˜€๏ธ
The vast blue sea and sky
Maybe one day I will hire a beach hut! ๐Ÿ˜‚

Being a dinosaur fan, I then also dropped by Dinosaur Isle. ๐Ÿฆ•๐Ÿฆ– Some nice exhibits – but the museum is just a bit small for me (good for kids but I think itโ€™s a little too less for an adult like me who likes dinosaur ๐Ÿ˜‚)

Inside Dinosaur Isle

I then also visited Wildheart Animal Sanctury (which was just right next door) ๐Ÿ’๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿท๐Ÿฐ and I made it in time just 10 minutes before last entry! So glad I did – this definitely reminded me of visiting many zoos during my childhood. (And also how difficult it is to snap pictures on moving animals! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ“ธ)

Wowza! Canโ€™t remember the last time Iโ€™ve seen a tiger this up close! ๐Ÿฏ
Little kangaroo ๐Ÿฆ˜
Cute ring-tailed lemurs! ๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿฅฐ
Felt like this meerkat is giving me a look! ๐Ÿ˜‚
The lioness
๐Ÿ˜ด ๐Ÿ’ค๐Ÿ’ค
Oink oink oink! ๐Ÿท๐Ÿท There were also a lot of farm animals in the sanctuary
Cute bunnies ๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿฐ

Following this, I took the bus ๐ŸšŒ heading back north to Ryde where my hotel is. (Almost fell asleep on the bus! ๐Ÿ˜ด๐Ÿ˜ด)


After checking in the hotel and enjoyed some chill time in the bath ๐Ÿ›, I then headed out for dinner followed by an evening walk along Ryde Pier.

Dinner time at Ryde – look at the giant cauliflower wings! ๐Ÿ˜†
Ryde Pier
What a fun day! ๐ŸŒ™โœจโœจ

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˜‚)

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.

An Escape from the City

Honestly canโ€™t say how excited I was for this weekend! ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ™Œ After reading so much about city getaway trips on the social media and internet, I have always wanted to do that and, earlier this week, I went on an impulse and booked a trip away from London for the weekend! Having said that, I didnโ€™t want to go too far (and avoided flying in case I wonโ€™t make it back in time for work on Monday lol ๐Ÿ˜‚.) So I ended up choosing the historic Canterbury in Kent as my destination, only a relatively short one and an half hours by train from London.

The historic Canterbury

Despite sleeping quite late last night, I set my alarm (with snoozing lol) early for this morning. Victoria Station was super busy but I managed to grab a breakfast roll from a Burger King before hopping onto the train.

Scenery from the train

The train was such a peaceful ride. Not only did I get to enjoy the countryside scenery, I also was able to get some work done during the journey and kept myself occupied. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ‘Œ

Looks like winter is finally in full swing…โ„๏ธโ„๏ธ

The weather was not the best when I arrived with slight drizzle running throughout the lunch hours. Strangely though I wasnโ€™t hugely bothered and continued to explore the old city.

The entrance of the iconic Canterbury Cathedral. I would have gone in if it wasnโ€™t for its steep entry fee… ๐Ÿ˜“๐Ÿ’ธ๐Ÿ’ธ
In front of the Canterbury Cathedral
Amazing metallic painting of London in the Castle Fine Art โค๏ธโค๏ธ
The Old City

The steep entry fee of Canterbury Cathedral put me off from going inside…๐Ÿ˜ฅ๐Ÿ˜ฅ So instead I had a wander inside Castle Fine Art nearby, then Old City before heading off for lunch.

The rain got heavier ๐ŸŒง๐ŸŒง as I was heading to the restaurant, so I almost sprinted my way there. I did some research and chose to go to The Ambrette Canterbury, an Indian fusion restaurant. And I must say I was not disappointed, in fact I was slightly taken aback by how good it was! ๐Ÿคค๐Ÿคค (I am not exaggerating but it is hands down the best Indian food I have ever eaten! โค๏ธโค๏ธ) The price is also very reasonable as well, especially given their quality! (Costed me under ยฃ24 for the entire lunch… Thatโ€™s less than twice the entry fee to go inside Canterbury Cathedral haha. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚)

Complimentary appetiser: Chickpea and Venison Dumplings
Starter: Saffron infused chicken thigh and liver kebab with coriander chutney, mango and salad
Main: British pork belly with with Dauphinoise potato, crackling, seasonal vegetables and Biryani rice with tomato & ginger sauce
Dessert: Mango Kulfi with flaked coconut, poppy seeds and almonds

I have never heard of Kulfi until today! (For those of you who donโ€™t either it is an Indian ice cream.) But it was so delicious, I want to go home and make this myself! โค๏ธโค๏ธ (Watch this space haha ๐Ÿ˜‰) Not only were the dishes presented beautifully, but they are wildly flavoured with spices! If you are a lover for spices, you will definitely love this place as much as I did! ๐Ÿคค๐Ÿคค

The Old City in the evening
The Christmas Market
Amazing Christmas lights! โค๏ธโค๏ธ

After a brief rest in the inn (which is a convenient spot within the Old City), I went for another walk in the evening to catch the beautiful, bright Christmas lights under the night sky. โ„๏ธโ„๏ธโ„๏ธ The streets and market were busy with brilliant music playing in the background. Since I moved to London, watching Christmas lights and going to Christmas market have become a tradition of mine every year to welcome the full swing of the winter season, so this year I am simply starting somewhere else! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Christmas canโ€™t come any sooner! โ˜ƒ๏ธ๐ŸŽ„โญ๏ธ (And I brought a slice of Yule Log back to my hotel room after dinner! ๐Ÿ˜‹โค๏ธ)

Hope you all also have an amazing weekend!

Three Days, Two Nights and Plenty of Foods

Hurray to me for finally being able to catch a break from work! ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ™Œ For my week off, not only my mum is visiting me right now in London, but we were also able to make a city getaway trip to Bristol and Bath for the past three days and two nights.

Bristol and Bath are major touristโ€™s attractions in the UK, the latter especially for its historical significance. I actually visited both cities once before around two years ago, so this time was more of an opportunity for my mum to visit herself! ๐Ÿ˜› However, why would I deny the offer of a getaway trip haha? ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

The City of Bristol
Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel, where we stayed

Bristol was apparently the hometown of Banksy. Now, I got to confess I actually donโ€™t know much about Banksyโ€™s works, but street art is definitely a big part of the city wherever you wander.

I donโ€™t know if any of these is by Banksy, but they sure do look amazing! โค๏ธ

Our first stop for arrival was at Little Chinatown (sticking well and truly to our Asian roots lol…) The food wasnโ€™t bad at all, but we did end up waiting for over half an hour before we were fed after they confused our orders with another table… ๐Ÿ˜กโ˜น๏ธ (and my mum was definitely not a happy woman by that point haha! ๐Ÿ˜…)

Food at Little Chinatown
Za Za Bazaar

After the very filling lunch, we decided to go back to rest in the hotel room. (Our unlucky streak though continued when we went back to the hotel… The reception checked us into the wrong room TWICE! ๐Ÿ˜“) Having then recovered slightly from the food coma after a quick lap, we went for a stroll by the sunset ๐ŸŒ… around the Bristol harbourside and had dinner in Za Za Bazaar, an international food buffet restaurant. Turned out to be a big mistake because we were both beyond stuffed afterwards! ๐Ÿคข

On the second day, we decided to take the train from Bristol to Bath. It was a very short journey between the two cities, lasting just under 10 minutes! ๐Ÿš‚ The biggest two attractions in Bath are the Roman Baths and the Thermae Bath Spa (how could one not wonder where the name of the city came from lol!), but my mum was uninterested in either, so we decided to simply stroll around the city… ๐Ÿ˜— (I have been to both places in my last visit and the Thermae Bath Spa was right up my street with their rooftop pool! ๐ŸŠโ€โ™‚๏ธ The Roman Baths was nice to see for its history though with a very hefty ticket price…)

Outside the Roman Baths

The other noticeable thing in Bath was its many pastry shops selling the traditional Cornish pasties. However, it seemed all the shops label their own Cornish pasties as โ€˜award winningโ€™ or โ€˜bestโ€™, which made me sceptical about who to believe. ๐Ÿ˜… Nonetheless, we did manage to sit down in one and had a taste of their Cornish pasty, but ended up falling in love instead with their Cornish pudding (which tasted like a custard-rich bread pudding to me. ๐Ÿ˜‹)

The Cornish pudding on the right was absolutely delicious! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

Afterwards, we decided to head to the famous Pulteney Bridge by the river, bathing ourselves in the feelings of autumn. ๐Ÿ‚๐Ÿ‚

On Pulteney Bridge
Secret Passage by the Bridge!
By Pulteney Bridge
Beautiful! โค๏ธโค๏ธ
A Walk in the Fall… ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ

And we decided to have one quick meal at a spicy noodle bar before jumping back onto the train back to Bristol! It was delicious! ๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜‹

Beef Tripe Salad (top) and Stir-Fried Rice Noodles with Roasted Duck (bottom)

Our hotel stay came with a free use of the swimming pool and it was perfect to make up for my lack of spa time in Bath! ๐Ÿ˜ (The odd thing was that the hotelโ€™s fitness centre was located in a different building next door, so I needed to walk out the hotelโ€™s entrance, cross the street with my towel and sandals and back lol.) I swear I could doze off there just by lying on the bench lol ๐Ÿ˜ด๐Ÿ˜‚ (Meanwhile, my mum was sound asleep in the hotel room haha! ๐Ÿ’ค ๐Ÿ’ค)

Relaxing by the pool ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž (There was also a jacuzzi!)

As for dinner that day, we kept it easy and dined in the hotelโ€™s restaurant before heading out and bought a bunch of ice creams back to the room! (My excuse- it was discounted in the supermarket! ๐Ÿ˜œ)

Dining in the hotel
Ice Cream Feast! โค๏ธโค๏ธ

We didnโ€™t have much time on our final day in Bristol (as our bus was scheduled for the early afternoon), but we did manage to visit the university area and catch a good valued Italian lunch at Sergioโ€™s before heading back to London! ๐ŸšŒ (We didnโ€™t quite manage to finish so we took the pasta away with us haha! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚)

Our Italian lunch! ๐Ÿ˜‹