Day 2 in Reykjavik: Whale Rider

The start to Day 2 in Iceland was a rainy mess! πŸ˜…πŸŒ§πŸŒ§ But nonetheless the day’s event was not to be missed – as I have booked a whale watching tour in the Icelandic sea! 🐳 πŸ‹ (Though the awful weather had me bound to the hotel room in the entire morning after breakfast! πŸ˜‚ FYI the lack of hot food in my hotel was breaking my heart! πŸ’”)

Reykjavik Old Harbour
By the harbour
Our tour boat
I wonder which ones will we see?

Our tour boat set sail from the Reykjavik Old Harbour at 1pm and the tour lasted about three hours. Due to the nature of whales being wild animals, sightings are not guaranteed (though it is claimed that if no sightings occurred, then you are welcomed to book a free tour for another day πŸ˜‚) but I have every fingers and toes crossed 🀞 that we will see something exciting! So overalls suited up and ready to go! πŸ›₯

Harpa
ViΓ°ey in the distance
πŸ˜‚ πŸ΄β€β˜ οΈ
Another tour boat on the hunt

It was a bit of a long wait to get things going, but even sailing on the boat feels like such an adventure as we set off into the unknown! 🌊 🌊 Mind you, if you are somebody who is prone to seasickness, I really won’t recommend you doing this as this boat was rocking so much you get flung around even if you sitting firmly still on your seat! 😬😬 (Going for my toilet break in the lower deck at one point was quite an adventure! πŸ˜‚) Though they do have sick bags ready for you as a couple of my fellow tour group people discovered… 🀒 Oh and you’re pretty much guaranteed to get soaked by the end! 😝 πŸ’¦ πŸ’¦

The trick of spotting those whales is apparently looking at where a swarm of seagulls gathered as it means there are many fishes nearby which will attract whales to come and eat them. After about an hour into the tour (almost felt like falling asleep lol 😴), we finally made our first discovery in a school of dolphins. I do apologise for all of the sightings being low-quality videos as it is SUPER tricky to get them in photos! They literally popped out of the water and will be gone the next second! 😠

Dolphins! 🐬🐬

We also managed to find a few killer whales and a bigger whale (I don’t know the name of it) which I missed to snap completely! πŸ˜‚ The captain will shout out if they spotted anything and everyone will scramble to one side of the boat with their phones and camera! πŸ“± πŸ“Έ It was absolute chaos! (β€œIt’s at 9 o’clock!” β€œWhere is 9 o’clock??” Many of us were simply running like headless chickens. 🀣🀣) Honestly, I was worried we would tip the boat over!

Killer whale
Lol literally disappeared within seconds

On the way back, we also visited the iconic puffin island.

Puffin Island
Stunning scene!

After a long three-hour journey in the sea, I was finally back on dry land and I was starving! (FYI it felt so good getting out of those disgusting wet overalls! πŸ˜‚) I then visited Hi Noodle for a late lunch/snack/early dinner. πŸ˜‚πŸœ

Hi Noodle Ramen Bar
Their menu
The signature Dan Dan Noodles πŸ‘πŸ‘

After a quick nap in the hotel, I then went outside to pouring rain again (this time forgetting my umbrella… πŸ₯² β˜”οΈ) I was hoping to visit Aurora Reykjavik to see images of Northern Light, but unfortunately it was closed earlier than the time I checked, so I settled down in Lamb Street Food for another meal! πŸ˜‚

Lamb kebab, meatballs and salad

After the rain has seemingly stopped (and it did), I took a long walk to the Seltjarnarnes area including paying a visit to GrΓ³ttuviti lighthouse (about an hour of walking from where I was for dinner.) Here are a few snapshots of the area.

By the time I made it back the centre of Reykjavik, it was absolutely buzzing with people with bars and clubs in full swing! And the area was even more beautiful with the HallgrΓ­mskirkja lit up in the night.

Rainbow Road at night 🌈🌈
I thought this chocolate & orange ice lolly goes well with the background! πŸ˜‚
The lit HallgrΓ­mskirkja

What a jam-packed day it has been!

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!

Day 1 & 2 in Penzance: Summer Lovin’

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! β˜€οΈβ˜€οΈ Hope you all had a great day too as I have most certainly enjoyed my time here in Penzance! 😁

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! πŸš‚

Lunch on the train 🍱

I was most certainly prepared for the long train ride as I have done lots of food shopping πŸ› before hopping on to the train! (And yes, I finished everything just on the first train alone! πŸ˜‚ 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. πŸ˜…)

Revisiting Plymouth after last year πŸ˜‚- but I only had enough time to hop to the shops so didn’t get a chance to see its beautiful coast again
Another delay… πŸ˜ͺ

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! πŸ– Weather wasn’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! πŸ˜‚πŸ“±(Maybe it will be actually good for me to be off the grid for once…? 😝)

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 couldn’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 couldn’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… πŸ˜΄πŸŒ™ (I guess it was a Sunday after all or perhaps I am just too used to all the late night openings in London πŸ˜….) Thank goodness though I didn’t have to starve for the night as I eventually managed to find a kebab place in the town centre (after much searching! πŸ˜‚)

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 πŸ˜‚), 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. πŸŠβ€β™‚οΈ

Jubilee Pool on the outside
Jubilee Pool
Geothermal pool on the right next to the main swimming area
β˜€οΈβ˜€οΈ
Loving the sun β˜€οΈ and water 🌊

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! πŸ’™) 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. πŸ˜‚) Sadly, the geothermal pool is now completely booked until next month. ☹️ Would have loved to go into the geothermal pool as the water in the main swimming area is rather cold πŸ₯Ά – so a lot of us just ended up β€œwalking” and paddling along the pool, or just sunbathing by the poolside lol. 😎 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!🀞 Literally went there banged on before their opening time at 12, so was seated very quickly. πŸ˜‰ 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? πŸ˜‹
From the left: pan seared scallops, grilled mackerel and crab salad
Raspberry fool (coulis and whipped cream) with Amaretti biscuits – simple and lovely! ❀️❀️

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! 🌞

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

Afterwards, it was time for a quick recharge in Rock Pool CafΓ©- enjoying a drink and some food in the open view to the coast before exploring the rest of Mousehole! πŸ₯°

Rock Pool in Mousehole
A drink under the sun🍹😎 in Rock Pool Café
Homemade mackerel pΓ’tΓ© with gluten-free toasts
❀️
Mousehole Harbour
Everyone is out enjoying the heat and sunshine! β˜€οΈπŸ”₯πŸ”₯
A tropical fruit smoothie πŸ₯­πŸ 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! πŸ‘Œ
Loved the battered Cornish hake with the curry sauce and mushy peas! πŸ˜‹

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

Birthday Picnic! πŸ₯³πŸ₯³πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰

Happy birthday to my dear friend @wellnessbyyana! We were truly blessed with glorious weather β˜€οΈ β˜€οΈ this weekend in the U.K., which made it perfect for a birthday picnic in the park! πŸ˜‰πŸ™ŒπŸ™Œ

At the request of my dear friend, this trifle is dairy-free, refined sugar-free and loaded with extra shots of rum ready for the party! πŸ’ƒ πŸ’ƒ πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽŠπŸŽŠπŸŽŠ The trifle consists of a rum and berries jelly at the bottom, layered with a banana sponge cake (soaked with more rum!), strawberries, blueberries and raspberries- all covered with a soya milk custard with a plant-based whipped cream. What a perfect day to celebrate the end of lockdown! πŸ₯³πŸ₯³

Dairy-free refined sugar-free rum and berries trifle

Ingredients:

For the jelly:

250g mixed berries (e.g. raspberries and blueberries)

30g honey

25ml water

2 tsp lemon juice

3 shots of rum

2 1/2 gelatine leaves

For the banana cake:

190g self-raising flour

1 1/2 bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp cinnamon (optional)

2 ripen bananas, mashed

20g honey, plus extra to drizzle on the sponge

90ml vegetable/sunflower oil

60ml plant-based milk (e.g. soya/almond)

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 shots of rum

For the custard:

350ml plant-based milk (e.g. soya/almond)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp elderflower/lemon extract (optional)

4 egg yolks

30g honey

15g plain flour

15g cornflour

For the whipped cream:

Any dairy free double or whipping cream

For the fruits:

Strawberries

Mixed berries (e.g. raspberries and blueberries) to your likening

For the decorations:

Toasted almond flakes (optional)

Goji berries (optional)

Method:

1. Start with the jelly by making a fruit purΓ©e. Heat the berries, honey, water and lemon juice in a saucepan. Crush/blend the fruits as you are cooking.

2. Pass the purΓ©e through a sieve to get a smooth purΓ©e and place it back into a clean saucepan.

3. Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water.

3. Add the rum and heat the purΓ©e gently.

4. Squeeze the water out of the soaked gelatine and add it to the purΓ©e. Stir under heat until the gelatine is fully dissolved.

5. Pour the purΓ©e into a clean glass bowl. Let it cool before putting it in the fridge for several hours, or until the jelly is fully set.

6. Preheat your oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4.

7. Make the banana sponge cake by passing the flour through a sieve. Mix in bicarbonate of soda, salt and cinnamon.

7. Mix the mashed bananas, honey, milk, oil and vanilla extract together until well-combined. Then fold the wet mixture into the dry mixture until well-combined.

8. Pour the mixture into a parchment-lined cake tray and bake in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.

9. Remove the cake from the tray and cool on a wire rack.

10. For the custard, heat the milk and extracts gently in a saucepan without it boiling.

11. In a clean bowl, whisk the egg yolks by hand with the honey until pale. Sieve the flours in and mix until well-combined.

12. Slowly pour about half of the heated milk into the yolk mixture, whisking vigorously as you pour. Then, pour the mixture back into the remaining milk in the saucepan.

13. Cook the custard gently over heat, whisking continuously as it cooks until you have a smooth, thickened mixture. (If it doesn’t thicken, add about a tablespoon of cornflour.) Set aside and let the custard cool.

14. Slice the strawberries in halves to prepare for assembling.

15. Cut and layer the banana sponge over the set jelly in the bowl. Drizzle the sponge with more honey and soak with shots of rum.

16. Place the sliced strawberries over the sponge to surround the bowl. Add the remaining fruits in the centre. (You can add more rum at this stage if you want!)

17. Pour the cooled custard over the fruits and use a knife to spread it out evenly. Place back into the fridge to set.

18. Use an electric whisk to whip the cream until stiff.

19. Layer the cream over the set custard and again use a knife to spread it out evenly, filling to the top of the bowl.

20. Spread almond flakes and goji berries over the top to decorate the trifle before serving.

Looking for Alaska

It’s obviously no secret that I love baking. One of the greatest joys I get from baking is allowing myself to being in the moment and feel accomplished in my finished product. Of course, sometimes things don’t always go to plan. (And that’s when my perfectionist self can get really disheartened and frustrated…) But I always remind myself that, ultimately like many things, it is a process of learning. ☺️

As my visit to family in Scotland is almost coming to an end (time really does fly), I thought I will make another ice cream dessert before returning to London! πŸ˜‹πŸ¨ Yesterday, I had my second attempt at making at a baked Alaska (after the big mess that was the first go. πŸ˜…) I made some adjustments this time including using a bowl and cling film to set and shape the ice cream beforehand, before covering it in an Italian meringue (not sure what I was thinking when I used the less stable French meringue last time… πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ) The final result was a lot better than what I had last time! 😁

Tip the set ice cream from the bowl (this one is a strawberry flavoured ice cream) over the sponge cake
Cover and seal the ice cream completely inside the Italian meringue
Return to the oven briefly and use a torch to colour the meringue πŸ”₯
Ready to serve! πŸ“πŸ“

Hope everyone enjoy their final week of the holiday! πŸ˜‰β€οΈ

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

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

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. ☺️ (I actually visited the place already the day before, but just missed the last entry time of 4pm… πŸ˜”) The National Marine Aquarium is said to be the largest aquarium in the UK and has the deepest tank in the whole country. 🐠🐟🦈 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? πŸ€”
Waiting for the sailboats ⛡️ 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! πŸ˜‹ I went for the day’s special which was a garlic butter grilled whole lobster 🦞 served with a side of salad πŸ₯—. A lobster lunch by the sea under the glorious sunshine – life doesn’t get much better than this! ❀️❀️

The menu of seafood – which one would you have picked?
A delicious lobster lunch! ❀️❀️
Mmmmm 🀀🀀

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. πŸ˜‰

Hello, Mr Lobster! 🦞
Initially I thought they were mushrooms, they turned to be some sort of shellfish… πŸ€”
Cute! ❀️
Never seen these before!
I love jellyfish! They are so pretty! ❀️
There is something about this bright red colour that makes them really scary looking… πŸ˜₯
Can you spot the stingray in the tank? (It used to be a game I played a lot when I was a child πŸ˜‚)
Staff with stingrays swimming underneath my feet 🦢
A shark 🦈 sleeping over your head
Umm you’re blocking my view… πŸ˜‚
Giant fishes 🐟🐟
These fishes are huge!
The deepest tank in the aquarium
Spotted a tortoise 🐒 at last!
Beautiful ❀️❀️
Where are you, Nemo?
Hello, Dory! πŸ‘‹
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 couldn’t get enough of it from yesterday! 😁

Yeah, I think I might have had too many ice creams in the past few days… πŸ˜‚πŸ¦πŸ¦

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 Devil’s Point.

⛡️⛡️⛡️
Entrance to Royal William Yard
View from Royal William Yard
Breathtaking!
Looking towards the English Channel 🌊
The Devil’s Point

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

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. πŸ˜ͺ😴

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 cafΓ© 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! ❀️

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

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. πŸš‚ 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. ❀️

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. ❀️

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! 😨 (Turned out the owner went out for some shopping, but thankfully they were able to get back as soon as I called. πŸ˜…) While waiting, I went ahead and took a stroll around the beautiful coastline. β˜€οΈ (And then again after I dropped my luggage in the hotel.) The view was absolutely breathtaking! 😍😍 (I honestly couldn’t get enough of it! ☺️)

Here is a thank you πŸ™ to the kind ice cream van lady who gave me piles of tissues after a seagull pooped on my shirt πŸ˜‚ (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. πŸ˜‹ Absolutely loved the two appetisers of scallops and oyster! ❀️❀️ 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! 🍊

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! πŸ˜‰πŸΈ

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

Day 2 in Exeter: Hello Sunshine β˜€οΈ

The sun is definitely shining bright and high as I rose from my bed this morning. (I took a more lazy approach today and stayed in the bed longer. πŸ˜‚) The weather makes it very ideal for some outdoor dining, so I went to Tea On The Green right opposite Exeter Cathedral for my brunch. Sunshine, beautiful view and food, what more can one ask for? πŸ˜‰

Brunch in full view of Exeter Cathedral β˜€οΈβ˜€οΈ
Another new way of ordering πŸ˜‚

Having been turned away yesterday, Exeter Cathedral was at last opened for visitors today. (For those of you who don’t want to do a me, make sure you don’t try to come here on a Sunday! πŸ˜‚) I have always loved visiting cathedrals, and the beautiful stained glass inside really reminded me of the many wonderful ones I have seen in Europe before. There weren’t a lot of visitors here today (think there were about 4-5 visitors besides me plus a few members of staff), so I felt I was really immersed in the environment inside. It was simply captivating! ❀️

Outside of Exeter Cathedral
Seeing these origami birds really tagged my heartstring, especially in such time of uncertainty ❀️ (I couldn’t fold one though πŸ˜… but I did leave a prayer on the notice board.)

This followed on with more exploring around the city…

Exeter Guildhall
Don’t know what this is exactly, but so love the historic feel to it ❀️
St Stephen’s Chruch
Architecture in this city is absolutely amazing! ❀️❀️
St David’s Church, just down the road from my hotel

As my stay in Exeter is coming to an end, I have planned an early night-in this evening (as I will be hopping on to an early train to a different city tomorrow. πŸ˜‰) But before that, I have also paid a visit to Dinosaur CafΓ© (which was just adjacent to St David’s Church) for a nice takeaway meal of Greek food. πŸ‘

Stuffed aubergines πŸ† with rice and salad – a nice cosy tea in my hotel room 😁 (I did end up leaping to the shop again to get a kebab later though – didn’t have enough earlier haha! πŸ˜‚)

See you early the next morning! Any guess where am I heading next? πŸ˜‰