Half Term Getaway to Spain: Part 1

After a very busy month of work, it was time for another one of my getaway trips! 😁 Taking full advantage of my week-long break, I jetted of to a popular neighbour of ours – the exotic county of Spain! 🇪🇸

Hola, Spain! 🇪🇸
Early flight today! 🥱

This time, I decided on a cheap early flight that set off from Stansted airport to Valencia at 7am in the morning (which meant I had to leave home at about 4am in the morning haha 😆🥱 barely even slept lol!) The airport is known for cheap commercial flights, but just annoying it’s a bit far away from the city centre (about one hour of train journey from Liverpool Street Station.)

The view of Valencia as we descended 🛩
Beautiful view outside the balcony from my hotel room
Spanish tostada with ham

Upon descended in Valencia, I visited a local cafe for the Spanish tostada and then the famous beach of Malvarrosa. The weather was sunny but with just enough of breezes in October, so it was a nice day to be out chilling in the sands for some time! 😎

Playa de la Malvarrosa

After a brief break in the hotel, I then walked to a futuristic part of the city where the Hemisfèric and the science museum are located. The area is such an iconic wow factor of the city! 🤩 Felt like I took a time machine straight to the Year 3000 haha!

Valencia Science Museum
The sky garden of Umbracle

My initial plan was to visit the science museum on the first day, but once again (I know it’s a running theme lol) I didn’t pay attention to the fact that opening hours change between seasons (closing time at 9pm in summer but 6pm in winter) 😅, so I decided to then head to dinner early. Though, it turned out restaurants in Spain open really late (most dinner services here start about 8/9pm and finished at about 11pm), so I ended up trying my luck to a few closed doors 😕 before finally stumbling upon an open tapas place called El Temple. (Was wanting to find a paella place but had completely no luck… 😞 ) Though it was still a very nice dinner and I absolutely loved their Patatas bravas! 👍

Quartet of tapas (from top left clockwise): Patatas bravas, squid ink croquettes, grilled prawns with guacamole and grilled pork tenderloin with Camembert cheese and caramelised onions

The first day ended with a rather early night (mainly down to the exhaustion of waking up early in the morning for the flight lol! 😴) In the next morning, I headed to a popular cafe called Dulce De Leche nearby (recommended by the receptionist in my hotel) and decided to do a takeout breakfast on my way back to the museum area.

What a selection! 😋
Bocadillo and carrot/orange/apple juice 🥤 (One of the best sandwiches I ever had seriously!)

After about a 40-minute walk, I arrived back at the science museum and bought the all-around ticket which covered the science museum, Hemisfèric and Oceanogràfic (costing about 38 euros – though I did mange to get a student discount thanks to me now doing my Masters course part-time lol. 👌) The three places are all very big, especially the Oceanogràfic aquarium (which basically it’s a “smaller” theme park on its own) so there is an option to have the ticket covered over 2-3 days in order to allow yourself enough time to see everything gradually. As I was only here for a few days, I obviously opted for the reckless one day option haha! 😂 (Yeah, was exhausted by the end of the day from all the walking I did lol!)

The entrance of Oceanogràfic
Jellyfishes are always so stunning to look at!
Beautiful Mediterranean Sea!
😂 😂
The whole park of Oceanogràfic- it’s massive!
The giant bird cage in the park
Under the dome! (Watching out for 💩💩🤣🤣🤣)
Pink flamingos 🦩🦩🦩🦩🦩
Mine! Mine! Mine!
The famous Galápagos tortoises
Never seen these before! (Apparently there are called Western crowned pigeons)
Sharks and manta rays
Never seen this kind of shark before!
Under the sea

My favourite attraction in Oceanogràfic is the Artic centre, which features the amazing Beluga whales. It was my first time seeing them ever in real life and I was absolutely blown away!

Beluga whale
Amazing Beluga whales!
🐧 🐧
Cute little penguin walk!
Dolphin show! 🐬🐬
Needed to cool down like them haha! 🦭 🦭

Going back to the science museum, I was intrigued by this egg incubator exhibit – everyone was surrounding it and anticipating all these chicks hatching from the eggs and it was such a cute and miraculous thing to see! 🐣 ❤️

Egg incubator in the science museum
Watched this little guy trying to come out for hours – finally it’s here! 🥳🥳
🐣 🐣 🐣
Hemisfèric in the twilight

After finishing the all-around tour with a science movie screening in the Hemisfèric planetarium (it was nice but the film was a little too educational and too work-related for my holiday mood 😝), it was finally dinner time again (and I timed it right to fit the Spanish opening hours that night haha!) and I headed to the beautiful Plaza de la Virgen.

People dancing under the bridge in the park on the way lol
💃 🕺 💃 🕺 Totally feeling the vibes haha! 🤪
Plaza de la Virgen
Beautiful lights in front of Virgen de los Desamparados Basilica
Paella! 🥘 🥘

And at last, I got to try the authentic Spanish paella (which apparently originated from Valencia) to mark the end of a busy day! 😋😋

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! ☀️☀️ 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! 🚂

Lunch on the train 🍱

I was most certainly prepared for the long train ride as I have done lots of food shopping 🛍 before hopping on to the train! (And yes, I finished everything just on the first train alone! 😂 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. 😅)

Revisiting Plymouth after last year 😂- 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… 😪

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! 🏖 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! 😂📱(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… 😴🌙 (I guess it was a Sunday after all or perhaps I am just too used to all the late night openings in London 😅.) 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! 😂)

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 😂), 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. 🏊‍♂️

Jubilee Pool on the outside
Jubilee Pool
Geothermal pool on the right next to the main swimming area
Loving the sun ☀️ 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! 💙) 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. 😂) 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 🥶 – so a lot of us just ended up “walking” 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. 😉 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? 😋
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! 💙
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 Café- enjoying a drink and some food in the open view to the coast before exploring the rest of Mousehole! 🥰

Rock Pool in Mousehole
A drink under the sun🍹😎 in Rock Pool Café
Homemade mackerel pâté with gluten-free toasts
Mousehole Harbour
Everyone is out enjoying the heat and sunshine! ☀️🔥🔥
A tropical fruit smoothie 🥭🍍 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! 👌
Loved the battered Cornish hake with the curry sauce and mushy peas! 😋

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

Birthday Picnic! 🥳🥳🎉🎉🎉

Happy birthday to my dear friend @wellnessbyyana! We were truly blessed with glorious weather ☀️ ☀️ this weekend in the U.K., which made it perfect for a birthday picnic in the park! 😉🙌🙌

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! 💃 💃 🎉🎉🎉🎊🎊🎊 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! 🥳🥳

Dairy-free refined sugar-free rum and berries trifle


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:


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

For the decorations:

Toasted almond flakes (optional)

Goji berries (optional)


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

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

3. Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water.

3. Add the rum and heat the purée gently.

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

5. Pour the purée 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.

The Joy of Eating Outside Again 😂

Hope everyone has been enjoying their weekend! In London, we are certainly blessed with some glorious weather in the past week! ☀️ ☀️ As my holiday is coming to an end soon, I had a look back to some of the food I have eaten in the past weeks as lockdown eased in the city… 😂

Hopefully it’s not too much haha… 🤫😂 (In particular, I have really missed visiting food markets.) Nonetheless, it’s just been so nice to be outdoor again and meeting people just like before.🙂 By no means am I taking these things for granted now, so you just have to enjoy life a day at a time! 😉

Let’s hope this joy continues!

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

So grateful I am blessed with beautiful weathers these past days! ☀️☀️ 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. 😂)

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… 😔) 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? 🤔
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! 😋 I went for the day’s special which was a garlic butter grilled whole lobster 🦞 served with a side of salad 🥗. 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. 😉

Hello, Mr Lobster! 🦞
Initially I thought they were mushrooms, they turned to be some sort of shellfish… 🤔
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… 😥
Can you spot the stingray in the tank? (It used to be a game I played a lot when I was a child 😂)
Staff with stingrays swimming underneath my feet 🦶
A shark 🦈 sleeping over your head
Umm you’re blocking my view… 😂
Giant fishes 🐟🐟
These fishes are huge!
The deepest tank in the aquarium
Spotted a tortoise 🐢 at last!
Beautiful ❤️❤️
Where are you, Nemo?
Hello, Dory! 👋
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… 😂🍦🍦

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
Looking towards the English Channel 🌊
The Devil’s Point

And despite my legs starting to give in 😂, 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. 😪😴

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 café 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 🚂

Day 2 in Exeter: Hello Sunshine ☀️

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. 😂) 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? 😉

Brunch in full view of Exeter Cathedral ☀️☀️
Another new way of ordering 😂

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! 😂) 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 😅 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. 😉) But before that, I have also paid a visit to Dinosaur Café (which was just adjacent to St David’s Church) for a nice takeaway meal of Greek food. 👍

Stuffed aubergines 🍆 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! 😂)

See you early the next morning! Any guess where am I heading next? 😉

The Sun Above the Marshmallow Clouds

As we are approaching to the second half of June, summer holiday may have begun for some already. But for the past week, the sunlight was tucked behind the clouds in London. (Maybe it was ’cause I kept complaining how hot it was the week before?) For those of you who live in hot, exotic countries though, I wonder how many of you are sick of the heat by now? (Trust me, having lived in one before, I can empathise haha.)

But for now, how about enjoying a dessert? This mango and coconut meringue is one to enjoy be it cloudy or sunny weather. The combination of crunchy, marshmallowy meringue and soft whipped cream paired with tangy mangoes is one that can whisk you high up in the clouds. And with its vibrant yellow colours, it was as if the sunshine is brought into the house. ☀️ 😊

Mango and Coconut Meringue

Quantity: 1 meringue


75g egg whites

100g caster sugar

50g icing sugar

Yellow food colouring

Half a mango, peeled, stoned and sliced into pieces

100ml double cream

80g mango pulp/purée

Desiccated coconut


1. Preheat the oven to 140C/ 275F/ Gas 1.

2. Make the French meringue by whisking egg whites in a clean mixing bowl. Add the caster sugar a bit at a time when whisking until stiff peaks are formed. (To test if it is ready, tip the bowl over and the meringue shouldn’t fall.)

3. Gently fold in the icing sugar into the meringue.

4. Brush stripes of the yellow food colouring inside a piping bag with a star nozzle. Place the meringue into the bag and pipe small peaks to form two circular discs of equal sizes.

5. Bake the meringue discs for about 1 hour, or until crisp and lightly coloured. Cool the meringues slowly in the oven, then open the oven slightly to cool further before taking them out to cool on a wire rack. (If the meringues are cooled down too fast, it may cause them to crack.)

6. Whisk the double cream to soft peaks. Mix 2-3 tablespoons of desiccated coconut into the cream.

7. When the meringue discs are completely cooled, spoon most of the whipped cream on top of one of the discs. Drizzle the mango pulp/purée over and place the mangos on top. Add the remaining double cream, and place the other meringue disc on top to finish assembling.

8. Sprinkle more desiccated coconut over the meringue before serving.