A Long Hot Weekend โ˜€๏ธ๐Ÿ”ฅ

For those of you in the south of England like me, you would know that we have been hit by a massive heatwave ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ”ฅ (red warning alert! ๐Ÿšจ) With Monday and Tuesday forecasted to be the hottest days ever, I am so glad that my workplace has decided to switch to remote working for the two days (like come on, we donโ€™t even have air con!!), which means I also got a โ€œsort ofโ€ 4-day long weekend as I head into my final week in London! ๐Ÿ˜‰ My work colleagues have been so nice doing leaving-dos with me going bowling and meals for two days in a row, which means I only got some alone time until Sunday and I sure kept my day busy that day!

On Sunday, despite a massive broke down in the Central line, I managed to cross back to the other side of London via the overground visiting the Van Gogh exhibition I have been wanting to see for weeks. (Like literally itโ€™s popping up every other day on my Instagram lol! ๐Ÿ˜‚)

The signature sunflowers marking the the entrance
Van Gogh
The famous Starry Night at the top
Cafรฉ Terrace at Night – always get a sense of nostalgia seeing this painting as we used to have one back in my old family home
And of course the Sunflowers! ๐ŸŒป ๐ŸŒป

I was so surprised when I learnt that Van Gogh has been heavily inspired by Japanese culture (a favourite of mine!) Moreover, it was so amazing to see many of his arts brought into 3โ€“D form.

Wasnโ€™t sure if it was a geisha or a mermaid lol๐Ÿ˜‚
A 3-D replica of Van Goghโ€™s bedroom
Going back in time ๐Ÿ•ฐ
Can you tell this is 3D?

I then also had a play around in the colouring room! ๐ŸŽจ ๐Ÿ˜‚

Everyone is showcasing their skills here hehe!
How does my colouring skills look? ๐Ÿ˜‚

And finally into the Immersive Room watching the show as the amazing arts are projected live in the giant room. Here are some of my favourite snapshots!

Swallowed by the big waves! ๐ŸŒŠ ๐ŸŒŠ
Such beautiful night sky! ๐Ÿ˜โœจโœจ
Ambushed by sunflowers haha! ๐Ÿ˜‚

After the exhibition, I spent more time exploring the hipster neighbourhood of Shoreditch and the famous Brick Lane, and ended up eating lots of street food. (Was supposed to cut down a bit but I got so tempted! ๐Ÿ˜‚)

Yay Shoreditch!
Wow! Curry fish balls from my childhood – and so nice to pump into some fellow Hong Kongers running a stall here! ๐Ÿ˜‚ ๐Ÿ‘
Cheeeesy corn dog! ๐Ÿง€ ๐Ÿง€ ๐Ÿง€

And after 5 years in London, I finally got around visiting to the famous Brick Lane Beigel Bake! Worth the wait though! (A massive chunk of salt beef covered with gherkins and mustard- whatโ€™s not to love? ๐Ÿ˜‚)

Very busy inside the store – but the queue moved really quick thank goodness! (Wasnโ€™t sure how long I could bear standing in the sun!)
The world famous salt beef bagel. Look at the size of the meat! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ (And now I am already craving to come back for another one!)

After a rather lazy day on Monday shading away from the heat, I eventually managed to brave the heat in the evening to see the new Minions movie! ๐ŸŽฅ ๐Ÿฟ Such a cute and whole movie, have you seen it yet?

Jubilee Weekend

Made this cake a few days ago for a best friendโ€™s BIG 3-0 birthday! ๐Ÿฅณ๐Ÿฅณ Had so much that evening at the bowling alley, and now I am enjoying the glorious sunshine โ˜€๏ธ at Folkestone for Jubilee weekend. Really donโ€™t want to go back to work on Mondayโ€ฆ ๐Ÿ˜ช๐Ÿ˜…

The cake is a strawberry wine cake! ๐Ÿ“๐Ÿ“
Had a bit of fun writing those tags using edible pens on wafer paper
Love being by the sea! ๐ŸŒŠ

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
Rostick
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
๐Ÿฆ–๐Ÿฆ•๐Ÿฆ–๐Ÿฆ•

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)

Ryde

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

Kicking Off the Long Week Off

Happy Friday, everyone! Just a short post today before I am heading into my week-long break from work. ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿ‘Œ (Some plans for this week ahead so will keep you all posted! ๐Ÿ˜‰) Not only did I manage to organise a mini celebration for a colleagueโ€™s (belated) birthday at work today ๐Ÿฅณ๐ŸŽ‰ , but also went out for a top dinner with friends in the central area. ๐Ÿ˜‹ Life is doing good right now! ๐Ÿ˜†

My chocolate cake for the birthday celebration! (My first time trying to make these white chocolate feathers and they turn out rather well!)
Drizzling gravy over my bunless fried chicken burger in MEATLiquor in Queensway
And gelato to finish! ๐Ÿจ

What are you up to this weekend? ๐Ÿ™‚

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

โ˜”๏ธโ˜”๏ธ

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 
๐ŸŒŠ ๐ŸŒŠ
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˜‚)

Day Out in Chiswick

As lockdown easing will hopefully continue on Monday, there is most definite a great sense of normality back in life. Weather in London is as turbulent as ever though as we went through a cycle of rain, sun, rain and more sun throughout the day – but what great fun I had enjoying a day out with my best friend! ๐Ÿ˜

We decided to visit Junkyard Market in Chiswick, and after running a bit late on the London tube, I arrived at the outdoor venue just as the rain was about to fall. ๐Ÿ™๐ŸŒง

โ˜”๏ธโ˜”๏ธ

But thankfully as busy as the tent area was, we eventually managed to find a spot to sit down. Due to COVID measures, all orders were done through the app and QR code at the table – but it did allow easier browsing in my opinion. I decided to order an African grilled chicken thigh with chips and also sausage and beans mac and cheese! ๐Ÿ˜‹

The sun is back out again!

It wasnโ€™t long before the sun is shining back out again (typical London lol) and then very quickly back out again! ๐Ÿ˜‚ It literally lasted about 10 minutes when we took our jackets ๐Ÿงฅ off enjoying the warm sun โ˜€๏ธ before putting them back on again as the dark clouds came matching back! โ˜๏ธโ˜๏ธ But I did grab a vegan ice cream just in time haha!

Quick snap before the dark cloud was coming back over us again! ๐Ÿ˜‚

After staying cosy back in the tents to sit out the rain until it stopped, we decided to take a walk around Chiswick (juice ๐Ÿฅค in hand) as we made some surprising art discoveries around the area! ๐Ÿ–ผ

Trying to be healthy! ๐Ÿ˜‚
A โ€˜Stay At Homeโ€™ mural made by students in the area really touched home for me
โค๏ธโค๏ธ
This is such a cute sign in the park โ˜บ๏ธโ˜บ๏ธ
Stumbled upon this amazing-looking building!
๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

Isnโ€™t it just amazing how new discoveries are always around the corners? ๐Ÿ˜Š Hope all of you also have a lovely weekend!

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.

Sunday Brunch, More Exploring, More Brunch!

My train today back to London was just after lunchtime, so I most definitely have more time to spend in Rochester. A Sunday brunch was obviously the first thing in my mind after waking up, so I checked out the hotel around 10am and headed to The Quills just right next door. I already love Eggs Benedict (that velvety Hollandaise sauce mmmm…โค๏ธ), but I really like how they paired it with the pulled pork. ๐Ÿคค๐Ÿคค Great way to start the day! ๐Ÿ‘

Afterwards, there are more sightseeing to be done as I headed to the Guildhall Museum down the road. (Itโ€™s so convenient in a small town โ€™cause everything is on the same street! ๐Ÿ˜‚) Given it was a Sunday morning, it wasnโ€™t that surprising that the place was eerily quiet (in fact, I was the only visitor lol) but that didnโ€™t stop me from exploring inside. (Though at one point I got freaked out by my own reflection in the mirrored wall! ๐Ÿคฃ)

Feeling like a kid again ๐Ÿ˜‚
Eerie music in the background… ๐ŸŽต๐ŸŽถ๐ŸŽถ
More exploring… ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ”
Tiptoeing… ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿคซ

Next up, I headed to the beautiful piers (after unceremoniously trying to get inside the cathedral without noticing a Sunday worship was happening lol. โ›ช ๐Ÿ˜‚ ) So blessed to still have the beautiful weather today though (albeit a bit windy haha!)

With still more time to kill, I decided to sit down in a cafรฉ for a second brunch, but ended up running a bit late, taking the burger with me in a doggy bag to meet the bus to Strood…๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐ŸšŒ (There was no train running from Rochester because it was a Sunday, so we needed to get to the station in Strood. To be fair, it was so close I could have walked – the station was even closer than Jerk Cafรฉ from yesterday night. Would have saved me from bolting out the cafรฉ with the burger in my hand lol!)

Anyway, bon appetite!

Finished that on the train back home! ๐Ÿš‚ (Yeah, the bun was a little burnt, but it actually tasted quite good ๐Ÿ˜‚)

Another Weekend Getaway

After a very busy first month to start off 2020 (and some may say that this hasnโ€™t been a great year so far given Brexit and the current coronavirus crisis… ๐Ÿ˜”), I decided to reward myself with another weekend getaway trip. This time, I chose to explore the historic town of Rochester after passing it on my last weekend trip to Canterbury. (FYI I was still a bit hungover and sleep deprived from the cocktail night before when I boarded the train… ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜ด๐Ÿ˜ต๐Ÿธ๐Ÿธ)

Thankfully, I was blessed with great weather today โ˜€๏ธโ˜€๏ธ and I was really impressed by the historic vibes of the town. ๐Ÿ˜€

This painting is a mood ๐Ÿ˜‚ ๐Ÿ˜‚

After a brief walk along the High Street, I settled down for a cosy Italian lunch in a restaurant called Mamma Mia. โค๏ธ

For the main part of my sightseeing, I then visited and explored the famous Rochester Castle – a historic site which is said to be around 1000 years old. And I had a great time exploring inside!

My view from the top of the castle was magnificent! โค๏ธโค๏ธ But it was so windy ๐Ÿ’จ ๐Ÿ’จ when I was there, I was just trying to not let my phone get blown off. ๐Ÿ˜‚ The castle wasnโ€™t very big itself, so it almost felt it went too quick!

After a short rest in the hotel, I decided to go across the river in the evening to head to the town of Strood on the other side of the shore, and also got to enjoy the beautiful evening view of the piers. ๐ŸŒ…

For dinner, I stopped by a Caribbean eatery called Jerk Cafรฉ. What a delicious meal that was! ๐Ÿ˜‹ Tender steaks, rice and beans plus mac and cheese – who wonโ€™t love that? โค๏ธ