Summer Holidays: Our Disneyland Paris 2019 Review

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Disneyland Paris 2019 Review

We survived Disneyland Paris!

We are back from Paris and our day trip to Disneyland Paris. It was an amazing experience, now looking back at it, but at the time it felt chaotic. In this Disneyland Paris 2019 review I’ll write about our overall experience so you can make up your own mind on what to expect, what to bring, and give you some helpful tips which I did’t know about before our trip that could help you.

Book Disneyland Park Tickets in advance

Booking your park tickets in advance will save you a lot of money. If you do plan to visit the park more than once in the year, an annual pass is worth a consideration as you get a better deal. We booked our tickets directly on the Disneyland Paris website however there are many online websites that offer Disneyland ticket deals. For example, after booking ours I found tickets for one day park, hotel and Eurostar for £99 per person. Much cheaper than what we paid however we did go during the SUPER MAGIC (super-peak) period. You can have a look for ticket deals on 365 Tickets which is great site for theme park ticket deals.

Save ££: if you don’t have a specific date in mind, search on travel deal sites for the best deals. Usually you can get a good deal on Disneyland park tickets, accommodation and flights on Travelzoo.

The travel: Eurostar from London St. Pancras

We departed from London St. Pancras Thursday evening at 6.01pm and arrived in Paris at 9.35pm local time so about 2.5hrs train journey ride. The children were a little restless by the end of the train ride but did good enough to stay seated. Children under 3 do not need a ticket as they can sit on your lap however if the train is empty you can be cheeky and place them on a sit next to you if no-one takes the seat. Eurostar staff are incredibly courteous and I have never had a bad experience on it – staff speak both French and English fluently and you can use card or cash (euros or pounds) at the refreshments cafe on board. There’s a toilet on every coach and air conditioning throughout the train. There’s also wifi on board but I couldn’t figure out how to connect on it as my phone would’t connect so can’t comment on that but free wifi – what’s not to like?

Save ££: purchase tickets when Eurostar are doing promotions on their tickets, you could book as cheap as £29 one way per person and under 3s are free.

Top Tip: Download a few movies or shows for the kids onto the tablet before hand and bring some books or activity packs to keep them entertained for the ride. That way you can minimise any tantrums and/or tears.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Disneyland Paris 2019 Review
Eurostar journey from London to Paris

We arrived at Paris, Gare du Nord around 9.35pm local time. Leaving the station was very straightforward and easy. We got hungry and decided we wanted to eat before heading to the hotel so we stopped off at a restaurant opposite the station. Big mistake. I already knew in the back of my mind it would be a bad idea but I couldn’t bring myself to take us to McDonalds but in hindsight, I wish I did. At the restaurant we ordered, one margherita pizza, one salmon dish, one lamb confit, two glasses of orange juice and a hot chocolate… the bill came to 60 EUROS! WTF?! Note to self, food is expensive in Paris! Now, it wouldn’t have been such a big deal had the food been really tasty and value for money, the food was bland, not cooked well and seriously BASIC. I’m not expecting fine dining standards at a cafe/restaurant however I know the French like their food so I expect good quality food for that price. If we had gone to Mcdonalds, it would’ve tasted better and cost half that much.

The hotel: Renaissance La Défense hotel

We stayed at the Renaissace La Defense in the finance district of Paris. An urbanised area complete with its own shopping centre, restaurants, metro, train and bus station. It’s very easy to get around via public transport but man! It’s a different story via taxi – none of our taxi drivers were familiar with the area and one even said to us “c’est compliqué” – all of the hotels are built up a level above ground whilst the street level is below ground. What this means is that if you arrive by car you’ll need to head upstairs onto the upper level to get access to the hotels.

On our arrival night we weren’t aware and walked through a labyrinth to find our hotel. Lucky our driver spoke English and Daddy P spoke French fluently. I’m sure if I was alone with my minimal, broken French I may not have been able to navigate the way. Once we arrived, we felt much better – the hotel was stunning. The staircase was beautiful and the reception area was clean and bright.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Disneyland Paris 2019 Review
The stunning staircase at Renaissance La Defense
The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Disneyland Paris 2019 Review
Beautiful decor at the Renaissance La Defense

Staff were very courteous even though it was past 10pm, we were greeted like we were the first people they had seen all day. Check-in was smooth and within 10 minutes we were given our room keys and on our way to enjoy our room. Our room was clean and spacious, we had tea/coffee making facilities, a good amount of toiletries and clean towels enough for all four of us. Blackout curtains to keep the light out let us sleep for longer which was great. The massive flat screen TV kept the kids occupied in the morning evening before bedtime. Morning shower was great but I wish the water pressure was a bit stronger.

Save ££: Have a look on Booking.com for hotel deals or if you prefer more privacy, check out Airbnb.com for great one or two bedroom apartments you can rent in Paris. Sometimes you’d get a better deal on these than the hotels. You can save more money by shopping at the local supermarkets to make home-cooked meals instead of eating out.

Top Tip: stay central if you want to visit the main landmarks or see more of the city. The further out into the suburbs you go, the more time you will spend travelling and you’ll also spend more on travelling costs buying train tickets.

Travel: getting to Disneyland by train

After a good night’s sleep we woke up around 9am to leave the hotel around 11am. We went to buy snacks and food at the local Monoprix before heading to Disneyland Paris. Unfortunately for us, there was no direct RER train to DLP in Paris due to train engineering works which was going on all day from August 10-18. This was something we didn’t know about until we got there so make sure you check the train schedules online a few days before leaving so you can plan your route effectively. Using the Metro and RER trains were very easy and buying a ticket was also very easy. Ticket machines are available at metro station and offer different languages so you don’t have to work it out in French. Our RER ticket cost us €30.00 one way (2 adults, 2 children) which covered our journey for zones 1-3. I’d definitely recommend travelling to Disneyland via train – it takes around 1-1.5hr normally and is the cheapest option compared to taxi, Uber or coach. Driving is another option but be aware it’s about 26 euros to park your car there.

We probably would’ve gotten away with buying just 1 child ticket as Little Miss was in her pram and I just pushed her through the gates with me. Unlike London, the metro staff do not frequently regulate the gates and you will see people jumping them or walking through without a ticket.

We started our journey at 12.00 and got to Marne-la-Vallée (Disneyland’s station) at 2pm. This is because part of our journey (from Auber to Vincennes) required us to exit the metro, walk 10mins to the next station (chateaux de vincennes) to resume our journey. During that walk we stopped off at a McDonalds for lunch. Children’s Happy Meals in Paris are great! The kids got a nugget happy meal each and it came with the toy, 4 nuggets, small chips, apple juice and a strawberry yoghurt drink. Amazing.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Disneyland Paris 2019 Review
The beautiful gardens at the start of the park entrance
The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Disneyland Paris 2019 Review
Main park entrance
The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Disneyland Paris 2019 Review
Disneyland Paris: Sleeping Beauty’s castle looked amazing!
Park rides, parades and that ‘fast pass’ ticket

The main park was spectacular but man the crowds… soooo many people! I wasn’t ready for how busy it was. I should’ve known better as we arrived in the afternoon. We ended up only going on about 3-4 rides in total but for us, it wasn’t a bad thing. The kids just simply preferred the experience of being at DLP than concerned over going on the rides. Originally, I had wanted to arrive at the park as early as 10am but I am so glad we decided on a later afternoon time. I guess that’s because they are younger – I think if you have older children, they will want to queue up for as many rides as possible!

With our entry ticket, we were given ‘fast pass’ access – I think Disneyland will continue to offer this for a while yet. Simply head over to the rides that are available with the fast pass and print out your advance tickets. Unfortunately you can’t select the times but the ticket will allow you to skip the queue when it comes to the time for you to go on the ride. We printed out our Buzz Lightyear laser blast tickets at 2.30pm but was given fast pass for 7.30pm – we didn’t mind but just trying to give you an idea of the timings the tickets give you.

Save ££: Bring food, snacks, drinks and water with you. If you have younger children it’s not to bad but if you have big eaters or older children they will get very hungry and want to eat/snack constantly so stock up on these things by visiting a local Lidl, Auchan, Carrefour or Monoprix before entering the park. You’ll also save time queuing for food at the park’s restaurants.

Top Tip: If you’re not staying at the parks, travel to the park via train – it’s cheap and easy. The station is right outside the entrance and it’s hassle-free. Another tip, if you have young children, bring a stroller! Your feet, legs and sanity will thank you for it later.

I was extremely close to not bringing our stroller but a friend of mine who went a week before said don’t even think about not bringing one. The park is large and little legs will tire fast. Also they’re bound to fall asleep at least once during the day. You’ll also save around 30 euros not hiring one there!

We queued up for a mini boat cruise in Fantasyland which was enjoyable and relaxing once we got on the ride. The queue was about 30-40mins which was pretty long for one ride – some of the other rides had even longer wait times. The longest wait time I noticed was 90mins – my advice would be to check out the rides you want to go on online ahead of the visit. Anticipate long queues and wait times so plan to go on about 4-8 rides if you are there for a day visit. It’s impossible to complete the park in one day no matter what season you go.

After we finished our boat cruise, we went to check out Sleeping Beauty’s castle and the sleeping dragon underneath the castle. The boys went on the Pirate tree house and Phantom Manor ride whilst Little Miss and I went over to the town square to watch the street parade at 5.30pm which was fantastic.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Disneyland Paris 2019 Review
Family Time: Quick selfie outside sleeping beauty’s castle

If you think you’re not going to be able to see all the Disney characters or only have a day ticket like I did, I’d highly recommend watching the street parade – it is one of the best things you can do and you can easily get a good spot. You will be able to see all the Disney characters in one sitting. The parade is approx. 30 mins and you will be able to see all the characters clearly; Donald and Daisy duck, Mickey and Minnie mouse, all the princesses, the Lion King characters, Buzz Lightyear, Woody and friends, Anna and Elsa from Frozen.

Character Meets: Mickey Mouse

This was the only character meet that we queued for – we tried to look for Toy Story’s Jessie and friends in the Western World part of the park but we were too late. At the Princess Pavilion, it was Rapunzel from Tangled that we could see in the afternoon but the queue for her was even longer so Daddy P and I made the decision to go and see Mickey as we thought both of the kids will enjoy it more. We weren’t disappointed.

Even though the wait was 1.5-2hrs long and we even missed our fast pass entry for Buzz Lightyear’s laser blast ride, it was SO WORTH IT! The kids were kept entertained in Mickey’s theatre with short movie clips that were on a loop. I loved the concept they developed for it – like it was a special backstage meet with Mickey. Just before it was out turn to see Mickey, one of the animation team saw Little Man’s tshirt and noticed it was his birthday – they made a quick call and was able to get Mickey Mouse on the phone to him before our meet! Little Man said Mickey wished him Happy Birthday and just seeing his face lit up was an unforgettable moment.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Disneyland Paris 2019 Review
Meet Mickey Mouse backstage at his theatre in Fantasyland
The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Disneyland Paris 2019 Review
The kids with Mickey Mouse

We took our photos with Mickey – you are free to take your own photos using your phone of your Mickey meet but Daddy P and I were too filled with awe from seeing him with the kids we couldn’t move much haha! The photographer took the photos for us and gave us a little card so at the end of the meet we can purchase the photos if we wanted to. As we didn’t take any of our own photos, I bought them but they looked amazing so it was hard not to buy them. You can purchase just the images or with a photo frame. Of course they offer a deal for multi purchases and I bought two photos with frames for 25.99 euros which is around £23 – not bad for two beautiful photos but if you do want to save money, don’t forget to take your own photos at the meet! The staff will even help you take the photo on your phone if you want to get a full family shot, no charge.

Staff at Disneyland were incredibly friendly, smiley and very talented. They are able to switch seamlessly from one language to another; from what I gathered all staff speak French, English, Spanish and German. In that order. And I’m sure they can speak Italian and possibly Mandarin too as there was a lot of Asian people there. Just amazing! Language barrier is really the least of your concerns at DLP.

The Fireworks: Disney Illuminations

This has to be the real highlight of my Disneyland trip and I am so so glad we didn’t leave before it. Everyone gathers in the centre around 9pm onwards for a good spot and I don’t blame them. However we decided to head back to the Western World and go for our dinner. We dined at The Lucky Nugget Saloon which was affordable and tasty. A meal deal for dinner was 21.99 euros and for that you get a main dish, side, dessert and soft drink. The service was quick and super easy – we queue to order, pay and get seated shortly after. That took around 15mins and our food arrived at our table around 5mins after being seated. We took our time to enjoy our meal which was delicious – I had the rack of ribs and Daddy P and co had the fish with chips. We didn’t opt for dessert. We left the restaurant around 10.30pm and by then the park will filled with people waiting for the fireworks display. We walked all the way to the park entrance as we wanted to be one of the first to leave and had a decent spot watching the illuminations. We didn’t stay for the whole thing which is around 30mins but we watched the majority before running off to catch the train home. If we were staying at the park’s resort we wouldn’t be in a rush and take our time to find a good spot close to the Sleeping Beauty castle which is where they project the illuminations from. All I can say is whatever you do, stay for the show. Don’t miss it because it really does highlight your whole experience.

Top Tip: If you want to make it home before the crowd, leave the park slightly before the end of the illuminations. You can do this by choosing a good viewing spot close to the park entrance so you can make a quick escape.

Depature Day: back home to London

We decided to have another lie-in as we didn’t get home until 1am the night before from DLP so we woke up 9am and checked out by 11am. We stopped off at McDonalds for ‘brunch’ – I forgot to mention that McDs in Paris offers macarons as a dessert! They are delicious and quite cheap, around 95 cents per maracon but I’m sure you can get a pack of 6 or 8 for a discounted rate. It was pouring down with rain on Saturday so our plans for going to see the Eiffel tower and Montmartre was out of the question. Not when we hadn’t packed any weather-proof or warm coats with us, we didn’t want to risk getting wet and coming down with colds when we get back home. We managed to get the metro to the Louvre Museum and hid there most of the day. After here, we made it to the station where we waited until it was our time to go home.

Top Tip: there are no free toilet facilities at the Louvre – it cost between 1.10-2.00 euros to use the toilet here so make sure you have some change with you.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Disneyland Paris 2019 Review
Hiding away from the rain inside the Louvre Museum

We got to Gare du Nord by catching the metro from Louvre to Gare d’lest then changing at the station for the train to Gare du Nord. After spending a few hours wandering around the station, we headed upstairs to check into our Eurostar journey. There is a small children’s corner on the platform for kids to burn off some of their energy. Little Man did some reading, some colouring in and Little Miss joined in every now and then. There’s also a Paul’s Bakery and Costa Coffee on the platform for you to enjoy – yay!

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Disneyland Paris 2019 Review
Little Man having fun at the Eurostar’s kids corner

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Disneyland Paris 2019 Review

The highlights of Disneyland:

  • Night illuminations
  • A chance to see all of the characters at the parades
  • No need to pay for additional rides
  • Fast-pass ticket with every admission ticket
  • Public transport nearby (train station is opposite the park)
  • Ample car parking spaces

The downside of Disneyland:

  • Very long queues and wait times
  • Expensive and limited food choices
  • Expensive car parking charges (around 26 euros)
  • Expensive buggy hire (around 30 euros)

In summary, I definitely recommend going if you’ve never been before. It really is a wonderful experience despite the negatives. Yes, it can cost a fortune but the magic is still there and you’d see it in your children’s eyes. Just make sure you take them at an age that they can actually enjoy it (3 years and above) otherwise it wouldn’t be worth it unless you can really afford to spend at least £800+ on a few days. Booking during off season is a very good idea – avoid UK and French school holidays and you should find cheaper park prices and low park capacity.

I hope you enjoyed this blog review. We are looking forward to going back but whether that’ll be next year or in a few year’s time we’re not sure yet. It was definitely a memorable experience and we all enjoyed it thoroughly. 🙂 You can watch a video of our day trip on Youtube: youtu.be/Kgxoc1K3_gc

Au Revoir for now… we will be back!

Keep Calm… we’re going to Disneyland Paris!

9 days until my 30th birthday & our journey to Paris…
10 days until Little Man’s birthday & our day trip to Disneyland Paris!

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Disneyland Paris family vacay

We are all SUPER EXCITED!

It’ll be our whole family’s first time to Disneyland and we are so excited for it! We’ve started preparing what we’re going to bring and wear including those insta-worthy Mickey Mouse ears which we’ve bought from Ebay for £3 each! It’s so much cheaper online than buying on the day or at the Disney store but if you prefer to splash and go all out then definitely purchase your official Disney ears prior to DL to save yourself some cash.

Disneyland Paris via Eurostar

We’ll be travelling via the Eurostar from London St. Pancras. I managed to bag tickets during a summer sale promo for £29pp per way which was a bargain! The Eurostar will take us from London to Paris in just under two hours which works well for us as we’ve booked an evening journey so will arrive in time for dinner. We’ve decided that we will play it by ear and see how the kids feel on the day before deciding where we will eat. If the kids are super tired, we’ll have an early night instead.

One thing I really love about London is how well connected everything is. Sure our transportation has its good and bad days but no-one can fault how easily accessible it is to travel around the country and abroad from London.

My 30th Birthday Plan

I can’t believe how quickly the years fly by! Being an August baby means I get to see nearly all of my friends turn 30 before I do – not a bad thing – but it makes me feel slightly pressured to do something BIG. We’ll see how that’ll pan out as I don’t have anything planned right now with friends.

However, on the morning of my birthday I’ve managed to book free tickets to SKY GARDEN which is going to be amazing! Insta-worthy photos, here I come! I’ve also just treated myself to a Fenty Beauty bronzer and highlighter kit so let’s pray that does me some justice… now to just plan an outfit fit for the occasion… plus or minus a 30th birthday tiara! Then after my morning birthday breakfast treat, we’ll probably just wander around London with the kids then get back home for a quick afternoon nap before leaving for the Eurostar journey.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Sky Garden London
A view of Sky Garden / Photo Credit: Secret London

We will board our Eurostar to Paris around 6pm and arrive at Gare du Nord Paris. We will be staying at the Renaissance in La Defense – the financial district. As it’s summer, I’m hoping it won’t be too busy around the area but pray the weather will be nice enough for us to explore Paris on the Saturday before we depart as we’ll certainly be spending all day Friday at Disneyland Paris.

Our itinerary:

Thursday:
20.00 Arrival at Paris Gare du Nord (depart from London St. Pancras)
21.00 Hotel check-in and dinner at hotel or local restaurant
22.30 Bedtime

Friday:
07.00 Breakfast at hotel, then straight out on RER to D’Land
FULL DAY
Disneyland Paris + dinner at the resort
22.00 Night illuminations and park closing parade
23.00 Back to hotel for bedtime

Saturday:
08.00 Breakfast at hotel and pack bags for hotel check-out
12.00 Visit to Jardin D’acclimatation
15.00 Late lunch at a local restaurant
16.00 Eiffel Tower visit
18.00 Depart from Paris Gare du Nord (return to London St. Pancras)

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Disneyland Paris family vacay
Disneyland Paris / Photo Credit: Sogol Salehi on Unsplash

I’m going to try and document our Disneyland family vacay as much as I can and will add to my instagram stories so if you’d like to check out our trip, follow me at @mannyngo_yogi

Travel: A day trip to Paris from London on a budget

Greenwich Mummy Blog | How to do Paris in a day on a budget

PARIS, the capital of France is only a 2hr train ride via Eurostar from London St. Pancras or a short 45mins flight from London Stansted or Gatwick. However, train tickets and flights can cost you an arm and a leg if you don’t book far enough in advance. But fear ye not, because I’m going to tell you how you can visit Paris on a budget AND do it in a day (Well, sort of – I’ll explain later)… Happy days!

How to travel to Paris cheap

If you really want to travel to Paris the cheapest way possible, it would be by coach. But for that dirt cheap price comes the compromise – time. The journey is approximately 7-9hrs and depending on which coach company you go with, you can either arrive close to the centre of Paris, the airports or the suburbs of Paris.

This is why I previously wrote “sort of” for doing Paris in a day. If you want to be able to explore Paris in a day, you’ll need a night coach journey so you’ll arrive in Paris early in the morning allowing you to have all day to explore the city.

Greenwich Mummy Blog | How to do Paris in a day on a budget

The main coach companies taking you to Paris from London are Eurolines, Flixbus and Ouibus. Coach tickets will set you back £11-15 one way and if you’re lucky, you might even find a next day return ticket for as little as £18! Now take that into consideration to a £49+ one way Eurostar ticket. However, saying this… IT IS POSSIBLE to travel to Paris from London cheaply on the Eurostar if you book during their promotion sale. These start from just £29pp one way which is amazingly cheap plus, it’s the quickest way to get to Paris.

When my sister and I went on our impromptu day trip to Paris from London, we took a night coach and arrived early morning. We spent all morning and afternoon exploring and sightseeing then caught an evening coach back home. We spent around £100 each for our day trip which included a few Uber rides in between. I bought a lot of dry food to bring back home with me so that added to our expenditure however it is possible to eat cheap, skip the hotel and save your money for the attractions and museums.

Greenwich Mummy Blog | How to do Paris in a day on a budget

How to get around the city

The easiest and cheapest way to get around the city is by metro (underground). It’s fast, frequent and pretty reliable. Just like London travel, you’ll need a ticket to get around – a day pass is the cheapest at 12EUR but they also offer 3, 5 and 7 days pass. The main parts of Paris are within zones 1-3 but if you need to get to the airports (CDG and Orly) or Disneyland this will be outside of the zones and you’ll need a separate ticket for this. If I’m not wrong, you can buy an extension which can be added onto your current pass.

The Greenwich Mummy | A day trip to Paris from London on a budget
The Tariff map for zones 1-3 / Credit: Paris Visite RATP
What to see and do in Paris

Just like London, there are LOTS to do and see in Paris. However with only a day to spare and doing it on a budget won’t be easy so your planning skills need to be on point here. Research beforehand on Google maps all of the main attractions you’re interested in and see where they are located and how close they are to each other. Below are some great touristy places to see. I’ve included all of these locations in the Google Maps, just click on the markers to view them.

For a day trip, visiting 4-5 attractions should be enough to satisfy your wanderlust without burning you out and still leave you with time to relax and have something to eat and drink. Check admission prices online to make sure you stick to your budget. Alternatively, skip entry and make up for it with lots of photos instead.

Greenwich Mummy Blog | How to do Paris in a day on a budget
Sacré Coeur
Greenwich Mummy Blog | How to do Paris in a day on a budget
L’Arc de Triomphe
Greenwich Mummy Blog | How to do Paris in a day on a budget
Louvre Museum
Greenwich Mummy Blog | How to do Paris in a day on a budget
Eiffel Tower
Main attractions:
  • Eiffel Tower
  • Louvre museum
  • Arc de Triomphe
  • Champs Élysée
  • Musée d’Orsay
  • Sacré Coeur
  • Montmartre
  • River Seine
  • Montparnasse
  • The Catacombs of Paris
  • Pompidou Centre
  • Grand Palais
  • Palace of Versailles*
  • Disneyland Paris*

*ONLY if you decide to make them your only attraction to visit in Paris.

Tickets to Paris museums are free if you are a child under 18 or a student under 25.
One weekend a month, the museums do offer free entry to everyone but this varies from museum to museum so check out their admissions/tickets page for more details.

Another fantastic way of seeing many attractions in one go is to go on a walking tour.

‘Free’ Paris walking tours

You basically pay as much or as little as you like. Some are completely free and you can just tip instead. My sister and I did a free Montmartre walking tour which was a great way to see the area and learn some cool facts along the way. Ours was a tip-only tour so we tipped our guy €5-10 for his time.


Check out the sites below for free walking tours:

New Europe ToursFree Tour – Discover Walks – Free Tours By Foot

Top tip: make sure you wear comfortable trainers or walking shoes when embarking on a walking tour as they can range from 1-3 hours


Where to eat in Paris

Just like London, there’s all different cuisines for you to try from in Paris. The Independent online compiled this list of the best cheap eateries in Paris with main dishes coming in less than €10 it’s a win-win situation.

Top tip: AVOID the restaurants opposite the Eurostar Gare du Nord station because not only is it severely over-priced, the food is absolutely terrible! I made the mistake of eating there once and spent over 60EUR for our family of four and the food was terrible! We would’ve been better going to the McDonalds also on the same row of restaurants.

Not sure what to order?
Try some French classics; order an onion soup for your starter or a creme brulee for your dessert. If you’re feeling really brave, why not try their delicacy of snails… let me know how that one goes! Paris is well known for their pastries so head to a café and order something sweet, team it up with a hot drink like a latte = café au lait (“kaffay-aw-lay”), hot chocolate = chocolat chaud (“shoh-koh-lah-shaw”). If you fancy something stronger, ladies would usually order a red wine = vin rouge (“van-roozj”) or a white wine = vin blanc (“van-blohn”) and men typically a beer = bierre (“bee-air”).

If you have some cash to splash, buy a box of delicious Ladurée macarons. The macarons come in many flavours and colours and the box packaging is to die for!

bram-naus-736745-unsplash

I was craving some home cooking and headed out to a local-looking Vietnamese cafe in Choissy and ordered traditional dishes. The starter was around €4-5 and main was between €9-13. I spoke to the staff in Vietnamese (which was nice) and funnily enough it felt really comfortable like being at home. I think most Vietnamese cafes in this district are family-owned which is nice because there are so many chains and franchises nowadays it’s nice to support small and local businesses.

Where to stay in Paris

If you want to stay in Paris on a budget, the best option (if you don’t mind sharing) is a hostel. Unless you have a lot of cash to splash, most hotels in Paris are budget hotels and 1-2 star. It’s usually not much different from a decent hostel in my opinion. Some hostels like the Generator Paris offers single rooms with private bath/shower rooms at a premium so at least you have the option to choose.

isaiah-bekkers-494831-unsplash
A beautiful skyline view of Paris

There’s a super useful post by the Budget Traveller which has a list of the best budget stays in Paris so make sure to check those out as well as doing your own research on cheap stays: https://budgettraveller.org/6-of-the-best-budget-places-to-stay-in-paris/

The Generator Paris hostel is a popular choice – voted by The Independent Online and the Budget Traveller as one of the best places to stay in Paris. It offers free WIFI, sharing rooms (dorms) and private rooms, female only rooms, bar, lounge area and more.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog: How to do Paris in a day on a budget
Stylish and modern sharing dorm rooms at Generator Paris / Source: Generator Paris

I hope that this post has given you some inspiration or ideas on how to construct your day trip to Paris on a budget. There’s so much information online and Paris in a day is usually already on most travel blogger’s list so don’t be afraid to read their experiences and recommendations.

Bisou! X


P I N  T H I S  P O S T

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | A DAY TRIP TO PARIS FROM LONDON ON A BUDGET


 

Travel: 5 reasons why you should visit Ibiza this summer holiday

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Travel to Ibiza

Whenever I tell someone that I’ve been to Ibiza, I am always greeted with a surprised face and “Ibiza? I didn’t know you was a party girl”… The thing is they’re right, I’m not. However there’s more to Ibiza than just parties even though they are said to be amazing! Ibiza will always be a place for the party goers but the island does have more to offer.

It’s a beautiful and magical island that’s great for all kinds of travellers; from solo flyers (yes, I’ve been to Ibiza alone too!) to family funsters and soul searchers. My case of wanderlust always brings me back to this place and I’m thankful for On The Beach’s low deposit holidays option. It’s perfect for people like me who find it hard to save or book in full. You pay an initial booking deposit from around £30pp and then the remaining balance up to 2 weeks before departure. Paying off my holidays in small, manageable chunks helps me to budget better around my bills, rent and other expenses.

Here are my top 5 reasons why Ibiza should be on everyone’s bucket list. Pretty much self-explanatory and simple but that’s where the beauty lies. X

1. The weather

 

 

Ibiza’s climate is balmy and generallly warm all year long with moderate rainfall. When I first went to Ibiza back in August 2010 the temperature was around 26-30 degree celsius. I went back again in September 2017 and 2018 and the temperature varies from 24-28 degree celsius. In 2018 there was one day we got caught in torrential rain that lasted about 15-20 mins but as soon as it stopped, it was warm and humid again.

2. The scenery

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Travel to Ibiza
Overlooking one of the many bays in Ibiza
The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Why Ibiza should be on everyone's bucket list
Ibiza’s old town, Evissa
The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Why Ibiza should be on everyone's bucket list
Ibiza’s history at Dalt Vila

From the beautiful sea views around Antonio Bay to the historical old town of Dalt Vila, there’s a lot to see around the little island. On Sundays, you can head over to Benirras beach to experience one of the most beautiful sunsets accompanied by the sensational drumming. It happens every Sunday during the summer and is an event not to be missed.

I tried to go there by bus but got mixed-up with the bus times (or perhaps the bus just never came) so I missed it. My advice would be to catch a cab there early or travel to San Miguel a day before as the roads leading to Benirras beach gets very busy by Sunday afternoon. If you’re driving try to get there in the morning, chill out by the beach all day then get ready for the sunset in the evening. Bliss!

3. The sister islands (Formentera & Espalmador)

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Why Ibiza should be on everyone's bucket list

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Why Ibiza should be on everyone's bucket list
People and boat watching was simply blissful at Formentera

If the Ibiza mainland is boring you a little, take a trip out to its sister islands. Whether you head out to the pristine white sand beaches of Formentera or stop off at the secluded island of Espalmador (I’ve visited both!) it’s definitely a trip not to miss.

Formentera is a fantastic escape from the mainland. Within 40mins by boat (Aquabus) you’ll reach the pristine shores of Formentera. It looks like somewhere out of a postcard. Plenty of luxury yachts dock at its marina and its beach shores are filled with white sand and turquoise waters. You can easily find places to eat and drink, go surfing or cycling, and explore different parts of the island. It’s a great place to explore with the whole family. The cosy coves dotted along the coastline are calming and lovely enough to enjoy before the tide comes in.

There are frequent Aquabus services to Formentera from all over the Ibiza mainland for about €20 (day return). You can even stay on the island with many B&Bs, luxury apartments, charters and yachts available to rent.

There’s a tiny secluded island on the way to Formentera called Espalmador. It lies between Ibiza and Formentera and is basically a mass of land which has become a secluded getaway for Ibizan goers looking for peace and quiet.

 

There’s not much to do on the island apart from sunbathe – you can go nude, semi-nude, as free as you like! There is also a mud spring somewhere on the island which you can take a dip in. There’s hardly any coverage on the island so apply plenty of sunscreen, if you burn easily I’d say skip Espalmador and just visit Formentera as there’s plenty of secluded bays there plus rocky coves where you can salvage some shade.

If you’re keen on visiting Espalmador, bring a picnic, plenty of suncream as there’s not really shady areas and water bottle – there’s no food/drink places here and the Aquabus only passes here a couple trips per day. Also there’s no toilet so make sure you go before you arrive either on the boat or mainland.

4. The Hippy Market (well, the markets in general)

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Why Ibiza should be on everyone's bucket list
Ibiza’s largest Hippy Market in Es Cana

Even if you’ve never visited Ibiza you would’ve heard about their famous Hippy Market which is open every Wednesday throughout the summer. I remember my first time going to the Hippy Market; it was busy, chaotic but super fun! There’s something for everyone, there’s even a little play area for the kids. The last time I visited it was less chaotic but still just as busy.

There was so much to see and if you’re looking for special or unique gifts you will find something here. I picked up a gorgeous amethyst crystal necklace on a leather cord. I’d seen so many similar necklaces before but they were too expensive. I think mine cost me around €15-18 which wasn’t too bad as the quality was great and the amethyst stone looked genuine enough.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Why Ibiza should be on everyone's bucket list
who can resist a holiday selfie?!

Here’s a short list of the markets you can visit on the island:

  • Hippy Market – Wednesdays Punta in Es Cana
  • Las Dalias Market – Saturdays in San Carlos
  • Las Dalias Night Market – Monday and Tuesday nights in San Carlos
  • Cala Llonga Market – Thursday in Cala Llonga
  • San Rafael Artisan Market – Thursdays in San Rafael

Check out Ibiza Spotlight for the full list of Ibiza’s markets sorted by days.

5. The active lifestyle

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Why Ibiza should be on everyone's bucket list
The Surf Lounge at San Antonio Bay

The Ibizan atmosphere is super chilled. I always felt relaxed and the pace of life here seems very easy-going which is fantastic. But despite the relaxing lifestyle, there’s plenty of activities you can do around the island to keep you healthy, fit and active.

These include:

  • Surfing (there’s even indoor surfing!)
  • Stand-Up Paddling (SUP)
  • Yoga (even yoga SUP)
  • Pilates
  • Cycling
  • Watersports
  • Sailing

and so much more!

If you regularly work out, there’s plenty of gyms around the island for you to keep up your strength. Lots of the cafes offer delicious and nutritious healthy food so you don’t have to worry too much about eating junk. There’s a healthy cafe for #fitfams in San Antonio Bay called ‘The Skinny Kitchen’. They make a good salad/buddha bowl for a decent price,plus it was the only place I could find that offered matcha lattes. There are loads of nice healthy cafes around the island so don’t be afraid to explore.

For a more extensive list of things to do around the island, visit Ibiza Spotlight’s Things to Do page.

Where to stay in Ibiza

I’ve visited most parts of the island and it’s excellent wherever you go. You’re bound to find a beach near you no matter where you stay in Ibiza. Here are some of my recommendations:

  • San Antonio/San Antonio Bay is for you if you want to be where all the party and action is
  • Playa Den Bossa is for you if you want luxury hotels and party life
  • Santa Eulalia/Es Canar/San Miguel/Portinatx is great for those who want somewhere laid back and family-friendly
  • Eivissa Old Town is for you if you want to be near the marina and prefer old charms, boutique cafes and shops and want to be close to the airport

Top tips: If you want to avoid the major party season, visit the island in May/June or September/October instead. Also, the island is well connected by bus so take advantage of this if you have more time on your hands to explore the island. X

Happy Bank Holiday Weekend!

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | On The Beach
Low booking deposit holidays available from £30pp

NB. this post contains affiliate links

Our day trip to Westgate-on-Sea: My favourite UK beach for the kids

The Greenwich Mummy | Westgate-on-Sea best beach for Kids

We all love a good beach holiday – fortunately living in London means we can easily jump on a train and head down to the coast in less than two hours (most of the time!) When there was just LO, I took him to Westgate-on-Sea with my friend and her daughter (you can read about our trip here) a couple of years back in August. It was so hot I even got sunburnt that day!

Bank Holiday weekend was going to be sunny, especially on Saturday so I asked Daddy P if we should all go to the beach for the day. He was a little reluctant – he’s very shy – and was a little anxious about being on the beach with people but I assured him it would be lovely, chilled and NOT busy like Margate. Whilst Margate is great for older kids and teens, I think Westgate is perfect for younger children and babies.

The Greenwich Mummy | Westgate-on-Sea best beach for Kids
Margate for older kids and teens, Westgate for young children and babies

We set off on Saturday morning at 10am to arrive at London Victoria station. It was packed! I think everyone had the idea of going to the beach that day – luckily for us I booked our tickets the night before. There was the longest queue for the ticket machine but a member of staff told us we could just show our ticket reference at the gate and collect the tickets when we got to Westgate. We boarded on the 11:37 train and reached Westgate-on-Sea by 14:05 – the train was late and this was probably because it was so busy. There was an announcement on the train that said First Class was open because it was so busy – lucky for those who managed to get a seat in First Class but we were happy enough to get spacious priority seats on the train when we got on.

Arriving at Westgate-on-Sea station, we picked up a few beach items before heading down to the beach. We got a sun canopy tent for £13.99, Daddy P picked up a fisherman-style hat and I got the kids a couple of buckets and spades. Food and snacks too, of course! When we got down to the beach which was about a 5-10 mins walk from the station, we arrived at St. Mildred’s Bay – it looked beautiful in the sunshine. The only problem was that it was still high tide! I hadn’t checked the tide times – oops!

Top Tip: If you’re heading to the beach, check the tide times!

It was not a big problem for us. Plus, it was a lovely day and the sun was shining so we didn’t mind. It was a little windy but sometimes, a welcomed breeze. Apparently the local cinema (Carlton Cinema) only costs £3.50 per ticket so we could’ve looked for it but we weren’t that fussed.

We decided to head up towards West Bay beach which is where I went with my friend a couple of years ago. We sat on the side of the walkway like the locals, watching other people pass by. We ate our sandwiches and cheese & onion crisps, washed down with water and fruit shoot. After we had finished eating, we decided that it would be nicer to head back down to St. Mildred’s Bay as it seemed less windy there. On our way walking back, we stopped off at the local cafe for clotted cream ice cream which was so yummy! I went for the caramel one and got Daddy P a boozy rum & raisin one though he picked out the raisins… they were really big raisins and he’s not a fan of fruit in things.

He’s a fussy eater.

The Greenwich Mummy | Westgate-on-Sea best beach for Kids
A view of St. Mildred’s Bay
The Greenwich Mummy | Westgate-on-Sea best beach for Kids
Walking back from West Bay eating our ice cream
The Greenwich Mummy | Westgate-on-Sea best beach for Kids
A silly selfie moment (Daddy P photobombing in the background)
The Greenwich Mummy | Westgate-on-Sea best beach for Kids
LO giving us a big smile for the camera!

The tide had gone down a little as it was around 4pm so we found a little spot on the sand and pitched up our sun canopy tent. It’s one of those pop-up ones so easy to set up but because it was windy it was so hard to keep it secure. We ended up folding the stroller and put it at the back of the tent to weigh it down haha! I let the kids roam free on the sand and in the shallow waters. LO was in his element and I really think he wouldn’t have been brave enough to venture out by himself if it was a crowded beach. He took his bucket and went looking for shells and sea snails on the side of the small rock cliffs whilst Baby Girl sat happily in the sunshine with her bucket and spade eating sand… she ate A LOT of sand. She ate so much that when we got home, we were met with a big sand-poo nappy. Nice. Nothing better than an exfoliating poo to wash off.

The Greenwich Mummy | Westgate-on-Sea best beach for Kids
“Mmm this sand looks tasty…”
The Greenwich Mummy | Westgate-on-Sea best beach for Kids
Munch, munch, munch!

We stayed on the beach until toughly 7pm. It was starting to get even more quiet and we thought it would be best to head home before the mad rush of people from Margate got on the train. For the whole day we only lost one pair of Baby Girl’s sandals and LO’s sun hat. Not too bad for a full day out to the beach, I thought we’d lose much more than that. 🙂 When we got on the train, it wasn’t too busy. LO and Daddy P managed to get a seat so I stood up with Baby Girl in the stroller. Daddy P would’ve been the one standing but he’s not great with the stroller so I took one for the team.

It was a great day out and I would definitely love to take the kids again. I really think that Westgate-on-Sea is a great UK beach for families with young kids. It’s less chaotic and packed like Margate but just as lovely. Upon coming to Westgate, we passed Whitstable and Herne Bay, they looked amazing. I know Botany Bay is not too far too and I’ve said to Daddy P that might have to be our next little beach to review. 🙂

There isn’t much to do around Westgate in terms of attractions or games so if you’re looking for a beach that offers that I’d suggest going to Margate instead. However, if you’re looking for beach destination where your little ones can roam free but still be within your eye line, head down to West Bay beach or St. Mildred’s Bay at Westgate.

Here’s some useful links on Westgate-on-Sea before visiting:
General info – http://westgate-on-sea.kent-towns.co.uk
Weather – www.accuweather.com
Tide times – www.tidetime.org
Things to do (not much) – www.aboutbritain.com

I hope you find this post helpful! If you’ve also been to Westgate, let me know what you thought about it below. 🙂

The Greenwich Mummy Blog by Manny Ngo

5 things to remember when going on a toddler’s first holiday

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | 5 Ways to survive a holiday
LO and I enjoying our first mini-family holiday

Lately I’ve been thinking about booking our little family of four a new holiday – a proper family holiday this time as the last time was more of a mini one than anything as Daddy P didn’t come with us to Fuerteventura. LO, bump and I went around late January and it was lovely. The temp was nice, not too hot, we got to do a few things and enjoyed what was pretty much a chilled out holiday.

As I was six months preggers and so sure I would be going into early labour I didn’t book any activities. I also don’t drive so couldn’t hire a car which is said to be the best way to explore any one of the Canary Islands. However I just wanted to share with you the 5 most important things I think any mum should think about when taking your toddler on their first holiday.

Continue reading “5 things to remember when going on a toddler’s first holiday”

Our family holiday to Fuerteventura

The Greenwich Mummy - Family Holiday to Fuerteventura
The Greenwich Mummy - Family holiday to Fuerteventura
Caleta de Fuste, Fuerteventura

We decided to go away this year at the end of January for a bit of winter sun… we headed out to the Canary Islands, Fuerteventura to be exact. It was only a short holiday (4 nights) but was the best getaway/family holiday for me. It was also LO’s first time abroad and he was really good from the plane journey there to the end of the stay.

I booked our little holiday via onthebeach.co.uk and found the Barcelo Castillo Beach Resort to be the perfect hotel for us. It’s located right on the beach, has a gym and spa in case I wanted some me-time (I never got round to using them!), three restaurants to eat from, located 15 mins away from the airport, and it’s a family-friendly resort where kids stay free! 🙂 Perfect!

barcelo-hotel
Photo Credit: Google

All in all, a 4-night stay for 2 adults and 1 child costed around £190 for the hotel and £180 for the flights so under £400 in total which is extremely cheap. The average weather for Fuerteventura in January is 19-20 degrees which was about right. The first 2 days we were there, we were blessed with slightly warmer weather (about 22-23 degrees) but this island is the most windiest of all of the Canary Islands so if you’re planning on going to Fuerteventura, don’t forget a light jumper or jacket for the evenings.

Even though the sea temperature was mild, it was too cold for us to take a dip to swim but it didn’t stop LO from having a good splash! The hotel was very clean and maintained well. Our bungalow was decorated in a traditional orange hue which was lovely but there were more modern bungalows available at the resort for those who prefer something a little more luxurious.

The Greenwich Mummy - Family holiday to Fuerteventura
Sunnier on the first 2 days we were there
The Greenwich Mummy - Family holiday to Fuerteventura
LO looking for lovely stones in the sea

I never got time to relax at the spa or used the gym although my friend who came with LO and I was able to use the gym and she loved it. For €5 per session, it’s definitely affordable but the resort is so big that you can get your daily exercise from walking around the whole place. We also ended up sticking to the main restaurant which offered a buffet-style sitting but the other two restaurants at the resort looked amazing, especially the piano bar/restaurant.

By the end of the holiday, LO didn’t even want to leave! He said he wanted to stay and it just made me think about booking another holiday for us to go on after baby is born. We’ll probably go with daddy P to Butlins next year or maybe even Disneyland instead. 🙂


JENerally Informed

Toddler’s First Holiday To Fuerteventura

holiday-plane

Holiday booked.
Fuerteventura, here we come!

We simply cannot wait… well, I simply cannot wait. I don’t think LO is aware of my travel plans just yet. It’s going to be his first holiday and the first time he’ll be abroad since he’s been born. I went on a babymoon with him to Nice, France when he was still a bump but we haven’t gone anywhere abroad since then.

We are planning for a bit of winter sun and plan to visit this lovely place in January. Tickets were cheap but now I’ve realised it’s because it’s actually not that warm in Jan which is why the tickets were such good value for money. Woops! Well, I am more than happy if the temperature is around 18-20 degree Celsius with mild wind. I have heard a-plenty that this island out of all the Canaries is the most windy. Not to worry, we can just bring our light wind-breaker jackets I am sure that will be enough.

LO and I will be going with one of my college friends Coco. We used to holiday a lot together and stopped since I had LO so this will be like a mini-reunion for us too. We will be staying at the Barcelo Castillo Beach Resort in Caleta de Fuste. A lovely port area about 10mins away from the airport with its own beach area. 🙂

The Greenwich Mummy | Holiday to Fuerteventura
Photo Credit: Google

I just can’t wait to get away to be honest, I just want a bit of sun. As much as I love snuggling in the covers, the darker days really gets to the best of me.

I haven’t planned anything for the travels yet but have been looking into things I can take with me to keep LO entertained for the 4hr flight there and back. I’m thinking to purchase a little tablet with something that allows me to save the YouTube videos that he loves to watch and probably bring some of his beloved books to read to him. I’m hoping the plane engine will also soothe him to sleep as he sleeps well on buses and cars so maybe the same effect will apply up in the air.

One can hope for the best!

– x –

Sunday’s Trip To Westgate Beach

The Greenwich Mummy | Westgate Beach

Last weekend we decided to go on to a day trip to Westgate-on-Sea (West Bay Beach) and what a fabulous choice it was! We had sun, sand, and lots of fun. I think it was the best Sunday weather we had this month so it was a pretty good choice to go as the weather’s not been too great this week.

The weather was balmy (around 25 degree Celsius) and the wind was warm which I think is the ideal weather for young children. Any hotter and they’ll probably feel uncomfortable and any cooler, they probably would’ve felt cold. It was perfect. We got to Westgate-on-sea by car which took roughly 1.5 hrs as there was a little bit of slow-moving traffic on the way there. LO was pretty good in the car and slept for about half of the journey which made life a little easier, especially when he and his little friend kept fighting over some toy cars.

I hadn’t even heard of this place, it was my friend that told me about it. I knew where Margate was and this little gem is just a short drive away from there. There’s no amusement park here just a little town with a local pub and a sandy beach – that’s all I wanted anyway so it was perfect for us. I think if you have older children or teenagers Margate may be a better choice so the kids don’t get bored.

The Greenwich Mummy | Westgate BeachThe Greenwich Mummy | Westgate BeachThe Greenwich Mummy | Westgate Beach

The children had so much fun… Even us mummies had fun too! I highly recommend Westgate-on-sea to any families with young children.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Manny | The Greenwich Mummy Signature

Throwback Thursday: The Scarlet Spain Newquay Cornwall

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | The Scarlet Eco Spa & Hotel in Newquay Cornwall

This week’s Throwback Thursday goes to the wonderful girly spa trip to The Scarlet Hotel & Eco Spa in Newquay, Cornwall. Blissful and beautiful! It was an amazing two nights we stayed in Newquay and visited this stunning eco-friendly spa. With an naturally-filtered outdoor pool, an outdoor hot tub, beautiful relaxation lounge looking outside, and sleeping pods that hang from the ceiling, cocooning you in warmth and comfort.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | The Scarlet Eco Spa & Hotel in Newquay Cornwall
The view from the spa reception
The Greenwich Mummy Blog | The Scarlet Eco Spa & Hotel in Newquay Cornwall
The naturally filtered outdoor pool

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | The Scarlet Eco Spa & Hotel in Newquay Cornwall

We only booked in for spa access so I can’t comment on the treatments or the treatment room but can say that the standard of this hotel spa is one of the best I’ve been to. The decor is beautiful and serene and the relaxation lounge is large enough to accommodate both spa only guests and those booked in for treatments or day packages. There was also a soothing relaxation room with bean bags and low lights which I fell asleep in. I remember being so tired I started snoring in there but there was hardly any other guests apart from us that day so it was like having the spa all to ourselves!

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | The Scarlet Eco Spa & Hotel in Newquay Cornwall
Relaxation lounge
The Greenwich Mummy Blog | The Scarlet Eco Spa & Hotel in Newquay Cornwall
Relax on the loungers or beanbags and look out at the pool and beyond
The Greenwich Mummy Blog | The Scarlet Eco Spa & Hotel in Newquay Cornwall
The beautiful indoor pool

The Scartlet Spa facilities:

  • Indoor swimming pool 13m x 4m cleansed by low dosage bromine
  • Outdoor barrel cedar sauna
  • Steam room
  • Cliff top outdoor swimming pool (filtered by reeds)
  • Cliff top hot tubs – looking out across the ocean
  • Uplifting relaxation area – overlooking the natural pool and out to the ocean beyond Meditation room
  • Deep relaxation space, a quiet space with hanging canvas pods to curl up in

 

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | The Scarlet Eco Spa & Hotel in Newquay Cornwall
Cocooning myself in the sleep pod
The Greenwich Mummy Blog | The Scarlet Eco Spa & Hotel in Newquay Cornwall
Me enjoying the heated spa pool 🙂
#TBT
The Greenwich Mummy Blog | The Scarlet Eco Spa & Hotel in Newquay Cornwall
Panoramic view overlooking The Scarlet Spa in Cornwall

Self Care: My Well-needed getaway to Newquay beach and The Scarlet Hotel Spa

Things were getting on top of me and I could feel all of the tension, stress and anxiety building up on my shoulders. I was constantly snapping at LO’s dad, and the little things LO would do that I would usually find cute i.e. messing up the house or trying to help out with the tidying was really grating on me resulting in me shouting my head off and upsetting him. Even work was becoming exhausting for me – I knew it was time for a break away from it all.

The girls at work and I have been talking about going away for a spa break for a while so we finally decided it was time for our spa break to The Scarlet in Cornwall. We all paid for a flight there as it worked out quicker and cheaper to fly than travel by train.

The Greenwich Mummy | The Scarlet Spa Day One

It was early afternoon when we got into Newquay and decided to stop off at Watergate Bay as we couldn’t check into our apartment until after 4pm (it was 1pm when we arrived). We had a lovely beach stroll, a great catch-up chat about work and other gossip, and then decided to have a quick lunch at the stunning Living Space restaurant right on the beachfront at Watergate Bay.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog

The restaurant was aesthetically beautiful. The decor completely complimented the sea view and location. The food… the food was deliciously fresh, tasty and quite healthy.I shared with a friend the hot salmon bagel and chips whilst the other friend opted for a salmon salad. I shared as I wasn’t too hungry and just wanted something small to fill the void. The hot chocolate I ordered was frothy, milky and chocolatey… super yum! 🙂

On our way to the apartment we stopped at the shops to make our own dinner as we thought we’d be too lazy to go out to eat (and were on a budget). That night we two of us had breaded chicken and wedges, our vegetarian friend had spaghetti bolognese made with Quorn mince and we all settled down with a nice movie before going to bed.

The Greenwich Mummy | The Scarlet Spa

Day Two

Today was the day we went to visit The Scarlet Spa. Hidden away in Mawgan Porth, this eco-friendly spa is simply stunning and despite its modern look, in no way it sticks out like a sore thumb in its surroundings. The building itself is nestled away in a small road up one of the many cliff roads in Cornwall. Upon entering the spa, we were gobsmacked at how beautiful the place was. As we arrived slightly “late” as an itinerary was planned for us which we were unaware of however as it was a weekday visit, the spa were able to re-jiggle our spa day to make sure we could still experience everything our spa day package offered. The Scarlet spa is a part of the hotel so as we arrived early, we headed to the main restaurant for a drink whilst we waited for our spa host to collect us.

The Greenwich Mummy | The Scarlet Spa
From left to right; manuka honey tea, mocha, ginger biscuits, and cappuccino

When our spa host collected us and escorted us down to the spa restaurant as we arrived at the time we were supposed to have our spa lunch. We had to pre-order the food before coming; two of us ordered the salmon dish and the other friend ordered the chicken. It was a light lunch (and very healthy) but we loved it as we really wasn’t looking for a heavy meal whilst trying to “detox” at the spa.

The Greenwich Mummy | The Scarlet Spa The Greenwich Mummy | The Scarlet Spa

The hummous was so delicious! It tasted like it had paprika and harissa spice added to it which was divine with the homemade bread. The apple juice was freshly squeezed and tasted so fresh like it had just been juiced that very second. We were very satisfied with our meals. After we had finished, we all made our way down to the spa area were we enjoyed 2 blissful hours using the spa facilities and experiencing the rhassoul.

Time flew by so quickly at the spa and before I knew it, it was time to leave. I was fully relaxed and even fell asleep in the spa’s meditation room… once again, snoring away! 🙂 When we left the spa, we went back to the apartment for a little rest. We decided we were going to go out for a meal so headed back out to Watergate Bay and had something to eat at Zacry’s which was lovely. Two of us opted for lamb which was really tasty and our vegetarian friend opted for the cod. The total bill wasn’t too much at around £30 each including drink and dessert which is reasonable.

Day Three

This was the day I set off as I decided I was only going away for 2 nights. I thought I would miss LO too much so I cut my trip short. The flight wasn’t until the evening so the first part of the day we decided to go for a lovely beach walk which was calming and just what I needed to chill out before heading back to my busy lifestyle. It was so foggy that morning I got a great image of it on our walk.

The Greenwich Mummy | The Scarlet Spa

The fog was so thick, it felt like it engulfed the horizon. Looking out towards the sea, it was just all grey… you couldn’t see anything else. When you are walking up a hill/cliff, the last thing you want is limited visibility but luckily the road was still clear so it wasn’t too bad. When I arrived at the airport ready to fly home the flight was slightly delayed because of the fog but luckily we were still able to fly and despite the late departure we arrived back in London on time.

The short break was a well-needed getaway for me. After feeling so stress-out and exhausted it was the first time I was able to fully relax and unwind without having to worry about anything. Unfortunately the relaxed feeling didn’t last long – just two days to be exact. Then all the exhaustive demands came back. Now when I start to feel stressed, I think back to this wonderful trip.

Manny | The Greenwich Mummy Signature


Check out my #ThrowbackThursday post with more stunning photos of The Scarlet Spa

Review: You Can Keep Your Adventure, Just Leave Me The Toilet Paper

This is a book review on “You Can Keep Your Adventure, Just Leave Me The Toilet Paper” written by Ben Pastore who is the owner of the popular travel blog, Trip Accomplice.

I love to travel and before LO I set myself the challenge of travelling at least once a year which I did manage to do; I’ve visited a few places in my travels; mainly Europe or Northern Africa but I would love to extend my travels to Central Africa and Asia but not yet have the time or money to do so. Especially now with LO, it’s a little more difficult in terms of money however thanks to books like “You Can Keep Your Adventure, Just Leave Me The Toilet Paper” I can suppress my wanderlust for a little longer and keep my ‘armchair traveller’ status. 🙂

The Greenwich Mummy | Ben Pastore Book Review

When Ben kindly sent me a free sample copy to review, I was very excited but also a bit apprehensive about reviewing the book. Firstly, because I wanted to know that I was able to do the book justice in my review but also, because I didn’t know what to expect. It’s taken me a little while to get round to doing it simply because my iPhone 4S is simply quite crap at opening large files. I’ve divided the review in to bitty sections to make it easier for you to read… here goes! 🙂

Book Review

So the book starts off like all other books. The publications, dedications and an interesting section titled “READ THIS FIRST!” in capital letters like how I’ve typed it here. Naturally, it sparked my curiosity and I had to read it. It is an explanation of who the book is for, who it is not for, what the book is about and a quick overview of the whole book for those who want to know (in short paragraphs) what each section of the book contains. I found it brilliant because it means I could skip to the ‘juicy bits’ straight away… however as I am reading to write a review, I had to take my time and go through each section of the book.

Section One: Introduction to Wanderlust

This is the first section of the book where the author introduces himself as well as provides us with his definition of ‘wanderlust’. I’m quite a visual person so sometimes I find it hard to read a lot of text without photos. Also, because I know that this was a travel book so I was just really eager to look at the photos only. After the self-introduction and book introduction the author provides us with some very handy tips to remember when travelling and recommendations of good travel guides to invest in and the reasons why they make good travel guides.

Section Two: The Witty Traveller’s Guide to the Planet

Now here is where all the magic is. The author starts off his travel destinations in North America visiting places like Montreal, Quebec City. Then goes on to the Carribean Islands and tells us the difference between the islands (yes, they are very different from one another) which was interesting to know as I didn’t know anything about the islands before reading this, South America, Antarctica, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and Oceania.

You can expect a fabulous in-depth story for most of the destinations. My favourite stories were:

  • getting your face licked by cheetahs at Makuni Safari in Zambia
  • admiring in awe the beauty of the Taj Mahal in India
  • the envious Hong Kong skyline

There are so many stories to read and when you’re reading them, you become fully immersed and almost feel like you are actually there with him. The wonderful advice given throughout this section of the book is invaluable to any traveller, whether they are experienced or a complete novice.

Section Three: Looting the Planet – A Collection of Lessons Lifted from the World

After being indulged with stunning destinations and photos that make you envious, the author provides you with more travel tips and genuine advice that can help enhance your travel experience and fully fulfill your wanderlust. You can expect tips and advice on how to make the most out of your travels, how to take the best photographs and present them and the best ways to travel when you’re abroad. The author also offers his response to common travel excuses like mine such as “I can’t afford to travel” and “I don’t have the time to travel” as well as a few others which really motivates me to stop being an armchair traveller this year. Good thing I have Ibiza and Vietnam on mine and LO’s travel list this year then. 🙂

Summary

It’s an excellent book/travel guide – it’s packed full of popular travel destinations, envious photographs of the destinations, amazing stories, useful advice and travelling tips. Everything that makes a great travel guide book I would say. If you are tired of being an armchair traveller and want to get out there but don’t know where to start why not take a look at this book as a starting point for your wanderlust? I am so grateful I was able to review this book and next year when I plan my travels to Congo, I may have to take a detour to Zambia to get a chance to play with those big cats!

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benAbout Ben Pastore
Blog: Trip Accomplice
Instagram: @tripaccomplice
Twitter: @tripaccomplice

For more info on the book or to buy click the following link below:
http://bastionpublishing.com/you-can-keep-your-adventure.html


NB. I was kindly sent an e-book to review by Ben Pastore. All thoughts, opinions are words are my own.