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.
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. 🙂
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.
In aid of National Spa Week, I just wanted to share my top 4 of the most amazing spas in the world (according to my experience). I have been to a few spas around the UK and some abroad and have found these to be my all-time favourites.
I simply adore this spa. It’s not only the first Eco-friendly spa but it’s also an excellent option if you’re looking for a total detox and full mind/body rejuvenation. The spa lunch menu is superbly healthy and cleansing on the body. The indoor pool looks stunning but not as amazing as the chemical-free pool outside which is cleaned by reeds. Also the clifftop hot tubs offer the most breath-taking views.
Recap: It’s amazing because… it’s the first eco UK spa and bathing in the clifftop hot tub is an experience not to be missed.
This Moroccan hotel spa had everything I wanted in a spa; it was small, intimate and calming. I opted for the ‘Marhaba session’ which consists of a traditional hammam (steam room) session followed with a black soap cleanse, face and body exfoliation, clay (ghassoul) body mask, followed by a body massage. It was heavenly and the taste of a traditional Moroccan experience gave it that WOW factor. Be aware that due to the Islamic laws, there are only single-sex sessions so couples won’t be able to spa together or even be in the spa area together at the same time.
Recap: It’s amazing because… you get an authentic taste of a traditional hammam experience.
The Zuiver Spa was discovered by chance when I decided to go Amsterdam with Daddy P one day. I wanted to go to a spa that had a lot to offer in terms of variety and Zuiver Spa certainly has many facilities to impress you with. Starting with the beautiful lengthy indoor pool that extends to outside, to the numerous types of steam rooms and saunas available. If you’re not a big fan of heat, this spa is perfect for you as there are more tepid rooms such as the colour therapy room and the infrared sauna which is very mild. Due to Dutch culture, most of the days the spa operates on a no-swimwear policy. If you’re not brave enough to bare the flesh then check for the day that swimwear is permitted.
Recap: It’s amazing because… it’s got more facilities than you can count with both hands and the option to bathe like the Dutch locals (nude, if you dare to!)
Have you ever wanted to bath in natural mineral waters but never knew where you could go? The Thermae Bath Spa should be your first-stop destination. The spa uses the mineral waters that comes out directly from the springs underneath so the waters are amazingly warm all year round. The water is treated with around 1% chlorine which is more than sufficient to maintain pool hygiene and cleanliness. The indoor pool which is located at basement level or get a good look of the old spa town whilst bathing in the rooftop pool. The middle floor is dedicated to four massive steam pods; each pod has a different aroma from mint and eucalyptus to lavender and myrrh.
Recap: It’s amazing because… it’s one of the only UK spas that uses mineral spring waters and the steam pods are seriously impressive.
I hope you enjoyed my little list of spas with the WOW factor – if you’ve gone to one of these places, let me know what you thought about them
In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Off-Season”
This week’s photo challenge was really difficult for me to find an idea of what to do – simply because things in London there’s really not much different from our winters and summers. So I’ve decided to take a different take on this week’s challenge.
I have come to realise that when travelling abroad, I usually tend to go off-season; (1) because it is much cheaper to travel around these times, and (2) because you get to experience the beauty of the destination whilst avoiding other annoying tourists that over-crowd places causing people i.e. myself unnecessary stress. This week, I dedicate my off-season travel to… Kavos, Corfu!
Daddy P and I went to Corfu in 2009. Funnily enough, when I had booked this holiday for us, I didn’t know about Kavos and its crazy party scene. Daddy P and I are definitely not party-goers and we were really thankful when we arrived to know that we came before the party season starts which was fabulous. The resort was super quiet and we were able to just relax and enjoy our holiday. We went on a few excursions; the most memorable one was the one to the islands, Paxos & Antipaxos however the reason why is a little embarrassing. Here’s what happened…
What on earth had possessed me to go on a boat excursion, despite knowing how much I get sea-sick, will still forever be a mystery but we wanted to see two beautiful islands and the only way to get there was by boat. I felt sick, my face was stinging from all the sea-water splashbacks as we had to stand by the edges of the boat as it was full with people was a living nightmare. I promised myself the views would be worth it and I was not wrong. The sea was amazingly clear and crystal blue – it was so beautiful. The cliffs on Paxos was amazing to look and we even headed inside the little cave you can see in the photo above. The boat also stopped at a lagoon where people were able to jump off the boat for a quick splash before we headed towards Antipaxos.
Arriving at the port of Antipaxos, it looked like something out of a postcard. The waters were clear and so beautiful and the little town looked cute and quaint. As part of the excursion we were allowed 40mins of individual exploring before we had to head back to the boat to go home… then this is when our nightmare started.
We enjoyed a lovely splash in the shallow waters, it was freezing cold but as the sun was so hot it was like a really nice, cool dip. My phone then ran out of battery so Daddy P bought a little watch at a nearby stall and we set it to the right time. Little did we know, the watch had stopped working for about 30 mins so when we arrived back at our meeting point, to which we thought we were on time… we were late and the boat had already left! An hour or two later and we realised we’d had enough – we were low on money and just wanted to get back to our apartment. We eventually got back using a water taxi that set us back €100.
So that’s my little story about my off-season travel to Corfu. I hope you enjoyed it! 🙂
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.
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 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.
Today was the day we went to visit The Scarlet Spa. Hidden away in Magwan 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.
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 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.
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 fog was so thick, it felt a little eerie to see it engulf 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.
Check out my #ThrowbackThursday post with more stunning photos of The Scarlet Spa