In London: The Sky Garden

Before this trip I had never even heard of The Sky Garden but I can tell you right now I was missing out, it is beautiful! This mini botanical garden area is 155m up in the air, with 360 degrees panoramic views and spots to eat, you could spend the entire day up here! PhoebeGill160509210The first amazing thing about this place is that it is free to get into! Free! All you have to do is book in at a certain time, there are limited spaces available each day. Check out ticket times and options here. Although the ticket permits you in for an hour at a time, there is also a restaurant and a bar so you can be fed and watered, if you want to experience the Sky Garden for longer.  PhoebeGill160509083In the main section of the Sky Garden there is the Sky Pod where you can have coffee and cake or I choose some delicious lemonade. It is going to be a bit more expensive but it’s such a nice atmosphere. With the plants and the flowers it gives this fresh air feeling. Also I have allergies and I can assure you you I didn’t sneeze once, which was great. Now lets talk about the view. PhoebeGill160509073As you are 155 meters up there needs to be safety procedures so there are thick panes of glass for you to look out at. This does mean that they are a bit grubby and there will be reflections but it is still an amazing view. Watching busy London from above is really interesting, watching boats go by and cars go over the bridge, it’s such a great vantage point to watch the city. PhoebeGill160509089I definitely recommend this gorgeous place, check out the website and book a ticket. Also thanks to the couple who perfectly fit in this image. Hope you’re well! Thanks so much for reading!

Happy Travels!

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In London: Great Eats You Have To Try!

First off lets talk about The Breakfast Club. I have heard great things about this place for about two years now and I have been desperate to try it. Thankfully this place was so close to where I was staying in London. PhoebeGill160509053I usually test a place by their eggs Benedict and a flat white coffee. They are my staples if I go out to breakfast. I threw in some breakfast potatoes and a freshly squeezed orange juice to my order to make this breakfast the ultimate indulgence! It was so tasty and everything you could want to start your day of exploring and walking around London. Definitely recommend. Check out their locations here. They are open late so you can have breakfast whenever you like! Perfection. This breakfast will set you back a bit, this food was just under £20 but I went all out, you can find cheaper items on the menu. PhoebeGill160509170Now lets talk about the second place that was around the corner from where I was staying that I loved. Pizza Union! Ah if only they were in Ireland. It is a proper Italian style pizza place with a big stone fire pizza oven. It has a quick service and delicious food. PhoebeGill160509287I recommend you get what’s in the picture, a delicious pepperoni pizza, their garlic dip, which is amazing for £1 extra and a Limonata, which, in my opinion is the best drink on earth! This meal will cost you under £10 and you will be full and happy. There are only two locations check where they are at here.

Note: Both of these locations are in Spittlefields.

Usually I snack when I travel so these food posts are few and far between but I wanted to share these two places with you because I have been thinking about them since I’ve been home. How much do you want pizza right now?

Happy Travels!

In London: The Tower of London

On a rainy day in London I went to the Tower of London, I had never been before and only ever got a small glimpse of it as I was rushing to the airport. As I had planned so many new things to do during this trip, this had to be added, it’s an iconic tourist attraction.PhoebeGill160510206I think the rain gave the Tower a fitting atmosphere. This medieval fortress is very impressive and has got really interesting history around it. I am not going to do it justice but there are lots of historic elements in each building that showcases the stories of the past. Some buildings of interest are the torture section which really does baffle the mind, there is the armour section that has wonderfully intricate pieces and of course the building where the crown jewels are kept. Which is what everyone really wants to see. PhoebeGill160510229Walking into the crown jewel building, you definitely get a sense of pride, it is very much ‘yay Britain’. There is lots of fanfare and video, bigging up the royal family and Great Britain in general. It is a bit of fun and it’s interesting to see where some of the pieces came (were taken) from.  I saw Queen Victoria’s tiny crown, that is a interesting piece. All in all it’s very opulent and lots of sparkles. It’s great craftsmanship and they are really gorgeous treasures.PhoebeGill160510217My favourite story from this site is the Ravens, it was said at least 6 ravens must be in the grounds at all times or the fortress will fall. Reminds me of Game of Thrones, I really enjoy the superstitions of the past. It was very interesting learning and I definitely recommend you go and see it! PhoebeGill160510238I bought my ticket online so it was a little bit cheaper, it was £21. It is a little pricy but you can also group purchase tickets for different attractions and you can go to onto discounted ticket sites but I don’t know how reputable they are. You can buy your tickets from the official website here!

Have you visited the Tower of London, what was your favourite part? Thank you for reading!

Happy Travels!

In London: The British Museum

In all my years of going to London, I had never been to the British Museum. So when I had some free time on a recent trip I headed straight for it. The only tip I have is, and this goes for any museum visit in London is to go early, especially at the weekend! PhoebeGill160508007The British Museum is free to enter, which really is wonderful. The building is so grand and it is very impressive. As a first time visitor it can be a little confusing where you should start but there is a big information point inside the door where I am sure they will point you in the right direction. It get’s very busy as time goes on so it can feel very cramped but just respect other people and let everyone have a turn. Remember manners people! PhoebeGill160508011Museums are really important so that we can learn and understand history. People don’t often get the chance to travel and see artifacts that are native to that country so I understand the need for museums. I got to the Rosetta Stone and it was so crowded and people had to squint to see the information written beside it and there was different information on each side. Which was a shame but still really great to see such an import piece of history that deciphered an amazing ancient writing system. PhoebeGill160508016Although I understand the need for places like the British Museum, I have to say that I felt very emotional walking around the Parthenon room. In school I learnt about Greek and Roman architecture and mythology and having been to the Acropolis and seeing how incredible that site is, it’s horribly sad to see the amazing elements of the Parthenon sitting in a grey, cold room. There was a caryatid all by herself! PhoebeGill160508019As interesting as The British Museum is, it really does feel that the artifacts that decorate this building aren’t theirs, and sometimes it feels like it should be back where it belongs. Maybe it is just the fact that I have been to the countries where these pieces come from that I have more of an emotional connection but I just didn’t really feel comfortable there.PhoebeGill160508030Thats not to say this building isn’t impressive and the design isn’t immersive but to be honest if you are going to have big pieces from places with such a rich history, I would have liked way more information! I suppose I would just like a person like my sister beside me all the time who can explain it’s history in such an engaging way! Definitely go for a visit, there is so much to see I am sure I actually saw very little!

Happy Travels!

In Travel: 5 Reasons Why I Hated Amsterdam

I have been to five continents, 22 countries and I have only hated one place.

This will surprise some but I hated Amsterdam. The list is endless but I will try sum up the things I didn’t like.

We decided to go to Amsterdam as a layover back from Greece. Greece is one of my favourites, I would happily go back tomorrow but Amsterdam, very different story.

Flying Ants.

It was the summer and just my luck it was the few days when flying ants were plaguing the streets. Imagine having breakfast by a canal, a typical Amsterdam experience, when suddenly you see the air moving and fluttering. I cannot stand them, they are stupid and get everywhere, even in my orange juice that morning, I felt like tearing my skin off and ruining my breakfast didn’t help. It was vile.

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By Francisco Anzola (Amsterdam Canal) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Drugs

I don’t care if you want to get off your face, I will think you’re an idiot but I don’t really care. What I do mind, is seeing needles on the ground outside, seeing people off their heads in supermarkets and people starting fights in the street. It made me so uncomfortable. And no I wasn’t in the red light district for any of this, I was 15 and my father knows Amsterdam very well. He wouldn’t take his family to the sex district.

Trams

Why are they so close to the paths? Like do you realise people could step out to avoid another human and bam. Also that ding-ing really grates after a while.

Weteringschans.jpg
By Ilonamay (Own work) CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Bicycles

Shut up with your bells, pedestrians need to cross the street too. I have always hated cyclists so a country celebrating bicycles isn’t really the country for me.

Cycling_Amsterdan_04.jpg
By Alfredo Borba (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Hotel

I can’t remember exactly what hotel we stayed at but it didn’t have any air conditioning. In the height of summer for your air conditioning to be broken isn’t ok. Me and my sister couldn’t sleep and decided to watch Monty Python, which was a lovely bonding moment but I’d rather the sleep.

Basically Amsterdam made me feel gross, angry, tired and so damn appreciative of my home. As we turned the corner in the taxi I started to quiet cry because it’s so nice having my home to go back to. Although the trip was a disaster it made me realise what I had.

It’s amazing what a bad hotel and bad atmosphere can do to your enjoyment of a city. I might go back one day but right now I have better places to go.

Happy Travels!

In Ireland: Makers and Brothers

Makers and Brothers

You know when you find a shop that reflects the inside of your brain, well this is mine. It’s Irish, it’s family run and the products are beautiful!

Makers and Brothers is run by Jonathan and Mark Legge. They believe in simple, beautifully designed, practical crafts and design. There is a vast array of products from kitchen implements to clothes to children’s toys.

It’s is an online retailer but they do have a pop up shop in their Shed from time to time. It is two floors of amazing things I want to buy. I love simple design and the products they sell are good quality and beautifully crafted.

Even their displays are aesthetically pretty. They have really designed every inch of this space to show their creativity to the max.

There is also a coffee shop attached to the Shed. I definitely recommend their hot chocolate. Outside is decorated with a christmas tree and lights, again something that makes you feel like they made an incredible effort to have a space that is well thought out and reflected their attention to detail.

I couldn’t recommend this place more. Definitely visit their site and fall in love with everything like I have https://makersandbrothers.com/ or visit the pop up shop, all information is on their site.

Happy Travels!