All posts filed under: travel

Staying at The Malabar, Cumbria

Over the May Bank Holiday, we treated ourselves to a staycation. We started our trip in the Lake District at The Forest Side in Grasmere (you can read about our stay here) before hopping over to the Dales (on the border with Cumbria), around half an hour away. Here we were staying at The Malabar, a B&B which we’d come across on Mr & Mrs Smith which we fell in love with from the second we saw it online. It was established in 2015 by Graham and Fiona Lappin. Despite having never lived in the area or run their own business before, they took on the project of converting Garths Farm into the wonderful B&B it is today. But it wasn’t all a completely new prospect – Fiona’s family had worked in the hotel business, although she had carved a successful career in publishing.¬†Graham grew up in the southern Indian state of Kerala where his father and grandfather were tea planters, although his career had been in banking in the UK, Hong Kong and India. …

Horseback riding in the sea at Hooves, Jamaica

While we were staying in Jamaica earlier this year, we were really quite content relaxing in our beautiful resort, Goldeneye. But there was one activity we had our eye on – horseback riding through the jungle and across the golden sands of the beach! I think there are a couple of companies that offer this in Jamaica, but our resort recommended Hooves. They arranged a private transfer (with the most amazing driver called Laurel, one of the nicest, funniest people we met in Jamaica and we still speak fondly of her – we’re still in touch on Whatsapp!) and in around half an hour we were pulling up at the stables in St Ann’s Bay. Hooves is a family business which has been running for over 20 years, with a very experienced team who you can see have a fantastic relationship with the horses. Many of the beautiful horses were rescued and brought back to good health, and are now living a very happy life at Hooves. I was given my horse (named Lover Boy!!) …

Dining at The Forest Side, The Lake District

I’m becoming acutely aware that every time I try a new tasting menu, I say it’s one of the best I’ve had. But the tasting menu at The Forest Side really was spectacular, and I think a big part of this was down to the freshness and seasonality of the dishes. It boasts a superb kitchen garden within the grounds of the hotel, which I wrote about in my previous post about our stay (you can read here). This extended to all of the food and even drinks at The Forest Side. Upon arrival, while most people were sipping coffees and tucking into Afternoon Tea, we got started on the cocktails! I kicked off proceedings with a Flowering Currant Margarita, with blanco tequila, flowering currant, cointreau and lime. It was stunning! I stupidly didn’t write down what Tim ordered and looking at the menu it’s impossible to work out what it might have been – the menu and selection of foraged ingredients is vast! Those cocktails went down very nicely (and rather quickly!) so we …

The Spa at Goldeneye, Jamaica

It seems like SO long ago since our incredible trip to Jamica at the end of February and rarely a day goes by when I don’t find myself daydreaming about it. You can catch up on my previous posts about where we stayed and the food if you’d like to know more about the resort, Goldeneye. One of its many superb features is the ‘FieldSpa.’ The spa is located right on the lagoon and for us it was directly opposite our cottage – this photo was taken from our terrace. You can easily canoe or paddle board over to the spa, but we thought we’d go for a wander around the grounds leading up to it, which have cute little messages dotted around reminding you to be quiet and maintain the peacefulness of the area. There’s a vast menu of treatments at the FieldSpa with massages, body scrubs and wraps, it was difficult to choose. We were booked in for a couple’s session so we could relax and unwind together at the same time, but …

Staying at The Forest Side in The Lake District

Despite growing up as a child in Yorkshire, I rarely visited The Dales and never made it over the border to the Lake District. I guess perhaps when places are close by you’re less likely to spend your free time there. On our holidays my Dad wanted to spend as little time in a car as possible (he did a lot of driving for his job) and as much time on a beach/by a pool as possible. Tim and I are the complete opposite of that at the moment – we spend most of our week at a desk, so ever since we got a car at the end of last year we’ve been loving being able to explore more. So over the May bank holiday weekend, we set off on our ‘staycation’ adventure in the Lake District and the Dales. It was an early start for us but we made it up to the Lakes by lunch time. We were staying at a hotel in Grasmere but not knowing if there would be much …

Dining at Goldeneye, Jamaica

I still catch myself daydreaming about the soothing sound of the waves gently hitting the sand, a reggae music beat in the distance, with a rum coconut in my hand. Our visit to Jamaica was a few months ago now, and it’s starting to feel like a wonderful dream. You can read about our stay at the superb Goldeneye here, if you haven’t already. But this post is about all of the fantastic food and drink that the Jamaican resort has to offer. Goldeneye has two restaurants within the grounds – The Gazebo and The Bizot Bar. I must admit, I was a tiny bit concerned there might not be enough variety, especially as we weren’t really planning to venture out of the resort in the evenings – we wanted to relax right where we were and not have to travel far. But I needn’t have worried, because both of these restaurants offered everything we needed, and more! The Gazebo, located on the left hand side as you enter the resort, before you cross the …

Our Stay at GoldenEye, Jamaica

You may have seen from my social channels that we went to Jamaica in February for our second wedding anniversary, and it was the most incredible holiday. Last year for Tim’s birthday we went to St Lucia and we fell in love with the Caribbean – the food, the weather, the people, everything was perfect. But Jamaica has officially upped the Caribbean’s game even further, it has completely stolen my heart. I can’t believe I’m only just getting round to writing about it on here, I don’t know where the time has gone. We booked through Turquoise Holidays who we worked with for our honeymoon in the Maldives and last year’s trip to St Lucia, and they were excellent as always. We spent ages scrolling through their websites and brochures and couldn’t decide where to go, but then we came across GoldenEye and knew we’d found the one! This was where Ian Fleming wrote the James Bond books. He first went to Jamaica during WWII, sent by Naval Intelligence to investigate U-Boat activities in the …