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March Newsletter

 

 

 

Hi everyone,

I realise we are now almost two weeks in to April, and that March is well and truly OVER, but I haven’t yet had time to eat/sleep/breathe since I returned from my little European escape to Bratislava and Vienna which is why this post is seriously overdue! If you follow me on Instagram you’ll know that I’ve been a very busy bee lately, and if you don’t (why don’t you? Go follow go follow!) here’s my March round up in a bit more detail so you can see exactly what I’ve been up to over the past few weeks!

I popped down to London for a work event

 

Dinner with a view 😍🍴 #London #visitlondon #nationalportraitgallery

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Right at the start of the month I was invited to take part in a team-day in London with one of my clients who I work with as part of my freelance business. We met for breakfast at Café in the Crypt in St Martin in the Fields and then headed to The National Portrait Gallery to gaze at some of the wonderful artwork on display. After a little wander we popped up to the gallery’s exclusive restaurant and had a fantastic lunch with brilliant rooftop views over the iconic London skyline. Before it was time to catch my train back to Oxford I went for a little stroll past Trafalgar Square, down towards The Mall and Buckingham Palace and spent a lovely sunny afternoon playing tourist for the day!

I had my annual hospital check up

 

My hospital check ups are a big part of my life, not because I let my illness define me, but because I am constantly monitored and I want to see how I’m progressing, or deteriorating, and with each year that passes it’s sort of another milestone that I’ve reached. This year marked my sixth annual check up, I can’t believe it’s been so long since I was first diagnosed with my prolactinoma! I’m really pleased to say that I’ve been responding well to another year of the same medication (I stopped then re-started it last summer) and it seems as though the tumor is still shrinking – yay!

I still need more tests doing on my eyes so I have been referred back to the hospital in August for another mini check up, but my next full check up will be in another 12 months time, so March 2018. The Pituitary Foundation, the wonderful charity who have supported me with my diagnosis for the past six years, actually published my story on their website this month and it was really well received – have a read if you can spare five minutes out of your day, as hopefully it will help you to understand why I get so poorly and often can’t travel as much as I want to!

I’ve fully embraced Spring

 

 

 

I just love sunshine.  I love the warmth of the air, I love the blue of the sky, I love the feeling that summer is just around the corner, and that’s probably why I love spring so much! We’ve been really lucky to have had a few bright sunny days over here in the UK lately and it makes me appreciate where I live even more when I can get out for long dog walks in the countryside and spend some quality time in the great outdoors!

I spent Mothers Day at Wembley with my dad (sorry mum!)

 

 

This was a totally spontaneous, unplanned day trip that just so happened to fall on Mothers Day, ooops! My dad had been given a couple of free tickets to watch England’s World Cup qualifier against Lithuania at Wembley Stadium so we thought it would be rude not to make use of them! The sun was shining, the fans were out in force and it was a beautiful day for the beautiful game! It had been a good 12 years or so since my dad and I had last gone to Wembley together so, as we walked down the famous Wembley Way, we took a little trip down memory lane and reminisced about the last time we were there. We had a really lovely day out and I can’t wait to go back to Wembley again in the not too distant future!

I took a trip to Cotswold Wildlife Park (for the 1000th time)

 

What a beautiful day for a wander round #cotswoldwildlifepark in the sunshine ☀️☀️ #Cotswolds #oxfordshire #happysaturday

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I live literally 5 minutes from the Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens, located just past the pretty town of Burford (where I went to school!) so I have been coming to this place since I was a newborn baby! Me and my sisters always try and visit when we can, even though one of them works there at the weekends! We chose a really lovely day (luckily) and spent all afternoon wandering around the park and gardens seeing the animals, taking our westie dog with us and enjoying ice cream in the sunshine. CWP is a fantastic place for a family day out and I never tire of it despite visiting every year since I was born!

I spent 2 days exploring Bratislava…

 

🌅🏰 We watched the sunset over the castle on the hill 🌅🏰

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March also saw me take some adventures a little further afield, and I was so ready for another city break by the time the end of the month came around! Me and Lucy had planned our mini Europe trip to Slovakia and Austria so flew to Bratislava for two nights to start off our adventure. Our only full day in the capital was spent walking over 16km, hiking up to the beautiful castle on the hill, climbing towers for spectacular panoramic views across the city, and learning all about the history of the city with a walking tour from Visit Bratislava, who we worked with during our trip. I’ll be writing up a full guide to Bratislava in the coming days, but I really really loved my time there and I can’t wait to show you all my pretty photos!

… and then hopped on a train to Vienna for two nights!

 

Ohhhhhh Viennaaaaaaa 🎼🎼

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As part of our mini Europe tour we jumped on a train from Bratislava to Vienna for two nights and spent some time exploring everything the Austrian capital had to offer. We arrived early in the city and had enough time to visit the famous palaces, opera houses, churches and the beautiful St Stephen’s Cathedral. We also wandered through some of the many green parks and spent an afternoon at one of the oldest amusement parks in the world! Working with the Vienna Tourist Board, we fitted in as much as we could during our short stay before heading back to Bratislava again to fly home. A city guide to Vienna will be published on the blog soon so keep an eye out for that, but Lucy and I had the BEST time on our mini Europe adventure!

So there we have it, my March has been crazy busy but I wouldn’t have had it any other way! I’ve already spent the first two weeks of April running around like a headless chicken, going on a spa day, taking my little dog for long walks in the countryside, and working every hour god sends to try and get more money for my upcoming travels! The rest of April is filled up too and my next trip will be London for three nights at the end of the month for Traverse 17 and I am SO EXCITED! How did your March go? Leave me a comment below – I hope you’ve been enjoying the warm sunny weather we’ve been having here in the UK…long may it continue!

Love Jess x

 

I'm just gonna keep posting pics from my #Bratislava trip cos I was there this time last week and I LOVE IT SO MUCH 🏰😍 @visitbratislava

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A Day in Malmo, Sweden

#tbt to when me and the sis were a little windswept overlooking #Malmö city centre 🇸🇪 #Sweden #throwbackthursday

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So last month, as part of our little winter escape to Copenhagen, my sister and I decided to take a spontaneous day trip to Malmo, Sweden to tick another city, and another country, off our ever expanding bucket lists. From Copenhagen airport we took the train, crossed over the spectacular Oresund Bridge and, within less than half an hour, we had arrived safely in the Swedish city. With only a day to explore we got straight to it and made the most of our short time in Malmo; here’s my guide of what to see and do during your time there too…

 

Arrive by train

 

 

Day returns either from CPH Central Station or CPH Airport Train Station run pretty much every hour to and from Malmo, and we paid around £15pp for a return ticket which we thought was really good value! The journey across the Oresund Bridge was incredibly scenic with some brilliant views of the Flinte Channel below. Snap your photos quick though, as the bridge blocks a lot of the daylight out, and you’ll be in a tunnel for part of your journey too.

Explore Little Square

This place was super cute and it was as if we had found a little slice of home right in the middle of Sweden. Lilla Torg, or Little Square as it’s known as, had a mixture of trendy bars and restaurants and it’s cobbled streets and colourful buildings really made for the perfect escape tucked away from the bustling high street.

Spot the Turning Torso

Can you see it? Can you see it? If you look really closely at this picture you’ll find the Turning Torso, the most famous landmark in Malmo, hiding just behind the tall grey curved building on the right hand side. Granted, the weather was horrendous while we were there and the fog was so thick you could barely see a thing, but I promise it was there! I wish we’d have seen the tower on a clearer day though as I’ve been told it really is a sight to behold.

Discover Malmo Castle

#Malmo castle… Probably the most unconventional castle I've ever seen! Have you been? #Sweden #city #citybreak #europe #visitsweden

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Sadly we didn’t have time to go inside the actual castle, but we wandered around the grounds and saw it from the outside so we got a feel for the place and what it would have been like all those years ago. Unlike most castles we have across Europe, this one felt really traditional as it was in the middle of a moat so I could imagine the draw bridge being let down and the horses trampling over it during it’s busy times! I’d highly recommend a trip to the castle during your time in Malmo.

Wander round the parks

 

Because windmills look prettier when they're in #Sweden 😍 #Malmo #city #europe #flashbackfriday @visitsweden

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The weather wasn’t great when we visited, it was pretty cold and super foggy but I imagine you could spend a whole day wandering through plenty of Malmo’s pretty parks when the sun is shining and the climate is a little warmer! You’ll find green spaces, lakes, ponds and lots of wildlife to chase as you’re wandering through the parks and whiling away the hours.

Take a stroll down by the harbour

Another day, another country! Oh hey #Malmö 🇸🇪🇸🇪 #Sweden #city #happymonday

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The harbour was probably my favourite place in the whole of Malmo, I really loved the mix of the cobbled streets and funky buildings that complemented each other perfectly. The boats were moored and the water was totally calm, making it a really peaceful place for an afternoon stroll, a world away from the typical working harbours that are so often found throughout Europe and the UK.

 

So there we have it, my guide to exploring the little Swedish city of Malmo in just a day. Obviously, if you have more time to spare you could fit more in, but Malmo is fairly small anyway so you can do most of it in a day. If you’re looking to venture a little further afield, why not head over to the nearby cities of Lund and Helsinborg to discover more of this Scandinavian gem? I loved my little taste of Sweden during my time in Malmo and am planning to head back there and make my way over to Stockholm as soon as possible!

Love Jess x

 

 

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Press Visit: 24 Hours in Bath Spa

 

Last week I was lucky enough to be invited on my first ever press trip to the beautiful city of Bath Spa and I had the most AMAZING overnight stay! Working in conjunction with Visit Bath and the stunning Francis Hotel, I was able to obtain a press pass which granted me access to some of the city’s top attractions. Located in the pretty county of Somerset, the city of Bath is one of the most visited in England, attracting over 3.8 million visitors each year.

Bath became a Spa in 60 AD with the Latin name Aquæ Sulis when the Romans built the baths in the valley of the River Avon, and remains the only place in the UK where you can bathe in thermal waters from the natural hot springs underneath the city. The whole city was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987, and is still the only place in the UK to have this title. The centre of Bath is pretty small, and everything can be seen in a day or two so, without further ado, here is my ultimate guide to this gorgeous city!

 

How to get there

Bath is perfectly positioned just off the M4 and M5 motorways, just 19 miles from Bristol Airport and a 90 minute train ride away from London Paddington station, meaning it can be accessed by bus, car, coach, train or plane. However, as it’s a fairly small city, the roads are often congested with heavy traffic and parking can be a little tricky as it is often so busy. The whole of Bath can be explored on foot, and walking is the best way to truly discover the city, so ditch the car and arrive by train instead! Bath Spa station is just a 5 minute walk from the city centre and offers fantastic frequent services that run smoothly, allowing you to visit from many different UK rail stations.

1024px-bath_spa_railway_station_from_beechen_cliff

Photo credit: By Rwendland – Own work. Source: Commons Wikimedia

 

 

Where to stay

There’s a vast array of different hotels and B&B’s in Bath, many of which are luxury spa hotels given the city’s thermal water heritage, but there are properties to suit every need and budget. For a luxurious stay in a beautiful setting at the heart of the city, I’d highly recommend the Francis Hotel, located on Queens Square. With it’s original Georgian architecture still in tact, the hotel was converted from a row of terraced houses and now boasts 98 individually designed modern bedrooms with a distinct historic feel.

 

There’s also a delightful tearoom where afternoon tea is served daily, snug lounge and bar areas, an underground dining/breakfast room and famous chef Raymond Blanc’s signature restaurant, Brasserie Blanc. Onsite parking and free WIFI is available at the hotel, and the friendly staff are on hand to help whatever your query might be. For a 4* stay at the heart of Bath you really can’t go wrong with the Francis Hotel – my full review will be posted on the blog soon!

 

What to see

There are a number of impressive landmarks in Bath which are not to be missed on your visit to the city – here are my Top 5:

 bathabbey Bath Abbey – one of the oldest Church buildings in the UK, with striking Perpendicular Gothic architecture and history dating back to the 7th century. The Abbey runs frequent tours allowing visitors t0 climb the 212 steps up to the top of the tower for spectacular panoramic views across the city.

 

 

The Roman Baths – follow in the footsteps of the Romans and explore the site where they bathed in thermal plunge pools over 2000 years ago. With a fantastic museumromanbaths and original architecture dating back to 70AD, the Baths are a natural wonder and perhaps the city’s most popular tourist attraction.

royalcrescent

 

 

 

The Royal Crescent & The Circus – a row of 30 terraced houses laid out in the shape of a sweeping crescent overlooking the gardens of the Royal Victoria Park. Both the Crescent and the Circus are some of the country’s best examples of fine Georgian architecture.

pulteneybridgePulteney Bridge – one of only 4 historic bridges left in the world with shops built into it on either side. Completed back in 1774, the bridge was designed to connect the city with the Georgian town of Bathwick. Cross the River Avon in style & gaze down to the striking crescent weir below.

 

Thermae Bath Spa – award-winning natural spa allowing visitors to bathe in the UK’s only naturally warm mineral waters, just as the Romans did over 2000 years ago! Immerse yourself in the spa’s different chambers; a lazy river with Jacuzzi, a range of aromatic steam rooms and a thermal rooftop pool with spectacular views of the city skyline.

thermae-spa

Photo credit: Rob Slade Photography

Where to eat & drink

Bath is known for its high end eateries and its iconic Pump Room is a stunning restaurant at the heart of the city, located just next to Bath Abbey & The Roman Baths. There are also a number of popular chain restaurants, such as Pizza Express, Nandos, Prezzo, Wagamama & Browns which offer visitors an eclectic choice when it comes to dining. As Bath is also a uni city, there are plenty of bars, pubs and even a couple of clubs for those looking for some adventurous nightlife.

 

For a quintessentially English treat, Sally Lunn’s Tea Rooms are not to be missed! With history dating back to the 1400s, Sally Lunn’s is one of the oldest eateries in England. Guests flock from all corners of the globe to get a taste of the world famous sweet and savoury buns, served with different flavoured toppings and fillings to suit every palette. The buns are so large that they’re served in half and traditionally eaten with a knife and fork. Today the restaurant serves up a menu based on the buns that were first created by Sally Lunn herself back in 1680 when she arrived in England as a French refugee. There is a museum and small gift shop underneath the restaurant which houses the original kitchens that Sally used to bake her world famous buns. The museum is free for diners to enter and you can even buy your own buns to take home!

 

What not to miss

Discover a hidden gem at the heart of the city and indulge in a private spa session at The Cross Bath. Located next to the Thermae Spa and part of the same building, although it is not attached, you’ll be able to immerse yourself in the steaming thermal waters and enjoy an intimate spa session with private changing facilities. The Cross Bath can be visited individually, or hired out by a maximum of 12 people at a time, making it a quiet alternative to the busy facilities offered at the Thermae Spa. The spa’s catering team can also provide nibbles and champagne for a luxurious treat and an occasion to remember. The Cross Bath is recognised as an official sacred site and is a hidden gem not to be missed when visiting the city!

The Cross Bath- a hidden gem at the heart of #bath! 🇬🇧 #visitbath #visitengland #visitbritain #lovegreatbritain #UK #GB #igersbath

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When to visit

Bath is beautiful at any time of year, but I particularly love it during the autumn/winter months, when the countdown to Christmas is well and truly on! In the lead up to the big day, there are a number of popular events in the city, such as The Great Bath Feast, The Bath Film Festival, Bath Rotary Club Fireworks Display, and The Bath Christmas Markets, making autumn/winter one of the busiest times of the year.

Ladies and gents, The Roman Baths! 🇬🇧 #bath #visitbath #UK #GB #visitbritain #lovegreatbritain

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Visiting in spring or summer is just as lovely too though, with the better weather Bath comes alive and the blue skies and green grass really shows off the city in all its glory. Bath Literature Festival, Vitality Bath Half Marathon and the Bath Comedy and Bath Digital Festivals are all fun, family friendly events on the spring/summer calendar making it a great time to visit.

How beautiful is the #royalcrescent looking in the sunshine today?! #bath #visitbath #GB #UK @visitbath #visitbritain #lovegreatbritain

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Why visit Bath?

In summary, Bath is one of those really gorgeous cities that should definitely not be missed when planning a trip to the UK! It’s super easy to visit by either rail, road or air and is in a prime location in the west of the country, perfect if breaking up your journey to London and surrounding areas. Offering a whole host of things to see and do, the history and charm of Bath will leave you wanting to return time and time again.

Oh Bath Abbey how I've missed you! 😍🇬🇧 #bath #wanderlustwednesday #UK #GB @visitbath

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So there we have it, my full guide to visiting the city of Bath – you can now plan your trip and go enjoy a fabulous stay there whenever you choose to visit! Have you ever been to Bath before, or are you planning on going anytime soon? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Love Jess x

NB. For this press visit I was lucky enough to be a guest with Visit Bath and with the Francis Hotel, but all opinions are of course my own.

May Newsletter!

Hi everyone,

For the first time in agggeeesss I’m finally writing this newsletter before the month has even ended – normally I post my monthly newsletter way in to the next month just because I’m always so busy! However, now that I’ve quit my job, I’ve magically found the time to put this newsletter together for you. I have had a RIDICULOUS month; I’ve been busy every weekend and now don’t have a free weekend til 9th July but I am absolutely loving life! Here’s how my May turned out…

I’m now officially a full time traveller

 

So that's it, I have finished working at Martin and Co, never thought this day would come! It has been such a big part of my life for the past five years and has brought me so much happiness! I've met so many wonderful people, made the most amazing friends and have memories to last a lifetime. When I was 18 everyone told me to go to uni and enjoy being young instead of getting a full time job but, you know what, working has been the best thing for me and has made me into the person I am today. I'm strong and independent and have worked hard day in day out to make a better future for myself. Now that I'm able to support myself financially I'm finally able to achieve my dream and travel the world, something that wouldn't have been possible had I not been working. I will miss everyone so much and the memories will last a lifetime. I've been a blubbering mess ALL DAY but I know in my heart the time is right for me to leave. Time now to enjoy the bank holiday weekend and celebrate my long awaited freedom… Happy Friday y'alll 🎉💐🎊

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I can’t believe this has finally happened… I have now officially left my admin job after five years to travel the world! I was incredibly sad to say goodbye to my wonderful friends and colleagues, but I knew I was doing the right thing by leaving. I now feel an overwhelming sense of freedom and cannot wait for my future travel adventures! First stop, LA baby!

I dealt with my first ever piece of criticism

 

👊👊

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This was something totally new for me; in my two years of blogging I have never once received a piece of negative feedback about my writing until a few weeks ago, when my latest post for Yahoo Style UK was published. I had put together my pick of Britain’s Best Cities and received some pretty nasty comments within just a few hours of the post being published. A lot of the commenters were just trolls, or spammers, with nothing better to do, but it still hurt and made me doubt my credibility as a writer. I have however turned a negative into a positive, saw the attention as a backhanded compliment, and will use the criticism constructively when writing my future posts. Have a look for yourself by reading the article, and the comments, and  don’t be afraid to tell me what you really think!

I enjoyed a fantastic spa weekend

 

#throwback to last weekend's home from home 📷🏡 @cotswoldwaterpark

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My beautiful sister Hannah celebrated her 21st birthday a couple of weeks ago and it was certainly one to remember! We spent the day shopping and having cocktails at a rooftop bar in Oxford before enjoying a posh meal out in the evening as a family. We then booked a surprise trip to  the wonderful Cotswold Water Park Four Pillars hotel for a girly spa weekend away and we had the best time!

I finally downloaded Snapchat

 

Finally caved and got #snapchat.. go add me on there! @jessica16_x 🙋🙋

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So I’ve FINALLY caved and downloaded the phenomenon that is Snapchat after years of saying I’d never do it! I kinda couldn’t be bothered for yet another social media account but I realised that Snapchat is a really fun way of showcasing my travels and allowing my followers, friends and family to see what I’m doing and where I’m travelling to, especially as I’m going to be in America for a month. Don’t forget to add my username jessica16_x to keep up to date with all my latest adventures!

I went to Bournemouth for my best friends hen do

 

Last night in #Bournemouth with my girly, the beautiful bride to be! 👰👸💖 @kirstymichelle11 #prinnys #bride #bridesmaid #besties

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Ahh Bournemouth, I hadn’t seen you in so long! A couple of weeks ago my best friend and beautiful bride to be, Kirsty, and eight of us other girls headed down to the coast to celebrate the hen do. The sun was shining and particular highlights of the weekend included outdoor fun at Go Ape and watching The Dreamboys show at Halo Nightclub. In between the partying, jumping off trees and staring at hot guys on stage we found the time to sunbathe on the beach, eat ice cream and go shopping! The big day itself is tomorrow and I’m so honoured to be Kirsty’s bridesmaid! <3

I met the Prime Minister

 

 

So this isn’t blog related AT ALL but, yeah, I met the Prime Minister of Great Britain last week and I just thought I should share that with you! Basically in my old job (sounds so weird saying that) our office was opposite David Cameron’s office and we knew he was in town so we got him to pose with us to support our team Twin Town Challenge, a charity event we had taken part in. I don’t think many people can say they’ve met one of the biggest political leaders I the world, so this HAD to make the cut on my May newsletter! 😉

I’ve been reviewing like crazy

 

 

For some reason May has turned into a month long review-fest right here on the blog! I’ve been reviewing everything from hotels and restaurants to afternoon teas and lunch menus. I have thoroughly enjoyed reviewing some of the most beautiful places in and around the Cotswolds over the past few weeks, including Ellenborough Park and Villandry Bicester Village, and have loved sharing them all with you. If you are a brand or PR company and would like me to provide a review for your product, client or company then please do get in touch as I am looking to take on new, relevant projects all the time!

I celebrated my two year blogiversary!

 

So today marks two whole years since my first ever blog post and the day that Journeys with Jessica began! I look back to the day when my little blog was started and I can't believe how far I've come! My journeys have taken me to so many places, from Reykjavik and Prague to Disneyland, Budapest and Barcelona and I've even been nominated for an award!! It only seems fitting that, now, two years on, I'm about to embark on my biggest adventure yet and travel across America for a whole month! I couldn't be more excited for my future and cannot wait to focus on my blog and try to acheive my dream of becoming a full time travel writer! Thank you to EVERYONE who has followed my blog since 2014 and to all my readers who continue to support me – I wouldn't be where I am today without you! Here's to the next two years and many more in the blogosphere! Love Jess x

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Can you believe that my little blog has been going for TWO WHOLE YEARS already?! Where the heck has that time gone?! For something that started as a small hobby for me I feel it’s really taken off; who’d have thought I’d still be doing this all these months later and even be nominated for an AWARD for it?! The time has absolutely flown by and I have been so proud to watch my blog grow. Thank you to YOU, you beautiful readers, for your continued support and endless love. <3

So there you have it, told you I’ve been busy! I won’t be doing a June newsletter next month as I’m going to be travelling across America for 27 days on my epic Contiki adventure! I am so so excited and will be having way too much fun to be blogging BUT you can come along for the ride too by following my journey on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook AND Snapchat now that I finally have it!

Hope you all have an amazing few weeks and I’ll be back in the UK from mid July with soooo much news for you. Until next time!

Love Jess x

 

New hairrrrrr 💇 #selfie

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A Charming Cotswolds Retreat: Royal Afternoon Tea at Ellenborough Park, Cheltenham Spa

ellenborough park hotel

Image courtesy of www.ellenboroughpark.com

 

Last Monday I was invited to the beautiful Ellenborough Park, a five star Cotswold manor house hotel located on the outskirts of Cheltenham Spa, to review their Royal Afternoon Tea. The promotion is running until 30th June 2016 in honour of Queen Elizabeth’s 90th birthday celebrations and offers guests a fantastic dining experience amongst stunning settings on the original Cheltenham Racecourse estate. I attended with my sister, Hannah, who absolutely LOVES afternoon tea. I thought she would be the perfect plus one to help me with my review and, I was right, she definitely didn’t take much persuading! 😉 We had a fantastic afternoon in the most beautiful of surroundings and were suitably stuffed by the time we had finished! Here’s how we got on…

Upon arrival we were greeted by the lovely Jonathan, one of the waiters who looked after us for most of the day. We were shown to our table, or in this case, an exclusive lounge on the first floor of the dining room where we were made to feel like true VIP’s for the day. With quirky antique tables and chairs and large windows as well as a balcony overlooking the rest of the dining room, our executive lounge made the perfect place from which to enjoy our Royal Afternoon Tea.

 

Exclusive lounge for our #royalafternoontea @ellenboroughpk yesterday! 🍰☕️#Cotswolds #cheltenham #review #traveltuesday

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Shortly after we were seated, and had finished gazing in awe at our new surroundings, we were shown the menus by Jonathan and were able to select our teas. There was a wide range of teas from traditional English breakfast to raspberry, rooibos and even chocolate flavoured. We both chose the strawberry and mango infused tea which was brought to our table in a cute little teapot with cups and saucers. We then ordered the Royal Afternoon Tea for two which was brought to us promptly.

 

 

Hannah and I couldn’t believe our eyes when the afternoon tea arrived, there was literally SO. MUCH. FOOD! The menu, by executive head chef David Kelman, boasted three tiers of sumptuous goodies including sandwiches, scones, cakes and sweet treats. The bottom tier comprised of a range of sandwiches including honey roast ham with Tewkesbury mustard, smoked salmon, egg mayonnaise with cress and cucumber with tomato and spicy relish. We actually swapped the smoked salmon sandwiches for cheese and pickle ones as we aren’t huge fans of salmon but we both love our cheese! The sandwiches were perfectly cut, neatly filled and incredibly tasty.

 

The middle tier was home to freshly baked Ellenborough Park fruit scones with jam and clotted cream. The scones were fresh out the oven and were still warm so the jam and cream set on the top just nicely and were mouth-wateringly good! Finally, the top tier showcased some of the most fantastic dessert pieces I have ever seen. We were treated to meringue swans filled with fresh strawberries (they were GENIUS!) and Her Majesty’s  favourite chocolate cake with white chocolate flag which was truly scrumptious. There was also a salted caramel Tudor rose chocolate which was incredibly rich as well as Her Majesty’s passionfruit hat, a passionfruit mousse set on a biscuit base with passionfruit glaze and edible sugar flowers which was a delight!

 

Hannah and I devoured almost everything on each tier and were fit to burst by the time we had finished! We thoroughly enjoyed each and every aspect of the afternoon tea and there was no item on the menu which wasn’t expertly made or presented. The 5 star surroundings added to the luxurious atmosphere and it was certainly a dining experience to remember.

 

Can I eat all of these again please?! ☕️🍰 @ellenboroughpk #cotswolds #cheltenham #review #afternoontea

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Ellenborough Park’s Royal Afternoon Tea prides itself on reflecting “the Queen’s love of horses, decades of fashionable hats for royal engagements and guardianship of the nation’s swans.” Executive head chef David Kelman’s “celebratory afternoon tea adds a touch of regal splendour to this quintessentially British delight, served on china fit for a queen.”

With its stunning buildings and sprawling grounds, Ellenborough Park prides itself on “providing guests with the finest hotel accommodation and service in the Cotswolds.” You’ll find 60 large bedrooms and suites as well as two on-site restaurants lead by award winning executive head chef David Kelman. Facilities include an impressive Indian-themed spa and a 15m heated outdoor swimming pool  whilst other leisure activities within the hotel grounds can also be arranged.

 

Beautiful day, beautiful hotel! Thanks so much for having me @ellenboroughpk ☀️🏨 #Cotswolds #visitgreatbritain #cheltenham

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To celebrate all things British and enjoy a quintessentially English dining experience book your table at Ellenborough Park today! Royal Afternoon Tea is priced at £22pp Monday – Thursday or £25pp Friday-Sunday. An optional glass of Champagne Billecart-Salmon can be added for an extra £12pp. To book, please call the hotel directly on 01242 545454 or email info@ellenboroughpark.com. Thank you to all at Ellenborough Park for looking after us and for giving us such a wonderful afternoon – I cannot recommend the hotel highly enough and I will certainly be back!

Love Jess x

NB. I dined with Ellenborough Park as a guest for the purpose of this review but all views are my own.