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An Evening on the Thames with CityCruises London Sundowner

 

 

 

Starting as we mean to go on…

 

A few weeks ago my sister and I had the pleasure of hopping on board The Sundowner, London’s number one evening cruise, hosted by the wonderful City Cruises team. This 2 and a half hour cruise showcases iconic London landmarks that line up along the Thames and can be seen from every angle, both in light and in the dark too. Canapes and sparkling wine greet you on arrival, whilst a local musician or jazz band play on board as you sail down the river. Sound too good to be true? It really was something special…

The cruise departs Westminster Pier at 6.30pm and lasts for approximately two hours. Once on board you’ll be treated to a complimentary glass of fizz before a delightful selection of canapes are passed round. The cruise is named The Sundowner in summer and Riverlights in winter which I think is super cool as everything is completely lit up after dark during the colder months! The boats’ downstairs has a large seating area with panoramic windows and a fully stocked bar, whilst upstairs holds plenty of uncovered seating and offers amazing views.

 

The upper deck of the Sundowner

 

As the Sundowner starts at Westminster Pier, it’s only right that the first landmarks you’ll spot are the iconic Big Ben and Houses of Parliament. You’ll get an amazing view of both as you pass them by, and you’ll see them again on the return journey too. The cruise then passes under several bridges before turning around and taking in some of the most famous sights in the city, such as The London Eye, The Globe Theatre, The Shard and HMS Belfast before going underneath the glorious Tower Bridge.

Tower Bridge is undoubtedly the highlight of the cruise, and passing underneath it is definitely one of those ‘bucket list’ moments! You’ll get photo opportunities aplenty as the boat goes quite slowly and there’s plenty of time to take pictures from every angle you can think of whilst gazing in awe at one of London’s most iconic symbols.

 

The mighty Tower Bridge

 

 

There was a really nice atmosphere on board, everyone was super friendly and the jazz musician who entertained us for the duration did a fantastic job. He played an eclectic range of golden oldies and recent chart hits, offering something to suit everyone. There were couples, solo travellers, families and groups of friends on board showing that this type of cruise really is perfect for all.

I really enjoyed my time on board The Sundowner and would recommend it to anyone looking to see the sights of the city from the comfort of the River Thames. There’s nothing quite like enjoying a warm summers evening in the heart of our capital city, and unwinding with bubbly and canapes was the perfect way to end a lovely day in London.

 

The Shard – the tallest building in the UK

 

The Sundowner cruise runs Wednesday-Sunday and departs Westminster Pier at 6.30pm, returning at around 8.30pm. Tickets are priced at £32pp. Children under 13 years of age are sadly not allowed on board. CityCruises are currently offering a fantastic FLASH DEAL on all Sundowner cruises – book before 18th September to receive a 20% discount! Travel must be taken Sunday-Friday before 31st October.

What are you waiting for?! Treat yourself or your loved ones to a delightful cruise along the Thames – you can thank me later!

Love Jess x

NB. I was invited by CityCruises as a guest for the purpose of this review, but all words, thoughts and photos are of course my own. A big thank you t

 

 

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*GIVEAWAY* A day out in London with Thames Rockets – and how you can win tickets! 🚀🚀

 

 

Last week I was lucky enough to hop aboard a speedboat on the Thames for a collaboration with a very special company. How cool is that?! Part of my job was to review a speedboat, and not just any old speedboat, a Thames Rocket if you please. Formerly known as London Rib Voyages, Thames Rockets has been renamed and rebranded since it was first launched in 2006, and has previously been awarded the #1 thing to do in London by TripAdvisor, the best tourist attraction by Visit London and, most recently, Family Friendly Attraction of the Year by Visit England. Fresh after their latest award win, the team at Thames Rockets seem to be getting bigger and better, with their awesome speed adventures offering quite possibly the best way to see London. Here’s how my trip went, and how you can WIN a pair of tickets for yourself too…

 

Boarding

 

thames rockets

Hopping on board 🚀🚀

 

Boarding for any Thames Rocket trip takes place on the London Eye Pier, at the heart of Westminster, right underneath the London Eye. Guests are advised to arrive 15 mins ahead of their allocated booking time and are given life jackets and a safety briefing before stepping on board the speedboat. The boats seat up to 12 people and no matter where you sit, you’ll get an amazing view of the sights from every angle! I took my little sister along for the ride and we were booked on to the Ultimate London Adventure, a 50 minute part guided tour/part speed experience showcasing the best that London has to offer.

 

The Tour

 

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Our tour guide, Rory, showing us the sights!

 

Our speed boat experience gave us the best of both worlds; an informative tour and history of all the famous landmarks along the river for 25 minutes, and then 25 minutes of full frontal speed as we broke through the Thames barrier, and the speed restrictions, and whizzed from one side of the riverbank to the other for as long we could. Our guide, Rory, was so much fun – he told us fun facts about each of the iconic sights whilst not making it sound like a history lesson! I’ve walked and toured London many times before, but I still found out things I hadn’t known about purely from Rory’s fantastic knowledge.

 

The Sights

 

 

Starting at The London Eye, the tour took us backwards to catch a glimpse of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament before heading up river all the way towards Tower Bridge. We passed 22 iconic landmarks along the way including St Paul’s Cathedral, The Shard, The Gherkin, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, HMS Belfast and The Tower of London. Although I’ve seen them all before, gazing at all these amazing monuments from the river gave me a totally new perspective and made me fall in love with them all over again. We also rode under all the famous bridges, from Blackfriars and the Millennium to Waterloo and London Bridge. If I had to pick just one though, it would be the mighty Tower Bridge; it’s somewhere that has a really special place in my heart and I can never ever tire of looking at it – it’s my favourite place in the world!

 

The Speed

 

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Hanging on for dear life… We went SO fast but it was SO much fun! 🚀🚀

 

Ok so I know I was on a speedboat tour, but I did NOT expect us to go so frikkin fast! Once we’d got past the barrier and the speed restrictions had lifted, our wonderful driver Nick went full throttle on the acceleration and we were blasting past Tower Bridge quicker than we could have ever imagined. We rode up and down the river, side to side and round and round whilst the speakers were blaring loud music and giving us a party experience to remember. It was literally so much fun, just like being on a fast roller-coaster at a theme park, but even better as the sights of London were all around us. We had to grab on to our seats but we were in no danger at all of falling out as our crew kept us safe the whole time – just make sure you hold on to anything loose as they can’t be held responsible for flying hats or scarves!

My sister and I absolutely adored our time spent with the Thames Rockets team; the tour, the speed and the music were amazing, we just wish we could have had longer on board! The Ultimate London adventure was perfect for us, but you can choose from a variety of other experiences to suit your needs. Why not hop on board the Thames Lates cruise to see the city sights lit up in all their glory? Or if your need for speed outweighs your need for sightseeing, the Break The Barrier tour is the one for you! Whatever tour you choose, Thames Rockets will not disappoint! Summer is a great time to visit whilst the sun is shining and the landmarks look even more glorious, but this experience can be taken at any time of year, weather permitting of course.

 

 

As part of this review, I’m delighted to announce that I also have a pair of tickets for you to WIN so that you can experience The Ultimate London adventure too! All you have to do to win is:

  • Follow me on Twitter – @jessica16_x
  • Follow Thames Rockets on Twitter – @thamesrockets
  • Retweet my competition tweet (pinned tweet on my Twitter page)

**Competition opens 12/07/17 and closes 31/07/17 – entrants must do all three of the above to qualify. Quoted tweets will not count. Winners to be announced on my Twitter page 03/08/17 and will be sent a pair of Thames Rockets tickets via email.**

 

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What an amazing adventure we had with the Thames Rockets crew 

 

Wishing you all the best of luck with the competition – this really is an amazing prize and I know whoever wins will have the most amazing day out in our beautiful capital city! I’m rather jealous that I won’t get to do The Ultimate London Adventure all over again, but I will most definitely be back on board with Thames Rockets again soon and can’t wait to try another one of their tours.

GOOD LUCK!

Love Jess x

NB. I was invited as a guest of Thames Rockets for the purpose of this review and giveaway but, as always, all thoughts, opinions and photos are my own. A big thank you to Rory, Kai, Nick, Greg and the rest of the Thames Rockets team for looking after us, and for making our day so special.

 

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Thanks for having me guys – had a blast! 🚀🚀

Restaurant Review: Colleys Lechlade, The Cotswolds

 

Last week I had the pleasure of reviewing the fantastic Colleys Restaurant in Lechlade-on-Thames, Gloucestershire. We had booked as a family of five for my sisters 21st birthday and couldn’t wait to treat ourselves to a spot of fine dining in the heart of The Cotswolds. Open every day of the week, serving everything from Sunday lunch to Monday tapas nights and a-la-carte dinner, Colleys is home to over 80 gins from all over the world and also runs themed nights and foodie events monthly throughout the year..

menu

 

As it was a Wednesday evening the restaurant was pretty quiet at first but tables soon started to fill up and the atmosphere was a great balance between being lively but not too busy. The service was great and the wonderful staff ensured that our food and drinks were served promptly.

The décor inside is super sweet, with Georgian style influences and cosy touches making it feel as if you are right at home despite the glamorous surroundings. I’m a sucker for a restaurant toilet so I absolutely LOVED the cute little flowery décor that I found when in the ladies – I want this in my bathroom!

For mains we opted for various dishes; my dad and sister chose the grilled hake loin with patatas bravas and aioli and my mum chose the pan fried duck breast with Jersey Royals, asparagus and pickled cherry jus. My other sister opted for the shredded rib & blue cheese burger with house cut fries and I chose the sliced bavette steak with house cut fries and café de Paris butter – bavette steak was a first for me and it was INSANE!. Although slightly tougher than fillet steak, the slices were so flavoursome and the whole meal was fantastic.

 

For puddings we shared a couple of Cinheti platters, beautiful tiny desserts from Italy including mini meringues, pannacotta, macarons and sorbets. The staff brought one of the plates out with a candle and a ‘Happy Birthday’ in chocolate icing which was then followed by a birthday cake we had dropped off at the restaurant before we had the meal.

 

 

A big THANKYOU to everyone at Colleys for making our evening so lovely, and for making my sisters 21st so special! We already cannot wait to return!

Next time you’re looking to enjoy a delicious dinner in the heart of The Cotswolds choose Colleys – you won’t be disappointed!  For bookings please contact the restaurant directly.

Love Jess x

 

Had an amazing evening @colleys_lechlade for my sister's 21st birthday dinner and drinks.. blog post and review coming soon! 🍴🍹

A post shared by Jess Buck|JourneyswithJessica (@jessica16_x) on

 

My week ahead…

Hey everyone

Sorry for the lack of posts lately but I haven’t really been anywhere for the past couple of weeks so haven’t had much to say! This has now changed however as I have a jam packed week ahead and am so excited to share it with you all! So, what am I up to I hear you asking? Well, take a look below to check out my super cool plans!..

1) London river cruise!
Tomorrow I go to the best City in the world, London, and I’m so excited! Me and my best friend are going on a posh river boat cruise across the Thames and are going to have the pleasure of enjoying a three course lunch and champagne which is all paid for courtesy of my ex boyfriend’s family… Thanks!! I got this voucher as a birthday gift from red letter days and have just got round to having a few days off work so am able to squeeze it in this week.. fingers crossed the weather stays sunny for us! We’re also planning to hit Oxford Street to do some serious shopping so ill let you know if I make any decent purchases!

venueBAEyeRC

2) Oxford day trip!
A little closer to home this time, but still just as beautiful, is my home city of Oxford which I’m heading to on Wednesday with another of my best friends for a day of shopping and lunching. We always hit the mahoosive primark first in search of some summer bargains so we’ll definitely be doing this to start with, then we’ll work our way up the high street before stopping for some well deserved food! Haven’t been to Oxford for ages now so I’m looking forward to it.. ooh and I heard there’s a brand new H & M in town too… goodbye bank balance!!

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3) Race for Life event!
So on Sunday I’m back to Oxford to take part in my first ever race for life event for cancer research UK and I’m buzzing for it! I’ve never ran a competitive race before (no Jess, coming 3rd out of 4th on junior sports day year after year really doesn’t count!) so I can’t wait to get stuck in. I’ve been training a lot over the past few weeks so will be trying my absolute best to finish the race in a good time. I’ve managed to raise over £200 so far but I don’t want it to stop there as I want to raise as much as possible! If you have a spare moment and would like to donate to Cancer Research to support all their amazing work then please click on the link below to visit my Just Giving page! Thank you in advance! https://www.justgiving.com/jessicabuck/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=fundraisingpage&utm_content=jessicabuck&utm_campaign=pfp-share

That’s all for now peeps, I’ll post details of my adventures later on in the week so keep your eyes peeled!

Bye for now!

Love Jess x

P’s. Photos above are courtesy of Google images, but the ones that I will post with my next articles will all be mine!