A Different Bite of the Apple – New York Travel Inspo

I am not really sure where this year has gone, I cant believe I haven’t managed to get one post out in year. I have travelled to some amazing places this year and hopefully will get round to documenting all of my trips. I’m going to start with my first love, NYC.

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New York is my favourite place in the world, I would move there in a heartbeat. I am really lucky to have a friend there and get to experience living in the the magical surroundings of NYC. If you’re looking for a more alternative New York than chain restaurants and Time Out’s top listed places you need to head to the other side of the water to Brooklyn.

Good Morning Williamsberg – Egg Shop 

Egg Shop is a cute, very instagrammable spot where you can get eggs in every way imaginable. Not just for breakfast they also serve dinner, and most importantly….cocktails!

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Betches who Brunch – Reunion

Brunch is practically mandatory when weekending in New York and if you’re into pancakes you need to go to Reunion. I never thought I would be defeated by a pancake but the Reunion pancake was the first to beat me, it is HUGE and beyond delicious! I would also recommend the Shakshooka if a sweet brunch isn’t your thing.

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Sweet Treats – Milk Bar 

Three words, Birthday Cake Truffles, Crack Pie and Cereal Milk Ice Cream. Go, order it and be happy. Although the store its self may seem understated the taste is far from it. The day I watched Drag Race and and ate Crack Pie for breakfast in bed was one of my all time favourite mornings. If you want to check this place out more before visiting check out Netflix’s Chefs Table Episode 1, Season 4 to see this amazing brand being created.

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Battle of the Pizza – Juliana’s 

Depending on who you ask you will no doubt get two answers for the best pizza in NYC, some will say Grimaldi’s and others will be correct and say Juliana’s. Next door to each other the rivalry between these two pizza places is fierce. You will queue outside between 30 – 60 minutes for a Juliana’s pizza but it is worth it, just maybe try to plan your trip here on a day when the weather will be nice!

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Live Your Best Life – House of Yes 

If like me the only thing you love more than food (and fashion) is a themed party complete with aerial, fierce drag kweens and glitter then you need to head to House of Yes. It was their Golden Themed party while I was in New York and i had only 12 hours to pull together a golden lewk, I managed…just but if you are heading to New York and want to attend the party of a life time check the events listing, book a ticket and plan a killer outfit.

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To check out more highlights from my last NYC trip check out my Instagram Story Highlight. – @Lottie_Helen

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Love Lottie

xoxo

Travel Inspo – Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik has been made hugely popular by Game of Thrones in recent years as it is where a large amount of filming has taken place and is the basis for the royal Kings Landing.


The old town of Dubrovnik is beautiful with stone buildings, red roofs and sea views as far as the eye can see. If you are planning a trip to Dubrovnik you needs to explore the whole of the old town, the narrow streets are filled with restaurants serving  the best fresh fish and traditional dishes from both Croatia and the surrounding areas and the various squares are the perfect places to have a local wine or cocktail.
I would also recommend a walk around the city walls, this is a small fee of around 150 Kuna, the views are stunning and it’s a great way to see the city. If you are going in summer I would recommend going early in the morning or in the evening as when the temperatures creep up being stuck in a queue with no shade would dampen the experience.

If you want a truly birds eye view of the city taking the cable car is the best way, I tried buying tickets online but had no luck with the website, I would recommend getting to the cable car early to grab your tickets and avoid the huge queues. I was desperate to go to the Panorama restaurant at the top of the cable car but the queue was just too big and my trip not long enough.

If you want to see more of Croatia I would recommend hiring a boat and heading out to see, prices vary but I used Dubrovnik boats and paid 450Euros for a full day trip. Unfortunately we picked a day where the weather was against us and had to miss parts of he trip due to the weather. During lunch a mini tornado appeared and we had to jump in our boat and race back to the harbour 3 hours early.  The parts we got to enjoy were beautiful and if I were to go back I would definitely do it again and hope for better weather.



If you love a day at the beach I would recommend buying a bed at Banje Beach Club. Priced start at 90Kuna for a sunbed and you can order both food and drinks from your bed or you have the choice of the bar area or restaurant if you need a break from the sun. I spent quite a lot of time here and enjoyed it from start to finish, it is definitely work it rather than trying to grab a spot on the free beach, lying of the pebbled shore.

To end our trip we ate at the 360 restaurant which is highly recommended, the restaurant boasts an amazing view of the harbour and the coastline and serves fine dining food. The service, food and view were amazing and it was the perfect end to our trip.


There are of course loads of Game of Thrones trips but it was over 30 degrees while I was there in August so stuck to the beach, just being in the city gives you that Lannister realness.


Check out my style post for what to pack and my Instagram for more outfit and travel inspo.

Love Lottie xoxo

 

 

 

 

 

Travel Inspo – Lake Como

If you are looking for a relaxing Europe break I would highly recommend Lake Como. This destination is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been and is the perfect place to completely relax. We travelled from Milan via train for just 9 Euros each and it only took approximately 1 hour. Check out my Milan post if you are heading to Lake Como from Milan too.I stayed in one of the smaller villages on the lake in Moltrasio at the Grand Hotel Imperiale hotel. The rooms were a little basic but the restaurants, pool area and view made up for this.

Near by there were a couple of small restaurants/cafes but very minimal amenities compared to the larger towns. As I had planned to mainly relax by the pool this wasn’t an issue and with the below view I was not complaining.

If you visit Lake Como you need to take a trip to Bellagio, there are speed ferry’s that will get you there in 45 minutes to an hour. The slower ferry’s can take up to 2 hours 30 minutes so it is worth paying that little extra and planning ahead to get the speed ferry.


Bellagio is stunning, a small but bustling town with cobbled streets filled with shops, gelato stores and lake side restaurants.

I would recommend getting there in the morning and going into a restaurant to book a table when you arrive. You can request a table overlooking the lake but it is first come first serve so get in quick.


Another attraction in Bellagio are the breath-taking gardens of Villa Melzi, there is a small fee to enter the gardens which is definitely worth it. The views and sights are stunning and it is the perfect place to spend on a sunny afternoon.


You will love every second of Lake Como but make sure you stock up on insect repellent, sunbathing isn’t as fun when you are being bitten! Check out my holiday health and Beauty essential before your next trip.


Love Lottie xoxo

 

Travel Inspo – Milan

Italy is always one of my favourite places to visit with beautiful weather, stunning sights and delicious food. Recently I took a trip to Milan and then went on to Lake Como which is by far one of the most breath taking places I have been, blog post to follow.

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Milan is a short flight from London and the airport is only around 30 minutes from the city so is a really easy place to get to and would be perfect for a short weekend break.

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I stayed at Chateau Monfort, a fabulous boutique hotel with and Alice in Wonderland theme. The whole hotel was exquisite with classic ornate detail with a fairy tale twist. Our room was the Hibiscus room and was decorated with flowers through out and would definitely make it onto the list as one of my most favourite rooms I have stayed in. The hotel was also well located, a short walk to the city centre.


 The city is filled with shopping and restaurants as you would expect but also features the main attraction, Duomo di Milano, a magnificent cathedral in a large square. The building is stunning from the outside and queues to get inside and huge, if you really must go inside make sure you are prepared to queue for a long time.

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I chose to view the cathedral from the comfort of a chair, with an Aperol Spritz in hand from the Aperol Terrazza. I would recommend visiting this bar/restaurant as the views are amazing and there is no better way to take in the sights than with delicious food and a range of cocktails to choose from.


 

While I was in Milan I also walked through the city to the Sempione Park, this park is also right next to the Sforza Castle and the Arch of Peace so you can spend a day wandering around all of these sights at your leisure.

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Although normally I am a huge foodie, as I was here a short period of time I didn’t make any set dinner reservations but always managed to find somewhere serving the Italian classics and enjoyed every meal. The gelato is also some of the best I have had! 


Although I am so pleased I saw Milan it is more suited as a stop off on your way to another destination or a short weekend break as 2 – 3 days is more than enough to take everything in.

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Love Lottie xoxo

 

 

Travel Inspo – Barcelona

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Barcelona is the kind of place you will struggle to see everything in one go, there is so much to do and see! If you are planning a weekend break like me the best advice I can give is be organised. Pick what you really want to see so you don’t try to cram too much in and end up needing a holiday to recover from your holiday! To avoid being exhausted on my trip I had the perfect balance between sight seeing and relaxing by choosing a hotel with a roof top pool. I stayed in the Hotel Jazz which I would highly recommend both for the hotel it self and its location.

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Sight Seeing 

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The whole of Barcelona is one big art gallery thanks to the very famous Antoni Gaudi and the amazing views. The big Gaudi sights are something everyone wants to see these are:

All of these are magnificent from the outside but if you want to see the inside I would recommend booking tickets online at least one day prior to your visit. Not only is this cheaper, if you don’t pre book a time slot you may risk the whole day being sold out and your journey to the destination wasted!

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The park in particular is a long way from the centre of Barcelona so getting there and not being able to see the famous sights could be frustrating even though you can wander the beautiful park. Personally I would recommend the Parc Guell and La Pedera, Casa Batllo and La Sagrada are much more impressive on the outside than the inside and in my opinion the price and the queue isn’t worth it unless you plan on going up one of the famous La Sagrada towers.

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Other amazing sights are Montjuic and the magic fountains, this impressive palace is now a art gallery which is completely free and worth a visit to escape from the city heat. This area is close to the old Olympic Village and the Las Arenas shopping centre which is an old bull fighting ring converted into a shopping centre and viewing platform for amazing views of the city.

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The Montjuic Fountains become their own attraction at night known as the magic fountains, the timings for shows this summer are as below:-

06 January – 16 February: Closed
01 April – 31 May: Thursday, Friday and Saturday: 21:00 – 22:00
01 June – 30 August: Wednesday – Sunday: 21:30 – 22:30
01 September – 31 October: Thursday, Friday and Saturday: 21:00 – 22:00
01 November – 31 March: Thursday, Friday and Saturday: 20:00 – 21:00

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Another great thing to see is the impressive cathedral which is also a main attraction of Barcelona, the cathedral is in a large square with buskers and an antiques market.

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Food and Drink 

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As Barcelona is a vibrant city there are so many options for food and drinks. There is of course tapas options every where but some are definitely better than others. The main area’s to eat and drink are Las Ramblas, Plaza Real and the Marina. Las Ramblas is always really busy and the best spots are just off the main streets, you can find a location that works for you, from quiet intimate squares, hidden gems on side streets to the big bussing Plaza Real, there is something for everyone. These are my top recommendations in Barcelona:-

 

Las Ramblas Tapas – Bar Lobo

Marina Tapas – Restaurante Hispano Barcelona

Fine Dining – Arola Restaurant

Plaza Real Tapas – Les Quinze Nits – The Tapas here was amazing but the main meals were a let down, if you visit here be prepared for delicious but small plates.

Plaza Real Italians – Restaurante Italiano Rossini

 

 

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Must Do 

Other than the main sights listed above there are some things you cannot miss when in this amazing city. These little extra’s might just make your trip.

Cocktails at the W

The W hotel is the best location for sunset cocktails, with views of the city and the beach the W makes for a memorable night and amazing pictures. The cocktails and the food are also great, it’s the perfect place to start your evening.

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Salsa in the Old Town

Barcelona’s Old Town comes alive at night with cocktails and music, it’s the best place to let your hair down. I headed to a local Salsa club with no idea what to expect, we headed to Bendita Salsa which was a small bar with a live band. The local’s and the band were amazing, helping to teach novice’s like me but were also amazing to watch when they found a partner that would keep up. I would recommend experiencing this amazing night to anyone!!!

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Sant Joan

 

 

Although I didn’t know this festival was taking place during my stay in Barcelona I am so pleased i got to see it. The whole city is taken over by this festival at night with fireworks filling the sky! The streets are very busy with people are setting fire works off everywhere and the next day is a national holiday with all shops and some restaurants closed so if you are visiting during the next Sant Joan festival bear that in mind. The whole city is one big party, locals dress as devils and run round squares and the beach with fire crackers and DJ’s play late into the night. This festival was a great bonus to my trip.

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Love Lottie xoxo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Things You Must Do In Paris!

I’ve been to Paris a few times now and love it more each time! The city is full of the most beautiful streets and architecture and the food is always amazing! Most recently I was only there fore just 48 hours so needed to cram in as much as possible. These are my 5 must do things in Paris!

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French Food On The Champs Elysee

Whether its breakfast, a pit stop mid shopping or a special dinner nothing screams Paris more than Mussels and wine on the Champs Elysee. Most of the restaurants serve the classics and there is usually a table free during the day but if you are looking to go in the evening I would recommend making a reservation some where fabulous and making a night of it! Which ever time of day you are there you will also get some fabulous views of the Arc De Triomphe and its a short walk to stand directly under this huge famous landmark.

My recommendations

Day – George V Cafe

Evening – Fouquet’s

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The best views of the Eiffle Tower

Although standing under the Eiffel tower and feeling its enormous size is amazing the best views are found slightly further out. I recently stayed at the Shangril-la which had the most spectacular view. Although i was lucky enough to have this view from my room the view can be caught from restaurants and bars inside the hotel. If you want a more casual approach there are so many beautiful parks in Paris which have amazing views, grabbing a croissant while admiring the view on a sunny day is definitely something you need to experience.

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Shopping

Of course Paris is world renowned for this shopping and it is a place to tick off your list if you are a keen shopper. With two Zara’s and the largest H&M I’ve ever seen, the high street favourites are definitely covered and of course every fashion house is present. The Louis Vuitton store on the Champ Elysee is always packed out and you will need to queue to get in so if you are after something just so you can own something Louis from the home of the brand then its worth the wait, if you are just looking to browse or don’t want to wait there is another store at the lower end of the Champs Elysee which is must quieter. This Louis is also surrounded by all the big brands so if you are lucky enough to be able to buy a Dior dress with a Gucci bag and Louis Shoes then this area is perfect.

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Tuileries Gardens and the Louvre

This part of Paris is beautiful and worth the walk if you are staying more central. The Louvre queues are crazy but if you book a time slot online you can beat the queues so I would recommend planning this in advance.

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Tuileries Gardens are spectacular and filled with amazing statues and landscapes. After leaving the Louvre you can wander the gardens and relax around one of the water features with an ice cream as you head back up towards Concord Square.

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Moulin Rouge

This last one is not something I have done myself but am desperate to do. This fabulous venue host a full evening of entertainment, food and of course wine! Next time i am in Paris I will definitely be having a night at the Moulin Rouge but for now I’ll have to sing my heart out to Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor. Tickets for the Moulin Rough (not my singing) start at around £85.

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Love Lottie xoxo

 

The Original Ice Hotel

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Every year Ice Hotels around the world are build then melt, but the Swedish were the first ones to create this palace made of snow. In the most northern town in Swede, Kiruna the first ice Hotel was built, offering customers the chance to sleep in beautifully created bedrooms made completely of ice and snow. This has sparked off a number of countries following suit including Iceland and Canada as well as Ice Bar’s popping up in a number of big cities. I visited the original in Sweden via Discover the World  to see whether it really was “Bucket List” worthy.

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Getting there 

Discover the World are the only company to offer i direct from the UK to England, their #IceFlight is the most cost effective and easiest way to get to Kiruna, they also take take for booking your accommodation and excursions. The Hotel is only around 15 minutes via coach from the Airport but because I wanted to cram in as much as possible I booked for a dog sled to take us to the Hotel. Opting for this was a great way to fit the Dog’s in but was a harsh way to get used to the cold! Although i don’t think I could have done all of the activities we did with out taking the Dog Sled ride so early I think if i were to go back i would have rather opted for a dog sled during the day also, to make the most of the scenery.

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The Hotel

The Hotel is a masterpiece in its self, every ice filled corridor is magnificent, the bar is a destination in its own right and a each Art Suit is its own individual piece of ice crafted art. The rooms are all open during the day for you to look in and take photos and the Ice Bar opens from 12 pm until 1 am.

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Sleeping 

The whole point of the Ice Hotel is to sleep in one of their Cold Rooms and yes they are really that cold, our cold room night was around -8! There are a wide range of rooms in the thanks to the new Ice Hotel 365 as well as the original Ice Hotel 27. The Ice Hotel 365 is a new concept and allows the Bar and some Cold Rooms to be available all year round and the 27 is the original which will still melt and be re built every year.

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There are different rooms depending on your budget, although each room is special an Art Suite will definitely make your stay a little more memorable. If you really are worried about the cold there are Deluxe Art Suites which have a private warm area with a toilet and shower attached to the room. Although I didn’t opt for a Deluxe Art Suite I was extremely lucky and scored “Dreamscape” an ice bed at the top of a magnificent staircase which was worth having a shared (sex separated) toilet and shower.

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The best way to make sure you get the most out of your Cold Room is to plan a to keep warm a couple of hours before going in, this could be going for a meal in a restaurant or visiting the warm bar. To sleep i wore thermal trousers, long sleeved top, thin gloves, ski socks and a hat, although I wasn’t cold and slept fine, I wish I had put a thicker jumper on.

Eating 

The food at the Ice Hotel is amazing, each day there is a full breakfast buffet and in the evening there is a choice of the Ice Restaurant and the Old Homestead which is around a 10 minute walk away from the Hotel. Most excursions include food also, usually served round a fire or in a small cabin.

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We experienced the Chef’s table on our first night which is an 8 course tasting menu served in the kitchen. The menu included all the Arctic favourites such as Elk, Reindeer and Arctic Char as well as a trio of the most delicious deserts. It was quite strange at first but the staff were so lovely I soon felt relaxed and it was great to see the hustle and bustle of the kitchen while you ate.

Things To Do 

The excursion list is huge but you can do as little or as much as you like. When booking your excursions make sure you look at the start and finish times, whether food is served and consider the cold. Discover the World can help you pick excursions but they wont know how much you can stand the cold. Its best to make sure you have time to warm up between excursions and over dress for excursions. Having a back pack with an extra balaclava, dry gloves and an extra layer will never be a bad decision.

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I did the Dog Sled, Wilderness Survival, Snow Mobile Northern Lights Tour, Cross Country Skiing and Sauna Ritual. If i could have I would have also either gone on the Horseback Moose Safari or went to see the Remainders but I couldn’t have fit one more thing in!

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The best excursion was the Snow Mobile Tour, although we didn’t see the Northern Lights it was definitely the most fun. I was lucky enough to see the Northern Lights while at the Hotel, if you are looking to photograph the lights and don’t have a professional camera, download the Norther Lights Photo Taker before going.

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The Ice Hotel is one of the most memorable experiences I’ve had to date and worth every penny. If it isn’t already on your Bucket List it needs to be!

Love Lottie xx

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Dubai Travel Tips – Part 2

I have covered where to show, stay and what to see but I have missed one of the most vital things, where to EAT! Dubai is full of amazing places to eat with family friendly restaurants and fine dining hot spots. With every big brand chain to some of the best restaurants in the world there is something for every occasion. These are my top recommendations for dining in Dubai.

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Family Friendly

JBR is a large stretch of restaurants and shops, the area is pedestrianised and there is a large central area which frequently host a mini fun fair creating a great family friendly area. The majority of the restaurants are big chain names, Cheesecake Factory, Shake Shack, PF Changs etc but there are some slightly more up market venues too. The Cavalli Caffe is a lovely alfresco venue serving Italian cuisine in true Cavalli style, even the pasta is animal print!

There is literally every type of food to chose from and the whole area has a lovely atmosphere but bare in mind that only soft drinks are served in this area so if you are looking to enjoy a glass of wine with your meal you will need to head to a hotel.

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A full list of the restaurants in JBR can be found here.

Traditional Cuisine

If you are looking to have some traditional cuisine the best place to go is Reem Al Bawadi. This restaurant serves amazing local food family style and also has an amazing array of cakes on display in the deli style dessert counter.  There are several of these in Dubai but  i would recommend booking an outside table at the Down Town location as you get a perfect view of the Burj Khalifa. Although you cannot drink alcohol in this restaurant you can enjoy shisha with or after your meal while enjoying the view.

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For more information and locations click here. 

Romantic

If you are looking for a really memorable meal I would recommend two iconic locations, Shimmers in the Madinat Jumeirah and At.mosphere at the Burj Khalifa. Shimmers is located on the Madinat Jumeirah’s private beach and has the most spectacular views. Once you have finished your delicious greek meal you can head to the beach for cocktails and shisha while taking in the Burj Al Arab and the beautiful surroundings.

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At.mosphere is fine dining at its best, from the second you walk out the lift the staff are amazing and once seated, the food is even better. I had the tasting menu which I would recommend, although it is a little pricey.

The best time to be seated is just before sunset so you see the views both at day and night, you can request a window seat which has a slightly higher minimum spend value than the other tables but is 100% worth it.

You will never forget your experience at At.mosphere, not only because it is fabulous but also because they will send you away with branded chocolates, a Polaroid capturing your visit and if you have the tasting menu your waiter will sign a copy with a cute message and place that in a branded sleeve as a keepsake. As the Burj Khalifa functions as a hotel you can also enjoy a glass or champagne to finish off your magical meal.

Leave a comment with your recommendations, happy eating!

Love Lottie xxx

Dubai Travel Tips – Part 1

Dubai is quickly becoming the centre of the world, a hub for many flight transfers and a holiday destination in its own right. Dubai is literally the place you can do anything! A morning at the beach followed by skiing or an afternoon or shopping local souvenirs in souks followed by being in the largest shopping Mall in the world, anything is possible. I’ve been to Dubai a few times now and hope these tips will help you have an amazing trip.

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Accommodation

The magnificent palm is a post card location for Dubai and is an amazing place to stay with luxury hotels including the fabulous Atlantis but if you want to actually see Dubai the palm may not be the best place to stay, especially if you are short on time. Getting on and off the palm can take between 30 minutes – 2 hours if the traffic is bad so if you want to be able to get around most places i would recommend staying some where more central such as Down Town Dubai or the base of the palm if you are looking for that post card destination.

There are so many hotels in Dubai but Trip Advisory have a good list of Central ones with detailed reviews here: https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/HotelsList-Dubai-City-Centre-Hotels-zfp45245.html

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Shopping

The biggest destination is the Dubai Mall, with its huge aquarium, waterfall, ice rink and of course hundreds of shops. The good thing about the Mall is the stores are grouped well, you can usually find what you are looking for relativity easily. There are also numerous help points around the Mall both electronic and manned stands which have a huge index and easy to follow maps. Although Dubai is a place known for its wealth a number of things are actually more expensive in Dubai, designer goods, make up and Victoria Secret being just a few, so make sure you check the prices before going on a shopping spree. There are many restaurants and the majority are well known chains so its easy to spend a full day here viewing the sights and shopping.

The Creek area is filled with market stalls and usual tourist gifts, there is also a vast spice market in this area too. With that comes the traditions of a market, forceful selling techniques and constantly saying no thank you as you head head through the streets. I would definitely recommend the Creek Area just for a look around and to sit at a cafe on the Creek with a a Rose Tree Cooler or Saffron Karak Chai (a traditional tea).

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If that isn’t for you but you would like a for  more of a traditional shopping experience the Souks at the Madinat are the perfect compromise. Although usually more expensive than the traditional market’s you can wander through the Aladdin cave style stores, pick up some souvenirs then head to a Cafe Rouge for a glass of wine. In this area you can also find great views of the Burj Al Arab and see the small Venice style rivers which wind through the area.

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Sights

Burj Khalifa

If you would life to have a view from the top its best to book this in advance, tickets sell out fast at peak times! If you really want to explore the views there is a great bar and restaurant, but neither are cheap and both have a minimum spend. If you want to see the view at dusk or night going to to bar is a great way to relax and see the view as you can easily meet the minimum spend by having a couple of cocktails and there is no fee to go up.

The Dubai Fountain

The Fountains are best to be viewed when spending time at the Mall, this way if you miss a show you can either go back to your shopping, grab a soft drink or bite to eat while waiting for the next show. There are only 2 day time shows these times change depending on the day but the evening shows are every 30 minutes from 6pm – 11pm.  The evening show is very popular so it may be best to try and get a good view form a near by restaurant and wait it out or wait till one show is ending and try to get to the front. You will have to wait 30 minutes, defending your spot if you are desperate for a prime view. The evening shows are broken up with a light show on the Burj Khalifa so you will be entertained no matter which option you go form.

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You can’t go to Dubai with out going into the Desert. A Desert Safari is the best way to ensure you get the full experience. This trip is a long one, starting in the afternoon and not getting back till 9pm, the majority of time spent in the vehicle so make sure you are wearing something comfy. It also can be cold at night in the desert so take a jacket or jumper if you are used to the Dubai heat. You will go into the desert, bouncing round the dunes, get a chance to do quad biking, camel riding or dune surfing then will be served traditional food while watching live entertainment. I would recommend this trip, especially if you want to make the most of your time if Dubai but driving through the dunes isn’t for the faint hearted!

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The Culture

People forget how young Dubai is as a city and that not that long ago there were no sky scrapers and Ex Pats. I went on a cultural tour at the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding. On the tour you see how the people of Dubai used to live and get an opportunity to ask a local anything. You will be served traditional food and coffee while discussing the culture with your guide followed by a walk through the Centre ending at a Mosque. Women will be required to cover with an Abaya and Hijab but this is provided by the Centre. It was amazing to see a side of this city that is forgotten, the locals as well as the culture and I would highly recommended this excursion.

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Burj Al Arab

To get that perfect Dubai image the Burj Al Arab at night is a must! You can see this from the Madinat Souks as mentioned earlier but a great way to see it is by booking a meal at Shimmers Restaurant in the Madinat Jumeirah. You can have great food with a view of the beach and the Burj Al Arab then shisha and drinks on the beach  with the best backdrop. If you want to see the Burj Al Arab in the day light you can do a paddle board tour, I am desperate to do this on my next trip

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I hope these inspire you to visit Dubai or make your next trip even more amazing. I’ll be following this up with where to eat and party in Dubai!

Love Lottie xxx

 

 

 

New York by night – 5 things to do with your New York evenings

New York is the city that never sleeps so you need to pack your nights with as much fun as you do during the day. These are some of the things I did on my recent trip to NYC and I would recommend you try to squish in as many as possible. I’ve also added some tips to make the most out of your trip saving as much as possible!

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See a show!!! – A show in New York is a must! If theatre isn’t really your thing usually there will be something on in New York which will bring out your theatrical side. I personally would thoroughly recommend Matilda, Kinky Boots, Wicked and Book of Mormon (only if you aren’t easily offended). These shows are the big hitters on Broadway and therefore come with a big price tag for tickets costing around $100 – $200 per ticket. For huge discounts on these shows and loads more you need to plan a trip to your closest TKTS Box Office. Under those iconic red steps in Times Square is the biggest TKTS Box Office with discounted tickets for loads of shows, discounts range between 20% – 50% so you can grab yourself a bargain. If you buy your tickets from TKTS you are also supporting a non profit organisations, the Theatre Development Fund so its win win! You need to get there just before the office opens and be prepared to queue, the queue moves fast and its definitely worth it. For more information https://www.tdf.org/ is the place to be.

If you are relaxed about what you see and the big names don’t draw you in don’t be afraid to see something off Broadway. The small intimate theatre’s and small casts create a really personal experience. I went to see Newsical at the Kirk Theatre and laughed from start to finish.

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Take me out to the Ball Game – A Baseball game is an amazing way to spend an evening, perfect for summer evenings. The food drinks and atmosphere are so good and even if you don’t normally enjoy sports there are fun games and entertainment on in between innings. I wouldn’t say there was any need to pre book your seats before your trip unless you really want to be close to the action, teams play against each other for a few nights in a row so I would recommend keeping an eye on StubHub and grab some bargain seats a couple of days before you plan to go.

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Soho Nights – SoHo was my favourite place to go out on a evening, the atmosphere is so cool and the bars are relatively close to each other. New York is known for having the coolest spots in the most unlikely places including some bars which don’t even have sign and one which is hidden inside a Five Guys (apparently) so be prepared to give small low key bars a chance and explore this sneaky underground scene. If you are going to be eating in SoHo you have to go to The Mercer Kitchen, amazing food, cocktails and wine in a cool cellar venue and the perfect pre drinks meeting place is just up the road on the corner of Crosby Street, Back Forty West.

 

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Comedy Show – Times Square will be full of people selling you Comedy Show tickets, I have always thought these were a little cheesy and never appealed to me. They also aren’t cheap, especially when you find out about the Comedy Cellar. The Comedy Cellar in Greenwich Village is a famous venue and the starting place for some huge Comics, the walls are full of pictures of huge stars performing in this intimate little venue. Tickets are only around $12 – $14 dollars on weeknight and go up for $20 – $24 on a weekend. Big groups can’t sit together so if you are bigger than a party of 8 then make two bookings.

When I was there we saw a range of up and coming comics and then when we thought it was over they announced that a surprise guest had came down to perform, Craig Robinson (aka Daryl from the US Office and Nick from Hot Tub Time Machine) walked on stage, he did a hilarious musical performance and left the night on the high. Anything can happen at the Comedy Cellar and you never know who will walk in, for $12 its an amazing and bargain night!

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Roof Top Bars – New York is full of amazing roof top venues there are so many but you need to match the venue to your style or the kind of night you are planning. For amazing views I would recommend 230 Fifth in central Manhattan, you get a perfect views of the Empire State. If you are looking for a more chilled experience then you have to go to the Meatpacking District, there are loads of cool beer gardens and roof top venues, my favourite was Brass Monkey which was a cute roof top garden. Next door to Brass Monkey is an authentic German beer garden, The Standard Biergarten, serving every beer you can imagine and playing sports on huge screens. There is something to suit everyone!

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Make the most of your trip!

Love Lottie xxx