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Category Archives: Travel
Hello or I should say ‘Merhaba’ from Turkey! I arrived in Turkey very late Sunday night and the last few days have been soaking up the sun and relaxing in the town of Bozburun with one of my best friends. Bozburun is a very quiet fisherman’s town near Marmaris on the Aegean Coast. It’s actually very nice to be in a quiet place for a bit to just relax and focus on not doing much at all. We’ve been sunbathing, swimming, reading, going out on the water & eating, and it feels wonderful to escape the hustle and bustle of London for a bit. Came across this quote the other day and thought it was appropriate for today’s midweek message!
“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us!”
I actually took this photo today on my iPhone while out on a boat trip! Incredibly beautiful blue water right? For more photos of my holiday follow me on Instagram @dutchessroz. I hope you all have a Happy Hump Day. Today we will be heading to Datca and then after that off to Bodrum for a few nights of luxury. Oh isn’t holiday bliss? :)
Hello! Had my first day back at the office today, after a week off, and was a bit of a shock to the system. Definitely wished I was still on holiday instead of working my way through hundreds of emails. Anyway as promised here a quick post with some snaps from my holiday in Tuscany with my parents last week. All photos were taken on my iPhone because silly me packed the wrong camera charger.Which was rather annoying since I had sacrificed about 2kg for my DSLR + lenses in my 10kg allowed bag and now wasn’t even able to use it all holiday. Anyway still got some good photos on my iPhone and this is a little selection (more can be seen on my Instagram account)
Arrived in Pisa on Friday evening where my parents collected me from the airport. We walked around the city, saw the famous leaning tower, and grabbed a bite to eat while watching the Netherlands destroy Spain (5-1) in the World Cup. Olé, Olé, Olé!! // The next day we drove to Lucca which is a lovely small city just north of Pisa. Great little boutique shops, squares and the pretty Piazza dell’Anfiteatro.
In Lucca we also climbed the Torre Guinigi, which is the most famous tower in Lucca because of its small garden on the top // Oh and also the view over Lucca is rather impressive! // From Lucca we drove through the stunning Tuscan country side to our apartment in Montaione // We’d booked a quaint 2 bedroom apartment in an old tuscan farmhouse (link) via AirBnB and when we arrived we celebrated our arrival by having a wine in the sun from their own vineyard!
Sunday was Father’s day so I cooked breakfast for my dad (and mum) which we enjoyed outside in the terrace. I made italian ‘baked’ eggs – on the stove because the apartment didn’t have an oven – and it was delicious, if I may say so myself ;) Want to see the recipe on the blog? // Then we headed off to Siena and explored this city all day. The Siena Cathedral (Italian: Duomo di Siena) is a medieval church in Siena, and even though I have seen many Cathedrals in my lifetime – this one is rather impressive! // The black & white marble stripes are so striking // We also climbed to the top of the Duomo Nuovo which gives you a breathtaking view over the city. A bit of a climb but very much worth it!
Loved the mosaic floors in the Piccolomini Library in Siena // Piazza del Campo is in the historic center of Siena and is regarded as one of Europe’s greatest medieval squares. This photo is looking up at the famous Torre del Mangia near the square // We feasted on a late lunch of meats and cheese (with wine) at Antica Pizzicheria al Palazzo della Chigiana (Via di Citta 93) which is a super busy atmospheric deli with prosciutto haunches, sausages and hot peppers hanging from the ceiling. There’s no seating but you can order a selection of food and you can stand outside the deli drinking your wine and eating the absolutely delicious cheeses and meats. Definitely a foodie highlight of the trip // Driving past the little towns of Panzano and Greve one day in the Chianti region.
Day trip to Volterra // Loved the black & white striped walls on the main Piazza by the Cathedral // If you are a Twilight fan, you probably recognise this town as where the Volturi live. Interesting fact however is that for the film New Moon, the Volterra scenes were actually filmed in Montepulciano, Italy. The biggest problem the people of Volterra had with Stephenie’s book was the fact that Bella ran through a fountain to get to Edward when there isn’t one in the actual main square of city; the producers had to build one in the center of the filming location. // An italian dinner cooked at the apartment, fresh spinach and ricotta ravioli with basil pesto and fresh mozzarella. So simple but so delicious!
Visiting San Gimignano which is a small walled medieval hill town in the province of Siena. Known as the Town of Fine Towers, San Gimignano is famous for its medieval architecture, unique in the preservation of about a dozen of its tower houses, which, with its hilltop setting and encircling walls form “an unforgettable skyline” // We enjoyed a (must-have) gelato from “Gelateria di Piazza” by Sergio Dondoli who is world famous for his award winning ice-cream. And it definitely was tasty and gone in seconds // What do to when sheltering from a massive rain and thunder storm while out exploring San Gimignano? Take a family selfie of course ;) We didn’t let the weather rain on our parade haha! // Another home cooked italian dinner – fresh linguine with sausages in tomato sauce – I will feature this easy recipe on the blog soon!
On our second to last days it was a beautiful sunny day so we decided to just have a lazy one and sit in the sun by the pool, read our books and eat delicious food // We had a long lunch in a little town nearby Montaione and cooked anther simple italian dinner at home. Dinner seen here was fresh tortellini with panfried courgette flowers, cherry tomatoes, spinach and lots of pecorino cheese. Yummm. I definitely overloaded on the carbs (and naughty food in general) while in Italy so it’s a bit of a carb and healthy detox for me the next few weeks to try and balance it out a little! // On our last way on way back to Pisa airport we stopped in a little town called San Miniato – how cute are these little umbrellas they had in the streets?
Overall I had such a lovely and relaxing time in Tuscany. The weather wasn’t quite as sunny or hot as I’d hoped but that meant instead of sunbathing by the pool we just did more exploring around the area which was also very fun. Think I can still do with a bit of a beach (tanning) holiday though this summer, so am now looking at booking a week in Turkey in July with one of my best friends. I can’t wait!
Have you been to Tuscany or any of these towns before?
Sorry for the radio silence on the blog at the moment. Work is so busy and have been spending a lot of hours at the office this week so unfortunately had no time to update the blog. Here quickly some photos from my long Easter weekend in the Cotswolds. There was 10 of us going so we rented two cars and drove to Thrupp (near Oxford) where we had rented a 5 bedroom cottage in the countryside.
Pub lunch at the Royal Sun during the road trip. They had the most amazing freshly baked pies and curly fries // On arrival at the cottage we all got a little excited about the horses in the backyard! // Enjoying the spring sunshine in the garden over tea and homemade rocky road. // Tea soon escalated to prosecco and we feasted on lots of cheese into the night, catching up with each other.
Saturday started with breakfast and a lovely walk along the canal near the house // After the walk it was tea time so I decided to whip up a big batch of my favourite (easy peasy) scones, recipe HERE. As always they went down a treat!
The afternoon we chilled in the garden and then it was dinner prepping time // I was in charge of cooking a massive Easter Roast for everyone but luckily I had many little helpers in the kitchen which made it all good fun // Dinner was slow (5hrs) roasted leg of lamb (got this massive 3kg piece of meat from Provenance butchers in Notting Hill) – it was incredible with sweet potato gratin, beans and a kale salad. The sweet potato gratin is one of my new holy grail recipes at the moment – recipe to follow on the blog! It’s to die for, trust me! // It was my friend’s birthday on the Tuesday after Easter so we decided to surprise her with a birthday cake. Oh and yes she’s got the cake in her face because she dunked her face in it, why? Someone dared her to! Ha that’s why I love this girl :)
After dinner (and cake) we also had dessert which was my Hot Cross Bun Pudding (recipe HERE). We actually didn’t eat that much of it because we were so full after our massive dinner, but we we re-heated some for breakfast and discovered it also makes a great breakfast pudding :) // After dinner the fun and games really begun with beer pong the boys vs the girls. It got very competitive! Who won? The girls of course…BOOM! That night we had our own little party at the cottage that went into the wee hours of the morning // After a long sleep in and some breakfast on Easter Sunday it was time for the Easter egg hunt. We had a huge amount of eggs and one of us was the Easter bunny and hid them all in the garden. It was such good fun and we all felt like little kids again running around like crazy to find them!
Comparing our Easter Egg hunt finds!! I definitely ate WAY too much chocolate over this weekend. On a chocolate ban for May I think // I also made some nutella and hazelnut stuffed croissants (super easy cheat recipe here) which were delicious, love croissants fresh from the oven // Easter Sunday was mainly spent indoors (due to rain…and hangovers) and we watched DVD’s and continued to stuff our faces with chocolate. We managed to make it out of the house in the early evening, to the local pub for some drinks, food and a game of scrabble. Pub games are the best!
Monday morning it was time to head back to London and we all wish we could have stayed in the Cotswolds a bit longer. What a perfect Easter weekend. What did you get up to over Easter?
Last weekend I went to Jersey (one of the Channel Islands) for one of my friend’s 30th birthday celebration. A group of about 30 of us all took the super speedy (40min) flight from London to Jersey for a weekend of food, drinks and good times!
On the Friday night we had a group welcome dinner at Pizza Express in St Brelade Bay which offers stunning views over the beach. Lots of pizza, lots of wine and great company made for a fantastic start to the weekend. On the Saturday (all feeling a little worse for wear after staying up dancing too late at our apartments) we ventured out to Plemont Beach for lunch and a walk along the beautiful beach. Here some photos from that day.
Even though the beach had many warning sides saying ‘watch out for the incoming tide’ we still got massively caught out by the rapid incoming water! We got stuck on the rocks and had to climb our way back to the cafe which was pretty funny.
All feeling a bit giggly and relieved that we didn’t get swept away by the sea, we got some bottles of rose at the cafe and enjoyed birthday cake while soaking up the wonderful (winter) sun. Feeling very happy and relaxed we then headed over to La Corbière (the extreme south-western point of Jersey in St Brelade) to see the beautiful sunset over the lighthouse.
It was such a fantastic day! But oh no, it didn’t end there – we then all got dressed up for dinner at the Crab Shack and partied into the wee hours of the morning to celebrate my friends birthday. You can see some pictures of the night if you follow me on Instagram @dutchessroz, but I really didn’t take many photos because I always find the best nights are when you are having too much fun to take pictures! Do you agree?
On Sunday morning we all slept in and then walked to St Aubin for lunch overlooking the harbour at The Boathouse. I surprised the birthday girl with some Slutty Brownies (recipe here) that I’d quickly whipped up that morning in the apartment (possibly still in a slight drunken state haha) but these brownies are pretty fail-proof (and SUPER delicious I might add) so they were a big hit with everyone.
All feeling tired and full we got on our planes back to London, maybe feeling not quite so ready for work and wishing we could have stayed in Jersey. I had the best time and thought Jersey was really beautiful and can’t wait to go back for another visit in summer. Because flights are pretty cheap and quick it makes for a lovely weekend destination from London. Have you been to Jersey before?
Hope you’ve all had a good first week back to normal life? I have to say it was pretty hard for me to have long days at the office again after having almost 2 weeks off over the holidays! Here some photos of my New Years Eve celebrations in Wales. Me and 11 friends hired out Roch Castle in Roch, Pembrokeshire for 3 nights to ring in 2014.
We arrived on New Years Eve (after a 5 hour train ride from London) and were very excited as we drove through our castle gates because this amazing place would be our home for the next few days! For NYE we all got glammed up (I did ‘Dutchess Roz makeovers’ on the girls) and we enjoyed plenty of champagne, an amazing dinner catered by a local chef, and plenty of dancing & fun into the wee hours of the morning.
Everyone looked beautiful – it can be so fun to get all dressed up sometimes don’t you think? I wore an old long ZARA dress (as seen here) accessorised with a new statement necklace! Here a better look at my new bit of bling…
Gloria Luxurious Crystal Choker by Maison Miru £40 (LINK). Ever since I got this necklace I’ve been wearing it so much. It looks great with a simple dress, a cosy jumper or a simple white T-shirt. It brings instant bling factor and glam, love it!
Such a fantastic night, I couldn’t have wished for a better way to ring in the New Year than spending it with good friends, full of fun times at our very own castle in Wales. Hopefully a great NYE translates into an even better year ahead!!
Did you have a fun NYE and do you like my new statement necklace from Maison Miru?