Our cruise aboard the beautiful Allure of the Seas took us around the Eastern Caribbean. Starting from Fort Lauderdale , where we stayed one night at the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina - a gorgeous hotel with the most beautiful views of the marina (the clue’s in the name)…
So yesterday I had a very special date with a certain Mr Mouse at a Disney drinks party at the beautiful new Ham Yard Hotel in Soho. Of course I had to ask Mickey if he had any juicy gossip to share. Here are a few of the things I heard:
If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, I’m pretty sure that you’ve noticed we’ve been cruising on the Allure of the Seas around the Caribbean.
Royal Caribbean challenged the boys to have a really active high-adrenaline cruise and I think we managed it, what with zip-lining, surfing on the Flow-Rider, snorkelling, power rafting and much more. And while the boys were doing all this, it left us lots of lovely free time for lazing, eating out, sunbathing and a few cocktails too! Here’s how we got on:
One of my favourite places in Miami is Lincoln Road. It’s a huge, pedestrianised area stuffed with shops, restaurants, cafés, and on certain days there are market stalls and food stalls too. After working up an appetite on our cycling tour of Miami Beach, we headed to SushiSamba and flumped down in the shade of their gorgeous orange brollies to do a bit of nibbling and people watching.
Miami is a perfect destination for teenagers. Not only is it SUPER cool, it’s buzzing with activity, day and night, and there are so many things to see and do, so whether your teen is sporty, stylish, a beach bum or an animal lover, I’ve got the perfect activity: Read more
For food lovers, Italy is without a doubt one of the best places in the world for dining out. While the usual classics like pizza, pasta and ‘mamma’s tasty meatballs’ are indeed delicious, the culinary scene is vast and varied throughout the country. Italy boasts some incredible quality and a diverse range of flavours as each region has, over time, cultivated its own unique cuisine. In order to source the very best in Italian fare on a dreamy Tuscan city break or a fabulous Roman holiday, consider a few things to tantalise your taste buds.
Did anyone see the Modern Family episode where they’re all in Australia? If you did, you’ll know exactly what I mean when I say ‘oh my goodness, Gloria’s swimsuit!’
One of the new experiences I was most looking forward to during my recent visit to Walt Disney World, Florida, was getting my hands on the new MyMagic+ system. Disney have rolled out some seriously good WiFi across all their parks and resorts, and, quite apart from the fact that it’s ridiculously useful for Instagrammers *cough*, the accompanying technology is pretty mindblowing.
Ratatouille is one of our favourite films. For some reason it’s become a bit of a Christmas tradition – we adore Rémy, and feisty Colette is so fab – I always get a bit teary when she falls in love with Linguini (I know – I cry at everything)…
Our day in Barcelona still rates as one of my very favourite travel experiences. We’ve earmarked it for a return journey very soon, but until then, every time there’s a sunny day, my mind races back to the gorgeous restaurant at the very top of the Arenas shopping centre (the old bullring) where we sat and had enormous buckets of gin and tonic with scoops of sharp lemon sorbet.
This weekend, I was invited down to Bluewater shopping centre in Kent for a bit of sandcastle fun with the team from the gorgeous Atlantis, The Palm. The beautiful resort, located on the incredible man-made island, The Palm in Dubai, was recreated in sand by some very clever people. And pretty impressive it was too. Here I am checking out the mahoosive sand sculpture: Read more
New Fantasyland is fast becoming one of my favourite places at the Magic Kingdom. Last time I was there it was for the official opening, and last week, I was over in Florida again for the official press event to celebrate the imminent opening of the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. We were lucky enough to get exclusive access to the ride during a fabulous party at Epcot (there’s NO party like a Disney party!) where we hung out with the likes of Elsa, Anna and Olaf!
So as you’ll see from part one of my cruise diary from my trip aboard the NCL Breakaway, we were mightily impressed with all the facilities on board. A big part of ‘cruising like a Norwegian’ is the amount of flexibility in the choices you have: gone are ‘formal nights’ and, indeed, formal dressing for most of the restaurants, and instead you’ll find informal dining at a time that suits you. That’s not to say you can’t push the boat out, dress up and have a proper evening out, oh no – they even have a name for it: Norwegian’s Night Out is your chance to get dolled up in your favourite outfit and have some fun, but if you want to wander to the buffet in your shorts, that’s fine too. Read more
So if you follow me on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook (and frankly, why wouldn’t you? There’s cake, beaches, ships and the lunatic whippet of mass destruction makes the odd appearance too), you’ll know that I’ve been visiting Walt Disney World, Florida. I have loads to tell you – there’s news of the opening of the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, a review of the frankly beautiful Disney’s Wilderness Lodge resort, and masses of food, fun and breaking Disney news (Avatar!!).
When I first got the email asking me if I’d like to review the Norwegian Breakaway for Cruise International Magazine (I know!!), the name Norwegian Cruise Line initially made me think of slipping through icy fjords and gazing at a skyful of Northern Lights. Although that would have been amazing, and is still something I want to do, I couldn’t have been more wrong. Our itinerary was incredible: starting from New York (NEW YORK!!), we would sail to Port Canaveral in Florida, then Great Stirrup Cay, NCL’s own private island in the Bahamas, and then to Nassau, before heading back to New York.
So I’m very lucky to be here in Orlando at the moment. I’ve got all sorts of amazing new things to share with you very soon, but last night I went to the Rock Your Disney Side party at the World ShowPlace at Epcot. The party was absolutely amazing and the venue out of this world. Check it out…
So you know that one of my biggest obsessions is about creating snapshots: when we’re old and grey, we should all be able to look back on our lives and have lots of memories stores away, snapshots of people and places that meant a lot to us. My boys already love to travel and I really hope they both strike out into the world and have loads of magical experiences, the memories of which they can cherish forever.
On our recent trip to New York, we were lucky enough to travel back to the UK in Virgin’s Upper Class cabin. Having never turned left before, this was a completely new experience and we absolutely loved it. Here’s a sneaky peak at what to expect.
If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll know that I’ve been having a bit of a moan about mobile data roaming when travelling abroad. Obviously, being online and staying in contact is really important when, like me, it’s your business, but just generally, most people want to be able to stay in touch when they’re abroad (although obviously tweeting when you’re on the beach is generally only the preserve of nutters like me).
Last year I visited Edinburgh, home of my fellow food-loving friend Erica. We toured some amazing restaurants and markets and decided to make our ‘Foodinburgh’ trip an annual occurrence. If you think Edinburgh is all haggis, neeps and tatties (not that there’s anything wrong with that – I had my first taste of haggis too, delicious!), then think again, it’s a serious destination for food lovers, with no less than five Michelin starred restaurants and a fabulous array of affordable restaurants and cafés. I’ve put together a list of my favourites so far, but I’ve got a feeling this could change – we’re already planning Foodinburgh 2014!
The trouble with holidays is that everyone wants something different. In any family, you’ll get the one who wants to lie in the sun all day, the active one, the sightseer, the adventurer… Mixing all these requirements into one holiday is often a challenge, so it’s sometimes best to book a holiday with a little bit of everything. I always think Italy is good for this. Pick somewhere like Sorrento and you should be able to please everybody. The summer months are scorchio, there’s fabulous shopping, amazing food, and a fascinating old town with loads of bars and cafés perfect for people watching. Choose your hotel well, not all resorts have beaches as the coastline tends to be a bit rocky – I like the Hotel Atlantic Palace ( First Choice have holidays here) as it’s got a gorgeous pool area, plus a shuttle bus that will drop you at the nearest beach. It’s also just a 40 minute train ride from the incredible ancient ruins at Pompeii.
Some lovely friends of mine were in Florida recently, staying at the gorgeous Animal Kingdom Lodge and I happened to comment on one of their Facebook pictures ‘oh, that’s my FAVOURITE Walt Disney World resort!’. I love the African styling, and the fact that you can see giraffes wandering outside your window. But then I thought about the glorious Grand Floridian, and the quite incredible Contemporary Resort, and I realised, I can’t have just one. I have to have at least five! Read more
So as you’ll probably remember, Mr English and I had a wonderful few days in Guernsey earlier this year. Recently, the lovely chaps at Visit Guernsey asked if I would be interested in contributing to their 2014 brochure and of course I was delighted. They’ve just sent me my page and I’m so delighted with it, I asked if I could share it with you. Isn’t it amazing? The styling is fabulous and I’m so proud and pleased to have been asked. Do try and get over to Guernsey very soon, it really is a beautiful place.
- A lovely giveaway for English Mum’s eighth birthday July 24, 2014
- Dresses for people who really don’t suit dresses July 23, 2014
- A secret wine tasting and some fab new wine discoveries July 21, 2014
- A duck egg Victoria sponge cake for Dad’s birthday July 19, 2014
- The Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas: shore excursions July 17, 2014