Exploring Europe: Ballintoy Harbour, County Antrim, Northern Ireland

Ireland is place very close to my heart. I've been three times now and each time I fall more and more in love with the country. It helps that my boyfriend has family over there who are the best tour guides and hosts, taking us to all the great places and letting us into secrets. Thanks Brendan if you're reading this! On my trip last week we hired a car and set out to see the stunning Causeway Coast and spot a few Game of Thrones filming locations along the way.

If you're a GoT fan, you'll notice that this is in fact the Iron Islands. The home where Theon Greyjoy received a lukewarm welcome after coming back from Winterfell and the scene of his baptism. But if fantasy TV shows aren't your thing then make sure you come here anyway. It is one of the most beautiful places I've ever been too. The clear blue sea, the waves crashing against the rocks and the stunning scenery blew me away. I could have clambered over the rocks for hours but alas our bellies were rumbling and dinner was calling us.

On a sunny day, I imagine it's the perfect place to settle down on one of the rocks, enjoy a picnic and admire mother nature.  Next time I'm back in the Emerald Isle it's going to be top of my list of places to visit. Definitely add it to your list if you're ever in that part of the world - pack some trainers as those rocks can get slippery!


Restaurant review: Honey & Co, Fitzrovia, central London

Middle Eastern food is fast overtaking Vietnamese as my favourite cuisine to eat, so I was all over it when it was suggested we pop to Honey & Co to try their breakfast. For a mere £16.50, the table is presented with a selection of meze, breads, olives, pickles, cereal, yogurt, fresh fruit and homemade jams. Then everyone gets to choose their own eggs. It's one of the best value breakfasts I've had in London. The amount of food included is INSANE.

Highlights for me included the incredible addictive ashura grain cereal packed with sweet caramelised nuts topped with tart greek yogurt, the creamy hummus drizzled in olive oil and the delicious green Shakshuka with two Cornish eggs boasting a blinding orange yolk. I wish I had room to have it all over again. And again. And again.

A tiny restaurant tucked in what seems like no man's land in central London, Honey & Co is like eating in someone's living room. It's a tad annoying that you can only have the table for 90 minutes as I believe Middle Eastern food should be drawn out to be enjoyed. But alas, that's what you get when you dine in such a popular restaurant - we booked brunch three weeks in advance. The food was absolutely delicious, the staff were attentive and now I'm frantically trying to get my hands on their cookbook to try out their recipes at home.


Hotel review: Hotel Grand Ferdinand, Vienna, Austria

As we were only in Vienna for a couple of nights, I wanted to make the most of it by booking us into a really nice hotel. Enter Hotel Grand Ferdinand. Located about a 15 minute walk from the centre, this sleek and stylish hotel couldn't be in a better location. Boasting three restaurants and a rooftop bar, there's no need to really leave it either if you don't want to. It seemed like the perfect hotel for us. And it was.

We booked the smallest room which worked out about £130 plus 13% tax and a local city tax when you check out. What it was lacking in size, it certainly didn't lack in style. The quirky suitcase minibar was a lovely touch and I loved the opulent marble sink against the cool white and grey colour scheme. The bed was comfy and the open plan bathroom helped to make the room feel bigger. We certainly didn't feel cramped. It was well worth the money and was lovely to have a little bit of luxury in such a beautiful city.

We made it up to the rooftop infinity pool one night which was slightly surreal looking out over at the the Viennese skyline. Ordering a G+T, I remember feeling so carefree, emotional at being able to travel and incredibly lucky that I live in such a diverse and cultural continent. When I got the bill, I didn't quite feel so lucky then so keep in mind that the bar isn't cheap but definitely stop for one! Towels and dressing gowns are provided which is a lovely touch.

I can't vouch for the restaurants as we didn't eat there but if you ever find yourself in Vienna, definitely book yourself in for a few nights of luxury. I will certainly stay here again if I ever find myself in the Austrian city.


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