Amsterdam Diary – 1 Day in The Netherlands

Amsterdam has become a popular post a-level holiday destination. As we were in fact both on holiday and of the post a-Level variety we decided it was only right to add the Netherlands to our route around Europe. 

Transport

Unfortunately as you may have read in my Brussels post, there were no seats left on the Thalys service from Paris to Amsterdam. This meant that we were effectively slumming it on the regular national train across the Dutch, Belgian border. When I say slumming it I mean it was not on the same level as Thalys but equally it is no northern rail, she types in the waiting area of Hebden Bridge train station waiting for, you guessed it, a cancelled northern rail service! Anyway it took us around 4 hours, which is nothing in the grand scheme of things. 

Accommodation

We arrived in Amsterdam at around 21.00 after a quick change in Rotterdam and headed for our hostel. We were a bit concerned by our hostel to begin with as it looked little more than a glamourised Chinese take away. But once we headed upstairs it was more than suitable. This was the first time that we were staying in shared accommodation on our trip. At first we worried because our roommates seemed shy and unfriendly but by the second night we were chatting to some nice girls from Austria. We stayed at Hostel the Globe in Amsterdam Central and it was perfectly located and provided pretty much everything we needed. 

First Morning

Having already eaten, we had a wander along the street we were staying on and headed to bed. The next morning, we woke up early and headed out to find something to eat. Our meals generally consisted of supermarket croissants and a piece of fruit. That’s what it’s like on a budget ladies and gentlemen! Amsterdam was one of the first places where we were genuinely at a loss as to what to do. We weren’t interested in then ‘local’ activities if you know what I mean and equally the museums were out of budget.

Boat Tour

Eventually after wandering around a little, (word of warning Amsterdam doesn’t wake up until late, which is not great when you’re a morning person like me), we decided to go on a river cruise. Much like Copenhagen, Amsterdam is a harbour city and has a network of rivers and canals. We concluded that this would be the best way to orientate ourselves and pinpoint some of the things we would like to see! The boat tour really didn’t disappoint. The tour was in German so we got some practice in before we headed to Germany and Austria next. 

Cycling & Vondel Park

From there we decided to rent bicycles because when in Holland. That became our mode of transport for the day. We paid €16 each which is dearer than the tram, but for the flexibility and enjoyment it was worth it. Cycling in the Netherlands is also incredibly easy because of all of the bike lanes. Our first port of call was Vondel Park where we spent the the morning chilling. We also grabbed a bite to eat in the cafe in the park which does THE best pizza! A well needed rest after a busy couple of days exploring Paris and Brussels. After that we cycled over to the flower market, which unfortunately had no real tulips but did have some fake ones. I also managed to buy a book in an English language book shop, as I had forgotten mine! 

Afternoon

The bikes came in handy over the course of the day as we cycled here, there and everywhere. Our next stop was Anne Frank’s house. We didn’t go in mainly because you have to book well in advance. But also because of my crippling claustrophobia. At least we can say we have seen it and maybe that’s one for next time. After a long day of cycling, we decided to head to Wagamama’s as a nice treat. Amsterdam is full of cute little places but we were really craving some veggies. It was also quite entertaining watching Sarah attempt to use chopsticks! 

Ferry & Noord Amsterdam

After dinner we stocked up on some little snacks for the hostel and took the ferry across to Noord Amsterdam. This was honestly one of the highlights of Amsterdam for me. The ferry is completely free and takes less than 5 minutes. From the other side there is a viewing platform with swings that hang over the edge that you can try! Not for the faint hearted, or those on a budget because the tickets were on the pricier side. Other than that there are cute bars and cafes to enjoy and even just sitting on the harbour is nice. I dropped my earring sitting on the bridge so if I have any Dutch followers and a cute little star earring washes up please let me know! We watched the sunset from there and waited until it was dark before heading back to the hostel to freshen up.

Red Light District

We quickly got changed and headed out to experience the red light district. Every site tells you that this is not a tourist attraction, but if we are honest you can’t go to Amsterdam and not even have a look. If anything it was cultural experience gathering. We grabbed some Dutch chips and sat by the canal. Our hostel was actually at the end of the street where all of the red light district activities take place so our walk back was relatively easy. 

Our stop in Amsterdam was definitely the most chilled stop on our interrail trip. If I am totally honest it was slightly underwhelming just because of how much people hype up the city. Amsterdam is a nice city break and excludes the hustle and bustle of mega cities like Paris, London and NYC, which meant it was a welcomed break. 

Jazzy Jumpsuit – How To Style Wide-Legged Jumpsuits

Jumpsuits are really tricky to get right. They have to cling to the right places and be baggy in the right places. Often it’s difficult to find a jumpsuit that will be flattering, but when you do, it feels amazing. Jumpsuits have a lot of leg work to do, considering they are just one piece of fabric. So here’s how I wore this navy jumpsuit I picked up at TK Maxx.

At first the tiny wee straps really scared me as it meant a lot of skin would be on show. So I decided to build myself up to that. I first wore this at a meal out with my German class and it seemed like it was a hit. I wore it with a short white t-shirt, gold hoops and Birkenstocks. Because who doesn’t love a good pair of Birkenstocks? I had planned to stay out after the meal and go out with a few friends, so I reckon that I would have been fine getting into bars with this outfit. As fate should have it, I wasn’t feeling well and decided that heading home would be the best idea. But I still felt hella cute at the meal.

I bought this jumpsuit from TK Maxx and it was more on the pricey side for what I usually spend on clothes. I paid £20 for it, but for cost per wear it is so worth it. The jumpsuit is made out of a linen kind of material which means it has a tendency to get quite wrinkly but that just adds to the effect. Best thing is that it is so easy to iron! I know I’m getting old when I buy clothes based on how easy they are to wash and iron. It has a cute little tie around the waist which means it is simple to get the desire shape from the jumpsuit.

The jumpsuit also came with me on our trip to Copenhagen. I have to say that it packed really well, even though I forgot the tie around the middle! This was when I finally plucked up enough courage to wear it without a top underneath. It was also way too hot to wear with a t-shirt. The jumpsuit is so light and because the trouser legs are wide and flowy it doesn’t get too hot. You can style this with a cute little necklace because the neckline is so bold. You can also style this up or down with heels or flats for a day or night time look.

Brussels Grand Palace

Brussels in 6 Hours – What To See and Do in Belgium

During our Interrailing trip, our stop in Brussels became a happy accident. Due to leaving train reservations way too late, we were unable to reserve a fast train directly from Paris to Amsterdam. In order to avoid an 8 hour train journey with multiple stops we decided to book a Thalys train to Brussels and carry on to Amsterdam later in the day. This at first seemed incredibly tedious, but it ended up being so worth it.

Brussels Grand Palace
Train Travel with Thalys/ Baggage in Brussels Station

We arrived in Brussels refreshed after having spent the past hour or so aboard the Thalys service. I wish I had taken more pictures of the train, and not an embarrassing video I sent to my parents. It was so luxurious, we had huge red velvet like seats with spacious leg room and a generous tray table. I have honestly flown long haul in more uncomfortable seats. Leaving the train was sort of bittersweet. Knowing we would be slumming it later on a train, but at least we had a few hours in Brussels before we had to worry about that.

Our first port of call was to find somewhere for our big backpacks, thankfully Brussels station offers rental lockers which housed our bags for a few hours whilst we explored. Shockingly, we did do a little bit of research before we arrived in our second country. We knew we wanted to visit Mini Europe and the Atomium. Visiting these monuments has been a childhood dream after seeing both on a documentary. We grabbed some metro tickets, (fair warning that the Brussels metro system is relatively simple but finding ticket machines proves difficult), and headed across the city.

The Atomium & Mini Europe

Thankfully you can purchase a ticket for both attractions at once which saves standing in queues. And again thankfully for me, French is spoken in Brussels which simplified everything greatly. Once we had bought our tickets, we headed straight for the Atomium, where we were greeted by Tin Tin before heading up on a lift straight to the top. The views over Brussels and Mini Europe are just insane and there is even a restaurant at the top. From there we headed back down in the lift and explored more of the ‘atoms’ by escalator. Inside each ‘atom’ there are a variety of exhibitions and in one there was even a cool music concert. This was honestly such a surreal experience for me, having dreamt about visiting this monument.

From there we headed for a walk around Mini Europe. If you are unaware of the concept, you essentially walk around a park of some of Europe’s most famous monuments, except they’re in miniature version. We enjoyed a small taste of culture from almost every country in Europe, minus the expensive air fares. It was interesting to see monuments from places we had already visited and places we were yet to see. This only served to excite us for the rest of our journey around Europe. It really was a dream come true, as geeky as that sounds. When I realised that our quick pit stop in Brussels would allow us enough time, I was incredibly excited.

Brussels Eiffel Tower
Grand-Place de Bruxelles

After finishing our small trip around Europe, we metroed (have I just coined a verb?) back into the city, of course not before buying a Belgian waffle, to soak up as much as we could before we had to jump on a train to the Netherlands. We got off the metro to take a look around the main square, which was just incredible. The architecture is insane. It was at this point for the second time this trip, that I swore to do my year-abroad in Brussels. Coincidentally there was a Japanese dancing performance starting as we arrived that we managed to catch before heading off.

I really could have spent days more in Brussels absorbing as much Belgian culture as possible. It was so lovely to have the opportunity to spend some time in Brussels, if only for a few hours. I have in fact been to Belgium before, I visited Ypres on a school trip, but I had never had the pleasure of visiting Belgium’s capital city until now.

paris views

Paris in 24hrs – A One Day Travel Guide to France’s Capital City

Paris was the first official stop on our interrailing journey across Europe, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Despite both my friend and I having already been to Paris, it felt only right to make the city of lights the first place on our trip. Having also just finished A-Level French it felt right to be able to put my language skills to good use.

paris views
First Night in Paris/ Where to Eat and Sleep

We arrived at the Gare du Nord late on Saturday night, and made what felt like the monstrous trip to the 14th Arrondisement. We stayed at FIAP Jean Monnet. Transport in Paris is easy with decent metro links and bus links. From the Gard du Nord we bought a Carnet of 10 metro tickets which cost 14,95 each. In hindsight it probably would have been easier to one between us. These tickets allow you on all of the transport in Paris. We spent our first night in Paris at an Italian restaurant, eating giant pizzas and relaxing. One thing to keep in mind is that the French eat incredibly late. Normal dinner time for me is 7/8pm but in France add at least another 2 if not 3 hours . That meant that when we headed out for something to eat at 11pm, so did all of Paris.

paris streets
Notre Dame

The next morning we woke up relatively early to 37 degree heat! We put on our best Parisian dresses and headed down to a breakfast of french pastries and hot drinks. We then headed for the Notre Dame with was just two tube stops away. It was heartbreaking to see the condition it is in. But at the end of the day it is a building and thankfully these things can be mended. As it was a Sunday morning, Paris was pretty quiet as most people were enjoying a lie in or at church. We did try to see one church but unfortunately they said they we weren’t dressed appropriately.

The Louvre

From there we headed for a walk along the Seine, at this time of the morning you honestly wouldn’t believe that it is a capital city as it was so quiet. The perks of visiting on a Sunday I guess. We wanted to walk to the Eiffel Tour which was an hour away but it was honestly just too hot. Along our way we genuinely stumbled across the Louvre. So of course we had to check it out. Thankfully with our UK ID access into the museum is free. This is the same for anyone living in an EU Country.

Paris La Seine

So we perused the art for a little while and of course made a bee line for the Mona Lisa or as the French call it, La Jaconde. The Mona Lisa is apparently one of the most underwhelming tourist attraction. I was in all honesty quite impressed. It is very British of me to complain of the lack of queuing to get a photo, but the system (if you can call it that) is not particularly useful. Be prepared to wait ages to get to the front of the crowd. You will also impatiently wait for tourists taking hundreds of selfies, to snap that coveted shot. We enjoyed views from the roof top cafe, where we split a biscuit because the prices certainly weren’t budget friendly.

Paris La Louvre
Paris Vive La Revolution
Tuileries Garden

After that we checked out a fun fair that had popped up in Paris and boasted some cool rides. As we had no time for EuroDisney, this was a great alternative! We went on the chairs and enjoyed fantastic views over Paris, including a shot of the Eiffel Tower. The rides are just situated in front of the Tuileries Garden. After we had nearly thrown up our lunch in the amusement park, we took the opportunity to relax in the gardens. At this point in the day, the heat was stifling. We indulged in a little bit of “influencer watching”, where we watched everyone try and get that perfect instagram shot (I am guilty of this). The Gardens also have a brilliant view of the Eiffel Tower. If you are after some tourist free shots then head here. I managed to get a cheeky selfie with the quintessentially Parisian monument.

Champs-Elysees

We then decided to head for a walk along the Champs-Elysees, and much to our surprise we were met with a huge South American/Latin American festival. This made the mile walk along Paris’ most famous shopping street much easier. After our long walk along the street, we were greeted by the Arc de Triomphe. You really have to be there to understand the complexity and beauty of this monument. The city was bustling at this point in the day which was a huge contrast to when we first left. Watching the Bastille Day celebrations being organised was fun, even though we knew we wouldn’t be there to see it.

The Sacre-Coeur and Montmartre

From there we used the metro, as our legs were tired and we headed towards Sacre-Coeur. Although this was my 3rd or 4th time in Paris, this was one thing I was yet to see. The stairs all the way up are intense and particularly so during a European heatwave. Sweaty and out of breath, we made it to the top and enjoyed the views over Paris and Montmartre. After an exhausting walk up to the top, we decided to get the cable car back down. Thankfully the car uses the same tickets as the metro, so we were able to hop on using one ticket from our carnet. After that we wandered through the streets of Montmartre and enjoyed how cute every house looked before settling down for a well deserved crepe. There is also plenty of street artists in this area to watch and buy from.

Moulin Rouge/ The Eiffel Tower

On our way back to the hostel we checked out the Moulin Rouge, which was certainly interesting. We ultimately decided to head back and freshen up and grab a bite to eat before attempting to see the Eiffel Tower by night. At around 9pm we headed back out to visit the tower and due to metro and bus delays it took us until almost 10pm to reach the tower. By this time we were both incredibly tired and were less bothered about going up and instead decided to admire the view and get to bed.

Paris Pricing

Our full day in Paris was jam packed but a fabulous start to our trip nonetheless. As for logistics, Paris was definitely one of the most expensive stops on our route. Due to french hostel laws, unaccompanied minors are not permitted to stay in dorm rooms whatsoever, which meant we had to book a double room. I had stayed at this hostel before and knew that it was of a good standard, so happily booked again. Food prices in Paris are high, as is to be expected for the French capital city but I would say that on the whole portion sizes were decent and the food was incredible.

12 Hours in Malmö – A Short Day Trip in Sweden

Malmö is Sweden’s third largest city, and since 2000 it is arguably the most accessible place in Sweden for visitors from mainland Europe. Thanks to the Oresund Bridge, connecting Denmark and Sweden, Malmö has certainly become quite the tourist destination. Whether passing by on your way further North in Sweden, or simply as a day trip from Copenhagen, here is everything you need to know about the city of Malmö.

Accessibility and Transport Links

As I have already touched on, Malmö is easily accessible from Copenhagen via the Oresund Bridge which boasts car and rail links. By far the cheapest and most interesting way to cross the border is by bus. Remember to bring your passport, as we learnt the hard way! We booked a Flixbus leaving early morning and were safely back in Denmark by tea time. The inspiration for our trip was most definitely my eagerness to cross the bridge after watching a discovery channel documentary detailing its construction. What awaited us in Sweden was merely an added bonus. The journey takes roughly an hour and is relatively comfortable so is a good opportunity for a nap!

Malmö Castle

Perhaps foolishly, I was overwhelmed with the excitement of crossing the bridge (I’m a geek, I know!) and didn’t do an extensive amount of research on the town and so we turned up in Sweden with few ideas as to how we could pass the day. Our first instinct was to get our bearings. We strolled up to the Castle for a look around the museum and aquarium which was exciting. This is quite a lengthy walk, which we did twice (keep reading to find out why), but it was definitely worth it. Upon our arrival we saw that citizens of the EU under the age of 19 got into the exhibition for free. Much like Denmark, Sweden uses its own currency, which meant we had to get to grips with yet another krone of some description. Thankfully Sweden isn’t as pricey as Denmark, but it is not cheap by any stretch of the imagination. The exhibition at the time was about sustainability in day to day life which suited us really well. It was so lovely and we even managed to speak to some Swedish school pupils!

Malmö City Walking Tour

From there we headed back into the inner city for a bite to eat before starting a three hour walking tour of the city. Our guide was so informative and we learnt lots about the history of Sweden and modern day traditions. One thing I am definitely on board with is Swedish concept of “Fika”. During the day the Swedes take a bit of time out to indulge in a pastry and a coffee. It is so serious that some Swedish people even switch off all forms of technology. Does anyone else also really want Fika to catch on in the UK? Fika literally translates as “to have coffee” but it has grown to become more of a way of life. This may also explain the abundance of coffee shops on every corner in Malmö!

On the walking tour we had explored the botanical gardens, the streets of Malmö and the Turning Torso. Our tour guide also took us back to the castle for a fab view of the Turning Torso. Unfortunately it is just offices and residential flats with no viewing tower but it is a sight worth seeing. I really couldn’t recommend the walking tour enough. We used Malmö Walking Tours, which was entirely free, but tips were welcomed. This took up the bulk of our day and so it was a cheap day out in Sweden. Due to the range of nationalities on our tour, including two fellow brits and two Germans I enjoyed chatting to some of the others and of course practising my German (Sorry Tasha!).

Swedish Shopping

After we parted ways, we had only an hour before it was time to catch the bus back to Denmark. So we took the opportunity to have a look around the shops. We also needed a little sit down after over 3 hours walking in 30 degree heat! My inner fashion blogger was keen to check out H&M as after all it is a Swedish brand. Swedish H&M certainly exceeded my expectations. So we perused the shops for a while before grabbing an ice cream and a drink. Of course I had to eat Swedish Glace ice cream in Sweden, it would have been wrong not to!

Our day trip to Sweden was so much fun. I’m not sure I would spend longer than a day in Malmö but it was a good taste of Sweden. Sweden made my 3rd Scandinavian country and really just ignited my love of nordic countries. I will definitely be back in Sweden and hopefully sooner rather than later!

View over Copenhagen from Church of Our Saviour

Copenhagen Travel Diary 2019 – A 4 Day Itinerary

Copenhagen is a must- see travel destination for everyone from art history geeks, fashion fanatics to adrenaline junkies. Located a stone’s throw from the sea, Copenhagen feels less like a capital city and more like a seaside resort. In June my friend and I embarked on a 4 day trip to my second (…and maybe favourite?!?!) Scandinavian country, and here’s my best picks of things to see and do in Denmark’s capital city.

View over Copenhagen from Church of Our Saviour

Before we get into the rest of the post, I would highly recommend getting a Copenhagen Card. The card can be purchased in advance which means it is perfect for budgeting. You have the choice of getting this digitally or in card form. The card entitles you to free transport as well as free entry into all of the attractions in the city. There is a calculator on the website which select attractions and tell you how much money you could save . For us the total figure was in the region of €200 each.

Day 1 Canal Tour/ Church of Our Saviour/ Christiania/ Botanical Gardens/ Tivoli Gardens

We started our first official day in Copenhagen with a canal tour. Copenhagen is located above an extensive canal/river network that provides the bases of transport systems around the city. We decided that a canal tour would be the best way to start the trip. It highlighted some places that we would be keen to visit. Thankfully, the tour was in English and our tour guide imparted onto us so much useful information regarding Copenhagen’s history. Not to mention, the canal tour was extremely relaxing and a great way to start a busy day.

View from the Copenhagen Canal Tour

From the canal tour, we continued our sightseeing around Copenhagen mainly on foot. We headed for the Church of Our Saviour which has a viewing platform and a staircase wrapped around the spire. This provided us with panoramic views of the city and even across into neighbouring Sweden. It is safe to say that after in the region of 500 steps our legs were definitely burning but for such a wonderful view of the city, the extreme exercise was worth it.

Tivoli Garden's Summer Guide to Copenhagen

After that we carried on in the direction of Christiania, a free town in Copenhagen. The town is a former military base. Today the “town” has no rules and so cannabis smoking dominates the settlement. It is an eye opening experience and an opportunity to buy some interesting souvenirs. We didn’t stay for long, but the town goes on for miles. I would block off a few hours in your day to explore if this is something that appeals to you.

Christiania A Free Town in Copenhagen

We decided to take advantage of our Copenhagen Cards and we took the bus to the Danish Botanical Gardens. These gardens are immense. My inner plant geek was well and truly satisfied with the array of plants in the gardens surrounding. After a busy morning we took this opportunity to indulge in some down time and we sat by the ponds and relaxed under the warm Scandinavian sun. The Copenhagen Card grants access inside the main area of the Botanical Gardens but due to commitments later in the day, we unfortunately didn’t have time to go inside.

Danish Botanical Gardens in Copenhagen

After enjoying some lunch at Tivoli Garden’s food hall we decided to head back to the gardens to try out some of the rides and catch the live music. The Copenhagen Card allows you into the gardens but in order to go on any of the rides, you have to buy tickets, which are fairly expensive. Because you can’t go to Tivoli and not go on any rides we bought a couple of tickets each. We ultimately spent them on the Alpenhof ride (I would highly recommend!). Frequently throughout the week, Tivoli Gardens which is said to be the inspiration for Disneyland, hosts live music events. We sat in deck chairs soaking in some Danish music, drinking Danish beer, and eating some not-so-Danish supermarket snacks. It truly was the perfect ending to our first full day in Denmark.

Glo Food in Copenhagen
Alpenhof at Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen
Day 2 Day Trip to Sweden

Day 2 of our Scandinavian Holiday was actually not spent in Copenhagen, or in Denmark at all, but rather next door in Sweden. The reason behind this seemingly random excursion was mainly due to my enthusiasm to cross the Oresund Bridge after having watched a documentary about its construction. So we booked a Flixbus and off we went. I think I will do a separate post about what to do in Malmo for a day. Much to our surprise there was in fact plenty to see.

Day 3 The Little Mermaid/ Ofelia Plads/ Amalienborg Palace/ Round Tower/ Rosenborg Castle

We started our penultimate day in Copenhagen with a long walk north towards the Little Mermaid. During the Canal Tour we saw the statue, but we wanted to get the iconic Little Mermaid picture. This icon is absolutely flooded with tourists so I would recommend getting there early. I imagine it would look beautiful in front of a sunrise. I know this is a very British thing to complain about, but there is a distinct lack of a queuing system for getting a picture with the statue, so prepare to have to use your elbows! There are also little food trucks alongside that sell coffee, cake and even Prosecco so if you don’t mind the crowds this a really picturesque spot of Copenhagen to relax in.

The Little Mermaid, Copenhagen

From there we headed towards the Ofelia Plads to relax before our tour of the Amalienborg Palace. This is one of the more local spots in Copenhagen, so if you fancy chatting to some Danes this is the place to do so. The Plads are effectively landing jetties that stick out into the harbour. You’ll find a great variety of restaurants and cafes to choose. We grabbed an ice cream and, just like the locals chilled out and caught some sun rays. Throughout the year the Plads are also home to live music events and art installations. One of the most famous is a collection of large lit up triangles, it looks better than it sounds!

The Ofelia Plads, Copenhagen

After chilling out for a bit we went on a tour of the Amalienborg, the royal palace in Denmark. It felt right to book onto one of the tours of the Palace and see it in all its glory. The tour was relatively inexpensive in terms of Copenhagen prices and we learnt so much about the monarchy and the history Denmark. The day we visited was also the day that Denmark was getting a new Prime Minister so there were several camera crews. So perhaps we made it into the back of one of the shots, who knows! Unfortunately you are not allowed to take photos inside the palace. But that just means that there is all the more reason so visit and see it for yourself.

Although we were pretty full from our sorbet on the Plads, our next stop was to grab something for lunch. We decided to see what’s on offer in the food hall of Magasin, which is effectively a Selfridges on steroids. After working up an appetite we went to the Bagel Company, which I describe as a subway for bagels. I had struggled to find Danish vegetarian food so I was over the moon to get some veggies inside me. The bagel was so yummy that when I got home I attempted to recreate what I had eaten. It was good but not nearly on the same standard as the Bagel Company in Copenhagen.

After lunch we decided to check out another view over the city at the Round Tower. As the name would suggest, this tower is round is shape and boasts no stairs. The view from the top was amazing. Unfortunately for our instagram feeds there is a huge fence that surrounds the viewing platform so it makes getting photos difficult but not impossible. If you only have time for one tower I would recommend the Church, as it’s taller and because the view is unobstructed.

From the top of the Round Tower we identified our next attraction, Rosenborg Castle. It has gardens that go on for miles and of course a big castle in the middle. After a busy morning we grabbed a few snacks from the local supermarket and chatted on the grass for a while. Naturally we had a little photo shoot.

In the evening we headed back to the hostel for some dinner and a few drinks at the bar.

Day 4 Christianborg/Town Hall/ Glypotet/ And home 🙁

Due to our flight time, we actually had lots of time in Copenhagen on our last day. So we left our baggage at the hostel, and headed out for the day. First stop was the Christianborg, which is the old palace in Denmark. There are kitchens, ruins and receptions to peruse. Again, we got in for free with our Copenhagen Cards and spent an hour or so looking around. Obviously, as a cooking enthusiast and a blogger the rose gold kitchens pleased me very much and we spent quite a bit of time here just looking at all of the pots and pans and trying on the uniform.

Our next stop was lunch. I had never been to The Hard Rock Cafe before, so we treated ourselves to a nice meal before heading back out in to the city to do some final bits of sightseeing. After we were well nourished once again we wandered across to the Town Hall, for you guessed it, another viewing platform. The views across the main square were amazing. We were lucky as they only allow guests up at certain times of the year, so check before you go!

Perhaps the only attraction we were yet to tick off was the Glyptotek. We wandered there and enjoyed the exhibitions and the roof top garden which had some great views over Tivoli Gardens. So we sat and chilled in the sun before heading back to collect our bags before our flight.

As for some of the logistics and travel information. We flew from Liverpool to Copenhagen with Ryanair. The base ticket is £14.99 each way and because of the length of time we were travelling for we also added a bag each. I went for the standard 10kg bag which added an extra £10 each leg. So all in the flights were approx £50. I was impressed with the service at both Liverpool airport and Copenhagen airport as the whole experience was incredibly stress free. We basically walked through security in both countries and had plenty of time to enjoy the airport before our flight. The flight time is roughly 1hr30 so not too long for those of you who don’t enjoy flying.

We stayed at Urban House Meininger, and I couldn’t recommend this hotel/hostel enough. We had to book a private room because I am under 18. The staff were incredibly helpful at check in and with anything we needed during our stay. It is also equipped with a lovely little bar and restaurant area, a beer garden, a TV room, board games area, a kitchen and dining room. The bar also hosts a happy hour every night which is two for one cocktails.

Copenhagen is very expensive. Just a word of warning. The flights are cheap but accommodation and food was on the pricier side. Denmark uses the Danish Krone which is tricky to get your head around as you end up dividing everything by 8.

In conclusion Copenhagen was definitely one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited and I would highly recommend a visit.

Pinafore Style

Femme Luxe Style – 3 Budget Friendly Outfits [Gifted]

Who doesn’t love that new clothes feeling? I certainly do. So when Femme Luxe reached out to me to send over some new items, I really couldn’t refuse. They sent me over 4 items to style and test out. Without too many spoilers the quality of the clothes far exceeded my expectations. Keep on reading if you want to see 3 hella cute and hella cheap outfits styled for all year round!

Style jeans with paper bag tie

The first thing that springs to mind when I think about Femme Luxe is their instagram. To be honest I always just associated them with a lack of quality and cheap fast fashion. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Delving deeper into their website I noticed that they offered clothing to suit different people which was refreshing.

Being somewhat of a ‘modest’ dresser, the neon, short, sheer style that Femme Luxe offers didn’t immediately appeal to me. But I did manage to find a great array of clothes that don’t subscribe to this. This makes me think that Femme Luxe cares about more than selling clothes to girls destined for Ibiza and Glasto.

My first outfit is this adorable pinafore with frilly straps. Lord knows I love a good frill, so this item jumped straight out at me. The checkered print pattern is chic and professional which means you could wear this at cocktails and in a meeting. Again, I kinda expected this to be way too short but I can confirm that clocking in at 5 feet 2 inches this pinafore is neither too short nor too long. So if you possess a few more inches the length is something to be aware of. I decided to style this with a black long sleeve top, from Femme Luxe, and black tights and some espadrilles. You could wear this without the tights and a pair of heels and go from a day look to a night time look.

black pinafore and espadrilles style

On to the second outfit and I selected this adorable tweed looking skirt. You can most likely see a monochrome trend emerging in my outfits. Black and white are just so easy to style. This time I braved it tight-less in order to not distract from the skirt. The uneven hem line is so cute and adds something a little extra to an otherwise simple skirt. I wore this combo to college last week and I received so many comments. My only word of advice is that the skirt being a tweed like material is prone to pulls so keep your dogs and cats away people. When I shot this outfit I chose espadrilles and the staple plain black top but a pair of black vans and tights would also work well. Overall this skirt is perfect for spring, summer, autumn and winter!

plaid skort style

For my third and final outfit I had to try out a pair of jeans. Having bought jeans from budget fashion stores before and almost without fail ending up disappointed I felt the need to do the market research on this pair of jeans. I admired this pair of jeans on account of the cute little waist tie. Other than that they were high waisted (perfect for keeping all of those extra pounds at bay). I would honestly not have batted an eyelid if someone would have told me that these jeans cost £50. My favourite part of these jeans are the lining of the pockets. I couldn’t get a photo of the inside of my jeans, so you’ll have to take my word for it.

I hope you enjoyed these stylings and take a look at femme luxe because their products will really blow you away! Happy shopping 🙂

*Just so you know, the products shown were provided free of charge by Femme Luxe but all opinions shared are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of the brand.

Mother's Day Afternoon Tea Venue

Mother’s Day Treat – Afternoon Tea at Foxfield’s Country Hotel [AD]

Over the year our mother figures do a lot for us which means that come Mother’s Day it’s important to show thanks for everything they do. I’m sure many of you can agree that buying for your mother on Mother’s Day is no simple task. Each Mum has their own particular likes and dislikes. I have always struggled choosing a gift that shows how much she really means to me. There is however one thing that she has always enjoyed and will probably always enjoy. And that is spending time with her children. I’ve teamed up with UNiDAYS to explain what I did for my mum this Mother’s Day thanks to student discount.

Every year as Mother’s Day rolls around I get stressed thinking about what to get my mum. Even after reading 101 different Mother’s Day gift guides. Nothing ever calls out to me and says “she’ll love this”. I end up resorting to the usual scented candle and box of chocolates, which I’m sure she appreciates but isn’t always exciting to receive year in year out.

Mother's Day Afternoon Tea Selection

This year, I wanted to spice things up and had a look on UNiDAYS for inspiration. They had a 15% discount off Groupon experiences. I produced a lovely afternoon tea voucher for the Foxfield’s Country Hotel. I thought that would be the perfect! This way, mum and I could have a well-deserved break and spend some quality time together over tea and cake.

As both mum and I lead busy lives it’s not always easy to spend time together. So I thought the best way to treat my mum this year would be with some good food and company. I was so excited to team up with UNiDAYS to utilise my student discount and do something different.

My Mum and I on Mother's Day

The hotel definitely exceeded my expectations. The bar area was incredibly trendy and literally looked like I’d walked in to some fancy place in Shoreditch! You know, the kind where you pay £6.75 for a cranberry juice. It was an Instagram blogger’s idea of heaven with all the marble a girl could ask for! And in essence we had all this luxury at our fingertips with a great saving thanks to the UNiDAYS discount. As this isn’t something we have the opportunity to do very often we saw this as a chance to get dressed up and live the Kardashian lifestyle, even if only for an afternoon.

The afternoon tea itself was gorgeous! A huge variety of cakes and sandwiches arrived beautifully displayed on a circular stand for us to choose from. (my mum is still going on about how delicious the soup was). In true mum style, as soon as we got back home she was on the phone to her friends telling them “GUYS YOU NEED GO TO FOXFIELD’S COUNTRY HOTEL AND TRY THE SOUP”. In all fairness it was incredibly tasty.

Mother's Day afternoon tea

The best part is you don’t even have to be at university to gain access to hundreds of discounts. If you are a student and 16+ you can sign up UNiDAYS  for free and find discount codes for anything from stationary to beauty products, travel and even meals out.

Click hereto head over to the UNiDAYS website and sign up for a membership for free!


ProCoal Sheet Masks [AD]

Sheet masks seem to be the weapon of choice for your average millennial, behind avocados of course. But nevertheless their popularity has been booming as of late and naturally this isn’t without due cause. Being the skincare freak I am, I couldn’t say no when ProCoal offered to send me a pack of their sheet masks.

Image of ProCoal Sheet Mask Packaging

The masks are made from charcoal and what blows my mind about these masks is that they hold an entire bottle of serum. A. Whole. Bottle. Of. Serum. If that’s not value for money I don’t know what is. They aim to plump and hydrate your face but also to help tame any acne that may be manifesting itself on your face, hence the name ‘Instaclear Control Mask’.

For those of you who are really into skincare the active ingredient is salicylic acid. This acne blasting acid is found in this mask from all natural sources like white willow bark extract. I can’t admit that I have any idea what that is but it sure does sound like it would work. The other active ingredient is rice bran extract which is supposed to help with anti-ageing. Although I am fortunate in that I’m still relatively wrinkle free I do think that purely from this mask’s ability to plump your skin that it would also help with anti-ageing.

As I mentioned above the mask contains 25 grams of serum. It is also free from parabens, silicones, sls, mineral oils and paraffin. Basically meaning you still get all the good stuff just without all the nasty stuff. It is cruelty free which is a huge tick in the box for me. . So you can enjoy the pleasure of having nice skin, knowing that no animals have been harmed as a result.

My experience with the masks have been overwhelmingly positive. The face mask brought a very much soothing element to an otherwise dry and sensitive face. I love a sheet mask that embodies all of these natural minerals as it just means there is no fuss. The only thing I did struggle with was getting the mask off the backing paper as it has a tendency to stick to itself and I was worried it would rip. I enjoyed how ergonomic the face mask itself was as all of the holes and slits for the grooves of your face fit nicely. My favourite part are the slits beneath the chin. This means that you could attach them higher up giving yourself an ‘at home face lift’. I bet you weren’t expecting that when you started reading this post.

Overall very good mask I would repurchase and you can do so here.

AD- This product was provided to me by ProCoal free of charge but all opinions expressed within this post are my own.

It has been 4 weeks since I was rejected from my Dream School and here’s how I’m feeling

Dear Elizabeth. Unfortunately it has not been possible to grant you admission at this time. The 12 words no Oxford applicant ever wants to see, but for me my whole educational world came tumbling down on the 9th of January as I officially became an Oxford reject. Rejection is has been no stranger in my lifetime and I’m sure it will reappear in a variety of forms in the future. So what was it about this that stung so much?

Was it fact that I felt as though I had let everyone down who had helped me with the process? (Big shout out Sally and Paul while we’re here) Was it that going to Oxford had been a dream of mine for over a decade? Or was it being told that the intellectual abilities I have always prided myself on were in fact far from sufficient that truly hurt? These were all just contributing factors to the emotional rollercoaster I have experienced over the last 4 weeks, and although tears were shed I have started to come to peace with the outcome and come to terms with my emotions.

Let me take you back. 9am Wednesday 9th January. I am stuck in the same traffic jam, having barely moved and inch in the past 45 minutes, anxiety through the roof playing over every possible outcome in my head. My stomach growls, either from the racing emotions or more likely due to the lack of breakfast I had consumed. Lord knows I need my porridge in the mornings! 9.45 I’m getting closer to college and my messages start to ping through on the passenger seat from the MFL Oxford Applicants Group chat informing each other of offers and rejections that have just come through. I begin to shake knowing that as soon as I have parked up, I will be informed of my Oxford fate. I have to admit even just writing this I can feel everything I felt, as what seemed like every red light in Lancashire stood between me and my Oxford decision. So I pulled up having just done the fastest reverse park of my life, fear not blog readers, I still nailed it first time ;). Anyway I refreshed that email box faster than (idk insert something fast- my brain is tired) and there it was an email staring me in the eyes. I opened it and there it was, checkmate. My Oxford Rejection Letter.

You know that little internal voice you have in your head that is constantly chattering away, yeah well mine was silent. She didn’t say anything. She just stared at the words blending into a muddle on the page, blurred by the drops that were forming in my eyes. I texted my family, but there was no reply. So I rang my Dad to break the news to him and as soon as the words “Dad, I was rejected from Oxford” escaped my mouth, the reality of the situation hit me. Floods of tears begin rolling down my face but all was well as I had anticipated there being some kind of tears and so cleverly refrained from applying mascara. I sat in the car for 10 minutes trying to settle myself before plucking up enough courage to walk into college. Walking into college requires a brave face at the best of times and even more so after you have just been rejected from your dream school.

One thing that I was dreading was having to tell everyone of my failure. Naturally people were intrigued and over the course of the day I received many texts, phone calls and had face to face conversations in which I informed those close to me of the outcome of my application. Although it didn’t get easier, my poker face improved and by the end of the day I was telling people of my rejection with a distinct lack of emotion.

The 9th of January wasn’t a day of pure disaster, it was in fact the day that I left for the airport for what would become the best trip of my life surrounded by the best people I could ask for. I ended what I initially thought would be the worst day of my life with an overwhelming sense of love from those around me. Although I started the day in tears over a university, I ended it in a huge bed with my best friend watching the Goldbergs brushing our teeth with charcoal toothpaste. And for the next 4 days the antics of the 9th of January were effectively out of my head.

Fastforward to two weeks later and my Oxford appliaction feedback arrived in my inbox. Let me tell you that shit was brutal. As if facing rejection wasn’t hard enough but to be then told that I have severe limitations in spoken French and that I lack intellectual flexibility in German was not easy to take onboard. Thankfully I was over it at that point and so the emotions weren’t quite as raw as they were 2 weeks prior. On a side note, last week I went for an interview at Lancaster University for which my feedback read “I was blown away by Elizabeth’s intellectual capabilities” which I found slightly humourous considering what Oxford had written about me. Of course the point of the feedback was to give reasons as to why I was not granted admission and yes the email outlined more than enough reasons as to why come September I will not be studying in Oxford, so for all intents and purposes it did fulfill its primary function.

By far the hardest part of the last 4 weeks has been the reactions from others that I have had to deal with from “I’m so sorry its their loss” to “I’m really surprised I thought you were the kind of girl that could get a place at Oxford” and of course people are just genuinely disappointed on my behalf but it truly doesn’t make the situation any sweeter.

In terms of feelings towards the process and my appliaction in general things have changed dramatically over the past 4 weeks. From I hate everything and everyone, to oh my goodness this was such a blessing in disguise, to I didn’t even want to go to Oxford anyway *sob*. The emotions have come in waves and although at first I did regret my decision to apply to the University of Oxford, looking back I certainly don’t any more. If anything I am well prepped for my speaking exams now, knowing the kind of situation you will be put into. I also met lots of amazing people through my application to Oxford, some people who I will definitely be staying in touch with in years to come. So there you go that’s how you turn a negative into a something of positive!

I truly am so grateful that for all the help that so many people gave my in my pursuit to study at Oxford (you know who you are) and to get to the interview stage was such an achievement for me. Although the outcome certainly wasn’t what I had hoped for, I am pretty much over it now. In all of this I have learnt one especially important message and that is if it wasn’t meant to be it wasn’t meant to be and that God has a plan for us all. So although I may never have an Oxford degree it really doesn’t mean that my future isn’t bright.