Earlier this week I spent 2 nights in the beautiful, English countryside. The Cotswolds is notoriously famous for being one of the most ‘quintessentially English’ and unspoiled areas in England. The area is known for its river valleys, beautiful brickwork and sleepy towns.
Whilst being home over Christmas, I had the opportunity to try new food places/restaurants in Dublin. Here are my top picks I would recommend:
I recently visited the amazing city of Hong Kong. The perfect balance of East meets West, this city has both the skyscrapers of a modern city, as well as the history and culture of a traditional Asian country.
How to get there:
When you are returning to the airport to go back home, you can actually check in your luggage at Kowloon train station, meaning you are luggage free, before you even get to the airport. Tickets can be pre-bought online, or at the station itself.
I have had the pleasure of being invited to the beautiful French town of Villefranche for the past two years, by one of my oldest friends. About 10-15 minutes outside of Nice, this town allows you to escape the hustle and bustle of Nice whilst boasting the most incredible views of the French Riviera.
One of the most amazing things about the South of France is how easily accessible each of the towns are. From Villefranche you can get trains/buses to Monaco, Nice, Eze, Saint Tropez, Cannes, Antilles and Italy.
How to get there?
The easiest airport to get to Villefranche from is Nice airport. From there, you can get an Uber which takes about 20 minutes, and is about 22/23 euro in price. The cheaper option is to get the bus. During the day the 98 leaves directly from the airport and brings you straight into Nice. From Nice, you can get either the 100/81 bus to Villefranche. The cost for the first bus is 6 euro and the second bus to Villefrance is only 1.50 euro. If you are flying into Nice later in the evening, there is a late night bus you can get straight from the airport (100,) however this service only runs on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. There is an information point at the airport should you have any further questions when you arrive.
Restaurants I would recommend:
Bistrot du Creux
For ice cream: Soléa Gelateria Di Corsica
For coffee: There is a beautiful coastal walk to Beaulieu (French town next to Villefranche.) Le Gran Caffe is a great spot for a morning coffee, if you fancy spending the morning outside Villefranche.
Italy: Ospedaletti is easily accessible from Villefranche and has a beautiful, cycle track, converted from a railway line. To get there, take the train to Ventimiglia from Villefranche, followed by the Sanremo (Line 2) bus to Ospedaletti. The track is flat and very easy to cycle on. Afterwards, I would definitely recommend stopping off for pizza at Baixarico on the seafront.
France: A lot of other French towns across the South of France are easily accessible via train or bus from Villefranche, and are perfect for day trips. You can use trainline.eu for timetables and bookings.
With Nice being only 10-12 minutes away, we visited a few nice restaurants in both the new and old towns. The bestofniceblog.com is a definite go-to for restaurants and things to do, so definitely check that out for more information. The main shopping street is Jean Médecin and has a number of high street stores including Galleries Lafayette, Zara, Zara Home, H&M, Mango etc.
Restaurants I would recommend in Nice:
Lac (gorgeous Chocolate shop)
For ice cream I would recommend Fenochio in the Old Town
I recently spent a sunny bank holiday Sunday down in the seaside town of Brighton. We decided to get the train down from Clapham Junction as trains are very frequent and it only takes just over an hour door to door. I used trainline.com and would recommend booking as far in advance as you can to get the best deals. When you arrive at the station, the pier is only a 10-12 minute walk straight down the main road.
Lucky Beach Cafe
As I had never been to Brighton before, I was unsure where to go to for breakfast/brunch. I started doing some research and came across the Lucky Beach Café. I would recommend if you are ever looking for a restaurant to look it up on Instagram, as it gives you photos from real people.
Luckily, the day before I went to Brighton I happened to get some recommendations for good vintage shops in Brighton. The North Lanes are the main streets for vintage shopping. The main stores I would recommend are To Be Worn Again, Independent Rag and Dirty Harry and all are significantly cheaper than London vintage shops.
Other shops I went to included JuJu Brighton which has great stuff (not vintage) and Kerrie Berrie Beads & Jewellery. Kerrie Berrie is the cutest little shop where you can create your own pieces of jewellery. There are lots of beautiful options and the jewellery and pieces are really affordable.
Food for Friends
This restaurant was another recommendation from a work colleague. Food for Friends is a well known, award-winnign vegetarian restaurant in Brighton that is not to be missed. You can book a table in advance and there is the option to sit inside or outside.
Some other recommendations that I got that for Brighton included The White Rabbit which is a classic pub where all the locals hang out. There is also The Black Lion which has a nice beer garden and Pike & Pine on St James Street.