September 2013

I've been lucky enough to visit a lot of great cities around the world. And this year I got to visit the incredible Shanghai, which made it on my top-5 places to visit. However, for me, no where in the world beats London. It's one fo the greatest cities, and I think that we each need to visit there as much as possible. 

On Saturday me and my friends had a jam packed day enjoying the cities favourite delights. Here's what we did, and what you should do, too! 

Meet at 11am at King's Cross and go for breakfast at the CARAVAN Kings Cross, at Central St. Martins. It describes it self as serving "Well travelled food and mighty fine coffee." And I agree with both of those statements. 

From there, we headed over to the Serpentine gallery, to kick start our "Japanese themed" day - more about that later. 

There's currently an installation piece by famed Japanese architect Sou Fukimoto. Which in honesty, we didn't really "get." This probably comes from the fact we're art philistines. That, and, the inside of the Serpentine gallery was closed for renovation. 

However, things went onwards and upwards as we walked over to Harrods to buy cupcakes from the foodhall. IF YOU LIKE CAKE, YOU MUST GO HERE!! 
Things quickly turned Japanese again when we turned up at the Leicester Square theatre to watch Siro-A: "Japan's answer to blue man group." A very visually driven art techo show that is nothing like you have ever seen, ever. Please watch it if you can. 
Thankfully, it was dinner time again, and Jamie Oliver's diner was where we went. Our go-happy Aussie waitress took care of us, she suggested I go for the burger instead of the hot-dog and then we had to dash again! 
We ended up at Mr Foggs, a great bar in Mayfair filled with personality and charm. Where the waiters are every bit as elegant as the interior that evokes a Victorian aesthetic. And...even if, like me, you're a cocktail novice, you will appreciate the ones on offer at this establishment. Book ahead! This place gets busy. 
We rounded up the night at Queen of Hoxton. 

I heart you, London. 



Posted on

Wednesday, 25 September 2013


"Should I go on holiday with a tour group, or not." I am always conflicted as to what answer I should give and here is why. 

On one hand, if it’s your first time, you have the security in knowing that everything is being taken care of. You don’t have to worry about where to stay, where to go eat - and if the food is safe, or how you need to reach a particular site. All of this is arranged for you. 

When I was 18, I was desperate to travel. But I had absolutely no idea how to plan such a thing. Travel? What’s that? 

So I set about trying to find a company to go with. It was a bit of a risk, I was using all my money I had saved working a Saturday job. And, as it was the same year that I was going away to university, this money could have been used to live an indulgent first term. 

But travelling is important to me and the idea of spending a boring summer at home verses setting off somewhere far and wild – the answer was simple. 

I ended up booking a 4 week trip to Thailand with 

They were what I needed. I phoned, I said what I wanted to do, they posted me a brochure. They even emailed me over a packing list, they explained what insurance I needed and where I could buy certain things from. Before I flew out, they sent each person on the trip the email addresses of all the other people on that trip, so you could see who was on the same flight as you. 

Now, I imagine they would have a Facebook group and you meet each other that way. The point is, if you are heading out on your own, like I was, they do their best to make you feel comfortable.  

And the trip was as expected: accommodation was provided, transport was arranged, food was served, we stayed with monks, taught English in a school and went on a three-day trek. 

So why the conflict you ask? 

Because, I think that you can easily go away on your own. Of course, Real Gap was a great place to start; it gave me the confidence to know that I could easily set off on my own. 

Furthermore, the internet (god bless you) makes everything extremely easy when it comes to travelling. You can book flights within 5 minutes, contacting a hotel and arranging transport takes just an email, and you can go on Tripadvisor to see which tour agencies to use. 

This many sound like a lot of work, but it really isn’t. Far from it. It takes no time at all. 

Going by yourself also saves a lot of money. And who doesn’t want to save some cash? 

But then again, if I didn’t use RealGap, I probably wouldn’t have gone travelling that year. And this would have resulted in me being a) very bored and b) probably not having the confidence to go on my own. 

In conclusion…

If you’re someone who is nervous about travelling but desperate to do it – go with a travel agency. I would recommend Real Gap. 

If you have a little bit of confidence, go on your own and you’ll see just how easy it is. 

Tour Group Or Not?

Posted on

Thursday, 19 September 2013