A Quick Trip to Nottingham – Bills and Street Art

This weekend I took a quick trip to Nottingham to stay with my brother who bought a flat there last year. Considering I spent my teen years in Nottinghamshire and would frequent the city quite regularly, it’s been years since I spent more than a few hours there.

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As well as seeing my brothers new flat (makes my old London one look like a shoebox!) we took a wander around the city. Being a big fan of cool street art, I was happy to see some as we walked.

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These sock puppets in particular are awesome!

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There was a guy on this side street randomly with a piano. Locals, is he there all the time?

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This one was on the side of an antique shop which I probably should have gone in but hunger won!

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For dinner we headed to Bills which I can’t believe I was only visiting for the first time. To be fair, we don’t have one in Manchester so there is that. But I never got the chance to go when we lived in London and when Topher and I tried to in Birmingham, the wait was too long. So I was pleased to finally give it a go.

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The decor is pretty quirky and shabby chic. This wall got instagramed right away!

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I had the mac and cheese with mushrooms, leek and truffle. Yum! It was so filling that I didn’t have room for dessert. Shame, maybe next time?

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The next day we went to Salt Box for lunch which is right next to the Motorpoint arena. Ideal if you’re going to a concert after! We both had the hoisin duck pizza which was really nice. Most people I know prefer their pizza thin but this one was really doughy which I’m personally a fan of. Another filler, leaving me with no room for dessert.

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Short but sweet. Until next time Nottingham!

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Breakfast at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club

It’s been awhile since I had breakfast at a hotel. When I was a kid and used to travel all the time with my family I used to LOVE them and I mean love. So when I was invited to a complimentary breakfast at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club I eagerly accepted. It is the most important meal of the day after all!

The location of Worsley Park Marriott is great if you’re driving. Situated just off the M60 it’s so easy to find and within minutes you’re surrounded by greenery. Perfect if you want to travel to Manchester but don’t want all the hustle and bustle of the city centre.

Breakfast at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel - Grill in the park

Breakfast at the Marriott is served at their Grill in the Park restaurant between 6.30am and 11am on weekdays and 7am – 11am on the weekends. If you’re staying at the hotel, it’s only £10 for breakfast and if you’re not it’s £16 for the buffet and £12 for continental.

Walking through the hotel to get to the restaurant, I could definitely tell I was in a Marriott. I’ve been to Marriott’s before but never this particular one so I definitely felt that it fit in with the chain’s ‘vibe’.

Breakfast at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel grill in the park worsley

Part of the restaurant looks out onto this courtyard. Though it was freezing being January and all, I can tell it would be amazing sitting out there during the summer. Is it summer yet?

Breakfast at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel grill in the park courtyard

I showed up early so I got to have a wander around the buffet first without there being too many people around.  Buffet strategy is a must with me. I like to case the joint. With my courses decided, I began my feast.

Breakfast at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel grill in the park restaurant

Apologies for the dark photos below, in hindsight I should have sat next to the window with natural light being a bloggers best friend and all but I wanted to be close to the food. Priorities right? But even though the lighting was terrible for photos, most normal people aren’t looking to take photos so it was ideal for that first thing in the morning, I haven’t had my coffee yet crowd.

Breakfast at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel juice

So first up is juice of course. Big thumbs up to the Marriott for having more than just orange juice. I’m not a fan of OJ so I tried some cranberry. A lot of hotels have been catching on to offering multiple juices but every once in awhile I stumble across one where I have to get tap water.

Breakfast at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel cereal

As well as the cereal that was on offer, I also noticed that they have toppings like hazelnuts, seeds and dried fruit. I’ve never seen that before though I’m not usually a cereal person but it was a nice touch. Instead, I headed to the toast.

Breakfast at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel toppings

I can’t speak for the strawberry or blackcurrent jam but the apricot was delicious! As for the mandarin, I wasn’t a fan but it’s nice to see so much choice.

Breakfast at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel jam

Breakfast at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel - toast

As standard with any hotel breakfast, you can order coffee or tea right to your table. Sweet sweet caffeine!

Breakfast at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel coffee

Speaking of choice earlier, I had a difficult one to make when it came to the fruit. In the end I decided on the berries and greek yoghurt which was really good.

Breakfast at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel fruit

I’ve seen cold meat at a breakfast buffet before but never smoked salmon. And I am obsessed with smoked salmon so it was a welcome surprise. I decided to save that for part of my main course. Also it was definitely a first for me to see a cheese board which I think is awesome. Maybe other places do offer them but I’ve never spotted any.

Breakfast at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel smoked salmon and cheese

Course one and two demolished.

Breakfast at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel - breakfast at grill in the park worsley

As for hot food, you can get the full english here which is a must for a UK breakfast buffet. I should also mention that there is also a menu where you can order items like pancakes a la carte.

Now when it comes to me personally, I usually stumble at the hot section at most breakfast buffets due to not eating pork. That and I’m not really a fan of beans or cooked tomatoes either… so I’m usually left with eggs on toast and a hash brown.

That wasn’t a problem at all here. Worsley Park Marriott are well known for their omelette station where you can get just about anything you want thrown in and cooked right in front of you.

Breakfast at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel omelettes

However, as tempting as the omelettes looked, I had already spotted the smoked salmon earlier. So I popped some on toast and helped myself to a couple of poached eggs from the buffet. Perfect!

Breakfast at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel poached eggs

Finally for dessert, I had perused the pastry and muffin section and found my winners. Though there was no pain au chocolat which is usually a must for me, this chocolate pastry I picked up instead was amazing! and the muffin was also very tasty. The perfect end to the meal with my coffee.

Breakfast at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel - pastries

Well and truly stuffed I headed home a happy lady. I definitely recommend paying a visit to the Worsley Park Marriott Hotel next time you’re in Manchester or just fancy a staycation. They’re well known for their golf course and you can even get married there.

Thanks Worsley Park for breakfast!

Breakfast at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel - Worsley Park Marriott

*Breakfast was complimentary but as always, all opinions are my own. 

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Exeter Roundup

For newer readers, Topher’s family are from Exeter in Devon and Falmouth in Cornwall. In 2014 we headed down to both (search devon and falmouth for posts) which was really fun. This year we headed down just to Exeter, Devon to see Topher’s dad’s side of the family. As well as seeing everyone again, I got to meet Topher’s dad and his half sister who live in Tenerife with the rest of their clan. It was a fun week mixed with all the weather bar snow and we packed in as much as we could. So time to photo-bomb you now!

Something I miss is walking. We definitely got in some walking on this trip, though not as much as I would have liked due to the ever changing weather. We were lucky enough that on the first day it was boiling so we were able to do this particular hike.

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This abandoned old house was so cool and I loved the random bunting someone put up.

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There’s something just so beautiful about forests. I wish we could get married in the woods. Damn you England with your laws against getting married outside.

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Since it was such a short visit two years ago, I didn’t get the chance to go into Exeter’s city centre but this time we went twice. It was great to get to a Tiger store – why are there barely any branches up north? Though there were the usual chain stores and cafes, there were a few unique gems. Vegetarians out there get yourself to The Plant Cafe. We only got drinks but the food and cakes looked awesome. Another time I guess.

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How cute are these chocolate robots? If I’d had any money I would have probably bought up the entire shop.

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This paper installation at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter gave me some serious paper plant goals. Imagine how awesome they would look if they were coloured paper!

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So when in Devon, it is a crime if you don’t get yourself a cream tea. And I’m no law-breaker! This were by far the best we had while we were there – the place was called Tea on the Green and it’s right next to the Exeter Cathedral. The scones were still warm when they brought them out and you could tell they were freshly baked. Perfection!

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The tea was also very nice and the teapots were very unusual. The bottom of the pot is pressurised so the tea comes out of there. You pick it up and press it on top of your cup and the tea comes out the bottom. Very weird but pretty cool.

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Topher’s family love their board games so there was plenty of Pictionary, Rummikubs and Uno played throughout the week. This facemats were also pretty entertaining – apparently I really suit a moustache.

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When the weather wasn’t so great, we headed to places like Bickleigh Mill which is a shop and cafe full of treasures for your home and great for gifts.

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Afterwards, we headed to Fisherman’s Cot Pub where I had one of the best beef carvery sandwiches in my life. Seriously I am still dreaming about this sandwich over two weeks later!

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And what’s a holiday without ice cream? I tried a ginger ice cream which was very tasty, while Topher and Emma had bubblegum.

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All in all it was a great trip and I’m sure one day we’ll be back!

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Jordan Video

So after having so much fun making my Florida video, I decided to make one documenting Topher’s first trip to Jordan. Mainly for the memories but also so we could show his mum and others who didn’t come. My main lesson learned from last time filming was to hold my phone landscape, not portrait. (Duh!). Rule number one of filming on your phone! Felt like such a dummy after getting back and discovering my blunder.

So here it is. It’s about 18 minutes long (sorry not sorry) and I hope you enjoy it!

The main difference between this one and my previous video is that it’s focusing more on the location than the people. Of course there are plenty of family bonding shots in there, as well as coverage of Topher and I’s engagement party, but I’ve done lots of landscape and surrounding shots to show off the beauty of the country.

I had a lot of fun choosing the music and already found myself some tracks for our honeymoon videos next year. Yes I’m a serious forward planner! Now my latest lesson learned is to stop swinging the camera round and quit being so shaky! One day I’ll learn.

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Jordan: In Photos

Since I decided to make a Florida style video to document Topher’s first trip to Jordan, I really dropped the ball on photo taking. Still, I’m going to photo bomb you with all the photos I did take. Sorry, not sorry.

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It’s never truly a trip to Jordan without at least one ice cream cone. This was gelato from Little Italy at Taj Mall.

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Topher’s favourite thing about the food over there was the humongous mezze breakfasts we would have everyday. I will wholeheartedly admit that I miss this.

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Fooling around at my auntie’s house.

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About 30 minutes north of Amman is Jerash, an city home to ancient Roman ruins. Topher loves that kind of stuff so it was a must visit. I vaguely remember the last time I went…20 years ago!

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On the way back to Amman, we stopped at a restaurant which had the BEST view. So pretty. And the food was lovely too.

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More ice cream of course!

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Obligatory mud bath at the Dead Sea. Who needs a spa when you have this available on the beach for free!

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Followed by the must needed shot of a tourist floating in the Dead Sea, reading a book. For those who don’t know, the Dead Sea gets it’s name from the fact that it has so much salt in it that nothing lives in it and when you go in, you float. Handy tip, don’t shave your legs that morning and try to go in. Lets just say I’ve never run to a shower so fast in my life.

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My mum and I went for mani pedis (my first one ever) for my engagement party. It was really fun though I’ve concluded that my feet are definitely still ticklish.

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Also, for the first time ever (even for my parents), we visited the Amman Citadel which is home to the Temple of Hercules (above) and the Umayyad Palace.

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A lovely view of an Amphitheatre.

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The Umayyad Palace

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Inside the Umayyad Palace

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The Boulevard – a new shopping area.

I’m going to do a separate post on the engagement party and the video I made of the trip so stay tuned!

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