Travel

Sightseeing with London Duck Tours

Recently the Hubby and I had a child free overnight stay in London, which doesn’t happen very often. I love our amazing capital city. It’s full of history and heritage. During the last year I have been to London 5 or 6 times, which has been amazing, attending various different events but this time the Hubby joined me.

London Duck Tours

As we are not the most decisive people in the world, other than going for a lovely meal at the OXO Tower, we couldn’t decide what to do while we visited.  We have never really just visited to be tourists. On this trip we fancied doing a London Bus tour, but then London Duck Tours got in contact asking if we would like to join them for a sightseeing tour. We had both heard great things about the Duck Tours as my Brother-In-Law had been on them a couple of times before, so we went for it.

London Duck Tour

The Ducks were originally used in the Second World War, to unload troops and cargo straight onto beaches, after so many docks had been destroyed. The Ducks have been rebuilt and modified to meet todays regulations.

The Tour

Arriving in London to the start of the Duck Tour on York Road, we released as it was the Queens Birthday. So the Classic Tour of Westminster was not possible. I was a bit disappointed as I loved the thought of going past Buckingham Palace, St James Palace and Westminster Abbey. Instead we went on ‘The City Tour’ which is used when they are unable to go via the Classic Route.

London Duck Tour

We went past the Royal Courts of Justice, Fleet Street, the magnificent St Pauls Cathedral, being informed of different snippets of history along the way by Ben the rather cute English man with an New Zealand accent.

London Duck Tour

On to the Bank of England, learning about its vaults and how a tube line has to go around the underground vaults. The Monument to the Fire of London, the Tower of London and seeing HMS Belfast sitting on the water.

London Duck Tour

Across to The Shard, Southwark Cathedral and the Imperial War Museum. My Hubby was very impressed by all of the information we had been given. He’s a bit of a history geek so knows a fair amount anyway, but even he learnt a few bits.

London Duck Tour

We headed onto the water next to MI6 which was a bumpy ride down the river bank into the water, getting onto the water it was surprisingly cold. We sailed the up the Thames to the Houses of Parliament. Seeing the Elizabeth Tower, mistakenly called – Big Ben, from the water was lovely.

London Duck Tour

We headed up a the Thames before turning around and heading back to the starting point at York Road.

London Duck Tour

We had a fabulous trip with London Duck Tours, I would highly recommended anyone booking a trip. They are such a novel way of seeing the sights of London in an humorous yet informative manner. Next time we are in London, I shall make sure that there isn’t a big event going on so I am able to do the Classic tour.

*We were given tickets for the Duck Tour in exchange for review, as always thoughts and opinions are my own*

 

Feast On London – OXO Tower Brasserie Review

During April some of the top restaurants in London take part in ‘Feast On London’, a month long city wide celebration of London’s culinary heritage.

As we were heading to London for the weekend we thought it would be a nice treat to eat in a fine dinning restaurant.

There were so many to choose from on Bookatable that it was very difficult to pick somewhere. We were however only booking a few days before our trip, so a lot of the restaurants had already been booked up. We were on a tight time frame because I had an event to attend in the evening. So, we decided on booking a 15.30 table, plus I wanted great views across London. I love the London skyline, it’s a fabulous view to gaze at. Each time we visit something new has appeared.

The OXO Tower Brasserie

The OXO Tower Brasserie seemed like the perfect choice, it was located fairly near to the London Duck Tour, which we were booked on to at 13.30. The menu looked great and at £33 per head for 3 courses plus a cocktail, it would be silly not to book. A great price for dinning in London. Plus not forgetting those beautiful views across the city.

We arrived to a warm welcome up on the the 8th floor of the OXO Tower, by a friendly receptionist who stored our coats and arranged for us to be seated.

OXO Tower Brasserie Review

Our table was just one row away from the window, which still gave us great viewing opportunity. After we had made our orders for drinks, a white wine for me and a beer for my Hubby, the table next to the window became available. Our kind waiter asked if we would like to move across, perfect! Right next to those beautiful views. During the summer months I can imagine the roof terrace to be full of people having cocktails and delicious foods. On our visit however it wasn’t overly warm and quite cloudy, so no-one was outside.

Feast On London Menu

OXO Tower Brasserie Review

Our attention soon turned to the menu. I opted for the Cod cheeks, followed by the Roast Chicken and then the Chocolate hazelnut cake. My Hubby went for the Rabbit Ragu, Roast Chicken and the Treacle Tart. We also ordered the roasted new potatoes and sprouting broccoli sides.

The Cocktail

OXO Tower Brasserie Review

The cocktail that came with the menu was Bombay Sapphire and Hibiscus. It came served in a tall glass with ice, lemon and Hibiscus petals floating in it. We both thought it was a tasty cocktail, not too sweet, with floral flavours that finished with a warmth of gin. We both would happily have had 2 or 3 of these.

OXO Tower Brasserie Review

The Starters

OXO Tower Brasserie Review

We didn’t seem to be waiting for too long when our starters arrived. What with us chatting away about our day so far and plans for the rest of the trip along with looking at that stunning view of London.

OXO Tower Brasserie ReviewMy starter of, beer-battered cod cheeks, bitter leaf salad, lemon and seaweed aioli. It looked amazing and smelt amazing on arrival I couldn’t wait to try it. The cod cheeks fell apart and melted in the mouth, all the little flavours together was just fabulous. The little lemon oil along side the seaweed aioli worked perfectly on the dish.

OXO Tower Brasserie Review

The Hubby had slow-braised rabbit ragu, pearl barley and truffle pecorino. I’m not keen on game, so it is my Hubby’s choice of food whenever we dine out. He loved it, saying it was full of rich tomato, gamey flavour. The rabbit just fell apart. It seemed to be a winner for him.

The Main Courses

OXO Tower Brasserie Review

We both opted for the roasted chicken, slow-cooked bacon collar,truffle onion purée and spring greens. Adding sides of roasted new potatoes and sprouting broccoli. It was truly delicious. That salty bacon flavour against the truffle and onion purée just cut through the flavours. The roasted chicken was soft and tender still full of moisture, the knife just glided through. Even though we added a couple of extra sides to the meal, we really wouldn’t have needed to as there was more than enough.

OXO Tower Brasserie Review

The Dessert

OXO Tower Brasserie Review

I went for the chocolate hazelnut cake with condensed milk ice cream. I was honestly disappointed with my dessert. It wasn’t what I was expecting, I was expecting a chocolate cake however it was not. I felt the cake was a little dry and the hazelnut crumb was burnt. It had that bitter burnt taste across the dish, which honestly wasn’t brilliant. The ice-cream was creamy and smooth, however I couldn’t tell it was condensed milk. So, I was disappointed with my dessert and I wish I had opted for something else.

OXO Tower Brasserie Review

My Hubby opted for the treacle tart, rhubarb and clotted cream, he loved it. The rhubarb was well cooked, with just the right amount of acidity to cut through the sweetness of the treacle tart. Amazing along side the clotted cream.

Overall Review

We both really enjoyed our meal at the OXO Tower Brasserie, there was a relaxed atmosphere with friendly staff that were happy to help you out. There is an open kitchen so you can see the food being prepared, over seen by head chef Keir Barry. Who designed the British style menu. Even though I was not overly impressed with my dessert it would not put me off visiting again on our next tip to London.

 

Mummy in a Tutu

 

Dreaming of a Honeymoon in the Maldives……

 

honeymoon in the maldives

Honeymoon in the Maldives

When someone says honeymoon, I instantly think the Maldives. I think that’s because, since being young I have always dreamt of a honeymoon in the Maldives. Unlike reality, which was a week in Devon (which was wonderful by the way).

honeymoon in the maldives

The Maldives

The Maldives are a collection of more than a thousand coral islands. The main island of Malé is home to a busy fishing market, lots of restaurants, shops and the airport for the islands. The Maldives are famous for their beautiful beaches, blue lagoons and stunning coral reefs.

Many private islands are covered in beautiful white sand and surrounded by the clear blue ocean. Lots of the islands have their own coral reef. So there are plenty of amazing diving and snorkelling opportunities to be had. With their own personal reef, you don’t have to swim out far to find yourself submerged with marine life. Some of the best in the world.

honeymoon in the maldives

Stunning Accommodation

There are so many styles of accommodation to choose from. All-inclusive hotel resorts, with every kind of facility you could ever want. Exclusive pool villas, set within resorts so you have access to hotel facilities. Tiny boutique hideaways. Garden Villas set in the stunning gardens of the resorts. Beach side bungalows, where you can step out of your bungalow straight onto the beautiful sand, and of course the amazing over-the-water bungalows, set out in the lagoons.

accommodation types in the maldives

accommodation types in the maldvies

Top things to do in Maldives

I’m sure that when people think of the Maldives, they think about drinking cocktails on the beach, and jumping into the sea for a swim whenever the mood takes them. However there are so many other things to do while in the Maldives. I have put together a list of ‘musts’ while you’re there.

  • The Ithaa Undersea Restaurant – off the Island of Rangalifinolhu.
  • Underwater Spa.
  • Private candlelit beach dinner.
  • Diving – the Maldives offer some of the best diving in the world.
  • Learn to dive.
  • The Dolphin excursion.
  • Island Hopping.
  • Surfing – people travel to the Maldives to enjoy some of the best surfing around.
  • Paddle Boarding.
  • Beach side Balinese couples massage.
  • A scenic flight over the islands.

top things to do in the maldives

underwater restaurant maldives

With so many different islands to choose from, which one will you choose for your honeymoon destination?

 

TravelShades for travel sickness relief

travel sickness relief

As a child I, along with my younger sister, experienced travel sickness. Unfortunately she still suffers now. Like most childhood motion sickness cases I grew out of it. For adults it can cause concern when travelling in everyday circumstances but also when wanting to travel on holiday. Cars, boats, planes and trains can all be a struggle for suffers.

TravelShades travel sickness relief

We all know someone that can read whilst travelling as a passenger in a car, with no ill effect. Yet others suffer terribly. It is thought that motion sickness occurs when there is a conflict between what your eyes see and your inner ear balance. Both sending different confused messages to the brain, leaving that feeling of motion sickness.

It can be caused when:-

  • Motion is felt but not seen
  • Motion is seen and not felt
  • Both seen and felt but detected by the brain in different ways.

Motion sickness can give the sufferer many different symptoms: dizziness, nausea, vomiting, cold sweating, headaches, extreme tiredness, increased saliva and rapid, shallow breathing. So dealing with this is not a pleasant thought when planning a holiday, especially your honeymoon.

Imagine planning your honeymoon around your motion sickness or never being able to go on a plane to your dream destination. Well, TravelShades are a new product that are designed to help relieve or in some cases cure your travel sickness. It means no more travel sickness drugs to take.

TravelShades

travelshades

TravelShades are a sunglasses style product that has one translucent lens. It allows light illumination but you are unable to see movement. The TravelShades are also designed so they can be flipped upside down to allow for the other eye to be covered. By doing this it can help to prevent symptoms of motion sickness. Sounds very simple when you think about it.

TravelShades advise you to try them out for 2-3 days at home, before going on your journey. Putting them on for 3-5 minutes at a time, several times a day. This will allow you to get used to having the reduced sight but giving you the best chance of getting results.

There are 3 different TravelShades available to buy:-

  • Horizon and Horizon Junior models can be worn over your own glasses.
  • LoLight are designed for low light travel conditions, like night time.

TravelShades also provide protection from the sun’s UVA and UVB rays, but as with most eyewear they should not be used to view the sun directly.

TravelShades

While wearing these glasses your vision will be restricted so no driving is allowed. It is recommended that you do not walk or run, consume hot drinks or hot food, be careful when handling fragile or breakable items and make sure you take care when judging distances.

TravelShades have an rrp of £39.99 for the adult models and rrp of £29.99 for the junior. With a 30 day money back guarantee, you have nothing to lose.

My sister is looking forward to trying these out on her next trip away, to see how they help with her travel sickness.

travelshades

So, with these new travel sickness glasses launching February 28th it will allow people to make more exciting travel plans. Planning your honeymoon now may not be quite so restricting. The world is your oyster. Full of fabulous destinations, with a travel sickness free journey!

Where will you travel to?

*Thank you for sending me out some TravelShades in exchange for this post*