Countdown to 100 countries

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Exploring in Monaco


  

I just got back from sightseeing in Monaco; I'd never been before and embarrassingly, didn't even know it was a separate country from France. Terrible isn't it? A travel blogger looking to cross off 100 countries who doesn't even realise when she's in a new one. I'm so glad this blog is anonymous haha!
I basically spent my time walking about in the sunshine, eating almost obscene amounts of icecream and wishing I lived in all the flats. To be fair, those are essentially my go-to holiday activities but I love them for a reason. Let me show you why...




Those apartments and flats are almost offensively good looking. Can you imagine waking up to the views and people watching from those? One day I hope! While I was on my flat/house-hunting binge I even found some furniture that would be perfect...


....just kidding.

I'm so jealous of people that get to live in the sun, England is just not reliable enough, even in summer, to forward plan activities outside. For example, we had great sunshine for about a week and then today it has been 4 degrees and non-stop rain. I think summer might be over already (sob).
Holidays are great for being little windows into what life would be like if you had a balcony outside to eat breakfast on and people watch and it makes me so jealous. Eating a bowl of cereal sat on the sofa inside watching the rain on my window is just not the one.

I've gone on a bit of a tangent there so back to the sightseeing! We ended up wandering up through the winding (and very hilly) streets to the Palace. There are so many steps up and in the heat everything felt a bit difficult so I was so glad when we stopped for a drink before tackling them, I'd recommend you do the same. Having said that the views are so worth it.




Beautiful!

The palace is set in a quite large square but behind it there are so many shops and stalls set out in a windy maze of coloured buildings. You can buy anything from hats to herbs to every flavour of icecream you can think of. Definitely worth a visit.

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If you're thinking of going for a trip; I'd recommend catching the train from Nice, or vice versa. It's easy and quick to get to, although the platforms are a little confusing at Monaco so double check before you get on the wrong one.

Speak soon,

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Thursday, 22 June 2017

Brunch stack


As you all know by now, 1'm trying to lose weight and the struggle is real. It's been going okay but it is so difficult sometimes to make changes to your lifestyle. Occasionally I'll make something that ticks all the boxes; delicious, nutritious and healthy. The problem I have is that healthy doesn't always equal low calories.

Long story short, I made this and it's super nice, good for you and isn't approx. 57638 calories like a lot of brunches are. You can thank me later. This brunch stack is made of garlic mushrooms, spinach, toast, a runny yolk, pesto and feta and it is so delicious.


To make this, you will need:
-A handful of mushrooms (of choice- I used a combination of  Shiitake, Oyster and Eryngii because they were on offer in Morrisons but I usually use giant flat mushrooms and they work just as well)
-Brown seeded toast/Rye bread
-Mature cheddar (about a matchbox sized piece)
-1tbsp of pesto
-2cm square of feta
-A handful of spinach/rocket
-A few basil leaves
-1 tsp of garlic
-1 birds eye chilli

Start by preheating the grill. Then begin slicing the chilli and frying it with the garlic in a little olive oil until the garlic becomes golden.


Add the mushrooms and fry until soft.


Toast your bread, grate the cheese over the top and put under the grill until it melts.


Whilst the cheese-on-toast is grilling, place the garlic chilli mushrooms to the side and fry the egg in the pan until the whites are set.

Then it's time to assemble!
Lay the cheese-on-toast down first and begin creating your brunch stack - pile on a handful of salad, followed by the mushrooms and egg. Dot the pesto over the plate, rip your basil leaves over the top and finally crumble feta over the dish.




Enjoy,

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Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Sundaze and last days in Nice

The last few days of a holiday are so bittersweet aren't they? I was having so much fun I really didn't want to leave.


We spent our last day walking by the beach as much as possible and soaking in as much of the sun as we could.


Before making out way into town to have a wander through the streets...


...and an ice-cream stop. I had a strawberry and pistachio flower - I'd love to be able to make my ice-creams look like this, just so pretty! To be honest I wasn't even mildly hungry at this point but it's a bit of a rule isn't it that on holiday you have to have icecream as one of your main meals every day?


We walked through the main town square which was full of colour and great to walk around. After a quick stop off we got slightly weirded out by those men on the poles ^^^ so headed down the streets to get away haha. I'm not sure what these statues are about but I've seen them in other cities too - if you have any idea please let me know.


We wandered through the streets finding hidden gems of beautiful buildings. We also discovered 'the gate' between the old and new town hidden away down a street and spent a few hours happily exploring the stalls and shops at both.


On our way back for our final beach loop (cue hysterical tears) we admired the architecture around each corner...



...and ate more ice cream (naturally).


The top row is Chocolate, vanilla, praline, nougat with stracciatella, creme caramel and pistachio on the bottom. I think that little Nutella pot in the stracciatella is the cutest; its just unfortunate for it that when it comes to Nutella, size does matter.

With piled high scoops we walked along the beach for one last time.



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Before saying goodbye to our beautiful apartment and toasting our final evening. 


Until next time Nice,

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Friday, 16 June 2017

Waking up in Nice

Waking up to the first morning in Nice was a complete reset. We rolled out of bed and opened the shutters to fantastic views...







First things first, It was time for a completely inappropriate but delicious breakfast of treats from the market, because if you can't have chocolate cake for breakfast on holiday then when can you?


Raspberry macaron, lemon meringue tart, chocolate-coffee cake, fruit tart, cream cake, vanilla slice, custard tart, caramel profiterole, apricot tart, raspberry cart, a pink and glittery profiterole and a cocoa covered chocolate slice...


In a nod to being healthy I started with the raspberry macaroon which we can overlook at breakfast because of the fruit, right? In my defence I also had some freshly pressed orange juice so maybe they cancelled each other out...possibly.


We spent the day lazing on the balcony, reading and catching up before having a walk on the beach and in the town. 



Before toasting to our fantastic day of doing absolutely nothing...


...and chatting on the balcony until well after sunset before rolling into bed to recover from such a tiring day.


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Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Wandering the markets of Nice

We woke up in Nice! After a lazy breakfast on the balcony we decided to take a stroll down to the marketplace.


We took our time and walked a round-about route so we could admire the beautiful buildings on the way. All the buildings are so photogenic and there are balconies everywhere; I'm so jealous to be living in a balcony-less house although I'm sure with the British weather I would only use in twice a year when the weather held out for once haha.


 We eventually arrived at the market to discover it was full of locals, which is always a great sign. While they collected their loaves, cheese and fruits for the day we wandered the stalls looking at the different trinkets and flowers for sale.


We drank and ate our way round the market because there were so many fresh juices, fruits and local dishes like Socca for sale and I'm so terrible at resisting food. There were so many stalls selling everything from cherries to soaps to oils making for a very colourful market but one stall in particular really caught my eye. It sold living pictures of moss and flowers that grow as you keep them; I thought they were beautiful and loved the concept but I wasn't sure how to get the pictures back home unfortunately...


Still, I was soon cheered-up by discovering a stall selling almonds in their shells. I've never seen them before so was tempted to buy them purely for the novelty until I felt the shell - slightly fuzzy but rock hard. They're sold de-shelled for a reason! 


As a lazy person, the idea of working for food put me off very quickly and I decided to buy some pastries instead...

...before exploring more of the marketplace..



I loved these stall selling multi-coloured teas and salts. It just looked so pretty, especially the raspberry salt. The salts had suggestions of the foods to eat with them so I will have to have a go at making them some time. I think having them all lined up in pots in the kitchen would be so beautiful.


 I stocked up on some essentials before we headed out to the beach to catch some vitamin sea.

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Monday, 12 June 2017

Just a little note to say...

...I'm a little under the weather at the moment but I'll be posting again in the next few days. I'm in Nice which is a lovely place to recover because I can just rest on the balcony rather than staring at the ceiling in my bedroom. I tend to run at 200 miles an hour, burn the wick at both ends and then wonder why I get ill when I eventually stop.

I'll be back soon. I just need to recoup a little,

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Thursday, 8 June 2017

A very odd british tradition

A few weekends ago my friends and I headed down south to watch the annual cheeserolling. Yes, you read that correctly, the annual cheeseroll. Definitely the weirdest event I've been to. It was really really odd but very funny, even though the weather didn't hold out for us!




It's a little hard to describe the event because it sounds so strange but I found this great quote that sums it up perfectly:

"twenty young men chasing a cheese off a cliff and tumbling 200 yards to the bottom, where they are scraped up by paramedics and packed off to hospital"

I'm not sure how the cheeserolling started because no one knows for definite, it's just been around for that long. Over the years the local authorities have tried to stop it because of safety concerns but it's so popular that people kept going ahead with the cheeserolling anyway. Essentially its a big race down a ridiculously steep hill after a wheel of Double Gloucester and if you win the race then you win the cheese. Such a strange tradition but it was so much fun to watch.


When I say the hill is steep, I'm not exaggerating. It took a 30 minute hike to get up to see the race and we couldn't even walk to the very top of the hill because it was too steep to stand.  We eventually sort of wedged our feet into the soil to catch our balance and watched people slide past us as they fell from further up. At the bottom of the hill they even had a rugby team tackling people finishing the race to stop them running into the crowd by accident.

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My tips are;
-Definitely go because it's a great day out
-Wear walking boots (I made the error of wearing sandals and it was bad)
-Take a waterproof
-Take some cheese so you can pretend you have won (we did this with babybell haha but a mini edam would be great)
-Make sure you stop for dinner or drinks at the quays because it's lovely there



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