29 January, 2016

Speakeasy in Manchester

If you've seen the television series 'Boardwalk Empire', you'll know all about the prohibition era. It was a nationwide ban on the sale (as well as the production and importation) of alcohol that was in place in the United States in the early 1930's.

This ban saw the beginnings of the speakeasy, an establishment that illegally sold alcohol - so-called because people spoke quietly about such places when in public or inside it, so they didn't alert the police or the neighbours! They largely disappeared after Prohibition was ended in 1933, and now the term is used to describe retro style bars.

 One such bar in Manchester is The Fitzgerald - which calls itself Manchester's best speakeasy bar, and I have to agree! The vibe here is laid back; cool, and quirky - and the cocktails are fabulous.


It's in the bustling Northern Quarter area of the city, and is a great place to spend your evening - at around £7 per fabulously mixed cocktail, it won't break the bank either. I'd highly recommend the Mary Pickford - a sweet rum cocktail which is combined with Grand Marnier, Grenadine and pineapple - yum yum!

22 January, 2016

Travel Photo Friday: Take it in

When I'm travelling I find I come home with lots of photos of beaches; landscapes, and buildings. Sometimes it's just too easy to wander around a city and not take in your surroundings.
On a trip to Lisbon I saw a building that reminded me of an old Chanel advert - does anyone remember the 90's advert for Egoiste with women opening and closing the shutters on a building?

If not google it, and I'm sure you'll appreciate why my memory was triggered when I saw the building above! There's so much going on in this photo from the blue sky; the 3D building on the left of the shot, to the fabulous old balconies with washing hanging from them. Look up, look around, and take it all in when you're travelling!

15 January, 2016

Flashback Friday: Living it up

Look at the two photos on this page....which appeals most to you?

Is it the luxurious image above - a beautiful property in the Italian Lakes?
Or does the scene in the photo below appeal to you more - a rustic cabin in the mountains?

I have friends that I know would choose Lake Garda in a minute, but have other friends who would prefer getting away from it all in the second photo. 

Personally - I like to mix it up, and experience both luxury, and roughing it. I saw these two photos, and they reminded me to flashback to a post I wrote when I had returned from a charity trek in Peru. Trips like that make you remember that the simple things in life should be enjoyed, and while it's fabulous to go camping....it's also lovely to be pampered. So the question is.....which side of the fence do you sit on? To read my original blog post, just click here.

08 January, 2016

Alte - a little Algarve gem

The little village of Alte can be found inland in Portugal's Algarve region - north of Albufeira. It's a typical Algarve village with whitewashed houses, cobbled streets, and handcrafted chimneys.

The church is at the centre of the village, and there are lots of little cafes in the area where you can relax and soak up the peace.

February is a good time to visit, as the normally quiet village has a little carnival. Many streets are cordoned off for the parade, and everyone turns out for the afternoon.

This is the perfect place from which to explore the towns and village of the central Algarve. Silves, with its Moorish castle, is only a twenty five minute drive from here and Messines, which has a good selection of shops, is ten minutes away.

Many people who travel to Portugal never leave the pool or the beach, but if you're one of those people, then I can tell you, you're missing out. There is so much to discover - even in little places like the beautiful village of Alte.

01 January, 2016


A warm welcome to 2016, and I hope it's a happy and healthy one for all of you. Wherever you brought in the new year, I hope you enjoyed it - and I hope you don't have a sore head this morning. The photo on my blog today is of the stunning Edinburgh Castle - the city where I have seen in many a New Year in my life. 

If you've never experienced a Scottish Hogmanay, then you're missing out. So what are your hopes and dreams for the coming 12 months? I plan to work hard; play hard, and travel as much as I possibly can. Happy New Year - let's make 2016 a cracker.