HOW I SPENT 24 HOURS IN BELGIUM

HOW I SPENT 24 HOURS IN BELGIUM

BEING ABLE TO TRAVEL AS PART OF MY LITTLE BLOG IS SOMETHING I’VE DREAMED OF,WHAT AN INSANE 24 HOURS FILLED WITH AMAZING PEOPLE, FOOD AND EXPERIENCES!

At the start of this year I set myself a little bucket list, a compilation of things I’d love to achieve by the end of the year – personal goals, business targets and aspirations. Although I may not be close to some of them (more of this in a later blog post) I’m super happy that I’ve managed to smash a few! One thing I wanted to do more of this year was travel – I set myself a goal of going abroad at least twice, by the end of the year I would have doubled that. When the lovely guys from Ice asked me to be a part of celebrating their 10 years in Belgium, I was beaming! They’re a brand you would have seen me work with on numerous occasions – as a blogger it’s an amazing feeling being able to endorse a brand you really feel proud to be a part of and have a genuine passion for.

I adore everything they stand for – the fun, the vibrancy, the accessibility – something that was further reinforced by meeting some of the incredible creatives behind Ice in Belgium! With that, I wanted to share my blogging trip to Belgium with you guys – what we did, where we ate and also, very importantly, what I wore ( plus one hilarious packing drama and a dress malfunction – more of this on the Vlog ūüėČ ) Hoping you love this one – would love to know whether you guys have been before!

WHERE WE STAYED

 

Ice Watch was born in Bastogne Рwhere in incredible offices are based (such inspiring, open and art filled spaces!) Рso this was where we spent most of our time! We stayed at the Hotel Vayamundo in Houffalize, a gorgeous, glass fronted hotel that seemed never ending (Another laughable aspect in the vlog РI failed to listen to the receptionist and got lost trying to find my room!)

It was set within grounds that resembled a national park Рgorgeous trees lining the Hotel and as we drove past the town I was in awe of the classic architecture of the buildings Рclassic European, pretty and quaint and totally instagrammable! I absolutely love exploring new places in Europe, so this was a big tick off of my list!

WHAT WE DID

Our first port of call was Breakfast and a tour of the Ice Watch Headquarters and offices Рa peek around their inspiring space and a morning fuelled on Croissants and macarons! After taking a few snaps of probably, the most Pinterestable offices filled with gorgeous prints and high beams, we all sat down to learn more of Ice Watch and just how much has happened within the last 10 years! The fun then began in the form of illustrating our own watch strap ideas (I spent most of my time hunting down inspo on Pinterest, only to not finish my design!) Lunch then called, followed by a tour of the Cyril Chocolate factory (This guy was actual, real-life, Belgium Willy Wonka РWhat a character!) 

After quick coffee, pit stop I headed back to my room to get ready, followed by the wonderful Makeup Forever artists treating me to a makeup session before shooting off the location for our surrealist dinner and after party! We had a seriously luxe evening, filled with beautiful champagne (I’m a total sucker) wonderful dresses, performances, getting to chat to the other lovely, international bloggers and the most incredible dinner of my life. Never have I been so taken aback by an experience – I was expecting brilliance but not on this scale! I truly felt so proud to be a part of such a wonderful brands heritage celebrations!

WHAT WE ATE

Food is always a highlight of any trip, I love the sociability and trying cuisine from different parts of the world – might I add these guys cater really well for veggies – something that is always super welcome! It never occurs to me that my options may be limited abroad, especially as the UK is generally so good when it comes to peoples lifestyle choices and dietary requirements! Firstly, I need to say how incred the hospitality on the Premium Eurostar carriage was! The morning after, we had a gorge breakfast at Ice HQ full of macarons, fruit and more pastry varieties than I even knew existed served with plenty of flowing coffee and juice!

For lunch, we hit¬†L’adresse in Bastogne, which was a Michelin star restaurant tucked away in a beautiful rural setting. On arrival we drank ¬†sparkling cocktails (always welcome!) and were delighted to a 3 course meal with canap√©s (I’m also always astounded how they manage to make foam taste so. damn. good!) After our cheeky tasting at the Chocolate Factory, we headed back to hotel to refresh with coffee (the breakfast at¬†Hotel Vayamundo was delicious (great, fresh juices!) before heading to the surrealist dinner by¬†Charles Kaisin. A warehouse filled with 400 dinner guests – never have I witness such a fantastic spectacle and incredible food and wine! ACTUAL. FOODY. HEAVEN. It was like combining fine dining with theatre – every course delighted us with a show (even the waiters costume changed!) Mind blown.

WHAT I WORE

JUST OVER A 24 HOUR STOP, TRAVELLING, A BUSY DAY & A BIG PARTY CALLED FOR SOME TACTICAL PACKING

If you guys have watched my Vlog from my time a Belgium on my Youtube Channel, you would have seen the last minute dress dilemma that I encountered ( Hello stapled, see through, kaftan turned into a dress ūüėČ ) The dress code was bright & bold, which was a little tricky for a gal that owns a plethora of white and black dresses! After I stitched something a little last minute together (I was actually pretty happy with the Zimmerman vibes of this dress!) I crammed in some heels and a slip dress, plus my fave curling/wave wand of the mo and I was good to go!¬†

Belgium was forecast to be a little drizzly and cold (we got super lucky & the day turned out beaut!) However I still packed a classic, camel coat, black blazer, some comfy but chic denim, some mules (total travel essential!) an oversized tee and a huge, squishy jumper! I feel like I’m slowly nailing the skill of packing little capsule wardrobe for trips away! Chuck all of your top picks on your bed to check all your items work well together to make the most out of your mini, travel wardrobe! (More of my packing & holiday tips here!)

SHOP MY BELGIUM WARDROBE & WHAT I WORE!

I hope you guys loved my little guide to the alternative side to Benidorm – it really was such an incredible, whirlwind 3 days of luxury, food, beautiful people and wonderful views! You guys over on Instagram couldn’t believe where I was! Massive thank you again to the fabulous guys from Jet2Holidays and Visit Benidorm for an unforgettable trip – I’m already planning my return! Where’s your ultimate holiday destination my loves – are you a beach babe or a city lover?

As always you can tweet me @stylepetalblog, catch up on all my posts over on BLOGLOVIN or see my latest beauty and fashion buys and vlogs over on my YouTube channel!

Photography by myself and the lovely Emma from The Emasphere!

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HOW TO GET THE MOST FROM YOUR HOLIDAY WARDROBE

HOW TO GET THE MOST FROM YOUR HOLIDAY WARDROBE

THE ART OF PACKING IS REAL!

If you beauts have been following along on Instagram & Insta stories you’ll have seen that the other week I was in a tiny area of Greece for a little break away. I’m super excited to share my vlog and lookbook with you guys over on my YouTube channel, which got me thinking all about my holiday wardrobe and packing habits. Over the years I’ve learnt (kind of ūüėČ ) to whittle down my holiday wardrobe to a capsule collection of pieces that all work together, saving serious time and extra baggage charges!¬†

We took these snaps on our break away to Benidorm with the beautiful people at Jet2 (you can catch the vlog here! and my travel guide!) and I now feel like I’ve become some what of a connoisseur of packing pieces that I get loads of wear out of. After all, there’s nothing worse than lugging around a huge suitcase full of things you never end up wearing! Hear I’m sharing what I’ve learnt from experience when it comes to packing light and efficiently, meaning you can get the most out of your holiday wardrobe, whatever your destination!

SHIRTS ARE A GALS BEST FRIEND

 

Seriously, when comes an occasion whereby one¬†cannot rock a¬†sassy shirt? Come¬†rain, shine or even snow, packing a few shirts can never go amiss. They’re the most hard working pieces in my wardrobe,¬†whatever country I’m in and for good reason! My personal fave for holidays are light, cottony materials and oversized, making them easy to chuck over a ‘kini and keep you cool (like I’ve done here!) Alternatively, fab for tucking into denim¬†shorts or jeans for a city mini break or layering under some knitwear for a ski season. There, didn’t I tell you they could work for all occasions? ūüėČ

PICK KEY & VERSATILE ACCESSORIES

I‘m a bag and shoe girl at heart, particularly shoes – damnit why can’t I stop buying shoes?! The thing is, yes they lift an outfit, can spice up something otherwise boring but they’re also heavy and take up a tonne of room! I have to be super strict with shoes (I still ended up taking 7 pairs on a 3 day trip…) and for Greece I decided to really whittle it down and save some space! 2 handbags are suffice – a small cross body and a rucksack or big, beach bag for long days. For summer and warm hols, I highly suggest a rope bag – folds up to nothing and enabled me to take 3 without the hefty suitcase!

When it comes to shoes – you do have to be sensible sometimes (begrudgingly) and think what you’re doing on holiday and what is going to practically get you through the day. In Spain, I knew we would be very active so trainers were a must. I rarely take anything above a thick, block or kitten heel on holiday anymore – purely because I’ve packed high heels too many times and completely ditched them in favour of something more comfortable! Keep it varied so you’re catered for all occasions – trainers, maybe ankle boots, slides and a pretty pair of sandals for evening (these were perfect!) and you’re sorted!

LAY EVERYTHING OUT BEFORE YOU GO,SO THAT YOU CAN SEE THE PALETTE AND ENSURE EVERYTHING COMPLIMENTS EACHTOHER

The key to making the most out of your holiday wardrobe is to essentially capsulise it – making every, single item work together with one another, so no matter how you pair them, it just works. Pack your staples, some denim, comfy, basic tees, a leather jacket and then chuck in some new season pieces to mix it up. I want to be comfortable and relaxed on holiday, so usually opt for oversized and flowing silhouettes.

As much as I like to pretend I’d rock that sexy, skin tight dress I’d probably choose a bellowing maxi over it any day. Laying everything out before you pack is a great way to see if anything looks out of place, I always question something if it won’t work with the rest of my items – is it worth taking? When I’m in holiday mode, I like to wake up, chuck an ensemble on and get on with my day – not stress over what to wear! Make it easy on yourselves and do the prep beforehand! (Pinterest is bloody marvellous too for outfit inspo!)

 

SHOP MY HOLIDAY WARDROBE PICKS

 

SHOP THE LOOK

I hope you loves found this helpful, whether you’re jetting off within the next few months, away on a little mini break or just grabbing some inspo for next year! I’d love to know your tips for holiday packing and how you work your wardrobe to the max!

I’ve also got so much more travel goodness coming to my channel, so make sure you’re¬†subscribed!¬†

As always you can tweet me @stylepetalblog, catch up on all my posts over on BLOGLOVIN or see my latest beauty and fashion buys and vlogs over on my YouTube channel!

Photography by Emma from The Emaspher

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4 AFFORDABLE THINGS TO DO BEFORE THE END OF SUMMER

4 AFFORDABLE THINGS TO DO BEFORE THE END OF SUMMER

THE TANS WILL FADE BUT THE MEMORIES WILL LAST FOREVER

I‘m a January baby and very much looking forward to the onslaught of Pumpkin spice latte insta pics, cosy knitwear and ankle boots ( snuck them in a bit early in this post, you may have noticed ūüėČ ). However, I’m not quite yet willing to let the last, sweet taste of care-free summer disappear. I’m off to Greece next week which has somewhat extended my summer timeline and made me really excited to make the most of thin layers and warm skin! This year has flown by and with that, summer a blur before my eyes. I’m taking the time to slow down, be still and catch the last breathe of the warmer months. This year I haven’t felt guilty for not attending a million festivals, going to a tonne of parties or living at the beach. Instead I’ve prioritised the simpler things and it’s felt seriously good.

These ideas might not be groundbreaking, they might not be nothing new and at best, a little cliche. But it is true what they say, the best things in life sometimes are free and I’ve felt really appreciative of just being in the moment this summer, whether it’s watching the sun slowly come down or playing board games in a haze, here’s a list of my 4 affordable things to do before the end of summer and what’s made my soul happy this year!

WATCH AS MANY SUNSETS & SUNRISES AS PHYSICALLY POSSIBLE

 

Probably the most cliche of all summer¬†activities but this¬†truly is the most magical thing I’ve done and I’ve lost count of the¬†amount of times I have simply¬†just sat still¬†this summer and watched the evening fade into darkness. On sandy beaches with a bottle of cheap beer, on a dewy, grassy hill or perched on a rock over looking the sea, these are my fave places to sit and watch a day melt into another. The other evening, I saw the pinkest sky reflect onto the water below and felt an overwhelming sense of calm, my¬†troubles lost and really just felt appreciative to be alive and in the moment, because really, that’s the only thing that¬†matters. This is one activity that costs nothing but makes you appreciate¬†everything – highly¬†recommend¬†if you’re feeling a little stressed or like life is¬†getting on top of you!

GRAB A DISAPOSABLE CAMERA AND PHOTOGRAPH EVERYTHING

I¬†bloody love disposable cameras, the images they produce always fill me with happiness and have a certain charm about them. I love how they’re grainy, often out of focus and capture the flare of a hot, summers sun. Go to boots or a supermarket, pick one or two up for about ¬£4 each and whack one in your bag whenever you head out! Each take about 27 images and you can get them developed for a small price (about ¬£4, including both hard copies and a CD for that all important insta shot ūüėČ )

People often laugh and wonder why I don’t just snap images on my camera all of the time, but I love having these blurry snaps from a chilled summers evening with friends or a holiday to put into frames and into photo albums. I took one on my french exchange to Paris in sixth from and I always look back on those photos and smile. They have that vintage look no filter could replicate and I love whacking it out when I’m having a happy moment, with absolutely no idea what it’s gonna look like, no need to edit or delete!

GO ON A SPONTANEOUS CAMPING TRIP

Camping is SO underrated! My childhood was filled with my dad taking us on camping trips around Devon, come rain or shine. (Because have you really camped if the tent hasn’t fallen on your head through the pressure of the down pouring rain? ) We decided to spontaneously go camping the other week and within 2 hours we had a packed up car, a pitch booked and were on our way! There’s something beautifully freeing about letting go of all your materialistic items, wifi & television for a night or so and just taking time out!

We brought BBQ’s, beer, prosecco, veggie sausages and snacks and wandered off for walks along the coast, star gazing under blankets and photographing the milky way. Looking up at that huge sky really put life and my small, petty troubles into perspective. These are the magical moments that make you appreciate life and our insane world and the beautiful people we choose to share it with! Pack up your car and head off, even nearby and just camp, play card games and have fun!¬†

SWIM IN THE SEA OR RIVER OFTEN, IT’S LIBERATING & AWAKENING

Let’s be honest, no matter how sweltering the day, the water temperatures in England will never really be comfortably warm, but that’s all part of the charm! There’s something hilariously fun about diving into glacial temperatures! Walking along Lyme Regis sea front I’ve met countless people who, over the course of their 50 or 60 years, have sworn by daily dips in the sea, no matter what the month and I find that super admirable! I like to believe it’s good for the body and livening for the soul – late night paddles or afternoon swims when the odd heat wave decides to greet us, you can’t beat the feeling of running in and screaming once the icey temperatures hit you. This one is great to make you feel alive, young and care free.

 

SHOP MY SUMMER & HOLIDAY PICKS

 

SHOP THE LOOK

I hope you loved this little post and found a little inspiration! I’ve been doing all of these things for the past few months & I can’t tell you how happy they make me, especially when life can get over complicated! What are your fave things to do in summer my beauts?

I’ve also got so much Summer style & travel goodness coming to my channel, so make sure you’re¬†subscribed!¬†

As always you can tweet me @stylepetalblog, catch up on all my posts over on BLOGLOVIN or see my latest beauty and fashion buys and vlogs over on my YouTube channel!

Photography by the lovely Emma from The Emasphere!

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LEARNING TO LOVE YOUR BODY

LEARNING TO LOVE YOUR BODY

“WHAT WITH ASOS SHOWCASING THEIR BEAUTIFUL MODELS UNRETOUCHED & BLOGGERS BRINGING RELATABILITY TO THE GAME, YOU CAN’T HELP BUT CELEBRATE WHAT THE INDUSTRY IS BECOMING!”

No matter who you are, where you came from or how you are raised, I’m sure we all share this common attribute – that in some point in our lives, we’ve all perhaps encountered some issues surrounding body confidence and our feelings towards our bodies. It’s a delicate subject, one whereby if you don’t choose your words carefully, you could unintentionally cause offence. But it also has the power to unite, inspire and empower people all across the globe and that’s one thing worth focusing on!¬†Social media, catwalks and magazines of course traditionally sometimes plant ideas in our minds that we should perhaps appear a certain way. That blemishes, stretch marks and scars should be erased and with that, sometimes ourselves.

¬†But what with the likes of ASOS embracing their beautiful models in their full, un-retouched glory and bloggers bringing some more reliability to the game (SO many gorgeous, unique and wonderful gals!) It can’t help but make you celebrate the changing times and wonderful diversity of the industry. There will always be downfalls, you could choose to focus on the negatives or embrace the beautiful thing it’s becoming and see the good. Let this post motivate and inspire you to love your beautiful selves and be confident in your skin! Here’s a few ways I like to build my confidence up and remind myself to love my body!

POWER DRESSING

Ahh the¬†power of¬†clothes. Not only are they pretty and fun but they also have the power to make¬†you feel like a¬†total boss.¬†Dress¬†how you like and love, not how you think¬†you should dress. Everyone feels good in different¬†things, some people feel like they can take over the work in heels and dresses and others in denim or a cosy knit. There’s no secret formula but don’t settle for clothes that don’t make you FEEL good. These Sweaty Betty leggings for example, the luxe material and unbeatable fit makes me feel absolutely amazing! Similarly my fave Topshop Jeans¬†are always something I can rely on to boost my confidence. When shopping, spend time trying on different styles and sizes, you’ll know when its ‘the one’ because you won’t be able to pull yourself away without the item in tow ūüėČ

NOURISH YOURSELF

I‘ve mentioned it before and I’ll say it again because I’ve found that nourishing yourself really is key. I’m not an expert, nor a nutritionist, but I do know that when I eat well, I feel damn good. When I feel good, I don’t feel like I need to look a certain way, because truly feeling good in yourself surpasses any other feeling for me. We know we should be eating fresh, wholesome and as natural as possible. I bloody love pizza, cheese and wine and there ain’t no way in hell I’m giving that up, not for all the abs in the world.

I won’t let myself feel too guilty because life is too short, however my body confidence does tend to plummet if I continually eat things that bloat me out, high in sugar or processed. Everything in moderation and if you try to keep the majority of your diet fresh and wonderful, you definitely should enjoy that prosecco and cake! Your body was built to look after your beautiful soul, so look after it ūüôā

DO THINGS THAT MAKE YOU FEEL AMAZING!

Similarly to nourishing yourself, doing things that make you feel amazing do wonders for your self esteem. I’m not going to lie – I do feel guilty when I don’t exercise – of course I do. Our bodies were made to do amazing things so I try to get this butt moving whenever I can. However, in the same breath there’s no point beating yourself up when you don’t live up to that brutal workout regime you vowed to stick to at new years.

Some people adore the gym, others don’t. Find something that excited and motivates you! Brisk walks, boxing, swimming, dancing – get your body going, release endorphins and feel amazing and alive! If you go to the gym 4 times a week or none, go at your own pace, be kind to yourself and don’t compare – we are¬†all amazing and unique!

SHOP MY FAVE WORK OUT PICKS

I hope you loved this one and that it inspired you to give yourself a little bit of love! I’d love to hear your body confidence tips & ways of making sure you always feel amazing!

I’ve also got so much Summer style & travel goodness coming to my channel, so make sure you’re¬†subscribed!¬†

As always you can tweet me @stylepetalblog, catch up on all my posts over on BLOGLOVIN or see my latest beauty and fashion buys and vlogs over on my YouTube channel!

Photography by my babe Emma Spencer! 

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Spain travel diary: A guide to the luxe side of Benidorm

Spain travel diary: A guide to the luxe side of Benidorm

A relaxed, luxe vibe or an adventurous and culture filled

break Р there is literally something for everyone! 

Spain; a country I had yet to visit until May and one I’m already avidly planning on going back to immediately (with the boyfriend in tow!) If you lovelies follow me over on my YouTube Channel you’ll know that I recently went to the beautiful Benidorm¬†with a bunch of lovely bloggers and Jet2Holidays for a few, full on days of luxe, laughs, sight seeing and a lot of great food and wine! It really was an incredible place that is often underestimated, so it gives me huge happiness being able to share my experience with you guys!

From where to eat, stay, what to do and wear – I’m spilling it all and every detail that¬†contributed to making this¬†trip so special. Whether you fancy a more relaxed, luxe vibe or an adventurous and culture filled break – ¬†there is¬†literally¬†something for¬†everyone!¬†Jet skiing, scuba diving, divine Tapas and champagne over looking the cliffs – read on to see my little, Spain travel diary and guide to the luxe side of Benidorm!

WHERE TO STAY

A 5 minute drive out of the town and you’ll find the Melia Villaitana, the most picturesque, Instagrammable, pinterest worthy and all round, damn photogenic place I’ve ever been! Our jaws literally dropped to the floor when we arrived, let alone once we saw our rooms – I felt like a total princess and fully made use of the huge bath and beautiful balcony to take in the views across Benidorm’s skyline and coast – at evening this was incredible with all of the twinkling lights! It was perfectly tucked away ever so slightly from the bustling streets, so perfect for a little escape at the end of the day! Ever corner welcomed you with a pastel, washed wall, blooming flowers and glistening pools meandering the whole resort.

We had the most relaxing flight and the bliss continued on arrival – even from a self confession nervous flier! We flew from Stansted, Jet2’s first London base. (I highly recommend grabbing a lounge pass to make use of the insane food and drink to get you in holiday mode!) I’ve always had very active holidays, however I feel like I need to come back to the Melia Villaitana just to purely¬†stay there for a week and soak the tranquility up! There are so many buildings and restaurants (5 + a lounge to be precise!) a spa, golf course – I couldn’t begin to explore it all as it was so vast! Everything oozed luxe and the food and breakfast was absolutely incredible, with a huge variety for all diets and to take anyones fancy (fresh donuts and churro’s for breakfast anyone?!)

WHAT TO DO

This was where Benidorm really out did itself – such a huge variety of things to do and so many gorgeous spots to take in the views (and a few snaps!) Day 1 was spent electric mountain biking up the winding, mountainous roads (they were SO MUCH FUN and had us all in stiches trying to learn how to use them!) This was followed by a visit to The Old Town – a stunning picture of white, washed pillars and blue tiles, with steps floating down to the sea! Day 2 brought a morning of Sea based antics with jet skiing and my first scuba dive, followed by an amazing Tapas tour come evening time!

Our final day brought a Jeep tour, which totally blew us all away. We went on an adventure high up in the mountains, stopping on tiny little roads and wandering through little villages and into the markets (where I picked up that insane pom pom straw bag!) We then headed back to enjoy a bit of pool time and then got ready to visit The Cross of Benidorm, followed by a beautiful dinner and cocktails on a rooftop! Benidorm and the surrounding areas really are drenched in culture and beautiful spots, I really enjoyed immersing myself in everything!

WHERE TO EAT

Top Benidorm spots for luxe cuisine:

  • Ulia – A beautiful beachfront restaurant run by the loveliest people with a really unique array of dishes – wonderful paella too!
  • Llum De Mar – A seriously luxurious experience overlooking the waves crashing agains the shore below you. We had so many beautiful, fresh courses, each bursting with flavour and paired with delicious wine!
  • Son De Mar – Great for a spot of Lunch, again right by the beach with fabulous staff and the best sangria of the trip! Delicious vegetarian dishes and beautiful views across the coast!
  • Los Vascos – Our Tapas tour took us down the winding alleyways and into this delightful restaurant, a real taste of traditional Spanish Tapas, followed by a cheeky Limoncello to finish the evening!
  • Solotula – A quirky restaurant tucked away with beautiful fairy lights that glisten outside whilst you enjoy your food – yet again, the staff were wonderful and the food incredible! A great variety of dishes to suit everyone!

The food was absolutely out of this world! Every morning we dined at our hotel for breakfast, with something for everyone (including champs for the all important bucks fizz!) and sat outside on the decking for a stunning view across the pool. We also tried lunch at one of the restaurants at the hotel – with everything being beautifully fresh. One thing I was really impressed by was the sheer selection and the fact that us vegetarians were really well catered for too, something I forget the importance of until I go away! Everything was also super healthy, fresh and delicious, meaning that you didn’t feel like you needed to hit the gym immediately upon return back to England!

WHAT TO WEAR

You want to be able to tackle all terrains even after a few glasses of Sangria.

I wrote here¬†about the importance of tailoring your holiday wardrobe to what you’re doing to save yourself many stresses! Benidorm had so many varied actitives to choose from, so we needed everything from trainers and denim to floaty dresses and bikinis! Your fave shorts, a tee and loose blouse will become staples and often underwear will be replaced by bikini’s, so pack a few!

Maxi dresses effortlessly take you from day to night whilst keeping you cool and comfortable, I made sure to pack a couple of those too! This Next one was my ultimate fave and got SO MANY compliments – I genuinely felt like the dancing emoji! Forget the heels, you want to be comfortable, at ease and be able to tackle all terrains even after a few glasses of Sangria. Converse, slides, pretty sandals and block heels will be your best friends. Oh and sunglasses, lots of sunglasses and a sassy slogan hat chucked in!

SHOP MY FAVE, HOLIDAY WARDROBE PICKS

I hope you guys loved my little guide to the alternative side to Benidorm – it really was such an incredible, whirlwind 3 days of luxury, food, beautiful people and wonderful views! You guys over on Instagram couldn’t believe where I was! Massive thank you again to the fabulous guys from Jet2Holidays and Visit Benidorm for an unforgettable trip – I’m already planning my return! Where’s your ultimate holiday destination my loves – are you a beach babe or a city lover?

As always you can tweet me @stylepetalblog, catch up on all my posts over on BLOGLOVIN or see my latest beauty and fashion buys and vlogs over on my YouTube channel!

Photography by myself and the lovely Emma from The Emasphere!

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A Luxury English escape: What to do in The Cotswolds

A Luxury English escape: What to do in The Cotswolds

“There were pool parties, moustaches, sombreros, lots of food, Prosecco and Pimms!”

If you lovelies are subscribed to my Youtube Channel or¬†follow along on Insta¬†you’ll know that last week we were whisked off to The Cotswolds by the wonderful guys at The Blogger Programme and Kate and Toms¬†for a few days of luxury and relaxation! There were pool parties, moustaches, sombreros, lots of food, Prosecco and Pimms! We were all taken aback by the sheer beauty and kind of felt like we were in Hogwarts with the tall, stoned walls, ivy climbing every crevice and history around every corner!

I wrote about the importance of taking a break and my little London staycation here, but this time we headed off somewhere a little bit rural and off the grid! Wherever it is you’re staying, and whoever with, I thought I’d put together a little mini guide to the ultimate Luxury, English escape and what to do The Cotswolds! From were we stayed, what we ate to what we did, as well as showing you around our beautiful Mansion for a few days and what you can expect from a little retreat away from the world!

Where to stay

 

As much as I love hotels, for me, a countryside retreat wouldn’t be complete without staying in one of the many, stunning manor houses they have to offer – I’m obsessed with finding out the history behind them too! If you’ve watched the vlog you’ll notice me and Emma questioning the slightly eery hanging portraits! Kate and Toms have SO MANY properties on their books, this is just the selection to choose from inThe Cotswolds! We stayed in the incredible¬†Marsden Manor ¬†in Rendcomb which has a whopping 10 bedrooms and sleeps 20! I feel like somewhere like this would be perfect for a milestone birthday or celebration away!

It was a bloggers paradise and we ALL made sure to make use of the marble walled bathrooms, deep blue pool and immaculately manicured lawns for some photos opps! It had such a homely, cosy feel and we all agreed that it would be so, insanely magical at Christmas time too to stay somewhere like this! The bed in my room was the comfiest I had ever slept in, I literally sank in and woke to the birds chirping outside my window Рbliss!

What to do

We had a wonderful packed couple of days but just enough time left to take in the beautiful views, tranquility and atmosphere of The Cotswolds! I thoroughly recommend making wonderful food plans whilst you’re away – it’s such a lovely sociable time and a great way to get to know people and have amazing conversations into the night! Get outdoors too – rain or shine! Go for a jog, a walk up the hills, check out nearby horse riding, cycling or whack your yoga matt out on the lawn! We also had a super cosy room filled to the brim with blankets for movies and boardgames!

It would also be rude NOT to have a pool party when you have a heated outdoor pool too (because when are pools EVER warm in England!) Complete with inflatable donuts, unicorns and pimms for the perfect sunny afternoon! No Pool? Find a nearby river and have a paddle and a picnic! We also had the lovelies from Blossom & Jasmine come and treat us all to a pamper session with Massages and Manicures which was total¬†bliss!¬†There’s so many hidden Gems in The Cotswolds, immerse yourself in the local culture and things to do – we went for a Brewery Tour before dinner which was so much fun!¬†

What to eat

Whether you’re self catering and whipping up a delicious meal for your friends and family, getting someone else to come and cook for you or dining at a restaurant – it’s always an occasion to look forward to! Dining is hugely sociable and I love dinner party conversations and sitting around a table with a good bottle of wine! We had an insane collection of wines from freshly bottled Bellini’s to fine reds from Sporting Wine, which well and truly kept us hydrated throughout our stay ūüėČ On our last evening we all sat around the table after we’d finished eating and talked about everything and anything until late, it’s these kind of occasions that I love! Breakfast and lunch were delicious and fresh, a beautiful spread put on by The Blogger Programme girlies – freshly bakes croissants, strawberries, avocado, granola – eating your breakfast outside in the sunshine is a must in the Cotswolds!

For our first dinner we had a full on Mexican party (complete with furry moustaches and sombreros if you’ve seen the vlog ūüėČ ) an amazing feast from Hello Fresh.¬†(you can actually grab a cheeky discount with the code ‘primrose50’ ūüėČ ) Mexican is my absolute fave, so to say I was excited would be an understatement! Then for our final evening we had the incredible guys from¬†Las Tapitas¬†cook us an incredible and authentic array of Spanish Tapas – this was such a treat and I highly recommend if you’re self catering for a night off! They explained every dish, the origin and even labelled things so we knew what was GF, vegan, etc! If you’re staying really rural and far from any eateries, self catering is such a lovely way to have fun with cooking whilst being sociable – hello summer BBQ and Pimms!

 

Shop my fave, summer escape picks

 

I hope you guys enjoyed having a little peek at what we got up to – such a wonderful way to kick start summer! Remember you can catch the vlog below (to see my stupidity in all its glory!) so make sure you’re¬†subscribed loves!

As always you can tweet me @stylepetalblog, catch up on all my posts over on BLOGLOVIN or see my latest beauty and fashion buys and vlogs over on my YouTube channel!

Photography by myself and the wonderful Emma Рyou can catch her blog post here!


Once again a ginormous thank you to The Blogger Programme & Kate and Toms for the wonderful experience, Hello fresh & Las Tapitas for the DELISH food and Blossom & Jasmine for our little (well needed) pamper sesh!

Also a big old thank you to Thomas Sabo, Charlotte Tilbury, Soak and Sleep, White Glo and Ice watches for our wonderful goodies!

Watch the vlog!