Category Archives: Tried and Tested

Bandos Resort Maldives – a perfect Maldives experience for families? 

When the Maldives springs to mind you can’t help but think honeymooners. Therefore when we were looking to book a family friendly Maldives trip we knew we needed to find the perfect family friendly accommodation. We decided to try Bandos island Maldives Resort because it looked like a family friendly Maldives experience but did it meet our expectations? Continue reading Bandos Resort Maldives – a perfect Maldives experience for families? 

Seeing a different side to Dubai – Bab al Shams Desert Resort 

Dubai, I have found on the whole is a marmite kind of place – you either love it or you hate it! It’s a pretty showy place and every time I have been I have stayed on the palm! So this time we wanted something a little different so we booked ourselves into the Bab al Shams desert resort and spa! Meaning gateway to the sun, we were hoping for something special from our stay at the desert resort – Bab al Shams! Continue reading Seeing a different side to Dubai – Bab al Shams Desert Resort 

Doha’s Best Restaurants from A-Z

Since starting this blog I’ve discovered that Actually people know very little about Qatar, and certainly isn’t on a lot of people’s bucket lists so I thought I would share something I love about Doha – that’s all the great restaurant you can chose from in this town. From High End to Cheap Eats, Doha is full of unusual and interesting restaurants. So here are my favourite restaurants in Doha from A to Z! Continue reading Doha’s Best Restaurants from A-Z

Review of the Grand Hyatt, Melbourne

When choosing a hotel for business rather than pleasure it is all about location, location, location! Which is why when travelling to Melbourne I chose the Grand Hyatt because of its proximity to my conference venue. On top of this however, the Grand Hyatt is also perfectly located for sightseeing being on Collins Street. Collins Street is one of the main streets in Melbourne and being located there meant you had easy access to Melbourne’s awesome museums, theatres, restaurants and coffee and street art laneways. What more could you want!

Obligatory blogger bed shot

Continue reading Review of the Grand Hyatt, Melbourne

Saturday dim sum brunch at Nozomi 

Today we went for Saturday brunch at Nozumi. It was a more low key affair than Friday brunch and had a dedicated a la carte dim sum menu!

On arrival the staff were friendly and I was impressed with the modern interior overlooking the Persian Gulf! The waiter was happy to explain the menu set up and suggested we let him order for us which we were only too happy to do.  When the food arrived he was able to knowledgable explain what we were eating.

The menu is laid out in vegetable, fish and meat dumplings but each serving brought out offered a little of everything.

Continue reading Saturday dim sum brunch at Nozomi 

Five Reasons why Suites are Good for Cruising Families! 

Our first cruise with a baby we were lucky enough to be booked into a suite. Despite being seasoned cruisers we had never actually been in a suite before. Most of our previous cruises were done slightly not the cheap – once we went on a week long cruise for less money than we would have spent eating takeaways and at restaurants in our home of London – but that is a story for another day! We keen to have a suite with a baby to have extra space as we knew we wouldn’t be travelling light and thought we would be spending  more time in it than usual – so was it worth it?

For us this was a big yes for several reasons

More Room 

We could store the stroller, car seat, travel cot and luggage without a problem. I believe you can enjoy a cruise with any room size (See my Cruise Cabin Room Guide for Families) but it was certainly nice not to have to look at the baby clutter all the time.

It also meant that we had room to put the baby playmate out to give our little one chance to explore and play safely

Our suite

It has an amazing balcony with plenty of room for us to sit out while baby played in an inflatable bath as a paddling pool. It also meant we could enjoy the balcony easily while baby was enjoying a nap.

Continue reading Five Reasons why Suites are Good for Cruising Families! 

Afternoon tea buffet at Westin Doha

I have been a big fan of Westin Doha since I first went to Hunters Grill and am always eager to try their offerings. I am not a huge desserts fan, as regular readers will know, so when I read about the afternoon tea buffet I was very excited. An opportunity to have afternoon tea where I could have more sandwiches and scones and less cake. My ideal afternoon tea; that’s why what we had was even more disappointing.

The buffet display

Continue reading Afternoon tea buffet at Westin Doha

The Luxuri-less Hotel Miramar

Let me say I hate writing bad reviews, so much so I have been putting off doing this post. You see all we wanted at the end of our travels in the med was to have an indulgent and lazy couple of days. Instead what we got was the sour note at the end of a fantastic trip.

The hotel Miramar is somewhere I’ve wanted to stay since my first trip to Barcelona! Nestled on the Montjuic hilltop, the miramar exudes Art Deco opulence with unrivalled views of Barcelona. My long standing desire to stay there probably made my disappoint greater and it certainly didn’t live up to the 5* expectations! Continue reading The Luxuri-less Hotel Miramar

Masseria Il Frantoio – my best foodie experience!

Have you ever had a meal that you got so swept up in that you forget that perhaps pictures for your blog might have been a good idea? Well that is exactly what happened to be when we went to Masseria Il Frantoio.

We had travelled to Ostuni, Puglia with my in-laws for their Ruby wedding anniversary. As with all holidays I take, the first thing I do once we have booked is look for amazing foodie options nearby. As this was such a special anniversary this made this finding somewhere nice even more important and that is how I came to stumble on the website of the Masseria Il Frantoio.

Now in my opinion, Puglia is perhaps the most underrated part of Italy and this extends to people’s knowledge of its food and drink. People may have tried the signature local pasta called Orchiette but even then its not that common a fixture on menus. Also, it is quite a difficult pasta to cook so I bet most of those who have had it, weren’t that keen.

Now the Masseria specialises in local Puglian cuisine using fresh local ingredients. The Masseria also manufactures several varieties of olive oil, which is the only oil used in the cooking here. Before dinner we were given a tour of the olive press and grounds of the Masseria (also a hotel) which were absolutely stunning and got you salivating for dinner and added to the theatre of the evening.

The Beautiful On Site Chapel
The Beautiful On Site Chapel
The historic olive oil press
The historic olive oil press
Usually dinner takes place on the terrace of the Masseria, but unfortunately for us there were strong winds on the day we visited which made this impossible. The inside however still provided a lovely atmosphere.

The beautiful terrace where you eat when the weather is nice
The beautiful terrace where you eat when the weather is nice
Now the interesting thing about the Menu at the Masseria is you don’t know what you are having until you arrive and you eat what you are given. I love menus like this as it means that you try things that you would never normally dream of. We had Fried bread with a tomato sauce, fried courgette flowers, the most delicious swordfish I have ever tasted and desert accompanied by an olive oil shot to name but a few.

The dinner was also paired with three wines from the local area which were all lovely. The best however was the Rose, which is unusual for me to say as I am not usually a Rose fan. I mentioned this to our waitress and suddenly more of it appeared on a table. Maybe the wine also had something to do with the lack of pictures of the food!

Did I mention that there was wine?!
Did I mention that there was wine?!
The dinner cost 60 Euros for I forget how many courses and wine which in my opinion was a steal! It was definitely the most authentic Italian foodie experience I have ever had and I can’t wait to go back and actually get some pictures of the food this time!

This post was part of the #TravelLinkup