South Of France

Hello World!!

In July 2012 I went to the South of France to visit my friend Charlotte and it was incredible so this is my “France Blog”. I can’t believe I only met Charlotte 3 months before, sometimes you meet people and you feel you have known them forever. She left London and asked me to come visit her so I did…like a week after she left hahaha. I arrived in France not knowing what to expect other than great weather and a beautiful place. After meeting her family I knew I was going to have a great time, they were such warm people, full of enthusiasm and so hospitable. They went out of their way to make everything perfect for me, kitchen stocked with all the typical French food, three course dinners every-day, live music :p, they wanted me to have a real taste of France and it was delicious! They even gave me my own floor of their house, no hotel could ever compare to the hospitality I received despite the fact that I was a stranger in their home. I explained to Charlottes mum that she didn’t need to go out of her way for me and she told me it was her pleasure and the thing is I could feel their enthusiasm every-time they explained things to me, showed me new places and watched me try all these new things. People like that who get fulfilment from giving someone else pleasure are like gold-dust and despite the beauty of France and my amazing experiences, meeting them was by far the best part.

Charlotte had wonderful things planned for me every-day!  On my first day we went to Toulon, I loved the little cobbled streets and squares filled with people dining Al Fresco, I loved that there were ports and beaches everywhere and being surrounded by water just filled the air with a sense of tranquillity. We then took a boat to the beach in Sablettes to meet Brenda who lives there but was here in England for two months with Charlotte so was nice seeing her in her home town! Charlottes mum has powers by the way, shes an extremely lucky person and when she feels lucky she knows so she decided to take us to the Casino that night where she came home with 800 euros lol. It was like being in James Bond!

The next day we went to Sanary – my favourite seaside town, It was so quaint and colourful and I could have walked around there all day but we had a cruise to catch! We spent the day on a boat cruising the South coast of France (Marseilles, Calanques, Cassis etc) It was so scenic, we saw all the beautiful beaches as the boat cruised the coastline.
We spent Saturday in Aix en Provence, my first glimpse of a City there, it was also beautiful and the hours drive there was filled with mountainous landscapes with the backdrop of the beautiful blue sea. Aix was a shoppers paradise J Not only was it beautiful, scattered with ancient landmarks and fountains but it also had endless rows of shops J We stopped for lunch in one of the squares, I watched Charlotte devour her Steak Tartare..i’m not gonna lie I felt sick hahaha.  A raw pile of mince meat with an egg yolk sitting on top of it and she thought I WAS WEIRD for not wanting to try it.
Sunday was definitely a highlight; we went to L’Estagnol beach which was breathtaking! The clear blue water was filled with glitter, It was actual flakes of gold and when you came out of the sea you were covered in glitter, it was amazing, I felt like a Princess  haha.
That night we went to an amazing restaurant on the beach, as we watched the Sunset we ate the most divine food, I can’t tell you how much better the food is there, everything is fresh and the fruit and veg has so much more flavour. I remember not enjoying the food in Paris but all I did in the South was EAT! The next day Charlottes boyfriend Will took us to a beautiful Medieval village and we ate Crepes..mmmmmmmmmm. The village (like everywhere else in the South) had beautiful viewpoints where you could sit and take in the scenery for hours.
The weather was perfect, the food was divine, the landscape was breathtaking and the people were beautiful, I couldn’t have asked for a better break J I highly recommend a holiday to the South of France!

Lots of Love xoxo

Rushton Hall, Kettering

I went away to Rushton hall for a few days and it was beautiful!! Its by Kettering in Northamptonshire and in the middle of 12 acres of land, it was so serene.

Rushton hall is now a hotel and spa but was previously home to Guy Fawkes and where the gun powder plot was..plotted! The hotel suite was so grand but homely at the same time (if you go there ask for the Pickering Phipps suite) we had our own living room and the bedroom was huge not to mention the bathroom with a shower and a free standing bathtub!

The spa was amidst all the tranquility, with the glass windows surrounding the pool you can watch the deer and rabbits hopping around while you take a dip. The elemis treatments on offer were sublime and the whole place seemed charged with this natural energy and engraved with historic pearls.

We took our trekking boots and braved the weather to enjoy the simply breathtaking views, I was actually pretty happy about the snow as the lakes with the floating ice islands added to the picturesque scenery

I will definately be going back, a nice little escape from city life

A Weekend In Cheltenham

This weekend I went back to Cheltenham to see some old Uni friends, I lived there for three years but never really settled because I had trouble adapting to life outside a city…. The first time I went to Cheltenham I fell in love with the place, its so beautiful and there is a lot to do there. This weekend I had soo much fun, I know mostly it was because I was back with my 2 favourite uni girls but Cheltenham is actually a really cool place to spend a weekend.When I arrived the girls met me at the station and Huffingtons Bakery and Tearooms caught my eye, it looked so quaint so we decided to go there for a coffee and catchup…pasties, sandwiches and a GIANT meringue later we were stuffed to the brim..I skipped mains and just had the Meringue OMG it was to die for, I had this amazing chinese jade ringed green tea, apart from Tropical green tea this was the best I’ve ever had:

So we did a little shopping while we were in town, theres 2 shopping malls and the High Street which has every shop you need plus House of Fraser and all the little boutiques and designer shops going up the promenade towards Montpellier.  Montpellier is a really cool place to take a walk, its full of quirkly little cafes, wine bars and restaurants but it just oozes character and history:

We spent the next day pampering ourselves before our big night out and I got PURPLE HAIR:

So we got ready and headed to revolutions (standard) then a club opening of Pulse and then went next door to Subtone which is open  till 6am to relive the old days!!! So we partied till the sun came up, the music was amazing, it had several rooms but the one we stayed in was playing old school R&B so I was in my element.

The next day we went to The Brewery which is a complex where there are restaurants and a Cinema and we ate (mmmm Nando’s) and then watched The Sitter. It had its laugh out loud moments but I felt some of the time it dragged and was a little over the top but it wasn’t terrible neither life changing (watch it if there’s nothing better on).

It was the perfect reunion with my girlies and we hung out at all our favourite places, I would definitely recommend Cheltenham for a weekend break…just don’t move there :p

Zohra x