st ives cornwall
It has been almost two years since I was last in Cornwall and – having done very little exploration during my first visit – I have been especially eager to return.

Booking a week of co-Boy, co-Boy’s family and solo travel across Cornwall, the most logical starting step was a trip to St Ives. I cannot even type St Ives without getting this bloody nursery rhyme stuck in my head (thanks, primary school). It has been a wanton destination for over twenty years…

St Ives is a seaside town, civil parish and port in Cornwall, England. The town lies north of Penzance and west of Camborne on the coast of the Celtic Sea. In former times it was commercially dependent on fishing.
st ives cornwall
st ives cornwall
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lower mill estate
As a travel blogger, I spend very little time in London – let alone the rest of the UK – so find it an absolute thrill to discover the the best of my home soil’s best.

Lower Mill Estate will now be added to that category.

Earlier this month, I travelled to the heart of the Cotswolds to take part in an exploration of the private community of lakeside second-homes and rental homes with a few blogging beauties and left with an unexpected appreciation of all things Lower Mill.

But you’ll see that very clearly in the photography and video, below…

What I Wore:
Breton-stripe boat neck silk and cotton jumper from Wool Overs (I bought mine oversized, but this makes it perfect to wear between seasons and is ridiculously comfortable)
Gold shorts (similar here)
Chelsea boots from Daniel

lower mill estate 2

A video posted by Lela London (@lelalondon) on

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birmingham travel blog
I haven’t done a lot of solo female travel in a while. Fortunate as I might be to travel for a living, the majority of my trips are experienced alongside similarly-careered journos or provide a wonderful opportunity to travel with my nearest and dearest.

When I realised my trip to Lanzarote left from Birmingham Airport and I had no business commitments past the morning beforehand, I hopped on a train and indulged in some pure and simple ‘me time.

In no time at all, I arrived at the Travelodge Central Newhall Street to uncharacteristically blue British skies and a dead phone battery.

Though I’m sure I simply overworked my phone as an on-the-go office during the journey up, I took it as a sign and set off to explore an unfamiliar side.of the city with nothing more than my camera and a bank card.

With no idea where I was going and no GPS to rely on, I stopped off at the front desk to rifle through a few local brochures and maps.

“Where are you off to?”
“…I actually have no idea.”(laughs)
“Well, there are a lot of award-winning curry houses nearby?
“I’m not that hungry. Where would be good to just…walk?”
“Ah!” *the friendly gentleman turns his hands into something of a temporary set of legs* “Go to the end of fhe road, cross the bridge and walk down to the canal. It’s beautiful on days like this! Lovely pubs and all.”

And it was. It was so beautiful I let my camera be my tour guide. I walked the sun-drenched waterside pathways for hours, led by nothing more than visual and mental aides. It reminded me how important it was to switch off. Switch off and talk to strangers. When I happened upon a red carpet premiere, I started chatting to the security guards rather than Googling what it might be (it was the Peaky Blinders premiere, or as the security guard said – “Perky Blinkers”).

Though solo female trekking with a smile invited an inevitable share of twattery (“Hey, baby! Come and sit with us!”), it was worth it. I discovered the most beautifully barren shopping development – The Mailbox – in a city of busy consumerism, treated myself to a glass of champagne, spent a bit too much money in their Harvey Nichols

After an unknown amount of time, I chased the sun back to the hotel, pausing for a quick stop at Rub Smokehouse to pick up a pulled BBQ chicken cobb salad. Because it doesn’t get much better than a night of working and eating in an enormous bed.

The next morning, I filled up on Travelodge’s lovely little breakfast selection and set off for the airport feeling completely calm and happy. I couldn’t think of a better way to travel to an out-of-city airport.

birmingham travel blog
birmingham travel blog 3
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hadskis belfast
As my previous travel blog on Belfast would suggest, Hadskis is a definitive diamond in the rough.

Though the restaurant is hidden between Hill Street & Donegall Street (in fairy light-covered Commercial Court) and only a few years old, Hadskis has developed something of an unblemished reputation. If I had time for one fine dining experience during my time in Northern Ireland, this was destined to be it.

As the space is modest and uncramped, reservations are recommended; we only managed to book in for a 9pm slot but were thrilled to receive impeccable service from the get-go. Service typical of waiters and chefs that haven’t already been on their feet for hours.

This isn’t, however, a love letter to the service alone: the food is locally-sourced and Michelin quality.

We started with perfectly cooked N’duja-dusted Kilkeel scallops on a bed of cannellini beans and a small serving of jerusalem artichoke risotto with crispy garlic & creme fraiche (also available as a main).

You know that feeling you get when you kiss someone for the first time and you find yourself unexpectedly euphoric? That is the Hadskis feeling.

Continuing their courtship, we moved on to a “Hannan’s Spiced Meatballs” (with orecchiette, harissa & oarmesan – a small serving, per our filling starters’ dictation) and Chicken Cotoletta with grilled gem, topped with Cafe de Paris Butter.

I could pretend the truffle chips with parmesan and honey-roasted root vegetables simply came with the dishes, but no. We ordered those. And they were worth every extra undone button.

By this point we had hit the finish line and decided to run back a proverbial mile to explore the culinary talents of the sweets section. A meringue-scattered Bannoffee Mess for the gentleman and a Creme Brulee-inspired cocktail for myself.

A benefical illustration of gluttony and perfection, indeed.

hadskis belfast
hadskis belfast
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