30 August 2018

Bristol Balloon Fiesta

After a few years of wanting to go, I finally made it to Bristol Balloon Fiesta! We had a great few days and I would have loved to have stayed for the whole weekend if we hadn't had a wedding to go to back home. We stayed at the Cabot Circus hotel which was across the road from the shopping centre and very conveniently offered free parking. The hotel was great, our room was really spacious and the breakfast had lots of choice including pancakes!

We ate at Gourmet Burger Co and Giraffe which were both in the shopping centre and also indulged in a bit of shopping - they have a Monki which I spent far too much time in! Cabot Circus is one of the best hotels near Bristol Balloon Fiesta as it was just 15 minutes drive away from Ashton Court. I'd really recommend it for the convenience, savings in parking and that it wasn't too expensive for a mid-week stay.

Bristol balloon festival

Having good weather is essential for hot air balloons and on the first day they didn't fly because of the wind. The sun was still out though and we did get to see some that were tethered including a minion, rupert bear and a dog which were part of the 40 special shapes for the fiesta's 40th anniversary celebrations. On the Saturday morning that we left, the balloons did fly but sadly we only got to see them from the hotel although it still looked really impressive to see them scattered across the sky.

Bristol balloon festivalBristol hot air balloon festival

My biggest tip for the fiesta would be to pack a picnic, blanket and warm clothes as it got colder into the evening. The food was also a bit disappointing and quite expensive so make a picnic and take plenty of snacks which also means you'll be able to skip the queues. 

Bristol hot air balloon fiestaBristol balloon fiesta

My favourite part of the fiesta was without a doubt the Night Glow which involved the balloons lighting up to music from 9pm. It was a great atmosphere and i'm so glad we stayed to watch it as it didn't go ahead as planned later into the weekend. If you're planning to go to the fiesta this is definitely one thing you don't want to miss!

Bristol balloon fiesta night glow

Although the fiesta was free entry we did pay for premium parking which was great initially but a disaster when it came to leaving. At 10pm when Night Glow finished the carpark was chaos and we were sat there for two hours because of traffic on the road outside. This was really disappointing so if we go back next year we'll definitely be considering other options instead.

On our first day in Bristol we went on a walk around the city and explored Wapping Wharf while stumbling across the Gromit Unleashed 2 statues that are dotted around. Bristol isn't somewhere we'd ever considered visiting but we really enjoyed our visit and it's somewhere i'd happily explore further on another trip.

Gromit 2 Unleashed statues in Bristol

On our final night we treated ourselves to sourdough pizza at Bertha's Pizza which wasn't too far away from the fiesta. The pizza was great although maybe not tomatoey enough for me but I could never turn down a sourdough base! My favourite thing was actually their gelato which tasted amazing - the lemon and raspberry flavours were so good and if i'm ever in Bristol I will definitely be back!

Best pizza in Bristol - Bertha's sourdough pizza and gelato
24 June 2018

The best places for food in Copenhagen

As soon as we'd booked our flights I started my research to find the best places to eat in Copenhagen; not only because food can be expensive over there, but also so we got the most out of our trip. This post is a bit of a carb overload but I can highly recommend so many of these places and there are lots i'd still like to visit!

Torvehallerne market
When visiting Copenhagen it's hard to know where to go for traditional danish pastries! We went to Torvehallerne market and weren't disappointed by the huge variety of danish food and drink; there really is something for everyone. We bought a selection of danish pastries and a coffee from Laura's bakery - they were a little more expensive than i'd normally pay but well worth it. The brown sugar cinnamon swirl was very sweet but freshly made and the perfect way to refuel before we continued exploring the city.

Cocks and Cows
Cocks and Cows is easily the best place for burgers in Copenhagen! It's not normally my food of choice but the combination of chicken, brioche bun and curly fries was so good and much needed after a long day of walking around the city. We were so impressed we did consider another visit later into our trip as it was also not too far from our hotel. The price was really reasonable but i'd recommend booking in advance as it does get quite busy, although there is a very good reason for it!

Laundromat Cafe
This cafe is so unique, with bright decor and a real laundry located inside. It was our first experience of breakfast in Copenhagen - I opted for pancakes and James got the dirty brunch which was huge! The dirty brunch included: sausages, bacon, scrambled eggs, potatoes, tomatoes, cheese, greek yogurt and granola, pancakes, fruit, chocolate butter and sourdough bread all for around £13! My pancakes were really filling and came with lots of syrup and butter and I also stole some of James's chocolate butter to add to them! The service was great and I can also highly recommend their smoothies which are made fresh too. 

We were feeling a bit jet lagged after waking up really early for the airport so opted for dinner a short walk from our hotel. Mother was highly rated as one of the best places for pizza and is located in old meat packing district which is a quieter area of the city. I chose the Prosciutto pizza which came with lots of ham and pesto and was so filling! Although the food was good we were really disappointed with the service - we were shown our table and then ignored for 20 minutes with not even a menu to look at. We weren't the only people who had this experience and there are also lots of reviews online with similar feedback - it's a great place for pizza but if customer service is your thing that this is a place you might want to skip.

Mad & Kaffe
We'd just missed out on the breakfast meal when we arrived at Mad & Kaffe so I really struggled to choose from the lunchtime menu as i'd got my hopes up for one of their breakfasts! In the end I chose a chicken open sandwich which is on rye bread as I thought it was about time I tried something a bit more danish! When it arrived (as you can see) I wasn't sure i'd like it but I couldn't have been more wrong. It was so tasty - I loved the flavour of the chicken salad and the combination of rye bread and crispy bacon. An ideal lunch if you're planning a big dinner, this is the place to go - the interior was also lovely!

On our final night we didn't want to go far so opted for our second pizza of the trip, this time at Neighbourhood which was just round the corner from our hotel. This pizza was organic and completely different to any i've ever had before - the dough was more a light pastry which was super thin and crispy. I chose the Buffalo Chicken which was spicier than I expected but I did enjoy the overall flavour combination. My only regret was not getting one with tomato sauce as it didn't feel like a pizza without it, but it was really nice nonetheless. 

If you're wondering what we got up to other than eating or you're looking for things to to do in Copenhagen, have a read of my previous post!

9 June 2018

7 things to do in Copenhagen

In February we went on a city break to Copenhagen so I thought i'd share a few of the best things to do and places to visit if you're planning a trip to the Danish capital. 

Walk along Nyhavn Harbour
You can't visit Copenhagen without visiting the iconic coloured buildings on the river at Nyhavn harbour. Probably one of the most popular tourist spots all year round, this was one of my favourite places to visit. It was around 2°c when we visited so we didn't take a boat trip along the canal which is something i'd love to have done if it was a bit warmer! If you're looking for somewhere to have a drink, i'd recommend walking a few streets away for more affordable options as it gets busy with tourists and can be quite expensive.

Things to do in Copenhagen - Nyhavn

Eat at Torvehallerne Market
If you're visiting Copenhagen to experience the food, Torvehallerne Market is the best place for traditional Danish pastries. There are around 60 food stands including chocolates, porridge, smørrebrød (Danish open sandwiches), fresh fruit, tapas and much more so it's definitely one to visit when you're hungry! The market is indoors so it's ideal to visit if the weather isn't great and i'd recommend Laura's Bakery for Danish pastries which we enjoyed early on a Sunday morning when it wasn't too busy.

Traditional Danish pastries in Copenhagen

Shop in Central Copenhagen
There are lots of great shops to visit in central Copenhagen and we loved getting home inspiration from many of the interior design shops, especially the independent ones. We walked along Strøget which is Europe’s longest pedestrian shopping street; it has lots of high street favourites including H&M and Weekday. If you've read 'The Little Book of Hygge' by Meik Wiking a visit to Copenhagen will really put the principles of Hygge into perspective. It was amazing to see a city where cycling is the main form of transport and even just being there for four days I could see why it is one of the happiest places to live - everyone is so laid back!

Best place for shopping in Copenhagen

Explore the Blue Planet Aquarium
We visited the aquarium on the last day of our trip as it's located on the tram route to the airport. It has handy lockers for your luggage so is ideal if you've got a late flight and need something to do after you've checked out of your hotel. There are lots of things to see including an array of fish and underwater creatures and some very entertaining otters! The aquarium has lots of talks and you can watch the fish being fed throughout the day so it's great for passing the time; it isn't the cheapest place to visit but you can get discounts or free entry if you've got a Copenhagen card. 

Blue Planet Aquarium in Copenhagen

Climb the Rundetaarn 
The round tower is located in the centre of Copenhagen and rather than steps it has a unique path all the way to the top! The tower was built so that the king could ride up using a horse and carriage so you can have a leisurely walk with only a few narrow steps to climb right at the top. There are a couple of art galleries on the way up which we enjoyed looking around, and as you walk outside you'll be met by a breathtaking view of the city. As its quite central you can just stop off as you're exploring others areas of the city and it costs just a couple of Kroner so you don't need to book.

Things to do in Copenhagen - Rundetaarn

Sight see at Amalienborg Palace 
I didn't want to leave Copenhagen without visiting the Little Mermaid as it is very well talked about online. On the way we found the Amalienborg Palace which is the home of the Danish royal family. The buildings are all located in close proximity and are really interesting to walk through. The Little Mermaid was quite a walk so i'm glad we found other things to see on the way as there isn't much there other than the statue! It's exactly what you see on the photos so I wouldn't say it's an essential place to visit but perhaps if you're a Disney fan it might be one for your list!

Things to do in Copenhagen - Amalienborg Palace

Photograph Frederik's Church
We stumbled across Frederik's Church a short walk away from The Little Mermaid. It's really spectacular and is known as The Marble Church thanks to it's green marbled effect design with gold detailing. It's an absolute must to photograph and I really wish i'd known that you can go right inside and look at the view from the dome! It's also a popular wedding venue and you can see why!

Things to do in Copenhagen - Marble Church

Unfortunately, Tivoli Gardens were closed at the time we visited but they are somewhere we'd love to go back and visit! Also, if you're looking for the best Copenhagen restaurants, have a read of my next post!

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