Mini break in Stratford Upon Avon

I think I should probably  rename this blog, “That time we pretended we had gone back in time to the Tudor times…”

Is it just me that finds the months of January and February really depressing?!

Seriously, I feel as though they are the two months of the year that are the darkest and gloomiest. Who really wants to get out of bed in the cold and dark? Not this girl!

Anyways, since me and the boyf (yeah I just used that abbreviation) both had a week off, we decided we’d throw caution to the wind and book a little UK break somewhere. We decided on Stratford Upon Avon as we it wasn’t too much of a hassle to get to via train and also, because I am a massive Shakespeare lover so it was about time I went  and paid a visit the land the famous writer was from!

With us still doing the house up we were quite strapped for cash so it had to be a real ‘budget break’ in certain ways, so we just booked the good ole Travelodge for our accommodation although next time we pay a visit we will definitely be booking into one of the more gorgeous old fashioned hotels that are scattered all over the centre of the town. In terms, of a good quality cheap and cheerful hotel, Travelodge has everything you could want (and at £60 a night we were laughing), it was only a ten minute walk from the city centre attractions and really close to the shops so it was a win win for us.

On the first day we got there, we had a bit of time to kill before we could check in so we went for a nice long walk along the river and ended up visiting the church were Shakespeare is buried. I discovered two things on this walk, 1, I really didn’t need to bring my walking shoes as Stratford is not as ‘country’ as I thought and 2, Shakespeare was a proper short guy!

In the night we just headed to a cute thatch roofed pub for some good old fashioned pub grub! I tried an open pie, which is a bit like a quiche only fancier and loved it! Gotta try new things you know!

The next day, we decided to be really good tourists and went to check out all the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust sites. Of course we had to have brunch first! We went to one of my fave brunchy  restaurants  that we discovered two years ago when we were in Salisbury for Valentines Weekend. It’s called Boston Tea Party, and my ultimate breakfast choice is the Sweetcorn Hash. It’s beaut!

We got the Full Story tickets which were brilliant value for money at £20.25 per adult as it meant we could go see all five of the sites and have still access to go again for the next 12 months. That means another trip to Stratford could be on the cards! 😉

I loved seeing all the historical buildings, they were so dreamy. I really felt like I was back in time, just hanging with Shakespeare and Co! The Birthplace Trust really do look after the sites and are very welcoming to all visitors. I think they do a brilliant job in maintaining the history and home of such a well loved national treasure. It’s so important for future generations aaannd I’ve just realised how preachy I sound so I’m gonna stop the Shakespeare preaching right now!

We did as many of the sites as we could do before they shut. Choosing to end the day at Halls Croft, the home of Shakespeare’s daughter and her doctor husband with a scone and slice of Victoria Sponge. It was bloody lovely! I absolutely loved Hall’s Croft as it was the sort of old country building that had beautiful plants growing on the side of it. It kinda reminded me of Belle’s house in Beauty and The Beast. Damn, I love a place that makes me sing Disney songs.

We decided to leave Anne Hathaway’s Cottage until the last day, thinking it’d be rather nice to do the home of Shakespeare’s true love and where his own love story blossomed on Valentine’s Day, not that we’re an overly romantic couple of anything like that! The cottage had hundreds of years of history and still had a descendant of Shakespeare’s living in it right up until the 1900’s! Afterward, we headed over to the cafe and tried a bowl of Pottage with a Tudor Roll. Pottage is basically boiled veg in a broth and apparently they would have eaten a lot of it back in the day!

To finish our little break we made a stop to the Royal Shakespeare Company and watched their production of Twelfth Night, Adrian Edmondson and Kara Tointon both starred in it and were absolutely fantastic. It was a mixture of funny and sad in places and I personally think it’s a play that shows off all of Shakespeare’s true writing genius.

After that, we headed back on the train home. Both tired and rejuvenated from a lovely few days! As a writer myself, I left feeling truly inspired and motivated for the next stage of my writing career. Now, I just need to finish that bloody script I’m working on!

Disclaimer: This blog was not sponsored or paid for by any third parties. All opinions are my own. 


Huge News! I’m off interrailing!!!

Hello Everyone!!! First of all, let me say I am so so sorry for making you guys wait for another post for so bloody long! I haven’t been the greatest blogger of late and for that I truly apologise! I think I might have already touched upon my reasons for not blogging in my last post but if it turns out I haven’t and I’m lying like a right porker then I’ll explain again now before I go into the exciting (and titular) news! 

First of all, as you guys know I’ve been studying for a Masters degree in TV and Radio Scriptwriting and my life kinda got taken over by finishing my last assignment of the year. I wasn’t feeling particularly amazing about my writing after getting negative comments off my supervisor for the assignment throughout the entire second semester. That plus the fact I started working as a teacher full time made me so stressed that I probably had a zillion breakdowns a week. I swear I would come home from work and just burst into tears at the prospect of another evening doing work I’d probably fail anyway. Nevertheless, I churned it out night after night (meaning any other form of writing, such as this blog was abandoned) and managed to pass with an amazing grade and some pretty fantastic comments off the very same supervisor who made me feel like shit (I swear one of his comments were “wow, I’m very impressed” and I nearly exploded with happiness!) and then on top of that I had my stand up comedy gigs. Now since my last stand up comedy course in April and the brilliant 7 min set I did, I have done another 2 gigs. One, which went amazingly well and the other, which just makes me want to crawl in a ball. 

The one that I’d rather not talk about was for a national Stand Up Comedy Competition and I had to travel all the way to Leicester for it. Needless to say, my lack of experience in the stand up circuit didn’t do me any favours on that night and I was just a bit like a little fish with loads of sharks. All experience though! 

After that gig, my confidence was a bit gone which is why it took me about two months to even attempt another. I did the Sunday 5 minute slot at Hot Water Comedy Club in Liverpool and the audiences responded really well to my material. Since the competition I had written an entirely new set and had worked on honing my stage presence. All in all, it was a gig that really helped reenergise my love for stand up and got me back on track for performing so it just shows you that you can’t let a bad thing knock you down you just have to keep trying and carrying on! An attitude I will carry on with from now on! 

Anyways! So that’s basically why I’ve been incognito for the past couple of months! I know it’s a long ramble but I just thought I’d explain to you guys in case you were wondering. And now for the exciting news….I’M OFF TRAVELLING!!! Yay!!! 

I’m so excited for this summer adventure me and my boyfriend have planned (completely last minute might I add). 

After years and years of saying we’d go interrailing together we’re finally fucking doing it! We just thought after the hectic and hard year we’ve had (house decorating, career stuff, family issues, moving) that we deserved a treat and what better way to treat ourselves than with an amazing three weeks in Europe. We’re gonna be staying with Jakes (the boyfriends) family in a villa in Faro, Portugal for the first few days then the plan is to head to Lisbon then travel through Spain, France, Italy, Slovenia, Austria, Czech Republic and end in Germany! We would’ve loved to have done longer but we have two weddings we need to be back for! 

Also just so you guys know, I plan on blogging it all! 😉 

Love to you all, 

Chelsea xxx

Skiing in Andorra

Hello there! As I type this I’m daydreaming of white powder mountains and hot chocolate, yes that’s right it’s my skiing blog! 

As you may have noticed last week I was pretty absent on the ole’ blog and that’s because I was busy sliding down mountains! 

We went to Andorra for a little week of skiing, drinking and rest. I say rest, I feel like I need a holiday to get over it all! 

Andorra is an absolutely beautiful place and probably the best place for beginners such as myself. It’s situated between Spain and France and plays host to the beautiful Pyrenees and some of the best snow in Europe. 

For our Ski Holiday we booked through an independent Andorian company called The Andorra Travel Service and they took care of our accommodation, airport transfers, breakfast, ski hire and passes. The only thing we had to book was our flights which were ridiculously cheap. We flew with British Airways which was a first for me. I found it all very posh, the onboard food service was all Marks And Spencer’s now that’s posh! 

When we got to the Resort, called Soldeu we were pleasantly surprised to discover we had been upgraded to a two bedroom suite which had an absolutely amazing view of the slopes. The only issue was that it meant our walk home from the pub in the evenings was slightly longer! 

On the Monday we were then placed in our groups for ski school. This is one way Andorra is a brilliant place to ski as even intermediate and advanced skiers are allowed to carry on developing. The ski school is run by British instructors and helps make the holiday a lot more sociable for everyone as you meet new people. My boyfriend was in the highest advanced class whereas I was placed in the middle beginners group. It was fantastic though as I got to learn with people just like myself and have a laugh. The ski school ran from Monday to Friday and because we had morning classes I was able to ski with any boyfriend in the afternoon which was just blooming fantastic as he helped me build on what I learnt in class. 

Skiing is fantastic exercise so I would often come down the gondola at the end of the day looking like a right sweaty mess! I was so made up with myself that I was able to push myself to try something completely out of my comfort zone. I’m so grateful to the ski school for giving me the confidence to push myself and my wonderful boyfriend for being patient with me throughout! 

One of the most amazing things was how warm it was on top of the slopes. There was some decent food places and bars to relax and take a break in, so one day I kinda just found a couch and sunbathed for a bit watching people below me skiing it was so bizarre but brilliant! 

Also the outfit you have to wear when skiing. Can I please just take a moment to tell you guys how much I felt like a superhero walking around in salloupetes and my thermal top?! Honestly I reckon I could have given the avengers a run for their money! Hahahahaha!

After a hard days skiing, usually we would head back to the apartment and get ready for the apres ski in the evening. Andorra had a brilliant nightlife with loads of bars and life bands. The only way I could really describe it would be like calling it “snowy Benidorm” to international readers who don’t know what Benidorm is, google it and you’ll get what I mean. The alcohol amounts were non existent meaning you were merry before 7pm! Well, it is a holiday! Here’s a pic of my rum and coke from one place and please bare in mind this is only the rum in the glass!

That’s a single rum too….:

The food was interesting. Although we had breakfast included with our deal we usually went out for dinner in the night. Breakfast was cereal, toast, pastries and I will admit I loved the Pan Au Chocolate but in the night you were basically stuck with carby fast food and anything the colour beige not that you weren’t needing them after skiing all day. By the end of the week though I was craving some flavour and I’m pretty sure I dreamt of Nando’s

All in all though, I do have to highly recommend Andorra to anyone who wants to go on a skiing holiday. This place is perfect for any level skier and makes everyone feel welcome. I have to admit after this week away I would definitely ski again I just don’t know if I’d find a place as good as this! To finish this post in style I’ve decided to post a picture I took from inside the handily coming down the mountain, you can see our ski’s chilling in the little pocket outside and I think perfectly captures the beauty of the mountain. 

Thank you for reading guys! 

A Little Place Called Heraklion 

I hope you’ve enjoyed what I’ve shown you of the gorgeous Crete so far, it’s a beautiful island and if these blogs have shown you half of that then I’ll be happy! 

On our last day we visited the Palace of Knossos. My boyfriend, Jake is a huge history buff so he was desperate to go see it and as I was promised a trip to the capital city of Heraklion afterwards I was more than happy to go with him! 

The Palace of Knossos was the home of King Minos and according to Greek Mythology it’s also the home of the terrifying Minotaur, the half man, half bull creature who lived in the palaces labyrinth. It was a truly fascinating place to visit. 

I must say though, it was pretty hot around the site! Afterwards we headed to Heraklion, which is the capital of Crete and we checked out a few of the places around there. Well, after we demolished one of the best burgers I have ever had! 

The town centre was very beautiful with many different outdoor cafes and restaurants that cooked gorgeous smelling food. There were also loads of high street shops, more than I thought there would be and I had to fight my every urge not to go into H&M ! 

We made our way down towards the marina and watched the waves clash against the gigantic rocks. All in all, not a bad end to the day! 

The Island Of Spinalonga

After yet another lazy beach day we were ready to do some more exploring. We decided to check out the infamous island of Spinalonga which is just off the village of Plaka. 

We decided to make a full day of it, catching the early morning ferry from Plaka to the island before coming back and spending the afternoon in the picturesque Plaka. 

Spinalonga has a very interesting and varied history, not only was it once a Venetian Fortress but it was also a leper colony for all of Greeces’ leprosy sufferers up until 1957. It was a very surreal and humbling experience as the island was so close to the small village of Plaka yet felt so cut off from the rest of civilisation. Surprisingly, the lepers who lived on the island made the island as homely as possible and ended up creating a strong community for themselves which was rather beautiful. 

After a very insightful time at Spinalonga we got the ferry back to Plaka and spent a few hours on the pebble beach, having a little dip in the crystal clear waters and catching some rays. 

We worked up a pretty big appetite so after a few hours at the beach we had lunch at a Pirate themed bar called Captain Longa’s. It was a brilliant place with good music and the bar was even shaped like a pirate ship! 

It was a brilliant and interesting day which was topped off with a yummy mojito at the end. Cheers!

A Greek Market and a Thrill at Sea

The fresh food and vegetables in Greece are world renowned and since we were staying at a traditional Greek Fishing Village, we thought the local food market would be a fantastic way of finding tasty and fresh produce. 

I’m not going to lie, the market was tiny! But there was so much fresh fruit and veg on offer that our eyes couldn’t believe the amazing array of colour. 

We left the market after half an hour, we decided to leave the market. As much as we love our fresh fruit and vegetables we had other seas to sail (quite literally!)

We walked a little further up the coast with the intention of hiring a little boat for the afternoon. After a 20 minute stroll along the crystal blue waters we met a lovely local man who allowed us to take one of his motorboats’ for the afternoon. 

We had a amazing time, and sailed further up the coast to the beautiful village of Plaka before catching a sly glimpse of the island of Spinalonga. However, there were points when the waves got a tad choppy and I felt like we were going to go overboard! The feeling of the wind in our hair and the gentle splashes of water on us as we sailed around the sedictive sea’s was such a thrill and our adrenaline rush lasted for quite a while afterwards.

Please excuse the very unflattering photo’s that follow, I guess life at sea is a tad rough! 

That night, when we were all windswept after the boat we headed for dinner a little off the sea front as we decided to try a more inland restaurant. 

I couldn’t resist a few snaps along the port, it was too magical not to!

Dress is from Topshop. 

Agious Nikolaos

One Day on Holiday we decided to have a little day out to the thriving port town of Agious Nikolaos. We had been recommended this little gem by quite a few others so we were excited to see what all the fuss was about! 

Jake decided to have a little photoshoot himself! 

Playsuit by Topshop, Sunglasses by Accessorize and Shoes by Warehouse

The shops in Agious were so colourful and interesting. I particularly enjoyed the shell shops and the textiles ones (gotta love a good plate!)

It sounds pretty stupid but one thing I really loved was the little white steps that seemed to be on every corner, I don’t know why but they just seemed so picture postcard Greece to me.