This year for myself and Mutay’s birthday trip we decided to head to Dubrovnik! Keep reading to find out all about our adventures.

Flying Out ✈️

I just need to point out that Monarch is stingy when it comes to their hand baggage allowance. You’re allowed 10kg, however, you can only have one small suitcase that measures 56 x 40 x 25cm or two bags that add up to that measurement. There’s no room for movement. Usually, with cheap airlines, you’re allowed your small suitcase and then a backpack. Also, the legroom is atrocious on their planes and I don’t need much cause I’m a short ass but man.

The flight was smooth, though, and we landed in Dubrovnik on time. It took us ages to leave the plane though because our bags had to be put somewhere else cause there was no space. Once we came out the airport, however, our driver was waiting for us to take us to the hotel.

We arrived at Hotel Adria and already were impressed with how nice the hotel smells. Check in was easy and we made our way to our room, which had a spectacular view from the balcony. The room itself was really nice! We ordered room service and decided to chill out on the balcony with our rose gold prosecco we bought at the airport. The view was amazing, the food was so-so but the company was perfect.

Dubrovnik Walls 🏛 Buggy Safari 🚜 and Pub Crawl 🍻

Continental breakfast always throws me off because 1. There are so many options and 2. Some of the options are a bit questionable. Par exemple, vegetables and pie? Anyway, the rest of the breakfast options were good and we managed to snag a table by the window so we could have breakfast with a view.

After breakfast, we headed to our first destination, Pile Gate which is the entrance to the Old Town. We explored the Old Town, which is really quaint. We stumbled across St. Blaise Church where they were holding a mass. I wasn’t expecting it though, so felt super awkward walking in mid prayer.

We also found a spot called Buža after spying a sign that said cold drinks with amazing views. They weren’t wrong, even though I initially thought it was click bait. The service was a bit slow but definitely worth a stop on a hot day!

We somehow ended up at the Ethnographic Museum where we bought a 1-day Dubrovnik Card which allowed us free entry to some museums and the Walls of Dubrovnik. We were more interested in seeing the Walls, so we headed there next.

The Walls are probably Dubrovnik’s most famous feature. They surround the city and overlook the sea – you will definitely need to visit here for some amazing views.

Honestly, it felt like I was climbing the Great Wall of China again and my heart felt like it was going to burst out my chest at any minute. It was so worth it, though! The views were spectacular and the weather was amazing. After the Walls, we decided to grab something to eat, at a restaurant called Dubravka where I had a delicious lasagna bolognese.

We had to rush at this point because we had to get all the way to Srđ Hill! The Uber we ordered took so long, we had to cancel it and order another one and then that Uber had to make a pit stop to fill up his gas and we ALMOST didn’t make it, but I’m so so glad we did because the buggy safari was THE best part of the day.

For about an hour you get to drive a buggy through the hills and fields of Dubrovnik! Honestly, it is one of the best experiences I’ve ever had despite it being a little scary as well. We got to see ex-mine fields, fortresses, and an amazing 360° view of Dubrovnik, including islands and mountains. Absolutely stunning views and I would definitely recommend this activity for all you adrenaline junkies.

After the safari, we headed back to our hotel to freshen up before heading out on a pub crawl.

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It all got a bit crazy, I can’t lie. With unlimited drinks for an hour in the first bar, I think you can guess what happened. Before I’d even finished one drink, I’d somehow appeared with more. Somebody needs to stop me. It was so much fun, though, from the bits I can remember and SOMEHOW we managed to make it to the final club – although, we didn’t stay long according to Mutay.

/Welp/.

We made it back to the hotel, though! That’s a plus, right?

Full Body Scrub 💆🏽 Candle Massage 🕯 & Rest 😴

So, the next day was a complete write-off.

We were in no fit state to do anything. Which was a shame, but nevertheless we still managed to drag ourselves to the hotel spa and indulge in a full body scrub and candle massage.

Definitely needed!

The full body scrub was so good – it felt like she was scrubbing my sins away. I also somehow sustained an injury on our night out (don’t ask me how) and so had these big scratches on my right foot, which did start stinging after everything.

The candle massage was really good, as well! They use a massage candle that melts into a warm massage oil. It smells amazing and left my skin feeling smooth like butter. The massage part was so relaxing and after the treatment, we shuffled back to our room to sleep.

We eventually left the hotel to find a pharmacy and grab some dinner. We stopped by Taverna Nostromo where I had a yummy beefsteak on a bed of arugula with potatoes, cheese sauce and BBQ sauce.

The rest of the evening was spent watching Let’s Eat on Netflix, which has made me want to eat all the Korean food.

Pebble Beaches 🏖 Kayaking 🚣🏾 & Game of Thrones Tour ⚔

This was our last full day in Dubrovnik so we were determined to make the most of it. Our first port of call was to find a company that offered kayak tours – you’ll find loads of them just outside Pile Gate. Most companies will offer you a 2.5-3 hour tour including snorkelling, food and an experienced guide.

Our tour wasn’t until 1 PM, so we had some time to kill. We were originally going to go to Banje Beach but the uber driver we had told us that basically everyone and their mum goes there, so he suggested Copacabana Beach as it is much quieter.

He was definitely right, and we got the chance to splash around in the sea and relax on the sun loungers (for a fee, of course). I was hoping there would be sand beaches, but it was mostly pebbles. Nevertheless, it was definitely nice to get some downtime and not feel like crap anymore.

We got an uber back to Pile Gate (after a whole lot of kerfuffle because the driver apparently couldn’t get down the road to the beach, although our driver going to the beach managed to…?) and we missed our kayak slot, but luckily we managed to catch the 1:30 PM slot.

Kayaking is HARD, guys. Honestly. I got some serious #armgainz after our tour. Initially, it was difficult to get into and we ended up being so behind from the rest of the group, but we eventually got into a rhythm in the end. The tour was so worth it, though, and the views were amazing and we were surrounded by beautiful, sparkling water. We stopped off at a beach where you can go snorkelling or cliff diving, of which I did neither because ya girl’s wig is new and I don’t want to ruin it!

After the tour, we headed back to the hotel for a quick shower before heading back out for the Game of Thrones tour. We left this until the end of the trip, as we felt it would be the perfect way to end our holiday. Our tour included a cruise on the Adriatic Sea in Karaka, which was a boat used on GoT (fangirl cries). We also had the opportunity to cosplay, so I got to dress up as Danaerys. It actually reignited my love of cosplay and I can’t wait until October for Comic Con as I’m planning to go as Gamora!

After the cruise, we were split into three groups and had a walking tour around Old Town. We got to see where Cersei had to do the walk of atonement, where Sansa escaped from the men that tried to rape her in season 2 and we also visited King’s Landing. It was a lot of walking, but it was SO good and very informative. We ended the tour at King’s Landing and after ending back into the Old Town we stopped off to buy a few souvenirs.

I also managed to find the burger spot we passed on our pub crawl and had a delicious burger, which was definitely needed after all that walking! Whilst walking back through Old Town, we spotted a display where they were giving out roses to everyone. It was super cute and apparently every year this artist gives out 100 roses to Dubrovnik. I tried to Google more about it, but couldn’t find anything, unfortunately.

Wrapping Up 👯

Our flight wasn’t until 12:30 PM but it still didn’t leave us time to do much. So we grabbed breakfast and basically chilled in our hotel room until our driver came to take us to the airport.

The driver was kind enough to stop halfway (even though he said he was running late) to let us take photos of the amazing views. Oh, to have sunny weather all the time is a dream.

I need to go back to Croatia, ASAP. It was honestly one of the best trips I’ve ever been on and there was so much to do whilst we were out there. I definitely want to do the island hopping that they offer as I’ve heard amazing things about the islands, especially Lokrum Island. I also want to visit other parts of Croatia, like Split because apparently, it’s not as expensive as Dubrovnik.

I had so much fun whilst I was out there and will forever treasure the experiences and memories I’ve created. ❤️

The beauty of living in London is that you have the rest of Europe literally just across the sea. It’s a great, cheap and an awesome way to get some culture in on the weekend. You really don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a quick getaway.

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Can you believe it’s already September?

August was pretty dope, I can’t lie. Aside from going to Barcelona, I also celebrated my 24th birthday, Mutay’s 24th birthday and went to Notting Hill Carnival. August is when legends are born. Huhuhuhuhuhuhuu~

1. I turned 24

24 is such a non-age, if you know what I mean? Still, I’m determined it the best year before I turn halfway to 50. I really do need to focus on my life goals and also find a new job. All in good time.

Celebrations started the night before, where Mutay and I met our friend Tilly at an underground nightclub in Dalston called the Alibi. As soon as it hit midnight, we were doing shots and dancing our asses off. Best night ever. We ended up in Voodoo Ray’s, a late night hangout where they sell New York-style pizza. Delicioussss.

During the day, Mutay whisked me away to OXBO Bankside, an upscale restaurant located in London Bankside Hilton hotel. Coincidentally, someone else was also celebrating their birthday. It is absolutely beautiful inside, and we were even treated to live music from a guy singing and playing his guitar.

We got to help ourselves to unlimited starters; from potato salad to prawn cocktail to sushi, it was so delicious. For our main, as it was a Sunday, we had Roasted Sirloin of Gloucestershire Beef served with Yorkshire Pudding, duck fat roasted potatoes and seasonal vegetables. Although a little more rare than I’m used to, it was still tasty. Our meal was a bottomless brunch, so we had glass after glass of Prosecco. Tipsy and full – a great way to start 24. 

Roasted Sirloin of Gloucestershire Beef served with Yorkshire Pudding, duck fat roasted potatoes and seasonal vegetables

Roasted Sirloin of Gloucestershire Beef served with Yorkshire Pudding, duck fat roasted potatoes and seasonal vegetables

I didn’t really want anything for my birthday, but when Mutay asked me what I wanted I decided to ask for a MAC makeover. I don’t wear makeup except eyeliner and mascara, and the last time I wore a full face of makeup (foundation, etc) was at my cousin’s wedding and I absolutely hated it. I’d seen a few people on Instagram who had a MAC makeover, and I thought it looked like fun so Mutay happily obliged and we made our way to Covent Garden!

Thanks to Gurdeep, my face was completely transformed and I fell in love with myself. LOL. It’s great because she asked what kind of look I was going for, to which I said bold. She went for a smokey eye and did it step by step and made sure I was happy with everything that she was doing. The great thing is that you can redeem the booking fee for the makeover against MAC products, so essentially the makeover is free! I went for the fake eyelashes and lipstick, and Mutay got a blush. I also found out my foundation shade, which is great for future reference.

If you’re interested in what products Gurdeep used see here > [1.’Constructivist’ Pro Longwear Paint Pot, ‘Swiss Chocolate’ Eye Shadow, ‘Black Black’ ChromalineKohl Power Eye Pencil, No. 36 Lash, ‘Chestnut’ Lip Pencil, ‘Persistence’ Lipstick]

It was a great day spent with the best friend, and in the evening I went to visit my Lola and Lolo. My Lola got me flowers for my birthday, which were lovely 🙂

2. Foodie Adventures 101

As usual, I am always eating. 

For one of my friend’s birthday we went to Côte Brasserie. They have several branches, and we went to the one in Battersea Rise. Côte is inspired by the brasseries of Paris, championing relaxed all-day dining and serving authentic French classics made from great quality, fresh ingredients. 

The service wasn’t that great, and we had to wait ages toward the end when waiting for the bill/paying, but the food was amazing! I opted for 10oz Sirloin with frites and garlic butter and a side of creamed spinach. 

Their steaks are from 30 day aged grain fed cattle and served chargrilled with frites

Their steaks are from 30 day aged grain fed cattle and served chargrilled with frites

Would definitely go back! It was cute, as well, because my other friend mentioned it was my friend’s birthday and they bought out a souffle with a candle and we all sang Happy Birthday. Adorbs. 

After attempting to visit this absolutely atrocious place called Clutch and feeling thoroughly disgusted when we turned up (for very different reasons to what you’re probably thinking, but more on than later), Mutay and I decided to go to BIRD in Shoreditch, instead.

Love fried chicken? Great! GO VISIT BIRD, RIGHT NOW. BIRD serve free range fried chicken, which is my favourite type of chicken. I want to say we went overboard in ordering chicken, but I really have #noragrets, so whatevs. Alongside, the two portions of chicken wings we ordered, I also got a Single Bird combo: Drumstick, thigh & 2 wings with house-made glaze with fries & one of their daily doughnuts.

The different glazes we ordered for the wings were: 

  • Korean gochujang (sweet & hot)
  • Sticky soy garlic

I also got to choose a glaze for my own combo, and I went for Honey ginger. OMG. Guys. It was delicious. Absolutely amazing. Out of this world. Everything was just amazing. Crispy. Juicy. Delightful. Delectable. Warm. Hot. Spicy. Sweet. ALL OF THE MOTHEREFFING ADJECTIVES. We also had Cheesy Korean fries: American cheese sauce, house mayo, gochujang glaze. Mmmmmmhmmmmm, get down with the GET DOWN. Yassssss. ALL OF IT. IN MY BELLEH. YES.

In short, go visit BIRD and prepare to be blown away. (Also, I got a doughnut with my meal and that was 10/10 chocolatey goodness)

Now, about this place called Clutch.

UGH. Just, ugh. We didn’t even set foot inside the place because it set our skin crawling. You know how gentrification is the word on everyone’s lips nowadays, well Clutch is the epitome of gentrification. There is so much wrong here it’s hard to know where to start.

The location of it begs the question, who the fuck thought this was a good idea? Located down a side road near Hoxton station, literally planted in front of a block of council flats, did the owners really think the people who live in that area could afford over priced guilt-free, ethical fried chicken?

Fair enough, put it on the high street – that would actually make much more sense. In front of a council estate? Yeah, you’re delusional. The fact that it looked empty when we got there spoke volumes. Never setting foot in there.

3. Notting Hill Carnival

It’s become an annual thing for me, now. The past 3 years I’ve gone to Notting Hill Carnival, and really it’s all about celebrating my Caribbean roots and shaking my butt. 

The Notting Hill Carnival is an annual event that has taken place since 1966 on the streets of Notting Hill, and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London, England, each August over two days (the August bank holiday Monday and the preceding Sunday). It is led by members of the British West Indian community, and attracts around one million people annually, making it one of the world’s largest street festivals, and a significant event in British culture. – Wikipedia

Despite the massive amount of people, and being crushed all the time, it can still be pretty fun. Except for the part when men think it’s okay to grab you and call you ‘Jamaican spice’. Ah, fuck off. Love me a bit of jerk chicken and dumpling, though. :3

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4. Ping Pong @ Bounce

Mutay’s birthday actually fell on the day of Notting Hill, a bank holiday, so we spent the majority of the day there and then ended up in a random Mexican restaurant drinking frozen daiquiris at the end of the night.

One night after work, I met up with Mutay and two other friends to play ping pong at Bounce, located in Holborn. Such a fun night! Despite having to wait until midnight for a table, it was worth the wait and we ended up playing randomly with these guys who joined our table. 

The music was popping, and the drinks were really good. We also had pizza: Smoked mozzarella, rocket leaves, smoked garlic & speck ham. 

Bounce is Europe's largest purpose built 'Social Ping Pong Club'

Bounce is Europe’s largest purpose built ‘Social Ping Pong Club’

Ladies’ Delight No.2 -- Tanqueray gin, passionfruit & cloudy apple juice, vanilla syrup & lemon juice

Ladies’ Delight No.2 — Tanqueray gin, passionfruit & cloudy apple juice, vanilla syrup & lemon juice

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tH84sdcDPs8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tH84sdcDPs8

 

multitasking ?

A video posted by Chynna Ashley (@chynnashley) on

Would definitely visit again! It’s actually a great way to work out and also get pelted by small balls. Heh.

Other things

  • One of my friends actually came to my house the morning of my birthday and got me this awesome Sherlock card
  • I bought Mutay volume #7 of Invincible Iron Man, which features Riri Williams, a 15-year-old, black, genius MIT engineering student — who will the next Iron Man ?
  • I’ve still got the holiday blues, BUT I will be in Paris later on this month. Woo!

How was August for you?

I haven’t always ‘celebrated’ Halloween. I remember when I was younger, my mum never used to let us go trick or treating because she didn’t believe in Halloween and she’s quite a strict Catholic. However, over the years I’ve found myself actually doing something for Halloween now – whether it be fancy dress or just going out with friends, I love going out on this spooky night!

When I got an email from Joe Blogs about a Halloween make up class, I jumped at the chance to attend. Located in the rather lush Thistle Holborn hotel, bloggers were treated to devilishly good food and drink, plenty of laughs and a fun make up class with Midas Touch Crafts.

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