Tuesday, 6 December 2016

A weekend in the New Forest

Burley New Forest
This was our 'garden'

When I started writing this, I was sitting on a train. Its was 6:30 am on a Monday and the sun hadn't come up yet. My feet were soaking wet from the rain, I was absolutely shattered and the idea of going back to London was slightly nightmareish. Mostly because of the adulting it requires.

I had just spent the weekend in the New Forest with my boyfriend and our friend and the post 'holiday' blues have properly kicked in the very second I stepped onto the train. I ended up braving the stupid O'Clock train just so I could stay an extra night. I really didn't want to leave.

When you live in London, sometimes you really do just need to get away for a bit. It's probably the same anywhere but London is so loud, crowded and always busy! It's a fast moving lifestyle so sometimes you just need a quiet place to sit and breathe. 2016 has been so horrid that a trip to the New Forest is definitely what I needed.

We arrived in darkness under a sky of the brightest stars I had seen in a long time. You really don't realise how much of a difference the light pollution has until you go to the middle of nowhere. The 'cottage' (actually a God damn mansion) was down a lane with no street lamps and surrounded by trees on either side. Thankfully we went there in a taxi otherwise we may not have found the bloody place!

Burley New Forest
Said lane during the day
I have seen FAR too many horror films so the idea of staying in a cottage, in the middle of nowhere with no street lights was terrifying to say the least. Thankfully I was with too big strong boys. No way I would have been able to stay there by myself.

Burley New Forest

The 'cottage' came with a pool table for the boys (apparently the selling point), a kitchen that was my idea of heaven (so much Le Creuset) and I discovered that I could keep myself entertained with a piano too! I was beyond happy. I didn't have any sheet music but thank god for technology.

Or house instructions also said that deer roamed the area and if we were to see any in the garden, we would have to chase the, away. I didn't see any deer but we did find this:

Burley New Forest

Yes, those are my pyjamas.

We had absolutely no plans whatsoever for our weekend away. On both days we ended up exploring the small village, drinking many a pint and stuffing our faces.

Burley New Forest

Burley is such a tranquil place with horses just casually roaming around. There were also loads (well, three) witchcraft shops! I obviously had to Google why this was a thing here and apparently it's because the roots of Modern Wicca can be traced back to here. Pretty cool really.

Burley New Forest

Burley New Forest

Burley New Forest

While we were there, I honestly felt the most relaxed I had been in a very long time, even though I had to work from home on the Saturday. It was all so peaceful and slow and SO QUIET. No constant traffic and sirens, no rushing around. I honestly did not want to leave and I really want to go back.

I guess I'll be dreaming of village/forest life for a while. There's honestly nothing better than just chilling out, pint in hand, next to an open fire and pretty much just forgetting about the rest of the world.

Burley New Forest


Have you ever visited the New Forest?

Monday, 5 December 2016

Trainspotting Live Review

Trainspotting Live The Vaults London

One of the best things to come out of the 90s was Trainspotting.Some of you may think that's a bold statement but it really is. From page to screen.

I get that something like Trainspotting isn't for everyone so it has remained a cult classic. It's raw direction and 'colourful' script has made it one of my favourite films of all time. So much so, I wrote part of my dissertation on it at Uni! So glad I did an interesting degree.

Trainspotting Live first appeared at Edinburgh Fringe and has also done performances in the likes of the King's Head Theatre in London. I missed it this time around so I had to get tickets to see it at the Vaults when Charlie sent me a text in big capital letters saying WE DO THIS, YES? The Vaults is quickly becoming one of my favourite venues in London. I've seen so many things there now, most recently Ghostbumps Alive which was also awesome.

Trainspotting Live The Vaults London
My 'ticket' was a glowstick wristband!

Trainspotting Live is an immersive experience that starts in the heart of a 90s rave. There's many a strobe light so I had to keep my face covered for a good 10 minutes (#EpilepsyProblems). Complete with glowsticks, whistles and loud music, you really felt like you were a part of a drug-fueled party is some abandoned warehouse somewhere.

The acting is amazing, Gavin Ross joked on his Twitter feed that he will always be Renton. He played Ewan McGregor's infamous drug addict on stage with the original performance at the fringe and he is just outstanding.

The whole thing is brutal from the very beginning, but in a good way. I'm glad they didn't have 'The Baby' though. I don't think I would have been able to handle that. I laughed in my seat when chracters climbed into the crowd and, at points, even sat on people. The highlight though was when I saw people leave during the situation with 'The Worst Toilet In Scotland'. To be honest, they probably hadn't seen Trainspotting before!

To be honest, the drug taking-ness freaked me out a little, but that's only because it looked so real from where I was sitting. That scene with Tommy (no spoilers here, watch it if you need to know) was so full of emotion that it gave me shivers. It was just brilliant, really.

I strongly urge you to see it as you only have another 6 weeks to do so. Although, one word of advice would be to sit on the left handside so you're away from the toilet!

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Reasons I am looking forward to 2017



2016 really has been a shitter, hasn't it? That's just putting it mildly as well! It seems like whenever we thought things couldn't get worse, the universe decided to slap us in the face and scream 'don't test me, bitch' before doing something else equally as awful.

We've had Bowie, Brexit, Trump and a series of other shit storms, but I refuse to believe that this horror will continue.

I have decided that 2017 is going to be awesome. At least, I hope it will be.

There are so many things that have already been planned to make me forget about the disaster of 2016. So many new experiences to enjoy and loads of fun to be had. I'm actually looking forward to something for what feels like the first time in a long time (excluding all of the Harry Potter stuff... obviously). I honestly CANNOT WAIT.

Not sure what you have planned for next year, but here's a couple of awesome things coming my way.

Bangarang do Bucharest

The joys of our group chat on Whatsapp is that you never know what's going to happen. One of the most random of random things to come as a result of ours is that after nattering away about Black Friday Sales, a bunch of us booked flights to Bucharest. It's been YEARS, like nine years or something stupid, that I have had a girls weekend away and net year I get to have one with some of the best girls on the planet.

Some of the Bangarang Girls at our Christmas party last year

Dublin with the boy

For Gary's birthday this year, I booked flights to Dublin. I'm yet to plan anything properly, including sorting out the accommodation, but we really are going to have the best time. I have always wanted to go to Dublin, mostly for the Guinness Brewery, and already I have a ridiculously long list of recommendations from friends.

I think I should get some major girlfriend points for this.

AFI and Deftones at Alexandra Palace

This is pretty much all my teenage dreams come true. I have loved AFI since I was about 14 and it was a sheer stroke of magical-ness when we found out they would be the special guests for the Deftones in May. When I found out, I had to call Charlie immediately and interrupt her watching Planet Earth have my first mini freak-out. I haven't see AFI since their last tour in 2009 so to say that I'm excited would be such an understatement it's unreal.

Oh, Davey Havoc.

Cancun!

This one is still a maybe but one of Gary's friends is getting married next year and the party will be in Cancun for Day of the Dead. It'll also be my 29th Birthday. Starting the last year of my twenties lying on a beach with a good book would just be the dream.

Budapest with Charlie

Spotting a bit of a theme really when it comes to this list! It's all plane hopping really! Charlie has invited me to come with her on an adventure to Budapest, it knocks another one off her '30 countries before 30' list and it means I get a whole weekend with her to myself. We shall eat, drink and be merry.


What are you looking forward to next year?



Saturday, 3 December 2016

Warner Brothers Studio Tour London (Part Two) - Hogwarts in the Snow

Warner Brother's Studio Tour London

It's not everyday you get to go to Hogwarts and casually sip prosecco in the Great Hall, is it? So when I was invited to go to Hogwarts in the Snow at the Warner Brothers Studio Tour, I said 'yes' without even needing to think. I mean, it's Hogwarts.

Yes, I know I have already been there this year, but that's not the point. This time there was snow and it's every Potterhead's Christmas wish to be at Hogwarts for Christmas.

Donned in our scarves and other Harry Potter attire, it turned out that we had one from every house! I was there to represent Gryffindor while Charlie and Leanne were our Ravenclaws, Katy was Hufflepuff and Charlie's sister Becky was a Slytherin in disguise.

The Great Hall was as awe-inspiring as ever, made even better by the supply of food and booze and Christmassy spirit everywhere. I have decided that I desperately need Harry Potter themed crackers this year.

Warner Brother's Studio Tour London

Warner Brother's Studio Tour London

The famous Christmas feast was laid out for display, all handcrafted out of resin and ridiculpusly realistic looking. The best part was the Christmas puddings that were actually flaming!


JUST LOOK AT IT!

When we walked through to the art, props and sets I noticed some things had moved around that was a little disorientating but I was still absolutely amazed with everything. Especially the 'ice sculpture' from the Yule Ball in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. It just looks so cool!

Warner Brother's Studio Tour London


This time, we had the joys of doing something I have never done before. GET SILLY PICTURES TAKEN!



Just look at my 'I can't act' faces! It was so ridiculous but so much fun. I got to wear ACTUAL Gryffindor robes and Katy got to be a full blown Hufflepuff. We were beside ourselves with giggles on the Hogwarts Express and seeing Leanne's reaction to seeing the Hogwarts Express for the first time was just heart warming.

Skipping the butterbeer (I actually hate it, please don't kill me), we ran outside where we squaled like excited fangirls when snow started blowing out of the top of the Knightbus. I danced in the snow in Godrics Hollow. Could I have BEEN any happier? I also got the chance to piss of the Dursleys. Who wouldn't want that?


Who even is this youth loitering and DRINKING in Privet Drive? What is the world coming to?

You're probably getting sick and tired of photos of Hogwarts, especially if you follow me on Instagram! But... COME ON. Seeing it in the snow is incredible. It kind of looks like the most amazing gingerbread house. Kinda.

Warner Brothers Studio Tour London

Warner Brothers Studio Tour London

Warner Brothers Studio Tour London

Don't you just wish it was real? And yes, I cried again but no, I am STILL not ashamed.

Laden with bags, a new Ravenclaw scarf for my cousin and filled with loads of new happy memories, we made our way home and reality had to be a thing again.

Hogwarts is my home and seeing it in the snow really was one off the bucket list. I can't wait to go back to the studio and relive it all over again.

Have you ever seen Hogwarts in the snow?






*Disclaimer: I was invited to attend this event for free but you all know I LOVE Harry Potter and I would have been a right idiot if I turned it down. 

Friday, 2 December 2016

A Year of Firsts



Earlier on this year I lost one of the best women in the world. After a battle with cancer my Nanna passed away in July.

I made the journey to Scotland to see her while she was ill in hospital, but I arrived a little too late. She passed away unexpectedly in the early hours of my first full day in Scotland and I didn't get to see her.

She was the only one who knew it was coming.

There are lots of way people deal with grief. It's something I have never had to process before so It's likely I have been through them all at different stages. I have screamed, I have cried until I hurt and I locked myself away. I Haven't exactly broadcast this information and is part of the reason I have hardly blogged this year. I didn't want to pretend like my life was all happy go lucky when in reality, it really wasn't. I pretty much avoided the internet. Even as I'm writing, I don't really know where this post is going, I just know that finally putting words out there is good. Accepting the fact that I'm really not OK is part of a new process I'm trying. I just hope the words make sense and aren't too much of a ramble.

I think the main focus is not a 'how to deal with loss' or anything like that, everyone always has their own experiences and techniques, I guess it's more of an overview of what is happening, what has happened and what is still to come. My mum put it so beautifully and told me that we are essentially having 'A Year of Firsts' - from the first day without her to the first anniversary.

Over the past few months. some of my 'firsts' have come and gone but there are so many more to come and I imagine they will be the worst.

Some firsts for you:

The First Day

The day my Nanna passed away was a series of emotions and also partly a void. Pretty much every negative emotion happened in one day.

I cried so much I wore myself out. I was furious with myself for not going up sooner.  I regret that the last time I spoke to her I told a lie (well, a white lie: She didn't know I was coming to see her and when she over heard my Grampy on the phone telling me not to tell her she obviously asked what was going on. I said 'nothing'. I lied).

Most of all, I hated how she was taken away.

How rude of the God damn universe.

Fuck you, 2016.

The First Time I Saw my Grampy Cry

Yeah. That was a thing and it killed me.

When we saw Grampy for the first time since we heard the news, he said 'sorry' as though he hadn't done enough. I helped him put my Nanna's clothes away (she would have told him off if he hadn't kept everything tidy). He started crying and called himself a 'silly sausage'.

Grampy's aren't supposed to cry. They're there to make you life, read you stories, kiss it and make it better when you've fallen over. They're the strong ones in a big scary world. Like the BFG. Just not on that day.

First Funeral

Interesting fact of the day, I had never been to a funeral before until this year when a friends passed in January (reiterating 'fuck you 2016' here). This time it was different. I was part of the family. I was in the procession in the Grandchildren car driving slowly behind my Nanna, people stood to let us pass, people cuddled us and said 'sorry for your loss' so much I couldn't stand to hear the words any more.

I hated every part of it. We tried to make things better by sharing nice stories and telling bad jokes. But it still felt like I was in a weird wormhole of sadness. It sucked. And I got mascara everywhere.

First Day Back at Work

I didn't really give myself enough time to grieve. This is probably why it's taken me so long to process it all. While I was in Scotland, I was still working until the day of the funeral. When I got back to England, I went straight back into the office the next day. I locked myself in the toilet and cried for a good twenty minutes. I had such a puffy face.

First Night Alone

I don't normally have any nights alone, when we were in Scotland I knew that my mum was in the next room and I love with my boyfriend so we're very rarely apart. My first night properly alone came on a day where Gary had gone to stay with a friend and I can guarantee that the nights are the worst. I didn't sleep at all.

The morning Nanna passed away, I was woken up by my mum screaming and crying. That night I was alone for myself for the first time, I couldn't get that noise out of my head.

First Text Message

Not everyone does this one but whenever I was texting my Nanna or my Grampy, I'd always copy the other one in. That way I knew that at least one of them would see it and get back to me. I can't remember what I was texting my Grampy about but I went to copy my Nanna in automatically and it was a shock to the system when I realised I didn't have to do that anymore.

First Birthday

Every year on my birthday my Nanna calls me and sings 'Happy birthday to you' down the phone. My Nanna also always wrote the birthday cards. This year my card was written by my Grampy but still said 'love Nanna and Grampy' just in handwriting I don't see that often. Cue breakdown.

Their First Birthday

It's this weekend. I'm just thanking my lucky stars that I have to work so I at least have a distraction. I have a card at home I haven't written in.

First Christmas

This is possibly the first year in FOREVER where I am not excited about Christmas. Not even in the slightest. It's December and I have barely started Christmas shopping. I'm still adjusting to the idea that there's one less present to buy,

My Nanna loved Christmas, when I came a long a rule was implemented where we weren't allowed to talk about Christmas until AFTER my birthday,

I'm really not looking forward to t, I kind of wish I could skip it.

First Anniversary

Maybe on the 23rd July 2017, things will have started to heal. I don't know yet. No one knows yet. It could be wonderful. It could be the saddest day ever,

Everyone has different firsts and every one takes their time to 'get over it' (even though you never really get over it...), I don't even know whether I'm taking too long. All I know is that it hurts less every day. Maybe one day the hole n the pit of my stomach will vanish and I'll be able to watch the Phantom of the Opera without crying. That will be a new first. There will be lots of new firsts to come and I'm sure some of them will be amazing. I just need to get past the shit ones first!




Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Warner Brothers Studio Tour London (Part One) - A Harry Potter Fan's Dream



When I was 9 years old. I picked up a book called Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and I was hooked from the very beginning. Nearly 20 years later, I am still mourning how I never got my Hogwarts Letter and when things get bad my automatic reaction is to turn to that battered hardback with the faded cover which has been so loved over the years.

For my birthday last year, Gary surprised me with gift tickets to go back to the Warner Brother's Studio Tour and I couldn't be more excited. Even though I had already been there... so what?

If you haven't noticed from previous posts, I am a MASSIVE Potterhead, my September and October were probably the best months I have had all year because of this. I have been invited to be an ambassador for J.K Rowling's charity Lumos, I have seen Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (twice) and then the Studio Tour just topped it all off.

The Warner Brothers Studio Tour is any Potterhead's dream. It's a museum to the legacy that is Harry Potter. A film franchise that spanned well over a decade and is still in the hearts for millions across the globe. And always will be


The moment those grand doors open and you walk into the ACTUAL GREAT HALL, is beyond awe-inspiring and it continues throughout your tour. The Great Hall itself is still kept as a 'hot set' so it's lit in the perfect way so even if you take a picture on your phone (like I did), it'll look amazing. I could spend HOURS in the Great Hall, There isn't really as much to see here compared to the rest of the tour but as it's the set itself, you can just imagine being at Hogwarts.


The rest of the tour takes you on a journey to even the tiniest details of the making of the Harry Potter films, from taking selfies in the Mirror of Erised, seeing the hand written books and copies of the Daily Prophet, potions labels and goblin masks that are so detailed they frighten me a little bit.



Now, I have been to the Studio Tour before. Three years a go with my equally as Harry Potter obsessed cousin and there was ONE thing we desperately wanted to see.

It's FINALLY here.

I finally got to see it.

I cried.

Don't judge me.


It's only the GOD DAMN HOGWARTS EXPRESS. Complete with steam, choo choo-ing and individual compartments decked out like in each film. My favourite being the compartment from The Prisoner of Azkaban with Ron's hand print on the frozen window.

Out in the back lot we get to see some of the larger sets. My favourite being the Knight Bus with its sign saying 'no where under water'. Privet Drive is obviously a must see as it's where our story pretty much began. It's such a sham I missed it when it was open. One day.. One day.



Who doesn't wish you could spend an evening exploring Diagon Alley? I certainly wish I could. At the Warner Brothers Studio Tour, you get to have at least a little bit of that moment. Gazing upwards at the kind of towering Gringotts and having a good chuckle when you see Weasley's Wizard Wheezes, a bright and glowing orange in such a huge contrast to the rest of the street. What would have made it even more perfect were if at least one of the shops were open. Maybe this would be something new for the future. Either way, I was pretty darn happy to be there and to run around pointing things out to Gary. How he put up with me, I will never know.


It's all so wonky, I love it!

Now, there is obviously the one main thing that every Harry Potter nerd wants to see and was certainly crying point number two for me. The scale model of Hogwarts itself. It's a bitter sweet moment really because it's my favourite part of the tour but also the last part of the tour, I don't like endings.


JUST LOOK AT IT! Words cannot describe the feeling you get when you turn the corner and are faced with the splendour of Hogwars all lit up like it was real. ('What is this, Hogwarts for ants?')

If you have never experienced the Warner Brothers Studio Tour, even if you're not a Harry Potter Nut like me, I strongly recommend you do. It's amazing to see the world we all know and love as though you're behind the camera. In fact... it's that time of year for Hogwarts in the Snow... Watch this space for more Harry Potter fueled fan girling and even more pictures of Hogwarts!

Have you ever been to the Warner Brothers Studio Tour? Which was your favourite part? 

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

FriendsFest!




A video posted by Ashleigh-Jayne O'Connell (@smashleighjayne) on

So no one told you life was gonna be this way...

*clap, clap, clap, clap*

Yup, you're going to have that in your head for the rest of the day now and I'm not even sorry.

YES! I know I went to Friends Fest AAAAAGES ago but generally being and adult and stuff has meant I have HAD NO TIME.

For the majority of twenty-somethings out there, Friends was and always will be a major part of our lives. Quotes from the series have become key parts of our vocabulary and as we 'grow up', we find ourselves relating more and more to the characters and their story arcs.



When Friends Fest first came along, we tried desperately to get tickets and failed. This time, Charlie, Distracted being the best ticket person ever managed o nab some up and e were all pretty darn excited.

The journey to East London was a bit of a pain (North London, Baby!) but it was absolutely worth it.

We were booked to view MONICA'S APARTMENT at 6:45 but first there were obviously photo opportunities to be had (where I hit poor Katy in the face with an umbrella) and Boomerangs... that took three attempts.


Just look at Pablo, he's so Bangarang.

Monica's apartmrnt was amazing, they had gone to stupid levels of detail including sticking Rachel's 'Trifle' recipe to the fridge and putting copies of The Shining  and Little Women in the freezer.





The staff weren't that great though. We were pretty much rushed out the second we stepped over the threshold. #Rude.

Following on from Monica's apartment we went through to the Chick and Duck bar which included iconic items from Joey and Chandler's apartment including Rosita, the Canoe and the entertainment unit locked up with a hockey stick. Poor Joey.






The cocktails in the bar were expensive for the small amount of booze you got but had hilarious names, and you got bonus points if you asked for them with passion. I went for the Smelly Cat but was debating the PIVOT! We later worked out that is was better value for money to buy two bottles of Prosecco and split it. We're geniuses.

I have no idea what I am doing with my legs...

My favourite bit was possibly Central Perk and 'marrying' Charlie after 14 years of friendship. All in all, it was just a FABULOUS evening but the company made it 1000 x better.

#BangarangForLife

Adulthood: Finances are hard

Me after every pay day...
Let's face it, adulthood is hard enough as it is. You have to start booking doctors and dentist appointments yourself, there's no one there to wake you up in the morning anymore, there's no longer a magic basket where you put your dirty clothes and suddenly they're all clean and shiny again folded up neatly on your bed. One of the hardest part about adulthood though is understanding finances.

Obviously, there are lots of resources to help you out, especially when it draws ever closer to pay day. I'm 28 now and along my journey to adulthood and approaching the big 30, I have realised that there are so many things I don't understand, which I am adamant should totally have been taught in school!

Here's a list of stupid questions about finances I have asked myself in the past year... (please don't laugh at me)

1. What is interest/APR?

At least... I'm assuming they're the same. I dunno. Haven't a clue. All I know is as I save up for a place to own (trying to, at least), these things apply...

2. How much do you need to save to own a house...?

Well, what really counts as a decent amount for a deposit. I know that owning a property in London is all but a dream but is it possible to put together a deposit of £5,000 ANYWHERE? Probably not

3. What's an ISA?

I have one. It has about 9p in it... Don't really know what makes it different from any other technological hole where money goes

4. How do tax brackets work?

I'm sure this is something we should know. All I know is I have no idea how much tax I pay. I just know that every month money goes into my account.

5. What's the difference between credit and debit?

Right, this is possibly the most stupid answer on my list but hear me out a little. I get my year to sate gas and electricity bill and it says I have X amount in debit. Every year I have to call my dad and ask whether this means I owe money or whether I will be getting back. I had this phone call with him last week and I still can't remember. I'm such an idiot,

I know there are a bunch of people out there who are much adultier adults than me but one day I will get this gist of it. I hope...

Is there anything you still don't understand about Adult stuff?





*Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post with Vivus but all stupid questions and inability to be an adult are totally my own.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Sushi on the Sea and exploring the Navigator of the Seas


You may not already know this about me, but I bloody love boats. When my mum went travelling, she took pictures of boats for me everywhere she went. I used to live by the Grand Union Canal and used to sit on the bridge to 'watch the Rosie and Jim boats' go past.

Going on a cruise has always been on my 'bucket list'. I know it's not everyone's cup of tea but chilling out on boat and seeing the world is most definitely my idea of a fab holiday. It was a grey day when we got to go on our mini adventure on a boat (yes, I know it's a ship but boat is nicer to say), so just imagine blazing sunshine and blue skies...

Navigator of the Seas

The Navigator of the Seas is the largest in the Royal Caribbean fleet... (is it  a fleet? Or is that just for the Navy...) and I swear to all the deities, it's like a town on the sea. It's pretty damn huge. When we boarded, it was like being in a little high street. There was a little pub that actually looked like a pub, a STARBUCKS (Which was desperately needed after a nightmare start and ridiculous O'Clock), and shops with everything you could possibly need. Like I said, town on the sea.

Navigator of the Seas Royal Caribbean


Plus... Just looking at how beautiful the dining room is. It's like being in a movie. I had to resist the urge to sit at the Captain's table for the fun of it...

Navigator of the Seas


When many people think of cruise ships, more often than not it'll be with the image of Iris and Frank going on an adventure they should have had 50 years ago. But with Royal Caribbean, it's not all about the older generation and families. There's a plethora of activities an areas to explore as well as the opportunity for little day trips along the way. With casinos ALL THE FOOD IMAGINABLE, multiple pools, a gym and even a surf machine type thing, you're not exactly going to be short of things to do.


Navigator of the Seas Royal Caribbean

Navigator of the Seas Royal Caribbean


The food is what blew me away the most. I have only recently started trying fish and it surprised my friends that I managed to have a while MEAL of Sushi. Erica thoughts I wouldn't eat any of it, but even though I avoided the octopus (I'm sorry but I can't eat Ursula) and pulled the prawns out of things (evil sea worms of death), I LOVED every mouthful. Izumi is run by Travis Kamiyama who started training back at the age of 14 which is just incredible in itself. He loves exploring different styles and fusions so the Sushi he creates is certainly not your average, always taking inspiration from other cuisines in his creations.

food royal caribbean



Seriously, doesn't it all just look delicious. AND I LOVED IT.

Being able to explore the decks and depths of (flight of...) The Navigator of the Seas has just made me want to go on a tour even more. After speaking to fellow bloggers and even some of the passengers, I've actually been looking into it. When I got home that night I was talking to my friends and boyfriend about how I desperately wanted to go on one and with mini breaks from £309pp, it's not really that much more expensive than another holiday!

Have you ever been on a cruise? What tips do you have?









*Disclaimer: I was invited on board the Navigator of the seas but all opinions are my own and I genuinely do want to go on a cruise now. No lies here!