”You Imagine What You Desire”

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For ages mum, Megan and I have been planning to go to Jupiter Artland, a sculpture park just outside Edinburgh and we finally got round to doing it. I’m so annoyed I hadn’t discovered it earlier. It’s the most peaceful setting, I think I’ve found my new de-stress place.

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Entry fees are £4.50 for a student and it is well worth it. You are advised to spend around 2 hours to see all the sculptures but you definitely need longer if you want to saunter around the park without rushing.

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The park is set in the grounds of a gigantic house which is painted a crazy bright orange but it really works (taking inspiration for my next house).

There is an area with a cafe with a little metal caravan and indoor exhibits. There was tons and tons of different animals around the park – my favourites being the pigs.

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You follow a path through the grounds with sculptures dotted around the place. The sculptures are all very different. Luckily for us, there was a small moment of drizzle but the sun was out most of the day.

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The owners of the estate had LOADS of dogs and they came over for a cuddle. They were all different breeds and were so friendly especially the big one!

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Moral of the story: if your in Edinburgh and want an amazing and cheap day out then go to Jupiter Artland. You’ll thank me.

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London Baby

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HOLIDAY TIME! FINALLY!

London is one of my favourite places in the world. There is such a massive variety of people that it seems everyone has a purpose. So what better place to spend my holiday week?


Monday

Typical me, booking the longest train in history 6.5hrs from Edinburgh to London. By the time we arrived I had already lost the will to live and it was only 12:35. We stayed in Chelsea with friends *free accommodation yas* so day 1 was just spent exploring the beautiful Chelsea and Kensington areas which consisted of eating, shopping and lusting over the insane houses after a cheeky drink of course.

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In the evening we came across this tiny indian restaurant – Exotikka of India which btw you should go to if you ever find yourself in that corner of the world. Food was amazing and actually after a day of getting used to the LND prices it was reasonable.

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After this we decided to watch the sunset at the Chelsea Pier. We found a nice bar on the promenade and had espresso martinis until the tiredness hit and bed was calling.

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Tuesday 

The busiest, most jam packed day of them all. Alarm rang at 8:00am and I had to drag myself out of bed. The weather was brilliant so I was able to finally dig out my summer clothes! YEY. We got a takeaway breakfast from Gails – a tea and a breakfast pot – and ate it in the Imperial College campus.

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Next stop was biking through Hyde park. The original plan was to cycle round central London to see the main tourist attractions but Cameron said he wouldn’t trust me cycling through central London, so RUDE. But Hyde Park was lovely! I was actually shocked at how big it was, I was expecting it to be similar to the size of the Meadows in Edinburgh but how wrong I was.

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We reached Buckingham Palace at the right time to see the changing of the guards. It was absolutely mobbed but it was good to see.

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Big Ben and Westminster were next on the list! Again, I had been very naive at the vast size of the place. The building was so intricately designed, it was very cool.

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Next, we made a rash decision to visit the top of the Shard to see the London skyline. I think it was good to see but it wasn’t a hugely spectacular skyline. I found it really scary though because you were ridiculously high up and I’m not the biggest fan of heights.

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We took a nice walk along the river to see Tower Bridge before travelling to Soho briefly to meet a friend before heading to Islington for dinner at Otto Lenghi. The food was delicious, sort of tapas style. I opted for the tuna and the quail and had a delicious cheesecake desert washed down with a glass of Rose.

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As dinner didn’t take too long, we took a tube to Leister Square and Trafalgar square before heading home for a much needed sleep.

We walked for so long, 30,529 steps or 20.42km (according to my Fitbit) so by the time we got home we crashed.


Wednesday

Waking up to rain wasn’t great but you get used to it having lived in Scotland your entire life.

It was definitely an indoor activities day so what better than Westfield shopping centre – food and shops all under one roof. First stop was a coffee as we both felt delirious with tiredness. I spotted Estee Lalonde, one of my favourite bloggers and I couldn’t resist chatting to her!

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4.5 hours later and we felt like we had visited all the shops we wanted to so decided to head to covent garden.

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Covent garden was soaking! The rain was bouncing off the pavements. We walked around and shopped for a brief while before grabbing dinner at a small restaurant in Chelsea and heading to bed.


Thursday

This was my favourite day of the entire holiday. We explored Shoreditch and Brixton. Shoreditch was great, full of markets and quirky shops. We began at Spittlefields market before having lunch at Pho and then heading to Box Park. I got the BEST waffle ever at the Shoreditch Pump at a place called Nostalgia. I really liked all the street art that was around this area too.

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Camden was next on our list however, I wasn’t overly taken with it. I think that it would have been better on the weekend because there was the market but during the week there wasn’t much going on.

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We took a tube to Brixton to meet our friend. We headed to the Pop Brixton which has loads of restaurants, bars and shops in old shipping containers. It was very cool with live music playing. We stayed and drank for a while then went to an incredibly cool Jamaican bar.

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Friday

LEAVING DAY. So gutted to have to leave, I love London. Our train was at 16:30 so we had most of the day luckily. We had such a nice breakfast at a french cafe.

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The National History Museum is always a must-go for us every time we go to London so obviously, it was a perfect way to spend the last day. The dinosaur exhibit is the best part, highly recommend. They also had a really cute garden which was nuisance the last time I visited.

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It’s been a blast. Until next time London.

Fletcher’s Cottage Spa

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To celebrate end of exams and Cameron’s 23rd birthday, we finally booked a spa day together at Fletcher’s Cottage Spa at Archerfield. From the outside it looked like a big wooden cabin. When you walk through the doorway you are met with rustic interiors and warm welcomes from the staff. You are given a short questionnaire to fill out whilst sipping down a smoothie (apple, celery, avocado if I remember correctly) which was delicious.

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The changing rooms consisted of 6 massive individual rooms each sporting their own shower and toilet facilities. Once changed into our swimming things and robes we were given a quick tour of the spa. There was complimentary water and sherry on offer so naturally we couldn’t resit a little tipple.

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We arrived with 15 minutes until our treatments so we only had a couple of minutes wait before being called from the main relaxation room and taken through to the individual treatment rooms. I chose the 90-minute Ultimate Aromatherapy Massage which was hands down the best massage I’ve ever had. It began with placing my feet into a basin of hot water whilst I was smelling different oils to choose which I was most drawn to before moving on the bed and beginning the massage. It was a full body massage, including a scalp and foot massage.

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Post-massage I was advised to drink plenty of water. After putting on my things and coming back through to the relaxation room I was given a plate of fruit and a berry smoothie – utterly delicious, although the portion sizes could have been bigger.

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After our treatments were finished and we had eaten our snack, we decided to have a small stroll around the garden before moving to a smaller relaxation room where there were two bed-like things with big duvets on them. Here we were able to look out into the gardens and open the doors to let in the fresh air. It was so relaxing, all you could here were the birds singing.

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After a lovely long lie in this room, we decided to make use of the sauna and steam rooms. The sauna was so nice and hot and again there was garden views from two angles. I’m not the biggest fan of the steam room so I wasn’t in very long. After showering off we decided to have a quick coffee before we left to go home. You were meant to only stay for 2 hours after your treatment had ended however, we stayed a little longer and nobody seemed to mind luckily.

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Fletcher’s Cottage is so different from all other spas that I’ve visited but I liked how unique it was. Another thing which pleased me hugely was that it was quiet. You weren’t fighting over chairs and most of the time you had a massive amount of privacy as nobody else came into the sauna/steam room/small relaxation room the entire time we were there so it was almost like you had the whole spa to yourself. The gardens were lovely and you could lie out on the sun loungers or sit at the tables on the patio. I liked how open and spacious the spa felt with all of the windows everywhere. The whole feel of the spa was great. The wooden beams with bare brick walls and the log burning stove just made everything feel very homely. My only criticism was that you are limited to how long you can spend in the spa. We went when the weather was lovely and I could have spent an entire day just lazing about but unfortunately I couldn’t due to the two hour use of the spa policy. Regardless of this though I would definitely recommend it to a friend.

Travel lust List

I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list. – Susan Sontag

 

One of the things I love more than anything is being in a foreign place where you are free to explore and can submerge yourself into the culture. Everything from the history to the language to the way of life makes going to a new place exciting and enriching. There is no end to the places I want to visit however, I have listed my top 5 below and fingers crossed they will happen in the next couple years!

 

  1. Japan in Cherry Blossom season. The ultimate dream is to travel from West to East in Springtime in order to travel with the blooming of the blossoms.
  2. Austria for the Christmas markets. Vienna itself look like such a beautiful place but during the wonderful christmas period where the markets are in full swing just looks like a dream.
  3. Phillipines. This **fingers Crossed** is maybe in the pipeline for next September as an after university trip with my friend as we complete our masters degrees.
  4. New Orleans. Three words – spring jazz festival.
  5. Cinque Terre, Italy. The colourful houses in the cliff face with the little beaches and coastal walks is heavenly.

 

If you google any of these places you will understand my desire to visit them.

Very Vintage Weekend

Full time placement means weekends have become very precious. So my question is always ‘what shall I do this weekend?’ and it is such a hard questions to answer – so many things to do, so little time.

Friday evening was strange. I kept heard a really strange noise, almost sounding like a very loud horn going off. I was getting slightly concerned when I looked out the window and saw a vintage steam train. It had stopped on the tracks outside my house and was refuelling. It was one of the most amazing things! I looked up the make and it said that it was a preserved train from the 1930s. I watched for about 20 minutes before it set off on its way.

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Thankfully Saturday was super sunny so a walk was top of my priorities. A walked from my flat into town where I stumbled upon a vintage fair in the Grassmarket! The market itself was quite small however there was so much going on that I managed to spend a couple of hours wandering about.

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There was a horse, shows, stalls and a vintage car display. My favourite part was the ‘Vintage Variety Show’ where we were taken through the ages with different types of music and dancing complete with a sword swallower and a man playing the saw. The outfits and costumes looked very authentic.

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Of course my day wouldn’t have been complete without an elderflower macaroon.

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