Category Archives: travel blog

travel blog

Lake District

I went to…

Lodore falls (Derwent Water)

Keswick

I stayed at:

Lodore Falls Hotel (4*) (£££££)

2night deal through hotel website

 

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Mini Review:

I went here because…

I wanted to get into the christmas spirit

I'd never been to the Lakes

The best thing was…

The hotel was fully decked out for Christmas

I'd like to change…

I wish I'd ordered take away instead of eating out the 2nd night!

I wish I'd had time to…

Stay at a different lake too

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FACTS:

Quiet setting by Derwentwater.

Medium sized hotel with a cosy atmosphere. Mainly european staff, in the most part friendly although we didn't have many questions. Well maintained communal areas, tired looking room ( we were in a 2 room suite). Wonderful lake views.

 

THE OPINIONS:

Thankfully it wasn't me driving the distance to the Lakes. The motorway journey reminded me of what it must be like for a child on a long drive. I only wish I had the capability to sleep in a car. However as I approached the Lakes my expression and excitement were clearly apparent. Winding country roads alongside large shiny lakes, twinkling because of the icy air. Opening the window whenever I was warm enough to risk it, breathing in as I perceived it to be 'clean' and 'fresh' and enjoying the setting sun on my face.

The hotel itself was in a beautiful position. We were looking for a comfortable hotel in a quiet setting. It certainly ticked those boxes. The hotel is named after the waterfall which is accessible round the back of the hotel. There were no local shops within walking distance but the jetty to take you around e lake was nearby, and there were plenty of recommended walks around the vicinity too.

Dinner on the first night was included. We were joined in the dining room by some friendly older couples who seemed to be regular visitors. Most residents appeared to be in the over 60 range. Dinner was OK. Friendly staff and decently prepared food. We enjoyed it.

Guests can book the external hot tub in advance which we did and which was lovely but you could be met with walkers and guests walking past you to get to the falls! By this stage there was a lot of rain and my paranoia about guests seeing me in my swimwear made me head indoors.

That night we decided to try the number one rated restaurant on Tripadvisor (at the time)in Keswich. The Taste of Thailand at the Shemara guesthouse. Seating for about 12 people in the breakfast room of a small guesthouse. A family business trialling out Thai dining. Unfortunately our experience wasn't good at all. Starters of pork ribs were tiny and chewy and fish cakes that were dry. Main course was equally poor with lack of flavour and what tasted like reheated food. However, the service was incredibly friendly, so much so we still left a 12% tip! Im feeling guilty jus writing this, but I love Thai food and that had to be the worst Thai meal I've ever had. Priced at about £55 for 2 courses for two people and no drinks, it was overpriced too. Perhaps they were having an off day.

Breakfasts at the hotel were brilliant. Full English with a view of the hills (and the rain).

Overall a wonderful pre-Christmas treat.

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Bangkok


I went to…

Klongsan + other areas

I stayed at:

Millennium Hilton Bangkok (£££££)

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Mini Review:

I went here because…

It's the linking ground to the rest of the country and a fun city

The best thing was…

Food, shopping, culture. I love this city.

I'd like to change…

Nothing really. I wish I didn't have sunburn from the predecessing trip. Ouch.

I wish I'd had time to…

For a 2 night stay I think we got in quite a bit. Perhaps a night to go out to a club (and have time to nurse a hangover)

 

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FACTS:

Riverfront hotel. City has excellent and clean transport links. Taxis are plentiful (although be wary of certain coloured cabs charging higher rates). Excellent choice of restaurants, bars, shops, places to see/visit.

 

THE OPINIONS:

We had near to three days here at the end of our trip. We could've done with more time, but isn't that the usual holiday feeling when it's coming to an end?

This being my third trip to Bangkok, I had a view of what we should do in the time. A full on itinerary was planned to ensure we made the best out of the short stop. A delayed flight from Phuket was most unwelcome as it meant rushing to our dinner reservation. The fact that our trip was ending dawned heavily on me. One of the best holidays of my life in tems of variety, climate, culture and eating. This meant everything we did had an air of reality about our return to real life. That being said, there is just so much to do here, you don't have time to sulk. We visited the hotspots: The Grand Palace; Temple of Dawn; Wat Pho. Remember to dress modestly at these, wearing loose trousers that cover your ankles and tops that cover your shoulders (for both males and females). You can borrow garments for free but there is a rather long queue and the slight curiosity about whether they really did wash the clothing after use. The grounds are beautiful and well maintained, although expectedly busy. We tinkered around the markets by the river and bought a rather lovely painting which in reality could mean absolutely nothing, but the shop owner made a good pitch and its now looking lovely hanging in the hallway at home.

Taxis are generally pricier than trains but in the heat its easy to choose the most accessible option. Generally, it's best to use a metered taxi and note the taxi car number and driver details (I do this with all taxis I take by taking a picture of the ID card with my phone). I've never had any issues with taxis before but I always check the meter is working properly. I was slightly concerned by the purpose of having an exceptionally long fingernail on your little finger which seemed to be common. I can only imagine its a cultural secret rather than for when they have an itch.

There are several malls offering same same but different clothing (that's something you'll hear!). Some malls focus on designer brands whilst others offer for local products. Plenty of choice, although not as cheap as things used to be ten years ago.

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Restaurants:

Table de Tee

A very small restaurant with regularly changing menu. I loved the look of the sample menu online as it sounded interesting yet not too interesting. A little bit awkward to find, but that may have been our tiredness. All courses were good and the price really reasonable. Annoyingly, there were some ex-pats in a group who were very drunk and very loud (amplified by the size of the restaurant), but it didn't take away from enjoying the meal.

Le Normandie @ The Mandarin Oriental

Old fashioned excellent service with attention to detail. Beautiful views and decor, and good quality food. Quite pricey for Bangkok, but wonderful for treat.


All malls have food courts with a huge variety of foods available at great value for money.

Sites & Places of Interest:

A few mentioned above, but many more in easy access.

 

 

View from Vertigo bar where stopped for a pre-dinner drink
View from the room (and my lunch)