I have enjoyed getting to know ‘my’ London so much over the last two years. As much as I love the lights and buzz of Leicester Square and Covent Garden, there are other parts of the city that make this new Londoner feel a lot more at home. Here is my run down of my favourite slightly lesser-known parts of the city, as well as the ones that I want to explore more.

Even though I live here, there is so much to see and do, so why not try something different next time you’re in the capital?

View Post

The festive season is in full swing so I couldn’t let a weekend pass by without doing something Christmassy. I last went to Windsor in May and bought a ticket to the castle. As well as granting a day inside the castle walls, it offers free return entry for up to five days over the next 12 months. I haven’t been back since, so it seemed like the perfect time to get my full money’s worth while also getting to see all of the royal Christmas decorations.

I had to battle train delays and a trek across the entire capital city on the premiere shopping day of the year, but eventually I made it into the town. The gorgeous atmosphere and quaint streets meant that I couldn’t resist digging out my camera. I filmed a few bits throughout the afternoon.

As I mentioned in the video, no photos are allowed in the State Rooms. It’s such a shame as there are some truly beautiful rooms. So, instead of my photos, here’s one that I’ve borrowed from British Heritage. It’s beautiful, right? This year, the red bows were substituted with miniature crowns and there was an adorable Corgi toy sat at the bottom.

Christmas Decorations 2014 at Windsor Castle.

The best part was that the Queen was actually in residence. The Royal Standard was fluttering high above the ramparts – or hanging might be a better word as there wasn’t a breath of wind. We probably wouldn’t have noticed if we hadn’t overheard one of the staff members talking about how the Queen had arrived the previous evening. We spotted lights coming from a few of the rooms that weren’t open to the public, where we decided that the Queen must be. Plus, a Rolls Royce was parked up outside. Surely only a few people would be important enough for a ride.

After the castle closed, we went for a wander in the town centre as the market stalls were starting to pack away for the evening. They seemed to stay for as long as the light did, so we swapped the independent retailers for the bright lights of Zara and Topshop for a bit of retail therapy.

It was definitely a short and sweet visit, but it was definitely worth the trip to get to see the decorations and to experience the magic of Windsor Castle again. If you’re ever in the area, I definitely recommend a visit, particularly around Christmas.

Have you been to Windsor? What did you think? Do you know any similar places that I can visit next? I always love suggestions! 

lisamae signoff

Day two in Rome was a big one! We walked over 15 km, and much of that was slowly plodding around the Vatican museums, surrounded by oppressive tour groups. We also found a castle, twirled around in St Peter’s Square, and ate at the most amazing Italian restaurant. We noticed that we were the only tourists in there when we sat down, which gave us a good idea of the food quality – and we were proved right – it was amazing.

Read on for my vlog, photos, and tips.

Day two highlights: 

  • Food. Ice cream near the castle, and the best pasta ever
  • An extensive tour of the Vatican
  • Sistine Chapel
  • St Peter’s Square
  • 2017 Pope Calendar (yes, really)
  • The Castle

View Post

I’m all about my day trips. After spending 40 hours a week sat in front of a computer in an office, I like to make the most of my weekends. That usually means finding something new to do, and that isn’t particularly hard in a city like London.

This week I caught a quick train out of the city centre to Windsor, which takes around 25 minutes from Paddington station, or even less if you live in West London. The atmosphere makes it feel a lot further away from the hussle and bustle of the capital, though. You’ll still find the same number of tourists, a few less tacky souvenir shops, and lots of pubs in prominent locations.

If you look beyond that, you’ll find a beautiful working castle, gorgeous shopping arcades, and a pretty fun night out. Carry on reading to get ideas for your trip.

View Post

It’s the weekend again, so of course that means it’s time for another round-up! This weekend I’ve headed back up to the Midlands for a relaxing weekend at home. I’ll be doing lots of cuddling my dog, watching rubbish TV and spending time with family. Blissful.

This week I’ve done lots of touristy London things. I’ve got some fun recommendations for when you next have some free time in the city.

When I haven’t been exploring, I’ve been running. If you see a girl in a bright pink running top huffing and puffing around Hyde Park, there’s a high chance that it’s me. I’m in training for a 10k run and it’s killing me slowly.

Read on to find out about all this fun stuff and more…

View Post