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Jaillan Yehia

Author Archive


10 Cool Things To Do In Menorca Beyond The Beach

Written by Jaillan Yehia

The island of Menorca is sleepier and more tranquil than its big hitting Balearic neighbours, with a reputation for impeccable unspoiled coastlines and eco tourism that’s a world away from the hedonistic holidays associated with Ibiza and Majorca. Best known for beautiful white sandy beaches and Caribbean-worthy coves Menorca is the chosen destination for many nature-loving […]

How To Pack a Suitcase: 3 Easy Steps To Perfect Packing

Written by Jaillan Yehia

Do you love holidays but hate packing? Guest blogger and super-stylist Ruth Keel shows you how to pack a suitcase like a pro and look super-stylish on holiday.

Everything You Need To Know About The Everglades Alligator Tour

Written by Jaillan Yehia

At number 2 on my top 10 travel lessons to transform your trips is the importance of getting up close with nature and especially wildlife at any (respectful & safe) opportunity. No matter how much I travel absolutely nothing reminds me of how lucky I am to see so much of the world and puts […]

In Photos: Queen Of Fallas For A Day

Written by Jaillan Yehia

This isn’t exactly a news flash, but we girls like getting dressed up. And from the moment I arrived in Valencia I was determined to do one thing (besides eat paella): dress up in the famous Fallas festival costume, and become a Spanish Queen for the day. And here’s another thing about girls; we already think […]

The Rice Is Right: Why Everything You Know About Paella Is Probably Wrong

Written by Jaillan Yehia

It shouldn’t be bright yellow, or fluffy, it isn’t intended for dinner and it’s not supposed to be synonymous with seafood. In fact, technically it’s not even a Spanish dish.  Even though the first food that springs to mind when you think of Spanish cuisine is probably paella, the dish has been bastardised beyond all recognition to a point where […]

Hide Your face With Spanish Lace: The Story Of The Valencia Fan

Written by Jaillan Yehia

Despite the Brits’ well-documented love affair with the Spanish coast, I never went on a family holiday to Spain as a child. Yet one of my most treasured possessions as a little girl was a delicate handheld Spanish lace fan.  So when I was given the opportunity to meet a traditional Valencia fan maker in […]

Diamond *Experts* Are A Girl’s Best Friend: A 7 Step Guide To Diamond Buying

Written by Jaillan Yehia

It’s like a dream come true for a girl to visit not just one but 12 Italian jewellery stores and learn about gem stones, design and precious metals from classically trained Roman jewellers. It’s even more perfect when these happen to be Rome’s best hand-crafted jewellery boutiques, all on the official list of the 28 best shops in Rome. […]

It’s Official: These Are The 28 Best Shops In Rome

Written by Jaillan Yehia

Italy is of course famous for food, but its cities are also celebrated for iconic fashion, classic style and luxurious shopping. So when I was asked to spend a weekend in Italy, meet the 28 best artisans in the Eternal City, and visit the best shops in Rome, it was an invitation I was unlikely to turn down. Here’s what […]

Yogi, Bare: My Week At A Mexican Yoga Retreat

Written by Jaillan Yehia

‘You may well cry in class; lots of people do,’ says Wendy, who will be my yoga teacher for the next 6 days at a Mexican Yoga retreat near Cancun. ‘No I bloody well won’t I think, ‘I’m English’ – while Wendy is the dictionary definition of a Californian goddess, all flowing golden locks, sun-kissed […]

Banyan Tree Mayakoba: The Perfect Place To Stay On The Mayan Riviera

Written by Jaillan Yehia

Mexico’s Riviera Maya isn’t short on publicity for its vacation charms, and the entire Yucatan Peninsula isn’t exactly bereft of 5 Star hotel options.  So chances are if you’re headed to this area of Mexico you already know exactly what you want, and that’s likely to be a luxurious haven of relaxation encompassing the holy holiday trinity of sun, […]

Valentine Hotel Hotlist: 6 Sexy Places To Spend Time With A Special Someone

Written by Jaillan Yehia

A romantic weekend away for Valentine’s Day – sounds like a great idea in principle, right? But as anyone who has tried to book even a simple night away with their partner already knows, the process of finding the perfect hotel for romance isn’t all hearts and flowers. You’re searching for seclusion and sophistication in […]

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Tuscan Wine…But Were Afraid To Cask

Written by Jaillan Yehia

I’ve been asked the same two questions consistently since I began travel writing. Firstly: How do you make money? Secondly: What’s your favourite country? The answer to question 2 is Italy! (question 1 would take more than a single word to answer!). It may be an utter cliche to say that the best things about Italy […]

All I want for Christmas is……To Visit 10 European Christmas Markets

Written by Jaillan Yehia

At the start of winter I usually struggle with the idea of weekends away to colder European countries – ever clinging onto that last bit of winter sun. But that all changes come Christmas when I’m a sucker for short breaks to snowy cities and can’t wait to hit the European Christmas markets to stock […]

5 More Things You Should Know About Iceland

Written by Jaillan Yehia

I recently wrote a post sharing some of my favourite things about Iceland and called, rather unsurprisingly, 5 things you should know about Iceland. But of course in compiling this list I ended up thinking of way more than just 5 things that I really believe all travellers, including you should know about Iceland. So, […]

A Hip Weekend In Houston – 48 Hours In H-Town

Written by Jaillan Yehia

I begin my weekend in Houston like any average tourist, knowing this city has been singled-out by its history of space exploration, is the very definition of a sprawling US metropolis, and that it’s famous for oil and gas. Fast forward 48 hours and I’m wearing my H-Town T-shirt with pride, clutching a NASA fridge magnet and nursing a hangover which underlines […]

Classic Canadian Lake Camping At Weaver Lake BC

Written by Jaillan Yehia

If you’re looking for a scenic yet rustic Canadian camping experience, within a 2 hour drive of downtown Vancouver – and one that doesn’t require a 4×4 to access – this small picturesque lake offering trout fishing, boat rental and hiking near Harrison Mills, is a great option for adventurous locals and holidaymakers alike. Let me tell […]

4 Famous European Places You Can Also Find In Florida

Written by Jaillan Yehia

I’ve been craving a trip to Florida lately – but not simply to visit the more obvious tourist meccas of Orlando, Miami and the beaches. What began as a look at the travel blogging conference TBEX in Fort Lauderdale, led to a little bit of research on Florida in general and the discovery of a […]

5 Things You Should Know About Iceland

Written by Jaillan Yehia

The first time I visited Iceland I was blown away by the Nordic nation’s mysterious mix of Scandinavian-style scenery spread across a vast canvas of North American proportions. As I plot a return visit, I’m reminded of my favorite things about the utterly unique island nation – here are the top 5 things I think […]

24 Hours In Calgary – A Day Horsing Around Cowtown

Written by Jaillan Yehia

Of all the clothes I own (in case you’re wondering, it’s a lot) those I buy on impulse, in a supermarket-sweep stylee, are the things I end up loving. Maybe it’s the fact that when you’re in a hurry pure instinct takes over, but I’ve shopped for an outfit in 30 minutes in Manila and made better boutique […]

Drive The Entire USA West Coast (& back again) In 3 Minutes

Written by Jaillan Yehia

I’ve been a little quiet on the blog lately – that’s because I’ve been been planning adventures and spending time thinking about a few of my favourite things. Yes, I do love raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens as much as the next girl (unless the next girl is actual Julie Andrews) and while […]

The Travel Tipping Point: Patagonia, Chile

Written by Jaillan Yehia

I am a big believer that 3 is the magic number. The so-called rule of three exists because as humans we are constantly looking for patterns and 3 is the smallest number that can constitute a pattern to our brains. It just so happens that 3 is the killer combination for many things – comedy […]

The Perfect Place To Stay In Sedona: The Amara Resort & Spa

Written by Jaillan Yehia

It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey, right? Well sometimes, wrong. When the destination is Arizona’s famed scenic and sacred red rock panorama, specifically the high class hippy hiking mecca of artsy Sedona, and that final section of your journey is a spine-tingling first glimpse of looming rocks under the cloak of darkness, […]

My Top 4 Stars And Stripes Photos For July 4th

Written by Jaillan Yehia

I usually have my own special reason to celebrate American Independence Day  – just like the famous movie title, my little brother was born on the 4th of July. And while he isn’t American (or even English like me) and is now far from being a little boy, he did turn out to be a […]

10 Tips To Help Cut The Cost Of A Holiday To Canada

Written by Jaillan Yehia

They say the best things in life are free, and that really does go double for the land of the double-double (that’s a Canadian way of ordering coffee to the uninitiated) – but with these money saving tips, you could cut the cost of that Canadian coffee as well as every other aspect of your trip to Canada, in […]

24 Hours In Salt Lake City – A Sinful Saturday In The City of Saints

Written by Jaillan Yehia

Utah’s capital may be best known for the Church of The Latter Day Saints, but this one million-strong metropolis makes an equally suitable city break setting for would-be sinners in search of urban indulgence. From quirky shopping to secret street food, luxury hotels to lattes, it’s time to check-in your preconceptions at the door and […]

My Mayfair Lady – A Local Girl’s Guide To London’s Exclusive Square Mile

Written by Jaillan Yehia

Most people think of Mayfair and imagine upscale hotels, the beautiful boutiques of Dover Street Market and the high-end establishments of Shepherd Market but take it from a local girl, whether you’re more of a Professor Higgins or an Eliza Doolittle you can still find your fun in Mayfair…

not My First Rodeo; 10 Things You Need To Know Before Visiting Cloverdale Rodeo

Written by Jaillan Yehia

‘Don’t worry, it’s not my first rodeo‘ replied my friend as I apologised for leaving her alone in the stands while I got a closer look at the horses and the real life cowboys performing in front of me. She almost certainly wasn’t the first person to make that joke at the Cloverdale Rodeo and […]

How To Holiday Monaco-Style Without Leaving London

Written by Jaillan Yehia

I’ve got a different kind of seven step program for you in this post; one that won’t help break your addictions to travel, shopping and good food but which will show you where to find your fix of the luxurious Monte Carlo lifestyle without leaving London. Here I share my 7 favourite places in the […]

Confessions of a champagne socialist – Lessons In Travel & Champers

Written by Jaillan Yehia

Like most girls I’m rather partial to a glass of bubbly  – and writing about the differences between champagne and sparkling wine recently (as you do) reminded me that along with making me forget a few things, my nights (and days) out with champagne by my side have taught me a few things worth remembering […]

How To Walk Across London Bridge – Without Setting Foot In Blighty

Written by Jaillan Yehia

I’d been living in North America for over a year and was in search of a taste of home. So when I heard that I could walk across London Bridge without the expense or hassle of a transatlantic flight I was all ears. Soon I found  myself traversing John Rennie’s original London Bridge without leaving […]

In Photos: Lake Havasu’s Secret $2 Sunset Cruise

Written by Jaillan Yehia

There are plenty of ways to get out onto the water of Lake Havasu – in fact this part of Arizona is probably most famous as a water sports paradise, hosting the jet skiing world championships each year. But if you’re looking for a romantic interlude rather than an adrenaline-fuelled adventure on Arizona’s 20,000 acre lake, this simple $2 ferry […]

In Search Of The Perfect Date

Written by Jaillan Yehia

The fierce sun is shining down on my map, amplified through the windscreen, as we drive our little red car past endless fields of green lettuce under bright blue skies; the scene is like a child’s storybook illustration come to glorious life. Even more glorious is the fact that it’s December and my boyfriend and […]

In Photos: Seeing Sunrise Over Arizona From The Skies – In A Hot Air Balloon

Written by Jaillan Yehia

Hot air ballooning has the unique ability to turn even the most seasoned traveller into an excited little child. I am that grinning kid the day I climb inside a wicker basket to take to the skies of Yuma, Arizona, where the USA meets Mexico, surrounded by a fleet of multi-coloured inflatable flying machines as part […]

The Difference Between Luxury and Paradise Is Long Spoons

Written by Jaillan Yehia

Have you heard the Buddhist parable of heaven and hell? The tale goes that in hell all the tortured souls sit at tables heaving with delectable food which they can enjoy to their heart’s content without ever getting full. It doesn’t sound too bad until you learn the only rule – they must eat everything with metre-long spoons, which […]

Amsterdam Style: 5 Design-led detours in The Dam

Written by Jaillan Yehia

The reputation of Dutch design precedes it, so what better way to truly connect with everyone’s favourite canal-laden city than to seek out some of that Amsterdam style during your holiday to Holland…

Memories of Portugal’s Picturesque Alentejo

Written by Jaillan Yehia

Mention Portugal and its Lisbon that’s on everybody’s lips, occasionally the Algarve and possibly Porto. The hilltop towns, cork farms and deserted beaches of the Alentejo are a mystery to most – they’re the most magical part of Portugal that you’ve never heard of. These are my most treasured memories of the Alentejo… I’m driving […]

How To Put The ‘Been Crabbing’ into BC – Fishing In British Columbia For Fun

Written by Jaillan Yehia

British Columbia’s mountain-and-coast nature is of course its major draw, so much so that BC’s latest tourism campaign is entitled ‘Super, Natural British Columbia’  – and a big part of that super, natural lure is the amazing fishing on offer. One of the local pastimes to which I’ve been well and truly converted (as well […]

Stylish Sihanoukville – 6 Ways To Stay Chic In Cambodia’s Beach Town

Written by Jaillan Yehia

Sihanoukville and style aren’t two concepts that always go together. But while some tourists feel that Cambodia’s coastal town isn’t worth visiting  – its reputation precedes it and not always in a good way – I’ve always loved spending time in so-called ‘Snooky’. In fact I think Sihanoukville is one of South-East Asia’s most under-rated beach resorts. […]

3 (Free) Things I Miss About London

Written by Jaillan Yehia

When we think of a big city like London we automatically think of the headline attractions that make it famous – and we tend to assume that a trip to the big smoke has to cost the earth. For me moving away from London highlighted the fact that the best things in life, and in […]

My 14 Most Memorable Travel Moments of 2014

Written by Jaillan Yehia

Some years I’ve travelled farther afield, some years I explored a little closer to home, but every year I consider myself a traveller. That’s because wherever I go, I’m always looking for change and adventure. This year I changed where ‘home’ was – instead of London, England it was Vancouver, Canada – meaning adventure has […]

Where To Get a Soya Latte In San Jose, Costa Rica – Miel Cafe

Written by Jaillan Yehia

There are some cities in the world where you fully expect to find a hipster crowd sucking down soya lattes while reading the papers on a Sunday afternoon. San Jose, frankly, is not one of those cities. So I was delighted to sack off the sightseeing for an hour when I literally stumbled upon the […]

The Perfect Place To Stay In The Costa Rican Jungle – Rio Perdido

Written by Jaillan Yehia

Rio Perdido – literally meaning lost river – is one of those paradise hotels that you can’t quite believe exists this far off the beaten path; you wonder how anyone first discovers it while being simultaneously glad you did – and hopeful that not too many other people have been let in on the secret…

The Perfect Place To Stay On Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula: Blue Osa Yoga Retreat

Written by Jaillan Yehia

If there’s one thing I always thought sounded like a great thing to do one day, you know, in the future, it was a yoga retreat. But now that I’ve tried a week-long beach side yoga retreat on Costa Rica’s unspoiled Osa Peninsula, all I can say is don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today… […]

I Know What I Did Last Summer – 7 Secret Sunny Moments From My 2014 Travels

Written by Jaillan Yehia

In my previous post I got all nostalgic about summer and highlighted 7 spectacular spots from my summer months in British Columbia – but even though I’m happily embracing Autumn (complete with at least 7 pairs of boots to assist me) I’m still singing the praises of some of last season’s most special memories. Here […]

I Know What I Did Last Summer – My Top 7 Secret Sunny Spots in British Columbia

Written by Jaillan Yehia

As the sun set on another Beautiful British Columbia summer, I decided to detail my favourite 14 sun-drenched memories from my summer travels. In the second post I cover the secret sunny spaces I found in Europe and Central America, but here in the first installment I share my 7 secret summertastic spots near my home in British Columbia…

In Photos: A (Damp) Day At Slovenia’s Lake Bled

Written by Jaillan Yehia

When we travel we always hope for picture-perfect weather, and seek out postcard-worthy images, but perhaps it wasn’t a bad thing that I visited Slovenia’s most famous lake, which has a reputation as an Alpine fairytale location, on a day when the weather was wet, and the area shrouded in mystical clouds – meaning it was almost […]

My Cambodian Cooking Class

Written by Jaillan Yehia

Regular readers might have noticed that I tend to take a cooking class in almost every destination I visit; for me there’s now better way get under the skin of a country than to find out about the food. Nowhere does this thrill me more than in South-East Asia, where a morning spent at the […]

The Most Unusual Souvenir I Snapped Up In Slovenia

Written by Jaillan Yehia

Do you love souvenir shopping on your trips too? There’s something special about collecting treasures from our travels which keep the memory of the place we visited alive long after we return home. Going to an unusual locale invariably means extra items come home with me – typically I’ll go for something I can wear […]

Luxury Dining in Ljubljana – 3 Superior Spots To Eat in Slovenia

Written by Jaillan Yehia

Food can make or break a destination. I remember my first trip to Portugal, when I was distinctly underwhelmed by the food – and as a result didn’t venture back for years (though when I did I found its foodie side.) When planning my trip to Ljubljana I wasn’t sure what to expect from Slovenia’s […]

Ljubljana By Numbers

Written by Jaillan Yehia

One of my favourite ways to discover a new destination is to take a tour  – usually not long after arriving – to help me get my bearings and create some context to my new home, even if I’m only in town for a couple of days. I’ve tried everything from food tours and cycle sightseeing to art […]

Discovering Ljubljana’s Cuisine At A Slovenian Cooking Class

Written by Jaillan Yehia

Slovenians will tell you their country is shaped like a chicken, and their food obsession doesn’t end there as I discovered when I attended a Slovenian cooking class in the capital. Being let loose in a Ljubljana kitchen with five different dishes taught me a lot about a national cuisine to which I was totally new […]

A Weekend In Ljubljana

Written by Jaillan Yehia

I’m settling into my seat on a flight from London to Ljubljana along with a plane load of other city-breakers taking the short hop to the Slovenian capital. The young professional couple next to me are obviously snatching a romantic weekend break and they both get calls on their smartphones after boarding – he from […]

In Photos: Beach Combing & Fine Dining at Tofino’s Long Beach Lodge

Written by Jaillan Yehia

I’m walking along Vancouver Island’s vast Cox Beach in the winter sunshine, spotting surfers and sand dollars, meeting four-legged beach goers and admiring washed up chunks of tree that are as beautiful as any piece of modern sculpture in the best gallery in town…

The New Napa: Vancouver Island’s Cowichan Valley

Written by Jaillan Yehia

Vancouver Island is the largest Pacific Island west of New Zealand, larger than Sicily and a shade smaller than Taiwan – but while British Naval officer George Vancouver may have given his name to both his city and island discoveries, the name is where the similarity between Vancouver city and Vancouver island, ends. ‘The Island’ as […]

A Taste Of Victoria – Where To Eat In British Columbia’s Capital

Written by Jaillan Yehia

Touted as the most British place in all of Canada and named after the Queen who made the country a colony, the city of Victoria reflects the values of the lady herself; rather modest, genteel and pleasantly old fashioned but with a power that belies its appearance – this is the capital of British Columbia, […]

Regal Eagles – Or Why bird watching isn’t just for grandmas

Written by Jaillan Yehia

It’s interesting how age and experience changes what we want from our travels. But whether you’re 18 or 80 surely the point of travel is to try something new, and revel in the revelations it brings. If you’d asked me just a few years ago if bird watching was on my must do list I’d […]

Best Places To Eat In Brandon Manitoba

Written by Jaillan Yehia

I discover two of the top places to eat in Brandon Manitoba  – from Canadian-themed grill Joe Beeverz to sophisticated dining at lounge-bar Blu Kitchen…

Snow, Sculptures & Sunshine At Winnipeg’s Festival du Voyageur

Written by Jaillan Yehia

‘Winnipegans just get on with it!’ I’m told as I travel with a group of fellow writers to Winnipeg’s famous February festival, Festival du Voyageur, in temperatures of -20. And that’s practically a heat wave for the Manitoban winter. At that moment we overtake a committed cyclist; we’re all bundled up in our woollens despite […]

Breaking The Ice – My Day Skating On Winnipeg’s Frozen River

Written by Jaillan Yehia

My historical ice skating prowess had previously extended to a couple of childhood trips to an ice rink in London’s Queensway. My main memory of those outings involves a teacher proclaiming that we must be very careful where we put our hands while lacing up our own skates, lest we lose a finger to another’s […]

Why I Love Turin – Italy’s Underdog Artistic City

Written by Jaillan Yehia

One thing that pulls me back to Italy time and time again is its underdog cities – yes I love Rome and Florence, but give me unsung urban heroes like Genoa and Turin and I’m truly happy….