The Great British Blogging Bake Off (& Me)

Written by Jaillan Yehia. Posted in Competitions, England, Europe, Food, United Kingdom

I’m typing this post a bit more slowly than usual as I’m juggling an enormous slice of cake while I write; it has a chunk of thatched roof and half a door on it which makes it cumbersome to eat, but it’s still really tasty.

That may sound a bit odd but the cake was decorated to look like a house – and I made it with my own fair hands today which is why I’m so keen to eat it while it’s fresh and tasty.

This was all part of a baking competition for bloggers that I took part in –  and probably the closest I’ll ever get to the Great British Bake Off

Travel To The Home Of The First Christmas Card

Written by Jaillan Yehia. Posted in Art & Culture, Christmas Travel, Continents, Devon, England, Europe, UK Staycation, United Kingdom

The First Christmas card

The first Christmas card was born at Orestone Manor, Devon, England

Christmas crackers, the Queen’s speech, mince pies, Boxing Day, Christmas pudding England has plenty of festive traditions which are regarded with complete puzzlement by the rest of the world.

England also has an even bigger Christmas claim to fame – one that is somewhat of a secret.

The first Christmas card was invented right here, conceived and designed in the English county of Devon.

The manor house where the ultimate Christmas tradition was born is now a luxury countryside hotel; so what better place to eat, drink and be merry and get into the spirit of Christmas than the original home of Christmas greetings

3 Things I Learned On A Luxury London Dessert Tour

Written by Jaillan Yehia. Posted in Art & Culture, Europe, Food, London, News, Opinion, Shopping, United Kingdom

London dessert tour

Fortnum & Mason on my Urban Adventures London dessert tour

I turn tourist for the day and try out one of Urban Adventures’ London day tours.

And despite covering some well-trodden West End ground, I learn 3 things that even as a native Londoner I had NO idea about – until now – all while munching on lovely Ladurée macaroons along the way.

Read on to see if you’ll learn something new too…

Going Glamping: A South East Safari At Kent’s Port Lympne

Written by Jaillan Yehia. Posted in Camping, Continents, England, Europe, Photo Journeys, UK Staycation, United Kingdom

Port Lympne

6 week old baby rhino Zuri

I’ve been looking forward to writing about my short break safari at Kent’s Port Lympne Reserve ever since I got home.

But every time I sit down to tell you about the experience, I end up getting distracted by all my photos of the cute baby rhino, ickle giraffe and all the other animals they have roaming around the Romney Marsh.

I’ve used all my willpower today to stop oohing and ahhing over the wildlife photos for 5 minutes to explain why an overnight trip sleeping under the stars at the South East’s wild animal park is an amazing excursion for anyone.

For animal lovers like me, who want an inspiring, as well as an indulgent, weekend away it is amazing to think this is all little more than an hour away from London

The Real Life Brexiter: Swapping the malaise for Malaysia

Written by Jaillan Yehia. Posted in Asia, Continents, Europe, Guest Posts, Malaysia, News, Opinion, The Real Life Brexiters, United Kingdom

brexiter

This month’s featured Brexiter lives in Kuala Lumpur

Brexit has caused more Brits than ever to start turning dreams of living overseas into a reality.

So I decided to start a series asking real life Brexiters – those who’ve already left the UK for pastures greener – what life is really like after Blighty.

First in the series was Brexiter Katja – a Somerset girl who now lives in Mexico, and this month I talk to Worcester native Simon, who has moved on to a new life in Malaysia

The Real Life Brexiter: Swapping Somerset For Mexico City

Written by Jaillan Yehia. Posted in Americas, Continents, England, Europe, Guest Posts, Mexico, Opinion, The Real Life Brexiters, Women of the world

Real life Brexiter Katja Gaskell and her family in Mexico

Katja Gaskell and her family in Mexico

However you may feel about the Brexit vote, the EU referendum has had one undisputed result – to inspire more Brits than ever before to consider moving overseas.

Internet searches on relocating to anywhere from Scotland and Ireland to Australia and Canada have skyrocketed post-brexit, and the changing face of Europe has caused a lot of Brits to ask ourselves if England is as pleasant as we had thought – or if pastures greener and newer might have more to offer us and our families.

So I asked a variety of British expats what it’s really like to do what many Britons are now dreaming of  – become a real life Brexiter and give life in Blighty a wide berth.

First in the series is Katja Gaskell, who left Somerset and now lives in Mexico City. Here is her story…

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

Written by Jaillan Yehia. Posted in Africa, Americas, Asia, British Columbia, California, Canada, Continents, England, Europe, London, Malaysia, Mexico, Opinion, Perfect Places To Stay, South Africa, UK Staycation, United Kingdom, USA, Vancouver Island, Wishlists, Worldwide Vacation

Rose at Banyan Tree Mayakoba

Falling in love with hotels for Valentine’s Day…

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 a Valentine hotel, but you also need that unquantifiable quality – sex appeal. And just like dating itself, there’s always the worry that hotels which look good on paper could turn out to be a let down when we meet them in person.

So I thought I’d compile a list of  the 6 sexiest places in the entire world I’ve ever stayed. These are tried and tested hotels that I would not hesitate in recommending for romance, so you can kick the research to the kerb…

How To Holiday Monaco-Style Without Leaving London

Written by Jaillan Yehia. Posted in England, London, Monaco, UK Staycation, United Kingdom

LondonI’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 Principality of Monaco and uncover their London equivalents…

My 14 Most Memorable Travel Moments of 2014

Written by Jaillan Yehia. Posted in Americas, British Columbia, Canada, England, Europe, Ljubljana, London, News, Opinion, Photo Journeys, Slovenia, United Kingdom, USA, Vancouver Island, Worldwide Vacation

Pins on a map

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 been built into my day to day life this year like never before, rather than being bolted on via travel – and this turned my lifelong travel style completely on its head for 2014…