A FEW DAYS SPENT IN CARDIFF, WALES

A FEW DAYS SPENT IN CARDIFF, WALES

We spent a couple days in Cardiff recently, which was lovely. A friend invited us to her wedding and we thought why not turn this into a mini break. We’ve started to explore the UK a bit more, and really enjoy learning and discovering new places a little closer to home. Especially when we find those hidden gems.

Just a few minute walk from Cardiff City Centre, we stayed at the Mercure Cardiff Holland House Hotel & Spa which was very comfy and cosy. It offers a great spa if you fancy a day, or a few hours of relaxation, away from the hustle and bustle.

Cardiff is the capital and largest city of Wales, it’s the eleventh-largest city in the UK. One of the main tourist attractions is Cardiff Castle. When Queen Elizabeth II passed away a 96-round gun salute was fired on the castle grounds to mark every year of the Queen’s life. A 21-gun salute was also held to mark the proclamation of King Charles III.

Packed with so much history which spans around 2000 years. The castle has secret underground tunnels which were used as air-raid shelters during World War II, with room to protect well over 1,000 people. This part of the tour was our favourite. We walked the tunnel grounds whilst an audio played of air-raid sirens. It really made us feel as though we were taken back in time.

Inside the castle was just spectacular. With grande rooms, Victorian interiors and the best home library we’ve ever seen! It is said that the castle underwent a transformation carried out in the late 19th century, with some of the most lavish interiors in Britain, inspired by Gothic, Mediterranean and Arabian styles.

It also has nearly 150 acres of green space that surrounds the castle, and trees from all around the world.

We had the shortest but best time spent celebrating, eating, drinking and exploring. And we’ll definitely be back, hopefully for a longer stay next time.

Shelley & Michelle xx

London Diaries Part Two: Afternoon Tea at Fortnum & Mason

As we were feeling rather royal after our Buckingham Palace tour, we decided to stick with our royal theme and complete our day by having a Champagne Afternoon Tea at Fortnum & Mason in Piccadilly, London.

Fortnum & Mason is one of London’s most recognised department stores and is also known for it’s world renowned Afternoon Tea. We both knew that we had to experience this upmarket Tea Salon for ourselves.

Located on the fourth floor, we entered The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Room, that has a very grand black piano near the entrance, with the pianist playing softly that added to the calm ambience of the room. A very nice touch!

Our Tearista sat us at a very elegant table, with very comfy sofas and chairs.
Champagne (accompanied with a glass of water) as we didn’t want to get too tipsy!

Our Tearista talked us through the menu and the various teas that are on offer. We opted for the Queen Anne Blend (this tea was created in 1907) and has a very smooth flavour. We also chose Jubilee Blend, that had a sweet taste and was very golden in colour. Both teas were in a form of tea leaves.

We were both brought a three-tier platter, with a delectable assortment of finger sandwiches, cakes and scones, served with strawberry and raspberry jam. The scones were also accompanied with the most delicious clotted cream that we have ever tasted!

We both ordered a second helping of sandwiches and have to admit we struggled to finish them all…but the best part of the experience was that you could refill on tea, cakes, scones and sandwiches as many times as you wanted too. Definite treat.

We were offered complimentary chocolate cake to take home (which we certainly did not refuse), plus all the cakes that we didn’t finish we were also able to take with us. You most certainly get your money’s worth and we must say Fortnum & Mason were very generous with their servings.

So if you are looking to treat a loved one or just want a nice afternoon out in London, we would certainly recommend the Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon at Fortnum & Mason. It truly is a lovely experience and is quintessentially British, you will not be disappointed.

Fourth Floor, Fortnum & Mason 181 Piccadilly, London, W1A 1ER

You can follow Shelley on Instagram here

You can follow Michelle on Twitter  here


Shelley & Michelle xx

London Diaries Part 1: A Royal Occasion

Living in such a great city, it is easy to take for granted the different attractions that are on your doorstep!

So we thought, what better way to start our London Diaries with a tour of London’s main attraction, Buckingham Palace where we took a guided tour of The State Rooms and The Royal Gardens.

Of course, visiting an historical landmark of this magnitude, we did not expect anything less than impressive. We can certainly say that The Royal Palace did not disappoint!

We visited up to 15 state rooms in the Palace that were a maze of gold and marble, with high ceilings, grand staircases, impressive chandeliers and portraits of past Kings and Queens. It was everything that you would expect from a Queen’s headquarters and so much more. It exuded elegance and was truly regal.

To end the tour, we walked through Her Majesty’s Royal Gardens. It was very serene and was the perfect back garden to the gigantic Palace that you could get lost in. The lake had swans and a little family of ducks on the water. There was a small café, a gift shop and a must try ‘Royal Ice Cream’ stand.

You are not allowed to take photos inside Buckingham Palace but you are able to take as many pictures as you want in The Royal Gardens.

It was truly a remarkable experience and was one of the places we have both wanted to explore since we were kids. It is seeped in British tradition and would recommend that whenever you are in London you make the Palace your first tour stop!

The Palace is open for 10 weeks from July through to September each year, so take that into account before you book.

You can follow Shelley on Instagram here

You can follow Michelle on Twitter  here

                                                              Shelley & Michelle xx