Tuesday, 21 July 2015

5 Reasons to Visit Aruba | Travel

Aruba is an Island I have wanted to visit for a while. My grandparents first visited a few years back on a cruise and since then I haven't stopped looking at photos of what seems to be such a beautiful and romantic holiday destination.
Aruba, also known as the One Happy Island, is a small (just 20 mile long) Dutch island located off the coast of Venezuela. It boasts some of the best beaches in the world, you can see why in some of the photos below. A stunning location for anyone and any occasion.

Aruba.com Beaches Peaches and Bear Travel Blog
An All Sun, All Year Island
Aruba is a tourist favourite thanks to it's dry climate. It's located just outside of Hurricane Alley meaning there's rarely a rainy day in Aruba. Perfect for a guaranteed sun-filled holiday on some of the most stunning beaches. Including Flamingo Beach on Renaissance Island, an exclusive adult-only beach hosted by Renaissance Aruba Resort. A stunning beach with, you guessed it, Flamingoes roaming the beach.

Aruba.com Flamingo Beach Renaissance Island Aruba
Aruba.com Natural Pool. Peaches and Bear Travel Blog
Breathtaking Diving Spots
There are plenty of beaches and coastal points to literally dive in to and soak up what the ocean has to offer: coral reef; tropical fish and more! Visit the West Coast for the best of Aruba's Water Fun! The image above is of the gorgeous Conchi Natural Pool located in Arikok National Park, a must experience for tourists.
If you're anything like me (a beginner and lacking confidence when diving) then De Palm Tours will win you over for beginners experiences! They offer everything from Submarine tours to Underwater Helmet Walking so you won't miss a thing.

Delicious Dining Experiences
The hotel strips and capital Oranjestad play host to a wide range of multicultural cuisine from restaurants to bars and sweet little beach front cafes. You can find everything from South American to Asian, Steak houses to Al fresco dining. Aruba really does offer everything you heart desires in terms of food.

Aruba.com Fofoti Tree on Eagle Beach Aruba- Peaches and Bear Travel Blog
An Eco Friendly Island
Did you know 20% of Aruba's energy is generated by Wind Turbines? And the island plans to go 100% fossil-fuel friendly by 2020?! It's incredible to think such a small island cares about the ecosystem and sustaining it. Even people of Aruba respect and appreciate the flora and fauna of Aruba meaning every where you look there is natural beauty in it's rightful place. Locations such as Eagle Beach where the Fofoti Trees scatter the beach beautifully really show it's natural beauty in contrast to the .

Aruba Aloe - Aloe Vera Beauty Product - Peaches and Bear Travel Lifestyle Beauty Blogger
A Beauty Bloggers Dream
Aloe Vera was first planted on the island in 1800s, and today it is in the big business for it's uses in everything from hand creams to treating sunburn.
Aruba Aloe Museum Factory and Store provide an insightful tour on the history of aloe, the process of extracting its gel and the making of Aruba Aloe products* including suncare, moisturisers, deodorants and more!
The products, especially Special Care Lotion and Shower Gel have been treating my skin very well after the sunburn I accidentally got during all the dog walks last week!

To discover more of what Aruba has to offer pop along over to this site.

Have you ever been to Aruba? I'd love to hear your thoughts if you have! If not, is Aruba somewhere you would like to visit?

*this post may include sponsored content. However, all views are my own

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Serenata Flowers Hamper Review + Giveaway!

With all the work and studying I've been doing, I've barely been able to take a break and enjoy a little pampering or 'me time'. So when Serenata Flowers offered to send me one of their bespoke Gift Hampers to review I leapt at the opportunity. After browsing their website of hampers and discovering they really do have a hamper for anyone and any occasion, I decided on the Pamper Her Perfect*.
Ordering couldn't have been easier, using their Checkout system to select a preferred date and time then simply waiting (impatiently) for the courier to deliver safely to my door. They even offer extras such as balloons, teddy bears and birthday cakes and Standard Delivery is FREE too, making treating yourself or your loved one to a hamper all the more deserving!
The Pamper Her Perfect hamper arrived safely in a chic striped box, opening it to find the wine wrapped carefully in bubble wrap and everything else present neatly with celophane and a pillow of shredded paper and a little greeting card with personal message and discount code for the receivers first order.

The Pamper Her Perfect hamper contains exactly what you'd expect for a night of indulging alone in the tub: a box of Caramelised Butter Fudge; Salted chocolate truffles; Champagne and Strawberry truffles; A bottle of Le Paravel Rose wine and best of all; Bomb Cosmetics Hawaiian Flower gift set.
I won't lie to you I was very happy to receive this on my much needed day off and didn't hesitate to run a bath and drop the first Bomb Cosmetics bath bomb in! Sipping on a glass of wine, because hey, I deserved it after all! If you're looking for the perfect bespoke gift or bouquet of fresh flowers for a friend or family then Serenata Flowers is the website for you. Bouquets and House Plants start at £19.99 and come in various types, sizes and colours.
The Pamper Her Perfect hamper is priced at £39.99 which I think is great value for money for that you're getting. I'm now thinking of getting my Mum one for her Birthday. She was cooing around this one alot!

Serenata Flowers has kindly offered to let me host a giveaway to my readers, offering you the opportunity to win a hamper or bouquet of roses. There are so many to choose from so I have very helpfully selected the top three for the winner to decide which she/he would like to win :)
The prize to choose from are as follows:
French Linen Pamper Set
20 Luxury Pastel Roses
Sweet Ladies Who Bathe Hamper

a Rafflecopter giveaway
The giveaway will run from today 25th June to 09th July.
Entrants must be within the UK.
Entrants MUST enter via Rafflecopter widget
The winner will be chosen using Rafflecopter
Prize has been provided by Serenata Flowers
Winner will be notified by Peaches and Bear twitter and must provide a valid email address to be contacted on for postal details

I must apologise for the photos. My camera is still off being fixed so until then, shoddy phone photos (woo)

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Blogger Twitter Chats List & Tips

Twitter chats are increasingly popular within the blogging world (and beyond). They are perfect for networking with bloggers and are great for blog exposure. There seems to be a twitter chat covering just about any topic and for any person. I find it so hard keeping up, which is where this wonderful list comes in really handy.
Top Tips For Twitter Chats:

Most chats are an hour long and come either in general chat form or with a specific topic.
Check the Twitter account associated with the chat or the hashtag itself before the chat starts to find out if there is a topic for the chat that day!
Chats move fast - During it's a good idea to keep 2-3 tabs open, I like to keep the hashtag, the host and my notifications open so I can be up to date at all times.
Join in as much as you can. Don't be scared if you can't answer a Q - If I don't like the topic I often sit and read others tweets just to learn something new!
Remember to include the hashtag and @mention if you're tweeting directly. I sounds a bit silly but I'm sure we've all been there and forgot at some point, or even used the wrong hashtag if you're in more than one, oops!
Get organised. Familiarise yourself with Hootsuite or Tweetdeck. They're great for setting up tabs to monitor hashtags and accounts. You'll never miss a thing!
Fancy hosting a chat yourself? Many Twitter chats offer the opportunity to guest host a future chat for the day, if you would like the opportunity to guest host a chat you should contact the main host.
Don't be afraid to plug your blog. If you have a relevant post relating to a topic why not share it?
Relating to above, be sure not to over plug your links. During general chats when there's no specific topic the chat can sometimes become overwhelmed with blog links.
Share any general social media links at the end of the chat.
Lastly all chats in this post are listed with GMT times.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Tropical Attitude, Mauritius | Travel

Seeing as we've hit the 6 month mark since we went to Mauritius, I thought it was about time I shared our experience through a couple of posts. The memories are far from fresh in my mind, thank god for photos or I probably would have forgotten it. So here is part one, where we stayed.
We searched online for hotels after being told a ridiculous price from a travel agents. After a week or so, we decided we'd prefer a quieter hotel on a half board basis and found a gorgeous little family & friends run hotel, Tropical Attitude.
Tropical Attitude is situated in the East of Mauritius in Trou D'eau Douce in the District of Flacq. About 50 minutes from Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport (what a mouthful!), Trou D'eau Douce is a lovely area located on next to the ocean and surrounded by fruit fields and fishing villages. It's also the boat pick up point for tourists wanting to visit the adventure packed island of Ile Aux Cerfs.
We decided on this location as it's quieter than the West and North of the Island. We weren't looking for a big resort, more a quieter laid back retreat where we could come and go as we pleased.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

A Night At Clevedon Hall | Wedding

Last weekend Shehzad and I travelled over to the small town of Clevedon in North Somerset for an overnight stay at Clevedon Hall. It sits just next to the sea in a green garden estate with picturesque fountain and private lake. A 150-year-old manor, Clevedon Hall has previously been a home to it's original owner, a school and even a call centre but recently opened its doors to events and weddings.
Clevedon Hall Wedding and Events Venue Somerset
Clevedon Hall Wedding and Events Venue Somerset
Clevedon Hall Wedding and Events Venue Somerset
Clevedon Hall Wedding and Events Venue Somerset
Clevedon Hall Wedding and Events Venue Somerset
Clevedon Hall Wedding and Events Venue Somerset
The Great Hall set on the ground floor is Grade II listed with the stained glass, large wooden doors, curved bay windows overlooking the grounds and lake; you can understand why the owners decided to give couples the opportunity to Wed in this picturesque location.
Across the First and Second floor are 25 bedrooms and suites, all recently refurbished to impressive standards, with each room and their en-suites individually designed with Vintage meets Modern furnishings.
Clevedon Hall Wedding and Events Venue Somerset Merlin Suite
Clevedon Hall Wedding and Events Venue Somerset Merlin Suite
Clevedon Hall Wedding and Events Venue Somerset Merlin Suite
Clevedon Hall Wedding and Events Venue Somerset Merlin Suite
Clevedon Hall Wedding and Events Venue Somerset Merlin Suite
We entered our room, Merlin, on the second floor. An absolutely stunning green and pink bedroom furnished with Butterflies and floral features, how did they know I love Butterflies?! The room windows overlooked the fountain outside, such peaceful views.
The effort that has gone into creating such perfect rooms can clearly be seen, everything from the colour of the room to the vintage books tied together with twine make the room just so complete. 
Clevedon Hall Wedding and Events Venue Somerset Merlin Suite
Clevedon Hall Wedding and Events Venue Somerset Merlin Suite
Clevedon Hall Wedding and Events Venue Somerset Merlin Suite
Clevedon Hall Wedding and Events Venue Somerset Merlin Suite
Clevedon Hall Wedding and Events Venue Somerset Merlin Suite
And the theme carried through to the bathroom with a stunning green roll top bath, luxe modern waterfall shower cubicle fit for a king and large chic basin. Even the toilet made me squeal with excitement, with a fancy heated seat. Oh come on, it would excite anyone?! Not to mention the endless amount of Bathroom products from Neals Yard Remedies, I was ready for a bubble bath (later)
Clevedon Hall Wedding and Events Venue Somerset Merlin Suite
At 7pm we made our way down to The Great Hall for a drinks reception and canapes of Smoked Salmon Mille-Feuille, Truffled Quail Eggs and Duck Hoisin Beignets. Some seriously delicious and delicate canapes!
After getting to know the other bloggers and writers we were given the opportunity to take a look at two of the larger suites on offer at Clevedon Hall. Used for event stays, bridal suites and by highly established business persons, the suites have been decorated to such high standards, with plush queen sized bed, ensuite wet room and separate business/dining room. Meaning even the most private of people can stay in these suites without ever having to leave.

By 8pm we walked through a large set of doors to the Grand Library, honestly it was like something from Beauty and The Beast. All the books set in the walls giving a classic setting, but don't let them fool you - most of them are fake and just for effect.
Now for the food. A 4 course meal created by head chef Alan Jones. Alan is an award winning chef, has worked with some of the UK's top Michelin-starred culinarians and was former finalist of the Gordon Ramsay Scholarship Award and South West Chef of the Year.
Needless to say we were very excited to try the menu he set for the evening.
Clevedon Hall Wedding and Events Venue Somerset Merlin Suite
Clevedon Hall Wedding and Events Venue Somerset Merlin Suite
Clevedon Hall Wedding and Events Venue Somerset Merlin Suite
Clevedon Hall Wedding and Events Venue Somerset Merlin Suite
First, a Lobster Bisque with Cognac and Tarragon. A light yet powerful bisque, creamy and delicious served with freshly baked breads and churned butter.
For starter, Carpaccio of Beef with poached cherries, candied walnuts and apple salad. The beef melted in the mouth, and was complimented perfectly with the apple salad and oh my gosh, were the candied walnuts perfect.
Next was a delicious main of Roast chicken breast, caramalized apples and wild garlic puree, creamed potatoes and spiced jus. The other guests had belly of pork but obviously I don't eat pork. The chicken was delicious, moist and cooked to perfection. The caramalized apples give a sweet bite and wow, the wild garlic puree was out of this world. I'm going to have to try wild garlic more often.
And finally a dessert of Vanilla set cream, raspberry jelly with poached rhubarb, rhubard and Champagne chilled soup and topped with a candied Rhubarb piece. I am a huge rhubarb fan, when living in Cornwall I even had my own grown rhubarb. The set cream and raspberry jelly went beautifully with the stewed rhubarb. The Champagne soup gave a sweet tarte after-taste which was a delight.
We were left, bellies full and feeling oh so pleased with our meal.

But the drinks were still flowing and so we sat and chatted to John, one of the owners who transformed it into it's beauty that stands today. John told us about the history of Clevedon Hall and it's plans for the future including adding a hotel and restaurant.
As a soon to wed couple Shehzad and I cannot help but talk weddings, John discussed with us the process the team at Clevedon Hall go through to perfect a couples special day. Everything from creating the perfect setting for their ceremony, which can be held in a number of locations from the Great Hall, with the sweeping staircase as the perfect entrance for the bride; to the Dame Rosa Burden, a large light and airy room with stunning views of the garden and lake.
John even discussed with us the catering for weddings. There are no set menus for couples to choose from, instead the chefs are fully flexible catering to whatever your heart desires for your special day. This won me over, I wish more venues (especially those closers to where we live) catered with these guidelines!
Clevedon Hall Wedding and Events Venue Somerset Merlin Suite
Clevedon Hall Wedding and Events Venue Somerset Merlin Suite
After a very restful nights sleep we woke, showered and dressed and made our way to breakfast in the Dame Rosa Burden room, where an array of options were available. From a full fry to freshly baked warm pastries and bread, and fresh fruits.
I opted for a warm croissant with jam and a bowl of yoghurt and fruit cocktail. Plenty of coffee and orange juice was flowing and conversations of the night before and our plans for the day. And soon after, it was time to leave :(

The husband-to-be and I left feeling warm and very pleased with our stay. You can see the effort that has gone into making Clevedon Hall the venue that it is today. Any couple would be more than delighted to tie the knot in this stunning location. Clevedon Hall is available for exclusive hire for events, weddings or any formal occasion. For more information and brochures do contact Clevedon Hall via their website.

Clevedon Hall, Clevedon, Bristol, BS21 7RQ

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