From The Archive: 2013

With magazine placements on the side, 2013 was the last year I juggled blogging as a side gig. Things get a bit girlier in the style department too, with a lorra love for the sixties and a 'hive!

Europe Travel

Where Olivia Went…Cardiff


To me, the idea of a stay-cation is something I’ve always been pretty excited about. Having spent the last two summers visiting Brighton with Joe, discovering the most cute hidden away hotels- and subsequently the quaintest places to grab a bite; there’s something pretty charming about knowing you’re never more than a couple of hours away from your own bed- home girl, or what?
Additionally, living in the UK there are so many places to go. Whether you require shopping, history or heck- a different country without the flight, there’s probably something our fair Isle can offer. Take Cardiff for example…


Knowing this, a few weeks ago, my mum and I were very kindly invited to stay at the Park Plaza Hotel for the evening, to sample a cupcake making and decorating class, eat in the gorgeous Laguna Restaurant and erm, have a girlie sleepover (Chad Michael Murray film included, along with brownies and ice cream). Any false pretenses of rolling green fields of fluffy sheep were soon omitted upon arrival (bar of course the toy lamb in the bedroom) and before we knew it we’d quickly checked in, jumped on the beds (obligatory bed testing method) and headed downstairs to begin a culinary crash course. As well as being taught all things of cakey goodness by the amazing Sara of the Happy Cupcake Kitchen (who seriously oozes talent- not many people can sculpt icing roses), we also got to spend a little time with Rosie from Cider with Rosie and her other half Jason, who are by far one of the loveliest couples I’ve ever met (plus, her blog is an absolute gem- a must read if ever i saw one).


Now, I love giving you guys recommendations- and I have to say- if you’re after affordable luxury, be it with family, girlfriends or yo’ boyfriend this is your call. Thinking about it now, the amazing cupcake class, Welsh breakfast and all the spa/gym/pool/posh amenities (dressing gowns included- yup DRESSING GOWNS) all land in under Β£80 per person per night- which, having struggled to find anything cheaper in the past (including ‘budget’ hotels) ever is wildly impressive. Plus, with the amazing Laguna Restaurant and Bar inside the hotel (read: award winning eatery and pretty hip bar) serving seriously amazing food (everything from a classic steak, fancy tarts to Cornish fish and even…pasta!) you don’t even have to think about leaving the hotel to eat, impressive, right? You could even have it to your room (now there’s a thought)…


The next morning was spent making an embarrassingly large amount of trips to the breakfast buffet bar (not many places can pride themselves on having a PANCAKE MAKING MACHINE on offer) and then burning it off browsing the impressive city centre (which may have resulted in a teeny Zara shopping spree), as well as hot chocolates and catch ups with friends. Not bad for one weekend, right? Plus, we were home before late too- no Monday morning blues here.


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