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5 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE VISITING JAPAN IN 2024

Tuesday 7 November 2023

There's not many countries that I've visited in the last few years that I'm in a rush to go back to, but I'd love to see Japan again (mostly for the food). We spent just over a week travelling between Tokyo and Kyoto and I think we managed to see all the cities have to offer. On my next trip I'd love to also visit Osaka and try all of their famous street food. If any of these cities are on your bucket list, keep reading to find out 5 tips for travelling to Japan in 2024. 



1. Research the best time to go for what you want to see.


We visited in February because it's when we kicked off our Asia trip, and it was definitely cold! We did manage to see Mount Fuji which as told by our guide, is very dependent on what the weather is like that day. You can take a day trip to Mount Fuji from Tokyo. We paid £45 which included pick up from Ueno station and drop-off (1.5 hour journey), and we visited 3 locations. We couldn't actually go to the 5th Station (entrance to the mountain) as it had been snowing and so the roads were too slippery, but we did get great views of Fuji from Kawaguchiko lake and Oshino HakkaiTo increase your chances, the best time to visit Mt Fuji is between November and February


If you're more interested in cherry blossom season, then the best time to visit is in the spring (late March/early April). There's no shortage of cherry blossoms in Tokyo, one of the more popular places to see them is at Ueno Park. If you want to find somewhere a little less crowded, head to the English Garden in Shinjuku Gyoen. If you're in Kyoto, you'll want to see the 'weeping cherry tree' at Marayama Park. 



2. Purchase a SIM or eSIM for Japan.



The first question on most of our minds when we land in a new country is - how can I get connected to the internet? Your best choices are either purchasing a local sim or carrying a portable Wi-Fi device. Mobal specialises in providing contract-free Japan SIM cards and Japan eSIMs for travellers, whether you're going to be visiting briefly or staying long-term. If you need any help they provide English customer service and their profits also go to charity. 

The best part about purchasing an eSim is that you don't have to risk misplacing your old sim and you don't have to queue up at the airport at one of the kiosks either! 

3. Get an IC card at the train station.



I'm not sure if the situation has improved since I went to Japan in 2018, but the train stations in Japan were probably some of the most confusing I've been to! Firstly because there is barely any english signage and secondly, there were 2 main train/metro companies and it wasn't always clear if the ticket you had bought covered your journey. 

To avoid this I suggest you firstly get an IC card from the ticket machine, which is essentially like an Oyster card. You can tap this at any of the stations and means you don't have to keep buying single journey tickets. Secondly, use Google Maps! This will make getting to your destination 100 times easier as it will give you the correct platform and everything too. 


4. Stay in a traditional ryokan



You could choose to stay in a chain hotel that you're familiar and comfortable with, or you could properly immerse yourself in the Japanese culture and stay in a ryokan. A ryokan differs from a hotel in that you'll usually sleep on a futon bed and the rooms will be quite minimal and the floors are usually made of 'tatami' matting. Not exclusive to ryokans as you'll see these everywhere, that Japanese toilets have a lot more functions than your regular toilets back home!

You will find a wide selection of ryokans in Kyoto and can vary from budget accommodation to the more luxury style. Kyoto Ryokan Kinoe is a highly rated on in the Gion area in the centre. 



5. Be mindful of cultural differences



Once you've got over all the water functions your accommodation toilet has, there are some other things you should be mindful of when visiting Japan. 

1. Don't eat and walk - even though Japan is full of wonderful street food, you'll never find anyone eating and walking at the same time as it's frowned upon. If you order something in one of the food markets, just stand to the side and eat it if you can't find a place to sit. 

2. Make sure you're in the right train carriage - as passed 6pm, some trains have 'female only' carriages (which I think is great). You'll also find that locals form an orderly queue by the train doors when waiting to board, so there's no pushing and shoving to get in. 

3. Slurp that bowl - it's actually a sign of respect and that you've really enjoyed your meal! 



I hope you've found this post useful. If you have any other questions about Japan, feel free to message me on my socials or check out my travel guides below!

G


3 days in Tokyo, Japan

HOW TO SPEND 2 DAYS IN GIBRALTAR (FROM A LOCAL).

Sunday 5 November 2023

I've done a fair bit of Gibraltar based content in the past, but realised I haven't done an itinerary of what the perfect 2 day trip to Gibraltar would look like. There are a lot of tourists who come to Gibraltar for a day or on a cruise stop, so I wanted to show that Gibraltar is worth spending more than just 1 night in.


For those who have just heard of the place, Gibraltar is an overseas British Territory on the Southern tip of Europe. We border Spain, which means that because of Brexit tourists do need to have their passport stamped when crossing in and out. Whilst exploring Gibraltar, you'll notice the contrast between red telephone boxes and fish & chips, with tapas and hearing people speaking a mix of both English and Spanish. If you're looking to spend a weekend or 2 days in Gibraltar, this is the perfect itinerary.  



Day 1



Breakfast

To start your trip, I would head to Hustle n Flow for breakfast if you like instagrammable food that doesn't compromise on flavour. This place has all the cosy vibes and even has a little play area for kids if you're travelling as a family. My personal favourites on the menu are the blue eyed girl and the French toast



Explore the Rock of Gibraltar 

Once you're all full up from breakfast, you can either choose to walk around 30 minutes to the rock of Gibraltar (before starting your incline) or crossing the road and catch the number 3 bus towards South Pavilion Steps Terminus. You can ask the bus driver to let you know the closest stop for going up the rock, which will be by the Old Casino

Another way to get up the rock, is to walk up town or get the number 1 bus to Flat Bastion Road. Here you'll find a set of steps with the union jack which lead you to the Upper Rock. A lot of the attractions are found on the rock, so you can expect to spend a couple of hours here.

If you want to save money then I recommend buying a GibraltarPass - which will get you access to most of the attractions mentioned in this blog as well as restaurant discounts and a few freebies. Who doesn't love a free glass of wine? Some of the attractions included are the Mediterranean Steps, Skywalk, Cable Car, WW2 Tunnels, Wildlife Centre and you also get free transport on the Citibus. 

You can use my code TWG23 for 5% off your pass!


Mediterranean Steps

If you're the outdoorsy type, then start off with the 1 hour trek through the Mediterranean Steps. You'll definitely be out of breath by the time you get to the top, but it's doable for people of all ages. To get here, find your way to the Pillars of Hercules and you'll see the starting point 20m from there. Entry for tourists is £16. 

The Skywalk

This is one of Gibraltar's newer attractions, and was actually inaugurated by Mark Hamill back in 2018. The skywalk offers a glass walkway with 360 degree views of Gibraltar, and also allowing you to see both Africa and Spain. If you're afraid of heights, then you'll probably want to skip this one!


St Michael's Cave

I definitely recommend you stop by to visit the St Michael's Cave as the colours and formations are really something. This place is actually used as a theatre and over the last few years we've had several international comedians like Jimmy Carr and Alan Carr perform here.

If you're looking for something more adventurous, you can actually book a tour for Lower St Michael's Cave. This tour lasts 4 hours and involves scrambling and some rope climbing, and you can expect to get wet!


Suspension bridge

Again, if you're scared of heights then you might want to choose an easier path to get down the rock. If not, then you do get a bit of a thrill by walking across the suspension bridge and you get great views of Gibraltar. 

Apes Den

I couldn't write this post without mentioning the Barbary Macaques. Even though most of them hang around Apes Den, you'll probably come across a few roaming around the rock of even upper parts of town. My suggestion, don't have food out or try to feed them and don't stare at their babies! 

If you don't feel like walking much further after exploring the rock, you can catch the Cable Car back down for a fee. 



Lunch

Next we're heading to Chatham Counterguard, where you'll find a strip of tapas restaurants. You'll find this area is the most vibrant on a Friday night or Saturday lunch time. My most visited restaurants in Chatham are probably: 
  • Vault 13 for their asian prawns, octopus and bao buns;
  • My Wines for their duck nachos and lemon chicken fingers;
  • Tapas by Gauchos for their steak tartare and truffled mash.


Gin Distillery tour

If you've a lover of gin, then you need to make time for Spirit of The Rock's gin distillery tour. The owner Peter will take you through a bit of history of where gin came from and how it made its way to Gibraltar.

You'll get to try 6 different gins (from the original purer forms to the newer gin mixes) and then you will get to enjoy your own gin based cocktail at the end. You can either choose to water down the gins or shot them straight, in which case I suggest you have a big meal beforehand! The tour times vary so I suggest looking on their website beforehand to see their availability. 


Main Street

After the gin tasting tour you will find yourself at the top of Main Street. You'll want to make your way down to Casemates Square to see everything it has to offer. Along Main Street you'll find shops, bakeries and restaurants and a few alleyways to explore. 

If you fancy an afternoon snack, then head to The Muscle Bakery on Cornwall's Lane. I buy treats from here almost every week because not only are they guilt free but I love the unique flavour combinations they come up with! They often have seasonal specials too for Halloween, Christmas and every other holiday in between. Their products are always gluten-free and if you're a gym goer, a lot of these baked treats are also made with a high amount of protein. My personal favourites are the skinny dream bars and the kinder doughnuts. They also have a savoury menu if you don't have much of a sweet tooth. 


If you're visiting from the UK, you'll also recognise some of the high street shops such as Marks & Spencers, Superdry and Debenhams. 

I'm assuming by this point, you'll want to head back to your room to freshen up, upload your instagram pics or just have a good ol' holiday nap. 


Dinner

Last year I did a survey to find out what the best places for a meal out in Gibraltar were, according to locals. Little Bay in Ocean Village came in the top 3 and it's no surprise why! The indian food here is delicious and I've never had a bad meal here. 

This place is always full so expect to wait a while for your food, but it is worth the wait. My usual orders when I go are the chilli cheese naan, the pomegranate aloo tikki chana masala, the anardana jhinga which is a prawn dish, and the chicken murgh makhani. For dessert, the pistachio kulfi is lovely. I also recommend checking out their signature cocktail menu!



Nightlife

One thing which you might find a little different when visiting Gibraltar, is that the nightlife is more buzzing on a Friday. If you're looking for a place to end your night then your best options are Bruno's or Viceroy Nightclub. Both venues are open late on Fridays and Saturdays. Bruno's is free entry and although it's technically a restaurant, they turn the inside space into a dance floor on the weekends. 

Viceroy opened its doors this summer and has an over 25 door policy and charges £10 entry after 11pm on Fridays (Saturday nights are usually free!). If you just fancy some cocktails during the day then it's free to enter and they have a lovely outside area for it. They sometimes have events on with international DJs so it's worth having a look at their website to see what's on! 

Photo by @viceroygib on Instagram


Day 2



Breakfast

When I asked 400 locals what their favourite breakfast spot in Gibraltar was, My Wines was a clear winner. Whether you’re looking for something sweet or savoury, or having breakfast with your family there’s something for everyone. I recommend the pancakes, bacon eggs benedict or a simple mollete bread with tomato and jamon serrano if you want a typical Andalusian breakfast. If you visit around autumn/winter, they also have pumpkin spiced lattes on the menu. An interesting breakfast item they have is the ‘breakfast hunger killer’. This combines their famous lemon chicken fingers in a warm mollete with melted cheese. 

If you're a fan of bottomless brunches, then keep your eyes peeled on their Instagram account, as they regularly do 'Brunch n Boogie' events on their terrace. 



Escape Room

If you happen to be staying in the Holiday Inn, then you'll only have a short 5 minute walk to reach the Rock Escape Rooms. I've done a few of these myself and they're always a lot of fun (with a few jump scares here and there). I recommend doing the Jack the Ripper or the Prison Break rooms!

Lunch

From the escape rooms, you can reach the beaches within 10 minutes. First you'll come across Eastern Beach and at the entrance, you'll find Karma Chiringuito. Here you'll find Mediterranean dishes such as paella, fresh seafood, fish and meat. 

They occasionally run wine pairing events too, so make sure to check their Facebook page to see if they're holding one whilst you're here!

Photo from @karmachiringuito on instagram


Beach day

After lunch, you can choose to stay at Eastern Beach or keep walking another 10 minutes towards Catalan Bay or Sandy Bay. Catalan is definitely the prettiest as you'll find a backdrop of colourful houses that will have you thinking you're in Italy. In terms of the actual beach and water, Sandy bay has the softest sand in my opinion! 

Tip from a local: ask for a 'frozen sun top' at the kiosk, it's been a beach staple at the beach in Gibraltar since I was little! 


Lighthouse & Europa Point

Before heading home, catch the number 2 bus to Europa Point to see Gibraltar's lighthouse and some great views of Africa. Here you'll also find the Gibraltar University and the Bistro Point Restaurant, if you want to sit and have a drink with a view. 


Dinner

After you've freshened up, head to Queensway Quay where you'll find a number of restaurants that in my opinion, are the perfect places for a date night or a celebration. Some of these are pricier than other parts of Gibraltar, but the quality of the food matches it. Some of my favourites are:
  • Monique's Bistro for their duck salad and mushroom pilpil;
  • The Lounge for their crispy pork belly with potato terrine;
  • and Rendezvous for their steaks!


Quiz, Karaoke?

If you head to Ocean Village, you'll find something going on most nights. For reference, here is a weekly summary of what's on in Gibraltar at the time of me writing this article. 

Wednesday: Karaoke at Allswell, Bingo at The Hendrix
Thursday: Quiz & Karaoke at The Ship
Friday: Quiz at Hendrix
Saturday: Karaoke at Hendrix or Lord Nelson
Sunday: Quiz at The Bridge 


USEFUL INFO


  • Our first language is English, but you'll find a lot of us also speak Spanish and there are also a lot of spanish nationals working in Gibraltar. 
  • We use pounds in Gibraltar, but you might find some of the notes and coins look slightly different. That's because we also circulate the Gibraltar Pound (GIP) which won't work in the UK, so make sure you get them changed. Euros also work in any shop. 
  • If you're feeling lazy or you've arrived late and want to order food, download the Hungry Monkey app. You can actually claim 10% off your order using my code TEAWITHGI when you checkout. 
  • Please don't refer to Gibraltarians as Spanish, we've fought hard to stay British! ;)
  • Most hotels are quite central, Sunborn Gibraltar is on the higher price range but in the heart of Ocean Village, but the Holiday Inn is just 10 minutes away from it. If you'd rather stay in town, then Elliot's Hotel is your best bet. There are also a lot of Gibraltar AirBnBs popping up, so make sure to look their too!

I hope you've found this post useful! if you want any further info or even fancy meeting up for a coffee when you're in Gibraltar you can reach me on any of my socials below. 











MY HEALTHY HABITS AND PERSONAL GOALS FOR THE REST OF 2023.

Thursday 19 October 2023

It's been a while since I've written a lifestyle post on here, so I'm partly doing this for my blog and also for a bit of motivation and accountability for myself! I feel like this summer I've sort of 'let myself go' in terms of fitness and sticking to my routine but I've also had a fun few months which I don't regret. Here are some healthy habits and life goals I want to achieve by the end of the year!



1. Get some ab definition back



This might sound superficial, but my stomach area has always been a part of my body that I was able to maintain quite toned even when I wasn't as happy with other parts of my body. Seeing that change lately is what's made me think I need to get myself back on track to what is my usual comfortable weight. In order to reach this I know I need to try and get a decent amount of protein each day, lift my weights and minimise foods that I know will bloat me. 


2. Invest in myself



This is not only for the rest of the year, but something I also want to carry on to 2024. I've always thought of things like massages and facials as luxuries that I only get when I feel like 'treating myself' but in fact, they contribute to our overall well-being. Before the end of the year I want to make a point to get a skin consultation and then get regular facials depending on what my skin needs. 

I'd also like to try and have a massage every 2-3 months, whether that's just for stress relief or muscle tightness so I can perform better at the gym and during my day to day tasks. If you're based in London or near-by, then you can pop into Asiatic Thai Massage and get 15% off your massage using the code 'TEAWITHGI'. They specialise in thai massages which for me, are a balance of both relaxation and knot removing! They offer full body massages, thai yoga massages and also offer massages for women who are currently pregnant. Prices start at £45. 



3. Keep up with my vitamins 



One vitamin that I've managed to take daily for the year is my vitamin C, because it tastes like a sweet! It might be a coincidence but I haven't had a cold all year. I did get my bloods taken out before the summer and was told I was lacking in vitamin D. Admittedly, I wasn't taking it very religiously until a month ago and I've noticed improvements in my mood and overall clarity. So this is something I definitely want to try and keep up. 

4. Reach 7,000 followers on Instagram 



Who thought I would have been trying to reach a lower goal than 2022? At the start of the year I had a good few 100 followers over the 7k mark, but alas here we are. I've found Instagram an increasingly hard platform to grow my content on lately and it can be discouraging sometimes. That being said, I have had restaurants in Gibraltar reach out to me and say they've received a lot of customers thanks to my posts on 'Where to find the best Sunday Roasts in Gibraltar' and 'Best cocktails in Gibraltar' so that's always good to hear!

5. Write 5,000 more words of my book



So back in 2019, I started writing a book and I haven't touched it since 2021. I had a sudden burst of motivation last week that I wanted to continue writing it and try and self-publish it before my 30th birthday next year. Watch this space to see how it goes! 

6. Work with a brand or restaurant that I love



Over the years I've been lucky to have some incredible opportunities thanks to my blog. Before the end of 2023, I'd like to collaborative with a brand or restaurant that I'm a big fan of. I do have a few interesting things in the pipeline with some Gibraltar based companies that I'm excited for!

G








10 THINGS TO EXPERIENCE IN PORTO, PORTUGAL.

Tuesday 4 July 2023

Porto is the second largest city in Portugal behind Lisbon, and in my opinion just as beautiful and quaint. One thing that they both have in common is the amount of hilled streets you will come across whilst you’re here! If you’re looking for a place that has culture, sun and affordable food then this is the place for you. Here are 10 things I recommend doing whilst you are in Porto. 


1. Go on a Portuguese food crawl



Portugal has some great food, and after doing some research I found that this city in particular has a few local specialties. The most famous is their ‘francesinhas’, a meat filled sandwich covered in cheese and tomato sauce. Secondly you have ‘bifanas’, which are similar to montaditos de lomo but covered in a delicious spicy sauce. This had to be my favourite! Cachorro hot dogs and cod fish are also popular options in this region. Lastly, you can’t leave Porto without trying a few pastel de natas (custard tarts).



2. Book a port wine tour



This was such a fun experience, just make sure you have a big meal before this because you will end up tipsy! We booked our Port wine tour online through and it lasted around 3 hours. Our guide was informative and funny, we tried 3 different port varieties and by the end of the tour we had 9 glasses of port and one table wine of our choice. My personal favourite was the ruby port, I’d love to know your thoughts if you do this tour!



3. Visit the Duoro Valley



If you’re a real wine enthusiast, then I recommend a visit to the Duoro Valley. You can either take the train from Sao Bento yourself, or book a guided Duoro Valley tour which arranges the travel for you too. There are even tours where you can pick and stomp on the grapes yourself!


4. View the city from the Torre dos Clerigos



The Clerigos Church Tower is also a great navigation point if you lose your way around the city, but the view from it is also lovely! There’s plenty of cafes and restaurants surrounding it, so it’s also a good place to sit and have a coffee and people watch.




5. Visit the charming Livraria Lello Bookstore



We didn’t go in ourselves because there was a pretty long ticketed queue to enter the bookstore, but if you’re a book lover then you don’t want to miss this place. It has a charming red staircase and resembles something out of Beauty and the Beast. Tickets to enter cost 5 euros, but if you buy a book inside they will deduct this from the price of the book.


6. Cross the D Luis I Bridge and walk along the Nova de Gaia area



When you cross the bridge and head down the very steep hill to the Nova de Gaia promenade, you’ll find a range of bars, restaurants and port wine cellars here. You will also find the Mercado Municipal de Beira here which offers lots of different food stalls. There is a stall here that sells ‘brigadeiros’ which are Brazilian fudge balls and they are delicious! Along the promenade you can also try a cod and cheese croquette at the Casa Portuguesa.



7. Walk along the Jardins do Palacio de Cristal



The Crystal Palace Gardens are free to enter and is the biggest and largest green space in Porto. Here you’ll find different gardens with fountains and sculptures scattered around the park. It’s a great place to take a walk through or if the weather is nice, bring a picnic.


8. Snap some pics in the Sao Bento Railway Station



This is one of the prettiest stations I’ve been in (after the Toledo station in Naples), and even if you’re not planning on travelling anywhere it’s something worth seeing. As mentioned earlier in this article, you can catch the train to the Duoro Valley from here.




9. Enjoy happy hour at one of the many bars at Galeria de Paris Street



I don’t think I’ve ever paid 5 euros for an Aperol Spritz anywhere, and this is what you’ll find here when it’s not happy hour. If you do like your fancy cocktails and cool interiors, then I suggest grabbing one at The Royal Cocktail Club. A lot of these bars have dance floors in the evening, so if you’re looking for a night out this is where you want to be.


10. Try and catch a festival whilst you’re there!



The main reason for our visit to Porto was for the Primavera Sound festival, and I would definitely go again. The organisation was great, an Uber was only 10 euros from the centre and we didn’t have to wait too long, and the range of artists they brought catered for all different age groups and music tastes.

I hope you've found this travel guide to Porto useful, and if you have any more questions feel free to send me a message on my socials! 

G





A GUIDE TO A WEEKEND IN GENEVA, SWITZERLAND.

Wednesday 17 May 2023

Geneva was never a city that was high on my bucket list, especially when the first reaction that people have when you say you're going there is 'nice, but Switzerland is so expensive!' If you live in the likes of Gibraltar or London, then the prices there won't scare you much and there are always 'hidden gems' where you can get a cheap deal or at least value for your money. If you're planning a trip to the swiss city, here are my recommendations on where to stay, what and where to eat and what to do in Geneva. 


 a guide to geneva switzerland


Where to stay


Geneva is relatively small, meaning that as long as you get a hotel in the city centre you will be able to reach most points of interest by foot. We stayed at the Auteil Manotel Hotel, which was a few minutes walk from the main train station and about 5 minutes from the bus station. 


The 4 star hotel cost around £160 a night during the spring season and my favourite thing about our stay had to be the bed and pillows. I felt like I was sleeping on a marshmallow! I also love hotels that do a bit extra for their guests (in the form of treats) so it was great to find a bar of swiss chocolate, some fruit and a bottle of red wine for us. Our room also had a big terrace facing the train tracks, which we thought might have been too noisy but to be honest with the door shut we didn't hear anything. 



What and where to eat



I could just make this article about cheese and chocolate, but we actually did eat other things which I will share. One thing has to be said, we did not have a single bad meal in Geneva. The only thing I was disappointed with was my £8 oat shaken Starbucks latte (self-inflicted for spending that at a chain coffee place).

For breakfast, head to the Cottage Cafe nice and early and grab yourself one of their 'open sandwiches' and a coffee for under £10. It's a very quaint little place and you get great views of the city and river behind you. If you want to splash out a bit more, I had a 'Oui Monsieur' at Birdie Cafe which was lovely and cheesy, but also cost me £16. 



For cheese lovers, I 100% recommend you make a reservation at Cafe du Soleil for their cheese fondue. This place was filled with tourists and locals, and if we wouldn't have pre-booked we would have probably been waiting outside for a while. The menu says that the cheese fondue is priced at around £20 per person, but we thought surely it isn't going to cost us £40 to eat melted cheese if there's two of us. We asked the waiter if we could just order one portion and that was fine, and they still gave us 10 slices of bread and a pot of fondue to share. We also split a steak and chips and this was also delicious, this got dipped into the cheese too! 


Another place which is known for their cheese is Restaurant Les Armures. This is found in the old town and you will be able to try swiss cheeses like gruy√®re and raclette. 

If you fancy something a little different, then Masala House do really good indian food. You'll find that Geneva is a melting pot of cultures, and as you walk down the streets you'll see there is a bit of everything when it comes to cuisine! 



What to do 


Geneva hasn't got a long list of landmarks to see, but some points of interest which you might want to mark on your Google Maps are: 

  • Jet D'Eau
  • Temple de Saint-Pierre
  • Jardin Anglais (English Garden)
  • Place du Bourg-de-Four
  • Botanical Gardens
  • Quai du Mont-Blanc

Map thanks to Wanderlog, a trip planner app on iOS and Android

The main event of our trip to Geneva, was a 3 hour chocolate tasting tour with Local Flavours Tours. If you select the 2:30pm tour, then I suggest you just have breakfast and treat this tour as your lunch because you will end up very satisfied

This tour will take you through some of the best artisan chocolate shops in Geneva, and of course let you try a range of chocolate in all different forms. We had hot chocolate, truffles, unique flavour creations, ruby chocolate, a chocolate patisserie and then got to select some on our own. What's great about this is not only is it an immersive way to learn about the history of chocolate in Switzerland, but it's also a great way to get your bearings around the city with a walking tour! 

The tour is slightly on the pricier side at 98CHF (around £87) per person, but if you factor in all the chocolate you eat you'd probably be spending over half of that buying them individually at the shops.  



*We were kindly invited by Local Flavours Tours to review this experience


I know this blog post is titled what to do in Geneva for a weekend, but if you find yourself with time to spare then I really recommend catching a Flixbus to the French town of Annecy. The trip will only set you back 10 euros and you will get there in under an hour. If you haven't heard of Annecy, just think Venice mixed with Beauty and the Beast! It really is one of the most picturesque places I've been to. Here you need to try a raclette baguette from La Fermette and try a tartiflette (a dish made of potatoes, cheese, bacon and everything delicious). You can find this dish on almost every menu in Annecy! 




I hope you've found this travel guide to Geneva useful, and if you have any more questions feel free to send me a message on my socials! 

G


geneva travel tips



geneva travel guide pinterest




THE BEST PLACES TO EAT AND DRINK IN GIBRALTAR, ACCORDING TO LOCALS.

Wednesday 1 March 2023

 With Gibraltar being such a small place, one of the most common ways to spend your weekends here is eating out and going for drinks. Whenever I’m travelling to a new city, I find myself searching across social media channels for the best places to eat. Which is why I wanted to find out what restaurants the people in Gibraltar would rate the best, to help tourists but also for locals to discover some new places. Over 400 people took part in this survey, and these were the results! 




For Breakfast



1. My Wines

Coming in first place for breakfast is My Wines. This was actually my vote too as I love the variety. Whether you’re looking for something sweet or savoury, or having breakfast with your family there’s something for everyone. I recommend the pancakes, bacon eggs benedict or a simple mollete with tomato. If you visit around autumn/winter, they also have pumpkin spiced lattes on the menu. I need to go for breakfast soon to try their latest edition to the menu, the ‘breakfast hunger killer’. This combines their famous lemon chicken fingers in a warm mollete with melted cheese. 





2. Hustle n’ flow


In second place we have Hustle n’ Flow, which is a very convenient 2 minute walk from my house. This place combines nutritious food with an instagram worthy aesthetic. Here you can find a variety of smoothies, acai bowls, classic toasts and a few lunch options such as wraps and burgers. My recommendations here would have to be the french toast , the blue eyed girl bowl and the ‘honey we’re all nuts!’ toast. Whilst you’re here, finish off with one of their super shot elixirs! 





3. Aquaterra 

In third place we have Aquaterra, which hadn’t been on my radar until this. This place is usually known for their meats and cool cocktails, but they also have a very cheap and cheerful breakfast menu. It also looks like it’s packed every Saturday morning so you’re best off booking a table in advance! I had their Andaluz breakfast which included bread with tomato and olive oil, topped with jamon serrano. You also get a tea or coffee included for a total of £3.90! 





For Tapas

1. La Tapilla Sixtina

In first place for tapas we have La Tapilla Sixtina, located in Chatham Counterguard. This is probably the closest you’ll get in Gibraltar to a typical Spanish tapas menu, and the prices are reasonable. Here you’ll find a variety of montaditos, tostadas, croquettes, meats and more. My staples when eating here are the huevos rotos, the pork with truffle oil, the carrillada (pork cheek) stew, and the prawns pil pil. To wash it all down, have a tinto de verano with liquor 43!





2. Vault 13


In second place, we have Vault 13, an asian-mediterranean fusion tapas restaurant. I’ve never had a bad meal here, and I’ve pretty much tried 90% of the menu. My favourites are the asian prawns, the octopus with potatoes, the pork belly, the mini chicken brioche sliders and all of the bao buns!





3. My Wines


Making another appearance on the list, in third place for tapas is My Wines. I always like coming here in a big group because there are a lot of things on the menu that I enjoy. I recommend booking a table on their terrace in the warmer months too. My recommendations here are the goat’s cheese salad, the jalapeno wontons, lemon chicken fingers, puchero croquettes, and the duck nachos (a lot of my friends are 50/50 on these nachos, but I love the oriental spin on them!) My favourite wine here is Anahi, if you’re looking for something semi-sweet to pair your food with. 





For a date night



 1. Little Bay 

In first place for date night or a meal out, is the Indian restaurant Little Bay. This place is always full so expect to wait a while for your food, but it is delicious. The go to order for my boyfriend and I when we go is the chilli cheese naan, the pomegranate aloo tikki chana masala, the anardana jhinga which is a prawn dish, and the chicken murgh makhani. For dessert, the pistachio kulfi is lovely. I also recommend checking out their signature cocktail menu!  





2. 4 Stagioni 


This is my favourite Italian restaurant in Gibraltar, mostly because of their very cheesy garlic bread calzone and the pumpkin ravioli. 4 Stagioni is located a bit further away from town but the fact you have to make more of an effort to get there almost makes it feel like an even better spot for a special occasion. If you’re more into pizza than pasta, then I recommend the tropical pizza which comes with ham, pineapple and mango chutney! Our favourite wine to have here is Satinela. 





3. Vault 13 


Also making a second appearance is Vault 13, so I thought I’d save some of my other favourite menu items for this section of the article. The whipped feta with honey, the hummus and the beetroot & goat’s cheese mousse are all great plates to start with! 






For Cocktails
 

If after you’ve checked out one of these restaurants you fancy going for a few drinks, then these are the best cocktail spots according to locals. In first place we have Las Iguanas, which probably has one of the largest cocktail menus in Gibraltar. My go to here is the Pornstar Martini or the Guava Colada. In second place is Little Bay, and my favourites here are the Masala Mule and the Ancient Routes. In third place we have Bruno’s, which is famously known for their 24 hours 241 cocktail special. I usually have a Singapore Sling or a Pornstar Martini here, or an Aperol Spritz when the sun is out!


Iguanas 241 Guava Colada's

The Yard came in 4th for their cocktails, but if you're looking for the biggest variety of gin in Gibraltar then this is the place to be!



Want to see more of what these places have to offer? Check out my reels for what we ordered on Instagram!


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