Autumn in Edinburgh

I’ve probably said it before but autumn really is my favourite time of year: the colours, the cosiness, even the weather. Last October, I visited a rainy Edinburgh and instantly fell in love. Despite the rain, we had a wonderful time and I’d highly recommend it as an autumn city break. There’s plenty to do and I had some of the best meals I’ve ever had there, which I’ve included below.

To do in Edinburgh:
Edinburgh is a great city for wandering around and stumbling upon landmarks and iconic spots such as Scott’s Monument or Victoria Street, but below are a few special places I wanted to share.

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
Even in the rain, the gardens are a pretty place to visit. Make sure to check out what’s on, as they host plenty of special events.

See a show at the Edinburgh Playhouse
We saw Beauty & The Beast on its tour and it was magical; the Playhouse is a beautiful venue in the city.

Armchair Books
This second-hand bookstore came highly recommended so I couldn’t resist a visit. It’s a charming store, filled to the brim with all sorts of books. I got two books for about £6, so make sure to check it out.

Vintage stores
Edinburgh is heaven for vintage lovers! Grassmarket has a few great spots, including Armstrong vintage stores and Little Blue Door Vintage.

Coro Chocolate Cafe and Beauty & The Beast The Musical

Food spots in Edinburgh:

Coro Chocolate Cafe
This one’s for the chocoholics out there (hello, friends). Your sweet tooth will be fully satisfied at Coro, with all manner of chocolate treats and drinks. I recommend the fresh fruit fondue. I was so mesmerised I even made a TikTok here!

Bubba Q
Famous for its chicken wings and smoked barbecue, Bubba Q did not disappoint.

Bubba Q and Mimi’s Bakehouse

Mimi’s Bakehouse
There are multiple different Mimi’s Bakehouse spots across the city, perfect for tea and cake in between wandering the cobbled streets.

If you’re looking for an instagrammable brunch (aren’t we all?) in Edinburgh, Laila ticks all the boxes. Not only that, the food was delicious and perfectly pink!

My favourite restaurant in Edinburgh, undoubtedly. The best carbonara I’ve ever had; it was so fresh and flavourful. Another one to book in advance as it’s popular, for good reason!

Victoria Street and brunch at Laila
Cockburn Street and Civerinos

I hope you enjoyed my Edinburgh blog post and my favourite spots come in handy on your next trip!

Viva Las Vegas

What happens in Vegas, goes on my blog! That’s how the saying goes, right?

Back in May 2019 8 of us girls boarded a plane to Las Vegas, Nevada. Whilst I know the city doesn’t appeal to some, I was excited for a few days in the sun with my friends. There are also some really great things to see if gambling and drinking aren’t your type of thing. My photos aren’t the best from this trip (due to the aforementioned activities) but hopefully they give you an idea of some fun things to do in Las Vegas!

We booked a trip to the Grand Canyon ahead of time – it was a must-see for me. We went with Maverick Helicopters on the Grand Canyon Explorer tour. It’s a small airplane that takes you to the South Rim on a short shuttle bus tour (our tour guide was the cutest guy who made us a packed lunch) where you can get off and explore the views and hiking trails yourself. The views were nothing short of spectacular – it’s impossible to describe the vastness of it.

A tour of the hotels is a worthy activity in Vegas. They’re so enormous and unique, and you could spend a couple of days seeing all of them.

The Venetian was definitely my favourite; the theming is incredible, it’s even got its own canal and gondolas. You forget you’re in a busy American city. The Bellagio is another beautiful hotel I’d recommend visiting – the Botanical Gardens change display every season.

There are 3 amazing rides at the top of The STRAT Hotel. Non-guests can go straight up and buy tickets for the rides overlooking the incredible Las Vegas Valley.

There are so many restaurants to try in Las Vegas, from fast food to fine dining. Two of my top places were STK and Catch – both slightly pricey but worth it with incredible food and amazing service.

The Neon Museum is also really worth the trip. They look after old hotel and casino signage in their main collection, the “Neon Boneyard”, hosting more than 200 unrestored signs, including the old Hard Rock guitar.

Have you ever been to Las Vegas? Let me know your recommendations in the comments – I am fully planning to go back one day and see what I missed!

Summer in Seville


I’ve been taking the time over lockdown (thank you, coronavirus) to sort out all of my travel photographs and organise some blog posts. First up is the beautiful Seville! Admittedly, this post was prepared a long time ago but I guess you could say I lost confidence with my little blog and it took a backseat – let’s get back on the horse, shall we?

If I’m completely honest, a trip to Seville had never crossed my mind before but the sunny city proved to be the perfect September getaway. Easily done in a long weekend, the traditional Spanish streets were perfect for wandering, lined with boutiques and sweet bars to hide away from the sun (and play a good card game). What else are holidays for?


We stayed in a lovely Airbnb by the river which was a short walk to Alameda De Hercules, a fun square with bars and restaurants. The city is full of photogenic spots, including the beautiful Plaza de España (pictured above) and Parque de Maria Luisa. Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones was even filmed at the Plaza de España.

It’s very much a walking city; everything is within a short distance and it’s easy to while away the time as you wander the streets. You can find charming boutiques and cafés in the Jewish Quarter, just behind the Royal Alcázar of Seville – a magnificent palace with a mix of Christian and Mudéjar architecture. The palace has also been a screen star, appearing on the famous series Game of Thrones. Book in advance for a €4 student ticket and skip the huge queues. Be warned – you’ll spend hours in there!


The weather was glorious in September but in the afternoon it reached up to 36 degrees – the perfect time to hide in those bars I mentioned!

Hot spots

  • Museum of Flamenco – only €15 for a student ticket (€22 for full adult) for a fantastic show and cheap sangria!
  • H2go! paddle boarding and kayaking – this was such a lovely way to spend our final evening, paddling along the beautiful river as the sun set!
  • Las Setas De Sevilla – the famous wooden structure in the old quarter, with great views across the city.
  • La Azotea – a very chic restaurant, with delicious seafood dishes. They also cater for dairy-free and gluten-free diets.
  • Ice Wave – very instagrammable ice cream, frozen in front of you (picture at the end of this post)!



If there’s been one place I’ve visited that has exceeded my expectations, it’s Venice. It is even more beautiful in real life than in pictures, so I really hope this blog post does it justice!


There aren’t many words to describe how beautiful it is, so I’ll let the photos do (most of) the talking. We stayed in the elegant Hotel Palazzo Giovanelli, located by the San Stae vaporetto stop which was a slightly quieter area of Venice that was still only a short walk to St Mark’s Square. A long weekend in May was a great time to go as it was around 25℃ every day – perfect to walk around and explore without getting too hot.


On our first day, we strolled over to St Mark’s Square for a tour of the Doge’s Palace with Turive Tours. It was a great morning and we learnt so much about Venice’s history. After lunch, we couldn’t resist a gondola ride! When in Venice…


Murano, Burano and Torcello

My favourite day of our holiday had to be our day trip to the Lagoon Islands. We took the water taxi to Murano first, the island famous for glass blowing. It was so pretty and peaceful, but we were mainly looking forward to the colourful island of Burano, also known for lace-making. A tip: when we got off the water taxi, we went left into the village instead of straight ahead to the centre of the island and it was so quiet! After hours spent wandering the vibrant streets, we headed to Torcello before taking the water taxi back to Venice and having dinner down the widest street in the city.


My favourite spots

San Giorgio Maggiore
The perfect place to enjoy an amazing view of Venice. San Giorgio Maggiore is a 16th-century church filled with magnificent religious paintings, sitting on an island of the same name that’s just a short vaporetto ride away from St Mark’s. Get the elevator (phew!) to the top of the bell tower for a beautiful view that’s much quieter than elsewhere.

Gelateria Il Doge, Dorsoduro
The best ice cream we found in Venice! I couldn’t get enough of the Stracciatella flavour – it’s a ‘milk-based gelato’ with chocolate chips and was created in Italy, so you know you’re getting the best.

Muro San Stae
This restaurant was recommended to me by a friend and it was fantastic. The service was great and the food was epic – pasta in a PARMESAN SHELL, anyone?! Another must-try is the homemade tiramisu!

Peggy Guggenheim Collection
Peggy Guggenheim herself lived in the unfinished 18th century Grand Canal palace which is now a museum of her impressive art collection. Including works by Picasso and Salvador Dalí, it was an inspiring, calming escape from the busy streets.



Ciao for now, Venice, I’ll definitely be back soon!



Disney Diary

This time last year I was walking into Animal Kingdom with my family for the first time in 8 years. Walt Disney World Orlando has always held a special place in my heart – I’ve been lucky enough to visit a few times with family and those trips are some of my favourite memories of my childhood.


There’s something so magical about walking down Main Street for the first time and seeing the castle sneak into view. It may sound odd to some, but there’s a sense of escapism at Disney that you just don’t feel on other holidays. Where else can you jump off a 50mph rollercoaster and grab a Mickey-shaped ice cream sandwich before bumping into Olaf for a warm hug? Not forgetting the magic of the Universal parks.

I won’t bore you with all the details of my trip, but here are some of my highlights with a mix of iPhone and camera photos! We spent the first few days of our trip to Florida in Clearwater Beach, which was stunning. Perhaps we should’ve saved this part for the end of our trip, though, as it was so relaxing and peaceful. The calm before the Disney storm!


We stayed in a Windsor Hills villa and it was perfect – a 10 minute drive from the parks with comfy beds and a lovely pool! The blue circle in the app picture above is how close we were to the parks. There is a shuttle bus, but it wasn’t as frequent as we thought so we mainly used our rental cars.

Animal Kingdom was as beautiful as ever, and the new addition of Pandora takes it up a level. My top ride (probably of the whole trip) has to be the Avatar Flight of Passage – the technology is epic! Pandora is great to wander around – make sure to try the refreshing, super-sweet Night Blossom drink. A few of my other top spots are Expedition Everest (of course), the wonderful Lion King Show and the Kali River Rapids to cool off in the Florida heat!


Magic Kingdom has always been my favourite of the parks. On our first day back there we managed to fit in 13 rides (thank you FastPass)! This trip to Disney was our first time dining inside the park restaurants, and the first we visited was Be Our Guest at the Beauty and the Beast Castle where I got to try the ‘grey stuff’ – yes, it’s delicious!

More of my favourite moments in Magic Kingdom were the three mountains (Space, Splash and Thunder), Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin in Tomorrowland and the classic Peter Pan ride. The point before the big drop on Splash Mountain, with the great view of the castle, is my favourite MK moment, as well as the Festival of Fantasy parade.


While we were in Florida, it was my cousin Amy’s 23rd birthday and we celebrated in Epcot. We had a great experience at the Nine Dragons Chinese, where they treated Amy to a slice of cake and cocktails! Epcot is a great place to wander in the sun, especially around the Epcot World Showcase. Soarin’ and Test Track are our old family favourites, too!


Hollywood Studios has another two of the best rides – the Tower of Terror and the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. We got chatting to the loveliest cast member, Edward, who gave us Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster fast passes after hearing that we didn’t have enough time to wait in the queue! The fireworks show Fantasmic was as magnificent as I remembered.

I can’t forget about the Disney waterparks and Disney Springs. Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon are great to cool off in the sun in the mornings and there are so many fun rides – the 6ft tidal wave is such a rush! Disney Springs is the new ‘Downtown Disney’, with restaurants, shows and shops, including the World of Disney, the biggest Disney store!


Another highlight of my trip which was surprisingly non-theme park related was my skydive! Amy wanted to do one for her birthday and, honestly, it was one of the best experiences of my life. I’d highly recommend Florida Skydiving Lake Wales!


I hope you enjoyed my Disney Diary. Look out for more Florida posts coming soon!


Falling in love with Lisbon

Portugal’s capital made the perfect September city break (I know I’m running a bit late, let’s just call this post a throwback). The city is made for those who like to explore on foot – the quiet streets climbing up the hills are great for wandering, but bring good shoes!

The views are wonderful, the September sun is just right, and the famously colourful tiles and gorgeous light make for great pictures. Our 3-day trip was short and sweet, and left me wanting more! We strolled through the cobbled streets and ate our way through ice cream and pastries – the best way to spend a long weekend, right?


Hot spots

H10 Duque de Loulé
A beautiful hotel with a great rooftop bar which is open to visitors. We visited on a Saturday night and it wasn’t busy at all. Cosy up in the cool evening breeze and take in the spectacular view of the city.

Open Brasserie Mediterrânica
Some of our party had food allergies so we were eager to find a restaurant that could accommodate all of us. The Open Brasserie Mediterrânica had knowledgable, friendly staff and a great choice of meals for everybody, including vegan and gluten free. I recommend the pumpkin gnocchi!

Belém, a charming district just a tram ride away from the centre, fast became my favourite part of the city. There was a photogenic door or wall at every turn through the peaceful, colourful streets and the Tropical Botanical Garden was perfect for chilling out in the sun.



I never thought I’d really have the chance to go to Thailand. It just seemed like one of those far-away, mystical places. Luckily, my best friend Emily travelled the world this year and I managed to join her for two weeks, travelling to Bangkok and the Gulf islands of Thailand! We started with 3 days in Bangkok, including a visit to the Grand Palace. I’d highly recommend a visit to the Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand, a two hour drive from the city – we got to walk with, feed and shower the elephants, as well as learn about where they’d all come from. It wasn’t just a home for elephants, either – bears, gibbons, birds and dogs were all looked after. I wish I could’ve stayed with the elephants forever, especially baby Prin!


A long overnight bus and ferry took us to Koh Samui, our first island adventure. The Sirin Samui Hostel was the perfect stop, with clean, spacious rooms and a great pool to relax by. We spent most of our time on the beach! Our second island was Koh Phangan, for the infamous Half Moon Party. Once we’d recovered from our hangovers, we visited Paradise Waterfalls and even found the beautiful Milky Bay resort tucked away on the beach. The breakfast was delicious and they let us use their pool!


Our final stop was Koh Tao, which fast became my favourite island (perhaps purely because of the sunsets). Koh Tao is the smallest of the islands, and I found it the most beautiful! Our days were mostly spent relaxing on the beach and walking around the shops and restaurants. A snorkelling or scuba-diving trip is a must – we visited all of the bays of the island, as well as Koh Nang Yuan which is just breathtaking. I can’t wait to go back!


New York Take 3

This time last year, snow was still on the ground and I was lucky enough to visit New York with university for my third visit. As I had been before, this trip was spent wandering and exploring new areas, including Soho and Chelsea. Here are some of my favourite holiday snaps, including the classic tourist spots. New York will always be one of those places I could visit over and over again. Now if only I could have the exact apartment Dakota Johnson has in How to be Single…!


My favourite places/tips:

  • Iris Cafe – Store #9 in Brooklyn – the best breakfast, and we discovered a drawer under the table with cute little inspirational notes!
  • Go to the top of the Rockefeller at sunset – it’s the best view. Also, we went ice skating at about 8/9pm and had the rink to ourselves!
  • The 9/11 Memorial museum was free to enter after 5.30pm.
  • Save lots of time for Chelsea Market – we were in there for hours but I still need to go back for more!
  • We stayed in the Row NYC Hotel on 8th Ave; it was great value for money, round the corner from Times Square and we had the amazing view from our balcony (above)!


I Left My Heart In Amsterdam


A few weekends ago, my friends and I visited Amsterdam for Amelia’s 21st. It was my first visit to the incredible city and I am already planning my second! The weather was glorious for most of the weekend, so we rented bikes and cycled around the city. It was the best way to explore all of the streets.





There are so many amazing places to visit in Amsterdam. We cycled to Anne Frank’s house on the Sunday and ate the best burger I have ever had at the restaurant Cau. The food was delicious and the service was great – a perfect treat for the birthday girl. There were plenty of markets to wander through – we found the flower market near the centre, and the Albert Cuyp Market, which was a treasure trove full of clothes, gifts and home furnishings. We then chilled at Vondelpark, which was just round the corner from our adorable hotel, The Alexander Hotel. The perfect end to an incredible weekend. I’ll be seeing you soon, Amsterdam!


Anne Frank’s House










The best pancakes!
The best pancakes!





Marbles Vintage Store
Marbles Vintage Store






All photographs copyright Alannah Messett.