Travel Diaries: Skiing Les Arcs January 2017

Les Arcs

I hadn’t even put on skis for 11 years, having only been skiing twice in my teens, and half way through the first morning when sat on a ski lift up to one of the highest point in the resort instead of panicking, I found myself relaxing. It turns out that skiing is something that, once learnt, doesn’t really go away. Sure, I was a little rusty in places but after a few hours on the slopes most of that rustiness was shaken off. We’d spent most of the day before traveling; home to Heathrow, Heathrow to Geneva then a 4-5 hour shuttle bus into France, up a mountain in the dark (where we learned about the entire life of the girl sat behind us, who was talking loud enough for the driver to hear) to Les Arcs 1950. The resort itself is one of the smaller of the Les Arcs resorts, with less of a party atmosphere than Les Arcs 1800, which is the main resort on the mountain. Les Arcs 1950 is a small cluster of hotels, restaurants and bars and is designed for a ski in ski out system.
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Travel Diaries: Isle of Mull Christmas 2016

Ardalanish

Oh man January started quietly but finished incredibly busy. It meant that a couple of posts I had planned in for the month didn’t happen when they were supposed to, so that means you’re going to hear all about my Christmas in February. To be fair it’s not really about Christmas, and more about the time I spent up on the Isle of Mull, which just happened to be over Christmas. If you’ve read my blog in the past you know that it’s where my parents live, and you’ll also know that over Christmas it has a habit of being pretty dreadful weather. From hurricane force winds through to torrential rain it generally means that I spend more time indoors there than I usually do, with less walks, more cooking and baking and generally hiding away from the elements. On this trip I didn’t even really get outside until Boxing Day, but it ended up being one of the more stunning, if short, walks I’ve done on the island. This was mainly down to the weather actually adding to the scenery. I’m ahead of myself though.
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Travel Diaries: 48 hours in Oslo

Oslo

When our plane started to descend into Oslo airport the reality of Norway’s natural beauty became apparent. Visible out of the window as the plane banked into a sweeping turn was mile upon mile of lakes, mountains and trees all covered in a deep blanket of early winter snow; a sea of white broken by pockets of grey lakes and the dark spikes of conifer. The snow was unexpected, as when booking this trip for November we’d been told it was likely too early, but welcome. Even the airport, surrounded by snow dusted trees, was turned into something picturesque. Sat on the bus from the airport, which I’d recommend over the train as it’s significantly cheaper for a round trip and only takes 40 minutes, I took advantage of the free wifi to frantically do some googling for “Oslo’s best cinnamon bun“. The bun which really stood out was made by WB Samson, the Oslo institution. Each bun is baked in its own individual tin, knotted up rather than simply swirled and covered with cinnamon and a little salt. I could happily talk about this bun for the rest of this post, but as it was simply a pitstop we made between the bus terminal and our hotel, I should probably get going with the rest of the trip.

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Travel Diaries: Isle of Mull September 2016

Loch Beg in the rain

As alluded to in a couple of recipes recently, I went up to the Isle of Mull to see my parents in September. I have been many times, and every time try to do something different. This time included popping to the idyllic island of Iona (twice, due to poor weather stopping ferries the first time) as well as a walk from Loch Buie to Carsaig (which includes a using a rope to climb down some rocks) and a number of other shorter walks. The trip also featured a 3 day period where we had no running water, as my parent’s pump on their private supply broke. This meant we had to carry about 1000 litres of unfiltered water from the stream up to their house, and we could only really use that for flushing toilets and running a dishwasher. Fortunately we managed to get a pump sorted in a few days, but it was a harsh reminder of why living on an island isn’t necessarily for everyone. This was also the first time I got to meet my parent’s new dog; Meg. She will feature heavily here.

Pennyghael

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Travel Diaries: New York Pt. 2

Brooklyn Bridge

As you’ll have seen from Part 1, I recently travelled to New York. If you want to see what happened on our first couple of days, or even how the trip came about, then go read that. This post picks up on Day 3 and runs through to our journey home.

Jack's Wife Freda

The Sunday morning wasn’t quite as early, but we were still up at about 7am. First up for the day was breakfast at Jack’s Wife Freda, which even at 9am on a Sunday was bustling. We took advantage of their bottomless drip (coffee) and while Maddie had a Rosewater Waffle I tucked into a Madame Freda (Pressed sandwich with duck prosciutto, cheddar béchamel, gruyere & a sunny side up egg). Out of the two main breakfast spots we tried this trip, this one was the better. The setting is charming, service friendly, polite & quick and the food was spot on. We’d booked in a slot to visit the Top of the Rock (Rockefeller Center) so this was our next stop. As someone who has been to the city before, and done the Empire State, I can safely say I prefer the view from the Rock. Coming out of the elevator after a, very short, queue you instantly get a view across central park, something the Empire State doesn’t offer, and the view the other side has the Empire State and the southern end of Manhattan. After 25 minutes of indulgent selfie taking and view admiring we went back down in the lift and walked from the center down towards Grand Central(via Sephora so Maddie could look at make up she couldn’t afford). We deliberately zigzagged on this walk so we could soak in the noise and sites of Manhattan. Next was a walk over to Time Square.
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