Life Begins with a Bottomless Brunch

Living Hygge is something we’ve all become obsessed with.

Enjoying life’s simple pleasures may take on different forms to different people, but since taking on the responsibilities of being a proper adult, enjoying going out and exploring has become one of life’s pleasures for me. After all, life shouldn’t begin and end with work.

Bottomless brunch has been on my cards for a while, which is why I sought to find the best bottomless brunch in the city… well one of the best according to Time Out.

Villandry ticked all the boxes for me and after looking at the menu £35 a pop seemed like a great deal, especially as this bottomless brunch features never-ending prosecco!

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Sitting right in the middle of Great Portland Street, Villandry stood out in all it’s glory, it was so pretty.

I was greeted by very welcoming staff and sat my pretty table for two waiting for my Mr to arrive.

Considering they seemed to have very strict booking rules, the staff were very understanding as we were about an hour late (the booking supposedly lasts 2 hours, but I think they don’t mind how long you stay depending on how busy it is), but they assured me that time only starts from when the first prosecco is poured – result!

Once bae and I were both seated, we scanned the menu and ordered food pronto – by this point it was about 12:30 and we were both starving.

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I opted for poached eggs and avocado on rye bread he and a Full English!

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My boyfriend is not a big drinker but as he didn’t drive and we both caught the tube into central London, he let loose and had like 5 glasses one after the other –  literally never seen him like that.

The staff were really friendly, and kept topping up our glasses, it was a bit insane, especially as it was so early. The only time I’ve ever had ay alcoholic beverage at that time is on holiday.

About 30 minutes after we had eaten we decided it was time to go. Too much prosecco had been downed and we were actually acting like a couple of fools. Plus, we wanted to have a walk around Oxford Street. To be honest I think they were surprised we were leaving so early.

All in all I would rate Villandry an 8/10. The mood and atmosphere was spot on, the waiter ensured neither of our glasses were even half empty, but I have to say the food let the experience down – as it looked lovely but it was just OK – I would say The Breakfast Club is better quality. I also noticed that a few groups who came in after us, were served before us, which I feel is plain rude.

Nevertheless, if you’re looking for a nice picturesque spot in London to hang and have a good time with the girls this is the place, but if you’re looking to chow down on a nice brunch with prosecco being very much an after-thought, this place isn’t for you.

I would love to try another Bottomless Brunch just to have something to compare Villandry to…Have you been to any nice spots for brunch?

 

One Year On…

Today riannemitchell.com turns one!

And I feel it’s only right to dedicate a whole post to my blogging journey.

Since I was quite young I always wanted to have a successful blog. I’ve always loved writing, and enjoy sharing my experiences, however, it wasn’t until this day last year that I plucked up the courage to actually make this blog a reality.

It’s still surreal to me that people read my blog (like I actually have real like subscribers-eeek). People who tweet me, like my sh*t and follow me on multiple social platforms. Although I’ve hit many milestones, a year on and I’m feeling a mixture of emotions about being a ‘blogger’. There have been ups and down, great events and PR invitations, as well as the chance to become involved in something big, where I’ve been able to make friends and craft real relationships with fellow bloggers as well as companies.

But, I can’t lie, it’s been hard. Hard to balance life, working full time as well as creating content to blog about. Hard to choose what events to attend, because who wants to take Annual Leave for an event that’s totally cool but will have no relevance on my blog and last but not least, majorly hard to keep up with ever-rolling timelines of social media – because who cares about what was tweeted 10 minutes ago.

But, in some of life’s crisis’ there’s always a silver lining and one thing that I read very recently taught me that if I want an interest or hobby of mine to succeed, I need to work at it full time and put in the same amount of time and effort I put in at my 9-5 – which really put things into perspective.

So with that in mind, I’ve listed a few goals that I’d love to achieve and look back in a years time and say check! (and sometimes that means going back to basics)…

Goals

  • To grow my blog presence – I still can’t believe people actually read and comment on my blog, but I wana go global baby! (maybe not global but definitely bigger and better)
  • Post 2 times a week
  • To join at least 2 twitter chats a week – I mean who doesn’t love a good twitter natter
  • To grow a travel & lifestyle blog that people actually go to for date night ideas, travel destinations etc.  – I love finding new destinations from publication like Time Out so why not gain a real review from moi
  • To comment on blogs that I love reading – This is the hardest thing for me as i’m always reading something, so I feel it’s only right to show appreciation if I enjoyed the read.

One year on, and for the first time I’m feeling confident about my vision for this blog, so as I switch things up a bit, I hope you all stick around for the journey.

See you on my next post x

5 Podcasts you NEED to listen to

Hey guys,

I’m back in full force, and let me tell you…there’s reason for it!

Living with very limited internet connection for nearly 3 weeks has made me really… really value internet connection. I mean lets be fair… it practically rules our every second.

But, when it’s suddenly taken from your fingertips is it any wonder why we… or matter of factly speaking I was left not knowing what the hell to do with my time. It’s actually crazy how much my life is consumed by online shopping, blogging, social media and everything else that comes with owning a smartphone.

While my phone was practically out of service, I had to become creative with how I managed my ever depleting data (there’s just never enough is there?!) so instead of downloading movies on Netflix I decided to discover, subscribe and download different podcasts. (Just click on that little purple icon, you wont regret it)

Podcasts literally saved my sanity. I had no idea that podcasts were a thing (again) until Christine put me on to one, on our trip to Paris and it’s now become a personal fave.

Keep reading and let me fill you in on podcasts you NEED to listen to just because… or if you ever find yourself in your bedroom that doesn’t have a TV and no friends to call (Yes it was hell and some tears were shed but I’m seriously living for the moment when I can laugh at this 😫😂)

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The Read
This podcast is my absolute fave. If you love keeping up with music, pop culture, sipping and spilling tea, take some time out with the cool kids; Kid Fury and Crissle as they throw the utmost shade at celebs you love to hate. They literally make my Mondays worth living and have me dying with laughter at my desk and on my commute. Each episode lasts at least 2 hours but it’s still not enough.

Pandolly
I have been a fan of Pandora Sykes forever – she has the coolest blog and is Fashion Features editor for The Sunday Times Style. Little did I know, that she’s teamed up with her buddy and dating columnist Dolly Alderton to bring you feminist debates, news, and general girl talk without any limitations. If you ever wondered what privately educated women talk about, plug into Pandolly airwaves and be a fly on the wall for an hour or two.

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The Receipts
The ultimate girl talk. When I’m talking to my girls this is kinda what it sounds like. The Receipts podcast is hosted by four women from different walks of life who just happen to be friends. Controversial they may be, you can be sure to get the real from these ladies, who will have you nodding, chuckling and wanting more.

Champagne Room (available on soundcloud)
Please Urban Dictionary the name of this podcast and you’ll get the vibe lol. If you know you’re the bad and boujee type, the Champagne room is for you! The perfect evening podcast. Turn on when chilling at home, and get ready to turn up and these girls -will have you mmhmmm’ing in agreement.

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Cut The Chat
OMG. Ever wondered what guys talk about in the barbershop? Check this podcast out! Hosted by four inner city men, you get to know a general consensus around hot topics like Chocolate City, music and more important hot topics like the recent inauguration. Please Check it out…

So there you have it. If you’re ever in need of a pick me up, plug into one of these podcasts and be entertained.

Many thanks to Starbucks for being the real MVP and providing me with free wifi during this tough time 😂

Perusing Paris:

I cannot believe it’s been over a week since my impromptu weekend away in (insert French accent)… Paris!

A girly trip away is sometimes, in fact always needed, and who better else to spend it with than the blogging gal pals… if you don’t know who I’m talking about check this post. I mean who else truly understands the art, and struggle, of capturing the perfect Instagram post? Only the blogging queens, that’s who! 😂

Our trip was short and sweet, but definitely a barrel of laughs. We fit so much in (thanks Chrissy) that I feel like I actually saw Paris and experienced a little bit of culture – although now that I think of it I didn’t try a croissant – major faux pas! 😱

Whether you’ve been to Paris once ,like me or more there’s so much to do and see. So if you’re planning a romantic trip to France with bae or simply want a have a girly weekend away with your besties, here are some places you should definitely and visit…

Louvre
We visited the Louvre on our first night and it was everything! I’ve always seen so many pictures of people doing the whole pinching the tip thing (lol) but to actually be there and take in the view was something else. We didn’t actually go inside, but just seeing the beauty of the architecture and surrounding buildings was enough, plus, guess I can explore further next time 👍🏾

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Eiffel Tower
Who goes to Paris and doesn’t see the Eiffel Tour?! Like, seriously it is amazing and steeped in history. Did you know it’s re-painted every 7 years and it takes 60 tonnes of paint to cover it? Absolutely crazy! It is recommended that you see at least once in daylight and again at night because it’s truly spectacular, and you really get to see its personality and detail in different light.

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Notre Dame
I can’t believe I got to visit the backdrop to one of my favourite Disney films 🐵. To be honest I was left a little disappointed. I don’t know what it was but I thought there would be more. Nevertheless, the cathedral is beautiful and there are plenty of places to eat nearby.

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Sidenote: If you have the chance to visit don’t let any of the artists outside draw a caricature of you, absolute waste of time and money – if you saw my instastory you know what I’m on about 👀

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Champs de Elysee
There are no words to describe how charming and beautiful this avenue is. I felt so Parisian just walking up to the Arc de Triomphe. There’s only one way to see the Champs de Elysee and it’s at night – definitely the perfect destination for a romantic late night stroll.

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River Cruise and River Seine
If you love to immerse yourself in local history, I would really recommend taking a cruise down River Seine, which is practically next to Notre Dame, so not far to walk. The hour long trip was only €12 and it took us past really cool landmarks  It’s so picturesque and definitely worth the trip if you want to see a lot in one go. Before you take a boat trip, don’t forget to visit one of the many love lock bridges and attach a lock that’ll be there forever… or at least until they take it down – One bridge has collapsed 11 times due to the weight of locks.

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Places to Eat

When you go to France it’s only right that you eat right too so hit up these places.

Street Vendor Crepes 

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La Pere Claude 

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PaperBoy Paris 

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Paris was such a dream. So multicultural and historical. Exploring in -4 degree temperatures is not exactly my ideal holiday, but definitely a trip to remember. I can only imagine just how much the beauty of the city shines through in the summer months.

Paris seems like a distant memory but, 2017 is all about new adventures and travels so I can’t wait to share where I’m off to next…

Have you been to Paris, what was your favourite thing to do? Also, what’s your favourite French word?

Pretty in Paris: My In-Flight Essentials

Happy New year guys!

It’s been a minute since my last blog, and so much has happened – Christmas, NYE antics (not so much in my case), plus going back to work – it’s definitely been a whirlwind. But as it’s the New Year, I’ve promised myself to have a fresh, new outlook on life and set myself a few resolutions too!

One major  resolution of mine is to travel even more than I did last year… and im off to a nice start, even if I do say so myself, as I’ll be jetting off to Paris tomorrow (yay me!).

As a result I teamed up with Tripping.com – a comparison site that help you find the perfect home/villa rentals abroad – to tell you all about what my-flight essential are, so keep reading to find out…

Mints – Currently in my handbag there are three different types of mints to choose from lol. I love having them handy as they’re just nice sweets to suck on, but they especially come in handy for on the plan as  I hate my ears popping 😖

Snacks– food is always an essential! When flying short haul flights food isn’t always available, so having something to munch on is a must, no-one wants to start their trip off #hangry do they. Pass me a bag of salt and vinegar crisps and I’ll be fine 😭

Hand sanitinser – I’m a city gal and hand santinzer is a must. I’ve literally just recovered from the norovirus, so I am not messing around with any germs coming into the New Year. When travelling abroad and even on public transport around London you just never know what you’ll have to encounter, so hand sanitiser is definitely an essential. Better to be safe than germy! 😂

Hand Moisturiser – in- flight air con is a MF so, i’ve packed my Kiehl’s Richly Hydrating Hand Cream in grapefruit- smells so lush! And it keeps my hands beautifully moisturised it’s defo a contender to my beloved – Lush Helping Hand 

A Blanket Scarf – as its bitterly cold here in London and I’m sure it will be in Paris a blanket scarf just makes sense. I’ve had mine in tow since last October! I love a quick nap in-flight too (much to the annoyancenof my bf🙈) so a cosy scarf helps me wrap up and keep warm, plus you never know the air-con situ. Plus, if too hot in-flight it can double as a neck pillow!

Laura Mercier Setting Powder – Whenever I go on holiday I never usually wear much makeup in-flight, but as I’m off to Paris which is a very short haul flight I’ll be packing all my usual makeup essentials plus my new Laura Mercier translucent powder. This product is the bomb.com, it really helps my makeup stay in place and keeps the shine at bay after only one use. To be honest, I doubt I’ll actually use it as it’s THAT good but I like to keep it handy. 👸🏾💅🏾

Cards/ Netflix – I’ve got a thing with collecting playing cards from destinations I’ve visited. I love playing cards, as it was past time that still happens in my house. No matter who I’m travelling with, I make sure I have a pack handy. Plus it makes the flight go faster.  If I’m not playing cards I’m probably watching something I downloaded prior. Sidenote: Did you know you can now download shows on Netflix?! I’m loving Power at the moment!

Comfy Clothes – Going to the airport is an occasion in itself, but for me its all about being comfy, no matter how long the flight is. However, being the blogging queen I am, I love accessorising which can easily vamp up a really simple outfit.  I love to transform my jeans and jumper with a choker and covetable ring stack. Add some lippie and I’m good to go and looking like I was made for this jet-setting lifestyle 😜

Do you have any inflight essentials? Also if you plan on travelling throughout 2017 do check out Tripping.com for accommodation made a little easier x

How to Travel the World and Work Full Time

If you follow me on any other social media platforms you’ll know that I’ve been suffering with some serious wanderlust. Like why can’t my full time job not be blogging, travelling and blogging about my travels?

I just know that I’m not meant to work (don’t we all lol) which is why I thought it’s about time I do a post on how to travel when you work full time, because somehow, I manage to.

I consider myself pretty lucky to have been able to travel to two beautiful destinations (Thailand & Dubai)  already this year and hopefully (god-willing) I’ll have another trip sorted before Christmas, but, I have to say, I haven’t spent my work holiday allowance wisely this year, and I know I’m not alone.

What I do know is that wanting to travel while holding down a full time job is definitely possible, although very inconvenient.

So, although I haven’t followed these rules as strictly as I’d have liked to this year due to my personal life, here’s a few tips for those of you who want to make the most out of your holiday and travel the world, one destination at a time, while also keeping a full time job…

Use Bank Holidays & Weekends to your advantage. This has to be the golden rule. If you haven’t tried this trick, where have you been?! To get more days off for less, it’s smart to plan your travels around major UK holidays, Bank Holidays and weekends. For example a great month to try this is May as we get two bank holidays plus weekends!

Prioritise, Prioritise, Prioritise. Once you’ve booked your holiday, it’s easy to get carried with how many days you need after to ‘recover’ from jet lag. I am so guilty of this, but it’s really so unnecessary, especially if you’ve only taken a trip Barcelona where there’s only like 1 hour time difference. To save days it may be worth taking a half day. This really comes in handy when your days start to run low. Plus, it means of you have a weekend getaway planned with an evening flight, you can leave a little earlier on a Friday, just bring your suitcase to the office! If you’re lucky enough to have an amazing manager, they may even let you off officially taking a half day which means you can save it for another time!

Work overtime. If you’re unfortunate enough to work full time with very limited holiday, maybe having a word with your manager or HR officer will allow you to get a few extra days holiday, by working overtime. It’s a great way to accumulate extra days and you’ll be getting paid that little bit extra which can only mean one think = more holidays!

Be Kind to your colleagues. This doesn’t happen in every company, but it’s common that department members who are not allowed to go on holiday at the same time as each other.  If you’re lucky enough to have a cool relationship with your fellow colleague who wants to take the same time off as you do, it wouldn’t harm asking if they could maybe rearrange their time off, it’s all about negotiation. After all, if you don’t ask, you don’t get.

So, these are a few tips that have helped me travel when I desire, do you have any tips/tricks?

 

 

5 Things You Absolutely Must Do In Dubai

This post is as late as ever, but as promised from my last post – Living the Dubai Life, I’m filling you in on the top 5 things you absolutely HAVE to do, when you holiday in Dubai.

I’m going to do this in order of how much I enjoyed each activity, which is kinda hard as everything was just so good, but yeah…without further ado…

1.The Burj Khalifa

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When I found out I was going to Dubai, I didn’t really know what touristy things they had to offer, apart from the world’s highest skyscraper – Burj Khalifa.

And after doing some research about it, it took top spot on my ‘things to do’ list.

I’ve never been to the Shard or anything like that, so I really wanted to experience something on that calibre, and why not do it from the best place in the world – the highest manmade structure?

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Obviously we had to do it big, so we went to the top – you can go half way, but what’s the point?

Each tour has about 30 people so, it’s quite intimate and a more personal experience. We were first taken into a sitting room and given arabian coffee (an interesting and acquired taste) as well as some dates which is a delicacy, before being taken up.

After a short walk we all got into a lift, which had moving graphics, explaining the pivotal moments in the making of the Burj Khalifa and after shooting to the top in just over one minute we reached the 148th level!

Once out the lift, we were greeted with refreshments and the amazing view.

Seeing the view yourself and viewing pictures are two completely different things.

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It actually doesn’t look that high but if you think we were hundred of metres above the Dubai’s already mesmerising skyscrapers – Trippy!

Honestly the Burj Khalifa was an experience I’ll never forget and was definitely the perfect end to the perfect trip.

2. Aquaventure Waterpark

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I didn’t want to go to this as I hate any form of rides – theme parks, waterparks, the lot.

I was coerced into going by the rest of my family as I was prepared to stay at the hotel to sunbathe the day away with a cocktail in hand, but how wrong I was.

This waterpark is SICK!

Connected to Dubai’s Atlantis Palm resort (this resort is amazing btw) Aquaventure has something for everyone, I loved the River Ride, where you grab a float and start a journey through the park, while going through torrents, slide and experiencing crazy waves – not something I anticipated before getting on but it was fun… until I didn’t know where to get off and ended up on it for 2 hours lol

But, you’d be proud of me! I went on Zoomerango – the scariest 10 seconds of my life.

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I didn’t catch many pictures but it was the funnies day. After losing my cousin, trying to find my family without any sandals in 50 degree heat (just picture me hot stepping please) and nearly passing out on Zoomerango it was definitely a day I’ll never forget.

3. Sand Dunes

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When someone says sand dunes, what do you think of?

I literally think of sand in a desert. Nothing else. So, I really dint understand how this could be a day trip out.

So, we were driven out to the desert (obvs) and left there for about 30 minutes – so, so dodgy.

We got into these 4×4’s and off we went. At this point I had no idea where we were going as nothing could be seen in the distance.

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The driver turned up his tunes and started speeding over these dunes like a mad man. I literally thought I was going to die it was crazy, but fun.

After about 10 minutes of feeling like I was an inch away from death, we got to a camp, where there were camels to ride on, quad biking, and a moroccan seating area.

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Later on, once more guests arrive, a belly dancing a fire show is put on and we sat down for a meal – great for experiencing the emirate culture and food!

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4. Al Karama

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If you love big brands, but don’t wana pay big prices, taking a trip to Al Karama is what you need to do!

It is the most suspect looking area, because there’s nothing there apart from a few dead end shops. However, once you go inside and ask to see their high end bags etc, suddenly a wall opens up and there’s another shop beyond the shop.

If anything, the experience alone was just funny because you just wouldn’t imagine, but according to some close sources of mine (I’ve got sources honey!), apparently Serena Williams has beens potted shopping here, so if it’s good enough for this babe, it’s good enough for me.

5.Aquarium

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I’m sure everyone has been to an aquarium in their life but there’s something about Dubai’s aquarium that makes everything look amazing and as if you’re experiencing seeing a fish for the first time.

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There are a few aquariums dotted around, and our plan was to go to the Aquarium in Atlantis Palm Resort, however, on our first trip to Dubai Mall, we thought we’d just go to the one there.

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I ended up taking my little cousin in and we had a great time. Spread across 3 floors, you really get to experience new species and humungous sharks etc and it ends with a aqua zoo, which was quite cool.

 

Have you been to Dubai? What other attractions would you recommend?