Tag Archives: Travel

Travel – Agia Pelagia, Crete

Just returned from a week in the quieter part of beautiful Crete. Azure water and sparkling sunshine. Perfect weather every day.  A realistic alternative to Turkey re: beautiful coastline and fresh, healthy food.
Agia Pellagia is a quiet Cretan village with several local restaurants overlooking the beach image image image image image

Travel – Skiing in Niederau


Where and what makes the best ski resort? 

Niederau, Austria is great for beginners and extremely family-friendly. It’s low-key and if you’re really lucky you’ll be near the Haffenwirt Hotel and feel you’re stepping into a Wes Anderson film.

Haffenwirt Hotel Terrace looks onto the long nursery slope

Haffenwirt Hotel Terrace looks onto the long nursery slope

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Travel: Who dreams they’re Skiing?

When I can’t sleep or I’m bored I practise going down runs instead of counting sheep. These are the ones from Les Arcs 2000 I think of. Les Arcs 2000 is not the smartest resort in France.  It does offer perfect piste for all abilities, long runs where you can ski for hours and visit inter-connecting resorts (1950, 1800, 1600, Peysey amongst many others). You can even Heli-ski by being dropped off in Italy and ski back to the resort. The cost is about €50 and you need to book in advance Extremely family-friendly and fantastic views everywhere you ski. What more could you want?

 

Long runs from Les Arcs 2000 image image image image image image image

Jersey in Half-Term UK Style – Travelling by Ferry

Travelling to Jersey by ferry as a family  from Poole, UK is really easy. Just stack everything in the car jump on the ferry and away you go. Most people travelling to Jersey from the UK seem to take their car and if you look in you will see everyone’s car is absolutely stacked with stuff. Considering Jersey is really well-stocked it’s a little strange –  but I do it too. We travelled to St Helier with Condor Ferries. The journey was just under 4 hours and because of the glorious weather both ways we sat outside and watched the change in coastline from Poole departing until we arrived at Guernsey to let people disembark/join the ferry before continuing to St. Helier, Jersey.

Guernsey port looks like a Lilliputan version from Swift’s Travels as the ferry skirts round the  coastline. For anyone enjoying looking at the coastline afresh and without the means of a private yacht this is the perfect way to get a new perspective.  That is if you get the weather. We did and it was bliss. We have travelled before where the weather was “inclement” and Joy-rides and an empty stomach are a must. However this journey and the views were smooth and everything we saw was dappled by bright, crisp sunshine beautiful.

Hanging Out on holiday is the best part and my favourite beaches and cafes are featured below. Top 5 Things to do in Jersey:

 

1. Get to St Ouen’s Bay, Jersey and just hang out. There are two fab Cafe’s/Restaurants with spectacular views of the long, stretching, golden and usually empty St. Ouen’s Bay. This is my favourite beach in Jersey and from either you get a completely different perspective.

El Tico St Ouen's Bay Jersey serves exceptionally good fresh local produce and is right on top of arguably Jersey's most beautiful beach

 

 

Go to El Tico above for the best food and  wonderful view’s of the coastline. The children’s menu is generous in range and the quality of the food speaks for itself when you taste it. Spaghetti Carbonara  was a huge hit.

 

Possibly the best Crab Sandwiches in Jersey, delicious fresh local produce served and beautiful views of surrounding coastline and windswept hill dunes

 

Outdoor dining/drinking area at The Braye Cafe, St Ouen's Bay Jersey

Hanging outside at Le Braye Cafe, St Ouen’s Bay, Jersey

 

2. Go to Le Braye Cafe for superior Crab sandwiches and a great view of the hill dunes as well as being close to Blow-Carting area which is popular when the wind gets up.

 

View of St Brelade's Beach from the Waterfront Cafe with Jonno's Watersports Van

 

3. Get to St Brelade’s Bay and go to The Waterfront Cafe or Pizza Express below (I know – but it has the best view). This is another beautiful, long bay with more cafes but you only really need one good one and that is The Waterfront Cafe. The service at The Crab Shack which looks more visually appealing is a bit snotty and we didn’t like the manager telling the staff of in front of us (embarrassing!). This is a big bay, its beautiful but often busy.  If you just want to feel the outdoors, get away from it and not have someone come right up and sit next to you St Ouen’s Bay is the one for you. This is a busy beach!

 

Pizza Express Exterior overlooking St Brelade's Bay Jersey - Possibly the best view ever from a Pizza Express

 

4. If you’ve got young ones Pizza Express above  is a safe bet overlooking St Brelade’s and is great if the weather isn’t great.

 

5. Finally, if you have to succumb to one late-Victorian pursuit on a traditional British holiday  go putting inland. There are two 18 hole putting rinks at Jersey Experience – we chose the red one as the guide said it was more fun!

 

17th Hole at Putting Course, Jersey

 

 

 

Male Putter Jersey Experience Jersey

 

Other places worth visiting if the weather fails Aqua Splash, St Helier and Jersey Pearl where you can choose a shell and watch as they open the shell to reveal a cultured pearl. My children were fascinated by this and wanted to go back (unusual). We had a great time and Jersey Ice-Cream truly is as good as memory serves. This was a family holiday which we paid for ourselves. Condor Ferries like my recent trip to Yarmouth on WightLink are clearly trying really hard to get their offering right and it shows in the service and the fact you can get a decent coffee on board. We were really impressed that they are now serving local Jersey produce as an integral part of the food being offered: Tom’s Pies, Jersey Ice Cream and Cream Teas.

 

We’ve found beautiful beaches, fabulous fresh local produce at great cafes/restaurants. However, I’m still looking for the perfect place to stay. Somewhere within walking distance of St Ouen’s, access to a great cafe and a couple of great local food shops. If anyone can recommend anywhere please let me know.

Perfect English Bank Holiday – Hanging out in Yarmouth

5 Great Things to do in Yarmouth (including a Restaurant Tip)

I’ve just spent the weekend in Yarmouth, Isle of Wight at a top-secret location. Ahh, well, I thought it was top-secret until I met two of the UK’s foremost Bloggers. You will find their posts online soon and I will link to them. In the meantime, forget the other side of the Isle of Wight. Yarmouth is the place to be for the best Ferry Trip (approx 20 mins) from Lymington, UK. The short journey and view from the ferry are really impressive (we were travelling on a sunny day).  As soon as you can, hot foot it up the stairs sit right at the front and enjoy the glorious view and boats from Lymington harbour.  It brought back happy memories of sailing round Cape Cod (the weather was perfect for a sail).

This is an ideal crossing for those with young children or those who get sea-sick as it’s quick. The evening ferry has lots of commuters enjoying a quick drink who travel in groups before disembarking and eating dinner in one of the impressive pubs or restaurants within a stone’s throw from the harbour.

Lymington Harbour, Hampshire

Sailing on a hot day you can watch hundreds of boats out and about cruising through the water without a care in the world. Lymington is a beautiful old fishing port and once you’ve arrived at Yarmouth you are in another equally beautiful old fishing port with several really good restaurants, cafe, pubs and a deli stacked with tantalising food. Both harbours have a great maritime tradition and my journey to Lymington reminded me how beautiful the New Forrest is.

Ferry at Yarmouth

There are lots of fun, interesting places and things to do. However, the weather was so blissful we put everything on hold and  just hung out.

5 Great Things to do in Yarmouth

1. Sail into Yarmouth from Lymington and watch the boats go by
2. Go to The George Hotel and have a drink on the terrace. The ferry docks right next to the Hotel.

IOW pier to land
3. Go crabbing on the Pier (right next to the Ferry Port)
4. Walk to the harbour and watch the boats arriving
5. Follow the sailors for the best drinks and fresh food in town. We ate at  On The Rocks (Steak and Fish Restaurant where you cook your main choice on a hot slab of volcanic rock and crisp salads/golden fries arrive swiftly).  The meat and many of the ingredients  are sourced locally and the short journey means you can taste the difference  i.e. it all tastes really fresh. You need to book, link at the bottom.
5b. If you have time walk over to the Yacht club (other side of the road) and watch the dinghy sailing you also get a completely different view of the coastline. They also offer sailing courses for children which are really popular during school holidays.

Yarmouth pier iow 2

Yarmouth pier long shot iow

Minghella Ice Cream Sign Yarmouth

Yarmouth Pier Benefactors

Pier bench Yarmouth iow

Yarmouth Pierhead iow

On The Rocks Yarmouth

If you are interested in other parts of the Isle of Wight Jen at Jenography wrote a really useful piece on her highlights when she stayed in a vintage Air Stream Trailer and friends who used her highlights as a holiday source say The Garlic Farm was one of their big highlights. Also, if you have any recommendations feel free to leave a comment.

WightLink