Why Autumn Is A Good Time For A Getaway

A holiday at any time of year is something to enjoy and look forward to, but an Autumn break, especially after 18 months of lockdown is something to be savoured. Autumn is traditionally quieter than Summer, but this Autumn, with restrictions lifting for many places, and with the double jabbed no longer needing PCR tests, promises to be busy. And why not? For many destinations, Autumn is still wonderfully warm, the beaches and hotels are open, and the idea of a holiday is just the tonic needed.

If you are taking a holiday, there are still things you need to do and be aware of. Taking a holiday is not just a matter of turning up at the airport and hoping for the best, you need to plan carefully, particularly when you are traveling out of season.

Getting to the airport

Your holiday should start from the minute you leave your home, but if you choose to drive, you then have to pay for parking (often a real expense) and then often still need to get a shuttle from the carpark to the airport. One way you can avoid this is by opting for transport to the airport .This could be in the form of a train, which offers flexible ticket options that will be useful if you suffer any delays, and can also allow you to take first class and arrive in style. Another option which allows you to avoid doing the driving is a family sized mini bus with driver, great if you are traveling in a larger family group.

Choose Your Resort Carefully

When you holiday in Autumn, particularly in later Autumn, you need to make sure that your resort is still open. A case in point is that I once went to a resort in Majorca in late October. The holiday went into November and as soon as November hit we noticed shops and restaurants were being closed up for the Winter, by the end of the holiday it was almost like a ghost town.

If you want a livelier Autumn break then look to places like the Canary islands which have year round sunshine, or places like Benidorm which never really close. Avoid resorts in Menorca where the Autumn climate is windy and temperatures drop. If in doubt, do a bit of research beforehand.

Don’t Forget Your Insurance

I still find it staggering how many people take the risk of traveling abroad with no kind of holiday insurance. An accident of any kind or loss of luggage or a theft or mugging could happen to anyone, yet we risk it for the sake of saving a few pounds. Even more astonishing is that so many people do not get the EHIC free health insurance card that can provide free or low cost healthcare for European Citizens. This includes help with pre-existing conditions or maternity care.

Weigh Your Case

Weight restrictions on our suitcases are quite clearly  indicated on your travel documents but some people think traveling at a quieter time of year may see airlines being more lenient and not charging for excess baggage.

This is clearly not the case and can lead to unnecessary upset and cost at the start or end of your holiday. Invest in a set of suitcase scales and avoid this.

 

 

Combining Food And Wine As A Perfect Gift Combo

When it comes to finding the perfect Christmas gift idea, particularly for couples, we often find that we edge towards food and drink choices. It is really a no brainer when you think about it. Food and drink can easily be shared, can definitely be seen as a treat, and is something that can be enjoyed, both during Christmas, and in the days after.

Piemonte Hazelnut and Chocolate Creme, Crema di Nocciola, Nocciole d’Elite

Quality wine stockists Independent Wine, who offer free next day delivery in the UK, have this year expanded their wine offering for Christmas, and have also introduced a brand new product that develops the idea of chocolate and wine being a perfect pairing. The new product is the delectable Piemonte Hazelnut and Chocolate Creme, Crema di Nocciola, Nocciole d’Elite. This is a UK exclusive, an authentic Piedmontese delicacy, soft chocolate creme from hazelnuts grown in Alta Langa.

Crema di Nocciole is a smooth paste made of hazelnuts and chocolate, a traditional delicacy from Piemonte. It’s a perfect treat for dessert or even breakfast, being a wonderful choice to spread on toast and bagels, or adding more sweetness to pancakes and waffles, or even added to ice cream. If you love Nutella, this is the very definition of a step up.

This “crema” was crafted by Nocciole d’Elite – a small, family-owned hazelnut farm and artisan production run by Emanuele Canaparo. Emanuele’s hazelnuts are produced to the highest quality standards of the Nocciola Piemonte IGP regulations. This makes this a perfect gift for those who like to support small cottage industries and independent traders, as well as those who are true food connoisseurs.

Teaming With Wine

Demarie Barelo is the pefect choice for teaming with the crema. Why? Well if you check out the testing notes you will see it’s chocolately flavours just jumping out at you, making this a really delicious, luxurious combination.

In the glass, this Barolo has a medium garnet colour. It offers a pronounced aroma of black plum, red cherry, wild rose and liquorice, underpinned by notes of vanilla, cinnamon and black pepper. This is complimented by hints of dark chocolate, prune, and meat. In the mouth, the wine is dry, with medium acidity and powerful tannins – as you’d expect from a Barolo of this age. Each sip tastes like plums and dried figs, cinnamon and chocolate, leading into a long finish.

You can create a wonderful Christmas gift box, or add these two products to a food hamper that would just be a gorgeous gift to give and receive.

If you are looking for more wine and chocolate combinations, check out this page here.

Christmas Gift Guide For Women Part 1: A Beauty And Home Focus

Christmas is slowly creeping up on us, and so if you are looking for ideas for a beauty or fragrance lover, this post is full of products that are ideal for gifts or stocking fillers.

Tolpa sebio 3-Enzyme face scrub

Tolpa is Poland’s favourite skincare brand, and now it is available in the UK too. I love the fact that the products are real skincare heroes, and yet can be bought in your local chemists (LLoyds is one of its stockists) and that it is also affordable, making it a brilliant stocking filler idea for a beauty lover.

Tolpa sebio 3-enzymes face scrub is a real hero product, and one that can be picked up for less than £10. It helps too improve the look of your skin, reducing both blocked pores and blackheads, and it also helps to cleanse the face, but with no irritation due to lack of parabens, artificial colours, SLS, silicones or paraffin oils. It also smells divine, a real fruity concoction that is so fresh and clean.

You can find this product here.

The In Bloom Collection From Earthy Nails

The In Bloom Collection from Earthy Nails is a gorgeous set of 4 nail colours that range from natural, neutral shades to a showstopping plum purple that will be just gorgeous with your Christmas day sparkle.

The nail colours are also vegan and cruelty free, with even the top being an attractive bamboo. If you know someone who wants their beauty to not only look good, but to be fair to the planet too, this is a fabulous gift idea, particularly as the colours offer high shine and longevity.

CosRX Ultimate Moisturizing Honey Overnight Mask

A beauty product that is able to multitask is always a brilliant present to receive. CosRX Ultimate Moisturizing Honey Overnight Mask is just one of those products, as well as being an overnight mask, it can also be used as a wash off mask for mornings, or as a thin layer of moisturiser, it just depends on how much product you use.

Honey is fabulous for hydration and is so gentle for the skin that this is another hero product, and one that suits all skin types. Available online, and in store at Boots.

Gift Ideas From Eco-Able

We are all trying to be more careful, and more sustainable in our choices of gifts, whether it be home, beauty or even books. Eco-able is a one stop shop for a wide range of gift ideas that are not only beautiful or practical, but are also kind to the planet.

You can find a wide range of fabulous gifts that have been handmade with love, or created using sustainable processes that avoid the over use of single use packaging. Beauty products avoid parabens and are often vegan, meaning that they appeal to far more people.

Some of my favourite products that would make great stocking fillers include the beautifully scented lavender and tea tree soap, the super pretty reusable face wipes set, and the fabulous and fun cocktail inspired lip balms from Pura cosmetics. All these products would make great beauty stocking fillers.

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SEAMS Hand Love 2

SEAMS is one of the leading brands when it comes to premium hand care. Their Couturiers Hand Cream, which I featured on my blog last year, is a total wow when it comes to transforming hand working hands. It is absorbed instantly  into the skin as it is non  greasy, and then it mends, moisturises , softens and hydrates very dry rough skin and also conditions brittle and broken nails.

This year SEAMS have put together a fabulous hand kit that is not only beautiful to look at due to the cotton bag it comes in, but will offer brilliant care for even the most damaged hands.

The kit contains:-

  • Couturiers Hand Cream 75ml
  • Artisan Hand Sanitiser – 50ml
  • Cushioned Nail File
  • 100% cotton Canvas drawstring bag

For £20 I think this is a wonderful gift idea that could be combined with the nail varnish set I featured above.

 

Sassy Shop Wax Melts

Having your home smelling beautiful and fresh definitely helps to raise your spirits and helps your wellbeing. www.sassyshopwax.com,  is a beautiful independent brand that sells the most amazing wax melts and body products designed to reinvigorate, restore and revive. 

There products are vegan and cruelty-free and come in a huge range of scents, including the rather wonderful ‘sweater weather’. If you are thinking of giving wax melts as a gift this Christmas, I would definitely recommend Sassy Shop Wax, and maybe a couple of their Christmas inspired fragrances – Snow Pixie or Northern Lights would be brilliant.

Echor Sleep End of Day Candle

Echor is a lockdown success story, a brand that was launched during lockdown with a line of luxury, science-backed products designed to help people create a relaxing evening routine and aid a restful night’s sleep. They have amassed some celebrity fans along the way (Dr Alex George as one.) as we all try to achieve that sometimes elusive perfect nights sleep.

Their End of Day candle is not only a really beautiful looking product, but one that helps you to relax and wind down at the end of a long day. It blends multiple essential oils including Ylang Ylang, Lavender, Geranium & Sweet Orange to create a beautifully relaxing fragrance that is vegan, cruelty free and eco-friendly. The candle has up to 60 hours burning time, and can actually help you to feel better when you wake up due to the use of lavender.

You can find the Echor range of products here.