Wednesday, 6 April 2016

The Wedding Planning Series #13 Honeymoon

Good morning lovely friends! I've got some exciting news from a few weeks back, we've booked our 'mini-moon'! A couple of days after we get married we'll be jetting off to the beautiful Barcelona! I couldn't be more excited for some sunshine, tapas and drool-worthy art and architecture. Every time we book a city break, I treat myself to a mini Lonely Planets guide. They're so worth the money and great to take along; including a little pull-out map, top places to eat and interesting facts and history behind the places it helps you find. I'd always recommend them. Now of course I'd love to hear all about any 'must see' places etc if you've got any in mind but it's not Barcelona that has brought me to seek your advice today. 

I'm really struggling with where we should go for our proper honeymoon? We've narrowed it down to three places and I'm hoping that one of you out there will be able to give me some advice as to where's best? 

Time Of Year: Late October- Early November
Destination: Long Haul- Caribbean, West Indies, South America
Budget: This is pretty flexible but approx. £3000 for us both
Length: 7-10 days
Wants: This is where is gets hard: Relaxation, Exploring, Adventure, Luxury.

1) St Lucia.

Beautiful beaches, total paradise, relaxation at the forefront; St Lucia has been somewhere we've considered since we first started thinking about where to go. Such a small place, we're quite conscious that we probably wouldn't get up to that much whilst there. Which in some ways is a blessing, but for such a long trip to make, we'd like to venture, learn and explore a little bit whilst away.

2) Cuba.

Cuba is probably the total opposite in what we're thinking of doing. There's so much history, culture and sight-seeing to do that I almost worry we won't stop and relax really much at all? I'm also not too sure that how long we're looking to go for would really be enough to feel like we'd really had the true experience? 

3) Costa Rica.

I'd loved the idea of going to Costa Rica when we first started thinking of where to go, but quickly ruled it out when it came to actually looking to book somewhere; it seemed pretty hard to find all inclusive packages that suited us. I feel that Costa Rica could be the perfect destination for us, beautiful scenery and nature adventures that offer that real once in a lifetime trip feeling. I still seem to be struggling to actually put it together though?

Have any of you been to any of these places? Maybe you have somewhere else to recommend? What booking sites do you use for the longer haul? If you have any and all recommendations I'd love to hear all the opinions!

*Catch up on the other plans for our wedding*

#1 Venue
#2 Bridesmaids
#3 Food
#4 The Groom
#5 Venue Visiting (Not the one we chose in the end but beautiful!)
#6 Wedding Fayres
#7 Invitations
#8 Honeymoon Choosing
#9 The Last Of The Wedding Fayres
#10 Miss/Mrs Ms 
#11 Marquees
#12 Minimoon: An Excuse to Holiday Twice
20 Things I've Realised Planning Our Wedding

Over & Out

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Location Location Location: The Lost Gardens of Heligan.

I used to visit The Lost Gardens of Heligan every time I came to Cornwall on holiday. Now, at only £13 for an adult ticket (and a new option for a locals pass!) it's a perfect place to take a springtime walk without breaking the bank *cough Eden Project cough*.  A genuine lost garden, these beautifully wild grounds were owned by the Tremayne family; during WW1 ivy, overgrowth and brambles took over this estate as the family and workforce joined the war. Unlike many estates, it was never sold or developed in that time; proceeding a further 'sleeping beauty' timewarp to the grounds.  Eventually, in the 1970's the house itself was sold, split into apartments and yet, the grounds were left undiscovered...

It wasn't until the 1990's that Tim Smit (Eden Project creator) and John Willis (Tremayne descent) discovered a tiny doorway, covered in hedgerow and brambles, and began the clearance and restoration of the classical gardens and enchanting landscape. 

You really can get lost for hours in the different areas of the grounds. Acres to walk, Stacie and I headed first for the jungle (like any adventurer would!) This landscape could be anywhere, in reality, it's 20 minutes or so from my house. Do I mention enough how brilliant Cornwall is?

Taking the rope bridge is a novelty experience and guaranteed to have you declaring yourself as the next Indiana Jones. Stacie and I queued for about 10 minutes and as we got closer, shouted at the children ahead of us, rocking and jumping on the rope bridge "You'll weaken it before we get there and we'll die!" We're slightly dramatic adventurers...

Since we'd practically mastered the jungle (Tarzan eat your heart out) we ventured over to the farm area. Squealing at the piglets and having a stare-off with an emu, we rolled around in the sunshine, feeding sheep and lambs, declaring ourself as the first ever 'Farm Jungle Experts'. Every little moment just screamed "SPRING HAPPINESS" in your face. I can sense you feel it right now. 

Farming aced (it really was quite the mastering day) we needed to slow down a little and headed for the Italian gardens and melon yard for a hunt of inspiration and peacefulness. One of the many joys of Heligan is just how relaxed the different spaces are. It's venturing into someone's beautiful home without being pretentious or invasive. It took us a little while to spot the pineapples growing (that's right we grow pineapples in Cornwall) and we were a little early in the season for the veg garden to be fully appreciated but despite being a bank holiday weekend with a queue of genuinely almost 200 people when we arrived, there were plenty of spaces that were empty and serene. 

The scent of The Citrus House was invigorating and fresh, placing my little mind somewhere much more exotic than a corner of the UK. Legs a little tired, hearts filled with sunshine, we headed over to the farm shop for a bit of local produce (honey purchasing- duh) and headed home. 

Thinking of a trip to Cornwall? You may want to have a browse of some other locations that are tip-top! 

Over & Out