I hadn’t planned to visit Malta was but it came around when searching for a new European destination for my 2023 girls trip. I had about two weeks to research and the more I saw, the more excited I became. Driving through the picturesque quaint cobbled streets on my way out of the airport, I knew we were in for a treat.

This small island just below Sicily and north of North Africa was a perfect blend of Mediterranean vibes with a hint of ancient Arabian influence. Malta has something for everyone; a crystal clear sea & a myriad of beautiful beaches to explore and unwind for the chilled, infinity pool beach clubs and restaurants along the yacht filled harbour for the boujie, and stunning old towns and ancient medinas for the history lovers.

Need to know

Local currency – Euro. Card is accepted everywhere (even on an ice-cream boat in the middle of the sea)

Language – Maltese however English & Italian are both widely spoken

Transport – Uber, Bolt, Taxi, Bus


Where to Stay

Malta is quite a small island making every area easily accessible to the centre – it’s only 1 hour drive from one end to the other. For a first time trip I would recommend staying in the centre of Malta – particularly St. Julians, Sliema or Valetta.

St. Julians is energetic and known for being the party town. I stayed in St. Julian’s at the Malta Marriott Hotel & Spa. Whilst the hotel was situated at the end of St. Julians, overlooking Barlutta Bay, and more on the quiet side, I loved the lively and modern feel to it coupled with the sea views. It was the perfect central location.

Valletta is Malta’s capital and is bursting with history with an ancient feel. The relaxed mood and popular al-fresco restaurants make it a great place to stay if you love a casual vibe.

Sliema is more of a residential seaside town but still perfect for tourists. It is vibrant and full of picturesque roads with plenty of shops along the promenade.

There are also plenty of rural areas of Malta to consider with out of the way villas; perfect if you want to be completely away from the hustle & bustle!

Malta has tons of hotels to choose from, I have included some of my favourites below:

  • Xara Palace Relais & Châteaux
  • Cugo Gran Macina Grand Harbour
  • Hotel Juliana
  • Palazzo Consiglia
  • Palais Le Brun
  • Corinthia Palace
  • Hilton Malta
  • Rosselli
  • Lure Hotel & Spa

What to do

If you ask me, Malta is the perfect place to do nothing but soak up the sun and eat great food. And that is exactly what I did on my trip! But there are also a myriad of other things to do:

Boat Trip (Blue Lagoon, Crystal Lagoon & Blue Grotto)

The crystal clear aquamarine waters of the lagoons were the highlight of my trip and are a must see when visiting Malta. The lagoons are close to each other and situated on the island of Comino.

You can visit the lagoons on a public tour, but as we wanted to control our itinerary we rented a private boat with a skipper.

If you love getting into the water then the crystal lagoon is for you as there is no beach area, just stunning, warm, clear water and it’s a lot less busy than the Blue Lagoon. If swimming is not your thing, then the Blue lagoon is perfect, as there is a little beach and a hill to hike for incredible sea views.

The boat trip to the lagoon stops at all the incredible caves on the way, such as the Blue Grotto, so it’s the perfect way to admire the Mediterranean sea views. I still can’t get over the ice-cream boat that came by selling delish ice-creams and ice cold drinks – genius!


Gozo is one of the small islands in the Maltese archipelago, neighbouring the main island of Malta itself – just a 20 minute ferry ride away. It is much quieter than Malta Island. Gozo undoubtedly has a more noticeable Arabian influence and is more untouched. You can explore the streets and grab lunch at the port – or do a quad bike tour if that’s more your thing!

Beach Club

I love incorporating a pure chilled out day at a beach club – eating my fave foods and soaking in the sun to music – so I was pleased to see the calibre of the Maltese beach club.

Café Del Mar

We opted for Café del Mar as the panoramic infinity pool and sea view make it undoubtedly the best beach club in Malta. The views were insane and it was easy to spend the whole day frolicking on the sunbed, eating sushi & drinking fresh lemonade with the DJ in the background.

At night, on the weekends, the sunbeds are tucked away and the beach clubs turns into a nightclub.

Book early!! Because it was a last minute trip we couldn’t book far in advance and our first choice of sunbeds (Luxury Beds) were sold out. We did get our second choice – the VIP Beds.


Beefbar is another stunning beach club that I would have visited if I had enough time. Luxury sun beds on an infinity pool overlooking the Mediterranean sea. A great option if you prefer a less busy beach club than Café Del Mar.


The city of Valletta is a UNESCO World Heritage Site – the perfect place to immerse yourself in ancient history. You can wander the cobbled streets and visit historical sites such as the temple of Hagar Qim. Valleta comes alive in the night time, full of buzzing al-fresco restaurants – perfect for day or night.


Known as ‘the silent city’ Mdina is a majestic ancient walled city filled with with medieval architecture. Another amazing site for history and architecture lovers.

Photo by David Alfons on Unsplash

What to eat


Klay is a bayside restaurant in St. Julians which we found on an afternoon stroll around our hotel. The restaurant décor was super chic bohemian style and matched our afternoon lunch vibe.

The cuisine was Italian and the food was great! I had the king prawn fileja which is a long twist shaped pasta from Southern Italy.

San Paolo Naufrago

San Paolo’s is a popular cosy pizza & wine bar in Valletta, and if you go without a booking you will be waiting in a queue round the corner. It is located on the buzzing St. Lucia street where all the neighbouring restaurants dine al-fresco on the cobbled street.

We had a classic margharita (best pizza ever IMO– don’t fight me on this!), lasagne, and a goats cheese salad. The food was fresh and delicious and made me feel like I was back in Venice. We paired with a recommended local white wine and had the best girly sweet & relaxed evening. Highly recommend.

Felice Brasserie

Located on the port in Sliema, Felice is an upper dining restaurant. They had a breakfast/brunch menu but we opted for a dinner visit as they open late and have a DJ.

The cuisine was mixed – grill, Turkish and Italian, which is good as there is something for everyone. We had the Wagyu Ribeye and Chicken Piccata which was good. The vibe was my favourite thing about Felice, relaxed but dressy with a lush sea view.

Malta Marriott

I wouldn’t normally add a hotel to restaurant recommendations but the food at the Marriott was so good, I couldn’t leave it out! We ate poolside at the Sundeck and dined for lunch at Atrio and both delivered:

The Sun Deck

Probably my favourite meal of the whole trip. We had the chicken caesar salad, burrata and spaghetti vongole and all were cooked to perfection. Special shoutout to the spaghetti vongole as the clams were so fresh and deliciously seasoned! The deck also had the prettiest & yummiest lemonades.


Atrio was a Mediterranean restaurant and with an rooftop BBQ on the terrace on Saturdays. The food was lovely – we had the burrata, steak pie and a chicken & kale dish.

There are dozens of places to eat that cater to every taste. Two restaurants that were on my list to try were ‘U Bistrot’ and ‘Rosami at the Villa’ which is Michelin star rated.

Malta was a vibrant and beautiful destination that I would recommend to all. Sea, sun and fun – the best combination.

Let me know if you have been to Malta or ask me anything!


Roberta x


The Reykjavik Edition

Named as the best hotel in Reykjavik, the alluring Edition lives up to its name. EDITION hotels are somewhat of a newcomer on the hotel chain scene. Although EDITION hotels have a distinct look, they always incorporate the feel of the home country into their luxury décor.

The Reykjavik Edition lobby is dark, luxurious and inviting with black furry rugs & throws and a huge lava rock centre piece. The Icelandic theme continues into the lobby bar with a massive fireplace and comfy sofas draped with more fur throws. The check in was smooth, quick and friendly. I spent 4 nights at the Edition and loved every second of my stay.

The hotel is situated by the harbour in downtown Reykjavik, the perfect location, central to restaurants and a short walking distance to the town centre.


The Room

I stayed in the Loft King Room which was spacious. Though minimalist, the interior echoed the same cosy Icelandic theme with a furry rug and soft throws on the bed and chairs. The mood was dark, warm, contemporary & cosy.

Cosy room decor

I especially loved the dramatic ceiling to floor window, which made the room feel even bigger than it was, looking out to the city. And the special touch of local chocolate left on my pillow at turndown service.

Everything in the room was thoughtful and top of the range. A handheld steamer, GHD hairdryer, Nespresso coffee machine and bathrobes lined with fur. Even the minibar was filled with thoughtful favourites.

The heated floors in the large bathroom were probably my favourite ever hotel feature, perfect for Iceland’s frosty weather. The bathroom had the signature EDITION white tiled look with contrasting black features. The toiletries were the Le Labo with a curated signature scent exclusively for the EDITION.


Another thoughtful touch was being able to opt-in to a northern lights wakeup call – a call to the room to wake you up if the northern lights appear.


The Food

The hotel has one main restaurant called Tides. There were also several other bars The Roof, Sunset, Tolt and Lobby Bar which serve cocktails and light bites. Sunset is also a nightclub on the weekend.


Tides doubles up as the breakfast restaurant and a prestigious lunch & dinner restaurant with a Michelin star chef.

The breakfast offered both a la carte and buffet. Buffet can be hit or miss for me because the food can lack quality, but this buffet matched the thoughtful and quality tone of EDITION.

It was delectable; Chia seed puddings with a selection of compotes, fresh Icelandic baked pasties & muffins, pancake & waffle stations, with warm compotes and a champagne bar for freshly juiced orange juice mimosas.

It was so good we ended up having breakfast three times despite planning to try breakfast in town.

The Roof

The roof was perfect for drinks after (or pre) dinner. Set on its own rooftop you can sit out on the terrace looking out to a stunning panoramic view, and even catch the northern lights if you’re lucky. The décor is sultry and moody with a DJ on weekends.


View from The Roof


The Spa

The ideal place to recharge after spending the day exploring. The spa was small but cosy and beautifully decorated just like the rest of the hotel. The spa boasts a steam room, sauna, and hammam with a number of treatments to select from.

Hammam Room

I thought the ‘Spa Bar’ was such a cute addition – a bar in the spa lounge that services health smoothies and teas in the day and cocktails pre/post treatments in the evening.

Spa Bar

Overall I had an amazing stay at The Reykjavik Edition. I’m a firm believer that a hotel stay can make or break a trip and this hotel was a gem and slice of luxury in my Iceland experience.



Iceland absolutely blew my mind! I had been longing to visit for years and after finally taking the trip it proved to be the destination that kept on giving. The country itself is captivatingly beautiful, and the people are super friendly, welcoming and chilled. There was a cool, calm feeling vibrating through the land that I can’t quite put into words, the best way to describe it was the feeling, I felt at ease.

After visiting Iceland you completely understand why this Nordic island is known as the land of fire and ice. The landscape is dramatically scattered with black volcanic rock and ice capped mountains and volcanoes. Despite the temperature reaching far below zero degrees there are dozens of natural scorching thermal pools all over the island, and more volcanos than any other country in Europe.


Need to Know

Local currency – Icelandic Krona – come prepared because this country is expensive! Rated second most expensive country in Europe £££££

Language – Icelandic – English is widely spoken

Transport – Bus, taxi or rent a car. The roads are wide and easy to navigate


Where to stay

There are plenty of unique places to stay in Iceland. I chose to stay in Reykjavik, the capital city, to get a feel of the city life and for ease of options. Reykjavik is a relatively small city and the center is very walkable. Downtown Reykjavik (Midborg) is the best neighbourhood to stay in, it has most of the restaurants, bars and attractions, a buzzing nightlife and it really is the heart of the city.

Other recommended – areas

Vesturbaer – up and coming neighbourhood with a cool, relaxed and sophisticated vibe – 30 mins walk from the city centre

Laugardalur – this quiet, residential and well-connected area makes it best for families.

Hildar – best on a budget, popular for students and young people

I stayed at The Reykjavik Edition which has been named as one of the best in Iceland (and I agree).

The Lobby at The Reykjavik Edition Hotel

What to do

Blue Lagoon

Blue Lagoon is simply bucket list worthy and deserves it’s spot as one of the 25 wonders of the world. Seeing pictures of the lagoon in my teens is what actually put Iceland on my wishlist.

The pale blue, almost milky, water is so inviting and the steam that rises gives a romantic and almost mystical feel. The water is very warm (38°C) and luxurious with a silky sensation. It’s so warm that it doesn’t matter how cold the weather is, you can stay in the water for hours and stay toasty.

The water is said to cure ailments and have regenerative qualities due to the silica and sulfur, which also creates the rich blue colour.

Before visiting I saw complaints that the Blue Lagoon now feels like a public swimming pool and is no longer a coveted attraction in Iceland. Whilst I agree that the Lagoon feels a little busy and definitely feels like a tourist attraction, comparing it to a swimming pool is a reach. It is still a breathtaking experience and worth the visit, and one you must have on your Iceland to do list.

Tips for visiting the Blue Lagoon:
  •  Try and visit on your way to or from the airport as the Lagoon is far from everywhere except the airport.
  • Pick a morning slot or evening slot to avoid the crowd. I went in the evening which was a perfect way to see the sunset; you might even get lucky and see the northern lights.
  • Girls – condition your hair or just wear a headscarf please. The silica in the water makes your hair super brittle and there is no avoiding it. If your natural hair is tucked away then even better.
  • There’s no need to opt for the premium package to get a robe as you take if off straightaway and it gets too wet to use afterwards.

Sky Lagoon

The Sky Lagoon is another geothermal spa but feels much more luxury, natural and secluded that than the Blue Lagoon. Again, I understand why people are ditching the Blue Lagoon for the Sky Lagoon but I still say you need to visit both.

I went for the Sky Date Night package and it was well worth it. The package came with access to the private and luxury changing rooms, a beverage (champagne of course), and a food platter in the café after your visit.

Walking into the Lagoon was a breathtaking experience. I had watched videos and seen pictures prior to visiting, but it is ten times better in person. A rocky natural landscape with an infinity pool that overlooks a never ending sea.

The water was crystal clear and, like the blue lagoon, very warm at (38°C). Even though the weather was cold, the sun was shining and I caught a tan.

Because of how relaxing and beautiful the experience was, we struggled to get out of the thermal pool and stayed in for about 5 hours without even realising.

The sky-lagoon boasts a 7-step ritual which is based on Icelandic traditions to rejuvenate you:

  1. Lagoon – relaxing in the warm geo-thermal infinity pool
  2. Cold Plunge – dipping in a freezing cold pool for 10-30 seconds to stimulate your immune system
  3. Sauna – breathtaking ocean views
  4. Cold Fog-Mist – rejuvenates the skin and refreshes your senses
  5. Body Scrub – apply the signature sky sea salt body scrub to exfoliate your skin
  6. Steam Room – enter the steam room with your scrub on to open the skin and absorb the benefits
  7. Shower and Lagoon – rinse off the scrub in the shower and back into the warm geothermal lagoon


Snowmobiling is a must do! Especially if you’re a thrill seeker like me. The experience is so exhilarating; it’s like jet skiing on snow.

There are a few places to snowmobile in Iceland. I chose the Langjokull glacier (Iceland’s second biggest glacier) and the views were absolutely breathtaking, at one point it felt like I was riding on clouds to heaven as there was never-ending pure white scenery. Such a cool experience.

You need a driving license (though they didn’t ask to see ours) or you can get on the back of someone that holds one. And wear something warm – even though they provide gloves, a helmet and overalls.

Golden Circle

The golden circle is a circular driving route that takes you from Reykjavik round in a circle back to Reykjavik in 3 hours with different sightseeing highlights dotted on the way. There are loads of public golden circle tours you can take, but as we had rented a car (and prefer private tours), we did it by ourselves. It was very easy to navigate – just put golden circle in google maps and it will take you to every stop.

The sights are:

· Thingvellir National Park

Iceland’s national park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Game of Thrones shot some scenes here which you can hike and see. There are lakes, and waterfalls and a snorkeling site.

· Strokkur Geysir

Geothermal area where you can watch a hot geyser erupt from the group every 6-10 minutes. The water shoots up to 131 ft in the air.

· Gulfoss Waterfall

Iceland’s most famous waterfall – and what a vision it was – a huge waterfall with rainbows shooting from the spray.

We stopped here to have a break and eat a delicious lunch. We were picked up here to visit the glacier for our snowmobile tour and dropped back afterwards.

· Langjokull Glacier

Where you can snowmobile or explore the ice caves.

· Fontana Geothermal Baths

I passed on this thermal bath as I had already planned to visit the blue lagoon and sky lagoon but this is a natural hot spring that you can relax in. There are also steam rooms made from the natural water of the hot spring and a sauna.

South of Iceland Tour (Selfoss to Vik)

The south of Iceland has all of the famous highlights of Iceland however it is a further distance than the golden circle. We didn’t have time for both, so opted for the latter which is a good thing because I’ll have to come back and do it another time ?! Highlights of the south include:

· Seljalandsfoss Waterfalls

This is Iceland’s most pictured waterfall as there is a picturesquely positioned with a walking path behind the cascading water which means you can take stunning pics from the bottom of the waterfall.

Skogafoss, Gljufrabui and Svartifoss are all other beautiful waterfalls on the south Iceland coast.

· Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach

This stunning contrasting beach of white foamy water crashing against a jet black sand beach is another of Iceland’s unforgettable destinations.

· Skaftafell National Park

This national park is the gateway to the largest glacier in Europe, Vatnajokull. You can snowmobile here or explore the ice caves and scenic trails.

· Diamond Beach

Diamond beach is a natural phenomenon on the south coastline. Small icebergs from the nearby glacier wash up on the black sand beach creating a landscape that resembles diamonds sparkling ashore.

You can complete the tour in a day with enough time, but some split it into days and stay at hotels or cabins along the way.

Northern Lights

Iceland is full of natural phenomenon’s and the Northen Lights is another very popular one. People travel all the way to Iceland just to see them.

The lights are an aurora; a natural light display which ‘dance’ in the sky and light the whole sky with different colours. The lights can be seen from Reykjavik however there are guided tours outside of the city for a better (and brighter) chance of seeing them.

Best time of year to catch the aurora are the winter solstice in September through March.

Northern Lights – Photo by Lightscape Unsplash

Where to Eat

I prepped for Iceland with a long list of eateries to try but found myself with hardly any time to! We ended up eating at the hotel a lot and on the go because we were so active, but everything we did eat did not disappoint.


ROK was cute, cosy and the food was delish! We were told that dishes were small-ish and tapas style and so we ordered a lot! … Let’s just say Icelandic small is not the same as English small.

We had the Thai shrimp, fried cod, confit duck, beef tenderloin, African lamb chops and garlic roasted potatoes with chorizo & parmesan. For dessert we tried the brownie with hazelnuts. Everything was cooked to perfection!

Braud & Co

The freshest and most delicious Icelandic baked goods.


A relaxed grill & wine bar featuring small plates, burgers and traditional mains.


I didn’t make it to Kol but heard great things – including their weekend bottomless brunch.

The restaurant offers a twist on classic cuisine – fish, steaks and desserts.

Icelandic fish & chips

Restaurant recommendations & must try dishes:

  • Water – yes, water needs its own mention. Icelandic water flows down from a glacier and is the cleanest, freshest, crispest water you will ever drink.
  • Fish and chips – Iceland fish and chips beats any other hands down.
  • Icelandic hotdog – worth the hype (try Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur hotdog stand)
  • Sandholt – amazing brunch
  • Café Loki – relaxed lunch vibe with great local dishes
  • Dill – evening restaurant
  • Duck & Rose
  • Workshop @ Exeter Hotel – delicious doughnuts
  • The Grill Market

Iceland is so highly recommend by me and is firmly in my top 5 destinations ever visited, and it’s a place I can see myself visiting time and time again. Whether it’s for a baecation, a friends, family or solo trip, Iceland holds a taste of magic for everyone.

As always, let me know if you have any questions or your experience if you’ve been to Iceland!

Roberta x




Istanbul is the largest and most popular city in Turkey, though a modern city, it is still full of traditional vibes and brimming with culture at every corner.

A cheeky fun fact is that Istanbul is the only city in the world that is spread over two continents; it is separated by a body of water called The Bosphorus Strait which straddles both Europe and Asia.


Local currency: Turkish Lira (TRY)

Language: Turkish

Transport: Taxi, tram, metro, bus – uber is not widely used in Istanbul



I did a 3-night weekend stay from Friday to Monday and booked my flights and hotel separately.



Besiktas Best for luxury hotels and restaurants that are overlooking the water. Though this area is not close to the historic peninsula, it is quickly accessible to the waterfront and you can take a ferry to the Asian side of Istanbul. Similar areas are Nisantasi and Ortakoy.

Sultanahmet This area is best for first-timers to the city as it is in walking distance to Istanbul’s unmissable spots. It is close to The Grand Bazaar, Blue Mosque, Spice Bazaar, Basilica Cistern and more. Whilst Sultanahmet is a bustling area, it is quiet on the nightlife side.

Beyoglu A great area for those interested in nightlife as it is full of bars, nightclubs and restaurants.

Other great areas to consider are Taksim, Galata and Bazaar.

I stayed at the St.Regis Istanbul which is situated in Nisantasi; a very cosmopolitan and luxury feel with great views of the water, it was also fairly quick and easy to get to most places.

Other hotels in Istanbul that I would recommend are:

  • Four Seasons Istanbul at the Bosphorus
  • Sumahan on the Water
  • Georges Hotel Galata
  • Witt Istanbul Hotel
  • 10 Karakoy



Cesme Bazlama Kahvalti

Cesme was recommended to us by the hotel concierge when our first choice for Sunday brunch was fully booked. I was hesitant because I hadn’t seen it on any ‘must visit restaurants’ lists, however, this restaurant took me by surprise and was easily one of my favourite spots on my trip.

Cesme serves a traditional Turkish breakfast which has a set menu and costs around 75TRY (£7.50) per person. The breakfast consists of Turkish eggs, bread, cheeses, salad, potatoes, olives, tahini, hummus, olives, fresh Turkish doughnuts and more.

The waiter came round with warm fresh jams, honey, and chocolates for you to dip your doughnuts and bread in. As if that wasn’t enough, the waiters constantly came round with more bread served plain, stuffed with spinach or cheese, fresh lemonade and Turkish tea.

Everything at Cesme was freshly handmade, including the bread and jam, and it tasted divine.

As it is a walk-in restaurant with no reservations, there is usually a queue. Despite this, the queue moves quickly, and we were seated in around 15 minutes. Additionally, as it is a set menu, the food came quickly after being seated. I highly recommend!


This restaurant is located on the Asian side of Istanbul and required a boat ride to get there.
The settings were beautiful, overlooking the sea by the Istanbul Bosphorus coastline.

Being a seafront restaurant, the menu was Mediterranean style seafood. I ordered a prawn starter and seafood linguine main course. The food was nice but it honestly didn’t wow me.

Whilst the food was mediocre, I really enjoyed the ambience of the restaurant, the views and the boat ride, it was a lovely evening and experience.

The meal was quite expensive by Turkish standards and I paid around £55, but this must factor in the free boat ride too and from the restaurant and you pay for the nice views.

I would recommend for the experience but maybe don’t order what I did lol!


Zuma is a well-known contemporary restaurant which serves modern Japanese cuisine. It is also popular in London and it made sense to have it on our restaurant list.

As expected the food was divine. I had the prawn tempura maki rolls as a starter, beef ribs and garlic broccoli as a main, and the famous Zuma melt-in-the-mouth chocolate fondant cake to finish.

Zuma Istanbul was very affordable as compared to London. In London, a three-course meal with several cocktails can easily set you back £100 – £150 per head whereas I paid £50 for the same in Istanbul.

I enjoyed it so much that I went back the next day for a second time and this time replacing the cocktails, with mocktails I paid £40 for my three-course meal and drinks – need I say more?

Spago by Wolfgang Puck

Having visited other Wolfgang Puck restaurants and being really impressed, I was really looking forward to dining at Spago.

The restaurant offered an amazing sky view of Istanbul and great drinks. Although the food was nice, it didn’t live up to my Wolfgang Puck expectations.

I would still recommend as it was nice, but not the Michelin star-worthy food that I was expecting.

If you’re a fan of cocktails and you visit, I recommend the ‘Peace on Earth’ – I would go back to Spago for that drink alone.

Four Seasons Sunday Brunch

I wanted to attend the Four Seasons Sunday brunch after hearing amazing reviews but unfortunately, it was fully booked. The brunch is served in the afternoon and consists of multiple cuisine brunch buffet overlooking the Bosphorus. If you plan on brunching here make sure you book early.

Four Seasons Brunch Restaurant


More restaurants that were on my list:

  • Vogue
  • Riches
  • 16 Roof
  • Paper Moon
  • Galvin Nistanasi
  • Cecconi’s, Soho House
  • You can also try your luck at Nusr-Et. As Istanbul is Salt Bae’s first restaurant location and he is Turkish, there is a good chance he might be around for some salt sprinkling action!

Traditional Turkish

You simply cannot come to Turkey without trying some traditional Turkish cuisine, my must-try dishes are:

Baklava – an extremely moreish sweet dessert made of layers of filo pastry stuffed with chopped nuts and held together with syrup or honey. I like my Baklava warm with vanilla ice cream, how do you like yours 😉 ?

I bought some Baklava to take back to London from a popular dessert shop called Hafiz Mustafa 1864.

Kebab – We’ve all had a kebab – but have you really tried a kebab until you’ve tried it the traditional Turkish way? Whether you are a Doner, Kofte, or Sheesh kebab type of person, you have to try it freshly made as Turkish street food.

Turkish Apple Tea Apple tea is the national tea of Turkey and tastes like hot apple juice. It is a big part of Turkish hospitality and I was offered a cup almost everywhere I went – including in the Grand Bazaar and after my spa treatment.

Gozleme / Bazlama – Both Gozleme and Bazlama are Turkish flatbreads made from unleavened dough, the former is made with fat and the latter is made without. The bread is often stuffed with meat, cheese and spinach.

Apple Tea served in the Grand Bazaar



Taht Istanbul

Taht is a rooftop which overlooks Istanbul offering insane views. The rooftop is set up for photoshoots with traditional Turkish rugs, pillows and shisha.

If you’re not scared of heights and birds then Taht is perfect for beautiful scenic pictures of Istanbul.

Entry is 100TRY (£10) and includes tea and time on the rooftop to take pictures. If you require a professional camera and photographer, you can pay more.

Grand Bazaar

Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar is over 500 years old and one of the largest covered bazaars in the world. The bazaar contains over 60 streets and more than 4000 shops.

You can buy all sorts of things in the bazaar including ceramics, scarves, Turkish teas, sweets and spices. You can also get gold and silver jewellery, Turkish rugs and handmade crafts.

The bazaar is usually jam-packed full of people, however, due to Covid-19, it was very empty when I visited. I bought a Turkish eye bracelet as a trinket.

Turkish eye bracelet purchased at Grand Bazaar

If you visit don’t forget to haggle as prices are sometimes tripled if you are a foreigner.

Spice Bazaar

The Spice Bazaar is a vibrant market full of edible goods that visitors can taste before they buy.

There are hundreds of colourful and fragrant spices on offer. You can also buy dried fruits, Turkish sweets, coffees, teas and more.

Turkish Hammam

What is a trip to Turkey without indulging in a hammam bath? Hammams were first found in Arabia but made popular by the Turkish.

A hammam scrub and massage is exactly what the body needs on a holiday and Turkey is made for it. A hammam treatment consists of an exfoliation scrub, rinse and massage as well as relaxing in the bath and steam room.

There are plenty of hammam baths in Istanbul, some are very old and traditional. Because I was on a tight schedule and for a luxury feel, I visited the spa in my Hotel which had its own hammam bath.

Beach Club

If you’re seriously craving a beachside you can get to the beach in an hour from Istanbul city centre.

There are several beach clubs including Solar Beach which is situated on Kilyos beach and is a regular host to festivals and night parties. There is also a variety of activities such as water sports, rock climbing, volleyball etc.


Istanbul has a really good nightlife and you’re guaranteed a night of fun no matter what type of music you are in to.

Being a fan of Afrobeats, Hip Hop and RnB,  the Hip Hop night at Blackk nightclub was the perfect choice. The club was glam, not too big (I dislike huge clubs) and had an open rooftop with views of Istanbul skyline.

Blue Mosque

I didn’t get a chance to visit the Blue Mosque however it is a must-visit whilst in Istanbul. It is one of the only mosques (out of more than 3000) in Istanbul with 6 minarets.

It is known as the Blue Mosque due to the blue tiles that decorate the interior and is one of Istanbul’s most iconic historic sights attracting thousands of tourists.

Blue Mosque Istanbul

Bosphorus Cruise

There are several cruises you can take on the Bosphorus Strait which provide a great overview of both the European and Asian side of the city.

There is a long cruise which lasts six hours and goes all the way to the Black Sea. Or you can choose shorter cruises which last anywhere from one to two hours, and include visits to different historical sites and neighbourhoods.

Boats on the Bosphorus Strait

There are loads of places to visit in Istanbul, a lot more than I managed to visit in my short time. If you want to take in more of the history of the city then you can also visit the below:

  • Basilica Cistern
  • Hagia Sophia
  • Topkapi Palace Museum

I had a great time in Istanbul and I endorse this city for long or short trips. There is so much do see and do in this welcoming and bustling city.

If you have been to Istanbul, or anywhere else in Turkey, or you have any questions, feel free to comment below.

Love Roberta



BoHo Hotel

BoHo Hotel is a stylish and contemporary boutique hotel situated near Prague Old Town which I stumbled across during my holiday search. After reading reviews online I was sold.

I’m used to staying in well-known hotel chains, however, the more I travel I’ve realised that sometimes the lesser-known hotel is actually newer, cleaner and has tailored service. BoHo Hotel exceeded my expectation.



We were given a free glass of prosecco on arrival and sat in the comfy chairs whilst we were checked in. The process was swift and easy and the hotel was able to accommodate our early arrival.

After check-in, we were taken on a mini-tour of the hotel and we were informed that the restaurant serves crisps and a glass of free wine between 5 pm – 6 pm daily and the hotel offers a complimentary City Tour.


We stayed in the Junior Suite; which was very spacious with a living space and sofa. The room was comfortable and warm but had a modern feel with the latest technology including USB chargers.

The bathroom was my favourite and I couldn’t stop raving about it. It was new and clean with brown transparent glass and equipped with a double basin and double vanity mirrors – handy if multiple people need to get ready.

There was also a separate toilet and a walk-in shower as well as a bathtub. As you may know from my past posts I love good amenities, and BoHo’s amenities were so good; Natura Bisse and Roja.


The hotel restaurant was bright with large glass windows and an outside courtyard.

I’m not usually a fan of hotel food, but the food served at BoHo was delicious. The menu was a small selection which was perfectly tailored.

We tried the burger and chips, the truffle mushroom risotto with parmesan, and the chicken noodle broth – everything cooked to perfection.


The wellness area included a treatment room, hydrotherapy jacuzzi pool, sauna, steam room and a gym. The area was clean and warm and I had an enjoyable and relaxing experience.

The hotel offered guests a 20% discount on spa treatments; I had the Swedish massage which was the perfect end to my stay.


BoHo really went above and beyond and left us a special gift (of champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries) in the room. The customer service was top notch and all staff went out of their way to ensure we had a good stay. I highly recommend this hotel and I will definitely stay again in the future.

Comment below with any questions,


Roberta x



Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic which lies at the heart of Europe. Steeped in history, the city is known for its cobbled streets, old town square and towering castles.

Need to Know:

Local currency: Czech Koruna (CZK)

Language: Czech. English was widely spoken, however, remember that Czech is the language of Prague

Transport – Trams, Meter Taxi, Uber. We ended up taking Uber everywhere as a 15-minute journey was around £3, very affordable

Adapter: Two round pin adapter

How I booked:

I booked this trip through a British Airways package deal. Flight and hotel were included. The trip was 3 days and 2 nights (Saturday morning to Monday night).


If you frequent my blog you’ll know that my usual advice for short-haul trips is to stay somewhere quite central. This is so that you can spend less time travelling when you’re on a tighter schedule than normal.

In Prague most sights are within a close distance of each other, the longest uber trip time was around 20 minutes.

Where to stay also depends on what you prefer; some may prefer staying in the quieter areas near scenery and historic sites – such as Prague castle.

I stayed in the BoHo Hotel which was very central and a 5-minute walk to the Old Town. Read more about my hotel stay here.

Prague is a very affordable city and you can stay in luxury hotels for less. If you’re likely to spend less time staying indoors then it’s a good opportunity to try out a unique boutique hotel.

Some options are:

  • Four Seasons Hotel Prague
  • Mandarin Oriental Prague
  • Augustine Prague
  • Hotel Cosmopolitan
  • Alchymist Prague
  • Carlo IV, The Dedica Anthology


Okay, where do I start?? I’m not the biggest fan of European food so I always prepare myself in the case of disappointment however I was so impressed with the Czech cuisine. Not only is it cheap and cheerful, there are also so many varieties of national foods to try from street food to restaurants.


Trdelnik is a Czech pastry and one of the most common pastries sold by street vendors. It is often referred to as a ‘chimney cake’. It is made from dough that is wrapped around on a stick, grilled and top with sugar. The pastry is then filled with ice cream – dreamy.

You can choose from a variety of flavours, such as chocolate, vanilla or red velvet dough. Toppings include; nuts, sauces, sprinkles, fruit or gingerbread biscuits.

I had spotted Trdelnik before I came to Prague and couldn’t wait to try it. I can confirm that it really does look as good as it tastes.

Good Food is popular for its Trdelnik and is in a great location off Charles Bridge for scenery pics.

Manifesto (Faency Fries)

There are plenty of food markets in Prague. After some research, I decided on Manifesto as it has cute heated igloos to sit in and had a particular stall called ‘Faency Fries’.

Faency Fries were the best chips I’ve ever had in my life. The chips were seasoned to perfection and you could choose a selection of toppings. I chose cheese topping, which was melted by a blowtorch, and served with spicy mayo.

The chips were so good that we tried to go back to Manifesto the next day, but it was unfortunately shut (opens Wednesday – Sunday).

I also tried some of my friends beef kebab from another food stall. I’m not a big fan of meat at the moment but the meat was tender and soft.

Visiting a food market in Prague is a great idea, especially Manifesto.

Deer Prague

We stumbled on a cute looking restaurant on one of our walks through Old Town called Deer Restaurant and decided to dine there for dinner.

I had the John Dory fish fillet with mussels and roasted potatoes and my friend had the saddle of rabbit. For dessert, we both picked the Strawberry Cheesecake dish.

The food was well presented and tasted delicious. Including our prosecco and elderflower/raspberry drinks the entire meal came to £48 for the both of us – including a 10% tip.

Café Savoy

Café Savoy had been highly recommended on google for the best hot chocolate in Prague. The décor was beautiful and the patisserie display looked delectable – however, the food and drinks were a big disappointment.

The ham and cheese croissant was dry, cold and just generally not nice and the hot chocolate was bitter. I wouldn’t recommend.

Chloé Café

Chloe Cafe was chic and quirky and reminded me of the new wave of flower walled coffee shops in London.
I love a gimmick and really enjoyed the monogrammed coffee. “Gucci Gang” was on the menu, but I went for the Louis Vuitton.
Chloe’s had the fluffiest pancakes which looked like doughnuts they were a hit. The cafe was cute but it wasn’t a must-do.
Restaurants and food on my list that I didn’t get to try;
  • Pork knuckle (A popular traditional food in Prague)
  • Fried Cheese
  • Beer
  • Pickled Cheese (don’t blame me if it’s not nice!)
  • Mlynec Restaurant
  • Café Kaficko
  • Ice Pub


Prague Castle

Prague Castle is a majestic and historic castle complex. The castle is home to the President of the Czech Republic and was once home to the Kings of Bohemia and Roman emperors.

You can easily spend hours at the castle visiting the cathedrals and different towers. Try and get to the castle in time to watch the guard changeover at noon.

My recommendation is St.Vitus Cathédrale which is stunning both on the inside and outside. 

Astronomical Clock

The astronomical clock can be found in the Old Town Square. The clock was first installed in 1410 making it the oldest clock still operating.
The clock rings on the hour and the twelve apostles appear. Don’t expect too much from the display as this is a very old clock, but it was fascinating to watch.

St Charles Bridge

There are many bridges that cross the Vltava river, however, the biggest and most popular is the Charles Bridge. You can take a stroll over the bridge and see the swans of the Vltava river and picturesque view.

Vintage car ride

You can hire a vintage car which takes you on a tour around the city. The ride is the quickest and easiest way to see all of the sights, especially if you’re short on time.
They offer rides of either 40 minutes, 1 hour or 2 hours and the prices start from around 1500 CZK which is roughly £50.
I didn’t have time to do everything I had planned but some others that were on my list were:
  • Truffle Tour – Truffle hunt with dogs which is followed by a truffle meal
  • Infant Jesus of Prague
  • Beer Tour – Czech Republic is famous for its beer – a great option if you like beer
  • John Lennon Wall
  • Boat ride – There are many public tours to choose from, the Four Seasons hotel offers a private boat ride
  • Christmas Markets
  • Food tour
Prague was a charming city break. Breaks like this that remind me that Europe is filled with unspoiled gems.
The cobbled roads, tall castles and spires of Prague made me feel like I was in an old Disney movie. I highly recommend Prague for a weekend away and I will back to visit one day soon.
Have you been to Prague or are you planning to go? Feel free to drop a suggestion or to ask any questions.
Love Roberta

New York Palace

New York Palace promises grand luxury and that is exactly what you get.

I toyed between staying at New York Palace and Corinthia. I had seen pictures of both of these hotels. Whilst Corinthia had a slight edge with their spa, the grand lobby in New York Palace won by a mile.

The hotel was very central which was important to us. Everything was either a short walk away or easy to access by transport.

My Stay

Upon seeing the hotel I knew instantly that I’d made the right choice. The building itself was a landmark and towered over the other buildings in the street, it screamed luxury.

Walking into the hotel made me even more confident in my decision. There were doormen in top hats and shiny shoes to welcome us in. The foyer smelt of roses and was lavished in gold with frescoed ceilings.

First impressions were everything and I was truly impressed. Not only was the architecture beautiful, but they had also added little touches like flowers and Diptyque candles. On Sunday there was a live pianist playing the grand piano, I felt like I was being serenaded and if I was, it worked!

The building itself was massive, several floors with multiples lifts and grand staircases.

Hotel Lift (one of many)

The Room

I did my due diligence when researching the hotel and I knew in advance that the rooms were quite average. This saved a lot of disappointment.

We stayed in the Superior Twin Room. Though the room was average it wasn’t bad at all. It was clean, modern and very spacious, all it lacked was décor.

What you have to bear in mind is that with some hotels, you pay for the atmosphere rather than the room itself. What the room lacked, the lobby and café certainly made up for.

The bathroom was also nice and spacious with a grey marble finish and delivered on the two main things I look for in a bathroom – cleanliness and a good shower! Both are very important to me.


The toiletries were Aqua Di Parma which was another plus. I love toiletries which double up as good handbag additions.

The Food

The hotel restaurant is the famous New York Café which is known as ‘the most beautiful cade in the world’. Like the hotel, the décor of the Café was absolutely spectacular.

The food was not to my personal taste as the menu was dated; perhaps to keep up with the antiquated vibes. But I did really enjoy the Hungarian wine and the hot chocolate.

There was a live string band that played every half hour. The staff would ask if we had any requests and the band would play it.

It was perfect having the café as part of the hotel as it was nice to come downstairs from your room to such beautiful visuals.

Being guests of the hotel meant we were given preferential seating. Prior to visiting, I saw reviews advising people to ensure booking before visiting the café. Although it was busy we didn’t have to wait for seating on our weekend trip. But I would advise booking in advance if you’re not a hotel guest.

The Spa

The spa/pool was very dark and modern which was a contrast to the old-fashioned vibes that the hotel gave.

We went to the spa area once and opted not to spend much time there or get any spa treatments because we wanted to experience the Hungarian thermal baths.

The pool was definitely not one of my favourite hotel pools but I didn’t mind as lounging by the pool wasn’t on my agenda for my weekend in Budapest.

Overall the grand lobby and the central location were the hotels main selling points.

Sometimes it is not only the hotel which makes your stay complete it’s the people around you who make it special. The staff were lovely and helpful. I’m so happy I went with the New York Palace, it truly was sensational.

With Love,

Roberta x




Budapest exceeded all of my expectations. I’m not sure what I was expecting as I’ve never ventured into Eastern Europe. Maybe something old-fashioned and historic?

The city is gorgeous and although it does have a historic feel to it in some parts, it’s also modern and cosmopolitan. The quaint cobbled streets and the whole look and feel of Budapest reminded me of Paris. I completely understand why Budapest is dubbed the Paris of Eastern Europe.

I’ve been wanting to visit Budapest for years after seeing the scenic castles and enticing thermal baths, but I had a hard time persuading some of my friends. I can see why they weren’t drawn to it at first glance – it looked pretty but boring.

After scanning online I found cheap flights and I told my bestie Melissa to pack her bags because this was an offer we couldn’t refuse.


Budapest is the Capital and most populous city of Hungary; it comprises of two districts ‘Buda’ and ‘Pest’ which are split by the Danube River.

Pest is busy, buzzing and boujie and is home to most 5* hotels and gourmet restaurants. Whilst Buda is on the hills and is the quiet and historic side.

Need to Know:

Local currency: Hungarian Forints (HUF)

Language: Hungarian, although everyone we encountered spoke very good English.

Transport: The transport was cheap and very easy to navigate. You have a choice of yellow metered taxis, underground metro, overground tram or buses. It’s also really easy to get around by walking and that way you can see a lot of the sights.

Where to Stay

New York Palace, The Dedica Anthology

I stayed at the New York Palace Hotel, formerly known as the Boscolo Budapest. It was between this hotel and the Corinthia Budapest.

Picking this hotel was the best choice, it was elegant and classy and the staff were so lovely. The hotel was also very central so it was easy to get to everywhere. Read my review of the New York Palace Hotel here.

Grand Lobby, New York Palace Robbienroute travel blog budapest

Grand Lobby, New York Palace

As Budapest is a short haul destination you are likely to have a short stay. I would opt for a hotel that is central, as it makes getting around a lot quicker, much cheaper and some of your destinations will even be walkable.

Budapest is a lot much cheaper than other European destinations so you can stay in a luxury hotel for less.

Below are some other luxury options:

  • Corinthia
  • Kempinski
  • The Ritz

The Food

The food in Budapest is amazing! Excuse me if I sound shocked but I wasn’t expecting it at all. Even better, food is very affordable. For example, one evening we dined at Nobu and it was around two-thirds of the price it would be London.


We ordered drinks and 5 dishes (two of which were wagyu beef dishes) and the bill was around £120 for two people. If you’ve been to Nobu then you’ll know that this is a bargain.

The service was amazing, just like most places we visited in Budapest.

The vibe in Nobu was strange for a Saturday night. It wasn’t buzzing like its sister restaurants in London. It was more chilled and you wouldn’t get looked at strangely for coming dressed casually.

I highly recommend Nobu if you are in Budapest.

New York Café

I must admit that I was let down by the food at New York Café. This café is definitely on the pricey side. But as it has been named the most beautiful café in the world, you are definitely paying for the atmosphere rather than the food.

One thing I loved was that the food was so well presented. The little things make up the whole experience.

I ordered the beef Goulash – which is a Hungarian soup mixed with meat, veg and pulses. And my friend ordered the duck with cherry sauce and potato dumplings. The food was okay, but nothing I would rave about or order again.

The hot chocolate was hands down the best I’ve ever tasted. Melted Hungarian chocolate with cream. Now that I would have again 10 times over.

New york cafe budapest hot chocolate review blog robbienroute travel luxury

Hot Chocolate

The café itself was a sight to behold, ancient and glamorous and like nothing I’ve seen before. I would definitely recommend visiting this café even if it’s only for drinks.

Deak St. Kitchen

We stumbled across Deak St Kitchen whilst exploring the city. My friends know that travelling with me means I have a jam-packed itinerary, which usually includes restaurants. I had a whole list of restaurants to visit in Budapest but we saw this pretty bistro and decided to go with the flow.

The food was amazing and again, the staff were so friendly and attentive. We ordered the lamb chops.

After spotting Lemonade on every menu, we soon realised that Budapest has a thing for fresh Lemonade. If you like lemonade (and even if you don’t) you have to try it when in Budapest – their lemonade is in a league of its own.

Fresh, tangy and made to order. I became quite obsessed with the elderflower and strawberry combination. Can’t decide if my favourite lemonade was at Nobu or Deak St. Kitchen.

(left) Cucumber & Mint (right) Elderflower & Strawberry

What to do

Thermal baths

The thermal baths are what initially drew me to Budapest. Bathing in the thermal baths is part of the Hungarian culture.

The water is sourced from hot spring wells thousands of feet below the city, there are over 100 hot springs which pump water to Budapest’s 11 public thermal baths.

After deliberating between the Széchenyi Baths and St. Gellért Thermal Baths, we decided to visit Gellért.

Gellért Spa swimming pool budapest review robbienroute travel luxury blog

Gellért Spa swimming pool

Gellért bath was quite underwhelming. For a start, the staff were rude and nonchalant. I’d seen comments about the rude staff on reviews prior to visiting.

I understand that there are hundreds of people that visit the baths per week, but it’s not an excuse for being rude and unhelpful. This was the only place in Budapest that I received bad service, everywhere else was perfect.

What drew me to pick Gellért spa was the pictures of the huge bath with pillars. When got there, we found out that this was actually a swimming pool and not one of the thermal baths. The hot baths were a lot less attractive. I guess this is why you have to do your research.

The experience itself was strange, like being in a very hot bathtub with loads of people. But I enjoyed it. Sometimes you just have to try something new. It’s definitely an experience, so I urge you to give it a go, even if it’s not your thing.

Entrance fee was 5800 HUF (£16.12). And you can pay to rent a towel for 3000 HUF (£8), you get about £5 back when you return the towel. Beware that rented towels need to be returned an hour before closing time.

There are spa treatments available. When we went to the baths last minute on a Saturday night the treatments were fully booked so it’s best to book in advance!

Fisherman’s Bastion

Fisherman’s Bastion is a neo-Gothic terrace situated on the hills of Buda. The terrace gets its name from being the home of the fishermen who protected Budapest from invasion.

The views from the terrace are spectacular, you can see the whole of Budapest and the river Danube. It honestly feels like you’re in a magical city, with castles, stairways and cobbled roads.

It’s free to enter the terrace and it’s really accessible. We rode two stops on the metro and a short bus ride to get there, and we decided to walk on the way back to see the chain bridge up close.


Széchenyi Chain Bridge

This bridge was the first to connect Buda to Pest and has become a well-known landmark of Budapest.

Széchenyi Chain Bridge

It was lovely to take a stroll across the bridge and take in the city. Driving past the bridge, especially at night, was equally delightful.

Although it would be hard to miss the bridge, I would recommend getting close up and personal.

Other things to do:

  • Visit Buda Castle
  • Visit Matthias Church
  • Take the Big Bus Budapest Tour
  • Take a boat ride on river Danube
  • Dinner on a boat on river Danube
  • Visit the Hungarian Parliament Building

Budapest was the perfect surprise; I wasn’t expecting much but it gave me everything. This city has fast become one of my favourites in Europe and I’m already counting down the days until my next trip.

Comment with any questions or tell me about your Budapest experience.

With Love,

Roberta x