Tag Archives: Travel

Sleepless in Seattle


When I was younger, it seemed very easy to sling on a rucksack, hop on a train or plane and arrive somewhere new to explore… In fact, it was encouraged; Gap years, 6th Form Summer holidays, post-uni mini breaks before Real Life kicked in – friends flew off to rescue turtles in Costa Rica, pootled around Eastern Europe in clapped out vans, or went to learn diving in Thailand… After my A levels I went inter-railing through Italy and Greece… with no mobile phone, no internet and 4 pair of pants.

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– Crushing on Kefalonia –
16 reasons to go

Poppy Loves Kefalonia

Greece, as we know, is in the middle of a huge financial crisis, however the people of the surrounding Ionian Islands are carrying on as normal, welcoming tourists with open arms and introducing them proudly to their home… The Ionian islands are thickly-forested with olive and pine trees, brimming with gorgeous white-sand, shingle and pebble beaches, turquoise seas, tranquil blue caves, cosmopolitan Venetian-inspired towns, mountain villages that hold true to tradition, picturesque ports and yacht-filled marinas…. and are bursting at the brim with heavenly, heart-stoppingly sensational cuisine…

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– Encantada Ocean Cottages –
a slice of paradise in Esterillos,
Costa Rica

Poppy Loves in Costa Rica

It already feels like a very long time away, but just ten days ago I returned from a magical  holiday in Costa Rica. I will be writing more about my travels over the coming days, but I wanted to begin by introducing you to Encantada Ocean Cottages in Esterillos, which is where we stayed towards the end of our trip…

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Barceló Raval Hotel

Barcelo Raval Hotel in Barcelona

On Sunday night, I got back from Barcelona, where I’d been for the weekend. I love that we can do this in Europe – just buzz off for a city break in another country, often at a lower cost than it would be to get the train to other parts of our own country…

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Poppy travels: Havana, Cuba


Oh Havana. What a magical place. A musical city, with sea-scented air, singing and dancing in the streets, mojitos around every corner and an intoxicating pulse you can feel resonating in your bones as soon as you step off the plane.

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Happy New Year!


I’m currently sitting on a very comfy chair in Heathrow’s Terminal 5… which is my new favourite place to be.

I’m off on holibubs today for a couple of weeks (The Cayman Islands & Cuba! Squeal!) so there won’t be much activity here until mid Jan, but I’ll be back with bells on before you can say Poppy loves pumpernickel. (I do.)
So for now, I’d like to wish all my wonderful readers and lovely followers the happiest and most sparkling of New Years. You’ve been utterly marvellous and I thank you for all your support and camaraderie over the past year. It doesn’t go unnoticed and it means the world.
Come on 2014! Let’s knock the socks off you.

Poppy à Paris (Part 1: Eurostar)

Une belle vue

I know that we all know that we can all go to Paris by train from Kings Cross.. but sometimes it hits me with a bang. WE CAN TRAVEL TO PARIS BY TRAIN! It’s amazing! It’s more than amazing, it’s completely thrilling. Am I the only one left who still gets excited by this?

Just a few days ago, it was I (Poppy) who was whizzing off to Paris on Eurostar, for just one night to go and stay in the completely beautiful Hotel Pont Royal, (more on this in part deux). I packed my bag, (yes, I remembered my passport) put on my best ‘I Am Going To Paris On The Train Oooo La Laaaa’ Monsoon Dress and stepped aboard the tube, which would trundle me down to Kings Cross, St Pancras. 

Kings Cross

Hustle and bustle doesn’t begin to describe St Pancras station on a Wednesday morning, but it was exceptionally easy to navigate through the noise, glide (ha!) through the commuter clamour before whizzing through passport control, security and then finding myself in a very nice departures lounge, nibbling a Caffé Nero croissant (couldn’t wait) with time to spare. The process was easy as pie petit pois.

Eurostar has taste

A very quiet carriage indeed! Hurruh!

We we were all welcomed on board by a steward on the platform and before I knew it I was settled in my very comfortable seat, flicking through the complimentary magazines and looking forward to breakfast, which “will be served in 20 minutes.” 

I have always loved meals on planes – it’s something about the littleness of the boxes. Like playing dolls houses. It’s more fun than anything – the actual food is secondary for me. So, when breakfast was served on Eurostar, I was a little over excited.. and then it got even better as the food was utterly delicious. Fresh butter croissants, pain au chocolate, seeded rolls, Tiptree Morello Cherry jam, fruity yoghurt, fresh orange juice, tea and coffee.. oui!

Breakfast on Eurostar

I travelled on Standard Premier in coach 8 – one of their quiet coaches. Standard Premier means super comfortable seats, glossy magazines, yummy meals and power sockets galore! (Happy Poppy on her Macbook.. tap tap tap..)  

Travelling from London to Paris on Eurostar was so easy. I can’t fault the travel experience and if you are someone that needs to travel with more than one bag, or you are travelling with a family, I’d certainly recommend Eurostar over a plane as they have far fewer baggage restrictions and you rarely have to check in your luggage. It’s also faster and greener than flying and those are two big ticks for me. Tick, tick!

In 2hrs and 16 mins I was there. In 8 minutes I was in a taxi and in a further 15 minutes I was in my hotel doing a little dance and devouring the Toblerone from the minibar.

Hotel Pont Royal

..and you can read all about my beautiful Parisian adventure next week..

Au revoir!

Here are some more details – all of which are available on www.eurostar.com

Standard Premier 
With the option of flexible fares, Standard Premier offers the freedom to work, think, or simply unwind. You will be presented with calm, spacious surroundings with on-board staff offering a light meal and a selection of magazines.

Standard Premier fares start from £189 return
Eurostar Plus
Eurostar Plus is a unique partnership between Eurostar and some of Europe’s most popular museums and galleries in Paris, Lille and Brussels. Travellers simply present their Eurostar ticket to take advantage of 2-for-1 entry into paying exhibitions.
Paris galeries include: Musée d’Orsay, le Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris, le Jeu de Paume, la Cité de la musique, les Galeries nationales du Grand Palais, Le musée du quai Branly.


Eurostar operates up to 18 daily services from London St Pancras International to Paris with return fares from £69. Fastest London-Paris journey time is 2hr 15 minutes. Tickets are available from eurostar.com or 08432 186 186.

Child fares start from £49 return and children under 4 years-old travel free (not allocated a seat)


Beach Bum

Poppy’s off.
Just for a bit. 
Back soon.
May not be going anywhere if my aeroplane can’t blast through the volcanic ash.
If I’m not here on Monday, then I’m in the sky.
If I am here on Monday then you’ll know about it coz I’ll be stroppy poppy.