Travel

Flash Back Friday : Venice with Diadora

I went on a trip to Venice with Italian sportswear brand Diadora. Diadora have
a rich history of providing footwear for true sporting icons, Marradonna, Bjorn Borg,
Messi, so it was really just a matter of time before they found their way to me.
After landing and arriving at the city I was very excited to get to the Diadora museum
and factory.

Diadora Factory Venice

I don’t normally get in a tiz about museums, but I’m in jeans, it’s 35
degrees and I was told that baby had AC. Once inside I got to learn about the true
craftsmanship that goes into making their footwear- only ten machines are used at a
time. Disappointingly none of the machines can actually tie shoelaces let alone a
double knot. You’re not allowed to enter wearing a competitor’s footwear or even
take pictures! So naturally I….

Diadora factory

Once we'd learnt all things Diadora, we went for a little sippy-sippy at Sandi Villa.
We had a walking tour of the vineyard before tasting the goods ourselves. Which
couldn’t have come soon enough. When it comes to wine, window shopping is just a
few steps from torture. Nice house...

Sandi Villa, Venice

...nice wine

aeperol spritz

and nice peach!

Italian peach

 
A wine tour will and a bottle of the good stuff ranges from 8-
40Euros. Stock up! 


We finished the evening by heading to dinner on the terrace of Sagredo hotel.
Beautiful views overlooking Venice, a lovely glass or three of prosecco and some
gorgeous Italian cuisine- mamma mia! The 15th century hotel oozed with opulence
and grandeur and was decorated with Modern art outside. The northener in me felt
well out of place, the only old buildings in Blackburn are the old Woolworths and
C&A. The hands are there to show a supporting hand to Venice. Sad but true, it’s
‘sinking’.

Sagredo Hotel, Venice

Next day I woke up late. I put the blame at the door of the hotel black-out curtains
and my dead phone, though not sure my fellow travellers did. Still, we had
enough time to go on a walking tour around Venice. We were given little walkie-
talkies so we could hear our tour guide and just in case we got lost, which was a
touch since my phone was back down to 5%.

Diadora OOTD


I learnt that Venice is actually made up of loads of different islands. Each time you
cross a bridge, you're on a new island, though no passport control thankfully. We also
found the most beautiful bookshop in the world. Filled to the brim with paper and
words. There was even a staircase made out of books that took you to a fab view at
the top. That’s if you survive the climb, I don’t seem to recall paper being a popular
building material. I also saw the building that Amal and George Clooney were married in! Well, it mattered to me.

venice by boat

 St Mark's Square is not for the faint hearted. If you hate crowds this is hell on earth
but I'm into it. St Marks Bacilka is stunning and although there's a ban on feeding
pigeons I came across another fellow sign-defier.

pigeon feeding

Museums in Venice are ALL closed on a Tuesday and guess what day I went to see
the Damien Hirst exhibition at the Palazzo Grassi? Plan B ensued, a lovely art fair that’s on
every two years.
I'm not usually into galleries as they often require etiquette such as speaking quietly, a
talent I was not blessed with at birth. Fortunately loud blabbing and guffawing was
permitted at this art fair. There's even art that you can touch- check it out! 

Venice Art Show 2017

Finally we got a boat taxi. If you really want to be fancy get one of these hunks to
paddle you around for an hour on their gondola. I now know exactly why they call it
the city of love. 

venice marriage proposal

Learning all about the beauty and craftsmanship of Diadora products - tick
Views of Venice from the top of shopping centre -tick
Eating my entire body weight in pasta and cheese -tick
Sipping on Prosecco & Aperol spritz like its water -tick
Having a long ride on this man’s big gondola?! - Dammit, maybe next time.

venice gondala

 

XOXO

This blog post was brought to you in collaboration with Diadora

BOOKSHOP VENICE

Run San Francisco

Last month I flew across the pond with adidas and touched down 8 hours behind in San Francisco. The Jetlag hit me hard.  So hard that at one point I thought I was in Chicago. I also thought the The Golden Gate Bridge was called The Red Gate Bridge. I still think my name is better but apparently it’s too late to change it.

Still, in my confused and delirious state I met some incredibly charming people, bore witness to some beautiful scenes and adopted a brand new Instagram husband.

Boyfriends Of Instagram

Here’s my trip to San Francisco with adidas in bite-size form.

After checking into The Clift Hotel (very nice but no in-room kettle- sacrilege!) I was presented with adidas Ultra Boost X trainers and took them for trail runs from Lands End to Ocean Beach;

Ocean Beach San Francisco

on a track session around Kazer Stadium;

Kazer Stadium San Francisco USA

up the steep hill of Filbert St and down one of the most iconic streets in San Fran, Lombard St. 

Lombard Street San Francisco USA
Crossroad San Francisco

in a huge warehouse on treadmills;

Treadmill adidas Ultra Boost X

and eventually reaching the top of Bernal Heights Summit before taking on our greatest run, across The Red Gate- sorry, Golden Gate Bridge.

Golden Gate Bridge San Francisco

All the outdoor runs were at jogging pace, in wet and foggy conditions but with the most scenic views and certainly landmarks to visit on a short trip, easy to get to by car if running everywhere isn't your thing.

I ate breakfast and dinner at Clift hotel which was nice and on my final day we had 2 hours to squeeze in some sight seeing, out of our running kit. Here’s some San Fran experiences I can thoroughly recommend:

1. Be A Shameless Tourist

When I’m in a foreign country I take pleasure in the simplest things. My friend Adrienne swooned as she spoke to an American Police Officer, aka a cop, and I was made up by the sight of a bright yellow school bus, half expected to see Bart Simpson in the window.

The Simpsons

2. Get On A Tram

From Grand Union Square we took an old tram all the way to Fisherman’s Wharf. The hills in San Fran are so steep that at times it feels as though you’re on a roller coaster and you can even hang your feet off the edge for a more thrilling experience. *Scream if you wanna go faster*.

IMG_6099.JPG

3. Buy Some Tat!

You’ve been there. Done that. Got the $10 fridge magnet to prove it.

San Fran Souvenir

4. Connect with people

Experience's are better when shared and although I went on a trip with friends I know back home, I had the pleasure of meeting my girl crush Hannah Andersson, reconnected with Sophietta and Julia who I once met in Paris and talked DS lips with Hannah Bronfman (Google it).

Hannah Bronfman

Have you been to San Francisco? What did I miss?

xoxo

IMG_6912.JPG
Girl Gang
Julia and Sophietta
Bernal Heights San Fran
adidas Pure Boost X
Clift Hotel View

Country Comforts : Thyme Luxury Hotel

Last weekend I pulled up on acres of the Cotswold Countryside to Thyme Luxury Hotel, dressed head-to-toe by Primark in my favourite Cammo combo.

Primark Fitness OOTD

Good job as before I checked in, we were putting the fit kit to the test; skipping, squatting and burpee-ing our way through a one hour fat burning HIIT class. It was no wonder I was feeling Sheepish afterwards.

Sheep Sofa

Next it was time to check into my cottage which was cosy and lovely. With a welcome letter, a bag of gifts and a posh suite to myself, it was like I was on a honeymoon!  Just without the inconvenience of a husband.

Thyme Hotel Cottage
Luxury Hotel in The Cotswolds
Thyme Luxury Hotel

Lunch in the barn was next on the agenda and it was filled with all the goodness I needed. Kale, rice and fig salad with a squash and feta cheese tart was on the menu. Yum!

Healthy Kale, rice and fig salad
Squash and feta cheese tart

After scoffing lunch it was time to head to Thyme Hotel's Cookery School to bake a carrot cake that was free from refined sugars. The cake was delicious, though in a Great British Balls Up I messed up my sugar icing, so had to abort that part of the mission. The icing on the cake not so much.

Homemade Carrot Cake

After cake we had a 40 minute yoga flow class in Tithe Barn. I received motivation from the bright Primark yoga mat, though at times I felt it was somewhat repetitive.

Motivation Monday Primark Yoga Mat

Here’s me doing what the mat told me to.

Yoga Tree Pose

A three course dinner at Thyme Hotel's very own Country pub around the corner called The Swan was followed by a massage, nightcap and in my cosy cottage. I put my feet up by the fire and drifted off.

The Swan Pub in The Cotswolds

The next morning head gardener, Beverly gave us a tour of the grounds. As we walked I picked up some chicks:

Thyme Farm Chickens

Met a fat pig that resembled a cow;

Pig Cow Farm

Sniffed some fresh veg;

Gardener

and squealed with excitement when Beverley told us that Gary Barlow and Kate Moss live locally and often go to The Swan pub! So that's that then: Thyme Luxury Hotel really is a perfect place for a five star nature kick. 

Primark Puffa Jacket

If you ever fancy a quintessentially English getaway then this peaceful place is fit for a Princess... in wellies. After all, how many farms have Cow-Pigs? 

Thyme Hotel have a few rooms and packages to choose from (I had a cottage called The Dairy) and you can see all the options and get in contact here.

xoxo

If you enjoyed this post, please SHARE it for me. Yay!

Hen Party Ideas

Yoga mat, water bottle, skipping rope & towel by Primark

What I'm wearing: Blue and red puffa jacket, leggings and all activewear by Primark

This blog post was brought to you in collaboration with Primark | #PrimarkSetGo

 

 

Chewton Glen Luxury Treehouse Escape

When Next invited me on a wellness stay at Chewton Glen luxury treehouses I bit their arms off. My dad never made me a treehouse as a kid, something about not having a tree.  Also I think the only time I get to relax and keep still in London is when I’m on an escalator. This trip away sounded an absolute dream.

Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa

So I hopped on a train to escape the intensity of the big smoke and after a 15 minute drive from New Milton train station I arrived at Chewton Glen Luxury Hotel & Spa. A man took my bag and placed it in a ‘luxury golf buggy’, which looked nice but was hard to discern why it was deemed so luxury. I then jumped on and it was indeed a smooth drive to my quarters, all 30 seconds of it.

Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa Treehouses
Chewton Treehouse

When I got to the treehouse it was absolute perfection. I had a roaring fireplace, two floors to myself, a collection of sweet locally sourced treats and a hot tub that was ready to jump in. So I jumped in. Naturally all previous plans to leave my room were now vetoed so I ordered room service instead. The room service guy told me that loads of celebs had stayed there before, including George Clooney!  Sadly the pillow just smelt of lavender.

Chewton Glen Bedroom
Chewton Tree House
Open Fireplace Chewton Luxury Hotel

After the best night sleep I woke to find that my breakfast had been delivered in a hamper through a secret hatch. How cool?! I ate it on my stunning terrace overlooking the New Forest.

Breakfast Hamper
Breakfast
The New Forest

Once I’d finally torn myself away from my Treehouse, I walked through Chewton Woods to Highcliffe beach. It was only a short walk which was just as well as it was -2 degrees!  Thankfully due to my bright orange sleeping-bag-esque coat I was snug as a bug. Plus visible at a distance of 50 miles.

Chewton Glen Forest
The New Forest

The weather was so bright and beautiful that I couldn't resist a little coastal run. 

Coastal Run

I didn’t forget to stretch- I felt like a Ninja Warrior. I looked like one too.

Warrior Pose Highcliffe Beach

And as I was with all of my blogger friends, we posed along the beach.

Highcliffe Beach

During my active stay I did yoga and took a full body workout class in Chewton’s Gym Studio. Small, but had everything you need. I was lucky enough to use the spa too. Well, the tin did say luxury.

Chewton Spa

One relaxing facial and pedicure later I was back in my treehouse to change for dinner in the main hotel. Their smoked salmon was particularly delicious.

Smoked salmon

On my final morning I packed, had breakfast and took one last dip in my hot tub.  It's not everyday a girl gets her own hot tub, it's just a shame George Clooney didn’t extend his stay: it had plenty of room for two.

New Forest
Next Multi-Coloured Long sleeve swimsuit

If you fell in love with Chewton Glen Treehouse & Spa through the photos as much as I did in real life, then add it to your bucket list and get yourself booked into this paradise. After all, how many hotels have a secret hatch?

Chewton Glen have a few Treehouses to choose from (I had a treehouse loft) and you can see all the options and get in contact here.

Happy adventuring!

xoxo

If you enjoyed this post, please SHARE it for me. Cheers!

Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa

You can see me in action at Chewton Glen over on my YouTube channel too. 

What I'm Wearing: Coat, swimwear, trainers and all activewear from Next

5 Things You Must Do In Malta

I recently took a trip to Malta to check it out. I’d never been before and didn’t expect much, yet absolutely loved it. If you're fortunate enough to take a trip there, here are 5 things you must do in Malta.

AJ Odudu Malta

1. Visit Valletta

As the smallest capital city in Europe it’s easy to walk around within a few hours and is filled with quaint cafes and wine bars.

Velletta Malta

It’s like one big open air museum with interesting facts about architecture, art and history. It was my favourite place to visit in Malta because of;

A) The Upper Barrakka Gardens, which used to be private gardens for the Italian Knights until after WWII, when they were made public to us mere mortals. 

Upper Barrakka Gardens
                       The views from the Upper Barrakka Gardens are drop dead gorgeous

                     The views from the Upper Barrakka Gardens are drop dead gorgeous

B) Luzzu aka a traditional Maltese boat. I took a ride on one which I clearly thought was an absolute hoot!

Maltese Boat Trip
Luzzu Boat, Malta

C) St John's Co-Cathedral which was stunning. It doesn’t look too pretty from the outside but once you enter, the level of opulence and art is off the scale. It even has the only signed paintings from the artist, Caravaggio. Not bad eh?

St John's Co-Cathedral in Vellatta, Malta

2. Take a Boat Trip

There’s no better way to feel like a captain than by spending an entire day on a boat.

AJ Odudu Malta

The sea is also a great way to sight see. We sailed out to enjoy the crystalline waters of Malta, the Grand Harbour of Valletta and the Three Cities before dinning on board. My dinner date was the cutest dog in the world.

Buddy the Dog, Malta
Buddy The Dog

3. Visit Azure Window

Azure Window, Malta

Hop on a ferry from Malta to Gozo and if you dare, take a segway tour from Ta’ Pinu church to Dwejra. 

Ta'Pinu Church, Gozo
Segway Tour Malta

You'll enjoy views of the Inland Sea before stopping off at the Azure Window to swim and take pictures.

AJ Odudu Azure Window

4. Visit Mdina

If you’re a TV or film nerd, then the former capital city of Malta, Mdina is the place for you, as scenes from Game of Thrones have been shot there. It has narrow streets, is candle-lit in the evenings and the nickname of this Medieval town is The Silent City which is ironic as it was the opposite. In fact I ran around the city making as much racket as possible, at a very happy volume.

Mdina, Malta
Run in Mdina

5. Trek Around Kimono

Catch a boat and take a walk around Kimono island before swimming in the blue lagoon. The water and views are spectacular! 

Kimono, Malta
Trek in Malta, Kimono

Alternatively chill out with a cocktail on Golden Bay Beach because sometimes, lounging about is a perfectly acceptable activity, especially when you're on holiday. Safe travels! 

XOXO

Visit Malta

What I Eat In A Day On Holiday

Oh summer. You're so far away and aside from the glorious weather and everyone being in a way better mood, I miss my blatant overindulgences: ice cream, BBQ's and cocktails at noon. So here's a trip down a sunny memory lane, when I was in Majorca and stuffing my face.

                                      Pineapple, spinach, avocado and ginger smoothie

                                    Pineapple, spinach, avocado and ginger smoothie

To my credit I was good as well. I was active and always started the day with a healthy breakfast. In fact, Dharma Cafe in Alcudia Pueblo was my favourite hot spot for healthy breakfasts and brunches.

                                   Avocado, olives & pea shoots on toast at Dharma Cafe

                                 Avocado, olives & pea shoots on toast at Dharma Cafe

After breakfast it was pure holiday vibes with chocolate and more paella than you could shake a stick at.

Paella in Majorca

Press play for a full example of what I eat and drink in a day when I'm on holiday, highlighting how I personally like to strike a balance between the good and the bad when having a munch. 

XOXO

Active Escape In Majorca

This is a throwback to an active escape in Alcudia Pueblo, Majorca in June. Alcudia is Majorca's old town, about one hour from Palma airport by coach which has loads of nice bars and restaurants and is pretty quiet at night.

Alcudia Pueblo AJ Odudu

From the old town we cycled and then trekked to an abandoned beach called, Coll Baix, spent a full day at Port D'Alcudia Beach playing beach ball games and went cave diving, snorkling and kayaking in Mal Pas beach.

Majorca

All activities, food and accommodation was fairly low cost so all in all, a very happy holiday. Press play to see some of the action for yourself.

XOXO

How To Stay Fit & Fresh | Perspirex

I've got a new BFF that is always there for me and never let's me down. It goes by the name of Perspirex, an anti perspirant that comes in the smallest of packages yet keeps me smelling fresher for longer.

Perspirex Original

Firstly, I've not been desperately seeking a new anti perspirant but I do like to change it every few months to ensure my pits don't become immune to my current one.

Arm pits

Secondly, Perspirex Original and Comfort costs £8.49. With that price tag tag, I thought that it must be pretty special and require special treatment. I wasn't wrong. 

It comes with precise application instructions and my initial reaction to this revelation was *yawn* but luckily it’s pretty straight forward. All you need to do is;

  • Apply it before bed to clean, dry and unbroken skin

  • wake up and shower as usual. No need to re-apply.

  • Smell fresh despite having not re-applied for up to 3-5 days

Obviously this sounds far too good to be true so I put it to the test in the sweatiest of workout sessions  (the Third Space Elevation Challenge) to see just how good this under armour is.

During my fitness challenge  I did  1 speedy kilometre on the rowing machine, followed by burning 50 calories as fast as I could on a bike, a 1km run and then finished it off with 10 burpees.

Rowing Machine

It was just under twenty minutes of sweat-inducing exercise yet my agreeable odour lasted. I then went to shower, didn’t re-apply and was still smelling AOK. Seriously! I even got my mate Chris to give me a sniff test and he approved of my “aroma” too.  

Perspirex Sensitive

Perspirex is a great way to protect yourself if ever you forget your anti perspirant and is small enough to pop in your hand luggage when travelling. It is even clinically proven to reduce skin irritation under your arms which in my opinion makes it a bonafide magic stick. Now that’s how to stay fit and fresh without even having to say “abracadabra”. Enjoy!

AJ Odudu Smelling Fresh

XOXO

This blog post has been brought to you in collaboration with Perspirex.

Motel Rocks Swimwear

My two favourite swimsuits from Motel Rocks as warn by me on a recent trip to Ibiza are right here.

Swimwear AJ Odudu

 I feel pretty confident in a swimsuit because it's harder to flash your bits in case (like me) you decide that jumping into the deep end of a pool repeatedly is better than the less child-like option of stepping into the pool gracefully. 

Swimwear AJ Odudu

Both swimsuits are size small which fits a UK size 10 but probably get a medium in the backless swimsuit if you have big boobs or are taller than 5 ft 8.

Motel Rocks Swimwear AJ Odudu
Motel Rocks Swimwear AJ Odudu
Swimwear AJ Odudu
Swimwear AJ Odudu

Both Swimsuits from Motel Rocks and I've fully flaunted them on my YouTube channel.

Motel Rocks Swimwear AJ Odudu

Hope you've got a last minute summer holiday to look forward to?

XOXO