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27.9.16

Lifestyle: Weekly Instagram Snapshots #1

rightupmystreet - Weekly Instagram Snapshots #1

I love Instagram as a visual channel and at the moment I'm posting a couple of updates on the daily, so I thought it would be a good idea to introduce a weekly round-up post on my blog called "Weekly Instagram Snapshots" for those of you who may have missed the odd update here and there.

Let's be frank - with the new algorithm in place its proving slightly difficult to keep up-to-date with all my favourite Instagrammers through the feed itself so hopefully this will help you keep on top of mine with some extra updates here and there.

Enjoy xo.
rightupmystreet weekly instagram snapshots #1



Instagram Snapshots #1 - *Picture descriptions from left to right*

Ice-cream pyjamas
I'm quite in love with my new pyjamas from ASOS which are covered in ice-cream cones from top to toe - as you can see I'm not quite ready to let go of those summer vibes just yet!

Vita coco mocha cafe latte
I've been trying out some of the Vita Coco products (*) provided by Taste PR and the mocha cafe latte with coconut water, an espresso shot and a splash of skimmed milk - super tasty!

Coastal mini-break in Suffolk
We recently stayed for a mini-break in the beautiful coastal town of Aldeburgh on Suffolk's coast, when the sun came out we took a stroll along the pebbled beach front and I stopped to take this squinty shot!

Flower surprises
Some gorgeous and bright flowers I received from Alex's mum this weekend - they headed over to ours on Sunday for dinner out and she always surprises me with a lovely bouquet of fresh blooms!

Room-service breakfast
On the weekend we stayed at the luxury five-star Chelsea Harbour Hotel where I was doing a review stay for Luxury Lifestyle Magazine. On Saturday morning we decided to order a room-service breakfast which was delicious, the view overlooking the marina from our suite wasn't too bad either!

Mischievous kitten
A naughty little kitten who is always up to mischief - she'd just run away with some cotton earbuds right before this photo was taken!

Pink magnums
I recently tried a pink magnum. It's full of raspberry goodness - I'm so glad we've finished the box otherwise I don't think I would have been able to stop snacking on these as an after-dinner treat!

Leisurely beach strolls
Another shot from our leisurely stroll on Aldeburgh beach :)

Sweet desserts
A yummy dessert from the weekend at Chelsea Riverside Brassiere - a white chocolate and apricot mousse! 

Follow me @rightupmystreet for daily Instagram updates!

xo.
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20.9.16

Travel: 'Souvenir Challenge' With Jurni - Luggage For Young Travellers + GIVEAWAY

collaboration with jurni £50 souvenir challenge
adventure awaits passport wallet
packing my jurni pod
jurni - luggage for young travellers
souvenirs from south africa
handcarved elephant south africa
hippo souvenir from local stall in south africa
souvenir challenge south africa
giraffe souvenir from south africa
rightupmystreet south africa travels
rightupmystreet blog giveaway jurni suitcase

Don't you just love seeing all the weird and wonderful souvenirs and local goodies that people bring back from their travels? 

Me too - but maybe I'm just nosey? 

As you all know I recently travelled to South Africa for a two-week trip and while I was out there I worked with Jurni and took part in a “£50 Souvenir challenge”.

The main focus of this challenge was to find and purchase some local South Africa goodies and souvenirs using the budget provided, which I could then bring back with me and showcase to you guys afterwards on the blog - what a great idea huh?

I've then gone ahead and tried to pack all of these into my Jurni pod to show you how it can be used for your own adventures.

Before I go into details on the souvenirs, first, let me give you the low down on my new carry-on luggage!

So What's All The Fuss About?

The Jurni itself, is a new concept of carry-on suitcase purposely designed for the next generation of young and connected travellers - perfect for those always on the move, like you and me!

With a quick access pop-out pod (you can see the pink pod used in my photos above), a seat to rest on, in-line wheels to glide-along and flexible storage solutions, this is a great carry-on solution perfect for all those short and frequent weekend trips I'm making at the moment.

Jurni's main aim is to offer stress-free travelling and the clever folk at Jurni have done so by creating your own 'travel space', whereby you can sit, chill and have instant access to your travel must-haves via the innovative detachable pod, keeping your travel essentials safe and in one place.

There's a couple of features I'm most excited about:
  • No more standing or sitting on the floor in endless check-in queues - it's fine because I can just perch on my Jurni suitcase instead.
  • Perfect cabin luggage - its approved to IATA Check airline. 
  • There's two years free warranty!
  • The portable pod means I always have quick and easy access to all my travel essentials - at the airport, on the plane or even on the go. 
Souvenirs

So what about the souvenirs? When travelling around South Africa most of the tourist destinations like the Panoromic Route, are covered in cute little shacks with locals looking to sell their handmade goodies.

I was keen to buy from the locals as I knew I would be able to give something back and help with their local trade etc. After all, they do spend hours on end (mostly in the heat) hand-crafting these beautiful replicas of the south african wildlife.

On my travels I managed to pick up a family of south african wildlife - a giraffe, a hippo, a elephant and a rhino, I was almost there with the big five only a leopard, lion and buffalo to go!

Giveaway

So how about your very own Jurni carry-on suitcase in a colour of your choice?

The guys at Jurni are giving you the chance to win your very own Jurni carry-on suitcase in a colour of your choice, worth £80! The suitcase is currently available in three colours; pink, red or blue so if you win you'll be able to pick which colour you prefer :)

Entry is via the rafflecopter giveaway below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & Conditions
  • Competition will run from 20/09/2016 at 8pm and end on 20/10/2016 at 8pm GMT.
  • Competition is only open to residents of the UK.
  • My souvenirs are not included within the giveaway prize.
  • Prize is non-refundable and no cash alternative will be offered.
  • The winner is chosen at random using Rafflecopter. 
  • Entries will be moderated to ensure they meet the winner entry requirements. 
  • The winner will be contacted via email and will need to confirm their acceptance of the prize within 7 days of the competition ending.
To find out more about the Jurni suitcase and it's cool features, visit the website

Good luck!

xo. 
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15.9.16

Travel: Motswari Luxury Lodge On The Timbavati Private Game Reserve, South Africa

swimming pool at motswari lodge
mostwari private game reserve
luxury game lodges in south africa
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bath tub at game lodge in south africa
unique interio design touches in luxury game lodge
luxury rooms at mostwari private game lodge
staying in a luxury game lodge
 mostwari south africa signs
motswari game lodge facilities
mostwari luxury africa game lodge
buffet breakfast at motswari newmark hotels
infinity pool at motswari private game reserve
rightupmystreet south africa travels
the gallery at motswari game lodge
motswari private game lodge timbavati
private game lodges in south africa
motswari lounge area
Looking to experience morning and evening game drives like no other in an open top land rover with professional field guides and trackers? 

Motswari - your gateway to the Greater Kruger National Park and host to Africa's Big 5. 

Where?

Mostwari is one of South Africa's jewels nestled within the Timbavati Nature Reserve, transversing an area of approximately 15,000 hectares sharing an open boundary with the Kruger National Park. 

The game lodge itself can accommodate e up to 30 guests at one time, across 15 luxury en-suite bungalows dotted around the camp. There is also the Geiger's Camp - which offers four luxury rooms, its intimacy  perfect for individuals or small groups of up to 8 people. The Geiger's camp is described as "the epitome of hospitable exclusivity". 

How do you get here? We travelled by road from Johannesburg, which is about a 6-7 hour self-drive, however there are some options to arrive by air which you discover in more detail here

Whats the Mostwari Game Lodge like?

We reached the lodge entrance at around 2pm after our long drive from Johannesburg that morning, from the moment we arrived we were greeted by the reception staff who radiated a friendly and warm energy and were ready to make us feel very much at home in the middle of the South African bush. 

It was clear from the moment we arrived that the staff couldn't do enough for you. With Motswari being such an exclusive lodge, only offering accommodation to 30 guests at any one time you definitely feel an immediate sense of serenity in your surroundings. 

After our greeting were given an overview of the daily schedule and then led over to our luxury en-suite bungalow, each room is named after an animal, ours was Nyala. 

The room was magical and the naturally-furnished interiors reflected the wonders of nature which exist just outside the windows. As Motswari is a four-star luxury lodge there are lots of little luxurious touches throughout, with hand-picked rose petals scattered across the bathroom and over the bed, even the mosquito nets draped over our beds looked graceful! 

I'll admit, upon arrival I felt slightly nervous because I was quite out of my comfort zone (anxiety levels racing!) and the thought of the first 3 hour afternoon game drive looming on the horizon did fill me with a little bit of fear.. 

I mean what happens if I needed to stop for the toilet? Where would I go? 

The truth of the matter was, I would just have to put those fears aside and if the moment arises I would need to experience my first bush-wee! For all of you wondering, yes I did experience my very first "bush-wee" - ha!

However, 3pm soon approached and we were off.. five minutes in and I'd soon pushed all my seemingly insignificant worries to the back of my mind, too busy being mesmerised by the beauty of nature all around and in awe of our very enviable spot on earth, right at that very moment. 

Thats enough of a teaser for now... I'll be covering the private game-drives in more detail in their own separate post soon! 

So facilities? Apart from the obvious - the wildlife and scenic African bush in abundance all around, if that's not enough to entertain you, there's two fully licensed bars, a swimming pool, gift shop, a library and an art gallery. The library also provides full internet access and 24/7 wifi for those who cannot bare to be too far from reality and their email inbox. 

Personally, I was just happy to sporadically litter my Instagram feed with plenty of pictures which inspired wanderlust and travel envy across the globe I'm sure! 

Meal-times are another unique experience. Depending on the season, evenings can be spent dining in the bush or inside the Boma. Meals are an truly exquisite experience, spent conversing over dinner with the other guests who share your game drives and even your game driver will join you (if you so please), which all adds to the extrodinary experience. 

Again - I will be coming back to this in a separate post! 

Daily Schedule: (Winter)

So what can you expect from a typical day staying at the Mostwari private game lodge? We stayed end of July / beginning of August so at the time it was their winter. 

The daily schedule for winter is as follows: 

Wake up - 05:45

Tea and coffee served in the verandah - 06:00

Morning game drive departs - 06:30

Game drive returns - 10:00

Breakfast - 10:00

Guide talk (mon, wed, fri & sun) - 13:30

High Tea - 14:00

Afternoon game drive departs - 15:00

Game drive returns - 18:30

Pre-dinner drinks - 19:00

Dinner served - 19:30

(You'll never be hungry that's for sure!)

Do bear in mind, the day itself is quite full on, and it can take a little while to adjust, especially if your not used to getting up so early even at home. However there is a solid 3-4 hour gap in the middle of the day which you can use to do as you please. 

For us, these couple of hours were usually occupied with pure relaxation, either taking nap back at the room, sitting out on the veranda with a drink in hand or spending a couple of hours by the pool with a midday swim. 

The Game Drives

Our excellent guide - Godfrey and our tracker, Jacky were a superb duo and made the private game drives an unforgettable experience, always full of knowledge and excitement at every turn. I can hand on heart say I have never experienced anything like this before. 

Again - as I've mentioned I will have a separate post which goes into detail all about our daily morning and afternoon game drives with Godfrey and Jacky. 

South Africa travel posts

Seeing as I took so many pictures and have so much to stay, I've decided the only reasonable option is to split out my stay at Mostwari into several separate posts. 

I'll have a post on; 

The private game-drives with pictures of all the animals we saw
A post on the bush boma dinners - just because I have so many photos of this too!

PPS. An added bonus - while staying with Motswari me and Alex were invited by Ethos Marketing (who do the marketing and PR for them) to stay in the Giraffe's Nest for the night - it's basically a treehouse, a unique sleep-out experience, in the middle of the south african bush that they offer. 


Have you ever been to South Africa? If so, where did you stay? 

Let me know in the comments section!

xo

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6.9.16

Travel: Accomodation Near Kruger Park - Hotel Protea Kruger Gate, South Africa

hotel protea kruger gate entrance

luxury accomodation near kruger national park
south africa travel series
the weather rock south africa
superior room at hotel protea kruger gate
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outdoor dining at hotel protea kruger gate
veranda and walkways to bedroom
south africa holiday cocktails
rightupmystreet travel blogger
hotels close to kruger park
dinner under the stars in south africa
boma dinner under the stars hotel protea kruger gate
Looking for somewhere to stay just outside the Kruger national park? I've got just the recommendation for you! 

The Hotel Protea Kruger Gate is ideally located, (yes you've probably guessed from the name) right outside the Paul Kruger Gate entrance to the Kruger National Park, in the Mpumalanga area. 

This is an ideal stopping point if your looking to head into the Kruger National Park for the day on your own self-drive safari. This was the main reason we chose this hotel for our five night stay, before making our 6 hour drive north, over to the Timbavati private game and nature reserve

Upon arrival, we were welcomed under a towering indigenous portico. There is an air of romance all around at this hotel, with scattered verandas and walkways leading to your room, the pool and indoor and outdoor dining areas. 

The superior rooms were spacious with large luxury en-suites. The hotel also offers 7 six-sleeper chalets, fully equipped with self-catering facilities, if your after a more rustic, bush environment - do be aware that the monkeys do tend to hang around here in their numbers! 

What makes the Hotel Protea Kruger Gate even more special, is its unique combination of pampering comforts, while still surrounded by remarkable natural wonders of the African wildlife, right at your fingertips. 

With the Kruger Gate entrance a mere 100 metres down the road, we were ideally placed to be ready and at the gate for 6.30am every morning to register for our passes (some mornings!) and head into the park and start our wildlife spotting for the day. If this feature is not enough to tempt you, the hotel also boasts some special features and facilities which made our trip all the more memorable! 

For example, the game-viewing opportunities available from your very door-step. Take for example the elevated outdoor bar, here we could relax and sip cocktails every night after a long day of our self-drive safari, while watching elephants and hippos go about their daily activities, on the banks of the sabie river. 

There was one day where we didn't fancy heading into the park and wanted to chill around the hotel, so we spent a day by the pool, taking a dip in the luxurious surroundings of the swimming pool, we were even greeted by monkeys while sunbathing several times.  

For those more inclined to luxury and pampering comforts, you can even visit Dees African Spa, which we decided to do on our chill day around the hotel. The spa again is setup on an elevated veranda overlooking the Kruger National Park and the banks of the sabie river - a haven for relaxation and tranquility, with spa treatments based on ancient traditional massage methods, highly influenced by African culture. 

The massage room is private and set back from wandering eyes (not that there are many in this type of environment) and in front theres a private viewing deck; so while Alex had his massage I sat back with a mojito, while listening to the birds chirping, watching the hippos slowly make their way towards to the water's edge. I did have to pinch myself a few times in these moments! 

Dining was a special highlight, with some nights spent dining in the open air around the boma fire, under the stars - this was pretty magical. Every night I was amazed at how clear the sky was, frequently littered with stars and even planets (I spotted mars most nights during that trip). 

When the weather was stable, they would setup a buffet dinner outside around the boma fire in the Lapa restaurant with lots of chairs dotted around and luckily lots of outdoor heaters. Bearing in mind we did travel in their winter where the evenings can be rather chilly! 

A fews days later into our trip, me and Alex were very lucky to experience a night in an actual treehouse in the middle of the South Africa bush - a sleep-out experience provided by the Motswari Private Game Reserve - catch up with my review here

More posts to come with details on all the animals we spotted on our self-drive safaris!

xo. 
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2.9.16

Travel: The Talbot Hotel - Ripley's Historic Coaching Inn

the talbot historic coaching inn in surrey
leafy entrance at the talbot ripley surrey
the talbot ripley courtyard
large deluxe room at the talbot inn in ripley
hotel room overlooking ripley high street
the talbot dinner menu
bread and dips at the talbot
where to eat in surrey a la carte
where to eat pubs restaurants in surrey
steak and chips at the talbot
indulgent desserts at the talbot
refurbished dining area at the talbot
breakfast in surrey at the talbot
hotels in ripley surrey
Fancy a trip to one of England's finest Coaching Inn's, steeped in history? 

Being a local Sussex gal and with spending a lot of my free time travelling to a mixture of both places local and further afield, I'm always on the lookout for new restaurant and hotel hotspots a little closer to home in the Sussex and Surrey areas. 

It's always great when you stumble upon a hidden gem that could just be a mere thirty minutes down the road from you. 

Recently I was invited down to stay and experience the newly refurbished "The Talbot" a country hotel located in the charming and historic village of Ripley in Surrey. Alex's grandparents live in Ripley so I was already quite aware of The Talbot, a very iconic and intriguing building with its historic exterior laden with lush green vine leaf.  

The Talbot is another hotel establishment part of the "bespoke hotels" collection; a four-star hotel with restaurant and garden terrace, frequently referred to as one of England's 'finest coaching inns' and a place full of history. 

This historic coaching inn has recently undergone a renovation with a new touch of modern features, however do not not be alarmed, as it still retains many of its quirky characteristics with original oak beams and fireplaces scattered throughout. 

Our deluxe room, was located a short walk from reception, via the staircase leading directly to the nine bedrooms located in the main Coaching Inn. These nine rooms all retain their traditional character and original features. 

Upon unlocking the door, the first feature that caught my eye were the walls which were soaked in rich dark wood panels and oozed an age of sophisticated romance; ironically history has it that Lord Nelson and Lady Hamilton were said to have blossomed a love affair at this very coaching inn back in 1798. 

The room was very spacious, with a original feature fireplace and two large, sun-kissed, floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Ripley high-street down below. These helped to supply lots of natural light to the room's otherwise, rich dark interior. 

The Talbot restaurant menu features modern British a la carte dishes, as well as the traditional gourmet pub classics like rib-eye steak and chips, (extra fluffy and crispy) along with some seafood specialities. There is also an array of pudding options for those inclined to a sweet tooth.. Like me!

During our stay the food on offer was delicious, although I would comment that the menu is rather condensed in its offering with some items quite expensive (starters around the £7 mark), however the price reflects the "gourmet" a la carte food experience you do receive. 

Suitable for dining all year round, the Talbot boasts a choice of areas for dining both inside and out; in particular a delightful little courtyard which runs directly down the middle of the Coaching Inn. 

Indoors you can chose from the cosy bar area, with its 15th century beams and roaring open log fire, or the restaurant which now features an impressive copper ceiling and glass wall overlooking the terrace and garden - perfect for the summer months! 

If your looking for a mini-break in Surrey in relaxed and informal surroundings The Talbot is worth looking into.  

I reviewed another hotel, Cantley House Hotel in Wokingham in Berkshire, for Luxury Lifestyle Magazine which is also part of the Bespoke Hotels selection, see my review here.

xo.
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