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12.11.19

Travel: Weekend Getaway to Cosy Cotswolds Cottage in Upper Slaughter

Upper Slaughter river in the Cotswolds
Yew Tree Barn Holiday Cottage in the Cotswolds
luxury cottage escape for two in the Cotswolds
yew tree barn self-catering kitchen
yew tree barn living room with wood burning stove
yew tree barn upstairs bedroom and bathroom
winter Cotswolds escape
freestanding bath tub yew tree barn

Our stay at Yew Tree Barn Holiday Cottage


As it approaches winter and the daily temperature begins to plummet below 10 degrees I thought it would be an apt time to share in my wanderlust for escaping to the countryside and renting a cosy cottage with a log fire - and I’ve got the perfect place that fits the bill, to share with you! 

And that’s exactly what we decided to do for Alex’s birthday this year. I spent quite a while researching the perfect UK cottage escape where we could live out our fantasy of a romantic escape for two, away from the realities of work, hustle, and bustle of life and copious amounts of laundry! I chose the Cotswolds, because, I mean, is there a more romantic winter destination in the UK?!

I found Yew Tree Barn Holiday Cottage when filtering through Sawdays - I was ideally looking for a self-catering cottage with either a hot tub or log fire (or both preferably) and it was essential that it was not too far to travel by car (a couple of hours travel maximum) as we only had a fleeting visit of Friday evening - Sunday morning. 

Dream of staying in your very own honey-coloured limestone cottage for the weekend? Then read on… 

romantic escape for two with log fire
yew tree barn cottage burning log fire
weekend escape for husbands birthday
self-catering cottage friday night dinner


Friday: Romantic night-in for two! 

We arrived at Yew Tree Barn Cottage on a cold wintery Friday evening in February around 7.30pm (setting the scene for you!) and stopped en route at a local supermarket to grab some supplies for dinner, breakfast, and drinks for use during our stay. As the cottage is self-catering I would recommend also stopping en route as Upper Slaughter itself is a very small village and has minimal shops. However, you do have the neighbouring villages of Stow-on-the-wold and Bourton-on-the-Water close by - and there is a big Morrisons in Bourton! 

Upon arrival, the cottage instantly felt like a home away from home. The furnishings throughout were crisp and modern country chic, and the whole place was super spacious for two, but oh SO cosy and decorated to the highest standard (It was like staying in our very own Shere cottage from The Holiday). The bedroom is actually far more spacious than the photos online suggest, so we were pleasantly surprised at the space available and the king-size bed felt like sleeping on a cloud! The cottage has a single bathroom that was located upstairs and was huge, with a luxurious freestanding bath-tub. 

Downstairs there is a large, open-plan kitchen with cushioned window seat and to add to the country-feel, there is an electric AGA and a large dining table with plenty of space for two, plus a few more! Although, my favourite room in the cottage was the living room, with the wood-burning stove - perfect for a cosy Friday evening ahead. The property also features plenty of modern technology, with a flat-screen TV, DVD Blu-ray player, and Bose Bluetooth speakers, if you wish to hook up your own playlist. 

On our first evening, our plan was to stay in, light the fire and get COSY! We cooked a meal, and the self-catering facilities were just what we needed, all of the essentials provided and did I mention that the property also features underfloor heating throughout the ground floor?! which was a real luxury and meant that I didn’t end up using my slippers much during our stay. After dinner, we sat down to watch some Friday night TV in front of the crackling log fire with a glass of wine in hand. The definition of a romantic winter getaway! 

Yew Tree Barn cottage garden
UK winter getaway for husbands birthday
morning coffee at the river cafe in Lower Slaughter
Lower Slaughter honey and limestone cottages
The Slaughters traditional limestone cottages
romantic weekend in the Cotswolds


Saturday: a stroll around The Slaughters and walking to Stow-on-the-Wold for dinner

On Saturday we had a slow start to the morning and it was heavenly having the bedroom window open, snuggling to keep warm and listening to the birds chirping and church bells ringing - bliss! 

The plan for the day was to walk to the local neighbouring village of Lower Slaughter, about a 10/15 minute stroll (1 mile), take a look around and stop at a cafe for a coffee, then head back to the cottage to cook a brunch using local produce we picked up the day before. After a stroll around Lower Slaughter and lots of ogling at the honey-coloured limestone cottages, we chose the River Cafe, which sits just behind the OId Mill Museum, as our coffee spot. As the name suggests, this cafe overlooks the river and is the perfect spot to sit and watch the ducks. 

Around midday, we headed back to the cottage for brunch! (I recommend pottering around the cottage in bare feet as you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the underfloor heating!). Outside, the cottage also has a gorgeous little courtyard, adorned with gorgeous hydrangeas and surrounded by traditional Cotswold stone walls. In the sunnier months you could definitely breakfast outside, however, as it was a little cooler, we just perched with a coffee to keep up warm, before throwing on our walking boots and heading out into nature.

After brunch, we walked to the nearby popular tourist spot of Bourton-on-the-Water, known to many as the "Little Venice of the Cotswolds". We stopped off at the Bakery on the Water for another coffee and a slice of cake! I would recommend checking out this cafe because not only is the cake delicious, but out the back, you can pull up a chair in the charming riverside garden, where you can watch the world go by and relax by the River Windrush. You’ll also be spoilt for choice in Bourton with quaint tea rooms where you can get a cream-tea! (I would recommend ‘Smiths of Bourton’.)

If you’re looking to travel a little further afield by car, check out my blog post on the ‘Cotswolds Romantic Road’ driving route which allows you a relatively quick way to see all the little villages and hidden nooks and crannies of the Cotswolds in one all-round trip. 

The plan for dinner was to head into Stow-on-the-Wold for food and drinks at The Sheep Pub on Sheep Street. Although cold, the weather was so still and we wanted to hike to the pub rather than drive. The only table availability they had was 8pm. We left ourselves 2 hours for our hike across the public walking route. 

Do bear in mind if you plan to do the same, make sure you are equipped with wellies and a good torch as once it was dark, around the time we started our walk at 6pm, it was then pretty much pitch black around 6.30pm, and although we were doing a public Walking Route, there was one point where after climbing a kissing post, I actually came head to head with a horse as I couldn’t see it in the dark, which in hindsight we both can look back on and find hilarious now but at the time, we were super scared! Luckily, the horse was massively unphased by our presence so there was no issue. 

We had a lovely meal at The Sheep, which felt all the more worthwhile after our 3-mile hike to dinner - of course, we grabbed a taxi home :) 

The only problem with our trip? We wish we could have stayed longer!!

If you are considering booking Yew Tree Barn Holiday Cottage for a future stay don’t forget to quote ‘Right up my street’ for 10% off your booking!* (Please note the discount code is not valid on bookings over Xmas or New Year)

*Disclaimer: I am not being paid to write this blog post or offer the discount code and our stay at Yew Tree Barn was purchased with our own money, the owner kindly offered the discount after seeing my recent Instagram post. 

Yew Tree Barn Holiday Cottage
From £85 per night (minimum 2-night stay)
https://www.yewtreeholidaycottage.co.uk/

Other places to stay in the Cotswolds


For other places to stay in Gloucestershire, see my previous visits and reviews of accommodation in the Cotswolds below:

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11.8.19

Travel: 48 Hours in Edinburgh & Where To Eat and Drink

edinburgh castle looking up from below
edinburgh castle in the sushine with blue sky backdrop
green space edinburgh tourist
edinburgh building amazing architecture
edinburgh architecture cute houses
travel couple outside Edinburgh castle
view of edinburgh from castle
outside edinburgh castle
walking around edinburgh castle
Edinburgh is a UK city that has been on my travel bucket list for quite some time, so I was thrilled to spend a short weekend there, even if it was for a very fleeting, jam-packed 48 hours! Isn't it funny that we tend to look past a lot of popular UK destinations on our doorstep and favour travelling abroad instead?

Truth be told, there are a lot of hidden gems right underneath our noses here in the UK and I can hand on heart admit that I too have been guilty of this and have only really started to explore my local staycation opportunities in the last few years.

When visiting Edinburgh for 2 nights back in May, we were fortunate to have a super central base close to Edinburgh castle staying at one of Dunc and Dee's rental apartments (within Edinburgh's Old Town District) and right on top of a popular up-and-coming fine-dining restaurant called Timberyard. If you're looking for somewhere central to stay in Edinburgh you can read more about our stay at Dunc and Dee's quirky apartment, which includes plenty of pictures to give you a good idea of the space.

So, what did we get up to with 48 hours in Edinburgh?

In all honesty, it mostly consisted of eating and drinking - surprise, surprise, with a typical sightseeing bus tour thrown in for good measure! Read on to find out which food and drink hotspots I recommend checking out in George Street and the surrounding areas... 

Where To Eat and Drink (Mostly George Street)

sitting outside tigerlily edinburgh enjoying the sunshine
buttermilk pancake with honeycomb butter and peaches at tigerlily edinburgh
poached egg, sourdough and avocado tigerlily edinburgh

Tigerlily Edinburgh, George Street

On your first day in Edinburgh, it's guaranteed that you'll need a good breakfast to start the day and fuel all the steps and stair-climbing that lies ahead of you - most of the city is an uphill climb! Tigerlily is both a restaurant and bar, oh and did I mention it's a trendy, boutique hotel too? (apparently 'the best boutique hotel in Edinburgh' according to their website). 

If the breakfast and plush bar interiors are anything to go by (think hanging foliage and bold, mismatched furniture) then I'll definitely be looking to stay here next time we venture to Edinburgh! 

On their breakfast menu, there's a good selection of items to choose from, we immediately spotted the Classic thick Buttermilk pancake that comes with honeycomb butter, peaches and almonds (£8), be warned, this is only one pancake, but it's huuuge, delicious and very filling. 

When ordering, if we can't decide between two dishes, it's pretty much a given that we order both and share (oh I do love that my husband is into food as much as me!). For the second breakfast/brunch dish we ordered the Sourdough with gucamole, sun-dried tomatoes, rocket (£6.50) and added poached eggs for an extra £1 - uh-mazing! We enjoyed the breakfast so much here, we even went back for seconds the next morning! 


sharing snacks at candy bar in edinburgh
candy bar interior edinburgh

Candy Bar, George Street

Candy Bar & Diner, again can be found on Edinburgh's George Street and is perfect for all-day dining, whether it be for lunch, dinner or a late-night snack! The food here is a lot more casual and affordable - ideal if you aren't too hungry and just want to nibble on a couple of different small, sharing-style plates. Think Mac & cheese fritters, halloumi fries, ravioli nachos (yes this is really a thing here, and they are really delicious!).

Granted the food on offer at Candy Bar is all a little on the indulgent and deep-fried side, but did you come to this blog expecting any less?! Haha. Anyway, I can guarantee by the time you're ready to visit Candy Bar you will have probably already clocked up around 15,000+ steps from walking around the city - so you earned it! ;-) Don't forget to order an insta-worth 'eye candy' cocktail.. if you're not sure which cocktail to pick, check out their Instagram for lots of inspiration! 


cocktail bars in edinburgh

Panda & Sons, Queen Street

Next up, Panda & Sons, OK, not George Street, but is located on Queen Street, literally just behind it. Panda & Sons is a little unique, why you ask? because it's one of Edinburgh's secret bars! 

SHHH! Can you keep a secret? 

Let's just say it's not as obvious as just looking for a sign that will say 'Panda & Sons' outside. You'll need to look for a 'barbers shop' and once inside the doors, you will probably have to queue for 10/15 minutes before you are lead down through the secret cove into this secret bar that fuses the classic Prohibition-style Speakeasy and a nod to the Vintage style Barbershop (clue, clue!) With its quirky concoction of cocktails and craft beers this hidden bar is great for a pre or post-dinner drink! 

Find out more here: http://pandaandsons.com/

cocktails in edinburgh sunny weekend break
food at contini on george street edinburgh
interior italian restaurant contini on george street in edinburgh
italian brushetta
italian food at contini edinburgh george street restaurant
risotto balls italian restaurant on george street
where to go for food and drink in edinburgh

Contini Restaurant, George Street

Last up, Contini on George Street, what can I say? Hands down, one of the best Italian meals we've eaten in the UK! We stumbled upon this place by chance, surprisingly when we visited, Edinburgh was experiencing an unusually warm weekend with lots of sunshine and naturally, everyone was out in their shorts and crop tops and wanted to wind down with a prime spot sitting alfresco along Edinburgh's buzzy George Street

We managed to nab an outdoor spot and indulged on grapefruit mojitos for a little while until realising that we didn't actually have that much time before we needed to head back to the airport for our flight. We asked to be seated for dinner (as it was getting a little hot and sticky) and indulged in delicious Arancini and bruschetta for starters and followed on with some ravioli and sausage pasta to share for our mains. The food was delicious and I strongly advise that you seek this place out! 

Find out more here: https://www.contini.com/contini-george-street

Hope you enjoyed reading through my recommendations! 

Where is your favourite place to staycation in the UK? Let me know in the comments below as I'm always searching for new places to explore! x0. 
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2.3.19

Travel: Where To Stay in Lisbon - Modern Airbnb Loft Apartment on The Elevador Da Bica Street

gorgeous airbnb apartment in lisbon close to Timeout market
lisbon airbnb apartment with split level living
modern spacious apartment for two in Bairro Alto Lisbon
rightupmystreet travels to Lisbon
lisbon love apartments airbnb on bica elevator street
modern trendy Lisbon apartment near Baixa and Chiado
modern airbnb loft apartment in central lisbon
bica elevator street lisbon
our first time in an airbnb in Lisbon
recommendations on where to stay in Lisbon

Our first Airbnb experience in Lisbon!

Airbnb. Everyone's heard of it, but have you ever stayed in an Airbnb property? I'm guessing your answer to that question is most probably YES - just like the majority of the universe! 

For us, believe it or not, it wasn't until our most recent trip to Lisbon, in 2018, that we booked and stayed in our first Airbnb property. Late to the party, I know! I'm not sure why we were so late to the party, maybe because I'm always so anxious I'll end up picking the dodgy property and it will all end in a massive shambles! 

For this trip, after much research and many positive reviews online we took the plunge. and how wrong was I to worry?!

Lisbon was the absolute dream, a vibrant city, made, even more, dreamier, by the fact we had the most adorable Airbnb apartment in the heart of Barrio Alto, located right in the centre of The Bica Elevator Street where the famous tram 28 stops right in front of the apartment. As soon as we arrived, there was a cool, buzzy vibe. 

There are a couple of bars and restaurants quite local to the apartment, some a few blocks away, so naturally there does tend to be some noise on an evening, however, we didn't have any trouble sleeping during our stay and were happy to tolerate a little bit of hustle and bustle on a night-time in exchange for having a base to stay that was super central and close to neighbouring Baixa and Chiado. 

As you can see from the photos, the apartment was super modern, very spacious, light and airy and had all the essentials we needed for a short weekend break to Lisbon. 

This apartment can easily sleep 3; there's a single bed which can be put up downstairs in the living area, however, I think its the ideal base for two! It has a really cool setup, with trendy split level living - the spacious bedroom, with plenty of storage space on a raised second level (via stairs) and the living area, sitting/eating area with combined kitchen. The bathroom with shower is also on this level. 

If you're a keen foodie, then this is an ideal nesting spot for you. The Time Out Market in Lisboa is right on your doorstep - literally a 2-minute walk down the elevator. 

Lisbon's Time Out Market is basically a huge foodie hall full to the brim with lots of different local food vendors (and provides plenty of choices), some of them from very well-known Portuguese chefs! 

Maybe you're reading this feeling a little dubious about food markets, but you can take comfort in the knowledge that the Time Out Market is the first market in the world where everything on offer has been chosen, tried and tested by an independent panel of city experts. Take it from me, during our 3-day trip we couldn't help but head back here every day to try a new snack. It was far too tempting! 

We absolutely loved our time in Lisbon and would LOVE to go back to again. We had so much fun exploring the city and loved its rustic vibe and charm. I think next time, I'll look to try another Airbnb in a different area of the city, as I'm sure there's plenty more to see and do. 

We have already booked our next Airbnb apartment in Santa Monica for our California road trip! ;-) 

Have you visited Lisbon before? If so, where would you recommend staying? 

xo. 
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