TRAVEL: Lyon, France

A weekend in Lyon

The beautiful city of Lyon is definitely worth a visit. I’ve never really been to France except for Disney Land and a caravan holiday to Normandy years ago. Lyon is what I always imagined a French city to look like- uneven streets and cute restaurants, people selling crepes on the side of the road and alfresco dining.


Getting there

I had a whirlwind time in Lyon. I flew British Airways on Friday night (of course my flight was delayed out of Heathrow). Once landing at Lyon-Saint-Exupéry Airport you can take the Rhone Express straight into the centre of Lyon which was really easy and only took 30 mins.

It was quite expensive at €23,30 for a return (17-25 year olds) but it was convenient. I would suggest buying your tickets online before you go. You can download the tickets to your phone so you don’t have to try and buy your tickets in French when you’re there!

The weekend

I chose Lyon because my best friend is studying there for a year and I wanted to visit her. We didn’t end up doing any of the “classic” touristy things because I wanted to see the real Lyon seeing as I had my own personal tour guide. 

On Saturday we took the subway and a bus to Parc de Lacroix-Laval which was beautiful. It was lovely to take a walk and a have a picnic in the sunshine. French bread is so delicious I couldn’t miss out on a picnic.


We then took a walk back through the city so I could see Lyon. I loved the feel of the place. People were friendly and the city was so beautiful. We stopped for a hot chocolate and sat outside in the crisp sunny air. It was so refreshing to sit outside looking over the river.

We finished the evening by going for dinner somewhere in the centre of Lyon. It was absolutely lovely. We had a set menu for €25 each and it was so worth it. I conquered my fear of eating snails!! They were made so you couldn’t see the snails so I was ok and I actually really enjoyed them. I also had the traditional dish of the Lyonnaise quenelle. I really enjoyed it and glad I tried it.


We then went for drinks at a cocktail bar called Le Florian. It was a small place but the cocktails were amazing. If you’re near by then definitely stop by for a drink.

On Sunday we walked around trying to find somewhere for brunch however everywhere was full or closed. We ended up finding this odd little cafe where we had a cup of tea and a pastry. I then had to leave for the airport which brought my trip to an end.


I absolutely loved Lyon and would recommend it for a weekend away. It was quick and easy to get to and a foodies paradise.

Also shout out to my best friend Tilly for having me.

I’d give Lyon an 8/10.

Comment your favourite French destinations.

Love Charlie xx

TRAVEL: Vienna, Austria

48 Hours in Vienna

Firstly a disclosure: I loved Vienna so much this is going to be a long blog. I’m going to cover the following if you want to skip bits:

  • Accomodation
  • The itinerary
  • Food

I can’t get across more how much I loved Vienna. I fell in love with the place. The architecture, the food, the culture. It was just a beautiful weekend.

Once we arrived in Vienna on a Friday evening in late March, we took the City Airport Train into the centre of the city and then took the tube to our accommodation. Buy your tickets online before you leave to save you time and hassle at the airport. The tube system is really cheap and easy to use so I would recommend it. However Uber was also useful in the city.7ahFFmbpSuGOHpr7pPup4A.jpg


We got an Airbnb in Vienna, as we always do. I had paid for this trip as a birthday present to my boyfriend so I chose a slightly more expensive apartment to what we would have normally gone for but it was so worth it.

This was the nicest Airbnb I have ever stayed in. It was incredible. It was so beautiful with high ceilings and large wooded doors. It was also in an amazing location. Within walking distance of everything and right in the museum quarter.

The host couldn’t greet us when we arrived as we got in quite late, so she had left us some champagne on arrival. It was a lovely gesture.

If you’re ever in Vienna and this place is available then I would highly recommend: 7th Heaven Apartment.

The itinerary:


We started the day with brunch (my fave). I found a place on trip advisor called Erich which happened to be round the corner from our apartment. This was one of the best brunches I’ve ever had. Second to the brunch I had in Barcelona.

After filling up on deliciousness we took the tube to the Schoenbrunn Palace. We got the Grand Tour ticket which comes with a headset and tells you about the history of each room. Myself and boyfriend really enjoyed the tour and found it really informative.

There was also a market on in the gardens where we got a beer and soaked up the sunshine.


After this we took the tube to the Naschmarket. This is a long market of people selling tat and some selling food. It wasn’t as good as I thought it would be. All the food stalls were selling the same which was a disappointment. However we did stop for a drink along the way for some people watching which is always great.

Later that evening we attended a concert of Mozart Requiem at St Charles Church. It was sensational. The Church was stunning and the whole ensemble were brilliant. The only downsides were that the Church was freezing and we were way over dressed.


As it was Saturday evening we headed for a few bars however the places we had found online were rammed so we ended up just going back to the apartment and having a chilled evening.


On Sunday morning we walked to St Stephens Cathedral and had a walk around the centre of the city. Right next to the cathedral was a shop selling Manner. This is a famous wafer biscuit from Vienna so we went and bought some gifts to take home.

After this we walked to the Schloss Belvedere. We entered from the lower Belvedere where they had an exhibition on showcasing Klemens Brosch. I’m not really an art gallery fan but I actually really enjoyed the experience. The Upper Belvedere had some great pieces in, but it was absolutely heaving with people.


We then took a taxi back to the apartment (Uber wasn’t very expensive in Vienna) and chilled out before going for a drink and then dinner.


On our last day we went to the famous Cafe Central for breakfast and then headed to the Hofburg Palace.

We enjoyed the Hofburg Palace but it was similar to the Schoenbrunn Palace so we didn’t stay for too long. We did some last bits of shopping and beer drinking and then headed to the airport and home.



As I mentioned earlier this was one of the best brunches I’ve ever had. My boyfriend had breakfast tacos and I had poached eggs on sourdough. My breakfast was so cool because you could choose your toppings to make it your own which I really liked.


Cafe Demel

I had this on the list of potentials but didn’t think we would bother as I had Cafe Central on the to do list. However we were walking past and captivated by the cakes in the window. We stopped for a cake and coffee. I had apple strudle and a hot chocolate. I can’t even put into words how delicious this was. The strudel was beyond expectations and I’m still dreaming about it to this day. The hot chocolate was also freshly made with their chocolate and it was insane.


Cafe Central

We went to Cafe Central on the morning of the last day. The interior was beautiful and the cake display fantastic. However I thought I would compare apple strudels and I have to say that Cafe Demel’s strudel was miles better. I didn’t really enjoy the strudel here.


Glacis Beisl

This was a last minute decision as everywhere we wanted to go was closed on Sundays. It was close to the apartment so we thought we would give it a try. It ended up being one of the nicest meals I’ve ever had. I had the goulash for main and it was so yum. The wine was also really good.


In Vienna there are sausage stands outside most tube stations and busy areas. There was one really near our apartment and these sausages ended up being our stable diet for the weekend.

I know, not healthy at all.

They take a long bun sort of like a baguette but softer and poke it down a hot spike and put the sausage in the hole with mustard or ketchup. This means the sauce doesn’t squirt out when you bit into it. Revolutionary I know. They have different types of sausage but the best is the one with cheese inside. A sausage with cheese inside. I say no more.


Overall Vienna was an 11/10.

Let me know if you’re going to Vienna.

Thanks for reading.

Love Charlie xx


Hello again! Thanks for dropping by my blog.

This summer I went on a cruise around Norway. I know.. I’m not 80 years old. It was a different experience to say the least. I’d never really considered cruises except for how I thought it could be a great way to see lots of new places.

We chose the P&O Norwegian Fjords Cruise from Southampton. It offered all inclusive food, balcony room and stopping at 4 stunning locations.

The ship I sailed on was the Aurora.


We chose a balcony room and although it was slightly more pricy it was definitely worth it. The Norwegian Fjords Cruise took me through the most beautiful scenery of my life. It was magical to be able to sit out with a blanket and watch the sunset or sunrise over the stunning views.

The rooms were basic but had everything we needed for our week long trip.


We departed Southampton and headed for Stavanger. This was a quaint Norwegian town with great photo opportunities. We walked around the town and took in the beauty of the place. We stopped for 2 cakes, 2 coffees and 2 hot chocolates and it cost over £30… we decided to stick to the food on the boat.

We also went to the Petroleum Museum which was actually brilliant. It was so insightful into Norway’s wealth and was really interactive and fun.


Sailing into Stavanger

Next stop was Alesund. Here we found colourful buildings and superb views after a climb. We got off the boat early to climb up the steps to the viewing area. It was well worth it. The views were stunning and we beat all the crowds.




The third stop was Olden. We had paid to go on an excursion to the Briskdal Glacier. We were so glad we did as there was literally nothing in this town. We got whisked off to the glacier in a coach and this was not to be missed. The walk up was stunning and easy for everyone. You could also hire buggy’s to drive to the top. Once you arrive at the foot of this magestic piece of ice, it is breath taking.



Lastly we stopped in Bergen. This was a large town with lots of people buzzing around. We took the cable car up to the top of the town and it was so great. Definitely wrap up warm though because it was SO windy!




I was quite disappointed that I didn’t get more of an opportunity to eat Norwegian food but the food on the cruise was insane.

I still can’t believe how the chefs manage to cook such high quality meals in the restaurants. Every meal I really enjoyed and would recommend all of the restaurants on board.

There was also unlimited pizza, burgers and hotdogs all day long. It was ridiculous. Towards the end of the trip it had actually put me off cruises, because of the amount of food constantly around me (I have no will power and ate too much).

We also paid extra for a meal at Atul Kutcher’s restaurant, Sindu. This was one of the best meals of my life. Again, how do they cook such beautiful food on a ship?? I will never know. The staff were so attentive, the food was beautifully presented, it tasted amazing and it was an all round great experience. There was also a huge amount of food so you got what you paid for.


Heaven or..?

The Ship 

The Aurora isn’t P&O’s largest ship but it still felt huge. It had 3 pools, a theatre, loads of restaurants, a casino, outdoor cinema, loads of bars and social areas, gym and spa! There was plenty of entertainment throughout the trip. Especially on the 2 sea days.

This was one of the downsides to the cruise. I’m 21 and I didn’t think there was much aimed at my demographic (probably because there were’t that many others). I found myself a bit bored on the sea days and just sitting and reading my book – which I didn’t really mind). There was no internet. Unless you wanted to pay a ridiculous amount.

The one, and biggest downfall to the cruise was this lack of entertainment. I didn’t feel like I was getting my monies worth. Everything in the evenings was so cheesy I couldn’t stand to watch.


If you’re still reading then thank you for making it through all my rambling.

I think if I was a bit older and if I had gone on the cruise with a large group of friends it might have been really fun. The locations were faultless, the food was amazing and the staff were so helpful.

Overall I’d give the cruise a 7/10.

Have any of you guys been on a cruise?

Thanks for reading,

Love Charlie xxx



Hello again!

I absolutely love to travel and I’m going to start a series about the places I visit. I’ll cover accommodation, top sights, nightlife and food!!

In October 2017, myself and a close friend went for a long weekend in Barcelona. We looked online for some last minute deals and found an offer on It included flights and a hotel so was really easy.

We took a taxi from the airport to our hotel and it cost around €20.


We stayed at the H10 Marina Hotel in Barcelona. It was so great for the money we paid. Roof top pool, modern rooms and really clean. I would recommend.

Top Sights

We were only there for 3 days so we did all the big tourist attractions.

  • Sagrada Familia (definitely buy the ticket to go inside)
  • Park Guell (extremely hung over)
  • La Rambla (beautiful to take a wander down)
  • The Beach!
  • Casa Mila (we just looked at the outside)

I would recommend all of these places, they were all so beautiful and great to see.


Park Guell


Sagrada Familia

We also hired bikes which I would 100% recommend. It make it so easy to see the whole city in 1 day and it was really fun. We rented bikes from Green Bikes. They have a few locations around Barcelona and it’s only €2 an hour.

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I’m not the biggest fan of big nights out, but our night out in Barcelona was insane. Maybe it was the sea breeze or the vitamin D but it was the best night.

We started by having a few pre drinks in our hotel room and then headed out to the sea front. We went for one drink in The Coconut Club. It was packed and really expensive.

Earlier that day we had been to the beach and walked past a club called Opium. There were two guys outside selling queue jump tickets with 2 drinks each included. I can’t remember how much it was but I remember thinking it was a decent deal.

We then went to the club and it was so fun. The music was epic, and you’re allowed to go onto the beach and come back in.  The only downside to the club was the queue for the toilet. I hope you have strong bladder muscles..

The hotel is in walking distance of the beach so we walked (I use the term loosely) back to our hotel.


Where do I even begin.

The best part of the trip.

The first morning we went for brunch at Brunch & Cake. OMG. One of the best brunches of my life. I had blueberry cheesecake pancakes. Yes you read that right.


I can’t even describe the deliciousness of this food. Heaven.

That evening we stumbled across El Pintxo de Petritxol. Here you pick a few dishes called Pintxos and you pay by how many plates you’ve eaten. This was in the Gothic Quarter. It was affordable for a light dinner.


We then went for cocktails at Sub Rosa. They had 241 cocktails which was a bonus and the cocktails were so nice!


Second day brunch was almost as good as the first. I had naan bread for breakfast.. YES I DID. Cafè Menssana is the cutest cafe in walking distance of our hotel and it did delicious coffee and juices. I couldn’t recommend this place enough.


Our final dinner we went on the hunt for Paella. We got flagged down by a waiter and found him so persistent we thought we’d just eat there. I think it was called La Fitora. They had a set menu which was 3 courses and a bottle of wine for less than €30 each and we couldn’t finish all the food! It was really affordable and a nice paella.


Overall Barcelona was a 10/10.

Let me know of your experiences in Barcelona.

Thanks for reading.

Love Charlie xx





Uni vs Apprenticeship

It’s getting to that time of year where exams are approaching and you’re nearly at the end of school/college. So what’s next? Uni? Work? Apprenticeship?

The answer is different for everyone.

I came to the end of year 13 and had no clue what I wanted to do with my life. I applied to uni to study Geography because it was my favourite subject at school. It felt as if I was just doing it because everyone else was.

Researching other routes I stumbled across a higher apprenticeship scheme with the National Grid (shout out to Michael). They are the electricity transmission company in the UK. It tied up with my interest in renewable energy which I’d been learning about in Geography, so I thought I’d apply as a back up plan – never thinking I would be a suitable candidate (I’d never had an interest in science).

I was lucky enough to win a place on the apprenticeship scheme, and I couldn’t be happier that I chose that route. Why? Because I could study for a degree (for free) and get to be practical every day. It offered variety by doing placements around the business, so I could work out where my strengths and weaknesses (there were many) lie.

The salary was also really competitive so I actually had money rather than my peers who were complaining they couldn’t afford heating!

Going into a career in engineering was daunting. Would I be good enough? I was amazed to find out how many roles there are in engineering. It’s not all hard hats! (Even though I quite enjoyed wearing it on site visits). I now have an office role working in the electricity control centre.


There were cons though. I always felt like the outsider with my friends. Still do. I missed out on a huge part of what feels like 90% of my age groups life experience. I can’t relate to living in halls or freshers week.

However I’m now in a job I love, using the degree I worked so hard to get and earning a great salary. Which not all university graduates are lucky to have. I also have the means to visit my friends all over the country at their unis.

In conclusion, I’m a massive advocate of apprenticeship schemes. Many people go to uni because they have to for their career choice or because it’s their dream to go. If this is you then go for it! Uni is an amazing life experience that you can’t get anywhere else.

On the other hand if you can find an apprenticeship scheme that would interest you, it’s a way to earn while you learn – and who wouldn’t want that!

Also on the note of engineering. I never thought I would be capable of doing a degree in electrical power engineering but I fully believe it’s about the work you put in. If you are determined enough then you are capable of anything.

We need more women in engineering, so if you’re considering it, even just a little bit (via any route. Uni or apprenticeship) then go for it! There are so many career opportunities in different industries that are all challenging, dynamic and exciting everyday.


Comment below on your experiences or if you’re unsure of going to university or not. Also let me know if you have any questions for me about my journey!

A few useful links:





Firstly, thank you for dropping by my blog. This is my first blog post and I’m so excited. I thought I would use this chance to introduce myself.

I’m Charlie and I’m from near Oxford in the UK.

I love food, travel and adventures.

I recently completed an engineering apprenticeship and now work full time. I absolutely love my job, and I loved my apprenticeship. I chose not to go to uni, and complete my degree through an apprenticeship.

I’m passionate about engineering and especially women in engineering. 9 percent isn’t enough.

I hope you’ll stick around and follow me through this new adventure of blogging!