Our stay in VISIONAPARTMENTS in Zurich

We travelled to Zurich recently for a short, weekend break. We stayed in one of the luxurious apartments managed by VISIONAPARTMENTS. They offer over 1,800 tailored temporary living solutions in Berlin, Frankfurt, Lausanne, Warsaw, Vevey, Vienna, Zug and Zurich. The main clientele of VISIONAPARTMENTS are businessmen and young leisure travellers who collectively help to create a great atmosphere there.

Location:
VISIONAPARTMENTS Wolframplatz building is situated just a few metres away from the Giesshübel Train Station which can get you to the Zürich Main Train Station in a few minutes. It makes it a perfect location for whether you are there on business or – like us – travelling for a short city-break. The airport is only 40min away can be easily reached by public transport too.
You can also grab a bite to eat nearby, with the nearest restaurants located only a short walk away or go shopping at the Sihlcity Shopping Centre which is a 5min walk away from the apartments.

Apartment:
The concept of an aparthotel is one that offers most of the services of a hotel: rooms are regularly cleaned but rather than living in a room, you are spend your time in a fully-equipped apartment. VISIONAPARTMENTS units are available in a variety of layouts, styles and sizes and are competitively priced whether you are looking for a long- or short-term accommodation.


We stayed in a lovely, fully furnished Junior Duplex Apartment (No# WO010), split over 2 levels. On the ground floor, it featured a bathroom, living room area and a kitchen (with a small mini-fridge, microwave and dishwasher). A staircase lead us up to our spacious bedroom with its own en-suite bathroom.

The bedroom had a large, comfortable king size bed, flat screen TV and handy night stands. There was a selection of toiletries available in our master bathroom in addition to comfy robes and slippers.


After long days of sightseeing, I really enjoyed coming back to our apartment and relaxing on the large sofa watching some news before going to bed. As our apartment had a fully furnished kitchen – we prepared our breakfasts there, trying some locally produced goods.

Overall experience:
We stayed at the VISIONAPARTMENTS in Zurich for 2 nights and we really enjoyed it. The complex is super modern – you do not need to even check in/check out as you get an access code to your apartment on the day of your arrival. I was impressed with how spacious and stylish our apartment was. There is no restaurant onsite but if you do not mind preparing your own breakfast or having it at one of the nearby cafes then that shouldn’t be an issue. I would definitely recommend it to all travellers who like to stay in beautiful modern surroundings that offer an excellent price to quality ratio.

Address:
Wolframplatz. 1,
8045 Zürich, Switzerland

Website:
https://visionapartments.com/en/

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

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Pauline

Our lunch at BeAbout Burger, Bratislava, Slovakia

I normally focus on fine-dining and top-end meals we’ve had. Having said that, today I would like to tell you about BeAbout Burger which we visited for a quick lunch whilst in Bratislava as it is definitely worth a visit. The restaurant was recommended to me by one of my Slovakian friends as: ‘the best place to have a gourmet burgers in.’ 

Atmosphere:

When we entered the restaurant, it was already buzzing with many dinners. We sat in the middle of restaurant and were welcomed by a waiter who kindly brought us English menus.

When you enter BeAbout Burger it feels a bit like being in an American dinner and the place has a vibrant atmosphere. The dining room has a contemporary, simple décor.

Food:

The restaurant serves a selection of starters in addition to their signature burgers. All dishes are made from high quality, fresh, local ingredients. There is also an extensive cocktails menu on offer in addition to a wide selection of local and imported alcohol being served.

We were quite hungry when we arrived so we decided to order 3 sides to share:

  • Buffalo wings & rings – barbeque glazed chicken wings, onion rings, BBQ a Blue cheese sauce.
  • Papa T’s chicken pieces – crispy chicken breast in homemade coating and Ranch sauce.
  • Crispy chicken strips – crispy chicken coated in panko mixture and Honey-mustard sauce.

All starters were tasty and tender. I really enjoyed our crispy chicken strips which were delectable.

For my main I decided to have a ‘Maple Syrup Burger’ with guacamole, bacon
beef meat, cheddar and mayonnaise. My husband decided to have ‘Tex Mex Burger’
with beef meat, cheddar, nachos, chilli beans, jalapeño peppers and Mojo sauce.

Both burgers were served with fries, onion rings, tomato, red onion and pickles. The portion sizes were very generous and unfortunately after finishing our starters and mains we were unable to have any desserts so I hope that I will be able to try some next time we are around.

If you like burgers then you should definitely visit BeAbout Burger for a lunch / dinner.  Our food was served quickly, was tasty and the service was good so I would definitely recommend it. What’s more, all dishes were reasonably priced and we could customise our burgers which is always a plus.

Address:

You can experience BeAbout Burger at one of these two locations:

Prešernova 4, Bratislava / Dulovo Námestie 5/A, Bratislava

For more information and to book visit:

https://www.beabout.sk/

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

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Pauline

Dinner at Cantinetta Ristorante & Bar in Hamburg, Germany

If you are adventurous then there are a lot of traditional dishes worth trying when in Hamburg including fish sandwich with pickled herring, labskaus served with fried egg and herring or kale served with fried potatoes and sausages. Don’t judge me but I love Italian food so on the second day of our mini-break, we decided to visit Cantinetta Ristorante & Bar and I really enjoyed it so I would like to share our experience with you all.

Location:

Cantinetta Ristorante & Bar is located in Ameron hotel in Hamburg’s Speicherstadt which in the heart of the port city. It is only a short walk away from one of the city’s main attraction – Elbphilharmonie Hamburg a modern concert hall in the HafenCity quarter of Hamburg built atop old warehouse.

Atmosphere:

We booked our table for 6:00 p.m. We were greeted by a friendly waitress who made us feel welcomed took us to our table.

The restaurant has a modern and stylish décor which keeps the tradition of Speicherstadt. It features mid-century style stools and a library with a fireplace whilst the tables have a minimalist look with some fresh flowers featured. There was some soft Italian music playing in the background.

The menu:

Cantinetta Ristorante & Bar offers its diners famous Italian specialities with a twist which are creatively and perfectly prepared by chef Christopher Gieritz and his team. During the lunch, you can order from ‘Pranzo con espresso’ menu which changes daily in whilst it’s dinner à la carte selection of dishes changes seasonally.

We commenced our evening with a refreshing aperitiv. Our waitress also brought us some complimentary bread and olive oil.

To start with, I fancied some beef tartare with avocado cream, guacamole, fried garlic bread & herb salad.

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My husband had some Vegetarian soup with fresh vegetables, Grana Padano & chili.
Both dishes were tasty and nicely seasoned.

Secondly, I had some fried halibut fillet with creamy truffle risotto & fresh truffle
which was mouth-watering. My husband decided to have fillet of beef, truffle jus, Mediterranean leaf spinach & gorgonzola gratin. It was exceptional.

Lastly, it was time for some dessert. My favourite Italian dessert is tiramisu so surprise, surprise – I ordered TIRAMISÙ ALLA CANTINETTA which was served with white coffee ice cream. Delicious!

My husband ordered arachide – a peanut brownie served with peanut ice cream, marshmallow & peanuts. It was scrumptious.

Overall experience:

We really enjoyed our meal at Cantinetta Ristorante & Bar. All dishes were tasty, nicely presented and the service was faultless. I would definitely recommend this restaurant if you are a fan of Italian food with a modern twist.

Address:

Speicherstadt
Am Sandtorkai 4
20457 Hamburg

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

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Pauline

Holiday destinations: Hamburg, Germany

As it was a Bank Holiday weekend last week, we travelled to Hamburg in Germany. I’ve never there before so I was looking forward to discovering this second largest German city with the largest port. Hamburg has became one of the major centres for international trade due to its location and it continues to be one of the wealthiest cities build on maritime stories. Locals have mastered how to live well and if (like me) you like to indulge in diverse cuisine then you would enjoy your stay here as there are a plenty of great restaurants, bars and breweries to visit.

If you like sightseeing then you can take one of the sightseeing walking tours showing you the city’s highlights or grab a map and discover the major sites by yourself.

Here is a short list of my suggestions of places worth visiting:

  • Speicherstadt – the largest warehouse district in the world located in the port of Hamburg with some signature red-brick warehouses, canals & museums.

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  • Elbphilharmonie Hamburg – a newly constructed concert hall in the HafenCity on the Grasbrook peninsula of the Elbe River. It is one of the largest and acoustically most advanced concert halls in the world which cost 8 times more to build than the Sydney Opera House.
  • Townhall and Alster – the seat of local government which is one of Germany’s 16 state parliaments. Located next to Hamburg’s most popular river – Alster leading to many shopping malls and boutiques.
  • Planten un Blomen – a large city park with a size of 47 hectares featuring themed gardens, a lake & Japanese tea house

How to get there?

If you live in the UK then you can easily get to Hamburg from most of major cities. We’ve flown from London Stanstead and it took us slightly over 1 hour to get there. Perfect for a short weekend break.

Other tips:

Hamburg has a very good transport network and you should definitely get a Hamburg Card when you visit – it will cover all your travel in addition to some discounts i.e. to some of the top attractions, restaurants, river cruises etc.

I hope you enjoyed reading this review.

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Pauline

2019 Travel Must Haves

Happy Tuesday my lovelies! The weather has been so good recently so I was spending some time in my garden. I have even planted some colourful plants, can you believe it? Living in the countryside is definitely having a positive effect on me. Nevertheless, today I put together a short ‘2019 Travel Must-haves’ list. My aim was to give you some inspiration on the products worth getting this season. Most of them are a great investment and you will be able to benefit from them throughout a year – not only during the summer.

  1. Gate8 cabin bags and accessories

As a frequent traveller, I wanted to get a new, innovative travel bag that would be suitable for most of the airlines whether I was flying business or economy. Prepare to take off onto a new journey with Gate8. The brand has recently won the Best Travel Product from British Travel Goods & Accessories Association and it has been invited by Etihad, easyJet, Oman Air and Titan Airways to design their crew and pilot luggage so I wanted to check it out. The company vision is to make every journey as hassle-free as possible – be it air, rail or road, business or leisure. I decided to order the Spin MATE Plus. I travel a lot and spend a lot of time in airports and hotels so has this bag passed my test? Oh yes! I absolutely love it!

Spin MATE Plus comes in an upright, hard-wearing ballistic nylon shell and has 5 years guarantee. Its design was planned to make every journey as hassle-free as possible. As you are most likely aware the hand-luggage restrictions vary from airline to airline and Gate8 luggage can help anyone to avoid baggage check-in fees due to its smart design and detachable backpack. This zip-off removable backpack is perfectly sized to store under your seat for take-off and landing or to keep your tech and valuables secure and close to you.

I travelled with RyanAir to Hamburg last week and took Spin MATE Plus with me. I simply removed my backpack before I boarded the plane, put my wallet and laptop inside and took it onto the plane with me avoiding being asked to pay extra for my hand luggage. I was very impressed by it.

What’s more, Spin MATE Plus is super easy to navigate due to its 4, 360° spinner wheels. The inside of the bag, again has been beautifully designed with a netted panel on the left site of the bag and tie-down compression straps to reduce creasing on the right.

You can personalise the bag for no extra cost whilst ordering. Isn’t this great?

Lastly, Gate8 offers a range of handy accessories – I’ve tried their PACKER mate – a handy luggage organiser set that helped my packing to be organised and protected without adding extra weight. In addition, I got Shirt MATE – a perfect shirt carrier & folding board. It’s perfect for when I am travelling on business and need to wear a shirt as it enables me to store up to 5 shirts or trousers almost crease-free. There are some more, very handy accessories and you should definitely check them out yourself.

To discover the whole range and order visit:

https://www.gate8-luggage.co.uk/

Prices range from £15 for accessories to £159 for cabin bags.

     2. Jet candy 

Jet Candy is a new, homeopathic remedy developed to help combat jet lag. It spent over 10 years in development and was launched in Cannes in 2017. For all of you taking any intercontinental flights this summer, you should definitely consider getting it as jet lag catches us all regardless where we are going and in what direction. ‘Don’t take the time zone hit: take Jet Candy.’ Wouldn’t it be great to reset your body clock and enjoy the destinations you are travelling to? Jet Candy helps with fatigue, dehydration, disorientation, mental sharpness and other symptoms associated with the disruption of the circadian rhythms. What’s more, Jet Candy allows the internal body clock to function during long-haul flights. It comes in a practical pill distributor cap and has enough pills for 8 long-haul flights in it.

Available from http://www.jet-candy.com

Price: only £19.99 for 100 pillules.

I love all products featured in this review and if you decide to get anything from my list then I hope that you will enjoy them as much as I do 🙂

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Pauline

Our stay at Regnum Aparthotel & Spa in Bansko, Bulgaria

A few weeks ago, I was in Bulgaria with my husband to resolve some issues with my parent’s holiday home. We spent a few days in Bansko and a couple of days in Sofia. I love travelling to Bulgaria and today I would like to tell you about our stay at the Regnum Apart hotel & Spa in Bansko.

Location:

Regnum Apart hotel & Spa is based in the popular town of Bansko at the foot of the Pirin Mountains, in southwest Bulgaria. It is only a few minutes’ walk from town’s high street on which you can find many nice restaurants, clubs and a gondola. The hotels location is perfect – no matter whether you are in Bansko for skiing, hiking or just passing by.

Atmosphere:

Regnum Apart hotel & Spa has a classic and sophisticated décor. Its guests can enjoy many common areas such as an outdoor swimming pool, spa, bar, reading room and a large lounging area. All staff members we spoke with were helpful and accommodating.

Room:

We stayed in an Executive deluxe suite which consisted of two rooms, bathroom and a balcony with stunning mountain views. We enjoyed relaxing in our spacious living room with kitchenette which was fully equipped with a kettle all plates, cutlery, mini-fridge, safe box, and oven. We didn’t cook whilst we were there, but it would be handy for anyone who fancy preparing their meals whilst away from home. Our bedroom had a stylish décor and a comfortable with king size bed and a flat-screen TV.
Our bathroom had both shower cabin and bathtub and again was finished to a high standard. A selection of complimentary toiletries was also provided.


My favourite space in the apartment was our balcony – the view was simply stunning and as we were in Bansko in June it was perfect to lounging on with a drink after hiking all day.

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Overall experience:
We enjoyed our stay in Regnum Apart hotel & Spa and I would recommend it to anyone travelling to Bansko. In addition, the hotel has recently opened its own thermal SPA in a picturesque village of Banya. Regnum Banya Thermal features an outdoor swimming pool with mineral water which is complimentary to use for all hotel guests and can be easily reachable in 10min by a free hotel’s shuttle bus. The SPA has great facilities including a steam room, sauna and if you fancy you can have one of beauty treatments or a massage whilst in there.


The only let down was hotel’s buffet which we decided to try on one of the nights. All food was bland and overpriced for Bulgaria as it was around 20euros per person. It was a canteen quality food which I would not expect in a 5-star hotel.

Website:

For more information and to book visit:
https://www.regnum.bg/en/

Hope you enjoyed reading this review!

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Pauline

House décor: Time for some blinds

As some of you might know, I moved out of London back in December into a new-build house in the countryside on the outskirts of Colchester. Let’s be honest, moving out of our 2-bed apartment in London to a village in Essex was very exciting but at the same time it took a bit of time to adjust to our new routine involving a long daily commute. Thanks to Netflix and a good coffee from a station cafeteria, I got used to my commute and now I am happily re-established in Essex.

Having said this, our lovely 3 bed house still needs a lot in terms of furnishing, décor etc. In 6 months, we have managed to finish our bedroom and kitchen and slowly we are completing other bits around the house.

This month, we decided to buy some blinds and let me tell you – it wasn’t as easy as I thought it might be. Initially, we thought about using a well known company offering in-home appointment to offer perfect made to measure blinds. Unfortunately, as we have a limited budget we weren’t willing to spend a small fortune for blinds offered thus we looked online for some other providers that could help us.

After a lot of research and browsing quite a few websites selling blinds, we came across ‘Make My Blinds’. The company was founded in 2015 and strives to become the authority in the blind industry.

On their website I discovered a few values which I was impressed by:

  • Made by hand – all blinds are made to your own specification;
  • Attention to detail – all blinds are made by hand and machine to the highest quality;
  • Customer focused – company prides itself in a friendly UK customer service team that is happy to answer any question.

What I found really useful was a hub of knowledge on company’s social media platforms –  YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter providing the most commonly asked questions and answers.

The company offers a range of blinds: wooden, vertical, roller, venetian, skylight, roman and conservatory blinds. We decided to order:

  • Gibson Pewter Vertical blinds for my husband’s study – as he loves gaming and wanted something with a blackout option we selected a darker grey shade that also matches our carpets perfectly. We decided to have the vertical vanes split and bunch evenly on either side using the ‘split’ option which is great as you can control the lighting coming into your room.
  • Real Wood Gloss Daisy venetian blinds for our front kitchen and living room windows. I love this glossy, light bouncing blinds. They are also easy to clean as the dust just slides off.  They are great at controlling the light coming into our home and I really like that they have a long 4-year guarantee.

Order process:

The order process through Make my Blinds website is super user friendly and it enabled us to visualise what we were getting after we inputted sizing information, selected on which side we would like the controls to be in addition to stack side for our vertical blinds. We used a measuring guide which helped us to understand how we should measure the blinds properly to get them sized correctly. The blinds were also much cheaper than what we were quotes by a high street retailer and website states that prices are up to 70% cheaper. What is an additional plus is that you can order free samples and there is a free delivery on orders over £149.

Installation:

I will be honest and admit that we didn’t install the blinds ourselves – firstly because we simply do not have time as we get home late and secondly, we are not really good in DYI. However, if you wish to install the blinds yourselves then Make My Blinds has a great knowledge hub helping you to do that for all different kinds of blinds.

Verdict:

I loved how easy the whole order process was and the website and it’s guides were great help for us as we did not have an idea from where to start. I would recommend ‘Make my Blinds’ to anyone who wishes to purchase high quality, beautifully finished blinds build to their specifications at a very competitive prices.

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Pauline