Hotel Marignan – All style, no substance.

Hotel Marignan facade

I had to go to Paris on business earlier this month and we thought that we’d combine the trip with an extra night for our 7th wedding anniversary.

Having scoured the Internet for something suitably luxurious, I happened upon the 5 star Hotel Marignan. The website was fabulous and the good reviews plentiful, so I went ahead and made the booking. The supposedly pre-paid in full booking (I’ll come back to that later).


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Ambling around Amsterdam

Cafe Amsterdam

I recently took Ian on a surprise birthday trip to Amsterdam. There’s a lot to do in a relatively small city, so I thought I’d share a couple of fabulous hangouts in the city.

Cafe Amsterdam

Despite the incredibly touristy name, this cafe/restaurant/bar is an absolute gem. We took a taxi out from our hotel (which I will mention later) as we didn’t have a clue how to get to Watertorenplein 6, and I doubt I’d be able to find it again without help. The taxi driver dropped us off and pointed down a dodgy dark alleyway in what can only be described as a mid rise council estate. So far, so scary. A minute later we were greeted by a door to a renovated industrial pumping station! Some might say I have a slight obsession with industrial interiors, so I freaked out a little just started pointing at everything! It’s just so well done. Oh and the food is beautiful too. Mix that with a friendly crowd, a huge bar and a corner with a sneaky pool table and you could quite happily stay there for days. The menu is pretty standard european fare, but when you think you can’t eat anymore, have a chocolate truffle, they’re amazing.

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Leaving on a jet plane


We have a very rough plan for our (first) round the world trip, and an even rougher idea of how much the flights might cost.

Here’s the first flight plan:

  • London > Chicago > Make own way to San Francisco
  • San Francisco > Auckland
  • Auckland > Perth > make own way to Sydney (with lots of other bits in between)
  • Sydney > Tokyo
  • Tokyo > Hong Kong (purely to get visas)
  • Hong Kong to…er…somewhere in China (really unsure what we’re doing in China just yet)
  • Beijing > Bangkok
  • Bangkok > London

There was a small extra idea of popping to India, but might not include that this time round.

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Lovely Lisbon


So today we’re off to Amora, just outside Lisbon. It’s a celebration of the lovely Lisa’s 40th birthday. Thing is, when we all agreed to go, I’m not sure any of us really took notice of just what we were getting into. Lisa and Gary arrived on yesterday and called yesterday to let us know the palace was awesome. Palace?! Well, here it is in all it’s glory. Obviously I’m secretly hoping for a circular bed…

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