Sunday, 27 July 2014

My trip to Barcelona



As you may have seen on here, my YouTube channel or my Instagram, I went to Barcelona a few weeks ago so I thought I'd let you see some of my holiday photos and let you know more about my trip.

You can check out my 'What's in my travel bag' stuff here or my beauty haul here if you fancy knowing more about those.







I spent 3 nights/4 days in glorious Barcelona and I stayed at the Hotel Majestic Spa & Hotel. This is a 5 star hotel located on Passeig de Gracia, an amazing street for lots of high end shops like Chanel, Michael Kors, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, in fact all of them! I didn't actually shop in any of these places. They all had security guards on the door so it was a bit intimidating going anywhere near them! The reason I picked this hotel is because I thought the area looked very safe and it was well located for sightseeing and shopping. I've heard a lot about pickpocketing in Barcelona so I wanted a hotel where we wouldn't have to walk around any unsavoury places at night in search for a bite to eat and some drinks.















The hotel was amazing! Not only was the deluxe room much bigger than we anticipated and the decor and bathroom was very modern and luxurious, we were taken aback by the outstanding service. We arrived to the hotel just after 3pm on our check in date and had a quick look around before dumping our bags so we could head out for a bit of a look around the area and something to eat and drink. We got back a few hours later and chilled there before starting our night at the amazing rooftop bar which even served food and had a pool. The views from here were incredible. You could see the Sagrada Famila, the beach and most of the city really.

After sipping some rather expensive drinks, 15€ per cocktail(!), which did come with some free crisps and nuts though ;), we went back to the room to grab a bit more money and noticed the room had been visited by housekeeping already! The bed was freshly made, the corners of the blanket on each side were folded over with a chocolate placed on for each of us. There were even fresh towels in the bathroom! We couldn't believe this! This continued each night of our stay, each time a different type of chocolate! Not only did they do this, after coming back to the hotel each afternoon from a day of sightseeing before getting ready for the evening, they had made the bed and replaced the towels yet again. Plus any toiletries, shower cap, cotton wool pads etc were restocked! Seriously amazing service.







We didn't have an itinerary planned for this trip as we decided to take one of the bus tours so we could get around a lot of the main points of interest quite easily. This was a hop on, hop off service of which there seemed to be two companies running, both starting from Plaça de Catalunya (a short, straight line walk from our hotel). This cost 27€ which sounds a lot but we were on the bus for 2 and a half hours going round lots of places like the gothic quarter, the port, the beach, Sagrada Familia, Park Guell and many others in between. You got given some guides with more information about each stop and a set of earphones to plug into the side of the bus to get the tour information in your language of choice.







We also enjoyed taking the walk down from Plaça de Catalunya, to La Rambla then Port Vell and the beach. It was quite easy to find our way around as everything seemed to be in a fairly straight line from our hotel! La Rambla is notorious for pickpocketing so I did feel a bit wary walking down there and had my hand glued to my handbag the whole time. It is definitely worth going and experiencing it though. I guess my main advice is just don't have all of your belongings out of your direct sight and don't get sucked in to talking to anyone trying to sell things!

I loved the beach at Barcelona. Well there are several beaches there but the first one you to get from Port Vell is Barceloneta so that's the one we kept visiting as walking that far was quite enough! There were lots of beachside bars and shops for icecream so that was great. The beach was always packed with sunbathers and we got some absolutely stunning weather while we were there. At one point, the electronic sign near the beach said 33°C which is the hottest temperature I've ever experienced! My factor 50 definitely came in handy. In fact, I was quite lucky to only have a little sunburn on my shoulders after my first full day in Barcelona. I made sure to keep reapplying sun protection after that so I didn't suffer anymore. My Hawaiian Tropic body butter also really soothed the area when I was chilling out in the hotel.





Being a shopaholic, I couldn't go to Barcelona without doing a spot of shopping! As I mentioned earlier, the street I stayed on was full of designer shops but if you carried on down the street heading towards Plaça de Catalunya there were lots of high street shops like H&M, Zara, Mango, & Other Stories mixed with lots of unique shops selling anything you could possibly want. It was really enjoyable walking alongside these shops and browsing in the ones I fancied a look in.

My main entertainment was in the form of Sephora! There are several Sephoras in Barcelona so I'd already researched which was the biggest. This was located in the El Triangle shopping centre right next to Plaça de Catalunya. This was a really great store stocking a wide range of perfume, skincare, body care and makeup. I had a lot of fun looking round the store and you can see my purchases if you check out my beauty haul (link)!

Another great place at Plaça de Catalunya is the El Corte Inglés department store. It has about 9 or 10 floors of beauty, fashion, homewares, food and more. I obviously spent most of my time in the beauty department which was fab. I loved their counters for Bourjois, Maybelline, etc. They were much bigger than our little stands in Boots or Superdrug. They also had a few items that I've seen from American blogs/vlogs that haven't quite made their way to the UK yet. I later noticed a second El Corte Inglés store round the corner near La Rambla which was slightly smaller but still amazing. I also headed to a second, smaller Sephora which was nearer my hotel on Rambla de Catalunya.









I loved the vast amount of bars, cafes and restaurants. There were so many places to choose from and we really enjoyed each place that we went to. We had some very delicious tapas, tasty sangria and numerous cocktails. I didn't find the pricing to be too expensive either. We often picked up dessert in the form of gelato/ice cream from a place called Dino's down near Plaça de Catalunya. It's quite mad walking the street eating icecream after 11pm at night. It was still really warm and there were still lots of people walking round. I guess it was just normal there!







There also seems to be lots of French-style patisseries so that's where we usually headed for breakfast on the go. They were also pretty handy for picking up a nice sandwich for lunch too.

I would thoroughly recommend a visit to Barcelona. It's a very beautiful city with lots of things to see and do. It has the best of both worlds being a busy city with beaches just a short walk away.


Have you got any holidays planned this Summer?
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Thursday, 24 July 2014

VIDEOS: Barcelona Beauty Haul Parts 1 & 2



Over the weekend I'll be writing up a blog post about my trip to Barcelona and sharing my holiday photos with you but I had to share my haul with you first!

I was very excited about heading to Sephora whilst I was in Barcelona so I bought quite a few things from there. I also found some hidden gems in a department store called El Corte Ingles.

As I bought quite a few things, I've had to split this haul into two videos so Part 1 is all about my Sephora purchases and Part 2 features my department store purchases. Hope you enjoy watching my haul videos. I've posted some photos below for a closer look at what I bought.

Thanks for watching :)










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