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There’s a new skinny pizza in town at Pizza Union, and it’s good

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It’s Foodie Friday again – and what better way to spend a Friday than chatting pizza? But not just any pizza – super tasty, skinny and cheap pizza!

Pizza Union, It's a Lifestyle Thing

I’ll be honest, pizza is my ultimate weakness – don’t get me wrong, I’m no clean eating machine – but on the whole I keep things healthy and follow the philosophy of everything in moderation. But when pizza’s involved moderation goes out the window!

So when I heard about the new pizza kid on the block and their skinny bases, there was no way anyone was keeping me away from Pizza Union. So a girlfriend and I headed over last weekend for an alternative Sunday lunch.

Pizza Union, It's a Lifestyle Thing Pizza Union, It's a Lifestyle Thing

They run a table sharing vibe where you order and pay at up at the kitchen and then get a buzzer that goes off when you’re order is ready.

The Pizza Union menu is impressive (see the full list here). I love all things spicy so I went for the Calabria (spicy n’duja with some rocket)

Pizza Union, It's a Lifestyle Thing Pizza Union, It's a Lifestyle Thing

My lovely companion is an egg addict (I’m serious – we used to live together and she would have at least one egg a day!) so I was not surprised when she went for the Fiorentina (a fried egg in the middle with parmesan, spinach and black olives to boot)

Pizza Union, It's a Lifestyle Thing

Is that egg runny do you ask?

Pizza Union, It's a Lifestyle Thing Pizza Union, It's a Lifestyle Thing Pizza Union, It's a Lifestyle Thing

Oh yes!

Pizza Union, It's a Lifestyle Thing

With their skinny bases these pizza’s went down a treat and were beautifully light – ahem – which is my way of saying I ate the whole thing and had space for desert!

Even if you are totally stuffed and feel like you can’t fit in another mouthful, you HAVE to order a Dolce – whether to share or all for yourself.

What is a Dolce?

Pizza Union, It's a Lifestyle Thing

It’s a warm dough ring with a filling.

What’s in this bad boy?

Pizza Union, It's a Lifestyle Thing

Nutella & mascarpone

Mmmmmmmm – Look at that warm gooey chocolatey heavenly loveliness!

Yes, it tastes just as good as it looks!

Pizza Union, It's a Lifestyle Thing

I know what you’re thinking, enough of the pictures, tell me where I can get me one of these yummy looking Pizza Union pizzas!

Well just one last thing – every pizza is 12″ and under £7!!!!

Happy Friday everyone!
N xxx

Pizza Union
Spitalfields & Kings Cross
Nearest tube: Liverpool Street // King’s Cross St Pancras

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Getting arty at Aqua Kyoto

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Well hey there – it’s been a while. And so when coming back from a bit of down time, I thought I’d kick off with a Foody Friday treat thats around for a limited time only.

Aqua Kyoto, Food as Art

You’ll remember a while ago I reviewed Sunday Brunch at Aqua Kyoto (it’s actually one of my most read blog posts to date; read HERE for an unlimited champagne bruch with more food than you can imagine – TICK!)

We’ll we’re back at Aqua Kyoto again for a special menu that they’ve created along side Frieze Art Fair – “Food as Art”;  3 courses & a cocktail for £29 – cheers to that!

Aqua Kyoto, Food as Art

There were three starters and three mains to choose from – to start we went for the sushi options; the Omakase Sashimi – salmon, sea bream and tuna. All beautifully presented on a bed of ice.

Aqua Kyoto, Food as Art Aqua Kyoto, Food as Art

And the Shiromi Zakana Makisushi – which sounds far more intimidating than it is, but is damn straight as tasty – a white fish maki roll surrounded in Aqua’s home made tomato paper (you know, that stuff that’s normally made out of seaweed)

Aqua Kyoto, Food as Art Aqua Kyoto, Food as Art

The quality of the ingredients at Aqua Kyoto is incredible so the sashimi unsurprisingly melted in your mouth, but I have to say the roll with it’s tomato paper was the show stopper in terms of it’s incredibly unique and delicious flavour.

In between courses I had an extra cheeky cocktail – their Clover Club which is a gin based cocktail with lemon, raspberry, dry vermouth and egg white to give you that delicious citrusy froth – loved it.  Aqua Kyoto, Food as Art

Then it was on to the mains – the design of these dishes was influenced by japanese artist Yayoi Kusama’s signature polka dots, as you can see from my salmon, served with edemame, miso sauces and crispy ohba leafAqua Kyoto, Food as Art

Seriously seriously incredible flavours on this plate.Aqua Kyoto, Food as Art

The other main we went for had to be the waygu beef, served with red wine teriyaki & onion miso sauce – again with the polka dots.

Aqua Kyoto, Food as Art

Because there was no rice included in the Food as Art menu, we decided to order the spicy vegetable egg fried rice off of the a la cart menu (full disclosure, I’d had this before and so knew just how good it was)

Aqua Kyoto, Food as Art

It arrives with all it’s ingredients separated out and the egg yolk in the middle, served in a mega hot stone bowl.

Aqua Kyoto, Food as Art

Everything is then mixed in and you’re left with a bowl of incredible warm yumminess.

We were surprisingly full after all that but of course there is aaaaallways room for desert…

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Japanese rhubarb crème (that’s the green one) with rose vanilla ice-cream and sesame cake. The star of the show was hands down the ice-cream, which was incredibly fresh and delicate in flavour. All of Aqua’s ice-creams are milk based, not cream, which allows the smooth fresh flavour to come out, rather than and overbearingly rich creaminess.

All the food was spectacular, in both flavour and presentation so we chose to finish up with our complimentary cocktail – a delicious whiskey sour with beetroot juice, looking just as beautiful as all the food we’d eaten – as a night cap – smooth sweet and the perfect end to the evening.

Aqua Kyoto, Food as Art

The Food as Art menu will run now until 30th November, and as mentioned earlier is an incredible £29 per person (the rice dish we had was £12.50 so even with that included you’re looking at a meal for two in one of London’s finest restaurants for under £35 a head – boom-tick-a-ty!)

See the full menu and details HERE

Aqua Kyoto
5th Floor, 240 Regent Street (Entrance via Argyll Street)
Nearest tube: Oxford Circus

 

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that 70s Chick

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Happy Monday all!

What do you think about this Asos 70s dress?
Asos 70s dress, It's a Lifestyle Thing

Before I left for NY I got my hands on this totally to-die-for number that has all the best the 70s had to offer.

This Asos 70s dress pays serious homage to the era of the moment with it’s gorgeous bell sleeves and a-line skirt. I was worried it was going to be ‘too much’ with the print but actually once on it’s fit is so flattering that the print just adds some fun into the mix. I only wish they did it in more colours – how amazing would it be in black?!

The fabric is soft and it has a zip up the back which allows for the fitted waist before it kicks out in to the a-line skirt. Yet again, my cut of choice a-line, hides the big boo-tay and accentuates your waist.

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Asos 70s dress

Here’s a selection of 70s inspired dresses – most of which are under £30 – so go and have a nosy!

Happy Monday all – expect lots of exciting New York City antics on Wednesday! If you can’t wait until then, go and follow me on Instagram HERE, to get live updates (pssssst! There’s already a helicopter ride view on there!!!!!!)
N xxx

Asos 70s dress, It's a Lifestyle Thing

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New York City baby!

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New York

Howdy from the US of A!

I touched down in New York late on Thursday night and after the joys of immigration (only 2hrs, a whole 7hrs faster than the last time I came to the States, but that’s a story for another time!)

Get excited for a near 3 weeks full of good old American love coming your way!

I hope you’re having a great weekend everyone!
N xxxnewyork

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Top Afternoon Tea in the heart of London: 108 Pantry

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Happy Bank Holiday Monday everyone!

Today I’m going to be raving about 108 Pantry which offers one of London’s BEST Afternoon Teas (honestly, I’ve had more than my fare share!)

WARNING: If you’re on some kind of sweet/dairy/carb free diet, read on at your own risk!

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I challenge anyone who says they don’t like Afternoon Tea.

It’s one of the best British foodie traditions out there; beating fish and chips or roast beef any day of the week. But, if you’re heading to London, there’s a whole lot of choice out there with every hotel and many restaurants offering up their own variety.  It’s hard to know where’s good and where isn’t and a fancy location or price tag doesn’t guarantee matching quality – I went to a place in Knightsbridge the other day, at a rather swanky hotel, and their scones were like rocks – a serious No no on the afternoon tea front.

So, if you want a top recommendation from an Afternoon Tea obsessed local, here it is – Pantry at 108 Marylebone.

_MG_2149Located just up from Bond Street Station off Marylebone High Street is this fabulous tea room. Part of the 108 Marylebone Rooms, which include a delightful bar and light brasserie, 108 Pantry is beautifully designed with dark wood floors, pastel walls and primary coloured leather and velvet upholstery. There is plenty of light and the whole room is incredibly inviting.

So, the interiors get a whopping great tick – how about the Afternoon tea itself?

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There is an excellent selection of 6 loose teas all from the Rare Tea Co; everything from English Breakfast, to camomile or rooibos – a naturally decaffeinated black tea.

We went for Early Grey and it was served in a beautiful silver tea set and these gorgeous china tea cups.

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The food came served on a matching silver and china stand too.

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Working your way up from the bottom you had a selection of traditionally filled sandwiches

_MG_2073 cucumber, smoked salmon & cream cheese, egg & watercress and lastly ham

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Then plain and fruit scones

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And to top it off a selection of sweets. These ranged from a Pimms fruit jelly to a pistachio carrot cake, chocolate and cherry brownie square and passionfruit filled meringue.

So, does it taste as good as it looks? YES!

The scones were some of the best I’ve every tasted – fresh, warm and fluffy, served with clotted cream and home made strawberry jam.

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As well as the perfect scones, the sandwiches were extremely fresh (surprisingly not often the case) and the passionfruit meringue was a little mouthful of sweet and sour heaven.

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The Pimms jelly added a lovely taste of summer with layers of berries set in the shot glass and provided a sharp cleans for your palate in comparison to the other sweet delights.

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Not only was there this traditional selection, which you can have re-filled (I went for more of those amazing scones), the Afternoon Tea at 108 Pantry also offer you any slice of cake of your choice from their extensive Pantry Counter…

_MG_2127 _MG_2128 From pecan pie to banoffee profiteroles, cupcakes to chocolate fudge brownies, as well a number of gluten free options, you can’t help but be rather overwhelmed by the choice. I went for the strawberry cheesecake sponge to take-a-way (it was delicious!)
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All in all?

An incredible 108 Pantry offers one of London’s best Afternoon Teas with excellent quality and delicious traditional choice in the heart of London.

You get all this for a seriously reasonable £28 (they do a Gluten Free and Healthy option too, or add a glass of champagne for £10).

Well that’s a enough foodie rambling from me for one day – I hope you’re all having a cracking Monday!
N xxx

108 Pantry
108 Marylebone Lane
London
W1U 2QE

MAP HERE

Nearest tube: Bond Street

BOOKING TIP: ask if you can sit by a window – they have two beautiful bay window tables with luxurious red upholstered bay seats

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GLASGOW: Papercup, best breakfast & takeaway coffee

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And the Glasgow adventure continues…

On Sunday Wendy and I headed out for some breakfast before continuing on on a doggy walk with the two fury monsters. Where did we go?

Papercup

Papercup Glasgow, It's a Lifestyle  Thing

Tucked away on Great Western Road (see map link below) a short walk from the Glasgow Botanic Gardens, this coffee house would fit into London’s trendy Dalston any day of the week with it’s monochrome exterior, interior exposed walls and an unpretentious hipster vibe. It isn’t big, but if you can get yourself a table, the food is simple and delicious and coffee to die for.

Papercup Glasgow, It's a Lifestyle  Thing

Our iced coffee was served in on-trend recycled jam jars and was beautifully brewed – they roast all their sustainably sourced coffee beans in house.

As for the food – I had wholegrain sourdough toast with avocado, feta and tomatoes served in a do-it-yourself style.

Papercup Glasgow, It's a Lifestyle  Thing

Wendy went for a chai seed pudding health bowl with bananas, watermelon and strawberries.

Papercup Glasgow, It's a Lifestyle  Thing

Both were delicious and I loved making up my own mix of the toast toppings. The servings of all three where seriously generous so I could load up all my pieces of toast and still had some left over.

Papercup Glasgow, It's a Lifestyle  Thing

NB: Don’t worry, if you want a fry up, they do that too!

After we’d finished our delicious breakfast, it was dog walk time, but not before I picked myself up another coffee to takeaway – yea, it really is THAT good!

Papercup Glasgow, It's a Lifestyle  Thing

Whether you want some great food or just some seriously seriously good coffee, Papercup Glasgow is well worth a visit.

Happy Wednesday everyone!
N xxx

Papercup
603 Great Western Road
Glasgow
G12 8HX

MAP HERE (just a minute walk from the Glasgow Botanic Gardens)

Papercup Glasgow, It's a Lifestyle Thing

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Beach chic

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When it came to this River Island shirt dress, it was love at first sight.

River Island shirt dress, It's a Lifestyle Thing

You’ll remember my “How to style a shirt dress” article HERE (now all updated with my latest online favorites) and know that I love a good shirt dress mainly because they’re so versatile. You can wear the same dress everyday with a pair of trainers and then transform for a dinner/dancing date with just an accessory swap. This River Island shirt dress is not exception and does just that, as well as teaming itself up perfectly to be worn in the winter with a pair of tights and boots – WIN

As well as ticking the versatile box, this gorgeous patchwork pattern gives more personality to the River Island shirt dress but by being monochrome stops it from being to distracting.

All round? I think it’s a winner.

(Pssst! If you prefer, you can get this in a longer midi dress HERE, or if a dress is too much, how about this shirt HERE to wear with jeans or shorts?!)

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River Island shirt dress (you can get it in midi HERE or just a shirt HERE)
M&S hat (old – make your own with the selection below!)

 

 

Do you have a favorite shirt dress that you can’t get enough off? Share the link below!

Happy Friday everyone – have a fabulous weekend!
N xxx

Photos by my fabulous friend Wendy whilst visiting Scotland – see the full Travel post HERE

River Island shirt dress, It's a Lifestyle Thing

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Glasgow: Kember & Jones, best coffee & cake

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Happy Wednesday everyone!

What’s on the cards for today do you ask? Well, as the Great British Bake-off kicks starts another season tonight (UK readers, you know what I’m talking about – the rest of your summer will be filled with tv carb envy),  I thought it only fitting that I tell you about my favourite coffee & cake discovery in Glasgow – Kember & Jones.

Kember & Jones, It's a Lifestyle Thing

Now, regardless of the need to post every coffee, cake, meal or other foodie item on Instagram, I am actually a very big, and very fussy, coffee & cake consumer.

And by that I mean; I only like coffee from certain places, and I only like cake if it’s perfect (I’d give Paul Hollywood a run for his money as GBBO judge any day… but I’d get much fatter…)

In a way it’s quite good as it stops me eating cake at any opportunity, but it also makes me rather anti social at birthday parties.

Aaaaaaaaaaanyway – if you’re in Glasgow, and you want good, really good, coffee & cake, Kember & Jones is where you should head.

Kember & Jones, It's a Lifestyle ThingKember & Jones, It's a Lifestyle Thing

The inside is warm and cozy with a mezzanine seating area too.

As I was with Wendy, we had her two furry friends with us so we sat outside.

And what did we go for?

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Wendy a soya latte and me a cappuccino and, for the cake, one beatroot & chocolate and one Victoria sponge.

The coffee? Perfect.

Kember & Jones, It's a Lifestyle Thing

As for the cake…

Kember & Jones, It's a Lifestyle ThingKember & Jones, It's a Lifestyle ThingKember & Jones, It's a Lifestyle Thing

AMAZING! Lots of people think I’m boring with Victoria Sponge as my favourite cake, but for me, if you can make a flavourful, moist fresh vanilla cake, you can make anything.

The particular winner at Kember & Jones was that they use fresh cream for the sandwich (rather than butter cream which I find too sweet) and real, whole raspberries rather than raspberry jam – just too tooooo good!

The chocolate & beetroot was just as good – rich, moist and seriously chocolatey with only a slight hint of beetroot in the flavour.

Kember & Jones, It's a Lifestyle Thing

As well as coffee and cake, they have fresh salads and an incredible selection of fresh breads.

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So, if you want yourself a sweet treat at an adorable coffee house, Kember & Jones is your place.

Have a great day, and, if you’re a fan enjoy British Bake Off tonight!
N xxx

Kember & Jones
134 Byres Road
Glasgow
G12 8TD

MAP HERE

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Rémy Martin, It's a Lifestyle Thing

A dinner with Rémy Martin at 34

Rémy Martin, It's a Lifestyle Thing

When invited for a intimate one-off 3 course meal in one of London’s finest Mayfair restaurants with one of France’s finest cognacs, how could you say no?

Rémy Martin, It's a Lifestyle Thing

Last week I met up with my blogger buddy Laura (you’ll remember her from when we went a little Cava crazy last year). We were planning on having a casual catch up; just a few drinks and maybe some food in Soho. But, when Laura got the call up for a special dinner with Remy Martin, there wasn’t much persuasion needed!
Rémy Martin, It's a Lifestyle ThingRémy Martin, It's a Lifestyle Thing

For the month of November, Rémy Martin are going to be moving into a vey swanky new home in the heart of London setting up their very own private members club. It will be a place for all to go and enjoy the many delights that Rémy Martin has to offer, in a unique and exclusive setting.

The dinner was just a little teaser, to try some delicious Rémy Martin cocktails with some equally tasty food.

On arrival? We were given a refreshing Rémy Martin & soda
Rémy Martin, It's a Lifestyle Thing

Then, to start a Remy Martin Sidecar: Remy Martin, Cointreau & lemon juice (one of my favorite cocktails) – this was paired with beautiful dish of salty parma ham, fresh nectarines and gorgonzola.

The cocktail is subtle but sweet so worked beautifully with the ham and flavorful gorgonzola.Rémy Martin, It's a Lifestyle Thing Rémy Martin, It's a Lifestyle Thing

After our starters, we were served our cocktail for the main dish and had one of Rémy Martin’s chief mixologists talk us through it.Rémy Martin, It's a Lifestyle Thing

I’ll be honest, I can’t remember what it was called – but its USP? It was made with beer! Many at the dinner were unsure of this combo but, as you may remember from a review of Dirty Bones last year, I LOVE beer cocktails – they all tend to be jazzed up Shandy’s which was one of the first alcoholic drinks I was ever given when I was growing up from my parents and am still very fond of.

The reason for the beer cocktail? Our steak main course. A light cocktail was needed to compliment the steak, rather than over power or change it’s flavour.  It worked a treat – and hands up to our chef for some of the most incredible food I’ve ever eaten.

Rémy Martin, It's a Lifestyle Thing

After this, I was pretty full – but when this desert came out, I seemed to manage to squeeze in a little more :)

Rémy Martin, It's a Lifestyle Thing

Our chocolate fondant was served with straight Rémy Martin XO excellence – one of their finest blends.

The cognac was smooth and velvety, just like the desert – I mean just look at the two types of molten chocolate down there! Tooooooooo good! Rémy Martin, It's a Lifestyle Thing

After that – both Laura and I were more than stuffed! It was an incredibly indulgent evening and I look forward to more news of the Rémy Martin Members club opening.

Happy Tuesday all!

N xxx

Rémy Martin, It's a Lifestyle Thing

 

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Scotland: Camusdarach Beach

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The weather down south was pretty miserable this weekend I hear – sorry guys, I was at this gorgeous beach – and the clincher? It’s in Scotland!

Camusdarach Beach, It's a Lifestyle Thing

Say hello to Camusdarach Beach.

For those who follow my Instagram you’ll already know I was up in Glasgow at the end of last week. I decided to extend my trip to visit a little more of the city as I’d never been before, and to venture further afield into the Scottish countryside.

So, at the weekend I kidnapped my good friend Wendy and her furry friends for a little road trip… Woof!

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Camusdarach Beach is way up on the west coast of Scotland, just before you get to the Isle of Skye and was a good 4 hour drive from Glasgow.

Whilst there are other, much closer beaches to Glasgow, I had heard about the beauty of this one – some say it reminds them of Thailand?! – and saw it as an excuse to see some of the gorgeous Scottish countryside.

And wow, what incredible country side it is…

Scotland scenery, It's a Lifestyle Thing Scotland scenery, It's a Lifestyle Thing Scotland scenery, It's a Lifestyle Thing Scotland scenery, It's a Lifestyle Thing Scotland scenery, It's a Lifestyle Thing Scotland scenery, It's a Lifestyle Thing

Although a little stormy, you couldn’t stop yourself from taking in a big admiring breath. If I’d had my way we would have stopped near a hundred times for me to whip out my camera and would have never made it to Camusdarach beach before night fall!

But we did – 3hrs 54minutes and one tub of M&S chocolate crispy bites later, we took a short walk through the sand dunes…

Camusdarach Beach, It's a Lifestyle Thingand arrived to this…Camusdarach Beach, It's a Lifestyle ThingCamusdarach Beach, It's a Lifestyle ThingCamusdarach Beach, It's a Lifestyle ThingThe land you see across the sea, to the south west of the beach are islands Eigg and Rum (amazing names right?!)
Camusdarach Beach, It's a Lifestyle Thing…and the land you see in the distance here is to the north west of the beach and is the Isle of Skye (see my map at the bottom of the post for the full details)
Camusdarach Beach, It's a Lifestyle ThingCamusdarach Beach, It's a Lifestyle Thing Camusdarach Beach, It's a Lifestyle ThingCamusdarach Beach, It's a Lifestyle Thing Camusdarach Beach, It's a Lifestyle Thing

Beautiful blue skies against equally blue waters, you wouldn’t have believed we were up in Scotland unless you’d driven there yourself.  You could walk all along the beach and as the tide went out there were more alcoves exposed extending the beach a long way round.

Mr K went to explore them…

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When it comes to staying stylish on british beaches it’s all about the classics – so I was rocking a Pull & Bear denim skirt (under £25) with a vintage belt, Boden linen shirt (now on sale) and H&M panama hat.
Camusdarach Beach, It's a Lifestyle Thing Camusdarach Beach, It's a Lifestyle ThingCamusdarach Beach, It's a Lifestyle ThingDusting off those sandy knees! Camusdarach Beach, It's a Lifestyle ThingWe brought a pic-nic and some sparkling, non-alcoholic fresh pressed fruity juice – doesn’t mean you can’t pop the cork though!

Camusdarach Beach, Thankfifi, It's a Lifestyle ThingCamusdarach Beach, It's a Lifestyle ThingSwigging from the bottle – we’re classy ladies!Camusdarach Beach, It's a Lifestyle Thing

It was very fizzy!  Camusdarach Beach, It's a Lifestyle ThingWe managed to enjoy our picnic in relative peace, although this little monster decided to cover us in sand by digging up the beach in our direction – but how can you be cross at this adorable face?Camusdarach Beach, It's a Lifestyle ThingCamusdarach Beach, Thankfifi, It's a Lifestyle Thing

After finishing off the picnic we had one final stroll along the beach before heading home

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Mr K didn’t wan’t to leave, and nor did we – final obligatory selfie?

CHECK!

Camusdarach Beach, It's a Lifestyle Thing, Thankfifi

And it was back through the sand dunes and homeward bound we went!

Camusdarach Beach, It's a Lifestyle Thing Camusdarach Beach, It's a Lifestyle Thing

We left in the late afternoon and drove back through that same stunning scenery as night fell.

Just as breath taking as on the way out – it made it a truly unforgettable day out.

Happy Wednesday everyone!
N xxx
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THE DETAILS

It’s a good 4 hour drive from Glasgow, give or take depending on traffic. Whilst there is a camp site just back from the beach, there is little in the way of food after you’ve driven through Fort William (see map below) so be sure to pack a picnic and plenty of water.

We headed up just for the day – the drive is pretty straight forward in terms of directions, but there are lots windy roads so take care. If you wanted to stay for the night there are camp sights all along that bit of coast line, or a few low key hotels in Fort William and Morar. But, if it was me I would look to stay in an Airbnb or holiday rental for the night – I had a little look and there are some really gorgeous whole properties for around £90 per night (but that would be for a whole cottage with 3 bedrooms), it would just require a little bit of research.

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