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Rhode Island Travel Diary

June 25, 2018

Hi guys,

We just got back from the best trip to Rhode Island. It’s such a gorgeous part of America, we found it very relaxing and peaceful but there is loads to do as well. It has something for everyone. Below are all the details of the trip including how we got there, what we got up to, where we stayed and what we ate. If you have any more questions just let me know, I’m happy to help 🙂

How we got there:

It’s super easy to get to Ireland to Rhode Island. We flew with Norwegian Airlines direct from Dublin to Providence, Rhode Island – but they also fly direct from Belfast, Cork and Shannon as well. This was my second time flying to the US with Norwegian and I honestly have nothing but good things to say about the experience. You can read about my first trip to New York with them here. They are a low-cost airline which means you can get tickets to the US for as little as €250 sometimes! This price doesn’t include meals or additional luggage but you can pay for these after if you need them. I also recommend to come prepared, as there is no in-flight entertainment make sure you have a book to read or a movie downloaded on Netflix. Bring water and snacks and a neck pillow if you’ll need it (I never travel without mine anymore!) We did add on a ‘Nice & Tasty’ meal to our tickets and it was delicious. I got Chicken and Gerard got Beef and it came with a little pasta appetizer and a dessert as well. Our meal voucher also included two drinks each. Providence T.F. Green airport is 15 mins from the city so it’s really convenient and easy to get to!

What we got up to: 

We split our time between 4 main places in Rhode Island: Providence, Newport, Narragansett and Block Island.

Providence:

  • Get a gondola down the river
  • Go for drinks at the Rooftop bar at Providence G hotel
  • Visit Federal Hill and enjoy some amazing Italian food
  • Explore the RISD (Rhode Island School of Design) Museum
  • Visit the Roger Williams Park & Zoo
  • Stop by the famous Brown University (the smallest of the 7 Ivy League Schools in America)

 

Narragansett:

  • Visit the Ocean House in Watch Hill – one of few 15 star hotels in the world this place is definitely worth a visit. It’s stunning! You can take food, wine and art classes here which is fun and if you’re lucky enough to stay there OMG you will just be in heaven. It’s just down the road from Taylor Swifts $17 million dollar mansion as well.

Block Island

  • You can get the ferry out here from Galilee. There is an express ferry which takes 30 mins and a slower one that takes about an hour.
  • We rented bikes as soon as we arrived to the Island and cycled around the whole island. We visited the Nature reserve there (where there is seals – cute!), the two lighthouses, and my favourite thing we saw was the Bluff’s. The views were incredible. It was worth the 3 hours of cycling.

Newport

  • First and foremost you have to visit the mansions of Newport – they are just out of this world! We visited The Breakers and it’s honestly like nothing I’ve ever seen before. It is more extravagant than some castles I’ve seen. Rosecliff and Marble House are two other mansions that are quite popular to visit.
  • Drive down Ocean Drive and just stop and stare at the houses! John F Kennedy and Eisenhower both had houses here and the history of the area is so impressive.
  • Walk the Cliff Walk – its 3.7 miles long and stretches right along the coast overlooking the back gardens of some of Newport’s most famous mansions. Let’s just say there is not much chance of you getting bored on a walk like this.
  • If you are interested in Tennis you should stopby the International Tennis Hall of Fame – we passed it and it looks beautiful but unfortunately we didn’t get time to go in.
  • Go sailing with 12 Meter Charters – Newport is the sailing capital of the world so it would be a shame to visit and not get out on the water.
  • Head to neighbouring Middletown for a wine tasting at the Newport Vineyards – we didn’t get a chance to do that this time so we’ll just have to go back 🙂

How we got around: 

We rented a car from Hertz when we arrived at T.F. Green Airport. We saw the forecast for the week and decided to go for a convertible car. We got a Chervolet Camaro and it was amazing. It was great having the freedom to drive ourselves around and we found Hertz brilliant to deal with, great insurance deals and not too expensive 🙂

Where we stayed:

We did a lot of hotel hopping on this trip as we wanted to see as many places as possible:

Providence:

Narragansett:

  • The Break, Narragansett – such a cute beach-side hotel with heated pool, rooftop lounge and gorgeous modern rooms. It’s a small hotel so the atmosphere was just lovely. We wanted to come back and stay another night here but it was booked out. The owner Jimmy was so friendly and helpful.

Newport:

  • Newport Marriott – the interiors of this hotel, I just couldn’t get over how nice it was. Our room felt like we were on a really . modern, comfortable and clean ship. We had a gorgeous view overlooking the harbour as well. This hotel was 10/10.

  • Gurneys Newport Resort and Marina – the grounds of this hotel made it for me – the outdoor pool, the hammocks, the lighthouse and the firepits. It’s very pretty and romantic and almost every room has a gorgeous view!

Where we ate:

Providence:

  • We ate in New Rivers for dinner – it was American Cuisine, but in a tapas style. Very romantic and the food was so tasty!
  • We had breakfast at Café Dolce Vita in Federal Hill – a typically delicious American-style breakfast

Narragansett:

  • Head to the Matunuck Oyster Bar and enjoy some of the most famous seafood in America. You can actually watch the Oysters being farmed there while you eat too – it’s pretty cool! The calimari and bread are to die for as well.
  • Chair 5 in our hotel (The Break) did a delicious meal for us that night. We had Oysters for breakfast, lunch and dinner that day!

Block Island: 

  • Ballards is a really fun beach bar, you can get food in the restaurant then go to the beach, get a lounger and enjoy some drinks. They have live music nearly everyday and it’s just a really fun vibe!

Newport:

  • We had dinner in The Chanler at Cliff Walk which over looks the beach and cliff walk. It was expensive to eat in the fine dining restaurant, but they have a more casual restaurant too depending on what you’d fancy.
  • We had lunch at the Castle Hill inn, and I couldn’t recommend this place more. It’s such a gorgeous set up and the food was incredible. Definitely get the calimari and pork belly to start. We had fresh salads for lunch and they were lovely too.
  • If you are craving some delicious italian definitely check out Scarpetta in Gurney’s – I got lobster pasta mmmm. 

Ok so that’s everything I can think of. That should definitely keep you busy if you are planning a trip to Rhode Island. We loved every second, and every place we visited. It’s somewhere I’ll definitely have to go back to again. Next time we might rent a house and take it at a slower pace, but the world is literally your oyster when you visit Rhode Island – you can make it whatever kind of holiday you want it to be.

I’ll be back later in the week with a blog post on all my outfits I wore on the trip,

And my vlog should be up tomorrow too 🙂

Lou x

*Big thanks to Norwegian for partnering with me on this post and to the Rhode Island tourist board for inviting me on this incredible trip!

 

Fashion, Travel

Cinque Terre with Next

June 14, 2018

Hi guys,

I’m writing this in the airport after the most amazing trip to Cinque Terre with NEXT. Cinque Terre had been on my list forever, so you can imagine how excited I was when NEXT asked me to go along on a press trip with other Irish and UK bloggers. It was the nicest group, which made the experience just one of the best press trips I’ve ever been on.

One thing that I think is really important to know before you go is that Cinque Terre is the name of the region, not a particular place. There are 5 villages along the coast that are considered Cinque Terre.

The roads in this region aren’t the best so most people travel by train and by boat. We flew from London Heathrow into Pisa, from there we got a train to Pisa Central Station and then an intercity train up to Monterosso. The trains are very inexpensive I think they were about €15 per person. It took about 2 and a half/3 hours in total.

The 5 villages in the region are: Monterosso al MareVernazzaCornigliaManarola, and Riomaggiore. We stayed in Monterosso in Hotel Margherita, it was modern, clean and central which was amazing. In terms of that famous Cinque Terre view, Riomaggiore and Manarola have the most famous viewing points. Vernazza Castle (Castello Doria) also had a good view of the colourful houses below – we visited here on our last night.

Where we ate?

First of all, prepare to eat a lot of seafood if you’re visiting, as it’s beside the sea everything is super fresh and tasty!

On our first night we ate dinner in Miky in Monterosso – a fine-dining seafood restaurant. We had a 7 course tasting menu – it was supposed to be 8 courses, but we literally couldn’t eat another course because we were so full haha… always a good sign.

On the second day we cooked our own lunch at the Cinque Terre Cooking school. It was my first ever cooking class and we learned to make sweet bread, stuffed veg, pesto, gnocchi and seabass. It was such a fun, cool experience! I would definitely recommend doing this if you plan on visiting.

That evening we got the train to Vernazza for a gorgeous meal over looking the sea at Ristorante Belforte Vernazza. The views are to die for.

On our last day we finished up by having lunch in Restaurant Hotel Porto Roca which has the most amazing view overlooking Monterosso. Continue Reading…

Travel

LA & Coachella Travel Diary

May 2, 2018

Hi guys,

Where do I even start with this trip? It honestly was the trip of a lifetime, with what felt like the longest build up to a holiday ever! 

I’m so sorry for the delay in getting this post up. There was just so much to it, I kept putting it on the long finger haha! I know lots of you had questions about Coachella and some had questions about LA so I’ll try and cover everything. But don’t be afraid to message me if I’ve missed something and I’ll do my best to help.

First up – Coachella:

Coachella had been in the planning since November last year when we booked our hotel – it was 6 months in the works. I’ve wanted to go for years and was determined this year it was going to happen. I couldn’t hack one more year of looking at the photos and not being there haha! Continue Reading…

Fashion, Travel

My Coachella Outfits

April 24, 2018

Hi guys,

Coachella is over almost a week and a half now (where has the time gone!) – I’m only back from LA a few days but I just realised I never did a post on my Coachella outfits.

I began brainstorming, researching and shopping for outfits in January. The fashion at Coachella is nearly just as important as the music. I wanted to be true to my own style while also having fun with what I wore and taking a few risks.

On the first day I wore all black with a vintage embellished Moschino waistcoat that I bought on ASOS Marketplace. I turned a kimono into a skirt with the help of the ZipYard and wore a high waisted Nastygal swimsuit underneath (which the desert heat allowed for).

On the second day I went for a more boho, colourful vibe wearing a cropped co-ord by the California brand Blue Life with a Versace headscarf. Continue Reading…

Travel

24 hours in Amsterdam

April 3, 2018

Hi guys,

Following on from my quick trip to Amsterdam last week with Heineken I thought I would share some of the things we got up to in our 24 hours there (we did a LOT!). I know Amsterdam is a very popular destination for Irish people, I’ve actually been there twice before – once on a day trip from Brussels, and once for the weekend with Gerard, so I thought it would be a good time to summarise some good things to do if you plan on visiting.

What we did

  • Heineken Experience Museum – this is definitely worth a visit. It’s really modern and interesting and the best part of all is you get tokens for 2 drinks at the end 🙂
  • Canal Boat Tour – we did the Heinken boat tour, which you add on to your ticket for the museum to get a good price (€29 for both). It’s such a nice, relaxing way to see the city.
  • A’DAM Lookout – this is where the famous swinging chairs are – it also doubled up as our hotel which was very handy. It’s really modern and has a fab bar overlooking the city as well.
  • Mike’s Bike Tours – we did a 30/40 min tour in the evening, just as the sun was setting and it was my favourite part of the day. Cycling is the best way to explore the city, and it was nice to have a guide show us different things around the city like famous bridges and the city’s only windmill. Cycling is also quite intense over there so it was good to have a local to help us navigate on the busy roads.

Continue Reading…