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COVID Travel Diaries: 3 days in Italy, Rome

Italy Rome for 3 days.

Italy is and has always been a beautiful country to visit. There are so many places to view, such as Florence, Rome, Milan, Bologna and many more places to experience and fall in love with. Despite the scares of travelling during COVID19. I was lucky to have a quick escape and travel to Italy, Rome last year (2020). This of course was all for a quick weekend birthday get away with Tiaontour hosted trip – girlswrldtour. And it was fabulous!!!

I agreed to go to Italy because it was one of the countries on the travel corridors list, which at the time simply meant you wouldn’t have to quarantine when you were there and when you returned to the UK……

Rome is the capital city and a special commune of Italy, it has so much character and beauty including sites such as the Spanish Steps, the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Trevi Fountain, and how can I forget the FOOD! Pizza, Pasta and more Pizza! It was a very much needed holiday after several countries that had been planned where cancelled last year (Jamaica and Jordan) due to the COVID situation.

Can you stay in Rome, Italy for 3 days?

The simple answer is yes. (par the lockdown/pandemic situation) You can easily stay and see Rome, Italy in 3 days. Your time will of course be tight, but there is a lot to see, and if you carry on reading, you will find out what I got up too. Of course, you may not be able to do everything I did, but you can certainly pick and choose what you would like to do – when COVID permits!

Day one of 3 in Rome Italy… Arrival

I arrived in Rome in the late evening, there was some delays with the trains. Due to COVID, trains were not running like they usually do. I arrived at the Giolli Nazionale Hotel. The hotel is very central to the main tourists sites!

The idea was to freshen up and head out to Zuma Restaurant. Instead, I was surprised by Tia and the girls with balloons and a Birthday sing-song! Awwwww! It was great! I wasn’t expecting a birthday surprise and just didn’t know how to react!

3 in Rome Italy

After this we freshened up and as requested dressed in our earth tone** outfits and headed out to the lovely Japanese restaurant.

The dinner was lovely. I had the maiale iberico con yuzu e salsa al tartufo which was absolutely spectacular. We spent time getting to know each other with some dining games led by Channmariee and then headed back to the hotel for a night of rest.

Please note: Some countries are strict on the type of facemasks you use when travelling to their country. For Italy, it was required to wear a medical facemask.

Day two of 3 in Rome Italy… Saturnia Hot Springs

3 days in Italy Rome

It was an early start! As we were heading to the famous Saturnia Hot Springs. The Saturnia Hot Springs is a great way to get away from Rome for a day and explore Tuscany and the Maremma. We left Rome just after 6 am and arrived there just after 10 am.

You would have thought that the place would have been empty! But no! It was completely packed! I still managed to get a few nice pictures – I think so anyway! We spent a few hours at the hot springs, grabbed some lunch in Maremma and headed back to Rome for a cooking class!!

Please note: The Saturina Hot Springs is free entry and is totally worth going for the experience.

This was my very first ever cooking class and it was great! It took us a while to get there! We found the class on Airbnb experiences. The class started with some wine tasting (both red and white). We then proceeded to make some pasta from the stretch. I was quite impressed with how quick and easy it was to make – it just needed a lot of kneeling! I added a tomato-based sauce to my pasta and finished that with some cheese and white wine… Buon appetito!

The night was supposed to end with a party (girls night in) to celebrate my birthday! But we were of course shattered from the very early rise and was summoned to my bed!

Day three of 3 in Rome, Italy… Birthday!

Today was the birthday girls birthday! yeah me! so I was mega excited! It required another early start (7.30 AM)!! to explore the famous sites of Rome, Italy! We had a quick bite to eat for breakfast and then first headed to the Trevi Fountain. We were lucky to have stayed in a hotel that was located so central because the fountain was within walking distance!

Trevi Fountain

Then we headed out to the famous Colosseum to explore some more. Along the way, we continued to take the best shots. Check out some more shots below. We then headed back to the hotel to order an Uber for the Vatican City, which was an experience indeed. We arrived just before the mass service, which to my delight was delivered by the Pope himself. I must say this was lovely for me on my birthday!

Our final stop was grabbing some lunch at a local restaurant close to the Vatican City before heading back to the hotel and catching my flight!

Must things to do in Italy, Rome for 3 days:

  • Saturnia Hot Springs
  • Italian Cooking Class
  • Trevi Fountain
  • Colosseum
  • Vatican City
  • Spanish Steps
  • Pincio Hill

I always say that you must celebrate your birthday abroad! Lucky for me I was able to do so as I know many people are not able to do so! Hope you are able to save this post to at some point visit Rome, Italy!

In the meantime, have you been to Rome, Italy? How long were you there for and what did you get up too?

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How to Travel During a Pandemic

Travel during a pandemic….

It has certainly been a very weird travel year for all of us. Like many others, 2020 was a year that many people had plans. Plans that many were unable to meet. As a travel blogger, I had many plans to explore the world. I had plans to travel to Bulgaria (to ski, which I did!), Jamacia (first time to go to the Caribbean), Italy (birthday plans – which I did happen and I’m yet to write about), Nigeria (still waiting for the Nigerian embassy to open), and Jordan. I know I would have done many other days trips around Europe but sadly like you, and many others around the world I wasn’t able to travel and see the world as I would’ve hoped.

This year, I have to admit that I’m quite hesitant to travel the world during a pandemic. Not only is the UK in their third lockdown, but there also seems to be a general scare or ‘travel bashing’ if anyone is seen travelling. I mean have you seen the reality stars that have travelled to Dubai for work?!

Anyone travelling during a pandemic is getting it. Particularly those travelling from the UK! I get it. The UK is experiencing this quite badly, especially compared to other countries in the world. However, I do want us to be prepared to travel once we do leave the lockdown so I have written a few steps on what can help…

A new way of travelling….

Travel during a pandemic

I think it’s obvious to say that travelling during a pandemic will be extremely different from what we once knew travelling to be. If you managed to travel last year in 2020, you will already know some of the points I’m about to make. Heck! You may even have some points to share. If you do, please be kind enough to share with us all!

Check your government travel advisory

Before you even begin to start travelling and planning your trip, check the status of your government travel advisory, and follow its advice. I know many are still doing their own thing when it comes to travel, but be careful! Things are changing every second of the day and I literally mean it when I say every second! Even if the status of a country is deemed to be “safe to travel” doesn’t mean it can’t change in a second!

Depending on where you’re returning from, your government may require you to quarantine on arrival. Again it may not be the case now, but as things are changing so rapidly I wouldn’t say don’t think it can change! So, if you cannot run the risk of extra costs. I would suggest staying at home for now.

You will certainly need to consider taking a COVID test….

I think this is a given. While many of us are waiting to receive a vaccination. We must understand that taking a test is essential to travel not only for your safety but for others around the world. Travelling while testing positive can only cause more and more lockdowns and worsen the pandemic.

Getting yourself tested for some countries is essential before you travel. I have heard some people have been denied at the border due to not obeying laws. Take a test and provide the evidence so you know you can travel with peace of mind. In the UK it is fairly easy to find a testing centre.

Consider Insurance when you are ready travel during a pandemic

This is more important than ever. Get insurance. I know some people in the past have played around with this but this is no longer a joke. Travelling is no longer just an escape it’s a danger zone that you enter at your own risk. Get a travel insurance quote from a Worldwide Insurance company. Not an unknown company. Be willing to spend for your own safety.

Go to countries that have the lowest numbers

Unlike the UK, many countries have been relatively unscathed by the COVID19 pandemic, at least for now. If a destination has few cases or a low death rate, the risk of catching the virus while there is hopefully quite low.

Whatever you do when travelling be mindful to avoid crowds. Consider activities like hiking and maybe camping (not really my thing but hey). Avoid eating out in busy restaurants, clubbing, bars, concerts and night clubs.

Cover up and hold a hygiene bag….

Please consider covering up and protecting yourself. When I did Italy for my birthday last year I carried a little hygiene bag. It had:

Travel during a pandemic

You may even want to carry your COVID19 test with you here. Taking the right precautions when travelling or deciding to travel during a pandemic can really help you have a much smoother travel experience.

Taking the right steps and measures to cover yourself are essential for your travels. It will help you make sure that you enjoy your trip. I hope the tips I’ve shared above are helpful and please please do share if you have any in the comments below.

See you soon.

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Review: Afternoon Tea & City Cruise in London

Who doesn’t love afternoon tea with a city cruise?

I recently was invited to afternoon tea with City Cruise, and it was a real delight! I’m about to tell you all about it! Keep on reading!

Things to note:

  • The address is Tower Millennium Pier, Lower Thames St, London EC3N 4DT.
  • Tickets can vary depending on the package you decide to choose.
  • The Tower Pier is close to Tower Hill underground station, Tower Gateway DLR station, and London Bridge train station is not far off.  
  • Sightseeing cruises depart every 30 to 40 minutes from piers at Westminster, London Eye, Tower and Greenwich.
  • They only operate to Greenwich on Saturdays and Sundays. Our mid-week service will operate Westminster, London Eye and Tower only. Please check our timetable for departure times. 
  • For more information check out the  City Cruises website.

Review: Afternoon Tea & City Cruise in London

Afternoon Tea 

I was looking forward to afternoon tea because eating is always one of my favourite things to do. Tea and Coffee were severed almost immediately. We were then served an array of freshly-prepared sandwiches (chicken, smoked salmon, egg and ploughman). It also came with macaroons (my absolute fave) mini pastries and scones with clotted cream and jam. Yummy!

afternoon tea with City Cruise
Afternoon tea with Prosecco

We had options of endless tea, coffee and water. My friend encouraged me to get prosecco so paid extra and ordered us a glass of prosecco each which went down a treat. It also looked great taking a picture with – haha. 

The Cruise 

I met with a good friend of mine at 2.45 pm so we could be early enough to find where we needed to board. The pier is close to Tower Bridge, so it was only about 15 mins walk from London Bridge station. We departed at 3.30 pm on the dot (they start boarding at 3.15 pm). While moving the cruise gave snippets of informative sightseeing commentary about London and its monuments. 

cruise in london
City Cruises

You are shown to your table, please note tables are fixed with each table.  The cruise was set up to comply with social distancing measures. It had tables that set apart the guests and all staff wore face coverings to ensure safety.  

The cruise went on for a good time at 1.5 hours where we saw some of the city’s most historic buildings – The London Eye, the Shard, Tower Pier near the Tower of London, Shakespeare’s Globe, Houses of Parliament and much more. 

London eye
London Eye

Once we finished our food and prosecco, we decided to go outside and have a look. It was stunning to see so many more iconic buildings in London. London is very pretty when it’s warm.

Final thoughts….

For one standing seat the cruise with afternoon tea it costs £37 per person. They have other packages you can also enjoy. You can enjoy lunch, dinner and much more. Check out the  City Cruises website for more information. 

I will certainly be going on this cruise again. It would great for a friends birthday, date night or even solo. I felt at ease on the sea, and I would encourage all of you to try it out at least once. 

Do you think you would ever go on a cruise?

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#CookingTravelTalks: How to Make Arepas with Black Beans and Mango Salsa

#CookingTravelTalks is back again and today I relive the moment where Eulanda @dipyourtoesin transported us to Latin America with Arepas, Black Beans and Mango Salsa! It tasted divine!

What are Arepas?

Arepas is a type of food made of ground maize dough. It is known to originate from Northern regions of South America and is a notable cuisine of Colombia and Venezuela. The arepa is a flat, round dough that is patted to make into a sandwich-style food. It is completed with various types fillings including meat, chicken, cheese, salad etc. You can try it with anything! I learnt that you can also add beetroot into the arepas!

In this particular live show, we enjoyed arepas which were vegan/vegetarian and gluten-friendly with plantain, black beans and mango salsa!

Below you will find the ingredients:

#CookingTravelTalks: How to Make Arepas with Black Beans and Mango Salsa

Makes 3-4 Servings | Cooking Time: 1 hour

  • Maize or cornmeal (fine ground polenta is fine)
  • Water
  • 1 Plantain
  • Oil for frying
  • 1 can of black beans
  • Chilli flakes
  • Garlic powder or 2 cloves of garlic to mince
  • Sea salt
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1 mango (can get pre-cut kind)
  • 1/2 green bell pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 purple onion
  • Fresh coriander
  • Tahini or yoghurt to drizzle (optional)

How to make Arepas with Black Beans and Mango Salsa #CookingTravelTalks?

Want to know how to make Arepas with Black Beans and Mango Salsa? Follow the video below. If you do make this delicious dish – then please tag me @mybreakingviews and use the #CookingTravelTalk. I will of course share on my socials!

After that live I will certainly be visiting Latin America to taste and experience more of the continent!

Thank you for joining me. I will be sharing all my #CookingTravelTalks episodes on my blog so stay tuned!

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#CookingTravelTalks: How to Make Nasi Goreng

#CookingTravelTalks has taken quite a turn and I was very fortunate for my friend to transport me to Singapore and show me how to make Nasi Goreng. We were also able to learn about living in Singapore as a local and ask questions while cooking.

Chilli Crab, Chicken Rice, Stingray and Nasi Goreng are some of my absolute faves! I absolutely adore Singaporean food! Singaporean food is known to influenced by Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and China and to some extent, India. It is known for its leafy green vegetables, chilled fish and variations of meat.

What is Nasi Goreng?

“Nasi Goreng” simply means fried rice in Malay and is a staple in many Asian households, from the Chinese, Japanese and Koreans in the North East to the Malaysians, Singaporeans and Indonesians further South of Asia.

When did I first have Nasi Goreng?

I would say I first had Nasi Goreng at my dear friends Fathin of @fathinungku invited me to her mother’s restaurant in Malaysia. I was lost in the richness of different flavours.

The ingredients:

nasi goreng cooking travel talks
Ingredients of Nasi Goreng (pin)
Makes 3-4 Servings | Cooking Time: 1 hour
  • 250g Jasmine Rice (cooked the day before)
  • Red onions (about half a red onion) or shallots
  • 4 Eggs
  • Coriander
  • Asian Birds Eye Chilli
  • Fish Sauce
  • Soya Sauce
  • Oyster Sauce
  • Salt
  • Pepper

You can make the dish with almost anything left in your fridge, I made mine with chicken, but you can also make it without like Fathin did!

How to make Nasi Goreng #CookingTravelTalks?

Want to know how to make Nasi Goreng? Follow the video below. If you do get to make it – don’t forget to tag me @mybreakingviews and use the #CookingTravelTalk.

Thank you for joining me. I will be sharing all my #CookingTravelTalks episodes on here so stay tuned!

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7 Reusable Face Coverings You Should Consider Buying

Face coverings have become part of our ‘new norm’. We’ve had to wear them on public transport and many people have made it compulsory wear when out and about. Well, now it will be mandatory for face coverings to worn when out in the open at all times.

What has changed?

As of yesterday (24 July), Britain enforced the law that face coverings must be worn when in supermarkets, banks, shops etc. The law has come as a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus. Police also have powers to give out £100 fines to people that fail to comply with the new law! 

If you don’t have a face-covering don’t sweat I have you covered! 

I thought it would be a good idea to share a few brands that sale face coverings online. I myself will be purchasing from one of these companies because your girl needs to look better in the streets! Get this through, they are **Black-owned!!

face covering
My Plain Face- Covering
Please note: I have not yet purchased any of these face coverings, for my own use. 

1.Osula Design

Osula Designs proceeds from the face coverings have gone to a charity to support people with disability in Nigeria! 

2.Afri.masks 

Made in Nigeria. These face coverings are environment-friendly, comfortable and washable for all occasions.

3. Kiwi and Yam 

Kiwi&Yam is an urban street-wear brand that aims to embody multicultural Britain and youth rebellion.

4.OmogeUK

https://www.instagram.com/p/CBPubfVpUMZ/

Omoge UK provides quality African inspired clothing at an affordable price. All of their print materials are ethically sourced and hand-made in the UK.

5. Shamioshun

View this post on Instagram

Nude in all shades available now ?

A post shared by SHAMI OSHUN™️ (@shamioshun) on

Shami Oshun is a fashion designer based in California built her brand in 2015 to provide unique and timeless designs to the world. 

6. Girl Number 9

7. Mazura Studios

Mazura Studios is working towards becoming your ‘go-to’ for Clothing and Lifestyle essentials!

I would like give a special thanks to Cece of Ce_snaps for advising me to write on this.

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