48 Hours in Whitstable: Oysters, Art, and the Allure of the Sea

48 Hours in Whitstable: Oysters, Art, and the Allure of the Sea

What can we say, it’s worth spending 48 hours in Whitstable, Kent! :)

Stepping off the train, we were greeted by the radiant sun shining over Whitstable, a picturesque seaside town on the coast of Kent in Southern England. We had been here once before, and it was so nice to be able to return! Just an hour’s train ride from London, we were eager to dive back into the wonders of this renowned fishing town, adorned with pastel-coloured fishing cottages, expansive pebbled beaches, and an array of quirky shops.

Every corner of Whitstable whispered tales of its rich maritime heritage, a legacy that stretches back to Roman times.

Take a look:

 

The Oyster Experience

The town’s pride in its oyster farming is palpable, and we learned of the annual Whitstable Oyster Festival, a grand celebration complete with parades, performances, and, naturally, oyster-eating competitions. Tasting the famed Whitstable oysters was the crowning jewel. The taste was a harmonious blend of saline, a touch of saltiness, complemented by a creamy sweetness. One was simply not enough.

 

Artistic Flair and Coastal Pubs

Our stroll down Harbour Street was nothing short of enchanting. The street, alive with energy, was a tapestry of quirky boutiques, unique shops, and a delightful mix of colourful weatherboard houses, historic edifices, and charming cottages. Our exploration led us to the intriguing street art by Catman, Whitstable’s answer to Banksy. For those in search of a unique coastal pub experience, “Neppies” or Old Neptunes is the place to be.

 

A Culinary Finale

As our 48 hours neared its end, we decided to indulge in the town’s best fish and chips at Ossie’s. The generous servings and the golden, flaky fish were the perfect culmination to our Whitstable adventure. Sitting on the beach, watching the sun dip below the horizon and the waves gently caress the shore, we reflected on our time in Whitstable.

 

A town that seamlessly marries its rich history with modern allure. If the Kent Coast is on your radar, Whitstable is a must-visit. A town that’s not just picturesque but also dog-friendly. And remember, the oysters are a must-try!

 

 

Best Beaches in Ibiza + Unforgettable Boat Tours: A 2024 Guide

Best Beaches in Ibiza + Unforgettable Boat Tours: A 2024 Guide

Ibiza, an island renowned for its vibrant nightlife, stunning beaches, and rich history, has always been a top destination for travellers. But there’s a unique way to experience the island’s magic that many might overlook: boat tours. We recently embarked on such a journey, and our experience was nothing short of magical.

 

Setting Sail in Ibiza

The moment we set sail, the atmosphere was electric. The Mediterranean’s crystal-clear waters stretched endlessly, with the sun casting a shimmering trail across the waves. The boat was filled with an enthusiastic crowd, all eager to experience Ibiza’s magic. Laughter, dancing, and the clinking of glasses set the tone for the day.

One of the boat’s standout features was a slide that plunged directly into the refreshing waters of the Mediterranean. Imagine the thrill of diving into the sapphire sea right off the deck of a party boat. It’s an experience that’s hard to replicate.
 

Discovering Hidden Gems

The boat tour wasn’t just about partying and enjoying the sea. It was also an opportunity to explore parts of the island that aren’t easily accessible by land. The stunning rock formations, hidden coves, and pristine beaches were a sight to behold.

One of the highlights of our journey was a visit to Cala Bassa Beach. Known for its luxe beach clubs, outstanding DJs, cozy sunbeds, and top-notch restaurants, Cala Bassa is a must-visit. The beach’s atmosphere was described as vibrant, fun, and electric. It’s a place that truly needs to be seen to be believed.

During our time at Cala Bassa, I had a chance to chat with a German lady who visits Ibiza every season for work. We both agreed that the island’s magic is undeniable. The beach, with its golden sands and azure waters, was a testament to Ibiza’s natural beauty.

 

A Day to Remember

The boat cruise lasted for about five to six hours, covering some of the most popular beaches around Ibiza. It’s the best way to see the island! The experience was enhanced by the company of new friends, all excited to explore Ibiza’s hidden treasures. And of course, topped off by the magical Ibiza sunset.

For anyone planning a trip to Ibiza, we have this important piece of advice: don’t miss out on a boat cruise. It offers a unique perspective of the island, allowing travellers to discover spots you wouldn’t necessarily see otherwise.

Ibiza is more than just parties and nightlife. It’s an island filled with natural wonders, hidden gems, and unforgettable experiences. A boat tour is a perfect way to immerse oneself in its magic. So, the next time you find yourself in Ibiza, set sail and let the island’s beauty captivate you.
 
 

5 great reasons to work from Kalamata in Greece as a digital nomad

5 great reasons to work from Kalamata in Greece as a digital nomad

If you have been considering a new setting for your remote office, here’s why you should look no further than to work from Kalamata in Greece as a digital nomad! With its vibrant atmosphere, excellent amenities, and commitment to sustainability, Kalamata is ideal for digital nomads. After visiting recently and having a new-found interest in remote working ourselves, Cooper and I started imagining what it would be to like to live and work here. Following are are five of our insights as to why you should consider working from Kalamata as a digital nomad.

 

Kalamata, Greece

This wonderful spot is the economic, commercial and cultural centre of South Peloponnese in Greece. It is the capital city of the Messinia region and serves 100,000 people every day. Kalamata is a modern all-year round bustling destination with a rich history and a multitude of attractions. Nestled at the apex of the Messinian Bay, it is known for its stunning coastline, lush mountains, and delicious local produce.

Why work from Kalamata in Greece as a digital nomad?

Kalamata is renowned for its Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. This creates a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. You can enjoy hiking, swimming, or simply relaxing on the beautiful beaches. Kalamata’s beach, a long stretch of sand and pebbles, is one of the city’s main attractions. It is frequently awarded the Blue Flag for its cleanliness and the quality of its facilities.

The cityscape is a fascinating blend of old and new, where contemporary architecture coexists with historic buildings. The Old Town of Kalamata, situated at the foot of the Kalathi Mountain, is a must-visit area. Its narrow alleys, traditional houses, Byzantine churches, and the imposing Kalamata Castle, offer a trip back in time. The modern city, on the other hand, is vibrant and lively, brimming with shops, cafes, and eateries.

Culture and history

Kalamata is also a city of culture, hosting a variety of events throughout the year. It is home to the International Dance Festival, which is held every summer and attracts performers from all over the world. The city also houses a range of museums. These include the excellent Archaeological Museum of Messinia and the Folklore and History Museum.

Find out more about all that’s on offer in Kalamata. Visit the Municipality of Kalamata’s website here. Start by browsing the ‘visitors’ section.

Kalamata’s famous foodie delights!

Kalamata is known worldwide for its olives and olive oil. This produce is considered some of the best in the world. We would agree – especially after having the chance to attend the city’s annual Food Stories event (pictured below)!

The local cuisine is a gastronomic delight. Traditional tavernas serve a multitude of dishes made from fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. Food lovers will particularly enjoy the local markets on every Wednesday to Saturday. Score deals on the famed Kalamata olives, local honey, figs, and the region’s renowned wines.

Kalamata is a city that charms its visitors with its diverse offerings. These include beautiful natural scenery and vibrant lifestyle, rich history and cultural heritage. And let’s not forget its delectable local cuisine. Whether you are a history buff, a nature lover, a foodie, or a culture enthusiast, Kalamata has something for everyone.

 

5 great reasons to work remotely from Kalamata in Greece

Which brings me back to why you might want to work from Kalamata in Greece as a digital nomad! Obviously before planning to move here to live and work, you need to check your eligibility. If you’re not being sponsored to move, you may be eligible for a digital nomad visa in Greece. Here’s more info on that.

Our five picks for why this is a secret gem on the digital nomad map:

Awesome lifestyle opportunities in Kalamata for digital nomads

Kalamata offers an amazing quality of life – great weather and a lively atmosphere year-round. The cost of living is reasonable, making it easy for digital nomads to enjoy the many attractions and activities here. Whether you prefer spending your days lounging on the beach, hiking in the nearby Taygetos Mountains, or exploring the bustling city centre, Kalamata has something for everyone.

 

Terrific remote working amenities

Kalamata is well-equipped for digital nomads, offering top-notch remote working facilities, such as the fantastic co-working space Phaos ΚΟΙΝΣΕΠ (House by Phaos). The city is continuously investing in its internet and infrastructure, ensuring that you’ll always be connected and able to work efficiently. With reliable Wi-Fi and plenty of cafes and public spaces to work from, you’ll find it easy to stay productive in Kalamata.

The Work From Kalamata website is quite new too. Browse it here for more information about working remotely in this region.

 

Sustainable focus

This wonderful place is committed to environmental sustainability. Its people and leaders are passionate about taking care of their own backyard. The municipality is actively involved in European initiatives to make a real impact on the environment. Kalamata is one of the European Commission’s 100 ‘smart cities’ across the EU that have committed commit to a goal of climate-neutrality by 2030.

By choosing Kalamata as your remote work location, you’ll be supporting a community that is taking active steps towards a greener future.

Getting around in Kalamata, Greece

Navigating Kalamata is a breeze, as the city is compact and easily walkable or cyclable. If you prefer public transportation, the city’s bus system is efficient and regular, making it simple to get around. Need to travel further? There’s a quick bus to Athens (pictured below) that runs along a new highway, getting you to the capital in under three hours. And with an international airport located in Kalamata, exploring the rest of Greece or Europe is just a flight away.

 

History and culture – what can a digital nomad immerse in while living in Kalamata?

Kalamata is rich in history and culture, offering an abundance of attractions for you to explore during your downtime. Discover thousands of years of history as you visit ancient ruins, historic castles, and archaeological sites. The local food and wine scene is also incredible, with an emphasis on fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Immerse yourself in Greek culture and cuisine while you work remotely in this stunning city.

 

Kalamata offers an unparalleled experience for digital nomads, combining a fantastic lifestyle, excellent remote working amenities, and a commitment to sustainability. With easy access to both the city’s attractions and the rest of Greece, Kalamata is the perfect destination for those seeking a unique and fulfilling remote work experience.

Got questions or comments? Let us know in the space below or get in touch on social media :)

 

Top 5: Where to stay in Malta

Top 5: Where to stay in Malta

Malta is an incredible place which offers a lot to practically anyone who wants to stay. But what do you need to think about when it comes to where to stay in Malta? There’s a variety of choices across a wide space, so the choice might be tricky. Luckily there are some absolutely incredible parts of Malta to stay and any one of them can be a great choice for you. Let’s take a look at five of the best places to stay in Malta to help you decide.

Malta or Gozo - where is the best place to stay

 

Our top 5 picks: where to stay in Malta

Mellieħa Bay

The first place that we want to take a look at is Mellieħa Bay. This is a very relaxed locale with beautiful scenery and a palpable sense of chill. Beaches, coastal areas and modern accommodation and dining all await the guests of this choice. I’d recommend it for people who want to have a very chilled out and relaxing holiday, because it’s really something special.

Recommended:

For just a few euro, we spent the day lazing about at Ray’s Lido. Sleep on a day bed, enjoy some bubbles, read a book and watch the world go by.

 

Find out our best tips on where to stay in Malta

 

Valletta

If you’re not interested in a chilled out holiday, then it might be a good idea to invest in Valletta. The old capital city of Malta, this is a wonderful place to visit because there’s so much to do. There’s a lot of great history, shopping opportunities and dining chances. You just have to make sure that you have researched the public transport links because trust me, it can get busy!

Valletta is convenient because it’s central. The island’s buses all head into here, and from here you can reach other areas of Malta on public transport. Find out more about things to do here.

 

 

Sliema/St Julians

This wonderful waterfront promenade is home to our third destination for people to stay in Malta, and it’s the best place to stay in Malta if you want lively nightlife. This is the bar and club area, which is worthwhile for anyone who wants to enjoy themselves in the evenings!

Along the Sliema waterfront you’ll also find a beautiful boardwalk for walking, running, exploring; and there’s great bars along there with afternoon cocktail and meal deals.

 

Where to stay in Malta to discover the best landscapes

 

St Paul’s Bay 

St Paul’s Bay can be looked at more as a resort than anything else. Set around a picturesque bay, find an ocean front apartment to stay in for a chilled-out break. As far as options on where to stay in Malta, this area offers newer accommodation, a bit like Mellieħa Bay further around the coastline. It’s a great option if you’re seeking a beach holiday, rather than a city break, which is what Valletta offers.

 

Gozo Island

Gozo Island is a wonderful location which offers a charm all its own. It’s an island, and has its own city and customs which you can enjoy. It’s still quite near the mainland so you don’t have to worry about whether or not you can enjoy all of Malta. There’s easy transportation on and off the island, which is good for people who want to come back and forth at their leisure.

You can catch a ferry between Malta and Gozo from various points on Malta. Sometimes accommodation deals are cheaper on Gozo, which is why we’ve included it as one of our best options on where to stay in Malta.

 

Find out the best place to stay in Malta

 

These are five areas in Malta I would recommend that you consider basing yourself. They’re all stunning. For another perspective, we like this local’s guide on where to stay in Malta.

It’s so important to have somewhere to stay that works for you as a traveller – what kind of trip to you want (active, chilled), and what are your transport options? These will feed into where to choose. For further tips on the best places to stay in Malta, take a look at this guide, or drop us a line in the comments with your questions.

 

Malta video guides

Watch our vlogs on Malta for more travel inspiration. They went viral on Facebook

 

 

Guest post by writer Anna Mae

 

Historic hotels London city: Batty Langley’s Georgian glamour

Historic hotels London city: Batty Langley’s Georgian glamour

What does the term ‘historic hotels London city’ bring to mind for you? Maybe it’s the Ritz over near Buckingham Palace, with its famous afternoon tea. There’s the Savoy and Claridge’s, certainly. I used to walk past stunning St Pancras each day on the way to work, it qualifies.

But did you know about Batty Langley’s?

Listed as one of London’s six best hotels in Conde Nast‘s Gold List, it’s time you definitely did hear about it ⭐

 

Hotels London city: WHY you need to experience Batty Langley’s

Batty Langley’s in London city near Liverpool street doesn’t even look like a hotel from the outside! It’s completely unassuming. To step inside feels precisely like you’ve stepped back in time. Georgian times, to be exact.

I read a piece about this historic hotel in London city that captured it beautifully for me. The review mentioned that while this place is a hotel, it doesn’t feel like one.

It feels more like you’re visiting your [very] rich aunt’s house.

 

It’s so true, in the most affectionate of ways

We’ve written about staycations in London and accommodation you can try in east London – Shoreditch and Liverpool Street – but we’ve never seen anything like this!

The attention to detail and perfect mix of old meets new is truly something special.

Batty Langleys hotel in central London

 

Adventures in the past

The hotel is housed in a restored Georgian building, and is named after Batty Langley (1696–1751) who published guides for the upper class on how to tastefully plan a lavish home.

Inspired by Batty’s work, proprietors Douglas Blain and Peter McKay went to extraordinary lengths to recreate the style of the era. Their labour of love took 20 years to complete, but the finished product is exquisite.

With the exception of a few modern luxuries like smart televisions; furnishings, art, antiques and ornaments from Georgian times have been sourced and decorate the property.

Batty Langleys meeting room

 

Full of Georgian characters

Our room was on the 5th floor, which we accessed by a little elevator. Cooper and I definitely had a ‘pinch me’ moment upon entering the Kitty Fisher suite. It was like living a past life where we were RICH – we had a balcony with city views, huge four poster bed, a little library and sitting room, and a grand bathroom complete with a genuine Victorian canopy bathing machine.

Kitty Fisher is another Georgian character whose name graces the hotel’s walls. She was a courtesan, known as the subject of a nursery rhyme: “Lucy Locket lost her pocket, Kitty Fisher found it…”.

Ms Fisher came from humble beginnings when she was a milliner (maker of fashionable hats). But the story goes that her beauty, smarts and charm led to her mixing in the right circles and hence she climbed the social ladder of her time.

If we were to ever tire of our own luxurious Georgian suite named after Kitty, we had the rest of the place to enjoy too.

Despite having 29 rooms (all named after interesting Georgian characters) tucked away within the hotel, it’s rare to see another soul. So, off we went, to laze about in the old library, Downton Abbey style; and enjoy a whiskey by the fireplace in the olde-world stylish sitting room.

Batty Langleys hotel room

 

Facts about Georgian times that add flavour to a stay

While we were at Batty Langley’s, the staff shared some interesting facts with us. Did you know that hotels only really came into being during the first half of the 1800s? Before the Industrial Revolution which began in the 1700s, most people lived and worked on the land, and wouldn’t have ventured very far. In the 1800s things started to change with the Industrial Revolution and the steam locomotive. The middle class – who ran and owned businesses – began to travel, and hotels became their beautiful escape. You can imagine this scenario within the palatial walls of Batty Langley’s boutique establishment.

We also looked at how well made the furniture is from Georgian times. If you examine a wardrobe, for example, you will see the effort that has gone into ensuring the grain is all in the same direction. Evidence of this craftsmanship adorns the hotel.

Finally, did you know that despite the period being entirely romanticised now, the Georgians didn’t have bathrooms? Apparently everyone stank! Very few houses had running water, the streets were filled with rubbish and animal excrement, and chamber pots were often emptied out of windows onto the street. It’s a far cry from the cleanliness and opulence you’ll experience within the hotel and surrounding streets today, but interesting to know about all the same. What do you think?

 

London city stay: what to expect in the area

We don’t need to be sold on east London (we’re fans!), although staying at Batty Langley’s gave us renewed appreciation for our surroundings.

Convenience wise, the hotel’s perfectly located for any kind of stay in London. You’re within walking distance of Liverpool Street and Shoreditch stations, so can get anywhere, easily.

Just up the road is Spitalfields, which houses markets, foodie delights, pubs and shopping. You can walk to famous Brick Lane for a curry in about 15 minutes.

Back to the history: it’s all around you, inside the hotel and outside. From cobbled streets to elegant old churches and imaginative architecture: go exploring in this exciting corner of old London.

Spitalfields itself was originally the site of the Priory of St Mary Spital, or Hospital, established in 1197! Part of the hospital’s kitchen lies under the hotel building and more substantial remains can be seen in a floodlit underground chamber just around the corner in Spital Square.

Residential development of the area began when King Henry VIII renounced the Pope’s authority and seized all English monasteries in 1540, selling off to loyal subjects. The area became attractive to immigrant settlers who were not allowed to live or work in London city itself. At that time, this area was just outside the city walls.

We spotted evidence of different period buildings as we wandered the streets here. Of course Georgian architecture is obvious too, known by its red brick and symmetrical shape.

Batty Langleys area history

 

Exclusive accommodation in east London

What can we say other than this hotel is absolutely beautiful? It’s cosy enough that you feel at home, yet luxurious with quality touches and service expected in a fine hotel. The staff were perfect as well. (thank you!).

Batty Langley‘s website says:

Our quiet, characterful bedrooms are furnished with genuine antiques, and every one is different. Our bathrooms are so extraordinary, guests often ask if they can take them home. Your surroundings here are civilised: old fashioned hospitality, friendly, efficient staff, and a location second to none.

 

Batty Langleys library

 

We have to say, it’s all true. This bit of web copy is absolutely not fake news. If you’re looking for a wonderfully London experience and prepared to splash a little extra cash for a once in a lifetime stay, Batty Langley’s is for you. It’s truly like living in an opulent period film – and who doesn’t want to try that for a night? Book your stay

 

 

Cooper and I were sponsored by Hazlitt Hotels for this stay. 
Images: battylangleys.com. Video: Cooper Dawson
Why the Ibiza sunset is SO special (and where to see it!)

Why the Ibiza sunset is SO special (and where to see it!)

Ibiza has struck something in us: there’s a magic here, and the Ibiza sunset certainly proves it night after night.

There’s an energy on this island, and it’s got nothing to do with the clubs or the music. Although I won’t lie, those are cool too. However, this is a place where people have gathered for a very very long time, to pursue a spiritual calling.

Around the island you’ll find mementos of times gone by: the Romans were here; we took part in a sunrise Yoga class by an ancient Phoenician tower… It’s rumoured the lost city of Atlantis is under Es Vedra which is just across the water. Ancient stories, tradition, culture – they all reference the sun as a source of energy. Here, there really is something very beautiful about the light, and everyone must see the sunset.

 

 

As the sun hits the horizon, everyone cheers. It’s fabulous. We’ve seen proposals happen at that moment, and a roar of happy energy as thousands of people from all corners of the earth relish in one special moment.

Where to experience this for yourself?

Best beach clubs Ibiza - Sunset Ashram

 

3 areas where you can see the Ibiza sunset: our favourite spots

Restaurant el Carmen or beach areas opposite Es Vedra

Many people go to this area to meditate as the sun sets. That’s pretty special

Head for the beach areas opposite Es Vedra. Here you’ll witness the sun set over the mystical island. It’s one of the three most magnetic places on earth (alongside the North Pole and Bermuda Triangle).

Sirens, UFOs, and more mysteries surround it. This blog writes beautifully about sunset here – worth a quick read.

Sunset Ashram or Kumharas beach bars

Two excellent places listed in our round-up of best beach clubs Ibiza: Sunset Ashram and Kumharas are on the same side of the island. They’re not too far from each other, and you need to get over to this side of the island to explore all its lovely secret beaches, but you’re best to have a car to get to them.

Kumharas is set right on the beach. Sunset Ashram is stunning, surrounded by aqua and deep blue coloured waters! Enjoy non-stop music, great energy and a spectacle you won’t forget.

Ibiza sunsets - our fave spot is at Cafe Mambo

Cafe Mambo

While there are plenty of great venues along Ibiza’s sunset strip, all the way from Wi Ki Woo, Cafe Del Mar, and Savannah to bars like Ibiza Rocks and Tulip around the other side of Sant Antonio Bay (Sant Antoni de Portmany), our very favourite is Cafe Mambo.

Here, a tradition has unfolded, where hundreds gather on the shoreline to watch the sun hit the horizon. There’s cheering, and the music kicks in. Live DJs (some very big names, I might add) do their stuff right there for all to enjoy.

It’s a brilliant experience if you want to be around people and are partial to a bit of dance music at its best (me!).

Have a tip or questions? Let us know in the comments.