Monday, 6 January 2014



I've never been on a holiday to a hot country when it's freezing at home and it's officially my new favourite thing and I'm (hopefully) going to do it every year. I normally spend Christmas and New Year in Scotland so spending 2 weeks in India was quite a shock to the system, but was by far the best trip I've ever been on.

After a dreadful start (I'm not longer a fan of British Airways - we were on the plane moving and they told us there was engine trouble so we were towed back to the terminal where they then told us our flight was cancelled and we wouldn't be leaving until 3pm the following day- ughh!) So we ended up missing the first couple of days of our trip because of the flights and time difference so by the time flew into Dehli we were shattered, jet lagged and grumpy (well, Mr B wasn't really grumpy...I'd been in the same clothes for 48 hours so I wasn't too pleased.) We napped then started our adventure of travelling around to Jaipur, Agra and Dehli for 5 days before flying to Goa for a week on the beach. India is the most beautiful country I've ever been too... I haven't shut up about it since I've been home and if you are looking to book a trip then please go there!! It's the most fascinating, beautiful and colourful country. We would drive between the cities for 5 hours at a time and never got bored in the car because there is just so much to look at as you drive. By the time we arrived in Goa we were exhausted and fully ready for a week at the beach. We landed in the afternooon and got a taxi for the 20 minute drive to Alila Diwa where we were staying. As soon as we walked into reception we felt like we had arrived in heaven. The hotel was beautiful.... the swimming pool was an infinity pool that overlooked the paddy field, our bedroom was huge with a balcony that was positioned perfectly to view the sunsets, and there was a choice of 3 restaurants. You could walk to the beach in 10 minutes, or there was a free shuttle that would take you from the hotel whenever you needed it. There were 2 BRILLIANT restaurants within a 5 minute walk from the hotel. One was called FishKa were I feasted on the most amazing Chateaubriand I've ever had and it only cost £3, and then the other restaurant is called Martins Corner where we would have a 3 course meal (with super spicy curry) and would struggle to get the bill to even be a tenner.

We were treated to a divine meal at the The Spice Studio restaurant in the hotel. It's one of 3 restaurants that Alila Diwa have, and in my opinion it was the best out of the 3 by far. The kitchen was open plan so you could watch the chefs work their magic. I have to be honest, I had never ever eaten a curry before this trip (shock horror) and ate my first one in The Spice Studio. The chef came over for a chat before we ordered and I explained to him that I couldn't handle spicy food (he couldn't believe I've never eaten curry... he has curry for every meal!) so he made a custom curry dish that was absolutely divine. Mr B on the other hand is obsessed with spice and can eat a vindaloo without batting an eyelid (but with a bit more sweat on his forehead than when he would eat at Pizza Express!) so the chef made a super spicy special for him. The best part of my meal was when I found out that they served a homemade cinnamon ice cream for dessert. It's my absolute favourite ice cream and I never find it anywhere!

We spent the days laying on the beach, mooching in the markets and sunbathing on the sunloungers that were placed in the pool as the 35 degree heat was way too much for me to handle. It was quite an odd experience sunbathing whilst they played Christmas tunes at the pool. I had 2 massages at the hotel spa which was the most incredible experience. I didn't think it was possible to relax when you were relaxed... turns out it is! 

It was a trip of a lifetime and I can't wait to go back and explore all the other cities we didn't have time to visit (thanks a bunch BA...I'm still a tad bitter about it.)

Some tips if you are planning a trip to Goa:
- Anjuna Flea Market is a HUGE outdoor market that is most definitely worth visiting. It's only on on Wednesdays and needs at least 2 hours if you are a serious flea market shopper. There are wee cafes if you weave through all the stalls so perfect for a little toilet and snack stop, and to top up on drinks. 
- Take tissues / toilet paper and antibacterial handwash everywhere you go. The toilet facilities aren't so fabulous...especially on the beaches and at markets.
- On most of the beaches in Goa dolphins come up right to the shore during sunrise. Absolutely worth a 6.30am alarm... and so beautiful to stroll on the beach at sunrise.
- Margao market is eye opening. It's more of a Goan local market than a tourist market. You weave through tunnels that are rammed with people. It's crazy, smelly and utterley amazing. Full of food, clothes and jewellery.
- Haggle away... don't ever accept the first price they say. They expect you to haggle!

We stayed at Alila Diwa in Goa, and received a complimentary meal at The Spice Studio.

An outdoor Christmas Tree in a 34 degree heat.

That tiny little pot of the spiciest dip I've ever tasted. My mouth was on fire for about an hour.... 

 My most favourite ice cream in the world - homemade cinnamon - mmmm
 The chef's in Spice Studio at the Alila Diwa hotel


  The infinity pool at sunset at the Alila Diwa hotel
 Going for a stroll to the beach
 What more could you want.... a sun lounger in the pool, over looking paddy fields
Me and Mr B having a moment infront of the Taj Mahal. (Ugh really annoying that my parting is a bit zigzagged....)


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