Seeing Paris’ glorious architecture and immense history in Autumn’s golden light is simply jaw-dropping.

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Aside from all of the usual things I choose to do on city breaks (eat… drink… eat…etc, etc…) I love to explore on foot. And of course, whether you like it or not, it’s only necessary to visit a few tourist spots to get them ticked off the list.

I’m not always the biggest fan of tourist-y things (cue long queues, overpriced tickets, and big crowds…), however going up the Sacre Coeur was my favourite. Yup, even more so than the Eiffel Tower.

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We were lucky that our boutique hotel was located nearby the walk to the very quirky MonteMarte, and therefore also Sacre Coeur. So we set off out of our gorgeous room off to explore…

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It is a long walk up to the Sacre Coeur, so there are lifts for those less able to walk very far – but I highly recommend walking it if you can. We set off at golden hour, and the views on the way up are magical; those golden rooftops underneath dusty pink skies just get me every time.

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In between each set of steep steps were authentic cafes and bars, that I was just dying to try…

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But with the sun setting slowly but surely, and knowing the views from the top are well worth it, we saved them for another time! Sacré-Cœur is a Roman Catholic church that boasts breath-taking 360 panoramic views of the city, offering sights of the romantic cobbled Parisian streets and its iconic landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower.

 

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Tickets are almost half the price of many other viewing points in Paris, and they don’t let you down. So it’s good for those of us on a budget, yet who still want to make the most out of our travels.

After a long wander around Sacre Couer, our hunger took over. We’d passed Montemarte on our walk up, and since walking down is a little more pleasurable, we couldn’t wait to head back and try some French cuisine.

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This busy part of Paris is a beautiful little square, full of artists, restaurants, and bustling with energy. Not to mention the extremely tempting patisseries…
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We settled on a little restaurant outside in the square, and although the food and service did slightly disappoint, the atmosphere made up for it. The wine was good, too…

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If you know me then you’ll know I have a real sweet tooth. Consequently, I love desserts almost as much as I like breakfast meals.

However, this new recipe I have stumbled upon can be used for both breakfast and dessert, hot or cold.

Similar to the old bread and butter pudding favourite, (but much yummier, I believe) this creamy, fruity pudding is one to try for sure!

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YOU WILL NEED:

1. About 8 small or 3 large croissants, cut up (about 6 cups)

2. 1 cup fresh blueberries

3. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened

4. ⅔ cup sugar

5. 2 eggs

6. 1 teaspoon vanilla

7. 1 cup milk

METHOD:

Firstly, preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Place the cut up croissant pieces in a 9 inch circular (or square) pan then sprinkle with blueberries.

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Beat the cream cheese, sugar, eggs and vanilla together in a separate bowl, until blended, adding the milk as you go. Pour evenly over the croissant pieces and then either leave to set for 20 minutes or so, over even overnight.

 

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Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 35 to 40 minutes or until set slightly in the centre and golden on top. You may want to cover it with foil for the last 10 minutes, I wish I had done this myself as unfortunately mine had slightly burnt parts on top! Best served warm.

 

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Anyone who knows me will know that I am a massive pancake lover. I often crave a visit to The Breakfast Club restaurants just to eat their pancakes, even for dinner.

Their “Pancakes and Berries” menu item comes out topped with berries, syrup and whipped cream on top. Mmm. Another personal favourite of mine is the pancakes you can buy at Bills. With strawberries, blueberries and tons of maple syrup, I am surely in heaven.

However, rather than spending a good £7-£10 on a few pancakes, why not try making them at home yourself?

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With just a few ingredients and some practice, you could be having yummy pancakes whenever you wish! (Although, maybe not advised for health issues…) I do however, try to make my pancakes quite healthy usually, because I tend to eat them whenever I can! This recipe I am about to provide has lots of fruit, however there is some sugar within the actual pancake too – so I’d advise sharing the recipe and maybe not using this recipe all the time; although its still probably better than those sugary box cereals you can buy.

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Now, for the pancake ingredients:

1. 135 grams of plain flour

2. 1 teaspoon of baking powder

3. Half a teaspoon of salt (Not always necessary)

4. 2 Tablespoons sugar

5. 130 ml milk

6. 1 egg

7. 2 tablespoons of melted butter or olive oil

To serve with the pancakes, I added:

Homemade raspberry sauce; raspberries; blueberries; strawberries. You can also add some maple syrup if you wish.

METHOD:

  1. Mix and sift the flour, baking powder, salt and caster sugar into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg and milk, then whisk in your melted butter.
  2. Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and, using a fork or a whisk, beat until the batter is smooth. Now let the batter stand for a few minutes.
  3. Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and add a dash of oil or butter – I used some Frylight 1 Cal Spray to make it a little healthier (and it tastes the same!). Now add a ladle of batter slowly, trying to ensure the thick batter is a small circle. When the top of the pancake begins to bubble, turn it over and cook until both sides are golden brown.

For my raspberry sauce to serve, I simply crushed some raspberries in a bowl and then heated the result over a saucepan until a sauce. Some people like to siv it first to get rid of raspberry bits; but I like those!

Pour the sauce (or maple syrup) over the stacked pancakes, then scatter your fruit at random. Voila! Delish.

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Last week I saw one of the most stunning natural wonders.

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Whilst in Greece, we drove into Sami through the mountains on our quad bike, the heat was burning on my back – in a good way of course – and made our way to a Melissani Cave.

Otherwise known as the underground Melissani Lake, or ‘The Cave of the Nympths’, it is a deep lake surrounded with forest and rock, and is located east of the mountains of Evmorfia and Agia Dynati.

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It was not too difficult to get to, however if you had not heard about it before you could well drive or travel past it without even knowing this little treasure existed.

It was 7 euros to enter the cave and lake, and I heard a couple behind us complain of the price since you are not in the cave for much more than twenty minutes. However, I find this price completely acceptable since it is something that will truly take your breath away. (also, considering the economic state of Greece at the moment we could hardly ask for less.)

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There was no queuing involved or any hustle and bustles of tourists, and as we furthered underground I spotted the bright turquoise water before anything else, and the air completely cooled down the further I went.

A few rowing boats dot the cool blue water, waiting to take you for your ride around the peaceful lake, and a bright ray of sun shoots down from the giant hole from above. It felt like I was walking through Pinterest.

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On the ride, the man rowing sang Greek songs on the way round which kind of added to the scene, and although it did not last more than twenty minutes everyone was really taken aback by the beauty of the cave and I definitely recommend it if you’re into seeing natural wonders!

I have plenty more travel tips coming up for Greece that I have saved so keep an eye out for further posts or subscribe via email on this page/follow me on bloglovin! I will also be travelling to other places this summer so there is much, much more to come!

Lots of love,

Bethany xxx

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I am a great lover of baking cakes, and when I am sat at home on a spare afternoon I often find myself looking for recipes to experiment with. I have more of a sweet tooth than savoury and so the best bit can usually be the tasting part…

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As soon as I came across this recipe I knew straight away I had to try it out; with minimal ingredients and a fruity, summery twist, I couldn’t resist! The recipe was perfect because it really is one of those cake recipes that you can find all of the ingredients left over in the kitchen somewhere.

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YOU WILL NEED:

1. Measuring cups

2. A 9-inch deep baking dish

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, separate
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • A bunch of strawberries

Firstly, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt then set aside.

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In another bowl, beat the butter and 1 cup of sugar until pale, light and fluffy. Slowly beat in the egg and the vanilla until all well combined. Alternating with the milk, gradually add the flour mix into the other ingredients.

Transfer the thick mix into the greased pan or dish and flatten down with a spatula.

Cut the strawberries into halves and arrange them on the top of the batter.

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Sprinkle the remaining spoons of sugar over the strawberries, then bake for ten minutes at 175 degrees Celsius. Turn the heat down to 160 degrees Celsius and then continue to bake until a golden brown and until baked throughout.

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And there you go! It really did taste great, and I served it up as a dessert after a weeknight dinner this week.

I shall credit the website www.onceuponachef.com for the original recipe!

Lots of love,

Bethany xx

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