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Ah it feels like an age ago now that I had a whole weekend to explore Lake Geneva and everything around it. In fact it was only two weeks ago, and one of my favourite weekend breaks ever. I just loved the easy-going nature of everyone in Switzerland and the changing landscapes of the lakes, the mountains and the city all together as one.

This post is a bit of an essay with a million photos so grab a cup of tea and get comfy, to find out exactly what I got up to.

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It all started when we arrived in our castle hotel in Lausanne, about 20 minutes by train from Geneva airport. It was the most beautiful day so we immediately headed outside to enjoy the sunshine and explore the lake.

There’s a gorgeous playground lakeside in Lausanne and it was very busy, with families playing on the giant chess boards, couples eating picnics on the rocks and children eating ice cream. We joined them and got a pre-dinner pudding of sorbet. It was my birthday, so if there’s any day you can have dessert before dinner, surely that’s it? We were happy to just sit and admire the amazing views. I’ve never been somewhere quite like it – with the snow on the mountain tops reflecting with the sun in the lake.

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After the sun went down and it started to get a bit chilly, we headed out for some pizza at PZ Pizza. It was super casual, but that’s much more me than a fancy restaurant. And the concept of the place was pretty cool too, you pick your base and all your toppings, a bit like a create your own. We finished the evening wandering through the town centre where a fair was going on. I found the whole thing a little overwhelming though, there was so many people! So we ended up heading back to the hotel for a snuggle and a catch up on MasterChef. Does anyone else do this when they’re away or is it just me?

Saturday was a day for exploring and we headed up to the Alps. The weather was pretty terrible, not rainy but cloudy and foggy – and even the man in the train station thought we were a bit mad to be heading higher into the clouds. After catching two trains, on the third and final one it was just us and the driver! It was a cute little mountainside train and we seemed to be climbing at quite a height. The views over the lake and the mountains were incredible, and as it turned out the best we would see that day.

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When we eventually arrived at a tiny train station, the heavens had opened and we were the only people for miles around. We were actually pretty scared when the train left, and we realised we were completely alone on the mountainside for a whole hour until it returned. But we spent the hour exploring, even though we could barely even see the hands in front of our faces! We spotted a log cabin in the distance at one point and it genuinely felt like something out of a horror movie, just waiting for the Abominable Snowman to appear! The picture below shows the boyfriend metres in front of my face and the views we were meant to be seeing. Can you believe how foggy it is?

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We gave up as snow began to fall and retired to a tiny cafe – again we were the only people there. We couldn’t see a thing over the hillside but in a way it was pretty magical, especially with the snowfall. We finally decided to catch the train back down, again all alone with the driver and laughing about how little we’d seen. It wasn’t quite what we planned but I think that made it even more memorable.

That evening, for dinner we headed to the best restaurant I think I’ve ever been to. It was called Eat Me, a tapas bar with dishes from all around the world. The menu was split into each continent with dishes listed from that area and you could pick a selection from each. The boyfriend had mini burgers from America and a spicy dish from Asia, and I had a hummus plate from Africa and a pasta dish from Europe. We also selected cocktails from the Caribbean and a chocolate pudding from America. It was such an interesting idea for a restaurant and one I am desperately hoping comes to London soon.

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Sunday was a day spent exploring the town of Lausanne, we visited the art gallery (and accidentally didn’t pay, although you’re supposed to!), the cathedral and the Old Town. I even roped the boyfriend into taking some photos of me (which you’ll see in a later post). On Sunday night we almost missed dinner as we didn’t realise everywhere closed in Switzerland so early on a Sunday, but we eventually found a cute little restaurant with posters of American TV shows all over the walls – there was Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones and all sorts. I must mention that the metro was an absolute dream in Lausanne, it got us everywhere and we got a free travel card for paying the obligatory City Tax with our hotel room. We didn’t need to catch one taxi and barely needed to walk either.

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I’ve been writing forever so I must tell you quickly about Monday. We headed into Geneva city for our final day and it was absolutely beautiful. The lake which runs through the centre of the city is so clear, it reminded me of the Croatian sea. And I couldn’t help but think back to our murky Thames. We didn’t have much time til our flight so we ran round and explored as much of the city as possible, I’d love to go back and find out more. After that, there was time for a quick dash to stock up on Swiss chocolate for all our family and friends, and then time to head home.

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Thank you for making it to the bottom of this post, it’s probably my longest ever! Geneva is undoubtedly the most expensive place I’ve ever been, it is eye-poppingly expensive at times. But if you do it as cheaply as possible (we bought croissants and orange juice every day from the supermarket and snuck them into our room for breakfast!) then you can just about manage. And it is truly beautiful, unlike anywhere I’ve ever seen before. I would 100% recommend it for a weekend break.

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Ever since I was a very little girl, I’ve been holidaying in Devon. It is a place which has seeped into my life in lots of different ways, with my grandparents moving there when I was two and my Grandad (on the other side of the family) buying a holiday caravan there. When I was little I sometimes felt ashamed to admit that I’d never been on a plane because every family holiday consisted of driving three hours to the West country. I felt embarrassed that I stayed in a caravan and all my friends were visiting Spanish villas. Then I grew up, and I experienced a Spanish villa myself, and I thanked my lucky stars that all my holidays had been in Devon instead. It’s one of those typical cliches – you don’t appreciate things until they’re gone.

When I had six weeks summer holiday from school, we’d spend most of our time in Beer, a little seaside Devonshire village. Perched up on a cliff, we’d stay in my Grandad’s caravan, inside each other’s pockets. We’d inevitably spend most of the time moaning about the rain. I remember making friends with the neighbouring van’s children, being able to walk five caravans down to the little shop with a shiny 50p piece so I could buy penny sweets. We’d peer out of the window, looking over the cliff at the beaches and Atlantic below. From that window we’d see boat races, fireworks, and once we even saw a helicopter rescue.

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Some years my Grandad would join us and teach us to play bowls in the little space of green we had. Some years we’d be joined by family friends in the caravan nextdoor, and be endlessly fascinated by the fact that the two looked the same from the outside but somehow weren’t on the inside. And I’ll never forget the feeling of sheer excitement when every other year or so we’d finally get the fluorescent coloured kite in the sky, and feel like we were lauding it over all the other kids, and even the cows, in the field below. We’d visit Beer beach (in the pics above), always my favourite, Sidmouth with its chance of a sandy stretch, Lyme Regis, so I could pretend I was in a Jane Austen novel, and, what felt like our hidden treasure – Branscombe, after a long walk over the cliffs.

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Most people will say their childhood holidays were idyllic, but mine still feel like something out of a different age. I’ll be forever grateful that my mum and dad couldn’t afford and didn’t like flying. We got to make a summer tradition of our own, rather than visiting a different budget European island each year. At the time, of course, I felt the complete opposite. I’d moan to the end of the earth rather than visit the beach in the rain, I’d complain that I was missing out on visiting Tammy Girl with my friends at home, I’d long for my very first stay in a hotel. But when I read back my teenage holiday diaries, which I’d insist on writing every year, I know that deep down I knew how lucky I was. Those holidays brought me closer than ever to my family, and gave me my imagination. I can create a game out of any environment and in any weather for any age range. Not many can do the same.

And luckily for me, we still have our caravan and my grandparents still live in a little house in Devon. My six weeks of blissful summer may have been replaced with 25 days of annual leave. And I may whittle that down even more, as it competes with my new found love of travelling the globe. But every time I visit my favourite British county now, I don’t pretend to be cool and pretend to be bored. Instead I drink it all in, I run on the beach in the rain, I play chase the waves and get drenched, I walk for hours without a destination and I embrace the lack of signal and endless face time with my siblings. This Easter I did all of that. And funnily enough, my six days in Devon felt every bit as long as the six weeks I used to get.

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If you’re looking for a little holiday closer to home this year, I can’t recommend Devon, and in particular Beer, enough. It is, and always will be, my favourite place in the world. Even when the clouds are threatening to burst at any moment, like in the photo above!

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It might have only lasted one day but spring certainly arrived down here in Devon for Good Friday. It disappeared again pretty quickly but we knew it would and made the most of it whilst we could. In fact, at one point we checked the forecast for Saturday and Easter Sunday and the Apple Weather app (which, to be fair, I never usually trust), gave us a 100% chance of rain on both days. At least we had a warning, I suppose! Anyway, back to the sunshine-y day, we spent some time on the beach, we ate ice cream, we played garden games, we went for a country walk, we drank Pimms, we did every cliche sunny day activity we could possibly think of. And it was great.

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Of course, one cliche extra sunshine-y day activity is to take blog photos. So I ticked that one off too, and made sure to wear a suitably Spring-like outfit. In Spring, I forego my usual jeans and jumper combo for patterned trousers. I just love them and I always find Topshop come out on top. These ones are my current faves, floral so they have that nod to Spring but black so I can bring them out on the cold, rainy days too. And we all know Spring time in the UK gives us plenty of those days. Then I will pair them with a black high-neck jumper, but for beautiful days, this New Look white blouse is perfect. Add to that, of course, perfect Spring time white Converse. It might not be the most inventive outfit in the world but it’s just perfect for this time of year and always puts a smile on my face. It’s great for work too, and Spring dressing at work I always find the hardest.

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Devon in the sunshine is just my favourite place in the world. Taking a walk along the beach is the best activity, stopping for a game of Chase the Wave (does anyone else play this and always get soaking wet?), making friends with the dogs, and throwing pebbles into the sea. I even tried a new ice cream flavour – Candyfloss – with little bits of pink sugar thrown in there, the jury’s still out for me. Then a detour to Tesco for my first jug of Pimms of the year. It had to be done.

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I hope you’re all having the best Easter weekend too, still a day left to go. Isn’t this just the best weekend of the whole year?!

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I was so excited that whilst in the Cotswolds we got the chance to go to Bath. It is a city that everyone recommends and that I’ve wanted to visit in forever. We planned to make the very most out of it, visiting the historical Bath spa, the Christmas markets and the Thermae spa. Although it rained most of the day, I had the best time and I’ve definitely already fallen in love with the city.

We started off exploring the shops and wandering around the Christmas markets. As it was a Sunday, it was so so busy but we managed to scout out some bargains. We picked up lots of freebies, along with some fudge, candles and flavoured gin!

After that we headed to the Bath Spa and had a historical tour. It was fascinating to think about just how old it was and amazing to feel the heat of the water. It was such a beautiful building and easy to imagine how it could have been so popular with rich Romans.

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Finally we headed to my favourite part of Bath, the Thermae Spa. It was £35 for two hours and you got to explore all parts of the spa. It was dark by this point and the open air rooftop pool was so atmospheric with the steam rising. It was freezing stripping off but lovely when you got in. From there we worked our way down the spa, next stop was the steam rooms. We trialled menthol, lemongrass and ginger, and lotus flower. My favourite was definitely lemongrass and ginger, it was such a novelty to be in a scented steam room.

After emerging back into the cold Bath air, we headed to a little pizza restaurant to stuff our faces before making the journey back to the hotel.

There’s so much to do in Bath and it’s such a beautiful city to just got lost in, I’m already planning my next trip back. It’ll definitely have to be for longer next time!

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I have just returned from the lovliest weekend away. If you’ve been a long time reader of this blog (thank you so much if so!) then you’ll remember that back in March I visited the Cotswolds and had the most amazing time: http://100waystohappy.com/2015/03/15/challenge-21-escape-to-the-country/. Me and the boyfriend have been plotting a return ever since and this weekend we finally made it for a super-festive weekend break with another couple of our friends.

After a road trip filled with Bieber, the nineties and Christmas classics, we pulled up to The Rectory again. We were a little nervous about introducing our friends, hoping we hadn’t seen the place through rose-tinted glasses and they loved it as much as we had. We needn’t have been worried, they were so happy and in awe when they walked through the big door just as we were. It helped that each room had a giant real Christmas tree already up too.

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After playing Rock Paper Scissors to decide which room we got, we spent the rest of the day chilling and going for a winter walk. It started off as a bit of a disaster as we ended up on a very long main road rather than the country lane we had envisioned! But it all worked out when we found some horses and named them Gerald and Harry. The grass really was greener on the other side of their fence so we made it our mission to deliver the good stuff back over to the right side.

The day ended with an amazing pub dinner including mulled cider and a cheese board. Oh my gosh, is there anything better than a cheese board?! We spent the evening gossiping about uni times and reminiscing about how far we’d come.

The next day was spent visiting a city I’ve been wanting to go for forever… Bath! I’m going to do a whole separate blog on this because I just had the best day, so you’re going to have to pop back tomorrow. But safe to say, it did not disappoint.

After returning back to the hotel, we made ourselves some sneaky prosecco cocktails from a bizarre mixture of prosecco, blueberry gin picked up in the Bath Christmas markets and ribena winter spice (which FYI is the best thing I’ve ever tasted, you must buy some!). Feeling so happy, a little tipsy and full to the brim with festivity, we did the natural thing and whacked out a game of Monopoly. It was a well fought fight, lasting until 1.30am and ending in a head to head with me and my boyfriend’s housemate. I had Park Lane and Mayfair, he had just about everything else and in the end quantity won over quality (sad face!).

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On Monday we woke up late and unfortunately missed our last cooked breakfast. We were still on a high from our day out in Bath so didn’t mind too much, instead we had a leisurely day playing Scrabble and reading the newspaper. There can be no better feeling than spending a Monday morning doing pretty much nothing, thinking of all those poor people sitting in offices where you should be right now!

We were so sad to check out and have to leave our little retreat behind but we all had the most relaxing, wonderful time.