Plane Food, Heathrow – Terminal 5

The only thing I ever do at airports is eat. I don’t like shopping and I’m always way too early for my flight to head straight to the gate. I don’t tend to fly from Terminal 5 very often as its BA only so it was nice to see what options they had on offer. Plane Food was my first thought and then I wandered round the entire terminal talking to my mum on the phone before making my way back to where I started. Sometimes you should just go with your instincts!

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And what an instinct it was my time at Plane Food was so nice I almost didn’t want to leave. Despite being in an airport environment it was able to block out most of the noise from the thousands of passengers in the terminal, there are some great views of the runway from the far side and the sofa style seats are super comfortable. Just what you need to relax before a flight.

The menu is small but varies with burgers, sea bass and butter chicken curry all gracing the menu. If I’d been feeling more human then I would definitely have opted for the latter as a good curry is my weakness but as I wasn’t 100% I went for the cured Italian meats and Nocellara olives and the waiter talked me into a side of macaroni and cheese – well not really he simply asked if I wanted any sides and I thought sod it why not.

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Both dishes arrived really quickly and at the same time. I thought that the macaroni and cheese would have just been heated up but you could clearly see that it was straight out of the oven due to the bubbling on top and the dish it came in was piping hot. It was gooey and creamy and the cheese was super stringy, everything a good mac and cheese should be! The meats on the platter all complimented each other and the olives were some of the freshest I have ever eaten. I didn’t used to like olives but they’ve certainly grown on me in the last few years, perhaps my palette is getting more sophisticated the older I get. They were definitely the star of the show. I wolfed down everything and it was the first time in a couple of days that I actually came close to finishing everything in front of me.

The pricing is incredibly reasonable for the quality of the food given the location and the service was truly impeccable but I don’t really understand the need for a £1.50 per person cover charge to be added to the bill on top of the (discretionary) 12.5% service charge. If it really makes all that much difference put the price of the mains up by a quid each, they’d still be great value.

One thing I thought was absolutely fab about Plane Food too was the fact you can pick up a plane picnic if you’re in a hurry to catch your flight. For a mere £12.95 you can grab a starter, main and dessert which are all packed up for you in a wee picnic hamper that you can take on the plane and the choices are pretty impressive:

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If I’d gone for this rather than the sit down option (which I very nearly did thanks to the dessert selection) I’d have gone for the antipasti, salami and buffalo mozzarella to start, Scottish smoked salmon with an apple, celery, walnut and rocket salad then the chocolate and pecan brownie for pudding. All of that for just £12.95 seems like an utter bargain and I’m almost hopeful that I have to fly from terminal 5 again soon just so that I can try it out!

BitBS Rating – ££

Oh and if you’re interested to know what I got up to in New York then check out the NYC tagged posts over on my travel blog Eat, Love, Wanderlust.

The Weekend #26

After seven days of travelling and sightseeing in two fabulous cities followed by two crazy busy days at work I was more than ready for a weekend of nothingness to help my recovery.

Unfortunately my body didn’t want a lie in on the first day in forever that it could so I was up at 7:30am ready to take on the day. Most of Saturday was spent working on cosplay stuff. I finally finished the bra for Emma Frost and started work on the cape as well.

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I just need some elastic to secure it on place and to shape the fur section – which is proving tricky as there aren’t any shots of it from the back – but then it’s done.

While I was working away I was watching VIVA which seems to be the only TV channel we get that actually gets a decent signal and I found myself completely entranced by Catfish: The TV show. In fact I got so into it that I didn’t go to sleep until after 1am!

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Sunday was basically a waste of a day where I did next to nothing. I honestly don’t know where the time went. I played a lot of solitaire on my phone, watched more TV and tidied out my room a bit (for the first time in forever there are zero items of clothing on my bedroom floor!). I made it as far as the corner shop for pizza which was my last unhealthy dinner before starting dieting. You can follow my progress of that on my YouTube channel.

How was your weekend? Any exciting plans for this one?

Fitness Friday: London Live Fitness

With con season fast approaching I knew it was time to look into some exercise classes to help me tone up those wobbly bits before donning some of the more revealing outfits I have planned and thanks to Groupon I was able to snag myself two months of unlimited Zumba, Yoga and HIIT classes with London Live Fitness. It’s been a couple of weeks now and I’ve been to a total of three zumba classes; two at the Urdang2 studio and one at Verve in Leicester Square. I’m not bendy enough for yoga but I do hope to attend at least one of the HIIT classes before my two months are up.

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I have to admit I prefer Verve as a venue which is a bit weird as it’s actually a club but the mirrored ceilings and disco lights totally add to the atmosphere where as the other is just a general dance studio which feels more like regular exercise. They’ve also just started doing Wednesday classes at Waterloo which is even handier for work. Sadly I won’t be making any of these as I start burlesque classes this upcoming Wednesday but it’s good that there are lots of options.

The instructors that I’ve had are both fun and energetic and know how to keep the energy up in a class. There’s a nice mix of fitness levels too so you don’t feel as though you’re an absolute idiot when you get a move wrong. Zumba isn’t about being perfect, it’s about having fun while exercising and it’s certainly my favourite kind.

If you’re interested in attending classes they offer an unlimited 10 day class for £10, monthly unlimited classes from £25.99 or PAYG classes in blocks of 4 or 8 for £30 and £56 respectively making classes £7.50/£7 each which is great value for central London. Once my two months are up I’ll probably pay for some of these as it’s a really fun way to exercise but I doubt I can attend enough on a monthly basis to make the unlimited pass worth my while.

February 2015 NET Worth

Credit

Cash – £68.18
Santander 123 C/A – £1,503.69
Co-operative C/A – £2,781.41
PayPal – £21.92
EasyCash – £1.00
Credit total – £4,376.20

Debts
Capital One C/C – £1,453.65
Creation C/C – £500.67
MBNA C/C – £3,800.26
Santander C/C – £3,074.05
Debt total – (£8,828.63)

Net worth
£4,376.20 – £8,828.63 = -£4,452.43

Review: Yotel, Heathrow – Terminal 4

If you’re stuck at either Heathrow or Gatwick for a considerable amount of time like I was or are preparing for an early morning flight from these airports you’d do a lot worse than booking in to the Yotel for a couple of hours peace away from the hustle and bustle.

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After checking with my airline that it would be OK for me to exit the terminal at Heathrow between my flights I logged on to the Yotel website using my phone and booked in for a four-hour slot upon my arrival from NYC. Now the Yotel website is absolutely shocking to use on mobile, absolutely terrible, but I was informed by the company via twitter that they have a new mobile responsive site coming in a couple of weeks and if it’s as functional as their rooms they’re on to a winner.

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Yotel at Heathrow is located in T4 whereas the one in Gatwick at the South terminal. Both are landside so you don’t even need to be flying anywhere to make use of the facilities but it’s probably not somewhere you want to stay long-term.

I had cabin 20 which was just one of their standard rooms but they also offer premium cabins for two or three people for those requiring a bit more space. The standard was more than sufficient than me and I was very impressed with how they made use of the space.

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In my room the bed was at regular height but in some of the rooms it’s higher up like a bunk (I assume this alternates between rooms to make the most of the space) so I can’t comment on how easy/hard it is to get into one of the higher ones! It was bigger than a single but smaller than a double and just right for a solo traveller or a couple. I probably wouldn’t recommend sharing with friends though as you’d probably end up getting a bit more up close and personal than you’d like.

Also the fact that there is no door to the bathroom area (instead there’s just a thin shower curtain separating it from the room) means you probably want to be completely comfortable with the person you’re sharing with hearing you doing your business! Not great if you’re still in that honeymoon period with your significant other.

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For such a small space you’d think the shower would be lacking but no the monsoon rain shower lived up to its name and really perked me up as I got ready for the next leg of my mammoth journey. I was even more impressed to discover that each room has a flat screen TV at the foot of the bed, plenty of power sockets for charging up those electronics and super funky purple mood lighting which I thought was just a lovely touch! Oh and completely free wifi something a lot of high-end hotels still don’t even offer these days.

Their website states it totally right; “everything you’d find in a luxury hotel just in a smaller space” and I thoroughly recommend it for those in need of a cheap place to rest their heads between or pre-flight. I for one will definitely be returning!

Rooms: 4/5
Service: 4/5
Value: 4/5

Overall: 4/5

Oriel, Heathrow – Terminal 3

For being an international terminal there aren’t a lot of options for places to eat at terminal 3 beyond chain restaurants (Yo Sushi/Strada) and small snack type places like EAT so when I was looking for a place for breakfast before my flight to New York I was happy to stumble across Oriel tucked away in one of the corners.

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Oriel is a French Brasserie with a great menu at excellent prices – no more than you would pay in central London – which is unusual in an airport where they have a monopoly. They offer petit Déjeuner and hors d’oeuvres as well as mains, desserts and a large drinks menu which you can enjoy in the bar area if you don’t wish to dine.

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As I was there for breakfast I settled on the oeufs royale; poached eggs with smoked salmon on a toasted muffin and Hollandaise sauce, a pot of tea and, as I was going on vacation, a cheeky glass of Prosecco. My waiter was very cheerful and pleasant especially given the time he must have been in from that morning!

Everything arrived quickly, tasted great and the portion size was just right with a substantial amount of salmon and the perfect amount of sauce rather than being drowned in the stuff. I think I got a total of three cups out of my pot of tea and they weren’t piddly ones either. Woe betide those who come between a Brit and their tea eh? The atmosphere was nice and relaxing too which is just what you want before a long flight and I didn’t feel like I was being rushed at all despite occupying my table for around an hour. If I fly from terminal 3 again I’ll definitely be coming here for a bite to eat and avoiding the chains!

BitBS Rating – ££

The Weekend #25

This past weekend was spent in one of my favourite cities in the world (other than London of course!) New York! I’m not going to tell you what I got up to as I’ll be posting over on my travel blog all about my adventure but here’s some pictures to whet your appetite. It already feels like a lifetime ago!

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If you’ve liked this little taster of what I got up to in NYC then be sure to check out Eat, Love, Wanderlust over the next week where I’ll have a new post up every day this week about it starting from Monday!

How was your weekend? Any exciting plans for this one?

The Weekend #24

Last weekend was very much about going with the flow. I hadn’t planned on doing anything except going to the spa on the Saturday morning which I already wrote about and working on some cosplay stuff which I did. I finished trimming my Poison Ivy dress with plastic ivy, I painted one of the shoes I’m going to use for it green and I make great progress on my Emma Frost bra if I do say so myself. If you’re interested to know more about the cosplay side of my life you can follow my Facebook page.

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One of the girls I know from conventions has just recently moved to London after breaking up with her boyfriend so I popped round to see her new place in the evening and we drank a couple of bottles of wine between us – so much for no drinking til LSCC eh?

Sunday morning was my first day without an alarm clock in what feels like forever so naturally I was awake at stupid am. This weekend was also the first time in two months that I had internet at home which meant I could finally catch up on some of the many, many TV shows that I watch and haven’t seen before Christmas. Of course I started with Castle (the best show ever) and then moved on to Arrow/The Flash. I still have Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Agent Carter, Gotham, Vampire Diaries, The Originals and a million other things too but being in America has put those plans on hold for a bit.

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Needing to get out of the house for a bit lest I suffer cabin fever I met up with Jen for the last time before I go off gallivanting and went to the cinema to see not one but two movies; Kingsman: The Secret Service and Big Hero 6. Both were great in their own ways and very funny. So much for having a quiet weekend eh? At least it was a relaxing one!

How was your weekend? Any exciting plans for this one?

30 by 30: An Update

Nine months in to the project and it’s time for another update to my 30 by 30 list:

1. Be happy with my body

The fact is that I’m really not. I don’t hate it but I know that it can be improved upon so I signed up for WeightWatchers as there was a deal running that made it free for three months. I’m planning on filming weight loss vlogs when I get back from holiday too.

4. Visit 3 countries in Europe

France has been ticked off with my whirlwind trip to Paris last month and as this post goes live I’m (hopefully) in the air on my way to NYC which will be followed with a whistle-stop visit to Oslo.

5. Read 50 books

I’m still reading but making so little progress it really feels like an uphill struggle, just gotta keep on keeping on.

8. Visit every street on the Monopoly board

Some friends and I did this a couple of weeks ago and it was so much fun. Such a great thing to do when you’re skint too!

10. Make some money from my blog

While it wasn’t actual money that was received I was “paid” for the blog post I wrote on the O2 and I’m hoping to work with more places/brands in the future. Contact me if you’re interested!

13. Declutter my belongings

As you’ll have seen from my short series of posts I’m slowly getting there but there is still more work to be done.

19. Go back to dance classes

I’ve been attending Zumba classes once a week since the start of February and I’m signed up for two months of Burlesque classes too which will hopefully help with #1. I still really want to get back to hip hop if I can though.

23. Learn basic Italian

I’m really excited to have been chosen as a blogger by uTalk to trial their app. I’ve already had a bit of a play about with the app and it’s so good, it really makes learning that little bit easier. Sadly there’s nothing an app can do about my terrible accent! Keep an eye on Eat, Love, Wanderlust for my first ever giveaway with them!

29. Spend the day at a spa

So I didn’t quite make it to the spa pre-Christmas but I did go along last weekend which you can read all about here.

Budget Beauty: Spa London, York Hall

I have to admit as I hopped off the bus directly outside York Hall my heart sank a little. The building, from the outside, looks like a 60’s council gym which could use a little bit of work and the entrance hall didn’t fare much better. The spa however is located in the basement and once the gate was opened at 9am things started to improve.

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You may remember that I was visiting Spa London using a voucher I’d bought on LastMinute.com just before Christmas. This entitled me to three hours in the spa and a short 15 minute treatment of my choice from; spa LONDON Traditional Scrub, spa LONDON Traditional Oil Effleurage or a spa LONDON Traditional Algae Detox. You have to ring up in advance to book and the spa offer three sessions; 9am to midday, 12:30pm to 3:30pm and 4pm til 7pm. I went with the 9am slot as the midday one was full and I knew by 4pm I probably wouldn’t want to leave the house.

Upon arrival I was asked to complete a short form then given a tote bag with towel, robe and padlock for the lockers. I was also asked my shoe size and had to swap my boots for a pair or sexy flip-flops before being directed to the changing rooms. It’s worth noting that Saturdays are ladies only days which is great for those who may be a bit more body conscious and because of this both changing rooms were available for use. I went to the one to the left of the entrance and while it was a nice calming space it was incredibly small with about forty lockers but only two showers, one hairdryer and one set of straighteners! I didn’t think much about it at the time but later this was a huge part of my decision to leave early.

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The facilities at York Hall include; hammam, tepidarium, caldarium, laconium, two aroma steam rooms, a sauna, monsoon showers, ice fountain, plunge pool, hydrotherapy pool (which didn’t seem to be available when I was there) and a relaxation area where you could chill out read magazines and rehydrate with complimentary infused water and fresh fruit (apples). I spent most of my time flitting between the wet hot of the aroma steam rooms, the dry heat of the sauna and cooling down using the monsoon shower which was bloody freezing (as it’s meant to be). I wasn’t brave enough for the plunge pool I’m afraid.

I was booked in for my short treatment at 10:30am so a few minutes prior waited outside the treatment rooms before being ushered inside by my therapist (whose name unfortunately escapes me at this time) I’d gone for the traditional scrub so was asked to take off my swimwear, put on a pair of paper knickers (oh my it’s been a while since I’ve had to wear a pair of those) and lie face down on the massage table. My body was then brushed using a soft body brush then scrubbed with a delicious lemongrass smelling body scrub before being told to wash it all off in the shower. Let me tell you my skin hasn’t felt as amazing as that in a very long time. It was so soft and smelled amazing!

Afterwards I popped back into the spa for a little while longer but decided to call it a day just after 11am. I didn’t want to be fighting over the showers and it meant I could take my time getting ready rather than rushing. I definitely left feeling very relaxed. The usual price for three hours use of the thermal spa is £25 and the scrub is £15 but I had both for just £18 which was amazing value. If there had been more space I would definitely have booked in for a back and shoulder massage as I’m desperately in need of one but I guess that’s just an excuse for more pampering in the near future!