The Rembrandt Spa #DiscoveryFriday

A spa day is always an absolute must and the Rembrandt delivered it beautifully!

A friend of mine and I had planned a little girly day for a while, to simply catch up and relax in a pool, a jacuzzi and have a massage, the Rembrandt in South Kensington was just the answer to our prayers.

A small spa that rests quietly in the basement of the hotel, it features a beautiful pool with columns and a fountain in the middle, a relaxation area, open gym, Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room. We got a twenty minute treatment, which was a massage and so completely relaxing. I really carry a lot of tension in my shoulders and need to very often have some help to relax them so this was PERFECT!

The beauty is that spas are slowly but surely becoming more accessible. We booked our afternoon with spabreaks.com and it cost us each £45, with free teas and coffees, treatment and full use of the spa for the whole day. It was great. Prices outside of London are even better and cheaper so it is definitely do-able to treat yourself to a relaxing afternoon once in a while.

So that is my little discovery for this week, let me know what you guys are getting up to.

Happy reading, writing and travelling!

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Gellert Baths #Budapest

I am so excited to be sharing with you the first post of my fantastic city break in Budapest, Hungary. Just as a brief overview, Budapest is a city of such cultural richness and history that it was easy to get lost in the wonder of it all. There is so much to share with you guys that I am actually going to start with a really short post about something that Budapest is renowned for – the thermal baths!

Budapest sits on a natural thermal baths site, which is also one of the reasons the Romans decided to settle in this location. They wanted to enjoy the banks of the Danube and now the city is actually called the City of Spas, considering a world heritage site in practically every corner and one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.

With such a huge choice of baths to go to we had the pleasure of visiting two! Let’s focus on Gellert Baths first. hese, along with the Szechenyi Baths, are the most expensive, luxurious and stunning baths. Each of these averages at around 4000 to 5000 FT (forints), but the experience is worth it.

Gellert is a mix gender thermal spa, with several pools that vary in temprature from 20 degrees to 40 degrees! YES 40 and it feels awesome! We started in the coolest exterior baths and slowly worked our way towards the 40 degree water which felt difficult at first but cleansed my skin purifying its pores.

The other incredible aspect of the Gellert baths is simply its architecture. It was said by someone that bathing in the Gellert baths is like bathing in a cathedral. The building itself does not look like something special, a hotel with a rather bleak façade, however the spa inside is truly magnificent. Bright and colourful, it fills you with life to walk between each stunningly decorated pool and get lost in the labyrinth of the building.

I can only encourage you to safely deposit some of the money you are taking with you into going to the baths. There are plenty of options and it is truly worth it. We also had the opportunity to go to the Kiraly Baths, which were much cheaper and they followed the building structure of the original Turkish baths with an octagonal pool in the middle. Unfortunately we were unable to get photos of this one, because the temperature was so high and fumes so much that we were not allowed to wander around with our cameras.

Other baths you can visit are the Szechenyi, which are located on the City Park. Rudas Baths are also in the octagonal shape, so truly wonderful as an ode to the original structure of these buildings. Margaret island has options too, and there are plenty more! Just do your research, but be aware that some are still gentleman only baths.

For now I leave with this! Happy reading, writing and travelling!

 

Bluebottle Jellyfish – Discovery Friday

Another Friday, another flashback and another discovery to share with you guys. This is a little jump back to my most recent trip to Mozambique where I had the pleasure to encounter these for the first time.

These little bad boys are known as Garrafa Azul, Bluebottle Jellyfish or the Portuguese man’o war – yes the Portuguese got in there and named them that because they look like a typical Portuguese ship as it is ready to set sail.

These little things look glorious on the sandy white beaches, the blue rays of these animals decorating the shore in such a beautiful yet dangerous way. It is enticing almost, my friend and I had never seen one before and got really close until warned by another friend that we shouldn’t touch them.

It is said that the sting of a bluebottle feels like someone is slicing your skin and muscles open with a butchers knife… not something I would like to experience, but they do look amazing! How mother nature has made such a beautiful world filled with stunning creatures.

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This amazing photo of a Bluebottle on the beach in Tofo, Mozambique, is credited to my amazing friend Dárcio Essá, who dabbles in nature photography and has some breathtaking shots. Thank you for letting me use your image. Please click here to see some of his incredible photos. 

Discovering Mulled Wine and Mince Pies

I am so pleased to be launching this new segment of the blog! Discovery Friday will feature every week with something I have discovered in the last week. We should feature 52 of these a year and at the end of next year I will reveal which one of the discoveries was the most poignant.

They could be a variety of things, from a new food recipe, to a new location, a film, music, a piece of art, a book, or even something personal about myself. This will be a fun way to remind ourselves that every day we are exposed to something new and every day is its own unique adventure and journey which begins when you wake up and ends in dreamland.

Some of the posts might fit into other sections of the site as well, such as travel, arts and food, so it will be an interesting crossover and a little added feature to my continuous journey to Discovering Diana. I believe it is small things like this that add to the person that you are constantly growing to become, small moments that seem completely insignificant but can somehow shape you entirely. Hopefully it will also help you realise that you continue to find new things every day. Please join me by telling me what you have discovered in the last week, every Friday.

To kick us off, a very festive discovery for me was Mulled Wine and Mince Pies.

Not exactly a discovery, I was aware that these things existed, but in nine years living in the UK I never tried them and always decided that no they were not for me. How wrong I was! Mulled wine is officially the best way to drink Red wine in my opinion. The spices, the warmth, the fruity flavour and the alcohol, all combined perfectly into a warm cup of Christmas. It is truly joyful. And with a mince pie, EVEN BETTER.

Now who knew Mince pies don’t actually contain any mince meat? Am I being completely blond here, but that was the the idea I had was that it was some mix of dried fruits, nuts and mince meat into an almost jam like consistency in a pie. That does not sound appealing, but the actual thing is lovely and is complimented beautifully by a glass of Mulled Wine.

This discovery is very small and simple, but actually showed me that a) I can drink wine and b) I can eat things with sultanas in without wanting to surgically remove my tongue and taste buds. Small and simple, but it has made me feel a bit more of an adult than before, with a mature enough palette to appreciate its goodness. Plus it really does put you in that Christmas feeling.

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Photo found on Google

A little hidden treasure!

Today is definitely a #FlashbackFriday type of day! As I am creating new content for you, here is a little look back at one of my favourite discoveries, only made in March/April 2014.

Having lived, studied and worked in London for the last 3/4 years, sometimes certain things go unnoticed. Like incredible street performers, new quirky cafes or second hand book shops. Little streets with beautiful windows and balconies, or a pub that actually has your favourite international beer in it. These tiny, simply yet incredibly significant things are not noticed. This saddens me immensely. And recently, I found my favourite hidden treasure. The roof tops of the Royal Opera House!

They are open to the public, with a cafe and the most stunning view of Covent Garden. These balconies are beautifully built, with sofas that you can sit on and sip a drink, grab a bite, or use and abuse of their wi-fi for some studying and/or writing. It is quiet and peaceful in the middle of the hustle and bustle, and you do not pay to go in. They are more often than not, completely deserted. Unknown to the public, hidden from sight, no one will ever guess they are there. Well this is my little hidden treasure, and hopefully it won’t be hidden from you now. I don’t want to shout from the roof tops about it – see what I did there? – but everyone deserves to glimpse this view of Covent Garden at least once. You should go see it, and try to catch a glimpse of the Royal Ballet Company’s rehearsals for some entertainment and if you want to be mesmerized.

Here are some snaps of the view!

1505016_10202654670666694_1525944825_n1522242_10202654671226708_563486517_n1524778_10202654669506665_330027656_nA little hidden treasure!