Last week my boyfriend and I took a mini trip down to Brighton.
The main reason was to go and see my fave band, The Maine, as Vincent had never really been to a proper rock gig before (only a festival), and obviously going to gig’s is one of my favourite things in the world so I thought it would be nice to go.
I usually see them in London but we figured why not go to the Brighton date instead and make a trip out of it? Well, I did, anyway. Vincent did get rather annoyed when I informed him that train tickets and a hotel were more expensive than originally planned and he admitted he thought we were only going for the day (as in coming back after the gig). Apparently it didn’t occur to him that when I asked him to book two days off work, it would involve staying overnight and he thought it was just incase we were hungover..!
Anyway. We headed off from Luton station on Monday morning and arrived to somewhat warm weather just a couple of hours later.
Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | (Just under) 48 hours in Brighton | Travel | Brighton | Brighton Pier

The first thing we did was check into our room at Ei8ht apartments, a cute townhouse that offers serviced apartments and rooms pretty much a stone’s throw from the seafront. We were really pleased with our room; it was small but really quaint and cosy and great for the price too!
We threw our stuff into the room and then took a short walk towards the beach before descending onto the pier. We mooched around for a bit, enjoying the view and having a few games in the arcade where Vincent shamelessly beat me at Dance Revolution. I used to be obsessed with the game as a kid, so it’s kind of our tradition to play one whenever we see it. We also walked to the end of the pier to admire the view and had a go on a couple of rides too.
After, we headed into central Brighton via the Lanes. We popped into Choccywoccydoodah to marvel at the displays and browsed a couple of other shops before exploring Snoopers Paradise. We didn’t buy anything, but enjoyed rummaging around nonetheless.
By the time we were done, we were starving so we headed off to this amazing vegan restaurant called Purezza. We’d heard great things about it – and it didn’t disappoint. I’d love to write all about it but I’ll instead be doing a separate review post on this!
After we stuffed our faces with delicious food, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for the gig. Doors weren’t until seven though and we were exhausted so managed to sneak in a quick nap before getting ready! It had been a while since I’d been a gig, so I took my time perfecting my ‘rocker’ look, with smokey eyeshadow, a deep purple lipstick and cute space buns.
Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | (Just under) 48 hours in Brighton | Travel | Brighton | Food | Pizza | Vegan | Vegan Pizza | Purezza
The gig was held at The Haunt, which is the same place where I saw The Maine a few years back. We arrived to hear the last couple of songs of The Technicolours set, and then checked out Night Riots. I was ecstatic when they played a song I actually knew and liked – I hadn’t realized it was by them so it was nice that I knew a song!
Next The Maine boys came on and they did not disappoint. They put on a good show as usual, but I was sad that they didn’t play some of my all time favourites. Still, it was still an amazing show, even if I did feel old when at least four different girls came up to me to say hello and note that they recognised me from past tours!
Oh how times have changed. Though younger than me, nearly all of them are still doing tour after tour, whereas in this case I was actually at the gig during a mini break with my boyfriend. Remembering the old days, I quickly downed a beer in cheers of my old groupie self, knowing that now that I’m on the wrong side of 25, my groupie days are long over.
The following morning we headed to the seafront for some classic seaside chips. Whilst Vincent practiced his skating (he recently purchased a longboard), I relaxed with the peace around me and read a book. This was probably one of my favourite parts of the mini break; just kicking back and enjoying the atmosphere and peace!
Shortly afterwards, Vincent beat me yet again with a game of crazy golf, we met up with a friend for lunch at another sweet vegan cafe, Wai Kika Moo Kau, had another final mooch around the shops and then headed back to the station to catch our train.

Also, oddly enough, we had GREAT weather. Apart from tons of rain on the Monday night (when we were inside anyway), it was actually kinda warm. I’d bought myself a new parka jacket, expecting to get a lot of use out of it during our time in Brighton but on the Tuesday I barely even worn it! So we were really lucky with the weather too.

At the time, I didn’t realized we packed so much in but writing about it now made me realize we got up to a fair bit, even though we didn’t have time to do all the stuff we wanted like visit the Penny Arcade and such.
Still, we had a lot of fun and I enjoyed taking my boyfriend to Brighton for the first time and to his first rock gig. I love Brighton because it’s so close by that even just a day visit is viable, so there’s no doubt we’ll be heading back soon.
Have you been to Brighton lately? Let me know with a comment!
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When it comes to travel, sometimes there are so many beautiful countries and places to stay that I can’t help blogging about – even if I haven’t yet had the opportunity to visit!
One (or two!) of these places are the luxurious B&B’s of  La Dimora dei Cherubini in Florence, a timeless and classy classic travel location no matter what time of year or type of break you’re looking for. Like Berlin, or Amsterdam, Florence is the kind of place that is always popular and never grows old.

Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Travel | La Dimora Degli Angel | Florence | France | B&B

When I imagine a B&B, I usually think of a small but quaint family run kind of place with breakfast on offer – but  La Dimora dei Cherubini breaks all of these misconceptions. Although it has a homely atmosphere, a stay at  La Dimora dei Cherubini also offers modern and charming rooms with a welcoming atmosphere and classy and luxurious decor.
Both B&B’s are close by to the station Santa Maria Novella in the center of Florence, with only a short walk between each. Whereas #DimoraDegliAngeli and  La Dimora del Centro offer charming and intimate rooms, both also offer some unique points too.

La Dimora degli Angeli Florence is set on the third and fourth floors of a historic palace, Via De’ Brunelleschi, and La Dimora del Centro Florence is located in the 19th century palace of  Piazza della Repubblica. This palace was proved to be an inspiration for the poet Eugenio Montale.

Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Travel | La Dimora Degli Angel | Florence | France | B&B

Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Travel | La Dimora Degli Angel | Florence | France | B&B

Each B&B also offers rooms overlooking Duomo of Florence and feature en-suite bathrooms, free wi-fi, air conditioning, safes, satellite TV and more. 
If you can drag yourself away from the room, guests will find Galleria degli Uffizi nearby and shops in Via de’ Tornabuoni. 
If you’ve got your eye on a visit to Florence anytime soon, then a stay at La Dimora dei Cherubini is certainly worth visiting. 
What do you think? Would you stay at either of these luxury B&B’s? Would you like me to do more blog posts focused on specific hotels and places? Let me know!

Buzzoole

*Please note, this is a sponsored posts but all views and opinions are entirely my own.
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I’m a big fan of theme parks but Blackpool Pleasure Beach is hands down one of my all time favourites. 
I have so many great memories of going there as a child and in fact a visit to the park – or a ride on the The Big One – is a good enough reason alone for the long drive to Blackpool! Until I went recently I actually used to always have dreams about the famous Pepsi Max (seriously, I know it’s officially called the Big One now but I can’t help call it the Pepsi Max still!) roller coaster too, haha.
Therefore it’s no surprise that following our time in Blackpool, a post dedicated to Blackpool Pleasure Beach would pop up.
Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Travel | Lifestyle | Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Blackpool Pleasure Beach is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the United Kingdom since it opened in 1896. Though it has a lot of modern roller coasters, it’s also a very classical theme park. It’s one of the only theme park’s in the world to still have a traditional wooden wild mouse roller coaster and still has some of its earliest and classic rides such as Steeple Chase, Grand National and Derby Racer.
This is one thing I love about the Pleasure Beach, the fact that it has so many classic elements and rides. It’s nice to go back and see the rides I used to go on when I was younger, like the funky Alice in Wonderland ride which is for kids but I always insist on going on still.
There’s a real mix of rides too with different themes throughout the park. So no matter what your age or your thrill factor, there’s something for everyone. I still insist everyone should go on the Pepsi Max at least once though as you really can’t beat the view at the top, nor the feeling when you hit that first drop.
Food wise; there’s a lot on offer too, though not much for vegans that we could find. I guess most of the traditional theme park foods were pricey, but we enjoyed grabbing a hot drink in one of the restaurants by Valhalla which had a cute french chalet theme inside. 
It’s also supposedly haunted! Shows such as Most Haunted and Great British Ghosts have both featured the park and it’s well known for the haunted ghost train ride which is haunted by a former ride operator named Cloggy.
Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Travel | Lifestyle | Blackpool Pleasure Beach
As well as rides, there’s also crazy golf, amazing shows, scary walkthroughs and Ripley’s Believe It Or Not. Personally though, my favourite rides are the Pepsi Max/The Big One (obvious choice!), Valhalla (an amazing ride themed around Viking’s and visually stunning), Alice’s Wonderland, Revolution, Infusion (even though it was closed when we were there) and Avalanche (basically, all of the big ones!). I also love the Chinese Puzzle Maze and Impossible.
It’s affordable, too. Although you now have to pay just to enter the park, as opposed to being able to walk round it for free, I kind of have no complaint about this because why would you visit the park and not go on any rides?! The park has a Rainy Day Return policy too and, what I didn’t realize, entry to the park also includes entry into Ripley’s Believe It Or Not.
Finally, the park also offers some events where it’s open in the evening too in collaboration with Ministry Of Sound! This is a great opportunity to not only ride the biggest coasters in the dark but also see Blackpool lit up with the illuminations and the tower.
So, as a whole, Blackpool Pleasure Beach is well worth a visit. Some tips I’d recommend though are:
– Get there nice and early as although the park may seem small, there’s a lot to see and do.
– Don’t be scared to visit on a grey day. There’s the Rainy Day Return policy – as explained above – and its likely to be less busy on a cold day which means less lines.
– Go on Valhalla last, or first (if it’s sunny) as you will get very, very wet. It’s very, very worth it though.
– See a show too.
– Plan what you’re eating beforehand as there’s so much choice and once it gets busy, you don’t want to be walking around lost for ages and hungry. Alternatively, pop just outside (it’s okay though, you can return afterwards with your wristband!) and visit Faringos for some yummy vegan food.
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So as you all know, during the second week of our holiday, my boyfriend and I rented a car to road trip around the country!
We had so much fun, though the driving was a challenge for me. In Romania, they drive on the opposite side of the road. I’m also used to driving a tiny Ford KA so to go from that to a huge car was tough. Plus, most drivers in Romania are crazy, especially in busier cities!
Anyway, we got up to quite a lot but in hindsight I think we needed more than one night in each city. Still, here’s some highlights from the trip.
Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | A Romanian Road Trip | Travel | Romania | Road Trip | Transfagarasan

Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | A Romanian Road Trip | Travel | Romania | Road Trip | Transfagarasan

Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | A Romanian Road Trip | Travel | Romania | Road Trip | Transfagarasan
TRANSFAGARASAN
Transfagarasan is known as one of the most stunning roads in the world and likewise is the most famous road in Romania. It takes you high up through the mountains, offering stunning views, before an exciting winding trip back down. It’s definitely not for the faint hearted but somehow I did it! It was scary but the views were totally worth it and it was a really amazing experience that I’ll never forget.
A NIGHT WITH THE STARS
We spent one evening in a remote cabin in the mountains, which we found on Airbnb. This was a really special night and we chose this unique location because it coincided with the Perseids meteor shower. As it goes; the sky was actually pretty cloudy that night but we managed to spot a few shooting stars as well as a really epic thunderstorm.

BUCHAREST
Bucharest was lovely; though a bitch to drive around. After some stressful driving into the city, we checked into the hotel and headed off to a nearby vegan place. After this, we walked to a local shopping centre to have a look around the shops and stopped on the rooftop area, which was really cool. It had restaurants and bars, as well as grass, fountains and plenty of places to relax – plus beautiful views over the busy city. Then that evening we went out for a few drinks – it turns out Bucharest is very popular with tourists and even has it’s own busy strip. We stopped in a really cute cocktail bar which offered a very varied list of unique cocktails – I can’t for the life of me remember it’s name but will pop a link back into this post when I remember later. Then we found a kind of western/burlesque bar called Bordello. They had live music on by this awesome girl band and we had a bit of a dance and tried some more cocktails. This was probably the only night we got really drunk on holiday and it was really fun/romantic.

Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | A Romanian Road Trip | Travel | Romania | Road Trip | Cluj-Napoca

Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | A Romanian Road Trip | Travel | Romania | Road Trip | Cluj-Napoca

CLUJ-NAPOCA
Cluj was one of my favourite places, even if I did keep making rude jokes about its name, haha. We arrived pretty late this night so the first thing we did was throw our bags into our very boutique hotel (which had an amazing waterfall shower) and head out again for some food. We found a bar/restaurant by the river which was stopping serving food soon so we ordered some food for takeout and sat by the river drinking delicious Mojitos whilst waiting. Once ready, we took the food back to the hotel and ate it on the cute terrace which was sweet. The following morning we got up early and took a walk around the beautiful city centre. We visited a really fun and interactive museum where I learned a lot about the history of Romania, and then we visited the large church in the centre. Cluj was such a beautiful place, I can’t wait to return one day.

MAMAIA
For our final night of our trip, we headed to the seaside! Even though it was late afternoon when we arrived, the first thing we did was drop our bags at the apartment and go for a swim in the sea. We were the only ones in there but strangely despite it being around six, the water was still really warm. I’m glad we got to go for a swim! We took a taxi into the city afterwards (which was scary enough on it’s own as the taxi driver was crazy!) and had some food at a hotel and restaurant on the beachfront. The following day we spent a few hours in the local shopping centre and were delighted to find they had the Body exhibition there, which I’ve wanted to see for years now. So we also visited that.


Off course this is just a small preview of our time on our road trip; there are other places we visited and a lot of memories to last us a lifetime! All in all we packed in quite a lot despite only really having an evening and sometimes a morning too in each place. It was the perfect way to see snapshots of the country though from visiting eye-watering beautiful mountains to upbeat and quirky cities. I was so sad when our trip ended and I still am; I definitely miss Romania already and can’t wait to visit again soon.

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Yesterday marked one full week in Romania and we’ve already packed quite a bit into this short amount of time, despite the fact that we’ve not even started on our road trip yet! In fact, I don’t even know where to start when summing up my time in Romania so far.

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Formidable Joy | Travel | Romania | Brasov

Last Wednesday we touched down in Bucharest and took the coach to my boyfriend’s hometown of Onesti. Here, we were greeted with both smiling and emotional faces as Vincent was reunited with his family for the first time in around a year; and I was touched that they welcomed me with open arms too.
Our first few days were busy – we had lots planned but luckily his family were also up to visiting some of the touristy places too which was great as it meant we’ve been able to spend tons of time with them. On our first full day in Romania, we packed up a picnic and drove to a beautiful spot just out of town for a relaxing afternoon enjoying the sunshine and gorging on delicious food. And my god, the views were beautiful. I honestly felt like we were in somewhere like Canada instead. I had no idea that Romania is a place filled with such beautiful countryside – I get blown away more and more each day.
Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Formidable Joy | Travel | Romania
Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Formidable Joy | Travel | Romania
The following day we took a trip to Brasov and Bran. Brasov is a really quaint town which is often seen on Pinterest due to it’s gorgeous architecture and colourful buildings. Here, there’s lots of outdoor eating spots, hidden gems tucked away and accessible via alleyways, a beautiful and large courtyard with a fountain and the famous Black Church (amongst other things). We spent the morning strolling around Brasov and visiting the Black Church, which is named aptly so due to an arson attack which saw the church survive but it’s walls turned black.
Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Formidable Joy | Travel | Romania | Brasov
Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Formidable Joy | Travel | Romania | Brasov |
Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Formidable Joy | Travel | Romania | Brasov | The Black Church

Next up was Bran, which is a classic fairytale town. Unfortunately it was really, really busy so we couldn’t get many photos, but we took the time to explore Bran Castle which is also known as Dracula’s Castle. I enjoyed this tons as the views from the castle were beautiful but both my boyfriend and I admitted it was far too overcrowded – still, it was worth it.


I’ve already decided I’d love to come back in winter and view the castle covered in snow.

TIP – If you’re into horror/being scared out of your wits like me, there’s a really cool ‘horror house’ on the way up to the castle that you can visit. It’s only short but it’s a lot of fun!

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Formidable Joy | Travel | Romania | Bran | Bran Castle | Dracula's Castle

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Formidable Joy | Travel | Romania | Bran | Bran Castle | Dracula's Castle

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Formidable Joy | Travel | Romania | Bran | Bran Castle | Dracula's Castle

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Formidable Joy | Travel | Romania | Bran | Bran Castle | Dracula's Castle

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Formidable Joy | Travel | Romania | Bran | Bran Castle | Dracula's Castle

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Formidable Joy | Travel | Romania | Bran | Bran Castle | Dracula's Castle

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Formidable Joy | Travel | Romania | Bran | Bran Castle | Dracula's Castle
After a packed few days, we took it easy for the rest of the week. We headed to the local pool and then spent the remainder of our time with family and exploring the neighbourhood. I was really happy we had the chance to do this because obviously it’s fun to see all the pretty tourist attractions, but I also wanted to see where my boyfriend grew up and feel less like a tourist. We ate at local restaurants, visited bars and went food shopping – a LOT. I soon learned that Vincent’s family loves to shop and that on any given day can visit at least six different establishments/supermarkets to get everything they need – yes, we counted. But hey, I ain’t judging!
I’ve had so much fun so far and I’ve also been overwhelmed with just how welcoming and lovely Vincent’s family is – I think it’s definitely going to be emotional leaving. But technically we’re only halfway through our holiday as today we head off onto our big Romanian road trip…
Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Formidable Joy | Travel | Romania
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