Christmas Coffee Recipes For Christmas Coffee Haters

I'm about to say something a bit controversial; I'm not the biggest fan of festive drinks. I like my coffee as bitter as my heart (that is a joke, don't worry mum my heart is super warm) so adding in a ton of syrup just doesn't do it for me.

However, I do occasionally like to get a little inventive at home, where I can be in control of my festive drinks and have a bit of an experiment. So if you're equally as unimpressed with festive offerings from coffee shops, these ones just might float your boat (or sleigh - HA).

Gingerbread Latte | I love ginger, but gingerbread lattes in cafes are waaaay too sweet (I am fun at parties I promise) so I made my own using ground spices. I whisk the spices with a drop of milk to make a paste then add the espresso and steamed milk.

1 shot of espresso 
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
steamed milk or milk alternative (I use oat milk)

Mulled Cappucino | Like mulled wine but in coffee form (very proud of this one), again I mixed the spices with a bit of milk, squeezed in the orange then added the espresso and milk.

1 shot of espresso
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves 
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg 
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
pinch of ginger
squeeze of fresh orange
steamed milk or milk alternative

Cinnamon Vanilla Espresso | I saved the easiest and least inventive one until last. This one uses syrup (top tip, TK Maxx do some fab ones) and just sweetens up the espresso a little. I actually quite like using syrup at home because I can just add a really small amount.

1 shot of espresso
drop of cinnamon vanilla syrup

Are you a fan of festive drinks?

Amy x

AD | What Makes A Great Staycation?

I'm a big fan of a staycation, something you'll know if you've been reading this blog for a while, so when I was contacted by the lovely team at My Hotel Break I jumped at the chance to see what they have on offer and my little break with them got me thinking; what makes a great staycation?

E X P E R I E N C E  | I don't know about you, but when I'm booking a staycation I don't want to have to think too much about it so I'd rather opt for a deal that already provides me with things to do. My Hotel Break aim to provide an 'experience' rather than just a hotel room, whether that's a spa break, a murder mystery or a walking holiday. We stayed at the Chevin Country Park Hotel in Otley, West Yorkshire (one of my favourite parts of the country FYI) and it was everything I look for in a staycation experience; a cosy room, a pool and leisure facilities (hello hot tub) in an idyllic setting.

L O C A T I O N  |  Although I love holing myself up in a hotel and staying there for the majority of my break, I also like having the option of venturing out somewhere if I wish. On this occasion, we spent the morning in Otley before checking in (and subsequently holing ourselves in) to our hotel. Whether it's a cute town like Otley to explore (with ample coffee shops, obviously) or picturesque countryside to walk around in, I always think about location before booking.

R E L A X A T I O N  |  One thing I adore about staycations is the ability to relax that you don't necessarily get with a holiday abroad (or at least you don't if you're like me and squeeze out every last bit of energy you have to explore somewhere). If I'm staying in the UK it's because I want to relax, which was the exact kind of break that My Hotel Break and The Chevin provided us with.

E A S Y  B O O K I N G  |  As I've already mentioned, I like to not think too much about booking a staycation and luckily, with My Hotel Break, the booking process is simple. You can choose a hotel based on location, price or the type of experience you're looking for so you can find exactly what you want from your break with just a few clicks. With it being a small family run business it's also very personal and friendly; the team are always on hand to help, answer any questions and be generally lovely! They also offer free cancellation, which is extremely handy if you work flexible shifts like me, which often have to change last minute. 

S O M E T H I N G  U N I Q U E  |  Don't get me wrong, I love a Premier Inn for a city break or as somewhere to stay when I'm going to gig, but when I'm having what I'd call a 'proper' staycation I love staying somewhere a bit unique with lots of character. My Hotel Break specialise in smaller, independent hotels so you can discover places like The Chevin, which are more off the beaten track and which really have their own personality (yes I'm claiming that hotels have personality here, hear me out OK). The Chevin had a real lodge vibe to it, which felt so festive and cosy and almost made it feel like we were staying in a ski chalet. There was a lot of wood, an open fire and a view of the lake to wake up to.

If you're interested in staying at The Chevin, you can book here. We were kindly provided with bed, breakfast and dinner, which is from £49.50pp or you can opt for room only from £27.50pp (although would highly recommend dinner because tasty!)

What do you look for in a staycation?

Amy x

Otley, UK