family festivities – Christmas in London.

posted in: personal. | 0

I love Christmas in Europe. It might be cold and dark by 4pm but there’s a real charm to this time of year with all the pretty lights, Christmas markets and the smell of spice in the air.

Having only ever had Christmas in summer, it was such a different experience moving to London in 2012 and having my first cold Christmas (and longest winter ever!). It was only when I was standing out in the freezing cold watching the ice skaters zooming around, sipping on my mug of mulled wine and eating my bratwurst at Winter Wonderland that it really dawned on me what Christmas is all about. It’s not that Australia doesn’t know how to celebrate Christmas – it does – but it’s an incredibly different atmosphere. In Europe, there’s such a wonderful build up as the days start growing shorter, the winter coats and gloves come out, the Christmas markets and crazy Christmas jumpers start appearing and all the stores and streets start putting up their lights and decorations. It’s actually kind of exciting!

This year my parents came over to visit so we had a big family celebration – first on Christmas day at my uncle’s house for an extended lunch and then on the weekend with Micu’s family. Both lunches involved lots of good food and plenty of wine and champagne; the perfect combination for Christmas!

A festive setting at my uncle's house
A festive setting at my uncle’s house

Family portraits

Present time!
Present time!
Boys in the kitchen cooking a feast
Boys in the kitchen cooking a feast

Fortnum & Mason sponsored Christmas

A new addition to the Christmas tree this year - an owl from Vienna
A new addition to the tree this year – an owl from Vienna
Ken - the star of the tree
Ken – the star of the tree
Christmas lunch with all the trimmings
Lunch with all the trimmings
Walks along Regents Canal before pudding
Walks along Regents Canal before pudding
Primrose Hill
Primrose Hill
View from the top of the hill
View from the top of the hill
Sunset at 4pm
Sunset at 4pm
Back for Christmas pudding and watching the Queen's speech
Back for pudding and watching the Queen’s speech
Christmas - Part II
Christmas – Part II
Smoked beef
Smoked beef
Christmas cheers
Christmas cheers
Family reunions
Family reunions
Homemade Takoyaki balls
Homemade Takoyaki

P1070148

Cake time!
Cake time!
All over for another year!
All over for another year!

© 2014 Fiona Tregeagle.

egyptian paradise – four seasons, sharm el sheikh.

posted in: travel. | 0

We escaped the English winter for four blissful days, venturing to the incredibly beautiful oasis that is the Four Seasons, Sharm El Sheikh.

It’s an absolutely stunning resort. The grounds feel more like a small village than a hotel; full of lush gardens which wind down through the layers of the resort, past the pools, all the way to the shimmering seafront. The coral reef sits right up by the water’s edge, giving you the opportunity to explore and observe the schools of fish and sea creatures living in the ocean. The villas are surrounded by pools, palm trees and a wonderful view of the sun softly setting over the Red Sea. The entire resort instills a sense of calmness and relaxation that makes you never want to leave.

We didn’t do a lot besides alternating between lounging by the beach and the pool, eating, reading, swimming and snorkelling. It’s indulgent, but it’s an easy lifestyle to get used to!

The highlight was spending hours snorkelling, quietly watching the sea life interacting with the delicate reef. I didn’t expect it to be quite so alive and vivid, having been to other places where the reef has sadly been eroded and destroyed.

Although it’s a little expensive by Egyptian standards, staying at the Four Seasons was definitely worth it for the quality of the experience. The food was delicious, the staff were genuinely friendly and would stop by to have a chat or go out of their way to make our stay more enjoyable, and the attention to detail throughout the resort was outstanding. Plus, waking up each morning to the view below was something that I will not be forgetting anytime soon!

View from our balcony

The view from our villa
The view from our villa

Poolside in the afternoon

The view from the pier

Beach times in Sharm El Sheikh
Beach times

Me on the beach

Moroccan touches
Moroccan touches

The pool at night

Lounging around the Four Seasons, Sharm El Sheikh

The Four Seasons, Sharm el Sheikh
The Four Seasons

View from the top of the hotel The hotel

Attention to detail

One of the restaurants

Buffet breakfast time
Buffet breakfast time

Nutella crepe and fruit salad

Enjoying the view

The gardens at Four Seasons

By the pool

One of the pools

Jumping in the Red Sea

Learning how to dive
Learning how to dive

Learning to dive

Enjoying the view from our balcony
Enjoying the view from our balcony

Tea time

Morning sunshine over the beach Gardens

The beach and Red Sea

Me on the pier

Snorkelling in the Red Sea
Snorkelling in the Red Sea

Looking silly after snorkelling

Tropical beach view

Poolside

Relaxing in the pool

Riding the Four Seasons funicular
Riding the Four Seasons funicular
Farewell Four Seasons
Farewell Four Seasons, Sharm El Sheikh

Photos by Micu and I.

© 2014 Fiona Tregeagle.

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a magical wedding.

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At the start of September I had the pleasure of attending the magical wedding of two of my friends, Amit and Neha. I had been looking forward to their wedding ever since receiving their... READ MORE

2014.

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15 trips across 11 countries, thousands of photos, countless hours spent with (or skyping/vibering) family and new and old friends, lots of amazing food, and plenty of adventures and memories stored for years to come. 2014... READ MORE