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    How to Rest and Relax in Gstaad

    How To Rest & Relax in Gstaad

    This past weekend, my best friend and fellow blogger Zanna Van Dijk, invited me on a trip to Gstaad, Switzerland to stay at Le Grand Belle Vue Hotel. 

    Both of our lives are often overwhelmingly hectic, and so the idea of having some quality girl time in the Mountains was far too appealing. It’s actually kind of hilarious, that Zanna and I have to go to  Switzerland to get some quality time together despite living in the same City, but neither of us like to turn down a chance for adventure! Plus the idea of a weekend of Swiss Chocolate & Cheese was a no brainer.

    The Setting

    We arrived to the Gstaad after taking the most stunning journey on The Golden Pass Railway, a must if you want to see the stunning Swiss mountains and lakes. Once we got to the Gstaad station, we were then picked up by the hotel chauffeur in a classic Bentley (which later we discovered was owned by Sir Roger Moore, my boyfriend Jack would have DIED).

     

    We stayed at Le Grand Belle Vue in Gstaad, a 5 star hotel, which might sound fancy but was in fact the most welcoming, and delightful place I have ever stayed in. We were given a tour of the hotel by the owner Daniel Koetser, where he showed us all that was on offer. Okay, so this place had a Michelin Star Restaurant, a Sushi Bar, a Nightclub, a Wine Cellar, a Spa with about 5 Saunas, an Ice Grotto, Gym, Reformer Pilates Studio and a picture perfect Pool. Needless to say we were rather blown away. 

    Zanna and I shared a room, we were greeted with a Champagne reception and the most perfect little cakes on arrival. This was the beginning of what turned out to be a pretty indulgent weekend! But more on that later. 

    The hotel is surrounded by rolling hills, and mountains in the distance. Everywhere was green which makes a pleasant change from the concrete jungle of London. The unpolluted air and beautiful surroundings had an almost instant calming effect on both of us. Everywhere you look, the views are perfect for a postcard! Gstaad itself is a traditional town full of these stunning wooden lodges, decorated with lots of pretty flowers. It's also a very affluent area of Switzerland, with the majority of shops being designer so if you plan a visit, be sure to take plenty of spending money. 

    The Food 

    For the most part, Zanna and I chose to dine in the hotel, as it’s not short of incredible options. The breakfast buffet was a total dream, offering the most delicious bircher muesli + all the toppings you could wish for which we paired with the most perfect eggs from the breakfast menu. 

    Our first evening, we got out of our activewear for once and dressed up for a 3 course meal at the Michelin Starred restaurant ‘Leonards’. Oh my goodness, this was wonderful. A highlight being Dover Sole, with spring vegetables, ratatouille, buttered potatoes and Spinach. 

    And not forgetting dessert! If you know Zanna and I, you know that we both have an eternal sweet tooth (that got satisfied on multiple occasions…we haven’t even got to the Chocolate Shop yet). 

    The Flourless Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ice Cream was out of this world. Like a fluffy chocolate cloud!!! 

    On our second evening, we enjoyed Sushi in our room, which we ordered directly from the in-house Sushi Chef downstairs. We felt like absolute ballers, devouring a mountain of Maki Rolls in our hotel robes and matching slippers whilst we had a girls night in watching our favourite YouTubers. What else would we do haha?!

    We did venture into Gstaad and wander around the shops, we found the healthy hot spots, Glow HealthBar where we enjoyed a Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Smoothie. Talking of Chocolate, we made it our mission to try the truffles the Swiss were so famous for! Treating ourselves to a bag of goodies, that didn’t make it to the end of the day. Absolutely no regrets about that. 

     It's called #BALANCE, Ok?! 😉😂

    The Activities

    Like I said, this weekend was all about relaxing and recharging our very run down batteries. 

    One of our main goals for the trip was to head out on a hike, sadly due to some overcast and drizzly weather we were limited to a walk to another town. However, we made the most of it and got to see some pretty spectacular views. 

    But the true relaxation came at the hotel Spa. We booked in for a 50 minute full body massage which my body was SO thankful for before hopping form Sauna to Sauna, to the pool, to the Ice Box followed by the Jacuzzi. 

     

    Did we train on this weekend away?? NO. Did we eat all the treats, enjoy all the delicacies and lounge around? YES. 

    When you lead a life that often goes at 100mph, it’s so important to take time out, to just do something totally different to the daily grind. 

    I know a lot of you who may read this will feel uneasy about fully letting go on holiday, but your healthy lifestyle will be still be there when you return home. However, the experience of enjoying Michelin starred food and local delicacies don’t come around so often, and so take those opportunities with both hands and make the most of your holiday. 

    If you’re looking for a similar experience, a luxurious escape, incredible food and the great outdoors on your doorstep, then I strongly recommend visiting Gstaad and Le Grand Belle Vue. 

    Personally, I am hoping to plan a trip to go back in Spring when it’s a little cooler so we can take full advantage of the open fires and hot chocolate menu after hiking up a mountain. 

    This weekend was great for the girls, but it definitely would be ideal for a romantic getaway in the mountains. I mean, Fondue for 2?! His & Her Spa treatments! Champagne on the lawn?! Yes Please! 

     

    Thanks again Zanna for inviting me on this trip! It was a total dream. I can’t wait for many more trips together in the future. 

    Thanks for reading! I will be trying to blog once a week from now on, so stay tuned for more posts! 

    Tally x

    P.S This is Leonard, the hotel mascot! Actually quite a terrifying experience taking this photo, as you're up pretty high and he's not that big!

     

     

     

     

     

     

     


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    A Healthy and Balanced Holiday

    A Healthy and Balanced Holiday

     

    Recently, I got the chance to go away with Natalie Glaze, a fellow fitness and lifestyle blogger. We went away for 4 days to Paphos, Cyprus for some much needed Vitamin D and boy did we get it, it was an average of 32 degrees every day we were there. We flew out with Monarch Airlines and stayed at the beautiful Almyra Hotel and Spa, which is right on the coast overlooking the Sea as you can see above. 

    It was the most beautiful setting for our little trip. Honestly we wanted to do a lot whilst we were there, sun bathe, swim in the infinity pool (seen below) workout in the Gym, do some Yoga and get pampered in the spa, visit the local town, get Gelato ( A MUST). Oh and of course, make sure we visited each of the 5 restaurants that the Almyra had to offer. So not alot then?!

    Natalie and I shared a similar ethos when it came to the holiday. We wanted to for the most part stay healthy and active, and indulge in our evening meals and local delicacies as we knew they were the parts that made the trip extra special for us.

    So I thought I'd share how we maintained a healthy balance whilst we were there!

    Healthy Habits

    These are the little things we did each day to make sure we were keeping active and healthy. Nothing crazy or extreme, just sensible tips to help us feel our best. 

    1) We did workouts every day! These workouts ranged from HIIT, to Weights, to Circuits to Yoga. Now if we went away for longer than 4 days, we most likely would have had some rest days too. But because our break was short, we decided to make sure we had a sweat sesh each day. You can see one of our full body HIIT Circuit in full on my YouTuve video below. 

    2) We made sensible choices at the Breakfast buffet. We knew that each evening we were going to have fairly indulgent meals. So we made to get in all our essential nutrients at breakfast, turning into almost a brunch as we mostly had lighter snack-y lunches. What did I get? I went for 2 eggs wither boiled or fried, with some Chicken, Salad bits etc. Followed by a plate of the sweet stuff! A bowl of Greek Yoghurt, Bircher Muesli, Nuts and local Honey as well as a plate of fresh fruit; grapefruit, watermelon etc. So we had a high protein breakfast with carbs and fats to fuel us up for the day. This would often be after our morning workout. Before we would have a healthy snack. 

    Breakfast at Eauzone Cafe

    3) I packed some healthy snacks. I personally hate the idea of going hungry, and so will forever have snacks in my bag to prevent this from EVER happening. For this trip I packed some Quest Bars, Bounce Balls, Nuts and Pip & Nut Sachets to keep us going. We were kindly given fruit on our arrival, and so would often snack on Apple + Nut Butter for a mid afternoon snack. We often had a bounce ball or quest bar prior to training.

    4) We drank lots of water. Neither Natalie or myself are big drinkers in terms of alchohol and so we didnt actually have any drinks whilst we were there. In the heat all we really wanted was Water, and these amazing Watermelon Coolers (Fresh Watermelon, Apple Juice & Coconut Essence). So dreamy. However even these type of drinks are packed full of sugars so we would only have 1-2 a day. 

    5) We stayed active. Besides the gym workouts, we made sure to go for walks, swim in the pool (which was amazing relief from the Sun) and explored the local town. From the Almyra to the Harbour was about a 15-20 minute walk each way and we enjoyed getting to explore the area and see the locals. 

    Balancing Out

    1) We chose to indulge in our evening meals. We ate some pretty spectacular meals at each of the restaurants the Almyra had to offer. My personal highlight was the tasting menu at Ouzeri , we enjoyed the most spectacular 3 course meal of Seafood ranging from Avocado Salads to Octopus to Sea Bream and lots of the most perfect taramassalata and warm homemade Pitta bread in between. All with the most stunning sunset as our backdrop! Of course, in true Tally style I still managed room for dessert and had the most creamy Greek Yoghurt, local honey and walnuts - so simple and yet I haven't had something that delicious in a while. 

     

    2) We cooled down with the best Ice Cream EVER.  My big recommendation for anyone visiting Paphos, is to head to the harbour and go to Cold Stone Creamery. This place has the most insane menu! Basically it's not your average ice cream parlour and you can create the best combos ever. I chose to have banana ice cream, which they put on a cold stone and then mix in your favourite toppings and fillings. I went for Peanut Butter (duh!) and Dark Chocolate Chips with Chocolate Sauce. They then mix it all up and pop it in a cone. Literally incredible. You MUST go to this place!

    3) We chilled out and pampered ourselves in the Spa. Within the Hotel, is the Almyra Spa which is a complete sanctuary. Its modern interiors are so refreshing and were the perfect escape from the heat. I made sure to take the opportunity to have a 60 minute deep tissue massage whilst there. Because we were working out whilst there, this was the perfect treatment to help my body recover and stay on top form. 

    On our last day we also got to experience the Anastasia Achilleos Method which is, quite frankly, the ultimate facial experience! The treatment lasted 90 minutes, whilst we laid on a warm floating mat. It included several facial treatments and a full body massage. My skin has honestly never felt better - I felt like a new woman!! It was the perfect end to our break, as I felt that my body had been refreshed and renewed. 

     

    A note to you

    So guys, if you're heading away on holiday over the next few weeks. DO NOT STRESS. Do not worry about working out every single day or making sure you maintain a super strict diet. A holiday is just that - a chance to have a break from the every day stresses of life, to escape the grind and to have some time just for YOU. Most likely you've been putting in the hours at the gym and being mindful of what you eat leading up to your holiday so now is the time to slightly take the foot off the gas. The hard work is done and now is the time to enjoy it!

    I personally like to stay active, and make good choices as it's all part of my balanced 80/20 approach. However, it is important to say had we gone away for longer I most likely wouldn't have trained everyday and instead chosen to stay active by going on walks and exploring more (my favourite thing to do!). 

    So whatever you do this Summer, please have fun! Remember to live in the moment and make memories with the people you love. 

    Happy travelling!

     

    Tally