King and queen of the castle...

My home county is beautiful.
However, the sad truth is, I very rarely get to explore it beyond my little corner in Weymouth. Weymouth itself is very picturesque, I mean, my daily commute to work is literally just a 10 minute walk along the beach. There are definitely worse place to live in the world.
My partner James and I have made a pact, to get out and enjoy where we live, as much as we can. This prompted our spontaneous day trip to Corfe Castle a few weeks ago.

History lesson! Corfe Castle was built by William the Conqueror (Not literally, more that he decided, 'Hey, see that hill in Dorset? You know what would look great there? A castle.') It was built in the 11th century, and was destroyed in the 17th century, leaving it in the state we see it now. Located just down the road from Swanage (a lovely seaside town which you absolutely must visit), Corfe Castle sits on the hill, overlooking the village which shares its name.

Corfe Castle is now owned by the National Trust, and has become a huge tourist attraction in my part of the world. The village surrounding the castle is quaint, with classic British pubs, tearooms, and locally owned shops.
As well as paying for entry to the castle for a little explore, another must-do activity is taking a ride on the steam train which stops in the village. The train runs from Norden to Swanage, and costs as little as £2.70 for just a quick 10 minutes return journey to Norden. It's certainly a unique way to explore more of the area around the castle, very quintessentially British, and nostalgic. Plus you can stick your head out the window and pretend you're in The Railway Children or something similar.

Essentially, it was a really low-key, stress-free way to spend our day with no time constraints. As we visited in November, even though it was a Saturday, it wasn't particularly busy, meaning we could potter along at our own pace and not be swept into a busy crowd.

I would definitely recommend that you pop along to Corfe Castle should you ever find yourself in Dorset (and if you live here, just go and explore!)
Much love


Wanderlust has had a makeover...

Whilst I was browsing through some of my favourite blogs, I found myself getting ever so envious about how pretty their layouts were. I'd built my old layout myself, and honestly it was pretty naff. I'm not the best with coding and all things computer speak, so I just chucked a few basic bits together, made my own header (which by the way, survived the makeover), and muddled through.
But those days are gone. I invested in a new theme, paid a few quid for it, and got free installation as well. Bish bash bosh. Done. The theory is, now my blog is all pretty and fancy, I'll be much more inclined to update it more regularly. I'm really impressed with how it looks, it actually now looks like a professional website, so clean and easy to navigate.

I'm also going to try and use a lot more of mine (and my boyfriend James) photography, like the picture above which I took from the plane window on the way back from Amsterdam. So no more flooding my blog with a million GIFs like I used to!
Sometimes all you need is a good tidy up and refresh.
Let me know what you think of our new look, either drop a comment below or send a message in our fancy new Contact tab above ^^^
Much love


Amster...oh damn!

Guess who has internet!!
I don't know where to begin, it feels like forever since I last sat down and wrote a proper blog post, and I'll admit I'm a bit nervous because it feels like I've completely forgotten how to write. So bear with me please!

Girl offline...

Guys, I'm still here!! A couple of weeks ago, my boyfriend and I moved into our new flat together, and since then I have been completely disconnected from the internet. I can just about scrape by for the basics on my phone, but as you can imagine, blogging is a bit of a nightmare; there's just no nice way to write and edit posts.
Luckily for you guys, I've been able to update my Wanderlust Hazel Facebook, so you can keep up to date with all the things going on in my world. I've just got back from a short break in Amsterdam with my boyfriend for my birthday (yes, another holiday!), which will be written up nicely in a blog post for you as soon as we sort out the internet crisis!
Image result for going offline
Thank you all for being patient with me, I will return asap!
Much love 

Raining cats and dogs...

It's an age-old 'getting to know you' question; are you more of a cat person or a dog person?

I've always assumed I'm a dog person, but last week I went to a Cat Café and fell in love. For those of you are wondering what on earth I'm on about, it's quite literally a café with cats running around the place. I went to Pause Cat Café in Bournemouth with my boyfriend James, and my friends Russ and Abbie, and it's a really wonderful place. They take in and look after rescue cats, and the money raised goes on looking after them, such as vet bills and feeding them. Plus they get to be surrounded by people who just want to play with and love them, which is great for the cats. The café is built entirely with the cats in mind, with lots of places for them to play, such as bridges and raised beds and millions of cat toys.
(My latte had cat inspired art on it, which I'm eager to replicate)
I was a bit sceptical when I first heard about it, how can a place like that be hygienically serving food?? Well all of the food and drinks are prepared in areas where the cats aren't allowed, and then presented in sealed containers so that the cats cannot get to them.
So after a day being swayed over into the cat-person club, I ended up spending the following day at a dog show! I went to a fayre just outside of Portesham, Dorset, with my mum and our dog Nelson. We also met up with my best friend Lisa and her dog Nika. In true British style, it was tipping down with rain, but that didn't stop us. We decided to enter our dogs into a couple of categories just to see what would happen, and we both ended up leaving with rosettes. Lisa and her dog Nika won a prize in the 'most adorable eyes' category, and my dog Nelson won the 'best rescue dog' category, which qualified him into another dog show later this month. Even more surprisingly, Nelson had made it into the 'best in show' category. He didn't place, which was absolutely no shock to us, especially as he was rolling around and kicking up all the grass as the judges were coming around.
(My mum and Nelson and Lisa with Nika competing in the pouring rain)
(Our gorgeous dogs with their rosettes)
It was such a brilliant way to spend my weekend off, surrounded by animals and brilliant people. Both days were so much fun (even if the cat cafe was definitely the most dry - and seriously, what the hell has happened to our summer?!) Plus to top it all off, there was also a great night out with Lisa in the middle. So here's to more random weekend plans!
(Me and Lisa, ready to hit Weymouth town)
Much love

Catch-ups and Corfu...

So I've been a bit busy.
The last time I blogged, I was running around London in the pursuit of the perfect cup of coffee, and I haven't quite stopped running around since. I'm not one to go slowly about things, I tend to jam pack my weeks to the point where I feel a bit frazzled and need moments like right now, sitting in front of my laptop with a bar of chocolate, a cup of tea, and love island playing in the background. (I don't understand Love Island, but I'm fascinated as to how it's become such a cultural phenomenon; plus it makes me feel very relieved that I'm in a relationship and don't have to resort to such measures for love.)
One of the things I have been up to recently, is a long weekend away with my best friend Steph. I love any excuse to go on holiday, so when Steph approached me and asked if I fancied going away somewhere hot for a break, naturally I jumped at the chance. After spending a good afternoon trawling through the Internet for inspiration, it was decided that we were going to Corfu for a long weekend.
Now I'm usually the type to book everything separately but we booked an all-inclusive holiday. Everything was planned for, the food and the drinks were all taken care of, and all we had to do was turn up and crash by the pool. Our hotel even provided one nights dining at one of its exclusive restaurants, as well as a free 15 minute massage. Practically heaven. Considering how little time we really had there, and how hectic life has been recently, it was absolutely the mini-break that I needed. Steph and I even decided to part with some cash and have a longer massage, which was interesting. It was completely unlike any other massage I've ever had in my life, because for a good half of it, I felt like the masseuse was beating me up and trying to pull my limbs off. It was oddly satisfying the masseuse cracking every single vertebrae of my spine one by one. And then cracking my shoulders. And my elbows. And just about every single other joint in the top half of my body.
Despite our hotel having a bit of a weird James Bond theme (our room was in block Doctor No), the views were incredible. We were perched overlooking the sea, and it took us an embarrassingly long time to realise that the mountains we could see in the distance were actually in Albania, and not just 'around the bay' in Corfu. We also took the opportunity to go on a boat trip to Corfu Town on our last day, which included jumping off the back of the boat and swimming in one of the bays around the north of the island. This is a huge breakthrough for me, considering I have huge apprehensions about getting on boats and the unknown of the sea. It makes me feel anxious and sick, so I am ridiculously proud of myself for feeling brave enough to just get on the bloody boat, let alone jump off of it.
Then being the workaholic I am, I got back to Weymouth at 7am, napped, then went to work at 1pm. I was shattered yes, but it was totally worth it. There is much I would do in the pursuit of travel and adventure, and this is no exception.
I say this all the time, but I really do want to get back into writing blogs properly. It's quicker and easier to quickly tap out a Facebook post on the Wanderlust Hazel Facebook page, but committing to sitting down and writing about something has started to feel a bit daunting to me. I think I've just put too much pressure on myself to maintain this blog, and it's taken the opposite effect that actually, it's making me not write at all. I'm working on snapping myself out of this!
Until next time,
Much love

Babyccino in the big city...

Last week I was very fortunate to have been sent up to London by work on a barista course. Basically, I got to spend an entire day indulging in two of my favourite things, London and coffee.
The whole point of the trip was to learn everything there is to know about coffee, after which I gained the fancy new title of 'Master Barista'. The course took place in the bustling Business Design Centre in Islington, about a 5 minute walk from the Angel tube station. It was run by the coffee giants Matthew Algie, and it was informative and brilliant. Making a great coffee, to me, is such a joy. You probably think I'm a bit weird by saying that, but I've never really been that artistic, so in a way coffee lets me be a bit creative.
You're probably thinking, "Hazel, it's just coffee, like, what is there to really know about it?!?!", and you'd be surprised. There is so much to know, and people (like myself) get very passionate about it. The coffee industry is exploding, and people are starting to realise there's a lot more to coffee than a Nescafe Instant. There's a whole load of coffee based drinks you could have, from a latte to a flat white, cappuccino to a macchiato; there is something for everyone. And it's not just about the milk techniques, there's the whole espresso process too, and honest to God it's so much more technical than you could ever possible imagine.  And then there's the latte art...
Anyway, I digress from my passionate coffee ranting...
Unless you were hiding under a rock last week (or in a different country - you lucky things!), you'll have also melted slowly in the heatwave that washed over the UK. Typical brits, never happy when it's hot, never happy when it's cold; but seriously, it was damn hot. Running around London in my work uniform when it was 33 degrees outside was not a highlight. Seriously. An all black uniform comprising of plastic feeling trousers and a polo top is not essential city heatwave attire. I had to make a pit stop to H&M on the way back to the tube to buy a vest top, because I physically couldn't bare to get on the tube whilst I was that hot.
But I'll tell you one thing I noticed; I think I cracked what the makeup adverts are trying to sell us when they hammer on about The London Look. It's a mix between extremely casual with messy hair, and lipstick. Always lipstick. Lipstick to London is what ties the whole combo together. It's the statement made by every woman in the city that yes, they have made an effort today despite their hair drying to a frizz and their makeup slowly melting off. Lipstick is essential London wear, so after I stripped off to my vest top and jeans (For Gods sake Hazel, you knew it would be this hot and you brought JEANS with you???), I slathered on a layer of lipstick and pulled my shades down. My transition into casual Londoner was complete. (Minus my giant floral backpack, otherwise I'm pretty sure I looked cool.)
I'll admit I miss living only an hour away from London, and being able to hop up there for gigs and whatnot. But all-in-all, I had a great time on the course, and now I even have a certificate. That's right, your gal is now officially a coffee expert. I got to spend the day surrounded by coffee, making coffee, drinking coffee, talking about coffee - it was basically a day inside my dream world.

(Also, shout out to my Boyfriend, James, for coming up with the title of this blog post when I couldn't think of an adequate coffee-based London pun)
Much love