Visiting Leicester, England

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“Cuando estás fuera de tus lugares de rutina
y has salido de la zona de confort, siempre
tiendes a buscar más ante la adversidad,
las diferencias y lo desconocido.”

When you think of a trip to England, London springs to mind. Maybe Liverpool and Manchester. Maybe even Birmingham. But, let’s put Leicester on the tourism map.

It took me to leave Leicester, to realise just how bustling and happening Leicester is. It took me to travel to open my eyes to see what’s actually around me.

Ahh, Leicester. The city of the premier league champions, yes we’re still clutching to that, The home of Richard III and Lady Jane Grey. The Greenery. The open space. The architecture. There’s so much history here and its future is looking just as interesting.

Every corner has a different style of architecture. Buildings that wouldn’t look out of place in Bath or Stratford or Prague and Budapest.

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Wandering around Leicester is so different when your eyes are open. Like, really open. When you’re looking up instead of looking down at your phone. The whole city has a different vibe.

Stepping out of Gelato Village, you’re met with this spectacular building. It wouldn’t look out of place in Budapest or Prague. It reminded me of stepping out of Starbucks in Budapest.

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Food and Drink


What’s one of the best things about travelling? The food! Unique flavours, varied cooking styles.

An English roast is pretty essential so is a quick stop at the chip shop.

But, why leave those worldwide cuisines in Germany or Italy, when you can have them in Leicester?

The Rutland and Derby have brought the Oktoberfest taste of Germany to Leicester and what a treat it is!

Ever heard of a Flammkuchen? Neither had I!

A Flammkuchen literally means flame cake! They are a massive hit at Christmas markets and I can see why! Originating from the South Germany and Alsace region of France the flammkuchen was originally made to test the temperature of bakers’ ovens.

Simply, the flammkuchen is a pizza. A very good one at that. Normally, when you think of pizza, you think Italy. But this crisp and fresh pizza is definitely worth a bite!

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The flammkuchen is a delight for those amongst us who love a good thin and crispy pizza. Baked to perfection with crème fraîche as opposed to tomato sauce, it is a refreshing afternoon bite.

What goes with German pizza? Beer, of course!

I’m not talking any old beer, I’m talking a Maisels Weisse beer.

This cloudy deep orange beer is a real win. So refreshing and so aromatic. On first taste, the bursts of banana quench your taste buds and it’s a perfect match with a flammkuchen.

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The Rutland and Derby is a beautiful red-brick pub located on Millstone Lane.  

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What’s for pudding, I hear you cry!
Let’s do a European tour and have Italy come to us at Gelato Village

Gelato Village is unique. It really is.

Where else can you get the authentic Italian gelato taste, without leaving the country? Ice cream just doesn’t tingle the senses like a good gelato does.

Good luck picking a flavour!

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When all these flavours are jumping out at you, it’s impossible to choose a favourite. The Gelato Village staff are so incredibly helpful, from explaining how Gelato is made, to informing me about the different ingredients and flavours and how they are sourced, to giving me a little try of each to help me make my decision!

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I decided on Fior di latte, milk chocolate and stracciatella. Stracciatella is a personal favourite of mine if you can bring yourself to choose! Creamy gelato filled with crunchy dark chocolate. Or, the Fior di latte, gelato in its purest form. No flavouring, no egg yolks, just pure gelato perfection. Paired with a few other flavours, it really is a complimentary flavour.

I told you, I just can’t decide. They’re all so good!

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The fun doesn’t stop there though…

What do I want? Coffee. When do I want it? Now.

A trip to Italy Gelato Village isn’t complete without a coffee! This Italian coffee will give you an instant boost, that we all sometimes need! Especially after a long week…

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Something Different?

Leicester has so much to offer in terms of eating and drinking. You could do an entire food guide!

For a taste of the Caribbean, head to Turtle Bay. Portuguese? Nandos is the place to go. Tapas tonight? Make your way to Barceloneta. American is more your style? TGi’s is ready! How about some fajitas from Mexico? Las Iguanas is your one! There really is a dish for everybody in Leicester.

Shopping


For the ultimate shopping experience, Fosse Shopping Centre is where I head. I’m not the only one who thinks it either…

“Fosse has such easy access and free parking. The shops suit all budgets” – Joanne

“I love the free parking and the perfect range of shops. Once the shopping is finished you can pit stop in the food court!” – Amy

“I love that Fosse is near to my home, convenient and easy free parking with a wide variety of shops” – Joan

“I feel so comfortable shopping at Fosse. There is a good range of shops so it’s always so easy to find what you’re looking for!” – Kayleigh

There is a shop for everybody. Young, old, men, women and everything in between.

Parking is the bane of most people’s lives. But, with over 2,000 free parking spaces, it’s so easy and convenient. I mean, why pay to park for shopping elsewhere, when you could treat yourself to something from Primark or New Look at Fosse?

In Fosse, the cleanliness definitely doesn’t go unnoticed. The toilets smell and look clean, the shops are aesthetically pleasing.  It doesn’t look like a jumble sale in Primark, like other Primark stores elsewhere. There is a sense of pride. Whoever the cleaners are at Fosse, they’re doing well!

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Fosse has shops to suit all budgets, Primark, Outfit, New Look and Next to name just a few. Good news for those of you that like to fill Pandora bracelets like me, because Pandora can also be found at Fosse!

Fancy a nibble after a tiring shop? I know I always do! Shopping is cardio, after all! The Food Court at Fosse has wonderful cafes and convenient fast foods. If a Greggs sausage roll is what you’re after or a comforting coffee from Costa, then you’re in for a treat because they’re all there, all under one roof!

Once you step into that dining space, the hardest choice will be deciding what to eat. We know how much I love a good afternoon tea so, of course, I didn’t miss the advertisement that Druckers, the patisserie, are offering a gorgeous afternoon tea for two for just £17.50. I definitely need to check it out the next time I’m at Fosse!

To find out what #SpringStyles I am loving at Fosse this year, and more about Fosse, read all about my Fosse experience on http://www.diaryofaspanglishgirl.com/springstyles-at-fosse

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Nature Trails


Spring is finally starting to make an appearance and what makes you feel better than a relaxing walk around beautiful surroundings? Plus, they’re free!

Bradgate Park

Where else can you find over 800 acres of unspoilt countryside with herds of red and fallow deer and history to interest even the less impressed amongst us?

The home of Lady Jane Grey in her childhood days, the Bradgate House, built circa 1500, the ruins are beautiful to bring history to life.

Every visit to Bradgate Park is a fantastic one, with the quaint little tea house in the middle, to soaking up the view from the top of Old John.

Your four-legged friends will love Bradgate just as much as you will!

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Castle Gardens

A little peaceful green space sitting next to the Grand Union Canal.  The idyllic park is lined with flowerbeds and greenery.

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Castle Gardens is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the views. It’s a gorgeous reading spot, or in my case, the perfect blog photos location!

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Sports


I’ve always known Leicester was a bit of a sports champion. So, if you love sports, then Leicester is the place to go.

Sure, we’re still raving about Leicester City winning the league in the 2015-2016 season and, of course, we’re buzzing that Leicester Tigers seem to have a decent win ratio. If you’re anything like my Grandad and keep up to date with the cricket, then you’ll know that the Leicestershire County Cricket team don’t do too bad either!

But, don’t forget about the Leicester Riders basketball whilst you’re here!

Cheering on the Leicester Riders when we were back was a real treat. There is a different kind of atmosphere at a basketball game. The crowd are really into it, it gets so pumped. I think I’ve been converted into a basketball fan!

There are only a few games left in this season, so make sure you head on down and cheer on the Riders! http://www.leicesterriders.co.uk/games/

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Getting There


Soaring the Skies?

Thinking of travelling to Leicester from overseas? East Midlands Airport is your gateway to Leicester. Located approximately 20 miles from Leicester City Centre the airport is a quick and easy way of travelling.

The Skylink bus runs frequently from East Midlands Airport to St Margarets Bus Station every 20 minutes during the day and hourly at night. That’s all day, every day! Getting to Leicester has never been easier!

Riding the Railways?

Conveniently, Leicester is sitting on the London-Sheffield and the Birmingham-Peterborough lines. On London Road, you will find Leicester Rail Station. Hop off your train and you’re right in the City Centre action.

Fancy something a little more outdoorsy? Take the train from Leicester Rail Station into Narborough, Market Harborough or South Wigston! Have something else in mind? Buses and taxes are right outside, so getting to where you want to go is simple!

Cruising by Coach?

If arriving by coach is more your style, why not check out www.nationalexpress.com to find the best deals.

St. Margaret’s Bus Station is your hub into Leicester City Centre and the surrounding areas.

Road trip?

If taking your car or motorbike is more suited to your stay, the M1, junction 21 or 22 provide good access to Leicester. If you’re coming from Wales or the Southwest, the M69 or the M6 is your route!

Don’t worry about parking either! There are plenty of secure car parking across Leicester and surrounding areas.

Departing in Style


Like they say, all good things must come to an end. But, it was time to end it in style. We had a fantastic time in Leicester but it was time to say adios, for now!

East Midlands airport is a fantastic hub for travelling across Europe with direct routes to some absolutely breathtaking countries, Hungary, France, Spain, Italy and The Netherlands to name just a few! *adds every travel destination to my ever-growing bucket list*

Have you ever been in an airport VIP lounge? I suggest you do! There’s an ultimate VIP feel when you step into the Escape lounge at East Midlands Airport.

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A comforting coffee before the journey

Unlimited food and drink, (and yes, that includes alcoholic beverages!) comfy seating and fast WiFi – it’s the ultimate travel necessity.

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Catching up on the looks direct from the runway

Start your holiday the right way. Let’s face it, the holiday starts at the airport!

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Something to tickle everybody’s taste buds
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100% pure fruit juice

Who wants to be cooking on the day of their holiday? Plus, the washing-up? No thanks! Relax and rejuvenate in the Escape Lounge. When prices start from just £20, it would be rude not to!

Have you visited Leicester? Add it to your list!

Hasta luego,

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Thank you to Fosse, Gelato Village, Rutland & Derby and East Midlands Airport for making this blog post possible. As always, the views are 100% mine.
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Hola! I'm Lauren ("Loh - run") — A twenty-something, engaged, English girl living on the Costa Blanca, obsessed with travel, love and elephants.

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