A visit to Mykonos Vioma Farm and Winery*

Items in this post were gifted or provided at a discounted rate, I also spent some of my own money on items shown. All opinions are completely my own.

Welcome to my first Mykonos post!

After thoroughly enjoying our wine tasting experience in Santorini last year, the Mr and I were keen to see if we could do something similar on this years Greek adventure, and after a bit of research we came across Mykonos Vioma Farm and Vineyard. A family business established in the countryside of Mykonos (yes, there’s more to the island than the white pebbled streets and windmills!) that offered the opportunity it’s chill out, drink some wine and try some local nibbles. Sold.

We travelled to the Vioma partly by local bus (from Mykonos Town to Ano Mera which took about 15 minutes and cost 1,80€ per person) and the rest by taxi (this took about another 10 minutes and cost 17€. It is walkable in about 25minutes but it was hot and we didn’t know the way, alternatively if you contact Vioma in advance they can arrange return transfers from Ano Mera for 5€) .

The vineyard is only open to visit until 5pm, so unlike last year we visited around lunch time. We started things off with a tour of the property by Marianna, the daughter of the owner. The farm and vineyard are organic, so their approach and their appearance is quite different from other vineyards but was really interesting to hear about how they do things. They also try their best to adhere to a zero waste policy as much as they possibly can, which is fantastic to hear from a small family business. They also shared that they used a more unusual method to grow and cultivate their vines – they have placed speakers throughout the property that play classical music . Totally true; we saw the speakers and heard the music for ourselves!

We also got to meet some of the farm animals including the beautiful and gentle donkey, chickens, goats and a sheep. There are also 5 dogs kept as pets on the property which were wandering about everywhere during our visit and were very friendly to stroke and interact with (as I’m not allowed a dog at home, this part was a lovely extra treat for me!

(just as an FYI – many of the farm animals are likely to be in pens during visiting hours, this is to protect the grass and herbs/vegetables being grown on the property but we were advised that there are periods of the day they can have some time out and many months where they have free reign over the property. They all looked healthy and were happy to interact and take food from us)

We were also able to see the storage and furnace for the grapes , which this guy is carved into the side of – Dionysus, Olympic God of wine, vegetation, pleasure, festivity, madness and wild frenzy. Definitely the right person to be watching over it!

Now time to chill. We took a seat in the dining area with a birds eye view across the grounds and the Mykonian countryside. Bring on the wine and nibbles!

There’s a small menu to order both food and drink from, so you can really tailor your experience. We chose to order a rich garden plate which costs 26€ (there are a variety of options that vary in size and price, the most expensive being about 44€) and included a selection of local and ‘farm to plate’ produce including salad, meats, cheeses and breads. As these wee served to us Marianna gave us a walk through of everything on our plate and explained what it was, where it had come from and any history it had within Mykonian culture.

It was all delicious, I loved everything on the plate equally and (best of all) The Mr let me have most of the cheese.

Also – I’m not quite sure if you can see well in the above photo, but each table was painted with a different colourful image of Mykonian culture, which is a quirky and cute touch.

So, let’s talk wine. We went for the four wine tasting; a single glass of wine cost between 5-6€ so this is better value and allows you to taste a few varieties of wine on offer. First up was the white, which we enjoyed with our food…

Next came the rose…

The red…

Finishing off with a lovely little dessert wine

What I liked about this tasting compared to my Santorini experience is that the wines were brought out at different times rather than all at once, meaning they we served and drank at the right temperature and weren’t left out in the heat. The staff asked us when we were ready for the next glass rather than bringing it out to a set schedule which meant that we never once felt rushed could just relax and enjoy the surroundings. The wine measures were pretty decent too at around 175ml for the first three and smaller for the dessert wine as measures are a bit different for this.

All wines available to drink on the day are also available to buy from then vineyard, I think this was priced at around 7-10€ per bottle.

This was a lovely way to spend a sunny afternoon – we got to try some yummy fresh food, try lovely local wine and got a little extra Mykonian history and culture thrown in for good measure. If you like to take things at a gentler pace on holiday and relax but still want to have some time off from the beach or pool, this is definitely one for your to do list if you’re heading to Mykonos. We were there for about three hours but a trip could be longer or shorter depending on how much time you have and how much wine you want to drink.

You don’t have to book your visit to the Vioma but I would advise getting in touch to give them a heads up as to when you’d like to go – as Mykonos is a popular cruise destination there are certain days were they have an increased number of visitors which makes the place super busy (Marianna was kind enough to advise of which dates during our stay would be busy so we picked a day that avoided this, there were about another 10 tourists visiting at the same time as us).

Thanks to Marianna and the lovely team at Vioma for hosting us as part of our Greek getaway!

Thanks for reading,

J xx


Make your own Pomada: the official fiesta recipe of the Balearics

Remember a little while ago a did a post about things I liked before they were cool and mentioned I’d share a cocktail recipe shortly after? Well here it is! Well, I say cocktail, it’s more of a localised G&T recipe, but they’re practically one in the same these days right?

The drink is called Pomada and it’s a Menorcan concoction traditionally drank at fiestas. You can also buy it on the island in a pre mixed form (made with lemon juice, so slightly different from the recipe below).

Much like alcohol at a UK festival, people will take their own Pomada and swig it as they walk around enjoying the fiesta as they slowly get wasted throughout the evening…thank the lord I attended them before the days of social media and camera phones!

Pomada is a super simple and refreshing summer drink, and I’m determined to get more people in the UK drinking it so that Xoriguer gin will start being stocked in the UK and I can re-live my youth!

You will need:

  • Xoriguer gin
  • Fanta Lemon
  • Lemon wedge
  • Ice

Official method:

  • Put 2-3 chunks of ice in to a tumbler
  • Add in a 35ml of gin
  • Top up with Fanta Lemon
  • Add lemon wedge to serve

Fiesta method:

  • Pour out half the Fanta Lemon from the bottle
  • Fill the other half up with the gin
  • Give the whole thing a bit of a shake
  • Off you go to get your fiesta oooonnnnn

Which ever recipe you choose, always follow the same final step: always drink sociably. If you want to find out more about the traditional Menorcan fiestas (which you definitely should if you’re ever planning a visit) this website has a decent amount of information.

Salut! And thanks for reading,

J xx


My non-alcoholic “Pimms” recipe (with one super bizarre ingredient)

It’s official: the weather is pretty nice, the sunnies are firmly fixed on our faces and the beer gardens are once again full…hello Spring/Summer you cheeky devil!

As I’ve mentioned previously, this year is about drinking a little less often but still being sociable, so I’m reaching for drinks that still allow me to enjoy some of the summer trends but allow me to keep to my goals.

My faux Pimms recipe is perfect for this as it tastes the same (in my opinion) as the real deal but you can still be the designated driver after a massive jug full of the stuff. Plus, you can make it with key ingredients that you may already have at home:

– Tall, cool looking glass (mine is from the homeware section at

– Lemonade (I used Schweppes slimline, but any standard lemonade will be fine)

– Balsamic vinegar

– Lemon and lime wedges cute in to segments

– Ice

Step 1: put 2 or 3 large ice cubes in the bottom of your glass

Step 2: fill you glass 2/3 to 3/4 way up with lemonade

Step 3: add 1/3 to 1/4 balsamic vinegar to top up (I would recommend adding in a lower amount and then tasting so that you’re adding an amount that tastes nice to you and not too vinegar-ey)

Step 4: add in segments of lemon and lime

Enjoy!

Thanks for reading,

J xx


36 Words of wisdom, wonderings and randomness.

Happy birthday to someone I have known my whole life – frenemy, fashion eclectic (and by eclectic I mean ‘swings between too glam to give a damn’ or ‘how many days have you not washed your hair and worn those leggings for gurl?) and THE best card DJ you would ever have the pleasure of riding with.

Me!

I’ve written down 36 thoughts below, one for each year. There’s nothing more profound than that I’m afraid, but I hope you are enjoyed and amused by at least a few of them!

1. Bridget Jones had it right on the money – whether my dress size says I’m a 10 or a 14, I will always be just a little bit fat.

2. A walk goes a long way to clear your head.

3. Diets do not work. At my lower moments I have hoped and prayed they would, but they don’t. If you go on a diet you have to come off one sometime. To prove it, last year I tried one of the latest weight loss fads, Boom Bod, click the hyperlink to see what happened.

4. Get me on karaoke to Iggy Azalea’s Fancy and I will crush it.

5. Victoria Beckham didn’t start her uber popular fashion brand until she was 34 after a whole other career, so there’s still a chance I could become some kind of mogul yet.

6. I happily fall asleep listening to something ‘murder-ey’ – Snapped: Killer Couples or Deadly Women are my faves.

7. 9 months is pretty much the maximum I can have a hair style/colour before I must change it immediately…then pining for my old look immediately.

8. In this life you’re one of two things: good at selfies, or not good at selfies.

9. I have the same eyebrow lady as Scary Spice (I wonder if she has a pre-appointment pink lemonade like I do?).

10. Some flaws are easier to embrace than others – it turns out what I thought were freckle clusters that came out in the sun are actually a skin condition called Melasma, but I think it’s cute so I don’t actively seek to cover it up.

11. Travel the world, but don’t forget what’s right on your doorstep – get to know the culture and beauty of your own country.

12. Only follow people on Instagram that make you happy or positively inspire you.

13. You can go to Benidorm an experience cool rooftop bars, instagrammable spots and fabulous steak. Trust me I’ve been there and done it!

14. Kusadasi is beautiful and very affordable part of Turkey to visit, but boy do most of the locals seem to despise British holidaymakers…

15. An Aperol Spritz becomes an extra lil’ something when you sub the soda water for fresh orange juice. Aperol Mimosa – you’re welcome.

16. Sunsets are one nature’s most beautiful occurrences, but so are sunrises. Plus, you don’t have to share them with as many people.

17. Why is it called hot chocolate if it’s frozen…is THAT the Serendipity??

18. If you’re in New York City and want to visit Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment, the address is 66 Perry Street in Greenwich Village. It’s a small road just off Bleacker Street, and NYC cabbies have nooooo idea where it is when you ask them to take you there.

19. Strategically placed glitter can cover up sunburn a treat…but can literally take days to remove from your body. Even even when you think it’s all gone…bam, there’s a fleck on your right boob.

20. Not everybody will have the same beliefs or make the life choices as you; one size doesn’t fit all in this life and nor should it have to. You don’t have to understand why others do what they do, but you do have to accept it.

21. I am not Boiler Man.

22. For anyone who questions my driving ability – earlier this year I transported 16 cups of hot coffee from Costa along a very busy road and did not spill a drop (here’s a photo of my friend Rachel who was here to witness this crowning moment).

23. The first time I slept in a tent (well, yurt) as an adult, I woke up surrounded by heavy snow.

24. Meeting Santa is blooming brilliant, even if you don’t have kids.

25. I make a really nice paella.

26. I recently found out that I use the same Smashbox colour correcting primer as a well-known former football manager.

27. There’s a cult phenomenon in Hull called a ‘Shit on the grass’. It’s a shot available in the Old Town called the Manchester Arms, and if you’re ever in the city (or a local that has never partaken) you should stop by and check it out!

28. I once met Chubby Brown (unfortunately on purpose, but not by choice) and he said “testicles” to me.

29. I have also read Chubby Brown’s first autobiography (on purpose) which I quite enjoyed.

30. There’s ALWAYS something good about the place you live (well, I’d say a solid 95% of the time in exceptional circumstances. Find it and be proud! I love that the city I’m from is quirky and filled with street art galleries, comedy and music. Also, don’t let anybody talk smack about your home town unless they have the genuine insight to back it up.

31. Sometimes you’re weird because your are family are weird and they made you. You didn’t stand a chance.

32. Look up. Look around. Do it often.

33. The Dunelm Teddy Bear range is cosy AF, I’d recommend investing in some immediately if not sooner.

34. If we could all truly see the things that others thought were awesome about us for ourselves, the world could be…I don’t know how to finish this because we probably never will, but just imagine.

35. I’m the exact age I’m meant to be . It’s only myself that gives a shit what that number is, and only me that can stop myself feeling oldAF (if anyone has any tips to achieve this, please do comment below!).

36. I am so proud, thrilled and excited to be a co-founder and member of the HEY Bloggers community. I’m glad to say I count many of the people I have met on this journey so far as friends and all round lovely people. Thank you xx

let me know which number was your fave! Thanks for reading,

J xx


Five things that bloggers no longer do

Today marks five years since I decided to start (and stick to writing) my blog. Five years of making friends, challenging myself to be creative with style and discovering lots of different things. Five whole years!!

To make this milestone there’s no giveaway (sorry) no cute photo shoot with a cake or balloons (not that I didn’t want to, I just wasn’t organised enough) and no imparting of wisdom of how to do anything amazing in the blogging world (how I wish I had this wisdom to use). Nope. Instead, I’ve written five differences I’ve noticed since I first streaked claim on a little patch of the internet. I wonder who else remembers and has noticed some of these… (I’ve also peppered a few more throwback blog post pics throughout, enjoy)

1. Bloggers no longer….simply write about an outfit – why they like it, how they styled it , what it’s like to wear etc

My first ever blog post was literally me sharing 2 very ad-hoc photos of what I’d worn the weekend before. It certainly wouldn’t cut the mustard now!

Even with a lot of fashion bloggers and featuring styled outfits, the content of the post is usually something that feels a bit profound, imparting wisdom or an opinion on a key topic. The fashion is just kind of there to break up that chat a bit. That’s probably ended up being so due to the rise of the micro influencers in Instagram (not to mention Instagram Stories and IGTV) and YouTubers, which are much easier outlets to share this kinda stuff on, but I sometimes worry that I don’t have the opinions or the wisdom to keep up with this developing trend.

2. Bloggers no longer…title their posts with something profound or cute

I’ll give you examples using some of my previous post titles – Mono-magic, Peachy, Hot weather cold shoulder, summertime sadness, snug as a fashionista in a blanket cape.

As a marketeer, I’m a huge advocate of something quirky and maybe verging on a bit click-baity, so I still think there’s a place to do something along these lines. However, if you’re calling a spade a spade then people will come and read because they have a more explicit idea of what to expect.

3. Bloggers no longer…have whimsical blog names

I include myself in this one! My blog was called ‘Curious Alice Loves…’ for the first three years, I changed its for a few reasons but the main was because PR messages kept coming to me starting “Hey Alice, how are you?” (That’s very sloppy on the PR’s part for not ready the bio, or e-mail address correctly). I know quite a few people who gave their blog a more quirky name when they first started but then evolved/re-branded down the line to being ‘just them’ (does anyone remember Sarah Ashcroft’s That Pommie Girl?. I admire those who have kept hold of their original name and have a kind of ‘gal behind the blog’ approach as that’s the identity they’ve built, like the fabulous Dorkface.

4. Bloggers no longer…write “PR friendly” in their bio

Never understood this one, never did it myself. I mean, what blogger isn’t?!?

5. Bloggers no longer…engage with each other’s posts in the comments section

This one is the key – everyone used to leave comments directly on a blog post, but I honestly can’t recall the last time I had any of mine. I don’t know whether this just means that people are reading things quickly and can’t be bothered to log in to leave one, whether they’re just looking at pictures or whether they don’t feel they have anything of value to say, but I do find this a real shame. Let’s all make sure we encourage and engage with each other, the hustle is hard!

So, for this post and any others you’ve read over the years, thanks for joining me. I really appreciate it.

J xx


“I liked it before it was cool” – 3 things from my repping past that are now ridiculously on trend

Over the almost 5 years I’ve been rambling away on the internet, I’ve dropped in to the conversation once or twice that I used to be a holiday rep. For 3 years of late teens/early twenties I called the Balearic Islands home and made some insane memories – most of them good, a few of them sober, all of them I was reminded of this week when I was added in to a closed Facebook group ‘Stories of a Holiday Rep’. Insert horrifically cringe pics of me back in the day, taken on a disposable camera

It was this part of my past that inspired this post – things I took for granted and felt a bit naff back then appear to be all the rage right now. On one hand I’m like “WTF?” On the other, I feel like I can totally own the fact that I discovered all of these things in their more underground cult status before they blew up. I hope you enjoy this throwback journey with me!

1. Gin

As the UK’s love for gin has increased I have been adamant that I’m not a fan, but then I remembered the Xoriguer (pronounced zor-rig-er) gin distillery.

You see; for the first year of my repping career it was my job to take holidaymakers here every week and help them to sample about 32 different flavours of the stuff as well as a local gin cocktail (the recipe for which I will be sharing in a future blog post). Yup, that’s right; back in the summer of 2003 I was well up in this trend before it was a twinkle in the hipster’s eyes!

Annoyingly, this brand is nigh on impossible to get hold of in the UK and outside of the Balearic Islands, to be honest there are barely any Spanish guns that are widely available, however if you do happen to hit this part of the world for a holiday I would encourage you to pay the distillery a visit…and maybe bring me back a sample or two.

2. Avarcas (Menorcan sandals)

Of all the items I may have predicted would become a high street trend for summer footwear, this would soooo not have been it! Back in the day myself and ,t repping buddies used to mercilessly mock these babies, and all of the locals (men, women and children) wore them so they were around all the time.

By the end of our first season, a couple of us had bought a pair (usually under the influence) to wear ironically, and over the years we grew quite fond of these funny lil’ sandals.

If you’re going to invest in a pair of these, my tip would be to spend a teeny bit ore and get a real deal version made in Menorca as they’re going to last you for years and years – they upper section is made of leather which is super comfy and the soles are fashioned out of car tires which give amazing grip and mean you can walk for miles without them wearing out.

If you’re holidaying in mainland Spain or the Balearic Islands you can pick these up in a local shoe shop and get the real experience, if not you can buy them online easily from the official Avarca stores here or here.

3. Aioli (garlic mayonnaise)

Often listed as a side sauce in gastropubs and Uber cool restaurants these days, I remember this delicious condiment as part of a grab and go lunch from the local supermercado.

You may be like “garlic mayo, and…?” BUT – Menorca was its birthplace. Mayonnaise is pronounced mar-hon-ays-ah in Spanish, because in originated from the capital Mahon. In Menoquian (a version of Catalan, the proper traditional Spanish language) they even call Mahon Maò, pronounced Mayo, so it’s pretty entrenched in the local culture!

The Aioli pictured is the traditional version sold in Menorca – its best served alongside a lovely crusty baguette; rip of a junk of bread and dunk gratuitously in to the tub! It’s extremely strong tasting but soooooo damn good.

One more thing that almost made the list…canary yellow leather jackets. This one is more of an I joke with my fellow rep friends but, if anyone reading this does happen to have visited a a leather company called Modas in Menorca, then you may get why this one will forever remain funny to me.

That’s pretty much it – having a little trip down memory lane whilst proving that I was some kind of cool visionary (or at least let me feel like I was for five minutes)

Thanks for reading,

J xx


LIFESTYLE / 5 Things for 2019, update #1

As this update is coming about 6 weeks later than I had planned, I should probably address the fact that it’s also my first blog post in about 2 months. The reason? Simply, I had a major content block – I wasn’t sure what I wanted to create/write about, I didn’t want to half arse by putting posts out I wasn’t into (as I’ve done in the last during these lulls) so thought it was better to just not bother. I’m now feeling more ready, prepared and excited to get back on it, so I’m starting by sharing my first update on my goals for 2019

1. Shop in my own closet 75% of the time

So far, so good. I’ve found this one a bit easier than I thought I would. Whenever I’ve been getting dressed in the morning or planning to go somewhere I’ve made sure I have a good hard look through my wardrobe…and my ironing basket (because we all know that’s where most of the clothes live) aaaaaaaannnnnd what I’ve come to fondly refer to as my ‘bed-drobe’ (double bed in the spare room, surely the perks of being a home owner) to see what I realistically had to wear. Once I got over the whole “it’s ok to be seen re-wearing outfits in current society” and “I don’t go out lots and lots, so I really don’t need to buy something new every time” I realised I have perfectly nice clothes and I just need to put them on.

I will say that over the last few weeks whilst being in my funk I have ‘tried’ to do some clothes and beauty shopping but it’s been a bit of a fail and most of the stuff has ended up going back.

The biggest test for me was the launch of the Urban Decay Naked Reloaded palette – with the last few drops I’ve literally grabbed them as soon as they’ve gone on sale, but I’m holding strong on this as I just don’t need it…well, at the moment.

2. Get a home bar

Almost done can you believe! There’s a bar option within our actual house (a full blog post coming about this as soon as I can) and we have a physical bar top in one of our outhouses but haven’t stocked or styled it yet. So it’s definitely going, but not quite there.

3. Un-join the gym and get outside

I can definitely put a big fat tick against this one too, ya girl is on a roll here!

I’ve been going for long walks at least once per week and shorter walks another once or twice, and it’s been great for so many reasons. My physical and mental health have both improved from getting fresh air, and it’s been a great opportunity to catch up with friends and be a bit more sociable. I would NEVER have been that sociable in a gym scenario, even if I’ve gone to a class with someone.

So far I’m feeling that this was the best goal I set for myself for the year.

4. Get out of the house more

Yes, weeeeelllllll… I can’t say for definite that I’m fully on with this, however I’ve made steps from where I was before so things are happening but perhaps slower than I would have liked then to. What can I say; the temptation of a Saturday afternoon nap sometimes has more of a pull for me! Haha. I have been doing at least a little something each weekend towards this overall goal – going out for walks with friends and adding in a coffee stop has been one, making an effort to go and see family, popping to look round the shops, go see a film or out for lunch have been others. I’ll be honest and say some of those times I’ve found it quite hard to get going as I just haven’t wanted to move from the couch, but once momentum is going I’ve felt better for it which is making things a bit easier each time.

5. Drinks out, drinks in

I think this one is OK? My only aim was to not drink aimlessly and think about things a bit more, which I think I’ve been achieving.

I’ve only had 3 real points where I’ve had alcohol so far this year – 1 for Valentines day which was unexpected, another on a nice day in March when I suggested to the Mr that we head out for some laid back day drinks (bloody love chilled afternoons like that) and we shared a bottle of prosecco and mojitos. That’s the sort of thing I wanted to avoid doing on the regular however I’m not being hard on myself for it as Im not likely to be doing it all the time and it went a long way to having quality time and relaxation which is important to me.

The final time was on holiday; again another key test as everybody else was very much in ‘I’m on holiday, let’s drink from lunchtime’ mode, but I simply just had two or 3 when I felt like it, only had something I really wanted and mixed plenty of water breaks in for good measure.

So, what else has been happening in my life since we last spoke?

I’ve been holiday

Last week I got back from a family holiday to Lanzarote. It was a week long break (booked by my in-laws to end at the start of the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, extra 4 days off for me) that turned out to be very relaxing and exactly what was called for. I had a great mix of sightseeing, sunbathing, swimming, eating and sleeping (the Mr would probably argue I did too much of the latter!) but I don’t think I’ll be doing any dedicated blog posts about the trip as I haven’t found a content angle that I feel would well. Instead, here are a few pics:

Not gonna lie, I’m petty darn pleased with this update overall! I’m doing well, I’m being realistic and I still have 7 and a bit more months to make a solid difference.

For general day to day updates and more holiday spam, make sure you check in on my social media channels in between blog posts.

Thanks for reading,

J xx