THE MAURITIUS TRAVEL GUIDE



Whenever people find out I’m a travel blogger, I get asked the same question every time…. where’s the best place you’ve ever been to?

A more decisive person might just give a straight up answer but you’re talking, well, reading from the most indecisive person on the planet so I tend to say “oooh that’s so difficult because New York makes me feel alive, but Disney makes me feel magic, Paris is like a second home and actually, sleeping under the stars in Dubai was pretty goddamn dreamy”

At this point most people have generally walked off to avoid falling into a boredom coma… but my point is, no matter how many places hold a special little place in my heart, to me, Mauritius is still the most beautiful place I’ve ever visited.

From rolling white sand and crystal clear seas to incredibly breathtaking nature and wildlife, not to mention the people, it really is a place that I’d wholeheartedly jump on a plane in a heartbeat and fly out to at the drop of a hat.

*searches skyscanner for cheap flights*

So I thought I’d put together a little guide/things not to miss list for anyone considering venturing on a trip of a lifetime because I promise you, Mauritius is not a place to miss.

Where to stay
Beachcomber Trou Aux Biches - The first place we checked into and to date the most incredible suite I’ve every stayed in. With an outdoor plunge pool, an outdoor shower (plus an indoor shower and bath the size of my whole house in London) there really wasn’t anything you could want or need for. Plus it backed out onto the most stunning beach I think I’ve ever seen. Trou aux biches was calm and tranquil and yet in a strange contradiction, also buzzing with life. They had around 7 different restaurants - the Indian was out of this world and by far my favourite  - covering numerous cuisines as well as so many activities as well. Stepping outside my door - onto my deck with plunge pool and beach behind it, I know I hate myself too - honestly felt like heaven on earth every morning and I tell you what pals, that’s not a bad place to be.
Outrigger was our second stop and whilst still beautiful, felt like a more chilled, casual place to stay. The beach was always a little more quiet and tranquil and generally this just felt like a little safe haven/slice of heaven/home from home. Home to the Plantation restaurant which served some of the best food I ate whilst out there - please please go if you get a chance - as well as the sassiest buffet I’ve ever seen (think every cuisine and every option) Outrigger were also absolutely incredible for coeliacs with the chefs taking me through every single option. An amazing choice if you’re looking to stay more south of the Island. 

What to do
I’m gonna be totally honest with you all, when I was asked Pre-trip what there was to do in Mauritius I sort’ve just blankly stared back and used one brain cell to answer “erm, the beach, wildlife… not really sure what else” (Soz Mauritius boo, I value you and fangirl over you now) but on our trip I discovered what an incredibly diverse and stunning place it really is. Here’s a few options that I’d highly recommend.


Botanical gardens - The botanical gardens to me felt like I’d been picked up and plonked into another world. Breathtakingly beautiful, the lily pads are one thing you absolutely won’t want to miss. Everything is so green and vibrant and honestly, absolutely no pictures do it justice. But if you get the chance to wander through the little jungle of paradise then get your tickets now and enjoy the beauty.

Visit Port Louis market - I always adore visiting markets around the world and trying to pick up little gems and Port Louis market was absolutely a stand out for me. Absolutely brimming with people - locals and tourists - I’ve never seen so much vibrant and fresh fruit and veg. It genuinely just made me want to walk around with a coconut and a pineapple juice munching on fresh tomatoes and sweet snacks. And then you wander upstairs to the beautiful handmade straw bags, hats, scarves (basically any accessory you can think of) and that’s where the fun part comes in. Haggle away (I released my inner Del Boy and lived my best life) and grab yourself some bargains.



Rhumerie De Chamarel - I’m mildly mortified (of my lack of rock n roll past\0 to say that prior to going to Mauritius I’d never actually tried rum (I made up for it by being 99% rum most evenings)… so the Rum plantation wasn’t at the top of my list but it was actually one of my favourite things to do there. The experience itself takes you on a tour of the plantation with a guide talking you through how each part works (I realise I’ve made this sound as entertaining as watching paint dry but they are so amazing and engaging that it almost made me want to pack up blogging and make rum. Almost).

After becoming a self proclaimed rum expert we then tried so many different types of rum (note that I didn’t give a number because after 3 I couldn’t even remember what my name was) as well as some cocktails and then sat in the sun taking in the beauty around us and it really was one of those “pinch me” moments.

We also visited a stunning tea plantation which just so happened to have wild deer running around (a sentence I never quite thought I'd say) which was absolutely stunning. Sitting with a cuppa looking over the beautiful fields of tea - I'm aware this is probably not the technical term - really was completely surreal and totally took me away from "real life".
Rochester falls waterfall - my ultimate pinch me moment. The thing with press trips right, is that as amazing as they are, sometimes you’re so focused on getting the content that you don’t always take in what you’re looking at. You see it but you’re not really feeling it, but on the last day when we visited Rochester falls and after taking 294829842 pictures and doing my best Peter Andre in a waterfall impression, I looked back at the most beautiful waterfall I’d ever seen and just stared (probably looking mildly insane) and it was one of my favourite moments of the trip.

On our final day we went on a beautiful boat trip to see Le Morne mountain and to generally just enjoy the island. I remember so distinctly looking at the sea and thinking, I can’t even facetune this to look any more beautiful. And I think that that’s now the first thing I think of when I think of Mauritius, it’s breathtaking natural beauty and the wonderful people.

There is such a good energy and positive vibe from the locals and just every Mauritian I ever came across that it’s hard not to walk around smiling.

So yeah, if I haven’t convinced you by now that you need to go to Mauritius then maybe watch my Vlog and see the beauty for yourself because it really is one of kind. 


Thank you so much, as always, for reading!

xx

A huge Thank you to Mauritius Tourism UK and Hills Balfour for the most amaaaaazing trip. I am endlessly grateful!

A LITTLE LIFE UPDATE

It feels like a very long time since I just sat down and bashed out - mind out the gutter, please - a blog post. And I don't mean actually writing a post because a few have popped up here and there over the last few months (more on that later), but I mean the kinda post where you just grab a cuppa, put your headphones in, zone out from the world and just type away. Mindlessly*.

*Hence numerous typos no doubt but in all honesty, in this moment - 2 wines in and deliriously tired - I'm not sure I really care.

Soz grammar police/Mum.

So I thought I'd do a mini life update come ramble of a post, mostly to be like I'M SO SORRY I'VE BEEN SO MIA AND CRAP I PROMISE I'LL BE BACK SOON and partly because I took some photos whilst risking being stung by 34893843 bees, so may as well use them, right?


Work

My blog has been neglected for a long time now. It was my baby, my first ever platform and still to this day, my favourite platform. But with the rise of instagram - my own and as a whole - I found it so ridiculously hard to produce content over there every day, reply to my emails, film youtube videos and blog. And for anyone thinking, how long does it take to take a selfie - yes someone did say that to me recently and yes I managed to respond with punching their balls, go me! - I'm going to give an example. The average instagram for me will involve planning an outfit to specifically match the background, researching a location that I haven't shot at before which also matches my theme, a 2hr round trip to get to said location, recently a 4:30am wakeup call to avoid the summer sun and lots of people, getting the shot (try 2983294824 photos and just managing to find one that you like), 1 hr to edit.... you get the gist. Then add in 4/5hrs of emails per day, negotiating projects, responding to event invites, working out trips, creating content briefs etc. etc. etc. Plus 4ish hours to film and edit an entire video.... I am by no means being a moaning myrtle raving it up at a pity party for one but I guess I'm trying to explain that yes I have been crap at writing posts but it's in no way because I don't love this platform anymore, it's purely because other commitments/work/life has got in the way.

However, I am currently undergoing a huge redesign WHICH I AM SO BLOODY EXCITED ABOUT, which will probably be live within the next few weeks. I am possibly getting some help with emails and content and life admin - I'm going to be that tit that says they can't say anything right now, but I actually can't - so yeah, soon, there will be better and more frequent posts and I am so bloody excited about it.

Other than that, work is good. Amazing in fact. I still feel lucky to wake up every day doing a job I love and I still have to pinch myself that I get to make content and travel the world off of the back of it. There are so many exciting things coming up and I can't wait to take you along with me.


Friends/Life

It's hard to talk about my "personal" life without turning into a little school girl with a crush but things are very very nice (nice is such a crap word isn't it?) right now. 

I mean, look, it hasn't been a bed of - very instagrammable, obvs - roses. I went through a health scare - pre cancerous moles fyi, no you're glamorous - as well as an old school friend sadly passing away from Cancer (for anyone that follows me on Instagram, you'll know what I mean and thank you so much for your support and anyone that donated to her fundraising page for treatment, I am eternally grateful), as well as some shitty friend stuff... it's been a little bit of a rollercoaster. But with the sad has not only come a lot of perspective but also a hell of a lot of good. So yeah, even with all the crap, right now I am probably the happiest I've been in as long as I can remember, and that feels really bloody nice.

I have the best friends imaginable - Ally and Hayley I'm glaring at you in particular - and I'm finally at a point where every single person in my life is exactly the kinda person/people I want to surround myself with. Those that put others first, those who value friendship over stepping up the career/life ladder, those with a kind, honest heart. 

If there's anything I've learnt from the last couple of months, it's that letting negative people/people that do things that put you in a negative mood go from your life is single handedly the best thing you can do for your state of mind. I'll leave this topic with a quote I found recently with summed it up perfectly...

"You are only going to be as good as the people you surround yourself with, so be brave enough to let go of those weighing you down"

Travel

Travel is such a blurred line for me whether it comes under work or life as 99.9% of the trips I do are either for work, or I spend 80% of my time working... but I have been so lucky to travel to some amazing places recently and I have so much more to come. Including, incase you're interested, Santorini, Disney World Florida, Venice and possibly Canada, NYC and Florida (again. I know, I hate myself too). 

So yeah, I guess that's about all my updates. I mean, there might be a couple more that may or may not have contributed to said happiness but that'll all come trickling out soon. For now, thank you so much for anyone that's still stuck with me even though I've been more MIA than Kanye's braincells 99% of the time (lol, imagine if no one but my Mum is around anymore. Oh well, HI MUM). And also... please let me know if there's anything specific you'd like to see over here as I'm always open to ideas.

Thank you so much for reading Mum I can't wait for you to see the new ellenextdoor.com soon!

xx


5 REASONS WE ALL NEED TO BE SMILING MORE


If there's one thing people will generally know/recognise me for - bar being a complete and utter Harry Potter nerd and having shares in carbs - it's the fact that I'm always smiling and laughing my head off. Partly because I surround myself with good people who make me laugh until I borderline grow abs, and partly because life is too short to be miserable isn't it?

Now, I'm not being one of those "smile, be happy, go hug a tree and let go of your problems" people because life isn't that simple and sometimes it's bloody tough. However... the benefits from a simple smile - physically and mentally - are without a doubt, mind blowing. So I thought I'd do a little post about reasons we should all be smiling more... so get your gnashers ready and your best smiles on kids!
You are instantly more attractive 
For me personally, one of the first things I notice in someone is their smile. Nothing makes you look more beautiful than a bright, glowing, friendly smile and it's genuinely the thing that makes me instantly warm to someone more than any feature. So for me, having a smile that makes you almost need sunglasses on just to look at me - lol jk, not quite that bright but that'd be nice wouldn't it? - is always a total essential. If you've been subscribed to my channel or follow me on Instagram, you'll know that I've been using Listerine® Advanced White for a couple of months now and I honestly can't recommend it enough. It lifts stains from teeth and prevents new ones forming, helping to give a whiter smile. I genuinely feel so much more confident in my smile and when talking to people and I wholeheartedly put it down to this.


Brightens your day and your mood
I have a little challenge for ya huns... next time if you're feeling sad or down, just smile. A big, fat, teethy smile. And I promise you you will instantly feel a little bit better (it's scientifically proven guys but obvs I've forgotten the actual scientific part so you'll just have to take my word for it). If you're slightly more of a pessimistic person - I'm with you sister - then little things like thinking about funny stories or small things that make you smile is the best way to start your day right.


It brightens other people's day and mood
I'm a born and bred Londoner so it's safe to say that I'm not very used to people randomly smiling at me on the street and if you decide to smile at someone out of the blue, 90% of people will give you an evil/suspiciously look at you as if you're up to something. But honestly, without getting all tree hugger hippie on you, giving somebody on the street a random smile and seeing their response (when it's good and not a total evil glare) is one of the most heart warming things you can do, and will subsequently make your day too!

Happier people are more successful
I was reading a random article recently - probs during one of those black holes where you go to read something for a second and 4 hours later you've covered every topic imaginable - that mentioned happier people being more successful. A mixture of the fact that happier people generally make more effort and are more personable meant that they ended up being more successful in their career and their personal life. Now if that isn't a reason to get your gnashers out and start smiling then I don't know what is.

It makes you do crazy things etc.
Most of you will know - or will have seen according to the DM's with screenshots *insert monkey covering eyes emoji here* - that my girl Ally and I took part in an amazing campaign with Listerine® based around the power of a smile. It saw friends/couples/family etc. tell their story of how a simple smile made them do something crazy and spontaneous (my personal favourite being a guy who got off of a bus to tell a girl she had an amazing smile and he'd love to take her out. They're now together. NO IT'S SO CUTE I CAN'T COPE EITHER!). Mine and Ally's was based around the time when we spontaneously booked flights to New York even though we were both so busy, hadn't even looked at prices or dates and it probably really wasn't a sensible idea. I smiled one of my we 100% shouldn't be doing this but we're going to do it, aren't we? smiles and minutes later we'd booked to go. It really does blow my mind how much impact a simple smile can make.

And that brings me to the end of this little smiley cute af post... if I haven't convinced you to smile wider than my waist after my New York Pancakes breakfast by now then maybe just go and google some cute cat or dog memes, but get smiling people, surely life's too short not to?

I'd love to hear your smile stories, have you ever done anything based purely on a smile? I always love hearing your thoughts!

xx


This post is sponsored by Listerine®

TIME IS PRECIOUS




Photography by Ally Shipway

Time is a funny ole thing. It's something that dictates our life on a daily basis but not something we really think about. Something we take for granted but the only thing we can't get back once it's gone.

Well, apart from my sasspot ladies who won't ever take back that idiot who made the worst mistake of his life. Or the pizza I just demolished, or the bikini body I had when I was 20 and my metabolism was on fire....

OK, look, in theory it was a good sentence so let me just live my best philosophical "move over Gandhi" life for a little bit and just go with it.

Time is something I took for granted for the vast majority of last year. I fretted about things I couldn't change and I lost sight of all of the things most important to me. I put social media numbers before my health and let them dictate the kinda day I was going to lead.

This changed for me in 2018 but there was still tiny little remnants of this leftover. Even if it was putting up with people talking about it when they know you have harder things to deal with...

But something happened recently which put everything into perspective. It made me finally step off of the ridiculous work carousel/treadmill/[insert your own choice of object that consistently moves here].. because the only thing it left me thinking about was time. And just how precious it really is. I was never going to talk about it, but when I realised that Olivia Burton's - who I am beyond beyond beyond excited to be working with because I've been obsessed with their watches and jewellery for 3483984 years - latest campaign is all about how precious time is, it just felt like perfect timing.


I've never really been that good at getting personal so I tend to just blurt things out and hope for the best (classic Elle coping method). A few weeks back I noticed that I'd gained a lot of moles (tiny little freckle like things) all over my body, and some, which I'd never even noticed before had gone from being totally flat to almost hilariously raised. I didn't think much of it, I booked an appointment with a GP - who was absolutely useless FYI - and subsequently went private because whilst I am the most blase person on all the land, I just wanted to check it out once and for all. I went to my appointment, had even booked in dinner and drinks after, and the next thing I knew, I'm on the table being injected with anaesthetic and having two "worrying" and "suspicious" moles removed.

It's not a big deal (I mean it probably is but denial is better than acceptance right?)...  but in that moment, nothing... not work, not money, not girl dramas not boy dramas, literally nothing crossed my mind apart from time. Have I used my time wisely? Have I made the most of every second I've had? If time left was limited what would I do...

For anyone thinking, it was possibly just a cancerous mole at worse you tit, I am not by any means saying it's huge and serious as it mostly can be easily rectified but any little health scare is enough to put things into perspective isn't it? And this was just mine.


So yeah... time is pretty darn precious, and Olivia Burton know all about this. During the design process of their latest Semi Precious stone collection - which is just outrageously stunning fyi - Olivia Burton were reflecting on what precious time means to them. From small snatched moments to yourself in a busy day to celebrating the weekend with your favourite people in world. It's the small things that count, making every single minute worth your while.

I've been wearing the beautiful Semi Precious Rose gold mesh watch and I've been absolutely obsessed with it. Not only does it look gorgeous with the perfect rose gold tones and stunning dusky pink marble face, but the dial is also layered with Rose Quartz, aka the Heart stone (HOW CUTE!!!), famous for attracting and keeping love - i.e the perfect wing woman, I'll wear it every day ;) - and it's soft, peaceful energy. It's the perfect classic piece that looks timeless - please feel free to appreciate the unintentional pun - and goes with every outfit whilst still feeling modern and on trend.

Basically, I haven't taken it off since I first got it so I think that says it all really doesn't it?


And I think it's about time I wrap this up.

Honestly, feel free to punch me in the face for that pun because it really was atrocious.


I'd love to know what precious time means to you? What little things never fail to put a smile on your face? Cute af stories welcome please ;)

xx


This post was sponsored by Olivia Burton

3 OCCASION-WEAR OUTFIT IDEAS AND GETTING THE LOOK FOR LESS

It's that time of year again isn't it, ladies? Weddings, Christening's, Ascot, your best friend's brother's dog's puppies first birthday... you name it, there is always an occasion to get dressed up for at this time of year and I have to say, I have a love/hate relationship with it. Don't get me wrong, I love nothing more than getting dolled up - lol, no you talk like a Nan - putting on a pretty outfit and going out to have some fun in the sun with your favourite people. But it's the deciding what to wear that always gets me. What does smart casual even mean, am I too overdressed, is that even a thing? So I decided to put together a mix of looks that can work for any and every occasion.

I was going to say I'm being like a clothes fairy godmother helping all your sartorial needs but I think fairy godmothers are responsible adults that don't run away from their awful decisions aren't they? Which means I'm definitely counted out of that.

So yes, I've put together some looks - all from Very who you all know are one of my all time fave online stores - and I'm also here to tell you about how to get these looks for less (because if you don't love a bargain I'm not even sure we can be friends) with the help of Voucher Codes.

If you've never heard of Voucher Codes, they are a website with amazing deals across 100s of high street brands and restaurants. They work with brands to provide the best deals to make things as affordable as possible for us shoppers. They have an amazing app - which you can download here - which will show you deals in your local area too, pretty snazzy if you ask me. 

Voucher Codes currently have a sassy little code in case you want to shop anything from this post or from the Very website. Using the code ELLEND5, New Very.co.uk customers can get £5 when they spend £20+... I think this means it's time to get shopping doesn't it? Yep, I thought so too!

Photography by Ally who you can find here and here.
THE MINI
As much as I love a flowy little number, my heart will always be lost to the mini. Maybe it's because my long legs are just about the only redeeming feature - no, no, please put your tiny violins away for me - or maybe it's because it has that added boost of sexiness but a respectable mini is always a solid shout for me. I absolutely adore this cornflower blue option as the long sleeves and 'just above knee' height make it appropriate for any occasion. This has such a Self Portrait vibe about it (but for a third of the price) and just looks so classy whilst also being a bit different too. 

Paired with these gorgeous silver strappy heels - which I've also worn to death with cropped jeans lately - and this beautiful dusky pink velvet clutch... this is the perfect pretty but chic outfit.


THE FLORAL MAXI/MIDI
Can we all just take a moment to appreciate the beauty of this dress?

... perfect, thank you ;)

This dress really is one of the most beautiful, and versatile, pieces in my wardrobe. I've worn it to a beautiful dinner in paris, I've worn it with trainers for a casual day at the park (which may or may not have included a Nando's), I've worn it to a christening. It just works. The neckline and shoulder detail is just gorgeous and the open front and fluted hem really does make this little cracker just a bit special. I actually paired this with one of the most quirky pairs of shoes I own in the form of these ruffle rose gold pointed courts - what a mouthful - and this pom bag which is the definition of unsubtle but I'm kind of all about it.




THE JUMPSUIT
Finally, for my most unique - and also possibly most favourite, shh - the jumpsuit. But let's be honest guys, this isn't just any old jumpsuit is it? LET'S JUST TRY AND STAY CALM AND CHILL OVER THE RUFFLE BARDOT NECKLINE!!!

And breathe... but seriously, there's something about the cut and fit of this that instantly makes me feel put together, ready for anything and, as much as it makes me want to curl up in a ball of self indulgence... a little bit sexy. Maybe it's the sleeves or the perfect crop and fit of the trousers but my god is this piece a little stunner? The jumpsuit does all the talking so I paired this with nude strappy heels (without a doubt my most worn style of shoe) and this leopard print bag just to give the girly look a bit of an edge. 


And that's my third and final look. I'd love to know which one is your favourite? I'd also love to know if you've ever heard of/used Voucher Codes before as I'm a liiiiittle bit obsessed with it now.

Don't forget, you can check out all of the deals they have to offer here . Happy shopping guys!

xx



This post was sponsored by Voucher Codes and Very


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