Pack with me: long-haul flight edition

I’m so excited to be writing the words I’m going to New York! I’m mega excited for this trip as it will be only my second time visiting the US and, unlike last time, my boyfriend is coming with me. We’ve never been for a holiday like this together, but we have everything planned out – I’ve been reading guidebooks like there’s no tomorrow. We’re going for a week (I’m there for work AND play), which means I have a packing list as long as my arm and in today’s post I’m going to talk about packing my carry-on for the flight.

I have only done two long-haul flights (to and from Chicago last year) so I’m very new to the business. I have watched so many packing videos and read loads of blog posts to try and hone my packing list: especially loved this video from The Anna Edit as well as this one from Fleur de Force. Having done my research, I think I’m suitably prepared for all eventualities! I’m only taking a back pack so I can’t pack too much or I won’t be able to carry it…

Lisabeth westwood packing new york city flight


The flight to New York is around eight hours so I have packed a couple of different things to keep me entertained. I’ll take my laptop, notepad, and pen in case inspiration strikes and I want to do some work or plan blog posts. I’m a big reader and I get through books very very fast so I have packed my kindle (full up with lots of novels) but also my guidebook in case I want to do a bit more planning. I’ll have my phone with me, loaded up with podcasts (I love The Guilty Feminst, Ctrl Alt Delete, and No Such Thing as a Fish), which will be great for the plane but also for hanging about in airports and trainstations. Another essential is a sleep mask, I find it difficult to get some shut-eye on flights without one of these bad boys.

Carry on lisabeth westwood flight packing new york

Beauty and Body

I’m very happy to travel makeup free so I’m not packing any. I might slick on some mascara in the morning and maybe some eyebrow gel, but nothing on the face.  Instead, I am focussed on skincare. Actually, one of my favourite ways to pass the time in the airport is to slather as many ludicrously expensive creams and serums on my face in duty free as possible! Having very dry and dehydrated skin, I have packed a moisturiser for every body part. Most of these are samples that I have got from BirchBoxes, making them the perfect size for my carry on.

20180303_144609297_iOSFor the face: Nuxe Crème Prodigieuse moisturiser (which is nice and light but still moisturising) and the Simple Hydrating Booster


For the hands: L’Occitan Shea Handcream

For the body: Body Shop Argan Oil Body Lotion

For the eyes: Polaar IcyMagic Instant Eye Contour Energiser

For the lips: Dr Paw Paw Multipurpose Soothing Balm

lisabeth westwood long haul travel

To keep myself feeling fresh I also have a mini Mitchum deoderant, toothpaste, and antibacterial handgel. I also have a teeny tiny sample of the English Laundry scent to spray just before we land.



There are a couple of other bits and pieces that will go into my rucksack: a pair of thick socks to keep my toes warm, a scarf (blanket/pillow in one!), a pack of tissues, painkillers, and assorted chargers/adapters.

Calling all experienced flyers – is there anything I’ve missed? Send me your long-haul flight essentials.


My travel makeup

As I write, I am sat at my parents’ dining table with the dog circling round my feet. I am dogsitting for five days whilst my mum and dad are on a trip. Whilst I’m technically away from home, I’m back at the house I lived in from 13 to 18 so I didn’t need to bring much with me, just some books and things to amuse myself whilst the dog naps.

Although I’m spending much of this time in wellies, tramping around muddy fields, and playing fetch, I did bring some make-up bits with me so I thought I’d share what’s in my travel makeup bag. The products I brought are by no means my favourites, but items that suit this low maintenance trip. I didn’t realise until I unpacked my makeup bag that so many of my products are from Maybelline and, for the price, most are awesome.


Base products

I brought my new Maybelline Dream Cushion foundation (in ivory) which I spoke about in my recent beauty haul. I love this foundation, especially when applied using a beauty blender – I love this Eco Tools one – for a light but flawless finish. Then I have my trusty Maybelline The Eraser Eye (in light) and my Rimmel Clear Complexion Clarifying Powder (in transparent) to set everything in place. I don’t really go in for bronzer or contour but I have a Manna Kadar Beauty blusher (in Fantasy) that is a wonderful plum shade, which is perfect for winter. 20180224_132043496_iOSBrows, Eyes, and Lips



I have rather unruly brows; however, I really hate spending time on them. I packed the Maybelline Brow Drama clear gel. This product isn’t amazing, the gel does not keep my brows in place all day so I’ll be investing in something a little more heavy duty soon. Please send recommendations! I also brought a Meech and Mia pencil (in 21), just in case I get invited anywhere and want to look more put together.

For the eyes, I have the Maybelline Colour Tattoo (in On & On Bronze), which I absolutely love. You can apply it with your fingers and bam! – your eyeshadow is done. It stays in place and doesn’t crease, it is perfect for a quick make-up look. Then I have an Essence Volume Stylist mascara for my lashes, which does flake a little bit, but for £3 you cannot complain!

I didn’t pack a lipstick with me for this trip. I’m not planning on heading out much, and sticking on lippie seemed a bit over the top for dog walks! I packed a Body Shop lipbalm in passionberry, it is a pretty deep pink colour and gives a lovely gloss to the lips.

What are you favourite products for quick makeup? Send me your recommendations!


Saturday in Haworth, Yorkshire

Despite having been born in Yorkshire and having lived here for 21 of my 27 years, I still love exploring the county. Although there are still lots of places that I haven’t been to yet, I like re-visiting some old favourites; hence, this week’s trip to Haworth, West Yorkshire. If you are interested in Victorian literature, then chances are that you’d heard of this place: it is the town in which the Brontë sisters lived and wrote their novels. The last time I visited this place (according to my mum), it was in 1992 and I cried because I was scared of the steam trains! This time there were no tears in sight, it was a lovely day trip.


First we stopped off for lunch at the Haworth Old Hall (it was quite busy so book in advance). It is a beautiful seventeenth-century building and the period features make this place cozy and special. The menu was good pub food: I had the burger and chunky chips, my boyfriend had beetroot and squash wellington, and we shared some halloumi fries. I washed this all down with a pint of cider whilst we chatted about our favourite Victorian books (and least favourite, I’m looking at you The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman!).

Old Haworth hall Lisabeth Westwood


Then it was off to the Brontë Parsonage museum! The entrance fee was £8.50 but this gives you unlimited access for a year! I didn’t take any pictures in the parsonage itself, but it was such a pretty buiding. It was so interesting to see where the sisters wrote, look at their letters and childhood drawings. I learnt so much, they led such interesting, but sadly short, lives.



We had a little look around Haworth, the gardens, churches, and even saw some very fancy chickens strutting around. It would have been nice to stay for a cuppa and a scone in one of the cafés or look round the heritage railway station, but it was getting late. Haworth is such a pretty town and set in some beautiful countryside less than an hour’s drive from Leeds. A perfect spot for the Brontë enthusiast (you can definitely the inspiration for Heathcliff’s moody wanderings on the moors), but interesting for anyone wanting a day trip to somewhere with some fascinating history. Highly recommend!

Please let me know if you have any suggestions for fun day trips out!





A Weekend in Glasgow

Scotland is such an interesting country, but I’ve only really spent any time in Edinburgh and St Andrews so when I had an oppportunity to visit Glasgow, I took it! Glasgow is a really great city with some really beautiful architecture and an interesting history. I travelled there at the start of December for a research trip at the University, but I made sure that I had time to explore the area and do some sightseeing.

glasgow university statue lisabeth westwood

Day One

I live in Leeds, so it was only a four hour train journey to Glasgow. I packed lots of books and snacks to keep myself amused and fed along the way. I arrived in Glasgow in the late-afternoon so I headed straight to my B&B. The Argyll Guest House is in the west end of Glasgow, only about a 15 minute walk from the university. It is the more affordable sister to the Argyll Hotel.  My room only cost £60 for two nights, including breakfast!

argyll guest house glasgow Lisabeth Westwood

The room was small, but it had a brand new ensuite (with bath! I made good use of that). I had only booked a single room and was happy to find that the room had a double bed, which was super comfy.

After checking in, I did a little work in my room before heading out to dinner at Number 16. This was a really cute restaurant (it is quite small so I’d advise booking in advance) with such friendly staff. They were only running a Christmas menu so I got a 3 course dinner for £32.

Lisabeth Westwood number 16 glasgow

To start, I had chicken liver parfait with savoury granola and cranberries. I decided to go traditional for my main course and ordered the turkey with all the trimmings – it was so good though, even the sprouts were delicious! I was already pretty full when the time came to order dessert, but I decided to go with the chocolate and brown butter ganache. It was beautiful and very rich so I felt like a lie down afterwards, but it was totally worth it.

Day Two

After having a big breakfast at my hotel (it was a standard continental with cooked options, nothing to write home about but still nice and filling), I headed to the university. It was a lovely, crisp morning. I was all wrapped up in a coat, scarf, and gloves and everything looked so pretty all covered in frost. The sun was just rising and was casting a beautiful light on the buildings (#nofilter).

Lisabeth Westwood glasgowglasgow university frost lisabeth westwood

I walked through a really pretty little park and over a bridge to get to Glasgow University. It was so quiet, just a few dog walkers and parents taking their children to school. It was such a lovely way to start the day.Lisabeth Westwood frost glasgowLisabeth Westwood university glasgow statue

I spent the entire day in the library so I don’t have much to report. For dinner, I really wanted to try Ox and Finch, a restaurant that had an amazing menu of tapas (with a Scottish edge). They were fully booked (again, book way in advance) but they keep one table free for walk-ins. It was beautifully decorated with an open kitchen so you could see the chefs at work. A perfect place for a date! Lisabeth Westwood ox and finch glasgow

I had mozzerella, parma ham, with pear followed by butternut squash and merguez haggis, roasted carrots. I finished off with an amazing praline crémeux with ginger icecream that tasted just like a ferrero rocher! The best dinner I’d had for a very long time.

Day Three

I had finished all my work early, so I decided to spend the rest of my time in Glasgow doing some more touristy/cultural stuff. I started off by walking to Great Western Road, which has lots of cafés and cute shops. I stopped at this book shop and spent half an hour brousing the shelves. I came out with a couple of great second hand books for the train journey home.

caledonia books Lisabeth Westwood glasgowLisabeth Westwood glasgow caledonia booksLisabeth Westwood caledonia books glasgow

I was in need of some caffeine so I stopped by a vegetarian place, the V&V café. I had my first (and probably last) matcha latte, it just tasted too much like grass for my liking.

Lisabeth Westwood matcha latte

I then finished off my trip with a few museum visits. First, I headed to the Hunterian museum on the University campus. It is housed in a really beautiful building, and had such a diverse collection – something for everyone! It had roman ruins, dinosaur and animal skeletons, and a really fascinating medical collection. I even saw a vial of Joseph Lister’s urine (gross, but kinda cool for those that did the History of Medicine GCSE module!).Lisabeth Westwood Hunter museumLisabeth Westwood Hunter museum

Last on my list was the Kelvingrove art gallery and museum. Like the Hunterian, this imposing building has wide range of items, but the art galleries are not to be missed. They have interesting impressionist collections, but my favourite was the selection of works by the Scottish colourists. Definitely worth a visit, and it is free!Lisabeth Westwood Kelvingrove museum glasgow

Once I had done a tour of the Kelvingrove, it was time to head back to Leeds. It was such a great mini-trip. I wish I had more time to explore the city centre more, I was definitely focussed on the west end of Glasgow. I hope to make another visit soon, perhaps on the way to the Highlands!

If anyone has any other recommendations, please let me know!

November Favourites and Highlights

November isn’t actually over year but I have had such a good month that I wanted to talk about it now! Here’s a run down of my highlights and favourites from this month.

Crisp morning walks

Lisabeth Westwood winter woods chilly

I love this time of year: it is getting chilly but too cold, the mornings are still light, and I can walk to work not completely bundled up in scarves and hats. I live a few miles from my university and I’m loving my morning walks at the moment. I get wrapped up, stick on a podcast (current favourites are Crtl Alt Delete and No Such Thing as a Fish), and set off to work. I love the crisp, fresh air and I often make a slight detour to walk through the park for that extra autumnal feeling.

Bourgois Rouge Velvet Lipstick

Bourgois lipstick

Lipsticks. There are just so many out there and most don’t live up to the hype. However, I have been loving the combination of this Rouge Velvet lipstick (03 Hippink chic) and the BarryM lipliner in Runway. It is really longlasting, i.e. it doesn’t leave you with that horrible lipstick ring round your mouth after one sip of coffee. I love this colour – I’ve really been channeling my inner Alicia Florrick (another November favourite, I watched ALL of the Good Wife recently).

I’m going to New York!

I’m so excited for this one! I have wanted to go to New York for as long as I can remember. As a child of the 90s, Friends and the like made NYC look like the place to be. I was lucky to win an academic prize that will fund a research trip to the Big Apple in March. It won’t be all fun but I’m really looking forward to planning my stay. I have the hotel booked (I’m staying at the AKA Wall Street and it looks so fancy), next is flights!


I won’t sugarcoat it, teaching is hard and I only have a few seminar groups a week. I’m so impressed for all those primary and secondary school teachers out there, it is so much work! Despite all that work and marking, I have loved teaching this year. My students are so nice and seem to be engaged with the subject, the latter is really all that I’m interested in. The extra money has definitely come in handy this month too as Christmas is fast approaching.

L’Occitane Shea Handcream

Birchbox handcream Lisabeth Westwood L'Occitane

I mentioned this handcream in my review of the November Birchbox and I have really been enjoying it. I get very dry skin in winter and my skin has been loving this cream – it is so rich and moisturising. It is the perfect size for on the go but I have mine on my desk. I think I even prefer it to the Body Shop hemp handcream and that has been my favourite for years!


A Day on Lake Como

Where? When? Why?

I recently went to Milan with my boyfriend and we took a day trip to Varenna on Lake Como. We wanted to get out of the city and hang out on the lake.


We got the half 10 train from Centrale station: you have to buy a ticket for a specific time so we just bought a single in the morning so we wouldn’t be restricted. They cost 6.70 euro each way so pretty cheap! Top tip: sit on the right hand side for the best view. Annoying it started raining just as we were pulling up to Varenna. I was NOT appropriately dressed for rain in just a sundress and sandles. We ended up running through the town in the pouring rain trying to find somewhere to hide. After hiding under a porch for a while we made our way to the centre to look at the church and the main square.

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As it was still raining we decided to have a long lunch at a café with a beautiful lakeview. We decided on Nilus which was cheap and cheerful. I had lots of pasta, dessert, and more glasses of the house red than I should at lunch!

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When the sun came out, Varenna was absolutely beautiful. We went for a walk around lakeside and it was stunning. The colours of the houses were so pretty and there were so many people sitting on the beaches, swimming in the lake, and paddling.

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We went to visit the Villa Monastero. It is one of the two villas in Varenna that you can visit but this one looked bigger and better.  We got the house and garden tickets (8 euros each). The garden was so green and beautiful but I would probably give the house a miss if I was going again. The views over the lake were amazing and it was so quiet in the gardens that we could really relax and take lots of pictures.

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After we left the Villa we decided to head back to Milan. You can buy the tickets from the little tourist information centre that is attached to the station but it closes at 4pm and then you can buy the tickets on the train.

All in all, was such a good day! The lake was so lovely and there were lots of pretty little restaurants and shops. Apparently Varenna gets super busy with weddings in the summer but in June it was perfect.

Check out what I did on the rest of the trip! Oh, and my posts on the Yorkshire Coast and Amsterdam.




Three Days in Milan

Who? Where? When? Why?

I just came back from a four day trip to Italy with my boyfriend, B for our main holiday of the year. I just finished my big project for the first year of my PhD so I was very ready for a break. We went to Lombardy – spending three days in Milan and one day beside Lake Como.

Day 1: Morning and Afternoon

Our flight to Milan Linate was pretty uneventful (but with such beautiful views over the Alps) and I took a little weeny nap on B’s knee like a cat.

Then we had to head into the centre of Milan to get to our accommodation. Public transport in Milan is SO easy. You can get a 90 minute ticket for the Metro and you can use it as many times as you like within that time limit and it only costs €1.50!! So at the airport you can pick up a ticket from Hudson’s News and then you jump on the 73 bus to San Babila and then you can head to the Metro. There probably are day tickets but we like walking so we didn’t investigate.

We were staying at an AirBnB in Amendola on the western edge of Milan but it wasn’t more than 15 minutes to the centre. Our AirBnB was brilliant – it was very small but had everything we needed for £34 a night. It just had a double bed, little table, fridge, hob, and a tacked-on bathroom (shower was good though!). There was also a little balcony but there was building work going on so we couldn’t really enjoy it. This flat is a great choice if you are looking for a base to explore from and don’t look for luxury or want to cook full meals. Also, ask for a fan – we said we didn’t need one but we regretted that as Milanese nights were very hot and still.

Day 1: Evening

The best thing about our flat was its location right by lots of restaurants and we found out that the 4th best restaurant on TripAdvisor was on our street! We reserved a table at Da Vic for our first night ( you deffo need to book and I’d suggest smart casual for dress). The dinner was SO delicious! It started with complimentary prosecco and focaccia, and the chef popped out to say hello! I started with ricotta stuffed courgette flowers and B had fried shrimp and anchovies. Then I had a rich beef ragout pasta and B also went for pasta but with leek and black truffle. For dessert I had tiramisu (my total fave dessert) and B had lemon sorbet. Really amazing food and totally worth the splurge for a romantic dinner. After dinner we were full for the brim and went for a wander around the local area and found lots of other restaurants to try during our trip.

Lisabeth Westwood Milan
Our Street

Day 2

One of the most important things to consider when planning a trip to Milan is whether you want to see the Last Supper. Tickets to see the famous painting sell out months in advance so we didn’t see it. But there are lots of other places to visit that don’t need advance booking.


On our first day we headed straight to the Duomo. When you exit the metro station you come out to an incredible view of the cathedral and other stunning buildings that surround the Piazza del Duomo.

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I’d suggest buying tickets to the Duomo online so that you can avoid the queues as we were stood under the hot sun for a while.You can head into the cathedral only for €2 but we also headed up to the roof (in the lift) for €13 (you can take the stairs for €8). On the roof you can look out over the whole city and you can spend ages just looking at the architecture of cathedral which is stunningly beautiful. You can see why it took them 500 years to finish ot!


After the Duomo we were ready for lunch and set off into the direction of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II which houses the huge designer brands. B also did the traditional two clockwise turns on the testes of a mosaic bull for good luck.

Lisabeth Westwood Milan

We found a little trattoria (Trattoria dei Magnani Al Cantinone) for lunch and we both had risotto (Milan is famous for it): mine was made from figs and Castelmango cheese.Then we headed up the Via Dante towards the Sforza castle and stopped for gelato on the way (mango and chocolate: yum!). The castle is a huge square and looks more like a beautiful prison or barracks than a castle. There are lots of exhibitions there but we just looked at Michaelangelo’s unfinished Pietà. It was so interesting, especially if you like sculpture, as it is a work-in-progress.

The last stop was the Basilica di Sant’Ambrogio which is a beautiful medieval church that had a lovely courtyard with cool Latin inscriptions and the bodies of Ambrose and a couple of others.

Lisabeth Westwood Milan
Basilica di Sant’Ambrogio

Our feet were sore by this point so we headed home via the shop to buy prosecco and snacks!

Day 3: Morning and Afternoon

We were tired after our trip to Lake Como (post coming soon!) so we had a lazy breakfast and then wandered back over towards the Sforza castle which has a big park behind it. We found a surprise fountain on the way and the walk was lovely! Such a beautiful area.

Then we spent ages in the park drinking beers and eating apricots and we both read our books in the shade of a big tree. B did get bitten by lots of insects though!

Park snacks!

Then we headed to the Museo del Novocento gallery which is right next to the Duomo (has amazing views so take a camera) which had lots of interesting Italian modern art and some installations too. That evening we headed out for our final meal in Milan and no sooner had we walked 500m then the heavens opened and it tipped it down with rain. There was thunder and lightning and everyone was running under cover. We had to huddle under a canopy for 10 minutes waiting for it to stop so we could go get some pizza. Definitely a memorable end to a lovely trip!

The downpour…


Check out my travel post on Amsterdam and the Yorkshire Coast!