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4 Paradise Islands You'll Want To Retire On

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If you think of the word paradise, the image of a silent island bathed in heavenly sunshine and calm blue waves will appear to mind. That is no fantasy, as there are countless islands that provide that kind of dream for someone who is ready to move to such a place. They have the same sort of weather but their cultures are different. You have many islands in North America, just off the coast of Florida. You also have islands that are in South America, the Indian Ocean and around the South China Sea. But some are better than others, so we’ve compiled a list of the best.

Paradise-island

Mauritius

Just off the east coast of Madagascar, this beautiful little island is in the Indian Ocean. It's so popular that it has a population of 1.2 million people. But don’t worry, it's not as crowded as you might think. Here's why you would want to live in Mauritius. From Grand Baie to Tamarin and to the airport, there are villas, apartments, condos and gated communities that are never too far from the beach. It has a landmass of 1,600 square miles and a GDP of $31 billion. That means that there’s plenty of money for infrastructure and keeping the island clean, heavenly and just the way it should be. So you have peace, quiet and the island is kept in tip-top shape to keep residents happy. 

BIOT

The British Indian Ocean Territory is further east to Mauritius and it's just as beautiful. Home to coral reefs and turtles, it's also full of penguins during certain times of the year. The white soft sands and the leaning palm trees are just a classic sign that you are in paradise. However, you have a lot more privacy on this island because there are 1,000 people, 3,000 military personnel. It's just 23 square miles but a little shack by the beach is all you’ll want for the seclusion, privacy and quiet you get in return.

Bermuda

An amazing island that is one of the most-loved of the UK’s overseas territories, as well as for its mystique regarding the ‘Bermuda Triangle’ conspiracy theories. It's fish hook shape makes for a great riviera island, with plenty of harbours, ports and places where you can ride around in your private boat. The weather is really quite calm for being further out into the North Atlantic Ocean. It's warm and humid, perfect for roaming around in flip flops and shorts, just the way the British like it! 

Anguilla

Most people have never heard of this island, but that’s even more alluring for someone who wants to retire in peace and quiet. The see-through turquoise waters are incredible. Warm and smooth, these waters will have your floating and swimming in them for hours and hours every day. The long sandy beach is just what you would want in a classic paradise island. Nothing more to say about Anguilla.

Some of the greatest islands on earth are yearning for more inhabitants who want to retire and enjoy the more beautiful parts of the world. Have you chosen your favourite yet?


La Boca Doncaster Food Review

Good steak restaurants can be few and far between but I really wanted to share an absolute gem of a steak restaurant that I've found in Doncaster and it was all down to a happy coincidence. We have eaten at steak restaurants like Miller and Carter and Estabulo but both were booked up with the Eat Out to Help Out government scheme running; so I logged on to Open Table (an absolute must-have app, by the way, if you eat out a lot) and there was a table available at La Boca in Doncaster town centre. 

La Boca is a fairly new steak restaurant in Doncaster town centre, offering the finest cuts of meat with an Argentine inspired menu. The restaurant itself is quite small but perfectly formed; they've done a great job of making it Covid secure and the staff are wonderfully friendly. 

la-boca-doncaster-menu

The menu is concise but there are some amazing-sounding dishes on there. We decided to get a starter each; Kev went for the Empanadas which are Argentinian pasties filled with spicy beef, served with a small salad, I went for the Provoleta which is an Argentinian baked cheese with a red onion and chilli marmalade.

Argentinian-Empanadas

beef-empanadas

Argentinian-provoleta

As you can see, the empanadas are filled full of pulled beef and it tasted absolutely unreal; the beef itself was very flavourful but not too spicy. These were completely different to any other empanadas I've ever tasted because the meat was so generous. 

The provoleta was also gorgeous; I'm a huge cheese fan and I live for a good cheese pull so this was perfect for me. One thing I will say is that you need more bread, which I asked for and was given but if I were the restaurant I'd serve it with 4 pieces of bread rather than 2 because I knew before I even started that it wasn't going to be enough. 

The main course was obviously what we really came for. We both went for the 10oz rump steak served with rustic fries, chimichurri and roasted peppers. All steaks are brushed with rosemary and paprika butter and cooked to perfections. We also paid extra for Diane sauce on the side.

argentinian-steak-la-boca

Medium-rare-steak

That for me was the perfect medium rare steak, Kev went for medium which was also cooked perfectly. Obviously rump steak isn't the 'best' cut of steak but for me it is definitely the best value for money as the meat is tender and flavourful. There was a little bit of fat in mine which was inedible but this didn't spoil it for me at all because the rest of the meat was so tender. Until now, I didn't realise how well chimichurri goes with steak and it was the perfect accompaniment. The rustic chips were cooked to perfection and are far better than what we have had at Miller and Carter. You can tell that there's real care and attention paid to these meals and serving good quality food really matters to the staff. 

We saw other people in the restaurant who had ordered the mixed grills which have a mix of steak, lamb, chicken and chorizo which looked absolutely amazing and definitely something I'd consider next time but I would be loathed to choose anything but just steak because it was so good. 

There's a reason why this is the number one restaurant in Doncaster on Trip Advisor and I'm just sorry I have left it so long to visit! Due to the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, this meal only cost us £45 including 2 pints of Diet Pepsi which is almost half the price of Miller and Carter and I can honestly say that the quality of this meal far exceeds that. 

If you're looking for a good steak restaurant in Doncaster, I can highly recommend La Boca!

Fat Hippo Sheffield Food Review

It's been a while since I've done a proper food review (mainly because we had the luxury of restaurants stripped away from us for a few months) so I thought I'd come back and tell you about my experience of Fat Hippo in Sheffield. Fat Hippo are known for their burgers, specifically big dirty burgers that require napkins when eating so they pretty much had me with the pictures of their burgers on Instagram.

We visited Fat Hippo in Sheffield (S1) which is kind of hidden away in Lane 7 which is a bit of an entertainment centre with a bowling alley, pool tables and darts. We actually really enjoyed the vibe in there and I'd definitely go back just for that and probably couple a burger with a few games of pool. But anyway, I digress... onto the food. We ordered a Fat Hippo Burger each which consists of a double patty, American cheese, smoked bacon, chorizo, onion rings and Fat Hippo sauce; I went bunless with mine but Kev got his as normal. All burgers are served with fries and there's the option to pimp your fries so we got our fries with bacon bits and Fat Hippo Sauce:



As you can see, the Fat Hippo burger is a bloody good stack and even though mine doesn't have the bun it still looks good. To be honest I'm sold on any burger with onion rings and those onion rings were so good; crispy and a good thick ring of onion. The burgers themselves were clearly homemade and extremely tasty. The combination of cheese, bacon, chorizo, onion rings and burger patty was perfect. Fat Hippo sauce is a little bit like thousand island and also complements the burger perfectly - I'd always recommend getting some to go with your burger even if you just ask for it on the side.

As for the fries, in all honesty I wouldn't get them covered in Fat Hippo sauce again because it was just a bit much, although I daresay if they were in a wider pot it may have been better but there was just too much sauce dolloped on top and it became overpowering. They were nice to begin with but you know when you just have too much of the same sort of taste? I ended up leaving some



We also ordered a side of 'Freddie's Fingers' (nice little play on the movie title, I assume) and I was really underwhelmed by these to be honest. They were clearly homemade and were supposed to be southern fried but the coating was pretty tasteless and dry. The redeeming feature was the buffalo sauce which was amazing but I still couldn't recommend ordering these.

Despite the disappointing chicken, we did really enjoy the burger and we would visit again but I'd be tempted to just go for regular shoestring fries with plenty of salt and maybe try a different style of burger. Fat Hippo have two locations in Sheffield, and one in Jesmond, Newcastle and Durham so it's very much a Northern gem - I'd highly recommend visiting if you're near a branch! Also check out the Fat Hippo Instagram for some ultimate burger pictures to get your mouth watering!

3 Ways a Trip Away from Home Can Help Improve Your Perspective

There are all sorts of different reasons why people travel, and why travel can be a great and life affirming experience. Part of the joy of travelling is, of course, seeing new sights, trying new cuisine, and turning the excitement level of life up a notch. Obviously holidaying has taken a different turn in the wake of a global pandemic and staycations are becoming much more popular this year than ever. We have just returned from a weekend break at Haven Golden Sands caravan park in Mablethorpe and my step-sister has taken a mobile home to tour around Cornwall for a week which is something I'd definitely consider as it looks like she's having a great time! (with that being said, if you are thinking of buying a caravan make sure you find the best caravan insurance before travelling!)

Regardless of what you choose to do, even a few days staycation in the UK can improve your perspective on life, especially after being cooped up for so many weeks! Here are a few ways in which a trip away from home can help to improve your perspective:


By reminding you of how much you can do when you are being proactive

If your holiday involves getting out of your comfort zone, squeezing in some sightseeing, or otherwise managing your schedule more proactively than you would have been on any given weekend at home, then your holiday has the potential to dramatically remind you of just how much you can actually do and achieve when you are being proactive.

Although there are holidays which are based around relaxing at a resort-side pool, for example, most holidays will involve the holiday-goers trying to optimise their time to get as much out of the trip as possible. Often, therefore, a holiday can really be a reminder that it’s important to break free from “analysis paralysis,” and meet life head-on.

By getting you far enough away from your normal environment, that you can start to view it with more objectivity

We all have assorted troubles, insecurities, preoccupations, and hangups that can haunt us in our everyday lives and cause a great deal of stress and frustration.

Often, what is really needed in order to break free from these negative cycles, is to gain a bit of outside perspective – but that’s more or less impossible to do, in most cases, when you are in the middle of the situation.

Travel can get you far enough away from your normal environment, that you can start to view it with more objectivity. This can then serve as a great impetus to begin making changes, and to adjust your thinking about particular issues.

By putting you in a more optimistic and confident frame of mind

A good holiday will generally put you in a more optimistic and confident frame of mind than you would typically have been in if you had remained at home.

There are many reasons why this can be beneficial, but one of the key reasons is that it can give you the inspiration and self belief necessary to really set yourself some goals, and to commit to going after your dreams and ambitions in a way that you might have felt was out of reach before.

Consider taking a notebook and pen with you on your trip, and brainstorming some of the things you would like to do when you get home, as the inspiration hits you.