Staycation vs Vacation: The Final

So I’ve been to Spain, I ate good food, drank good drink and relaxed. Then I came back to rainy England and did the same holiday back here.  

Editor’s Picks:

First up, tapas: 

I went to well-known chain Las Iguanas (2-4-1 cocktails all day every day may have played a part in that decision).  The first time I went, I reserved a table and made it a date night (cute, right?). Sadly the service didn’t match up to my plans and I ended up leaving.  A brief summary: I waited 10 minutes to be seated and 20 more to order before not being seen by anybody and having to leave otherwise my car was going to be locked in the car park.

The second time, however, was much better. With five tapas for £25, the price was a bit steeper than I got in Spain, but tasted just as delicious, if slightly different.  The cocktails, however, at 2-4-1, were cheaper than their Spanish equivalent, although sadly Sangria (red wine, orange juice, and fruit) wasn’t an option anywhere that we went.

The spa was one of the cheapest available in London, with an online voucher taking spa entry and a 25-minute body scrub down to just £26.  The spa itself didn’t match up to the spa in Alicante, which was empty every time I used it, and had a much larger pool and 2 fancy showers as opposed to one.  However, that doesn’t mean that the London spa was lacking: the steam room had eucalyptus extract in the steam, which was perfect for me as I was cold-ridden. I’ve also discovered that if a shower has a ‘tropical storm’ setting, it’s definitely the one for me.

Another element that didn’t blow me away, however, was the banning of phones within the spa. Not only did this mean that I couldn’t take any pictures, but I also couldn’t satiate my social media addiction – it was tough, to say the least. The massage was everything I could have hoped for and more, and the softness which I felt as a result of the body scrub lasted for days.

My final decision? I can see the merits of a ‘stay don’t stray’ holiday, especially if you have a fear of flying or on a money-saving initiative.  However, for me, the London experience just didn’t match up to the Spanish version, and if I had to pick, I know which one I would go on again.  The London experience was great, but it simply wasn’t the same.

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Words and gallery by Eleanor Smith