Why Atzaro Hotel & Spa is the perfect Ibizian escape

Why Atzaro Hotel & Spa is the perfect Ibizian escape

Fashion Editor Lucia Debieux takes a early Spring break at Atzaro Hotel & Spa, escaping the hustle & bustle of the party island of Ibiza.

Atzaro Hotel & Spa pool
Atzaro Hotel & Spa
Atzaro Hotel & Spa

Atzaro Hotel & Spa

Why go?

As soon as you drive up the long winding road leading up to the five-star Atzaro Hotel & Spa, nestled in the heart of the Ibizan countryside, you feel your shoulders dropping. The family owned finca is known as an agroturismo, basically a working farm, (in this case a orange farm) which means that its ethos is rooted in farming and agriculture, plus the delicious smell of orange blossom fills the air everywhere you go. So far so good. With sustainability at its core, this place has been living and breathing the organic lifestyle way before it became fashionable. If like me, eating a homegrown menu fresh from the onsite vegetable patch, being surrounded by lush gardens full of flowering cactus and palm trees and feeling close to nature rocks your boat then look no further.

Plus it feels like its in the middle of nowhere when in reality you are not more than 15 minutes away from civilisation, hello Santa Eulària and every taxi driver knows Atzaro, so you’re still very much connected to Ibiza should you want to leave.

Atzaro Hotel & Spa, Ibiza: The Rooms

When a place has been in the same family for 7 years and is built around a 300 year old finca, you can feel that history. The original farmhouse is still part of the hotel with more rooms added on, finishing with 24 rooms including huge hidden villas which are set back and separate from the grounds across the road. Dreamy.

With most rooms coming with their own private plunge pools and terrace. Filled with bespoke handmade furniture, teak four poster beds, traditional terracotta tiles with white plaster walls, the vibe is spacious yet cosy meets pared back Ibizian luxury. Most mornings we found it hard pressed to actually leave the huge double walk in shower in the luxurious marble bathroom. But we did, mostly down to waking up craving the delicious scrambled eggs at breakfast. Possibly some of the best Ive ever tried and believe me, Ive sampled a lot!

Atzaro Hotel & Spa four poster bed

Atzaro Hotel & Spa with its four poster bed

Atzaro Hotel & Spa

Atzaro Hotel & Spa

Atzaro Hotel & Spa, Ibiza: The Spa

You can’t not pay a visit to the open-air spa with its 43 metre long fresh water pool, nestled in the lush gardens while you’re there. It would almost be a crime. The huge day beds quickly became a favourite morning hang out for us, the perfect place to while the morning away. With more than enough spots like this around the hotel, fear not this isn’t the kind of place you have to wake up early to secure a bed. Phew!

Whether you try the new Scandi-inspired sauna pod nestled between the vegetable patch, head to the hamman or go straight for a couples massage in the solid teak treatment cabins, you always have that feeling of being close with nature but in the most authentic way. Yoga and wellness classes are all included in your stay, with daily classes you can be sure to grab a mat and get your namaste on. The chance to restore your inner glow is more than possible here and quit frankly hard to resist, we had come to chill after all.

Atzaro Hotel & Spa

Atzaro Hotel & Spa, the freshwater pool in the open-air spa

Atzaro Hotel & Spa, Ibiza: The Food

With all the vegetables and herbs coming from the kitchen garden and the meat from local farms in the surrounding areas, the food is a big part of Atzaro Hotel & Spa.  Menus are based on a true farm to fork concept, with mediterranean flavours that are healthy and fresh, dining here is as delicious as you would imagine. Try the melt-in-your-mouth homemade Iberian ham and cheese croquettes to start, suckling pig or for the veggies the beetroot & avocado burger is too good not to try and finish with the praline sponge. Boom.

Atzaro Hotel & Spa

Atzaro Hotel & Spa, La Veranda restaurant

Don’t Miss

The newly launched ‘Vegetable Garden’ coming in the Summer, entirely organic, using water from the estates well and electricity from the on-site solar panels, this is a special place. Walk through colourful vegetable rows and fig laden trees to find water features, a tree shaded bar and the most dreamy spot lined with palm trees to enjoy picnics plus used as a open air cinema in the evenings. We are sold.

Pop to a beach club, Atzaro Beach to be precise. Situated in the picturesque bay of Cala Nova in the North East of the island, its a unpretentious place to relax and unwind while the sun shines. Think rattan and wicker 1970s boho vibes, with palms a plenty and the turquoise sea twinkling in the distance. If you like a beach club with a chill atmosphere, that the crowds don’t know about yet this is the one for you.

When it comes to eating out you must try Aubergine, a restaurant spread across two buildings owned by the Atzaro group. Its a short cab ride away and like stepping into a little piece of authentic Ibizian heaven. With its super pretty gardens with twinkling lights, a small shop filled with local craft and pottery buys that will catch your eye and a rustic healthy menu full of vegan and veggie options, you wont want to leave. Everything on the menu is seasonal and local, either grown in the gardens or from the Atzaro estate and you can taste it.  You will also wonder what exactly is that paint colour that is over all the upcycled furniture, is it sage green or mint and how can you start renovating your house back home in it? FYI you cant, its bespoke to Aubergine, damn.

Aubergine Ibiza, the garden

Aubergine Ibiza

Aubergine Ibiza

Aubergine Ibiza, the delicious buddha bowl


The Need To Know:

Atzaro Hotel & Spa, Carretera Sant Joan KM15, 07840, Ibiza

Rooms: 24

Price: From €199/night

Check-in: 14:00 pm

Check-out: 11:00 am

Pool: Yes

Gym: Yes

Spa: Yes


The post Why Atzaro Hotel & Spa is the perfect Ibizian escape appeared first on Marie Claire.

The True Cancer Bodies photo series is here to highlight the reality of cancer

The True Cancer Bodies photo series is here to highlight the reality of cancer

true cancer bodies
Credit: Binky Nixon Photography

A new photo series campaign has been created to highlight the ‘real face’ of cancer.

True Cancer Bodies is headed by Vicky Saynor, a mother of four who was diagnosed with a Grade 3 stage 1 Breast Cancer in November 2018. She found a lump high on her breast after learning how to examine herself on the Coppafeel website after hearing the story of a young woman passing away from breast cancer in her twenties because she wasn’t diagnosed early enough.

Shortly after surgery, just one month later, she started a blog on Instagram and Facebook to ‘show the true face of cancer’ and quickly amassed over 4,000 followers.

View this post on Instagram

GAMMY TIT I’ve gained quite a lot of new followers 👋 mainly because of @truecancerbodies (thank you for your support), so I wanted to just remind you all why I’m here ☺ // Last year in July, shortly after getting married, I started to properly check my boobs. When I say ‘properly’ this is very important…. boob checking is from armpit to collarbone to bottom of breast tissue and back across to armpit. My lump was between the top of my breast and collarbone, and many have been shocked by that. Including me! Before ‘proper’ checking, I just randomly gave my soft breast tissue a squidge and that was pretty much it. Finding the charity @coppafeelpeople and learning the checking method meant I found my lump, hopefully a better outcome for me, immediate treatment and hopefully a better prognosis. The type of tumour I had, left unchecked for even another six months, would have resulted in a drastically different outcome for me and my family // I am a True Cancer Body. Early detection for ANY cancer is key. It’s not an exact science – I know that! But please get checking your breasts regularly; get anything you feel or see has changed in your body checked; go for your smear!; @coppafeelpeople offer monthly FREE text reminders. There’s no excuse … please don’t think it won’t happen to you! // If you’ve been affected by any cancer our @truecancerbodies community is welcoming and safe. Male, female, parents of children with cancer, any background, we’d love to hear from you! We’re currently focusing on gynae cancer throughout May, with the help of @eveappeal. In June we’re focusing on Men & Cancer. I’d love to get more men involved, and ultimately see better representation of men with cancer in the media. If you can help with this in any way please let me know! // Happy Boob and Body checking Sunday! Xx #coppafeel #checkyourboobs #checkyourballs #fuckcancer #chemohead #chemotherapy #bodyaware #truecancerbodies #boobs #eveappeal

A post shared by Gammy Tit (@gammy_tit) on May 12, 2019 at 3:23am PDT

But earlier this year, after seeing a breast cancer campaign that enlisted celebrities and models as spokespeople and used hashtags such as ‘two is better than one’, she launched True Cancer Bodies as a way of authentically representing those living with cancer.

She explained: ‘Although always well-meaning, the use of glossy celebrities and happy, smiling models in cancer campaigns, just did not reflect the reality of what we, the cancer patients, and our families have to endure.’

The photo series captures 38 ‘true cancer bodies’ from across the UK, aged between 26 and 57, representing 10 different cancers from breast to bowel, multiple myeloma to Ewing’s sarcoma and it offers a safe space for people to tell their stories, speak their mind and get much needed support.

true cancer bodies

Credit: The Voyage UK

The aim is to show the real face of cancer in a way that isn’t ‘happy, fluffly, pink’, and the campaign’s Instagram page alone had over 8,000 views in the first week.

true cancer bodies

Credit: The Voyage UK

True Cancer Bodies is now collaborating with cancer charities to help raise the awareness of specific cancers every month, and the community has quickly evolved and includes over 25 different cancers, with people ranging in age from just 6 years old up to 79 years old.

Vicky said: ‘The prognosis of so many cancer cases could be better if the population’s awareness was improved.

‘We strongly feel that the best way to do this is by showing what cancer really looks like – the bald heads, the scars, the mastectomies.

‘A picture of a 35-year-old women with a stoma bag is the real face of cancer, and is exactly what is needed to be shared to increase awareness of early detection techniques.’

The post The True Cancer Bodies photo series is here to highlight the reality of cancer appeared first on Marie Claire.

Here’s what you need to know about the chilling new abortion legislation

Here’s what you need to know about the chilling new abortion legislation

Elisabeth Moss as Offred in The Handmaid's Tale
Handmaid’s Tale

This week saw the passing of the most restrictive abortion ban in the US, with Alabama lawmakers making history on Tuesday for passing a bill that outlaws abortion in almost all cases – including rape and incest. It’s a near-total ban, with the only exemption being when the woman’s health is in life-threatening danger.

And who voted to pass it? 25 men, with the four women in the Alabama senate all being in the minority to vote against the bill.

But Alabama is no isolated case, coming in a chilling series of proposed restrictions to women’s reproductive rights across America, introducing the fetal heartbeat bill, with Georgia’s ban being passed just days before.

There are reportedly sixteen other states seeking to impose new restrictions on abortion, restrictions that actually echo those in Northern Ireland.

Pro-Choice campaigners via The Guardian pointed out that under a piece of Victorian legislation – the Offences Against the Persons Act 1861 – anyone procuring an abortion in Northern Ireland, whether medical staff or pregnant women, can face life imprisonment.


Here’s what you need to know about the new abortion legislation…

Alabama abortion law

The near blanket ban in Alabama is a proposed law making abortion illegal in almost all cases, including rape and incest. The only reported exemption is when a woman’s life is at risk. Getting an abortion could lead to imprisonment and even doctors who perform the surgery could reportedly face up to 99 years in prison.

The law could reportedly be blocked in court, but with an appeals process could be brought before the Supreme Court, which due to the conservative majority, could criminalise abortion.


Georgia abortion law

Georgia criminalised abortion this week, changing the state law from outlawing abortion after 20 weeks to outlawing abortion after six weeks of pregnancy.

The proposed bill in question is the fetal heartbeat bill, deeming an abortion illegal as soon as a heartbeat can be detected. The ban, similar to Alabama’s, would ban almost all abortions unless the mother is at serious risk.


What is the fetal heartbeat bill?

The fetal heartbeat bill is part of the proposed abortion legislation in the US. As its name suggests, the bill determines that an abortion becomes illegal once the fetus’ heartbeat can be detected, reasoning that a heartbeat makes it a human life. Anti-bill campaigners however have been quick to point out that a fetal heartbeat can often be detected before a woman finds out that she is pregnant.


Which US states are looking to ban abortion?

Abortion ban bills have already passed in Alabama, Ohio, Mississippi and Georgia, with the proposed bills failing in Arkansas, Iowa, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Wyoming (the bill in Kentucky has also been temporarily blocked). Other states that are moving to restrict abortion laws include Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia.

We will continue to update this story.

The post Here’s what you need to know about the chilling new abortion legislation appeared first on Marie Claire.

Yankee Candle launches a Sunday Brunch collection and it is dreamy

Yankee Candle launches a Sunday Brunch collection and it is dreamy

We’re sold.

yankee candle
Credit: Yankee Candle

If you’re a big brunch fan, you’ve probably been to a fair few of the best breakfast hotspots – but if you’re hosting your own at-home boozy brunch, we’ve got just the thing to help you set the scene.

Yankee Candle have launched a Sunday Brunch collection and it looks absolutely dreamy.

There are seven new fragrances for ‘those casual moments spent around a well-worn table where everyone is welcome to pull up a chair and sit a while’ so that summer is well and truly in the air.

There are so many scents to choose from – Blush Bouquet, Sweet Morning Rose, Floral Candy, Belgian Waffles, White Strawberry Bellini, Grilled Peaches and Vanilla, and Honey Lavender Gelato. There’s something for everyone, too, with the flavours available in large jars (£23.99), medium jars (£19.99) and small jars (£8.99) as well as tea lights and wax melts.

Hannah Jenkins, the EMEA Marketing Director for Yankee Candle, said: ‘Whether you prefer a stack of Belgian waffles oozing with maple syrup, or a chilled Bellini while catching up with friends over a leisurely weekend get together, our new range of brunch-inspired fragrances add an extra special touch to your table no matter what you’re toasting.

‘Our fragrance experts have used extensive research to create each of the seven unique scents in this new range which can help create just the right mood for an indulgent brunch gathering.

‘Each fragrance helps to provide a fresh, bright and enticing aroma which will set the tone all day long, from the moment you turn on the oven to that final sip of your Bellini.’

We’ll take one of each, thanks.

The post Yankee Candle launches a Sunday Brunch collection and it is dreamy appeared first on Marie Claire.

The Queen is hiring a Social Media Manager and this is how to apply

The Queen is hiring a Social Media Manager and this is how to apply

Let’s get digital

queen elizabeth stained glass window
Robert Perry/REX/Shutterstock

Looking for a new job? Consider yourself a bit of a social media pro? Want to work for the Queen herself?

Then you’re in luck. Queen Elizabeth II is actually on the hunt for a digital whizz to manage her online presence.

The role of Digital Communications Officer has been advertised on the official Royal Household website as well as professional networks and job sites like LinkedIn. The Queen is looking for a ‘natural communicator’ who will maintain the ‘Queen’s presence in the public eye and on the world stage.’

The ideal candidate will be comfortable managing and creating content for social media platforms including Instagram and Twitter, as well as the royal family’s website. Duties include researching and writing articles in addition to covering the Queen’s official royal engagements.

Think you’ve got what it takes? She’s looking for an individual who is ‘educated to degree level with previous experience of managing websites and delivering successful digital communications and projects, preferably in a high profile environment.’

The right person will have experience ‘creating and publishing digital and social media content’, have ‘accurate and compelling written and editorial skills’, and ‘good photography skills with experience producing live social media content. Video production skills would also be highly desirable.

You’ll be based in Buckingham Palace (fancy) and the salary is £30,000 p.a, dependent on experience, for 37.5 hours per week, Monday to Friday. Benefits include 33 days annual leave, including bank holidays, and free lunch.

You have until the 26th May 2019 to apply for the position, so you’d better get your CV in shape ASAP.

Good luck!

The post The Queen is hiring a Social Media Manager and this is how to apply appeared first on Marie Claire.

Apparently, this will be the biggest regret of your life

Apparently, this will be the biggest regret of your life


how do bloggers travel

Some of the most common regrets we have include working too hard, losing touch with friends, turning down a dream job opportunity and not making time to travel.

But what is the one thing that most people would say is the biggest regret of their lives?

Psychologists at Cornell University have released a new study revealing that the biggest regret we have in our lives is ‘failing our ideal selves’.

Rather than regretting the things we have done – ‘why did I say that?’ or ‘I wish I had done this instead!’ – our ultimate worry is that we haven’t followed our dreams.

Professor of Psychology and lead author of the study, Tom Gilovich, said: ‘When we evaluate our lives, we think about whether we’re heading toward our ideal selves, becoming the person we’d like to be.

‘Those are the regrets that are going to stick with you, because they are what you look at through the windshield of life.

‘The ‘ought’ regrets are potholes on the road. Those were problems, but now they’re behind you. To be sure, there are certain failures to live up to our ‘ought’ selves that are extremely painful and can haunt a person forever; so many great works of fiction draw upon precisely that fact.

‘But for most people those types of regrets are far outnumbered by the ways in which they fall short of their ideal selves.’

So if you’ve been looking for the courage and motivation to get out there and turn your dreams into a reality – this is it.

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Meet the women using Acupuncture to keep Millennials’ minds in check

Meet the women using Acupuncture to keep Millennials’ minds in check

As part of Mental Health Awareness Week, we sat down with Georgie and Grace, the 27-year-old co-founders of The Elements Project, to discuss the role that acupuncture can play in a healthy body

Words by Niamh McCollum

The conversation around mental health has become one that we can’t get away from. Nor should we try – considering almost five times as many young people suffer from a mental health condition compared to just 10 years ago.

As specialists grapple to ascertain the exact source behind the mental health epidemic we’re currently facing, millennials too have struggled to find ways to cope with their own fluctuating mental wellbeing.

From meditation apps, to talking groups and medication, the complicated reality about mental health is that there’s no one clear path that works for everyone.

But the good news is that more people are facing up to their own anxiety, depression and other mental health problems by taking action in the form of holistic therapies, such as meditation, aromatherapy and acupuncture.

We sat down with Georgie and Grace, co-founders of The Elements Project, an acupuncture practice modelled on the principles of Five Element Acupuncture.

Together, we discussed the potential healing benefits of acupuncture on worried and frantic minds, and why it could be worth bringing the 2,000 year old practice back within the reach of modern day society.

How did you get into acupuncture?

Georgie: I was in a really dark place, and my friend recommended that I see an acupuncturist. I was reluctant and thought, ‘well what the hell are needles going to do?’ It was a very subtle and gradual change, but slowly things just weren’t so awful, and then there was a real sense of peace.

Grace: I had an incredibly strong reaction to acupuncture when I felt totally disconnected after University. Within six months of starting treatment I had moved out to Morocco and set up a business on my own, which is an absolute delight to run. I put that down to having had acupuncture – it’s about making you thrive and giving you access to your potential.

How was The Elements Project created?

Grace: We both took a nine-month intensive training course which is run by Gerad Kite (a leading Five Elements Acupuncture practitioner, renowned for his work in treating a range of conditions.) We lived and breathed acupuncture, and it showed us a totally new way of looking at life. Since then, we started treating and set up our own practice – we’re really excited about where this is going to go.

The Elements Project Treatment Room

What conditions can acupuncture be used to treat?

Georgie: Because it is a holistic form of medicine, you can treat many things. The majority of ailments that we treat are related to mental health – anxiety, depression, insomnia, nausea, and just a lack of energy.

Grace: It comes from the idea that a very healthy body, if imbalanced, can correct itself. We are built to heal ourselves, the fact we can just cut our leg and it heals is quite magical. We should be able to do that mentally as well.

How do the individual sessions at The Elements Project work?

Grace: A patient will come in and talk with us, so we can get the full picture of everything that is going on. Then we move on to treatment. The needles allow us to activate energy within the body and guide it to the right place.

Georgie: We recommend that patients come once a week for the first month, but the gap in between sessions may increase as the person gradually feels stronger, to once every two or four weeks.

Grace: Acupuncture is about maintenance though. A big thing with Western medicine is this idea that you fix the problem and then you’re done, but life continues to happen. We are constantly having external circumstances thrown at us that create stress. So even if you’re feeling fantastic, it’s important to continue treatment.

What do you think is having the biggest impact on millennial’s mental health?

Georgie: I think it’s just the information age in general because we are absolutely inundated, and we don’t know what we’re reading is real and what’s not. We’re also constantly comparing ourselves on social media.

Grace: There is also this idea that because we are a generation that exists in a post war era, we have never had to live through this idea of ‘survival’. This has enabled us to stop looking externally at ‘the panic’, and starting to look within, becoming more aware of ourselves. We have been privileged enough to be able to look internally, but that’s why I think anxiety is becoming increasingly common. Our goal is to make sure that people know that acupuncture and holistic medicine is about mental health, and it should be accessible.

The Elements Project has two practices based in Brixton and Vauxhall. Visit the website for more details.

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‘The BMW 3-Series is the open door into a world of sporty, premium driving’

‘The BMW 3-Series is the open door into a world of sporty, premium driving’

Erin Baker gives us a glimpse into the endless driving possibilities offered by the new BMW 3-Series

BMW 3-series

Words by Erin Baker, Editorial Director at Auto Trader

There’s a simple reason the BMW 3-Series has been with us for more than 40 years: it’s a very good car. Nowadays there are some juicy alternatives from Audi, Mercedes, Volvo, Alfa Romeo and Jaguar to name a few, but the BMW 3-Series is still the most searched-for car on Auto Trader. It is the open door into a world of sporty, premium driving which has been opened wider by the advent of personal contract monthly payments. So how does the latest version fare in this iconic family tree?


There’s a new rear end for the 3-Series, with aggressive tail lights which signal dynamic intent. Our test car (a saloon – you can have the 3-Series as a coupe, convertible or estate) was painted the company’s iridescent electric Portimao Blue which suits the in-your-face character of a 3-Series, combined with styling cues from the M-Sport trim level: a little rear spoiler, special blackened wheels and privacy glass.

Inside, it’s a different kettle of fish, with that German minimalist design: the front of the car is sparsely appointed, with black leather and dark soft plastics. The only fun stuff comprises the sporty blue and red stripes on the seatbelts and sports seats, courtesy of that M-badge styling.


Our 3-Series test car had BMW’s gesture control: if the driver waves her hand in a circular motion in the air, for example, the audio volume will rise. The technology isn’t perfect however, often missing your gestures, and you look a twit gesticulating randomly in the car.

Much better is BMW’s funky digital read-out behind the chunky steering wheel for the speed and satnav display, and the touchscreen with its split display to show two of the car’s functions at once. Our car also had the optional wireless phone charger and head-up display that projects speed and directions onto the windscreen, and which you very quickly miss if you don’t have it.

BMW 3-series


The 3-Series in standard saloon form has a very decent amount of leg space in the rear, and room for three adults across the back seats, plus a boot big enough for proper luggage.

There’s an optional old-fashioned sun roof which is nice to see again, after months of panoramic glass roofs on cars that don’t actually open.

BMWs used to have hard rides as standard, to denote that sporty nature, but these days seem a bit softer and are easily every-day usable.

A striking feature is the peace and quiet in the cabin at speed, which was always the preserve of BMW, Audi and Mercedes, but Jaguar and Volvo recently joined them with super silent cabins.


The most popular 3-Series is the 320d, but that means diesel, and that, as we now know, is the devil’s work (at least, according to the Government, and therefore your wallet). Still, it’s a lovely, silky smooth engine, producing just enough power for challenging commutes, and very decent fuel economy which should save you money at the pumps.

Our test car was the xDrive version, which means four-wheel drive instead of rear-wheel drive. The purists take great offence, believing all BMWs should be rear-wheel drive, which is associated with motorsport and high-performance cars. Don’t listen to them: if you’ve ever tried to drive a rear-wheel-drive car on wet grass or muddy lanes, or through a smattering of snow, you’ll know that xDrive badge is worth every penny…


BMWs have never been the bargain-bucket option: you pay for that badge. The 320d will cost you about £33,610 although with bells and whistles our car came to £47,885. There’s a lovely 330e plug-in hybrid option, if you’re willing to pay more. You’d pay similar starter money for the Jag or Volvo, however.

Still, everyone buys on a monthly payment plan: £400 a month would get you a decent 3-Series with a £6,000 deposit on a PCP deal: as ever, there are multiple online finance calculators out there: just put in your mileage, desired contract term and deposit.

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An Aldi gin festival is happening this month and we’re so excited

An Aldi gin festival is happening this month and we’re so excited

All of the yes


Gin lovers, unite – Aldi is bringing us a gin festival this month and we couldn’t be more excited.

The world’s obsession with gin shows no signs of slowing down, and the supermarket has decided to bring back the event for 2019. Better still, it’s happening on the bank holiday weekend.

From 26th May, you’ll be able to get your hands on three new Aldi gins as well as gift packages and cocktail bottles.

The range includes a Blackcurrant & Liquorice Gin and a Rhubarb Gin, both priced at £19.99, as well as a Raspberry & Elderflower Gin Liqueur for a bargain £9.99.

The Rhubarb Gin is a mix of sweet rhubarb with citrus fruit flavours, while the Blackcurrant & Liquorice Gin combines blackcurrant and coriander flavours, sweetened with liquorice, citrus and almond.

They’re also launching a number of pre-made gin cocktails, which include Berry Bramble, Citrus Fizz and Basil Smash flavours coming in at a very respectable £1.99 for 250ml. And if you’re looking for the perfect gift for the gin lover in your life, they’ll also be stocking s Flavoured Gin Tasting Pack and a Pink Gin Selection Pack, both £9.99.

But we all know that your gin glass is just as important as the drink itself, and Aldi have you covered there too, selling four for £7.99.

Tom Doorley, Aldi’s Drinks Expert said: ‘Aldi know more than a thing or two about gin. Just look at Aldi’s very own Irish craft gin, distilled in small batches by the Blackwater Distillery in County Waterford: Boyle’s is, by far, the best value Irish gin that you can buy.

‘But with Aldi’s nose for great gins, you can be sure that everything featured in the Gin Festival will be deliciously interesting and just a bit different.’

Now let’s all keep our fingers crossed that the sun comes out bank holiday weekend…

The post An Aldi gin festival is happening this month and we’re so excited appeared first on Marie Claire.

‘I’m having an abortion in the UK and this is what it feels like’

‘I’m having an abortion in the UK and this is what it feels like’

‘No one wants to have an abortion, they just don’t want an unplanned pregnancy’

Written by Samantha Lewis in 2017

I’m pregnant, but I’m not going to have the baby. I’m having an abortion. It feels like a weight off my shoulders just to admit it.

I’m currently around 6 weeks, exhausted and emotional. I haven’t told many people that I’m having an abortion besides my partner, my Mum, a few carefully selected close friends and my line manager. (I have to organise time off work for the abortion).

As tiring as it is growing a little human inside you, while getting up to pee four times a night and struggling to eat or keep down food, nothing is more tiring than the silence I feel enveloped by. An unplanned pregnancy is stressful and abortion is not an easy topic to discuss, but I can’t help feeling that it would make life so much easier if women like me were able to share their experiences outside of the Marie Stopes helpline.

I keep crying at work because I can’t stop thinking about it. One of the hardest things is that it is constantly on my mind. It doesn’t matter how straight-forward the decision might seem, it doesn’t make having an abortion any easier. I’m exhausted from keeping it a secret.

After a discussion with my partner, he encourages me to talk about it online. Cautiously, I do, and within an hour I’ve received around 40 beautiful, kind, supportive messages. Women get in touch to share their personal experiences of having an abortion, and someone even calls for half an hour to talk me through what happened to her. I’m crying down the phone to a relative stranger but I feel so much less alone. It’s great having a strong support network but it’s completely different speaking to women who’ve already dealt with the same thing. I’m overwhelmed. All women deserve this much support when going through the abortion process.

having an abortion

At the abortion clinic

My first assessment is surprisingly smooth – I don’t even cry. Routine blood and STI tests are done. An ultrasound is done, and I’m grateful that the screen is turned away with the sound off. We talk through my medical history and the type of abortion I’d prefer to have – I’ve decided on surgical, rather than medical – and whether I’d like to be sedated or anaesthetised. (A medical abortion means passing the pregnancy at home, alone, and the side-effects can include vomiting and diarrhoea). Neither option sounded great but I’ve decided I would prefer to leave the clinic without the pregnancy, and recover at home with my partner.

The abortion is in two days and it’s only just struck me how sad I feel about it. It feels strange that in two days’ time I’ll no longer be pregnant – my body will be mine again. No one wants to have an abortion, they just don’t want an unplanned pregnancy. I’m sure that no one wants their first experience of pregnancy to be like this. It’s supposed to be something happy, a cause for celebration. The worst thing is that I don’t even have time to deal with it fully. I have to work. I have to be stoic and bottle everything up during the day and get on with things, but I really need time to just be able to cry about it. It’s been about two weeks since finding out I’m pregnant until now. I’ve had to make decisions quickly, and the time has flown before I’ve really got my head around it.

having an abortion

Having the abortion

We wait in the clinic for hours. I’m grateful to have my partner there as a distraction from the awkward silence in the waiting room. My stomach growls from not having eaten since the night before – no food for six hours before the procedure and no water for two. The wait is so long that I just feel bored and tired and hungry, rather than anxious or fearful.

I go through multiple checkpoints with different nurses. I’m given white slippers and a surgical sheet to wrap around my lower body as I undress. I’m ushered in to the operating room, with five different people I’ve never met before. Nurses, anaesthetists, the surgeon. I sit back on the bed as the anaesthetist asks me questions, one nurse instructs me how to lie while another places heart monitors on my chest. I can’t concentrate – so many voices speak at once. Now I’m scared. My legs are hoisted into stirrups and I start to cry, asking for someone to hold my hand. I’m overwhelmed and scared.

Waking up bleary, about an hour later, I’m moved into a wheelchair with a basket of belongings on my lap, and taken to the recovery area. All the women I’d seen in the waiting room are here: heat packs on stomachs, hot tea, biscuits, blankets. I’m too drowsy to wake up properly. I cry. My stomach cramps like period pains and I want to be home in bed immediately. I text my partner asking him to buy a hot water bottle, fearing I’ll be in pain all day – without the option of painkillers for another 4-6 hours.

I’m quiet on the hour-long journey home. I start to bleed as I change into pyjamas, ready to spend the rest of the day in bed. I just want to sleep.

After the abortion

I wake up the day afterwards feeling so relieved. I feel like my body is my own again. Two days after the abortion, I have my third counselling session. Recovery after having an abortion is an emotional time, and there is so much intimacy in experiencing this with your partner. I know now that he will be an amazing father one day, and how much I would like to have children with him in future. Just not yet.

The post ‘I’m having an abortion in the UK and this is what it feels like’ appeared first on Marie Claire.