Life Style

This week I love: Fossil 1954 fragrance

October 7, 2015

Every now and then I find a fragrance that I literally cannot get enough of. This time it’s gone so far as ‘popping into’ Fossil each time I pass a store for a quick spray…

Officially number one on my Christmas wish list (hints have been given to Oliver), this week I love Fossil’s new 1954 fragrance. Spicy and warm, it just smells downright tasty and has a pleasingly heavy, wintery scent that lasts, blending mandarin blossom with pink pepper, ginger, and cedarwood.

A sucker for pretty packaging (I blame three years of studying advertising), the bottle also makes me very happy. Fingers crossed it ends up in my stocking. Yes, family and friends, that’s another hint.

Fossil 1954 Fragrance – £49 for 50ml, available at fossil.co.uk.

Beautifully illustrated by Brooke Costello. See more of her work here.

City Travel

Hotel Saint-Louis Marais, Paris

September 29, 2015
Le Marais

Travel is good for the soul, I genuinely believe that. You can workout every day of the week and eat your bodyweight in superfoods, but experiencing somewhere new and escaping the everyday can invigorate you in a way no spin class can. If I had it my way I’d live in a different AirBnb apartment every month and travel the world, but for now city breaks and weeks by the sea keep me happy and satisfy my every growing wanderlust…

So it feels only right that I share with you here some of my favourite places – the places that complement my quest for balance and do for my wellbeing what a barre class does for my calf muscles…

I really, really love Paris. Whenever I visit I come over all ‘Amélie’ and get carried away with the romance of it all – the red lipstick and breton stripes come out, I instantly wish I had a chic brown bob, and extra thought goes into my somewhat scruffy London uniform. Much the same occurred earlier this month when I took my boyfriend to the city for a birthday trip (Paris in Spring is beautiful – I can’t recommend it enough) and previously last summer when I travelled to the city with my mum and my sister for a long weekend.

Every time I’ve visited I’ve been lucky enough to stay in the Marais, the most lovely area in my opinion. Some visitor guides will tell you to avoid the Marais at certain times, warning how packed it can be on a Sunday when the rest of Paris is typically having a rest. Whilst this may be true, I absolutely love the business of the area – the buzz of the crooked medieval streets, the vintage shops, the galleries and the beautiful architecture. Living in East London, it felt almost like a home-from-home when I arrived (albeit a far chicer, prettier one) and I instantly wanted to explore.

We stayed in the most beautiful hotel whilst we were there, just off of the river and a ten minute walk from Notre Dame. The Hotel Saint-Louis Marais on Rue Charles V is perfectly placed between the buzz of the Marais cafe culture and the equally lovely Ile Saint Louis, another of my favourite spots. We spent a lot of time exploring the local area, trying out the coffee shops and wandering aimlessly through the pretty streets.

I’d recommend the hotel as a base to explore the city, and can vouch for the third floor bedrooms being worth the extra 20 euros! Throwing open the windows from the top floor and peering out across the rooftops certainly lived up to my ‘pretending to be Parisian’ fantasy… and yes, red lipstick was involved.

If you’re looking for things to do in the neighbourhood once you’ve finished your café glacé (I had a lot of these), the Place des Vosges is around a ten minute walk away from the hotel and is said to be one of the prettiest squares in the whole of Paris. It really is beautiful, and although busy in the late summer sunshine, it also felt incredibly peaceful.

Food-wise you’re spoilt for choice, but L’As du Falafel is a must-see on rue des Rosiers, and Miss Manon on rue St-Antoine was our favourite spot for breakfast.

You can read more about Hotel Saint-Louis Marais and the local area on the hotel’s website, which also has a great list of recommended restaurants and bars.

Emma x

London Style

LCCA Four Seasons Fashion Show

September 8, 2015

Other than scanning through the usual flurry of excitement on twitter, I have to admit that LFW passed by almost unregistered for me this season.  A busy work schedule has meant little time for swotting up on SS16 trends (I will regret this come March), but I did get in on a little piece of the action this Monday evening at the LCCA Four Seasons Fashion Show. Held by the London College of Contemporary Arts, this year’s graduates showcased an impressive collection on the catwalk, centering around the theme of constant change and up-cycling within the fashion industry today.

I particularly loved the collection from Vilma Indrisiunaite for it’s simple lines and crisp white palette, the raw edges of Sally Spencer’s dresses, and special mention to Bryony Sansome for naming her luxury streetwear collection ‘Heavy Metal Peacock’. Perfectly fitting and very, very cool.

We had a brilliant, prosecco-filled evening, met some lovely designers – including one who asked for a selfie – and left genuinely impressed with what the graduates had to offer. Looking forward to seeing their names pop up over the next few years.

Emma x

Beach Travel

Agios Nikolaos, Peloponnese

August 27, 2015

Greece has always been my favourite place to explore – from treks up volcanoes in Santorini with only flip flops between my feet and the burning sand (bad choice of footwear here), to BBQs on pirate ships and quad biking across Corfu. Inappropriate shoes aside, there is no culture I love more, no food that comes close to my love of tzatziki, and no other place I’d rather spend a relaxing week in the sun. And luckily for us, in the tiny fishing village of Agios Nikolaos you’d be hard pressed to do anything but.

This was my first trip to the mainland, and I can genuinely say it was the most beautiful part of the country I’ve visited yet. Whilst the likes of Santorini and Mykonos might be the headliners when it comes to picturesque settings and whitewashed walls, the undiscovered beauty of this quiet, traditional village was unlike anywhere else I’ve been. So I’m sharing the love for my new favourite hideaway with my top reasons to visit the beautiful Agios Nikolaos.

You can really, really get away from it all
No, really – we quickly learnt that there was only one place in the village with wifi that actually worked. At first it feels impossible to wind down from the stress of the office and the constant buzz of London, but when your nearest neighbouring village is an hour’s walk along the coast and your biggest worry is which taverna to drink your next Mythos in, life gets simpler.

Almost two hours drive from the airport through mountains that resemble Jurassic Park, when you reach this sleepy village you’ll realise things run at a much slower pace, and quite frankly it’s better that way. You also can’t help but notice how untouched the area seems. Sure, there’s tourists in the tavernas and Brits drinking the odd beer on the marina after dinner, but Kavos this is not.

Pack a pile of books, pick a favourite cafe, and forget the rest of the world even exists.

You can watch your dinner being caught each morning
Okay, so you might need to wake up a little earlier than your average holiday brunch (how does sunrise sound?), but if you make it out on time you can see the local fisherman leaving the harbour to catch the evening’s meal. From what we could tell most of the restaurants serve whatever has come straight from the sea hours earlier, and it genuinely doesn’t get fresher than that. With most fish dishes served simply grilled and covered in lemon juice, it’s an authentic experience you’ll want to repeat every night.

You’ll eat incredible food
I’ve been to a fair few Greek resorts, and as much as I’ve always found beautiful places to eat at in each, there’s also usually a few spots that miss the mark. We tried almost every taverna whilst here, and every evening dinner was incredible. Try Hidden Garden on the harbour for sardines and souvlaki, Veusuvious for stuffed peppers and mounds of taztiki, or Gregg’s for an authentic home-made buffet – serving traditional dishes including meatballs, fried fish and greek salad. Even better, you’d struggle to spend more than 25 euros on dinner for two, including wine and beer.

Tip: If you’re on a budget, try the two euro gyros at the cafe next to Medusa – they’re really good. In fact, even if you’re feeling flush I’d still give these a go.

You can look at the view above whilst lying in a hammock
If you ask nicely, the waitress at Cafe Lithos will even bring you a frappé to sip on as you wonder whether life has ever been this good. I got a bit carried away here, and spent hours sitting on the harbourside daydreaming and instagramming the view (yes, this is the one place in the village with decent wifi). If there was a single place in the world I had to name as my favourite, it would be this very spot.

Where in Greece would you most recommend? I’m already planning next year’s trip!

Emma x

Beach Travel

Things women do on beach holidays

August 20, 2015

… that we don’t always admit.

1. Pack things you will never, ever need
A beach holiday in 40 degree heat, you say? Better have an emergency jumper at hand. Or what if you randomly decide to go to a nightclub in this tiny, quiet fishing village? Then you’ll wish you’d packed the second pair of heels. Or you might all of a sudden fancy wearing the necklace you bought four years ago for a night out and haven’t looked at since. What if the mood takes you? WHAT THEN? Better safe than sorry you decide, and pack the entire collection.

2. Drink alcohol at the airport at any time of day or night 
So what that it’s 5am on a Tuesday morning and the bartender is eyeing you disapprovingly – you’re on holiday! This also applies to the trip home – technically still on holiday.

3. Diet for months and then eat like a horse the second you land
The 5:2 diet’s been going well, you’ve lost six pounds and you’ve finally been able to squeeze into last year’s denim cut offs – hurrah! But now you’re on holiday and it’s time to let loose. Two days in, four pina coladas, a carafe of wine and six hearty meals down, and you’re back to square one. At least you felt good on the plane.

4. Pray there will be sunshine when you open the curtains
Let’s face it – other than to relax and catch up on a bit of reading, you come on a beach holiday to tan (safely of course – as Bas would say, always wear sunscreen). It hasn’t rained in the resort for seven and a half weeks and the forecast is brilliant sun for the next month, yet each morning you hold your breath and pray for sun behind those curtains.

5. Check out other women on the beach
You could be comparing anything – tan lines, boob size, attractiveness of boyfriend, choice of drink… you name it. Are you sweatier/more dimpled/less tanned? There’s a lot to deliberate when you’re lying on a sunbed with not a care in the world (except for the fact that your tan is far patchier than hers). In fact, let’s not limit it to women – you’re nosey when it comes to anyone at the beach.

6. Make sure there is always someone further out than you in the sea so that a shark would go for them over you
Always thinking strategically whilst in the water, you ensure there is someone further from the shore than you at all times, just in case a Great White decides to make an appearance. Yes, it’s the Mediterranean and they don’t really get sharks, but you’d rather the chap swimming further out found out about it first if one did appear.

7. Check your tan lines in the bathroom mirror
What is it about bathroom mirrors? In every apartment in every resort you’ve ever been to, you look ten times darker in the bathroom mirror after a long day at the beach. Step out of the shower, check out your tan, continue.

8. Take balcony outfit photos in the ‘flattering evening light’
In the same vein, your tan also looks much deeper just before sunset so you take this opportunity to snap away on the balcony before dinner. The same pose every night in a carefully curated outfit, designed to bring out your darkening colour the most effectively. Everybody does it – and only the best will make it into the holiday Facebook album.

9. Detest using sun cream on a sandy beach
Annoyance sets in as you attempt to rub sun cream into your slightly pink and incredibly sandy skin. The more you rub the more sand covers your body, in a never-ending fight to keep the tiny particles from the bottle of Garnier. Will it ever come off? It’s not rubbing off. You’re starting to panic.

10. Silently curse people who left their towels out on beds before breakfast
Mainly because you forgot to do it yourself this morning. How selfish of them.

How many of these are you guilty of?

Emma x