During our time in Venice we made it a priority to visit the magical island of Burano- a small island a stone throw (or an hour and a half boat ride) away from the central island of Venice. Known for its rainbow parades of colourful houses and its ornate and traditional lace shops- it feels like worlds away from red bricked houses in London.
We arrived just after lunch on very warm and sunny Sunday so the island was very busy. Our goal was to see as many alleyways and Pantone colour hues as possible while stuffing our face with cannoli and gelato. With the whole island consisting of only roads and weaving canals- we set off with no direction to discover the beauty of this special Italian island.
First established by the Romans, Burano didn’t really establish much importance until the 16th Century when the women of the island began to hand stitch lace. Leonardo da Vinci visited and purchased a cloth from one such local woman. He used it to cover the altar of the Duomo di Milano, cementing Burano as the place to get your lace.
While the women who’d brought fame and fortune to the island practiced their craft, the men would go out into the lagoon to fish. Painting their houses bright colours to spot them from a distance and find them in even the darkest storm.
The tradition stuck and is now a carefully controlled trademark of the island. Popular with artists and the odd fisherman, if you want to paint your house you must apply to the government who will tell you which colour to use.
This care has preserved one of Venice’s greatest treasures.
The first thing you have to see in Verona is the famous “Arena Di Verona” the Roman amphitheater in Piazza Bra, built in the first century. It is still in use today and famous for the large-scale opera performances given there. Known as one of the best preserved ancient structures of its kind, in ancient times, the Arena could take nearly 30,000 people but nowadays, for security reasons, the maximum attendance is 15,000 people.
Getting off the Piazza Bra you will enter Via Giuseppe Mazzini, the shopping zone with all of the best-known designer and high street shops, so by the time you come to the end of the street you’ll want refreshments. The best place for this is cafe Venchi. They have amazing chocolates but the thing that attracted me the most are strawberries with Nutella and cream. So delicious!
Right next to the Venchi cafe is Casa di Guilietta also known as “Juliet’s House”. There are a few things that you can do here, for example grab Juliet’s boob for good luck, go inside the house and stand on the balcony for which you will pay €6 or buy a lock, write your names on it and then lock it on one of the bridges.
Just a short walk from Casa di Guilietta is the second biggest square in Verona, Piazza delle Erbe with all of its coffee shops and restaurants, souvenir stands, good looking facades and best of all Amorino, the prettiest looking ice cream.
For an afternoon rest, I suggest going to the quiet gardens, Giardino Giusti. I was expecting to see lots of tourists but these gardens were so peaceful and beautiful.
There is another thing you can’t miss when you are in Verona and that is the view. From Ponte Pietra (the Stone Bridge built in roman times) a beautiful staircase through old stylish houses and beside the roman theater (Teatro Romano), will lead you, in less than 10 mins, to the top of this hill from where you will enjoy an amazing view over the old town.
When it comes to food, you can find several restaurants that serve great food. Pasta here is amazing and the best pizza I ever had was in Verona. But for breakfast I would suggest the Duchi Cafe. Not just because it has a stunning interior but the croissant selection is to die for.
With having only one full day in this beautiful city, we had lots to cover. The mission looked impossible because Venice is so crowded and busy all the time. The fact that it was Easter weekend didn’t help. There are some empty alleys so try to avoid the main San Marco Square or Rialto Bridge which can get very crowded during afternoons.
But everything is worth it when you see how photogenic this city is. We’ve been walking all day even though you can get a boat from one place to another but it will take the same amount of time while on foot you can actually explore every hidden corner (and possibly get lost few times). After visiting the main attraction Ponte Rialto and Piazza di San Marco we headed to Libreria Acqua Alta, the self-proclaimed most beautiful bookshop in the world.
This unique bookshop is composed of a number of rooms stacked wall-to-wall with books, magazines, maps on different languages. Due to Venice’s constant flooding, these picturesque piles are all placed inside bathtubs, waterproof bins, and even in a full-size gondola. Climbing up the staircase made of books at the back you can have a view of one of the canals which makes this place even prettier.
If you’re a fan of modern art, the Guggenheim Collection in Venice is a must see. You’ll find amazing pieces by artists like Jackson Pollack, Michele Duchamp, Pablo Picasso, and Salvador Dali to name a few. And for some wow moments definitely visit Ca’ d’Oro palace, the oldest palace in Venice and of course enter the beautiful Basilica di San Marco and climb to the balcony for the great view. Other places to take note of (and keep your eyes peeled for) include Santa Stefano, Palazzo Fortuny, Musica Palazzo and Basilica Della Saulte.
Don’t forget to eat lots of pasta, pizza, gelato and cannoli while you are drinking the most popular drink in Italy- Aperol Spritz, a cocktail which is the mix of Aperol , prosecco and sparkling water. The one restaurant I would highly recommend is Taverna Scallinetto with amazing interior and delicious original Venetian dishes. Luckily we booked in advance because the place was packed.
Other food spots: Da Ivo, Cà D’Oro alla Vedova (famous meatballs and wine), Bistrot de Venise, ai merchant, De Pisis, Harry’s Bar for drinks
I survived January! And since last weekend temperatures in London are finally more pleasant with rare spells of sunshine. Certainly, it’s not the time yet to start hoping for spring but the girl can dream a little bit. I used the opportunity to take my new ripped jeans out of the closet. I’ve been searching for the perfect high waisted light washed jeans for AGES now! But then I found heaven on ASOS. So these jeans are coming in few different colours, with busted knee or without, tall or petite and they are probably the most amazing jeans that I ever had. I wore the jeans with my favourite jumper this winter which can be seen on me at least once a week.
For a while now, pleated skirts are every girl’s must have item. Have to say, I was a little bit skeptic about it because literally I never wore a skirt that covers my knees. I though it will make me look like my grandma, considering I mostly wear flat shoes.
So, the skirt was regularly avoided in every shop until recently when I was browsing through ASOS, as usual trying to spend money on things that I don’t need. This skirt looked so pretty that I didn’t care about price, especially not length. I’m wearing it now with ankle boots but it will look great on sandals or heels or even ballet flats.
I just can’t be more happy about it.
Another obsession at the moment is velvet. I managed to avoid the trap of buying expensive velvet dresses, trousers or coats which will be out of fashion probably by the end of this year and opted for safer option – accessories and boots.
These boots are from Dorothy Perking and I love the fact that they are actually navy blue but depending on the light they are changing color and sometimes look black.
Velvet bag has a long story. It’s been sold out in burgundy and black for a long time now. I managed to hunt down last one at Topshop sale last week after looking for it literally everywhere! Great cure for January depression!
Get your sequinned outfit, padded shoulders, put Duran Duran records on and wake your inner ‘80s party girl
They say history repeats itself but nowhere is this as noticeable as in fashion, music and movies. Every year we are witnesses to the revival of past decades and now is time for a crazy mix match of 1980s.
The 1980s more-is-more era, often remembered through entertainment but also nostalgia, has slowly been creeping back into our lives for years, from fashion to music to popular culture.
One of the most experimental times doesn’t seem to give up and now is back again but this time with an emphasis on young, glam and Friday night 80s – bold and glitzy with disco sequins, power dressing, animal print, big hair and even bigger shoulders!
The 80s was a time of good music and MTV, action and horror blockbusters, but also a time of over the top fashion where trends were set by music and TV stars. Madonna’s ‘Like a Virgin’ ruled the stage with her scrunchies, and underwear as outwear, Michael Jackson’s sequined and leather jackets were amongst the most copied items, Dallas’s daring jewellery and sparkling sequinned clothes were associated with wealth but also with a glamorous clubbing scene, and suits with padded shoulders from the soap opera Dynasty entered mainstream fashion. Joan Collins is certainly suffering from nostalgia as last month it was announced that Dynasty will be making a return. However with the number of 80’s reboots already in the pipeline, there is no need for the impatient wait.
By just turning on the TV you could get easily confused what year it is at the moment. Lethal Weapon and Magnum PI became new TV shows and 80’s classics like Ghostbusters and Mad Max returned to the cinema with a forthcoming Blade Runner bringing back all of the good things from the 80s.
“Perhaps it’s because showrunners and creators and executives — and audience members! — are at a place where their own personal history has merged with ‘nostalgia’ “ said Weisberg and Fields, showrunners for the ’80’s based TV show The Americans, in The Vulture.
There are also many other shows influenced by the ‘80s like Deutschland 83, The Goldberg’s and major Netflix hit Stranger Things. Stranger Things is an ode for everything that the 80s represent. From the soundtrack to the fashion this is the show that gets you into the eighties mood.
Music also appears to have been influenced, deaths of 80s icons David Bowie and Prince have increased the number of people listening to ‘80s music. According to the streaming service Spotify, the streaming of 1980s playlists have tripled in the last year.
American rock band Walk the Moon channeled an ‘80s disco vibe with their hit song ‘Shut up and Dance’ and this year has been a year of reunions with Guns ’n Roses and BROS, Kanye’s mini Flashdance remake for Fade and Bruno Mars releasing another ‘80s funk song that sounds like a young Prince.
The 80s are making come back to women’s fashion as well. Last March we saw hints from slightly bigger shoulders, Hedi Slimane’s last Saint Laurent collection was screaming ‘80s and the new creative director Anthony Vaccarello continued the idea so the Paris catwalk this year looked more like Joan Collins wardrobe – from gold lamé, power shoulders, mini skirts to chunky earrings. Vaccarello wasn’t alone because eighties styles bubbled up throughout Spring Summer 17 Fashion Weeks: Balenciaga with huge shoulders, Gucci’s Lady Diana inspired looks, Kenzo’s blush draping and big earrings, Louis Vuitton’s interpretation of Tess McGill from Working Girl and Topshop’s crimped hair.
Even Isabel Marant who is famous for her Parisian chic borrowed some elements of the era, like micro metallic dress.
“I think that there are very strong different points of view, like we had in the ’80s,” she said for New York Times. “I feel that something of this spirit is coming back.”
It’s hard to imagine that fashion from 80s could return again but the high street has been equally seduced by the 80s look, with Topshop conjuring perfect oversized blazer, River Island nailing sequinned jackets and ASOS doing the perfect metallic one-shoulder ruffle dress.
The only difference is that fashion is more relaxed now and not over the top like 30 years ago. It’s all about mixing styles by wearing only one piece of 80s clothing like a padded shoulder blazer with your old crop top, pointed heels with jeans or sequinned dresses with trainers.
Considering recent events in the World there is no surprise people want to go back to more safe times of cinemas and clubbing on Friday nights, flashy clothes and flea markets.
Whatever we thought about ‘80s, one thing is certain – those were the fun years for those who lived through it and for everyone else they are retro and cool. That is the reason ‘80s trends are coming back again and will continue over and over for many more years.
“Traveling. It leaves you speachless , then turns you into a storyteller.” Ibn Battuta
If there’s one place I’ve been that has made me want to stay forever, it’s Barcelona. Everything about it is just so… cool. The food is delicious, the beach amazing, the streets are full of character, the sun shines and the people are so friendly!
There are so many things to see and do in Barcelona but I tried to make it short and choose my absolute favourite.
Eat & Drink
Brunch & Cakeis probably the most popular place for brunch in Barcelona. With few different branches to choose from we went to one closest to Barceloneta- Brunch &Cake by the Sea. Food is healthy and delicious and plates are decorated just perfectly for Instagram snaps.
The other option, Milk bar & bistrois legendary for it’s ‘recovery brunch’, widely viewed as one of the best in Barcelona.
Hammock Juice Stationis a place where you can go for relaxing afternoon because it’s hidden from the tourists. Besides this spot being vegan, its design is bohemian and incredibly charming with 8 hammocks hanging from the ceiling. Their organic juices are delicious and refreshing.
Tapas 24located near Passage de Gracia can be a problem if you don’t like queueing but usually, table for two you can get pretty quickly. It’s one of the unique tapas places in Barcelona and serves delicious tapas which is not overpriced.
Granja Dulcinea is a place where I keep coming back for churros and hot chocolate. They are probably the best churros you’ll ever have. Also, their traditional decor is making a lovely calming atmosphere.
Hire a bike and explore the city. Also, the alternative route is to ride along the beach. There is a Green route for bikes that leads you to Badalona, north suburbs of Barcelona.
Badalona is very quiet, clean and so beautiful that sometimes it doesn’t seem real. Mainly locals are coming to this beach and it’s not really known to tourists.
Boqueria Market is one of the most famous food markets in the world, and with good reason. It’s a great place to wander around, try fresh and local foods.
Tour Gaudi is a must. The Modernist architect Antoni Gaudí has left his mark all over Barcelona. My favourites are Parc Guell, Sagrada Familia and Casa Batllo.
Explore Gothic Quarter! The best way to spend hot afternoon days. There so many things to see in those pretty streets.
Galeria Maxo is a place where you should go for a souvenir that is different than all those touristy things. I was completely amazed by everything I saw in the gallery.
Wander the different neighbourhoods of Barcelona, my favourite being Barceloneta ( beachy vibe), El Born (gothic quarter) and Gracia (artsy quarter).
Parc de la Cuitadell is located between Barcelona’s Arc de Triomphe, Estació de Francia and Olympic Village. I love this park because of its architecture and beauty but also numerous activities like boat rowing in the lake, the Natural Museum, conservatory, zoo and – a big statue of the mammoth. Also, the fountain in the middle of the park was built with contribution of Antonio Gaudi.
Remember, you are in the city that lives for football so being a fan or not, head to Camp Nou to see the home of one of the best teams in the world. Even better option is to try to get the ticket for their home game.
The best thing to do is to live like locals – wake up late, ride a bike, have paella by the beach and then spend the afternoon with sangria. Finish the day with late dinner!
After discovering Syon House and Garden earlier this year I just keep coming back. Not many know about this place, probably because it’s a secluded, all the way in the zone 5, London Borough of Hounslow, and it’s used mainly as a wedding venue.
I’ve never been a model but I love the process of taking the pictures and rushing home to edit them. That’s why it wasn’t a problem for me to wake up early on Sunday morning and go to this magical place with my friend before other people start coming. We were lucky because it was a beautiful sunny and warm September day.
Walking around and enjoying only birds and squirrels, I couldn’t stop thinking about all the people who use to lived there, and some still do ( house is owned by Duke of Northumberland).I was feeling like I’m in a fairytale, most possibly because of tulle with gold embroidery I finally found!
Many people visited Borough Market but you can’t say you actually been there until you visit it on Saturday early morning, without tourists, crowd and noise.
It’s so peacefull and you can actually see all of its beauty rather than bumping into people.
If you’re a foodie, Borough Market is heaven.They have everything you could possibly wish for.From grocery stalls, piled high with fresh produce to artisanal bakeries,deli shops to most important, street food stalls.
I got up last Saturday way too early for me and went for a stroll with my friend
If you think you don’t need flowers, you will change your mind when you see this cute place.
Anyone for some delicious fruits?
And lots of good looking stalls…
Who would resist and not have sneaky little treat…or two
I’m so glad that, even though summer is almost finished, new collections on the high street are still colourful.
As soon as I saw this skirt I knew that this is the item that will keep me cheerful during cold autumn days.
And of course, everyone needs cute little bee bag, right?
Dubrovnik is called the “Pearl of the Adriatic” and in my opinion, there are very few places in Europe that can match this place when it comes to beauty and it should be on top of everyone’s travel list.
Know as King’s Landing from HBO’s Game of Thrones now got even more hype because it will be featured in new Star Wars VIII movie.
After visiting Dubrovnik this summer and experiencing all the beauty I’ll share some of my favourite things to see and do.
Have Breakfast at Dubravka 1836
We discovered this place on our first day and we loved it. Dubravka is a restaurant and a cafe that serves everything from breakfast to dinner but we liked breakfast so much that we kept coming back. It’s located near Pile Gate and you get stunning views of the fortresses Lovrijenac, Bokar and Minčeta. You can choose from few different types of breakfast and every single one is massive, delicious and great value for money. We were also lucky to get the table close to the edge
Walk The Walls
Probably the first thing every tourist does in Dubrovnik is walking the giant Walls of Dubrovnik. 1,940 metres long and 25 meters high, with 3 forts- Minceta Tower, Fort Bokar and St John fortress, Walls will keep you occupied for at least one hour.
There are 3 gates where you can enter- Pile, Ploce and Buza and for entrance, you’ll pay approximately £13 per person.
My advice is to avoid to climb the Walls between 11 and 5 because heat and tourists can turn this amazing experience into torture. Bring water and camera and take advantage of many photo opportunities along the way.
Explore the Old Town
Old Town Dubrovnik at night is as beautiful as it is during the day. From white cobblestone streets to the maze of stairs filled alleyways that make up Old Town, there are endless routes to explore.
Stradun or Placa is the main street of Dubrovnik. The pedestrian street runs some 300 metres through the Old Town. Many shops, restaurants and cafes are located there but because it’s main tourist promenade prices are much higher than in the rest of the town.
It can get overcrowded so the best time to go it’s early morning.
Lokrum is a small, inhabited island just a short 15 min boat ride. This island can provide you with few hours of fun in the sun or hiking to the highest point(96m) Fort Royal Castle. The climb is steep but once when you get there the view of Dubrovnik and coastline is spectacular.
Lokrum is also home to an old monastery, botanical gardens and a small lake called Mrtvo More or the (Dead Sea). And Game of Thrones fans will be amazed because there is a real Iron Throne in which you can sit and take the picture.
Be aware, island is inhabited by gangs of cute peacocks and rabbits that seem to be around every corner on this island!
Cost: Round boat trip is around £10
Have a Drink at Buza Bar
In the old Dubrovnik dialect, buža means ‘hole’ and indeed,to get to the unique cafe bar you need to go through the hole in the wall. Buza is one of the most beautiful bars in Dubrovnik located on the cliffs where you are able to enjoy magnificent views of open Adriatic sea, island Lokrum and beautiful sunsets while drinking cocktails.
Catch Some Rays on the Beach
Dubrovnik’s main public beach is Banje Beach, located near Ploce gate, offers great view of the Old Town. Although many people rent lounge chairs and umbrellas, there’s no problem with just flinging a towel on the beach. There is a beach and lounge bar and restaurant which also turns into a night club in the evening.
Problem is this beach get overcrowded so you might want to find alternative.
Little bit further away is St Jacob Beach. This beautiful sandy-pebble beach is located in the elite part of Dubrovnik, in the cove below cliffs and the namesake church St. Jacob. The beach offers a spectacular view of the old town, city walls and on the island Lokrum.
Ride The Cable Car
The best view of Dubrovnik is certainly from the top of the Srd Hill. In a short ride, the cable car takes you from downtown Dubrovnik 778 m up where the amazing view will simply take your breath away.
While you are there, after you done your Instagram pictures, you can have a meal or a drink at the cafe and restaurant Panorama, visit Museum Dubrovnik in Homeland War or go on an adventurous ride with the Buggy Safari tour.
My recommendation is to get there just before the sunset for the most epic experience.
Price of return trip is around £13.
Have a Dinner at Taj Mahal
No,it’s not Indian restaurant as you might think. It’s bosnian! If you want sea food it’s very easy to find good sea food reastaurant but this bosnian place is something different. You have to be aware that queuqeing might take hours so it’s recommended that you book in advance.
Bosnian cuisine is mainly influenced by Turkish, Middle East and Meditteranean cuisine, consisted from both, meat and vegetables.
Try local specialties like cevapcici(grilled minced meat), burek, sarma, potato pie or ajvar.