Brunch in Winter Wonderland

 

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It’s December!

I’m officially allowed to go overboard with all things Christmas here and on my Instagram. In London, Christmas actually started at the beginning of November so I have been collecting the pretty pictures of Christmas decorations all around the city and now they will start coming out. To mark the beginning of Christmas time we decided to visit magical place in the Central London – Dalloway Terrace.

This little place has been transformed into the winter wonderland with fake snow, pine trees and an endless supply of snuggly blankets. It is absolute Instagram heaven. There is no surprise it is full of people who eat their food lukewarm after documenting everything on Instagram.

The atmosphere was so cozy and peaceful , we felt like we were in Narnia and the wait staff were brilliant from the very start. The menu was amazing and we wanted to order literally everything but at the end we opted for french toast, one with fresh berries, one with bacon and saved some space for delicious hot chocolate with biscuits at the end.

 

What I Wore: Jumper: H&M | Skirt: Topshop | Boots: M&S | Bag: Zara(old)

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Instagram Issues

Processed with VSCO with c8 presetProcessed with VSCO with c8 presetProcessed with VSCO with c8 presetProcessed with VSCO with c8 presetI’ve wanted to write this post about Instagram for a long time now because for a period of time this was a such a big thing in my life that kept me awake at night, which is ridiculous, losing sleep over an app!

The conversation about Instagram themes, followers, and bots has been pretty popular recently. Some people are concerned where this is all going, including Instagram and blogging.

Everyone I speak to has the same view. Instagram has taken such prominence over blogging that it can feel overwhelming. Every square you decide to share is carefully curated with the aim to get engagement and to increase the numbers because numbers mean success.

I realized a few weeks ago that I’m spending too much time thinking about the theme of my grid and if my next photo will fit into (at the moment) a pastel feed. It went so far that I started photoshopping colours and ended up ditching some amazing photos. Dark tables? Nah! Colourful umbrellas? Nah. Some beautiful moments in my life simply didn’t make the cut to be featured on my Instagram.

I realized that if I don’t move from London to some Greek island anytime soon I’m doomed. I wanted my Instagram to be completely me, a place where I’m showing the world what I’m up to, where I travel, what I eat…but then it turned out the grid decides for me what to do next so it fits into the theme.

Why am I trying to theme my life? My love for photography and capturing beauty in everyday life is suffering because I’m imposing limitations on myself for the sake of numbers.

Another problem is the new and ridiculous Instagram algorithm so if there is no #ootd or #travel is highly likely your picture won’t be shown to too many people.

I’m not sure whose fault it is, the bloggers’ or Instagram’s but I’m going to stop doing it, stop stressing my self over the next picture and just post what and when I want.

On a brighter note, here are some pictures with the last breath of Autumn.  Now when everything starts to look Christmasy (and I gave up on bare legs) this tree next to my building was a true gem to find.

I’m not sure how this jumper looks on the pictures but in real life, it’s the softest thing ever. It’s a mohair blend and I found it for a bargain at H&M (not an advert btw). Did I mention that I’m obsessed with jumpers?

What I wore: Skirt: Next | Jumper: H&M | Boots: Dorothy Perkins (similar)| Coat: Zara(old) | Bag: Zara(old) | Tights: Accessorize 

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Chinatown

img_3013Processed with VSCO with c8 presetProcessed with VSCO with c8 presetimg_3014img_2996-1Processed with VSCO with c8 presetLast weekend I decided to visit Chinatown. It wasn’t my first time because I’ve walked up and down these streets so many times on my way to Picadilly or Oxford Circus, but this  time I went specifically to spend the afternoon wandering around the area.

Feeling like a tourist in your own city is a bit of a must from time to time, but whilst great in theory, it’s kind of tricky, especially if you decide to do that on a Sunday afternoon when the amount of tourists pouring down the streets can be overwhelming.

That didn’t stop us from exploring the shops for exotic food and a new set of chopsticks, having lunch in a Chinese restaurant and even queuing 20 minutes for Bubble wrap waffles. Despite the cold it was so worth the wait.

For the last few weeks I’ve been stocking up on new knitwear but until this week it wasn’t really cold enough to wear this cozy thing. I got it from H&M for a bargain and it’s the warmest jumper I own.

WHAT I WORE: Jumper; H&M | Jeans: ASOS| Bag: SheIn |Boots: M&S(similar)

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Exploring Sintra

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If I had to describe Sintra with one word it would be a fairytale.  This  town near Lisbon made of palaces, exotic gardens, all kinds of architectural styles, surrounded by calming, kind of mystical forests is something that words cannot describe. Lord Byron called it a “glorious garden” and Hans Christian Andersen called it “the most beautiful place in Portugal”.  It takes only 40 mins by train from Lisbon and it has to be on everyone’s ‘To See’ list.   Most people who come to Sintra tend to choose two or three sights to see as there are a lot to go through and each palace is very big and requires at least an hour to explore. We chose 2, one very touristy and one very quiet but still amazing.

The first stop was  Pena Palace which is the main and the most famous castle and therefore the most busy with tourists. The palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal and it is the most colorful and original palace I’ve ever seen, like a real life Lego structure mixed with a castle from 1001 nights.  The palace dates back to the Middle Age when it served as a chapel and later it was a royal Portuguese residence.

The afternoon was reserved for Monserrate Palace,a palace surrounded by luscious gardens built in 1856 by Francis Cook, a famous British art collector. Even though you will find it when you Google Sintra palaces , this place is like a hidden gem. Completely different than Pena Palace which was buzzing with tourists, Monserrate was so peaceful with mainly gardeners and builders walking around.

 

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What I wore: Dress: Zaful | Bag: Shein | Trainers: Converse

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Autumn in London

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As you can see I’ve partially embraced Autumn by wearing my thickest jumper on bare legs.  There is always mix of emotions at this time of year. Some of us want to cling onto every drop of Summer but some of us are desperate to be able to order a pumpkin spice latte while wearing our snuggly jumpers. I guess I’m somewhere in between. Summer is my favourite time of the year, but here in London the summer is short and usually not as hot, although I’m like a lizard, and only feel hot when it’s 35 degrees or more, so I appreciate every second of it. Long days and warmth just make me happy and I’m never ready for grey and cold days but the one thing I like about Autumn is that Hygge feeling. I use to hate Autumn but now actually I don’t really mind it and while thinking about it I came up with some reasons why you all should love Autumn.

 

  • New TV series. I’m a bit of a TV series addict, and during summer when I have days off with nothing to do I miss having some shows to binge watch. At the moment I’m so happy that my favourite shows are back: How to get away with murder, Designated Survivor and Scandal with some new great ones: Sinner and Absentia
  • Chai latte. Or Pumpkin Spice latte. Or any other latte that will give you that feeling of happiness.
  • Candles. My flat is full of candles but I never light them during the summer. I’m so happy that now I can light up all the candles I bought during the summer.
  • Fairy lights. I wanted to keep my fairy lights on the wall during the Summer but I ended up putting them away and was too lazy to put them back up. Well this weekend they are finally back!
  • Bonfire night. After this time, talk about Christmas can officially start. Anytime before is just too early. I just love bundling up and walking to the nearest firework display with a cup of hot chocolate, and a marshmallow
  • Cinnamon Buns. My favourite pastry ever. I’m always on the lookout for new cinnamon bun places in London. Currently, my number one is Fabrique Bakery with Nordic Bakery as the runner-up.
  • Evenings in. When it’s dark and cold outside you won’t feel bad staying in under the blanket with a glass of wine and your loved one.
  • Markets. I know you can go to markets during the Summer, but there is something about crisp autumnal mornings that make the stroll around markets so nice
  • Big Jumpers. Finding the softest and warmest jumper to keep you cosy is the ultimate Autumn goal.
  • New Coat.
  • Parks. Most people love parks in Summer, especially in London where I get the feeling that every Londoner just moves to the park during the Summer. From boot-camps, yoga, fetes, to picnics and BBQ’s, parks are always crowded. But in Autumn it’s so much nicer to wrap up and have a quiet walk as the leaves change colour.

 

What I Wore: Jumper: Boohoo | Skirt: River Island(old) |Shoes: Converse | Bag: Accessorize(old)

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Strawberry Hill House

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What do Strawberry Hill House and the word ‘serendipity’ have in common?

Both were created by Sir Horace Walpole.

Horace Walpole, son of British first Prime Minister Sir Robert Walpole and the author of the first gothic novel The Castle of Otranto, has spent forty years, beginning in 1749, turning his house into a gothic castle.The result is spectacular and I can’t believe that I haven’t visit it earlier because I literally live 10 minutes walk from it.

I saw the exterior of the Strawberry Hill house before and it always leaves me speechless because you would never expect big white fairytale-like castle in your neighborhood, would you?Inside is just a dream. Details on the ceilings are just stunning, especially in my favorite rooms The Gallery and The Library.  Equally exciting are the dramatic Gothic staircase in the entrance, and the views from the upper levels, which shows off the gardens and grounds underneath beautiful stained-glass windows.

Each room has a steward inside to answer questions and talk visitors through the finer details of the interior. It’s more interactive than just using the (admittedly good) guidebook that comes with the entry ticket and brings the house to life with stories and anecdotes.Although the rooms are so special and every single one is different, most of the original furniture is gone thanks to one of an earls from Waldgrave family who sold everything out so you will have to imagine how it really looked like.Considering that this House survived fire, flood and WW2 bomb falling through the roof it still looks unbelievable thanks to extensive renovation.

It’s definitely worth a visit.You can get here from Central London by taking the train from Waterloo to Strawberry Hill which will take around 30minutes. Price of the ticket is £12.50 for adult or half the price for students.Before you go you might want to check opening hours because place is often booked for events and wedding and it’s closed.

Light inside is not amazing but I managed to take some photos of my outfit as well while other visitors were probably thinking we are completely mad.

What I Wore: Skirt: Zara(similar) | Top: Zara| Shoes: Pull & Bear(similar) | Bag: Accessorize(old)

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Baker Boy Hat

Baker boys hat-20Baker boys hat-23img_1475Baker boys hat-35Baker boys hat-9Every September I realize I don’t have anything to wear (as usual) and keep wondering what I wore last winter, so I try to stick to my summer items as much as I can. The problem is, I like too many different things and my wardrobe looks like a big circus. It would be so much easier if for example I only liked monochrome things, or didn’t like skirts and preferred jeans. But nope, I like it all. I’m trying to be sensible so I try not to buy things just because they are in fashion at the moment. But if I’m going to buy something super trendy which I know will last only one season I will choose a very cheap option. I would rather invest in basics which will last.

Buying this hat was a very impulsive decision for me. I just had to have it. It was weird because until this year I wasn’t really a hat person. The only hat that I occasionally wore (but only when it was freezing cold) was my simple wool winter hat. Even though everyone else looked great with it I thought I just didn’t have the head for it 😀 I bought this baker boy hat at the beginning of the year but somehow I never got a chance to wear it. Now when summer is finished and I’ve sadly packed my straw hat away it was time to give it a go…and I love it. It’s such a statement piece and goes great with everything and of course, helps on bad hair days.

As a big stripes and t-shirt fan I will probably keep all of them in my closet during the winter and combine with thick cardigans. This was a very rare opportunity to wear it without any kind of jacket because this September in London is wannabe November, so I’m updating my closet with knits at the moment.

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Top: H&M | Hat: H&M | Jeans: ASOS | Bag: Zara(old) | Shoes: New Look(similar)

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Summer to Autumn

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I’m trying to fight against this ‘Autumn is coming’ feeling by not giving up on my sandals and digging my jacket out of the closet but the only reward that has gotten me is a horrible cold and it’s only September!

That being said, I have to admit there is an unusual amount of denim and red long-sleeved tops finding their way into my wardrobe. I can see already this will be my staple for the coming season.

My jeans are from my now favourite jeans place, ASOS. Together with the Farleigh Mom Jeans that I’ve been wearing since the spring, their Ridley jeans are my next favourite. They are still high waisted but not as much as the Farleigh ones and they are skinny. ASOS has a wide range of colours but I was just looking for this dark blue shade which was so hard to find.

The top is from Bershka and it’s the cutest ever. The ribbon is attached to the top and you can wear it as a neck bow or like me, as a neck tie. I especially love the cute frilled details on the sleeves and chest.

Last year just a week before our trip to Barcelona my favourite tan saddle bag broke. Totally devastated, I decided to track down the only one that looks similar enough from Mango on Regent Street, and since then we have been inseparable.

After the photo shoot in front of this amazing hotel with the cutest car ever, we managed to get inside to see the famous staircase from the Spice Girls’ first video for their song Wannabe.  It is actually a guests only area but the lovely man at the entrance let us in any way.  The Grand Staircase simply took my breath away with the amount of detail starting from the tiles and carpet to its elegant spiral stairway and fleur-de-lis wallpaper.

Scroll down for pictures.

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What I wore: Jeans: ASOS| Blouse: Bershka| Bag: Mango(similar)| Shoes: New Look(old)

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Walking on Sunshine

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Yes, I have this hat just like the rest of the Instagram gang. I found this one on Depop after a long search.  It’s a good investment if you don’t live in England. But we have some nice days here as well like last weekend when we went for a walk along the River Thames in Twickenham. It’s a great place if you want to relax by sitting near the river to feed the ducks, or you could explore the nearby York House Gardens or have a longer walk along the river all the way to Richmond.

I’m obsessed with stripes but this is the only striped skirt I own. I think it’s good to choose vertical stripes when it comes to skirts because they make you look taller compared to horizontal stripes. I found this one in Zara on sale last autumn, but I didn’t have the opportunity to wear it before.

This top I found in the H&M Trend section. Out of all the H&M concepts, I like Trend the most. It might cost a little bit more but every single garment is just perfect and ‘on trend’. You can check out the range here.

 

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What I Wore: Skirt: Zara(similar)| Top: H&M| Shoes: Oasis|Hat: H&M(similar)

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Red Alert

 

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After a few days of horrible weather in London we finally got lucky with a sunny weekend, so we used the opportunity to have a city break to Bath.

It’s very rare that I end up falling in love with a city as quickly as I fell in love with Bath. It reminds me of my other favorite place in Britain, Edinburgh, with its Georgian architecture, cobbled streets and cute little cafes and shops along the pavement. There is no surprise the city is listed as a Unesco World Heritage site.

I will share my excitement in my next blog post where I will list all the things that I loved about this fantastic city but for now let’s focus on the things I wore.

As the weather forecast shows 20 or more for the next few weeks and I’m hoping for an Indian summer, I’m not ready to put away my summer clothes just yet. That’s how I ended up getting this pretty skirt from ‘& Other Stories‘. I have a habit of stopping at & Other Stories everytime I’m passing by because of their simplicity. Everything is so pretty but so simple which is very hard to find these days.

This skirt was something that I had spent a long time searching for, simple and elegant but effective. There is also a white option but it has a completely different effect.  Red  gives you that feeling of power and defiance, just like wearing red lipstick.

I was also thinking I could probably wear it with ankle boots and a leather jacket in autumn but it’s very thin and summery so I’m very much hoping for that Indian summer.

I paired it with my favorite ever summer things, wedge espadrilles, off shoulder top and straw bag.

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What I Wore: 

Top: H&M (similar)

Skirt: & Other Stories

Shoes: Oasis

Bag: Zara(similar)

 

 

 

 

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