Having experienced a few glimpses of sun this week, I’m ready to fast-forward to summer. In fact, I’m so already there that I’ve already picked out the things I’ll be wearing on summer vacation.
I recently discovered designer Dodo Bar Or and have been lusting after her tassled beach gypsy creations (see 2 and 8 below). I’m also hanging around on several waitlists for the perfect color Mansur Gavriel bucket bag. Despite the fact that I have a heavy rotation of black handbags, I’d be willing to welcome this perky pink one (4) into the mix. And obviously, no summer vacation packing list would be complete without the requisite bathing suit, sun hat, denim and selection of warm-weather footwear!
Springtime in London is only marginally different than all the other seasons (grey with a splash of color). As I’ll probably still be repeating a lot of my winter wardrobe, I’ll be looking to some new accessories to spruce things up. Here are a few newcomers I’m particularly excited about…
Black bag: Sure, so doesn’t really say ‘spring’, but who doesn’t need a new black bag. These Mansur Gavriel bucket bags (5) continue to be all the rage.
Tango pump: They’re back! These Valentino pumps (3/4) have been out of stock for ages. The sales associate at Valentino in Paris (so I trust them) recommended wearing the pastel colors with black, obviously I was sold.
Mirrored sunglasses: These Dior “So Real” sunglasses (8) are REAL(ly expensive), however, I will accept them as a gift. Olivia Palermo is a big fan and I’m quite happy to copy whatever she’s wearing.
I love a good day trip. Luckily when I spent some time in Dubrovnik in 2015, I was able to take a few last minute jaunts to neighboring countries. Enter Montenegro.
If Norway and Italy had a baby, it would look like Montenegro. I was seriously surprised by the scenery in this rather small place. It’s no wonder that Russian tourists have been vacationing here for quite some time. I booked my day trip through Viator which included stops in Kotor and Budva, and a rather treacherous bus up a winding road (see views below). All in all I would highly recommend it if you have a spare day in the region – I am also told it’s normally much sunnier than this…
As part of a recent trip to Croatia, I made a quick trip across the border into Bosnia and Herzegovina for a half-day wine tour with Taste Dubrovnik (link here). You’re probably thinking what I was thinking – “You can do a wine tour in Bosnia?” – yes, yes you can. The region doesn’t produce a significant amount of wine which is probably why you haven’t see a BOSNIA section at your local shop. What they do produce is a bit sweet for my tastes but very much worth the trip regardless of your palette.
Highlights of my tour included a quick stop at a farmers’ market in Trebinje to taste the local products (i.e. cheese matured in sheep’s skin), a tour of the Tvrdos Monastery (where monks have been making wine since the 15th century), and a fresh fish (literally, fish in pool next to table) lunch by the river. Below are some iPhone photos of the journey…
Looking for a storybook European town? Well, look no further than lovely little Bruges.
As part of a recent trip to Belgium (photos here), I spent two days strolling / boating around Bruges. It’s the capital of West Flanders (who knew!?) and a 1.5 hour train ride from Brussels. Horse-drawn carriages, cobbled streets and medieval waterways make Bruges one of the most charming cities in Europe. I highly recommend adding it to your list of must-visits!
Wine. Burgundy. Oxblood. Call it what you want, but this lovely rich shade should be making an appearance in your wardrobe this fall. Here are a few key reasons why:
- It makes for an easy (but interesting) outfit. Pair any of these items with classic neutral pieces and voilà!
- Unlike other trendy fall shades, this one looks great on everyone.
- It gives you an opportunity to wear a red-ish shade during the holiday season without looking like a Christmas ornament.
All sound reasons. I’ll definitely be stomping around in #6 soon!
I recently spent a weekend wandering the streets of Brussels. It’s only a two-hour journey from London’s King’s Cross Station on the Eurostar, making it an easy getaway.
One of my primary reasons for going was because I wanted to say, “I’m eating mussels in Brussels,” which I did (a lot). Also, Beer. Waffles. Chocolate. Fries. What more do you want? I stayed at the Hotel Sofitel Brussels Le Louise – very central and across the street from an array of fancy designer shops. It was an easy walk to the main square, a.k.a. Grand Place, where you’ll find a selection of restaurants/bars to sit and enjoy the view with a brew.
Trying to find the cutest place to drink a beer or to eat the best frites in Brussels can be difficult, so let me help you…
- Beer: Go to Poechenellekelder (and yes, that is the real name). It describes itself as a “cozy cafe bar with a long beer menu” and it is exactly that. I would compare it to the inside of an atmospheric old ship. It’s also conveniently situated across from the famous statue of the little boy doing his business. If you’re familiar with Brussels, you know what I’m talking about. I would recommend ordering the Delirium Tremens – but just one!
- Frites: I searched high and low online for the best fries in Brussels beforehand. Luckily, I stumbled upon Friterie Tabora. Small and a little sketchy, they had surprisingly delicious fries and dipping sauces (let’s face it, it’s all about the dipping sauce).
The main old center of Brussels is fairly small; two days is probably just the right amount of time before you get too full and need to go home. If you’re keen to explore other areas, there is a very easy metro system that will take you out to the Castle of Laeken and Atomium. Photos below!