Posts tagged a city guide:
how to holiday on the amalfi coast
amalfi .jpg

This post has taken me a year to write, but better late than never eh!

I found when I visited the Amalfi coast that there wasn’t much practical information online and I’m definitely someone who worries about how often buses run and where I can go to a supermarket so this is for my fellow over-planners. Without further a-do, my top tips;

  1. Hire a car. SO do this if possible. It made our trip so much easier. The buses are honestly awful and come every 2 hours or essentially whenever they fancy. It’s also not very clear where they go, and naturally Citymapper doesn’t work there so just get a car. It’s a bit scary to drive at first but as long as you’re careful and confident you’ll be fine.

  2. Everywhere is good to eat. Being half Italian I might be a bit biased but honestly 99% of places are absolutely great. There are lots of family run restaurants dotted around and they all know a good bowl of pasta like the back of their hand so trust your gut and try literally anywhere.

  3. Visit Praiano. I was so set on getting ‘that’ photo on Positano beach but it was so expensive due to the area being a tourist trap. We actually found a gorgeous little beach in a town between Sorrento and Positano called Praiano and it was honestly the highlight of my trip. Quiet and beautiful with an amazing restaurant on the edge of the water, we ate there every day!

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4. Take some comfortable shoes. Don’t assume because you’re going to the beach for the day you’ll only need flip flops. Big mistake! We had to park over a mile away as there’s very few designated car parks and then you essentially have to scale down the side of a mountain in order to get to a beach.

5. Do stop at the random stalls and shops. You can get hand painted crockery everywhere but there are some really cool ceramic shops where you can meet the artist, as well as old Italians selling limonata along the side of the roads while you’re driving into the towns. Definitely worth a look and you’re helping out a local!

6. Make your own decisions, don’t base it all on Pinterest! I know you’re reading a blog post but I went to a few places that the internet told me were beautiful only to find they’d been cleverly edited (some even had tourists removed, the sea cleaned etc!) to look a million times nicer than they actually were. Fiordo di Furore was one of these.

7. The nearest airport is Naples, which is another reason to hire a car. Hiring a car in itself is a whole world of stress but entirely worth it in my opinion! I believe there are bus transfers but essentially this tip is to make sure you plan ahead and ensure you can get to the coast when you land.

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I honestly can’t recommend a trip to Amalfi more, just do your research and go prepared! It’s such a beautiful place and lets face it, the food alone is worth the flight.

Let me know if you go and if you have any other tips!

Gx

a city guide: madrid
Madrid

So I recently decided to book a spontaneous three day trip to Madrid, with the new man in tow and while I wasn't really feeling asking him to shoot outfit pictures just yet, I had to produce a little city guide.
It was my second time in Madrid, and I have to admit that I wasn't overwhelmed the first time so I really researched different places this time and think I found a few gems.
Madrid Madrid

1. parque del retiro
Starting with an obvious one, but we naturally had to have a little wander around El Retiro park. It's full of beautiful grounds and has a huge lake (? or pond?) in the centre where you can hire little rowing boats. Overall a pretty romantic place to stroll around - plus there's loads of little cafes to stop for an ice cream...

Madrid Madrid Madrid

2. room007 sol
The reason we ended up picking Madrid for our little break was actually due to an email from Room007 offering us a complimentary stay which was perfectly timed. Room007 is a hostel but with all of the amenities of a hotel. We had a private room which was v.important to me (I don't think I'm a sharing kind of girl!) with a cute little shower and toilet encased within. The room was pretty much brand new and super minimal with a cool Scandi vibe which I loved. Pretty much all you need for a few nights R&R. 
Worth mentioning we did have a few problems with our reservation (i.e. a receptionist came into our room at 4am thinking it was empty and woke us up!) but the hotel dealt with it professionally and all ended well so overall I totally recommend a stay!

Madrid Madrid Madrid

3. platea
This was potentially my favourite place to visit - Platea is a beautifully decorated 'restaurant' for want of a better word, but with loads of different cuisines and two cocktail bars inside. The atmosphere was buzzing and the fact you're seated with a menu rather than having to trawl around ordering from different places was a total plus.
I went for pulled pork tacos which were amazzzing, while Mike had a steak because he literally always gets that.
We also sampled the bar on the entry level and it was fab. I had a gin Collins while Mike had a Negroni. He's a bar manager/mixologist guy by trade and says they were good - so there's your review!

Madrid Madrid

4. chocolaterîa san gines
A CHURRO RESTAURANT THAT IS OPEN 24/7. Need I say more? You get a mug of chocolate. Go already.

Madrid Madrid

5. roommate oscar terrace
As our hotel didn't have a pool, and the weather hit a ridiculous 35 degrees - we went on a search for somewhere we could chill out and have a dip. While Madrid does have various lidos, I had heard that they get very busy so we looked for something a little more private.
Roommate Oscar is a hotel in the town centre where you can pay €35 each to relax on their roof terrace, use their towels and be greeted with a glass of champagne on arrival. Totally worth it and a lovely space. Just a warning though, everything up here is really pricey so bare that in mind!

Madrid

lots of love xxx
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a city guide: amsterdam, the netherlands
Amsterdam Brix Brix
1. brix
This one was recommended to us by a few friends, and it proved a winner. Brix is a cute little cafe/restaurant with the most adorable interiors perched in The Nine Streets area, settled amongst lots of boutiques and independent brands. James ordered a 'chicken thigh burger' and that's what turned up. It was pretty epic, not even mentioning the fresh flowers and marble tables.

£? €30 for two for lunch

Citizen M Citizen M

2. citizen m, amsterdam
I'm pretty much an advocate for Citizen M hotels now, and if I like somewhere I will stay there whenever I can. With the coolest, most modern rooms ever, a huge TV and loads of movies as well as a 24 hour bar/restaurant downstairs - could anyone complain, ever? The staff were beyond brilliant too, so friendly and they even offer free bikes to explore the city if you didn't fancy the 45 second walk to the tram stop, because... you know.

Sissy Boy Sissy Boy Sissy Boy 3. sissy boy
Stop the press, I have literally found my haven. I visited Sissy Boy three times in three days while in Amsterdam. It's the most wonderful brand that has their own line of womens, mens and childrenswear as well as the most adorable home wear you can imagine. I fell head over heels in love with SO much, but naturally having hand luggage only meant I nearly left empty handed. Luckily you can shop online to the UK, so fill ya boots.

Libertine 4.  libertine cafe
This was an adorable little spot in "De Negen Straatjes" or The Nine Streets to you and I, and was a great place to grab lunch. Libertine has a pretty little menu but with the entire thing having an Italian delicatessen feel, while perched on a marble/dark wood table/chair combo, it's set to be a winner. 

£? €30-50 for two for lunch

The Breakfast Club The Breakfast Club

5.  the breakfast club
I mean, we couldn't not go to the Breakfast Club when James runs one, could we? This one isn't affiliated with any in the UK, but still cute nonetheless. A little less kitsch, but still offering damn good pancakes - potentially even the best I've had. James went for a Cuban sandwich which he said was fantastic, so overall a definite must-eat.

£? €15-20 a head for brunch

The Makers Store The Makers Store

6. the maker store
Pretty much the coolest 'brick-a-brac' (totally an injustice) store you'll stumble upon. Selling all sorts of handmade pieces  and stocking all sorts of independent brands of everything from whiskey to magazines. A total treasure trove if you're local.


lots of love xxx
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top london no.2
Remember this post, way back when? Well this is the second instalment! I'd say it's long awaited, but it's probably not so I'm just going to get on with it.

Brickwood Brickwood

1. brickwood coffee 
Finally, I get the chance to scream and shout about my favourite coffee shop in London. I spend at least 80% of my working week in here, they put my order on as soon as I walk through the door and we've even made first name friends with most of the guys that work there. If you're ever in the South, I'd totally recommend checking it out. My favourites are the Kumara (sweet potato, poached eggs and feta on sourdough) and the French toasted brioche is amazing. 
P.S. I go to the Clapham Common branch, but they have one in Balham and Tooting too.

£? Food on average £7-10 a dish and a coffee £2.80ish.

Citizen M Shoreditch Citizen M Shoreditch Citizen M Shoreditch

2. citizen m, shoreditch
Potentially the coolest hotel I've ever stayed in, with moodlighting and a huge iPad controlled tv. James was entertained all night (and I had to put up with bloody film after film), but this super cool hotel has just opened up in Shoreditch to accompany their other London branch and it's well worth the visit for a trip, or even a staycation like us.
Make sure you pay the breakfast bar a visit, potentially at whatever time you like as it's open 24 hours a day!

£? 130+

Milk Milk

3. milk coffee
Oops, another coffee shop. Can you see where I spend most of my time? Milk is another fave, this time located in Balham. The food is essentially bloody great, but to be honest you just need to go for the iced coffee and burnt butter and hazelnut cake. James recommends The Convict to eat (we're talking an English muffin, sausage, scrambled eggs, bacon and their spesh hangover sauce, all topped with mountains of fresh parmesan) but it's all pretty great.

£? £15 a head on average 

Aubaine Aubaine

4. aubaine
Dotted all over London are these cute little shabby chic French cafés - great for a croque madame and a coffee. We visited the Heddon St branch which is a nice little bit of peace and quiet just two minutes from Regent Street. I've only had the brunch but I hear their dinners are fab too.

£? fairly pricey, we ate breakfast for two at £34

Dishoom

5. dishoom
Somewhere you might already have visited, but if not then this is the nudge you needed to do so. Dishoom not only do the best Indian food I've probably had in Central London, but the restaurants are an absolute delight to be in too. Super modern and really chic, it's totally worth standing in the usual queue - and try to grab breakfast here if you can!

£? lunch for two £30-40

The King The King

6. the king of ladies man
Ok, so this one might be cheating (James is the manager of a Breakfast Club) but this secret bar tucked behind Battersea's BC is a regular of ours so I thought it deserved a spot. Ask to be shown to the laundrette at the back of the caff where you'll find a 'secret' door into the bar. Well worth going for a Frenchmans Daiquiri (passionfruit daq) and some of their damn good bar snacks - plus the cheeky paraphernalia dotted around...

£? the usual London bar pricing!


lots of love xxx
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top london no.1
I can't even tell you how long I've been planning a 'London' series. As a born-Londoner, I am a total advocate for the city and spend pretty much all of my time in it so I thought rather than one of my usual city guides, I'd do a series of different posts combining all of my favourite things in my city. 

Without further ado, here are some of my favourite places - with loads more to come as and when:

The Chicken Shop
1. the chicken shop
The Chicken Shop(s) are spread over London now but are honestly the place to go for really great 'peri' chicken - of sorts. Honestly, it's like Nando's on crack - a definite place to replace ye olde cheeky Nando's
I totally recommend the hot sauce you'll find on the tables, as well as a huge slice of apple pie afterwards.
£? a meal for two (a whole chicken and sides) will set you back between £30-40.

The Hoxton The Hoxton The Hoxton
2. the hoxton hotel
A first staycation for James and I, and definitely a memorable one. The Hoxton was a complete dream, we stayed in Hoxton for the evening and made the absolute most of doing nothing by spending the evening lying in bed with a cup of tea and enjoying having no responsibilities.
The hotel itself is decorated in a beautiful minimalistic but masculine style, and has a fab bar/coffee area downstairs. It's actually just across the road from my uni so I'm going to have to make more of an effort to get there more often, even if it is just for a coffee and pastry.
£? rooms from £99 per night

Reds True BBQ Reds True BBQ 3. reds true bbq

Genuine apologies if you don't eat meat, and a gentle 'this isn't one for you' but if you do then you should go. Northern folk will probably know Red's as old news, but seeing as we only got one in London around a year ago here it is!
James and I love nothing more than good BBQ which can be so hard to find in the UK but Red's nail it. All of the meat is smoked in house and when it's gone,  it's gone. The burnt ends are out of this world, and you have to try the beef long.

£? £15-30 per head depending on what you order!

Patty & Bun 4. patty & bun

Genuinely the best burger I've eaten in London, Patty & Bun is the perfect amount of 'gourmet' and yet still sloppy enough to be so, so great. James orders two burgers every time we go, one beef and one chicken because they're that good.
The great news is that you used to have to queue for ages at their only two sites, but they've now popped open a few more so get in quickly!

£? £5-8 per burger
Kerb Food
5. kerb food market

Another recent discovery, and one to get to ASAP before the weather gets any worse but if you're into basically any kind of food then you'll enjoy Kerb. There's something for everyone so take all ya mates too.
My personal favourite was (and always is) Mother Clucker, honestly that chicken is just so damn good.

£? As it's street food, anything from £3+!

So, that was the first of hopefully many London recommendations! I've got a list as long as my arm of places I'll include so they'll definitely be coming every few months. Let me know if you try any, and apologies that this one is very food based!


lots of love xxx
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a city guide: 36 hours in venice
A City Guide: Venice
Back again with another, this time mini, city guide! We're over in Venice for this one, with a slightly different format as we were only there for 36 hours so as much as we ran around doing/eating/tourist-ing as fast as humanly possible - it's not a full guide per se but still features some pretty pictures and some suggestions of what to do when there.

A City Guide: Venice A City Guide: Venice
1. go by boat
Yoohoo, most obvious Venice thing to do, and pretty unavoidable but I had to leave an ode to it. Sailing everywhere is so much more fun (and breezy) than getting on a tube or whatever. We used the public transport boats, which were pleasant enough.

£? €7.50 per ride

A City Guide: Venice A City Guide: Venice
2. majer coffee/pastries
The only food recommendation on here, which is bizarre for me but everywhere is of a pretty good standard in Italy. I'd just say use your instinct as if it looks gross, then it might be, but in general the food is good in most restaurants.
Anyway, Majer was near to our hotel and was just a really nice modern, pastry shop with good coffee. Which is surprisingly hard to come by in Italy (really).

£? €2-3 a coffee €3-5 for pastries

A City Guide: Venice
3. hilton molino stucky
James booked this hotel as a surprise so I had no say in it, but he did good. Unfortunately the rooftop pool was closed but that aside, the rooms were big and regal and the rooftop bar was great to chill with a glass of rosé after a hard day on your feet. It was about as modern as you're going to get in a historic city, and had it's own transport links into San Marco which was handy. Breakfast was also a real winner.

£? £190+ per night depending on when you travel

A City Guide: Venice A City Guide: Venice
4. window shopping in San Marco
Not going to lie, I wish I wasn't window shopping but what can you do? San Marco is bursting with all the best designer stores so after mooching around in Céline and Gucci desperate to make a purchase, I left empty handed. Damn saving.

I also made a lil vlog while we were there, which is really awkward and close to my face but in honour of it being the first complete vlog that I've ever managed, I posted it here.
P.S. be fancy as hell if you subscribed to my YT as I'm a total noob.



lots of love xxx
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a city guide: new york, usa
A City Guide: NYC
I'm sure you've clocked that I'm a total wannabe New Yorker, so here are my top picks for how to spend your time in the Big Apple. These are mostly food based, because why else would you even go there?

A City Guide: NYC A City Guide: NYC

1. penelope
My number one brunch place in NYC, purely because of the sentimental value for James and I is Penelope. We first visited on a business school trip in 2011 and have been back every time since. I 1000% recommend the pancakes with fruit, a glass of OJ and a latte.

£? Around $40-50 for breakfast with coffee and juice for two.

A City Guide: NYC A City Guide: NYC

2. schillors liquor bar
Ok, so I can't comment on the liquor as I went for breakfast both times but they do know a good brunch. Tucked away on the Lower East Side, Schillors gives out cool, industrial vibes and again - great bloody pancakes.

£? Again, around $40-50 for breakfast with coffee.

A City Guide: NYC

3. lombardi's
I found this gem on a recent visit, but it's definitely worth a mention. Lombardi's was the first pizzeria to open in America, and you can see the history (as well as taste it) when you're there. The layout is a bit crazy, we were lead through the kitchen to get to our table but the waiter was super friendly and honestly, the pizza was amazing.

£? $30-40 for a large pizza to share, with drinks.

A City Guide: NYC

4. top of the rock/empire state
I know it's generic, but oh so worth it. The views are breathtaking and you just get the most incredible  'on top of the world' feeling when up there. I've only done the Empire State personally, but I hear they're both good. I recommend going at night too, as the skyline looks amazing. P.S excuse the photo, 2011 for ya.

£? $32 per adult

A City Guide: NYC A City Guide: NYC
5. smorgasburg
One for if you're visiting in the Spring/Summer, but honestly make the time for a trip to Smorgasburg. It's always really busy, but the food is worth it and if you're not sold then go for the insane views of the skyline of the edge of Brooklyn. One thing worth mentioning is the queues for food, but pick right and I can tell you it'll be worth it!

£? Stands ranging between $8-19

Others worth mentioning: Mighty Quinns is my absolute favourite place to go for BBQ food and I can't reccomend it enough, but sadly both times I've been have been really busy and too dark to photograph! Atomic Wings & Two Bros Pizza for quick snacky lunches, I mean - $1 for a slice of proper NYC pizza and the best damn buffalo wings on the East coast. Yeah. Sprinkles' cupcake ATM is also worth a visit if you like a gimmick, and finally; go to the HUGE Whole Foods on Columbus Circle. It's a day out in itself and then you can eat in Central Park opposite.

See my Berlin and Copenhagen guides, and a super useful 25 Things to do in NYC by The Crazy Tourist* if you need some more inspiration for your trip!

lots of love xxx
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a city guide: berlin, germany
A City Guide: Berlin

As promised, here's my Berlin city guide! Number two in my city guides (see Copenhagen here) and as I've been twice now and enjoyed it so much both times that it seemed only logical to let you all know about some of the cool places I've found. That and the fact everyone I know seems to be heading there soon! So without further ado:

A City Guide: Berlin A City Guide: Berlin
1. holiday inn berlin city east side
I know Airbnb is the 'cool' way to stay now, but I've stayed in this recently refurbished Holiday Inn both times and it's always been great. Not only is it spotless, modern and fun inside but it's also got a Starbucks in the reception for emergency hangover coffee. We had a bit of a hiccup with payment on our last stay, so to say sorry we got upgraded to a suite following amazing customer service from the branch itself. I whole heartedly recommend if you're after a good hotel!

£? Roughly £45-60 a night

A City Guide: Berlin A City Guide: Berlin

2. photobooths
These are all over the place in Berlin, and a total tourist trap but you've got to do it. For €2 you get a fun little black and white strip of photos which take about 5-10 minutes to print. They're really old school machines and take the photo super quick with a mega bright flash - but it's all part of the fun!

£? €2 per 4 photo strip

A City Guide: Berlin A City Guide: Berlin

3. burgermeister
Guys, prepare your soul. Hands down, this is the best fast food burger I've ever eaten. I'm not usually one for bold claims like that, but hey, it really was amazing. So much so, that on our first trip we visited three times and another three over the two days we spent there this time. If you go, it's the little newsstand looking place in the middle of the dual carriage way in Kreuzberg. You've got to try the chilli cheese fries too, so much plastic cheese greatness. There's always a queue, and there's rarely anywhere to sit so be warned!

£? €4-6 per burger, cheap as chips!

A City Guide: Berlin A City Guide: Berlin

4. voo store
One of the coolest stores I've been in, Voo store is a little shop in what feels like the middle of nowhere that stocks brands such as Acne, Charlie May and Adidas. Here you'll find minimal home accessories, rare trainers, great coffee and super cool staff. Absolutely worth a visit if you're anything like me and love all things minimal and 'arty' as James put it. The best part is, they also ship to the UK.

£? Prices vary, homeware from €15+ and clothing upwards of €40.

A City Guide: Berlin A City Guide: Berlin

5. dudes delikatessen
Another super cool place, Dudes Delikatessen serves great burgers and good beer. All you really need when in Berlin to be honest. It's a pub/deli with friendly staff and a lively atmosphere that's definitely worth visiting. We went on a Friday night and it picked up and got really busy. It's in the middle of Kreuzburg and just great to be honest. Not to mention that Mcbess does their cute illustrations, it's almost like you're on the Tube back in London... Doing a shot of tequila and eating a burger.

£? Purse friendly, cheap beers and burgers around €8.

A City Guide: Berlin

6. coretex records
A quick shout for any metal fans out there, James and I stumbled across Coretex whilst looking for Voo Store, but it was a great find! If you're into heavy metal/punk/rock/hardcore etc it's definitely worth a visit to pick up hard to find vinyls as well as their own merch and band stuff too.

£? Average vinyl price, t-shirts €15+

others worth mentioning: White Trash Fast Food - a crazy tattoo parlour/restaurant with a great atmosphere and good food (but too dark to photograph!). Finally, Hello Goodpie - cute name right? It's a little pie shop (in case you didn't figure) tucked away in Kreuzburg that does amazing savoury pies as well as an amazing lemon meringue pie.

lots of love xxx
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a city guide: copenhagen, denmark

As I've mentioned various times, I've been planning on starting a city series for a while now. I tend to go on a couple of city breaks a year, and obviously live in London so from now on you'll be able to find my top picks for every city I travel to, think of it as a mini city guide/things I enjoyed (read: mostly things I ate), as well as London themed posts such as favourite coffee shops etc.
I hope someone finds them useful, and seeing as it was my most recent, I thought I'd kick things off with Copenhagen, so without further ado:



1. Neighbourhood Pizza
Here you'll find delicious cocktails, lively atmosphere and some awesome pizza. The pizza is on a pastry-sort base and was different to any I've ever had before. That being said, mine was amazing and the spicy sausage was to die for. We both went for a bitter lemon/elderflower cocktail which was also great. A must visit if you're in CPH.

£? £8-12 per pizza and cocktails at £7.50 each



2. Acne Archive
Any Acne fan needs to visit their archive store in Nørrebro, with past season, samples and one off's hidden in this treasure trove, it's a must visit in my books and only available in Scandinavia. I managed to scoop a jumper for the equivalent of £30 (yuh, I nearly went into cardiac arrest too). Maybe all your Acne dreams aren't too far off after all.

£? Prices vary, knitwear tends to go to around £100, shoes to £180 etc




3. Karoline's Place
Our first Airbnb experience was a gooden', choosing Karoline's place. Her Scandi style was evident throughout the apartment and it was in the trendy neighbourhood of Nørrebro, which I like to compare to the East London of Copenhagen. It was really easy to get to from the airport, Karoline was lovely and the apartment was a joy. Although be aware that she has an authentic Danish bathroom which is the size of most peoples' wardrobes!

£? Depends on season, although roughly £50-60 per night


4. Mother Italian
Mother was another great food find, serving a totally different pizza to Neighbourhood. The atmosphere was busy and relaxed, with everyone sitting outside with a beer when we arrived. We both went for the margarita which was lovely, and a Danish beer. 

£? A meal and drink around £15



5. Grød
Meaning 'porridge' in Danish, Grød naturally only serves porridge (and risotto in the evening) but they know bloody good porridge, hand-making each batch as you order. I opted for dulche de leche, apple, blueberries and almonds which was amazing. The coffee is also great, and from what I hear we were very lucky to arrive when there wasn't a queue! 100% worth going to for a hearty breakfast, a great latte and the novelty of being in a place that only serves porridge. They also serve it made with milk alternatives for those lactose intolerant, perfect!

£? Huge bowl of porridge and a latte for around £8/9.



6. Superkilen
More for fellow bloggers, but Superkilen is a huge park/skate area/outdoor gym/place to hang out that's worth a visit for the photo ops. With a green, a red and a black part, it's got a great urban vibe that's worth checking out if you're local.

£? Free 

In conclusion, I absolutely loved Copenhagen! It's a crazy, arty city that literally oozes Scandi-cool vibes. Visit if you're interior obsessed, into fashion or culture... or just fancy a really good city break.

lots of love xxx
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