Saturday, 30 July 2016

Imagery and Inspiration

Loving this imagery and styling from a recent Shopbop email campaign...

3 Ways: The Midi Skirt - How to work one closet staple into three different dress codes.

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 Shop now >

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Trip Diary Part 7: San Francisco

We were beside ourselves with jet lag when we arrived. It was a sunny day but cool. Once we had checked into our hotel we went looking for food but ended up at the hotel restaurant because we were starting to have out-of-body experiences by this point.

The first day we decided to just explore the neighbourhood around Union Square. Not the most charming area but some good stores! That night we went to Octavia restaurant and it was lovely. Very 'Melbourne' in its styling and in the nice area of Nob Hill.

The next day we walked to the Ferry Building then caught the ferry across to Sausalito and spent a few hours there. It was hot and sunny and lovely to wander around the marina. We saw the Golden Gate Bridge from a distance wrapped in fog of course!

We caught the ferry back and got ready for dinner at the busy and cool Marlowe, in a different part of town. Another recommendation and we really enjoyed it. It's owned by a Kiwi so it looked more like what we're used to. American restaurants are very fusty and old-fashioned in general. The place was packed, with a queue out the door.

Our last day is today. Our flight is a late one so we're going to MOMA this morning (after a visit to a hair salon as my GHD straighteners don't work here!).

Trip Diary Part 6: Paris

After the quiet sophistication of Copenhagen, the heat, noise and population of Paris came as a real shock. By this stage of our holiday we were absolutely exhausted. We were beginning to realise that we had tried to fit too many countries in and it was starting to show.

I didn't warm to Paris I'm afraid. Too much to take in. Sensory overload. It wasn't as quaint or as pretty as people make it out to be, in my view. I was also missing Copenhagen and had very swollen feet which didn't help!

We managed to get out and see some sights despite the heat and our tiredness. The Musee d'Orsay gallery by the river Seine was a first stop. Magnificent collection of mostly French artists' work. The restaurants and cafes we didn't think were very charming but one night we found a lovely tiny Italian restaurant and ate outside in a little alleyway on a warm evening. The meal was fantastic. There was some shopping, of course! Not much as before because French sizing is so tiny. I did visit the Sezane store which was lovely. I bought a coral red shoulder bag and a light cotton scarf. Lovely store and so nice to visit after coveting her stuff for so long.

On our last day we took the metro to the famous Pere Lachaise Cemetery. It was lovely, with shady trees and interesting tombs to look at. We visited James Morrison and Oscar Wilde of course!

I was happy to leave the hubbub of Paris behind, but our journey to San Francisco via Zurch was a killer. We were awake for 24 hours!

Friday, 22 July 2016

Trip Diart Part 5: Denmark II

Sunday morning was spent saying goodbye to the other guests and bidding farewell to Helenekilde Badenhotel and Tisvildeleje. Then a large Kiwi and Australian contingent headed in a hoard to the train station to return to Copenhagen. Some went on to the airport and headed off to other European destinations. The rest of Sarah's family and our good family friend Mickie, as well as bridesmaid Megan and friend Nat went to stay in central Copenhagen. Wedding photographer Coralee also joined us.

The next two nights all of us went out to dinner together. And to a gin bar called The Bird and the Churchkey. It was wonderful seeing the city by night and we all had a great time together, though we were all exhausted by this stage!

Paul and I spent our time in Copenhagen sightseeing and of course I did a fair bit of damage at the shops. COS was kind to me once more, as it had been in London. On Monday we went on a canal tour of the city and visited the famous Round Tower. The next day we spent the entire morning at a local park and the Botanic Gardens. Beautiful and serene.

The shopping in Copenhagen is the best I have seen. The city is compact and flat with hardly any cars (watch out for bicycles though!). I bought some treasures. Mostly casual tops and Summer dresses from COS but also a beautiful China blue printed light cotton jacket from an independent boutique. On the final day I bought some Adidas Stan Smith sneakers which are so much more supportive than my Supergas for walking. We also got some Danish ornaments for home.

We flew out of Denmark on Wednesday and we were immediately missing it.

Monday, 18 July 2016

Trip Diary Part 4: Denmark I

We arrived in Copenhagen on Friday morning. Lovely to be so close to Europe - our flight from London was less than two hours. We enjoyed our time in London although we were both overwhelmed by the population and the pace of life there. On the final afternoon we had our hair cut/blow waved at our local cafe The Hungry Canary which has a salon attached! Our stylist Emma was lovely and was very keen to know more about New Zealand. She like others of her generation are seriously considering leaving England due to Brexit. I also had a manicure and pedicure at the apartment using a service called Blow Beauty. My nail technician Chido was lovely and took real care of me.

We took the train from Copenhagen up to the wedding venue at Tisvildeleje which involved two trains. It was really easy as everything is in both Danish and English. We arrived at the beautiful Helenekilde Badenhotel around 3.30pm.

There was an informal dinner that night and we got to meet lots of Peer's family and friends who had flown in from all over Europe. Our room overlooked the ocean. It was so beautiful and surreal Paul and I were pinching ourselves. The next day we walked into Tisvildeleje village and poked around the cute little shops and had a coffee. Paul bought me some delicate gold jewellery as a late birthday gift. We headed back to prepare for the wedding.

The ceremony was held in a lovely, very old Lutheran church about ten minutes away. All of us got a ride with Peer's friends who had cars. Everyone was so generous and took care of all the Kiwis so well!

Sarah quite rightly kept Peer waiting 20 minutes and when she arrived she took our breath away. She is so beautiful anyway but she looked like a princess in her elegant, delicate gown. The ceremony was serene and some beautiful words were spoken by the priest. It was partly in English and partly in Danish.

We went back to the hotel afterwards and mingled until Mr and Mrs Skov appeared. A stunning meal was served after we all had photos. And the speeches were heartfelt and deeply meaningful to Sarah, Peer and their close friends. They spoke of being sad at Peer moving so far away but so happy that he had Sarah in his life. One of Sarah's friends performed a stirring haka! This made all the Kiwis teary-eyed and the Danes scared! Soon after, an explanation of the haka's significance was provided! A lovely bunch of guests and the Kiwis and Danes mingled and blended so well. Paul and I are already big fans of this place and we are honoured to have been a part of Sarah and Peer's special day.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Trip Diary Part 3: London and Oxford

My birthday was spent in Oxford with my good friend Caroline and her friend Terri who I also know. We meandered around town in gorgeous weather then finished with afternoon tea at the Randolph Hotel, where I have taken tea before!

The weekend was busy. Paul, Caroline and I covered a lot of ground! Saturday was the Hockney exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts then across the road to Fortnum and Mason for high tea. Then that night we saw Il Travatore at the Royal Opera House. Sunday was our traditional V&A Museum visit then that evening Macbeth at the Globe! Absolutely wonderful performance and a lovely warm night to walk over the Millennium Bridge to the tube.

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Trip Diary Part 2: Somerset

The day after flying into London we slept in and had a look around the neighbourhood. When I lived in London in the mid-1990s, Bethnal Green wasn't a desirable place to visit but now it's up-and-coming and vibrant and packed with great eating places.

We took the tube to Victoria Coach Station then it was down to Bath for us. I finally got to show Paul my beloved Somerset.

Wednesday morning, the lovely Tony from Chinnock Taxis picked us up from our beautiful Bath apartment to take us down to Glastonbury. Chatty and friendly, Tony took great care of us and we had a fun drive. We got dropped off at Glastonbury Tor, a very special place for me that I was so happy to share with Paul. A warm, clear day unlike the rain and mud situation of a couple of weeks back when the festival was on!

Next we walked to the Chalice Well, a serene healing garden set out over s couple of acres. The water comes from natural springs located deep underground and the water is rich in iron so all the waterways in the gardens are stained red.

Next we grabbed some lunch and coffee at a vegan cafe on the High Street. Many of the cafes and shops are the same as 20 years ago and of 10 years ago when I last visited. But this cafe was modern and we enjoyed a delicious healthy meal.

Wandering back down the High Street, passing the many shops selling crystals, incense and velvet cloaks, we went into Glastonbury Abbey. This is special place and Paul really enjoyed visiting the ruins. And he got his fill of seeing lots of 'alternative' folks doing their thing... Well, that's Glastonbury for ya!

A short bus ride later and we were in Wells. Our first stop: the Bishop's Palace and Gardens. A gorgeous, serene place with the most beautiful gardens. Quintessential English experience! We got to Wells Cathedral just as evensong was starting so unfortunately they had closed part of the building (where the most ornate features are!) which was a shame as Paul had never been there. But we sat in the main part of the cathedral listening to the organ and some beautiful singing. Outside was early evening and still warm. We grabbed a meal then made our way to the market square where Tony arrived to take us back to Bath. A magical day!

Thursday was spent in the city of Bath. I've been several times but it was Paul's first visit. We simply wandered around the city and took lots of photos. Paul went to the Roman Baths while I walked around (I had been there before). Another lovely mild sunny day. So lucky! We had morning tea at the famous Sally Lunn's and lunch at a really traditional English tea house! A ploughman's lunch of course!

That evening we had the most beautiful pub dinner at the King William, just down the road.

The next morning, a taxi to the coach station via Pret a Manger for sandwiches for the journey, and back up to London.

Trip Diary. Part 1: In Transit

It's been ten years since Paul or I last travelled long haul. Even with an overnight stay at Narita, Japan we were shattered by the time we finally arrived in London on Monday evening. We flew from Auckland to Narita, then the next day from Narita to Frankfurt. We had a three-hour wait at Frankfurt Airport (which we spent nodding off in the departure lounge). Frankfurt Airport is so large, it was a ten-minute bus ride from the terminal to the plane! We had an hour flight to London City Airport and a half-hour to our apartment in Bethnal Green. We were beyond tired by this point.