travel

Amsterdam- Holiday Snaps and Outfits

I’ve just come back from a girls holiday spent in Amsterdam, Holand. We went for 3 nights from Monday to Thursday this week and had the most amazing time. Our days were jam-packed so we’d definitely like to return in the near future to see more of this beautiful city.

Getting to Amsterdam was surprisingly easy with the flight being only around 50 minutes which for me is the same amount of time getting a train into London- by the time I had finished reading the EasyJet magazine I was taken a back to hear the announcement- “Cabin crew prepare for landing.” When we arrived at Schiphol Airport a few stops on the train took us into central Amsterdam and then a 20 minute walk to our hotel. We stayed at ITC Hotel which overlooks the Prinsengracht and it is in a great central location, walking distance of the city’s hot spots.

Amsterdam is a stunning and buzzing city and the people are very welcoming and down to earth. The Dutch also speak amazing English so although I felt guilty not being able to speak a word of Dutch, it was very convenient. I would definitely like to return to see more of the city and maybe hire out some bicycles next time to make full use of the cities many bike lanes.

Activities/Food:

  • Rijksmuseum– Dutch national museum of art and history from the Middle Ages to the present day. It was definitely worth seeing including paintings by Van Gogh and Rembrandt. There were also breathtaking old dolls houses and delicate china vases and plates in the Dutch style. If you are 18 and under this museum is also free.
  • Eye– Film institute in striking modern building, accessed by a free short ferry ride. There was an exhibition about film cameras with lots of interactive activities such as taking quizzes in the pods and filming short clips.
  • Vintage Shops– If you are into vintage clothing, Amsterdam is the perfect place to visit with many great vintage shops scattered about the city. I would say that many were slightly pricey but it was still fun to browse and my favourite was called Laura Dols which is known to have the largest collection of vintage glitter and glamour in the Netherlands and specialises in 50s clothing and accessories.
  • I amsterdam– A good place to take photos but I couldn’t manage to climb right on top of the letters!
  • Sex Museum– Although a very dated museum, if you are up for a laugh then I’d recommend going plus it’s only 4 euros entry.
  • Blue Boat Canal Cruise– Definitely would recommend doing a canal cruise since it’s the best way to see an overview of the whole city and we did an evening cruise at 8.00pm which lasts 90 minutes and is 19.50 euros with one free drink. It was lovely seeing all the buildings lit up at night but unfortunately a massive rain storm started during the middle of the cruise and although it was a covered boat there was lots of dripping from the ceiling and steamed up windows.
  • Hummbar Lobster and Burgers– We had some amazing burgers at Hummbar and I went for the Italian burger which was devine and also huge, with lots of chips.
  • The Pancake Bakery– Famous for it’s delicious pancakes and has been visited by celebrities including Miley Cyrus. I usually have nutella pancakes but wanted to try something different so I opted for pineapple with yogurt icecream which was really good. My friends went for slightly more calorific options with lashings of whipped cream on top and consequently we all felt very sick after consuming the massive pancakes.
  • Coco’s Outback– Although it seems wrong to be going to an Australian pub in Amsterdam, if you are after some tasty cheap cocktails this is the place to go and I would recommend the Strawberry Daiquiri and Gummy Bear Martini. Also they have a happy hour from 10:00-11:00pm where drinks are served at a reduced price.

Holiday Snaps

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Outfits

Outfit 1- Travelling

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  • Vintage Denim Shirt
  • Asos White Cami Top
  • Stradivarius Geometric Print Skirt
  • Ipanema Rose Gold Sandals
  • Miss Selfridge Silver Coin Necklace

Outfit 2- Culottes

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  • Asos Slouchy Navy Ribbed Cardi
  • Asos White Cami Top
  • Zara Scarf Print Culottes
  • Ipanema Rose Gold Sandals
  • &OtherStories Long Pendant Stone Necklace

Outfit 3- Geometric Shorts

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  • Asos Slouchy Navy Ribbed Cardigan
  • Asos Black Cami Top
  • Asos Geometric Print Shorts
  • Vintage Navy Cross Body Bag
  • Vintage Gold and Black Chain Necklace
  • Accessorize Pearl Earrings
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“Paris is always a good idea.”- Audrey Hepburn

Last week, I spent a long weekend in beautiful Paris with my friend Olivia! It was my first ever time in the city and I am now obsessed with the Parisian lifestyle and I absolutely adore the architecture, especially the ornate balconies adorning many buildings along Paris’ streets. I thought I’d do a blog post telling you about some of the things I got up to and to share some of the photos I took during my short stay.

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Day 1:

We traveled to Gare du Nord by Eurostar and after a pleasant 2 hours 15 mins journey and a couple of stops on the Metro later we arrived at the Moulin Rouge which was close to our hotel. After settling in, we caught a cute toy-style train to Montmartre and found somewhere to eat. We decided to try the french delicacy of frog’s legs which I have to say were pretty delicious despite the ‘interesting’ slimy texture. After dinner, we had our portraits done- I love mine and definitely think it’s worth doing however I’m not sure if it looks exactly like me though- what do you think? Then, we both delved into our first crepe of the trip- nutella was an excellent choice!

Outfit: Top: Zara, Trousers: Zara, Denim Jacket: La Redoute, Necklace: Mango, Sandals: Fat Face

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Day 2:

On Saturday, we took a tour bus which was a great way of seeing many of the sights Paris has to offer. We popped into lots of food shops and Boulangerie’s and marveled at the fantastic displays of cakes and pastries. Then we ate lunch at a cafe and had a baguette and chips. After lunch, we visited L’arc de triomphe and the Eiffel Tower and after getting lost we made our way on the Tour Bus to Notre Dame, had a delicious flower shaped icecream and walked to the padlock bridge. That evening we had savory crepes in the Latin Quarter and then took the Metro back to the Eiffel tower. The Eiffel tower was spectacularly illuminated and we embraced our inner child and took a ride on the carousel beside the Eiffel tower. Unfortunately, the heaven’s then opened and I started to regret only having taken suede sandals- not fun!

Outfit: Denim Jacket: La Redoute, Top: Topshop, Trousers: Topshop, Sandals: Fat Face, Necklace: Shu Shu, Sunglasses: Asos, Handbag: Coccinelle

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Day three comprised of more rain showers and shopping on the Champs-elysees. Walking through the puddled streets in the rain meant my sandal situation was at it’s worst, my nude sandals had now turned a dark brown and by the time they were almost dry we were met by another crazy rain storm :(. Getting to the station was quite a stressful experience to say the least, having to get out of a taxi on a street corner due to traffic and sprint to the station. Luckily, we made it around 10 minutes to spare- thank goodness!

Outfit: Dress: H&M, Jacket: My sister’s, Handbag: Coccinelle, Sandals: Fat Face

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Overall, I had an amazing time in Paris filled with delicious food, stunning sights and lots of laughs with Olivia. I would love to go back soon and see more of Paris as a weekend is simply not enough with so much to see in this fab city!

Italian Exchange 2014

Hey guys, for the last few weeks with my school I took part in the italian exchange whereby I was paired up with a lovely girl called Stefania de Marchi who firstly came to stay with me in England for the duration of a week, then I had 1 week before I flew to Italy to stay with her for a week. I study italian at AS level at school so when I came over to italy we spoke italian and Stefy was in England we spoke english. Not only did I have the best time but it also really helped me improve my italian.

To see a video which my friend made of the week: CLICK HERE

Day 1: Travelled to Gatwick airport by coach. Bought my first ever mac lipstick in duty
free called “Crosswires”. Arrived in beautiful sunny Venice and hauled my stuffed suitcase onto the coach. Drove to San Bonifacio, to their school and were greeted by all of Class 3D, eigerly awaiting our arrival. I was re-united with Stefy and we then drove to Soave, where she lives, which is village famous for it’s historic castle and wine. After settling into my new room for the week, we met up with my friend Amelia and her correspondent Sara. Sara and Stefy showed us around Soave which was just lovely- original stone walls, bars and gelateria’s with buckets full of character. That night Stefy’s parents took us out to a Pizzeria and I had my first italian pizza of the trip, I choose the Proscuitto- Buono! That evening we met at a bar with the other exchange students in San Bonifacio.

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Day 2:  On Sunday we had a free day where our exchanges could decide what to do with us. Sara and Stefy decided to bring Amelia and I to Verona for the day and we would meet with the others later on. We spent the day shopping and I bought a cute skirt from a shop called Stradivarius. It was a really hot sunny day which meant we could see the monuments of Verona in their full beauty and although I have visited Verona before, I re-kindled my love for the immense beauty of L’arena, colourful shopping streets and lively Piazza delle Erbe. Later on, we met with the rest of the group and visited Juliet’s Balcony, despite being very crowded this is a must-see in Verona. The walls were graffiti-ed with love hearts, adorned with chewing gum (which I can’t decide whether this was gross or creative), letters and padlocks. After that, I had my first italian icecream and I had noiccola (hazelnut) which was just devine. Then came home and ate dinner with Stefy’s family- Alessandra (Stefy’s mum) is such a fab cook.

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2002_0101scambilo0023edit .jpgDay 3: On Monday, I took a bus to San Bonifacio with Stefy and in the morning I sat in on lessons at her school. The first was an italian lesson and we chatted for the whole lesson in italian with the lovely students- it was so much fun. The second lesson wasn’t as fun because it was a maths lesson but we chatted to a few of the students, one of which was a stunning girl who goes to Milan every Friday to model! Then in the afternoon we went to Verona again and had a guided tour around some more of the monuments of Verona. This day wasn’t so enjoyable as I suffered from bad hay fever but once I bought some pills everything was better.

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Day 4: Took a coach to Milan, a lovely sunny day again but slightly colder. First, we visited a state university and it was design week so in one of the courtyards lots of modern exhibits were being set up. Then we went into the main square and ate our lunch. After, we climbed the 250 steps up the Milan Duomo to look at the stunning picturesque view out onto the city. After that we visited La galleria- it was so glamorous, with all the posh restaurants and designer shops. La scala was situated at the other end of La galleria and here we got to watch a rehearsal of the Opera and also visited the museum. We then had some free time to go shopping and I had a scrummy donut with crema. Then we travelled back on the coach and had such a laugh, not even joking I cried with laughter 10 times!

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Day 5: On Wednesday we went to Lake Garda with the Italians and also the french exchanges. Stefy and I and a few others had breakfast in a cafe before we went and I had a lovely brioche with chocolate- yum! We then had a tour around Lake Garda and visited the castle and then the town. At lunch I had a biscotto icecream and we sat in the park and ate our lunch. We then went to Garda town and sat down and ate crepes, here we came up with nick names for all the members of our group: I am “the lady in paint” because everyone thinks I look like someone from a painting, Carolina is the “chocolate dog” as that day she stepped in what she thought was chocolate icecream but it turned out to be something else after almost licking it, Amelia is “nutella virgin” as has never tried nutella before, Floss is “the mollusk”- not sure why, Molly K is “black cat”, Molly B is “4” (long story), Kate is KP, Vicky is “silhouette” and Charlotte is “shades”. That evening after arriving back we went out for another pizza and this time I had a classic margherita.

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Day 6: On Thursday we took a day trip to Venice and the italians came with us too. We took a train and everyone was falling asleep, so I tried to stay awake to make sure we didn’t wake up arriving in the middle of nowhere. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t great in Venice as it was very grey and cold but the beauty of Venice still shone through. We made our way around Venice, visited a church and then walked to Piazza San Marco. Here we had some free time and I took this opportunity to pick up some presents for my sister and mum. We also had to do a quiz but ended up asking a gondola man and he gave us all the answers haha! Later on got a cherry icecream and we hung out as a group in the Piazza. Overall, it was a fun day, just a shame about the weather.

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Day 7: On Friday I took the bus to school with Stefy and whilst we waited for the coach we did some folk dancing with the dance teacher- it was very cringey but funny at the same time. After that we took a coach to a perfume factory- it alright but we all felt a bit ill by the end of it due to the many strong scents. Then Charlotte and I went and got a thick italian hot chocolate which was delicious but had to dash as a creepy man had come to talk to us haha! Then we went back to the school and chilled and sung songs. I then went back with Stefy to her house, ate lunch and then went to the shopping centre, did some shopping and then met with the others for a crepe. That evening we had a fun party with all the exchanges.

Day 8: On Saturday we had to say goodbye to everyone and I few tears were shed. We then went to the airport and I bought italian Elle. Our flight was delayed by an hour and we also had to wait an hour for our luggage to arrive at Gatwick.

I had such a great time on the exchange and loved practicing my italian. I will really miss all the lovely, welcoming italians and especially my exchange Stefy who couldn’t have been more kind and lovely- I will miss her and hopefully we can meet again someday.