Monday, July 17, 2017

The London Trip July 2017

At the beginning of this month it was time for another trip and surprise, surprise, I went to London. Now this time I had a reason to go, besides shopping and eating at all the cute places, because I was going to see Adele at Wembley Stadium. I really wanted to get tickets when she came to perform in Amsterdam but I was not able to buy them, so hopping on a plane across the pond seemed like the only option.

I was there for an entire weekend and had a lot of things to do. I had made a list a few weeks in advance of all the places that I wanted to visit. I was by myself so the best thing is that you can actually do all these things and you don't have to compromise with your travel buddy.
Now you might think going all the way to England for a concert by yourself is a bit weird. And at the beginning I also thought that. I almost didn't buy the concert ticket because I didn't know anyone who wanted to go with me. It's not just the ticket but also the flight, hotel, food and shopping's, so I get why people don't immediately scream yes to the idea. For me the only reason not to go was that I had to go by myself and I thought that was a stupid reason so I decided to go anyways. I have been going solo to a couple of concerts in Amsterdam so I wasn't as frightened of the idea anymore and I am the kind of person that doesn't mind being alone so I was pretty excited to go on this trip.

The first day was probably the busiest of them all. I booked the earliest flight possible at 07:05 AM from Amsterdam Airport which was why at 09:30 AM I was already eating matcha French toast at Hally's in Parsons Green. My sister and I went to this café on our last trip but it was too busy so I decided to try again and I managed to get a seat on the big table across the bar. The food was really good and I have to say the staff was very friendly. Definitely a must when you visit London. Next on the list was a visit to the Sky Garden. I booked my ticket at 12:00 (you need to book a free ticket in advance) and since I was early I popped into New Look and TK Maxx. I bought the most amazing dress in the New Look sale which I will write about in another post.
I took the elevator to the highest floor and had the most amazing view all across London. The garden itself is also the perfect place to take lots of instagrammable photos but since I was alone I couldn't go crazy with that. A lady did take some photos of me but those were not very insta proof. Trust me they were not.
I didn't stay in the garden for too long, because moments after I took all the photos my iPhone battery died and I ended up in Eat. with a pink lemonade and my seat as close to a charger as possible. It's not that I am that obsessed with my phone but on trips, Google Maps is my best friend. After about 30 minutes I went on the bus to Hackney, which seriously took 45 minutes. I did see a lot of London though.

Two hotspots on my list were not that far away from each other so I went to both of them. At Café Miami I had an iced chai latte and Nutella stuffed pancakes -yes STUFFED with Nutella-. They were as amazing as it sounds and I loved the pastel pink and purple interior. It wasn't that busy too which was amazing. I just ate my pancakes, charged my phone and looked outside the window to see all the Londoners walk by. That's also what I like about going to the places you find on Instagram, they are not that touristy -at least most of them are not- and you get to see all these different sides of London.
Palm Vaults was very high on my list and apparently also on everyone else’s. It was so busy in there that I decided to take a lavender latte to go. Not that I was hungry after the pancakes so a drink was just what I needed. The place looked gorgeous though with marble tables and plants in pink pots hanging from the ceiling, so I will definitely go back for a yummy smoothie bowl or a slice of cake. By this time it was late in the afternoon and the lack of sleep started to kick in. I took the bus to Oxford Street for a short shopping trip at Topshop, Anthropologie and Primark, went on the tube to my hotel and picked up a takeaway from Shake Shack on the way. Their cheesy fries are so good! 

The next day I woke up with the news that Adele wasn't going to perform. I was disappointed with the news but the days before I had a feeling it was going to happen. Very strange that I already kinda knew she wasn't going to be able to perform. I was still happy to be in London and decided that I just had more hours to do stuff. Peggy Porschen Cakes was the first location on my list. You might think it's weird to eat cake at 10 AM, but it's honestly the only time you can get a table at this place. It was empty when I arrived so I ordered a pink lemonade and a strawberry & champagne cupcake. Bit snazzy for in the morning but I went with it haha!
A couple of girls where actually having a photoshoot near the pretty flowers in front of the store so I kindly asked them to take a few photos of me. I'm so happy I did, because a photo at Peggy Porschen Cakes was something I really wanted. After the cupcake I went to a food market near Sloane Square. I had seen this market in a Tanya Burr vlog from a couple of years ago and after some research I found out where it was. I bought two beignets from the same stand as she did and also bought a lot of fudge. There was so much different kinds of food and I loved that it wasn't packed with tourists like Borough market. I then picked up a smoothie at the Good Life Eatery and walked all the way to Harrods. Near there is the famous pink Trevor Square house and after a few snaps -because of the lightning they don't look as nice- I dropped of my fudge, beignets and Zara Home stuff -yes I also bought the most amazing cups in Zara Home! They are so pretty- at the hotel. 
After a lie down I took the tube to Notting Hill. I wanted to take a photo of the Bisquiteers shop but they were doing some work on the road so I wasn't able to get the shot that I wanted. Walking past all the colourful houses I took the tube to Oxford Street, had a last little shop at New Look and TK Maxx and bought some delicious things from Crosstown Doughnuts. Ooh and on the way home I picked up another takeaway from Shake Shack.
The London night life is probably amazing but I couldn't be happier, laying in my bed with doughnuts, cheesy fries and watching Me Before You on Netflix. That's my perfect evening right there!

The next Sunday morning was my last day in London. I actually bought a bit too much so I tried to get it all in my carry-on luggage -you all know I'm not good with carry-on bags- and went all the way to Regent's Park. I have always had a little obsession with Primrose Hill. I think it's from the fact that I always wanted to go to Primrose Bakery. I don't even know how I found that bakery to begin with because it was way before Instagram existed. And even though I have been to London many times I never went to Primrose Hill. So on that gorgeous sunny Sunday morning I walked all the way through Regent's Park, up to Primrose Hill to enjoy the amazing view of London. I then went to Regent's Park road and totally forgot about the fact that Primrose Bakery is here too. I did like Primrose Hill though. Can't wait to have a Sunday brunch at Greenberry Café and go for a cupcake at Sweet Things and Primrose Bakery.
One last thing on my list was an ice cream at Milk Train. They have the most amazing creations and since it was sunny and very hot I thought it was the perfect moment for something sweet and cold. Unfortunately many people thought that and there was already a queue when I arrived. I wanted to be there earlier but there was a problem on the underground so it took ages to get to Covent Garden. Instead I decided to have a late brunch at Covent Garden Grind. You find Grind all over London and I've always wanted to eat there. I sat by the window and had a cold ice tea and avocado toast with poached eggs and feta cheese. I loved the chill vibe there and it's the perfect 'sit down with your laptop' kinda café. Since I had about an hour left I wanted to take one last photo of an item on my list. So I decided to go to the Ivy Chelsea Garden. They have these gorgeous flowers outside -according to Instagram- but when I arrived it wasn't as pretty so I made my way back to the hotel to pick up my luggage. Kind of in a hurry because I lost track of time, but I catched my train on time and even had a little time at Gatwick Airport to do a little shopping. I just bought three massive Toblerone bars and some Pret sandwiches for that night and the next morning. Call me crazy but I love me some Pret.

And sadly that is the end of my trip to London. I had an amazing time exploring the city by myself and taking lots of photos. I didn't cross everything of my London list but I know I will be back in London in no-time. I hope you don't get tired of my London craziness because I certainly haven't. Until next time London!

Have you ever been to London? What is your favourite place there?

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

My top 5 brunch spots in Amsterdam

If I could put brunching as one of my hobbies I totally would. It would be right next to sleeping and binge-watching Netflix, because aren't those things the best? Anyways, it's safe to say I know a thing or two about brunch in Amsterdam. I write about new food hotspots on my blog all the time and this time I wanted to put my faves in a single post. If you are going to Amsterdam on a trip or are just for one day. These are the places to eat at!

1. Metropolitain
A classic when it comes to brunching and lunching. It's part of Café de Paris and near Dam square, so really close by. I love the chill atmosphere and it's always busy with locals. I did manage to find a spot when I was there so I think you will too. You can also hop over to Café de Paris upstairs since they have the same menu as Metropolitain during the day. They have some amazing egg dishes (with lots of avocado and bacon), salted caramel crêpes and some lovely French toast. I would definitely recommend the Eggs Metropolitain and the Famous French Toast. So good!

2. Teds
One of my recent discoveries, but definitely deserves second place. Again, also a popular place by Amsterdam people and there might be a bit of a queue depending on the time and day you want to visit. Teds is near the Bilderijkstraat (one of the best hotspot streets in Amsterdam) so if there is a queue you will find another spot in no time (maybe the café on number 4?). Unless you don't mind the wait. The interior is to die for and has the infamous 'bonjour mon amour' sign. On the menu you will find French toast, Nutella pancakes, chicken avocado sandwiches and eggs Benedict (or Florentine or Norwegian). As you may know, I’m a sweet tooth, so I definitely recommend the French toast with banana and bacon. Ooh and the fries are not so bad either. LOVE THEM!

3. Corner Bakery
This place is blowing up Instagram right now. Every hip blogger and vlogger is spotted here and there is a reason for that. The tables at Corner Bakery are fully Insta proof with cute tablemats of marble, pink and dots. The food looks amazing too. Think colourful freak shakes, lots of decorative fruit on the side of your pancakes and cute baskets full of the most amazing sandwiches. It can be really busy here, especially since it’s on everyone's brunch list, so my advice is to go early and not right around lunch time. Just do it for the cute Instagram photos!

4. Gallery 3
Also one of my recent discoveries. Just around the corner from Ted's and not as busy and well known. Gallery 3 is a little café that I love a lot. It's perfect for a laptop club session or staring outside the window and watch all the cyclists go by. The owner is really friendly and the food is aaamazing. They serve all the brunch dishes I love: avocado toast, French toast and three kinds of pancakes. THREE! That's a winner right there.

5 .Pluk
Another Instagram favourite. I went here quite a while ago but I would still recommend it to anyone. Pluk is part of the 'Nine Streets' (nine streets with more independent shops) and the perfect café for a healthy lunch, take-away or cute gifts. When you walk in you see all these cakes on the counter that make you drool. On the opposite side you will find lots of cute gifts and home goodies. The stairs will take you to the first floor where you can take a seat. It's small and a bit cramped but totally worth the wait. You order your food downstairs at the counter so do keep that in mind when you try not to fall down the stairs. I have tried the sandwiches (of course the one with avocado) which was really nice. And the carrot cake is pretty tasty too. Definitely pop into Pluk when you have the time. Even if it is for a quick to-go juice.

Wanna find more hotspots? Click here!

Which brunch hotspot is your favourite?

Monday, June 19, 2017

NARS Blush/Bronzer Duo

When I'm on holiday I always have to do a little bit of shopping. There are so many new stores to discover and who doesn't like spending money on things they probably don't need? Well, when I entered the Emporia Shopping Centre in Malmö and saw Sephora I actually -gracefully- jumped up and down and screamed in excitement. We don't have a Sephora in the Netherlands, so whenever I spot one I get all psyched. After spending about an hour in there swatching and testing I decided to buy one little thing. Honestly, I wanted everything in that shop, but my bank account simply does not allow it. In the end I went for the NARS Blush/Bronzer Duo, because I have always wanted to try the Laguna bronzer and the Orgasm blush and this way I get them both! 

NARS has a special place in my make-up loving heart. As a teen it was out of my reach to buy something from NARS. Of course, it’s an expensive brand, but it was nowhere to be sold. When I went to London a couple of years ago I made it my mission to buy a product at the NARS counter in Selfridges. I went for the Deep Throat blush and funnily enough I do not use it as much. I tend to go for my Estée Lauder blush in Tease on a daily basis, but the NARS blush is still really pretty. Especially the packaging.
The blush/bronzer duo has the exact same classic matte packaging that I love so much. It's a small and petite compact with two shades of the most popular NARS products: the Laguna bronzer and Orgasm blush. Bots products are very pigmented and pretty on the cheeks. And even though I thought Laguna could be a bit too warm for me, it definitely works now that the sun is out and I have a bit of a tan. The blush is a pretty coral colour with gold glitters, and in my opinion a shade that works for everyone. You sweep both products across the cheeks and you are totally ready for these warm summer months.
Now the sweeping part is the only thing that I'm not a fan of. Because this product has a bit of both, you don't get a lot. With a blush it doesn't matter that much, but with a bronzer I like to swirl my big, fluffy brush in the product and apply it on my cheeks. The swirling is very non-existent with this, or I should mix the blush and bronzer together. Then it's no problem at all, but I like to do my bronzer and blush in two separate stages.

I think I will purchase the NARS Laguna bronzer at one point in my life. I like the pay-off and it's definitely worth the hype. The Orgasm bronzer will last me a life time since I don't use it every day, but I totally get why you would. Who doesn't like a coral flush for the rest of their life? 

What is your favourite NARS product?

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