Friday, 2 December 2016

chanel leather espadrilles

Espadrilles are the icon of summer and the stereotype of casual comfyness! In other words, they are my favourite kind of shoes. On this side of the world, summer is finally here and I could not wait to take them out again. As an espadrilles fan, and especially a Chanel fan, I own all sorts of pair ranging from canvas to suede or even tweed. However, I haven't owned the most classic pair on the market: the beige and black leather espadrilles. Sticking with my personality I usually tend to go special editions, limited collection or exclusive pieces that are original and rarely found on others. I don't necessarily enjoy having what others have. A big difference for this pair though, that has been and can be seen anywhere. I absolutely love the design of beige and black, typical Chanel. But overall, I like that it is a different material from what I already own and easy to wear with anything in any season! Yes, you heard me. Any season unless it rains as it could damage the sole.  

Chanel shoes are usually true to size but espadrilles can be tight. I always buy 37, although it is very hard for me to put my feet in. The reason is, when I tried the 38 it was too big and they DO stretch over time and use. They stretch to the point that my first pair is a little too large now and I have purchased it in 2014. If width is your problem, stick to your size and they will expand. If length is an issue then perhaps go one size up as they don't propose half sizes. 

A lot of you have asked me whether the Chanel espadrilles are comfortable. As mentioned above, they ARE painful at the beginning until you break them. They feel tight and you won't be able to wear them all day long. If you wear them home and one day out of two, they should be broken in a couple of weeks. Once they are broken they are the most comfortable shoes ever!! Even Chanel ballerinas aren't this comfortable. I still feel my feet swollen under the heat and the pain is very strong at the end of the day for ballerinas I've had since 2013. The reason is also that ballerinas have a heel whereas espadrilles are flat and as comfy as sneakers. 

Obviously, the price tag is high and in France you would get a pair of espadrilles for 7 euros. If you like the brand, the quality and originality whilst being able to invest in it, then I must say it's a MUST HAVE for your classy summers. At least one pair. If you struggle or are afraid of being able to pair them, go for the leather and classic beige/black. They're so sleek and wearable with anything! Overall: recommend if you have patience to break them and the money. 

They retail for 520 euros in Paris and $870 in Australia, although the choice is very very limited here - all my special ones were purchased in Paris and review is about to come as well. 

These are the Tweed models from FW2016.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

day trip outside sydney - itinerary

It's November and Sydney beaches are overcrowded.. 30 degrees around the corner, you will not easily find a quiet spot unless you take your car out and go further miles down or north of the city. Couple of weeks ago, I have decided that I wanted some quiet time and had the best time in Jervis Bay. Here's an easy itinerary to follow if you would like to enjoy the summer without the massive crowds!

Morning: departure
  • Leave early to avoid traffic (8.00am)
  • Take the Grand Pacific Drive 
  • Stop at Kiama to see the blowholes 
The Grand Pacific Drive may take longer, but it will take you from the start of the Royal National Park to the South of Wollongong for a scenic drive along the coast and it is absolutely stunning! 

If you have some more time, stop at the beautiful town of Kiama and have a stroll around the blow holes. Kiama blow holes are one of the most spectacular in Australia and it is a sought touristic destination. 

Lunch time
  • Berry town 
Stop at Berry for brunch, lunch or just a snack at the Berry Sourdough Cafe. Berry is a small little town of a street long located south of Kiama and Gerroa. 

I recommend you take a sit, they have a beautiful little patio and the brunch looked amazing. I've only had the opportunity to snack but I will make sure to be back very shortly- I've had an apple tart in their back garden and I have to say it was one of the best apple tarts I've had, with a caramel on top, just like a French tatin. 

Afternoon: beach time
  • Hyam's Beach and Booderee National Park area
  • Cost: 48 hours access to Booderee National Park costs $11 per car; entry to the Hyam's Beach is free as it is outside the national park.  
Arrive at Jervis Bay, and settle on Hyam's Beach. Jervis Bay is very popular and it might get crowded inside the national park with campers around. However, Hyam's Beach is cut off the world and I was able to swim with a couple, 500m away from me, what a pleasure! The sand is naturally white and the water is turquoise - it's like you're in the Bahamas 3 hours from Sydney. 

If you have time, go explore the national park for some further swim and bush walks. You will get views off cliffs and in this season, you will be able to spot whales if lucky!

  • Gerroa, Seven Miles Beach
  • Dinner in Kiama
Go back before the sun completely sets if you're on a day trip and stop at Gerroa and/or Shellharbour. You may have passed in on the way in but in my time frame, I find it better to go on the way back to make the most of Jervis Bay first. Either way is great, depending on how you wish to manage your time. Gerroa is home of the 7 mile beach and has a stunning wildlife. If you're there at sunset time, just take a walk along the beach and enjoy the views! 

Note: surfing is very popular on this beach if this is something that you are considering. 

Lastly, if you feel peckish go to Thai @ Kiama, where I had one of the best Thai food fix in a long time! Highly recommend.

Friday, 13 May 2016

chanel classic double flap review (chevron edition)

Dear all, I know this review has been awaited by some of you for a very long time, after some sneak peaks leaked on my instagram. I've dedicated this blog to lots of travel diaries and tips lately, but I cannot miss on the opportunity to share this new and lovely bag with you. Saved for a whole year of work when I was back in Sydney, I decided to splurge some of my savings on this bag I've been craving for the past five years.

The structure of the bag:
The bag is exactly made with similar shapes and features to the all-time-classic double flap: the external pouch (or mona lisa smile) is featured, as well as the secret compartment inside and the lipstick holder. There are still two pockets on the inside and of course, a double flap as you can see in the photo above. The only big different I shall say, is that the chevron edition is first, a limited edition but also, it does not feature the burgundy inside. I should admit it's a bit of a shame, since I absolutely adore that burgundy shade and find it easier to find little lost items in your bag. However, overall, the chevron pattern has convinced my heart and it was love at first sight. Note the embossed CC is also present on the inner flap in this bag as well. 

To be honest with all of you, when I said I had this classic flap in mind forever, I meant the quilted one. A few years ago, I got my hands on the jersey jumbo -a lot cheaper back then as I could not afford the leather version- and loved it although I find it way too big for my frame. I did try the medium quilted classic flap over and over again but was never truly convinced. I wanted it because it was such a classic piece, but something was not just right to be perfect. And when you invest in something like this it needs to be perfect. I finally realised what was 'wrong' when I came across this chevron classic: the quilted version was not right for my age. I felt older, looking like an old lady. This version is much more versatile, modern and young! It suits my personality and style so much better... it's the perfect one for me. However, note that I own an extra mini flap in quilted gold and that one is just right! Why? Probably the size makes it contemporary and does fit my style. 

The size: 
The medium classic is 25.5 x 16 x 7.5cm. Not I can fit the following without stuffing it too much or taking a risk to damage this beauty: a long Chanel classic wallet (flap), a cardholder, my iPhone 6s and a lipstick with earphones. So technically, you cannot fit too much but remember, it's not meant to be a cabas or a Neverfull, it's meant to be a concise day bag or evening bag so what I've mentioned above is more than enough as being my essentials- I never carry more than this to be honest, apart from sunglasses (but no make up pouch, etc.)

In comparison the jumbo is: 30 x 20 x 10cm. 

The leather: 
Caviar calfskin! The lambskin quilted looks so much softer and it existed in chevron as well... but I purchased this bag to use it, and get it out of my closet. In no world I was going to leave it behind closed doors and wanted to use it as a day bag so the more robust, the better. As you can all see, I have opted for the silver chain and thus, silver embossing inside the bag. 

I purchased this bag in the London flagship store, and it's made in France! The SA was a lovely man and he knew what I needed straight away. The staff at that shop is not usually super friendly and I was a bit badly welcomed at first but then he saved the day. 

The packaging: 
As all Chanel classic flaps, it comes in the same white dust bag- dedicated for this model only. I was also lucky to have it in a magnetic box. I find the paper box very cheap and not classy at all. This one is a lot more resistant and provide the perfect storage for your bag when not in use. Feel free to ask for a magnetic box if you are unsure! It also comes with a bag cleaning cloth and stuffing paper. 

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

planning a couple of days to helsinki

If you're planning to visit Helsinki for a short period, this post is for you! I visited the city in 48 hours last September and absolutely fell in love with it! People in Helsinki are friendly, transportation is great and it's by the water.. The epitome of the perfect Northern city. 

Visit the Finnish National Gallery 

This is the symbol of Helsinki, or else the gate to Northern land. I haven't personally been inside, but strolling around will already blow your mind. 

Helsinki Market Square

Whether you are craving souvenirs or looking for some local food, the Market Square is a place you can't miss on your Helsinki visit. It's opened Monday to Saturday from 8am to 4pm and on Sundays during summer from 10am to 5pm. You can easily walk down from the National Gallery to the Market Square and stroll around the waterfront!

Eat the best Finnish meatballs in town 

Ravintola TORI has been qualified to be one of the best restaurants offering delicious meatballs for 14 euros. I was absolutely bluffed by the quality of the food, yet so simple. If some of you dare, there are lots of Reindeer meat specialities all around the city. I did try some on the streets, and now that I am being vegetarian, I'm glad I tried it before! It does not taste bad at all and to be honest, it's part of the adventure. 

Visit the beautiful historic island of Suomenlinna

I was about to do the river cruise, priced at 20 euros+ when I saw a local ferry with its destination to this mysterious island. I thought it would still take me on a cruise, and at least I'll be able to discover something different, perhaps less touristy. The ferry will take you there is about 20 minutes for 5 euros return and the place is stunning! I was so lucky with the weather and could have stayed longer but the day started to darken. Ideally, go there on a beautiful day and have a picnic on the hills. It's a true bliss and real getaway; not that Helsinki is hustle and bustle hub. 

Couple of days may be short but this city should definitely be on your next bucket list. I'll be back myself for sure, and can't wait to discover the rest of Finland as well. 

Hyvää matkaa!

Saturday, 16 April 2016

a day trip from copenhagen: malmö

Malmö is the perfect day trip destination if you are out in Copenhagen for a while. Even if you only have a couple of days in Copenhagen, Malmö is definitely worth it. From the central station, it is about 40 minutes train ride and cost around 150SEK one way (roughly 16 euros).

Malmö day visit checklist: 

  • Stroll around the City Hall and Little Square 
  • Have a look at the Turning Torso 
  • Eat some Swedish meatballs for lunch 
  • Visit Malmö Castle 
  • Sit by the river with an ice cream or a chokladboll (Swedish protein chocolate unbaked balls with butter, coconut, cocoa and coffee) 
  • Shop at Lagerhaus for some Swedish design home decor (they have the best hand soaps and candles) 

Saturday, 5 March 2016

48 hours in copenhagen


Grand Canal Boat Tour

  • cost: 80DKK (or 11eur, A$16, GBP8, US$12)
  • departs from: Gammel Strand 
  • how long? 1 hour 
  • when? morning is usually better 
Boat tours in general are absolutely amazing but this one is one of my favourite amongst all. Every waterfront city that I go to, I always make sure there is an amazing boat tour to do because you can't get closer to the beauty of such cities, but by boat. There are a few companies doing the tour, with several pick up locations. I went with Stromma, so I will recommend it. If you get on at Gammel Strand the tour will last longer and you'll have a very nice seat, although a lot of people tend to start from Nyhavn. During one hour, the large but very low boat will take you around the canals of the city and under very very low bridges - contrast this from Paris! They will also take you out of the city, where canals merge with the sea and you'll be able to have a look at the famous little mermaid. Morning are better, especially if the weather is nice so then you have the whole day to explore the city!

New Harbour (Nyhavn)

This is fast and foremost the 'popular' and 'touristy' area if Copenhagen. Yet, it did blow my mind when I got there. Touristy does not mean trashy, this area is beautiful. You'll easily be amazed by the colourful houses and majestic sail boats. Postcard landscape guaranteed! There are loads of places to eat, but I would simply recommend a romantic picnic by the harbour, especially if you can't afford it. Just soak up the sun and live the life. I would strongly suggest visiting this area on the first day, either before or after the boat tour as both location are fairly close to one another.


I would easily, in between those two activities, walk around the main shopping street. The latter is said to be the longest pedestrian street in the wolrd! You'll encounter Strøget on your way to Nyhavn but should you be short on time, you can always stroll around on your way back. The streets are lovely with old school pavements that reminded me like Provence. Do buy a belgian waffle on the way because they are delish and cheap! Definitely quite a bit of a walk, but worth the boutiques and hidden churches on the way. 


KBH Market (Torvehallerne
  • cost: free
  • where? Nørreport station 
  • when? 10am-7pm Mon-Thu, 10am-8pm Fri, 10am-6pm Sat, 11am-5pm Sun 
Depending on the time you get up and how hungry you are, get your directions to the KBH Market, aka food paradise. You can discover a bunch of different food ranging from local to international but I would definitely try anything local that appeals to you because you won't find it anywhere else. My personal recommendation is the infamous Smørrebrød (Danish tartines) - there is only one stand that sells them and you can't miss it. You won't because you you have to eat at least one of the those beauties. Also, there is a delicious juice bar right next to it.

Botanical Gardens (Botanisk Have)
  • cost: free
  • where? København K, Nørreport station will do 
  • when? 8.30am-4pm Mon-Sun  
Another beauty of the city: the botanical gardens. You can both visit the park surrounding the covered gardens, and the gardens itself. The inside will have all the tropical plants, which is my favourite part of any botanical gardens, simply because you can have a journey around the world at no cost. The outside area will probably be a lot more interesting in the summer! If you love botanical gardens that reflect the faune and flora from all over the world, do check the Jardin des Plantes in Paris.

Rosenbord Castle (Rosenborg Slot
  • cost: 105DKK for adults, 60DKK for students 
  • where? same district as the botanical gardens, København K 
  • when? time will vary depending on seasons but currently 10am-2pm Tue-Sun 
A must see, especially if you like museums and royal history. It was built in the 17th Century and represents the epitome of Danish royal family lifestyle. You'll also be able to see the jewellery of the royal family. As you go there, or as you come out, make sure you do so via the park that surrounds the castle. It beautiful and open to the public. 

  • cost: 100DKK to get in, plus 220DKK unlimited rides tickets 
  • where? København V
  • when? from Apr-Sep, 11am-11pm Sun-Thu, 11am-12am Fri-Sat 
If you're the type of person that like rides, finish off the day at Tivoli! You can go there to simply visit the gardens, in which case you'll only pay for the admission fee or you can also add up an unlimited rides tickets if you wish. Don't buy rides on a single ticket as you'll end up paying more- the multi ride ticket will be the best option if you plan to ride twice or more. 

  • from the airport: train is cheapest and fastest but there are other modes available, have a look here
  • getting around: most people cycle in Copenhagen, but I walked around the whole time! Perfect exercise. Be careful with the cyclists, though, they have the monopoly!
  • bakery for on-the-go breakfast: Lagkagehuset, my favourite 'chain' bakery I've seen everywhere in Copenhagen. Their pastries are priceless! 

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

açai bowl recipe

Hello everyone and all my apologies for not having been on this blog for ages! I did have a lot going on but I am finally back at it and hopefully you will still enjoy my posts. I do promise you all my post on my Scandinavian travels in September are on their way. Today, I'm sharing with you my very first homemade açai bowl. Whilst in Sydney, I was a huge fan of this and I could never get enough. However, they were a bit pricy and my eating habit has gone through hell ever since I got back to the UK. Not that I don't like British food but uhm... variety is not as great here where I am at the moment and the lifestyle is very different. I missed eating clean so much I thought I'll just make myself the stuff I would buy in Sydney. 

For one bowl:
- 1 cup of almond milk or coconut milk (unsweetened)
- 1 cup of frozen mixed berries (I like to combine raspberries & blueberries) 
- 1 frozen banana 
- 1 teaspoon of açai powder
- 1 teaspoon of honey to sweeten (optional)

- 1 fresh banana
- chia seeds 
- coconut chips 

Simply put the milk in the blender and add the frozen berries the açai powder and the honey. Blend everything until smooth. You don't want to have a liquid mixture so that is the reason why I freeze my fruits. Add toppings to your wishes and in quantities you like. Serve in a bowl and eat! Yum!