Monday 28 October 2013

Barcelona in association with Holiday Gems

I have had the pleasure of visiting Barcelona before, but never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I'd like the city that much. Or that I'd have a burning desire to return. I would head back with my favourite travel buddy (now my partner in crime!) as there were so many things we didn't get to see / do first time around. We would spend our 4 days and 3 nights as follows:

Day 1

Visit a playa. We only saw one at night so it'd be nice to see it in daylight, dip our toes in the water, and relax a little after travelling. Whilst in the area I'd definitely want to re-visit Barcelona's chocolate museum and sample some more of their deliciously thick hot chocolate:

We'd wander around a little - because that's when you find the best places - and maybe head back to the playa for the sunset. As it was a pretty amazing sunset:

When I'm travelling I always like to play it safe with food on the first night. We had amazing burgers at Pura Brasa so this would be my restaurant of choice:

Nearby there is an amazing fountain show at night which would be rude to miss:

Day 2

We would be up at the crack of dawn for our Gaudi day. We'd start by visiting the Sagrada Familia - before the queues get too long - and then afterwards head to Parc Guell. These were by far two of my favourite places and you cannot visit Barcelona and not see them

In the evening we would end up around the port which had the best paella and sangria we'd ever tasted. You paid a little more for food here, but it was worth every euro. A lovely atmosphere and attentive restaurant staff who always made sure your wine glass was never empty:

Day 3

Como Caixa is Barcelona's gem. Entry was really cheap and you could go in and out as many times as you pleased. It was a lot quieter than the main tourist attractions so it was a breath of fresh air. 

This time round I'd love to try a special dining experience at one of Barcelona's top restaurants - this one has some amazing reviews - and go in search of some sugary goodness. Like Escriba to see their amazing cake art, Papabubble for extraordinary candy, or bubo for dessert one day.

Day 4

For the final day I wouldn't want to do anything too strenuous before the flight home. I would visit St Josep la boqueria market for lunch - fabulous hot food plus cups of fruits for only a euro - and to pick up last minute souvenirs:

And a wander around Las Ramblas of course.

So there you have it. How I'd spend my time in Barcelona and why I'd love to go back. If you'd like to read up on any of my past Barcelona posts, or get some Barcelona travel inspiration, you can find them here:  1  /  2  /  3  /  4  /  5  /  6

This post forms my entry for a Holiday Gems competition [competition now closed] where one lucky blogger will win a trip to Barcelona


Thursday 17 October 2013

River Island sale now on!

The River Island sale started today and once again, I have failed to add any colour to my - very monochrome - wardrobe:

French print sweatshirt - £17 - anything with French on it and I'm SOLD
Lace maxi dress - £20 - toughen up with a leather jacket and biker boots
Mesh ballerina top - £10 - pair with a skater skirt for a ballerina / ladylike glam inspired look

Embellished cream top - £12 - perfect for those with magpie tendencies
Houndstooth belted skirt - £10 - this screams autumn / winter
Textured sweatshirt - £12 - will look amazing with statement jewellery layered on top

It's official. I need to go to some form of black & white clothing rehab.

Wednesday 2 October 2013

London Fashion Weekend

The other weekend Alison and I headed to London Fashion Weekend. Everywhere you turned you saw fashionistas in towering heels, people eyeing up other people's outfits, and people posing for street style photos. I won't lie, I experienced wardrobe envy numerous times. To start, we wandered around Somerset House where you could shop the designer collections for discounted prices, and buy various other products like cosmetics and hair and beauty treatments. Shoes & Bags was my own personal mecca. I still to this day need the suede tan ankle boots in my life.

and also these white cut out ankle boots....

Check out these head turning brogues....

We had a little bit of a gap before our catwalk session so made use of Canon's 360 degree studio. The queue was long but it was worth it! When it was your turn, you had to create a dynamic pose - like jumping in the air, a spin, or hair swish - so that it was caught in 360 degree photographic wonderfulness. Being in a short pleated skirt, I decided against spinning so we went for the default that lots of people decided to do.... pretend to be in some sort of action movie and look like you're sending someone flying! Afterwards they took your details and emailed you the 360 degree "video" plus all individual frames. All this for free! Here's a taste of one of our frames:

We went to the last catwalk show of the day - and season. What's nice about London Fashion Weekend is that compared to LFW there's no seats allocated for the catwalk. So we very luckily were able to get seats in the second row. There were two shows to choose from - "designer" or "trend" - but I'd really recommend "trend" over "designer". With "designer", you are seeing one designer - and you have no idea who - within the space of 15-20 minutes. For "trend", it's a 40 minute showcase of various new season trends.

Our trends were "Pretty In Pink" "Back To Nature", "Shape Up" and "Victoriana". All the models walked quite quickly and it was extremely bright in there - wish I'd brought my lens hood - so unfortunately none of my photos came out very well......

My favourite collections were Back To Nature and Victoriana. I loved the neutral shades, fur trim, lace detailing and monochrome pieces the most. After an amazing show we left laden with all our London Fashion Weekend freebies - two bags worth! In one bag we received a free make-up set from Maybelline:

In the main goodie bag itself we had tea, collagen boosting sweets, coffee, Maybelline lipstick, Maybelline nail polish, Maybelline mascara, and dry shampoo. And with Elle being one of the main sponsors, I picked up the latest edition for a mere £1. Bargain.

Have you ever been to London Fashion Weekend?