Tag Archive | places

La Maschera di Venezia

In your life you should be at least once in London, once à Paris, once in New York, once in Los Angeles and once in Venice, I think. I’m still fairly young, but already have been to 3 of these 5 great cities. Why Venice?, you ask. Isn’t it dirty? Doesn’t it smell weird there? I don’t like prejudices, because most of the time they prove to be completely wrong. I don’t know if all of Venice is as lovely as the part I’ve seen (and I’m quite sure it’s not), but don’t only list the negative things, think of the positive things first. First of all, yes, Venice IS expensive; 5 pounds for a simple coffee. BUT (and there will be a lot of “but’s” in this blog post) you don’t have to sit in a café in the most touristy and crowded places in Venice. There are some wonderful cute little restaurants and cafés in some of the side ‘streets’ (canals or ‘calle’ actually) where you pay a normal price for a normal coffee. Don’t always expect them to talk English to you though. As for the gondola riding, you can’t expect that to be cheap with thousands of tourists every day, but don’t be a cheapskate. You’re there only once maybe, so enjoy it! It’s most romantic in the evening at sunset by the way. And hope for a gondelier who can sing..!

Venice is full of tourists, but somehow, and I don’t know how they do it, it’s neither dirty nor does it smell bad. At least it didn’t when I was there. Venice is charming. That describes it best in my opinion. Think canals, gondolas, the pali that look like candy, designer stores, little vintage shops, amazing old buildings, churches and add some of the weirdest shops you’ll ever see in your life, and you get…Venice! A town which is one of a kind. But please don’t go there expecting it to be heaven on earth, because there are downsides. Lots of tourists as well as pigeons and pickpockets and foreign men trying to sell you replica designer handbags; narrow little streets which are hell for every claustrophobic; and if you plan to walk through one of those passageways in the evening in spite of the dubious people sitting there, because it seems to be the only way to get to the place you want to, don’t let the fact that you have to climb over the dinner of said people put you off. All in all, I loved my stay there and would love to revisit one day.

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My favourite places in London

1. Hampstead Heath and Primrose Hill: They’re not very far apart and both give you a panorama of London which you’ll never forget. The Heath will always be my favourite park though, with its ponds (the Viaduct pond is très belle), Kenwood House and the Pergola. It’s perfect for picnics, long strolls alone or a walk with the dog (lots of dachshunds there!). I’d say Primrose Hill is perfect on New Year’s Eve and Bonfire night, but it’s mayhem up there. So many people, it’s crazy. However, if you’re looking for somewhere to go sledding with your children in winter, Primrose Hill is the place.

2. My friends flat in Belsize Park: It holds so many lovely memories for me, like sleeping on an air mattress under a table (don’t ask), eating a lot of cupcakes for breakfast and Tesco sushi for dinner, laughing with my friend about the weirdest jokes, watching TV or playing Wii with her, stealing her laptop for hours and the amazing view of Belsize Park I had every morning when I looked out of the bedroom or kitchen window (it’s funny to watch the people outside).

3. Camden Market: Shopping…need I say more? Camden is my shopping heaven on earth where I will always find something to buy, no matter if I need it or not. Vintage fashion is something I love and Camden basically is nothing but vintage fashion. Every time I’m there, I find about 20 new dresses I’d immediately buy if my wardrobe space allowed it. I always joke with my friend that if you live anywhere near the market, you don’t need to leave Camden your whole life, because you can get almost everything there. The food there also is great and very unusual – have you ever tried liquid nitrogen ice cream (at Chin Chin Laboratorists) for example? I spent most of last summer sitting in the grass next to the canal, eating cupcakes and ice cream.

4. Harrods: I know a lot of people who say they prefer Selfridges to Harrods – and I don’t get it. If I could choose where I’d rather go shopping, which I can, I’d definitely choose Harrods. I’ve always loved it, since the very first time I set foot in it (not that long ago, actually). The intèrieur is fantastic. Every single corner gives you that feeling of luxury. I could spend days in there; no wonder if you consider that it has over a million square feet of selling space (thank you, wikipedia). My favourite department is the Food Hall, especially the Lola’s Cupcakes counter!

5. Burlington Arcade: I can’t help it but think ‘Diagon Alley’ whenever I’m there. The Guardian described it as the posh people’s equivalent of Diagon Alley from Harry Potter’ and if you ask me, this is exactly what it is: a real life Diagon Alley. Except, of course, that you can’t purchase owls, wands or potions there, but accessories, jewellery, fashion and a lot of other things. I will always get that ‘magical’ feeling though, and who knows, maybe one day I’ll find a wand in one of the Lulu Guinness handbags there…

6. Lulu Guinness Ellis Street store: I simply love the Lulu Guinness store on Ellis Street! It’s eye candy through and through. When I want to buy a Lulu Guinness bag, I always go there, because it was the store where I bought my first Lulu G. bag. I want to stare at the lips clutches and collectables for hours. The lovely Lulu team is always nice and helpful. They know exactly which bag suits me best. I’ve been to the Burlington Arcade store only once, but maybe  from what I’ve seen it has a good chance to become my new favourite Lulu store.

7. Bubbleology, Soho: I’ve tried my first Bubble Tea on a trip to Berlin last year and was delighted when I found out that there’s a Bubble Tea store in Soho. Bubble Tea became my new Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino – something I drink almost every day. The fruit juice bubbles and jelly are just so delicious with the (Caramel, Coconut, Cocoa, Apple, Strawberry etc. flavoured) tea. The store is cosy and almost always full of people.

8. Richmond: It’s not exactly in London, but still part of it – and a very beautiful one. It’s well endowed with a lot of parks, lovely houses and green spaces, located by the Thames where you can find lots of houseboats. The view from Richmond Hill is breathtaking, especially in spring and summer. It’s a really picturesque little town and even Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt seem to love Richmond.

9. Hamleys: Yes, I mean the toy shop on Regent Street. I’m a big child and it’s still a magical place for me. I know Hamleys must feel and look like wonderland to children. You can try out so many things there! My favourite part of the store is the ‘Harry Potter corner’. It looks a teeny bit like Ollivanders Wand Shop. They even sell writing quills (so cool!) and the Marauder’s Map. I’m sure the people working there absolutely love their jobs. I’d love to work there!

10. My Old Dutch Pancake House: Pancakes, pancakes, pancakes! Delicious, warm pancakes with maple syrup & butter, berries, nutella or mozzarella, italian herbs, halloumi and olives! The prices are reasonable and the pancakes are the best I’ve ever tasted. Have a look at the menu and tell me it doesn’t sound delicious. One of my favourite restaurants to eat. You have to try the Italian pancake!

Memories of 2011

2011 has been an utterly fantastic year for me. I’ve travelled all over Europe to amazing places and countries like France and Italy, and my little inner Shopaholic definitely got her money’s worth as shopping as something I did every single month of the year. I can look back at an absolutely wonderful and successful 2011 and look forward to a 2012 full of adventures.

January:

I started the year, celebrating on New Year’s Eve with my family in Germany, which means I basically started the year eating. I started writing this blog in January and want to thank you for the 1,610 views it has so far. I also went shopping in Dresden in January. Otherwise it was a bit unspectacular and quiet in Jan.

February:

A friend of me came to London and I went on a sightseeing tour with her, showing her the best places in London for shopping, relaxing etc. We ate sushi on the stairs in Trafalgar Square. I went shopping with a friend, a friend of said friend and the cute son of said friend’s friend. Frozen yogurt. Hampstead Heath. Shopping for a new purse at Lulu Guinness. Camden. Fantastic Victorian history photoshoot near Harrods, with champagne. Meeting Prince Harry. Going to Hamley’s with my friend (she wanted to move there). Primrose Hill walk.

March:

Sitting at the lake near my parents house in Germany and watching frogs. First try to bake cupcakes. Cuddling with my bunny. Drawing. Beautiful sunset in Dresden. Drinking tea at Steigenberger Hotel de Saxe. ..And shopping.

April:

Watching the Royal Wedding on the big screen and crying. Getting a Crystal Heart from Swarovski. Walking in the park. Eating dinner at a sea themed restaurant. And, of course, shopping!

May:

Paris. Marvelling at the art in Montmartre. Having a fantastic view over Paris on top of the Eiffel Tower. Versailles. Walking through the garden of Versailles. Shopping at Louis Vuitton. Buying Karl Lagerfeld coke and seeing a huge replica of my little bottle in the Coca Cola museum. Seeing a wedding in front of the Eiffel Tower. Buying Minnie Mouse ears at the Disney store. Attending the opening of the Abercrombie & Fitch store on the Champs-Élysées (naked guys, yum). Bateaux mouches on the Seine. The Louvre. Eating cake in a tiny little café in a backstreet.

June:

Visiting a friend in Berlin. Hotel Adlon. Bubble Tea in Berlin. Shopping in Dresden. Travelling to Prague. Seeing the Czech ambassador.

July:

Seeing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 in the cinema in London in 3D at 3am after coming back from Germany. Walking through London at 5am. Shopping in Camden and in Harrods. Lola’s cupcakes. In Richmond with the boss. Bubble Tea at Bubbleology in Soho. Lulu Guinness. Berlin Fashion Week. Shopping for hats in Berlin. Walking through the rain. Enjoying the sun in Camden. Gossiping with the boss. Buying my Chanel 2.55 bag.


August:

Travelling with the car through Germany, Austria, Italy and Slovenia to Croatia (over 7 hours!). The mountains in Austria. Small streets in Italy. Sunset in Croatia. The yacht harbour. Eating ice cream every day. Staying at a great villa. Eating weird fish in restaurants. Seeing Jon Bon Jovi on his private yacht. Travelling with the yacht to Venice. Shopping at a shop which sold vintage Chanel in Venice. Pigeons on Piazza san Marco. Drinking a cappuccino in Café Florian on Piazza san Marco and paying 6€ for it. Diving in the sea. Sitting on the beach, enjoying every single minute.

September:

Going to Prague again for research for my book. Drawing fashion sketches. Being at home in my bed.

October:

Picking up cupcakes in West Hampstead, made by Karine of Ohlala Bakery. Shopping in Camden. Legally Blonde, the Musical at the Savoy Theatre. The Luxury Wedding Show at the Saatchi Gallery near Sloane Square. Catwalk. Vivienne Westwood. David Fielden. Candy Anthony. Amazing wedding dresses and cakes. Champagne. New Lulu Guinness bag.

November:

Staying at a hotel in Germany for the weekend. Berlin. Spending a day in Tropical Islands near Berlin. Swimming in the ‘sea’ and the lagoon. Amazing flowers and animals. …And (what else) shopping.

December:

A new nail colour every day. Spending Christmas with my family in Germany. Fireworks. Celebrating the new year with friends. Being overdressed at the New Year’s party. And…SHOPPING!

I wish everyone a Happy New Year 2012!