On Sober October

By the end of a week in Majorca I was day-drinking with abandon. Beer O’clock crept earlier and earlier. A Cruzcampo at 4pm. Then at 2.30pm. A cava or two with a tapas lunch. A cold beer in the pool under the midday sun.

It was lovely. I didn’t have a single hangover. It was the kind of low-level drinking, spread out over many hours, which did nothing more than leave me slightly zen. Continue reading

Advertisements

Checks Appeal: Autumn Trends

Sometimes I get a real hankering for an item of clothing ever so slightly before it hits peak trendiness. This is not because my true calling is to be a trend forecaster. This is because the pages of fashion magazines and the tiny squares on Instagram have somehow lodged themselves in my tiny, suggestible brain. Much like Andi in the Devil Wears Prada, I end up wearing a blue jumper without necessarily realising why I was drawn to the blue jumper in the first place.

And so it is that this year I’m craving checks. Checks, a belted coat (this is undoubtedly solely because of Megan Markle. The woman gives good coat) and some lace-up boots. When I say checks, I’m not talking the Prince of Wales check of last year. I’m talking dark greens, reds and navys. Look, it’s basically tartan but in the least kilt-y, most classy way possible.

Continue reading

Summer Dresses: The Best of the High Street

I never look, or feel, quite right in a dress. Some people (people who tend to have the lithe limbs of Gisele or who are French) can float about in them with nonchalance. I have to think carefully about cut, length and style before I even consider one. Even then, I feel like I’m dressing up in a costume. I’m a jeans girl. Dresses do not come naturally.

Sometimes, however, the occasion calls for it or it’s simply too hot to wear anything else. In theory, a dress should be the easiest thing in the world to chuck on and go. In reality, though, looking effortless takes a bit of effort. Or at least a bit of thought about what does and doesn’t suit you.

Continue reading

Off the Beaten Track in Paris: An Insider’s Guide to Seeing the Real City

[This article was first published four years ago in the now-defunct online lifestyle magazine Zarwil].

Anyone lucky enough to be preparing for a trip to the French capital will probably plan to tick off a few tourist boxes whilst they’re there.  Some monuments, like the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe, are classic tourist haunts.  If it’s your first time in Paris, by all means visit the must-see attractions. It’s difficult to have a bad time in the City of Light and Love.  If you have a bit more time, though, there are plenty of hidden gems and new places to discover.

Having lived in Paris for a year and exhausted all of the main tourist traps, I had the luxury of time to walk around, explore and stumble upon new areas of the city, which is in fact really made up of multiple small villages (‘Arrondissements’), each with a Continue reading

Paris and Venice This Autumn: What’s on, Where to Stay and How to Travel and Dine in Style

[This article was originally published in Zarwil Magazine (now defunct) in 2014. Although the specific exhibitions are no longer running,  other information remains relevant.]

It would seem that the UK has now been irrevocably plunged into instant autumn.  Whilst the change in season can be beautiful to behold, the period bridging the gap between now and the festive season often seems like one long, bleak three month slog stretching out before us, with the weather getting steadily colder and the days getting shorter.

It therefore goes without saying that autumn is the perfect time for a city break.  What better way to escape the daily grind than to get a bit of culture, see some beautiful architecture and eat (and drink) like a king. Here are a few suggestions for things to see and do in two European cities this autumn, handily collated for your reading pleasure. Continue reading

Dressing Up This Christmas: The Best Outfits on the High Street

Well, well, well. Here we are. December the first has been and gone and I popped an advent calendar chocolate for breakfast this morning. It’s well and truly Chriiiiistmaaaas.

This means that you’ve probably been invited to a Christmas party or twain. And that means you have a legitimate excuse to go shopping because you have absolutely nothing to wear and you hate all of your clothes. Woohoo!

Continue reading

The Revenant: A Film Review

This review comes late, but prompted by the fact that it’s the Oscars soon and I had a half-written piece lying dormant within my laptop, I felt compelled to finish it. Because I loved this film. A few minor gripes aside, it’s the best thing I’ve seen in a long time.

I was ready to hate it, I really was. Word of mouth reviews like ‘I couldn’t wait for it to be over’ and ‘the bear attack goes on for TWENTY MINUTES’ were a bit of a deterrent, but with a large plastic cup full of red wine in hand I readied myself for a gruelling two hours and thirty-six minutes. Continue reading