Travel Inspiration – Paris


Paris is one of those cities everyone knows and loves, full of iconic places, immense history and a huge landmark of all things lifestyle from fashion to art to design and music. It is of course a city full of charm that I deeply love and am always happy to visit time and time again, making new discoveries, enjoying the diverse exhibitions and of course making a bit of stylish shopping. Below a list of my favorite places, and places I heard of and still want to try.

FOOD & DRINKS

Season Paris  – Lunch, coffee

Season is a lovely restaurant situated in the Marais. Atmosphere is relaxed, interior is spare, yet very stylish with rough walls and a minimal circular neon lighting. Highlight is the nutritious menu of healthy bowls full of veggie, quinoa, avocado, but also more varied dishes such as burritos and shakshuka.

1 Rue Charles-François Dupuis 

Très Particulier – drinks

This is one of my favorite spots in Paris, and a very Parisian one at that. Located in the Montmartre area, this bar is in a sort of hidden, beautiful street. The bar is part of the Hotel Très Particulier, a building once owned by the Hermès family. The entire place is somehow reserved and discrete, and it’s a favorite of movie stars such as as Tom Hanks and Scarlett Johansson. The interior is a wonder: black and white chequered floor, red velvet armchairs and touches of green giving it the greenhouse feeling. The indoor bathroom is a place interiorista can crush on, as stylish as any bathroom may be. Cocktails and baristas are on fleek.

23, avenue Junot, Pavillon D

Marcel – dinner

Marcel is another one of my Parisian favorites. There are a few locations in town, all of them with Marcel’s signature interior: grey walls, light bulbs illumination. Minimal, industrial and cool. Menu is varied and the atmosphere relaxed.

15 Rue de Babylone or 1 Villa Léandre

Monsier Bleu lunch, dinner 

I was lucky to visit this beautiful restaurant for work, shooting its interior. I cannot recommend the food, as I have not tried it, but the interior design is a wonder! Located at the Palais The Tokyo, it is the art deco inspired work of one of my favorite architects, Joseph Dirand. It has enormous ceilings, black marble walls and green velvet seats. So fancy and luxurious, yet somehow also very discreet and not ostentatious. Oh, and not to be forgotten. It has THE view of the Tour Eiffell from is terrace. 

20 Avenue de New York

Café de Flore – breakfast, coffee

“Le Flore” is a Parisian must, as over-priced as it unfortunately is, one cannot miss a copy of Le Monde, a croissant and café in this landmark Parisian spot.

172 Boulevard Saint-Germain

Water Bar – Colette lunch, coffee

Colette being one of the best concept stores out there, I really enjoy their Water Bar downstairs. This café/restaurant is, as the name says, famous for its insane selection of water types and brands. Though a bit on the expensive side, I really enjoyed their Croque Madame with elegantly styled salad, as well as the quirky wall art and set-up of of the place.

213 Rue Saint-Honoré

Le Night Flight  – drinks

This is the bar of Hotel Le Bachaumont, located in the super nice area of Montorgueil. It serves delicious cocktails, most famous one being the one bearing the bar’s name, Night Flight. The interior is as cool as the adjacent restaurant and hotel. The crowd is young and lively.

18 Rue Bachaumont

Other: Très Honoré, Chez Chartier, LaduréeL’As du Fallafel, Le Loir dans la TheièrePNY Marais.

Want to try: Holybelly, Paper Boy, AngelinaRestaurant Le Bachaumont, Ob-La-Di, Hemingway Bar, Kong, Hotel Amour, Loulou.

HOTELS

Hotel Eugène en Ville

Though the interior style is not my favorite, this hotel deserves to be mentioned for the special design and comfortable experience. The interior is intensely dark, most walls of the purest black, and subtly ornamented around the character of “Eugène”, while maintaining very elegant standards. The French breakfast is delicious, the linens soft and the reception kind and helpful. While quite expensive, it is very easy to find good offers, which makes it an affordable option for most.

6 Rue Buffault

Hotel Providence 

This is definitely one of the most stylish hotels in Paris, from a design point of view especially. It is a favorite of Garance Doré, and very rightly so. The lobby and restaurant is characterized by a very traditional and somehow old atmosphere, countered and accentuated by rock music and a youthful team of waiters and hotel concierge. The rooms are each decorated in a different style, and the true highlight here is the Suite. Here, the entire walls are decorated in a palm-tree-motif House of Hackney wallpaper, which makes one feel in a secluded jungle. The suite has a wonderful bar corner, with all the shiny tools to make oneself a delicious cocktail, as well as a vinyl player that continues the motif of  The ensuite bathroom is entirely tiled in light marble, has a beautiful standalone bathtub and breathtaking rooftops view, showing Montmartre in the background.

90 Rue René Boulange

Hotel Le Bachaumont 

This hotel is probably one of my favorite spots in terms of interior design. The style is hard to describe in a few words, but it boils down to elegant, chic, modern, without being overly affected. Located in a quite and secluded Montorgueil street, the hotel also has a bar (Le Night Flight) and a restaurant frequented by outside crowds. The restaurant is decorated with a wide selection of Gubi chairs, as are the rooms and the rest of the hotel. A true interior crush.

18 Rue Bachaumont

Other: Hotel Henriette.

Want to try: Le Roch, Hotel Jules et Jim, Hotel PariculierHotel Amour.

SHOPPING & CO

Colette concept store

Colette is THE concept store. Beautiful fashion, colourful objects, books books books, exclusive beauty brands, jewellery and an amazing Water Bar downstairs. It’s the best of everything cool, chic and edgy.

213 Rue Saint Honoré

Le Bon Marché – department store

One could say the world is now full of department stores collecting luxury brands and all sorts of shopping category. Still, Le Bon Marché is high on the list of personal favorites (together with Liberty in London), because of its beautiful interior & architecture, and the curation of spaces which makes the whole place look less massive and more of a collection of small beautiful retail corners. I was particularly stricken by The Library, which collects beautiful books, as well as their whole Home category. This was the first ever modern department store, existing since 1838! 

24 Rue de Sèvres

Merci – interior store

Merci is primarily an interior store, and so cool at that! The whole space has a cool vibe to it, you would likely find nice tunes playing from their collection of Marshall speakers (on sale, of course), and some small installations here and there. One can find all the possible decoration items, and the style tends to be more alternative and laid back than glamorous. The entrance has a famous red 500 car welcoming the guests, and next to it one can also find an artsy café designed as a library serving fresh meals and refreshing drinks.

111 Boulevard Beaumarchais

The Conran Shop – interior store

The Conran Shop is an interior store focused on well-known interior design pieces and brands. On top of its own By Conran collection, one can find beautiful designs by brands such as Gubi, Eames etc.

117 Rue du Bac

Shakespeare & Co – bookstore

Hardly a better place to be, Shakespeare & Co has got to be the most beautiful library (at least for Fiction & Non-Fiction) in the world. Situated on the shore of the Seine, just in front of Notre-Dame, this little old English bookstore is a paradise for bookworms, full of history and charm. The original store, was in fact a gathering place for the great expat writers such as Joyce, Hemingway, and Fitzgerald. Writers, artists, and intellectuals were invited to sleep among the shop’s shelves and piles of books.

37 rue de la Bûcherie

Les Mariages Frères – tea

Existing since 1854, these teas are unbelievably fancy and delicious, their stores even more so. My personal favorite is called Marco Polo, but one can find so many exotic and non- blends collected in beautiful jars and boxes.

Various locations in Paris 

Want to try: Sézane, Buly

SEE & DO

Grand Palais

Le Grand Palais is not only a beautiful, majestic building, a palace indeed, but also displays some of the most extensive, beautiful and complete exhibitions in the city. Ever got the feeling of going to see an exhibition of an important artist only to be presented 2-3 major artworks and then a ****load of sketches and memorabilia? This won’t happen at the Grand Palais, the gigantic exhibition space and the high quality curatorial team make space for the most fantastic exhibitions.

3 Avenue du Général Eisenhower

Musée d’Orsay

The Musée d’Orsay is set in an old train station, which adds to the charm of the space. It normally features big and high quality exhibitions as the Grand Palais does, but on top of this has a great permanent collection of beloved Impressionist artworks. A must see!

1 Rue de la Légion d’Honneur

Montmartre & Le Sacre Coeur

Montmartre & Le Sacre Coeur are in my opinion a symbol of Paris much more than the Tour Eiffel. The “butte” (hill) of Montmartre has traditionally been a place for artists, painters, creatives. The little streets are lined with small cafes, boutique and all sorts of artsy corner, while the Sacre Coeur Cathedral is a white architectural dream. Climbing up to it while offer beautiful views over Paris.

35 Rue du Chevalier de la Barre

Le Marais

Le Marais is a neighbourhood full of little streets, shops, cafes, restaurants. It’s the trendiest area of Paris, and it’s so much more cozy and comfortable to navigate than bigger commercial areas such as the Champs Elysées or the Opéra area.

Other: L’Orangerie, Montorgeuil.

Want to try: Centre Pompidou, Palais de TokyoGloss’Up, Opéra Garnier.

Photos:
My iPhone 6S shots

Travel Inspiration – Milan

Milan is a big-grey-business-city meets sunny-sidestreets full of elegant people, cafes and restaurants, colourful shops and lots of life. Here a small selection of my local favourites. For convenient address retrieval, pictures and reviews, you can check out my Milan Foursquare list.

FOOD & DRINKS

Temakinho

Japanese-Brazilian fusion. Sushi meets exotic flavors and oh so fresh Caipirinhas. Main locations in Milan are Brera (featuring the great tropical wallpaper that was all the rage the past months) and the smaller but charming spot in Navigli. Love Salmao Gostoso, Mango Caipirinha and the Maracuja cheesecake. Currently available in Milan, Rome and Ibiza. Waiting for it to open somplace else!

Fonderie Milanesi

A touch of countryside in the middle of the city. Perfect for wine and aperitivo, a relaxed and alternative break spot.

Dry 

A cool spot for drinks, but also very good pizza!

Carlo e Camilla in Segheria

Such an amazing spot, full of charm and coolness. The cuisine is very special and refined, the cocktails on point, the interior and atmosphere is a design masterpiece.

Officina12

I love the big city vibe of this restaurant, its American Bar, its Navigli location and their Pizza Albachiara is my favourite.

Biancolatte

Country, shabby-chic, white interiors that just call for a picture and a lunch, breakfast, snack menu so inviting! Can only imagine spending here hours and hours chatting with friends or indulging in pure Italian pleasures.

Princi

THE Milan bakery. The best focaccias, and all things bread and pastry. Now also available abroad, really enjoyed the spot in London.

T.O.M.

Cool industrial interior vibes, healthy food options and a tasty and convenient lunch menus. Absolutely love their branding, and their visit card is a must-have!

Damm’atrà

For those who want to try Milanese cuisine in a very traditional yet stylish setting. In the Tortona area.

Terrazza Aperol

One of the best views of the Duomo cathedral and square, sipping the iconic orange drink lying in an Acapulco chair in the sunrays. Priceless.

Marchesi

Iconic “pasticceria”, all in Prada green. It’s the Ladurée of Milan, situated in Via Montenapoleone and buzzing with the cool and fancy Milan crowd. The second location is in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele and is indeed part of the Prada store, with a beautiful view over the Galleria.

Other: Cioccolatitaliani, California Bakery, Otto, L’Ov.

Want To Try: Pavè, Café Radetzky, Di Viole Di Liquirizia, Pandenus, Fancytoast, The Botanical Club, Soul Green, Ravioleria Sarpi.

SHOPPING

10 Corso Como

One of the most wonderful shopping spaces in Milan. It combines an urban jungle outside area, café, an art gallery featuring beautiful exhibitions, a bookstore, and a fashion and design space characterised by a unique style and set-up.

Via Montenapoleone & Via della Spiga

The luxury streets of Milan. Seems kind of obvious and uninteresting, but these streets are just so charming with the glossy windows of the high end shops. Worthy also for a stop at the historical Pasticceria Cova, their windows alone are so inviting! They also have the best Panettone (traditional Christmas cake).

La Rinascente

Great collection of all sorts of designers. Grab a coffee or aperitivo on the 5th floor of La Rinascente, for a premium view of the Duomo spires. The Obika restaurant is a good choice for a meal, but the open air cafe, even better on sunny days.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele
Love walking around here. The floors, the shop windows of iconic brands such as Prada, Gucci, Borsalino. The beautiful light reflecting all over.

SEE & DO

Duomo Rooftop
Duomo is an attraction in and of itself, but the best part of the cathedral is its top! You can get lost through the spires, discover amazing corners, angles, architectural details and take stunning pictures of the city, the neighbourhood and why not, strike a pose for some enviable pictures of you and your friends. Priceless. Get inspired by the amazing pictures of Chiara Ferragni and other bloggers who have crossed that path before.

Brera

Brera is the most authentic and historical Milan neighbourhood. The little street host the Design District during Salone del Mobile, lovely cafes, artisanal shops, and just the real Milan elegant-yet-cool vibe.

Ticinese & Colonne di San Lorenzo

This area is hip and cool, with lots of bars, aperitivo choices and interesting clothes shops. Take a break at the Colonne, meaning, literally stop at the columns in front of the San Lorenzo church and enjoy the ‘hood.

Teatro La Scala

Worth it if you make it inside for a show. Stunning theatre, with so much glorious history.

Navigli

Navigli are Milan’s charming canals, full of bars and restaurants, full of local charm and nightlife.

Parco Sempione & Castello Sforzesco

Very nice to walk around the castle and there are nice bars and restaurants around “Arco della Pace” behind the castle.

Pinacoteca di Brera

Pinacoteca di Brera hosts Leonardo da Vinci’s “Ultima Cena”, but more importantly, it features a beautiful courtyard that lets you feel truly immersed in art and history.

Museo del Novecento

This new museums in Piazza del Duomo is just beautiful. Admire it from outside or venture in its futuristic interiors.

Palazzo Reale

Also in Piazza del Duomo, features great temporary exhibitions, check the current one at the time of your visit!

La Triennale 

Design and big name exhibitions.

Other: Cimitero Monumentale.

Want To Try: MUDEC, Fondazione Prada. 

Getaway: Lago di Como 

Approximately 1 hour, super cheap train ride from Cadorna, you can get to escape to one of the most elegant and charming Lake areas in Italy. Lago di Como has attracted various celebrities such as George Clooney, and the area does not lack wonderful villas to admire from the shore, like Villa del Balbianello, or during a ride across the lake. A boat tour is the perfect way to enjoy the view on a sunny day.

Photos:

My iPhone 6S shots

Snapchat Communication

Tory Burch on Snapchat
Tory Burch on Snapchat

Snapchat is all about instant communication – with friends and contacts, and as bits that get published to one’s Story. Communication goes fast. Whether a video, a picture or a selfie, these are only shown to your contacts for a few seconds and then they are gone forever (unless you pay for the premium service that lets you save snaps). Exceptions are the snaps uploaded to the Story feed (yours or of the accounts you follow). These are shown for a longer amount of time, which is likely never longer than a day

Either way, snaps are the missing link between all the other communication forms available and one of the reasons to love Snapchat. Instead of posting videos to one’s Facebook feed or sending over privately on WhatsApp or Messenger, Snapchat lets you quickly craft and edit a small, likely irrelevant piece of content by taking a quick video or pic, adding filters and emojis to it and sending over to your friends or publish it on your Story. You are watching Dirty Dancing? Quickly film the watermelon line part, and send over to your friends/your Story with watermelon emojis to share your favourite part of the film. Likely not something you would share anywhere else, or that you can edit so well and fast by combining text, images, videos etc. One can communicate directly with close friends or add contacts such as celebrities and brands to follow their snaps on the Story feed.

Who to follow to get the hang of it and understand the special communication of Snapchat? To begin with, I recommend the following accounts, one creative individual and one brand (will add more as I discover new great ones):

  • AnnStreetStudio – If there is such a thing as Snapchat communication etiquette, Jamie Beck has plenty of it. You can really watch and learn how she experiments with emojis, videos, and little Snapchat tricks.
  • modaoperandi – Great if you are into Fashion Week catwalk shows. Best live feed I have seen so far.
  • The White House– This channel is also great, if you are the House of Cards person, real life White House life will blow your mind.

King of Snapchat is then of course DJ Kahled, not my style but undisputed success. In the end following any of one’s favourite celebrities and brands gets you hooked and craving more and more snaps (Miranda Kerr and Glossier totally work for me).

Photo:
© Tory Burch

Brand Love – 7 Reasons to Love Glossier

Oh, so you thought this year was all about Rose Quartz (and Serenity, the Pantone Colours of 2016), right? Wrong. It’s all about #GlossierPink.

Glossier, is the coolest beauty brand around, founded by Emily Weiss of Into The Gloss. The product line is just blooming and very limited (so want to try the Milky Jelly Cleanser and their Balm Dotcom exclusively available on Net-A-Porter). They don’t ship to Europe currently, but are working to go International.

The brand is so there and ready though, here some reasons to love this brand:

#1 Their Instagram

It’s all about Glossier Pink, and the inspiration behind the brand, its aesthetics, its creative values. It’s 90s bubblegum, meet Spring pastels, meet baby pink, meet your dreamiest girly inspiration. Like this.

#2 Their Hashtag Strategy

Into The Gloss and Glossier really get right hashtags as a way to brand and categorize content. Check out their #GetReadyWithMe (#GRWM) video series with the morning and beauty routines of the ITG gang and their #ITGTopShelfie series, where Instagram users can share a pick of their beauty cabinet and get featured, as well as more in-depth articles on Into The Gloss about the routines of inspiring, stylish women. They get community right and really understand what their beauty passionate users are looking for and crave to see. And also how to communicate and engage with them, get them into the brand.

#3 Their Packaging

Their branding is highlighted on their packaging. Cute boxes with the dreamiest font. The nice G logo (hey, I love Gs!). The plastic make-up bag that will become a trend product in itself. See here.

#4 Their Videos

Their videos and tutorials are just great. Quirky, real, insightful. They really make you want to try the products, and be the cool chick that wears them. Watch for yourself here.

#5 Their Brand Collaborations 

Branding, branding, branding. This nail polish style has become all the rage, fitting the colour and aesthetics of Glossier and is a a great example of a successful and high quality brand collaboration. They just get it right!

#6 Their Website

Oh, and also their website and visual identity. They have cute emojis and symbols accompanying the user experience, activating as mouse-over effect etc, like the smiley/shaking hand combo.

#7 Their Team

Glossier and Into The Gloss have a great team of interesting and stylish women, and they bring them to the forefront, weaving their personality into the brand. Their profiles always appear on articles, and they get special features such as the #GRWM Category and other videos. This is a great way to speak to a certain type of woman, by presenting the women who live the brand and embody it personally.

Links:
Glossier Website
Instagram
Into The Gloss

Photos:
Glossier Website, Blog & Instagram

Brand Love – Mansur Gavriel on Instagram

The Mansur Gavriel Instagram account is pure perfection. It’s a piece of art, collecting perfectly composed colour schemes, a retro feel touch, high quality photo shoots with models that perfectly represent the brand. A touch of red nail polish. Peep toe shoes. Pink, salmon, orange backgrounds. Still nature in both faded and juicy shades, ranging from fruits and flowers to green leaves staged against neutral backgrounds. Perfectly styled handbags and shoes, eye catchers, like art gallery pieces.

The Instagram account is the perfect wordless expression of the brand’s aesthetic. It speaks clearly about the quality of the craftsmanship and the visual values that tie it all together with a perfect knot. All shots are arranged in harmonic yet never boring order, that perfectly fall together. One look only, and one knows it’s an account to follow and never leave. Check it out here.

Links:
Mansur Gavriel Website
BoF – “How Mansur Gavriel Created the first Post-Recession It Bag”

Photos:
© Mansur Gavriel Instagram

Travel Inspiration – Rome

The Italian capital has nothing but endless, historical, artistic, culinary charm to offer. It embodies THE quintessential Italian lifestyle, and with so many iconic sights, it certainly doesn’t run short of sweet spots to visit, relax, load up on delicious food and enjoy la Dolce Vita. Below, higlights and personal favorites, as well as places I still would like to try.

FOOD & DRINKS 

colosseum_rome_giginspiration
View from the terrace of The First Art Luxury Hotel

Bar del Ficoaperitivo, dinner

A very nice place for the Italian tradition of aperitivo, where one can have a glass of wine or a drink of choice and stuff themselves with a mountain of food. Bar del Fico is in the beautiful area of Piazza Navona, has a cozy and stylish interior and a very nice food selection, also recommended for a dinner.

Piazza del Fico, 26/28

Il Margutta – coffee, brunch

Just behind Piazza del Popolo, Via Margutta is a quaint little street full of those little heartbreaking sights: colourful buildings, flowers, bikes. Il Margutta is an artsy cafe, where on a Sunday one can enjoy a delicious Vegan brunch for a fixed price, accompanied by live piano  music. Such a delight!

Via Margutta, 118

Ginger – breakfast, lunch, coffee

For those who cannot live without their Açaì bowl, Ginger is the right place. The elegant white interiors are marked by little corners loaded up with fruits and veggies, signalling the healthy and sustainable style of the place. The restaurant is situated in one of Rome’s best little streets, Via Borgognona, and it is extremely popular. Expect a big crowd.

Via Borgognona, 43-46

Angelina – lunch, coffee, aperitivo

Angelina is a cafe and restaurant situated a few meters from the Fontana di Trevi. Interiors are soft, relaxed and cozy, and it’s the perfect place to enjoy an aperitivo, a coffee, or the break of your choice.

Via Poli, 27

Emma – dinner

The best pizza in Rome. Period. Thin and (high quality) oily, try the pizza SuperBio which as the name says it’s all done with organic ingredients and is some sort of “elevated” Pizza Margherita, with mozzarella di bufala. Must-try starters of choice are Supplí al telefono, which are wonderful fry dough pieces filled with rice, mozzarella and tomatoes.  Finally, opt for the Scomposta di cannolo siciliano for dessert.  You will not be sorry!

Via del Monte della Farina, 28

Club Derrière  – drinks

This secret not-so-secret bar just behind the Osteria delle Coppelle is a secluded, dark, little bar full of charm and serving fancy delicious cocktails in a relaxed and an ever so intellectual speakeasy atmosphere. Cocktail of choice: English Pie Highlight: bathroom hidden behind what seems like a serious sturdy library, just shove and slide the library to access it.

Vicolo delle Coppelle, 59 (Centro Storico)

The First Art Luxury Hotel – drinks

This 5-star Boutique Hotel located just behind Piazza del Popolo has one of Rome’s best terraces. A beautiful view of the city from the top, with a stunning shot of San Pietro makes one truly feel in the elegant heart of Rome. Perfect for aperitivo, drinks come with delicious snacks and canapés.

Via del Vantaggio, 14 

Want to try: Temakinho Rome, Mani in Pasta. 

SPOTS & SIGHTS

trevi_fountain_rome_giginspiration
The Trevi Fountain

La Fontana di Trevi

Oh, the world, the great European capitals especially, is pretty much full of fountains, isn’t it? What is special about a fountain that can make it so famous? Well, I sometimes I have asked myself this when visiting Rome, and yet as soon as the little streets start leading in a perfectly staged way to this glorious monument, excitement arises. The Trevi fountain is simply breathtaking. No other words to describe it. The work done by Fendi in restructuring it is admirable, as nowadays one is greeted by a monumental sparkling white ensemble, the statues so fine and alive, the water so delicately blue. The Fendi fashion show staged at the Fontana, has perfectly rendered homage to all its charm and beauty.

Piazza del Popolo 

This is one of those open spaces that simply warms your heart. Take a hike to the top of for a magic view of the Piazza.

Colosseo & Fori Romani 

Walking around the Colosseum and the Fori, is one of those unique experiences that cannot be replicated in any other space on this planet. The atmosphere is almost eerie, and the presence and history of the Roman Empire is strong. While the Colosseum is an a beautiful and imposing view from the outside, I don’t recommend visiting the inside as it’s quite overcrowded with tourist and its magic is lost.

Piazza di Spagna & Via dei Condotti  

One of the most beautiful Roman squares, marked by the Spanish Steps, from which begins one of the most beautiful and fashionable streets of Rome, Via dei Condotti, which is a beautiful street per se, beyond the luxury stores crowding it. In the parallel street Via Borgognona one can find more affordable stores such as COS and & Other Stories. Also nearby, the wonderful Palazzo Valentino.

Piazza Navona

Yet another beautiful, historical square, full of dolce vita. Particularly love this for the vicinity to many bars and restaurants.

Other:  Castel Sant’Angelo, San Pietro. 

ART & ABOUT

maxxi_rome_giginspiration
Maxxi Museum from Zaha Hadid

The Maxxi Museum 

The Maxxi is a Contemporary Art museum that offers a great architectural space in the capital to enjoy at leisure. The area in front of the museum opens like a secluded but spacious piazza. The museum is designed by the great Zaha Hadid and architecturally speaking is nothing short of awe-inspiring. The Museum Café and Restaurant opposite the main exposition area has an outdoor space where one can see many young Roman students going about their readings, and people relaxing and catching some sun. The restaurant has a great modern interior and offers a delicious buffet lunch, making for the perfect add to a museum visit.

Via Guido Reni, 4/A

Photos: 
My iPhone 6s shots

Travel Inspiration – Mainau & Konstanz

konstanz-giginspiration

Bodensee, or Lake Constance is a very special lake situated between three countries: Germany, Switzerland and Austria. The area definitely has a riviera feeling: lots of flowers everywhere, a relaxed pace, sweet shops, cafes, restaurants and interiors, the water, the gentle breeze. What makes Bodensee really stunning is also undoubtedly the view of snow-capped mountains in the background, which call for a sigh at every glimpse.s local white wine.

Just approximately 30 minutes from Konstanz and reachable by bus or ferry, is the island of Mainau, also very appropriately named the “Flower Island”.  Here one finds an endless collection of blooms, a greenhouse, a butterfly house and lots of small attractions all revolving around the themes of nature, gardening, botanics.

Below some visual impressions of Mainau and a few addresses in Konstanz that can make the trip worth your while:

Addresses in Konstanz

Umami 

Wonderful industrial chic interior, delicious sushi selection as well as local white wine. Can really recommend the Tempura Garnelen and Mango and Coconut ice cream as dessert.

Holly’s 

Holly’s is a restaurant and interior shop situated by the river. It has a very cool maritime slash eccentric interior and one feels truly on holiday here. Great burgers, salads, ice-cream and nice selection of lemonades.

Cafe Ignaz 

Last but not least is Cafe Ignaz. Here we had a figs and goat cheese Flammkuchen with delicious Riesling.

Impressions of Mainau 

Mainau Island Views

Relaxed island views

tree-leaves-mainau-giginspiration

Magic trees, magic leaves

Pink Blooms Mainau

Bursts of pink blooms

Mainau Island Tulips

Tulips fields

Green Leaves Mainau

Captivating Leaves

Orchids

Orchids in the Greenhouse

Photos:
My iPhone6 Shots

Travel Inspiration – Marrakech

Marrakech is a must see for any style lover out there. The city is vibrant in colors and harmonious in their composition. Endless sand buildings and rooftops, spots of soft green with palm trees everywhere and a stunning border circling it out: snow-capped Atlas mountains.

The city is bustling and full of life in the Medina, yet offers the perfect oasis of rest in its varied Riads. Also, most restaurants and gardens are truly magic, with their smells, variety of plants, decoration and calm.

While one cannot miss the typical tourist sights: souks, Medina tours, buildings and cultural attractions, the true Marrakech lifestyle can be experienced at its best when knowing the right spots to eat, relax, take in all the #Moho (Moroccan Boho) beauty. Below, my top picks and to dos:

#1 -Visit Jardin Majorelle

Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 11.24.45

Yves Saint Laurent used to reside here with his partner Pierre Bergé and the two got to create an outstanding garden. One can see all sorts of exotic plants coming from all corners of the world, building a perfect cocktail of perfumes that inebriate. The place is also cool, calm and a perfect pool of visual inspiration. The house has a striking blue and yellow combination, and the blue dominating in the garden and outdoor elements has gotten because of this the name of Blue Majorelle.

#2 – Stay in a Riad in the Medina 

Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 11.25.20.png

While outside the Medina one can find charming and luxurious hotels, the best way to get a feel of Marrakech is to stay in the heart of it and sleep in the varied and very typical Riads. Riads are oasis of peace, calm, coolness. They each have their own unique style and appeal, but also many elements in common. Normally you can find gorgeous courtyards with open roofs, a rooftop terrace, sometimes a swimming pool. They are decorated with typical Moho elements and colours. Low couches with colorful pillows, silver trays, vibrant carpets, all sorts of green plants, candles. They also smell amazing, with essential oils ranging from orange flowers to jasmine.  Researching and picking one is the best part of booking a trip to Marrakech, as the interior pictures offer a truly dreamy preview of the trip. You can find a collection of good quality Marrakech Riads here.

#3 – Have lunch at Le Jardin 

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Le Jardin is a veritable green oasis in the middle of the Medina. Quite literally, a garden. Palm and green leaves, the occasional turtle walking around the tables, tiles, the typical straw hats hanging around most eating spots in Marrakech make for a stylish yet laid back atmosphere. Food is unsurprisingly delicious ranging from tagine to salads with fresh veggies and fruits also adding to refreshing juices and mock-tails.

#4 –  Collect visual inspiration at Palais Bahia 

Bahia Palace Marrakech

Both architecture and interiors in Marrakech are blessed with vibrant colours and a vegetation that brings perfume and texture to all environments. Palais Bahia is a perfect example of this, where one can admire tile work, the strong blues and warm yellows colour combinations, outdoor areas and courtyards filled with all sorts of plants and interesting visual corners at every turn.

#5 – Treat yourself at La Mamounia

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Treat yourself and spend a day at La Mamounia. One can enjoy the outdoor and indoor pools, sauna, spa, delicious lunch, dinner and drinks in its various restaurants and bars. The outdoor swimming pool surrounded by palm trees and elegant waiters dressed in white is the perfect place to catch some sun in quiet, while the indoor pools have an admirable interior, where once can truly blow off some steam. For a drink, one can choose between different bars, but the truly enchanting one is the Bar Italien: burgundy velvet, jazz music. Wherever the eye rests, one finds timeless elegance here.

#6-  Take a break at Café des Épices

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One of the most famous Marrakech cafes, Café des Épices overlooks the lively Place des Épices just opposite of Nomad. Here you can choose to settle in one of the different floors or on the terrace and enjoy the bliss of Wi-Fi together with the meal or snack of your choice, such as a fresh orange juice or a healthy salads with veggies in all colours of the rainbow. Such a true Marrakech experience that cannot be missed, as the café truly pulses with the rhythm of the Medina..

#7 – Escape the city at La Pause in the Agafay Desert 

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The Marrakech Medina is an intense experience made of colourful, dusty, busy streets, bustling noise, miriads of people and diverse smells and visual impressions. Such activity really calls for a balancing break, and there is nothing better than a visit to the nearby Agafay desert to truly escape it all. La Pause is an enchanting resort in the middle of the desert that offers the best experience of this unique environment. No electricity here, but instead a true oasis, with beautiful outdoor spots and a selection of offers ranging from meals, an overnight stay, quads, horse riding and camel rides.

Photos: 
My iPhone 6s shots

Sweet Spot – Jardin Majorelle

Blue Majorelle Marrakech

When reviewing the places that truly left a mark during my recent trip to Marrakech, Jardin Majorelle undoubtedly stands out as a place of luscious green and colourful beauty. It is a truly magic place. Yves Saint Laurent used to reside here with his partner Pierre Bergé and the two went on to give life to an outstanding garden.

You can see all sorts of exotic plants coming from all corners of the world, building a perfect cocktail of perfumes that will inebriate you. The place is also cool, calm and the perfect pool of visual inspiration.

The house has a stricking blue and yellow combination, and the blue dominating in the garden and outdoor elements has gotten the name of Blue Majorelle.

Photos: 
My iPhone 6s shots

10 March Must-Haves

Though products and items to buy shouldn’t be the main focus in the search for lifestyle inspiration, it is undeniable that the right accessories and items in your life can make for a major upgrade and boost. I always keep track of inspiring products on my Pinterest Must-Haves board. Here a collection of the 10 product favorites for March:

RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek Modest

#1 RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek in Modest

March is finally bringing a few sun rays and the feeling of Spring. Best way to get a bit of daily glow, is to color your lips in this dewy, pink berry-colored balm, that will add shine and moisture to your lips and double duty as cheek blush. RMS Beauty is a Miranda Kerr favorite and all products are made with the highest quality natural ingredients.

Happy Plugs

#2 Happy Plugs Earphones

Marble and rose’ gold are the indisputable material/color trend of the moment. These earphones from Stockholm brand Happy Plugs combines them both in a sleek and attractive design that will make your jamming sessions as stylish as ever!

ANNA Bracelet LENNY

#3 ANNA Bracelet LENNY 

ANNA is a jewelry brand with stores in Munich, Vienna and New York. Her designs are delicate, and range from silver, rose gold and gold. I really like her sterling silver accessories, affordable as little treats for oneself for no reason! This simple bracelet will make it as a neutral minimally-chic add to your current jewelry game.

Jonathan Adler Jet Set Coasters

#4 Jonathan Adler Coasters

Jonathan Adler is forever an interior design favorite for his unique, colorful and original glam accessories that give a stylish boost to any room. These adorable coasters with summery travel motives will bring a touch of sunshine to your March wanderlust. Available on WestwingNow for the lucky ones who live in Germany and can shop from the best interior online shop!

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#5 Olympus Pen Camera

A blogger favorite, this camera is comparable to a reflex when it comes to picture quality, minus the bulk, plus the stylish design! Perfect for those in search of a lighter option, still maintaining quality for the less professional occasions. Perfect for all those March getaways and flower goodness!

Marysia Bikini

#6 Marysia Bikini

March and Easter getaways, also mean its time to upgrade one’s bikini game. I am completely in love with this California-designed line of scalloped bikinis by Marysia. No better motivation to start working on that beach body! Can be found on MyTheresa.com.

Diptyque Candle Roses

#7 Diptyque Candle Rose

Time to think of Easter brunch decoration, or just invite Spring to our homes and rooms. Dyptique never lets down, and the Roses scent is the perfect bloomy fragrance. Available on Niche Beauty.

Dior Set Earrings

#8 Dior Set Earrings

Rose Quartz is one of the Pantone Colours of 2016 together with Serenity, and pink is for sure THE colour of the season. Dior’s Dior Set line of earrings, are the perfect March accessory, chic and elegant on the one hand, edgy and modern on the other.

A.P.C. Half Moon Bag

#9 A.P.C. Half Moon Bag

Those March city trips need the perfect minimal travel accessory. The iconic A.P.C half moon bag is perfect and versatile for any occasion: airport, day and night. It never lets down.

Burberry Trench Classic

#10 Burberry Trench Coat 

  It’s finally trench coat season! There are so many shapes, colors and alternatives, but why not invest in a Burberry classic?

Brand Love – Frank Body

Frank Body Every Day Face MoisturiserFrank Body Original Coffee Scrub

Why is it that beauty brands tend to do online communication, branding and social media so well? Enter the online world of Frank Body, and you will find it extremely convincing, without even having tried the legendary scrubs.

Main product line of Australian brand Frank Body is a coffee body scrub targeting cellulite, stretch marks and overall imperfections. This comes in different variants and fragrances (like coconut, mmmm!) and is complemented by a body balm and similar products targeting the face and the lips. Ingredients are natural and simple.

So what is there to love about Frank Body?

#1 The Website

The website is just so cool! Huge product features with animated backgrounds of slender gorgeous models in nude underwear applying the scrubs, or the pretty products laying on nice sinks and bathtubs. All pink, beiges, and complementary pastel colors. Also, ingredients and descriptions are laid out nicely with lovely drawings and all the content is easy to consume and absorb. Have a look, won’t be disappointed! Best thing? Don’t need to wait on a trip to Australia, but can just order the products directly from their website, with free shipping. Yay!

#2 The Packaging 

Logo, fonts, colors are so soft and inspiring. Feels like purchasing some cute concept store item rather than a scrub, and these come packaged in brown paper bags and boxes that are just so instagrammable.

#3  The Online Communication 

Frank Body accompanies you everywhere with entertaining content that stimulates interest in the product. Also, most of it is just great images and inspiration representing the brand, and setting the mood. As stated on the website, he is “a social guy”, and you can quickly sneak a peak at scrubbed gorgeous ladies on Instagram, and discover entertaining clips on Snapchat and YouTube. And of course the unifying hashtag that ties together all the content is not missing: #thefrankeffect and #letsbefrank.Your feed will soon be populated with sexy bathing bodies full of dirty scrub particles…yay?

#4 The Product

I haven’t tried the product yet, but the idea of a coffee scrub to treat those unfriendly areas is just too good, instead of thinking of layering expensive oils and creams that usually smell and feel unpleasant. Also, the lip balm and scrub look like just what those winter chapped lips are in need for. My wish list? The Original Coffee Scrub, the Body Balm and the Lip Scrub and Lip Balm Duo.

Photos:
©Frank Body

Brand Love – 4 Reasons to Love Byredo

Byredo Bal d'Afrique

Sometimes one can fall in love with a brand or product not because of their amazingly ingenious marketing strategy, but simply because of the high quality of the product, the power of the brand and the retail experience.

Byredo is, has, a powerful brand. Main product category is perfumes, along with scented candles, and these are like no other on the market. Byredo creator Ben Gorham is a style personality with great character and an interesting mix himself, born to an Indian mother, Canadian father, and growing up in Toronto, New York and Stockholm.

Below, some reasons to love Byredo and its outstanding perfumes.

#1 – Byredo Perfumes Smell 

Each perfume has a very distinct smell, that you are likely not to encounter anywhere else. It was Byredo’s founder Ben Gohram‘s vision that perfumes on the market had all become very similar to each other, lacking distinction. Do a round of his collection, and you’ll see each fragrance is truly unique. It is in fact quite difficult to find one’s own, as it’s hard to get used to such strong notes. Another upside, is that the fragrance is very long lasting, and one can be satisfied to still feel its presence at the end of the day.

#2 – Fragrance Names

The name of each fragrance is as enchanting as the perfumes, and it perfectly complements them, making for a powerful duo. Each fragrance is a memory. What do names like: Bal d’Afrique, Inflorescence, Super Cedar, Rose of No Man’s Land, Flowerhead say to you? They each say a lot to Ben Gohram.

#3 – Fragrance Meaning and Descriptions 

Each fragrance has its own meaning, with breathtaking descriptions that make the third ingredient to the intoxicating smell-name-description ensemble.

Bal d’Afrique?

“A warm and romantic vetiver inspired by Paris in the late 20’s and its infatuation with African culture, art, music and dance. A mix of Parisian avant-gardism and African culture shaped a unique and vibrant expression. The intense life, the excess and euphoria, is illustrated by Bal d’Afrique’s neroli, African marigold and Moroccan cedar wood.”

La Tulipe? 

“Once the sun becomes warm enough, walk along the stone path, through the gate, under the trellis. Sit on the marble bench. Feel the cool grass under your feet, the warm rays on your back. Do this every morning till sudden variegated glints of red or purple or pink or orange catch your eye. They’ll be the first blooms of the season. Clip one, bring it back, place it in a small white vase on the table. I will find it there, unyielding in its simple devotion to its pure form, color and smell. I’ll know Spring has come.”

#4 – Bottle Design and Packaging 

The bottle design and packaging are a perfect wordless expression of the brand. Black and white, minimal, simple, clean fonts. Each bottle comes in a beautiful white box engraved with the logo, which makes for a perfect add to your best shelfie takes. Inside each box comes a tiny envelope, with Ben Gohram’s explanation of its project:

“Right out of art school, I began developing a creative project around smell and memory called Byredo. Short for “by redolence”, meaning reminiscent of. The ambition of the time was to use personal memories to get people to tap into an idea of a “collective memory”. I truly believed that smell was subjective in its entirety but few the idea of a common touch pain opened peoples minds when trying new smells. The first five smells I made resonated amongst people and I understood my newfound interest in smell would continue to grow. There was something truly fascinating about an invisible medium that instantly took me places and also evoked much emotion. Another realization was that in order for me to continue developing this work there needed to be some level of commerce. Perfume as a product was both accessible but also abstract and seemed a perfect vehicle for my ideas and notions. In late 2006 the project Byredo became a brand and a company. In this form I continue to develop meaningful projects and products.”

Byredo Website:
The perfect way to discover the brand’s universe, and a great digital experience in and of itself: http://byredo.eu.

Instagram: 
Follow Ben Gorham on Instagram: @bengorham

Photo:
©Byredo

Sweet Spot – Sketch London

No better time than London Fashion Week for the mind to wander to all the great London hotspots. Among these, Sketch always stands out as a true lifestyle spot that can’t be missed or skipped. Just behind Oxford Circus in Conduit Street, the restaurant is gloriously furnished and decorated, with different rooms serving different purposes and occasions, and featuring different styles. It feels partly like a playground, part like a very British Alice In The Wonderland-style madhouse.

The most famous and Instagram-worthy room is without any The Gallery, with its pink velvety surfaces and the great display of David Shrigley‘s sketches. So appropriate considering the name of the restaurant, right? This is the kingdom of the most stylishly served and designed Afternoon Tea. Plates and cutlery are also designed by the artist…such an artsy break!

You can also bring home their most exquisite paper bag, but the real treat? The futuristic toilets. If you ever felt the need to go to the loo inside an egg, here your dream can come true.

Photos: 
My iPhone6 shots

On the Shelf – 6 Must-Have Books

Here is an overview of my main must-have, must-read, must know everything about books that have been hanging out in my reading/buying list or just popped up there recently. Some are style books, some are new, some are old, but they are all worth getting into the house, on a coffee table, and in the head, to fuel inspiration.

I always read either 10% or the first chapter of a book (whichever is shorter), before deciding whether I want to buy and read that book. I normally stop every week in bookstores and do a bit of these reading tests, and the ones in this list are all test-approved.

Posts will come on each of these as I tackle them, followed by a favourite reads list. More inspiration on my Goodreads .

Love x Style x Life by Garance Doré

Love Style Life by Garance Dore

 

Personal love, style, life notes from Garance Doré enriched with great visuals, her adorable font writing and doodles, sketches and the nicest layout and paper. Perfect for styling a #shelfie (just check out the Insta feed on the book’s website!) and to inspire by finding out the story of one of the most successful bloggers of our time. The book is also a story about her two cities, New York and Paris, and you can check out Garance’s list of favourite places in New York and Paris here.

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying 

the life changing magic of tidying up marie kondo

This book is literally a sensation and a tidying revolution. It promises to bring your life, closet, flat in order with a super interesting technique and Japanese-proofed philosophy by Marie Kondo. Articles about it are now literally everywhere, and this book must absolutely come into everyone’s life and home to enlighten it with its sparking magic. You can learn more about it on Vogue and One Kings Lane. Spark Joy, is its illustrated, method guide counterpart.

Vogue Colouring Book 

vogue colouring book

Colouring books are all the rage right now, and they are praised for their mindfulness and meditating power, helping the mind to relax by finding flow and the soul to express creativity. Read more about their benefits on Entrepreneur. One interesting article about it here. And what is best to colour for a Style lover than original Vogue sketches with the most amazing gowns and outfits reimagined in your favourite hues?

Deliciously Ella Every Day

deliciously ella every day

Green, wholesome, nutritious, healthy food is always on the forefront nowadays, and yet we somehow lack sometimes inspiration among the clutter to find really good recipes and get help in defining a nurturing lifestyle that works for us. Absolutely gorgeous and glowing Ella Woodward from popular blog Deliciously Ella  is a perfect source for your own little food revolution, and the lucky ones who can drop by Marylebone anytime, will get the chance to also visit her Mae Deli (read more about it on Whiskers & Lions).

Tory Burch In Colour 

tory burch in colour

This book has been around for a while now, but everytime a new Tory Burch collection comes out or there are new interesting articles on her outstanding Tory Daily blog about her inspiration, it comes back to mind. It’s about the designer’s inspiration and life divided in colour chapters, what the colours mean, to her and her universe. For sure a must have on every interiorista and fashionista’s coffee table.  A great article on The Cut appeared recently that perfectly explains the outspread fascination with this woman.

Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham 

not that kind of girl lena dunham

Oh yes, a new season of Girls is coming out soon! And what best way to reconnect with creator Lena Dunham (other than reading this great interview and photoshoot on Refinery29 about her turning 30)  than reading her autobiography? The 1st chapter test on this book has proven that this is nothing like a lighthearted and superficial style book. It’s uplifting in a whole different way, it’s ironic and real, at times too real, but that we know about Lena.

Photos:
From Instagram hashtags of the books: @penguinrandomhouseau, @blovedblog, @mes2petitesetoiles.

My Instagram shot of the Vogue Colouring Book: @gigidmc.

My Instagram shot of the Garance Doré book: @gigidmc