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Autumn Playlist 2019

By October 11, 2019 IN THE MEDIA, INSPIRATION
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Are you looking for some music to take you through autumn? Browse our chilled Autumn playlist for our favourite music to listen to on cosy evenings or lazy weekends, featuring new releases and some of our of older loves.

Listen to the playlist here

1. Drive by Oh Wonder
2. Autumn Leaves by Ed Sheeran
3. Youth by Daughter
4. Shadow Children by Mindy Gledhill
5. Lionhearted by Billie Marten
6. River by Leon Bridges
7. Atlas Hands by Benjamin Francis Leftwich
8. Pretty Thoughts by Galimatias, Alina Baraz
9. Ophelia by The Lumineers
10. Heart’s on Fire by Passenger

What’s your favourite songs to listen to during the autumn months?

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City Break: Krakow

By September 27, 2019 Editor's Picks, INSPIRATION, Travel
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Krakow is below the radar for many people as a city break but that is soon to change. With cheap flights on airlines like EasyJet or Ryanair, this is the place to visit before it gets too popular. Here are our top  reasons to visit Krakow soon!

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Architecture

Krakow is Poland’s 2nd largest city with a long history. It is known for its medieval architecture that is largely intact, particularly that of the Old Town and main medieval square Rynek Glowny. A walk here is to step back in time to the 12th century and explore one of the few examples of urban planning to survive the toil of time. Architectural gems through the baroque and renaissance periods also exist, so a walking tour of the city is highly recommended to truly get a feel for this city’s history.

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A Slice of History

Krakow is truly a slice of history. During WW2, the Nazis occupied Krakow and made the city its base. Many tourists use the city as a stepping stone for a visit to Auschwitz, the site of infamous WW2 tragedy about an hour’s drive outside of Krakow. A tour there is a sobering affair but the guides are respectful and informative. The Jewish Quarter, Kazimierz was abandoned after WW2, but recent developments have seen the area move into a new trendy, cultural scene. A visit here is worthwhile while the older buildings and cobbled streets are still intact to give a sense of how the Jews lived their daily lives.

Also a visit to Nowa Huta will give you some insight into the height of Communist rule. Built by the Soviet Union, the buildings are a true example of proletarian life in that period.

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The Food

One of the better kept secrets about Poland is its food. There is much more than sausages to be discovered. Try pierogies, delicious dumplings with fillings that will leave you eager for more. For something more warming, we recommend, Bigos, which is a stew made from cabbage and meat or barszcz,  a warm beet soup. If you are visiting in the warmer months, do try oscypek, a smoked sheep’s milk cheese that is very tasty.  There are lots of eateries for all budgets so our best advice is to be open minded and just try things! You might be surprised by what you discover- after all good things like the bagel originated from Poland!

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The Nightlight

If a tipple after dark is your thing, then Krakow is the place to be. With a large university community, Krakow is reputed to have the highest density of bars of any city, there is something for everyone. Many drinking establishments are to be underground, literally.  In Krakow in cellars that are full of atmosphere. If you prefer to be outdoors, there are also historic courtyards converted into bars and more modern venues pumping out cocktails to fulfill every hedonist’s dream. Try a glass of Soplica, Poland’s oldest vodka, or one of the flavoured varieties of the spirit that have become popular recently.

What are your travel plans for the coming months? Let us know where you go!

 

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Autumn Winter 2019 Fashion Trends

By August 23, 2019 Editor's Picks, FASHION, IN THE MEDIA, INSPIRATION
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As we near the end of summer, it’s that time when we start thinking about the arrival of the new season and inevitably our wardrobe. Today we’re highlighting some of the most exciting fashion trends for the Autumn/ Winter 2019 period so you’ll be ready and in the know once the season begins!

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1. Utilitywear

Yes , it is back again! Utility wear is one of those trends that comes back again and again. It is reminder that you can never go wrong with some utility inspired clothing in your wardrobe. For the coming season, try the trend in a neutral palette such as head to toe tones of brown and beige or go for the statement utility wear jacket or coat that you will last for years to come.

 

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2. Floral Noir

Florals, a summer favourite, have been appropriated for the colder months this season. All florals will be big this coming season, but unlike summer flowers, the trend leans towards a brooding, romantic style- think deepest-red roses stumbled upon in a forgotten garden in the dead of night. We love this trend as there is lots of room to transition from the summer months.

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3. Neon Brights

If you thought that neon bright colours were for the hot summer months you’d be wrong! This autumn/ winter we will be seeing neons in all shades and we’re pretty sure you will be seeing some head to toe neon looks prowling the streets day or night! If you love the idea, but it all seems a bit too much, consider adding just a pop of neon to your wardrobe. Neon shoes, accessories or trim details on your clothing are the perfect nod to a season trend without the fear of being mistaken for a road sign!

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4. Luminescent

Metallics were all over the runways, especially in gold and silver tones. They appeared in full metallic looks or sparkling separates. Metallics can add that extra texture and brightness to your outfit and is much easier than you would think to go from day to night. Pair an iridescent faux collar on a simple grey sweater and you’ve instantly vamped up your look.  You can also go big with the trend and wear contrasting metallics for a bold, statement look.

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5. Sharp Suiting

This season, the revival of tailoring is back and here to stay. From menswear inspired suits to waist cinching, slim and trim designs, there’s a lot of variety built into the trend. Choose your favourite and get the look! If you’re tired of wearing same old suits, why not try wearing a silhouette you’ve never worn before or add  your own unique touches, such as extreme shoulder pads (also a trend this season) or details like brooches or embroidery.

 

What trends do you love? Whether you love all of them or just a few, the trick with fashion trends is to just have fun with them. Don’t take it all too seriously and remember to make it your own. In the end, there is nothing quite like personal style to outlast any fashion trend!

 

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Summer Dishes

By August 16, 2019 Editor's Picks, IN THE MEDIA, INSPIRATION
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When the weather is hot and humidity soars, eating can sometimes feel like a chore, especially when your recipe repertoire is full of dishes that leave you feeling hotter than your were! At this point, it’s good to have a little recipe refresher and seek out some inspiration from some of the best summer food friendly meals around. Here are a few of our favourites to get you inspired!

 

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Watermelon and Feta Salad

One of our all time favourite foods for a starter is watermelon and feta salad. This is so simple to make and is always a welcome start to a summer meal with friends.

Ingredients
Half a large watermelon
Feta Cheese
Mint leaves
1/2 red onion
tbsp Olive oil
Pinch of Salt

Instructions
Scope out of the watermelon and cut into cubes about an inch thick and then cube the feta into slightly smaller pieces. Chop red onion roughly (chop into smaller pieces if preferred). Tear up mint leaves and add all ingredients into a bowl, tossing lightly with the olive oil and a pinch of salt. For extra ‘wow’ factor, retain the watermelon shell and once all the salad ingredients are well combined, transfer it back into the watermelon shell for a delicious and impressive starter!

 

 Sommer-Gazpacho

Gazpacho

Gazpacho is essentially a cold soup, which for some can be off-putting at first, but if given a chance, this dish is brimming with flavour and is so refreshing in summer that we could not leave it off our list. Use your ripest tomatoes and give it a try- we’re sure you will love it!

Ingredients
7 ripe Tomatoes
3 Cloves Garlic
1 red onion
1/2 cucumber peeled and chopped
1 red bell pepper
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
Salt & Pepper
Parsley or basil for garnish (dependent on preference)

Instructions
Chop up all the ingredients and place in the blender. Add your olive oil and vinegar and blend all ingredients into a puree. Leave the mixture in a covered bowl to stand for 30 minutes at room temperature. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Strain the puree through a mesh sieve and place the mixture in the fridge to cool. When thoroughly cool, pour gazpacho into bowls and serve with lightly chopped basil garnish. Tip: Prepare gazpacho a day in advance so flavours can develop fully.

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Salmon Fritters with Citrus Creme Fraiche

Salmon fritters are the perfect comfort food when a heartier meal is desired that still feels light enough to eat on a hot day. The citrus dip is the perfect partner to the dish to keep it all feeling light and fresh.

Ingredients
8 Smoked salmon slices
Spring onion (chopped finely)
1/2 onion (chopped finely)
1/2 cup flour
1 large egg beaten
1 /2 cup creme fraiche
1 large lemon
oil for frying
rocket for garnish
salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
Break up salmon slices and mix together with onion,  flour and egg in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a frying pan. Parcel out 1 tablespoon sized portions of the salmon batter and flatten in hand. Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side and then take out of frying pan and place on absorbent paper. Repeat until all batter has been fried. Cut lemon and squeeze into a bowl. Add creme fraiche, spring onion and mix until all are well combined. Serve salmon fritters on a serving tray on a bed of rocket with extra smoked salmon slice and a dollop of citrus creme fraiche.

 

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Spinach & Tomato Quiche

A quiche and salad on a warm day is something of a British summer institution. Eat your quiche piping hot or have it cold from the fridge as a yummy leftover.

Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups fresh spinach leaves 
4 large eggs
2/33 cup milk
1/3 cup grated cheddar cheese (or other cheese of your choice- feta cheese is also very nice)
1-2 medium tomatoes (cubed)
2 cloves garlic
mixed bag of lettuce
Store bought easy roll puff pastry (can also use short crust pastry)
1 Egg white (beaten)
salt and pepper
 to taste

Instructions
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Unroll your pastry and lay out on a 10 inch pie dish making sure to pull it up and over the edges of dish. Wilt the spinach with the olive oil in a hot pan adding salt and pepper to taste. Add the spinach into the pie dish and then add in half the grated cheese. Beat the eggs and add the milk and crushed garlic. Pour this on to the spinach and then add the chopped tomatoes on to the top of the mixture. Finish off with a layer of the rest of the cheese. Layer a beaten egg-white wash over the edges of the pastry to ensure it bakes golden brown.  Bake in the oven for 40 minutes or until a fork comes out clean from the centre of the quiche. Serve with a side of green salad tossed lightly in olive oil with salt and pepper to taste.

 

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Vietnames Spring Rolls

Add an asian flavour to your summer with these spring rolls that are so delicious you won’t want to share them with anyone! They are also so easy to make yet look impressive when prepared so you are sure to delight and surprise your guests with your skills in the kitchen!

Ingredients
Firm tofu
Rice paper wrappers
1/2 head of cobb lettuce
1/2 a cucumber
2 Carrots grated
Spring Onion
Fresh mint, coriander, thai basil

For dipping sauce
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
1/2 tsp chilli sauce
3 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp chopped peanuts

Instructions
Chop your cucumber and tofu into 1.5cm depth strips and about 4-5cm long. Chop the lettuce and all your herbs finely. Dip the rice paper in a bowl of warm water for 3 seconds ensuring it is fully submerged. It should come out of the water slightly firm so that you can easily lay it flat on to a ceramic plate. Starting at the edge of the rice paper closest to you, add all your fillings in very small amounts. If you have too much filling, it will be difficult to roll and the fillings will easily fall out. Once you have added all your fillings, pick up the edge of your paper closest to you and roll it tightly over the filling. Repeat until you have the desired number of rolls. For the dip, pour all the ingredients into a small bowl and stir vigorously. Place rolls on a serving dish with the bowl of dipping sauce.

 

We hope this has given you a few ideas for summer dishes. If you try them out, do let us know how you found them!

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Summer Destinations

By August 9, 2019 Editor's Picks, INSPIRATION
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If you’re on the hunt for some last minute summer sun, here’s our guide to some of the best sunny destinations around!

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Slovenia
If you’re not looking to travel very far, Slovenia with a flying time of 3 hours and 15 minutes is a charming getaway for a summer holiday. Flights can be found cheaply and the country is still on the cusp of being discovered by tourists so it feels like a secret getaway. The capital city Llubjana invites visitors with its history, cafes and modern architecture and when the temperature soars in summer, there is nothing quite like a cooling dip in Lake Bled in the Julian Alps.

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Greek Islands

Greece has no shortage of beautiful islands to discover. Some islands can only be reached by ferry which has a certain appeal for the traveller seeking a bit of adventure. Lefkada is one of these, well known for its beautiful turquoise waters, rising against backdrops of stunning white cliffs. It is close to the much larger islands of Kefalonia and Corfu both of which also offer stunning scenery, delicious Greek food and a glimpse into Mediterranean culture.

 

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London
One of the best times to visit London is in the summer. The city truly takes on a charming atmosphere as people take to the streets for evening drinks and parks fill with languid picnic- makers. There are a number of summer activities including music and food festivals and lots of rooftop bars open for drinks. Enjoy a stroll along Regent’s Canal or wander the city taking in its incredible architecture. There is something for everyone!

 

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British Columbia, Canada

If you are looking to travel further afield, British Columbia is a mesmerising destination for summer. Vancouver is an urban playground in the middle of nature with a thriving cultural and music scene. Further afield are breathtaking walking sites such as the Rocky Mountains. This area is famous for sightings of grizzly bears in their natural habitat. If that scares you, why not join a tour through some of the best nature walks around which include guided bear sightings.

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Tanzania

For those who love a taste of the wild, Tanzania is at the top of our list. At this time of year, the weather conditions are perfect for hiking and if you are truly up for a challenge, Mount Kilimanjaro with its snowy peaks is one of the ultimate challenges in the country. Take note though that this trek is not easy and only for the physically fit and well prepared hiker. If all that exercise seems like too much effort, spend your time on a safari instead. Tanzania has the unique opportunity to view wild animals in their natural habitat- an unrivalled experience!

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Style icons through the decades

By July 30, 2019 FASHION, IN THE MEDIA, INSPIRATION
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Over the years, there have been a few key female figures who have firmly held the title- style icon. These women were true trailblazers in fashion during their times, setting trends and creating movements. The true marker of a style icon is their lasting inspiration to women of all ages and periods. We have selected a few of our favourite style icons over the decades.

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Katherine Hepburn 1930s

An actress who shunned the press in favour of staying out of the spotlight, Katherine Hepburn was the original wearer of androgynous clothing. While her peers wore sequins, curve hugging clothing, Hepburn chose wide leg trousers and loose, crisp shirts. Her style was one of comfort and practicality and fashion houses followed her embrace of traditional menswear with designs for the modern woman. Her style is still referenced year on year on fashion catwalks around the world.

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Ava Gardner 1940s

An actress renowned for her beauty, Ava Gardner lit up television screens effortlessly. She was famous for making the neckerchief popular as well as the belted waist for a cinched in look. Her style was all about the glamour of Hollywood and her dresses and love of blue hues were immortalised in fashion history.

 

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Audrey Hepburn 1950s

Perhaps the epitome of a style icon is Audrey Hepburn. Actor and celebrity fashionista, her simple and classic style burst on to the scene in the 1950s and since then she has continued her legacy as a symbol of classic, elegant style.

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Jackie Kennedy 1960s

The wife of an American president, Jackie Kennedy became a fashion icon with her feminine and poised looks. Her two piece suits became the rage at the time as well as carefully coiffed hair and dark sunglasses. Her style was mimicked across the United States and spread around the world in popularity.

 

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Jane Birkin 1970s

A French model and singer who the world was enamoured with, Jane Birkin became famous for her cool, off duty dressing. It was a simple and effortless sense of style that was truly a diversion from the 70s flower power era and for this it was refreshing and alluring look for the period. Her classic jeans and a white tshirt have continued their legacy into present day.

 

 

 

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Madonna 1980s

One of the most controversial style icons is Madonna, singer and actress who challenged norms and always caused a stir!
From conical bras to patent leather boots and controversial references to Catholicism, Madonna has influenced trends and made huge statements in the fashion arena like no one else!

 

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Kate Moss 1990s

Model Kate Moss defined the 1990s with her pared down and minimalist style. Her thin frame was the perfect base for the simple slips, leather jackets and tailored blazers.  She is as much a style icon today as she was in this period with many looks coming back into circulation!

 

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Sarah Jessica Parker 2000s

SJP had a number of fashion titles under her belt in the 80s and 90s, but in the 2000s she truly shot to stardom with the Sex and the City tv series. Her on-screen character had an addiction to fashion and a shockingly large shoe collection which mirrored the real life woman’s love of fashion. Her style embraced experimentation, the mixing of textures and colours all with a strong feminine streak running through it.

The jury is still out on who will be our favourite style icon of the 2010s. In an era of social media with platforms like Instagram, we have so many more sources of inspiration for fashion and style. We’ll be back with a closer look at our current favourite style icons soon.

Who are your favourites?

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