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Two extremes: Winter Destinations

By December 7, 2018 INSPIRATION, Travel
Holiday Blog

Winter has now arrived in the UK, with Christmas markets taking centre stage, shops busy with present buying and festive lights all around the city. It’s the most wonderful time of the year … when eyebrow raising festive jumpers become acceptable and mulled wine is flowing freely. It is that one time of year when you can take a long vacation and really relax. But as wonderful as home is right now, sometimes there is something exciting and fulfilling about being abroad for Christmas and discovering a new place and traditions and people. It can be just what is needed to breathe new life and energy to start a new year.  What if New Year wasn’t so much about a ‘new you’, as a new more travelled and experienced you?

Does skipping the cold winter blues and heading to one of the warmest destinations in the world sound appealing? Or are you more of a winter bunny? To help you plan your winter holidays, here are some suggestions for the hottest and coldest places on Earth to spend Christmas!


Warm destinations
 
Punta Cana – Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic has long been the Caribbean’s cheap and cheerful all-inclusive option but, in recent years, it has been quietly developing its luxury side too. Located on the east coast of the Dominican Republic, Punta Cana is famous for its beaches, upscale hotels and great golfing. With over 40 miles of  palm lined coast, that has earned it the nickname ‘Coconut Coast,’ Punta Cana is a tropical paradise, with stunning beach views, water adventures and family friendly conveniences. The region is warm and sunny throughout the year, although the mountainous areas of the island are significantly wetter and cooler.

Average temperature in December: 25-28 °C – 9 hours from the UK

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Montego Bay – Jamaica

Holidays to Montego Bay are a perfect introduction to Jamaica. Tropical white sands, pristine coral reefs, and vibrant Caribbean culture. If this is what you are looking for, don’t think twice! The weather this time of year is pretty much perfect, and there are plenty of water sports and other activities to keep you entertained during the day if you aren’t more interested in just relaxing.

Average temperature in December: 25-28 °C – 10 hours from the UK

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Boa Vista – Cape Verde

A series of volcanic islands 350 miles off the coast of Senegal, at first look Cape Verde seems a lonely prospect. But with ivory beaches, surfing activities and an intriguing lunar landscape, it has become a tourist favourite. Boa Vista island (translation: “good view”) still feels like something of a secret, characterized by infinite stretches of golden sand and charming, stone-hewn villas. Boa Vista is also the perfect warm destination without having to travel too far and is  considered one of the hottest and driest of all the islands due to the hot harmattan winds from the Sahara.

Average temperature in December: 25˚C – 6 hours from the UK

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Goa – India

Goa is an incredibly popular destination, with prices growing drastically year after year. That said, it’s still very cheap compared to other sunshine destinations and it offers a unique travelling experience. For more than four centuries, this western part of India was a Portuguese colony, and you’ll still notice a distinctly European character here today. Characterized by historical churches, delicious cuisine, and a 66-mile stretch of coastline running along the Arabian Sea, it is no wonder this state is known as the ‘Pearl of the Orient’!

Average temperature in December: 25-30 °C – 9 hours from the UK

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Cold destinations
 

If mountains and chalets are your passion and snow flurries warm your heart, pull on your warmest sweater, and get ready to plan the ultimate winter weather getaway.

Prague – Czech Republic

If you can bear the cold, this stylish capital is brimming with grand historical and cultural sights. Prague’s ancient cafés, contemporary art and Christmas stands give the city a chilling beauty, blending the East and West together perfectly.

Average temperature in December: 1-2 °C – 2 hours from the UK

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Fairbanks – Alaska

Fairbanks is definitely an extreme destination, with the potential for -20 degree temperatures and short hours of daylight. However, don’t let that stop you. The colder winter months are also the best time of year to view the spectacular Northern Lights and experience unique cultural events for Christmas such as dog mushing and Ice parks. It is also a place to come to taste the cuisine, with crab legs and all-you-can-eat salmon and cod fillets baked over an open fire only a few of the diverse food options you will find here. If you are looking for an immersion into the nature, this is the perfect destination for you.

Average temperature in December: -8 – -13 °C – 16 hours from the UK

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Alta Badia – Italy

Located in South Tyrol, Italy’s northern province, Alta Badia, with its dramatic natural landscape, culture, mouthwatering cuisine and the lovely Ladin people, it is the ideal destination for a skiing holiday. A mix of cultures can be found here, with German, Italian and Ladin mother tongue living side by side since time immemorial, to create a unique mix of alpine traditions.

Average temperature in December:-2-3 °C – 1.5 hours from the UK

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Les 100 Ciels X M2M

By November 30, 2018 BEHIND THE SCENES, EVENTS
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This season we are proud to support Mothers to Mothers (m2m), an International non-profit organization focusing on bolstering African healthcare systems, while delivering empowerment opportunities for women. From their launch in Cape Town, South Africa in 2001, m2m have developed to address the causes and effects of HIV, delivering benefits at almost all stages of life.  m2m employ, train and help to empower HIV-positive women as community health workers. These “Mentor Mothers” work in local communities, supporting understaffed health facilities to ensure that women and their families get the health advice and medication they need and are supported on their treatment journey.

In support of their work, we at Les 100 Ciels have committed to donate the profits of the sales of our Kasia 100% Cashmere jumper to the m2m cause. As part of this commitment, we organised a workshop in collaboration with The Yard Café in London, inviting the members of the Mama Club and our customers, to join together to take part in an embroidery class and awareness raising talk. The aim of this event was to support a good cause and build awareness of m2m amongst our customers and the general public. 

With the help of a sewing tutor, we have created about 20 embroideries, inspired by the m2m logo, which will then be pressed on our Kasia jumpers and sold in store.

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We want to provide our customers with more information about worldwide issues, while offering the best products with the highest quality. We hope to not only help less advantaged people to have better living conditions, but also to share the message that there is so much we can do as a brand and individuals. If you would like to give a thoughtful gift this year and contribute to a good cause, you can find the Les 100 Ciels X m2m jumpers online and in our St. Christopher’s Place store!

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L100C LISTEN: NAO

By November 9, 2018 Editor's Picks, INSPIRATION

Are you looking for new music releases or a different kind of sound?

We regularly share on our blog the music that we at Les 100 Ciels love including an edit of new artists we are currently listening to. Feel a part of the Les 100 Ciels community with a selection of the best tunes played at our stores, and listen to them whenever you want and wherever you are!


NAO BlogpostArtboard 2


As the days grow shorter, keep winter blues at bay with some fresh tracks from NAO. After the release of her new single “Make It Out Alive”the British artist has officially announced her new album Saturn. Released on October 26 and featuring masterpieces like “Make It Out Alive” and “Another Lifetime”, the album drifts through a mindset in flux, largely focusing on heartbreak and the regenerative bliss that comes after.

But why name it Saturn?  

“My friends kept telling me about the term ‘Saturn Returns’. It’s this idea that Saturn takes 29 years to orbit from when you’re born and it is the planet of blessings and growth. So by the time you’re around 29, something big happens in your life. It’s like waking up and coming of age, like: ‘I’ve been going through my twenties and what have I been doing in this relationship?’ What have I been doing in this job?’ You start to rethink everything – old stuff that your parents taught you or ideas that you believed in. It’s like a complete shedding of skin and it can be painful.” – NAO.

The East Londoner has created the kind of tracks that will have you singing to your mirror and her honest exploration of love, lust, and hardship will keep you awake on those longer nights.

Click here to listen on Spotify.

1. Another Lifetime
2. Make It Out Alive (feat. SiR)
3. If You Ever
4. When Saturn Returns (Interlude)
5. Saturn (feat. Kwabs)
6. Gabriel
7. Orbit
8. Love Supreme
9. Curiosity
10. Drive and Disconnect
11. Don’t Change
12. Yellow of the Sun
13. A Life Like This

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In conversation with Morgan McFie

By October 12, 2018 BEHIND THE SCENES, INSPIRATION
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This week Les 100 Ciels met Morgan McFie, a contemporary abstract artist based in Barnes. Morgan’s paintings are intuitive, fluid and full of texture, taking inspiration from aerial perspectives of natural landscapes. Read more to learn the intricate and fascinating process of giving life to a canvas.


Where and how did you learn your craft?

I have always loved being creative and painting. I nearly did an art degree, but chose the safe route of doing a business degree at the end. After university, I wanted to get back to being creative so started painting again in my spare time. Things really changed when I moved to New Zealand for a year and was hugely inspired by the art scene in Australia and New Zealand where artists use bright and bold colours. I began experimenting with abstract fluid techniques and then once I started using resin I felt like I’d found my style.

 

Your latest art pieces are beautiful. What inspires your art?

I find aerial perspectives of coastlines and estuaries really beautiful and I look to try and capture the movement and subtlety of tones in my paintings. I find traveling also hugely inspiring and recently found lots of inspiration after a trip to Bali.

 

What materials do you use?

For my work I mainly prefer to use resin, pigments, acrylic paints. Resin is such an incredible material and creates depth to the painting and cures with a glass-like finish making the painting very reflective. I love adding touches of gold pigment which creates a fine shimmer and different texture to the surface when the painting catches the light.

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How has your work evolved since your first commission?

So much so! One of the things I love about resin is that it is a very volatile material, so initially I was meticulously planning the composition of each piece, but then was thrown when the resin didn’t move as I expected or the colour pigments shifted as it cured. As I have become more experienced, I’ve learnt to go with the flow and let the painting evolve in front of me. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but when it works well the paintings often turn out far better than I could have planned.

 

Can you describe your workspace? Where do you like to work?

I work from a home studio in Barnes. One of my walls are covered in photos and they are my main source of inspiration, along with an endless stash of acrylic paints and my equipment. I tend to base myself wherever there is the best light at home that day.

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Describe briefly the process of making your paintings…

I start by creating a mood board of images that inspire me – it could be shapes, colour combinations or textures. I sand and prime the boards and then mix the resin and pigments. Resin is fluid and has about one hour working time which really motivates me and I go into a state of flow. I pour the resin and use gravity and a blowtorch to change the viscosity of the resin which alters how it moves across the board. Each layer of resin cures over 24 hours and I finish the piece by painting the edges for a clean finish.

 

What would you like to achieve in the near future?

I would love to sell internationally, start a print range and collaborate with other artists.

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What is a common misconception about your art?

Lots of people mistake the resin for ceramics or glass as the finish is so glossy and reflective.

 

If you could visit anywhere in the world where would that be?

There are so many countries I would love to travel, but Sri Lanka has been at the top of my list for a while now. The food, the jungles, the mountains and the surfing culture all massively appeal to me.


 

The Les 100 Ciels team are always looking for like-minded people to collaborate with and we were so excited to discover Morgan McFie! Her abstract art is inspiring and beautiful and her passion for what she does is evident in every piece. A range of Morgan McFie products is available in our St Christopher’s Place store in Marylebone. We highly recommend viewing Morgan’s art in person to fully grasp the depth and intricacy of the pieces.

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L100C Listen: Dean Lewis

By September 28, 2018 Editor's Picks, INSPIRATION

Are you looking for new music releases or a different kind of sound?

We are excited to share with you the music that we love at Les 100 Ciels and our edit of new artists we are currently listening to. Feel a part of the Les 100 Ciels community with a selection of the best tunes played at our stores, and be able to listen to them whenever you want and wherever you are!


Spotify Blog Post-Dean Lewis


Ease into the new season with our new favourite artist, Dean Lewis. Five-time ARIA Award nominee, Lewis is an Australian singer-songwriter from Sydney best known for his debut single “Waves.” By the end of 2018 Lewis’ newly released single “Be Alright,” reached number one in Australia and was certified platinum within four weeks of release. The lyrics of this talented musician are beautiful so be sure to add his music to your playlist and don’t miss his next studio album expected in 2019!

Click here to listen on Spotify.

  1. Be Alright
  2. Waves
  3. Chemicals
  4. Lose my mind
  5. Need you now
  6. Let go
  7. Adore

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L100C Listen: Sampha

By August 21, 2018 Editor's Picks, INSPIRATION

Are you looking for new releases or a different kind of sound? From this month we are excited to share with you the Les 100 Ciels love for music and our edit of new artists we are listening to. Feel involved within the Les 100 Ciels community with a selection of the best tunes played at our stores, and be able to listen to them whenever you want and wherever you are!

Sampha A4

Say Hello to your late summer soundtrack with the freshest releases from Sampha. Born in 1988, the Londoner Sampha Sisay is a singer, songwriter and beat maker, who lent his voice to international artists such as Drake, Kanye West and Solange. By the end of 2017, Sampha has released his first solo album, Process. We love Sampha as nobody’s voice swoops more elegantly and mournfully than his and every lyric comes across as deeply felt.

Click here to listen on Spotify.

  1. Plastic 100 C
  2. Blood On Me
  3. Kora Sings
  4. (No one knows me) Like the Piano
  5. Take me inside
  6. Reverse Faults
  7. Under
  8. Timmy’s Prayer
  9. Incomplete Kisses
  10. What Shouldn’t I Be?

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