Sticker Stack

I could spend hours choosing pretty stationary and quite often I do. A well organised life is the best sort and pretty stationary always helps with this. I love coming across new stationery brands and a recent discovery of mine is Sticker Stack who sell everything you could need to keep organised. How adorable are these travel inspired notebooks  with the memo ‘révivre le souvenir’ on the front? A few of my other favourite brands at the minute are Kate Spade for everything gold polka-dot, Garance Doré for her beautifully illustrated cards and Rifle Paper for colourful and bold prints.

Below stationery from Sticker Stack

In collaboration with Sticker Stack

Daniel Wellington

I’m always in search of those timeless pieces which stay in my wardrobe for a lifetime and remain just as loved as when I first selected them. Lately I’m of the attitude that I will only buy something if I truly love it and could see myself wearing it years down the line, otherwise it will simply be another piece of junk in an already overly cluttered world. This watch from Daniel Wellington is one of those items and has long been a true staple in my accessory wardrobe. It instantly makes any outfit look chicer and goes with everything from chunky knits to silk blouses so it’s no wonder that it’s always high on rotation.

If you’re as smitten as I am, Daniel Wellington are offering 15% off until 30th June with the discount code farfelueparis

In collaboration with Daniel Wellington watches

Reykjavík guide

Reykjavík is the ideal base for discovering the rest of Iceland due to its prime location in the south of the island. Make sure to organise plenty of day trips but don’t overlook Reykjavík as it is also a great city in its own right. It’s a wonderfully quirky place with funky coloured cafes and and concept stores aplenty. It’s the kind of city that you feel as though you’ve conquered in a day due to it’s tiny size but that’s what makes it the safest and cosiest capital I have ever been to. Walk the streets and get your bearings quickly making sure to snuggle indoors in fur lined wood cabins for a hot cup of cocoa and lobster soup.

REYKJAVIK ROASTERS best for coffee

One of Reykjavik’s few speciality coffee shops. The coffee is superb as proven by the herds of Icelanders queuing outside for their morning brew. They offer a simple breakfast menu of salted porridge and rye bread with jam. A lovely and welcoming space where the electric blue grinder takes centre stage.

Kárastígur 1, Reykjavík – Open Monday-Friday 8am-6pm, Saturday 9am-5pm, Sunday 11am-5pm

BERGSSON MATHUS best for breakfast

For a traditional Icelandic breakfast this is the best spot to come. For a reasonable price you’ll get a plate with rye bread still warm out of the oven served with cheese, jams and cold meats as well as skyr yoghurt and granola. This hearty little breakfast will keep you going all day.

Templarasund 3, 101 Reykjavík |  Open every day 7am-7pm

HALLGÍMKIRKJA best for view

The quirky little city of Reykvjik is best viewed from this vantage point. Catch the lift to the top of the church and take in the city’s panorama which is rather cheery thanks to the pop-coloured, corrugated iron roofs.

Skólavörðustígur 101, Reykjavík | Open everyday 9am-8pm

HARPA architectural gem

Icelanders are very proud of this building which is as aesthetically beautiful as it is practical; the hexagonal glass panels provide light throughout the dark winter days.

Austurbakki 2, 101 Reykjavík | Open every day 8am-12am

HALLGÍMKIRKJA astounding church

This church was said to have been inspired by basalt lava flows which is perhaps why it is entirely unlike any other place of worship. It’s modern design and clean interior of white and grey tones inspire design enthusiasts the world over.

Skólavörðustígur 101, Reykjavík | Open everyday 9am-8pm

ICELANDIC FISH AND CHIPS best for fish and chips

The best fish and chips in town, the freshly caught fish is battered in organic spelt flour, the chips fried in olive oil and garlic and the selection of skyronnaise in assorted flavours is so good. Thank goodness the english introduced fish and chips to Iceland because they do it even better than us. Not just offering cod but a variety of different fish such as pollock and red fish.

Tryggvagata 11, 101 Reykjavík | Open everyday 11.30am-9.30pm

SEABARON best for grilled fish

Famous for the lobster bisque soup but also specialising in grilled fish. This cute little restaurant has the feeling of a harbourside shack with shared tables and plastic barrel stools but the relaxed atmosphere only adds to its charm. Serving scallops, salmon and whale which you choose raw and they then cook on the grill for you.

Tryggvagata, 101 Reykjavík | Open everyday 11.30am-10pm

STOFAN best for cosiness

A lovely wood cabin decorated with throws and cushions aplenty which will have you as relaxed as if you were in your grandma’s living room.

Aðalstræti, 101 Reykjavík | Open everyday 10am-11pm

Other addresses to add to your list:-

Laundromat – only in Iceland would you find a cafe which doubles as a laundromat. This unique spot is a hit for a reason.

Perlan – best for an extraordinary dining experience with a view. The glass dome of this rotating restaurant can be seen from all over the city.

C Is For Cookie – chase away the cold in this cosy cafe with one of their generous, steaming hot lattes and slouchy sofas.

 

Iceland bucket list

The land of fire and ice where volcanoes and glaciers stand side by side, Iceland is a country abundant in outstanding beauty and natural phenomenons. Below I’ve curated a list of Iceland’s top picks to add to your bucket list and hopefully inspire your trip there.

1. Bathe in the Blue Lagoon | 2. Marvel at the biggest waterfall in Europe | 3. Eat Skyr yoghurt | 4. Climb atop Hallgrímskirkja church | 5. Boat ride over a glacial lagoon | 6. Listen to an orchestra at the Harpa | 7. The Great Geysir | 8. Eat Arctic char | 9.Climb a glacier | 10. Be mesmerised by the Northern lights | 11. Try salted fish | 12. Spot a puffin

1. BATHE IN THE BLUE LAGOON

One of the wonders of the world according to National Geographic, so how could you go to Iceland and not visit the Blue Lagoon? Bathing in the naturally warm geothermal water of the milky blue pools is an extraordinary experience and one that will leave your skin feeling nourished and soft.

2. MARVEL AT THE BIGGEST WATERFALL IN EUROPE

Pictured below is Gullfoss which is the second largest waterfall in Iceland. Standing above watching the water hurry down is a belittling experience which will put what’s important back into perspective. The power of the water is extraordinary as is the power of the wind whipping your hair, I can’t imagine what it would be like to stand at the top of Godafoss which is indeed the largest waterfall in Europe and aptly named the waterfall of the Gods.

3. EAT SKYR YOGHURT

Over the centuries skyr yoghurt has become a staple in the Icelandic diet. It’s thick and creamy in consistency high in protein and yet very low in fat. No yoghurt is as creamy and as nutritious. The Icelanders eat it as it comes or with salted porridge and jam for breakfast.

4. CLIMB ATOP HALLGRIMSKIRKJA CHURCH

Reykjavík is a beautiful city as its set amongst the dark navy sea and snow capped mountains, the best views over the city can be enjoyed from Hallgrímskirkja church. The church itself has become an icon of the city with its unusual spaceship-like design.

5. BOAT RIDE OVER A GLACIAL LAGOON

Riding over Jökulsárlon, the world famous glacial lagoon is the most surreal experience and feels as though you’ve stepped into an episode of David Attenborough’s frozen planet. The best way to get close to the icebergs is on a boat tour however they do not run if there is too much ice. No amount of photos will ever do this place justice.

6. LISTEN TO AN ORCHESTRA AT THE HARPA

A stay in Reykjavík is not complete without a trip to this astounding concert hall. See a concert, watch a musical or listen to an orchestra but make sure you experience it for yourself.

7. THE GREAT GEYSIR

Every 5-7 minutes hot water comes shooting out of this Geysir and no matter how much you are waiting for it to erupt, it still makes you jump inside. It’s such fun standing and waiting for it to erupt time after time.

8. EAT ARCTIC CHAR

Arctic Char isn’t too dissimilar from salmon, only it tastes fresher and wilder but that might be down to the source of the fresh Arctic waters. I also tried it with celeriac, honey mustard and dandelion as seen below which was so good.

9. CLIMB A GLACIER

Iceland is famous for its beautiful glaciers so getting to climb one is a once in a life time opportunity. There are lots of different tours that they offer but the most popular is the crawling glacier tour which allows you to climb in between circular caves of ice and marvel at the incredible frozen formations.

10. BE MESMERISED BY THE NORTHERN LIGHTS

The Aurora Borealis should be on every one’s bucket list. Seeing the vibrant colours swirl in the pitch black sky above is a mesmerising sight. I’ve been fortunate enough to see them in Finland but if you’re in Iceland at the right time of year then you absolutely must try your luck.

11. TRY SALTED FISH

When in Iceland, eat like the Icelanders – as should be your attitude in every country you go to. And trust you me the Icelanders are very passionate about their dried salted fish. Eaten as it is or smothered in butter. It’s very unusual but has to be tried

12. SPOT A PUFFIN

Alas, the one thing on this bucket list that I haven’t managed to tick off but hopefully you’ll manage to. Apparently the puffins were still travelling from Scotland when I was in Iceland but I would imagine watching these gorgeous birds in their natural habitat would be pretty incredible.

Iceland photo diary

Iceland is an outstandingly beautiful country which took my breath away on multiple occasions. I’d dreamt for so long about visiting that I couldn’t quite believe it when I had finally arrived, I kept pinching myself and squealing inwardly asking myself whether I was really in Iceland. A country so unlike any other that I’d been to before, so different from my home country and one that I’d seen so many photos of that I could barely believe I was now seeing it with my own eyes. A mythical place where elves and fairies still exist, where the mesmerising Northern lights light up the winter’s sky and where the midnight sun lights up the summer days for 24 hours. A few of my highlights included marvelling at the Jökulsárlon glacier lagoon, bathing in the Blue Lagoon until my skin looked like prunes, standing in two continents at once and the belittling experience of taking in the waterfalls. I left in the knowledge that I would one day return and road trip around the whole country.
If you’re going soon I would highly recommend hiring a car and travelling the whole country, you could easily drive the ring road in a week and its the only way to really do Iceland justice. Make an Icelandic playlist with Sigur Rós, Sóley and Of Monsters and Men and fill the car with the ridiculously expensive but ridiculously delicious Omnom chocolate, the liquorice one being the Icelanders favourite. Stop along the way for fresh fish especially Arctic char which is so good and local Einstök beer. Watch the mesmerising scenery change from mountainous volcanoes to icy glaciers. Live and breath every sight and be enchanted as I was by this crazy beautiful country.

Marrakech guide

Marrakech is a feast for the senses. It’s bewilderingly busy, unbearably hot, completely chaotic and smells potently of spices. There is no city which overwhelms your senses as Marrakech does, but it remains one of the most colourful and exciting place I’ve been. It’s a city which you have to take as it comes. Get lost in the maze of souks, haggle with the sellers, be welcomed in for mint tea and be open to new experiences. This little guide is by no means exhaustive but should give you a well-rounded insight into Moroccan culture.

KOUTOUBIA MOSQUE best for architecture

Whilst tourists cannot enter inside this mosque, its exterior is beautiful enough to marvel at. It has become the symbol of Marrakech and will help you to navigate your way around the city and always find your way back to the main square Jemaa El Fna.

JARDIN MAJORELLE best for gardens

Once owned by Yves Saint Laurent and gifted to Marrakech after he died, this garden has as much style as he did. One of the most colourful gardens you’re likely to visit due to the highlights of the electric Majorelle blue which bring the garden to life. Cacti and exotic flowers line the path providing a calm away from the chaos of the city center.

Rue Yves Saint Laurent, Marrakesh | Open Monday-Saturday 8am-5pm

DAR CHERIFA LITERARY CAFE best cafe

This cafe is a truly phenomenal find. In the style of a traditional Riad, it has an open roof where light pours into the cafe dancing off the tall walls. The definition of Moroccan culture with stucco archways, intricate carvings and rose petals floating in a water pool on the ground. It’s tricky to locate as it lies behind a maze of souks and you have to knock to enter, but it feels all the more special once you do find it.

8, Derb Chorfa Lakbir, Mouassine 40000, Marrakech Medina

BEN YOUSSEF MEDRASA best for culture

The jewel of Moroccan culture; orange coloured walls are enhanced by vibrant mosaic tiling and carved wooden-lattice details. A truly stunning example of Moorish architecture which reminded me an awful lot of the Alhambra in Granada. The colours and intricacy will blow you away.

Kaat Benahid, Marrakech 40000 | Open every day 8am-5pm

SOUKS best for shopping

The souks are a sensory overload; everything tempts you and everything grabs your attention from the glistening lanterns in the sunlight to the piles of vibrant spices making you hungry for Moroccan food. There are a million treasures to be found within the endless stands of embroidered rugs, silverware and died leather. You’ll pick up pieces which you won’t find anywhere else in the world and for very reasonable prices.

NOMAD best for restaurant

This restaurant has it all: an open terrace, an interesting menu, astoundingly good food and once more they even serve alcohol, a real rarity in this strict Islamic city. Order a selection of dishes for a real Moroccan feast; think steaming harissa tagines, mezze plates and herb infused green couscous.

Rahba Kedima, Marrakesh, Morocco  | Open every day 10am-12am

MAISON DE LA PHOTOGRAPHIE best for view

This little museum provides an interesting insight into North African culture. The photography allows you to see what life is really like in Sub-Saharan Africa. Make sure to climb the spiral staircase to the panoramic terrace and if possible try to catch the sunset over the city.

Rue Ahl Fes, Medina, Marrakech, 46 Rue Bin Lafnadek, Marrakesh 400030 | Open every day 9.30am-7pm

Other addresses to add to your list:

La Terrasse des Épices for traditional Moroccan food

33 Rue Majorelle for unique shopping finds and healthy Moroccan inspired smoothies

El Fenn for rooftop cocktails at dusk

Le Grand Café de la Poste for cocktails and slouchy sofas

J Crew

Sometimes a hat can completely transform you; it can give you a surge of confidence which you didn’t have before; it can make you feel stylish and chic and can instantly transform a plain outfit into a striking one. Travelling with a hat is a great idea as it can make you feel just that little bit more free-spirited and spontaneous. Who knows what adventures you and your hat might find yourself on? On this occasion we found ourselves venturing off the beaten track to tulip fields unseen by tourists, getting lost and finding our way back by asking locals and recognising colours we’d seen earlier that day. In my eyes there’s no better accessory to a sea of pink tulips than this wide-brimmed summery hat.

Hat from J Crew

White peonies

I am so glad that it is now peony season on this side of the world. Seeing my favourite flowers around always makes me happy as does the colour white. White symbolises a clean slate, a fresh start and is so full of hope and promise, which is exactly what I need right now. This weekend I’m taking a moment out to read over-due magazines, gather my thoughts and make a couple of important decisions.

Amsterdam guide

Amsterdam is the kind of city that steals your heart; you’ll arrive full of anticipation and leave wanting to stay forever. There is a whole lot more to Amsterdam than its seedy reputation will have you believe. Away from the flashing lights of the red light district lies an incredibly beautiful city with far too many hotspots to contemplate squeezing into one weekend, but here’s to trying our very hardest.

THE BEST AREAS

JORDAAN

Jordaan is a great area to escape the often tourist flooded streets of the city. It has a more hipster feel to it but still with the beautiful Dutch architecture of gingerbread houses. Don’t miss the courtyards which are open to public viewing during the daytime and make sure to enjoy a beer on one of the cafe terraces.

NINE STREETS

These cobbled streets set around the canals are a shoppers dream with independent boutiques, vintage shops and lots of cute cafes for plenty of coffee breaks amongst all of that browsing.

SEVEN BRIDGES

This spot is the perfect photo opportunity for that memorable photo of Amsterdam. You can see so far down the canal that you’ll see seven brick bridges in one go and after all nothing screams Amsterdam more than canals and bridges.

I AMSTERDAM LETTERS

Located just behind the Rijks museum, it has become somewhat of an icon of Amsterdam and a tourist tradition to get a snap in front of it. The real challenge is to get a photo without anyone else in it.

TOP EATERIES

COTTON CAKE

Blueberry and lavender spelt waffles, need I say more? Cotton cake has the prettiest interior and beautifully presented dishes to match. Part concept store, part cafe; as small as it may be, it will keep you contended for a whole afternoon.

Address: 1e van der Helststraat 76-hs, 1072 NZ | Open: Monday-Friday 10am-6.30pm, Saturday 10am-5.30pm, Sunday 11.30am-5.30pm

REIN

This health conscious cafe offers fare to nourish the mind and body. Head there for a super healthy breakfast which I guarantee will be generously sprinkled with superfoods.

Address: Rijnstraat 58A, 1078 RD Amsterdam | Open: Monday-Saturday 9am-8pm, Sunday 11am-6pm

YOGHURT BARN

The yoghurt barn is a wonderful concept, it’s a spot entirely dedicated to pure, organic yoghurt. Not too dissimilar from frozen yoghurt stands, here you can choose amongst the selection of healthy toppings such as fresh berries and home-made granola which come sprinkled over thick, creamy yoghurt.

Address: Eerste van der Helstraat, 80, 1072 NZ | Open: Monday-Friday 8am-6pm, Saturday-Sunday 9am-7pm

PLUK

This very recently opened cafe is right in the heart of the Nine Streets and is a welcome addition to the area which is already buzzing with great eateries. Think watermelon and feta salads and delicious smoothies.

Address: Reestraat 19, 1016 DM, Amsterdam

SLA

Literally translated to lettuce, this salad and juice bar is one of a kind. The enormous bowl of green goodness that you’ll get served is as healthy as it is delicious. So good.

Address: Westerstraat 34, 1015 MK Amsterdam | Open: every day 11am-9pm

MARIE-STELLA-MARIS

Downstairs there is a tiny cafe stripping coffee drinking back to basics with just tea, coffee and water on offer and croissants if you’re peckish. Upstairs lies a beauty store selling a selection of heavenly products favouriting aroma therapy. For each product purchased, a sum will be donated to drinking water projects.

Address: Keizersgracht 357HS, 1016 EJ | Open Tuesday-Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday 2pm-5pm, Monday 12pm-6pm

SCANDINAVIAN EMBASSY

My biggest regret was not having the time to go here. The coffee is supposedly superb, the cinnamon bun even better and the salmon and eggs look so good. Please go for me and let me know just how good it is. Below photo by Silvia Falcomer

Sarphatipark 34, 1072 PB Amsterdam | Open: Monday-Friday 8am-6pm, Saturday-Sunday 10am-5pm

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SPECIALTY COFFEE

Amsterdam is quite literally bursting with specialty coffee shops, below are just a few of the best that the city has to offer.

HEADFIRST COFFEE ROASTERS – speciality coffee shop serving what some argue to be the best flat white in Amsterdam. Opened by two coffee fanatics who always share their love for good coffee with their customers.

COFFEE AND COCONUTS – an enormous three story café which serves fresh coconut water straight from the source alongside its coffee. Lively, fun space with loud music.

BACK TO BLACK – this cafe not only serves great coffee but also curates and sells local art from all over the Netherlands, including the furniture which you’ll be sat on.

ROOST – located in the Oosterparkbuurt area of the city where there seems to be an abundance of cute cafes opening recently. Unlike the others in the area however, Roost focuses solely on good coffee with just  a few baked goods on offer.

BAKERS AND ROASTERS – an Australian style cafe which not only serves the same standard of coffee that they do down under but also the same standard of breakfast. Here you can get every egg dish imaginable, fresh fruit platters and large stacks of pancakes.

SWEET TREATS

IJSCUYPJE ICE CREAM

This ice cream parlour is always busy which must say something about the quality of the ice cream. A great variety of flavours and happy customers leaving its doors are two very good signs to me. Best enjoyed along one of the many canals.

STROOPWAFEL

If you haven’t heard of these then let me introduce you to the wonderful world of stroopwafels. Two thin waffles sandwiched together with sweet caramel. So dangerous but so good. The best apparently come from Lanskroon, we sampled them and they were delicious but not much like the usual stroopwafel. For fresh warm ones made in front of your eyes head to the Albert Cuyp Market. I always enjoy eating them with fresh berries, so don’t forget to take some home either from Markt or Stach.

SHOPPING

Amsterdam is the ultimate shopping city; it has all of the high street brands and designer stores but the real attraction lies in the little boutiques which are entirely unique and include a plethora of vintages shops and concept stores.

For all of the high street brands head to the Kalverstraat and the Leidsestraat. Of the two, the Leidsestraat has the higher end brands. Make sure not to miss & Other Stories and Hay which aren’t far.

For individual boutiques and hours of browsing head to the Nine Streets for unique finds.

A few of favourite concept stores of mine were Anna & Nina, Charlie & Mary and Cotton Cake although it’s pretty difficult not to spend your whole travel budget inside them. 

The P.C. Hooftstraat is where you’ll find all of the designer stores so for a spot of window shopping on Amsterdam’s most exclusive street this is the place to come!

Amsterdam photo diary

Amsterdam would have to be one of my favourite European cities. I left the city with a firm knowledge that I would one day spend a year of my life fully discovering its cobbled streets and picnicking along every canal. There is simply far too much to squeeze into one weekend and I am already yearning to return to the places which I simply didn’t have time to uncover. It is bursting with adorably cute brunch spots and concept stores. I had no idea just how many hotspots there were nor just how cute they would be. I hope this photo diary gives you a little glimpse into this wonderfully diverse and liberal city which has stolen a piece of my heart. I’ll be publishing my Amsterdam guide very shortly as well.