Morocco photo diary

Morocco is such a beautifully vibrant country full of life and love. I recently took a trip there with a group of friends from Paris and had the most wonderful time  away. We laughed until our cheeks ached and frolicked until our feet were sore. You’ll be able to find my Marrakech guide shortly so I shan’t share too much but here are just a few of my absolute favourite places photographed above:

Stay: La Mamounia resembles a palace more than a hotel and if you’re lucky enough to stay here I don’t doubt that you’ll be treated like an Arabian princess. The most beautiful hotel I have ever laid eyes on.

Eat: Above the madness of the souks and the bustling square you’ll find this restaurant terrace offering a Moroccan feast if I ever did see one. Order a selection of dishes to be shared by the table to taste the best of traditional and modern Moroccan cuisine. They even serve mojitos, something not to be taken for granted in this alcohol-restricted country.

Do: the Ben Youssef Madrasa is the most stunning example of Moorish architecture, it’ intricate tiling and vibrant colours will wow.

Wanderlust

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain.

This is something which I have to keep telling myself time and time again because I know how very true it is. The things that you decide not to do are the ones that haunt you the most. This is especially true of the things that you tell yourself over and over and promise yourself that you will do but somewhere down the line, a cloud of excuses gets in the way. I am determined not to let this happen to me. I often read articles differentiating between the thinkers and the doers which always prompts me to contemplate which category I fall under. Reading such articles always scares me into action as there will always be that niggling fear of not doing what I say I will. Whether it be a diet, a marathon, a destination or a profession, we should always follow our desires. However all too often we live in fear, fear of the unknown and the instability of the unknown. I can feel  that fear all too well right now. I’m currently working in a stable job with a steady income and the luxuries of home, life is very comfortable but entirely unfulfilling. It’s an interim period of my life to save for the next step. I’ve set myself a date where I’ll leave this life behind which slightly terrifies me. I often find myself making excuses not to go, or to extend my stay at home because of the fear of such a drastic change. Fortunately I know from past experience that it will all work out and that as soon as my journey begins I will know that it is the right one for me. I guess what I am trying to say is that if I hadn’t ever left home all those years ago then I might  not be leaving again now because I would not know of the benefits of starting a new life, of travelling alone or my strength. But leaving before has taught me that I can leave again. Live not in the fear of the unknown but go forth and accomplish your dreams. Don’t overthink it, just do it. Otherwise twenty years from now you will regret the dreams that you didn’t live out not the ones you did.

Le louvre

Truthfully speaking I’d never really seen the attraction of the pyramid often dubbed as an architectural gem, as a symbol of amalgamating the old and the new but I’d always seen it as a modern monstrosity standing before one of the most beautiful buildings in Paris, the Louvre. That was until the day I woke up and left my apartment before sunrise; I’d never thought to venture out this early before but don’t really know why it hadn’t ever crossed my mind as I took the most beautiful photographs I have done in the three years I lived there. Note to self (and to everyone else) always, always wake up for the sunrise when in foreign lands; it will undoubtedly result in your most picturesque memories of the trip. Seeing the pyramid without a single tourist posing in front of it allowed me to see it in a whole new light. Sometimes it takes a fresh perspective to feel differently about something so familiar.

Le Saint-Honoré

Despite only just disparaging the French pâtisserie for its high butter and high sugar content, here I am once again worshipping it. You knew I couldnt stay away from these delights for too long.. After all the stomach knows what the stomach wants. Anyone who can walk past Café Pouchkine without batting an eyelid is a hero to me, or maybe not human. The selection of treats here is enough to sway even the most determined of dieters. I don’t think the Saint-Honoré needs any introduction but the one from Café Pouchkine really is a piece of art so if you get the chance, scrap the diet, forget about the butter and simply indulge.

An education

Do you know those films that you can re-watch time after time yet never seem to tire of? An Education is that kind of film for me. It is flawlessly filmed, effortlessly timeless and entirely gripping. If you haven’t watched it, you simply must. If you fancy yourself as a bit of a francophile then you will particularly love it as there are endless references to Albert Camus, Jacques Brel and of course Paris. For some reason the below photos reminded me so much of the Paris scene where Jenny & David epitomise two lovers in the city of love, walking hand in hand along the Seine, running down the iconic steps in Montmartre and picnicking in the park under Pont Neuf. This scene makes up only a very small part of the film but boy is it a good one.

Pâtisserie Ciel

Pâtisserie Ciel is a breath of fresh air among the often heavy & laden in sugar patisseries which Paris has become so famous for. After several months of living in the land of cheese and bread you might just find yourself needing a break from the starchy baguette and buttery croissant and if/ when you tire of the French classics you might just find Pâtisserie Ciel the ideal place to try. Much lighter on the lips, these candy-coloured sponge cakes, entirely void of butter, still manage to kick any sugar craving yet don’t leave you feeling boated and over-full. Not to mention the place itself is far from Parisian in appearance with a white, refreshing interior and hushed whispers being exchanged you’ll find it a calming oasis from the overcrowded boulangerie across the road. These little angel cakes are a testament to the ever-growing dessert scene in Paris.

Address: 3 Rue Monge, 75005 // Métro: Maubert Mutualité

Hôtel de Sully

I took these photos a long while ago when the trees were in full bloom and the ivy growing on the wall was enough to make you take a second glance. It was the first time that my friend and I had discovered Hôtel de Sully and we were both completely shocked that we hadn’t heard even a whisper of this place prior to visiting. We were even more surprised when we walked through the courtyard and found this incredible private mansion which more so resembles a miniature castle if you ask me. Across the other side lies a secret door not necessarily hidden from the eye but not sign-posted as a public path. Unsure of whether we were able to pass through we tentatively approached until the people appearing on the our side confirmed it as an access way. What it leads to is the renowned Place des Vosges with its beautiful red brick apartments and antique lampposts, passing through the door and under the arches it’ll feel as though you’ve been let in on Paris’ biggest secret.

London photo diary

Before I return to my large influx of Paris posts which I’ve got planned I thought I’d finish off this little series of England with my London photo diary. I spent New Year’s Eve with my best friend as our little tradition goes celebrating New Year’s Day with a champagne toast and one of the best roast dinners of the year before sneaking upstairs to the library where everyone plays board games over afternoon tea. Below are just a few of the places we frequented during our time there and ones which come highly recommended.

Eat: NOPI

The famed Ottolenghi’s restaurant is a delight; the white marble and gold interior is the ideal background to let his dishes take centre stage. We went mid-morning and even the brunch menu is more diverse than usual offering shakshuka as well as your standard breakfast fare.

See: Views atop One New Change

For breathtaking views of St Paul’s church this will undoubtedly be your panorama of choice, it quite literally feels as though you can touch the dome. The bonus: there’s a cocktail bar up there as well, in case it all gets too windy.

Coffee: Curators Coffee Gallery

If the honeycomb tiling doesn’t entice you then surely their chai coffee will, unlike the usual chai latte this one actually contains caffeine and is blended with their homemade chai-infused milk.

Do: Columbia Road flower market

A Sunday morning well spent is one along Columbia Road bartering for a bunch of tulips and browsing the trinket stores, nothing quite beats the atmosphere nor arriving home with an armful of pretty blooms.

Drink: The Good Life Eatery

Any health conscious Londoner will have heard of this juicery turned café where they offer an incredible array of raw pressed juices and nut milks. It also happens to be the current hangout for all the best-looking Londoners and Australian expats and who can blame them when the fare is organic and as delicious as theirs is.

Snack: Fabrique Bakery

If you’re peckish then what better to fill up on then a sticky cinnamon roll from the place where it originates from: Stockholm. This Swedish bakery is a feast for the eyes with all kinds of rye breads and delicious pastries.

{Bath guide}

Bath is probably one of the most attractive cities I’ve ever frequented, nestled in the heart of the rolling hills of Somerset, this world-heritage city is the epitome of English charm. There is something distinctly lovely about the homogeneous Georgian architecture which dominates the city, views from the Bath skyline attest this. Luckily for me my parents live in the surrounding countryside therefore I’m fortunate enough to call it my home. The beauty of Bath lies in its antiquity which you’ll soon learn after wandering its cobbled streets and passing horse drawn carriages fooling you into believing you’ve stepped into a Jane Austen book.

PULTENEY BRIDGE

Standing in front of this bridge provides quite a serene moment with the calming hue of the sandstone and the water flowing in the weir below. Similarities have been made between this bridge and Ponte Vecchio because both are examples of historic bridges with shops built onto them and both lie at the heart of their city’s charm.

COLONNA AND SMALLS

Colonna and Small’s is a cafe which you simply cannot miss if you’re in Bath. Make it your first stop and you’ll be back frequently to top up on caffeine. The clean bright interior is peppered with their signature bright blue coffee cups in the hands of contended coffee drinkers. This independent coffee shop has a well-earned reputation, the pioneer Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood has won the World Barista Championships therefore you can relax in the hands of masters of the trade.

Address: 6 Chapel Row, Bath, BA1 1HN, United Kingdom // Open Monday-Friday 8h – 17.30, Saturday 8.30 – 17.30h Sunday 10h – 16h

SOCIETY CAFE

Found along the high street in Bath is the lovely Society cafe with its large window and sand-stone façade inviting you to pop in for speciality coffee and home-baked cake. Sit along the windowsill and watch the world go-by – how every good cup of coffee should be enjoyed.

Address: 19 High Street, Bath, BA1 5AJ // Open Monday-Saturday 7.30 – 18.30, Sunday 10h – 18h

GEORGIAN ARCHITECTURE

Architecture is such a key point in defining a city; Paris is defined by the Haussmannian apartments with their uniform verandas and obligatory seven floors and  Bath is defined by the honey-hued Bath stone which makes it an entirely unique city unlike any other in appearance.

GREAT PULTENEY STREET

Great Pulteney Street is home to some of the most stunning examples of Georgian architecture in England. Large manor houses line this wide avenue and at the end sits the Holbourne museum formerly a ballroom used to entertain Bath’s visitors, now an art gallery.

CAFE LUCCA

Large ceramic bowls filled with hearty home-made salads line the counter of this Italian-inspired eatery. The cafe is located within a concept store and serves the best bruschetta and panini outside of Italy.

Address: 1 Bartlett Street, Bath, BA1 2QZ, United Kingdom // Open Monday-Saturday 10h-17h, Sunday 11h-16h

COLONNA AND HUNTER

This recently opened cafe is a sister project to the aforementioned Colonna and Small’s offering the same standard of coffee as well as extending their specialisation to craft beer with the same meticulous attention on the cultivation of the hops and malts as that of the coffee beans. The interior is boldly designed opting for different textures and deep colours such as speckeld granite and fern green – one wall is dedicated to the English penny with hundreds of copper coins carefully stuck to it. The light interior and exposed brick walls ensure that these deign details don’t overwhelm the space nor distract from the quality of the fare.

Address: 14 – 15 Milsom Place // Open: Monday – 10h – 22.30, Sunday 10h – 21h

PRIOR PARK

Just a few minutes drive from Bath city centre lie the beautiful gardens of Prior Park which were landscaped in the 18th century. The gardens now make up one the many National Trust sites in England and provide astounding views over Bath and the surrounding countryside. Home to one of only four Palladian bridges in the world, this architectural gem alone makes a visit worthwhile.

I hope you enjoyed this little introduction to my home city, if you want to see more photos you can take a look at my Bath photo diary here.

{Bath photo diary}

Initially the purpose of this website was to share the best of Paris and my hope was to turn it into a Paris guide of sorts so I always feel guilty if I post anything other than photographs of Paris. However as life changes direction and consequently I change location this blog has to come with me. I am hoping to expand my horizons and my photography outside of Paris. My aim is to curate travel guides and photo diaries of places which have inspired me, in the hope that they too, inspire you. Don’t get me wrong I will still be posting about Paris very frequently as I have thousands of unpublished photos left to share but I also hope you’ll get equal enjoyment from seeing other places through my lens. (Plus don’t forget you can always refine the posts to Paris by clicking on the Paris category in the tab.) Below is my photo diary of Bath which is truthfully one of the most beautiful English cities once more its only a couple of hours from London, so if you ever get the chance, hop on a train and come and explore this world heritage city like my dearest friend Merrit and I did together.