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Travels: Zanzibar

1 Apr

Continuing on from my previous travels post, I’ve got a bit to share with you from my trip to Zanzibar. I spent a week on the island, starting with 2 nights at Mbweni Ruins hotel, 2 nights at Chumbe Island Coral Reserve and 2 nights at Warere Town House in Stone Town.

This was my first experience of ‘proper’ Africa (it was very different to Morocco and South Africa with their strong connections to European culture). The prices of the resorts we stayed at were heavily inflated, and Stone Town was the other extreme – we stayed at a backpackers guest house with daily power cuts and no back up generator.

The highs were beautiful sunsets and warm waters, but the lows were tourist-savvy locals, polluted beaches and mediocre resorts at high prices.

Stone Town is a UNESCO world heritage site and did have it’s own cultural beauty, but it isn’t being maintained even with tourism bringing in a large amount of the island’s income. I loved walking around the House of Wonders – a Sultan’s home (the first to have running water and lifts) – now a “museum” in a loose sense of the term; I was the only visitor at the time, nearly all the exhibits were shut and there was a thick layer of dust on the bannister as I walked up the grand, ornately carved, mahogany staircase. The whole experience had some odd charm about it.

I also fell for the handful of Aladdin’s cave style Curio’s – even if I was sneezing every couple of minutes. I am a sucker for a broken 19th century timepiece and empty food/cigarette tins with their lovely vintage typography and imagery.

kilimanjaroFlying from Nairobi to Zanzibar we got an epic view of Mount Kilimanjaro

beach umbrella sunsetBeach Sunset at Mbweni Ruins Hotel

way to chum beOn the way to Chumbe Island

chumbe arrival lighthouse

Arrival to Chumbe Island (it really reminded me of the Lost Island!)

DSC09609Inside our Eco-bungalow

bungalowsEco-Bungalows

forodhani sunsetSunset from Forodhani Gardens, Stone Town

turtlesSeriously cute turtles at Jozeni Turtle Reserve

jozeni monkeyAnd cute monkeys at Jozeni Forest

stone townStreets of Stone Town – beautiful carvings

zanzibar doorOne of Stone Towns ornately carved doors – and me in my Traveller gear!

Curio StonetownAn amazing old till (and old divers helmet to the right of it!) in one of Stone Town’s Curio’s.

I’d definitely recommend a short visit to Zanzibar alongside a safari, but don’t go out of your way to get there.

Have you been to Zanzibar? Do you agree with my overall perception? Let me know in the comments section.

LDNshopaholic xxx

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Travels: South Africa

24 Mar

Yes people, I’ve been away on my jollies for the last few weeks. I had the pleasure of visiting Johannesburg, South Africa and Zanzibar, Tanzania.

Here’s a little photobomb of what I got up to in Joburg:

intercontinental sandton poolThe Lush Rooftop Pool at the Intercontinental Hotel, Sandton

casalinga weddingMy cousin’s beautiful red and white wedding at Casalinga Joburg

wedding outfitShameless selfie of What I Wore to the Wedding (taken in the Venue’s ladies room!):

Topshop White Blazer

American Apparel Coral Lace and Chiffon Dress

Gold Topshop Sandal Heels

Pearls (from a charity shop)

cub

Hanging out with a little Lion at the Lion Park.

scarface lionwhite lion

Do these two remind anyone else of Mufasa and Scar from the Lion King?!

giraffe

Also discovered how large a giraffe actually is!

My Lion Park outfit consisted of:

Neutral t-shirt: Monki

Khaki shorts: River Island

Little tan bag: Primark

Tan ballet pumps: Dune

Beige Cardigan: H&M

Ombre Tortoiseshell Sunglasses: Urban Outfitters

It was a very short trip to South Africa (just the weekend – sad face) and I’d love to go back and visit Cape Town as I’ve heard it’s absolutely spectacular. My family and I jetted to Zanzibar next and you’ll be finding out all about that in my next post so stay tuned!

Have you ever been up close with big cats? I was pretty petrified! Haha.

Has anyone had any memorable trips to Africa? It’s pretty different to our very own LDN to say the least.

LDNshopaholic xxx

Bonjour Paris

23 Feb


So here are some VERY belated photos from my trip to Paris the week before Christmas (better late than never right?!). We stayed very near the department store Galeries Lafayette, where they had a huge Christmas tree hanging in their beautiful domed ceiling for the Festive season. In their gift section, I discovered the biggest jar of Nutella…. I really wanted it but I decided there wasn’t enough room in my suitcase (sad times)! Outside there was a street pianist, with a proper piano! The music was beautiful and really set the scene.

We did all the sights, Notre Dame Cathedral, The Eiffel Tower, The Louvre… and the pastry shops and the vintage shops! Thanks for the recommendations you sent me on Twitter, I was blown away by the vintage Chanel and Hermés at Didier Ludot:

Paris Outfit of the Day:

Coat: Miss Selfridge

Jeans: Leigh from Topshop

Bag: Mulberry Bayswater

Scarf: H&M

Gloves: Mulberry

Tiger Print Studded Cardigan: Topshop

 I was generally being quite controlled with shopping during my trip, but it all went a bit pear-shaped on entry to Sephora… details in the haul video below!

We watched Amelié whilst we were there, but didn’t get a chance to visit Montmatre (where the film is set) so I’d love to go back when it’s a bit warmer to visit.

Have you had the chance to visit la belle Paris? What are your favourite Paris haunts/shops?

LDNshopaholic xxx

p.s. if you enjoyed this post you will most probably love this post by Becky from Life Style Flash about her recent trip to Paris 🙂

Travels – Cambodia

10 Oct

(Continued from Travels – Vietnam)

I went overland from Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam into the beautiful Cambodia. I spent 2 days in Phnom Penh, the capital city where I visited the Grand Palace:

We went on to Siem Reap and visited the Night Markets (time for some shopping!):

Then it was time to visit the Temples… my main reason for wanting to visit Cambodia… simply stunning:

Sunrise at Angkor Wat was just breathtaking:

The Khmer people are so unbelievably friendly and all the kids speak perfect English, it totally blew me away!

I loved Cambodia so much and could’ve spent months at the Temples.  I’d definitely recommend visiting if you can, it’s a beautiful country.

Travels – Vietnam

3 Oct

So I’m back from all my travels and feel you are due an update!

My first stop was Hanoi and I went all the way down the coast to Ho Chi Minh City… then onto Cambodia and overland onto Bangkok (photos of these legs coming up soon!).

Temple of Literature – Hanoi

Street Barber – Hanoi

Crossing the Road in Hanoi at a Pedestrian Crossing!

Halong Bay

Market lady with a bag of toads and a bucket of eels (standard!)

Hue Motorbike Tour

Thien Mu Pagoda – Hue

Stunning Beach on the way down to Hoi An

Me Kong Delta Boat Trip

Me doing a Britney Spears 😉

I absulutely loved it and would recommend it to anyone! The food in Vietnam is seriously amazing… the national dishes are spring rolls and Pho which is a delicious and heart warming noodle soup! x

My Travels

16 Aug

Hello everyone!

So I’m officially on my travels! I’ll be posting occasionally as well as publishing some scheduled posts – so do keep checking back.

I’m flying to Bangkok, then to Hanoi and then I’m doing an Intrepid tour through Vietnam and Cambodia back to Bangkok:

I’m really looking forward to meeting my tour group and seeing all of these wonderful places.

I’ll do my best to reply to comments and update as regularly as I can. I’ll be back in the UK on September 8th.

Hope you have a good few weeks 🙂

LDNshopaholic xxx

 

Screaming Mimi’s!

15 Jun

As promised I’m continuing to document my New York vintage shopping experience. This time it’s the FABULOUS Screaming Mimi’s which can also be found on the Lower East Side.

I couldn’t help but love this place from the moment I walked in. I mean who doesn’t love being greeted by shoes?

And I can’t help but mention the signed Manolo Blahniks they have on their site for $1800! Their selection of jewellery is amazing, and all colour coordinated:

There is pretty much everything you could ever want from a vintage store, from organisation by era, a great selection of designer pieces and even the odd top hat ($75):

I also loved the simple but effective decor in store, it’s actually pretty massive, and a real treasure trove:

Being the magpie I am, I couldn’t help but spot this sparkly suit (I think it was around $80), I would’ve snapped it up if I could think of the right occasion!

And I also found this gorgeous YSL scarf which was in superb condition ($150):

Kind of wish I’d bought it!!! But I was being very controlled.

As you can probably tell I loved this place. It also might have helped that I’d just eaten a yummy crepe and thus was in a really good mood, but I honestly thought the selection here was brilliant and the pricing was pretty reasonable. Also, the quality of most garments was excellent. I didn’t feel pressured by any of the staff, who offered help and were generally smiley. I’d definitely recommend you stopping by this place if you’re in New York, and do let me know if you buy anything!

Vintage on the Lower East Side

13 Jun

I’m a bit of a vintage junkie so I did my best to find vintage haunts in New York. My first stop was the Lower East Side, walking distance from where I was staying (how convenient!).

I set my sights on Edith Machinist, I’d read and heard a lot about it and couldn’t wait to get my mitts on the some vintage goodies.

Walking down the stairs everything looked so well organised, I felt I was in a boutique rather than a vintage store:

There was a particularly brilliant selection of shoes, bags and belts. However, I missed the ‘rummage’ and the joy at finding something at the bottom of the $1 basket. The boutique-ness of it meant the prices were inflated (in my opinion) and I kind of felt like the sales people were watching my every move, and I felt a little pressured to buy something.

I tried on a few pairs of boots but luckily (for my bank balance) didn’t find anything in my size. I totally fell in love with these bad boys though!

To be fair, they were selling rather a lot of vintage designer which might have been why the prices were a bit more than I’m used to. I really liked this Jean Paul Gaultier dress, but just couldn’t justify the $180 price tag:


I’d say if you’re looking for a particular vintage piece, or have a lust for designer vintage this would be a great place to go. It’s also a good place to go for design/styling inspiration. But if you’re more of a jumble sale veteran/bargain hunter this isn’t the place for you.

Take at least $100 if not $200 (£60-100), if you’re on the hunt for something here… it could be well worth it if you find a vintage Dior dress or Chanel sunglasses.

There’ll be more vintage from the Lower East Side coming tomorrow fellow shopaholics! xxx

Hello NYC!

10 Jun

If you’ve been following my Twitter lately, you’ll know that I’ve been in the fabulous New York visiting my friend Shoshana, who lives on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. I’ve spent WAY too much money, and I don’t think I’ve ever walked so much! My beautiful (and comfy) Dune ballet pumps are nearly falling to bits 😦 but it was totally worth it!

Touristy photos are obviously a necessity so I thought I’d keep you all in the loop:

View of the NYC streets from the 22nd floor

Yes! A Lady Gaga train! Truly amazing.

Ellis Island (on left), Me and Manhattan

Lady Liberty – did you know she was a gift from France?!

An awesome roof party I went to 🙂

I went a bit mad vintage shopping in New York, so will be blogging all about that. As well as a few other interesting ‘stores’ I came across. And product review day on Thursday is going to be a good one!

Wish you were here,

LDNshopaholic xxx