Monday, 6 January 2014

10 Bright Ideas For A Winter Weekend in Lyon

Airport codes are silly and confusing. Especially when you plan your working duties (i.e. sightseeing) around the wrong one. 
I was enthusiastically planning my trip to LYS.
Lisbon. Portugal? No?
Lyon. France?
So there I was in Lyon, with a loose travel guide to the city thanks to a whatsapp conversation with my sister and a timeout article screenshot on my mobile. I had less than 24 hours to explore so I got to it.
Following my surprise trip to Lyon, here are my tips to enjoying your stay in southside France… in winter. Enjoy!

Friday, 3 January 2014

Happy New Year: 4 Resolutions For 2014

Okay, so I can't claim to have taken a blogging sabbatical. I have instead been busy earning a promotion over the last six months. Free time has been taken up primarily with writing reports, sleeping and eating. And occasionally I squeeze in my so-called social life. A little while ago, I was offered the permanent position of senior flight stewardess for the world's no.1 airline.  Hard work having paid off, I can now return to my first love - travelling the world, and consequently, writing about it.
With 2014 underway, the usual resolution rigmarole has hit me. Being a girl who loves a gimmick, I do like making resolutions. It goes in with my other indulgences, such as stationery, writing lists and packing. Don't judge.

So here are my resolutions.

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Ramadan in Dubai – Where To Break Your Fast!

Ramadan in Dubai is a beautiful month. Perhaps not for those who can’t suffer the place without its nightclubs and sparkler-topped giant champagne bottles, but for those who wish to enjoy the meaning of a month-long detox and deepen their spiritual relationship with God, this is, by all accounts, the best month of the year to do so.

From sunrise to sunset, food, drink, cigarettes and shishas are stashed away, hidden and forbidden.
But come Maghrib, the sunset prayer, the daylong restraints are abandoned and Iftar comes as a spread of dishes, delicacies and intricately prepared salads, meats, and finger foods… That is if you’re fortunate enough to be invited to Iftar at an Arabic family home. If not, despair not, there are plenty of amazing brunch-like buffets to attend to your face-stuffing fancies.  Here are my pick of the best Iftar meals (in Dubai)…

Thursday, 21 February 2013

World Catwalk: Destination Sao Paulo, Brasil

It was my first time in Sao Paulo, first time in Brasil and first time in South America altogether, so last week I was supremely excited to get myself out of bed, and into a brand new city to explore.
As with most first-time destinations, my ideas of Brasil were clouded with stereotypes. From music videos, magazines and the like, you get the idea that the girls are going to be beautiful, and the people are going to be dancing on the street wearing green, yellow and blue. From newspapers and movies, you imagine that on every turn your life will transform into a Denzel Washington ‘Man on Fire’-style kidnap thriller. 
In an interview regarding Sao Paulo, artist Tracey Emin recently said of the city’s crime-rate issues, “you can’t wear a f*&king watch”. And I’d have to agree. I mean, I literally had to scope the place out every time I wanted to whip out my camera for a quick shot. I deliberately dressed down and my mobile phone stayed out of sight for the entire trip having been pre-warned of venturing alone by hotel staff, crew, locals… so, pretty much everyone then.
The constant apprehension of one’s own safety somewhat tarnishes what is an otherwise pleasant place with people who seem to hold no airs and graces, and who are refreshingly down-to-earth compared to Dubai.
Getting into town involved a train/metro connection and then I was slap-bang in the middle of Republica (pronounced Hepublica, apparently). I found myself mixing with market shoppers, rasta-style Marley fans and tons of post-high-school types discovering themselves with the help of too much sun and Cachaça.

Whilst doing what sightseeing I could, I tried to soak up some of the atmosphere and style of the city, without looking like a complete tourist. The half Lebanese-half Scottish mix helps but my hilarious attempts at Portuguese might have betrayed my true identity – “tudo bem!”

The somehow continental feel of the streets was splashed with sticky sun and old/new architecture combines the city’s history alongside its recent developments. A Miami-like palm-lined approach leads to the Sao Paulo Cathedral Sé Metropolitana. It stands majestically in front of a square filled with a cocktail of cultures and calamities; beggars, Brasilians and tourists alike flock to say their prayers.
I scanned said square, hoping to find some blogworthy street style a la Sao Paulo, but I found myself struggling somewhat. There was way too much lycra, lots of 90s throwback tributees and too-tight t-shirts were pressing their way around too many tanned Paulistas. Colour was everywhere, but not in that cool I'm-a-hot-blooded-Latino way I was hoping for. It was more of a brightest-thing-in-my-wardrobe-caught-my-eye-this-morning look.
Despite my slight disappointment, I kept a lookout for any surprises that might just be waiting to feature in The Trolley Dolly’s World Catwalk… and then I bumped into Sabrina with her lovely friend Rodrigo (pronounced Hodrigo) and with the help of Rodrigo’s translation, I got to know that there definitely is some street style in Sao Paulo, but of course I was in the wrong area for it. Oh well, there’s always next time.

Sabrina’s outfit caught my eye with its accessorised simplicity. In contrast with the world’s recent fashion weeks, I love her ready-to-wear realness – printed tee tucked into a belted maxi skirt. It’s a look I really should work harder to pull off as it’s perfect for Dubai. Add to that bright red nails, lots of eyeliner and quirky accessories. Don’t you just love it? I do.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Afternoon Tea in The Burj…

When Mum comes to visit, I like to show her Dubai at its best. When you live in a place, all too often the shine fades and every once in a while, when a visitor presents the opportunity, it’s nice to put on those rose-tinted oversize glasses. To return to the glamour that first sparked a love affair with the place when I arrived. And to whole-heartedly embrace the frivolity and over-indulgent luxury that is one of the world’s newest super-cities.

I can think of no better way of doing so than treating Mum to a glorious seven course afternoon tea, in the world's most famous seven star hotel. The Burj Al Arab.

Seven star hotel, seven course afternoon tea… I suppose it makes sense. But in reality, I found my eyes were (as ever) bigger than my stomach.
Never fear, I won’t bore you with mind-numbing details of all seven courses in a food-envy-inducing frenzy, but I will tell you why this really was an afternoon to remember.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

The Sunday Stalker

Let’s be honest, who doesn't love a good nosy through the blog world every now and then? From those who drive you mad with their ever-expanding designer collections, to the experts who are brimming with beauty advice and then there’s the rest… Home décor, baking, brunching, DIY, man repelling… you name it, the blogosphere’s got the lot. And so, that leads me to the initiation of The Sunday Stalker… where every other Sunday I spill which brilliant bloggers I’ve been stalking over the weekend.

I’m going to start with my daily go-tos. These are the blogs that, quite simply, give me great pleasure to read and I’m sure you’ll know them. If not, don’t say I didn’t warn you… addiction awaits.

That means “outfitting oneself in a sartorially offensive mode that may result in repelling members of the opposite sex” according to Leandra Medine, author of The Man Repeller, lady with an impeccable eye for a shoe, and funny girl indulging a seriously admirable sense of humour. 
Honestly, I cannot thank this centre-parted divulger of fashion genius enough, for all the hours of entertainment I’ve enjoyed at the hands of her witty, refreshing online dialogue. If you fancy knowing best how to wear an overall, work a full white outfit, or any other known faux pas with panache, head on over. You will love this blog. It’s just not normal not to.

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