Travel & Places

PICTURE POSTCARDS FROM 25 HOURS HAFENCITY HAMBURG

October 29, 2016

ledbylucy-hamburg-25hours-hotelbreakfast-hamburghafen-city-hotelsauna-25hours-hotel-hamburgroom-service-25hourshotel25-hours-hotel-hamburg-blogledbylucy-hamburg-breakfast-blogExploring Germany has been on our bucket list since we moved here a year ago. Last week we visited Hamburg and stayed at 25 Hours Hotel Hafencity and my oh my did we love it there *Guide to Hamburg coming up soon*

We stayed in Hafencity, the old port area of the city in a hotel which completely embraces the fisherman, docker vibe of the area. All of the interior design mirrors the area seamlessly, the sauna is crafted from up-cycled shipping containers and seats have been sculpted from stacks of carpets once traded in the area. We are fully fledged fishermen and women now 😉

Here are some picture postcards from our time spent exploring the hotel.

1- Picking out vinyls from the vast collection to play in the music room, our favourite space. We would love to host a party in here one day.

2. If you have read this post you will know that Nick is somewhat of a coffee connoisseur. He had scheduled a visit to Elb Gold coffee house into our Hamburg itinerary, then he found out that the hotel served this local delicacy with breakfast #HeWasPrettyHappy.

3. Nick playing Rocky with the vintage style punch bags and weighted gloves.

4. Enjoying a beer and chillaxing in the Finnish styled sauna while looking out onto the port.

5. Why can’t we have room service at home too?

6. OMG I had the best sleeps ever in this bed! (Hello new pyjamas that my sister bought me in America).

7. That’s an OJ I’m drinking with breakfast, not a screwdriver 😉

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Suggested Post: Picture Postcards: Life Lately

Collaboration: This post was written in collaboration with 25 Hours Hotel Hafencity 

Projects and Tips

WEDDING PLANNING PART 2: OUR DREAMY AND ROMANTIC WEDDING INVITES

October 18, 2016

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I am so excited (and a little nervous) to share my wedding invitations here. They are the first impression that my guests (and now my readers) will get of my wedding. So they are kind of a big deal.

I looked at loads of different designs and, like wedding dresses, there are lots of beautiful options. So how do you choose? I picked out a trendy design with botanical prints on a blush pink background and wondered if I should go ahead and order them. But then I discovered the the Fairy Tale Romance collection. And my heart sang out “this is it”. I feel as though they are timelessly to my taste and I totally adore them. People often tell you that when selecting a wedding dress you ‘just know’ when you try the one, I haven’t felt like that when dress shopping yet, but I did feel it when picking these invitations.

I have them stored in a little box in our office and I keep peeking in to see how pretty they are. I’m thinking of having them framed after the wedding along with a few other keepsakes, and perhaps having them feature in the wedding album too.

I adore how dreamy and romantic they are. The design reminds me of the location for our ceremony. Friends have been so sweet and commented that they are ‘so Lucy and Nick’.

They are from Wedding Paper Divas. I worked with the designers there and changed several different aspects to make them perfect for us and to suit our needs.

I really need to find a wedding dress that jumps out at me the way my invitations did!

Photo Credit: Images of the island by the talented Someday Today and photos of invitations by me

Suggested Post: Wedding Planning Part One

Travel & Places

BERLIN UPDATE: TRADITIONS TO MAKE A NEW CITY FEEL LIKE HOME

September 25, 2016

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You will never guess what? It has been a full year since Nick and I decided to make the leap and move to Berlin. It certainly doesn’t feel that long. I am often responding to the question ‘how long have you been here?’ with ‘six months’, because time has flown by. Some of you have been asking for an update on how we are settling in, so I thought our one year anniversary would be the perfect opportunity to fill you in.

Moving to Berlin was incredibly exciting and since we touched down a year ago we have been on a none-stop mission to find new places, discover hidden gems and see as much as possible. However, while thrilling, seeking out adventures doesn’t add up to the most homely, settled lifestyle. One year into the move and we have began to take pleasure in developing our own rituals and traditions here.

One of these things is going to the Saturday food market, stocking up on fresh veg and fish for the week ahead then cooking up an incredible dinner. The market is full of fresh produce and crafts like hand made pasta and artisinal cheeses. One of our most treasured stalls is the tiramisu and pizza stand. This place is run by two Italian guys, one makes the desserts and the other fries authentic, Napoli-style pizza right in front of you. The tiramisu is utterly dreamy and picking up a couple of pots for after dinner (or eating it immediately in the park) has become a regular occurrence – we found out later that it’s even gluten free!

You may have read that Nick loves his coffee (see this post for his top spots), and so this has also become one of our weekly routines. Every weekend we head out to try out a new coffee shop in a new district of Berlin. We usually spend the rest of the day exploring the local shops and sights. It’s been so much fun and has really helped us to get to know the different areas.

These little traditions are just small things that we take pleasure in, but it’s been a really important part of adapting to living in a new country and making it feel like our own home.

Have you recently moved to a new city or country? If so, do you have have any tips on making it feel like home?

Suggested Post: Five Beautiful Things To Do In Berlin

Fashion & Beauty

MY FAVOURITE OOTD POSTS

September 15, 2016

I recently had to search through my back catalog of blogs. It was a lovely trip down memory lane and I enjoyed reminiscing about each post, what I was doing at the time and how things have changed since then. Being able to look back in this way is a wonderful perk of having a blog.

Here are some of my favourite OOTD posts since the inception of LedByLucy and the reasons why.

LedByLucy-Chester-England (14)Chester: Stopping To Smell The Roses This post and pictures remind me of deciding to make a huge leap of faith and move from the UK to Germany. It was a really exciting but also uncertain time as we didn’t know what to expect. Our lives changed a lot after this.LedByLucy-Poppy-ASOS-image6Poppy Print Outfit Of The Day Taken outside of Hotspur Press in Manchester, a pretty grubby industrial building which is steeped in history and charming in it’s own way. And yeah, I like the dress!

New #OOTD post set in #Ibiza featuring @topshop retro swimwear. Link to blog in bio. Ibiza In A Clamb Shell Holiday vibes!LedByLucy-Berlin-FashionTwinsies! OOTD With My Sister I pass this spot regularly and this image of my sister and I laughing together pops up in my mind every time. I actually have this picture framed in my spare room. We both live so far away from each other now that moments like this together are very precious.LedByLucy-Nhow-Berlin-BloggerNhow Berlin Review: A Sunny Lunch Date This is Berlin at its finest, with the sun shining! The Spree (the river in the background) is a landmark in Berlin that I love. If and when we ever decide to move away from Berlin, I know I will look back on photos like this and think of the good times.LedByLucy-January-Treats-image5LedByLucy-January-Treats-image6French Connection and Faux Fur The first post using my “proper” camera. Up until this point I had been admiring other people’s blogs and occasionally creating my own posts using an i-phone. It was a pricey purchase but totally worth it, it makes the blog in my opinion. LedByLucy-Blog-Engagement-Dress-White-Bocci-BerlinEngagement Party Dress: Wearing White Wearing White Both the twinkling lights at Bocci and the fact that I am wearing my engagement party dress make this a favourite post. Maybe one day when I’m older and we have children they might ask about our engagement and I can show them these pictures.

Travel & Places

TOP 5: GUIDE TO COFFEE IN BERLIN

September 10, 2016

coffe-berlinhappy-baristas-berlinHi guys, Nick here. While I’ve been behind the scenes on many a LedByLucy shoot and watched many great drafts develop from the sidelines this is my first actual solo post (intimidating!). Doing a post on here has always been something Lucy and I would talk about but the right idea never came along until now. Coffee is a huge passion of mine and while I don’t get into it in a geeky way (trust me, I have plenty of other geek moments over other things) I always seek out the best coffee places in new cities we visit and enjoy experiencing quality cups from people who know their craft.

The Berlin Coffee Festival arrived on our doorstep recently and so it seemed like a perfect time for me to jump in and write a post about the coffee shops I love in Berlin. All these places were all reppin’ at the festival and the experience was one which further stoked my passion to seek out great coffee. So, with no further ado, here are my Top 5 Favourite Coffee Shops in Berlin.

1. Silo

Silo is my regular place. I go there almost every weekend and get their amazing flat white or cortado. They use coffee from Fjord Coffee Roasters and the quality is just unbeatable.  I have never had a bad cup in 13 months and I see this as nothing short of small miracle. It’s also a known favorite of super-star DJ Richie Hawtin when he’s in town playing Berghain (which is just around the corner) and they do a super awesome breakfast too.

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2. Five Elephant

Five Elephant is often listed in the top coffee places in Berlin and frequently the best coffee place in Kreuzberg. The cafe is welcoming and the staff really know their stuff – they also speak German and English willingly. They change their blends pretty frequently and always like to talk you through their new products and make recommendations. Tip: The cheesecake here is legendary. Seriously. It’s utterly unreal.

3. Double Eye

This place is an institution. They recently celebrated their 15th Birthday and it’s easy to see why they have been a success for so long. This place is unlike many of the frequnetly touted third wave coffee shops in Berlin with their raw cut, treated wood furnishings and totems to hipster-dom (mounted fixie bike on the wall, anyone?). Double Eye resides in the somewhat sleepy, residential area of Schöneberg yet commands a loyal following from all around Berlin. Tip: Grab their ‘Super Spezial’ – a cortado style small cup with a double shot of coffee sandwiched by normal latte-style foam on the top and super-sweet Vietnamese-style condensed milk underneath.

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4. Happy Baristas

Happy Baristas is another regular spot for me and sits just beyond Ostkreuz station. The place (which you can see in the first two pictures in this post) is really tastefully-decorated, the food is also pretty awesome. They took part in the Coffee Festival and hosted cuppings (which are kind of like ceremonial tasting sessions), and a special coffee cocktail menu. They also have really friendly staff. Highly recommended.

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5. Father Carpenter’s Coffee Brewers

In a somewhat poetic circularity, this place is very tied to my number 1 choice, Silo. They both use Fjord Coffee Roasters for their brews and have a similar sensibility in great breakfasts and infallible quality. This place is located in Mitte, not too far from Alexanderplatz station and sits within a really beautiful courtyard which they share with another favourite brand of mine, Nudie Jeans. They have a main restaurant and a take away shop if you’re in a rush (warning: it gets busy on a weekend so get there early if you want breakfast).

Edit: Ok, so I had to come back to this post and add one in here. I found this place just as I was finalising the post and it quickly became a favourite weekend spot for me. I was struck by the friendly service and range of beans at Tres Cabezas (http://www.trescabezas.de/) on my first visit. Their regular roasting and variety of coffee has made this place a real point of interest for those who love fresh brews and high quality. In my view it’s not just one thing that makes this place great, it’s the whole package – be sure to try out the freshly baked Portuguese tarts too as they are life-changing.  Me and Lucy first found out about Tres Cabezas from their suppliers at the Berlin Coffee Festival who took us through a cupping of all their brews. They gave us a really insightful and passionate account of what they strive to achieve with their beans and what makes a great cup of coffee and this quality is so apparent when you take your first sip. The owners also opened a place in Mitte called 19grams which serves all their great coffees as well as some delicious-looking breakfasts I can’t wait to try.

coffee-tasting-berlinAs you can see, me and Lucy really enjoyed the festival (it was held at Markthalle Neun – our local food market hall). We got to learn a lot about roasts, what makes a good blend and the way in which roasters and traders judge quality and supply great coffee to our favourite shops. While Lucy didn’t drink any coffee (she did enjoy a good sniff, though) she was similarly enticed by all the aromas and expertise that goes into the perfect cup.

Suggested Post: Five Beautiful Things To Do In Berlin