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Travel & Places

WEST BERLIN WEEKENDS

March 12, 2017

We’ve just had the sunniest weekend that Berlin has seen for a long while and it was wonderful, so I thought I’d share it here. I actually took my coat off outside, it felt liberating to be outdoors without the cold needling my face. Though the Berlin winters can feel dark and gloomy at times (with lots of Netflix), the summers are worth it, and if that little peep of sunshine that we had this weekend could brighten everyone’s day so much- imagine what months of it will bring?!

Over the weekend we hopped on the S-bahn and went to West Berlin, to Rogacki- an old market. It was built in the 1930’s and hasn’t changed since. Old locals stand around drinking wine, eating smoked fish or oysters whilst they put the world to rights. It looks like a rough and ready version of the market halls that you see in fancy department stores. Yet this is the original, real-deal.

We even made a friend called Briguitta who gave us wine then took us on a tour of the stalls, telling us how each fish was smoked and where it comes from. We bought delicious cheeses, smoked fish and red wine. There is a really cool vinyl shop near the back entrance which also looks like it has been stuck in a time warp since the 1970s. Nick bought three world-music vinyls which he was pretty happy about.

In fact, the whole area has been stuck in a time warp. It’s such a contrast to the edgy East Berlin where we live which is full of young people from all over the world claiming Berlin as their home. It’s random days out like this that make me love living in Berlin, you can continually discover such contrasting things in this city.

Suggested Post: OOTD In Prague’s Old Town

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, Travel & Places

BOTANICAL GARDENS BERLIN

April 6, 2016

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My Grandma always used to take us to the botanical gardens for days out there when we were little. I have such fond memories of escaping the cold into a tropical climate filled with exotic plants and flowers from all over the world. With these treasured memories in mind, I decided to visit Botanischer Garten Berlin, which boasts the second largest tropical greenhouse in the world.

As I entered through the gates and explored the vast grounds at Botanischer Garten my imagination began to run wild. Picturing the types of people that walked through these glasshouses and grounds when it was first built back in 1679.

We visited over the spring bank holiday weekend but I would love to return again in Summer to see the grounds in full bloom.

Wearing: Zara Tweed Dress With Layered Skirt/French Connection Saddle Bag/Black Ballet Pumps

Suggested Post: OOTD In Prague’s Old Town

Fashion & Beauty

A LITTLE ZEN AT VABALI SPA BERLIN

March 9, 2016
Vabali Spa
Berlin’s complex history,  squat dwelling punks, tasty Currywurst, plentiful graffiti and 24/7 club scene are often what first spring to mind when you picture Berlin. But this is a city full of surprises.
vabali spa is one of those unexpected gems in this vast city. After arriving at Hauptbahnhof (Berlin’s biggest train station) and crossing a busy, beeping main road, navigating through schools and bustling apartments I wondered if we had taken a wrong turn, after all this is not a very tranquil area.
But from the moment you pass through the 80 metre teak wooden entrance lined with bamboo leaves and babbling fountains you begin to relax and forget that you are in a city centre.
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vabali is an expansive private resort over 20,000 square meters in size. It has an outdoor area, a dining terrace, carved wooden statues, poolside lounging areas, cosy four poster beds for relaxing in, a heated outdoor pool (which is steaming hot at winter),a freezing plunge pool (I couldn’t do it but Nick tells me it was refreshing) and a variety of  saunas. It is a real oasis and escape from the city.
My favourite things were the yoga classes and  of course the treatments. I had a deep tissue massage and Nick chose the sports massage. But my all time favourite thing, which I cannot stop thinking about, is the heated water beds. They are situated in the relaxation rooms, or napping areas as I liked to call them. I had sooo many full on naps that day!
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Here are a few tips if you decide to visit:
  • Take your own towel and dressing gown. They have them there, in fact they have hundreds of them – all completely identical. It’s really difficult to know which is yours when there are fifty hung up on a peg and I ended up with someone else’s which was soaking wet. Argh! Not what you want when you’ve just emerged naked from the heated pool into the cold fresh air.
  • Yes I said naked! vabali spa, like many German spas, is textile free. I must admit I was cringing on the way there imagining it. But once your there it feels totally natural.
  • Take water with you. It’s really important to stay hydrated when you are experiencing the extreme temperatures of the saunas and ice baths. You can pick up a bottle from the bar but it’s pricey.
  •   Go early to avoid crowds and maximise relaxation. We went at the weekend and I imagine it would be even more dreamy mid week when most are at work.
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As I write this I’m already planning my return! Let me know if you head over there.
Lucy xox
Suggested Post: Yoga And Reiki: Floating On A Dream Cloud
Fashion & Beauty, Travel & Places

OOTD IN PRAGUE’S OLD TOWN

December 3, 2015

LedByLucy-EmilyandFinn-Blog-Fashion.jpg2LedByLucy-Star-Dress-PragueLast weekend I caught the train to Prague for the first time and instantly fell in love with the enchanting city. Every street is full of candy coloured, dollhouse like buildings fit for a Wes Anderson film. I was constantly gazing up and around me at the old-fashioned pastel pink, blue and yellow buildings. These pictures where taken in the chocolate box Old Town.LedByLucy-Fashion-Blogger-Newgate-WatchLedByLucy-EmilyandFinn-Blog-FashionThere is something ethereal about Prague at this time of year and so my Midnight Shooting Star Dress seemed perfect for the occasion. When I’m out and about exploring on city breaks comfortable clothes and shoes are so important. This dress is fully lined with cotton and even has pockets so it feels snuggly and comfortable.

I got sheepskin insoles for my boots from the Christmas Markets which kept my toes toasty warm for all of the walking that we did. I also had a nice big warm coat which you can’t see in these pics.
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Wearing: Rose Dress in Midnight Shooting Star by Emily and Fin/Newgate Watches The Liberty (use discount code newgateloveslucy for 20% off before 31st Jan 2016)/H&M Hat, Scarf,  Ankle Boots and Shooting Star Rings
I hope that you like my OOTD post and I can’t wait to tell you all about the rest of my trip soon. Lucy x

Travel & Places

AUTUMNAL KREUZBERG WITH THE BERLINER POST

October 22, 2015

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ledbylucy-gordes-autumnBerlin spoiled me rotten this summer with the most glorious sunshine every day. As a result of the hot weather I have been biking everywhere and so I was less than impressed when the Autumn showers suddenly sprung upon us. Although the rain can be annoying, I am enjoying the stark contrast in seasons. This feels like the most vivid Autumn that I have ever experienced. It helps that I live really close to a huge forest, so every weekend we go for a bike ride and see the leaves change from green to orange. As we are so new to this city we don’t ever want to waste any time indoors. We just want to get out there and explore.

Ayten from The Berlinner Post and I had arranged to go out to Kreuzberg for the day to work on a photography project. Ayten loves it there because it is a creative center of Berlin with a great mixture of art and street-life. The rain that day just wouldn’t stop but we didn’t let it stop us. We took shelter in Knofi, a Turkish bakery and restaurant which has totally embraced Autumn. It is so cozy with fluffy blankets, baskets of pumpkins and a deli counter overflowing with freshly baked patties, falafel and tiramisu. I am desperate to go back there and show Nick.

LedByLucy-Berlin-Autumn (10)LedByLucy-Berlinner-PostThe photographs of me in this post were taken by The Berliner Post, you must check out Ayten’s Instagram page for a daily dose of fantastic Berlin photography.

Suggested Post: Müggelsee Lake

 

Lifestyle and Interviews

IDEAS FOR SUNNNY DAYS OUT

August 27, 2015

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LedByLucy-Summer-BikeRide (14) CropSummer technically ends in August which is giving me a sense of urgency to make the absolute most of the sunshine before Jack Frost pays us a visit. 

I’ve put together a list of my favourite days out celebrating summer’s gifts of warm fresh air and Vitamin D. My plan is to squeeze in as many as possible before the sun goes into hybernation for winter. (That’s a scientifically accurate depiction of the seasons).

It’s so easy to get into a routine where hanging out with my friends means eating out or going for cocktails at our favourite bar. What I love about all of these activities is that they are healthy ways to hang out, they get your body moving and your blood flowing. Well, perhaps not the cinema, unless your watching a horror movie, but the fresh air is still good!

1. Picnic and biking in the park – Packing a picnic basket with goodies and soaking up the rays in a pretty park is my ideal. I like to take along pillows, outdoor speakers and decorations too if it’s a party. I’ve got massively into biking this summer which is rounded up nicely with a picnic in the park.

Try it here: Hyde Park (London) or Tiergarten (Berlin)

2. Out-Door Cinema– Watching a movie under the stars, cozy under a snuggly blanket is the best way to experience a film. The last Al fresco film I saw was Breakfast at Tiffany’s, it was so special to see Audrey’s beautiful face this way.

Try it here: Fountains Abbey (Yorkshire) or Freiluftkino Insel im Cassiopeia (Berlin)

3. Al fresco Yoga– At my usual indoor class the teacher plays ambient music emmulating nature: a babbling river, birds singing or ocean waves. Oming with actual Mother Nature takes it to another level. I’ve heard sunset and sunrise yoga sessions are magical so I really want to try those too.

Try it here: Park Yoga (Berlin)

4. Fruit Picking at The Local Farm– Pop your dungarees on, head over to the local farm and grab a basket. Freshly picked fruit and vegetables are full of vitamins and when picking your own you can select the cream of the crop. Strawberry picking is my favourite, I like to ‘test’ a few along the way to check that they are sweet enough!

Try it here: Greenbank Farm (Lancashire)

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For my bike ride picnic featured in the photos I wore a ‘Thunder Blue’ crepe tunic from White Stuff . It is a relaxed fit so its nice and cool to cycle in. And to quote Game of Thrones, winter is coming so I can pair it up with some tights and ankle boots in the cold.

What’s your ideal sunny day out? Let me know in the comments section below so I can add it to my list!

Wearing: Thunder Blue Crepe Tunic From White Stuff Camel Ballet Pumps From NewLook and New Look Watch Pale Gray (Similar)

Suggested post: Ibiza Brights

Travel & Places

HOTEL LIVING

July 29, 2015

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After discovering airbnb I immediately started to use it for all of my holidays and never really looked back. For me, the beauty of traveling with airbnb is that you get an authentic feel for the destination and to experience the lifestyle of the locals. My Paris post goes into more details.

We recently relocated to Berlin and as our new home wasn’t available immediately, we planned on staying in an airbnb but actually ended up living in a hotel for a little while. After all of the packing, moving, donating and other time consuming tasks that re-locating involves, the pamper and ease of a serviced hotel got me like…

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Given my appreciation of unique holiday experiences, I was really surprised to be quite so smitten with hotel living. Perks that I will 100% miss when I move into my own apartment include:

  • Daily fresh linen
  • Regular visits from the cleaning fairies (who now know that I love fruit tea and leave me extra)
  • Ginormous bed and six feather pillows (want more? Just dial 0 for reception)
  • Super-fast free Wi-Fi, endless hot water and complementary Elemiss toiletries
  • Crème brûlée on tap and anything else you want to order (day or night) from room service

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A huge thank you to Park Plaza Berlin for the stay. You’ve spoiled me!

Suggested Post: Paris Part One

Lifestyle and Interviews

My Interview With The Huffington Post – Forget Tea And Cake, The Young Women’s Institute Members Would Rather Have A Beer

April 2, 2014

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I am the former president and co-founder of Manchester Women’s Institute, one of the largest and youngest W.I’s in the UK.

The Huffington Post  journalist Brogan Driscoll interviewed me lately to find out more…

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The Women’s Institute (WI) has long been associated with blue rinse, homemade jam and knitted cardigans – but, as the organisation reaches its centenary year, there is a new generation of WI members who are breathing fresh life into the old order.

Now the largest voluntary women’s organisation in the UK with 212,526 members, the WI has more than six thousand groups to cater to different ages and interests – including many who would sooner share a bottle of wine than a pot of tea.

But swapping bunting for burlesque or pearls for pamper days doesn’t mean rejecting the organisation’s traditional values.

The WI was founded in 1915 to involve women in food production during the war effort and revitalise rural areas – today food and community spirit remain deeply engrained in the fabric of the organisation, simply in a more modern form.

We caught up with four WI members from across the UK to discuss the organisation’s changing reputation, modern femininity and the importance of giving back.

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Name: Lucy Adams
Age: 25
Occupation: Project Co-ordinator and in my spare time I write a lifestyle blog www.ledbylucy.com
Joined WI: I spent just under two years as president and co-founder, and am now a proud member.
Name of WI group: Manchester WI

How long has your group been running?

Alexandra Taylor and I launched Manchester WI two years ago. It started off as just an apple in our eye and now it is one of the largest in the UK.

We had eighty members rush through the doors on our first meeting, we had booked the room with a capacity of 40 – it was so exciting!

What sets your group apart from others?

I’d say the vibrancy of our meetings and members. Manchester WI puts its heart and soul into sourcing interesting speakers and organising the creative events.

The members are an eclectic mix of ages and backgrounds which make the meetings so vibrant, people have met their future bridesmaids, housemates and employers at our meetings. It is a real melting pot of activity.

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Lex Taylor, Manchester WI Co- founder

Describe a typical meeting

There really isn’t a typical meeting! Each has a different theme. My favourite meeting was the sustainable fashion event, we had stylists and designers speaking about the effects of disposable fashion then we hosted a huge clothes swap party. The clothes were amazing; I bagged a Megan from Mad Men style 1960’s dress and one of the other girls got a Vivienne Westwood ring!

I also really enjoyed our sisterhood meeting, the speaker was feminist artist Charlotte Newson who created a huge portrait of Emmeline Pankhurst using images of inspiring women from around the world. It was really relevant given Manchester’s suffragette history.

Do you think the current reputation of the WI is fair?

For some groups it might be, but not at Manchester WI. A blogger from Mancunian Matters joined us for a meeting and summed it up with: Forget twinsets and pearls, unless making a sartorial style statement, these are women aged 25-40 who are more drum n bass than Jam and Jerusalem.

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Lucy Adams, Manchester WI Co-founder

What are you doing to bring WI into the 21st century?

I think the very fact that all of our members are working women, living in the city with lots of passion and energy makes it really relevant to current day.

Also Emmeline Pankhurst is featured in our logo, but she is winking and has a tattoo!

Would you consider yourself feminist?

Absolutely. There is a strong sense of sisterhood at Manchester WI, it’s all about learning new skills, networking and having fun.

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Manchester WI Members.

If you like this post then have a read of Business Women Of The Blogosphere. 

Fashion & Beauty, Travel & Places

Eiffel Tower Outfit Post

March 19, 2014

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My first trip to Paris was magical. I fell head over heels in love with the city and enjoyed the first signs of spring by the Eiffel Tower.

I am wearing: Moda in Pelle Mary Jane shoes, a Lavand dress and a Sisley pink cashmere cardigan.

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Thanks to the girls at Moda in Pelle for sending me the shoes, they were perfect for Paris!

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I bought myself a little souvenir, an Eiffel Tower shaped sugar shaker!

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Suggested Post: WEARING WEDDING DRESSES AT MELANIE JAMES

Fashion & Beauty

Wearing Wedding Dresses at Melanie James

March 5, 2014

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My friend owns Melanie James, a beautiful bridal boutique in Chorlton which champions the work of independent designers. She asked me if I would help out and model the new range of Eliza Jane Howell dresses at an open day.

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I felt like a starlet with my 1930s inspired up-do thanks to the handy-work of the stylists at Bethany Jane Davies.

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The most difficult part of the day was answering the questions of budding brides to be. They all wanted to know which dress was my favorite and I was spoiled for choice!

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My mum didn’t know that I’d agreed to model for Melanie that day so I sent her this picture with the caption ‘we decided to get married, sorry that we didn’t invite you’. My phone rang immediately. Sorry Mum!

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The photographs with a signature in the corner in were taken by Craige Barker and those without are by Jo Gendle. They are so talented, you can click on the names to visit their websites.

Jo specialises in wedding videos and footage from the event features in this exquisite short film.

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Related Posts: MY INTERVIEW WITH THE HUFFINGTON POST – FORGET TEA AND CAKE, THE YOUNG WOMEN’S INSTITUTE MEMBERS WOULD RATHER HAVE A BEER