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holiday

Travel & Places

10 THINGS TO DO IN FLORIDA- THAT DON’T INCLUDE DISNEY!

December 6, 2016

A lot of people automatically think of Disney when they think of Florida, but that is one thing that we don’t do in the Sunshine State. With Floridans in the family, it’s all about the swamps, deep sea fishing and country.
Here are some of my favorite things to do in Florida, get ready to get a little country…

florida-guide-blog-jeepsunset-florida-blogflorida-country-guide1. Ride on an air boat through the swamps, look out for alligators, snakes, deer and wild boar while you are there. The swamps haven’t changed for thousands of years and my Uncle even showed us a Native American burial ground out there.

2. Explore the forests and ranches, while listening to some good old country music. Drinking your beer from a can cooler & wearing camouflage is mandatory! There is nothing like being out in the open in Florida.

3. Go deep sea fishing in the ocean if you can, I live in a land-locked city so for me this is such an exhilarating experience.

4. Ride jet-skis, be sure to look out for dolphins while you are there. We also saw bald-eagles, stingrays and lots of huge, beautiful dragonflies which my Aunt always says are the spirits of loved ones. My sister and I fell off the jet-ski (while I was driving) and we have never laughed so much in our lives. It was so much fun.

5. Eat fresh fish, and try Alligator bites too. Mmmm the fish there is so good!

6. Road-trip to Captiva and Sanibelle Island: the white sands, warm sea and tropical landscape make it close to paradise.

7. Eat at The Bubbleroom– This place is decorated with original Disney memorabilia such as Dorothy’s ruby slippers and it’s glittering with old Holywood starlets. It has stood the test of time for a reason. Everyone loves it. (OK so that is a little bit of Disney for you).

8. Eat key-lime pie, it’s got to be home-made. My Aunt’s is the best.

9. Hit the Victoria’s Secret outlet. My sister and I seriously cannot get enough of how amazing and cheap the VS outlet is here. We stock up on swimwear, pyjamas, gym-clothes and underwear for the whole year whenever we go.

10. Admire the spooky Spanish-moss which hangs from the trees (you just don’t get that where I come from) and watch the sun-set, truly beautiful.

During the latest trip, we ended up on mandatory curfew due to Hurricane Mathew threatening a direct hit as a category four. We had to sandbag the doors, bring the furniture in off the porch and stockpile water. But, our family had the drill down to a tee through years or practice. Luckily it slowed right down by the time it hit.

While we were safe during the hurricane, lots of people lost their lives and suffered catastrophic damage in Haiti. If you would like to know more about how to help the people of Haiti then follow this link.

Suggested Post: Müggelsee Lake

Photos: I took all of the pictures on this trip using my phone. It’s the first time I’ve posted mobile pics on my blog, so I hope they look OK.

Travel & Places

GUIDE TO HAMBURG

November 10, 2016

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We woke bright and early to catch a train from Berlin to Hamburg. We drifted in and out of sleep, waking to watch the scenery change as we approached the new city.

Upon arrival it was refreshing to notice the differences between Hamburg and Berlin, despite them being so close geographically. It is a wealthy place with some immaculate areas, working ports with fresh fish restaurants- which of course means water, and lots of it. Not something which you see much of in Berlin, a landlocked city. We stayed in Hafencity, an old port area in a hotel which completely embraces the fisherman, Docker vibe of the area. You can read more about that here.

The plan was to rent bikes and cycle round, but we didn’t call ahead and so instead we were presented with an electric ‘tuc-tuc’ styled bike which zooms at speeds of up to 45mph! It was absolutely hilarious! Passers-by peered into the cart, expecting to see some cute babies but instead found me and got a shock when they saw how fast it went. We were laughing and wobbling all the way, with a few narrowly avoided capsizing incidents!

I am lucky to have friends from Hamburg who gave me a stack of tips and ideas for our trip. Being armed with this knowledge meant that we didn’t need to waste any time looking for things to do, we had it all ready and got to see so much. So, I wanted to pass on these gems and share the wealth with you in this guide to Hamburg

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Areas to visit:

  • Schanzenviertel- A vibrant district full of cool bars, shops and good places to eat. It’s a little like Kreuzberg in Berlin,
  • Gängeviertel – A little area filled with artist’s residencies, galleries, bright graffiti and sculptures. The pictures above where taken there.

Places to eat and drink:

  • Bullerei– I read about this on so many Hamburg travel guides and blogs, then my friend confirmed its greatness and we booked a table. The food is delicious, I loved the gin menu and the décor is really funky. Also it is in Sternschanze, which I mention above.
  • Fischmarkt– Have a fresh fish-roll for breakfast, the hard-core party goers call here for breakfast on the way home from clubs.
  • Elbgold – Now you know I don’t drink coffee but Nick does, and wow, he was raving about this coffee

 

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 Things to-do:

  • Deichtorhallen – The gallery pictures in this post were taken here. We saw some interesting contemporary art here and loved the building
  • Planten & Blomen – Hire a bike and explore this beautiful park
  • Strandperle– In the worlds of the local’s ‘It’s a real Hamburg institution’. A patch of beach where you can sit with a glass of wine or beer and watch the ships coming and going out of the harbour. You can go by bus, but you can also hop onto a ferry from Landungsbrücken to get there. It takes around 15-20 minutes, and the ferry is even part of public transport (in case you gate a Day Travel card).

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If you find yourself in Berlin and would like to see more of Germany, then I would recommend visiting Hamburg by train, it’s a wonderful journey and it only takes an hour and forty-five minutes. Have you already been? If so I would love to read your tips in the comment section below.

Suggested Post: Paris Part Two, Places To See

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 

Fashion & Beauty, Travel & Places

WHAT’S IN MY HAND LUGGAGE

August 5, 2016

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whats in my travel luggage

I have been flying so much recently which is really exciting because I love heading to new places, but with that can come delayed flights, lost luggage and lots of waiting around. To make it as enjoyable as possible I like to have a few little luxuries on hand. Here’s what I have been taking with me recently:

Handbag: The Willow Weekender by CRU London, I’ve had it for a few years now and honestly love it. It matches almost everything and it’s easy to throw over your shoulder as you rush to the check-in.

Travel Wallet: This is the perfect little travel buddy, it has a pocket for everything and makes you feel so organised! I chose this Disaster Designs floral oil-painting number from Aspire Style.

Headphones: My boyfriend bought me these wireless, noise cancelling headphones for my birthday and the sound is unreal. I love listening to the Giri Cafe and Big at the KU! The Original Balearic Beat playlist whilst travelling.

Tangle Teaser and Spiral Bobbles: Erm, why did no-one tell me about these sooner? I was pretty certain that they were a fad, but don’t knock it till you try it. For long hair both of these items are a must! The bobbles stop you getting kinks when you just want to trow your hair up and the Tangle Teaser brushes without snagging.

Hand-Cream and Lip Balm: Flying makes my skin dry out so I like to keep a hand-cream and lipbalm close. This is citrus and lavender by Heyland and Whittle, it smells divine. My lipbalm is EOS, I have them in every colour and I’m obsessed with how they feel when applying (pauses typing to re-apply).

Herbal Tea: I take a stash of my favourite teas with me wherever I go as a little home comfort. These are liquorice and peppermint by Pukka.

Sunglasses and Lipstick: Prepare for landing! I’m currently wearing vintage style shades from Aspire Style and Clinique lipstick.

I am seriously lacking in a good book to devour on my journeys, so if you have have any recommendations then please let me know. I read The Gold Finch recently and adored that.

Suggested Post:Holiday Packing Checklist

Travel & Places

PICTURE POSTCARDS: PALMA DE MALLORCA

June 25, 2016

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Here are some of my favourite photos from my family trip to Mallorca last week. Mallorca was in full bloom and looking absolutely beautiful during our stay. It was nice to relax, swim in the sea, eat delicious food, laugh and dance.

I feel so lucky to have two sisters and a Mum who all get on so well. We used to absolutely kill each other when we were teens. But once we got past those terrible teenage years we became really close, and now we have such a laugh together.

We were only in Mallorca for five days, so we really tried to be as present in the moment as possible and to savour every moment. Because the older we get, the busier and more spread out geographically we are becoming. Which makes savoring these precious moments even more important.

Suggested Post: Ibiza Brights

Travel & Places

ONLY BORING PEOPLE GET BORED

September 24, 2015

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LedByLucy-Golf-2Golf, pool and ping-pong, not my scene. And when I say not my scene, I mean I suck at them and losing is boring. But as my Grandma always said ‘only boring people get bored’ and I totally agree. In our new home city there is a ping pong table in every park and most bars too. So I’ve been trying harder to enjoy that kind of shizzle and much to my surprise, it’s working! We even played shuffleboard the other day (I’d never even heard of it to start with) and it was so much fun. I scored a 4 (the highest mark) which potentially helped a little.

These photos were taken in Portinatx Ibiza, you can read more about the trip here.

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Travel & Places

MÜGGELSEE LAKE

August 20, 2015

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Berlin is a landlocked city and the nearest coast is many miles away. However, there are hordes of natural and manmade alternatives. Some of them are pretty innovative, such as Badeschiff. A floating pool in the middle of the Spree which hosts regular gigs and becomes a floating sauna in the winter months.

Lakes encircle Berlin, the largest one is Müggelsee. It has clean, clear water and is surrounded by forests. There is a busy family beach and well populated nudist area. If you want to escape the crowds, you can explore the vast woodlands and find your own quiet little beauty spot.

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Wearing: TopShop Red Palm Print Bandeau Bikini 

Suggested Post: Interview With Ashleigh Gray, Wicked’s Leading Lady

Fashion & Beauty, Travel & Places

IBIZA SUNSET: DATE NIGHT OUTFIT

August 12, 2015

LedByLucy-Ibiza-Purple-Dress (1)This was such a gorgeous date night. We headed down the steep and windy roads of Ibiza to Portinatx for dinner. The food and drinks were totally outshone by the glorious Ibiza sunset which we watched from our table. The island is famous for its magical sunsets, there are no big factories causing pollution, so the skies are clear and the views are stunning.

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LedByLucy-Ibiza-SunsetMy bracelet was a gift from Nick for my birthday and I completely love it. It actually reminds me of something from Game of Thrones that Daenerys Targaryen might wear (in season one).
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I hope that you guys are managing to see some beautiful sunsets this summer? Let me know your favourite place to watch the sun go down.
Wearing: H&M Purple Pencil Dress/River Island Cat Eye Sunglasses and HandbagSwarovski Azore Cuff Bracelet

Suggested Post: Ibiza In A Clambshell

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

Travel & Places

PARIS PART TWO: PLACES TO SEE

May 4, 2015
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There are so may beautiful landmarks, cafes, districts and boutiques to visit in Paris. Here is a list of some of my favourites.

Canal St-Martin – The Parisians like to hang out here and have picque-niques in the evenings. So, if the weather is nice enough grab yourself a beer or some wine and find a spot. It is a lovely area to wander around and people watch. This is the place where Amelie skims stones on the canal locks.

The Arc de Triomphe – Best visited by night. The views of ‘the city of lights’ are absolutely spectacular. After walking up what feels like thousands of steps on a dark and musty, winding spiral staircase the moment the view hits you is like WOW, breath-taking. It is a romantic place to watch The Eiffel Tower twinkle in the evening.

Pere Lachaise Cemetery –This cemetery is possibly my favourite place to visit in Paris, the thought of it may send shivers down your spine but hear me out. There are miles of ornate monuments, tombs and statues shaded by giant oak trees – it looks like a film set. Reading the tombstones on the elaborate graves is fascinating, Oscar Wilde and Edith Piaf are both buried here along with countless other historical figures.  Have you seen Paris, je t’aime (omg I love it)? One of the shorts is filmed here.

The Pompidou Centre – This is a huge modern art gallery. A friend of mine who lived in Paris for years gave me some sage advice ‘if you do nothing else, go in, get the escalator to the top and enjoy the view across the roofs of Paris’.

Marais  – My favourite area to eat, drink…and stay in for that matter. It is a really vibrant area with lots of independent restaurants and cool bars.

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LedByLucy-Paris-Part2-image4Food and Drink –

–  Le Temps des Cerises  We have been back here time and again for the low-key, authentic atmosphere and fantastic food. The onion soup and crème brule are both favourites of mine and the wine list is great.

Comptoire de la gastronomie Mmmm this place is so good I want to go back there right now! Lots of duck, pate and cheese. The food is rich but delicious. It is inexpensive too.

–  Rue des Rosiers (street of the rosebushes) is the main Jewish street and has lots of great Falafel cafes which are mouth-wateringly delicious!

Ancienne Maison Gradelle Oh wow this place is fancy! It is perfect for a date night or classy cocktails with friends. Everything that you lay eyes on is beautiful, for example, the ornate iron floor was shipped in from Barcelona. The menu is all French and the bar tender raised his eyebrow when I pointed out my drink of choice, I just took a wild guess and it ended up being a mixture of lots of whiskeys in a decanter. Needless to say I enjoyed the rest of my evening!

If you have any recommendations for this magical city then please let me know, I love discovering new places to visit.

Wearing: TopShop Womens LIGHT Suede Fringe LoafersHeart Clutch w/Chain Strap (similar), Long Sleeve Striped Top (similar) and TopShop Womens MOTO Black Rinse Jamie Jeans

Suggestd Post: You can read more from my Parisian adventure in Paris Part One

Travel & Places

Paris Part One

April 1, 2015
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Usually, from the moment a city break is booked the dreaming begins. I gather together gems of advice and compose a wish lists of things to do.

This trip to Paris came as a fantastic surprise from Nick for Christmas. He did everything from selecting the apartment on Airbnb to secretly booking my time off work. I was so giddy with excitement when I found out and he scored some serious boyfriend points!

As everything was already planned (and our schedules have been a little hectic recently) we didn’t give the trip another thought until it was time to pack our bags. No long lists of recommendations, just the hope of a happy holiday!

On the plane journey over there we devised an elaborate plan for our first afternoon in The City Of Love: check out apartment then drink red wine and eat French food!

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Down the cobbled street and up the spiral staircase we went to meet Thierry, the keeper of the keys and the apartment owner’s boyfriend. Imagine an illustration of a French artist, that is exactly how he looked with his aged but handsome features, long messy hair, crumpled suit and flouncy neck scarf.

I so wanted to take a photograph of him but doubt got the better of me, sometimes bohemians don’t want to be papped for the purpose of your blog.

The apartment was stunning with huge sash windows, original wooden floors and a bright orange Smeg fridge.

The beauty of traveling with Airbnb is that each rental is unique and usually represents the owner’s tastes and lifestyle requirements. Some are purely rentals with minimal decor but this one was the home of an artist with chipped paint on the walls and original paintings hung in every room.

That was the first thing on the to do list done, on to the second and third: wine plus food!

We headed into Marais for a bottle of red wine, onion soup (wow- I need to learn how to make it) and potato salad. Marais is one of my favourite areas in Paris, it reminds me a little of Soho in London. It has a cool vibe with lots of contemporary art galleries, independent restaurants and quirky bars.

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Satisfied that we had tackled our epic to-do list we took an evening stroll along Canal St Martin to see some sights. When we arrived back at our apartment we discovered that you could actually see the Eiffel tower sparkling in the darkness through the spare bedroom window. It was pretty magical. I love traveling with Airbnb, you just never know what you might discover!

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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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