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UK based fashion marketing graduate and blogger. Love a good trainer. Own too many jackets. Always planning the next adventure. Stick around for style posts, my latest trips and everything in-between.

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Thursday, 26 May 2016

Travel: 72 Hours in Madrid

So a just over a week ago now Charlie and I headed off to Madrid for a three night stay. You can read my previous post about where to stay in Madrid here! We don't live too far from Stansted so in under an hour we arrived at the airport and had a typical pre-trip breakfast before heading to our gate. Annoyingly the flight was full so they made us check in our hand luggage which always bugs me as it means having to wait the other side but anyway we were off!

We landed at around noon, and by time we got to the hotel is nearing around 1.30pm. We were both STARVING at this point as we hadn't eaten since around 6am so we dumped our stuff in the hotel and headed out to explore. We took a few wrong turns and ended up going on a bit of a de-tour but we finally made our way to the Plaza Mayor for a bite to eat. It's a really nice plaza where you can watch the world go by BUT it is overpriced because of the privileged view. The food was average and I really struggled being vegetarian throughout the trip as many restaurants would suggest a fish dish to me, ummm no still an animal.
  madrid city break 1madrid city break 2 madrid city break 3 madrid city break 4 We actually stumbled across the palacio real by accident on our first afternoon. We were just getting our bearings and having a wander, the gardens are gorgeous and I'll share a few images further on in the post! madrid city break 5 I would say Madrid was different to other city's that I've been to in that I didn't fall in love with it straight away like Rome. It took me a little while to warm up to it but once we had truly explored I really began to love it! madrid city break 6 madrid city break 7 madrid city break 9 bernabeu stadium On our second day, we headed to the Bernbeau stadium which Charlie was excited to go to, me? Not so much. I'm not that into football but seems as I drag Charlie along on these city breaks I happily obliged. We caught the Metro which was super cheap and saved a load of Euros had we of got a taxi. There is a metro station literally just outside the stadium so it was really easy. I won't bore you with anymore pics of the stadium but we did have an amazing churro lunch when we got back into the city centre as you can see above - DELICIOUS.   madrid city break 8madrid market 1 madrid market 2 After our churros and a wander around the streets we headed to the indoor food market just off of the Calle de Mayor. This is a foodie HEAVEN. Tonnes of different stalls all with different specialities, as a veggie I stuck to the fresh fruit stalls and the pastries but there was also seafood and tonnes of other goodies. It was packed every time we visited and it's open quite late as they also serve alcohol and lots of people tend to flock there in the evening. madrid city break 12 madrid city break 10 madrid city break 11 madrid city break 13 On our third day we grabbed our city maps and went on a trail ticking off all the major sightseeing spots. We started back at the palace, and had a wander around the gardens and then into the most stunning cathedral. The sun was really shining and it was a beautiful morning. We then decided to head across the city to try and find the El Retiro park, a 19th Century Park complete with a boating lake, rose gardens, peacocks everywhere, statues and fountains galore. madrid city break 14 Looking casual but actually very lost and OFF the map. madrid city break 15 After a minor (understatement) detour we eventually found the park! It was worth the track and it really is a stunning area. We couldn't believe how huge it was, there were people everywhere enjoying the space and quite a few rollerblading lessons happening. We stumbled across a part of the park which was full of peacocks swanning around in a beautiful garden. It was like something from a Disney film!

  • Go to a Flamenco show! It's a fun way to spend a couple of hours in the evening, we went to Essential Flamenco which was held a super intimate underground cellar. It was about 25 euros a ticket but it also included a glass of sangria. 
  • Head down the backstreets for food. We found most of the restaurants in the plaza's and main strips to be pretty poor, with much better choice down the windy streets and off the beaten track. 
  • If you stay at the Praktik Hotel be sure to head to floor 9, there is an amazing rooftop terrace with views over the city. 
  • Yes there is a Sephora, I'm not that into it but everyone else seems to be. It's on the Plaza de Sol which is one of the main hubs of Madrid. It also has a Topshop but I didn't go in!
  • The Hard Rock Cafe might not be authentically Spanish but we did head there for cocktails and nachos one evening, the staff are all so happy and friendly. From 5-8pm is Happy Hour where cocktails are half price and I had too many.
  • For shopping the Gran Via is kind of like the Oxford Street of Madrid, home to Zara, H&M, Bershka and Mango. 
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Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Style: Summer Footwear Edit

I'm still scouting for the perfect summer shoes, last summer I spent a lot of time in sliders and it doesn't look like they'll be going anywhere fast!

I just LOVE all the knot sliders from No.21 it's just a shame about the price tag! I've seen a few similar versions but nothing quite compares. I keep trying to justify them with 'cost per wear' but we'll see! I'm trying so hard to save money at the moment but it's just really difficult when you have expensive taste and a bad shopping habit. Oops. 

I adore the rope sandals from Topshop AND they are much more in my budget! I definitely need a pair for Sicily, although I'm not sure how comfy the rope will be?!

I've seriously wanted the Whistles Rada sandals for over a year now so I might just have to bite the bullet soon! They are gorgeous and the perfect height for daytime too. Oh and the Chloe mesh mules are so dreamy I had to include them, but I don't think I can quite justify them so it's just a bit of window shopping for now! 

What shoes will you be living in this summer? Are you a fan of sliders?
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Sunday, 22 May 2016

Style: ASOS Ruffle Top

asos frill top 1 asos frill top 4 asos frill top 8 asos frill top 2 asos frill top 3 asos frill top 7
ASOS Ruffle Top / Whistles Fluid Trousers / Zara Sandals (last year) / Calvin Klein Bag (similar) / Quay Sunglasses / Brandy Melville Necklace

It seems I'm having a bit of a thing for khaki at the moment which is strange as I generally don't stray too far from black, white and the occasional nude. But I was really into this top that I saw on my usual Asos travels. It also comes in black too but I felt you didn't get the overall look of the top as much, and it makes a nice change in my wardrobe. A bit of colour for summer lol. Asos have loads of cute ruffle tops at the moment which I' refraining myself from buying! 

So this week I've mainly been in a state of exhaustion. I still need to blog our trip to Madrid, I had such a great time but it was non-stop and then straight back to work so I felt like I was on a hamster wheel. Yesterday was bliss, no alarm and a day of casual mooching in Cambridge followed by an evening of Netflix. Perfect! I do LOVE taking city breaks but it's surprising how much they really take it out of you, especially when you have no relaxing time afterwards but hey ho, now I'm counting down the days until a beach break to Sicily which will be a lot less hectic!

That's all for now as I have a very long to-do list going on today so I'll be back with my blog post all about Madrid!

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Sunday, 15 May 2016

Travel: Praktik Metropol Madrid Review

I'm sitting here absolutely frazzled yet weirdly energetic at the same time. Charlie and I have just spent a whirlwind 72 hours in Madrid. For now though, I wanted to share with you my thoughts on our hotel!

I'm renowned for being super fussy when it comes to accommodation. I have a long list of boxes that need to be picked so I can often end up spending days hours trawling through Expedia, Travel Republic and TripAdvisor for a hotel that suits my needs.

Not only am I a bit of a germaphobe and cleanliness freak (like really, I almost cried when there was a hair on my bed once. Ok yes I shed a few tears) I also like if the interiors are neutral, fresh and contemporary. When I came across the Praktik Metropol it appeared to tick all of the boxes...

The Room: Neutral monochrome vibes - check. We were upgraded courtesy of the hotel to a deluxe room, which meant we had a little bit of extra space. I personally love the minimal interiors look so this room was made for me. We had the perfect amount of space, a HUGE kingsize bed and a decent bathroom. As I said cleanliness is a big deal for me, the room was pretty clean but perhaps could have done with a deep clean but most people probably wouldn't even notice it. I have a bit of a hawkeye.praktik hotel madrid 5 Communal Space: The hotel has a really gorgeous communal floor where you can find the reception. The hotel actually shares the building with one or two other hotels on different floors. Here you'll find an array of quirky chairs, printed wooden flooring, computers, a coffee machine and selection of magazines. It's a great area for those travelling for business (or blogging!) as it offers a really relaxed and pretty space to work in.
So cute isn't it! The hotel itself does offer breakfast for 6 euros which can be redeemed at the cafe/restaurant next door. We didn't take this up as most days we headed out and just grabbed a croissant as we embarked on our travels.
praktik hotel madrid 4 The Location: I don't think you could even get more central! The hotel is located on Montera which is just off the Gran Via - the 'main' street in Madrid. There isn't a grand entrance, in fact it's pot luck if you spot the doorway, it's wedged between a Tapas bar and a McDonalds (they get everywhere don't they - and no we didn't eat there!!). The building is quite old and is undergoing renovation works at the moment so it's unfortunately covered with scaffolding but we weren't fussed as we spent most of our time out and about anyway.
praktik hotel madrid 7 praktik hotel madrid 3 Value: We paid 400 euros for three nights, so it worked out about £105 a night which is pretty good for a city! It's probably one of the cheapest stays I've had and although it didn't include any extras, all we needed was a good bed, cleanliness and a spot on location.
praktik hotel madrid 6 praktik hotel madrid rooftopExtras: One thing that really appealed to me when booking this hotel, other than its quirkiness, was the rooftop terrace! Offering stunning views over the city, I loved this little extra.
praktik madrid terrace rooftop madrid praktik hotel rooftop 2If you happen to be planning a trip to Madrid I would definitely recommend the Praktik Metropol. For good value, dreamy monochrome interiors and a central location - it has it all! I'll be back with my city guide soon so be sure to check back!

Find out more at www.praktikmetropol.com
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