SLIDER

Travel | South Of Italy

7/12/17

It already feels like too long ago since I set foot on a plane to Naples with my best pal for an Italian, pizza-filled adventure. This was actually my first EVER time to set foot on the boot-shaped country and I was feeling prrretty excited about it. We booked a 5 night stay in the city centre with Emanuela's humble abode via Air b'n'b.  We could have paid cheaper but other places seemed to lack the character that Emanuela's home promised from its photos. However, it was really reasonable pricing for the room and the home felt so authentically Italian with beautiful high ceilings, art deco floored tiling and grand pieces of furniture. You can check out her place here.

Here are some of my top things to do, places to eat, places to relax and some what to and not to do when in Italy!


C H I L L   V I B E S

Naples is the perfect port of call to reach some of the most beautiful beaches in Italy. Either a ferry or metro ride away and you can be on the sandiest coast and blue-iest of seas. Our first beach stop was at Bagno Elena, about 3 stops on the metro from Naples centre. Bagno Elena is lively especially on the sunniest of days but it's perfect for getting both a swim and few hours on the sun lounger. Bearing in mind, this beach had an entry fee of 12 euros and most beaches we went to in Italy had a similar fee. However, we both felt like paying this was worth it as you get a sun lounger with attached visor and if you're spending all day there you get your moneys worth. There's also a bar and outdoor showers too. The beach was truly stunning with views looking onto colourful townhouses and an ancient watch tower.


On the day of our graduation results, we celebrated on the coast of Sorrento which was TBH one of the most beautiful places i've seen. I couldn't stop saying " WOW, look how clear that water is". The mersey in Liverpool looks nothing like it, i'll have you know, so it was pretty excitin. We paid a fee for our sun loungers and entry to the beach but dang was it worth it! This time our loungers were out on a pier and you could dive into the beautiful water from the rocks. Oh and to top that off, nice Italian men at your beck and call for cocktails and food. Yup. Belissimo. Sorrento also had plenty of cute winding streets lined with restaurants. We went for pizza and I had ferrero rocher gelato too, naturally. The best places are Gelateria David and Bougainvella. We were told it also has amazing nightlife for al fresco dining too.






On our last day we were treated as a graduation present with tickets to Capri! Just when I thought it couldn't get more beautiful than Sorrento, it did. Capri is a stu-nning island just a 45 minute ferry ride away from Naples. The destination for towering cliffs, the blue grotto, even clearer blue water, pebbly beaches and narrow paths and coloured Italian villas. And fyi it was where the Dior perfume ad was filmed so, yeah it is that pretty. Luckily the beach on this island was free and it was blimmin beautiful with again the clearest of waters and little rock pools. We took my little donut inflatable for a spin and I honestly could have stayed there forever.


We went for some lunch then tried to get some vespas to discover the island however bear in mind for vespas not only do you need a license but you need some experience on a scooter too. Boat tours are also pretty expensive and you need to book these in advance as they sell out quite quickly. We settled on a boat trip out to the famous blue grotto which was such an amazing thing to experience. After a while waiting we were escorted onto little paddle boats by a wee Italian man which we shared with two other people. The duration of the tour inside the blue grotto felt like the shortest ten minutes of my life but it was a pretty special 10 minutes at that. The man told us about the history behind the grotto and how the water is so blue (like, electric cobalt blue) and then went on to serenade us in Italian opera - truly atmospheric. I'll put up a short vlog on Youtube soon where you can see just how blue the water was.

S U M M E R   W A R D R O B E



On the wardrobe front, I packed pretty light and aimed for versatile pieces that I could mix and match. I brought along some denim skirts, a denim dress (above), light crop tops, sandles and one pair of trainers. In all honesty though I probably wouldn't wear sandles again because my feet were so wrecked by blisters (no legit) so I was better off just wearing my Stan Smiths and socks. The majority of the time we were in our bikinis. I managed to nab some amazing two pieces and one pieces from Primark that could be mixed and matched. It was about 31c+ so shorts, skirts and tees were a must. 

Naples is a pretty cool city to discover in itself and has both an archeology museum and a contemporary art museum, Museo Madre. As for the city, it's a bit crazy, busy and messy...but at the same time it's what is most amusing about the city. There is plenty to see if you like people watching, taking photos or wandering through markets. Pointer: bring a bumbag. Naples is notorious for pickpocketers (as is any other big city) but we had absolutely no problem, but bumbags are always handy. Naples was also pretty good for shopping and we discovered a cute vintage fashion shop crossed with a record shop called Oblomova.


T H E   N I G H T L I F E

The nightlife in Naples is quite spread out and the Italian's prefer to sit in a bar or terrace over a few drinks, or just get drunk in the streets in the local 'plaza's', than go clubbing like us lot in Liverpool so if you're planning to go clubbing then you need to venture out a little further. We found a free event going on at nearby 'Riva club' which overall was a pretty amusing and fun night... the whole club had the vibe of the big brother house and everyone looked like they were from n dubz. The drinks were expensive (10 euros for a g&t anyone?) and the music eventually got better and we had a fun night dodging touchy feely Italian boys and dancing. However, from Naples you'll need a taxi to get here or you need to hitchhike with strangers...

M A M M A   M I A   P I Z Z A   P I Z Z A 

Whilst you might be spending a lot of your dolla on stupidly priced drinks (thanks riva club), you won't need much dolla to enjoy the delicacy of Naples that is... PIZZA. Afterall, Naples is the mother birthplace of the beautiful doughy/cheesy/tomatoe-y goodness. We ate pizza every single night - except our last night where we had pasta, just because it was getting a bit out of hand...top pizza places are without a doubt L'antica pizzeria da michele which have two pizzas on the menu and four drinks because, they don't need anything else to prove how good they are. A pizza at 4€ and without a doubt the best tasting pizza i've had (above). It's a huge hit with tourists so get there earlier to avoid waiting - they give you a ticket number and call you when there's a table free - and Julia Roberts ate there too, fo real. Other places to hit up are La Campagnola who honestly pretty much trumped L'antica with their crushed pistachio and pesto pizza, and complimentary doughnuts, ugh. La Margherita was also amazing and the waiters were super nice and gave us a bit too many shots of melonchello afterwards.

My 10 top tips for surviving Naples:

1. Bring plasters, if like me, your feet turn into a giant blister
2. Be prepared to travel on public transport, unless you're Beyoncé
3. Forget the stereotypes and the bad reputation because we felt perfectly safe and didn't witness any crime!
4. Learn some basic Italian because some Italian guys might approach you on the beach and you will then sit in awkward silence for 5 minutes trying to use sign language (this happened)
5. Explore the cuisine and try different things other than margherita pizza (but try that too, obviously)
6. When your mum says watch out for the Italian boys, she meant it
7. Always leave in plenty of time for the ferry's, or you arrive extra sweaty and that's just not fun
8. Ask for a 'espresso con panna' and thank me later
9. Buy metro tickets in advance at local newsagents because you can't buy them at the metro station for some weird reason (get it sorted, Naples)
10. Watch out for those vespas because they literally come out of nowhere around every street corner and I feared for my life

Hope you enjoyed this travel guide,
Ciao!

British Style Collective 2017

7/10/17

I was going to write a huge post about the British Style Collective but instead decided to select some of the best pictures I got from the fantastic weekend to summarise my experience. I'm so grateful to have been invited along. I got the chance to see designer catwalks in the beautiful St. Georges Hall such as Edeline Lee and Barrus, see talks with fashion experts, get goodies and freebies, chat with designers and talk to and get a photo with Glamour's editor Jo Elvin. It was a truly 'pinch me' moment weekend that i'm so happy to have attended!

British Style Collective was formerly known as The Clothes Show Live in Birmingham and i'm delighted it's now in my hometown and hope it's here to stay. It was a city wide takeover with events going on in every part of town across different venues. It was 3 exhausting yet superb days.

Edeline Lee at St Georges Hall

So & Jo Clothing at the shopping halls



An interview with stylists at River Island Studios








Annaliese Dayes chatting with Hello!'s website editor, Alexandra Light

St. Georges Hall which would, fyi, make a fab venue for fashion week, amiright?!



Edeline Lee

Antonia O'Brien chatting with Henry Holland and Edeline Lee


Again with Jamie Laing discussing his new brand Candy Kittens

Again with Hilary Alexander (I got a picture with her too, and Jo Elvin, but I look minging)

Caryn Franklin with Gary James McQueen

I got the chance to network and spend more time with bloggers from Liverpool who I knew before and got to meet some new faces too and i'm so grateful to know them all!

That's So Lush

6/30/17


Lush has been around for years. Years and years. And it's taken me until now to actually make a purchase - and in this case, I made several...oops.

I popped into the Lush Spa in Liverpool and was greeted by Pippa who is a lover of all things Lush and an expert at her job. I knew I wanted to get a mask and a bath bomb for some much needed tlc. She talked me through the different bath bombs and their individual qualities, particularly the best bath bombs for Lush newbies like myself. I settled on the Big Blue bath bomb which is infused with extracts of sea salt which softens the skin and arame seaweed which is rich in both minerals and vitamins. So I dropped the bomb (there's really no better way to phrase this) and within a minute or so my bath was turned into a turquoise blue which could easily be mistaken for the sea in Greece, fo real though. For those wondering, the colour does not affect your skin whatsoever so doesn't dye/stain. It smells so fresh and made me feel sooo relaxed.

Secondly, I knew I wanted a mask. I've had acne since I was about 14, and it's going through another bad spell so any kind of product that promises to help (especially Lush), I will give it a go. I settled on the self-preserving Mask of Magnaminty. Pippa told me that it flew off the shelves after one of the KK's admitted to being a fan of the product so I was eager to give it a try. I put it on before my bath and left on for the duration, about 20 minutes, probably more than you're supposed to...but my skin needed some major tlc. It smells lovely and minty (a little bit like toothpaste), was easy to wash off and left my skin feeling soft, envigorated and glowy...it's a bit too soon to say whether my acne will clear up after one use though.

I wanted to get Snow Fairy shower cream but that's only on sale during the Christmas period (snow, duh) so I decided to get The Comforter as it smelled just as good and just as sweet as snow fairy. It's infused with cassis, bergamot and essential oils. It's honestly the best shower cream i've ever had and smells insaaaanely good.

The last three things I got were a Tea Tree Water which Pippa offered me as an 'act of kindness' (read more here) - I spray a little on in the morning for a wake up and it perks my skin right up! I've also realised it could be sprayed onto a cotton pad and used to wash the face so, there ye go. I also got a little sample of another shower cream (which I can't remember the name of...) and probably my favourite purchase, the Feeling Younger highlighter cream. Oh my god. This stuff is a pot of magic. You only need a very little amount and this stuff will make you shine from space. I've dabbed a little on my cheekbones, cupids bow, brow bone and nose today and it looks so dewy and glowy, making my skin look that little bit healthier.

I can't wait to go back and try more Lush products!

Playing With Neon

6/12/17















I went to the Tate in Liverpool a few weeks ago with my parents and visited the Tracey Emin bed. We were lucky because as me and my dad arrived, there was a curator there about to do a talk about the bed and I think if I hadn't gone at that moment, I wouldn't have properly learnt about Tracey or that bed. The bed has been mocked for being called 'art' which I will admit to some extent I questioned what was so 'arty' about it too. But after the curator explained what the bed represented in Tracey's life, it opened up to me so many different possibilities of what art can be. The curator told us that this bed represented the most intimate part of Tracey's life, following the four days she spent in bed following a break up, with depression and so on. And I think what made the bed 'art' was the brutal honesty she was sharing with the world. Nowadays, it's easy to share the best bits on social media but sharing the difficult parts are a liiiiil bit more tricky. So for Tracey to openly share this bed with the world, where it displayed the 4 most depressing days of her life, and give it to the world and say, this was me and i'm not embarassed about it...is art. I think so, anyway. 

So here I am with my bed in my room (lol). It's not as 'brutal' or 'honest' as Tracey's bed was, but I guess it's an honest place that I normally wouldn't share on the internet. As i've said before on this blog, I find it hard to be myself and be self confident but I think the best thing to do is say f*ck it, so that's the approach i've taken in publishing this post. It's not in a typical blogger style or edited (I lied, these are slightly edited) or perfect but if it was all of that, I'd feel like a bit of a fake. When I was a teen, me and my friends would nab ideas from Tumblr (o the hilarity) and emulate them for photos, do photo shoots at each others houses, buying a cheap USA flag off of Ebay for a backdrop, dressing up and drawing words on our knuckles with eyeliner (why didn't someone stop us), pretending to smoke cigarettes (so cringe), doing our make up, etc. all for the sake of getting a few photos for Facebook but mostly just to keep for ourselves, and for me to have fun experimenting with photography and creative ideas, whether or not they looked really amateur or cringey af. So i'm going to adopt that same attitude I had at ages 14-16 and carry on having fun with photography and experimenting regardless of the outcome and put them on this blog. I guess what i'm trying to say is Tracey Emin's bed inspired me to be honest with what I do, even if some people might not think it's art.

I've always had a cliché thing for neon lights. I like the way Refn uses them in most of his films, and how they look against faces and clothes and objects. My friend bought me a lil disco light for my birthday and it's honestly my favourite thing and can completely change the mood of a whole room.

Photos taken by my supa cool flatmate Sid HH while pre-drankin before going out
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