28/01/2012

croatia: hvar food and drink

Last summer my boyfriend and I spent the best part of three weeks travelling around Croatia, taking in Hvar, Korçula, Dubrovnik, Braç and Split. I thought I'd do a short series of posts on the trip, as it was one of my favourite holidays and it's a beautiful country.

There are a multitude of restaurants in Hvar. Just a couple of steps form the main square, you'll find yourself in a maze of narrow lanes, packed with restaurants stacked one on top of the other on the steep climb up to the 16th century fortress that overlooks the town from the hilltop. Each with ample outdoor seating and menus that rarely stray from the unsophisticated but crowd pleasing pizza-pasta-fish-steak fare, it's almost impossible to choose where to eat.
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We couldn't afford to eat out every night, so a couple of nights were spent with a bottle of cheap Croatian plonk, a baguette and pineapple tobacco on the terrace of our guesthouse, but we did allow ourselves one extravagant steak night. How did we choose? By appearance, of course.
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We had our steak night at the Palace Hotel's restaurant, which sits on a Venetian terrace overlooking the bustling main square and harbour. The hotel itself is 20th century, which on our walk through to the restaurant, seemed a little dated and lack lustre, almost undeserving of its grandiose frontage and prime location, but the restaurant was lovely.


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The steak was perfect and huge enough to satisfy my meat-loving appetite, the service was fantastic, there was a brilliant jazz quartet playing, later followed by a pianist, and the atmosphere was that of a relaxed, slow-paced luxury that felt well deserved after a hard day relaxing in the sun. Ha. All this plus the privileged position of spying on all the merry making going on below, made for an amazing dining experience.

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As for bars, my favourite place we came across had to be the bar of Hotel Park, which was conveniently right next to the Palace restaurant. It managed to be both bustling and romantic, perfect for people watching and with an extensive list of both delicious and sizeable cocktails. There was brilliant live music every night and we liked it so much we went there three times, each time reluctant to leave.

I wish I could be there now.

27/01/2012

the blow dry

15

I tend not to give a toss about my hair.

In high school I went through a phase of getting up at 5.30am to curl the entirety of my head, but by 'phase' I mean it happened about four times. I have had every colour of hair under the sun (from darkest brown to peroxide blonde with a healthy dollop of purple thrown in circa 2004 and frequent flirtations with ginger) but when it comes to style I have a penchant for the scruffy look and do little more than a half-assed blow dry, if at all, and perhaps some strenuous back-combing and hair-spraying before a night out. It's most probably laziness although I like to call it the Mary-Kate effect, and I was perfectly happy in my Olsen triplet delusion. But then I went to McIntyres.


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Normally I leave from my hair appointments with poker straight hair, wholly devoid of body and movement and life. Even when I protest that I don't wear my hair straight, out come the GHDs glistening under the bright lights because "it'll just smooth it out a bit."

Not this time.

This is the most beautiful blow-dry I have ever had. I practically skipped with glee all the way home from the hairdressers, hair bouncing behind me, feeling like a veritable Kate Middleton, all polished and prim and proper and princess like. It's quite astonishing how much a good hair style can lift your spirits!

If only I could recreate this at home.

How do hairdressers manage to make the round brush blow dry look so easy?

16/01/2012

croatia: hvar

Last summer my boyfriend and I spent the best part of three weeks travelling around Croatia, taking in Hvar, Korçula, Dubrovnik, Braç and Split. I thought I'd do a short series of posts on the trip, as it was one of my favourite holidays and it's a beautiful country.


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Hvar seems to be the preferred Croatian holiday destination of the rich. Not because it's a beautiful, peaceful place to relax and unwind after months of working hard for all those millions, but because it's the perfect picturesque backdrop for showing off just how much money you have in the bank. The harbour of Hvar town is crammed with yachts; most bigger than your average detached family home, and some so big they defy description. Every champagne bottle corked on the decks of each luxury yacht seemed to pop with an exclamation of "Look at me! Look how rich I am!" It isn't a quiet, restrained kind of showiness that prevails in Hvar, but a rowdy, screaming exhibitionism that slaps you in the face and has you reaching for a lottery ticket.



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Despite the obvious financial gulf between my boyfriend and I and the owner of 90m long Ecstasea, Hvar was one of my favourite places. Once you've adapted to your relative status of impoverishment, there's the realisation that everyone is there to have a good time, and everyone is having a good time. Not to mention, it's beautiful.

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 our room in Gueshouse M (how cool is the light!?)

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We stayed in Guesthouse M, which was a little way away from the main harbour, but we had a lovely room and the owner, Suzana, was so hospitable and chirpy, and even picked us up from the bus station herself, free of charge. Plus, our distance from the main harbour meant close proximity to a beautiful little beach that was much less crowded.

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Most days, however, we ventured further than the little beach and often found ourselves seeking refreshment and refuge from the sun in beach bars. My absolute favourite was Falko bar, for its laid back, bohemian feel, hammocks strung up between trees, the good music and the way they cut a hole in the lid of my ice tea for the straw. The adorable dog running around was the icing on the cake. It is quite a walk away from the harbour though; it's the type of place that pops up on the horizon just as you're about to give up looking for it, but that didn't seem to have dented its popularity.


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Splash bar is slightly closer to town and slightly less rough around the edges, which in my eyes gives it less character and charm than Falko, but the trees surrounding the tables gave it a nice feel. Sitting amongst the trees, looking out at the sea with a giant mug of beer in hand is definitely an enjoyable way to while out an afternoon.


11/01/2012

vintage



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Some pictures from my former blogging life. Including a shoot I did for my uni magazine wearing dresses made from bin bags, and a brief blogging resurgence in my early days in Germany.

I started my first blog in 2008, but soon got fed up with it and neglected it in favour of the craziest three months of summer of my life. It seems I was much thinner and better looking then... Hey, I'm working on my return to my former glory, believe me.

I miss my first year room and my super blonde hair!

xxxx

07/01/2012

split

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Mesh Top - Lanvin x H&M
T Shirt - H&M
Skirt - Vero Moda
Shoes - ALDO
Rings - H&M

Cheering myself up from this essay and revision hell with photos of past outfits, brimming with a sense of festive cheer and glamour that seems to abound in December but is all too absent in January. Bring on the 17th.

Oh, that's only ten days away. That's cheered me right up.