Tokyo: Nine Things to Know Before You Go

Tokyo has to be up there in the top 3 cities that I’ve visited and fallen for big time. I first went to Tokyo a few years ago for a writing project I was working on. Nothing could have prepared me for the onslaught of everything that is Tokyo. The culture, the high-tech toilets, the anxiety-inducing interchange at Shinjuku subway station, the human wall coming straight towards you while you attempt to cross at the scramble crossing, the mind-blowing cuisine you can get everywhere. Everywhere. And of course, the people. They are the best feature of Tokyo. Polite, considerate, quirky, ridiculously cool, creative.

Yes. Everyone has to go to Tokyo at least once in their lives. Before you start booking, here are eight things to know to help you plan, and prepare you for the awesomeness of a visit to Tokyo. Continue reading “Tokyo: Nine Things to Know Before You Go”

Soho Cocktails 3

Soho Cocktails

In the third of my Soho trilogy (see also Soho Dining and Soho Shopping) I have put in hours and hours of research to bring you the ultimate guide to the best cocktails in London’s Soho (you’re welcome).

The louche and slightly seedy Soho of the 1970s is still alive, despite the gentrification that has been taking hold over the last three or four years. And it’s this debaucherous hangover from the past combined with the style that has moved in since then that make Soho the perfect spot for an alcohol-fuelled evening with your loosest friends. Continue reading “Soho Cocktails”

Venice Wellness Spirituality

Wellness, Spirituality and Mindfulness in Venice, L.A.

Los Angeles has long been a magnet for the spiritual, mystic and new age. Whether it’s because of the laidback vibe, the proximity to awe-inspiring nature or some vortex of positive universal energy, I can’t quite find the answer, and it might be all of the above. But it’s that magic energy that makes it so beautifully unique. And there is no better place to experience it all than the boho beach side suburb of Venice.

It’s here where people are open and friendly, they look healthier, they talk about their chakras and when they hug, they literally and emotionally hold each other in energy-exchanging embraces that last just that little bit longer than most people would be comfortable with.

On my recent trip to Los Angeles, I set out to experience the New Age side of Venice, realign my chakras, get in touch with my inner child and experience a bit of mindfulness. Here’s what I got up to and where I went. Continue reading “Wellness, Spirituality and Mindfulness in Venice, L.A.”

Mykonos

Ultimate Mykonos Guide – Planning Your Trip and My Top Tips

Mykonos is one of those places you have to go to at least once in your life. Visually, the landscape is rugged and a little barren, dotted with sugar cube houses. But it’s the turquoise Med and those “I’ve died and gone to heaven” sunsets that make you fall in love with the place. Here, I present to you the ultimate guide to planning your trip, plus my tips for where to eat, drink, lounge, admire sunsets, dance the night away and sleep off hangovers. Continue reading “Ultimate Mykonos Guide – Planning Your Trip and My Top Tips”

Helsinki City Guide

Helsinki Summer City Break Guide

Helsinki is one of those dark horse city-break destinations. It doesn’t feature top of everyone’s list of cities to visit. Not when you have the grandeur and flash of Stockholm and the understated cool of Copenhagen so close by to get your Scandi fix. But as a summer weekend destination, I have found it to be all of quirky, eccentric, creative, stylish, hilariously fun and beautifully scenic. Continue reading “Helsinki Summer City Break Guide”

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My City Break Wardrobe

I was recently appointed the new London Resident Editor for Luxe City Guides to my absolute delight. Aimed at the more sophisticated traveller, Luxe City Guides gives you the insider guide to the world’s major cities across Europe, Asia, the USA and Australia. I always describe it to people as being a very cool friend you have in each city who tells you where to go for the best, exclusive places to eat, drink, shop, chill and get your dose of local culture (without bumping into the track-suit wearing tourist hoards).

This got me thinking about my city break wardrobe. With the amount of travelling I do, I am constantly planning city break outfits, primarily for trips to Europe. And I am the kind of person who feels better when I think that my outfit is working for me. A bad outfit can affect my mood (not for the better). In those situations, I usually claim it’s because I’m hangry so as not to appear completely materialistic to whichever poor buggers are travelling with me at the time.

So what are the ingredients of a fail-safe, mood-enhancing city break outfit? Continue reading “My City Break Wardrobe”

Helsinki Sisu-9

In Search of Sisu in Helsinki

The Danes gave us Hygge to make our lives that little bit more cosy. The Swedes balanced it all out with the concept of lagom (everything in the right amount). Now its the Finns’ turn to influence us all with their own very unique take on life with the concept of “sisu”. Sisu describes the typical Finnish trait of rising up to meet life’s challenges, even in the face of the fiercest of adversity. It’s about having guts and determination, stepping outside your comfort zone and  giving it everything you’ve got.

On my recent trip to Helsinki, I went in search of sisu based on only a shamefully low level understanding of what it is. And so it was through my tour of saunas and (Baltic) sea swimming that I found not so much sisu, but a fabulously relaxing, rejuvenating and invigorating side of Finnish life. Continue reading “In Search of Sisu in Helsinki”

Provence Wineries-9

Five Provence Wineries You need to Visit

In the second of my Provence duo, I have saved the best for last. One of the best things to do while in Provence is to tour the wineries, be dazzled by the in-your-face-beauty of the scenery and taste a few local wines at the cellar door.

So here are my top five Provence wineries, all easily accessible if you base yourself in the Luberon area. Plus, I give you few practicalities to help you plan your trip. Continue reading “Five Provence Wineries You need to Visit”