Falling in love with Lisbon

Portugal’s capital made the perfect September city break (I know I’m running a bit late, let’s just call this post a throwback). The city is made for those who like to explore on foot – the quiet streets climbing up the hills are great for wandering, but bring good shoes!

The views are wonderful, the September sun is just right, and the famously colourful tiles and gorgeous light make for great pictures. Our 3-day trip was short and sweet, and left me wanting more! We strolled through the cobbled streets and ate our way through ice cream and pastries – the best way to spend a long weekend, right?

lisbon_001bloglisbon1lisbon_042lisbon_025bloglisbon2

Hot spots

H10 Duque de Loulé
A beautiful hotel with a great rooftop bar which is open to visitors. We visited on a Saturday night and it wasn’t busy at all. Cosy up in the cool evening breeze and take in the spectacular view of the city.

Open Brasserie Mediterrânica
Some of our party had food allergies so we were eager to find a restaurant that could accommodate all of us. The Open Brasserie Mediterrânica had knowledgable, friendly staff and a great choice of meals for everybody, including vegan and gluten free. I recommend the pumpkin gnocchi!

Belém
Belém, a charming district just a tram ride away from the centre, fast became my favourite part of the city. There was a photogenic door or wall at every turn through the peaceful, colourful streets and the Tropical Botanical Garden was perfect for chilling out in the sun.

bloglisbon3lisbon_077lisbon_063bloglisbon4

Thailand

I never thought I’d really have the chance to go to Thailand. It just seemed like one of those far-away, mystical places. Luckily, my best friend Emily travelled the world this year and I managed to join her for two weeks, travelling to Bangkok and the Gulf islands of Thailand! We started with 3 days in Bangkok, including a visit to the Grand Palace. I’d highly recommend a visit to the Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand, a two hour drive from the city – we got to walk with, feed and shower the elephants, as well as learn about where they’d all come from. It wasn’t just a home for elephants, either – bears, gibbons, birds and dogs were all looked after. I wish I could’ve stayed with the elephants forever, especially baby Prin!

Thailand_032Thailand_035Thailand_043Thailand_037Thailand_028Thailand_031Thailand_025Thailand_007

A long overnight bus and ferry took us to Koh Samui, our first island adventure. The Sirin Samui Hostel was the perfect stop, with clean, spacious rooms and a great pool to relax by. We spent most of our time on the beach! Our second island was Koh Phangan, for the infamous Half Moon Party. Once we’d recovered from our hangovers, we visited Paradise Waterfalls and even found the beautiful Milky Bay resort tucked away on the beach. The breakfast was delicious and they let us use their pool!

Thailand_046Thailand_050Thailand_049

Our final stop was Koh Tao, which fast became my favourite island (perhaps purely because of the sunsets). Koh Tao is the smallest of the islands, and I found it the most beautiful! Our days were mostly spent relaxing on the beach and walking around the shops and restaurants. A snorkelling or scuba-diving trip is a must – we visited all of the bays of the island, as well as Koh Nang Yuan which is just breathtaking. I can’t wait to go back!

Thailand_060IMG_2254Thailand_066

Waiting for summer: Barcelona on film

I fell in love with Barcelona two summers ago so I jumped at the chance to visit again in July. This time, we stayed in an airbnb apartment in a lovely residential area which was a twenty minute walk from Sagrada Familia. Our time was spent wandering the side streets of La Rambla and sipping sangria. I will never tire of Barcelona – it’s the perfect blend of city break and beach holiday.

We hired a boat in Parc de la Ciutadella, explored Park Güell and drank cocktails in the sun. I can’t wait for this summer already!

All photos were taken with Kodak Portra 400.

barcelonafilm01CNV00001barcelonafilm02CNV00004CNV00013CNV00007CNV00014CNV00010CNV00024CNV00026CNV00028

Dreamy Cornwall

It was over a year ago that I paid my first visit to the pretty coastal village of Coverack in Cornwall. We chose the perfect weekend to go in July – I couldn’t get enough of the deep blue sea and sky, and the little shops, cafés and pubs. Every corner of the village was picture-perfect; here are some of my favourites.

beach1005

beach1007

beach1004

beach1003

beach1001

beach1013

beach1008

beach1014

Postcards From Prague

PragueHigh059

I’ve been lucky enough to visit many European cities in the past year. In September, I fell in love with the City of 100 Spires! We stayed in the Old Prague Hostel, which was a two minute walk from the main square. The staff were so friendly and it was a great place to meet people – I’d highly recommend it!

Our first afternoon was spent checking out the area (and dodging the rain!). Over the next few days, we did the walking tour of the city, as well as of the castle. This was a great way to get to know the city a bit more, and the fascinating history. We climbed to the top of the ‘Powder Tower’ for an amazing view, but there are many places to get a great view (the above photograph is from the castle area).

Other than the rain on our first day, we were blessed with the sun and boiling heat for the remainder of our stay! As always in cities, the small streets were filled with boutiques and sweet cafes, perfect for a drink and people watching session! The architecture is incredible – on one corner by the Powder Tower, you can see six different architecture styles including gothic, cubist and art nouveau.

I will be visiting again as soon as possible, as there’s so much more to explore.

PragueHigh037

PragueHigh043   PragueHigh039

PragueHigh049

PragueHigh046

PragueHigh044

PragueHigh020

PragueHigh005

PragueHigh008

PragueHigh014

PragueHigh015

PragueHigh009

PragueHigh058

PragueHigh028

PragueHigh031

PragueHigh032

PragueHigh034

PragueHigh042

My Barcelona Guide

B048

My visit to Barcelona in June was my first and I absolutely fell in love with the city. The bustling streets filled with market stalls, boutiques and cute little cafes under the glorious sun captured my heart. Being so close to the beach gives Barcelona extra points – it’s the best of a city break and a sun-bathing holiday.

On our first day, Emily (my constant street style model!) and I wandered the side streets and shops that lead off Las Ramblas. The city is really easy to navigate around and there are plenty of places to stop for a bite as you explore, like Luzia, where we had a wonderful pizza and one of the best gin cocktails I’ve ever had (think rose petals and more)!

b001       B003

B002

B004

B008

B012

B013

B016_1

B017

The second and third days involved more exploring. There’s so much to see in this amazing city, including Gaudi’s architecture. We visited Caso Balto, the Sagrada Família and Park Guell, only a few of his amazing works in Barcelona. The Sagrada Família is still being built, with construction having started in 1882, and they predict it will be completed around 2026-2028. Even with the works going on, it is one of the most incredible places I have ever visited. The atmosphere is indescribable with the special stain glass windows projecting coloured light into the church. Park Guell is also a relaxing place to wander and relax, with a great view of the city.

B034

B037_1       B037

B040

B042

B049       B028

B026

B053

B062

B071

B074

B076

B077

B080

B083

Our hotel, Hotel Lleo, was a minute’s walk from Las Ramblas and had a lush rooftop pool for us to relax in the boiling sun! Before we left we had a quick look at the food market (check out those hot dog-shaped sweets!) and one last wander to say goodbye to Barcelona!

B069       B084

B085

B093

B094

B095

Barcelona098\

All photographs copyright Alannah Messett.

I Left My Heart In Amsterdam

dam020

A few weekends ago, my friends and I visited Amsterdam for Amelia’s 21st. It was my first visit to the incredible city and I am already planning my second! The weather was glorious for most of the weekend, so we rented bikes and cycled around the city. It was the best way to explore all of the streets.

dam001

dam005

dam007

dam019

There are so many amazing places to visit in Amsterdam. We cycled to Anne Frank’s house on the Sunday and ate the best burger I have ever had at the restaurant Cau. The food was delicious and the service was great – a perfect treat for the birthday girl. There were plenty of markets to wander through – we found the flower market near the centre, and the Albert Cuyp Market, which was a treasure trove full of clothes, gifts and home furnishings. We then chilled at Vondelpark, which was just round the corner from our adorable hotel, The Alexander Hotel. The perfect end to an incredible weekend. I’ll be seeing you soon, Amsterdam!

dam011

dam002
Anne Frank’s House

dam003

dam012

dam022

dam025

dam027

dam014

dam028

dam036

dam031

The best pancakes!
The best pancakes!

dam035

dam037

dam038

dam039

Marbles Vintage Store
Marbles Vintage Store

dam053

dam056

dam057

dam063

dam066

All photographs copyright Alannah Messett.