Hotel De Nell

Hotel De Nell

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After attending lots of great meetings and having spent some busy days in Paris we decided to stay at the Hotel de Nell for some amazing luxury and relaxation time. The boutique 5* Hotel De Nell, is famous for it’s bistronomie and unparalleled service and I can quite honestly say that it truly deserves it’s incredible reputation with it being one of the best hotels I have ever had the pleasure of staying in – which is saying a lot because I have stayed in quite a few!

On our arrival the first thing that struck me was the hotel’s beautiful appearance, a very chic Parisian corner building who’s white painted facade, black ironwork and beautifully kept ornate bushes radiated style and shone in the light. We past through a large modern glass door into an entrance decorated with festive Christmas lights and trees. A lit glass fire glimmered in the glass wall separating the bar from the entrance made the modern white interior feel so warm and cosy. I couldn’t wait to see more of this absolute gem designed by Jean-Michel Wilmotte and I had only taken three steps inside!

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You may have seen some of my Instagram photos and my reactions to our check-in – I think my words were “If only every hotel stay could start like this”… Why is that you may ask? Well, we arrived a bit early and as we waited for our room to be prepared we were greeted with cappuccinos and choux pastries that we enjoyed by the glass fire on the most stylish chairs I have ever seen! In fact all the chairs in the hotel were pretty special which really added some great character and design to the rooms!

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So after we had reclined on our uber design chairs to our hearts content we were shown to our room. We were staying in a Chambre Luxe and the first thing that struck me when we entered was how big our room was ! I loved how light and airy it felt!So many nice rooms are beautiful but this one was truly special as three floor length french windows led onto a Juliet balcony which had the most amazing views of the most spectacular site, the impressive domed Conservatoire de Paris! Being able to see such a majestic building from your bed was a real joy. I can’t describe it as anything other than feeling as if you are starring in a Chanel N5 or a Jean Paul Gautier advert! What was the tag line again? “Je suis Chloe” *

*and then roll and flick your hair like a chic bohemian goddess…

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The joy continued, when I checked out our bathroom! I know it sounds sad but seriously it was so cool! If there were ever “bathroom goals” then this would definitely be it! The room was clad in marble with his and hers sinks, an enormous shower which could fit about ten people and the most amazing marble Japanese bath, which was not only luxurious but also comfortable thanks to the wooden seat that lined the interior. I was so impressed as you can see from my video, I just couldn’t wait to give it a try!

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After a great meal and nice wine at a nearby french restaurant recommended to us by the hotel staff, we made our way back to the Hotel de Nell where we were greeted with soothing classical music and complimentary Champagne. It was the details that really made our stay so special – I ran a big hot bath, which I perfumed with the most incredible Bvlgari teabags that we had been given and which smelt amazing. Chocolates & a pillow menu had been laid out on our bed and we read fashion magazines in our cotton bathrobes and slippers.

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The breakfast in the La Régalade Conservatoire was of such high standard, made with market & local produce. Thick loaves of bread which powdered our plates with flower, rich creamy scrambled eggs and fresh juices. Bruno Doucet’s simple but very tasty bites were traditional and evocative, just like an authentic Proust Madeleine.

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I couldn’t recommend this amazing 5* Hotel enough, it really is a testament Paris and France with great food, top rate service and amazing french design. If you want to see and experience the best of Paris then Hotel De Nell is the best place to start! Here is a short vlog of our stay and of our day site seeing!

Le Cinq Codet

Le Cinq Codet

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After getting my hair done, finishing off some last emails and then heading into town for a quick spot of shopping, I got home so late I was still packing my bags for Paris late into the night. I was so excited I hardly slept at all! We had a really early start but I had so much energy and after arriving at St Pancras to catch the Eurostar, I refuelled on the most delicious apricot pastries and coffee which kept me going through the morning.

Our journey was so easy and the incredible way the train passes under the Channel is simply magical! It is easy to forget which such different identities and personalities how close London and Paris are to one another! It was amazing, one minute we were waving goodbye to the red buses and the Christmas lights of London and the next we were walking down grand boulevards and shopping along Les Champs Elysées. We got so caught up in the beauty of it all that we didn’t check in to our amazing hotel until late in the day, the 5* Hotel Le Cinq Codet, which was in the most incredible location, minutes from Les Invalides where Napoleon Bonaparte is buried and just a stone’s throw from the Eiffel Tower and the famous Champ-de-Mars in the 7th arrondissement, one of the most exclusive neighbourhood’s in Paris.

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The 5* Hotel Le Cinq Codet, designed by Jean-Philippe Nuel was beautiful. We were greeted in a modern colourful lobby, filled with incredible pieces of furniture and beautiful flowers. The whole hotel was finished to such incredible quality. As we were shown around I couldn’t help but admire the courtyard situated in the middle of the building decorated with Christmas trees and lights. There was so much light and so much glass yet the stylish bar and lounge still felt cosy. I couldn’t wait to see our room!

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We stayed in their Chambre Duplex, which I will refer to for the rest of this post as our “suite” because it was so big! When I showed my friends the photos of our room, they thought that our sofa and seating area was actually the hotel lobby because it was so spacious and nice! The room didn’t have one, but two plasma TV’s and both had my name on them upon arrival “Mrs Royston” – Ok, so I am not Mrs yet…but still, pretty cool right?!

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The room was filled with original works of art which made it feel like a modern day artist’s studio, a futuristic version of the bohemian romantic and creative hubs that fuelled so many creatives that Paris is so famous for! There were curves and angles all in the right places, all complimented by original lighting, large mirrors and an incredible glass window that travelled the length of the two floors. What really added to the luxury and the modernity of the room were all the gadgets and incredible technology that we had at our disposal – from an an Apple-mini which enabled us to check Facebook and let me blog on the plasma TV, to design mobile phones that we could use to call room service. To say that Gustavo had a field day with all these toys is an understatement!

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I on the other hand was far more obsessed with the fact that this place had a gym and a spa and that we not only had a separate washroom and walk in shower that was big enough for 4 people downstairs, our own bathrobes, slippers and the best smelling cosmetics, but that we also had a huge bath in our bedroom, just feet away from our bed! Ou La La! This meant that I could run a bubble bath and watch Bad Grandpa on my customised “Mrs Royston” plasma TV! If this is a time to Hashtag Travel Goals then I don’t know when is…

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I slept like a chubby cat who has found a pile of freshly washed warm towels in the airing cupboard and has decided to go for a nap after polishing off a whole packet of cream. I woke up in a chubby Abi’s paradise – the Breakfast buffet was one of the most extensive I had ever seen…Continental, American, English, I made about three trips over to the counter and only stopped because we had managed to fill the whole table with our treats – bacon, sausages, croissants, pains of chocolats, coffee, juice, fruit salad, yoghurt, pastries, bread, muffins… It was so good I actually managed to eat most of it but only of course after taking a few pics 😉

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Our first two days were so busy and it was great coming back to such a lovely luxurious hotel in the evenings! We had some great meetings lined up for this year’s fashion season but we had a bit of time to Paris – so I can’t wait to share some of the pictures that we took and to reveal some of the exciting things that happened in this magical city soon! But first, here is a quick peak at the 5* Le Cinq Codet  and the first part of my Paris Travel vlog!

 

Ready for Paris

Ready for Paris

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Hurray we are in 2016 and finally I have been able to spend a few days at home with my family, chilling on the sofa in my pyjamas and drinking hot chocolate before I have to fly out in two days time again!

As I mentioned before, things just before Christmas were super busy, so busy in fact that I still hadn’t done any Christmas shopping until 2pm on Christmas Eve! One of the most exciting things that we did in the build up to Christmas was to go to Paris. Our trip was very last minute but it was important to go as we had some great meetings and some very important people to meet, so when things finally got organised although I couldn’t wait for the trip, I did have a mini freak out because I hadn’t had time to go to the hairdressers in months and now I was going to have to go to the style capital of the world with horrendous hair!*

*When I mean horrendous I mean regrowth so long people start calling it ombre…

You can imagine my relief when I found out about Gwenelda a mobile beauty and hairdressers service,  that anyone can book through their app or on their website. It is the same price as the salon, but has the added advantage of professionals coming to your house, office or hotel, instead of you having to take a massive chunk out of your day to go. They offer all sorts of beauty treatments, from highlights, cut & blow dry to  manicures, pedicures, waxing & threading and even massages! Thanks to Gwenelda I was able to work and pack right up until the appointment time and then once Flavia the hairdresser had arrived, I could just get my hair done at home in my living room, in my slippers whilst having a cup of coffee! Perfect!

I was a bit nervous getting my hair done by a new hairdresser, but Flavia was a pro and the end result was amazing! I chose the colours from her palette and then quick as a flash the foils were in and we were having a quick coffee and chat. Next time I thought I could get the treatment done with my friends, say organise a manicure/nail bar party or we could even get our hair done before going out clubbing on a Saturday, it was just so much fun! I felt like a true celeb. I shared my time on my Snapchat which you hopefully didn’t miss… I couldn’t recommend them enough, especially for those of you looking to have or to give a friend a real 5* experience.

Thanks to Gwenelda I was able to answer my final Christmas emails, pack my bags and then hit the centre for some last minute shopping. I was looking for a warm faux-fur coat for Paris that I found in Zara’s and which I can’t wait to show you! Some of my travel essentials for this trip were my Eva Tote, from Gym Tote, a super stylish sports/ luxury handbag that was perfect to taking my jewellery and my shoes in and I couldn’t leave for Paris without packing a splash of Chanel N5!

I can’t wait to share my trip with you, it was amazing and our meetings were so exciting, I can’t wait to be able to reveal it all to you soon!

Hair done, Next Stop Paris!!!

Abi xxx

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Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

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Hello everyone! I hope that you have all had an incredible Christmas with your loved ones and that Santa brought you all that you could wish for 🙂

This year was one of my best Christmases ever…When I was young we used to have Christmas at my parent’s house in France which was always so much fun! My sister who always makes the festivities so special would come home along with a sack full of presents and some very special things that at the time we couldn’t buy in France – Brandston pickle, Twigglets, BirdsEye Custard, Jelly, Mango Chutney, Christmas crackers, Christmas pudding and of course our favourite Christmas CD with songs from the Slade and Band Aid. When she arrived it was when Christmas truly started so it was extra special when her and boyfriend Rod, invited me and the whole of the family to spend Christmas & Boxing Day with them at their beautiful house in Landemere, which was once inhabited by the famous artist Paolozzi.

Now that my Grandma is old she can no longer make the journeys and so for the last few years we have brought Christmas to her! Early Christmas morning, after wrapping up my presents (you may have seen my awful sleepy half awake face on Snapchat when I was trying to do this…) my Dad and I set off to see my Grandma. She is 96 years old on the 2nd of January of this year and lives in a beautiful old folks home just outside of London. We arrived to scenes of people unwrapping their presents, children visiting their grandparents and of course lots of chocolate eating! We helped Grandma to open her presents & cards and then spent the morning with her before she joined her friends at her Christmas lunch.

My Mum was ill that day and so couldn’t make it and so we drove back to London to see her and pick her up before driving the party bus/pasat car onwards to my sister’s. I hadn’t been to her house before, so I was overly excited. It was so lovely and in the most beautiful place, next to water and in the countryside. It was painted pink and had the most beautiful wreath on the door and inside the Christmas decorations were amazing. I felt like I was in an episode of Escape to the Country with it’s tiled entrance hall, a beautiful country kitchen dinner and massive cosy living room! The tree already had so many presents around it and we were greeted at the door by Pedro, their 12 year old little doggy. Awwwwwww….

The turkey was cooking away, there were bottles of Fizz being opened. We put the ice maker on and started opening the nibbles. My sister’s boyfriend Rod and his mum Olive were also there and soon there was a knock on the door followed by excited barking – my brother William and his girlfriend Myfanwy had arrived carrying gifts, cheeses, wine and their lovely young dog Beasley! One thing that never lacks at our Christmases is the food and my sister did my Mum proud by producing the most amazing Christmas meal: braised cabbage, sausages, bacon, turkey, two types of stuffing, vegetables, potatoes, sweet potato. After a short pause and some impressed gasps directed towards my brother when he finished his massive plate of turkey, we pushed on to the puddings! I don’t know about you but I love puddings and it really felt as if I had died and had gone to heaven: My Mum’s meringues, vanilla cheesecake, chocolate business cake, cream, custard, chocolate cake, my sister’s lemon tart, Christmas pudding, chocolates and Cava…HEAVEN! PS: The diet starts tomorrow…

So true to form, I didn’t stop eating when I was full, but instead I stopped eating when I truly hated myself…and when everyone else had finished and similarly hated themselves, we waddled in to the living room to open our presents! By this time it was 9pm but we with so many big kids in the room we weren’t going to leave the present opening until the next day… I received some beautiful gifts and if you want to see some of the things that I gave my family or things that I think would have made great gifts then check out my post 20 Great Christmas Present Ideas 🙂

The next morning we had my favourite, croissants, coffee and let’s not forget the mini boxes of cereal that used to be my Christmas highlight because I could choose any flavour I wanted! Now that I am older I would say that the cereal pleasure has probably been overtaken by Cava & Chocolate pleasure but it’s still SO EXCITING :D…We all then went out for a walk around the surrounding countryside. My brother and I found some old flints in the ploughed up field by the house and it was so much fun being outside with the dogs. My sister and Rod took us to the most beautiful old boat graveyard and jetty, to see where Marigold swims with her wetsuit and where they sometimes go sailing.

It was quite cold so I decided to wear my white ripped jeans that I wore on Christmas day with a white cotton and chiffon long sleeve blouse and my faux fur shaggy green and black coat that I bought a few days before in Paris. Last but by no means least I wore my fluffy pompom hat all from H&M, which I love because it is so cute and also keeps me warm 🙂

What did you get up to? Who did you spend it with? Do you have any Christmas traditions that you do every year that make Christmas special for you and which wouldn’t be the same otherwise?

Wishing you all the best for the holiday season !

Merry Christmas,

Abi xxx

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20 Great Christmas Present Ideas

20 Great Christmas Present Ideas

GreenChanelBagWe are almost at the end of the year and so I have decided to share some of my favorite fashion & travel blog moments on my Instagram! I will be sharing these with you in more detail tomorrow, but first I wanted to share with you some of the things that I bought my family for Christmas and also a few Christmas present ideas! I had to buy presents for so many people this year, of all different ages. From my older brother, to my sister’s boyfriend’s mum, sometimes you can find just the right thing, but then other times it can become a nightmare…especially if like me you only have 4 hours to do it in!

So here is a list of things that would be perfect for both special and token presents and although you may have already given your Christmas presents, lots of these things will now be in the sale…so this is for you, the elusive relative that you have yet to see but when you do in a few days time, you will have found the perfect thing for them!

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1 LUXURY BELGIAN CHOCOLATES: If you are looking for something special for someone special, someone from the office, or even a good neighbor, this is the present for you. Godiva has an incredible range of chocolates are not only exquisite but their texture and taste is so rich you can’t help but notice the incredible quality, even if you have never heard of Godiva, which let’s face it everyone has! A perfect touch to a romantic gift are undoubtedly their beautiful strawberries dipped in belgian chocolate and now for all tennis lovers like myself, they Godiva even have limited edition Davis Cup chocolates. Christmas Gold Collection Box of 24 Chocolates www.godivachocolates.co.uk – £25

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2 SCENTED MY JOLIE CANDLE:  This is a scented candle that smells so good and contains a very special jewel – you can buy them online containing either a bracelet, a ring or a necklace (up to 100 models) that are made with beautiful Swarovski crystals and is revealed as the candle is burnt. It is really good value and the presentation of the present is great, with the candle coming with a bag of colored french nougat and bright coloring crayons. To make a special present even more special, in your candle you could find a piece made from gold and diamonds worth up to £5,000. Prices start from £19.90 – www.myjoliecandle.co.uk

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3 GLASS CANDLE DOME: I bought this for my sister who has just moved into a beautiful house. I thought that it was really sophisticated and would be a perfect ornament and addition to any stylish home. John Lewis Basic Glass Dome – £15 

4 GLASS BOTTLE ORNAMENT: I bought this or my brother but I think it could be the perfect present for any wine lover. This giant bottle with Saint Emilion is a great rustic house ornament but a cool vibe as Saint Emilion is one of France’s most famous vineyard. I bought it from TK Maxx which also has a great selection of wine coolers. For beautiful whisky or wine glasses head to John Lewis!

image5 FRAGRANT DIFFUSER: This is another great present to buy someone who loves their home and loves style. There are some great scent sticks and diffusers, they look great in bathrooms, smell amazing and are very fashionable. I bought one of these Ralph Lauren diffuser’s for my brother’s girlfriend who is very chic and who I thought would love the design – Ralph Lauren Citrus Bouquet Fragrant Diffuser – £25 from TK Maxx

6 SUNGLASSES: For the man or woman who has everything, because even if you have a pair that you love to wear, you can really never have enough. Oversized black Chanel, Round Metal Chanel, Leopard Jimmy Choo, Ray Ban Aviators, Custom Sporty Oakley‘s for him! Nothing says style and I love you more than designer glasses.

7 FAUX FUR POM POMS: I am loving th faux-fur revolution that is going on at the moment and there is no other statement accessory that the statement furry Pom Poms made popular by celebs who have been sporting Fendi bag charms. Some of my favorite are the Cucaoo Bag Bugs starting at£700 and the Charm Packpack by Fendi. Cheaper yet very stylish alternatives are the bag pompons by Yves Salomon sold by Farfetch £45 – and the furry charms sold in many colours from Accessorize –£7

Screen Shot 2015-12-31 at 20.33.048 FAUX FUR SCARF – The must have accessory for any fashionista this winter season is undoubtedly the faux fur snuggle scarves from Charlotte Simone. Some of my favorites include the Big Daddy – £495 and the very cute pompom peak Sass Caps – £125For a cheaper alternative head to high street store Dorothy Perkins who have done a beautifully shaped faux fur scarf in wine color –£ 10
Other hats that I love are the pale beige wide brimmed hat from Banana Republic and the Peak Cap from Farfetch.

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9 CAPES – Nothing says luxurious present and style better than a winter cape. This is a great alternative to the more traditional winter coat that most people already have plenty of and is a great way to express your fashion sense. Some of my favorites include the Harris Tweed capes from Cocoon Luxe, with my favorite being the Sienna Cape – £ 220  or this beautiful checked cape with faux fur collar from Zara’s now £59.99

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10 STYLISH ACTIVE WEAR: For the fashionista who has everything, fashionable sports wear is a great alternative, especially if you are scarred of giving something that you think might not be quite right or if you don’t want to double up. Fashionable athletics wear is great for those who love to keep fit, have an active lifestyle and also like to look and feel great. I bought my sister some Reebok green turquoise patterns leggins – £16.99 and a bright pink ” Eat Clean Train Mean” top from Elle Sports range – £9.99, both from TK Maxx. Another great store that stocks lots of brands of stylish sports wear is Style Sportif.

image 11 SNEAKERS: Sneakers are a fun present, which is useful and can be really fashionable. I bought a pair of Calvin Klein white lace up pumps, but there are so many nice models out there. I love bright Nikes, like these Zoom Winflo 2 £85 that look great with jeans and also lace up Superstar white Addidas sneakers £65. For him, there are some great choices, especially from leather specialists Filling Pieces.

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 12 SLIPPERS: I love snugly slippers and so does everyone else! this a is a great present for both him & her and is perfect for those of us living in cold countries! My favorites are the UGG slippers –£62.50 that are just so cosy. I bought three pairs, one for my Dad, my brother and my sister’s boyfriend so I decided to opt for the cheaper alternative but also very cozy, the beautiful cosy slippers from Primark –£10 Women’s that I bought in size S for myself and size L for the boys. Another store than do a beautiful range in original and very delicate fashionable felt sippers is Isolyn.

image13 WOOL SCARVES: I bought a two scarves, one for my Dad and the other for my Mum. I love Zara’s wool scarves, their quality is great and the designs are often bold and their colors are rich. I bought my Mum a brown patterned large blanket scarf and my Dad a green moss colored scarf.

  1. image14 CLUTCH PURSES & TRAVEL BAGS: I love clutch purses and as I am sure all of you have seen by following your favorite bloggers, you won’t catch fashionistas without one. Here are some of my favorites which would make any woman’s day that much more special. The first bags that I love are the Yves Saint Laurent classic monogram clutches with or without tassels, that come in a range of colors. Chanel clutches are so elegant, from the Green Boy Flap Bag £2,470 to the more traditional Chanel Vintage Quilted Bag £3,536, this is the ultimate luxurious gift. For a perfect travel bag, I would recommend the beautiful Eva Tote from Gym Tote – £125.

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15 FAUX FUR COATS: This season it is all about the faux fur coats and there are a number of great online stores that sell some beautiful ones. I bought one for myself in the pre-Christmas sale whilst in Paris from H&M in Green, which I think they have now sold out of. But here are some good alternatives 🙂 Jacket in Faux Fur H&M – £49.99 for a more traditional look, a mac with an electric blue hood from Pretty Little Thing –£ 60

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16 VICTORIA SECRET PAJAMAS: Nothing says luxury and comfort more than a set of Victoria’s Secret satin Pajamas. I particularly like the pink & white stripped set of the Afterhours Satin Pajamas – £34.71 I would have loved to have got this for Christmas as they would have been perfect for traveling and also for being cozy at home…maybe I will buy them now as they are in the sale 😉

victoriasecretwestfieldstratford17 WHITTARD HOT CHOCOLATE GIFT SET: We were given from our cousins the most amazing selection of hot chocolates from our cousins from Whittard – Cocoa Creations Hot Chocolate Gift Set £20. I like hot chocolate but this made this drink extra special, with crispy caramel, white chocolate, orange, rich chocolate and mint all flavors in the set. It was great because we each got to take away one or two types, it was a beautiful present, perfect for a family.

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18 FESTIVE DRINKS: A nice thing to buy is a nice bottle of drink to take round to someone’s house, or even to give to a family or colleague as a special gift. We received a Baileys Chocolate Luxe as part of a Christmas Hamper  which was very special. I would also recommend Lanson Champagne or a bottle of Sipsmith Gin

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19 TRIANGL BIKINI: For those of you jetting off in the New Year, Triangl bikinis are a perfect gift. Seen on celebs and top models a like, these colorful black lined sets are setting Instagram ablaze. I received one for Christmas from the Triangl team and I absolutely loved mine, even the packaging was super stylish! Any girl would love this, guaranteed!

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20 SHOES: Shoes can be a beautiful gift. I gave my Mum a set of Christmas booties and my Dad some slip-ons from Zara’s. Here are some of my favorites: Valentino Garavani studded boots 741, Casadei thigh high stiletto boots 825 and the Chloe Susanna boots 763

 

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Happy Shopping Everybody!

Abi xxx

Westfield Stratford Shopping

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My nearest shopping center is the Westfield in Stratford London, which was built as part of the Olympic renovation scheme. It is absolutely massive, there are so many beautiful shops both inside and out and although there is not the luxury department like there is at the Westfield in Shephard’s bush, they do have some great shops for buying small fun family Christmas presents, like H&M, Primark, Zara and TK Max.

As many of you have already guessed, I am a last minute person. I didn’t get my Halloween outfit sorted until after 4pm on the day, I realized I had my final law exam just two days before the exam was to take place and, despite every time saying that I have learnt my lesson, I obviously never do, because I left all my Christmas shopping until the very last minute. Indeed, by the time the 24th came, I was really dreading facing the big crowds knowing that I had such limited time I would probably end up going into endless shops not being able to find the right thing, sweating and more sweating and then buying way too many things for myself…

So I decided to go to the Westfield in Stratford to see what I could get in 4 hours for my parents, my brother & his girlfriend, my sister & her boyfriend and perhaps even a little something for grandma… I ended up doing quite well and I will be sharing with you my Christmas present gift guide (which will now all be in the SALE! Hurray!) and also sharing what I ended up buying 🙂

In the meantime here is the outfit that I wore to Stratford and the type of look that I like wearing when I have to do some power shopping – flat comfortable shoes (uggs or slip-ons), a big over sized coat or jumper, a light cross body purse, so that I don’t freak out every 2 seconds thinking I have lost/left/had stolen/abandoned my bag somewhere.

I hope that you are enjoying your Christmas!

Best wishes,

Abi xxx

Wearing

Leopard Shoes – DUNE

Black padded clutch – ARMANI JEANS (from FARFETCH)

Black Wool & Silk Coat – JOVIS

Ripped Jeans – VINTAGE

Chunky knit scarf – ASOS

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Banana Republic

Banana Republic

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I am starting to feel the impending doom of Christmas looming on the horizon. I have been having too much fun and so I still haven’t started my Christmas shopping yet! The feeling can only be described as that of pre-exam nervousness, knowing that you only have a day to finish half the syllabus* Shudder! :/

My plan is to cram my shopping into the last 48 hours that I have left…so tomorrow want to catch me tomorrow, I will be panicking and panic buying, braving the crowds and Oxford Street/ Regent Street madness, on Christmas Eve! Am I mad? … OK, actually let’s not answering that question…

One of the stores that I will be hitting as a top priority is Banana Republic who recently made me one of their VIP shoppers and invited me to celebrate with them at  their brand new store opening in Kensington. The store was in such a beautiful location and the space was great! The holiday collection being showcased was very chic and sophisticated, with bright pops of color dotting the store and catching my eye: lime green, pink, oranges, the perfect looks for bold fashionistas, fashion bloggers and anyone wishing to brighten up the dreary London sky.

There was a DJ, a nail bar and we a lucky dip where we won discounts and gift vouchers to shop in the store. Gustavo ended up winning the gift voucher, which set him off on a mad shopping spree round the store, he really couldn’t get enough of the rich green jumpers, the thick knits and of course the stylish socks that no entrepreneur can go without. There were so many cocktails, amazing food and after taking photos and giving an interview for Banana Republic UK, we got to relax with the awesome Banana Republic Team!

I will be including some of my favorite pieces in my Christmas Shopping list that I will be posting today and then updating tomorrow depending on my different finds, but in the meantime here are the photos of this special night. I wore a long camel waistcoat- jacket with a black lace up body, black jeans, a wide brimmed hat and black sneakers. I loved the length of the coat and thought that the body and the hat really added a hipster vibe to the whole outfit.

Let me know what you think 🙂 Also, I am shopping tomorrow, so if you have any great present suggestions please don’t forget to send them to me or suggest them to me in the comments, I really need your help!

Love, Abi xxx

Wearing

Camel Coat – MISSGUIDED

Lace up body – MISSGUIDED

Eva Clutch – LOUIS VUITTON

Ceramic Bracelet – IRIS SANDALS

Sneakers – STRADIVARIUS

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Walking Wounded

Walking Wounded

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It was a few days ago in Paris when I was taking a video selfie for Snapchat in front of Laduree that two giggling girls came up behind me and followed me around totally photobombing me on purpose for like 5 minutes. It was when I turned in a circle to try to get a better face angle, * Stop judging me, I know you do it too* and could still somehow see them in my rear view of my front mirror, that I realized that I was being Selfie Punked…OH the SHAME! O MON DIEU! 😥

I shook off the massive sense of insecurity as they ran away arm in arm laughing, died a little bit inside and then flipped the camera back to selfie mode to keep on filming…Nothing can ruin a good selfie…NOTHING, you hear meaah, NOTHING! ;P

Being a fashion blogger and pretty active on social media, this isn’t the first time I have been judged for taking selfies in the street (First World problems I know…) but whenever it happens I do always laugh, because despite all the selfies I don’t actually take myself too seriously… So this is why I agreed to appear in Walking Wounded‘s latest music video entitled “Selfie“, which talks about narcissistic boys & girls who travel the globe only for their focus to be on selfies with famous monuments and site and not, on the sites themselves…

Sound familiar? no, No, NO , she denies forcefully… *

*Quick Camera Roll scroll and then turn and simply ignore the accusatory looks*

:/

So why did I agree to play the role of the narcissistic girl? Because Walking Wounded literally rock! Some of their tunes, The Devil Went to Tesco, Home Sweet Hackney,  are some of my favorite and their albums are perfect for trips to far off nomadic lands whether in person or imaginary, nights by the camp fire and for chilled out sessions full of authentically cool vibes. They are  a 5-piece band from pre-Hipster Hackney – before the East London borough was a inundated with  bijou cafe´s – playing cutting edge original material in a myriad of styles: from Punk to Arabic to Balkan, Celtic to Reggae, Ska to Rock, featuring  featuring Christine Taylor on accordion, Jonny Owen on harmonica, Hugh Poulton on vocals and guitar, Adrian Teasdale on bass, and Arnold Lane on percussion. They are every city hipster’s unattainable dream – their style and their sound is effortless, real and edgy in the true sense of the word. I really couldn’t listen to them enough!

I had never been in a music video before so I was excited when I was asked and boy, it the whole day was so much fun! I turned up at a big house in North East London with some of my boho clothes that I was asked to wear. There was a green screen and black screen in front of which the band played, lots of sound equipment and big cameras. The band had to repeat their pieces a number of times to get them right during which time we had to run on and storm the stage to obscure the real stars, to take selfies of ourselves with them, or simply of ourselves! The day was fueled with coffee and then in true rock in roll style the band went to the pub after finishing the first part of the recording! Sid Vicious and Gigi Hadid eat your heart out…

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So if you are fed up with people taking selfies all the time, or sick of forests of selfie sticks despoiling beautiful places…Then this video is for you!

Happy Monday everybody 🙂

Abi xxx

Don’t forget to check out all their awesome songs on the Cloud and subscribe to the Walking Wounded Youtube Channel! – Some of my favorites are and you can be sure that when I am out on one of my adventures I will be listening to them: Fallen Angel, Thunder at Sundown, Sahara Blues & California.