Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Where to See the Best of Autumn in London


F. Scott Fitzgerald wasn't one to mince his words. And his famous quote, "life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall," is most true when exploring the city of London. Tourists flee back home and nature's true golden colours finally shine through. Us city-dwellers love the frosty mornings and crisp afternoons, and welcome in the arrival of conkers, log-fires and mince pies. It's a true spectacle and one I'm sure you're happy to witness as much as me.

I've put together a list of pockets in London in which best to see the capital in its most picturesque form. Whether you're a Londoner in search of seeing the best of the city, or a tourist wanting to snap the perfect autumnal Instagram, there's an area here for everyone to enjoy. Just keep a brolly at hand...
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Friday, 6 October 2017

26 Grains, Covent Garden


Though undoubtedly trendy, 26 Grains in Neal's Yard, Covent Garden, still manages to be unassuming and welcoming. There are few foodie hubs in London that put good food before style and aesthetic (here's looking at you Farm Girl), so when testing out one of the city's most instagrammed, I was pleasantly surprised.

And where better to kick-start your weekend than somewhere that is infamous for its delicious porridge? Count me in!
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Tuesday, 3 October 2017

The Cashmere


It's hardly revolutionary or rebellious to talk about a cashmere jumper. It's a classic item that can be found in our grandmother's wardrobes, and is still worn by our favourite Parisian icons today, updated with Levis denim and Chanel ballet pumps.

As a lover of all things classic, high-quality and anything warm and fluffy, I've been on the hunt for a delicate swathe of cashmere to envelop myself in for some time. It's a fabric you must invest in and so a process of elimination around the shops is necessary. And after quite some time, I'm content to reveal Marks and Spencer simply do the best. I know, welcome to my forty-year-old inner-self.
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Thursday, 28 September 2017

Sundays At Columbia Road


Excuse the hyperbole, but Sundays in London are the best. It's almost as if the city workers, bankers and businessmen stay in bed all day for all of the young families, artists and creatives to roam free around the city. It's the day where food and flower markets lure us out of the warmth with their bittersweet smells and the perfect time to explore somewhere new in the capital's quiet charm.

I usually work on weekends, but I made sure to book a couple of Sundays off come September (my favourite month in London - goodbye tourists and hello autumnal colours!) to enjoy the city I call home. Since Columbia Road Flower Market only runs on Sunday mornings, we headed to Bethnal Green bright and early to grab the freshest bunch.
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Monday, 25 September 2017

Here We Are, Burberry


"They provide a portrait of British life, in all its nuances, both exceptional and mundane, beautiful and harsh," said Christopher Bailey, Chief Creative Executive Officer of Burberry on the many beautiful photographs housed in the Here We Are exhibition. Featuring over 200 works by photographers Alasdair McLellan, Dafydd Jones, Bill Brandt, Brian Griffin, Shirley Baker, Jane Bown, Martin Parr, Jo Spence, Ken Russell, Charlie Phillips, Karen Knorr, Janette Beckman and Andy Sewell, the exhibition is a celebration of British life and reveals the inspiration behind the latest Burberry collection.

On an Indian summer Sunday, my sister and I headed to Old Sessions House in Clerkenwell, the site of the exhibition, to dose ourselves up on art and culture. Isn't that what weekends are for?
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Friday, 22 September 2017

TOMMYXGIGI AT LONDON FASHION WEEK


There are definitely a few perks that come with studying Fashion Journalism in London. And often that means invites into fun, exclusive events (but sadly no free Chanel handbags...damn). On Tuesday evening, my course-mates and I were allowed special access into the Tommy Hilfiger after party, the closing show of London Fashion Week.
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Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Morty and Bob's, London Fields


The east end of town always favours quirky, off-the-beaten path spaces. Nothing is glamourous, too clean or pretty, in fact it can often be a little grimy. But that's part of the charm of the newly-gentrified areas of Hackney, Dalston and London Fields. They're flooded with young businessmen and creatives, and its bohemian inhabitants are what shepherd in a wave of beatnik cafés, restaurants and creative spaces. So I guess you could say this is where all the "cool stuff" is. 

On a sunny but slow Sunday afternoon, my friend Sarah and I headed to Morty and Bob's upon the news that Palm Vaults was closed for the week (we've been trying to go for ages!). But if we knew just how good this place was, we would have headed here first. A spot like this should never settle for second best.
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Thursday, 14 September 2017

The Birkin Bag


Not the Hermès, before you get all excited. I'm talking about the original Provencal basket.

Though Birkin, wife of Serge Gainsbourg, was British by birth she was Parisian by style, attitude and strong personality. Always with a basket in hand, she has become a true icon for all of those who admire an effortless 'cool-girl' style.

In an attempt to release my inner Birkin, this straw bag from Zara (sadly not a basket, but I can pretend it as such but sticking the odd baguette inside), has rarely left my side since its purchase.

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Tuesday, 12 September 2017

(The Last of) Summer In The City


A floral dress for summer. Groundbreaking.

But considering the sunshine season, complete with evening walks in the park and al fresco dining, visits London so rarely, the need to make the most of it is imperative. After a week of rain, I was ready to slip into something wholeheartedly summery and loose.
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Sunday, 10 September 2017

2018 Travels: Five Places On My List

Positano, Amalfi, Italy

Travelling is the only thing I'm happy to admit I'm greedy about. Sure, pancakes and pizza make the list too, but there's something about travelling that makes me commit all the deadly sins. I lust after every place I read in Condé Nast Traveller, become greedy by booking more and more every year and take supreme pride in making each of my holidays the most perfect they can be. Yet, I'm still not ashamed. Travel enables us to escape, experience and learn so much. We can leave winter at home and arrive in the height of summer. We can learn a new language, swim in unknown waters, walk along untouched sand and learn about endangered wildlife.

And does anyone else ever get that feeling of impatience and restlessness when it comes to travel? Once one is over, we're thinking of the next, in a never-ending cycle of researching, booking or preparing for holidays. There's almost a frightened feeling that nestles itself within me that I will never be able to see all of what Earth has to offer, all of what I want to see, smell, touch and taste in the world.

So with the summer of 2017 wrapped up and London in full autumn swing, I'm fervently planning 2018 travels. Some of these that made the list have been on my 'must-visit' for years, but I finally think next year is the time to go.
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Thursday, 7 September 2017

Pancakes and Bali Bowls, Amsterdam


It is a truth universally acknowledged that it will rain in Amsterdam during some point of your visit. 

Be it a day long downpour or a passing shower, however, you'll still find yourself relishing in all of that the city has to offer.

We found ourselves relishing in breakfast.
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Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Cycling Through Vondelpark, Amsterdam


When in Amsterdam, do as the Dutch do!

So in true Dutch style, we hired bikes and took a spin through Vondelpark, the 'Hyde Park' of Amsterdam (but most certainly nicer by my opinion!).
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Sunday, 3 September 2017

Exploring Jordaan, Amsterdam


I must confess, Amsterdam was never part of my bucketlist of places to visit, until now..

When my sister mentioned a trip a few years back, the immediate thought of "coffeeshops", stag do's and other unmentionable things sprang to mind. No thank you.

However, after reading a few too many blog posts with a not bad word said against it, and Alice, a work colleague of mine, suggesting her and I go, we booked a flight immediately (sorry Jess, next year!). It is a 45 minute flight after all!
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Friday, 1 September 2017

Into the Wilderness, Zermatt


There is not one hike in Zermatt that isn't worth walking. The crisp mountain air, the sound of the crickets buzzing in the midst of the alpine flora and the awe-inspiring views can be experienced from any angle. 

But if you want the real thrill of adventure, then fly on the cable car up to Shwarzee.
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Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Sundays in Zermatt


Sundays in Zermatt are a relaxed affair. 

The town comes alive and oozes with atmosphere on Friday and Saturday nights but come Sunday, everything is a little snoozy. 
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Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Swiss Day Festivities, Zermatt


The First of August in Switzerland is a pretty big deal. After all, it happens to mark the country's birthday!

The quiet little town booms with atmosphere in the evening, with crowds of locals and tourists coming together (in the name of beer, might I add) to celebrate.

Waking up bright and early, we started the day by catching the cable car up to Furi.
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Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Lunch at Cervo, Zermatt


Cervo in Zermatt, Switzerland, is quite like no other.

A boutique mountain resort perched just above the town, overlooking the Matterhorn. This hotel is the stuff of dreams and the perfect package for families, couples and adventurers alike. Though we always stay in our home-from-home of Parkhotel Beau Site, we always make sure to pop by to Cervo for lunch. Unsurprisingly, this year was no different.
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Sunday, 20 August 2017

Visiting Audrey Hepburn, Lake Geneva


This probably has to be my favourite and most special blog post yet. Anyone who truly knows me is more than aware of my adoration for Audrey Hepburn.

On our annual family trip to Zermatt, Switzerland, we usually take four-hours worth of trains to get there. But upon realising hiring a car was not only a shorter journey, but a cheaper one too, we buckled in and saddled up ready for a roadtrip around Lake Geneva to Zermatt. I knew that Audrey's home, La Paisible, was located in Morges on Lake Geneva which just happened to be in the middle of the route. So, I begged my family to take a quick detour for me to see it -it's any Hepburn fan's Mecca after all.

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Sunday, 13 August 2017

Cacti Heaven, Barcelona


The best sights in any city, in my opinion, are those that steer well clear of the tourists. Off-the-beaten-track gems, cultural spaces and undiscovered landmarks that you get to enjoy all by yourself are just as worthy of seeing than any Eiffel Tower or Buckingham Palace.

A Barcelona cactus garden probably doesn't seem like much of an exciting, must-see thrill, but it is a fun botanical highlight that will teach you plenty about Spanish flora and treat you to a beautiful view over Barceloneta Beach and the harbour. 

But first, breakfast baby.
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Thursday, 10 August 2017

Surf House, Barcelona


My favourite day of every trip is always the beach day.

We strip off into barely-there bikinis, bathe in the tropical sunlight and listen to the sound of waves echoing in the distance.

But all beach days begin with a good breakfast feast.
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Monday, 7 August 2017

Gaudi, Gallito's and Poolside Drinks, Barcelona


In comparison to London, Barcelona seems a lot smaller in size.

You can get from the heart of the city to the beach in a matter of a few minutes, but getting from West to East in London will take you nearly half an hour.

On our second day in the city of sunshine, it's safe to say we took advantage of this and packed in a lot.
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Thursday, 27 July 2017

Sightseeing in Barcelona


Barcelona is one my all time favourite cities. With amazing shopping, food, sightseeing, architecture and the beach all on offer, it's not hard to understand why. 

Abandoning our luggage in the hotel, we headed straight to Lulu's in El Born.
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Sunday, 23 July 2017

One Fire Beach and Sunset Cocktails, Amalfi


There's nothing quite like being in the open sea, is there? It's so much more open, wild and free than a pool. You suddenly realise how small and vulnerable you are in such a big world, in such a big sea. 

On our last day along the magical Amalfi Coast, we headed to Praiano for a splash, dive and a swim in the Mediterranean waters. We grabbed our towels, fetched a punnet of fresh Italian strawberries and hopped on the bus from Sorrento.
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Friday, 21 July 2017

Exploring Positano


Positano is quite simply one of the most beautiful and extraordinary villages I have ever visited. 

Colourful buildings, bewilderingly perched on the side of the cliff, cascade down towards the open sea, where another myriad of colours from the umbrellas line up one by one facing the shore. It's peaceful, charming and utterly postcard-perfect. 

Waking up sharp, bright and early, we caught the bus to Positano from Sorrento.
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Friday, 14 July 2017

Trattoria da Emilia, Sorrento


One of the most magical moments in a day is sunset.

Some are so beautiful that not even the strongest of words can quite describe the phenomenon before our eyes.

The sunset in Sorrento, however, is quite literally the best I've ever seen. The sun drowns and disappears into the endless sea, dispersing colours of peach, orange, red and indigo into the faded blue of the sky. After seeing it on our very first night, we decided to make the most of it by having dinner at one of Sorrento's best-known restaurants by the sea.
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Sunday, 9 July 2017

Jetting to Capri and the Grotto Azzurra


If I had a penny for every Instagram photo I've ever seen of Capri, I'd be one rich woman.

But, now I get it. The rocky island of Capri, located just off of the bay of Naples, is the most picturesque, classy and oh so glamorous place one could quite possibly visit in the world. 

On our third day along the Amalfi Coast, we jetted to this Italian paradise.
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Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Eating Under Lemon Trees, Sorrento


On your upcoming trip to to Sorrento (that one you're planning in the very back of your mind after seeing this), you'll want somewhere lovely to go out for a long dinner.

Well I know just the place. 

It's tucked away in a rustic courtyard where lemon trees sprout in between tables and where local Italian music dances into guests' ears while they sip on the very best wine. Jess and I headed to this rather dreamy place on our second evening in Sorrento. But first, a beach day was to be had.
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Sunday, 2 July 2017

A Summer Sojourn to Sorrento


Until this trip, I've never had the pleasure of visiting Italy. A Roman holiday always sounded delightful and a romantic trip to Florence was worthy of a dream. But finally I had the chance to experience the true Italian dolce vita with a whirlwind trip to the Amalfi Coast with my sister.

Italy most certainly lived up to all of my expectations - endless gelato, spaghetti, fresh wine and eternal sunshine. I'd be lying to say the trip wasn't truly perfect from beginning to end.

For now, let's dive into our first day. 
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Friday, 30 June 2017

A New Chapter


It's been a while, hasn't it.

Truth is, I almost considered giving up this blog. It no longer gave me the enjoyment it once did, I had no enthusiasm to post and I got too busy with life that it had taken a backseat - so, in other words, I lost all hope.

I endlessly questioned myself as to whether I wanted to throw away seven years of blogging, or if perhaps it was merely a previous chapter in my life that I had to accept and say goodbye to. It was only after travelling to the Amalfi Coast in Italy recently that I came back refreshed, re-energised and with a fresh passion to share my travel adventures with you all.

But, ATF won't be the same as it used to be. For now, I wish to turn it into more of a notebook of sorts to keep a track of my wanderings. So things will be pretty light-hearted, casual and personal. I used to put so much pressure on myself to regularly update and churn out content that I was no longer producing things I enjoyed. I'll be posting similar content but with more flair, personality and insight into who I am.

I'm also considering a new name! ATF has had its day I think, and in order to keep myself motivated and grow this blog into what I now want it to be, I think some things need shaking up. And the name I feel is the first on the list. I have a few ideas up my sleeve already!

So, let's catch up!

I've now officially finished my first year of university! Woooo. While it has absolutely flown by, it does seem longer than a year ago that I left school, but time is always such a confusing concept to me. I am so grateful to be attending The London College of Fashion and to be earning a degree in something I always dreamt of studying. I've met some pretty awesome peeps along the way and have learnt lots of new, incredible skills.

Summer has officially commenced, and while things got off to shaky start with the ending of a relationship of mine, I'm now happier than ever with a summer filled with exciting travels. Last week, my sister and I travelled to the beautiful Amalfi Coast in Italy for all the gelato, pizza, sun, sea and wine we could get. Sounds bliss, doesn't it. Well, I'm already editing photos and writing bits about my experience to share with you all so stay tuned. Next up, I'm off to Barcelona with my best friend mid-July, and then Zermatt in Switzerland with family and lastly a quick trip to Amsterdam with a work colleague/ very good friend of mine.

Cheers to new beginnings and what I hope will be an exciting, fun-filled summer for us all! Best wishes.
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Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Brunch at Tom Tom's, Belgravia


"Let there be brunch!" - declared everyone who has ever delved into the world of the late-breakfast, early-lunch delight.

Quite simply, there's nothing better.

On an unusually sunny day in London, my old school pals and I got together in Belgravia for a round of alfresco brunch at Tom Tom's
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Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Easter at Kew


I come from a long line of nature lovers in my family.

Every year we spend our summers in Zermatt, Switzerland to gaze at the majestic mountains, exotic alpine flora and wild animals. Add to that the fresh, clean air and that mighty Matterhorn view and you can probably picture quite the postcard perfect scene.

So it's quite a wonder as to why we don't always make the most of the natural beauty that's on our doorstep. Thus, for Easter, we headed to Kew Gardens for a dose of all things flora and fauna (though sadly, I don't think anything can compete with my precious Zermatt).
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Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Press For Champagne, Bob Bob Ricard


It's a truth universally acknowledged that champagne on your birthday is mandatory.

Naturally, to follow this cardinal rule and to celebrate my 19th birthday in style, my sister and I headed to Soho's iconic English-Russian restaurant Bob Bob Ricard for a glass of bubbly. 
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Wednesday, 5 April 2017

A Birthday in Bath Part 2


I fell head over heels for the Georgian architecture in Bath. Symmetrical, weathered and classically simple, Bath is saturated with picturesque architecture in every corner. So on our second day we headed out into the cold to feast our eyes on just that. 
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Wednesday, 29 March 2017

A Birthday in Bath Part 1


Surprisingly, I've seen very little of the UK. I know London like the back of my hand, where I live (just outside central London) I also know pretty well, and throw a bit of the southern coast in there too. However, apart from these few places, I've seen little more. So, in a bid to do and see something different for my mine and mother's birthdays, we drove to Bath for a very British weekend away.
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Sunday, 19 March 2017

Hey Spring!


It's March. It's spring. And I'm finally back with a new blog post! I've been a little quiet over the past month due to university work and celebrating my birthday, but I'm returning with lots of fun content to share.

First up, we have this beautiful backless bow bodysuit from Topshop I bought a few weeks ago. It's the prettiest thing and works fabulously for both day and night. But it was my go-to top of choice on a spring day exploring...and hey, it was almost 18'C which is practically summer in London if you ask me.
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Wednesday, 22 February 2017

A Breakfast in the Sky


You know that feeling when you're headed out and you know it's going to be awesome?

That's exactly how my sister and I felt when we skyrocketed ourselves to the Darwin Brasserie in the 'Walkie Talkie' building, a few weeks back.
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Friday, 10 February 2017

The Motorcycle Jacket


I had hoped my expensive love affair with jackets and coats was venturing towards another hiatus with spring just around the corner.

But then I saw this guy.

In buttery, charcoal black, faux suede with silky fur lining, all toughened up with silver zips and a belt, I couldn't resist this Zara purchase. But when can I ever resist a good, classic coat?
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Thursday, 9 February 2017

A Notting Hill Brunch


Brunch anywhere is a good idea, but in Notting Hill, it's always extra special.

There are plenty of options for a good brunch in this West London neighborhood, such as Egg Break, Farmacy, Bodyism or Granger & Co.

But Farm Girl is forever a go-to choice with it's Liquid Gold Tea, Pumpkin Porridge and Coconut BLT sandwich.
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Friday, 27 January 2017

The Faux Fur Coat, Shoreditch


It must seem that I begin every blog post with an anecdote about the weather, but it's seriously bitter here in London this winter. I know, it's nothing compared to the blustery snowstorms of Iceland or the arctic winds of Norway, but I quite literally turn into an icecube in any temperature below 10 degrees.

So naturally my fluffy Mango coat has been my best friend.

And it was the perfect winter warmer for a blogger coffee date of shooting with the wonderful Jazmine from Jazzabelle's Diary, whom I met in Shoreditch earlier this week.
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Friday, 20 January 2017

How I Would Spend 48 Hours in London


I may live in London, but I still play a tourist in my own city. I am endlessly visiting new neighbourhoods, wandering around markets, testing out the latest coffee shop (it's a hard life).

Similarly whenever I travel to a new city I always enjoy getting lost in the streets since it makes me feel as if I genuinely live there, even if for just a short space of time.

And while London's landmarks are definitely a must-see for any tourist, I'm a firm believer that you get to see the true heart of a city when you mingle with the locals.

Who finds the hoards of tourists at Piccadilly Circus fun anyway, even if you are one?

So how I would choose to spend 48 hours, your typical 'city break' visiting time, may be a little different to others on the web, you'll most likely feel like a true Londoner when you return home if you wish to complete it (and I highly recommend you do).
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Sunday, 15 January 2017

Dinner at Padella, London Bridge


Who doesn't love a good Italian?

If you genuinely don't, I have just the restaurant that will most certainly change your mind.

Welcome to Padella - a new Italian fella on the block in Borough Market, Southwark.
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Sunday, 8 January 2017

10 healthy cafés in London that you need to know


With all those one-too-many mince pies over Christmas and the New Year diet plans, it seems like the perfect time to share my favourite London haunts for a healthy detox. London is littered with all things quinoa, kale and courgetti with cafés and restaurants opening up every month dedicated to just selling these. The foodie scene has seriously taken off and Londoners are loving it (but hey, pizza and beer is still a Friday night go-to). I'm always up for testing out new places to eat in London, so it's no wonder some of the below cafés are some of my favourites, but others I still need to try out for myself. So here you have it, 10 healthy cafés you need to know about...

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Sunday, 1 January 2017

2017 Bucketlist


I have fallen victim to the end-of-year post cliché, where it seems every blogger talks about goals, resolutions and bucket lists for the forthcoming year. But I couldn't quite give this one a miss with me already planning a few fun adventures for 2017. I am so grateful to have achieved so much this year - from where I was at the beginning of 2016 to where I am now is a change that definitely makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. But now it's time for more memories...here's my 2017 bucketlist.
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