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Moving to Hong Kong!

Moving to Hong Kong!

Hi guys, I know it’s been a hot minute since my last post. Let’s just say life has been craaaazy: working stupid hours, moving to Hong Kong, a whole new city, and still trying to live my best life! I’m writing this from my cute […]

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A Weekend in Mykonos – Boat Tour

A Weekend in Mykonos – Boat Tour

Mykonos Day 2: Boat Tour After two days spent on the beach and exploring Mykonos, we were keen to make the most of our last day on the island. What better to do than a boat tour? It would be a full day of touring, […]

A Weekend in Mykonos – Exploring the Island

A Weekend in Mykonos – Exploring the Island

Mykonos Day 2: Exploring the Island

So you’ve read all about the first day of our Mykonos adventures (if not, read it here). After getting home at 6am – and wolfing down a gyros before going to bed, no less – we didn’t get up till 3pm!

There was no way we were going to waste the rest of the day though. By 5pm we were dressed and had rented a car to explore some of the island…

Old Town

Our first stop was the Old Town. Although we had seen it the night before, I was keen to look around in the daytime.

Passing by a few stores to pick out souvenirs to take home…

…And I had to get a crepe, of course. Trio Bambini has some of the best crepes I have ever tasted!

A few more minutes spent exploring before we headed back to the car to drive to our next stop…

Armenistis Lighthouse

The 25-minute drive to Armenistis Lighthouse was no joke, the island is basically a series of rocky hills so you find yourself driving down winding roads that are at times both incredibly steep and very narrow. The views as we headed up higher and further north more than made up for it though.

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As we (finally) approached the clearing in front of the lighthouse, it was well worth the drive! Set against the stark, almost bleak landscape, the lighthouse jutted out – literally a beacon in the day.

Although the wind was unrelenting, it could not deter us from climbing out onto some rocks to take in the view. And what a stunning view it was!

In good spirits, although somewhat windswept, we trooped back to the car to make our final few stops before the sun went down…

Ano Mera and More…

Next on our route was the village of Ano Mera. A few of the locals we met on Saturday had suggested we stop by Ano Mera to get a better idea of the truest form of life on the island. It seemed to be a simple, sleepy but thoroughly chaming village. Kids were playing outside – chasing footballs, some in a game of hide and seek. It was almost like going back in time, and as we walked around it was as if time melted away.

Our drive continued, and we stopped at a couple of coastal beaches as the sun started to set.

The final stop on our route was at the infamous Scorpios, one of the island’s hotspots where the elite and “beautiful people” mingle. I can’t say much – I absolutely loved the vibe but not the music! (EDM is not for me haha).

Finally it was time to shimmy on home, we stopped for dinner at a charming restaurant a few doors down from our apartment before calling it a night. Not bad for a day which started at five in the afternoon, right?

We hit the sack, excited for our last day in Mykonos – a boat tour!

 

 

A Weekend in Mykonos – Super Paradise

A Weekend in Mykonos – Super Paradise

Mykonos Day 1: Super Paradise Mykonos, a charming Greek island sprawled across rocky hills, where better to catch some sun and sea? I landed at noon on Saturday, the two-hour time difference belying the fact that I had left home for the airport at the […]

Hiking Lion’s Head, Cape Town

Hiking Lion’s Head, Cape Town

If you’ve been to Cape Town you will have no doubt have appreciated the dramatic skyline of Table Mountain. With the option of taking a cable car to the summit, hiking up is not necessarily at the forefront of most people’s minds. For me though, […]

Exploring Bo Kaap, Cape Town

Exploring Bo Kaap, Cape Town

Bo Kaap is one of the most recognisable backdrops in Cape Town. The brilliant hues of the houses are an incredible sight and you can’t help but smile!

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I was out in Cape Town for a wedding – yes another one! This time, my friends Jumi and Tunde (#JumiToons woooooooooo!) and it was soooooo muuuuuuuch fuuuuuun. I met some amazing people, including my little “Cape Town Crew” – we were basically joined at the hip.

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From L-R: Ayomide, DJ Skillz (aka Your Girlfriend’s Favourite DJ aka DJ of lifeeeeee! :D), Korede, Yewande and Victoria. I, of course, was behind the camera

So Bo Kaap was historically a predominantly Muslim area, referred to by some as Cape Malay Quarter due to the heritage of the original residents.

There are a few versions of the reason behind the brightly coloured houses: some say the residents painted their houses to mark the end of Apartheid and celebrate their freedom.

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Walking through the pretty streets, no doubt you’ll come across locals and tourists alike, going about their business, or with cameras snapping away in front of the brightly-coloured walls. We were no exception.

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We wandered through the streets at snail pace, stopping for literally millions of pictures…”hello, ANTM”

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Reallifewithlou.com - Bo Kaap-18Soon we were craving a cold drink and some food. All that picture-taking is hard work you know!

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We ambled towards the cool shade of Marcos African restaurant for a (semi-) traditional lunch.

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They have all sorts of local game on the menu, a great test of how adventurous we were feeling. An easy choice was the “Pan-Africa platter” which has Springbok, Ostrich and Kudu. The Springbok especially was absolutely delicious!

A not-so-easy choice was the chicken hearts and livers – I won’t go into too much detail but you have to be open-minded, right?

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Bellies full, it was a casual stroll back to our apartments, happily recounting the highlights of the afternoon.

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On to the next adventure!

5 Must-See Spots in Rome

5 Must-See Spots in Rome

If you’re looking for a great city break, Rome is a great option. Beautiful architecture, rich culture and delicious food – what more could you want! There was just too much to see (and eat) so I decided to do two separate posts. In this […]

Canova Hall, Brixton

Canova Hall, Brixton

I haven’t spent  much time in Brixton but my friend Lauren is constantly raving about it, so when she suggested brunch at Canova Hall, I jumped at the opportunity. The first thing you notice when you walk into Canova Hall is how (surprisingly) big the […]

Birthday Behaviour at The Four Seasons, Marrakech

Birthday Behaviour at The Four Seasons, Marrakech

After what felt like the rainiest weekend in Marrakech, my friends and I had made the absolute best of the trip so far, but I for one was very pleased to see the sun come out on my birthday!

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We checked out of our Riad and headed out to see the Jardin Majorelle. Got there and *plot twist* the queue was down the block! #aintnobodygottimefordat! We headed straight to the Four Seasons for lunch instead.

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Those guys don’t play, the vibes, the views and the service were all amazing!

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We had a table in Inara, one of three restaurants on the property. We considered sitting out in the sun on their lovely terrace but figured we shouldn’t tempt fate. We needn’t have worried though, the sun stayed high in the sky.

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As we were seated we didn’t waste time ordering our lunch, so much to choose from…and of course the pressure of it being our last proper meal before leaving Marrakech.

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I chose the fresh prawn rolls with peanut sauce, but it was Sareena and Tee’s spinach, goat cheese and cherry tomato quiches that stole the show…and of course they would not shut up about it!

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We all went for a more traditional main, which was pretty good but definitely not mind-blowing.

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The highlight though was my surprise birthday cake! The girls had arranged with the hotel to get me a small chocolate cake which was just delicious!! There’s something about the word “birthday” that transforms any cake into the real deal! I was so pleased!

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Well fed and very pleased with ourselves we finally said goodbye to the Four Seasons and headed back to the medina to grab our bags and head home! What a great end to a fabulous trip.

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I guess you could say we truly experienced all four seasons on this trip (literally!)

Weekend Vibes: The Seyi Bag by Joko Edu

Weekend Vibes: The Seyi Bag by Joko Edu

If you don’t know Joko Edu, you need to know! A Nigerian designer based in Lagos , her fabulous bags come in many different colours and styles but the Seyi is my absolute favourite. They are available off the shelf or can be personalised to your taste.

Top 5 Tips for a Rainy Marrakech

Top 5 Tips for a Rainy Marrakech

Marrakech has been on my bucket list for ages now, so for my birthday this year I was determined to make it out there. With three friends I booked flights for a long weekend away, but as luck would have it the weather was not on […]

One Year Old!

One Year Old!

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Can you believe Real Life With Lou is a year old?! One whole year since I started this blog and it’s been a blast!

It took me so long to get the balls to finally start it. For the longest time I umm-ed and ahh-ed about whether or not to do it – would anybody read it? would I have the time? would I be any good at it?

It’s so easy to get stuck in our heads and over-analyse instead of just leaping. This year I am determined to leap more and take action.

What are you going to do more in 2018?

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Top: ASOS | Jeans: Zara | Shoes: Gucci | Jacket: Ted Baker | Bag: Joko Edu

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feeling Blue

Feeling Blue

Hi Lovelies! I know it’s been a minute since I posted. The last few weeks have been a whirlwind with my birthday, trip to Morocco, work and the highlight – my close friend’s baby shower! Knowing that she’s having a baby boy we chose blue as […]

Brunch at Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings

Brunch at Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings

By now you must know I love my girlie catch ups over brunch. I was super excited to catch up with my friend Bambo after so long and where better than Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings? We had heard great things about B&H Buildings: Instagram-worthy décor, […]

6 Last-Minute Christmas Gift Ideas

6 Last-Minute Christmas Gift Ideas

Can you believe it’s nearly Christmas already?! If like me you’ve left your Christmas shopping to the very last minute then don’t worry, I’ve got you. Here are 12 last minute Christmas gift ideas to give you some inspiration. You can thank me later!

  1. Canvas or Wall Mural

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    If you’re looking for a unique Christmas present this year, why not give a gorgeous canvas or an interesting wall mural? Photowall.co.uk has some amazing designs and you can even upload your own picture to make a cool framed print or special wallpaper. In addition you get an additional 20% off with the code RLWLCampaign2017, which is valid for 30 days!

    For example, this world map would make a great gift for someone who loves to travel, or how about this  sea-themed mural for your favourite niece or nephew.

    Price: from £26/m for murals, £38 for canvases
    Perfect for: The Traveller, The Little Sailor, Pretty Much Anyone

  2. Natural Hair Care Set

    Cantu
    Now all my curly-haired girls (and guys maybe) know how hard it can be to find great products for natural hair. So better believe they’ll love you forever for this gift. The Cantu Natural Set   is an easy choice. Known for taming and priming curls, Cantu has taken the natural hair world by storm and is a great gift for any natural/curly-haired friends or family. It also smells great!

    Price: £25.99
    Perfect for: Curly-Haired Guys and Gals, The Melanin Queen

  3. Kitchen Gadgets from Uutensil

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    We all know that one person that’s an absolute whizz in the kitchen. Whipping up a seven-course meal like it’s nothing, all the while looking cool and glamorous.

    On the other hand, there’s the one that loves to try to cook (key word here being “try”). Experimenting with all sorts of gourmet dishes but getting more points for effort than actual taste.

    Well never fear, Uutensil  has all the out of the box but insanely useful kitchen gadgets you can think of. From the automatic stirrer (which I have)  to the “squish”, a combined garlic crusher and ginger grater, there’s something for everyone.

    Price: £5.99 – £27.99
    Perfect for: The Kitchen God/Goddess, The Wannabe Chef, The Kitchen Burner Downer

  4. Taotronics wireless headphones

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    I can’t recommend these wireless headphones enough! It’s always a struggle to find well-priced headphones with decent sound quality. Now add that to the fact that they pair with your device over Bluetooth, sit comfortably in even the most oddly-shaped ears and even have a magnetic clip on the back of each ear pod so they fasten around your neck when not in use. What’s not to love?!

    Price: £25.99
    Perfect for: The Runner, The Friend That Never Stops Dancing

  5. Yogasphere Classes
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    Yogasphere offers yoga classes across numerous London locations including at The Shard. Not sold yet? They also do yoga brunches and yoga retreats to suitably exotic destinations like Bali. Definitely on the pricier side, this is probably a gift to reserve for your inner circle but it’s certainly something a bit different… and even better if you get to go along too!

    Price: Various (currently 5 passes for £30 for new joiners)
    Perfect for: Someone Special, The Yogi, The Fit Freak, The Friend With A Million New Year’s Resolutions

  6. Weekend Bag

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    A stylish weekend bag is always a necessity. Why not get this classic Ted Baker holdall for the special man in your life? (Yes, I’m sure your brother is very special too!) Plus, once they have the perfect going away bag, maybe they’ll finally get around to taking you to that spa hotel you’ve been eyeing up!

    Price: £99
    Perfect for: The Gentleman, The Traveller

3 Great Destinations for Winter Sun

3 Great Destinations for Winter Sun

Hi Lovelies, hope you’ve all had a great week! I’m counting down to Christmas like no man’s business. It’s been ridiculously cold in London in the past couple of weeks so I’ve been dreaming of the perfect winter getaway. Here are a few of my […]

A Sunday Dance Party

A Sunday Dance Party

Hi Lovelies! So remember in my post about Duck & Waffle Local I mentioned that I was headed to a dance class with my girls? Well “dance class” doesn’t even cover it, it was more like a dance PARTY! Scroll all the way down for […]

Duck & Waffle Local

Duck & Waffle Local

Hi Lovelies! I don’t know you’re as obsessed with Duck & Waffle as I am, but did you know there was a second branch?! Okay let’s start from scratch in case you’re wondering wtf I’m talking about. Duck & Waffle is the bombdiggity.com. Period. A restaurant on the 40th floor of Heron Tower near Liverpool street, it boasts views to die for and serves interestingly paired foods such as, you guessed it, duck with waffles.

Strange as it may sound, if you’ve ever had American chicken and waffles, or even crispy duck pancakes at a Chinese restaurant, your taste buds have been preparing you for this all your life! Okay I’ll dial it back, but seriously, duck and waffle is a thing and it works! The restaurant serves other strange-sounding but delicious combinations, like bacon-wrapped dates and ox-cheek doughnuts. So combine the amazing views with the genius menu and you’re left with a restaurant that’s fully booked for brunch months in advance. They do open 24/7 so if you fancy a 5am meal then why not? (I had a 2am reservation there just last weekend in fact.)

Now imagine my joy when I found out about their second branch, named Duck & Waffle Local. A stone’s throw from Piccadilly Circus station, it was a great spot for a last-minute brunch with friends. We had a dance class right across the street (details coming soon) and wanted to catch up before heading over.

The classics were there: the famous duck and waffle, rosemary fries. What more could we ask for?

And the decor, bright and pretty spacious; admittedly, it would never beat the views of the HQ but it still made for great vibes. Definitely worth checking out if you have a hankering for an atypical, last-minute brunch.

Have you been to Duck & Waffle Local? Let me know what you thought of it in the comments below.

A Little Mustard

A Little Mustard

Hi Lovelies! If you follow me on Instagram you’ll see that I have been obsessing over the autumn weather and recently shared this outfit on my feed. I wear a lot of black, especially in the winter, but occasionally I’m partial to a pop of […]

How Do You Afford To Travel So Much??

How Do You Afford To Travel So Much??

Today’s post is a bit of a different one to normal. Rather than my usual adventures, I wanted to address a question I get asked quite a lot: How Do You Afford To Travel So Much? By no means am I professing to be some […]

Autumn in The City

Autumn in The City

It feels good to be back home in London, after spending most of the summer away. In case you missed it, check out  my adventures in San Diego and Lisbon. Now it’s back to reality and as much as I never thought I’d say this – I freaking LOVE autumn! From the crispness in the air and leaves turning brown, to fabulous autumn fashion – what’s not to love?

What I love most about autumn fashion is the layers. If you’re the type that’s always cold, you can jump straight in with the sweaters, thick coats and boots. But if like me, you’re constantly too warm, you can pair your summer clothes with jeans and mix in simple pieces like capes and shawls.

What are your favourite autumn pieces?

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Jeans (Zara)| Top (similar)

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Delicious Pancakes At Delisserie

Delicious Pancakes At Delisserie

Happy hump day people! Hope you’re having a good week. For me, it’s my last week before I go back to work so I’m mentally preparing for having more structure to my days. But in the meanwhile I’m slowly getting back to my normal (read: fabulous) […]

3 Places to Try in Little Italy, San Diego

3 Places to Try in Little Italy, San Diego

If you’ve been following my blog or my Instagram stories, you’ll know I took some time off to travel and spent some time in the US. San Diego was my first stop, and I spent a gorgeous afternoon in Coronado (check out the post here, in […]

An Afternoon in Coronado

An Afternoon in Coronado

Over the summer I managed to wrangle quite a bit of time off work to do some exploring. My first stop was Portugal (in case you missed it, check out 5 Reason to love Lisbon and this amazing Portuguese steakhouse). After a quick stop in Nigeria for a friend’s wedding, I was on a flight to the US. First on the list was San Diego in sunny California! And of course I just had to check out beautiful Coronado.

I drove over the iconic Coronado bridge and took in the amazing views over the water. It was a sunny, clear day – as you would expect in California so you could see for miles and miles. Of course as I was driving I wasn’t able to take pictures so you’ll just gave to take my word for it haha!

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I headed straight to the Hotel del Coronado, probably the most iconic spot in the area. I parked up and left the car to  explore the hotel and the sunny palm tree-lined streets.

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A cheeky peek into the hotel and I was surprised to find it decorated quite traditionally, with rich, dark wood lining the walls leading to a maze of small gift shops and the like.

I found myself missing the bright sunshine so I quickly headed back outside through the back of the hotel. You can walk along the beach behind the hotel, so I did just that.

There were gorgeous villas and a couple of restaurants and cafes to grab a bite.

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There was even a proper lounge area right on the sand!

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Before long I stopped at one of the hotel’s beachfront restaurants, Sun Deck Bar & Grill, for a spot of lunch. Recently I’ve really had a thing for lobster (clearly I’m a classy gal haha!) So of course I just had to order a lobster roll…

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The garlic fries were out of this world!

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I wolfed down my lunch in record time and continued my walk towards the marina. What a sight – beautiful, mirror-like waters! I sat for a while enjoying the view but too soon it was time to head off.

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The afternoon just flew by! Next on the list was Little Italy in San Diego for drinks with my friend Nat. Post coming soon…

Have you been to Coronado? Please tell me I’m not the only one obsessed with this little slice of heaven! As usual, let me know in the comments below.

Chat soon,
Lou xx

Guest Post: Gantry Plaza State Park, NYC

Guest Post: Gantry Plaza State Park, NYC

Hi Lovelies! Hope you’ve all had a great week. I’ve had a restful one recovering from my eye surgery and meeting my friend’s newborn baby boy. He’s adorable and I’m absolutely obsessed! As you might know, I was out in New York a few weeks […]

5 Reasons to Love Lisbon!

5 Reasons to Love Lisbon!

Oh Lisbon! What a beautiful city. I booked a trip there on a spur of the moment. I had taken time off work and was determined to squeeze in a quick trip before travelling to Nigeria for my friend’s wedding. Monday morning I was up […]

Brunch at Pavilion, Victoria Park

Brunch at Pavilion, Victoria Park

Hi lovelies!

Today I’m going to tell you all about this amazing little spot in Victoria Park, Stratford called Pavilion Cafe. Living in the east end of London myself, I’m always on the lookout for new brunch spots close to home. So when my friend Ahmad suggested this little place overlooking a pond in nearby Stratford, I jumped at the chance to try it out.

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Being in the middle of my extended leave from work before my eye operation, I was glad for the chance to have brunch on a weekday morning when it wouldn’t be too busy. We arranged for noon on a Thursday.

To start with, Victoria Park is just lovely! I haven’t spent much time there but have done a couple of 5K runs around the park in the last few years. There were joggers, people with families, couples strolling – all just lovely really. And in the middle of it or was this little round building overlooking a pond.

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By the time I got there Ahmad was already waiting – surprise, surprise (African time is real guys haha). Looking around the room I was pleased by the warm and cosy vibe of the wooden tables and counter that surrounded the round room. Most impressive were the large windows and skylight in the ceiling that brightened the room and made it seem much bigger than it actually was. Clearly here simplicity was key, and it suited it to a tee.

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We both went up to the counter to order. Ahmad chose the vegetarian breakfast (don’t bring that near me LOL) and I had the eggs Royale. We sat inside as it was windy as hell outside and I wasn’t ready to lose my breakfast. Food arrived in no time alongside large cups of tea, and we wolfed our meals down as we caught up.

I have to say deciding on a meal was pretty simple as their menu is not particularly expensive, but I was pretty satisfied with my breakfast and Ahmad with his.

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Once we had finished, we moved outside to sit overlooking the water – it was so peaceful! I personally love being near the water so I couldn’t have been happier, although I was a bit worried I would drop my phone in haha.

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All in all, it was a lovely little cafe. I would definitely recommend it for a quiet brunch on a Saturday morning. Although I do get the impression it might get crazy busy at the weekend.

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My rating – 7/10

Hope you enjoyed this post. What are some other good brunch spots to try in London? Let me know in the comments below. My current favourite is still Christoper’s (check out my post about Brunch at Christopher’s)

Chat soon,
Lou xx

3 Reasons You Should Travel Solo

3 Reasons You Should Travel Solo

The past couple of months have been crazy! I really needed some time to clear my head, so what did I do? – I booked a solo trip…or three 😀 A lot of my friends thought I was crazy but I promise you it was […]

All White in Croatia

All White in Croatia

Hi Lovely People! Hope you’re having a great week 🙂 I’m sure you saw my post about my trip to Dubrovnik in Croatia, if not check it out. I decided on an all white wardrobe (or mostly white, I should say) for this trip…because why […]

A Game of Thrones in Dubrovnik

A Game of Thrones in Dubrovnik

If you saw my previous post about my Day Trip to Montenegro you’ll remember I mentioned that my friend Nono came to visit, and we went on a girls’ trip to Dubrovnik in Croatia.

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We got there on a Wednesday morning, dropped our bags at the hotel and headed straight out to see the city. A quick Uber ride later and we found ourselves at the gates of the Old Town. It was a magnificent sight! High walls surround it, and you can climb up to the top of the walls to get a view of the whole city.

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The Old Town

We wandered through the Old Town marvelling at the beauty of the tiled streets. Dozens of charming little restaurants lined the steps and we had to grin and politely decline their eager hosts as we ducked through the crowds in the heat.

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Ah, that is one thing to mention – it was H. O. T! I think because of the limestone, the heat from the sun is reflected througsh the town. I was literally melting so was very glad when we got to the dock as the breeze from the water made things a lot cooler.

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Lokrum Island

As we strolled along the port, we were approached by numerous vendors offering us day tours, boat rides to different islands and other excursions. Lokrum island seemed like the easiest and most flexible option so we bought our 15 EUR tickets and hopped on the little ferry to take us across. It was a 15-minute ride over the glittering water and in no time we could hear the sounds of wildlife – yes, I said wildlife! Probably a little dramatic as it was probably only birds or insects, but there was a distinct chirping/humming sound as we approached the lush island.

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We followed the path through to the botanical gardens, thankful for the shade of the trees. Peacocks were roaming around freely, especially near al fresco diners, hoping to be fed leftovers. Nono and I explored the south-eastern part of the island and headed to the Dead Sea Lake. Clearly a popular spot with other tourists, it was pretty crowded so we bowed out and opted to splash about in the cool water of the cliff beach instead.

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We ate a delicious mini lunch of prosciutto-topped bruschetta in the former monastery on the island. You could very easily spend an entire day on Lokrum Island but we had limited time so we took the boat back to the old town by the early evening.

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Game of Thrones Tour

Before we left London, the one thing we had absolutely promised to do was the Game of Thrones tour. If like me you’re obsessed with GoT, then I would absolutely recommend the combined history and Game of Thrones walking tour. Our guide, Iva was AMAZING! She has worked on the GoT set for years so gave us all sorts of insight into the show and cast. I have to say the tour was probably the highlight of my trip!

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Other Fun Things to Do

Walking around the Old Town made me feel like I would bump into Cersei Lannister any second. We made sure to see the Rector’s Palace, Fountain of Onofrio and The Square of the Loggia. And of course, one of the best decisions we made was to take the Day Trip to Montenegro. Two trips in one!

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All in all, Dubrovnik was a fantastic city, and I would absolutely recommend a trip there. Have you been to Dubrovnik, what did you think of it? Let me know in the comments below!

The Essentials

  • What to do: Lokrum Island, Game of Thrones tour, City Walls, Day Trip to Montenegro
  • Where to eat:
    • Gradska Kavana Arsenal for dinner in the Old Town (expect to spend around £30-40 for starter, main and glass of wine)
    • Pizzeria Castro has delicious pizza if you’re looking for something more casual. And if you sit outside you directly ovelook the steps of shame
    • Old Monastery on Lokrum Island
  • Where to stay: We stayed at Hotel Adria – it was a lovely hotel with a spa and both indoor and outdoor pools. It isn’t walking distance from the Old Town but takes about 10-15 minutes in a car. (20-25 mins if there’s traffic – which seems to be the norm around the weekend)
  • Getting around: We took Ubers back and forth but our hotel concierge also recommended the nearby bus service . Within the Old Town, you will have to walk

 

 

 

Brunch at Villandry

Brunch at Villandry

Hey Lovelies, hope you’ve had a great week. I myself have had a fantastic one! I’m currently sitting in an air-conditioned room in Nigeria – thoroughly pampered and completely relaxed. In case you were wondering, no, I have not become a fully-fledged lady of leisure […]

Ahhh-mazing Steak in Lisbon Portugal

Ahhh-mazing Steak in Lisbon Portugal

Atalho Real in Lisbon, Portugal | A Meat-lover’s Paradise!

Day Trip to Montenegro

Day Trip to Montenegro

Hi Lovelies! Have you ever been to Montenegro?

My friend Nono came to visit London from Zambia and we planned a quick trip to Croatia (post coming very soon, I promise!) While there we saw we could do a day trip to Montenegro with a tour guide so we jumped at the opportunity to see somewhere new!

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The bus came to pick us up from our hotel at 8.30am on the Thursday morning, passports – check, camera – check, and off we went!It was about an hour’s drive to the border, and in that time the guide explained to us a bit about the
 
history of Montenegro, Croatia and other surrounding countries. The richness of their history is just fascinating. The time flew by and in no time we were across the border, and stopped at the prettiest little cafe/restaurant in Kostanjica. If you do this drive I would absolutely recommend stopping at this spot, it’s just gorgeous.

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After our short break we continued our drive to the town of Kotor. On arrival we met with a tour guide for a whistle-stop tour of the old town. It was a lovely little place, but absolutely BOILING! A tour at high noon was definitely not a good idea, but the guide was sure to do most of the talking in the shade and we walked quickly between the pretty sights.

Once the tour was done, we were glad to find some respite from the sun in a gorgeous little restaurant with its own secret garden. Food was absolutely delicious, we started with prosciutto and I had the king prawn linguine as my main…now that’s what you call a king prawn!

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All too quickly it was time to get back on the tour bus and head to the next spot: Budva. This seaside town would be our final stop on the tour.

We walked around the beach area curious to see what the town had to offer. Many locals seemed just as curious about us, two black girls, and often stopped to stare – some even asked to take pictures!

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These little girls asked to take a picture
Soon it was time to get back on the bus and head home…well, to the hotel. It was a fun but very long day so soon we were fast asleep in our seats as the driver whisked us back to Dubrovnik.

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Have any of you guys been to Montenegro? Let me know in the comments below! I’m already looking forward to my next holiday 😀

Chat soon,
Lou xx

Tenerife Style Diary

Tenerife Style Diary

Hi Lovelies! So last week I posted about some of my favourite things to do in Tenerife and spammed you guys with tonnes of pictures on my Instagram. I had so many lovely compliments on what I wore that I figured I’d do a quick […]

5 Amazing Things to do in Tenerife

5 Amazing Things to do in Tenerife

I put together a list of 5 amazing things to do in Tenerife that don’t (necessarily) involve drinking. I will start by saying that I am a granny, so when I first found out I’d be going to Tenerife my first reaction was to recoil […]

Recipe: Pork Belly Dumplings

Recipe: Pork Belly Dumplings

Pork Belly Dumplings are absolutely delicious and so easy to make at home, as I found out from my friend, Zue at Allergy Mummy. I saw her making them on Snapchat and was so in awe that she offered to show me how quick and easy they were to make…so easy that her little boy often makes them with her! So grab some ingredients (and your little helpers if you have them) and let’s get cooking…

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How to Make Pork Belly Dumplings

  • Prep time: 45 mins
  • Cooking time: 15 mins
  • Serves: as many people as you want to share with (about 30 dumplings)
  • Calories per serving: depends how good you are at sharing 😉

What You’ll Need

  • Pork belly – 500g
  • Garlic clove – 2
  • Chinese leaf lettuce – 1
  • Cornflour – 1 tablespoon
  • Sesame oil – 1 tablespoon
  • Soy sauce – 2 tablespoons
  • Salt – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Black Pepper – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Wonton Pastry – 1 pack of 30 sheets (sold at most large supermarkets, we used this brand)
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Instructions

Pork Belly Filling

  1.  Start by slicing the pork belly into 3cm chunks and chopping the lettuce into thin strips
  2. Peel and crush the garlic cloves and combine with the pork and lettuce in a food processor
  3. Blend the mixture until it looks like mince, then add the soy sauce, sesame oil, and cornflour

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Forming the Dumplings

  1. Grab a small bowl of water that you can dip your fingers in
  2. With dry hands, take a sheet of wonton pastry in the palm of one hand (ideally your non-dominant hand)
  3. Scoop about half a tablespoon of the minced meat mixture into the centre of the sheet
  4. Dip a finger (or small brush) in the bowl of water and line a finger-width along two adjacent sides of the pastry
  5. Quickly fold the pastry diagonally to form a triangle, so that each of the two dry sides touch the damp sides – the water helps the pastry stick together
  6. Now you should have a triangle with a lump of mince in it 🙂
  7. Take the two opposite edges of the triangle and touch them together, laying one of top of the other – again use a drop of water on your finger to make them stick
  8. Voila – our first dumpling! As you can imagine, this can be easily mastered and kids will enjoy getting involved. Carry on until you have used all sheets/mince.

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Cooking the Dumplings

  1. Heat up some oil in a frying pan or pot, I’d recommend using a deep pot to minimise splashing. Make sure you use enough oil to have at least an inch of depth
  2. Don’t have the heat too high as you want to fry the dumplings quite slowly to make sure the insides are cooked
  3. Fry the dumplings in batches depending on the size of your pan, they can be close together but need enough space to be evenly submerged in the oil
  4. Remove once they get to a golden brown colour and let sit to cool for a few seconds
    [Tip: Place fried dumplings on a  sheet of kitchen roll to soak up the excess oil]
  5. Serve and enjoy! They are delicious with hot sauce – sharing is optional 😀

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Now I promise I did actually help with the cooking, believe me it was a lot more fun than taking pictures 😀 What’s your favourite dish to make with friends and family? Let me know in the comments below!

Chat soon,
Lou xx

Summer Style – Bubbles and Orange

Summer Style – Bubbles and Orange

Summer Style | How to pick the best outfit for a pool party or garden party. Statement Zara dress and Nine West wedges in bright summer colours.

Recipe: Plantain Kebabs

Recipe: Plantain Kebabs

Plantain and Goatmeat Kebab | Check out this recipe for delicious skewered plantain and goat meat. A creative dish perfect for dinner parties or “small chops”!

Recipe: Nutella Banana Bread

Recipe: Nutella Banana Bread

Ah Nutella Banana Bread *sigh*

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Guys, I kid you not, it took me three whole tries to get this one right *hides face*. Now I don’t bake much because I prefer to do my own thing and add a dash of this and a sprinkle of that, which absolutely does not work with baking. It requires a degree of accuracy to ensure you get things right and the slightest deviation can cause things to take a major turn – I learnt that one the hard way!

My first attempt was delicious (if I may say so myself), but had too many bananas and was entirely undercooked. So much so that I woke up at 6am the day after I made it to put it back in the oven for another hour before I left for work. The outcome – rich and delicious, but wayyyyy to banana-rey (is that a word??) and therefore a bit soggy in the middle – plus I was a bit lazy in my mashing/mixing so I had chunks of banana in there, which is probably why it didn’t cook evenly.

So the second try – I was determined to get it right. I whisked like my life depended on it, I even mixed in the Nutella too which I hadn’t done in batch 1. (In the first batch I swirled the Nutella in pretty half-heartedly so combined with my banana chunks it tasted more like a Nutella banana crepe than Nutella banana bread haha)
This time I also put the oven on HIGHHHHHH – bad idea. The top and sides were burned to a crisp 😂😂 but the inside was tasty at least.

Right, so here is the final recipe – made and perfected with love! (…for Nutella :D)

  • Prep time: 25 mins
  • Cooking time: 45 mins (or slightly more, depending on your oven)
  • Serves: 6 people
  • Calories per serving: let’s not talk about it, this is a safe space haha!

What you’ll need

  • 1 medium-sized egg
  • 2 medium-sized ripe/over-ripe bananas
  • Brown sugar – 1/4 cup
  • Plain flour – 1 cup
  • Baking powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Nutella – 1/2 cup
  • Salt – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Butter – 1/2 cup (or 140g), melted
  • Vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon
  • Nutmeg – 1/4 teaspoon

Toppings (optional)

  • Cadbury’s whole nut, chopped roughly – or your preferred chocolate and hazelnuts
  • A handful of Granola

Instructions

  1.  Start by preheating your oven to 200C
  2. In a large bowl, peel and mash your bananas. Try to get to a relatively even consistency and don’t have massive lumps like I did the first time
  3. Add the melted butter and sugar and continue to mix
  4. Next crack in the egg and add baking powder, salt, nutmeg, vanilla and flour. Mix these until you get an even consistency
  5. Warm the Nutella for a few seconds to make it easier to pour, then add it to your batter in a swirling motion over the top
  6. With a spatula, stir in with the same swirling pattern so the Nutella is distributed but not completely mixed in (alternatively you could just mix it in properly but I find that the swirling brings out the Nutella flavour more
  7. Pour into your baking tin and sprinkle granola over the top. Chop the whole nut into smaller pieces and add to the top too
  8. Cover with a sheet of foil to stop the toppings from burning and pop in the oven for 45 mins
    [Remove the foil after 30 minutes to allow the top to brown]
  9. Use a clean toothpick or wooden skewer to test whether it’s done. Insert around the middle of the loaf and if when you pull it back up the stick has little or no crumbs your banana bread is done.
  10. Let it cool before taking out of the dish. Then serve and enjoy!

Try it out and let me know what you think! What other interesting banana bread recipes have you come across? Let me know in the comments below – I’ve heard peanut butter banana bread is divine…

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Chat soon,
Lou xx

Style – A Little Shoulder

Style – A Little Shoulder

Hey guys, are you as stoked about the bank holiday as I am?! Nothing like some sunshine and a break from work 😀 This time a couple of weekends ago I was getting ready to head to the One Africa Music Fest, which was EPIC […]

Dining Out: Comptoir Libanais

Dining Out: Comptoir Libanais

It was Friday night after a loooooooooong week at the office and frankly all I wanted to do was curl up in bed and sleep for the good part of a month! However “man must eat” so I set about finding a relaxed restaurant for […]

Sunday Style – Pleats and A Footbridge

Sunday Style – Pleats and A Footbridge

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If you follow me on Instagram, you will have seen the sneak peek I posted of this look I put together for church and Sunday lunch. It was perfect for the weather too! I didn’t last long in the heels though, but of course I had to “stunt for the ‘gram”. (Or the blog in this case 😁)

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I absolutely love this skirt from New Look, I got it in the sale for under £15 and never looked back. It’s currently out of stock but here are some similar options, all very reasonably priced. It’s a great addition to any wardrobe and very versatile – I often wear it to work.

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The top is a bodysuit I bought from asos (like a lot of my clothes as I’m often too lazy to go to shops). It’s also available directly from missguided. I would say it’s an absolute must-have – easy to dress up or down. Plus you can control how much shoulder you show; I went for a more modest look for church.

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Now I have to give you the tea – which may well be TMI so bear with me. I’m not a crazy fan of bodysuits as I often find the clippy-bit in the crotch area always ends up scratching my thighs and poking all sorts. 👀👀  So with that in mind, I would probably recommend a fitted off-shoulder top instead.

Right, moving swiftly on… 😀

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We took these pictures out in St Mary Cray in Orpington. We were driving by on the way to church when I saw this little picturesque footbridge and I just knew I’d have to stop on the way back.

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I love finding these mini-havens when I’m out and about, I’ll definitely be on the lookout for more. Let me know your favourite places to take pictures in the comments below. And of course if you like this post, please “like it” below. (I’m blatantly asking you to show me love #shameless 😂)

Chat soon,
Lou xx

A Date at the Gym!

A Date at the Gym!

A gym date – no I’m not joking. Last week I was invited out on a date. I was expecting dinner or a show, that sort of thing, but instead he said to me, “I’ll pick you up at 7pm and I’m bringing you workout […]

Brunch Style – A Dash of Blue

Brunch Style – A Dash of Blue

I posted about the delicious brunch I had at Christopher’s on May Day so thought I’d do a separate post to give you the lowdown on this simple but classic outfit… This was a great outfit for this transition weather (a.k.a miserable London weather) as […]

Dining Out: May Day Brunch at Christopher’s 

Dining Out: May Day Brunch at Christopher’s 

The May Day bank holiday came and went way too quickly! I was drowned in a sea of netball and life admin but managed to make some time for a delicious brunch at Christopher’s in Covent Garden. After a quick trip to the dentist on Monday morning, what better to do than undo all that good work with some pancakes? 😁

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Enjoying the fleeting sunshine. Outfit details in my separate post: Brunch Style – A Dash of Blue

Christopher’s was lightly bustling as usual, you would have thought it was a Saturday morning with the number of people there. I guess other people had the same bank holiday brunch idea…