A weekend in Zurich

At the end of last year I visited Zurich. It was my first time traveling to Switzerland, the land of chocolate and crystal clear water. Admittedly the city - renowned for its cleanliness hadn't been on my travel wish-list, so I was surprised to discover just how much the Swiss capital and banking hub (for what I knew it for) has to offer. I didn't know for example that Zurich has such an important artistic heritage - it was the birth place of Dadaism. Besides the architecture, which is beautiful, and even more so during the festive season, I also loved Zurich West - the burgeoning neighbourhood built around an old viaduct, with quirky shops, cafes, restaurants and galleries. It was one of the best weekend trips I've had in a long time. Staying at the beautiful boutique Marktgasse Hotel might have had something to do with it and spending Sunday afternoon un-winding in the city's thermal baths, was by far my a favourite excursion. Here's a little round-up of what to do and where to eat in this up and coming destination:

Address Book: 

Stay:

- Marktgasse Hotel

Do:

- Take a ferry ride around the lake

- Visit Zurich West – an up & coming area with shops and restaurants

- Thermalbad – bathe in the amazing thermal baths

- Cabaret Voltaire – learn about the birth of the art movement Dadaism

- Admire Marc Chagall’s beautiful stained glass windows inside Zurich’s Fraumunster Church

Eat:

- Lunch at Sprüngli Café - Swiss chocolatier with iconic restaurant attached

- Frau Gerolds Garten – fondu restaurant

- Vorderer Sternen

- Sudhang Wine Bar

Shop:

- Walter Vintage Moebel & Accessories

- Freitag - bags made from recycled trunk tarp

- Soeder* - style/ concept store

- Bookbinders Design - techni-coloured luxury stationers

The Interior at Marktgasse Hotel. 

Exploring Zurich West

Thank you to Marktgasse Hotel for making this trip possible. 

Courchevel 1850

If you watch my Instagram Stories, you would have seen that I spent the last few days in Courchevel. This was a very special trip for me, not just because I went with my boyfriend and friends, and visited one of the world's leading ski destinations, but because I finally put on a pair of skis for the first time since I was a teenager. For years I've been wanting to return to the icing sugar slopes and ski with Evian mountains looming behind me, but the timing just hadn't been right. But finally I found myself on the slopes looking up at the most incredible mountain views and bright blue skies. After getting stuck on the slopes a few times and suffering a couple of panic attacks - I am a bit afraid of heights and just hadn't built up my confidence enough yet to ski down a steep slope - I remembered how much I enjoyed (and the immense freedom that goes with it) skiing down a side of a mountain. It's addictive, and coupled with après ski activities, such as hot chocolate, fondue cheese for dinner and dancing either at an outside bar, ski boots an' all or in a lavish club at night - I now want to go back every year! Are you a ski-er? 

Scroll down for my ski style picks. 

Driving through the Croatian coast with Nissan

I'm wearing: Ganni T Shirt, similar here & here / Levis jeans / Sezane sneakers / Fossil watch / APC bag, similar here / COS Green Bomber Jacket, similar here & here

I've just come back from a fast & furious trip to Dubrovnik, Croatia with Nissan to test-drive their new Micra. I hadn't driven in a year, and last time it was in an automatic, so I was excited, but honestly a little apprehensive to get back into the driving seat, albeit on other side of the road. I'm now used to driving on the right in France (we drive on the left in the UK), but I did have to muster up some confidence. Luckily the new Micra was a dream to drive and once I remembered where the clutch was (ha!), it was responsive and quick, and took those Croatian coastal corners like a trooper. Plus mine matched my lipstick ;) It was a quick trip that meant I mainly saw sea views (obviously nothing to be sniffed at!) and only had around an hour to see Dubrovnik Old City, but as it was off season and there were hardly any tourists, I could easily whip around the cobbled streets to capture a few shots. Do you drive? And have you been to Dubrovnik? Having now been during high (August) and low season (January) - I suggest you go while it's still a little chilly, but sunny enough for sunglasses. 

Check out my belated Dubrovnik post here (from last year) for what to see and where to eat. 

I'm wearing: Ganni T Shirt, similar here & here / Levis jeans / Sezane sneakers / Fossil watch / APC bag, similar here / COS Green Bomber Jacket, similar here & here

Dubrovnik in a Day

Last year I visited Dubrovnik during my trip to Croatia and completely forgot to post my photos. So here's a little guide below. We ended up staying on Lopud island and took the ferry into Dubrovnik for the day as it was less hectic. I'd definitely advise you to do this during high season!

Address Book:

Do:

  • Climb the city wall for views
  • Wander through the cloisters – this was probably the only place that wasn’t heaving with tourists
  • Visit the castle
  • Ride the cable car for panoramic views of the city 

Eat:

 Dinner at Mandrac on Lopud Island

Dinner at Mandrac on Lopud Island

 Lunch at Barba

Lunch at Barba

You me Paris by Chaumet

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Photographed at Peonies, Paris

I'm a big fan of applications, useful ones that is - the type that help me get a good night's sleep, shop better, order food, and find my way around a city - applications that add value and aid my busy life. So as a resident and Paris enthusiast, I'm very excited to be teaming up again with Maison Chaumet, to introduce you to their new application - You me Paris! It's a thoughtfully curated, discerning guide to Paris that has been created in collaboration with My Little Paris. Each space and place has been hand-picked specifically with us and our loved ones in mind. Think a romantic dinner for two, a stroll through one of Paris' famous undercover passages or a cosy bar where you can wile away an evening catching up with a good friend over a cocktail. 

There are five categories: Hotel, Culture, Restaurant/Bar, Shopping and my personal favourite Just For Two - a guide to Paris places that are best enjoyed as a couple or with your best friend. You might have already seen my post on Instagram from a lunch date with my boyfriend at Restaurant Edgar?! And earlier this week I finally discovered one of the city's newest café additions, Peonies - a cute coffee and lunch spot in the 10th where you can also pick up a beautiful bouquet of blooms. Chaumet has also suggested six different walks around Paris to suit various itineraries, such as Paris Under the Rain, Early Morning and Paris By Night! 

If you're planning a visit to Paris with a loved one, friends or family, or you live here and just want to learn more about what to do/ where to go in your city - download You me Paris now for inspiration!

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Taking a dip...

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It was a little too nippy to dive into the outdoor pool at Park Hyatt Mallorca, but I couldn't go to the Spanish island and not dip my toes in the water. Luckily the Presidential Suite has its own outdoor heated plunge pool, so I ventured in at golden hour and like a queen, sat warming myself, whilst surveying the hotel's villas and land towards to the sparkling sea.  

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Park Hyatt Mallorca

From the road winding up towards the hills, I caught sight of the peach-coloured villas perched between the trees that look out towards the sea.  Park Hyatt Mallorca has been built to resemble a village rather than hotel, complete with a Plaza Mayor (main square). With three restaurants and a cafe, including an Asian restaurant and tapas bar, 142 rooms, two outdoor pools and a spa, it's pretty much all you might want or could ever need for a holiday destination. I spent a couple of days there last week soaking up some rays and eating my way through their menu. 

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 Tables post-breakfast in Balearic restaurant

Tables post-breakfast in Balearic restaurant

 Lunch at Cafe Sa Placa

Lunch at Cafe Sa Placa

 The Presidential Suite bedroom

The Presidential Suite bedroom

 The Presidential Suite living room 

The Presidential Suite living room 

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The spa in itself is a reason to put a visit to Park Hyatt Mallorca on next year's wish-list. Beautifully designed, it's an ode to all things calm, amongst striking architecture, interiors and art installations - see second image below. 

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Thanks to Park Hyatt Mallorca for having me. 

New York Eats

My recent trip to New York involved mainly eating (can it be classed as a hobby?), so thought I'd put together a round-up of a few of the eateries I visited! 

The Butcher's Daughter

First up, breakfast. Undoubtedly the most important meal of the day and the one I wanted to eat the most in New York. Paris is gradually improving on the breakfast front, but still lags behind the likes of London and New York. And I love nothing more than a good breakfast to start the day with. I met friends at the West Village outlet, not far from where I was staying at the Arlo Hotel for the KitchenAid event I was in New York for. They serve up great coffee by Aussie brand Vittoria coffee, fresh juices and a good choice of breakfast bites - I went for the suitably named 'Breakfast Bagel'. 

Address: 581 Hudson Street, New York.

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Toby's Estate

A classic New York coffeehouse, Toby's Estate is the perfect pitstop for coffee and a quick breakfast. I ventured to the West Village outlet on my first day in New York to meet Eva and Stefan from Trotter Mag. Feeling the need for something healthy (knowing I wouldn't follow suit for the rest of my stay), I went for the granola topped with fruit and yogurt, which didn't disappoint.

Address: 44 Charles Street, West Village, New York

Five Leaves

I stayed in Bushwick for the first leg of my trip and was eager to find a brunch spot in Brooklyn that I hadn't tried yet (last year I visited Reynards and Egg Shop - both of which are delicious). Five Leaves popped up with great reviews. After a 40 minute wait - it opens at 8am, so expect to queue after 10am, we were given a table inside. What's clever about this place is their coffee window, so you can order coffee while you wait. And it was worth the wait, I ate the best cooked breakfast that I've had in a long time that came complete with hash browns, baked beans, eggs, toast and bacon. 

Address: 18 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, New York

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The Spotted Pig

I'd heard good things about the Spotted Pig, besides the fact that it's April Bloomfield's restaurant. Decked out like an old English country pub, this place is very cosy. I met Joann for lunch on the Monday and we shared a plate of their Shoestring Fries (tasty shredded fries cooked with rosemary) and the Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Onion Marmelade and Mustard, which were equally delicious and enough for both of us. And the eating experience was made better by spotting Pierce Brosnan coming downstairs. 

Address: 314 W.11th Street, West Village, New York

The John Dory Oyster Bar

I met Anna, Digital Editor at Domino magazine for lunch here. A little hard to spot as the outside is covered in foliage, they dish up good fish. I had a delicious serving of the Chorizo Stuffed Squid, which despite it's small size (for the US) it was the perfect portion for lunch.

Address: 1196 Broadway at 29th Street, New York

Momofuku Milk

I have been waiting with baited breath to try this delicious cup of ice-cream goodness. Of course I ordered the famous cereal milk with extra cereal flakes. It was delicious, but trying to photograph ice-cream in 31 degree heat isn't the smartest move I've ever made and the who thing dripped all over me. 

Address: 15 W 56th Street, New York

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The Wythe Hotel

To catch some of the best views of the city, I headed to the top floor bar of the Whythe hotel with my friend Asiyami, who was also in town. I was here last year for breakfast at Reynard's with Sharon and although visited the top, hadn't sampled their drinks. Being a big fan of margaritas, I tried their classic recipe, which was very good despite being a bit pricey.  

Address: 80 Wythe Avenue, at N 11th Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York

 

Grand Army

Having already enjoyed brunch and a margarita on the Sunday, I decided the only way to make the most of the day was to carry on in the current spirit (see what I did there), so I whiled away a couple of hours with friends in the cosy bar that serves up great oysters and more cocktails. The oysters were delicious, as were the cocktails. 

Address: 336 State Street, Brooklyn, New York 

Maison Premiere

As if I hadn't eaten enough oysters in one day, we followed up Grand Army (plus pizza slice in between) we a jaunt to the New Orleans speakeasy-style cocktail & oyster bar, Maison Premiere. I'd dined there last year was dying to go back. It was just as good as I remembered and we each ordered an exotic looking cocktails and a couple of oysters. Yum.

Address: 298 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, New York

I also ate at and recommend the following:

Freeman'sOst Cafe, AP Cafe, Lucy's (great Vietmanese in Bushwick), La Esquina (great tacos) for more New York tips (including shopping, cafes and what to see), read my post from last year here