25 February 2015

Getting to Know You: Bansko, Bulgaria (ski trip, part 2)

After long days spent up the mountain at the learning slopes, I would catch the gondola back down, eyes closed at the immensity of the height (it was always easier on the tummy heading up than heading down), occasionally catching a glimpse at the stunning snow capped forest view.

My beau and the guys in our group found the courage to take the blue or red slopes down, my friend Lo and I weren't as confident in our technique so continued on in our classes until the day before our last when we braved the blue slopes as a class with our teacher, calling IDA GIRLS IDA (which we translated as: come on, over here, let's go and well done) every two minutes!
It was both terrifying and exhilarating, I pushed against my leg muscles so hard, I was sure I gave myself injury but to my own achievement I made it down the entire 7K without a single fall (I did take Lo and another girl down instead at one point thou). Well, that was quite enough excitement for me. On our last day, I chose to have my first lie in of the holiday and instead spent the afternoon at a five star hotel spa.


22 February 2015

Getting to know you: Brighton

For a city girl who loves the beach, I really don't make the most of our UK coastline. Sure, I love my trips down to Cornwall - but as they're a half-day drive/train to get there and the same back, it's really not somewhere you can head to spontaneously and certainly not for a day trip.
Cue Brighton, an hour train ride from London Bridge and as I booked off-peak travel times in advance (the day before) a return ticket only cost £10.50. I decided to take the trip solo as I really fancied a day where I could clear my head, brainstorm all of the recent ideas I've been having while enjoying the tranquility of the sea.

I've been to Brighton several times now: when I was younger we would head there on family holidays for the weekend, taking in the rides and games of the pier (2p machines were a favourite) and eating hot sugared donuts. I've also occasionally gone with friends to lay out in the summer and go for drinks - Brighton is popular for its bars and nightlife (especially for a hen or stag do). I even worked at Brighton Fashion Week for a few days as an assistant stylist a few years back (which to be fair didn't leave me with much down time).

This trip, however, may have been my favourite yet, I arrived late morning and set off in the centre of town down towards the seafront, the sky was a clear blue and I was beaming with excitement. I was well orientated from previous trips and instantly found familiar sights - my favourite Oxfam charty shop or the vintage antique market. I headed down side streets busy with market stalls and cafes and found somewhere quirky (Kensington's Balcony Cafe) to have a full English breakfast to fuel me for the day. Delicious.


7 February 2015

Getting to know you: Bansko, Bulgaria (ski trip, part 1)

To say I'm not sporty is an understatement, even in primary school my report card would be golden and make my mum proud but the catch would always be a line about PE:
"Hayley tries to avoid PE where she can."
"Hayley could participate more!"

When good friends of ours suggested we all go on a ski trip, I wasn't instantly enthused. Both the thought of cold weather and the sport aspect didn't make me feel all holiday excitable - they won me over with musings of adventure and hot chocolate drinks in the snow and before I knew it, we were booked! Thankfully, my recent trip to Iceland for my birthday changed my opinion on cold destinations (they could be wonderful after all) but I was still apprehensive about skiing - I can barely ice skate and owned none of the right clothes!

A last minute trip was in order to ski brands Trespass and Dare2b to kit ourselves out with the right attire; jackets and salopettes (trousers) check! Thermals, socks, gloves, check! Goggles - we'll rent. Helmets - we'll borrow. We officially arrived in Bulgaria (a short two hour flight with Whizz air - which included a scary moment going through an air pocket) with all the gear and no idea.

Our first two day's were spent in the capital city of Sofia, a quaint city with marvelous buildings and antique markets where I picked up a vintage film camera from the 60's era for about £8.00. We visited the cathedral and art gallery before lunching at Corsa - a top floor restaurant with built in wood oven for pizzas and wine cellar. The risotto and chocolate souffle were especially delicious.


1 February 2015

Lunch break style

Cashmere roll neck - Scott & Scott - pleated leather skirt - Urban Code - Handbag - Fiorelli
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