KYOTO . JAPAN . MAKERS HOUSE . AIRBNB

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M A K E R S . H O U S E . A I R B N B

After staying in a hostel in Tokyo we were prepared to spend a little more on an authentic stay in Kyoto. This is why we choose Makers House through Airbnb. Set down a small quiet residential alleyway we felt like we lived here like a local.
It is located in the historical district of Nishijin 西陣, known for his famous kimono fabrics, the geisha culture of Kamishichiken 上七軒, and all the good shops that were related to this culture, the perfect location for exploring the city. It’s a little further from the centre so I would recommend renting bikes for a few days as it’s the best way to get around and also really fun! The house itself was very cosy and had all the modern amenities but with traditional Japanese twist. The kitchen and living room still had all its original features which created such a beautiful experience for us staying in such a traditional area of japan.

Photos by: Me

Airbnb Link:

https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/30363508?_set_bev_on_new_domain=1560626210_HiqeD%2FvQsP1t%2BdD3&source_impression_id=p3_1560705033_AexRKuQTWJdEQQoe

TOKYO . JAPAN

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T O K Y O . J A P A N

After months of planning and years of dreaming our first leg of our 11-day Japan holiday was upon us and we began our journey in Tokyo. The city truly delivers the eccentric crowds and neon-drenched futuristic districts yet rooted in tradition, ordered yet chaotic.

Where to stay:

Citan

We stayed in Hostel for the first part of our holiday, I heard so many great things about staying in hostels in Japan and I wasn’t disappointed at all. We had our own room but shared a bathroom which at first scared me but you could genuinely eat your dinner off the floor, it was that clean!

CITAN is our brand new seven stories hostel located in Higashi-nihonbashi, a perfect location in a quiet neighborhood with plenty of restaurants and travel links to get around the city. The Hostel is also home to Berth Coffee, located right at the entrance which is always filled with a flavorful aroma of coffee beans. With a range of carefully selected beans the talented baristas are always on hand to fuel your day ready for exploring. In the basement of CITAN, you will find the bar lounge and kitchen, the trendy traveler hangout also attracts locals and breaks down boundaries creating a space where people can freely mingle, relax, enjoy the weekly DJ and have fun.

Yanaka

Old town Tokyo, Bar far my favorite area. Narrow winding streets lined with new indie cafes and senbei shops passed down through generations, Yanaka in Tokyo is the perfect place to while away a day. A quiet neighborhood with a popular market street, beautiful sakura-lined cemetery and plenty of temples—it’s no surprise this part of town is becoming popular for those looking for a quieter side of Tokyo. We stumbled across many beautiful craft shops, one of my favorite was togijin Knife shop, handmade knives made with such love and craftsmanship.

Sinjuku & Shibuya & Harajuku

with its towering skyscrapers, crowded streets and neon lights Shinjuku and Shibuya is the Tokyo you’ve imagined from every futuristic movie you have ever seen. I felt like I was walking through the streets of the film Ghost in a shall!  One of Tokyo’s bustling subcenters, Shinjuku & Shibya is the city’s hub for eating, drinking and entertainment with endless things to do. From tiny izakaya (basically a tiny Japanese pub) to some of the best Ramen restaurants you will ever eat! Sinkuku and Shibuya are fascinating at every turn.

Asakusa

Wondering the streets from Yanka we literally bumped into Asakusa which is the centre of Tokyo's shitamachi ("low city"), one of Tokyo's districts, where an atmosphere of the Tokyo of past decades survives. Asakusa's main attraction is Sensoji, a very popular Buddhist temple, built in the 7th century. The temple is approached via the Nakamise, a shopping street that has been providing temple visitors with a variety of traditional, local snacks and tourist souvenirs for centuries, I would avoid the main area when its busy but the surrounding neighborhood is equally as fascinating, grab a coffee at Fuglen and check out Kappabashi Street (also known as kitchen street) I found some really beautiful Japanese bowls, mugs and ceramics at a very low price. Walking around Tokyo you will tend to notice the detailed dishes of every restaurant carefully (and sometimes not so carefully) modeled in the window. Check out Maizuru is one of the highest-quality producers of plastic food in Japan. The company, which originally produced samples of medical specimens in Osaka, moved to Tokyo to focus on food molds which were becoming popular among restaurants that liked to display plastic reproductions of menu items in their windows, its fascinating to see and you can’t walk away with your favorite miniature sushi dish!

Next on the leg of our journey was Kyoto!

Photos By: Me


MILAN . ITALY

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A . W E E K E N D . I N . M I L A N

 

The week began with a trip to Parma Antiques fair for our project in Rome and ended with a weekend in Milan. The sun was shining and I had a list as long as my arm of places ready to explore. Here are a few of my favorites.

GALLERIA VITORIA EMANUEL II

The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is Italy's oldest active shopping mall and a major landmark of Milan.. Grab a tasty panzerotto from Luni, sit on the steps of Duomo di Milano and take in the scenery.

DUOMO DI MILANO

if there’s one thing you absolutely have to include on a trip to Milan its Duomo di Milano, its absolutely breath-taking and totally worth the 250 steps to the top to see the best views over the city. My knees began to shake as I peered over the rooftops of Milan, but as soon as I clocked my eyes on to the torte Velasca, I was soon distracted. Standing out over the city skyline it takes a prominent stand as one of the first generation of Italian architecture

SANTA MARIA DELLE GRAZIE

Holds the mural of the last supper by Leonardo da Vinci, we didn't get a chance to go in as all tickets were sold out 3 months in advance, book early if you want to see it. If not, take in the beautiful red brick architecture in all its glory

WHERE TO STAY

We stayed in the area of Naviglio Grande, Ripa di Porta Ticinese and Alzaia Naviglio Grande. A very characteristic area of Milan, quaint restaurants line the canal serving classic Italian dishes. A great area for nightlife if what you are looking for is something more relaxed and local.

LE SCALA

Most of Italy's greatest operatic artists, and many of the finest singers from around the world, have appeared at La Scala. The theatre is regarded as one of the leading opera and ballet theatres in the world. It is a must when visiting Milan.

TOP TIP

They offer cheaper tickets at €6.50 which you don't need to book in advance. Arrive around 5:30pm to register your name, hang around the area until 6pm where they will begin to call out numbers, once your number is called... pick up your ticket and come back at 8:30pm when the show begins.

It was a short trip and I still feel like there are tons of things I still want to see .. Untill next time Milan!

Photos by: Me


PACHAMAMA EAST . SHOREDITCH . LONDON

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P A C H A M A M A . E A ST . SH O R E D I T C H . L O N D O N

Pachamama is a Peruvian inspired bar and restaurant. They have 2 restaurants, one in Shoreditch and one in Marlybone. They have introduced a diverse and playful dining concept to the London restaurant scene with food being the core idea. We sat at the back of the restaurant within our own little garden of paradise set back from the busy streets of Shoreditch. The menu is especially vibrant, I recommend trying out the waffles, choose your base, either quinoa or sweet potato and a topping to compliment. Although it might be early, brunch is a great excuse for a cocktail so give their experimental cocktail list a go!

 

Pachamama East

73 Great Eastern St

London

EC2A 3HR

 

Photos by: Me


SHOREDTICH . LONDON

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S H O R E D I T C H . L O N D O N

A beautiful Sunday walk and stop off at Campania for a coffee to warm ourselves up. I love spending my Sundays exploring Shoreditch, taking a walk through the flower Market, popping my head into the antiques shops to see their latest finds.

Check out a few of my favorites:

Pure White Lines

Atomic Antiques

Elemental

Two Columbia Road


BREDDOS . CLERKENWELL . LONDON

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B R E D D O S . C L E R K E N W E L L . L O N D O N

Breddoes in Clerkenwell is my new favorite taco haunt. I absolutely love the fun and quirky atmosphere with equally as vibrant food.  

Before I went to the restaurant I read up all about them on their website. Breddos started out as a makeshift taco shack in a car park in Hackney back in 2011. Since then, they have gone on to do residencies and pop-ups, Street Feast, a cook book, as well as a cook-off at LA’s Tacolandia festival in 2016, before finding a permanent home for themselves in Clerkenwell. their food is influenced by the hundreds of roadside taquerias and restaurants they have encountered on their travels throughout America and Mexico, whilst utilising the best of British produce from passionate producers.

We went on the Sunday where we enjoyed bottomless brunch, all you can eat tacos for £20 pp or even add on the bottomless booze for £15 pp and enjoy a cheeky Frozen Fruity Congelada.

 

Go check them out!

Breddos

Clerkenwell

10 Goswell Road

 

Breddos

Soho

Kingly Street

 

Photos by: Me


MILK TEETH . TOOTING . LONDON

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M I l K . T E E T H . T O O T I N G . L O N D O N

Whenever someone asks me for a brunch recommendation in South London my first response is Milk teeth. Jump on the Northen Line to Tooting Bec and make your way down Mitchem Road, a rather run down area but ever evolving and a real diamond in the rough, there you will find Milk Teeth. You may have to que a little so get there nice and early and grab yourself a table. It’s a beautifully welcoming space, with high ceilings, exposed brick work, tiled counters, vintage Marcel Breuer dining chairs and many thoughtful details.

The Menu is to die for, in the photos shown above I had the sourdough bread end waffles poached Yorkshire rhubarb , blood orange posset, buckwheat crunch, blood orange cure & smoked vanilla. I also tried the “A November in Marseille” which is my new favorite and I am counting down the days till my next visit!

Check it out:

110 Mitcham Rd

London

SW17 9NG


Photos by: Me


LIGHTHOUSE KEEPERS COTTAGE . HAMPSHIRE

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H U R S T . C A S T L E . H A M P S H I R E

Hurst Castle is situated at the seaward end of the shingle spit that extends 1.5 miles from Milford-On-Sea. The end of the spit, only three-quarters of a mile from the Isle of Wight and the views from the top of the center keep are spectacular. It provides a remote escape by the sea and is one of my favorite places to visit when I am home for the weekend. Next to the castle sits Hurst Point Lighthouse which was built by Trinity House in 1867 to guide vessels through the hazardous western approaches to the Solent, a building that always catches my eye set in its own wild and rather bleak surroundings is the Light House Keepers cottage, a heritage category grade II listed building. It saddens me to see the building so derelict and in such disrepair, I find myself dreaming of a beautiful little holiday cottage and gateway from the craziness that is London.

Photos by: Me


ANTIQUES . MARKET . SOUTH . OF . FRANCE

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A N T I Q U E . M A R K E T . S O U T H . O F . F R A N C E

Every year we take a trip to the Antiques markets In the South of France, it’s my favourite time of the year and one that I always look forward to. It’s always a real mix and you have to really keep your eyes peeled to catch a diamond in the rough. My advice is to go with an open mind, don’t expect anything spectacular and you will always find that piece you have been dreaming of. Brush up on your haggling skills and learn the basics in French, they respect you more and it makes for a fun haggle. The 3 day event covers Avignon, Béziers and Montpellier. The fairs have become a must see event for professionals in fle markets and antiques to stock up on quality while encountering diversity.

Getting to the market so early in the morning allows us a little time to explore the local areas which are always a buzz full of antique shops and beautiful restaurants.

Drop me a message for more details.


BARCELONA . SPAIN

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W A L K I N G . T H R O U G H . B A R C E L O N A

After a week in the South of Spain soaking up the sun and relaxing by the pool, we ventured to Barcelona for the days to round off the holiday. Working for Soho House we were naturally drawn straight to the House to begin our day with brunch. I have never been to Soho House Barcelona before but had always heard great things, the house is beautifully designed and detailed throughout taking Inspiration from classic Catalan design and influenced by Gothic architecture with double height vaulted ceilings. With Mediterranean colors and traditional Spanish patterned textiles it creates a fresh and cosy environment. After brunch we only had a few hours before we had to catch our flight so we quickly walked around the city trying to take in all the beautiful monuments Barcelona has to offer. We walked through the Gothic area making our way towards the Jewish district called “El Call”. Today narrow streets lined with 14th and 16th century buildings punctuate the tiny ancient neighborhood. 

I plan on taking a trip to Barcelona in the new year where I look forward to exploring more as I feel I only really scraped the surface.

Photos by: Me


THOMAS'S CAFE . BURBERRY . LONDON

 
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T H O M A S ‘ S . C A F E . B U R B E R R Y . L O N D O N

Brunch, the staple Sunday activity.

Last Sunday was all about Thomas’s Café located on Regents Street at Burberry trying out their new autumnal menu. We chose our top picks of half a lobster accompanied by chips and seasonal salad, 6 oysters, secret smokehouse salmon and my favorite …the lobster Benedict, English muffin spinach and chips. Left with full bellies we couldn’t help ourselves and had to order puddings. Not only being the most beautiful puddings I have ever seen, the flavors were fresh and vibrant. Of course, Thomas’s don’t just serve any produce: Thomas's offer the finest seasonal ingredients from small farmers and artisan suppliers across the UK.

I would highly recommend Thomas’s Café as one of London’s brunch spots, add it to the list!

5 Vigo St

Mayfair

London

W1S 3HA

 

Photos by: Me


VENICE . ITALY

 
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W A L K I N G . T H R O U G H . V E N I C E

The first weekend of September my colleagues and I ventured to Venice for La Biennale di Venezia. The weather was absolutely perfect and with great company we explored the city and everything the Biennale had to offer. Venice is such a beautiful city, every corner you turn brings another beautiful street and canal. The food is INCREDIBLE and I couldn’t help but stuff my suitcase with pasta and Venetian goodies on my way home. After only spending a few days there I cant wait to return, I feel like there is so much more to explore. Its a really romantic city and if you love history and culture then this is the perfect city. Try not to get lost in the winding streets, it only gets harder after a few glasses of Italian wine.

Photos by: Me


CARLO SCARPA . BRION CEMETERY

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C A R L O . S C A R P A . B R I O N . C E M E T E R Y

Walking into Brion Cemetery I instantly got goose pimples. Not so far from Treviso and about an hour from the city center of Venice, in San Vito d’Altivole, you can find the masterpiece of Carlo Scarpa: the Brion Tomb and Sanctuary. Carlo Scarpa (June 2, 1906 – November 28, 1978) is one of the most controversial and underappreciated architects of the 20th century. He is best known for his instinctive approach to materials, combining time-honored crafts with modern manufacturing processes.

The cemetery stands at more than 2,000 square meters: a L-shaped land along two sides of the cemetery of San Vito d’Altivole. The monument has two entrances, one facing directly onto the street, the other located inside the cemetery; both through a walkway decorated with symbolic meanings, you reach the place of actual burials, the tombs of Brion spouses. The symbolism recalls the concepts related to conjugal love and indissolubility of loving bond.

We spent the majority of our day here, it was quiet and peaceful and a place specifically used to meditate. It was incredible to see a building I have been looking at on sites like Pinterest for years, seeing it in the flesh was such a humble experience.

As mentioned before, it take roughly an hour from Venice by car and takes around half a day to explore, but its totally worth it.

Photos by: Me


MUSEUM ONS' LIEVE HEER OP SOLDER . AMSTERDAM

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M U S E U M .  O N S' . L I E V E . H E E R . O P .  S O L D E R . A M S T E R D A M

This is most definitely my top museum choice for Amsterdam. The building stands as a Catholic church dating from 1663. While it was prohibited to celebrate mass, the authorities turned a blind eye. Indeed, the church symbolises the characteristic (religious) tolerance of the Netherlands, established by the Dutch in the sixteenth century under Willem of Orange. Freedom of religion and of conscience are central themes at the museum today. It makes Our Lord in the Attic far more than a museum its a form of inspiration and one which was key in our design for Soho House Amsterdam.

Museum Ons' Lieve Heer op Solder
Oudezijds Voorburgwal 38
1012 GD Amsterdam

Photos by: Me


AIRBNB . DE PIJP . AMSTERDAM

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A I R B N B . D E . P I J P . A M S T E R D A M 

I first began my Amsterdam adventure living in this beautiful Airbnb in De Pijp. When I first moved here I had absolutely no idea where the best areas were to live in or where would be best to commute from. I quickly realised that Amsterdam is very small and you could practically live anywhere and the commute will be no longer than 15 minutes by bike .. Perfect!!

I arrived with bags in hand ready to settle in. I was Greeted by El who is the owner and absolutely lovely! She welcomed me with a big smile and full of recommendations for the local area. The flat is small but perfectly formed, large windows perfect for the summer evenings where I sat with a glass of wine whilst people watching and working away on my laptop.  I would highly recommend staying and not just Els beautiful Airbnb but in DePijp, it’s a great area to explore and full of great restaurant and bars to get a drink and sit outside.

Airbnb Details:

https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/15784900

Photos by: Me


OODE . AMSTERDAM

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O O D E . A M S T E R D A M 

"Where young design and orphaned art come together"

I LOVE this shop, I want to buy absolutely everything and fill all the walls of my tiny apartment in London. On their website they explain the idea behind the shop:

"OODE brings the work of young Dutch designers together with orphaned art – art from closed museums and art institutions. Marleen Kurvers about the concept: ” We wanted to create an awareness about our own Dutch inheritance, not only within the range of product design. As we were looking for one of a kind products, we fell in love with ‘orphaned art’.  Beautiful and interesting art pieces that are left in storage to be forgotten because of closure of museums or art centers. We give them a new life at OODE. We want to generate public and governmental awareness about the consequences that heavy budget cuts have on sectors such as cultural heritage. As supporting the young product designer is also very important to us, we wanted to bring these two worlds together, creating OODE."

You can also order online so go check it out!

www.oode.nl/shop/

OODE
Marleen Kurvers
Singel 159a
1012 VK
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Photos by: Me


REMBRANDT . HOUSE. AMSTERDAM

 
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R E M B R A N D T . H O U S E . A M S T E R D A M 

Last weekend was spent being a culture vulture and checking out all the museums I had missed since being in Amsterdam. There are rather a few I still haven’t been to but I started with Rembrandt House. I always find visiting these stunning canal houses fills me with inspiration and inspires me to photograph and design.

Rembrant House Museum is a historic house and art museum formly occupied by painter Rembrandt who lived and worked in the house between 1639 and 1656. The interior dates back to the 17th century and showcases some of his collections of objects and artworks (mainly etchings).

If you look carefully you can see aspects in which we were inspired by at Soho House Amsterdam. When designing for such a prominent building in Amsterdam its important to pay tribute to the local history and design, which is why I am constantly on the hunt and never stop working…its more of a passion than a job, I always feel sorry for whom ever joins me on my adventures, 3 hours in a museum is sometimes too much for some people!

Pop this one on the map, its worth taking a look. However, try and go during a quieter period as there a lot of tourists!

 

Address:

Jodenbreestraat 4

1011 NK

Amsterdam

 

Photos by: Me


DAY . OFF . IN . AMSTERDAM

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D A Y . O F F . I N . A M S T E R D A M 

So as some of you may know, I recently moved to Amsterdam to finish a project I have been working on for a while with Soho House, which really has been a dream. I have absolutely loved every minute and really wouldn’t change it for the world. The days are long and the nights of moving furniture and gluing down table tops are hard, but in the end it’s worth it. However, I never forget to wind down and explore the city. Last weekend I took a day off where I found myself settling into the city, just like a local. How I start my perfect day off .... 

Grabbing an iced coffee from CAFFÈ IL MOMENTO, you will need the energy!

Pop over the road to OADE, a really beautiful abandoned art shop, amazing prices and some real steals! I find art very therapeutic and keep dreaming of the art wall I will eventually hang at home in London.   

Next I meander down the river and head to the Jordaan district where I wonder through the weekend market, I usually grab myself a tasty treat and set off on the hunt for the perfect lunch spot and admire all the beautiful facades and boat houses, always stopping for a photo opportunity. 

My next stop is HINATA, some seriously good ramen, i am very picky when it comes to ramen but this is one of my top for Amsterdam. 

follow my journey and enjoy all my top picks, hopefully it can be of some help if you ever decide to take a trip to Amsterdam. And if you do … you obviously have to stay at Soho House (not that I am bias)!!

Photos by: Me