TRAVEL – topdeck’s europe express: paris

travel - topdeck europe express day 1 and 2 parisIt’s finally here! Here is a photo diary of my first stop on the Europe Express tour – Paris!

After a long journey from London (we set off at 7.30am in the morning) we arrived at the first destination on our tour, Paris, and the first of many hostels. We stayed at The St Christopher’s Inn in Gare Du Nord which was a great first hostel for a newbie like me. We had our own ensuite (although there were communal showers on every floor) and we even had our own under-bed locker space, curtain and plug socket! Aside from the room, the hostel, which has chains in Amsterdam and Barcelona, had two bars (great for getting to know other travellers) and was only a stone’s throw away from Gare Du Nord train station.

Travel - paris photo diary - St Christophers Inn and escargot

After checking out the rooms we headed down to dinner and one delicacy which I ticked off my list was escargot! Marinated in a garlic sauce, it surprisingly tasted really nice! We ended the night with a bit of group bonding (i.e drinking games) and partied in the downstairs bar.

travel - paris photo diary - opera national de paris and arc de triomphe

While some people were in bed recovering from the night before, the next day I got up early and joined a few others on the coach for a whistlestop tour of Paris.  I had been to Paris once before and visited most of the attractions such as the Louvre and Notre Dame. This time around I aimed to soak up more of what the ‘City of Love’ had to offer besides the Eiffel Tower! On our coach tour we got to pass the Opera National de Paris and the Arc de Triomphe (two other sites ticked off my list) before finally arriving at the Eiffel Tower.

Travel post - Paris photo diary - Notre Dame and Eiffel Tower

After taking lots of Eiffel Tower selfies (standard), we split off into smaller groups and did our own thing. Me and a couple of others decided to walk down the River Seine to Notre Dame. The two hour walk was so refreshing as we got to take in the beautiful surroundings on both sides of the river, such as the Musee d’Orsay and we came across a cool ‘be your own DJ’ music system under one of the bridges. You could connect your Bluetooth on your phone and play your music through the speakers – there was even a disco ball!

Travel post - Paris photo diary - Bridge on the River Seine

On our tour we had the choice to take part in optional activities. One activity I couldn’t recommend more was the bike tour. We all hired bikes and got to see the city through someone else’s eyes. We went past an old military school and cycled along the River Seine before making our way back to the Eiffel Tower for a delicious group picnic!

travel - paris photo diary - dj system, bike tour, old military school and group picnic at eiffel tower

When the picnic finished, some of us opted for an early night, as the next day we would be waking up early to visit our next stop on the tour – the Swiss Alps!

Look out for the next installment of my Europe Express series. I’d love to know what you think!

sigyhl

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Follow me on twitter - sazwatson Keep up to date with my adventures on instagram - sazwatson Find out what inspires me on pinterest - sazwatson

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TRAVEL – exploring europe

travel - exploring europeTomorrow I get to go on an amazing journey around Europe.

This eleven day trip will be a solo mission for me (being just a tad scared doesn’t cover it) and I will get to visit some beautiful places including Paris, Venice and Rhine Valley.

If you want to see what I get up to I will be posting as much as I can on instagram – @sazwatson. And there will be plenty of posts when I get back!

If you could visit anywhere in Europe where would you go?

sigyhl

Keep up to date on the following channels:

Follow me on twitter - sazwatson Keep up to date with my adventures on instagram - sazwatson Find out what inspires me on pinterest - sazwatson

Follow me on twitter - sazwatson Keep up to date with my adventures on instagram - sazwatson Find out what inspires me on pinterest - sazwatson

Follow me on twitter - sazwatson Keep up to date with my adventures on instagram - sazwatson Find out what inspires me on pinterest - sazwatson

nyfw

New York, London, Paris and Milan. Four amazing cities. Four amazing fashion weeks.

These past couple of months have been hectic – to say the least – as models, editors and designers jetted around the world to take the first peek at what’s in store for this Autumn/Winter 2012. Now that this big event in the editorial calendar has passed, I thought that I should show my favourite fashion week collections, starting with the Big Apple; New York.

jls
These three designers were my favourites from New York Fashion Week because their eclectic designs, amazing colour palette and use of textures fascinated me. Alice and Olivia’s Autumn/Winter collection was full of texture, from long dramatic gowns to cargo pants, the designer mixed elegance with a touch of ‘Bowieness’. My favourite piece has got to be the lace dress with the low back (as seen on image 4). I’m not really a big fan of lace but this gown oozes elegance and sophistication – if only I had my prom just a few years later! Nicholas K’s collection is more my style. The inspiration behind his collection was the Taos artists from the 1920s & 30s. His colour palette of desert colours with strong blue and black hues played well in his pieces of fringing and draped knits and jerseys. My favourite outfit has to be image 4; with the long dress, pendant and cowboy-esque hat. Nicholas K’s collection is a ready-to-wear collection which shows that you don’t need couture or fancy dresses to look designer. Finally, Jeremy Scott’s collection is fun – doesn’t the Bart Simpson face print jumper and Unicorn body make you smile?! This collection also includes computer printed dresses, stripy jumpsuits, and not forgetting a rainbow wig coat made from 100% human hair!  My favourite look has got to be the unicorn body – if only I had the figure and the money!

What were your favourite New York Fashion week collections? Look out for my next instalment where I will be showing you my faves from London Fashion Week!

(All images sourced from Style.com)

This Wednesday’s Wishlist is dedicated to the lovey-dovey soppy day of the year. Yep, that’s right… it’s a Valentine’s Day special!

wwvalentinesFrom L-R: 1. Temporary-Secretary Queen of Hearts Necklace, 2. River Island Pink ¾ Blazer, 3. Desire Black Spot Mesh Bodycon Dress, 4. Accessorize Love Friendship Bracelet, 5. Urban Outfitters Rose Garland & 6. River Island Heart Sweets.

1. Queen of Hearts Necklace £6 Temporary-Secretary – Regular readers will know that I LOVE gold necklaces! So this Queen of Hearts necklace is no exception! It’s so cute and is the perfect treat for Valentine’s Day!

2. Pink ¾ Blazer £40 River Island – This pastel pink blazer will jazz up the polka-dot dress nicely! The inspiration to include this bright colour into my wishlist comes from Valentino, Alexander McQueen and Prada, whose ‘pretty and girly’ designs dominated the catwalks of London, Paris, Milan and New York.

3. Black Spot Mesh Bodycon Dress £18 Desire – Okay so this Stella McCartney-esque dress was so last season. But I think it mixes well with the Valentine’s vibe! This dress is perfect for a night out (may it be a romantic one or a girls night out), and it will show off them beautiful curves of yours!

4. Love Friendship Bracelet £12 Accessorize – I’m not really a big fan of bracelets (they always break on me), but this friendship bracelet is so cute and simple! It would bode well with my festival bands which are currently taking residence on my wrist!

5. Rose Garland £15 Urban Outfitters – This garland will not only look amazing in your hair – think festival chic! But you could also use it to decorate your home with! Either hang it over something or just pin it up on the wall! Now that’s £15 well spent!

6. Heart Sweets £5 River Island – Pretty much everyone who knows me, knows that I LOVE heart sweets! I always sneak them into work for a quick sugary ‘pick-me-up’! These heart sweets will go down a treat (see what I did there?) Now all I need is for Ali to take note! Hint hint!

So that’s my Valentine’s Wednesday Wishlist special! Tonight I am attending the Spring Fashion Show in Manchester so look out for catwalk reports and an event review!

This week’s Wednesday wishlist is all about weddings! Don’t worry, I’m not the bride, I’m merely a wedding-goer! However, seeing as I’m all excited, I thought that I should share my ‘wedding outfit wishlist’ with you!
From L-R: 1. Topshop Egyptian Drape Headband, 2. Miss Selfridge Petites Ombre Print Maxi, 3. River Island Brown Wooden Spike & Diamante Necklace, 4. MAC Lipstick in Neon Orange, 5. ASOS Bitten Suede Platform Heeled Sandals with T-Bar & 6. Topshop Cleopatra’s Box Ring.

1. Egyptian Drape Headband, £7.50, Topshop Today’s wishlist is based around the luscious ombre maxi dress from Miss Selfridge!  This Egyptian drape headband is perfect for achieving a laid-back but formal look – which is exactly what I want to do for the wedding! Headgear was massive this Spring/Summer season, from Roksanda Ilincic’s bright pink winter hat to Swan Lake-esque Giles’ headdress. So to add my own twist to this trend, I decided to opt for a simple hair accessory, and at £7.50 this piece is priceless!

2. Petites Ombre Print Maxi, £45, Miss Selfridge Ombre pieces were huge on the catwalks of Jonathan Saunders, Marc Jacobs and Peter Pilotto, so as soon as my eye caught this dress I KNEW I had to include it on my Wednesday Wishlist! I used to resent maxi dresses – purely because they drowned my 4’11” frame! However this ‘petite’ asymmetric shoulder maxi is perfect for me, and the ‘maxi-train’ can elongate and show off my pins perfectly!

3. Brown Wooden Spike & Diamante Necklace, £18, River Island I love, love, LOVE this necklace!  The tribal spikes add a ‘rocky edge’ to my outfit, as well as bringing a bit of my own ‘personal style’ to the look.  The inspiration to include this necklace was from Mulberry’s S/S 2012 set, which was very animalistic and well, ‘edgy’ to say the least!

4. MAC Lipstick in Neon Orange, £13.50, MAC Cosmetics I chose this lipstick because it’s so different to the pink and red shades that I already have. Orange hues have dominated the catwalks of Milan, Paris, London and New York with Haider Ackermann, Proenza Schouler, Michael Kors and Derek Lam showcasing this bright colour in their collections. So it is no wonder why I want to wear this shade for the wedding!

5. Bitten Suede Platform Heeled Sandals with T-Bar, £75, ASOS I decided to opt for a low-key heel in the form of these creamy-pink ASOS T-Bar Platforms. Not only do they provide extra height (let’s face it, I need all the height I can get), but they are simple and add a minimalistic touch to the look I am trying to achieve. At £75 they may be pricey, but they are a good investment shoe for all occasions.

6. Cleopatra’s Box Ring, £12.50, Topshop This Topshop ring is so adorable and different from the animal and jewel rings which are dominating the high street at the moment.  Again, this adds to the minimalistic accessoring I want to achieve, and is ‘different’ to the other rings which I possess.

That’s all for this Wednesday’s Wishlist! What are you currently craving? Don’t forget to check out last week’s wishlist too!

fo3

A quick post about my new furry feline friend!

O1. Cat in the hat
You‘re probably wondering where this cat is, well figuratively speaking it’s on my head! Some of you might have read my Christmas Wishlist post, where this faux fur hat was featured on there. Well I was too impatient to wait for it, so I went and bought it when I went to Liverpool one night to see The Wombats! Not only does this hat keep my head and my ears warm, it is also wind resistant too (there were gale force winds in Liverpool that night which practically sent me flying down the street!) The Wombats were amazingly good too!

O2. New year, new laptop
I am writing this blog post on a new laptop, due to my other one being on its last legs. Why you ask? Never open a bottle of coke near a laptop! This resulted in the keyboard and mouse not working anymore, and with deadlines looming, I needed a new one pronto! This one is more mobile than my last one and it came with this really cute Union Jack case too!

O3. Holiday wishes
Believe it or not, I haven’t been on holiday in SEVEN (you read that right), years! My last holiday was in 2005, when I went to Paris for a week! So this year, one of my New Year’s resolutions is to go on holiday! The top three places I want to go are Barcelona, Rome and Paris, so hopefully I can get some money saved up and go to one of those beautiful places soon!

What are you looking forward to in the New Year? Have you been to Barcelona, Paris or Rome? I would love to hear your thoughts on which one is the best place to go to!