Bluebonnets in bloom, spring has sprung in Texas! When I think about transitioning into spring, my immediate thought is a wrap dress, oh and allergy meds. Wrap ties that clinch in at the waist are so flattering to the female figure and literally look great on any body type/age.
This Realisation Par midi length wrap dress will be a spring to summer staple for me. It has such a classic French feel to it. I can imagine riding my Pashley princess bicycle down quaint village roads like Marguerite in the movie “The Hundred Foot Journey”, except with a baguette, brie and some Taittinger in my basket ready for a casual picnic overlooking the vineyards (the dream!). Right, a French getaway is on the agenda!
This dress really defines the theme centred around Realisation Par’s pieces. I’m convinced that this dress is the ONE missing from everyone’s wardrobe. It’s made from 100% Silk Crepe which makes it lightweight and breezy. It is a little sheer though so you may want to wear a slip underneath and if you’re curvier like me I would size up.
I will definitely be packing this on my trip to Oahu at the end of the month! Pair it with a straw or rattan bag like the one I’m wearing from Bembien. This bag is also featured in a lot of my Instagram posts because I’m a believer in buying investment pieces that you can wear on repeat.
Alrighty, I’m about to steep some tea I purchased from Fortnam and Mason while I was in London (Heathrow Airport to be precise-they actually have a great selection of loose tea) and complete my 5 assignments for the week. I’ve linked some other wrap dresses that I’m currently into below though.
Sitting on the train to Waterloo, gazing through windows at towers of glinting glass and buildings that are centuries old- thinking about how much I miss this beautiful city. Inspired by my recent trip home and since many people ask me for recommendations for their upcoming holidays/vacations to London, I thought I’d write a quick guide about how to see the best of London.
Walking is the most rewarding way to explore the city’s cultural landmarks, galleries, museums and diverse restaurants. I’m that person that meticulously organises and prepares for trips. My advice is to plan your walks/tours/dining experiences by area: west, north, south or east. Get a city map and start routing things that you want to see and do. There are some free guided walking tours, but spaces can fill up quickly so make sure you book in advance. There are also bus and river tours that you can hop on or off.
How to get around London
London has an incredible public transport network, actually the underground system (tube) is the oldest in the world!! It is fairly simple to navigate your way around the tube and it definitely beats London traffic!! Note, you might want to avoid the tube during rush hour! There are also integrated overground train systems, river routes and buses (yes, those big double decker buses!). London is polycentric city organized into zones and price depends on the zones that you travel through (it’s cheaper to travel after 9am)! It is worth getting an Oyster card, which is basically an easy way to pay for journeys (don’t discard it because you can use it during your next visit). Warning. Think twice about getting a black cab as it can get very pricey!
Things to do and where to eat
London is home to some of the world’s best museums and art galleries and of course they would take a series of visits to explore. The Hayward gallery is part of Southbank Centre and I have to say that the current Andreas Gursky exhibition is a must see (students get a discount)!! The on-site Hayward Gallery Café has a great selection of tea and cake. The cortardo with orange polenta cake I had was the perfect pre-exhibition treat. Don’t forget to check out the Southbank Centre theatre which often displays documentary/movie screenings and performances. The Oxo Tower is nearby where you can enjoy a river view with St Paul’s Cathedral in your periphery, while sipping on cocktails or indulging in afternoon tea.
London has some of the best restaurants, so the debate on where to eat is endless, but try to plan restaurants you want to go to by the area that you’re visiting. Borough Market is a hot spot for lunch because it has so many options from pie and mash to middle eastern flavors. Also, Monmouth is my go-to coffee spot, permanently embedded within the market. You’d be lucky to get a seat inside, but you can always take your coffee and wander through the market to try some cheese and artisan bread. English cheddar cheese is the best! From the market, you can walk to the Tate Modern, which has free general admission. Walk across the Millennium Bridge to St Paul’s Cathedral and further along the river bank is Tower Bridge. Dine at the Shard’s Hutong (Northern Chinese cuisine) or Aqua (British food) restaurant for a panoramic view of London, but for the best view head to the 72nd floor. Talking about food with a view, go to Sushi Samba, in Heron Tower, the heart of London’s financial district for views of some of London’s landmarks including the very comical looking Gherkin.
You’re immersed in a plethora of beautiful architecture in the city, but wherever you are in London, you don’t have to walk far to find a green space and it’s free! You can even have a little picnic in the park, but only in the summer months or it might not be that pleasant. The Serpentine divides Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, which were local for me when I was in college. Green Park and St James Park are central to many famous landmarks such as Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square and Covent Garden.
If you have time, the National Gallery and the National portrait gallery are nearby. Some other museums and galleries to consider: Welcome Collection (fascinating exploration of Science), British library (one of the largest in the world) and the Saatchi Gallery. You can definitely see where my passion is. Going north, the British Museum, is one of my favourite museums to visit. I could spend hours here absorbed in historical artifacts from around the world, not to mention the building is remarkable.
Take a stroll through Reagents Park to Primrose Hill for a nice distal perspective of London. If you want to travel further out from the city, you can catch some pretty sweet views of wild deer sunbathing in Richmond Park, southwest London (approx. 40 min on the train from Central London).
I usually catch up with friends at Gordon’s in Embankment which has a great selection of wine and cheese in a cave-like environment with thunderous sounds of the district line below. Covent Garden is a popular tourist area nearby, that has a market, high street and designer shops scattered throughout cobbled streets. If you’re a vintage lover, visit Portabello Road, Old Spitalfields Market or Camden Town.
You might be lucky enough to know someone in the capital who can knock up a traditional British Sunday roast with those crisp fluffy potatoes and puffy Yorkshire puddings, but if not then you can honestly go to any pub. Hawksmoor has many locations, but if you’re looking for a gastropub with a Michelin star then go to The Harwood Arms in Fulham.
You’re spoilt for choice with Indian restaurants in London. Southall is home to plenty of restaurants serving Indian food, with Brilliant a top choice. For something more central with a brasserie feel, Dishoom has many locations scattered throughout the city. Lebanese food is a favourite of mine. My dad has been taking me to Maroush on Beauchamp place (near Harrods) to eat since I was a little girl.
If you feel like a fancy treat, afternoon tea, which is typically served between 1pm and 3pm is a great choice. Claridge’s in Mayfair is wonderful but you have to book way in advance. Sketch is probably the most Instagramable spot for afternoon tea, but Chef Ludwig Hely has created a delightful selection of pastries and petite cakes at the Thames Foyer Savoy, which is where I went on my most recent trip to London. My favourite part was the scones with clotted cream and jam!
I always pack my suitcase half full on my way home to London so I have room to shop. Oxford Street is always buzzing with energy, people shopping the latest trends. Harrods, famous for its exterior lighting and Egyptian themed interior, is great for upscale shopping, but my absolute favourite part is the food hall…always a foodie! When I’m there I usually stop at Laduree to pick up some macarons or dine in for their vol-au-vent or delicious rose raspberries saint-honoré. Take a peak at Victoria and Albert Museum, Natural History and Science Museums just a short walk from there.
There is a wealth of things to do and see in London and I’ve missed out of bunch of things, but these are some of the things I did on my most recent trips home and some of my top choices especially if you are visiting London for the first time. Apologies for the poor quality of photos as most were taken from my phone.
Hai everyone. Hope you had a wonderful weekend. I thoroughly enjoyed my weekend relaxing and indulging in yummy food. I’m always on the hunt for cute European style cafés in Dallas. There’s just something about the ambiance that makes me happy, not to mention it reminds me of being home.
We recently went to Rise No.1 in Dallas. They have such a pretty patio and their chocolate soufflé with chocolate sauce drizzle was divine, the perfect blend for a Sunday date with my husband.
Also, celebrating because I have the opportunity to present my research at a national conference in Hawaii!! I love being able to travel around the country and hopefully we can visit all 50 states before we move to England. Just thinking about our trip to Maroon Bells in Colorado, such a magical place.
Colorado gives me such cosy vibes, snuggled up with hot chocolate in a cabin somewhere in the mountains. I always jump at the opportunity to wear cute, cosy, wintery outfits, which is basically January and February in Texas since the climate outside those months is warm, hot or scorching hot-perfect float the river weather.
Layering is always best in an unpredictable winter and this jacket is perfect for that. I am probably a little late on the teddy coat trend, but I love the colour and cropped length of this jacket. It’s warm and comfortable so I’ll definitely be taking this on my trip home to London in February. I tend to go for more blacks, browns or greys for a winter feel so this rust/brown jacket was perfect for adding the right mix of colour.
Happy New Year! Hope you all had a wonderful holiday. I took full advantage of being able to sleep in during the holidays and am excited to start this year focusing on positives and opportunities for growth.
A recent item that I have been wearing on repeat are these sock boots from Zara. I’ve been on the hunt for a pair of boots like these for a while. It was almost impossible to find an affordable pair of sock boots that were well made and fit really well. These boots are super comfortable, have a low heel height and are versatile so I can wear them with pretty much everything. They’re made from a soft stretch velvet material that literally sculpts your foot and ankle.
Classic black boots are always a closet staple for me. I’ve linked some more of my favourites below.
It’s five days until Christmas!! This will be my first Christmas in America, even though I’ve lived here for almost 6 years (I always seem to escape to London for the holidays).
I get really excited as winter approaches and can finally break out the jumpers (sweaters) and jackets. It is literally my favourite season. I’m probably the only person that loves cold and rainy days, especially cuddled up on the sofa with the fireplace on and a cup of earl grey tea. Bliss!
This super puffy jacket is keeping me extra snug. Stemming away from my usual neutrals, I chose a red puffer and paired it with skinny black jeans and boots.
I absolutely love this time of the year, with all the pretty lights, markets and mulled wine!!! If you have any recommendations for holiday festivities in Dallas-Fort Worth comment below.