Cruising the Fjords of Norway

Norways fjords cruise Croisieres de FranceNorways fjords cruise BergenNorways fjords GeirangerNorways fjords cruise fresh fish market

It’s been months now since we returned from an incredible cruise into the Norwegian fjords and I’m ashamed to say that I’ve only just made time to sit down and put this post together! I have to say though, it feels like it was only last that we boarded the impressive cruise ship, Horizon by Croisieres de France, and set sail from Calais.

Our itinerary took us first to Stavanger where we dined on fresh seafood at the local fish market and whilst the food was to die for, I wished I’d listened to the rumours about Norway, prices really are astronomical and I ended up paying almost £40 for a sandwhich and apple juice!

After 2 days visiting various villages in the fjords (Hellesylt, Geiranger, Flam) we headed back towards Calais stopping off in Bergen for a day of shopping, sightseeing and general strolling. Again, the food at the fresh fish market is to die for here and a little less of a shock when presented with the bill… although this is perhaps due to the fact we were now quite used to paying 3 times the expected prices for anything in Norway!

For anyone thinking about booking a short cruise to the fjords, I can only recommend that you stop thinking and just grab the opportunity. Truly, I don’t think any number of images, documentaries or tales could have prepared me for the absolutely impressive and tremendous sights of these landscapes, it was actually chilling to feel so small and insignificant in the presence of such natural beauty!

Norways fjords cruise Flam trainNorways fjords cruise train FlamNorways fjords cruise sunsetNorways fjords Stavanger townNorway fjords cruise melkesjokolade

Cela fait des mois maintenant que nous sommes rentrés après une semaine incroyable dans les fjords norvégiens et j’ai honte de dire que je viens tout juste de prendre le temps pour m’asseoir et écrire ce post ! Ceci dit, j’ai l’impression qu’il s’est passé que quelques semaines depuis notre retour après ce magnifique voyage abord notre bateau de croisière, Horizon de Croisières de France.

En partant de Calais un dimanche après-midi, notre itinéraire nous a amener en premier à Stavanger où nous avons manger des fruits de mer tout frais au marché de poissons, un repas qui était juste à tomber par terre ! Par contre,  je vous conseil de bien écouter les rumeurs au sujet de la Norvège car les prix sont vraiment astronomiques et j’ai fini par payer près de 50 euros pour un sandwich de crevettes et un jus de pomme !

Après 2 jours à visiter les différents villages dans les fjords (Hellesylt , Geiranger , Flam) nous sommes retournés vers Calais avec une pause à Bergen pour une journée de shopping, de tourisme et de promenade dans cette ville très agréable. Encore une fois, notre déjeuner au marché de poisson etait un delice et cette-fois ci avec un peu moins de choc a l’arrivée de l’addition… probablement dû au fait que nous étions maintenant tout à fait habitués à payer 3 fois les prix habituels en Norvège !

Pour ceux qui envisagent de réserver une petite croisière sur les fjords , je ne peux que vous recommander d’arrêter d’y penser et de saisir l’occasion. Sincèrement, je pense que n’importe quel nombre d’images, de documentaires ou d’histoires aurait pu me préparer pour ces paysages absolument impressionnants et puissants, c’est juste une sensation incroyable de se sentir si petit et si insignifiant dans la présence d’une telle beauté naturelle !

Norway train FlamNorway cruise Croisiere de FranceNorways fjords cruise GeirangerNorway fjords BergenNorway fjords cruise Stavanger bakeryNorways BergenNorways fjords cruise trollsNorways fjords cruise viewsNorways fjords cruise fresh seafood fish marketNorways fjords Geiranger townNorways fjords cruise portNorway fjords cruise travel

La Dolce Weekend in Sardinia

Sardinia Porto Cervo flowersHaving gone AWOL for the past two weeks, I’m thrilled to share the reason behind my guilty two weeks of no posting and I’m sorry for the endless appearance of smug vacation Instagrams! That’s it now for sunsets, beach toes and gelato, it’s back to reality for now but this summer’s island roadtrip has brought me some of my fondest memories and I’ll be hanging on to those moments until my next adventure.

Having spent an exciting 10 days in Corsica, we hopped over to Sardinia from Bonifacio (a speedy 45-minute ferry journey) finding ourselves in the rainbow-coloured seaside town of Santa Teresa da Gallura which quickly led to a 48-hour whirlwind of shoe shopping, tiramisu eating and beach bumming along the stunning Emerald Coast.

For any lucky jetsetters in search of a weekend escape or holiday destination, I highly recommend the north of Sardinia (I’ve yet to check out the southern coast but I hear the beaches of the north are considered the most beautiful on the island)… See below my favourite addresses for inspiration.

Olbia: This was the largest town we visited and great for super cheap shoe shopping. Avoid the tourist traps and grab lunch at L’Arte nel Gelato, they put together a delicious focaccia sandwhich and the tiramisu gelato is to die for! For a cheap and cheerful hotel, we stayed in the Hotel de Plam along the port which was perfectly located if not the most luxurious!

Santa Gallura da Teresa: Grab your camera and spend a morning walking around this little seaside town, taking in all the pastel-coloured houses and exotic plants. There are several steep climbs in this town so choose flat shoes over heels. For unique and very affordable handmade jewellery, check out the beautiful boutique, Preziosemozioni di Giuseppe Muru (P.zza San Vittorio 3) and then head to La Lucciola (Via Maria Teresa, 42) for some absolutely delicious pizzas, served by the slice.

Porto Cervo, Cannegione & Arzachena: One of the most charming hotels of our trip was the little family-run Hotel La Borgata in the hills set away from the coast. We drove down to the coast for afternoons at the beach and dinners by the port but were glad to retreat back into the peace and quiet after a long day. Whilst Porto Cervo is a must-see destination, there’s not much to do unless you’re planning on spending a fortune in Cartier and Louis Vuitton.

Sardinia Costa SmerladaSardinia Santa Teresa da Gallura SophiaSardinia Santa Teresa da Gallura 2Sardinia Arte nel GelatoSardinia Porto CervoSardinia Roberto Cavalli Porto CervoSardinia Arte nel Gelato ice-creamSardinia Porto Cervo shops

Interview with Alain Rondini, Les Sandales Tropeziennes

Sandales Tropéziennes RondiniSandales Tropéziennes RondiniSandales Tropéziennes Rondini

They used to say ‘see Naples and die’, but I say it of Saint Tropez.  This little gem of a village, discovered by Brigitte Bardot, is synonymous with the luxurious lifestyle of the rich and famous; impressive yachts rival one another along the quays lined with top designer boutiques and fashionable cocktail bars where you can watch and be watched.  Madonna, Tom Cruise, Karl Lagerfeld, … For some, it is all they will see, and they’ll be perfectly happy. But step away from this dazzling façade, into the heart of a charming fishing village and you’ll be rewarded with one of its best kept secrets: L’Atelier Rondini.

[Read more...]

A Weekend in Lyon

lyon

So as I mentioned in my previous post, I spent a much-needed long weekend in sunny Lyon last week and I’ve finally managed to go through all my photos to post a little piece about the trip. Sadly, my Canon had a break down mid-weekend so I didn’t manage to capture every moment but you’ll see from my little selection that there’s a lot going on in Lyon and it’s certainly a town worth visiting for a short getaway.

One thing I loved about Lyon was all the colour in the city. From fresh cut flower stands to streets of multi-coloured houses and the traditional fuschia pink pralines in ever boulangerie and patisserie, there was colour everywhere we turned, something I enjoyed even more under the clear blue sky and sunshine.

lyon1

lyon6

lyon3

One of my friends on the trip happens to be totally Dora the Explorer when on holiday which was great because it meant she had mapped out most of the important visits and must-see locations (although I have to admit I was about ready to scream on route to the 3rd amphiteatre having already visited 2 cathedrals, the botanical gardens, zoo and most of the old town!). In retrospect though, I never would have seen everything without her enthusiasm and energy to lead the way!

lyon5

lyon2

For those with a sweet tooth, you’ve come to the right place because you’ll be absolutely spoilt for choice when it comes to candies and sugary treats! I highly recommend the traditional pink pralines which come in all variations; tartes, brioches, cakes and even ice-cream. You’ll also discover the famous Coussins de Lyon which in its original version is a sugar-coated marzipan cushion filled with a Curaçao infused chocolate ganache… It’s not to my taste but it’s worth a try nonetheless.

There’s also plenty to please hardcore carnivores because Lyon is the home of charcuterie and meat dishes, in fact it’s worth double checking menus if you are vegetarian because it’s not uncommon to find zero vegetable alternative! I’m not much of a meat eater myself but I tried a plate of charcuterie in one of the local Bouchons, these are typical restaurants in Lyon where the ambiance is very much as if you were invited into someone’s home with no frills or fancies, just delicious home-cooked meals.

lyon4

lyon8

lyon7

L’Atelier d’Amaya in Lyon

L'Atelier d'Amaya

The  month of May in France is definitely a favourite of mine thanks to the many, many bank holidays and a fabulous little concept called ‘les ponts‘.  This literally means ‘the bridges’ with the idea being that if a bank holiday falls on a Thursday, most people will then take off the Friday to bridge the gap and make a long weekend!

So rather than waste this opportunity for a mini-holiday, I headed south to Lyon with a group of friends to catch some warm weather and spend some time discovering a new town. I’ll be posting a full catch-up from the weekend later in the week but first I wanted to share one of my favourite discoveries whilst out shopping, L’Atelier d’Amaya, a beautiful jewellery boutique which exists only in Lyon, Toulouse and Bordeaux (except for the magic of the internet making it accessible to all)!

Drawn in by the stunning colours and designs, it was impossible to resist all the beautiful rings and long-length necklaces which were perfectly suited to the sunny weather outside. If it hadn’t been for my lack of funds at the end of the month I would have walked out with half the boutique but I managed to stay sensible (or at least, I didn’t have a choice!) and chose a gorgeous gold-plated bangle with a unique clasp and pretty detailing which makes the metal very shiny in the sun.

Heading to Lyon, Bordeaux or Toulouse? Make sure you drop in to L’Atelier d’Amaya but if you’re not over in France you can still check out the online boutique for some unique accessories which are very affordable.

L'Atelier d'Amaya

L'Atelier d'Amaya

L'Atelier d'Amaya

Depuis que j’habite en France, le mois de mai est devenu l’un de mes périodes préférés grâce a la quantité de jours fériés et du super concept des ponts que je viens de découvrir et qui n’existe pas du tout en Angleterre !

Du coup, plutôt que de perdre cette occasion de mini- vacances,  je me suis dirigée vers le sud avec un groupe d’amis pour un weekend ensoleillé à Lyon en profitant de la découverte d’une nouvelle ville.  Je publierai bientôt un post complet sur ce super week-end mais en attendant, je voulais absolument partager une de mes plus belles découvertes du weekend, L’Atelier d’ Amaya , une très belle boutique de bijoux qui n’existe qu’ à Lyon, Toulouse et Bordeaux (sauf pour la magie de l’Internet qui rend cet atelier accessible à tous) !

Attirer par les magnifiques couleurs et créations dans la vitrine, il était impossible de résister à toutes ces belles bagues et sautoirs qui étaient parfaitement adaptés au beau soleil d’été.  Dommage qu’en fin de mois mon budget ne me permettait pas de tout acheter car j’ai tout de suite repéré une dizaine de bijoux qu’il me fallait absolument et je serais surement sorti avec la moitié de la boutique mais j’ai réussi à rester raisonnable (en tout cas, je n’ai pas eu le choix !) et j’ai choisi un magnifique bracelet plaqué or avec un fermoir unique et des très joli détail qui rend le métal super brillant au soleil.

En route pour Lyon , Bordeaux ou Toulouse ? Je vous conseille très fort de visiter la boutique L’Atelier d’ Amaya, mais si vous n’avais pas l’occasion tout de suite, vous pouvez toujours consulter la boutique en ligne pour des accessoires uniques qui sont très abordables .
L'Atelier d'Amaya

L'Atelier d'Amaya

L'Atelier d'Amaya

Add To Your Blog/Site