From Paris with love…

I hadn’t been to Paris for almost four years before my last trip. In 2014 I took my granny to Paris and before that I think it was in 2009 when I spent two weeks in pretty Paris plus every other weekend for a few months. That was when I had a boyfriend who moved from London to Paris. And before that… it must have been as part of a student trip when the Economics & Econometrics student association that I was part of (yes, I had a fair share of nerdy times) went to Paris to visit the OECD and, I believe, the IMF. This is so long ago I can’t even remember. Well and before that… it was with my parents who took me there a couple of times when I was a teenager :)

Long story short, this time it was a girls trip.

Parc Monceau

I took the Eurostar from London to Paris and arrived a few hours before the rest of the girls. So I decided to spend the day in Parc Monceau, drinking coffee, eating croissants and reading my book.

Let the Girls’ Weekend Begin..

We all stayed at my friend’s place who recently moved to Paris. Once everyone had arrived at night, we went for dinner in a tapas place (don’t remember the name) and then had cocktails at a hidden bar (you had to pass by a cooling room for meat to get to the bar). I have also forgotten that name. Sorry guys. It was probably one of the speakeasy bars.

We started quite early the next day mostly due to the fact that my friend’s cute little daughter decided to ask for entertainment around 9 am. So after playing with little Julia we got ready and left the house by noon. The first stop was shopping.

If you ever wanted to wait on the other side of the shopping street and read your emails while leaning against a building that could potentially be an embassy, don’t.. 

.. because you will be greeted by a lovely guy that carries around a super huge machine gun!

I first didn’t see the guy’s face but only saw the machine gun. So you can imagine what my initial thoughts were…  but then, when he realised that I was just a tourist girl waiting for her friends to finish shopping, he was very nice and explained in broken English that this side of the street is not open to the public. Then I remembered that I did cross a little barrier to get there. Oops.

Shopping can be so exhausting! Duh. So headed over to Place de la Concorde and had cocktails at Hotel de Crillon. I instantly fell in love with the interior of the hotel. Even the bathroom was stunning.

Later that night we had cocktails at Hotel Plaza Athenee before heading over to the club at Matignon.

The Day After

I love to sleep in after a night out. This of course doesn’t work when you are woken up by little angel Julia around 8am. To be fair it the cutest way to wake up. She starts humming and singing and after a while adds a few ‘Maman?’ to the mix. So adorable.

Once we had given up on sleep we headed over to Monmartre and Sacre Coeur. Later that night it was time to go back to London again. Bye, bye pretty Paris.

In collaboration with Aquascutum.

‘Oh, you live in London. Does it really rain all the time?’

You can’t imagine how often I’m asked this or a similar version of this question. Especially from Germans. And I also grew up thinking that the only weather available in the UK is rain. Even my great granny once told me (when I was around 6 years old and met an 8 year old British boy on a family holiday):

‘Nadine, you don’t want to live in England, it always rains.’

So I guess that, at least in Germany, it’s common knowledge that it rains in the UK. All. The. Time.

But how bad is the weather in the UK, really? And more specifically, in London? 

Well, for the last few weeks it has been hot. And I mean really hot. It has been so hot actually that I can’t sleep in the bedroom under the roof without setting the ventilator on full speed. This still means though that I can’t sleep as the sound is much too loud to have a peaceful night.

And even outside of the usual 2 weeks of summer that we get in London (ok, recently it has been getting better..), it does not really rain all the time. In fact, it rather drizzles. And yes, it drizzles relatively frequently. But a good thunderstorm with heavy rain.. no, this is something that doesn’t happen too often in London. Unfortunately (I LOVE thunderstorms).

I’m so happy that we finally have a garden. For the 10 years that I have been living in London, I mostly stayed in places without a garden. But since last summer I have had the pleasure to set up my little workspace in the patio – that is as long as it’s warm enough. A couple of months ago I enjoyed this year’s first day of summer in the garden. And it’s still nice and warm.

Thank you, London – 2018 has been great so far!

But sometimes you might have gone swimming on a Saturday, relaxed in the park on a Sunday and then a few days later .. BAM! .. back to cooler temperatures and the umbrella will become your new best friend again. In fact, or maybe this is just my biased opinion, a hot summer of more than 28 degrees is the exception. If you travel to London in summer you will have a high chance of encountering temperatures from 18 degrees to 25. So, the below photo is a more ‘typical’ photo of what I generally wore in London in summer.

London Summer North

Jeans, t-shirt… and don’t you forget your cardigan.

This way you are very well prepared for most of what London will show you weather-wise :) And no worries, the outfit below you can leave hidden in your wardrobe until October… just take the umbrella with you :)

I collaborated with Aquascutum for this post. Aquascutum is a British brand that was established in Mayfair more than 150 years ago when it was one of the first to create waterproof textiles. Nowadays, they still create stunning fashion that protects you from the rain. Check out Aquascutum’s fancy rainwear for men

Ok ladies, the link for the men’s section was meant to prevent you from checking out Aquascutum’s outlet section… Do not click over there. Don’t. Fashion on sale will do funny things to your brain..

 

 

The most beautiful beaches in the world

In collaboration with Vistajet.

As you know, I’m such a beach bum. Ok, sometimes I like to hide in the shade (sunburns no good..) and I don’t mind at all when it’s rainy season and I’ll be swimming during hot tropical rain. A couple of days of my recent holiday in the Seychelles and also my two months in Vietnam saw some rainy swim sessions. As long as it’s still like 28 degrees (and there are sunny hours!), I don’t mind too much.

I still wouldn’t be able to decide between mountains and beaches, though if I really had to, like really, I would probably opt for beaches as I love water sports way too much. I’m a massive fan of paddle boarding! You should check out this Paddle Board Guide if you are infatuated by it too! That said there are perfect beaches for surfing but not for scuba diving or snorkeling, and vice versa. But this post is about the most beautiful beaches around the world. Some might not even be suitable for either surfing nor scuba diving haha. So this list will be a mix of beaches on my bucket list and beaches which I have been to and instantly fell in in LOVE with! I definitely think you should include travel to some of these beaches on your Ultimate Bucket List!

Best of Beaches I have visited

Anse Source d’Argent, La Digue, Seychelles

Anse Source d’Argent is my top favourite beach of all. It’s in a national park (sort of) part of the island La Digue that you can get to by ferry from Mahe, the main island of the Seychelles. You can visit La Digue as a day trip or stay in a hotel directly. Once you arrive at La Digue, rent a bicycle and make your way around the island to some of the most beautiful beaches on the planet. Another amazing beach on the island is Grande Anse Beach, shown in the second instagram photo. I figured out how to view a private instagram, and just wanted to share a couple of images someone tried to send me but couldn’t.

Island love ?

A post shared by Nadine ? (@voyager.diary) on

Grande Anse Beach, La Digue Island, Seychelles

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A post shared by Nadine ?????? (@karateandcaviar) on

The Seychelles offer plenty of super pretty beaches and it doesn’t matter which island you choose for your stay. Each island has stunning beaches and if you want to discover more, just hop over to another island by ferry.

Cayo Santa Maria, Cuba

There are lots of beautiful beaches in Cuba – especially the Cayos are stunning and frequented by a smaller number of travellers than Veradero, for instance. We stayed in Cayo Santa Maria in a hotel with a private beach access. I have never seen beach so calm, clear and warm.. like bathwater :)

Cuba Cayo Santa Maria. Best Beaches in the world

Playa del Norte, Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Isla Mujeres is such a cute little island that you can visit by ferry from Cancun. We spent a day there and had quite some Margaritas during sunset :)

Isla Mujeres Cancun. Most beautiful beaches in the world.

Similan Islands, Phuket, Thailand

I went to Phuket a few years ago. You can rent a yacht or join a tour to visit the Similan Islands which are really stunning. Unfortunately a lots of people have discovered them now and it seems that everyone brings in some garbage to the island. I hope it hasn’t gotten worse within the last years. But anyway, the beaches are stunning.


Similan Islands Thailand. Best Beaches in The world

BAI SAO BAY, Phu Quoc, Vietnam

I stayed around two months in Vietnam and visited quite a lot of beaches in that time. Mia Resort Hotel in Nha Trang has a private beach that is pretty, so do lots of other hotels in the country. Though Vietnam is not so famous for its beaches, there are quite a number of really pretty ones. My favourite was the Bai Sao beach in Phu Quoc, a little island around one hour by plane from Saigon. Make sure you arrive early or late so you can enjoy the beach without the other tourists.. The picture below was taken on the most left side of the beach. You can easily get there on your own by scooter, DO NOT join a tour. Well, unless you love to lie on the beach like sardines in a can..

Punta Mita, Mexico

Rather than sharing the beach, book yourself into an absolutely stunning hotel where you will share your own private paradise with at most around 12 people: Imanta Resorts in Punta Mita. And for surfing, just hop over to Sayulita, the cutest surfer / hippie village ever which is around 30 mins away by taxi. The nearest airport is Puerto Vallarta.

Punta Mita Mexico Puerta Vallarta. Best Beaches in Mexico.

Mykonos Town Beach, Greece

Greece is super famous for its incredibly beautiful beaches and Mykonos is no exception. Stroll through the island’s cosy old town and then have a coffee in a cafe on the beach or take a little dip. For the party addicts, just head over to the other side of Mykonos and join one of the crazy beach parties.

Mykonos Town Beach Greece. Best Beaches Europe.

Beaches high up my bucket list

And now the beaches on my travel bucket list. My favourite beach has clear blue water, white sand, and, most importantly, is a bit remote or hidden so that I don’t have to share it with lots of other people :) Check out my list below on google – summer dreaming :)

Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Grace Bay, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos

One Foot Island, Aitutaki, Cook Islands

Na Pali, Kauai, Hawaii

Nika Island, The Maldives

Eagle Beach, Aruba, Caribbean

Agonda Beach, Goa, India

Fakistra, Greece

I collaborated with VistaJet on this post. If you think that a luxury beach holiday is not enough, just book yourself the most luxurious way ever to get to your paradise of choice. VistaJet makes its fleet of over 71 business jets available to customers. The expression ‘travel in style’ gets a whole new level here!