Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Vienna: A Mini-Guide

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We spent our last trip of the year in Vienna at the beautiful Hotel Altstadt which is part of Small Luxury Hotels of the World and, I have to say, is one of my favourite hotels I’ve ever stayed in. We arrived in the evening (in the freezing cold – Vienna is not a warm place in December), tired from a day of travelling; but from the minute we stepped in we were grinning like two Cheshire cats. On Valium. And that’s only partly because there were chocolate and homemade cookies waiting at reception. We received such a lovely welcome – the staff there are so, so lovely and helpful – and after we were given a wee talk through the local restaurants and goings on in the area we were taken up to our room. Wait till you see this..
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Holy Moly. That’s all I can say. It’s so very rare that you walk into a hotel room and find it designed exactly to your taste, but I immediately decided I’d like to re-ceate it completely for myself. I just need somewhere with very, very high ceilings. You walk in to be greeted by an amazing big bed which sits on top of a round rug, under a huge chandelier and, once you’ve spent a little while staring at that with your mouth open, you turn around and see, what’s that? IT’S ONLY A FREE STANDING BATH. Oh how I love a free standing bath. Then there’s a desk area with espresso maker, a big open wardrobe, bookshelves with mini bar and surround sound and a little sofa area with a coffee table that turns into a chess board. Really just everything you could ever want.

Sidenote: I haven’t played chess since I was a child and have since discovered that I’m not only horrible at chess, I’m a horrible loser too. 
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The food in the hotel is lovely too, with a different breakfast menu every morning. You have certain elements that stay the same, like the bread table, the continental buffet, the cereals and the champagne (oh yes) but each day the main menu will change. On the first day I had farmer’s omelette, the second I had poached eggs and spinach and the last I haaad porridge maybe? I can’t remember, but I can tell you it was good. They also do free tea, cake and Milka chocolates every day from 4-6pm so we’d do a little explore each afternoon and then come back to warm up with a nice hot tea and some (ok, lots of) chocolate in front of the fire and the big Christmas tree. It’s one of those hotels that you don’t want to use only for sleeping, so we did do a fair bit of popping back and forward, sometimes just to look at the beautiful bath for a while. Kidding. Kind of.
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Vienna itself is so beautiful, especially in Wintertime. We wandered round different Christmas markets (the best one being the big one at Rathaus, I made an unexpected squeal when I saw it, it really catches you off-guard it's so beautiful), fueled by delicious gluhwein, took in the view from the top of St Stephen’s cathedral (a definite must-do) and had some amazing, amazing food. Two places I’d really like to recommend that I've not included photos of are A) Pizza Scarabocchio, especially if you’re gluten free. It’s hands down the best gf pizza I’ve ever had and, judging from the tripadvisor reviews, there’s a whole lot of us GFers with the same opinion and b) Der Dachboden bar and lounge. This we stumbled across by accident and it turned out to be my dream bar; if I ever set up my own bar it’d be like this place exactly. But, you know, someone beat me to it. You can go out on the balcony and look right across the whole city with a drink in hand or come indoors where the room's made up of random armchairs and benches and sofas (with the best cocktails you could imagine) and old gramophone music playing. Plus lots and lots of cool characters to watch. It’s on the top floor of a hotel and down in reception you’ll find a cool little sop and an authentic old photoautomat that’ll do you four photos for two euros. Seriously check um both out! 

Amy

Thank you to Hotel Altstadt and Small Luxury Hotels for such a wonderful stay!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Best Coat in The Land

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ALL SAINTS camel coat, sheepskin bag & popcorn jumper (now in sale!) | DOROTHY PERKINS leather look jeans | OFFICE ankle boots | ZARA striped hat

I've been so excited to share this post with you because I think this is seriously the best coat ever. A good camel coat is so hard to find, especially one that fits as well as this, so you can imagine my joy when I came across it. I should have known All Saints would come up trumps, they always do. They also have it in black which, being the sicko as I am, I'm kind of eyeing up too? I don't have a smart black coat ok.. leave me alone. I popped it on with this wee jumper of theirs along with my new Office boots. That's right, it's been quite the month for my wardrobe. My Mum has a pair like this but they'd sold out so, again, joy when I came across these (I know, someone get me to shopaholics anonymous). They're ridiculously comfy too, this was first wear and I managed to get away with an all-day wear without an ache or pain in sight. 

As you may know from my excitable instagrams, I'm off to New York today! It's my first time out there and I'm so excited I could do a little wee. We'll mainly be venturing round the wonderful Simon shopping centres (more shopping - I'll be in my element) but we have a wee day off so I'll be getting my explorers hat firmly on. I'll be updating all my socials while we're out there so if you fancy keeping up with what we're up to then that's the place to head!

Amy

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Postcards From Amsterdam

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The Little Magpie Amsterdam The Little Magpie Amsterdam The Little Magpie AmsterdamWhy, hello there. How are you? If you follow me over on the ole social media you might remember that a couple of weeks ago I had myself a little jaunt over to Amsterdam. It was a wee whirlwind trip, a stop-over before our flight to Vienna, but long enough to remind me how much I love it there. For this reason, sadly, my post isn't my usual big, fat recommendations post but more just some snapshots to show you how ridiculously beautiful it is at this time of year. It's a really great place to head for a mini break as, if you don't have much time, you can easily just wander round and take in all the beautiful canals, stopping off for a drink or a cwaffee in all the cafes along the way and feel like you've done enough. The weather when we went in mid-December was cold but not too cold, and - thankfully - dry the whole time, which made for the perfect wandering around conditions. It's a magical time of year to go as all the Christmas lights are up, there's a little ice rink set up down beside the Rijksmuseum complete with market and there's just a lovely festive feel in the air.


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We stayed in the amazing CitizenM hotel, which I would recommend time and time again. If you've stayed in one before you'll know roughly what it's like, as they're all quite uniform ,which is nice; like a little home from home. It sits right beside a tram stop that'll take you directly into the centre of town in ten minutes or so, but is far enough out that it's nice and quiet at night (have I ever sounded older? Probably not). Oh, and it's a five/ten minute train from the airport too! The rooms are lovely; they're not massive but they're got everything you'd need from a big comfy king-size bed, to mood lighting to a big, beautiful wall to wall window. The tv in your room also offers free movies, so if you're tired after a long day of exploring then you can kick back in your big bed and watch one of those. The only thing I would say is that the bathroom is a little cubicle in the middle of the room rather than being separate so, although there's frosted glass, it's not that private. We were fine with it, but if you're planning on travelling with someone you're maybe not that close with then it's something to consider!

And there we have it, a whistle-stop tour of Amsterdam! I'm sorry I couldn't fill it with more detail, but I hope it gave you a nice little feel for the place. Next time I go back I'll go for a little longer so I can do you a full recommendations post, promise (yes, I've just made an excuse to go back).

Amy

Thank you to CitizenM for a wonderful stay!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Who's bad?

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ZALANDO jumper, lace dress & silver shoes | MISSGUIDED leather jacket (old)

Helllo! Today's post is one of my favourite outfits in a while, but you'll have to excuse my tired face - these were taken at the end of our trip to Vienna and I was running on very little sleep. And possibly a lot of gluwein. 

The entire outfit's from Zalando, you know how much I love 'um, and features what I would possibly say is the best jumper ever. Kidding, that's too serious a claim and I couldn't possibly be sure, but it's definitely up there. It's nice and cosy, has a slogan (which I love) and cropped sleeves (which I love even more). I popped it on over this Missguided lace dress to make it more of a daytime look - that could, however, be easily transformed into a nighttime look if the occasion arose - and then finished it off with my t-bird jacket. God I want to be in Grease. 

Anyway, I'm off to London this morning and in classic Amy style I'm only about 90% packed. I'm off to see Jersey Boys - which I'm mucho excited about - and I imagine a lot of food will be involved too. New year... old me. 

Oh, also, I'm off to New York next week for the first time EVER next week which I'm ridiculously excited about. If any of you have any recommendations on things I need to see or do - or even some last minute ones for London this weekend - then please do let me know! I'll give you some of my leftover Christmas chocolate as a thank you.

Amy

Last thing, god go away, I know, I popped up a little lookbook with four party looks. and I did promise I'd share it with you on here, didn't I? So here we go. Videos just make me very nervous and when I'm nervous I apparently do lots of bad dancing.. I'm genuinely sorry in advance.