WISHLIST

20 Jan 2018

Where To Travel in Europe in 2018

The time of year that thoughts of warmer climes is just about the only thing getting you through the dark mornings and uninspiring temperatures, jetting off is up there on my wishlist right now. Travel is well and truly on the brain. It's easily forgotten that Europe is quite literally at our fingertips and it's quite frequently even easier to get abroad than across London on a particularly bad commuter day. One of my resolutions this year is to make the most (budget-permitting) of this and flex the traveller muscles in me a little more.

Puglia, Italy
Seriously, I can't look at pictures of this place without going all heart-eyed; it literally has everything I'd want in my dream holiday. A self-confessed Italophile (who isn't?), visiting anywhere in this country ticks most of the boxes for me, but there's something about this southern region that goes beyond and looks borderline otherworldly. Whitewashed towns populated with beehive-looking trulli; undone, wild coastlines and vast, green countryside, travelling through Alberobello, Leece (known as Florence of the South) and Ostuni during early summer is a wanderlust fantasy topping my list right now. 


Essaouria, Morocco
After spending a week travelling through the Atlas Mountains a few years back, I have a soft spot for Morocco and can't imagine ever getting tired of exploring this country. Although Marrakesh was beautiful (the palaces you can walk round, the nighttime Medina atmosphere and the maze of souks), there's something about coastal Essaouria that looks slightly more relaxing, laid back but still exuding Moroccan character. Essentially, any excuse to stay in a riad again, I'm there.  


Podgorica, Montenegro
After visiting different parts of Croatia over the last couple of years and falling for the island-life ways, inescapable vast mountain ranges and a good view at about every turn, it's similarly picturesque neighbour has been on my radar for a while now. Turning from a bucket list dream to a reality this April, I really can't wait to spend an extended weekend here. It seems like one of the destinations slightly off the beaten track, for now anyway, when it comes to holidays, and the rural landscapes, sea air and ancient history is screaming for a tech-free few days (and boy do I need it ASAP). Those mountains are just waiting to be climbed, and I've been told the views are pretty spectacular. 

Hostelworld

Palermo, Sicily, Italy
A long-standing resident of my bucket list, Sicily is up there as a must. Having mostly been to only landlocked cities in Italy (Rome amazed me), there's something even more alluring about an Italian island that has both the Italian culture (aka Italian food) and island vibes. It reminds me of a beachy Seville with the coloured buildings, palm trees and architecture. Italy is a country that is yet to disappoint me in pretty much any way, and I'm hoping it's only a matter of time that these photos become my view from the beach... 

Photos taken from Pinterest or linked source.

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11 Jan 2018

Winter Comforts with Adagio Teas



'Tis the season to revel in things that are comforting, whether it be boycotting the Jan diet for leftover Roses chocolates, or just time spent under blankets by a fireplace (constantly striving for the latter, but alas, central heating will have to do). December embodies that juxtaposing time when we're in non-stop, overwhelming party season (or should I say, hangover season...), that then precedes the month of January, aka the month sans alcohol (well, less than the one before) and considerably less fun times. But the constant through both months is that we're always seeking comfort in one way or another, even if it's just a cup of tea in our pyjamas (and if you're doing Dry Jan, this post is definitely for you). 

Just like how some of us find cleaning, tidying or art therapeutic (not that I fall into the first two brackets as my housemates will happily tell you), the ritual of making tea has long been a means of taking time for a mind-break for me, whether you're at work and need to escape the screen for five or simply trying to rouse from slumber on dark and cold mornings. It's slowly becoming more of an indulgence in my life; taking time to actually choose good tea, try new flavours and make more of an effort to enjoy, rather than gulp it down without thinking. Thankfully, I'm far from the days at University where a supermarkets-own green tea bag was re-used about four times until deemed done with (not that there's anything wrong with that, but I am happy to be out that habit!). Now, there's all types of fruit, herbal and blends to satisfy every taste bud, most of which I can't pronounce, but nevertheless, love. 


Without claiming to be a tea connoisseur, I'd say I've tried my fair share of teas and can quite boldly say that Adagio teas* are pretty damn good. The brand's ethos is to create fresh, high-quality and full-leaf teas, sourced straight from farmers, which sets them apart from a lot of brands you'd find in a supermarket (and their website is quite a hub of info when it comes to teas, particularly the health benefits which is really interesting (there is a lot more to tea than meets the eye it seems!). I've been trying out their extensive selections of teas (from green to chai to iced) and found a new love in peach matcha. Given it's the month that you at least make that conscious effort to move a bit more, an energising, feel-good drink post-gym is actually something I've started to look forward to and considering it's matcha, really tastes good. Vanilla green tea is another favourite and perfect for a morning pick-me-up.

Not only are their teas delicious, their tea-accessory game is strong. I don't think I'm the only one to think that this iron teapot and matching cups are pretty damn impressive (the first time I've actually considered a teapot to be cool). Mustard shades have long been my calling (couldn't be more obvious from my Instagram feed), and this one ticks all the boxes. Moulded, painted and glased by hand, you can even see the process on their website.


You can find out more about Adagio here. All photographs taken by myself.



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