When it comes to make-up and beauty, Chanel I would say is an iconic brand. Taking it right back to the 1920’s when they launched Chanel No.5 perfume and their first make-up line. Given that, I haven’t tried that much from Chanel beauty apart from their Le Volume De Chanel mascara, which is my absolute favourite. The foundation had always intrigued me, so I decided to delve into Chanel and test out a few products.
When it came to choosing a foundation, as I have dehydrated skin it was between the Vitalumière and the Vitalumière Aqua. I figured my skin would be more suited to the Aqua as it sounded the hydrating option, but as the coverage said it was lighter plus when I tried it on my hand it felt not as creamy, I decided to try the original Vitalumière. There aren’t many shades to choose from in the Chanel foundation range and I am normally maybe two or three from the lightest, so I decided to go for the shade 20 Clair.
The foundation as it suggests is a liquid and it comes in a pump bottle. I either apply it with a beauty blender or brush and it blends easily, it’s easy to build up coverage and I would say it’s light to medium coverage. It really does make my skin look like skin and doesn’t cling to any dry patches. It is very glowy, so if you are oily then this would not be the foundation for you. If like me however you are more dehydrated or dry, then it could be your go-to. I feel like this is the perfect summer foundation, it’s light and as I said gives such a glow. It was tricky to pair it with a primer as some just did not work at all, but I have found the Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base works well. I am really glad I finally tried this foundation as now I love it.
CHANEL BAUME ESSENTIEL TRANSPARENT £33
When I saw this highlight, I knew I had to have it. If you watch my YouTube videos you will know I have always said I prefer a cream highlight to a powder. The Chanel Baume Essentiel comes in two colours; Transparent and Sculpting. Sculpting has a subtle shimmer and Transparent is exactly that. I read quite a few reviews and everyone said to go for the Sculpting as the other was very clear and didn’t do much, I chose to ignore that went for the transparent shade, as I liked the idea of that glass skin look which this emulates and also it reminded me of the highlight in the Tom Ford Shade & Illuminate which is similar but just in a more portable stick version.
Wearing Vitalumière 20 Clair, Baume Essentiel Transparent and Soleil Tan de Chanel.
I wasn’t wrong that it was very similar, but I think I prefer this to the Tom Ford. It gives such a sheen and if you like a highlight without the shimmer then this does just that. I’ve been using it regularly over Vitalumière and it works well. I use a beauty blender to apply it lightly over my cheekbones.
CHANEL SOLEIL TAN DE CHANEL £40
A cream bronzer isn’t a product you see very often and so I was excited to try this from Chanel. I hadn’t actually heard of it before, even though I’m sure it’s been around for ages. The product itself is quite a big tub and the bronzer is one universal shade. For me it is a light bronze and I like to use it either as an all over bronzer under foundation or using a kabuki brush to contour areas. I much prefer this to a powder bronzer as it suits my skin type much more. It’s very subtle, natural and I absolutely love it. I’m just gutted I never had it before. I find it stays on well throughout the day, sometimes for me a powder bronzer could become slightly patchy and this doesn’t do that.
These three Chanel products are the perfect way to achieve a summer glow, even if it is currently rainy outside.
Every year Chelsea joins in the spirits of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show with Chelsea In Bloom. The alternative floral art show takes place along the streets of Chelsea, with Sloane Street, Kings Road and Duke of York Square being where you will find the majority of the displays. Restaurants, hotels and retailers all take part and compete for the coveted awards.
This year’s theme was ‘Under the Sea’ and Chelsea in Bloom partnered with charity Plastic Oceans UK, who aim to stop the pollution of plastic reaching the oceans. I loved the theme, it really saw some creative designs, with octopus a popular choice, you couldn’t miss seeing them at Kiki McDonough and Polpo. Hackett won this year’s best floral display, their window had a yellow submarine and divers, with tentacles on the outside and inside of the windows which weas quite spectacular.
Here are some of my favourite displays from this year’s Chelsea in Bloom.
When we moved into our new apartment at the beginning of this year, what I was excited about was having more space than in our previous apartment. I wanted to make sure I utilised that especially in the bedroom as our last bedroom felt like it was piled with storage crates filled with shoes, bags, make-up, you name it, it was in it and in turn I don’t think I ever slept that well. I was surrounded by constant reminders to tidy or aspects of my work, such as my lighting equipment for YouTube or testing new product samples.
When it came to decorating the bedroom I really wanted to keep it minimal, functional and most of all a peaceful place to sleep. I think having no clutter and a calm colour scheme, as well as a comfortable bed can make for a better nights sleep. Here is how I achieved a more peaceful space.
When choosing a bed for our new bedroom, I knew I wanted a velvet or velvet look bed, but the style I didn’t really know at all. It wasn’t until I started looking that I discovered Ottoman beds. These are the ones that make it easy to lift up the mattress as they have springs at the sides and then underneath you have a plentiful amount of storage. This bed not only looks amazing but the fact I can store things underneath it and you wouldn’t even know is just such a bonus.
Our old mattress was not very comfortable at all, so not only did we want a comfortable bed but a quality mattress too. We opted for a Casper mattress which I’d seen advertised pretty much everywhere and even Kylie Jenner is a fan. The mattress is a bed in a box and arrives in a big cardboard box, which made it so easy to get into our bedroom. A memory foam mattress is said to help improve your sleep as it helps to distribute body weight evenly and stop tossing and turning throughout the night, so it sounded like the perfect option and I’ve definitely felt I have been sleeping better since using it.
In our old bedroom I had a whole host of art prints on the wall. So for our new bedroom I decided I wanted to keep it simple and when I saw this ‘Namastay In Bed‘ print I knew that was all I wanted. In fact I think I chose the design of our bedroom around this one print, I just loved it. I have a spare white wall that I’m tempted to add something else, but I also like the idea of keeping the bedroom very minimal with just this print.
We have two bedside cabinets that we like to keep clutter free and apart from our touch lamps and my rose crystal, I am trying to keep nothing on these. In our previous bedroom I had make-up brushes and make-up scattered all over them, now with a dedicated dressing room I am able to take these out of the bedroom and keep the space next to the bed clear. If I can put anything on our chest of drawers rather than here, it makes me feel much calmer and away from clutter.
Our bedroom carpet is grey so we decided to choose a grey velvet look bed and also grey curtains, I think grey is a very calming colour for the bedroom, its neutral and whenever I look it I feel peaceful. Of course something like blue could work similarly but I’m really glad we went for a grey feel as it works well with the white walls and white units.
Utilising the space and having space savers such as the extra under bed storage has transformed our bedroom into a clutter free place and in turn a better nights sleep.
It was my birthday last week and as I reached my mid-thirties, I felt exactly the same, insert the lol. No revelations here, but my point was going to be that everyone does think I am much younger than I am, is it good genes or good skincare, I’ll say a combination of both.
If you are a regular reader or viewer of my YouTube channel you know I love my skincare. My two concerns are mainly my dehydrated skin and ageing, so when I am trying out new products if they can cover either or both of those then it’s a winner. Recently I’ve noticed more fine lines appearing around my eye area and my expression lines on my forehead bother me, so ELEMIS Ultra Smart Pro-Collagen Serum and Eye Treatment Duo couldn’t have come at a better time to test out.
ELEMIS have two new launches; Ultra Smart Pro Collagen Complex 12 Serum and the Ultra Smart Pro Collagen Eye Treatment Duo, which contains the morning eye balm and a rich evening eye cream as well as an applicator to apply. If you are familiar with the ELEMIS Pro-Collagen range, because who isn’t, then I’d say this is like a step up from that.
The products are definitely an investment, for instance the eye duo comes in at £145, but you do get a morning and night and why do you need two I hear you ask? Well the morning balm is a more lightweight, gel texture and helps to cool and de-puff the eye area as well as tighten and then the evening is a cream which provides intense moisture to the eye area overnight. You also get an applicator with the duo which isn’t just a plastic flimsy little thing, it’s quite like a massage tool and is a game changer. It feels so cooling when applying the eye products.
The serum is a little pricer at £210 but again this product provides results, clinically proven to significantly improve the appearance of deep-set lines and wrinkles, expression lines, improve hydration as well as firmness and elasticity of the skin in as little as 28 days.
ULTRA SMART PRO-COLLAGEN SERUM 12
Ultra Smart Pro-Collagen Serum 12 is a wrinkle smoothing serum formulated with Drone Peptide Technology and takes it name from the 12 specialised algae complex. Algae has proven anti-ageing benefits and the serum has benefits from micro and macro algaes such as Chlorella which helps support the skin with firming and restructuring properties and Padina Pavonica which is rich in water-attracting polysaccharides and fatty acids, this helps to moisturise and leads to firmer and more supple feeling skin. The encapsulated drone peptide cleverly delivers an intense boost of Hyaluronic acid to specific areas of the skin to hydrate and rebalance. Ultimately the serums main job is to firm, smooth and rejuvenate the skin.
The serum is easy to apply, 1-2 pumps onto the face and neck morning and evening before moisturiser. I absolutely love a serum, I like to exfoliate and then apply my serums so they really sink in. This one feels hydrating the minute it touches the skin, smells amazing and in the short time I’ve been trying it out I definitely think my skin looks healthier, brighter and dare I say it less wrinkly. I’m always worried to say the latter because is it even possible, but I think if the skin is hydrated and healthy it really is and this serum does just that.
ULTRA SMART PRO COLLAGEN EYE TREATMENT DUO
Now onto the eyes, this duo is designed to target deep-set lines and wrinkles to rejuvenate, smooth and tighten the eye area. The Morning Eye Balm, helps reduce the appearance of puffiness, targets dark circles and tightens, for a lifted look. The light texture of the balm creates a seal that layers beautifully under make‐up. When I applied this I used the applicator and it is a lovely cooling feeling in the morning if your eyes feel a little puffy or you have dark circles, it instantly makes the skin under my eyes feel tighter and has been a perfect base for my concealer.
The evening eye cream is richer and has a texture more like that of a moisturiser, yet it’s light not heavy under the eyes. It feels hydrating and plumps the appearance of that area, in the morning I looked well rested which is always a plus.
If you fancy picking up the ELEMIS Ultra Smart Pro-Collagen range for yourself then ELEMIS counters at John Lewis and Harvey Nichols are offering complimentary 15 minute facials* with this product for a limited time.
*To receive a complimentary 15-minute Age Defying ULTRA SMART facial quote “ULTRA REWARD” when booking. Offer valid in participating John Lewis and Harvey Nichols stores only, valid until 31st May 2019. Pre-booking is essential. One treatment per customer, not valid in conjunction with any other retail promotions
SHOP THE POST
We are all guilty of constantly checking our phone and most of the time I’ll admit for no apparent reason. Even when I’m watching something on TV, I’ll no doubt pick up my phone throughout the programme or I’ll be in the middle of something, receive a notification and then completely forgot what I was doing.
I would say it was more of a habit than an addiction, I mean maybe I realised I need to stop when I tripped down the stairs at the Underground because I was too busy checking my phone. However there definitely comes a time when I can happily put my phone down for a few hours or more and you know what I feel good about it, I feel good I’ve done something else and haven’t fell down the rabbit hole of constant scrolling.
So if you are feeling the social media burn out or need some inspiration on how to switch off, here are five things to do besides checking that phone.
1. READ A BOOK/MAGAZINE
The simplest and most obvious choice of all is to read. I absolutely love reading yet I probably only really do it when I’m on holiday and why? Well if I’m on a plane I have no Internet so I don’t get interrupted to check my phone or I’m lying in the sun and couldn’t have a care in the world, so I feel relaxed and I can concentrate on a good read. Even magazines, again these probably only get read in the hairdressers. Everything is thrown at us so instantly now, we don’t need to find or search hard for the information. I’m currently enjoying, You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay, J-Lo said it changed her life, so here I am!
2. TAKE AN E-COURSE
I started an online masterclass a little while ago, ok a long time ago and you know what I haven’t even finished it. So whilst I get on that, I’ll share them with you. Masterclass has loads of classes that can help your craft, from an acting lesson with Natalie Portman to a cooking course with Gordon Ramsey, all online of course, sorry no celebrities are coming into your living room.
Colouring-in had its own trend a year or so back with everyone and their aunty releasing colouring-in books. However it is very therapeutic and can help you relax and de-stress. If that isn’t for you, but you do like something a little crafty, then pick up a paintbrush and go for it, just do whatever takes your fancy on a blank canvas, trust me it’s kind of fun.
4. YOGA/FITNESS CLASS
Don’t worry you won’t need to leave the house for this one, I’ve started using the FIIT app which has classes to follow in the comfort of your own living room. I’ve been testing out the yoga, which is great as I’ve never done it before and don’t look like an idiot in a class full of experts.
5. PAMPER TIME
I always feel good when I take time for myself to do some pampering, whether it’s painting my nails, doing a simple sheet mask or running a bath and trying a new bath milk. I love testing new products (it’s my job!) so taking time for myself pampering or even testing out the latest launches is a fun distraction. Never have time for a skincare routine? Take that one evening and treat your skin, it’ll thank you the next morning.
In writing this post, I’ve checked my phone three, ok five times so I’m off to follow my own ideas.
Whilst browsing through Amazon, I came across their new own brand of make-up ‘find’.
Amazon have launched their own colour cosmetics range under its find. fashion brand, with four categories, eyes, face, lips and nails. The range comes in bundles that include products such as; an eyeshadow trio, volumizing mascara, eyeliners, highlighters, bronzers and lots of lip bundles.
I decided to put it to the test and these are my first impressions of Amazon’s own brand of make-up.
Is it any good? Does it blend? Would I buy it again? and the unbelievable packaging.
I’ve always struggled finding a foundation that works for me and it wasn’t until I used and still use Guerlain’s Lingerie De Peau Aqua Nude foundation that I felt like I finally found one of the best matches for my dehydrated skin. Guerlain have just launched a brand new foundation, L’Essentiel and after the success I had with the previous I was very keen to try this out.
L’Essentiel is composed of 97% natural origin derived ingredients to provide skin with a skin-like look and natural glow and it does just that. It is easy to apply with a sponge or with the matching l’essentiel retractable foundation brush, which has been designed to fit in your handbag for easy touch-ups and with bamboo and charcoal brush hairs. So as you can see already this foundation has all the natural ideas in mind. It is also packed with prebiotics and probiotics and protects against pollution, whilst boosting hydration and maintaining the skin’s natural balance.
For a luminous foundation I was very impressed with the coverage, it’s buildable and even with just a small amount I was able to give my skin a smooth appearance. With a lot of foundations I have tried when I build them up they just become too heavy and make my skin have dry patches, but this doesn’t do that and I felt comfortable enough to keep adding more if needed.
The glow for me though and the colour is what I have fallen for, my colour is 2N, which is for neutral undertones and is the same colour I use in Lingerie De Peau Aqua Nude. However the shades are slightly different in this one, but luckily my match was the same shade number in this range. It worked well with my usual make-up and was easy to apply a slight amount of powder on top too. I also found it worked well with one of my favourite primers Guerlain L’Or. Below I’ve also popped on a little of the Météorites Highlighter Duo from the new Spring collection.
The glow is said to last 16 hours and even after a full day out, I can say I have still been glowing. Don’t be put off by the glow thought, it’s very subtle and dewy not greasy looking. There is also SPF 20 in there for added protection.
The bottle has a unique tilted design by Mathieu Lehanneur and Guerlain have focused on sustainability, which is a bit of a hot topic at the moment, in mind when creating this bottle.
I’ve been using this foundation every day since I got my hands on it and I am so impressed, it’s the perfect coverage, gives skin a natural glow, doesn’t cling to dry patches, has skincare benefits and I’ve had many compliments on my skin since using it.
Guerlain L’Essentiel Natural Glow Foundation is £44 and available in 30 shades now.
I think we are all in need of a touch of Spring and the InterContinental London – The O2 has the perfect early Spring afternoon tea to just give us that.
Situated on the Greenwich Peninsula, so very handy if you are attending a concert at the O2 arena, the InterContinental has partnered with Laurent-Perrier and 2017 Great British Bake Off winner Sophie Faldo for this beautiful floral inspired afternoon tea.
Sophie and the hotel’s Executive Pastry Chef, Amit Kumar have worked together to create an afternoon tea menu with seasonal ingredients that reflect Sophie’s personal style. The afternoon tea combines fruity scents with spices and florals.
Danny and I popped down on the weekend to try it out in the Meridian Lounge. I hadn’t been there before and the space is lovely and bright as well as being beautifully decorated.
We started off with a glass of Laurent Perrier Cuvée-Rosé NV each, but you can also opt for the Laurent-Perrier Vintage 2007. I’m a sucker for a rosé so it was an easy choice for me. The tea menu is quite extensive and there was lots of different teas to choose from, I tried Peppermint and also a Rosebud blend later which was so lovely and wasn’t too overpowering, it was a very subtle blend with rose and I would recommend trying it if you like that kind of flavour. Danny had a Bombay Chai and also an Assam tea, so there is plenty choice for all different tastebuds.
Now to the food, the sandwiches were absolutely delicious! Sometimes in afternoon tea I’m not a fan of a few but I really enjoyed them all. The chicken tarragon with sweetcorn, ketchup on caraway bread was my favourite and we were asked if we wanted anymore, to which I of course couldn’t resist. There is a varied selection of sandwiches including; smoked salmon pinwheel with lemon créme fraîche and dill and a BBQ pulled pork jack fruit on a mini brioche bun, which I’ve never seen before in an afternoon tea and thought it was a really nice addition.
Following the sandwiches was a selection of scones and cakes. The scones are plain or Persian tea spiced with strawberry and Champagne preserve and Cornish clotted cream. They arrived warm, fresh and equally as delicious as the sandwiches.
The cakes are presented on a globe and you have five different variations. You can really see the attention to detail with these, Sophie’s initials on the chocolate and praline miniature, the touch of floral on the rhubarb and rose and thyme baba, as well as the printed white chocolate on the pineapple, coconut and lemongrass verrine. My favourite of the cakes was the petit mandarin, it was so light and well presented, just really enjoyable.
Throughout we were very well looked after by our waitress Catalina, service to me is something that is as important as the actual food, I think it makes such a difference. You can have the best food in the world but if the service isn’t up to par it really doesn’t make me want to go back. Our service was amazing and exactly what you would expect from a five-star hotel, which made our afternoon all that more enjoyable.
We both enjoyed the afternoon tea and it is a perfect pairing with Laurent-Perrier and Sophie Faldo, I would highly recommend booking before it ends. Laurent-Perrier Spring Tea with Sophie Faldo at InterContinental London – The O2 runs until 31st March and is priced at £37 per person, or £51 to add a glass of Laurent-Perrier champagne.
Is there ever a better time than the start of a new year to look after your skin?
Here are the top 5 skincare trends to watch out for this year.
When I think of cryotherapy I think of whipping off my clothes and jumping in a cold ice tank for an unbearable few minutes, of course I have never ever done this but that’s what comes to mind. Lucky for us, now you can comfortably treat your skin at home with the help of a new tool from 001 skincare, the ice therapy CRYOpress beauty roller is designed to encourage more oxygen to the epidermis to eliminate toxins, brighten the complexion and tighten skin to add definition to the jaw line and brow area as well as reduce sagging. You just keep it in the freezer and then roll it over your face for about 15 minutes. I was pleasantly surprised by this gadget, my face instantly feels refreshed which is great when I’m feeling tired and my skin feels tighter.
The popularity for more organic, natural and vegan products will continue into this year. However the clean beauty mindset I think will be what leads the way. It’s hard to determine if a product fits into ‘clean beauty’, as you just never quite know what is in some products. Clean beauty is products that have no toxic chemicals, so for example parabens, sulfates and even a fragrance. One brand I’ve enjoyed using recently on the more natural end is Evolve Beauty, the Gentle Cleansing Melt is great for taking off make-up and you will love the Radiant Glow Mask, which I call the chocolate mask as it smells just like chocolate, it’s hard not to eat it! I also like the Miracle Mask which has glycolic acid from sugar cane and leaves my skin super soft and smooth.
One other thing to notice is brands becoming more aware and using less plastic, such as Simple who have already started to switch-up their packaging with squeeze pouches and biodegradable wipes.
Prebiotic skincare isn’t new, but this year I think there will be a big surge in brands bringing out products with the added benefit of prebiotics or labelled as such. Murad have just launched in the States their new line of prebiotic skincare which includes a multi-mist and multi-cleanser. So what benefit do prebiotics have? In short terms, they help feed your skin good bacteria, so for instance the cleanser will clean the skin, but not strip it of the good bacteria. Which when double-cleansing many of us can be guilty of stripping it away. I can’t wait for these products to hit the UK.
I love my beauty tools, one of my favourite massage rollers is from Nurse Jamie and I am keen to try out the latest technologies when it comes to beauty gadgets. I have always been an advocate of LED light ever since I first tried it when having an in-salon facial and it helped clear up the eczema on my face. This year I see it becoming more available for home use.
Dr Dennis Gross have the DRx SpectraLite EyeCare Pro which uses LED light to help reduce lines and wrinkles around the eye area, but also at the back-end of last year they launched the DRx SpectraLite FaceWare Pro, a full mask you can pop on at home and enjoy the benefits of both red and blue light, which is great for collagen renewal and blue for acne sufferers. I am yet to try either and they are pretty pricey, but I think the long-term effects could be worth the investment.
CANNABIS OIL (CBD)
Last year I dabbled in CBD oil skincare and tried out the MGC Derma CBD Hyaluronic and Stem Cells Facial Serum, I haven’t used it quite enough yet to form an opinion but ever since I’ve seen more and more products pop-up. Most recently a product just launched in America, the Peter Thomas Roth Green Releaf Calming Face Oil with Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil to help reduce redness and flaky skin. It is currently exclusive to Sephora.com, unfortunately in the UK we still can’t access the USA site due to GDPR, so we may have to wait and see if it launches over here. However I am sure we will see more products like this emerge soon.
Amsterdam was never somewhere I had on my list of places to visit, but being so close to London I figured it was time to see what all the fuss was about and I am so glad I did. We took a quick plane ride over for a few days and I absolutely loved it. To be honest I wasn’t sure what to expect, when you think of Amsterdam you could think of cannabis and of course the Red Light District, but what I found was great food, culture and so much more.
We managed to see quite a lot in just three short days as I wanted to make sure we made the most of our trip.
So I thought I’d share what we go up to on our city break in Amsterdam.
WHERE WE ATE
Eating is always top priority on a trip for me, I want to not just try the best restaurants but also food I’ve never tried before. A well-known Dutch snack is bitterballen, which are best described as a beef meatball, but I would say more of a croquette. They have a meat filling and are fried on the outside and are just delicious. I am so glad I got to try these, but now find myself craving them, so I’m also sad at the same time.
Here a few places we ate at and discovered on our time in Amsterdam.
I’d sourced Ted’s out from Instagram and it was brilliant. We went here for breakfast and there was loads to choose from, I had egg and soldiers and Danny had pancakes with Nutella and banana. We sat outside as it was still relatively warm, the street reminded me of the nicer streets in New York and it was a great quiet spot for breakfast. Albeit the wasps who also wanted my breakfast! So maybe sit inside during the warmer months.
Another Instagram spot, we went here for a drink and I of course had to have a freakshake which is a meal in itself. It comes with a doughnut, so no need for an additional cake and as you can see, everything else you can think of. Nope I couldn’t finish it!
This was a great casual bar where we stopped for lunch, we had pizza and bitterballen, the food was really good and inside was lovely and bright.
Sister venue to the famous Vlaams Friteshuis who are known for their fries with sauces. The restaurant serves rotisserie chicken which was delicious along with the fries from Vlaams Friteshuis. It was super quiet when we went here (aka the only people in there) which I’m not sure why, but none the less we enjoyed it on our first evening for a quick meal.
Lotti’s (Hoxton Hotel)
Lotti’s is the restaurant inside the Hoxton Hotel and they serve classic dishes. I had fish and chips and was an easy spot for dinner, similar to the Hoxton hotel in London.
De Bijenkorf Rooftop Bar
This was an unplanned visit, we decided to get a drink and a cake when shopping here and were surprised to find a great rooftop bar and restaurant.
Cafe De Prins
This is sort of an old school pub/cafe and served delicious ham and cheese toasties. You can sit outside and just watch the world go by.
I’d researched some cocktail bars to go to, however we ended up in our own hotel bar and just didn’t have time for the others. The ones I wanted to check out were Skylounge, the Pulitzer Hotel Bar and Hiding In Plain Sight.
WHAT WE DID
I had a few places I wanted to visit, but we mainly just walked around and got a feel for the place, it’s so easy to walk everywhere or take a bike and they also have Uber as well.
The A’DAM Lookout is a 360 degree look-out point across Amsterdam and also has a swing ride which you can swing from the top if your brave enough – I was not. It was really great to get a look out over the City, I love my viewpoints, I seem to locate one in every City I visit. From the moment I stepped in the elevator, which has its own music and lights show, I knew it was worth taking the ferry over the water for. To get there take the free ferry from Amsterdam Central Station, it’s one stop and is a short walk away.
What I loved about this was you can book a ticket for a day not a time and you can even change it online, we swapped days as we thought it was going to rain on the day we had a ticket for, turns out it was a sunnier day, but never mind we were glad we visited in the evening. As we went in the evening we actually had drinks in the bar and more bitterballen, it was nice to see Amsterdam in the light and then dark.
I wanted to visit the MOCO Museum as they had a Banksy exhibition running. There are three floors of Banksy’s famous works including one of the most recognisable Girl With Balloon. There is also a floor dedicated to Icy & Sot’s works and a Roy Lichtenstein 3D interior room, which was super cool and I just had to get a picture in. Outside in the garden there are works from Kaws, Dali and more Banksy including the Heartboy mural. If you like modern and contemporary art, this would be worth a visit.
Museum of Bags & Purses (Tassen Museum)
If you love fashion and handbags as much as me, then is quite an interesting museum. Over various floors is a private collection of handbags from designer to vintage pieces, with over 400 handbags dating back to the Middle Ages. I enjoyed looking at the history of these and seeing the development from various designers.
Flower Market (Bloemenmarkt)
The flower market has all types of flowers, bulbs and cute gifts and floats along the water – don’t worry it’s tied down so it won’t be going anywhere, definitely worth a look.
Red Light District
We took a walk down here in the evening, but to be honest it was just a bit like Soho and wasn’t anything that shocking, kind of what you would expect really.
Things I wish we’d had time for Rijksmuseum, Anne Frank Museum (was fully booked so we weren’t able to go) and a boat tour.
WHERE TO SHOP
9 Streets (De Negen Straatjes)
This neighbourhood of Amsterdam has 9 streets, hence the name. Filled with shops, cafes and restaurants it’s the perfect area to just wander around.
This is where you will find all the designer shops, think of it as the equivalent to Bond Street in London.
Is a department store based in Dam square, sort of like a Selfridges. Inside is filled with designer goods all laid out rather nicely. I really liked this store and enjoyed the rooftop bar too.
This shopping centre was not far from our hotel, we stayed at Kimpton de Witt which was in a great central location and also near Dam Square where you will find the De Bijenkorf department store. Inside Magna Plaza are a few shops like MANGO and also a shop The Cool Collective I’d never heard of before which was quite cool.