Hello! Did you all have a good weekend? I had my sister and her husband visiting me in London on Saturday and Sunday so did some lovely exploring around the city with them. But first on Friday night me and a group of girls kicked off the weekend by checking out the 50 Shades of Grey movie. Seven girls + a few wines + this movie = lots of giggles! Have you seen the film yet & what did you think?
Here a few photos from my weekend scenes in London…
As much as I am quite the city girl, I also really enjoy being outside and being active in the fresh air. One of my new years resolutions was to do more of this in the beautiful English countryside. The U.K. has some incredible national parks (like the Peak or Lake Districts) to visit if you have more time up your sleeve. But I realised to get outdoors and enjoy hiking, walking or ‘rambling’ as the British call it, I didn’t need a whole weekend. It’s easy and super doable to just get an (early) train from London to a cute countryside town about 30-50 minutes out of London, do a hike, enjoy a cosy country pub lunch and get the train back to the City that same Saturday or Sunday.
So I went into organising mode and got a group of friends together last weekend to explore the area around Oxted, which is in Surrey and only was a 36min direct train ride from London Bridge. I found a great selection of hikes on a walking club website and decided on this (link) 19 km circular walk. I rounded everyone up to London Bridge for the 10am train and off we went. It always amazes me how quickly after you leave the city, you are surrounded by lovely green fields, forests and cute small towns. Here some photos from our Sunday walk!
On Saturday I finally made it to the Tower of London to see the impressive ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’ installation! Created by ceramic artist Paul Cummins to remember all the people that sadly were killed in WW1 as this year marks one hundred years since the first full day of Britain’s involvement in the First World War. The installation features 888,246 ceramic poppies and each poppy represents a British military person that died during the war. The installation has been at the London landmark since the 5th of August and nearly four million people are expect to have visited it by 12 November, when it will start getting removed. Here are some photos I took at the Tower of London Remembers..
I am so glad I went to see the Tower of London Remembers installation. It is visually spectacular and good place for personal reflection. The scale of seeing all those poppies really shows the magnitude of such a tragic part of the history of our world.
I kind of think the poppies should stay there longer, if not forever. But as it stand they will be starting to remove them (because they’ve sold all the poppies) on the 12th of November but to allow as many people as possible to see the installation, the poppies will be lit from 04:30 GMT until dawn and then from dusk until midnight. For more information visit http://poppies.hrp.org.uk. For you Londoners, I strongly recommend you go and see this while you still can!
Happy Monday! Today was actually quite an exciting day for me because I started at my new job. It felt a bit like the first day of school, but it was a good day and it flew by. Lots to learn and information to get my head around, but that’s the fun of a new challenge right? As you know I had a bit of time off in between jobs where I went home to the Netherlands and did some fun stuff with friends in London. So I thought I’d share some of my instagram pics with you all that I took during that time…
Flying into Netherlands over the coast. Seeing the beach like that always makes me smile and excited to be going home // A visit to the Japanese Garden with all its gorgeous autumn colours – more photos of my visit to these gardens HERE // Zooming home through the forrest in The Hague with my parents // A day of babysitting my little nephew included cooking dinner – I tried a new Ottolenghi recipe; Cauliflower Cake. It was super simple and delicious. Don’t worry recipe to follow!
“I’ve learned that home isn’t a place, it’s a feeling!” Love that quote and being at home always makes me feel so relaxed, happy and at peace // One day we went for a long (3hr) walk on the beach. It was a pretty windy day and the night before it had stormed so the beach was covered in shells and little crabs // Walks on the beach (no matter what weather really..) is one of my favourite things in the world. It’s totally my happy place – letting the wind blow all the cobwebs away :) // In love with my new snood that I picked up at the HEMA for only €5 (link) – it’s so cosy and love the black and white pattern. A girl can never have too many scarves right?
Biking around The Hague – it’s just the best and easiest way to get around // Dessert I made one night when having dinner at my brother’s house – Cherry Clafoutis, it’s my fail proof dessert recipe! // A stunning autumn day meant time for an early morning run on the beach with my dad // Followed by breakfast made by me. These turkish style eggs were so good and something a bit different – I’ll share my easy recipe in the next few days!
A day in the outdoors. We went hiking in the Meijendel Dunes, which is about a 40min bike ride north of where my parents live in The Hague. It’s a stunning nature reserve coasted area characterised by dynamic water landscapes, pine forests and hundreds of bird species which makes a perfect environment for long walks and bicycle trips // We spotted many wild mushrooms during our walk // After the walk we refuelled with fresh mint tea and real Dutch Apple Pie (appeltaart) A must when in Holland, it’s the best! // Sand sculptures in the city centre of The Hague. Pretty impressive and they’d been there for days too. I was in the city for movie night with my parents. Saw the film ‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’ which I absolutely adored. Such a feel good film. Totally made me smile, warm and fuzzy, want to go to chef’s school and move to France to start a restaurant ;) If you’re, like me, a bit of a foodie then I’d definitely recommend checking out this movie.
Day trip to Antwerp in Belgium. We drove down (as it’s only about 1 1/2 hour from The Hague) and explored the sights around the city. Antwerp has an old town and a more modern area, lots of amazing shopping and cool bars and restaurants // I had a delicious lunch at Felix Pakhuis (link) near the Museum Aan de Stroom (link) which is worth a visit when in Antwerp – even if just going up to the roof, for free, to get an amazing view over the city // When in Belgium….enjoying beers in this cool called “Het Elfde Gebod” which is filled with religious nik-naks and has a large selection of beers on offer // Antwerp Market Square at night!
Last day in Holland and it was a stunning sunny day so meant one last walk on the beach with my parents. Will miss these two again when back in London // Home again in London and out and about in Notting Hill – Wild at Heart on Westbourne Grove is just the most gorgeous flower shop! // Morning walk in autumnal Primrose Hill – a bit rainy but still great to enjoy in the fresh air in such a beautiful royal park.
Some shopping at Bailey Nelson. I may or may not now be the owner of some Cat Eye style sunglasses. Watch this space ;) // Brunch Granger Style. Catching up with a friend at a Notting Hill fave; Granger & Co on Westbourne Grove. His scrambled eggs are still the best I’ve ever tasted //A night out with friends in Brixton Village; pizza pizza pizza! // Followed by more fun times at The Social for their weekly Thursday Hip Hop Karaoke Night. We didn’t actually get on the mic ourselves (duh, we didn’t want to scare the crowd) but had a great time.
It’s been such strange weather in Autumn here in London. The other day it was 23 degrees which is so amazing! I was enjoying it a lot because wasn’t working so the sunshine and being able to dress all summery felt wonderful // Happy Halloween!! Friends of mine hosted a fab Halloween party so I decided to get dressed up as little red riding hood and attempted scary (clawed) makeup. Was (surprisingly) quite happy with the result actually! What did you dress up as for Halloween this year? // The last few days have been a bit colder which meant scarf weather. Picked up this little cosy beauty recently on Portobello Road – it’s a copy of a sold out version from ZARA season ’13 and because I’d always envied anyone that got that ZARA scarf I am stoked that managed to find this one! I love mixing prints at the moment; stripes and tartan, stripes and leopard print – it all goes in my books // Sunday Roast at The Albion in Islington – sharing a roast chicken + girl time. Ahhh life is good :)
Hope you enjoyed my little insta-life-lately post. For more pics you can follow me on instragram @dutchessroz. Also do leave your instagram account in a comment so I can check yours out, because I love finding new inspiring people to follow :)
I arrived back home on Monday morning and because it was a lovely autumn day we decided to make the most of the good weather to visit the Japanese Garden in The Hague. Based in Clingendael Park, the Japanese Gardens are only open to the public twice a year, during spring and autumn; from May to mid June and then again the last two weeks in October.
The Japanese Gardens are pretty magnificent and were actually placed on the list of national historical monuments in 2001. I’d visited the garden years ago in Spring but never before had I seen it in it’s autumn splendour. Here some photos of the gardens, don’t you just love all the autumn colours?
Wearing: Black waxed jeans – ZARA // Burgundy V-Neck Knit – H&M // Camel Coat – MANGO (old) // Grey and silver snood scarf – H&M // Tortoise Wallace Sunglasses – Bailey Nelson // New Balance 420 Burgunday & Grey (Link) Am looooooving my new kicks, they are so perfect for fall and winter and are super comfy!
After visiting the gardens (admission free) we wondered for a bit longer through Clingendael Park to soak up even more autumn beautifullness…
It was a lovely afternoon and am glad we did it that day because it’s pretty much not stopped raining in Holland since that day. Ha but have to say, I still love autumn. Do you?