Category Archives: Photography

Tuscany Holiday Photo Diary

Hello! Had my first day back at the office today, after a week off, and was a bit of a shock to the system. Definitely wished I was still on holiday instead of working my way through hundreds of emails. Anyway as promised here a quick post with some snaps from my holiday in Tuscany with my parents last week. All photos were taken on my iPhone because silly me packed the wrong camera charger.Which was rather annoying since I had sacrificed about 2kg for my DSLR + lenses in my 10kg allowed bag and now wasn’t even able to use it all holiday. Anyway still got some good photos on my iPhone and this is a little selection (more can be seen on my Instagram account)

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Arrived in Pisa on Friday evening where my parents collected me from the airport. We walked around the city, saw the famous leaning tower, and grabbed a bite to eat while watching the Netherlands destroy Spain (5-1) in the World Cup. Olé, Olé, Olé!! // The next day we drove to Lucca which is a lovely small city just north of Pisa. Great little boutique shops, squares and the pretty Piazza dell’Anfiteatro.

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In Lucca we also climbed the Torre Guinigi, which is the most famous tower in Lucca because of its small garden on the top // Oh and also the view over Lucca is rather impressive! // From Lucca we drove through the stunning Tuscan country side to our apartment in Montaione // We’d booked a quaint 2 bedroom apartment in an old tuscan farmhouse (link) via AirBnB and when we arrived we celebrated our arrival by having a wine in the sun from their own vineyard!

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Sunday was Father’s day so I cooked breakfast for my dad (and mum) which we enjoyed outside in the terrace. I made italian ‘baked’ eggs – on the stove because the apartment didn’t have an oven – and it was delicious, if I may say so myself ;) Want to see the recipe on the blog? // Then we headed off to Siena and explored this city all day. The Siena Cathedral (Italian: Duomo di Siena) is a medieval church in Siena, and even though I have seen many Cathedrals in my lifetime – this one is rather impressive! // The black & white marble stripes are so striking // We also climbed to the top of the Duomo Nuovo which gives you a breathtaking view over the city. A bit of a climb but very much worth it!

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Loved the mosaic floors in the Piccolomini Library in Siena //  Piazza del Campo is in the historic center of Siena and is regarded as one of Europe’s greatest medieval squares. This photo is looking up at the famous  Torre del Mangia near the square // We feasted on a late lunch of meats and cheese (with wine) at Antica Pizzicheria al Palazzo della Chigiana (Via di Citta 93) which is a super busy atmospheric deli with prosciutto haunches, sausages and hot peppers hanging from the ceiling. There’s no seating but you can order a selection of food and you can stand outside the deli drinking your wine and eating the absolutely delicious cheeses and meats. Definitely a foodie highlight of the trip // Driving past the little towns of Panzano and Greve one day in the Chianti region.

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Day trip to Volterra // Loved the black & white striped walls on the main Piazza  by the Cathedral // If you are a Twilight fan, you probably recognise this town as where the Volturi live. Interesting fact however is that for the film New Moon, the Volterra scenes were actually filmed in Montepulciano, Italy. The biggest problem the people of Volterra had with Stephenie’s book was the fact that Bella ran through a fountain to get to Edward when there isn’t one in the actual main square of city; the producers had to build one in the center of the filming location. // An italian dinner cooked at the apartment, fresh spinach and ricotta ravioli with basil pesto and fresh mozzarella. So simple but so delicious!

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Visiting San Gimignano which is a small walled medieval hill town in the province of Siena. Known as the Town of Fine Towers, San Gimignano is famous for its medieval architecture, unique in the preservation of about a dozen of its tower houses, which, with its hilltop setting and encircling walls form “an unforgettable skyline” // We enjoyed a (must-have) gelato from Gelateria di Piazza” by Sergio Dondoli who is world famous for his award winning ice-cream. And it definitely was tasty and gone in seconds // What do to when sheltering from a massive rain and thunder storm while out exploring San Gimignano? Take a family selfie of course ;) We didn’t let the weather rain on our parade haha! // Another home cooked italian dinner – fresh linguine with sausages in tomato sauce – I will feature this easy recipe on the blog soon! 

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On our second to last days it was a beautiful sunny day so we decided to just have a lazy one and sit in the sun by the pool, read our books and eat delicious food // We had a long lunch in a little town nearby Montaione and cooked anther simple italian dinner at home. Dinner seen here was fresh tortellini with panfried courgette flowers, cherry tomatoes, spinach and lots of pecorino cheese. Yummm. I definitely overloaded on the carbs (and naughty food in general) while in Italy so it’s a bit of a carb and healthy detox for me the next few weeks to try and balance it out a little! // On our last way on way back to Pisa airport we stopped in a little town called San Miniato – how cute are these little umbrellas they had in the streets?

Overall I had such a lovely and relaxing time in Tuscany. The weather wasn’t quite as sunny or hot as I’d hoped but that meant instead of sunbathing by the pool we just did more exploring around the area which was also very fun. Think I can still do with a bit of a beach (tanning) holiday though this summer, so am now looking at booking a week in Turkey in July with one of my best friends. I can’t wait!

Have you been to Tuscany or any of these towns before?

1 Comment | Posted in Instagram, Lifestyle, Photography, Travel

Kings Day Amsterdam 2014

Last weekend it was time again for pretty much my favourite day of the year! Celebrating Kings Day (previously known as Queens Day..) in Amsterdam. Every year, I (being the official ‘Dutchess’) organise a boat for about 35 friends to show them the way we dutchies party on our main national holiday. Even though there is quite a lot of organisation involved in this weekend – I do enjoy it and I love seeing everyone having such an amazing time and sharing the love for my home country.

We were blessed this year with a beautiful sunny day and (in orange – duh!) we partied the day away on the beautiful canals of Amsterdam. Here some fun photos from the amazing day that was our Kings Day Amsterdam 2014!

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It seriously is the BEST day of the year and I think my friends now agree with me! Have you been to Amsterdam or experienced the fun orange madness on Kings /Queens Day before? I totally recommend it….

Leave a comment | Posted in Festival, Lifestyle, My life, Netherlands, Photography

Weekend Scenes

I had my parents visiting me in London this weekend so here are a few pictures from my Instagram to show you what we got up to! They arrived Saturday morning so of course, the first thing I had to do was cook them brunch at ‘cafe Roz’ at my new home.

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My home-cooked Shakshuka brunch for mum & dad. I love this spiced tomato egg dish and it’s very easy. Watch this space for the recipe // Going for a big walk exploring (and getting a little lost) in Hampstead Heath // Kenwood House in Hampstead Heath // Enjoying some tea and cakes at the cafe at Kenwood House in the park before walking back home.

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Ready for dinner out in Notting Hill, wearing striped top from Oasis (now on sale -link!) with leather pencil skirt from ZARA // Beautiful decor and lighting at the Dock Kitchen // The Dock Kitchen by Stevie Parle is a great restaurant overlooking the Grand Union Canal in Ladbroke Grove, West London. The food was delicious and we had a lovely evening. Review and more photos to follow!

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I’d heard about a Sunday’s Farmers Market in Queens Park (which is just around the corner from my house) so this weekend I decided to explore it with my parents.  Like father, like daughter; we both share a of love food so all the fresh produce and market stalls was a treat and great way to start the day! Mum and dad had coffee with fresh croissants for breakfast and I couldn’t resist a slightly naughtier breakfast roll with egg and a venison sausage from the Picks Organic Farm stall. Nom nom :)  The Queens Park Farmers Market is on every Sunday from 10am – 2pm. More information HERE.

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On Sunday the annual famous Boat Race was on between Cambridge and Oxford. Seeing my mum is a keen rower she was rather excited to check out this race on the Thames // We headed out to Putney, stocked up on some freshly popped popcorn and drinks and secured our spot along the river to cheer on the rowers. The weather was quite windy and a bit rainy but it was great fun to see the all the excitement and many people celebrating such a big event.

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After being outside for most of the afternoon we could do with some warming up, so the best way to do this was to going to a cosy pub for a Sunday Roast! We went to one of my favourite pubs in Notting Hill/Kensington which is the Windsor Castle. Their roast is always top-notch and their sticky toffee pudding…..YUM! // On Monday, I unfortunately had to go to work but mum & dad continued to explore  around London and checked out the National Gallery to see the Veronese exhibition – which they said was beautiful // We reunited again in the evening for dinner at Ottolenghi in Islington. Me & dad are both a little bit Ottolenghi obsessed so it was amazing to go to his flagship restaurant in London for dinner together. Of course a full (picture heavy) review filled with plenty of foodporn to follow!

What a great family & food filled weekend!

1 Comment | Posted in Instagram, Lifestyle, London, Photography

A weekend in Jersey

Last weekend I went to Jersey (one of the Channel Islands) for one of my friend’s 30th birthday celebration. A group of about 30 of us all took the super speedy (40min) flight from London to Jersey for a weekend of food, drinks and good times!

On the Friday night we had a group welcome dinner at Pizza Express in St Brelade Bay which offers stunning views over the beach. Lots of pizza, lots of wine and great company made for a fantastic start to the weekend. On the Saturday (all feeling a little worse for wear after staying up dancing too late at our apartments) we ventured out to Plemont Beach for lunch and a walk along the beautiful beach. Here some photos from that day.

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Jeans by ASOS (link) // Striped knit by Vera Moda // Coat by ZARA
Converse sneakers (link) // Mirrored sunglasses as seen here

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Even though the beach had many warning sides saying ‘watch out for the incoming tide’ we still got massively caught out by the rapid incoming water! We got stuck on the rocks and had to climb our way back to the cafe which was pretty funny.

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All feeling a bit giggly and relieved that we didn’t get swept away by the sea, we got some bottles of rose at the cafe and enjoyed birthday cake while soaking up the wonderful (winter) sun. Feeling very happy and relaxed we then headed over to La Corbière (the extreme south-western point of Jersey in St Brelade) to see the beautiful sunset over the lighthouse.

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It was such a fantastic day! But oh no, it didn’t end there – we then all got dressed up for dinner at the Crab Shack and partied into the wee hours of the morning to celebrate my friends birthday. You can see some pictures of the night if you follow me on Instagram @dutchessroz, but I really didn’t take many photos because I always find the best nights are when you are having too much fun to take pictures! Do you agree?

On Sunday morning we all slept in and then walked to St Aubin for lunch overlooking the harbour at The Boathouse. I surprised the birthday girl with some Slutty Brownies (recipe here) that I’d quickly whipped up that morning in the apartment (possibly still in a slight drunken state haha) but these brownies are pretty fail-proof (and SUPER delicious I might add) so they were a big hit with everyone.

All feeling tired and full we got on our planes back to London, maybe feeling not quite so ready for work and wishing we could have stayed in Jersey. I had the best time and thought Jersey was really beautiful and can’t wait to go back for another visit in summer. Because flights are pretty cheap and quick it makes for a lovely weekend destination from London. Have you been to Jersey before?

Leave a comment | Posted in Lifestyle, Photography, Travel

Christmas Day Scenes

I hope you´ve all had a wonderful Christmas? I am back in London again after 5 days in the Netherlands to spend the holidays with my family. What I did during that time? Well, a bit of sleeping in, cooking, eating (lots and lots of eating), spending quality time my with family, walking on the beach, watching movies, blogging and generally just taking a bit of a break. It was lovely and just what I needed! Here are some photos from my Christmas Day at home.

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As you can see lots and lots of delicious food and this continued almost every day while I was at home. I will feature some of these (delicious) cooking and baking recipes on the blog over the next few weeks, so watch this space! However after all this indulgent eating and drinking over the last few months, it means a health-kick is definitely needed in the New Year. So I have decided that in in January I am going to take part in Dry January. Yes that’s right, not a drop of alcohol for 31 days! But first……….New Years Eve!

I am not in London for long because tomorrow I am off to Wales for 3 nights to ring in 2014 in a castle. Yes, you read that correctly, a castle! Me and 11 friends have rented our very own 6 bedroom castle in Wales to celebrate New Years Eve and there will plenty more good food, drinks and fun and games to had. Very much looking forward to finish 2013 with one last blow-out haha! Have you got something fun planned for NYE?

See you in 2014!

4 Comments | Posted in Holidays, Lifestyle, My life, Photography