Category Archives: Travel

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

My New Years Eve 2013

Hope you’ve all had a good first week back to normal life? I have to say it was pretty hard for me to have long days at the office again after having almost 2 weeks off over the holidays! Here some photos of my New Years Eve celebrations in Wales. Me and 11 friends hired out Roch Castle in Roch, Pembrokeshire for 3 nights to ring in 2014.

We arrived on New Years Eve (after a 5 hour train ride from London) and were very excited as we drove through our castle gates because this amazing place would be our home for the next few days! For NYE we all got glammed up (I did ‘Dutchess Roz makeovers’ on the girls) and we enjoyed plenty of champagne, an amazing dinner catered by a local chef, and plenty of dancing & fun into the wee hours of the morning.

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Everyone looked beautiful – it can be so fun to get all dressed up sometimes don’t you think? I wore an old long ZARA dress (as seen here) accessorised with a new statement necklace! Here a better look at my new bit of bling…

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Gloria Luxurious Crystal Choker by Maison Miru £40 (LINK). Ever since I got this necklace I’ve been wearing it so much. It looks great with a simple dress, a cosy jumper or a simple white T-shirt. It brings instant bling factor and glam, love it!

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Such a fantastic night, I couldn’t have wished for a better way to ring in the New Year than spending it with good friends, full of fun times at our very own castle in Wales. Hopefully a great NYE translates into an even better year ahead!!

Did you have a fun NYE and do you like my new statement necklace from Maison Miru?

  
1 Comment | Posted in Jewellery, Lifestyle, My life, Travel

Turkish Breakfast: Best Brunch in Istanbul

Breakfast or brunch is, without a doubt, my favorite meal of the day. Taking part in local breakfast traditions is one of my favourite things to do when I am traveling. Back in November I was in Istanbul for a long weekend, and I can report back that Turkey does breakfast very, very well.

Turkish breakfast is both a meal and an event. In any case, it’s an unmissable experience on any trip to Istanbul. A real Turkish breakfast is nothing short of the ultimate way to start your day! Table spreads cover everything from mountains of cheese, to marinated olives and fresh tomatoes, to delicious honey with clotted cream, to scrambled eggs with sausage, to homemade jams and spreads and lots and lots of bread. And yes, this is all in one sitting! However it’s very good value for money because it costs around £7 a head for a classic breakfast or £15-£40 for an unlimited Sunday brunch (depending on luxury of venue).

I did a bit of research when I was in Istanbul to find the best brunch places in the city and here are my reviews of the 3 places I visited.

Van Kahvalti Evi in Cihangir

This place was highly recommended on many blogs and as my first brunch for my long weekend, it definitely set the bar very high! It turns out that in the town of Van, in the Kurdish eastern part of Turkey, breakfast is a very a big deal.  The town is filled with dozens of kahvaltı salonları – breakfast salons – that serve a huge assortment of farm-fresh breakfast items day and night. This all-day breakfast tradition has now also become a big trend in Istanbul since several Van-style kahvaltı salonları opened up in Istanbul. One of the most popular seems to be Van Kahvaltı Evi (“Van Breakfast House”) in Beyoğlu’s Cihangir neighborhood.

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Getting a little too excited with all the (cheap) breakfast choices on offer, I have to admit I definitely over-ordered at Van Kahvaltı Evi. I got the Classic Kahvalti breakfast platter which is a huge massive plate filled with olives, tomatoes and cucumber, tahini, 5 different local Van-cheeses (including a very tasty one that contained brined wild herbs), nutella, kaymak with Van’s famous honey, a yogurt and dill sauce and a couple more sauces I can’t really remember. This comes with a huge basket of fresh baked bread and unlimited refills of tea. It was all very good but the most delicious part of this breakfast was the plate of honeycomb with kayak which is basically clotted cream! Scooping this up with the warm bread was heavenly.

And then because I also wanted to try Menemen (scrambled eggs cooked with sautéed onions, green peppers and tomato served in the skillet) I got this too! As you can see this all turned out to be a lot of food – because the breakfast platter on its own would easily feed two people and I was just by myself haha! But nothing that broke the bank because this whole feed cost me 26 Turkish Lira which is only £8!

I was here on a weekday but I have been told Van Kahvaltı Evi can get quite busy on the weekends, so come early if you want to get a table. Or, better and easier yet, do like they do in Van and come later in the day to have breakfast for dinner.

Address: Defterdar Yokuşu 52/A, Cihangir, Beyoğlu
Telephone: 212-293-6437

Mangerie in Bebek

On the weekend I finally got to ‘play’ with my friend who was still working the other days I was in Istanbul. So on Saturday morning we ventured to the area of Bebek to Mangerie which was her brunch recommendation. This classy and more european cafe was definitely a different experience to the day before because this French inspired restaurant offer a more modern modern perspective on the traditional Turkish breakfast.

To find the restaurant you have to climb quite a few stairs, but this does mean you get great views of the Bosphorus while you enjoy your breakfast. It was a little chilly to eat outside at this time of the year but in the summer I can imagine that sitting on the rooftop terrace would be fantastic!

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The Mangerie Kahvali (breakfast) is a bit more expensive at 36 Turkish Lira (£9) but again it included about a dozen plates of food. Luckily this time I had my friend to share it all with. The warm sourdough bread was amazing and we even ended up ordering extras of the hazelnut spread and honey!

We also shared the Mangerie version of Menemen which was eggs cooked with green peppers, tomatoes, thyme and mint services over toasted bread. It was very nice but found it a bit of a shame that it came served on top of the bread because this quickly made it soggy.

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After breakfast at Mangerie we were so full that we needed to walk off all those calories and so we strolled along the water for a while in Bebek which was a nice way to finish the morning.

Address: Cevdet Paşa Caddesi 69 Küçükbebek, Bebek, İstanbul
Telephone: 212 263 5199
Web: www.mangeriebebek.com

Çakmak Kahvaltı Salonu, Beşiktaş

When on Sunday morning we made our way to Beşiktaş I realised this neighbourhood is definitely the destination for brunch in Istanbul! TimeOut Istanbul describes Celebioglu Sokak as a street devoted to breakfast, stating that the street “pretty much exists just so that Besiktas residents can eat breakfast”.

Çakmak Kahvaltı Salonu is one of the oldest breakfast places in the area and it is still very popular due to its simple, well priced but extremely satisfying menu of cheeses like old and fresh kaşar, white and Erzincan tulum, as well as olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, honey, kaymak, eggs and the works. There was quite the line outside this cafe (but that’s pretty much the case anywhere on this street) but luckily the wait wasn’t too long before we got a table inside. Expect no luxury here because it is very basic; think plastic menus and simple/cheap furnishings but don’t worry the food speaks for itself!

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Once again it was quite the feast for breakfast. The bread was fresh and warm and a big highlight for me here was their kayak (or clotted cream) drenched in honey! The mememen and sausages cooked in tomatoes also went down a treat! I really liked Çakmak Kahvaltı Salonu because I felt it offered the real local breakfast experience. Due to it’s popularity it’s now a mix of locals and tourists but it’s kept that honest, simple and authentic feel and the food was delicious.

Address: Akmaz Çeşme Sokak 20, Beşiktaş 
Telephone: 0212 227 25 65. 
Breakfast served all day, every day. 

Istanbul I loved you and your brunch! I will definitely be back and might have to check out some of the below places that also come highly recommended.

  • Kiraz Kahvaltı, Köyiçi Caddesi, Şair Leyla Sokak 1/C, Beşiktaş
  • Pando Kaymak, Mumcu Bakkal Sokak 5, Beşiktaş
  • Pişi Breakfast & Burger, Çelebioğlu Sokak 14-16/B, Beşiktaş
  • Kahve6, Anahtar  Sokak 13, Cihangir
  • Smyrna Café, Akarsu Caddesi 29, Cihangir
  • Kale Café, Yahya Kemal Caddesi 16, Rumelihisarı
  • Cookshop, Adnan Saygun Caddesi, across from the Ulus entrance to Akmerkez
  • Four Seasons Hotel on the Bospohrus, Çırağan Cad. No. 28, Beşiktaş
  • House Café Ortakoy, Salhane Sokak No: 1 Ortaköy
  • Lucca, Cevdet Pasa Caddesi 51, Bebek
  • Backyard, Otlukbeli Caddesi, Bebeköy Sok 4, Bebek

Have you been to any of these places or have you ever indulged in a real Turkish Breakfast before?
I definitely think it’s a foodie bucket-list experience!

  
1 Comment | Posted in Brunch, Food, Lifestyle, Restaurants, Travel

Istanbul Photo Diary

This is my photo diary from my time spent in Istanbul, Turkey last weekend. Istanbul has a population of nearly 14 million people so it’s easy to get  lost in this labyrinth of people and traffic madness and it definitely is a modern city with amazing restaurants, shops and trendy night clubs. But then at the same time it is very colourful and full of culture and old traditions. One of the main things I noticed was how modern and friendly the people in Istanbul were. Even though most people didn’t a lot of English, I always felt safe (even walking around alone at night) and the people were nothing but helpful and welcoming! I hope you like my Istanbul photo diary to give you an overview of my days in this dynamic city…

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20131122 000444 Istanbul Photo Diary One of many delicious (huge) Turkish Breakfasts; a separate post will follow about these!

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This is a rather picture heavy post so click here to see the rest! (more…)

  
3 Comments | Posted in Holidays, Lifestyle, Photography, Travel

Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer

Wednesday again already, but the rest of this week won’t be like the usual for me because as I am typing this on my iPad, I am sitting at the airport getting ready to escape the daily grind for a little long weekend away…

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 ”We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” -Anonymous

My destination? ISTANBUL!! One of my best friends has been living between Istanbul and London for the last few months and I thought this was the perfect excuse to book myself a little (well deserved) break to go see her and visit this dynamic city in Turkey.

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These beautiful photos are by Jessica Stein from Tuula Vintage, which is one of my favourite blogs.

I am super excited to spend the next few days exploring Istanbul, shopping the bazaars, taking loads of photos, relaxing for a bit at a traditional Turkish spa, eating different foods and spending quality time with one of my best friends!!

“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.” Happy Hump Day everyone!

  
1 Comment | Posted in Happy Hump Day, Quotes, Travel