Browsing Tag

Travel

Posted on September 24, 2015

Highlights Florida, Part 1

Featured/ Rebel/ Travel

IMG_5974

Welcome to Florida! In the past few months, I’ve worked like a slave so I was more than ready for some holiday and down time.  Longingly,  I‘ve been looking forward longingly to a bit over two weeks of vacation. Florida is known for it’s endless beaches with sand like icing sugar, tasty seafood, spectacular sunsets and  shopping.

Florida_Beach

The sun and surf makes you forget the grinding boredom of everyday life and the bad weather back home. 

Florida_Fishing_Pier

What more do you want – Beach, sun an incredible blue sky, perusing USA Elle and an Organic Beach Cafe (in Lauderdale by the Sea Beach) just next door.

Florida_Beachstyle

Easy peasy Beachstyle – Skirt by Tommy Hilfiger, Shirt by H&M, Bag from TK Maxx.

Stay tuned for more post’s about my vacation in Sunshine Florida!

IMG_4964

Posted on September 6, 2015

Berlin’s Strawberry Adventure

Berlin/ Featured/ Travel

Karl's Strawberry Farm near Berlin Street style gingham
If you’ve ever been to Germany during strawberry season, you will have noticed the über-cute wooden strawberry huts selling fresh organic German strawberries and home made jams. In Berlin alone, the huts provide 60,000 customers with delicious berries each DAY!

What once started as a humble strawberry farm is now a thriving diverse and sustainable business.

“Karl’s” owns over 6 big adventure farms across Germany, where children can drive tractors, get lost in a maze field, marvel at grazing European bisons or shoot down a slide on potato sacks.

I knew this sounded like the kind of fun Mr Romantique, a child at heart, would love! So last weekend, on a stinking hot summer day, we drove to the farm, just a short drive from the centre of Berlin.

Strawberry hut Karl's strawberry Farm near Berlin

Whilst the kids can run themselves ragged in the wonderful themed play areas, adults can lose themselves in the main hall; a rustic themed market place offering a range of delicious bio food, all containing strawberries of course! The seductive scent of cooked strawberries wafts through the air, bathtubs full of the superfood are made into jam (jelly for our American friends) right in front of your eyes. You can also learn to make your own jam, soap, bread and sweets.
Karl’s own organic bakery offers delicious bread and cakes that ooze natural goodness and are completely free of preservatives.

Strawberry jam Karl's strawberry farm near Berlin

Strawberry jam Karl's strawberry farm near Berlin

Can’t get enough of the antioxidant berry? Then you’ll love the homemade strawberry beer, strawberry gelato, strawberry wine, strawberry pasta, even strawberry Prosecco! Entry to the giant farm and most of the main attractions is free of charge; you only pay for a couple o the attractions, the food and other yummy goods sold in the main arena. I bought two big jars of fresh plum jam, apple juice and strawberry-rhubarb jam.

30,000 teapots Karl's strawberry farm near Berlin

The market hall walls are plastered with the worlds biggest collection of tea pots, 30,000 to be precise. Most of them are donated by customers.

Karl's strawberry farm near Berlin

Most of Karl’s attractions and interior design is made of recycled materials. The German word for jam is, confusingly, “marmelade”.

Street style Berlin gingham pink and sicily coffa bag

I’m wearing:

  • Pink gingham blouse by Gant (it’s a strawberry farm, I had to!)
  • Blue shorts by Moschino
  • Sandals by AGL Attilio Giusti Leombruni
  • Pink sunglasses by Celine
  • Embellished Coffa straw bag by Sicily Bag
Mr Romantique strawberry farm near Berlin

Mr Romantique and the strawberry farm mascot.

Posted on August 5, 2015

Egadi Islands, Sicily: Back to the 50s Dolce Vita Style

Featured/ Italy/ Romantique

Cala Rossa, Favignana, Egadi Islands

Sicily’s best kept secret? The Egadi (Aegadian) Islands to the west of Sicily are a favourite of the impossibly bronzed Italian tourists. While most foreign travellers flock to the more well-known, chic volcanic Aeolian islands (Stromboli, Lipari et al), the lesser known Isole Egadi are still as unaffected by mass tourism as ever and maintain their sleepy, authentic charm.

The archipelago consists of the islands Favignana, Maritimo and Levante, reachable within 30 min by speed boat from Trapani.

Trapani Speed boat Egadi islands

Speed boat coming into the port at Trapani

A typical day in Favignana involves swimming in the crystal clear waters, strolling the piazzas and indulging in delicious Sicilian food. The island is small and flat, with cycling the preferred mode of transportation. Bike rental shops are plentiful, particularly near the boat port. Cala Rossa and Cala Azzura are the two most popular swimming spots – both boasting stunning, Caribbean-like water hues ranging from bright turquoise to deep dark blue.

Fitting right in with the 50s vibe of the island: I'm wearing a Vichy gingham playsuit and comfy Superga shoes.

Fitting right in with the 50s vibe of the island: I’m wearing a Vichy gingham playsuit by Max Mara and comfy Superga shoes.

The picturesque old town of Favignana gives off the impression that time has stood still since the 50s; men chatting in groups, women knitting on chairs outside their houses, kids playing excitedly in the narrow alleys. Enjoy a coffee and granita in the main square – Piazza Europa. For lunch, head to one of the beachside restaurants (we loved Lido Burrone) to savour the local specialities such as cous cous and fresh fruit.

The port at Favignana

The port at Favignana

 

Impressions at Favignana

Impressions at Favignana

favignana cala rossa romantique streetstyle max mara

 

 

 

Posted on July 13, 2015

5 reasons to visit Palermo

Cuisine/ Featured/ Italy/ Romantique
The Palazzo dei Normanni in Palermo

The Palazzo dei Normanni in Palermo

1. Food

There are two Italian sayings relating to Sicilian food: “You haven’t eaten lemons until you’ve eaten them in Sicily” and “You haven’t tasted Cannoli until you’ve had one in Palermo.” Sicilian food is richer and even tastier than in the rest of Italy. And Palermo is the capital of Sicilian food. I loved the unassuming Trattoria “Da Pino”, where the owner tells you that he is the menu and where you can choose from a selection of authentic dishes served with a warm smile.

Tip: For good street food, observe where the locals are queuing. Sicilians are very fussy with food and only accept the freshest ingredients.

Da Pino Trattoria Palermo

spaghetti sardines sicilian Trattoria Da Pino

2. Magic of forgotten splendour

Palermo is a captivating city of glaring contradictions: Spotlessly restored grand palaces stand side by side with dilapidated historic buildings, quietly crumbling away.

Sicily’s history is endless, there isn’t a single dominant culture that hasn’t left some indelible mark on the strategically located Mediterranean island: Greeks, Romans, German tribes, Arabs, just to name a few. Sicily is struggling with the upkeep of all these edifices: 228 buildings are in an alarming state and locals are calling for a governmental intervention to help maintaining Palermo’s “Centro Storico”. When you stroll through Palermo’s markets and squares, you can almost hear the stories of forgotten grandeur, battles for dominance whispering from the Unesco heritage sites.

The Fontana de la Vergogna in Palermo means Fountain of shame because a lot of it's marble nymphs are naked. An extraordinary piece of art.

The Fontana de la Vergogna in Palermo means Fountain of shame because a lot of it’s marble nymphs are naked. An extraordinary piece of art.

A thrown out sofa in Palermo centro

3. Shopping

Via Roma and Via Ruggero Setimo are Palermo’s main and most elegant shopping streets. A sheer endless boulevard of high-end fashion stores exhibiting the crème de la crème of powerful Italian fashion houses. Mid-priced fashion brands such as Max & Co are cheaper in Sicily than in the rest of Italy. You’ll also find precious jewellery and enchanting little book and craft stores which don’t belong to big retail chains.

My favourite shop in Palermo!

My favourite shop in Palermo!

4. Beaches!

Just 15 min from the historic centre, Mondello beach invites the exhausted city traveller to rest and relax on the sandy white beach whilst enjoying one of Palermo’s best seafood restaurants.

Mondello Beach Palermo

5. Independant Hotels and B&Bs

Palermo boasts Sicily’s best independent boutique Hotels and B&Bs. Our charming B&B in Richard Wagner Street, near Via Roma in the Centro Storico, was the highlight of the trip. Central but quiet, with tastefully decorated bedrooms, a huge terrace overlooking Palermo and a fantastic host serving breakfast on the private terrace, replete with home-made jams. Living la Dolce Vita! Inbox me for the name and details if you’re interested to stay there (don’t want to give away that little gem)!

Palermo B&B Richard Wagner

Palermo Road

Posted on July 10, 2015

Sicily’s Hidden Jewel – Cefalu

Featured/ Italy/ Romantique

I heart Sicilia sign

Last year, we spent our holiday in Sicily’s East (Taormina and Messina) . We decided that this island is so rich in culture and things to see, that we needed to return! Just like last summer,  Sicily impressed us in all it’s decadent opulence, mouth watering but rather heavy cuisine and it’s blend of rich Arab, Spanish, Byzantine, Greek and Norman culture.

First up on our little road trip was Cefalu. A charming historic fishing town offering all ingredients to a quintessential Italian holiday: Gelato coloured houses, medieval alleys, stunning historic places,  beautiful beaches and plenty of sunshine! End of June is an ideal time to go: Italian holiday season has not started yet so the town isn’t overrun with tourists!  The weather is warm and sunny without being unbearable. The town is relatively small, so if you travel around, you may find that 3 days are more than enough to explore this little gem.

Highlights:

Romantique and Rebel, Cefalu, Sicily

Towering over the town is the Duomo, a Norman cathedral built in 1131. Inside, you’ll find lovingly decorated mosaics crafted by Byzantine artists.

Cefalu street style romantique

I’m wearing shorts by Gap, jumper by Antoni & Alison, shoes by Superga and little brown crossbody bag by Moschino.

A rocky path winds along the shore below the city’s sea facing walls, and it is quite an adventure to clamber along and explore!

Cefalu panorama

Picturesque Cefalu is a 1.5 car ride away from Palermo.

Romantique Cefalu

The long stretch of sandy beach paired with the centro storico just a stone throw away make Cefalu a must-see in Sicily!

Byzantine mosaic cefaul

Byzantine mosaic in Cefalu. The tiny squares, which are crafted in a painstaking process, are a stunning example of Sicily’s Norman-Arab-Byzantine style.

Little square in Cefalu

Little square in Cefalu’s historic centre. Perfect for sipping on a caffè macchiato whilst watching the world go by.

 

Posted on April 12, 2015

A Weekend in Berlin

Berlin/ Featured/ Romantique

Berlin CHarlottenburg Palace

Last Easter weekend, Mr Romantique and I flew to Berlin to chase the Easter bunny and spend time with my  family.

We re-visited my favourite sights of Berlin as well as exploring new areas Mr Romantique has not seen yet.

Here’s a list of our Top 5  favourite places from this trip:

1. Charlottenburg Palace (above)

If you love baroque Roccoco style, this palace is for you. The stunning interior and the beautiful palace gardens are a must-see for culture vultures.

Street Style Berlin Gendarmenmarkt

2. Gendarmenmarkt

Dubbed as the most beautiful square in Europe, this is my favourite corner of Berlin. Enjoy a coffee in the sun or visit the  Galeries Lafayette for your French culture and shopping fix on a rainy day.

Berlin French Dome Gendarmenmarkt Street Style

The “Konzerthaus” and the French Dome at Gendarmenmarkt

3. Lustgarten and Berlin Cathedral 

The Berlin Cathedral is located on the Museums Island. It’s gardens (Lustgarten) are perfect for a stroll, all within walking distance to Berlin’s most impressive sights such as the Museum Island, Opera, Humboldt University and more.

Berlin Cathedral Street Style

4. Kreuzberg, Bergmannstrasse 

The Bergmannstrasse is a charming neighbour hood. In summer until late at night, it’s brimming with people frequenting the countless outdoor restaurants and cafes, giving the area a real Mediterranean flair. Indulge in any cuisine imaginable ranging from Thai, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Indian, Vietnamese, Turkish to Greek and many more. We loved our meal at the Kreuzberg institution “Knofi”. Turkish food at its best!

Knofi restaurant berlin kreuzberg

Mmm, Kofi’s counter filled with Turkish specialities.

5. Checkpoint Schoki & Rausch Chocolate Cafe, Gendarmenmarkt

Germany is second in the world (just slightly behind Switzerland) when it comes to the highest annual chocolate consumption. Along with Swiss and Belgian chocolate, it ranks as the finest in the world.

Therefore, a visit to these two chocolate shops is a must:

Checkpoint Schoki is the Rittersport chocolate destination extraordinaire. The family owned brand offers a multitude of  flavours  (I recommend “Ice coffee” and “Honey salted almond” chocolate). Create your own chocolate with hundreds of different ingredients and toppings.

Rausch chocolate Cafe: Berlin’s most iconic sights sculptured in chocolate – for this fact alone, Rausch is worth the visit. Enjoy a hot chocolate whilst taking in the beautiful views of the French dome on the second floor, above the exhibition and shopping level.

Berlin wall in chocolate Rausch Cafe

Berlin chocolate wall at Rausch Cafe

Customised chocolate at Ritter Sport colourful Schoko World

Customised chocolate at Ritter Sport colourful Schoko World

 

Posted on July 18, 2014

Grecian Silk Dress at Isola Bella

Dresses/ Italy/ Romantique/ Travel

Toarmina Sicily Stefanel Silk Dress

We’ve just returned from a wonderful holiday in Sicily, the volcanic island off the coast of Calabria, with a culture as rich as Canoli!
A full destination review will be coming soon, but bear with me whilst I trawl through the hundreds of photos I took on this beautiful island. In the meantime, let me share my absolute peak-summer must-have item:

The light silk dress. When temperatures climb up and humidity rises, you need a garnment that keeps you cool and isn’t too fitted or clingy. The flowing, luxurious silk is a high-class natural fibre that feels light and free, perfect for hot summer holidays.

I’m wearing a  silk dress with a Grecian-style  embellished necklace applique to glam up the sun dress; perfect to carry me through until sunset apertifs.  I spent whole days at the stunning beach of Isola Bella, situated near glam-glitzy Taormina.  Isola Bella is a natural reserve with stunning views, crystal clear waters and plenty of fish, making it a paradise for snorklers. Beware of the jellyfish (locally known as Medusa)  who got me on the first day! Their sting is harmless (unless you’re allergic) and burns for about 30 minutes. Two weeks later, my skin still bears the signature of the annoying little creature. My Sicilian adventure souvenir!

Romantique’s ‘Best of Sicily’ post is coming soon.  Stay tuned!

I am wearing:

Dress: Stefanel

Sunglasses: Versace

Metallic sandals: AGL Attilio Giusti Leombruni

Isola bella Sicily 2014 Summer

Isola Bella is a tiny island in a beautiful cove.

Taormina Sicily Stefanel Silk Dress

Taormina Sicily Stefanel Silk Dress

 

Posted on January 7, 2014

Return to the Boat House at Palm Beach

Australia/ Decor/ Romantique/ Travel

Boat House Sydney

A year on from my last trip to the lovely restaurant Boat House at Sydney’s Palm Beach, I revisited my favourite must-see destination. The boat house is a  beautifully decorated, relaxing restaurant built on a wooden pier, looking like out of an interior design coffee table book for “Romantic, rustic sea-side Chic”. Palm Beach, situated at Sydney’s north shore, is home to one of Sydney’s most expensive properties. It’s easy to see why: A beautiful drive through thick Sydney rainforest bushland  leads to the most unspoilt sandy beaches typical of Sydney’s North.

A lunch at the boat house is always a special, inspiring treat. Sit back, relax and enjoy the photos of my slice of heaven.

Boat House Palm Beach resized

The owner of the boat house combined their knowledge of interior design and food to create the boat house

The owner of the boat house combined their knowledge of interior design and food to create the boat house

Fresh flowers and fruit – a feast for the eyes!

Romantique on pier of boat house

I am wearing a blue gingham shift dress by Gant. Crossbody bag by Moschino. Metallic sandals by AGL.

Boat House Palm Beach

Fancy a sea plane flight to take in the Northern beaches? Sea planes start from the pier at the boat house.

Fancy a sea plane flight to take in the Northern beaches? Sea planes start from the pier at the boat house.

boat house from pier

Posted on December 29, 2013

Stormy day in Sydney

Australia/ Romantique/ Travel

Bondi Beach Romantique

After a tumultuous departure from London for Sydney and a seven hour delay in  Dubai, I’m happy to be in Sydney at last. The picturesque beaches and bright blue skies more than make up for the 33-hour-flight!

When it comes to fashion, Sydney rocks the style of a very relaxed beach city: During the day, men tend to wear the flip flops, shorts and a washed-out Fresh Jive T-shirt. Women can be seen in tiny sun dresses, wide-brimmed straw hats and sandals. I’m glad Mr Romantique moved away from the generic Sydneysider look and now nails the casual but cool look: Knee length shorts, navy blue polo short and Ray Ban Aviators.  For a stormy day, I’m wearing a red, printed T-shirt from Gianfranco Ferre, a comfy denim skirt from Esprit and my two indispensable Sydney accessories: South African Havaianas for comfort and Ray Ban wayfarers.

Mr Romantique is wearing: Shorts from Tokyo Laundry, polo shirt from Calvin Klein.

Mr Romantique is wearing: Shorts from Tokyo Laundry, polo shirt from Calvin Klein.

View of Bondi Beach from the famous Restaurant and outdoor pool Bondi Iceberg

View of Bondi Beach from the famous Restaurant and outdoor pool Bondi Iceberg

sydney stormy day bondi

Street style Sydney: Printed Shirt from GF Ferre, wayfarers from Ray Ban. South African themed flip flops from Havaianas.

Bondi's Iceberg Outdoor Pool set in the middle of the ocean

Bondi’s Iceberg Outdoor Pool set in the middle of the ocean

 

 

 

 

 

Back to top