Browsing Tag


Posted on August 12, 2013

Romantique’s Wedding Count Down

Decor/ Romantique
Romantique wedding invites

Our wedding invites were supposed to reflect the scale of our wedding: Small, intimate, a bit quirky and full of love! To make these, I created a collage with the iphone app piccollage and had them printed on A5 photo paper.


My wedding is now just 3 weeks away and I’m beyond excited!

We are planning an intimate, civil ceremony with just 12 guests, all family, in a baroque roccoco venue in the heart of Berlin.

Even for a small wedding, things like a wedding cake, table decorations, bouquets, hair and makeup need to be organised.

The Flowers:

For the flower decorations, I was inspired by Margarita Missonis romantic wedding: Her bridal bouquet consisted of pastel coloured flowers mixed in with long grasses to give it a lose, just plucked-from-the field flair. I found an excellent florist in Berlin (Die Grüne Ecke) who makes the most beautiful bouquets (see below). For my wedding, the florist will mix pastel coloured florals and berries in what is called the “open Biedermeier” bouquet. A loose, romantic Missoni style bouquet. Not too stiff and protocol -y.

flowers romantique wedding
As a special touch, I arranged for mini-bouquets to be made up in green&white for the ladies of the wedding to make them feel more part of the event. Not to be forgotten, the men will wear traditional flower pins on their suits.

I loved the pictures of Margherita Missoni's uncoventional and cute wedding

I loved the pictures of Margherita Missoni’s uncoventional wedding. Her wedding bouquet is an open Biedermeier.

The Dress! (and accessories)

I don’t want to share my wedding dress here before Mr Romantique has seen it. However, I can reveal that its a beautiful, romantic dress in which flowers will play a part, just like in Margerita Missoni’s wedding dress. I bought mine from the J Crew bridal collection SS2013.  It also happens to go with the actual room in which we will get married. It’s called the “Rose Room” with the ceiling covered in hand painted roses.

What I can reveal about my hair on the day is that it will be crowned by flowers of the season. I got inspired by Kirsten Dunst, Alexa Chung and Audrey Hepburn

What I can reveal about my hair on the day is that it will be crowned by flowers of the season. I got inspired by Kirsten Dunst, Alexa Chung and Audrey Hepburn

Under the dress….

Something old, new borrowed and blue: The blue part is discreet as part of this understated garter from Fauve: I love the subtle, matching colours and the romantic ruffles.
Underwear is a crucial part of the wedding dress: You want the bra to sit perfectly, without it pinching and moving under your wedding dress. For the occasion, mummy R&R and I visited a proper lingerie store that stocks brands such as Aubade, Marie-Jo, Primadonna and Freya. I almost felt embarassed, having never been fitted for lingerie by a stranger before! My wedding underwear from Marie-Jo sits securely and looks and feels special, to match the occasion.

romantique garter

Table decorations:

I love gingerbread hearts: They are a quintessential German, they look pretty and they are sweet! For my wedding, they will act as place cards with  each guest name written on there  in sugar coating. Thanks to the Bio Ufa bakery in Berlin for customising the hearts for me!

gingerbread name cards wedding

The cutest wedding place cards

The cake:

For our intimate wedding, a conventional, multi-tiered wedding cake  wouldn’t be appropriate. I decided on a one tier heart-shaped cake topped with berries of the season and decorated with an iced edging to pick up on the gingerbread theme.  The cake will then be devoured on a cruise through historic Berlin.

Wedding cake one tier with berries of the season

Watch this space, I can’t wait to share the pictures of our special day.  Coming soon to a wildy popular fashion blog near you!
Boats Tour wedding berlin
Posted on June 12, 2012

Europe’s Silicon Valley: Berlin!

Berlin/ Current Affairs/ Romantique
Call me biased, but for me, Berlin is the coolest city in the world!  And a growing number of tech entrepreneurs will agree that it’s the place to be if you want to transform an idea into a successful company.
Let’s have a look at the reasons why Berlin is the place to be for creative, innovative entrepreneurs.
  • Creative Scene: Berlin has always had a thriving creative scene, combining the established western economies with the emerging talent from Eastern Europe.  It’s historical transformation from the last 20 years and it’s location in the heart of Europe make it a magnet for young, talented immigrants.
  • Alternative touch: Tolerant  Berlin is a home for creative misfits, people who don’t like the rigid social structures of London. Berlin lets creatives focus on  what they can do best: Being creative and networking.
  • Affordability: Berlin offers a high quality of living. Both home and office rents in prime locations, are a fraction of London’s extortionate rates! As an employer, you can chose from a pool of talented people, and offer comparatively lower salaries than what you need to pay in a city like London.
  • Venture capitalists: Traditionally,  German and European  venture capitalists have been more conservative and averse to risk taking when it comes to investing in internet start-ups, compared with their US counterparts. However, as the tech scene has matured, we’ve seen a shift in outlook and venture capitalists realise that stocks and government debt are not safe either.
Skype owner Ashton Kutcher  is often seen in Berlin. He invested in Berlin based start-ups soundcloud, Amen & Gidsy.
Find this article interesting? Read more:

Cafe Sankt Oberholz in Mitte  is a meeting point for Berlin’s tech scene
Posted on January 25, 2012

Quality of Life Index: 7 German speaking cities top the poll

Berlin/ Current Affairs/ Romantique

Each year The Quality of Living Index by consultancy Mercer provides us with an insight on which city in the world is most livable based on 39 criteria.

A whopping 7 cities in German speaking countries (Austria, Switzerland & Germany) topped the Top 10 in 2011.

Having lived in Berlin for most of my life and in the UK for the last 7 years, I can see why the “Germanic” countries provide such a good standard of living.

So here’s the countdown countries number 11 up to 1:

Number 11, Sydney, Australia: A temperate climate (mild winters and warm summers), stunning scenery in and around Sydney, high life expectancy and a low crime rate (thanks to the nanny state) catapult Sydney right to the front.

Number 9: Copenhagen, Denmark beats European cities such as Barcelona, London and Stockholm coming in at number 9. Good work/life balance and the high standards of social welfare such as free education and health care reflects the high rating.

Geneva, Switzerland,  number 8: With a population of only 185,958, Geneva is an international diplomacy hub and it’s citizen enjoy excellent health care and education.

Frankfurt, Germany, number 7: Frankfurt is the “London” of Germany, it’s financial hub and also the home of continental Europe’s biggest airport. It boasts an excellent education system:

Germany has top class state schools and universities which is provided for free. Private schooling is not common in Germany which contributes to an equal society. The exemplary dual education system (combination of apprenticeship and vocational training) enables people to learn 356 occupations (such as oven builder or doctor’s assistant) regulated by national standards. If you study at University, one semester abroad is funded by the government, even pocket money is included in this deal!

Vancouver, Canada, number 6: Canadian cities dominate the top of the ranking for the area North America. Vancouver is a coastal city which has excellent standards of education and health care for North American standards.

Duesseldorf, Germany, number 5: Duesseldorf offers more than 100 temporary art galleries, it is known for it’s fashion and trade fares and like the rest of Germany, benefits from an excellent public service and transportation network: An extended speed train network and tube systems are mostly owned by the government who has the money to spend on modernisation rather than private companies who are solely profit driven.

Excellent health care is a factor that contributes greatly to quality of living:

We don’t think much about it while we’re healthy, but having competent  medical care when you’re sick is most of the crucial aspects of Life. Germany, Austria and Switzerland’s world class health and dental care is law enforced,i.e. the population is legally obliged to pay a relatively  high percentage of their salary (50% contribution from the employer and 50% contribution from the employee) towards medical insurance.

The doctor’s rate per ca pita is high, meaning that access to Medicine is easy and there are no waiting times.

Munich, Germany, number 4: Munich is the capital of Bavaria and Germany’s publishing hub. It exudes a relaxed Italian cafe culture and outdoor culture and the proximity to Italy, Austria,  Switzerland and the Alps make the city an attractive place to live.

Auckland, New Zealand, number 3: Apparently, when flying to New Zealand, stewardesses always make a point of telling you to put the clock back 10 years! Still, Auckland is coming in at an impressive number 3. It’s New Zealand’s most beautiful and biggest city, with a warm temperate climate and an excellent education system. One third of Auckland’s population holds a bachelor degree or higher and they also have over the highest disposable income in New Zealand.

Zuerich, Switzerland, number 2: Last year I visited Zuerich and had a great time. Although it’s a relatively small city (you can walk in 30 minutes from one end to the other), it has a very international feel to it and a Mediterranean flair with it’s beautiful lake surrounded by mountains and excellent Italian outdoor restaurants. And let’s not forget the chocolate and the exquisite gateaux!

Vienna is #1: Home of Mozart, it is Europe’s cultural capital with more than 100 museums, relaxed coffee house culture and 2,000 parks! Vienna also won the 2010 UN urban planning award for improving the living conditions of its residents. Under a multimillion-euro program, the city refurbished more than 5,000 buildings with nearly 250,000 apartments”

Before I went abroad, I didn’t know that things like double glazed windows, central heating systems, solid, noise proof apartment blocks or balconies are not everywhere the norm in Europe.

Central Europe’s big cities are rental cities – i.e. the population rents rather than buys flats  and big block of flats are owned by large corporations with enough budget to maintain the flats and invest in renovation if necessary (as apposed to private landlords). As a house owner, the government subsidises structural renovation and you are given tax breaks, ensuring a modernised standard for housing.

Speaking for Germany, rental prices are reasonable and you do not need to spend most of your salary for rent like in London, New York or Paris. You can get a modern 1 bedroom flat in Berlin Mitte with parquet floors and 10 minutes from the city centre for as little as 500 EUR a month!

My home town Berlin is coming in at number 17. It is the cheapest capital of Europe and while it doesn’t have the economic power of the Southern German cities due to it’s isolation during the cold war, it is now finding it’s place as Germany’s hub for the service industry such as communications, information technology, marketing, and more recently tourism.

Berlin has a fascinating history with it’s troubled past of WW2, cold war and reunification, all of which you can feel when you walk through the city . Stunning architecture ranging from Medieval to Baroque is a feast for eyes. Berlin-Mitte boasts more art galleries than coffee shops and 3 opera houses guarantee no lack of recreational activities. For which Germans have lots of time with an average of 30 annual leave days plus up to 14 public holidays!

The only British city in the TOP 50 is London coming in at number 38.

Have a look at Mercer’s index if you are curious to see where your city ranks. Ultimately, everyone needs to decide for themselves which criteria is important to them and after all:

There is no place like home!


Posted on August 3, 2011

Romantique beim Promifriseur

Beauty/ Berlin/ Rebel Alexa

Romantique geht selten in London zum Friseur, sie vertraut lieber der deutschen, soliden Handwerkskunst und geht nur in Berlin zum Spitzen schneiden. Mit Blick auf den Französischen Dom, den Deutschen Dom und das Konzerthaus mitten in Berlin ist die Lage von Promifriseur Shan Rahimkhan am Gendarmenmarkt chic und exklusiv. Ein Concept-Store mit den drei C im Herzen von Berlin mit einer Boutique (Casa), einem Café und eben einem Coifffeur. Auf 800 Quadratmetern hat der italienische Architekt Davide Rizzo für Shan Rahimkhan einen edlen Schuppen entwickelt. Shan ist offizieller Berater von „Procter & Gamble“ (Wella, Gillette, Olaz, Head & Shoulder etc). Darüber hinaus hat er selbst eine eigene Hairstyling-Kollektion entworfen, „TRUE VOLUME“.
Alle Coiffeure werden regelmäßig geschult und trainiert. Sie wissen, welche Frisuren in New York und Tokio angesagt sind und was in Berlin im Kommen ist. Wer sich etwas Luxus für die Haare gönnen möchte, in einem edlen Ambiente mit Berliner Schicki-Micki Show hat bei Shan seinen Spaß und danach tolle Haare. Allerdings sollte man nicht gerade zur Berlinale oder Fashion Week versuchen einen Termin zu bekommen, das ist aussichtlos, weil alle deutschen A und B Promis den Laden blockieren.

Posted on June 4, 2011

Mini – Success story of a Brit Pop Bavarian

Rebel Alexa/ Romantique

Mini Global:

Mini at Galeries Lafayette, Berlin

Mini in the design of its creators, London

Proudly South African, Cape Town

Racy, Malaga

Moin Moin, Hamburg

Cream and berries, High Street Kensington, London

Double Mini blending in with the London buses, London. (I’m wearing flowery shift dress, obligatory Pretty Ballerinas, Miu Miu straw bag)

Mini with Berlin Bear, Berlin

Rebel’s Mini unveiled at Mini Berlin

Mini tuned by BMW tuner AC Schnitzer

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