All posts tagged: Travel

Cape Town’s top five beaches

So, you’re off to Cape Town! Excellent news! You’ll have a long list of things to do, see, hear and eat and if you’re looking for the top 5 beaches to visit – then you’ve come to the right place. The best time of year to visit Cape Town is November through to March – it’s hot and sunny and also a superb time to escape the northern hemisphere too, which is exactly what we did this year! Check this out for packing tips! While there are other beautiful beaches around the world, many of them are private, overly crowded with sun-gazers or cultivated for tourists. Cape Town’s beaches are public beaches of natural beauty and rarely over-crowded – and anyway, you can always elbow yourself a spot without too many glares. All the beaches are accessible by road, although a few you’ll have to do a workout of stairs before reaching the bottom – but I promise, it’s totally worth it, and you’re calves will thank you later! Camps Bay Beach This is one of the …

5 reasons to go on a yoga retreat

Even if you have never stepped foot onto a yoga mat before, there are lots of reasons to pack a bag and immerse yourself in the ancient practice of poses, breathing and meditation for a few days with no other distractions. I did just that at the end of last year – I packed a weekend bag filled with stretchy sweat pants (thanks LuluLemon!), a re-usable water bottle, some body-fitting comfy tops, a yoga mat, a swimsuit for good measure and headed for Chiang Mai in Thailand. This particular yoga retreat was organised by The Yoga Room, an intimate yoga studio in Hong Kong, and taught by the gorgeous, stretchy yogini Nora Lim. It was a four day retreat held at  The Pavana Resort  – a holistic resort with great vegetarian food and spa (very important!) Here are my top five reasons why everyone should find a retreat, make the time to go and indulge in yoga, meditation, pranayama and yourself : You practice yoga every single day – sometimes a few times a day. If …

When Nature takes over – Tours de Merles

I’m not going to pretend that I’m a nature kinda girl. It’s not that I have anything against Mother Nature but I’m more of a city beast and so activities such as hiking, nature walking and rock climbing are not on the top of my to-do-list. However, it’s hard not to be impressed by the force of nature when one comes across a tourist sight such as Les Tours de Merle in France. Donning my sneakers we climbed the rocky paths and stone staircases of this ancient citadel and castle dating back to the 12th century, which was later classified as an Historical monument in 1927. My boys were in their element imagining how the Medieval knights lived, put ‘badies’ in the stocks and stood guard over seven castles, two chapels, a citadel and a whole village, which is pretty hard to imagine when you see the tangled ruin that has been left. What is completely fascinating to me is this picture-perfect example of how Mother Nature will eventually win over what we as human build. Author of …

September’s Camera Roll

September has been such a busy and exciting month that my camera roll was more bloated than usual! Watching Autumn start on two continents, Hong Kong and Europe and experiencing their total differences, exploring more of my new home city – tram rides, beach trips and indoor evening swims. Packing for a two week trip to France to celebrate my gorgeous Mama’s 30×2 birthday in the serene french countryside, catching up with family and friends and even enjoying the brilliant blue, sunny skies poolside! Sightseeing old medieval villages and ruins and long days watching my boys play in the green lush garden of an exquisitely restored mill. Then heading north to Paris on the train (4 hours to enjoy my favourite magazines, bliss!) Visiting our favourite cafés in our old neighbourhood, shopping the best Parisian streets and spending evenings with friends (while wearing my new feather bangles and lace shirt). It’s been an amazing month. Stay updated and follow me on Instagram and Facebook, I’d love to hear from you so drop me a note too! PLUS! …

Falling for Autumn

The family and I have been back in France for the last two weeks to celebrate my mama’s birthday, which btw has been far too much fun. Spending time in the French countryside in Autumn is magnificent. Big blue skies and soft sunshine during the day whilst sightseeing the local villages and evenings spent by the fire drinking red wine – who could ask for more? This countryside doesn’t exactly call for high fashion, so as the leaves turn from bright green to dirty yellow, a cozy jersey and muted layers are the best wardrobe pieces for comfort and a bit of warmth. On one of our daily explorations, we stopped by the medieval town of Martel to snap a few photos (taken by my talented sister-in-law) while the locals set up for a medieval festival! I love this cozy cream jersey, (the tie in the front adds a cute detail making it a little less ‘grandma’) and I find myself still reaching for summer’s denim shirt – worn here around the hips (so 90’s but so versatile!) …

Crazy Cool Hong Kong

Unlike Paris, the city of Hong Kong is completely organic. Like a Lego City built by a 4-Year-old. Block upon block creating high towers, small kiosks with loads of mismatched colour and tons of small moveable accessories that all have their purpose and story – this is crazy, cool Hong Kong. There is no grid, no meticulous planning, no unanimity, no organization – what you get is organic and visually energizing. I have walked down this same street dozens of times and I notice something different, my eyes are drawn simultaneously all over the place trying to take in all the detail. The washing that hangs on the skyscrapers reaching 50 stories, small neon signs begging for you to try the foot massages, road works with their vivid yellow and black cautionary boards, unguarded street-food stalls spewing steam and the strong smell of cuisine cooking, bamboo poles ascending up the sides of weakened structures. The juxtaposition of colour, the disorganization of the shops overlapping each other and the typography of the millions of signs attracting …

We’ll always have Paris

It’s been 6 weeks since my husband, two boys and I left Paris and made a new home in Hong Kong. This weekend I saw a Facebook post from an ex-colleague who was visiting Paris and she’d attached a funny image of a quintessentially French moment – a baguette neatly tucked into a briefcase after the ‘statutory’ visit to the local boulangerie. This photo, and its Parisian symbolism made me nostalgic for the city we’ve called ‘home’ for the last three years, flooding my head with many fun, amazing, colourful and romantic memories and knowing that we’ll always have Paris. The thing about this life is that nothing is permanent and change is inevitable in one form or another, the Buddhist notion of impermanence reminds me that, without exception, everything we know in this world is transient and all we can do to make it last longer is to stay as present, in this moment, as possible to soak up each and every minute – and that includes eating as much baguette and pastries when …

Love, Loss, Letting go and life in Lagos : Nicole Mansour

In South Africa she’s known as Nicole Fox, however, 7 years ago the vivacious and much-loved radio presenter and ‘it’ girl left her home country and everything she knew to followed her heart further north on the African continent to Lagos. Now wife to Ramzi and mom to Deen, Nicole Mansour explains how giving it all up has helped define who she really is. If you met Nicole 7 years ago she was a self-confessed career woman firmly entrenched in her (very successful) profession as a journalist in entertainment media. As with many of us, she was defined by what she did, juggling a full-time radio presenting career as well as freelance television presenting, voice over artist gigs, corporate MC-ing and Club DJ-ing. She describes her past job as incredible and says she loved every second of her career. She was able to travel the world interviewing movie stars and traveled her home country a few times over doing work in a field that she was absolutely passionate about, and giving her the opportunity to meet so many …

5 things to do in Palma, Mallorca

Last month my 2 boys and husband spent a few days in Mallorca enjoying the sun, beaches and Spanish way of life. We stayed on the beachy, resort-filled side of the Island but drove south to Palma de Mallorca for one day to see what the capital has to offer. I was pleasantly surprised to find a beautiful, sophisticated and stylish coastal city bustling with tourists and locals alike. The city sits on the edge of the Mediterranean and overlooks its sparkling azure waters with palm trees dotted all over and is as picture-perfect as what I’d seen in internet photos before arriving. It reminded me a little of Barcelona with it’s dusty coloured walls, colossal Cathedral (although this one is actually finished!) and narrow intimate lanes of the old city and there is the exciting fusion of relaxed beach life mixed with energetic city life as in Barcelona. An assortment of Havaianas and heels, a hustle and bustle of the employed alongside cafes brimming with holiday-makers wiling away the time sipping on cocktails in …

The Art of Packing with Louis Vuitton

I have a gluttonous passion for travel and luckily not only do I come from a lineage of equally hungry voyagers but my small, cute family and I get to travel a lot. My first overseas adventure was with my mother and grandfather, I was 14-years-old and it was an unforgettable tour around Europe and the UK – Big Ben, Tower of London, The Eiffel Tower, the Black Forrest, just to name a few of the sights. Growing up, both my grandfather and my mother travelled to Europe a few times a year, they met up with work colleagues, friends and family and explored different cities all over the continent. I listened to their stories, received the postcards they sent, saw their photos and was the spoilt beneficiary of awesome travel gifts and chocolate over the years! My Grandfather has since passed away but what has been passed down is this passion for exploring different locations, the architecture, scenery, culture, food and people, being immersed in and soaking up each unique experience. One of the things I …