Friday, 22 August 2014

Camden Bargain Buys



Ahh Camden. My home away from home. 

I'm forever discovering new and interesting places in London that fulfill my needs for the weird, wonderful and bizarre, but every time I go to London, I'll always at one point or the other find myself returning to Camden. 

Not only did it play a huge part of my childhood (yes I was an Emo/Scene Kid) but it is an amalgation of all the things I love: music, fashion, food and BARGAINS!

During the months of June/July, I got to visit Camden twice. Once with the lovely Fi Shemmans before the Cosmopolitan Superblogger Masterclass, and then with my best friend George Puddephatt for a nostalgic catch-up . 

Camden has changed a lot since I was 15/16, especially when it comes to shopping. It has definitely become more commercial. I'm not complaining, it just means you have to hunt a bit harder for those unique items. 

The t-shirt pictured above I bought from the market on the right hand side of the river, with the Vespa seating area. Because of all the food stalls there I always forget that there are shops behind them, but on this occassion Fi reminded me, and we spent a good hour or two there. The t-shirt came from a stall selling tonnes of garish yet eye-catching graphic print tees. Falling back into my monochrome habits, I fell in love with this particular one. It's got a sports luxe meet grunge vibe about it, and I could instantly picture in my head how I wanted to style it. For only £12 I thought it was an absolute bargain. 

The sunglasses were an emergency buy. Whilst waiting for George to meet me in Camden, I'd realised I'd forgotten my sunglasses, and the sun was blinding. Upon walking towards the main stables I  found a mini market on the left side of the street, with one vendor selling hundreds of on-trend sunglasses for £5. From flip-up sunglasses to oil slick, this guy had everything. I must have spent a good 20 minutes trying them on before deciding on this gold-rimmed oil slick pair. They are a proper statement and for £5 I won't be to heartbroken when I loose them (and believe me I will). 

Lastly but certainly not least are the bohemian bracelets and bindis. These came from a Middle Eastern shop just a few minutes Camden station. You can smell the incense a mile off, and the gorgeous colour scheme of oranges, reds, yellows and pinks draws you in. This shop has a pic 'n' mix system, where you grab a bowl and sift through piles of bracelets, rings, anklets and incense all priced between 20p and £1. It's hard not to go overboard, but when you see how much jewellery like this is going for in high street brands you'd be well and truly justified to do so. 

So if you're ever in London and looking for a bargain, take a little trip to Camden. Even if you don't buy anything, I guarantee it's a visit you won't forget.  


Tuesday, 15 July 2014

My Rural Italian Holiday



Hello all 

I'm sorry I haven't been posting much lately, but the reason why is actually what this blog post is all about. I was on a much needed relaxing holiday in Southern Italy with my boyfriend Kurtis for most of last week and the week before. This is the second time I've been to this particular area of Italy, and I love it there so much that I thought I'd share a bit about it with you. 

We stayed in an apartment in a very small town in the Region of Calabria called Caulonia Marina. What I love most about this place is that it's untouched by commercialism and tourism. You really feel like you're getting an authentic taste of Italy when you're here. The areas main industry is agriculture, so it's incredibly green and packed full of olive groves and orange farms. 

Now when I said relaxing holiday, I really meant it. Unless you hire a car or are brave enough to tackle the public transport, you're in for a very chilled holiday. Sunbathing / reading a book on the beach, swimming, and eating copious amounts of ice cream, pasta and pizza is what's in store for you. For me and my boyfriend, this was perfect. The beach was a 5 minute walk from our apartment, and most days we had it all to ourselves. No screaming kids, no struggle to find a place to put your towel, just you and the sound of the waves. Bliss. 

The sea is stunning, the people are lovely and friendly, and the sun was at a constant 35°, but my favourite thing about this place is the food. Oh my lord the food. Every morning we'd head over to the local supermarket to get our breakfast and some stuff for lunch. The only bread they have is fresh bread made that very morning, in a variety of shapes and sizes, and it's the best bread I've ever had. We'd also buy a selection of cold meats e.g mortadella and some mozarella to make sandwiches for us to take to the beach. Italians siesta from 1-4.30pm, so the chance of being able to get something to eat around that time is pretty thin, and also this was a really good way of saving our money so we could go all out at dinner time, and boy did we. 

The food in the restaurants out there puts the food Italian restaurants serve over here to shame. One thing this region of Italy specialises in is seafood, caught fresh daily and cooked to perfection. The recipes are simple but packed with flavour. The second from last picture above is an octopus pasta I had one night, with a sauce so rich but so moreish I never wanted it to end. Another night, Kurtis had a mixed seafood grill that consisted of a huge chunk of swordfish, a whole seabass, two huge langoustines, calamari and two whole squids on a skewer. All of this came to 13 Euros. Everything is so ridiculously cheap out there. A huge ice-cream cone (don't even get me started on the ice-cream) with two flavours was 1.50, and you'll never pay more than 7 Euros for a pizza, with most costing 4/5. I must say it was a carb filled holiday, but it's not very often I'm going to get to eat food like that. 

A holiday like this is such a contrast from my every day life, but one thing I love about travelling is really getting to know a country and it's culture. In all honestly, I don't think you can get more authentic Italian than this.