Bath, UK

. 7 April 2018 .
I am excited to finally present another city guide on this blog (see other city guides here and here). Over a year has passed since I spent 6 months abroad in Europe. I was trying to cram in as much of Europe as I could before I had to leave, as I knew it would be a while before I could return again. Bath, UK was the very last city trip that I took before I headed back to Sydney.

I found Bath to be an easy, effortless trip from London. I spent a great day wandering around the town by myself, ticking off the major sights but also popping into shops for some last minute shopping. Even though I was alone, the day passed happily and quickly.



Main language spoken English / Currency British pounds / Best explored on foot

How to get there

Bath is located in southwest England, about an hour and a half train ride away from London. If you are travelling from London, the train is by far the quickest and easiest way of travelling to Bath. I caught the Great Western Railway and booked a ticket in advance via trainline. The return journey cost me 54 pounds (with a 16-25 Railcard).

You can also travel to Bath by bus - this is a much cheaper option but the journey will take twice as long. I also considered joining a sightseeing tour that combines Stonehenge with Bath, as Stonehenge is located only about an hour's drive away, but I was a bit over sightseeing and preferred to explore at my own leisurely pace.

How long to spend there

Because Bath is not a big town, I only spent the day there and was back in London at night to catch a last minute booking to Aladdin the musical. Leaving London at 10 am, I spent about 5 hours in Bath but didn't feel rushed.

Planning ahead

As this trip was a relatively spontaneous decision near the end of my time in Europe, I didn't do much planning before the day. I booked my train ticket online last minute (I prefer buying online than buying at the station on the day of). I had previously read about Bath in the Cereal online guides, however I did not prebook any tickets to any attractions nor carry out any further research. Bath is an easy town to wander around and explore.


After a quick breakfast and heading for the 10am train, the first thing I attended to in Bath was obviously to try out its coffee. Recommended by the Cereal Guide, I visited Colona & Small’s Speciality Coffee and took a corner seat to people watch while I sipped on a hot flat white.




The Roman Baths

Despite not wanting to do much sightseeing, I still wanted to tick off the world heritage site, the Roman Baths, off my bucket list. As I visited Bath on a weekday, I was able to buy a ticket to the Roman Baths (around 15 pounds) without having to queue up. The ticket comes with a free audioguide which was great for learning about the ancient thermal springs (that still flow with natural hot water today). My tip for visiting galleries and museums like these is to always get the audioguide. It truly enhances the experience when you get a better understanding of what you’re seeing.

Abbey Church Yard, Bath BA1 1LZ



The Bath Abbey is also located right next to the Roman Baths (although I didn't go inside to have a look).


Pulteney Bridge

I was extremely excited to visit Pulteney Bridge and the River Avon, as it was the filming location for Les Miserables when Javert falls into the Seine (#nerdalert). I decided to buy a takeaway salad and had lunch whilst sitting on a bench overlooking the River.

Along Pulteney Bridge is a row of shops and cafes (it reminded me of the Ponte Vecchio in Florence). One of them was a concept store called Found. I really enjoyed the shops in Bath, as many of them were homeware and concept stores such as Graham & Green and the more commercial but beautiful Anthropologie.

Bridge Street, Bath BA2 4AT


Enjoying my lunch next to the River Avon.


The main reason why I wanted to visit Bath was to admire the Georgian architecture. It’s so...English! In particular, I visited the Royal Crescent and the Circus (which are located near each other), both historical streets designed by prominent architect John Wood.


At one point I decided to walk down a private driveway and was greeted by this amazing view.


Walking back to the centre of Bath, I also visited the shops in and around the Corridor.


Hope you enjoyed this guide! Click here to read more travel posts.
Bondi Beach NSW

. 22 August 2017 .
I've been very interested in the concept of mindful living in the past year and a recent visit to Australia's most popular beach served as yet another little reminder to keep my eyes and my mind opened to what is around me.

When my good friend visited Sydney for the first time last month, I became tour guide and set about creating an itinerary for her. Despite wanting to avoid the tourist cliches, we ended up at Bondi Beach  on a wintery Sunday morning. Even though I would normally be deterred by the expensive metered parking and hordes of tourists, I forgot all about it the second my feet hit the soft powdery sand.

So I thought I would share with you four mindful ways I like to enjoy Australia's most popular beach:





1. Do the Bondi to Coogee Walk


Or opt for the shorter Bondi to Bronte walk.

Almost as well loved as Bondi Beach itself is the coastal walk from Bondi to Bronte to Coogee. Yes, this boardwalk trail guides you along some of Sydney's most famous beaches. The walk can get busy with locals, joggers, tourists and doggies during the weekends but the views will nonetheless be spectacular.



2. Get in the Water


I'm not the strongest swimmer nor am I a surfer, but I love being in the ocean. Being by the water resets my mind and I often leave the beach feeling revitalised and grateful. And it would seem like I'm not the only one!





3. Check out the Graffiti Walls

4. Eat Fish & Chips by the Water


Lined along the walls of Bondi Beach are graffiti artworks  by local artists. If you don't want to get your feet in the sand or water (but you totally should), walk along the paved walkway and admire the constantly changing artworks. Some of them really make you stop and think about our city and the world we live in, whilst others make you quietly giggle. 

I love chips. I love water (see above). So why not put them together? Eating fish and chips by the water is one of the most peaceful and satisfying things in the world (as long as you don't have to fight the seagulls). There are some great unassuming fish and chips shops along Campbell Parade (the road that stretches along the beach). 



What are some of your favourite local spots for rejuvenating yourself?
Amsterdam, Netherlands

. 19 June 2017 .
One of the most rewarding things that comes out of travelling is when strangers turn into friends. After meeting Sarah once through a mutual friend, we decided to travel together, first to Portugal and then to Amsterdam. During our last morning together at the hostel, I quickly snapped her beauty bag and took down some notes: 


Face

  • Smashbox 24 Hour Photo Finish Shadow Primer
  • L'oreal Nude BB Cream for light to medium skin - "I don't actually love this...it smells chemical-y but it does the job."
  • L'oreal Infallible 24 Hour Matte Powder in the shade '123 Warm Vanilla' - "This powder really is infallible, it lasts forever."
  • Covergirl Tru Blend Blush - "I don't usually need to add rosiness to my already-red cheeks, but if I do need to, this is a good natural-looking blush."



Eyes

  • Colourpop Super Shock Shadow in 'Un' - "This is a really pretty champagne shade that I use all over my lid when I don't have time to do a fancy eye look."
  • Too Faced's Natural Eyes Palette - "This is literally the only travel palette I will use, it's perfect. It has the perfect combination of matte and shimmery neutrals, you can use it for anything!"
  • Rimmel London's Wonderlash Mascara with organ oil - "a more natural looking mascara - my everyday go-to."
  • Clinique's High-Impact Waterproof Mascara - "more intense, fancier mascara."


Lips

  • NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in the shades '02 - Stockholm' and '27 - Madrid'
  • Rimmel London's Kate lipstick in the shade 08 - "the perfect neutral pink lipstick for my skin tone"


Tools
  • Brushes from Elf - "cheap...but they work super well"
  • Real Techniques beauty blender knockoff 


Shop Sarah's beauty edit 

Paris, France

. 1 May 2017 .

Having discussed curating the perfect jewellery capsule a couple of years ago, I'm happy to report that my philosophy on investing in jewellery hasn't really changed. Today I thought I would focus on sharing how I curate my earrings collection by spending intentionally. 

I still remember when I got my ears pierced. I was six years old. My mum and her friend brought me to a piercing shop and I left with two little gold studs that I still have to this day. For the past few years though, my passion in jewellery was in the rings department so I've really neglected my piercings to the point where I was scared that they would close up. 

To make sure this didn't happen, I started hunting for some new earrings. This has reignited my passion for adorning my earlobes, so I want to share my earrings collection as well as some tips on how I curate. Read on till the end for my edit on gold earrings!
L / single earring from Wild Things in Amsterdam
R / rose gold pearl earrings  from Anthropologie
1. Cost per wear

You've no doubt heard about this golden principle of style investment, where the true cost of an item is measured by its cost divided by the number of wears. As much as I am drawn to flamboyant and dramatic earrings on models in editorial shoots, I shy away from even buying cheap versions of those earrings because I would only be able to wear it once or twice on rare occasions. Instead, I focus on two things in particular:
  1. a price point that would offer me good quality and wouldn't cause ear infections (ain't nobody want that); and 
  2. how I can wear the shit out of them.
For example, working in a corporate environment Monday to Friday means that I want something a bit more respectable, formal and simple, whilst still dressing up my workwear. Identifying this before I start shopping means that I can choose and buy intentionally without unnecessarily splurging (and regretting afterwards).


2. Something different

Respectable, formal and simple doesn't mean boring. My favourite thing to do is to find classic designs done differently. For example, I love that the large structured statement pair from & Other Stories is a play on the classic gold hoops (linked at the end of this post if you want to nab yourself a pair). The singular earring that I picked up in Amsterdam is also very special to me - after asking the shopkeeper why the shops don't sell earrings in a pair, she explained that Dutch people do not like symmetry so selling them as singular pieces opens up the creative possibility of mixing and matching. I love that!

3. Pick a colour

I have always loved gold, silver and rose gold. I didn't mind mixing metals and I felt like I didn't have  a preference of one metal over the other. As my style became more refined however, I realised that having a preference of gold jewellery made it easier to curate and declutter my jewellery capsule. For me, gold exudes confidence, elegance and luxury - things that I want to portray when I am trying to feel a bit more together. 

L / single earring from Wild Things in Amsterdam
R / rose gold pearl earrings  from Anthropologie

4. Don't buy the same thing twice

One tip to avoid overbuying is to force yourself not to buy things that look too similar. You only have two ears, so if you are going to spend on a pair of earrings, spend wisely and invest in contrasting shapes, shades and sparkles. Each pair in my curated capsule has their own character yet I know they are all suitable for dressing any outfit up or down for any occasion. 


SHOP THE EDIT
Zürich, Switzerland

. 7 March 2017 .

As I edit these images shot way back when I was in Zurich, I'm trying to articulate my love of botanical gardens. 

This was my first European botanical garden (the second was in Madrid). Botanical gardens are easy for me to blog about because I don't want to do too much to the images - no over-editing or post-editing; just let the images speak for themselves. The details of every different species of leaves and flowers faithfully captured by my Olympus. I think what I find attractive is that a botanical garden is a highly organised and planned collective human ode to nature. A thousand species are gathered from all over the world and carefully cultivated in one space, living in harmony via measured and precise living conditions. Greenhouse domes are built to allow maximum European sun whilst the plants thrive in an artificial humidity. The patterns that plants make are intoxicating to stare at. At every corner I find a new surprise of species unknown. How amazing it is to stand in a microcosm of what the natural world has to offer.

Address: Zollikerstrasse 107, 8008 Zurich (entry is free)
For more information, visit here.

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