My Travel Skincare Essentials | 2017 Recommendations

Travel SkincareMy Travel Skincare Essentials – 2017 Recommendations

Travel and skincare are not always the best of friends. There’s a lot to take into consideration: the 100ml liquid rule for cabin bags, baggage space, non-breakables…and let’s not even start on the plane’s air con. For these reasons – and many others – I despised packing my skincare regime into my case. However after travelling so much this year, I like to think I have it down to a fine art.

My daily skincare regime is quite lengthly, and when I’m travelling I try to make sure it doesn’t suffer. And thanks to most brands bringing out travel size versions of their signature products, it doesn’t have to. So I’ve compiled a list which features my favourite travel skincare essentials, alongside some new products I’ve discovered.

My Travel Skincare Essentials

Everything I have included in this post is travel-sized, and can either be purchased separately as such or as part of a gift set. Where applicable I have linked to the specific product or set. However where some products are no longer available in travel size I have linked to the full size product. After all, you can always de-pot a product into a handy travel size kit!

Happy travels! And don’t forget to check out more of my travel recommendations.

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24 Hours in Aarhus, Denmark | A Travel Guide

24 Hours in AarhusIt can be pretty tough visiting a new city, or country. You’re not sure where to eat, what to see, or even where to stay. Well I’m here to change all of that with my handy guides! They’re full of tips, tricks, and the best places to go. So stop worrying about how you’re going to make the most of your time in a new place; here are my recommendations for spending 24 hours in Aarhus, Denmark!

24 Hours in Aarhus

24 Hours in Aarhus, Denmark

  • Do breakfast at Bills Coffee 
    • The Danes know their coffee, but they know their pastries even better. And Bills Coffee won’t let you down on either front. They offer up the best pastries in town (in my opinion), and a relaxing atmosphere. Don’t be afraid to chat to the staff – who are super lovely – they’re full of great recommendations.
  • Tour Aarhus City Hall
    • If there’s one thing you don’t want to miss in Aarhus, it’s the city hall tour. This architectural marvel is the epitome of Danish design. You can find photos and tour information here.
  • Enlighten your senses at ARoS
    • The art museum features an array of amazing artwork, and possibly the world’s most colourful rooftop.
  • Refuel at La Cabra, Coffee Roasters
    • This ridiculously stylish coffee shop also offers up plenty of fresh, local produce. My recommendation: the crayfish sandwich, which is hands down the most delicious sandwich I’ve ever had!
  • Fancy some retail therapy?
    • The streets around Vestergade are littered with independent designers, well known brands, and Magasin department store.

24 Hours in Aarhus

  • Take a bus out to the Deer Park
    • Just a 10min ride from the central bus station is Dyrehaven (Deer Park). This piece of woodland is open to the public, but you’ll have to share your walk with some of Aarhus’s friendly deer – and there are lots of them!
  • Stop by the beach!
    • The woodland borders the Kattegat sea by Dyrehaven, and it’s absolutely beautiful. There are showers and changing facilities for those who are brave enough to take a dip.
  • Choose street food for dinner
    • Conveniently located next door to the bus station is the Aarhus Street Food market. You’ll find a wide variety of cuisines, including traditional Danish food. But don’t fork out on the alcohol, instead…
  • Finish the night at a local craft beer bar
    • Mig og Ølsnedkeren is a cozy – some might even say hygge – spot, filled with groups of young stylish friends and couples. Their main offering is a variety of specialised craft beer, but don’t worry they also serve other drinks.

24 Hours in Aarhus

If you have some extra time…

  • Visit Den Gamle By
    • A must-visit for budding architecture nerds and historians alike. Den Gamle By is a small recreation of a Danish town throughout the years, including houses, shops and more.
  • Pop by the Botanical Gardens
    • Nestled right next door to Den Gamle By, and with free entry too! It’s small, but worth a visit – especially for the butterfly room!

Well there you have it, my travel guide to 24 Hours in Aarhus, Denmark!
And don’t forget to check out the my other 24 Hours In… guides.

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The Yauatcha City Summer Tasting Menu is Hot!

Yauatcha CityYauatcha City | Dim Sum Teahouse | Nearest Tube: Liverpool Street | Map

Working right next to Yauatcha City used to be oh-so convenient. Anytime I fancied one of the most beautiful desserts in London, I’d just skip on over. So when my office moved, I was almost certain that was the end of my love affair with the dim sum teahouse. But it was just my luck that I was invited back to try their new Summer Tasting Menu last week, which I dragged my friend Zarna along to (spoiler: she wasn’t unhappy).

And so rather than being petty and keeping all the good food in London to myself, I decided to let you all know about it too.

Yauatcha City Summer Tasting Menu

The Yauatcha City Summer Tasting Menu comes in two varieties: meat or vegetarian. We both chose the meat option, however Zarna can’t eat beef, and Yauatcha were very kind and replaced her venison puff (incl. beef gelatin) with a duck spring roll. I like to mention these little gestures as customer service is very important to me, and all these little things add up to an even better experience.

But of course I’m here to talk about what we ate…or more accurately, what we devoured:

  • Cocktails
    • Asian Daiquiri
    • Thea Martini
  • Steamed Dim Sum
    • Champagne scallop & prawn dumpling
    • Wild mushroom dumpling
    • Crystal dumpling wrap with pumpkin
  • Fried Dim Sum
    • Venison puff
    • Mushroom spring roll
  • Mains (1pp)
    • Stir-fry sliced beef
    • Stir-fry pepper chilli seafood with asparagus
  • Sides
    • Chinese vegatables
    • Jasmine steamed rice
    • Macarons (2pp)
  • Tea (1pp)
    • Classical beauty
  • Desserts (not included in tasting menu)
    • Fromage Frais
    • Tropical Dome
    • Chocolat Mint Delice

How hot is the Summer menu?

My favourites from the menu were: Venison Puff (the pastry & filling is to die for!), Stir-fry Sliced Beef (melted in the mouth), Thea Martini (sweet & fruity), Fromage Frais (beautiful & tangy), and the Chocolat Mint Delice (rich, indulgent…with popping candy!).

The Yauatcha City Summer Tasting Menu is £34 per person (min. 2 people), which includes a glass of wine/cocktail, macarons (2pp) and tea. For such a generous menu, I think the price is more than fair. We were pretty much full by the time our main course came round, but of course we couldn’t let good food go to waste so we devoured everything.

Check out more: Where to Eat in London

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My Top 5 Foodie Hotspots in Aarhus, Denmark | Travel Guide

Foodie Hotspots in AarhusMy Top 5 Foodie Hotspots in Aarhus, Denmark

Hands up if you have trouble deciding where to eat out on a regular basis! Insert raised hand emoji here. I constantly have trouble trying to remember restaurants, or find something new in London, let alone a new city. So I did quite a bit of research when we visited Aarhus recently. However I also wanted to leave some options up to chance, and find something truly amazing. Because there’s nothing better than being surprised, right?

So here are my top 5 foodie hotspots in Aarhus including a selection of cafes, restaurants and bars.

My Top 5 Foodie Hotspots in Aarhus

  1. Bill’s Coffee
    • Let’s start with breakfast. And what better for breakfast than Danish pastry and coffee? The pastries at Bill’s are heavenly. The coffee is some of the best in Aarhus. And the staff are friendly and welcoming. Perfect, no?
  2. Mig og Ølsnedkeren
    • If you’re a fan of craft beer, this is the place to relax after a long day. The selection of beer is insane, and the atmosphere is very chilled (read: Danish). It’s perfect for a hyggeligt evening with friends or family.
  3. Pinden
    • I’m a firm believer in taking in a country’s traditional delights, and Pinden is the perfect spot for delicious Danish food. Don’t forget to finish your meal with some snaps (Danish schnapps)!
  4. La Cabra Coffee
    • For a lunchtime snack and a caffeine pick-me-up, you can’t beat La Cabra. The fresh crayfish sandwich is hands down one of the yummiest meals I had whilst in Aarhus. So much so that I’d happily marry it!
  5. Den Lille Kro (The Little Inn)
    • If you fancy spending a little more, and want something special, this is your place. The Smørrebrød (Danish open sandwich) is delightful, and some of the most impressive I’ve had. Not to mention THAT burger.

Bon Appétit! Or as they say in Denmark, ‘Velbekomme’!

Don’t forget to check out my other Denmark travel posts!

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Monocle Cafe – More Than An Instagram Trend?

 

Monocle | Cafe | Nearest Tube: Baker Street / Bond Street | Map

Most of us on Instagram have come across a photo of the Monocle cafe and it’s trendy storefront. And if you haven’t…do you even social media, bro? Seriously, this place is a hive of iPhone activity every time somebody walks by. In fact, I would go as far to say that it’s been Instagrammed more times than it’s celebrity neighbour – The Chiltern Firehouse. Now that’s an achievement! And can you blame people when the facade is this lovely?

But wait a minute, isn’t this a cafe? People do actually eat here…right?

Monocle Cafe – More Than an Instagram Trend!

Contrary to popular belief, I have actually eaten at Monocle. I don’t just stop by to take a photo every few weeks. In fact I’ve eaten here several times, and I keep coming back for more. Much like it’s namesake publication, the cafe offers up a variety of eclectic and delectable treats. High quality, authentic Japanese and Scandinavian dishes dominate the menu, alongside cakes, pastries, and a really great drinks menu – (Allpress) coffee, wine, matcha, check!

The interior is ridiculously cool too, with Monocle branded goodies lining the shelves. You’ll always find the latest issue here, and you’re more than welcome to peruse it during your stay. Which is perfect, because you won’t feel pressured to rush here. Nor will you feel ‘out of place’ like some London establishments – cough, hipster cafe, cough – as the clientele varies greatly. The atmosphere is relaxing, and the staff incredibly accommodating. Can I talk it up any more? So go on, venture inside next time you’re nearby. After you’ve taken your Instagram photo, of course.

You can find the Monocle Cafe at 18 Chiltern Street.
Don’t forget to check out more of my Where to Eat in London series.

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A Recipe for The Perfect Pamper Session | Beauty

Pamper SessionA Recipe for The Perfect Pamper Session

Whether it’s by yourself or with friends, everyone needs a pamper session every now and again. But I’m not just talking about lighting some candles, putting on some music, and chilling out. Although those are all pretty great for relaxing and taking care of ‘moi’. However I’ve got some of my own tips, and I’ve decided to share some of my favourites with you here.

Get your Nails did

I can’t get enough of doing my nails. In fact I love it so much you’ll find it hard to catch me without a pristine manicure. So it’s only natural that it’s my number one go-to when pampering myself. But not everyone shares my love – point in fact: my best friend VA (chopstickpanorama).  So my tactic is to do her nails for her. And it’s actually pretty relaxing whether you’re the one painting nails, or having them painted.

Recommendation: Nails Inc Mindful Manicure* – each polish is infused with real gemstones, which is said to intensify one’s aura, channel energy, clarify thoughts, and heal. Whether you’re a believer or not, these shades are on point right now.

Snacks, and lots of ’em!

It just wouldn’t be right to not include snacks in this list. Although when I’m having a pamper session, I do like to go the extra mile. For me that means splurging a little on food I wouldn’t usually buy. Such as nice cheeses, cured meats, high quality chocolate, and some prosecco (of course). After all, you’re pampering your body on the outside, so why not inside as well?

Recommendation: Ocelot Chocolate – not only is this chocolate ridiculously stylish, it comes in some amazing flavours too. Where else would you find Bee Pollen & Mango, or Fig & Orange? Delicious!

Face masks are the one

I have been swearing by sheet masks for years, and I can’t sing their praises enough. They’re a fun, and effective way of treating your skin to a little extra care. Whether it’s extra hydration, brightening or anti-ageing – there’s a sheet mask for everything! I normally buy in bulk when I’m in Japan, or my sister and friends send me them from overseas. However a lot of UK brands have cottoned on to their fantastic abilities, and I’ve started dabbling in the options available here too.

Recommendation: Nails Inc Sheet Masks* – I chose these because I love that they have kept their sheet masks fun! A lot of the brands selling them in the UK have chosen to go with plain designs. But let’s be serious, we’d all much rather use skincare that is effective and cute. Also, who needs a Snapchat filter when you got these?

Feel The Good Vibes

Whether it’s watching your favourite movie/tv show, listening to music, or just having a chat. All of these can help keep the atmosphere chilled yet lively. Have a laugh, and if you’re with friends, chat until you’ve run out of things to say!

Recommendation: Netflix – there’s a variety of awesome shows on there, with some of my personal favourites being John Mulaney, What We Do in The Shadows, and Archer.

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The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid & The Abnormal Beauty Company

Ordinary Hyaluronic AcidThe Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid by The Abnormal Beauty Company

With a name like that you can’t help but wonder what’s inside this pharmaceutical-esque bottle. Say hello to The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5. Yeah…what exactly is that again? Bluntly put, it’s a product that works with your other skincare products. When used alongside your regular creams, it offers multi-depth hydration and visible plumping without drawing water out of the skin solely to improve temporary surface hydration.

A lot of brands put Hyaluronic acid into their products but actually this doesn’t help much. It means that the HA ends up sitting on the surface of your skin, making it feel temporarily soft and hydrated. Ouch! I was curious to see whether using pure HA on my skin would work, or whether I’d been conned by nice packaging and big words.

The Abnormal Beauty Company

Also know as Deciem,  The Abnormal Beauty Company is a collection of beauty brands who are founded on the principle of doing everything others don’t do. What does that mean exactly though? Well it means that they’re creating quality products. In their own words “quality today means being authentic, being different, being functional, being beautiful and being sensibly priced…And we respect these principles.”

It’s a lot to live up to, but this ethos has drawn in fans from across the globe. They have shops in their home country of Canada, Korea, Australia, Mexico and are soon-to-open a store in the UK.

Is The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid worth it?

Yes, yes and yes again! This is a wonder product if I ever did see one. Since I started using The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid in my daily skincare regime, my skin has seen a serious change. It feels plumper, smoother and my ‘monthly’ spot issues have been drastically minimised. In a nutshell…

  • Makes skin feel plumper
  • Kind to sensitive skin
  • Hydrates
  • No smell
  • Vegan friendly
  • Travel friendly
  • Simple, informative packaging

This product is £5.90, let that sink in (smoothly, like the serum does). That is an astonishing price for such a bloody magnificent product! Seriously, these guys could be charging a lot more. Luckily for me, and you, they don’t. I would suggest that every skincare addict goes out and purchases this quickly, because I will sure as hell be re-purchasing it in bulk!

You can purchase The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid at Deciem.
Read more of my beauty reviews and recommendations here.

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