A London Life… on Foot

london-life-bloomzy-architecture-kings-college Southwark | Nearest Tube: London Bridge

Walking is one of the few forms of exercise I can get behind. In fact I walk a lot! London may be big, but it’s pretty easy to walk between tube stops, or around a specific area. Of course it helps when the city you live in is so beautiful. Yes, I genuinely mean that. London is a wonderful mixture of old meets new – history and culture seep from it’s streets. Speaking of, the streets are incredibly inspiring in London, especially for a budding photographer such as myself. I often find myself stopping to take a photo or two. The architecture is like nothing else in Europe. Paris may have it’s charms, but I could walk for hours and only snap shots of London’s buildings.

Of course the people are just as interesting. That’s why whenever I walk I always make sure I have a companion. Lately it’s been V.A. After taking her on a tour of Dalston/Stoke Newington, she returned the favour and showed me around Southwark. It’s very different to my part of town – East. It’s more polished (in parts), but that doesn’t make it any less compelling.

View more of the  ‘A London Life…’ series

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Berlin Travel Diary | Neues Museum

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Neues Museum | Berlin, Germany | Website

Museum island is a must-visit for anyone in Berlin. As well as this, I’m a bit of a culture nut, so it was obvious it would appear in my Berlin travel diary. If I had been travelling alone, I would have visited every museum in the vicinity. However I wasn’t, and I wanted to be considerate to V.A (as having grown up in Berlin, the museums were known to her). So when she asked me of any “must do” items for the trip, I knew exactly what to answer – the Neues Museum.

Ever since I was a little girl I have had a fascination with Ancient Egypt, and it’s safe to say that my interests have not wavered in adulthood. A friend of mine visited Berlin last year and told me “you need to go, just to see the Ancient Egyptian artefacts”. Then just before our trip to Berlin I read Yasumi & Hiro’s post on the Neues Museum. The history behind the museum is moving; it was bombed during World War II and remnants of this can still be found today in the bullet holes that litter the walls. I was intrigued to see the restoration it had undergone, especially as Berlin is a city that chooses to remember its scars, and not paint over them.

What I received from the museum was so much more than I had been hoping for. The museum is home to Ancient Egyptian architecture and art, prehistoric objects, antiquities, and of course the famous bust of Queen Nefertiti. In fact it would seem that people had come from near and far to view the bust. As proven by one lovely old Italian woman who would comically shout “Nefertiti?” to her husband, every few minutes. The bust of Queen Nefertiti was a must-see on this visit for us also. To finally be stood in front of something I had longed to see since my childhood – it may sound silly, but it was a pretty big deal for me. All I can say is, it was as magical today as it would have been twenty years ago.


You can check out the rest of my Berlin Travel Diary series here.

Berlin Travel Diary | Taking in The Sights

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Living in a capital city, it can be easy to forget the joy of being a tourist. In fact “being a tourist” can have negative connotations. Case in point: when I visited Berlin I was eager to explore a new city, whilst desperately trying (and failing) not to seem like a tourist. This was partly due to the fact that I was travelling with a Berliner – V.A. I didn’t want to make her do boring tourist stuff. But at the same time I had a list of sights I wanted to see. She assured me though that she didn’t mind taking me to see the landmarks. This is true friendship.

The tourists sights in Berlin are so much more enjoyable than those in London. I was shocked at how spacious Berlin is. There were tourists everywhere, but it didn’t seem crowded at all. There was space to wander freely. I could take photos without having to wait for people to move out of the way. It was wonderful!

Being a foreigner in a new city can be quite daunting at times, but I felt comfortable in Berlin. Transport is easy to navigate, even alone. The people are helpful, and of course, most speak English. I did try to learn a little German, but it helped a lot when I was stuck.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is; Berlin is a great city to be a tourist in.


You can check out the rest of my Berlin Travel Diary series here.

Berlin Travel Diary | District Mot Review

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District Mot | Vietnamese Street Food | Rosenthalerplatz – Berlin, Germany | Website

Of course the first thing any self-respecting foodie will do when they get off a plane is go in search of food. So it made sense for the second instalment of my Berlin Travel Diary to be a restaurant review. We headed down the street to one of V.A‘s favourite lunch spots – District Mot. District Môt labels itself as Saigon street food. In fact this is Vietnamese food with a slight fusion twist. I had a Vietnamese coffee (the best kind of coffee), and we ordered the Banh Trang Bun Thit Nuong (DIY summer rolls with noodles, chicken and salad, which you wrap in rice paper), and a Bao Burger to share.

The Bao Burger, oh the Bao Burger. Where do I begin? A succulent patty encased inside a steamed boa bun, and topped with mango, herbs and chilli sauce. This is no ordinary burger. I could have easily eaten one of these by myself. However that doesn’t mean I wasn’t happy to share, especially when it meant I could follow it with several summer rolls. One of my favourite things about Vietnamese food is how light it is, and Summer Rolls are a perfect example of this. The clean, fresh flavours of DM’s offering were exactly what I wanted. Of course light food means more room for pudding. I can’t say I’ve had a Vietnamese dessert before, so when V.A ordered Thao Pho Nuoc Doung (silk tofu with a ginger syrup), I was eager to try something new. I love both tofu and ginger, so this is the perfect kind of pudding for me. I even nibbled on the ginger root, something I realised is probably a little odd…but I adore the fiery kick.

We paid €12 (around £8.50) each, with soft drinks. As a Londoner, this is amazing value. I was told that this is one of the more expensive street food restaurants in Berlin, but I would happily pay this again and again. V.A had waxed lyrical about District Mot and I can honestly say that I now share her sentiments entirely. If you’re ever in Berlin, make sure you stop by – you won’t regret it!


You can check out the rest of my Berlin Travel Diary series here.

Berlin Travel Diary | Let Me Take Your Bags

berlin-germany-travel-diary-mani-hotel-amano-bloomzy-1Mani Hotel, Torstraße 136, 10119 Berlin, Germany

Let’s start from the beginning. Having never travelled to Germany I had always wanted to visit Berlin. So when V.A suggested a holiday in the capital – with her as my tour guide – I could hardly say no…could I? They say good friends should never travel together, but we were confident that we wouldn’t be screeching at each other by the end of the holiday. So we packed our bags and hopped on a plane to the home of curry wurst.

The Mani Hotel had kindly offered to put us up for our first night in the city, and after a relatively short train journey from the airport, we dropped off our bags and freshened up. The hotel is located in Rosenthaler Platz, Mitte, which just so happened to be the area we had marked down for its variety of restaurants and shops. We explored the area a little (something I’ll go into more detail on in the next post), and it did not let us down. Later we caught up with a friend (and a heavy rain shower) before rushing back to the hotel for dinner.

I don’t usually “do” food at hotels. I prefer to explore the restaurants nearby, but we could hardly say no when the Mani so graciously offered us a dinner and breakfast package. After a 2am startwe were running on only 3 hours sleep, and the idea of only having to take a lift back to our cozy bed was glorious. Luckily for us the food at the Mani hotel is not an afterthought to a room, instead it elegantly compliments your stay. The sharing plates for dinner were a modern fusion of French and Arabic cuisines. However it was the breakfast buffet (which non hotel guests can have for only €15) that excited me most. It was like letting a child loose in a sweet store. The food here is prepared with fresh, seasonal ingredients, and presented beautifully. If I were to visit Berlin again I would definitely visit the Mani hotel and restaurant. In fact I’m considering catching another flight back asap just for those breakfast meatballs!

You can check out the rest of my Berlin Travel Diary series here.

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Travel: Hay-on-Wye – The Town of Books

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Hay-on-Wye, Powys, Wales

Remember all the fairytales you read as a child? The ones of magical villages whose alleyways were lined with bookstores, and curiosity shops filled with trinkets and oddities. What if I told you all of that was real, and you could re-discover it as an adult? All you have to do is go to Wales. Yes, this town really does exist, and it’s called Hay-on-Wye – The Town of Books.

You would think that such a fantastical introduction would make for a pretty boring visit. That certainly wasn’t the case when I headed to this lively town last weekend. I found myself running away from everyone, eager to get lost in the small alleys. Ducking my head into antiques stores and galleries. Rummaging through dusty books and maps in a bookstore straight out of Harry Potter. It’s not everyday that you reclaim that special wonderment you felt as a child. That’s why my trip to Hay-on-Wye felt so wonderful. I actually can’t stop talking about it to people. I know that my photos and words can’t do it justice, so I can only hope that you will be inspired and visit the town for yourself. Your inner child will thank you.

You can find out more at Visit Wales.