Posts in Travel
Fielding Hotel, London

During fashion week I got to stay at the Fielding Hotel for a week. It's tucked away between Drury Lane and Bow Street on a pedestrian only road called Broad Court. As far as central London goes, you couldn't ask for a more ideal location - it's right in the center of Covent Garden. It was perfect for fashion week and put me smack-dab in the middle of all the shows. This meant I could fall out of bed at 8:30am, get a coffee from Starbucks, and still be at Somerset House at 9am. Seriously, I couldn't have been happier. Plus, Zara was just around the corner - which saved me one morning when I had a horrendous outfit crisis.

But, let's get down to the nitty gritty. Besides the great location, does the Fielding Hotel have anything to offer? As with all things, the website solidified my first impression. If I'm honest, it didn't make a great one. But, when I arrived the hotel didn't look at all like the photos - it's bright and welcoming with incredibly friendly staff and great quality rooms. For example, my room (number 16) was big and super comfortable - with two flat screen TVs, a massive bed and plenty of closet space. I had stairs leading to a separate sitting room, two desks and a lush bathroom with the most irresistible rainfall shower. The hotel has recently been given a makeover - so don't be fooled by the pictures on the website. The truth is, the Fielding Hotel has a whole lot more to offer than what first meets the eye...

A massive thank you to Chris for having me and to everyone at the hotel who was so welcoming, despite seeing me in my slightly ravished fashion week state. Thanks also to Kit for helping with the photos. Dress by Natar Georgiou.

eBay in Stockholm
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Last week I was invited out to Stockholm for eBay's autumn/winter advertising shoot. Yeah, I was surprised at first too... eBay do advertising shoots?

From the pages of Vogue to the walls of the underground - I remember seeing the images from last year everywhere. I wasn't really sure what they were all about though. Turns out there's a little outlet tucked within the pages of eBay that offers new products from high street brands at up to 70% off - this is the direction that eBay are moving. Don't worry, they wont be getting rid of 99p vintage bargains anytime soon. It's just an addition to what they have already become known and loved for.

Sara Dunn did the most incredible job at styling the shoot. Why do I always think I need to buy brand new pieces from designer shops to create great outfits? She used last season's pieces and still managed to create inspiring looks. Besides just playing with all the accessories, I also presented a behind the scenes video that will be available to view later this month...

Massive thank you to Rachel for inviting me out and Daniel for being the ultimate chef.

More photos available here

Rough Luxe
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'A little bit of luxury in a rough part of London. A little bit of rough in a luxurious London.'

The Rough Luxe Hotel, situated near St Pancras station, is an absolute gem. Not only are the rooms immaculate and enchanting, the overall experience will make you question how you think about hotels. It's a B&B by all counts but leaves you feeling as though you've visited the home of a far-flung family friend, rather than a luxury hotel in central London.

Each of the ten rooms, in this Grade II listed building, are entirely unique in design. The site was renovated in 2008 by Rabih Hage, layers of wallpaper and paint were partially stripped away leaving behind a mosaic created from the historic remains of contrasting textures and fabrics. While the hotel doesn't boast a large selection of amenities (you wont find a spa, gym or even television in your room) it does deliver exceedingly well on other accounts - notably, hospitality.

After arriving, I inadvertently launched a defense on how the hotel ought to create a Twitter account to the manager, Leo Rabelo. He aptly nodded and seemed interested, though not too overwhelmingly keen. The next morning I woke to find a tweet from the newly established @stayroughluxe stating that I'd have to try the homemade baba ghanoush later that day. I tottered downstairs to congratulate Leo on his newly found place in the world of social media and found myself captivated by the breakfast. Freshly squeezed juice, croissants, delicious bread, jams, eggs, porridge, and really good coffee... I could have stayed in that garden all day. Needless to say, the temptation of Lebanese food was too good to resist so later that afternoon I returned with Laurel to take Leo up on his offer. Countless hours later and we were still all sitting in the garden drinking wine and discussing the deep complexities of life (and Leo's dog's website). The best part? This wasn't any sort of special treatment. All the guests I saw were making themselves at home - a few girls were even up late making noodles in the kitchen.

Rough Luxe Hotel is located at 1 Birkenhead Street, London. Rooms start at £177

Big thanks to Laurel for having taken a few of these photos. Also, thank you Leo and Antonio for welcoming me to the world of Rough Luxe. I'm officially hooked.

Keystone Crescent

Spending a week in London with LA photographer Laurel Dailey was absolute bliss. We met last year on a little project for Quiksilver and she kindly made the trip back out to the UK to shoot my friend's wedding. We discovered this little gem of a street, called Keystone Crescent, thanks to a midnight stroll with our wonderful host Leo from the Rough Luxe. The next morning we ventured back out to see it in the daylight with ice-cream cones from McDonald's. It's the quaintest English street set in the heart of bustling London... but on closer inspection it shows the mark of recent times. Oversized CCTV cameras, graffiti, a Chinese take away shop plus heaps of tv antennas and wires sit beside old fashioned mailboxes and pretty potted flowers. That's London for you.

Wearing: M Missoni bouclé coat (via My-Wardrobe), Cutler and Gross sunglasses & Philippe Audibert bracelet (via Monnier Frères), 7 for all Mankind skinny jeans and Wanted Carlton leopard loafers.

Gramercy Park
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Stepping inside the Gramercy Park Hotel is akin to being transported to an entirely separate world. A world dissimilar to ones own, where all is still and grand yet rooted in a Bohemian subculture that harks back to years past. It's as if you're Alice and you've just tumbled down the rabbit hole. It is simultaneously surreal, dark, and comforting - a perfected combination of elements that leaves you wishing you could stay forever wrapped in its allure.

Established in 1925, the hotel has a varied past. Humphrey Bogart married his first wife at the hotel, the Kennedy family stayed on the second floor for several months, and during the Great Depression Babe Ruth often frequented the bar. In 1958 the hotel was bought by Herbert Weissberg, prices dropped and the location embraced a more bohemian character. In the 1970s Bob Marley and Bob Dylan frequently visited. Everyone from Madonna to David Bowie have made the hotel their home.

After Weissberg's death in 2003 the hotel was sold to Ian Schrager. Co-founder of Studio 54 and often credited with co-creating the Boutique Hotel genre, it was under Schrager that the hotel was renovated in collaboration with artist Julian Schnabel. Today the hotel hosts a vast collection of 20th century masterpieces. Original works of art by Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Damien Hirst, Richard Prince and Keith Haring line the walls and make the viewer feel as if art is being democratized in front of them. Stand in your bedroom slippers, sip a cocktail in the Rose Bar, and be inspired by the vast wealth of paintings that sit all around you.

The Gramercy Park Hotel is such an enchanting place to stay that you'll struggle to leave. While there I didn't have the slightest interest in venturing out into the city. I could have spent all morning on the roof top terrace sipping lattes or lying in the Japanese soaking bath. Just next to the hotel is Gramercy Park. It's the only private park in New York but as a resident of the hotel you'll be granted access. My only regret is that I stayed for just one night.

Gramercy Park Hotel is located at 2 Lexington Avenue, New York. Rooms start at $345

Bliss
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Waking up to a massive cupcake in New York with nothing to do all day... that's my idea of absolute bliss. I'm currently hanging out with my family and waiting on my sister to have a baby! Fingers crossed it will be here by the end of the weekend. Hope everyone has an incredible Friday!

Featuring: Elizabeth Lau SS11 Astoria dress and CRUMBS cupcake. Photos taken at the Paramount Hotel.

Room 1426
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Arriving into America always feels like total magic. I love it when the woman at passport control looks up after having checked over my documents and says, 'Welcome home, ma'am.' Not only that, there's something undeniably enticing about a yellow taxi. Sitting inside and watching as the magnanimous city landscape creeps ever closer. Until, unexpectedly, you find yourself completely eaten up by it. In my case, standing on the steps of the Paramount Hotel in Times Square.

When I walked in I was handed a keycard to room 1426. Otherwise known as the Couture Suite, this newly renovated 950 square foot space is enough to make your jaw drop. It's sleek and crisp with a serious touch of glamour. Modeled off what you'd expect to find from a luxury New York style loft, it has white leather sofas, hardwood floors, and walls lined with vintage fashion prints (the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Kennedy will gaze down at you as you eat your breakfast).

The hotel itself sits right in the center of New York's mayhem - I could watch the madness of Times Square from my window. If you're new to the city I couldn't recommend the location more. Your on the doorstep of some of the biggest attractions around. At the same time though, the rooms offer a total haven away from all the chaos. You can grab the best coffee in New York* without even having to go outside. There's a Dean & Deluca attached to the hotel and, if I'm honest, that's reason enough to lure me back. I found myself almost struggling to leave the premises of the hotel while I was there. Despite the unfamiliarity of the city, my little space at the Paramount felt like a home away from home... I already can't wait to go back.

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View full set of photos here. 

Thank you to everyone at the Paramount Hotel, especially Elizabeth, for having been so incredibly kind during my stay. Also, massive thank you to Mallory and Robyn at Harrison & Shriftman for arranging my stay. I had a wonderful time and can't thank you enough for everything.

 *this is just my opinion... feel free to disagree if you've found a better cup of coffee in the city

Savage Beauty
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The McQueen exhibition at the Met is incredible. People were waiting in line for hours to get in. Surely a show that has received so much hype wouldn't be able to live up to my expectations, I thought as I walked in. Not so. Each room is perfectly presented and, to my mind, did McQueen absolute justice.

It begins with McQueen's graduate collection and work from his time at Givenchy before moving on to his later work. One massive room is devoted to accessories and has films playing throughout with snapshots into some of his most extraordinary catwalk productions (cue robotic paint jobs from SS1999 and the chessboard from SS2005). Although there is vast variation between collections a core aesthetic carries between each room - making it remarkably evident that McQueen had a solid vision that was continuously perfected through each new collection. The room focusing on this AW1995 collection, Highland Rape, was my absolute favourite. The day we went the temperature was sitting at over 105 degrees. We walked across Central Park, felt serious sympathy for all the runners, and tried to slurp down our yoghurt before it melted into one giant puddle. A pretty heavenly day I'd have to say... if you happen to find yourself in New York, definitely check out Savage Beauty.

Wearing: random sunglasses bought on ebay, Ralph Lauren polo, Levi 501 diy shorts, white converse, YSL arty ring, and Half n' Half bag from One Language. More photos here.

Hi from NY!
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I just arrived into New York yesterday afternoon and I'm still buzzing with the excitement of a little kid. Everything is so big and I'm completely over-stimulated. I love that New York looks and feels exactly how you expect. Times Square is totally surreal and doesn't even look real. The building are monstrous, the lights intoxicating.

The Couture Suite at the Paramount Hotel is my home for the next few nights. It's incredibly gorgeous and I feel totally spoiled. Surrounded by such beauty, I don't even mind that I'm spending my morning inside catching up on some work. It's so hot outside. Spending the afternoon at the McQueen Savage Beauty exhibition at the Met and then going to explore the Meatpacking District...

Follow my NY adventures on Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook if you fancy.