Dining in an Igloo: London Date Night Ideas

Coppa Club Tower Bridge Igloos

Last week I get a text from my friend Iris and boy was it an exciting one. Now I've seen these igloo things EVERYWHERE. And by everywhere I mean all over my Facebook and Insta feeds. Naturally, I have to go see what the hype's all about. Back in December I tried to make a reservation with another friend for the holidays. Unfortunately but not unexpectedly, "sold out" it says. Or something that basically meant sorry no room for you right now. 

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The text from Iris was Christmas all over again. She said "hey I booked these igloos a couple months ago, want to go with me" ABSOLUTELY YES. Thank you for choosing me as tribute Iris. I am honored and probably a bit too excited. 

So the night of our reservation came, which was last night by the way. I carefully curate my outfit for prime Insta-ness and optimal warmth, because winter. Head down to the tube and 8 stops later I'm standing in front of a castle. Tower Hill stop will get you the closest to Coppa Club Tower Bridge. This Underground stop pops you out right in front of the Tower of London. 

I was early and cold and needed to go to the bathroom. I gravitate towards a default, Starbucks. I grabbed an oat milk 2 pump grande chai latte for no reason whatsoever and immediately regretted my decision afterwards. 

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Then I walked towards the river and into the igloo wonderland that sits on Coppa Club's patio. It was all lit up fairytale like. A perfect date night spot? Absolutely yes. And the cherry on top? You get a view of the Thames, the Tower Bridge, and the Shard, all of which were reflecting a gorgeous blue in contrast with the orange emanating from the ivy leaf and christmas light lined half domes. You could see all the onlookers sitting inside Coppa Club yearning to be in one of the igloos and all the igloo diners having a ball. 

Now, I had the impression that we would be in a private igloo because that's what all social media shows. But of course social media is wrong. You share your igloo! What??? Our igloo had 3 tables in it. 2 for 2 and 1 for 4. It did feel a little cramped at first. Then after we all exchanged some Insta worthy shots and Snapchat selfies the tension lifted. 

I also have to mention how affordable our food was. Caesar Salad with added Fish and Kale Salad with a side of Roasted Heirloom Carrots, all for a mere 13 pounds a person. For some reason I was ready to take on some wallet pain, thinking there would be a crazy surcharge for our spot in a coveted igloo. 

Everything went pretty perfectly and we had a great night...on our friend date, to be clear. Not a date date!

Want to dine in an igloo too? Reservations are running away fast. So hop on and see if you can grab yourself a spot. I did hear that you can walk in if you're willing to wait an hour or so. 

 

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A Night in The Anantara Mui Ne: Luxury Hotel Review
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Mui Ne, Vietnam is known for its stretch of beaches and to have access to the most pristine stretch you'll have to stay at the Anantara Mui Ne. 

Anantara is a luxury hotel chain that operates mainly throughout Southeast Asia. Anantaras are known for offering large and of course luxurious accommodation spaces that span from suites to multi-bedroom villas complete with their own private pool. 

My Vietnam summer 2017 trip included a stop in Mui Ne and I was definitely spoiled by the opportunity to stay in the Anantara Mui Ne. It's the perfect beachfront luxury hotel for you if you're looking for friendly staff, comfortable rooms, a huge pool, delicious smoothies, and an endless breakfast buffet. And really now, who isn't looking for all of these things while on vacation? 

The Hotel

The hotel was gorgeous and definitely an oasis in Mui Ne. It has an enormous pool area that looks out towards the beach and direct beach access from the pool! My favorite thing to do while I was there was order a banana smoothie (or 2...buy one get one free during happy hour!) sit out by the pool and dip in when I was getting a little to hot. 

Second favorite thing? The extensive breakfast! They had everything! Tropical fruits, dim sum, made to order soup and noodles, made to order eggs, made to order crepes and waffles, breads and pastries, cheeses and meats, fruit smoothies, fruit juices, coffee, and of course vietnamese coffee! 

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Our Room

We had the pleasure of staying in a Premier King Bed Room. My first impressions were: 1. interesting room layout, 2. holy crap we have a big bathroom, and 3. WOW we really have a big balcony too. 

So "interesting room layout" doesn't at all mean bad layout. It was actually quite cool! The first thing you see when you walk in is a workspace and the bed sits behind the workspace in the center of the room. Beyond the bed next to the window out to balcony is a small couch. Whoever designed the room definitely was emphasizing the great view we had outside and I absolutely love that. It made the room feel a bit more homey but not more cramped. 

Next, we have the bathroom. HUGE bathroom. It was probably 1/3 of the whole room with double sinks, a rainfall shower, and a bathtub that came with some complimentary bath salts. Luxurious? Yes absolutely! 

And then last, I say balcony but what we really had was a terrace. I swear that was the largest hotel balcony I've ever seen. We could've put a bbq out there and thrown a party for 10 just on the balcony. 

Convinced to splurge a little? Go ahead you deserve a bit of rest and relaxation. Reserve a room using this link: Anantara Mui Ne, to support Gallivanting Bean! 


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3 Week North to South Vietnam Itinerary

I'm writing this a tad late...but we always say better late than never! I wanted to share with all of you our itinerary for the 3 weeks we spent in Vietnam. Well, more accurately, it's the 3 weeks the boys spend there and 2 weeks for me. They flew into Hanoi and started from there. Whereas I flew into Da Nang and met them at the Vedana Lagoon Spa & Resort. 

Since I wasn't with the boys from Sapa to Hue I'll only be making recommendations for Hoi An to Saigon.

So for anyone planning to spend some time traveling down the coast of Vietnam, here's the breakdown of our trip, some tips, and the vlog! You can also find photos from our trip here

3 Week North to South Vietnam Summer 2017 Trip Itinerary

  • Day 1: Fly into Hanoi and night train to Sapa 
  • Day 2: Sapa 
  • Day 3: Sapa 
  • Day 4: Sapa and night train to Hanoi
  • Day 5: Hanoi 
  • Day 6: Cruise to Ha Long Bay
  • Day 7: Ha Long Bay 
  • Day 8: Ninh Binh 
  • Day 9: Ninh Binh and night train to Hue 
  • Day 10: Hue and taxi to Vedana Lagoon Resort & Spa (Meet Genie!) 
  • Day 11: Vedana Lagoon Resort & Spa and taxi to Hoi An
  • Day 12: Hoi An 
  • Day 13: Hoi An Day 14: Hoi An and bus to Quy Nhon/Bai Xep 
  • Day 14: Bai Xep and bus to Nha Trang 
  • Day 15: Nha Trang 
  • Day 16: Nha Trang and bus to Mui Ne 
  • Day 17: Mui Ne
  • Day 18: Mui Ne and bus to Saigon 
  • Day 19: Saigon
  • Day 20: Mekong Delta Tour - Cai Be Floating Market
  • Day 21: Saigon 
  • Day 22: Leave Saigon and Fly to Hong Kong 

Hoi An: This seems to be everyone's favorite city in Vietnam and I can see why. It's has a certain charm with its Ancient City and a summer appeal with its beaches. I suggest renting a motorbike and going to An Bang beach. You can also take a day or half day trip to Da Nang. There's a view point in Da Nang called Son Tra that is definitely worth the drive. There's also a famous Banh Mi you can find here. 

Bai Xep: This was such a gem that we found! It's a small fishermen's village located in Quy Nhon. There's almost no other tourists here and only 2 hostels that I saw. I almost don't want to share this secret with you because it was really the most pristine and quiet beach we saw in Vietnam. 

Nha Trang: We only spent 1 night here which was enough for us but if you're looking to connect with fellow travelers try spending 2. A lot of backpackers stop here as there are many cheap hostels around and also a pretty big party culture. You can find some interesting food here such as alligator and frogs, if you're looking to try something new! 

Mui Ne: I would recommend spending just 1 night in Mui Ne as there is not much to do there. Also the beaches are much much better further south in Mui Ne than in the north. The sand dunes and ATV tour was a huge tourist trap and definitely not worth it on our opinion. The must see in Mui Ne is the Fairy Stream. You don't need a tour for this or to pay to enter. You can just walk up the stream! 

Saigon: Saigon was strikingly different from all the other cities. It's truly becoming a metropolitan, high rises and constant construction included. We spent 4 nights here but I still felt that that was not enough. There is so much to do and so much to see here. The highlights for me were the War Remnants Museum, Ben Thanh Market, and our tour with Asiana Link to Cai Be in the Mekong Delta. 

Central to South Vietnam Hotels and Hostels

Hue: Vedana Lagoon Resort & Spa - Beautiful secluded hotel perfect for couples or a family retreat
Hoi An: Hoi An Silk Boutique Hotel & Spa - Reasonably priced 4 star hotel that is walking distance from to everything in town
Bai Xep: Life's a Beach Hostel - Super friendly secluded hostel that is right on the beach
Nha Trang: iHome Hostel - Centrally located fun party hostel suited for meeting other travelers but not exactly the cleanest property
Mui Ne: Minh Anh Garden Hotel - 1 star property that I wouldn't recommend due to bad location but room was decently clean and managers were friendly
Mui Ne: Anantara Mui Ne - Beachfront 5 star property with large pool in a much better location than the 1 star mentioned above  
Saigon: Duc Vuong Hotel - Great central 3 star property on the backpacker street with a rooftop bar

Vietnam Tips and Tricks

First, be prepared to get ripped off. As a tourist, you're seen a lot of the time as basically walking money. So bargain with everything that you pay for. Transportation, souvenirs, food (not in actual restaurants), and tours. But, your wallet won't hurt too much if you do end up being ripped off as everything in Vietnam is pretty cheap. For example, we got 3 beds in a hostel in Nha Trang for just $15 a night. If anything you'll forfeit over an extra $1 to $5. 

Second, not every step of your trip has to be planned out and booked ahead of time. Many travelers, especially backpackers, travel from north to south or south to north and will book as they go! Leaving some flexibility in your schedule also gives you the opportunity to move along with people you meet on the way. I was highly anxious about not having a place secured for 3 nights of our trip. Everything turned out okay! When we were in Hoi An we extended our stay there for 1 night, and booked our hotels for Bai Xep, Nha Trang, and Mui Ne. We were also always able to book our bus tickets just a day or 2 days before travel. You can read more here about the best ways to travel in Vietnam

And third, dress appropriately and be prepared! The sun in Vietnam is quite harsh and can give you a bad sun burn. Be prepared with sun screen, sunglasses, and a hat at minimum. You'll also want to bring some mosquito repellant with you. Make sure you get one that has DEET in it. Lastly, expect to be hit with some stomach problems. You'll never know when you'll get that 1 bite of bad food or simply something your stomach is not used to. Consult your physician or a travel clinic at least 3 months before departure and they can give you all the right medications and vaccinations you'll need for your trip. 

I hope this all helped! 

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Schloss Eggenberg: A Fairytale Retreat Minutes From Graz
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Schloss Eggenberg 

Europe is filled with fairytale dreams and Graz, Austria is not an exception. Just 20 minutes from Graz's city center, there sits a beautiful baroque Styrian palace.

Schloss Eggenberg, a UNESCO Heritage Site, is the most important baroque palace complex in all of Styria. It's home to a multitude of art from the 17th and 18th century as well as some resident peacocks. The state rooms are only open from March to October, so for the rest of the year you can enjoy a leisurely stroll through the palace's extensive gardens. 

We visited the palace this Monday, so unfortunately we were not able to take a look inside. That means I'll have to come back in March. 

We got quite lucky as Graz had just been covered in a blanket of snow over the weekend. This made Schloss Eggenberg a full on Narnia inspired winter wonderland during our visit. It really felt like I was transported into a fairytale world once I stepped through the gates. You completely forget about the city outside while you're in there. 

 

Plan Your Visit

Eggenberger Allee 90
8020 Graz, Österreich

T +43-316/8017-9532
F +43-316/8017-9555
eggenberg@museum-joanneum.at

Opening Hours
State Rooms: 24 March -  31 October 2018   
admission with guided tour only

Guided Tours: Tues-Sun and public holidays at 10am, 11am, 12pm, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm (exceptions may apply), and additionally by appointment. Group visits (7 people or more) by appointment only. 

Exhibitions: 24. March to 31. October 2018
Wed-Sun, public holidays 10am - 5pm

Park and Gardens: April - October: daily, 8am-7pm November - March: daily, 8am-5pm

 

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Sipping Lemonade in Turtleneck and a Mini

Wearing: Free People Top, Free People Skirt, Celine Sunglasses, and Chloe Boots

Location: Lemonade

The weather in LA has been, needless to say, quite confusing. It's hot, then cold, then hot, then muggy. I don't know what's happening. Or yes I do know. It's a little something called global warming and climate change. And yes this is not a myth, it's real. 

Moving on from that. Last year LA's winter was COLD. This year LA's winter is HOT. Like 80 degrees hot! It's basically summer over here. Being in London for the past couple months, I'm definitely not taking it for granted. 

So here's an outfit that showcases, first, the confusing weather, and second, my love for Free People

I think it's safe to say that more than 50% of my closet is Free People. They're style is so me! Comfortable yet cute! My look today was about 66.6% Free People, as I got my top and my skirt from them. I was a little hesitant to wear a turtle with a mini skirt because really that makes no sense. But I loved how this look turned out. I walked around all day feeling extra girly haha. Pairing pieces that may not seem harmonious is one of my favorite things to do. This look mixes both purpose and textures. The delicate top lays so nicely above the more harsh studded denim mini. 

And I just wanted to say, get my favorite lemonade from Lemonade is the Watermelon Rosemary. 

 

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Vegan Friendly Coffee Shops in Graz

Veganism is not merely a trend. I've personally found that sticking to a vegan diet helps to improve my skin (acne issues, ugh) and overall energy levels! So when I'm on the road I'm always searching for vegan friendly coffee shops, as I spend a lot of my time drinking coffee.

Graz, Austria is one of the many European cities where stores, cafes, and restaurants have started to not only offer but label vegan foods and drinks for their customers. These are so far my favorite coffee shops in Graz! They offer a ton of vegan and dairy alternative options and their selections of coffee, tea, and pastries are mouthwatering! 

 
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Tribeka, the holy grail of coffee. Well, at least when you're in Graz it is. This hipster hang out serves up the best coffee you can probably find in the cute city. Sure, your wallet is going to hurt a little but your tastebuds will be hollering. Their baristas are well trained and their coffee is well brewed. The espresso slides so smoothly down. Dairy milk alternatives? Yes, of course! Oat milk, soy milk, and I believe they may also have rice and coconut. Oh, don't forget a pastry! They've got homemade carrot cake and vegan banana muffins, which are my usual picks. 

 
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Cafe Erde, or for my English speaking peeps, Cafe Earth is as it sounds...Earthy! They pride themselves on serving up some serious vegan friendly and vegetarian friendly cafe food. Their menu consists of dishes like vegan schnitzels and vegan burgers. Aside from food, since this is a coffee shop post, you can definitely grab a cup of coffee or tea here. Their tea lattes are made with REAL brewed tea! They have a daily offering of different pastries and desserts as well. Lastly, if you're looking for a cosy place to sit, their upstairs room is soooooo cute! They even have cushions so you can sit criss cross apple sauce on the floor and be extra casual. 

 
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Buna is run by coffee lovers for coffee lovers. The owners/baristas here are passionate about their coffee. They'll take the time to talk you through the different ways beans can be brewed and what makes one coffee machine different from the other. You can purchase your soy latte here, a homemade vegan banana bread, and a HUGE coffee machine that also has a HUGE price tag (like over 1000 bucks!). I love the interior here. They have a small space but they've made great use of it! Dazzling coffee machine displays downstairs and an modern industrial workspace feel upstairs. If the weather's nice, you can take a seat outside!   

 

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The Teddy

Wearing: Urban Outfitters Jacket, Free People Top, J Brand Jeans, Chloe Boots, and Celine Purse

Location: London, UK

"The Teddy" jacket has been taking over my Insta feed for DAYSSSS. Has yours also been filled with style bloggers everywhere trotting around in oversized fuzy tan zip ups, sweaters, cardigans, coats, etc.? 

Honestly, I've been looking for a jacket like this for ages. When I finally found one at Urban I was over the moon. Black, discreet, NO LOGOS. Oh god, no logos was for some reason the hardest thing to find. I opted for black instead of tan for the sole purpose of cleanliness. Basically, I spill everything, like everything. I was bound to get coffee on a light tan jacket. Also I wanted a jacket that I could just easily throw on over any outfit, so black it was. I'm so glad I made that decision. I seriously wear this jacket every day. For once, jk Urban makes good stuff, the jacket is cute and functional! Yes, it not only looks warm but, in fact, IS warm. 

 

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My Top 5 Coffee Shops in Central London

Coffee is a passion. Truly, it is. And if you disagree, we really can't be friends anymore. 

Okay, okay totally joking. We can still be friends. 

But, seriously, coffee is one of my passions. I LOVE coffee. And perks, caffeine really has no effect on me unless I drink like 10 espresso shots. That might be overdoing it a little... Anyways, since I've moved to London I've been to many many coffee shops. Trying to find the one just for me and hey look, I've found 5! 

These 5 shops are all in central London aka Zone 1. They're are tons of good coffee shops and cafes outside of central London but I like staying central. Can you blame me? 

I'm going to stop rambling now. Here's my top 5 favorite coffee shops in London! 

 
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1. Kaffeine 

Kaffeine is my number 1 pick. It's an independently owned Australian and New Zealand coffee shop with just 2 locations near Oxford Circus. They serve fresh baked pastries, small plates, and of course some rocking coffee. Both of their locations are quite small so don't expect to get a seat so easily. Even during midday it's quite busy in there. Plan for a grab and go but if you spot a spot take a seat and enjoy your coffee the way it should be enjoyed! 

Locations: 
66 Great Titchfield St, Fitzrovia, London W1W 7QJ
15 Eastcastle St, Fitzrovia, London W1T 3AY

 
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2. Department of Coffee and Social Affairs 

Department of Coffee and Social Affairs. It has a bit of an uppity we're better than the rest attitude as their reputation but hey some times these type of places deserve to be a bit pretentious. The coffee here is divine. They also have a coffee + pastry deal for 4 Pounds. If that's not a steal in London, I don't know what is. 

Locations:
15 Sherwood St, Soho, London W1F 7ED
3 Lowndes Ct, Carnaby, London W1F 7HD
30 Warwick St Soho, London W1B 5AL
14–16 Leather Ln, London EC1N 7SU

 
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3. Workshop Coffee

Workshop Coffee is a no frills coffee shop. It's just good coffee, good pastries, and good conversation. You won't find any venti cups here. Everything comes in the class small cappuccino cups whether you're eating in or taking away. Aside from the wafting smell of espresso flowing out the door, the minimal industrial vibes here will be sure to pull you in and make you stay awhile. I find their espresso to be a bit stronger so if you're looking for a good kickstart to your day, this is definitely the place to be. 

Locations:
1 Barrett St, Marylebone, London W1U 1AX
80 Mortimer St, Marylebone, London W1W 7FE
60 Holborn Viaduct, London EC1A 2FD
7AD, 1 Old St, London EC1M

 
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4. Monmouth Coffee

Monmouth Coffee is straight up GREAT coffee. This is probably the most popular spot that I've listed so far. There's always lines of people spilling out of their tiny tiny shops. They also offer nothing but coffee. No chai tea lattes here! There's also no soy, oat, almond, coconut, hemp, etc. etc., milks offered here. Whole milk only. So lactose intolerant or diary free people steer clear! Monmouth coffee also sells a variety of coffee beans if you're looking to take home their perfected coffee selections. I also highly recommend you get their oh so fudgy brownie to pair with that silk like espresso. The brownies there are to die for, seriously. 

Locations:
27 Monmouth St, London WC2H 9EU
2 Park St, London SE1 9AB

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5. Timberyard Seven Dials 

Timberyard is one this list because it's my favorite place to sit and do work all day. They have a large downstairs area filled with comfy couches and also desks, for all you boring people. Just kidding! I work at the desks too. I only ever visit on weekdays because the weekends in Covent Garden and the Seven Dials area gets crazy crowded. Not trying to deal with that! Get there early, like before 3pm, if you want an easy time at grabbing a seat. Another thing that's great about Timberyard is that they have a variety of vegan and gluten free pastries, which the other coffee shops don't necessarily offer or have a large selection of. 

Locations:
7 Upper St Martin's Ln, London WC2H 9DL


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Keep Warm This Winter With a Parka

Wearing: Alice & Olivia Parka, Brandy Melville Top, Zara Scarf, J Brand Jeans, and Zara Boots

Location: Brick Lane, London

Wow, it's been quite awhile since I've posted a style post. We jumped right from summer looks to full on winter. Okay maybe not FULL ON winter. Because if that were the case I would be probably decked out in Patagonia and Canada Goose. Just kidding I'm not getting a Canada Goose, that would be CRAZY. 

Side note: I really want some more Patagonia stuff and I can't find a store in London that stocks the brand. So if you know of some secret store that I'm unaware of, drop a comment! You'll be saving my life. 

Okay onward. Today's post is all about parkas! Parkas are by far the most fashionably functional winter piece you could have in your closet. Now let's be honest with ourselves. Most "winter" wear that's cute, sparkly, velvety, and so on and so forth, is reallyyyy not that warm. Don't argue with me! You know it's true. That embroidered velvet coat you have from Anthropologie? Hell no you can't wear that in negative degrees! So being super warm and super stylish is not always super easy. UNLESS you have a super cute parka! 

Parkas match with almost about everything, depending on what color your parka is. Go with black. That's always the best choice. Versatility, my friends. Wear your parka with denim and sneakers, dress and platform heels, smart trousers and loafers, or even leggings and trainers. No matter what you're wearing underneath a black fur hooded parka will up your cool factor by 10 and up your warmth factor by 100. 

The one I have is from Alice & Olivia and it came with an insulated vest that you can't see in the photos. But, that extra layer really helps to add some extra heat. The fur is detachable and so is the entire hood, which gives me an easy way to create multiple looks with just 1 jacket. And unlike a fur or wool coat I don't have to be so careful with it. It's waterproof so rain, dirt, etc. comes right off. It's my perfect London accessory. I can also take it off in a few swift moves. This is pertinent in London. The underground, shops, restaurants, and bars all pump up their heat. So by the time your inside you'll be dying to rip off all of your layers. 

 

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Buying Jade at Hong Kong's Famed Jade Market
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Hong Kong Jade Market

The Hong Kong Jade Market is a place of wondrous gemstone marvels. There are stalls on stalls on stalls overflowing with jade beads, jade bracelets, jade figurines, and so much more. If you find yourself in the city and craving something a little special for yourself (or maybe a loved one!) you have to give the Jade Market a visit. 

The market is located on the Kowloon side of Hong Kong and open Monday through Saturday from 11AM to 5:45PM. It's super easy to get to! Just hop on the ferry that takes you from Central Pier No. 7 to Tsim Sha Tsui. From the Tsim Sha Tsui MTR station it's about a 20 minute walk up Nathan Road. Take a left at Gascoigne Road and then you'll find the market on your right hand side. 

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When I was in Hong Kong with Oliver and Florian we were sure not to miss out on perusing these gem stoned filled stalls. I went in with no intentions of purchasing anything. And of course, no surprise here, ended up getting a little something for myself. It's almost impossible to walk out of there with nothing! 

We got super lucky while we were there. We met a vendor who was 1. not screaming at us trying to obnoxiously sell us something,  2. definitely not trying to scam us, and 3. taught us how to parse through the jade and pick the quality pieces. Now, I'm passing on these tips to you! 

What Matters When You're Buying Jade 

1. The Stone Should Be Imperfect

Jade stones comes in all different hues and shades of green. There are bright green ones, dark green ones, green spotted ones. Now you may think because the stone is a solid bright green color that this means it's a good stone. Wrong! Jade is a natural gemstone that means it should be IMPERFECT. The bracelets and pendants that are solid bright color have been highly tampered with and most likely contains very very little real jade. The higher quality ones will have variations in the color, looking more like droplets of green food color diffusing through water. 

2. The Stone Should Be Clear Not Cloud

Opacity matters when you're looking at jade. It's like shopping for diamonds. Higher levels of opacity or simply cloudiness means the gemstone is of lower quality. To check this just hold the stone up to the light and see how clear it is. The clearer the stone, the higher quality it is! 

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3. Each Gemstone Holds a Different Meaning

The market sells much more than jade. There are so many different types of gemstones and mineral rocks that you can get here. I actually bought myself not jade but a little moonstone elephant figurine. Here are some examples of the different meanings different stones and different figurines hold. 

Jade is for protection
Graphite is for good blood circulation
Moonstone is for clarity of mind 

Elephants are for good fortune
Turtles are for good health and longevity

4. The Jade Should Change The More You Wear It

This is obviously more applicable for after you've purchased your jade. But it's still important to know! The vendor told us that jade is meant to be worn and meant to be touched. Our naturally occurring skin oils mix with the jade and changes it's color. The more you wear it and the more it touches your skin, the more beautiful the gemstone should become! 

 


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A Fried Egg in London That's Big Enough to Feed 6!

Florentine Restaurant & Bar in Waterloo serves up some massive portions. Here you can get plates such as an Ostrich egg paired with a full English breakfast or the dinosaur sized Tomahawk steak. 

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The Ostrich Egg with Full English Breakfast cost a whopping 75 Pounds and is said to feed 4. But, it was definitely more than enough food for 6! We were able to choose between having our Ostrich egg fried or scrambled. Our waiter told us scrambled was more popular but we decided that fried would be a cooler experience and definitely a more "instagrammable" dish. Usually you have to call in the order ahead of time to check if they have eggs available and to shorten your wait time but we said whatever let's just wing it! And it was successful! We did still have to wait the 30-40 minutes for the egg to be cooked. 

Now I've never had an ostrich egg before so I have nothing to compare it to. I thought it was pretty good. Not too different from a chicken fried egg. Although, the egg white had a somewhat curious consistency and texture. It was very light and bouncy. That's the best I can describe it. 

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Where to get an Authentic Austrian Homemade Meal in Styria
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Die Buschenschank 

Homemade meals in Austria are not just reserved for homes. Around the city of Graz you can easily get a hot home-cooked meal that is sure to make your mouth water.

Buschenschank

Buschenschank

There are numerous restaurants known as "Buschenschänke" that sit idyllically in the lush countrysides of Steiermark or in English, Styria, the southern forest filled Austrian state. They serve wine made from the grapes of their own vineyards and dishes made from home grown ingredients. They're also known to be quite affordable! We paid just a little over 20 Euros for 2 plates, 3 drinks, and 2 desserts. That's incredible! 

To keep it traditional order a "Brettljause", which an assortment of meats, cheeses, and vegetables served on a wooden board. You should also try a salad dressed with "Kürbiskernöl", pumpkin seed oil that is native to and quite popular in Styria. It's recently become one of my favorite ways to dress a salad. And don't forget about dessert! "Apfelstrudel" or a "Buchtel" is what we usually order. When we can't decide between the two, we just get both! Apfelstrudel is simply an apple strudel, puff pastry filled with delicious sweet apples. Buchtel (or plural Buchteln) is a fluffy and light sweet roll that is usually filled with some sort of cream or marmalade. We got one that was as big as a half liter mug! 

Buschenschank Dokter

Brettljause at Buschenschank Dokter

Brettljause at Buschenschank Dokter

Buchtel at Buschenschank Dokter

Buchtel at Buschenschank Dokter

Looking for where we went? Head to Buschenschank Dokter in Ligist. It came highly recommended by a friend and now I'm highly recommending it to you! Although the weather was not so great while we were there, everything else was! It had a great view and felt super homey and cosy. The servers were all friendly and very attentive. The food was absurdly satisfying, extremely filling, and surprisingly cheap. And it's totally accessible from Graz, just a 30 minute drive outside of the city. 


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21 Days From Sapa to Saigon | Photo Diary

An extensive photo diary of our time in Vietnam. August 18 to September 7, 2017. 

Let me introduce the boys: Oliver & Florian
They're pretty cool. 

The boys spent their time up in the North of Vietnam and I met up with them in the middle near Hue. From there we continued south to Saigon. 


NORTH: SAPA TO HUE


SOUTH: HUE TO SAIGON