Share

19 Jul 2018

A Weekend in Amsterdam

Euriental | luxury travel & style | Amsterdam Guide

Can you believe, having lived in London for 10+ years, I hadn't made it to Amsterdam once until late last year? To put that into perspective, early last year I flew to New Zealand for a fortnight, flew back to London for a few short weeks and then flew all the way back to Fiji for another week. Yet Amsterdam, a mere 1 hour away, I hadn't found time for yet.

So when Jarv and I heard Wolf Alice were performing there, we decided it was high time (ha ha...) I finally visited the 'Venice of the North'. The weather wasn't ideal, with both wind and heavy rain, but it was November so that was hardly surprising. Everything else about the short weekend was a delight, from accommodation to food to wandering aimlessly around the city.

STAY

We started with a night at the Intercontinental Amstel, a landmark hotel (standing since 1867) sat proudly on the East bank of the river Amstel, which in 2007 even made the list of World's Best Hotels. With its grandiose interiors and old-world charm, the Amstel has housed prestigious guests such as Queen Elizabeth II and Michael Jackson in its day. 

Our room was a tad 'grandma's house' for my taste, but I can still appreciate the traditional touches and I must say that breakfast overlooking the river was the highlight of our stay at the Intercontinental Amstel - excellent cooked-to-order dishes, a beautifully laid out buffet, a wonderful tea selection and gracious service all served to set us up for the day in the best way possible.

Euriental | luxury travel & style | Intercontinental Amstel Amsterdam
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Intercontinental Amstel Amsterdam
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Intercontinental Amstel Amsterdam
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Intercontinental Amstel Amsterdam
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Intercontinental Amstel Amsterdam
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Intercontinental Amstel Amsterdam
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Intercontinental Amstel Amsterdam
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Intercontinental Amstel Amsterdam

For the second half of our stay we wandered over to the Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam. Another historical building, it was once a monastery before becoming Amsterdam's City Hall for almost 200 years.

We were greeted by our own butler who escorted us up to our room, explained its features and expertly poured us two welcome glasses of Veuve Clicquot before taking his leave. 

Featuring jewel tones and an exposed brick wall, our room was a little more 'modern elegance' than the previous hotel, if smaller. From the window: a calming and picturesque view of one of Amsterdam's lovely canals.

Euriental | luxury travel & style | Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam

EAT & DRINK

BAR-becue Castell Amsterdam: incredible steaks cooked to perfection (and as rare as you ask for!), delivered in generous portions. The restaurant features communal-style seating on plush leather sofas (or dining at the bar where the action is, which is what we did).

Mr. Crab: an abundance of freshly caught seafood in all its glory, piled high on tiered troughs of ice. Light, healthy and delicious.

De Koffieschenkerij: Tasty sandwiches, good coffee, chill vibes (and incredible looking pastries that I refrained from gobbling up ... this time), all inside Amsterdam's oldest building.

I'm sorry to say I don't have many more recommendations just yet as our trip was short and sweet (plus some of the meals we had were room service, etc.), however we will surely return soon to explore even more of this gorgeous city so ... TBC.

In the meanwhile, if you have any suggestions of areas/museums/restaurants/bars I should visit the next time I'm there, I'd always love to hear those too.

Euriental | luxury travel & style | Amsterdam
Euriental | luxury travel & style | De Koffieschenkerij Amsterdam
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Mr. Crab Amsterdam


17 May 2018

My struggle with calling myself a blogger

Euriental | luxury travel & style | Oui London dress, Hermes bag, H&M shoes in King's Cross LondonEuriental | luxury travel & style | Oui London dress, Hermes bag, H&M shoes in King's Cross London

Euriental | luxury travel & style | Oui London dress, Hermes bag, H&M shoes in King's Cross London
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Oui London dress, Hermes bag, H&M shoes in King's Cross London

There I was, the other week, at a friend's birthday when the subject of blogging came up. "Oh that's right, you actually blog professionally, don't you?" her mother asked me in genuine interest. "Well," I started blabbering. "I mean, yeah, I do blog, I'm not huge or anything, I guess I do it 'professionally'..."

I air quoted myself. I undermined my own work. Why did I feel the need to do this? Jarv tells me off for doing it all the time. I used to act the same way back when I was hair modelling. I half expected people to cock an eyebrow when I said I modelled. I'm not tall enough, I'm not beautiful enough, I'm not slim enough. But companies still paid me money to do it.

I struggle with telling people I blog. Not just telling them I blog for fun or as a pastime, but that I monetise my blog and Instagram, and even sell Instagram-related products. It's weird, because I obviously take it seriously when it comes to negotiating with brands, getting work done on time and generally being professional, yet the minute someone outside of this industry asks me about it, I retreat, or babble, or dismiss.

First, there's the assumption that they might instantly greet me with a barely suppressed eye roll. Oh. Another one of those. I felt so uncomfortable at times that I would even start to add my own jab at bloggers before the person innocently asking what I did could get one in (not that they were ever going to) - "Yeah, I know, everyone's a blogger!"

Then there's the fear of inadequacy. 

What if they check out my Instagram account and are surprised/disappointed/sceptical when they see I'm not at 100k followers?

Just because I know my content has value and takes time to create doesn't mean they'll see that.

It's not like I'm working a typical 9 - 5 in an office, they probably think I just occasionally take a pic, upload it and call that 'work' for the day. 

I take every job I get seriously, whether it's small or large, one Instagram photo or an entire dedicated write up. Yet when it comes to talking about it, my tendency is to brush it all aside.

Imposter syndrome is alive and kicking, guys. We (almost) all suffer it. I know bloggers that, at 200k IG followers, still feel embarrassed to answer 'blogging' when asked what they do. Most of us feel this way at some point or another, regardless of how successful we're perceived to be. It doesn't help that bloggers are often looked upon as a joke, as a nuisance, as wannabes. 

Yes, there will be people who will judge you. People who will scoff, whether behind your back or to your face. It's not your job to please them. It's not even your job to care what they think. We work hard at what we do, that alone is worth being proud of.

I just need to take my own advice. 😄

Whatever your profession - do you ever struggle with these feelings too?

23 Apr 2018

Marrakech: A Photo Diary

Euriental | luxury travel & style | Photo diary of Marrakech, Morocco


Euriental | luxury travel & style | Photo diary of Marrakech, Morocco, Jardin Majorelle

Euriental | luxury travel & style | Photo diary of Marrakech, Morocco
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Photo diary of Marrakech, Morocco
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Photo diary of Marrakech, Morocco

Euriental | luxury travel & style | Photo diary of Marrakech, Morocco
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Photo diary of Marrakech, Morocco

Euriental | luxury travel & style | Photo diary of Marrakech, Morocco
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Photo diary of Marrakech, Morocco

Euriental | luxury travel & style | Photo diary of Marrakech, Morocco

Euriental | luxury travel & style | Photo diary of Marrakech, Morocco, Musee Yves Saint Laurent
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Photo diary of Marrakech, Morocco, Palais de la Bahia
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Photo diary of Marrakech, Morocco, Palais de la Bahia
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Photo diary of Marrakech, Morocco
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Photo diary of Marrakech, Morocco
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Photo diary of Marrakech, Morocco, soukEuriental | luxury travel & style | Photo diary of Marrakech, Morocco, souk

Euriental | luxury travel & style | Photo diary of Marrakech, Morocco, desert camel ride

Euriental | luxury travel & style | Photo diary of Marrakech, Morocco, camel riding in desert

Euriental | luxury travel & style | Photo diary of Marrakech, Morocco, La Pause

Euriental | luxury travel & style | Photo diary of Marrakech, Morocco, La Pause

Euriental | luxury travel & style | Photo diary of Marrakech, Morocco, La Pause

Euriental | luxury travel & style | Photo diary of Marrakech, Morocco

Euriental | luxury travel & style | Photo diary of Marrakech, Morocco

Euriental | luxury travel & style | Photo diary of Marrakech, Morocco, Terrasse des EpicesEuriental | luxury travel & style | Photo diary of Marrakech, Morocco
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Photo diary of Marrakech, Morocco, Jardin Majorelle
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Photo diary of Marrakech, Morocco

Euriental | luxury travel & style | Photo diary of Marrakech, Morocco

Euriental | luxury travel & style | Photo diary of Marrakech, Morocco, Royal MansourEuriental | luxury travel & style | Photo diary of Marrakech, Morocco 

Euriental | luxury travel & style | Photo diary of Marrakech, Morocco, Royal Mansour
These photos were actually taken over two separate trips, 6 months apart. Because both trips were with friends and more 'offline life' kind of travel, I won't be sharing too much about what we got up to...but by now, seeing that Marrakech is such a hot spot and everyone is talking about it, I'm sure you know about many of the usual suspects:

  • Go to Nomad cafe for delicious fresh salads and rooftop views.
  • Go to Terrasse des Epices, another rooftop restaurant/cafe, for a friendly, relaxed atmosphere and delicious food (the Terrasse barbeque meat platter is amazing).
  • The souk is usually busy, loud and full of exotic smells, sights and sounds - and that's part of its charm. Always bargain the price down to at least half of what they offer (unless you find yourself in one of the fancier boutiques - you'll know if you're there) but no need to be aggressive about it, just walk away with a polite "no thank you" if you aren't satisfied with the price. Cover up your knees, chest, stomach and shoulders (if you won't do it out of respect, then at least do it to save yourself from stares and crude shouting) and wear comfortable shoes.
  • The Musee Yves Saint Laurent is beautiful, inside and out, and the Jardin Majorelle are lovely, despite being slightly overrun with people (tip: buy your ticket for both at the museum to skip the massive queue to get into the garden). 
  • Palais de la Bahia for aesthetically pleasing pastel and Majorelle blue coloured architecture.
  • La Pause, in the desert, is the ideal location for an afternoon of beautiful traditional Moroccan food and admiring the landscape astride a camel. It's about an hour's drive from the center of Marrakech. You can even stay out there; we didn't, but from the photos I've seen, the rooms are lovely.
  • The Royal Mansour is a must do for dinner. Owned by the King, it's famed for its gorgeous Moroccan cuisine, and the hotel itself has beautiful rooms and grounds, so be sure to dress up if you plan on visiting.