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25 Sep 2016

St. Regis Florence




On the banks of the river Arno sits a fairly unassuming five-storey building. Though perhaps rather simple from the outside, from the moment one sets foot indoors every inch of the hotel screams of grandeur and lavishness. Welcome to the St. Regis Florence. Though the rooms are small in comparison to other luxury hotels of its calibre, the decor is unmistakably St. Regis in style - opulence in spades and patterns wherever you cast your gaze, from the curtains to the cushions to the carpets. Simplicity is not in the St. Regis' vocabulary. 

Breakfast is held in a grand room fit for regality; on the balconies we dined every morning, overlooking the giant chandelier and Winter Garden restaurant below. The Michelin starred Winter Garden itself was an incredible dining experience. From the moment we were seated to the moment we left to return to our room, bellies bursting with food and unable to take even another sip of water, we were treated to delightful service from charismatic, charming waiters and gorgeous food by 1 Michelin star chef Michele Griglio and 2 Michelin star chef Valeria Piccini.


Favourite feature?

Aside from the fantastic service at the restaurant (and at breakfast), my favourite room features were: the bed, which is sumptuous and provides an excellent night's sleep; the view of the Arno that our room had; and the breakfast location, which, for a city hotel, I think is unbeatable.

Anything that could be improved upon?

A small detail - having no coffee machine in a five star hotel room comes as a shock to the system. It's almost unthinkable...and I know we're in Italy, where you can step outside and find four coffee shops within 5 minutes walk but still - sometimes I just want to make my own in the comfort of my big, cosy dressing gown! Also, the whole 'shower inside a bath' thing is old fashioned and not at all to my liking.

Overall, the St. Regis is all but impeccable and even if you find yourself staying elsewhere in Florence, it is still worth paying a visit to the Winter Garden, whether for a top-notch meal or just a drink. You won't regret it.

13 Sep 2016

Montecatini, Italy

Euriental | luxury travel & style | Montecatini, Italy
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Montecatini, Italy
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Montecatini, Italy

Three weeks ago, we flew out to Tuscany for a wedding. Two friends I've known since my Shanghai days (who now also live in London) were tying the knot...it was the most beautiful wedding I've ever seen. You just can't go wrong with Italy. There were friends I hadn't seen in ten years, friends from here in London - it was a dream of a weekend.

The wedding took place in a small town called Montecatini. As the ceremony didn't start until 6pm, we decided to take the funicular up during the day to this little piazza with gorgeous views over Montecatini. Up and up we chugged, two of our London friends in tow. We wandered around the piazza, had some Aperols and decided it was time to head back down. When we got back to the funicular though, there was a note up saying they were having their two hour lunch break and we'd be stuck at the top until 2pm. Sometimes, Italy forces you to take things slowly...which isn't always a bad thing! It was the perfect excuse to stay and have lunch instead.

Euriental | luxury travel & style | Montecatini, Italy
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Montecatini, Italy
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Montecatini, Italy
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Montecatini, Italy
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Montecatini, Italy
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Montecatini, Italy
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Montecatini, Italy
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Montecatini, Italy
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Montecatini, Italy
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Montecatini, Italy
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Montecatini, Italy
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Montecatini, Italy
Euriental | luxury travel & style | Montecatini, Italy

There's something so satisfying about heading somewhere you know nothing about and just exploring spontaneously. When we first arrived at about 10pm, we were starving and our small hotel's restaurant had already stopped serving. We asked the hotel manager to point us in the direction of one and were pleased to hear there was a restaurant about a ten minute walk from us.

It was amazing. Surrounded by locals (not a single other 'outsider') who had clearly been going to this restaurant for years, we had a two and a half hour leisurely dinner, laden with fresh truffles, seafood, lobster and wine, and finished with a complimentary plate overflowing with biscotti and a bottle of digestif to help ourselves to. God, I love Italy so much...

5 Sep 2016

Lo & Sons

Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | WASP tshirt, Lo & Sons bag, Topshop heels
Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | WASP tshirt, Lo & Sons bag, Topshop heels
Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | WASP tshirt, Lo & Sons bag, Topshop heels
Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | WASP tshirt, Lo & Sons bag, Topshop heels
Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | WASP tshirt, Lo & Sons bag, Topshop heels
Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | WASP tshirt, Lo & Sons bag, Topshop heels

I'm usually loath to add any bags to my collection that aren't neutral and completely matchable to any outfit, mostly because it transpires that I 'need' to carry about 25923 different things with me when I leave the flat and 'Changing of the Bags' is about as much of a song and dance as Changing of the Guard, usually resulting in a last minute frantic transfer of said items. 

But when Lo & Sons asked me which colour of their crossbody bag The Pearl was my favourite, I kept returning to this vivid red, this London telephone box red, this beautiful, classic lipstick red. I had to have it. Turns out, my wardrobe is neutral enough anyway that I can happily carry it with me most days. So everyone's happy. And by everyone, I mean me and of course Jarv, who no longer has to loiter by the door pretending not to be impatient as I panic-pack a different handbag.


Wearing:

W.A.S.P band tee from one of their London gigs
Bag c/o Lo & Sons
Topshop heels, similar here
Sunglasses c/o JYY London

31 Aug 2016

Smart Turnout

Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | Smart Turnout watch, Banana Republic striped tee, ASOS linen skirt
Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | Smart Turnout watch, Banana Republic striped tee, ASOS linen skirt
Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | Smart Turnout watch, Banana Republic striped tee, ASOS linen skirt
Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | Smart Turnout watch, Banana Republic striped tee, ASOS linen skirt
Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | Smart Turnout watch, Banana Republic striped tee, ASOS linen skirt
Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | Smart Turnout watch, Banana Republic striped tee, ASOS linen skirt

Ah, hard to beat a sunny afternoon in my neighbourhood. I love being by the water, even if it is just a little marina where boats come to dock. In the summer, it's such a pleasure watching the ducks paddle furiously towards you hoping for a morsel of food, seeing the cormorants sunning their wings and the people out on their boats having lunch.

The matching nautical outfit was sort of a happy accident - I've been wearing this striped linen & cotton blend tee a lot since purchasing it and the watch by Smart Turnout has been adorning my wrist for the past few weeks too. Brown and gold are such warm, flattering colours for any skin tone and while the leather strap gives it a slightly masculine feel, the gold details really balance it out and add a touch of femininity.

P.S. Use code SMARTKAMARA for 15% off any watch of your choice ;)


Wearing:

T-shirt from Banana Republic (sold out), similar here and here
linen skirt from ASOS
watch c/o Smart Turnout
sunglasses from Dior

22 Aug 2016

Intercontinental Geneva, Switzerland

Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | Intercontinental Geneva, Switzerland

For my birthday this year (back in late June...I've got some catching up to do!), we flew to Geneva for a short but sweet weekend away. Having visited once a few years ago, I was looking forward to returning to a country I only remembered positively.

Our hotel of choice: the Intercontinental Geneva.

Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | Intercontinental Geneva, Switzerland
Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | Intercontinental Geneva, Switzerland
Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | Intercontinental Geneva, Switzerland

With a beautiful, grand entrance, high ceilings and sweeping staircases, it makes a great first impression. Our room had quite the view, too:

Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | Intercontinental Geneva, Switzerland
Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | Intercontinental Geneva, Switzerland
Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | Intercontinental Geneva, Switzerland

The hotel is located a five minute walk from the nearest tram, which will take you into town in another five to ten minutes. If the weather allows, it's not too long a walk either at about half an hour. Plus you'll have a chance to stop and admire the UN square on your way.

Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | Intercontinental Geneva, Switzerland
Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | Intercontinental Geneva, Switzerland
Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | Intercontinental Geneva, Switzerland

The bar at the Intercontinental serves expertly-made drinks with giant olives and almonds to accompany your tipple, and has a very relaxed, masculine, Mad Men kind of vibe.

Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | Intercontinental Geneva, Switzerland

The pool is easy on the eye and the staff are extremely polite and attentive - each one greeted us as we passed by or bid us a pleasant day as we left.

Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | Intercontinental Geneva, Switzerland

But the best part of all has to be Sunday brunch. An all-you-can-eat buffet brunch at 85CHF per person (including soft drinks) from midday to 3pm, they serve everything from fresh lobster to mini hamburgers to duck breast, and the desserts - oh my the desserts - will leave you wishing you had room in your stomach for more. The ideal brunch spot for beautiful summer afternoons, the restaurant is set in a gorgeous garden oasis, complete with sweet little sparrows flitting around like a scene out of Snow White.

Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | Intercontinental Geneva, Switzerland
Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | Intercontinental Geneva, Switzerland
Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | Intercontinental Geneva, Switzerland
Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | Intercontinental Geneva, Switzerland
Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | Intercontinental Geneva, Switzerland
Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | Intercontinental Geneva, Switzerland
Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | Intercontinental Geneva, Switzerland


Favourite feature?

The brunch, definitely! Also, being gifted a box of chocolates for my birthday upon checkout was a nice touch.


Anything that could be improved upon?

The concierge recommended a restaurant that turned out to be quite the tourist trap with below average reviews online. Good thing we checked before we took his advice! Perhaps do your own research instead of relying on them for tips.