The Coat and Hat Co-ord

london fashion blogger outfit

london blue front door camden

london fashion blogger outfit seventies style button up skirt

urban outfitters corduroy popper a-line skirt

looking up balconies camden london hotel

seventies style outfit london

fashion union coat and catarzi fedora

london pillars and railings mornington crescent

windy day hat hair blowing

 

Forest Green Fedora

“Don’t you just love it when your hat matches your coat?”

“Yeah, I’m sure it happens all the time *sarcastic face*…”

Now that we can’t escape the seventies trend and that fedoras are ‘in’, this may well be a phrase you’ll be saying to yourself more. Catarzi are perfect for occasional hat wearers like me who fancy a shade a little different from your standard black or brown. Try blue or burgundy and you never know what co-ords you could create. Exciting stuff!

Mine matches my forest green cocoon coat like they were meant to be and it helps make the burgundy skirt pop. If you haven’t heard already, button ups (button downs?!) are big news for the new season too so get your seventies feet down to the vintage shops, asos marketplace or have a look around the shops as the stock drops.

Soon i’ll be posting about my perfect Mothers Day trip away and bunch more London based reviews. In the meantime, come join me on Instagram as I prep for a trip to somewhere sunny next week – yay warmth!

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camden grey old car parked

next black ponyskin cross body bag

aura and aura pressed flower phone case

green fedora hat asos

colourful iphone case in burgundy skirt pocket

green coat and matching fedora with red wavy hair

gold glitter heels ankle boots

rich autumn colours outfit

What I Wore

Coat – Fashion Union / Fedora Hat – Catarzi at ASOS / Skirt – Urban Outfitters (similar here) / Shirt – Topshop / Necklace – (similar) / Boots – Tamaris / iPhone case – Aura & Aura / Bag – Next / Glasses – Kite

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A Chelsea Brunch

outside chelsea restaurant 11 pimlico road

chelsea black london railings

pink fur coat pink rucksack walking down the road

big planter terracotta pot ivy

bar 11 pimlico road bottles

grapefruit home made lemonade

white table red sofas chelsea restaurant

 

11. Pimlico Road

You know a restaurant is going to be good when you spot a good font on their website that highlights a photo of a perfectly instagram-friendly tiled floor. Yes that’s possibly the w**kiest thing I’ve ever typed but you know it’s true! The website told me that my camera would be pretty satisfied at 11 Pimlico Road and after a look down the ShinyThoughts-friendly menu (think burgers, flashy salads and sourdough bread) my tummy was going to be pretty chuffed too.

Spotting the ‘casual dining pub’ from across the road is like spotting your date from the other side of the room – the walk towards it feels twice as long and you can’t wait to just get there. The restaurant is just as swanky looking on the inside as out with it’s light-flooding windows, open plan room and that statement bar.

Enough perving on the marble tables and arty fashion book clad bookcases, let’s talk food. We went for the house dishes – the No.11 burger (obvs) and No.11 club sandwich with some cheeky sides. Don’t think of not ordering the truffled macaroni cheese by the way, it’s an absolute essential! The burger was just so flavoursome that I feel it may have knocked some of it’s sloppy rivals off of the top burger spots. It’s made me realise that as long as you have a brioche bun and fillings like those, who needs the that messy sauce? Yes, I went there.

We squeezed in desert of seasonal apple pie but didn’t realise this would be easily sharable. Oh well, we just had to scoff-i mean daintily nibble-the panna cotta too. Shame.

brioche bun burger london bacon knife

pot plants on a table restaurant

chicken avocado sandwich

tall flowers in blue vases

macaroni cheese, burger, avocado, chips lunch flatlay marble table

upstairs pub party sign

apple cranberry crumble with ice cream on wooden board

posh restaurants chelsea pimlico road

pimlico road, london

chelsea red brick terraced houses street

 

Getting There

They’ve won awards, are packed out on a Saturday and just LOOK at that website. So sophis’! Plus, a leisurely Chelsea brunch here is really quite affordable. Purse win! It’s just a short walk from Victoria station or an amble down from the legendary Kings Road, so the location isn’t half bad either. The short story? Take your mum, that friend that you play ‘grown ups’ with, or a date you want to impress and you’re guaranteed to feel pretty good about yourself.

Where Next?

In need of places to go in Chelsea after lunch? We headed down to the famous King’s Road, popping into The Saatchi Gallery (it’s free!) to ponder the works of pop art. We then ambled in and out of my favourite shops. Don’t miss Anthropologie, Bluebird, Kate Spade and if you’re hungry for dinner, there’s Big Easy too!

Thanks 11 Pimlico Road for the review opportunity!

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Flare Game!

colourful outfit

colourful outfit

leopard print flatform shoes and mih flares

mornington crescent

bright orange coat, yellow jumper, leopard snood

mornington crescent house checkerboard steps railings

wearing flares seventies style dark clean denim

MiH Flares

In case you hadn’t heard, denim is back with a big blue vengeance for spring summer! Joining it hand-in-hand into the new season is the seventies with it’s boot-leg shapes and chunky shoes. Link the two and what do you get? The perfect piece that nods to the new and bridges the gap between sub-zero temperatures and spring. Yep, it has to a pair of dark blue flares.

Real? Are they actually back?! Remember when you got to wear your own clothes to school sometimes and there was always a cool girl with massive bell-bottom jeans? What a biche. Well lady, I’m coming back atcha with my MiH’s and I’m wearing them with a super-statement orange coat and leopard shoes. Boom!

At first I was a bit scared but then I’d catch my reflection in windows and hey, the trews do actually make my legs look pretty good, heck I even look slightly sophisticated! (It’s flare enough right?!) If you’re unsure about flares, I say go for it. Grab yourself a pair now and be the cool girl in class!

 

colourful outfit

mih jeans dark blue bum

black railings checkerboard tiles

fashion blogger flares

shearling rucksack orange coat

colourful outfit

What I Wore:

Coat – Boden / Flares – MiH Jeans / Bag – ASOS / Jumper – Cos / Shoes – ASOS / Snood – ASOS (Similar here)

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 P.S!

I’ve written a fun blog post all about winter accessorising over on Shopstyle – come and have a look!

 

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Sunday in Shoreditch

sourdough toast smashed avocado

 

Weekend in Shoreditch, East London

If you’re looking for some weekend ideas in East London then I’ve got one heck of a day for you! Today I’m profiling Shoreditch and although I’m sure that a lot of you are already more than well versed with what it has to offer (remember my post on my 3 secret food spots) this round trip is the perfect way to see some of my fave spots. Enjoy!

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10:30 – Hoi Polloi

You can always trust a recommendation, so when I asked my colleague where in East London to start for breakfast, I took her Hoi Polloi suggestion. The Ace hotel is a pleasure to visit in itself but go on down to Hoi Polloi and you can get yourself a posh brekkie to start the day in style. We went for the cute take on a full English breakfast along with tasty nut smoothies and special tea.

I broke some records that morning trying both black pudding and Irish potato cake for the first time and I am now a happy convert. The meal was a little on the mushy and over salted side but paired with the delicious sourdough bread, I’ll let it off! We ear-wigged on young sophisticated people who work at the UN between bouts of live music that played classical versions of pop songs. So chic. Take the lift to the 7th floor after your meal to oogle the view over the city!

breakfast menu hoi polloi ace hotel

full english breakfast in shoreditch hoi polloi

ebor street east london graffiti

 

12:15 – Albion

Once you’ve pointed out the gherkin from the top of the Ace Hotel, head left to Redchurch Street and pop into Albion to peruse the prettily packaged preserves and watch the hipsters buy their Sunday loaves. Afterwards, check out Aussie fave T2 tea shop across the road for all the loose leaf tea varieties and all the equipment you could need.

Head up through the quiet streets of tenement buildings and make your way up to Columbia Road. (If in doubt, follow the crowds!)

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jars of preserves in Albion boundary street

tenement buildings east london shoreditchgrey and yellow VW camper van east london

columbia road flower market ranuculas mini peonies

suck and chew sweet shop windows

such and chew toy dogs retro sweet shop

bright coloured doors columbia road flower market

blue door with bright orange roses columbia road flower market

colouful flowers sunflowers columbia road flower market

13:00 – Columbia Road Flower Market

The last time I posted about Columbia Road exactly two years ago, my hair was radically different but I wore the same trusty jacket! Keeping cosy and warm is key when you’re spending ages umming and arring over which hyacinths to buy. I went for orange roses and blue thistles this time plus a cute little succulent to that have made friends with the cacti on my desk.

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printers and stationers columbia road london

lili vanilli bakery cafe cake loaf

14:00 – Lily Vanilli

As tradition states, if you’re visiting Columbia Road, you have to queue up in Lily Vanilli‘s bakery. We thawed out with mochas whilst discovering Lily’s latest sweet treats. Check out that loaf! If you love her stuff, see what I  made at her workshop!

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back streets east london columbia road

billy goat at hackney city farm

donkeys sign hackney city farm

cockerel hackney city farm

 15:00 – Hackney City Farm

Hackney City Farm has been on my visit list for ages but I never knew quite how easy it was to pop in! Come out of the top of Columbia Road and cross over to the colourfully painted letters spelling out the name of the farm. Whilst it’s certainly clear that the farm is tailored for children, I had waayy fun watching the donkeys and trying to distinguish which end of the sleeping pigs was which, plus the signs make for good ‘gram.

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bicycle with a wicker basket columbia road

columbia road cafes

stories bar broadway market

sprig of leaves, flowers on a table cafe columbia road

 16:00 – Stories

Once you’ve dosed up on animal cuteness, head up through residential streets towards Broadway Market. If you’re visiting on a Saturday then the street is dominated by it’s famous market stalls and visitors but Sunday holds it’s own charm. I love taking a (colourful) seat in Stories on Broadway – an arty bar owned by the same peeps as The Book Club and Queen of Hoxton. Ah that’s why there’s cool emerging artists’ work on the walls and cool chairs! We sipped a glass of red wine and people watched until we were warm and happy and then off headed again towards London Fields.

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broadway market colourful street london midcentury furniture shutters

lardo italian food almonds salad

lardo italian pizza kitchen

lardo butternut squash pizza with cavolo nero and cheese

17:00 – Lardo

Recommendation no.2 of the weekend was Lardo, not your average Italian joint. Walk straight through London Fields and under the railway arch and there across the road is the full-length window clad restaurant. Sit facing inwards and you might just make out your pizza coming out of the open wood fired oven. We chose butternut squash base pizza with goats cheese and veg of the moment – cavolo nero alongside some totally scoffable blanched almonds and speck. So fine!

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Hawkhurst Vault cakes

Hawkhurst Vault fine loose leaf teas

Hawkhurst Vault pouring tea in china cups

19:00 – The Hawkhurst Vault

The last part of our day took us to our favourite tearoom,  The Hawkhurst Vault. We had passed on desert at Lardo and instead decided to head right back to where we started for a post-dinner tipple of tea and something brownie shaped. Head towards Brick Lane and turn up to the very top of it until you find Hawkhurst on the corner. It’s perfect for when you’re in East late in the day and you’re craving that hit of infused water (common issue, I know) for their opening times are ‘whenever the last customer wants to leave really. Around 9ish?’ Excellent!

My ultimate fave tea is the Dragon Well green. Pair it with a salted caramel brownie and beetroot chocolate cake.

20:00 – Time for bed!

Phew! Hopefully this little round trip has given you some weekend ideas – have a good one!

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City Guide: Colourful Amsterdam

amsterdam blue shutters bicycle

 

 

Welcome to Amsterdam!

I’ve been going on about Amsterdam for what feels like forever (well, it was last year!) I first posed by the canals in December, then down the pretty residential streets last week but now I can tell you all about what I got up to in between!

I love a good hipster cafe and indie design shop, but sometimes when I’m looking into a new city, it’s had to find a guide with these sorts of placesin. I hope this colourful will do the ‘research before you take off’ job for you. Scroll on down to find my fave cafes, burger joints (obviously), unique boutiques and cool hotels!

I’ve started with the hotels I stayed at as they will be your central starting point. Then, i’ve picked my favourite places by area. Take a day or a half day exploring each of the districts. Getting lost is part of the fun so follow your nose!

Off somewhere else in Europe? See all my guides and advice.

 Take a look at my travel category ›

 

Central Amsterdam

amsterdam stickers and flags

amsterdam

hotel V breakfast table amsterdam

hotel v cool place to stay in amsterdam

mirror as menu

 

Amsterdam Hotels

We stayed in two hotels on our break, Hotel V Nesplein (my personal fave, see photos above) and The Albus Hotel (for a more swanky, modern vibe.) The rooms in Hotel V were large, fun and unique with huge framed mirrors and tree trunk side tables. Breakfast is served by the dish like for dinner and my pancakes went down a treat. Both hotels were located very centrally and a tram/20 min walk from the station. They were both perfect locations to wander around any of the districts. Just grab a bike, tram or use your feet!

 

stach amsterdam

 

Stach

If I lived in Amsterdam, it’s likely that you’d catch me getting my lunch from Stach Food. A cornershop style convenience shop that blows Pret out of the water, it boasts nutritious lunches that change seasonally and the cutest locally packaged chocolate as well as indie brand treats. Have a chat with the staff, they’re all super friendly and happy to help!

 

anna and nina shop amsterdam

anna + nina amsterdam

inside anna + nina amsterdam

gold star shape lamp in amsterdam

 

Anna + Nina

Opposite the Nieuwe Hoogstraat branch of Stach sits Anna + Nina. When the girls and I planned our trip to Amsterdam, we created a google doc to paste in places we wanted to visit. It’s no coincidence that we all noted down Anna + Nina, it’s a girls interior heaven! From pastel striped plates to cute notebooks via dainty jewels, get one of the two stores down on your list!

 

amsterdam red mini car

amsterdam lunch cafe paper planes salad

amsterdam paper planes roses in glass bottles

 

Paper Planes

Paper Planes cafe was another one of those ‘on our list’ places and it’s location was perfect for our stay at Hotel V (see below!) It was the perfect place for our first meal, not only did we tuck into delicious salads but we even made friends with local food bloggers who were sitting at the long communal wooden bench by the window. Come here to work with your laptop and watch the world go by.

 

wooden bike droog amsterdam

cafe droog amsterdam

cool design shop droog amsterdam

 

Droog

If you’re into bold colours, graphic design and clean lines then Droog is for you. A hotel, events company and shop – there’s not much that Droog doesn’t do to shake up the Amsterdam design world. Working with different clients and makers, they put on exhibitions, talks, collaborations and other events. Pop in, grab a coffee and leave feeling sophisticated.

 

amsterdam sweet shop

 

PapaBubble

If it’s Wednesday then you’re in for a treat for sweet shop PapaBubble show you just how they make their cute and colourful treats. From mini rock candies to lollypops, watch them spin their sugar magic inside their little shop or get involved yourself!

 

cafe bern cheese fondue in amsterdam

cafe bern amsterdam

best fondue in amsterdam

drinking red wine in cafe bern

 

 

Cafe Bern

It was our first night and we couldn’t work out where we wanted to eat. After checking the Amsterdam foodie blogs (there are some great ones like Story 154) and Tripadvisor we decided that cheese was the only way. Cafe Bern may be an hommage to Switzerland but we didn’t mind, it had all the spirit of Amsterdam. Grab a caraffe of red wine at the bar, chat to the cute waiter, have a giggle and tuck into their secret fondue blend with beef that you cook yourself in garlic butter. You may suffer a tad afterwards but a walk around the canal paths afterwards will sort you right out!

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The 9 Streets District (West)

amsterdam

 

Boutiques

If you’re looking for indie boutiques, head to 9 streets. There are far too many cute places to mention so just meander in and out of each street (being sure to stop at the the cafe below for lunch!) and pop in to wherever takes your fancy! P.s our phone GPS was essentials when navigating these streets! They may all go in straight lines, but the canals are concentric so you actually don’t always know where you are geographically. Make sure you all know where you are if your group is splitting up and invest in internet, it’s worth it, if only just for Instagram!

 

ree7 amsterdam fresh mint tea

amsterdam magazines on exposed brick wall ree7

 

Ree7

The girls and I popped straight into Ree7, a cute looking cafe in the 9 streets district and we didn’t regret it! Amsterdam gets pretty nippy in winter so running in and ordering a crispy chicken sandwich with a fresh mint tea really hit the spot. The trailing plants, cute tables and mezzanine floor add to the hip vibe.

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East Amsterdam

Brouwerij 't IJ brewery amsterdam

amsterdam brewery tasting samples

windmill brewery amsterdam Brouwerij 't IJ

 

 

Brouwerij ‘t IJ

There was only one reason for heading east for me: The famous brewery in a windmill! My housemate told me about Brouwerij’t IJ, the original site of the 1985 brewery, and I made it my mission to give their tasting tray of Amsterdam brewed beers a go. Well… the 9% offering really hit the spot! I’ve heard this is a great visit in summer, though it is packed. Clear your afternoon, head there with mates and have a jolly good time.

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De Pijp (South)

all the luck in the world amsterdam

all the luck in the world amsterdam knitted lampshades

amsterdam colourful cool shop

 

All The Luck in the World

It’s worth spending a day in De Pijp for all the cute boutiques and eateries. It’s pretty much a case of wander down a cute looking street and pop into anywhere that takes your fancy. My fancy was taken by All the luck in the world. Everything looked straight from Pinterest. The visual merchandising was exquisite. Just, let me buy everything.

 

blond amsterdam french cheese plate

amsterdam colourful eggcups blond

 

Blond

Come out of All the luck in the world and go opposite into this Amsterdam institution. It’s pretty much 80% pink (check out the toilet!) so you can’t miss it. Two blonde friends started the brand 13 years ago, first creating their own cutely illustrated versions of delft ceramics. It’s since grown massively into seasonal ceramics collections as well as fabrics and stationery. We met a Blond self-confessed obsessive adding to her vast collection, it’s all too kitsch to miss!

 

amsterdam juice bar turquoise bike hipster cafe

hutspot shop amsterdam

amsterdam hutspot cafe late de pijp

 

Hutspot

The hipster in me couldn’t wait to order it’s latte in Hutspot. Another hip creative all-encompassing sort of hang out, Hutspot is primarily a masculine clothing and interiors boutique for an ‘urbanized lifestyle’ but it also hosts an indie barbers, super-cool work space (think cub scouts style tents and long wooden tables with dried plants hanging from the ceiling) cafe (with gooood coffee) and workshop space. It’s another co-working, bring-your-macbook kind of place that Amsterdam does so well.

 

geflipt amsterdam cool young burgers

amsterdam blue cheese burgers geflipt

 

 

Geflipt

A ShinyThoughts city guide wouldn’t be complete without a mention of a burger joint! Lucky for us, there are loads of hip new burger places popping up in Amsterdam. In De Pijp alone there were at least 3 (The Butcher is popular one) but the green exterior and a recommendation on Instagram was what lured us into Geflipt. (It’s also opposite Hutspot!) Our waitress was the cutest thing since sliced bread and our burgers were the best thing since sliced bread. The ‘Blue’ was served in a novel fashion, the chips were perfectly condiment-tossed and the clipboard menus made for good ‘gram. We were happy.

 

amsterdam colourful red bike

amsterdam gouda cheese market

 

De Pijp Markets

You’ve got to get yourself some Gouda if you’re going to Amsterdam. It’s just the rules. I’m all about the cheese, as is my housemate Kristabel so between us we came back with 5 varieties. Yes the above stand shows just how many types of the Netherlandish legend you can pick up. There’s probably more. Amble around the food stalls in De Pijp and get all the tasting samples you can. Warning: remember you do have to stop tasting at some point, it’s just polite but I know, it is hard.

 

amsterdam canals

 

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Welcome, I'm Lucy!
Take a scroll to discover my colourful life!
Sharing my shiny thoughts of London, food, places around the world, my home, my outfits and things to make you smile.