24 Hours in Cologne

bright red wall and red german signposts

mirror menu hippy cafe cologne

lock bridge cologne germany metal love locks

bright green and red building cologne

green fold out chairs cafe wooden

church and houses cologne

 

 

Köln

What would you do with 24 hours in a new city? For me, it’s all about maximising my feet and getting exploring. Of course, when I’m discovering somewhere new, I’m colour-hunting all the way. Remember my colourful trip to Amsterdam? Following in the footsteps of ultimate colour-lover and traveller Will, having something to look for and find makes the discovery process all the more worthwhile. What would you be on the look out for?

The results of a quick Google of Cologne were very promising indeed; bright pastel-coloured houses in front of a church, a triple arching bridge that looked spectacular at night and of course the famous Rhine river. So when, on my first venture out of my Courtyard Hotel room with travel buddy Rosie, I didn’t find much beyond a huge outdoor play area, I knew there was more to find. Time to turn the other way!

Navigating a new city without internet required a bit of unexpected brain power but in hindsight that was no bad thing! It reminded me that my sense of direction is a trait worth patting myself on the back for, plus nearly getting run over by a lorry and loosing half the group in the Cathedral it made for an even more interesting adventure!

Here’s what I discovered when colour hunting in Cologne, Germany last week!

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yellow bike parked courtyard cologne

colourful houses fountain man with dog cologne

green bike and yellow scooter in cologne

flower pots on a metal gate church cologne

german yellow postmans cart

cologne beach rhine river spit of sand

mooring ropes quayside harbour

rhine river boat cologne

blue bicycle with a brown leather saddle

blue pillars underground space

black and white walkways bridge cologne

Thank you to The Courtyard Hotel for hosting us for the night!

See more of my travel posts!

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Take10 x Timberland Boots

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nineties style outfit blogger london mom jeans fur coat timberland boots

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nineties style outfit blogger london mom jeans fur coat timberland boots

 

Timberland Boots

Hey 2015, we’re well overdue a Take10 challenge, so lets steam into it! We’re kick starting the year with a bit of a new crew including the babin’ Megan from Pages by Megan (and ASOS personal stylist extraordinaire) and the Beaut Anoushka from Anoushka Probyn who looks dreamy in anything tasseled.

For this challenge we’re repping  Timberland – the guys that do those tough gal boots borrowed from the boys. I decided to stick to their best sellers but snatch them firmly away from men in hi-vis by going for pink. Like, PINK pink.

I did have to think fairly carefully about how to style these little monsters. They’re pretty chunky so you have to take proportions into consideration. (Btw, go a size down as they’re very roomy.) To prevent twig leg, I went for a roomy boyfriend jean and the massive flamingo jacket stops you being too bottom heavy. I’ve added a touch of sportiness with a classic logo T and shiny shiny rucksack. Take a look below to see how Caroline and Anoushka styled their boots and the other girls show you what other lovely shoes Timberland have to offer. Peep toes? Who knew?!

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mornington crescent camden

bright pink timberland boots

take10 timberland challenge

black adidas t-shirt and gold chain necklace

mornington crescent camden padlock gate

 

What I wore:

Boots – Timberland / Coat – ASOS / Jeans – Calvin Klein (similar) / T-shirt – Adidas / Rucksack – John Lewis (similar) / Necklace – ASOS (similar)

What the other Take10 girls wore:

TAKE TEN TIMBERLANDS

Anoushka Probyn (hey newbie!) / Burkatron / The Magpie Girl / Pages by Megan (hey newbie!) / Hi Fashion / Hands of Style / Love Cloth / Media Marmalade / Dearest Deer

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Cactus in the Cotswolds

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the rectory hotel blossom wall gardens

cricket bats games in wicker basket

the brew tea co loose leaf teas

colourful games dominoes

breakfast table watermelon and cereal

pennsylvania key purple tulips rectory hotel
 

Weekend Getaway in the Cotswolds

It’s not every day that someone offers you a car for a weekend and says ‘go have fun with it!’ Well two weekends ago, I was lucky enough to be offered just that – and you could too if you enter a really easy competition as described at the bottom of the post! Armed with an armadillo-like Citroen Cactus (mine looked more like a Barney the dinosaur really) I took to the open road and headed to an area in Blighty that I’d yet to explore.

So what’s the Cotswolds all about? Turns out, lots of quaint quiet streets, sandstone houses, lots of dogs/sheep and cute interiors shops. We stayed in the gorgeous Rectory Hotel, which I had seen reviewed in Stylist magazine a few months previously, and with a bit of further research found it to be the coolest hotel in the area with the right mix of modern and youthful. Go there if only for the stewed rhubarb and the most delicious breakfast tea by Brew Tea Co.

I was determined to discover as much as I could on my weekend so a cheeky detour via Oxford city and Bicester Village was a ‘sensible’ idea really. Here’s what else we discovered on our #LoveC4Cactus jaunt!

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greenhouse the rectory hotel

 

Town: Cirencester

Just 10 minutes drive from our beds lay Cirencester, a town I’d heard of through the grapevine/internets as quintessentially Cotswoldsy plus the regions largest town. Take time to amble the quiet streets as the light fades and you’ll witness stunning amber light reflecting off the church and houses. Go to discover quaint cafes and sleepy streets.

meringues and cakes cirencester

cirencester signposts

bright blue house cirencester

bright blue scooter

bright red door

vintage retro shop front sign painting

cirencester streets

Restaurant: The Potting Shed

Cute name huh? The Potting Shed Pub is the gastronomic brother of The Rectory and definitely worth a visit if you’re staying across the road in the hotel. I was totally hearting the interior; a mix of countryside trad (deers busts on the wall and tapestries hanging) and pop culture with witty illustrations and colourful signs dotted about. The food was lovely and the young staff so posh and polite that we knew we must be miles from London. Award winning and worth booking.

duck dinner

the potting shed cotswolds

the potting shed pub restaurant

Villages: Slaughter (Upper and Lower)

When Googling ‘typical villages must visit Cotswolds’ and the names Upper Slaughter and Lower Slaughter come up, you’re going to stop scrolling. We didn’t let the sinister names put us off (nor the hundreds of other couples it seems) and parked up outside the country church of Lower Slaughter. A peaceful and pleasant 1 mile walk up to it’s Upper-wards sister, which features a cute ford and windy lanes, makes for an afternoon tea treat when you get back again. Cute.

afternoon tea lower slaughter cotswolds

sheep behind a fence

lower slaughter signs

lower slaughter river lock

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Win your own weekend getaway!

I’m sure there’s loads more of the Cotswolds worth seeing but we just drove around with the wind and stopped when we saw something we liked and you can too by wining your own weekend getaway!

Just pop over to LoveC4Cactus.co.uk and tell us what your weekend wish getaway would be! Maybe it’s a weekend in Bath with your Mum or a maybe it’s driving to a festival to see your favourite band. Just let us know, it’s easy peasy – good luck!

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Me me me!

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Today, it’s all about ME.

When was the last time you had a day dedicated to pampering just you and your body? If the answer is ‘yesterday! And the weekend before, and the one before that…’ then darn, you have a good life.

For the other half, it’s probably pretty rare that we’ll ever go and splash out on a nice massage or book ourselves in for blow dry unless we have to scrub up for that wedding. Last weekend I decided that a bit of me time was well overdue and trotted off to the King’s Road in Chelsea to unwind. Here’s what I got up to:

 

bath bombs colourful lush spa shop

colourful bath products lush spa

lush book for sale spa

Easter carrots bath bombs lush spa

lush spa essential oils colourful bottles

lush spa bathroom products by sink

lush spa massage bars in jars

lush spa free essential oil bottle

lush spa copper kettle and long matches massage

lush spa help yourself to fruit fresh bowl

lush spa buy music to your massage the good hour CD

lush spa the good hour lantern

lush spa cute old book illustrated cover

the good hour pirate themed massage lush spa

Lush Spa (themed massages) – 123 Kings Road. Treatments from £40

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Massage:

I admit, I only knew that colourful high street legends Lush had a spa a few months ago. Where have I been for the last 15 years? This is exciting because you know that what you’re about to experience won’t be an ordinary oil and towel job, this is Lush after all. Each massage treatment is themed with a specially curated soundtrack that you can buy afterwards. You get to choose which products you’d like to be used and post massage, you get to end on a high with a complimenting cup of tea and snack that is tailored to your experience.

I chose The Good Hour – a bloody great hour long massage with a sailor twist. A ‘Big Blue’ bath bomb gets plunged into water under your bed and mist pours over the floor. IT’S AMAZING. You then hop onto your raft and drift away to the sounds of pirates. Magical! Take a look at the massage menu with treatments ranging from £40 for targeted pain relief to the incredible multi-sensual synaesthesia experience for £125.

Blow Dry:

Now, I’m pretty lazy when it comes to my hair which is why when anyone plays with it, I feel pretty chic. Just a 10 minute walk down from Lush lies the relatively new Duck & Dry salon where you will feel very chic indeed. Despite the sudden pop-up of blow dry bars around London, I haven’t found one that feels quite ‘me.’ Just a quick browse of Duck & Dry’s beautiful website and I knew this would zoom straight up the list.

There’s plans for expansion around London so this may have to become my regular hangout. Talking of hanging out, that’s the best bit about this up do/blow dry salon. You can really chill out; order cocktails, coffee and chill with a snack, gossip there with your friends, hold an event, it’s quite the place to be. Whilst my hair didn’t come out looking like the beach waves I ordered, it still looked lovely and off I swooshed back down King’s Road feeling free and fabulous!

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coffee machine drinks at duck and dry salon

orange juice and fresh flowers hairdressers

choose your blow dry style at duck and dry beach look

cool interiors vases in blow dry bar london

hip hotels colourful books on shelf

instyle magazine to read in duck & dry

blow dry bar iphone photo earrings branding

blow dry

colourful crisps

hair products pretty packaging on a shelf blow dry bar london

fresh blow dried hair ombre curls salon bar

 Duck & Dry (Boutique updo and blow dry bar) – 355-357 King’s Road. Styles from £28. Book or walk in.

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It certainly helped that it was a beautiful day, but there’s no doubt that I had a spring in my step as I walked back down the beautiful side streets to the tube. The best thing about the whole day as I strolled up and down the Kings Road is that I had but my own company, and for once, it was really rather nice. Go treat yourself more. Take that Sunday off and give yourself some ‘Me’ time! Thank you Lush and Duck & Dry for the wonderful day.

roses in the side streets off the kings road london chelsea

colourful buckets of flowers and roses off the kings road

 

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Hero!

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We Are Hairy People

Oh yes we are. And we can be so even more now that the ASOS Marketplace mavericks have taken a big jump over into big Daddy ASOS to showcase their ASOS x We Are Hairy People capsule collection. It’s been heartwarming for me, working at ASOS Marketplace, to see the indie brand produce cuter and more lust-worthy collections season by season and then to see them graduate on to the main site.

It just shows how well the boutique-nurturing hub helps young fashion start-ups, providing the lucky and hard working with a foot-up the ladder. Plus, if the collection wasn’t add-to-basket worthy enough, I must say that the peeps at WAHP are absolutely lovely too. They hand paint their own collection by hand and get involved in charitable awareness projects whenever they can. So be a hero, go grab yourself a sweat!

I wore this piece from the collection on my recent trip to Paris (as did my friend Kit, twinsies!) where I got to indulge in some pretty sweet hotel balcony action outside the Gare du Nord station. I even caught sunset glimpses of the Sacre Coeur! Matched with my trusty Nikes and a colour-pop coat, it served me well for a day of travelling and wandering around Paris.

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colourful bright blue door paris

white bicycle by a parisian brasserie lampost paris street

flower shop paris

paris outfit blue doors green coat

green ornate art deco paris gate door

nike green mesh lightweight trainers

 

What I Wore:

Sweatshirt – ASOS X WeAreHairyPeople / Skirt – Zara (similar here) / Trainers – Nike / Coat – Topshop

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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.