Monopoli harbour

Where fishing, art and architecture meet!

Monopoli (Puglia) – 2016

Monopoli harbour

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The Amalfi coast

Boat traffic on the Mediterranean is my favourite type of traffic.

Amalfi Coast – 2013

Amalfi Coast

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Oia

I like how Santorini’s villages look like whip cream on top of a chocolate cake!

Santorini – 2016

Oia Santorini

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Sultanahmet

Sultanahmet neighbourhood in Istanbul is home to some of the most beautiful sights in the world such as Hagia Sophia.

Istanbul – 2015

HAgia Sophia Sultanahmet Istanbul

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Travelling in style – Best small bags

Today’s post is a mix of travel and fashion. I am a girl after all, and I am French, so I like an ‘oh so chic!’ touch even when I am hiking up a steep hill in Lisbon or petting a deer in Japan.

I just cannot help it, there is nothing I dislike more aesthetically than a functional camera bag or a travel money bag. I am not super duper precious though, and even if I like a good designer bag, the ones I invest in are always low maintenance and functional. I need bags that can stay on the floor in a restaurant and carry my camera, wallet, sunscreen and hand-sanitiser at minimum.

It is also good to note that if I am going to a destination where items of value can get me into trouble, I will of course opt for plan B and carry a very cheap, yet functional, Karrimor rucksack.

Best Small Travel Bags

Designer bags are expensive

Now before I list my favourite travel bags, I want to also address the elephant in the room – money! The bags I listed below are all on the pricey side and I am aware that I am extremely fortunate to have been able to afford them.

Luckily, I have a few tips!

Save, save, save!

It took me at least 18 months before I was able to afford my Gucci Soho bag! I had an objective though, and little by little I saved enough to afford it.

Duty free is your best friend!

You can save A LOT by being patient and waiting for your next trip to buy a designer bag. Most major international airports have designers boutiques. So check which terminal you are leaving from and see what shops they have. I saved more than £150 on my Gucci Soho bag by buying it in Heathrow.

Dear Santa…

How about waiting for a special occasion and asking Santa for a new bag or a little financial help to get the one you have your eyes on? I asked my parents for my first Longchamp pliage bag to be my 18th birthday gift, and 11 years later I asked for a replacement as a Christmas gift.

The best small travel bags

Now to the fun bit, the bags! I have 4 favourites to travel with, all carry-on friendly and most leave you with free hands to take pictures.

The classic – Gucci Soho shoulder bag

Compact, functional as you can wear it cross-body, Gucci Soho bag is great for a city escape!

Gucci Soho bag in black

The grain leather make it durable and less prone to scratches. I also picked the black colour because I wanted it to go with most outfits as this bag is quite pricey. It is also a great colour to avoid any stain or colour transfer! In terms of space, I can fit my camera, wallet, a pack of tissue, hand-sanitiser, a lip balm, and a few more bits and pieces.

The modern classic – M Missoni shoulder bag

Unfortunately, this Missoni bag isn’t available for sale at the moment, but it worth keeping an eye out on eBay and Vestiaire Collective if you like it! I called it the modern classic as its rectangular shape gives it a very contemporary feel. The soft leather has stained and marked more easily than grain leather. The metallic logo also shows signs of ageing but I don’t mind it, I like to see the scratches and remember how much we travelled together!

M Missoni shoulder bag

I use this bag ALL THE TIME when I travel. It is small but super spacious and functional! I can fit a little more than what I pack in my Gucci Soho bag.

The French touch – Sezane Farrow bag

If you haven’t heard of Sezane yet, you need to check them out! It is a very famous French women’s wear brand (sorry lads!) and all items have a very Parisian touch.

Sezane Farrow bag in burgundy

I went for a burgundy colour with this bag so it is perfect for autumn and winter. Once again it is very functional with grain leather and you can wear it cross-body, which is a must for me. The Farrow bag is a bucket bag so it has plenty of space. I can fit my camera, wallet, and my entire carry-on zip-lock bag in it, plus a few bits and bobs!

The super functional – Longchamp Nylon Pliage

This is a Mary Poppins bag! I have the Longchamp Nylon Pliage in L and it can pretty much fit everything and anything. I actually use it as a gym bag when I am not travelling the world with it.

This is my go-to carry-on and weekend bag. I pack my books, a spare change of clothes (in case my luggage get lost/delayed), cosmetics, and anything else I may need on a flight or for a night away. This is my second Longchamp pliage, it replaced my first one which lasted 11 years! Talk about a good investment!

Longchamp pliage bag in grey

Here you go guys, you have it! My four most used bags! I say most ‘used’ as, even though this post is about travelling with them, they are also my every day bags and commute to work with me most days!

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Lake District cottage

Little British cottage hidden behind the Autumn foliage.

Lake District (Cumbria) – 2014

Cottage Autumn Lake District

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Lecce’s street

Balconies, laundry, wood shutters. Yes we are in Italy!

Lecce – 2016

Lecce street Puglia

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Dubai spice bazaar

Dubai is not just ultra-modern towers and shopping malls. There is also an ancient side to it where you can find authentic food, spices and… diamonds.

Dubai – 2014

Dubai Spice bazaar

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An autumnal day in Bath – UK

That’s it folks, the nights are getting longer, the days are getting colder and the trees are turning redder – autumn is here!

Which means that it is time to book a nice autumnal getaway, and if you are in England, I just know the place!

On a cold autumnal weekend, Andrew and I decided to head to the beautiful Bath for a little bit of exploring. It is a three-hour drive from London so it worth planning to leave a little early if you want to make the most of your Friday evening, and beat the traffic. The train is also a great way to get there as it is only 90 minutes and leave from Paddington Station.

Road to Bath

At the time, I had never been to Bath and I was expecting it to be the ultimate charming and elegant British destination – and it was!

Bath city centre

Bath is a city out of a Jane Austen book! There is even a Jane Austen Museum if you are a fan. We didn’t venture in though, we kept our visit outdoor as it was a crisp but very sunny day.

Jane Austen museum in BathBath city centre

We bundled up as it was fairly cold and started our visit in the city centre at the Abbey, which definitely worth a peek inside.

Bath on a cold day

We had a little wander around the Roman Baths, and then headed to Pulteney Bridge to have a look at the famous Pulteney Weir.

Pulteney Weir in Bath

The golden light of the Autumn combined with the beautiful Georgian architecture and the red foliage made Bath breathtakingly beautiful!

Bath

Having worked an appetite we headed to The Bath Bun, a charming little tea shop which serves simple sandwiches and warming beverages.

After our lunch and in major need of walking off the giant baps we ate, we headed for a walk along the River Avon. It is a great way to get off the beaten track and to take a moment to appreciate the warming sun on a bench and people watch, of course.

River Avon in BathRiver Avon in BathBath

After a fair amount of walking we headed to the world famous Royal Crescent. It features in most Jane Austen movies so you will definitely have a sense of déjà vu when walking along the grand Georgian houses.

Royal Crescent BathRoyal Crescent Bath

We took a moment to get some cheesy snaps.

Bath

If you are an afternoon tea person I also highly recommend booking a table at the Royal Crescent Hotel for a sweet and savory afternoon treat! It is on the expensive side but well worth it!

Finally, we headed back into the city via the Circus roundabout and got lost a little longer in the cobbled streets of Bath until we had walked enough to justify a filling dinner!

The Circus Bath

Where to stay in Bath?

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Sunset on the greek island

That island life… Officially saying goodbye to summer 2017 too…

Santorini – 2016

Sunset in Santorini

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