Agios Sostis beach path

The Great British Winter seems to have no end… Send me back to sunny Mykonos now!

Mykonos – 2016

Agios Sostis beach in Mykonos

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Hakone Torii

Go through the floating gate to jump in the big lake.

Hakone- 2017

Floating torii gate in Hakone

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TV wall – Reveal

After one year and nine months, I can finally reveal our TV wall. One would think that a TV area is pretty easy to set up – TV? Check! TV stand? Check! Enough plugs for all the cables? Done!

As I mentioned in my TV wall inspiration post, I didn’t want this area of our living room to feel like an ugly after-thought, so I went down the gallery wall way to ‘camouflage’ the TV among prettier things. That is why it took so long to set up, sourcing the right wall art pieces takes time! It is all about balance, layout, orientation and numbers, but we got there!

Gallery wall and Panasonic TV

Let’s start with the main item – the TV. We went for a 50inch Panasonic TV. Even though it is big it looks a little bit ‘lighter’ thanks to the easel-like frame and the metallic colour.

The TV stand is from Ikea, and to be completely honest it was not my preferred choice, but it was the most neutral unit we could find that could fit in that space.

TV gallery wall

On the left of the TV unit, I have a tan Moroccan pouffe (or ‘pouf’ in French) which I got from Amazon. A tip if you get leather goods from Morocco, they usually stink at the beginning, so cover them with bicarbonate of soda and leave them in a plastic bag for a week. A hint of the nasty smells will still be there but it won’t stink the room.

Tan leather Moroccan pouffe

Next to it, on the TV unit, I have a copper light my parents got me for Christmas. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find an English website selling it but you can find this Nara table lamp on a French site that ships worldwide. Above the lamp is a beautiful print by Elisabeth Fredriksson. I mentioned it in my interior Christmas gift guide and my sister got it for me on Juniqe (thanks, sis!).

Nara copper lamp and Juniqe print

Above the TV is where the real show is happening! From left to right and from the bottom up we have:

  • A print by Amber Textiles – it looks like Buffer (yes, this is my cat’s name) and I so we bought it!
  • A print my parents got me in Japan
  • A print of ‘A bigger splash‘ by David Hockney
  • A tea towel with cats we bought in Japan and got framed – all it takes is a little bit of imagination sometimes
  • A print by Anne Garney – an artist I met when living in Kansas City (yes, I did live in Missouri for 18 months)
  • Two flyers from the Victoria and Albert Museum that I simply framed
  • An ink drawing by my brother

TV gallery wall

The frames are either from Habitat or done by David Mitchell Picture Frames in London.

Then moving to the right, the gallery wall extends across two walls. I wasn’t too sure about that at the beginning, but I have no regrets, it was necessary to balance the area nicely and it didn’t make it more difficult to plan.

Prints by HAM and by Sri Lanka artist

On that little wall section I have:

On the right of the TV stand, I have our little indoor garden with two succulents and a vase. The terrarium is from Oliver Bonas and the vase from a Debenhams old collection.

Succulents in living room and Oliver Bonas terrarium

Finally, I have piled up all my interior books at the bottom of the unit, in a desperate attempt to hide its ugly feet and the cable mess at the back. I really like the effect it created!

Interior books

So what do you think? Was my idea of surrounding our TV with pretty things a good one or does it make it stand out even more?

TV gallery wall

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Gold trees in Bourton-on-the-Water

Ducks hangout.

Bourton-on-the-Water – 2017


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Grey beach day

British people go to the beach, even on grey days

Charmouth – 2017

Charmouth beach

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Brunch at Sparrow – London

I have been a Londoner for seven years now. Five of them were spent in my beloved Shepherd’s Bush and the last two have been spent in Lewisham.

If you are from out of town, you probably have never heard of Lewisham, or if you have it would probably be because of the fire station scene in Bridget Jones. If you are living in London you may probably think “Lewisham, oh dear, is that even safe?”. Lewisham has not the best reputation, I will give you that. It is still very much at the early stages of ‘up and coming’ but you cannot beat the prices when you are looking for a house to buy in London.

Slowly but surely though, there have been some nice little places opening making Lewisham city centre less gritty, one of them is Sparrow.

Sparrow Lewisham

We had been to Sparrow before, but it was for dinner straight off the plane from Japan, and with the jet-lag we weren’t really able to fully appreciate the meal. So this review is only about their brunch and I guess I will have to visit again to let you know about the dinner (life is hard).

We headed mid-morning to Lewisham roundabout where Sparrow is. The area is being fully redeveloped and you will find Sparrow squeezed between a shopping centre and a development site. It doesn’t sound great, but never judge a book by its cover!

Inside, the place is how you would expect any trendy restaurant in Shoreditch to look like. Subway tiles, open kitchen, young friendly staff, overall a very pleasant atmosphere.

Sparrow Lewisham

The menu is very interesting too, between the traditional full-English breakfast and the eggs Benedict, you will find some more surprising dishes inspired by Sri Lanka cuisine, such as poori masala and appam.

Sparrow brunch menu

We placed our order – one full-English for him, one appam for me.

The full-English was beautiful, with vibrant colours and great flavours! One very satisfying breakfast.

Sparrow full-English breakfast

I didn’t know what to expect with the appam, having never had one. It was delicious! Appam is similar to a pancake and made with fermented rice and coconut milk. Light, crispy and fluffy, with delicious flavours of coconut milk, a very nice discovery if you are not too hungry.

Sparrow appam

With that we ordered the fresh juice and smoothy of the day, which were exactly what we needed after a little too many drinks the night before.

Sparrow juice and smoothie of the day

Slowly but surely, Lewisham is finally becoming a destination Londoners go to for a good meal! We will need many more nice eateries to compete with trendy East London of course, but with places like Sparrow, I think we will be just fine!

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Mykonos street

It doesn’t get more pleasant than this street.

Mykonos – 2017

Mykonos street

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Tsukiji fish market entrance

Welcome to the sushi making factory.

Tokyo – 2017

Tsukiji fish market

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2 days in Hiroshima

Hiroshima was made famous on the 6th August 1945 for very unfortunate reasons, and most of the pictures I had seen from the place were devastation scenes in my history books at school. I had absolutely no idea what to expect, and I was in for a surprise…

Modern Hiroshima is nothing like the history book pictures! Lively, busy, with an amazing food scene, loads of shops and very important historical sights. A real surprise and a nice one!

We stayed at the Washington Hotel in the city centre. The room and bed are on the small side, but it is very good value for money and very well situated in the town.

Day 1 – The Peace Memorial Museum, Hiroshima Castle & the city centre

We arrived in Hiroshima around lunch time and grabbed a quick lunch on the go on our way to the hotel. After dropping our bags, we were ready to explore and started our visit a the Peace Memorial Museum.

The Peace Memorial Museum

The museum has been done very nicely and it explains very tastefully a terrible event, from the timeline of the day and weeks that followed, to the science behind the impact of nuclear weapons on bodies and plants. A real eye-opening experience and a very touching one too. A good reminder that peace is what we should all seek for and compromise on.

The Peace Memorial Museum

Outside the museum, there are a couple of memorials. One is dedicated to the victims of the bombing, the other is the Children’s Peace Monument, both are touching and beautiful.

Hiroshima MemorialHiroshima Memorial

From the park, you will have a great view of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, the most famous remaining symbol of August 6th, 1945.

Hiroshima Memorial

After a rather heavy afternoon, we decided to walk to Hiroshima Castle to reflect on what we had seen and learned.

Hiroshima Castle

The castle definitely worth swinging by with its beautiful gardens and shrines.

Hiroshima CastleHiroshima Castle

We ended the day at  ふみちゃん 流川店 for the most delicious okonomiyaki.

Day 2 – Miyajima island

One of the most beautiful places we visited while in Japan, Miyajima island, is just outside Hiroshima. To get there we took the tramway for 40 minutes and then a boat for about 20 minutes. There is a fastest route I believe but we enjoyed our tramway ride seeing people commuting to work and children going to school.

Hiroshima Tramway

On arrival you will be met by a furry welcome committee, Miyajima island is populated with a large deer community. Keep a close eye on your belongings because if you carry any sort of food they will find it!

Deer in Miyajima island

Miyajima island has some amazing sights that you commonly see on postcards. There is the beautiful (but very busy) Istukushima Shrine.

Miyajima island

The very famous floating torii.

Floating torii in Miyajima island

The five-storied Pagoda which features on most cherry blossom pictures you would see of the island.

Pagoda in Miyajima island

Miyajima island is basically a giant postcard. We loved hiking up and down the hills all day, but the real highlight for us was Daishō-in.


A magical shrine at the top of the hill, the place is gorgeous.


After hiking a bit longer, and a few more close encounters with some deer, we headed back into town for another okonomiyaki.

Deer in Miyajima IslandMiyajima Island

A lot of our friends going to Japan asked us if Hiroshima worth visiting, my answer? Absolutely, but if you are going all the way there make sure to visit Miyajima island too! Otherwise, it may not worth the hours on the train.

Deer in Miyajima Island

Planning a trip to Japan? Make sure to check out my guides to TokyoKyoto, Osaka and Hakone!

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Cherry blossom in Hakone

I don’t know about you, but I am ready for a little bit of spring now!

Hakone – 2017


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