Saturday, 27 April 2013

Whiling away the days in Zagreb

This week I've been in the Croatian capital, Zagreb, with the boy for a few days of relaxation and exploring! We booked it at Christmas when EasyJet had a sale on and neither of us were stressed with Uni work but knew that we probably would be after a 15 week term!

We decided to book an apartment, right in the centre of the old town, as our base and AirBnB has some incredible choices - well worth a look if you haven't used the website before. Individuals rent out their apartments and villas meaning you find great places for a fraction of the price, in our case even cheaper than the Croatian hostels and definitely nicer!

So we set of on Monday, arriving in the city mid afternoon, and headed straight to the apartment to collect the keys. I didn't take any photos but it was clean, modern and perfectly central. We headed straight out for ice cold beers on Tkalciceva, a road in the Upper Town renowned for its choice of bars, and after a wander, onto supper at Nokturno, in the centre of the old town. Diners can sit inside or out and the theme is a mix of traditional Croatian dishes and Italian. I went for the squid and fries which was yummy.

The next day we continued our exploring if the old town, discovering tiny roads, each leading to something new. The Dolac market is filled with fresh produce, old farmers each trying to sell you something new and traditional Croatian souvenirs which we somehow managed to resist! Everything looked gorgeous in the 22 degree sunshine though and it was amazing to be in a little summer dress and not feel chilly. I wished I could have bought the sun home with me!!

I couldn't help but smile at the United Colours of Benneton window display on the walk to the Dolac!
There are layers of architecture and history in the city and climbing the watchtower in the centre of the old town only served to emphasise this. Heading up to the old town in the 60m cable car shows Croatia at its finest - sunshine, architecture and gorgeous
buildings such as the impressive cathedral.


We continued our wander around the old town, stopping to take a picture or two en route - with that background how could anyone resist!

After a few hours of soaking up the sun and another beer or two - how can we say no when it's £1 a bottle! - we decided to head south of the city for supper to a pizzeria that had been recommended by a local we'd got chatting to. When we arrived we weren't quite sure what to expect. The restaurant was set pretty much in the middle of a housing estate but we went with it, it was a recommendation by a foodie so we had to give it a try... And we were so glad we did! My pizza was bigger than me, I'm not even exaggerating that much! With the dough freshly rolled in front of us and cooked in a traditional pizza oven it was fresh and crispy. George said the lasagna was pretty good too but for me it was all about the giant pizza!!


Wednesday was set to get even hotter so we decided it was the day for a trip to the lake. A 20 minute tram ride outside of the city centre, the man made Lake Jurun wasn't quite what we expected - very Eastern European was the only way to describe it!- but it was lovely to just have a chill out day in the sunshine with the occasional paddle. I think it was just what we both needed. We came away smiling and sun burnt, more than ready for ice lollies and some more beers for supper!


The best thing about Zagreb is the price of things. It hasn't yet hit the European costs, although likely it will in years to come having just joined the EU, and a good meal can cost from as little as £3/£4, that for the equivalent in England would be closet to £10 or £12. So for supper we decided to push the boat out and headed to a slightly more upmarket restaurant back on Tkalciceva. I went for the asparagus and fennel risotto which was fresh and delicious and George chose a Zagreb steak with crispy potatoes. It was a really chilled out evening, the perfect finish to our lake day, only to be topped off watching Real Madrid play Borussia Dortmund. Zagreb seems to sleep early so it was nice to be somewhere with a bit of life after 10pm. We decided we liked the history bar!

The next morning, our last full day in the city we had a lie in before wandering out for breakfast for pain au chocolate and pretzels. We headed back to the old town, up past the cable car and to St Marks Square. We planned to go to the museum of Croatian History and after wandering around the side streets aimlessly looking a nice police man pointed us to the doors right in front of where we were standing!! Being a tourist is difficult sometimes!

The museum was a little bit of a let down unfortunately as had no permanent collections on display so we only got to learn about one minister which didn't really give us much of an insight! For 50p entry we couldn't complain too much though and headed off for ice cream and a chilled out afternoon in the park close to the apartment. At 28 degrees it was a gorgeous day and it would have been use to not have joined the locals for a beer in the main square to bask in the sunshine!


On the way back to the apartment we stumbled across a little alley way, with a sign for a shop, made out of a suitcase at the entrance. With our severe lack of the language I couldn't resist a little look and was really glad we did! The alley opened out at the bottom to play host to a gorgeous vintage shop. Laid out similarly to British vintage and with props such as record players around the shop it really was gorgeous, even if the Croatians haven't quite caught up with the difference between vintage and simply 'old lady'!!

Supper on the last night was at Boban, a renowned pasta restaurant. Said to be better than Italian pasta I went for the tagliatelle with shrimp, salmon, tomato, vodka and cream and George chose the same but with veal and garlic. The food was really delicious and I was too tempted by the pancakes so came away well and truly full, just in time for a cocktail or two back at the History Bar.


I've visited lots of European cities but this was my first experience of Eastern Europe and I can't recommend it enough. I think three full days was the perfect amount of time to see Zagreb and with the cheap prices, sunshine and perfect choice of company it really was a pretty good way to spend a few days away from the Uni bubble! 

Monday, 22 April 2013

Saima Majid

Saima Majid creates printed luxury scarves inspired by objects of beauty from the past. I came across the brand on my internship trawl a few months ago and while I was really interested in working for a fashion brand, what really struck me was the pieces that the brand was retailing.

Beautiful and fine silk fabrics are integrated with traditional printing methods, blended with a romantic vision to create a luxury accessories range. Layers of jewels, flora and trinkets appear as though three dimensional on the fabric with vivid and unusual colour combinations that create dramatic visuals. The range epitomises femininity and invokes a feeling of splendour when worn. The natural beauty of Saima's designs reflect her desire to create a uniqueness. Combined with an extreme attention to detail and finish; the item is created for the individual.

How could I resist working for a company that was seemingly more about the design, the individual, than the mass production. The company was still relatively small having only launched one collection but Saima appeared to have a wealth of experience and I wanted to be a part of something that I could help expand and get noticed. So I applied.

And amazingly, a couple of weeks later, after an exchange of emails and a couple of tasks, I was given the internship. Exciting!

So, I'm now working for this fabulous brand and, totally unbiasedly, couldn't resist sharing the newly released SS2013 collection!

For me what is so great about the scarves is their versatility. The ability to wear them over a LBD for a ball or party and for them also to look amazing thrown on with a Barbour and wellies for a walk in the countryside, or with a summer dress to keep of the summer evening chill. These accessories really are timeless, inspired by bygone eras and vintage pasts. A classic piece is one that can be worn across the generations and that really is something that is true for the Saima Majid accessories.

My favourites in the new collection have to be Ruby and Mimi. Mimi is bright - it would look fab over a white cotton dress in summer with some statement sandals and the palette works perfectly with new season trends. Ruby is classic -bright and summery and would be perfect on a summers day or over a simple statement dress on a night out.
What excites me about the brand is that it still has so far to grow; it's waiting to be noticed and develop and the new collections will only continue to be more and more striking I'm sure!

You can check out the brand and the rest of the collection here or follow for updates on Twitter @Saima__Majid

I'd love to know your thoughts on the collection and look forward to keeping you updated with the brand's progress in due course!

Details: A burst of vivid colour to brighten up your wardrobe. Architectural curves and tile
motifs combined with a bright palette of lime, orange and yellow are inspired
by the richness of Latin America. May be worn as a sarong as well as
a conventional neck scarf.

Dimensions 110x110cm

Compostion 100% silk



Details: Coco charms us with its delicate tones of silver, peach and pinks. Trinkets, bows
and beautiful bottles of scent dance around the scarf like an
elegant Viennese waltz.

Dimensions 110x110cm

Compostion 100% silk



Details: The Mimi scarf is a playful piece displaying large statement jewels, bold colours
and a fabulous textured animal print border. Definitely one for the more
daring lady this one will not go unnoticed.

Dimensions 110x110cm

Compostion 100% silk



Details: The Ruby scarf shouts and screams drama with its spectacular display of bling.
The fuchsia, chartreuse and spring green burst out from the softer rosy brown
ground. Definitely one for the more daring lady this one will not go unnoticed.

Dimensions 110x110cm

Compostion 100% silk




Details: Valentina reflects the beauty of a ladies powder room in the early 20th century.
Soft rosy pinks and tones of pink combined with romantic scrolls
and silver trinkets make for a feminine and elegant piece.

Dimensions 110x110cm

Compostion 100% silk


Sunday, 21 April 2013


5PREVIEW began in 2008 when Swedish designer and illustrator Emeli Mårtensson decided to release a small, graphic tee shirt collection of 5 pieces. Her expressive illustrative style and ironic imagery became quickly popular with the label expanding in the last five years from a small t-shirt line into a complete women’s collection.

I've only just discovered the brand when browsing Browns but am so glad I have! 5Preview offers the coolest slogan tees and elegant tailored pieces in luxury materials. I've pulled some of my favourite pieces from the new collection and would love to know yours too! New brands are always fab to discover, offering something fresh to your wardrobe and a bit of style inspiration - 5Preview does just that!

5 Preview Motif Cotton-blend Sweatshirt

As above

Logo Printed Cotton-blend Sweatshirt

Logo Printed Cotton T-Shirt

I <3 the way that Browns have styled the tee and I think this is one of the things that drew me to the collection in the first place. I'm not a tee and jeans kinda girl and love to layer my clothes. The contrast of the bold motif tee with a feminine and delicate skirt and clutch really gives an edge to the piece. The skirt is by Thu Thu, another new brand for me and is the Tribal Embroidered Cotton Miniskirt. I couldn't resist showing you how else Browns had styled the piece as I'm now massively coveting it, along with the majority of the new 5Preview collection!


5Preview also offer some really classic pieces, LBD's for any occasion and silk shirts. One of my favourite pieces are these SS Leggings in various prints. They are tailored and would look fab with an oversized silk shirt, some big sunnies and sandals.
SS2013 Leggings Varied


The rest of the tee's in the new collection are great too - bold pints and catchy designs. The crocodile is amazing and would be perfect a coulpe of sizes bigger than necessary over a bikin, or teamed with some coloured skinnies until the sun decides to shine without the wind playing along too!!
Volume T Shirt




Saturday, 20 April 2013

"Beyoncé as Mrs Carter in H&M"

Beyonce is the new face of H&M and I'm impressed. When the collaboration was first announced back in January, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I love Beyonce but was really disappointed by the recent advert with Pepsi- it feels like someone who has always been incredibly private is becoming in-necessarily commercialised.

However, Beyonce appears naturally in the campaign and it feels as if she has produced a line that is down to earth, epitomising her individual style. Beyonce commented:
"I've always liked H&M's focus on fun affordable fashion. I really loved the concept we collaborated on to explore the different emotions of women represented by the four elements - fire, water, earth and wind," said Knowles. "It was a beautiful shoot on a tropical island. It felt more like making a video than a commercial".

The pieces are elegant, classic and symbol. My favourite is by far the two-piece tie-dyed with greens and whites. The cover ups are gorgeous too and I'm looking forward to seeing the collection in store over the coming weeks!