All Hail The Loafer: Gucci Dupes

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Unless you've been living under a rock for the past couple of months (in which case, get out of that rock honey), then you'll know that this Autumn/Winter shoe game has been all about the loafer....yup, all hail the loafer! Bringing those androgynous styling vibes back into the limelight after a Summer of hiding, this season the masculine shoe is back with a vengeance and judging by my Instagram feed, it ain't going anywhere anytime soon, that's for sure.

But it's not just any loafer we're talking about, we're talking about 'The Gucci Loafer'. Splashed across Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter and gracing the pages of pretty much every print magazine on the shelves at the moment, it seems that the iconic masculine shoe is making a major resurgence in the fashion world. This month, the pavements of Paris, Milan, London and New York saw an explosion of Gucci during Fashion Week, as pretty much every pair of feet to grace them were donning the Italian creations. Whether they be the iconic Gucci Horsebit Loafer, the Gucci Mules, or the Gucci Slipper, there's absolutely no denying that the Gucci shoe is a serious contender for the biggest street style trend of 2016. Seriously, these things are everywhere...

And predictably, the high street has twigged on faster than you can say Gucci. With the likes of Topshop, ASOS, River Island and Zara all offering us normal folk who sadly cannot justify spending £600 on a pair of loafers (no matter how many Starbucks coffees we skip in the morning's) a more affordable alternative, which won't require the selling of an organ to attain. Hallelujah!

So after examining every way humanly possible for me to acquire a pair of these Gucci Loafers without having to take out a credit card (believe me I strongly considered this), or having to sell my soul to Gucci themselves, I have finally admitted defeat and have been accepted that I will have to turn to the trusty ol' high street for adequate alternatives. One day you will be mine my little babies, but unfortunately today is not that day (or year...or probably even decade), so I've done all the hard work for you guys and have perused the high street to find the best Gucci dupes that are currently on the market. You can all thank me later...

GUCCI JORDAAN LOAFER VS. TOPSHOP KENDALL LOAFER 

£540     VS.     £52


GUCCI PRINCETOWN MULE VS. TOPSHOP GRADE LOAFER MULE

£485     VS.     £30


GUCCI METALLIC MID-HEEL PUMP VS. CARVELA MID-HEEL LOAFERS

£545     VS.      £99


GUCCI PRINCETOWN METALLIC SLIPPER VS. RIVER ISLAND GOLD LOAFER 

£430   VS.      £25


GUCCI PRINCETOWN SLIPPER VS. OFFICE FUR MULE 

£715     VS.      £62


GUCCI ANKLE BOOT VS. TOPSHOP FRINGE LOAFER BOOT

£710     VS.      £82


GUCCI FLORAL JACQUARD SLIPPER VS. TOPSHOP BACKLESS BUCKLE LOAFER  

£450     VS.     £49

And there we have it...those are the best Gucci dupes the high street has to offer us ladies to get on board this huge, huge trend for AW16 and the best part of it is, you can treat yourself to all the coffees in the world because none of these shoes will leave you bankrupt, hurrah! There is absolutely nothing I love more in this world (apart from pizza) than finding a designer-inspired bargain for a fraction of the price, which will leave people in the street guessing if it's real or not, so if you like me sadly cannot afford to jump on board this Gucci bandwagon, then you know what they say...if you can't beat 'em, join 'em....but just bend those rules a tad and join 'em in Topshop instead! 

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Sunday Funday: Autumn Edition

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Sundays as a student for me used to be all about leaving my bed for as little time as humanly possible, binge-watching The Vampire Diaries and feeding my body with whatever disgusting food would cure me of my hideous hangover. (Not gonna lie to you, this was usually a Mcdonalds.) Fast-forward several years and the Sundays of this working 23 year-old are now all about waking up fresh as a daisy (okay maybe not that fresh, I still consume the odd bottle or 2 of wine on a Saturday night...please I'm not that good) and making the most of my Sunday.

My single friends and I started the 'Sunday Funday' tradition amongst our group to escape the boredom of a lonely Sunday spent laying in bed completing Tinder while all your loved-up friends spent the day snuggled up in bed with their other halves. We decided to dedicate our Sundays to spending time with each other and to making the most of them, by doing something different every week. Whether that be wandering round a museum, sampling a new brunch hangout, exploring a different part of London, or simply driving to a different town. It seriously revolutionised Sundays for me, as they were always the shitty day of the week for me, a day where everybody always seemed to be busy spending it with family or their partners and as a single girl from a very small family, this used to leave me with very little to do on a Sunday...c'mon, there's only so much Netflix you can watch!

So, this Sunday I fancied a break from the city life and as I'm lucky in that I live on the very edge of North London, it means that I can be in the countryside in no longer than 15 minutes in a car from my house, so the countryside it was! We decided to meet up at the famous Hatfield House and although the house itself is closed for the Winter, The Stable Yard was still very much open for business, with an adorable little farmers market in town for the day. The weather was surprisingly warm for an Autumn's day, so we took full advantage and sat outside in the Stable Yard and munched on coffee and homemade brownies (they were gluten free, so this makes them healthy right?) and basked in the freshness of that country air, which if you live in a polluted city like London, believe me, that stuff is more precious than that favourite bottle of wine of yours!

As my friends seem to think they're American and have adopted a rather unhealthy obsession with Halloween and pumpkins, we headed on to Crews Hill; a garden centre haven and a pensioners heaven and went in search of a pumpkin. I gotta admit, although I'm a bit of a Halloween scrooge, I did get a tad excited over the sight of all the pumpkins (although maybe that was just because it looked like a beautiful photo opportunity) and ended up bringing one home, ready to carve in a week or so for Halloween.

It was a Sunday very well-spent in the country and after all week of commuting and working in the concrete and graffiti-clad East London, it was so refreshing to get out of London for the day and to just have a little taste of the peaceful country life, with not a spot of graffiti, sick or leftover kebab in sight, (Shoreditch I'm talking about you). To be surrounded by so much greenery and falling leaves got me seriously excited for Autumn and Halloween.

Happy Sunday! 
xoxo 
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A Week On The Island Of Rhodes

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Okay, so first things first, I have a confession to make...this blog post is almost 2 months late whoopsie, but real life and that oh so inconvenient 9-5 day job got in the way, along with a not so well-deserved weekend away to Valencia 4 days after I returned from Rhodes, so hey, I have my excuses. But 5 weeks later, I'm unfortunately unpacked and settled back in London after a whirlwind Summer of incredible trips and this British weather has got me digging out those tights and boots from the back of my wardrobe faster than you can say 'Greece'. So before Summer seems like a distant memory, I figured it was finally time to write all about my week in Rhodes with my besties, so grab a cuppa (and a biscuit, because lets face it, Summer's over now and nobody is gonna see you in a bikini for at least another 8 months, so go fricking wild) and get ready ready to read all about how I spent a week on the beautiful Greek Island of Rhodes....
Considering this trip was pretty last minute as we only booked it 2 weeks before we flew out, we managed to nab a pretty good deal thanks to late deals on thomascook.com and stayed at the all-inclusive Smartline Cosmopolitan Hotel in Ixia. Although this holiday was all about stuffing our faces with moussaka and Greek salad (hey it's all about balance), abusing that all-inclusive pool bar and floating our troubles away on lilos (sadly no, the inflatable flamingos and swans haven't made it to Rhodes yet), we soon started to get itchy feet just staying by the pool and hitting the beach everyday, so we decided to rent a car for the day and explore the Island. I know a lot of people are put off by the idea of renting a car abroad...driving on the wrong side of the road with blasé European road etiquette can be pretty daunting, but if you're travelling with a confident driver then definitely, definitely rent a car! Yes, there's always boat or coach trips which take you on excursions from your hotel, but nothing gives you the freedom quite like having your own car for the day and being free to drive wherever you want and having the ability to stop at whatever little hidden gems you discover along the way, whether they be secluded beaches or authentic little restaurants in a local village. And when holidaying on an Island as small as Rhodes, where you can drive from the top to the bottom of the Island in as little as 2 hours, renting a car really is the best thing you can do to explore as much as you possibly can. 

Suzy The Suzuki 

So for just something silly like £25 each, we hired this adorable little Suzuki for the day. We originally wanted to hire a white Jeep, but the rental company wanted a crazy deposit for it and we figured as Instagramable and as 'road trip goals' (did I really just use 'goals' in a serious way) as it would have been, we settled for Suzy the Suzuki instead and she was a pretty good consolation...and yes, we do name all our rental cars. So with nothing on us but a paper map of the island and some broken English instructions, we headed South of Ixia in search of Anthony Quinn Bay. 

Anthony Quinn Bay 

Although I've visited Rhodes several times before on family holidays, I'd embarrassingly never heard of nor visited Anthony Quinn Bay. It was recommended to us by a friend as a 'must visit' and boy am I grateful for this recommendation. Anthony Quinn Bay was quite possibly one of the most stunning views I have ever been fortunate enough to witness. There is something so calm and tranquil about this place that the camera unfortunately cannot capture and the pictures just simply do not do this place justice. The water is so calm and clear and makes it the perfect destination to do some snorkeling with the Gopro and bask in the Grecian sun.


A Day On Pefki Beach 

After a beautiful morning spent snorkelling in Anthony Quinn Bay, we headed about 45 minutes South of the Island to Pefkos. Pefkos is a town about halfway down the Island on the East coast where I've spent my family holidays for the past few years and is definitely the little sun trap of the Island. Unlike the windy and shingled beach of Ixia, Pekfi beach is the opposite, with almost zero sea breeze and not one pebble in sight as it's one of the few golden sandy beaches of Rhodes. We absolutely died of heat on Pefki Beach without that sea breeze we were used to in Ixia, so we cooled down over a divine Greek lunch at my favourite restaurant in Pefkos...Philosophia Restaurant. It's situated directly above the beach, giving you the most incredible view of Pefki Beach and serves some of the freshest and best Greek food I've ever tried. We tucked into fresh calamari and Greek salads, whilst admiring the stunning view. It's a hard life I know...

Lindos

Lindos is without a doubt my favourite place in Rhodes. Its an adorable little town just a 10 minute drive away from Pefkos and is the epitome of traditional Greece, with it's delicate architecture, winding cobbled paths and whitewashed restaurants and bars. It's everything you expect of a Greek Island and more. There's a multitude of restaurants to choose from, all offering the best of Greek food and all come with a side of jaw-dropping views of this beautiful town and the Acropolis of Lindos, as almost all of the restaurants in Lindos have roof terraces. Although not exactly off the beaten track as many tourists flock to the popular Lindos, this touristic presence fortunately doesn't spoil this beautiful place and you'd honestly struggle to find a place in Rhodes more symbolic of Greece, with its winding streets bursting with authentic Greek produce, with stalls selling handmade pottery and leather goods and Greek delicacies such as honey and ouzo. I could spend hours getting lost in Lindos's winding streets and believe me it is easy to get lost as the streets resemble that of a maze, so a little word of advice...if you're claustrophobic, unfortunately it's probably best to avoid Lindos at all costs!


Rhodes Town

Rhodes Town is a beautiful place to spend the evening if you're staying anywhere in the top half of the Island. As Ixia is just a 10 minute taxi ride away from Rhodes Town, we decided to spend our penultimate night wandering around the Old Town spending the last of our euros and stuffing our faces with yet more moussaka and feta cheese. Rhodes Town is a fabulous place to do some shopping on the Island and it is divided into two parts: The Old Town & The New Town. The New Town is where you will find European shops like Zara and United Colours of Benetton, whereas there's not an electronic cash register in sight in The Old Town, where instead you have stall after stall of authentic Greek produce, such as sea sponges and olive-based beauty products...with the odd fake Chanel bag thrown in there for good measure, as it wouldn't be a market town without fake goods now would it?
Rhodes Town is the perfect destination to spend an afternoon/evening wandering around the harbour, sampling the Greek cuisine, braving some ouzo in the bars and spending those euros in the shops.


It was the perfect week with the perfect balance of relaxation and exploring and I honestly cannot recommend Rhodes enough. 
xoxo


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My Stay At One Shot: Hotel Reina Victoria: Valencia

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Hotel One Shot: Palacio Reina Victoria:

If you hadn't already guessed from my blog name, I am an absolute sucker for all things monochrome. My bedroom is monochrome, my wardrobe is entirely monochrome (except you Summer wardrobe, I make an exception for you) and heck even my iPhone background has to be monochrome. It's a bloody big ol' obsession. So when I was tasked with finding the Mother and I a hotel to stay in in Valencia, of course I opted for one with a monochrome scheme running throughout didn't I...

Usually when visiting a new city for the weekend, I always go down the cheap flights and Airbnb route, however my Mum is a panic pants and prefers the comfort and safety of a hotel and hey, when a hotel looks this good and has a bed this comfortable, I definitely wasn't going to complain, so Hotel One Shot: Palacio Reina Victoria came to the rescue.

Location: 

I gotta say, I need to give myself a massive pat on the back for finding this absolute gem of a hotel, as it honestly could not be any more centrally or perfectly located. Located smack bang in the centre of the city and just a stones throw away from Plaza Del Ayuntamiento, you honestly couldn't get any closer to the action if you tried. Just a 5 minute walk away from the beautiful Plaza de la Reina, the perfect pit-stop for a sangria (or three) and just a 5 minute walk in the opposite direction to one of the main shopping streets of Valencia: Carrer de Jon Juan de Austria, this hotel is the perfect location for shopping, strolling, sightseeing, dining and exploring. With the main bus stops located literally around the corner in Plaza Del Ayuntamiento where you can hop on a bus which takes you directly to Playa Malvarrossa Beach in 20 minutes, you literally have the absolute best of both worlds with this hotel.

Bedroom:

It's fair to say I think I had a love affair with my hotel room. The bed was abso-bloody-lutely huge and was without a doubt, the comfiest bed I have ever slept in. I honestly felt like Mia in The Princess Diaries when she stays at the Palace for the first time, seriously, you know the drill...I'm talking fluffy goose feather pillows galore and a mattress of dreams. It was a task in itself dragging my ass out of the bed every morning I'm telling you! The rooms are very minimalist, with a clear monochromatic theme flowing throughout, with a splash of individuality livening up the hotel in the form of it's choice of eccentric artwork and tiling. I got a thing for bathroom interiors at the moment (no idea why), so my hotel bathroom got a huge thumbs up from me. A waterfall shower yaaaas, with the cutest tiling I ever did see, complete with an industrial vibe sink...it's a big fat yes from me!

Price:

I believe the hotel is pretty pricey in terms of booking directly through the hotel at a nightly rate, but thanks to the saviour that is expedia.com you can easily nab yourself a reasonable flight + hotel deal and stay at this hotel for a fraction of the price than if you were to book direct. This hotel honestly is worth every penny and I highly, highly recommend it if you are ever visiting Valencia.
Just don't blame me if you can't leave the hotel room in the morning...

xoxo 



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