The Ladybug’s vintage friendly weekend in Frankfurt

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While I was in Munich for work this summer I had the chance to spend a little lovely weekend in Frankfurt to see two of my beautiful friends living there. As usual, every time that I go visit them, our weekends are full of food, shopping and amazing walks and sightseeing in this beautiful German town that I visited four times and that I saw changing a lot in the last 15 years. Frankfurt is today one of the most interesting and sparkling cities in Germany where you can also have great vintage shopping sessions! Let me be honest: it is not full of vintage spots but if you know where to go you can see (and buy) amazing stuff for very good prices.

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This time I visited again two of my favorite spots in town:

1.       Epiphany on the Zeil (Frankfurt main shopping street), basically a thrift store full of amazing designer and high street second hand pieces from clothes to (amazing) shoes and bags where you can also find beautiful vintage pieces. (I bought there the 70’s vintage bag that I am wearing in these pictures);

2.       The Antiques and Vintage market along the river Main that you can visit every Saturday morning: it is a lovely market full of bargains for your wardrobe and home and at the same time it offers amazing views on the city’s skyline!

Anyway we also walked and ate a lot during that weekend! The sightseeing in Frankfurt is still a great experience: from the beautiful Romer Platz to the Alte Oper the contrast of the old city with the new futuristic one is still incredibly interesting.  One of my favorite spots in Frankfurt is the Goethe House, with a museum dedicated to the German romantic writer.

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On the eating side, the best part of Frankfurt is the brunch! Many restaurants and bars offer cheap brunch with amazing food: it is the perfect place to eat, meet people and spend a few hours observing the local habits and tastes! Our favorite brunch was definitely at Nordlicht near the lovely Berger Strasse.

If you want to eat amazing African food, try the delicious Ethiopian restaurant African Queen near the train station: the area is not great but the delicious food will make you forget about it!

PS. When in Frankfurt I received a beautiful vintage present: a long suede skirt that my friend found during a swap party! I loved it so much that I wore it immediately with my new vintage bag from Epiphany!

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The Ladybug goes green in Munich (part 1)

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I am really sorry, I know it’s fall, I know I should wear tights, I know I should post fall outfits but No, I can’t do it! First of all because I still have loads of outfits from this summer to show you; second it is still quite warm in Milan and I want to enjoy “tightless” days as much as I can; third I am not accepting winter this year, so you will see colorful and summer outfits for a while before I surrender to the cold temperatures!

So let’s go back to Germany and Munich, where (I realized it later) I worn a lot of green.

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I wore these green wax trousers from Heka Couture on my first Saturday off in town: it was a beautiful day and we enjoyed a typical Bavarian lunch in the city center, we visited again the city center as tourists would do and we did a little shopping in town (it was still summer sales season!) before heading to Mädels-Flohmarkt, a garage sale where private sellers could sell their stuff while enjoying music and beer. It was the perfect place to find a good bargain (as my sales session was quite disappointing!): indeed I found an amazing vintage leather biker jacket for just 17 euros!

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I found the event on Facebook while I was there, this is why I always suggest to have a look online before traveling somewhere, you never know if a cool event is in town when you are there!

I paired my wax trousers with Asos short frilled striped top (yes, naked belly again!) and Nike 4 & Other stories white sneakers (perfect for my long walks!).

Photo Credit: Marco di Terlizzi

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The Ladybug speaks Chinese in Munich!

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Although I visited Munich many times, mostly for work, I never visited the Englischer Garten until last summer. A couple of times I missed it because I didn’t have enough time and when I visited in 2015 I spent a lot of time visiting art galleries and the old city center that I didn’t make time for a visit of this beautiful garden in the city center. During that weekend in Munich we decided that it was time to fill this gap and we enjoyed a beautiful stroll in the park: the weather was amazing and the park was full of life, which made it even better.

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We also managed to see the famous Chinese Tower inside the Garden (Chinesischer Turm) and we took a couple of pictures of this beautiful area of Munich. We also joined the many Germans and tourists drinking beer in the park, even if we were supposed to head to Georgenhof, a famous Bavarian restaurant where we ate (personally for the second time there!) the best kaiserschmarren ever!  It is a typical Austrian-Bavarian, a sort of shredded pancake with apple sauce, nuts, cherries, plums, caramelized raisins and almonds…it wasn’t a good day to stay on diet!

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It has to be said that before the English Garden we spent the morning at the amazing Peter Lindbergh exhibition at the Kunsthalle, so we definitely needed some sugar after our busy Sunday morning around Munich!

I wore Joanie Clothing retro tee, Dixie black culottes and two of my favorite African wax accessories: a beautiful handmade turban by my super talented  friend Madame Ilary and my new favorite wax tote from Wax Is The New Black that I found on Afrikrea marketplace. White sneakers Nike 4 & Other Stories.

(Photo Credit: Marco Di Terlizzi)

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The Ladybug travels: my first time in Prague

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As many of my travels, my trip to Prague came out of the blue one day while I was on the phone with a friend of mine. She informed me that she wanted to go to Prague two months later and she asked me to join.  I was having a tough moment and I thought that a few days in a new town with good friends could help, and it helped indeed.

It was my first trip to Prague, for some unknown reason it has never been in my wishlist, but it was a mistake as I was completely amazed but this wonderful town. A vintage gal like me not knowing Prague? Nah… Prague is the perfect destination for vintage lovers as Prague is vintage by definition: its wonderful art deco buildings and doors tell the visitors a story of magic moments from the past and it is impossible not to love it.

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We started our visit by wandering with no specific destination, which is the best way to admire Prague. From the Dancing House along the river to the Astronomical Clock in the Old Town Hall we walked in a total awe! Pastel buildings and belle époque doors were everywhere and we couldn’t have enough of this view!

The day after we started our visit from Wenceslas Square and we had our first stop at the Mucha museum: after visiting the exhibition dedicated to this artist in Milan I couldn’t miss this occasion. With a bundle ticket you can also visit the Kafka museum (which we did in the afternoon). 

We reached then Charles Bridge to get to the other side of the river: it was a great occasion to admire a spectacular view of Prague and to make a wish (more than one actually!). From that side of the river we reached the famous John Lennon wall, a wall full of graffiti dedicated to the artist, where street art blossoms under different forms (music, painting).   

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Our Sunday was mostly dedicated to the visit of the Castle and the St. Vitus Cathedral in the morning and to the Jewish District in the afternoon. There was a lot of walking but they were both worth the sacrifice!

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Eating and drinking is very cheap if you choose typical Czech pub: portions are abundant, beer is amazing, they often don’t speak English and vegetarians will have a very small choice but we definitely preferred this type of places because you can really feel “local” there.

By the way, in the city center you will easily find small kiosks selling a typical Czech dessert called “trdlo” o “trdelník”:  I loved it and was totally addicted! I tried it classic, with fruits, ice-cream and all of them together!!!

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The Ladybug vintage shopping in Ljubljana

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What do you know about Ljubljana?

Personally I could barely point it on a map when I was invited by a friend to spend a weekend there with her! She told me that the city center was lovely and that the view from the Castle on top of the hill was worth the trip and then she told me that I would love it because of the tons of beautiful vintage shops .

Vintage shops? In Ljubljana? I was speechless!

I was even more speechless when I arrived there: the town was lovely and the visit to the Castle was worth the trip (especially the tasty lunch at the Castle restaurant on top of the hill!). Even if it was snowy and cold, the lovely bars and shops along the river and the atmosphere of the little streets in the city center were awesome and I was seriously amazed about the amount of interesting vintage addresses in town!

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I made a quick research before traveling there and my friend was absolutely right! So if you are planning a trip to Ljubljana (better in summer but winter is ok too!) here is my list of vintage shops to visit (and the prices are incredibly affordable):

–          Vintage Divas: definitely my favorite vintage shop in Ljubljana! The shop itself is beautiful and the antiques furniture makes it look like a castle interior. I found there the best selection of vintage clothing and accessories in town, but I can definitely put it in my top ten list of vintage shops in Europe! There is a lot of research and taste and the pieces are incredibly rare although they’re not pricy at all. I spent a couple of hours looking for rare gems and I got lost in their huge collection of vintage clothing and accessories!

–          Moje Tvoje: it is a vintage and thrift/second hand store in the main street of Ljubljana and you can find there thrifted and vintage clothes for very good prices. Look for their 80’s dresses: they have a huge amount of incredible dresses from that decade! When I was there I found a special “50% off discount” and it was possible to buy a dress for 10 euros!

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–          Vintage Galerija: definitely one of the top vintage shops of Lubljana! It is situated in a small street of the old city in a lovely location and it is quite small but full of vintage gems (especially from the 40’s and the 50’s). Clothes, bags and jewelry form my favorite eras…I couldn’t help spending hours inside this tiny shop to find my perfect match: a beautiful 50’s raffia bag that is still one of my favorite vintage objects ever!

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–          Gvant: if you are not scared of getting out of the city center for a trip to this second hand store you won’t be disappointed! Not only you will discover new areas were only locals go (the area is not interesting at all, but it’s still an experience!) but you will be surprised to find this huge second hand shop with a special corner for vintage items (especially 80’s dresses and huge jumpers) for less than 10 euros. It will be impossible to go back home without a bag full of vintage and second hand bargains!

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The Ladybug in vintage Vienna

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In September I had the chance to spend a few days in Vienna after a very long time. I was amazed by the vintage vibes of this city: its glorious and luxurious past is everywhere and the atmosphere has a melancholic touch that I enjoyed a lot

I didn’t have too much time for vintage shopping but I visited a few shops and to made some interviews in town to some very well informed vintage lovers to find interesting addresses to share here!

There was no doubt that the not-to-miss vintage address in town is Vintage Flo, a beautiful shop in the trendy Freihausviertel where you can find incredibly rare pieces from the 20’s/30’s. Maybe you won’t buy anything (the prices are quite high because of the great quality of the clothing and the shop is famous also for providing clothes for TV movies, films and theatre) but you will definitely enjoy the visit.

Vienna is full of interesting thrift shops if you look for designer second hand pieces: in Bocca Lupo you can find amazing bags and shoes from Chanel, Gucci, Manolo Blahnik and many others; in Déjà Vu and Silvia Milano luxury designers bags and shoes; in The Berliner Das Neue Shwarz you may find very interesting Balenciaga pieces.

If you are more on the “trendy” side don’t miss Kleider gehen um, Fräulein Kleidsam and Extraschön (where you can also find an “outlet” room for more affordable items).

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If you are there to buy here you can find more affordable pieces:

Polyklamott for new pieces by Viennese designers and vintage 60’s/70’s and 80’s; Bootik 54 for European and American vintage clothing and accessories for men and women; Burggasse 24 for incredible bargains and a lot of rummage fun; Catrinette for adorable vintage pieces from the flea markets of Paris, Berlin and Copenhagen; Uppers and Downers for a huge variety of statement pieces (for those you want to dare!)

Charity shop lovers will adore Carla (Caritas Laden), a huge shop with clothing (also designer pieces) and furniture where it is easy to find incredible bargains and where you can be sure that your money will be used for supporting good causes!

If you are in Vienna during the weekends don’t miss the experience to visit some antiques and flea markets in town like the Naschmarkt (a real institution in Vienna!) and Time Travel Antiques Market (every second and fourth Sunday in the month at the Ringstraßen Galerien and every first and third Sunday in the month at the Ekazent Hietzing).

If you visit the city in September, make sure to see the Vintage Salon, one of the biggest vintage event in town!

Let me share also a couple of my best finds in town for eating and drinking in Vienna: I had a great time (and cocktail!) at the Do & Co, a beautiful and elegant bar and restaurant (also an hotel) with the best view on the Saint Stephen’s Cathedral.

I know that sushi is not the typical dish that you eat in Vienna but I can tell you that I found there one of the best Japanese restaurants I have ever tried in my life: Daihachi. I tasted the best butterfish sushi and I really thanked my friend for such a great advice! In any case, on your way back to the city center you can stop to buy a Sachertorte at the iconic Sacher Hotel or the original Manner’s Neapolitaner wafers in their tempting shop in Stephansplatz!

(Blue wall picture: Benetton trench, Topshop palm shirt, & Other stories trousers, brogues; Mozartplazt picture: same with YesStyle heart print shirt)

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The Ladybug’s personal travel guide to Singapore

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I have already explained the reasons for such a delay in my travel guide to Singapore: this trip was my personal birthday gift two years ago and I had the chance to share it with a friend who spent many years in Asia and who knew the country quite well. It was also my first time in Asia, let’s say a first door to this continent that I would love to visit more soon.

That said, I think that for a first visit to Asia Singapore is the perfect place! It feels like visiting the world but staying in the same place: Chinese, Indian, Arab cultures are mixed up in an amazing melting pot and you can easily leave an Hindu temple to enter a Buddhist one a few steps away and then see a Mosque just around the corner. At the same time you can eat Thai, Chinese, Indian, European, American almost everywhere and believe me, it is one of the places that I loved more for the variety and quality of food, especially in the small restaurants or in the markets’ stalls that you can find almost everywhere in town.

All these traditions coming from different parts of the world are mixed up with an amazing skyline with incredible modern skyscrapers reflecting on the sea and luxurious hotels and malls where you can easily get lost or find a network of canals recreating the Venice atmosphere while you shop at Louis Vuitton or Dior!

If it’s not enough, you can find the paradise on earth in the Botanical Gardens where you can get lost in a green paradise full of rare orchids and beautiful swans.

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If you visit Singapore you cannot miss the Colonial District with the biggest museums and malls that I’ve ever seen; if you walk down the Singapore river you will join the Quays, full of lights, bars and restaurant. On the other side Marina Bay, with one of the greatest skylines ever especially at night. If you want to admire a wonderful view from the top of a “tree” you must try the bar or restaurant Gardens by the Bay, the last futuristic idea in town. It may seem a bit kitsch but the breathtaking view is totally worth the experience! Speaking of kitsch experience don’t miss a visit at the Marina Bay sands mall…you won’t buy anything but you can see the first Louis Vuitton floating shop and other strange things that I won’t tell you here!

Speaking of shopping Orchard Road is the main shopping street of Singapore, full of people and shopping centers but instead of getting lost in shopping centers make sure that you visit Emerald Road Hill with the loveliest colored buildings in Singapore. The only shop that you may visit in Orchard road if you are a tea lover is TWG with the best teas from all over the world: I bought Singapore breakfast tea and it’s still one of my favorite teas ever!

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But what I liked most of my Singapore experience was getting lost in Chinatown and Little India.

In Chinatown you don’t go to visit something special, you just go to feel the atmosphere, to get lost in their food markets, bazars, temples. After a delicious breakfast at the traditional Ya Kun Kaya Toast you can visit the Chinatown Heritage Centre, walk down Pagoda Street and visit the beautiful Hindu temple Sri Mariammam. The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple is also in this area and it will take your breath away. This is also a perfect place to taste delicious food for a few dollars in one of the food markets in the area.

Little India is a world apart inside the town: beautiful colored houses, Indian food shops and markets selling beautiful Indian saris and colored textiles, smell of curry everywhere.  You can admire here amazing Hindu temples like the Sri Veeramakaliamman or the Sri Srinivasa Perumal. Don’t forget to visit the colored and crowded Bugis Street Market and to have a look at the lovely bars and shops on Haji Lane.

Not far from here is the lovely Kampong Glam and the beautiful Arab Street with the Sultan Mosque and the arab shops where you can easily find interesting bargains (especially electronics). If you want to taste delicious Indian food you can just visit the Tekka Centre, just to name one of the many food markets in the area.

If you have time for the beach just head to Sentosa, an Ibizan style crowded beach on an island famous for the Universal Studios and as a huge playground! This is not exactly what I like but if you’re curious…

Just a last tip for yoga lovers like me: in the Sri Muneeswaran Hindu Temple you can practice yoga for free a couple days a week. Just check their schedule to live a very exciting experience!

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The Ladybug’s vintage hunting in Singapore

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It took two years to write this blog post. Why? It’s a long story but to make it short I was afraid of it and it was hard for me to share my wonderful experience in Singapore two years ago. I was dreaming of visiting Asia and I decided to give myself a special birthday present: a week in Singapore to celebrate it in my very first trip to the Asian continent! It was a wonderful experience shared with one of my best friends (who lived in Asia for many years and who knew the country very well) but it happened during a strange moment for me. I didn’t feel very well, I was getting a lot of weight and I started a serious diet one or two months before traveling. Once I came back, it took two more months to get ready to write about my trip and in the meanwhile I lost more weight and when I started editing my pictures I immediately felt ashamed. Ashamed of my body image. How did it happen that I allowed my body to be so unhealthy? I didn’t like my image in these pictures and I just decided to leave it there for a while.

Two years later I keep having great memories of that trip and I decided that no matter how I looked like I just wanted to share my memories with you, especially my vintage hunting in Singapore and more travel info about this incredible place that I loved a lot (this in my next post!). I feel happy that I started this journey to be healthy and happy with myself which is all that really matters now!

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Ok, now that I finished my confessions I can tell you more about my first Asian vintage experience.

Wherever I go I try to find a vintage community and some interesting vintage addresses that may be useful for those vintage lovers planning to travel there anytime soon and wanting to see not only what this beautiful place has to offer but also what it is like vintage there.

Let me warn you, Singapore is not a vintage fanatics paradise but some addresses are definitely worth a visit…and some shopping!

If I had to tell you my favourite place in town it is Granny’s day out, a beautiful vintage boutique with the most amazing vintage dresses and accessories, located in the Peninsula Shopping Center (just few steps away from our hotel!). Kyra is the loveliest person that I met in Singapore and we enjoyed a good chat on vintage in Singapore. She also gave me some good advice for a few other shops and markets to visit!

The Good Old Days is probably the most “Asian” vintage shop that I visited in Singapore. Located in Jurong Gateway Road (another shop is in New Bugis Street) I loved the mixture of vintage and Asian pop accessories of this coloured boutique where I also bought a vintage 80’s belt with a beautiful golden butterfly. Their collection of dress and bags is also interesting but the sizing is a bit small for an average European body (good reason to get new accessories!).

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What I noticed during my vintage hunting in town is that mixing vintage with new retro pieces and handmade is very popular in Singapore where it is quite hard to find vintage-only shops. Grammah in Haji Lane is an interesting shop with a lot of new retro inspired pieces and some vintage pieces, as well as Déjà Vu Vintage in Raffles Boulevard specialized in designer thrifted clothes and accessories and original vintage pieces.

Haji Lane is one of the most hipster areas of Singapore (much loved by Europeans visitors) with its lovely cocktail bars and retro shops, but my favourite shop in the area was definitely Dulcetfig. It is one of the loveliest places I have ever visited in my life: full of beautiful vintage pieces, printed retro dresses, handmade quirky jewellery and…three adorable ginger cats!

If you are interested in visiting one of the most interesting handmade markets in Singapore where you can also find some vintage pieces you must head to Scape Underground on Orchard Link, where I found some interesting coloured handmade pieces (earrings, necklaces and rings) at very good prices.

One of the shops that I couldn’t visit was World Savage for vintage and antiques shopping. It was recommended from local vintage lovers and it was mentioned by The New York Times as one of the best vintage shops in Singapore.

PS: I know that you were expecting to see me and I didn’t use any picture of me for this post but you will see me – two years ago – in the next post on my Singapore travel tips!

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The Ladybug found Paris…in Monza!

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Although I have been living in Milan for more than four years now, I never visited Monza. It is only 15 minutes by train from Milan but I never had the occasion to go there. Not that I didn’t want to; I was very curious especially because every time it was mentioned the first reaction of people involved in the conversation was: “Ah, Monza…lovely”!

Indeed, lovely! Now I know that it is the perfect way to describe it!

When I heard that I could have a second occasion to visit the Robert Doisneau exhibit (“Le merveilleux Quotidien”) in Monza – I missed the first one in Milan years ago – I thought it was also the perfect excuse to have a short visit of the town.

I invited a friend of mine to join me and we spent a beautiful Saturday in Monza, visiting the exhibit and doing a little bit of sightseeing!

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Doisneau’s exhibition was just wonderful: I didn’t know that much about his photography, except for the famous “Le baiser de l’Hôtel de Ville” and I was amazed to discover his art, especially the beautiful street photos of Paris. Eighty photographs were exposed from his early works until the 70’s, describing the life of his adored Paris. Moments of simplicity and authenticity portrayed in his photographs can lead to pure emotion to those who admire them.

The exhibit was held in the historical Arengario di Monza, in the city center, a few steps away from the beautiful Cathedral (currently under restoration). You don’t easily get lost in Monza, but walking through the old streets of the city center is such an experience! Beautiful landscapes are everywhere especially if you cross the Lambro river on one of the typical bridges.

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We dedicated our afternoon to the visit of the amazing Royal Villa of Monza with the beautiful gardens and the incredible art exhibitions. Once used as private residence of the Austrian royals, the Villa now hosts events and art exhibitions. The magnificent gardens around the building are not only a fresh shelter during the hot summer days, but also an amazing park to walk, run or just take the sun in the beautiful nature.

If I can suggest a lovely place to eat if you visit Monza I loved the Locanda Bergamotto, a lovely restaurant not far from the city center (a few minute walk) with young and welcoming personnel and where you can taste typical Italian dishes at affordable prices.

I wore Zara printed pants, & Other Stories shirt and Superga sneakers. I paired with Celine sunglasses and Miu Miu bag and Bao London canvas tote (a souvenir from my last trip in London!).

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The Ladybug is a London Citizen(M)

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If you followed my London adventures on my social medias you probably saw pictures of the amazing hotel where we had the chance to spend our weekend, the CitizenM in London Bankside.

When we booked our trip we were intrigued by the place and we decided to give it a try as it was in a perfect location for our planned tour of London: a few-minute walk from London Bridge tube station, Blackfriars bridge, Millennium Bridge, Tate Modern Gallery, Shakespeare’s Globe, Thames river, Saint Paul Cathedral and just in the middle of Southwark, full of lovely shops and restaurants. Location-side we couldn’t ask for more!

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But the CitizenM hotel was a real surprise when we headed in: it is a modern luxury hotel at affordable price with all the comforts that customers may ask for and the greatest design. Rooms are equipped with free wi-fi, flat-screen TVs with complimentary movies, touch-screen tablet for light, wake-up call and curtains control, rainfall shower in the bathroom with different lighting depending on your mood!

Moreover we loved the incredible trendy lounge bar and lobby work space, the colored 24/7 canteen for light meals and cocktails and the beautiful modern furniture (I was in love with my favorite red leather couch and with Robbie Williams giant photograph in the middle of the reception!). There is also a breakfast bar available, which serves coffee, tea, pastries and cooked English breakfast.

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This is one of these hotels where you don’t go just to sleep while you are on holidays abroad or on a business trip; it is an hotel to live and to enjoy with all the comforts and pleasures that it offers.

Personnel is young, helpful, kind and very welcoming (something that you don’t expect when the check-in and check-out are self-service) and we enjoyed fully our short stay in this adorable hotel.

You can find CitizenM hotels also in Paris, New York, Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Glasgow (visit www.citizenm.com for more details or booking).

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Leather jacket: IL2L at Shores, yellow printed shirt: Zara.