Category Archives: Field Trips

Field Trip: Portland, Oregon

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Roses, independent bookshops, Independent everything, bikes, coffee, food trucks… what is not to love about Portland?  The perks of a travelling husband is being able to tag along from time to time – on our travels we have got to pass through Portland a few times now and have left part of my heart there.  So, if you find you self lucky to have a day or two in Portland here are my top tips:

Morning Coffee:  Stumptown Coffee Roasters

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With Staff as delightful as their coffee.  Our first visit to stump town coffee roasters we met Nathan, a hirsuite barista, that looked every bit the portland hipster, but chatted with us for 10 minutes about coffee, the relationships with farmers, the differences in the beans and the benefits of an aeropress.  The coffee will leave you every bit as stimulated as the knowledgeable and friendly staff – a Portland institution & a must visit in your Portland adventure.

Browse: Powells City of Books

photo-9This is a bookworms paradise, the largest independent bookshop in the world, and it feels like stepping into heaven, once you enter you might never want to leave – good job it stays open super late!

Brunch: The Parish

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A short stumble from Powells, the Parish serve up an tasty brunch, with a local Jazz trio as entertainment – here is where i first tasted a grapefruit Mimosa… Just when you thought you couldn’t improve on the original…

Shop: Yo Vintage

As a someone who enjoys a vintage shop but doesn’t love too much clutter, this shop is beautifully laid out and curated collection of vintage wares.  I picked up my favourite dress of all time in this shop, as well as heaps of styling tips from the lovely shop assistant.  As everywhere in Portland, the staff was unpretentious, knowledgable, and gave me loads of time in helping me chose and advising me on outfit selections.

Cocktails:  Clyde Common

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I visited here pregnant and can thoroughly vouch for the deliciousness of the sparkling lavender lemonade, but have it on good authority that they do a great Old Fashioned.  You’ll find here attached to the Ace, and a few doors down from Stumptown.

Sleep:  Hotel Monaco

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Fun, Kooky, Colourful and with a happy hour free to residents, this hotel has the best wallpaper (and ostrich legged lamp) I have ever stayed in.  There is nowhere better to lay your head after all that Portland  (& tax free shopping) You should probably pick up a voodoo doughnut on the way though.

That is a round up of my favourite parts from the Portland visits, next time I am determined to check out the famous food trucks, but until then I will just need to watch Portlandia and dream of returning.

-Sarah

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Fieldtrips: Cardiff, Wales

Cardiff City Hall

I don’t know about you but my experience of day trips to new cities has not always been the best.  Starting from wondering around aimlessly from shop to shop (the same ones you’ll find in any other city in the country), ending up getting hungry and cranky and therefore finding the first place to get some food (which more often than not has been McDonalds). And the day goes on following this pattern (clearly I can’t count on my luck for finding perfect spots).

BUT, I have learnt from my experiences and for this reason PLANNED a rough list of things to do on our day trip to Cardiff, Wales. Our day looked like this…

Peter-Blake-Dylan-Thomas'-Under-Milk-WoodImage by Peter Blake

Our main reason for going was to visit the National Museum of Wales. It was great to see some classics by the big shots like Picasso, Van Gogh, Monet and Cezanne. But the highlight was a temporary exhibition of Peter Blake’s (Britain’s answer to Pop Art back in the day) illustrations to Dylan Thomas’ play Under Milk Wood. I was sold. He’s been working on this collection for 25 years; lots of collage, watercolour, woodcarvings and pencil drawings different scenes of the play. Well worth a visit if you happen to be around the area.

NYdeli(HighStArcade)For once we lucked out and found a great lunch spot.

From here, my plan took us to explore some of Cardiff’s shopping Arcades. There’s loads of them but according to my research (ahem) the best one’s to go to are: Castle, High St, Morgan and Royal Arcade. They didn’t disappoint. And for once we managed to stumble upon a great lunch place too: New York Deli. Two NY hoagies later we could barely breath but were in carb heaven.

Records and vintage

Cardiff’s subcultures seem to be still blooming with lots of vintage, skate, record and Second Hand bookshops. This made our afternoon. Also, the weather was on our side with blue skies but the joy of the roofed arcades is that you can enjoy them no matter what the weather.

Cardiff Arcades

This was just a little snapshot of Cardiff and we’ll definitely be back to explore more – the bay area will be next on the list. Cardiff was such a pleasant surprise of a city and our day definitely benefitted from a bit of advance planning (mental note)!

- Hanna  x

 

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Field Trip: Iceland

Iceland 2K13, it happened. It was magic and now I want to move there. I have an extremely serious crush on Iceland.

 We managed to coincide our trip with Iceland Airwaves which meant seeing Reykjavik in a particularly glorious state.  There was live music in every corner of Reykjavik even bookshops and hairdressers. If you were lucky you might have even stumbled across John Grant performing in a stairwell! (See!? Magic!)  I fear I can’t do it justice with words, but I am going to give it a go… and then they say a picture’s worth a thousand.

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Iceland, the land of heartbreaking natural beauty, vikings, folklore, invisible people, music, beautiful water, volcanos, coffee, puffins, whales and arctic turns.

We had roast lamb and sweet potato, Christmas drinks in November.

We smoked pipes and cigars on the balcony.

We  chased the Northern Lights to the beach in pyjamas.

There were old friends and new friends, hilarity and conversations peppered with nostalgia, life, love and other difficulties.

 Did I mention the Northern Lights? Yep. Saw them. Again, magic.

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Oh… there’s also a penis museum!

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unnamed-11A little bookshop gig.

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Plenty of Sarah Lund’s jumpers to go around.

unnamed-8Nearing the Blue Lagoon.

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This is it. I warn you, for a good forty-five minutes following prolonged exposure, you could’ve used my bright red face as a beacon to guide you in the night.

unnamed-13Delicious coffee.

unnamed-10 Even their lighting is beautiful.

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Even their fire hydrants are friendly.

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It was so lovely to be reunited with Hanna, the beautiful and friendly Icelandic!

That’s enough of my gushing. You have probably realised that you should go. So just go.

x

Celeste

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A little Icelandic jaunt!

For the last little while I have had more than a little obsession with Scandinavia. In part to do with some particularly beautiful music (The Tallest Man on Earth, Mew, Olafur Arnalds), Nordic Noir and more than a healthy amount of Scandinavian chums.

All this to say, after being on my ‘wishful thinking’ list for last 5 years, I actually get to make a little trip to ‘the land of Ice that’s very nice’! (A little Mighty Ducks quote there for ya!)

One of my favourite regular coffee drinkers is a little bit of an expert on Iceland and when I asked him for tips this brilliant itinerary is what he came up with. This actually made my day! It’s too good not to share.

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And now to the Northern Lights, the elusive Celestial treat, I know I’m not meant to get my heart set on seeing them but I can’t help it. I’ve wanted to see the Northern Lights ever since Joey and Dawson watched them in Season 3. (Don’t judge me.)

Until after Iceland!

Xxx
Celeste

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Field Trip: Nils Frahm at St Johns

The  last night of my 28th year was spent in St Johns in Hackney listening to the beautiful Nils Frahm.

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St Johns, is seriously one of the most beautiful venues I have been to!

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Nils Frahm is a delightful combination of intense beautiful music and light hearted banter. ‘This dramatic lighting and the music must be very intense for you, but I am actually in a very good mood!’

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To top it all off we were in very good company, Lisa Hannigan was also in attendance, I was more than a little starstruck. . . Aaand she may have responded to a tweet of mine. What a way to end 28!

All of that is besides the point, back to Nils, make sure you have a little listen and if you get a chance go and see him.

x

Celeste

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Field Trip: Denmark

So Hanna, her husband and I embarked via glorious Ryanair to Denmark for the magical wedding of our old and dear friend Kiki.

There was sleep deprivation, cute shops, wandering danish streets, a forest wedding, windmill, vikings, fish spa, local beer, vanilla tobacco, headphones and coffee.

Here are some of our fun pics.

The wedding ceremony in the forest was magic … matched only by the macaroons and the reception venue.

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Loads of fun shops in Denmark.

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My favourite little shop. ‘The Golden Deer’. 

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A beaut little Elderflower beer. Yum! 

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The mannequins are strange though…

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More from ‘the Golden Deer’.

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One of the first things to do… purchase a danish typewriter that you can’t possibly take back as ‘carry on’ luggage.

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Windmill. This is what they used to look like.

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The Golden Deer, once more.

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They love their antlers, the Danes.

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Sometimes it’s a good plan to smuggle in rum in a hipflask.

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Beautiful decorations.

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Kindly we were provided with english translations complete with headphones. I may or may not have worn them all day.

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Mr and Mrs shoes.

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The glorious ceremony.

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So many pom poms. Hanna’s are bigger.

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If you get the opportunity to visit a forest wedding in Denmark then make sure you go… even without the forest wedding, make time in your life to visit Denmark and find a viking.

xxx

Tracks of Foxes

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Field Trip: Weezer Cruise 2014

Wednesdays can occasionally feel like they have stolen your soul. Just me? Coffee break was spent dreaming of a Weezer cruise to the Bahamas.

I am going to quote Huffington Post, quoting Weezer…

‘Twelve years after they crooned “On an island in the sun, we’ll be playin’ an’ havin’ fun,” Weezer is once again making good on that promise with an upcoming Weezer Cruise to the Bahamas.’

Weezer, geeks before it was cool and all round weapons. True.

This video is nine years on and still a brightener on any day, even a Wednesday when it’s snowing and it should be spring!

 

P.s. I still think Richie Cunningham is a dreamboat.

Anyway, Weezer cruise to the Bahama’s. Shall we?

- Celeste

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