All posts filed under: destinations

Louise Sur Cour – a must stay in Brussels

Guesthouse by name, getaway by nature.  This four room guesthouse owned and hosted by the charming Dimitri Parimeros, who painstakingly restored every inch of the building over a five-year period, is a must stay if you are heading to Brussels. From the street Louise Sur Cour looks like any other residence on the road but when you step through the over height doors it is something else.  You are greeted immediately by one of Dimitri’s own contemporary resin/fibre optic sculptures before entering into the main living room where you can enjoy a book in the sitting area and take breakfast in the large dining space.  As soon as we arrived Dimitri was kind enough to share with us a map of Brussels, pointing out allsorts of places that he thought we might find interesting along with a quick call to a great restaurant for dinner.  As he shows us to our room the story of the house unravels and so do the tales of the interesting pieces that are within it. There is a stunning …

A few days in Brussels – my favourite things to do

With tickets to U2’s last tour concert in Europe in our hot little hands we headed to Brussels for a four day summer break.  We had a fantastic time and I have picked out some of my favourite things to share with you: Getting to Brussels This will depend on where you are coming from but as we were coming from Lac du Bourget in France we decided to take the train.  About six hours from arriving at the station in Aix les Bains to getting to our guesthouse, with a one hour change-over in Paris meant that the afternoon of travel was very easy going – work was done, magazines were read, coffee sipped.  We booked through SNCF and travelled on the TGV and Thalys lines – both of which were great, although the latter had a really good meal service included as well. Getting around Brussels Walking, walking, walking – our feet were really all we needed.  We took all of five metro rides the whole four days we were there. Things to …

Backyard inspiration – 5 great ideas to create shade

In Dubai we have scorching sun for about four months of the year and whilst it doesn’t burn as easily as in other parts of the world it is still too uncomfortable to be out in it for too long.  The other thing we have in Dubai is great resorts so I didn’t have to look too far for inspiration on how to get shade into your backyard.  Here are five ideas for you to consider. 1. The Traditional – get an umbrella, the bigger the better and square ones tend to give you better coverage.  Think about what is most practical for your yard – a central support pole or one that is on an arm to keep the area below barrier free.  When looking at the colour coordinate with your existing furniture but don’t feel compelled to make it match.  Don’t be afraid to have a couple in your yard to give a wider coverage, check out the ones at the Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa for this approach. 2. The …

A weekend getaway to Mumbai

There is nothing like organising a spur of the moment getaway and we decided that Mumbai would be the perfect spot for just that.  We booked our flights, a very manageable 3 hours from Dubai, booked our hotel – the InterContinental Marine Parade and got on our way. I had heard great things about the hotel and this rang true from the minute we arrived.  Welcomed in, our early check-in was available, we settled into our room quite quickly, grabbed a coffee and headed out to explore. The room itself is spacious, with fabulous views across Back Bay.  What I really liked was the timber floors and panelling – it gave richness to an intentionally simple room.  The bathroom was white/grey marble with a window into the bedroom to provide a feeling of openness an connection. Being walking distance to most key tourist spots was also a huge advantage as we spent two days wandering the streets – visiting India Gate, catching a ferry across to see the Elephanta Caves on the island of Gharapuri and having …

Our happy place …. Al Maha Resort

At key moments in our lives we have gone to Al Maha Resort to take stock of how blessed we are and recharge in preparation of a change to our everyday life, whether that be a new job, new babies it is the place that we go. Only a short drive from Dubai the resort is set in the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve and once you are in the heart of the resort you can see nothing but desert all around.  To get the full experience we always opt to park at the gate and be picked up by one of the field guides.  It is always nice to have a chat on the way in, find out what is happening in the resort and have things (and animals) of interests pointed out on the drive in.  This is where the experience begins…..

A weekend away at Zaya Nurai

I have been wanderlusting, thinking back to amazing trips that we have done and are well worth sharing.  A while back I wrote an article about our poolside time at Zaya Nurai Island and I thought it was about time I let you in on what the rooms were like. One of the refreshing things about the island is that the standard room is in no way standard – we were in a Beach Villa and it was lovely!  You are welcomed into a standalone villa that is very simple in design but shines due to the selection of textures and accessories dotted around the villa.

Bring Zaya Nurai home

With such simple lines the design of the Beach Villas really allows the accessories to shine.  Here are a few things that you could use to do the same in your home: 1. Glass Carafe from H&M AED 79 2. Grey knit cushion cover from Zara AED 155 3.  Metal Tealight from H&M AED 29 4. The Artusi – Diamond Cage, Brass, Large light from The Bowery Company AED 950 5. Grey peated effect cushion cover from Zara AED 199 6.  Burr wood bowls from David Hutcheson POA 7.  Sit Pouf, grey wool from The Bowery Company AED 2,550 8.  Beni Ourain carpets from The People of Sand AED 2000-3200

A family getaway to Zanzibar

With the start of the year well behind us we get a moment to breathe and think about holidays for the year ahead.   This got me thinking about one of our favourites when we flew to Zanzibar on the spur of the moment. Not sure why we picked Zanzibar but so glad we did.  It is one of a handful of places we will return to again without hesitation if we get a spare week sometime.  As soon as we got off the plane, the pace of life changed and this was reinforced when we got into the hotel when the team just welcomed us in with open arms, suggested we get to our room, get settled and then call room service to save any need to venture out well after the kids bedtime.  This alone made me realise that the staff at the Melia Zanzibar understood kids and traveling with them.