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POSTCARDS FROM LONDON | CITY GUIDE

October 31, 2018 London, UK











London was one of my favorite places to travel so far this year, one being because there was no language barrier and they take their blooms seriously. Almost every corner is embellished with a beautiful, variety of blooms! I love London and was so happy to have had the chance to visit again this year during my stay in Europe. I took the EuroStar (highly recommend taking this!) from Paris and was surprised at how easy it was to take the train. I had a list of places I jotted down in my notes after doing some research, but once I arrived I had to pick and choose because of a tight schedule. I know I'm a bit late posting this, but thought I would do a round up of places from my recent visit. There's so much discover and I can't wait to go back to London!

Eats 
Farm Girl // not might be for everyone but a lovely spot for those who are health conscience 
Grind // oh my, a must go when in London. It's an Australian cafe and they have couple of locations, but I went to the one in Covent Garden and everything was amazing! I would try their beet latte, it was delicious!
Japan Centre // near Piccadilly Circus for those who loves all things Japanese (me!). You can pick up some Japanese snacks and food or come to sit down for a cup of tea.
Vegan Crosstown // for someone who is on the hunt for amazing, vegan donuts...you need to come here. I think about this place from time to time, they need one in the states! They also have non vegan donuts if you go to their other shop, Crosstown Doughnuts. This one is solely for vegan donuts, also a perfect location because you can walk to Selfridge's right after.
Sketch // ok I'm going to be honest and came here because of the pretty photos I saw on instagram. I will give them the benefit of doubt as to why I wasn't seated in the main room because it was "fully booked", but when I went to the restroom and saw that half of the room was empty...I was a bit disappointed. Overall, the tea and desserts were delicious (they have dairy free options) and the bathroom was cool, they're individual pods! 
Granger & Co // another Australian spot nestled in Notting Hill that has delicious food and coffee! Came here twice because it was that good. Come here for brunch, but also heard their dinner is yum as well. Also, make sure to come early so you're not queueing for a table.
Juice Baby // located right next to Granger & Co and everything is vegan, sooo delicious! I had their vegan cheesecake and juice - wish I had one next to my house.

Other suggestions: Yen (soba), Townhouse at the Kensington (high tea with a Beauty & the Beast theme), Doughnut Time, Jidori (Japanese), Dishoom (popular spot), Monocle Cafe (come here for yummy pastries, food, and drinks), by Chloe, Daisy Green, and Duddell's London (dim sum).

Shop
Fortnum & Mason // Perfect place to find souvenirs for friends and family, their cookies, tea, and jams are a must!
Selfridges // favorite place to shop when in London!
Liberty London // picture perfect pit stop and also a great place to look around and shop
Jo Malone London // I would stop by here if you're looking for a new scent! Some of my favorites are Orange BlossomRed RosesHoneysuckle & Davana, Vitamin E Lip, and Grapefruit.

Other suggestions: Harrods (another big department store) and Burberry Outlet Store (great finds!)

Visit
Sky Garden // I didn't have a chance to come here, but book tickets ahead of time it has a beautiful view of London!
Big Ben // right now it's under construction so there's not much to see at the moment
London Eye // so beautiful during sunset!
Piccadilly Circus // lots of shops here in the area and a great spot to sit down and relax. There are also a lot of street performers, it reminded me a bit of Times Square.
Soho - Carnaby Street, Oxford Street, Regent Street // great areas to stroll, shop, and dine
Westminster Abbey // I didn't have a chance to go inside, but walked around outside and it's a stunning building!
Buckingham Palace // I didn't have a chance to go, but it's a must go when in London
Covent Garden // lots of shops and restaurants in the area
Neal's Yard // I didn't have a chance to go but it's known for their vibrant and cool shops and cafes
Notting Hill // lovely, quiet neighborhood with colorful homes aka the bougie area
Portobello Road Market // large antique market if you're looking for something unique

Other suggestions: If you want to wander around without a schedule, I would suggest going to Mayfair, Regent's Park, and Shoreditch.

You can also check my Instagram London highlights if you'd like to see videos or pictures from my London trip!




Love, Sharon

FIVE THINGS TO DO IN MONTMARTRE

October 3, 2018 Montmartre, 75018 Paris, France












Montmartre is one of those places that never loses its magical charm, no matter how many times you revisit it. This marked the fourth time I visited Paris, but this time I took my dad to Paris since he's never visited one of my favorite cities. I returned back to my favorite spots and headed straight to Montmartre. However, this time I took a different route to see all the various landmarks and was surprised at how there was still much left to see. One. On the lookout for good coffee? Go to Cafe Tabac / Cafe Genovese. Maybe I have a thing for Australian cafes because I constantly find one wherever I travel. I discovered this coffee spot last time I was in Montmartre and was eager to go back. They have an array of magazines to flip through and the owner can speak English (which is a plus). It's a cozy spot to enjoy a cup of joe and give your feet a break from walking around. Other coffee spots I recommend: Soul Kitchen and The Hardware SocieteTwo. Wander. One way to travel is by walking around without an agenda. One thing I love about the city is how you can walk around and explore different areas. I always discover cool murals and shops when walking aimlessly in Paris. There are hidden, charming side streets that are often missed. I came upon Le Mur des Je t'aime while strolling Montmartre, a mural that has the words "I love you" written in 250 different languages. It's also in a small gated garden so you can sit down and have a bite while people watching or waiting to snap a photo. Three. Fan of A.P.C.? Shop at APC Surplus. I noticed this store while looking outside my uber heading to my airbnb. Discounted APC items, sadly I didn't find anything because I was in a rush. However, they do have a selection of clothes, bags, and accessories. Four. Eat at Hardware Societe. I came too late the last time I was here so I was only able to grab a cup of coffee. This place has been on my list to eat, and luckily I was able to get seated for brunch. I now understand the hype for this place! Amazing pastries, coffee, food, and service. Other recommendations: Le Consulat, La Maison Rose (or just a snap of it), Luuk (amazing Vietnamese food), Five. If you've never been to Montmartre (or have), here are some places that are not to be missed: Sacre Coeur and Place du Tertre. Oh and don't forget to stop by Pain Pain for yummy croissants and pastries!I would also look at this for other recommendations! This post was from my most recent visit, and read this post for my favorite eats and cafes in Paris. 








Love, Sharon

READY FOR FALL

September 13, 2018


I've been counting down the days until the humidity and hot summer weather would wind down. It's been awfully hot here on the east coast even though it's already September. Where are you fall?

Just because the weather isn't ready to transition to fall doesn't mean I can't be ready, right? Fall is my favorite season for many reasons, one being that I love the crisp, breezy air. It also means I can bring out my favorite sweatshirts and coats. I'm excited to finally take out my Mansur Gavriel circle bag that I've been eyeing to buy for quite some time. I decided to go for a bold pop of color since I usually stick with black, brown, or pink. I've been loving Jo Malone London's honeysuckle and davana cologne which I've been I've been using as my new fragrance for fall. It smells amazing! I love the smell of honeysuckle - it always takes me back to my childhood.

I'll be traveling this month to Europe and I joined the fanny pack bandwagon since I wanted to travel light. A little late, but I wanted something that wouldn't strain my shoulders while traveling. This adidas bag fit the bill. I guess fanny packs are staying for awhile.

My skin doesn't adjust well to the changing season so I did some research and found products to help combat the humidity and upcoming cold season. I've been switching out some of my skin favorites since my skin wasn't getting the same results as before. I got a sample of Youth to the People's moisture cream from Sephora and my skin loves it. I've also been relying on Farmacy's coconut gel mask to help with dry and flaky patches. I switched my essence from Maycoop to Fresh black tea kombucha, which not only smells incredible but has helped soothe my sensitive skin. I make sure to put eye cream on daily and have been using Farmacy eye cream, which has the perfect consistency and glides on smoothly under my eyes. For references, my skin type is sensitive and acne prone, so I usually stick with only a couple of products I know work for me. Farmacy, Saturday Skin, Youth to the People, and Fresh have been game changers for me.

Anyone else excited for fall?






Love, Sharon

CHASING POPS OF COLOR IN LA

June 10, 2018 Los Angeles, CA, USA




Hello Los Angeles! I flew into LAX Memorial Day to spend the week with my Jo Malone London family. After checking into the hotel, I unwinded and treated myself to a relaxing bath using Red Roses Bath Oil. I felt like I was a bed of roses, such a feminine and luxurious bath oil that makes my skin glow after a hot bath.

The fun started with a candlelit dinner at the Chateau Marmont with a gorgeous overlooking view of LA. The dinner was hosted by the It girl, Poppy Delevingne, in celebration of her new limited edition Queen of Pop collection with Jo Malone London. It’s always a treat to catch up with familiar faces and dine with inspiring people. I spent the rest of the night admiring the beautifully decorated space, from the classic Lime Basil & Mandarin candles lined up in the hallway to the pretty, assorted blooms at the dinner table. Jo Malone London always throws the best get togethers! It was another pinch me moment! You can read about my first trip to London with Jo Malone London here and here.

The next day was the sneak peek of the Poppy Delevingne x Jo Malone London Queen of Pop collection! Talk about a dream collaboration! Upon entering the doors, my eyes were automatically drawn to the pops of pinks, reds, and purples in the room. The curated collection by Poppy Delevingne was a dream come true, with the release of Jo Malone London’s first bubble bath! Three different scents including Velvet Rose & Oud, Nectarine Blossom & Honey (personal favorite), and Black Cedarwood & Juniper. The packaging is without a doubt what stood out for me - I loved how it was thoughtfully designed with playful patterns. Also lots of pink, which, as you can already tell, is my favorite color.


The bathtub took me back to my childhood, memories flashed back as I remembered playing with my rubber duckies during bath time. I loved how each station was interactive and I successfully picked two ducks that scored me a couple of prizes!


Afterwards we explored Los Angeles with the help of Poppy's guide of her favorite spots in the city. I headed to Venice Beach and with the help of our driver, spotted cascading blooms and found picture perfect spots. There’s no place like LA!

Before heading to dinner I was surprised with Poppy’s Queen of Pop collection in my room next to a fun straw bag that I’ll be using this summer! The Blackberry & Bay candle smells divine - it's the perfect summer candle to light up during the day or night.


The last night was spent in Malibu Beach at Nobu, with a drool worthy menu and endless drinks and laughter. I shyly chatted with Poppy Delevingne once I had the courage, and she is truly an ethereal beauty inside and out. No one does a scented supper quite like Jo Malone London! A big thank you to Jo Malone London for a wonderful time in Los Angeles, one of my most memorable trips yet!





Love, Sharon
© The Pink Diary.