Barefoot in Oslo

Yesterday morning I started my trip ridiculously early on the commuter train to London, Gatwick. I think, I was the only one exited to be on it. I was a little worried that those third pair of shoes had made my bag too heavy, and I’d booked my flight through some scammy airline, thankfully it was all okay.

The hostel that I am staying at is right by a mountain- I presume it is a ski resort in the winter as there were funny markings and cables running through the trees. I asked the guy at reception how long it would take to climb, he said about half an hour but I was walking for at least two (in converse and a maxi skirt) and the summit wasn’t in sight. Although it didn’t matter because the trees were so pretty.


Day two, I didn’t sleep until stupidly late because it doesn’t get dark until midnight which resulted in missing breakfast. I headed into Oslo central determined to tackle the city without google maps.

I managed to find my way to the palace, which by the way is no where near impressive as ours. Stopped off at the national gallery, cathedral and history museum where I could spend as long as I wanted looking at all exhibits (history is cool okay…)


 I had a weird Scandinavian fruit Corner and some grapes in the palace gardens  and was just thinking how surprising it was that nothing had gone wrong until I got up, tripped over my own feet and broke my flip flop. I ended up, barefoot at what is the equivalent of Harrods, (red carpet and all) and bought the cheapest pair of shoes I could find which turned out to be Havaianas, let’s hope they last longer than last summer’s Accessorize flip flops.

Onwards and upwards I took a stab at working out Oslo’s tube system and trecked over to The Vigeland Sculpture Park, which is basically a huge park full of naked statues in some quite, let’s say, awkward positions…


Upper East Side. NYC: Day 4.

Pretty much one of the main reasons we came to New York was to gain some insight into the life of Gossip Girl, aka the Upper East Side. We headed on the subway up to Lexington Avenue… not really what Blair would have done but still we got there in our hats and heeled boots and had a traditional diner breakfast in ‘Lexington Candy Store’ which apparently is Paul McCartney’s local when he is staying in New York. I really did feel like I was in Luke’s although New York is just a little bit bigger than Stars Hollow… I have to admit that the start to our day would not have been approved by Queen B, but unfortunately some of us can’t afford to have brunch at the Palace and be driven in a private town car… we still looked the part and that is the most important thing.

lexington candy store



After Brunch we headed for the Met steps. Surprisingly enough there wasn’t a yoghurt stand, but sitting on the steps of the Met was good enough,  although we probably should have sat a little higher up. For a bit of culture we stopped at the Temple of Dendur, there is some latin graffiti by the Romans which was highly amusing. We also went to the Anna Wintor gallery to see the ‘Death Becomes Her’ exhibition featuring a classic quote about black clothing being timeless… very true indeed!

temple of dendur

temple of dendur graffiti

the met steps










After the Met we took a walk around central park and spotted various Gossip Girl locations, in particular the arch where Chuck and Blair were married/arrested. It was nice to see the ice skating rink, but I wouldn’t bother going on the ice if it is chocka block because  there are plenty of ice stating rinks in England and the view of Manhattan is hidden. Plus the prices of skates are ridiculous, best to bring your own.

chuck and blairs wedding siteAfter a pretty sugary breakfast, we decided that a health cafe would be a good idea and not very hard to find on the Upper East Side. We walked down 5th trying to decipher who was a native socialite and who were rich tourists. The Candle Cafe is completely vegan, perfect cleanse from our huge portion of pancakes. We had a selection of fresh juices and edamame beans to start, and I had the ‘Mezze Platter’ which had a beautiful date chutney and some spicy hummus. I’m not going to deny it, we have eaten very well in New York.

candle cafecandle cafe







For a really girly evening we headed to a patisserie before the Broadway showing of ‘Mamma Mia’ and had Madeleines and macaroons. The café was called ‘Ceci-Cela’  which according to Mum has the best cup of coffee in New York (she was not too impressed with American filter coffee’). ‘Mamma Mia’ was lots of fun, a definite feel good show. I would also advice to get a ‘holiday cocktail’ if you are going, it really does get you in the ABBA mood! The cocktail was basically a huge coffee cup full of champagne with a drop of orange juice and grenadine… we were a little wobbly when we got out the theatre.

mamma miaIMG_3088

The Subway and Cocktails. NYC: Day 3.

Really, it was only our second day in NYC, so we decided that we would try and hack the subway, however it wasn’t all that easy. Reluctantly, we tried to ask various stern looking New Yorkers but as you can probably guess they weren’t very helpful, until we came across a nice lady who managed to shout across the platform which direction we needed to go in. You may think that the subway is not too dissimilar from the Tube, however the uptown/downtown is nothing like our northbound/ southbound. The quaint lines of the London Underground have been replaced with a strange letter, number and colour system… not very easy to understand for us poor tourists. And I do have to say that the Tube is far cleaner than the Subway.


Eventually we got to the ferry port for the Statue and Ellis Island. The boat ride was very cold, and there is not much to say about the Statue apart from it’s very large and green. We managed to brighten it up – the boat ride not the Statue – with our attempt to get a group picture . This pose is known as the ‘no face pose’ according to Min, although taking a selfie on my laptop, on a boat proved problematic.


statue of liberty


Photo on 16-12-2014 at 14.51 #3







We had dinner with a friend from back home who is currently living in New York and she suggested we went for cocktails at The Mondrian in Soho. I decided to have an ‘Air Mail’, a limey honey white rum cocktail, which was lovely… We do seem to be breaking the drinking laws fairly easily in New York which is helpful. Dinner was in a cute little restaurant run by a Frenchman and his wife who is Malaysian called Aux Epices. Again, dinner was complemented by lots of red wine causing us to stumble a little on our way home.















High waisted grey jeans.. not going to lie – they are my mum’s old ones.

Stripy French Top: New Look, last season.

Patent black Docs which have a slight heel.

Dark red, YSL lip stain and cat eyeliner.


Empire State and Truffle Tremor. NYC: Day 2.

My advice to you is if you are visiting New York and you want to go up the Empire State building, you should go the first morning of your trip. This is because even though you have tried to combat the jet lag by staying up until 5AM (UK time), you will still be wide awake around 7AM (NYC time), which gives you plenty of time to head up the Empire State missing all the queues leaving plenty of time for shopping, lunch and nails.

Empire State View

Well… that is exactly what we did, the view was amazing, I think that it was pretty impressive that we had been in NYC less than 24 hours and we had seen the skyline in both day time and night! Personally I wouldn’t bother with the audio guide, but the Mums did enjoy them. My favourite building I think its the Chrysler building, it is so beautiful.

empire state

After the Empire State we had a quick coffee stop so I could abuse the free WIFI and Mini could do some Italian grammar. And then headed along Broadway past Times Square and into Grand Central for some lunch. We did try the ‘Oyster and Wine Bar’ downstairs but unfortunately they didn’t have any vegetarian options… probably because it was an oyster bar. Instead we settled for some New York pizza with a southern twist in ‘Two Boots’. The two  different boots symbolise the boot of Italy and the boot of Louisiana.

times square

grand centralgrand central








We decided on some post lunch shopping and headed off for Macy’s down Madison and Park avenue. Mini and I walked ahead slightly and were pretending like we had just walked out from one of the apartments… a bit sad I know. Macy’s was packed so we only really looked around cosmetics, I didn’t buy anything there but I was given a sample bag of the new ‘Makeup Essentials’ range, which we discovered is related or rather pretty much identical to the ‘Victoria Jackson’ range. We did stop by ‘Victoria’s Secret’ for a spot of Christmas shopping which was fun! I pointed Mother Christmas in a few directions…

madison ave









In need of some pampering after are long old day shopping and site seeing we set off to find somewhere were we could get our nails done at Forest Nail Spa in Midtown. It was very cute, all four of us sat in a row attempting to be Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda. I went for O.P.I’s ‘Lincoln Park at Midnight’ it’s a really dark purple colour which looks almost black.

nails IMG_2983












Empirestate, Times Square, lunch, Grand Central, Park Avenue, Macy’s and nails. Now was time for some posh nosh.  Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria was our restaurant of choice, and probably the highlight of my day. This restaurant was very much ingredients driven, and I reckon any meat eater could have ordered what we had and been completely blown away.  Mushrooms appeared in all three courses; crispy artichokes, ricotta & hedgehog mushrooms and a amazing platter of seared wild mushrooms (probably the best I’ve ever!) to start. And some roasted Gnocchi with more mushrooms for main, before the cheese of all cheeses! Now for all you anti goat’s cheese people out there, or even anti cheese people… do not rule it out until you have tried ‘Truffle Tremor’. Make in California and probably only available in the US, ‘Truffle Tremor’ tops all the cheeses… Ever! Perfect with gallons of red wine. This restaurant provided the best meal I have ever had, all I can complain about is the temperature of the room… but I think I can let that slide.



Potatoes & Onions and The Big Apple. NYC: Day1.

I have been waiting for this trip for 5 years! Mini and I decided when we were about 13 decided that our Mums would take us to New York when we turned 18. This was all because of our obsession with Lindsey Kelk’s naff chick lit ‘I Heart New York’ which features the trendy hipster life of Brooklyn and sophisticated Upper East Side/ Wall Street antics.  Now the time has come to see though our extensively planed trip which is pretty much based on this book, and of course, Gossip Girl.

new york gals

We arrived at Heathrow around 1ish and settled for champers and lunch at Gordon Ramsey’s ‘Plane Food’ restaurant. Quite different from our evening meal, lets just put it that way… It is weird how today, taking photos of your food and obligatory selfies have become ALMOST socially acceptable in posh restaurants. 

gordon ramsey


You’ve really gotta dress up when you go to the airport, no matter if you are flying Easy Jet or economy class BA. A cheap Primark hat for £8 really did the trick for me yesterday. Mini stated ‘monochrome is my life’ when we were discussing airport outfits, and the art of perfecting the perfect brows. Makeup wise, I decided to ditch the cat eye liquid liner for some soft brown kohl and some bronzy eye shadows. This is to avoid the dreaded smudged black eye make up fiasco on a long haul flight.

flight makeup

Eyeshadow: MUA ‘Twelfth Night Pallet’- available at Super Drug for £4.

Lips: Soap and Glory pink lipstick I was given ages ago, Which they probably don’t sell anymore, but I reckon you could find a very similar light pinky colour.

Eyeliner: Boots Natural ollection brown eyeliner- Available at Boots for £1.99… cheap as chips.

Face: Benefit Oxygen Foundation Ivory- I was using a sample because I am currently looking for a new foundation, but you can get it in Boots or other department stores for around £20. I also have on the standard Rimmel ‘Wake Me Up’ concealer and blush.

We arrived in New York around 6.00PM (NYC time), after lots of red wine and some pretty poor plane food and headed on into town. Our plan was to get some food and head up the Rockefeller building, but because it was a Sunday night, almost everything was closed. It got to about 10:00PM, which is about 3AM (UK time) and we still hadn’t been fed! In the end, we spotted an Irish pub and though that they know not to close early on a Sunday! As we walked in they were playing ‘Fairy Tale of New York’… perfect soundtrack to our New York movie! A lovely Irish waitress told us to power on through the jet lag and stay awake until 12PM. We ordered chips, (and yes they brought us chips not crisps!) onion rings, a baked potato and some french onion soup with a token green salad… a very random selection of potatoes and onion. It felt a little like going to a kebab shop after a night out, not very chic or what we were anticipating but gave us the perfect comfort food to climb up the Rockefeller building. Apologies for the shitty photos my brain was barely functioning!

irish pub

comfort food nyc











Amazingly, just as we were walking out the pub, the Saks building’s light show was starting in a few minutes so we managed to catch that before our travels up the Rock!


And… the queue for the Rock was tiny! We literally just waked straight up and saw the amazing sky line, in the first few hours of our arrival in America. The shutter speed was a bit slow as it was around 11:30PM by then but I’m just going to say that it was purposely done to make it look more ‘arty’… It is all very Christmassy around here, as you would expect, the Rock’s tree was very sparkly.

Top of the Rockefeller

Rockefeller Christmas TreeTop of the Rock