I’ve recently travelled three continents over two months, which has been a crazy, fun, whirlwind journey and I’m forever grateful for the experiences I have. Here’s a wrap-up of some of my favourite special destinations that are perfect to share with your best girlfriends.
Santiago, Chile, South America
The Morning Market and Local Life bike tour were a gem, with our own guide, Fabian, on some cruiser pushbikes! The highlights that you wouldn't experience on a hop-on-hop-off bus is the “local life”, which is why the tour was so great. The city is differentiated by immigrants arriving and setting up “camp”, creating a different vibe in areas within the city. The Market was a colourful array of food and produce. Locking up our bikes, Fabian walked us through, explaining the purpose of some of the different foods, spices and specialties. A highlight was enjoying a Sopaipilla (pumpkin fritter) cooked fresh, accompanied by a fresh strawberry juice inside the market, with the two street dogs (had collars and jackets on, well-looked-after by the community) at our feet.
New York City
Well this is a no-brainer; the perfect girly destination! Check out the post I wrote about it a few weeks ago. Just be prepared to walk a lot and get little sleep, as it’s the city that never sleeps! A window dressing tour was a highlight and so interesting learning the evolution of the iconic shops, finishing at Bergdorf Goodman at the top of 5th Ave (it’s the only one in the world!) The sunset drinks on the rooftop of the Gravenhurst Hotel with the sun setting over the Hudson, followed by the best fish at The Spice Market in the Meatpacking District.
Italy is serenity. Check out the lakes area - Lake Como and Lake Maggiore, where you can enjoy the authentic Italian food with the Swiss Alps in the background. Our choice of town is Stresa, a lakeside town, where we stayed in an apartment with beautiful views of the lake, in a family-run boutique apartment/hotel, La Luna Nel Porto. A day trip to Bellagio is also great; it’s on Lake Como where the rich and famous frequent. Milan is only a 40-minute drive or a train trip and the fashion capital of Europe, steeped in history.
My choice is Korcula Island, an island not far from Split on the mainland of Croatia on the Dalmatian Coast. A ferry ride and you arrive in this beautiful piece of paradise; I’ve never seen water so blue and crystal clear! A walled city on the island has a turret, which has been converted to a cocktail bar, with the only access up a ladder with spectacular sunsets while sipping mojitos delivered by a pulley system on the outside of the turret. Truly incredible. Some local shopping of organic products and skin care is also a highlight. A scooter trip to the other side of the island to find a secluded beach and local cafe/bar/restaurant were all definitely worth it too! Swimming in the Adriatic Sea is something I will always remember.
Barcelona is a vibrant city with a youthful population. Catalunya is the region of Spain where we stayed on the fringe of the tourist area, with little boutiques, wine bars and cafes aplenty. Shopping is great with lots of leather, vibrant colours and textures. We did a half-day cooking class perfecting (well, under direction, anyway!) the Paella, which was the highlight. We also learned to make the Catalunya crème, which is a type of creme custard with hard toffee top. A Barcelona football game in the iconic stadium is a must when in the heart of football country.
Well, what can be said about London? It’s the home of High Tea and fabulous shopping, big red double decker buses … I can never tire of this wonderful city. We stayed in Marylebone with lovely hanging baskets on the sidewalks, boutiques, cosmetic stores and wonderful stationery and bookstores. There’s always something new to discover. You must go to Sketch for a quirky high tea off Oxford Street, with the egg-shape bathrooms/pods, the wonderfully coloured cakes and delicacies and endless choice of tea. This is heaven for you and your girls.
We’re collecting moments, not things.