Sunday, 29 April 2012

Royal Wedding


This time last year HRH Prince William married Catherine Middleton in Westminster Abbey.  The wedding was widely broadcast on television, internet, and radio in up to 180 countries.  The estimated viewing figures include a peak audience of 26.3 million viewers and a total of 36.7 million watching at least some part of the wedding coverage in the UK alone.

My family and I had been in Dubai and were driving back home, mum and me made sure that dad drove as quickly as possible back home to Oman and we made it home in time to hear the congregation sing 'Jerusalem', it was always my favorite hymn in school and it was such a moving moment (I had tears in my eyes, I'm not going to lie) and I felt so proud to be able to consider the United Kingdom my home.  Kate and William's wedding was my all time favorite royal wedding, as a child I grew up watching the royal weddings of different families with my mum and this one topped them all.

So today I'm toasting to William and Kate on their one year wedding anniversary with my royal wedding mug and some Welsh Brew.  Cheers guys and here's to many many more anniversaries.   

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Le grand bazar

(Jacket: Pull & Bear.  Dress: TopShop. Tights: Falke.  Shoes: Bershka.  Bag: vintage)
(Bag: €5)
(prints: €2 each)

Apologies for not posting recently, but the weather has been grim and not much has been going on.  Most people are in the middle of exams.  I only have two oral presentations to do this and a film essay to hand in and then I'm free from uni.  Looking forward to doing some more travel around France until I leave at the end of May.

So this morning some friends and me went into town for 'Le grand bazar' which is basically a big flea market but in the centre of town.  People can sell old things they don't want anymore on the street and the different squares, and even the shops have discounts and put their older stock on racks in the street.  I love tack and second hand things, if I lived here permanently I'd love to furnish my flat with second hand finds.  There were lots of beautiful pieces of furniture and gorgeous lamps.  I picked up another bag (I'm going to regret this when I have to pack all my stuff up and send it home) and some Paris themed prints.  I'll take them out of those IKEA frames and put them into nicer ones when I'm back in Cardiff.  I'll miss these kinds of markets when I'm in the UK again, I think I'll have to go exploring and find some equivalents.  Any tips?

Hope you have a great weekend,
x
Nina



Have some of my favorite music for the weekend:

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Ladurée

(Left column: raspberry marshmallow,  Colombian chocolate, raspberry and vanilla
Right column: cassis, red fruits, lemon and raspberry marshmallow)
Ladurée is a French luxury cake and pastries brand based in Paris, created in 1862 by Louis-Ernest Ladurée and is known by it's trademark double-decker macaron, fifteen thousand of which are sold every day.  Ladurée's rise to fame came in 1930 when his grandson, Pierre Desfontaines, had the original idea of the double-decker, sticking two macaron shells together with a creamy ganache as filling.  Ladurée also made the pastries for the film Marie Antoinette, directed by Sofia Coppola.
Pastry is one of my favorite things in the whole world and nothing beats the beautiful Ladurée macaron.  Ladurée in Covent Garden was one of my London highlights and I'd love nothing more than to visit their store on the Champs-Élysées.  You can imagine how excited and thrilled I was when I saw that there was a little Ladurée store in my terminal at Charles de Gaulle airport this afternoon.  The airport itself is a huge nightmare to try and navigate, especially because I had to switch terminals.  So seeing Ladurée with their beautiful display really brightened my day.  I couldn't help myself and ended up walking away with a little box of macarons.  You get to choose the kind of box you want and you select the flavors you want.  In the macaron collection they have 'permanent flavours' which include pistachio, rose, chocolate, caramel and almond marshmallow to name only a few.  Then there are 'seasonal flavours' such as cherry blossom, green apple, lemon and red fruits.

For me Ladurée's macarons are faultless.  The pricing may be considered steep by some people, but I think you get what you pay for: delicious high quality pastries that are beautifully presented and have a real touch of French glamour.


Friday, 20 April 2012

Holiday From Real



My dad won an award in work a few weeks ago, and as part of his award he got given a voucher for a stay at the Shangri-La's Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa.  The Barr Al Jissah Resort is technically three hotels: the first is a family hotel, the second hotel is slightly more exclusive and then the third hotel is super exclusive (so exclusive no one under 18 is allowed to stay let alone even go into the hotel).  The voucher my dad got was for the family hotel which is called Al Waha so we booked our rooms and went away for a little weekend break (the weekends in Oman are thursday and friday) to enjoy some family time before I fly back to France tomorrow.

As you can see from the photos the hotel and the landscape around it, is absolutely beautiful and stunning.  I'm so proud of my dad's hard work and that it can take us to places like this.  It was the perfect place to relax and have a breather.  It felt like I'd left all my niggling thoughts and worries at the front desk and I just got to relax all weekend.  The hotel had a lazy river and a water park, in the late afternoon a local man brought two camels and a Shetland pony onto the beach and guests could ride them up and down the beach.  The service at the hotel was fantastic and the staff were so friendly and helpful.  They served fresh fruit salad and water to you at your deck chair and even cold towels.  It was nice to have a bit of a luxury and 'proper' holiday feeling. One of the things I love most about hotels is the gorgeous clean linen and the bathrobes they give you in your room.  My brother and I wrapped up in ours and relaxed on the balcony.  Was very tempted to steal the robe and take it back home with me.

So I've come away from this beautiful hotel stay lobster red (please turn into tan tomorrow please please please) and every fibre of me is relaxed.  Tomorrow afternoon it's time to pack my suitcase again and by Sunday afternoon I shall be back in France for my last month of French and ERASMUS life.  How has this year gone by so quickly?

Hope you all have a great start into your weekends!

x
Nina

Monday, 16 April 2012

Hopes & Fears


Coming home to Oman is my therapy.  The visits here always rejuvenate me and bring some calmness back into my life.  I've spent more than half my life here and it feels like home to me.  I only realised how attached I was to this country when my family moved away to Qatar for two years, but then luckily they moved back to Oman so we got a second chance.

These photos were taken at my mum's favorite cafe which is right by the beach.  It's the best place to go for a lemon juice with mint and sit in the sofas and just stare out at the sea.  The heat makes it hard to be out and about but by the sea there's always a nice breeze, so it's a lot more bare-able.  I love being so close to the sea and being able to see it ever day.

I hope you've all had a great weekend and a good start into the new week.

x
Nina
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