Bruges & Brussels

I didn’t really know what to expect from Belgium.  I’ll be honest and say that it’s not somewhere that had previously rated highly on my list of places to visit.  Yet we started our eurotrip here, and I was left both surprised and enchanted by the peace and charm of the country, and of Bruges in particular.

Taking just 2 hours from St Pancras to Brussels Midi, this was our first trip on the Eurostar and we found the journey pleasant and straightforward.  We travelled in standard class, and it was simply a question of checking in, boarding and relaxing.  Before we knew it we had arrived at Brussels Midi station, where we caught a train on to Bruges- a journey that takes around an hour- for our first overnight stop of the trip.


We stayed in the Martin’s Relais hotel, a beautiful converted 17th century canal house just a short walk from the Market Square of Bruge.  We found the location excellent, although we did get a little lost on an after dinner stroll by the canal! However, this allowed us to see a lot of this beautiful little city.  When we visited it was quiet, with very few tourists to be seen, and I would definitely recommend visiting in off peak periods when you have room to enjoy the city free of crowds.


We also paid a visit to the chocolate museum Choco Story, and enjoyed learning about how chocolate is made and Belgium’s relationship with chocolate as it is today.  As one would expect, there were free samples, so I would recommend for any visitors with a sweet tooth.


After a couple of days enjoying tranquility of Bruges, we made our way back to the capital city- Brussels.

In Brussels we stayed in the Motel One– a modern design hotel that was a world away from our previous accomodation! It was also in a great location, within walking distance of the Grand-Place and famed Manneken Pis statue.


The aforementioned statue was the one thing I particularly wanted to see on my visit to Brussels, as I remember as a child my dad telling me the story and of how he had visited Brussels as a youth and gone to see the statue; which he told me was dressed up at the time. In truth, I was a little underwhelmed, as I didn’t expect the statue to be so small- I don’t know why, but I was expecting something grander! My disappointment was forgotten however when we walked in to the Grand-Place… such beautiful architecture wherever you looked.


We couldn’t leave Belgium without trying a waffle (any excuse), so we spent our last night there trying their beers (husband) and eating far too much sugar (both of us..) before we headed off to our next destination… Amsterdam.

 

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One Dress : Two Ways

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One of the smartest ways to pack for a holiday is to make sure you outfit build.  With the use of accessories one simple belted coral maxi dress can be worn for both day & night.

The daytime look features casual styling, with a straw trilby, fun flip flops and a canvas bag for trips to the beach.  I’m picturing this with beachy waves… beaut.

To switch it up for night, scoop your hair up in to a high bun, and pop on a rosebud crown.  Throw on a pair of wedge espadrilles and a cute straw clutch, and you’re ready for dinner, drinks & wherever the evening may take you.

Do you outfit build when you’re packing for holidays? Which outfit do you prefer? How would you style this dress?

Hand Luggage Essentials

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As I start to prepare for my upcoming holiday (honeymoon!) I’ve been thinking about packing, and about my essentials for my hand luggage.  This is especially important when space is limited.

Here is what I am planning on packing in my carry on, so far:

  • iPhone
  • Google nexus tablet
  • Kindle
  • Chargers for all my gadgets
  • All the documents, of course!
  • Make up bag
  • Lipbalm
  • Purse
  • Tangle teezer (I could not live without this now)
  • Scarf (for if it gets chilly on the plane)
  • Sunglasses (ready for the minute you step off of the plane!)

Do you have any other suggestions for ‘must haves’? How do you pack?

 

5 under 50: Handbags

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It’s time for a new feature on esposavida.com : 5 under 50, where I’ll showcase 5 pieces under £50.  First up- handbags!

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From left to right from the top:

Topshop mink colour satchel- perfect for work, classy and functional, but still cute. A real winner in my book! I love that satchels have come back in to fashion!

Teal DSW crossbody bag- so cute for a shopping trip, just the perfect size and I love the colour!

Pink Victoria’s Secret beach bag-  gorgeous bright colour, just what you need for trips to the beach this summer! You don’t even have to worry about sun cream spillages!

Silver glitter clutch from 6pm- I just adore this- so fun! An amazing addition to any outfit, everybody needs a little bit of sparkle in their lives!

Teal and pink accessorize tote- It absolutely helps that this tote is in my two favourite colours! It’s a great size and the geometric chevron print and tassle make it so fun and eyecatching- perfect for festivals!

Which bag is your favourite from these?