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Travel

Charlecote Park | Explore England

Have you heard of the National Trust? It’s my new favorite thing about the UK! Founded in 1895, the charity now protects and opens more than 350 historic houses, gardens, and ancient monuments to the public. For someone like me who loves visiting castles, manors, and the like, it’s a dream come true!

Last weekend, my in-laws and I visited the National Trust property Charlecote Park. Built in the 16th century, the country house near Stratford-Upon-Avon was renovated in the 18th century when the Lucy family moved in, which is the house we can visit today.

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Beauty Favorites | French Riviera Edition

The weather in the UK is absolutely amazing this week! It makes me feel like I’m on vacation in my own adopted country. On that note, I wanted to share some of my travel beauty essentials. We went to the South of France earlier this month, where it was still hot and gorgeous. This weekend getaway was planned last-minute, so I didn’t have long to pack. Luckily, my favorite products are never too far away! Here’s what I packed:

 

1.) A travel kit

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This Sophie la Girafe Cosmetics starter kit is perfect for a weekend trip. Since each bottle is 20 ml, you can take them in your carry-on, and it’s just the right amount of product for a few nights away.

The brand expanded from teething toys to cosmetics when Finnish co-founder, ex-Elle beauty editor, and mother-of-two, Jonna Jalkanen, bought the rights to the name and founded this incredible line of baby products. They’re certified natural and organice skincare products, which do not include any harmful ingredients or scent allergens. They’re safe for every skin type, even those with sensitive skin and/or eczema.

The best part – they’re not just for babies! Mothers began to use the products on their skin and would buy the products for baby and themselves. After trying it out, I can see why! The products are incredibly gentle on your skin. I love the line and am so happy they have a travel-size kit that I can take with me.

2.) A pair of sunglasses

A true California girl, I love wearing a pair of sunnies. These are a summer staple and basically live in my bag. This pair is colorful and has a fun vintage shape. I feel like a glam lady from the 1950s when I wear them!

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Get your stunner shades on!

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3.) Beachside makeup

Daniel Sandler is my favorite makeup brand discovery of 2015. The products are high-end in terms of quality and very affordably priced. You can’t beat that!

Pictured below are:

Sculpt and Slim Effect Contour Face Powder: This dynamic duo creates the perfect contour and summery glow. I love the sun-kissed effect! I’m not a fan of tanning, so my face doesn’t change color much throughout the year. But thanks to this powder, I can add a little extra warmth.

Base brush: My favorite thing about this brush is its small size. I have it in my every day makeup bag, and it fits perfectly into the lovely plastic bags needed at the airport, making it the best day-or-travel brush I have.

Luxury matte lipstick in Micro Red: I’ve been wearing this bright shade of red all summer! I also love Red Carpet, which is a deeper matte red, perfect for transitioning into fall and winter.

Contour brush: The award-winning brush is made from natural hair and fits perfectly into your makeup bag. It perfectly complements the contour face powder with its curved design. I never knew much about the differences between brushes, but now I’m faithful to my brushes and their respective purposes.

Watercolor blush in Cherub: I used to use only powder blushes before, but now I have converted to liquid blush. A few drops of the watercolor blush adds just the right amount of color.  Combine it with the Waterbrush (right), and you have the ideal applicator.

My favorite product (not pictured): the Daniel Sandler waterproof eyeliner in Black Velvet. I used to stick to liquid liners because I found pencils finnicky, smudging all over the place. This not only goes on smoothly and easily, but it also stays in place, leaving a gorgeous black line. At £9.25, it’s a steal!

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What beauty products do you take on your travels? Do you find products that come in travel sizes? Let me know!

Have a wonderful day!

PatriciaParisienne xx

~~~

Medium leather shopper tote: Shinola

Dresses: Lilac Rose Leamington Spa

Sunglasses: Jimmy Choo

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Road Trip! {Destination: A French Château Wedding}

Everyone loves a good road trip! John and I had talked about driving from England to France for a few years, and luckily, our friends Hana and Jérémie’s wedding provided the perfect occasion for the adventure.

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After three hours of driving, we made it to the white cliffs of Dover. We decided to take the ferry over the Eurotunnel so I could have the boat experience, which was fun. The ferry is like a little floating city; they have everything from shopping to an arcade for entertainment. I enjoyed getting out of the car and exploring, which isn’t an option on the Eurotunnel (although it is faster!).

We arrived to Calais less than two hours later and sped off to spend the night in the beautiful city of Saint-Omer. We had a leisurely morning around town, preparing for our picnic lunch. The shops and shopkeepers were lovely! The butcher had good banter, the cheesemonger happily explained how they made all of their cheeses within twelve kilometers from the shop, and the boulangère allowed us to indulge in a variety of delicious breads. Armed with all the right picnic ingredients, we set off to the region of Auvergne, the heart of France.

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We stopped at a beautiful aire for our picnic, happily digging into our cheeses and bread. (NB: Please note the marmite. I guess it’s true what they say; you can take the Englishman out of England…)

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After a few GPS misses, several dropped phone calls, and one helpful Samaritan who led us to the castle, we arrived at the majestic Château du Guérinet. I felt like we were pulling up to a French Downton Abbey (more specifically the Dowager Countess’s home)! The owner Monsieur Saillard was the perfect host and made us feel so at home.

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Our Saturday morning breakfast was quite the spread with everything ranging from eggs to homemade madeleines. Then we set off to the wedding destination, Château de Maulmont, which was conveniently located across the road. All of the guests stayed here for the night. Such a treat!
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Our friends Aurélie, Dan, and Lauren drove in that afternoon from the south of France. Here, Dapper Dan is ready to head off to the wedding!chateau du maulmont shinola detroit patriciaparisienne road trip medium shopper tote How gorgeous are these brightly-hued ladies? I loved this detail of the hand-cut paper confetti we used to shower the bride and groom with after the ceremony!shinola detroit patriciaparisienne road trip medium tote picnic blogEagerly anticipating the grand exit of the newlyweds!wedding bouquet shinola detroit patriciaparisienne road trip medium tote picnic blogThe stunning bride’s bouquet and rings. For more photos of the wedding, stayed tuned for Hana’s blog post, as well as photographer Katie Mitchell’s coverage of the special day.
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We spent a leisurely Sunday morning lounging by the pool and soaking in the sun. chateau du maulmont vichy france shinola detroit patriciaparisienne road trip medium shopper tote picnic blogchateau du maulmont vichy france shinola detroit patriciaparisienne road trip medium shopper tote picnic blog

Accompanying us on this adventure was my trusty Shinola shopper tote. It was the perfect travel bag! Not only is it a beautiful natural leather, but also it fits everything you need. We took it with us for our picnic errands, I had it as my purse for the weekend, and in an upcoming post, you’ll see that it also transitions into a great beach tote for the French Riviera. It’s like having a piece of home with me on my travels, this beautiful bag from Detroit. chateau du maulmont vichy france shinola detroit patriciaparisienne road trip medium shopper tote picnic blogchateau du maulmont vichy france shinola detroit patriciaparisienne road trip medium shopper tote picnic blog

We had a fantastic road trip! I recommend it to anyone who likes to take the scenic route in life. The French countryside is beautiful, and driving through it is a great way to see the country. Many congratulations to the gorgeous newlyweds, Hana and Jérémie! We were so happy to have been included in the celebration of your love.

À bientôt !

PatriciaParisienne xx

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Outfit Links:

Medium leather shopper tote: Shinola

Blue and white patterned dress: Louche Syreta Dress for Lilac Rose Leamington Spa

(P.S. It’s on sale!)

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Many thanks to Shinola for the beautiful gift!

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Postcards from London | Part 2

How do you follow up one of the most amazing Saturdays of your life?

It’s not easy. After a long day of London sightseeing and experiences, Sunday morning was deliciously lazy. We started off with a nice lie-in where we watched the Commonwealth Games on TV and slowly started the day. At about 10:30, we headed down to the Mayfair Kitchen for a full English breakfast.

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The May Fair Hotel has a buffet style set-up, and who can resist indulging in that attractive option? (Hint: not me.) An hour later, a post-breakfast walk was necessary. The perks of staying in Mayfair are many, but the best one in my opinion is being so close to the Queen. It only took fifteen minutes through the lovely Green Park to make it to Buckingham Palace.

2014-07-27 11.50.36 2014-07-27 11.52.14 As you can see, we weren’t the only ones to have this brilliant idea. After a little photo shoot by the gates, we had the pleasure of watching the changing of the guards, with a bonus musical snack from the military band. To get the best spot, I recommend arriving between 10 and 10:30. 2014-07-27 11.53.30-1 2014-07-27 12.10.11 After this cultural experience, we walked to South Molton Street for a little shopping (You can catch a glimpse of my treasures on Instagram!), and then off to lunch at Hush with the lovely Susie and Jamie. We always have such a laugh together, and this outing was no exception. 2014-07-27 16.18.07 2014-07-27 16.17.38 2014-07-27 15.58.06 From their green arched entrance to their bright patio set-up, Hush quickly introduces itself as a modern, chic eatery and cocktail bar. The interior’s plush booths and spacious tables add a intimate yet relaxed dimension to the restaurant. The upstairs is a bit more posh. The subtle pop art lounge has several chairs and couches for a great night out with the girls or the lads, complete with a cocktail bar area. If you’re in the mood for high tea, there’s a darling tea room as well.
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A whirlwind 48 hours in London – and I always leave wanting more. A la prochaine, Londres,

PatriciaParisienne xx

~

Buckingham Palace

London SW1A 1AA

Hush

No. 8 Lancashire Court, Brook St, London W1S 1EY

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Postcards from London | Part 1

I love London. The way I feel about this city makes me feel like I’m cheating on Paris. I just can’t help it. The energy of this city is unlike any other. You’ve got the cosmopolitan buzz of a capital, the innate grace and poshness of English aristocracy, coupled with some spectacular architecture and cultural institutions. What’s not to love?

After a three month hiatus, I was thrilled to be back! I get positively giddy when I see us approaching Marylebone station. We got our Oyster cards and made our way over to Green Park. The lounge chairs scattered around the grass looked so inviting; I had a book and just needed a cold drink! But we had a full day ahead and were eager to shed our suitcases, so we legged it over to the May Fair Hotel, our home for the weekend.

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It was so bright! Sunnies went on ASAP.

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Oh, hello. Don’t mind me, just putting on the Ritz.

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We arrived, and I immediately started to explore while DM checked us in. How cozy is the Mayfair Kitchen?

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So normally, I don’t take bathroom pictures for obvious reasons, but I fell in love with this one. The day I design my own bathroom, it’s going to have to look similar to this! Maybe minus the chair – not sure that’s entirely necessary, although it is very cool.

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A lovely seating area near the Atrium with a glorious Union Jack waving through the window.

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Normally our Saturdays start off with a trip to Borough Market, but we’d already had breakfast on the train and had been craving dim sum. Where else to go but Royal China? Off to Queensway we went!

We arrived a little after noon, and the restaurant was already packed. The wait was about 30 minutes. What I find interesting is that in Paris, French people will happily wait in line for food, but are almost incapable of doing so for anything else. In London I don’t see queues outside of restaurants very often – except at the Royal China.  It is that good.

What to do when you have thirty minutes to kill? A coffee – or if you have a Moroccan place across the street, some sweet mint tea. (Please note the camel in the window.)
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Our number was eventually called, and we were seated and brought jasmine tea within minutes. The excitement (and hunger) was palpable!

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We ordered a beef and noodle dish, followed by all sorts of buns, gyoza, and  rolls. It was dim sum heaven.

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If anyone knows how to make their incredible chili sauce, please do share!

2014-07-26 13.36.11 The rice wrapped in lotus leaf is one of my favorites.2014-07-26 13.41.04 Deliriously happy and completely stuffed, we tubed over to our next stop: Portobello Road in Notting Hill. Some presents from London were needed, and I knew just where to find them.

These places in Notting Hill are so dreamy and English. Wouldn’t you love to stay here?
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Shopping: check! From Notting Hill, we walked over toward Kensington. DM surprised me with a visit to this gorgeous, flowery pub. Churchill Arms was named after Winston Churchill’s grandparents, who were frequent visitors. Fun fact: it was the first pub in London to serve Thai food. Innovation station.

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The inside of the pub is rustic then goes back to flowery as you enter the restaurant. I loved the shabby-chic nature of the place.

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The flowers are everywhere, even in the bathroom!
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A cooling drink later, we hopped on a double-decker bus that took us back by Marylebone over to Camden. I was shocked by how packed it was, but then again, it was such a beautiful day.

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Primrose Hill, one of my favorite areas in the city, is just across the bridge from Camden. We were in desperate need of some caffeine after our early start, so a visit to the Tann Rokka coffee shop for a little afternoon pick-me-up was in order.

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How cute is their little back garden?

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I highly recommend their all-natural popsicles. We inhaled those first…

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And then the yummy soy lattes!

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Crossing the bridge, I popped into Cowshed for a little visit. This cafe/spa combo has a homey vibe that makes you want to stay for hours, and the staff is so friendly!

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This coffee shop is so cute! 2014-07-26 16.54.52

Ahhh, Primrose Hill!

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I was thisclose to getting this box of truffles. If they’re the Queen’s favorite, you know they’re delicious. Don’t worry, Diana Antholis, I am being good!

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We love Primrose Hill and yet somehow had never been to the actual hill. It was a deliciously sunny day, perfect for a little picnic. As you can see, the view of London from here is divine.
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Summer in England can mean only one thing: Pimms!

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And maybe an icy gin & tonic, too 😉

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We found a Nicolas with an amazing display of rosé, complete with a set of boules. I felt like I was back in Provence.

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A pretty sweet set-up – and shorts.
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Greenberry has the cutest bicycle parked in front and is always buzzing!

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Our last stop was The Engineer for a spicy ginger beer on the patio.

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We headed back to Mayfair, got ready for dinner, and headed out for our meal. I did a double take as we walked past this house – Harry Selfridge lived here! I absolutely love the show, so it was exciting to see where the real Mr. Selfridge lived.

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After a few circles around Shepherd Market, (Saturday night and no reservations, whoops!) we were seated on Al Hamra’s terrace. I couldn’t wait to try their famous Lebanese cuisine! They brought us fresh vegetables and olives, and we ordered the most beautifully presented hummus I’ve ever seen and little lamb sausages to start. We both had lamb for our main, with a crisp white Lebanese wine. Sadly, the pictures all turned out quite yellow and blurred, but the food was fantastic!

A bonus of sitting in the terrace: a glimpse of those heading for dinner at the famous Loulou’s, aka people-watching heaven!

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Happily stuffed, we basically rolled out of there and back to the hotel. What a fabulous whirlwind of a day. I can’t get enough of this buzzing London energy.

Stay tuned for our Sunday Funday, coming soon!

PatriciaParisienneLondonienne xx

~

Carnet d’adresses

Green Park

City of Westminster, Greater London

The May Fair Hotel

Stratton Street, London W1J 8LT

Royal China

13 Queensway, London W2 4QJ (with other locations throughout the city)

Portobello Road Market

Portobello Road, Greater London, W10 5TA

Churchill Arms

119 Kensington Church Street, London W8 7LN

Camden

Tann & Rokka

123 Regent’s Park Road, London NW1 8BE

Cowshed

Regent’s Park Rd, London NW1 8XP

The Lansdowne

90 Gloucester Ave, Primrose Hill, London NW1 8HX

Primrose Hill

Nicolas

67 Regent’s Park Rd, London NW1 8XD

The Engineer

65 Gloucester Ave, London NW1 8JH

Al HamraShepherd Market

31-33 Shepherd Market, London W1J 7PT

Loulou’s

2-5 Hertford Street, Mayfair, London W1J 7RB

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Travel Tuesday

This past weekend was spent in England, where we had this year’s most beautiful day yet. It felt like spring had arrived! We went to the Leamington Jephson Gardens to soak in the sun and see the newly-bloomed flowers. The entire town seemed to be out and about, so it was the great place to people watch, too. I went without a coat for the first time in months, and it felt so liberating. Hope you enjoyed a sunny weekend in your respective corners of the world!

xx PatriciaParisienne

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Photo Diary | Oxford

One of the many glorious perks of living and studying in Paris is the amount of vacation we have.  They have the work hard-play hard balance down. At the moment, we are on les vacances d’hiver, aka it’s time for our two-week February vacation. I worked last week but when in France, do as the French do…so now I am writing to you from England!

L’anglais and I had a great weekend. We celebrated a friend’s 30th birthday, ran our practice half marathon to prep for the real Paris half that we are running next weekend (I thought we were going for 16 kilometers, but we ended up doing the full 21k! Yes, it still hurts.), and had a fun spur-of-the-moment trip! I had wanted to visit Oxford for ages, and this weekend my wish was granted. We set off in the morning after breakfast and an hour later cruised into the gorgeous English city. The day was spent walking around and exploring. We kept peeking our heads into the colleges that we were able to see and ate delicious meat pies with sides of mash and mushy peas (the Englishman’s favorite).

I couldn’t get over how picturesque Oxford is. The stunning English Gothic buildings make it seem like you’re walking around a movie set. I loved crossing the bridge and overlooking the river Thames. I can’t wait for summer so we can go back and go punting. Strawberries, champagne, and warm weather, yes please!

Here are a few pictures. Enjoy!

xx PatriciaParisienne

P.S. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s birthday post!

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Monday Motivation: Dartmouth Photo Diary

Paris is my muse and my home, but as you know, England is becoming my second home in Europe. I fall more in love with the country with every visit, and as you browse through this photo diary of our trip to Dartmouth, I’m sure you’ll see why. We had beautiful chilly days and stormy nights, which I absolutely loved!  The brilliant Dartmouth food festival was on the same weekend, so l’anglais and I enjoyed tasting the variety of samples that were offered. It was both a delicious and delightful weekend.

Enjoy!

xx PatriciaParisienne

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{Photo Diary} | Christmas Markets in Düsseldorf

Einen guten Rutsch!

Though we are on day 2 of the new year, there are so many things from 2013 that I still want to share with you, particularly this photo diary of our late December visit to the Christmas markets (Weihnachtsmarkt) in Düsseldorf.

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The Englishman and I spent the weekend discovering the magic of the German markets with four other friends. The Glühwein was incredible! We even tried a white vine variety in those cute festive mugs.  My Deutsch was a bit rusty, but it was fun to be able to speak it again. I was so happy to be back in Germany!

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We also celebrated the handsome DM’s birthday with champagne, cake for breakfast, plenty of beers, and a visit to the renowned Fischhaus restaurant, which got rave reviews from the group. I am allergic to fish, so enjoyed a superb steak instead!

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I highly recommend staying in Düsseldorf. Enjoy a walk along the Rhein, lose yourself in the historic Altstadt, find a new favorite beer in the many kellers, and surprise your tastebuds by trying unique German delicacies, like Mettbrötchen, which is raw seasoned pork with onions on a roll. (We survived.)

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This guy was wearing a shirt that said “#selfie.” When in Rome…

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The city was so festive! It was all dressed up for the holidays.

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We finished off the trip with a hearty German breakfast. Even though we weren’t in Bavaria, I spotted Weißwurst on the menu and had to have it with a pretzel and sweet mustard. It was deliciousss. What a fantastic few days!

xx PatriciaParisienne

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