Outside In: Skopje, Macedonia

Outside in_Skopje

 

The question a lot of people ask me when I say we enjoyed a long weekend in Macedonia earlier this year was ‘Where is Macedonia?’. Well, it’s a landlocked country with Kosovo to the northeast, Bulgaria to the east, Greece to the South, Albania to the west and Serbia to the north. It’s in the Balkan Peninsula and was part of former Yugoslavia before it declared independence in 1991. You can check it out on a map, here.

Skopje (pronounced Skop-yeh) is the capital and, as you may know, is where Mother Teresa is from.

We had an amazing time! We journeyed there because my Mother-in-law is originally from Skopje and we went back to visit family. They were so wonderful, warm and welcoming and ploughed us with amazing food and drink until we just about popped.

Skopje town centre is part-modern, part-historic and has some incredible architecture on show. The territory of Skopje has been inhabited since at least 4000 BC and remains of these settlements have been found within the old Fortress that overlooks the city centre. One thing to mention is that Skopje has the largest cross in the world that sits atop of Vodno mountain, called the Millenium Cross and was constructed to serve as a memorial of 2,000 years of Christianity in Macedonia and the world. The views from the cross are incredible!

One noticeable thing about Skopje town centre is the abundance of statues and monuments. In 2010, the ‘Skopje 2014′ project was created and €500 million was injected into the budget to pay for said statues, monuments, fountains, bridges etc. I’m not talking a few, I’m talking what seems like one hundred…all in a small area. I think it might be idol overkill.

**note for interiors addicts** If you are after a beautiful, hand made ikat rug (at a cost of about 10% of what you’d pay here), head to the Turkish Bazaar in the old town! Honestly, you’ll never buy a rug in London again.

If you want to bring a bit of Skopje into your place, check out the items above!

Lx

1. Bushwick white and black trolley table, Abigail Ahern | 2. Silk Ikat cushion, sofa.com | 3. Warm white rope light, Lights 4 Fun | 4. Kastehelmi Tea light bowl,  Royal Design | 5. Craven cottage plaster model, Chisel and Mouse

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Outside in: Road to Franz Josef Glacier

Outside in_Franz Joseph

You’ve heard me say before that I LOVE NEW ZEALAND. It was the best trip of our lives. We drove 2,500 miles around the country back in March with my parents and had some truly amazing experiences.

One thing about New Zealand is that parts of it (especially in the South Island) are so quiet. You can drive for hours and only pass a few cars. About one million people live in the South Island (bearing in mind that almost 3 million in South London alone!!!) and a lot of it is farmland with wide open spaces that feel untouched. You can stand at the foot of an incredible mountain and imagine how the early explorers felt when they discovered it. I imagine it looks exactly the same as when the saw it for the first time all those hundreds of years ago.

At times we felt like we were on the set of Jurassic Park. I would sit quietly, half expecting a dinosaur to walk around the corner. In NZ, I love how the forest meets the farm and makes for one of the most diverse landscapes on the planet.

This picture was taken while driving toward Franz Josef Glacier. You can see the size of the car in the picture- and then take a look at the size of the mountain! There was no filter on this picture either. Just raw beauty.

I want to go back..

Lx

1. Sliced rug, Jan Kath at Front Rugs | 2. Paper vase cover, Pepe Heykoop at Aram Store | 3. Leather low ankle boots, & other stories | 4. Old Havana dinner set, Anthropologie | Kebnekaise knitted pouf, Fine little day at Quince Living

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Art & Design: David Ralph Studio

david ralph

A few months ago I was invited to a private view of photographer David Ralph’s latest works entitled ‘Papilio‘. As soon as I walked in to the studio, I knew I wouldn’t leave without buying one! On first glance you think you’re looking at a painting of a butterfly. What you are actually looking at is a series of photographs, each one consisting of layers upon layers of frames of the same butterfly literally bursting at their metaphorical seams. Their composition is faultless.

Papilio prints are available through his website www.davidralphstudio.com

Lx

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Amara Blog Awards

Hi All,

I hope you are enjoying your week so far!

I have been nominated for the Amara Interior Blog Awards for 2014 and in order to win the ‘Best Stylist Blog’ category, I need votes. Lots and lots of votes!

If you have a spare second and if you enjoy reading my blog each week, please click here and vote!

Please accept my sincere thanks in advance,

Lx

blogbadge-voteforme!

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Shop Love: David David at Darkroom

umbrellas

Well, what can I say? I love these umbrellas so much. They are beautiful, bright, colourful, punchy, high quality and beautifully made.

They have been created by designer David David and can be purchased through the online store here or online at Darkroom.

Darkroom needs a post all to itself really. It is a fabulous independent store (and online shop) in Lambs Conduit Street in London . It’s been open since 2009 and is as much a gallery space as it is a retail store. 

They curate an eclectic mix of hand-made, unusual and one-off accessories for men, women and the home. One of the things I love about the store is the ‘unisex’ nature of a lot of their products. None of this ‘pink for girls and blue for boys’ that I can’t stand. Nope, all products are of strong aesthetic value and can be appreciated by all. As well as self-designed collections, Darkroom prides itself on supporting and featuring emerging and unknown designers from all over the globe.

Check out their online store, here!

Lx

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Outside in: Philadelphia | Delaware River

Outside in_Philadelphia

Photography by: Lucy Gough

Howdy peeps! This week’s Outside In comes to you from Philadelphia. This city is brilliant! It’s gritty, it’s diverse and it’s full of culture.

Philly is a city of firsts. The first hospital in the US, the first international style sky scraper in the US, the first major industrial city in the US AND the first zoo in the US, too.

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