PARIS IS ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA | ANDRIASDOSE VISUAL DIARY AND MUST-DO GUIDE

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A few iPhone snaps from my recent trip to Paris for S/S17 Paris Fashion Week. Whatever the reason of my visit every time (basically, it's usually work), I will always manage to steal some time and play tourist, walk around, take pictures and visit my favourite spots.. there is always a reason to fall in love with everything Parisian.. art, architecture, literature and books, poetry and indeed, extraordinary fashion.
The Eiffel tower leaves me in awe even if I've seen it a dozen times, the breathtaking architecture makes my camera giddy up and the cheesecake at Hôtel Costes almost makes me cry (yes, it's as good as Kim says).

My to-do list is endless, however I made a round up of my favourite must - do, see and eat (while on a break from the shows, or not)! Take notes mademoiselles! 

* Early mornings at Café de Flore in Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Coffee and.. what else? Fresh croissants to start the day. Flore draws the most style-conscious, bourgeois crowd during FW. Ah, and I just found out that at a time it was the place of choice for the likes of Picasso and Jean- Paul Sartre.  
* Angelina on Rue de Rivoli is another great option where you'll find the most decadent, velvety hot chocolate in all of Paris. Aim to go at an "off" time, (if such thing exists) because on the weekends this place overflows with people queuing up (and I mean a very long queue)  for that famous liquid cocoa.
*Take a stroll at the beautiful Jardin des Tuileries, next to the Louvre museum and then take the route to Pont des Arts; the bridge is one of the most popular sights in the city.; lovely view of the Seine, the Louvre, Left Bank and a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower. It used to have padlocks with love engravings(sad face). Often, you might also see painters and street artists. 
* For shopping, check Avenue Montagne for all the designer brands. Also, visit the upscale and sophisticated Galeries Lafayettes, Printempts and Le Bon Marché department stores. You can't miss Rue Saint Honore and Colette, one of my personal favourites in Europe - a concept store with the cult-est curated selection of designer pieces, tech accessories, books and magazines, jewellery, cosmetics, perfumes and more. #Eyecandy. 
* Explore the area of Le Marais and Rue Etienne Marcell for exquisite independent boutiques, lovely cafes and bars on every corner and inspiration everywhere. I would suggest you keep the visit to Marais on a Sunday as it is the only place open for business - everything else is shut on Sundays. 
* For your lunch, you can't get more authentique than Café Charlot in Le Marais for the best chicken risotto in town. Then, for coffee and dessert, go to The Broken Arm, just a few streets away from Charlot.
*Visit the magical Hôtel Plaza Athénée for an early drinkone of the most spectacular buildings I have ever seen. If you want to go high on spending, you may also choose it for your stay - remember Carrie? Hello, I live here (without the drama).
* If you are looking for casual dining after a long day, go to Cafe Ruc just across Hotel du Louvre. Everybody loves their burger! I am dying for the cheese crusted onion soup.
*Caviar Kaspia is the best late-night spot for a light meal, awesome caviar and lots of vodka - can it go wrong? Undoubtedly your meal choice should include caviar; the baked potato topped with caviar is an excellent choice. There is also the Kaspia boutique where you can buy the Carine Roitfeld and  calligraphers's Nicolas Ouchenir capsule Russian doll collection.
*Costes for last as it is my top recommendation for all times of the day. Glamorous environment, lush elegant interiors, best crowd and stunning menu. Yes, the white chocolate cheesecake is as amazing as Kim says it is. If she flies to Paris just for a slice, it must be good!
*Ah I almost forgot! You definitely can't leave the city without indulging in some macaroons! Besides the world renowned Ladurée, another exceptional choice is Pierre Hermé.

* If it's your first time in Paris, here is a tip: DO NOT begin a conversation in English, no matter how rusty your French are. It's the best way to assure that they will make no attempt to reply in English even if they know some. Start off on the right foot by greeting French people with 'bonjour' aka hello and “bonsoir” for good evening if it is after 6pm. Say “Au revoir” or “merci” when you leave. Even better, accompany those with “Monsieur/Madame/Mademoiselle'' when you don't know someone. There is a popular belief that French are rude and arrogant but I reassure you that they aren't. At all. Good manners are of primary importance in French culture, particularly in Paris. The French take pride in their language and that's all.. the best way to show your respect is to be polite. If you say 'Bonjour, do you speak English', they will help you as much as they can!

That's all for now! 
À bientôt, Paris, mon amour. 

A. x

IN STOCKHOLM WITH H&M

 

A few weeks ago, I was invited by H&M to fly over to Sweden and visit the brand's headquarters in Stockholm. In celebration of the H&M arrival to my hometown, Cyprus, the brand selected a lovely group of people (thank you for the awesome time everyone - we definitely laughed our hearts out) who work in media for a press trip to the Swedish capital in order to meet the H&M team and gain a better understanding of the company's processes.

To be honest, Stockholm was never in my go-to list; and to my pleasant surprise, I was apparently so very wrong for not thinking about visiting sooner - a stunning city, an unbeatable vibe, lovely people and enviable minimal chic aesthetics everywhere.  If you are following on Instagram, then you've seen it all up close and personal! 

We arrived at the 19th-century built 5 star Nobis hotel to find a wonderful home away from home! My room was gorgeous; design furniture, stunning views to the country yard, magazines for my almost no free time and a gorgeous all marble everything bathroom - #helloIlivehere.
Food wise; they took us to the very best - Fotografiska Museet (ph. below) in my highlights is not to be missed if you ever visit the city; phenomenal food (I would go back just for that, trust me), beautiful canal views and amazing exhibitions to trace the edges of your art consciousness.
Pardon, but I need to reference the gram once again; stories went giddy up with black pepper cream raspberry desserts and vegan platters you never thought could look and taste so well. 
Another must-go is the Moderna Museet (ph. below) - you have the cafe for extraordinary lunch offering with a view and the museum for awesome art exhibitions; I was so lucky and beyond ecstatic to have had the opportunity to see Yayoi Kusama 's work (more on that soon but for now enjoy the silver mirrored silver balls below) !

Ph. taken with iPhone via Instagram

 
 
 
 
 
 

And now let's talk about why we are really here - H&M.

Our day-to-day plan consisted of visits to the HQ, presentations from the H&M team - (from design to the HR and more) - I need to pay my respects to Ann-Sofie Johansson, the Head of Design at the company. Wow, just wow.
We talked about inspiration, how the trends are set and how they work with colour and texture. We saw the vintage room (hashtag If I die bury me in here please, gritting teeth and heart-shaped eyes emojis), talked about copywriting  and saw the process for their first sample making up close. We attended one of their shoots and the ahhhs, hmms and arghhs from each one of us were on a non-stop basis. Astonishing studios!

We all know that H&M is a retail giant but what you don't know is how 'big' they are on the inside. I strongly believe that the key to their success is their people - friendly, fun, extremely creative and very very (I could write a page of very's) stylish. They encompass the word TEAM like no other.  Most of them work at the company for more than 25 years - that should say enough.  

Let's take a tour.. x
Ph. by Mattias Bardå
*click to expand

 

Overall, Sweden is capital - A Awesome. It was a 10 out of 10 trip. Stockholm, you should be expecting me again pretty soon! 
Tack H&M, Maria Kokkali and Hacan Andersson for an unforgettable experience!

A. x

FROM PARIS WITH LOVE

Bonjour!
I visited the City of lights for a few days for Paris Fashion Week (smile and light flashes all over her face). 
And I think I'll start this one with a declaration. If we are e-dating and you haven't left me after this Parisian 'spammin', there is some serious love in the air. I love you too, just so you know!
Arghh, I must have about 2476383 photos in the iPhone bank from this trip (that's the win pour moi). Most of them I have already posted - daily workout, check.
Oh come on what’s so wrong with keeping your fingers vigorously fit (hashtag, Instagram addict).  Life’s too short.
 Proof be found - Parisian binge posing (eating, drinking and attending shows).
But what I enjoyed the most was just... walking around. Alone, just my headphones in to drown out of the crowds, a cuppa of Americano from a local Frenchie barista in hand and here I go! (yeah, PFW is damn busy, and truth be told, I am not known for my time management skills, but this time I did it!)
Freaking freezing but oh so very beautiful. Batteries refilled, check!
Well okay,  I may or may not have done some shopping too. More on that later.
Below, some favourite shots - won't elaborate much in chit chat.. just a few words on Natargeorgiou. If we've known eachother for a while, you may have already established that I love and support Natargeorgiou all the way.
This season they have shown their AW16 collection in PFW at Hotel Le Meurice, one of the most beautiful and outstanding places in the city. 
Ultra luxe par excellence pour my Cypriote lovers!
''You might be showing next to the Louvre, but this week you are the Louvre du Paris' - one of Vogue's attendees comment - not bad of a feedback right? Natargeorgiou you kick a**. 
Enjoy.. x

First stop at one of the favourites, Café Charlot. The best street style struts, gorgeous vibrant Marais and the finger-licking chicken risotto. If you ever around, you NEED to go for it. Trust me, it’s worth every ounce of guilt, because, as we’ve established, life’s too short.

Soaking up some sunshine with Mr. His Love of Fashion. Wearing Dior sunglasses via Nakis Theocharides

When you go matchy matchy with your surroundings..

The calm before the storm.. A very early shot of another fave while walking to get some coffee.. Café Ruc it is (great for a burger - your Jamie Oliver says)

Running to Stella McCartney show (that was incredible btw) in colour! Wearing Natargeorgiou yet again. 

Selfies always look better in Paris.. view from my apartment (I know, #luckygirl). Dior head turners via Nakis Theocharides.

Shame on me.. I am putting glitter in my wardrobe! But these..with a pair of socks.. couldn't keep myself. Thoughts? (Shoes by Topshop, Sweater by Natargeorgiou)

'Bonjour Madame..we'd love to know what you are wearing'.. - Sure

When in Paris.. you do it à la française. Total black (in lace, embellished Natargeorgiou skirt and some compliment bait aka fishnet tights) for dinner at Hôtel Costes.

Paris without Pierre Hermé is not Paris. #ForgivemeLordforIhavesinned

In love - jewellery by ESHVI

Roaming it in casual pink.. wearing everything by H&M trend.

The most worthy regram I have ever made.. And never have I been so tempted to sell all my belongings in order to buy a single piece. Shoes by Louis Vuitton / Nicolas Ghesquire, photo courtesy of Miss Song of Style. Meet the Sun Catcher Derby here.

Between light and shade.. full post on this one coming your way pretty soon. 

After the  n a t a r g e o r g i o u presentation at Le Meurice with this gang. Joanna Moyseos, Marina Lyritzi and one of the masterminds that consist the NG duo - Andreas Georgiou. 

Hello, I live here! (well, one can dream.. and quote movies) Dress by n a t a r g e o r g i o u AW16 and shoes by Topshop. 

 

Love, 
A. x

Home away from home | ANDAZ LIVERPOOL STREET

Home away from home - a few weeks ago I had the pleasure of being invited to spend one evening at ANDAZ LIVERPOOL STREETa beautiful 5-star Hyatt boutique hotel located in the heart of the city.
After a few minutes of wows, ahhs, hmms and some daydreaming at the unparalleled reception and its immaculate industrial feel featuring a contemporary grey/beige colour palette and a stunning mirror puzzle, geniusly contrasting with the 1884-built baronial building, I was saluted by the lovely staff. To my surprise, there was no conventional front desk and 'the host' had offered a comfy seat and a drink while I was waiting for the check in formalities - made by ipads. SLEEK!
I was already ecstatic - Andaz gets me (I thought). 
Right - come on in! Let me show you around..

(1st photo above&below via Andaz)

I checked in my palatial suite around 3ish (thanks for making me feel a queenie for a while Andaz!), unpacked my things to my very own walking closet, had a bath and enjoyed a glass of red vino relishing my room's gigantic bed prior to the supreme binge drinking and eating that was to follow.

Mouth-watering berry bellinis were waiting for me and my friend Ori, at the Catch Champagne Bar & Lounge later in the afternoon so it was around 7.30 that I shrugged on the Fendi fur-monster and headed to the lobby.

Wearing: Fendi fur coat (AW13)| Lace top - Zara | Faux leather pants - H&M (similar here) | Over the knee boots - PersunMall

The frothy cocktails were just too good and perfectly whetted our appetite for Mr. Hameed Farook's exceptional fine dining at 1901.

And now, food.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words and I shall agree on this occasion. I want to believe you do too?
The only thing that I can tell you is that I was murmuring 'Oh Andaz, can I stay here forever' for many many hours (or maybe days) after. At a point, Ori kindly told me to shut up.

--

Le check out! (If you are ever in London or live in London but need a little getaway, ANDAZ is your way to go. You will be glad you did).

Wearing: Coat - custom made Natargeorgiou | Mohair sweater - Acne | Faux leather skirt - Zara  Shoes - Zara Special Edition | Bag - Alexander McQueen
Photos by Oriana & me

ANDAZ, it has been a real pleasure. Thank you for having me. Let's hang out again really soon. 
East London love,
A. x

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*For further information about Andaz Liverpool telephone 0207 961 1234 or visit www.andaz.hyatt.com