Tag Archives: travel

his and hers paris… for a day

19 May

One of those cliche lines Londoners use on visitors when extolling the benefits of living in this beautifully flawed city is its close proximity to Europe and that “it’s so quick and easy to pop across to the continent for a weekend”… In reality we all know that we’re as likely to pop to Barcelona as we’re likely to travel from Brixton to Broadway market to meet a friend for brunch… i.e. not very.

Having cast a very cynical view on how far we spread our European wings, to celebrate the final leg of the His and Hers week of birthdays (Jane’s), we decided to take advantage of the proximity of Paris and take a day trip to visit our Gallic neighbours.

With the trip by Eurostar taking less time and money than it does for me to return home to North Devon (ridiculous I know), by catching a 7.15am train from St Pancras and returning from Paris at 9.15pm, you can pack a lot into a day.. Here’s a little photo journal of our day!


Some last minute itinerary planning (please note the homemade Paris “handbook” – one half of the His and Hers has organisational “issues”)

First stop of the day was the Musee Rodin – there were certain tell tale signs that helped us find our way there..

Seeing all of the roses starting to bloom in the garden (or should I say jardin), really made it a special way to start the day

We couldn’t have asked for better weather to appreciate such classic sculptures – Rodin’s ‘The Thinker’


And George coming face to face with the realism of Rodin’s work

After the joys of Musee Rodin, we were all in need of a caffeine pick me up, so we hit a cafe to sample a french cappuccino (way too frothy) and catch up on Paris’ view on the morning news..


After possibly a little too much caffeine, we got a little childish with our photo ops in Jardin des Tuileries…

A wander down Rue Saint-Honoré via Colette (parting with too much money) and into the Marais…

Taking in the magnificence of the Pl. de Vosges – impossible to do in one photo!

And after a full day of walking, a little respite to take in respective news from across the channel..

We were slightly disappointed in the meagre selection of brie in the supermarket….

But we made do and had quite a piquenique on the Eurostar home!

a slightly cyc-hotic idea

2 May

In just over a month’s time this half of the His and Hers will be heading south to Barcelona to spend a few days head nodding to the bleeps and wobbles at the excellent Sonar Festival.

And to get there I will be traveling… by bicycle. Yep, in a moment of bravado / stupidity / drunkenness, a good buddy and I thought a great way to warm up for a weekend of jogging on the spot would be cycling the 900 odd kms from Paris to Barca.

Usually in my travels around London I don’t use a map to guide me – I think that’s half the fun of cycling in London. Getting lost on the one way back streets and mews of Fitzrovia, or seeing how steely your nerve is when all of a sudden you’re heading into the Blackwall tunnel (this hasn’t actually happened to me, although the homing pigeon in me does have a penchant for lanes of the A40).

With the increased level of cycling in preparation for our impending adventure, without fail my geeky tendencies have come to the fore and I’ve been utilising a little technology to help out.

Bike Hub is a ‘cycle satnav’ app that uses Sustrans (pioneer of the ‘Safe Routes’ cycling in the UK) routes to plot quickest or quietest cycle routes in UK & Eire, and Cyclemeter is a GPS app that continually records your time, location, distance, elevation and speed.

What’s great about bike hub is that you have the choice of plotting a number of different route options – from simply A to B journeys or, if like me you want to do one long ride and end up in the same place, it will plot you a round route across whatever distance you want to go (brilliantly you can do it by points of interest – i.e. Pubs).

Once you’ve plotted your journey you can download the journey to your phone and it’s a Satnav to guide you on your merry (cycle)way. The other thing I haven’t mentioned about this very useful app is that its free!

The cyclemeter app on the other hand is more of a post ride / fitness tracker (this appeals to my competitive nature). You can plot regular journeys and sync them to your calendar to see how you’ve improved over time. Warning – if you’re anything like me it can make the journey to work slightly dangerous…  Yes I will make it to work in under 17 minutes!  (I am that much of a loser).

This app will set you back £2.99, but it can also be used for gauging running and walking, so I guess its worth the outlay.

From my pretty regular use of the app it appears to be pretty accurate – the only discrepancy sometimes seems to be with measuring fastest speeds.. However I quite like this, it’s flattering to think I could reach 65KM/H heading down Constitution Hill towards Buckingham Palace.. Watch out Sir Chris Hoy!

shanghai fabric market

20 Apr

Since my parents moved to Shanghai, my sister and I have visited them regularly, and quickly sniffed out the fabric market just south of the Bund. It is a pretty overwhelming place, and there is a lot of very shiny fabric, but there are definitely some treasures to be found.

Just last weekend I was there and bought some beautiful Liberty fabric to line a parka. (Some Liberty fabric is imported from Japan, and a lot seems to “fall off the back of a truck” in Shanghai on its way over to Great Marlborough Street.) I also bought loads of patterned cotton to make sundresses for summer – we have a week in Greece planned for early June and I need to get kitted out. I will show you the fruits of my sewing labours as they emerge…but don’t hold your breath. I am very, very slow at sewing (ask George, who’s been asking me to hem his jeans since last February).

My sister, Felicity, was in Shanghai a few weeks ago and bought some fabric to make cushions. I love big floor cushions as a way of brightening up a room and providing extra seating when surprise guests arrive, and Felicity has done a beautiful job here. I love the crazy combinations she has put together. (This picture is slightly misleading as these cushions are HUGE.)

Now…to sneakily stow them away in my suitcase when I fly back to London!

Shanghai South Bund Fabric Market: 399 Lujiabang Road, Shanghai

underground oddness

13 Apr

As readers of the His and Hers might have noticed, our preferred method of travel around this glorious city is by two wheels vs. the cramped sweat box underground.

A good friend of ours who has to rely on the pinnacle of Victorian engineering to travel tries to temper the joy of the experience by snapping and sharing the great variety of oddness you get to see and experience on a daily basis through his “observations of the underground”.

Here are just a couple of our favourite photos from his collection..

Two forms of Victorian transport meet again… but in the 21st Century

All dressed up, but nowhere to go…

Photo Credit: WFS

But as is usual with these sort of things.. No matter how odd or strange us Brits are on our public transport, across the pond our US friends are sure to be bigger, better… and certainly madder!

Look what was spotted on the New York Subway..

The Underground. A great place to dice your onions.

the his and hers head to helsinki – how to pack?!

5 Apr

When travelling, I have traditionally packed outfits for every possible eventuality (spontaneous invitation to the Crillon Ball? Check. What if we end up going scuba diving? Check.  I’ve heard it can sometimes get quite chilly in the Caribbean.. better jam in that North Face jacket).

But years of waiting at the baggage carousel, combined with these instructions from Diane Von Furstenberg (who we talked about here ) have whipped me into shape.

Below we have everything I am packing for four days in Helsinki (which, FYI, is currently a balmy  ZERO DEGREES – nice planning Janeo).

(Overnight bag: Longchamp; Luggage tag and passport holder: Smythson; Handbag: Mulberry; Amazon Kindle; Kiehls and Ren sample sized products)

My tips?

  • don’t check your bag (we’ve all seen Meet the Parents)
  • use sample sized products you’ve stolen from hotel roms
  • don’t go nuts in WH Smith at the airport – put all your reading on your Kindle or iPad
  • a week before you leave, start making a list of everything you’re going to pack and keep it on your desk at work. You can edit it through the week so that it will be a finely honed recipe for success by take off

I’m doing pretty well, and I get better every trip, but there’s still no way I’m ever going to top this for packing light….well done George.