SUMMER OF HAPPINESS: A TWO DAY ROAD TRIP IN A VINTAGE VW CAMPER

A few days camping in the countryside? I think so. Last week I spent three days with Mollie camping in Horsham in a beautiful vintage VW camper named Misty and here she is:

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A cutie, right? When Accessorize got in contact with me and asked me to shoot + model their new festival wear, I instantly thought of a camper van in a beautiful location, and thatʼs exactly what happened! And let me tell you, their collection is BEAUT!

Click here for this perfect mini rucksack!

and here for my favourite beach + travel bag!

These bags are the perfect getaway bags. The yellow rucksack for those little day trips out from the campsite or dancing the day + night away at a festival.

The pink + white bag is one of my favourites - it really is the perfect size for travelling with and looks super cute.

I found Misty online and Patrick (the owner) was an absolute legend - Iʼll link his info below incase you fancied a little getaway! Patrick completely restored and renovated Misty himself and did an absolutely amazing job. He also has 5 other campers that he is currently restoring! She was such a great camper to drive (a lot of the old VW campers a really difficult to drive and almost feels like you have a workout driving down the road!). Misty has new power steering and is super modern inside, so you have all the luxury of a new camper but with the exterior of a vintage!

- - - - DAY ONE - - - -

We set off from London on the Tuesday morning and arrived around midday to the beautiful area of Barns Green in Horsham. The campsite we stayed on was called Sumners Ponds Fishery Campsite - as you can probably tell itʼs very popular with people who love to fish as itʼs surrounded by beautiful lakes. However, a lot of people were just there to enjoy and breathe in all the fresh country air!

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When we first arrived we unpacked and set up Misty ready for a few days of camping. We had some lunch and started shooting some of Accessorizeʼs new festival and summer collection. The products I brought along with me I absolutely fell in love with - the quality and style is spot on - perfect for summer and for any festival/beach situation.

Click here for the cute ruffle top that's perfect for summer!

here for the perfect summer sandals

and here for the sunglasses I found that I actually like :') 

Whenever I go camping, thereʼs a few essentials I love to bring with me - camera number 1, of course, but fairy lights follow closely - they make anything look nice and are super handy when the sun goes down and you want a little extra light! Another are blankets! You are never sure of the weather (especially in the UK) so blankets are great when you want to wrap something over you in the evening or want a few extra layers at night!

Wellies + flip flops are also something I like to bring. Weird combo, right? But very practical. Wellies because you never know if the field is going to be muddy or not! And flip-flops for the quick trips to the toilets and showers!

My favourite EVER washbag - super affordable and perfect size for travelling! 

It was such a lovely day so we were busy shooting most of the afternoon! Once the sun started going down we set up the camper for sleeping and headed for the restaurant on the lake which was such a lovely surprise. You donʼt often have restaurants and places to eat on campsites - so this was such a pleasant surprise and we spent most of the evening there!

We enjoyed a few Gin + Tonics (if you know me, you know I am a sucker for a Gin and Elderflower Tonic) and headed back for a peaceful sleep in the countryside!

- - - - DAY TWO - - - -

The next day we woke up to the sound of birds and ducks! As itʼs surrounded by lakes thereʼs a selection of ducks that wander around throughout the day!

We showered and came back to cook some breakfast. When me and Mollie were in Australia earlier this year we had this breakfast (rye bread, hummus, spinach, avocado + eggs) pretty much every morning! Perfect camping food as its quick and easy and doesnʼt generate too much mess! We also had some morning coffee - Littles Coffee is a current favourite of mine - their Coconut Instant coffee is insane and comes in a small tub so perfect for travelling!

Super cute heart shaped sunglasses 

We hit total jackpot with the weather. 23 degrees, sun and a scatter of clouds meant a perfect day for shooting! We decorated Misty with lots of fairy lights, blankets + buntings! One of my favourite, and probably most important thing, about shooting is the creativity behind it! I love getting fully immersed in a shoot and the little details that make such a big difference.

I always bring a Kimono on trips with me - perfect beach cover up and throw on!

After we spent the morning shooting around Misty we had some lunch and had

a coffee in the sun. I feel like the weather in the UK has been seriously good recently - one of the main reasons I want to plan some more adventures around the UK! I think itʼs so important to assign time to spend with the ones that you are closest too, and I fully intend to make this summer all about having fun and making memories.

My favourite flower headband + pendant necklace

After a magical day in the sun we tidied up Misty and made some dinner. We decided to pack up as we needed to leave fairly early the next day. We witnessed a beautiful sunset in the evening and headed for the restaurant to

get some laptop and admin work done! It was warm enough that we could work outside which was so lovely.

Super cute tassle earrings 

This really was the perfect little getaway. I encourage anyone to book a spontaneous camping trip with your best friend and head for the countryside! There really isnʼt anything nicer than spending some quality time with the people that you are closest to. I think often in this day and age we get so caught up in how fast-paced life is that we hardly take a moment and appreciate what we have around us and how important our friends and family are <3

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This blog post was in collaboration with Accessorize - be sure to check out their summer collection, it is seriously beautiful! Linked below are all the Accessorize products featured in the photos:

Rose Gold Starburst Layered Pendant Necklace

Ombre Metal Cateye Sunglasses

Florence Fringed Slide Sandals

Beachcomber Wow Kimono

Sophie Floral Embroidered Washbag

Delicate Flower Garland

Harlow Heart Frame Sunglasses

Ruffle Stripe Top

Beaded Statement Ball & Tassle Earrings

Tommie Midi Dome Backpack

Scarlett Bobbie Beach Bag

 

Patrick, the absolute camper van legend can be found here:

http://www.camperbug.co.uk/mistyrabbit

Exploring Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a city I have always wanted to visit and if you’re anything like me and fill any spare time you have with travel; then you book a flight last minute and head for a beautiful city to explore. A direct 45 minute flight from London to Amsterdam makes it even more tempting!

Once arriving in Amsterdam it’s super easy to get to the centre. I was staying about 20 minutes via train out from the city centre - there wasn’t many hotels or Airbnb’s left as I only booked the trip about 2 weeks prior to leaving. I was staying at the Jaz Hotel (https://www.jaz-hotel.com/en/hotels/jaz-amsterdam). I cannot speak highly enough about this hotel, although a little out of town, it's definitely worth the extra travel time. The bedrooms are amazing, with HUGE beds. They have a great restaurant on site with a DJ booth and events that happen most evenings. I think the hotel is pretty new so everything is super current and clean. They have great places to get some laptop work done and the breakfast is one of the best hotel breakfasts I've ever had. 

The first day, we grabbed some bikes that we rented from our hotel and headed straight for an explore around Amsterdam. I always love exploring as much as possible on the first few days of the trip so you get an idea of the area and things to do and see. The first stop was this bar situated right on the canal called Amstelhaven - a great little place to hang and watch people on the canal.  

One thing I did notice very early on, there was a LOT of museums (and by museums I mean shops that they call museums). You could find any kind of 'museums' you wanted from Cheese to Tulips and Cows to Rubber Ducks. The Cheese Museum was great with a lot of free tasters - my favourite was the multicoloured pesto.

Needless to say, I spent a lot of time on this trip finding the foodie and drink places! Cafe Tebac is a great little place to have some cocktails and watch the world go by, especially if it's good weather! Placed right on the corner of one of the canals is a raised section on top part of the building. Cushions are placed on top so it's super comfy to lounge on for a few hours!

This area is also a beautiful places to grab some shots of the canals and some portraits of whoever you are with! The next day we grabbed a train to Amsterdam Central - the station itself is beautiful and well worth a visit to see. 

We headed straight for the Fluorescent Museum that I had read a lot about online. It was one of the weirder things we did this trip - all about art made with Fluorescent paint. The actual museum was downstairs underneath the shop and at only 5 Euros its worth a visit! They owner comes down and talks all things paint, and then turns the light off and the whole places comes alive! 

Next stop was a wander around the canals. I didn't realise just quite how many canals there were! Getting around by bike or moped is definitely the easiest way!

Nieuwmarkt is somewhere to go and check out. On Saturdays and Sundays, there's a big market of food and clothes and if the weather is nice, its great to have a walk around. Right near this market is The Red Light District, the famous streets by the canal where legalised prostitution takes place. It's definitely worth seeing and having a look around. 

We rented a moped the next day - the best way to get around. We managed to see a lot by going from place to place. It's so easy because mopeds are allowed in the bike lanes - so you skip all the traffic and it's very easy to follow set routes. We hired ours near Amsterdam Central Station for 40 Euros for the day. Our bikes were 30 Euros for the day for two, there's not a lot in it and to be honest you see more via bike as you can race around a lot faster!

There's a lot of places in Amsterdam that's great for food. I am a real lover of street food and one of the best places to go for this is Foodhallen - there's loads of different places to eat from falafel buns (one of my favourites) to big fish platters, salads bowls and burgers!

A nice place for sweet treats is Le Petit Deli - situated in the city, it serves big portions and has outside seating. 

I also love Japanese food, so we checked out Fou fow ramen - I had such an amazing vegetable Ramen and would definitely recommend going!

A perfect place for coffee and a healthy lunch is Ivy + Bros - African coffee + delicious meal!

A drink + hang place i'd recommend seeing is The Sky Lounge  - perfect for photos and if you hit the weather right, it's such a great place to hang out and have a few cocktails and drinks! I think they do food as well and they have an inside part if the weather isn't on your side.

The last part of the trip was spent on the canals - you can't go to Amsterdam and not get on a boat! There's lots of tours around so it's totally dependent on what you're after. I did the 15 Euros for an hour tour and unlimited drinks (the drinks included both alcoholic + non alcoholic).

I absolutely loved Amsterdam and would definitely love to go back again! I would recommend hiring a moped or motorbike for a few days of your trip just so you can wizz around and see all the things you want to see as a lot of stuff can be quite spread out so will take a while on push bikes! I'll be visiting again for sure.

Returning to London I managed to get a flight into London City - an airport i’ve always wanted to fly in to and it didn’t disappoint! The views were amazing. It wasn’t the clearest day but you literally fly directly over the centre of London - so well worth it if you have the option!

Hope you enjoyed reading! L x

4 DAY SHOOTING IN TULUM

- - - - - -  D A Y  O N E  - - - - - - 

We set off fairly early to get to the airport for the first flight from London to Atlanta. I was still pretty jet lagged from getting back from Australia 3 days before. The flight to Atlanta is around 9 hours (i think you can fly direct to Cancun and Tulum but the trip was booked last minute so there wasn’t any direct flights left). 

The lovely girls at Bod (@bodyondemand) made a goodie bag for the flight filled with snacks and face masks! (these Space face masks are a total dream - they are a soft material that heats up over 15 minutes and honestly made me and Chessie fall into a deep sleep on the flight.)

The first flight was around 9 hours to Atlanta and we flew through the day. We arrived in Atlanta where our layover was around 3 hours - we grabbed some food and it was a lovely chance to get to know the girls at Bux and Bewl PR agency! 

Touchdown Cancun! This flight was around 2 hours and the transfer to the hotel was around 1.5 hours. I think it’s safe to say we were all pretty tired at this point as it was around 24 hours of travelling with a time difference jump of 5 hours behind. We arrived at the Nest Villa, where me, Chess, Frankie, Tiff and Emily were staying. I love arriving to places in the evening and waking up when it turns light - you never know what its going to look like!

 - - - - - - D A Y  T W O  - - - - - - 

All of us woke up around 6.30 and headed straight out the front (our villa was situated right on the beachfront - you went down to the bottom of the garden and opened the gate and you are on the beach!). The sunrise that welcomed us was amazing - one of the most beautiful sunrises I had seen in a long time! 

 

 

 

 

The girls at Bux and Bewl had organised a dinner for us at Casa Malca Hotel where they were stay (4 hotels down along the beach). We all walked along the beach - unfortunately we had hit the one month of the year where the seaweed comes up on the beach - it still didn’t take away from the fact this place was absolutely beautiful. 

The breakfast was amazing, every bit of detail the girls put in was beautiful. I took some shots and footage of breakfast and BOD products whilst everyone tucked in. The starter was croissants and banana bread (SO good), followed by coffee and this lovely avocado + egg muffin!

Me, Chess, Frankie + Tiff then spent some time shooting and creating some content. The weather was just perfect and I found the light in the afternoon to actually be better than the morning, so this is when we spent most of the time shooting. We wanted to catch sunset but the sun set the opposite side to where we were staying so we actually climbed up onto the rooftop of the villa we were staying in to catch the beautiful sunset light!

It was actually Spring Break when we were in Tulum, so the team at Bod had organised an evening out in Cancun at Coco Bongo - if you have a chance to go here, it's definitely a must! It's basically a nightclub that also shows performances. I'd say every 20 minutes or so, the dancers + performers put on a show - they change from impersonations of singers + popstars to acrobats and fight scenes! 

- - - - - -  D A Y  T H R E E  - - - - - - 

This day was one of my favourites - I spent the morning photographing some Bod products and having some breakfast in the morning sun. Me and the girls then heading out on the bikes you can take out from the villa - most hotels + villas have them available and they are the nicest colours! We chose to cycle down the main street of Tulum. It is probably the most picturesque place I have ever been. Every shop and cafe along this street is photogenic - we were forever stopping and taking photographs. I recommend visiting the cafe above for the best Matcha - it's called Match Mama.

After exploring and shooting around the streets of Tulum, we headed back to our villa + beach where we spent the rest of the afternoon photographing some beach shots and some photographs around the villa itself.

For the first few days we were staying in the NEST - a beautiful villa situated on the beach. It's a great location as it's towards the middle of the main street so there's restaurants and bars walking distance. After an afternoon of shooting we got ready for the the most magical dinner. If you are visiting Tulum, then this is the top place I would recommend going, it is incredible.

This place is called Azulik and it's the most magical place i've ever eaten dinner. It's a treehouse restaurant that overlooks the whole of Tulum, the sea and inland. We had a table called a 'nest' and the idea is you watch the sunset whilst you have some pre dinner drinks and then once the sun has set, they bring you dinner and you eat under the stars (with a few fairy lights on the table). Tulum has beautiful clear nights so the stars look amazing and I couldn't think of a better place to have dinner! Inside the main restaurant (which is a big treehouse) they have nets that you can lounge on which are suspended above the trees. Yes, it's as dreamy as it sounds.

- - - - - -  D A Y  F O U R  - - - - - - 

This day was a super exciting day for me as I was shooting a 4 page spread with Frankie for Look Magazine that’s due out in the May issue! We spent r 3 hours shooting several outfit changes and looks in the beautiful Casa Malca hotel (we actually spent our last night here - the most beautiful bedrooms!) 

Below are my favoutite photographs from the LOOK magazine shoot with Frankie:

The first look we shot on a swing + on the beach. The lighting and surroundings here were so beautiful, I honestly have never been to a more photogenic place! I felt like every corner I turned down, there was something else to photograph!

We wanted to shoot a cute outfit on a bike because you can't come to Tulum and not rent a bike! We chose to go for a cute denim and bikini top look for this and paired it with a summer hat which looked beautiful on Frankie! We went to part of the street that didn't have any cars parked along the side so that the photographs would purely be about Frankie and the surroundings. 

 

 

 

The next outfit we chose was a little playsuit and we wanted to shoot this on the beach. As we were walking down to the part where we wanted to shoot, we found this amazing little Tipi and just had to get some snaps outside of it! We paired this outfit with a little beach bag to finish off the look! This was one of the main photographs used in the magazine feature. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the photoshoot, we had some lunch at the Casa Malca Hotel - if you are looking for somewhere to stay, I would highly recommend this hotel - the surrounding area is beautiful, the beach is stunning and there is endless places to shoot around the grounds. They have hammocks in the trees, a huge hanging sofa swing in the main lobby and a gorgeous pool! The food in the restaurant is very delicious and their breakfast menu is lovely!

What an incredible trip, I cannot wait to head back to Tulum and spend some more time here! 

Thank you to the team at Bod and the lovely girls at Bux & Bewl for making this such a magical trip.

Thank you for reading! x