do you read me?

A few of my favourite sites about books.


Claire Cotterell's BOOK STAND



The brilliant Book---Shop



The gorgeous Librarian





And, my favourite, Girl Eats Books: I had to rush straight out and by this James Salter book (and can't wait to read it whilst eating a cheese plate, preferably sourced from Le Fromagerie, the best cheese store in London.)

Plus, this - a secret bookstore in a New York apartment, here.  

tripping // mexico city








I mainly just ate in Mexico City. 

reading // magic molly young






When I don't know what book to read next, I just look at writer Molly Young's Tumblr.

Her reviews are short and to the point. She said of one recent read: "Decently entertaining. More interested in the muffin though."

tripping // mexico city

Hola from Mexico! I'm spending the coming week in Mexico City for work and had a dig around a few favourite blogs to create a little itinerary. These are a few of the places I'm looking forward to visiting.

Shop:



CelesteA concept store that offers unique and unusual objects from around the world, antique, modern and contemporary, including books, music, fossils, jewelry, household items, stationary and office supplies, hats, lingerie, cigars, orchids, fine and rare handcrafts, antiques, contemporary design elements, taxidermy and silver. 

Mercado de Artesanias Ciudadela | The handmade crafts market for me to buy lots and lots of bright bowls and cushion covers and skulls!



Eat:

Pujol | Contemporary take on traditional Mexican cuisine - this place is a lauded five star spot that does quite delicate versions of the staples we know and love.

Contramar | I read about this spot on Joanna Williams' (wonderful, colorful and inspiring) blog Keep Feeling Fascination. Tuna sashimi and crab tostadas!
El Parnita | Snacky food in Roma: tacos, tortas, tlacoyas, simple and traditional street-style food. Salsas and shrimp tacos sound amazing.
Chocolatería Mamá Sarita | A cozy chocolatería serves delicious traditional mexican hot chocolate in giant steaming natural ceramic mugs. 
Charro | On the ceiling of this bar, dried violets form intricate swirls above cocktail sipping clientele.  Well-executed Mexican cuisine, with a focus on products from Ensenada.



Do: 

Museo de Antropología | Mexico’s world famous Anthropology Museum is housed in spectacular architecture and contains an enormous collection.

Frida Kahlo's House | The brightly colored home of Frida.
Museo de Artes | Mexico's national modern art museum.

More:


Design Sponge City Guide | Joanna Williams on Mexico City | Fathom Away Guide to Mexico | My Map

inspiration // charlotte rey & duncan campbell




Editors of Acne Paper, makers of stories for luxury and heritage brands - considered, elegant, simple.


And at home in Camden on Freunde Von Freunden

style // penny sage


Sneak peeks of pretty Penny Sage - images from the new Sleepaway collection were shot by Harry Were. More to come...

healthy stuff // apps


The Whole Pantry | A beautifully designed, easy to use app that is filled with recipes for vegan food and drink. It has seasonal updates, a huge list of films and books to inspire healthier living, and guides to particular themes such as yoga, avoiding phone and computer radiation (I say as I write in bed looking at Instagram with a laptop on my stomach). Best of all, it was created by the inspirational Belle Langford, a 26-year old brain cancer survivor, single mother and businesswoman who donates the bulk of the app's profit towards underprivileged cancer sufferers, particularly children. It's a beautiful example of creating a community through social media and inspiring a healthier lifestyle in an achievable way. I love the Indonesian Sababa drink!

Green Kitchen Stories | Stockholm-based David and Luisa are the couple behind this fantastic blog and app (apps plural, actually). Beautifully shot with a simple interface, I always end up on this on the bus home working out what to make for dinner, or in the greengrocer. I regularly make their Kimchi and Spouted Buckwheat Granola. 

Happy Cow | In a new city? This app is the mobile version of the popular Happy Cow website. You can find vegan, vegetarian and organic restaurants and cafes based on your location. It's helped me out so many times when traveling somewhere unfamiliar, as well as finding new places to eat in my own suburb. It's basically FourSquare for hippies. I love it.

Glow | This is a comprehensive health app, which you can sync with your Fitbit or Nike Fuelband. You enter in your most recent period dates, and it will tell you when you're at highest risk of getting pregnant (or likelihood if you are trying for a baby), messages you a few days before your period starts to remind you to buy tampons and to take your vitamins. You can log your mood, amount of exercise, physical symptoms, stress levels, alcohol intake each day and it will spit out ideas for improving health, tells you when you drink too much for your weight per week and so on. It's probably the most helpful for those looking to fall pregnant but it's still really interesting and insightful for those trying to avoid it.

Pocket Yoga | I have been traveling a lot for work and this has been making it a lot easier. I use it on my iPad. It's best used with your own music programmed in or there will be a lot of panpipes. You can set your fitness level, time of class and style (relaxing, stretching etc). Click go and it's your own personal audio yoga class with demonstrated moves! The interface is a bit early 1990s computer game, but for 2 pounds it is incredible. Basically, if you can do yoga in your underwear, in your bedroom a minute after getting out of bed there aren't many excuses left. Namaste.

Think Dirty | Incredible. You can scan the barcodes of up to 500,000 cosmetic and skincare products and get an instant rating of how allergenic, how carcinogenic and how much impact the product it has on your reproductive health. My Chanel foundation, Aesop face cleanser and shampoo are all CODE RED. It's worth checking through everything as there are some surprises (Aesop especially) and I think my new goal is to slowly segue over to entirely "clean" products. I have been so careful with my deodorant and body oils, but I now need to do that to my make up bag too. 

I have included my Nike Running app and Simply Being in this screengrab but I have never used either of them. I also really like HeadSpace, another meditation app that seems to have disappeared off my iPhone.

I never cease to be amazed that we can have so much information at our fingertips for no or very little cost and in such an easy to use format. Thanks app makers!

Which health apps do you use?

elsewhere // road story







How I love Jessica's Instagram account. The most beautiful captures of light, of adventures, of friends, from Los Angeles to London. 

Follow along here — all images from the delightful Road Story. 

tripping // morocco

Inspired by the latest, desert themed issue of Gather Journal, we are planning a ten-day escape to Morocco; traveling through Marrakesh, the Atlas Mountains, Essaouira and then departing from Marrakesh again, after a notable birthday (not mine) celebrated at the rather grand La Mamounia.

Accommodation 

Your best bet is looking at Mr and Mrs Smith or, for some amazing bargains, combing through Air BnB. I normally avoid staying in luxury hotels as I find them a little soulless and prefer the casualness of AirBnB accommodation, but in Morocco they are so affordable and gorgeous it's hard to resist.

We've booked the below - I can't wait, although I wish I'd known about the incredible Hotel Fellah before I made my arrangements. Next time.

Marrakech | Riad 72




Essaouira | Les Jardin Des Douars




Marrakech | La Mamounia




Things to Do

Marrakesh 


  • Visit Yves Saint Laurent's garden, Le Jardin Majorelle or Le Maison Arabe
  • Learn to cook Moroccan food at Souk Kitchen
  • Head to the top of the Café du France in Jemaa el Fna for a sunset view of the Koutoubia Mosque and its intoxicating call to prayer.
  • Visit Ben Youssef Medersa
  • Book an hour long hammam treatment at La Mamounia
  • Visit Chez Ali on the outskirts of the city, where you can watch a show of horse tricks by black-clad Bedouins, veiled dancers, and a glowing fireworks display. 
  • Visit the Saadian Tombs

Essaouira


  • Breakfast at Chez Paul (Rue Allal Ben Ahmed; 212 5 24 45 84 74)
  • Beach and lunch at Le Chalet de la Plage (Bd. Mohammed V; 05 24 47 59 72), where the fresh seafood selection includes grilled sardines ($8) and Provencal-style squid ($14)
  • Ride camels on the beach at  Ranch de Diabet 
  • Look at Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdallah Museum(Rue Laâlouj; 212 (0) 44 47 23 00; $1 admission), a former mansion that showcases jewelry, carpets, and other local crafts.
  • Visit the relatively hassle-free souk to purchase gifts.
  • Sundowners at rooftop bar Taros after it opens at 7.30 p.m. Grab a seat, order grilled calamari ($14) and settle in with the local surfers for live music featuring traditional instruments like bass drums and castanets before making the trip back to Marrakech.

Shopping

I'm inspired by the editor of Cereal magazine, Rosalia Park's recent trip, where she purchased a beautiful selection of tagines, textiles and treats to bring home. It's worth following her Instagram as she spends much of her time traveling and has a wonderful eye for hotels and restaurants. It's a good reminder not to do what I normally do which is buy loads of brightly coloured embroidered things that I promptly hate as soon as I get back home.

Some more thoughts on the haggling process and best places to shop here; Mustapha Blaoui, Yahya and Antika for rugs and homewares, Moro and Akbar in the souks, the gift shops in Hotel Fellah, Riad el Fenn, Jardin Majorelle and the showrooms at the Beldi Club (you can pick up anything from a two-tone glazed tagine (£9) to a hand-embroidered table cloth (£48), they say). 


Places to Eat

Marrakesh
  • Dar Moha, Marrakesh
  • Comptoir Dana, Marrakesh | For bellydancers and tagines.
  • Le Salama, Marrakesh | For low lighting and a dreamy view.
  • Dar Darma | A plunge pool and home-cooked lunch in a riad during the day is a good idea.
  • Terasse des Epices | For a relaxing lunch in the souks.
  • Djemaa el Fna for street food – each stall has a specialty and are clustered. 
  • Try a traditional tajine of monkfish and prawns and a Casablanca beer at the Grand Café de la Poste, a velour-and-leather-clad brasserie founded in 1925.
  • A wide ranging guide, Best Restaurants Maroc is a sort of TopTable for Morocco.


Some Wonderful Resources

FathomAway
Lucy Williams recent Morocco trip on her wonderful blog Fashion Me Now

I'll keep adding to this as I do more research, but I'd love your thoughts on places to go, things to do and best spots to eat - and those to avoid; and of course I will post loads of photos and tips upon my return.

elsewhere // jean stories


Besotted with denim - worn, loved, soft.
Found the perfect Levis 501s at Beyond Retro over the weekend (go two sizes up from your usual inch measurement).
Jane Herman Bishop and Florence Kane's Jean Stories are true blue addictive.
And I can't stop looking at new Industry Standard created by ex-Balenciaga Nicole Najafi. Her Instagram is perfect, fresh, preppy, peony-filled goodness.