International

DREAMING OF PARIS IN THE SPRING + HOW I GOT THERE

I had been dreaming of this trip for a long time. The first time I went to Paris was 11 years ago. I was just 20 years only and followed my study abroad tour group with big eyes and a stomach hungry for crepes. It was an amazing few days but honestly most of it passed in a blur. As the years ticked by I would think about Paris often and how grand the city felt, thinking – just hoping someday I’d get the chance to go back.

A year ago I made a list of places I’d like to travel in 2019 and Paris sat firmly in the Spring. For 6 months I thought about it wistfully but it seemed unattainable. But then I realized – everything is unattainable until you make a plan. And so I did. Adam and I decided not to get each other Christmas presents, I took 3 whole months off from shopping and I packed my lunch every single work day so far this year. We slowly set aside our pennies instead. I combed AirBnB to find a cheap option in the neighborhood we were dying to stay in. I tracked flights religiously to find the best deal. We researched how to take the train from the airport to save on costly taxi rides. In short – we found a way to make the dream a reality.

I wanted to share all of this before I dove in to sharing the “pretty pictures” because I think blogs/Instagram often gloss over all of the realities. I see a lot of people take these extravagant trips and share this gorgeous “content” – and say nothing of what it might have taken to get there. Sure, maybe some of them are just lavishly wealthy, but I’d guess a lot of them are likely cutting the same corners as we do and have to carefully save their money too. But not a lot of people mention that. So it comes off looking/feeling like everyone but you is leading a glamorous life.

I don’t want you to feel that way when you look at our pictures from this trip. Instead I hope you feel inspired to set a big goal for yourself and then make a plan to get there. Paris lived up to every single memory and wish I had for it – and then some. And it was even sweeter knowing that we had worked hard to get there. As opposed to my last trip, I know I’ll be remembering this one in crisp detail for many years to come.

Stay tuned for the full travel guide + lots more outfits of the outfits I wore there that are perfect for spring/summer!

SHOP THE STORY:

0 comment

A TRAVEL GUIDE TO LONDON, ENGLAND

The Steele Maiden: Travel Guide to London

London! Where do I start? I suppose at the beginning – or in this case, a decade ago when I studied abroad there and fell in love with this place. I’ve been dying to go back ever since and getting to experience this time with Adam in tow was even better than I had imagined. I love London for a million reasons, but mainly because of the amazing mix of history alongside the modern pulse of a major international city. While I could spend years in London and still not see everything, I’ve done my best to showcase a highlight reel here in the case that you’re planning on hopping the pond yourself. And if you are.. can I come with?

The Steele Maiden: Travel Guide to London

TOURIST SPOTS WORTH VISITING:

As someone who lives in a place where I avoid ‘tourist traps’ like the plague – London’s tourist destinations are full of such incredible history that dismissing them all together would be a mistake. You’re going to want to see Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and Big Ben (although as of November 2017 was nearly completely covered in scaffolding thanks to ongoing restoration). Picadilly Circus (London’s version of Times Square) is worth walking through – if only on your way to Oxford Street shopping (locals call this ‘high street shopping’) and Trafalgar Square deserves a stop. All of this allows you to get a real sense for the heart of the city.

And if you’re a New Yorker looking for a Central Park equivalent, you’ll find it in Hyde Park. One of my favorite spots in all of London, Hype Park is an expansive bit of calm amidst an otherwise bustling city. Be sure to walk through Kensington Gardens and visit the Princess Diana Memorial and Peter Pan statue.

The Steele Maiden: Travel Guide to LondonThe Steele Maiden: Travel Guide to London

HOW TO GET AROUND:

I usually prefer to see cities by foot, but due to the sheer scale of London, you’ll want other options. The Metro (or Tube as the Brits call it) is incredibly easy to navigate and about a million times cleaner and more organized than the NY Subway. Likewise, buses are great for flexibility and there’s the added bonus of getting to jump on a red double-decker.

And lastly, the most fun way to see the town is – hands down – by water. On our last night there, we took a boat tour of the Thames and were rewarded with a pretty incredible sunset. While you may not get quite as lucky, you’ll still get a great view of both side of the river and in half an hour will have taken in most of London’s skyline.

The Steele Maiden: Travel Guide to LondonThe Steele Maiden: Travel Guide to London

Now for the good part – the food and drink. Once you’ve exhausted yourself from walking all over town, you’ll want to pop in somewhere for an afternoon cuppa (tea that is) or pint at the pub. Below a few of my favorites from the trip:

Biscuiteers: The cutest little Notting Hill cookie and tea shop.

Cafe Murano: I tend to think New York has some pretty great Italian, but this place gave it a run for it’s money. A small spot with beautiful interiors (and an awesome wine and craft beer list), we nearly went back for a second time in a single trip.

Churchhill Arms: A classic pub in the front, a crazy greenhouse of a Thai restaurant in the back. And the outside reads like a botanical garden gone wildly British.

Granger & Co: Our best breakfast of the trip by far. Fresh ingredients, delicious takes on the classics and located in the cutest area of Notting Hill. Get the Ricotta hotcakes and never look back.

Jazz Cafe: An otherwise simple bar up front, that opens into an awesome and intimate concert venue. We saw a jazz tribute to Van Morrison and it was one of our best nights in London.

Sketch London: Sure, it’s become Instagram fodder, but honestly it lived up to the hype. A serious feast for the eyes, ever detail of this incredible space has been considered. The main dining room is a lavish dream straight out of 1920s Paris. The bar where we got drinks was like an actual enchanted forest.

The Steele Maiden: Travel Guide to London The Steele Maiden: Travel Guide to London

And – because it wouldn’t be The Steele Maiden without a pause for cute stoops – I thought I’d share some of my favorite places for Instagram-worthy doors.

Notting Hill: Anywhere and everywhere – from the pastel lined streets to the tucked away alleys (like St. Lukes Mews shown below).

Kensington: For grand white architecture and beautiful tiled stoops

Marylebone High Street: This gem of a little street is actually where my University was located when I studied abroad – lined lots of photo-worthy storefronts.

Queen Anne’s Gate: A tucked away street along the path from Buckingham Palace and Big Ben, well worth the detail.

The Steele Maiden: Travel Guide to London The Steele Maiden: Travel Guide to London The Steele Maiden: Travel Guide to London

THINGS TO DO:

You’d be hard pressed to be bored in London. And depending on your interest there’s really something for everyone. Here, a few of my personal favorites.

Daunt Books: My favorite bookshop in all of London. They organize the sections by location in the world – so aside from guidebooks to London, you would also find the work of Dickens and Austen in the ‘England’ section.

Portobello Road: You don’t have to be a fan of the movie Notting Hill to enjoy Portobello Road – this outdoor market includes amazing vintage clothing and antiques stalls on the weekends meaning you’ll likely want to carve out a few hours for wandering.

British Library: Housing everything from the Magna Carta to original works by Shakespeare to Beatles lyrics scribbled on napkins to Harry Potter tributes – if you’re a library lover this one is kind of a holy grail.

Victoria & Albert Museum: London’s museums are largely free (amazing, I know) and while I love the Tate Modern or the Natural History – the V&A is far and away my favorite. With the best historical clothing display I’ve seen anywhere in the world but lots of other rotating exhibits ranging from industrial design to classic art – even Adam liked this one.

London Eye: If you get a clear day in town, the London Eye is essentially a huge ferris wheel and offers a unique perspective to the city below.

The Steele Maiden: Travel Guide to London The Steele Maiden: Travel Guide to London

Until next time London!

The Steele Maiden: Travel Guide to London

SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

0 comment

VISITING THE COSTWOLDS: ENGLISH COUNTRYSIDE INSPIRED STYLE

The Steele Maiden: Cotswolds, England - English Countryside Inspired Style for Fall

Yesterday I styled these velvet jeggings in a way that was simple yet chic for the office or casual holiday parties – but because honestly I just can’t get enough of them and wore them multiple times on our recent travels, I’m back with a more weekend ready alternative.

SHOP THE STORY

(more…)

0 comment

LUXE TEXTURES FOR FALL: CASHMERE, VELVET AND FAUX FUR

The Steele Maiden: Luxe Textures for Fall - Velvet Jeggings, Cashmere Sweater and Faux Fur Plaid Vest

One of my favorite things about Fall fashion are all the luxe textures. And this outfit from Talbots I wore on our first day in Edinburgh checks off all my favorites. A classic cashmere sweater, velvet jeggings and faux fur vest. Not to mention plaid on plaid (when in Scotland.. do as the Scots do, right?).

SHOP THE STORY

I like that all together it feels simple but because of the mix of rich textures it also feels super chic. It’s exactly the sort of thing I would wear to the office and then straight out afterwards for an event or holiday drinks this season. Plus, the fact that they’re separates means that you could also add any of them to a more casual look to elevate the whole thing. And can we talk about these velvet jeggings?? I know, I felt skeptical at first too but then I tried them on and proceeded to wear them on 3 separate occasions during our 10 day trip. They come in a bunch of colors but I’m loving the ivory color. Tomorrow I’ll be sharing an entirely different way to wear them.

P.S. This area in Edinburgh was called Dean Village and was truly like stepping back in time. Can’t wait to tell you more about our short but sweet time in Scotland.

Talbots Faux Fur Vest, Velveteen Jeggings, Cashmere Sweater and Plaid Bow Heels c/o

The Steele Maiden: Luxe Textures for Fall - Velvet Jeggings, Cashmere Sweater and Faux Fur Plaid Vest The Steele Maiden: Luxe Textures for Fall - Velvet Jeggings, Cashmere Sweater and Faux Fur Plaid Vest The Steele Maiden: Luxe Textures for Fall - Velvet Jeggings, Cashmere Sweater and Faux Fur Plaid VestThe Steele Maiden: Luxe Textures for Fall - Velvet Jeggings, Cashmere Sweater and Faux Fur Plaid Vest The Steele Maiden: Luxe Textures for Fall - Velvet Jeggings, Cashmere Sweater and Faux Fur Plaid Vest The Steele Maiden: Luxe Textures for Fall - Velvet Jeggings, Cashmere Sweater and Faux Fur Plaid Vest The Steele Maiden: Luxe Textures for Fall - Velvet Jeggings, Cashmere Sweater and Faux Fur Plaid Vest The Steele Maiden: Luxe Textures for Fall - Velvet Jeggings, Cashmere Sweater and Faux Fur Plaid Vest The Steele Maiden: Luxe Textures for Fall - Velvet Jeggings, Cashmere Sweater and Faux Fur Plaid Vest

Thank you to Talbots for sponsoring this post. As always all opinions are my own.

0 comment

NIGHT OUT IN LONDON: LEOPARD RUFFLE DRESS

The Steele Maiden: London Night Out Style - Leopard Ruffle Dress, Fisherman's Cap and Patent Booties

London calling! As we speak, I’ve made it back to New York and am fighting off a cold and jet lag (no easy feat) – but also am so excited to share with you all the places we went and naturally, all the things I wore. This look is from our first night out in London and one of my favorites from the whole trip.

SHOP THE STORY

We headed to Camden Town (kind of the East Village of London if you will, and where I lived when I studied abroad there for a semester) for a night out and ended up grabbing last minute tickets to London’s Jazz Cafe where they were playing a tribute to Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks album. I’ve been a huge Van Morrison fan since high school so I was hoping they’d do the album justice… and was literally blown away. So good that Adam and I still haven’t stopped talking about it. Then it was a few more drinks, a little dancing and back to our first AirBnB of the trip to collapse into jet lag. For the record I don’t recommend this big of a night for your first day adjusting to a new time zone, but I also don’t regret it one bit.

This leopard ruffle dress (under $40!) and patent booties held up through it all and hopefully helped fit in with the British girls who just always look so effortlessly cool. Also, carried my vintage YSL clutch that is one of my most prized purchases from the vintage markets in Camden Town – bought almost exactly 10 years ago. How’s that for full circle?

Who What Wear Leopard Ruffle Dress | Brixton Fisherman’s Cap | Marc Fisher Patent Booties | Vintage YSL Clutch | Express Belt | Burberry Liquid Velvet Lipstick in Bright Plum | Sheer Dotted Tights

The Steele Maiden: London Night Out Style - Leopard Ruffle Dress, Fisherman's Cap and Patent Booties The Steele Maiden: London Night Out Style - Leopard Ruffle Dress, Fisherman's Cap and Patent Booties The Steele Maiden: London Night Out Style - Leopard Ruffle Dress, Fisherman's Cap and Patent Booties The Steele Maiden: London Night Out Style - Leopard Ruffle Dress, Fisherman's Cap and Patent Booties The Steele Maiden: London Night Out Style - Leopard Ruffle Dress, Fisherman's Cap and Patent Booties The Steele Maiden: London Night Out Style - Leopard Ruffle Dress, Fisherman's Cap and Patent Booties

0 comment

1 2 3

The Steele Maiden © 2012

Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle. Based in NYC.