29 November 2017

Three Days in Paris

Back when it was cold in mid-January, I revisited the City of Light - Paris. Paris is always going to be a place that I love, the neoclassical, French Renaissance, the Classical Revival, and flamboyant style of the reign of Napoleon III; the Belle Époque, and the Art Nouveau style all merged into one city. Walking along the pebbled streets of Montmartre, sipping fine wine and tasting French cheese, laughing away in a wine bar packed with the French office workers after late hours. What's not to like about Paris?
However, it is true that navigating around the culturally and culinarily city of Paris can be overwhelming. Where do I start? You may ask. The best way I'd say and I am sure travelling chef Anthony Bourdain would agree is that in order to experience the best of Parisian life, you must slowly digest your day. I'll be giving some tips on how to survive Paris & what the top attractions and best restaurants there are. OH! Why of course, I could never forget, the patisseries.

We stayed at Hotel L'Antoine, a cute little boutique four-star hotel nestled in the heart of Bastille, within few minutes walk from Le Marais. Just a few minutes from the Ledru-Rollin Station on food. Nestled in the heart of picturesque Paris, Hotel L'Antoine is on the site of a former 17th-century convent. Although that many of Le Marais's traditional cabinet maker's workshops have made way for the new fashion design boutiques, the area is still full of lively restaurants, wine bars and boutiques in this one of the most revolutionary parts of the city. Walk along the numerous cobblestone passageways and discovering some of Paris's most gorgeous inner courtyards, discover the hidden alleys and dead-ends of rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine, one of the oldest street in Paris. Hotel L'Antoine is the perfect base for anyone wanting to immerse themselves in this capital city of culture and history.
Best way to discover Paris is to walk, strolling along the Seine and be awed by the sounds and the sights. Walking helps to discover the things would never when you take the transport, passing by some of the famous bridges in Paris, such as the Petit Pont and the Pont des Art as well as the Sainte-Chapelle church, the gorgeous stained glass windows provide picturesque purple illumination in the late evenings. 

We stayed in a classic room, the interior was designed by Christian Lacroix. One of the cutest and trendiest hotels that I have stayed at in Paris. Rooms were perfect for a little city break, get a complimentary breakfast when you book with them online directly from their website! I did not hesitate and I asked for room service every day, giving me a relaxing morning with my French breakfast in bed while I source for places to explore and things to do during the chilly French winter day.

Chloe's Tip: make the most of your time in Paris and walk around the city. Purchase 10 single ticket when you arrive in Paris instead of purchasing a 24-hour ticket, its cheaper and you get to see more of the city!

Of course, you have to go see the Arch de Triomphe and walk along the Champs Élysées. Perhaps do a little shopping, go to Sephora and maybe just do little window shopping outside Louis Vuitton. Head towards the east and towards Jardin des Tuileries, 17th-century formal garden dotted with statues, including 18 bronzes by Maillol. Nearby, you can visit Musee Du Louvre and also cross the river to my favourite museum of all time, Musee D'Orsay. Grab a steaming hot chocolate to go from Angelina Paris near the Tuileries gardens, one of the best places in Paris for patisserie which prides themselves over sophistication and indulgence Sit in the park with a Tarte Citron or an Eclair Chocolat whilst sipping the "African" hot chocolate is composed of three carefully selected kinds of African cocoa from Niger, Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire. Alternatively, visit Café de Flore located St Germain, listed as one of Timeout's recommendation for best hot chocolate in Paris. It is also one of the oldest coffeehouses in Paris. Georges Bataille, Robert Desnos, Léon-Paul Fargue, Raymond Queneau were all regulars, and so was Pablo Picasso.
Chloe's Tip: Instead of going up the Eiffel Tower, why not visit the top of Galeries Lafayette or Tour Montparnasse for a better view of Paris? 

Now, for the best things in Paris, the food. Couple of places that I personally recommend would be Bouillon Chartier located on the 9th arrondissement. Chartier is over 100 years old and still in the very prime of life. The restaurant is dear to native Parisians, it is also loved by tourist and also, me. The dishes are traditional but with a wide range of choices at incredible prices. Try the leeks vinaigrette, a pate or some escargots for starters; meat or fish (or veggies) cooked to perfection come next. The meals at Bouillon Chartier are authentic and the mains are around €10. The look of the restaurant might be intimidating but certainly has a great Parisian feel to it.

After a fine meal, why not head towards for a few drinks. Numerous wine bars located in the heart of this breathtaking city. It was Paris Cocktail week when we visited, I managed to grab myself a couple of Cocktail week passes and did some research on the best cocktail bar for us to visit. Immediately Little Red Door caught our eyes.
“Wonderful drinks in a cool setting brimming with a quirky take on Parisian style, every cocktail lover should visit Little Red Door at least once.” – Sandrae Lawrence from The Cocktail Lovers
Named as one of the 50 world's best cocktail bars in 2015, I HAD to visit this place. You'll have to be prepared to queue outside this venue, so bring a large coat and some company. I can tell you confidently that everything will be worth it. Cocktails come served in attractive vintage glass wear and the atmosphere of the place makes it amenable to an evening of lingering and sampling, though it gets altogether livelier on weekends. The bar's menu is not actually quite anything that you could imagine, few artists around drew how they felt after a drink, they drew the feeling and you choose what you want to "feel" essentially. Expressing flavour via art with a menu built around local artists’ original works. “The image draws you in and your imagination is the garnish,” says Remy Savage as he told The Cocktail Lovers.
 “We approached 45 people with artistic sensibilities – not just painters but musicians, photographers and glassblowers. Some were chosen because they fitted the specific drink, others because they clashed,” he then added. The artists, all very well respected in their respective fields were asked to taste the drink – either in the bar or as some of them live outside Paris – in Russia and Hong Kong in a couple of cases, in the comfort of their homes. “We sent the drink in a sous vide bag along with glassware, lighting instructions and a playlist to create the atmosphere,”  Savage continues. “No one was told what was in the cocktail, they were asked to create something based on the mood and what it evoked.” I agree, its fun and exciting. I ended up one with smoked banana and absinthe. Suited my mood that very evening. 
Chloe's Tip: If you're looking for cocktails. on the cheaper side, head to Le Crocodile happy hour 6-10pm. Added an extra gummy crocodile with every cocktail purchased.

Bonus: Visit Deyrolle, Deyrolle is a is a fantastic taxidermy shop that's been open since 1831. The shop is situated in a two-storey building, with several rooms full of tons of exotic and majestic animals. It was founded 177 years ago by Jean-Baptiste Deyrolle, a well-known entomologist, Deyrolle has been a natural history emporium with the look and feel of a museum, but the best part is, you can purchase some of the items there! However, they wouldn't allow photography, otherwise I'll be snapping tons of cool taxidermy and show it to you all!

8 October 2017

Giveaway: Sara Miller Box

Hey, my gorgeous pink flamingos! We are all busy bees and when it comes to planning your holiday it never gets easier with a large amount of information we get on the internet! I've collaborated with BumbleBee Stationery to give you a chance to win a set of luxury stationery! So you can plan your trip easier by writing everything down. 

I'm so excited that I got the luxurious LIMITED EDITION Sara Miller stationary set. Sara Miller London is an enchanting award-winning luxury brand with a stunning collection of designs which celebrate a love of print, pattern and colour. Sara’s design work has always been influenced by her passion for travel and a love for experiencing different cultures. From the intricate decorative henna work in Jaipur to the sensational Sakura cherry blossom in Japan, Sara loves exploring it all and bringing a piece of this inspiration back to her London studio. I'm so stoked to get my hands on these beautiful pens and this gorgeous pink flamingo notebook! Perfect for making a statement for my pink flamingo followers. Can't wait to plan another trip to Paris with it! 

To win The LIMITED EDITION Sara Miller Box from Bumblebee, tag a friend and follow me @chloewon_g and @bumblebeestationeryuk on Instagram. Winner will be announced on the 5th of November. If you can't wait to get your hands on these beauties, they have kindly given us a voucher code for Travelling in Pink's fans! Voucher: FLAMINGO2017
Bumblebee Stationery is a new startup based in London, they believe that the luxury stationery and gift market is going to boom again. They miss the smell of paper and the joy of holding a beautiful pen in this technology-obsessed world. London and other big cities have already shown a turn towards the "vintage" ideology of boutique clothing shops and vinyl record stores - is stationery next?
Purchase your first Bumblebee Stationery here:


The competition is open to residents of the United Kingdom aged 18 years or over. There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition. By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions. The entrant must be following @chloewon_g and @bumblebeestationery and tag one friend on the Instagram photo on @chlowon_g's page in order to enter. Closing date for entry will be 5th of November 2017. Route to entry for the competition and details of how to enter are via After this date, the no further entries to the competition will be permitted. The prize is as stated and no cash or other alternatives will be offered. The prizes are not transferable. The promoter will notify the winner when and where the prize can be collected/is delivered.
Any changes to the competition will be notified to entrants as soon as possible by the promoter.The promoter is not responsible for inaccurate prize details supplied to any entrant by any third party connected with this competition. 
The winner will be notified by email DM on Instagram and/or letter within 7 days of the closing date. If the winner cannot be contacted or do not claim the prize within 7 days of notification, we reserve the right to withdraw the prize from the winner and pick a replacement winner.

24 September 2017

From Place to Place: Moving Countries

I've asked the travel community to share their own stories of moving from place to another, including my own story.

I grew up in Hong Kong and I moved to Leeds, U.K. on my 16th birthday. I moved with my mother and my sister, my Dad would come and visit us often as he works in Hong Kong. We decided to move for both me and my sister's studies, in Hong Kong I always participated in theatre shows and I have a huge passion for drama and theatre. I went on to be King Claudius from Hamlet performing in one of Hong Kong's best theatre company in front of thousands of people, I managed to share my passion for the arts on national television. However, growing up underneath the strict Asian values no matter at school or in society, I felt like an outcast. Most people would not value the arts and told me to scrape my dreams and focus on reality. I never knew what I wanted to be until I moved to England. I departed from Hong Kong International Airport at 12 am on the 14th of July, I waved my friends goodbye and headed straight towards Dubai for a layover, everything was so eye-opening, not to mention it was also very hot. I've only been to England when I was really young, like a few years old. Certainly, I would not remember anything, my mum does have pictures from our holiday in London and Cardiff that she would sometimes embarrass me with. I was not scared at all when I stepped on my final flight from Dubai to Manchester, I was hopeful. I hoped that I will finally be able to perform.
Moving was difficult, I think It was very hard to say goodbye to my best friends and having to start over in a different country. I stayed in Leeds, which is North of England. It was so shocking to me cause I have never really known what to expect. I used to watch a lot of U.S. TV Shows and that's how I saw England. It wasn't! The slang, the places, the food, it was all very different to me. However, once I have embraced the culture, I was immediately friends with everyone. 
I love England, everyone is very accepting, I went on the study creative and media and went to university studying culture and creative industries in London. Now I am living in London with a job in digital marketing. Doing my Instagram/blog on travelling and showing the world to others really does make me happy. I also met my boyfriend here in London and he is very supportive of what I have accomplished.
With moving, it is always hard. My advice is to embrace the culture, don't be afraid. Don't' be afraid to make the first step and say hi and listen to what people have to share to you and in return, you can share your culture with them.
Here are some amazing ladies that have gone through the same or similar things in life! Don't let it stop you when you want to move and start a new adventure.

Michelle de Vries - Netherlands to Australia

My name is Michelle de Vries, I am 24 years old, have a Dutch nationality and live in Australia.
I moved from The Netherlands to Australia in December 2016. Australia was always a place I was curious about. In 2014 I made the decision to visit for the first time and I fell in love.
I fell in love with the people, nature, the culture and the freedom. I found a home and that was for me the reason to move. Australia felt more like home than The Netherlands ever did.
It is a hard decision because you leave your secure environment, your friends and family and a lot of memories behind. But apart from that, it is the best decision I have ever made.
I found a place that feels like home and where I can live life to the fullest.
The process of emigration is a tough one and it takes a lot of time, energy and money. I found that the right guidance and information makes all the difference. Plan ahead, avoid surprises and don't give up, you can make your dream reality!

Blog link:

Laura Plasencia from Hashtag #Viajeros - Spain - United Kingdom

From what country you moved to where
First, I moved from the Canary Islands (Spain) to London where I lived for 3 years.
When I came back I feel like I needed to improve my level of German so I moved to Berlin for another year for a volunteering project. Now I am currently living in Madrid.

Why you moved
First, I moved because I wanted to explore new places and find better job opportunities.
I thought that living in a big city will be convenient to travel so I used my time to organize trips every time I found some cheap flights and have free days.
This opportunity also helps me to improve a language and develop myself professional and personal wise. I have written about why you should abroad and what you achieve doing it but to give a hint It is proven by numerous studies that people who lived out for a while are able to boost their creativity, improve communication skills and even become more intelligent.

What the hardest thing was to leave behind
Family, friends, the beach side and the food.
When you live abroad you get to appreciate more from where you came from and your city, you experienced that you are lucky where you have been born but also where to live at that moment and get to value other cultures.
Even if there are hard times and you are feeling down because you miss your home, it is worth the experience and how much you learn in so little time.

What the best thing was you found in your new home
I learn more about myself and accomplish my dreams at that time.
Also, I found new friends from every part of the world and getting involved in a multicultural environment made me become more tolerant and open-minded.
Usually, in London and Berlin, everyone at your workplace is from a different nationality, in my case, there were more than 15 nationalities together from all continents, this makes you be surrounded by a variety of cultures on a daily basis and get knowledge from them.

How you experienced the process of moving and starting over
At the beginning, it was so difficult until you get established somewhere you can call “home”, a work or study schedule and a new daily routine. When you move somewhere you have all the illusion but sometimes things don't go as planned.
I believe that when we faced these difficulties and we get out of the comfort zone is when we grow personally and we get more independent and self-worth it.

Any tips for others
Just do it! If you think too much about insecurities and fears you will never do it.
The reality is that you will never be 100% sure to take the plunge even if you have been meditating for long or
you just decided a few months ago. There is no better moment than now.

Now I would like to help and encourage others that would like to live abroad and do not know where to start. Last
month, I have created a Consulting service for those who would like to study, work or volunteer abroad and the
best part is that it works on a donation basis as I believe everyone should have access to a service like this.


Charlene Dief - Santiago de Chile - Paris - Lisbon 

my name: Charlene

35 year old
French former graphic designer now a days life coach and creative mentor (i help women around the world to find there true self and have a healthier lifestyle, harmony in their mind and in their body)

From what country you moved to where
I was living in Paris for 4years (before I was living in Santiago de Chile and before that Paris) and in November 2014 i moved to Lisbon, Portugal.  
Why you moved
It was a mix between different reasons. After my first long experience abroad (1,5year in total) it was very difficult for me to re-adapt to my culture and the French society. I think when you discover that there are many realities and way of living it's harder to accept things as they are and the French society wants you to enter little boxes which were way to small for me. My break up with my boyfriend was the trigger that push me to explore new realities.  
What the hardest thing was to leave behind
I was lucky i didn't move very far so i was not in a position where i had to say goodbye to my friends and family (i come back very often to visit). My flat was the hardest, some of my furnitures that i design myself, some books too heavy to cary with me. But then you realize that all the material things are actually easy to forget. Sometimes when i go visit my parents i find something that i totally forgot about. :) 
What the best thing was you found in your new home
Definitely more friends! I met so many incredible people since i moved. Many of them already left Lisbon but we keep in touch and sometimes we manage to cross somewhere.  
How you experienced the process of moving and starting over - any tips for others
Be open. I think it's the main thing to keep in mind. Embrasse what life brings to you and experiment and enjoy. Take the best out of what happens. Living abroad and start over is very challenging, sometimes you want to give up and go home. In that moments it's important that you can have a friend that can cheer you up, even better if this person is also experiencing the same (i have very close foreigner friends here in Lisbon for instance). It doesn't need to be a crowd, just one or two is enough as long as you can rely on them. 

Facebook: @harmonizeyoumethod

Instagram: @mellesharl


17 September 2017

Kimono Rental in Tokyo: Is it Cultural Appropriation?

I went to Japan in March and after posting my photos in this beautiful kimono in Tokyo, lots of you don't seem to know that you can rent a kimono in Japan! There are plenty of kimono rentals in Japan, especially in Tokyo and Kyoto as they attract more culture-seekers and tourists. I visited 浅草着物レンタル華雅 or Asakusa Hanaka, located in Asakusa.  Asakusa (浅草) is in the center of Tokyo's shitamachi (which means low city), in one of Tokyo's districts, where you could still feel an atmosphere of Tokyo's past decades.
Asakusa's main attraction is Sensoji, built in the 7th century, it is now a very popular Buddhist temple. The temple is approached via the Nakamise, a shopping street that provides temple visitors with a variety of traditional, local snacks and tourist souvenirs for centuries. Getting to Asakusa Hanaka was easy it only takes 30 seconds to Asakusa Station or 2 minutes to the Kaminarimon and the Sensouji Temple on foot. They are just in front of Tokyo Sky Tree and near by the Sumida River. For 3,800 yen you can rent a kimono of your choice, 長襦袢 undergarment, 肌着 underwear, 帯 belt, 帯板 belt board, 半襟 Half-collar, 足袋 socks 巾着バック a matching bags and 草履または下駄 shoes. I also had my hair fixed for an extra 1,000 yen and I've chosen to wear this beautiful kimono with sakura patterns since it was March and cherry blossoms were everywhere, it was the perfect outfit to wear when me and my boyfriend planned to visit Ueno park after renting the kimono. My boyfriend also got a similar basic kimono set for the same price, of course men have less to worry about! By the way, if you are visiting during summer, then a Yukata is a better choice for you. It is suitable for the hot, summery weather since a casual summer kimono is usually made of cotton or synthetic fabric, and unlined. They are strictly informal, most often worn to outdoor festivals, by men and women of all ages.However, this may also be a touchy subject, to cultural appropriation. Japan is mostly homogeneous and they are very proud of their culture, although it does seem like the western media is pushing Japanese culture into popular culture, some might argue it often comes down to fetishisation. Like the recent issue in 2015, The Boston Museum of Fine Arts, they had to cancel an event they had called “Kimono Wednesdays,” when they were displaying Claude Monet’s “La Japonaise” (1876). Visitor get to try on a kimono similar to the one depicted in the painting, many were told that it was “orientalism,” “racism” and “cultural appropriation” which they claimed was victimizing Asian-Americans. In my experience, the Japanese are actually thrilled to have foreigners engaging with their own culture since most young Japanese women aren't interested in making kimono a hobby or wearing it less, so if kimono are popular with foreigners, they are happy to see that the art of kimonos are popular amongst the younger generation all over the world.  An employee at the Nishijin Textiles Center in Kyoto mentioned: “Anyone can appropriate and creatively modify kimono styles whenever and however they like.”On a youtube, the video "Can Foreigners Wear Kimono? (Japanese Opinion Interview)", Yuta asked some Japanese people about Katy Perry's kimono performance and asked what they think. He explained them some of the criticisms that Katy Perry got (for example. culture appropriation) and asked them if they think it's OK for foreigners to wear Japanese kimono. The response from the Japanese people was very positive and never even thought that it was even slightly offensive in any way. 

Yuta mentioned, "Kimono doesn't really have any strong cultural/religion significance. It's just a name for old clothes we used to wear. You don't have to be a specific ethnicity to wear kimono, just like T-shirts and jeans. It would have been a different question if it was something sacred, though." The Japanese are so proud of their country and culture. We could see they are really positive about a lot of things about their country and they get really happy when someone is interested in their culture.If you’re wondering, cultural appropriation doesn't mean wearing something from another country/culture. It's the appropriation of something religiously significant and using it as a personal statement, or, when it's a concern when the culture has actually been oppressed and/or colonized. So go ahead and put on that kimono and embrace Japan’s rich history.To find out more about Asakusa Hanaka:  Phone: 03-6231-6782 

10 September 2017

Travel Story: Wine and Cheese: Paris

In France, I learned about wine and cheese. -
Walter Wager
Walking along the streets of Montmartre during a cold January evening, I wanted to get a cocktail. Every single cocktail bar was empty, it was seven in the evening I thought to myself, surely people are already drinking at this time in London, you know, hanging out inside Wetherspoons on a chilly winter evening with an expensive pint of beer. Most of the shops on the Parisian street were closed, as I walked past the cute boutiques, shops with dainty little patisseries and macarons displayed like exquisite jewelry and the kind of souvenir shop that you see in Leicester Square, selling overpriced postcards and "I love Paris" T-shirts. 

Then I saw a shop, with "Le Refuge des Fondus" highlighted in yellow contrasting against the bright red shop front. You can never miss it. Passing the elaborate carnivalesque décor that adorns the entrance, this place serves amazing cheese fondue and wine in baby bottles. Yes, BABY BOTTLES. You have to CLIMB over the table to sit down which is so much fun, but not so much fun when you have to climb back out to leave. Therefore you must surrender all claims to personal space. the menu is non-existence, you can simply choose between red or white wine, and cheese or meat fondue. €21/person for the food, including complimentary antipasti. 

In this tight space, I met an English couple from Brighton, who just fancied a trip to Paris and even gave me details for future jobs in digital media (I was studying at that time), which later we bumped into them in the Louvre museum. We have spoken to a French man who lived in England for his studies, discussing the difference between France and England. A group of Parisians who just wanted to have a good time, with a bottle of wine and cheese fondue, they didn't hesitate and gave me suggestions to local places in Paris instead of the tourist traps. Sometimes, it's the people that you encounter who makes your trip. Sometimes, simply wine and cheese is the answer to everything. 

Walk up to Montmartre is just a mere ten or fifteen minutes walk, walking around the area which is tightly packed with houses, they spiral around the mound underneath the sugary-white dome of the Sacré-Coeur. It was night time around 10 pm, slightly drunk, there were no thronging tourists around the area. I sat down on the steps just underneath Sacre-Coeur and stared at Paris. My eyes started to water, I simply just found this city beautiful. I love Paris.

Travelling, in my opinion, is best enjoyed without anything to worry about. Sometimes, it is better to travel simply, simply bring a few sets of clothes, passport and you're done, you know what, maybe even travel with a small bag, a small carry-on bag. Setting off to a place, smelling its air without any distractions. Why worry, when you can travel simply? Thanks to Travel Simply for a chance for me to write a piece of my own travel stories.


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