July 16, 2018
The Gingham Dress You Need For Your Summer Vacation

The Gingham Dress You Need For Your Summer Vacation

July 16, 2018
midi gingham dress bow ricky claudie pierlot summer vacation
It's gingham, it's midi, it has a big bow on the back and it's currently 50% off. What's not to like? I have had my eye on this Claudie Pierlot dress since it came out this spring but I decided to wait until the sales because I wasn't going to be able to wear it until summer anyway. Lucky me, I found my size for half the price. I'm definitely taking this beauty with me everywhere this summer.

Today I want to give you some ideas on what to pack if you are traveling to Spain or somewhere hot this summer.
If you are coming to my beautiful country, my advice is for you to pack lots of dresses: midi, mini, maxi, all kinds! If you are not a dress kind-of-gal, cutoffs and shorts will be your best friends. Jeans are out of the questions, living in Spain my legs are bare from June to September otherwise I can't stand the heat. To sum up, you need lightweight pieces.

As for shoes, old Europe is filled with cobblestone streets so comfy sandals or espadrilles should be in your suitcase. Don't freak out if you forget the latter, Spain is famous for their espadrilles (trendy Castañer is Spanish) so you can always get a pair here.
midi gingham dress bow ricky claudie pierlot summer vacation
midi gingham dress bow ricky claudie pierlot summer vacation
Protect yourself from the sun! When I was a teenager I used to avoid sunscreen because I thought that was the only way to get that summer glow...Oh, how I wish I hadn't been so stupid! Fortunately, I'm older and wiser now and pack my straw hat, sunglasses and sunscreen first.
midi gingham dress bow ricky claudie pierlot summer vacation
midi gingham dress bow ricky claudie pierlot summer vacation
North vs. South
You may have heard many stereotypes about Spain but good weather doesn't apply everywhere. If you are traveling north, pack a cardigan because the nights can get cooler. It's more likely to rain too, so don't forget your umbrella.

Colors and patterns
Ok, this one is more for Instagrammers and those looking for the perfect photo. Colorful outfits will help you get that Spanish vibe. Red, yellow, orange, fuchsia... Polka dots say flamenco like no other pattern. The perfect finishing touch? combine any of those with ruffles.
midi gingham dress bow ricky claudie pierlot summer vacation
I've been talking a lot about clothes but of course, don't forget to pack a good book! I'm reading Inferno by Dan Brown at the moment. What are you reading?

THE PRETTIEST GINGHAM DRESSES

July 9, 2018
How to Spend a Weekend in Segovia

How to Spend a Weekend in Segovia

July 9, 2018
segovia spain travel guide weekend parador travel outfit summer
Segovia is a small city with big heritage. The soaring aqueduct is undoubtedly its most famous landmark and it is probably the most important Roman monument surviving in the heart of a modern city. However, this is not the only jewel of the city. Segovia's Alcazar looks like a fairy tale castle, in fact, it is said that Walt Disney was inspired by it to create Sleeping Beauty's Disneyland castle.

Would you like to join me in a walk around this magical and stunning city?Unesco World Heritage old town roman aqueduct Segovia travel guide weekend Spain
El Acueducto is an 894m-long engineering wonder. Built in the 1st century AD, not a single drop of mortar was used to hold more than 20,000 granite blocks together. Seems impossible, right? That's why we are still amazed by it today.
Unesco World Heritage Alcazar Segovia travel guide weekend Spain
Looking at this place, I feel that Rapunzel could have been trapped in one of these towers. This fairy tale looking fortress was originally built in Roman times and rebuilt in the 14th century. The place was destroyed in the 19th century so what we see today is a reconstruction of the original. The name Alcazar comes from he Arabic al-qasr which means fortress.
Unesco World Heritage Alcazar Segovia travel guide weekend Spain
segovia spain travel guide weekend san millan cathedral old town Unesco World Heritage
Other places worth visiting in Segovia's Unesco World Heritage old town are the Gothic cathedral and San Millán, the most important Romanesque church.
segovia spain travel guide weekend romanesque
The region of Segovia has so much more to offer. Once you are done with the city, there are a few other places where you must stop. First and foremost is the Royal Palace of la Granja de San Ildefonso which we visited on last week's post.
segovia spain travel guide weekend la granja san ildefonso royal palacesegovia spain travel guide weekend parador travel outfit summer
In this little town you can also find a great place to stay: El Parador de la Granja. This beautiful hotel is in the Top 10 Paradores list for good reason. It is housed in the Casa de los Infantes, built by king Charles III in the 18th century as a home for the infantes Gabriel and Antonio. Even though Segovia has it's own Parador, this one is far more charming and it's only 10 km away from the city. segovia spain travel guide weekend parador hotel la granja
segovia spain travel guide weekend parador la granja
In the Parador restaurant you can try dishes from the local cuisine like the famous judiones de La Granja (broad beans from La Granja) or suckling pig and lamb slowly roasted in a wood-burning oven.
segovia spain travel guide weekend parador menu typical food judiones la granja
segovia spain travel guide weekend parador menu typical food
segovia spain travel guide weekend parador menu typical food
segovia spain travel guide weekend parador menu typical food
segovia spain travel guide weekend parador menu typical food
Royal Glass Factory and Museum of La Granja is another must in this town. Here you can discover the evolution and methods of working this material over the centuries. The factory was established in 1727 by king Philip V to make lamps, windows and mirrors for the Royal Palace.
segovia spain travel guide weekend glass factory and museum
segovia spain travel guide weekend glass factory and museum
segovia spain travel guide weekend glass factory and museum
Last but not least we have the Royal Palace of Riofrio. This palace was used by the Bourbon dynasty as a hunting pavilion and a place to rest and relax. Here you can visit the Hunting Museum and see great examples of tapestry and sumptuous 19th century furniture. It is 10 km from Segovia and 20 km from La Granja de San Ildefonso.segovia spain travel guide weekend riofrio palace palacio
segovia spain travel guide weekend riofrio palace palacio
Segovia is a great day trip from Madrid or weekend getaway if you want to visit nearby areas too. Full of Spanish history, there's no shortage of things to learn here.

PRACTICAL INFO

  • The most famous restaurants in Segovia are Conde Duque and Meson de Candido. They are said to serve the best cochinillo (roasted suckling pig) in town. Make reservations ahead.
  • You can get to Segovia from Madrid by bus, train -the high speed train takes only 30 minutes- or drive for one hour.
  • On Sunday mornings you can enter the Cathedral for free, otherwise it's 3€.
  • Entrance to the Alcazar is 8€.


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segovia spain travel guide weekend alcazar judiones

July 2, 2018
Palacio Real de La Granja de San Ildefonso

Palacio Real de La Granja de San Ildefonso

July 2, 2018
fountains royal palace palacio real la granja san ildefonso fuentes segovia madrid spain travel outfit garden jardin
I'm on a mission to visit all the Royal Palaces in Spain and Palacio Real de La Granja de San Ildefonso had been on my bucket list for a long time. This beautiful 18th century palace is located 10km from Segovia and one hour drive from Madrid which makes it a perfect day trip from the capital of Spain.
fountains royal palace palacio real la granja san ildefonso fuentes segovia madrid spain colegiata travel outfit
We left Madrid at 9 o'clock to be there by 10 when the doors of the palace open to beat the crowds and enjoy cooler temps for as long as possible. Once a royal residence, this place is an example of European palace architecture. Its gardens and fountains are styled after Versailles and make reference to legends and mythology. The rooms also remind you of other European Palaces of the time, Carrara marble, Chinese vases and Japanese lacquer stand out in this one.
fountains royal palace palacio real la granja san ildefonso fuentes segovia madrid spain jardines gardens
fountains royal palace palacio real la granja san ildefonso fuentes segovia madrid spain travel outfit jardines gardens
The name: La Granja is Spanish for "the farm". It's named after an old farm run by monks that used to stand there. San Ildefonso is the charming village where it is situated. King Philip V chose this as the perfect location for a retirement spot. He was right in doing so, located in the foothills of the Guadarrama Mountains, it has a comfortable climate for a summer retreat.

A bit of Spanish history...
Philip V was the grandson of Louis XIV. He was born in Versailles and spent his childhood there. This fact is obviously responsible for the Versailles influence seen in this palace. When Philip V abdicated, his son became King Louis I. Because of his son’s death 7 months later, Philip V became King for a second time. That's when La Granja became a Royal Palace.
fountains royal palace palacio real la granja san ildefonso fuentes segovia madrid spain jardines gardens
fountains royal palace palacio real la granja san ildefonso fuentes segovia madrid spain jardines gardens
fountains royal palace palacio real la granja san ildefonso fuentes segovia madrid spain
The Palace's main attractions are the breath-taking gardens and the fountains, it's a privilege to see those on. The big fountain show -all of them are turned on- only happens three times a year. Exceptionally, they'll turn some of them on for a short period of time on weekends depending on the water reserve. Since it's been a rainy year, we could see four beautiful fountains pouring water and sky-high water jets. We got a bit wet but we didn't care because it was such a hot day!
fountains royal palace palacio real la granja san ildefonso fuentes segovia madrid spain
fountains royal palace palacio real la granja san ildefonso fuentes segovia madrid spain
fountains royal palace palacio real la granja san ildefonso fuentes segovia madrid spain
fountains royal palace palacio real la granja san ildefonso fuentes segovia madrid spain
squirrel sequoia royal palace palacio real la granja segovia madrid spain
There's also a small garden before the entrance on the Palace which is also worth walking around. Here you can see some of the few sequoias that you can find outside of California. These gigantic -lightning rods are installed in them- and magnificent trees were planted in the 19th century and provide a home to some little fellas like this one. You know me, I never miss a chance to make a furry friend.
xo Cristina

PRACTICAL INFO
Entrance to the gardens and fountains is free but admission tickets to see the Palace are 9€, check its website for discounts and timetables. The Palace is closed on Mondays.

OTHER MUST-SEE PALACES IN SPAIN
Palacio Real de Madrid
Palacio Real de Aranjuez (Madrid)
Palacio de la Magdalena (Santander)
Palacio Miramar (San Sebastian)

DAY TRIPS FROM MADRID
Alcalá de Henares
Chinchón
Ávila

GET THE LOOK
June 25, 2018
The Most Instagrammable Places in Madrid

The Most Instagrammable Places in Madrid

June 25, 2018
plaza mayor madrid spain travel outfit
Madrid is full of photographic opportunities. From its monuments to its trendy eateries, there's no shortage of Instagram material. One of my favorite things to do is grab my camera and wander around the city looking for the perfect pic, and I can assure you that I always come back with interesting shots. That's the beauty of big cities: variety.

Without further ado, here are the most instagrammable places in Madrid.

Landmarks
There's not doubt that a city's landmarks is the best way to start your InstaTour. Plaza Mayor (pictured above) is one of them. Bustling any time of the year, you can have drinks outdoors in summer or visit the Christmas market in winter.
posada del peine hotel madrid landmark
Posada del Peine, a 1610 building which is the first hotel in Madrid.
Sabatini Gardens Royal Palace Madrid landmark
Sabatini gardens and the Royal Palacetemple debod summer madrid
Temple of Debod, an ancient Egyptian temple that was dismantled and rebuilt in Madrid. Come here at blue hour to get the perfect shot.4 towers skyscrapers eurostars hotel madrid
The 4 towers, Madrid's skyscrapers

Cafes and restaurants
Perrachica trendy restaurant Madrid
Perrachica, the trendiest place in town where all the pretty people hang out.
El Perro y la Galleta trendy restaurant Madrid
El Perro y la Galleta, a dog friendly restaurant.
Cafe de Oriente Royal Palace Madrid
Cafe de Oriente, an iconic cafe facing Palacio Real.Jardin Secreto Salvador Bachiller Madrid trendy brunch restaurant cocktails
The best food markets
Frida trendy restaurant brunch fashionable Madrid
Frida, a fashionable brunch spot from the owners of Perrachica.wanda cafe optimista madrid instagrammableWanda Cafe Optimista. The food in this cute cafe is just ok but it's great to sip coffee while you work on your computer.

Shops
Madrid is the best city for retail therapy in Spain. You can read my complete shopping guide here. 
Brownie calle Hermosilla shopping guide Madrid
Brownie, a beautiful alley hidden in calle Hermosilla.
margarita se llama mi amor Madrid floristeria shopping flower shop
Margarita se llama mi amor, a beautiful flower shop.

What are the most instagrammable places in your city?
xo Cristina

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TRUDGE ALL AROUND THE CITY IN THESE COMFY ROMPERS