Coal Drops Yard | London’s newest place to be

Kings Cross has a few claims to fame – it’s known for platform 9 3/4 (Harry Potter) and for being the gateway to the continent as the home of the Eurostar Tunnel. Having recently had a £100 million investment, the area has been reimagined. Particularly the Coal Drops Yard and Granary Square area.

Set amongst Victorian-era buildings (two long former coal sheds and one granary building), the area is steeped in history. With humble beginnings set firmly during the industrial revolution the area originally served as a coal dispensary. Fast forward a century, the Coal Drops Yard has been used for film sets and hosted some of the biggest rave parties in London before it was repurposed into a multi-experience destination. 

Coal Drops Yard

Complete your culinary journey with a cocktail on the terrace bar at Parrillan

Coal Drops Yard

Your every day spot

Billed as a modern-day public gathering spot, dining options are a plenty! Whether you’re after a grab-and-go coffee, a mid-afternoon aperitif or a casual dinner with friends. Barrafina is worth a look in especially if you’re on the lookout for a perfect lunchtime tapas menu. Daily specials serve up fresh produce but it’s the pureed beetroot gazpacho with quail’s eggs that are one of the highlights. Another hot spot is Coal Office – a food and design playground offered up by chef Assaf Granit and British Designer Tom Dixon. You best book ahead at Parrillan as this is one of the most popular hotspots which won’t disappoint due to its stunning views of Regent’s Canal.

Parrillan London
Source: Parrillan

Coal Drops Yard | Wander-Lust

Combining shopping, culture and culinary options that now stands triumphantly in North London.

Artisanal, independent and luxury shops aim to appeal to all consumers who come by. Brands such as APC, Aesop and Bonds. But it’s concept store Wolf and Badger which takes the gold medal with carefully selected home-wear, need-it-now fashion and accessories. The store also boasts a florist, cafe and raw juice press. The top floor also offers up Michelin starred Hicce – a meat-lovers paradise with food cooked over holm oak charcoal. Sit inside for an atmospheric meal or outside if you’d like to watch the world pass by.

Florist Coal Drops Yard

Nearby Coal Drops Yard

In addition, stumble out of Coal Drops Yard and you’ll meet the impressive Granary Square which has also undergone somewhat of a makeover in recent years. Home to Central St Martins art college, the area is frequented by the well-dressed youth of London. During warm weather, the paved area becomes a play area with jets of water rising from the ground keeping everyone cool. Nearby, you can grab an ice-cream and sit on the steps for some people watching. And if the weather permits a morning yoga class is also sometimes on offer here too. Furthermore, if you’ve room to eat, Caravan serves up an impressive dining menu as does Granary Square Brewery. But it’s The Ligherman which offers up a perfect al fresco experiencing with panoramic views from all three floors.

Coal Drops Yard London

Coming soon..

But also, Kings Cross is set for even more change in the coming years, so it’s worth keeping an eye on. Modern, luxury housing programs are popping up offering state-of-the-art living solutions. Not to mention, the Standard Hotel is opening up its first European outpost in the area too later in July. Google HQ will open here next year, and Universal Music recently moved in too making it fast-fast-becoming one of the most creative areas in London. Find out more about Coal Drops Yard here!

Love from London,

Stephanie

*Stephanie is our guest editor from London. She works for a large fashion brand and loves to explore new eateries. Follow her on Instagram

Ostrava | Czech charm meets industrial chique

The Czech Republic is certainly no stranger to foreign tourism. However, most tourists who take a visit to this country limit themselves to Prague. The vibrant city Ostrava often gets overlooked by travellers but has a lot to offer.

From skating down the Pustevny mountain to exploring underground coal mines and even partying at one of the best music festivals in Europe.. Bringing a visit to Ostrava will be a pleasant surprise for anyone looking to get off the beaten track..

Where is Ostrava?

The city isn’t too famous so there’s a big chance that most people don’t know about this place. That given, Ostrava is the third largest city in the Czech Republic and it’s located in the very Northeast of the country. The city was for a long time known (among Czechs) for being unattractively industrial because it was historically associated with the production of pig-iron and coal. Its reputation as an industrial workaday city has prevented it from seeing the tourism it deserves. Although it is not as classically beautiful as some other Czech cities, its history as the epicentre of the country’s mining industry makes it a very fascinating place to visit. Let’s delve into some of the awesome things to do in Ostrava and unique features of the city.

What to do

Masaryk Square:

It is safe to say that Masaryk Square is the central point of the city. It is surrounded by pretty pastel coloured houses with decorated facades. There are quite a few cafés on Masaryk Square, where you can relax after strolling around. The central square is a gorgeous setting and therefore a must-see in Ostrava.

City Hall Tower:

is the Czech Republic’s highest city hall tower! It offers a wonderful panorama view of the surprisingly green city of Ostrava and its surroundings from a height of 73 metres above ground level. On a clear day you can see many of the coal mines and blast furnaces in the area and you can even get a glimpse of the Poland borders.

Ostrava Center

Landek Mining Museum

If you want to learn about the history of Ostrava, the Landek Mining Museum is your calling. This mining museum is the biggest one in the Czech Republic and you get a unique peek behind the curtains of the harsh circumstances the miners worked in. The guides are former mine workers themselves and have a lot of knowledge about the mine. The absolute highlight is going down with an elevator shaft into a restored section of the underground mine. Hungry after the tour? Next to the Museum is a good traditional restaurant with national dishes.

Landek mine Ostrava

The Ostravice river

Is a beautiful river that flows through the city. Great for walking, running, cycling or hanging out in the adjacent park. Looking for more adventurous activities? Rent a raft or canoe and head down the river. It’s a really beautiful trip on the water where you can spot many wild animals. We spotted a baby deer, drinking water at the shore!

Dolní Vítkovice

is a former industrial site used for mining and iron processing. It’s an atmospheric and almost otherworldly industrial area (it looks like something out of a Mad Max movie set) which is being turned into a cultural centre. You can go up in the Bolt tower with a lift and have a view over the whole city. It’s really cool (and a bit scary) when you get to the top, and a great place for photography because of all the surrounding old buildings. The international multi-genre music festival Colours of Ostrava is organized on this venue every year.

Dolci Ostrava

Pustevny mountains

Equally worth visiting are the Pustevny mountains, about half an hour’s drive from Ostrava. A ski lift will take you 1 km above sea level. Once there, you can hike another 100 meter up a wonderful Himalayan inspired walking trail. On the top of the trail you can find a short skywalk with a glass floor where you will enjoy a beautiful view. To get back down the mountain, you can take the ski lift again or rent scooters on which you can drive down (adrenaline-kick assured!).

Bridge Ostrava

Where to stay

Harmony hotel Ostrava:

This hotel is a treat. The beds are very comfortable, the room gets cleaned every day, and the view of the city is amazing. The biggest surprise however is its breakfast. They offer a large selection of fruit, eggs, bacon, vegetables, bread and various types of cheese and salami as well as pancakes and brownies.

Airbnb:

In and around Ostrava there are quite a lot people who offer their room, apartment or house for rent. The advantage of renting an Airbnb is that you can cook for yourself (which saves costs), and you normally have more space than in a hotel room. It is also nice to be among locals if you rent a room in someone’s house! Renting an Airbnb in Ostrava is very affordable. For a small apartment you pay around 25 euros per night.

How to get there

A distance of 1.300 km needs to be covered if you travel from Amsterdam to Ostrava. Taking the airplane is the fastest option. From Amsterdam you can fly to Ostrava via Prague. Another option is flying to Prague and then take the train (3,5 hour) to Ostrava. If you prefer to travel on your own, a car is recommended for transportation. For this you invest half a day on a direct ride, but you can make your holiday a lot more interesting if you dive into the cities that you pass along the way. Berlin and Prague are perfect stopovers to hop through for example. Not in possession of a car and driver’s license? Take the train and go interrailing!

Train to Ostrava

Conclusion

In conclusion, I must say that the entire city has a certain atmosphere, there is something very interesting about Ostrava. The old buildings, abandoned factories, green parks and the nice architecture of the old town all add up to this. In short: there is plenty to do and see in Ostrava! Combining the festival and sightseeing in the city makes up for a perfect Czech trip, and is wholeheartedly recommended!

Are you planning to visit Ostrava one day? Let us know in the comments!

Love,

Iris

*Iris is one of our guest editors from The Netherlands. She’s got a big interest in photography, fashion, spirituality and traveling. She was 3 months old when she was on the plane for the first time and has been to every continent in the meantime. You can follow iris on Instagram.

Konstanz City Guide

Berlin, Hamburg or München. All cities that you have heard of. But today we want to introduce you a lesser known German city that deserves a mention; Konstanz.

Located next to Lake Constance (Bodensee) and near the border of Switzerland, Konstanz is a great option if you want to combine more destinations in a short period. It has the charm of a German city, yet it feels more like a southern holiday destination, especially during summer. The easiest way to get here is by train or car because it doesn’t have an airport. That saying, it depends on the destination you’re traveling from of course.

City Guide Konstanz

Konstanz can be described as a peaceful city where people enjoy the outdoors and enjoy long summer evenings with friends.

Where to stay

Hotel prices can be quite expensive in Konstanz so it’s great to have an option that is reasonably affordable plus comfortable. We stayed at ibis Styles, which is playful, stylish and low key. You’ll find all sorts of travellers here. Families, couples, old & young and even business travellers. Every ibis Styles hotel is unique and has its own style and theme. Because Konstanz is located next to the water, it was no surprise that the hotel played into that.

ibis styles Konstanz
The bar at ibis Styles Konstanz

Our Room

We stayed in a family room on the top floor which was perfect because it had 2 separate parts but could also be transformed into one large area. This meant our little boy could sleep peacefully while we watched our favourite series. It includes a small kitchen with a fridge and a bar.

Ibis Styles Konstanz
ibis Styles Konstanz

Breakfast was actually surprisingly good! Croissants, crunchy bread rolls, fruit and healthy oats could be found at the morning buffet. Nice to know: they are currently refurbishing their garden that will feature a Jeu de Boules area and plenty of space for outdoor seating.

WIN WIN WIN

Because we are this years ibis Styles ambassadors, we can make ONE lucky person happy with a free night for 2 people at an ibis Styles Hotel of choice, located in the Benelux! Your free stay will include free wifi and a good breakfast of course. All you need to do is, comment below or below our Facebook post about Konstanz and tag the person you want to take with you! *Please note, that travel cost are not included.

Konstanz City Guide
Yes, that’s me swimming in the river of Konstanz

What to do

  • Schänzle
    Locals enjoy the sunset here and socialise with friends. Locals come here to relax, eat and drink.
  • Bodensee Therme Pool
    If you have kids, you should visit this fun and beautiful outdoor swimming pool. Next door is a therma bath which you need to pay extra for if you want to use it, but you can also swim in the lake. Plenty of slides and a kiddies pool fo the little ones.
  • Strandbad Horn
    Right next to the pool, there is a free sunbathing spot that is lovely. You can swim in Lake Constance and there is a sandy area, plus enough space.
  • Mainau flower island
    Just offshore from Lake Constance you’ll find this very special island with greenhouses, rose gardens, and acres of other beautiful flowers. Because of Konstanz semitropical climate, some of the most stunning flowers grow here.

Swimmingpool Konstanz

Konstanz, Germany
Shopping at Das Voglhaus

Where to Eat

The most important thing about a travel guide is the food right? Konstanz has plenty of choice, but there are some that stand out from the bunch.

  • Holly’s
    Such a nice place by the water with friendly staff and plenty of food choices! The interior is funky stylish, plus they have a huge outside terrace. Oh, and they also have an ice-cream bar that is just too good to skip. hollys.de
  • Wohnzimmer
    Translated to living room and that is exactly what the vibe is. Comfy chairs and sofa’s make it feel like you are stepping into your mothers living room. They mainly serve meat but also veggie burgers. Facebook
  • Das Voglhaus
    This all vegetarian and mostly vegan spot has been around for over 20 years! You can get healthy juices, good coffee, homemade cake and lunch here. Sustainability and animal wellbeing is key here, but they mannaged to combine that with a modern style which turned Das Voglhaus the hotspot of Konstanz. If you walk to the downstairs toilet, you end up in their next door gift shop which is also worth a visit! www.das-voglhaus.de
  • Hafenhalle
    Next to the harbour of Konstanz, you’ll find this traditional Biergarten, bar and restaurant. The food is local and mostly homemade. Come here and stay until the stars appear. www.hafenhalle.com

Hollys Konstanz
Holly’s Konstanz

food and drink at Kon
Veggie hotspot Das Voglhaus

Das Voglhaus Konstanz
Vitamins at Das Voglhaus

In short, Konstanz is a great alternative for a city trip if you are planning to travel through Germany or Switzerland!

Love,

Elke

*This article was written in collaboration with ibis Styles

 

The Manchester Weekend Guide

Manchester is one of the, if not the most, fastest-growing cities in England. Below, we have handpicked and tested some of the newest restaurants and stayed in the snazziest new boutique hotel to make sure your next city break is nothing but top-notch.

Whether you are travelling from within the United Kingdom or further out, Manchester is pretty easy to get to by both train and flights – no excuse not to visit it. If you are not yet convinced about visiting this North-Western city, see here for five reasons why it’s better than London

All the up and coming places in Manchester for your next city break

Where to stay in Manchester

The chic hotel chain Dakota has recently opened its fifth hotel in the country right in the centre of Manchester. It is a maximum five-minute walk from Piccadilly train station. Whilst there are plenty of hotels in Manchester, Dakota is probably the most elegant one you’ll find. I felt like an A-list staying there and that is no exaggeration. Before you even step foot into its front doors, you are greeted by the brightest of smiles and throughout your stay, the staffs are attentive without being intruding, which I find can sometimes be the case with other hotels. Book your stay here.

Dakota Manchester

Breakfast Manchester Guide
Breakfast at Dakota

Where to eat in Manchester

Generally speaking, the food scene here in Manchester is pretty impressive. I’d say its variety of restaurants is almost as competitive as London. Many chains had their first restaurants in London have now made their way up to the North, starting right here in Manchester, and Dishoom is no exception. The menu at this Bombay restaurant works just the same as the ones they have in London, with a few dishes that are exclusively available in Manchester. This includes the delicious and generously portioned Chef’s special and the spicy chilli chicken. Go there for a meal or even just for drinks at night before you hit the clubs next door!

Manchester

But first..

For a nice cup of coffee, head over to Over Under for your caffeine fix. This chic new place in town is a coffee shop by day and a cocktail bar by night. You know who’ll be staying there all day!

Enjoy the creative spin on the modest English dish, fish and chips.

If you’re feeling fancy, indulge in a meal like no others at Six by Nico, a fabulously new restaurant open by the Michelin chef Nico Simeone. While fine dining can be intimidating, Six by Nico makes the experience accessible to all, in its concept and price, and super enjoyable. The six-course meal is the chef’s creative spin on the modest English dish, fish and chips. There’s also an option to take it up a notch by adding an expertly paired wine to your six-course meal for only £26. For those who have to be more cautious with their diet, 3Squared is the first Free-From restaurant in town, serving deliciously good food with care and without 9 of the inflammatory ingredients that are known for causing some of the most common allergies.

Six by Nico Manchester

Worth a mention

While this isn’t exactly a new spot, I couldn’t not give Brewski a shout out – they do the best mac and cheese in town and also a selection of brunch food, coffees and alcoholic beverages! Go there and see (and try) it for yourself! Don’t want to limit yourself to just one cuisine? Make sure you check out the biggest and apparently, the best street food fair every Friday and Saturday at Grub. They also do Plant Powered Sundays with a selection of vegan food for grab with live music. Perfect place to spend your sunny weekend!

You can find beautiful handmade crafts and vintage clothes every first Sunday of the month

What to do in Manchester

To begin with, make your weekend a fun one by challenging your friends to a game of minigolf at Junkyard Golf or a few rounds of darts at Flight Club. This isn’t your usual pub game. This is the most innovative and thrilling game of darts you will ever play, trust me! Can’t decide between shuffleboard or beer pong? In this case, go to Roxy Ball Room on Deansgate and do both!

Markets

Since you’re there for the weekend, why not check out the weekend markets in town? The Makers Market happens twice a month in Manchester. You can find beautiful handmade crafts and vintage clothes every first Sunday of the month in the big open space at Great Northern. Secondly, on the second Sunday of the month on the other side of town in the Northern Quarter, you’ll find everything from freshly baked goods to arts and crafts. For all other Sundays, smell your way to the street food market up in the Piccadilly Gardens

Manchester Guide

What are you waiting for? Book your next weekend getaway to Manchester right now and let us know if you try any of the recommendations above!

Love,

Chantelle

*Chantelle is one of our guest editor from Hong Kong. She has lived in three different countries and have travelled across many continents. Having been in England for the past nine years and graduated with a Law degree, she is now taking a break in Paris for the year as she figures out her next step in life. Always passport ready, she is an expert at traveling light and on a budget, although she still enjoys the occasional indulgence in a luxurious holiday. You can follow her on Instagram.

More city Guides?

 

 

 

 

Switzerland Guide 2019 by Wander-Lust

Switzerland is simply one of the most beautiful places in the world! We never received so many direct messages on social media as we did on Elke’s last trip to the Swiss Bern region. So here it is, the Switzerland Guide 2019 with all those amazing places you so loved on Instagram.

Getting There

If you live in Europe, Switzerland is perfectly set in the middle and pretty easy to get to. We decided to make it a car roadtrip because of the many places we wanted to visit, plus it’s a better option for the environment too! Tip: get yourself a Swiss vignette for on your car window so you can use the toll roads. It will cost you about €35,- and it will be valid for 1 year. Notably, Diesel in Switzerland is more expensive compared to normal fuel so keep that in mind. Also, speeding tickets are extremely high, so keep your foot off the gas a little and watch out for those speeding camera’s.

Switzerland roads
Stunning roads in Switzerland


Jungfrau Region

I started my trip in Meiringen / Hasliberg, where you will find mountains and cute villages.If you can, try to bring your GoPro camera to film your driving route because it is really amazing. This route is also very popular with motorcyclist because of the many corners and pretty surroundings. I checked in at Hotel Wetterhorn, just 40 minutes from Luzerne. Waking up here is a dream. The hotel used to be a lush holiday home back in 1907 and was recently turned into a modern style Swiss hotel.

Hotel Wetterhorn
Spritze up your life!

The hotel has a large garden area where you can relax on the wooden swing, or enjoy an Apérol Spritze on the terrace which is connected to the Wetterhorn restaurant. The restaurant serves a great buffet breakfast (appreciated by those who love healthy food), and a 4-course set dinner which is ever changing. Nice to know: Underneath the restaurant you will find a club where concerts and performances are held during special occasions. I stayed in a Wetterhorn Suite which has a balcony, equipped kitchen and lounge area. Great for families!

Hotel Wetterhorn Switzerland
Comfy bed at Hotel Wetterhorn

The Gelmerbahn

If you have a fear of heights, I would normally tell you not to even think about doing this, but having experienced this myself, I highly recommend the Gelmerbahn to anyone! So what is it? It’s basically a cable train which takes you all the way up Handegg mountain and Gelmersee lake. With an incline of 106%, it’s the 2nd steepest train ride in Europe! Tickets are 32CHF and you need to book a time as the train only has space for 24 people. At the top you can wander around the Gelmersee (lake) and wait for the train to come up again.

Gelmersee | Switzerland Guide
At the top of the Gelmerbahn you find Gelmersee

Off the Beaten Track

When you drive back, you must stop by the Rosenlaui Glacier. The drive there is impressive enough if you decide not to climb up the 5-km glacier after all. The walk up the glacier takes about 1 hour (back and forth). Nearby the entrance is a nice restaurant that serves soup, salads and decent coffee. Notably, getting here by car is possible but quite narrow. We did it with our Peugeot 508 and it worked fine. (plus you can stop where ever you want to take photo’s!) I was there during high season and it wasn’t busy at all!

Rosenlaui Glacier Switzerland
Coming up to the Glacier, you’ll find this stunning backdrop


Lauterbrunnen

From the Rosenlaui Glacier it’s only an hour drive to your next stop; Lauterbrunnen. Oh yes, this picturesque Swiss town is not to be missed. First of all, you are welcomed by massive mountains as you drive through the valley. Secondly, the waterfalls! fairytales really do exist and you’ll realize it here. Read more here about the fairytale guide to Lauterbrunnen. On the contrary, it is not the cheapest of places. We stayed in a fantastic Airbnb, but you can also opt for a day trip.

Lauterbrunen village


Mänlichen / Junfraujong

From Lauterbrunnen you can go up the mountain by train. This is a must do because the train ride itself is super nice! Buy your tickets at the train station which is located near the COOP supermarket. You can park your car for 24 hours or less which will cost you a maximum of €17,-. The train passes Wengen for nice photo opportunities but we continued all the way up to Kleine Scheidegg. There you can have lunch in one of the café’s on the hill and enjoy the sunshine before heading back down.

Train Lauterbrunnen Switzerland
The train ride takes about 40 minutes

Kleine Scheidegg Switzerland

Kandersteg

Our next stop was Kandersteg. This time I stayed in a traditional Swiss hotel named Hotel Alfa Soleil which is family owned. The hotel has been around for years but a located at a great spot for those that want to hike the next day. Secondly, our room had the best balcony view! The hotel’s restaurant Nico’s, is known for their great set courses and wonderful outside seating area. Most of their veggies and herbs come from the Hotel’s garden and you can taste that! 

Switzerland Guide 2019
The village of Kandersteg

But the main reason people stay in this hotel is because from here you can easily visit the famous and beautiful Oeschinnen lake. Nice to know: The hotel includes a free gondola ride up to Oeschinen valley, together with many discounts around the area. The village of Kandersteg is nice to walk around with a view shops and café’s, plus there is a public pool to cool off during summer.

Switzerland Guide 2019
Hotel Alfa Soleil balcony view

Oeschinen Lake

One of Switzerland’s most famous lakes, yet I needed to see it. From our hotel, it was only a 10 minute walk to the gondola that takes you up in about 7 minutes. Upon arrival you will see a Swiss Rodelnbahn that you must try! For just €4,- you can enjoy a ride overlooking the Swiss Alps. If you do this before 11am, it’s not so busy.

Switzerland Guide 2019
This was fun!

To begin with, the walk to Oeschinen Lake is beautiful. Tip: wear a pair of good walking shoes and bring enough water! If you are traveling with kids, make sure you take the easy route. Not all paths are suitable for strollers. At the lake itself you can relax in the shade and enjoy a picnic. Many people bring their own food and make a controlled fire which is allowed. At the same time, there are about 3 restaurants nearby, but prices are very high due to the popularity of this spot.

Switzerland Guide 2019
Stunning colours at Oeschinen Lake

Another popular lake is Blausee. It is stunning but very touristic which made it less enjoyable for me though. For example, hurdles of people trying to take a good photo and “influencers” that see the lake through their screen instead of enjoying the nature around them. However, if you are near, you could take a peek as the entrance is only 8CHF. There is a restaurant located overlooking the lake and playground for kids. If you do decide to go, walk around the forest area just behind the lake. Not many people go there, so it’s quiet and serene.

Blausee Switzerland
Blausee, stunning but too many people


Adelboden

For the last part of my Switzerland trip, we decided to treat ourselves to some luxury. From Kandersteg we drove to Adelboden, located on the other side of the mountain which is about a 35 minutes drive. The best hotel in Adelboden is definitely The Cambrian. This boutique modern style hotel is high class and offers wonderful rooms with comfortable beds and stunning views. Their pool is so popular on Instagram, that they have restricted photo times so other guests won’t be bothered. Good on them! With this in mind, I also made the cheesy pool shot when I was allowed of course.

Switzerland guide 2019
Cheesy shots at The Cambrian.

The Cambrian bed

The restaurant and breakfast area is wonderful with great service from the staff. I was surprised to see such a diversity of guests at the hotel. From the Chinese tourists to young couples and families. Our little guy enjoyed the large playroom that offers games, toys and Disney movies. From The Cambrian you walk straight into Adelboden’s town center and the gondola that takes you up the mountain. You can buy return tickets for 24CHF at the tourist office which is located across the gondola.

Coffee in Switzerland

Restaurant Tschentenalp

One reason to go up is restaurant Tschentenalp. If you are here on a Sunday, you must check out this restaurant. They offer a special Sunday lunch with unlimited salad, grilled meat and veggies. The views, again, are stunning. We relaxed here for a bit before walking around and checking out the newest edition to Adelboden; The Giant Swing. This brand new summer attraction just opened a few weeks ago and its already such a hit, that travelers take a de-tour just to try it.

Schnentenalp Switzerland
Swiss restaurant with a view

Schnentenalp Switzerland Guide

The Giant Swing Adelboden
The Giant Swing

On the whole, it was the perfect ending to a wonderful week in Switzerland, and I highly recommend that everybody should go. Grab your car in order to be mobile enough, and don’t hesitate to bring your kid(s).

Switzerland is for anyone that loves stunning nature, great food and is willing to trade the beach for some mountains. This beach girl didn’t miss the beach at all this summer.

Happy travels,

Elke

11 amazing treehouses around the world

Like most kids, we grew up building treehouses and huts, but building a tree house is not childsplay anymore.

Check out these amazing treehouses and find your inner nomad!

Tranquil Resort, India

Wow, what a treehouse! This is not something you can build overnight. No, this is a luxury threehouse in the middle of a coffee plantation in India.
www.tranquilresort.com

Tranquil_TreeVilla_Interior_2_ilfhcf
TreeHouse_-_Interior_Verandah_rnpxa0
(Source: tranquil resort)

Tree House Point, USA

Three house point offers several treehouses on the property. Our favorite treehouse is the “Temple of the Blue Moon”. With a hanging bridge leading to the beautiful treehouse, it truly feels magical.  Check their Instagram and be inspired.
www.treehousepoint.com

temple-sh-4
(Source: Treehousepoint)

Free Spirit Sphere Treehouses
Previously featured in my blogpost about the top 5 wanderlust hotels in the world, this is a fairy-tale treehouse you want to sleep in. Lucky for you, it’s possible! Just head down to Canada 🙂 www.freespiritspheres.com
(Source: Free Spririt Sphere)

Yellow Treehouse Restaurant, New Zealand

Not a Treehouse for sleeping or playing but a Treehouse for eating! This restaurant looks like a hot air balloon where you can dream of flying off into a new world. This New Zealand based restaurant has had a lot of media attention so if you want to eat here, make sure you book well in advance! They host private dinners and weddings too.www.redwoodstreehouse.co.nz

1280-treehoues-high-res-8
(Source: Yellow Treehouse Restaurant)

Beach Rock Treehouse, Japan

Part of the Beach Rock Village (amazing) in Okinawa, this is a treehouse that was build for a purpose; communicating with the space outside. Feel one with nature. Build and designed by Kobayashi Takashi, It’s also referred to as the ‘plexiglass portal on the world’.

One of the best treehouses ever
(Source: http://www.hometreehome.it/489/)

La Casa Del Arbol, Ecuador

This cute treehouse is not the best looking treehouse in the world but the location is somewhat amazing. You can literally swing over the edge of the world (2660 feet above sealevel!) Thrill seekers from all over the world try to get the rush and sail over the city of Banos. Bucketlist? More info here.

tree-house-banos-ecuador
(Source www.hostalerupcion.com)

swing-end-of-the-world-casa-del-arbol.jpg.737x0_default
Overlooking an erupting Mt. Tungurahua at the “edge of the world”  (Photo by Sean Hacker Teper)

The “Treehouse Masters” Spirit Treehouse, USA

This is one of the best treehouses build by pete who heads the hit series Treehouse Masters on Discovery Channel. This treehouse solar powered and build in the backyard retreat of a New York based writer. I bet she will get inspired to write some amazing stories in this treehouse! Check here to see part of the episode.

maxresdefault
Source: Discovery Channel

Sleeping in treehouses makes you feel at peace and one with nature

Three Story Treehouse, British Columbia in Canada

It’s a shame that it’s a children attraction, but it doesn’t stop adults climbing inside this enchanted treehouse up in British Columbia. Why only 1 treehouse, if you can build three into one right? More info on www.enchantedforestbc.com

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Part of the enchanted forrest (Source:
Three Story Treehouse)

Mirror Cube, Sweden

It’s a very modern treehouse but because of the mirrors, this structure almost disappears into the trees almost as if it’s a tree itself. Inside it looks incredible cosy and includes a 1 persons bed. Designed by Tham & Videgard architects, this Swedish hotel is definitely worth visiting! They also have other treehouses such as the Cabin and the UFO treehouse. Be aware that it will cost you about 400 euro’s to stay the night.
www.treehotel.se

TreeHotell Photographer Ulf B. Jonsson.
(Source: Treehotel.se)

Monbazillac, France

This treehouse is listed on Airbnb and looks like a castle. It sleeps 2 people and has a lovely bath & bedroom. Book it here!

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slide_305092_2616103_free

Aromantica Treehouse, Italy

Now this is a treehouse we can afford. For about 140 euro’s per night you can sleep in this peaceful treehouse. Surrounded by nature, this is the perfect romantic gateway in Italy. It includes a private shower, balcony (with stunning views!) and a beautiful bed. Not convinced yet? Check here and book!

Treehouse-in-Italy-The-Monferrato-Aromanrica-Treehouse

Treehouse-in-Italy-The-Monferrato-Aromanrica-Treehouse-005
(Source: Airbnb)

Love,

Elke

Check here for the top 5 Wanderlust Hotels in the world.

The Amsterdam Pride Guide 2019

The Amsterdam Pride 2019 is happening and because we support equality and love, we’ve made a separate Amsterdam Pride Guide for you so you know where to be to find the rainbow this weekend!

Vrijdag is NYX: Let your inner unicorn out!

When & where? 2nd of August, Club NYX from 11pm
Phalerieau, Joshua Walter, Raphaella Brown and Miss Bunty are some of the DJ’s that will spin on this great Pride night that you don’t want to miss!

Supernature presents: The Station

When & where? a twelve hour long after Pride rave, Lofi
We had to include this into our Pride Guide for this year. After the Canal Parade and pull up to THE STATION for a 12 hour disco rave at Amsterdam’s newest warehouse. For the queer & curious!

Pride 2019

Inclusivity is the soul of liberty!

Duke of Tokio // Lips Pride Special

When & where? 2nd of August, Duke of Tokio
The infamous Karaoke bar is throwing a party from 11pm. Sing and enjoy!

Ink goes Pink bottomless brunch

When & where? Sunday the 4th of August, Ink Hotel
INK goes PINK… and so does their well-known Bottomless Brunch! The hotel turns turning into PINK Hotel for 10 days in a row to celebrate Pride Amsterdam. On the 28th of July and 4th of August, INK is hosting a special PINK edition of their monthly brunch.

Ink hotel

PRIK Pride Street Parties – Gay Pride 2019 Amsterdam

When & where? 2nd of August, Spuistraat 109
Happy People / DJ’s & Performances / Great Cocktails / Outdoor Bars / Free Entrance.
After last year’s huge success the Prik pride street party is back in the Spuistraat. A line up of Amsterdam’s best DJ’s will be on the outdoor stage opposite PRIK. Together with the outdoor bars, food trucks and happy crowd all the ingredients are there for a wonderful party.

Chocolade Explosion at The Duchess 

When & where? Until the 4th of August, at The Duchess
The Duchess in Amsterdam launches its iconic Chocolate Explosipon desert in the theme of love especially for the Pride. The chocolate ball gets a rainbow sprinkles and explodes after a spectacular splash of nitrogen in a colorful and sweet flavours. www.the-duchess.com

the-duchess-amsterdam-pride-guide

LOCO GAY PRIDE Special – Chin Chin Club

When & where? 2nd of August, Chin Chin Club 10pm – 5am
A full party program in collaboration with Colourful Rebel. Expect drag queens, sing battles and more crazyness.

Pride at Homomonument

When & where? 3rd of August, Homomunument Amsterdam
Another free party stage that goes on all day. Entrance is free, drinks are cheap, and toilets are clean. From 4pm till the end!

Pride 2019

Amsterdam Pride Canal Parade 2019

Where & when? Saturday the 3rd of August
What? Last but certainly not least is of course the best party of the whole pride. The canal parade.
From 10am till 10pm you can feast your eyes on colourful boats with half naked men and women dancing to loud music and pink confetti. 

Amsterdam Pride Guide 2017

Closing Party Pride at Dam Square

When & where? 3rd of August, at Dam Square from 2pm – 10pm
We end the Pride with a free concert from 2pm at the most famous square in Amsterdam. 


After Parties

Der After // Pride Canal Parade Special

When & where? 3rd of August, Adam tower
The Gaypride after party at the Adam tower

Canal Parade After // Meneer Nieges

When? From 6pm until 3am
Pink baloons, drinks, music, DJ’s, did we say pink baloons? Best of all, entrance is totally free!

HeBiHo VrijMiBo 2019

When? 2nd of August, Amstelveld 5pm -11pm
The Amstelpark is the place to be for dancing with people that want to share the love. Joost van Bellen is included in the line-up so what are you waiting for! Entrance is free of course.

 

Enjoy this year’s pride and remember. Love = Love.

Wander-Lust

Colours of Ostrava | Europe’s Hidden Festival

The very coolest festival location of the year has been found. An area surrounded by old, industrial buildings is the backdrop for a weekend full of music, workshops, films, theatre, discussions and games. And yet, it is still very unknown in The Netherlands and even Europe. Czech Republic’s best kept festival is Colours of Ostrava.

The Location

Is an international, multi-genre music festival in Ostrava. This city is located in the east of the Czech Republic and is the third biggest city in the country following Prague and Brno. The festival takes place on the breathtaking surroundings of Dolní Vítkovice – the site of former blast furnaces, mines and ironworks. It’s an absolutely stunning and unique industrial area (it looks like something out of a Mad Max movie set) which is being turned into a cultural centre. Colours of Ostrava won several prices such the ALMA Akropolis Live Music Awards for the best music event of the year in the concert / festival category.

Colours of Ostrava Festival

Colours of Ostrava won the Angel Award for the Music Event of the Year, Twice

The Music

During the 4 days in which the Colours of Ostrava festival took place, more than 150 bands played and there was a heaping dose of jazz, world music, rock, pop and alternative music. Although I was certainly not familiar with a large part of the line-up, I loved walking around and discovering new bands and artists. Perhaps the most interesting stage, and the one most prominent, was the Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey Experience. Surrounded by steel pipes and high industrial walls, tattoo artists were at work, a DJ booth was installed, movies were played, and two giant games of Jenga were placed against one of the walls. Overall, the festival had first-rate jazz performances, great (known and unknown) rock bands, and international artists as The Cure, ZAZ, Years & Years and Florence + The Machine. Also a nice fact: Every year the organization gives a handful of emerging artists from the Czech Republic the opportunity to put their names on the map.

Colours of Ostrava Festival

The line-up of previous years included: Imagine Dragons, Norah Jones, Kygo, Clean Bandit, Rudimental, Ziggy Marley, London Grammar, Aurora, Paul Kalkbrenner & many more.

Food & Drinks

The food at the festival was fantastic and enormously varied. Many stalls were scattered throughout the site where, in addition to the typical festival food (burgers, fries, pasta, pizza), there were also many Czech specialties and healthy dishes available. I have never seen so many vegan and vegetarian food stalls on a festival as this one. Moreover, the price of the food is cheaper than it is at festivals in Western Europe. For a (vegan) burger you pay around 5 euros, for fries 2 euros, for a hot dog 2 euros and for a mushroom quesadilla 3 euros. For the drinks you first must do a one time purchase of 1 euro for a plastic cup. You can clamp this cup on your pants or belt which is very handy. The drinks were also very affordable. A beer of 500 ml only costed 2 euros and a G&T was around 4 euros.

 Colours of Ostrava Festival

Colours of Ostrava really is a fairly undiscovered gem!

The People

On the first day of the festival, I wanted to explore the terrain and started wandering on my own. I wasn’t feeling solo for long as I came in contact with some lovely locals who showed me around. We had surprisingly little difficulty in understanding each other as they could speak English quite well. Most of the food stall staff were also able to speak English and could translate items on their menu if needed. Overall, about 90% of the festival visitors came from the Czech Republic and neighbouring countries like Poland and Slovakia. The remaining 10% consisted visitors from all over the world.

 Colours of Ostrava

How to get there?

A distance of 1.300 km needs to be covered if you travel from Amsterdam to Ostrava. But there are several alternate travel options. Colours of Ostrava offers a bus that is leaving from The Netherlands (and Belgium) every year, which will drop you off at the entrance of the festival. If you prefer to accelerate things, then the airplane will be the best option. From Amsterdam you can fly to Ostrava via Prague. After landing, shuttle services and taxis are available outside the doors of the airport to take you to the festival in no time. Another option is flying to Prague and then taking the train to Ostrava. If you prefer to travel on your own, a car is recommended for transportation. For this you invest half a day on a direct ride, but you can make your holiday a lot more interesting if you dive into the cities that you pass along the way. Berlin and Prague are perfect stopovers to hop through for example. Not in possession of a car and driver’s license? Take the train and go interrailing!

Train station Czech Republic

My Verdict

Overall, Colours of Ostrava has absolutely astonished me. Both the location and programme are filled with surprises that will make you return from this festival with a wealth of new experiences. What I personally found so fascinating about Colours of Ostrava was that it was so much more than just a music festival. Aside from the performances and dozens of food trucks selling wonderful food, there were tons of other activities to do. In addition, the festival is also a good option if you are on a budget. A ticket for the festival only costs €105 euros for all 4 days and for 9 euros per person and 10 euros per tent you spend the night at the campsite.

Colours of Ostrava, I will be back!

Love,

Iris

Fairytale guide to Lauterbrunnen

Arriving in the Jungfrau region in Switzerland is rather special to say the least. The landscape changes and massive mountains will pop up around you. Lauterbrunnen is the cherry on the cake.

Lauterbrunnen is situated in the Swiss area of Bern in an area known as the Jungfrau Region. The town finds itself in a lush valley with several waterfalls and is a hit amongst travelers on Instagram. If you have never visited this place, you will soon after seeing these pictures.

Lauterbrunen village
Entering the stunning village of Lauterbrunnen

Where to stay

You have a few options, but we decided to stay in an Airbnb. The reason why I love staying in someones house or apartment, is because it gives my trip a more personal experience. It feels like home away from home. As a result, my eye caught one of the most amazing Airbnb’s I have ever stayed at. Waking up with a waterfall in the backyard was not something I had experienced before.

Lauterbrunnen

The apartment was big enough for 4 people and was equipped with an open kitchen, a spacious bathroom, 2 bedrooms and a living area. And last but not least, the outside terrace was facing the 2 waterfalls. Priceless! My experience was pleasant, the apartment was clean and everything was explained clearly.

Lauterbrunnen Airbnb
My Airbnb in Lauterbrunnen

What to do

  • Hiking
    Most people visit Lauterbrunnen because they are going to hike around the area such as Mänlichen, Jungfraujoch or Grindewald. From Lauterbrunnen you take the train that passes Wengen (a must stop for photo’s of the valley!) and it will take you as far as Kleine Scheidegg. From there you can also take the gondel up to Jungfraujoch and the famous James Bond platform.
  • Visit the Trummelbach Waterfalls
    These are the eye catchers of Lauterbrunnen and you can walk straight behind the falls with stairs going up. Tip: If you visit them around 7pm, it won’t be busy at all, even during high season.
  • Go Paragliding
    If you visit the Bern region, you will see a lot of parachutes and paragliders in the air. This is the ultimate activity for thrill seekers because the backdrop is stunning. Would you dare?
  • Explore Lauterbrunnen Village
    Because of its popularity, the town center can be quite busy during high season. However, this is the case in the morning, so get up early if you want to take some good photo’s.

Train Lauterbrunnen Switzerland
Traveling by Swiss train

Where to eat

Because we stayed in an Airbnb we opted for the local COOP supermarket in the village and enjoyed a home cooked meal. Restaurant prices can be extremely high unfortunately but there are a few places in Lauterbrunnen that are worth visiting and won’t leave you with empty pockets.

Café Lauterbrunnen | Wander-Lust

  • Coffee Bar Airtime
    They serve flat whites so I was sold. This cute coffee bar is located in the middle of the main street so you can’t miss it. They serve breakfast, cakes, healthy juices and lunch. They only accept cash so bring some!
  • Flavours
    Sandwiches are made to order, the coffee is actually done well and they serve homemade Focaccias! Burgers and salads are also on the menu.
  • Eiger Guesthouse Restaurant
    This place offers nice take away pizza’s that you can enjoy on a bench looking at the waterfall.

Tip: If you have kid(s); there is a nice playground near the waterfall and just 10 minutes walk from the main street. The best view from a children’s playground I’ve ever seen!

Read more about Switzerland!

Love,

Elke

WONDR will be an interactive Instagram Paradise in Amsterdam

If you want to lay in a bad full of marshmallows or boost your Instagram likes with interactive pastel walls, you can do it soon! On the 18th of September, a new pop-up museum by the name of WONDR will open in Amsterdam. 

With more museums in Amsterdam like Moco Museum NEMO focussing on being Interactive and playful, the younger generation is showing more interest in art and installations than ever before. Is it sharable on social media? Then your museum is likely to become a hit.

Get lost in an otherworldly jungle. Dive into a sea of pink marshmallows. Dance under a glittering sky. Write on the walls. Sing your heart out. Blend into artworks and experience what dreams are made of. – Wondr.

WONDR Museum | Wander-Lust

What is WONDR?

The pop-up museum describes themselves as “the secret ingredient to happiness” and when you check out their website, you are welcomed by pastel colours and disco balls. If it’s happiness or not, it is definitely the ingredient for a successful venture. Take the Ice-Cream museum in Los Angeles for example. It was sold out for months and getting a ticket was like getting the golden chocolate bar from Willy Wonka.

Where art and fun meets

Together with artist, makers and designers WONDR is going to display 15 colourful and playful installations where people can lose themselves in. Think of a swimming pool filled with marshmallows, a glittershower or chill out at the WONDR Café full of Instagrammable snacks.

Childish? We’re secretly exited by this pop-up! This interactive playground will be open until March 2020 so reserve your tickets for €24,50 to avoid disappointment.

WONDR
Meeuwenlaan 88

Website / Instagram

Happy playing!

Wander-Lust

*Photo’s courtesy of WONDR