Throw back to South Africa

It’s been our second trip to South Africa. We travelled around the country, did 3 thousand kilometers in 3 weeks and got back 3 months ago.

And I honestly don’t know what took me so long to share some photos from that journey. My guess is that first I was digesting all the emotions that arose during the time spent in this amazing country. Then, reality kicked in, and I got busy with work-related projects, which always keeps me away from the blog.

But SA is always on my mind. I recently started noting down some ideas for our trip next year. In case you wonder, it is going to be South Africa again, for the 3rd time. There is so much to revisit and so much more to discover…

But before we go again, and come back with hundreds of new photos, here is a handful of snapshots from our most recent Southafrican trip. Enjoy.

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PS. I also have an extra treat for my Polish readers – a little feature I wrote for the Polish edition of Harper’s Bazaar. It’s been published in the June issue (currently on sale – until June 20th).

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INTO my world: Inspirations

I’ve been invited by online magazine INTO Passion to share my inspirations. So, here they are, for your perusal as well:)

I run my own PR consultancy, representing lifestyle brands and celebrities, and in my free time I travel and take pictures. In fact, I take pictures all the time. I fell out of love with photography for a few years, having gotten upset with digital cameras. Yet since I cracked the technicalities behind the digital SLR camera, with a little help from a friend and professional photographer, I have it on me wherever I go (I use Canon EOS 100D 50mm/1.8 lens) – unless I go out in the evening and it doesn’t fit into my clutch, in which case I switch on to my iPhone. After all, a day without a post on the Instagram is a day lost.

Magda_Bulera_Payne_MarseilleTaking a selfie in Marseille, France – for a dedicated post click here.

Instagram

I try to avoid the thought that I am addicted to Instagram, though I think I am. I check Instagram after my morning yoga session and I check it again at the end of the day. I love browsing over cool pictures, am interested in other people’s perception of the world, and I like sharing my own photographic discoveries. On the professional level, I look at Instagram as an interesting phenomenon – it is a reflection of current trends.

Stylist

British lifestyle weekly. I read it on my iPad. Every week it inspires me with new things. I like Stylist for everything – their covers, the layout, the language they use and the topics they cover. I appreciate their fresh take on fashion. A must read every Tuesday.

London

My second home. I worked in London, I met my husband in London, I go there for the London fix – the theaters, shopping, exhibitions. I love the rhythm of this city, I have my trails there, favorite restaurants. At the moment I love living in Warsaw and coming over to London, although I’d love to share my time equally between the two cities. I get attached to people, not places, so this scenario is quite possible. Magda_Bulera_Payne_London Strolling through the streets of London, UK – for a dedicated post click here.

He is Dapper

Blog I co-run with my husband. He is the protagonist and the writer, I take photographs. We work on the blog together. It’s a testing ground – we’re creating a new brand, so it is only natural that we clash creatively but we always find a way to reach understanding. It is a very inspiring journey. The blog is also a place on the internet where men’s fashion is presented on the back of short stories. It is worth checking out. Do have a look.

Coffee

I drink coffee for pleasure. It is the only thing I missed during our recent holiday in Sri Lanka. You can’t get a decently brewed coffee over there. It is definitely a tea-making country (I brought back a year’s allowance of Ceylon tea). I drink my coffee once a day, after breakfast, with rice milk and a blend of spices (cinnamon, cardamom, ginger etc.). It is my little daily ritual.

Magda_Bulera_Payne_Sri LankaA leisurely ride in Bentota, Sri Lanka – for a dedicated post click here.

Yoga

I have practiced ashtanga yoga for 10 years now. I do it more or less intensively but I always find my way back to yoga. It keeps me healthy and it keeps me sane. Sometimes it helps me reach a zen state of mind.

Books

I always read something, usually a few books at a time, on different topics. At the moment I’m reading Elsa Schiaparelli. A biography by Meryl Secrest, Operation Mincemeat by Ben Macintyre and Włosi. Życie to teatr (The Italians. Life is a theater) by Maciej Brzozowski. I recommend all three – for fashion, thriller and Italy fans, respectively.

To see the original version of this feature – go here.

To read the Polish version – please click here.

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Missing Barcelona

I checked the weather in Barcelona today – 24 degrees and sunny. The sun must have decided to stay in Barcelona, as there was no trace of it in Warsaw. Oh, and there was a 10-degree difference in temperature… Thankfully, it was only two weeks ago, when I was basking under the Mediterranean sun and enjoying the capital of Catalonia. It is a wonderful place to recharge your batteries. That weather, those tapas bars, the wine, the sea. Life filled with simple pleasures is simply beautiful…

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PS. Agata, thank you for an amazing time. Muchas gracias!

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A summer to remember…

Fall seems to be arriving faster than expected, don’t you think? We just got used to those warm summer evenings, when sitting outside – on a balcony, in a cafe, or by the lake – seemed like the best moment of your life. And then, suddenly, those very evenings got, well, colder. September always sounds alarming, in a way. Kids go back to school, people get back from holidays, the madness of fashion weeks kicks in – there is this prevailing aura of urgency in the air. Things need to be done, and they need to be done NOW.

Well, before we all switch on the work mode, perform a wardrobe overhaul and pull out those knee boots out of the darkest depths of the closet – I am taking a moment to reminisce about my summer trips. Looking back at those past few months I realized I’ve been to quite a few beautiful places, the memory of which will be fueling my batteries during those long, less sunny, winter months. After all, isn’t life about collecting memories?

IMG_9281Chilling out in Fuerteventura with my husband

heisdapper02_13One of those amazing sunsets in Fuerteventura/Canary Islands

IMG_0481Cut-outs by Matisse, exhibition at Tate Modern, London/UK

IMG_1991Taking an afternoon stroll, after seeing BP Portrait Award 2014 exhibition at National Portrait Gallery, London

IMG_2004Hunting for second hand books in Charing Cross Road, London

IMG_0747Grand finale of Cubania by Carlos Acosta at the Royal Opera House, London

IMG_1468Lavender fields forever, Provence/France

IMG_1274Watching busy bees buzzing in lavender flowers, Provence

IMG_1413Lavender souvenirs, sold everywhere you go in Provence

IMG_1208Marseille, the city full of surprises, Provence

IMG_1074Romeo and Juliet, part of this year’s Festival d’Avignon, Provence

IMG_0961The breathtaking installation Klimt and Vienna at Carrrieres de Lumieres in Provence

Louis-Vuitton-SOS-Poland-21Hanging out with kids at the SOS Children’s Village Summer Camp in Lidzbark Warminski/Poland

he-is-dapper-1001Relaxing spot on the roof of a tree house near Nałęczów/Poland

IMG_0995A true gem for all nature lovers – Korolowa Chata in Nowoberezowo/Poland

For more photos from Fuerteventura click HERE.

For more photos from Provence click HERE (Carrieres de Lumieres) and HERE (Marseille).

For more photos from Podlasie (Northeast Poland) click HERE.

To see more pictures from the visit to an SOS Children’s Village summer camp click HERE.

Enjoy!

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Korolowa Chata – miejsce z dobrą energią

Piekę ciasto z podlaskich jabłek. Z przepisu mojej cioci Bożeny – wprawdzie jest na ciasto bananowe, ale sprawdza się zawsze, również w roli jabłecznika i ciasta marchewkowego, a co najważniejsze, ZAWSZE się udaje! Każde jabłko jest z innego drzewa – mam papierówki, antonówki i … jeszcze kilka jabłek, o nazwy których zapomniałam zapytać gospodarzy.

Dawno tak nie wypoczęliśmy. Spędziliśmy tylko trzy dni na Podlasiu, a czuliśmy się, jakby minęło ich co najmniej pięć. Zatrzymaj się i zrozum … – to pierwsze słowa na stronie Korolowej Chaty. W tym miejscu naprawdę można się zatrzymać. Znalazłam je przez przypadek, w internecie. Nie mogę sobie przypomnieć, co doprowadziło mnie do Nowoberezowa. Ale najwyraźniej tak miało być. Przecież nic nie dzieje się bez przyczyny.

Korolowa Chata to stary dom z sosnowych bali. Został zbudowany w latach 50-tych i odrestaurowany dopiero w tym roku. Byliśmy czwartymi gośćmi. A to tylko jeden z powodów, dla których czuliśmy się tam wyjątkowo. Chatę odrestaurowała urocza para – Sławek i Ula – chcąc przyrócić jej należną świetność, z wielką pieczołowitością i dbałością o detale. Mieszkali tutaj dziadkowie Sławka, po nich odziedziczył to miejsce, nie dziwi więc, że w jego odnowienie włożył całe serce. To widać na każdym kroku – przypominają o tym piękne drewniane ornamenty, mała kapliczka w sypialni, ażurowe firanki i mnóstwo regionalnych bibelotów…

Już wiem, że wrócimy w to miejsce. Już wiem, kiedy. Jeśli szukacie wytchnienia od zgiełku miasta, jeśli lubicie szum topoli, jeśli potraficie celebrować leniwe śniadania na werandzie i chcecie spróbować przyrządzić kolację przy ognisku – to miejsce jest dla Was. Nie ma tutaj hotelowych luksusów. Tutaj luksusem jest przestrzeń, spokój, życie w rytmie natury.

Zobaczcie zdjęcia, mam nadzieję, że zachęcą Was, by tutaj przyjechać. Na trzy dni albo na dłużej. Ja tymczasem idę zajrzeć do jabłecznika… IMG_2940IMG_3882 IMG_3885IMG_3874IMG_3876IMG_2996IMG_2989IMG_3009IMG_2970IMG_2946IMG_2948IMG_2929

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If there is one thing to see in France this year, it’s this

You walk in. You stop. You don’t quite know what’s happening. The floor is dancing, the walls are moving, the music is filling you inside. You need to adjust your senses. The room is full of colorful images. They are constantly changing, in harmony with the powerful notes of Beethoven, Strauss and Puccini.

It’s breathtaking. It’s something you haven’t seen before. Unless you’ve already been to this place before, in which case I don’t blame you. I think I might travel to Carrieres de Lumieres to see it again. Soon.

The exhibition Klimt and Vienna. A century of gold and colors is open until January 4th 2015 at the impressive Carrieres the Lumieres quarries in Les Baux-de-Provence in the south of France.

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A well deserved break…

I so needed a holiday! It was just one week but it was perfect for changing the scenery, recharging the batteries, clearing the mind… We went to Fuerteventura, one of the Canary Islands, off the coast of Africa. It has a little bit of everything – the sea, the beaches, the mountains but above all, it has the most incredible, really powerful winds. I love wind. It makes me feel it brings something new, something fresh. During our stay it definitely brought the relief from the (really hot) sun and … fresh fish to our plates:) Our hotel was built in a little fishing village (very convenient location for a fish lover), just by the sea, which was simply wonderful. Not only did we awake to the beautiful, peaceful view but also fell asleep to the sound of the sea… I shall be tapping into those memories for instant relaxation…

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The Spirit of Travel by Louis Vuitton

The new Louis Vuitton campaign, The Spirit of Travel, is being unveiled across various media as you are reading this post. I had the chance to see the film (watch the trailer here), which will soon be unveiled – back in January, at a meeting in Paris. The very memory of it is giving me goose bumps… It is mesmerizing. It is unbelievably beautiful. It sets you on a journey straight away. First in your head, then you start looking for a destination, but above all – you just want to set foot on the unknown, where you haven’t yet been… I happened to have been to South Africa, where the campaign was shot, and although the beautiful shots were taken around Cape Town, whereas I visited the northern parts near Johannesburg, the country – wherever you go – is truly a unique and amazing location to tell a story about travelling. You can read about my love for Africa in the post from last year.

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Back to the campaign though. The allure of the unknown and the thrill of exploration – are captured in a series of stunning images, shot by Peter Lindbergh, styled by Carine Roitfeld, and starring models Karen Elson and Edie Campbell. The photographer gives us an insight into the captivating spirit of the campaign – We travelled to South Africa with almost complete creative license and a wonderful cast. Karen Elson and Edie Campbell are two young women travelling in a very personal, but not necessarily narrative way. Working without any layouts or prefixed ideas allowed us to create spontaneous and real situations. The result is charming and natural.

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Apart from the models, and the iconic Louis Vuitton bags, you will also see beautiful animals in the pictures – wild giraffes, as well as cheetahs and a pair of lion cubs – these majestic cats were obviously taken care of by professionals. So fear not, nobody from the crew got eaten for breakfast, although Edie Campbell revealed in an exclusive for British Grazia that – The cheetahs were a bit scary. Even though they had been photographed and filmed a lot, they were still quite wild – they behaved as long as you had a chunk of steak for them. – read more here.

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The journey is the destination… Getting there is not as important as the experience of going… – the new Louis Vuitton advertising campaign conjures the original spirit of travel. I’m definitely sold and … searching my diary for a good time to go on a journey. To travel is to live…

All photography by Peter Lindbergh, copyright Louis Vuitton.

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When in London, come to Thai Cottage

Thai Cottage is a family-run institution, serving authentic Thai food right in the heart of London Soho. Unlike many places in the area, this restaurant won’t break your bank, with lunch deals priced at just 5.50 pounds. Being a seafood lover, I always go for prawn dishes. Stir fry prawn with baby corn and spring onion in oyster sauce (£8.75) or prawn in green/red curry paste with coconut milk, aubergine, bamboo shoots & sweet basil (£8.95) are every time safe bets. Thai Cottage curries are smooth, silky and simply melt in your mouth. Stir fries offer just the right texture of prawns and vegetables. If you prefer meat options – try chicken in red curry paste with coconut milk, aubergine, bamboo shoots & sweet basil (£6.95). When it comes to starters, I recommend deep fried fish cakes (£5.50) with home-made chilli sauce or chicken satays (£4.95).

By the way, do not get discouraged by the somewhat vintagey decor – this place is as authentic as it can get and the food will make up for the (possibly) lacking modern design. After all, you are after a good meal at a good price and, trust me, you will not be disappointed.
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Address: Thai Cottage, 34 D’Arbley Street, Soho/London W1F.
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Today I’m wearing #4

If you have to travel alone, travel in style – said Daniel Cleaver to Bridget Jones, dropping her off to a fancy dress party.  Luckily, my travel did not require me to wear a bunny-girl outfit. Last week, for the weekend trip to Poznan, to attend Art & Fashion Festival, I went for a slightly less extravagant selection of clothes.




This is what I packed, clockwise from top left:
Marc by Marc Jacobs umbrella (bought in London when it rained, obviously)
Zara ballerinas
Stradivarius jumper with a heart
Solar clutch
Kenneth Cole pumps (gift from my husband, bought in New York)
COS top
Swarovski earrings
Michael Kors watch
Marella skirt (my best second hand find ever!)
Estee Lauder limited edition BCA campaign pink vanity case and pink ribbon (it’s October after all)
Sunglasses case
Hair brush
COS scarf (from the current mid-season sale, still up for grabs!)
Orska angel pendant (gift from the designer)
Jewels travel case (perfect for keeping your bits & pieces in check)
Book on contemporary Polish fashion by Marcin Różyc (an apt choice for a fashion festival and a good read for the train journey)
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