BEING ABLE TO TRAVEL AS PART OF MY LITTLE BLOG IS SOMETHING I’VE DREAMED OF,WHAT AN INSANE 24 HOURS FILLED WITH AMAZING PEOPLE, FOOD AND EXPERIENCES!
At the start of this year I set myself a little bucket list, a compilation of things I’d love to achieve by the end of the year – personal goals, business targets and aspirations. Although I may not be close to some of them (more of this in a later blog post) I’m super happy that I’ve managed to smash a few! One thing I wanted to do more of this year was travel – I set myself a goal of going abroad at least twice, by the end of the year I would have doubled that. When the lovely guys from Ice asked me to be a part of celebrating their 10 years in Belgium, I was beaming! They’re a brand you would have seen me work with on numerous occasions – as a blogger it’s an amazing feeling being able to endorse a brand you really feel proud to be a part of and have a genuine passion for.
I adore everything they stand for – the fun, the vibrancy, the accessibility – something that was further reinforced by meeting some of the incredible creatives behind Ice in Belgium! With that, I wanted to share my blogging trip to Belgium with you guys – what we did, where we ate and also, very importantly, what I wore ( plus one hilarious packing drama and a dress malfunction – more of this on the Vlog 😉 ) Hoping you love this one – would love to know whether you guys have been before!
WHERE WE STAYED
Ice Watch was born in Bastogne – where in incredible offices are based (such inspiring, open and art filled spaces!) – so this was where we spent most of our time! We stayed at the Hotel Vayamundo in Houffalize, a gorgeous, glass fronted hotel that seemed never ending (Another laughable aspect in the vlog – I failed to listen to the receptionist and got lost trying to find my room!)
It was set within grounds that resembled a national park – gorgeous trees lining the Hotel and as we drove past the town I was in awe of the classic architecture of the buildings – classic European, pretty and quaint and totally instagrammable! I absolutely love exploring new places in Europe, so this was a big tick off of my list!
WHAT WE DID
Our first port of call was Breakfast and a tour of the Ice Watch Headquarters and offices – a peek around their inspiring space and a morning fuelled on Croissants and macarons! After taking a few snaps of probably, the most Pinterestable offices filled with gorgeous prints and high beams, we all sat down to learn more of Ice Watch and just how much has happened within the last 10 years! The fun then began in the form of illustrating our own watch strap ideas (I spent most of my time hunting down inspo on Pinterest, only to not finish my design!) Lunch then called, followed by a tour of the Cyril Chocolate factory (This guy was actual, real-life, Belgium Willy Wonka – What a character!)
After quick coffee, pit stop I headed back to my room to get ready, followed by the wonderful Makeup Forever artists treating me to a makeup session before shooting off the location for our surrealist dinner and after party! We had a seriously luxe evening, filled with beautiful champagne (I’m a total sucker) wonderful dresses, performances, getting to chat to the other lovely, international bloggers and the most incredible dinner of my life. Never have I been so taken aback by an experience – I was expecting brilliance but not on this scale! I truly felt so proud to be a part of such a wonderful brands heritage celebrations!
WHAT WE ATE
Food is always a highlight of any trip, I love the sociability and trying cuisine from different parts of the world – might I add these guys cater really well for veggies – something that is always super welcome! It never occurs to me that my options may be limited abroad, especially as the UK is generally so good when it comes to peoples lifestyle choices and dietary requirements! Firstly, I need to say how incred the hospitality on the Premium Eurostar carriage was! The morning after, we had a gorge breakfast at Ice HQ full of macarons, fruit and more pastry varieties than I even knew existed served with plenty of flowing coffee and juice!
For lunch, we hit L’adresse in Bastogne, which was a Michelin star restaurant tucked away in a beautiful rural setting. On arrival we drank sparkling cocktails (always welcome!) and were delighted to a 3 course meal with canapés (I’m also always astounded how they manage to make foam taste so. damn. good!) After our cheeky tasting at the Chocolate Factory, we headed back to hotel to refresh with coffee (the breakfast at Hotel Vayamundo was delicious (great, fresh juices!) before heading to the surrealist dinner by Charles Kaisin. A warehouse filled with 400 dinner guests – never have I witness such a fantastic spectacle and incredible food and wine! ACTUAL. FOODY. HEAVEN. It was like combining fine dining with theatre – every course delighted us with a show (even the waiters costume changed!) Mind blown.
WHAT I WORE
JUST OVER A 24 HOUR STOP, TRAVELLING, A BUSY DAY & A BIG PARTY CALLED FOR SOME TACTICAL PACKING
If you guys have watched my Vlog from my time a Belgium on my Youtube Channel, you would have seen the last minute dress dilemma that I encountered ( Hello stapled, see through, kaftan turned into a dress 😉 ) The dress code was bright & bold, which was a little tricky for a gal that owns a plethora of white and black dresses! After I stitched something a little last minute together (I was actually pretty happy with the Zimmerman vibes of this dress!) I crammed in some heels and a slip dress, plus my fave curling/wave wand of the mo and I was good to go!
Belgium was forecast to be a little drizzly and cold (we got super lucky & the day turned out beaut!) However I still packed a classic, camel coat, black blazer, some comfy but chic denim, some mules (total travel essential!) an oversized tee and a huge, squishy jumper! I feel like I’m slowly nailing the skill of packing little capsule wardrobe for trips away! Chuck all of your top picks on your bed to check all your items work well together to make the most out of your mini, travel wardrobe! (More of my packing & holiday tips here!)
SHOP MY BELGIUM WARDROBE & WHAT I WORE!
I hope you guys loved my little guide to the alternative side to Benidorm – it really was such an incredible, whirlwind 3 days of luxury, food, beautiful people and wonderful views! You guys over on Instagram couldn’t believe where I was! Massive thank you again to the fabulous guys from Jet2Holidays and Visit Benidorm for an unforgettable trip – I’m already planning my return! Where’s your ultimate holiday destination my loves – are you a beach babe or a city lover?
Photography by myself and the lovely Emma from The Emasphere!