We have visited Cordoba once before, and fell in love with it.
About a 2 hour drive from where we live, its a great place to spend the weekend. As a flower fanatic, I had heard about the patio festival that is held annually.
Every spring Córdoba bursts into bloom with special festivities for the month of May. The patio festival was an absolute must for me, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to head back
We arrived late in the evening and took a stroll around the beautiful city.
At this time of the evening it was virtually empty, giving us the feeling we had the place to ourselves.
The cobbled winding streets, beautiful and eerily quiet
We headed to one of our favourite Taberna's, Elabancio. As its right by one of the most beautiful spots of the city, Alley Flowers in the historical centre its perfect for a quick bite followed by some site seeing.
We ordered some typical Andalusian Tapas, iberico ham and manchego cheese.
This restaurant has the cutest carnation decorations all over the walls. Super cute
After a quick spot of tapas we headed to the Alley of Flowers which is literally next door to get THE SHOT.
Part 2 of weekend in Cordoba is here
You may have heard the term ‘money doesn’t bring happiness.’ This might sound patently ridiculous to someone facing eviction thanks to a job loss, or someone struggling to pay medical bills. It might sound ridiculous to someone struggling to find enough to eat, or being crippled by college debts. No matter how free-spirited you are, everyone has to accept that the world runs on this golden resource, and without it the comfort of our societies would crumble relatively quickly.
However, the main question - does money make you HAPPY, is one worth considering. This is because often there are those who seemingly have everything who struggle with intense existential issues and depression. Money is not a guarantee for happiness, but the following attitudes can inform this nuance further:
Yes, It Can
Well, let’s face it. Our troubles might be troubles, but getting away from them could be easier if we can simply hop on a plane to Norway and see the Northern Lights at the drop of a hat. Not worrying about having to work would be nice. Ensuring that you can indulge in your wildest dreams and those of your family would likely bring you closer together. You might win Mega Millions with lottosonline.com, or come into a vast wealth that was otherwise unknown to you or your inheritance keepers. You might have heard the phrase ‘yes, money doesn’t bring me happiness, but I’d rather be sad in my Ferrari.’ While this sentiment is amusing and lighthearted, and maybe even true, that doesn’t negate the fact that:
No, It Can’t
If you’re sad in a Ferrari, you’re still sad. There are layers of spiritual and emotional tuning that everyone, no matter the size of their bank balance, must contend with. For example, someone begging on the streets of a civilized society will no doubt come into an income stream (if small,) but the tendency to spend that on wasteful behaviours can keep them in that cycle. It might see easy on the surface to say ‘if only they got their act together!’ but as you say that you know the situation in more complex. People are oriented to who they are and their troubles regardless of their bank balance. Also, winning money can be less satisfactory than someone who has earned it. It all depends on your point of reference.
Well, It Might
Money is money. It isn’t good or bad on the surface, but it’s people that make it so. There is the true capacity for amazing things with it at your side, but only if you’re mature and put together enough to handle it well. Otherwise, it simply becomes a short-lived and relatively pleasant idea with no full grounding in reality. It’s always possible you might come into money, and this must not be taken for granted. However, a good character will largely determine how you use it, and the wholesome, sustaining nature of your enterprise. Working on yourself and your emotional core enough to keep you the same person with and without the money could be considered the ideal.
If you do come into money, this idea should hopefully ground you enough to enjoy it, and use it ethically. That attitude could potentially save your dignity if blessed enough to come into this advantage.
The the grande finale of the bachelorette weekend I organised for my friend, I had one final surprise up my sleeve.
A private boat charter. We would sail around the port of Sotogrande Spain, outwards towards Gibraltar, to take in views of Africa over a bottle of bubbly or 2
The bride to be had no idea of the surprise in store, and it was wonderful to see the look on her face when she arrived at the yacht. There is something truly amazing about being able to make someone so happy, and also knowing you literally knocked the whole weekend out of ball park ( single handed I might add)
We got acquainted with our home for the next few hours under the glorious Spanish sun.
We popped open the bubbles, cranked up the music and partied our way into the evening
There's something about being at sea, don't you think?
As the sun began too set we snuggled under blankets and watched the shades change from bright blue to intense orange... words cant describe the sheer beauty of it.
We sailed back towards Spain, after the most incredible evening
For Sundays events, I planned a Miami tropical theme pool party. Its was the perfect excuse to enjoy the pool and the Spanish sun.
So for this theme, I turned by terrace into a fun Miami/ tropical/ flamingo vibe
The main brief was colourful, fun and lots of flamingos (flamingos are my favourite)
I pulled together every flamingo, and inflatable that I could find to create this colourful look
All of the food was fun, pink and a little bit naughty. Pink donuts (customized with gold leaf), Popcorn and cupcakes all served in fun and colorful pineapple shaped bowls
And candyfloss cocktails served in daiquiri glasses! Quite the crowd pleazer. And adding some cocktails stirrers helped to jazz up the glasses
To try and balance the sugar overload with something a bit healthier we did fresh fruit plates served on cute pineapple plates and bowls
Mini cactus (real and candle form) were used to create the center piece. Along with some of the flowers from yesterdays event... which is by the way the best tip ever. Re use where you can. Tweak if you need to to make it fit on. This could be swapping out the vase to make it fit with the new theme or removing one of the shades of flower but this is a great way to get more out of your money when throwing a party,
Another super easy crowd pleaser is the doughnut stack, dressed with fresh flowers.
Once all of the food and decor is executed, It was time to hop into our swimsuits and play the music loudly. Luckily, our neighbours aren't in earshot so we can just get away with this
Flamingo drinking straws and pineapple napkins are also a great way to tie in the theme. And these gold paper cups were perfect for around the pool!
After the most incredible (if I do say so myself, ha ha) Alice in wonderland bridal brunch in the morning, I than planned for the Hen party to be collected from our villa and taken to Puerto Banus. The plan was to sample as many cocktails from Banus all the way to Marbella old town.
What more perfect way to spend the day than in the sun, soaking up the bank holiday vibes!
The coastal walk from Banus to Old town is so lovely, my husband and I do it quite frequently. There are so many beautiful sights, bars and restaurants not to mention the great exercise.
An absolute favourite of ours is The Marbella club hotel
One of the most beautiful hotels in Marbella, this hotel has it all.
I took the opportunity to show the girls MC Beach, Its only fair they experience the best Paella ever right?
What makes MC beach so special is that as its a Chiringuito its only open for a few months of the year. That, and its also right on the Beach
With views to die for
After a lovely lunch at MC Beach, we headed down the beach to Trocadero for the best cocktails in Marbella.
And let me assure you, these cocktails taste even better than they look!
Finally after too few or too many (depending on how you look at it) cocktails, we made to old town Marbella.
One of my absolute favorite places in Andalusia. This place always manages to help you feel like your on vacay. The smell of orange blossom trees waft through the Plaza de los Naranjos on hot balmy nights... a perfect place to end our evening.
After the first night of celebrations were over, we managed not to party too hard (well me at least) as I had day 2 of the surprise Bachelorette weekend to execute.
And this theme was one of my favourites to plan.
Guessed it yet? That's right, Alice in wonderland. I chose this theme for two reasons. Mainly because my friend had talked about doing this as a theme for as long as I could remember, and secondly it suited my garden so much.
Its full of secret passages, winding cork trees and dancing light. Its the perfect location for such a whimsical story
I cant tell you how much fun I had collection all the party props for this theme. Many of my teacups were antiques that I have collected over the years but I have found the odd one or two on eBay
For flowers, I went for colourful garden style flowers. I hung crystal lanterns with waxflower, tulips, roses and chrysanthemums in them from a seated garden arch I bought specially for the event which hung over the table.
I also found moss covered baskets, which blended into the sheet moss I laid down the center of the table. This really helped me to create the living theme I had in mind. The mini bottles of champagne I found at Selfridges, and are the smallest bottles of Champagne in the world.
I used playing cards to scatter across the table and hide in the teacups
And I found large playing cards to hang along with the flower arrangements, using co ordinating shades of ribbon.
I used pretty Alice in wonderland books as props, along with anything I could find that would would fit with the theme. If you dig deep, you'll be surprised at what you already have at home.
The little card box and silver key was from Tk Maxx a few years ago. I filled it with moss and little flowers
A little trail of playing cards led the way to the party at the bottom of the garden...
I filled some of the tea cups with flowers, and placed along the centre of the table
As another gift, I found an adult sizes Alice costume for the hen to change into. And she really did love it as she is a big fan of fancy dress.
And so the other guests didn't feel left out they had bunny ears to wear.
As it was a brunch, I served Coffee, tea, pink lemonade and juice to drink. And for those really in the hen party vibe... Champagne!
And to eat, we had freshly baked croissants, toast, yogurts and even cake (because a party without cake is really just a meeting)
I really recommend serving brunch for a party as its much easier to execute than a dinner or lunch. I also thinks its the cutest one to do too, as there are so many lovely options to serve which are not only delicious but that look cute too.
Dress is by Endless Rose, similar here
This newgate alarm clock is from John Lewis and was another item I already had around the house. See similar here and here
I also used various sized belle jars which not only helped to protect food from bugs, but also added an even more magical feel.
How cute is this blackberry cake with edible flowers, which I hand decorated!?
I found these super cute bunny and flower biscuits at Fortnum and Mason. These particular ones were from just around Easter, but Fortum do a selection all year like these afternoon tea ones (already thinking of a party I could use them for he he)
This hydrangea was one of my favourite arrangement's from the weekend as its colouring was so unusual and magical, it really tied in with the theme.
I also used wooden tree disks as place matts to tie in with the woodland/ Nature vibe.
The second surprise I had planned for my friend was an al fresco dinner in Le Belle jardin for her and her friends. Once she had gotten over her Pink entrance (here in case you missed it) I showed her the tables-cape I had designed for her
I wanted it to be pretty and feminine, but with a pop of colour to add a little fun.
I made three large arrangements using roses, tulips and lots of green foliage
And for the tableware, I went for a combination of pink, blue and crystal.
I had been purchasing items for weeks that would make up a pool party gift box for Sundays event. Inside it had a super cute Miss to Mrs swimming costume (some of the bridal party had matching team bride swimsuits HERE) an inflatable crown, a flamingo garland for the pool party along with some Flamingo shades
When it was time to light the candles as the sun started to go down the tablescape took on such a magical vibe
And the curtain fairy lights really added such a pretty touch
Blue table cloth here, Crystal glasses here
I also hung Bistro bulbs in the bougainvilla over the front of the house to add even more sparkle as well as some little candle lanterns
The crystal tealight holders were from H&M home.
We all sat down, ate delicious food, drank lovely wine and relaxed ahead of a very hectic weekend of celebrating
I was so pleased with how my AL fresco bachelorette dinner turned out, what do you guys think?
When my friend told me she was getting married, the cogs started to tick immediately as to how I could make this as special moment as possible for her.
Knowing from experience how incredibly important it is that your nearest and dearest step up on these most special lifetime moments, I knew what I had to do...
I planned her an entire weekend of surprises at my home in Spain
She would arrive on the Friday night, without the slightest clue of the surprises I had in store.
For the first surprise, I wanted to create an entrance, A PINK ONE
I started in the hallway. The fireplace lends itself to the cutest floral displays. I made a foliage garland from bougainvillea, wax flower and lemon leaves. To finish and to tie in my pink theme I popped in a few roses (pink Floyd Ecuador)
Balloon instillation are all over insta at the moment, so I really wanted to try one. Not bad for a first attempt I think. A glue gun (to attach the balloons), some helium (for the floating balloons) and some honeycomb balls, and you have a super fun and super pink photo opp area. And it was only fair my pink flamingo should make an appearance
I arranged champagne and coups by the door to greet my guests, along with gold sparkly crowns... to get them in the party mood and merry vibe as quickly as possible.
And once all of the components to the weekend were in place after a weeks worth of execution and months of prep (you'll see why as the posts unfold) I could finally put on my party outfit celebrate my friends engagement
My friend and I affectionately call each other Tart, so I could not resist buying balloon letters to spell this out knowing it would amuse her greatly
However luck would have other plans and as I blew up the final T, it exploded leaving me with no time to grab another... isn't that just typical (rolls eyes)
She was so over whelmed with other hundreds of balloons she didn't even notice until I pointed it out, and then she saw the funny side.
If your looking for hen party ideas i'll be blogging all week about the weekend I planned, so keep an eye out as the weekend unfolds. We're only just getting started...
Sundays in Paris were made for long luxurious breakfasts and pottering around the city
And one of the best places for a luxurious breakfast is Le Meurice. After all, what could be more luxurious than breakfast in a ballroom?
Restaurant Le Meurice is Inspired by the Salon de la Paix at the Château de Versailles, and I promise you will feel every bit as fabulous as Marie Antoinette herself here . Recently rejuvenated by Philippe Starck, the rococo ceiling is something else
Crystal chandeliers of dreams hang from the ceilings and and elegant frescoes adorn the walls and ceilings
I really love the ceremony of breakfast. The freshly ground coffee being poured and the "just out of the oven" croissants and pastries arriving.
Along with freshly squeezed juice and fruit plates.
Its wonderful to have no plans other to savour every moment of the day
And take in the twinkling lights of the Chandeliers.
Before heading off into the fresh spring morning to make new memories.
And after you have taken in more of the city, its time for another cafe creme, this time in my all time favourite hotel The Plaza athenee.
I absolutely intend to do a full post about this wonderful hotel in the future but for now I'll show you a fab spot for coffee and a dose of luxury
And did I mention that the Plaza Athenee was were my husband proposed? So it truly is a special place for us.
Dress is ASOS. Handbag is Chanel
La Galerie is just the perfect place to sit back, relax and enjoy a fabulous cocktail or in my case a cafe creme. Incredibly stylish but also reassuringly relaxing, have a spot of lunch or even afternoon tea
On our way to Amsterdam a couple of weeks ago, I spied out of the corner of my eye a perfect pop of pink at the Jo Malone counter.
Well, it had my attention right away and I swiftly marched myself over.
It was the new "Blossom Girls" Launch. In case you didn't know i'm utterly obsessed with blossom trees . And I'm utterly obsessed with Jo Malone.
3 new fragrances, Limited edition floral's in the prettiest packaging ever.
BLOOMING PLUM BLOSSOM. PLAYFUL NASHI BLOSSOM. AND THE PRETTY SAKURA CHERRY BLOSSOM.
The one that really got my attention was the Sakura Cherry blossom Cologne. Its described on the Jo Malone website as "A pretty Blossom Girl" (Hello, so me!!!). The lightness of spring. Pure and transient. Subtle layers of cherry blossom, rose and violet. Brightened with sparkling bergamot. And I couldn't agree more with the description.
The top note is Bergamot (another of my favorite fragrances) Brightens with its sparkling, citrus freshness
The middle note (or heart note) is Cherry Blossom Delicate and airy, captivating with the diaphanous softness of spring blossoms.
And the base note is Rosewood which has a soft, woody sensuality.
The combination is utterly captivating and feminine... I absolutely love it, sakura blossom is going to be my perfect spring/ summer scent!
A Travel, beauty and lifestyle blog with the occasional afternoon tea by Angelina Belle
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