I am a ferm believer in enjoying those little things in life, appreciate the moment and just be happy. I know there are so many things in life that can get you down (we all have those moments..) and because of that I think it’s important to have times to look back at and say to yourself “in that moment I was truly happy!” It can be things like meeting your best friend for a coffee & a chat, popping a prosecco bottle with a group of girlfriends or as simple as a walk in the park when the light hits the trees in that magical way. It can be laughing so hard that you start crying, getting a smile from a stranger just when you need it, or listening to your favourite music. Those moments are what keeps you going, those moments will lift your mood on a cloudy day and put a smile on your face.
For me one of those moments I will treasure for a long time was a cozy date with my boyfriend when we were in Norway. We decided to take a little drive to a place called Hå Gamle Prestegard, which is an old vicarage that served as the residence of a senior civil servant several hundred years ago. Today, as well as hosting exhibitions and events, you can find a cafe serving lunch as well as cakes and coffee for guests. When stepping inside you get that warm welcoming feeling, its like visiting someone you know and eating lunch in their living room. The cafe has the perfect Scandi vibe and the food is rural and hearthy. We had the chicken soup, which was perfect as it was a very windy, cold day. Sitting there in silence, enjoying the meal and looking out at the view of the pebble beach was one of those moments. A truly happy moment.
Last week I came back to Italy from a lovely week in Norway. Here are some autumnal images I took there to start your wanderlust off..
While visiting Stavanger I had to check the newest addition in town; Kokko! After hearing so much about this coffee place I was very curious to see it for myself, and I was not disappointed. Kokko is a space for anyone interested in coffee, architecture & design. It is a café, but also has a architecture firm located on the top floor. Because of this the interior is very aesthetically pleasing with a lot of great details like an exposed brick wall, a cozy fireplace and a open wood shelf. There is also a great selection of design and lifestyle books for sale, and of course coffee plus delicious looking food.
I also had a lovely walk along the Hafrsfjord walking path looking at cute houses, the beautiful scenery and breathing in the fresh autumn air – recommended if you are in the area!
I have never been to Finland, but I hope to visit one day! And when I do I would love to stay in this Dream Hotel designed by Studio Puisto. I’m loving the use of hanging basket seats and the strips of timber, it gives a very minimal and nordic look.
The hotel is located in an old factory building in the city centre of Tampere, along with a hostel. The rooms were designed in a basic style to keep costs low, and the focus was to create a private sleeping area for the guests. The rooms are very minimal, in the hallways you can find seating so that this space acts as communal living spaces. This helps to merge the hostel with the hotel, a great way to offer accommodation for all needs within one building.
This Sunday we had a trip to the mountains, sometimes I forget how close it actually is. For a moment I almost felt like I was back in Norway on a Sunday hike.. I wanted to share some images with you to show that it is actually quite easy to get the Scandinavian feeling here in Italy, you just have to look for it.
Growing up Sunday’s were usually the day for family and a lot of times this meant being outside. We would go for hiking trips, walks in nature or exploring different areas around us. It was always a great way to end the week, to get a chance to switch of your brain for a bit and just enjoy the surroundings. Living in Italy can be quite different from back home in Norway, but in the north it’s actually not as different as you would think. The great thing is that it’s so easy to just jump on a train or in your car and get away for a day or a weekend, perfect for anyone with some serious wanderlust. We live quite close to one of the biggest parks in Europe, Monza Park, but sometimes I crave that mountains feeling. Because of that we decided to take a little trip yesterday to an authentic little mountain town about one hour from us; Piani Dei Resinelli. We arrived just in time for lunch, and found this super cute cabin serving Italian winter-food. How good does fried cheese-filled doughballs and blueberry (!) pasta sound?
“The mountains are calling and I must go..” – John Muir
After the lunch we went to explore the area, and even ran into a group of goats. I had with me my trusted Kanken Fjällraven backpack, because us Norwegian’s will never go hiking without a backpack. Usually this backpack would be filled with hiking snacks like oranges, biscuits (a favourite being the classic Kvikk Lunch – Norwegian for “Quick Lunch”) & a thermos with hot chocolate. It’s important to keep the energy level up as well as being prepared incase of emergency, especially if its a “hangry” emergency!
Little trips like this really is an energy boost, I now feel refreshed and ready to tackle a new week! In Norwegian we have a saying “ut på tur, aldri sur” (which translates to “out for a walk / hike, never in a bad mood”) and it’s so true.
HEJ (meaning hi in Swedish) is a Scandi cool cafe / flower shop established in Bermondsey. With cozy Nordic interior and a wooden moose head mounted on the wall it gives the perfect hygge vibe, a little taste of Sweden in one of the most trendy streets of London. Here you can get coffee (of course), a selection of home-made pastries, open-faced sandwiches and Viking Balls – traditional Swedish meatballs in organic bread.
You can also find a shop section where they sell their own coffee blends, now also available from their online shop from wherever you are in the world after popular demand! Since they believe everyone should have access to great coffee, they also offer lessons at their coffee school for anyone interested, and even gives out free coffee if you pop in. This place sounds like coffee heaven to me.. If I was still living in London (and I actually lived in Bermondsey for a while) this would most likely be where you would find me most days!
“With a complex blend of hard work, an inquisitive nature and a dash of rebellion, we ensure our coffee delivers stacks of flavour and a generous heap of positivity in each cup” – HEJ
I am off to Paris for a long weekend with my girlfriends, looking forward to shopping, sunshine, picnic in the park, drinks and sightseeing! Below you can find some of my Paris themed travel essentials for anyone planning a trip, and if you have any tips for what I should get up to in Paris make sure to let me know in the comments!