A few weeks ago we headed up to Prince Edward County, someplace neither of us have ever been! I’ve always seen everyone posting about how gorgeous it is and the quaint unique stays available in the County so wanted to see what all the hype was about. (the hype is in fact very real lol)

We checked into the Drake Motor Inn, a nostalgic nod to the classic roadside motel – without the musty old-school motel vibes you’re thinking about lol think updated rooms, modern twists and amenities, keyless digital entry, and ‘woof’ beds! This is probably one of the first places I’ve come across who encourage bringing your furry friend along and provide everything they also need for a comfortable stay!

You’re also probably wondering if the Motor Inn has any affiliation with The Drake Hotel in Toronto, and the answer is yes! Think of it as a sister property to The Drake Hotel located in Toronto, and the Drake Devonshire in Wellington (Prince Edward County). The Drake Motor Inn is actually located just up the road from the lakefront Drake Devonshire which allows you to enjoy and explore both properties – the restaurant and bar is actually located at the Devonshire so that’s where you would head for some munch regardless, pleasant stroll included!

The Motor Inn itself is a two-building guesthouse featuring 12 pet-friendly rooms with an abundance of unique art, photography, and installations placed around the grounds (which also translates over at The Devonshire). Rooms can be booked as either single, double, and triple stays, depending on the size of your party, and each room features their own balcony or walk-out garden.

Upon booking, simply let the team know if you’ll be bringing pets or babies and they’ll set your room accordingly – if you don’t know this by now, we literally travel everywhere with our baby bassinet lol and did so again on this trip presuming there would be no other space for her to sleep so it just made sense. We were oh so pleasantly surprised when we opened the door and saw a crib by the bedside and my heart went all warm and fuzzy inside because I thought it was such a considerate and thoughtful gesture, especially since we had never once requested anything for bubba x extra points in our books for the team for catering to their guests and to be honest the same hospitality and warmth was something very evident and consistent throughout our entire stay!xxx

Back to the rooms lol – rooms are equipped with a stocked mini fridge, retro snacks, and quality body amenities (Malin+Goetz Rum Body Wash is now my fave!)  Each building has the most coolest of common rooms which are perfect to lounge in or get some work done – board games, and vintage polaroid cameras are available for you to borrow and complimentary tea/coffee is brought out to the common rooms every morning! An outdoor fire pit and yard space is also on the grounds for guest use.

We were fortunate to spend a good amount of time on both properties, the Motor Inn and the Devonshire as it’s where we ate all our meals and enjoyed the lakefront view!

Our first night consisted of a gorgeous lakefront dinner at The Perch. What on earth is ‘The Perch’ you may ask?! The Perch is a unique multi-functional outdoor wooden A-frame built out over the water, essentially looking like a wooden tent if you will, which can be used for anything from intimate proposals, to concerts, to special dining experiences, and oh so cool in my personal opinion!

The team had set up an almost glamping-like dining experience for us which I loved, and loved even more because there was enough space for us to have our bassinet in close proximity! While we ate, Nunu was lulled to sleep by the waves and it was the most loveliest of evenings x Another notable mention about catering to guests needs, I had mentioned that we only eat halal, but seafood was totally okay, and to be honest did not think twice about anyone sourcing halal meat out in Prince Edward County of all places. Not only was a variety of halal steak and lamb offered to us (which was delicious by the way!), but non-alcoholic mocktails to compliment dinner was the cherry-on-top to us truly feeling that the team had gone above-and-beyond to ensure we got the very best experience during our stay. They didn’t have to, but they did, and again that consistent hospitality and kindness is a reason we will be back again! *sidenote: burrata and grilled peaches is not a combo to sleep on!

I was up early the next morning so had a bit of a wander by the lake and explored the back trail at the Devonshire. It made me realize how much I missed those early mornings during my solo travels of just silent stillness and a cool breeze which made me feel like all was one with the world x I lucked out and caught sight of a beautiful Heron on the lakefront which is actually the first time I’ve ever seen one up close so yay for firsts! The back trail was more of a unique art walk, with various pieces of art posted against the fence and a nostalgic tetherball pole which we of course tried our hand at haha

The addition of a porch at the back end of the property which overlooks the lake was the perfect spot to enjoy my quiet morning with a side of fresh blueberry scones made in-house. It ended up being my private short-lived pinterest morning lol but I loved it just the same! Colourful barstools, standing tables, and built-in benches allow for a less ‘formal’ lounging experience and a perfect spot to grab drinks and chat while enjoying the lakefront breeze.

As our stay was only for a couple days, we only managed to see a little bit of town. There was an Alpaca farm I was keen on taking Nunu to, but I also considered she’s still a little too small to enjoy it so it’s been postponed until our next trip to the County. The Old Greenhouse Ice cream Shop is definitely worth stopping by, and it’s exactly that; an old greenhouse turned into an ice cream shop lol which was quite cool. There was a beautiful park up the road also which overlooks the lake which seemed fab for picnics or for kids to run wild – another point worth noting about the County in general, at least where we were staying, was the sense of community and safety especially for children. Maybe because we’re parents now and our spidey senses are heightened haha but we got the jist of the town being an ‘everyone-knows-everyone’ type town where everyone looks out for each other as if they’re their own and it was really comforting to see. Anyone we also had any interaction with, both on the properties or in town, was extremely kind and friendly and we were met with smiles all around which is never a bad thing!

If you’ve been waiting for a chance to visit Prince Edward County and understand what all the hype is about, take this as your sign to just go! I’m so glad I had the opportunity to experience it for the first time with the Drake Motor Inn and the Devonshire as it truly was the cherry-on-top to our visit and would forever recommend the property to you, be it your first or third visit to the County. An affordable, chic unique stay, and Canada’s only Conde Naste Traveler 2020 Hot List, why would you stay anyplace else?!

Thank you to the exceptionally helpful and friendly staff at The Drake Motor Inn and Drake Devonshire for providing a complimentary stay. All opinions and views expressed are my own.

Last month I had the privilege of writing a piece for Villa 88 Magazine (@villa88magazine) on some of my greatest travels and potential winter destinations I’d recommend and never got around to sharing! A 6 page spread which had me geeking out and in awe of how good it looked haha

A little about Villa 88, “conceived by leading businesswoman Asma Al Fahim, Villa 88 answers the demands of Emirati ladies for the highest quality inside information on the finest luxury fashion, jewellery, beauty and spa, home and travel in the Middle East and beyond. One of the region’s most exclusive lifestyle magazine, beautifully produced and hand-delivered to an elite target group, consisting of the Emirates’ most discerning and prominent women.” 

Super proud and honoured and can’t wait to get my hands on a hard copy so mama can see and feel proud too lolol you know how this story goes x magazine images below followed by the actual piece so you can have a read!

Enjoy! xx

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Vienna, Austria

Vienna during the holidays is just as magical and enchanting as it feels during the rest of the year. Truly a quintessential European feel to the city with beautiful architecture and culture around every corner, Vienna for me was slightly more elegant in nature than any other European city I’ve traveled to. It’s also very accessible on foot or by metro which makes life a little bit easier. Visiting the museum and National Library even just to see the gorgeous interiors is worth the visit; the Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien (Art History Museum) is home to the most beautiful café I have ever come across. St. Stephens Cathedral is open to the public and in the middle of the town square so you can’t miss it. Schonbrunn Palace was once the imperial summer residence and requires at least half a day to tour the beautiful grounds and envision what life for Empress Elizabeth must have looked like once upon a time. Don’t miss out on the stunning Karlskirche Church both during the day and evening for a mesmerising reflection which will leave you in awe!

Kigali, Rwanda

When most people think of Rwanda, the genocide of 1994 is what immediately comes to mind; questions of safety and how developed the infrastructure might be cloud your judgement and you end up dismissing it as a potential destination. Don’t be one of those people! Rwanda has been named the safest country in Africa and known for its breathtaking scenery. Often called ‘land of a thousand hills’, it stays true to its name. To best experience this for yourself, why not walk across the largest canopy walk in all of East Africa, 200 meters long and165 feet high over the lush greenery of Nyungwe Forest National Park; if you’re lucky you might even get a glimpse of the beautiful wildlife soaring between the trees. Scared of heights but love animals?! Gorilla trekking at Volcano National Park is most definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience where you can visit these beautiful animals in their natural habitat. Home to approximately 17 different groups of mountain gorillas, conservation efforts of the park are truly to be commended in order to ensure the safety and well-being of the gorillas. With tea being the largest export of Rwanda, a visit to Gisakura tea estate is a must. Learn about the history and process behind our nations favorite drink and help pick out the perfect leaf! Remember, 3-leaves is key!

Karachi, Pakistan

As my trip to Karachi was a short one, I wanted to experience as much of the country and culture as possible! From beautiful clothing, to trying fresh samosas on the side of the road, to riding camels on Clifton Beach, I have to say we did well! The food in Karachi was amazing but there’s definitely a risk of you getting ill if you eat from some of the roadside stalls – this is obviously something recurrent regardless of where you travel, but you have been forewarned! I got a bit of a stomach bug from eating anything and everything, but would do it all over again because it was THAT good! I recommend trying the Haleem (lamb and lentil stew), samosas, jalebi, paratha, tea; try it all and I promise you won’t regret it! For more of a sit down meal, Kolachi is the place to go; traditional Pakistani cuisine in an open air restaurant right by the beach is a perfect way to end any night.

Kathmandu, Nepal

Nepal was my very first solo-travel destination and a forever favorite. Perfect for backpackers, a group of friends wanting to do some trekking, or anyone interested in going off-the-beaten path. After being hit by an earthquake in 2015, many historical monuments and temples were destroyed and much of the city continues to be under reconstruction, however there is still so much to discover and experience from this country so rich in culture! Start off in Kathmandu, the capital city, for a taste of the hustle bustle on crowded streets amongst street vendors, cows, tourists, and the never ending honking of cars. Visit Patan Durbar Square where you’ll find the freshest (and best) samosas and fried cabbage fritters wrapped in newspaper. Swayambhu Temple and the Boudhanath Stupa are an uphill climb, but the view from up top is completely worth it. Views of the Himalayas and Everest can be seen from Nagarkot, and be sure to catch sunrise from the roof of Peaceful Cottage Hotel for the best view! No trip to Nepal would be complete without a 7hour bus ride through the winding hills, (on a dual-carriageway which should really only be a single road) to Pokhara which is usually the starting point for Everest base camp. Pokhara is much quieter and calmer than Kathmandu and is a great place to perhaps wind down near the end of your trip. Take a canoe ride on Lake Pewa, or paraglide over the Annapurna Valley, the choice is yours!

Seoul, South Korea

Seoul is ‘Seoul’ cool! The city had all my favorite things at once, street food, fashion, vintage clothing shops, endless Korean skincare, and cute socks, what more could you ask for?! The metro is extremely convenient and the ticket machines easily translate to English which is great! Culturally, the city boasts a little bit of something for everyone. Whether you want to stroll through the traditional houses of Bukchon Hanok Village, rent a Hanbok (Korean Traditional Dress) and step back in time at Gyeoungbokgung Palace marvelling at the intricate architecture and sternness of the palace guards, or stop by a food truck at Common Grounds as you watch a break-dancing show, there is always something new to experience. My absolute favorite is the Myeongdong district, best known for its shopping, nightlife, and food. Neon lights and shopfronts shine brightly bringing the street to life, the smell of various street delicacies wafting through the air. Octopus anyone?!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Had the pleasure of spending some time with my Radisson Blu family again (Dubai) and thought I’d do a quick run-down of the properties I stayed at in the event you’re ever in town and in need of a place to stay!

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First up is Radisson Blu Deira Creek

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Next up is Radisson Blu Dubai Media City

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and lastly we’ve got Radisson Blu Dubai Waterfront

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There are a couple other residences in Dubai and hotels in other Emirates, but these are the ones I’ve stayed at before as well and would definitely vouch for! Everyone at each hotel is always extremely friendly and personable, address you by your first name and wanting to go above and beyond to ensure you have an enjoyable stay x promise you won’t be disappointed!

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I had the pleasure of receiving this gorgeous dress in person by Fariba herself whilst in Dubai which automatically makes it more personable in being able to put a face to the brand so yay!

FARIBA is a recently launched modest fashion brand based in Dubai which caters to young women who are looking to find a balance between quality and affordability in modest fashionwear. Her collections are designed to be stylish and chic, yet affordable, without compromising on modesty.

Her mission is “to enhance self expression” and create thoughtful pieces which customers will treasure.

“We design with integrity, enabling women to express their identity with creativity whilst staying true to their values.”

This specific dress was a made to measure piece, and I absolutely adored everything about it; from the color, to the perfect neckline -not too constricted and not too low, lovely sleeve detailing and gorgeous pleating at the bottom, ugh, so so good!

I paired it with a printed turban and a pair of vintage inspired earrings which I thought added the right amount of glint to the look, and nude strappy heels! This could easily be worn during Eid or to a wedding or bridal shower; the addition of a glitzy clutch or necklace, or simply some mid-length finessy earrings. I personally wouldn’t add too much as I feel it would take away for the dress itself, but everyones style choice differs!

Be sure to have a look at their Instagram page (@faribastore) and if something tickles your fancy get in touch now in time for an Eid outfit!

Just got back from a few days in Amman with the W Hotel and wanted to share a bit of what we got up to!

I was actually in Jordan a few months ago and had written a bit of a rundown/helping hand here alongside me very first vlog (here) so go have a creep if you’re interested!

Last time around there were a few things I didn’t get a chance to do and wallah I never thought I would be back so soon let alone have the opportunity to a) work with the W and b) do/see the things I missed so alhamdulillah times a million yet again for the way everything works and falls into place xxx

The W Amman recently opened in Jordan and is lovely jubly! Friendly and helpful staff, beautiful views of the city, and honestly a great place to stay if you’re ever in town.

The hotel features its very own helipad (because why not?!) and our first morning had us working out/taking pictures on it lol – fyi, it was at this very moment when Saira realized she needed to get back on that whole running and exercising tip.

Myself and a couple others were shooting scenes and the like throughout the week with @wearematteblack which was a laugh and a half so stay tuned for the final video which is bound to look amazing inshallah (I made them promise to make me look cool lol fingers crossed)

Made our way to the Citadel which we never got a chance to go to last time; had seen some stunning photos of the view and the amphitheater in the distance, and it didn’t disappoint.

We visited Rainbow Street again, and I’m not too sure I’m in love with it very much lol last time around it was during the day and I gave it the benefit of the doubt; figured it was one of those places which comes alive in the evening lol but this time around it was evening, and yes definitely more alive, but meh.

Maybe I just haven’t wandered in and out the side streets to completely be in awe of what it is, but it was nice to just stroll and chat with everyone nonetheless. Saira also lost her charger and sunnies so yay go team!

Next we were headed on a bit of a road trip to Wadi Rum and Petra for some glamping and camels and 4×4’s which is right up my alley lol hadn’t seen Wadi before so was excited to do that and really just be in the desert again!

Spent the night with Wadi Rum Night Luxury Camp and would definitely recommend them if you fancy a night in Wadi. Air conditioned tents with your own bathroom, hot shower included lol I was more than impressed!

Saira also lost her jacket which had some important documents and cards and cash inside and freaked out after realizing it was missing a day later lol smh but alhamdulillah it was found and everything was intact!

Petra was the next day and getting in took a little longer than usual because filming permits etc. had to be sorted. Some of you must have seen on my instastory that we drove into Petra from the back all the way to the Treasury bit – so blady amazing and a story I’m ready to tell anyone and everyone who’ll listen lol

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Last time I never got the chance to view the Treasury from up top and it’s something I really wanted to experience. Once you get to the Treasury bit, head towards the left of it and one of the locals will offer to take you up for a fee (we got him down to 6JD for two people); I don’t think you’re able to go up without one. It’s about a 10-15 minute climb (wear trainers or comfortable shoes – not flats) and once you get to the top you’ve got to give someone else some money to get to the actual mat bit where you can sit and take your photos for instagram and get a pretty cool view of what’s below!

After Petra we were headed back to Amman as most of us were flying out that evening. There were some extra shots the team wanted to get on the helipad back at the hotel so your girl headed up only to be greeted up close and personal by a real-life helicopter which I got to sit in and hover about in which was freaking amazing! ( I was well excited lol check out my highlights on instagram for clips!)

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And that’s that! Inshallah definitely want to take mama to Jordan at some point as I think she’d really enjoy it! I think I mentioned this in my last post as well but I’d recommend at least a week-and-a-half to two weeks just to cover some of the main sites Jordan has to offer. Also don’t forget about the Jordan Pass which covers your visa entry alongside access to Petra, Wadi Rum etc., and it’s also valid for 12 months after purchase so your girl felt chuffed using hers again at the airport haha

Still not finished that Nepal post from April, yikes, but its coming I promise!

love and light and hugs sent your way xoxo