Wednesday, 29 April 2015


Ah, Berlin: my spiritual home. 

As I am planning my upcoming trip to my favourite city, I have found myself looking back on the first time I visited, back in 2011. It was a scorching hot week at the end of May, and my boyfriend and I explored the city on two wheels, taking in as much of our surroundings as possible. We stayed in Friedrichshain; land of street art, ever-changing bars, flea markets, spontaneous gigs, and people dragging their sofas out onto the street to soak up the sun. We dangled our feet into the canal at Club der Visionaere whilst sipping exceptionally strong cocktails, and dangling our feet into the Spree from the little jetty on the island at Treptower Park whilst sipping cold beers. We hopped on an S bahn to Grunewald Forest and trekked for hours only to discover that the lake we were seeking was a nudist paradise. We took hundreds of photographs, and swore we'd return.

This will be my fourth trip to Berlin, and I'm excited to share my adventures with you.

All images, my own.

Sunday, 12 April 2015


I love the freedom of a road trip. Just you, your travel companions and the open road. I'll be knocking one trip off my bucket list this summer with our Scottish adventure; but there's a long list to get through! Read on to discover my top three ultimate road trips. 

1. California

Route: Las Vegas - Joshua Tree National Park - Salvation Mountain - Palm Springs - Los Angeles - Big Sur - Monterey - Yosemite National Park - Lake Tahoe - San Francisco

This is the dream. Sprawling national parks, camp fires on rugged beaches, never-ending photo opportunities, and a jeep full of friends. From driving through the relentless desert to discover colourful modernist buildings, indigenous wildlife and a pastel hued mountain dedicated to God - to winding cliff top roads with breathtaking views of the Pacific - California seems to be the state that has it all. In a dream world, I'd have a whole month to complete this trip, taking time to relish my surroundings and embrace a slow and lazy lifestyle whilst managing to cram in everything that I've ever wanted to see.

2. Oregon - Washington - British Columbia

Route: Portland - La Push - Vance Creek - Seattle - Vancouver - Tofino

I have to split up my ultimate American road trip into two parts, as there are so many places I want to visit on just the West coast! The Pacific North West is an area that tantalizes me with the allure of stormy grey seas, dense green forests, mountain trails and acres of wilderness. I imagine myself hiking all of the trails that I see on my Instagram feed and camping in the middle of nowhere, close to the beach. In between the rugged, wild landscapes I'd explore three cities that have long been on my radar, ticking off bars and cafes and shops that tickle my fancy.

3. Iceland - The Ring Road

Route: Keflavik - The Golden Circle - Sólheimajökull Glacier - Jokulsarlon Glacial lagoon - Dettifoss - Lake Myvatn - Husavik - Reykjavik 

I'd have to visit Iceland twice - both in summer and in winter. The journey around the ring road may be treacherous in the colder months, but it would be worth it to see such unique scenery with an icy coating, and the chance to spot the illusive Northern Lights. In summer, there would be never-ending days and a spectrum of colours across surprising geological features. We'd stop in secluded cottages and small hotels, bathe in natural hot springs in the middle of nowhere, and witness spectacular scenery.

Image 1 - Jessica Tremp / Image 2 - Laura Austin / Image 6 - Local Wanderer / Image 10 - Oh, Lady Cakes / Other images - found via Pinterest

Saturday, 4 April 2015


I've followed Ashlae's Instagram feed for some time now, relishing in the perfect blend of jealousy-inducing travel photographs and drool-worthy food porn. I challenge you to follow her and not add the places she visits to your travel bucket list, or not want to immediately click through to her blog to discover the beautifully written recipes for the food she photographs.

Follow Ashlae on Instagram: @ohladycakes

GF: What's your name and what do you do?

AW: My name's Ashlae (pronounced Ashlay, not Ashley), and I'm the lady behind the blog Oh, Ladycakes.

GF: What was your favourite thing about Iceland?

AW:The fact that there are few, habitable places in the world with scenery as diverse as Iceland. The black sand beaches, glacial lagoons, active volcanoes, rugged highlands.. I love it all.

GF: Name the top three things that you would recommend to someone visiting Iceland?

AW: 1) Hire a car and visit Jökulsárlón and Vík (find the Navy wreckage, if you can).

2) Go to a remote, geothermal hot pot and have yourself a long soak.

3) Spend at least one weekend night out on the town in Reykjavik.

GF: Please could you share some tips for your favourite spots in Reykjavik?

AW: My favorite place for coffee, hands down, is Reykjavik Roasters. But Stofan Cafe is a close second. 

Reykjavik has some of the best street art of any city I've ever visited. And it's everywhere. You could literally spend an entire day wandering around, just looking at all the funky artwork.

We really, really, really love Kaldi Bar. The atmosphere is laid back, the bartenders are friendly, and you'll be hard pressed to find a better drink in Reykjavik.

GF: Where's your favourite place in the world? 

AW: It's this place called White Park Bay on the Northern Coast of Ireland, nestled between Craig Cottage (the B&B we always stay at) and Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. I could probably sit in the lush, emerald green grass, wind whipping through my hair, and watch the turquoise waves crash against that beach all day. It's my happy place.

GF: What's on your travel bucket list?

AW: Thailand, Egypt, New Zealand, Sweden, Vietnam, and India (scratching that off later this year). Specifically? Walking the Santiago de Compostela, climbing to Everest Base Camp, visiting the salt flats in Bolivia, swimming at the top of Victoria Falls, soaking in an Antarctic hot pot, hiking through Zhangye Danxia, and the list goes on and on and on.

Follow Ashlae on Instagram: @ohladycakes

Friday, 13 March 2015


I've always wanted to be a California girl. Not one of the bleach blonde, surf chic stereotypes -  but a hip young creative who explores every inch of her eclectic surroundings. Melissa Sonico has inspired me ever since I first stumbled across her Instagram feed; introducing me to the rocky beaches, dusty deserts, humid cacti greenhouses and cool cafes that I long to explore.

Follow Melissa on Instagram: @melissasonico

GF: What's your name and what do you do?

MS: My name is Melissa Sonico. I am a fiction writer, fashion/lifestyle blogger and burgeoning shop owner! I'm also a college English professor and a wife of almost 3years.

GF: What's your favourite thing about living in California?

MS: I love the different types of landscapes and climates! It's a misconception that California is just sun and sand and palm trees; we've got snowy mountains in Big Bear, redwoods in Big Sur and the desert - as well as big city life. We have it all!

GF: Can you share your favourite secret spots with us?

MS: For breakfast/brunch - One of my favorite breakfasts out here is the LA Chapter at the Ace; their ricotta pancakes and avocado toast are so good.

For coffee - I'm actually a tea drinker, and my favorite is a chai tea latte from Augie's, my local downtown coffee shop!

 For exploring - Big Sur for sure

For tranquility - The library or, more recently, art galleries

For swimming - Malibu!

GF: If you didn't live in California, where would you live? 

MS: I think I might like to live in Portland or Washington  for a bit-- maybe Brooklyn - but I see myself settling somewhere in California!

GF: Where's your favourite place in the world? 

MS: Under the covers at home watching Silicon Valley or whatever new TV show my husband and I binge watch, eating pizza

GF: What's on your travel bucket list?

MS: The Midwest. It's a mystifying place  to me and I think I'd like some time away from the hustle and bustle. But on a grander scale, Vietnam or Spain.

Follow Melissa on Instagram: @melissasonico

Wednesday, 11 March 2015


My favourite holiday I ever went on was a road trip. Two summers ago, my boyfriend and I drove around Normandy and Brittany in the north of France in a tiny little Smart Car, our tent and an impressive amount of belongings carefully stacked in the back. I felt completely free for that fortnight, without the usual public transport travel restrictions a holiday normally throws your way. If we read about a tiny little village in the middle of nowhere (or a bizarre theme park based around discovering hilariously bad dinosaur statues in the middle of the countryside), we could just hop in the car and head that way. We had a rough route planned in, but anything could happen.

This summer will be our second mammoth road trip. I'll go into it in more detail soon, but we'll be exploring somewhere very close to home where I've somehow managed not to visit previously: Scotland. In preparation for this adventure, and those to come in the future, I've planned in a series of road trip themed posts for Girl Folk. Expect playlists, planning tips and my ultimate road trip bucket list.

Let's start things on the right foot with a little inspiration.