Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Screen Shot 2017-06-10 at 22.13.14


Liberalism in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is such a small city, you could see everything in a weekend. It’s only an hour flight or a four hour train journey on the Eurostar from London so really easy to get to.

I went to Amsterdam two years ago but stayed in Utretcht so didn’t really get the full experience, but I recently went again for work and to visit my Dutch friend! I highly recommend staying in central Amsterdam and renting bikes out to get around…


We stayed in the
Student Hotel (£131 per night) which was the perfect location only 4 minutes from Central station. They have a massive reception area where you can chill/work and also a pool and big gym.


Morgan and Mees has the prettiest rooms, but a bit further out and pricier. Make sure you book in advance if you plan to stay here.


Morgan and Mees also has a restaurant with the most divine menu. The quality of the food is amazing and there’s quick service.  For starters I would 100% recommend the tuna with shiitake mushrooms, wasabi and soy vinaigrette, ponzu and daikon! Sooo good! For mains we ordered the rack of lamb and cod with spaghetti and clams-both cooked to perfection. They also do breakfast and lunch too!


If you like avocado, eggs and bacon for breakfast then look no further than the Breakfast Club, only a 2 min walk from the Student Hotel it’s the perfect spot for those hungover brunches…


If you need to go somewhere open late and central, Guadalupe is good for Argentinian steak!

The Canvas an the 7th floor is good for drinks and has an amazing view. (Located inside the Volkshotel on the top floor)

Pancakes Amsterdam for good Dutch thin pancakes and you can get the best fries at Vlaams Friteschuis Vleminckx in the Vortboogstraat.



Coffee & Juices
Coffee Bru is close to the Student Hotel and has a pretty seating area with good coffee. Juice Lab, Lite Dark and the Cold pressed juicer also do amazing juices/drinks.


To do
Aside from the red light district and coffee shops Amsterdam is a beautiful city for roaming. Rent out bikes and cycle around the canals and try out all the cute cafes.


I’d also recommend having a stroll along Leidseplein where you can find lots of little vintage and boutique shops. Nuvo Niche sell the cutest crewneck jumper designs and accessories.


You must visit the ‘I love Amsterdam’ sign and Mickey Mouse statue by Museumplein. Vondelpark, which is the largest city park in Amsterdam, but the smaller neighborhood specific parks are actually a lot better and cozier (Recommended: Westerpark, Erasmuspark or Rembrandtpark in the West and the Oosterpark or Flevopark in the East).


Amsterdam is home to some of the best nightclubs in Europe but you want to make sure you avoid the touristy ones. You’re guaranteed to have a good time in
AIR Amsterdam and Chicago Social club.

Henry’s Bar are on the corner of Oosterpark have the best looking bartenders and guests oh and not to mention drinks. Bar Maxwell a more chilled vibe and for cheese fondue.

Check out the best events on here.


Cologne, Germany

Guten Morgen from Köln

Cologne is the fourth largest city in Germany after Berlin, Hamburg and Munich. I was only here for two nights and to be honest that’s all you really need. There’s not a whole lot of must see attractions in Cologne but it’s a nice city to visit for the weekend.

Everything was relatively expensive in comparison to other German cities such as Berlin and Hamburg. The weather in June is beautiful, at around 32 degrees the perfect time to visit.


I stayed in the Mercure Hotel (£162 per night) located right in the city centre.

The breakfast here was a delight, with a range of different cold cure meats, cheeses, fruit and pastries and Nutella on tap! Need I say more? This hotel also had a gym and a sauna, make sure to ask for a balcony room on the top floor.


Must dos
The famous Cathedral Kölner Dom is the number one thing to see here in Cologne. There’s also many shops nearby.



Street art in Ehrenfeld. Ehrenfeld is one of Cologne’s coolest neighborhoods and street artists from around the world have left behind art peices.


Cologne is located on both sides of the river Rhine which is near Germany’s borders with Belgium and the Netherlands. I would definitely recommend having a walk by the river for sunset.

19427546_10154892644973370_1880020173_n19398151_10154892644978370_694870808_n 19398037_10154892645003370_205273681_n

Cologne has a variety of museums. Make sure you check out the Museum of Applied Art, the Museum Ludwig and also the Chocolate Museum.

Home to the largest arena Lanxess Arena and the Live Music Hall, Cologne is often a destination for the best music. With artists such as Aerosmith and The 1975 playing, it’s definitely worth checking out what gigs are on before planning your visit.

There’s also a botanical garden and zoo nearby if you have more time.

Bona’me is the perfect spot for Middle Eastern food. There are two restaurants in Cologne, but I would recommend the one by the river (North Rhine). It is the Turkish version of Vapianos (if you’ve been in London before) where you go up and watch your food being made. I recommend the flat breads, especially the aubergine with fresh yoghurt.



The Hard Rock Café in Cologne is also a great spot for lunch, dinner and drinks (do yourself a favour and order the garlic and herb fries with chimichurri sauce). They sometimes have gigs playing in the evening in the café which is a super fun vibe.


Bala Baya

Screen Shot 2017-06-10 at 22.13.14


Contempory & Creative Israeli Food

So I haven’t been to many Israeli restaurants but I’m a big fan of Lebanese and middle eastern food in general so I had to try this place. And my god, the food was divine; I think I’ve found my new favourite place to eat!

The restaurant has only been open for six months and is located right by Southwark/Waterloo station. Inspired by Bauhaus architecture, Bala Baya has created a kaleidoscopic space prefect for inside and outdoor sitting.


Famous for its Israeli tapas, every single dish we ordered was a little delight. The flavors were quite unique and a lot of the dishes included ingredients such as pistachio nuts, dill and yoghurt.

The restaurant is a bakery in the afternoon and they serve this amazing pita bread with a chili and yoghurt dip for starters. Completely to die for! There is a tasting menu for £35pp but I would recommend ordering from the tapas menu so you can try a bit of everything.


We ordered the lamb and dumplings, crispy, sticky, crunchy (chicken with harissa, bitter orange and butternut squash), braised beef shoulder with crisped onions and whipped tahini, potatoes with wasabi and horseradish cream, aubergine tea with milk (this is actually grilled aubergine and yoghurt), roasted peppers and the Israeli salad with feta and dill.

Every dish was just a party in my mouth and I would recommend all eight!




For dessert, we tried all three on the menu but I think the deconstructed white chocolate cheesecake was the best and the traditional Israel cake served with plum slices is yummy.





Foodies in Copenhagen

Screen Shot 2017-06-10 at 22.13.14


The Best Food Places in Copenhagen…

I already have a blog post on my visit to Copenhagen last May (read here) but I recently had to re-visit for a couple of days for work and tried some amazing restaurants of which I wanted to share with you all…

(1) Kiin Kiin Bao Bao

Voted as the best restaurant in Copenhagen this Asian tapas restaurant is famous for its baos. With a variety including crispy chicken, braised pork, fried shrimp and spicy duck.

The restaurant is perfectly located right at the heart of Copenhagen and only minutes away from the centre train station. With its chic gold interior design and cutlery it’s enough to make you want to Instagram it!



Other items on the menu include pork crackling with eggplant relish, 62 degrees egg with xo sauce and dried shrimp, grilled squid with oyster sauce basil and egg yolk, crispy crab with yellow curry accompanied with jasmine rice.


Desserts include Korean snow ice cream and a beautiful salted caramel coconut ice cream.

A little on the higher end of the price scale but very good value for what you pay for and be sure to book in advance!

And if you’re still hungry…

(2) Nicecream

Only a 10 minute walk from Kiin Kiin Bao Bao, this little dessert cafe is fresh and fun!

The acai bowls are a must order, however they also do cookie ice creams and coconut and pineapple lollies. Wanna learn how to make your own acai bowls? Click here

(3) The Olive Kitchen & Bar

Rated as number 4 out of 1,950 restaurants in Copenhagen, this small family owned restaurant is so worth the rating.

Copenhagen are famous for its pork so I had to order the honey and mustard pork tenderloin. This was served with apple mash potatoes and steamed traditional vegetables and boy was I not disappointed.

The service was 5*, food came super quick, pretty interior design, good location and yummy food for affordable prices- not a bad thing to say and highly recommend if you’re in Copenhagen.


Screen Shot 2017-06-10 at 21.56.50.pngFOLLOW @CONCEPTSOFCOLOUR

Healthy Coffee

According to a recent study published by the Telegraph, on average they found that your coffee addiction could cost you over £15,000 in your lifetime. That’s AT LEAST two holidays!

So why not switch to making your own coffee in the mornings. I know what you’re thinking, I love those takeaway coffee cups too but hey we need to start thinking of the environment and not to mention our bank accounts!

I found this little gem whilst shopping around in Copenhagen. It’s a sleek thermal To Go cup which I always use for my morning homemade coffees. You can buy it here

When making coffee never use instant as this is full of toxins. Instant coffee is high in acrylamide which is a chemical compound shown to cause cancer in animals and has associations with causing nerve damage in humans.  Instead buy a French presser and use fresh ground coffee (it tastes and smells much fresher too).

Here’s my recipe for a healthy energy boosting coffee




  • Fresh ground coffee
  • Fresh mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon
  • Dash of almond/soya/coconut milk (Rude Health is my favourite brand)
  • 1 teaspoon of Stevia sweetener (if needed)


  1. Brew the coffee in a French presser for 5-10 minutes
  2. Add the coffee, fresh mint leaves, coconut oil, cocoa powder and milk into a blender
  3. Serve with a dusting of cinnamon powder

The Benefits

Coconut oil is great for your skin and hair and can improve your coffee. Miranda Kerr and Jessica Alba both have a spoonful of coconut oil each day, so what better way to start the morning then by adding in a spoonful of oil to your coffee. For more detail on the benefits of coconut oil click here

Organic cocoa powder is high in fibre and magnesium.

Cinnamon is good for boosting metabolism loaded with anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.

Almond/soya/coconut milk anyone you prefer as long as it’s not cow’s milk! Cow’s milk contains hormones, lactose and saturated fats (all the bad stuff) which shouldn’t be consumed on a daily basis. Fresh mint leaves is good for digestion and it also gives that Starbucks peppermint hot chocolate taste to your homemade coffee!

Acai Bowls

Since returning from Brazil I’ve become obsessed with acai bowls (pronounced ‘ahsyee’).  The acai is a berry grown in South America aka as a superfood and full of antioxidants!

In Brazil I’d buy a bowl of acai for £2 but in London most places charge approximately £7 so I decided to learn how to make my own…

Some benefits of acai are as follows;

  • aids weight loss
  • helps digestion
  • has anti-aging effects
  • improves mental function
  • promotes heart health


They’re real easy to make and perfect as part of a Sunday brunch or even dessert.

Acai berry frozen purée (sold in all health shops)
2 bananas
Fresh berries
Goji berries
Chia seeds
Coconut flakes

1. Mix the banana and acai pulp together in a blender
2. Pour into bowl
3. Decorate with the banana, berries, chia seeds and coconut flakes
4. Drizzle with honey



Top 5 Travel Essentials

1. Eye Gel pads
I’ve only just recently discovered these and they’re amazing for tired eyes. As I’m always travelling and my contact lenses mean my eyes can get quite dry on the plane, so these gel pads are an instant fixer. Just pop them in the fridge (in your hotel room) for 15 minutes and feel the cooling sensation instantly reducing the puffiness. Dark circles banished forever!


2. Face Masks
I am a massive fan of Korean face sheet masks. The biggest benefit of these is that they deliver product deep into the skin in a concentrated way providing that extra needed moisturisation. I usually buy these from Asia as there tends to be a wider variety but you can easily order online. I just pop one on twice a week if my skin is feeling tired and dry. My favourite brand is Tony moly as it has a nice gel type feel to it and is super moisturising. Buy them here!




3. Hand Sanitizer
Call me a clean freak but I always carry hand sanitizer around with me because the thought of all the germs on public transport is just enough to make me squirm. So this is a must have in your handbag!


4. Sun protecting Lip balm
There’s a lot of emphasis in the media on sun cream and protecting the skin but people often forget about the lips. The lips are just as important so make sure you keep them super soft with SPF15 lip balm. I love Eve Lom as it gives a minty fresh sensation as well as having sufficient UV protection. Buy it here!


5. Portable Phone Charger
Well this is self-explanatory but the amount of times I forget to take this out with me is ridiculous. This is an essential for the handbag because you never know when you’ll need your phone to book an Uber, check train times or snap a quick pic!

White Crab Meat & Avocado Tacos

Screen Shot 2017-06-10 at 22.13.14

 I don’t wanna taco about it…

With fresh ingredients and only taking minutes to prepare, this is the perfect summer dish!

The white crab meat and avocado tossed with cherry tomatoes in a tangy lime juice makes the best combination. Coupling this dish with rosemary sweet potatoes fries and a fresh simple side salad, you’ve got a winning dish right there!


For the tacos:

  • 200g White crab meat
  • 1 ripened avocados
  • Cherry vine tomatoes
  • 3 spring onions
  • 1 zest and juice of a lime
  • Fresh coriander
  • 12 taco shells

For the salad:

  • Rocket
  • Balsamic vinegar & honey dressing
  • Cherry vine tomatoes
  • 1 avocado

For the sweet potatoes:

  • 3 large sweet potatoes
  • Fresh rosemary
  • Maldon salt and ground pepper



  1. Cut the sweet potatoes in thin chunks and soak in water and salt for an hour
  2. Dry off with paper towels and place on a foil covered baking tray
  3. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle rosemary and salt and pepper
  4. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes at 220 degrees C
  5. Mix all the taco ingredients together in a bowl
  6. Mix all the salad ingredients together
  7. Put the taco shells in the oven for 3 minutes
  8. Remove the sweet potato fries from the oven and leave to cool (best served with mayonnaise)





Screen Shot 2017-06-10 at 21.56.50FOLLOW @CONCEPTSOFCOLOUR

Cusco, Peru

Screen Shot 2017-06-10 at 22.13.14

Rainbow Mountains & Jungle Trekking

20th February 2017

My second stop in South America was Cusco-the land of Machu Picchu and llamas!

I ended up taking the overnight bus to Cusco instead of flying, because I wanted to acclimatise gradually and not risk altitude sickness. However you can fly directly from Lima. The bus was meant to take 21 hours, but actually took 25 and is extremely hilly. I’ve got to be honest it wasn’t the most pleasant ride so make sure you have enough music for the journey.

TOP TIP: Pack loads of water and snacks because a lot of the overnight buses in South America do not stop for food. Most of them give you basic food on the buses but I would enquire prior to assuming.

I spent a total of two weeks in Cusco, some would say it’s too much but I managed to fit a week’s worth of Spanish classes, trekked the Rainbow Mountains and also hike the four day Jungle Trek to Machu Picchu.

I didn’t speak a word of Spanish so arranged Spanish lessons and a family home stay through Amigos Spanish school. I stayed in the Recoletta area for one week, which was super safe and not too far from the centre of the town. If you’re serious about learning Spanish I highly recommend the family stay as it really forces you to learn quickly.


For the second week I stayed in a mixed dorm at the Cusco Pariwana Hostel, which was equally as good as the Lima if not better and a lot bigger. The hostel has a real fun vibe to it as soon as you walk in with a Ping-Pong table in the courtyard. With good Internet (because finding good internet in South America is not easy), a separate movie chill room and amazing food – this one is a winner.

I must say being a bit of a health freak it was difficult for me to find good food in Cusco as I found it was common for the locals to eat double carbs without vegetables for dinner. However, I did discover a little gem where I ate pretty much most days. Introducing, Green point… this place was super cheap with their lunch menu consisting of a buffet and three-course meal for only £7. The smoked eggplant on ciabatta bread and fresh Brazil nut coffee is a must try.



Other restaurants I would recommend going to in include Jaks and Pachupapa. If you’re on a major budget Sumaq is perfect for a cheap 3-course lunch with delicious creamy spinach soup and pesto pasta.

Cusco has a huge collection of cute cafes to choose from but here are some of my favourites…

The L’ateiler café is perfect for smoothies and has a beautiful rooftop view. La Bohme serves delicious crepes and has a nice area for journal writing and chilling.

DSC_4394Cafe Chocolate serve fresh coco tea and Dwasi coffee shop have the best fresh banana bread.

Must Dos

The Rainbow (Vinicunca) Mountains

This is by far a must do if you’re in Cusco. The picture says it all really!

IMG_1452 (1)

There’s no need to pre book this tour as you’ll find hundreds of tour operators in Cusco all offering similar prices. I paid 70 soles for the tour, which included entrance and food (do check what the price includes as some tour guides make you pay extra for entrance).

The tour guide picks you up at 3am in the morning to go to Vinicunca (a few hour’s drive outside of Cusco) where you have breakfast before you start the big hike.

This was an extremely tough hike, so for someone who’s only ever hiked the Arthur’s seat in Edinburgh (250 metres) the Rainbow Mountains was a pretty high achievement. The mountains are 5,000 metres (16,000 ft) above sea level, which means there’s a serious case of altitude at the top. I would recommend hiking boots (as I only had Nikes) and hiking poles and also take sunscreen! For those that aren’t experienced hikers don’t worry, there are horses that can be rented along the way for around 70 soles.


Machu Picchu

So the famous Machu Picchu is of course another must do when in Peru. Many other travellers I met did the Inka Trek but as an inexperienced hiker I wanted a journey that involved a variety of activities, which is why I chose the Jungle trek. The tour company I used was Loki tours. Loki is also a popular party hostel in Cusco for those looking for no sleep at night.



The Jungle trek consisted of 4 days and 3 nights.

Day 1

We mountain biked it down from 4,200 metres above sea level to 1,600 metres. You can really feel the difference in the temperature, as it gets warmer riding down. After this we had the option to go water rafting and ended the night staying in a lodge in the jungle.
Day 2
This was by far the hardest day of the trek and consisted of an 8-hour hike walking a total of 20km from Santa Maria to Santa Teresa. There were many tour stops along the way learning a lot about the history of Peruvian culture including the importing of cocoa leaves and ayahuasca spiritual ceremonies. We also tried typical foods and came across many cute animals.

After our long hike we were rewarded with some chill time in the hot springs.

TOP TIP: Pack lots of DEET mosquito repellent!




Day 3

This day consisted of zip lining in the morning followed by further hiking where we arrived to Aguas Calientes, which is the town where everyone stays to go to Machu Picchu.


Day 4

With an early 4am start we had the option to either hike or take the bus up to Machu Picchu. The hike takes around an hour and don’t get me wrong is extremely challenging but such a good achievement once you get to the top. Once you get to Machu Picchu there are other optional mountains you can hike. I hiked the actual Machu Picchu montaña/mountain, which took 3 hours in total (over 2,000 steps). This was a tough hike with steep stairs especially as it was raining the whole time. I’d only recommend if you have more energy after the 4 days, as most people we burnt out by the end of the trek.

TOP TIP: Buy snacks before arriving to Aguas Calientes, as it is super expensive in the town.

Overall, I’d say the Jungle Trek was an amazing experience. You meet a fun group of people (mostly young) and end up really bonding over the four days, as the hikes are mentally and physically tough.


If you plan on having dinner in Aguas Calientes I recommend a little Italian restaurant called Incontri Del Pueblo Viejo for seafood tagliatelle and grilled llama meat. Quite pricey for those on a backpackers budget but the food and atmosphere was worth it.

TOP TIP: Minimalistic is key-don’t pack too much stuff, as you’ll end up carrying it all, but also be sure to pack a first aid kit in case of emergencies!


Other Must dos…

Plaza de Armas is the main square, which marks the colonial centre of the city and where the cathedral is.

San Pedro Market sells everything from fresh fruit and smoothies, to raw meat, pottery and cute little souvenirs. (I went for the Peruvian chocolate-they sell the best 80% cocoa dark chocolate, all those antioxidants!!!)


The San Blas area is so pretty and actually my favourite part of Cusco (mainly because Green Point was there). Opposite Green Point is The Yoga Room, which offers walk-in yoga classes for 25 soles. English speaking teachers teach all classes with a focus on meditation. The shop below and café also offers a selection of homemade soaps and beauty products, good coffee and hippie jewellery. The studio space is quite small for demand so I would recommend going early.

You’ll be fed up of it when you get there I’m sure but you’ll see many many Peruvian ladies offering massages around the streets. However, I do recommend going for the Inka and hot stone massage as a treat after any hikes.

AVT Quad Bikes
My friend and I rented out AVTs (95 soles) for the afternoon and went to see the Moray ruins and Maras salt mines. The Maras are over 800 years old, over 2100 squares long. It was a beautiful scenic drive!





Christo Blanco
This was by no means Christ the redeemer in Brazil but the hike to the mini Jesus statue is still worth a visit. It only took 40 minutes and having done the jungle trek two days before the level of difficulty was nothing compared to that. With the statue over looking the whole of Cusco, the best time to go is for sunset.



TOP TIP: Haggling is difficult in Cusco because of the touristic nature and taxis will try to charge you more if you look like a gringo.

I didn’t know any Spanish before arriving but luckily meet a lot of friends along the way who did, but as long as you know the basics and download SpanishDict (the best offline translator) you’ll be fine!

If you want the best view of Cusco, Limbus Bar is the place to be. It is a really hidden bar up these super steep stairs in the San Blas neighbourhood, but the view here is so worth the climb. This was the perfect 25th birthday celebration!

Mama Afrika, Mushrooms and Mythology are all bars/clubs located in the centre close to the Plaza. Most of them have free drinks and entry during weekdays. Pariwana hostel also had fun events going on every night too including karaoke and salsa classes.


Peruvian Sole

Planning your trip to Peru soon? If you do have any other questions please do comment and ask!

Muchas gracias

K x



What are you driven by in life?

For some it may be money, fear, approval, guilt or resentment and anger.

I admit I was once driven by approval. Of course having Asian parents they always expected the best and nothing less. When I received my University bachelors degree results I remember going into the living room to tell my parents and seeing them just turn their heads from watching TV and saying well done and continuing to watch TV. It was just expected from them.

I was always trying to achieve more to impress them. I was aiming for unrealistic expectations and doing things that I wasn’t wired to do.
But what are you driven by? It’s an important question to ask yourself. There’s no doubt in saying many people are in the wrong profession. Some of us are living for others, living to fulfil a role they didn’t even audition for. Well, it’s time to get back in the director’s seat.

Of course it would be ideal to do what we love and are good at doing. Why do so many people want to escape the 9-5? Don’t get me wrong travelling is always a good idea; I say it’s a form of education. However, you must make sure it’s not a form of escapism but merely a break to gain new experiences and perspectives.

But we are all made uniquely which is why comparing will get you nowhere. So stop comparing yourself to others. If you just follow the crowd, you’ll go nowhere but get lost.
The reason why we aren’t all doing what we’re gifted to do is because of conformity and comparison. Not to mention security and other financial factors. I’m not saying to do a complete 360 and quit your jobs but we need to start living our lives for ourselves. I’m not just talking about careers and what you do to make a living but what you were made on this earth to do.

How many of you just go to work during the week, waiting and living for the weekend? For those of you that have a hobby (or two) well done! But for those who don’t it’s time to get one. Good at drawing? Join a sketching class. Good at basketball? Join a team!
So however small the next step is, figure out what it is that excites you and start spending more time doing this.

Inspired by the book Purpose-driven Life, Rick Warren