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Kempinski
Soma Bay, Egypt | www.somabay.com/

Roadside Soma Bay is the postcard Egypt I have in my head as we near the end of the 45-minute transfer from the airport: sand, more sand and a camel-like creature in the distance that perhaps also is actually just a clump of sand. Abi, Carrie and I spill out onto the doorstep of La Résidence des Cascades, atop our bikinis-and-GoPro-laden luggage and realise, that we’ve possibly spent a little too long in that van (which was air-conditioned, if I’m not wrong) and ended up imagining one collective oasis.

Two nights later we have the exact same occurrence, except this time at the doorstep of Hotel Kempinski, two minutes down the Soma Bay strip on the shuttle and thirty minutes since a glorious buffet breakfast. Surely that isn’t enough time to cook up a heat-stroke? Here, the oasis is quite literal, complete with: a myriad of swimming pools, lagoons, bridges over lazy (swimmable!) rivers and a herd of gazelles by the watering hole (may or may not have been a water-acrobatics class…). It was clear, the five hotels of the Soma Bay  were gatekeepers of the amazing technicolour dream-coast, only accessible through a hotel lobby of sorts. The Kempinski ‘gate’ boasts a rather theatrical mix of Moorish fortress interiors with a tinge of influence from the East, with the unquestionable white Egyptian sun streaming through the dark wood lattice.

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Dress and straw bag – H&M. Fedora – Hoss Intropia.

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Sunglasses – Westward Leaning. Roll-on fragrance – Bjork & Berries. Phonecase – Casetify. Rings – Monica Vinader.

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The rooms are sufficient, decorated with familiar time-honoured ‘luxury’, with mint-blue soft-furnishing that cools the overall orange tones of the wood and tiles. Abi and I unlatch the door that divides the two rooms and I use her terrace door as a shortcut to the beach for the next two days. The real luxury of Soma Bay, I feel, is the bespoke nature of setting the day’s pace at your will. A slow morning by Kempinski’s white beach followed by adrenalin-fuelled kite-surfing afternoon at The Kite House, and star-gazing at the Cascades golf course – all five-minute shuttle-rides away. In fact, water sports at Soma Bay is reason I’d return in the future, the waves reportedly best quality in the region. For now, I am content riding a strawberry margherita wave on the sky bar singing surfbort, surfbort while watching the experts flaunt at sea.

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Great for: Couples. Fly & Flop with room for impromptu change in lifestyle (i.e couch potato to potential surfboard spud). Snorkelling in the Red Sea is interesting too, but watch out for sea urchins.

Park & Cube was a guest of Soma Bay, all views and opinions are my own.

Scarf worn as dress – Nazanin Rose Matin.

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Bikini-top – Victoria’s Secret. Straw bag – H&M Home. Paleo – Tallulah & Hope. Necklace – Monica Vinader

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La RÉsidence des Cascades
Soma Bay, Egypt | www.somabay.com/

“Well this is perfect”, I said – the minute we stepped into Soma Bay’s La Résidence des Cascades lobby – in a voice best sounding like my father. Then I gave my apple-scented e-cigarette a long drag and tottered around patting my beer belly. You see, my father’s a classic Korean middle-aged man who keeps an emergency golf club in his trunk – not for roadside mischief or helping the neighbour’s boy retrieve his basketball from under the car – but for practicing his downswings in the car park before the next meeting. One of the larger hotels on the Soma Bay strip, the Cascades, in its terracotta-orange walls and latticed-corridor goodness overlooks a vast 18-hole par-72 championship golf course. It’s dad heaven. Don’t ask me what those numbers mean because for the past fifteen years I’ve waved off golf lessons for club sandwiches.

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Top – Mango. Leather shorts – H&M. Bag – L.K.Bennett Rosamund. Watch - Larsson & Jennings. Rings – Monica Vinader.

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It’s a classic fly-and-flop destination, especially when drab-coloured midwinter skies of London is your origin and a fiery red sunset is the destination. For those who, like me, think ‘18-hole’ is something to do with a nice big donut, will probably choose to appreciate the abundant Egyptian sun, Red-by-name-but-very-blue Sea, and a rather vigorous (?) dip in the Thalasso-tonic Hydrotherapy pool. Also if you’re travelling with buddies like Carrie and Abi you may end up spending the whole afternoon horsing off in the pool with the entire hotel’s balconies as audience…

Stay tuned for Part 2!

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Thalasso-tonic Hydrotherapy pool containing 830 m3 of sea water

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Great for: family fun, golfing, and overflowing breakfast buffet.

Park & Cube was a guest of Soma Bay, all views and opinions are my own.

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Hat - Hoss Intropia. Top – American Apparel. Floral shirt – Zara shirt worn as skirt.

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Forte Village Resort, Sardinia; Part 1

Suit – Agnona (via Donne Concept Store at Forte Village)

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Suit – Agnona (via Donne Concept Store at Forte Village). Top – DAY Birger et Mikkelsen. Necklace – Noemi Klein. Sunglasses – Couronne.

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Floppy straw hatClaire’s. Straw bag – Chloe. Kaftan as dress – Tallulah & Hope

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Floppy straw hat – Claire’s. Straw bag – Chloe. Kaftan as dress & Belt – Tallulah & Hope

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Red striped topChinti & Parker. White culottes - ASOS. White heelsZara. Clutch – JinYoo103684. Flower hairclip – H&M

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Red striped top –Chinti & Parker.White culottes -ASOSWhite heels – Zara. Clutch – JinYoo103684. Flower hairclip – H&M

I’m aware of the fact that I tend to overuse Disneyland as a basis of good, or in other words omg-pee-ze-pants-awesome - for example that cake shop down the road that offers infinite free samples is basically Disneyland to my eyes. However, when I say Forte Village is like Disneyland, its one thing that it is indeed omg-awesome, but technically it’s probably the easiest way to describe the concept of this Sardinian resort.
Once you enter the candy-cane barrier and the pastel-coloured gates smothered in Mediterranean flora, it’s similarly a whole other world inside; one that makes date, news, time irrelevant for the entire duration of your stay. There isn’t a stuffed-mouse posse to greet you, but will a parrot named Mario do? We find out later in the week that watching it fight with two other parrots is one of the best entertainment when slightly drunk. A golf-buggy transports you to a remote bungalow amidst thick vegetation that effectively hides the thousand other guests staying at the resort. Once you’ve unpacked, it’s up to you which ‘rides’ you want to go on – I personally abuse the spinning teacup, which involves my hubby spinning me underwater in the Mediterranean sea while he ingests fish of sorts while I have the time of my life forgetting I’m on the other half of my twenties. By lunchtime you hit the pizzeria to reclaim stolen calories, and depart with a cheesecake to eventually nap with, while the adults (hubby) catch up on a bit of rest themselves. See, I’m sure there was a very rich culture and lots to see in the island of Sardinia, but not once we felt the urge to leave Forte Village. In fact it’s exactly what we wanted in a holiday: being locked in a fortified playground with infinite icecream.

Thank you Forte Village Resort for the warm welcome. Stick around for part Two!

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Uniqlooks December: One item, three looks – Wine-red pea coat

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Look 1: Red pea coat – Uniqlo. Sweater – Minusey. Jeans – Urban Outfitters. Heels – ASOS. Bag – Alexander Wang. Phone case - Candies gifts
Look 2:  Red pea coat – Uniqlo. Shirt – Gap. Flare jeans – MiH Marrakesh. Boots – Chloe Sevigny x Opening Ceremony. Sunnies – Sheriff & Cherry. Bag - Kurt Geiger
Look 3:  Red pea coat – Uniqlo. Circle cape + Belt – Tallulah & Hope. Dress – ASOS. Jeans - James Jeans. Booties – ASOS. Bag – 3.1 Phillip Lim. 

There you have it – three different-ish ways to wear a wine-red pea coat and the last installment of Uniqlooks for 2012. It’s beyond me how I’ve managed to do this series for over a year now (Commitment? Never met him), I wish I did it with a gym membership or something because now I can’t find any shoes that will go with my post-Crimbo muffin top. Did you have a good Christmas/break? High-five if you too can’t tie your shoelaces anymore (that’s why we invest in velcro soulutions).