Rather out of character, I left the entire experience up to fate. I let everything just…happen. I refrained from intensive itinerary-making or fact-finding during our journey from Hull to Rotterdam; I wanted Antwerp to be a complete surprise. For better or worse.
And boy, was it…
I have blogged everything I didn’t have time to witter on about in the vlog, below, but hope you enjoy both as much as each other!
Dstrkt is my favourite club in London. And I’m not traditionally a ‘clubbing’ kind of woman. Dstrkt simply hits the nail on the head; perfect location (a side street in Piccadilly Circus), a luxurious and comfortable setting (not too big but big enough to dance in), great music, frequent celebrity sightings (Kim K turned up the night after I did) and now…a delicious food menu. I didn’t actually realize the club had an adjoining restaurant until last month (only five years later, ahem) so was excited to put the kitchen through its paces.
Taking a slightly different underground route to the restaurant instead of the lounge, my foodie accomplice and I settled into a table by the open kitchen at the bottom of the room’s beautiful split-level interiors.
Though they open to cater to pre-theatre crowds, the restaurant feels destined to that of celebratory meals, to me. A bit more style over substance than you’d hope for at the pricepoint, but we enjoyed a delicious Asian-European selection of spring rolls, crispy squid, sushi rolls, chicken satay, truffled ravioli, and cheesecake before segue-ing into the lounge at 11pm.
Having recently returned from a trip to Antwerp with P&O, I was surprised to receive as many questions about my route – the overnight ferry from Hull to Rotterdam – as the location itself.
While you will get a lot of experiential answers to your questions from the vlog above, I wanted to cover a few of the last week’s most frequently asked P&O questions before walking you through my adventures in Antwerp (no sweat – that blog is coming very shortly hereafter!)…
What is it like on a P&O ferry?
On our way there and back, we had club cabins at the back corners of the boat. The club cabins, and as far as the map suggested, are the biggest on the ship and were truly nicer than the hotel we stayed in once we arrived in Antwerp. The rooms featured two twin beds, a desk, sofa, television, bathroom, and shower room as well as tea & coffee facilities, a complimentary non-alcoholic mini bar, Clarins toiletries, robes, towels, and a voucher to collect two complimentary glasses of champagne at the bar.
I found it incredibly easy to sleep in the beds and actually felt so comfortable in the room on our return leg that we spent most of the evening there!
There are two main options for meals on the boat: The Brasserie and The Kitchen. As I don’t really enjoy buffets, we opted for the a la carte option – The Brasserie – on our trip to Rotterdam and enjoyed a bottle of Rioja over a baked baby Camembert (with mini baguettes and caramelised red onion chutney) and lamb shank (served with creamy mash and a selection of seasonal vegetables) before tucking in for the night.
There are on-board deals available that reduce the cost of The Kitchen’s all you can eat options for dinner and breakfast, but I would sincerely suggest just opting for what you fancy from the a la carte. By the time the ferry docks, it’s unlikely you’ll need a huge breakfast.
I took two very different approaches. On the way there, we got the most out of the experience by dining in The Brasserie, shopping (you can get up to 40% off RRP & no liquid restrictions!), drinking, and enjoying some live music.
On the way back, we were so tired we simply got our glass of complimentary champagne in the bar, a sandwich from the Starbucks-brewing cafe and went back to our cabin to work and unwind (which, for me, is still work).
I loved that there wasn’t a “one size fits all” option and that you can literally wake up at your destination.
How easy is it to get to Antwerp from Rotterdam?
Relatively easy! We took the P&O-supported coach to Rotterdam’s very beautiful and facility-heavy train station (a 45 minute journey from the port) and it is then only about one hour on the train to the center of Antwerp.
. M&S‘ brand new ‘Start With‘ campaign is a thing of genius; instead of letting their chosen style influencers pick out their favourite items from their new collection, they have sent each influencer a secret box with a secret item to ‘start with’ as they style three different looks.
Phase One has just launched with some vlogging beauties (check those familiar faces, above!) but I am pleased to report I have been given the green light to preview you on Phase Two – featuring me!
If Percy Pigs and a monogrammed candle weren’t enough, my ‘Start With’ box also contained their new super chic high-necked striped shift dress with side slits; an intimidating (long dresses on five-foot-tall women can be a nightmare!) but beautiful and modern piece to style.
For Outfit One, I thought I’d go completely out of my high-heeled, mini-dressed comfort zone and pair the dress with a pair of Sam Edelman Rosielace-up flats.
I don’t do sleek hair. My hair – much like my personality – is a cacophony of wildness that plays to the beat of its own drum.
I was a tad nervous when Rush and Redken asked if I wanted to create a salon versus home-styling tutorial for their lovely NYC Fashion Week Style Kit. Even more so when their pro gave my the best blow-dry of my life (it lasted for five days of international travel!).
You can watch the beauty (and anxiety!) unfold in our respective videos – enjoy!