Writing this post is making me absolutely desperate to get my next adventure booked in… It was THE MOST FUN! While Romania wouldn’t have been the first place one might think of when planning a vaycay but I strongly recommend getting yourself to Bucharest. I’ll definitely be going back asap…
So, why did Holly and I head to Bucharest back in August? A number of reasons. I wanted to get some travel stuff ready in preparation for the launch of the new La Petite Anglaise. We also both fancied a get away before saying good bye to Summer. As luck would have it, an email from the InterContinental Bucharest just so happened to arrive in my inbox inviting me to visit the hotel and I thought, why the hell not? I’d never been to Romania before, new next to nothing about it and was very intrigued to find out more. It was also – and this is very, very lovely – me and Holly’s “third anniversary” as August 2016 marked three years since our romcom worthy “meet cute” at Somerset House. Intrigued? The story goes like this… I was browsing the Miles Aldridge exhibition with my mum, Holly was one of the fifteen people who read La Petite Anglaise, introduced herself and told me to let her know if I ever fancied shooting. Being the ridiculous human I am, my response was along the lines of “Yes! Let’s go outside and shoot RIGHT THIS SECOND!”, which we did. And we’ve worked together ever since, becoming the kind of close friends who plan co-ordinated Halloween costumes and who’s in jokes have hit a level of immaturity most nine year olds work throw shade upon.
We arrived in Romania tired, grumpy and in my case, slightly tipsy from the plane wine I tried to blot out the trauma of Luton Aiport in peak holiday season with. In that situation, all you really want is a giant hug and to be taken care of like you’re off school with flu and definitely not faking it. Thankfully, the InterContinental Bucharest is run by some of the kindest and most accommodating people I’ve ever been lucky enough to stay with. I cannot overstate how utterly wonderful their service is, there was a fair bit of hugging goodbye when we left, whether the staff liked it or not. Their loveliness combined with a hearty meal and solid 12 hours of sleep meant we awoke the next day infinitely less grumpy and ready to explore the city… After exploring the excellent breakfast buffet that is. We also managed to get in a leisurely gym n’ swim so it was mid afternoon by the time we headed out, the sun was shining and it was undoubtedly rosé time.
Bucharest is a city unlike any I’ve ever spent time in before. It’s a fascinating mix of old and new, elegance and tack, poignant reminders of its, in many ways tragic, past and symbols of its enormous growth and exciting future. I’m no architecture expert but even I could tell that theirs was something unique. Thanks to the amazing Dana from InterContinental Bucharest – who Holly and I adored so much we got pretty emotional about leaving – I can tell you that’s because the the 20th century Art Nouveau edifices that caused Bucharest to be known as the “Paris of the east” are juxtaposed with utilitarian buildings left behind from decades of communist rule. It’s a glorious hotpotch of styles that makes the place pretty unique and staves off the onset of bored when you get totally lost, which of course I did whenever Holly wasn’t with me.
I wore: Temperley London dress, Karen Walker glasses, Valentino bag & shoes
There is a hell of a lot of culture to be absorbed and fun to be had in Bucharest, we most definitely gave the latter our very best whack. Afternoon number one was spent strolling the streets, my favourite way to get to know a new place. We browsed a few antiques markets, I tried on some ridiculous fur coats and then we stumbled upon Food Hood; a glorious faux beach situation where the 90’s Brit Pop was blasting, the pizza excellent and the drinks cheap AF.
Before we knew it, the sun was falling and the time had come to head back to the InterContinental for dinner… And champagne, because obviously.
More Bucharest tales coming soon!
Love Ella x
Images by Holly McGlynn