Cafe Lalo – NYC

Cafe Lalo is a place that most people will recognise instantly – famed for it’s appearance in Nora Ephron’s ‘You’ve got Mail’ – it has all the charm you’d expect from a rom-com worthy hang out. Brian took me for dessert the other evening (because he really does know me so well) and I couldn’t resist heading back the next morning for breakfast with a friend so I could take some pictures & blog it! 

Even through the rainy weather Cafe Lalo shines out with the picturesque light wrapped trees out front. Located on the Upper West Side – W 83rd Btw Broadway & Amsterdam Ave, you can’t miss it!

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When Brian took me, we had dessert – they are known for their incredible pies! I had peanut butter chocolate pie (naturally) and Brian had Apple crumble pie. Both were just fantastic & not one person in the whole cafe was skipping dessert! So make sure you leave room if you have dinner there too! 

The next morning I opted for the ‘Parisian breakfast’ (or the PAIR-EE-ZION as the waitress pronounced it!) which was a steal at just $5. I had Earl Grey tea with my Croissant which made me really home sick, which I did not expect! I haven’t been away from London that long!

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I settled down with my book while I waited for my friend to join me. The cafe is covered in old posters, has floor to ceiling french windows and charm oozing from every corner – except from the waitress’. Both times I’ve visited trying to get their attention was like pulling teeth – considering there were only three other tables for breakfast you wouldn’t think I’d have to practically jump up and down just to ask for milk for my tea! I’m usually rather easy going about that sort of thing, but they are stood 3ft from my table – leaning on the counter & chatting! A real shame as it ruins an other wise wonderful experience. 

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Image If you visit Cafe Lalo i’m sure you will be instantly charmed as they play soft jazz which adds perfectly to the ambiance. Be prepared to deal with terrible service – but the wonderful desserts are definitely worth it! And hey, you can always re-enact Tom Hanks & Meg Ryan’s scene in the cafe, because… why not!? 

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New York City…

So, i’m writing this from the Upper West Side! While i’m still waiting for my permanent residence visa to come through, i’m visiting for a few weeks. So it’s all fun, parties and photography for now until I have to actually sort out the big move and be a grown up! 

I’m looking forward to spending my first 4th of July in the USA in over 10 years! And yes, I will be wearing a suitable patriotic outfit. 

I’m loving summer in the city so far, strolling through central park with my beautiful new camera & capturing everything I see.

Here’s a shot Brian took of me with my camera on one of our many strolls in the park the other morning…

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xoxo

Barcelona – Gothic Cathedral

I wanted to explore the gothic quarter of Barcelona as really – what could be better for a photographer. All that beautiful history and architecture – perfect.  We found the Gothic Cathedral right away and really, it was the main reason I wanted to come down and explore here.

I love dramatic architecture – and this had it in spades. I’m going to let the photographs speak for themselves as I had so much fun photographing this incredible building. 

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Once again we opted to go up some ridiculously old & small elevator and onto the roof of the Cathedral – I mean really I should have learnt my lesson from Sagrada Familia – but this was taking un safe to a whole new level! We were precariously balanced on some scaffolding that really was about the fall at any minute – or at least at the time it really felt like it was. And to add to the already building level of hysteria it was incredibly windy up there – so if we weren’t falling to our death due to the scaffolding we were certainly about to be blown over the side. I couldn’t resist posting the next two photos of my mother to illustrate this point further – sorry Mum! After a very fleeting visit – we slowly side stepped our way back towards the elevator.

 

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We stumbled upon the courtyard (Cloister) and found these adorable white geese that they keep there. I spent far too long naming them and trying to win their trust to obtain the perfect photograph. But to no avail – so these will have to do! 

 

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 I like to think he was posing for me there – just a little!

We found our way back out onto the beautiful streets of the gothic quarter and continued our adventure! (Until the rain returned!)

 

 

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Barcelona – Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia is one of Gaudí’s most famous works in Barcelona. It’s a giant Basilica that has been under construction since 1882 (that’s not a typo!) and it’s not expected to be completed for between 30 to 80 years (time for completion varies depending on different sources of information).

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The beautiful entrance gate –

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Once we had entered – we went immediately up the towers to admire the view. Now i’m not trying to be ridiculously British in saying this – but Barcelona obviously doesn’t have the same Health & Safety code as us. I’m not one to usually be afraid of heights, but something about the fact that there was no railing, no fencing, no nothing to keep you from falling to your death – just wasn’t to my taste. As we walked through I became more & more jelly legged – much to my mother’s amusement. Every where you looked you could see the (beautiful) but terrifying view – even the gaps between the narrow stairs were really pushing me over the edge  (no pun intended). After a rather fleeting trip we escaped back down the elevator to safety.

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There really is so much I could say for the incredible architecture – but it speaks for itself. Every way that you approach it, you discover something new and equally brilliant. I could have spent hours admiring every inch of this magnificent work of art. Luckily we were there in March which is not the tourist season so it was remarkably quiet and had only a few people looking around – which added to the wonderful experience.

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It is definitely one of the top things to do when visiting Barcelona – and if you only have time to visit one of Gaudi’s works of art – make it this one.

Barcelona – Park Güell

Well I’ve been away from blogging for a while & have a lot to catch up on…

Firstly, I popped over to Barcelona for a few days to join my parents as my Dad was at the Mobile World Conference & my mum needed entertaining while he was busy! 

While the weather was more than a little hit or miss we did have a glorious first day in the sunshine & started the day with brunch in Park Güell, and naturally, lots of photos!

Park Güell is a series of gardens beautifully designed by Antoni Gaudi. The architecture is breathtaking & expansive, in fact it is one of the largest architectural works in South Europe. It is built into the hill of El Carmel in the Gràcia district, as you climb up it unravels before you, layer by layer. 

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The world famous ‘El Drac’ – The Dragon greets you as you enter the park.

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My lovely Mum relaxing in the sunshine!

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Not posing at all… I don’t know what you mean!

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Scattered thorough out the arches & passageways you will find some wonderful musicians busking, take a seat & enjoy!

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When I said ‘climb up’ I really meant it! Perhaps it’s because i’m 5ft2 or because Gaudi didn’t really ‘do’ precise measurements. You really have to watch your step as they are very rarely at the same height as the one before. If you aren’t particularly fit there are benches on nearly all the levels so you can have a rest and enjoy the views.

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Here you can see the benches that my mum & I sat on from a better angle. The cafe is just out of sight on the right, grab a drink and relax, but don’t put your bag on the floor whatever you do. Hold on tight to your camera & other valuables. Barcelona has a serious crime problem & especially during the busy seasons tourists make themselves easy targets by being careless. Look after yourself & your possessions! 

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My mum, rocking the latest in fashion headwear…

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That’s just a few of my many many pictures, it was a gorgeous place to spend the morning & definitely one of the top things to do when visiting Barcelona! It can get crazy busy during the summer months, but we were lucky to be two of only maybe 50 people visiting! It’s free to enter and there are no set times you have to be in and out by, so if you are a keen photographer you can really take your time photographing all the many levels of this beautiful garden!

xoxo