(Glasses: Urban Outfitters, Dress: Topshop (in black), Shoes: Superga, Bag: C/O Charlotte Elizabeth)

A couple of weekend ago Joe and I hopped on a train to the wonderful British seaside. It was the first day that we'd had a temperature over sixteen degrees, and to tie in with a little guide we're working on (which you'll be able to read about soon)- we picked Broadstairs as our day trip of choice. With the journey being just under a couple of hours away, we packed suitable pastry (and book supplies) before setting off to the coast.

It had been a long time since I'd visited Broadstairs (I think I last went with some primary school friends), but the second we stepped on the sandy beach (which was surprisingly quiet for a Sunday) we knew we'd made the right decision. After strolling along the front, and stopping for endless sets of photos- we settled down for a fish lunch (which I think makes me sound about 80 but is an unspoken rite of passage whilst at the seaside)- before heading back for a soft scoop at Morelli's.

I won't say much else yet as I do have a big old post and video about the day coming soon (not that these are any #spoilers that'll have people on the edge of their seat)- but I wanted to share a couple of snaps from the day, including a new favourite Topshop dress which I am in love with. After spotting it on the gorgeous Monikh and making a swift next-day delivery order, it came and I was besotted. It's definitely a little more lilac than white (so don't be fooled, I'm pretty sure it's magic)- but I know I'll be getting a lot more ware out of it providing we have more sunny days to come!



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To The Sea



To me, every time I visit Paris it feels magical. Perhaps it's the language, the grand architecture contrasted with small winding streets dotted with artisan bakeries and antique shops. Maybe it's the history, the style- or even the food (I mean, there's certainly something magical about pastries)- but every time I discover something new and fall in love a little more. So, when I was invited back to the city for a day to celebrate the new DS 3 Inès de la Fressange collaboration with DS Automobiles by their wonderful UK team (as well as to uncover some hidden spots by the Parisian powerhouse) I couldn't have said 'oui!' any quicker!



Having been a fan of Inès since receiving one of her infamous city guides several years ago (which I highly recommend for anyone who wants some real gems), I felt pretty excited to spend a whirlwind day in the French capital- exploring the sun slathered streets in the beautiful new DS 3 Inès de la Fressange - on what felt like the hottest day of the year so far. With a miniature notebook filled with clues for our secret destinations throughout the day, we set off for a whirlwind tour of some of Inès' favourite French gems...



After a little guessing, and following a chatter-fuelled lunch with Joe, Alice and Adriana- our first stop naturally had to be the Inès de la Fressange store. Situated a stones throw away from Saint-Germain on a quiet residential street- it was a total treat to get to explore everything from her beautiful fashion and home ware selections- with a peek at the in-house atelier too, which felt like a complete treat. Seeing how everything starts off, the design process and the attention to detail was amazing- and certainly felt apparent when looking at the new DS 3 too. With the store boasting everything from playful embroidered knits, delicate jewellery and more stationary and home ware than my small bag could disguise (let's just say we've hit capacity for that at the moment)- we set off for our next Inès recommendation, the beautiful Cinéma du Panthéon in the 5e arrondissement...



Now, the car in itself is arguably one of the most beautiful I've been lucky enough to drive in. Much like Inès (and French style as a given), the car feels sleek, sophisticated, and classic- whilst combining subtle personal touches which makes it equally feel modern and playful (without being at all novelty). With an ink-blue exterior and a contrasting opal white roof- the 'Inès-Red dashboard' (with her signature fawn embossed) makes the model feel timeless- and the addition of airmail stripes around the windows and lining the interiors pay a suitably chic tribute to the fashion house too (and shows that fashion design can indeed be carried out across motor too)! Driving around the city I felt one headscarf away from being a certain Ms. Hepburn (it's all in the dark glasses, I promise) and it certainly made driving around the bustling French streets to a soundtrack of horns and mopeds feel all the more glamourous.

As soon as I turned the corner and spotted the art-deco neon sign (and matching Francoise Hardy posters in the cinema bookshop next door)- I knew we'd found somewhere I'd love. Not only does this place showcase numbers of upcoming independent films- but if you wander upstairs you'll find a secret bar and cafe (with a towering green outdoor terrace)- which makes for the perfect spot for some afternoon gelato and some miniature French cakes. When in Rome, right?



Back in the car, our last stop lead us to the big wheel at Place de la Concorde, where we finally crossed paths with Alice and Adriana again. Having been told that when two of the limited edition DS 3's cross paths we'd activate an exclusive track by Empire of the Sun (there are only 200 being sold in the U.K so this is pretty rare)- our meeting felt all the more special (with a tres cool soundtrack) in the summer heat, and was the perfect way to roundup a magical day before heading back to the DS Showroom. Until next time, Paris!

This post is in collaboration with DS Automobiles, but love of Paris, this beautiful car (which I can now finally drive- wahoo) and Inès all my own- head over to my YouTube channel for a vlog of the day too!


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A Parisian Roadtrip



A few months ago I had an email ping in from my friend Kylie. We'd only spoken online before and from what I knew of Kylie (and can confirm now) is that she is the ultimate cool girl (if ever there was a definition). Her Instagram feed is rows of shots of her surfing, exploring the coast in her camper van with varying hues of blue. Oh, and she's a DJ-cum-creative-director who used to be fashion editor at Vice- so I think that's a comfortable definition of cool.



So when she emailed me asking if I'd fancy joining her 'London Girls Surf Club' and embarking on a three day surf adventure to the North Devon coast I panicked. The last thought I'd had about surfing (or even attempting it) was during my 10 year old Avril Lavinge phase, where I yearned to wearing Billabong surf shorts as daywear and imagined that my fishnet sleeves and chained parachute trousers were my pinnacle of being a Roxy girl. Or even the time I thought I could win over James from Busted. But since then (and trust me, it's been a sweet while) it hadn't even crossed my mind. After asking if I was sure she'd emailed the right Olivia, I agreed. I stressed I was certain to be a liability, had a very limited swimming skill set but promised I'd give it a damn good go. Because sometimes in life that's the best you can do, isn't it?



The funny thing about all of this is when I told people about this trip the greatest reaction was probably total bewilderment. 'You? Surfing!?' I am not a water baby by any stretch of the imagination, and I'm the kind of outdoorsy person that you'd probably get a print like this for and think it was hil-arious. Anyway- before I knew it I was on a train to Tiverton Parkway, with three days of the unknown with a group of girls who I'd never met before. To say I felt nervous was an understatement (I quickly broke the ice by reminding everyone of my 'nervous Purvis' nickname) and a mere hour after arriving I was on a lake standing on a paddle board like Orlando bloody Bloom (with pants on, naturally).



After a morning paddle boarding- I had my first surf lesson on the same afternoon. We picked up our foam boards and headed to the sea, feeling pretty fortunate the tide was in synch and had some (small) waves for us (thankfully). After stepping into the sea I can hand on heart say I didn't come prepared for how scared I'd feel. I think I had a bit of an initial panic cry in front of Carlo (our amazing instructor) before I could even get waist deep into the sea. But, with a bit (or, a lot) of patience- I managed to not only stand up on my board, but ride along the coast without falling in. If we were closer to December I'd have called it a Christmas miracle- but finding the courage to push myself and ultimately challenge myself so far out of my comfort zone felt amazing. Being self employed I'm very rarely, and fortunately made to push myself into places of vulnerability- but challenging myself and proving that I could felt amazing. I DID IT!



Although over the following days we weren't quite so lucky with the tide, doing something different- that not only required physical strength, but mental strength too felt incredible and I also gained a little ability to feel more confident in myself. Not only did I prove I could not only stand up on a board and swim to depths that I didn't think possible, but I was surrounded by a group of the most vibrant, body confident, inspirational women who honestly made me feel like anything was possible. It sounds a bit soppy, but perhaps that's what inhaling large amounts of salt water does to you. Who knows. Either way I'm feeling ready for our next adventure, and can't wait to share more about this special journey with some amazing ladies.



*does shaka hands*

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With many thanks to Vans, Aussie, Instax, Carl Wilson for the photos and the wonderful people at Croyde Surf Academy. If you're also interested in finding out how to donate to raise awareness to help combat mental health with extreme sports head here.

The One Where I Learnt To Surf

(Jacket: C/O Hush, Top: C/O & Other Stories, Jeans: & Other Stories, Shoes: Castaner, Bag: C/O Hush, Sunglasses: ASOS (similar))

Maybe it's because I'm totally immersed in inner city living- constantly closer to a Sainsbury's and a Lidl than a fresh and colourful farmers market- but one thing I love doing when abroad is checking out the local markets. Once upon a time this would often be code for 'finding somewhere to pick up cool dolphin keyrings' (or even a cough, fake designer bag during my early teens) but there's something about soaking up how the locals live, checking out the delicious delicacies and immersing yourself in a different day-to-day routine that is deliciously refreshing.

On our second day in Mallorca, we took a taxi into Port de Pollença to explore the Wednesday morning market. Spilling from the town centre into the side streets, we were met with everything from endless wicker baskets, a rainbow of fresh fruit, delicately crafted leather bags and near enough everything in between. Although we all remained relatively controlled (blame my measly attempt at grown up saving)- it was certainly a nice change from a run-around the fruit and veg aisles at home- and wearing my new spring uniform (that's a military green jacket, slogan tee and pale denim)- I definitely enjoyed the little injection of sunshine to my mid week routine.



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To The Market

MEET OLIVIA

MEET OLIVIA

Hello, you! I'm Olivia, or Liv- a 23 year old girl living in London, spending most of her time blog writing, photo taking, social media updating and occasionally cake baking.

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