Category Archives: Travel

A stay at Copenhagen’s Hotel Danmark

November 17, 2017

A stay at Copenhagen’s Hotel Danmark | These Four Walls blog

When inconvenient flight times meant Lou from Littlegreenshed and I ended up with a night’s stopover in Copenhagen on the way back from our recent trip to Skåne, I wasn’t going to complain. Not only did it allow me to spend 24 hours in one of my favourite cities, it also gave me the chance to stay at the beautiful new Hotel Danmark.

I first wrote a post about the latest boutique offering from Brøchner Hotels, who also manage the super-stylish SP34, when it opened its doors back in spring, so I was very excited about trying it out in person. I wasn’t disappointed.

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The VIPP Loft

November 6, 2017

The VIPP Loft | These Four Walls blog

Danish brand VIPP has long been known for its pioneering design, evolving from humble origins as a manufacturer of metal bins to become a world-renowned company whose products encompass kitchens, bathrooms, furniture, home accessories and lighting. And its latest project, the newly opened VIPP Loft in Copenhagen, is just as innovative as I’ve come to expect from the 78-year-old family-owned firm.

The Loft forms part of the ‘VIPP Hotel’, which turns the traditional concept of a hotel on its head by offering private suites in separate locations, rather than lots of rooms in a single setting. You can already book the VIPP Shelter, an ingenious prefabricated cabin on the shore of Sweden’s remote Lake Immeln which I featured last year, and another project – a converted chimney house in northern Copenhagen – is due to follow in 2018. All three suites are intented to provide ‘curated design experiences’, as VIPP CEO Kasper Egelund explains: “Our destinations all share the same goal. We want to invite people to experience firsthand our philosophy of good design in a place that’s out of the ordinary.”

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Exploring Skåne | Malmö

November 3, 2017

Exploring Malmö | These Four Walls blog

It’s time for another instalment from my recent trip to Skåne with Visit Sweden and Visit Skåne (read the first here), and today I’m focussing on the region’s capital, Malmö.

Sweden’s third-largest city was once a thriving port and shipbuilding centre, but since its heavy industry died out in the 1980s it has reinvented itself as an edgy, cosmopolitan place with a wonderful mix of cultures. It’s home to a pretty old town with half-timbered buildings and cobbled squares, all sorts of fascinating restaurants and bars, and a redeveloped waterfront that was Europe’s first carbon-neutral neighbourhood. But the main attraction for me was its vibrant design scene, which has been fuelled by cheap rents, a supportive atmosphere that lures start-ups, and a collaborative approach that often sees studios team up to showcase local talent.

Malmö is connected to Denmark by the famous Øresund Bridge and you could easily visit on a day trip from Copenhagen, but I reckon it deserves a longer stay as there’s plenty to see and do. Here are my favourite finds…

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Exploring Skåne | The Wanås Estate

October 27, 2017

Exploring Skåne | The Wanås Estate | These Four Walls blog

A couple of weeks ago, I was lucky enough to be invited to Skåne in southern Sweden along with a small group of other bloggers – Sarah Akwisombe, Lou of Littlegreenshed and Kimberly of Swoon Worthy. The trip was hosted by the lovely people at Visit Sweden and Visit Skåne, with the aim of showcasing all the wonderful design, scenery and food which the region has to offer.

I’ve visited Sweden many times before, but this was my first stay in Skåne. I already know it won’t be my last: not only is it very easy to reach (just a 20-minute hop across the Øresund Bridge from Copenhagen Airport), it’s also incredibly beautiful. Our trip took in the vibrant city of Malmö, the elegant university town of Lund and more, but I want to start with a post about our first base: the enchanting Wanås Estate.

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Foraging in the Forest of Dean

October 18, 2017

Foraging in the Forest of Dean | These Four Walls blog

Apologies for the lack of posts over the last few days, but I’ve been in southern Sweden, discovering the wonderful design, food and scenery of the Skåne region. More on that to follow soon, but first I have a find from home turf to share with you: beautiful Forest of Dean hotel Tudor Farmhouse.

The Forest of Dean is only an hour north of Bristol, but for some reason I’ve never spent much time there. So, when Tudor Farmhouse asked if I’d like to join a small group of bloggers and journalists (including the lovely Lottie from Oyster & Pearl) for one of their autumnal foraging breaks, I jumped at the chance to explore the area. I soon realised I’ve been missing out. This sprawling oak woodland – the oldest in England – is utterly magical, with mysterious glens, twisting tree trunks, haunting mine ruins and roaming wild boar. It’s said to have inspired the works of Tolkein, and more recently it’s been used as a location for the Harry Potter films.

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Five stylish places to stay in Madrid

October 11, 2017

7 Islas Hotel | Five stylish places to stay in Madrid | These Four Walls blog

It’s time for another round-up of stylish places to stay in some of my favourite destinations, and today I’m turning my attention to Madrid.

I’ve visited the vibrant Spanish capital several times over the years – most recently at the end of the ‘Sunny Design Days’ tour in July, when I couldn’t resist tagging a quick city break onto the end of the week – and I’ve always been captivated by its energy. It may lack the major sights of Paris and Berlin, but it’s full of charm: maze-like alleys open onto grand boulevards and 17th-century plazas, and the whole place is brimming with innovative restaurants, cutting-edge boutiques and lively bars (this is famously a city which never sleeps). It’s also home to plenty of wonderful hotels – here are my top recommendations…

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Fallen Angel | Cornwall

October 6, 2017

Fallen Angel | Cornwall | These Four Walls blog

Today I’m sharing another find from Cornwall: super-romantic self-catering hideaway Fallen Angel. This sleek rubber-clad house is set in one of my favourite villages, Mousehole, and I first spied it perched on the hillside above the harbour when Chris and I spent our minimoon there in May. I couldn’t resist Googling it to find it what it was, and I loved the look of it so much that I included it in a round-up of top tips for western Cornwall. You can imagine my excitement when owners Mark and Jane then got in touch to ask if we’d like to stay for a weekend and try it out in person.

So, late one Friday afternoon in early September, we jumped in the car and headed back down the M5 for ‘Mousehole Minimoon #2’. Having spent the first one in a cramped rental with a leaking bathroom and noisy construction work taking place next door, we were both looking forward to a second attempt at post-wedding relaxation – and what a treat we had in store.

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The Sandy Duck | Cornwall

September 28, 2017

The Sandy Duck | Cornwall | These Four Walls blog

Apologies for the radio silence over the last week – I’ve been on holiday in Puglia and, although I had planned to write a couple of blog posts while I was away, exploring soon took over! I’ll have more about my time in Italy further down the line, but first I want to share a recent discovery from a little closer to home.

As you might have seen on Instagram, Chris and I have spent a lot of time in Cornwall this summer, and on one of our visits we booked a night at The Sandy Duck, a brand-new B&B with a Scandinavian twist, set in the buzzing town of Falmouth.

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Five stylish places to stay in Lisbon

September 13, 2017

Santa Clara 1728 | Five stylish places to stay in Lisbon | These Four Walls blog

Today I’m combining my love of travel and design by launching a new series of posts featuring stylish places to stay in some of my favourite destinations. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while now: after years working in the travel industry, I’ve come across plenty of good (and not so good!) hotels and apartments, and I’m really excited about sharing the best options for all my fellow minimalists and design addicts.

First up is beautiful, beguiling Lisbon. Tumbling down seven hillsides towards the shimmering River Tagus, it’s a city of paradoxes: charmingly old-fashioned yet innovative and creative, highly ornate yet appealingly shabby. Sleek shops sit next to crumbling mansions, cutting-edge restaurants by tatty neighbourhood cafés, and rickety yellow trams rattle along the cobbled streets much like they have done since the 1900s.

Here are my top picks for where to stay when in town…

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