Waking Up In Los Angeles

Waking up in Los Angeles

Oud Sahara
at The Line, LA

~ written from my bed at the line hotel, los angeles ~

As the seasons change, I look to perfumes as a form of inspiration in deciding what I might want to wear, watch or do. The stories and the recipes behind them are so influential in my decisions, I tend to see subtle links to them in my everyday. 

I fell in love with Gourmand EDP’s (a.k.a Urban Outfitter’s) ‘Oud Sahara’ because of it’s musty, aromatic & gentle-womanly notes; I guess what i’m trying to say is that, it’s a sophisticated & soft perfume with a slight woody depth. Perfect for a slow afternoon in downtown la.

Oud Sahara 6Oud Sahara
Oud Sahara 5Oud Sahara 3

The 30ml bottle is simple & small enough to take in your bag and the grin inducing price point of £16 doesn’t hurt either. Though their UK online store is currently out of stock of this exact scent, the Gourmand fragrance collection has over 8 scents available. One in particular I love alongside Oud, is the Lait De Coco scent; a light, sweet & milky perfume that is currently available online. This being said, you could stop by your local UO as you might stumble across a rogue Oud Sahara in their beauty section.


Add to Wishlist
From Coast To Campsite – Hyundai KONA Trip

From Coast to Campsite – Hyundai KONA Trip

~ in partnership with Hyundai~


Sand & Rock

Snowdonia, Wales – the perfect road trip destination; blissfully British coastline (a.k.a. take your coat, not your bikini), rolling fields of greenery separated by small stone barns and forestry, and mountains, so stunning you might just loose yourself for a moment, in the best way.

We ventured from the coastline of Black Sands beach to the edge of one of Snowdonia’s lakes.

We’ll let you into a little secret: we might have loved every minute of it.

From Coast to Campsite Hyundai KONA Trip

Hyundai Kona Wales Trip-10

Hyundai Kona Wales Trip-11

Dylan's Restaurant,

First stop? Lunch, obvs.

Dylan’s Cafe, located in the small coastal town of Ciccieth, was a charming and cosy hide-out; the perfect shelter from the wild wind and rain outside.

Offering a casual British menu with all the classics, and floor to ceiling windows with stunning views of the beach, it was hard to leave.

hyundai arva-7
Hyundai Kona Wales Trip-14
Hyundai Kona Wales Trip-5
Hyundai Kona Wales Trip-4
hyundai arva-5

Black Rock Sand Beach, Porthmadog.

Back in the car, tunes on and adventure around the corner. The weather didn’t stop us driving along Black Rock Sand beach. As the clouds came over we found ourselves huddled in the car, well and truly enjoying the moment. With blankets and books, we were able to escape from our usually busy schedule and simply appreciate the British weather – yes, we said appreciate.

Hyundai Kona Wales Trip-2

Mount Snowdon, Snowdonia.

As dusk settled, we explored the intricate landscape of Mount Snowdon from the comfort of our Hyundai Kona – although we couldn’t resist climbing half way out the window to capture photographs.

The road was narrow and rocky, but the views were worth it. The lake that sits on the foot of the mountain was completely still and wrapped up in a thick fog.

Hyundai Kona Wales Trip-6


When we arrived at the camp site, it was finally time to chill, and where better than a private yurt with heated blankets, accompanied by North Face slippers and fairy lights.

When it came to camping, our team was a little mixed in opinion, but one thing we all agreed on was that it was a memorable experience.

Before heading back to Chester we couldn’t resist waking up for sunrise. Armed with a flask of milky Earl Grey tea and our new favourite Rupi Kaur book in hand, slid down from the campsite & may have gotten a little lost on that lake side surrounding by mountain landscape but we couldn’t have asked for a better ending to our adventure.

hyundai arva-6
Add to Wishlist
Korakia Pensione, Palm Springs

Korakia Pensione, Palm Springs

Korakia Pensione Hotel-6


At a first glance, the Korakia Pensione seems a little out of place when compared to the rest of the Palm Springs landscape ~ taking inspiration from both Morocco and Greece, a stay here feels more like an island getaway in the Middle East, than a cool retreat just outside of Los Angeles.

Korakia Pensione Hotel-17
Korakia Pensione Hotel-3
Korakia Pensione Hotel-4

There aren’t many hotels in the world that can capture a mood, quite as well as the Korakia does. You can tell in an instant that every little detail has been thought about, from the quietly decorative water features to the poolside hideaways that are perfect for reading a book, or perhaps writing one; you won’t be short on inspiration whilst you’re there.

The great thing about visiting Palm Springs is that you can enjoy the sun during most months of the year, meaning you don’t have to visit the Korakia Pensione during high season (June-August & of course April, because of Coachella). With an interesting mix of rooms that vary in ways beyond size, their prices start from around  £110 per night, off season.

Korakia Pensione Hotel-11
Korakia Pensione Hotel-12
Korakia Pensione Hotel-5
Korakia Pensione Hotel-10
Korakia Pensione Hotel-14
Korakia Pensione Hotel-8
Korakia Pensione Hotel-34
Korakia Pensione Hotel-32
Korakia Pensione Hotel-30

So as far as we know, the Korakia only do breakfast but damn, if it isn’t one of the best breakfasts in Palm Springs. Complete with a photogenic table set-up and fresh juices, whatever is on the menu on your given day will be the best way to start your day. Oh & breakfast is complimentary!

Lovely as they are, you should view the women who staff the hotel almost like a cool older sister. Knowledgable, full of random yet funny conversation but not really there to carry your bags. What are we saying? Don’t expect a 5* hotel kinda service, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have an incredible time, they just kinda leave you to your own devices, as if you were renting an apartment lets say.

Korakia Pensione Hotel-2
Korakia Pensione Hotel-19


During our visit, we could easily walk to most places – though admittedly we didn’t most times, as it was so damn hot, but the Korakia is in a great location and is also just a 10 minute walk away from the Palm Springs Art Museum & 15 minute drive away from El Mirasol our favourite local Mexican restaurant.

Korakia Pensione Hotel-7
Korakia Pensione Hotel-27
Korakia Pensione Hotel-13
Korakia Pensione Hotel-24


 Actually use the pool. Now I know that sounds pretty basic but with a choice of two really quite perfect pools and the dreamiest of surrounding furniture, why not grab a book you don’t mind getting a little wet and spend a few hours cooling off, I can’t quite explain it but their pools are just a vibe.

 If you’re into movies, head to the concierge and find out what movie will be on that night and see if you can sway them to play one of your favourite classics. What was on, when we went? Gentlemen Prefer Blondes…we may or may not have had something to do with that choice.

Korakia Pensione

257 S Patencio Rd, Palm Springs, CA 92262, USA
+1 760-864-6411
Add to Wishlist
Calling Brooklyn Home

Calling Brooklyn home


For many of you, Airbnb is by no means a revelation, but finding a place that really does feel like home is definitely a place worth talking about.

This small but stylish property situated in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn remains a favourite of ours. From the kind hosts who supply you with all the local knowledge you could ask for (guides & maps included) to being within walking distance of all of all kinds of charming Brooklyn spots, you’ll struggle to find a property this perfect at it’s price point – we’re talking around the £151 per night mark.

Though it technically fits 3 people, we’d say 2 would be ideal but you definitely have space for guests as there are multiple entertaining spaces from the living room to the private patio.

Naturally nowhere is perfect and it’s main flaw is that the kitchen doesn’t have a sink – ok, ok, we know you’re probably thinking huh? How is that even possible. Well the bathroom which is right of the kitchen has a deep kitchen like sink, so that’s the suggested place to do any washing. Yes, it’s a little bizarre but it’s a small quirk we’er happy to overlook.

Just in case our favourite Clinton Hill property is unavailable or simply not your vibe, here’s our full list of Brooklyn properties we love, all priced between £65-£300 a night, so we’re sure you’ll find one you love.

arva’s brooklyn list!

Should you like the sound of this Clinton Hill apartment & choose to book it, why not check out some of our local favourites during your stay:

Locanda ~ a sweet Italian restaurant
Peaches Shrimp and Crab ~ a deep south inspired seafood restaurant
Primrose Cafe ~ a cute cafe, serving up some the perfect accompaniments to whatever book you’re reading whilst there. Our favourites? The Cinnamon Chili Spiced Latte with a Brie and pear grilled cheese. OH BOY is it good.

brooklyn airbnb
brooklyn airbnb-4
brooklyn airbnb-6
brooklyn airbnb-24
brooklyn airbnb-16
brooklyn airbnb-7
Brooklyn Airbnb 26Brooklyn Airbnb 32
Add to Wishlist
The Easy Dinner Party

The easy dinner party

Aubaine Dinner Party 4 – arva

The easy dinner party

We all know that hosting a dinner party can be a little trickier than simply building a Pinterest board, preparing food & inviting guests, so when we needed to host an upcoming get-together, we consulted with the chef at Aubaine & made our way to Aubaine Mayfair for a night of festive fun.

Let’s face it, sometimes we want to go full on ‘Martha Stewart’ and get hands on with the creation of our soirée but sometimes, we just want to arrive and know that everything will be perfect. This time, it was the latter. Besides the general pre-event prep of ordering, we simply arrived to a private and spacious room, perfect for socialising.

Aubaine Dinner Party 7 – arva
Aubaine Dinner Party 2 – arva
Aubaine Dinner Party – arva

Our Menu


Smoked duck breast salad
Confit duck, endive, winter leaves, pickled blackberry, toasted hazelnut, hazelnut dressing


Smoked duck breast salad
Confit duck, endive, winter leaves, pickled blackberry, toasted hazelnut, hazelnut dressing


Roasted Brussels sprouts
Alsace bacon, chestnuts

Tasting boards
Mini merguez sausages, calamars frits, crudités, marinated bocconcini mozzarella balls, Serrano ham, mixed olives, chilli-lime aïoli, Aubaine bread selection

Baked Camembert
Crushed walnuts, truffle oil, baby leaves, crostini

Baked truffle bread and melted Reblochon cheese
Reblochon cheese, crème fraîche, black truffle, truffle oil, rocket leaves


See full menu here

Aubaine Dinner Party 3 – arva


Address: 31 Dover Street, Mayfair,

Site: Aubaine.co.uk

Phone: +44 20 7368 0955

Add to Wishlist