Tag Archives: Inspiration Vault

Amsterdam is Turning its Bridge Houses into Tiny Hotels

Amsterdam is Turning its Bridge Houses into Tiny Hotels

© Mirjam Bleeker, courtesy of SWEETS hotel

Well that’s it for me. I’ll never stay in a normal hotel in Amsterdam again now that 28 of the city’s bridge houses have been transformed into charming little hotel rooms. For over a century, these canalside gate houses accommodated the storied bridge keepers whose task it was to conduct the city’s water traffic and allow boats to pass.Read the rest

She Taught Amelia Earhart to Fly

She Taught Amelia Earhart to Fly

Without Neta Snook, there may never have been an Amelia Earhart. “The Lone Aviatrix” of Iowa had been shattering the proverbial glass ceiling with her plane long before the Earhart took to the skies, and she did it in a plane she assembled in her parents’ backyard. In other words, Snook was the kind of woman who saw what she wanted, and didn’t just ask for it — she built it with her own two hands.

div id="attachment_109751" style="width:… Read the rest

Lunch at the Forgotten Rothschild Party Palace

Lunch at the Forgotten Rothschild Party Palace

© MessyNessyChic

I stood looking up at the gates, hands on my hips, wondering what forgotten chateau I’d stumbled upon this time. We’d taken a detour to avoid the traffic back into Paris and suddenly pulled over into the ditch by the side of the road at my absolute insistence. What I didn’t know then, peeping through the iron bars, was that I was standing at the back entrance of the largest and most luxurious 19th-century château in France.Read the rest

Overnight at Harry Potter University

Overnight at Harry Potter University

© Jodie Taylor

If you ever find yourself in Oxford, England in search of a bed for the night, you might consider booking a room at the student dorm accommodation of Christ Church College, University of Oxford for a real-life Harry Potter experience. The university not only provides accommodation over the summer months, but your stay comes with an all access pass to wander the campus, halls and gardens out of hours. Largely empty in summer, several parts of the campus feature in the Harry Potter films, including the famous dining hall, and the college even served as an inspiration to Alice in Wonderland.Read the rest

French No Man’s Land looking Suspiciously Like a Wes Anderson Film Set

French No Man’s Land looking Suspiciously Like a Wes Anderson Film Set

Staring out of the passenger seat window on car journeys through France, I’ve always found the roadscape of highways strangely alluring ever since I was a small child. What lives at the side of the road in a no man’s land of concrete and abandon are often ignored and very rarely the subject of artistic interest. French photographer Read the rest

Valentina’s Lost Orangery

Valentina’s Lost Orangery

I can’t give you romance with a chocolate box or a card with teddy bears on it, but I thought I might, just for a moment, take you to one of the most romantic secret gardens I’ve ever had the pleasure of stumbling upon…

The Orangery at Euridge Manor in the Cotswolds is set in ancient grounds and woodland beside explorer Sir Walter Raleigh’s old hunting lodge. Surrounded by the ruins of a castle and evergreen palm trees in the middle of the English countryside, this hidden gem is as fairytale as it gets. But here’s the kicker– it’s available to stay overnight in. 

And if you can find just three other friends to stay with you (or another couple), it adds up to £95 per … Read the rest

Meet the Walt Disney of Eastern Europe

Meet the Walt Disney of Eastern Europe

For those whose taste in fairytales favours a darker touch, we’re traveling to the far reaches of Eastern Europe, and into the enchanting world of animator Jiří Trnka. The late Czech animator (whose name is pronounced “Yershy Trinka”) created nearly two-dozen films over his lifetime, from folksy gems like Grandfather Planted a Beet (1945) to the gutsy anti-Stalin short, The Hand (1965).

Craftsmanship ran in Trnka’s blood. He was born in Bohemia in 1912, where his grandmother sold toys for a living and his mother worked as a seamstress.… Read the rest

She Raced the Boys and took their Trophies

She Raced the Boys and took their Trophies

© AFP

She began driving secretly at the age of 14 in her father’s ‘borrowed’ Citroën 2CV and her earliest races took place on the gravel roads of the French riviera, trying to carve off the journey time between work and home in a Renault 4. Michèle Mouton became the first woman in rally driving to win a world championship, whilst still only finding her feet in the male-dominated sport, winning a total of four championship rallies for Audi and beating the men at their own game. More than 3 decades later, she is still the last woman to compete in top-level rallying.Read the rest