Inspiring places: Warsaw to Berlin part 2

Guten tag,

Following my previous post, let’s take a tour around Berlin.

It’s a great city; vibrant and diverse. I went there back in 2010, so was looking forward to my second visit.

We decided to stay in the same hotel as previously. Michelberger Hotel is one of this places you always feel at home, regardless who you are; young or old, an artist or a business person. The hotel prides itself on having a mixed crowd, probably to reflect the area it’s located – just of Warschauer Strasse (complete coincidence, promise).

Michelberger hotel, Berlin, design hotelThe building used to be a factory as well as a part of the East Germany goverment. It has been transformed by an architect Werner Fricker and a range of interior designers: Azar Kazimir ( creative director), Werner Aisslinger, Till Grosch, Anja Knauer, Sibylle Oellerich, Tina Bunyaprasit, Nadine May and Tom Michelberger, the hotel owner.

Michelberger hotel, The loft roomWe have stayed in one of the loft rooms, which style can be described as simple and handmade. Everything in the room is functional and clutter free.

My favourite detail is a display of old, black&white family photographs linking back to the hotel’s story on the website.

The hotel also offer a more luxurious experience in their special rooms. I was shown some of them during my mini hotel tour (thank you again). The top 2 pictures show a room inspired by Frida Kahlo. Don’t you just love what they’ve done with the colours?!

Michelberger hotel, special rooms, luxus rooms

The bottom 2 photographs, are showing the Chalet room, and my favourite, The Clever One. Next time I’d like to stay there.

The hotel’s location is perfect for those who love street art and alternative bars and clubs. We managed to explore the area around Simon-Dach Strasse (10 mins from the hotel).

Friedrichschain, Berlin, Warschauer strasse

I must say this part of Berlin very much reminds me of the east part of Warsaw; eclectic, second-hand decor and a very friendly atmosphere. Plus, it’s cheap.

Places I would recommend visiting: Mutzenbacher (for schnitzel and apple strudel), Crack Bellmer Bar ( industral decor and cheap beer); Primitiv Bar (for taking us to Twin Peaks), and Suss War Gestern (for music and dancing).

If you fancy a slightly more upmarket experience, head to the other side of the river. We went for dinner to the Volt Restaurant in Krauzberg, next to the canal. Great interior design and food to die for!

Volt restaurant, Berlin, fine dining

During the day, you can easily walk around the city, living and breathing its dramatic history and culture.

Berlin, old and new, history

Or you can cycle like we did. Totaly recommend this experience with Fat Tire Bike Tour.

Fat Tire Bike tour in Berlin

If you like culture and film, don’t miss visiting Berlin’s Filmhaus.

Filmhaus Berlin, Museum of film and tv

Have you been to Berlin? Would you stay in Michelberger Hotel? What are your favourite places there?



Photography: secretgardenhome and Michelberger Hotel. Special thanks to Elena for providing me with an extra info.



Inspiring places: Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings, Clerkenwell, London

Hi All,

Hope you had a nice weekend and treated your mums to something special.

Last Friday, I had the pleasure to dine in style at Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings in Clerkenwell with my Breakfast club girls (long story haha).

The food and the cocktails were divine, and the place is a feast for any interior design lover like me.

Bourne&Hollingsworth Buildings, Clerkenwell, London

Inspired by the faded glory of a stately home, the venue’s décor can be described as eclectic with eye-catching wall art, colourful furnishings and textiles complementing a beautiful greenhouse and garden room.

As an Urban Jungle blogger, I was immediately drawn to the hanging baskets and green plants spread out all over the place and making the space welcoming and distinct.

Bourne and Hollingsworth Buildings decor
Even the bathroom has got interesting features; I’m totally sold on the ‘bathsink’.

I totally recommend visiting, whether for lunch or dinner, or a cocktail!

What do you think? Do you like what you see? Have you been there?



Inspiring places: Volkshotel, Amsterdam

Happy New Year to you All! Hope you had a lovely and relaxing Christmas break, and an exciting New Year’s Eve party.

We’ve welcomed 2015 in Amsterdam. What a great idea it was! The city is marvellous, even in winter. There are plenty of excellent museums and art galleries (The Van Gogh Museum and The Stedelijk Museum are not be missed), plus you can just walk the city admiring its beautiful architecture…or take a tram (you know I love trams).

Amsterdam; city break, Europe

We stayed in Volkshotel, which hosted absolutely tremendous NYE party fully using the hotel’s space across many floors (eight rooms in total). Great music, atmosphere and people!

On a normal day, the building is home to a club/restaurant (Canvas with 360 degree view over Amsterdam; imagine the fireworks at midnight), downstairs cocktail bar (Doka), café (Werkplaats), and creative working space (Broedplaats). Something for everyone, whether you want to party, relax or work!

Volkshotel Amsterdam

Volkshotel used to be a newspaper building in 60s, therefore the exterior renovation took this into account.

The interior was transformed by Interior designer Bas van Tol of Studio Müller Van Tol. The designer have used magnified newspaper cut outs and materials such as steel, wood, concrete and glass to remind us of the building’s past.

Bathing Bikou, special room, design, Volkshotel, Amsterdam

We’ve stayed in one of nine special rooms designed by independent interior designers. Bathing Bikou was created by Hanna Maring whose design is merging bathing, relaxing and sleeping into one space and experience.

We are definitely going back, especially that it was too cold to enjoy the rooftop’s hot tub.

Volkshotel Badplaats, rooftop mini spa, Volkshotel Amsterdam

Have you been to Volkshotel or Amsterdam? Are you planning to go in the future?

Happy New Year Dear Readers!




Images: secretgardenhome and Mark Groeneveld.

Inspiring places: CitizenM hotel, London Bankside

In Inspiring places, another great hotel find in London. Thank you to my team who willingly went there for a drink with me.

CitizenM London Bankside

CitizenM hotel is designed for a mobile citizen of the world. According to their website, the hotel accommodates all different types from explorers through professionals to fashion shoppers.

Design hotel CitizenM London for mobile citizens

The lobby is a showcase of what they mean by affordable luxury for people. It’s modern, inviting and deluxe at the same time.

CitizenM London courtyard, green space

A collection of innovative concepts, citizenM is a hotel driven by one desire: to create affordable luxury for the people. I love the space outside; purely charming.

Great place for lunch or afterwork drink. Imagine working from there:))

Everyone was perplexed by the loo. Just for your record…

CitizenM London, loo

It would be great to see the rooms inside. Perhaps next time.

Have you been to any CitizenM hotels?

Have a nice weekend.


Inspiring places: Hixter Bankside, London

Hello All,

For those who are new to my blog, this column is about places that inspire me, places with an excellent interior, artwork and creative flair.

One of the benefits of working on the Southbank is a plethora of places to go for lunch or a drink. Nevertheless, one gets excited about new openings in the area, especially if it’s another creation of Mark Hix.

I went to Tramshed in Shoreditch some time ago, but still remember its excellent interior and displayed artwork.

Hixter Bankside doesn’t disappoint either. The space used to be a metal box factory, and the design highlights the key features like the big windows, brick-work and metal doors and fixtures.

Hixter, Bankside, London

Wherever you turn, you can spot modern art pieces by well-established and up-and-coming artists. The front neon sign (I love it) has been designed by Tracy Emin, and the Frozen Custard sign is by Rob& Nicky Carter.

Hixter, Bankside, interior design

The black ceiling in the front dining area looks marvelous.

Mark's bar, Hixter , BanksideI especially adored the Mark’s Bar downstairs, with its cosy leather sofas, industrial lamps and an art installation by Helen Chadwick that replicates a London underground tube carriage.

Helen Chadwick installation, Hixter, tubeEven the toilets are arty. The wallpaper in the cubicles is provocative as well as quirky.

Art wallpaper in Hixter, Bankside

Our lunch was delicious, and not a bad value. Definitely want to come back for a cocktail.

Have you been to Hixter? What did you like the most?

Have a good week.


Home office makeover

Dear All,

Finally, after almost 3 years wait…long wait, I’ve sorted my home office. I’ve been vigorously planning this for a while patiently adding the images to my Pinterest board.

After studying my virtual moodboard, I realised that I need the following criteria to be met:

  • Lots of space for writing and creative endeavours
  • Interesting storage
  • Flexible way to display pictures/painting
  • Creative board/moodboard
  • Interesting lighting options
  • And the Eames chair or a replica

The project is almost complete. I’m still sourcing some bits and pieces, but the main things are done. I’m very pleased with what we’ve achieved.

Home office makeover

home office makeover 2

As you can see, most of must-have criteria were met, even the chair. By the way, it’s a replica. The green rug is from Habitat.

Office makeover breakdown; Cable&Cotton string lights, Ikea desk and storage, upcycling

Let me know what you think. It’s a work in progress, so any advice and suggestions are welcome.

Have a good week.


Inspiring places: Design Hotel&Spa Poziom 511, Poland

After very stressful and eventful couple of weeks, we got a chance to escape to Poland. Apart from seeing my dear mum and family, we managed to squeeze a few days in Polish Jura region situated between Cracow and Częstochowa, in south-central Poland.

We were super excited about our mini-break as I booked us to stay in a very modern Design Hotel and Spa Poziom 511. Poziom means level in English and refers to its location, 511 metres above the sea level.

Poziom 511 design hotel in Jura Poland

The hotel’s setting is breath-taking. It’s situated next to the historical Ogrodzieniec Castle and incorporates the surrounding rock formations and forests into the interior design of the place. The rooms are modern and comforable.

Jura Poland Poziom 511 area

The hotel’s facilities are top class, especially its swimming pool and spa. We were very lucky to have the facilities to ourselves for most of our stay.

Poziom 511 the pool and spa

The dining area was very stylish. I especially love how they incorporated the rocks into the building. Plus, the food was delicious. Thank you chef for absolutely yummy breakfasts and dinners.

Poziom 511 Dining Jura Poland

I would definitely recommend going there for a mini-break, especially when you are in need of relaxation.

If you are into outdoor activities like hiking, climbing or cycling, you’ll have plenty to do there as well.

What do you think? Are you tempted to visit Jura region in Poland?




Images: All taken by me apart from the top right image in collage 1 provided by Poziom 511. Thank you.