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Cherie Soleil

Beach, Cherie Soleil, Cruises, Miami, USA

Art Deco South Beach, Miami

After our recent Celebrity Eastern Caribbean Cruise, we spent two extra nights in Miami before flying home.  It was a great chance to explore the port city and felt like the perfect end to a relaxing, inspiring trip.

Discovering Miami can take time, as it’s quite a spread-out city with long causeways connecting the centre of Miami to Miami Beach.  As we were only there for a short weekend, we concentrated on two areas – Wynwood Art District near Downtown Miami and of course South Beach.

South Beach is such an intriguing place, bathed in a neon glow with the biggest cars you’ve ever seen and gym bunnies rollerblading on the boardwalk in front of the perfectly-manicure beach.

It can at first be disorientating, but I quickly fell in love with Miami and it’s dreamy, pastel-hued Art Deco architecture.  Luckily, our hotel for the weekend, The Tides South Beach (an Art Deco gem itself), on Ocean Drive is ideally positioned to see the very best of South Beach.

The long powder sand beach has mostly calm waters and is punctuated with the coolest deco-style lifeguard huts.  We loved strolling up and down the beach to spot them and admire their different colours and patterns.

After the devastating Hurricane Andrew in 1992, the city of Miami Beach set about replacing the damaged huts (only one of 17 survived) and took the opportunity to jazz up the beach landscape.

Brooklyn-based painter Kenny Scharf, among others, lent his pop art style to the design of 29 huts and each took around 5 weeks to build.  It would now be difficult to imagine Miami Beach without these colourful beacons.

Miami Beach’s famous Art Deco Historic District is the largest collection of Art Deco architecture in the world with 960 historic buildings.  Built during the 1930s and 40s, Miami’s historic buildings have their own unique ‘Tropical Deco’ style, reflecting the spirit and glamour of its seaside location.

The buildings are recognisable by their pastel painted facades, aquatic motifs, eyebrow window overhangs, neon lighting and nautical design features such as porthole windows and ship-like railings.

Thanks to the Miami Design Preservation League, established by the late Barbara Capitman in 1976, the buildings have been protected as landmarks and restored to their former glory, after falling into neglect.

Some of the most striking and well-known Art Deco and Streamline Moderne buildings are on Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue and ones we saw include The Breakwater, The Barbizon, The Carlyle, US Post Office, The Marlin Hotel and The Colony Hotel.

Not to be missed is The Webster on Collins Avenue – it’s the epitome of Miami glamour, complete with illustrated flamingoes and splashes of pink neon.  The beautifully-designed concept store offers three floors of covetable designer womenswear, menswear and accessories, as well as a ground-floor bar and buzzing roof terrace (there’s even a happy hour on selected evenings).

It’s worth paying a visit to the Art Deco Welcome Center to find out more about the area and book a walking tour.  There’s also a fantastic gift shop filled with kitsch Miami souvenirs, vintage jewellery and art prints of the Art Deco buildings.

While out spotting Art Deco treasures, we took some time to people-watch with a cup of frozen yoghurt on the South Beach promenade.  It’s definitely a stage for Miami’s tanned, toned locals and with such a fabulous beach on the doorstep, who wouldn’t want to be outside?

We were also treated to a few iguana sightings, watching them climb up the palm trees and bask in the sun.  Can you spot one of the little creatures camouflaged among the palms?

Our weekend in Miami really enhanced our already fabulous cruise and if your flight leaves late on disembarkation day, you can add a whirlwind excursion to explore the city.  Cruisers can glide along the Everglades on an airboat or enjoy a Hop On Hop Off Miami City Tour with a seamless airport drop-off.

Miami is a truly unique city with so many amazing sights and neighbourhoods that you can’t help but be charmed by it.  Florida still owes us for the all-day torrential rain on Sunday and we’re convinced it’s a sign to return soon.

Join Celebrity Reflection on a nine-night Eastern Caribbean Getaway fly/cruise from £1,239 per person (based on two people sharing an ocean view stateroom).
Price includes return flights from London Heathrow, transfers, one night pre-cruise hotel accommodation and a seven-night cruise departing from Miami (Florida) and calling at San Juan (Puerto Rico), Charlotte Amalie (St. Thomas) and Philipsburg (St. Maarten) before returning to Miami for the flight home; meals and entertainment onboard the ship and all relevant cruise taxes/fee.  Price based on 6 February 2015 UK departure.  

All photos by Chérie City


Caribbean, Cherie Soleil, Cruises, Tours, USA

Celebrity Cruises Eastern Caribbean: Philipsburg, St. Maarten

The third destination on our Celebrity Eastern Caribbean Cruise was the stunning island of St. Maarten.  It was our favourite day onshore, thanks to our fantastic excursion – the 5-hour Sightsee Marigot and Beach Getaway.

St. Maarten is a unique island, as it has both a Dutch and French side (named St. Martin), complete with different local languages and currency.

Originally discovered by Christopher Columbus, St. Maarten was colonised by the Dutch, French and British, who established salt mines on the island.  They were later exiled by the Spanish, but after the 80 Year War, were able to return and the land was eventually divided between the Dutch and French.

The Celebrity Reflection docked on the Dutch side in Philipsburg and we swiftly set off on our large air-conditioned coach driving through the town and countryside.  Our first stop was close to Fort Amsterdam, boasting spectacular views over Great Bay and Philipsburg.

We spent two hours exploring Marigot, the island’s picturesque French capital.  Marigot’s Rue de la Liberté is lined with colourful sidewalk cafes, fresh seafood restaurants, local shops and an open-air market selling clothes and handicrafts.

Marigot feels unmistakably French with designer stores such as Hermès, Cartier and Longchamp at Plaza Caraïbe, pharmacies selling French skincare brands and a number of quaint boulangeries offering freshly-baked baguettes and tempting pastries.

The town has a relaxed, friendly vibe and is slightly off the tourist trail, so it doesn’t feel crowded.  We had a great time strolling through the town, admiring the colourful Creole houses and pretty gardens.

For a spot of culture, climb up to the historic Fort Louis.  Built in 1789, the fort was ordered by the governor of St Martin and St Barth for Louis XVI of France.  Originally built to protect the harbour warehouses, the fort is perched on a hill above the marina and offers breathtaking views of Marigot and Anguilla.

Marigot Bay is a delightful place to sit and watch the world go by and enjoy the warm, humid weather.

We then drove on through the lush, green countryside to Orient Bay for a relaxing beach break.  On the way there, our driver slowed down so we could spot a number of iguanas basking in the sun.  It was a nice surprise to see so many of them together, all different sizes and shades of green and orange.

Orient Bay is a stunning beach destination with golden powder sand, gentle waves and lush green hills.  The excursion included use of sun loungers and we were offered a complimentary drink of rum or fruit punch from the beach bar.

We took a dip in the sea and walked along the shore, but if you have more time to spend at Orient Bay, you can hire a jet ski.

On the way back, our excellent tour guide shared more facts about the island and took us through some of the residential neighbourhoods.

While Marigot is the place for duty-free designer fashion, Philipsburg’s Front Street is lined with a number of diamond and fine jewellery stores.  The port is also lively and fun with plenty of shops and rum shacks – look out for the bar that makes delicious coconut smoothies.

St. Maarten is such a beautiful island and I highly recommend booking one of the longer shore excursions, so you can explore both the French and Dutch side.  We covered quite a distance to get to Marigot and our tour guide was so knowledgeable about the island and eager to share.

For a more leisurely day, you can relax on Grand Bay beach, within walking distance of the port in the centre of town.

Join Celebrity Reflection on a nine-night Eastern Caribbean Getaway fly/cruise from £1,650 per person (based on two people sharing an ocean view stateroom).

Price includes return flights from London Heathrow, transfers, one night pre-cruise hotel accommodation and a seven-night cruise departing from Miami (Florida) and calling at San Juan (Puerto Rico), Charlotte Amalie (St. Thomas) and Philipsburg (St. Maarten) before returning to Miami for the flight home; meals and entertainment onboard the ship and all relevant cruise taxes/fee.  Price based on 23 January 2015 UK departure.  

For more information or to book, call 0845 456 0523 or visit 

Chérie City was a guest of Celebrity Cruises 

All photos by Chérie City

Caribbean, Cherie Soleil, Cruises, Shopping, USA

Celebrity Cruises Eastern Caribbean: Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

The second destination of our Celebrity Cruises Eastern Caribbean Getaway was Chalotte Amalie on the beautiful island of St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands.

One of my favourite parts of a cruise is sailing in to the port of a new destination and feeling the excitement build as the scenery unfolds.  Even better if it can be from the privacy of my own balcony, complete with a plush bathrobe and room service breakfast.

Arriving in Charlotte Amalie was a real thrill as we admired the colourful buildings and lush green hills along French Bay and Prince Rupert Cove.

We decided to explore Charlotte Amalie on our own, however there are some tempting shore excursion such as a tour of nearby island St. John, snorkeling in Shipwreck Cove or a trip to Magens Bay Beach.

From Havensight Port, we took one of the public safari buses for a short ride into Downtown Charlotte Amalie.  The open-sided buses are frequent, comfortable and the most popular form of transport for cruise guests to get around the town.

Charlotte Amalie is a haven for duty-free shopping and most cruisers head to Main Street with its pretty, colonial-style buildings to pick up some bargains.

On arrival, a friendly local bar owner spotted us and kindly gave us a mini factual tour of the nearby buildings.  Proud of the town’s historical spots, which may often be overlooked by the lure of shopping, he said emphatically “shopping, that way… history, this way”.

On his recommendation, we took some time to visit the pretty, Georgian-style Frederick Lutheran Church.  Built by the Danes in 1820, it’s the oldest Lutheran church in the Western Hemisphere.

The church was open and quiet when we visited, so we had a chance to step inside.  It was so tranquil and atmospheric with a mahogany alter, an elaborate chandelier and simple stained glass windows.

If you fancy a challenge, climb the 99 steps (actually 103) behind the church up the Blackbeard’s Castle, one of five National Historic Landmarks in the U.S Virgin Islands.

Dating back to 1679, the watchtower is said to have been used by the notorius English pirate Blackbeard (real name Edward Teach) as a lookout point.

Charlotte Amalie’s Main Street (also called Dronningen’s Gade) is filled with a number of high end diamond boutiques and large stores selling every spirit you could imagine, as well as rum, coffee and chocolate produced in the Caribbean.  There’s even a dedicated Chanel cosmetics and fragrance boutique, a Tommy Hilfiger outlet and a number of Little Switzerland watch stores.

There’s a real vacation atmosphere around the town with a live Calypso band by the harbour, cheery shopkeepers and copious amounts of rum.  So many residents greeted us as we wandered around, which made us feel welcome rather than burdensome tourists.

An exciting discovery in a courtyard off Main Street was the home of Danish-French painter Camille Pissarro.  Born on St. Thomas in 1830, Pissarro lived on the island until he went to boarding school in France, aged 12.  He later became known as a father figure for the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists, influencing the likes of Cézanne, Monet and Gaugin.

The second floor is now an art gallery, offering a selection of original paintings and prints by local artists.  There is a collection of Pissarro works depicting the island life of his childhood, as well as pieces by artists inspired by the great painter.

Our plans to take the Skyride and see Charlotte Amalie from Paradise Point were hampered by an unexpected tropical storm (well, it was the rainy season after all).  We took shelter in one of the many passages filled with shops and restaurants before catching a safari bus back to the ship.  Even the intense rain, thunder and lightening couldn’t dampen the spirits of the Celebrity cruisers – they remained chipper, cracking jokes throughout.

Charlotte Amalie is a delightful destination with a relaxed, friendly Caribbean vibe.  To get the most out of your day there, it’s worth taking a short excursion to the other side of the island to swim in the crystal clear waters at Magens Bay Beach before an afternoon of shopping and sightseeing.

It’s so easy to get around that you can easily do both and still have time for a cheeky rum punch in one of the port bars before embarking the ship.

Join Celebrity Reflection on a nine-night Eastern Caribbean Getaway fly/cruise from £1,650 per person (based on two people sharing an ocean view stateroom).

Price includes return flights from London Heathrow, transfers, one night pre-cruise hotel accommodation and a seven-night cruise departing from Miami (Florida) and calling at San Juan (Puerto Rico), Charlotte Amalie (St. Thomas) and Philipsburg (St. Maarten) before returning to Miami for the flight home; meals and entertainment onboard the ship and all relevant cruise taxes/fee.  Price based on 2 January 2015 UK departure.  

For more information or to book, call 0845 456 0523 or visit 

Chérie City was a guest of Celebrity Cruises and all views are my own.  

All photos by Chérie City

Caribbean, Cherie Soleil, Cruises, Miami, USA

Celebrity Cruises Eastern Caribbean Getaway

When I took my first European cruise last year as part of a group trip, I knew immediately that I’d been bitten by the cruise bug.  As seasoned cruisers will tell you (and we met many), it really is addictive and a fabulous way to see the world.

With one cruise under my belt, I was excited to venture further afield and experience the Caribbean for the first time with Celebrity Cruises.

The younger sister brand of Royal Caribbean Cruises, Celebrity has a creative, design-led approach to cruising and attracts a diverse age group.  Quite quickly we discovered it’s this point of difference and youthful vibe that keeps everyone coming back for more.


Our trip began in comfort with an overnight Halloween stay at Sheraton Miami Airport (part of the cruise package), following our breezy Virgin Atlantic flight from London Heathrow.

The next morning, we joined fellow Celebrity Cruisers in the lobby to catch our coach transfer to the Port of Miami to board the Celebrity Reflection (the newest ship in the fleet).  Embarkation was a little delayed due to first-time immigration procedures for the ship, but the check-in process was easy and we were given bottles of mineral water while waiting.


Our Ocean View Balcony Stateroom was an absolute delight to spend a week in, with more than enough space for two people and pristine contemporary interiors.

On arrival with a Mimosa in hand, we were greeted by our fantastic Stateroom Attendant Ozy who came to introduce himself and ask if we had any particular preferences for our room.  We were kindly welcomed with a bottle of Celebrity Cruises Champagne on ice, a fruit bowl and a vase of colourful flowers.

Room features include a plush double bed with sumptuous embroidered Egyptian cotton linen, a comfortable seating area with a wide sofa and coffee table, minibar, a cabinet with bar top and drawers and a double wardrobe.  There’s also a large interactive flatscreen Samsung TV on which you can order 24-hour room service, book excursions and watch TV channels including the ship’s exclusive Top Chef at Sea.

It was a real treat to have a private balcony with a table and two chairs – perfect for sailaway drinks, breakfast al fresco and sunbathing.  There are some staterooms that simply have a window, but I recommend choosing a balcony room, as it really does enhance your stay.

We found the bathroom truly impressive with an excellent walk-in shower, single sink, storage space, plenty of fluffy towels and face cloths, bathrobes, a proper hairdryer and a full set of Bvlgari White Tea bathroom products.

Our stateroom was serviced twice a day and we were brought turndown treats, invitations to onboard events such as the new Bvlgari store opening and the daily Celebrity newspaper with information about the destinations, excursions and the dress code for the following evening.


Food is a huge part of a Celebrity Cruise and with an unlimited selection of meals, snacks and drinks included, you’re guaranteed to never go hungry.  In fact, we were blown away at the standard of cooking, fresh ingredients and choice.

A popular spot around the clock is the Ocean View Cafe – an enormous self-service restaurant conveniently located on the 14th deck, just a few steps from the outdoor pool.  Chefs are present at each station to help serve dishes or cook up bespoke orders.

The lunch and dinner offering is quite dazzling with international dishes including fajitas, Thai noodles, spicy curries, fresh pizza and pasta, grilled chicken Caesar salad, charcuterie and antipasti.

The breakfast is particularly impressive with everything from yoghurt and granola and sliced exotic fruits to Eggs Benedict with freshly-carved Canadian bacon and a full American breakfast.  I really liked the sweet station laden with waffles, pancakes, French toast and crepes, served with fruit compotes, maple syrup and the most amazing orange butter.

There’s also high tea in the afternoon, all-day ice cream, a candy bar and the most addictive home-baked cookies.  Ground coffee, a wide selection of tea and iced water are free on tap as well as non-carbonated soft drinks such as iced tea, lemonade and fruit punch.  Alcohol, premium soft drinks and bottled mineral water can be purchased on their own or as drinks packages.

The AquaSpa Cafe by the indoor pool is great for fresh salads and light bites while the Mast Grill keeps it simple with crowd-pleasing hot dogs and burgers.

In the evening, we ate in the elegant main dining room Opus, which was every bit as grand as we’d hoped.  We enjoyed some fantastic meals there including a Top Chef at Sea menu and a very special dinner at the Captain’s Table with copious fresh seafood on formal night.

For something a little different, the Celebrity Reflection offers a wide selection of speciality restaurants, where you can dine for an additional fee.  Modern French fine dining restaurant Murano has all the old world refinement that you would expect on a cruise ship, while the Lawn Club Grill is like a ‘country club on the sea’ with tempting barbecued meats and flatbreads, plus the chance to be the designated Grill Master for the table.

One evening, we dined at Qsine, the high-tech concept restaurant where dishes are ordered for the table from iPads – perfect for a blogger who can’t quite let go of technology!  Inspired by destinations around the the world, each dish comes in a tasting portion for the whole table.  We tucked in to treats such as popcorn fish ‘n’ chips, spring rolls, chilled soups in test tubes with hot souffles, filet mignon with a palette of tasty sides and a kobe beef ‘slider party’.

I ended with a Red Velvet cupcake with cute little icing piping bags and sprinkles to decorate it myself, while Steven tried an inventive Cheesecake Martini.

A luxurious feature of the cruise is the 24-hour room service with most items offered complimentary.  There was so much food readily available that we only used it a few times for evening pots of tea and warm milk with cookies.


Poolside was the place to be on sea days with a live DJ, pool volleyball and zumba classes.  For the ultimate relaxation, guests can unwind in the Persian Gardens, take a meditation class or enjoy a treatment in the Canyon Ranch SpaClub.

Other features include an art studio, designer boutiques (Bvlgari, Michael Kors, Kate Spade New York and more), theatre, casino, games room, library, lawn, private alcoves and jogging track.  One of my favourite peaceful spots was The Hideaway, an intimate lounge with cosy seats and a dedicated tea and coffee station.


There is always something creative happening on the Celebrity Reflection, whether it’s a fantastic Motown band, Thriller flash mob, Sin City burlesque show, Daft Punk-esque dancing robots or an impromptu guest dance-off (to the Titanic theme song, no less).  There’s a lovely sense of community onboard with everyone getting involved and not taking it too seriously.

The ship also has an extensive contemporary art and photography collection, with striking pieces to be found on every floor.  It’s worth spending some time to take the iPad Art Tour and discover new artists.


The seven-night Eastern Caribbean Getaway was super-relaxing with three days docked at the destinations and the rest spent at sea.  We explored historic San Juan (Puerto Rico), the beautiful beach and shopping haven Charlotte Amalie (St. Thomas) and the island of St. Maarten with both a Dutch and French side.  We also stayed in Miami for two additional nights and would recommend building this into your cruise – Celebrity has a good selection of partner hotels for easy booking.


Our Celebrity Cruise was a dream from start to finish and it’s easy to see why some guests book back-to-back cruises.  There’s a real feel-good vibe onboard yet it never feels overbearing and the staff are genuinely friendly and helpful.

A Celebrity Cruise is ideal if you want a bite-size experience of some interesting destinations and plenty of relaxation time.  It’s the opposite of my usual style of travelling, trying to get under the surface of a destination and exploring local restaurants and hotels.  However, the ship is an experience in itself and we liked the simplicity of having everything we needed on our doorstep as well as the pace of the trip.

It was hard tearing ourselves away from the ship on the last morning, but every time London life stresses me out, I go back to my happy place on the Celebrity Reflection pool deck with iced tea in hand.

Are you tempted to try a Caribbean cruise?  If you’re planning to take a trip with Celebrity Cruises, send me your questions in the comment box below…

Join Celebrity Reflection on a nine-night Eastern Caribbean Getaway fly/cruise from £1,650 per person (based on two people sharing an ocean view stateroom).

Price includes return flights from London Heathrow, transfers, one night pre-cruise hotel accommodation and a seven-night cruise departing from Miami (Florida) and calling at San Juan (Puerto Rico), Charlotte Amalie (St. Thomas) and Philipsburg (St. Maarten) before returning to Miami for the flight home; meals and entertainment onboard the ship and all relevant cruise taxes/fee.  Price based on 2 January 2015 UK departure.  

For more information or to book, call 0845 456 0523 or visit 

Follow the adventures of the Celebrity Cruises Destination Bloggers on Twitter via #DestinationBloggers.

Chérie City was a guest of Celebrity Cruises and all views are my own.  

All photos by Chérie City

Barcelona, Beach, Cafes, Cherie Soleil

Eyescream and Friends, Barcelona

Eyescream and Friends in Barcelona is one of the coolest ice cream parlours that I’ve ever seen.

Nestled on the Paseo Joan de Borbo – the main street leading down to the Barceloneta beach – Eyescream and Friends is a tiny concept store with minimalist, laboratory-style interiors.

Designed by Estudio m Barcelona, the slick space is brought alive with colourful eyescream monsters and a counter of little pots filled with tempting toppings and sauces.

Eyescream and Friends opened in 2012 and is inspired by the shaved iced desserts that its owners experienced when visiting Taiwan.  However, the ice cream served here is based on artisanal Italian gelato and frozen yoghurt.

Ordering is simple – just pick up a stylish, eco-friendly tray and fill it with two topping pots, then choose the ice cream base.

The staff take a block of ice cream and use the high-tech machines to shave the ice cream into slim shards.  The ice cream is shaped to look like the characters and is finished with a pair of crunchy meringue eyes.

There are seven flavours to choose from with occasional new ones to try.  I ordered the fruity, silky mango ice cream with sides of sweet strawberry sauce and gummy bears.  Steven went for a more indulgent cheesecake ice cream with crushed Oreos and nutty chocolate sauce, which tasted like liquid gianduja.

Both ice creams were delicious and generously sized, plus the shaving gave them a light, airy consistency.

There isn’t any seating available inside, but you can make a dash to the beach or one of the many nearby benches to dig in.  The clever cardboard packaging comes in handy when the sun is scorching, avoiding any messy melting.

Eyescream and Friends is a fun spot for cooling down by the beach – the only hard part is deciding which flavour to go for.

For more information, visit:

All photos by Chérie City

Beauty, Cherie Soleil, Health

The Source Juice Cleanse

My first juice cleanse was a daunting prospect – would the juices be bearable and would I be starving by the afternoon?

There are a number of juice cleanses on the health and well-being market now, but The Source Juice offers tailored cleanses for all levels of experience – beginners, intermediates and experts.

As a first-timer, I tried the Foundation Cleanse for two days.  The cleanse consists of six organic cold-pressed juices made up of fresh fruits, vegetables and spices.  The juices come in 500ml bottles and their natural, vibrant colours make them look appealing to drink.

Nutritionist Caroline Farrell selects ingredients based on their specific nutrients and vitamins, creating a balanced cleanse with everything your body needs for that day.

The point of a juice cleanse is to expel toxins, nourish the body with vitamins and restore depleted energy.  The main criticism of juice cleanses is that the body already does a good job of digesting food and removing toxins.

Of course that’s it’s natural role, but we don’t always listen to what our bodies want us to consume and sometimes too much red meat, copious amounts of alcohol or very rich food can make our organs work overtime.  So what’s wrong with giving your body the equivalent of a weekend spa break?

The Source Juice cleanse is delivered to your door, ready for you to get started.  The juices are accompanied by a Cleanse Journal, which offers excellent advice on how to spend your cleanse day and outlines the time periods in which to drink your juices.

For the best results, it recommends water intervals between juices, a little light exercise later in the day and ending the day with a hot bath, dry body brushing and an early night’s sleep.

Here’s how it all works…


When doing a two-day cleanse, I would recommend planning it on a weekend free from social or work obligations so you can really focus and relax.

If you’re used to starting the day with a coffee and perking up with tea and flat whites during the day, you might like to reduce your caffeine intake to soften the blow.  I don’t drink coffee, but limiting myself to one cup of caffeinated tea per day, alongside herbal teas, definitely helped make the transition smoother.

Also, have at least one day of healthy eating and good sleep, so you approach the cleanse with a positive attitude and don’t feel groggy and prone to food cravings.

The Cleanse

I started the day with hot water and lemon, followed by the first juice, Rise & Shine – pineapple, apple, pear, clementine, spinach and mint.

I was amazed by just how tasty and refreshing the juice was.  It was sweet and zingy with plenty of mint, like drinking a virgin Mojito for breakfast (I couldn’t even really taste the spinach).

After a glass of water and a two-hour wait, it was time for the Volcano – carrot, pear, pineapple, lemon, ginger and turmeric.  This juice also had a good balance of sharpness and sweetness, with a dominant, fragrance carrot taste and a punchy kick from the ginger and turmeric.

Next up was a bespoke juice, created specially as I don’t like cucumber.  The juice was a tailored version of Dr. Detox, made with apple, pineapple, kale, lemon and ginger.  It had an aromatic, ‘green’ aroma but the most prominent flavours were green apple and uplifting pineapple.

I followed this with Red Earth – carrot, clementine, pineapple, pear, beetroot, lemon and chilli.  The juice had a very earthy, deep flavour from the beetroot and a slight kick from the chilli – included to stimulate the metabolism.

‘Dinner’ was another Dr. Detox green juice and by this point, I did miss cooking our usual Saturday night meal.  It can be difficult to change your mindset away from the usual three meals a day.

The final juice at the end of the day felt like a treat, as it seemed like dessert and night-time milk in one.  The Almond Milk contains alkaline water, almonds, coconut, vanilla, cinnamon and sea salt.  The creaminess from the almonds and coconut provided some necessary natural fat and protein.  It was a welcome contrast to the strong flavours of the day’s juices and had a soothing, calming effect.

Night-time on the first day was tricky, as I had lots of excess energy coupled with a pounding headache.  The second day was easier, as my body felt lighter and more relaxed than usual.  I did start to have juice fatigue, but could see the end in sight and was determined to keep going.

By the end of the juice cleanse, I felt like I’d been through quite a journey (it was a joy to actually chew again), but the results were worth it.  My skin had a glow from all of the good nutrients and lack of carbs/dairy.  Since doing the cleanse, my digestive health has massively improved and I’ve been more aware of what I eat and the portion sizes.

I lost two pounds during the cleanse, but weight-loss wasn’t my primary goal.  A two-day cleanse felt like enough to see the benefits and make sure that I stuck to it.


Congratulate yourself – fist-pumping the air with your empty bottle, shouting ‘juiced it!’ is totally embarrassing but whatever it takes to keep you going…

Watch a comedy (or read a fun book) – if you’re missing food, you’re going to need some laughs.

Stay off Twitter and Instagram.  The endless shots of tempting food and weekend brunches will drive you mad.

For more information and to buy online, visit:

Chérie City received a complimentary two-day cleanse from The Source Juice.

All photos by Chérie City

Cherie Soleil, Fashion, Hotels, Hotels - Luxury

Jonathan Saunders for Thomson

British fashion designer Jonathan Saunders moves into stylish travel, collaborating with Thomson on his first hotel design project, including a range of beach accessories.

Known for his graphic prints and block colours, Jonathan Saunders was commissioned to design a bespoke pool area for the new five star Thomson Sensatori Resort Jamaica.

The Amber pool and beach area has been accessorised and named exclusively by Jonathan Saunders.  It encourages stylish relaxation with Bali beds, cushions and loungers in calming turquoise, yellow and blue.

Jonathan Saunders said: “For the pool and beach area, this was my first interior design project and I drew on my experience of studying design, fashion and textiles to create a relaxing area for guests to make their holiday unique and help them unwind in the sun”.

To celebrate the launch of Thomson Sensatori Resort Jamaica, Saunders has also designed a limited edition range of cool and colourful beachwear, inspired by the vibrant colours and spirit of Jamaica.  The collection of sarongs and beach bags are available in four colour palettes and perfectly complement each other.

The eye-catching beach bags are inspired by the graphic print of a Jonathan Saunders dress that the Duchess of Cambridge wore on the Jubilee Tour.

The large, slouchy canvas totes are printed with the chic design and are big enough to fit in poolside essentials such as a towel, sun cream, sunglasses, flip flops and a good book.

There is also a bag designed for men in grey, blue and white with a long strap and short handles.

Guests checking in to Thomson Sensatori Resort Jamaica will receive some of the beach accessories as a gift to make their stay even more stylish.

For those who can’t make it to the Caribbean this summer, a limited number of products will also be available to purchase in selected Thomson stores across the UK with all proceeds going to the NSPCC.

For more information, visit:

Beach, Cherie Soleil, Designers, Fashion, Hotels, Hotels - Luxury

Tallulah & Hope for The Luxury Collection Resorts

High end beachwear brand Tallulah & Hope has collaborated with The Luxury Collection Resorts to design a limited edition range of kaftans inspired by four of its Asia Pacific destinations.

The idyllic tropical resorts include The Naka Island in Phuket, Vana Belle in Koh Samui, Laguna Nusa Dua in Bali and The Andaman in Langkawi, Malaysia.

The digitally printed silk kaftans capture the spirit of the exotic landscapes and bring a touch of effortless chic to the poolside, beach or sundown cocktails.  Not only are the prints stunning, but the one-size kaftans drape beautifully and are perfect for travelling light.

Behind the British brand are former fashion PR Lisa Ispani and costume designer/stylist Zoe Holborough.  The two friends dreamed up the concept for a chic holiday capsule wardrobe while on holiday with friends and went on to launch Tallulah & Hope in 2010.

Lisa worked with Versace and other luxury clients before going freelance to work with her husband’s restaurant group Canteen and his product design studio Very Good & Proper.

Meanwhile Zoe began her career working with Parisienne stylist Camille Bidault-Waddington and has styled for clients such as designer Russell Sage and the Osbournes and was head designer and stylist for London 2012 Summer Olympics.

The design duo’s background in fashion and stylish travel gave them an insight into what was missing from the luxury traveller’s suitcase and their cool collaboration with The Luxury Collection Resorts is a perfect match.

Zoe Holborough spoke to Chérie City about the inspiration behind the new collection and her travels…

How do you define luxury travel?  

Space, time and beauty.

Which special items do you always pack in your suitcase for a luxury trip? 

I don’t go anywhere without several super-size T&H pareos in both cotton and silk and loads of sunglasses.

What is your favourite memento that you’ve brought back from a trip? 

Handmade tan leather clogs with small horseheads embossed on them from Dordogne and handpainted christmas tree decorations from Delhi.

How did each destination inspire your kaftan designs?

Each of the hotels offers the ultimate in refined relaxation.  The collection contains motifs and gestures that reference the tropical fauna and flora unique to each hotel. We wanted to capture the romantic beauty of a perfect holiday.

What would you add to a kaftan to go from poolside to glam sundown cocktails? 

Amazing earrings and a splash of perfume!

What are your tips for an easy beach chic look? 

Scarves in the hair, great sunglasses (Prism, Oliver Goldsmith, vintage Persol), oiled skin and well polished toenails.

Which destination has surprised you the most? 

I was in Georgia in Eastern Europe with my family last summer; breathtaking landscapes, incredible food, wine, weather, people, history…I’m hooked.

Which destinations are next on your ‘must see’ list? 

For a weekend away with my other half Seville or San Sebastian and for a long-haul family holiday we’re keen to try out The Andaman in Langkawi, Malaysia – one of the destinations which inspired the Luxury Collection kaftan range.

The resort is surrounded by ancient rainforest and coral reefs, where families can take part in The Andaman’s coral nursery programme, guided coral reef walks and snorkelling sessions – as well as enjoy the hotel’s waterslides, hilltop spa and Malay seafood at the beachside restaurant.

Where is your favourite beach in the world? 

Tulum, Mexico the beach is natural and unspoilt, it has powder white sands the waters are crystal blue and you can look up from the ocean and wonder at the ancient Mayan ruins — some from as early as A.D. 250 – which dot the cliffs above.

What do you like most about The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts?

Each hotel or resort feels totally unique and really reflects the destination & local culture in terms of decor, cuisine, service and vibe. They are a stylish base to explore a destination from.

The collection has some of the world’s most historic hotels such as the Gritti Palace in Venice, Hotel Imperial Vienna & The Astor in Tianjin and  yet also has ultra-contemporary ones like the Frank Gehry designed Marques di Riscal in Spain and Twelve at Hengshan by Mario Botta in Shanghai.  Plus some gorgeous beach resorts from Mexico to Malaysia to Thailand too.

The four limited edition silk kaftans are available exclusively at The Luxury Collection Resorts boutiques and online at

Cherie Soleil, Cruises, Sicily, Tours

A Day in Trapani, Sicily

On my recent Silversea Mediterranean cruise, we docked for one day in Trapani, Sicily, and what better way to spend a lazy Sunday than at an olive oil farm in the countryside.

Our Panoramic Trapani and Olive Oil Tasting Tour took us on a short tour around Trapani’s harbour.  Our guide explained about the city’s fishing industry and pointed out the Ligny Tower, built by Prince di Ligny in 1671.

We then drove along the salt road towards Paceco to Fontanasalsa, an olive oil farm and charming bed and breakfast owned by Mrs Burgherella.

Walking through the olive trees and bougainvillea, we were greeted in the courtyard by one of our hosts singing traditional Sicilian folk songs with a guitar from a top window.

After short time perking up with an espresso or a glass of chilled mineral water in the orange garden, we were taken on a tour of the olive oil factory and talked through the pressing process.

In the beautiful converted barn dining room, we tasted four different olive oils served with freshly-baked bread and coarse sea salt.

This was followed by a stunning lunch of Sicilian delicacies and local wine.  We helped ourselves to plates of traditional lasagne, tomato and basil pasta, local cheeses, rice salad, roasted vegetables, olive tapenade and caponata.  All of the dishes were tasty and beautifully-prepared, plus we got to try some ice cream made with olive oil for dessert.

While munching away, we were serenaded with Sicilian folk songs and all ended up having a jolly sing-along.  We picked up some bottles of olive oil and tapenade from the small shop before the coach took us back to the port.

I spent a short time wandering around Trapani’s pretty streets and the town’s central beach before boarding the Silverwind.  Trapani was very quiet on a Sunday, so the olive oil farm excursion was a great way to spend the day and a perfect, idyllic Sicilian experience.

Silversea’s Silver Wind departs on 9th August 2014 for a 9-day cruise from Venice to Rome and prices start from $4,450 per person.  Calling at Venice, Koper, Split, Dubrovnik, Kotor, Sorrento and Rome.  For more information and booking, / tel: 0844 251 0837

Chérie City was a guest of Silversea

All photos by Chérie City

Beach, Cherie Soleil, Cyprus, Hotels

Grecian Park Hotel – Protaras, Cyprus

Grecian Park Hotel is a stunning five star hotel perched on a cliff above Konnos Bay in the Cypriot town of Protaras.

Adjacent to the picturesque Cape Grecco National Park, Grecian Park Hotel is secluded enough for a relaxing stay yet close to the beach and just a five-minute drive from buzzing Ayia Napa.

The 239 room hotel is part of The Grecian Collection, a boutique group of three high end hotels (all four and five star) in Ayia Napa and Protaras.  Like the nearby Grecian Bay Hotel and Grecian Sands Hotel, Grecian Park Hotel has everything you need on the doorstep and boasts an impressive number of amenities.

The highlight of the hotel is the gorgeous outdoor lagoon-style swimming pool and children’s pool surrounded by sunbeds and chic poolside lounge.  Another perk is the Olympus Health Club, offering a gym, indoor swimming pool, jacuzzi, sauna, steam room, treatment rooms, two floodlit tennis courts, table tennis and a pool table.

Konnos Beach, with its white sand and azure waters, lies in a small bay and is the perfect place to sunbathe or enjoy water sports.  The walk down to the beach from the hotel may be steep for some, but the hotel offers a complimentary shuttle bus to the beach and Ayia Napa in the high season.

The hotel’s expansive marble lobby is airy and elegant, with a large chandelier, over-sized Asian style plants and a grand piano.  We were checked in swiftly and spent a lazy afternoon making use of the hotel’s facilities.

I named my second floor Executive Sea View Room a ‘princess room’ as the highlights of pastel pink and magenta are so dreamy and feminine (most of my group had the same style of room but with espresso, chocolate brown and gold touches).  I loved the dark pink beaded lamp, comfy striped velvet seats and the pretty mirrored drawers.  The spacious private terrace lets in lots of natural daylight and  has great views over the pool and trees framing the sea view.

Room features include a wall-mounted flat screen satellite TV, tea and coffee making facilities, powerful air-conditioning and free wifi. The large bed was very comfortable and the amount of good quality linen was ideal for the warm weather.

For a particularly decadent stay, Presidential Suites and the King’s Suite with a jacuzzi built into the bath and separate bedroom are available.

The light, marble-style bathroom is a reasonable size and features a bath and shower, plenty of large towels and an average set of hotel brand bathroom amenities (L’Occitane would have worked well here and matched with the pink in the room).

Grecian Park Hotel has a number of dining and drinks options including Antaeus Restaurant with an international menu, the stylish Umi Japanese and Sushi Bar Restaurant, all-day dining Cafe Charisma, Le Grand Foyer, the rooftop Cliff Bar, Breezes Pool Bar and Plin-2 nightclub (open in high season).

Breakfast at Cafe Charisma was excellent, with everything you could want laid out in a buffet style, including hot dishes, eggs made to order, pastries, muffins, pancakes, yoghurt, cereal and fruit.  Fresh fruit juice would have been preferable, rather than the machine juice drinks, but I liked that a good selection of teas in a china pot were available.

Grecian Park Hotel is an ideal retreat with a private feel and so many facilities that you won’t need to move far from the sunbed.  It’s far enough away from Ayia Napa to enjoy a noise-free sleep, yet still close enough to dip into the party scene and traditional tavernas.

Grecian Park Hotel (; +357 238 44044) has twin side sea views from €106 per person, per night (until 31 October 2013).  Half board €25, full board €40.

Cyprus Airways (; 020 8359 1444) has flights from London Heathrow to Larnaka twice daily from £221 return. 

Cherie City was a guest of Grecian Park Hotel and Visit Cyprus

Photos by Cherie City and Grecian Park Hotel

Beauty, Cherie Soleil

Best Summer Sun Care

Gone are the days when summer sun protection meant sticky, bright white creams that dissolved in the swimming pool.  The latest sun care products are designed to be more effective than ever, while keeping the skin calm with light, easily-absorbed formulations.

Here are some of my favourite high-tech sun care products for summer holidays…

Piz Buin Wet Skin (£17.99) is a brilliant new product that you must pack in your suitcase for summer holidays.  The light-weight sprays have a transparent, light oil texture and are available in SPF15 and SPF30.

They can of course be applied to dry skin as usual, but the best thing is that you can spray directly onto wet skin, straight from the sea or swimming pool.  Piz Buin Wet Skin cuts through the water on the skin, so it doesn’t slide off and offers more efficient protection against sun damage.

I tested Piz Buin Wet Skin in both SPFs recently on the beach in Ayia Napa and again in the intense dry heat of Beijing and humid Shanghai.  I liked that the oil absorbs into the skin well and it’s so quick and easy to apply – plus, I didn’t burn once.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Extreme Fluid (£16.50) is the ideal suncare fix for those who find regular sun creams for the face too heavy and greasy.  It is an essential suncare product for sensitive and sun intolerant skin and is best-suited to normal and combination skin.

The white fluid has a milky texture and absorbs quickly into the skin, leaving a soft base for a touch of make-up if you’re on a city break, or on its own if you’re hitting the beach.  Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Extreme Fluid helps combat UVA rays with a filter system that combines Mexoryl with the natural cell protector Senna Alata.  It is also waterproof, non-comedogenic and free from paraben and fragrance.

SPF 50+ is very high, so it helps keep out the harmful rays and protect the delicate facial skin, however my face still had a healthy glow from the sun.  Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Extreme Fluid is now also available as a tinted fluid.

Aveda Sun Care Protective Hair Veil is a must for preventing the sun from drying out hair and preserving hair colour.  The super light water-resistant UV defense mist creates an invisible barrier and locks out sun exposure for up to 16 hours.

It contains UV/UVB filters derived from wintergreen and cinnamon bark oils, natural anti-oxidants including green tea extract and a blend of organic shea butter, coconut and palm oils to detangle and nourish.  Its tropical aroma of neroli, ylang ylang and cistus gives it that luscious holiday scent and lifts the spirit in the way that Aveda products are designed to do.

What are your summer sun care favourites?  Do you have a top tip for avoiding sun damage?

* samples

Cherie Soleil, Cyprus, Hotels

Nissi Beach Resort – Ayia Napa, Cyprus

Nissi Beach Resort is a fabulous base for exploring Ayia Napa and spending lazy days by the sandy beach with crystal clear waters.  Surrounded by lush tropical gardens and swaying palm trees, the resort is close enough to the nightlife yet still a quiet retreat, so guests get the best of both worlds.

The four-star Nissi Beach Resort comprises three types of comfortable, modern accommodation – the main hotel, bungalows and a two-storey Garden Wing.  We stayed in the main hotel and on arrival late at night, we were warmly welcomed with ice cold cloths and glasses of tropical juice.

My Sea View Twin Room was bright and airy, designed in a colour palette of white, sand and beachy blues with dark wood touches.  The room is contemporary and simple, with a stunning view of the sea from the private balcony.  Room features include a flatscreen satellite TV, dressing table, mini bar, tea and coffee making facilities and most important of all – excellent air-conditioning.

Unfortunately, wifi in guest rooms is charged, however you can connect for free in the public areas (it is rather slow, though).

The beige stone tiled bathroom is medium sized and features a circular sink, a bath and powerful shower, magnifying mirror and the hotel’s adequate own brand bathroom amenities (a brand like L’Occitane or Molton Brown would have been better).

In the morning, it is a real treat to take breakfast outside on the terrace of the Ambrosia Restaurant, starting the day with views of the gardens and the cool sea breeze.  The expansive breakfast buffet offers everything you could want for your morning meal, including freshly-cut fruits, yoghurt, pastries, mini muffins and a full cooked breakfast.  The machine coffee and fruit ‘juice drinks’ aren’t great, but there is a very good selection of teas and silver tea pots.

We dined in local restaurants during our stay, but there are plenty of different food options in the hotel, particularly in the high season.  The seasonal Nissi Taverna serves fresh fish and international dishes while Bacchus Bar and Terrace is a sunny place to enjoy light bites and cocktails under the pretty bougainvillea.

We enjoyed a delicious afternoon tea of fresh mint tea and mini cakes in the Orpheus Lounge and if you can’t bear to be too far from your sunlounger, there are five beach kiosks serving ice cold drinks and snacks.

A perk of staying at Nissi Beach Resort is access to the Health Club, which includes a gym, a small sauna and steam bath, heated indoor swimming pool and whirlpool.  Spa treatments are also available, using products by Thalgo and Decleor.

If guests want something a little more exhilarating than lounging by the outdoor pool and the beach, the resort has an impressive number of sport activities.  These include tennis on four floodlit courts, beach volleyball, table tennis, darts, billiards, archery, aqua aerobics, water polo and boccia (a ball sport similar to boules).  Water sports such as water skiing and para-sailing are available, plus there is an internationally accredited diving school.

Nissi Beach Resort is also a popular wedding venue and Marios and his team can arrange everything for the big day.  Ceremonies take place in a stylish white gazebo or rondavel with the stunning backdrop of the sea and the exotic gardens – what could be more picture perfect than that!

Nissi Beach Resort is ideal if you want everything from a beautiful beach and relaxing spa treatments to plenty of dining options on your doorstep.  Staff are friendly and it has a warm, unpretentious atmosphere, while being a cut above most mid-priced beach resorts.

A twin sea view room at Nissi Beach Resort (; +357 23 721 021) starts from €75 per person, bed and breakfast. Twin garden rooms start at €63 per person per night. A Beach bungalow starts from €90 per person per night. Half board rates €24 extra; full board €48 extra. 

Cyprus Airways (; 020 8359 1444) has flights from London Heathrow to Larnaka twice daily from £221 return. 

Chérie City was a guest of Nissi Beach Hotel and Visit Cyprus

Photos by Chérie City and Nissi Beach Hotel