30 Jul 2015

SWIG Hip Flasks

I’ve been crying out for a handy little hip flask for a really long time. I’ve always thought it could come in handy for those rainy, Tuesday nights at the Cardiff City Stadium or for smuggling whisky into the main arena at Reading Festival. Now, thanks to SWIG Flasks I am able to sneakily drink my beloved whisky into places with horribly inflated prices! 

The first thing I noticed as my hip flask arrived was how beautifully presented and wrapped with ribbon the parcel was. The flask itself was propped up on a delicate, paisley cushion.  The design I chose was the Executive Moulded Black Flask. The flask is encased in a leather pouch that was designed by leather artisans in the Spanish town of Ubrique. The pouch is moulded perfectly to fit the flask which leaves a sleek, unique finish to the 170ml flask. 

At just two years old, SWIG is a relative newcomer when it come to business but their focus on quality and aesthetic makes them stand out from your regular hip flask manufacturers. Along with the flask, every customer is given a unique membership number to be a part of The SWIG Society. My number is 4802, and our very own Prime Minister is number 00097. If it's good enough for our PM then it's definitely good enough for a young man from Cardiff like me! 

These hip flasks make a perfect gift for everyone from your grandfather to your son, I highly recommend you all check out the website and you won't be short of ideas for birthday and Christmas gifts. Head on over to the website asap, to pick up a bargain! Thanks again to Daniel at SWIG for the amazing care package, I can't wait to get A LOT of use out of my flask! 


27 Jul 2015

Amsterdam 2015

So for the second year in a row I decided to make Amsterdam my holiday destination and once again it did not disappoint! 

We arrived early Wednesday evening and had to make our way to the apartment so we thought taking a cab would be the easiest option. Whilst waiting in line for a taxi a Tesla pulled up. It turned out to be the freaking taxi. Now, I'm not a fan of cars at all and I don't know anything about them but it even impressed me. The driver was so welcoming and happy and that turned out to be a common trait in most Dutch people. As we were unloading our bags from the boot, the driver just popped his car on charge in the middle of the street and that legit blew my mind. As soon as we stepped into our apartment I knew we'd made the right choice. The interior was simple with a few canvas prints on the wall, an impressive book selection and even a CD from The Specials. The garden was all overgrown and green with two rundown sheds at the end which looked weirdly nice. To top it off we even had pet cats to look after to make it even more homely. After dumping our stuff off we decided to wander aimlessly hoping to find our way to Amsterdam Central. On the way we walked past Carhartt, Timberland and Baskets Amsterdam just to name a few shops. We stopped off at a lovely little restaurant called Capreces and I had a tomato and shrimp risotto to line my stomach for the onslaught of lager and coffee.

For our first full day we headed to The Heineken Experience, where they show you how the beer is brewed and also give you a few tasters straight from the brewery. To top it off there was a Champions League section where they had framed shirts from Paolo Maldini and Cristiano Ronaldo and signed boots from Lionel Messi and Robin Van Persie. We also checked out The Sex Museum which was a laugh. It's essentially like walking through a pornographic time machine whilst looking at medieval dildos and there was a stairway which was draped in ass. The whole thing is kind of weird and makes you realise things that you could never think of but all in all it was a bit of a laugh. After a few more beers we ate at a restaurant called De Haven Van Texel which was situated at the arse end of The Red Light District (pun intended) It overlooked the canal and it was such a lovely view. We were sat by an American bloke who seemed to say all of his thoughts out loud, here are a few: "I can tell she's not wearing any panties" and whilst shouting at random passers by "WHERE ARE YOU FROM?" He has gone down in my Hall of Fame along with Barry (who I met in Cyprus) and Barney from Reading Festival. I will probably explain more about those on another day though!

The next day started with a little wander down to the local coffee shop to get fuel for the long day ahead. After chugging down our coffees and chomping down our Nutella sandwiches we checked out the Van Gogh museum. I'm not very educated when it comes to art but I think I have enough brain capacity to appreciate something good when I see it and I absolutely loved it there. Van Gogh's story is quite a sad one as he ended up in a mental asylum towards the end of his life but it's quite refreshing to see his work is still appreciated today. We then ate at a place called Stedelijk Restaurant which was relatively nearby. We asked the waited to recommend us a nice, local beer and our faces dropped when he came back with an 8% beer which was so cloudy it looked like a thunderstorm in a cup, but he was spot on with his choice as it was absolutely divine. We walked back to the apartment through Vondelpark which was just full of lakes and trees and it was so beautiful. 

Later in the evening we headed off to Paradiso to see the legendary Grandmaster Flash which also coincided with me turning 24! It was surreal seeing Flash play live and there were moments when I just stood there, looking at him in amazement as he scratched and cut his way through 80's funk, 90's West Coast hip hop and current rap records. The night ended with me being absolutely smashed, with my feet hanging over the canal and it started to sink in that I was actually now 24 years old (cry.)

As with the day after every night out, I was hungover as shit. But we didn't want to waste the day so we headed off into Central to have a little wander and feel sorry for ourselves. What a mistake that was. The weather was horrendous, it did not stop raining all day. With us being from Wales we're used to rain and wind but something was different. All of the trams got cancelled and we were honestly didn't know how to get home. After wandering around aimlessly for a while we both looked at each other and said "Quite bad this init??" We ended up getting home after about two hours and later found out that it was the worst July storm Amsterdam has seen since records began for God's sake! We decided to call it a day with a few beers and pizza back at the apartment whilst watching Comedy Central.

Our last full day was another day of walking around aimlessly and just taking in the city. We stumbled into the Stedelijk museum to see the Henri Matisse exhibition and there was a few Andy Warhol pieces knocking about too. I think I preferred this museum to the Van Gogh one purely because of the variety. We ate at a burger joint just around the corner from The Red Light District called Burger Fabriek and Jesus Christ it was incredible. I definitely recommend it to anyone who goes to Amsterdam. It's not too far from the Patta store and I was blown away by the footwear selection they had there. I really wanted to buy a pair of Raf Simons x Stan Smith trainers but €250 was just a bit too steep for me, which is such a shame! I also picked up a black tee with a wolf on the front and a long sleeve Ralph Lauren shirt for €26 which is an absolute steal. I stumbled upon a store called Concrete which had a lot of high end pieces from Maharishi, Bathing Ape and they also sold Pharrell Stan Smith's. I've had my eye on them for a while but again, money was the only issue! 

The holiday finished with a few beers back at the apartment, watching The Simpsons and packing up my belongings, which is always the worst part of a holiday. 

Amsterdam, it's been a pleasure! See you soon hopefully.

Check my Instagram for more photos from my trip.