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Honey Afternoon Tea reviewed, St Ermin’s Hotel Westminster, London

There are many ways to get to Montenegro Adriatic Coast, my taxi driver assured me, raising his voice over a chorus of horns that angrily saluted his laissez-faire attitude toward lane use during morning rush-hour traffic in Belgrade. ‘But it makes no sense to take the train.’ He weaved through less aggressive vehicles like a skier clearing slalom gates. A cold, grey autumn rain began to fall harder, drops beading down my window, as the main railway station came into view.



There are many ways to get to Montenegro’s Adriatic Coast, my taxi driver assured me, raising his voice over a chorus of horns that angrily saluted his laissez-faire attitude toward lane use during morning rush-hour traffic in Belgrade. ‘But it makes no sense to take the train.’ He weaved through less aggressive vehicles like a skier clearing slalom gates. A cold, grey autumn rain began to fall harder, drops beading down my window, as the main railway station came into view.

‘Let me take you to the airport,’ he sounded genuinely concerned. ‘You will be in the sea and in the sun and with a beer in half an hour. This thing you are doing, it will take all day … and into the night.’ He finally relented as we pulled up to the curb: ‘At least buy water, sandwiches, and toilet paper.’

The cabbie left me in front of the crenellated railway station, a faded Habsburg-yellow throwback opened in 1884. He was already speeding off to advise another tourist before I could throw my bag over my shoulder. Inside, I found the ticket office. The woman behind the glass informed me that the trip from Belgrade, Serbia, to Bar, Montenegro – on the Adriatic edge of the Balkan Peninsula – takes 12 hours. It costs 21 euros (there would be an additional three-euro charge for a seat reservation). ‘Yes, there is a bakery nearby,’ she said and pointed. ‘It is behind you. The shop for water and tissues is next to it.’ She slid the window closed, stood, picked up her pack of cigarettes, and disappeared.

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That sense of old-world drama would serve me well, I would soon learn, along this route. On the outskirts of the Serbian capital – as I settled into my seat in a weathered, six-person cabin – we passed Topčider Station, where the hulking locomotives from Yugoslav leader Marshal Tito’s famous Blue Train are stored. The behemoths sat dishevelled, graffitied, but still regal and almost lifelike, wishing me a safe passage to the outer lands. Within an hour, the tangle of urban metal and concrete unravelled, and the countryside spread out in all directions with the urgency of a jailbreak. The sun came out as wet, emerald-green hummocks began to play leapfrog across the vista, rolling until they dove out of sight over the horizon.

Though the Belgrade–Bar line doesn’t have a sexy moniker (like the Royal Scotsman or Rocky Mountaineer), the Yugoslav Flyer would be appropriate. When construction began on the 476km railway in 1951, the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was in its infancy: a tenuous post-WWII cadre of states on the Balkan Peninsula’s western half. By the time the route opened in 1976 – complete with 254 tunnels and 234 bridges winding down from the Pannonian Plain to the island-studded Adriatic Sea – the country had implanted itself as a geopolitical force and a synapse between the West and the Soviet Union.

Yugoslavia has since splintered into seven nations. The railway, thankfully, endures, connecting Serbia to Montenegro with a brief blip across Bosnia & Hercegovina’s eastern border. But the line’s existence represents more than just a continued, now international, transport option. These tracks are the Balkans – and a lifeline to a swath of land where cultures have intertwined since before history. Here, the train takes adventurers across vistas crisscrossed by Greeks and Illyrians, as well as the Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian Empires. Along the way, visitors have a literal window onto a living museum frozen in time.

Those natural exhibits were on full display as we rumbled through the foothills of the Dinaric Alps in the southwestern corner of Serbia. When we crossed the border into Montenegro, the museum’s lineup of canvases – pristine panoramas and landscapes – changed again. The Western Balkans’ rotating collection now included towering mountains and canyons that engulfed us whole.

‘I had no idea what to expect,’ said Colin Smith, a fellow passenger and UK native. Outside the window, an old couple leaned against pitchforks next to haystacks. Behind them, vegetable gardens and a small-but-dense orchard of plum trees surrounded a stone farmhouse. ‘But I am so surprised by the beauty: the mountains, steep ravines and endless drops.’

Before I went to sleep that night, I remembered my taxi driver: ‘But it makes no sense to take the train.’ Lying in bed, I could hear the sea washing onto the shore outside my rented apartment’s window. If I ever saw him again, I would make sure to tell the cabbie he was right: a flight would have been much faster and easier, and more sterile.

Book tickets (and separate necessary reservations) at the station a day in advance. There are 1st- and 2nd-class options. Night-train passengers can choose between couchettes or sleepers (with two or three beds). A one-way ticket (from Belgrade) costs 21 euros; a reservation is necessary and costs an additional three euros. Second-class couchettes on night trains cost an additional six euros. A bed in a three-bed sleeper is 15 euros; a bed in a two-bed sleeper is 20 euros.

The Belgrade–Bar railway line runs twice per day, in both directions. From Belgrade, the train departs at 9:10am and at 9:10pm; the trip takes 12 hour.

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Fashion News

I’m a Contemporary Artist—These 40 Nordstrom Items Are as Chic as It Gets



I'm a Contemporary Artist—These 40 Nordstrom Items Are as Chic as It Gets
40 Chic Artist-Approved Nordstrom Picks Laura Naples

PHOTO: EMMA K. MORRIS Contemporary Artist

When I first laid eyes on the stunning work of artist Laura Naples almost a decade ago in the pages of Domino magazine, I was immediately hooked. Since then, I have followed her incredible journey as a contemporary artist and have gained so much inspiration and joy from her personal style and home interiors. It only felt natural to get an inside look at what she has her eye on this season, and there’s no better place to shop than one of our mutual favorite retailers—Nordstrom.

Naples is known for her thoughtful process when it comes to her work, so it’s no surprise that she approaches shopping in the same regard. She gave me more insight into this, sharing that there are three factors that she considers most: “Color, texture, and form [are] integrated across the environments I cultivate, whether in my work as an Contemporary Artist, how I dress myself, or in my surroundings at home.” With Naples’s philosophy, I thought it fitting to have her break down her top picks at Nordstrom with color, texture, and form in mind.

Keep scrolling to check out the Contemporary Artist chic fashion, beauty, and home finds, including her signature studio look as well as an array of her gorgeous abstract paintings woven throughout for added inspiration.

Laura Naples’s Signature All-White Studio Look

“When I’m working, I tend to dress in tonal whites, which sounds Contemporary Artist for a painter! While chatting recently with my friend, designer Bill McNicol of William Frederick, we discovered that we both prefer to wear white in our studios because it helps us focus on the task at hand.”

Treasure & Bond Oversize Cotton Button-Up Shirt


Oversize Cotton Button-Up Shirt


SHOP NOWFavorite

“I reach for a white tailored shirt constantly. This oversize fit allows for a deep V neckline, worn slightly pushed back on the shoulders.”

Sophie Buhai Small Clara Hoop Earrings


Small Clara Hoop Earrings


SHOP NOWFavorite

“Silver hoops are classic, and Sophie Buhai’s version is something I’d wear forever.”

Madewell Herringbone Chain Necklace


Herringbone Chain Necklace


SHOP NOWFavorite

“Mixing metals lends subtle complexity to a monochrome look without competing against it.”

Madewell Chunky Domed Cuff Bracelet


Chunky Domed Cuff Bracelet


SHOP NOWFavorite

“A wide silver cuff is a signature sculptural element that I often wear.”

Favorite Daughter The Mischa Raw Hem Super High Waist Wide Leg Jeans


The Mischa Raw Hem Super High Waist Wide Leg Jeans


SHOP NOWFavorite

“The wide leg and nipped-in waist create an hourglass shape with a shirt tucked in.”

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Fashion News

Certainly, here are some fashion designing courses



Certainly, here are some fashion designing courses

Fashion designing courses offer individuals the opportunity to delve into the creative and dynamic world of fashion, equipping them with the skills and knowledge needed to pursue a career in this exciting industry. Whether you dream of becoming a fashion designer, stylist, merchandiser, or any other fashion-related profession, there are numerous courses available to help you get started. Here, we’ll explore the types of fashion designing courses you can consider:

fashion designing courses:

  1. Bachelor’s Degree in Fashion Design:
    • Duration: Typically 3-4 years
    • Description: A bachelor’s degree program in fashion designing courses is a comprehensive course that covers various aspects of the industry. It includes design principles, garment construction, textiles, fashion history, and more. Graduates often create their own fashion lines or work for established fashion houses.
  2. Associate’s Degree or Diploma in fashion designing courses:
    • Duration: Usually 1-2 years
    • Description: These programs provide a shorter and more focused education in fashion designing courses. They cover essential skills and knowledge needed to start a career in the industry, making them a good option for those looking for a quicker entry into the field.
  3. Fashion Styling Courses:
    • Duration: Varies (short-term to diploma programs)
    • Description: Fashion styling courses focus on teaching students how to create visually appealing and marketable looks. This includes understanding trends, color theory, accessorizing, and working with models. Fashion stylists work with designers, photographers, and brands to curate compelling visuals.
  4. Fashion Merchandising Courses:
    • Duration: Typically 2-4 years
    • Description: Fashion merchandising programs teach students about the business side of fashion. This includes retail management, marketing, buying, and inventory management. Graduates often work in retail, buying offices, or as merchandisers for fashion brands.
  5. Pattern Making and Garment Construction Courses:
    • Duration: Varies (short-term to diploma programs)
    • Description: These courses focus on the technical aspects of fashion design, such as pattern making, draping, and sewing. Students learn how to translate their design ideas into physical garments.
  6. Fashion Marketing and Communication Courses:
    • Duration: Varies (short-term to degree programs)
    • Description: Fashion marketing courses emphasize branding, advertising, public relations, and digital marketing within the fashion industry. Graduates can pursue careers in fashion marketing, public relations, or digital content creation.
  7. Accessory Design Courses:
    • Duration: Typically 1-2 years
    • Description: Accessory design programs concentrate on creating fashion accessories like jewelry, footwear, handbags, and belts. Graduates can work for accessory brands or start their own businesses.
  8. Textile Design Courses:
    • Duration: Varies (short-term to degree programs)
    • Description: Textile design courses teach students how to create unique fabric designs and patterns. Graduates often work in textile mills, fashion design studios, or as freelance textile designers.
  9. Online Fashion Courses:
    • Duration: Varies (short-term to degree programs)
    • Description: Many institutions and platforms offer online fashion courses, making it convenient for individuals to learn from anywhere. These courses cover a wide range of fashion-related topics and can be suitable for those with busy schedules.

When choosing a fashion designing course, consider your interests, career goals, and the level of commitment you’re willing to make. Additionally, research and select reputable institutions or programs that align with your aspirations. Fashion is a highly competitive industry, but with the right education and dedication, you can embark on a rewarding and creative career in the world of fashion.

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How Should I Prepare for a FaceLift?



How Should I Prepare for a FaceLift?

Getting a facelift means that you must prepare your body before the big day. A certified surgeon such as Joel Aronowitz, MD, or another doctor, will provide you with preparation tips that you may need to begin at least a few weeks in advance. This guide will provide you with those preparation tips to ensure a successful procedure.

Preparation Tips for a Facelift

facelift is a procedure that is done to help you achieve a younger-looking face. The skin is lifted and pulled back to make your skin appear smoother and tighter. However, before your big day, your surgeon will provide you with the following preparation tips that you must do to ensure a successful procedure free of complications.

Alter Medications

It is important that you share your medical history and meds with your doctor during your consultation. If necessary, your doctor will communicate with your prescribing physician about changes that may need to occur to your current medications. This ensures that you are safe during the procedure.

Financially Prepare

Facelifts are not cheap. Unfortunately, your health insurance will not cover it either. Before you schedule to have your surgery performed, it is important that you discuss your payment options so you are aware of how you will pay for your treatment.

Quit Smoking

You must also stop smoking if you use nicotine when preparing for a facelift. Nicotine restricts the flow of blood and can even create complications during your procedure and afterward. If you smoke, vape, or chew tobacco, now is the time to stop.

Stop Taking OTC Meds

Anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and aspirin should also be avoided prior to having a facelift. Doing so will reduce your risk of experiencing excessive bleeding during and following the procedure. If you are ever unsure what medications you should stop taking, consult with your surgeon.

Plan to Have Help

Prepare to experience some downtime when you undergo a facelift. It is critical that you ask in advance for some help from either your friends or family. Additionally, you will need to have someone drive you to and from your appointment. You will also need to have someone help you with simple daily tasks such as cleaning until you recover.

Cook Meals in Advance

It is also a great idea to cook your meals in advance and freeze them prior to your surgery. This will reduce some of the stress and hassle of cooking and preparing during your recovery.

Fill Any Prescriptions

Your doctor will provide you with any prescriptions for pain meds during your last appointment. It is important that you have those meds filled before the day of your surgery. This ensures that you are able to maintain your regimen for your meds and also prevents you from experiencing severe pain.

Stay Hydrated

As odd as it may sound, it is important that you stay hydrated the day before your surgery. Water does wonders for your body and can aid in helping your body heal. Be sure to drink a lot of water in the days and weeks leading up to your big day.

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