Tag Archives: Travel

matts-mediterranean-odyssey

Matt’s Mediterranean Odyssey

 

Hey it’s Matt, I’m a web developer here at Joe Browns and I’ve recently returned from a three week trip around Europe. I spent a week touring Northern Italy, five days at a festival in Croatia, a week exploring the Croatian coastline and a day well spent in Montenegro.

 

Before I started at Joe Browns, I went travelling around Asia and Australia for two years. One thing I came to realise during this trip was how much I take Europe for granted, and how cheap and quick it is to see something stunning practically on our doorstep.

 

So, as I’m still on a major high from the holiday, I thought I’d let you all know my top 5 favourite places!

 

1. Kotor Bay – Montenegro
Kotor BayKotor Bay

 

Kotor wasn’t on our schedule at all, we actually had some spare time whilst in Croatia and decided last minute to hop on a two hour bus across the border into Montenegro.

 

Kotor is an ancient walled city, conveniently situated at the very end of a large bay and surrounded by majestic mountains.

 

Back in the day, it was the perfect stronghold for the Greeks, Romans and many other Empires due to its isolation, and proximity to the ocean for trading.

 

Now tourists head there to see the old winding streets, the fortress (mini great wall of China) built into the mountain and the crystal blue waters; perfect for cooling down.

 

We spent the majority of our day hiking up 1200ft, in 32 degree heat – phew! (worth it for the views), before concluding the day with cold, cheap Montenegrin beers and watching the locals jump from rocks into the ocean.

 

Reasons for hitting the number one spot…

 

It has everything; ancient culture, mountains, hot weather and sweet little spots to hang out by the water with the locals. It’s a hidden gem.

 

2.Cinque Terre – Italy

Riomaggiore - Cinque Terre Vernazza - Cinque Terre Vernazza - Cinque Terre Manarola - Cinque Terre

 

Cinque Terre is around an hour and half train journey from Pisa (Northern Italy), and home to the “5 Lands”, five villages built into the picturesque Italian riviera.

 

The villages are home to fishermen, olive groves, vineyards, and colourfully painted houses.

 

We spent our days exploring each village. Wandering up and down the narrow stairways, enjoying fresh pesto (where it originates!), eating way too many olives and drinking lots of local red wine.

 

When it gets too hot, and you can’t bear to walk anymore, grab a bottle of wine and head down to one of the rocky bays. There you can strip down to your grundies and cool yourself down in the ocean.

 

Or instead head up to bar Nessun Dorma (Manarola), where you can enjoy an Aperol Spritz or two whilst watching the sunset.

 

Take a train to the last village Corniglia for the best basil (trust me) gelato in Italy.

 

3. Makarska – Croatia

Makarska - Croatia Makarska - CroatiaMakarska

 

Whenever I’ve needed a holiday, I’ve always wanted the super clear waters of southeast Asia. To be honest, I’ve not known much of Croatia and was amazed that a few hours away by plane there’s a whole 6000km of crystal, turquoise coastline and over a thousand islands.

 

Anyway, around three hours northwest of Dubrovnik, lies Makarska, an ancient port city once under a long Venetian rule.

 

By now, you probably realise that I really like mountains by the ocean and this place is no exception, with the Biokovo mountains and the Adriatic sea surrounding the old town.

 

Much like the Cinque Terre, there’s plenty of old streets and beautiful churches to explore. The highlights for me being the fresh seafood linguine and huge plates of local mussels.

 

It was height of summer (35 degrees!) and full of tourists, the pebbled beaches were absolutely heaving, but we managed to find a quiet spot to jump in and recharge.

 

4. Florence – Italy

Florence - Italy Florence - Italy Florence - Italy Florence - Italy

 

A rich history, terracotta roofs and some of the best food Italy has to offer, Florence has long been on my list of places to visit.

 

Like most major European cities, there’s heaps to do. We visited the popular Piazza del Duomo (the big dome), and the Uffizi gallery, that hosts famous artists’ work such as: Da Vinci, Rembrandt, Michelangelo and Botticelli.

 

When we weren’t sightseeing, we immersed ourselves in plenty of food and drink! No trip to Florence is complete without eating fresh focaccia bread – we went to Cantinetta dei Verrazzano and had fresh tomatoes and mozzarella with it.

 

Head to the central market where you can sample local delicacies at reasonable prices, and even pick up a platter of olives, prosciutto, fresh mozzarella and bottle of red wine for a picnic.

 

We headed to Bardini gardens, away from all the tourist grind and settled under an apricot tree where we enjoyed our feast, before heading up to Piazzale Michelangelo for panoramic views over Florence.

 

5. Venice – Italy
Venice - ItalyVenice - Italy
Venice - Italy
Venice - Italy

 

I couldn’t end this post without mentioning Venice. It’s a place that’s on most people’s wish list, and rightly so.

 

As busy and as full-on as it can be at times, it’s still a pretty special and unique city. I mean a city built on wooden stilts is pretty impressive, right? Not to mention all the winding canals, traditional gondolas and wonderfully decaying colourful houses.

 

You can easily get lost for hours, exploring the narrow maze-like lane-ways and be constantly distracted by the rich, grand palaces and amazing eateries on every turn.

 

As you probably know, Venice is not the most budget-friendly, but like any city there are some hidden gems – you just have to search for them. Our favourite place was Bacareto Da Lele, where you can enjoy wine for just 60 cents and 1 euro sandwiches, whilst chatting with the larger-than-life locals who go there every day for good wine and banter.

 

Now roll on next year!

 

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the worlds most travelled coat

Help us create the world’s most travelled coat!

Do you fancy being part of a world’s first with Joe Browns while helping us raise money for charity?

 

Capture

 

With your help we’re aiming to produce the word’s most travelled coat created from pieces of material that have all travelled to different parts of the world.

 

Whether it’s the old shorts you were wearing when you back-packed across Australia or the scarf that kept you warm as you trekked across the Scottish Highlands – We’d love to have it!

 

So if you’re planning a clear out, or know of a few forgotten pieces at the bottom of your wardrobe that have a story to tell, please donate them to us so we can tell it. While at the same time helping to raise some much needed funds for the West Yorkshire Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre.

 

Our aim is to produce a one-off Joe Browns patchwork coat with more air miles under its belt than Richard Branson, that, once sold to the highest bidder, can help provide support for people struggling to live with MS.

 

All you need to do is send your well-travelled garment (or section of it if it’s no longer in one piece) to ….

 

Joe’s Coat Team,
Joe Browns Ltd,
Kandy Works,
Brown Lane East,
Holbeck,
Leeds,
LS11 0BT

 

Along with your name and a note telling us its story or simply where it’s been.

 

Once we’ve received it, we would like to thank you for your time and effort with a £5 Joe Browns voucher*. Make sure to include your email address so we can send you your voucher.

 

We will do our up-most to include all pieces of donated fabric in the final design.

 

So please help us create something truly unique (and of course gorgeously stylish) that could help change lives!

 

The closing date to get all pieces of material to us is Monday 22nd August 2016.

 

 

 

 *Voucher ts & cs apply. Reward will apply for the first 50 garments received at the above address only.

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Joe's-Favourite-Tipple

Joe’s favourite summer tipple

Fancy  being transported to the sun soaked piazzas of Venice?

 

There’s only one drink for it – an Aperol Spritz!

spritz

 

  • 3 parts prosecco
  • 2 parts Aperol*
  • 1 part soda water
  • Slice of orange

 

*It used to be pretty hard to get hold of an bottle of Aperol, but now everyone’s caught on to how awesome this drink is, you can pick one up from more or less any supermarket now.

 

Just pour it all in a big wine glass over ice and add a wedge of orange to garnish (and a green olive if you want to be really authentic).

 

Sharp, tangy and refreshing – there’s not a lot you can compare the taste to and in our book, nothing quite as magnificent. Enjoy!

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Top 10 Colourful Cities

Top 10 Colourful Cities

Want to go somewhere as bright and exciting as your new Joe Browns summer wardrobe?

 

We’ve got just the ticket!

 

 

Procida, Naples, Italy

Italy

 

 

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Argentina

 

 

Willemstad, Curaçao

Curacao

 

 

Menton, France

France

 

 

Pachuca, Mexico

Mexico

 

 

 

Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway

Norway

 

 

 

Sighisoara, Romania

Romania

 

 

Wrocław, Poland

poland

 

 

Chefchaouen, Morocco

Morocco

 

 

Guatapé, Colombia

Colombia

 

 

 

Where was the last colourful place you went?

 

 

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UK-adventures

Our favourite UK adventures

Life is all about exploring, taking life by the horns and doing something new and exciting. We think some of the best adventures can be had here in our beautiful native Britain!

 

We asked the guys in the office what awesome place in the UK they last visited…

 

 

Ben (the king of graphic design)

 

The other year me and my friend Lee did a hike up Mount Snowdon, it was an amazing day, bright and sunny until we hit the top and we were in the clouds, zero visibility.

 

From the photo I could have said it was Everest haha!

 

Ben

 

 

Emily (PR Pro)

Over Easter me and my boyfriend Pete stayed in a pub at the foot of Helvellyn next to Thirlmere Water in the Lake District. We decided to give the peak a go and it was amazing with incredible views! I’d definitely recommend taking a map though – we got massively lost on the way back and ended up miles away trespassing through a farmer’s field!

 

Emily

 

 

Ian ( Wholesale Master) 

 

I went with my wife to Northumberland last year and we found a gem of a place hidden away called Low Newton By The Sea.

 

It has a lovely little beach, great pub with a micro brewery attached, lovely village green and beautiful whitewashed cottages

 

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Cahyle (The big cheese when it comes to customer service) 

 

I went to visit a friend in Northern Ireland at the end of last year, and found loads of decent spots along the coastline. Specifically the Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge. It’s a beautiful coastline and if you catch it on a sunny day, it’s glorious!

 

Cahyle

 

 

Seb (Master of E-Commerce)

 

IMG_0464

 

My family and I often head to the Yorkshire Dales for a get-away.  It’s the perfect place to forget about it all and recharge the batteries full of breathtaking countryside views (+ an excuse to eat oversized Yorkshire puddings at the local pub).

 

Where was your last UK adventure??

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Summer spirit

Get into the summer spirit!

Starting to think about a summer getaway? Or the warmer weekends spent with friends and family in the garden, sat back with a glass in your hand and the smell of the BBQ wafting up your nose?

 

Well if you’re not yet, maybe some of the below outfit ideas will help you get into the summer spirit…

 

Avenue_Group_135

 

Reversible Dress £44.95
Spirograph Dress £29.95

LD903A_BACK  LD923A

 

 

Mix It Up Indigo Shirt £39.95
Kaleidoscope Floral Shirt £34.95

SH754A    SH773A

 

 

Botanical_Girls_054

 

Parisian Spring Dress £44.95
Senorita Dress £44.95

LD945A  LD944A

 

 

Dunes_Girls_054

 

Reversible Tunic £39.95
Must Have Jeans £29.95

LC993A  LB393A

 

 

Marnia_Side_Boys_283

 

Distinctive Denim Shirt £39.95
Wear Them Your Way Trousers £39.95

 

SH772A  TR360A

 

 

Pool_Girls_Shot_2_044_R

 

Mix And Match Bow Top £21.95
High Leg Tankini Bottoms £7.95

LP015B LP019A

 

 

Walk_Boys_079_R

 

Perfect Pattern Shirt £34.95
Beach to Bar Shirt £29.95

SH770A    SH786A

 

 

Dunes_Group_050

 

Mix And Match Bib Shirt £39.95
Fabulously Flattering Dress £39.95

SH758A  LD937A

 

 

Savy Stitch Collar Shirt £29.95
Caesars Palace Sandals £27.95

SH782A         LF511A

 

 

Feeling inspired? What’s caught your eye from the new summer collection?

 

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SS16-behind-the-scenes

Behind the scenes of our latest shoot

The Joe Browns new summer collection is packed with all our (and hopefully your) favourite things!

 

Dunes_Group_055

 

From ‘wow’ factor dresses, stunning heels and enviable accessories for the ladies to funky shorts, statement tees and effortlessly cool summer shirts for guys.

 

To showcase to you all our sexy new styles, we gathered the gang together and headed to sunny Gran Canaria for our latest shoot.

 

Here’s a little taster of what we got up to…

 

The shoot was so much fun taking us from the gorgeous little village of Fontanales to the Botanical Gardens, Puerta Mogan and the stunning dunes of Mas Palomas (which we happened to stumble upon at sunset!)

 

We of course found time between shooting for a bit of down time and a laugh with the locals!

 

IMG_3261 IMG_3170IMG_3171 IMG_3176 IMG_3180 IMG_3183 IMG_3189  IMG_3253 IMG_3284  IMG_3235

 

We hope you enjoy the new pics, which we’re sure you’ll be seeing lots of, and of course all the exciting new styles! If you’ve not yet had a chance to look through the new collection, take a look at women’s wear here or men’s wear here.

 

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Colourful Experiences

We live in a colourful world and we love to get involved with all things bright and beautiful- But we’re not the only ones! Take a look at these vibrant experiences people get involved with all the time! Maybe you can too…

 

The Great Barrier Reef- Australia

We’ve all heard of the Great Barrier Reef, famous for over 1,400 miles of coral reefs, fish and sea life. It’s so big and so colourful the reef can be seen from outer space! Millions of tourists visit it every year to see this phenomenal display of colour and life. You could go out in a glass bottom boat, see it all on a helicopter ride or get up close and personal and go diving in the reefs.

We’d love to swim into this little guy!

Turtle

 

Mardi Gras- New Orleans, USA

Another festival, but this one lasts around two whole weeks. Parades and masquerade balls are central to this festival which ends on Shrove Tuesday, or Fat Tuesday. People don colourful masks and costumes and take to the streets to dance and party while the parade floats go by. People on the floats toss “throws” into the crowds including bright, multicoloured beads, doubloons (coins) and Moon Pies. When it’s all over the only sign of Mardi Gras is the beads hanging from the trees.

mardi gras

 

Gathering of Nations – Albuquerque, New Mexico

The Gathering of Nations is exactly that. A Pow Wow for Native Americans to get together to celebrate and share their culture and traditions. It’s a three day event filled with dancing, drums and incredible costumes. Huge feathered headdresses, beads and painted faces, everyone is bold and fabulous. They even have a nation of Native American motorcyclists who ride in an event called Red Thunder Rolling which is used to raise funds and awareness to keep the culture alive.

Cool huh?

 

Gathering of Nations

 

Las Vegas- Nevada, USA

Viva Las Vegas! The City of Lights is approximately 4.2 miles of some of the world’s largest hotels and casinos. When we say largest hotels we mean it! Some of them have shopping malls, their own casinos, theatres, nightclubs and even rollercoasters!  Not too far from the strip, there’s the Grand Canyon- a gorgeous natural attraction brimming with bold and beautiful colours.

Vagas

 

Springtime- Everywhere!

Here’s one we can all get involved with. Springtime brings flowers, trees and newborn wildlife. Bursting with bluebells, lush green grass and tiny fluffy yellow ducklings, this is easily one of the most beautiful times of year wherever you are. It’s a great time to take a stroll in the country and see everything Mother Nature has to offer.

 

duckling

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Easter customs

Easter customs from around the globe

Want to do something a bit different this Easter holiday? Why not be inspired by some of these traditions that are anything but boring!

 

 

Hungary

In Hungary on Easter Monday there’s a tradition called “locsolkodás” which involves boys and men reciting a poem to women and girls and then “sprinkling” them with perfume. In extreme cases this can also be achieved with a bucket of cold water! Originally it was young women of marriage-age who would be the victims but now the act (which has links to earlier pagan fertility rituals) has expanded to women of all ages. Lucky ladies.

 

hungary-easter-sprinkiling

 

 

Northwestern Europe

Large bonfires are lit on Easter Sunday and Monday. While there are loads of explanations for the origin of the Easter Fires, the most common tale is that Easter is a time when spring becomes victorious over winter and the fires were to chase the darkness of winter away. Today, however, the meaning of the fires is simply to bring communities together. The nights are festive with heavy consumption of gin, lager, and snacks. We like the sound of this.

 

northern Europe Easter customs

 

 

Sweden

These guys get their money’s worth out of their kids Halloween costumes. In the days leading up to up to Easter Sunday, children dress up as Easter witches, wearing old and discarded clothes.

Sweeden

 

 

Haiti

In Haiti, Holy Week is marked by colorful parades and traditional “rara” music played on bamboo trumpets, maracas, drums, even coffee cans.

 

Haiti

 

 

Bermuda

Food and kite flying are top priorities over Easter in Bermuda. On Good Friday, locals across the island look to the skies to watch kids (big and small) fly their home-made kites. Aww, we like this one!

 

Bermuda

 

 

Germany

You have a Christmas tree – why not have an Easter tree? This tradition was started by a single family forty years ago. The Kraft family from Saalfeld, Germany started placing plastic eggs in a tree outside their house in 1965. The tradition has grown over the years from only a handful of plastic eggs to beautifully painted egg shells. This looks so cool.

 

Germany

 

 

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Bizarre customs

10 Bizarre national customs you didn’t know existed

  1. At Mexican birthday parties, once the cake has been brought out and everyone has sung ‘happy birthday’, someone will inevitably push your face in it.

 

face in cake

 

 

  1. Wife-carrying is a fully endorsed sport in Finland.

 

wife carrying

 

 

  1. 25th November is St Catherine’s Day in France, and it’s a tradition that all unmarried 25-year-old women (or “Catherinettes”) are given elaborate green and yellow hats, which they must wear all day.

 

st Catherine's Day

 

 

  1. Midsummer, or ‘Jaanipaev’ in Estonian, is an excuse for young couples to disappear into the woods to be alone. Later in the evening, they’ll build a bonfire and jump over it. As you do.

 

jumping bonfire

 

 

  1. Whether it’s a family excursion or just one person going on a trip, entire Russian households will sit down for a few minutes before they go to ward against bad luck.

 

family-get-together

 

 

  1. In Dutch tradition you congratulate the entire family on someone’s birthday.

 

birthday

 

 

  1. In June of each year in Castrillo de Murcia, Spain, there is a baby jumping festival!

 

baby jumping

 

 

  1. Saluting magpies – not bizarre at all.

 

magpie

 

 

  1. In Austria, Fingerhakeln – or competitive finger-pulling – is a serious sport.

finger pulling

 

 

  1. Each spring, people flock to Kawasaki, Japan, to celebrate Kanamara Matsuri, aka the “Festival of the Steel Phallus.” Yes you heard us right.

Steel Phallus Festival

 

 

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