Hi 2DA friends!
We are back from our month-long European excursion and ready to take on this summer by storm. We have a new line of clothing (launched for pre-order on our site), tons of new products, and plenty of pop-ups planned for this summer. Stay tuned for dates and our schedule so you know where to find us.
We want to share the highlights of our trip with you! We took a copious amount of photos, documenting literally every moment of our trip so we won't forget the good or bad! Travelling and living out of a suitcase for a month does sound like the dream (and please don't get us wrong, it was fabulous) but we are definitely tired and ready to have some home-cooked 2 Dirty Aprons style meals and cuddle time with our furry friends!
We started the trip in France, where most of our inspiration comes from with our 2DA line of products. This year we skipped Paris and headed straight for the south- a city called Montpellier was our first stop. We were absolutely blown away by this coastal city. It felt like a mini Paris (much more walkable) but still had the same Haussmannian architecture feel to it. Quiet streets with adorable (and delicious) cafes, and squares where people gather for Apéro, which seems to last all day in France.
We then headed northeast to a smaller town called Uzès, right on the border of the Provence region. We stayed for a week and absolutely loved our time here. The town has windy streets (we frequently got lost), art studios, countless restaurants, and small boutiques. It also has the biggest market we have ever seen- on Saturday morning over 200 vendors pop-up - everything from food, flowers, clothes, and antiques! This is where we did our SS23 collection photoshoot, check out our new line now. We guess we didn't look too professional as we were posing on the cobbled streets in front of patinaed doorways, a man came out of his B&B and offered us to use his garden as our backdrop! Thank you to La Maison de la Bourgade for the beautiful setting. Uzès is very close to other quaint villages, our favourite being Saint-Quentin-la-Poterie, with over 30 pottery studios to explore!
We met up with our two boys the following week and stayed in an area just north of Narbonne, close to the Spanish border. Packed with vineyards and stunning hikes there is no lack of gorgeous scenery here. Close by, we visited the medieval fortified city Carcassonne. This city literally felt like it was out of a movie - filled with gift shops stocked with the well-known board game Carcassonne (not so much 2DA inspo here!). We also had a memorable day tasting wine on the Mediterranean in a stunning town called Collioure. Flanked by mountains tiered with vineyards, this was really a beautiful spot.
We made our way across the border into Spain- both of our first times there and loved every second of it. The style, the architecture, and the landscape. We started in Girona and arrived accidentally during the most popular time of the year- the infamous Gerona Flower Festival. The shops in Spain are layered with bright and pastel colours, block-printed items, and dried flowers (seems to be a trend this season).
We then headed to the coast, and while the weather still wasn't the hottest, we spent time at the beach and hiked across the rocky trails of Costa Brava. Our base was Aiguaclara, a stunning boutique hotel in Begur- 10 rooms, each with a totally unique feel and very cool décor. Condé Nast reviewed it as "colour-pop colonial: mismatched velvet chairs, geometric patterned floors, metro-tiled bathrooms, fairy lights, and brass chandeliers." We spent our evenings at authentic tapas bars, a concept that we have never encountered before this; self-serve bars filled with all sorts of food. Each item has wooden sticks in them, and at the end of your meal, you tally up how many 'sticks' of food you ate, and that is how the price of your tapas meal is added up! Brilliant and awesome experience (cue: another business idea for a Toronto resto).
After a few days in quiet towns, we moved to the bustling city, Barcelona, filled with amazing restos and big stores. Our fav was the Mercado de La Boqueria, a one-stop-shop marketplace where you can buy fresh groceries, get a snack, or elbow your way through a crowd for a table at a restaurant. Another meal not to forget was at La Balabusta- an open-concept kitchen using ingredients they find at the market every day (save this name for your next trip to Barcelona and thank us later, the hummus was to die for).
The final leg of our trip brought us to Lisbon. (Insert getting tired emoji) Tiled everything and Pasteise de Nata on every steep and hilly block. Please refer to this video of us 4 years ago trying to replicate the Portuguese delicacy... The ceramic shops here were fabulous and we were inspired every time we turned a corner.
Thank you for tuning into our Europe adventures and brand inspiration trip post! We hope you enjoyed and let us know if you have any questions or want recommendations <3