5 Ways To Spend Your Bank Holiday Weekend

Thats right folks the May bank holidays are on the horizon and we can't wait! Whether your looking to relax or get active, we've put together some fun ideas to make the most of the long weekend.
1. Visit an exhibition  
Bank holidays are a great opportunity to get cultured. Why not try being a tourist in your own town and visit the local museum or gallery. If your lucky enough to live near London then head to one of the many great exhibitions currently running, including David Hockney at the Tate and Princess Diana's Fashion Story at Kensington Palace.
2. Get active
Why not rent a bicycle and explore the surrounding area with some friends, or try out a new sport. There's bouldering, ice skating, squash, volleyball... the possibilities are endless!
3. Go on a seaside jaunt
There's nothing quite like the great british seaside! Whether the sun is shining or not, head to the coast and treat yourself to an ice cream by the sea. 🍦  There's plenty going on in Brighton, including Foodies Festival (29th April - 1st May), and Brighton Fringe (5th May - 4th June).
4. Head to the countryside
 The British countryside is the perfect backdrop for a picnic, pack your sandwiches and take your Sunday lunch outdoors! (weather prevailing) 
4. Play host
Staying in is the new going out! Dust off the cookbooks and invite your nearest and dearest over for dinner and some classic boardgames.

Eco Friendly Spring Wishlist

With Earth Day last weekend, its got us thinking about how to be more eco friendly with our shopping habits! Earth Day started in 1970 with the idea to build a healthy sustainable environment, address climate change and protect the earth for future generations. 46 years later its great to see that so many brands still aim to support those efforts.
Minimising our impact on the environment is very important to us here at Maria Allen, so we've put together a spring wish list full of brands that share our passion for sustainability!
1. H&M Conscious Collection, Mesh Shopper // £34.99
H&M Conscious is all about making sustainable fashion choices affordable, attractive and available. Sustainability is a word of action, their mission is to ultimately make fashion sustainable and sustainability fashionable! 
2. Korres
Korres only use biodegradable ingredients, recyclable packaging, and eco-friendly manufacturing practices on all their products (they even use a steam generator to heat their facility, rather than electric heating!).
3. Maria Allen Boutique,  Wooden Layered Triangle Necklace // £31.50
 We're committed to using reclaimed and sustainably sourced wood throughout our collection of jewellery, accessories, gifts and home ware. Much of the wood we use is reclaimed from the local area, close to our studio in lovely Brighton.
4. People Tree, Block Stripe Dress // £90
A pioneer in slow fashion, producing Fair Trade and environmentally sustainable clothing, People Tree partners with artisans and farmers in developing countries to produce stylish, ethical clothing.

5. TOMS, Black Canvas Women's Classics // £34.99
Casual footwear with a conscience; TOMS was created in 2006 by an American traveler
who after meeting children in Argentina, was shocked they had no shoes to protect their feet. W anting to help he created TOMS, a company that would match every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes given to a child in need. 


Top 5 Spring City Breaks

Spring is a lovely time of year to go exploring, so why not make the most out of Easter and the upcoming May bank holidays by turning your long weekend into a city break! With so many great destinations to visit, we've put together our top 5 spring city breaks.
1. Amsterdam, Holland
Spring is arguably the best time to visit this picturesque dutch city. The Tulip festival starts on the 1st April so Easter is a great chance to see the famous Amsterdam tulips and visit the Keukenhof gardens (open from 23 March until 21 May 2017).
 2. Paris, France
Paris looks beautiful in spring, it is the perfect season to wander alongside the canals with a pastry in hand. Easter Weekend in Paris is about welcoming in spring with the church bells ringing throughout Easter Friday, Parisians use the long weekend for relaxing.  Sit outside a café and people-watch or enjoy the sunshine in one of the city's main parks such as  Jardin du Luxembourg or T uileries.
3. Seville, Spain
Spring is when Seville comes alive, the festivities of Holy Week and  Feria take over the flamenco city. In the build up to Easter the streets are filled with colourful parades and Seville's fabulous Feria (spring fair) takes place 2nd-7th May in 2017, the perfect time to visit.
4. Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen is fast becoming one of Europe's leading city break destinations.
Spring is a great time to explore this compact city on foot or bicycle, and if visiting over Easter make sure to try påskefrokost or Easter lunch, which consists of smørrebrød (open sandwiches) piled high with a whole range of different toppings - delicious! 
5. Rome, Italy
This ancient city is best explored on foot, take your time to experience Rome's history and you'll find something beautiful around every corner. Holy Week begins on Palm Sunday with a mass at the Vatican and a large procession on Good Friday where the ritual of the Stations of the Cross is re-enacted by the city's famous colosseum.
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