Heroine In Heels is a top 10 London lifestyle blog aimed at the modern day woman. Covering things to do in London, restaurant reviews, hotels as well as where to go in the world when you want to escape London

Heroine In Heels is a top 10 London lifestyle blog aimed at the modern day woman. Covering things to do in London, restaurant reviews, hotels as well as where to go in the world when you want to escape London

I had been to Switzerland once before, to Zurich for a work trip. I didn’t really see much of Zurich, unless you count the inside of an office block and the hotel bar. So my experience of Switzerland was one of business and corporate routine. I knew I had to discover what else Switzerland had to offer, so I hopped on a plan to the southern area of Ticino. Although my first true Swiss experience was a little more Italian…
Until a few months ago I believed Switzerland was French-German. What I failed to realise was that it is in fact French-German-Italian. Ticino is an area in Switzerland whose mother tongue is Italian. The influences are visible, from the housing style to the food. Unlike Zurich where it’s hearty sausages and potatoes on the menu, here is it pasta and lots and lots of fresh bread.

The only time I’ve been to Italy was on a school trip to Rome. We ate generic food like chips in the hotel every night, and it was about 10 years go so I don’t remember too much. However from what I imagine Italy to be like, Ticino ticks all those boxes, with a little more. Think Italian flare, with Swiss efficiency.  Best of both worlds. 

I arrived at the hotel mid-afternoon, only to practically swoon when I saw it. All my romanticised visions were coming true.

How utterly gorgeous is this?

Giardino Ascona is the most beautiful, relaxing and almost magical hotel is Ascona.

As soon as I arrive, I was offered a drink in the garden, only to find myself with guests.  

After spending a good while just being enchanted by my surroundings, I padded upstairs to my new bedroom.

A gorgeous mix of country and Mediterranean style. 

After a quick freshen up, it was time to explore. It was quite late in the afternoon, but there's always time for wine.

Just round the corner from the hotel is Terreni alla Maggia, a farm and vineyard, producing some of the finest wines in Switzerland. I have never thought of Swiss wine before, but let me tell you. Ticino wines... wow. Over my next few blog posts. I'm going to be talking about wine alot.

The farm and vineyard is open to wander around, and as my first impression of the landscape, it gave amazing views. Ticino stole my heart in less than an hour of arriving,

As well as wine, they produce cereal, fruit and also Switzerland only home grown rice.

The shop sells the most amazing produce, and the wine is really reasonably priced too.

Oh and if you are nice, you might get to sample some.

After picking up some goodies for my friends back home, it was almost time for dinner.

The hotel has two restaurants, Aphrodite and Ecco. Ecco actually a 2 Michelin starred restaurant. We were booked in, but sadly that day the kitchen suffered a flood. However when Aphrodite has this view, to be honest, I really didn't mind!

Remember my last post about cold soup? I seem to can't get away from it. But like I said before, it's a grower.

The first course arrived and I have to say it looked delicious. Prawns, coconut, avocado, paprika salad. It was delicious. Such an fresh burst of flavours, and me, Laura Hyatt who hates avocado (I know, I know) actually enjoyed them.

After devouring the starter, the main arrived. Lamb with may look like crackling, but is in fact fried lasgana sheets. I know, right, not what I expected, but boy did it work. 

Finally dessert came. Rhubarb cheesecake. I adore rhubarb so much. 

I have to say, the food was delicious, and very not Swiss in my eyes, which is the beauty of Ticino. It's such a wonderful, almost hidden gem. An area of Switzerland that is so unique, with an amazing identity and culture quite unlike the rest of it's country. 

Soon night fell and it was of to bed, eager to fall asleep just so I could start a whole new day of exploring. More adventures tomorrow on the blog. 

*A big thank you to SWISS airlines for providing my flights. SWISS (swiss.com) flies to Switzerland from the UK from £55 one-way’ that would be ideal.


Today I've got a quick little post for you. I promise I'll be back on form soon, there has just been alot on my plate recently and I haven't been able to get content out to you guys as frequently as I would like.

However in the mean time I wanted to tell you all about Laurent-Perrier's summer special menus across London. Laurent-Perrier is my favorite champagne. Although me and Dan bought a magnum at New Year only to discover that even our love for it couldn't muster enough to drink a magnum for 2. Let down's aren't we. 

The summer menu's are a range of 12 set menus across 12 of London’s hottest restaurants, all with a glass of Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé. So I popped along to German Gymnasium to try one of the menus. 

Over the weekend me and Helen (she's redoing her blog this week, so check her out) decided to have a girly weekend. Dinner, gossip, sleepover, tequila... so I thought I'd dress for the occasion and go with something I'm sure the girls from SATC would be proud of. A big, striped full skirt. 
Tips for working from home

Working from home. I never really had much experience of it up until about 3 months ago. OK sure, I did the blog on the side and I still had emails, meetings and work to do, but actually spending my whole day at home behind a desk? I have to admit it took some getting used to. I went a little mental with being in my house all day, and I found myself so distracted, I was actually less productive at the blog than when I was working a 10 hour day at work and then doing the blog at night. 

However after 3 months of trial and error I think I've got a flow going. So here's what I learnt and my top tips for working from home to keep you sane.

Have a structured day routine

Working form home can be tough because there is no formal structure or boundaries. Sure, this is also the beauty of it. If you need to put the washing on whilst you write that essay then go right ahead, we all go to have clean clothes. However suddenly I found myself getting up at mid day, watching TV and faffing about, because, well I could. So stop right there if that sounds like you.

Set a structured routine. No one says you have to do 9-5. Personally I work best in the evening. Right now its 11:06pm. But carve out your working hours and dedicate that time for your work, because otherwise you'll have deadlines looming and you'll regret that second episode of Friends.  I actually carve my day out into 3 chunks. 3 hours in the morning, 3 hours in the afternoon and 3 in the evening/ night. No one says you have to work 15 hour work days, unlike some of the "bragging" I see online, it's not a competition. Plus has no one read the 4 hour work week?

Dress for the occasion

Under no circumstances sit in your PJs all day. I repeat, do no sit in your jammies. I'm a big believer if you just sit in the same clothes all day, you won't be out of your 'down time' routine, and you won't be in the right frame of mind. I'm not saying put on a suit, but get washed and dressed and you'll be ready to face the day. 

Plan ahead

My old job back in the city was quite a reactive job. I logged on in the morning and see what had occurred over night in the US and stuff would happen throughout the day that I would deal with.  Sure, I had things that were on going and lasted more than a day, but when it came to doing my blog no one was going to email me to tell me something needed doing. I had to remember when deadlines were, negotiate on my own without a manager to back me up and so on. I needed to make a list of everything I needed to do the next day, so when I sat down in the morning, I had it all laid out for me to just tick off. If I don't finish something, it goes to the top of the next days list.

Take a break... or two

Working and living in the same space can be quite claustrophobic, especially if you live in a tiny flat like I do. It's sort of like a studio but the kitchen and bathroom are separate. This means it's so hard to switch off, and sometimes if I really get into my work, and the fridge is well stocked, I can find I haven't left the room for days. 

So I always now make sure I take at least 2 breaks. One at lunch, even if it's just to walk around the block, and then one around 6pm, again just to get some fresh air. 

Switch off

Whilst some people think that working from home if just a euphemism for slacking, it's actually a statistical fact that people work longer than if they were in the office. It's 6pm and someone emails you, sure I can just answer that now, one less thing in the morning. Soon that one email turns into 5 and a quick update of that proposal you sent through. It can be so hard to switch off, especially if your work if like mine and it's the online world. Whilst I might not be the best at this because of my work pattern of nights, I do move away from the computer and just go do something else. Sure, I get that guilty feeling too. But it's healthy, and also no one wants to just work all day, every day. So log off that computer at the end of a hard days work and put your feet up and think nothing of emails and deadlines. You deserve it. 


If you found this helpful, please do share. Sharing is caring after all. Also, I recently went to a blogger co-working day with Dell and The Apartment, to celebrate the launch of the Dell XPS One laptop, which was all about working from home and freelancing, so check out the video I made on the subject. 

My Med Sailors trip was coming to an end. Soon I was going back to living on dry land, and not worrying if my possessions would still be on the counters in the morning. However before I departed, it was time to see out the trip in style. With some Croatian wine tasting in Stari Grad, Hvar. 

After sailing pretty steadily for the last few days with the motor running, we were all in a false sense of security. Lounging on deck with a glass or two of wine, baking in the sun, we almost forgot that this boat could sail.

Well with the wind picking up, we were given a rude awakening. It was time to turn off the engine and learn to deal with a rocky boat.

After getting used to sleeping with a slight rock at night, it was the first morning at sea. We set sail for the ex-military island of Vis. Used as a strategic base during the war, it's been largely untouched by tourism.

The sun was out in fall force so we all decided to lounge about on deck. Well who knows when us Brits will see sun again?

After a 4 hour coach ride from Dubrovnik to Split, and a mishap where I missed my pickup, I finally made it down to Trogir marina for the second leg of my Croatian adventure. For this part I was joining the good ship Marot for a week of sailing and island hopping with Med Sailors.

Last week I told you all about my amazing Dubrovnik hotel find. Well, after unpacking, it was time to explore Dubrovnik itself. Or more accurately, the Old Town.