Tis the Season to be Jolly, it’s Countdown to Christmas at The Joey Journal. It’s never too early to start ticking off those gift lists. Explore our hand-picked unique presents where you can find something for everyone. We’ve got some cracking present ideas on our site and new brands have been added for Christmas. Shop our Edit of handpicked Christmas Gifts – because we know he’ll absolutely love them!
Disclaimer: #AD Some items featured have been gifted as press samples to review and I would never promote something I would not otherwise use myself or recommend to others to ensure the feedback I have given is honest. All prices quoted in this article are subject to change by the brands at anytime mentioned here and some links contain affiliate links which I may make a small commission off the sale of items with no extra cost to you
Discover the path from Fashion to Wine in Tuscany’s wineries, vineyards and Prato The Textile City.
First day in Italy today, “Ciao—Buongiorno” from me and Jenny after two hours sleep getting straight off of a plane to see the picturesque leaning tower of Pisa was very cool indeed. As a matter of fact it’s known as one of the seven wonders of the medieval world believe it or not, but it’s true. I’m so glad to be here and have the opportunity to see it during my press trip to Europe before exploring Prato then onto Milan for Men’s Fashion Week.
The sky was lit up bright blue and felt like spring time rather than winter season. It was about 12 degrees when we got there so we’re able to sit outside with our pasta and pizza and enjoy taking in the atmosphere. We had the most wonderful lunch. Pasta and wine made in the town we visited was authentically Italian just the way I like it.
Since being in Italy over the long weekend I literally consumed my body weight in carbs being mostly pasta and wine, it was so delicious as everything here in Italy is very freshly prepared.
I was so happy to be in comfy clothes this day as we had just left the Pisa airport and still had our suit cases on us both with hand luggage but we managed it fine. The restaurant was called Ristorante Pizzeria Duomo. They did gluten free pasta! which Jenny my friend couldn’t believe as she was so overwhelmed by it and food options. When they make it in Italy it’s just sooo much better.
A litre of wine was only €8. Such a good price … especially if you’re wanting a rather chilled relaxing afternoon lunch to watch the people go by. After all that traveling – it was so worth it having some time to ourselves. The staff were really kind and accommodating I really recommend this place if you’re ever going to visit Pisa for a day trip excursion on route to Florence via Prato.
THE BEST HOTELS IN TUSCANY
ART HOTEL MUSEO
During Day one of our press trip – from Pisa to Prato we stayed at @art_hotel_museo. The whole hotel was so elegant with character and contemporary themed just like an art gallery housed on each level.
It had a different theme on each floor. It had the Art room. We literally took loads of pictures! I loved this place so much I definitely want to come back in summer and try out their outdoor swimming pool as it’s closed during the winter months. I can’t recommend this enough! If you’re going to Prato Italy via Florence for Pitti Uomo then definitely book this hotel – you won’t be disappointed. Not forgetting it’s fantastic location is great too for a day trip to 15 minutes by train to “Firenze” which is Florence in Italian just so you know.
This wonderful 4 Star hotel located 1.6 miles from the centre of Prato feel more like a 5 Star hotel as it boast luxury facilities including an outdoor swimming pool, classic to deluxe room suites and wellness spa with excellent customer service at Art Hotel Museo. Standard Hotel Rates apply – per night for 1 person only staying in a Classic Room Only Rate is 81 Euro’s and Rate with Breakfast Included 85.50 Euro’s.
The elegantly presented hotel suites with contemporary interiors have unique art work hanging in each room which are very spacious clean with minimal details.
Extra’s include a fully stocked mini bar, a dresser with flat screen television and oh wait the best part the walk in wardrobe closet every fashionista’s goal even more storage space to keep clothes and prep outfits so it feels more like home made all the difference.
The modern sleek bathroom as shower room, bathtub combi, bede with well equipped mod cons was up to the highest standards one would expect from a 4 Star Hotel unrivaled to other hotels I’ve stayed in before felt very luxurious indeed. With free WiFi access, the elegant rooms feature air conditioning and most have a flat-screen TV. Their bathrooms are complete with a hairdryer and toiletries.
Things to try and Experience
PITTI IMMAGINE UOMO
“Prato is a must see hidden gem 15 minutes from Firenze and convenient for Pitti Uomo Florence Fashion Week the home of classic Menswear, Celebrating fine craftsmanship and art of tailoring. This event is held twice a year in January and June.
THE PRATO TEXTILE MUSEUM
Apart from the Art, Culture, and Gastronomy Prato is also renowned for the Textile Museum & Lazzerini library are dedicated to both historic & contemporary textiles in a 19th-century mill. It’s a well known fact that Museo de Tessuto is one of the well recognised European Institutions dedicated to studying, preserving and promotion of ancient, historical and contemporary textiles housing an archive of textiles from Italy, Europe and the rest of world. It’s definitely well worth the visit if you want to find out more about the European routes of Industrial heritage and the intricate part it played in the history of Prato and its significance in the worlds textile industry.
So, just how beautiful are the side streets of Italy that I was just so overwhelmed by it’s charm. This photo was taken by my friend Jenny in the street where we dined for lunch at one of the Italian Trattoria’s – known as typical Italian Restaurants. We were just a stone’s throw away from the Leaning Tower of Pisa it was well worth the visit on route to our Hotel in Prato near Florence which was spontaneous on the day. I’m so glad we had the chance to make the most of our first day in Italy doing a bit of sightseeing while we can in the short space of time.
We dined for lunch at one of the Italian Trattoria’s – known as Restaurants Italy.
DESIGNER LABELS & SHOPPING
GIGLI SHOPPING MALL
For those who enjoy a spot of shopping the Gigli Shopping Mall Prato’s largest shopping mall is a 10 minutes taxi journey away from high street to designer labels Zara, H&M to Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein and more.
You will find here a wide mix of retail stores and eateries in a bustling shopping complex with whimsical accents on Via San Quirico, 165, 50013 Campi Bisenzio FI, Italy
Myself and Jenny just couldn’t help ourselves as we were both tempted by the January Sales and to shop for statement staples to match our outfits ready for Milan Fashion Week.
It’s very near Prato and Florence, great if you’re looking to find good quality stores with good prices in Tuscany, this is the place to be.
DISCOVER A TASTE OF CULTURE THROUGH CUISINE
OPERA’ ARTE & RESTUARANT – ART HOTEL MUSEO
One of the best things about staying in a hotel in the country you’re visiting is to sample their local food and wine which means more pasta and wine for me to try out and taste. The restaurant’s wide choice of wine selection on display showcases a library bookcase is every wine sommeliers dream with all the Chianti to satisfy discerning clientele just for you keen avid wine lovers.
Art Hotel Museo The maître d‘ hôtel head waiter, were so accommodating to us it made our stay very special indeed and look forward to return soon. I forgot to tell them that Jenny was gluten free before arriving and straight away they were able to serve Jenny hot Gluten Free bread & pasta in Italian ‘Sensi Glutine’ . I also had a selection of salmon, seafood, liver and pizza known as pinsa from Roma cooked differently.
I loved this as I don’t eat fresh shellfish on a regular basis so this was lovely treat for me and so healthy too. For a taste of authentic Tuscan cuisine I recommend the Pasta Dish with a twist Tortello of Val Bisenzio with wild boar ragu goes down well with a glass of Chianti red. Their wine taste so exquisite and this was made in the region we were staying in Tuscany.
An extensive breakfast buffet is available every morning serving an array of fresh fruit, cold cut meats, fresh pastry’s, cereal and more.
A variety of cold and hot beverages from fresh juices to tea and italian coffee too is a great to way to get your mornings off to a good start each day.The Art Restaurant serves authentic Tuscan specialities, along with classic Italian recipes from the Menu beginning with Starters, Pasta, Rice to Main Courses to side dishes. Room Service orders from the food menu option is also available from 4 Euro’s. After dinner why not head over to The American bar is the ideal place for a cocktail or local liqueur which my favourites are Aperol Spritz or Campari and relax on the comfy sofa’s or at the bar to unwind in the evenings. We wanted the full Italian experience as it was great to visit other part’s of Italy during our Press Trip over the 4 day weekend before heading to Milan.
Guests can enjoy free access to a partner well-equipped fitness centre, set 100 yards away. Staff are available 24 hours a day and can recommend sights and restaurants nearby.
HOW TO GET THERE
Flying into Tuscany: main airports in Pisa and Florence. Tuscany has two international airports, the Galileo Galilei International Airport in Pisa and Firenze-Peretola Airport in Florence serves both Europe including connecting international destinations.
From the U.K Pisa is easily accessed by a short haul flight journey duration of 2 hour and 5 minutes from London Stanstead with Ryanair and cost approximately £ 123.98 Return which is fantastic value. You can always rely on Ryanair for competitive price and great customer service with a warm welcome from it’s friendly staff who are always very helpful.
Airport Transfer’s from Pisa Airport into the City Centre I would suggest taking a Taxi outside the Airport as it’s the easier option than taking public transport and cost approx 20 Euro’s. Mainland Treno train services from Pisa Centrale Stazione are available and run hourly via Firenze Santa Maria to Prato Centrale Stazione or direct services run throughout intervals daily depending on the train schedules timetable.
For more information and booking enquiries on Flights to Pisa & Hotel Reservations including the Hotel Restaurant at Art Hotel Museo Prato Italy, please visit
Disclosure: #AD A huge thank you to Art Hotel Museo for hosting me and for providing a wonderful, stay in Prato. As always, all opinions are my own and I will never promote something I don’t personally use and believe in, regardless of who foots the bill. Also I would like to Thank ryanair.com for sponsoring my return flights itinerary between Pisa, Milan and London during Camera Moda Milano Men’s Fashion Week and to both companies for making this trip possible. Please note prices quoted in this article will be subject to change by the companies mentioned e.g. ryanair.com and Art Hotel Museo.
Some of the above links are affiliate links and I will earn a tiny percentage of the sale if you purchase through them at no extra cost to you. Thanks for supporting The Joey Journal!
Merry Christmas guys!, I just wanted to remind you that the countdown to Christmas begins less than 3 weeks away and if like me you’re still hunting for the ideal gifts as presents I’ve come across these amazing Christmas gifts set from Ted Baker London. Just the other day I had the pleasure of receiving a gifted parcel from the brand and what a surprise it was being so close to my Birthday last weekend which made my day. Ted Baker unveils their exclusive Christmas Gift sets for the Festive Season at Boots UK available to buy now in store or online.
Design led, on trend and highly giftable everyday treats that lead to No Ordinary Experience.
I’m a great fan of their menswear and lifestyle products too which includes also grooming and accessories.
I recently discovered the brand also has various standalone Barber Shop’s Ted’s Grooming room where you can experience firsthand the finest grooming by Master Barbers such as authentic prestigious Turkish barbering skills inspired by quintessential British style. I’m very keen to try this out as I’ve heard you will enjoy the best haircut in London to Traditional Wet Shaves. Ted’s Grooming Room offers gift vouchers, Hair products, gift certificates and more to satisfy even the most dandy gentry debonair about town.
Expect and invest in fine new formulations at Ted’s Grooming Room that burst with active ingredients’ including making a long lasting impression with Ted’s invigorating signature cologne perfected in London and inspired by Turkish aftershave.
Top image: Ted Baker Travel & Grooming Range This image: Flight of Fancy Christmas Gift Set RRP £18
It’s a good job then that Ted Baker has released its Festive Gift Set’s just in time for Christmas and my favourite pick from the limited edition range exclusive to Boot’s UK has to be their ‘Flight of Fancy’ Men’s Grooming Kit. What I love about this range is that this gift set comes equipped with everything a Ted clientele needs, including a manicure set to keep you perfectly groomed on your travels.
In addition the set comes complete with graphite black hair & body wash plus matching fragrant body spray that has an invigorated scent with aromas of enticing smoky spiced blend of pink pepper, tobacco and rich cedarwood for the man on the go.
The Eagle illustration on the packaging cleverly suggest it’s a gift set for made for travel as you can see where flight of fancy gets its name from. It’s definitely for those who love to jet set and travel on vacation either for business or pleasure making it the perfect travel companion as an addition to refresh your grooming kit.
Ted Baker began life as shirt maker during the late 1980’s in the UK as quintessentially British Brand with its presence in over 380 stores and concessions all around the world. I would definitely say that Ted Baker’s Lifestyle Collection should be part of every discerning man’s lifestyle from his wardrobe to essential grooming routine from distinct clothing collection to accessories to dress yourself or your home.
Make Ted Baker a must have style statement for your bathroom this Christmas, with design led, on trend prints and fashion inspired colour pallet. I have to say that trying on the men’s grooming ranges deliver both formulations and compelling fragrances with a contemporary edge taking the lead from fine fragrance.
To find out more about Ted Baker please visit their website and social media handles below.
Disclaimer: Many Thanks to Ted Baker for kindly gifting me with their latest Christmas Gift Sets for Men exclusively available to buy now at Boots e.g Flight of Fancy – Ted Baker Gift Set £ 18. All prices quoted in this article review are subject to change by Boots plc. All opinions will be my own and I will never promote products I otherwise would not use myself as I would like to give my honest opinions and feedback on products.
As you maybe aware it’s almost time for Halloween as the first thing that comes to mind is ‘what’s you’re favourite scary movie’ or in this case it’s food and snack ideas to eat while celebrating All Hallow’s Eve the day of the dead in many different cultures around the world.
Be Scared or Prepared this Halloween with Swizzels
Halloween falls on the 31st of October where both kids and adults of all ages will partake in the fun activities such as Trick or Treating, wearing sometimes silly but amusing costumes and attending friends Halloween Parties. Some of my most fond memories growing up were eating sweets and staying up late on Halloween watching cult Horror Genre Classics such as The Halloween Movie Franchise, Friday 13th to Nightmare on Elm Street if you fancied staying in to celebrate with fun food bits and take out delivery food.
But, whether you choose to stay in or not don’t forget to have some snacks at hand to last you til the end of the movie or the Halloween party for those of you that are Celebrating the end of this month. Halloween party food often consist of fun sweet treats and other Halloween themed food but I wanted to re-kindle what was the most popular sweets I reminisce from my childhood growing up before pic’n mix. In fact some of my most favourite sweets were often found in glass jars of my local news agent. In case you’re wondering my choice would be Swizzels from their drumstick lolly’s to refreshers and who could forget the love hearts are still an absolute British classic that’s been around since 1929.
With reference to the un-dead when ghouls and ghost come back to earth on Halloween, my love for Swizzel sweets will never die, because these taste just sooo good especially at parties when I attended recently the Swizzel’s Halloween Campaign Party launching their new vegan sweets range as well as all my classic favourites. I just have to tell you all about the event and how it actually went during the celebration where the crowd from bloggers, influencers to the press all came down to enjoy the inspired spooktacular pumpkin syrup cocktails and sin and tonic drinks all served with scrumptious canapés during the fun evening.
Swizzel’s Halloween Campaign Party launching their new vegan sweets range as well as all my classic favourites.
The best part of the entertainment were live zombie actor’s in character lurking in the dark which made cool photo ops for social media and insta stories GIFs.
It just had to be done. One more thing, it get’s even better as there was even a Tarot Card reader present who could tell the future, to a coffin full of sweets with a tomb stone which fogged up with smoke using dry ice using water which was pretty cool special affects to add to the ambience of the party. Wow!!!!what a great idea!, anyway I think I’ll have to try that one at home next time. Oh and the best part to end the night was being gifted lot’s of sweets by the Swizzel’s team based in Manchester I had the best time celebrating with you guys in preparation for my Halloween. I’ve just been down my local supermarket where you can fully stock up on Swizzel Sweets this Halloween Night!!! so don’t forget yours in case you want to share with your little monsters at home ha ha.
To find out more about the Swizzel Sweet’s please visit
Disclosure: Many Thanks to Swizzel Sweets for inviting me to attend their #Scaredorprepared Halloween Campaign Launch party in London and for gifting me with product. All opinions will be my own as I only promote things with I’m a fan of to give my honest opinion and feedback on products I choose to review.
I’m Joey Award Winning U.K. Men's Lifestyle Blogger, Grooming and Travel writer based in London. Ensembly Challenged Gent and Discerning Tastemaker embracing the perks of a Digital Nomad Lifestyle in the New Normal 24/7.
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