I went to Eastern Europe earlier this year and it was a perfect experience! During this very enlightening Eastern European trip, I was thoroughly entertained. Please let me explain. 😉

  • I had a movie night every other night.

My coach invited me to join a fashion retreat in Eastern Europe and one of the assignments was to see a movie which involves some impressive fashion every other night throughout the retreat. It was a very interesting task because it forced me to have fun (I could become anxious easily and couldn’t relax, so I totally needed that)!

I saw these movies during this Eastern European trip:

  1. Annie Hall: In this Woody Allen film, Diane Keaton styled a bunch of her looks using clothes from her own wardrobe. Runway shows and magazines caught on to her loose tailoring, ties and fedoras, and copied her look frequently. I love this movie.
  2. Desperately Seeking Susan: I’m impressed by the 80s fishnet stockings and fingerless lace gloves! In this fashion-pioneering movie, Madonna became a true fashion icon. Incidentally, the thrift shop where the 2 Susans go shopping exists – it’s Love Saves the Day in New York!
  3. The Great Gatsby: I like the 2013 version because it’s just awesome – Prada’s headpieces and flapper dresses on Carey Mulligan are so beautiful. But my coach likes the 1974 version which accurately captured the flapper style of the Jazz Age.
  4. Belle De Jour: As a sexually frustrated housewife, Catherine Deneuve epitomizes the erotically charged, icy femme fatale. Her closet was designed by Yves Saint Laurent – very powerful and seductive. I really love her silk bow blouses, killer patent stilettos and high-waisted pencil skirts.
  5. Love Story: This is my favorite movie during the entire Eastern European trip. Although it has a heart-wrenching storyline, Ali’s preppy closet is a typical American style that I like.
  6. La Dolce Vita: The black dress in this film created one of the most memorable scenes in movie history.
  7. Pretty Woman: I absolutely love the red dress and the brown-and-cream tea dress that Julia Roberts wore to the polo!
  8. Clueless: Knee-length socks and flower necklaces – very inspiring and cute.
  9. High Society: Grace Kelly wore her actual engagement ring for her character’s engagement ring (very generous)! It is said that Helen Rose (the head designer of this movie) created Grace Kelly’s beautiful closet for this movie as well as Grace Kelly’s real-life wedding dress!
  10. Breakfast at Tiffany’s: Who can forget the black satin dress? This is the most iconic movie in Andrey Hepburn’s career.

Well, obviously, this Eastern European trip has lifted my spirits and inspired my fashion choices in big ways.

  • My coach is a very glamorous hostess throughout this Eastern European trip.

In Eastern Europe, throwing a party or a dinner is more about great food, good times and better company instead of the formal and stiff etiquette of previous eras.

In some western countries, dinner parties could be slightly stuffy, so I totally enjoyed the parties in Eastern Europe!

This time, guests just wanted to let their hair down, drink, eat and have some good fun. So, the hostess made a playlist for us & here it is:

  1. Truly, Madly, Deeply (Savage Garden)
  2. I Knew I Loved You (Savage Garden)
  3. Only Time (Enya)
  4. May It Be (Enya)
  5. 2 Become 1 (Spice Girls)
  6. Evergreen (Will Young)
  7. Love is a Matter of Distance (Will Young)
  8. When You Tell Me That You Love Me (Westlife)
  9. Flying Without Wings (West Life)
  10. Say It Isn’t So (Gareth Gates)
  11. Hero (Mariah Carey)
  12. A New Day Has Come (Celine Dion)
  13. That’s the Way It Is (Celine Dion)
  14. I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman (Britney Spears)
  15. Someday I Will Understand (Britney Spears)
  16. Attention (Charlie Puth)

Basically, the hostess’s music was positive and soothing. I loved this playlist so much! The music was certainly one of the highlights in this Eastern European trip. Here is why:

A party should surely finish with dancing, so towards the end of the party, the hostess was playing Charlie Puth’s Attention for us to dance to the music for 50 minutes. That was so wonderful!

  • Think outside the box in terms of drinks.

I tried Prosecco with rose petals rather than champagne and whipped up one of the cocktails with the help of several friends. Espresso martinis are a surefire way to get everybody dancing to the music and make the nonalcoholic drinks very interesting as well. Think an elderflower cordial with sparkling water and fresh mint & hibiscus or rose cordial in infused soda water served with a sprig of rosemary. Giant cubes of ice also added lots of fun to these drinks.

“In Eastern Europe, we have fun with drinks all the time,” says my coach, “Life is short, so I must make every party count!”

Because my coach knew I love tea, she gave me a hot, sweet and milky mug of tea as well. That was very comforting! And I think it’s also a great idea for a very cool afternoon tea party.

As I see it, tea should always be poured from a teapot into a cup, not straight from the kettle. Making a big occasion of afternoon tea is a good way to catch up with friends. It is also a perfect excuse to use those floral teacups which stay hidden away in the cupboard, to be utterly cute, to attempt baking.

During this Eastern European trip, my coach told me that the art of afternoon tea is a tradition which could be dated back to 1840 and the tea is oftentimes served with finger sandwiches and cakes. And it’s very chic to serve tea in mismatched china! My coach even bought a tiered cake stand which was the ideal way to show off her delicacies!

On the elegant cake stand, there were finger sandwiches from beetroot bread, tomato bread and other interesting breads. There were also cupcakes and macarons (various pastel colors).

According to my fashionable coach, the secret to brewing the best tea is to fill the kettle with fresh water which hasn’t been boiled before because reheating water literally reduces the oxygen and changes the taste. Once boiled, swill it around the teapot before adding loose tea. Add the boiling water and leave for about 3 minutes. If we leave it for too long, the tea will stew and taste yucky. You can add some brown sugar and a splash of whole milk to your tea!

Some friends who also went to this Eastern European trip didn’t like tea, and they preferred homemade lemonade, a very refreshing alternative. My coach even served fruity cocktails from teacups! Very eye-opening.

“A sunny afternoon in the garden is the best setting for a tea party in Eastern Europe – that’s the best memory from this Eastern European trip!”