Thinking ShinyThoughts with Londoner Lucy Nicholls

***Rachel Khoo would like to thank all the inspiring people who helped make the Khoollect studio a hive of creativity. Although the Khoollect studio’s doors have now closed, you can keep up with Rachel’s newest adventures on and on Rachel’s Instagram and Facebook pages – and, continue to enjoy the Khoollect website’s stories and recipes, which will remain available.***

In his much-loved children’s book The Twits, Roald Dahl wrote, ‘if you have good thoughts it will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.’ If you’ve come across Lucy Nicholls and her vibrantly coloured blog ShinyThoughts, you might agree that this quote sums our interviewee up quite nicely. With summer rolling into London, we asked this sunshine-loving blogger about her favourite things to do in the city. Here’s what she told us:

Tell us about ShinyThoughts…where did it all begin?

ShinyThoughts was born in 2009 (it’s seven years old this month!) and was created purely as a creative outlet and a way of getting myself in the university mindset.

I was going to be studying Fashion Promotion in October of that year and I’d spotted that many courses had a blog-making module in the first year. Being the competitive girl I am, I thought I’d get a head start and get into the groove early! I’d always been into making things so documenting the process on a personal blog (in those days it was not featuring me) was a natural progression into the internet age.

Shiny Thoughts 01

What do you love most about what you do? And what are the challenges?

I love the experiences I’m able to enjoy in order to create content for ShinyThoughts. I count myself incredibly lucky to be offered the opportunities to see and try so many things thanks to my blog. I’m often invited to go to places or am given new things (for example a five-day trip to Morocco to experience its culture, or a new mattress to describe how the nightmare mattress-shopping process can be made easy) for the purpose of creating content and I find it incredibly inspiring and insightful.

The other thing I love about blogging is just creating beautiful photos. That and being able to create new friendships. All my closest friends are now bloggers! It’s crazy to think how different my life would be without my blog, and the experiences and people I’ve gathered around me as a result of it.

We enjoy seeing your adventures in London via your blog and Instagram. What are your favourite areas of this city to spend a weekend?

Ooh tricky! There’s still so much of London I haven’t yet seen, but the places I love are mainly in the North (where I live). They include Alexandra Palace, Hampstead and Highgate villages, Crouch End and Camden Town (which I’ve always had a soft spot for as my boyfriend worked in the Lock and I down the road). Then there’s Primrose Hill and the colourful streets in Kentish Town, it feels like home so I love it!

As things heat up, where do you enjoy spending time during a London summer?

I’m making it my mission to explore more of Hampstead Heath this year! I only just discovered the marvels of Kenwood House and now I’m plotting to take a picnic, friends and frisbees to the gardens on a balmy Saturday afternoon and pretend the house in the distance is ours. As for bars, the view from the Ace Hotel balcony is a pretty good one and well, you can’t beat Skygarden for a skyline.

Can you recommend any alfresco eateries to dine at in London?

Head to St. James’s Park and feast on a brilliant brunch or lunch menu at Inn The Park then see if you can catch a look at the changing of the guards!

It may not strictly be alfresco but if you can grab one of the two outside tables at Snaps and Rye in Notting Hill then that counts, right? I adore London’s only dedicated Danish restaurant where they serve divine brunches and the freshest smorgasbord in their beautiful white and red cafe. Sit, chill and watch the beautiful people stroll in and out.

Where’s your go-to picnicking park or favourite outdoor space in this lovely green city?

I had a great picnic in Clapham Common once (head to Tart for the most amazing chunky home made quiches and take them to the common in picnic baskets) but watch out for frisbee-eating trees! I often default to Ally Pally for the view, but the wind can sometimes get the better of you. Go to one of their outdoor parties instead and dance the evening away in the outdoor courtyard.

Shiny Thoughts 02

What are you most looking forward to this season?

This season I’m looking forward to grabbing my picnic basket and making the most of summer with friends. I say it every year but I have to make the most of my balcony at home. It may only have room for around three people on it but the view down over Stratford is too good not to have a party in celebration of!

We love your colourful style … as a fashion-savvy blogger, can you offer us any tips for dressing for the warmer seasons?

This season has undoubtedly been the celebration of the shoulder with elasticated Bardot-style tops reigning even further across the country than last summer. As for bottoms, loose-leg culottes still lead the way (so. comfortable.) or opt for a raw hem cropped jean if you can’t part with your denim. For shoes, go for espadrilles or sandals embellished with pom-poms or tassels, and then show your cheeky side with accessories or jackets adorned with pins and iron-on patches.

What’s next for ShinyThoughts?

I’m off to Portugal for my best friend’s wedding! There will be bloggers galore, so expect it to be breaking the internet (we like to think!). After that there’s another blogger trip to Copenhagen that my friends and I are planning. We can’t wait to Instagram the colourful houses!

In between travelling there will be lots of outfits, places to eat in London and some fun, bright posts about the products and pieces I’m loving the most. Come follow!

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Sonya Gellert

Sonya Gellert is a contributing writer and associate editor for Khoollect. She lives in Sydney....

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Follow Lucy’s adventures in London and beyond on her blog, Snapchat (shinylulu), Instagram and Twitter.