Monday, 9 July 2012

Time to go back to Daniel Galvin

“Your hair has lifted in the front,” said Liz Edmonds, colour director at Daniel Galvin, as she carefully examined my faded tresses. “It needs to be richer. I’m going to put some darker pieces through it. You will find as your highlights grow out, the condition will get better and your colour will hold better.”

Colour correction is a lengthy business, yet it takes so little time for a colourist to get it wrong. They move on to the next client and you have to live with it for weeks or as in my case, months.

Even though my hair had lost its lustre and gone a tad too light, it hadn’t turned the colour of a pumpkin. I know that I still have a few sessions to go to get my hair perfect, but I am quietly confident that Liz will get there in the end.

As Liz started work on my transformation, we started to talk about how you should adapt your hair colour with the seasons.

“Your skin tone changes from winter to summer. In the chillier months it tends to be ashier, so your hair needs to be slightly warmer. At this time of year, generally, you can go a little bit cooler and lighter,” says Liz. “Your colourist should look at your colour each time you go to the salon and adjust it.”

Final result

The more time you spend outside in the summer, the more likely your hair is to fade, unless you cover it up all the time. Also the heat can rob your hair of moisture, Liz recommends using heated appliances as little as possible. Use accessories to liven up your hair. If you are on holiday, fresh flowers look gorgeous on a hot, balmy night.

Beautiful hazelnut locks

Liz suggested that I try Daniel Galvin Salon Clear Gloss (£24) to keep my tresses looking glossy. I now keep a bottle of this miracle worker in my bathroom to use when my hair loses its just done look. There is nothing worse than dull, dyed hair.

My final result was beautiful hazelnut locks. My hair looked more luxurious and brought the colour of my eyes out.

Afterwards, I met up with a friend who remembered the days when my hair resembled a bag of mixed peppers. She told me: "This colourist has made your hair look so natural, nobody would guess, it’s been coloured.”  That was music to my ears!

By Daralyn Danns

Daniel Galvin (

Friday, 6 July 2012

Destination Antwerp, Flanders

Courtesy of Tourism Flanders

Antwerp is like opening a perfectly-crafted box of artisan Belgium chocolates, delve in and, once your tastes buds are excited with rich, succulent mouth-watering flavours, it’s hard to put it down. 

Start unwrapping the eclectic layers of this city, an elegant fusion of old and new, a shopper’s paradise, a renowned diamond centre and a foodies’ heaven, peppered with art galleries and museums and you’ll be hooked.

Historic Antwerp

I arrived in Antwerp’s historic centre as the late afternoon amber sun bathed the ornate facades of its 16th and 17th century buildings. The narrow cobbled streets, bursting with bars, restaurants chocolate shops and quaint boutiques, surrounding the Gothic-spired cathedral, begged to be roamed. Standing in the Grote Markt, I could almost sense the city’s golden years.

Nowadays, the city is a favourite with fashionistas, thanks to the Antwerp Six. This group of fashion designers including Dries Van Noten and Ann Demeulemeester, graduated from Antwerp’s fashion department (part of the Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Arts) in the 1980s and galvanised the fashion scene. Recent graduates include Raf Simons, who recently bagged the top job at Dior, and Peter Pilotto.

The city is awash with the usual high street names, but there are plenty of quirky avant-garde boutiques such as the funky eyewear brand “theo loves you” and the recently-opened The Ballroom, packed with creations from the likes of Walter Van Beirendonck, where you have to be incredibly strong-willed not to flex your credit card.

Don’t forget to tick off the MoMu Fashion Museum, showcasing the best of Belgium design, off the sightseeing list. Another place not to be missed is the impressive Antwerp Central station, known as the “Railway Cathedral”.

Art lovers may want to visit the Rubens House. There are some incredible paintings there and a pretty garden, but the house itself has been remodelled, so it is not as when the painter lived there. For those that like to push back the boundaries, Zuid, the city’s edgiest district is brimming with art galleries. You certainly won’t die of thirst or hunger here. There are some wonderful terrace caf├ęs where you can sit and people watch.

Mas Museum

You shouldn’t leave Antwerp without seeing the red-bricked Mas Museum, a complete contrast in architectural style to the rest of the city. It looks as if the builders were given a big box of Lego along with huge quantities of Cellophane to use for the windows.  It is also home to the Michelin two-starred Restaurant 't Zilte. You have to book well in advance and it is expensive. Even if you don’t have a table, go to the ninth floor terrace, the reward: stunning views of Antwerp, the Scheldt and the port.

One of the highlight’s of my trip was a visit to the Red Star Line Festival. From the late 1800s to 1935, over two million passengers sailed from Antwerp for a new life in America and Canada. The museum opens its doors next year. The 1920s-themed party was a taster of what is to come.

Watching the old and the young so animated as they took to the floor for the Charleston, I realised why Antwerp is so special: it radiates the warmth of a village, yet resonates with a cosmopolitan attitude.

By Daralyn Danns

Getting there
It’s incredibly relaxing to reach Antwerp with Eurostar. With one easy connection, you can be there in less than three hours from London St Pancras International

Eurostar offers return fares to Antwerp from £80. Eurostar also offers connecting fares from more than 300 stations in the UK. For more information or to book, visit or call 08432 186 186

I stayed at the Leopold Hotel Antwerp (

For further information about visiting Antwerp contact Tourism Flanders-Brussels on 0207 307 7738 (Live operator line, Mon – Fri) or visit