Jude Benhalim: Egypt

JUDE BENHALIM is a young, Cairo-based jewelry designer who founded her namesake brand when she was just 17 years old. All it took was one creative design project in high school and Jude jumped into the design world head first with her mother and partner, Rana Al Azm.

«My strategy to set my brand apart from others was to introduce something new to traditional Egyptian jewelry; mixing it with modern art and avant-garde techniques. I maintain the essence of oriental jewelry (by using Arabic calligraphy), combining it with a modern approach (by using abstract geometric shapes and colorful Resin stones). That is what allowed people to appreciate my work; it is a revolutionary take on traditional jewelry making.» – Jude Benhalim

Jude is constantly on the lookout for new ideas to bring to her designs, and is inspired by the women who wear her cutting-edge designs as much as the women who fill her life. Today, she shares with us her travel tips for her home country, EGYPT.

Your favourite city?
ALEXANDRIA. When the city life becomes too busy and stressful, I can escape from the craziness and read a book by the beautiful sea. The beach has always a peaceful atmosphere.

Your favourite hotel?
. It hast the most beautiful scenery, overlooking the sea. It is definitely underrated.
1 Four Seasons Boulevard, El-Salam, Qesm Sharm Ash Sheikh, South Sinai Governorate
Phone: +20 69 3603555

Your favourite restaurant?
in CAIRO. It has the best Japanese food in town and I love the vibe of the place.
Swan Lake Compound, 1st Settlement, New Cairo, Phone: +20 12 7000 4877

Your favourite Egyptian food?
I like MOLOKHIYA with spicy chicken –  the national dish of Egypt – because its a complete meal with vegetables, carbs and proteins and keeps you energized the whole long day.

Your favourite bar or nightclub?
There are great bars and nightclubs in the NORTH COAST, by the beach. I think my favorite place there is ANDIAMO, a beach bar. Its beautifully designed and is right on the beach.
Hacienda, KM 140, Phone: +20 1005509948

Your favourite sightseeing spot?
The PYRAMIDS, or more importantly the DESERT. I am fascinated by the desert no matter how often I see it, I love to admire its patterned dunes and its smooth and sparkling sand.

Your favourite park?
. It has one of the most beautiful views over Cairo.
Salah Salem St, El-Darb El-Ahmar, Cairo Governorate, Phone: +20 2 25103868

Your favourite beach?
The NORTH COAST BEACHES. The world is known to have the best beaches in Asia and in the Bahamas, but these are not comparable to the beaches on the North Coast of Egypt, as well as the ones in Sinai. So beautiful!  I especifically love SIDI HENEISH, because its calm and not as commercial as the other beaches. It’s a beautiful bay.

Your favourite shop?
, a local market in CAIRO, is my favorite place to shop. It is actually where my silver workshop is located so I visit the souk very often. It is very rich in culture and has the most beautiful architecture that is going back to over hundreds of years. I love the authenticy and vibes of the Khan el-Khalili alleyways.
El-Gamaleya, Qism El-Gamaleya, Cairo Governorate

Your must-have accessory to take when you visit Egypt?
! It is sunny all year round in Egypt.

Your must-have souvenir to take home?
of course. The pyramids are of the Seven Wonders of the World. I think as a tourist, the Pyramids are one of the most breathtaking sites.

The best soundtrack for this destination?
by DALIDA. It perfectly represents the beauty of the city.

The best book to read while being on vacation there?
40 RULES OF LOVE by ELIF SHAFAK. Cairo is very high in spirituality, with beautiful mosques and churches. I think this book is a perfect fit and it is a personal favorite.

Thank you, Jude, for sharing your insider scoop on Egypt with us!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of the different locations, © Jude Benhalim

Bex Manners: Istanbul


Born and raised on Spain’s Balearic Islands, BEX MANNERS started her fashion career as a stylist’s assistant in New York. During that time, she taught herself to make jewelry because she couldn’t find certain pieces in the market. After her move back to London, she started her line BEX ROX in 2009. Located in the heart of Notting Hill, she is renowned for her luxurious custom jewelry and her  innovative designs. Bex draws inspiration from across the globe, and epitomises the essence of cultures, travel and nature. As a world traveller, she gave us her tips for one of the most fascinating cities on earth.

Your favourite city?
ISTANBUL – it touches on every sense.


Your favourite hotel?
GEORGES HOTEL GALATA – A boutique hotel in Galata, chic and cosy with a perfect rooftop for a sunset aperitif.
Müeyyedzade Mh., Serdar-ı Ekrem Cd. No:24
Phone: +90 212 244 2423


Your favourite restaurant?
DUBLE MEZE restaurant on the top of the Pera hotel, vibrant, mouthwatering food and the best views in the city.
Asmalı Mescit Mah. Meşrutiyet Cad. Palazzo Donizetti Hotel Üstü Kat:7 No:85, 34420 İstanbul Phone: +90 212 244 0188


Your favourite bar or nightclub?
MINI BAR 17, a tiny little bar with great DJ’s when you feel like a little dance.
Nişantaşı › Harbiye Mahallesi, Abdi İpekçi Caddesi, No 17, Şişli, İstanbul


Your favourite sightseeing spot?
You can’t leave istanbul without going to see the HAGIA SOPHIA MUSEUM, it used to be a church then later a mosque, stunning and soulful.
Sultanahmet, Ayasofya Meydanı, İstanbul
Phone: +90 212 522 1750


Your favourite park?
The TOPKAPI PALACE GARDENS are breathtaking, full of every kind of flower you can possibly image, if only it was my back garden!
Sultanahmet, Fatih, İstanbul
Phone: +90 212 512 04 80


Your favourite shop?
For a real local flavour the BAZAAR is a must but go with lots of energy and patience, there are some hidden gems to buy some stunning old jewellery and fabrics.
Beyazit, İstanbul
Phone: +90 212 519 1248

Horn Large Fringe cuff

Your must-have accessory?
A touch of the turkish with my HORN LARGE FRINGE CUFFS, perfect for a little turkish dancing with the flick of your wrists and super chic.


The best soundtrack for this destination?
A remix by ACID PAULIJamie Wards “Almost there” and Selda mixing a little bit of the Ottoman to get you going.


The best book to read while being on vacation there?
THE BASTARD OF ISTANBUL by Elif Shafak. She is one of Turkeys most popular writers, this book is magical, informative and heart-breaking as it brings together the turbulent past and the complex present!

Thank you, Bex, for sharing your insider scoop on Istanbul with us!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Bex Rox and the different locations