Thursday, 21 August 2014

Time to do nothing

Today we are jetting away for some R&R and family time and I'm happy to say, some sun, as the weather has been so bad for August in this part of the country.

I'll be back soon with tales of Majorca and no doubt counting down the weeks to Christmas with you all. Can't believe I just said that!! As my yoga teacher Maria says during Shavasana at the end of her class, "you have nothing to do and no where to go" Isn't that a lovely thought and feeling and just what holidays are for.

Enjoy the rest of August and the bank holiday, wherever you are and whatever you do x

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Mad Dogs and Vintage Vans Herefordshire

As an owner of a VW campervan, I do love the camping life and when we get the gorgeous weather we have been having for much of this summer in the UK, it is the cherry on the cake.

The vintage caravans owned by Mad Dogs and Vintage Vans are some of the loveliest I have seen, available to hire and in a wonderful setting, on the site of an old rectory in Herefordshire, close to Ross on Wye and Hay on wye, a beautiful part of the country.

With four vans to choose from, all with different styles, you will be spoilt for choice but my favourite, sorry girls, is Monty the only boy of the pack and very handsome he is too! Built during WWII and designed to withstand bombs, he has been lovingly restored using reclaimed materials and sleeps up to 6, so perfect for families. What a lovely way to spend some time with loved ones, building fires, toasting marshmallows and getting back to nature.





Thursday, 14 August 2014

A G Hendy & Co Homestore Hastings

Alastair Hendy, food writer & stylist has opened the doors to his own home store in Hastings old town, showcasing his inimitable style and aesthetic. This store with it's old world charm, contains industrial style pieces merchandised to replicate a home, with a light and airy bathroom at the top of the building in stark contrast to the moodier atmospheric rooms on the lower floors.

I need to make another trip to Hastings sometime soon to visit this incredible store.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Lauren Bacall 1924-2014 Hollywood Screen Legend

It was very sad news to hear that actress, Lauren Bacall, had passed away today at the age of 89.
As a little girl of relatively older parents, growing up in the 1960's, my mum and dad would watch the films from the golden era of Hollywood and tell me all about the actors and actresses that they had grown up with in the 1930's & 1940's. Lauren Bacall with her husky voice and sultry look was a name and face I was very familiar with and I loved her films with husband Humphrey Bogart, such as The Big Sleep and Key Largo, where their on screen chemistry was palpable even to me then, at a young age. Bacall later went on to say he was her great love and their relationship, was always something that she was famous for throughout her life.
When I married Mr B, who was a crazy movie buff, we spent many a rainy weekend watching old black & white films and 2 years into our romance, in 1985, he surprised me with theatre tickets to see Lauren Bacall in "Sweet Bird of Youth" a play by Tennessee Williams, directed by Harold Pinter. It was a night I'll never forget, seeing a legendary actress such as Bacall up close and personal and still with that amazing presence, inimitable voice and perfect delivery of her lines, ever the professional. She was incredible and I feel so honoured to have seen her during her career.
So it is with genuine sadness that I say Ms Bacall RIP, you were one of the last greats and we will never forget you.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

The Great British Bake off 2014

As the 12th series of The Great British Bake Off got underway last week, watched by millions of viewers, it seems Britain is indeed gripped by a baking epidemic. On our local market alone, there must be 5 home bakers selling their cakes, puddings and cookies every week and most of it is sold by 2.00pm!

To time perfectly with the new series, I was asked by a client to style a series of shots, showcasing their expansive range of cook and bake ware, under the themes of expert baking and family baking. The professional mixers and blenders were serious kit for any keen baker and the Swan range in baby blue would look a perfect show piece in a retro inspired kitchen.

All product available from Littlewoods and Very
Photography Warren Hannabuss

Monday, 11 August 2014

Palma De Mallorca

Next week we are taking off to chase the sun, which seems to have disappeared in this part of the UK. As well as spending some time on the coast of majorca, we will be getting our culture fix in Palma, the islands capital.

We've chosen a hotel overlooking the Marina and the cathedral, which is a must see whilst in Palma, partly influenced by Antoni Gaudi, when he was invited to oversee the project, from 1901 - 1914, and his influence is apparent. Our hotel is also near to the Santa Catalina area of the city, which is the place where all the local Majorcans and creative types hang out and I've heard there are some great bars and restaurants.
The view from the rooftop of our hotel
Santa Catalina Area Palma

I came across this bar and restaurant, Cantina Patron Lunares, which is in a building that used to be frequented by the local fisherman after work, for drinking, playing card games and generally kicking back after a long morning at sea. It's been converted into a bar and cantina, serving from breakfast through to the evening when you can eat fresh seafood or grills or just have a drink and watch the people of Palma gather to socialise. I love how they've captured the ambience of the old place with carefully chosen items such as reclaimed fishing nets and photographs of the old sea dogs themselves.

Palma also has some great traditional Tapas bars and restaurants in and around the old quarter, such as Bar Espana and Taberna De La Boveda, where we have reserved a table for our first night, as well as some swish cocktail bars such as Abaco. We first went there about 15 years ago when it was Palma's no.1 place to see and be seen and it's still going strong today, unchanged with it's displays of cascading fruit and cages of parrots, depicting a decadent scene. Although our daughter is only 12, the children don't get left out, as they serve amazing alcohol free cocktails, complete with sparklers and umbrella sticks, which she'll love.

For shopping Palma has a department store, el Corte Ingles, Spanish High Street stores such as Zara and Mango and winding streets of interior, shoe and linen shops. On Friday morning when we will be there, there is an artisan market in Placa Major and if we tire of shopping there are various museums, such as the Pilar and Joan Miro Foundation.

Palma is a great city for a short break, as it's small and compact but with plenty to see for all the family and every where on the island is accessible if you want to combine it with a holiday by the sea.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Leopard Print A/W 14 Trend

The Zara A/W Lookbook has just dropped into my inbox and I was excited to see that leopard Print coats are part of their A/W 14 collection. I love a bit of leopard print, not in the Pat Butcher way but in the cool rock chick way, beloved by Kate Moss et al.

Anita Pallenberg, one of the original Rock Chicks

Sienna Miller playing the part of Edie Sedgwick

Alexa Chung, a leopard lover

Zara are known for being hot on the heels of the designers who showcased their A/W collections way back in March and designers such as Celine and Givenchy featured Leopard prints in their collections.
Givenchy lead the way

A/W 14 leopard jacket & coat from Zara

I think many of us are afraid that this animal print looks a little tacky but it's secret is, less is more and worn as a jacket or coat over a plain black dress, with jeans and a polo neck sweater in a beatnik way or used to accessorise in the form of a collar or clutch, it is a perennial favourite print. Looks like my old faithful Plumo leopard print jacket will be making a return to my wardrobe next season.