Thursday, 23 December 2010


Merry Christmas lovely readers. I'm sorry my posts have been a little sparse since starting my new lofty (okay, harrowing) journalistic gig.
I'm still falling in love with clothes I can't afford, pining for priceless antiques and determined to be a doyenne of domesticity, but I just haven't always found the time to share all that with you.
I'm also beavering away at our glorious wedding plans. In the times I might have been blogging, I'm now ink stamping cocktail napkins and lining invitation envelopes with 1960s printed paper. I can't believe I haven't shared the heavenly Swedish mid-century floor lamp I gave my credit card a whipping for a few weeks ago - or posted pics of the decadent chocolate cake, smothered in ganache, which my lovely chap made last weekend for a pal's birthday.

Along with all my other new year's resolutions (eat less, exercise more, only buy things I adore, control my inner bitch blah blah blah), I vow to share more of my Jackie and Marilyn-inspired musings. Until then I have a frosty voyage down to the Kent coast, a charming carol service at our wedding-church-to-be, a very special Christmas dinner with my mum (the first for many many years) some seaside walks, some pressies and hopefully some lie-ins.

Wishing you every festive happiness - giant, beautifully wrapped gifts, colossal plates of magnificent food and most of all divine people to share it all with.


The last few minutes are ticking by before I can leave my desk and whizz away home to panic wrap presents, slurp port and sigh with relief that Christmas is finally HERE. But enroute I will be stopping to buy a jar of luxury mince meat to make my contribution to Christmas lunch - Nigel Slater's mincemeat ice cream. A domestic goddess I may profess to be, but this year the turkey will be my mama's domain. I'm on pudding duty, which means a Fortnum & Mason Christmas pudding and this light but luxe dessert, which is equal parts rich, spicy, sweet and cool. I'll be whipping it up tonight and transporting it tomorrow morning - unless I eat it all the moment it's made, that is. The wedding diet starts in January!

Friday, 17 December 2010


...but in my heart it's always sunny and I'm always dressed in heels and a full skirted dress which makes my waist look miniscule and bosom magnificent. Oh and while I'm at it, I'm pretty much always gliding through some Palm Spring style scenario with supermodel hair.
So although I'm about to stuff myself into my faithful Marc Jacobs cashmere coat, tug on a woolly hat and brave the bitterness of Kensington, all the time I'll be imagining I'm in this Louis Vuitton 2011 Cruise collection campaign. Sigh.

Thursday, 16 December 2010


I love a charming gimmick and these teapot pendant lights from Anthropologie have me really tickled. They give a gorgeous glow when they light up and because they're simply white china, they stand out without being too twee. Actually, they'd look fabulous in some modern tea parlour dotted over lots of little tables. I'm craving a cuppa just looking at them!

Thursday, 9 December 2010


My passion for sweet, salt and snazzy packaging continues with this new chocolate range from Peyton & Byrne. I was already a fan of this small bakery and cafe chain (their white subway tiles are lined with pepperminet green plaster and the candy coloured bakery boxes are a profusion of prettiness), but then I saw this array of chocolates in inspired flavours like elderflower, marmalade and of course, Cornish sea salt. Now I'm a fully signed up member of the Peyton & Byrne club. Just awaiting my membership card...

Wednesday, 8 December 2010


Normally this is about the time I start visualising my homemade Christmas cards. From mini snow scenes to piles of miniature wrapped gifts, my creative efforts have been time consuming but a fairly delightful way to spend an evening or two for a crafty girl like me. Although if I'm honest, they always start off being fun - glass of port, festive tunes ringing out - but after a couple of hours, when I have perfected three or four cards and am faced with another 27 to make (I always figure I'll make for 30 of my nearest and dearest), I become, how can I put it, a mite disenchanted.

Anyway ths year I have had a brainwave. Ditch the DIY crafts (I'm already up to my eyes with ink stamps and scalloped scissors for the impending wedding), and instead, share the Christmas spirit through the kitchen. I was completely inspired by this simple but stylish recipe from Dan Lepard in last week's Guardian, for edible gifts. I plan to make the Stem Ginger Macaroons and package them in cellophane bags, with Merry Christmas gift tags.

Hopefully I can make three batches in one night... I'll let you know how it goes.

Dan Lepard's Stem Ginger Macaroons

Says Dan: The flaked almonds give a crunch to the crust of these macaroons, which is very pleasing, because after it you bite through the soft and slightly peppery heart packed with pieces of ginger. They keep very well, so make a big batch and bag or box them for sweet, elegant gifts. These quantities make about 16-18 macaroons.

200g ground almonds

100g caster sugar

2 medium egg whites

150g chopped stem or glacé ginger, minus the syrup

Flaked almonds

Icing sugar

Mix the ground almonds, sugar, egg whites and ginger until evenly combined.

Roll into balls the size of a smallish unshelled walnut (about 30g), then press on to a mound of flaked almonds so a layer sticks to the outside. This is slightly tricky, but roll them firmly and slowly, and you should manage it.

Place the macaroons on a tray lined with nonstick paper, then heat the oven to 170C (150C fan-assisted)/335F/gas mark 3 and bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown, turning the tray halfway through the bake time to make sure the heat gets to the macaroons evenly.

Remove from the oven, sieve icing sugar over the top while they're still hot and leave to cool.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010


Isn't this magnificent? It's by artist Pei-San Na and is made of a staggering 2,500 matches... and took 24 hours to make. Worth every minute I reckon. Just don't light it.

Monday, 6 December 2010


We have just been sent a box of John Galliano's rose and ginger macarons, designed especially for Lauderée. Oh my God. This is the sort of sugary delicacy that makes me weep with joy. Sublime doesn't even describe them. The box is an elegant dash of feminine whimsy, but the treats within are the best bit. A mere hint of rose in the crisp macaron and a firey gingery warmth in the creme filling. The perfect combination of delicate and fierce. I feel like they were made for girls like me. What a way to bring joy to a Monday afternoon.

Friday, 3 December 2010


I love this fashion story from the Observer. Mad Men may have ended this week on British TV (oh Don, why did you have to be like every other man? I hoped for so much more from you!), but our obsession with Betty and Joan style is going nowhere fast. And that's just fine with me.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010


on The Outnet today. I would probably have bought all of this. Well, if I'm honest, the boots might be a tiniest bit too Barbie. But I sort of love them too. Imagine them with skinny black trousers and an obligatory Breton stripe... right? Although I made the same mistake at a Georgina Goodman sample sale once and came home with bubble gum pink satin stilettos, complete with perspex and diamante bows. I wasn't sure about them at the time but the sales assistant was crazy about them and her enthusiasm osmosed into me. I wore them a week later to London fashion week with jeans and a white tee (hoping for that nonchalant rock chick feel). I haven't worn them since. Cost per wear I seriously screwed up. But they still look jazzy on my shoe shelf. Just like these would...


... to start your fashion obsession. Although I've got to be honest, I'd happily while away the afternoon colouring in these gorgeous Rosie Flo books myself. For Christmas they have charming sets of postcards too. Love, love, love.

Friday, 26 November 2010


Could this bottle be any more beautiful?? My lovely friend at Anthropologie sent it to me today and I have fallen hopelessly for the charming details. The old fashion inkwell bottle, the gorgeous printed pin cushion stopper, the witty wordplay and the ethereal floral fragrance (they say it evokes rose gardens, high teas and happy accidents!). Happ & Stahns is sure to be adored by any girl lucky enough to receive it. Moi? A smitten kitten already.


How much do I wish I had Stella McCartney's garden? It's like a hipper Sissinghurst - part wild, part grand, totally beautiful. Read US Vogue's feature and become green with envy...
PS Stella has the same crockery as me - whoop!

Sunday, 21 November 2010


I'm a floozy for charming packaging. Seriously. You can put anything in a pretty jar and I'll drop my credit card. I'm that easy. I also get excited about easy-to-replicate ideas, especially when Christmas is nearing and I get inspired to whip up a batch of something sweet to gift to my nearest and dearest. I can't decide whether I'm more thrilled by these simple but smart storage jars or the goodies within. In the past I've had a bash at florentines, mince pies and gingerbread stars. Perhaps this year I will be shamelessly ripping off Toast's chocolate mendiants, truffles or shavings of ultra luxe drinking chocolate... (or leaving it to the last minute and buying them!)

Saturday, 20 November 2010


My ASOS discount has arrived. Bring on the shopping...


I was lucky enough to score a gift voucher to celebrate the launch of H&M's home collection last week. I stocked up on white linen napkins and tea towels, bath mats and the laundry bag, above, emblazoned with retro text. I was a sucker for the whole range of old-school printed numbers but avoided the glitzer pieces on offer (frills and sequins? way too jazzy!). My new monochrome accoutrements have inspired me to freshen up my bathroom with a splash of paint... which I planned to do today. Umm, that was until I spent the morning in bed with a pot of coffee and a crisp new Vogue. My new job has made me cherish weekends, and I am just not sure painter's overalls are going to be donned today after all... Que sera!

Friday, 19 November 2010


Also on my weekend agenda - this sticky coffee toffee heavenly stodge courtesy of Design*Sponge. I will certainly embark on an icy jog over Blackheath to justify this indulgence. But, let's face it, it's oh so worth it!

P.S. I am coveting this adorable loopy plate too.


...have to have it. That's how I feel when I open any fashion mag, but my new job has left me no time to shop. It's actually left me no time to do anything, which is why I must apologise for my posts which have been few and far between. I am afraid sporadic is going to be the way forward at the moment, until I stop being the new girl, discover where the water cooler is and find time to surf the net for moments of inspiration again.

Until then my blog and my wardrobe are suffering (my lovely chap is also suffering a tired, grumpy and sluggish fiancee - half nervous energy, half hopelessly exhausted). Back to the clothes. For a start it's suddenly got seriously cold here and I am not good with tights (weirdly itchy - I'll do bare legs until they go blue) or layering (curvy suddenly becomes chunky under all that wool), secondly I'm in a new gig where statement ensembles just don't cut it. Heels seem optional, shorts unacceptable, red lips non existent and decolletages nowhere to be seen. I'm like a fish out of water - all my snazzy outfits are OTT, especially while I'm still finding my feet.

BUT we all know a fashionista doesn't change her spots (or Breton stripes), so I'm determined a spree will get me back into sartorial serenity. I'm thinking ankle boots, sharp trousers, some sleek sweaters and a few outfit changing scarves. Watch this space...

Friday, 12 November 2010


It's a little early for Christmas shopping (I know there are sparkly lights lining the streets and shops are blasting out yuletide songs, but I refuse to get into the festive spirit until December 1st. I LOVE Christmas, but I can't get on board before bonfire night - you can have too much of a good thing). Anyway, I still wanted to share a little project I worked on just before leaving GLAMOUR. This is a page of the gift guide I concieved (and my chap snapped), for the December issue. I chose everything on it, because I'd like all of it for Christmas. Just a hint!

Wednesday, 10 November 2010


I'm currently the tiniest bit obsessed with oversize meringues. We're planning our wedding menu and I can't get these giant beauties out of my head. Everywhere I turn they seem to bounce out at me, reminding me they'd be quite delicious piled high on a platter and served with strawberries and a jug of cream, Eton Mess style. My new office is perched on the edge of Kensington High Street and in the past two days I have spotted the unctuous beauties at Ottolenghi and Whole Foods. A sign if ever there was one...


... makes even the most simple ensemble look special. I have about 20 cardigans - for me they're the perfect layer, not too chunky, a little bit more warmth, dressy but simple. I always go for cashmere and usually a superfine knit. but until now mine have always been a simple basic. thank to these, all that's about to change...

Saturday, 6 November 2010


I found it. The one. The dress. (Not this incredible gown above, as captured by Tim Walker for Vogue, dream on!). My pursuit for the ultimate wedding gown felt pressured for many reasons - the obvious desire to look my most beautiful ever, combined with the determination that I wasn't going to blow a fortune on a frock I'd wear for less then twelve hours, plus the intention to do something a little different. As the last in my close group of girlfriends to walk down the aisle, I hope that I can still pull it off with some sartorial originality.
On top of this I wanted to discover a dress that would include both the Jackie and the Marilyn sides of my personality. It had to be demure but a little daring too...
I started with a marathon day with my mum a few weeks back - we did the classic bridal shops, where a litter of mothers-of-the-brides sat expectantly on cream leather banquets, all cooing with delight as assorted girls swept out of matching changing rooms in assorted dresses. Mum fell in love with gowns that I deemed way too classic and traditional.
Then we did vintage shops - but what I considered to be lovingly worn, mum deemed decidedly forlorn. The greying lace and wonky hems I thought of as charming just didn't tick her bridal fantasies (and let's face it, it really does matter that your mother loves it too).
I had another vintage experience with two of my most stylish friends, but their enthusiasm and the pretty old-school surroundings had me trying on dresses that weren't right at all and left me even more defeated and less sure of going the retro route.
Finally, after a little online perusing, I came across a current American designer who ticks all the boxes. Inspired by another era, yet with a modern twist - unusual, yet still timeless enough that I won't look back on the photos and shudder with horror. I instantly spotted a dress that felt weirdly perfect and stuck in my mind while I drifted off to sleep each night. When I tried it on a few days later, I knew it was my Goldilocks dress - neither too meringue nor too mermaid, too simple nor too ostentatious, too quirky nor too classic. Simply, it was just right.
My mum got teary eyed and we both beamed at my reflection while I twirled around the shop. I felt like Grace Kelly - with a dash of Jayne Mansfield.
I wish I could tell you more, but my chap is a loyal reader. I can't wait to share pictures, only six months to go...


I know she's seriously preppy and rainbow bright, but I do adore dipping into a bit of Kate Spaderie, and I couldn't think of anything that could add a bit of colour to a grey London day than a visit to her current pop-up apartment in Covent Garden. Filled with tons of her signature colours, quirky accessories, charming home accents and splashy paraphernalia, it's a great place to while away an hour and stock up on pressies for very deserving friends (preppy, rich one - if you have such a thing!)


Okay, I know it's been forever. An entire week in fact. I've been basking in the world of ladies who lunch, girls who shop, mums who pile into a Cafe Rouge with a crowd of toddlers, and attempt to make small talk over cappuccinos and tables strewn with smushed chips, baby veg and ice cream sundaes. It's been a blast.
I have had a week off between leaving Glamour and starting my new gig, so i've stepped away from the computer and instead filled my hours with friends, wedding dress shopping (more on that!) and basking in a lavender steam room and rose scented sauna with my beloved.
Now I'm back at the helm and counting down the days until i become the new girl, I have been flitting through the net to find my favourite new things. here's one of them - fabulous cushions from
Madeline Weinrib Atelier. She's US-based but her selection of stylish soft furnishings have universal appeal. best are her pieces made with vintage Pucci and Hermes scarves. They're expensive, naturally, but show stoppers.

Thursday, 28 October 2010


As I write, it's just half an hour until my leaving party from Glamour magazine (chi chi bar! free drinks!). Yes. I'm going. And I'm still in denial (even my Prada-inspired party outfit of a nipped-in print dress, knee-high socks, patent shoes and film noir red lips isn't easing the blow). You see, even though my new job is a great career move (I'm off to be the Assistant Editor and Fashion Director - whoop! - of the Mail's Weekend supplement), I am going to miss my friends and the fabulousness of Glamour so much.
I will miss the outfit scrutinising and admiring. I will miss spending hours debating the saturated fat content of Pret A Manger sandwiches together. I will miss the razzle dazzle of our Women of the Year awards, mingling with the A-list and primping and preening as if we're the stars.

I'll miss my triumvirate of desk buddies - blonde, gloriously evil and hilarious.

No longer will I smugly be able to use the Glamour name to get me inside the hottest parties, onto guest lists, into the sample sales. No longer will I feel a swell of pride whilst sitting beside a girl on the train, who's reading a feature I've written (which happened just last night). New adventures lie ahead - putting my stamp on a new product, dipping my toe into the world of hacks and suits - real journalism, the school of hard knocks - the place from which anything is possible. It's scary, but I have never been the kind of girl to turn down a challenge.

And hopefully, although I'm saying goodbye to Glamour, I'll always be

Wednesday, 27 October 2010


I stumbled across these rather beautiful cupcakes online. I have a real thing for black where it shouldn't be (like on a pretty little cake). It's such a grounding colour in amongst all the frou frou that tends to happen around cakes - and weddings. Yes, I am still wedding planning away, and adoring every second of it. My fabulous pal Zoe is making our wedding cakes - that do have a few dashes of black - as do our invites, decor, flowers (some anemones hopefully) and perhaps even our wedding outfits (who knows, I haven't bought my dress yet - but I feel like I'm getting closer...). I love blush pink with black, and eau de nil, and navy. I'm not exactly a goth (probably the furthest you can get from it), but sometimes, there's nothing better than going back to black.


but I am a big fan of this french dresser - at least you'd know where all your clothes were... It's by Wary Meyers and in the right bedroom I think it would be super cool. It's the kind of piece of furniture you'd create an entire room around. I see it with candy pink walls behind. I don't have any candy pink walls and I am not sure I'd get something like this past my chap. Plus I have a tendency to veer towards statement anything, because, let's face it, buying basics is boring .


how a tweed jacket makes anything look more ladylike? (buy yours here)