Monday, 12 September 2011


... no write. I know. I have been wretched. I have myriad excuses. I got married. I had a honeymoon. I moved house. I got stuck in a whirlwind job that spared me no moments for style musings and missives. I feel awful for my silence over the past months.

I have to be honest, I'm not sure if and when I'll blog again. I don't know if this new life will ever afford me the time to wax pretty on the stuff I love. But I felt terrible - and appallingly impolite, for not bidding you a proper adieu - for now anyway.

Perhaps, when I have time, I'll stick up some pictures of our gloriously perfect wedding day (I know, cliche etc, but it really was), and share snaps of my newly purchased vintage Parker Knoll rocker (about to be recovered in peridot chenille from Designers Guild), and tell you about my latest adventures in ice cream making (salted caramel... pink peppercorn...), and swoon here over the Fall fashion that has sort of made it okay for Summer to end.

Until then, thank you so much for reading.

And for your lovely messages and support.


Friday, 22 April 2011


Can't resist these lightbulbs!!!


The sun is shining. London's parks are overflowing with pink limbs, picnic blankets and bottles of cava. The slowly-baking pavements are empty. I am sitting in my vast, yet equally empty office, wishing I could be beating down those pavements, to stock up on some sugared almond-hued jeans (I'd like a nude pair, to be worn with bright sandals and a slouchy white vest). There's nothing more frustrating than having to resort to the internet for your shopping fix. Wait, there is - working on Good Friday when you should be enjoying the Parklife too...


How cool are these Japanese cups? I'd love to surprise my guests during a tea party. To be served with animal crackers, naturally.


...not blogging, but I don't need to tell you that. Instead of putting fingertips to keyboard, I have been making giant pom poms (60 of them), researching signature cocktails (vodka, ginger and rosemary lemon drops for me), fretting over wedding shoes (sold my Louboutins on eBay, bought and returned some Pradas, settled on some Michel Viviens), learning to waltz (gulp), oh and putting in ten-hour days at my newspaper job.

Things I have lost since we last spoke: Two pairs of Marc Jacobs sunglasses, just as the sun has started shining, but also, delightedly, and through sheer determination, gym sessions and total avoidance of carbs, three inches off my waist (imagine how smug I was at my dress fitting - this new body will be maintained til exactly one day after the wedding!!).

Things I have gained since we last spoke: A few honeymoon purchases (courtesy of See by Chloe, JCrew and H&M) which I've squirreled away until we island hop around Greece, wedding rings (a uber skinny gold band for me), a giftlist at Heals (nothing is more fun than selecting Jonathan Adler napkin rings!!) and a new Jamie Oliver favourite recipe.

The best thing I've done since we last spoke: My hen weekend in Berlin, which will go down as one of my most delightful mini-breaks EVER. Three days with my best friends, a bike tour through Berlin, a thermae spa, splits on a restaurant table (twice), a dance club til dawn, a woozy lunch at Berlin House, rooftop hair-of-the-dogs, funny gifts, racy dares, a lovely book filled with memories, ramblings and a few dodgy pictures of hairstyles, outfits and weight gain I'd rather forget.

It made me realise that my girlfriends truly are the best in the world. Classy, raucous and amazing. A girl couldn't be more blessed.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011


... but I'm still smitten with these beautifully ornate chocolate eggs from Fortnum & Mason. With more than a hint of Victoriana, the charmingly old-school creations are actually made with moulds from the F&M archive. Give me one of these over a Mars multibox anyday (although, actually, don't give me any - survivingly the onslaught of chocolate to our Daily Mail desk is almost impossible. Today is was a collossal Hotel Du Chocolat egg, after nibbling a morsel I have hated myself all afternoon... Dieting is a bitch)


Today, movie stars aren't so special. They have no mystique, no aura of the unknown. They just aren't deliciously untouchable anymore. They tweet snaps in their bathroom and reveal unsavoury snippets about colonics and vajazzling. We know every shoddy secret of their break-ups and protein-only diets, we see their unsightly lumps and bumps in glorious technicolour.

I know they don't get a lot of opportunity to play it old school (and as an ex-employee of Us Weekly us punters secretly lap up all those gory details), but at the news that the last doyenne of Hollywood, Elizabeth Taylor passed away today, I realised sadly that that golden era of elegance has slipped away too - before our very eyes. Okay, so the friendship with Michael Jackson was slightly odd, and admittedly in her latter years, Liz didn't quite have the glamour of her youth, but she truly was the epitome of a movie star - including the goddesss-like curves, string of lovers, violet eyes and iconic movie roles. The Renees and Jennifers and Demis and Camerons of this world have a lot to live up to. But there really will only ever be one Queen Elizabeth.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011


I spotted these gigantic flowers twisted around an old step ladder a few months ago while at the Mulberry headquarters. As I marvelled at them, the PRs revealed they'd be officially unveiled at the fashion show in January and would finally find a home in the shop windows, along with the Spring collection. Well here they are in their full fuchsia glory. The uber bright shade is unique to Mulberry but the oversize blooms are available in white from a London prop shop and will be making an appearance at our May nuptials... stay posted for pics!

Monday, 7 March 2011


...short shorts and sassy skirts and bright colours and brighter lipstick and messy up-dos. I worship at the altar of J.Crew. I know that sometimes it can feel a little preppy and maybe for you Americans, who read this, boring and obvious. But for me, the clashy colours and feel-good pieces, styled with a bit of fashion attitude, are exactly what I want to wear. When I stumbled across this show a while back, I thought I'd save it to share when the sun is finally shining. Hope it inspires you as much on this glorious Spring day, as it has done me...


I am seriously trying to diet. It's just a little over two months til our big day and I feel like if I'm ever going to be able to focus on shifting the pounds it's now. So far, so good. In the last ten days I have lost an inch and a half off my waist. Having a pretty boy trainer definitely helps - plus an even more gorgeous fiance to look fabulous for...

My eating habits have morphed from spaghetti and scones to spinach and soya. I am limiting my portion sizes too. I still have toast for breakfast, but just one slice, and it's wholemeal and it's paired with fruit and yoghurt. I'm sort of enjoying it. Not in a way that I could imagine the regime lasting for ever (life without spaghetti is too tragic to consider), but feeling a little bit slimmer is putting a certain spring in my step.

Yet today something happened to scupper everything. We got sent the new Peyton and Byrne cook book - British Baking. It's out next week and if you're attempting any kind of Spring slim, steer clear. It has the most perfect elegantly English recipes, from Victoria plum cobbler to homemade crumpets. The pictures are so utterly lovely that my stomach squeaked torturously!! It's worth buying, just to stroke the pictures for a few months. Believe me, once those honeymoon bikinis have been modelled, I'm getting my apron on...

Sunday, 27 February 2011


All hail the bird's nest. This look (seen above in Lanvin's catwalk show last season - okay, it's an old example, but it's still oh so pretty). I have been creating versions of this sky-high messy bun for almost a year now, but last week I bought a new tool to enable seriously colossal hair... At Ricky's, the one-stop beauty shop in New York City I discovered a giant fake hair piece (well my make-up pal Kit did and urged me to snap one up too). For just $2, it's helped me to construct a wunderbun in just minutes. Rough up the hair a little and I come over all Hitchcock heroine-meets-catwalk darling. Merci Ricky.


My uber cool design friend Loz just texted me about these stunning pom poms and I had to share. The brains behind Pom Pom Factory, graphic artist Karen Hsu graduated from Central Saint Martins and have been a London-based window designer for the past year. I'm madly in love with her giant paper puffballs and wish I could have them floating through my wedding marquee - but with all our other visual plans this could be a feast too far. nevertheless, I'm still sharing here. Joy!

Tuesday, 22 February 2011


I thought I lived a pretty glitzy existence... until this weekend. My New York hen do proved to be possibly the most fabulous extravaganza ever. My gang of Manhattan girls have more glamour credentials that Carrie et al ever did - including a make-up artist, NBC TV exec, Vanity Fair photo editor, Lucky fashion editor, Madewell stylist, Anthropologie beauty buyer and Us Weekly News Director. We were all dressed to the nines (a navy Stella frock, messy bun and fucshia lips for me) and ready to celebrate.

First stop: Beauty & Essex, a newly-opened restaurant that on first appearence looks like a pawn shop, but step through the door in the back and you're transported to a vast, cavernous eating spot complete with a sweeping spiral staircase, giant glittering chandelier and a free champagne bar in the bathrooms (Yes, seriously. Only in NYC.) We had a table in the centre and a continual supply of sharing platters including lobster tacos, salt and pepper shrimp, tuna sashimi, pork spring rolls and salt and vinegar fries. The desserts (coconut mousse, macaroons, molten bread pudding, layered devil's food cake) were impossible to resist and the pink champagne went down a treat. The best thing of all? There was no bill at the end!!

Next stop was Boom Boom Room, the impossible-to-get-into bar with 360 degrees views at the top of the Standard hotel. Crazy-expensive cocktails were worthy of every delicious sip (I had the lavender lady - lemony vodka trimmed with lavender sugar) and the views were staggering (also staggering: the news that Mad Men's Jon Hamm was drinking in a nearby bar and so wrecked that his girlfriend was requesting water!).

At 2am a slightly smaller group hit The Box - the hip, sleazy cabaret joint on the Lower East Side. Thanks to another hook up, we had the best table in the house and an endless supply of champagne. We watched acts so racy I can barely voice what they were doing, then danced for three hours straight (alongside some True Blood actors), and staggered home around 5am.

Crazy, glitzy, cool. If only I could always be this fabulous!


Just recovering from possibly the most fun weekend in New York ever. Please forgive the fact that the next series of posts is Manhattan themed but after an embarrassingly long absence (I'm sorry! Work and life got in the way of blogging!), I want to share all the amazing things I've seen and done over the past four days.

First on the list (but not on the visit) - the J.Crew Bridal Boutique. My amazing friend Lisa hooked us up with a last minute appointment, after the afore-mentioned black satin bridesmaid dress didn't look as good on the body as it did the hanger. While most people would have to wait three months to score a saturday afternoon visit, it's exactly where we found ourselves, languishing on cream leather sofas, surrounded by peonies and vintage Miriam Haskell gems, sipping spakling water and watching my bridemaid Kit parade around in a series of gorgeous confections.

The store is so elegant that it gave me not only wedding inspiration but home envy too - from the parquet flooring (oh and the black and white squares of tiling in the bathroom!) to the inset shelves with objet d'art like white ceramic birds, old butterflies and battered books. And of course, the clothes, which are exclusive to the boutique and include printed dresses shot with shimmery thread, embellished silk tanks, sugared almond cashmere and shoes with giant satin ankle bows.

Although Kit's original dress was a no-go, we found something even more fabulous, littered with frills and amazingly, in the sale. It's charcoal, so almost a LBD - a still thoroughly chic. Very excited - the vision is coming together...

Tuesday, 1 February 2011


How charming are these earrings in a bottle from Enelle? Not sure if I'd actually go crazy for bees hanging from my ear lobes, but the little bottle is just darling.

Sunday, 30 January 2011


Dress? Check. Shoes? Check. Statement headpiece? Umm. I'm still deciding whether to go veil/feathers/giant silk blooms/embellished headband. Actually that's a bare-faced lie. I know exactly what I'm doing, but as my chap reads my blog too, I'll have to keep him - and you - guessing. Anyway, on my aesthetic travels, I stumbled across, which doesn't just sell these beautiful bridal pieces, but kitschy bows, satin hearts and tulle pom poms that are irresistible and the perfect addition to any outfit. Check it out if you're a bride who can't abide convention, or just a cool girl really.


I'm not really a cheesecake girl, but I made this a few weeks ago and became a little obsessed. In fact I had to invite friends over for supper again this week just to give me another excuse to make one. It's like the cheesecake version of a black and white cookie (which during my New York days I used to devour with delight). What makes this so good is the combination of the dense cocoa Oreo crumbs with the light creamy sourness of the cheesecake. The monochrome pairing is also particularly pleasing to the eye. Great for a dinner party of to bake on a Sunday and treat yourself to a sliver evening night of the week.

Friday, 21 January 2011


Pretty much in love with all of this new lingerie from Agent Provocateur. From the scallops to the frills to the lace, there is just enough prettiness to make this racy collection feel feminine too. This is the kind of stuff you'd wear under your silk blouse and pencil skirt with a knowing smile - or even under jeans and a cashmere sweater. Yes please.


Okay, there's still two months until we jet off for my hen weekend in Berlin, but I am too excited not to share our urban dwelling with you all! MichelBerger is a 119 room old factory building which has been transformed for Austrian carpenters, Swedish models, English rock stars, Japanese businessmen, German racing car drivers and American dudes (or so the website says!). It's basically an uber cool concretey hub of industrial spaces with luxe comforts - a tiled eating spot aglow with tons of globe lamps, rooms with wooden bunk bed ladders and crisp white bed linen, a library crammed with books and It-kids.
I am as excited about piling in a room with my best friends sleep-over style as I am hitting the streets of Berlin in our finery. I'm counting down the days...

Wednesday, 19 January 2011


This is our handsome old pussycat, enjoying the sunshine on one of our battered armchairs, last Autumn. But he was a long way into the Autumn of his years and today, the lovely old boy finally said farewell. He left with a purr, and although we know it was the right time, and at the ripe old age of 19, he had enjoyed more life than most moggies, we're still feeling melancholy at his passing. Goodbye Oscar. I hope wherever you are now the sun is always shining and there's always a fish supper.

Friday, 14 January 2011


Sometimes I figure it's okay to be behind the times when half of America seems to covet something we've never heard of this side of the Atlantic. That's how I felt when I recently discovered Tucker by Gaby Basora. I felt smug to share with you this gorgeous designer with her eye for luscious prints and knack for glossy retro styling. Then I discovered the collection already sells on Net A Porter. Hum. Forgive my sartorial tardiness - and if you haven't heard of this brand, prepare to fall in love.


When my dad cut down a slim silver birch tree in his garden, I instructed him to saw the trunk into perfect-sized logs and have since used them to fill the old Victorian fireplaces in my sitting room, dining room and guest room. They look pretty in a very monochrome way and I love the fact that they're a little piece of home. If my dad hadn't had a silver birch going begging, I might have had an attempt at this DIY version from Design*Sponge. A bit of tongue-in-cheek fun.

Thursday, 13 January 2011


I'm thrilled to tell you we have a houseful this weekend. Our lovely pals are heading down to London for park walks, river cruising, a visit to the aquarium and lots of good food. In celebration (and because I'm working late tonight and entertaining tomorrow) I treated myself to a bag of Ottolenghi's divine miniature blackberry meringues, with which I will whip up a pudding. I'm thinking a blackberry Eton mess - with the addition of whipped cream, a swirl of tangy lemon curd and a tumble of blackberries. Throw it all together and bask in the sharp and sugary wonder.


I have managed to avoid sale shopping quite superbly. Okay, I did treat myself to a navy lace pencil skirt, but beyond that I've been remarkably reserved. Everytime I go to hand over my credit card (for a Sandro sweatshirt with leather elbow patches, or the Brora cashmere cardigan), I remind myself of my trip to New York next month to buy five bridesmaid dresses, or the one to Berlin the month after for my hen do and I realise a girl need to know when to conserve her readies. So yes, I've been good. But I faltered a little yesterday and succumbed to this Sleeveless Lawn Button-Up from American Apparel in white. It will work perfectly under a sweater now, or worn with a fine knit cardi and the billowy bow-tie from my Sandro shirt, and will be just as charming come summer with a pair of shorts. It has a bit of a Betty Draper feel to me, but the sheerness makes it va-va voomy too. A purchase well made? Here's hoping!


Writing thank you notes is twee enough (although I'll never tire of it), so at least your notelets can possess a little modern attitude. I love these, which I've just discovered on J.Crew. They're from Connor's 'Write Again' collection, which until now, was only available in his Paris workshop or when discovered by the great and grand during their stay at New York's Plaza hotel (there's a little shop inside the lobby). Flamingos, rhinos and a classic swirly Thank You are also available but these loved-up pistols do seem very fun and just a little feisty.

Thursday, 6 January 2011


The chiming in of the new year was my excuse to ramp up the wedding planning. Actually that's a fib - I have been slowly and steadily working towards my vision and with all the big stuff booked and lots of the little bits made, I can now focus on one of the most sartorially exciting bits - the bridesmaids dresses. From the outset I knew I didn't want my girls to be wearing matching ensembles. I understand the need for cohesion but I think it's sooo much nicer to retain a little of your own personality - and my bridesmaids are so stylish it seemed a shame to limit them to a single dress. So I've pretty much given them a palate, a budget and a free reign. They've found dresses that they (and I) adore. But herein lies one itsy bitsy dilemma. One of the girls may wear black. Thoughts? I'm okay with it- black features pretty strongly as an accent colour in our wedding and not only is it classic (and very Chanel) it's quite an elegant way to balance all that blush pink. But our mums are not thrilled at the prospect and one of my most stylish friends voiced a little hesitation too. The wedding is in May so hopefully it will be a little summery, it's also daytime and fairly feminine affair - an LBD is def not the usual order of the day. So what to do? Stay true to my vision or tradition?


It's January, so naturally I'm dieting. But this isn't a wagon that I can fall off next week. I have to be strict all the way to May. Ugh. Just writing that makes me feel deprived. So how am I planning to eat clean (ish!) and not feel like life is over (dramatic, yes, but what is the point in living without good food?)? I can't handle soup everyday. In fact soup is def not one of my fave things. It fills you up but drinking my lunch does not make me feel mentally satiated too.
And it's too chilly outdoors for salads... Unless they're hot salads. So this is where I'm at - jazzing up my lettuce leaves with hot stuff. Lucky Jamie Oliver is a whizz at winter salads, so he's my inspiration. Last night I threw together beetroot, peppered mackerel, hot new potatoes, celery and crisp mixed greens and drizzled over a dressing made with low fat mayo, horseradish, lemon and cracked black pepper. Tonight it could be chicken breast baked in red pesto, tossed with leaves, olives and feta or broad bean, pancetta, pea and pecorino. It's not rocket science I know, but it makes me feel virtuous without wanting to shoot myself!