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!