Our New Flat

· Life


As a planner, I am very much enjoying collecting inspiring images and creating mood boards for our new flat.  Here are the beginnings of my inspiration.  Whilst I think it’s important to actually live in the space and get a good feel for it before jumping right into adding items, there are a few things I know I’d like to do to make the flat feel like our home.

All images snatched from lovely pinners!


Take me there

· Hot Homes


I’m very excited! … And nervous, and apprehensive and then whipping right back round to excited again!  It’s the new flat, you see.  I’ve gone and done what I always do and let myself get carried away – like I’ve met the *perfect guy (*Mike), bought a love fern, replaced my surname with his, and made a photoshop collage of what our children will look like.  (NB I only did one of these things when I met Mike).

I’m thinking of putting something eye-catching in our new living room.  It needs to be easy to live with, something we won’t bore of, and I’d love for it to be smile-inducing.

When it comes to art, I fall into the novice camp.  Mike and I once visited Battersea Art Fair and I saw some great paintings by an artist called Dorion Scott.  When we were in New York we stopped by Yellow Korner Gallery and I was very taken with the work of Slim Aarons.  The pictures draw you in and take you to places like a warm, sunny and fun poolside in Palm Springs.  We also stopped by Yellow Korner in Paris last November and I decided that one day we’d definitely have to have a piece of his work in our home.  His work is so happy and perfect – it’s impossible not to feel uplifted looking at one of his pictures.

Exquisite aren’t they?  The problem is choosing which to go for!


The Parlour Brooklyn

· Dining in NY


Getting my hair cut has always been something I dread.  It’s not the hairdresser – it is entirely my problem.  Having said that, you could argue that the ‘issue’ arose from a dodgy hair do and ever since that fateful day I’ve been scarred.  So it was most out of character when I decided to not only try a new hairdresser, but to visit one in a totally different country.  Have you ever had your hair cut in a different country?  It’s an odd thought… as if having your hair cut in your own county somehow provides some sort of comfort blanket.  I think we’ve established that that isn’t true!  So with that in mind, I was fairly fearless when it came to deciding to lay my precious locks in the hands of a stylist across the Atlantic.  My salon of choice: The Parlour Brooklyn.  I must have read about them somewhere because when they came up in my Google search I made a beeline for them.

Their website showcases all their stylists and gives great bios on each of them.  I decided that Heather sounded like my kinda gal and chose a day that she was available.  My appointment fell on a particularly sludgy and bitterly cold day in early January.  Thankfully the snow had subsided so we left the suburbs safe in the knowledge that we wouldn’t wind up stranded.  We caught the East River Ferry over to Greenpoint (not the nicest of stops – and it looks particularly dull on a bleak day!).  Mike’s expert navigational skills found The Parlour, so as I dived in from the cold, Mike went in search of lunch.

The Parlour was every bit as cool in person as it appeared online.  Exposed brick walls, the soft glow from the stylists stations, and the gorgeous smell of the amazing lotions and potions they stock.  Heather greeted me with the warm smile of an old friend.  I was shown to my seat and felt immediately at ease – I didn’t give a second thought to the fact that I was asking Heather to cut 4 inches off my hair!  She asked me to pick out a gown of my choice from an array of beautiful colours before being shown to the wash station where the pampering began.

Back at my seat, Heather confirmed the style we’d discussed and set to work.  We chatted, swapping stories of our travels – it was all over too quickly!  But I just loved what she’d done – which was kinda obvious from my beaming smile!

As I waited for Mike to come and meet me I knew that I’d be booking my next haircut with Heather.  It may sound extravagant to have your hair stylist in a different country – but hey, since I’m travelling back and forth anyway it makes sense!

Predictably, it was raining when I left The Parlour.  But I was in such a good mood – I felt so proud of myself!  Mike took me and my new hair off to Williamsburg to this bar restaurant he used to go to when he lived in Brooklyn called Five Leaves.  We sipped wine and nibbled on charcuterie.  It was just the day we needed.

Pictures 1-3 via The Parlour Brooklyn


Lately

· Life


Four months, 12 days.  What a lazybones!  Well – that may be true in part, but actually there’s been a tonne of stuff happening in the background that more than covers my reasons for absence.

The big news is that at the end of December I left the interior design company I adore, with a slightly-misty-but-visible-enough path ahead of me.  Due to personal reasons Mike and I are travelling back and forth across to New York more frequently than ever, which is both tiring and emotionally draining.  New York will always be a city I’m so in love with – it’s shiny, gritty, noisy, robust, busy and I feel wonderfully anonymous exploring every nook and pocket of it.  But we now go over there on a different mission.  Over the last two months I have realised the depth of my love for Mike and his family.

This video, The Power of Empathy, is so insightful and true.  I wouldn’t say that those who are more sympathetic rather than empathetic in character are wrong or bad – and everyone has things happening in their lives that effects them at different times and in different ways.

So, my projects have taken a bit of a back seat recently but for now we’re back in London and I’m working hard to align my thoughts and work on my to-do list!

Before I could get started on my projects, I became Chief House-Hunter!  Over the last few months we’ve created little things to chuckle at, one of which was by giving ourselves imaginary badges – like you used to get when you were a Brownie / Girl Guide / Scout…  Last week, I earned the ‘Flat Finder’ badge!  And what a beaut she is…  After trailing around East London, and then North London, I was beginning to lose hope.  Everything was so expensive and not at all nice.  One place was a converted office block – the agent said it was like a converted warehouse.  There are no words to describe how terrible it was – it didn’t even have windows and was so dirty, with wires hanging from the ceiling.  I mean, come on!  £1600/month – he was obviously having a laugh!

When I saw our new home pop up on Zoopla, I was so excited!  It looked lovely.  Spacious yet homey.  The pictures didn’t show all the rooms, but I got a good feeling straight away.

Thankfully when we viewed the property the next morning it exceeded our expectations.  We looked at each other and offered there and then.  It is such a relief – flat hunting is such a palaver.  All you want to do is find somewhere that ticks all the boxes and get settled in.

We don’t move until early March so I have plenty of time to focus on my other to-do list!

Starting your own business is very very hard, and I’m only at the beginning.  I know my hard work will pay off – at the moment I’m getting very excited about my little daily accomplishments!  I’m new to Illustrator (ssshhh don’t tell…!), so when I created my new logo using it I was so chuffed with myself!  Let me know what you think:

I’ve lots more to share but this post is plenty long enough and if you’ve got this far – well done!  Go reward yourself with a cuppa.


Colbert, Sloane Square

· Dining in LON


On Sunday morning Mikey and I popped to Colbert for a spot of brunch to ease our hangovers from the night before (and the night before that….).   We’d initially planned on going to Cote across the road, but poor brunch planning meant that they’d run out of everything and had to stop serving early.  Tut tut!  Not to be messed with when our heads are throbbing, we mustered our best “oh, that’s ok” faces and turned toward Colbert.

Colbert is beautifully designed and the finishing touches are of the finest detail.  1920s/30s pictures confirm you have stepped back in time, and the LFW crowd decorated the tables with their stylish air.  Everyone was obviously someone, but no-one to me…  I don’t run in those circles but it’s very nice to pretend sometimes.

Brunch was a delicious croque madame – perfect and washed down with a virgin mary and cappuccino chaser.  Sadly Mikey’s brunch of scrambled eggs with chopped smoked salmon resembled baby food and made him feel less well than before.  A poor choice from the usually smug holder of the food envy card.  Better luck next time, Mikey ;-)



Aqua Shard

· Dining in LON


Birthday parties, weddings, suede shoe days, pump days, “oops I’ve forgotten my brolly” days… it always rains when you wish it wouldn’t!  So my first trip up the Shard was no exception!  Regardless of the blurred vision from the 32nd floor, London still looked spectacular…

We were surprised to find that Aqua Shard was so busy at 6:30pm on a Wednesday evening – the crowd looked comfortable like regulars.  We circled the room but couldn’t find seats so Mikey suggested we see if the restaurant has any space for dinner – a no-show meant we got lucky!  And lucked out on prime viewing window seats!

 

Now, my one criticism is the menu…. To me it seemed a little too… well, sophisticated I suppose.  It was too fancy and we both really struggled to find something that appealed to us.  We both opted for the risotto with a side of cucumber and yoghurt.  It was delicious and the perfect sized portion for me – although Mike polished his off in a nanosecond and could easily have gone for seconds…!

Like I said, the view was blurry from all the rain but we were still able to pick out the landmarks as the sun set and the lights of London shone brightly.

I’m a bit of a bathroom snob – not surprising (aren’t we all, ladies?!).  If you’re anything like me, you will love the bathroom at Aqua Shard!  If it’s not too weird to say so, it’s beautiful!  Apparently the little boys room has a rather directional viewpoint…


MEATOPIA!

· Dining in LON


MEATOPIA FAQ
Q. Will there be vegetarian DISHES?
A. UM…. no.

As the granddaughter of butchering stock I was delighted to hear that Meatopia was coming to London… and even more chuffed to be an invited guest of this wonderfully meatalicious event!

It was held at Tobacco Dock in south east London, where the event space was filled with plumes of BBQ smoke which we sniffed out from the tube station!

Meatopia is an annual event held in New York – like with most American imports, this was another I could totally get onboard with…  Meatbucks were used to purchase mini bespoke tasting dishes prepared by 20 carefully selected chefs including the likes of Duck and Waffle, Gizzi, Shake Shack, and Chop Shop to name a few.  There was beer tasting where I tried a very delicious honey beer and was reliably informed that not only are hops antibacterial but the honey would also help with my cold – I was sold.  The event ran for 9 hours, and although the food ran out (everyone was forewarned!) the drinks kept flowing and everyone got down to some amazing live music!

I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves….

After 5 hours of meating and drinking we made our way up to Angel to help our friend celebrate his 30th!  The evening started in their garden with cocktail-pong, followed by lots of cheesy dancing in Wenlock and Essex in Angel.

PS. The next Meatopia event will be held on 2nd-3rd November in Texas and boy do I wish I could go!


Have You Heard?

· Do it in LON


Albemarle Street is buoyant with hot new places opening this season.  Paul Smith’s amazing new store opened a fortnight ago at No.9 and is looking fabulous!  Pop along and be sure to say hi to my brother – he’s the tall blonde you’ll see rocking Paul’s new collection!

Another addition to Albemarle Street is Gymkhana, where we’ll undoubtedly be grabbing post work drinks when it’s doors open later this Autumn.


Autumn Style

· Style


It really does feel like Autumn today – the leaves are changing, the nights are pulling in and there’s definitely a chill in the air.  Since I am still recovering from a cold (and was out partying last night), today I decided to lacquer myself up in vaseline, stay in and indulge in a little online shopping!  Check out my inspiration below and links to the pieces I bought…

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You can find the one's I bought here

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You can find the pair I've bought here

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You can find the one's I've bought here 

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You can find my Tom Ford glasses here - style FT5233 colour 052

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