Friday, 26 June 2015

Spa Love at Aire Ancient Baths New York

I tried to think of all sorts of clever titles for this post, but they just started getting a bit steamy.  By modern standards I was probably late experiencing my first ever salon beauty treatment. I was at University, working as a sales assistant at the weekends and about to go on a date with the man that would become my husband. It was a basic Clarins facial in Selfridges, London.  In just two short years I was working at Selfridges, responsible for recruiting the beauty hall staff and that’s when my spa and treatment fixation really took hold. In fact I was hooked.

The idea of medicinal bathing has been around since Roman times, it is thought that the term 'spa' is an acronym of the Latin phrase 'sanitas per aquas' or health through water. Whatever the original meaning, today the word spa suggests a way to indulge yourself while improving your health.  I can remember my first ever thermal spa experience at the now defunct Sanctuary in Covent Garden. At the time I thought it was quite good (although a bit grotty in the corners, if you know what I mean).  But that was before I experienced the lovely C-Side at Cowley Manor. Then I realized what spas were meant to be like. C-side is a completely laid-back wellness space with slate-lined pools and Cotswolds stone walls and herb-based products. It was a blissful two-night stay not long after Cowley Manor had opened.  I still think back to it fondly.


Thursday, 25 June 2015

Salvo Fair Competition

Over on instagram and facebook I am running a competition to give away two tickets to this years Salvo Fair on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th June at Henley-on-Thames.  It’s Europe’s largest salvage fair and definitely right up my street. I’ve had fun there in previous years and picked up some great treasure. See my previous post here 
To win the tickets please head over to my instagram page here

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Paris with a Japanese flavour

Currently in my hallway is a line of packed suitcases and none of them are mine. I’m not the one going travelling and this makes me a little bit miffed. My dear husband is off on his travels again, I know I shouldn't be annoyed, in fact I will miss him lots. But it’s the fact that my DH is off to Tokyo for business and will visit Japan (again) that I’m narked at.  Japan is right at the top of my bucket list of places to visit.

I couldn’t just fume in silence, especially as it’s thoroughly unjustified; I needed a trip of my own to look forward to. So I’ve booked one. Yes, I've booked a trip to Paris in September. It isn’t quite as “so there” childish sulk as its sounds (I promise). I do actually need to go to Paris for Paris Design Week. And I cannot wait; it’s going to be fantastic to visit Maison & Objet and the satellite shows. My very dear friend is actually off to Paris this weekend, so I thought I'd share a few pointers on where I thought was worth visiting. 
A much younger me in Paris in 2002.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Making it happen

Last weekend I attended Blogtacular, which is an annual UK blogging conference that brings bloggers together to network, share knowledge and be inspired through talks and workshops. This years keynote speaker was the lovely Grace Bonney of DesignSponge fame, who’s a blog hero of mine. There were a host of inspiring and practical workshops and I met some truly wonderful and extraordinary people. I’m especially grateful to Monica Stott of for her super helpful talk about her life as a travel blogger and finally I met Igor of who’s been a tweet buddy since way back sharing travel tips.  I can’t wait for next year’s agenda for Blogtacular.
Grace Bonney’s keynote speech really got me thinking though, about at all the hats we have to wear and how we define ourselves. Especially in this fast paced crazy social media world that bloggers often orbit in. She focused on embracing change and facing your fears.  I’ve managed and coached people through change and it’s easy to feel all at sea. It’s equally easy to feel like the mountain is too high to climb when you’re wearing too many hats; interior designer, freelancer, blogger, writer, photographer, creative director, tutor, wife, mother, dog walker, stylist, web builder, relationship manager, lead generator, administrator, financial controller…. And lets not forgot the often left off the list cook, cleaner and bottle washer.

Monday, 15 June 2015

5 Reasons to love New York

As any reader of this blog knows I’m not long back from New York. The whole reason for this trip was for New York x Design (aka New York Design Week) and I’ve seen so many great things I feel extremely touched that Modenus gave me the opportunity.  So whilst my show and tell about the design I saw is still ongoing (watch out for future posts) I thought I’d share just five reasons (because there are actually countless reason’s) why I love New York.
New York is not a new city to me I’ve been there 19 times (I just counted the stamps in my passports and am surprised it’s “only” that many). However it is a city that just never ever stands still. It’s a city full of bustle, of highflying go-getters, tourists and traffic and if you stick to the guidebooks you can feel like you’ve missed the mark and wonder what all the fuss is about. Then suddenly out of the blue you’ll discover a path in the park or a street you've never been on before and you fall in love with the city.

Friday, 12 June 2015

ICFF 2015 lighting trends

Whilst I was wearing through shoe leather pounding the aisles of ICFF I saw plenty of standout products.  Most fell into two categories and my two loves (!) lighting and chairs.

I thought the lighting seen at ICFF was my favourite product category with some gorgeous pieces that I haven’t come across here in Europe. Lighting designers Paul Priven and Marcia Zia of Zia-Priven had some beautiful lights in fact their glass pendants were very easy on the eye. I also found plenty to like at Materiadesigns where I loved their parchment light and lovely brass hardware. Plus my new favourites Apparatus studio full of inventive design (horsehair lights anyone?) and the most “on trend” soft peachy pink stand.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Art Car Boot Fair 2015

The annual Art Car Boot Fair is on this Sunday 14th June 12pm - 6pm. If you’re in London and at a loose end it’s always fun. This year it’s being held at Brick Lane Yard (Corner of Brick Lane and Buxton Street, London E1). 

I’m not going to be able to make it but from previous experience its always colourful although sure to be crowded. You might even be lucky enough to source 'one off' collectible pieces from over 100 artists including Tracey Emin, Peter Blake, Gavin Turk, Polly Morgan and Jake Chapman.

Top Tip take cash as cashpoints are few and far between around Brick Lane. 

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

South of France Countdown

It's only 22 days #countdown till we're back here in the South of France and I can not wait to feel the sunshine on my bones. Shame I won't be on one of those lovely yachts though. #wunderlust #Monaco 


Monday, 8 June 2015

New York Design Week with #BlogTourNYC

Sorry for the delay it’s been one of those weeks (my little one has had Scarlet Fever) and I’ve been desperate to share more from my #BlogtourNYC trip, in fact this has been half written for 10 days.

So where shall I kick off……

As you know I recently had the privilege of attending the Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse. Whilst I was in NYC for New York Design Week I also packed in some other great events such as Frieze Art Fair, ICFF (international contemporary furniture fair), WantedDesign, DesignJUnction, Launch of Rootcellar Designs by Tamara Matthews, AIRE Ancient Baths of NYC and various dinners, lunches and parties {a huge thank you so much Modenus for the opportunity} It was an inspiring opportunity and a chance to see products and people that do not show in Europe, as well as seeing familiar faces presenting to a new audience.
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