Tag Archives: owls

If you are tired of London…*

26 Nov

Lately there has been a spate of newspaper columns decrying London’s growing inequality – basically, we are back to Dickens’ bleak times, when it comes to disparity between the rich and the poor.  And though I agree with those columnists, most notably my favourite Caitlin Moran, who wrote about London being drained of the young and creative due to grotesque rents, and becoming merely a place where the global elite invest in houses, I still enjoy visiting enormously. In small, 8-10 hour long doses, it is a treat. There are very few places on Earth as exciting as London when it comes to my twin passions: food and culture – the latter often still, against the odds, either free or affordable. When I visited previously, I saw Old Times, a Pinter play with Kirstin Scott-Thomas** and Rufus Sewell, and it cost me only a tenner.

This time, my pursuits were less lofty – I really wanted to try cakes at the much-lauded Honey & Co, and pop into equally hyped Maille mustard shop. I also wanted to simply wander, soaking up the Christmas atmosphereThe legendary Christmas windows in Selfridges*** didn’t disappoint. It might be hard to see, given the quality of my “amazing” photos, but each object is an enormous replica of the real thing – so the Fornasetti pot is so big, I could probably squeeze inside it. Also, some elements are mobile.

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I walked the length of Regent Street, stopping to browse at my favourite shops: & Other Stories and Zara Home. Having indulged in some retail therapy earlier, thanks to M&S’ extraordinary generosity, I was able to resist the siren calls of  some fabulous accessories at & Other Stories, and Christmas decorations at Zara Home. I also stopped by the newly opened J.Crew, but didn’t linger, in the spirit of protest against UK prices being far higher than they are in the US (same story with Anthropologie and Free People – I love both, but what’s  with the hugely increased, sometimes by as much 50%, prices?!).

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Zara Home’s window, with bonus owl

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Beautiful tree in Penhaligon’s window

I then walked down to The Wolseley, but should have known better – it was the tail – end of lunchtime, and the place was packed. I didn’t fancy waiting around for 20 minutes, even though the atmosphere was most convivial, so I hoofed it nearby to the also newly opened Maille Mustard Shop. If you are, like me, a mustard fan, it is a must. You can buy so many different flavours, from quite simple and rustic, to luxurious ones. I  tried a few flavours (mustard with nuts was a revelation),  and the staff were charming and helpful. If you are looking for Christmas gifts for a foodie, look no further.

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There is more than a hundred types of mustard to choose from at Maille boutique

By this time, I was really peckish, so I decided to visit Honey & Co in Warren Street to sample their so-trendy-it-hurts Middle Eastern baking. One of the chefs worked at Ottolenghi and Nopi and I read both A A Gill’s (Sunday Times) and Jay Rayner’s (The Guardian) glowing reviews, and it had just scooped up Observer Food Monthly  Award in the Newcomer category. I only had cake and tea (properly long lunch is not a solitary pursuit),  warm pistachio cake with stewed plums and sour cream, and it was delicious. This is not a date restaurant –  it is the size of a small sitting room and you are practically touching your neighbours elbows – but definitely worth visiting, if you actually want to eat, rather than flirt.

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Honey & Co

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Honey & Co’s delicious cakes (picture from their website)

Oh, and on the way there, I saw David Mitchell. An hour later, in Covent Garden,  where I went to buy cheese at Neal’s Yard Dairy, I nearly bumped into Ben Whishaw.

So: a styling session with lovely Hilary and her team, delicious food, festive window shopping and celebrity-spotting -it really was a perfect day:.

*…you are tired of life” – Samuel Johnson.

**Major woman – crush of mine.

***When people who don’t know London at all (or at least not well), ask me to recommend a department store, I always advise them to steer clear of Harrods, which is often the only department store they’ve heard of, and instead head to Liberty, Selfridges and Fortnum & Mason.

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Two little triumphs

11 Nov

First off: our owl pumpkin came third, against strong competition, in a Facebook contest, organised by an online store Rigby and Mac (it sells quite a few owls, BTW). The judge, @SweetMissHope, of the well-known sweets emporium, Hope & Ringwood, said: “This owl looks extremely naughty & makes me smile”. Though there was no prize, we were pleased, as the level of entries was high.

My second small triumph: as of this week, I have more than 1000 followers on Pinterest. I was not even monitoring it very closely, and it was just a fluke that I looked at my Pinterest a few days ago and saw that round, magical number, “1000” in the lower right hand corner. Thank you to all my followers. As someone tweeted the other day – it is hard not to spend your life on Pinterest, there is so much beauty.

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I’ll be back to blogging about my scent collection soon.

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Anna Sui perfume came with its own little house

 

Happy Halloween!

31 Oct

 

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Here is the first, but certainly not the last, owl on this blog. I have a bit of an owl obsession, as evidenced by this Pinterest board and what I wore yesterday: 

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And a little blast from the past (I think it’s 5 years ago):

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