Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Fur. Faux or Vintage?

Its been a little while since I blogged, so after a somewhat eventful start to January I'm back in full force. From sub-tropical December and January, we finally hit winter - even if it's a little later than expected.

As we know I am obsessed with rummaging through bric-a-brac and vintage shops, I love the clutter, the retro carpet, the 80's hanging beads covering every doorway, and the eccentric shopkeeper I find tucked away inside. One of my favorite little shops has a 79 yr old woman who never fails to amaze with her incredible 1940s inspired outfits - I will ensure my next visit will be camera in hand so you too can marvel at her.

So where was I, oh yes, Winter. So my trips to these aladdins caves, especially in Winter always leave me face to face with fur. Real fur. Often 40 year old fur. I am an animal lover, well to say lover probably doesn't elaborate to quite the extent of how much I adore all our furry friends. That said I find vintage fur, fascinatingly beautiful. 

Is it ethical to kill an animal to wear its fur when we have the option of faux.  It's a huge debate that nobody has the answer to, I'll leave it for you to decide.

For now, enjoy my collection of real and faux furs that have captivated our catwalks this season.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Hidden Gem: Carom at Meza

It's all very Sex and the City to enjoy a Cosmopolitan with girlfriends, but it's got a little old now. If you fancy something a bit different head to Carom at Meza (100 Wardour St, London) for a spiced cocktail and luscious interiors. 

They also do scrumptious snacks, and at £6.50 for a cocktail we're not talking steep London prices. Considering the pedigree of chef Balaji Balachander who has worked as Executive Chef at Michelin-starred Benares in Mayfair, it's an excellent way to savour luxury at half the price.

Carom at Meza 100 Wardour Street

Friday, 16 December 2011

Hidden Gem: St Christopher's Place

Nestled just behind the hideous furore of Oxford Street is a gorgeous cluster of shops, cafés, restaurants, offices and flats which goes under the name of St Christopher's Place.

It's a treat for the senses, with Mrs Kibble's Olde Sweet Shoppe (less naff than the name would imply), the spectrum of stationery at Prints International and the gorgeous smells of an enormous Carluccio's. It's the best place to get a sense of individuality and reality after a day of jostling and indecorum in the emporiums of Oxford Street...well worth a visit!

St Christopher's Place, London, W1U 1BF

Friday, 9 December 2011

Hidden Gem: Fever Designs

Christmas is a festival of contrasts: joy of being with your loved ones and stress and the logistics; the pleasure of gift-giving and the anxiety of the strained overdraft; the delight in Christmas lights and the frustration at the heaving shops.

It was on a trip to Oxford Street to pick up a couple of items last Sunday evening (which has long since ceased being the day of rest) when I had a wave of claustraphobia. I took the side route back, and strolled down Eastcastle Street, to be greeted by the appealing spacious and visually stunning 'Fever Designs'

Crammed (tastefully) with a Ladurée-coloured assortment of dresses, I felt it would be rude not to go in and have a little peek. I was not disappointed.

One corner of the store was devoted to Vintage wear for a lovely root through, and the longest wall was lined with changing rooms constructed from the sort of gorgeously peeling doors I've always hoped to be cool enough to pull off in (or outside!) my house.

The wall of scarves sums up the feeling of Fever's flagship store: eclectic, creative and refined. The prices are reasonable, the clothes are beautiful and the staff incredibly friendly. A far better place to pick out a few Christmas gifts than the cattle markets of Oxford Street.

Fever Designs, 52 Eastcastle Street, London W1W 8ED
020 7636 6326
Monday - Saturday: 11.00 - 19.00
Sunday: 12.00 - 17.00

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Red Candy Voted Britains Best Luxury and Unique Seller 2011!

Frooly the online marketplace for luxury and unique sellers launched this prestigious award in November of this year.

Britain’s Best Luxury & Unique Seller 2011 celebrates remarkable small retailers; great design, service and unique identity.  It’s a people’s choice award, with over 2000 people UK wide voting for their champion.

The award winner Red Candy is dedicated to red home furnishings and modern interior accessories. Founded in 2009 by Andrew Menzies, Andrew had the idea for the business when furnishing a new home and spending hours looking for the right items. Over the last two and a half years Red Candy’s popularity has grown phenomenally;

Andrew Menzies, Founder of Red Candy said:
“I'm absolutely over the moon about winning!  After the hours and hours spent building Red Candy from the ground up, it's so rewarding to be recognised. Tremendous thanks to our army of passionate red lovers that have faithfully supported us from the start. Viva red stuff!”

Gemma Baldan, Co Founder of Frooly:
“We’re thrilled that Red Candy won the title. We’re so passionate about independent retailers; our whole ethos is around celebrating and showcasing them. We want to make them more accessible, and turn the tide of clone high streets and clone shopping. This award has provided a great deal of recognition for the hard work and determination from all these businesses. We hope that we’ve contributed to more money spent with our independent sellers this Christmas”.

Take a trip over to Red Candy's frooly store

Friday, 2 December 2011

Product of the Week: Retro Vintage Style "Nutcracker" Christmas Stocking

Now that it's actually December, it's acceptable to get over-excited about Christmas. The tiny little gifts you can buy, the hideously sickly coffees you are permitted to drink, and the...giant socks you put the presents in!

Handmade by Court and Sparkle - the pseudonym of Philippa Harding - of Northampton, this gorgeous Christmas stocking is not just for the little 'uns. After all, why keep all the fun for them...? 

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Hidden Gem: Bloomsbury Coffee House

This Gem is so hidden, it doesn't even have a website! That doesn't stop it being gorgeous; it's the only spot in London I've found which hand makes its Chai Lattes (i.e. not from an instant powder), and which has the frustrating - but rather endearing - closing time of 5 p.m.

Their homemade cakes are, as you can see, something to get excited about. Moist, fresh and choca full of ingredients, they're well worth the £2 price tag.

Two small rooms are always playing host to students or residents; some working (they're not antiquated enough to not have WiFi), some reading, some talking. The atmosphere is adorable. What's more, it's only 10 minutes from Kings Cross station.

(Rob Grieg, Time Out)

Bloomsbury Coffee House, 20 Tavistock Place WC1H 9RE