Sunday, 14 December 2014

Christmas Plans...

Midway through December and the panic has set in..... I am nowhere near ready for Christmas and since coming back from New York I have tripped from one disaster to another.....  If I didn't have such lovely things planned I would creep under my duvet and not come out until Spring!...
Disaster 1~ the night before I flew to New York I managed to loose my work cards,and all my bank cards.... not something you need to do 8 hours before you board a flight across the Atlantic, thankfully I had $ but it was still a tad inconvenient.
Disaster 2~ Florence my little car was stolen Tuesday whilst I was at work, which means that I am now having to deal with insurance companies etc... on top of Christmas this is an added stress that I do't need....
Now waiting for the 3rd!....as they say bad luck comes in threes!
Other than New York, I have done some lovely things and still have more planned. (blog posts to come)
Cinema treats ~ the fabulous Paddington movie. A perfect family movie that will bring a tear to your eye and a smile to your heart.
Bubbledogs ~ team night out full of fun & laughter, hotdogs and champagne.
Byron Burger ~ Cheesmas burger, girly fun over burgers & boe.
Alfie Boe ~ a great night at the O2 with the mecanic who became a tenor.
This week I have some amazing treats to look forward to including Dinner at Le Chalet (Selfridges rooftop restaurant) an evening with Michael Buble, and Dinner & Drinks at Claridges. I also have an evening planned at friends for dinner and to exchange gifts for christmas ( I do have to think about wrapping some of that this week) The Christmas To Do list grows, but as I'm home alone this year I'm not going to stressed too much if it doesn't all get done....
what have you got planned?.... are you all ready?... would love to hear how you are all getting on.


Saturday, 13 December 2014

Please look after this bear.....

Some weeks ago I shared the Selfridges story of Paddington Bear and how fabulous the Everyman Cinema is in the basement of the big yellow store.
Recently I spent an evening in this gorgeous little cinema to watch this Christmas's family treat Paddington. It really did feel that the lovable bear had come home.
The film is magical from start to finish, a couple of times during the film it tugged on my heart strings an a tear came to the eye, it also had lots of fun and laughter and made my heart smile lots.
Paddington finds himself leaving his beloved Peru and Aunt Lucy to embark on a huge adventure to London. Homeless and lonely he is found by the Brown family.... 
here he is having tea & cake with Mr Brown (played by English gent Hugh Bonneville)
Paddington is desperate to find the original explorer who visited Peru many years before and The Brown family offer their help in this, although thinks don't go to plan and he finds himself out in London on his own in the rain at Buckingham Palace.
I thoroughly enjoyed this film, it was feel good, funny and had a fabulous villain in the guise of Nicole Kidman who plays a villainous taxidermist who resides in the bowels of the Natural History Museum. Great supporting cast & characters from Julie Walters, Peter Capaldi, Sally Hawkins, Jim Broadbent and voices of Ben Wishaw, Imelda Staunton and Michael Gambon.
Paddington has been making a surprise appearance in the yellow store during December much to the delight of children big & small!

Monday, 8 December 2014

A slice of the Big Apple....

Hello.... I'm back from the Big Apple and straight into the flurry of work and Christmas events!
The suitcase is only partially unpacked and I have over 1,000 pictures to review and edit!.... some of which I will be sharing over the coming weeks, so bare with me as I share a brief slice of my week.
My 5 days stateside were fabulous and I packed so much in, when I look back on the pictures I think I will be posting all through January to share my adventures!....and adventures I had!
My 5 days featured seeing rock stars, film stars and former presidents!...  I ate a sprinkle of cupcakes and supped a few cocktails, and savored lots of coffee!. My travels saw me walk many miles, and I lived lots of movie moments.
There was also lots of fun and festivities as New York switched from Thanksgiving into full Happy Holiday's mode. The gorgeous tree was lit at The Rockefeller Centre whilst I was there. In amongst the festivities there was also time for some quite reflection at St Patrick's Cathedral and the heartbreaking 9/11 memorial museum and lots of protests in light of recent news events.
My love of books also featured heavily in my trip.... my kindle was filled with fabulous NY reads which I will be sharing with you along with some great literary loves in New York, including the gorgeous NY library.
I hope that I have tickled your taste buds from the Big Apple, and pop back for some bigger bites in days/weeks to come....

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

10 years on....

And I'm back in the city that holds my heart for more than one reason...... This is where I was 10 years ago when I received the news that my Nan had died.... She was so much more to me than just a Nan... She was my confident, friend, and matriarchical grandmother in one and I loved her unconditionally.
Growing up with her was a joy, and I got 34 years of that, of which I am blessed.... We had many 'things' and one of them was whereever I travelled she was my last call before I boarded at the gate. I never expected for that call on December 1st 2004 would be the last time I heard her voice and her "I love you Polly, be safe" would be the last thing she said to me.
Within 12 hours of that call, I was in Times Square scrambling to catch a flight back to try and see her as the Dr's had given her hours to live.... Unfortunately I only managed to get to JFK & be at the boarding gate when I got the call to say it was too late.... On my own and with an 8 hour flight ahead of me, I thought my world had ended....
So with a heavy heart in amongst the glamour & excitement of this amazing city today I will light a candle in St Patricks Cathedral for the women who loved me unconditionally and shaped the woman I am today... Thankyou Nannie... I love you, miss you and think of you every day....u
10 years ago I lost a big chunk of my heart in this city, every time I return it heals a small part.❤️��

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Hello New York....

As we say goodbye to November and say hello to December I will be on route to New York!.... I am really looking forward to it and kicks off my Countdown to Christmas in amazing style..... I am busy packing with my NY capsule wardrobe.....
The weather looks mixed for the week, so I am packing or cold, sun & rain!... I hope to post via instagram and even post a couple of blog posts if I get the chance.... if not I will update you all when I return. I have 62 things on my "NY to Do" list...                
see you all soon..... x


Tuesday, 25 November 2014

New York State of Mind.....

This time next week I will be waking up in the city that doesn't sleep..... yes I am off to New York! I am a little excited.
It's 2 years since I was last there and really looking forward to going back. My bucket-list of things to do/see/eat/drink is in excess of 60 ... not sure I will achieve that in 5 days, but I will do my hardest.
My Instagram feed is full of pictures which are just adding to the excitement, here a few of my favourite sights over the last couple of weeks...
  • Saks holiday lights & Rockefeller Angels from marekrr
  • Rockefeller centre from library hotel
  • a fabulous B&W street photo taken by DanTVusa
  • Centre St/Broome St Taxi scene from A guy named patrick.
  • Veterans Day lit Empire State from Dantvusa
  • Bloomingdales gorgeous photo of the One World Trade centre
  • Brooklyn Bridge & City skyline from David Gandy
  • Empire State lit in Tiffany Blue for Alzheimers
  • Fall follliage in Central park from russnyc.
As well as collating favourite sights, I have also collated some of my favourite eats & drinks locations. Looking at my list I think I am going to eat & drink my way around the city!
  • Sprinkles cupcakes & Bloomingdale's - the perfect combination.
  • Katz Deli - if it was goo enough for Harry & Sally then its good enough for me!
  • Baked - so pleased to see this Brooklyn Baker has moved into the Tribeca 
  • Sweet Revenge - a favourite NY must, where else can you get cupcakes & wine!
  • The Smith - perfect for breakfast & dinner... will definitely be visiting more than once. 
  • Campbell Apartment bar - tucked into the eves of Grand Central Station, looking forward to sipping a cocktail here in one of Gossip Girls favourites ... xoxo..
  • Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate & EggNog from Shake shack.... not just great burgers.
  • Bookmark Lounge in The Library Hotel, cocktails to match literary greats... complete with a heated balcony lounge.
As I'm typing this I have my New York playlist on in the background and I'm listening to the aptly named New York State of Mind!.... showcasing Billy Joel & Barbara Streisand.
will be sharing more of my New York countdown this week....

Friday, 21 November 2014

Beauty Treats & Lusts....

Having one of the biggest beauty halls in the world  a short distance from my desk, can often be a too much of a temptation. Over the last few months a few things have fallen into my shopping bag, here's some of my favourites ....

Tom Ford Lip Colour in Casablanca - a great everyday colour with fabulous staying power - my first matt lipstick in a long time.
  • Bobbi Brown Lip Colour in Pink Beige - the perfect pink nude matt lipstick, I would never have picked this but loved it following my BB makeover in the summer - a great work/day nude.
  • Charlotte Tilbury full fat lashes mascara - a re-purchase for me asthis really is a gorgeous mascara and has replaced my YSL mascara for va va voom!
  • Dior Glow maximiser - a gorgeous base illuminator primer - with every big brand launching exclusive highlighters, this is my favourite non-powder - mix with foundation for an all over brightener, or sculpt in special places.
  • Clinique - smart custom repair serum - loving this serum, it responds to skins needs and I have already re-bought as it is a great find for me. With Clinique launching a points app with Selfridges, it really is the perfect way to shop & save at the same time.
Chanel:-
  • Powder Blush - Malice - a gorgeous pink/orange, much brighter than what i would normally choose, but now converted.
  • Waterproof mascara - perfect staying power which removes easily with remover. A must for me in the winter as my eyes water a lot.
  • Rouge Coco Shine - Intime - a gorgeous nude glaze. I a usually a fan of Boy, but liking this as an alternative.
  • Le Vernis Nail Colour in Orage - a gorgeous charcoal black / grey - perfect for winter months.
  • and the limited edition Les Beiges healthy glow compact - deliciously gorgeous.
Christian Louboutin - 
CL inspiration for his red sole shoes originated from a bottle of nail polish on his design desk whilst drawing his famous Pigalle shoes.... this colour red is now synonymous with the brand. With Louboutin now diversifying into the beauty realms I had to snap up the red and the blck polosh when launched!.... how gorgeous are these bottles and the packaging is fabulous, coming in mini square shoe boxes.
The polish is amazing and coverage is fantastic.

With Christmas fast approaching I am coveting a number of things..... so on my Santa list I have the following: 

What are your Beauty buys recently? and what have you got on your Santa Lust lists!.... would love to hear from you all...

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas....

There is no avoiding the festive season when you are bombarded with Christmas adverts on the TV. Over the past few years, these have become bigger than some of the TV programmes that they sandwich and are now a huge part of the Christmas countdown. Here are my favourites from 2013 and my 5 festive favourites from this year 2014. It seems this year the big names are all trying to show Christmas as less commercial, which is a little ironic and showcase what its about; sharing, happiness, good deeds,peace, love and friendship.... gets a big hug from me!
1. Sainsbury's ~ Silent Night - haunting and symbolic of this years commemorations of the first world war. Symbolising Christmas is for sharing, made in collaboration with the British Legion, it is stunning.... every stocking should have a bar of chocolate in it this year.
2. John Lewis ~ Monty the Penguin - JL have done is again, they have every year pulled out all the stops for their christams ad, and this years tugs on all the heart strings,... loving Monty & Mabel
3. Waitrose Gingerbread Stall - simple & effect, when you own something, you care just a little more.
4.Magic & Sparkle from M&S.... a little disappointed that M&S didn't have  David Gandy in his pants and aSanta hat for their ad his year, but liking the fairies... Marble Arch M&S looks fabulous, I will share some pictures soon.
5.Give a little Happiness ~ Coca Cola.... Holiday's are definitely coming when the Coca Cola truck pulls over the hill... liking the give a little happiness.
 Are you loving the ads? and if so which ones are your favourites?
x

Friday, 14 November 2014

Popcorn & Prosecco treats....

This autumn & winter going to the Cinema for me has taken on a whole new adventure..... I no longer have to rush for the train to get to my local cinema on time, I can just pop down 4 flights of stairs from my desk to the Everyman Cinema in the lowerground sales floor of Selfridges. The cinema hit the headlines when opened, as its the first of its kind in a department store and is proving to be one of the coolest after work places to be seen.
As you can see its retro glamour at its glorious, with velvet chairs and couches and side tables to watch the films in comfort, with a fabulous bar offering treats not often found at the cinema... yes the signature popcorn is on the menu, but how many times can you accompany it with a glass of prosecco!
Winter is my favourite cinema time, as you really can escape from the cold and rain and escape into other times, realms & worlds. Here are a few of the things that I have seen in this lovely cinema and some that I am looking forward to:
Autumn reviews:
Pride: With a fabulous British cast this film details the support that the Gay campaigners gave the Miners strike in the mid 80's. ... I really enjoyed this movie on so many levels, I was completely unaware of any of this growing up and was so interested in it. Bill Nighy is one of my favourite British actors and he is his great in this. This movie has a real feel good factor and really does fill you with a sense of pride.
Mr Turner: Another British film, directed by Mike Leigh , this biopic showcases the life of the artist Turner. Starring Timothy Spall, is is a cinematic masterpiece, stunning visuals which look glorious on the big screen. It takes you from the dingy streets of Victorian London to the seaside esplanade of Margate. Spall deserving of some accolades for this portrayl.... thoroughly enjoyed.
I have a few movies booked for forthcoming weeks and a lovely Christmas Treat..... here's whats on my Winter Watchlist:
The Imitation Game; another biopic, based on a true story of  Alan Turing, the Enigma codebreaker. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Kiera Knightley. Although Turing was regarded a hero he was persecuted for his homosexuality and is a forgotten hero of the 2nd world war.
Paddington: I have already professed my love for this little bear in a blog post here, and is there a better venue to see this movie, than the department store that the original bear was purchased from.
and a very special Cinematic Christmas Treat for a couple of weeks in December.... It's a Wonderful Life.
Looking ahead to 2015.... tickets are already booked for the much talked about Fifty Shades of Grey. ... 2nd trailer released yesterday in-conjunction with advanced ticket sales.
As you can see its the perfect escapism from the hustle and bustle of shopping and the stresses of the winter season in a fabulous location. Great for a night out after work, or a treat during the day ... and with a Saturday morning children s slot its great for families too!

Sunday, 9 November 2014

100 years on.... a nation remembers

This weekend, this nation will pause for 2 minutes silence and reflect on lives lost past and present in conflicts spanning the last 100 years. 100 years ago Britain went to war... millions of men signed up to fight for Queen and country without any hesitation...... 888,246 British boys did not make it home. 18 years after WW1 was over, we went to war again, this time overcoming the allies, fatalities still in the 100,000's ... since then we have lost lives in many conflict, both on home soil and far afield in Falklands, Iraq and Afghanistan. There is nothing that I can type that can repay the debt that we owe to those that have made the ultimate sacrifice and Thank-you seems so insignificant on a day like today.
The Poppies at the Tower have touched so many this year and have the ability to span generations.... it has been one of my favourite things to see and do during the past 5 months. My heart aches when I visit and I so wish my Nan and Gramps would have seen it, they would have loved it and would have been so proud.
Remembrance weekend is always a difficult weekend for me, I miss my grandparents every day, but I always feel it the most this weekend. We always watched the Remembrance service both from the Albert Hall and the Cenotaph together, attending church parade together when I was younger,
This morning, my mum and I visited the cemetery for some quiet contemplation.....
So today I wear my poppy with pride, and remember all the sacrifices made....

I have posted many different memorial/remembrance posts, here are a few of my favourites...


Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Paddington has arrived in London

Way back in June I shared my excitement of the news that Paddington would be heading to the big screen for Christmas.... there has seen some changes since the 1st trailer with BenWishaw  replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington.
I also shared that I had some things that I needed to keep under my hat... I can reveal that Paddington is also taking centre (more like corner) stage in Sefridges on Oxford Street with his own curiosity shop and windows.
Back in 1956 on Christmas Eve, Michael Bond was shopping in Selfridges Oxford Street, when he spied a lone bear sitting on a shelf in the Toy shop. He purchased he bear and took him home to his wife, where they named him Paddington ... this little bear became the influence of so many books written by Mr Bond over the years. Within the Curiosity shop, sits the original typewriter that Michael wrote the books on and also some of the costumes from the forthcoming film.
3 of the windows have had a Paddington takeover, complete with train track, lost & found post and trunks and marmalade galore.
The pinnacle being a golden taxi, covered with marmalade and a golden bear (designed by Kate Moss for the Paddington Trail)
The Paddington Trail will come to life across London this week, where 50 specially designed Paddingtons will be sited for children and adults to find across the winter holiday season. I look forward to spending some time finding these!.... minature versions of some of the bears will be available in the paddington curiosity shop.
Having seen the 2nd trailer of the film this week I am looking forward to seeing the film in December
Along with many gorgeous bears, the curiosity shop also houses some gorgeous bear essentials.... including some very special golden labeled marmalade and buttered marmalade popcorn. The perfect accompaniment for bears and santa!
pop back for more paddington adventures over the holiday season....

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Poppies at the Tower....

I have shared my visits previously to the Tower of London poppy fields over the summer, and on each visit the crowds have grown considerably. Back in July when I visited at the beginning of the install, the crowds were minimal and you could walk around the tower freely and really take in the humbling impact it had in peace and quiet solitude.
When I returned in early September the crowds and the poppies had grown, increasing the visual impact of such an amazing piece of work. By my return visit in October the crowds had grown to such proportions that it made any movement around the tower reminiscent of a battling through Oxford street Christmas week.
The first of the 888,246 ceramic poppies was planted in the Tower's dry moat in July, with the final one due to be installed on Armistice Day and thousands of people have travelled from across the globe to visit the tower and see the poppies.

I am so thrilled that all the poppies have sold and I look forward to receiving mine in 2015.


Each evening at sunset a roll call of honour is read and the last post sounds.... it is without one of the most moving things I have heard. You can hear a pin drop around the tower during this 20 minutes, followed by a huge applause, I was at this point sobbing....


As Armistice day approaches I am sure the crowds will continue to expand, it is one of the most humbling visions that I have seen....

Saturday, 1 November 2014

# Project Life ~ October

Its hard to believe as I sit ad type this, that it is November and currently 18' outside.... October was glorious, filled with occasional rain, an even more occasional cold day and oodles of  autumnal sunshine.  With the weather being so warm, its hard to realise that Christmas is now only 7 weeks away......
October for me was gorgeous, I had some much needed time off work and I spent some it chilling and enjoying some sumptuous surroundings. It also kicked off Christmas and time for some planning... here's some snapshots from my October.
  • Destination Christmas Selfridges wrapped the store windows for a week to complete its holiday window install. Unveiling over a night to reveal the Selfridges Christmas story filled with fairytales, magic & wonder.... and 1000's of sparkly lights.
  • Fitz & Darcy have become familiar with the cat carrier this month as they have had weekly trips to the vets this month; they are now inoculated, micro-chipped, flea'ed and their boy bits chopped!... both have been exemplary patients.
  • Sunshine... glorious sunrises captured at different parts of the month, favourite being from the Savoy and standing on the station platform waiting for the train.
  • Kit sitting... this month I looked after Fitz & Darcy's brother and mum whilst friends were on holiday...  the kits are going back to spend the week with mum & bruv whilst  I am away next month.
  • Christmas & 2015 planning..... with so much in my diary I spent some down time planning and organising the next few months.
  • Starbucks Red Cups ... with the launch of Christmas at work, they also secured and exclusive with Starbucks to release their holiday range on the same day, along with an exclusive gold range of eats & treats.

  • A Sunday at the Savoy ~ overnight stay at The Savoy ticked a big box on my bucketlist. An glorious hotel full of glamour, old school charm and exemplary service. Had a truly magical stay.  Room was gorgeous, and the late night drinks were divine in the American Bar.
  • New York Planning ~ with 4 weeks to go until I'm in the big Apple!.... have 62 things on my 'must' list which I need to condense into 5 days!... think that I need to streamline the wish list!
  • Remembering loved ones passed... October saw Nan's birthday arrive, she would have been 93, although I go weekly to cemetary, for birthdays & occasions I have taken to picking my mum up and visiting together.. this allows us to grab a coffee after and spend sometime togther ( a rare occasion)
  • A night in Memphis - preview seats for the new west end musical Memphis, was fabulous. Beverley Knight & Killian Donnelly stealing the stage in presence and voice... a must see,great night out with me and the 'olds'.
  • Afternoon Tea Mr Selfridge style - Theatre pre-fixed by a scrumptious tea Mr Selfridge style in The Corner Restaurant of Selfridges ~ a hidden gem on the 2nd floor overlooking Oxford street.
  • Tony takes Drury Lane ~ Sunday night at the Savoy entertainment from Tony Hadley... an all round old school entertainer... sung a repertoire of songs spanning decades accompanied by a 50 piece orchestra... filled with glamour, charm and the occasional JD, all in beautiful surroundings.

So as we say goodbye to October, here's to a memorable November...... alas no trips to the Savoy planned this month, but with a trip to New York 4 weeks away, and Christmas 3 weeks after that, I have a quiet month planned!

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Slices of the Bake & Cake show....

Last Saturday I headed to North London for the first Good Food Bake & Cake show... the show was being held at the Design Centre in Islington a short walk from Angel station. On arrival I was handed a free show guide filled with  great recipes which were being showcased during the Bakes & Cakes theatre sessions, along with a floorplan, timetable and A-Z of exhibitors. As I entered the centre Mary Berry was just cutting the pink ribbon to open the show.
My ticket included a session at the theatre and I had booked the Mary Berry & Lucy show, which was the first to start. The theatre sessions were incredible well organised and lots fun. With the requisite advertorials met, hosted by Lisa Faulkner and a very funny camera man Tony, Mary was joined on stage by her daughter Annabel, where they baked Chocolate & Irish Cream roulade, Raspberry & Apple muffins and Fig & Nut bars.
Mary made them look so easy, and I am definitely making the chocolate roulade at Christmas.  Leaving the theatre it was time to peruse the exhibits, there was a mixture of some big name sponsers, along with some favourites of mine; Baker & Maker,  & Iced Jems, and Simply Vintage.
Iced Jems is a great little store which houses some of the best offerings of cupcake cases, straws and cutters .. have used the site many times and it was lovely to finally met Jemma and her family. The stand looked amazing (and yes I did come home with some more treats!) Baker & Maker also offer some fabulous bakeware and retro pieces, milk bottles being my favourite and the gorgeous milk glass cake stands.

Another favourite of mine is Simply Vintage designs,  a cool company that deals in vintage kitchen and bakeware.
One of my favourite things was the big Baking Tips chalkboard which housed lots of vintage tags with baking tips from all the baking celebrities, along with the chance to share your own....
Some of my favourite food bakers & treats were also at the show, it was lovely to see some to chat and also sample their makes & bakes.
There was a cacophony of colour on the Meringue Girls, who have had an amazing year ... Primrose Bakery also had a cute little stand, showcasing their fabulous books and cupcakes... the new book is delicious...a must for any baker for christmas... who can resist a gingerbread house.

It was also lovely to see Kooky Bakes at the show, the stand looked delicious and was filled with Whoopie Pies, Brownie Slices, Cookies and Cupcakes. I couldn't resist taking one of the Signature slices home with me....
Another great cake find at the show was Victoria Yum who also had a gorgeous stand filled with delicious bakes.... the syling of the stand was a mixture of home-spun urban... showcasing cupcakes, frosted loaf cakes and glorious victoria sponges. I chose a slice of the banana and salted caramel cake, which was moist, flavourful and melt in the mouth delicious.

Along with some great exhibits and food treats, there was plenty of places to sit and rest, eat & drink.  Most giving great views across this lovely building... as I walked round the top balcony, they were bus setting up for the afternoon tea area....which looked lovely.
Another little added treat at this show was the beautiful floral arrangements which were doted around the show.

On the lower mezzanine of the floor housed the huge Lakeland stand and their interview stage, along with the book corner from WHSmiths.... The interview stage was being hosted by Jo Wheatley (winner of season 2 of Great British Bake off)
Her first interviewee was the lovely Mary Berry, fresh from the baking stage...It looked like she was having much fun with Mary Berry and there was so much love in the room for Mary Berry....
Another huge favourite was Eric Lanlard, who looked like he was having much fun & laughter with Jo before and during the interview. The stage was laid out in a cool sitting room style, with white furniture, flowers and a very retro lamp!... Jo had asked her fascebook followers for some questions which she shared with the interviewees.. from Strictly, to favourite bakes and one essential baking musts.... Eric's must was Weighing Scales and Mary shared her love of Strictly and categorically ruled out going on the show herself, having been asked several times....
I had an enjoyable time at the show, it was well organised, had some great exhibits, and fabulous baking treats.... I am sure that this will only get bigger each year it is hosted.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Blogging & Planning for the Holiday Season...

Its the last week of October, the clocks have gone back which means officially that we are now in the winter season. However with the sun still shining, blue skies and the autumnal colours in bloom its hard to believe that Christmas is 58 days or 8 weeks away.
Last week the holiday season arrived at work and with this launch I decided it was time for a blog overhaul for the winter season..... sticking with the styling of the spring/summer palette I've opted for creams, golds & green with Kate Spade accessories!....
Its a colour palette that you will see lots of over the coming weeks...
Selfridges unveiled its Christmas Story for 2014 ... this year the big yellow store has taken inspiration from Christmas classics, magical fairy tales and enchanted stories to create a store of wonder, surprise and be the ultimate destination for Christmas in London... Its main theme of storytelling will run throughout the store, with its windows being the front cover to this magical story.
I love the fluttering pages of the Christmas story which glisten with gold down the central atrium, with words jumping of the page and lit paragraphs dancing across the escalators and ceiling.
I will be sharing the story over the coming weeks as we continue to countdown Christmas.
Here's some previous posts from Christmas hall and Foodhall.
With Christmas 8 weeks away, my planning has now stepped up!...  I have a bucket list for Christmas and my forthcoming trip to New York, along with the usual present & food planning.
I have a number of Pinterest boards for different activities including a Dear Santa wish list! and a New York 2014 bucketlist (see below)
The big yellow store also negotiated in collaboration with Starbucks to launch red cups & some exclusive christmas lines along with the store launch... so have been loving Latte's in red cups!... the holiday's are definitely coming now!......

 Follow teresa's board New York 2014 on Pinterest.
 Follow teresa's board Dear Santa ... My Christmas wish list for 2014.... holidays are coming! on Pinterest.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

A Sunday at the Savoy

This time last Sunday I had just checked into The Savoy Hotel for a day and evening of sheer indulgence. Having visited this gorgeous hotel for afternoon tea and a fabulous cake masterclass previously, I had high expectations of a stay. I was not disappointed.
Sweeping up the drive and through the revolving doors and being greeted by one of the Savoy's doorman into a world of old school glamour was everything I thought it would be. We were seated in the lounge to check in and then led into an express lift to our floor.
My friend and I were in the basic room, but even the Savoys basic room is sumptuous, with silk lined walls, murano glass chandeliers, Italian linens and marble floors from designer Pierre Yves Rochon.
I loved the desk space, complete with bespoke leather desk set designed by Bill Amberg.
We had a lazy afternoon, making the most of the room, I indulged in a very big bubble bath and book before getting ready for our evening out. The bathroom was small, but gorgeous.... complete with fluffy white Savoy bathrobes.
After a lovely relaxing afternoon, we headed out for our evening which included dinner at Simpsons on the Strand and then entertainment at the Theatre Royal with Tony Hadley (posts highlighted for each)
Our evening was fabulous, made even more so by not worrying about grabbing the last train and just walking a short walk back to the hotel for a nightcap. There is only one place for a late night nightcap at the Savoy and that is in its legendary American Bar. In the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, many American Bars opened throughout London. The American Bar at The Savoy is the longest surviving of these bars and one of the most iconic cocktail bars in the world. Having undergone a huge refurbishment the American bar oozes old school glamour, complete with baby grand piano, and photographs and memorabilia from its famous patrons of the by-gone years of old.
We had an indulgent hour sipping cocktails and people watching, I am sure if the walls of that bar could talk, then it would have a tale of two to tell! With great service and perfect ambience the American Bar really is one of the best of its kind. 
The hotel and lobby looked as inviting at night as it did during the day, with the fires lit and a feeling of cozy, the perfect place to come home to (even if for just one night).
This feeling of decadent cozy carried all its way through to the room, where housekeeping had worked their magic in our absence and turned down the bed and laid out our complimentary slippers.
The bed was a real 'princess & the pea' bed and I had to jump to get on it!... it was one of the most sumptuous beds I have ever slept in perfectly complimented by the very high thread count Mascioni bed linen. If only we could of sneaked it home with us! C had to be surgically removed from the bed, and even jumped back in when dressed to savour the luxury.
Monday dawned bright, and with notification of potential protests and disruption outside the hotel left on our TV the night before we were not surprised to disembark from the lift for breakfast and see secret agents & bodyguards in the corridor. (later found that the African investment summit was being hosted at the hotel and 3 of the African presidents were in the hotel)
We chose to take breakfast in Kaspars, which again was part of out Sunday package.
 

We opted for the 'Savoy' which was plentiful. Fresh juice, toast, coffee, pastries and a full English.... perfect way to start a Monday morning with a leisurely breakfast and a browse through the days news.
Kaspars is accessed through the Thames foyer, which is another breakfast location for the hotel and the perfect location for afternoon tea. The floral displays are beautiful and the orchids amazing.
With a last minute look at the American Bar, which is as lovely in daylight as it is in the candlelight.
 It was soon time to leave our little bubble of indulgence of The Savoy and head home. I had an amazing time at The Savoy, it was decadent but worth every penny that we paid for it. Throughout our stay we could not fault any part of it, service, standards and sumptuousness were in abundance. Now saving for a return visit........ Thankyou Savoy is was glorious. x


Sunday, 14 December 2014

Christmas Plans...

Midway through December and the panic has set in..... I am nowhere near ready for Christmas and since coming back from New York I have tripped from one disaster to another.....  If I didn't have such lovely things planned I would creep under my duvet and not come out until Spring!...
Disaster 1~ the night before I flew to New York I managed to loose my work cards,and all my bank cards.... not something you need to do 8 hours before you board a flight across the Atlantic, thankfully I had $ but it was still a tad inconvenient.
Disaster 2~ Florence my little car was stolen Tuesday whilst I was at work, which means that I am now having to deal with insurance companies etc... on top of Christmas this is an added stress that I do't need....
Now waiting for the 3rd!....as they say bad luck comes in threes!
Other than New York, I have done some lovely things and still have more planned. (blog posts to come)
Cinema treats ~ the fabulous Paddington movie. A perfect family movie that will bring a tear to your eye and a smile to your heart.
Bubbledogs ~ team night out full of fun & laughter, hotdogs and champagne.
Byron Burger ~ Cheesmas burger, girly fun over burgers & boe.
Alfie Boe ~ a great night at the O2 with the mecanic who became a tenor.
This week I have some amazing treats to look forward to including Dinner at Le Chalet (Selfridges rooftop restaurant) an evening with Michael Buble, and Dinner & Drinks at Claridges. I also have an evening planned at friends for dinner and to exchange gifts for christmas ( I do have to think about wrapping some of that this week) The Christmas To Do list grows, but as I'm home alone this year I'm not going to stressed too much if it doesn't all get done....
what have you got planned?.... are you all ready?... would love to hear how you are all getting on.


Saturday, 13 December 2014

Please look after this bear.....

Some weeks ago I shared the Selfridges story of Paddington Bear and how fabulous the Everyman Cinema is in the basement of the big yellow store.
Recently I spent an evening in this gorgeous little cinema to watch this Christmas's family treat Paddington. It really did feel that the lovable bear had come home.
The film is magical from start to finish, a couple of times during the film it tugged on my heart strings an a tear came to the eye, it also had lots of fun and laughter and made my heart smile lots.
Paddington finds himself leaving his beloved Peru and Aunt Lucy to embark on a huge adventure to London. Homeless and lonely he is found by the Brown family.... 
here he is having tea & cake with Mr Brown (played by English gent Hugh Bonneville)
Paddington is desperate to find the original explorer who visited Peru many years before and The Brown family offer their help in this, although thinks don't go to plan and he finds himself out in London on his own in the rain at Buckingham Palace.
I thoroughly enjoyed this film, it was feel good, funny and had a fabulous villain in the guise of Nicole Kidman who plays a villainous taxidermist who resides in the bowels of the Natural History Museum. Great supporting cast & characters from Julie Walters, Peter Capaldi, Sally Hawkins, Jim Broadbent and voices of Ben Wishaw, Imelda Staunton and Michael Gambon.
Paddington has been making a surprise appearance in the yellow store during December much to the delight of children big & small!

Monday, 8 December 2014

A slice of the Big Apple....

Hello.... I'm back from the Big Apple and straight into the flurry of work and Christmas events!
The suitcase is only partially unpacked and I have over 1,000 pictures to review and edit!.... some of which I will be sharing over the coming weeks, so bare with me as I share a brief slice of my week.
My 5 days stateside were fabulous and I packed so much in, when I look back on the pictures I think I will be posting all through January to share my adventures!....and adventures I had!
My 5 days featured seeing rock stars, film stars and former presidents!...  I ate a sprinkle of cupcakes and supped a few cocktails, and savored lots of coffee!. My travels saw me walk many miles, and I lived lots of movie moments.
There was also lots of fun and festivities as New York switched from Thanksgiving into full Happy Holiday's mode. The gorgeous tree was lit at The Rockefeller Centre whilst I was there. In amongst the festivities there was also time for some quite reflection at St Patrick's Cathedral and the heartbreaking 9/11 memorial museum and lots of protests in light of recent news events.
My love of books also featured heavily in my trip.... my kindle was filled with fabulous NY reads which I will be sharing with you along with some great literary loves in New York, including the gorgeous NY library.
I hope that I have tickled your taste buds from the Big Apple, and pop back for some bigger bites in days/weeks to come....

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

10 years on....

And I'm back in the city that holds my heart for more than one reason...... This is where I was 10 years ago when I received the news that my Nan had died.... She was so much more to me than just a Nan... She was my confident, friend, and matriarchical grandmother in one and I loved her unconditionally.
Growing up with her was a joy, and I got 34 years of that, of which I am blessed.... We had many 'things' and one of them was whereever I travelled she was my last call before I boarded at the gate. I never expected for that call on December 1st 2004 would be the last time I heard her voice and her "I love you Polly, be safe" would be the last thing she said to me.
Within 12 hours of that call, I was in Times Square scrambling to catch a flight back to try and see her as the Dr's had given her hours to live.... Unfortunately I only managed to get to JFK & be at the boarding gate when I got the call to say it was too late.... On my own and with an 8 hour flight ahead of me, I thought my world had ended....
So with a heavy heart in amongst the glamour & excitement of this amazing city today I will light a candle in St Patricks Cathedral for the women who loved me unconditionally and shaped the woman I am today... Thankyou Nannie... I love you, miss you and think of you every day....u
10 years ago I lost a big chunk of my heart in this city, every time I return it heals a small part.❤️��

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Hello New York....

As we say goodbye to November and say hello to December I will be on route to New York!.... I am really looking forward to it and kicks off my Countdown to Christmas in amazing style..... I am busy packing with my NY capsule wardrobe.....
The weather looks mixed for the week, so I am packing or cold, sun & rain!... I hope to post via instagram and even post a couple of blog posts if I get the chance.... if not I will update you all when I return. I have 62 things on my "NY to Do" list...                
see you all soon..... x


Tuesday, 25 November 2014

New York State of Mind.....

This time next week I will be waking up in the city that doesn't sleep..... yes I am off to New York! I am a little excited.
It's 2 years since I was last there and really looking forward to going back. My bucket-list of things to do/see/eat/drink is in excess of 60 ... not sure I will achieve that in 5 days, but I will do my hardest.
My Instagram feed is full of pictures which are just adding to the excitement, here a few of my favourite sights over the last couple of weeks...
  • Saks holiday lights & Rockefeller Angels from marekrr
  • Rockefeller centre from library hotel
  • a fabulous B&W street photo taken by DanTVusa
  • Centre St/Broome St Taxi scene from A guy named patrick.
  • Veterans Day lit Empire State from Dantvusa
  • Bloomingdales gorgeous photo of the One World Trade centre
  • Brooklyn Bridge & City skyline from David Gandy
  • Empire State lit in Tiffany Blue for Alzheimers
  • Fall follliage in Central park from russnyc.
As well as collating favourite sights, I have also collated some of my favourite eats & drinks locations. Looking at my list I think I am going to eat & drink my way around the city!
  • Sprinkles cupcakes & Bloomingdale's - the perfect combination.
  • Katz Deli - if it was goo enough for Harry & Sally then its good enough for me!
  • Baked - so pleased to see this Brooklyn Baker has moved into the Tribeca 
  • Sweet Revenge - a favourite NY must, where else can you get cupcakes & wine!
  • The Smith - perfect for breakfast & dinner... will definitely be visiting more than once. 
  • Campbell Apartment bar - tucked into the eves of Grand Central Station, looking forward to sipping a cocktail here in one of Gossip Girls favourites ... xoxo..
  • Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate & EggNog from Shake shack.... not just great burgers.
  • Bookmark Lounge in The Library Hotel, cocktails to match literary greats... complete with a heated balcony lounge.
As I'm typing this I have my New York playlist on in the background and I'm listening to the aptly named New York State of Mind!.... showcasing Billy Joel & Barbara Streisand.
will be sharing more of my New York countdown this week....

Friday, 21 November 2014

Beauty Treats & Lusts....

Having one of the biggest beauty halls in the world  a short distance from my desk, can often be a too much of a temptation. Over the last few months a few things have fallen into my shopping bag, here's some of my favourites ....

Tom Ford Lip Colour in Casablanca - a great everyday colour with fabulous staying power - my first matt lipstick in a long time.
  • Bobbi Brown Lip Colour in Pink Beige - the perfect pink nude matt lipstick, I would never have picked this but loved it following my BB makeover in the summer - a great work/day nude.
  • Charlotte Tilbury full fat lashes mascara - a re-purchase for me asthis really is a gorgeous mascara and has replaced my YSL mascara for va va voom!
  • Dior Glow maximiser - a gorgeous base illuminator primer - with every big brand launching exclusive highlighters, this is my favourite non-powder - mix with foundation for an all over brightener, or sculpt in special places.
  • Clinique - smart custom repair serum - loving this serum, it responds to skins needs and I have already re-bought as it is a great find for me. With Clinique launching a points app with Selfridges, it really is the perfect way to shop & save at the same time.
Chanel:-
  • Powder Blush - Malice - a gorgeous pink/orange, much brighter than what i would normally choose, but now converted.
  • Waterproof mascara - perfect staying power which removes easily with remover. A must for me in the winter as my eyes water a lot.
  • Rouge Coco Shine - Intime - a gorgeous nude glaze. I a usually a fan of Boy, but liking this as an alternative.
  • Le Vernis Nail Colour in Orage - a gorgeous charcoal black / grey - perfect for winter months.
  • and the limited edition Les Beiges healthy glow compact - deliciously gorgeous.
Christian Louboutin - 
CL inspiration for his red sole shoes originated from a bottle of nail polish on his design desk whilst drawing his famous Pigalle shoes.... this colour red is now synonymous with the brand. With Louboutin now diversifying into the beauty realms I had to snap up the red and the blck polosh when launched!.... how gorgeous are these bottles and the packaging is fabulous, coming in mini square shoe boxes.
The polish is amazing and coverage is fantastic.

With Christmas fast approaching I am coveting a number of things..... so on my Santa list I have the following: 

What are your Beauty buys recently? and what have you got on your Santa Lust lists!.... would love to hear from you all...

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas....

There is no avoiding the festive season when you are bombarded with Christmas adverts on the TV. Over the past few years, these have become bigger than some of the TV programmes that they sandwich and are now a huge part of the Christmas countdown. Here are my favourites from 2013 and my 5 festive favourites from this year 2014. It seems this year the big names are all trying to show Christmas as less commercial, which is a little ironic and showcase what its about; sharing, happiness, good deeds,peace, love and friendship.... gets a big hug from me!
1. Sainsbury's ~ Silent Night - haunting and symbolic of this years commemorations of the first world war. Symbolising Christmas is for sharing, made in collaboration with the British Legion, it is stunning.... every stocking should have a bar of chocolate in it this year.
2. John Lewis ~ Monty the Penguin - JL have done is again, they have every year pulled out all the stops for their christams ad, and this years tugs on all the heart strings,... loving Monty & Mabel
3. Waitrose Gingerbread Stall - simple & effect, when you own something, you care just a little more.
4.Magic & Sparkle from M&S.... a little disappointed that M&S didn't have  David Gandy in his pants and aSanta hat for their ad his year, but liking the fairies... Marble Arch M&S looks fabulous, I will share some pictures soon.
5.Give a little Happiness ~ Coca Cola.... Holiday's are definitely coming when the Coca Cola truck pulls over the hill... liking the give a little happiness.
 Are you loving the ads? and if so which ones are your favourites?
x

Friday, 14 November 2014

Popcorn & Prosecco treats....

This autumn & winter going to the Cinema for me has taken on a whole new adventure..... I no longer have to rush for the train to get to my local cinema on time, I can just pop down 4 flights of stairs from my desk to the Everyman Cinema in the lowerground sales floor of Selfridges. The cinema hit the headlines when opened, as its the first of its kind in a department store and is proving to be one of the coolest after work places to be seen.
As you can see its retro glamour at its glorious, with velvet chairs and couches and side tables to watch the films in comfort, with a fabulous bar offering treats not often found at the cinema... yes the signature popcorn is on the menu, but how many times can you accompany it with a glass of prosecco!
Winter is my favourite cinema time, as you really can escape from the cold and rain and escape into other times, realms & worlds. Here are a few of the things that I have seen in this lovely cinema and some that I am looking forward to:
Autumn reviews:
Pride: With a fabulous British cast this film details the support that the Gay campaigners gave the Miners strike in the mid 80's. ... I really enjoyed this movie on so many levels, I was completely unaware of any of this growing up and was so interested in it. Bill Nighy is one of my favourite British actors and he is his great in this. This movie has a real feel good factor and really does fill you with a sense of pride.
Mr Turner: Another British film, directed by Mike Leigh , this biopic showcases the life of the artist Turner. Starring Timothy Spall, is is a cinematic masterpiece, stunning visuals which look glorious on the big screen. It takes you from the dingy streets of Victorian London to the seaside esplanade of Margate. Spall deserving of some accolades for this portrayl.... thoroughly enjoyed.
I have a few movies booked for forthcoming weeks and a lovely Christmas Treat..... here's whats on my Winter Watchlist:
The Imitation Game; another biopic, based on a true story of  Alan Turing, the Enigma codebreaker. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Kiera Knightley. Although Turing was regarded a hero he was persecuted for his homosexuality and is a forgotten hero of the 2nd world war.
Paddington: I have already professed my love for this little bear in a blog post here, and is there a better venue to see this movie, than the department store that the original bear was purchased from.
and a very special Cinematic Christmas Treat for a couple of weeks in December.... It's a Wonderful Life.
Looking ahead to 2015.... tickets are already booked for the much talked about Fifty Shades of Grey. ... 2nd trailer released yesterday in-conjunction with advanced ticket sales.
As you can see its the perfect escapism from the hustle and bustle of shopping and the stresses of the winter season in a fabulous location. Great for a night out after work, or a treat during the day ... and with a Saturday morning children s slot its great for families too!

Sunday, 9 November 2014

100 years on.... a nation remembers

This weekend, this nation will pause for 2 minutes silence and reflect on lives lost past and present in conflicts spanning the last 100 years. 100 years ago Britain went to war... millions of men signed up to fight for Queen and country without any hesitation...... 888,246 British boys did not make it home. 18 years after WW1 was over, we went to war again, this time overcoming the allies, fatalities still in the 100,000's ... since then we have lost lives in many conflict, both on home soil and far afield in Falklands, Iraq and Afghanistan. There is nothing that I can type that can repay the debt that we owe to those that have made the ultimate sacrifice and Thank-you seems so insignificant on a day like today.
The Poppies at the Tower have touched so many this year and have the ability to span generations.... it has been one of my favourite things to see and do during the past 5 months. My heart aches when I visit and I so wish my Nan and Gramps would have seen it, they would have loved it and would have been so proud.
Remembrance weekend is always a difficult weekend for me, I miss my grandparents every day, but I always feel it the most this weekend. We always watched the Remembrance service both from the Albert Hall and the Cenotaph together, attending church parade together when I was younger,
This morning, my mum and I visited the cemetery for some quiet contemplation.....
So today I wear my poppy with pride, and remember all the sacrifices made....

I have posted many different memorial/remembrance posts, here are a few of my favourites...


Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Paddington has arrived in London

Way back in June I shared my excitement of the news that Paddington would be heading to the big screen for Christmas.... there has seen some changes since the 1st trailer with BenWishaw  replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington.
I also shared that I had some things that I needed to keep under my hat... I can reveal that Paddington is also taking centre (more like corner) stage in Sefridges on Oxford Street with his own curiosity shop and windows.
Back in 1956 on Christmas Eve, Michael Bond was shopping in Selfridges Oxford Street, when he spied a lone bear sitting on a shelf in the Toy shop. He purchased he bear and took him home to his wife, where they named him Paddington ... this little bear became the influence of so many books written by Mr Bond over the years. Within the Curiosity shop, sits the original typewriter that Michael wrote the books on and also some of the costumes from the forthcoming film.
3 of the windows have had a Paddington takeover, complete with train track, lost & found post and trunks and marmalade galore.
The pinnacle being a golden taxi, covered with marmalade and a golden bear (designed by Kate Moss for the Paddington Trail)
The Paddington Trail will come to life across London this week, where 50 specially designed Paddingtons will be sited for children and adults to find across the winter holiday season. I look forward to spending some time finding these!.... minature versions of some of the bears will be available in the paddington curiosity shop.
Having seen the 2nd trailer of the film this week I am looking forward to seeing the film in December
Along with many gorgeous bears, the curiosity shop also houses some gorgeous bear essentials.... including some very special golden labeled marmalade and buttered marmalade popcorn. The perfect accompaniment for bears and santa!
pop back for more paddington adventures over the holiday season....

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Poppies at the Tower....

I have shared my visits previously to the Tower of London poppy fields over the summer, and on each visit the crowds have grown considerably. Back in July when I visited at the beginning of the install, the crowds were minimal and you could walk around the tower freely and really take in the humbling impact it had in peace and quiet solitude.
When I returned in early September the crowds and the poppies had grown, increasing the visual impact of such an amazing piece of work. By my return visit in October the crowds had grown to such proportions that it made any movement around the tower reminiscent of a battling through Oxford street Christmas week.
The first of the 888,246 ceramic poppies was planted in the Tower's dry moat in July, with the final one due to be installed on Armistice Day and thousands of people have travelled from across the globe to visit the tower and see the poppies.

I am so thrilled that all the poppies have sold and I look forward to receiving mine in 2015.


Each evening at sunset a roll call of honour is read and the last post sounds.... it is without one of the most moving things I have heard. You can hear a pin drop around the tower during this 20 minutes, followed by a huge applause, I was at this point sobbing....


As Armistice day approaches I am sure the crowds will continue to expand, it is one of the most humbling visions that I have seen....

Saturday, 1 November 2014

# Project Life ~ October

Its hard to believe as I sit ad type this, that it is November and currently 18' outside.... October was glorious, filled with occasional rain, an even more occasional cold day and oodles of  autumnal sunshine.  With the weather being so warm, its hard to realise that Christmas is now only 7 weeks away......
October for me was gorgeous, I had some much needed time off work and I spent some it chilling and enjoying some sumptuous surroundings. It also kicked off Christmas and time for some planning... here's some snapshots from my October.
  • Destination Christmas Selfridges wrapped the store windows for a week to complete its holiday window install. Unveiling over a night to reveal the Selfridges Christmas story filled with fairytales, magic & wonder.... and 1000's of sparkly lights.
  • Fitz & Darcy have become familiar with the cat carrier this month as they have had weekly trips to the vets this month; they are now inoculated, micro-chipped, flea'ed and their boy bits chopped!... both have been exemplary patients.
  • Sunshine... glorious sunrises captured at different parts of the month, favourite being from the Savoy and standing on the station platform waiting for the train.
  • Kit sitting... this month I looked after Fitz & Darcy's brother and mum whilst friends were on holiday...  the kits are going back to spend the week with mum & bruv whilst  I am away next month.
  • Christmas & 2015 planning..... with so much in my diary I spent some down time planning and organising the next few months.
  • Starbucks Red Cups ... with the launch of Christmas at work, they also secured and exclusive with Starbucks to release their holiday range on the same day, along with an exclusive gold range of eats & treats.

  • A Sunday at the Savoy ~ overnight stay at The Savoy ticked a big box on my bucketlist. An glorious hotel full of glamour, old school charm and exemplary service. Had a truly magical stay.  Room was gorgeous, and the late night drinks were divine in the American Bar.
  • New York Planning ~ with 4 weeks to go until I'm in the big Apple!.... have 62 things on my 'must' list which I need to condense into 5 days!... think that I need to streamline the wish list!
  • Remembering loved ones passed... October saw Nan's birthday arrive, she would have been 93, although I go weekly to cemetary, for birthdays & occasions I have taken to picking my mum up and visiting together.. this allows us to grab a coffee after and spend sometime togther ( a rare occasion)
  • A night in Memphis - preview seats for the new west end musical Memphis, was fabulous. Beverley Knight & Killian Donnelly stealing the stage in presence and voice... a must see,great night out with me and the 'olds'.
  • Afternoon Tea Mr Selfridge style - Theatre pre-fixed by a scrumptious tea Mr Selfridge style in The Corner Restaurant of Selfridges ~ a hidden gem on the 2nd floor overlooking Oxford street.
  • Tony takes Drury Lane ~ Sunday night at the Savoy entertainment from Tony Hadley... an all round old school entertainer... sung a repertoire of songs spanning decades accompanied by a 50 piece orchestra... filled with glamour, charm and the occasional JD, all in beautiful surroundings.

So as we say goodbye to October, here's to a memorable November...... alas no trips to the Savoy planned this month, but with a trip to New York 4 weeks away, and Christmas 3 weeks after that, I have a quiet month planned!

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Slices of the Bake & Cake show....

Last Saturday I headed to North London for the first Good Food Bake & Cake show... the show was being held at the Design Centre in Islington a short walk from Angel station. On arrival I was handed a free show guide filled with  great recipes which were being showcased during the Bakes & Cakes theatre sessions, along with a floorplan, timetable and A-Z of exhibitors. As I entered the centre Mary Berry was just cutting the pink ribbon to open the show.
My ticket included a session at the theatre and I had booked the Mary Berry & Lucy show, which was the first to start. The theatre sessions were incredible well organised and lots fun. With the requisite advertorials met, hosted by Lisa Faulkner and a very funny camera man Tony, Mary was joined on stage by her daughter Annabel, where they baked Chocolate & Irish Cream roulade, Raspberry & Apple muffins and Fig & Nut bars.
Mary made them look so easy, and I am definitely making the chocolate roulade at Christmas.  Leaving the theatre it was time to peruse the exhibits, there was a mixture of some big name sponsers, along with some favourites of mine; Baker & Maker,  & Iced Jems, and Simply Vintage.
Iced Jems is a great little store which houses some of the best offerings of cupcake cases, straws and cutters .. have used the site many times and it was lovely to finally met Jemma and her family. The stand looked amazing (and yes I did come home with some more treats!) Baker & Maker also offer some fabulous bakeware and retro pieces, milk bottles being my favourite and the gorgeous milk glass cake stands.

Another favourite of mine is Simply Vintage designs,  a cool company that deals in vintage kitchen and bakeware.
One of my favourite things was the big Baking Tips chalkboard which housed lots of vintage tags with baking tips from all the baking celebrities, along with the chance to share your own....
Some of my favourite food bakers & treats were also at the show, it was lovely to see some to chat and also sample their makes & bakes.
There was a cacophony of colour on the Meringue Girls, who have had an amazing year ... Primrose Bakery also had a cute little stand, showcasing their fabulous books and cupcakes... the new book is delicious...a must for any baker for christmas... who can resist a gingerbread house.

It was also lovely to see Kooky Bakes at the show, the stand looked delicious and was filled with Whoopie Pies, Brownie Slices, Cookies and Cupcakes. I couldn't resist taking one of the Signature slices home with me....
Another great cake find at the show was Victoria Yum who also had a gorgeous stand filled with delicious bakes.... the syling of the stand was a mixture of home-spun urban... showcasing cupcakes, frosted loaf cakes and glorious victoria sponges. I chose a slice of the banana and salted caramel cake, which was moist, flavourful and melt in the mouth delicious.

Along with some great exhibits and food treats, there was plenty of places to sit and rest, eat & drink.  Most giving great views across this lovely building... as I walked round the top balcony, they were bus setting up for the afternoon tea area....which looked lovely.
Another little added treat at this show was the beautiful floral arrangements which were doted around the show.

On the lower mezzanine of the floor housed the huge Lakeland stand and their interview stage, along with the book corner from WHSmiths.... The interview stage was being hosted by Jo Wheatley (winner of season 2 of Great British Bake off)
Her first interviewee was the lovely Mary Berry, fresh from the baking stage...It looked like she was having much fun with Mary Berry and there was so much love in the room for Mary Berry....
Another huge favourite was Eric Lanlard, who looked like he was having much fun & laughter with Jo before and during the interview. The stage was laid out in a cool sitting room style, with white furniture, flowers and a very retro lamp!... Jo had asked her fascebook followers for some questions which she shared with the interviewees.. from Strictly, to favourite bakes and one essential baking musts.... Eric's must was Weighing Scales and Mary shared her love of Strictly and categorically ruled out going on the show herself, having been asked several times....
I had an enjoyable time at the show, it was well organised, had some great exhibits, and fabulous baking treats.... I am sure that this will only get bigger each year it is hosted.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Blogging & Planning for the Holiday Season...

Its the last week of October, the clocks have gone back which means officially that we are now in the winter season. However with the sun still shining, blue skies and the autumnal colours in bloom its hard to believe that Christmas is 58 days or 8 weeks away.
Last week the holiday season arrived at work and with this launch I decided it was time for a blog overhaul for the winter season..... sticking with the styling of the spring/summer palette I've opted for creams, golds & green with Kate Spade accessories!....
Its a colour palette that you will see lots of over the coming weeks...
Selfridges unveiled its Christmas Story for 2014 ... this year the big yellow store has taken inspiration from Christmas classics, magical fairy tales and enchanted stories to create a store of wonder, surprise and be the ultimate destination for Christmas in London... Its main theme of storytelling will run throughout the store, with its windows being the front cover to this magical story.
I love the fluttering pages of the Christmas story which glisten with gold down the central atrium, with words jumping of the page and lit paragraphs dancing across the escalators and ceiling.
I will be sharing the story over the coming weeks as we continue to countdown Christmas.
Here's some previous posts from Christmas hall and Foodhall.
With Christmas 8 weeks away, my planning has now stepped up!...  I have a bucket list for Christmas and my forthcoming trip to New York, along with the usual present & food planning.
I have a number of Pinterest boards for different activities including a Dear Santa wish list! and a New York 2014 bucketlist (see below)
The big yellow store also negotiated in collaboration with Starbucks to launch red cups & some exclusive christmas lines along with the store launch... so have been loving Latte's in red cups!... the holiday's are definitely coming now!......

 Follow teresa's board New York 2014 on Pinterest.
 Follow teresa's board Dear Santa ... My Christmas wish list for 2014.... holidays are coming! on Pinterest.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

A Sunday at the Savoy

This time last Sunday I had just checked into The Savoy Hotel for a day and evening of sheer indulgence. Having visited this gorgeous hotel for afternoon tea and a fabulous cake masterclass previously, I had high expectations of a stay. I was not disappointed.
Sweeping up the drive and through the revolving doors and being greeted by one of the Savoy's doorman into a world of old school glamour was everything I thought it would be. We were seated in the lounge to check in and then led into an express lift to our floor.
My friend and I were in the basic room, but even the Savoys basic room is sumptuous, with silk lined walls, murano glass chandeliers, Italian linens and marble floors from designer Pierre Yves Rochon.
I loved the desk space, complete with bespoke leather desk set designed by Bill Amberg.
We had a lazy afternoon, making the most of the room, I indulged in a very big bubble bath and book before getting ready for our evening out. The bathroom was small, but gorgeous.... complete with fluffy white Savoy bathrobes.
After a lovely relaxing afternoon, we headed out for our evening which included dinner at Simpsons on the Strand and then entertainment at the Theatre Royal with Tony Hadley (posts highlighted for each)
Our evening was fabulous, made even more so by not worrying about grabbing the last train and just walking a short walk back to the hotel for a nightcap. There is only one place for a late night nightcap at the Savoy and that is in its legendary American Bar. In the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, many American Bars opened throughout London. The American Bar at The Savoy is the longest surviving of these bars and one of the most iconic cocktail bars in the world. Having undergone a huge refurbishment the American bar oozes old school glamour, complete with baby grand piano, and photographs and memorabilia from its famous patrons of the by-gone years of old.
We had an indulgent hour sipping cocktails and people watching, I am sure if the walls of that bar could talk, then it would have a tale of two to tell! With great service and perfect ambience the American Bar really is one of the best of its kind. 
The hotel and lobby looked as inviting at night as it did during the day, with the fires lit and a feeling of cozy, the perfect place to come home to (even if for just one night).
This feeling of decadent cozy carried all its way through to the room, where housekeeping had worked their magic in our absence and turned down the bed and laid out our complimentary slippers.
The bed was a real 'princess & the pea' bed and I had to jump to get on it!... it was one of the most sumptuous beds I have ever slept in perfectly complimented by the very high thread count Mascioni bed linen. If only we could of sneaked it home with us! C had to be surgically removed from the bed, and even jumped back in when dressed to savour the luxury.
Monday dawned bright, and with notification of potential protests and disruption outside the hotel left on our TV the night before we were not surprised to disembark from the lift for breakfast and see secret agents & bodyguards in the corridor. (later found that the African investment summit was being hosted at the hotel and 3 of the African presidents were in the hotel)
We chose to take breakfast in Kaspars, which again was part of out Sunday package.
 

We opted for the 'Savoy' which was plentiful. Fresh juice, toast, coffee, pastries and a full English.... perfect way to start a Monday morning with a leisurely breakfast and a browse through the days news.
Kaspars is accessed through the Thames foyer, which is another breakfast location for the hotel and the perfect location for afternoon tea. The floral displays are beautiful and the orchids amazing.
With a last minute look at the American Bar, which is as lovely in daylight as it is in the candlelight.
 It was soon time to leave our little bubble of indulgence of The Savoy and head home. I had an amazing time at The Savoy, it was decadent but worth every penny that we paid for it. Throughout our stay we could not fault any part of it, service, standards and sumptuousness were in abundance. Now saving for a return visit........ Thankyou Savoy is was glorious. x