This weekend saw a very welcome escape from London to go and stay with friends in the Cotswold countryside for a couple of lazy days mainly revolving around eating, antiques-hunting and sofa-lounging. Heaven.
I went | To Tetbury in Wiltshire for an afternoon of antiques hunting. Jamie and I came away with some Victorian medicine bottles, a silver cocktail shaker, a mother-of-pearl box for playing cards, some old boxes of photographic film and a big old wine bottle for a candle. You can see some our haul on my Instagram.
I ate | A lot! From home-cooked pork belly and brownies, to baked camembert with cranberry at The Wild Duck, this was winter eating at its best.
I drank | Really into all things Beetroot juice. With blueberry and/or apple for sweetness.
I watched | The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Accurate adaptation and awesome visually - might feel a little lacking in substance for those who haven't read the books. One of those stories that really benefits from a narrator and being in Katniss's head.
I wore | My vintage fur coat bought in Paris many years ago is once again getting lots of wear now its getting colder.
I bought | Inspired by our host's insanely cosy sitting room, I've invested in some grey throws to have on hand as it gets colder. This striped one and this waffle throw from John Lewis are two favourites.
In other news, I've finally got round to adding some pieces to my Tictail store with more to come very soon. Iro, Isabel Marant, H&M and Free People all up there.... Check it all here.
Blame the steadily declining weather, but
I’m slowly falling into hibernation mode and with that comes more and more time
spent inside catching up on movies both old and new. When it really is just too
damn cold to do anything much at all, I’m all about bedding down with a good film, be it solo or tempting
others to be more proactive than I and come join me on the sofa with the
promise of tea/wine/chocolate (in that order) on arrival.
This week has been the first real sign that
winter is upon us and with that I’ve been compiling a mental list of favourite
movies for sloth-like Sundays and lazy dark nights. Preferably served with rain
beating against the window, a fire nearby and a dog on your lap.
It’s A Wonderful Life | I’m new to this
classic but it’s been my boyfriend’s Christmas family tradition for years. Makes
you remember to appreciate the here and now rather than dwell on the
shoulda-woulda-couldas. Dare you not to cry.
Chocoloat | Another favourite piece of
movie comfort food. Johnny Depp, chocolate and an antiquated French town in need of rescuing – ticks all the boxes.
The Shawshank Redemption
| A proper
all-time great that will see you through a whole afternoon, all wrapped
up with a heart-warming dose of redemption (the title is a bit of a
giveaway on that one).
The Lives of Others |
One of my all-time favourite
films. German film set during the communist occupation of East Berlin
that offers a glimpse at what life was like for those being monitored
and the agents doing the monitoring.
Love Actually| It’s not Christmas till
I’ve watched this at least once. Beats The Holiday hands down.
Goodbye First Love| Beautifully shot,
bittersweet French film about first love and second love colliding.
You Can Count On Me | Heart-warming film about family-ties and sibling-bonds with Mark Ruffalo and Laura Linney.
Stepmom | Incredibly sad subject matter, it’s the cast that really does this one for me; Susan Sarandon, Julia
Roberts and Ed Harris, aka a dream team. Makes me cry like a baby every time.
Good Will Hunting| If you haven’t already
seen this classic, watch it immediately. Matt Damon as an angry genius
struggling to accept his potential under the help of mentor and psychologist Robin
Edward Scissorhands| I remember trying to watch
this when I was about 6 before my mum ushered me out of the room. Maybe that’s
why its always held some sort of allure. When I did eventually get round to
watching it properly, it totally lived up to be the modern-day Fairytale I
imagined it would be.
Manhattan | One of Woody Allen's neurotic best - and the cinematography is basically a love story to the eponymous city.
Baby Boom| My all-time favourite Diane
Keaton goes from Manhattan career woman to rural Vermont and back again with
baby in tow. Nostalgic, feel-good and more than a little camp, this always takes me right back to
watching it on video when I was little.
Like Crazy | Incredibly real and moving
tale of first love divided on other sides of the Atlantic. I defy anyone not to
be able to relate in some way. Oh and the majority of the script is entirely ad lib to boot.
Adam| An unconventional romance between
New York neighbours Adam and Beth. Sweet without being sickening.
The Horse Whisperer | Gets me every time.
And enough camp fires and chemistry to metaphorically warm you up.
So there's mine - what are your favourite films for dark and miserable winter nights?
Let me know if you get round to watching any of the above for the first time - would love to hear your thoughts.
I couldn't really talk about wardrobe basics without at least one mention of a leather jacket, so I thought it was fitting to centre my final look for Stylebop.com around my ultimate can't-live-without-cliche.
I really do live in my leather jacket. From in the summer with denim shorts and tees, to the winter with loads of layers both underneath and over the top, I would be pretty lost without it. I find it makes anything and everything just look better and feel more in tune with me - especially useful when it comes to dresses, florals or anything that could veer towards twee. Plus it really is one of those items that just as you think you've found the perfect one, another comes along to test both you and your wallet's willpower. This one by Faith Connextion ups the ante with the braiding at the back and the all important quilting on the sleeves (a detail that just makes a good one in my books).
A little black flared skirt and cream polo neck complete the picture with New Balance (aka the comfiest sponge-soles to grace my feet) taking the girly pieces to a much more casual place.
Part two of my basics story for Stylebop.com is probably most akin to the sort of thing you'll find me in day after day. Having spent most of my youth in jodphurs and riding boots, desperate to partake in anything horse-related, I think that silhouette of skinnies and flat ankle boots is something I'll always feel at home in. And for me, black leather trousers are as much a 'basic' as jeans, especially in the colder months, so finding the right ones is a task worth pursuing. These ones by Joseph are as close to perfect as I've come so far; just stretchy enough, zips at the ankle and buttery soft.
My current love for camel coats is no secret (chronicled both here and here) and the classic, mannish shape of this Theory one makes it even more of a 'forever' piece. Anyone seen Love and Other Drugs? Yep, this coat makes me feel likes a (faux) 90s Anne Hathaway which is definitely a good thing. On a side not, I'm beginning to realise that red, or burgundy in this case, is the only colour I really wear. Unless we count denim as blue that is?
We took two
days off work and ran away from London for a night at Babington House, the
Cotswolds’ chapter of Soho House, last week which made for an extra long, spoiling weekend. And after a series of long days/weeks/months of magazine editing on Jamie’s
behalf, we were more than ready for the mini getaway.
As wonderful as the set-up, grounds and
service is, our food was the only aspect that was sadly a little disappointing – even more so when you consider the hefty price tags attached.
But the fluffy beds, roaring fires and lovely atmosphere more than made
up for a somewhat lacking dinner.
The rest of the weekend consisted of
friend’s birthdays, cinema trips, baking experiments and plenty of boring but necessary life admin.
I ate…. An avocado-filled Byron burger and
homemade lemon and cardamom cake baked by yours truly. I used this recipe and
just added the zest and juice of half a lemon. It turned out really good and got the office seal of approval on Monday.
I drank…. The insanely good ginger tea at
Babington’s Cowshed spa (dee-licious) and Grey Goose Le Fizz cocktails.
I went… To Babington House! Swimming in the
bath-like indoor pool, sweating in the sauna, trying and failing to learn the
ropes at chess and lots of red wine were all part of our cosy two days. I also
spent a good couple of hours of lounging, quite literally, in a robe, drinking tea
and catching up on magazines (you can probably tell from the pictures above that I was rarely without a cup of something hot.). Upmarket slobbing-out at its best.
I watched… Gravity in 3D. Go see for a
vertigo-inducing (in a good way) spectacle that succeeds in wowing despite the oh-so-cheesy
I'm a bit of a wimp when it comes to the cold - I've been known to shiver in 23 degree shade - so I have to admit, my legs have been firmly wrapped under jeans and leather trousers ever since the mercury dropped below 15 and bare skin was no longer an option.
This weekend however, I made an exception (if only for this epic skirt by ALC) to shoot my first of three looks for Stylebop.com. I've joined forces with the luxury e-tailer to style up some looks around the theme of basics, or those kinds of pieces I'd be lost without season after season. Forget seasonal, frivolous purchases, these are the foundation for everything.
Case in point, a good chunky knit and a black leather skirt, both of which are on constant rotation in my wardrobe and there's always room for updates on these never-quite-enough essentials.
I always feel a leather skirt, especially one as sexy as this (the biker details make all the difference), feels a bit less conspicuous when teamed with a jumper that's so cosy it's the sartorial equivalent of a hot water bottle. However, even with the thermal topping, this sort of get-up is much better suited to indoor pursuits with a radiator in close proximity if you ask me. Even this skirt couldn't sex-up goose bumps.
Constantly drawn to all things grey right now. Be in knitwear, coats or jeans, all shades of the soft, inbetween tone are catching my eye. Especially good when teamed with black, cream and white (preferably in soft, cosy fabrics for a tactile result) for a monochromatic look.
My favourite grey find? This Gap sweater I picked up the other day (seen in the final picture above from my Instagram) is everything; soft, light and the sizing is actually how you want it so you don't have to go 2 sizes bigger just to get the right fit. Sadly I can't find a link to buy it online but I'll make sure to post as soon as I find it.