Liberty London Liberty London

Archive for the ‘Blink Travels’ Category

“Blink” Travels: Flying- travel in style

Friday, July 31st, 2015

Since the beginning of the year I seem to have been on a pretty regular round of packing and unpacking suitcases, double checking I have my passport and triple checking all of my flight details. It’s been a wonderful time of travelling for clients, on research trips, on mini adventures and to spend time with far flung family. The next trip is all about spending 2 weeks doing as little as possible as I head away for my Summer hols. To make sure I have the speediest journey from home to sun lounger (with cocktail in hand), I have decided to opt for a hand luggage only flight.

With a bit of careful planning this doesn’t mean you have to scrimp on any of your luxuries or outfit changes, although to be honest I plan to pretty much be living in my bikini. A big tip from me is to choose tried and tested favourites from your Summer wardrobe, work with a pretty tight colour palette and then add in some bold accessories to help you make a small selection seem like a full Kim K’s closet of choices.

First you have to get your travel outfit right. I like to choose something that will get some wear through my hols too. I pretty much always choose jeans. Stretch Jamies from Topshop are a fav and really comfortable even for long haul.  This time I’ll be wearing those jeans with a kinda Chloe inspired swingy top from H&M. That way I start to get my holiday vibe going, and it also saves it from getting creased in my carry-on! My go-to handbag is this small but beautifully detailed fringed clutch from Oasis. It’s big enough for my wallet and all important documents but small enough to make sure I can see everything in it at a glance (I’m a bit of a checker).

My Summer holiday travelling outfit: Topshop jamie jeans, H&M top and Oasis clutch bag. Blink `London fashion blog, travelling in style, summer holiday

My Summer holiday travelling outfit: Topshop Jamie jeans, H&M top and Oasis clutch bag.

If the airline is getting sniffy about one bag only per passenger I know that I can easily stuff this weeny handbag inside my carry-on suitcase. Actually as an aside, I would always suggest you quadruple check what number and size of bags your airline allows so you don’t get caught out. I found this table from Purple Parking really helpful as a good reference for that very thing.

My Summer'15 favourite sandals, fashion blog, Blink London, wedge sandals

My Summer’15 favourite sandals

Next is the shoes. I am in love with these nutty metallic gold wedge numbers. Perhaps you saw my video of them on Instagram? Well, wearing them not only makes my outfit more fabulous, it also frees up a ton of space in my suitcase. You see, not just a pretty face!

My 'carry on' beauty must haves!

My ‘carry on’ beauty must haves!

And talking of a pretty face, when working just with carry-on luggage and the volume restrictions you have to be extra smart. I use my Heidi Klein pouch as the clear bag required for liquids, and then when I’m away it reverts to its intended purpose as being a wet bikini bag. Having this pre-packed means no fuss for the security check. Any of my holiday favourites that come in small enough bottles get to come with, and then once you’re through security you can stock up on anything bigger in duty free.

I always fly makeup free with a generous slathering of moisturiser. Once safely in the air, I give my skin a freshen up with a Simple Micellar cleansing wipe and then pop on some Rodial Dragon’s Blood face mask (it doesn’t show so nobody need know!). You’re about to inflict lots of sunshine, seawater and aircon on your skin so my number one piece of advice is to ensure you’re maxed out on moisturisation from start to finish of your trip. I them swoosh on a bit of bronzer, mascara and a dash of lippy just before landing (no need to frighten the locals).

So there you have it, my plan to a happy and stylish holiday, even when travelling light. Roll on my departure date! For more of our posts about our travels, take a look here.

“Blink” Travels: Paola Navone in Merci Paris

Friday, November 7th, 2014

It was a delight to see that Merci‘s central space was dedicated to my favourite product designer, Paola Navone. On display until November 15th is ‘Out of Print’, a wonderfully eclectic selection of Navone’s printed crockery. So many beautiful things. I shan’t tell you what made it home with me as I haven’t yet decided what will be self-gifting and what will be Christmas gifting! Suffice to say a select few pieces from this amazing designer were purchased!

Paola Navone at Merci Paris

Paola Navone at Merci Paris

Paola Navone at Merci Paris

Paola Navone at Merci Paris

Paola Navone at Merci Paris

Paola Navone at Merci Paris

Paola Navone at Merci Paris

Paola Navone at Merci Paris

Paola Navone at Merci Paris

Paola Navone at Merci Paris

For more lifestyle posts, take a look here. If you’d like to see more from our travels, then look here.

“Blink” Travels: Find out if you are an Edwardian or a Flapper at The Savoy

Monday, September 29th, 2014

During my amazing and quite ridiculously gorgeous stay at The Savoy I learnt so much about its history and heritage. When I spent time in The Savoy in the past it was BR (that’s Before Renovation) when the whole hotel was done up in high Deco style.

The linear and geometric, symmetry-fixated, ancient-Egypt-inspired, French-influenced, Deco-adoring Savoy bosses really went for it, smothering the whole building in the style of the moment. So much so that, in my mind, this was a hotel born in the 1920s. That belief was sealed by my love of the Strand entrance, which for me is one of the key design landmarks in London, and is pure Deco, topped off by The Savoy’s name in their iconic font, designed by Sir Howard Robertson in the 1930s and now recreated and reworked in a multitude of ways throughout the hotel.

The Savoy, London

The Savoy, London

In actual fact, the first incarnation of the Savoy was opened in 1889. It was then updated, modernised and expanded initially in 1904 and then again in the 1920s. During the intense and carefully researched renovation, each section of the hotel was returned to a look that is far more in keeping with its original scheme. This variation in decades of style is not only visible in the ground floor receptions, foyers, bars, restaurants and even the lifts, it is also faithfully extended up into the bedrooms.

Should you be fortunate enough to be booking in to this wonderful and iconic grande dame of a hotel, let me help you decide whether to choose a room in the Edwardian side (high ceilings, romantic florals, curvaceous furniture, panelled walls) or the Deco side (sharper cut shapes, silver metallic detailing, lower ceilings, stylised florals). Just take our simple quiz and keep a note of your answers. No cheating!

Question 1: Decor

left a) classic tonal striped, dark wood and soft florals? or on the right b) a graphic, linear, clean cut scheme

left a) classic tonal striped, dark wood and soft florals?  or right b) a graphic, linear, clean-cut scheme?

Question 2: Your favourite tipple

left a) a nice cup of tea? or b) something a little stronger?

left a) a nice cup of tea? or right b) something a little stronger?

Question 3: Your idea of a fun night

a) reading a good book with your friend or b) dancing your cares away?

a) reading a good book with your friend or b) dancing your cares away?

Question 4: Get ahead, get a hat

do you prefer on the left a) wide brimmed and heavily decorated or on the right b) smalland neat yet big on impact

do you prefer a) on the left, wide brimmed and heavily decorated or b) on the right, small and neat yet big on impact

Question 5: Dancing Queens

a) more expressive and artistic like the ground breaking Loie Fuller?

a) Expressive and artistic, like the ground-breaking Loie Fuller?

b) Sexy yet comedic like the utterly innovative Josephine Baker

b) Sexy yet comedic, like the utterly innovative Josephine Baker?

Question 6) Rebellion and Independence

are you more a) politically active or right b) doing shockingly inappropriate things in public?

are you a) left, more politically active and loving a good placard or b) right, rebelling by doing rather shockingly inappropriate things in public?

Question 7) Your Society Portrait

more of an a) John Singer Sargent or b) a Cecil Beaton?

would you prefer to be an a)  John Singer Sargent lady or a b) Cecil Beaton ingénue?

Question 8) Original Features

do you prefer a) the Chinoiserie detailing of the Red Lift or b) the clean lined Lalique fountain

do you prefer a) the wonderful Chinoiserie detailing of the Red Lift or b) the clean-lined, elegant Lalique fountain

9) Your Silhouette

a) more curvy or b) straight up and down

a) more curvy or b) straight up and down

10) Your Celebrity Alter Ego

a) Charlie Chaplin on the roof of the Savoy hotel with his wife Oona, who now has a beautiful river-view suite named after him

a) Charlie Chaplin with wife Oona on the roof of the Savoy hotel. Chaplin has a beautiful river-view suite named after him

b) Richard Harris, who's chic suite at The Savoy was actually his home for 11 years.

b) Richard Harris, whose chic suite at The Savoy was actually his home for 11 years (probably best to check that he didn’t leave the minibar empty…)

Now to reveal which era you should reside in…

If you chose mostly A answers you should book a room in the Edwardian side, sharing your rather elegant choice with the likes of Katherine Hepburn and Maria Callas.

If you chose mostly B answers, then you should book into a Deco-era room, sharing your carefree Charlestoning ways with Marlene Dietrich and Noel Coward.

Do leave us a comment to let us know if you are an Edwardian or a Flapper please. Quite honestly though, which ever part of the hotel your room is located in, you are assured of a truly marvellous stay. To find out more about The Savoy and all of the wonder contained within this iconic building (do you require a butler? Some chocolate handmade on the premises? An indulgent spa treatment? Perhaps a cocktail in the very same room that Josephine Baker herself performed in?), take a look here. I think it is one of the most remarkable places that London has to offer and one that is not to be missed, even if you only have time for a classy cup of tea.

For our previous post about The Savoy, take a look here. For more about our travels in general, then look here. With huge thanks  again to The Savoy’s team for taking such wonderful care of me, and also to EnVeritas for this delightful opportunity.

“Blink” Retail: Dries van Noten in Paris

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

I’m having a Dries van Noten moment. Or perhaps it’s that Dries is having a moment. Either way, this is true fashion love. The pre-collection and the first few Spring ’14 deliveries have been an absolute feast for the fashion senses. Oh for a magic porridge pot of cash to enable me to indulge in this crush of mine. Actually ‘crush’ makes this seem to be something quite light and sweet. In fact the Dries van Noten collection is far more cerebral than that, working above and beyond fashion in the same way that Margiela or Marni do.

During our recent Paris expedition, we stopped at the Dries Quai Malaquais store. What a treasure trove of Belgian beauty. This shot is from one of the gorgeous window displays. ‘Wow’ is about all I can say about this incredible confection.

Dries van Noten

Dries van Noten

For more from our travels, take a look here. For more retail news, then look here.

“Blink” Retail: Colette’s Surprise

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014
Colette's surprise

Colette's surprise

Have you €20 to spend willy nilly? Well, if you’re shopping  in Colette the answer is probably yes. We spotted this genius marketing ploy set up right by the front door, just to tempt you on the way out should you still have any cash left on your person after perusing this high fashion mecca.

What better way to firstly, part your customers from a few more euros, and secondly shift all sorts of random dead stock.

I must admit to picking up a couple and giving them a good shake to see if they seemed worth the investment. To be honest, they were quite light and didn’t have the enticing level of expensive rattle that I was hoping for. I mean, you could spend €20 and end up choosing a bag full of stale midget gems (or the French equivalent). So, if any of you jet set fashionistas who have actually been drawn in to grabbing one of these bags, I’d love to know what you got. Trick or treat?

For more retail news, just have a look here.

“Blink” Travels: Paris, mon amour- A Stylish Stay

Monday, October 14th, 2013

So, we’re skipping back in time a little bit as the “Blink” blog has been pretty much dedicated to LFW coverage for the past few weeks- and there is more of that to come too! We thought we’d start dropping some other topics in there too, just to make sure we didn’t hold on to it so long that it became ancient history! We’re starting with some posts from our petit séjour à Paris from just before LFW.

It was Paris Design Week, and also Maison et Objet (a huge home products and interiors show) so the city was teeming with design type folks, of a different variety to my usual fashion-fixated crowd. The change of focus didn’t stop me pursuing my usual, well trodden fashion route around town, but it did put a different emphasis on the look and feel of some stores, which was rather nice to see. I hope that you liked the post from Friday featuring those wonderfully inspiring paintings. Well, there’s more of that kinda stuff stashed and ready to be shared.

We’re kicking Monday off with a look at the hotel that very stylishly hosted our stay; the small but perfectly formed ‘Hotel Jules et Jim’. Set in one of small streets of Le Marais, the discrete entrance is subtle and low key, leading you in to the reception hung with cool photographic art, and then on in to the courtyard that the hotel is constructed around. Our room, with its little balcony, faced on to the courtyard so our room was completely, blissfully peaceful.

Actually, the whole place could be described as quite peaceful, with clever yet subtle design features throughout our small but perfectly formed bedroom, soothing scents wafting through the low lit reception area from the Francis Kurkdjian candles and the softly spoken, sweetly helpful staff. The bar serves as a laid back breakfast space in the morning (a delicious but rather pricey spread) but of an evening I think this may turn out to be not such a peaceful element of this set up- as is only appropriate of a cool bar in heart of Paris’ super cool design heart.

Hotel Jules et Jim, Paris

Hotel Jules et Jim, Paris

Hotel Jules et Jim, Paris

Hotel Jules et Jim, Paris

I think we may have found our new Paris home…

For more from our travels, have a look here.

“Blink” Travels: Karl Lagerfeld in Paris

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

I kind of have a love/ hate thing with Karl Lagerfeld. I get a bit rankled by how deeply affected he appears, just adding to the myth that you have to be mental to be a grand force in fashion. I’m not a huge fan of his own label, and yet I adore what he has achieved season upon season at Chanel, and I also am a huge fan of Fendi. I’m also more enamored of him due to his love for his cat, Choupette (though slightly worried by his apparent desire to marry said cat…). Another huge point in the ‘love’ list is the he seems to have a rather good sense of humour. How else would Kaiser Karl have sanctioned this hilariously cute mini version of himself?

Karl Lagerfeld, Paris

Karl Lagerfeld, Paris

We spotted this in the Karl Lagerfeld store in Le Marais, Paris. So in balance, we do love you Karl, but would love you even more if you busted a bit of colour and left the gloves at home occasionally…

For more retail news, click here. For more from our travels, have a look here.

“Blink” Travels: China in Paris, Astier de Villatte

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

You may think that the only reason to head to Rue Saint-Honoré is to hit Colette and all the other big name fashion boutiques. Well, I have news for you. After Merci and le Bon Marche, there is another store that I always try to get to when in gay Pareeee, and that’s the Astier de Villatte store at the Louvre end of Rue Saint-Honoré, just along from Cafe Ruc.

Its a tiny store and you could easily pass it by, but I urge you to search it out and pop in to this crazy little emporium if you are in vicinity. Aside from all of the gorgeous, milky glazed, artfully wonky, ultra stylish crockery, you’ll find their amazing scented candles and body products, alongside some quirky curios that change every time I pop in there. It’s always an inspiration, from the store windows to the tiny back room, stacked high with amazing platters and decorative ‘objets’.

 the windows at Astier de Villatte, Paris

the windows at Astier de Villatte, Paris

the windows at Astier de Villatte, Paris

the windows at Astier de Villatte, Paris

the windows at Astier de Villatte, Paris

the windows at Astier de Villatte, Paris

the windows at Astier de Villatte, Paris

the windows at Astier de Villatte, Paris

Astier de Villatte, Paris

Astier de Villatte, Paris

If you’re not off to Paris but would still like to have a look at the Astier de Villatte range, then Liberty have a great selection.

For more on our travels, just have a look here.

“Blink” Travels: Always Merci…

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

We popped over to Paris last week, and as usual, my first stop was Merci. Have a look here if you’d like to catch up with our previous love letters to our favourite store in the whole Universe…

This time around Merci was dedicated to celebrating Paris, and why not? In it’s very own creative and quirky way the stop was filled with gorgeously graphic,  Paris themed displays. There were tables of city guides, Eiffel Towers all over the place, as well as all sorts of cool Paris maps. All tres fabulous.

Merci, Paris

Merci, Paris

Merci, Paris

Merci, Paris

Merci, Paris

Merci, Paris

For more from our travels, just click here.

“Blink” Travels: The Scarlet, Cornwall

Friday, May 31st, 2013

So we have given you a little break from our gloating about the wonderful time we have just had at The Scarlet but here’s your warning to prepare to deal with a little more effusive, self-congratulatory crowing about our lovely time there.

I have been on a mission to get to The Scarlet for an age, but then there was a niggling doubt that all the pent up anticipation wouldn’t be met by the reality of the experience. As soon as we arrived I knew that this wasn’t going to be an issue. The only issue in fact was would we have enough time to lay about in all the various, perfectly designed spots created purely for you to snooze off in utter peace and comfort.

The Scarlet is a sustainable, ecologically conscientious boutique hotel perched above Mawgan Porth beach. On first sight it’s nestled in a spot that isn’t as deserted as you may have hoped, however, once you are in the hotel it has been so perfectly designed that you could be the only building on this side of the cliffs, with stunning and uninterrupted views from all of the bedrooms and public spaces in the building.

So, back to the eco issue at the heart of this hotel’s ethos… If you’re expecting rough hemp bedding, composting loos and worthy folks wafting about barefoot in a haze of patchouli looking down their noses at your eco-unfriendly car as you pull up into the small but perfectly formed car park, you will be disappointed (thank goodness). In fact the team behind The Scarlet has managed to combine clever, ecologically sound practices and smart sustainability with a wonderful level of comfort and luxury. Our ‘Spacious’ category room lived up to its name. The fittings and furnishings in the room and throughout the hotel are high end and beautifully presented, and with a very specific design feel.

The wonderful Ayurvedic spa continues the attention to detail seen in the rest of the hotel, and just as the hotel embraces a philosophy that is deeper than surface, so does the expert, ‘whole person’ approach of the spa and rosta of ‘journeys’ created to specifically work with your particular ‘dosha’ type.

A couple of days here felt like a week’s worth of relaxation. Next time I want to come for a week to feel like I’ve been chilling out for a month! So, from us it’s a 9/10 and a wholehearted recommendation to go there if you can and a huge thanks to all the staff who looked after us so wonderfully well.

our room at The Scarlet

our room at The Scarlet

the view of the courtyard space, indoor pool and reed filtered outdoor pool.

the view of the courtyard space, indoor pool and reed filtered outdoor pool.

a stunning view from almost every window at The Scarlet

a stunning view from almost every window at The Scarlet

For more on our travels, just click here.