food & travel

quantum, squared

November 9, 2014

  • Royal Caribbean Quantum of the Seas Pre-Inaugural Voyage Solarium Deck 001
  • Royal Caribbean Quantum of the Seas Pre-Inaugural Voyage Solarium Deck 002
  • Royal Caribbean Quantum of the Seas Pre-Inaugural Voyage Solarium Deck 003
  • Royal Caribbean Quantum of the Seas Pre-Inaugural Voyage Solarium Deck 004
  • Royal Caribbean Quantum of the Seas Pre-Inaugural Voyage Solarium Deck 005
  • Royal Caribbean Quantum of the Seas Pre-Inaugural Voyage Solarium Deck 006
  • Royal Caribbean Quantum of the Seas Pre-Inaugural Voyage Solarium Deck 007
  • Royal Caribbean Quantum of the Seas Pre-Inaugural Voyage Solarium Deck 008
  • Royal Caribbean Quantum of the Seas Pre-Inaugural Voyage Solarium Deck 009

our second day aboard the quantum began with a long lie-in, a lazy breakfast at windjammer, followed with a full day’s itinerary of complete relaxation – well, what else is a cruise holiday about?!

despite our north sea location we were amazed by the clear blue skies and warm rays beating down, even if it was a little breezy on our balcony! wonderfully sated after lashings of seattle’s best coffee and freshly scrambled eggs, we  headed straight for the adult-only solarium on deck 16 and set up camp for the day at the very front of the ship, with a blissful panoramic view of the ocean in every direction.

offering a perfect escape from the world, the glass-canopied solarium is full of lush vegetation, cushioned shaded cabanas, tranquil blue pools, and bubbling jacuzzis, as well as a plethora of healthy berry smoothies being served up at the aptly-named sunshine bar.

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food & travel

quantum

November 8, 2014

  • Royal Caribbean Quantum of the Seas Pre-Inaugural Voyage 001
  • Royal Caribbean Quantum of the Seas Pre-Inaugural Voyage 002
  • Royal Caribbean Quantum of the Seas Pre-Inaugural Voyage 003
  • Royal Caribbean Quantum of the Seas Pre-Inaugural Voyage 004
  • Royal Caribbean Quantum of the Seas Pre-Inaugural Voyage 005
  • Royal Caribbean Quantum of the Seas Pre-Inaugural Voyage 006
  • Royal Caribbean Quantum of the Seas Pre-Inaugural Voyage 007

last weekend i was whisked away on a wonderful adventure by royal caribbean, for the pre-inaugural voyage of their new smartship quantum of the seas.

quantum is a new generation of cruise ship, offering unparalleled technologies and cutting edge transformative venues aboard an 18 deck, 167,800 ton vessel, with 2,090 staterooms and 4,180 guest capacity. i’d never been on a cruise trip before, so was overawed by the sheer scale of the cruise liner when we first arrived in southampton but that was nothing compared to the wonder of what was onboard…

accompanied by my bestie charlotte we marvelled at the “giant floating shopping mall” moored at southampton upon which we were going to spend the next 2 nights sailing. as the world’s first “smartship” we had already checked in before we’d left home that morning, uploading our own security pass photos and registering our preferences for evening dining venues and on-board entertainment. i’d even download the all-new royal app to help  us plan our time on-board as efficiently and effectively as possible. all we had to do once the porters had taken our bags and we’d boarded the ship was locate our deck 10 cabins,  and make ourselves at home! in our rooms we found our RFID passenger bracelets (the white band i’m wearing above), which served as a key to unlock our cabin, as well as allowing us to make onboard purchases, dining and tour reservations – pretty cool, right?

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design & décor

#offthewall

November 7, 2014

  • CP Hart OffTheWall Challenge 01
  • CP Hart OffTheWall Challenge 02
  • CP Hart OffTheWall Challenge 03
  • CP Hart OffTheWall Challenge 04
  • CP Hart OffTheWall Challenge 05
  • CP Hart OffTheWall Challenge 06
  • CP Hart OffTheWall Challenge 07
  • CP Hart OffTheWall Challenge 08
  • CP Hart OffTheWall Challenge 09
  • CP Hart OffTheWall Challenge 10

photo credits: 1 • 2 • 3 • 4 • 5 • 6 • 7 • 8 • 9 • 10 • 11 • 12 • 13 • 1415 • 16 • 17

the one room in my home i would change if i could would be my bathroom. a while back c.p.hart challenged me to design my perfect bathroom, which got me thinking about all the design elements i would incorporate into my perfect space. i always lust after details such as brilliant white subway tiles contrasted with dark grey grout, and clean, contemporary hardware, but do you know the one practical thing i feel is hugely lacking in my tiny bathroom? storage space.

browsing inspirational imagery on pinterest i’ve noticed lately that there’s a shift away from tiny built-in storage under the basin and mundane, functional wall units (my bathroom only has the former – a nightmare for 3 girls sharing!) to swoonworthy modular furniture that is brought to life through an exciting use of colour and asymmetric design.

i’m really taken by the juxtaposition of open and closed storage in some of the examples, adding interest and depth as well as providing hidden space for those less than attractive toiletries we all currently stash under the sink around the plumbing! i’m a fan of bamboo wood in the bathroom for an exotic, spa-like feel, and love the large recessed rectangular mirrors show above, with handy shelf ledges for displaying your most decadent of bathroom essentials.

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design & décor

big nature + small me

November 2, 2014

  • Dulux AW14 Trend Big Nature Small Me 001
  • Dulux AW14 Trend Big Nature Small Me 002
  • Dulux AW14 Trend Big Nature Small Me 003
  • Dulux AW14 Trend Big Nature Small Me 004

now that the clocks have gone back and the sun has taken to hiding behind great swirling grey cloud it’s refreshing to see an autumn/winter palette that’s designed to lift the spirits and add genuine warmth to home and counteract that pervading chill outside.

this new burnished palette from dulux captures the sun-scorched feel of the arizona desert; vast and intimidating, yet strikingly beautiful. dulux say that their latest trend is all about finding strength and clarity, and putting things into perspective, which i think is a fantastic sentiment when the winter blues are gaining traction with alarming rate.

dulux recommend combining tonal combinations of warm clay-like shades for a dramatic effect, and i really love the sense of raw grandeur these warm hues create within a space whilst remaining earthy and understated, particularly in the pairing of sumatran melody and golden umber.

what do you think – are these dusty desert shades for you?

fashion & style

presents in the post

October 29, 2014

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have you heard of not-another-bill before? they’re a fun little monthly subscription service that sends out beautifully wrapped and carefully curated surprise gifts in the post that have been exclusively created in collaboration with a handful of top designers and artists, and therefore not available on the high street. clever, right?

to introduce me to their exciting concept not-another-bill kindly send me their latest monthly gift; a beautiful silk-cotton scarf by textile designer karen mabon whose whimsical illustrations you may recognise from her work with vogue, anthropologie and liberty’s. aiming to capture the postal ethos of not-another-bill, this uniquely designed scarf features hand-drawn illustrations of messenger pigeons, letters, parcels and stamps creating a design that would be equally wonderful framed behind glass on a wall or worn nonchalantly around your neck as wearable art.

it’s wonderful to have received such a charming little surprise gift in the post, and got me thinking about how fantastic a not-another-bill subscription would be as a gift idea for one of those hard-to-buy-for friends with impeccable taste. each present is sent out with a personalised letter explaining how the collaboration and design came about, and gifts are carefully curated based upon recipients tastes and preferences. past gifts include bespoke designs by tom dixon, hay, ferm living and ham, and with monthly prices starting from just £18 (a yearly subscription costs £229) i can think of many of my friends who would love to receive a bespoke design gift through their letterbox each month!

fashion & style

duo

October 27, 2014

  • DUO Romi Black Leather Knee High Boots 001
  • DUO Romi Black Leather Knee High Boots 002
  • DUO Romi Black Leather Knee High Boots 003
  • DUO Romi Black Leather Knee High Boots 004
  • DUO Romi Black Leather Knee High Boots 005
  • DUO Romi Black Leather Knee High Boots 006

• boots, c/o duo  leather jacket, river island • scarf, zara • jeans, topshop  top, topshop • bag, warehouse (last season) • watch, miss. selfridge  

so, i’ve finally done it; my first ever outfit post.

i’m most definitely not a natural in front of the camera and i certainly couldn’t have done it without plenty of words of encouragement from my bestest blogging pals – not least of all the kind, generous and ever-so-patient man behind the camera – but all that posing in a quiet and colourful london mews turned out to be super fun and i have to say i’m pretty darn happy with the way the snaps have turned out. thanks so much, will! xx

it was my new leather boots from duo that started it. when duo first got in touch back in the summer i had not heard of the brand before, but i was quickly won over by their tailored approach to footwear. every autumn i search high and low for the perfect knee high boots to no avail, so when i heard that duo combine style, lasting quality and comfort in equal measure i was intrigued. each of the season’s unique collection of boots is handcrafted in up to 21 calf sizes giving you a sophisticated made-to-measure style and tailored fit with a superior level of comfort that will take you from day to night without so much as a blister in sight. i opted for the super soft leather over-the-knee romi style, with elegant pointed toe and a low heel to ensure they would be perfect for running about town all day whilst still looking chic and polished. i’ve been wearing them all weekend and can’t wait to pull them on to head out again later; that truly is the sign of a fantastic new winter wardrobe staple in my book!