Monday, 29 April 2013

A raffia stripe

I love a stripe and am mad about raffia.   Put the two together and the excitement can barely be contained.  I caught a glimpse of these Paul Smith beauties rushing through an airport last summer and I still regret not splashing out every time I head to the beach.  

The blue Balenciaga is way out of my league - the King of the straw bag Kingdom if you like.  But it's nice to have aspirations...

My recent finds are these ones from 'mar y sol'.  A total malgamation of the two - and with a pompom thrown in for good measure.  They're the only ones still in production which also slightly helps. And they come in a yellow and a turquoise.  

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Tulip Fever at Worton

Last weekend Chaz and I were given a tiny taster of our what our pre-Cub life used to be like.  We had a lie in and then had until lunchtime 'off'.  It was extraordinary. With only an hour left, we managed to tear ourselves away from watching Saturday Kitchen in bed and headed off in the sunshine - a miracle in itself - to my favourite place on the planet, Worton Organic Garden.  
They were having a 'Homage to Sea' weekend surrounded by more tulips than I've ever seen.  
If you can get there this weekend I can't recommend anything more highly; I'm sure the tulips will still be as ravishing as ever.

No early bird catching the worm here - it's not open until 11am

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Marmalade & Mash

When it comes to buying clothes for the Cubs, I'm pretty unadventurous.  Before they arrived I imagined I would spend hours trawling the shops for tiny, wonderful creations.  My own obsession with clothes might wane and be transferred onto their wardrobes rather than mine.   I would be changing them three times a day so we could fit in all their perfect little outfits type thing...  Dream on.  
They're lucky if they get a new outfit three times a week. They're permanently covered in cheese, mud, banana... whatever they can find.  It's like they think they're auditioning to be in the 'before' scenes of one of those washing powder adverts.   
On top of the dirt issue is the fact that there really is very little out there that I like.  Everything has some sort of hideous logo/picture/slogan on it.  Even my usual, tried and trusted  GAP, Zara baby and H&M aren't guarantees anymore. 

So it was a huge joy when I found out about Marmalade&Mash;  the most brilliant, British, simple, logo-free children's clothing company. They're all about traditional, old school clothes - there's lots of bold stripes 'reminiscent of times at the seaside' for the boys and floral, floaty frocks for the girls.  I can't wait to get the Cubs into the green stripy shorts for shrimping in the Scilly Isles this summer.

 Marmalade & Mash are offering my readers a 15% discount.  
Just put WILLOWROSE15 in the special box when you're checking out.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Michelin Birthday

I got taken to the mega swanky, Michelin star holding, Harwood Arms for one of my best friend's 30th birthday lunches last week.  I had no idea it was so swanky.  I was fully expecting a cheeseburger and chips and instead got the most delicious pan friend guinea fowl in it's place.  The idea of going  somewhere with a Michelin star has never really been that appealing to me; I've always imagined them to be places where you have to whisper and it's all a bit pretentious.  The Harwood Arms is the total opposite.  Light, airy, relaxed.  No whispering aloud.  And, it's run by one of my old friends Ed. Another unexpected bonus. And they have the best home made scotch eggs I've ever tasted.

The guinea fowl 

 Scotch egg sensations

Sisterly love from Clem and India

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Spring garden pickings

Being able to pick enough flowers from the garden to make a proper bouquet is making me ridiculously happy.  I may have cheated and bought the hyacinths but the rest - the hellebores, euphorbia, blossom and daffodils are all grown by my own fair hands..   Sarah Raven eat your heart out.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Pyjama Party

One of my earliest memories is being about ten years old and seeing an advert of a beautiful lady wearing a slinky,  silk nightie in a magazine.  From that day on, I decided that when I was a grown up, that is what I would wear. Slinky nighties became my marker for adulthood and chicness. 
I think now I'm 30 I qualify as a grown up.  I did try the whole slinky thing.  And liked it for a while but then just felt like I was playing dress up.  As much as I don't want to let my younger self down, I've come full circle and realised my ideal form of sleepwear is a pair of crisp, matching pyjamas.  In reality it's a pair of bottoms worn with the first t.shirt that falls into my hands.  I want to make more of an effort though.  I want to look a little less teenage.  The most beautiful, elegant pairs keep pinging into my inbox and I think the time is now.

All the above are from Poplin

The two below are from Hush

If you're feeling seriously swanky the creme de la creme of the silk pyjama kingdom is Olivia Von Halle.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Sophie Hulme

We've just got back from our family skiing "holiday".  It's boring to talk about being tired - and I know I should be used to it by now but going away in a group, as the only ones with children - both aged 3 and under  - to a ski resort  - is not something to be taken lightly.  I was hallucinating with exhaustion when we walked through our front door nine hours later.  I might add - nine hours later and having left the beloved iPad in the bus that took us to Geneva airport.
But more of that another time.  

Whilst waiting at the airport check in, my attempts of trying to stop the screaming, bigger Cub from karate kicking the smaller Cub off the Trunki, were temporarily distracted when the most well dressed, immaculate, peaceful family pulled up in the queue behind us.  How on earth could travelling with a toddler be such a serene, stress free experience? Why weren't they covered in apple puree and Babybell? How were they cool, calm and collected still wearing their Moncler goose-down coats when I was red faced and hot in a grubby t-shirt?  And then I saw their handbags and I realised.  They had quite clearly been hypnotised by their beauty.  Nothing would phase them with one of these on their arm.  One had an orange one, the other black.  


Long story short, after landing, waiting at passport control, I came face to face with one of the girls and couldn't resist asking her where I could get one of these visions.   It turned out that her sister - 'Sophie' was the actual designer. She was none other than the magical Sophie Hulme.
Since we got home, every second I've not been tied to the washing machine has been spent trying to track down one of her creations.  At a majorly discounted price.  I'm trying to work out when the next batch of sales are and have an awful feeling it's July.  I have found one on ebay with a dinosaur charm on it.  The Cubs love a dino.  I thought I could maybe use it as a new toy/baby bag - surely a household necessity?