Grandlife Tour of London showcases where to be seen

Grandlife Hotels travelled to London in style for Fashion Week……yes old news now, however what a snapshot of the latest and greatest London has to offer right now.  Their itinery takes in restaurants, bars and shops….the pick of London.

When I saw this itiniery I immediately earmarked it for my next trip.  What a fabulous ready made list to work your way around…no research required.  What’s good for Grandlife Hotels is good enough for me. I have to admit a couple of my favourite places are on the list which is a drawcard…..Topshop and The Wolsely !!

It is certainly a starting point from which to add as I read about or hear about more over the next little while.  Best to go prepared!!!  Once there, time is precious….particularly as I insist on going back to all my old favourites as well…Harvey Nichols gound floor, Laduree behind Harrods for afternoon tea and the list goes on.








The Dressing Table launches in style at Potts Point Bookshop


This was a very stylish book launch indeed. The room filled with stylish people  sipping lovely Gigi sparkling and listening to Clare Press impart her Top Ten Unfashionable Things she would like to bring back….like….A proper cup of tea brewed in a pot or Writing and posting thank you letters.  This was followed by some of the assembled sharing their own experiences….where a little bit of style went a very long way!!!

It was just as well that it was such a rainy weekend as I settled in to actually read this gorgeous book, not just flick through as I had expected.  It is beautifully written, and the photography is exqisite. Some of the gems inside include –

Seven Ways to Work Out What Suits You and Shop Accordingly

Adorable Presents to Give

How to Give the Perfect Tea Party at Home

Nine More Ways to Get the Holiday Feeling Without Leaving Town

I think this is really one of my most favourite books ever however I do have a confession…I actually bought it for my daughter to celebrate her completing her first year of university.  She hasn’t had more than a fleeting glance at it yet but I am giving it back I promise.

Orient House Christmas Furniture Shipment from China

I have never not found the perfect piece at Orient House…..and I look forward to fossicking amongst the new arrivals this week.  Whether it is a cute side table, decorative piece or lavish armoire there is always something beautiful that you fall in love with.

I think that why I am always so successful in my search is that there is plenty of choice or at times too much choice.  More often than not you will have to either go back to check your requirements….. visualizing the pieces or at the very least, just go and have a cup ofcoffee and mull over it.

Asian pieces work really well with both the slick contemporary interior as a feature piece or blending with other antique furniture.



New Fratelli Fresh in the Sydney CBD


Fratelli’s address is 11 Bridge Street, Sydney CBD.  Don’t try to find it without this valuable information.  We had virtually given up hope of ever finding the new Fratelli Fresh but as we fell upon it they were in the throws of putting up signage, so it may now be a little easier.

For a start it is at the George Street end and it is in the basement but with a gorgeous sandstone entrance. I have to say I think it is the best Fratelli Fresh of all. Mainly because it combines the best of the current outlets….grocer/market, bar and restaurant, homewares and more……yes the Pizza and Mozzarella Bar.

I have to say the finishes and particularly the lighting are a standout.

The Aperitivo Bar offers Bellini and Rossini between 5 and 7pm….so enticing and so festive!!.  I couldn’t help but think how popular this will be in the lead up to Christmas.


Ribbons, trimmings and all things passementerie at VVRouleaux in London

‘The Chanel of ribbons and trimmings shops’ Red Magazine. This is one of my favourite shops in London… V V Rouleaux.  Opened by Annabel Lewis in 1990 and now in a new shop in Sloane Square and also Marylebone . 

You can’t help but buy miles
of ribbon for wrapping and the selection process does seem to take
forever, there is just too much choice.

Her belief ‘there are no barriers between fashion and decorating, home and catwalk’. 

There are irresistible tassles and braids and trims, all very unique.  What did the design world do before V V Rouleaux.

Individual furniture and clothing items in store capture the V V Style far beyond the traditional use of ribbons and trims.

PS. I did love the old shop on the other side of Sloane Square….yes tiny but more of an Aladin’s Cave full of sumptuous jewels



Christmas Indulgence with The Imperial Hamper from Fortnum and Mason


When I discovered The Imperial Hamper from Fortnum and Mason, London
for 5000 pounds I just could not believe my eyes.  It truly is a feast
both visually and gastronomically beyond all imagining.  I have had so
much pleasure gazing longingly at the contents in all their glory….the
best that money could buy !!  I really did have to share this as it is
certainly a case of having to see it to believe it.  I am fascinated to
know who may have ordered one and more importantly, who might be the
extremely lucky recipient.

Fortnums describes the hamper as follows:


To create this outstanding hamper, we have left no stone unturned in our search for the world’s finest food and fortums_hamperwine.
From the first sip of Cristal to the last morsel of truffle-scented
Brie, this exceptional selection of luxuries delivers on both quantity
and quality. Lift the lid to find, among many other things, Darjeeling’s
finest tea, a whole side of wild Scottish smoked salmon, white truffle
oil, Beluga caviar, Foie Gras with Truffles, Fortnum’s Cognac Butter,
our incomparable Magnifici Florentines, an amphora of Orange Marmalade
with Champagne, an enormous box of chocolates, a magnum each of Cristal
2002 and Dom Ruinart 1993 and a bottle of Dalmore 32-year-old whisky. As
if that weren’t enough, this year we’ve included our new Jubilee Queen
Elizabeth Christmas Pudding, which takes our King George Pudding as its
base and adds macadamia nuts, port and double cream and a crown of glacé
fruits, painted with gold leaf. Presented in a hamper made of English
willow, this is a five-star feast that will linger in one’s memory for
quite a long time.

Available for UK delivery only.


Home Meets Fashion as Radford Furnishings Introduces Designers Guild Bags


Radford Furnishings has introduced a new range of bags by Designers Guild of fabric fame. Their ‘Weekender’ Bag – the perfect size and shape for a night away or a stylishly larger size bag for everyday use. The perfect accessory for the modern woman, this fabulous stylish ‘Overnight’ bag is available in 2 great designs.

The second design which has a slightly younger feel is the  Designers Guild Tote Bag… this seasons ‘must-have’ accessory. Perfect for a trip to the shops or with kids to the park, to carry a laptop and other essentials to work or for stylish students to carry their books to lectures.

To complete the look Radford introduce both a Designers Guild Washbag and Make-up Bag, both in their signature ‘Franchini’ Black and White Stripe design to coordinate with both ‘Weekender’ Bags.

Radford Furnishings

(03) 9818 7799

Hearts and Crafts – Hermes Delight


My expectations were understandably high having received the invitation to the Hermes private screening of Hearts and Crafts.  From our arrival at the State Theatre, the perfect venue, to the beautiful French Champagne and canapé there was an air of excitement.

This exquisite film was all about the people that make Hermes (yes the beautiful handbags, scarves and jewellery for which they are most well known) and did truly portray both the passion of the craftsmen and women and their very fine skills. The film was directed by Frederic Laffont and Isabelle Dupay-Chavanat and filmed in a number of the locations where the leather, silk, silver and glass are handcrafted with heartfelt dedication.

Above all else was the films spell binding photography and soundtrack.  You could have heard a pin drop.  I have to say this took promotion to a whole new level.  What a magical occasion!

Eclectica -More Than An Art Show as Frensham Shines


When I received the invitation to the Winifred West Schools Foundation Art show I naturally thought I would be attending your typical school art show. Oh no, not this event.  Wow is all I can say! The quality of the paintings, photography and sculpture is certainly impressive. We are talking names like David Bromley, Bob Marchant, Garry Shead, Glen Preece and Rex Dupain to name but a few.

I was excited to see the collection of Aboriginal Art from the Western Desert but even more excited to see all the red dots beside so many of the paintings.  I have to say that the setting for the exhibition at Frensham beautifully showcases the schools magnificent gardens which are looking a picture at this time of the year.  Fabulous sculpture and garden art spills out into the gardens and nestles in and around the magnificent trees.

All this of course capped off by the glorious weather which is not quite so typical of the Southern Highlands at this time of the year.  How lucky they are! Frensham’s headmistress declared at last night’s opening that the girls would be very happy for the school to stay just the way it looks this weekend, forever.

Getting Ready for Xmas

As much as I have been somewhat alarmed at the pace at which Christmas is xmas_decorationsapproaching my heart skipped a beat this week the day The White Company London Christmas catalogue arrived.  I guess it gives you a little taste of how beautiful the stores in London are and takes you there as you drool over the perfect lifestyle settings.  Maybe that is how our table/house could look this Christmas!!

I am putting the cashmere bedsocks on my Christmas list!!!

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