AIRBNB WIN: LOVELY LISBON LODGINGS

I made a promise that 2014 would be my ‘yes’ year… which is perhaps why I found myself hopping on a plane to Lisbon only a few weeks after coming back from Copenhagen. It’s another must-visit city that I’ve wanted to explore for ages, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Great recommendations and the brilliant company of some of my oldest school friends made the stay even more enjoyable, as did our magical townhouse in Bairro Alto, a testament to the plethora of beautiful bolt holes awaiting discovery on AirBnB. If you haven’t yet used the site to book travel accommodation, I suggest you do! It was my first AirBnB experience and I was amazed at what we got for our money (after some extensive research by a particularly savvy friend). And the best thing was that it felt like a home — so much nicer than staying in a soulless hotel. We kicked off each day with a communal breakfast in the little dining room and ended each evening in the cosy living area, drinking copious amounts of red wine and setting the world to rights. And despite its central location, the house was incredibly peaceful; the large covered terrace off the main living space was surrounded by trees filled with chirruping birds (perfect for a morning yoga session), and the top terrace boasted a view over the rooftops to the Tagus River beyond. So, while I sort through the millions of pictures I took whilst climbing, descending and traversing the winding cobbled streets of this wonderful city, I’ll leave you with a photo tour of our Lisbon lodgings, a definite AirBnB win.

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airbnb.co.uk

A LONG AWAITED TRIP TO COPENHAGEN [Part 2: Frederiksberg, Vesterbro and Christianshavn]

A leisurely brunch at Granola (who serve the best sesame rye bread I’ve ever tasted), a popular hangout for Copenhagen foodies…

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A fab design and vintage store in the same street (Vaernedamsvej) called Shop DoraDSCF0214

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The rather wonderful & eclectic Anne Tine vintage boutique in VesterbroDSCF0244

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On the way to Kødbyen, the old meat packing district that’s now filling up with cool restaurants and barsDSCF0249

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Out and about on a misty morning in beautiful, historic ChristianshavnDSCF0360

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A LONG AWAITED TRIP TO COPENHAGEN [Part 1: City Centre and Norrebro]

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I’ve been writing about stylish Copenhagen residents on an almost monthly basis for the last four years – it’s somewhere I’ve always wanted to visit. My dream was realised last week when I finally got to go and explore this beautiful city with my lovely friend Sara in tow. I took so many (rather hastily snapped) pics that it’s been tough to edit them down, and I’m still going to have to put them up in multiple posts so I don’t bore everyone senseless. So here’s the first batch, taken in and around the city centre and Norrebro, detailing everything from historic architecture to cosy cafes and beautifully curated shop windows.

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Colourful displays in very cute design and kids shop Maduro
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We saw beautiful flower stalls and shops EVERYWHERE!

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Sara hanging out at The Coffee Factory, one of our fave cosy coffee shops

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Beautiful Easter window displays at department store Illum

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I FINALLY got to visit Stilleben

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The wonderful Royal Smushi Cafe
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A funny hippy shop with my name on it. LiterallyIMG_8100Stay tuned for Vesterbro, Christianshavn and a wonderful day spent with Vipp!

Q&A: GEORGINA AGUTTER, FOUNDER OF LONDON FLORIST ROSE & WOLF

Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 21.07.12As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, it’s pretty scary going it alone. Half of the battle is making the leap, the other half is trying to find your wings on the way down. However, the amount of positive encouragement I’ve received has been truly amazing. So, I thought I’d share the love, and with it the story of another brave free-ranger, my good friend Georgina Agutter, who’s recently set up her own  floristry business Rose & Wolf. Here’s a little Q&A with Georgina and  a few snaps of some of her beautiful bespoke floral creations. You can keep an eye on what she’s up to here. And I suggest you do — she’s destined for great things!

How did Rose & Wolf come about? I suppose the underlying idea for Rose & Wolf was born out of an overwhelming desire to create something I could call my own. I spent 6 years sitting behind a desk working for various media agencies, and, whilst it wasn’t all bad, it left me with a lack of fulfillment and desperate desire for autonomy.

Why floristry? I just had this gut feeling that a career as a florist would present me with the kind of work I was craving. I have always loved flowers – I mean, who doesn’t? The variety of beautiful colours, forms and textures never cease to amaze me, and the instant joy that they bring  is ever-inspiring.

How did you get started? I started by working weekends at a local florist; I had very little experience, but a lot of determination. It’s not glamorous work (I’ve said goodbye to nice nails forever) and it can be quite tough at times (early starts and cold winter days), but from the moment I started I was hooked. I knew it was what I wanted to do.

When did you decide to go it alone? After working in various florists around London, gathering as much experience and knowledge as possible, I decided it was time to set up my own business. Rose & Wolf is a bespoke, studio-based florist in Balham, South West London. We use the freshest seasonal flowers available and offer up our services for weddings, events, hen parties and contracts in and around the capital.

How would you sum up Rose & Wolf’s style? It’s very much about free-flowing, romantic design. I’ve always believed that flowers look best when they are presented in a way that is sympathetic to their form and how they grow naturally.

What do you like best about your work? Weddings are probably my favorite. It’s incredibly rewarding to have the opportunity to add a little magic to a couple’s big day, and a real honor to be involved in such a special event. If I can continue to do that for a living, I’ll be one happy girl.

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Roseandwolf.tumblr.com
email: [email protected]
tel: +44 (0)7456 557731

AFFORDABLE ART BY AMY HAMILTON

Just stumbled across Ontario-based illustrator and graphic designer Amy Hamilton and now want pretty much every print in her portfolio! Amazingly, super talented Amy is still a student – she graduates in June 2014. Can’t wait to see what she gets up to next. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on her blog to find out! In the meantime, I’m heading straight to Society 6 to get my mitts on her awesome Headdress print to hang in my new office…

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Unframed prints from $17, Society6.com

COLOUR ME HAPPY

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I’ve been noticing a newfound sense of boldness of late, which is, in part, due to the fact that I’ve just left the world of full time, grown up employment to go freelance. It’s an experience that’s so far proved to be both terrifying and liberating… but every day seems to offer a new lesson or discovery. One thing I’ve learnt is that shaking life up is good. (Quite a revelation for someone who has always been rather averse to change.) There are a lot of things that I thought were true of myself — immovable, concrete beliefs  that I reinforced every day through my words, thoughts and actions — which I’m realising are in actual fact not true at all! And reassessing them is proving to be a  gratifying process.

One (somewhat trivial) example: I believed, and happily told everyone, that  I didn’t like colour. Or pattern, or prints… anything not in keeping with a ‘pared-back’ or ‘soothing’ monochrome aesthetic. I mean, I liked it in other people’s homes, or on other people’s clothes. I even admired their panache! But it wasn’t for me — or that’s what I thought until recently, when I was cajoled into buying a bright pink cashmere jumper. Said jumper now sings out from a drawer full of boyish black and grey woollies like some mad, flamboyant tropical bird.  And I didn’t realise at the time, but it started something (other than the depletion of my freelance float as I gaily fritter it away on frivolous brightly hued clothing), because every time I wear it I feel happy. Just looking at it brings me joy. This, in a small way, has been quite an enlightening discovery.

It also leads me in nicely to the main point of this rambling post, which was supposed to be about A Rum Fellow‘s new Tribal Chairs. I should not like these, I really shouldn’t. I like grey, I like black, I like white. I like sober, streamline mid-century styling. I certainly should not condone the blasphemous act of reupholstering elegant modernist Danish designs with crazy Peruvian patterned textiles…

But I  kinda love them! I do! They’re bonkers and fun, and that’s reason enough to celebrate them. Here’s to a year filled with boldness and rebellion and colour and joy. I’m excited.

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From £325.00, Arumfellow.com