I’ll tell you about the bits in the order that they happened, so beauty to begin with. After finding delightful all-organic goodness in the form of Bamford Organics toiletries at Crillon le Brave earlier this month, it seemed lovely serendipity to be invited the London store launch where I developed a taste for the Daylesford charcoal juice (everyone was avoiding it, going for carrot, while I downed two – delicious!) plus a passion for the beauty products. The ingredients are high-grade basic essential oils and smell so fresh, strong and honest. The handcream saw me though the 7-hour flights to and from New York for face and hands – I also took the Life Elixir oil and was gutted to have that thing (that THING!) happen when, having failed to screw the top on properly… well, oil all over my washbag, bottle drained. Such a shame as really gorgeous stuff. Also getting a bit addicted to the exfoliating mask come bathtime.
And then, check this divine LA anti-ageing brand Youth To The People (gotta love the name! New at A Beautiful World) with kale and green tea ingredients. Love, love the packaging and the green hues. Have been cleansing and layering the moisturiser up (and mixing with Bamford, I confess) and finding a tighter, fresher looking face than normal – that hyaluronic acid serum is a winner –, when by all rights I should be looking jet-lag bad. So yes, really loving both these brands. Plus they look so nice. Bathroom shelf adorner me. I’ll confess that too.
So, moving on. New York! It was totally brilliant, and I quickly found my special corner. Nolita, in particular Elizabeth Street, where I fell into the delightfully cool Le Labo (concession in Liberty, I was told and also one on Redchurch Street, how have I not noticed?) where I had a label personalised for my fig candle. The shop was all industrial/apothecarist chic with big leather sofas gorgeous bar (pics coming in my New York write up, so keep an eye out). A few shops down, I discovered the absolutely heavenly Love Adorned which was full of the Best. Jewellery. Ever. including New York’s Manon who made the silver snake hoop, which I’d picked up on Day 2 at a fairly close by boutique called Warm – you can buy a single earring which I love! – which my beauteous pal Michele (see her blog Kissser) took me too. And then it turned out Manon was a friend of hers… So all connected up really nicely.
Anyway, round the corner from Love Adorned (unfortunately they weren’t that happy with me taking pictures but imagine just the coolest, LA desert inspired space full of glass cabinets bursting with the most excellent selection of golds and silvers (indoor tree with autumn leaves too, arghhh) I bought a pretty decent on-the-go phone charger. I’d been looking at the Mophie phone cases but kept hearing from people how bulky they make the iPhone 6. So the vendor show me this gold little gadget (don’t know the name, left the packaging!) which I like so much I promise I won’t forget to charge it.
Following my journey through Nolita onwards, I stumbled by chance upon the so, so amazing Reformation – practically a cult on Instagram, which I’d been meaning to hunt down and completely forgot! I picked up this alpaca Dora square scarf which ties really nicely, kind of like a bandana and cute little purse/card holder for just $15 (can’t find online, sorry!). Could have spent a lot longer in there. If only I’d had another suitcase. Next time!
And then, whizz with me back to London. Some lovely parcels waiting, including a very serious I-want-everything-in-grey steel bracleted watch by Swiss brand Mondaine. It’s the most discreet and subtle watch I’ve owned and I like how it kind of just blends into the background as opposed to being a massive statement. And to match, grey cashmere bed socks from a Christmas care box from The White Company which also included the best smelling sloe gin candle – keeping that by my bed! And fun little tea set to combat the darkening days from monthly tea subscription service London Tea Club – £10 or £12 a month. I think we all need a tea subscription service in our lives, the height of civility, surely. And how cute are the DIY little sachets! (Fyi the other tea boxes are by New York restauranteur Marcus Samuelson.) Plus very sweet mismatch earrings by London jewellery designer Harry Rocks…
Now let me introduce you to kikki K. Who actually, you probably know and already follow on Instagram. Design stationery and Swedish. Need I say more. Beautifully put together notebooks; the 2016 Cute Diary is a dream, colourful with little pockets and illustrations. And homeware too, the beautiful cup is by them and again, so well executed I’m totally embracing the inspo. The kikki K ‘Hej London’ pop up (8 Royal Opera House, North Piazza) and permanent store (5-6 James St), both in Covent Garden, have just opened and I will definitely be paying a visit!
And finally, finally (did I miss anything?!) a stunning kids book (Beastly Verse) of illustrations and poems by the likes of Ogden Nash (“I don’t mind eels; Except as meals. And the way they feels.”) and William Blake (“Tiger! Tiger! burning bright…”) which is an absolute pleasure leafing through and reading to Gus. I picked up a copy from Broadway Market’s Artwords bookshop. Gorgeous Christmas present for anyone with little people…
So, that was mega. Have written myself out. Come back and see me tomorrow.
Hand cream & face mask* | Bamford
Facewash, serum and & face cream* | Youth To The People at A Beautiful World
Scarf | Reformation
Silver earring | Manon
Candle | Le Labo
Gold earrings* | Harry Rocks
Watch* | Mondaine (different face)
Tea* | London Tea Club
Notebooks & mug* | kikki K
Book | Beastly Verse