Sunday, 24 November 2013

10 things that have made me happy this week...

1) Coming home for the weekend! Mummy food, love, sister and baby times and a little bit of chill out time before the last couple of weeks of term. 

2) Underwear shopping. I have discovered THE best brand (unfortunately its American so postage charges aren't great) that stocks silky, beautiful underwear: its classy but not slutty which is so difficult to find on the high street. Check out Eberjey here

3) The fact that the Promenade website is nearly ready to go live - watch this space next week! Lots of hard work but I can't wait to reveal all!!

4) Having a tidy room; I needed a sort out and finally gave in this week. It will be nice to go back to uni and clean space (despite the fact that my wardrobe is currently collapsed under the weight of all my dresses but we don't have to talk about that bit!!).

5) The wool and knitted blankets that I found when out with mummy this weekend. Perfect for the season and incredible to crawl under of an evening!

6) Skype calls with my biggest sister as she chills out on the beach in India - I love catch ups!

7) Apple crumble. There is nothing better than homemade crumble on a wintery day, especially when eaten by a big log fire!

8) Christmas shopping with mummy, helping her buy for everyone and my list continually growing! 

9) Waking up to hilarious drunken 2am phone calls from the boy and his friends; i was laughing hysterically in my sleepy-ness! Drunken love is always entertaining! 

10) Eating the biggest and best roast dinner. They really really do make Sundays! Good wine, yorkshire puds and huge trays of crispy roast potatoes. I'm now sitting in a big food coma and there's no where else I'd rather be!

Monday, 18 November 2013

10 things that have made me happy this week...

1) Cheese night! Camembert, Edam mmmm; the blue not so much! A perfect spontaneous night with my house followed by a trashy movie!

2) Autumn leaves everywhere I go. What's not to love.

3) Walking out of my house on crisp winter mornings. Even it the day isn't that exciting the Zara coat that I get to put on makes everything okay.

4) The boy. Chatting, chilling and laughing. There has been lots of that this week. 

5) Seeing the Christmas lights for the first time in Brighton. I was like a child. Fireworks and Chriatmas are definitely my weaknesses!! 

6) Making plans for Chriatmas with my home favorites. I can't wait to go back to the countryside and see everyone already! There will undoubtedly be a lot of wine/cider involved as per and no doubt at least a few hilarious stories to be told! 

7) A fabulous sports luxe shoot for the magazine I edit, Promenade. The website is coming soon so watch this space! 

8) A delish supper out with friends. They really are the best. 

9) A little bit of a shopping trip to reward the efforts of the week - new jeans and lacy tops anyone?

10) And finally, 7000 words. Done! It's felt like a lifetime and I'm so glad these little babies are now safely in the hands of the school office!

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Wintery delights: Blackbird Tearoom

When the days get chilly there is nothing better than chilling out, catching up with friends and warming up with good food. Of course, we couldn't think of anywhere better than Blackbird tearoom in the South Lanes, and which since its opening has become a pretty regular haunt. I've blogged on it before but couldn't resist sharing a few more pictures!

And strangely enough, I want to start with the toilets! I know, I know, classy right! But it is just so unusual. You walk out of the back of a tearoom, through the cobbled garden until you find a secret little door, leading to what looks like a stone outbuilding. Creak open the door and you find this...

Now tell me that isn't cute?! Granted it is slightly chilly in these wintery months but hand folded towels, nice soap and wonderful vintage prints. My kind of loo! Now, back to the cake!

The walls are adorned with old tins, candelabras and pre-war ornaments, and each table has vintage lace table cloths to add to the atmosphere. 

The menu ranges from savoury to sweet, with the cheese, chutney and cress scone or Blackbird cakes being personal favourites. The tearooms exude quaint charm and the attention to detail is paramount. Choose either a window seat or one of the tucked away tables upstairs and this place really is the perfect choice to while away a rainy afternoon with girlfriends.

The infamous Blackbird cake - a Victoria style in style but not in sentiment! Blackberry jam really does add something amazing!

Mmm look at that sugary glory!

And this little baby: cheese, chutney, scone, hot, salad just mmmmm!

Choc orange cake, also delish - like Terry's but in cake form and definitely mine!


Friday, 15 November 2013


Thursday night was a house date night. We have all been spending far too much time in the library and decided a bit of a treat was in order so we headed to the infamous Gourmet Burger Kitchen for supper. Located in the Brighton North Laines the branch is quirky and the menu, as always, is extensive.

After a few minutes of perusing, and of course sorting out our 30% student discount code we headed to the kiosk to order. The restaurant is styled as an American diner, with the menu printed on the walls. You choose a burger and add your sides which include rosemary fries, chunky chips, grilled corn on the cob, homemade coleslaw and onion rings. While this place isn't the best it's very good and you definitely know what you're going to get!

We ordered and started with the obligatory monkey nuts and Jose ordered one of the biggest Oreo milkshakes I've ever seen and swiftly devoured it, entering a definite milkshake induced coma along the way!

The food arrived quickly and the table was filled with an array of burger combinations, chips, corn and salad, as well as sauces and salts! It was amazing!

After supper, we stepped out into the Laines and a gorgeous scene of Christmas lights. I got far far too excited and very childish at the decorations and couldn't resist a few photos. I think all this library time has just made me too excited for Christmas times: home, log fires, mummy time and food comas!

Doesn't Brighton look gorgeously wintery? 

The perfect way to chill out on a midweek winters evening! And I definitely didn't complain at coming home to watch Parent Trap after, snuggled under blankets in the dark on the sofas! 


Thursday, 14 November 2013

Date for the diary

Next Wednesday, Sussex Style (the society that I run at Sussex) and Sussex Arts Soc are collaborating for what is set to be a fab event in our industry speaker series. Gabi Mind will be talking about her career as a fashion buyer and the role of illustration in the fashion industry. 

Gabi graduated from London College of Fashion in the 1984 after studying Fashion Design and illustration. She worked as a Fashion designer for Bill Gibb in the 80”s and worked as a Fashion Buyer for Fenwick of Bond street in the 90’s. Gabi has worked as a lecturer in Fashion Retail at University for the Arts Lo
ndon and is now a lecturer for BA Fashion Design and Printed Textile design at the University for the Creative Arts. She will be giving a lecture titled ‘drawing is at the heart of everything we do’. This lecture will offer an insight into her experience of being a designer, buyer and teacher in the high-octane world of fashion and how drawing shaped her career. The talk will be followed by a fashion illustration drawing workshop. 

If you're in Brighton on Wednesday please do come along - this should be a great event and everyone is welcome!

More details can be found here.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Cupcake glory

These little babies are delicious! Made with yoghurt, they are light and fluffy. Best served warm, straight out of the oven and I speak from experience, its all too easy to devour more than one at once!! Easy to make, these are well worth a try on a chilly winter afternoon!

Ingredients - makes about 24

3 tbsp soft margarine
200g/7 oz caster sugar
2 large eggs
150ml/ 5 fl oz whole (good quality!) natural yoghurt
5 tbsp milk
300g/ 10.5 oz plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
115g/ 4 oz plain chocolate chips
A handful of crushed hazelnuts

1) Line a cake tray with cupcake cases. Preheat the oven to 200oC.

2) Place the margarine and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat with a wooden spoon until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, yoghurt and milk until combined.

3) Sift in the flour and bicarb into the mixture and mix until the mixture is light and fluffy.

4) Stir in the chocolate chips (I used a mix of chocolate chips and crushed good quality chocolate) and the crushed nuts, the divide the mixture between the cases and bake in a preheated oven at 200 oC/Gas Mark 6 or until golden. Cool on a wire rack slightly and devour!


Tuesday, 12 November 2013


I read this article over on Elle a couple of days ago and couldn't resist a reblog! I love Marant and cannot wait to see what gems the collaboration with H&M brings, although I wish that I had more than a student budget to enjoy it on!! She is the epitome of cool and her collections, in my eyes, sum up elegant chic. The Parisian launch party made me so jealous, even just from watching the youtube vid. To me it is the designer label that lacks pretence and makes everyone look good (although of course being a 6ft and a bit stunning model always helps I suppose...). Anyway, roll on Thursday and lets hope H&Ms website doesn't crash too quickly!!

Article source here.
Over the past few years the label has become every model, starlet, and downtown scenester’s worst kept secret. And with Marant’s collaboration with H&M set to hit 250 stores around the world and online come November 14, the secret is officially out. Can she maintain her cult-appeal when she hits the mainstream?

The collection, an assemblage of greatest hits from Marant’s past runway shows (as well as, for the first time, kids and menswear) should have women lining up outside H&M doors for days (or at least overnight). At the Paris launch event, party goers were allowed to pre-shop the collection at a pop-up shop. One girl convulsed in sobs on her way in. When ELLE posted a photo of the collection on Instagram, the post racked up comments like: “I'm taking off from work just to get the goods!!!” and “Dying. Can't wait.”

“I don’t want to be a rockstar,” Marant said at a recent press preview of the collection, referring to an incident when she was recognized and mobbed at the airport. But it may be too late for that.

In her nearly 20 years in business, Marant has obviously created something that resonates strongly with shoppers.  The Wall Street Journal reports  that sales have increased at 30 percent each year she’s been in business, even during the recession. So what’s in her secret sauce?

“She launched [in 1994] just when big brands were building their businesses on logo-driven products. In contrast, everything she did felt really personal because it was based on lifestyle choices versus status-driven concerns,” Anne Slowey, ELLE’s fashion news director points out. “It was as if she were offering every covetable vintage find, only updated into modern-day must-haves. But because her designs really are about the girl and not the label, it's a classic case of the girl wearing the clothes rather than the reverse. There's nothing cooler than that.”
Jen Mankins, owner of popular Brooklyn chainlet Bird, has been stocking Marant for six years, and her highly discerning clientele can’t get enough. “The clothes are very wearable and easy--made for living life and not being too precious,” Mankins says. “I think customers now have memories of wearing something of hers all the time, because they just become wardrobe staples, so you want to go back to her again and again each season to find new favorites.”

If you ask Marant, she says it’s as simple as designing the clothes she’d like to wear herself. “I'm a consumer as well, and each season when I start a collection I ask myself, 'Oh my god, again another collection, there are so many clothes everywhere… what will make the shopper say I'm going to buy this rather than that,’” Marant tells It’s the kind of thinking that churns out hit after hit--from the now ubiquitously knocked off wedge sneaker to the cropped printed jeans. “Sometimes you have this magic moment when you can really achieve something that is a hit,” Marant says. “And, generally, when I'm doing it, I know when I really make something that is strong because I cannot wait to have it.”

Of course, the problem then becomes that everyone wants “it” (like those aforementioned wedge sneakers). And since most of the young women who lust after Marant’s designs can’t afford the prohibitively high price tags attached to them (the sneaks cost nearly $700), they turn to the fast fashion retailers who knock off Marant’s designs. When asked about being copied, Marant says bluntly, “I hate them.”

By teaming up with H&M, Marant says she hopes to give her fans something they can afford as well as curb some of the copying. “I've been so much copied by this kind of fast fashion, so [the H&M collaboration] was also a way for me to say, ‘Okay, I was at the origin of these designs.”

Sure, by collaborating with H&M, Marant risks giving up some of the “it” factor and exclusivity that her high-priced line affords. She’ll be more exposed than she’s ever been before. It’s a big step for the laid back designer, who is even quite shy about doing interviews. But she's also undeniably ambitious. Even if she doesn't mean it to be, the Isabel Marant brand is a force. And bringing it to the masses might just make it unbeatable.


And if that's not enough there's a sneak peak of the collection here.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Baby You're a Firework

In amongst the essay madness was a trip to Lewes on Tuesday for their renowned bonfire night celebrations. We started off with lunch at Prezzo and a couple of drinks in the pub before heading out to join the celebrations.

Lewes is a big deal. Pagan celebrations, parades, 7 bonfires and fireworks. People trek from miles around to attend the event and this year was no exception with over 30,000 people making their way to the tiny town!

This year was my first visit and we got very very lucky, attending as guests of the Town Council and being hosted at Lewes House which as well as being gorgeous, had the perfect viewing platform above the crowds and even better a very large supply of free wine!! The photos tell the story better than I can...

By 9 o'clock we were feeling decidedly tipsy and made our way down to one of the firework fields, Southover. The scene was amazing and we did not expect it to match up to the atmosphere of the parades but it really really did! The fire was huge, the crowds were entertaining, the mud was knee deep and the fireworks were breathtaking. Amazing!

Thank you for hosting us Lewes and thank you Georgey for having contacts in the right places!!!