Chelsea In Bloom x Bloom & Wild

Last week Chelsea was indeed in BLOOOOOM.  The theme of this year’s annual ‘alternative’ floral art show (lets face it, ‘dem Chelsea Flower Show tickets are like gold dust!) was ‘Floral Safari,’ and the shops and restaurants of Chelsea were all filled with the most creative of wild displays, all competing for several coveted awards.  

Bloom & Wild, the hugely popular letterbox flower delivery service and leading floral stylists, teamed up with Club Monaco, creating a stunning Borneo inspired installation at their Sloane Square shop.  With cascading lush greenery with intermittent flashes of bright, tropical colour, you could wander around on the scout for wild (albeit more fragrant than ferocious) exotic wildlife.

From camouflaged frogs to cheeky orangutans and elusive clouded leopards, a ‘safari guide’ was on hand to add to the interactive experience, and being from Kenya myself, with a true passion for wildlife, you can only imagine how much I enjoyed exploring this jungle.

I specifically loved the stark contrast of Bloom & Wild’s rugged combination of palms, ferns, over grown vines and moss, set alongside Club Monaco’s clean and modern Spring styles. The neutral-heavy Club Monaco outfit I chose to wear also served to highlight this.

Bloom & Wild, most deservedly, won the People’s Champion Award, as voted for by the public – Congratulations!  

In Collaboration with Bloom & Wild

Photography: Tom Griffiths

Hair:  Secret Spa

Nails:  Swanky

TLC STAYCATION: Ham Yard Hotel with Sisley Paris

I recently was utterly spoilt, spending two glorious nights at Soho' s Ham Yard Hotel as a tourist in my own town, courtesy of Sisley Paris. The entire experience had my eyes on stalks (and my fingers on my Instagram!) as it was certainly the most colourful, chic and fun few days I’ve spent in a long time...

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When I told my sister and friends I was to be working with Sisley Paris they were all incredibly jealous, as the brand is a much loved staple on their bathroom shelves and in their make up bags. Founded in 1976 by Hubert d’Ornano, Sisley Paris is known far and wide for its innovative cosmetic and skincare products, using a combination of phytotherapy and aromatherapy. The plant extracts and essential oils are perfect for sensitive skin, such as my own, and I was really excited to try the amazing samples left for me in my hotel room (alongside their accompanying Biscuiteer replicas!) upon my arrival at Ham Yard Hotel.

Above:  Checking into the Ham Yard Hotel, with my two of my most favourite and trusted travel companions; My Bric Bellagio Suitcase and my personalised Tephi Garment Bag.

I fell crazy in love with Ham Yard Hotel.  I’m sure you could see on my Instagram account, Kit Kemp’s magnificently vibrant, British interiors are a social media dream.  You feel like you in a Wes Anderson film and everywhere you look there is something unpredictable and eclectic which catches your eye.  From the butterfly and drift wood crocodile decorated dance floor, the bowling alleys, the neon signs, quirky art and the television IN MY BATHTUB (below right), it was a total joy to refer to this hotel as ‘home’ for two nights… As a consequence, my once fabulous flat down the road from this hotel, now seems just a wee bit ‘Meh!’ 

Above:  Wes Anderson, much?! Just call me Margot...

Above:  Wes Anderson, much?! Just call me Margot...

Above:  Driftwood crocodiles and 3D butterflies on the dance floor, next to the bowling alleys (below). Just amazingly fun. 

Over the course of the two days we got to dine at THREE of my favourite restaurants in London; the suntrap that is Petersham Nurseries, the celebrity trap that is Chiltern Firehouse and the delicious taco haven that is La Bodega Negra. I know… My job does NOT suck (#SorryNotSorry) and despite being just a few days late to spot pre-Oscar Leo at Chiltern, it was great to chat with the other bloggers and the Sisley Paris girls in such fun locations over one (or three) cocktails. London at it’s very best! 

The beautiful  Petersham Nurseries  (Petersham Rd, Richmond TW10)

Above/Below:  Too soon for rosé  ? Not when at the Petersham Nurseries (Petersham Rd, Richmond TW10).

Below:  The obligatory shot taken in the ladies at Chiltern Firehouse (1 Chiltern St, London W1U).

The obligatory shot taken at  Chiltern Firehouse  (1 Chiltern St, London W1U)

Above/Below:  With the formidable Juliet Longuet and the rest of the lovely GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS at La Bodega Negra (9 Old Compton St, London W1D).

We spent our second day all together at Christine d’Ornano’s S.T.U.N.N.I.N.G West London home.  It turns out I’m actually neighbours with the glamorous Global Vice President of Sisley International, and let me tell you, there isn’t a house nearby I’d prefer to turn up at to borrow some sugar!  After a presentation introducing us to the brand, revealing it’s family-run history, and demonstrations showing us the latest Sisley Paris skincare and cosmetic additions to the brand, Christine hosted a delicious lunch for us.  

After lunch, behind velvet doors (when I grow up I'm having these in my house!) we were all given a make over, using Sisley Paris products, by the fabulously talented British make up artist, Tania Grier

 I was very impressed by all the naturally active products I tried, and by their chic aesthetic (obviously being from Africa the zebra print had an obvious appeal!) but there were obviously always gong to be some favourites which I thought I would share with you...

1.  Black Rose Cream Mask (RRP. £95.50):  My sister had already warned me this would become a ‘must have’ after I’d used it once, and she was right.  Known as a cult product in France for it’s nourishing, rich anti-aging benefits, you apply a generous layer for up to fifteen minutes before blotting away any residue (of which I had none of because my greedy face ate it all – yum!)

2.  Phyto-Lip Twists (RRP £29.00) I am well known for loving a bright lip, day and night, so these were always going to be a real winner for me.  Appearing like a tinted balm, but with the strong pigment of a lipstick, and the shine factor of a lip gloss these fun, chubby Lip Twists are as hydrating as they are long lasting. Ideal and in my handbag at all times. 

3.  Phyto-Eye Twists (RRP. £29.00):  I love how easy these are to apply, and they are perfect to use either as a thick eye-liner or a smudgy smokey eye. Enriched with plant-based active ingredients, so your delicate eyelids are protected, the Eye Twists are waterproof and available in multiple colours which all compliment each other so well (you’ll end up purchasing quite a few…) but Lagoon and Topaze were my faves. 


4.  All Day All Year Moisturiser (RRP. £236.00): Jam packed full of antioxidants like Apple Skin Extract and White Willow Extract, this heavenly product shields your face pollution, sun, and every day environmental toxins. Swoooon… My hero! 

TLC ON TOUR... SOHO SUITCASE:


(Click on the items below for their direct links)

Thank you Sisley Paris! Bisous xx

Best Of London - Amelia Warner (Slow Moving Millie)

This year’s Christmas John Lewis advert (below) is a real tear-jerker - guaranteed to tug at even the toughest of heartstrings. The commercial shows an impatient little boy anxiously waiting for Christmas Day to arrive - but not, as you first assume, in eager anticipation to open his own presents, but because he is desperate to give his parents a gift.

The track which accompanies this advert is a cover of The Smith’s ‘Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want,’ sung by emerging artist Slow Moving Millie (left) who I previously wrote about here.

Slow Moving Millie, the beeeeautiful actress and songstress Amelia Warner, has recently finished recording ‘Renditions,’ an album of songs from the 1980’s, including covers of hits by Tears for Fears, Thompson Twins, Bananarama, Yazoo and Frankie Goes to Hollywood. By stripping these songs from their manic 1980's rifts and crazy hair, what remains are "really poignant songs, and they're all about having your heart broken."

Amelia, currently living in West London with her boyfriend, took some time to share with us her London favourites;

Cocktail – I’m not a huge fan of the cocktail, so it would have to be a pint of Guinness at The Coach And Horses in Soho with some lovely friends.

Date night - Spaghetti pomodoro, red wine and candlelight at The Ripe Tomato on All Saints Road with my love.

Brunch - At home with the papers, Bloody Mary's and my friend Markus' home fries!

Boutique - Labour Of Love on Upper Street – I always find something one off and odd.

High St – It would have to be Topshop, although I am also loving COS.

Secret Place - Cork and Bottle, a very old fashioned wine bar hidden and tucked away under the craziness of Leicester Sq - Perfect for a late dinner.

London Icon - Tracey Emin for her humour, honesty, style and complete Britishness!

The single 'Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want’ is available as a single now on iTunes and Amazon.

The album 'Rendtions' is released on December 12th.

Slow Moving Millie's MySpace.

Best Of London - Jack Savoretti

Jack Savoretti: 50% English, 50% Italian, 100% Talent.
Jack’s wistfully romantic, often melancholic, songwriting has been compared to that of Simon & Garfunkel with some music industry insiders calling him the new Bob Dylan.

Being great friends with his sister Beatrice, I first met Jack when he was a scruffy 15-year-old poet… Since then, I have stood witness to his evolution into the husky, dreamy (and still pretty scruffy) acoustic singer/songwriter that he is today.

I love attending a Jack Savoretti gig – you cannot help but be totally charmed by his voice, music and bohemian cool. Need anymore convincing? Head to London’s Relentless Garage tomorrow night to see Jack perform - details below.

Currently living in West London with his beautiful wife Jemma and their one-month-old baby girl, Jack shares with us some of his London favourites…

My PintAt The Cock and Bottle with a few good friends.

My Date NightAt home with my girls -The perfect night.

My Sunday BrunchI like to go to The Crown, 30 minutes outside of London in the village of Bray, for the perfect Sunday Bloody Mary.

My BuildingThe house on Fosket Road where I grew up.

My ShopI like to walk into Portobello Road’s Rough Trade and ask for really un-cool music and watch them all get worked up... They take being cool very seriously in there...

My London ExtravaganceDaily life in general seems to knock the change out of my pockets in this town...

London's Best Kept SecretA little Italian restaurant called Ida... Unlike most Italian restaurants outside of Italy, this one is the real deal.

My London Icon (Past or Present) All the Black Cabbies that get you fired up before a night out, reassure you at the end of the night, and welcome you home after a long trip.

Below: Aloe Blacc's 'I Need A Dollar' performed by Jack Savoretti, We Were Evergreen and Sophie Delila who are all performing at London's Relentless Garage tomorrow night.

Click here for tickets for tomorrow’s gig - only a few left – Quickity Quick!!

www.jacksavoretti.com

Best Of London - Celina Teague

Below: The Hive

At artist Celina Teague’s last exhibition I overheard one man reveal, "I feel like I’m on acid in the 60’s again…!" Celina’s mesmerising paintings are vibrant, dramatic and seriously hallucinatory – they affront you with their boldness, unsettle you with their absurdity and completely delight you with their passion and colour.

A graduate in Fine Art at Central Saint Martins, Celina also trained at the Universidad de Bellas Artes in Oaxaca, Mexico and has lived in Berlin and Shanghai.
Although still hugely inspired by these countries and their cultures - and always itching to explore the world and its beauty further - it is London where Celina now lives, loves and paints.

Whilst preparing for her second solo show, ‘My Bunny is all Teeth and Other Stories’ which opens next week, Celina shares with us some of her London Favourites….

My transport – Bicycle

My Cocktail – A Bloody Mary at Shoreditch House.

My Date Night – Worryingly at the moment it seems to be Westfield’s! A Snog (frozen yoghurt) and the cinema with my husband Dom.

My Sunday Brunch – In Hyde Park. A stop off at Crussh to pick up a smoothie, then a walk (via Speaker's Corner) to the restaurant on the Serpentine. Alternatively, Saf on the Curtain Road in Shoreditch has the best food in London – and its vegan.

My Boutique – The recenty closed Hoxton Boutique was amazing for original designs and jewellery – luckily, their online boutique will be available in November.

My High Street Store – Waterstones. I always arrange to meet friends outside it - how late they are directly corresponds with the amount of cash left in my bank account.

London’s Best Kept Secret – Speaker's Corner, hardly a secret but this is my favourite place in London - it attracts some of the most weird and wonderful characters. People heckle and boo and throw out insults but it's all done in good humour. Last year my friend Marthe Sophie and I organized a group show there.

My London Icon – Having watched ‘Hugh's Fish Fight’ it is currently Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. He's very charming, very persistent and won't take no for an answer.

Above: The Rape of the Honey Bee

‘My Bunny is all Teeth and Other Stories’ at the Roa Gallery, 4th - 9th October.

Best Of London - Chris O'Dowd

31 year old Irish actor Chris O’Dowd is used to playing affable nerds and the sweetest of slackers, becoming well known for his role as the hapless Roy in The IT Crowd and for playing Simon in 2009’s ‘The Boat That Rocked.’ This summer however, Chris was catapulted into the ‘Leading-Man-Eye-Candy’ category when he played Officer Rhodes in the whopper blockbuster hit ‘Bridesmaids’ - eclipsing seasoned screen hottie Jon Hamm by a mile.


Taking some time out from being swamped with marriage proposals (to say the least) via Twitter from swooning women all around the world, Chris shares with us some of his London favourites;

My Pint – A pint and a whiskey in the Toucan in Soho with my best mate, Jamie.

My Date Night – With my beautiful lady friend, Dawn, at a French place called La Brasseriein South Kensington.

My Sunday Brunch – We host a roast at our place in Bermondsey for a big bunch of our mates 2/3 times a month.

My Building – I love the Art Deco Tesco headquarters on the M40 on the way to Pinewood.

My London Shop – I love the stuff A.Sauvage makes. Sweet, classic suits with an African twist.

My London Extravagance – High tea at The Dorchester. Nothing quite like it.

London's Best Kept Secret  I really like L'Entrecote just off Marylebone High Street.

My London Icon (Past or Present) – Richard Harris. I loved that he spent his final years livin' it large in The Savoy...

Below: A recent picture on set of 'The Sapphires' in Australia. Set in 1968, four young, talented Australian Aboriginal girls learn about love, friendship and war when their all girl group entertain the US troops in Vietnam.

Below: With Meghan Fox and Jason Segal on the set of the Judd Apatow's new film, 'This is Forty' which follows Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd‘s 'Knocked Up' characters. Chris says, “it’s an in-depth look at relationships, marriage and parenting in this kind of post-boomer generation."

Follow Chris (or tweet marriage proposals) @bigboyler

Best Of London - Kelly Hoppen

Kelly Hoppen; MBE, Interior designer extraordinaire and the undisputed Queen of Taupe.

When not designing celebrities homes (or the interiors of their private jets... yachts...) or busy writing her 8th design book, Kelly also runs her own design school, has her own collection of home accessories, designs ranges of organic clothing for Earth Couture, has a super successful QVC range, oh – and has a new TV show helping five families create stylish interiors in their own homes starting next month.

Phew! This is one busy lady.

Surely Kelly, based in West London, has no time left to go out and about and enjoy London?! Wrong. This lady is nothing if not a serious multi-tasker!

Kelly shares with us some of her London favourites;

My Transport – Black Cab or I drive my Jaguar.

My Cocktail – A Caipirinha with agave at E&O - they have the best barman.

My Date Night – With my man - Big A, at J.Sheekey – Love, love, love! 

My Sunday Brunch – At Raoul's in Notting Hill Gate – Great food and happy, Spanish staff. 

My Boutique – The Cross, its small and full of unusual one offs.

My High Street Store – All Saints, I love their t-shirt clothes. 

London’s Best Kept Secret – The Idle Hour in Barnes; its cute, has great food and is tucked away. 

My London Icon (Past or Present) – Vidal Sassoon. A good friend, he is an extraordinary man and pioneer in his field – he was also so inspired by architecture – his new film is a must!

www.kellyhoppenretail.com

'Super Interiors with Kelly Hoppen' starts on Sept 21st at 8pm on Channel 5.