TLC Staycation: Daylesford Farm with Bentley

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I couldn’t actually believe my luck when Bentley asked if I wanted to take one of their first ever SUV’s for a spin in the countryside… And neither could my Father, who’s excitement when the Bentayga arrived on his doorstop was wildly contagious (even my one-year old nephew Zac was clapping!) The timing could not have been better; My sister was over visiting from NYC with her family, and my parents were over from Kenya, so a TLC Staycation to the countryside was clearly in order…

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We all know that when it comes to the British countryside, you struggle to pick a more picturesque area to visit than the Cotswolds, which is only an easy ninety mins outside of London. I had been wanting to stay at Daylesford Farm for many moons, and it just so happens that one of their beautifully chic converted farmhouses, The Wood House, has three bedrooms and could fit all the fam (providing I shared a room and bed with my jet-lagged, four-year old niece Willow… and if you watched my Instastories from that week, you’ll know just how that went…!)

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Retaining many of their original features, the self-catered cottages are just a minute’s walk from the iconic Daylesford Farm Shop, restaurant, café and Bamford Haybarn Spa, and really allow you the chance to disconnect, relax, sleep (if not sharing a bed with a jet-lagged, singing niece) and enjoy some lovely family time and country air.

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On arrival we received a generous welcome pack which included Daylesford tea, coffee, sugar, Daylesford red wine, gin and a selection of savory treats. The fridge was stocked with Daylesford Organic milk, butter and eggs, fresh bread from the bakery and chilled bottles of Daylesford rosé (my favourite) and white wine. Gorgeous fresh flowers were also left for us in the kitchen, and the bathrooms all had miniature Bamford products… All heavenly touches.

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Had we stayed longer, we definitely would have enrolled in some of the cookery classes and floristry workshops, but we were more than occupied with our dreamy treatments at the Bamford Haybarn Spa (I fell utterly in love with the Bamford products, and subsequently bought both the Refining Exfoliator and Balancing Tonic used during my facial) and… oh yeah, eating, because my sweet Lord, the fooooood...!

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Daylesford is one of the most pioneering farms in the UK and Carole Bamford has won more than 60 national and international awards for its delicious food and sustainable practices. The farm grows over 300 varieties of seasonal organic fruit, vegetables and herbs, and we bought a lot of their delicious soups, jams and chutneys to take over, having really enjoyed them during our stay.

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Driving the Bentayga to Gloucestershire was a total joy – not only is it clearly stylish and a real eye-turner, but it is so, so comfortable and smooth to drive. It was also great to have with us on the farm, as we could zip around the muddy terrain confidently, visiting both all the new born baby lambs and my old school friend, Leonora Bamford who lives nearby.

After two wonderful nights we packed half the Farm Shop’s produce into the boot, to reluctantly head home, and yes, I allowed (lol) my (chomping at the bit) Father to drive the Bentayga back. We’ll be back Daylesford (ummmm, in the Bentayga, please Bentley? Pretty please?!)

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In Partnership with Bentley

The London Chatter was kindly hosted by Daylesford

2019: Let's Do This...

A little late to the 2019 party, but wishing you all one healthy and happy New Year. In all honestly, behind all of the fun and the filters, this last year has been a bit of a whoop-ass struggle, and all things considered, I found it quite hard to pick an authentic array of annual ‘highlights’ to see out 2018...

Instead, as I sit reflecting on the last year, I see lots of faces. The faces of people who showed up, checked in, called and cared - my true, real highlights.

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If I’ve learned anything recently, it’s that you are never too old to open yourself up and make new, brilliant friends. Some of the faces I’m the most grateful to over 2018 belong to people I might not have imagined being there a year or so ago, and that’s pretty wonderful in itself. I also learnt to not beat myself up too much for politely opting out of things when it all feels like too much, when you need to disconnect, and when you need to put yourself (and perhaps Netflix) first.

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Lastly, I recently read that even if you feel like the least intelligent, beautiful or talented person in the room, you can always be brave and you can always be kind. And that’s how I’ll be walking into 2019; Brave and kind... Lets Do This 2019!

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Shop TLC’s Look…

Dress and Lipstick by Rouje

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Credit Buy: The Dolly Knit

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Today I will be mainly transporting myself back to Bank Holiday Monday morning, lying peacefully on an Isle of Wight cliff top covered in heather... Opposed to dealing with having just found my home completely splattered in Carnival paint.  All together now; "Ommmmmmmmm...!!"

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In celebration of Dolly Alderton’s witty memoir, ‘Everything I Know About Love,’ British knitwear brand Hades has created a lambswool ‘Dolly Knit’ inspired by the brainy Bardot’esq babe herself (RRP. 160.00).  

Available in Powder Pink and Blood Red, these sweaters both have ‘Know Thyself’ embroidered onto the inner sleeve of the left arm, which is perhaps wiser than the usual heart we’ve been known to leave there...!

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Links of London's Royal Ascot Collection

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In just under a week, one of the most fashionable events in the entire British social calendar commences; Royal Ascot.  Founded by Queen Anne in 1711, the four-day racing festival has become a pageantry filled national institution, one where both the horses and the elaborate hats in attendance share focus and press. 

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With a strict dress code, Royal Ascot is synonymous with sartorial elegance, thus, whilst inevitably enjoying a lil’flutter on the GG’s, it’s always the elaborate hats which have my eyes on stalks each year. Underneath all the silk flowers and high-fashion head toppers however, it is just as important to make sure your jewellery is just as on point (to point).    

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Luckily for the attendees, and all race aficionados in general, for the second year running, Links of London are back in the saddle as the official jewellery license holder at Royal Ascot. The much-loved British jewellers and have once more designed a stylish, racing-inspired collection that will not only complete your look, but will be treasured by its owners for many more years to come.   

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Amongst the specially crafted diamond necklaces, colourful charms, and engravable cufflinks for the often-overlooked gentlemen, I decided my favourite pieces from the Links of London Ascot Collection were the Horseshoe designs.

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Simple in style, with an obvious nod to horse racing, the delicate chain bracelets, pendants, rings, earrings and adjustable cuffs available in sterling silver, yellow gold vermeil and 18k rose gold, are utterly timeless.  

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I’m hoping that by wearing some of this collection I will have some luck at the races, and beyond…    

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Shop TLC's Look...

Hats: Jess Collett Milliner
Seville Dress: Tephi
I'm a Goddess Jumpsuit:  Bozena Jankowska
Bag: Baraboux

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In collaboration with Links of London
Photography: Joseph Galvin
Hair: Taylor Taylor London
Nails: Sophie Gass

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24 Hours in Mykonos with Figleaves

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I was really excited to be invited to Mykonos a few months ago by Figleaves to get a sneak preview of their gorgeous Spring/Summer’18 collection, which has recently hit their digital shelves. 

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I’d never visited the idyllic, white-washed Mykonos before, and over a whirlwind, bikini-filled 24 hours, I was able to really get a taste of both the glamour and simplicity of the Greek island. 

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In the morning I explored the island’s capital, Chora, which gave me the opportunity to wear some of Figleaves’ new beachwear around all the narrow and winding, labyrinth-style streets.  Picturesque, and quaint, there are endless little souvenir and handicraft shops to peruse, and cafes to drop into, as you wander around the bougainvillea scattered narrow and winding, labyrinth-style streets.  

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No trip to Mykonos would be complete without visiting the iconic windmills which overlook the sea, dating back to the 16th Century. 

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Above: Wearing the Rowan 0ff The Shoulder Sundress (RRP. £38.00), also available in white

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I was quite overwhelmed by the amount of stray cats in Mykonos, either happily soaking up the sunshine, or merely looking to share your lunch. To adopt a stray from Mykonos or sponsor their fostering or sterilization efforts, please contact Mykonos Animal Welfare. 

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In the afternoon, I headed to the Alemangou Mykonos, a boho haven on MykonosFtelia Beach. The rocky landscape, golden sand and crystal Aegean seawater made for the perfect location to shoot some of the latest Figleaves swimwear.  My favourite piece from the new collection was the Surf Shore Soft High Neck Tummy Control Swimsuit (below, RRP. £45.00), which was an unusually sporty choice for me, but I loved its high neck and unique mesh detailing. 

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I have always wrongly thought that Figleaves only catered for the more curvier figures, but I was so thrilled to realise that they have copious, sun-sational (couldn’t resist) fits for every shape and size, allowing us all to feel both supported and stylish this summer, whether poolside or at the beach.

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Above:  How pretty is this Margarita Frill Triangle Soft Bikini?!  I prefer non-wired bikinis, and being not adverse to the odd frill or two, this bikini top (RRP. £20.00) was an immediate, 'add to bag!' 

Below:  A few other favourites from Figleaves that I have my beady little eyes on for this Summer; The Secret Garden Soft Cut Out Swimsuit (RRP. £45.00), the Tulum Tassel Kaftan
(RRP. £45.00) and the Frida Underwired Bandeau Swimsuit (RRP. £50.00).

Here is a little video of my whirlwind 24 hours in Mykonos...

TLC ON TOUR... MYKONOS SUITCASE:
(Click on the items below for their direct links)

In collaboration with Figleaves

OOTD: 21.02.18

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On rather a bleak, grey Sunday last week, I wore my Madeleine Thompson multi-coloured dream jumper (had there been a coat available, I would have been first in line) alongside some severely bright accessories, and instantly felt brighter. Now, I've never been shy of wearing colour, but there have been many studies that actually prove that a colourful wardrobe can improve one's health and boost one's mood.  Here comes the science bit… Certain colours trigger neurological responses in your brain, causing the hypothalamus gland to release HAPPY hormones.

If truth be told, I've been feeling pretty low since returning from Africa last month.  It's nothing unusual, it just always takes me a few weeks to readjust and get back in to the 'swing of things' after enjoying a lengthy time back home with friends and family in the sunshine. 

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Once upon a time, my friends and I HAD to have one of Madeleine Thompson's slouchy cashmere beanies, and now, fast-forward a few good years, we're all now hankering after her cult cashmere once more. This jumper honestly felt like a warm shield against the weather, and all my subsequent doom and gloom, especially when paired with some new slim leg Topshop dungarees, my new Big Gold Heart Blue Billie necklace, my favourite Tom Ford lipstick ('Spanish Pink'), and an afternoon of popcorn and old-school Hugh Grant in 'Notting Hill' with my buds Katherine and Haden.  

If you're resolutely attached to your neutrals and feeling a little colour-hesitant, start beating 'dem blues with some bright accessories… I can barely take a step in my new mustard Nike Air Force trainers from & Other Stories without someone asking me where they are from, and likewise, my favourite Mulberry handbag. 

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Thomas Sabo's Generation Charm Club

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From the Babylonians to Queen Victoria, the collecting and wearing of charms to commemorate milestones and honour cherished memories has been one of the most enduring of jewelry styles. When I was at school (alongside the Babylonians, it now feels!) all the coolest of cats in my class had charm bracelets dripping with trinkets; the Eiffel Tower, precious sparkly dogs reminding them of their own… Fast forward just a feeeeew years this chaaarming trend is back with a bang.

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Today, Thomas Sabo launches their Generation Charm Club, releasing an abundance of chic, beautifully detailed charms which can easily clip on to our existing Thomas Sabo necklaces and bracelets. I was amazed at the variety available and was excited to pick pieces and that were unique only to me.   

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What I really love about these charms is how easily you can switch up the combinations of what you wear, depending on how you feel.  Whether you want to wear just one, or many charms together, or in this maximalist magpie's case, layer up a few chains of differing lengths with several charms together, for a bohemian, 70's feel.  

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I was particularly drawn to the more celestial Thomas Sabo charms, immediately gravitating towards the moons, stars and zodiac charms (although, should I really be advertising that I'm a Scorpio?!)  The Vintage Moon and Star pendant, combined with the Star Mother of Pearl pendant reminded me of stargazing on my rooftop back at home in Watamu, Kenya. 

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Although I only prefer to wear mostly yellow gold, the current trend is to mix your metals, and I can really see myself embracing this idea through incorporating some silver and rose gold charms.

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I obviously had to have a charm of my initial (love me a 'K' anything!) and with a trip to Joshua Tree coming up next month, I feel I might commemorate this with a gold cactus charm... Watch this space! 

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Shop TLC's Look...

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In collaboration with Thomas Sabo
Photography: Ella Sadika
Hair: Taylor Taylor London  
Nails: Sophie Gass

Heart 'Feel Good Challenge'

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Knowing that this time of year can prove quiiiiite the struggle for many of us (I mean, January is the Monday'ist of all the months, and February is kind of, well, a bit 'meh' too) those cheery lot at Heart (my personal antidote for all dem'winter blues) has launched the #HeartFeelGoodChallenge. Here comes the science bit; Challenge yourself by trying a feel-good activity, inspired by a feel-good song you heard played on the station.  

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I always have the radio playing as I write, and last week, fresh off the boat from Kenya, wearing 84 layers of clothes and feeling ultimately sorry for myself, Heart played one of my faves, 'Say You'll Be There' by the Spice Girls, no less. This bouncy, deliriously infectious girl power anthem is ultimately all about how actions speak louder than words, which resonates slightly, given my New Year's resolution has proved, thus far, to be mostly hot air! Promising myself I would start doing some exercise in 2018 didn't quite go entirely according to plan… 

Being a life-long member of the 'Fitness Protection Programme,' I have always struggled to commit to any kind of exercise regime, let alone enjoy any classes that I've tried.  As I get older I am increasingly aware that the health benefits of exercise cannot be denied, and a little toning here and there is always a welcome perk.  'Say You'll Be There' definitely leaves you feeling pumped, ready to leap off that comfy sofa and get moving, so yes, it happened…I leapt; A Frame gym membership was sourced, and Barre classes and Reformer Pilates signed up to...

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I have to say, despite the anticipated pre-gym grumbles and subsequent aches and pains associated with squats, the endorphins have been released, and I'm really looking forward to my next class; 80's aerobics (and yes, there will be leg warmers and a scrunchie… I may not be well versed in exercising, but accessorizing? Oh, I've got that down, people!)

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I'd love to hear if you have also taken up the #HeartsFeelGoodChallenge and started any new mood-boosting activities to help you get through these grey ol'months… And please share any 'pick me up' song recommendations you've heard play on Heart which might help keep us all stay motivated...!

SHOP TLC's LOOK

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In collaboration with Heart
Photography: Ella Sadika
Hair: Taylor Taylor London  

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Klorane: A French Pharmacy Favourite

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Jane Birkin, Jane Seberg, Caroline de Maigret, Clemence Poesy… In my mind, when it comes to effortless style and seemingly natural beauty, French women will always come up le trumps.  I say ‘seemingly,’ as that well documented, and much envied, ‘je ne sais quoi’ our trop belle neighbours possess, is as much the direct result of the ritualistic use of reliable, high quality products as it is the dose of good genes they frequently are blessed with.

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 I think this is why us Brits have always incorporated a lengthy and joyous perusal in a French Pharmacy into any travel itinerary, and why we have suddenly seen so many more French products pop up on our shelves this side of the channel in recent years.  

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Despite now being able to pop to Boots to stock up on all my French faves, there are still few places more exciting to visit than a French Pharmacy.  Case in point; Last Easter, my girlfriends and I derailed our entire ski group in Courcheval, so we could visit a French Pharmacy… A little Après Skin before our Après Ski.  One friend, Emma, was raving about Klorane, and specifically their cult product, the Oat Milk Dry Shampoo.  Watching her purchase several cans, le FOMO kicked in and I also grabbed one myself. 

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In all honesty, up until this point, I had always assumed dry shampoo was a quick fix for greasy hair, used if running late for work, or for a quick freshen up at a festival… Given I have major OCD and wash my hair most days, I just hadn’t ever imagined dry shampoo being a staple in anyone’s beauty regime, let alone my own. The reality is, French women don’t wash their hair every day, believing that frequent washing can strip the scalp of nourishing oils, so prefer to wash their hair only a couple of times a week. 

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Launched in the ‘80’s and still considered the best in its field, Klorane’s Oat Milk Dry Shampoo decreases the need to wash your hair, and what I’ve found, is that it rather helpfully extends the life of my blow-dries.  Rather than leaving your hair feeling stiff, the result of others I’ve tired, the oat milk in Klorane’s Oat Milk Dry Shampoo seems to soften and protect your hair, even giving your doo some volume within just a couple of minutes. It took a while for me to relax into not washing my hair every day, but knowing that I’m looking after my hair and scalp, whilst also rocking some serious French chic, bed head vibes, it’s been worth it. Just pass me some red lippy and a Breton, already! 

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Above: Shake Klorane's Oat Milk Dry Shampoo well before use and spray evenly 30cm away from hair roots… Leave for 2 minutes and brush out thoroughly, et voila! 

Above: Klorane’s Oat Milk Dry Shampoo is also available in a mini size for touch ups and added texture throughout the day. 

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After discovering this total hair hero, I wanted to learn more about Klorane. In 1966, Klorane has a well-documented history in pharmaceutical ethics and is dedicated to protecting both plant heritage and the environment.  We all know I love incorporating more ethical purchases into my life, and it seems Klorane is putting the care in to the hair care, by donating a portion of its sales to supporting the activities of the Klorane Botanical Foundation

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Keen to try some more of Klorane’s products, I decided to give their Mango Butter Range a go.  Having spent a chilly few months in London hiding under a beanie, and being about to head back to Africa for Christmas, I felt my hair could do with some serious nourishment. 

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The Klorane Mango Butter Shampoo, and Conditioner, contain fatty acids that really act to repair your hair and bring back its suppleness and shine. 

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Klorane's Leave in Cream serves as a protective coat, making your hair easier to style. Oh, and I should mention, the smell… Ooh La La! Heavenly. 

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I’ve really been enjoying using Klorane’s Mango Butter Range twice a week, with interim touch ups using the Klorane Oat Milk Dry Shampoo.  My scalp is definitely appreciating being left alone a little more, and my hair is super shiny thanks to the oils I’m clearly allowing to hang out a little more. 

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Being now able to stock up on these affordable Klorane products within the U.K, rendering those heavy beauty hauls back from Paris on the Eurostar less necessary, has also been massively helpful (and now there’s plenty more room to smuggle back cheese…!)

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Klorane is available at Boots, Escentual, Birchbox, Look Fantastic and independent pharmacies.

In collaboration with Klorane

Photography: Eva Salvi

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All She Wants For Christmas 2017

Jingle Kells is back here with a little annual, last min giftspiration for the lovely ladies in your life... If, like me, amidst the haze of festive celebrations and trying manically to finish sign off various bits of work, you’ve left your present buying to the very last minute, fear not! We still have some time to place orders for our loved ones online, cuppa in hand, rather than having to brave the last minute high street dash on Christmas Eve!  Oh and the Net a Porter SALE started today too, so all our disorganisation might have have paid off...

Hover and click on the items for their direct links and Merry Christmas (shopping)...

Above:  'Buy to Give' this season by spoiling your loved one with jewellery that also directly helps fight against ivory poaching.  The Tembo Collection comprises seven Masai bead inspired bracelets which I designed with Auree Jewellery, and every purchase of a Satao, Pembe or Shina (RRP. £50.00 - £140.00) sees 100% of the profit go to For Rangers, a campaign in conjunction with Tusk that helps the heroes on the front line of conservation in their fight against elephant poaching across Africa. A real feel good pressie. 

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Above:  Pens, make up brushes, carrots… If they fit, they’re going in one of these Pentreath Hall Alphabet Pots (RRP. £42.50). How many is toooo many?! 

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Above:  A Cartwright & Butler festive hamper filled with thoroughly-British tasty treats… Let the feasting begin! (From RRP. £35.00)

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Above (L-R):  I already have a super chic, personalised Garment Bag (RRP. £175.00) from bespoke womenswear label Tephi, and now I'm after their perfect Washbag (RRP. £40.00) to match.  Edge of Ember's ethically and sustainably made personalised Love Letters (RRP.£95.00) are swoonsome and look even better when stacked together in different lengths. 

Oh, and don't forget that all important Stocking! 

 Dear Santa...!