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

Hello There: Farleigh io

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Given our acute awareness of how the linear fashion model of buying, wearing and quickly discarding clothes so negatively impacts both people and planet, there is an increased demand from customers for greater transparency in the fashion supply chain. I for one, am really making a more conscious effort to buy from, and champion ethical and sustainable British designers, and one such brand that has recently come on to my radar, happily just in time for the summer, is Farleigh io, and their stunning ready-to-wear collection of hand-drawn printed mini’s and maxi dresses.

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Created for free-spirited women of all ages and sizes, each of Farleigh io’s ethically made, romantic designs look just as great with heels or wedges at a wedding, as they do with a pair of Veja trainers at a festival.

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Brilliantly, Farleigh io doesn’t believe in large seasonal drops, instead choosing to slowly add one new design to her beautiful collection each month, with the aim of you treasuring that considered purchase for a long time. The dresses are not only brought to life by local London seamstresses and pattern printers, but also, for every design sold, a tree is planted in Zambia to help offset any carbon emissions made during its creation… Aaaaall the wonderful sunshine feels!

Wear With…

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Wearing: Farleigh io’s Hazel Dress

Featuring: Puffin the Pup

Smear Fear... #SilentNoMore

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I was recently made aware that cervical screenings in the UK are at their lowest levels in two decades, especially across London, with one in three British women not attending their screening tests because they find them embarrassing. I was therefore, in total awe of my friend, and Lady Garden Foundation co-founder, Chloe Delevingne, for having her own cervical smear test on live television earlier this year, in a bid to combat the stigma around getting checked.

As cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women under thirty-five, its worth remembering that although smear tests are always pretty damn uncomfortable, they also last less than five minutes, are required only once every three years, and also save around 4,500 lives each year through early detection... Now that’s worth talking openly about! If you’ve been putting yours off, practice some ultimate self-care and book one in tomorrow morning… 💗 #SilentNoMore

I’m wearing my Tabitha Webb x Lady Garden Foundation silk blouse which helped raise vital funds towards the Royal Marsden’s ground-breaking research into gynaecological cancers... Available upon request.

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OOTD: 08.05.19

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We had such high hopes after that scorcher of a Bank Holiday last month, but annoyingly, ever since, my newly packed away winter clothes are one by one returning at pace, and I’ve intermittently had the heating back on! HOWEVER, these gloomy mornings and random downpours shall not rain on my parade or ruin my lewwwk – mainly thanks to this ALEXACHUNG vinyl hooded trench coat.

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Waterproofing and insulation aside, I love the pale blue colour of this trench, which can be worn over separates or even styled as a dress (like it was on the runway), and it has a real retro feel to it, which I love.

I paired the trench with a Maje snake print mini skirt (I know, I’m usually a leopard lass through and through, but this chic skirt unsurprisingly slithered its way happily into my wardrobe), a sky-blue Jacquemus ribbed-knit top and some white ankle boots, the perfect transitional accompaniment for any season. This particular pair of much loved and worn boots are pretty old, but there are still some great options available, and I will pop some of my favourite alternatives below. I also recently discovered Sarah and Sebastian, ethical jewellers from Sydney, and I love their gorgeously delicate gold vermeil, petal-shaped Rosa pendants.

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SHOP TLC’S LOOK…

And now, EVERYBODY…

Russell and Bromley SS'19 Edit

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It was 2009 and Sienna, still at the top of her boho game, was wearing a pair of Russell and Bromley slouchy, studded brown suede biker boots with everything from skinny jeans to floaty dresses... And we ALL wanted a pair. The boots sold out three times before I finally managed to get my lil’mitts on a pair, but they were well and truly worth the wait. This was my first introduction to the much-loved British brand, and similar to Russell and Bromley’s other classic styles, all known for their famed Italian craftsmanship, my boots were seriously hardwearing, accessibly stylish and incredibly versatile… I wore them for years.

With important conversations currently happening within the fashion industry, in regard to our planet, I feel we should all now be far more conscious with our clothing consumption, and make sure each item we purchase is one we intend to wear a lot and for a long time. This is why I was particularly excited to partner with Russell and Bromley and share with you some of my favourite styles from their current SS’19 collection, because I really believe their classic styles, however fashionable, have real wardrobe longevity.

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Several of the new designs caught my eye, and I love the chic caramel tones which flow through the collection, and the laser-cut bucket handbags really stand out. I eventually decided however, that the Trickle Sandals, the Impulse Courts and the Rafferty bag were my must-haves for when the sunshine finally puts his hat back on, and choices that will be just as useful this summer, as the next.

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I was immediately drawn to the wonderfully chic mule style leather Trickle Sandals, with their decorative ring trim. This classic tan style will easily take me from day to night in the city this Summer, yet also making for the perfect holiday companions. Unlike many other on-trend summer shoes available on the high street, I feel that this particular pair of slides are also a real investment, as year in and year out, this iconic shape will never go out of style.

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The Rafferty, to me, screams summer. Crafted from luxurious natural raffia fabric, this practical, and surprisingly affordable, top-handled ‘grab bag’ will be paired with both my floaty summer dresses, and linen trousers alike; a real sunny, everyday staple.

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The other pair of stylish, yet investment-worthy, shoes I am eager to wear on the upcoming (we hope!) sunnier days, are the Impulse sling back courts. There is something both gorgeously nostalgic about this style, with their brown crocodile printed leather, yet also contemporary, with their more modern, covered block heel. Perfect for work, and my smarter meetings, these flattering shoes can be worn with both dresses and trousers, well into October (before my ankles go back into hibernation…)

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In Partnership with Russell and Bromley

Photography: Joseph Galvin

Hair and Make Up: Secret Spa London

Clothing: Chinti and Parker

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Fake It Till You Make It with Weekday

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With summer on its merry way (we hope), we are now slowly beginning to see more sunny digital and printed campaigns released, all enticing us to make our new season purchases, so we too can be as happy and tanned as the models and celebrities featured.  The majority of these alluring Spring/Summer campaigns are obviously shot long ahead of time, during the British Winter, and shot at great expense in faraway, infinitely more exotic locations.

Founded in 2002, Weekday, a Swedish denim and fashion brand influenced by youth culture and street style, have decided to be humorously transparent when it comes to communicating their own sunglasses campaign this year.  Instead of flying to the other side of the world to capture the essence of summer, the Weekday marketing team decided to shoot their models under some bright lights, in front of some beachy backdrops. Just as the viewer is lured into the inauthentic summer vibe, the camera is pulled back to reveal the ‘truth in advertising;’ our Expectation vs. Reality.

Aside from Brexit, another hot topic which has caused in-depth discussion over the last year, is centred around the authenticity of the advertising we consume on a daily basis, especially via social media. The actuality, and the ‘behind the scenes,’ of pretty much every heavily filtered, perfectly poised picture we absorb on Instagram in particular, are far removed from what we are presented with, and as such, I found creating my own Expectation vs. Reality imagery in support of this Weekday campaign, really refreshing and relevant.

Amidst great friends in Los Angeles, surrounded by palm trees and booming music, I enjoying cocktails in the hottest sunshine, wearing slim lilac Weekday Cateye Sunglasses and some complimentary lilac Weekday cords and blouse – Such a smiley, memorable day…

Whereas, actually, I was standing outside a London pub, on a typically chilly day, alone.  At least I had my mixture of two fruit juices (Pina NOlada?!) and cheese and onion crisps… All the glamour, clearly, and not quite the summer-vibes I had led initially encouraged you to believe.

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Similarly, here I am in Cuba, enjoying some much-needed shade at an exotic fruit-stall, wearing my favourite Weekday Sail Cateye Sunglasses and Weekday swimsuit

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Which of course, then reveals me actually standing by a Ladbroke Grove London market stall, feeling wildly underdressed, and beyond nippy on yet another grey day… Well, you gotta’fake it, till you make it!

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Shop TLC’s Look…

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In Partnership with Weekday and ShopStyle

Photography: Joseph Galvin

Hair: Taylor Taylor London

Net a Porter AW'18 Sale

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If you (like me) have been unusually disorganised with your Christmas shopping this year, fear not! With the always epic Net a Porter sale starting this week, our disorganisation might just have have paid off!

To save you some time, I’ve scoured the entire site and created a small edit of my favourite pieces (some of which you may have already seen me wearing over 2018…)

#OOTD: 28.11.18

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I fell for East London based brand Mother of Pearl hard over Fashion Week this season, not only because of their renown sustainable credentials, but also because this pyjama/jogger trouser/pearl lined shirt combo struck the perfect balance between casual and luxury – my sartorial happy place!

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“I have a vision to make products that travel the minimum amount of miles, using the minimum amount of chemicals possible, and are socially responsible and organic,” says Amy Powney, Mother of Pearl’s creative director. Using only cotton and wool from ethical production methods (including minimised water consumption and zero toxins) Mother of Pearl’s feminine ruffles, use of faux pearl detailing and cooler than cool masculine silhouettes are well worth having on your radar (and in your wardrobe.)

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Shop TLC’s Look…

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Black Friday with Farfetch

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Wave ya hands in the air like ya… KNOW BLACK FRIDAY IS COMING…!

As your email inbox miiiiight be alerting you, Black Friday is heading straight towards us, with discounts too good to ignore. Whilst this bargain-heavy day can be enjoyed online, your digital elbows need to be just as ready, so preparation is KEY, people!

On Friday morning I intend to be hopping straight on the Farfetch website, as not only do they sell all the top designer pieces each season, they also sell gorgeous clothing and accessories from an unparalleled number of emerging designers. On a day I can feel a little less guilty for treating myself, I plan on investing in a little summin’ summin’ from one of these new designers that you’ve probably seen all over your favourite Instagram accounts this year.

I’ve had my eye on this cherry’licious and watermelon bag for the last few months. Each one of Susan Alexandra’s whimsical bags take six weeks for designer Susan Korn and her team to make in New York’s Chinatown, with each one consisting of between 300 - 1500 beads each. I feel they would be tantamount to carrying around pieces of pure sunshine. Shop Cherry Bag Here / Shop Watermelon Bag Here.

Despite only being founded in 2016, By Far already boasts a huge celebrity following. The brand’s contemporary and hard-wearing designs are handmade in a family-run factory in Bulgaria, and these winter white and lizard brick red ankle boots, made with sustainable Italian leather, will go with evvvverything, all year round. Shop White Boots Here / Shop Brick Red Boots Here.

Miaou, pronounced ‘Meow,’ create the most distinctive denim, and for a loud and proud, crazy cat lady like myself, these cropped leopard print jeans would be purrrrfect for any season. If you feel you need to roar a little louder, pair your jeans with the matching jacket. Shop Jeans Here / Shop Jacket Here.

I already own one Vampire’s Wife dress, and nothing makes me feel more regal, feminine or glamorous. The label is the brainchild of English model Susie Bick, taking its name from her husband’s abandoned book project. Taking this season’s trend for corduroy to the next level, these dresses with their ruffle trimmings are total classic, day to night investments. Shop Navy Dress Here / Shop Brown Dress Here.

I fell hook, line and sinker for London-based, Korean-born designer Rejina Pyo at her first ever London Fashion Week show, and each season her unique silhouettes are always at the top of my wish list. I can’t decide what I love more, this brown, grey and orange print wool duffle coat with its oversized collar and adorable toggle fastenings, or her blue Olivia leather box bag?! Mind you, the two would go terribly well together... And remember, when it comes to Black Friday, it’s not what you spend, it’s what you saaaave ;) Shop Coat Here / Shop Bag Here.

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Photography: Joseph Galvin, Dress: Karen Millen, Hair: Taylor Taylor London

#OOTD: 17.10.18 (With Marks and Spencer)

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Who doesn’t have a lil’soft spot for Marks & Spencer? Traditionally my go-to, one-stop-shop for underwear, roses, smoked salmon, commemorative tins of biscuits (don’t judge me) and Percy Pigs, it is now also the location I’ve found some of my favourite staple Autumn/Winter’18 wardrobe additions.

Over the years I’ve found some real little winners to wear from M&S (I think I bought the entire Alexa Chung collection, and the washable cashmere is always an ‘Add To Basket’ investment) but I’ve never seen the amount of wearable, on-trend (and affordable) fashion as I have found online and in-store this season.

As we’ve now officially come to the end of the longest summer EVER (the heating is on as I write…) I decided to style together some of my favourite new-season M&S separates, which each also tick many of the Fall’18 trends; Animal print, corduroy, berry tones and winter whites.

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What I love most about this outfit (aside from the clear 1960’s Mary Quant, Chelsea vibes!) is that each one of my chosen pieces can be so easily integrated into my existing wardrobe, giving the items I already own the perfect refresh they need.

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Shop TLC’s Look…

TLC Loves… M&S

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In collaboration with Marks and Spencer
Photography: Frances Davison
Hair: Taylor Taylor London
Nails: Sophie Gass

Moon Hair Clip: Estee Rose

With thanks to Enrique the pug.