A #TLCxAuree interview with The London Chatter

The team at Auree recently interviewed me about our Tembo Collection collaboration in support of For Rangers, and why it was a cause so close to my heart.  I thought I would also share the answers with you here on TLC…  

‘We are excited to be collaborating with Kelly Eastwood on our first charity collection. As major advocates of travel, flair and colour – we’ve long been fans of The London Chatter, which is why its been a delight to create The Tembo Collection to raise money and awareness in the fight against Elephant poaching.  So a second first for The Auree Journal, we thought a good chance for a cuppa and a Q+A.  Move over Parky...' 

What was it like to grow up in Africa and how has it influenced you?

It was really magical; the animals, the epic landscapes, the beautiful beaches, the amazing mix of cultures. From an early age I was always aware of ‘the bigger picture’ and as such, however exciting and frivolous the whirlwind I sometimes find myself in, I always feel pretty grounded.

Tell us how the collaboration with Auree came about?

Having worn a personalised Auree bracelet rather religiously for about a year before finally meeting Amelia, we decided to meet for breakfast so I could learn more about the brand. It became apparent we both wanted to do a charity collection, and over avocado and eggs we not only decided to collaborate, but had already started sketching designs before the bill had even arrived. Amelia was very supportive over my plea to support the conservation efforts for elephants in Africa, a huge passion of mine. We agreed that neither myself or Auree would make a bean out of the collaboration, with all profits going directly to For Rangers, a wonderful campaign started by friends of mine back home.

How did your Kenyan roots inspire the Tembo collection?

Since I was a child, I’ve always been absolutely in awe of elephants; rather than Nellie the Elephant it was Kelly the Elephant!  As well as going on safari regularly, I would frequently visit the orphaned ele’s at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust near where I grew up in Nairobi, which allowed me from an early age to be acutely aware of the heartbreaking effects of poaching. As I’ve got older, many of my friends now work in conservation, and I’ve learnt so much more through them.

I love Maasai beads and the design of our bracelets were inspired by the single white Maasai bead bracelet I usually wear. The beads are so synonymous with the tribal, nomadic cultures back in Kenya, that it seemed an obvious element to incorporate into the jewellery, through the textured circular bead effect. I also now have permanent Maasai beading around my ankles, put on by the Samburu mamas at Ol Malo, a family-run ranch in Laikipia, which I regularly flaunted at London Fashion Week – paired with some good old Jimmy Choos naturally!

You are a frequent wildlife campaigner, what attracts you most about the important work For Rangers and Tusk carry out?

I think it’s the urgency, and the respect. Make no mistake, this is ultimately a war – a battle to save some of the most iconic wildlife before it’s too late, and it’s the rangers who are on the front line of this fight, daily risking their lives for these animals.  For this reason, they deserve our recognition and support. Earlier this year I visited Kenya’s beautiful Lewa conservancy, where I saw Edward Ndiritu (who was awarded with Tusk’s inaugural Wildlife Ranger Award, presented by Prince William in 2015) and his team awarded with silver pins of honor for their outstanding work, and the pride was tangible. 

For Rangers is a really small, grass roots campaign, with no overhead costs. It’s headed by passionate, knowledgeable people who have taken on extraordinary challenges to raise both money and awareness (including the Marathon de Sable and the Peruvian Jungle Run). Given that I’m hardly renowned for my athleticism (I’ve not moved quicker than a strut since the mid-90’s), I thought I would be better suited to help the cause accessorising not exercising…!

What has been your most memorable experience in Africa?

I’m having a stream of flashbacks of both the most exhilarating and also peaceful moments. Aside from my sister’s week long beach wedding near our home, and regularly visiting the Giraffe Manor’s endangered Rothschild giraffe after school when I was young, I would say anytime I’ve been lucky enough to go on safari. Watching a sensational African sunset, G&T in hand (obviously), with that buzz of wildlife around you, is beyond humbling, and for me, completely calming

What are your little black book entries and insider advice for anyone looking to visit Kenya?
 

in Nairobi. If you’re not staying as a guest at this beautiful house, I would definitely try and book in advance to have afternoon tea there amongst the endangered Rothschild giraffe that live at the sanctuary.  I would obviously recommend you go on safari to enjoy the exceptional wildlife we’re so desperately trying to preserve, and Richard’s Camp in the Maasai Mara is really great fun. For unforgettable experiences with the nomadic Samburu communities, both Ol Malo and Sasaab offer unbeatable opportunities.  I would also head to the coast. Some of Kenya’s long, white sandy beaches are rated amongst the best in the world. Watamu, a pristine marine reserve, is perfect for a family holiday, and not too far from Mombasa, where you can spend an evening sailing along the twinkling lit coast on the Tamarind Dhow

What are your must have items that you pack in your suitcase for a trip to Kenya?

Inside my vintage-style Brics Suitcase, I always carry my Ali Lamu safari bag so I can decant and travel light from within Kenya at a moment’s notice.  A good pair of Penelope Chilvers safari boots are imperative, and I love my massive Winser London massive cashmere for both the airplane and for enveloping myself in on those chilly early morning game drives on Safari. When the suns up, I’m always prepared with a good straw trilby from Jess Collett Milliner, my tortoiseshell Taylor Morris Zero sunglasses, a bikini or two from Beach Cafe, a Pitusa kaftan, my Sisley Paris Factor 50 and a kikoi bought locally from a beach stall. Rae Feather does some great personalised beach baskets and I throw everything haphazardly into one of those.

Tell us about your most treasured piece of jewellery and the story behind it.

A Victorian pearl and sapphire heart-shaped locket in the shape of a heart. My childhood best friend passed away when we were eighteen, and her mother gave it to me. There are flowers in the the back of it which my friend pressed and helped put in there when she was four. It’s my treasure of treasures.

What do you love most about your job?

In or out of London, I love the variety of the people I meet in such different fields, and being witness to such differing creativity. This platform has not only given me the ability to talk about and share the things I love, but also to champion the causes that are close to my heart, which is something I really focus on.

How would you describe your personal style?

Always colourful, always with lipstick (Tom Ford’s Plum Lush) and always with a touch of leopard print.

By Day: Topshop boyfriend jeans, Rose Rankin sneakers, over sized Boden linen shirts and Chinti and Parker cashmere (I particularly love their new Miffy collaboration – too cute!) I carry all my work and laptop in the tortoiseshell Aspinal of London Editor’s Bag – it’s so chic and even charges my phone – next level!

By Night: Jimmy Choo heels or L.K Bennett boots, Hill & Friends Tweency bag, and a swooshing Matthew Williamson dress. A blow dry or ethereal braids by Clo and Flo ups my glam game considerably.

What are your style tips for wearing jewellery?

I love stacking and mixing metals, which is why I particularly love the Tembo Collection – you can mix and match the colours and stack them together which looks great, yet still unfussy.

TIMEX Fairfield Weekender Collection Launch

TIMEX recently revealed their new SS’16 Fairfield Weekender watch collection and I was very kindly invited to the European launch.  With a night’s stay at the fabulous Mondrian London’s on the South Bank, a fun afternoon spent touring Borough Market and an evening partying at Shoreditch House, this was twenty-four hours of pure fun, food and frivolity in the capital. 

We started our TIMEX adventure with a delicious lunch held in the Mondrian’s Rumpus Room where, alongside the best possible views in London, we learnt more about the brand from the TIMEX Design Director Giorgio Galli, the man responsible for creating the brand’s watches for the last decade. It was at this lunch I was given two of the new watches, both personalised with my initials, and given my particular obsession with orange accessories, I was thrilled with my new arm candy. 

The afternoon was spent with a tour of Borough Market.  I have lived in London for years, and I was still so excited about this. I loved meeting all the stall vendors and having a taste of so many of the amazing treats available to buy (the sea salt fudge and the coconut pancakes in particular!) We ended our trip with some wine tasting and doughnuts!... Yup, I rolled my way back to the hotel to get ready for the party!

The party at Shoreditch House commenced, and alongside the popcorn and candy floss (a nod to the brand’s American heritage) there was a customisation bar for guests to choose their own TIMEX stylish watch face (which all light up I later discovered, much to my delight!) and a fun, interchangeable, colourful strap from a large selection, pick'n'mix stylie! 

In the morning, wearing my AscenoxRollingStones PJ's (a collaboration that coincides with 'Exhibitionism') feeling a little bleary-eyed and after some delicious room service (yes, pancakes covered in syrup, obviously), I made my way down to the hotel’s beyond relaxing spa to enjoy a heavenly massage before heading back over the river, and home.  Such a fun TIME, thank you TIMEX! 

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TLC VACATION: Puente Romano Beach Resort and Spa, Marbella

After the most depressingly long hibernation, and several bouts of rotten flu, the shiniest of tickets came my way; an invitation to stay at the Puente Romano Beach Resort & Spa on Spain’s Golden Mile, Marbella, where the sun shines for 320 days a year! HOORAY!  

Grabbing my friend Charlotte Cowen en route, I arrived at the most luxurious of hotels.  Designed to recreate an Andalusian village, the beachfront Puente Romano, with its endless array of restaurants, three swimming pools, Six Senses Spa and newly opened nightclub, La Suite, had everything both our mischievous and holistic desires required.   

Our room was found amongst the white-washed walls and baskets of geraniums of the grounds, and we were thrilled to find we had a gorgeous little balcony (room service locaaay sorted!) and adorable beach baskets and towels as gifts. 

Wearing: Daisy Mini Crop Set by Mochi.

Oh, I should also mention the giant plate of chocolate-dipped strawberries – soooo spoiling! 

The heavenly Six Senses Spa offers an array of treatments, and Charlotte and I were generously treated to a hugely relaxing Couple’s Massage (hilarious!) in one of the spa’s nine treatment rooms.  

The blue-tiled swimming pool, with its view of the ocean, has amazing waterfall-style windows, and the spa also features a hydrotherapy pool; a cold plunge pool; heat and ice experience showers with different types of water flow and mood lighting; herbal steam room; sauna and hammam. UTTER heaven, and you can see why people travel the distances they do to unwind and spend time being pampered there.

There is a gym and a tennis court on site, and the resort is also very close to Marbella’s old town, but given that there are nine (yes, nine!) restaurants throughout the resort, it is quite possible to spend your entire stay hopping from one to the other… I can think of worse ways to pass the time!  The Sea Grill (above) is right on the beach and where we were treated to an array of fresh seafood and sushi on our first night. 

Two-Michelin-star-holding chef Dani Garcia’s playful concept restaurant Bibo was where we spent most of the next afternoon (I’m not even kidding, we feasted for for what seemed hours – NOT that any of us were complaining!) With an imaginative menu and Alice in Wonderland’esq touches in abundance (even the list of cocktails were presented in the form of Tarot Cards, which I made each of our party choose from - best game ever?! #EveryonesAWinner) the beyond imaginative tasting menu left us defeated, but amazed (I’d fly back merely for another portion of his INSANE New York-inspired cheesecake!)

Wearing:  Gold Diamond Moon Charm Necklace and Gold Diamond Horseshoe Necklace by Missoma.

Mid-way through our amazing meal, Dani surprised us with the most amazing truffle treats in his kitchen...

We also enjoyed a delicious evening of sushi at UNI, several Turkish Delight smoothies at Rachel’s Organic Cafe (above, also my favourite spot at the hotel for sun bathing and reading) and a very healthy lunch at Celicioso, Marbella’s only 100% gluten-free restaurant (below).

Enjoying the sunset with Charlotte and our friend, the Fashion Director of Marie-Claire, Tanya Philipson.  The last time I was in Marbella was actually for Tanya's wedding, so it was great to see her, and this time with her gorgeous new son Archer!  Would you just look at those CHEEKS!!  Beyond edible. 

Wearing:  Dia White 70's Maxi Dress by Lily and Lionel.

You also might not expect to find Marbella’s hottest new club amongst the sub-tropical gardens of Puente Romano, but this hotel is full of surprises as well as palm trees.  La Suite held its glamorous launch party on our last night, and launch it we certainly did…!  With a mixture of old Roman architecture and ultra-modern touches, the club is the perfect addition to the resort and will no doubt, be well frequented by guests and local revellers alike. 

The next morning Charlotte and I were treated to breakfast (pancakes, naturally) on our balcony (I mean, this entire stay was such a romantic friend-moon!) and coconut water and lavender scented eye masks were brought to us to assist with our much needed R&R… I mean, next level thoughtful! 

Just the perfect little mini-break!  Thank you to all the lovely folk at Puente Romano! xx


TLC ON TOUR... MARBELLA SUITCASE:

(Click on the items below for their direct links)

The London Chatter was a guest of Puente Romano Beach Resort and Spa for two nights.