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

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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Shop TLC's Look...

Valentine's Gift List 2017 - For Her

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I feel sorry for Valentine’s Day, a rather sweet day of the year that gets an enormous amount of flack. Each year you can see it merrily approaching, brim-full of romance and possibilities, with a kick in its heel, glistening heart emoji-eyes, and a pink, oh so very pink, trail of fairy dust (or perhaps Gwyneth’s Goop-recommended Sex Dust?) in its wake… All to be met by an anxiety-ridden, Hallmark-hating, eye-rolling audience of cynics, all heading for the hills to hide, regardless of their relationship status. 

Now, I get it, if you’re single this can be a day, frequently fuelled by a bottle of dry white Lady Petrol, where you feel continuously reminded of your current lack of love, and if you’re in a relationship you can feel immense pressure to perform like some lame love monkey whilst spending a ludicrous amount of money. 

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However, in Valentine’s defence, I think it can also be seen as a day where we all can take a little Time Out from our frequently monotonous daily routines, and pay a little extra attention to one another, or friends, and even ourselves... Sometimes we sadly do need a reason, or a day each year, to remind us to do that. 

Spending a lot of money is not mandatory, as a little imagination and thought can easily be just as spoiling; some of the most memorable moments can involve the simplest of gestures and just some designated time to hang out. I am however, always asked each year for Valentine’s gift suggestions from panic stricken men, SOOO gentlemen, here are a few ideas guaranteed to put a smile on all those pretty faces, without a naff teddy bear or flammable set of red underwear in sight (don’t worry Ladies, I got yo’backs too…) 

Hover and click on the items for their direct links...

Above:  Jo Malone’s Valentine’s Day denim designed gift box is beyond dreamy.  The sets, which contain a 100ml bottle of Jo Malone Red Roses (a scent inspired by seven of the world’s finest roses) set amongst freshly cut blooms from florist Philippa Craddock, is available from Selfridges until Feb 14th (RRP. £130.00).

"The fire and excitement may be gone now that we don't go out there and sing them anymore, but the ring of fire still burns around you and I, keeping our love hotter than a pepper sprout."

Johnny Cash to June Carter Cash

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"I don't know how to tell you just how much I miss you. I love you till my heart could burst. All I love, all I want, all I need is you—forever. I want to be just where you are and be just what you want me to be. I know it's lousy of me to be so late so often, and I promise to try a million times harder, I promise."  

Marilyn Monroe to Joe DiMaggio

Above:  'Buy to Give' this Valentine’s Day by not only spoiling your loved one with jewellery, but also directly helping to fight against ivory poaching. Every purchase from The Tembo Collection, a collection of seven Masai bead inspired bracelets I designed with Auree Jewellery, 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.  (RRP. £50.00 - £140.00)

"So My Lumps... You’re off, by God! I can barely believe it since I am so unaccustomed to anybody leaving me. But reflectively I wonder why nobody did so before. All I care about—honest to God—is that you are happy and I don’t much care who you’ll find happiness with. I mean as long as he’s a friendly bloke and treats you nice and kind. If he doesn’t I’ll come at him with a hammer and clinker. God’s eye may be on the sparrow but my eye will always be on you. Never forget your strange virtues. Never forget that underneath that veneer of raucous language is a remarkable and puritanical LADY. I am a smashing bore and why you’ve stuck by me so long is an indication of your loyalty. I shall miss you with passion and wild regret."

Richard Burton to Elizabeth Taylor 

"My mouth hasn’t shut up about you since you kissed it. The idea that you may kiss it again is stuck in my brain, which hasn’t stopped thinking about you since well before any kiss. And now the prospect of those kisses seems to wind me like when you slip on the stairs and one of the steps hits you in the middle of the back. The notion of them continuing for what is traditionally terrifying forever excites me to an unfamiliar degree."  

Alex Turner to Alexa Chung

ABOVE:  Treat someone special to a rooooomantic stay at the swoonsome Artist Residence in London's Pimlico. To celebrate Valentine's Day, this eclectic townhouse, my fave home away from home, is offering champagne and choccies on arrival, late checkout and a free room upgrade, all for £50 on top of their usual room rates between 10.02.17 - 05.03.17. (T&C's apply, subject to availability.)

Wonderba&sh

I first became aware of the luxury Parisian label Ba&sh earlier this year when I went to the Royal Chelsea Flower Show with my friend Rosie Fortescue who was wearing one of their striking pink jumpsuits.  Given I love all things Paris and all things Pink, I was soon hooked (or as the French say, ‘ooked).  The label started in 2003 by childhood friends Barbara Boccara and Sharon Krief, and together they create those everyday, contemporary yet feminine designs we all wish hung nonchalantly in our wardrobes.

October, as we all know, is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, where many designers and big high street retailers create limited edition items for the cause.  For the third year, Ba&sh has got involved, this year releasing two slogan t’shirts donating all profits to the campaign.  I’ve been living in mine whilst hanging in New York, so c’mon y'all, make like all le cool cats and grab one for yourself HERE (RRP. £55.00).

TLC LOVES... Ba&sh

(Click on the images for direct links)

All I Want For Christmas Is....

All I want for Christmas is you... And this... And maybe a few of these... Oh, and this too...

Above Clockwise (L-R):  Sophia Rogge Silk Scarfs - £190.00 or £270 for personalised, Plates from Anthropologie - £16.00 - £26.00, Anya Hindmarch Studded Leather Cosmetic Case - £225.00. 

Above Clockwise (L-R):  Movies and Music from Amazon... 'Moonrise Kingdom' (DVD) - £11.99, 'Homeland' Season 1 (DVD) - £24.97, 'The Hunger Games' (DVD) - £10.00, Rihanna's 'Unapologetic' (CD) - £8.99, Jake Bugg (CD) - £7.99.

Oh... And World Peace.