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

The Oscars - 2014

With surprisingly less ‘stand out’ frocks on the red carpet this year than the last (what were these drably dressed women thinking, that we cared about their actual films?!) the uncontested best dressed ladies at the 86th Academy Awards were Cate Blanchett andLupita Nyong’o.  In a sea of black gowns and (we’ve seen them all before) nude-toned dresses, both these actresses dressed to impress and with every intention of walking away with those golden statues… which they did.  

Best Actress Cate Blanchett wore a flesh toned, delicately embellished and very romantic Armani Privé dress which almost looked like her own beautifully pale skin.  As faultless as she always dresses, and this was no exception, I’d have loved her to have worn a brighter, red or coral lipstick to really perfect the look.   Best Supporting Actress Lupita Nyong’o, who hasn’t put a (well heeled) foot wrong during the lengthy awards season, wore a custom-made ‘Nairobi Blue’ Prada gown (the colour reminded the actress of growing up in Nairobi) with a plunging neckline and sparkling embroidery.  I wasn’t entirely sold on the actress’ Fred Leeighton diamond headband, but hey, who am I to judge a girl for having her Cinderella moment?!  The award winning actresses, who we are more used to seeing wear bolder (Lupita) and quirkier (Cate) designs, both looked elegant, super-feminine and timeless.

A special mention must also go to Kate Hudson (above), who was presenting an Oscar on the night.  Wearing a stunning, low-cut Atelier Versace dress with amazing caped sleeves, the gorgeous actress evoked an old Hollywood glamour, accessorizing with an Art Deco inspired clutch.   Also, Angelina Jolie’s make-up (below) deserves a special mention. Neutral, earthy and simple, Angie's thick lashes, soft smokey eyes and nude lips looked subtle and flawless. 

Below:  Ummm... déjà vu much?!  Clumsy Best Supporting Actress nominee Jennifer Lawrence, wearing Dior (like last year) and a Harry Winston back-necklace (like last year) fell over (like last year) on the red carpet at the start of the evening.  The loveable clutz then hid behind a giant Oscar statue.  Ellen Degeneres later mocked J-Law by saying if she were to win an Oscar that night, they would bring the award to her... Safety first.

Below:  Singer/Rapper/Producer Pharrell Williams arrived at the Oscars wearing schoolboy-like Lanvin Tuxedo Shorts… Please tell me this is not going to become ‘a thing!’  Come back Vivienne Westwood Canadian Mountain Ranger Hat, aaall is forgiven!! 

Below:  A big new red carpet trend at year’s Academy Awards was… Photobombing!  Jennifer Lawrence’s love of the red carpet photobomb has gloriously caught on andBenedict Cumberbatch’s magnificent airborne photobombing of U2 was worthy of anOscar in itself! Other note-worthy photobombing was achieved by Jared Leto to Anne Hathaway, who then in turn photobombed Jessica Biel. Boom!!  

Below:  Pharrell Williams (thankfully out of those shorts) performed his song ‘Happy’ from ‘Despicable Me 2’ (catchiest song EVER?!) and shared short, impromptu dances and shoulder shimmies with nominees Lupita Nyong’oMeryl Streep and Amy Adams.

Below:  Jared Leto, with enviably perfect ombre hair, won the Best Supporting Actor award for his role as transgender AIDS patient Rayon in 'Dallas Buyers Club.'  Jared is 42 years old... HOW did that happen?!  He doesn't look a day over Jordan Catalano. 

Below:  John Travolta introduced the performance of (award winning song) ‘Let It Go’ from the Oscar winning animated film ‘Frozen.'  The actor however, some how introduced the song’s singer, well-known Broadway star Idina Menzel, as Adele Dazeem… Car crash.  You had one job John… Just one.  Believing that you’re nobody until you’ve had your name mangled by the actor, Slate immediately created its own widget allowing you to “Travoltify” your name (mine is Kirsty Edians!) Pleeeease next year can he introduce Benedict Cumberbatch and/or Chiwetel Ejiofor?!  ('Travoltify' your name HERE)

Below:  In the most memorable moment of the entire night, a tearful Lupita Nyong’o accepted the award for Best Supporting Actress and became Kenya’s first ever Oscar winner.  Eloquently and humbly, Lupita dedicated her award to Patsey, the brutalized plantation slave she so powerfully portrayed in ’12 Years A Slave,’ "it doesn’t escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is thanks to so much pain in someone else’s."

Below:  After losing out on Best Supporting Actress for her role in ‘American Hustle’ pranksterJennifer Lawrence jokingly tried to steal Lupita Nyong’o’s award. 

Below:  Love was certainly in the air at this years Oscars.  Bradley Cooper lost out on Best Supporting Actor but does he look remotely phased or disappointed? Hell no, he was too busy canoodling with his gorgeous girlfriend, the British model Suki Waterhouse! Likewise, after winning  Best Actor for his standout performance in 'Dallas Buyers Club,' Matthew McConaughey told reporters that he and his beayoooticul wife Camila would not “stay at the after-party long – I want to go home and make another baby!”

Below:  When Steve McQueen's modestly budgeted slavery odyssey, based on Solomon Northup's 1853 memoir, ’12 Years A Slave,’ won Best Picture, the joy and excitement amongst the cast and crew was almost tangible.  After leaping for joy, British filmmaker Steve McQueen poignantly dedicated the award to all those who had suffered, and still suffer, from slavery, saying “everyone deserves not just to survive, but to live."

Ellen DeGeneres took the ‘selfie’ to end all ‘selfies’ mid-ceremony, which later broke all Twitter records (and even Twitter itself momentarily!) for the most retweets (3 million times and counting!), a record previously held by President Obama.  The EPIC picture included Brad PittAngelina Jolie, Jared LetoChanning TatumBradley CooperKevin SpaceyMeryl StreepLupita Nyong’oJennifer Lawrence and… ummm… who? Ohh hi there Junior Yup, Lupita’s brother Junior made his way into the most Hollywood of Hollywood ‘selfies’ and I personally think he MADE this picture.  I can imagine his Christmas card is sorted for the next few years/forever...   

Follow The Yellow Brick ... Carpet

This month there are three (great and powerful) women’s names on the tip of Tinseltown's tongue –Michelle WilliamsRachel Wiesz and Mila Kunis; the leading ladies of ‘Oz the Great and Powerful.’ 

Above:  At London’s European premiere of the movie, the red carpet was exchanged for yellow bricks with the actresses shining in their beautiful dress choices… Rachel Weisz looked every inch a classic Hollywood star in a champagne laceMichael Kors strapless gown, Mila Kunis wore a slate grey Alexander McQueen SS’13 ruffle tiered dress (my least favourite of the three as it slightly drowned her small frame, but she still managed to look gorgeous and hold her own) and the ever quirky Michelle Williams (a red carpet favourite of mine) in a peacock blue Burberry feathered cocktail dress from their SS’13 collection - cute. 

I must say however, I thought the outfits these actresses conjured up for the Los Angeles premiere of the film were even better - which lady do you think won in the style stakes?

Above:  Rachel Weisz looked HOT in this bright orange, floor-sweeping gown by Victoria Beckham with signature exposed VB zip.  Rachel let the dress do all the talking, opting for zero accessories and scraping her glossy locks into a chic bun.  Bond Girl Perfection! 

Above:  Mila Kunis looked adorable in a Dolce & Gabanna embroidered dress with peep-toe Louboutins, a Bottega clutch bag and STUNNING ruby drop Sutra earrings. 

Above:  Michelle Williams looking oh-so-demure from the front in a pretty, floral Prada gown but not-so-demure from the side, with a waist-high slit revealing her black pants!  Absolutely magical, and as unique as ever.  My cute-as-a-button winner.

'The Great and Powerful Oz' is out in cinemas now...

MFW - Prada SS'13

I think when I look back on this year’s Milan Fashion Week the images that will first spring/summer to mind will be THOSE PRADA SHOES.  With obvious Harajuku and Geisha Girl references throughout the whole of Miuccia Prada’s latest collection (floral appliqué and stenciled white flowers adorned kimono style dresses overcoats) it was the shoes that will have left the most lasting impression amongst the fash pack.

The controversial sock/clog combo boots, decorated with satin bows and flowers, left the show’s audience divided but ultimately fascinated.   Love them or hate them, I cannot wait to see how Topshop and H&M reinterpret and filter down this seemingly unuuusual style of shoe onto our high street next year, and who will be brave enough to wear them...

Debit Buy: ASOS Earrings

I do not have pierced ears (which has probably saved me a small fortune over the years given my magpie tendancies!) but if I did I would almost certainly be adorning my earlobes with these sparkly bug pendant earrings (left) and these colourful, Prada inspired floral gemstone beauties (below) from ASOS.  I would dress them down with jeans and a t'shirt. These really are too adorable.

Left: ASOS Premium Darling Bug Drop Earrings

RRP. £20.00

 

Below Left: ASOS Flower & Jewel Drop Earrings

RRP. £15.00

 

Below Right: ASOS Flower & Jewel Drop Earrings

RRP. £15.00