Tried and Tested: Over-The-Knee Boots with Selfridges (Ad)

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I must admit, rightly or wrongly, I have always associated wearing over-the-knee boots with being overtly sexual and Cabaret’esq, so have steered away from them, given ‘sexy’ is not really my go-to style.  In fact, I’d always rather a compliment over some eclectic ensemble I was wearing from a stylish woman than a wolf whistle or a manly leer, any day.  An ex (clearly!) boyfriend once told me my look was ‘moooore demure than sexy,’ and despite the intentions of his remark, I was incredibly appreciative!!  Give me Audrey Hepburn, Natalie Portman or even bloomin’Jane Austen over a Kardashian any day!  HOWEVER, my head was turned last Winter when I saw a few bloggers I know, and supermodels I don’t, wearing over-the-knee boots with dark jeans and it looked… well, kinda chic!  SO… Never one to not try something new, I decided to grab a pair from Selfridges and give them a wee whirl, making sure to adapt them to my own style, and not the other way around.  I, yes I, was going to wear these boots, they were not going wear me!

Let’s do this...

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Firstly, I decided to pair some suede Carvela Sammy over-the-knee boots with some skinny, dark Diesel jeans and an oversize woolly jumper from Alexa by Alexa Chung (a beloved ambassador of the all things anti-sexy, in her ruffles and glittery flats!) and a Manu Atelier suede bag.  By pairing the boots with these winter textures, they instantly became softened and far more appropriate for daytime.  In fact, with the addition of my sharp Jess Collett Milliner fedora, the overall look felt pretty kick ass!  Yup, I definitely could hear some Beyonce playing in my head with each step (*finger snap, hair swish…)

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For my second outfit, I paired the Carvela over-the-knee boots with a zippered Kitri shirt dress and the dinkiest of current It Bags, a Simon Miller Bonsai Bag.  I definitely think this is the kind of a look I would wear to Fashion Week, and although with certain wider strides, there were some good old fashioned thighs on display, the long sleeves, and length of dress counteracted any unwarranted incitement on the streets!

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In summation, I still think these over-the-knee boots are pretty sexy, but not in the original, possibly negative way I had first imagined.  With the right, balanced outfit, these boots actually make you feel pretty damn empowered too.  Demurely sexy, some might say...! 

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In collaboration with Selfridges

Photography: Francis Davison

Hair:  Taylor Taylor London

Nails:  Sophie Gass

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. 

All She Wants For Christmas (In Her Stocking) 2015...

If I have been a good girl this year (which, to be fair, is still under some debate), I hope to discover some of these little treats waiting for me on Christmas morning by my bedside... Alongside Ryan Gosling covered in fairy lights Please Santa-Baby...  Click on the items for their direct links - Enjoy! 

Above:  Le chocolat des Français, created in a small village near Paris using 100% pure cocoa butter. 
Parce que la dame aime le chocolat...

Above:   Ampfly is the brand new iPhone case that makes your music three times louder, all without batteries. Yup. THREE TIMES LOUDER PEOPLE.  A Christmas essential. (RRP. £19.99)

The Conran Shop opens at Selfridges

The Conran Shop have opened an interiors haven within the illustrious and iconic lower ground level of Selfridges, and on the last night of London Fashion Week, my friend Rosanna Falconer (below, draped in glittering Matthew Williamson, as per) and I attended the launch.  Surrounded by a beyond stylish edit of multi-coloured gadgets and gizmos a’plenty, it took ultimate strength (of character, and at times pure manhandling) to not buy everything in sight after a glass (orrr two) of champagne. A go-to destination for note-worthy gifts and investment items for your home - Keep me away, this could be dangerous! 

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TLC LOVES... THE CONRAN SHOP

Above:  I'm more than a little obsessed with these Medium Cactus Vases (£37.50) and Large Cactus Vases (£59.00). Next pay cheque, they're MINE! 

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SHOP TLC'S LOOK...

Hotel Chantelle

I was really excited to be invited to brunch at the new Hotel Chantelle behind Selfridges, having heard fantastic things about its famed New York’s outpost in the Lower East Side. Named after a World War II safe house, Hotel Chantelle is not an actual hotel.  Confused?  I was too. Hotel Chantelle is a ‘relaxed,’ but actually a strictly chic, restaurant with a late night bar set across just the one floor, with two outdoor terraces and a healthy wash of graffiti by the renowned, and super cool, New York street artist Bradley Theodore, who I had the pleasure of meeting.  There is, for your guidance, an enforced ‘dressy chic’ dress code, which may well result in putting off the very same London crowd they wish to attract, but I would ask you, even if in your forced finery, to venture in to taste the food – it’s worth it. 

With live jazz from the dapper Dandy Wellington and over-flowing Bellini's (surely what a good Sunday is all about?!) my friend Kalita and I settled in to what soon revealed itself to be, an EPIC brunch of EPIC proportions.  Advertised as having an American and French inspired fare, the imaginative menu (featuring a glorious Holly Golightly image) full of beyond unique recipes would make you assume it had been created by someone completely buzzed… Full English Breakfast Pizza anyone?! 

We were assured by the talented chef, Seth Levine, that he was not actually the ultimate stoner, and that his ‘molecular gastronomy, comfort food and haute cuisine,’ menu was all just down to his whimsical Willy Wonka’esq imagination!  Not a smashed avocado on toast in sight, I tell you!

Kalita and I were both soon presented with an assortment of delicious (and at times, potentially heart attack inducing) dishes that included Thyme Pomelo Brûlée, Frosted Flake-Encrusted Brioche French Toast, Baked Alaska Waffles (these were amayyyzing!) and Lobster Benedict. Forget ‘dressy chic,’ they should encourage diners to wear elasticated trackie-bums before rolling them home!  I'm intrigued to try the lunch menu next.

Hotel Chantelle is open seven days a week between 11.30am-11:00pm.
Late night dining will be available between Thursday and Saturday until 3am. 
Weekend brunch will be offered on Saturdays and Sundays from 11am-4pm

HOTEL CHANTELLE:  23 ORCHARD STREET, LONDON, W1

All He Wants for Christmas 2013

The Christmas count down has officially begun and with the chaos and mad panic on every twinkly-lit highstreet, finding a present for the lucky menfolk in your life can prove both tricky and stressful.  Rather than resorting to making an IOU voucher booklet (that ol'chestnut!) here is some TLC giftspiration which may make life a liiiittle easier...

I also asked LA-based Brit musician and all round dude Dhani Harrison and the evvver hilarious Irish actor and comedian Chris O'Dowd to share with us their Christmas wishes. 

Above (Clockwise) L-R:  Drakes Knited Wool Tie – RRP. £95.00,  Ray-Ban Mirrored Aviators –RRP.135.00Anthropologie Moscow Mule Mug – RRP.£16.00Spotty Happy Socks at ASOS –RRP. £13.00Cox & Cox Wooden Letter Rack – RRP. £65.00 J Crew Flecked Wool-Blend Sweater – RRP. £90.00

Above (Clockwise) L-R:  Nike Air Max Trainers – RRP. £94.99Suits (Season 1 and 2) – RRP.£34.99 £20.00Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Energising Face Wash  RRP. £25.00Leica D-Lux 5 Camera– RRP. £644.00Laguiole Carving Set – RRP. £31.00Graham and Green Winston Antique Globes – RRP. £79.00 - £89.00The Kooples Straight Cut Wool and Cashmere Coat with Leather Details – RRP. £420.00 £336.00

London Boutiques: This Month - June

I'm really pleased to announce I will be have a regular monthly feature recommending the best London based fun & fashion on the newly relaunched eCommerce site, London-Boutiques.com!   My June hightlights include (...drumroll please)  Love Brunch at Kensington Roof GardensCharlotte Tilbury's Rock'n'Kohl at Selfridges, enjoying Trooping the Colour at Vista on the Trafalgar Hotel's rooftop, watching Wimbledon at the Bluebird Chelsea, the epic Hard Rock Calling and Chris Levine's 'Light' exhibition at the The Fine Art Society Contemporary... Phew! Enjoy!

Valentines Day Gift Guide 2013 - For Him

“You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”  Dr. Seuss

Trend: Meggings

Ok… I go away on holiday for a few weeks and what happens? Men wearing leggings becomes a trend?? Yes.  This is actually happening.  Errm… #Ew. 

According to my very reliable and oh-so-fabulous sources in New York, the most current fashion trend sweeping across Manhattan right now are men in tights.  Huh?  With The Telegraph reporting that ‘meggings’ (really?!) are "taking the fashion world by storm"  it appears such an ensemble is no longer reserved for male ballerinas or… Medieval outlaws?!  This winter men are apparently following fast in the footsteps of Justin Beiber, Russell Brand and Lenny Kravitz and donning ‘meggings’ (I refuse to write that word without abbreviation marks) with Versace and Givenchy apparently being the most sought after brand.  What could be worse than that?  Oh… I know, how about this  so-called ‘fashion moment’ catching on in the UK? Uniqlo is already selling them on their website and the Boy London 'meggings' sold out at Selfridges within a week.   I can only imagine that with no pockets to hold their wallets (or girlfriend’s handbags to help since they, along with their owners, fled for the hills after the ‘megging’ purchase) Man-Bags (*shudder) will soon be reappearing back into our lives.  Why God, Whhhhy?!!

Emma Bridgewater Celebrating The Jubilee

Looking for a memento of this weekend’s Jubilee celebrations? Emma Bridgewater is offering a 15% discount off her gorgeous and decorative Jubilee range.  Co-owners, Matthew Rice and Emma Bridgewater will be selling an estimated 200,000 Diamond Jubilee items and it is easy to see why.  All handcrafted in Britain, colourful and jolly, these every day items can be treasured for years to come. 

Matthew Rice said: “Emma and I are both fiercely patriotic and have created commemorative ware for every Royal occasion for the past 25 years. However, we have never seen demand such as that which we’re experiencing for our Jubilee range."

Right: The Marylebone High Street shop window.
Below:  My favourite pieces from the range...

Above ClockwiseTea Caddy £10.00, Egg Cup £9.95, Teatowel £10.00, 1/2 Pint Mug £24.95, Bisuit Tin £13.00, Diamond Jubilee Crown Jar £100.00


Below: Some other Jubilee goodies which have caught my eye this week… 

This limited-edition Marmite, Ma’amite, is available at all Sainsbury's supermarkets across the country. 

Love it or hate it? Love it.

World Exclusive Jeroboam 3 litre bottle of Pimms
RRP. £150 at Selfridges.

Pimms o'clock. Bound to get any party started! Only 150 of these commemorative three litre Pimm's bottles have been made. 

Jubilee Corgi Ankle Socks
RRP. £3.50 at Topshop.

Adorable! I bought these. Couldn't resist.

Above:  Prêt-à-Portea – The Royal Collection. A Royal Treat!  Available until June 9th, biscuits, fancies and choux buns have been transformed to resemble the most memorable hats worn by the Royal Family - including Princess Beatrice's, now infamous, Philip Tracey facinator (a delicious praline profiterole!) 

£36.50 pp or £46.50 including a glass of Laurent Perrier Champagne at The Berkeley.

Have a WONDERFUL Jubileeeeee....