Monday, 30 December 2013

Christmas Memories

2013 was quite a cracker, by now we would usually be sunning ourselves in St Barths and recovering from the excess. This year finances and timings have made the annual pilgrimage a non-starter.  I have to confess that I am missing that magical, balmy warmth of the Caribbean, however the silver lining is that Christmas festivities have not been curtailed by thoughts of bikinis and thigh skimming evening dresses on New Year's eve.
As usual festivities were a plenty, therefore picture taking was not, the two seem to be inversely proportional.

We ended up with around 10 little ones and about 15 grown ups.  The local Waitrose had all of their nibbles at half price AND were still doing 3 for 2 (Central London is a ghost town by Christmas Eve so pickings are rich for those with nerves of steel, who are prepared to wait it out)
The Champagne was from Aldi and according to the Which? guide is less acidic than Moet and Bollinger.  I downed nearly two bottles over the course of the evening and suffer from epic hang-overs, and yet the next day I was good to go with present unwrapping at 8am with  no headache at all.
All of the (gown-up) guests had stuck to the dress-code of 'dress up for Christmas'.  Sequins were aplenty and elegant and mainly in black which always looks expensive.
One of my friends wore a beautiful crystal necklace from Anthropologie which I loved, it looked something like this...
Another wore the long Chanel necklace that everyone covets and few own, her clever husband chose it all by himself a few years back, it is true that classics never date....
I wore a long red mermaid skirt and bustier (from Coast) with a cropped white cashmere Carolina Herrera cardigan, channeling Mrs Christmas to the best of my ability.

Christmas day is a haze of wrapping paper, booze and mountains of food.  I wore skinny white jeans, Rene Caovilla beaded heels and a beaded Carolina Herrera tunic, all the better for tucking in to seconds, thirds and the obligatory chocolate eating and films after Her Majesty's address.
The last few days have been more of the same, but we have transposed ourselves to the cottage where the green ribbons that I used for present giving have been re-cycled as decoration.  My theme was 'natural' and ribbons (mainly as this is what I found in the garage)....

 If anything stayed still long enough, it got beribboned, including every kitchen drawer knob...
 The re-used Easter wreaths....
 And Mr B (who didn't even wake-up)...

I hope that everyone reading this is enjoying the festive season, and it's not over yet, we can legitimately feel Christmas-y until 6th January this year!

Sunday, 15 December 2013


Seville has been a beautiful experience, the sun has shone and in the main squares it was 20 degrees, but since the summer shimmers at a startling 40 degree plus average temperature, the streets are built to maximise wind tunnel and shade.
The architecture is so diverse that it is almost a Disney land small world adventure (except for the fact that the buildings are each more huge than the next).  As the various invaders settled here from Romans to Visigoths to Byzantines to Moors, they each determined to leave a bigger impression than the previous.  The result is the most spectacular melting pot of styles.
The local inhabitants dress to reflect the stylish surroundings, and it is the older generation that leave the best impression. Immaculately turned out swarthy men with white hair, coloured cords, Oxford shirts and suede bomber jackets, and perfectly coiffed ladies sporting vintage furs and elegant court shoes seem to inhabit every restaurant, cafe and bar from dawn until dusk.
I am not sure if we arrived at some kind of festival time, but everyone seems to party here all of the time.
The children are all beautiful in cashmere coats with velvet collars and matching round toed shoes that come in every colour under the sun.
Thank goodness I didn't have a daughter or I might just have broken the bank in my stay.
The credit card got a bit of a hammering, but more on that later.
I never take enough pics, but these will serve of a reminder of some of what we saw..

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Christmas-y things...

My posts of late are a little sombre so here is some fluff...

Tee hee, couldn't resist it... to think that Mr B once HATED her, and now they sleep with their paws entwined.
Miss B has completed our strange disfunctional little family, if anyone has the time and is thinking about a dog, just go for it, they bring you unending joy!
Last week we walked up to Piccadilly to check out the windows at Fortnums, I think that this year they win my vote for the best in town.  The photos don't do them justice, but they are so beautiful with lots of tiny details that make you stand still and observe.  London is so hectic, it's quite refreshing watching everyone taking time and enjoying the moment, and indeed, talking to each other.

Then we headed to the Dorchester for a glass of fizz, top tip, the cheapest wine is £13 a glass and Champagne is £16, why would you hesitate?
I love Claridges, but the Dorchester is coming a close second at Christmas, the rich colours and relaxed non -judgmental service are a winner...

 The fabulous gingerbread hotel...
 I wore low heels for comfort, my coast lace dress, THICK tights and a super warm shearling (about which I now feel a bit hypocritical/uneasy after my last post!)