Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Designer Investment Piece: Missoni Rochelle Dress

After a couple of months "website dress stalking" and deciding on the perfect investment piece for early autumn, the Missoni Rochelle Dress has landed in my lap and I want to wear it right now! A nude and black wool-blend chic work-to-play investment. Beautifully crafted in a striking zigzag knit, this feminine piece needs little adornment - simply team it with platform sandals. A transitional piece for the last days of Summer (with platform sandals) to Autumn (with a roll neck, leather jacket and knee high boots). Another great investment piece from Missoni, the knit is luxurious to the touch and it feels as light as a feather on.

The Missoni Rochelle Dress £655 at
Shown below with a YSL Dark Brown Belt.
The Black Patent Version of this YSL belt is available at

Friday, August 26, 2011

Super Offer: Extra 20% Off Clearance Pieces at Flannels

Flannels Manchester has always been a big hit with me, I like their buying. Each season their collections are really high quality in both fabrics and style. Their sales are really good too as they only stock good quality brands. Flannels are offering and extra 20% off their clearance pieces online. Friday 26th - Monday 29th August. Enter Code SALE20 at the checkout.

I like these stylish sandals by ASH £80 (£64 with the 20% discount). Reduced from £165. The thick ankle cuff is in line with the resort 2012 collections, so great for this year through to next.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Super Offer: 25% off One Item Online at H&M

Enjoy 25 % off 1 item of your choice from the new season collection when you buy something in the H&M online shop. The offer is valid until 4/9/11 when you enter discount code 9382.

I like this H&M crepe blazer jacket £19.99 (£15.00 with the 25% discount), the longer front lapels will probably need fixing in place with a fews hidden stitches. It is available in black or pale grey, the grey is more versatile and looks better quality in this style and fabric (elastane, viscose, polyester mix).

This is a good piece to buy if it fits you properly (A - C cup maximum), it lends itself well to dresses, trousers and skirts, the unstructured style makes this a multi-tasking jacket. It may not be a true investment piece as it will probably not last for years, but you'll certianly get your money's worth out of it.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Time Out: Garland's Organic Supermarket in Pangbourne Berkshire

I love this shop, unlike many other non-USA organic shops I've visited this really is a proper supermarket, just from the point of view that you can literally go in and do all your shopping. Everything looks fresh and the store is clean and modern looking. If you can't get to Garland's Organic Supermarket in Pangbourne, Berkshire, they deliver locally and nationally.

My favourite product at Garland's is Ortiz Yellow Fin Tuna from Spain. Packed in super colourful tins, 112g is £2.55 and 250g is £5.25. This tuna is very rich and tasty so a little goes a long way (and it's very filling). It's a favourite of Rick Stein and for sale in his shop.

It's advertised as "Perhaps the finest tinned tuna you'll ever try" and it is! For me this is the top layer of a salad Nicoise with French beans, anchovies, green salad leaves, cherry tomatoes, eggs and olives.

Conservas Ortiz is a family-run business which was established over 100 years ago and their fish is of the finest provenance, processed under extremely exacting criteria, much of the process still being done by hand. The tuna are caught sustainably by rod and line off Spain's Cantabrian coast.

Garlands Organic
6 Reading Road, Pangbourne, Berkshire, RG8 7LY
Tel: 0118 984 4770

Monday, August 22, 2011

Time Out: Take Thai 'M" Out at the Captain's Club Spa.

I visited the Captain's Club Spa for some well earned time out, the spa in located in the 4* Captain's Club Hotel. Hidden away from the main town, the modern, tranquil architecture is complemented by surrounding water, boats and nature.

Picture: Hydrotherapy Pool & Sauna.

On arrival I am greeted by one of the therapists who hands me a waffle robe, fluffy towel and spa flip flops in white. The changing rooms are individual, with everything you could need to use from GHD hair straighteners to Aromatherapy Associates products. The Captain's Club Spa has a sauna, hydrotherapy pool and a resistance swimming pool ( a small pool where you swim statically against a current of water). I took a dip in the hydrotherapy pool, then a warming relax in the sauna before settling on a lounger to enjoy some herbal tea with closed eyes and the sound of water in the background. Before I knew it a hour had passed and a therapist greeted me and showed me to a large treatment room.

The room was warm and the cappuccino colours soothing. The Phytomer therapist left me for a few minutes to slip on the paper thong, lie down face up and cover up with a warm fluffy towel. Then on returning the treatment started with a light misting of floral/marine water over my face and decollete. Then, came a whole succession of beautifully flowing treatments that make up the 1hr 20 minute "Take Thai M Out" Full Body and Facial treatment, as follows: 

Body: An over towel full hand pressure point massage
Face & Neck: Creamy cleanser facial massage
Face & Neck: Warm wet cloth cleanser removal
Face & Neck: Light toner application
Face & Neck: Thick deep cleansing mask application
Whilst the mask is working…
Body: Marine salt scrub with a delightful swathing massage of the product starting from the legs and feet working upwards
Face & Neck: Warm wet cloth mask removal

Then turn over…
Body: Marine salt scrub with a more revitalising massaging of the product. The salt scrub is applied to the whole body with attention to the arm and legs
Then a warm shower is run and the therapist leaves whilst I showered off the excess salt scrub, leaving me with super soft, supple skin. I then lie down again face up, the therapist returns.
Face & Neck: A hydrating mask is applied, it is light in texture.

Picture: Bolus of sea salt crystals and ocean spray lavender.

Body: My body’s relaxation zones are massaged with a subtle heat bolus containing sea salt crystals and ocean spray lavender. 
Body: A firm full body, muscle soothing sweeping hand massage with Phytomer Tresor Des Mers Ultra-Nourishing Body Cream. The velvety cream feels very nourishing on my skin and is a completely different feeling to a massage with oil.
Body: A different cream is applied to the bust and decollete with upward strokes.
Face: Warm wet cloth hydrating mask removal.
Face: Application of toner & hydrating cream

Turn over… now face down.
Body: Continuation of the heat bolus massage on the back of my legs and body
Body: Continuation of the the sweeping hand massage with Phytomer Tresor Des Mers Ultra-Nourishing Body Cream. 

After a few minutes post massage rest and a glass of mineral water, I made my way back to the poolside feeling relaxed and renewed ready for a cup of ginger tea and a browse through the whole September issue of Vogue waiting for me by a very comfortable lounger.

One of the many positive aspects of this treatment is the use of the full face and body Phytomer range of marine products, specially targeting different areas of the body, also I am left feeling very relaxed in both my muscles and mind and my skin is very soft and hydrated. I slept well that night going to be at an astonishingly early 8pm! And awakening the next morning early and full of energy.

The Phytomer Take Thai 'M" Out Treatment £80.

The Captains Club Spa
At The Captain's Club Hotel 4*
Wick Ferry, Wick Lane
Christchurch, Dorset
BH23 1HU
tel. +44 (0)1202 491360

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Time Out: Colorado / The Best Cookies In Town

I can't resist these gorgeous iced shortbread cookies from Gateaux in Denver, Colorado. I say they are the best cookies in town, in fact they are the best cookies I have ever tasted. The USA have cookies perfected! These shortbread cookies make a great alternative to afternoon tea and they look so cute too! The shapes available in-bakery change with the seasons. Not in Denver? No problem you can still experince these delicious gems, they ship anywhere in the USA.

Iced Shortbread Tea Cookies $1.20.
1160 Speer Blvd.
Denver, CO 80204
(303) 376-0070

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Luxe High Street Find : Zara Silk Top - Arrived!

I few days ago I jotted a note about a super bargain and luxe high street find, a silk top £15.99 in the Zara sale. I ordered it online, it arrived in store, an email alerted me and I collected it. It is beautiful!

Monday, August 15, 2011

High Street Luxe Interiors Find: Purple Slub Silk Pleated Cushion £5

I enforce the same rules for buying high street home interiors pieces that I do for fashion. The essential reasons for buying are 1. Natural Quality Materials/Fabric: Solid Wood, Good veneers, Silk, Wool or Cotton, 2. Good Quality Construction, 3. Detail and 4. Buying at the right price.

With this in mind I was tickled to find a good quality slub silk cushion in Matalan at £5. Available in four colours, I think only the purple shade and the gold shade look of good quality, the others (red and light green) look a bit wishy-washy. Deep pigments always look better quality.

The UK isn't awash with Matalan stores, I think Matalan realise this and offer shipping at £2 and free shipping for orders over £40.

A similar detailed polyester cushion in Laura Ashley would cost around £30.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Super Offer: 10% off your entire purchase at H&M Online

At you’ll get 10% off* on your entire purchase until 21st August when you enter discount code 9349. * Only valid on new orders. Cannot be combined with other offers and does not apply to reduced items.

I like this Luxe High Street Find: H&M 100% wool felt plum hat at £12.99. The hat has a Gucci AW Fall 2011 feel about it. And to take advantage of the 10% off I have just ordered the H&M Tan Leather Gloves at £14.99 I recently blogged about.


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