Tuesday, 29 July 2014

The Artist Residence - Brighton

 “A hotel room all to myself is my idea of a good time.”
― Chelsea Handler, My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands

Returning from a great weekend away can be quite depressing.  Especially when you've stayed in a hotel as beautiful as this one.
We headed to Brighton as a trio on Saturday and turned up at the bright pink door excited to see what was inside.  The hotel has 23 individually designed rooms that all look gorgeous and quirky.  We had booked a room called 'The Suite' which can sleep up to 6, it was absolutely huge and gorgeously decorated. 
The reception girls were so helpful, telling us about the wifi, breakfast options (included if you book direct through their site) and recommending restaurants to visit that evening.
Our room was in the basement, with big sash windows.  The attention to detail was fantastic and every corner had some quirky art or feature that kept me gasping out loud!  The hotel is located in Regency Square, with a sea view and only 5 mins from the centre of Brighton, so perfectly located for a trip to the beach or a wander round the laines.
There's even a ping pong room open in the basement for fun times, although I didn't have time to beat my friends at a game (competitve me?!)

Pull down bed hidden in the wall

The bedroom

Lounge fireplace
Breakfast was served in the reception area on long canteen tables.  The food was delicious and came in really decent sized portions, although having sat down at 9.30am sadly our hot food wasnt delivered for 50 mins.. a bit longer than I'd have liked to have waited, but the waitresses supplied plenty of coffee and toast to keep us going.  I went for scrambled eggs on muffin, and other choices included pancakes, mini full english, mushroom and halloumi on toast and the usual cereals etc.

There was also a connected cocktail bar called The Cocktail Shack where we had some lovely rum based cocktails. I asked the bartender to make me a cosmo-esque drink with rum and I was presented with a yummy drink in no time at all so I was very impressed.

We paid £140 for the room, including breakfast and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone looking for something a bit unusual for a weekend getaway.
For more info you can check out their website http://www.arthotelbrighton.co.uk/ and let me know if you book!


Saturday, 26 July 2014

A weekend in Devon

“You need to make time for your family no matter what happens in your life”
― Matthew Quick, The Silver Linings Playbook
On Friday, after sneaking out of work a couple of hours early, I set off (on a very long and un-air conditioned train) to see my family in Devon.
As previously mentioned my Mum has recently moved house and I hadnt yet seen her new abode.  Apart from a thunder storm while we slept, the weather miraculously held and we had a lovely couple of days pottering round outside.
The family dog kept us entertained trying to get himself onto the boat for our trip across the river - he even had to pay (60p) which seems unfair as he has no way to earn any money! (Thankfully his Dad paid for him!)

We had a family meal in the local gastropub, consuming plentiful fish and chips, pie and Pimms - a great recipe for a night out.

On Sunday we drove to a local beach for a picnic.  No sooner had we laid out the blankets, the rain began but thankfully passed as soon as we'd packed back up! So umbrellas on standby we lazed about, eating sandwiches (and trying to avoid the hungry seagulls who seemed determined to eat as much of our picnic as they could) and laughing our heads off.  

I dont get much chance to head to the country side to catch up with relatives so it's lovely when we're all together and time passes very quickly.  I almost missed my train back to London as there was a fire in a nearby field and the road was clsoed, but thanks to some savvy driving I managed to make it just in time.

Of course when i got back to London, wearing flip flops and with no coat, it was raining... but you can't win 'em all!


Thursday, 24 July 2014

Ten places you just have to get to

I often sit at my desk daydreaming of where I'd next like to go on holiday.  After much consideration, these are my Top 10 have-to-visit destinations. (Please note this changes daily so don't hold me to it!!)

1) Mexico
Either the celeb filled Cabo, haven for stars such as Jennifer Anniston or the party town of Cancun. These blue seas, white sands locations look like heaven and I'm so looking forward to the day my feet finally touch that sand.
2) Miami
A party location if ever there was one. I want to look at the palm trees and wear neon sipping a cocktail.
Miami skyline
3) Chicago
Home of the deep dish pizza, this beautiful city was the backdrop to a great book I just read City of Dark Hearts.  I'd love to explore more of the US than just Vegas!
4) Venice
Surely one of the prettiest, most photogenic towns in Italy, the canals and gondolas are so iconic to me and it's my must see place in Europe.
Chicago deep dish pizza
5) Mykonos
This Greek island has been on my wish list for a while now, it looks so beautiful.
6) Hawaii
Ever since I read The Girl in Times Square I've wanted to visit Hawaii (plus I could swing by Vegas on the way home).  I can never quite decide which island - any thoughts?
Mykonos waters

Hawaii nature
7) The Taj Mahal 
This building is so beautiful, I know it's a popular pilgrimage destination and that the crowds might put me off, but it remains a dream to visit.
8) Iceland
All the Instragram pics of people in hot springs in freezing weather look so amazing and I want to experience this for myself.  Plus the Northern Lights, a natural phenomenon, is something I'd really love to see for myself. Although if I drove out of the city in -20 degree weather and then didn't see them I'd be furious!
Taj Mahal

Iceland hot springs
9) Cuba
This communist country is falling apart by all accounts, and I keep being told 'if you're going, then go soon'.  But the 50s charm of the place really appeals, plus Havana is a location in one of my favourite musicals 'Guys and Dolls' and I want to see it for myself.
10) Dubai
I know that Dubai is a bit hit and miss for people, as it's very strict customs together with it's new build nature can be off putting. But for a luxury treat I think I'd love it.

Dubai aerial view

Where is top of your list?


Thursday, 17 July 2014

A Year at Home

“The ache for home lives in all of us. The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.”
Maya Angelou

Buying a flat is stressful. No doubt about it.  After 4 months of stress I finally had the keys and moved in to an empty flat.
I have now lived in my lovely little home for a year.  It's gone really quickly and I love having my own place.  I'm amassing a collection of gorgeous, quirky, beautiful and wonderful items for my first little home and thought I'd share some more of them with you.  My first post 'at home' is here if you fancy a nosey.
My new lounge clock 
My fave new photo -found on a market stall

Chocolate themed coasters
My self assembled Ikea bookcase with decorative items

Birdcage from Kare in Vienna - a gem of a find
Bedroom wall stencil - one of my first buys
I'm still going as I've lots still to do.  I don't have a coffee or end table in the lounge or any storage in my bathroom yet and I need a full length mirror for my room.   But i'm much further than when I moved in that's for sure.  Here is my 'Moving in' video from 2013.. what an empty flat it was.


What's your favourite home buy?


Monday, 14 July 2014

I can't believe Cheryl Cole got married

 “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”
Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

I am almost in a state of shock today as Lorraine told me this morning (obviously via the TV) that Cheryl had tied the knot after only 3 or 4 months of dating her playboy French beau.
I think of Cheryl as being a savvy, independent woman, after the horrific time she had with Ashley Cole you'd think perhaps she would have exercised more caution jumping in a second time.

People tell me 'when you know, you know' so perhaps she just felt that it was the perfect thing to do (and I really hope it is) but I can't help wondering whether you really can possibly know someone well enough to marry them after such a short time of getting to know each other.

I often think that perhaps celebrities jump into relationships quicker than us normal folk because they are craving a stability that is perhaps harder to find when your career can be so up and down. There are hundreds of young pop stars and film stars who get married very young and I'm often shocked by the speed of their courtship.

Avril Lavigne married (and divorced) early
Rochelle and Marvin seem to be very happy together

Peaches married very young
Look at the size of that rock
Cheryl's first wedding ended in disaster
 I wish her lots of luck (and to think she released a single with GA entitled 'I can't speak French')

What do you think?


Sunday, 13 July 2014

4 ways the Kardashians make me feel Inadequate

“When anybody honks at me in traffic, I blush, wave, and shout, “Thanks for being a fan.” Being a celebrity is a 24/7 thing.”
― Jarod Kintz, $3.33

Nobody can deny the impact the Kardashian family have had on pop culture since Kim burst onto the scene as Paris Hilton's BFF back in the day.
Now the whole family are in the limelight, including sock designing bro Rob whether he likes it or not, and it seems their whole purpose in life is to make me feel bad about myself.
1) Their beauty -Let's start with the obvious - the Kardashain girls are beautiful.  I think we can probably all agree that Kim and Kendall are perhaps the most genetically blessed, but I mean, i know they work out while I like to lay on my sofa eating pizza, but really? Hourglass is not the word and dont get me started on Kendall's model physique. We'll leave Rob out of this particular bullet point... Although I did have a little chuckle at this pic from Paris fashion week where Kim looks positively minature   
2) The lifestyle these girls lead is amazing. Houses all over the country and World actually, weekly facials, massages, hot celeb boyfriends, lunch at Mr Chow, you name it - they do it from behind their designer sunglasses and they don't mind showing off about it on Instagram either.  (#yesimjealous)  Anyone else taken a #HeliSelfie recently?
3) Their Have it All Attitude - Kim now has a one year old (if anyone's actually missed that news I'd be gobsmacked) and a successful career, and Kourtney has made her kids part of her brand.  Is there nothing they can't do? Fashion, Perfume, Make up collections, Modelling.  Never mind the lifeblood of the 'Kardashian Klan' - their reality show.  Which I don't mind admitting I watched a re run of the other night which let us in to the fact that Kim didn't want Baby North to actually have a surname -a la Madonna - I ask you! 
The fairytale wedding of Kim and Kanye (or Kimye if you'd rather) sent the tabloids and blogs into overdrive. I actually thought she looked pretty good - perhaps Kanye is a classy influence (he strikes me as an ego maniac but there you go)  So she has a business, a family and loads of money - sounds pretty good to me - although I'll take bets on how long this husband lasts... 

4) If the parties and the outfits weren't enough then perhaps it's the international travel that get's your goat. Not content with a luke warm week in Tenerife this family hire villas, yachts, hotel suites all over the place - ALL THE TIME. Watching the episodes of KUWTK set in Mykonos (amusingly pronounced Mike-a-nose by the fam) made my wanderlust bug postively boil over.  It looked so beautiful and yet all they did was argue and sleep - I do know that it's not exactly reality, but still.. they should be making the most of every second.

Of course there are aspects of their life I'm uber jel of, but I like to think that perhaps they're jealous of my ability to go to tesco in my PJs on a Sunday and not get papped... Well a girl can dream.

Do you love or hate them?


Thursday, 10 July 2014


 “The worst memories stick with us, while the nice ones always seem to slip through our fingers.”
― Rachel Vincent, My Soul to Save

I saw a picture on Rosie Londoner's instagram the other day that got me thinking...

If I only had 1 memory to keep? Out of the thousands and thousands I've got stored in my ginormous head? I honestly don't know where I'd start - what would you want to keep?