Thursday, November 27, 2008

Pheasant hunting season is upon us, so I'm heading off to the country-side (you know - that green thing that daddy owns) for a spot of jolly old tramping through sodden undergrowth and avoiding getting shot. But, before I depart I'll leave you with my top 5 essentials for - god forbid - leaving London!!

5. When one descends en masse upon a friend's coutry pile, it is only respectable to at least begin the weekend as the model guest. Bring a token from the city and remind them just how much they're missing. This hamper from Laduree should go down a treat.

4. If you must wander out of the confines of the M25 you at least want to fit in on the sartorial front without relinquishing any of your dedication to style. Hunter wellies are just the thing for striding over vale and hill and will go on to do many a weekend on the festival circuit come summer. I recommend this blinging silver pair - well, at least you'll match the 4x4!

3. When the weekend is devoted to long walks in the pouring rain, endless polite chit-chat with lecherous retirees, and preventing the labradors from worrying sheep, one may as well spend it half-smashed. A discreet hip-flask from Aspinals hidden about your person should do the trick.

2. If it's good enough for the royal family, it's good enough for you - just so long as none of your city friends catch you in it, obviously. The Barbour jacket is weatherproof and has enough pockets to leave the Prada tote at home out the rain.

1. Last, but not least, once you've earned your hearty game dinner and your roses on your cheeks, one of life's great joys is to snuggle down infront of the fire with a glass of port and a good book.

*Camilla is back on Monday*

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Too fast, too furious?

A couple of articles on the so-called 'slow blogging' movement from both sides of the pond

This in the New York Times

And this in The Guardian

I'm going to try it out and come back with my thoughts on it tomorrow.

...Which is precisely how one experiments with alienating what small reading-base one does have! Ok, so sites like Boing Boing and Perez Hilton can overload us with up to 50 posts per day, but blogs are about the here and the now. By the time you've mulled it over and worked out to the Nth degree exactly what it is your trying you say, someone else will have said it.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Good enough to eat.

I love a bit of good web design and I feel these two websites ( and are more than in keeping with their overall brand philosophies. We are seeing it less and less, but so often a store or shop thinks it's enough just to have a working website. Far from it, a website should offer a small taste of the whole brand experience - drawing in newcomers and reassuring existing patrons.

Blue Hill Farm and Daylesford Organic are both organic, rural farms within striking distance of major cities (New York and London) and are aimed at a high-end clientele. They understand that their customers aren't just buying fruit and veg - they're buying into an entire lifestyle that lifts them both physically and morally above their materialistic, consumer-led city existence. From the hand-crafted elements to the pure colour palette, these websites ooze nature, wholesomeness, and taste.

Monday, November 24, 2008

I'm all for aspiration, but these mannequins look like they need a cookie or two! Cocktail dresses like these are meant for sexy curves and ample bosoms, heads for business and bods for sin. Come on Karen Millen - size zero is SO last year! Haven't you been watching Mad Men?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

It's Not So Grim Up North

This past week allowed me 24 hours in Leeds. Not having been there before I was thrilled to discover that the city is just like its people - bold and brash but with the soppiest of hearts. Buildings proudly erected during the Industrial Revolution have been confidently brought up-to-date and, with additions such as Harvey Nichols to the stunning Victorian Quarter, Leeds is now a very modern city with a style uniquely its own.

Speaking of style, I was also fascinated to see a much more groomed and out-going look in the Leeds locals, than we are used to here in London. Topshop - ever the benchmark for what's really going on - had edited the collections to include a lot more 'fitted' dresses and skirts and towering, WAG-ish stilettos. On the street as well, the men were predominantly suited and booted with impeccably coiffed hair and proper 'statement' shirts.

I spotted Jill and Eddie (below) queuing for a bagel - I've never seen such attention to detail. From the outstanding cut of his military jacket, to her slouchy Vivienne Westwood boots and Pillar-box red watering can handbag. Brilliant!

PS. With airline fares as they are, I'm hopefully going to be doing my bit for the depletion of the ozone layer come 2009 and reporting back from some of Europe's most stylish and trend-setting capitals. All recommendations and offers of spare beds welcome!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Just beginning to notice Heineken's new advertising for draught kegs.

Is Britain ready for this?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Innocent pleasures.

Being young, free, and single in London can all too easily lead an innocent girl into temptation. Dangle the carrot of bright lights, late nights and chiselled jawlines in front of us, and in no time were toddling off in 5 inch heels and skirts up to here. So, before we start getting all Amy Winehouse, it’s important to take a step back from the edge and enjoy the simpler, more innocent things in life. If only to have something credible to tell our Mothers!

Here are a few ideas for getting up to some good for a change!

1. 10 Pin Bowling
Once the only place for under-18s to while away their mis-spent youths, bowling appears to have become chic again thanks, in large part, to places like the All Star Lanes. Make like Chachi and Joanie and rock n roll down at the Lanes!

2. Pedal boating on Serpentine
This is the Londoner's equivalent of Oxbridge punting and with slightly less call for silly hats, falling in, and an IQ of 120. Looks easy but is surprising hard work on the old thigh muscles. I've been known to spend hours just going round and round in circles as the sun sets behind Harrods, but there is fun to be had if you know what you're doing! And have someone else to pedal!

3. Crockery painting in Fulham
Sounds a bit twee, but after a morning spent nibbling choccie biccies, listening to classical music and let your artistic flair run wild, you emerge feeling like a whole new person! Go to The Pottery Cafe and paint your own Emma Bridgewater plate!

4. Sing-a-long at Prince Charles cinema

Funny how easily one can recall every single lyric to the Sound of Music given half the chance. Proves there is some purpose to watching it 16 times a day as an ankle-biter! Only £1.50 at the Prince Charles Cinema! Fun and bargainalicious!

5. Attend a public lecture.
A little education never did anyone any harm, so get your geek-chic on down at one of the LSE public lecture series. The Relationshhip between Strategy and Identity in a Transnational Environmental Network? Pass me my notepad!

I'm posting live from a National Express train on my way to Leeds. Internet on trains! Modern technology, eh!? It'll be jet-packs and gravity boots all round in no time!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Is it totally un-PC to love this coat?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

And, inkeeping with the theme of ‘two of a kind’, go green with this twiggy memory stick from the MoMa store.

...or O.C.D functional with this Folder-style memory card from Lebedev.

Birds of a feather genuinely do flock together...

This has been on my bedroom wall since July. Wall sticker from Super Nice on Columbia Road.

While I spotted this in this morning’s Metro. From Ferm Living at

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Having my cake and eating it.

Had one of those gastronomically glamorous weekends which took me from a late lunch at Wahaca to a delicious cocktail at Browns on Saturday and culminated in a sumptuous high tea at Flash - the too-cool-for-school pop-up cafe at the back of the Royal Academy.

My companion and I were guided by the bright green and pink posters which had an undercurrent of "if it is neon, the cool, young people will come". Once through the doors we were faced with wooden container boxes, which masked what turned out to be a - somewhat underdressed - eating space. The waiting staff were a little too good-looking and just the wrong side of charming, while the shockingly un-credit crunchy prices were explained away through 'served in limited edition Wedgwood china'. Well, in that case!

The tea, however, was pretty damn good. So much so, we felt the need to walk off our finger sandwiches, petit-fours, and scones with a spin round Fortnums. Sundays in London can be so delightful!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Last night two very secretive, niche and impenetrable worlds collided in the Harrod’s food hall. Namely a select group of individuals from the blogging world attended an artisan chocolate tasting hosted by key players from the world of high-grade chocolate. At first, the bloggers blinking in the light after emerging from behind their computer screens, were a little shy, but in no time the chocolatiers had their tastebuds in over-drive as they tried to differentiate 85% from 60%, Ecuador from Papua New Guinea.

The chocolate world has depths and darknesses that even that even the most cocoa-y of bars cannot aspire to. Far more elitist than a wine society, and tighter-knit than a knitting circle, the movers and shakers in chocolate are not to be messed with. Their senses have been finely attuned to even the smallest nuance, allowing them to identify bean origin and cocoa percentage with just one sniff.

The chocolate in question was Galler – not a brand I have previously been acquainted with, but of very good Belgium heritage. In fact, the PR told me, the first chocolate company to receive the Belgium Royal Warrent. Oh la la. I have a bit of a background in chocolate (no, that's not a euphemism for the size of my hiney!), so felt very much under the spotlight as we began the blind tasting. But the distinctive berry, smokey and vanilla notes that flooded my senses as we worked through the selection set my mind at ease and confirmed that we were dealing with some seriously serious chocolate.

Available to buy online at and from the LOVELY Sarah in the Harrods food hall. PLUS get 10% discount when you use this exclusive promo code: MV7-A97-ZFX

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Away in a (Pret A) Manger!

Come ye merry gentlemen, for today I officially marked the end of rainy, miserable Winter and heralded the start of shiney, tinsel-covered Festive Season by purchasing the celebrated Pret Christmas sandwich. That's certainly put a partridge in my pear tree!

Monday, November 10, 2008

A blog's life

According to Wired, blogging is dead. I'm not quite sure what they're basing that on, but, in my view, it couldn't be further from the truth. Certainly, I am often coming across corporate blogs which have petered out and have been left unattended since March of last year and, at the other end of the spectrum, I am constantly hearing of good blogs leading on to bigger and better things. Namely, a high-profile job for Susie Bubble at Dazed and Confused, a book deal for Wife in the North and international fame for Perez Hilton. But that is not to say that what goes on in between is not unique, profound or vital.

I read a whole host of blogs on every topic from design to news to cooking and nearly always find them way ahead of the game in terms of information and trends. Indeed, when I was working for a product development agency, we relied heavily on the blogs to give us an insight into where the 'buzz' was.

From a personal point of view, blogging is like pushing back the fur coats and finding Narnia. Suddenly the normal, everyday world around me is a mine-field of ideas. From my camera phone to the Internet, I can harness the modern world and tie it down to make one succinct and immediate point. It costs me nothing, I don't have to get approval from an editor and if people don't like it they can just click on.

Blogs may die when their owners go to critical acclaim heaven, but blogging is far from dead. It is very much alive and kicking.

Click here to read the Wired article

Sunday, November 09, 2008

The beat of drums gets ever closer, fire light cuts through the night, gunpowder smoke fills the air. The Rye Bonfire is upon us again.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Long-term relationships.

It's not often one finds something you're prepared to commit to in the long-term, especially not in the region of hair care. Men may come and go, but I can't imagine ever having relationship issues with Green Tea and Mandarin shampoo from 4th floor.

Speaking of the beauty industry, I've spent a large part of this working week researching trends in skincare. Who knew that, for $49 one could buy a tube of 'neck contouring' gel? Or that one designer beauty brand has released a serum that is jet black in colour? What's that about?

Friday, November 07, 2008

Is it just me, or did this video, this pairing, this look mark the start of the current youth movement? Would I be going out on a limb to say that this was the first time Shoreditism went mainstream?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Tee's me, tee's me!

I'm very excited to showcase new t-shirt brand, Rizzo Tees. Who doesn't want a little bit of Barack in their lives right now? 364 electoral votes can't be wrong.

Or, if politics ain't you bag, why not go for... simple yet to the point.

In fact, use this code (3JBEE84C) when you order any Rizzo Tee and get 20% off your purchase! Exclusively through Camilla's Store.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election night.

Why is British politics never as exciting as all this? A friend of the Mothership spotted this Obama cookie in Eleni's Bakery in Manhatten's Chelsea Market. She says 'all the Baracks sell out, but the McCains sit there with the Halloween ghoul candies....'

Come on Obama!!!

Monday, November 03, 2008

You have mail!

It's not often that one actively invites unknown emails into your inbox, but in the name of research I have recently signed up to some of the more cooler, cutting edge newsletters. Among them, that of The Cool Hunter. Naturally, it's not a patch on Camilla's Store - they introduced United Nude (see shoes below) as if they were first to the party, while I've been rocking my wedges to great acclaim for nearly two years! Nevertheless, it never does any harm to keep an eye on the competition.


The Cool Hunter
Urban Junkies
Daily Candy

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Westfield: the verdict

In a word, I love it. But then, two things were going to make me biased towards it from the beginning. In the first instance, I was working on the project, understood its' purpose and worked directly with the team who brought it to life. In the second instance I am a total mall-rat. Give me a corridor of air-conditioned, retail opportunities and I'm in heaven.

There again, however, my utter adoration of shopping malls and all that lie within them gave Westfield a lot to live up to. I was lucky enough to have been weaned on the Beverly Centre in LA and La Cantera in San Antonio. I knew my malls from my precincts. I need not have worried though, for as I stood on Westfield's marble floor, bathed in sunlight and looking in disbelief at the vast retail spaces which were still being created just weeks before the launch date, I knew that London was about to be given something rather special.

We, in Britain, have it pretty tough. We're a tiny island, with terrible weather and, at the moment, a pretty scary economic climate. In London all this is compounded by hellish rush-hour conditions, a bullish employment market and soaring prices. And, when it comes to our precious down-time, over-subscription to cultural events make most spur-of-the-moment excursions pretty much hopeless. For me, and no doubt a good percentage of the 500,000 visitors Westfield received in its' first weekend trading, the prospect of a modern, accessible, weather-proof destination complete with all our favorite shops and restaurants is very enticing.

The broadsheets may well proclaim that 'shopping is dead', Polly Toynbee may say that it was 'conceived in a bygone era' and the red-tops may highlight the resulting traffic nightmares, but when all's said and done Westfield is now an integral, and more civilized, part of the London experience and will be for years to come.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

For me Halloween is just the one day in the year when local hoodies are legitimately allowed to scare the cr*p out of me. For all those who prefer to hide behind the sofa, here's this...