Sunday, 5 June 2011


Pessimistic though I was about the arrival of Gwyneth Paltrow's cook book Notes from my Kitchen Table, (would it too easily fall into the celebrity-turned-everything-else-but-in-a-rubbish-way category?), I must say that aside from a few rather dubious sounding items, such as Vegenaise (?!!?), I am actually quite the fan.

Though there is nothing groundbreaking, her recipes are homely, balanced and most importantly, they're tasty. Notes from my Kitchen Table is aimed at foodie families and recipes are presented in a bit of context, which is always nice as food evokes nostalgia.

Charmingly, Paltrow labours under no professional pretenses and upon the first page declares: "I am not a professional cook. I am an amateur and a lover of all things culinary." Once renound for her extreme macrobiotic diet, she offers plenty of healthy options in her recipes (sometimes with a complete alternative list of ingredients) but on the whole, there is nothing scarily extreme and you won't need to schedule a visit to a far-away health shop; your local supermarket will do fine.

My first foray into the Gwynnie-guided world of cooking was an attempt at her blueberry muffins (the less healthy versions, in case you wondered). My lovely friend Lizzie and I set about making these little wonders yesterday afternoon. It was easy and enjoyable with a short and simple list of ingredients that let the fresh blueberries speak for themselves. In a moment of culinary creativity (and due to the fact Tesco metro had failed us) we decided to make the muffin cases ourselves from squares of baking-parchment, giving our muffins an appealing deli-esque touch.

The resulting golden buns, packed, bursting, oozing blueberries were so divine I couldn't resist popping one back in the oven to re-heat for breakfast this morning... This tasty homemade variety lacks that undesirable preserved chemical 'blueberry-flavour' so prevalent in a shop-bought batch.

Here's the recipe:

125g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large free-range eggs
125ml milk
225g plain flour
175g caster sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon table salt
300g fresh blueberries

-Preheat the oven to 190 C

-Pop some muffin cases into a muffin tin, or impress and alternatively make your own (a la Lizzie!) with 14cm squares of baking parchment pressed into the muffin tin so the corners spike up at the sides
-Whisk together the eggs, milk and melted butter

-In another bowl mix the dry ingredients together (salt, flour, sugar and baking powder)

-Combine the wet ingredients into the dry, apparently 8 stirs is sufficient and ensures the muffins are not too dense

- Divide the mixture equally between 12 cases and sprinkle a little sugar on top of each before baking in the oven for around 30 mins. Blueberry bliss!

Georgina Davies

Saturday, 4 June 2011



The amazing L+F Fashion are having another sale this weekend (4th and 5th June)

We loved the last sale. Go check it out.

7 Burlington Lodge Studios, Rigault Road, London SW6 4JJ.

Read the Rookie Creative interview with Lizzie and Florrie here.

Sacha x

Monday, 30 May 2011


One of my favourite bloggers, Rhiannon of Liebemarlene Vintage, has recently set up the online store Silent Sundays along with her best friend and photographer Jamie Hopper. Rhiannon who has sold locally sourced vintage clothing online for years has combined her talent for searching thrift stores with an excellent eye for independent designers.

Silent Sundays, which is named after the duo’s love of silent movies contains a number of timeless, vintage pieces (proving that southern USA is the place to thrift), romantic dresses and hard to find designer items from independent labels including TBA and Secret Squirrel.

One of the site’s most appealing factors is its impeccably styled look book, which is photographed by Jamie, styled by Rhiannon and features the model Tayla Lowe wandering around the southern seaside.

Secret Squirrel is definitely worth taking a peek for the lust worthy clothes alone. However, the simple, romantic styling and the fashion filled blog ensure that Silent Sundays is one to watch.

Harriet Tisdall

Sunday, 29 May 2011


Today, whilst wandering around the supermarket, I came across some new delights: Pineberries!

Pineberries are rather sweet little berries that appear to be confused strawberries. Having stumbled across them, I was delightfully surprised and unable to resist the charm of a fruity foreigner.

A punnet or two later I did some research which told me that pineberries are in fact related to the strawberry; the difference being their considerably smaller size and whiteness in colour. They were first brought into supermarkets in 2010 and made quite the scene when shoppers thought they were confronted by an April Fool’s joke instead of an exotic new fruit.

Upon doing even more research, I learnt that in the taste department pineberries are supposedly akin to a pineapple. However upon personal taste, I feel that they lean towards a more tropical, strawberry flavour. Either way, I think that they are a welcomed newcomer.

Why not make a pineberry pavlova to celebrate?!

Pavlova Recipe:

8 egg whites

500g caster sugar

2tsp white wine vinegar

1tsp vanilla extract

600ml double cream

4 passion fruit

A sprinkling of pineberries to decorate!


- Heat the oven to 180 C

- After separating the whites and yolks, whisk the egg whites to the soft peak stage

- Gradually whisk in the sugar

- Fold in the vanilla and vinegar gently with a slotted metal spoon

- Line a baking tray with parchment and draw a circle on it, roughly 25cm wide (I like to use a plate to draw around)

- Spoon the mixture onto the drawn out circle, making a dip in the centre

- Put in the oven and turn the heat down to 120 C straight away and cook for an hour

- Turn the oven off and leave the meringue in the oven until it is totally cool

- To serve, peel the parchment off the bottom of the meringue and place on a serving dish

- Whip up the double cream until it just starts to thicken (take care not to over whip), and mix in the flesh of the 4 passion fruit

- Spoon this over the meringue and decorate with the pineberries

(NB. before decorated with cream and fruit, the meringue base will keep in an airtight container or tin for a few days or in the freezer for 3-4 weeks).

Georgina Davies

Tuesday, 24 May 2011


Closet Visit is a project by the artist Jeana Sohn whereby she is fortunate enough to inspect and photograph the wardrobes of a number of stylish, creative women.

Spying the closets of a number of inspiring figures, Sohn has given us an insight into a variety of stylish wardrobes. Her site has visited the rails of an eclectic mix of people from designers to bloggers, sales assistants, and photographers.

From Jennie Baek’s incredible shoe collection to Melissa Coker’s (from Wren) ‘Rosemary Woodhouse meets Margot Tenenbaum’ inspired style, it is fascinating to glimpse not only into these women’s closets but also into their lives.

The photographs are accompanied by a short interview about the individuals’ styles covering their inspirations and beauty secrets. The combination of Sohn’s imagery and the incredible pieces owned by these women make this site an excellent source of style inspiration.

Harriet Tisdall

Thursday, 19 May 2011


Last week, somewhere amid my tedious ramblings, there could be found a snippet of Golden Glow, in the form of a live music video. While I am quite sure you paid it no heed (I judge from experience, it’s quite failsafe) you will not get away with it twice.

It’s review time and the city that beckons is.....Manchester. From the legendary Stone Roses to the more recently formed Delphic, it’s a place you can always seem to rely on to source that infallible, no-nonsense sound. Clearly, that belief is still well maintained.

Golden Glow is a project; the man behind it is one Pierre Hall, previously front man of The Lead Balloons, a little band that saw a lot of renown in the confines of Manchester city. He terms his new LP ‘dead lo-fi’, a popular, nascent musical choice.

In this case, the raw quality finely complements his modest indie sound. It’s that melodic 80’s brilliance that is often rendered inimitable and can go so horribly wrong when attempting to be ‘revived’, but debut album Tender Is The Night is a self-produced album that demonstrates how it is done. It is a collection of Hall’s earlier demos and EPs to date, that his trusty initial batch of listeners insisted should not be tampered with, but released as they are.

Although the album generally adheres to a steady and easy vibe, there is an enthralling eeriness surrounding several of the tracks with their cold, dour words “you don’t adore me”, “I’m not afraid to be on my own” and “you left me at a loss”. A sense of deep foreboding is created in ‘The Blizzard’ by means of the heavy, clanging guitar-work and music. ‘Streetlighter’ no doubt stands out of the crowd in its warm, romantic tone while ‘All Time’ can be compared with a number of Pete Doherty’s contemplative, less-than-sober numbers. So if it is a good bit of romance you’re looking for, ‘All Time’ and ‘The Cure’ are the ones for you.


1. Adore Me

2. Locked Inside

3. The Cure

4. The Blizzard

5. On My Own

6. All Time

7. Books

8. At A Loss

9. Streetlighter

10. Retreat

11. Start Again

If a drawback must be found, just slightly disappointing is the shortness of duration in each song. But all in all, Golden Glow does not appear to be reaching for the stars, so here is a record we can take for face value and enjoy for its sheer simplicity. Here’s ‘Adore Me’...

Parisha Vaja

Wednesday, 18 May 2011


On Monday 2nd May fashion’s finest came out to celebrate the annual Costume Institute Gala. This year celebrated the late Lee McQueen’s extraordinary contribution to fashion with the opening of the exhibition Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty. The retrospective celebrates the designer’s career from the controversial days of his Highland Rape collection to his final incomplete show and ensured the attendance of a number of McQueen’s great supporters.

The Costume Institute Gala is possibly the fashion equivalent of the Oscars, whereby celebrities and models wear beautiful couture gowns. As a fitting tribute to the late designer a number of show stopping dresses were worn on the night. Despite a significant lack of attendees clad in McQueen (disappointing considering the designer’s incredible archive), there were still a number of stunning looks on red carpet. Here are a few of the highlights:

Sarah Jessica Parker in archive Alexander McQueen

As one of McQueen’s most ardent supporters it was no surprise to see the actress dressed in a figure hugging, grey, embellished dress from the Fall 2005 collection. By teaming the stunning dress with a simple up-do and refined make up, SJP created one of the most elegant looks of the night.

Michelle Williams in Miu Miu

The flawless Michelle Williams was wearing one of the more unusual choices of the night; a black, open back dress from Miu Miu embossed with gold swallows that nipped in at the waist. Paired with her adorable pixie crop, bronzed glow and smoky eyes, this was a sexier alternative to her signature ladylike look.

Karen Elson in archive Alexander McQueen

Wearing the dress she wore for the finale of the ‘They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?’ presentation for Spring/Summer 2004 (the model was overheard telling a journalist that the dress is ‘falling apart’ from overwear), the red haired beauty paid the perfect tribute to the late Lee McQueen in this metallic design.

Diane Kruger in Jason Wu

The combination of a nude embellished top and black skirt with an elegant slit made this two part dress one of the highlights of Jason Wu’s Fall 2011 collection. This stunning outfit together with Diane Kruger’s amazing legs, curled blonde hair and scarlet lips made this look absolutely flawless. (Having the beautiful Joshua Jackson as a date also never hurts).

Florence Welch in Yves Saint Laurent

Looking every inch the Pre Raphaelite beauty, Florence Welch was resplendent in a full-length, draped, white gown with muslin sleeves designed by Stefano Pilati. Looking like a seventies, rock goddess, the look was topped off with a feather coat in white organza and silver and gold wedges.

Honorable Mentions:

Raquel Zimmermann in Alexander McQueen

Lara Stone in Calvin Klein Collection

Jessica Stam in Tommy Hilfiger Collection

Hamish Bowles in Alexander McQueen

Gisele Bundchen in Alexander McQueen

Lily Donaldson in Erdem.

For those not lucky enough to visit New York before July 31st, the Matches boutiques’ and Harvey Nichols’ windows have been merchandised in tribute to the late designer. It’s a small contribution from London but an important one. All hail Mcqueen.

Harriet Tisdall