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

Monday, 16 May 2011


Have you ever read the back pages of Vogue? The pages that are jam packed of little advertisements? Well the other day, by chance I finally decided to have a rifle though these pages and came across an advert for ‘The Clerkenwell Vintage Fashion Fair’. Of course myself and my vintage shopping addiction decided to go along...

It was a haven of vintage gems. Even the building was vintage. The Old Finsbury Town Hall is in fact a grade 2 listed building and has the most awe inspiring decor. Large , decadent mirrors, blue walls with gold trim and to top it off a professional ballet school practicing downstairs!

There were about 50 stalls spread out between 4 rooms, plus a tea room complete with adorned cupcakes, bunting and ‘The Polka Dot Dolls’ (3 gorgeous ladies dressed in 1950’s style dresses with singing some classic tunes into original microphones).

I could have really splurged but I held back... I only bought a midi pleated skirt (very similar to one in Whistles but at a quarter of the price) and a Grace Kelly Hat as I like to call it. I just need a wedding to go to..... or, what the hell why does one only ever wear hats to grand occasions? I think I’ll wear it to the pub.

The next fair is on Sunday 26th June. I urge you all to go and purchase a bit of old school glamour and rock it with a bit of high street fodder.

Cordelia Rosa

Sunday, 15 May 2011


The end was in sight. After four years of living in a coastal town I finally fled to the capital to find fame, glory and franchised coffee. Good friend in tow, I literally threw my possessions into an oversized bag and ran away to follow my modest dreams and career ambitions. It was this or cleaning.

Like all people cursed with a creative tendency I have unfortunately not been able to live it up like a French creative, sipping wine and getting all existential on the world, and thus had to endure another horrid job. I constantly think, ‘I don’t belong here’ but also realise ‘I like food’ and thus continue. This vicious cycle all started at University whilst gaining a (BA) Hons Degree. My chosen temporary career was cleaning. It was a Bleached Dawn.

The Problem was money. I didn’t have any and I needed some quickly. I soon managed to find employment at the very campus in which I was studying. This was a fortunate piece of luck since I could simply stagger up after my shift and work on my dissertation or have a li’l sleepy in the library.

The shift was 6am-9am, requiring me to arise around 5am; a sickeningly early time for any student. A strange double life soon emerged – On one side I was a film student writing pieces to be published and attending obligatory nightlife. Then BAM the alarm, a Thor-like hammer to the skull summoning me to another date with mops, hoovers and free coffee.

Caffeine soon replaced blood until I was so sleep deficient that my facial features resembled that of a Tim Burton character. Somehow this existence continued for another 10 months after graduation. I tried to escape. I tried other jobs but always ended up returning just in time to watch another fresh crop of minds enter the hallowed halls of higher education. In the U.S people pay for blood and hair - how I wished it were the same over here.

Many co-workers found themselves in the same boat, desperate for a break in their respective fields - music, pottery, screenwriting, photography, you name it. We bonded over our pain and early mornings. Find the employee with the most distant gleam in their eye and if they aren’t the town psycho they’ll be the artist too busy daydreaming to stack the shelf in front of them.

It’s important to learn in such situations, take stock of one’s aims, skills and level of commitment. If you’re still happily spending hours of your day back home working on your ‘real’ career, then you might be in with a chance. If not, then how badly do you want it?

I for one believe that having a dose of what you might not like can often spur you on. I learnt many great things in my time as NVQ qualified cleaner and down the line I may pen a Bukowski ‘Post Office’ style novel full of the crazy incidents. But for now these gems gleam out…

1) Girls’ bathrooms are actually worse than guys’ - and never underestimate their capacity for carnage.

2) The stain left by the beverage known as ‘Snakebite’ cannot be washed from any surface.

3) Do not drop industrial strength bleach on brand new trainers.

4) 9 to 5 jobs are not boring. They’re a beautiful realm where sleep is plentiful.

5) Some cleaning jobs provide free Gym membership.

You may come to fondly reminisce on the ‘crap’ job in your twilight years.

Sam Walker-Smart

Saturday, 14 May 2011


The sun is out, which in culinary terms, means that it's time for summer treats such as BBQs, Pimms, strawberries and cream and most definitely ice cream.

As with most things cooked from scratch, there is nothing more delicious than homemade ice cream. From strawberry to brown bread, ice cream can be made in virtually any flavour.

Although many recipes call for the use of an ice cream maker, you can also successfully make ice cream without any kitchen novelties, and by making your own you can also ensure no nasties in your cone.

Ice cream also makes for a quick and easy pudding too – it’s great served with a scattering of fresh berries and chocolate sauce. Any dish that can be prepared well ahead of time is a winner in my book.

I whipped up a batch of berry ice cream using frozen blackberries and raspberries. It is refreshingly simple unlike the majority of recipes that require you to take the mixture out of the freezer and stir every couple of hours. To stop it from crystallizing, you in fact only need to whip it once before you pop it in the freezer.


400g of frozen raspberries and blackberries

150g of golden caster sugar

Juice of 1 lemon

285ml of double cream

- Whip the double cream until thick (preferably using a hand whisk). Be careful not to over whip - stop when it has just thickened.

- Place the berries in the blender and blitz along with the sugar and the lemon juice.

- Then stir the berry mixture into the whipped cream until fully blended or alternatively just gently swirl in the mixture for a rippled effect.

- Pour the mixture into a suitable tupperware container and pop in the freezer for at least 3hours before eating. Trust me, it'll make the sunshine even more enjoyable!

Georgina Davies

Wednesday, 11 May 2011


The neglect of music is, for me, a bit of a cyclical thing. It just happens. Usually around springtime, for a lengthy duration, I subconsciously starve myself of new bands, anticipated LPs and singles that emerge around me. Perhaps you suffer it too? For it does happen with music. For the love of it, you just leave it alone.

Nonetheless, my negligence is both unjustifiable and uncanny. I say unjustifiable because there really is no explanation for letting all the contemporary talent whizz passed my ears whilst I snooze. Having said that, I cannot and will not comprehend the oft-heard claim that music, namely rock, is dead – you’re just not looking hard enough! I say uncanny because I am a bit of a music critic (apparently). So scratch uncanny, I meant downright daft.

For instance, I recently got a laptop and it was not until a fortnight later that I realised that I don't actually have any of my music on it. No Johnny Cash, no Beatles, no Biffy Clyro, no Laura Marling – zilch. In fashion terms, that could be a faux pas. But fear not – despite my ignorance I have been saved and saved again.

My first saviour came in the form of my DAB radio, the choice of station being XFM. The radio is a marvellous thing in its own right. Most stations are potent enough to have your ears within the first 30 seconds whilst not being as condescending as to snatch your imagination from you. You might say I was avenging the radio and slowly killing that damned video star instead. So XFM fast became my daily fix, hitting all the right spots, and I think a few times I even felt my soul rejoicing again (okay that’s cheesy).

But a problem arises when you start listening to the radio in the same manner you might dissect a frog or scrutinise a Michelangelo painting – one tends to use every ounce of concentration. At this point, you might be thinking that I have no life. You might be visualising me sitting on a chair with my ears, or even eyes, pressed to the radio whilst night turns to day and day to night. This is not true. I do other things whilst listening like...washing up. And ironing.

Anyway, there is only one word to describe how I listened to XFM – religiously. And when that happens, you start to realise – as brilliant as the music is – there is only so much you can take of Mumford and Sons or White Lies in the stretch of a few hours. It’s also difficult to avoid the feeling that The Wombats are spurting out new releases every other day.

It all becomes very trying when you can predict the next song queued due to there only being a select few on the station’s playlist. You would be forgiven for mistaking the tiresome track repetition for a technical glitch or something. However, I am not about to totally disparage XFM, because it did momentarily pull me out of a music-less slumber. So let’s revel in some of those XFM-approved tunes for a while, because here is some great music that I don’t think I’ll be shaking off anytime soon. These guys need no introduction:

So inevitably, XFM and I decided to take a break. We felt suffocated to the point that we needed time and space apart. But this time, I was rescued by the music reviewer in me!

I had always wondered where I might source that highly inspirational, exceptionally innovative, unsigned stuff. Despite the fact that it makes my day when an acquaintance introduces me to some understated and underrated band I instantly adore, I admit that I do envy them their bragging rights.

Well now I am glad to have come across a wealthy refuge harbouring those very bands and artists I crave. It’s with all the indie music webzines who get their pick of who they consider worthy of showcasing. This is one perk I’m truly fond of, and will continue to be, when reviewing music for online publications.

Allow me to share with you some of my greatest music revelations to date as a result of exercising the meagre influence I have as a music hack. This is a quite a diverse range of sounds from lo-fi mellow indie to raging screamo:

All this and Justin Lee Collins’s return to XFM = pure bliss!

Parisha Vaja

Tuesday, 10 May 2011


Having had a shameless girl crush on Michelle Williams since the days of Jen Lindley and Dawsons Creek, I have followed her metamorphosis from teenage star to Oscar nominated actress with great interest.

Williams has already cemented her reputation as a burgeoning fashion icon (with a wardrobe containing an enviable amount of labels such as Chanel and APC) and this month graces the cover of Interview magazine. Photographed by Mikael Jansson, the actress is captured looking more than slightly reminiscent of a young Mia Farrow or Bibi Anderson in Celine knitwear.

Her pixie crop, bleached eyebrows, gamine features and petite frame ensure she appears almost ethereal, clad in a variety of girlish, sheer clothes. In the editorial pages, she wanders around an abandoned manor house looking doll-like in a variety of smock dresses, peter pan collars and blouses paired with white, knee length socks and Mary Janes. The combination of Michelle’s innocent, almost androgynous beauty and the editorial’s feminine styling makes this the perfect tribute to one of this generation’s most talented performers (plus has also given me an overwhelming urge to wear knee socks and buckled shoes).

View the full editorial and article here

Harriet Tisdall

Sunday, 8 May 2011


The artificial light from the television illuminated Jacob Thompson’s face.
It was the one where Joey gets the turkey stuck on his head. He had seen it sixty-one times. With late night TV you learn, if ever unfortunate enough to enter the realm, that it is composed of nothing but re-runs, game shows and soft-core porn. He could, and should, have changed the channel, but that would no doubt have lead to a stronger feeling of déjà vu.

It didn’t really matter anyway; Jacob hadn’t slept in over thirty years.
He wasn’t quite sure why.
A man gets-a-wondering, curiosity and all - but nothing you would call concrete, nothing that could be fixed with a pill. It was different than that; unknown and more difficult. Quite strange.

He had stopped going to the doctors after the first ten months. Suspicions were raised, glances exchanged, his sense of normality was shattered.
He soldiered on because he had to. The fact that he continued to happily live and breathe was enough of a sign to leave things well alone. Jacob just wasn’t a sleeper.

His humble, one bedroom apartment was adorned with many nights’ hard labour. Model airplanes, handcrafted tables, short stories, to name just a few. It is amazing what one can achieve in those few precious hours whilst the world is asleep.
Catching up on reading was a particular plus; all those books he promised himself he would finish had in their former years remained neglected. After all this time ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ remained his favourite. During the first decade of sleepless nights he had tried to keep up with current music, listening to recent releases on a nightly basis.

However, once his wife and children had left, Jacob lost the urge. He didn’t resent them, but it was hard to look forward when he kept on looking back. Making things was better anyway, it kept his mind and hands busy, and it was nice to create.

At 4.30am every morning without fail, Jacob would go for a walk. He liked the time, not quite day and not quite night. He got to enjoy both worlds. The cry of alley cats and foxes knocking bins over would soon turn into the dawn chorus. The streets were dead; nothing stirred, too late for most people, too early for others. The milkmen and delivery drivers would wave as they passed and on occasion he would have a cigarette with Harry the tramp who took refuge under the local corner shop. Harry often swore he had survived Normandy, regaling Jacob with war stories despite the fact he was only forty-five. Jacob didn’t mind, it was nice to have company and as company went Harry was pretty interesting.

Jacob would make it to the hill about ten minutes before dawn on most days. He had witnessed every sunrise imaginable, vivid reds, siring yellows and heavenly whites, the kind that for a moment, a second, looked as if it would wipe the whole of creation clean. Sunrises unlike most things never became boring and he was thankful for that.

Three cafés in the area kept Jacob’s time and he frequented them all depending on his mood. Freshly baked goods and a hot beverage was still, to his mind, the best way to start a new day. He fancied a coffee this morning, he’d thought about one the entire walk there. He didn’t exactly need the caffeine, but boy did he still love the taste. After all, one has to enjoy the little things.

Sam Walker-Smart

Saturday, 7 May 2011


Photographer: Tommy Clarke

Make-up: Rachel-Singer Clark

Model: Denise at Storm Model Agency

Thursday, 5 May 2011


Calling all beer swillers and cheap plonk drinkers! Don’t be afraid to drink the bubbly stuff – it makes you happy, it adds a touch of glamour and it’s delicious.

I know that it can seem a bit pretentious to order a glass of champagne when you go to a restaurant or a pub but I think we should abandon these ideas and start enjoying the high life a little bit more. Seeing as the effects of the recession remain relentless, let’s give the credit crunch the 2 fingers by taking a sip of the good stuff. I have put together a very simple guide to champagne so when it comes to making that order you won’t feel quite so clueless…

First things first, champagne can only be called champagne if the wine is made in the Champagne region of France; Reims and Epernay are the commercial centres of the region. There are only 3 types of grape used in Champagne: Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay.

Bottle sizes and names

Half-bottle- 37.5 cl

Bottle- 75cl

Magnum – 150cl (2 bottles)

Jeroboam – 300cl (4 bottles)

Methuselah – 600cl (8 bottles)

Salmanazar – 900cl (12 bottles)

Nebuchadnezzar - 1500cl (20 bottles)

What is a cuvee?

A cuvee is the term used to denote the different types of champagne. Here is a brief synopsis of the different types out there...


Vintage champagne is when the grapes are used from same outstanding harvest year. An outstanding harvest year is when the grapes harvested from that year are deemed good enough to make vintage champagne. For example 2000 vintage champagne means that all the grapes used to make it were harvested in that year, which was a year when the grapes were exceptionally good. Not every year is therefore considered vintage. Vintage champagne must be in bottle at least 3 years before it can be released.


When champagne in non-vintage, this means that grapes from various vintages have been blended to create the cuvee. Non-vintage champagne only needs to be in bottle 15 months before it can be released.

Blanc de Blancs

This is champagne that is solely made of chardonnay grapes. Translated it means ‘White of Whites’ deriving from the fact that chardonnay grapes are white.

Blanc de Noirs

Champagne made of only Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, both black grapes, translated mean ‘White of Blacks’. This is because the champagne is white even though only black grapes have been used.


Rosé champagne is pink. This is because either of two possibilities: The clear juice of the black grapes has been left to macerate with the skins (this is called bleeding) or a small amount of still red wine has been added to the bubbly stuff.

Dosage (amount of sugar added)

Different amounts of sugar can be added to a cuvee. There are different names for different amounts of sugar. These 3 are the most common:

- Brut around 8g sugar per litre (can be up to 12g)

- Extra Brut 0-6g sugar per litre (cannot be more than 6g)

- Demi-Sec 12g or more sugar per litre

A little word of advice: Champagne doesn’t only have to be drunk on special occasions. It is in fact a natural mood lifter so if you’re feeling low or out of sorts just pop a cork, fill a glass and listen to the reassuring sound of bubbles popping as they reach the surface.

As Madame Bollinger once said: I drink champagne when I'm happy and when I'm sad. Sometimes I drink it when I'm alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I'm not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise I never touch it - unless I'm thirsty.’

Cordelia Rosa