Wednesday, 21 November 2012


The husband and I just spent a whole weekend In Bruges without the kid. Ah Bliss. No offense to the little chap but it's been over a year without a night away for us so we were owed a lie-in. (He can open the fridge by himself now so we figured he'd be fine for a few days).

Bruges looks like a fairytale film set. It's beautiful. It is tiny so a weekend is perfect to wander the streets and hang out in the hotel without feeling guilty that you aren't doing more touristy things. The lights were all up and the shops were decked out with festive windows so it really felt like our first dip into the 2012 Christmas season. 

Choc-tastic festive window displays

I'll just do a quick Bruges summary for you: 
architecture, canals, chocolate, beer, moules frites, more beer, lace, waffles, bells

Now we've got the city down, on to the hotel which is always my favourite thing about trips away. I'm a total boutique hotel lover and am often more excited about where we're staying than where we're going (if you catch my drift). In this case we stayed at The Pand, highly recommended by all and dripping in accolades and awards. Luckily it didn't disappoint. A former carriage house it's now a 26 room hotel stuffed with antiques and different furnishings in each room.

My favourite bit by far was the sitting room (above) complete with Christmas tree and roaring fire where I merrily drank tea and read the paper in the afternoon and drank wine and played chess in the evening. 

Our room was called Ralph Lauren "Stapleton" after the fabric that's used in it (isn't that a bit odd?) The room was plush and cosy with some beautiful touches like this gallery wall (above) and a very cool claw foot arm chair which I would have happily packed up and taken away with me. 

(I am slightly dubious of the decor in other rooms, I didn't get to have a look while I was there but have a look on the website and judge for yourself. The "Burberry room" looks a little bit like a chavtastic disaster so we might have been lucky with ours).

 Christmas wreath in the white panelled breakfast room and vintage LV Luggage in the sitting room.

Back to talk of getting into the Xmas mood - dinner on the first night was spent at De Vlaamsche Pot, a little bistro that had been recommended to us specifically for it's Flemish Beef Stew. A sliver of a building with red and white checked table cloths, this restaurant had been Christmassed to the MAX. It honestly looked like Father Christmas had thrown up inside - I could see the husband's nervous face as we dodged tinsel and painted angels to get to our table. Luckily the stew was worth the blinding decor - as Greg from Masterchef would say, it was like "a hug in a bowl". I loved the place.

Left via, top right via.

Our second dinner was at Park Restaurant which I'd also hugely recommend. The food and service were both excellent but I especially loved it as the guy at the table next to us proposed to his girlfriend! So romantic! I'd never seen a proposal first hand so needless to say I got far too over-emotional/over-excited and ended up getting totally shit-faced in their honour.

The Park Restaurant. (I mentioned I was very drunk right? Seriously that's all I've got but it is a photo-worthy ceiling).

Finally some scenic shots of Bruges taken for once, not with my iphone but with a proper camera by my husband who knows what he's doing. Pretty as a picture don't you agree?


Friday, 9 November 2012


"What's your favourite film?" 

There's a question that makes me panic. Although admittedly you're only really asked it if you are at the low ebb of a conversation with someone you don't want to be in a conversation with. The correct answer is something by the Cohen Brothers or maybe Wes Anderson to prove how knowledgeable and arty you are, but without fail the films that spring to my mind are The Devil wears Prada / Four Weddings / Dirty Dancing / Pretty Woman. 
You get the picture.

In 1996 Baz Luhrmann's Romeo & Juliet came out and it's still one of my all time favourite films -  a valid contender for the "favourite film" question if only I could block out Patrick Swayze and remember it in time. One of the main things that Baz Lurman nailed was the soundtrack - there are two volumes which are still incredible fifteen years later (and are still perched on the cd shelf with my name written in tipex from school).

Early next year, Baz L's version of the Great Gatsby is released and I'm frothing at the mouth with excitement. Set in the 1920's at the start of the Art Deco era it's got me feeling all Art Deco-y. 

Here's the trailer to get you in the mood.

I already have high hopes for the sound track if the trailer is anything to go by. In the 2 and a bit minutes above we've got Love is Blindness (by U2 covered here by Jack White) and No Church in the Wild by Kanye and Jay-z - in the same vein as R&J he's taken modern songs and shoved them smack bang back in the 1920's.

Gatsby promo poster...

Art deco bronze ornament in the lobby of the Chicago Board of Trade, Chicago. See the similarities huh?

Since first watching the trailer a while ago I've been thinking about and noticing all things Art Deco. It seems Art Deco pieces are popping up all over the place - fashion, furniture, homeware, interiors... So with that in mind I've been scouring some bits and bobs, starting with some things that I would like to own (hey, Christmas is coming you never know who's reading).

Left to right:

Tiffany Art Deco bracelet (that'll set you back over £110k incase you were wondering)
Gold Christian Louboutin Very Galaxy heels - nuff said
Gucci Garcon Evening Case (part of their Spring 2012 Hard Deco collection all Art Deco inspired)
Anton Heunis "Art Deco Renaissance" earrings
Round side table from The Well Appointed House. (What's weird is we have these tables but with a tempered glass top instead of marble but we got them in Singapore. They just popped up in my Art Deco searching. Scary).
Art Deco Clutch - Obaz
Knot Mirror - Horchow (love this, keep seeing it all over the place)
Glamourous Hollywood Mohair Side Chairs - 1st Dibs (love these bad boys but I'd like them in a different colour please)
Blue Glass Decanters - 1st Dibs

And now (never start a sentence with "and"), a few in your face Deco Exterior building shots BOOM.

The Chrysler Building

Niagra Mohawk Building, Syracuse, New York.

via + via

This building holds a special place for me, Parkview Square in Singapore (which we knew as Gotham City). It's totally awesome and I used to drive past this on my way to work every day.

Eastern Building LA.

Moving on to a few interiors and starting with the lobby of the Town Hall Hotel in Bethnal Green. Lurve this. (This hotel is the first foray into hotels outside of Asia for Loh Lik Peng)

Lobby in a 20's wedding shoot. 

The same hotel - but the bar with an Art Deco nod..

Finally, the 1396 King & Grove Tides South Beach in Miami.

There we have it. Some Art Deco loving inspired by the release of The Great Gatsby.
Man I hope it's good.