Cocktail Anyone?

Not so much a current obsession, more a guilty pleasure today. My dream is to dig out the basement of our house and install a marble horseshoe bar like the one at Le Petit Fer à Cheval in Paris. Bar stools, the lot.

It’s just a little dream. I only want a bar like the Cheval with a splash of the Pig hotel interior too. No big deal.

Back in the real world, I am aware that the idea is quite, well, spendy.

Whilst I’m working on the dream, I’m pondering my options. I may attempt a DIY project instead.  In the summer we sometimes visit this amazingly stylish chateau in Normandy where there’s an old built in cupboard which houses a secret bar. The inside is mirrored, has glass shelves, a light and all the sparkly cocktail kit you could want. On the outside it looks like a normal cupboard.

If that’s too ambitious still, there’s always the drinks trolly. I’ll keep you updated with ‘Operation French Bar’ but in the mean time if you’re feeling the cocktail vibe this chilly Monday morning I’ve compiled my wish list to inspire your own home bar aspirations.


  1. Kenzi Bar Trolley
  2. Vintage Champagne Bucket
  3. Soho Home Martini Set
  4. Nina Campbell Twist Tumbler
  5. Design Project by John Lewis Cocktail Shaker
  6. Studio Formata Cocktail Tray



The Best Wrapping Paper

I have to confess that now it’s December I am in a state of panic. I promised I would have done all my Christmas shopping by Dec 1st (slightly unrealistic maybe) and I haven’t. Not even close.

It’s the silly season of carol concerts, nativity performances, parties, endless trips to the post office, Christmas cards (oh and lets not go there about the kids writing one to every member of the flipping class!). I feel fairly nauseous just thinking about it.

This is intended to be a ‘Style Hack’ that is big on practicality. We may dream of hours spent wrapping presents in a quiet house listening to Classic FM whilst your Nigella’s red cabbage is bubbling away on the stove ready for the freezer. THAT AIN’T HAPPENING IN MY WORLD!

I’m not naive. I realise for 99.9% of you it’s all about ‘the roll’. Let me steer you in the right direction so that you don’t end up in your local Tesco on Christmas Eve with a 3 pack of jazzy character paper, one fold and it’s ripped special.

And a final thought – if you’ve been anywhere near Pinterest of late you will have been bombarded by images of brown paper wrapped parcels with various pieces of foliage artfully styled with twine and a carefully placed piece of masking tape. Looks great in a picture, not so much delivered in the post and opened a week later. It’s a classic stylists trick because it looks totally beautiful in a photo. My advice, if you like the look use it for presents you are hand delivering or taking to a dinner party or lunch. Also you get the added benefit of the audience to congratulate you on how stylish and just like Pinterest you are. 😉

The above gift was wrapped in Printed Marble Papers.


Go Patterned: Don’t care that they won’t arrive until Dec 15th, I’m obsessed with this pattern. I’m ordering a mixed pack of 10.


Go Neon: Marks & Spencer‘s bright pink paper SOOOOOO good it’s basically neon. I have stockpiled this and intend to tie Meri Meri’s clashing ‘Fa La La‘ ribbon around it.


Go All Out: For those with the budget, there is only one place to go for wrapping paper – Shepherds Bookbinders. I could live in their shop, happy to stare at their papers all day. They have the most sumptuous selection. I was drawn to their marbled paper, stick a clashing ribbon around it or tack it with bright coloured masking tape and you’re done.


Go Cheap: House of Fraser ‘s roll is hugely discounted (big plus!) and is a really amazing repeat pattern. Imagine this under the Christmas tree with the rest of the prints.


Go Plain: Make like you’re at the Conran Shop and wrap everything in this fab paper from Paperchase. The matt navy is a beautiful rich colour and I love the idea of pairing it with any big fat shinny ribbon like the green one below.


Stocking Hack: Bulk buy these red candy stripe sweetie bags for the fastest wrapping ever and seal with the INCREDIBLE Alphabet or No Peeking stickers from Meri Meri.


  1. Meri Meri Alphabet Glitter Stickers
  2. Bonsai Green Satin Ribbon
  3. Pro Gaff Pink Masking Tape
  4. Meri Meri Fa La La Ribbon
  5. Glitter Tinsel String
  6. Esme 6 Pack Marbled Gift Tags

Christmas At Home

Let’s all take a breather – in and out – and remember that this season is supposed to be fun.

It’s about gathering with people you love to eat double your weight in stuffing to celebrate a baby in a manger. And thinking about the million ways you can use lots and lots of pine tree decorations.

One of the fun moments for me during the Christmas period is the decorating. I love making the house look ridiculously festive.

Whether you’ve got a studio flat, too many rooms to know what to do with, a mantle piece or spare corner of the room, let this post inspire you.

You’ll notice a lack of Christmas-y kitchen interiors, and that’s because in the next few weeks they’ll be a special post dedicated to the table. Check back in soon.



christmas_4Decorations by Carla Aston





John Derian’s Home


By Interior Stylist Daniella Witte

Christmas Jumper


I’m a bit of magpie so anything sparkly and I’ve got a cricked neck.

I’ve had my eye on this Mini Boden jumper since the beginning of the season but SSSHHHH not for either of my girls. For me.

So a couple of weeks ago I threw caution to the wind and purchased the 15-16 year old size. Result! It fitted. Not like the normal embarrassing ‘hi I can fit teenagers clothes’ incidents which usually end up with me needing to get emergency assistance from the changing room lady in order to cut me out of said item (me chuntering away ‘Twig you’re such a dick’).

Basically on this occasion the 15-16 is equivalent to a size 10. Other top tip they also do shoes up to a 39.

I’ve been complimented several times in the playground on my new ‘Sonia Rykiel’ purchase.

It wasn’t long before Aurelie was pleading with me for one of her own. I have duly obliged and she is thrilled.

Christmas jumpers – sorted and not a Rudolph in sight.

Boden Sparkle Stripe Jumper

Me Me Me Me Me Me!

This post is not for you. It’s for me. I’m serious.

My husband is a wonderful, wonderful man but it is fair to say that he has been (until now fingers crossed) absolutely awful at buying presents. You may think me harsh. I will save his blushes by not telling you about the time that he brought me (in no particular order) a box of maltesers, a copy of Hello magazine and a Giant Greater London A to Z for my birthday. Corner Shop anyone??!

After the ‘present giving ceremony’ a mortified me called a friend who was coming to my dinner that evening. She told me later that she had sprinted around her house scooping up items to hastily wrap on top of the things she’d already brought for me just so I could be presented with a profusion of things to open!

So I’m making it super easy this year. Here DEAR SANTA is my list.


  1. Luke Edward Hall Boy In A Beret Print
  2. & Other Stories Velvet Clutch
  3. Cabana Magazine Subscription
  4. Tine K Blush Corduroy Cushion
  5. Pentreath & Hall Ikat Lampshade
  6. Champagne Saucer Glass Set
  7. & Other Stories Satin Soft Bra
  8. Studio Oliver Gustav Potpourri
  9. John Derian Picture Book
  10. Topshop Cashmere Joggers