Deborah Bowness
New Ribbon
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'FUR: AN ISSUE OF LIFE AND DEATH' EXHIBIT OPENS

Fur. The mere mention of the word makes many cringe. In western urban culture, it's a contentious topic that divides us into two groups: those who deem fur fashion READ MORE...
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RED HOT: EXHIBIT OF GINGER MEN IS NOW A BOOK

Earlier this week, I was in the comments section of a blog I frequent, and someone had posted a photo of a shirtless, young guy with red hair sticking his tongue out cheekily READ MORE...
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A MODERN CHRISTMAS AT THE SLEEPER HOUSE

The Sculptured House, also known as the Sleeper House since 1973 when it featured in Woody Allen's sci-fi comedy, Sleeper, is so cool it's painful. An elliptical curiosity in concrete and glass perched on Colorado's READ MORE...
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FASHION FILMS TO FEATURE AT ASFF

The BAFTA qualifying Aesthetica Short Film Festival (ASFF) has teamed up with London College of Fashion to establish a new fashion film strand at this year’s event, showcasing READ MORE...
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'KNITTING FOR JULIET' COMPETITION LAUNCHES IN ITALY

Knitwear designers studying in Italy are invited to enter the Knitting for Juliet competition launched by Fashion Ground Academy of Italian Design READ MORE...
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NICHOLAS ROSE'S FULL COLOUR LIVING

It was not possible to walk past Nicholas Rose's luminous, contoured lamp shades at 100% Design the other week, I felt like a moth drawn to a flame. READ MORE...
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#UNLOCK ART FILM SERIES ENDS ON A HUMOROUS NOTE

The film series, #UnlockArt, produced by Tate and supported by Le Meridien, concluded with the release of the last of eight films, What's So Funny?, decided by an online poll READ MORE...
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October 10, 2013

Stockholm: Östermalm and the Waterfront, Part 1

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Three weeks ago I went to Stockholm for the first time (by the way that's the capital of Sweden, since going I've discovered a lot of people are sketchy about where it actually is - what?!)  and it was also my first time in Scandinavia. Being a lover of Scandinavian design, I was burning to go. As we flew over Sweden I looked out the window and saw dense masses of trees, and believe it or not I have seen trees before, but there was something different about this land. I love visiting a new country and getting an immediate feel for it, but experiencing this from the plane is something pretty special. 

We were only in Stockholm for two full days (the travelling days were just that so they don't count), but luckily it's fairly compact and a great walking city and we were extremely fortunate to have really warm, sunny weather the entire time which I'm told was rare for this time of year. We headed out to have a wander on our first morning after the healthiest breafkast buffet (at the hotel) that I have ever seen in my life. Almost everything was organic, all of it fresh and healthy and I wanted to take a Swede home with me to England to help me never not eat that way again. (Easier said than done, I can't even find most of it where I live!)

On our way out, we came upon two police women on horses:

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And walked through a park with a fountain where people were relaxing on benches:

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I had no idea where we were going and tend to like exploring a city that way - Stockholm is very safe - until I feel I'm kind of lost at which point I ask someone to point us in the direction of the city centre. Did I mention how incredibly helpful the people of Stockholm are? I'm not talking one or two people and generalising based on that, they will go out of their way for you, and it wasn't only me. I saw a man run up to a rental car sitting at a stop light with a flat tire and he told them where to take it and even offered advice for negotiating with the rental agency. That kind of warmth goes a long way in feeling immediately at home in a new city. Add to that clean streets, beautiful, painted buildings and a general ease about the people walking about - these people do not seem to carry tension with them - and it's impossible not to fall in love. 

We kept walking and wound up in the exclusive Östermalm area and to our delight stumbled upon a beautiful waterfront where we had lunch:

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TheSwelleLife_4 (1 of 1)The view from our table

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How could I not have the Swedish meatballs? - which in Sweden are just called 'meatballs'

TheSwelleLife_6 (1 of 1)This adorable pug was pleading for food with his eyeballs the whole time we ate, although he looks as if he's had his fair share of meatballs!

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The benches are laid with sheepskins - there's always an element of comfort around it seems, and we couldn't help notice that all of the chairs on cafe and restaurant patios have blankets to keep patrons from getting chilly. Hygiene questsions aside, how sweet is that?

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In Pt. 2 we take the peddle boats out (I get us stranded against a rock) and walk down the beautiful waterfront.

Photos © The Swelle Life

September 27, 2013

The Great European Road Trip

TheSwelleLife_2 (1 of 1)The heartachingly picturesque town of Quimper in Brittany, France

How I wish these gorgeous pictures were mine and I had the memories to go along with them, but they in fact belong to friends who recently took a dream roadtrip through Europe (they are very good 'get out and go' people!). They live in London which is an ideal launching pad for a European road trip as you have the Eurostar and aren't too far from the ferry in the south east if you want to take your car. My friends have their own but sometimes it's more practical to head over and then look for cheap car hire in France. After arriving in the country, they continued through to Italy, Austria, Germany, Luxembourg, and back into France - five countries in one trip! When you drive you're able to experience the culture in a way that isn't possible when you jump from one airport to another. It's what's happening - or not happening - between the major cities, out in the rural towns and villages that really offers a glimpse into who the natives are and what life there is like. 

I went through nearly 900 photos from their trip and chose my favourites, somehow narrowing the stunning land and cityscapes down to what you see here. What I love most about them is they're from places we wouldn't normally see - again, the benefit of the road trip! If you want to see more travel shots you can take a browse of the Paris/Cities category which features photos from my time in Paris, Versailles, Brussels, Turin, London and other incredible cities as well as the natural beauty of the north east of England. (I just got back from Stockholm so those will soon follow!) 

Thanks to Julie and Mitch for sharing their wonderful adventure with us!

TheSwelleLife_3 (1 of 1)Quimper in Brittany, France

Below are scenes from the road as they drove into the north of Italy:

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This painted seaside town is Cinque Terre, Italy:

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Below are scenes from Bassano di Grappa, Italy, near Treviso where my friend's parents are from. They have a great story: they came to the same southern Ontario town in Canada not knowing each other previously, met and got married and are still married today. Their children (my friend and her brother) are proof of the Italian northern blonds from this region, both being fair-skinned and haired with blue eyes. 

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These are scenes from Brixen, Tyrolean village. They had a bit of back luck there losing a tire on their car and had to stay unexpectedly overnight to find a replacement. Technically, they were in Italy but they say it felt very Austrian which borders in the north – the food was a great mix of both cultures. 

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The greenscape shots below are car shots from when they travelled from Italy to Austria, going through the highest altitude pass called 'Fernpasse' in Austria:

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August 26, 2013

Treats in Toronto: Chococrêpe!

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Whenever I'm in Paris I eat an Eiffel Tower's worth of crêpes, but I'd never had one in Toronto. This occurred to me when I was walking on Queen St. west of Bathurst and passed by a sandwich board for Chococrêpe. I knew I had to come back with my daughter. She devours them, now. But that wasn't always the case. The first time we visited Paris she was three-years-old and we stayed in Montparnasse which I nicknamed The Crêpe District because our street had at least a dozen crêperies, and it wasn't that long a street. We told her we were taking her for crêpes and she was very excited. So we ordered a sweet one for her and when it arrived we expected her face to light up. Instead she burst into tears and we were perplexed as to why, as was our server. It turned out that she thought we were saying 'grapes' and being the fruit freak she was, and still being pretty much a baby, nothing else would do. Telling her that this was a pancake with fruit on it which was even better only seemed to make her madder because none of those words were "here's some grapes!" But crying children in Paris is great fun so it was all good. 

Anyway, back to August 2013, I was feeling like something savoury so I ordered the Chipotle Chicken crêpe which was really delicious, and it came with an arugula salad on the side. My daughter went full-on and ordered a mango sorbet milkshake - they have lots of ice cream and sorbets flavours to choose from - at the same time as a Happy Apple crêpe which is very large and open and topped with green apple slices, chocolate cinammon bits and dark chocolate drizzled all over. There was no convincing her that this was too much at one time, and hey, if you don't get a few reckless stomach aches as a kid you're not doing it right. (She ate a quarter of the crêpe before admitting defeat, but all of the milkshake. We took the remainders home.) 

Chococrêpe is an intimate and welcoming place, and they played Carla Bruni's Quelqu'un m'a dit and Bebel Gilberto's So Nice, which was perfect for the atmosphere on a hot summer day. You can visit Chococrêpe at 620 Queen St. West, and they do brunch on weekends. 


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Photos © The Swelle Life

June 11, 2013

Glasgow: On the Train Through Northumberland

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Last weekend I went to Glasgow. This post really has nothing to do with Glasgow except for the fact that this is what I saw out the train window on the way! But I have too many photos of Glasgow to post at once, so we'll start the tour here. Northumberland, the county that borders Scotland in the east, is absolutely stunning country - you can see other trips to various sites here - and is the reason that when people invariably say to me, on a weekly basis for the past nearly 8 years, "Canada is beautiful, what are you doing here?" I reply, "Have you SEEN your country?!" Yes, Canada is beautiful, but it's massive and therefore not beautiful everywhere. And the UK pretty much is, you're never very far from breathtaking scenery. One of the first observations my husband made when we took our first trip through Northumberland when we moved here, is how all of the land is used for something, and so you don't have the wastelands you see in North America. All of this land has been owned for hundreds of years by someone, taken care of and given purpose, and it's easy to see why it inspired so many landscape painters over the centuries. You can be so tired your eyes are burning in their sockets but it's almost impossible to look away when travelling through areas like this. And if you like sheep, you'll get your fill and then some. Somehow none of my pictures have any. But I swear they are everywhere up here. Really.

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The rapeseed fields (worst name ever!) create wonderful, bright yellow, massive colourblocks on the landscape. 

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Pretty painted houses dot the coast of Berwick-upon-Tweed, the last town in England before you cross into Scotland. 

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We saw rainbows along the way for about 20 minutes, and when I exclaimed, dumbfounded, that we kept seeing them I was made fun of for not understanding how rainbows work. I have now reminded myself by reading about it (it's been a long time since grade 7 science class!). I still think it's a little bit of magic happening there. 

More to come on actual Glasgow...

Photos © The Swelle Life

April 02, 2013

Vintage London: A Charming Day Out

The history, the culture and the fashion, not to mention the instantly recognisable sights; it’s hard not to think about London without getting a little bit romantic about it. From the Victorian London of Dickens to the Swinging London of the sixties, the city has seen it all and yet never fails to surprise.

Yet, as big as the sights are, and as fantastic as the museums and the galleries are, it’s the small delights that make it for me. The city is brimming with hidden gems channelling the various eras it has witnessed. London’s past is never far away so it’s no surprise that some call it the vintage capital of the world. Vintage cafés and retro boutiques adorn most corners of the city, filling in the gaps between established flagship stores and long-standing culinary institutions; both of which make the most perfect way to take a moment to soak up London’s vintage side.

Shopper’s Paradise

Style-wise, London has seen it all and been at the centre of it all: flappers, mods, the austere chic of the forties, fifties pin-up, cool Britannia in the nineties to name just a handful. Needless to say it doesn’t disappoint.

London ShopsPhoto credit: HoV, Telegraph

Flagship must: Established in 1879, Oxford Street’s House of Fraser has been there since Queen Victoria ruled the throne. Now a British staple, the Oxford Street store houses exclusive collaborations and myriad concessions such as Links of London and the re-launched iconic brand Biba.

Hidden gem: Vintage shops of all sizes and descriptions can be found all across London, but for a more curated offering head to House of Vintage. Found just off Brick Lane, their collection ranges from the 20s to the 80s with top-quality vintage pieces from YSL, Givenchy and Burberry amongst others.

Top tip: Eschew the tacky souvenir shops in favour of a more timeless memento.

Afternoon tea

Vintage teapartyPhoto credit: Natalie Clince

Not just a London tradition, but quintessentially English, afternoon tea has been a ritual since the 1840s. Originating from the need to bridge the gap between breakfast and dinner back when two meals was the norm, it is the perfect way to take some time out mid-afternoon. Afternoon tea isn’t just about tea of course – expect freshly baked scones with clotted cream, delicate finger sandwiches and scrumptious cakes. For the more extravagant, many places have the option of an accompanying glass of prosecco or champagne.

Flagship must: The Athenaeum Hotel in Mayfair has won awards for its afternoon tea, including the prestigious Tea Guild Award which is the equivalent of an ‘Oscar’ for tea!

Hidden gem: The Soho Secret Tearoom is indeed quite hidden. Occupying the space above a pub, this is a truly vintage experience with music provided by a gramophone and delicate chinaware.

Top tip: A full afternoon tea is serious business and it’s usually required that you book in advance.

A stroll in the park

Spring blossomsPhoto credit: Natalie Clince

Flagship must: Hyde Park is probably London’s most famous park for a reason. Open to the public since 1637 and spanning three-hundred and fifty acres, it has monuments, a lake, an ornamental garden and all kinds of activities from horse riding to swimming. Surely the greatest form of entertainment here though is soaking up the atmosphere and indulging in some people watching. 

Hidden gem: Tucked away amongst the Georgian terraces of Greenwich, Greenwich Park Orchard is certainly a hidden treasure. Bearded keystone figures hug the surrounding walls of a park rich with wildlife and features that date back to the 18th century.

Top tip: Hyde Park and many others often host events, both big and small, so it’s always worth checking if anything is going on.

March 25, 2013

Heavenly Mix: The Regent Street Cocktail Safari

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Le Meridien Picadilly's elegant Bloody Mary Fizz, and the Chrysler Cocktail at Bar Américain at Brasserie Zédel

Yet another reason London is so great: The Regent Street Cocktail Safari will be launching in April at restaurants, cafés, bars and hotels along Regent Street, London W1, created as an extension of the internationally renowned Regent Street Food Safari. Shoppers will be able to enjoy multiple venues in one evening, tasting the signature cocktails and small plates each venue has developed for the occasion. 

Taking part in the 2013 Regent Street Cocktail Safari are MASH, Bar Américain at Brasserie Zédel, aqua, Gaucho, The Living Room W1, Sartoria, Courthouse Doubletree by Hilton, Le Meridien Piccadilly, Dirty Martini and Inamo.

To experience the Regent Street Cocktail Safari, visit Regent Street Online, plan your route, reserve a time at your chosen venues, gather your party and enjoy.

CourthouseDoubletree+DirtyMartiniFor mint lovers, the Cos-Mojito at Courthouse Doubletree, and Dirty Martini's Tropical Pear Martini

Here are some suggested itineraries to get you started:

Start at MASH on Brewer Street to try their movie themed cocktails, the American Psycho and the American Beauty. Bar Américain at Brasserie Zédel will be serving Salt Beef Bagels, Hot Dogs and Slider Sandwiches alongside their signature Chrysler Cocktail, with a Cognac base. Go to aqua for their Iron Lotus and Guatemalan Spirit cocktails to complement their Spanish tapas.

Gaucho have created their own Regent Street Cocktail including Smirnoff black with Aperol and a saffron infusion. The Living Room, W1 are launching their brand new Bar Sliders menu, a new concept, with their Regent Street punch. Sartoria have designed 3 cocktails to embrace the West End spirit including a RegentStreet special, made with lychee juice, whereas Courthouse Double Tree by Hilton have created the Regent Street Cosmojito.

At Le Méridien Piccadilly (a personal favourite of mine for these reasons) you can try the mini tasting menu with three mini food plates and three tasting cocktails. If you’re a sushi fan, Inamo is offering a sushi selection with their signature spicy cocktail the Inamo, with chilli syrup. If you’re looking for a martini, head to the experts at Dirty Martini to try their Tropical Pear Martini, Mango & Chilli Martini, or signature Dirty Martini. 

And here's what's in those delicous cocktails along with all of the other details:

Le Méridien Piccadilly 

21 Piccadilly
020 7734 8000

Cocktail: Bloody Mary Fizz. Twist on Red Snapper, Citadelle Gin, Mix Of Spices, Clarified Tomato Juice with a foam top. £14.50

Mini tasting menu: 3 mini portions of food, including Pork Belly & Hock Brawn, Liver Parfait, Prawn & Crab Cocktail & 3 tasting cocktails: Just Like That (Crystal Head Vodka infused with Rosemary, Mandarine Napoleon Liqueur, Homemade Limoncello, Fresh Lime ), Noble Swizzle (Tanqueray No.10 Gin, Pierre Ferrand Premier Cru Cognac, Swiss Absinthe, Almond Butter, Fresh Lemon, Lemon Bitters), Bees Knees (Appleton 8yo Rum, Drambuie, Honey and Lemon Juice). £20 - one tasting selection.

Bar Américain at Brasserie Zédel

20 Sherwood Street
020 7734 4888

Cocktail: The Chrysler Cocktail. Cognac, Chambord, Port, Campari, Orange Curacao, Bitters. £9.75

Small Plates: Salt Beef Bagels, Hot Dogs, Slider Sandwiches. £3.95 each.

Courthouse Double Tree by Hilton

19–21 Great Marlborough Street
020 7297 5555

Cocktail: Cosmojito. Fresh mint, lime, sugar, orange bitters, Grey Goose Citron Vodka, Cointreau and a splash of cranberry juice built over crushed ice. £9.50

Small Plates: Light Bite - Bocconcini and Cherry Tomato. £5.95 Spanish tapas platter - Stuffed olives, Spanish chorizo, chilli garlic chicken with tomato, garlic bread fingers. £17.95

Dirty Martini

10c Hanover Square
0844 371 2550

Cocktails: Dirty Martini - made with Ketel One Vodka or PlymouthGin, Dry Vermouth and garnished with Kalamata Olives and a sprig of Thyme. Mango & Chilli Martini - muddle a small slice of chilli and absolut mandarin, mango liqueur, mango juice, sugar syrup, lemon juice and garnish with a red birds eye chilli. Tropical Pear Martini - Absolut Pear Vodka with Amaretto, orange Curaçao, Creme de Banane, pineapple juice, lime juice and garnished with an edible flower.

If you're in London, you'd be mad not to go! 

March 07, 2013

Live Like a Local in London with onefinestay.com

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Regardless of how adventurous we may be, it's always a comfort to feel a connection to the city we're visiting and avoid feeling like an outsider - no one really likes to read as 'tourist'! The best way to feel at home when traveling is to live in one, and onefinestay understands this well. Through their website you are matched to everything you want and need for accommodation in two of the world's greatest cities, London and New York, then you are provided with a service that offers all the convenience and comfort of a hotel. While staying in a distinctive residential home while the owner is out of town, guests enjoy luxury amenities like 5 star hotel linens and toiletries from The White Company (in London) and Kiehl’s (in New York). Every guest is also lent an iPhone for the duration of their stay to use for free local calls, and to acquaint you with and make the most of your new neighbourhood, the phone comes stocked with local tips from the home’s owner. 

In addition to their luxury personal service, onefinestay stands apart from other rental sites thanks to the tightly curated selection of residential homes they offer - every room is so gorgeously decorated and well-featured that you'll quickly find yourself daydreaming as you browse the photos on the site; it's like choosing your travel accommodations from the pages of Architectural Digest. And still, many of the 1000+ homes offered are welcoming to families with babies and toddlers, so there's no sacrificing style when traveling with your little ones. 

Prices range from £150 a night for a comfortable one bedroom apartment to £1495 a night for a grand townhouse. If you're traveling on a budget it's still well worth considering the less expensive options as you'll have your own kitchen, and being able to cook your own meals can significantly offset your living expenses. Distinctive options on onefinestay include a palatial apartment in Knightsbridge and a converted sugar warehouse with views across the Hudson, alongside unique homes such as the ex-industrial lofts of Tribeca and mews houses in Notting Hill. 

Have a browse of onefinestay and see for yourself what a difference one of their gorgeous homes can make to your next visit to one of your favourite cities. 

Fuelled by rave reviews from guests and hosts, onefinestay has expanded from just 6 host members in 2010 to more than 1000 across London and New York today. 

Onefinestay_kitchenA bright and spacious eat-in kitchen in South Kensington

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This Hampstead home boasts bespoke furniture and many coveted architectural details

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A large master bedroom in Primrose Hill features a terrace and French doors

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Many of the homes on onefinestay feature private outdoor spaces and gorgeous gardens 

February 27, 2013

Harrogate by Night...

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Earlier this month I spent a girls weekend in Harrogate in North Yorkshire. I'd heard Harrogate was a lovely Victorian town and being not that far from where I live - about one and a half hours on the train (if your train connection from York isn't cancelled like ours was) - I probably should have visited before now. Unlike Canada, which is the size of the universe compared to the UK, here you can get on a train and visit all kinds of charming towns and villages up and down the country, from coast to coast. However, it would definitely help if train tickets weren't extortionate - flying is cheaper! I would be off for something with the family in tow nearly every weekend otherwise. Lottery tickets. 

(Thanks go out to my lovely friend Caroline who arranged the weekend and then got too sick to go!) 

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Every time Harrogate was mentioned to me the name "Betty's" was tagged in there as a place I would love. My friends know me well. And so we went, twice. When I first came up to it I was surprised that it looked French and would seem right at home on St-Germain in Paris. Betty's was first established in 1919 by Frederick Belmont, a Swiss who was orphaned at an early age and so immersed himself in the world of bakers and confectionery through apprenticeships all across Europe. This one in Harrogate is the original, still family owned, and you can feel their commitment to keeping the spirit going in the manner it was intended. We queued outside in a line that eventually snaked around the corner (Betty's is massively popular and they don't take reservations) but a smiling host would greet each guest and take their names, and because the place is so big - cafe and shop with a large tea room on two sub-levels - it didn't take all that long to get inside. And it was worth the wait. I had the butternut squash tortellini after struggling to choose between several equally appealing options - you can see the menu here - and my two friends had the afternoon tea, one for the first time so she was in the right place. I didn't have a dessert but I raided the shop for the last of the macarons to bring home for my daughter, along with some Valentine's treats including a box of pink and white fondant fancies. There was also a chocolate heart lolly with chocolate ganache and raspberry inside, and if they do that in a more permanently offered incarnation, I would hignly recommend seeking it out. I had a tiny taste and it was so good I made noises. 

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There was a green space in the town centre and all of the trees were lit up. I'm assuming they do this throughout the winter. 

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Who knew Harrogate had a French district? Not me. We certainly had our choice of French restaurants (well, we would have had we made reservations earlier.) We were lucky to get a late table at Mirabelle which was just fantastic, our waiter was great fun and the food was gorgeous. I went for the Oxtail soup with dumplings for my starter as I'd never had it before. It was served in a Le Creuset mini cocotte so I was happy before I even took my first spoonful. (It was delicious with a bit of a gamey flavour, you'd never mistake it for beef.) Mirabelle's chef and co-owner Lionel Strub has a cookbook out for his recipes that fuse French and British cuisine, and I'd meant to pick it up on the way out but that one and a half glasses of wine really hit me and I forgot (unfortunately it is true that that's all it takes to do me in).  If this dining experience is anything to go by, Montpellier certainly warrants future investigation. 

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This unusual staircase was an eye-catching feature of the lobby of the Hotel du Vin where we stayed (I highly recommend it, and the mini bar is actually reasonably priced, I did not think such a thing existed):

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This mostly Orla Kiely decor shop window had every passerby pausing for an eyeful:

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The L'Occitane window was a nice reminder on a cold weekend that spring is on its way, which is when I'll be returning. It'll make the queuing for Betty's a bit more comfortable. 

 

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Photos © The Swelle Life

September 21, 2012

Lavender Fields For-e-ver

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A few weeks ago when my parents were visiting from Canada, we took advantage of the great summer weather that finally arrived and took them to my favourite places in Northumberland, some of the most gorgeous country you'll ever see. I'd been to Cragside before and we hiked the incredible rhododendron forests that lead to their formal gardens, which we saw here and here, but we didn't really have the energy to give Lord Armstrong's spectacular Victorian mansion the attention it deserved, so this time we made a point of it. That post is yet to come, there is just so much to show and tell and research further (the house is a feat of engineering brilliance), so this one is more about the scenery. After making our way to the other side of the estate's miles of gorgeous forest, I looked to my right and saw lavender fields as far as I could see. What I'm showing you is like a spit in the ocean, pretty but no indication of the grand landscape it is a part of with its rolling hills upon rolling hills, all spiked with lavender. I have to go back.

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The historic Victorian mansion at Cragside which literally sits in the crag. You can see that better here


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Photos © The Swelle Life

April 30, 2012

Cupcake Monday! Celebrating 150 Years of Ladurée

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It's been 150 years since Louis Ernest Ladurée, a miller from the southwest of France, opened a bakery at 16 rue Royale in Paris. Baguettes, pain, brioche. No macarons, no Religieuses just yet. The patisserie was built after a fire destroyed the boulangerie during the Paris Commune uprising of 1871 (I guess it gave them a chance to rethink their potential alongside their luxurious neighbours?) and Jules Chéret was commissioned to create the interior decor. The cherubs dressed as pastry chefs that he painted on the ceiling, and the gorgeous celadon green he used for the exterior and interior (one of the  most beautiful pastel colours in existence), were used to create the Ladurée emblem and are a strong element of their branding today. 

Ladurée began celebrating the anniversary in January and have been introducing a special edition box of macarons and a pastry each month.

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This gorgeous box by Tsumori Chisato (I included a look from her SS12 collection that seemed reminiscent of the box design) contains special anniversary Cherry Blossom macarons created by Ladurée chef Vincent Lemains, who, for the first time in their history, changed the filling to a guimauve, or marshmallow.  There's a scented candle as well if you want the full cherry blossom olfactory experience. You'll have to find your own matching coral-pink hanky to wipe up the drool.

I will be checking out the anniversary collection for myself, preferably on the other side of the Channel. (And in all likelihood I will not feel like sugar that day - that happened last time I visited the Champs Elysees location in Paris last spring, I was in the mood for savoury! Good thing they do gorgeous food, but come on eh?)

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