Every girl needs a bit of lavishness in her life. Whether it’s a lunchtime manicure, a ridiculous pair of heels or a crystal chandelier we all need those things that just make you feel happy to be alive! Here at myluxe we seek to bring you a snapshot of what’s new, across our favourite luxury websites. You know – those things it’s difficult to live without….. Go on, Luxe it up!
We’ve recently come across De Roemer a luxury website stocking beautiful cashmere pieces, handbags, jewellery and accessories. With celebrity clients such as Kate Moss, Rachel Weisz and Lucy Liu supreme quality is assured!
The designer and creator Tamsin de Roemer and Justin Packshaw launched ‘De Roemer’ in 2007. The present collection comprises ultra glamorous cashmere jumpers for women and men, fine jewellery and handbags and was awarded ‘Luxury Brand of Tomorrow’ in 2008 by the prestigious Walpole Group.
We caught up with Tamsin to hear a little bit more about De Roemer.
1. Can you tell us a little about De Roemer’s clientele?
Upwardly mobile stylish professionals who appreciate individuality with a bit of exoticism ..
2. We love your collection of clutch bags, where do you get your inspiration for the designs?
Anything and everything can inspire me , from the colours of the sea, to a find in a thrift shop, to the shape of a stone, there are endless variables…
3. What’s your favourite way to weave Cashmere into your outfit?
I love to layer clothes so cashmere is perfect and so luxurious. It is very natural for me to pile everything on as I hate to feel cold. I almost always wear a scarf of some kind as well. So one of our vast cashmere shawls or a light as a feather pashmina is always at hand.
For the full collection, visit De Roemer or visit the shop and showroom at 14 Porchester Place, London, W2 WBS
For many people, a New Year sparks plans to change. This does not just mean personal New Year’s resolutions; such as to get fit or to eat more healthily, it also means that many people want to freshen up the look of their home. With most people living on a tight budget however, a complete renovation can be both impractical and unaffordable. Fortunately, there are several ways to spruce up the lounge area of the home without spending too much money doing so.
Using colour to create a new look
Changing the accessories in the lounge, which includes the soft furnishings, can give the room a whole new look. If the seating is worn or tatty looking but is still comfortable and perfectly usable then there is no need to throw it away. Buying coordinating throws or removable covers will make the settee and chairs look like new and will not break the bank.
Those who have lived with the same colour scheme in the lounge area for a while, and who perhaps have matching accessories in the same colour scheme and cannot afford to replace everything, can choose a contrasting colour and paint a feature wall. This is a great idea that everyone can try. It can be as bold a contrast or as subtle a contrast as suits each person’s individual taste, but for just a few pounds the room can look completely different. If painting just one wall or just the chimneybreast, for example, a tester pot in a strong colour mixed with a basic cheap magnolia base paint will be enough to make all the difference the home needs.
Save money on accessorising
Saving money is important to many families at the moment; however, in the UK at least, interior designer prices are cheaper than you might expect! If you are completely out of ideas, it might be worth calling in a professional and asking for their help. They will be able to give quotes based on your ideas and also help and advice about how to get the best from the room within the set budget. Adventurous types could contact the nearest design school to see if any students would like to use the room as part of their coursework. There is, of course, some risk to this, but many students might just be grateful for the practical experience and be willing to work on a shoestring budget.
Freshening up a room for the New Year just takes a little imagination. A few new scatter cushions in a different colour or style to the ones currently in the room can make a bold statement. Real plants and flowers bring a room to life, but those who are not green-fingered will find that fake plants can work just as well.
The lounge is the room in the house that most visitors get to see, so it is very important that it is kept looking welcoming and cosy. Soft lighting and real fires could mean that visitors feel so at home that they never want to leave.
Esta Romi is a new online luxury gifting retailer changing the way in which we give. Bringing together covetable pieces from the world’s most desirable luxury brands, Esta Romi’s approach to gifting is that an assortment of treasures is the best way to surprise and delight recipients.
Founder Bukola has long been consulted for her gifting advice, being known amongst friends, family and colleagues for her ‘hampers’ of gifts. Leaving a career in The City, she is now bringing her instinct for knowing what makes the perfect gift to market. Bukola is joined by a team with a wealth of experience in the gifting and luxury goods sectors.
The Esta Romi team have curated a range of ready made collections designed to suit all manner of recipients, from trinkets to say ‘thank you’, to birthday treats, to treasures to mark the most memorable of occasions, each is sure to be well received. With collections for both men and women, the home and seasonal, these collections span a range of styles and are crafted to inspire all manner of buyers.
Those with a more specific brief can easily take matters into their own hands as individual items and experiences from the online gift boutique can be combined to make a bespoke collection. With the gift boutique featuring iconic gifts and hero pieces of the season, from brands such as Acqua di Parma, David Linley and L’Atelier du Vin, it is hard to go wrong.
As important as the choice of gifts, so also is the manner in which they are presented. Recipients are delivered a bespoke Esta Romi leather gift case reminiscent of vintage travel trunks. Each case opens to reveal a personalised gift card by way of introduction and a selection of individually hand-wrapped and ribboned treasures to discover.
So we all love those websites that are a one stop shop for all your fashion needs. Asos and The Outnet have long been MyLuxe favourites but we’ve just discovered Zalando which has literally thousands of products from shoes, fashion, accessories and beauty products including a Premium section with collections from all your designer favourites.
This is one of those websites that you can spend hours of your time browsing and still not see everything but if you have something specific in mind it’s got a great search tool to narrow down your options. Delivery and Returns are free so you can fill your shopping basket with less guilt!
We recently purchased this great Zalando collection red dress for just £20 – the perfect dress to stretch from work to evening.
Check out the full Womenswear collection here
Are you addicted to shoes? Do you have too many pairs of high heels cluttering up your wardrobe? If your husband or boyfriend has been going on at you to clear some space in the bedroom cupboards, maybe it’s time for you to get rid of your old shoes. Now, don’t just throw away those Prada shoes. We’ve discovered a wonderful website Buy My Heels, where you can sell your spare shoes and get some extra cash for them. What you do with this cash is entirely up to you but will probably include buying more shoes….
Buy My Heels has been created to provide the perfect online solution for selling your designer shoes. Women from all over the world are able to come together to buy, sell and exchange their shoes in the one handy location. Their selection includes designers such as Christian Dior, Jimmy Choo, Alexander McQueen and Rupert Sanderson to name a few so is a great place to not only get rid of your old shoes but also refresh your wardrobe with something stylish and new. The process is simple allowing a whole host of people from anywhere on Earth to swap their shoes.
Visit Buy My Heels today and earn some money for that next shoe splurge!
With the party season fast approaching, we went behind the scenes of Reiss’ AW12 partywear shoot. Here’s what Reiss had to say about their sleek and stylish new collection…..
The party season can be such a predictable time of year, sartorially. Roll out the sequins, make the hair bigger and the make-up brighter and you’re good to go. Right? Hmmm, we’re not so sure…
Following the lead of our in-house design team and the ‘feeling’ in fashion right now, we’re taking things down a notch, without sacrificing on sparkle and glamour.
In the midst of a minimalist, understated and beautifully-executed season, it would seem quite out of step if we steam-rollered our way through the party months in anything less than complementary.
So how do you do it? How do you approach party dressing without getting caught up in the standard ‘Christmas party’ wares?
Our head stylist, Gail Holland, suggests that it all starts with the styling, and not just of your outfit.
“Hair and make-up this season should be pared back with a harder edge than usual,” says Gail, “it’s all about minimal hair and pale skin with a focus on the eyes.”
And when it comes to what to wear, “choose darker tones like graphite, midnight blue, bottle green and black and team them with bold accessories in prune or flashes of neon – it’s all about contradicting your look,” Gail continues.
Of course, if you’re looking for a splash of colour, striking reds, pale greens and silver all do the trick; just keep to the same principle of balancing these statement pieces with toned-down styling.
While this simple approach is important, you shouldn’t lose the Christmas sparkle completely. Play with sequins, add chain-layered jewellery and do slip on a statement shoe.
This season ours come dipped in glitter, sprinkled with crystals and in jewel tones, exclusive prints and luxurious finishes.
It’s time to shine – just not too brightly.
Often referred to as the French Riviera, the beautiful Côte d’Azur extends along the coastline of the south-east corner of France, bordering the Mediterranean Sea. Having no specific beginning or end, it stretches roughly from the Italian border in the east via the principality of Monaco to various locations in the west, up to the town of Cassis. Eminently accessible, visitors can find flights to a number of luxury resorts, including Sainte-Maxime and Saint-Tropez, Monaco, Cannes and Nice.
Playground for the rich
Undoubtedly this stunningly beautiful area has an aristocratic pedigree. It was one of the earliest 18th century health resorts for upper-class British people; then a favourite holiday destination for royalty, including Queen Victoria, and Russian nobles in the 19th century. Artists and writers, including Picasso, Matisse and Somerset Maugham, swept in during the early part of the 20th century, along with wealthy Europeans and Americans.
Popular tourist destination
After the Second World War, tourism flourished and the Côte d’Azur became increasingly popular – visitors included world famous celebrities, some of whom set up homes in the region. The establishment of the Cannes Film Festival, in 1946, boosted interest in the area and visitor numbers increased dramatically. With both inland and seaside resorts, and a Mediterranean climate, the French Riviera has much to offer the visitor year-round. There are museums, historic buildings and superb national parks. A centre of yachting and cruising, many privately owned and expensive yachts can be spotted at the marinas.
Getting out and about
The Côte d’Azur benefits from having many things to do and see very close together. Those who find flights at Expedia to Nice have a whole range of excellent attractions on their doorstep. One of the most popular is a trip to the shady hill of the Parc du Château, for fabulous views of the ‘Bay of Angels’ and the spires of the Old Town. Culture vultures thrill at the superb works displayed in Nice’s Musée des Beaux-Arts, which include paintings by Monet and sculpture by Rodin. For breathtaking architecture there is little to beat the Gothic cathedral at the heart of Le Groupe Episcopal in Fréjus and Saint-Raphaël.
Entertainment and nightlife
Opportunities for music and dancing in the chic nightclubs along the coast include the intimate club Les Trois Diables in Nice, dedicated to trip-hop, electro and house. The hottest DJs are found in the more exclusive clubs – the ultra-trendy Le Bâoli, for example, where the way to gain entry is to look as glamorous as possible, and the Palais Club, where electronic music and a rooftop lounge attract the wealthier clients – both of these are in Cannes.
The Côte d’Azur is truly international and this is reflected in the wide range of cuisine available in local restaurants. French, Provençal and Mediterranean dishes are abundant, and there are also fabulous Indian restaurants, such as Delhi Belhi in Nice; an exotic beach experience at the health food restaurant Z Plage in Cannes; and exciting fusion food at the busy brasserie Le Sporting in Saint-Tropez, where reservations are essential.
The popularity of the Côte d’Azur has never waned, making it an essential holiday destination in 2012.
A combination of absolute luxury and quirky innovation, OnlyRoses is the UK’s top high-end rose specialist. They offer over 250+ varieties of the finest, fresh-cut Ecuadorian roses and their exclusive “Infinite Roses”. Their fresh-cut roses are the best you can find in London and the perfect everyday luxury. Their exclusive, long-lasting Infinite Roses are real roses that last for more than a year with no water or maintenance. So if you’re a serial plant killer, with minimal effort you can enjoy luxurious rose arrangements all year round!
Being more versatile than fresh-cut roses, Infinite Roses can be fashioned into the most stunning exquisite arrangements that will last well over a year. This Cool Britannia Union Jack Flag, recently designed and arranged for Harrods used 648 Infinite Roses.
Their new extravagant, London Games-inspired store window of OnlyRoses suddenly appeared on the morning of the Opening Ceremony. Since that morning, it has already started turning heads and stopping traffic along Old Brompton Road, Chelsea, where their flagship store is located. Its main feature is a spinning, 2.5ft x 2.5ft globe made of Infinite Roses in earthly colours. It is also inspired by the global expansion of the business and a celebration of a universal love of roses.
Apart from their beautiful, fresh-cut roses, OnlyRoses have always been at the forefront of floral innovation. Their previous installation, with the iconic Infinite Rose Union Jack, now takes its pride of place inside the Chelsea store and has been an inspiration to many London creatives. No doubt with the world in their sights, OnlyRoses will continue to push the boundaries in floral creativity and innovation.
They have London branches in Earls Court, Knightsbridge and Mayfair. They also offer corporate, bridal and event services and same day London delivery. They have many celebrity and high profile clients on their accounts and their exclusive Infinite Roses are used throughout Harrods. Prices for the Infinite Rose arrangements start at £95 so it’s the perfect gift for the person who has everything!
Ever wanted to visit Thailand, but always thought it was far too expensive? Now that cheap flights to Bangkok are a reality all year round, this is a great time to start planning that exotic trip.
Bangkok is the capital city of Thailand, and has grown from a small trading port to the bustling home of around 12 million people today. With an average daily temperature of over 25 degrees centigrade throughout the year, the city is a perfect tropical destination at any time. March and April are the hottest months, whilst the summer months are often very rainy, although it is of course warm rain, which can be a nice relief from the heat!
The Grand Palace
Bangkok’s most popular tourist attraction, the Grand Palace, is a must-see for many reasons. Located on the island of Rattanakosin, usually referred to as the “Old City”, the Grand Palace was built in 1782 and was for 150 years the administrative seat of Thai government as well as a Royal Palace and home of the Thai Kings.
Within the grounds of the Grand Palace lies the most important Buddhist temple in the country, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Housing a figure of Buddha carved from a single piece of jade, the Temple consists of elaborate statutes, pagodas and other holy buildings, with only the King himself allowed near the unique Buddha.
Nearby is a model of the Cambodian temple complex Angkor Wat, as well as The Balcony, a wall on which the entire ancient Sanskrit epic Ramayana is inscribed. A strict dress code applies for visitors to this sacred centre of Thai culture; long trousers and shirts with sleeves are the order of the day – no bare shoulders or short skirts please.
The famous floating market in Bangkok is not to be missed. James Bond film fans will recognise the Damnoen Saduak market, with its plethora of small canals (or “klongs”) chaotically filled with the instantly recognisable flat-bottomed trader boats. Trade is aimed at tourists rather than local housewives these days, but it’s still a classic taste of a traditional Bangkok experience.
One of the most iconic images of Bangkok, the porcelain-encrusted towering spire of Wat Arun (The Temple of Dawn) dominates the skyline. Around the base there are many figures of ancient animals and soldiers, whilst the second level houses statues of the Indian god Indra. The Temple illustrates and epitomises a complex mythology, incorporating elements devoted to the wind god, the Trident of Shiva and Mount Meru, a sacred mountain.
A relaxing way to see this manic city is to take a cruise on the canal system, which gives a welcome breather in what can sometimes be an overwhelming bustle of people and noise. It also provides a unique insight into the local traditional water-focused way of life.
Where to Stay
Accommodation in Bangkok is cheap which means you can go 5 star all the way without the guilt! Try the VIE Hotel Bangkok, a sumptuous design hotel where you can laze by the rooftop pool or enjoy cocktails in the jazz bar. With prices starting from £64 a night, it’s steal.
If all this has whet the appetite, why not investigate Bangkok, and take a step nearer that dream holiday?
If so then perhaps a personalised concierge service is what you need? These types of services aren’t only for the uber rich. If you’re time poor and travel a lot for business or pleasure then this could be what you need to help your life run seamlessly.
We talked to Dustyn Shroff, COO of One Concierge to find out the benefits of having your own personal fixer at the other end of the phone.
Tell us a little about One Concierge
One Concierge has quickly grown to become a globally recognized brand in the concierge and lifestyle management industry serving clients in over 115 locales around the world. One Concierge gives individuals and corporations the benefits and advantages of on-site concierge services at a fraction of the cost. We offer clients a reliable and cost effective method for any concierge request. Whether you are looking for a yacht charter or event planning services One Concierge has the knowledge and resources to make your request a reality.
Although proud of our international success, there is much more to One Concierge and our brand. One Concierge was created in 2008 due to global growing demand for quality concierge services. The aim was to create a company that could cater to any service request around the world and not be limited to local service providers. Essentially, One Concierge provides concierge and lifestyle services on an ad-hoc and membership basis, very similar to what a hotel concierge would do for guests during their stay in a 5-star hotel.
With luxury consumer needs ever changing, how do you keep up the latest trends, venues and technologies to offer your clients?
Like most modern day industries, it is essential that are systems, programs, and offerings are as up to date with the latest technological advancements as possible. Our Business Development and IT Teams work together in order to actively stay up to date on the latest emerging service offerings from around the world. Our Business Development team makes it a point to ensure that our clients have access to some of the most recognized and sought after brands across the globe. In our industry, utilizing the technology we have to communicate with clients and partners worldwide is essential; ensuring that we leverage those technologies ensures that we are delivering a truly unsurpassed quality experience to our clients 100% of the time. We believe that whether our clients are interested in procuring luxury items, gaining access to VIP events, or luxury travel arrangements, creating and maintaining relationships with industry leaders across the world keeps One Concierge on the cutting edge of the Concierge and Lifestyle Management industry.
What are the new types of services being requested by clients?
Due to our international presence we have seen a recent increase from both individual and corporate clients who are interested in procuring hard-to-get luxury items here in the United States from overseas. With such high-demand for luxury items here in the United States, One Concierge has been able to assist clients in avoiding high wait times by procuring them overseas and then shipping them to respective clients. Recent items that we have procured are high demand sneakers (on international release dates), high-end timepieces, limited quantity original artworks, and high-end consumer electronics.
What sets One Concierge apart from other concierge services?
At One Concierge we truly pride ourselves on knowing each client by name. We conduct business in over 115 countries around the world, but strive to ensure that every aspect of service we provide is personalized, recognized, and never under-valued. Our clients come first in every aspect of our business; earning their trust and respect is at the core of our business. Our Chief Executive Officer has been known to follow up with clients personally to ensure that the level of service they received was up to their expectations every step of the way. We strive to build long-lasting relationships with our clients in which we not only know their name, but understand their wishes, their likes, and their lifestyle needs.
How do you see the industry developing over the next few years?
The Concierge & Lifestyle Management industry is changing daily. The beauty of what we do is that our job is never the same; as the economy continues to change, more individuals find themselves with less time during the day, and corporations continue to try and find solutions to assist their employees, concierge services are going to play an essential part of peoples’ everyday lives. As of right now, it is the upper echelon of societies from around the world that are familiar with Concierge companies and their services, but I believe as we continue to grow and our exposure reaches the masses, the concierge industry will quickly find itself catering to more and more clients who are simply in need of time management assistance and day to day service fulfillment. One Concierge is prepared to handle any request and we hope to provide the same type of service for years to come regardless of the inevitable change in needs of our clientele.
What types of bespoke services do you offer to women?
Our service portfolio includes over 150 various offerings that can be offered in any of our worldwide coverage locations. In particular however, for women, our most sought after bespoke services are fully customized personal shopping days with a high-end fashion experts in various cities around the world such as New York, Paris, Barcelona, and Milan. This offering is often used by our female who are either visiting those cities for business or pleasure and and/or often times are looking for an outfit for that special occasion whether it be prom, graduation, engagement parties, and of course weddings!
What value do you place on getting a good night’s sleep? Without sleep we simply wouldn’t be able to live. Lack of sleep, broken sleep and irregular sleep patterns lead to all kinds of complications from lost concentration and ill health. Getting a good night’s sleep on the other hand fills you with energy, health and hope. Waking up on the right side of bed puts a smile on your face and you are instantly ready to start the day. In sum, a good night’s sleep helps you to have a good day.
Obviously sleep patterns are affected by stress levels, activity levels, diet, health and hormones. But there is another factor to take into account: bedding. Luxury bed linen makes you want to get into bed; it creates a feeling of relaxation, sensuality and calm. Luxury bed linen doesn’t have to have a luxury price tag. In fact Next has a range of luxury bed linen that is surprisingly affordable. For instance, it has Hotel Signature Bedsets in luxury Egyptian cotton (pictured) from £25 through to £55.
There is a knack to getting the right bedding. There are different quality levels, weaves and materials and each has its own set of benefits. Natural fabrics are favoured over manmade materials, but there are still benefits to be had from manmade fibres. These fabrics wash well, retain their shape and are usually cheaper than natural materials. However, they don’t have the same look, feel and breathability of natural materials. 100% cotton sheets have a high thread count, often above 500 threads per square inch. The linen, which comes straight from the Nile Basin, is crisp, durable and rich.
Aside from the sheets, it’s important to create a calm environment throughout the bedroom. Plenty of colourful cushions, plumped pillows, rich duvets and tonal throws and use soft lighting, a relaxing colour palette and blinds or heavy curtains to black out daylight. To ensure you get a good night’s sleep ensure there is plenty of fresh air in the room, daylight is blocked out and treat yourself to some satin nightwear.
For bedroom design inspiration check out the Channel4 Homes website.
Perhaps because it’s French, the actual word ‘lingerie’ sounds luxurious. It’s not just about a bra and pants; it’s something more than that. It’s sexual, sensual, flattering and feminine. Women wear lingerie because they want to feel confident, sexy and powerful, even if nobody else knows they are wearing anything particularly of note under their suit, jeans, or dress.
There are all kinds of styles of women’s lingerie, from the minimalist, such as lacy thongs and non-wired bras to shape-enhancing gel bras, push-up bras and bodyshapers. Materials can be delicate and ornate or simple and durable, colours are muted as well as striking and styles can enhance and reshape or work with what Mother Nature gave you.
Women’s lingerie – those special sets of bras and knickers – is luxurious. You don’t need to dig deep to splash out on expensive sets; you can find luxury purely in fit, shape and design. Next has a stellar range of women’s lingerie to choose from that is at once luxurious and affordable. Here are three of our favourite styles available on the website right now.
Floral prints are hot, hot, hot this season. Bright tropical flowers on velvety black backgrounds are not only on trend, but they ooze sexuality and confidence. Celebs love this floral trend as you can see here in this gallery on InStyle. A bra in this style is sure to leave you feeling ready to take on anything. The Wow Black Floral T-Shirt Bra, £15, and the Wow Black Floral Mini Briefs, £6, (pictured) are right on trend. The pretty patterned bra can enhance your bust by up to two sizes and the delicate briefs are flattering and well cut, so there will be no love handles in sight.
White underwear is the new black this summer. Not only is it more practical during summer when you tend to wear lighter clothes, but also white enhances a golden tan and will tap into the season’s monochrome trend. The Ivory Multiway Bra, £35-£40, and Ivory Short £20, are both beautiful. Fringed with lace, this silky and slinky bra and short combination is divine. You’ll feel like a Greek goddess as soon as you put this set on. The multiway bra is pretty handy too; you’ll feel confident and self-assured even when wearing strapless and halter dresses and tops.
The Nude Mesh Padded Bra, £24, and matching Nude Mesh Mini Briefs, £14, will help give you a boost – literally – and the nude colour is ideal for summer. You can wear that LWD (little white dress) with a smile on your face and the barely there colour is sure to make you feel sexy in no time.
What do you buy the dad who has everything? Cufflinks can be a bit of an obvious gift for the men in our lives but these individually numbered tourbillon or moonphase cufflinks made by TF will certainly bring a dash of individuality to a man’s look.
There is a variation to fit every preference — starting at $435 (£280) for mirror-polished stainless steel tourbillon and moonphase models up to $6,900 (£4,500) for solid rose, yellow or white gold versions with wrap-around transparent sides.
Thes are sure to score you a few brownie points with dad!
For anyone who’s organised a group holiday you know what a daunting task it can be! Lots of people to please, budgets to consider not to mention the logistics, it can be difficult to know where to begin.
Sailing holidays are becoming increasingly popular and unless of course you suffer from sea sickness it’s the kind of vacation where you can be as active or as chilled as you like. Picture it – a lazy breakfast on deck, followed by sun bathing and water sports, all before you anchor up off shore for cocktails and a night on the town. Sound good?
The thought of chartering a boat can seem like an expensive and complicated pursuit but companies such as aBoatTime can make the organising painless.
aBoatTime is the first fully transactional boat charter booking website in the world and offers completely real time bookings. They have hundreds of boats to choose from and you can have the choice to skipper the boat yourself or choose a crew to help you. Availability of boats are shown in real time so you can easily see prices and boat spec and it even gives the option for payments to be split among the crew members by sending an email and inviting people whom you book a boat with to pay their part of the total amount.
With so many beautiful destinations along the Med coast the choice is endless and you can choose between a catamaran, motor boat, sailing boat or even a schooner. aBoatTime offer charters in Croatia, Spain, Greece, The Balearics, Canary islands and Turkey so you’re sure to find a destination, budget and itinerary to suit you. Bon Voyage!
Most of us these days have a Blackberry or an iPhone – they do what they need them to do but they don’t really allow you to show off your own personal style.
That’s where Continental Mobiles come in who produce bespoke phones encrusted with precious stones and metals. With ranges in Emeralds, rubies, diamonds and rose gold there is a host of collections to match your own unique style and they’re also the perfect gift for the person who has everything!
Jamie MacDonald, Diageo Reserve Brands World Class UK 2011 winner and current holder of the UK’s best bartender crown shares his top tips for making the perfect cocktail
We all love a good cocktail, lychee martinis are my poison and just about the only cocktail I can successfully make that has more than 2 ingredients! To get some more inspiration we spoke to Jamie MacDonald currently the WORLD CLASS UK’s Best Bartender – who else!
Jamie has been in the hospitality industry for over 15 years. Three years ago he opened his own cocktail bar in Edinburgh called ‘The Raconteur’ and is currently in the process of opening another next month.
Here is Jamie’s recipe for the perfect cocktail and what another excellent use for your vintage champagne saucers.
THE ‘CHASTE’ COCKTAIL (Latin: Purity)
Ingredients (2.9 units):
· 35 ml Ketel One vodka
· 15 ml Bénédictine
· 20 ml sweet Italian vermouth
· 7 ml Lagavulin 16 year-old whiskey
· Dash of whiskey bitters
METHOD: Stir ingredients in a decanter with orange peel, cinnamon stick, vanilla pod and star anise. Strain, then serve over a sphere or block of ice.
Top tips for making the perfect cocktail
1. Keep glassware in fridge before making drinks to ensure that it is nicely chilled
2. Having great ice can make a real difference to a drink – not only does it cool the liquid, it creates a visual spectacle. To make sure that it’s perfect, a few days before you are planning to make a cocktail, boil the kettle and pour the water into plastic baking tubs. Put the tubs in the freezer for a couple of days. Just before you pour your drink, take the tubs out and smash up the ice
3. Prepare any citrus juices or garnishes as you go along. Making them fresh will add a rich colour and flavour to the drink
4. Try to use good quality spirits (I use Diageo Reserve brands like Ketel One Vodka and Johnnie Walker if you can. But also pay close attention to the quality of any liqueur you use as these add flavour and depth to a drink
5. It sounds simple but taste the drink before you serve it. Chances are if you like it, your guest will too
Jamie runs the Raconteur bar in Edinburgh and is supporting this year’s Diageo Reserve Brands World Class 2012 competition to find the world’s best bartender.
Do you know which wine has fewer calories; red, white or rosè? Or what makes a Chilean wine different from a Californian? Neither did I until attending this week’s launch of the “Thinking Girls Wine Night” hosted by the fabulous Miss Bouquet (aka Belinda).
The intimate evening with 10 wine loving ladies was held at the very cute Deena B restaurant on the Brompton Road. Belinda took us through 6 wines with lots of interesting facts, humour and a knowledge gained from over 10 years experience in the wine trade. The highlight of the night was watching 10 beautifully dressed and coiffed ladies try to gargle wine around their palette without dribbling down their chins!
Choosing a wine can be a daunting task but everyone came away with some useful tips and rules for selecting good supermarket wines. Belinda’s easy and relaxed manner made for a great night with everyone chipping in with their own tasting notes and preferences. Next time you’re planning a hen night, office party or girls night out then this is a great way to pass an evening and the spittoon is definitely optional!
For more details on Thinking Girls’ wine nights contact Miss Bouquet.
(BTW – in case you wanted to know – red wine has the fewest calories!)
Starting to think about re-decorating any room in your house is a daunting task but if you entertain a lot then your dining room will need the most thought! When you come to think about designing/re-designing your dining room the first consideration has to be the space that is available. Understanding how the elements as they currently are have combined to create the affect that they do, is the key to enhancing them or completely changing them for an alternative and superior effect. Take careful measurements and give some thought to planning by browsing through online galleries or magazines for fresh ideas before making any purchases.
As you develop a plan you can take account of some of the more important concepts, to create an inviting and elegant atmosphere where friends and family can gather for some quality time in luxe surroundings.
After checking out the space available, think about the style you want for the room. You may want one that complements that of adjoining rooms, especially if your house is open plan. There are lots of different styles to choose from if you decide on a complete overhaul, from Contemporary, Traditional and Asian to Country, Art Deco, Arts & Crafts and Classical, so it’s entirely up to you what you feel most at ease with and what expresses your character best.
The most basic element of the dining room is of course the table, and the priority here should be getting one of the correct shape and size. For smaller, squarer spaces, round dining tables will allow easy passage around it, even when all the chairs are in constant use, and the room won’t feel so overwhelmed. On the other hand, if you have a large space at your disposal you could go for a big, solid, rectangular table. Proportional spacing and ease of movement within the room are key.
The proper lighting for a communal dining event is essential for the right ambiance, and you have the opportunity to create a great visual impact by opting for a light fixture that makes a bold statement. There are arguments for overhead and wall lighting, but just make sure that it is fairly low, although not so low that diners can’t easily see each other (or what they’re eating!). Dimming light switches might be a good idea, as are wall sconces and recessed lighting in the ceiling.
If there’s a focal point like a fireplace in the room you can use this to advantage with an oversized candle or flowers. If there isn’t a focal point you could create one with favourite artwork.
Nowadays you can easily find anything to suit your dream colour scheme. Leave the ceiling a neutral white, but go for soft shades for the walls, creating a soft, relaxing atmosphere suitable for after-dinner wine-sipping and tipsy table talk.
Treat yourself to some really luxurious full length curtains to complement your overall design.
Ultra-Luxury Vodka Brand Partners with Christie’s Green Auction to win an exclusive trip to the HimalayasApril 4th, 2012
Elit™ by Stolichnaya® unveils an exclusive auction package featuring an all-inclusive trip to the Himalayas as part of Christie’s Green Auction: Bid to Save The Earth 2012.
All proceeds from the online auction, will benefit Oceana, the brand’s charity partner and the auction will go live on April 3, 2012 and run through April 19, 2012.
Offering an unparalleled experience in one of the world’s most exotic countries, the elit™ Himalayan Adventure package, available for up to four individuals, will take guests on the journey of a lifetime. Upon arriving in Nepal, auction winners will explore the country in true luxury with tailored excursions including an elephant tour of Kathmandu and a private jeep excursion in Chitwan National Park. Additional highlights include a stay at the remote Temple Tiger Jungle lodge, where guests will arrive by private helicopter as well as a private yoga retreat at the Dwarika Hotel. The seven-day trip will culminate with a helicopter ride to Kongde; guests will enjoy a view of Mt. Everest and also play a round of golf at 14,500 feet.
“We’re looking forward to offering this amazing package to visit the Himalayas, the location of our first limited edition vodka in the pristine water series, with proceeds benefiting our partner Oceana,” said Val Mendeleev, CEO of SPI Group. “It’s a great way for elit™ by Stolichnaya® to give back to an organization which helps to protect one of the world’s most important resources, our oceans, while also offering our consumers the chance to bid on the trip of a lifetime.”
The Himalayan Edition of the pristine water series is made from the water of perpetual melting of snow, which travels through countless layers of rock to an underground reservoir, and spirit distilled from the world’s finest winter wheat. As part of the brand’s patented distillation process, the liquid undergoes freeze filtration, a centuries-old technique that elit™ by Stolichnaya® has modernized, which eliminates any impurities. The liquid then goes through a Z-carbon filter followed by a silver filter, both of which result in a supremely smooth and luxurious vodka.
Each limited edition bottle is made from hand-blown, superior-quality Bohemian glass, sealed with the exquisite gold-plated decorative ice pick and housed in a handsome, individually numbered, hand-made, walnut-carved chest and retails for $3,000.00 per limited-edition bottle. Vodka connoisseurs look no further!
For a complete trip itinerary and terms, visit http://www.charitybuzz.com/catalog_items/2960164
We’ve been used to the powder mixing formula of bareMinerals which has become one of the best selling make-up brands since it’s launch. From 1st April you’ll now be able to buy bareMinerals in solid make-up form for the first time exclusively at Selfridges. The bareMinerals READY collection features long-wearing, skin nourishing make-up in a variety of radiant shades and includes bronzers, blushers and a skin renewing touch up palette. The packaging also looks great!
Our favourite in the collection is the Touch up Veil which diffuses the look of imperfections, fine lines and wrinkles while reducing shine for a totally flawless finish. It’s perfect for touch up’s throughout the day and has SPF 15 coverage.
If you fancy a luxury break away in Rural France but don’t have too much time to spare then we’ve found the perfect place for you! Maison De Plumes is only a 3 hour drive from London and yet you’ll feel like you’re a million miles away from the hustle and bustle.
This former French home has been lovingly restored by English couple Richard and Vanessa into a chic boutique hotel with just 4 rooms each totally unique. Set on the outskirts of the small village of Heuchin, it’s tranquil location and country views are perfect for a quick romantic getaway and with rooms starting at just £65 per night its affordable luxury at its best.
It’s often thought that you need to head to Alsace or Cote D’Azur for views but less than an hour’s drive from Calais you can find a host of picture perfect towns and villages to indulge in some alfresco cheese and wine sessions and boutique shopping. Le Touquet – the Parisian weekend hangout has everything you need for a Saturday day out; a beach, morning market, streets of boutiques and a great selection of cafes and restaurants.
So what more could you want from a weekend away – good food, idyllic countryside, luxury accommodation and the chance to stock up on a year’s supply of wine on the way home – perfect!
We all love wine, but here at MyLuxe we love Champagne more. Usually it’s served as an aperitif but if you fancy throwing a more opulent dinner party why not serve up Champagne with each course. There’s a whole range of Champagnes to suit every palette and dish and it makes the perfect accompaniment to the sophisticated menu you’ve spent hours cooking up.
You may think this is an expensive option but Tesco wines have some great deals on Champagne so the price can be comparatively similar to a few good bottles of red – especially if you economise and buy by the case!
Here’s our selection to make your evening go with a fizz.
On arrival serve the classic Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé – this fruity pink champagne is light and elegant and will start the evening off on a stylish note.
For starter, if it’s a light vegetarian or fish then try Taittinger Nocturne Sec, this delicate blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Nior is light on the palette with a hint of sweetness.
Moving onto main, if it’s red meat you’re serving then Champagne Jeeper Grande Cuvee Millesime is the just the thing. It’s well rounded flavours stand up well to red meat with its toasted brioche, red fruit and honeyed apple flavours.
For dessert you could try Tesco Finest Premier Cru Brut. Its citrus aromas and creamy flavour would work well with a summer fruits pudding as the perfect end to the meal. It’s also crisp enough to go on drinking into the night!
There are few places you’ll find a 1960s Jaguar E-Type sitting beside an original Breakfast at Tiffany’s poster along with 1969 vintages of Dom Perignon Champagne and an Eames armchair. Yet on Vintage Seekers you’ll find exactly such 20th century treasures, all curated in a stylish, contemporary setting.
If you love the vintage aesthetic and the idea of unearthing one-off finds but don’t have the time to go trawling antiques fairs and auction sites, this website is a godsend.
Vintage Seekers sources from leading specialists around the world to create carefully edited ranges of design, pop culture collectibles, fashion, classic motoring, watches and wine. Forget ‘shabby chic’ and second hand – their version of vintage is about the most desirable, original, high quality items, all of which are 25 and 100 years old.
Use it to track down delightfully unique gifts (an original ‘Goldfinger’ James Bond movie poster or 1971 Omega Seamaster?) or treat your wardrobe and home to some mid-century style. Unlike many online shopping platforms, Vintage Seekers’ appeal is strikingly wide-ranging – fashionistas will adore the 1920s Art Deco flapper dresses channelling this season’s flapper trend, while the first edition copies of ‘Lolita’ and ‘Midnight’s Children’ will strike a chord with bookworms.
Their newly launched ‘Shop by Celebration’ concept in wine, meanwhile, makes it easy to find the finest vintages from milestone anniversary and birthday years in a single click. How nice to receive a case of Château Mouton Rothschild from your birth year, or celebrate your 5th wedding anniversary with a case of 2007 Comtes Lafon Meursault!
This really is the emporium for all things vintage – and even if you can’t find your exact vintage object of desire on the site, their concierge-style Seekers Service can source it for you.
Here’s our pick of favourite Vintage Seekers finds and check out the full collection on Vintageseekers.com
1920s Louis Vuitton Orange Vuittonite Train Case
1966 Jaguar E Type Series I 4.2 FHC
1920s Black Embellished Flapper Dress
1970s Eames Rosewood Lounge Chair with Ottoman
1953 Patek Philippe vintage 1578
Ok, so the freezing temperatures seem to be subsiding but the long awaited Spring still seems a long way off. If, like us you’ve been spending excessive amounts of time indoors, huddling on the sofa then you may well be thinking your lounge needs some funking up?
Made.com – one of our favourite interiors sites has a huge selection of unique furniture and accessories. Sourcing their stock direct from the manufacturer means that they can offer their products at heavily reduced prices so it’s the perfect place to find stand out pieces to luxe up your lounge!
You don’t have to completely redecorate a room to give it a new feel, just add some well chosen pieces that reflect your personality and you’ll be able to create a haven that’s all yours. Even something as simple as a few loud cushions can help turn a bland beige room into a statement. Here’s our pick of the most luxe pieces that will make your lounge the new place to hang out in!
This uber cool Panama chaise in popping fuschia is the ultimate luxury for lounge lovers. Silk dressing gown and fluffy kitten heels are optional… At only £389.00, you’re sure to find space for it somewhere.
The perfect accompaniment to your Chaise is this super cute Pug scatter cushion. This is sure to get lots of ohhhs and ahhhs from visiting friends and will go with just about any sofa colour. At £39.00 it’s an inexpensive piece of sofa art.
This retro Windsor wall mirror will look great in a hallway or above the sofa and will bring some of that much needed sunshine into your life. It’s an eye-catching piece with a metallic gold finish so perfect for the girl who needs one more mirror in her life! £149.00
This statement azur commode side table will look perfect in the lounge, bedroom or hallway. In fact, why not rotate it? As well as looking fabulous it can also hide away your nic nacs and also comes in black, hot pink and antique silver – spoilt for choice! £149.00
Last but not least for the Barbarella’s amongst you, this silver Richie Chair is the future! Sleek, stylish and comfy your guests will be fighting to sit in it and at £329.00 it’s affordable too.
Check out the full range today on Made.com
Ok so we all like something that’s exclusive, a one off vintage piece, an off the beaten track boutique hotel – but how do you fancy your own elite email address that only 500 people in the whole world are entitled to? Now you know it exists, sounds tempting doesn’t it!
Elite500 is the world’s first private E-Mail Society offering exclusive communication and information technology concierge services. We’re all heard of exclusive concierge services that book your private jet, hook you up with a celeb etc but why not go that extra mile?? Members of the Elite500 Society are entitled to use the prestigious and exclusive @Elite500.net E-Mail address as well as having access to a high-class concierge service.
The Elite500 Society is limited to 500 members worldwide and limited to a certain number of members per country so you won’t have the gmail problem where you have to have 5 numbers in your email address! Elite500 specialise in combinations of online and offline services to enable their members to connect their personal lives and their digital life. Become a member and you’ll receive the most exclusive and prestigious information technology and communication service worldwide.
Elite500 partner with the Quintessentially Group so a high class service is guaranteed. The service doesn’t come cheap but then it wouldn’t be exclusive would it! For more information on pricing and membership visit Elite500.
Ask any girl what her desert island top 10 items are and 9 times out of 10 mascara will feature high on the list! Mascara’s promise a lot, volume, length, curl, long lastingness but very few do what they say on the tin. How many times have you gone into the bathroom in work at 3pm and realised to your horror that half of this morning’s mascara application is now on the expressway to your chin? Embarrasing, right?
So we were slightly dubious when we were asked to sample Dior’s new DiorShow New Look mascara offering “revolutionary, multiplying volume”. However, now on day 3 and we are loving it! The brush itself is built for precision and not to bore you too much with the science but it’s designed to get every last lash – even those tiny ones in the inner corner of your eye. It really makes your eyes pop and you honestly look like you’ve got twice as many lashes. It also dries really quickly and it even passed the 3pm bathroom test.
What’s more – it’s good for you. The formula is enriched with Royal Jelly extract which helps regenerate the lashes and repair damaged fibres. It promises to help build thicker lashes in time so we’ll report back soon on whether that bits true!
It’s at the more expensive end of the mascara market at £23 but you’ll wear it every day and it’ll give you lashes worth batting. Available in black, brown and blue there’s one for everyone too! Available on Selfridges.com from 28th January, get in while stocks last….
I love wine! I spend my days and nights talking about it, at work, at play, online and in person. It’s my profession & my passion. I’m completely drenched in wine and when I talk to people about it I realise it’s not just me! It’s something loads of you enjoy and want to know more about…….
So to put my skills to good use I am organising some wine events, these include “Ditch the Detox”, “The Thinking girls guide to Wine” and also bespoke events in the comfort of your own home!
Week nights in February:
The Thinking Girls’ Guide to Wine is a series of one off Wine Nights designed to quench your thirst for all things wine! Each night is wine-filled with everything a girl needs to know about wine, so leave your men, Dads and Uncle’s at home, its your turn to be passed the wine list!
On Tuesday evenings in London from 18.30 – 20.30 Belinda (aka Miss Bouquet) will host your discovery of every-wine-thing a girl needs to know. In small groups you will be guided through how to taste wine like a pro, how to avoid those supermarket wine deals without breaking the bank, how to order wine confidently from a wine list to impress your colleagues and friends and uncover the secret to remembering the wines you’ve been drinking and enjoying!
Designed for wine drinkers who want to know more about wine but don’t know where to start join us for an intimate night of wine and canapés with Miss Bouquet, expert in all things wine!
For more information and to book visit Miss Bouquet
If so ELLE magazine and every girl’s favourite, Reiss are producting a limited-edition vest for summer 2012 and are looking for Britain’s best breakthrough talent to design it. This could be your chance to showcase your design talents and have your very own design worn by thousands of women!
The theme is ‘BRITISH STYLE’, so all you have to do is come up with a motif in two colours and upload to the Elle website by 9 January 2012. For more details on the competition visit Elle
The catwalks of Paris, London and Milan await…..
With it’s stylish workwear, luxe knits and funky accessories, Whistles is 0ne of our favourite sites here at MyLuxe. We were very excited to hear that they have just launched their online outlet with up to 50% off past seasons favourites. It’s a great place to go to stock up on some Winter sun outfits and basic t-shirts and tops at seriously reduced prices. Here’s our pick of the best luxe bargains…
Was £225 – now £110
Cotton Wrap Trousers
Was £65 – now £30
Lia Linen Jacket
Was £115 – now £50
Sophia Cropped T
Was £65 – now £30
JO LOVES is the much anticipated new fragrance venture from British beauty entrepreneur Jo Malone.
Capturing the things in Jo’s life that inspire her, from ingredients and people to moments in time, JO LOVES will launch with four unique fragrances each with their own distinctive personality; ‘Pomelo’ is Clean and Crisp, ‘Green Orange & Coriander’ is Soulful and Sassy, ‘Orange Tulle’ is Fun and Flirty and ‘Gardenia’ is Rich and Regal.
JO LOVES will launch with Pomelo beginning Monday 7th November and each individual fragrance will launch one day after the other until Thursday 10th November.
JO LOVES will be available from the Selfridges London Beauty Hall and online from Monday 7th November.
Recently new to the UK – Zalando is an online clothes and shoe store stocking premium brands such as Alice by Temperley, Hunter, By Malene Birger and Pretty Ballerinas. You’ll be bowled over by the selection – page after page of shoes, shoes and more shoes!
If you need that quick fashion fix they also offer “flash shipping” – as orders are usually shipped the same day. Not only is it fast but Zalando offers free delivery and returns so if it doesn’t fit – no harm done!
Here’s our pick of a few favourites from the site.
United nude ankle boots £245.00
Fendi scarf £199.95
Alice by Temperley dress £390
Day Birger et Mikkelsen hat £99.00
By Malene Birger cardigan £225
We were very excited to recently discover the-dressingroom.com a luxe website stocking all our favourite brands in one place!
Just for you we’ve arranged an exclusive code offering 12% off all brands and if that wasn’t enough the dressing room are also offering free UK delivery – there’s no excuse NOT to treat yourself! Just enter LOVELUXE to get your discount and select free delivery in the drop down box at the checkout.
Deryane Tadd, Owner/Director of The Dressing Room has put together her luxe list of the ultimate staple pieces for your weekend look. Enjoy!
Do you struggle with your look when it comes to the weekend? Not sure how to dress down in style? Often feel like you are too scruffy or worse too stiff? Well fear not, the experts in wardrobe staples are here to help!
The stylists at the-dressingroom.com have put together a foolproof guide to dressing for the Weekend in laid back luxe style.
First, you need layering. The art of layering is wearing layers that are super soft and super fine, once you have these you can build your look.
Choose from our vast selection of French Layering Brand American Vintage, these super fine supima cotton pieces are amazing and are designed specifically for layering….
Next, you need to get your Denim spot on. Premium denim is ultra soft and so flattering when chosen for your body shape…..
Now you have your basic pieces sorted you need those key items that will give you some wow factor to your weekend look!
Choose a luxe knit….
A statement Scarf….
A Timeless Leather Jacket…..
A fab pair of Winter Boots…..
An amazing Bag!
And Finish your look with some statement jewellery. Done!
For details on any of the pieces please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the-dressingroom.com
Stylebop brings us Chanel vintage jewellery adding Coco’s Midas touch to a range of fine jewellery inspired by the archives of the iconic French House. From interlocking double C’s to delicate camellias, Mademoiselle’s signatures are all reinvented in luxe metals and semi-precious stones, hand finished for an heirloom feel. These new modern classics are the ultimate in timeless elegance – wear them for seasons to come or give them as the perfect gift. Here’s our favourites….
The MyLuxe team last night attended a fashion event at Selfridges London co-hosted by DKNY and Grazia. Over a glass of bubbly we watched the gorgeous models strut their stuff and show off the new a/w DKNY collection.
Lily Russo, shopping editor at Grazia talked us through the styles and her picks of the collection. Head merchandiser at DKNY – William showed us how items from the collection can be worn in different ways – apparantly the cashmere wrap top can be worn in 20 different variations – now if there’s one top you NEED in your wardrobe this is it! Here are our fav outfits from the show and you can shop the full DKNY collection at Selfridges.com
Does your home need a bit of extra quirk? Sometimes it’s hard to find something which makes your home stand out from the bog standard beige and greys. We’re always on the look out for those stand out pieces which add a bit of interest to a room without breaking the bank. These pieces from Dutch by Design – contemporary lighting and funky home accessories from Dutch designers will add some wit and personality to your abode. They’re also great for wedding presents if you find the usual high street giftlist less than inspirational….
Bathing Girls Tea Set – £32.50
Designer Esther Horchner has illustrated the Bathing Girls Tea Set in such a way it looks like the bathing beauties are taking a dip in tea!
The white porcelain cups are illustrated on the inside, when filled with tea it looks like the girls are in their own hot tub!
Karlsson Frosted Clock - £32.50
The funky Karlsson Frosted wall clock will look great in any interior.
Rack Oh Deer Coat Hook Copper – £25.00
The uber-cool Antler Rack Oh Deer coat rack in copper proves that good design can make the most mundane objects fascinating. It’s probably the smartest coat rack you’ll ever see.
Felted Magazine Bag – £17.50
Store your magazines in this stylish felted magazine holder bag. Measuring a generous 52 x 27,5 x 26cm , there is plenty of room to store all your magazines.