Thursday, 28 February 2013

Return of the Travel Agent...

...so this is going to be a wordy post - I haven't done this in ages!

So I booked our honeymoon. Japan it is, and we are going to see all that can possibly be seen in 2 weeks (we can sleep later - it's once in a lifetime). We started to investigate ourselves: looked into the Japan rail pass, tried to find a beach on the mainland (as flights to local islands were over £1000) and after 3 hours we hadn't really got anywhere.

Amami Oshima, an island off the South Coast of Japan our travel agent recommended to us
I have never used a travel agent, I have always associated them with package holidays of my youth and selling you extras you don't need. I've always been one to cut out the 'middle man' and book directly with Hotels after checking tripadvisor, assuming I must be saving money. I think this is fine when planning a minibreak in France or a week in Europe, but a 2 week holiday of a lifetime where you speak not even a smidgen of the language?

I called upon Unique Japan Tours after seeing an article in The Telegraph (and at this stage, I'd like to point out I got no discount whatsoever for writing this) and within a few days of speaking they had put together a unique, customised itinerary for us which included all the ingredients for the perfect honeymoon - a little bit of relaxing, a lot of local cuisine and private tours of both Tokyo and Kyoto. 

Kyoto, a must-see place on our trip
Travel Agents, unlike us, work closely with tourist boards, know the areas, know the distance between places and the flight schedules etc. They also know their Hotels, they recommended a Hotel in Tokyo (Hotel Claska) which had independently been recommended by my Travel Editor at Red. We could also suggest some hotels we wanted to stay in as well and could change the itinerary if there was anywhere we wanted to stay longer or cut out. They even booked our Japan rail pass for the bullet train and a metro card for Tokyo.

And all for cheaper than we could have ever booked ourselves through their knowledge of the country and relationships with hotels and tourist boards.

The stress it has alleviated? Priceless.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Denim shirts

Spotty (also comes in classic navy and dark spot, too), £19.90, Uniqlo


Very Isabel Marant (I'd wear this on holiday over a bikini and shorts), £18.99, Internacionale
Patchwork denim is the new denim, £118, Maison Scotch at Atterley Road
I just bought the dark denim Western shirt from Gap in the sale (get it here before it goes!) and I'm turning to Gap's Spring Look Book for style inspiration:



Patchwork sandals, £139, Reiss

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Website of the month: www.cultfurniture.com


I was introduced to this website by a colleague who had just bought her first flat, and couldn't believe I hadn't found it whilst I was on the hunt for furniture. It's great when you need furniture but you also want something chic, yet affordable (don't we all?!).
Rocker chair, £69, Cultfurniture.com
I saw this rocker chair in the nursery of a location house once with a sheepskin throw on it - so cute!

Fabric chair, £129, Cultfurniture.com
Metal stool, £59, Cultfurniture.com
Metal chair, £79, Cultfurniture.com

Friday, 22 February 2013

Lichtenstein at Tate modern


The comic book genre has been at the forefront of fashion in the recent months - whether its fonts, typography or fashion (see my comic fashion post here), so it stands to reason that I would want to go to the Roy Lichtenstein exhibition at the Tate Modern - the first large-scale showcase of his work in the UK in 20 years.



I had seen some work in the MoMA New York in the summer but nothing on this scale - the pieces are so wonderfully large and you can see all the detail on the Ben-Day dots, Lichtenstein's signature style.
 

The range includes the famous 'War and romance' series, as well as Art Deco works and some influenced by Chinese Art. My favourites, obviously, are the 'romance' works which sum up Pop Art and mass media culture of the time:



Where Art and Fashion merge. Left: 'Head With Blue Shadow' sculpture by Roy Lichtenstein. Right: Pandemonia, a live Art display seen at London Fashion shows
The exhibition is open now until 27th May 2012, tickets £14 (£12.20 concessions) or £15.50 with gift aid.
Tate Modern is open daily 10am-6pm and until 10pm on Fridays and Saturday.
Visit www.tate.org.uk or call 020 7887 8888.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

LFW Day 5

Hat: from Stockholm. Coat: Topshop. Jumper: Zadig & Voltaire. Skirt: Club Monaco. Tights: John Lewis. Boots: Topshop
I had been after a camel coat for a while, and missed the boat when the clean-line Celine style was in fashion...so when I saw this in Topshop a few months back, I pounced on it. It is almost a cocoon-like shape and feels modern. They have a very similar one in stock at the moment:

Coat, £89, Topshop
As it was the Anya Hindmarch show today, I made sure I took my Anya iPad case which my sister bought me from The Outnet. The show was a feast for the eyes once more, as the largest stack of dominoes I have ever seen (it took 4 days to set up) came crashing down to Benny Hill theme music! It almost has to be seen to be believed, so I've attached the video.




Everyone at the show was given an adorable box of letters to make your own anagram bracelet, visit www.anyagrams.com to find your alter-ego name - mine is LATEX AMENDS! Which is apt as there is a lot of PVC at the shows for A/W13! What's your anyagram name?

The Roksanda Ilincic Show was feminine and beautiful...and I wasn't kidding about the PVC
Roksanda post-show

LFW Day 4

Hat: from Stockholm. Coat: H+M. T-shirt: Markus Lupfer. Bag: Zara. Trousers: H+M. Shoes: Office
The weather has cooled down again, time to bring out the faux fur!

Pringle A/W 13

Rachel from Varg PR wearing 2nd Day jeans

Love Acting Shopping Editor at Red, Lucy Reber's gold high-tops, £120, Kurt Geiger

Style-stalking: spotted this fab colour-block bag (and Dagmar jumper)

Louise Gray Show Invite - how I feel!
Gorgeous BoBelle London accessories

iPhone case, £49, BoBelle

Monday, 18 February 2013

LFW Day 3

Jacket: H+M. Sweatshirt: H+M. Bag: Jimmy Choo. Jeans: MiH Jeans. Shoes: Office
I love leopard print. And think it goes so well with navy blue and denim:

Top, £38, Oasis
Although I have heels on in this photo  - I have a spare bag with flats in - which got a lot of attention from photographers today (and blogger friend En Brogue was wearing a pair at the shows today, too!):

'Edie' smoking slippers,  £159, Jemima Vine
 A sweatshirt is a failsafe wardrobe investment, looks great on its own or under a bold jacket.

Sweater, £14.99, H+M
£59, Reiss 1971


Sweater, £100, Zoe Karsson at Donna Ida
Or Marks & Spencer do a good version here.

The Preen Show was absolutely gorgeous
Catch up with mine and Lucy Reber's Fashion Blogs on Red Online.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

LFW Day 2

Coat: Zara. Shirt: Margaret Howell. Bag: Zara. Trousers: H+M, Shoes: Office
It was another early start as we rushed around shows amongst the Saturday London tourists - always difficult trying to be in a rush whilst everyone is shopping and sightseeing around you!

This photo was taken in the new ME Hotel, London, just opposite Somerset House on The Strand, where Ugg provided a chill-out area with manicures, free wifi and amazing views!


You probably recognise my bag as one of my sales purchases from Zara here, and I was amazed I managed to fit all my necessities inside:


Monochrome leopard is my new favourite...and I have just spied this bag on Asos which I have fallen in love with....

Bag, £35, Asos

My 'comfy' shoes for the day. They're not for everyone -but I love them! From Office
Gorgeous neon perspex Jasper Conran invite

Invite for Henry Holland - a cassette!
Clements Ribeiro - rockabilly chic

Acting Shopping Editor at Red, Lucy Reber, wearing this to die for red coat from H+M and a Savannah jumper! See my latest post on Savannah here
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