Tuesday, 14 November 2017

The Ultimate Guide to Effortless Winter Street-Style

Below is your new go to guide for effortless style this season. There's a good mix of feminine florals, with Copenhagen tailoring and East London edge coming together for your key Winter pieces. Enjoy!

1. Micro-florals

Yes, I know you're instantly going to be thinking florals aren't exactly much of a surprise because they've been a big situation all year but now they're becoming tiny. Micro-florals spread over amazing boho midi dresses with long fluted sleeves and effortlessly floating in the Autumnal breeze is what we're aiming for here. Think Blake Lively with a mix of Alexa Chung edge and throw in some spice with some layered necklaces you're good to go. If you want to push it a little more or you're not much of a dress person try wearing a pair of jeans underneath and leave the dress (if it's buttoned down) unbuttoned so it's more open.




2. Dark Denim

As ever, denim will never leave our trusted sides. This season it's time to chuck your faded mom jeans and swap them in for some dark blue straight legged ones. It's less about the skinny jeans and more of a looser but tailored cropped style. Complete with a loose shirt or printed silk blouse tucked into a high-waist and some cool metallic loafers.




3. Playing with proportions

This is a key style that's going to carry us into winter. If you're anything like me and reluctant to let summer go this is perfect. Take a mini skirt or shift dress, keep it super stripped back and simple with a white t-shirt then find a strong heavy long coat in a rich colour to make it seasonal. Grab a trusted side-bag with a bit of sass and you're set to go.




4. Checkin' you out

FINALLY checks are back. If you saw my previous post which featured an amazing Anthropologie blazer (which is now in the SALE) nothing's moving for this trend. Find yourself a well-tailored blazer in your preferred check and wear it with everything. It's going to finish every outfit by this time next month so get in quick. Wearing it with some masculine loafers or a Doc Martin would look ultra cool.










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Monday, 13 November 2017

BABA - The New Restaurant Around Town

There is a brand new restaurant opening in Edinburgh on Wednesday the 15th of November and you have to go. Part of the Principal Hotel on Charlotte square, BABA has been brought to Edinburgh by the people behind the incredible Ox and Finch in Glasgow and Londons Gorgeous Group. This partnership has managed to create a little bit of heaven for us here in Edinburgh and we can't wait for you all to experience it.


BABA serves Levantine inspired cuisine, bringing us flavours from places such as Lebanon, Syria and Israel. Not only is the food packed with flavour but their signature house cocktails are original, refreshing and absolutely delicious. Even the interior makes you feel like you are in another world, the breathtaking decor, and the smell of incense fusing with the smells coming from the open kitchen all comes together to create a really unique dining experience. This restaurant and the BABA concept is really bringing something unique and exciting to Edinburgh.

When we were invited along to get a preview of BABA we were lucky enough to be served the entire menu. They have so much to offer, from a huge array of dips to Mezze dishes and of course everything from the centrepiece charcoal grill. You can have a look at the full menu here but we wanted to share some of our top picks with you:

Haggis and harissa kibbeh - This little Mezze dish is perfect to share as a little appetiser, it's peppery, surprising and with the kibbeh is a totally new taste you need to try. Fusing Scottish food and the BABA twist perfectly together.



All the dips - It would take us about 3 years to describe each one in all their glory so we're just going to let you know they are all completely unique and each one is packed with different flavours and textures. We weren't madly keen on the smoked salmon but it's definitely one for you if you really love that smokiness of fresh salmon. We really recommend getting them all so that you can have a taste of all the different Lebanese flavours, it's quite an experience.



Chuck-eye steak, sumac onion salad and red pepper ketchup- I mean, who doesn't like steak? This was the first time that we have tried this cut of meat and we were not disappointed. Melt in the mouth delicious, perfectly succulent and the tang from the ketchup with the sweetness from the red onion is a match made in food heaven.


Hake, beetroot, orange and herb salad- Another one from the grill. Everything was cooked to perfection but the fish was just something else. I'm not the biggest fish fan but the Hake simply melted in the mouth. I think this is the dish that I enjoyed the most out of the whole menu, it was on another level for me.

Cauliflower, tahini, ras-el-hanout and rose- We have never seen grilled cauliflower served in this way before. This is a brilliant dish to share as a side and again it is packed with flavours and textures that go perfectly together.


Kebab/Shawarma- We were obsessed with the chicken shawarma which is served with pomegranate, garlic tahini and pickled salad. The chicken was so juicy and flavoursome, complemented perfectly by the bread which is made only for BABA at an artisan bakery here in Edinburgh. You can also try the kebab with lamb, beef or spiced squash for a veggie option.




Pomegranate and mint sorbet - The perfect end to a delicious feast. Fresh, perfectly sweet with a hint of tang. The nicest sorbet I've ever had. It's served in half a pomegranate shell which is ever so fitting to the BABA style.



 Coffee - Not something we'd be so certain to include in reviewing a restaurant but BABA coffee deserves all the attention on its own. It's a taste unlike any I've tried before. I'm no coffee expert but I drank it black and there's no need for any sugar or milk. Recommended on its own the coffee is served in your own Cafetiere with the sweetest little glasses.

We can promise that you will be leaving here completely full and with a smile on your face. The food at BABA has endless flavours and the atmosphere they have created here is amazing. When you go to BABA, we would love to hear what you think of this new addition to Edinburgh!

T,  Z & L x



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Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Edinburgh's Hidden Gems - An Overnight Stay at Edinburgh's Old Town Chambers


Edinburgh is one of the most beautiful cities in the world in my opinion, and because I was born here sometimes I don't appreciate that enough. It isn't until I visit other big cities and make comparisons that I see just how wonderfully charming and full of history and character it is. Edinburgh is full of amazing hidden gems and you really don't have to leave the city to enjoy a night away relaxing and treating yourself. The hotels, restaurants and bars are fantastic across our small but perfectly formed city centre and even if you live in Edinburgh there is always something new and exciting to embrace.

I was lucky enough to be invited for an overnight at the beautiful Old Town Chambers right in the heart of Edinburgh with the lovely Jess from Almost Chic & Chantelle from The Girl in the Tartan Scarf. I was so excited to stay in the midst of it all, growing up on the outskirts of Edinburgh I always craved waking up in the centre of it all. 


From the minute I arrived, I was overwhelmed at how amazing the Old Town Chambers looked. They have taken this gorgeous historic building and transformed it into really elegant and modern apartments, that are perfect for a luxurious stay in Edinburgh. 

The girls and I had planned a cosy girls night in where we could relax and catch up, which was made all the more glorious by our beautiful old town setting. The apartment was made for nights in - with two insanely comfortable couches to spread out on, four balconies that we enjoyed glasses of prosecco on while watching the sun go down and the most luxurious bathrooms kitted out with the best cowshed products. It really wasn't hard to make ourselves at home and chill out for the evening.


While we were relaxing and enjoying our night in we of course needed some food and drink to accompany. We were lucky enough to be gifted the incredible Quiet Night in Box from one of my favourite deli's in Edinburgh, Valvona and Crolla. Inside there was a selection of their finest meats, cheeses and a lovely bottle of sparkling wine - which the three of us thoroughly enjoyed.

To add to how ridiculously spoiled we were by the Old Town Chambers we also enjoyed a beautiful gin hamper from Cranachan & Crowdie that included a selection of the best Scottish goodies around. There was also a lovely gin included that Jess prepared beautifully for us that we enjoyed while having a gossip later in the evening.


One of the things that makes the Old Town Chambers so special is how beautifully guests are catered for. This accommodation is a step up from a luxury hotel in that every last detail is thought of. The kitchen is completely decked out to the point you could cook a full Sunday roast if you wished. There is a huge circular table that would be perfect for an intimidate dinner party, complete with a wine fridge for all your after dinner drink needs.

The entire apartment is filled with gorgeous final touches like the delicious smelling diffusers from Cowshed that are carefully placed around to make the space smell amazing. Every inch of the apartment is decked out with the most modern appliances that add to the luxury feel of staying here.


I can't recommend the Old Town Chambers anymore it is in the perfect location right in the heart of Edinburgh and is the ultimate base for exploring the city or having a relaxing night in. I can't wait to find another excuse to stay as it really was a fantastic experience. Thanks so much to Lateral City Apartments for having us, and if you would like anymore information everything will be linked bellow.

L x


Bookings for the Old Town Chambers
Cranachan & Crowdie
Valvona and Crolla
Jess - Almost Chic
Chantelle - The Girl in the Tartan Scarf


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Sunday, 5 November 2017

Sunday Chatroom - Zaccardelli Leather Co


This week we have been lucky enough to talk to the amazing team behind Zaccardelli Leather Co, and Edinburgh based luxury leather goods brand. This gorgeous handmade leather goods company combines beautiful design with the highest quality materials to create a stunning collection of chic leather products. The team is made up of father/son team Sergio and Jordan along with creative director Daria. Between the three of them, they have created the most amazing minimalist brand that we couldn't recommend for a beautiful gift that will last a lifetime. The three of us are always struggling to buy for the men in our lives and now we can't wait to get our orders and treat the guys to a one-off beautiful leather piece - and maybe grab something for ourselves too!

What is the story behind Zaccardelli Leather Co?

Zaccardelli Leather Co was founded with the inspiration to become the finest producers of authentically crafted handmade leather goods in Scotland. When Zaccardelli Leather was founded, there weren't any producers or manufacturers that could produce our designs that satisfied my father and I expectations. All the leather handmade accessories that were available at the time were mass produced, low quality and had no originality that we expected from a high-priced high-end leather product. We set ourselves a goal to design and produce products that we would use ourselves at an optimal price whilst also maintaining quality to our standards. We source our materials from predominately local suppliers and do not purchase anything outside of the United Kingdom with the exception of Italy, as we are both of Italian heritage. 

We love that your brand is a father/son operation. What's it like working so closely together?

Rewarding!

We have a good working relationship as we both have the same goals and ideas on design and development. You can't break the bond between family. Business comes second nature to us, all generations before us have had their hands in large businesses and have been extremely successful so business runs in the blood. Our photographer Daria has been a good addition to the team as she has brought her own ideas into the mix through her photography work from the fashion scene. 



Where do you draw your inspiration from?

As Sergio (my father) is responsible for the production and design, his inspirations come from a background of design and craft notably from woodwork and luxury paint effects. In essence, we are from a creative and hands-on family that have a history of entrepreneurship and family-run businesses. We are creative people that are inspired by everything around us. 


Are you driven by trends within fashion when producing products?

We are driven by practicality and minimal design. We aim for our products to be timeless despite the change in trends however still remain inspired from the latest campaigns from the likes of Luis Vuitton, Bottega Veneta and Armani.  



Who would you say your target customer is?

We have tried to develop products we feel will be apt to a wide audience, for instance, if you look at our Apple range this been specifically marketed to students and young professionals who are carrying around their mac and also an iPhone that they have invested a lot of money into. Our cases are mid-range priced and high-end finished to allow students to have a little style with protection whilst also having the knowledge that these products are not generic and have been handmade. 

Secondly, we have developed products for men and women. Our drawstring bag and journal are typically our most popular selling items with a wide age range purchasing these. We have tried to break down the market to target as many segments as possible who are attracted to our ethos. Our products are timeless so this opens up possibilities for everyone to find something they like. 


We love your stark, simple and chic photography. Where did the inspiration for that aesthetic come from? 

Our inspirations come from our ability to continuously look through lifestyle magazines, stalking Instagram, Pinterest and big-name campaigns online. We all have a particular love for minimalism and that forms the basis of our photography work and our own campaigns. We also have a love for locations shooting, Edinburgh and Scotland are perfect for what we need.    


 What are your favourite products from the collection?

(Jordan)
My favourite product is our Revolution Key Holder. Personally, I think its the perfect well designed accessory as I can not stand having a messy load of keys rattling around my pocket damaging my phone. Everything is in one place and organised. 

(Daria)
The Minimalist Card Holder is my favourite product for its smart, slim design and its usability. I can carry it in any of my pockets and also place it in a clutch bag without out the need for a bulky purse. I can also put my cash on the reverse side without worrying. 

(Sergio)
The drawstring was the first product I designed which was inspired from a bag I bought in Greece. I didn't like the way the bag was designed so I re-designed and developed our Drawstring Bag as I didn't like carrying loose change anywhere. My wife uses our drawstring bag for storing her jewellery and to travel with. I love it as it has so many practical purposes. 


Who are some of your favourite designers?

(Jordan) 
I have a particular attraction to minimalism, and there is no-one better than Giorgio Armani for me. He encompasses elegance, timeless design and produces the essentials to a luxury lifestyle. 

Burberry is another of my favourite designers as I love how they have developed a trademark pattern that they have managed to roll out on all of their products.

(Daria) 
Christian Lacroix Couture, for his artistic and over the top flavorous style. My favourite designer would be Valentino for his embodiment of the classic, elegant beauty. 

(Sergio)
Prada would be my favourite designer. I love their stark design and that they consistently produce sought-after products whilst always maintaining high standards and quality with unique designs. 



What are your plans for the future of Zaccardelli Leather?

Currently, our efforts are going into the frenzy of Christmas. After Christmas, we are going to focus on collaborations with other brands to open up our designs and aesthetics with brands we feel compliment our products. We are also going to focus on getting ready for our first push on entering the retail world with exclusive stockists and also high-street stores. We have been relatively successful with independent retailers and will also roll out to other parts of the country through independent retailers in London and wider England with the end goal being our own store and adjacent workshop along with a large E-Commerce web presence. 


How would you describe your brand is one word?

I can describe it in three words which are the essence of the brand. 


Timeless - Refined - Slick 

For more info on Zaccardelli Leathers check them out at;

zleatherco.com
Instagram
Twitter
Facebook

L x
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Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Easy & Delicious Halloween Ghost Truffles


Okay, so here I am again helping out all the novice bakers out there. My Easter Traybake Recipe that I posted back in April went down really well and I wanted to offer you all something as easy and delicious for Halloween. I met up with the lovely Rachel from Hooray Cakes who we interviewed for Sunday Chatroom early in the month and she showed me how to make these amazing truffles.



This recipe could not be easier, so if you are doing a little Halloween party or just want a themed treat to enjoy for the scary season then look no further. The recipe is super basic and takes no time to throw together, again please let us know if you decide to try these beauties out for yourself!



Makes about 20 

Equipment

Bowls and piping bag (Poundland sells these)

Ingredients 

160g crunchy peanut butter 
250g crushed digestive
200g tinned caramel

To Decorate
200g white chocolate 
30g dark chocolate

1. Mix biscuits, caramel and peanut butter.

2. Using hands form into balls (around the size of a Brussels sprout!)

3. Place in freezer for 15 minutes (don't skip! This will help the chocolate set)

4. Melt white chocolate 

5. Dip each truffle in white chocolate and set aside.

6. Once set, melt dark chocolate and put into the piping bag. Snip the end of the piping bag off but keep the hole small as it's for fine detail. Pipe a little ghost face.

7. Enjoy!


You can find Rachel at;

Facebook - Hooray UK
Instagram - @hoorayuk

L x




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Sunday, 15 October 2017

Sunday Chatroom Rachel Wales - Hooray Cakes!


I can't bake to save my life but it's a skill I desperately wish I had. I watch the fantastic Great British Bake Off and always feel envious of the baker's talent, artistic flair and most importantly patience. Instagram is a haven of amazing baking and cooking, and I find myself mesmerised by the unbelievable creations. 

I sat down with lovely Rachel of Hooray Cakes, a Musselburgh based baker and event styler who has put together the most gorgeous afternoon tea for us to enjoy while we chat. You could not find a better host. To be honest, Rachel is the kind of girl who could pull off a themed dinner party for 10 in under 2 hours notice, there seems to be nothing she can't turn her hand to. Rachel's flat itself is absolutely gorgeous (I'll insert some pictures below) and I honestly spent a good fraction of our afternoon together pointing at things in her house and asking - where did you get that? The best thing about her beautiful home is how thriftily she has done it up. She begins to tell me all the crafting and DIY she has been up to in order to get the beautiful space looking so great. The girl is beyond creative and makes all the upcycling and styling she does look so easy - and I am positive it is not.



So on to the best bit of Hooray Cakes, the cake! Rachel started the business back in 2011 after picking up some tips from a friend and soon became the go-to girl for anything sweet and delicious when celebrating. Hooray Cakes does everything from birthdays, weddings, festively themed delights and the lightest, most delicious cupcakes I have ever tasted, the perfect weekend treat. I ask her where she got her baking talents from, expecting her to tell me of her mum or grandma's love for baking, but it's something she has learnt and perfected herself over the years. 

Rachel tells me about her tried and true vanilla sponge recipe which she has practised and has now perfected. If you are in the Musselburgh area Rachel often sells the cupcakes in the most decadent and delicious flavours at the local market.

 We also talk wedding cakes and why people insist on having the traditional but very unappetising fruitcake as part of the cake. We agree that she should just take the fruitcake off her menu altogether. She shares the secrets of prop cakes and how to cut costs, you can have the most decadent cardboard cake that looks incredible and that it is way more common than you think. 


Not only does Rachel make the most delicious and beautiful looking cakes I have ever seen but she also has all of the loveliest equipment, boxes, bags, ribbons and thrills to go with them. When I ask her where she orders all this from, I can't believe it when she tells me it's a mix of Home Bargains and eBay. Rachel is the kind of person that finds beautiful, vintage furniture in charity shops and all of her tea sets and cake stands are a mix of bargains and gifts that she has collected along the way. 

Hooray Cakes is an amazing passion project that Rachel runs by herself between working full-time, volunteering and a host of other activities. The amount this girl gets done in a day makes me dizzy, I don't know how she isn't exhausted by the end of the week. I think a lot of the time we are put off trying something or giving a business idea a go because we don't think we have the money or resources. Rachel is the perfect example of how imagination and a great work ethic is all you need to do what you love. The intricate detail and creativity she puts into all of her work is so admirable and inspirational. When celebrating a special occasion, attention to detail is so important and Rachel has that one amazing talent of knowing just how to add the finishing touches. 


You can find Rachel at;

Facebook - Hooray UK
Instagram - @hoorayuk



L x

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Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Meeting Mr Christmas




At the John Lewis Christmas shop opening and Gifting showcase in Edinburgh, we were lucky enough to meet the lovely Dan Cooper, also known as Mr Christmas. He is the man who travels the world finding all the beautiful Christmas decorations to sell in John Lewis. From Christmas trees to wreaths to personalised wrapping paper, this man brings it all to the shop floor.

This year, Dan has designed 7 stunning and brand new Christmas tree themes which you can find on the John Lewis website. Even though he admitted that the idea of a themed tree is very hard to maintain when you have young children in your family bringing lovely handmade decorations home with them, they are definitely a beautiful starting point. Dan also recommends that if you want a beautiful tree, you should have 100 bulbs per metre of tree. I mean for him, having three trees in his house, adding up to a total of 34 metres, that is A LOT of lighting... I would hate to see that electricity bill. Another exciting feature at John Lewis this year is personalised gifts such as Santa sacks, baubles, wrapping paper and even sweeties. I know it's October but I am already so excited! 

After being with John Lewis for 22 years, Dan knows exactly what he's doing. In fact, he told us that he is just about finished shopping for next years Christmas collection. I don't want to spark any false hope but I may have picked up on a little hint that a certain man in a red suit may be coming to stores next year (finger crossed that actually happens).

Also at the John Lewis Christmas shop opening, we were introduced to the brand new (and absolutely delicious) Edinburgh Gin, Pomegranate & Rose Liqueur which is on sale now, exclusively at John Lewis. This delight is a must try, especially when topped up with Prosecco!

Although Dan has bought many of the decorations from different countries around the world, he told us that he is always looking out for locally made decorations. So if you know anyone or anywhere that makes Christmas decorations here in Scotland, you should definitely get in touch with him.

Toni x




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