Holiday House London – Interior Design Heaven for Breast Cancer Research

holiday house london pink bed interior design beautiful mirror wardrobe

I had the absolute pleasure of visiting and dining at Holiday House, London on Wednesday as a guest of Farrow & Ball.

It took a good day or so after taking the tour of this quite incredible double residence to absorb the scale of designers featured throughout the building and what they have managed to achieve, with the main goal being to raise as much as possible for Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Let me tell you a little more about Holiday House. It was started by interior designer Iris Dankner in America after she discovered that she had breast cancer. Iris decided after having her treatments that she wanted to raise as much awareness as possible for anyone going through the same situation as hers. She decided to combine the two things she felt most passionate about  – helping to find a cure and also interior design and so developed Holiday House.

This is it’s premier year in London having been showcased always in the United States before so for the first time here, two huge neighbouring homes at 59 – 61 Hamilton Terrace, NW8 9RG, have been opened up from November 9th  – December 10th 2017 and in the process of visitors buying tickets to view the breathtaking rooms all designed by different designers, make lots for this charity.

What’s especially unique is that everything on show in each room is also for sale with a big percentage of each sale also going to Breast Cancer Research.

Being that there were around 26 rooms I’ve picked out some of my favourites although to be honest every single designer has created something really special. I was totally in awe and found it really inspiring for my own interiors work. So much so I got home and was immediately thinking about what I can do next here with different colours and textures. I really enjoyed studying the combinations of  Farrow & Ball paints used in many of the rooms.

pink bedroom interior design

I’m starting with this stunning room ( top picture and here’s another shot ) because it totally embodied everything I love about interior design. I think I’ve said before how much I love pink, green and gold. This room was put together by London based Amelia Carter.

It’s so rich and opulent. Just look at that wallpaper by de Gournay. Amelia works all over the world and I can definitely see how it has influenced this room. Totally love that Stark carpet too.

interior design living room cosy

This was another space curated by Studio QD and Nicky Haslam that I instantly took a shine to. In fact it made me look at earthy shades from a whole different perspective. The clever addition of books painted in to the wall frames the painting nicely. They used Farrow & ball ‘ Mole’s Breath’ as a bar before a specialist paint finish.

Really liked the mixture of textiles used. A testament to mixing patterns.

disco room home interior design

Okay so this attic room in House 59 is something I am very inspired by. As we are a ‘ musical ‘ family here at home – I couldn’t help but fall in love with it.

Designer Philippe Maidenberg  of Maidenberg Architecture & Roche Bobois has created a luxurious and welcoming space to unwind. It has interactive technology by Playtronica to play with and walls of colourful sofas to chill out on. As it’s at the top of the building it feels separate which means making some noise without waking the rest of the house.

Personally, I think everyone needs somewhere like this in their home !

hazel collins interior designer wallpaper

Hazel Collins Designed much of the hallway and staircase of House 59 up the first floor and has called this project ‘ Healing Harmony ‘ using Farrow & Ball shade Peignoir. I was really taken with her use of stunning wallpaper ‘Birds in Chains ‘ by Kit Miles Studio. It contrasts with the marble so well.

striped bedroomAs you can see all the rooms are so different and that’s what makes the experience so interesting. Rosalind Wilson Design has curated ‘ Striped Night  ‘ here using Hague Blue by Farrow & Ball. I think it made a square shaped room really characterful and bold without making it feel small and dark with total solid colour.

Beth Clancy interior design

Everything about Beth Clancy’s room made me smile. Beth is senior designer at Rachel Laxer Interiors. Beth, like me, started in fashion and moved over to interiors.

This is called ‘ A Midsummers Dressing Room ‘ and it’s a dream ! Full of vintage pieces and as I mentioned earlier – everything is for sale so if you visit and see something you love you can buy it, as with everything in both the homes.

My eyes were drawn to the rug which is by Tiana Johnson Design. Gorgeous against the dark wood. The chandelier is by Porto Romana.

It’s a Grecian, Aegean Sea aesthetic here bright to life by award winning Laura Hammett. So calming and I thought the drapery over the bed was really effective. The wallpapered wardrobe is stunning. All those lovely textures together ! Love.

teenager bedroom design ideas pink

I couldn’t wait to show my daughters a picture this bedroom. Although Mae is more a blue fan – and Betsey is the pink lover – they both absolutely adore everything about it. By Studio Suss, it’s named ‘ Teenage Dream’.

Studio Suss are at the cutting edge of design and work in both the commercial world as well as for clients and their homes.

Everyone loves a neon light, right ? It’s from Bag & Bones. I am a fan of Penelope Hope so was pleased to see some of her cushions on the bed.

The wall print was painted on and the ceiling has splashed of gold. Oh to be a teenager again … but it never stops me using these strong shades nowadays anyway in my own rooms.

There are so many other amazing designers to see and I don’t want to completely spoil it for you if you’re planning a visit. Do go if you can. I think you’ll really enjoy it.

Tickets can be found here at www.holidayhouselondon.eventbrite.co.uk

Thank you so much to Rachel Laxer for showing us around and being so informative. As a fan of her work it was a real treat.

Also a huge thanks to Farrow & Ball for inviting me and for the tastiest supper. Such lovely company.

Lucy x

All images copyright Mel Yates Photography 2017

Our Cosy Family Traditions for Christmas Eve

As we hurtle towards the end of another year it makes me really take stock of my family and it’s quite astonishing how much my girls have grown up this year.

It makes me more keen than ever that they have many happy memories for their futures. One of  the things I know they will always remember will be our little Christmas traditions – maybe they will carry them on. Its funny isn’t it ? The small things but probably the moments that we will hold close the most. I’m not sure how many of our traditions started  – I think we’ve just taken inspiration from my own childhood and then added on some of our own new fun bits along the way.

We never forget to put up little trees in our own bedrooms as well as the main one. The girls decorate theirs every year with all sorts of things. We seem to accumulate different baubles along the way and they make some decs at school.

As it gets dark so early it’s a good opportunity to close all the curtains It really doesn’t feel like Christmas Eve until everything sparkling away. Lighting is key for our Christmas.

Marshmallows hot chocolate

It is impossible not to have a hot chocolate ladened with marshmallows while we crack open the mince pies for Father Christmas. I have some festive vinyl that I always put on. The classic songs are the best – White Christmas, Winter Wonderland and Santa Claus is Coming to Town. So we have a little dance and maybe scoff a pie or two along the way. Rude not to eh ?

It’s imperative that we are dressed in some cosy pyjamas to snuggle up and watch a classic film, usually something like The Sound of Music or National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. This year the girls have very cool festive ‘ Father Christmas riding a Unicorn ‘ pairs that come in sets of 2 and I have this very apt ‘ Do not Disturb ‘ set all from Marks and Spencers. Christmas Eve is one day of the year where I won’t be disturbed :) I love a party at this time of year but there’s usually too much to do for the the big day so chilling is just fine by us.

Unicorn M&S Pyjamas

We then make sure the stockings are all in their place, in the right place and then put a plate with a mince pie and some carrots for the reindeers.

There are always last minute gifts to wrap and the girls love helping with that. Then it’s bedtime for them and not soon after …. us too – always knackered by about 9pm !

I really, really love Christmas. It’s one of my favourite times of the year. I literally can’t wait …

What are your own traditions for this Christmas Eve ? I’d love to hear them. Do leave me a comment under the post.

You can find some more traditions of fellow bloggers on Instagram and Twitter if you search for #MyMarks  – this year’s campaign by Marks and Spencers.

Lucy x

This is a collaboration with Marks & Spencers. All opinions as ever are my own.

All images taken by me, Lucy, except image 6 which is by my awesome Daughter Mae.

 

Enhance the Season with the Artesano Nature Range

villeroy boch Artesano

There are several elements that make up the perfect ceramic for me and that is the quality, how they’re made, design and and how they will blend with my own kitchen palette.

I like the tableware to enhance the colour of the food and drink – making the whole experience of eating even more enjoyable. After all, that’s what dining is all about isn’t it ?

When I spotted Villeroy & Boch’s new for this year Artesano Nature Range recently I did a little jump for joy as it ticks all those boxes.

Colourful plates flatly dining table

I’m a fan of their company anyway so as it’s getting all Autumnal out there and this season is earthy and beautiful – it seems a good time to talk about this collection as it’s inspired by nature. I love it when a plan comes together !

pastel ceramic ranges villeroy boch villeroy Boch Plate set mugs

All hand painted and in three different natural hues that work perfectly well together as a trio – Vert, Bleu and Beige. It also works well with Villeroy & Boch’s original Artesano range which is pure white.

blue plate artesano nature villeroy & Boch tableware

A clever combination – it also would work well mixed up with patterns. The colours sit well in between neutrals and prints. The brushed swirl design is fresh and eye catching without being too dominating.

layered plates colourful ceramicsFor your starters through to the main meal, the colours can be layered like  this to create a feeling of luxury and a fab splash of colour maybe against a white or background ?

green plate season tableware christmasWith the Winter season on it’s way I also think it would really enhance the rich reds and greens of the season. A charming splash of colour at the table.

A roast using their dinner plates or a bowl full of festive soup. I like their pizza and bread plates too. Very party friendly.

It’s getting me all excited about that time of year … can I say it yet ?

artesano nature mugs

An early morning coffee in one of the mugs looks pretty delicious too. I think the designs evoke nature perfectly – the shades of the beige in this mug matches the wood tones.

Now, I know I’m a colour nerd but I hope you agree with me that this is a really lovely and versatile range by Villeroy & Boch ? They have been in production since 1748 so they sure know what they are doing.

If you’d like to check out the entire set including dipping bowls, espresso mugs and cups and saucers then you can find it all on their website here.

Leave me a comment under this post and let me know your thoughts …

Lucy x

This is a collaboration with Villeroy & Boch. All opinions as ever are my own.

Our First East Anglia Insta Meet in Southwold

boden raincoat Southwold beach huts suffolk colour blue

You may have noticed that lots of my posts have been about travel lately ? Well, I think it’s partly because there’s just been lots going on about to blog and and just also I love travelling. I will be back to some interiors posts as of next week.

If you follow me on instagram you’ll know that recently, fellow blogger ( and all round lovely person ) Tamsyn Morgans and I arranged our first insta meet in our local town of Southwold. Of course with anything like this you plan it not really knowing if anyone will turn up. But they did .. huzzah !

Southwold beach huts colour color pretty

It was a real pleasure of a day. We walked, we took loads of pictures and discussed photography (amongst lots of other things ) and all without having to rush which is something in everyday life seems rare.

Instagram southwold insta meets Suffolk

So, let me introduce you to the fellow instagrammers. From left to right: @seesuffolk @tamsynmorgans @lifeatlynchgreen @inspire.enjoy @gingerandlime1 @daisygalforg. If you’d like to check out their accounts.

We all agreed that it was so good to meet with our shared love of instagram and colour.

ice cream shop southwold harris and james

The weather held up pretty much which made it extra enjoyable and ridiculously good ice sweet treats half way at ‘ Harris & James ‘ on East Street kinda helped. If you visit Southwold you must go there.

southwold beach huts pastel houses southwold

Tamsyn and I wanted everyone to feel comfortable going at their own pace and it all worked well. I was so impressed with Verity who was 7 months pregnant. She did the whole walk with us and was so upbeat.

suffolk southwold pier

We are very lucky in Suffolk with our coast lines and pretty homes.

 

fish and chips southwoldThe great thing about Southwold is that it hasn’t changed too much. It still feels a little like you’ve stepped back in time. I like that.

We ended back at the Pier for tea and chips. Not bad eh ?

There will be more meet ups – the next one will be in Norwich which is full of picturesque areas so if you’d like to keep updated on wheres and when then you can find all the info on our Facebook page East Anglia Insta Meets.

Hopefully see you on the next one.

Lucy x

Oh .. and the raincoat and jeans are c/o Boden by the way. The umbrella is Tamsyn’s :)

Red Carpet Glamour Comes to Ipswich on October 4th

Film Premiere Ipswich Breathe Andy Serkis Clare Foy Film Festival
Sponsored post in association with American Express®

Coming from a film and theatrical background, I’m always interested to see how new films come to fruition and where the idea has come from. There’s usually a fascinating story behind it. So this post has been a pleasure to research, and I also have some exciting news for you – if like me, you love a good film and the glitz and glamour of the red carpet.

If you live in the Ipswich area, you’re a film fan and fancy something a little bit special, then I have some fabulous news – American Express and the BFI are bringing the 61st London Film Festival to the town next month.

Breathe Film British Film Festival Tickers

American Express has been proud sponsors of the BFI London Film Festival for the last 8 years, and this year, along with the BFI they’re bringing the Opening Night gala of the Festival to Ipswich.  Members of the public could experience one of the benefits of being an American Express Cardmember, which includes gaining access to some of the most talked about films during the Festival.

Across the country, regional cinemas will be screening not only a stream of the live red carpet, but also the much-anticipated European premiere of Andy Serkis’ feature directorial debut, Breathe. You’ll find more information about how you can register for tickets at the end of this post and more detail about all of the cinemas taking part.

Breathe Film American Express Andy Serkis Director Claire Foy

I’m so looking forward to watching it, let me tell you a little about the storyline of Breathe.

Written by twice Academy Award nominated writer William Nicholson, Breathe is a true story about an adventurous man, Robin Cavendish (played by Andrew Garfield ), who meets, falls in love with and swiftly marries a beautiful young lady called Diana Blacker (Golden Globe Winner Claire Foy). Together they move to Africa and enjoy an idyllic life with Diana becoming pregnant, but suddenly, Robin is struck down with Polio, leaving him paralysed from the neck down, and rushed to a hospital and  attached to a respirator that enables him to him breathe. He’s given the prognosis of a few months to live.

A few months on and with a new baby son in their lives, Robin has been moved to another hospital and is being taught to talk again, but has given up. Diana though is adamant that she wants Robin to survive for the family, so instead of letting the illness take control of their future, she manages to bring Robin home from hospital, and between them they amaze everyone with their tenacity and lust for life.

Robin’s good friend and Professor Teddy Hall (played by Hugh Bonneville) develops a homemade wheel chair for him with a battery-operated pump. It means he isn’t stuck in bed anymore and starts to have mobility again.

Breathe film American Express Sponsored British Film Festival 2017

They continue to fulfil lots of their dreams and travel to different countries, all of which gives Robin a new purpose – fighting for the rights of disabled people.

The supporting cast members list is stellar – including Hugh Bonneville, Tom Hollander, Stephen Mangan and Dame Diana Rigg. It’s like a who’s who of my favourite actors, reading through all the names. The production team are also hugely acclaimed.

Producer, Jonathan Cavendish, who is actually the real son of Robin and Diana, always felt his father’s life would make a compelling feature film, and when he told William Nicholson one day about his background, the whole film started to take shape. He also works alongside Andy Serkis (famous for playing Gollum in The Lord of the Rings and his recent role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens) with their own production company – The Imaginarium.

Breathe Film Clare Foy Andy Serkis British Film Festival

I’m excited because reading up on the synopsis of the film – it resonated with me, and I think it will with many, because it’s a tale of challenges that anyone could face and how one family dealt with it all in such an inspiring way. Also, the way that the film all came together really moved me, as it started out with no money invested but with cast and production crew all keen to tell this story – it became a reality. Cool huh ?

Ipswich Premiere Breathe Film Festival 2017

I’ll be attending my local cinema in Ipswich on the night of the 4th October, and I’m really looking forward to it. The film will be released across the UK and Ireland on 27th October.

To register for limited tickets* to see the 61st BFI London Film Festival Opening Night gala film ‘Breathe at Cineworld Ipswich courtesy of American Express visit www.seeitfirst.com/Amex2017  

*Terms apply

I’ve already got my tickets, so I’ll see you there!

Promoter: American Express Services Europe Limited has its registered office at Belgrave House, 76 Buckingham Palace Road, London, SW1W 9AX, United Kingdom. It is registered in England and Wales with Company Number 1833139 and authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
Ticket Promoter: See Film First Ltd, 62-70 Shorts Garden, London WC2 9AH

Adventure of a Lifetime on the Road with Coldplay

coldplay set toronto 2017 color colour music gig

If you’ve stayed with me through the last 3 posts you’ll know by this post we are in Toronto and the girls are literally having an Adventure of a Lifetime.

For the last gig and because they opened up the roof of The Rogers Centre we wanted to spend some quality time there during the day. It was literally baking hot and beautiful.

toronto ice cream van quirky fun inspiring

But first we wanted to eat eat ice cream ( mega ? )and take a trip up the CN Tower especially as it was right next to where we were staying.

view Toronto CN Tower vast

Apparently on a clear day you can see as far as Niagara Falls. it was a pretty good view but if I’m honest I was just keeping it together enough to do brave face up at the top … sssshh don’t tell the girls.

I’m sure the tower sways ever so slightly ? Or was I imagining it ? But it was spectacular to be up there and see the whole of the city. Mae even encouraged me to stand on the glass floor with her – which I did but there’s no way I’m posting that photo.

CN Tower buildings toronto CN Tower Rogers Centre Toronto

You could see the Tower inside the music venue  – and at night it twinkled along with the Coldplay hits and changed colours. I kept looking up at it and trying to paste the moment in my mind for keeps.

Coldplay Rogers CentreBoden Shoes on Coldplay Set coldly decorations set 2017 pom poms

There’s always so much to do on the day of a show. They have the finest team and they work so, so hard. Plus they are super nice with visitors. What a lovely bunch of people.

coldplay instagram concerts usa canada

Mae and Bets appeared on Coldplay’s instagram stories while over the week. Look a them being all industrious ! :)

So there we have it. Our little road trip. I’ve always wanted to do one but had no idea that we would get to do one as part of Coldplay’s tour. Which by the way was one of the kindest things anyone has done for us in a long time. I will never forget it.

The concerts each time were energising and so rich in colour. I was literally in heaven. I tell you, if you want to see a show that fills you with positivity then this is the show to see. They seem to have a way of connecting with the audiences even when it’s 50,000 and making everyone feel they are special. It’s a pretty cool thing.

The catering was out of this world. Different every day and very tasty. It gave me some ideas for some new recipes.

Mae has come home and played the piano non stop. So all in all an inspiring time for us all.

How am I going to up this for next Summer Hols ? Gulp !

Hope you have enjoyed each post. You can catch up on the other below in my stream and also find me on Bloglovin’.

Lucy x

Why Downtown Toronto Stole My Heart


Where were we in the last post ? Ah yes, that’s right. Just visited Niagara Falls on the tour bus and headed over to Toronto, ready for the third Coldplay gig at The Rogers Centre.

But we had some time to spare with a day off and wanted to make the most of it. So headed to some places that we knew were going to be fun and memorable. I have to say vibrant and friendly Toronto stole my heart.

graffiti alley toronto street art color colour visit

I was really keen to pop over to Graffiti Alley and check it out. It’s pretty popular and after visiting  I can see why.

I would say an alley. probably half a mile long of colour and art. All sorts of work but it blends and looks incredible. Apparently it is legal and painted over a 24 hour period each year.

boden blazer street art graffiti alley toronto

I’m glad I wore my my colourful clothing. I know I look like I’m posing but in reality I was thinking about chocolate pancakes probably.

boden heart trousers color colour fashion blog toronto street art

If you’re wondering where my outfit is from, it’s from Boden. So please with the Nell Ponte Blazer. I’ve listed everything at the bottom of the post so you can have a look if you fancy.

Toulon bag Boden Yellow

This Toulon bag was fantastic for the time away. I needed to fit in my camera, phone, make up bag, purse, show passes etc. It was roomy and I still love it now.

Boden Toulon handbag yellow toronto graffiti alley

In fact I love it so much I kept photographing it as the backdrop was just too tempting not to. How often do you get the opportunity and with so much artistic inspiration ?

So much colour. I was literally in heaven. Luckily Andy and the girls love it too so we were all very happy to spend some time there.

graffiti alley toronto canada

A little pit stop before heading off to for a late lunch at Pizza Libretto in the Financial District  – nice food.

Sonic Boom Toronto record shop

Then we went over to a vinyl store recommended by a friend on the tour who knows his record shops. Had a good rummage there. They have an amazing selection of music downstairs.

Sonic Boom Toronto Store records vinyl cool

It’s not your average kind of place as it also has a very cool shop upstairs with books, gifts, home things. You’d love it !

Fashion District Toronto Colour color

After a bit more meandering we were totally ready for a rest. Niagara Falls and all of this in one day calls for a swim and sleep. Ready for a trip up the CN Tower in the morning and our last gig of the trip.

I’ve another post with us inside the  venue preparing for the Coldplay show.

Hope you can see why I love Downtown Toronto so much ?

Do leave me a comment  – would love to hear from you. You can also follow me on Bloglovin’ for updates.

Lucy x

Outfits:

Me: Nell Ponte Blazer, Richmond Trousers, White Easy Tee, Toulon Bag, Gloria Ballerinas.

Girls: Adventure Dress, Pointelle T-shirtHoliday Sandals, Patchwork T-shirt and Mint Bright Shorts.

All c/o Boden.

Where to visit in Cleveland USA and Hello, Niagara Falls

Cleveland sign Ohio visit places trip

You may have already read my first post in which I told you about the start of our USA / Canada road trip with Coldplay.

Here we’ve set off from Chicago on the tour bus and arrived in Cleveland at our hotel at some point in the morning. I was too jet lagged to know exactly when but it was a smooth sleep !

All I knew before about Cleveland was that it was in Ohio and that there’s a funny scene about it in ‘ This is Spinal Tap ‘. That’s pretty rubbish really isn’t it ?

We had the rest of the day to scour the area and then the show was the next day and we managed to visit some cool places in Cleveland in that time.

rocket fizz candy shop cleveland colourful candy rocket fizz sweet shop cleveland
Like the biggest candy and soda store I have ever seen called Rocket Fizz. Wall to ceiling colour and sugar. I went back to my youth and bought some bubble gum and other stuff that’ll I’ll probably never eat.

One thing that strikes me about the USA is how polite everyone is. I’ve always thought this but it reminded me. Even the girls commented on it.

Ohio Cleveland Rock and Roll Museum

Hope you can read backwards ..? Cleveland is famous for it’s rhythm and blues origin and a good place to visit is The Rock and Roll Music Hall of Fame.

Rock and Roll Music Hall of Fame Cleveland Boden OhioIt’s located by Lake Eerie and is unique in it’s sheer dedication to everything rock ‘n’ roll.

Nuevo Cleveland Mexican restaurant color colour

We had supper at Mexican Restaurant Nuevo. I loved the Palm Springs style decor, okay so that wasn’t necessarily Mexican but the place was very instagrammable and the food good with an open kitchen. The views were of the lake which is well worth taking a wander along.

We not only saw a couple getting married there but literally turned around and another couple were getting engaged. A romantic spot, clearly.

Cleveland Indians Progressive Field

The next day was spent resting at our hotel and then hanging at the next Quicken Loans gig venue which is right next to The Indians Stadium while the girls helped out .. and I sat and watched :)

You know, I have always wanted to go to a Basketball match in the USA so it was really cool to have a good look around. The concert was a more intimate 20,000 … ?! I’ve watched the band in various places with different audiences and I really enjoyed this smaller arena.

Coldplay’s show promotes such a healthy and kind attitude to life and I love that. We need more of it on this planet.

With jet – lag still playing with our heads, we set off for the tour bus and fell asleep pretty quickly, only to wake up at 6 am at the Canadian Border. We felt a bit like the Von Trapp family having to step off the bus for it to be checked and speak with the passport control.

Niagara Falls View SunriseNiagara Falls image Canada

Just around the corner was what we had been waiting to see. Lee our driver ( did I say how lovely he is in the first post ? ) timed it all so we could witness Niagara Falls at sunrise.

Wow.

The sound hits you before you see it. The mist spray teases you as you get closer and then there you are. Sitting by the most famous waterfall in the world.

Because it was so early we were literally alone. I can’t tell you how happy it made us all. I could’ve cried if I wasn’t so tired ! I will be eternally grateful for that being arranged for us. Amazing.

Niagara Falls fire Boden Canada Famous

We sat and soaked up the experience before heading back to the bus for some more sleep before reaching Toronto for the next few days. Will update again soon on one of my favourite areas Downtown. It’s a very colourful one !

Lucy x

Clothing and accessories c / o Boden.

On the road with Coldplay starting with Chicago

coldplay tour bus travel USA experience boden dress cool music

Now that we’ve been back for a good few days and the jet lag has subsided I’ve had a chance to sort through some of my photos of our road trip with Coldplay. We visited Chicago, Cleveland and then over to Toronto in Canada all in the space of a week. I managed to take a lot of images as I’m never without my camera for inspiration so I’ve broken the rip down in to no less than 4 posts !

But, hopefully you’ll find them interesting especially if you’ve ever wondered what it’s like travelling and living on a tour bus or if you fancy seeing Niagara Falls at sunrise. I’m still scraping myself off the ceiling over that view. All to come over the next few weeks. I’ve also written about some cool places to visit in Downtown Toronto the next time you visit.

So, you may wonder why we were on the road, over the pond with Coldplay ? Well, they very kindly organised a family tour bus for their team over the holidays. I mean, this is quite unusual in the music business but highly appreciated. In fact, really kind I thought.

chicago skyline image USA big city lake michigan

If you follow me on instagram you will have seen our shenanigans that kicked off in Chicago, the windy city.

I have always loved the USA but it was the girl’s first time there so you can image the levels of anticipation. High !

silver bean chicago travel USAChicago images navy pier travel inspiration

To wake ourselves up on the first day after a HUGE breakfast at 15th Avenue Diner ( recommend by the way ) passing this colourful wall  en route … and with only a day to soak up the atmosphere in Chicago before the gig and onwards, we popped in to some stores, checked out the ‘ Silver Bean ‘ and then went on a speed boat ride just off the Navy Pier on Lake Michigan. I’m not joking – I couldn’t breathe we were going so fast much to the amusement of the girls. It was pretty funny in hindsight.

boden tour bus kaftan outfit canada stylish

So if you have ever wondered what it’s like to travel on tour  – I can confirm it’s pretty bl**dy amazing. These particular buses are also known as ‘ star buses ‘ as they are usually used by artists for instance Dolly Parton loves to travel this way apparently.

They have a living space with TV’s, well stocked kitchen area and a loo and then a door that leads to bunk bed areas for 4 and a shower room  – and then at the back a main bedroom with wardrobe, ( super comfy ) double bed and another TV. The whole bus is air conditioned really well which was a bonus as all places were very hot. I did make a little video which I will probably pop on to YouTube soon.

Lee our driver was possible one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met. We were really lucky.

I got the giggles on the bus because the experience was surreal and the feeling of travelling on an American Highway on a double bed in my PJ’s was pretty immense.

touring trucks USA transport chicago concert coldplay

All in all, I can see why touring is quite addictive. The buzz, the people and the places. Although I have toured with theatre productions in the past – it has always been in the UK so it was kind if realising a dream doing real a road trip.

The first concert in Chicago was fantastic and the girls were totally ready for the next venue.

Another post soon to tell you about Cleveland and show you our early morning stop at Niagara Falls.

Lucy x

Cleo Kaftan, Mayfair Skinny Jeans, Rose Gold Elsie Flats,Sunglasses, Summer Hotchpotch Dress, Holiday Sandals, Denim Shirt Dress cat pumps all c / o Boden.

Inspire Me – with Love Your Garden’s Katie Rushworth

kite rushworh gardener presenter tv gardening tips advice

If you are a fan of ITV’s Love Your Garden like me ( many happy tears have been shed watching the transformations ) then I’m guessing you will be inspired by my chat with resident presenter and garden designer on the show – Katie Rushworth.

Wanting some advice on what to plant this Autumn or how to prepare for next year ?

Look no further …

Which are your own personal favourite colourful Summer flowers and plants ?

Oh gosh this is so hard, I love so many and all for different reasons. It’s like asking someone what their favourite song is. Today I am loving my Nepeta govaniana is has a lovely natural look and delicate lemon flowers. I’m also excited to see my Molinia ‘Transparent’ sending up its wonderful flower spikes, and I have a new love for the shrub Styrax japonicus – it is just so damn pretty !!

You’ve created some amazing spaces with the Love Your Garden team  – which has been the most challenging so far ?

They are all difficult in some way or another, every garden has its foibles – the thing that can make an easy or a tough build is really the weather. Trying to do any hard landscaping in the rain is almost impossible and the site turning into a mud bath isn’t helpful. Luckily we don’t have too many off these to overcome but when we do it’s a race to the finish line and we’re always exhausted.

Which flowers and plants combined would make the perfect British colourful Summer Garden ?

That’s a tough one too as it totally depends on your taste. You could have something harmonious with pale pinks, blues and purples – or something vibrant and dynamic using purple orange and red. I often encourage people to buy what they love and not forget the importance of attractive foliage, it’s around for much longer than the flowers of a plant. A good mix of shrubs, perennials and one or two colourful annuals should give you a diverse pretty border with form and a long period of interest.

What are the best plants to encourage bees and other wildlife in to your garden ?

Cotoneaster horizontalis and Ivy are excellent for pollinators as are Lavender, Monarda, Verbena bonariensis, Foxgloves, Echinops, Buddleja, Scabious, Crab apples and Eryngium.

mediterranean plants design garden

If someone wanted to create a Mediterranean or Moroccan look with our unpredictable UK weather  – could it work and which plants would you recommend ? 

Yes it could absolutely work – Things like Olives tress, Canna lillies, Astelias, Callistemon, Actinidia,  Passiflora caerulea and various palms would create just that look. In the north of the UK however some exotics will not like the cold so always check the label to see how frost hardy the variety is that you choose. Plants that won’t tolerate frost can be moved into a green house or conservatory over the Winter if you have one.

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How would you describe your garden ? 

A bit of a hotchpotch if honest, I just stick stuff in when I have the time and it kind of has to look after itself. It’s full of plants and flowers and generally looks pretty but I don’t really have the time to dedicate to it at the moment – if I’m not away filming with work I’m at home being a mum as well as running my business so I’m pretty ruthless with it; if something doesn’t perform well it gets whipped out and replaced.

katie rushworth garden chairs pretty english

Is your home inspired by the outdoors?

Absolutely ! I love anything that has a link to the natural world. I think bringing the garden into your home and the home into the garden is a boundary that should be blurred – when the two are connected whether by plants, materials, patterns or colours it leads to a more cohesive, holistic and I find a more creative environment.

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Where does a complete gardening novice begin? It seems overwhelming ! 

Find out what kind of soil you have and how much sun your garden gets; these two nuggets of information will save you time and effort when buying plants. For example, if you know you have lots of sun and free draining soil then Lavender will do brilliantly !

Could you offer a few crucial do’s and don’ts to keep the garden alive right through to Autumn ?

Autumn is a great time to plant new plants, and access the skeleton of your garden. Have a good tidy up, by cutting back, sweeping leaves and get rid of things that haven’t done so well. You can also divide herbaceous perennials at this time of year giving you lots of new plants for free. Lawns don’t enjoy being walked on a great deal in the cold and wet and any Spring flowering shrubs need to be left alone if you want them to flower the following year. ( if they need pruning do it immediately after they have flowered in the Spring ) And finally – plant tulips in pots LOTS of them ! When they are coming up in Spring move the pot so you can see it when you’re in the house – it will never fail to make you smile !

Katie rushworth gardening book advice tips gardening

You have written a book called ‘ Plants, Beds and Borders ’ how long did it take to put together ?

It took about between 9 and 12 months all together including photography and editing. It was hard work – but I’m really proud of it.

Thank you so much, Katie for the advice and tour around your own garden. I’m going to give the Autumnal tips a go this year.

You can find out more info on Katie’s book here.

I’d love to hear from my readers whether they are keen gardeners or novices like myself ? Leave me a comment with your thoughts under this post or just to say hi !

Lucy x

All images are copyright Katie Rushworth 2017.