Posts Categorised: Travel

Lavenham, Oh Lovely Lavenham …

Lavenham Buildings

One of the very best things about my interior design course studies – is that it encourages you to go looking for inspiration. Not that I need any excuse –  but it has also reminded me that there are many interesting places nearby that are full of history, shape and colour. Talking of which – I am doing colour theory next on the course, so can’t wait to tell you al about that very soon.

In the meantime, I visited Lavenham yesterday, which if you don’t know already, is a  very quaint, historical village not too far from Sudbury. Many of the buildings are timbered and as you will probably see in some of the photos  – quite wonky ( it’s not my photography, honest .. ).

Lavenham Sky

The impressive Guildhall building above is around 500 years old and is now looked after by The National Trust. Inside there are stories of its past and exhibitions. It was a prison at one point. Can’t imagine that now !

There is also a very cute cafe with amazing cake and lovely staff – and a gift shop.

Harry Potter

Although it’s not a huge place, it feels like big as the roads take you off up and down higgledy piggledy streets. It feels much like being on the Harry Potter set, which funnily enough, this door that I spotted is was used as his birthplace in the films. In fact they used some other areas too. I can’t think of a better location as it really is medieval and unspoilt.

Orange HouseLavenham

 

 

I noticed there are a lot of homes painted in orange shades and also Suffolk pinks. I love the steps leading up to the doors. It made me wonder why they are like this ? Have they been added afterwards or was it all the rage to have steps to your home 500 years ago ?

There is a fantastic hotel called The Angel and other very tasteful award winning places to stay and eat. I can’t wait to go back and try out an evening meal sometime soon.

Window

How cute is this window box ? The people who live in this village all seem to work very hard to keep it looking spectacular.

Beautiful Lavenham

I felt quite spoilt just being there for the day !

Yellow Home

On the way home, Had to stop the car to photograph this beautiful old thatched, lemon coloured house with pink blossom tree outside. Pretty, hey ?

Flowers

I found a book for my Mum about the different seasons at the National Trust shop in Lavenham which is really beautiful.

National Trust

They have lots of new items at the moment including this colourful throw. So I sat outside in the garden when I got home and read the book.

Hope you’ve enjoyed the pics. I’m looking forward to sharing other places I visit along the way while completing my course. If you have anywhere to recommend then please do leave me a comment under this post. Or just say hi anyway – always good to hear from you. I’m also on snapchat now as lucylovesyablog. Another way to keep in touch.

Have a good day.

Lucy x

I was sent a few items by The National Trust to review. All opinions are my own.

An Afternoon In Soho with Conscious Me

Nadler Hotel

Last Saturday was a day of pure indulgence. Not only because I got to photograph all around Soho for the afternoon – but the added bonus was checking out some fantastic shops, a hip hotel and 2 very nice private members club.

It’s not often that I have the luxury of so much free time to do all of the above – and the best bit of all was that all of the venues are ethical in their approach to business.

I know this because I was invited on the tour by the lovely people at Conscious Me, who were collaborating for the day with Instagrammers London to show us all of the ‘ greener ‘ options around Soho  – so that we can tell you about it too.

If you haven’t yet heard of Conscious Me, it is a guide that is bringing together all of the organisations in every area, on one website. Be it, interiors, fashion, food, drink, beauty – pretty much anything you can think of. Their ethos is to empower and inspire people to make good choices in everyday life.Conscious Me Healthy

It certainly made me think. I do my best to buy from companies that care about our environment but it’s not always easy to know where to start. The afternoon was very insightful and to be honest, I was actually pleasantly surprised that some of the places we visited were so environmentally friendly.

You can also add information on to the website if you fancy, by writing your own little post and there’s the option to add your profile so that you can link up with other like minded folk.

A great idea all round, if you ask me.

We started at The Nadler Hotel in Soho which is self catering and eco friendly. We checked out on the rooms and it was lovely, with its own kitchenette and free filtered water.

Whole Foods on Glasshouse Street was first on the map. The holy grail for organic food in central London. Oh, how I love that place !

Lush

We had a smoothie at Leon which is a healthy fast food restaurant, Then on to Lush Cosmetics who are fighting a war on waste, animal testing and palm oil. As you may already be aware – these shops smell divine.

Nudie Jeans

Then we stopped off at The Nudie Jean Repair Shop in D’Arblay Street. Swedish jeans made with around 80% organic cotton. They fix your jeans if they get a hole and offer 20% off a new pair when finally needed.

The House of St Barnabas on Greek Street is committed to tackling homelessness. A members only club so you would have to join to enter ! :)

Neals Yard Covent Garden

On the way back for a bit of dinner at The Hospital Club in Endell Street, which is also a members club, focusing on sustainability ( and with a rather beautiful old record player in the reception )  – we passed the Wild Food Cafe which serves yummy raw, organic, veggie dishes – and Neals Yard Remedies who are famous for their ‘ no nasties ‘ products.

Other spots to be aware of are The Dominion Theatre, and Ceviche Restaurant.

The Hospital Club Soho Street Art

A little bit addicted to Instagrammers London now too and will be doing some more of their days soon. Too much fun and lovely people to chat with along the way while taking extra pics of street art. This one is by Mr Cenz and the person striding by is instagrammer @andreweggy :)

The Groucho

If you want to have a look at Conscious Me – here’s the website. Hope you find somewhere special near you to try out !

Have a good day.

Lucy x

Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival at Snape Maltings

Pumpkins

Every year we try and make sure we go to the weekend of the Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival based at Snape Maltings.

Apart from it just being a fun day out for us all, it’s stacked full of really good local produce from East Suffolk. There is live music throughout the day which adds to the already buzzy atmosphere.

Flowers

This year it was the 10th Anniversary of there were ever 90 different producers along with demonstrations, masterclasses and an area for kids to get hands on with some cooking.

One of the first stalls I spotted was full of beautiful seasonal flowers. Needless to say, some came home with me and ended up on my Instagram.

Bread Snape

It’s surely criminal to pass freshly made baguettes without buying at least one ? Why doesn’t my homemade bread look like this ever ? :)

Buns

So many tasty pies and buns … not enough time to eat them all … but we took some home with us too.

Tomatoes

These tomatoes  – perfectly ripe and sweet. It’s making my mouth water, just thinking about them again. Local and homegrown veggies definitely taste different don’t they ?

Macarons

The chocolate and salted caramel macarons were our favourite. I would really love to learn how to make them. Do you know of any good recipes ?

Snape Maltings

As well as the concert hall, famous for being converted from an old malt house by Benjamin Britten in 1967, there are also many shops, all transformed but still with exposed, old red brick. One of my favourites is the interiors department, because it is full of colourful inspiration for the home.

Snape Maltings InteriorsSnape

I really recommend a visit here if you’re ever in the area. It is beautiful and the views of the river Alde and beyond are stunning. On this particular day the sky was blue so I will leave you with a picture of the bright bunting that completed the festival.

SkyDo you have any food festivals that you don’t like to miss ? Please do recommend some. Leave me a  comment or tweet me @lucylovesyablog :)

Have a good day.

Lucy x

Inspiration Along The Suffolk Coast

Delphines Diner

I often write about interiors and my own home and love it. It’s my passion. But where I get my fresh air and local inspiration from is something I thought I would share today.

While we bask in and make the most of this ‘ Indian Summer ‘ here in the UK, a trip to the seaside was on the cards today. We are really lucky to live fairly close to one of the most beautiful ( yep, I’m biased ) coast lines. As I mentioned in a recent post – we try and go as much as we can. Because it’s chilled and always uplifting.

Delphines Diner 1

Aldeburgh and Southwold are fairly close to each other so today we did both. Starting off with an absolutely delicious milkshake at Delphine’s Diner in Aldeburgh. The mint green and red decor immediately transports you to another place along with the authentic rock n roll background music. Even the staff are dressed in uniforms from the 50s era. It’s a gem of a place.

Sweet Shop

If you already know the high street, you’ll already have checked out the great interiors stores, art galleries .. oh, and the sweet shop Shingle and Sherbert. They also sell very pretty and colourful ceramics. Well worth checking out.

Boat

PostcardsThe stoney beach of Aldeburgh is a good workout. It feels like I’ve walked ten miles after wading through the pebbles. I love walking past the painted old boats and looking back at the tall bright houses that face the sea. There’s something comforting about them because they never change.

Steps

Have you ever climbed up the steps and looked at the rooftops and the ocean ? It’s beautiful, especially with the row of homes with blue doors and window sills. Today the fuschia plant half way up was flowering and bright pink.

Colourful Homes

I think these houses are possibly some of the cutest in Aldeburgh. So quaint and I love the palettes. They’re all very individual but work well together.

Beach Huts

After a little drive, we were in Southwold, which is just such a happy place to be. Rows of dreamy beach huts with their cryptic names.

Yellow Beach Hut

Beach Huts StripedThe bright yellow ‘ Billy Bumpkin ‘ is possibly my favourite and this striped hut wins me over every time I pass it. Like the pastel shades ?

Bicycle

I think this photo sums up Southwold. Old fashioned, fun and evocative. Even now, every time we visit, the place steals my heart. Pretty sure my girls will feel the same when they grow up too.

Lighthouse

After admiring the crisp white lighthouse for a bit and a long walk along the promenade, we stopped to eat our sand covered sweets. Somehow they taste pretty good at the seaside.

Sandy Sweets

Where do you like to go when you need a little time out and inspiration ?

Leave me a comment under the post or tweet me @lucylovesyablog  – would love to hear from you.

I’d also like to thank you for voting for me in the Amara IBAs  – I have made it to the shortlist and am very grateful.

Lucy x

Go West … Life Is Colourful There …

Boden-Ledbury-Green-Coat-e1440706182294

We’ve just had the most lovely week in the West Country. We have been looking forward to it for ages. Funny how you spend ages feeling excited about a holiday for weeks and then suddenly you’re looking back at it.

It did rain. A lot. But it didn’t stop us getting out and about locally but mainly from swimming as much as possible.

One of the places that I was most wanting to visit was Bristol. I’ve never been but had heard that it is my kind of place. It really is. Next time I go, will be for a collaboration and I will get more time to take some images to post here. More on that soon.

Boden-Ledbury-Coat-1-21

Luckily, because it was a tad cool in the week and definitely warmer clothing weather on several of the days, I had my new coat with me. I was standing looking at the lush pastures around The Tor in Glastonbury when a couple walked by. The man said ” Ooh I love your jacket ” … which felt nice as it was my first outing with it on.

It’s the classic Ledbury style from Boden and is a pastel shade of green. It fits like a glove and it’s nice to try a colour that I don’t normally wear. This season it is also comes in Charcoal Melange and Navy.  It’s a dress up or casual coat – and ideal for days like this one for skinny jeans and pumps.

I love the shape and the style – what do you think ?

Boden-Ledbury-Coat-1-copy

If you follow me on Instagram you will know my total love for gorgeous front doors and Bristol didn’t disappoint. I loved this yellow one. Might have to change ours again ! You will also see lots more photos from the last week of us out and about.

I would love to hear of any recommendations for Bristol for my next upcoming visit. Shops, restaurants and anywhere interesting for a colour lover to check out. Please leave me a comment or tweet me @lucylovesyablog …

Have a good one.

Lucy x

This post is in collaboration with Boden. All opinions my own.

Photography by Andrew Henderson.

Pantone Hotel – Colour Central

Pantone Hotel Chairs

How could you not be intrigued by a Pantone Hotel if you love colour ? If you also love good chocolate, then Brussels is probably a good place to be.

Luckily, Andy ( my lovely man ) has been in Belgium, rehearsing for Glastonbury Festival , so I finally got to do a Pantone post as he dutifully went and took some pictures for me … and you !

Shades of Red Pantone Hotel-1

A white canvas gives a nice clean feel – and the saturated colourful pops add warmth and a heart.

Blue Bedroom Pantone HotelPantone Red Bedroom

There are strong and more delicate palettes depending on which room you stay in. Which colour would you like to stay in?

The Hotel itself is very central so you are close to lots of restaurants and also the train station. From what I can see, it is quite good value too … a very good excuse for a visit with the family. We would like to see Mini Europe which isn’t far away.

Pantone RestuarantOutside Pantone Hotel

I’m a total Pantone obsessive and use my colour wheel all the time. It felt like Christmas being sent these images by Andy. The one thing I forgot to ask him to but me some of their mugs. Doh ! I really will have to go soon …

Have you stayed here at the Pantone Hotel or been to Brussels before ? Any recommendations for places to eat or see, would be fab. Please leave me a comment under this post ..

Lucy xPantone Hotel Reception

A Fancy Frock In Blackpool

Lucy in 20th Century Cloth 2-1 copy

After attending the most amazing wedding this weekend up in Preston, we decided to stay an extra night and made a impromptu visit to Blackpool for the afternoon. On the way we stopped for a walk on the sandy beach of Lytham St Annes, where I stayed when I was 17 and doing my first ever professional theatre tour. It hasn’t changed at all. I like it when things have stay the same – it doesn’t seem to happen too often in this fast paced world.

Lucy in 20th Century Cloth-1 copy

I wore a dress that I made with fabric sent over from 20th Century Cloth. It’s a cotton Poplin fabric and it was a joy to use, really easy and excellent quality. I chose the Modesto print as I like the little flecks of colour amongst the black and white. At 150 cm width it is perfect for dressmaking, especially for circle skirts. The dress itself is an Eliza M one – The Daisy Dress. I am going to be making a lot more with this pattern and certainly with the fabrics.

As well as selling wash and make up bags, 20th Century Cloth also hand make lampshades to order in their range of prints. Do have a look as I think they’re rather lovely. I’m pretty taken with the colourful Coranado one. Helen who is the founder of the company is a textile designer and vintage clothing enthusiast. I love her already !

Blackpool Tower Ballroom

It was quite fitting to visit The Tower Ballroom, in my frock. Honestly, the place is so beautiful and full of atmosphere – it almost bought me to tears. I told my girls all about the joy that this place must’ve bought to people over the years and clearly still does. They were especially excited about the fact that Strictly Come Dancing had been filmed there. We listened to the man playing the Wurlitzer Organ and watched novices and professionals take to the dance floor to do the Samba.

StreetArt Blackpool Red Arrows

While we were heading to ” The Big One ” roller coaster, which I tried to photograph Mae and Andy on bit they were going too fast ( but this funny street art says it all ..)  we also got to see The Red Arrows do their display over the sea. It was pretty incredible.

All of that and with a trip up the Tower with my brace face on,  left me feeling a bit giddy. Managed to take a photo looking down as you can see, but definitely didn’t dare stand on the thick glass. Oh no. …

BlackpoolBlackpool Disco Ball.

 

So after a bit of bowling fun, we trammed it back past the largest disco ball we’d ever seen and headed back to our hotel – The Barton Grange, just outside of Preston, which I would heartily recommend. Great staff.

An afternoon wasn’t long enough so next time we go, it’ll be the whole illuminated experience with bells on. We have to go back anyway because I forgot to get a Kiss Me Quick hat. :)

How do you like the dress ? … And what’s your favourite seaside town ? 

Leave me a comment or tweet @lucylovesyablog. I would love to hear from you.

Lucy x

From Notting Hill To Neals Yard And Back Again

Colourful Homes

Most of the time, I blog about brands or designs that I love amongst the projects. It has been quite some time since I wrote about some of my favourite places.

We had a day out recently, a much needed family trip as life seems so hectic at the moment. You know that saying … Stop the world, I wanna get off … Well, it’s been a bit like that. A merry go round. But, it’s all good, really. Just a bit of a whirl. One of my favourite places in the UK is the Notting Hill area of London. Not because of the film, you understand. I have spent lots of time their over the years at the markets and maybe a few pubs…

Notting Hill Bunting Colourful Homes 1

It was our first port of call at the beginning of a day with something for everyone in the family. I snapped a few colourful moments along the way. Looking up is essential in London, otherwise you miss lots of interesting stuff and colours… and it would not be worth missing some cheery bunting on your travels, don’t you think ?

Electric Cinema

The Electric Cinema has been on Portobello road for over 100 years, it’s had its up and downs but still standing . Isn’t it good to know that there are still some buildings being used for their original purpose.

Rough Trade on Ladbroke Grove too has been there for nearly forty years. It was the first one to open and it’s heart warming to see it busy. I hope that with the resurgence in vinyl buying, it will encourage some more new record stores to open up again.

Rough Trade Cool Car

We will definitely be travelling with Karma Kabs given half the chance. Their flowery decorations apparently represent that ” the journey is more important than the arrival ” … a sentiment I agree with. Love the retro Morris Oxford car. Fits perfectly in the area !

Flowers

Talking of flowers – I wanted to fill our car with all of these. Oh, the colours, makes me want to burst in to song ! Which are your favourite ? I think the white roses with the delicate pink centres are mine.

Fabric Liberty

I will spare you the pics of Hamleys. It was fun as ever and full on. While my girls chose a toy with Andy, I nipped around the corner and got my Liberty London fill. They have revamped the haberdashery area and made it bigger. Lots of images will be popping up on my Instagram over the next few days if you’d like to see. But for now, here are some of the beautiful ones spotted.

Neals Yard

A rickshaw ride later we arrived at Covent Garden where we ate an absolutely massive pizza at Homeslice in the Neals Yard Courtyard . It was as good as authentic Italian pizza and I’m still wracking my brain on what ingredients they used to make it so tasty.

I spent so many years working in and around this area and miss it, so a leisurely trip there was most welcome. The buildings are so bright, happy and inviting and the aromas of essential oils are heavenly.

HummingBird Bakery Cakes

After a little meander around Selfridges – we got back to West London via some neon stripes under a bridge,  just in time to get ourselves a cupcake each from Hummingbird Bakery to take home.

Colourful Wall Pic

A lovely day had by all. What’s a perfect day for you ? Leave me a comment or tweet me @lucylovesyablog ..

Have a good day.

Lucy x

Easter DIY, Southwold Love and Fancy Florals

Southwold Pier

It has been another busy Instagram week. I can’t stop myself taking more pictures. Love sharing them and checking out all of the amazing Instagrammer accounts – truly inspiring. The colours blow my mind. So, as it’s the end of the week, I am adding just a few of my photos in the lead up to Easter. We are very happy to be on our break now and looking forward to some lie ins. :)

Beach Huts SouthwoldColourful Doors

We had a trip over to Southwold last weekend which as ever was great. It never disappoints. Candy stripes and colourful front doors. It just makes me happy.

Flower FormationHerbal TeaEaster DecsDaffodilsEaster Chick WreathMy Mother’s Day flowers were coming to the end of their life so I made a little formation with the flower heads. I made the image up really quickly , not realising just how effectively that blue works with the pinks, yellow and reds. Kind of reminds me of those vintage style swimming hats. :)

I’m only drinking herbal tea these days, and I couldn’t resist a bit of Easter chocolate with it from my local chocalaterie  – Coco Mama. It’s so good. Too good. Another colour moment.

We made an Easter Tree with some Pussy Willow. It’s so easy to do and the catkins are perfect for hanging the little eggs off. I stuck them in to some Oasis in the bucket.

The Easter Wreath was so much fun to do. An abundance of fluffy chicks, a polystyrene wreath, yellow paint, a ribbon, some pins and a hot glue gun. They’re all marching clockwise. I just pinned the ribbon on at the top. A fab activity – really recommend it.

If you’d like to see more of my colourful photos you can find me here – @lucylovesyablog .. leave me a comment with your Instagram name too, would love to see your pics too.

Hope you have a lovely weekend. Are you up to much over the Easter break ?

Lucy x

Latest Instagram Images

LucyLovesYa instagram

I have lots of collaborative posts coming up, that are really exciting. Currently working away on one that I will post later this week.

In the meantime, I have put together some of my favourite latest Instagram images, that I’ve taken at home in my sewing room and out and about. Some beautiful flowers, spotted on my Birthday, My favourite phone box (it has stained glass ), tactile artwork that I saw in Cambridge and lots of other colourful moments.

If you’d like to see more of follow my account then here is the link. Or you can click on the right hand Instagram photo in my sidebar. I tend to update with new pics every day.

LucyLovesYa Instagram1

Hope you are having a good week ? I would love to see some of your pictures too – so please let me know your Instagram name by leaving a comment under this post or tweet me @lucylovesyablog ..

Have a good day.

Lucy x