Three Ways to Serve your Christmas Punch this Year

fruit punch christmas ideas

Having been the person that doesn’t drink at many party occasions .. ( but not always )  I feel extra aware of the friends and family who can end up with a sparkling water or apple juice in their hand because the main focus is often put on just the booze and that’s understandable – it is a time to unwind after all. But it takes little than a few minutes to make something tasty for the non – drinkers – and you can always slip in your favourite tipple with these also so they’re not strictly non alcoholic.

I’m sharing three super simple combinations that you might find useful and it also gives me a chance to show off my new handmade glassware from LSA International. Presentation is key in making your guests feel special so very happy with these this year. Lots of shimmering candles around adds to the atmosphere and makes a lovely soft glow in the room. These beautiful Pleat Tea Light Holders are inspired by the draping and gathering of fabric as is the larger Pleat Storm Lantern.

tableware glassware christmas

For the ‘ mocktails ‘ recipes this Punch Bowl and Glass Ladle is definitely big enough to pour in the ingredients needed – it can hold over 6 litres to be precise and actually make a fab Christmas present don’t you think ? The Punch Cups come in a box of 4 and are a superb way to serve your guests with something a bit different.

As I mentioned earlier I have added some alcoholic  additions too if you fancy adding a drop of alcohol to any of them but they are primarily full of fruits.

Here are the 3 options for an alternative Punch.

3 cartons of unsweetened cranberry juice, 1 carton of fresh smooth orange juice and half a litre of good quality lemonade. Then slice some orange and add along with some fresh cranberries and ice ( although they can be quite sour so depends on your taste buds but they are super healthy and good for dressing the drink anyway ). A little sprig of rosemary on top of the glass for decoration finishes it nicely.

You could replace the lemonade with prosecco or vodka.

This one will give a nice kick.

3 cartons of cranberry juice, 3 mugs of orange juice and half a bottle of non – alcoholic ginger  beer. Again add some cranberries and orange slices. Ice is good to keep it cold.

Or another version using cranberries as your base flavour is:

3 cartons of cranberry juice. a carton of apple juice ( not from concentrate ) and a bottle of fresh pear juice. You could add some mulled pears, cinnamon sticks and oranges. This is making me thirsty !

Of course you could add a tipple of gin to make it alcoholic. Just warn your guests first :)

Let me know if you try these and like them. Do you have any favourite punch recipes? Would love to hear of some more – do leave me a comment under this post.

Lucy x

Thank you LSA International for my glassware gifts.

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.

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