Must See: Irving Penn at The National Portrait Gallery

National Portrait Gallery
Irving Penn
18 February-6 June 2010

Marlene Dietrich, New York 1948
'Sensitive people faces with the prospect of a camera portrait put on a face they think is one they would like to show the world...very often what lies behind the facade is rare and more wonderful than the subject knows or dares to believe.'  Irving Penn, 1975

Marlene Dietrich, New York, 1948
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. Gift of Irving Penn
© Condé Nast Publications, Inc.

The Queen

I love the fact that she is not shy on her colour choices, always smiling and I like to think she likes to have a giggle every now and again. It certainly looks like she does!
Loved the story about her ride on the tube a few weeks back. 
This hat is something else!

Images via

Have you read GOOP?

A friend just recommened Gwyneth Paltrow's website GOOP. 
She swears by it and loves the recipes. Check out the
suggestions for places to stay and eat in London. Very tempting! 
If you are interested, here is the link

Great things happening at the V&A in March

The top of my list.....
Exploring over 300 years of British quilting history....
Quilts 1700-2010
20 March- 4 July
The new items coming into the V&A gift shop for Mothers Day. 
You can also shop online.

                                                 And lots more....


Was I insane when I did this? Possibly. 
When a girl moves to town what else is there to do 
but learn everything she can about her new surroundings. 
To do that, I created my British Hit List...or BHL as I am now calling it.  
I knew this would be a lengthy list but I had no idea what it would mean 
to subscribe to each and every one of is a good way to 
memorize your new phone number! 
Here we go...




See something that interests you? Just click and sign up.
Beware...your mailbox will fill up quickly!

Image from

Women With Attitude

I love stopping by The Women's Room. You never know what you will find and this one just made me laugh. The attitude is all British but I think anyone can relate no matter where you live in the world, male or female. 
Posted at The Women's Room The invisible woman

Colin and his BAFTA Award

Colin handsome and charming as ever :)
What more is there to say??

Tea Anyone?

I recently posted a feature on  Burleigh china on my other blog Collage of Life
I am smitten with Burleigh.

What I did not mention  is this wonderful category on Burleigh's  website. 

Burleigh Stockist of the Month
If you live close by be sure to check out these wonderful spots.

February 2010
Juri's - The Olde Bakery Tea Shop and Restaurant

January 2010
Rossiters of Bath

November 2009
Liberty London
The closest one to me is Liberty in London 
and I love any excuse to go to Liberty :)
Images via Burleigh

Pride and Prejudice

I recently watched both versions of Pride and Prejudice 
and am one of those people who enjoys both. 
That is not the case with many. For me, it comes down to
Mr. Darcy and whether it be Colin Firth or Matthew MacFadyen, 
I can happily watch either one and be easily swept up in the moment.
Such a great story!

Which version do you prefer?

Images via Google

Cath Kidston

My girls love Cath Kidston...
no matter where we shop, we have to stop in.

This is for them, as I know they like to 
stop by and see what Mom is up to!
Image from Cath Kidston

Ten Best Park Walks in Britain

Fancy a walk in the park?  I do, especially after writing the last post on my boot quandry. Speaking of which, I forgot to mention Hunter boots. Please forgive me!  Mr. Henry Lee Norris, an American with a dream, landed on Scottish soil in 1856 and started the North British Rubber Company which much later became known as Hunter Boot Ltd.  I do not think a mud room in England, in fact anywhere, is complete without a pair of Hunters!
"Today, Hunter remains the preferred welly brand for those who like to work hard and play hard - there's a great range of boots to suit welly wearers all over the world - from the Royal Family to festival-goers, working farmers and landed gentry alike."  (from Hunter)

According to The Telegraph, a very reliable new source, the ten best walks in Britain are as follows:

1. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London
Open daily, year round except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day; 9.30am-4.15pm (5pm Feb 7-Mar 27). Entry: Adults £13, concessions £11, children free (020 8332 5655;

2. Virginia Water, Surrey
Open daily, year round, dawn to dusk. Entry: free, car parking charges apply (01784 435544;

3. Hylands Park, Essex
Open daily, year round; 7.30am-5pm (Jan), 6pm (Feb & March). Entry: gardens and parkland free. (01245 605500;

4. Clumber Country Park, North Nottinghamshire
Open daily, year round. Entry to park: non-National Trust members in vehicles £5; pedestrians and cyclists free. Bicycles available for hire (01909 544917;

5. Talkin Tarn Country Park, Cumbria
Open daily, year round. Entry: free, car parking charges apply. Bicycles and rowing boats available for hire (01697 73129;

6. Coed y Brenin, Gwynedd
Open daily, year round. Entry: free, car parking charges apply. Mountain bikes available for hire (0300 068 0300;

7. Healey Dell Nature Reserve, Lancashire
Open daily, year round. Entry: free (01706 350459;

8. Stanwick Lakes, Northamptonshire
Open Oct-Mar, 7am-5pm, April-Sept, 7am-9pm. Entry: free, car parking charges apply (01933 625522;

9. Normandy Hall Museum and Country Park, Lincolnshire
Open daily, year round, 9am-dusk. Entry: Oct-Mar free, car parking charges apply; Apr-Sept, adults £5.10, children £2.55, concessions £4.60, children under five free. Family annual season ticket £19.50 (01724 720588;

10. Vogrie Country Park, Edinburgh
Open daily, year round, 7am-dusk. Entry: free, car parking charges apply (01875 821990;

No clue where these are? ( I recognize two!)  

Another great source:

Happy Walking!

Image of boots from Cox and Cox

Balmy about Boots

Some may be aware that I have developed a bit of an obsession over boots since I arrived in the UK. Trust me I never gave them a second thought when I was living in the Southern Hemisphere. Actually, I take that back. In Auckland, you could never have enough black of anything :)
But now, to add to my desire for Dubarry's from Ireland and Musto boots from England (?), I have discovered that Le Chameau from France is the boot to covet around town. This is only for it's warmth and practicality which are the supreme measure of a good boot. So here we go....

Le Chameau



Oh, I forgot to mention that I saw these boots as well,  from Italy...
Loro Piana

Ok, maybe not so practical in wet weather, but very nice...

So many to choose from, so expensive!

I think I should move back to Sydney!

Images from brands as noted above

Lucy Honeychurch and George...

A Room With A View
A classic..everything about it...enjoy!

Image from Google
Video from You Tube

Gone Walkabout Thru Europe

I received an email today and have taken a nice little walkabout in my mind....

What do you think? 
If you are so inclined, you can find out more 

PS...where is England?

Images from


I have a mind to experience the entire book of Tachen's London, well almost, I don't think I could manage staying at all those hotels. At the very least I could check out the shops and restaurants. It is a wonderful book and well worth the look see....

From the website:

Making The Most Of London

Still Swinging After All These Years

From Dickensian charm to modern cool, London has it all–and this guide will help you find it. With a selection of stylish hotels, from classic to designer; antique markets, vintage stores and the hippest boutiques; and all the best of the capital's restaurants, bars, tea rooms and pubs, Angelika Taschen's compact compendium is a must for the discerning traveller.
 Highlights include 
Number Sixteen, a chic South Kensington hotel in a beautiful Victorian townhouse with romatic gardens; The Wolseley, a grand café and restaurant in a reconverted 1920s car showroom beautifully renovated by star designer David Collins; celebrity chef Jamie Oliver's restaurant and social project,Fifteen, where teenagers cook the meals; China Tang at The Dorchester, where stars go for delectable duck with plum sauce; historic London pub, The Grenadier, once frequented by the Duke of Wellington's troops; Dover Street Market, the multi-floor concept store founded in 2004 by Comme des Garçons; andPenhaligon's, purveyors of classic English fragrances since 1872.
About the editor:
Angelika Taschen studied art history and German literature in Heidelberg, gaining her doctorate in 1986. Working for TASCHEN since 1987, she has published numerous titles on art, architecture, photography, design, travel, and lifestyle.
About the photographer:
David Crookes is a London-based travel, interior, and portrait photographer. He contributes regularly to Condé Nast publications and his work is featured in many private collections.
Texts by:

Christine Samuelian is a writer, editor, and media consultant based in London. She began her career as a news reporter in Toronto before moving to the UK in 1997, where she worked at Vogue, and Wallpaper* magazine. She has contributed to Condé Nast Traveller, US Vogue, The New York Times Magazine, and The Observer Magazine.

TASCHEN Store London
12 Duke of York Square
London SW3 4LY

Tel: +44 (207) 8810795
Fax: +44 (207) 8810795 

Images and reference from Tashen

Be Still My Beating Heart

Be still my beating heart...
that is how I feel about cashmere these days. 
Ever since Sarah @ Semi Epat in Oz 
mentioned Brora I have been besotted. 

The brand:

The colours:

Two down, (arctic and oatmeal) and more to go.
Top of my hit list:
French Navy
All in the classic v-neck cardigan!


I have another that has been suggested to me.

I am thinking that this colour and style would suit too.

Two great companies....I just love the british!

Images via Brora and Pure

Bibi Alhaja Jewelry

I saw this jewelery in a shop the other day and had to know more.  It is Bibi Alhaja Jewelry and I am loving everything about it. You will see from my posts that I seem to love all things...that is why I blog!
Check it out at

Images from No 77 Interiors