New home, new space!

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To a new blog home!

If you have been checking in, you might have wondered why it has been quite so quiet…

… And that’s because we have moved. I’m so sorry I haven’t made a bit more noise about it here before but we are now at http://www.courageanddash.co.uk. Please go have a peek and let me know what you think!

To celebrate, I am running a giveaway on the new blog – you can win £100 to spend on a framed wall-hanging with King & McGaw, purveyors of finest gallery-grade prints! See HERE
Thank you so much for being part of this incredibly fun journey, and here’s to more.xxx

Wandering in Whistable.

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I love Kent. It’s probably my favourite county in the entire country – it’s so accessible from London and has such a variety of landscapes and things to see+do!

As you know, I’m trying to go on more adventures this year, so my friend, B, and I decided to do a little road trip down to Whitstable. I’ve only ever heard of it in relation to the the oyster fair, so was excited to go on a little visit! It was pretty fun and stress-free, thanks in part to the chocolates B wisely took along, although there was a minor scare when I left home and realised that I hadn’t taken my asthma inhaler with me… Oops. Thank goodness the fresh sea air and bracing breeze did the trick and opened my lungs right up and I was fine. Otherwise it would have been a much less fun day spent in casualty!!

We went wandering through a few vintage shops (we really are spoilt in this country…) and then on to the beach which was COVERED in oyster shells. I mean… wow. I wasn’t expecting that!! Whitstable is such a charming seaside town. We might go back in the summer and stay in one of the cute little beach chalets!

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Lazy days.

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Lazy Sundays are what life should be about. Ok, obviously life is more than that, but sleeping in? So good! So underrated! Most days I am up by 5.30am and out of the door by 6am for work, so you can imagine that my morning routine is far from relaxing and in any way ideal!

When I have time, though, I love slow starts. In fact, most weekends, I am in my pyjamas for about half the day (haha!), unless I’m running out of the door to a market or antiques fair! Eventually, when I can be bothered, I jump into the bath (a real treat as I’m usually a shower person!), and then maybe laze around with a book. So good.

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The beautiful silk nightshirt I am wearing is from Derek Rose. I discovered them on Instagram and instantly wanted one of their nightshirts. The 100% silk night shirt features the ‘Toile de Jouy’ print, which is inspired by the dreamscapes of Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Young King’, about a Prince wandering through enchanted woods as he sleeps. Do check out their other beautiful kimonos and pyjamas, at https://www.derek-rose.com.

 

Images: Courage & Dash (not a sponsored post!)

 

 

Burberry A/W’16

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Sometimes in life, you get thrown a golden acorn (you can quote me on that), and you find yourself on the front row of Christopher Bailey’s A/W’16 show for Burberry. Work does sometimes bring some jollies alongside the stress (and last week was stressful, to say the least)!

I’ve never been to a runway show like this before – having the models walk through the crowd to the sounds of Jake Bugg (ahhh, that voice) – and it worked a dream. It helped that I got to spot a couple of familiar faces too (sadly I didn’t get to take a photo of Nicholas Hoult of X-Men fame but I did walk past him!); so much fun.

As far as my (un)fashion-savvy brain can tell, clunky work-style boots, buckles, and florals are all the rage for this autumn-winter season. Lucky for us, Burberry has decided to drop their collection in their Regent Store now so you can get your hands on it. Thank you for the invite!

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Images: Courage & Dash

Tropical getaway.

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Our annual trip to south-east asia is usually the highlight of our holiday calendar. Without it, winter would feel far too long and depressing, and my skin would go into Vitamin D cold turkey, no matter how many supplements I took. It’s a treat for the senses, being in the tropics, and it’s a real chance for us to spend some quality time resting and catching up on sleep. This time, I even managed to read some books (instead of my usual habit of swimming and sunbathing all my time away!). Love it.

We decided to venture off to a northern island off the Malaysian hinterland, to Penang, which is well-known for its heritage architecture and tasty Asian food. And that’s exactly what we got! Our favourite bit was our little stay in Clove Hall, in Georgetown, a UNESCO heritage site. The owners of the boutique guesthouse, Jo and Jim, were super friendly and helpful. The house was a cosy yet luxurious (it is possible!) Edwardian colonial building which was perfect for hiding out in.

If we could have done so, we would have stayed forever. Sadly, because the suite we were in (a sweet – pun intended! – two-storey wing of the house, complete with outdoor rainforest shower!!) was booked up for the weekend, we had to vacate the premises on Saturday morning. I have never stayed in such a large suite before and cannot wait to go back. The three days were so dreamy…

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For our last night, we relocated to the beachy part of Penang (Batu Ferringhi), which was also fab; to be honest, though, nothing really could compare to Clove Hall. The interiors were a perfect combination of colonial antiques and traditional Peranakan/Straits Chinese everyday objects – a real treat for an antique-love like me!

See their website, http://clovehall.com/, for more information and for bookings (there are a limited number of rooms, so do book early if you are planning to). Hopefully we will return before too long!

 

Images: Courage & Dash (our stay was not in any way sponsored)

The Curious Shop: Loafing around.

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Remember that time I was super excited Loaf Shack was opening near me in Battersea? I went to visit the other day and it was so much fun! Set under the railway arches under double-height ceilings with some exposed original brick work walls, Loaf Shack Battersea is the sort of place you could spend your day in, either working, browsing, or just sleeping on one of their many sofas and beds! In fact, they actively encourage people to do so (it’s not a showroom, rather, it’s an experience venue), with free wifi, an ice creamery (say what?!) and a secret underground bunker-style recreational room – there’s a table football set, a pin-ball type machine, a television, plenty of loungey sofas and cushions. Apparently it’s where all the cool kids from the local school hang out nowadays!

If I worked from home, I would definitely be popping in lots. You could go and get your larger items of furniture (sofas, beds, wardrobes), spend hours picking fabric swatches, or just run in and out for a candle, some bed-linen, or cute glassware. I got myself a couple of pairs of hand-knitted bed socks (yes!) and a candle before I left.

Go visit and let me know what you think!

Visit Loaf Shack Battersea at 255-259 Queenstown Road, Battersea, London, SW8 3NP, of see http://www.loaf.com/.

P.S.: Loaf is having a birthday sale until January 31! Don’t miss it 🙂

 

Images: Courage & Dash

 

The Adventures of Flappy Bird

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You know how you have this new year thing happening so you decide to do things a little differently this year, and mix things up a bit, learn from your mistakes, or just try something new? Well, this year I have decided to embark on more adventures. Such a great word, isn’t it, “adventures”? Makes me think of Christopher Robin and Pooh Bear or Jack Sparrow of Pirates of the Caribbean. If I had more adventures in 2016, I would be very happy.

In keeping with that aim, I have joined Meetups, subscribed to Time Out, Secret London, and various other things. The thing is, there is so much going on that there is far too much to keep up with! But equally, I guess if I don’t try then I’ll soon slip back into my little routine (which is needed but dull). I found an Owl Experience Day with the English School of Falconry on Time Out and took the husband for a little jolly to Bedfordshire – 3 hours of handling owls and flying them? Yes, please! We were lucky it was sunny, because the day was amazing. Friendly staff, sweetest owls (how cute are they??), impressive falcons/eagles/other birds of prey in the falcony show, sunshine (although it was freezing cold)… it was such a fun afternoon. The School of Falconry has a range of experience days and demonstrations (by the way, England has very strict rules around birds of prey in captivity – the birds are well-looked after!) – do check them out!

 

Images: Courage & Dash