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Posted 11th September 2014 by Fiona
We love this seasons looks inspired by the ‘Gentleman traveller of yesteryear’ and the spirit of this erudite journeyman. For any wanderers, explorers and photographers, this story and its style are key for 2014, so pack your note book, camera and brogues and head off on your own Grand Tour.
But what to wear…?
Any style conscious man will be able to tell you about the importance of good footwear and how it can make or break an outfit instantly. Classic footwear silhouettes such as Loafers, Brogues, Monk straps, Oxfords and Derbies are the sartorialist’s bread and butter. It is also no secret that footwear that has been traditionally manufactured, hand sewn and crafted using the best quality leathers, is the very best available on the market and worth investing in. So let us introduce you to Barker, our new menswear brand for this autumn. Barker tick all the boxes when it comes to the fine art of English shoe making, combining specialist techniques with modern designs that capture Britain’s unique menswear heritage. So if it’s Gentlemanly poise and contemporary flair you are after this quintessentially English brand has got it all.
Experimenting with your footwear particularly these timeless classics is a brilliant way of injecting individuality into your looks without compromising on form or function.
Posted 5th September 2014 by Fiona
Does capturing that magical moment have to be professional shot or can it be a lucky snap? Gone are the days when photos came back from the printers with ‘out of focus’ stickers and red eye or blurred limbs were all you had to show for a great night out. Now we can snap, snap and snap again and if that doesn’t work there is always the trickery of filters, flashes and if all else fails, delete.
We all want to capture our favourite moments, to be able to feel the sand between our toes, smell the heady scent of the lavender fields and taste the ice-cream we enjoyed so much.
Here are a few simple ideas to try next time you are snapping away but above all, take your camera everywhere you go so you don’t miss the moment.
A plain background will show off your subject.
Landscape, the golden hours are before 10am and after 4pm.
Flowers like subdued light and thin cloud, sun will often blow the colours.
People, for a natural, soft focus feel a soft cloudy day is a friendly filter.
Be a picture director – choose the location, props, arrange and take charge.
Look your subject in the eye, a level angle is engaging.
Move in close, fill the picture area with your subject.
Be left (or right) of centre to bring your picture to life.
Humour, bring on the clichés.
Flout the rules – blurred motion, chop and crop body parts and use your editing tools.
Posted 20th August 2014 by Fiona
There’s much more to eating outside than soggy, sandy sandwiches and being held hostage in the car by the wind and rain blowing horizontally across the car park. The Brits don’t let a little thing like weather spoil a picnic; indeed, nothing gets between us and our commitment to a picnic blanket.
I’m not sure which I love more, the great day out or the picnic itself. For me, the food is part of the adventure, making it, eating it and preferably sharing it. A day packed with friends, family and epic quantities of fun should be interspersed with all hands diving into the picnic basket to discover the delights hidden inside.
At this time of year there isn’t a time of day that doesn’t suit a picnic, breakfast, lunch or a sneaky summer supper all hit the spot when it comes to an Al Fresco adventure.
But what type of ‘picnicker’ are you? The professional, where going all-out on gastro style catering and luxury accessories are merely the bare essentials. Or the artisan, for whom things are a little more handmade, homespun and happily haphazard.
Whichever camp you find yourself falling into, when it comes to the food the general rule of thumb is to choose dishes that are better served cold than they would be hot. You can not go far wrong by following the fine example set by some of the great ‘picnickeers’ of our time, the Famous Five, Ratty, Moley and Mrs Beeton are all experts.
Things ‘not to be forgotten’ should include; rosy apples, a platter of cold meats, cherry cake, ginger beer and if you have a real taste for nostalgia, a stick of horse radish and a bottle of mint sauce – well corked. Real cutlery and plates and a jaunty woollen blanket are lovely for atmosphere. Corkscrews, napkins and a sharp knife also have their uses. However finger foods are a great way to avoid extra baggage, clearing up and minor injuries. For seating there is sure to be a suitable rock/log/bench near by ideal for seamlessly blending into your surroundings whilst admiring the wildlife.
Posted 14th August 2014 by Fiona
With its colourful history (think rotten Romans and terrible Tudors), beautiful parks and cosmopolitan centre, St. Albans is certainly city for a great day out. It’s one of those places where you can find something for everyone; Historians, festival goers and fashionistas alike could happily while away the hours in this hidden haven of Hertfordshire.
Any budding historian would be in his element here, an original Roman city and road, Battle sites from the War of the Roses and home to the first British Saint – The city's namesake, Alban.
If you are more of a free spirit and would prefer to wander some of the less bustling corners of St. Albans you can explore the 100 acres of beautiful parkland in Verulamium Park, the orchard in the Abbey Cathedral or Kingsbury Water Mill.
As for the keen fashionistas amongst us, St. Albans has a buzzing shopping vibe from high street faves to quirky boutiques. We love Christopher’s Place, home to Shoon, Whistles and French connection to name but a few. It’s the perfect spot for a little style hunting and trend inspiring browsing. Not forgetting lunch… with Wagamamas, Carluccio’s and Zizzi’s it all feels very European and relaxed, which is just what you need after such a busy morning.
Did we mention pudding? The pudding Stop is an absolute must, dedicated to really good, homemade puddings and inspired by old fashioned, family favourites - what a delicious idea! Often filled with families, Christopher’s Place plays host to family friendly events from children’s petting farms to folk dancing. All in all an easy place to spend a day, or with all that to pack in... maybe two.