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Posted 24th April 2015 by Fiona
Here at Shoon HQ we are but moments from the country’s largest and possibly only P.Y.O tulip field. According to the friendly staff at Farrington’s farm shop, this time of year tends to cause a mini media stir, with people travelling far and wide to spend a few hours happily tip toeing through the multi coloured fields of tulips, collecting as they go. We felt that being so local we should go and investigate and maybe pick up a little floral inspiration along the way.
The tulips are planted in 3 waves giving plenty of opportunities for picking over the next few weeks. A small bunch of 10 costs £3, ideal for a pretty meander with the littles, if you have a larger party in mind you can pick 50 for £12. The marvellous May bank holiday is just around the corner so why not celebrate the spring festival in full floral style with armfuls of tulips, country dancing - the type that involves plenty of colourful ribbons and bells around your knees, singing and cake.
If you can’t make it to Somerset for your tulips, have a go at these origami ones, surprisingly simple and a utilitarian chic take on florals.
Posted 16th April 2015 by Fiona
The six million dollar man, The Muppets, Blondie and Bowie, Thatcher and Regan and a whole load of ch-changes that saw the rise of the individual and where there are changes in popular culture, fashion is sure to follow closely behind.
So what were the fashion hits of the seventies? Ultimately it will be remembered for the ‘tight top, flared bottoms’ ensemble but the decade itself was a melting pot of style references from hippie counterculture to the sounds of disco and punk rock.
2015 fashions take on the early influences of Woodstock’s peaceful ‘far out and free love’ approach, with long flowing maxi dresses in a kaleidoscope of colours, floral accessories and an altogether very chilled out way of dressing up (or down as the case may be).The runways were steeped in psychedelic prints and patterns reminiscent of the early seventies together with references to popular labels of the time, Ossie Clark and Biba.
*The Maxi dress is the perfect desk to dinner piece, wear with anklet boots for a modern edge and swap for block heels or embellished sandals for the evening. Look out for bell sleeves if you are after an authentic feature.
If you are feeling a little more anti-conformist, as seen in the musical influences of the day with both disco and punk rock, why not let your style follow suit? The mid seventies saw the birth of the t-shirt as outerwear, customised denims and trainers or more casual shoes as the new lifestyle footwear fashion of choice (as style icons go, a skateboarding Farrah Fawcett springs to mind).
*A pair lace up decks in one of any rainbow of colours with rolled up jeans or a denim mini are perfect for scooting about in most of the day.
Posted 8th April 2015 by Fiona
Gone are the days when handbags were thrown nonchalantly into the middle of the dance floor, thankfully we have moved on from this fashion savagery as handbags have become a treasured accessory when it comes to completing a look. White handbags in particular, along with white stilettoes, have thrown off their 80’s ‘the decade of – so say - bad taste’ image and successfully re-invented themselves as the accessories du jour. White could be seen all over the catwalks from Victoria Beckham’s White pointed cowgirl shoes to the timeless monochrome combinations at Chanel. As a weather obsessed nation, white is not always top of our fashion list, notoriously tricky to wear with paler complexions and a fear of getting things dirty don’t help it’s cause. We say don’t be afraid, be bold, it’s all about using a few fashion tricks and care tips, it looks so good once it’s on.
We are loving Van Dal’s summer collection this season with it’s, ‘Joan Collins holidaying on a yacht in St. Tropez’ flawless glamour, the styles are feminine, sparkly and special. The Aster Bag has all the qualities of a couture classic from the archives, in a soft white leather with a tassel and gold link chain to supply the essential bit of bling. Complete the look with Van Dal Malone, these elegant white sandals have geometric shaping and a block heel wrapped with gold leather to give to them a modern feel.
Wear with… anything with a bit a sixties swing.
As anyone who has tried a pair of Softinos will tell you, they are what they say they are, SOFT. Once tried, never forgotten, Softinos have mastered the art of combining super soft leather uppers with a ‘walking on air’ sole, all laced up in a laid back, leisurely style that is perfect for some urban cool comfort. Pair with a casual bag like Gabor Marina, easy to grab and carry or throw over the shoulder and big enough to fit in all those essentials. The contrast piping detail and zip pockets add design and function to this contemporary classic.
Wear with… This season’s super hot, love your Denim trend.
Posted 1st April 2015 by Fiona
This quick witted pudding is actually nobody’s fool, all fruit and froth, the English fruit fool is in fact triumphant in its simplicity. The name alone is a happy one and one to make you smile, as light as eating a bowlful of fluffy, soft coloured clouds and takes mere moments to create.
This pretty pudding with a pastel hue is utterly delicious, its sweet-sour combination mixes custards and creams until they are soft and billowy with the sharpness of the type of sour fruits that excel in our climate.
An untroubled pudding with all the trappings of luxury and a sense of humour to boot.
You will need:
250g gooseberries, 3 tbsp. caster sugar, 200g Greek yogurt, 1-2 tbsp. icing sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla extract 200ml double cream.
Heat Gooseberries and sugar with a splash of water in a pan until the fruit starts to burst, squash gooseberries to pulpy mash and chill in the fridge.
Put yogurt in a bowl and beat with icing sugar and vanilla until smooth, gently whisk and fold in cream. Ripple through gooseberry mixture and spoon into pretty glass dishes to serve. Add a sprinkle of golden honey comb and some mint leaves for decoration.
Posted 27th March 2015 by Fiona
Spring, in all its Technicolor glory is waking up the world outside, the birds are getting noisier, the hedgerows are bursting with colour and the fields are full of new born lambs jumping and bouncing about as if they were on a gigantic trampoline. Now the outdoors is officially declared open and soon with later opening hours (29th March) we will be able to enjoy it for even longer. So where should we go first?
The coast, stretching, jutting and zig zagging for approximately 11,000 miles and interspersed with around 1000 Islands, there is a lot to explore for a nation of sea loving types. Whether it’s watching the cliffs get pounded by the Atlantic waves, or lazing peacefully in the dunes as the clouds float by above there is no shortage of things to do in, on and around our coastline.
The Hills and mountains in the British Isles are both dramatic to behold and rich in heritage and history. From the famous crags and peaks of Northern England, Wales and Scotland to the softer slopes of England’s rolling hills or the volcanic ridges of the Welsh border. These are the perfect places to discover an ancient fort or battleground steeped in myth and legend.
The Moors are shrouded in mystery and magic but as the mists lift and the sun comes out the moorlands come alive with carpets of pink and purple heather stretching out as far as the eye can see. Tors that tower above the landscape look down on highland cattle, wild ponies and a most natural, rugged landscape. March is a good month for stargazing, head to Exmoor National park, the first designated Dark Skies reserve.
Riverbanks, the famous playground of Ratty, Moley, Toad and friends who created an idyllic setting perfect for messing about in boats, mouth-watering picnic feasts and wonderful adventures. A place where games are made from sticks (pooh) and stones (skimmers) and footwear is thrown aside for paddling in the shallows. Or perhaps a bit of wild swimming?
Woodlands are the place to go to hunt down a majestic ancient oak complete with gnarled trunk, mossy roots and twisted branches. Woody wonderlands are the place of Heroic outlaws, folklore and fairy tales ideal for a spot of den building, tree climbing and storytelling. A mecca for flora, fauna and haven for wildlife.