Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Perfect Pampering...

Although P&P rarely needs one, what better excuse to look good and pamper yourself than preparing for your engagement party! As well as being the perfect opportunity to do a dry run before the ‘big day’ itself, you want to look your best to date, and look happy and radiant for all your friends.

The pampering began at the Bliss Spa in South Kensington. Having heard only rave reviews of their Triple Oxygen Facial, I hastily booked in my appointment for a couple of days before (just in case of any post-facial blotches!) to see if it really was too good to be true …and it didn’t disappoint…

The pampering begins before you’ve even set foot in the treatment room as you’re given the cosiest bath robe to change into and then some time to relax in their quiet room to read the latest edition of their huge selection of glossy mags, or even to snack on cheese and biscuits if you’re at all peckish!

Then the wonderful Catherine came to pick me up and walk me to the treatment room. The treatment itself was amazing – 85 minutes of pure heaven. The masks and creams used feel and smell fantastic and the pure oxygen which is sprayed over your face is so soothing and refreshing. Even the extraction part was pretty pain free and even better, I wasn’t left with red blotches all over my face.

Amazingly, I left looking fresh-faced with the softest and glowing skin I’ve ever achieved from a facial. Catherine also gave me great advice on how to maintain my skin and suggested some Bliss products to take home.

I must admit, I did invest in one… the Bliss Triple Oxygen Energising Mask – hopefully I can now have beautiful skin in between my facials too!

Monday, 9 March 2009

Divine Do's...

As you can imagine, it’s been a busy time for P&P recently…venues, menus, shoes, bridesmaids’ dresses – I can understand the need for a wedding planner, although the control freak in me is loving every minute! I’ve come to the conclusion that organising a wedding has more to do with diplomacy than anything else – and obviously ending up with the wedding day you’ve been dreaming of since being a little girl.

You’ll be pleased to know that I’ve got all the fundamentals booked – caterer, photographer, florist, etc. – and can now concentrate on P&P looking sensational and making Green Fingers go weak at the knees on the day.

In my opinion, hair on the day is as important as the dress and can make or break the finished look. Looking natural, elegant and timeless comes at a cost, and even the simplest of ‘dos require hours of preparation.

There are a few fabulous websites which have divine bridal hair accessories – whether you’re looking for a comb, tiara, diamonds, pearls or flowers, there’s something to suit all. My two favourites (I need to retain some mystery for the day!) are Yarwood White and Basia Zarzycka.

Not only are there lots of ideas and styles, but thanks to the close-up images you can see every detail, and they even offer individual commissions if what you’re looking for isn’t there.

Quality is definitely the word here and for something so important on your day it’s definitely worth the cost (or at least that’s what I’m telling Green Fingers...). The Fern Leaf Comb from Yarwood-White is simply stunning and I love Basia’s Starburst – now that’s what I call elegant bling...

Diamonds, bubbles and dresses...

My excuse for not having written a blog for an age? Well, it all started at Christmas... Green Fingers and I had spent a lovely afternoon decorating the Christmas tree (he is a landscape designer after all!) and, whilst we were admiring the finished product, he proved that romance is certainly not dead by dropping down on one knee and...proposing!!

So it’s official – Pashminas & Pearls is officially betrothed. Life has been a blur of diamonds, bubbles and dresses ever since!

I’ve spent many an hour reading my Debrett's Wedding Guide and of course browsing the web, ogling various bridal collections online. And while some weren’t quite P&P style (if you know what I mean!), there were a few beautiful designs to inspire and get me thoroughly excited about that oh-so-important white frock...

After making a list of shops to visit (I may be in the first glow of engagement but that doesn’t mean I can’t be prepared...) I spent the most fabulous day with my mother and matron of honour trying on every dress I could get my hands on.

And that included a HUGE meringue - it just has to be done. Meringues aside it was the veil that turned me to jelly and made my mother reach for her hanky!

We did just two dress shops on day one feeling that brunch (and a bottle of sauvignon blanc) was equally important, naturally.

Before you ask, I did find 'The One'. In fact I found it in the first shop! Anyway P&P will have to keep you guessing as I can’t possibly give any sort of detail away (yes, GF, that’s aimed at you...).

Monday, 21 April 2008

I always think it rather sad that St George’s Day isn’t celebrated in England like St Patrick’s Day is in Ireland. With everything from national sausage day to national kissing day on the calendar it seems ironic that we don’t attach more importance to St George’s Day... surely it should be a bank holiday?!

As an old Georgian (Pashminas and Pearls went to school at St George’s Ascot) and someone that loves any excuse for a party, I thought St George’s Day was a prime opportunity to get some friends together and celebrate all that is English. With that in mind, I put my thinking cap on to come up with a truly ‘English’ spread.

Immediately all the clich├ęs came to mind – roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, jam roly poly and scones with Cornish clotted cream and jam. But, in P&P’s truly individual way, I decided to go slightly off piste. When one thinks of English cheese, one tends to think of English cheddars and stiltons… And then one’s mind wanders to the creamy French bries and tangy but delicious Italian dolcelatte.

But on my hunt to be individual I discovered that English cheese doesn’t have to be so predictable – in fact it seems there’s a far more interesting world of English cheese out there for fellow cheese lovers like me!

The Cheese Works came up with the perfect solution. They’ve created a St George Hamper for celebrations on 23rd April! The hamper includes traditional Godminster Cheddar, St Eadburgha – that has a deep and rich creaminess and Ragstone, a goats cheese with a lemony tang. Not only does it include all you’d desire for a dinner finished off with cheese but it also includes delicious rosemary crackers and Old Spot Ale Chutney.

And, to put the icing on the cake, they also include a bottle of Three Choirs Special Cuvee (English ‘Champagne’ so to speak!) which in my book beats any French fizz hands down!
A date for your diary, St George’s Day this 23rd April - the perfect reason to enjoy all that is English!

Monday, 31 March 2008


Rather than waste my time off work, I decided to take advantage of my empty days and really concentrate on sorting out my little flat. I don’t know about you, but I’ve got a terrible habit of putting things off and sadly putting some finishing touches to my flat has taken the brunt of it! While spring cleaning and the odd bit of DIY (or supervising Green Fingers’ DIY!!!) it occurred to me that we had ignored the spare room and it had become more of a dumping ground than the pretty spare room I had first imagined. The bleak white walls were shouting out for some colour so my first job was to find some paintings or prints to put up.

Rather than trawling art galleries throughout London and taking up all my free time in one go, I decided to have a look on the web instead, at least to find some inspiration. As usual I struck gold and found just what I’d been looking for from the comfort of my sitting room! Graham and Green are a fabulous shop with an equally fabulous on-line shop.

You can find furniture, tableware, pictures and even clothes on it, and the website looks brilliant and is so easy to use. I found the perfect set of pictures to make my spare room look more like the ‘guest room’ Pashminas and Pearls should have! The mirrored frames are much more exciting than just a plain wooden frame and the camellia prints are a little more traditional but really brighten up the room. I also love their 50’s style mirrored furniture, particularly the dressing table/desk.

One job down…if only they were all as much fun doing as picture shopping’s been!

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Chocolate Delights...

It seems like an age ago that Lent started…probably seems even longer for if like Pashminas and Pearls you gave up chocolate for Lent. Forty days and forty nights have never felt so eternal and torturous! Thank goodness Easter is almost upon us now and I can go back to my favourite indulgence once again. Going out for dinner hasn’t been quite the same without at least the option of having an indulgent chocolate pudding or at least an After Eight with one’s cappuccino!

Easter is always a family affair for P & P, and for the first time Green Fingers is being subjected to Easter ‘en famille’! With that in mind (and P & P being unable to resist…) I decide to go to Rococo’s on-line shop for Easter chocolate this year. Usually I’m terrible at leaving it until the last minute but having seen the beautiful creations in the window of their King’s Road shop, I thought I’d browse and decide from the comfort of my sofa at home and take advantage of their home delivery. They did not disappoint…

Rococo is heaven to any chocolate lover. Whether your favourite is milk, dark or white, there is something for everyone and the choice is fantastic. There are delicious looking hollow chocolate eggs which would suit everyone, filled with a variety of chocolate and yummy truffles, which come in different sizes too. There is also a version for the younger family members with hollow eggs filled with mini eggs and chocolate animals. For the more sophisticated chocolate eater (and a firm favourite of P & P’s – take note Green Fingers!!), is the Crate of Praline Quails Eggs – such a clever idea, and a mouthful of heaven! The beautiful detail Rococo goes to is impeccable and I spent hours looking at their beautiful creations (albeit with my mouth watering constantly).

Last orders are on Sunday 16th March so don’t leave it too last minute.Hopefully when the package arrives on my doorstep I’ll be able to resist the temptation of a taking a pre-Easter taste!

Sunday, 2 March 2008

A Worthwhile Investment...

Having properly settled into my little flat again and feeling thoroughly decadent, I decided to invest in a new set of bed linen to complete my newly decorated abode.

The feeling of curling up on high quality linen is really rather wonderful so rather than going to the Peter Jones linen department (Sloane Square has always had a magnetic effect on P&P!) and not quite being able to stretch to Frette (no pressure Green Fingers), I decided to hit the Cologne and Cotton web store.

Cologne and Cotton did not disappoint my desire. Their beautiful range of colours and patterns are divine; I felt like a school girl in a candy shop! So much so that before I knew it, two sets of bed linen had found their way into my shopping trolley.

I simply love the Waterford collection – 240 thread count cotton percale (for those that don’t know too much about cotton – that’s pretty impressive) and I also slipped in the Spoke set which is 100% linen and fantastically luxurious. I went for the plain white Spoke because it looks so crisp and fresh but their pastels work equally well for those who like a touch of colour. Never before have I wanted to be in bed so much!

For somewhere you spend your all important resting time, it’s more than worth an extra pound or two in indulgence!