Sunday, December 30, 2007


This is one of my favourite images from Charlotte Gainsbourg's French Vogue edit. They used it for the single cover for the track "everything I cannot see" apparently.

I swear Vogue Paris is in league with the tobacco industry. Every issue is full of people looking soigné (or in Charlotte's case bedheaded) smoking a ciggie. Tsk tsk.

My current location and hairstyle are roughly the same as Charlotte's - sans cancer stick naturally.

Ah, Sunday...

(pic: Kate Barry)


It was just the best Arabian adventure.
Some pictures are here.

Want . to . go . back . to . Oman...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


I must wish you all a Merry Christmas before I leave for an internet free adventure - which is both exciting (because I've never been anywhere near this region of the world before, or away for Christmas) and a bit nerve wracking (because I don't really want to get stoned to death for a minor accidental infraction of a law I'm not familiar with.) But hey, it'll be sunny! And sandy. And so, so, different.

I'll be back with photos before the new year.

Christmas kisses from Lola who is slightly wary of her new babysitter but has no concept of time, so she will hopefully think I've just been out for a very long walk.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


This is what happens when you try to make Christmas ginger biscuits and buy a Tova shirt at the same time. These gingernut biscuits shall henceforth and forever be known as Tova biscuits.

I was sitting there with my dough covered finger hitting refresh for about twenty minutes either side of the shop update time until I noticed that where the sold items had previously said 19, they now said 23. Yep, the shirts sold out before I even saw them go in the shop. I have no idea how that happened, maybe when I looked away for a sec to stir in the golden syrup. Those have got to be the most popular shirts in blogland - but I don't mind wanting the same thing as everyone else on this occasion. It would be quite cool if you bumped into someone else wearing one. They'd almost certainly be another blogeuse - it'd be like a cool secret club. Alas, this is not a club I have been able to join. Ah well, my shopping luck has been almost too good lately so I gracefully accept defeat.

So, back to the Tova biscuits. I cut them ,or should I say it, up into sort of crazy paving shaped pieces and they turned out OK.

Then I made about three more batches and eventually learned that a teeny tiny ball of dough on the baking tray spreads out to make an enormous biscuit. The recipe is from the Rose Bakery (love that place) cookbook Breakfast, Lunch, Tea and it's for Hot Gingernut Biscuits (P.150).
But it's the packaging of them to give to friends I enjoy doing the most. Wouldn't Martha be proud? I really think she would.

p.s. the recipe is here

Friday, December 14, 2007


S: So is that your new navy coat?

Me: No, it's at home.

S: But that coat's navy. Why do you need another one?

Me: Well, you see this one is for when it's not that cold and the new one is for when it's really cold.

S: Exactly how many navy coats have you got?

Me: Er, counting...about...five?

S: So you need one coat for when it's sunny but cold, with a slight northwesterly wind, a different one for when it's sunny but just a bit warmer with the chance of drizzle and so on.

Me: I'm so glad we understand each other.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


I keep forgetting to mention what I've been doing over at Gridskipper.

As you know I am something of an expert on Christmas shopping, having a large extended family for which at the last count I had to buy THIRTY FIVE presents for. (Due to a cunning master plan put into practise last year, of point blank refusing to do the shopping for the first time in fifteen years, thus making others realise the ridiculousness of it all; we have slashed the present giving (and receiving) and guess what? No one really minded and Christmas feels just as Christmassy, if not more so now. And I have more time to buy better gifts. And less achy arms.)

But, what to do with all this knowledge of gift buying?

I have helpfully compiled a guide of places to buy cool Christmas (sorry - Holiday*) pressies for under £50 in London; which if I do say so myself is...well I'm pleased with it anyway.

Then, somewhat linked in my mind at least, there's a guide to London's Cosy (Cozy*) Drinking Dens where I shall be resting my weary legs by the open fire supping a pint of Guinness and eating packet after packet of salt & vinegar crisps as I survey my loot of just TEN presents this year. Ten, pah! Easy.

*I use US English on Gridskipper...confusing for my brain!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Frost, crisp air, sky changing colour, hats, mittens, mulled wine.
I like it.

I also like expired polaroid film...

Monday, December 10, 2007

OH NO!...

Kaaaachung! That is the sound of yet another US interiors magazine biting the dust. Since the US seems to be a pretty accurate barometer of reading habits, any British folk who don't read anything online, never not ever and there's plenty of 'em believe me, had better start getting in the habit of scrolling. It will happen here eventually too. (Personally I have saved many trees and have read about far more interesting things since my conversion to the ways of the interwebs.)

That was a digression. What I was going to say is that if anyone in the US wants to do a magazine swap with me before Blueprint dies next month, (that is the Martha Stewart Omnimedia published Blueprint not the British architecture mag) drop me an email at lolaisbeauty(AT)hotmail(DOT)co(DOT)uk. I think the final issue will be Jan/Feb.

Blueprint has been really hard to get hold of here and the couple of issues I had I really liked - appealed to the perfectionist in me, what can I say - I care. I'd also like to swap for a current issue of Domino. So let me know: British Elle Decoration, Living Etc, whatever - I have loads of back issues of those as well so I'd be willing to swap two oldies for a newie of Blueprint or Domino or something.

I am suddenly transported back to the times of Michael J. Fox Back to the Future sticker swaps.

EDIT: Thanks to a commenter I discovered that though they stopped stocking Blueprint in Borders Oxford Street after the first two issues - they do have it in Tottenham Court Road Borders. And guess what? I went, I saw, I didn't like the Christmas issue! Sorry Blueprint, I'll buy the last one of you in January I promise.


My first impression of Vienna was a bit like this:

I don't know about you, but all that Verboten business compels me to stand on the wrong side of the escalator and ride my bike in the pedestrian lane.

Luckily, after a bit of this:

and numerous courses of this:

Oh, and a slice of this:

Things seemed much better. Oh, and we displeased the authorities by rushing into the museum twenty minutes before closing to see this:
 There were also trams. And beer. And the first opera I've ever loved/stayed awake through.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


...because the injury is due to carrying too many clothes at the Mulberry press sale yesterday. Whoo. It's way too dark today to take pictures but I got the coat I wanted, (£995 on Net-a-Porter) for cheap! Also a bluebell print button down chiffon dress (for those Stevie Nicks moments), print bow blouse (love that word), a super long scarf, little tan leather gloves, a pale pink knit, a bag (supposed to be a manbag) but would perfectly fit a MacBook which I'd be able to buy if I hadn't just blown the Mac fund at the Mulberry press sale. Oh, and a couple of Christmas pressies I can't mention.

Quelle fun day. Thank you, thank you, nice lady for inviting me, you know who you are. You know when you were little and you'd wake up on Christmas morning really early because you were so excited and you knew you were going to get loads of presents? Well yesterday was the adult version of that, sponsored by Visa.

Oh, the dedication. I got up at six am to meet my partner in shopping for a sustaining breakfast. She, meanwhile, had got up at FOUR AM for the journey to London. While I waited for her at the Wolseley I read the Guardian, as you know I find it imperative to keep up with current world affairs. Oh, OK it was because it came with Louise Bourgeois designed giftwrap. Instead of reading the paper I looked at the pretty pictures in Charlotte Gainsbourg's guest edited French Vogue (which I like very much, perhaps even more so than Sofia's).

Eggs Benedict, plenty of coffee then a casual stroll to Mulberry to find an enormous queue snaking up the stairs. Once inside everyone made a beeline for the bags and something in my mind whispered, "The coat" so I ran off to find the coats and there it was, just one and in my size. I love good fashion karma. 'Twas a bit of a bunfight, but in a manageable, friendly way and we were very happy with our bargain loot.

A bit more shopping, open sandwiches in Liberty's tea room, (so civilised! except I kept spilling mine all over the table) could.not.carry.bags.any.more. My Cinderella shopping companion had to go as well so I went home to drop off the bags, on to an appointment then BACK to Liberty to meet C for the card holder evening (ginger cocktails, room to move and 20% off). I bought a few stocking fillers but not much else. Shopped out you see.