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patience please

31 August 2012

patience please

I very rarely talk about personal stuff on this blog.  However in this case, I have to make an exception.  I returned from a fabulous holiday/buying trip to some very sad news.   A friend of mine is seriously ill.  I have been spending quite a bit of time with her so the store opening has been slightly delayed.  A few of you who may follow my Facebook page or Tumblr will have noticed that the store is coming together, albeit very slowly.  We will be opening on September 7 from 12 to 6.

Due to staffing issues, I am going to have to close  on Mondays but of course you are welcome to contact me to make an appointment and of course, you can shop online 24/7.

See you at the store and back to regular blogging next week!!!!


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Blog, Cool Places, Hong Kong, Resources

A Celebration in Honour of Books and Reading

28 August 2012

A Celebration in Honour of Books and Reading

If you have any Aesop products in your bathroom, you may have noticed there pithy little quotes on life and living on the bottles.   To mark their twenty fifth anniversary and underline their literary pedigree, Aesop has launched their new program: ‘Twenty five years of reading at Aesop” .   They are highlighting 25 literary works, beginning with Robert Hughes 1987 epic read, ‘The Fatal Shore ”  .  There is a emphasis on Australian literature as Aesop’s staff have contributed the works that they have found most interesting and stimulating.

You can join in too.   On the 8th September, Aesop, in collaboration with charities Room to Read and SKH St Christopher’s Home are holding an event in their stores in Hong Kong. Both these organizations do a fine job of encouraging young people to learn to read and enhance their lives.  If you have any chinese language books, feel free to donate them in Aesop stores for use in SKH St Christopher’s Home.  20% of proceeds from the day will go to Room to Read. 

Saturday 8 September, 2012, 12pm–8pm

Aesop Lyndhurst Terrace
G/F, 52 Lyndhurst Terrace

Aesop Cityplaza
Shop 212, Cityplaza
18 Taikoo Shing Road
Taikoo Shing

Aesop Hysan Place
Shop 205, Hysan Place
500 Hennessy Road
Causeway Bay

RSVP: to hongkong@aesop.com by Monday 3 September


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Blog, fashion, Shopping

Cool…Olivia von Halle Silk PJs @ Sheer

25 August 2012

Cool…Olivia von Halle Silk PJs @ Sheer

Don’t you wish that you could wake up looking fabulously elegant?  Well, I am looking forward to investing in a set of the new Olivia von Halle silk pjs that have just been launched at Sheer.    Made of 100% silk and featuring lots of delicious detailing such as silk piping, mother of pearl buttons and a daring lower neckline, these pajamas were modeled on those worn by Coco Chanel.

You can’t get more elegant than that!

The pjs are launching today & limited stocks are available so make sure you rush into Sheer immediately.

Sheer Boutique
4/F, W Place, 52 Wyndham Street, Central
Tel: +852 2147 3887

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Blog, Cool Places

Cool…HDR Ireland

21 August 2012

Cool…HDR Ireland

Landscape photography is one of the best medium to test out HDR photography.   Standing for High Dynamic Range, HDR is a method of merging more than one exposure of the same scene to create an images that has a wider range of tone than a standard image.

With this image of the Priests Leap in Kerry, I took 3 photos of the same scene then merged them together in Photoshop.   In theory you need to use a tripod so that the image doesn’t move in the slightest, but alas, my baggage allowance was limited so I just tried to keep really still.

Not bad for a first attempt.

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Art, Cool Places, Design, London

Everything but the Scream

19 August 2012

Everything but the Scream

If you thought the work of Edvard Munch began and ended with The Scream, think again. The latest exhibition at the Tate Modern explores this fascinating artist, his life, influences and his work.

His work was typified by an unforgiving and unrelenting process of self-examination. This process, together with his willingness to experiment with different media, from drawing to printmaking to photography to film, resulted in a body of work that was diverse, but returned time and time again to the reworking of the same images and themes.

The reworking of images is the thing that I found most interesting about Munch’s work. That an artist, over a number of years and, having worked on different pieces in the meantime, can repeat a composition that is both clearly recognisable, but different as well is most fascinating. Though repeating a painting was common practice in the nineteenth century, his reworkings were never the same.

Images like The Sick Child 1907 reveal past traumatic memories of his young sister’s death from tuberculosis. This was an image you can see again in a later painting which, though painted in a looser style, reveals as much pain and emotion that it did in the first version.

All in all, a great and well-curated exhibition which gives the viewer a much stronger understanding of the artist.

Edvard Munch:The Modern Eye
Tate Modern, London
28th June to 14 October 2012

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Blog, Cool Places, Design

Where’s the celtic tiger gone?

19 August 2012

Where’s the celtic tiger gone?

It was quite apparent, when walking around Dublin the other day, that the celtic tiger has well and truly returned to the jungle.

A few years ago, pre-GFC, I was amazed at the number of flashy new cars, the well dressed people in the upscale department store, Brown Thomas. There are still are a few remainders here- a Laduree counter for example. Good to know you can still get a fresh supply of macaroons.

Driving around the west of Ireland reveals veritable ghost towns of developments. Boarded up and shut down, apparently you can pick up some bargains. However, there is something very sad about these homes- full of promise yet ultimately disappointing.

I spent quite a bit of time googling design stores in Dublin except for Industry, which does a fairly nice range of vintage furniture. Contemporary design? Forget it. Maybe they are so close to the UK they get everything sent from there.

I have no doubt, however, that, like always, Ireland will knuckle down and pull themselves out in time. Looks like it may take a while.

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Art, Blog, Design, Interiors, People

Cool…St Georges, Hanover Square, London

16 August 2012

Cool…St Georges, Hanover Square, London

One of the best things about a place like London is that you stumble upon the most unexpected gems on a simple walk from A to B.

St George’s, Hanover Square is one of those places.   I have heard this church mentioned so many times in novels- Sherlock Holmes, Pygmalion  as well as countless Regency romances were set in this place.  This was ‘the’ wedding chapel of the 18th to 20th century.  So much so it was humorously called the ‘Temple of the Hymen”.

I love the simplicity of the structure which has at its heart a lovely painting by William Kent in the  style of Poussin surrounding by carvings by a student of master carver, Grinling Gibbons.  All in all a lovely place to be married or even to pass a few minutes away from the hustle and bustle of London.

St George’s Hanover Square

St Georges Street

Mayfair, London

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Blog, Cool Places, Design, London, Shopping

Cool…Fine Cell Work

16 August 2012

Cool…Fine Cell Work

I have always been a bit of a stitcher so I was thrilled to come across the pop-up store of Fine Cell Work.   Taught by volunteers from the UK Embroiderers and Quilters Guild, these pieces are stitched by prisoners who use their time to learn a new, paid skill.

The pieces are finely crafted and worked.   Interestingly, most of the needlework is made by male prisoners who find the work calming and meditative.   On average, prisoners in the UK are locked up for around 17 hours per day so small cushion not only  represents hours of work ( approximately 80!!) but also means that prisoners are spending their time productively, earning money that can be used to support their families as well as teaching them a skill.

You can learn more about Fine Cell Work via their website and if you are in London, take the time to visit their new pop-up store in Grosvenor Street, Mayfair open now until the 30th September.  You can also commission a piece of  needlework via the website.   It is a great way to commemorate an event and you can join the V&A, the Tate and the Prince of Wales in commissioning a piece.

You can also donate money to support this fine enterprise.  It really is a worthwhile cause.


Fine Cell Work

5 Grosvenor Street , London, W1K 4DJ



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Blog, Design, Interiors, London, Shopping

Cool…Lamb’s Conduit Street

15 August 2012

Cool…Lamb’s Conduit Street

One of the hidden areas of WestLondon-definitely one for the locals- is Lambs Conduit Street.   Here you will find some of the most quirky stores in London whether you are looking for fashion or homewares.  Here are a few of the best.


Part of  a chain that stretches from East London to Amsterdam, Folk stocks some of the coolest womens and menswear around.   Including Acne, Humanoid, Sessun and their own recently launched self-named brand, Folk carries clothes that are simple, stylish and easy too wear.   I defy you to come out of here looking less than impossibly hip.

3 Lamb’s Conduit Street London WC1N 3NB


Persephone Books

Want to be part of the Bloomsbury set? Persephone Books is a  boutique fiction publishing company that specialises in reprinting books by forgotten (mostly female) authors of the 20th century.  Wrapped in their signature dove grey cover, these books are not only stylish but pretty good reads too.   I love their windows which use vintage artifacts to evoke a lost era of writing.

59 Lamb’s Conduit Street London



I first heard of Darkroom via their online store which stocks unique and hard-to-find items (sound familiar?).  With a great range of jewellery, homewares and artifacts, there are things here I have never seen anywhere else, and I shop a lot!  Love their concept and store.

52 Lamb’s Conduit Street, London WC1N 3LL

Ben Pentreath

If you look at my very limited blog roll you will see that one of the select few includes Ben Pentreath.  Around the corner in Rugby Street, this store is very quirky and lots of fun.   Find fab light fittings, gifts and furniture here.   Ben is also a very talented period architect and does lots of very interesting, but classical, work in London and overseas.

17 Rugby St London WC1N 3QT

The French House

If you live in London but can’t quite make it to an authentic french brocante, the french house is the place for you.   Linens, furniture, copper cookware and simple glasses make up this store where the stock is generally made specifically for them.  Lots of solid basics here which will add texture and solidity to your interior choices.

50 Lamb’s Conduit London WC1N 3LH

Maggie Owen

I do like her jewels but one of the standouts is the very lovely tiled exterior of her store.  When we visited there last week, it was covered in very festive red, white and blue bunting.  Venture inside and you will find a selection of gorgeous costume jewels.   Love it.

52 Lamb’s Conduit, London, WC1N 3LL

To get to Lamb’s Conduit Street, take the tube to Russell Square and walk 5 minutes from there.   There are plenty of cafes around to get a bite, but I particularly recommend the cafe at the Foundling Museum at 40 Brunswick Square.  Lots of lovely eats there in a bright & cheerful space.   Visit the museum too- it’s cool!

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Blog, Cool Places, Food, London

A taste of NY in…London

14 August 2012

A taste of NY in…London

Covent Garden has a bit of a dearth of good quick food. I had read about Mishkin’s in the TImes that morning and I thought it would be the perfect place for a quick Reuben sandwich on the way to see War Horse.

Decorated in the style of a 50s diner and full of the cool tattooed crowd, the air is full of the mouthwatering taste of salted beef.

If you squinted your eyes and were immune to accents, once you squeezed yourself into a red vinyl booth with the black and white checked floor and wooden detailing, you could almost imagine that you were in NY.

Though it possibly couldn’t be kosher, the mix of macaroni and salted beef in the mac and cheese was too die for. However, Heston Blumenthal’s autograph on the wall promising a heavenly Reuben was not too be. For my taste, it was way too thin- both the rye bread and the meats were not chunky enough, though the sauerkraut was pleasingly tangy. I tried to take a photo of it but its proportions just didn’t make a good image!

However, if you do want to eat something a bit different to the usual London fare- this is the place for you.

25 Catherine Street, London WC2
Tel: +44 20 7240 2078

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