Wednesday, June 20, 2012

London, England - Serpentine Gallery Yoko Ono - To The Light Exhibition

My own "artistic" photo of Yoko Ono
Last evening I was an invited guest at London's Serpentine Gallery for the opening of TO THE LIGHT, a major exhibition of the work of artist Yoko Ono. The show reflects upon the enormous impact that she has made on contemporary art, exploring her influential role across a wide range of media. This exhibition, her first in a London public institution for more than a decade, includes new and existing installations, films and performances, as well as archive material relating to several key early works. My own personal opinion of the exhibition: sorry Yoko, not my cup of tea!

© 2012 Jerry Hardman-Jones

© 2012 Jerry Hardman-Jones

I much preferred sitting out in the evening sunlight with my friends at the Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei 2012 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, built of cork with a floating platform roof. 

Horsing around with cork seating: 
Jacket Maje, Bag Yves Saint Laurent Muse, Sunglasses Chanel.
My lovely friend Dara
© 2012 Iwan Baan
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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Ramatuelle, France - Pavillon de Pampelonne (St. Tropez)

Even if I'm still wearing a winter coat here in London, the calendar reads June, and so, it must be summer somewhere! Summer means planning my annual trip to St. Tropez, France. While this year we are going in August and renting a flat in the port (stayed tuned for that), last year we stayed in a lovely B&B called Pavillion de Pampelonne on the road that leads to the beaches (Route des Plages) in Ramatuelle. (The summer before I stayed here).

The Pavillon is owned by a British couple, Alison and Peter Dow, who fell in love with it and bought it in May 2003, and have gradually restored it to its current splendor. They are wonderful hosts who treat you as if you are their houseguest for the weekend. “We try to run it as part home, part hotel so that the formalities of service and cleanliness are observed but at the same time inviting guests to use all of the facilities in the house – there’s even an honesty bar where you tell us how much you drink!” 

Breakfast is included in the room rate and can be eaten by the pool, in the garden (below) or taken in your room. It includes a fresh fruit bowl, juice, coffee, yogurt and an entire basket of croissants, pain au chocolat, french baguettes and other fresh goodies. Rooms and bathrooms are simple, but furnished tastefully and very clean. Parking is free and their James Bond-like security system means that even if you party until the wee hours of the morning, the door to the Pavillon will unlock by reading your fingerprint.

We loved the location because it was at the top of the road that leads down to the famous Club 55 where we spent all of our time during the day. You can leave the car at the residence and walk down to avoid the parking and traffic chaos in front of the club. However, you will need a car to reach the port of St. Tropez about 4km away. 

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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Savoir Beds Design Competition

As many of you know, I am currently studying for a degree in Interior Design at the KLC School of Design at The Design Centre Chelsea Harbour in London. In order to build my design profile I have recently entered a competition to design a headboard for a very famous bed company called Savoir Beds. The theme of the competition this year is Organic Luxury.

The winner will be chosen from the top 5 entrants with the most votes on Facebook (this is where I need your help!). Should I win I will receive press from all the top international home publications: House & Garden, Elle Decoration, Marie Claire Maison, etc.

If you have a Facebook account and could take a moment to vote for me I would be so appreciative!

Follow this link, find my entry (first photo below) click on the thumbs up sign on my entry to vote (you'll need to scroll up on the next screen) and look for the green VOTE button:

Fingers crossed and many thanks!!

© Alexandra Foster 
© Alexandra Foster 
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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

London, England - Diamond Jubilee Tea at Claridge's

The last event on my four day Jubilee weekend celebration was high tea yesterday afternoon at the famous London hotel Claridge’s. I was accompanied by my best friend from university, the fabulous Greek Cypriot/South African interior designer Georgia Van Heyste. While I often pop into the bar at Claridge’s for a cocktail after work, I have never experienced their afternoon tea which, year after year, has been voted best tea in London by the British Tea Guild. Not only did they have a special Diamond Jubilee Tea menu, but pastries came adorned with festive crowns and union jack flags. The service is impeccable: you will never see the bottom of your tea cup, and the tea sandwiches, scones and pastries were delicious. I love the pianist/harp duo and the stunning fresh flower displays in the center of the room, not to mention the art deco interior spaces of the hotel. I think Claridge’s just tied The Connaught for my favorite afternoon tea in London

Some festive chocolates, which came wrapped up in a Claridge's bow,
were given to us to take home
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Monday, June 4, 2012

Epsom, England - Investec Derby Day at Epsom Downs Racecourse

The Queen in the Royal Box
The Queen's first appearance of the weekend on her Diamond Jubilee four-day schedule was the Investec Derby Day at Epsom Downs Racecourse. Everyone knows that the Queen is passionate about horse racing. Though she never gambles, the race horses she owns and breeds make enough money for her! She was looking very regal in royal blue and accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh and other various royal family members. Katherine Jenkins sang the National Anthem to a crowd of about 130,000 people. However, the best part of the day was when the sun came out to stay around 2pm. 

Katherine Jenkins prepares to sing the National Anthem
I watched the races from the Tattenham Straight Marquee, a hospitality tent overlooking the racecourse. We enjoyed a three course meal and then a wonderful tea time in the afternoon. Alcohol was included, so you can imagine that the classic British summer drink, Pimms, was flowing all afternoon! A Pimm's Cup, as it is known, mixes lemonade (or ginger ale/Sprite), fruit, cucumbers, mint, and a fortifying shot of Pimm's No. 1 gin. Why not make one for your next barbeque with the classic recipe.
Our hospitality tent: The Tattenham Straight Marquee
View from our hospitality tent

People even partied out of London double decker buses

Sweets at afternoon tea time: scones and chocolate eclairs
Baked lemon cream with raspberry and cornflower meringue
and strawberries in a white chocolate crown
The classic Victoria sponge cake: delicious! 
Since so many readers have asked to see what fashions I wear on all of my adventures, I have decided to add a "What I'm Wearing" photo from time to time. 
What I'm wearing: Dress Catherine Malandrino, Jacket Gucci, Bag and 
sunglasses Chanel, Shoes Valentino Garavani, Hat/Fascinator Nerida Fraiman 
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