Friday, July 27, 2012

London, England - The Olympic Torch Relay

Crowds lining Regent Street in London
It wouldn't be London without a red double decker bus!
Even the police are in good moods, hi-fiving spectators as they go
Many party floats preceded the torch

Olympic fever has officially begun here in London. The Olympic torch finally made its way into the city and I happened to watch it come down Regent Street in front of my office last evening. While I haven’t scored tickets to any of the events, my friends are throwing many parties to get in the spirit. Tonight I am going to an Opening Ceremony party at a friend’s flat, and tomorrow all of us Americans will get together for a BBQ. Where will you be watching the Olympics?? 

What did we all do before the smart phone?
A close up of the torch and London 2012 logo

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Monday, July 23, 2012

London, England - Liberty Furnishing Fabrics Have Launched!!

As many of you who follow my blog regularly know, I moved to London a little over a year ago to launch a brand new furnishing fabrics range for Liberty of London. After months and months of reviewing designs from our archive, perfecting color combinations, choosing base cloths and a thousand other tasks, I am happy to report that our fabrics finally launched last Thursday! 

They are available for purchase here.

We held a sit-down luncheon for all of the home magazine editors and relevant press, and the collection was very well received. I also had several pieces of furniture upholstered to showcase the fabrics. Here is a sneak peek from our photo shoot: 

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Friday, July 20, 2012

Lyndhurst, England - Day Two in the New Forest

Woke up early last Sunday morning at Lime Wood to find the sun out and decided to go for a 5 mile bike ride through the New Forest. There was so much green and it was beautiful to see the sun shining through the trees. There are paths all throughout the forest that go for miles and miles and they are perfect for jogging or biking. At one point I saw a massive falcon swoop by and its wing span was amazing! 

On the return ride I had a very Robert Frost "two roads diverged in a wood" moment (photo above) and had no idea which road was the right one back to the hotel. Moment of panic. I'm not sure if I took the one less travelled by, but luckily the one I did choose led me straight to breakfast!

After a lazy breakfast reading The Sunday Times, I headed to the Herb House Spa on the property and had a very relaxing facial in one of their treatments rooms. It is a beautiful spa and I highly recommend a visit here if you are staying at Lime Wood. 

At 2pm we checked out of the hotel and headed to the neighboring town of Brockenhurst for lunch at The Pig, which is the sister hotel to Lime Wood. It was a 6 minute ride and again, full of cattle, greenery, and thatched roof houses.

The dining room has a lovely glass roof and funky tiled floor with worn pine dining tables and chairs. It is a very popular restaurant for both lunch and dinner. All of the food is locally sourced and the menu changes constantly depending on what is in season. The kitchen is overseen by Chef James Golding who is ex Mark Hix –Ivy, Caprice, Sheekys and Soho House New York.

We decided to order a lot of small plates, or what they call "piggy bits," and dine tapas style, though they do have large Sunday roasts and big main meals of pork and fish as well. What we ate:

Meat loaf with caramelized onions
Prosciutto wrapped around carrots
Smoked salmon
These were just fried balls of animal fat - ya I stayed away from those!
Spicy fried onions
Tomato and basil salad
Chocolate mousse cake with cream and raspberries
Frozen toffee with hazelnuts - tasted like the most delicious salted caramel ice cream!
Dining room
Dining room tiled floor
The front of the hotel
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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Lymington, England - A Day in the New Forest

Woke up Saturday morning at Lime Wood and had a warm porridge breakfast in The Scullery (photo above) before heading out for a drive through the New Forest to the neighboring seaport town of Lymington. The New Forest covers an area of about 145 miles of shrubby lowland, open pastures and forest, and is an area of outstanding beauty. There are wild horses and cows everywhere you look and I was particularly struck by how many brand new foals were around. You can literally pull over to the side of the road and be right next to them.

We were lucky enough to get to Lymington in time to see the Olympic torch run through the center of town.

A beautiful, Georgian market town, Lymington is world renown as a sailing resort. From the bottom of the High Street a cobblestone road leads down to the Old Town Quay, still used as a base by commercial fishing boats. The Quay is filled with quaint little shops and many delicious bakeries, some also serving New Forest ice cream.

We stopped at the Ship Inn, right smack on the harbor, and had a pint of beer on their outside patio. It is a cosy little pub that is perfect for a drink and a small snack. Locals say the best restaurant however, is Egan's

The winding roads through the forest are easy to drive and so picturesque. I loved the thatch roof homes.

British weather is wet and the countryside can be muddy, so come prepared. What I'm wearing: Barbour Bedale Jacket, London based denim label PDA (Public Display of Affection) jeans, lots of layering t-shirts from Gap Body and Hunter Wellington boots.

Once back at the hotel, we spent the rest of the afternoon reading magazines and lazing around the indoor pool and drinking blueberry and banana smoothies from their smoothie bar called Raw and Cured

Around 5:30pm we headed into the main house and sat in this beautiful purple room while sipping Bellini cocktails. The great thing about Lime Wood is that you can literally sit in any part of the building and they will serve you food and drink. You can have a meal on the couch if it so suits you! 

What we ate: 
Baked crab with toast points
Smoked salmon, new potatoes, mint and peas
Scullery Chicken Club with french fries
Steak sandwich with french fries

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