Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Barcelona

It took a little bit longer to come back than I'd thought it would.. but the Collection has taken over my life in the last few weeks, leaving little room for anything else. I hope everyone had a good start into the New Year, and wishing you a happy, peaceful and joyous 2017!

At the end of the holiday season we went on our first family trip with a dog, which made it an adventure for all of us. The challenge was to find places to stay and things to do that could be equally enjoyed by DH and me, our teenage DS and the little Milo! Barcelona seemed an obvious destination since it was easy to reach and the weather forecast promised blue skies.

Our trip was planned pretty much last minute, and I felt so lucky that we could still book into the chic and pet-friendly Claris boutique hotel a block away from the Passeig de Garcia. The Claris's owner also owns the Egyptian Museum across the road, to which hotel guests have free access. His son did the hotel's interior design and created a beautiful atmosphere by mixing modern furniture and fixtures with antique sculptures, paintings, furniture and decorative objects from his father's private art collection.



The Passeig de Garcia's plane trees were still clinging onto their autumn leaves, but  Gaudi's Casa Battló was decked festively with fun and quirky clusters of snowballs hanging from its windows and balconies.



Milo's first 'sight-smelling' trip!



The Reserva Iberica ham bar would have clearly been Milo's Barcelona favorite, but he had to wait outside. It is one of the best places to buy the famous Spanish Ibérico ham, and you can also enjoy it right there and then... they have a few tables and bar stools where you can sample the different kinds, along with a glass of chilled Cava. 



The finest of the finest Ibérico ham, the Bellota (acorn in Spanish). The Bellota producing Ibérico pigs spend their days roaming happily in family groups under the oak trees and rooting for herbs, grass and of course bellotas, their favorite food. 





The new Crystal earrings (made by hand and matching the Crystal Cluster Necklaces) arrived just in time for New Year's Eve.





Barcelona is a tremendously lively city with so many vibrant quarters that it's easy to forget that you're right on the Mediterranean sea. The beaches and ports are lined with cafés and restaurants, and on the weekends people meet friends on the beach, go for walks on the shore, play beach volleyball or get together with their families for a picnic. It was indeed the perfect place for the four of us to spend a day! 





The weather continued mild and warm, and it could just as well have been an early spring or summers day. We started off at the Port Olympique, where a row of restaurants along the beach path invite you to have lunch on their pretty terraces overlooking the sea. We settled down at the Agua, where simple fresh seafood and mediterranean cuisine was brought out in charming and relaxed surroundings.




Hola, little lunch guest!


The Port Olympique's bronze whale. Walk west from there, and you come to the Agua and many other restaurants and cafés. You can continue your walk after lunch towards the One Ocean Port, and find plenty of entertainment and things to do along the way.



Milo's Spanish amigo



Sunset with palm trees.. who could resist taking a pic!



Once you get to One Ocean Port, you are very near to Las Fritas, one of DS's favorite places in Barcelona.  He's  tried and tested it on many occasions, and it has his definite seal of approval. I have to agree, the hand-made Las Fritas chips are amongst the best I've ever had.



 Winter in Spain





Even though the Passeig de Gracia has beautiful shops, I did the best shopping on the way home. After half an hour on the road back to France, you go past the La Roca Village. This time we stopped.. the night before I googled the brands on offer.. all of us found something of interest in this chic outlet village! I came home with some beautiful Max Mara sweaters, which will keep me cosy and warm throughout the rest of the winter.



Back home, winter had finally arrived...



...coinciding with the arrival of the new MaiTai Collection mink earmuffs





available in dark brown and sable (click here)



Will there be summer ever again?





Claris Hotel: 150 Pau Claris, 08009 Barcelona. Tel: +34 934 876 262
www.hotelclaris.com

Egyptian Museum:  +34 934 880 188 www.museuegipci.com


Jamon Reserva Ibérica, Rambla de Catalunya, 61, 08007 Barcelona
Online shop: www.reservaiberica.com


Agua Beach Restaurant: Passeig Marítim de la Barceloneta, 30, 08003 Barcelona. Tel: 
34 932 25 12 72
www.grupotragaluz.com/agua

Las Fritas: Passeig de Joan de Borbó 12, 08003 Barcelona. Tel:
+34 931 79 11 04

La Roca Village: s/n, 08430 Santa Agnès de Malanyanes, Barcelona
www.larocavillage.com



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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Festive season - What to wear and a new outfit for Milo!

December seems to have arrived from nowhere this year, but a sudden drop in temperature and Christmas decorations everywhere mean that it's time to give thought to the wardrobe for the holiday season.

Instead of buying a head-to-toe new outfit every year, I accessorize my regular wardrobe to bring it into the festive season, or add the occasional new piece which then doubles as evening wear for the rest of the year. Hope you enjoy the three parts: daytime outfits, evening looks and Milo's cosy winter outfit!


DAYTIME

For a daytime gathering with friends or a pre Christmas restaurant lunch with family, cosy sweaters and simple pants are easy to wear and have a relaxed chic. Sparkling accessories give the outfit an extra festive touch. Here a crystal flower necklace in the new transparent/grey (available here) and crystal cluster earrings (available here)



here's the sweater as part of a regular daytime look:



necklace as above, but in transparent crystal (available here)




If there is a little bit more of an occasion, I change the basic pants for a dressier pair. Teaming them with a sweater or shirt keeps the look perfect for daytime! Accessories: Hermes Kelly Pochette and clic H bracelet in black, and MaiTai Collection Pearl statement necklace in gris/argent (available here)




Changing the plain sweater for a sparkling silver one (an H& M find from a few years back) and combining it casually with black jeans and a cropped jacket. Accessories: Hermes clic-H bracelet in black and a MaiTai Collection long gemstone necklace in the new Gris/Labradorite/Pearls (available here)



Autumn's last golden leaves..



I hardly ever wear suits these days, but when I did, there was often no time to change before going out after work. A dressy pair of shoes and a couple of accessories add instant sparkle to an office look. Below: black suit and silk shirt with an Hermes Kelly Pochette and Clic H bracelet in black. MaiTai Collection Crystal Cluster necklace  (available here) and matching earrings in cinnamon/rose (coming soon)



EVENING

I buy perhaps one top or dress for the holiday season, but usually don't spend much on it.. after all, the use is limited and one doesn't want to wear the same thing over and over again on special occasions. I often find pretty items in places like Zara, Gerard Darel or Cos etc. In combination with classic and beautiful basic wardrobe pieces and great shoes and accessories, they work really well. This time of year the shops are full of party and evening wear, so it's the perfect time to find a new piece which can then double as evening wear for the rest of the year.





This top with lovely ruffled sleeve detail was a lucky find at the Gerard Darel end of season sale last year. The tunic style can easily be dressed down or up, which makes it a perfect year round top. (on summer evenings I wore it with white jeans and black sandals). Here with the same Crystal Cluster necklace and earrings as above, but in charcoal blue (available here)



Variation: hair back without earrings







I've had this skirt for almost twenty years and it is one of the very few items in my wardrobe that I hardly ever wear outside the holiday season. It's fun to style and accessorize, and over the years I've worn it with sleeveless tops, fitted cashmere sweaters, cropped cardigans, fur collars, pearls, stoles. Here with a black shirt and belt and a studded clutch (a Zara find) and MaiTai Collection sparkling earrings and bracelet in dove grey/silver (available here)



Black wardrobe pieces are always a safe and easy canvas for evening looks. To add sparkle and elegance here an Hermes black Kelly Pochette and Kelly Dog bracelet, and two new MaiTai Collection items (cashmere/silk stole in black and a long crystal flower necklace). Available here and here



The cashmere/silk stole has an exquisite hand embroidered border of discreetly sparkling beads and pearls and comes in black, taupe and navy (available here)




The same skirt as before, only this time with a sleeveless top from above and a pearl statement necklace in gris/argent (available here)


The main square in Nancy makes you think you've stepped into a fairy tale!


 
DARLING MILO

But what would dressing up for the festive season be without thinking of little Milo! His fur is so sleek and short that it needs protection, and what lucky timing it is that Lord Lou, the maker of his fabulous dog bed (click here to view the post), now offers the most beautiful soft and gorgeous cashmere sweater to keep little four-legged friends warm in style.

Brunello cashmere sweater (click here)



It was meant as a Christmas gift, but when I put it on him to try the size (size 10 is perfect!) he gave me this look... "Mum.. I want to wear it now"



Of course he was right...



And the best news is, a 20% discount offered to my readers by Lord Lou until 31/12/16. This applies to the cashmere sweater too. Enter the following code at the checkout (your discount will be deducted automatically): maitai16
www.lordlou.com



"...Nothing under the tree then?"



Don't you worry,  my little one.


I won't be back until after Christmas, wishing everyone a sparkling, joyous and wonderful holiday season and a very merry Christmas!

🌲🌲🌲🌲