Good. Let's see what today's addition to the house is...
I went to check out the Amara Collection one sunny morning in July, and I was seriously impressed. It's an extensive range that covers pretty much everything interior accessories related, from cushions, to rugs, throws to bed linen and towels, lamps and flatware. There was a lot to see, and a lot to love!
Of course there were some things that really stood out for me, and this Parnell Stool was definitely one of them. I adore lucite furniture (yes, I like calling it lucite because it makes me sound cool and knowledgeable, but you might want to call it acrylic or perspex). We don't see enough of it (no pun intended), and it's great for so many reasons - not least it's lightness in a room. It falls into the über hip category for me, because it manages to be glamourous without showing off. Just like the really pretty, cool girl at school that you always remember.
I'd like a pair of these please. So handy in every single room, and that quilted leather is to die for. It's available in this classic black from the 19th of September. I'd love to see it in a caramel leather too. Swoon.
The Amara Collection launches on the 19th of September, and if you'd like to make sure you're among the first to see the full collection, you can sign up here.
|Statue of Josiah Wedgwood at the entrance to World Of Wedgwood|
If you follow me on Instagram, you might have spotted a couple of images from my trip to Stoke-on-Trent last week with Amara, to spend the day exploring the World Of Wedgwood with a group of other bloggers. And what a great day it was...
|Bisqueware (unglazed ceramic pieces) on the factory floor|
|Bisqueware with glaze awaiting it's next firing. The factory fires around 6,000 pieces a day.|
|Specialist decorator Bruce, applying Raising Paste to a Dynasty plate|
The Borghese Vase was adapted from an antique vase dating back to around 1790, and takes eight craftsmen over 200 hours to create. No wonder then that it has quite the hefty price tag!
|Another specialist decorator gilding a section of a Borghese Vase. The brown will turn to gold as the oils burn off once fired.|
In contrast to Bone China, Jasperware remains matt after firing, and is 'ornamented' rather than 'decorated'. The process is highly specialised and completely fascinating.
|A finished Dynasty plate and Borghese Vase (Images - Wedgwood)|
Next we had a tour of the Wedgwood Museum, which really is a treasure-trove of ceramic delights. Set out in chronological order, it's captivating to see how the techniques and trends evolved over the years. The story of Josiah Wedgwood, the history of his company, tireless passion for ceramics and developing ceramic techniques and technology is awe inspiring.
My favourite pieces in the museum date back to 1780 (the Caneware Teapot above) and 1879 (the Shell and Coral Majolica below). I'd give my firstborn for that teapot and milk jug. Okay, not really (sorry Edie), but I do love it. A lot.
|Shell and Coral Majolica Teapot and Milk Jug|
|China Tiger (a.k.a Foo Dog) Teacup and Saucer c.1813 (oh I do love a bit of Chinoiserie!)|
|Wedding display in the Tea Emporium|
|Decorative Brass Doors leading into the Tea Room|
As great as the food was (and it really was lovely!), the interior of the Tea Room was even better. Modern yet timeless with stunning wallpaper adapted from the Wedgwood Hibiscus pattern (seen here on a teapot), brass details and blue velvet banquettes - it was heavenly.
|The Wedgwood Hibiscus Pattern|
|Hibiscus Pattern Wallpaper in the Tea Room|
|Those Blue Velvet Banquettes!|
|Brass Framed Mirrors and Grey Moulded Walls (say hi to some of my fellow bloggers Alina and Yasmin!)|
And these wall lights against the dark grey moulded walls are hard to beat. I want them. The moulding has pretty much cemented the idea to add some into my next room makeover project at home.
|Brass Wall Light on Grey Moulded Wall. Hmmm YES PLEASE!|
After all the tea and cake I could quite happily have curled up on one of those banquettes for a little snooze, alas it was time to move on and try our hand at either a bit of pot throwing on the wheel or plate decorating before heading back home, exhausted, but thoroughly inspired.
I totally recommend doing a day trip to Stoke-On-Trent to visit the World Of Wedgwood, and I want to go back soon myself with the kids - Edie in particular would really enjoy seeing the process that goes into making ceramics and having a go herself. I know she'd also love the Tea Emporium and Tea Room just as much as me. Baxter on the other hand, would be a bit like, well... a bull in a china shop! Sorry.
|Wedding Display in the Tea Emporium|
Thanks so much for having me Amara and Wedgwood!
When the weather is warm we love to spend as much time in the garden as we can in the evenings and on the weekends, and anyone that knows me, knows that I love a cocktail, so a cocktail in the garden makes me very happy indeed.
I'm a firm believer that you should most definitely not save 'best for best'. So yes, you will find me using my best glasses in the garden! Why not use the things that make you happy, every day? Besides, a beautiful glass makes everything taste better. I've been needing to replace our mis-matched and chipped champagne glasses for a while now, and these Aurelia Champagne Saucers are so lovely. I prefer a saucer over a flute, because they feel that little bit more glamorous and special, and these ones have such a classic look.
To complement and contrast with my champagne saucers (which can definitely be used for cocktails too, and not just fizz), I chose this super handy charcoal Wings tray, because you can never have too many trays. Trays are not only great for carrying your cocktail accoutrements on, but they can act as a stable surface for your drink on the grass too.
And speaking of accoutrements, I adore the mix of little vessels that I have put them in, which have so many uses. The pretty gold lined, matt white Dauville bowl is perfect for mint leaves, cocktail umbrellas (who doesn't love a cocktail umbrella!), or for housing sugar swizzle sticks as I've done here. It also makes for the perfect beside dish to put your jewellery in at the end of the day.
I've long loved lettuce/cabbage ware, yet never owned any. This little Bordallo bowl could well mark the beginning of a new collection. The off-white and green options (green not shown but you can find them here) sit really nicely together, so mix it up!
Last, but certainly not least is this Skull cup, which may just be my favourite piece. You might have guessed I have a thing for skulls, and this cup is super cute, super cool, and again, it has endless uses. I was powerless to resist! Obviously you can use it as a cup (duh!), but it's also the perfect size for toothpicks or to use as a sugar bowl with a little vintage spoon. But I couldn't resist piling it high with Maraschino Cherries. I think I need a few more of these.
When I was looking through the Amara website to choose products for this post, I must admit I was pleasantly surprised at how comprehensive it is. Not so big that you get completely overwhelmed with too many choices, but a really impressive and beautifully curated selection of products - I fell in love with so many things! If you don't know them yet, do check them out because I'm pretty sure you'll find lots to love.
Here are the products I've used for this post...
Clockwise from top left:
Aurelia Champagne Saucers
Wings Charcoal Rectangular Tray
The only thing that would make me happier than cocktails in the garden, would be sitting in this hammock chair whilst drinking said cocktails in the garden. I mean, just look at this...HEAVEN!