Fostering creative spirit and exploring passions, UGG Australia’s Creative Council is an initiative that may make you think just a little differently about everyone’s favourite purveyor of classic, comfortable shoes.
The Creative Council is made up of a hand-picked group of inspiring individuals, from fashion director Natalie Hartley and actress Suki Waterhouse to pop-up restaurateurs Check On.
Reconsidering what modern, classic style means, breaking down S/S ’14 trends and hosting creative events, the Creative Council is all about inspiration.
For more information on the project, check out Ugg Australia Creative Council.
A glimpse of shimmering silver or the elegant addition of a hint of rose gold can’t fail to make a statement. Style with neutral wardrobe staples: a skinny black cigarette pant, a dove grey merino sweater or a simple white tee will ensure that you look more luxe, less magpie.
Is it possible to satisfy those sugar cravings in relatively healthy manner? Absolutely! From nutritionist Jenna Zoe’s Super Healthy Snacks and Treats these Chocolate and Mint Tartlets are dairy- and gluten-free desserts which are even suitable for vegans.
- 145g almonds
- 135g dates, stoned
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened desiccated coconut
- Pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil
Mint Chocolate Filling
- 1 large banana
- 60ml coconut oil
- 60ml pure maple syrup
- 40g unsweetened cocoa powder
- 6 fresh mint leaves OR half a teaspoon mint extract
Put the almonds in a food processor and mix until crumbly. Add the dates, desiccated coconut, salt and coconut oil and continue mixing until a smooth mixture forms. Remove the mixture from the processor and divide it into 4. Press each portion into a tartlet mould so that it neatly lines the base and sides of the mould. Ideally you want the tartlet cases to be about 1cm thick all the way around, with plenty of room for the filling. Don’t worry if you have a little extra mixture- you can roll this into bite-size energy balls and save for a healthy snack later on.
For the filling, first make sure the coconut oil is liquid. If it isn’t, put it in a pan over low heat and melt. Allow to cool completely, otherwise the hot oil will start to cook the other ingredients in the filling. Place the filling ingredients in the food processor, one set at a time, and mix until smooth. Freeze for at least 15 minutes to set.
These will keep in the freezer for up to 2 weeks, so they’re a great make-ahead option for tea and dinner parties.
There’s no doubt that music and fashion have long been happy bedfellows, so it makes perfect sense that the BRIT Award statuettes are designed by none other than milliner extraordinaire and royal warrant holder Mr Philip Treacy OBE. In fact, you’ll find an enormous replica of the 2014 statue residing in all its gigantic glory just a short walk from London Fashion Week’s home of Somerset House - in the atrium of the tres stylish five-star ME Hotel. And that’s not the only eye candy; the luxury hotel is also currently offering a very special BRIT-themed afternoon tea in the rather futuristic Marconi Lounge.
Along with the tea (culture as well as cake, if you please), there’s also a BRITS photography exhibition on show at the ME Hotel. Some rather memorable snaps of previous BRITS winners by photographer John Marshall are on display; I fell in love with his snap of our Amy from 2007 after she performed Rehab. Looking serenely beautiful and so genuinely happy, it’s a real treat to see her so luminous. And then there’s the powerful 2010 image of Lady Gaga performing in the white lace McQueen jumpsuit just days after the fashion designer’s death. The exhibition’s star-studded cast includes everyone from Bono and Bowie to Robbie and Rihanna.
And as for that tea? Well tea is very important to me, I am a Brit therefore I believe it to be genetic and I am known for drinking tea so strong that you can stand a teaspoon up in it. The fact that Afternoon Tea at the ME Hotel comes with a menu, not only listing the teas and aromas but also mapping them across the world is very impressive (and for any other aficionados of the classic British blend of ‘Builders Tea’, may I recommend to you the Palace Blend). Left to steep in a GIANT Jasper Conran for Wedgewood teapot, giving the leaves plenty of room to manoeuvre, it truly was a perfect cup of char.
This essentially flawless cup of tea complements a beautifully-balanced afternoon repast of traditional savoury finger sandwiches and freshly baked buttermilk scones with clotted cream and jam. There’s also an incredible Jaffa Cake macaron. Could patiserrie get any more quintessentially British than that? I guiltily shovelled down the fancy top tier: a pina colada-flavoured egg custard and a luxuriously moist pistachio and lemon gateau. And then it was Back to Black for the piece de résistance: a dark chocolate and cherry mousse topped with a chocolate record. What do you mean there isn’t an Outstanding Contribution to Cake award?
The BRIT S photography exhibition is on display until 10th March in the ME Hotel’s Marconi Lounge, with the special afternoon tea priced at £35 including a glass of Champagne. For more information and to book, see the ME Hotel’s website.
Once you’ve finished pressing snooze and you’re feeling ready to face the day, it’s far too easy to simply reach for your wardrobe failsafes and throw something on quickly. We’ve all got those go-to pieces that we know are suitable for nine-to-five-monday-to-friday. And they’re generally in a navy/black/neutral colour palette.
“No brights for me thanks, I’m going to work,” sound about right? Well, we think that should change – and pronto. Extensive research shows that wearing bright colours to the office has wide-ranging effects on the wellbeing and positivity of the workplace*, so go for it, be bold, and add a colour pop.
*We made that up. Sorry.
A quick daily fix of culture and inspiration, Literary Jukebox is a project we like a lot. Every day, you’ll find a quote from a notable work of literature, matched with a song mirroring its theme. Of course, it’s a side project of Brain Pickings and the unstoppable Maria Popova…
You’ll find Virginia Woolf matched with Lauryn Hill, Stephen Hawking’s musings paired with David Bowie and George Eliot soundtracked by Oh Land. Add Literary Jukebox to your bookmarks bar – it’s a couple of minutes of daily browsing well spent.
January – month of juice diets and misery – is well behind us. And so what better way to celebrate than with an enormous afternoon tea festooned with gold leaf and washed down with a bottle of Champagne, also strewn with real gold flakes? Chuck out your chia seeds and book in for Taj 51 Buckingham Gate, Suites & Residences’ 24 Karat Gold Afternoon Tea. When the weather is this dismal, the best place to be is certainly not the gym but 51’s cosy Library, indulging in some edible bling.
Located a stone’s throw from Buckingham Palace, 51’s 24 Karat Gold Afternoon tea is a seriously regal affair. The tea features a half bottle of Luxor Pure Gold 24K Brut Champagne which, appropriately enough, includes flakes of real gold. Inspired by Luxor, the rest of the mid-afternoon offering has been created by 51’s Executive Chef Vikas Milhoutra and Pastry Chef Nikhil Vyas, and includes a series of decadent treats also containing real gold.
Begin your retox with a cup of 51’s loose leaf teas which include a very restorative organic early grey and orchid oolong. The setting for the afternoon tea is a specially decorated table, covered with a crisp white cotton tablecloth and adorned with gilded tableware, while the tea itself arrives – naturally – on a gold stand.
Finger sandwiches include the tantalising parma ham and rocket mille-feulle, beetroot bread with sun-dried cherry tomatoes and a delicately spiced mustard chicken on fresh white bread. For the traditionalists, there are cucumber and Cornish yarg sandwiches, as well as scones with strawberry preserve and Cornish clotted cream. However, the highlight is definitely the glittering (quite literally) assortment of cakes and pastries. Yes, you could very easily be fooled into thinking you have the Midas touch as you sample the irresistible gold leaf opera cake, gold flake-adorned strawberry tart, Champagne and gold leaf jelly, delicate macaron with zingy lemon mousseline and the mysterious (but no less delectable) white chocolate delight with gold leaves. We’re going to go with cliché, but this tea is (ahem) definitely worth its weight in gold.
Taj 51 Buckingham Gate, Suites & Residences‘ 24 Karat Gold Afternoon Tea is available at £150 for two. For reservations call +44 (0) 20 7769 7766 or email email@example.com.
As a general rule, I’m not one for half measures: no thanks to fleeting fads or inbetweeny hybrids. They’re interesting in a passing way, but I can’t really say I’m fascinated by the croissant-doughnut crossbreed. So when I heard about Voga – a new exercise class in London fusing yogic poses with Vogueing moves – I was definitely intrigued, albeit unconvinced of the concept’s longevity.
However, this is January: the month in which we try out new things. And so last Tuesday I found myself at my first Voga class. Unfortunately I’d also chosen that week to try out a juice cleanse, green algae supplements, early nights and zero gin. Result? A less than fantastic mood as I approached Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club. Could London’s latest fitness fad possibly cheer me up?
You bet. Voga has a lot going for it; it’s high-energy, it’s fun, there’s a (hot, male) DJ playing great disco and house music, and the founder and teacher Juliet Murrell is all the body inspiration you’ll ever need. Throw in spandex leggings, a disco ball and yoga-esque poses with attitude, and you’ve got an expressive, pumping, full-body workout that beats a soulless treadmill session any day. Following an hour-long class, you’ll leave feeling stretched out, energised, focused and empowered.
After a successful summer of classes in Ibiza (naturally), Juliet has brought her unique spin on yoga to London, with regular classes at BGWMC, Old Finsbury Town Hall and London Fields Yoga. Voga is set to be huge so cancel your gym membership, grab a space on the dancefloor while you can and STRIKE A POSE.
For more information and to book, see the Voga website.
Do you think that in 20 years we’ll be checking our Facebook statuses from back in 2014? Or maybe looking over our Google calendars to see what we were getting up to? It seems unlikely. And yet, once upon a time, writing wasn’t something we found time-consuming or a chore – it was simply part of everyday life.
Why not make time to write a little more this year? It doesn’t have to be every single day, or even every week. And it definitely doesn’t have to be a Dear Diary-style outpouring. You could write anything down – a feeling, what happened one really fun evening or even what you had for breakfast. One day you might just be pleased you did.
A hint of fragrant clementine and a twist of sharp cranberry add a bittersweet note to accentuate the deliciously festive flavour of Ballantine’s Christmas Reserve. With aromatic notes including ginger, pear and caramel, Ballantine’s Clementine Bauble cocktail is a sophisticated yet surprisingly simple seasonal favourite to savour this Christmas…
- Juice of ½ clementine
- 50 ml Ballantine’s Christmas Reserve
- 2 tsp cranberry sauce
- 3 tsp sugar
- Crushed ice
- Sliced clementine
Shake the clementine juice with Ballantine’s Christmas Reserve, cranberry sauce and sugar, before straining. Pour into a glass half filled with crushed ice. Garnish with clementine slices.