• Claire Clark Pop Up Patisserie

    We Love sweet things. We thought we were pretty sorted with our supplies of macaroons, cake-pops, cupcakes and whatever else landed on our sugar hungry lips. Then along comes Claire Clark, the ex pastry chef from the French Laundry (possibly the best pastry chef in the world) and does a collaboration with Harvey Nichols. An interpretation of traditional favourites…Battenbergs, Jaffa cakes, bubblegum Marshmallow Pavlova. Deep sigh, pass the insulin we are in heaven.

    We designed the branding and a mini Patisserie in Harvey Nichols 5th floor to sell Claire’s delicious confections. We wanted to give a more modern interpretation of a pattiserie, a break from the multi layered cake stands and mismatched vintage china cups that are pretty much everywhere.

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    Inspiration came from the geometric, colourful form of the iconic battenburg cake.

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    We created the branding that would be used in all printed material from the logo to the monogram which was used as a light motif in the packaging

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    We decided to create a modern sleek contrast from which to display the nostalgic treats. Fluoro perspex for a jolt of modern, powder pink and yellow for a touch of battenberg and gold powdered Scaffolding to bind it all together in an industrial yet luxurious way.

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    The Claire Clark afternoon tea is sublime, the bubblegum Marshmallow Pavlova transported me to a place that is indescribable but is in my food memory bank filed under ecstasy. If you can’t make it to afternoon tea the pattiserie is open until mid November. I rarely say this BUT…The Jaffa cakes are even better than the real thing. The Battenberg slices, the toffee bark with salted pecans and the chocolate Covered honeycomb have made our world a more luxurious sugar coated place.

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    Pop Up Patisserie photographs by Barry Lewis

  • Makeda Strikes a Birthday Pose – Vogue!

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    Happy Birthday to Makeda! My wonderful assistant who is unspeakably brilliant in so many ways (on top of working fabulously, she bakes brilliantly and rocks a hat/headpiece nearly every day) – A suitable birthday honour then to be featured on the Vogue Blog. Modeling a sneak peek selection of headpieces for Vogue Fashion’s Night Out at the Louis Vuitton store. We can’t wait for Fashion’s Night Out. Lots of fun planned!
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    Slice of lime with that ?

  • Shuck it!

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    A little tardiness on the blog front as I took myself to Ibiza (again) for the last of the summer wine. Or last of the summer hierbas as the case may be.

    Sunning ourselves at El Chiringuito a vision approached our cluster of loungers. A mirage of sorts. Well for me anyway, beach mirages for other people are probably the man/woman of their fantasies wearing very little. For me a beach mirage goes a little something like this…I am hungry, a ruggedly handsome man in a Breton top accessorised by a beautiful leather holster comes toward me holding a pail of oysters on ice. Think more Hermes holster than tequila shot holster and you get the idea. Freshly shucked bliss…

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    Love the chainmail shucking glove with his silver bracelet. How gorgeous is the leather holster? Ah the details…

    Would madam like the shallot vinaigrette? The green or red tabasco, the lemon juice? Everything?

  • Ibiza uncovered – Postcards from the other side.

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    Nasturtiums. Love the appeal of eating beautiful flowers. Raw food canapes from Zenses Ibiza.

    I used to be a fan of the radical detox holiday. It was like a prescription of drastic correction that I enforced anually for having too much of a good thing (a convent school upbringing can do that to you). Detoxing in Thailand, fasting in India, bootcamp in Mexico. A masochistic set of healthy holidays. The last time I went on a fast in Thailand I persevered through two weeks of “nothing broth” while fellow holiday makers filed past me with plates of lobster further cementing my misery. Mission accomplished and bursting with rude health we finally went off to a neighbouring island where our exquiste teak villa awaited…complete with a mini bar stocked with my favourite red wine. Oh dear.

    I woke up the next day and instead of glowing with post detox gorgeousness. My face was covered. IN. RED. WELTS. The shock of the alcohol on my impeccably clean bloodstream. The rest of my holiday was spent hiding behind a penguin classic, large sunglasses and a giant hat. A distinctly post op Look that in retrospect was pretty hilarious. That experience taught me the lesson of trying to achieve balance and not living in such extremes.

    Now Instead of going on extreme health kick holidays I try and temper my everyday life to incorporate the positive aspects that I learned on all those holidays and I save my holidays for doing, well Holiday things. I like a trip where I wake up and can sip a Spirulina smoothie and at sunset have a glass of good red wine. Balance.

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    Delicious healthy lunch that Ibiza Retreats arranged at our villa.

    On a recent trip to Ibiza (an island that can knock you off or put you on balance like no other) I met the lovely Larah from Ibiza Retreats. Larah runs retreats in Ibiza which run from a day to a few weeks. They serve delicious raw food, have life-coaching, yoga, massages…all the good mind, body and soul stuff. On this trip Larah was our holiday “wellness concierge,” now this is a concierge service worth having both away and in everyday life. She booked us reflexology, massages, vibrational healing (this is amazing) and liberally sprinkled healthy fairy dust on our holiday. You’ve got to love someone who adds cucumber and strawberries to your daily pitchers of water. Vitamin Water indeed, this is the original and yet another trick I took back home.

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    Phone Detox. We placed our mobiles on trays of cleansing Ibizan sea salt. Mine is now switched onto another vibration (and devoid of inappropriate texts)

    Larah took us on a one day multi sensory retreat which was just extraordinary. Set in a private villa we had an unforgettable afternoon of eating raw superfoods (a shot of raw cocoa we downed contains the same nutritional value as a large steak) having treatments, listening to music and engaging in wellness rituals. I loved the Multi Sensory Ritual where we were blindfolded and had scents placed under our noses, different tastes planted in our mouths. This took me out of my comfort zone and is not something I would usually do but I found it strangely liberating and left with a heightened senses of awareness. Always a good thing.

    This is a wonderful mindful experience to have with friends and I highly recommend it. Of course you can also run off to Aura afterwards for more wonderful experiences. Mojitos on the terrace, Dinner in the garden, Disco indoors…it’s my favourite place to escape to this Summer. Ah The Joy of Balance…Happy Holidays!

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    Lunch at Cas Gasi. Incredible food that comes from…

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    …their garden.

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    Ibizan hens. We ate their eggs for breakfast every morning.

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    Silk blindfolds for the multi Zensory experience. Delightful.

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    At the Retreat. This cat has the ultimate water/fountain bowl

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    The Goddess like girls from Zenses who do the Multi Zensory day retreats with Ibiza Retreats.

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    After a night at Aura. A smoothie at the organic juice bar on Benirras beach works wonders.

  • The Joy of Jelly – Bompas and Parr Book Launch

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    I love Jelly. I particularly love the spectacular jellies that are the signature of Bompas and Parr. An inspirational pair that I have had the joy to work with on many fun filled projects. When I first came across Bompas and Parr a few years ago I had to pinch myself. I walked into their architectual Jelly Banquet at UCL and what lay before me was my personal version of heaven. A long wobbling fluorescing stretch of illuminated pink architectural jellies. The perfect merging of food, architecture and art. Delightful.

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    They are a genius double act. Well spoken, incredibly knowledgeable and often exquisitly dressed. Sam at one of our first meetings arrived dressed in a smart suit with a bow tie, pink socks and wielding a giant spoon. Most importantly they have the most infectious enthusiasm, they believe anything is possible and with them it truly is…Breathable alcohol, scratch and sniff cinema, architectural punchbowls and the recent phenomenally sucessful parliamentary waffle house. They really are revolutionising our perception of food in a dizzying fashion.

    Last night we went to their book and studio launch. Their studio is somewhere I want to loiter in…occult jams in one corner, levitating strawberries in another and fridges full of delicious quivering jellies.

    The book is wonderful and I urge you all to buy one. It’s beautifully shot, informative and dare I say it the perfect antidote to the growing legion of  “serious” cookery books. Food is fun, this is fun and this coming weekend I’m inspired to make the rosé and rhubarb jelly. Maybe I can persuade the boys to show me how to make it levitate. A levitating rosé jelly in my garden…Pure Joy.

    It’s worth mentioning their next adventure happening in July. The Complete History of Food . Go boys!

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    Mark Ronson’s birthday party. We got Bompas and Parr to do an architectural jelly table which ended up in a decadent jelly fight (the best parties do!)

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    Aphrodisiac jellies

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    Levitating Strawberries. What could be better than levitating food?

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    Some of the infamous jellies.

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    Laura and Phoebe get heavily involved in the breathable architecture. And inhale……..

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