Alpine Lifestyle Boutique

One of the things I love to do here on the blog is to feature local independent shops.  I believe they make our towns what they are by creating a truly unique experience.

Any of you perusing Living Etc in the coming weeks, will see Alpine Lifestyle Boutique which  has just opened right on our door-step in Ilkley.

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The name’s a giveaway; though it’s a long way from the slopes, everything through the doors transports you a la piste via exquisite LUXURY homewares. Read More

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You know those times in life where you appear to be a lightning rod for change…? Everything just seems to fall away from your world or alternatively ‘goes wrong’?  Be it circumstances or relationships, it’s like busses that come in three’s. Read More

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This December I’m Loving…

December’s a perfect time to share an ‘I’m Loving’ post.  If you’re needing a little inspiration on the gift front, maybe this will help…


1.  First up is a new necklace by Under the Rose.

Under the Rose make bespoke jewellery for men and women (you can find them on Not-on-the-High-Street) and I just love this new silver quote pendant.  I wear a necklace most days and like having something unique.

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It arrived beautifully and thoughtfully packaged and the quality was just what I’d hoped… (sometimes you’re not sure if it’s going to be as well made as it could be…?).

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Things I like include the shape; it’s not quite a perfectly round circle.

The fastening (apologies, I didn’t take a photo of it) is a T bar slotted through a hoop, meaning there’s never a clasp travelling round your neck and ending up next to the pendant; it  always stays at the back of the neck!

Finally the text.  I think part of my taking so long to decide on what to have engraved was that those words were going to be set in silver loud and proud for all to see.  The writing is discreet and delicate, so will only be read by those who look long enough…

You can visit the Under the Rose website here.

2.  Second up is a quality Scandi print company, Desenio.

Desenio came recommended by Insta friends – (I love Instagram!).  After filling my online basket, I purchased up for the home and am now awaiting another delivery of Christmas presents as a few of the boys in the family have chosen prints for their bedrooms (as has Miss P… shhh!).

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There are SO many different types of prints to choose from, I got all my frames from them too, and the great thing is the prints don’t cost the earth so if you want a change a few months down the line, you’ve not wasted a fortune.  With them being so reasonably priced, I wondered if they’d be cheap-looking?  Not so.  The paper is beautifully thick and the quality details in the prints, I couldn’t fault them!

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3.  Finally, the Star Purse.

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Velvet’s quite the fabric at present and though I don’t do trends, when I saw these in the Lake District a few months back, picked up three unable to choose between colours. (There were about 5 other colours also available).

fullsizerender-249It’s possibly intended to be a make-up bag, and though I didn’t like the beaded attachment on the zip or label on the side, instantly thought they’d also make a great festive clutch if removed.

fullsizerender-248Having gifted the others this Christmas, I’ve kept the red, chopped off the label on the side and replaced the bead fastening on the zip with a tassle et voila.  The bags are around £15 by Lua are still available online if you google.


Ps, the quote on my necklace is a favourite of mine, it reads “At the end of the day it all comes down to love or fear.  Choose love and don’t ever let fear turn you away from your playful heart”

Have a very Happy Christmas ~ Olivia

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~O~

A Country Pub Lunch

There’s something quite comforting about going to a country pub for Sunday lunch.  The tradition of a roast, the smell of a roaring fire, no plans to hurry anywhere afterwards, it’s all rather a splendid affair and more so when it’s cold out!

Recently we visited The Dunsforth, a truly superb gastro-pub in North Yorkshire.    penultimatefullsizerender-4fullsizerender-214

The only pub in Yorkshire to hold a Michelin Bib Gourmand Award, owners Paul and Janine Cunliffe have a simple ethic of serving quality food using the best ingredients.  The proof is in the pudding (oh Dad joke, I’m sorry … do I leave it in?).

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For me it all starts with the wine, a place has got to get their chardonnay right – it was perfect!  Four of us had three courses and other than the edge of the beef being a little tough, were completely satisfied.  The starters were incredible; my tomatoes with sorbet and goats cheese was delightfully unusual!

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As you’ve probably gathered, I’m no food blogger, but us Braithwaite’s do enjoy our food and would absolutely return here owing to our excellent first visit.

You can visit The Dunsforth Website here (I think they’re developing a new one at present but the basic info’s there).

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~O~

 

 

 

The Botanist York

If a Sunday well-spent brings a week of content, then The Botanist, York is the perfect setting.  Visitors to York will no doubt know of the iconic Mulberry Hall on Stonegate which closed earlier this year after 60 years of trading. The Botanist now sits on these premises in the beautiful 1943 building on one of the most picturesque cobbled streets in the city.

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Having seen friends’ shenanigans at the Leeds restaurant in my social media feeds, I was excited to be invited to the pre-opening launch of the York venue last week.
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The Botanist vibe is laid-back living.  Expect comfort-food classics accompanied by botanically-infused cocktails and beers whilst listening to live music sets; a country pub in the city if you will.  It’s the kind of place you forget the world outside as the hours while away… it’s ‘a third-place’, kind of place.

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Our food and drinks experience matched the setting.  There are few places we visit about which can be said “I wouldn’t change a thing” but The Botanist was an exception.  The cocktails and wines were amazing, every dish of our three-courses was bang-on (probably not a food writer term); the service, impeccable.  The hanging skewers shown (jerk salmon & lamb) are a Botanist signature dish we’re told, and they were something to brag about.  The prices are reasonable with starters from £4.95 and mains from £9.95.

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We’re already looking forward to returning, no doubt now there’s the Christmas Decorations up… (even more reason to go!)

When the composition of place, product and people is as well-matched as this, the result will always be a little bit special for those party to it.  One can only hope that everyone will have the same experience!

You can visit The Botanist Website here.

Out on a school night!

~O~

Feversham Arms Hotel Helmsley

The Feversham Arms Hotel has long been on my ‘must visit’ list.  Anywhere that has an outdoor pool, in Yorkshire, has me intrigued!

Feversham Arms 16Though I’m sure this is THE place in Summer (outdoor dining and poolside drinks), it was  on a slightly fresher, but beautiful Autumn day when we went for a self-invited visit.Feversham Arms 3Feversham Arms 14

Quite tucked away off the main through-road, the hotel will appeal to those wanting a country retreat in unspoiled setting.  Helmsley is quaint, charming and naturally, restful.   Feversham Arms 7

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Thirty-three bedrooms and the Verbena Spa make it a great place to retreat for those looking to go away without anything too taxing on the agenda.  Day packages at the spa will also appeal to ladies seeking a luxury hang-out.  

Six individual treatment rooms and one double, with plenty of softly-lit space for relaxing on comfy sofas is going to appeal in the colder months.  The outdoor space… speaks for itself!

We ate in the Weathervane restaurant.  Though the food was excellent, there was not enough on the plate for either of us and a tad pricey at that, so a meal wouldn’t be a reason we’d return.   That said, the outdoor space is such a delight that I can absolutely see us returning in the Summer months for a glass of wine and perhaps a few nibbles on the terrace…

You can visit The Feversham Arms Hotel Website here.

~O~

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