Victoria Gate Leeds; an Invitation to ANTHROPOLOGIE

After months of anticipation, yesterday Leeds finally saw the opening of Victoria Gate, a brand new development in the heart of the city.Victoria Gate Leeds 4

The long-awaited shopping centre by Hammerson (I thought the two squares at the front of the signage looked like an ‘H’) and adds formidable strength to the presence of its existing development in the city, the Victoria Quarter.

Together,  Victoria Quarter and Victoria Gate, are now known as Victoria Leeds (can I get a David!).  Anthropologie invited me along to their evening opening party.

Quite simply (because I’m turning this around unplanned in a day!), here’s the pics.
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Anthropologie as ever, is a sheer delight and all the more in celebration of the festive season ahead.  Gold trimmings everywhere, lustre and sequins – the store is decadent creativity at its best.

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Pre-Christmas is the perfect time for the launch a centre where shoppers will naturally flock in the pursuit of gifts.  By the time we left Anthropologie, the other shops were closing so didn’t get to explore the delights of John Lewis,  & Other Stories and COS but I have a feeling we’ll be back!

For all the details of what’s on offer, visit the Victoria Leeds Website.

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~O~

Sweeties

 

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Quarmby’s Deli & Coffee House

Coffee, it’s a biggie for me.  I will go out of my way for a good coffee, engineer meetings to take place in favourite coffee houses (‘hello Toast House‘) and will travel substantial miles when away from home in order to ensure that my daily cup is going to tick the satisfaction box for me.  It’s not rocket science but it’s surprising how many places serve up average.

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Quarmby’s Deli and Coffee House serves a GOOD coffee.  According to Will (Mr Quarmby), that was the starting point; if they could get the quality of their coffee right, everything else would follow… and it has.

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Quarmby’s, Sherrif Hutton (on the outskirts of York),  is in a perfect ‘corner shop’ location attracting a real mix of locals and passers-by.  During our time there, cyclists, business folk and ladies-who-lunch all stopped to reside in the feel-good setting that husband and wife team, Emma and Will, have created.

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Being able to cater for the increasingly varied diets and demands of consumers these days must be quite a challenge for eateries.  Quarmby’s clearly has a bent towards healthier eating and I would bet that few people would be able to visit and not be thoroughly satisfied.  Our meal was first class; quality ingredients and food combinations made every mouthful something to linger over.  Though neither of us ‘do’ desserts, both did quite simply because up on the specials board they looked too good to miss… and they were!   I savoured the marmalade and chocolate pannetone pudding all the way home.

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Finest local Yorkshire produce is available for purchase for those wishing to extend their experience further.  There’s a real sense that this is a deli for the people, by the people and should we be in this neck of the woods again, we will definitely return.    Find out more about Quarmby’s hereQuarmby's 19Quarmby's 9

~O~

Transitional Styling

It is worth investing in staple clothing.  Once you know what seasonal styles work,  you can add to your collection each year.   These pieces will differ for each of us.  Camisoles are my Summer staple.  They go with everything, I wear them all the time, and am prepared to spend a little more on quality tops with interesting detail.

Owing to our fabulous British climate, camisoles just don’t cut it unaided past Summer.  Enter long cardigans (coatigans).  These are my Autumn staple that absolutely work with cami’s and personally, mean I can carry on a Summer look that seems to work well.

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Delicate femininity, paired with thick brushed wool, leather pants and biker boots… yields a slightly undefinable outcome.

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Staple can be statement.

If you’re going to invest in a coatigan, it’s worth doing well.  Buy wool/alpaca blends.  These will not only provide great warmth but can usually be brushed up with a natural bristle brush.  Cheaper, thinner brands will look old fast.  Invest in quality wools and you will be able to revive frequently.

Second, save your expense for ‘wow’ designs and spend less on plain, singular-coloured cardigans.  The black Selected Femme one (above) is so thick and luxurious, the yellow stripe and peach tones provide colour pops (I’m so done with everyone using that term but what else is there?) that really bring the outfit alive.

When choosing plain, look for little detailing/clever knitwear like this Gat Rimon one ↓.

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Finally, look for mid-season colours you can wear with light or dark.  This Samsoe & Samsoe grey one ↓ I have had SO much wear from.  It looks great with grey or black jeans, and have worn with shorts all Summer long when there’s been a chill – it’s doubled as a  dressing-gown if you will (which I don’t own).  Not only that, it has graced every campsite with me for the past three years (that’s some wear and tear!) and brushes up like new every time.

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It won’t be long till a full offensive is needed against the cold.  Once the temperatures drop, I’m no die hard.  Thermals, thickest jumpers and warmest boots will be drafted in (till around March!)  Till then, I’m happy to keep Summer cami’s in play.

~O~

(All cardigans have made their way into my wardrobe over the last three years from local boutique Attic Womenswear)

Happy New September!

September seems to be more of a fresh start than New Year.  Once again, as the Summer holidays came to an end, the urge to be ‘on it’, descended.  At present, I’m craving all things interior; just CAN NOT get enough.  At home no shelf or cupboard is safe from scrutiny as we de-clutter, and from my various social media ‘inbox’s’ it seems to be a common itch as people make way for the new season ahead.  I LOVE changing things up don’t you?  Here’s what’s got my attention this month.


1. Dark Interiors.  Guaranteed, they are having a moment and though not one for trends, I’m all in!  Whites appear whiter, colours more vibrant and metallics simply come alive against a decadently dark backdrop.  Whether it was Pinterest that sparked it for me a year ago when I painted my first dark feature wall at home, or the gallery wall completed a few months ago (see it here) that tipped the balance I’m not sure.  Either way, it’s a process I’m enjoying more and more.

With the onset of the cosier months there’s no better time to indulge if you’re fancying a change!  Inspiration is everywhere; there are some amazing pictures in my feed daily from Instagram’ers like @kerrylockwood_, @artynads and @_lisa_dawson_ (to name a few!).  If you want to dabble but are slightly hesitant, start with just one wall.

2.  This nicely leads to an upfront confession that I’ve only just discovered Rockett St George.  (If you just said ‘who’ to yourself, I feel better.  If you tutted, I don’t want to know). Rockett St George 1As part of the home overhaul, looking for furniture one night , I googled ‘industrial homewares’ and up it popped… time left me and a good hour or so later I’d scrolled through the entire website.  Days later I ordered this gorgeous sheepskin rug to keep my assets warm in Winter and have my eye on a few other pieces.

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For a while I’ve felt there’s a gap in the interior decor market.  Everything has become so ‘samey’.  Needless to say, this ‘extraordinary interiors’ has put a smile on my face and wouldn’t you know, just like the car you think of buying, am now seeing RSG everywhere!

3.  Finally, and I’m probably late to the party again, but after seeing GANDYS flip-flops at The Eden Project during the holidays, came home and googled.  I have to say that from there on, it was these towel images ⇓ that drew me in (I’m a sucker for great marketing).GANDYS 3

Great pictures and the round towels?!  So unusual and I have been sorely tempted.  For me it’s’ not about the flip-flops I ordered… they’re pretty regular flip-flops like any other brand (though I have worn them constantly!)  But have to say after reading their story was compelled to put my money here and not with a regular high street name.

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In ‘very’ short, two brothers Rob & Paul, were orphaned over night after their parents died in the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami (it feels wrong to skip over so quickly for the sake of ‘keeping it short’, can you even begin to imagine…).  These orphans now have created GANDYS to raise funds for other orphans, hence their tagline, ‘ORPHANS FOR ORPHANS’.  Take a look at their website (here), they have some great looking products and naturally, it’s a great cause!

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towel images with kind permission from Gandys

Ps, black flip flops are great for wearing beyond Summer with black jeans without looking too Summery!

Till next time ~

~O~

Pause

Every now and then it’s good to pause.

It could be to take time out for our self, to focus on a specific project, or to be with family.  It doesn’t matter the reason – what matters is we recognise the varying seasons in life and adjust accordingly.   Read More

How To: Create a Gallery Wall Feature

Gallery walls are a great way of creating a bespoke feature in the home and are so easy to do yourself.  The wall below was both painted and dressed in a day with zero additional expense.

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Rooms with high ceilings can sometimes be hard to style.  Unless you have big art pieces to use, photos and pictures can look lost.  A gallery works especially well in this setting in making use of the space.  The wall below was bare for months (yes along with the filler!); so in an inspired moment, the ladders came out and I decided to begin by painting it dark (Farrow and Ball Hague Blue).

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Curating your gallery should be easy.  Unearth pieces you own that don’t have ‘a home’ (as I did here), then lay them out on the floor to get a feel for positions.  3D items look great, a string of lights adds a whimsical touch and personally think you can’t beat a bit of sparkle against a dark wall.

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A little shelf is also useful as you can change the look by adding candles, a small vase of flowers, whatever you fancy throughout the year.  The shelf can be positioned anywhere on the wall but I wanted it more-or-less central, so it became my starting point when it came to hanging the other items.

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You may find as you start that you need to readjust slightly as you see things on the wall for the first time, but just go with it.  Some pieces like a mirror, that you want to use practically (i.e. at eye-level) will naturally determine the position.
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The end result will be 100% unique and bespoke to you.  As I said earlier, nothing new was purchased for this wall, but now it’s finished, I like the different components involved. If you’re struggling for what you use, consider these as a starting point:

Photos

Poster

Shelf

Mirror

Something with Text

Piece of clothing

Lights
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At the end of the day, your wall can be added to and taken from, so if you only have a few pieces, start there; allow space for it to evolve and enjoy the process!

If you want to know more about styling your home, you can get in touch with me here at The Butler.

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A Visit to Antiques Curio & Salvage Barn

The Antiques Curio & Salvage Barn is repeatedly a popular post on this blog.  Perhaps it’s stuck in Google or something (no disrespect!) but it’s up there every month as a top post and yet the pictures have just not been doing it justice… Soo, last month, I revisited.
The Barn has evolved so much since the original post last March.  The signature style that makes this place truly unique is even stronger.  It is simply quite wonderful to walk round and renders one wishing for a large empty house to furnish.  The original post is below this (so just keep scrolling).

ORIGINAL POST MARCH 12th 2015.
Last week I made the time to go to a place I’ve been meaning to visit for at least a year/eighteen months, the Antiques Curio & Salvage Barn, Harrogate.  After seeing so many amazing posts in my Facebook feed from their page I was compelled to pinpoint their location and pay a visit.  It’s such a gem of a place I had to share with you.
The barn is a place you’d go when you want to find something unique for the home without it needing to be too specific.  Antique furniture a plenty; there are chests of drawers, stone sinks, chandeliers, pictures, skulls and ancient pictures – artefacts of all kind can be found within the draughty doors.  It has bags of charm and personality and so goes without saying that whatever you pick up there will also have oodles of character.  These images were just taken on my phone as I wasn’t planning on doing a feature but couldn’t not once I’d been.  Well worth a visit I say!

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Post notes:
If looking for the barn, do not look for a sign saying “Antiques Curio & Salvage Barn” from the main road, I’ve passed it SO many times without knowing simply because the signposts only indicate the Farm Shop and John Cain furniture polishing.  It’s literally a stones throw off the main Skipton to Harrogate Road (A59) and is ridiculously easy to swing into.
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