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RHS Chatsworth Flower Show

Last week the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) held their first ever show over five days at Chatsworth House.

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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

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)

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

Jamie’s Italian York

When Jamie’s Italian asked me if I’d like to visit their restaurant in York, it didn’t take much time to consider.  Though I have known about Jamie’s in Leeds and more recently, Harrogate, we still had not eaten there…why?  I think it’s a case of ‘go with what you’ know but as you may be able to guess from the recent blog posts, now my little lady is growing up, exploring new places whilst eating out more has been something we’ve enjoyed doing this summer.

Jamie’s, York, is tucked away down the very historic slope to Lendal Cellars… we did not know there was a courtyard there so were delighted to find out we could sit outdoors as the day was hot and we wanted to soak up as much of the sun as we could (we are at the back-end of a poor-weather Summer lets face it!)

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What followed was a dining experience that surpassed all our expectations.

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Cured meats plank – starter

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Seasonal vegetables plank – starter

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Roasted heritage carrot and avocado salad – starter

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Maisy looked after us ⇑, she not only knew her food but was quietly enthusiastic about it (seemed only right she should be the face of this post).  The other staff we encountered were warm and friendly and each we spoke to seemed ‘switched on’ to delivering not just a great meal but CUSTOMER SERVICE – it makes such a difference!

The food was delightfully different – (seems such an average term for what we ate) but by that I mean, it wasn’t just same dish, different name.  The food collaborations that were clearly well thought, tasted amazing and what one knows of Jamie Oliver, trusted that it had most likely been sourced locally following the ethos of all that Jamie Oliver stands for…. just guessing!

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The special of the day – slow cooked beef

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Salmon salad

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In her own words, this was exquisite

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My superfood salad with chicken – starter size as a mains, more than enough!

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Miss P’s happy chicken lollipops – she LOVED!

Though we had three courses, in the middle of the day, none of us felt ‘stuffed’ – which is always good when you want to try the next course!

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The industrially warm decor was everything you’d expect if you’ve at all watched Jamie Oliver on TV – the presence of the man himself is felt everywhere and fans can take home a piece of the action!

By the time desserts had arrived, the sun had also and we all wished we didn’t have to be elsewhere quite so soon!

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Raspberry and honeycomb pavlova

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Miss P’s epic brownie (I had the adult size too so can confirm – it was amazing!)

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Amalfi lemon meringue cheesecake

As we settled the bill and walked back up into the street, we agreed that a new bench-mark had been set.  That we might just have found ourselves a new favourite… time will tell.

You can visit Jamie’s Italian York website here.

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POST NOTES:

Miss P and I shared this experience with LIFESTYLE YORKSHIRE’S biggest fans, my parents – both great with a camera!  Photographs have therefore been taken on the same camera but by myself, them and Miss P!  I managed to whittle 160+ images down to the few selected here and was interesting seeing what we all captured.

Returning to Yorkshire: The CLA Game Fair (a fun Press Day!)

In just over three months time the CLA (Country Landowners’ Association) will hold their  57th annual Game Fair at Harewood House, Leeds.  Last week I was invited to the ‘Have a Go’ Press day to try out the various sporting activities that will be on offer over the three-day event.

It was the most fun!

The sun shone all day and we were treated to amazing hospitality to the extent that at this point I just want to brag on the CLA team who hosted the day… but as you guys won’t really care for that I’ll instead let you know about what you can expect to enjoy should you decide to attend the event (July 31st – Aug 2nd).

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Our day began through an archway, into the courtyard
Potential terror arises as the ‘mingle situation’ arises.
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Over coffee and bacon butties a super-lovely Charlie shows us a map of the grounds which opens my eyes to just how much of a huge event for Yorkshire this fair will be.

The CLA Fair is a ‘must’ event for rural enthusiasts, attracting 150,000 visitors and  800 exhibitors annually.  Twelve years since it was last in Yorkshire, the key emphasis is on getting families outdoors, experiencing country sports and celebrating UK rural life.  This year there will also be ‘The Great British Village’ featuring local producers contributing to the countryside.

Teamed with the best group (we were so enthusiastic!  Poor Rob from the Telegraph), we set off across the grounds to do ‘outdoor sporty things’!

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The professionals show us how it’s done! (Usually 1 man who completes the cut in 15 seconds)

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The Living North girls bringing it DOWN!

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Until you do this for yourself, you have no idea how much of a workout it is! (think this was timed at 1 minute 40 odd!)

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Sports visitors will be able to try this year include kayaking, archery, clay-shooting, fishing and STHIL Timber Sports.
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Game Faces

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Team CLA; Charlie & Charlotte, two of the super-hosts

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Was pretty much delighted to be Merida for at least half an hour!

 

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Did I mention the hospitality was amazing?

 

The day was rounded off with a gun-dog handling demo.  Aside from adoring black labs, I learned a thing or two about the sport and got to hear about The Estate Challenge.  This will be open to competing Estates who have ‘pickers’ of any breed, not just labs or spaniels (shooting speak that apparently country folk ‘in-to’ the sport will fully understand!)

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The outfits though…!

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The event spans three days.  As there will be so much to see and do, on-site camping is provided for those wanting to make a weekend of it.  Pitches are a generous 7 meters squared with luxury showers/facilities… this will NOT be Glastonbury.

 

There’s much more to could say but you can check out the CLA’s site for the full low-down here.  I for one, am definitely looking forward to going – heck I may even camp!

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Coral Crush

Coral Crush 1Last weekend these coral crush’s entered my world that have

made…

me…

smile.

The colours are so blooming gorgeous and Spring has felt like a long time coming!  It’s been busier than ever at Butler HQ what with the pre-Easter crazy, but taking the time to appreciate what we have is so important.  Perfect antidote to ‘is it nearly Spring yet’ days.

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1. First up – linen loveliness.  Massimo Dutti do the best take on simple pieces – often there’s a little accent here or there that just ‘makes’ them.  Two of their tops made their way into my wardrobe in Autumn that I have worn so much, I was eager to see what they would do for Spring.  They haven’t disappointed.  The detailing with the fine buttons down the back and patched sleeves on this top I instantly loved.  It was only natural to get it in the navy aswell!

 


 

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2.  Next this GOR-GE-OUS nail colour.  butter polish colours are beautiful and this is no exception.  It went on yesterday for the first time and I have to say – I love it as a perfect midpoint between orange and pink.  Some polishes look old a few hours after application, however butter have such a great finish they look like a professional job.  This colour’s called Trout Pout.


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3.  Finally, these frilly tulips from M&S, which I’m told are parrot tulips…?  On a day when a little pick-me-up was needed, these and a bar of 85% did just the trick.  They are not as simplistic as ordinary tulips and have brought a lot of smiles.  Bloomin lovely!

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