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.


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


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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Bettys Ilkley

Bettys IlkleyOur local Bettys is a place I love to frequent; their cakes and breads are simply divine and I’m always popping in to buy niceties for clients.  Synonymous with quality, prestige and all things rather splendid, it’s a taste of days gone by and a bit of a Yorkshire institution… a reliable jewel in the ‘White Rose’ crown (so to speak).  When friends or family visit from ‘down South’ or abroad it’s the kind of place you take them to, just for the experience!

Bettys Tea

Recently, Bettys, Ilkley has undergone a bit of a revamp – I popped in to see what they’d done with the place.

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Bettys Chocolate Desires

Gone is the dark, heavy wood and ‘in’ is a lighter, fresh ambiance which still keeps in tact, all we think of as ‘BETTYS’.  The Ilkley store is now instantly recognisable as on par with the Bettys at Harlow Carr, and I understand all the other five sites in Yorkshire have either been revamped or will be following suit in the coming months.  The refit has been undertaken by Thompsons of York.  Sustainably-sourced oak, cast bronze fittings and marble counter tops give the place a feeling of solidarity and fine craft.

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Whereas the coffee and tea counter felt off-limits before, you can now get up close to the goods, touch the beans and try before you buy in a new tasting area.

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Another new feature is a chocolate counter offering a selection of 20 varieties of handcrafted chocolates, available to buy loose for the first time.  The shop also offers a wedding and celebration cake consultation service.Bettys Chocolates 2Bettys Chocolate Peppermint CreamsBettys Chocolates 1 Bettys Patisserie Bettys MugsBettys Cakes 2 Bettys Shop

It’s great to see Bettys investing in their next season… it is one of the ‘irreplaceable’s on The Grove in Ilkley and I hope they’ll be with us for many more years to come.  Fat Rascal anyone?


COVET…We’ll take it all

Covet, Ilkley, is one of those places you visit and then leave wishing you had a blank canvas of a home, in order to just start over and fill it with ev-er-y-thing!

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Tucked away in a corner of the main car-park in Ilkley Town Centre, (at the back of Bettys!) it is a favourite lifestyle place of ours to visit for a few reasons.

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COVET is hard to describe, it is very unique and almost undefinable.  It’s a place for people with eclectic style and that’s all part of Lorraine’s (owner) vision for the place, who has both amazing taste and clearly buys widely.

A rather a natty little shop that sells just about everything, it is a place you can pick up a great present, (for under a tenner), or an outlandishly huge feature mirror and spend a small fortune if you so choose.

From cutlery, crockery and glassware to bespoke rugs, bedding, chairs and lamps, you can buy things for the home; both useful and unusual.   And there’s storage solutions… lots of clever storage solutions.

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Another reason we love COVET is because it also sells womens’ clothes, yet because you wouldn’t primarily think of it as a clothes shop, it has an under-the-radar feel about it…sort of like, ‘would you look at that, I just made a clothes purchase’… effortless!

What’s more, bespoke Fair Trade hand-made bags, jewellery, perfume, bath robes and scarves…

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Finally, COVET’S effortless, understated yet highly-tasteful appeal extends to the customer experience walking round the shop; you can browse without feeling pressured in a very tactile environment.

COVET is a place to pop-in when you have both something and nothing to buy and every town needs one of those!

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Gorgeous cosy changing room!

You can visit COVET’s online shop here.


Keelham Farm Shop ~ The Community Way.

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Last week we visited the newly opened Keelham Farm Shop on the outskirts of Skipton, Yorkshire.  It was a delight!  Post school, I took one tired little lady (not that keen on the idea of going) who, once inside the doors, quickly became an excitable little lady ‘thrilled’ at what she experienced.

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There is simply everything to go at; fresh produce, a bakery, deli counters with fresh meats, pies, curry’s, pulses and seeds, juice bar and a florist that makes up hand-tied bouquets.

Generational family photos on the walls of the original Keelham, (in Thornton, Bradford) are a lovely touch – this is their lifes work and creativity which has resulted in a unique shopping experience.

The novelty of picking out the fruit and veg (and sweets) we wanted (rather than picking up a sealed pack) and weighing them on non-digital scales prompted an unexpected response in my shopping buddy – it was a learning experience and she was fully immersed in it.

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The cafe/restaurant was full but we secured a table and both enjoyed our food and drink.  There is a mezzanine level opening soon which will add even more seating with a great view over the shopping hall.

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Because we all appreciate nice toilets!

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This is not a place we would pass naturally very often, so will we go back?  Some changes to the menu… with less carb-heavy options on there would definitely tempt me back (as Miss P was very happy with the kids menu).  Outside of that, yes – this is a place we will take people to because of its creative simplicity and unique approach.

It’s the kind of place you may want to go on a family day when you want to go somewhere, but don’t want to do a shops/cinema/etc or it’s not nice enough for outdoors.  This place ticks a few boxes in one go and you could spend a couple of hours there if you wanted.

Finally, and I wasn’t fully aware of this till I got home and casually looked at my receipt from the shopping we’d bought…it’s very good value for money!

They have a great website, find out more at Keelham Farm Shop.

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Her face says it all… happy.


Herbert and Stella ~ it’s a love story

After a two-week Easter break I’ve been eager to get writing again and share with you a post I’ve had waiting in the wings about a gorgeous local boutique.  Those of you with kids 0-7yrs in your world one way or another, it’s a must-know about if you don’t already.
Herbert and Stella is a children’s clothing and toy boutique in Ilkley, West Yorkshire which also sells everything through its online shop.
It reminded me of ‘The shop around the corner’ from the film ‘You’ve got Mail’ when I first discovered it… Bit of a ‘where do I start’ place, because there’s so many lovely things that catch your eye when you enter.
The shop is owned by the beautifully-spirited Christine who, with no experience of running a shop, decided to open on a whim after struggling to find the kind of clothes she wanted to dress her daughter in when she was born.  Three years on the shop has grown, Christine stocks more brands year-on-year, with a ever-increasing online clientele.
The brands are diverse.  Locals and Grandparents popping in to buy ‘a something’ for the grandkids, especially love Frugi, Lily and Sid and Mayoral.  Visitors from Leeds, York and up-and-coming nearby towns go crazy for the quirkier brands seen on the celebs kids like Beau Loves, Bobo Choses, Bang Bang Copenhagen, Mini Rodini, Molo and Soft Gallery all of which have a huge online (almost cultish), following.
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Clothes start at newborn and go up to a size seven.  As for the toys… we’re all big kids at heart right?
Herbert and Stella appeals because it is a shop born out of one persons style of love.  Whenever a place is that – people cannot help but be attracted!
Visit the shop in Yorkshire or online here.

Coral Crush

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




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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