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Lake Como: The Villa Carlotta

Posted on 29/08/2012

One of the best things I did when I went to Lake Como in July was visit the Villa Carlotta in Tremezzo.  The villa was built in 1690 and was one of the main stops on The Grand Tour. It is famous for its beautiful gardens and sculptures, including a copy of Canova’s “Cupid & Psyche”, one of my favourite works of art. The villa is named after Charlotte,  Duchess of Saxe-Meiningen who was given it as a wedding gift in 1843 by her mother Princess Marianna of Prussia.

I especially loved the Japanese garden. It’s full of traditionally Japanese decorative elements, all different coloured Acer trees (Japanese Maples) and different species of bamboo. One day I love to make a corner of my garden like this. Its such a quiet and meditative place to come and sit and just enjoy the beauty of the trees. It made me want to visit the real gardens in Japan that inspired it even more.

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Real Brides: Jemma & Harry

Posted on 16/08/2012

I worked with delightful bride to be Jemma last year, helping her select her wedding jewellery and accessories. It always makes my day when brides I’ve worked with send me photos. The wedding was styled so beautifully and looks like so much fun I just had to share it.


I love Jemma’s red and white theme, it photographs fantastically. The little pops of colour like Jemma’s lipstick, the groomsmen’s braces and the red rose button holes. The red stripe in Harry’s suit, completed by that fabulous pocket watch, all tie the images of the event together perfectly.

The bridesmaids wore Vivian of Holloway dresses, which looked fabulous, (I’m a big fan, I have several of their dresses myself.)

There were so many great little decorative touches throughout, like the lampshades in the trees, so quirky and magical!

” Thank you so much to you for your help in finding my jewellery. It was truly perfect” Jemma Carpenter

“Just thought I’d pop you a line to say how stunning Jemma’s bag, bracelet and earings looked on Sunday. She was truly radiant” Heather Carpenter

  Jemma & Harry tied the knot at South Farm, at Ryston in Hertfordshire

Jemma’s Mother Heather is the florist responsible for all the beautiful arrangements Heather Carpenter Floral Design

Jemma’s fifties style wedding dress came from The Wedding Shop in Wimbledon

Jewellery by PassionateAboutVintage

Images courtesy of © Annamarie Stepney Photography 2012

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Jewellery Glossary : Arabesque

Posted on 15/08/2012

When applied to jewellery the term “Arabesque” refers to a repeating pattern often including elaborate scroll work, floral and foliate forms. The term originates from 9th century Baghdad and these motifs are common in Muslin art and architecture.

This Ledo Arabesque Rhinestone Bracelet, composed of 9 articulated links in a pave set curlicue design is a perfect example.

 Photograph by Samantha Jones Photography

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Teatime with Cath Kidston

Posted on 10/08/2012

Have you have ever wondered what it would be like to have tea with Cath Kidston?  On Thursday night I was lucky enough to attend an exclusive invitation only preview of the new Cath Kidston Autumn/Winter 2012 collection, at my local Canterbury Boutique, complete with was tea and cake. What made this event even more lovely, was that all the cakes had been baked at home and brought in by the gorgeous girls who work in the shop.


 I always think the merchandising in the Cath Kidston shops is done beautifully. My local boutique is especially lovely, with some original vintage beauties dotted around the shop and unique decorative touches like these Jam jar lights

 My favourite dress from the new season collection is without a doubt the Edwardian Ditsy Tea Dress. Its super flattering, especially on a curvy hourglass figure, it emphasizes all your best bits and will take you easily from day to night. I can picture wearing it this Autumn with patterned tights, boots and a little cardigan. Then in the evening with a pair of heels and some vintage jewels to add some glamour.

Most importantly its a perfect dress to wear to tea!

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