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Hanami in Kent

Posted on 16/05/2013

One day I will go to Japan.

It has been a life long dream of mine and one day I will get there. When I do go it will be in the Spring to coincide with Hanami.

Hanami (花見) literally means flower viewing, it is an ancient Japanese tradition of enjoying and celebrating the beauty of flowers, primarily Cherry Blossom (Sakura). In Japan this is such an established and popular tradition that people visit from all over the world to see the blossom every year, there is even a blossom forecast (sakura-zensen) to help people plan their visit. During the day people come to picnic beneath the blossom. At night people hold parties amongst the trees which they decorate with paper lanterns, this is called night sakura (yozakura).

The ancient custom of Hanami dates back to the Nara Period (710–794) when people viewed the Plum blossom (ume) it was later in the Heian Period (794–1185) that Cherry blossom viewing became more popular and as a result is now synonymous with Hanami.

Every Spring when the blossom starts to bloom I am captivated by its delicate beauty and seeing it can transform my mood and makes my heart sing. I was absolutely delighted when I heard that Brogdale Farm in Faversham were holding their first ever Hanami event. Brodgale is home to over 300 different fruiting cherry trees and 42 ornamental cherry trees! Brogdale is a wonderful place to visit, it is home to The National Fruit Collection which is an incredible living gene bank of over 4,000 varieties of fruit trees including apples, pears, plums, cherries, cobnuts, currants and quinces. This precious resource includes rare examples and heritage varieties that cannot be found elsewhere. It is the biggest collection of fruit trees in the world!

Brogdale’s Hanami event involved a guided walking tour of the farms orchards in flower and ended with a lovely picnic lunch that we brought at the farm to eat beneath the flowering ornamental Cherry trees. Who knows, maybe next year I’ll celebrate Hanami in Japan.

For more information on Brogdale Farm events and the National Fruit Collection visit:

My Hanami outfit: Vintage Pastel 1950′s dress with a Japanese inspired print purchased at a Vintage fair in Brighton. Vintage inspired bubblegum Pink cardigan from Cath Kidston.




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Canterbury Love : Frocks n Stock

Posted on 03/10/2012

I was really excited when I first heard about Frocks n Stock, The Pilgrims Hospice all Vintage, Designer Retro charity shop in Margate. So of course I went to investigate straight away. I imagine my delight when I found out that the hospice would be opening another Frocks n Stock, on my doorstep in Canterbury.

The new shop is wonderful, its large, light and bright and has been meticulous organized and beautifully arranged to show off all the fabulous treasures you can find there. My favourite spot in the shop has got to be the haberdashery room, a whole room filled with vintage fabrics, buttons and sewing paraphernalia!

The Pilgrims hospice is a Kent based charity, so the money spent in the shop goes back into helping the local community. Also 80p out of every £1 spent in the shop goes directly to patient care at the Hospice, so you know exactly where you money is going.

Here are a few photos of my favourite goodies from the shop. They have everything from typewriters to teddies, including a great selection of hard to find menswear, fantastic old magazines, and some stunning suitcases.

Frocks n Stock: 19 The Burgate, Canterbury, CT1 2HG.

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Who is Kunio Matsumoto?

Posted on 12/09/2012

I love vintage Trifari jewellery because of its fantastic quality and plethora of stunning, whimsical and classic designs. Trifari have had many designers, but one whose work I particularly admire is Kunio Matsumoto. Matsumoto was a Japanese architect, he worked for Trifari briefly as a guest designer in the late 1970′s. Since then his designs have become very sought after and are highly collectable.

This Vintage Kunio Matsumoto for Trifari Gold Leaf Grand Parure is an absolute beauty!

Model: Simone Hadfield aka ,  Photography: Retro Photostudio

Linking up with The Glamorous Housewife.

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The Handbag Doctor is in!

Posted on 07/09/2012

I recently inherited my Great Grandmother Vintage Crocodile clutch which I absolutely love, it’s so ladylike and elegant. Its incredible to think I’m the 4th generation of my family to use it.

So now that I possess this fabulous bag I am charged with looking after it, a serious undertaking if I want to be able to pass it on to the next generation some day. Unfortunately the first thing I realized when I used the bag  for the first time, is that the catch doesn’t stay shut, oh dear! Said catch is also looking a little sad and pretty scratched.

I had no idea how or if the catch could be fixed, so I went online to investigate.

I found help in the shape of Martin Ashworth and The Leather Workshop. Martin is a master craftsman, who restores and reconditions vintage and antique leather pieces like bags and trunks, he also makes beautiful custom leather goods to order.



Martin removed and took apart the clasp and completely rebuilt it, it now works perfectly! He also buffed out the scratches and “fed” my bag, which had become dry over time. This will give it a new lease of life, preventing it from cracking and restoring its beautifull glossy surface. At the same time its very important to Martin (and to me) that my bag does not look new, it retains its fabulous aged feel and this is an important part of Martin’s philosophy.

So here it is my beautifully restored bag, I’m thrilled!

You can see photos of Martin’s previous work and read many glowing reviews on his website, The Leather Workshop. Martin is a fabulous find and if your a lover of Vintage he’s a great person to have in your address book.

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