Monthly Archives: December 2012

London Love

This is an exclusive letterpress print from Aardvark, (the people behind the many manifestos, including the V&A’s), which features a quote from London, The Biography by Peter Ackroyd.

“No other city in the world seems to possess so many green and open spaces. For those in love with the hardness and brilliancy of London they are an irrelevance, but they call to others; to vagrants, to office workers, to children, to all those who seek relief from life on the stones.”

It’s another small reminder of how lucky I am to live in such a wonderful city.

I do love it.



The Llawnroc Hotel, Cornwall

The Llawnroc Hotel

“Cornwall!” I squealed as I leapt out of bed a couple of weeks ago. For I (Poppy) and M were off to said place (where I haven’t been since I was weeny Poppy) to stay in the completely gorgeous, 18 roomed, boutique hotel, The Llawnroc. “You’ll LOVE Cornwall” gushed my ridiculously talented friend, Jodie May a couple of days earlier, “Hydrangeas grow wild in the hedgerows!”
We packed the car optimistically full of potential beach paraphernalia (note – it was late November – it stayed in the car) and set off from London. The journey was easy peasy and before we knew it we were pootling through the pretty Cornish village of Gorran Haven, before arriving at The Llawnroc.

View of Gorran Haven from the beach

View of Gorran Haven from the beach


We were shown to our room, which was ENORMOUS and once the door was closed behind us I did a spontaneous and unchoreographed celebratory dance. I was celebrating a number of factors – highlights being that the bed was huge, comfortable and gorgeous, there was a large squidgy sofa (a sofa!) in the room, a music dock, a playstation, (no idea what to do with it but hurruh nevertheless), a big (I think 32″) flat screen tv, room to swing a number of cats, (estimated at 32), our own private sit-and-relax-on balcony, the bathroom had disco lights in the walls (true) AND we had a view of the sea. The sea! The sea! The sea!


The view from our room! The sea! Wahoo!

The view from our room! The sea! Wahoo!

After all the dancing I was completely ravenous, so down we went and ordered a delicious afternoon tea at their Gwineas Bistro. We were so lucky with the weather that we could sit on the sunshiny terrace wrapped up in our cosies, while we guzzled the scrummy smoked salmon sandwiches and warm scones with real deal Cornish clotted cream. (Please note that the pic is of afternoon tea for ONE. My kinda party)

After tea we walked (rolled) down to the fishing wharf and collected pebbles. You can feel the history of this quaint and pretty little place with every footstep… it feels valued and it feels loved.

M and I filled our days with lazy strolls through the village and stunning beach and cliff walks, with spectacular views out over the sparkling blue ocean. Later after sunset, (um, quite early in November) we wrapped ourselves up in our Llawnroc embroidered bathrobes to laze on the sofa and watch DVDs (you can choose from their free library) and listen to a few sleepy Radio 4 podcasts, courtesy of their free and fast tinternet.
Each night we headed down to a scrumptious dinner in the bistro. The food was absolutely wonderful and each meal, whether line-caught sea bass for dinner or creamy cinnamon porridge for breakfast, felt like a real treat. 

Sheep at The Lost Gardens of Heligan

Sheep at The Lost Gardens of Heligan

We did go on one outing, (10 min drive away in St Austell) to the Lost Gardens of Heligan, which I would highly recommend should you find yourself in this neck of the woods. As the largest garden restoration project in Europe and spanning 200 acres, (‘sbig) it’s one of the most magical and unexpected places I’ve ever seen in the UK. Overflowing with palms, bamboos, tree ferns and a myriad of exotic trees and shrubs, it’s completely beautiful and we were mesmerised… 

From the seasonal veggie patch

From the seasonal veggie patch

I couldn’t have wished for a more perfect place to stay than The Llawnroc Hotel. The staff were kind and charming, the whole feel of the place was very peaceful and it manages (cleverly) to be both laid back and luxurious. It was exactly what I needed and was an absolute delight. 

On our last day in Cornwall, we were walking by the sea back to the hotel, when a man ran up to us and asked us if we’d like to use the fire he’d built on the beach as he was heading off. We said thank you and yes! He handed us some additional firewood and we sat ourselves down by the cosy fire and watched the sun set.

Something about this act of kindness really touched me… the passing of the flame reminded me (no, not of the Olympics) of how the most simple and basic things; food, warmth etc, can make us feel so cared for, alive and happy.

When we left, we did the same and ‘passed the flame’ with the remaining firewood to the next couple who passed by. 

And they looked very happy indeed.


The Llawnroc Hotel

Poppy and M were guests of The Llawnroc Hotel for 2 nights, with dinner and breakfast included. 

Win a night for 2 at The Llawnroc!

The wonderful people at The Llawnroc are giving you and one lucky other the chance to win a night at their fabulous hotel. This super duper prize includes:

One night’s accommodation and breakfast at The Llawnroc
Dinner in Gwinease (3 courses and a bottle of house wine)
To be taken by Feb 30th 2013, subject to availability. 
Valentines weekends and half term are not available.

All you have to do to win this super duper prize is one of the following, (the more you do the more chances you have.) Please leave me a comment below for each step you complete:

1. Sign up to my mailing list ((Completion of this step is compulsory to be entered – please look out for the confirmation email in your inbox, otherwise you won’t be registered!))

2. Become a fan of my Facebook page and share the post

3. Leave a comment on this blog post
4. Follow me and The Llawnroc and RT the competition on Twitter 
5. Follow my blog on GFC (Google Friend Connect) 


Competition ends Sunday 23rd December 2012 – good luck Popsicles! xx


Making the cut

It’s easy to look back at years gone by with rose tinted, soft focussed, strawberry scented glasses… so it’s often comforting to be reminded that things were often just as tough then, as they are now.
It certainly can be tricky for creative types, whether you be in music, art or the flicks – it can feel as though you’re climbing up a hill made of porridge. With a mahoosive rucksack on your back filled with cans of Heinz Tomato Soup.
Essanay Film Manufacturing Company (1907 – 1925) is best known for its work on the Charlie Chaplin films and above is its stock rejection letter, (found at it used to send out to all those hopeful screenwriters whose scripts just didn’t cut the mustard. Ouch.
It’s interesting to consider which movies may not have been made made in recent times if ‘All scenes of an unpleasant nature should be eliminated’ or even ‘Idea has been done before’, were still counted as necessary criteria…
Ho hum.

Everything’s Rosie

Allow me to introduce Rosie Barrett, the twinkle toes fairy behind the horticultural haven that is ‘By Just Rosie.’

Clever little Rosie (and she is clever) used to work in Finance, but her sheer love of plants, combined with recognising a gap in the London market for gorgeous garden greenery, meant that she soon threw her Casio calculator out of the window, donned a (very cosy) hat and whisked herself off to the Partridges Food Market on the Duke of York Square, where she can now be found every Saturday surrounded by vibrant heathers, herbs and erm, reindeers. (True).

No stranger to markets, Rosie’s dad and gramps also worked on stalls in London, so she’s taken to it like a duck to water. Her stall boasts rich colours and textures and proves that any London home with even the weeniest teeniest bit of outside space, can be bright and beautiful for Christmas.

Here is my little interview with Rosie. (Told you she was clever.)

What’s your chosen cuppa?
Well, when working in a cold market a hot cup of tea is a necessity – call me a boring but English Breakfast is always my choice on a market day. There is also a tradition with my group of girl friends that we go for afternoon tea to celebrate our birthdays – apart from lots of champagne, I always opt for Assam.
What is your favourite cake?
Lemon drizzle without a doubt! It is the only cake that I make religiously and I make it extra lemony to make me feel as though I can count as one of my five a day.

What made you choose plants?
I love being outdoors and it reminds me of being out in the garden with my Father as a child. A lot of people assume that if you do not have a garden then plants are out of the question, but it’s not true! I love plants and they can be indoors and outdoors – I wanted to share the passion with the rest of London.

What do you love about your work?
Being able to work outside in the fresh air. I have grown up working on markets so have had a long-standing love for them. Also, it’s in the blood as my dad and granddad are market traders too.

What is the thing you like least about your work?
There is nothing worse than working in the pouring rain – it puts everyone around you in a bad mood and the day feels twice as long. Given we live England we have to put up with a lot of rain too!

What advice would you give to someone who’d like to have their own business?
Passion, drive and courage. It is hard hard work, so you better love and have a passion for what you do. There is no time for being lazy either so you do have to be highly motivated otherwise the job simply doesn’t get done. If you want something enough, believe in yourself, have the courage and you can do it.

What is your favourite item of clothing?
My alpaca hat has been a life saver this winter, it is so warm. The ladies of the Kings Road love it too as I am always asked where is it from.

What was your favourite subject at school?
Maths. I had a fantastic teacher at school and if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t have go on to University to study it either. Thank you Mr Shackleton!

Who is your hero?
Martha Stewart – she is what I aspire to (apart from the part of her life spent in jail for lying about insider trading!). I grew up reading her books on home living and interiors, not only that but she is a talented business woman.

What is the one thing we should know about Rosie Barrett?
Self confessed maths geek – I studied Mathematics at St Andrews University in Scotland and loved every minute of it!

Every Saturday 9-4pm
Duke of York Square
Kings Road