The best bits from 2012

There’s no way I could put as much time and love into this site without thoroughly enjoying it….but there are some elements I enjoy even more than others! 2012 has been a year of finding my blogging feet, developing the look and feel of my site, and deciding what I like to write about most….not to mention what you like to read about!

Now I can see which are the most popular posts with you guys by simply reading my stats page, but I thought I’d share with you *my* favourite posts from this year….

Grayson Perry, Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman

Not only was this probably the best exhibition I saw in 2012, but it has to be the most inspirational one I’ve *ever* seen. I came away vowing to spend more time being creative, and with a head swimming with ideas!

Tosca at the ENO

Despite being the second time I’ve seen this production, I couldn’t help but get swept up in the ENO’s stunning Tosca.

Soup Week

My obsession for home-made soups naturally led to a week of soup recipe posts!

Made in Britain Fashion Installation at BIS with UKFT

I thoroughly enjoyed this freelance commission, and was so proud to work with UKFT on such a prestigious project!

There’s no place like London

Whilst I’ve not looked back since moving out of London, it is with great fondness that I remember my 12 years living there, and that incredible last summer.

So, as the year comes to a close, I want to thank you all so much for reading my blog, commenting, egging me on, and helping out in the many and varied ways you do…I hope you continue to enjoy visiting my little site and as always, I’m eagerly awaiting your ideas, feedback and requests, so do stay in touch!

A very happy new year to you all!

Ems x

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The end of the year as we know it….. 2012 in review

With Christmas over, I’m feeling rather blue and sulky. I can’t believe it’s been and gone again already….why must it go so fast?!

And it’s not just the festive season that flashed by….it’s been a super busy year, and has flown by as a result! I’ve experienced, accomplished and learned lots this year, and all-in-all it’s been a bally good one! So here’s a little round up of what happened in my 2012……

  • Well I gave up my job for one! Having been working in weddings and events for six years, I decided to take a break for a while in order to spend more time being creative and to work freelance. It was a bit scary but has been such great fun!
  • With more time on my hands I have settled down to work on lots of the crafting projects I’d wanted to do for ages, and have set up my own online shops, hosted stalls at craft markets, and begun stocking my things in local shops. The feedback has been so wonderful and I’m looking forward to developing my little brand more in the new year!
  • Now that I can work from home mostly, and Adam can too, we decided to move out of London this Autumn to wonderful Hitchin in Hertfordshire. I’ve loved everything about our move….our amazing new house, my own studio, and being away from the craziness of central London! I still miss lots about London, but it’s so close that I feel I have the best of both worlds!
  • I’ve become rather obsessed with thrifting, nail polish, the colour yellow, bubble tea, making soup, gin, and properly brewed coffee. I’ve also taken on new hobbies in the shape of lino printing and cross stitch!
  • I’ve taken part in a disposable camera swap, an analogue photography workshop, been to press events, curated a fashion display, met fellow bloggers, and been ‘spotted’ by a reader….my life is nothing if not varied these days, which is exactly how I like it!
  • We enjoyed an incredible summer in London, with the Jubilee, the Olympics and the London 2012 Festivals. It was the perfect summer to really embrace living in London, and I have so many wonderful memories of fun times had!
  • I’ve explored secret supper clubs, pop up bars and restaurants, lots of theatre, a summer camp, amazing exhibitions, a floating market and a chilli festival…..it certainly was a year to get out and enjoy things!
  • I attended the weddings of several dear friends, and contributed in small ways to some of them too. As a self confessed wedding-obsessive I have, of course, delighted in seeing my loved ones tie the knot….and can’t wait for the next round of nuptials next year!
  • We started Christmas early with a holiday to the super-festive Vienna. I totally fell in love with the city and its stunning Christmas Markets…..I can’t wait to go back!
  • We hosted our very first Christmas together here in our new home, with great success. The house looks super with all its Christmas decorations, and I have loved all the cooking and hosting!
  • I enrolled in Weight Watchers, and have lost over a stone since July. In fact, just before Christmas I was less than a pound away from my target weight…..although I am a few pounds away again after all the festive gluttony! It’s been great to live somewhere we can take lovely lunch time and early evening strolls, so that I can stay fit without having to head to the gym or go on a crash diet!
  • There’s also the small matter of my turning 30! I celebrated very well (and for weeks on end!) with a brilliant picnic, breakfast at the Wolseley, and a Fashionista afternoon tea at the Berkley….amongst other adventures! Being 30 has been pretty cool actually!
  • The most obvious thing is my blog right here though! I’ve started posting much more regularly this year, held my first give-away and written my first guest posts, as well as having people guest post here for the first time too. It’s been such a great adventure and I’m looking forward to developing my site in the new year!

I hope you all had a splendid 2012, and have an even better 2013!

Ems x

Guest Post: Wednesday Wants with Country Mouse Claire

Hello!

My name is Claire, and I blog all about my life, loves, and adventures at Country Mouse Claire. Being a teacher of some hilarious little boys, a lover of all things shiny and entertaining, and one of the silliest people in Christendom, there’s always something to share!

Emily and I have been friends for years, and I’m a big fan of Under a Glass Sky…so naturally I was thrilled when she invited me to compose a ‘Wednesday Wants’ for whilst she’s moving to her fab new pad. And when you talk to a teacher about desired items in September, one thing dominates….

….stationery!

Source: erincondren.com via Claire on Pinterest

I adore Erin Condren’s range of stationery – it is so jolly and fun! I have her 2012 diary already and I love it: it has tabs for easy navigation, monthly and weekly grids, matching notepads, stickers (!!!)…. It’s pretty much divine. I’m already plotting my 2013 diary – I think this one, with pictures of Matthew and I, good friends, family, and the cats would brighten up an organising session!

Source: paperchase.co.uk via Claire on Pinterest

I like to have a fun calendar in my form room – I think this is the front runner!

Source: erincondren.com via Claire on Pinterest

At this point in the year I also like to start getting excited about Christmas (I know, I know, it’s early. But I like to be the early bird!). I usually buy and handwrite our cards, but I love the photocards that pour in each season too. I love this Erin Condren design – perhaps our Christmas missives this year will be kitty-tacular!

Source: paperchase.co.uk via Claire on Pinterest

I love writing pieces about London, and have been thinking for ages that I’d like to have a notebook for making notes about posts! Isn’t this Paperchase one adorable, and perfect for purpose?

Source: amazon.co.uk via Claire on Pinterest

I love the feel of writing in a fountain pen, and have long been a devotee of Parkers! I lost my last one a few years back and have been on the hunt for a replacement…I think this may be the badger!

Source: smythson.com via Claire on Pinterest

And lastly, the prerequisite “very pretty thing I adore but could never truly afford to splurge on”. As gorgeous as these Smythson cards are, at the rate I write thank you notes and letters, I’d fast go bankrupt. So I shan’t stump up the £50 for these beauties….but I will sigh longingly in their general direction!

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing a few of my current favourites. What stationery has recently caught your eye?

Many thanks for having me, Ems!

Wednesday Wants…. all about London on Etsy

So….I’m leaving London! In a little over a month me and the boyf will be moving from our Zone 1 flat, and out to lovely Hitchin in Hertfordshire. I’m super excited about it, but I have started to think about the things I’ll miss about London when we move. I’ve also started to hanker after a few of the souveniry type things around at the moment (thanks in part to the Olympics and the Jubilee), which I’d like to take along with me to our new rather-more-rural home!…..

I think this skirt is super cute! And useful too….it’s pattered with the London Underground map, so you can’t get lost in London whilst you’re wearing it! It’s made by Roobys and is available on Etsy for just £18 along with a whole load more ‘novelty skirt for grown ups’!

I already have the gorgeous Ward Lock & Co’s London Illustrated Guide, but this vintage London journal would be a great notebook for anything at all. It’s made from an old map of London, and recovered back, front and inside, with blank note pages inside. It’s only £4.59 from Etsy which is a bargain I think for a unique journal.

And for just £4 you can get this bumper load of London printed ribbons, by Bigfish on Etsy. I love the little guards print, and I could certainly see me using the Made in Britain print.

I’ve been collecting up a few old postcards for some projects, both in Paris and in London. I’ve not quite decided what I want to do with them yet, but this bumper load might inspire me! They’re just £12.12 for all 50, from Bursts of Creativity on Etsy.

I adore this Cath Kidston London print with all its iconic landmarks. I’d love to make curtains in my new studio with it, or else make some pretty cushions. You can buy a fat quarter of it from Boqinana on Etsy for just £3.93.

I’m sure I’ll be able to find some treasures as a token from my 12 years here in London, and hopefully I’ll make up some new products inspired by the City too!

Ems x

Something from the weekend: A beer festival, a scarecrow festival and other adventures in Instagram

We’ve had a wonderful long weekend!
Here’s the roundup… Instagram style…

With Friday off, we started in London at the Great British Beer Festival, which this year was at Kensington Olympia. I got to try some very yummy ales and catch up with some lovely people too!

After that we made our way up to Leeds to spend the weekend with Adam’s brother and sister in law (and their two dogs). His Mum came up too (with her two dogs), so there were four dogs there to entertain us!

On Saturday morning we drove to Kettlewell for their famous Scarecrow Festival. Once there, we took the dogs down to the river for a drink and a paddle. Piper is too refined to go in though, and Buddy’s not much of a water baby. So it was up to Newton to do the swimming to fetch sticks and Peanut had a paddle in the shallows just to explore.

Next we all took to the scarecrow trail to explore some of the villagers’ creations. There were scarecrow homages to the Queen and Prince Philip, Boris Johnson, Postman Pat, Woody from Toy Story and a whole scene from Holby City. I very much wished I lived somewhere so very idyllic and that I had the chance to make a scarecrow myself!

 

 

 

 

For lunch, we drove to nearby Threshfield and to the lovely Old Hall Inn. I ate a very scrummy Free Range Southern Fried Chicken Burger, and felt pretty tired and full by the time we piled back into the car to drive home!

After that it was a restful evening in front of the telly with Margaritas to watch some of the Olympic events…. We yelled at the screen in support of Mo Farrah in the Mens’ 5000m final, and got very tense and involved in the Mens’ 10m Platform Diving. I was overjoyed for Tom Daley, especially seeing how truly delighted he was with his medal.

It was a lie in on Sunday morning, followed by a breakfast of many many pancakes with maple syrup. After playing in the garden a bit with the dogs, we drove to Bramley Park for a walk. The woods there are so pretty and filled with gorgeous wild flowers. We walked down to and alongside the canal, throwing sticks for the dogs to swim in for. Again, Newton was the winner, but Peanut had a good go at hijacking him on his return to the bank to pilfer his sticks.

 

 

 

 

 

Once home again it was cups of tea and more Olympics watching before heading back to the station to catch the train to London. As the sun set on our journey, I spent a while staring out of the window at the pretty fields full of poppies and some of the stunning churches in the towns en route.

We made it home JUST in time to see the Olympics Closing Ceremony on telly. I didn’t enjoy them as much as the Opening Ceremony, but there were lots of bits I loved…..the Spice Girls, The Who, Take That, Annie Lennox….and of course the LED taxis which I was really rather taken with. I stayed up far too late to see the end (which I thought was ace….the cauldron for the Olympic Flame is just incredible) but we did manage to see the fireworks from the living room window again. A fitting end to a great weekend!

Ems x

Living for the weekend….. ideas in London for 4th to 5th August 2012

Had enough of sport yet? Got a numb behind from sitting in front of the TV all week? Need a little fresh air?….. Well you can embrace the party spirit going on in London (and all over the UK for that matter) without fear of your eyes turning into squares or losing your voice from cheering…. I’ve said it before I know, but there is SO MUCH going on this summer, sporty and not-so-sporty….get out there!

Now this is my kind of sport…. the Sacrilege project is a co-commission by the Mayor of London and Glasgow International Festival of Visual Arts, designed by Turner Prize-winning artists Jeremy Deller. Most notably though, it’s a bally inflatable Stone Henge!!! This king of bouncy castles is making its way around the country, but this weekend you can find it in London!  Check their website for locations, which feature open spaces all over the UK until 9th September.

Now if you’re going to get that kind of exercise, I say you have the right to stuff your face with yums to make up for it. And not far from Saturday’s Sacrilege location at Burgess Park, you’ll find FEAST at London Bridge. Said to be London’s ‘most exciting and daring food experience’, this festival of food features some of the captial’s most coveted food retailers. It’s £6 to get in when booked in advance, or £8 on the door.

Also nearby, within the Clore Ballroom at the Royal Festival Hall at the Southbank Centre, you’ll find Marcos Saboya and Gaulter Pupo’s ‘aMAZEme’….. A giant maze made from over 200,000 books, the installation is inspired by the writer and educator JL Borges, and will be there until 26th August.

And on the subject of books….. East London based The Book Club is hosting its Base Camp event until 12th August. Expect a very British affair with some sporty bits thrown in…. ping pong, table football, a paddling pool and an ice cream van sound like perfect summer diversions to me! There is plenty of good food and lots of yummy drinks too, screens to watch the Games, plus prizes for the winners of silly sports and activities. Fun!

Just down the road at the Old Truman Brewery, you’ll find the London Designer Sale this weekend. This sample sale will house excess stock and samples from top designers and brands such as Dolce & Gabbana, Marc Jacobs, Ferragamo, Jimmy Choo, Gucci and Francesco Biasia, all at up to 80% off the RRP!

And if that’s not enough of a designer fix for you, why not head to Harvey Nichols? It’s not just the fabulous array of posh threads that has my attention though, as the department store is currently hosting Penhaligon’s Peoneve Multi-Sensory Terrace. Celebrating the launch of Penhaligon’s new summery Peony-inspired fragrance, the Fifth Floor Terrace has been transformed into a ‘stunningly eclectic and multi-sensory garden with an inventive cocktail menu and dessert menu inspired by the notes within the fragrance.’ I’m super excited about this, as a Penhaligon’s super-fan and lover of peonies (they are always around over my birthday so have been a firm favourite for years), and the thought of menu and cocktail matching to this scent is just amazing. I have my eye on Penhaligon’s Peony Punch which is served in an enormous version of the iconic Penhaligon’s scent bottle, as well as the White Chocolate & Peony Mousse. There are also specially created boozy ice pops in very British and floral flavours. You can see the menu here and make bookings here.

Now we just need the sun to keep shining!

Ems x

Wednesday Wants….. British Stationery for the summer of 2012

There are few things I love much more than posh stationery. And one of the most luxurious things I own is my little pink ‘Panama‘ notebook by Smythson. I just adore the soft, supple lambskin cover, and the super fine, pale blue pages edged with silver are just gorgeous. I’ve had mine for a while now….it lives in my rucksack for when I need to write ideas down when out and about. It’s aged beautifully, and I know when it runs out I won’t want any other product to take its place.

Yesterday, passing the Smythson shop at the Royal Exchange, I spotted a rather vivid display, designed I think to celebrate the summer games. There are five of the Panama note books arranged in one row of three over another row of two, in black, red, green, blue and orange. I have no doubt in fact that they are meant to subtly reflect the famous logo for the games, and to attract the attention of some of the many extra tourists in the area.

Now, as much as I love a tacky souvenir (snow globes a favourite), I’ve not really seen anything I would really want to buy, in terms of 2012 related treasures. Probably for the best really, as there was SO much I wanted around the Jubilee. However, as I looked closer at Smythson’s display, I realised I’d found a whole load of ‘souvenirs’, very much in my style……

Whilst you can buy a plain Panama, they also have a wonderful range of gold embossed motto notebooks. Mine simply says ‘notes’ but I’ve been fawning over the ‘top secrets’ and ‘feeling groovy’ ones since I first spotted them. The ones I spotted in the window were all new to me though, and fit together in a theme of inspiration, Britishness and sportyness. There’s ‘Jump for Joy’, ‘Champion’, ‘Game On’, ‘Best of British’ and, my favourite, ‘Your Country Needs You to Party’. How lovely is that?! Many of them come in several colours, although it’s the green that’s really caught my eye.

The smallest size Panama is £35. So it’s not like I’m going to pick up one of each and write my supermarket shopping lists in them. But perhaps Father Christmas will bring me one to save for best.

Ems x

Something from the weekend…. A super day out in East London

After a tip off by Domestic Sluttery, the boyf and I decided to head out East on Saturday morning, and to the floating market on the Regent’s Canal in Mile End Park. I CAN’T BELIEVE I’ve never taken a stroll along the canal before…. I’ve been meaning to for ages, and I was so glad we did.

We hopped on a bus to get us down to the canal, and had a little bit of a wander in the wrong direction before getting on the right track. We didn’t mind at all though, as we were just so excited by the lovely environment around us….there were dozens of dragonflies and mayflies over the water, some huge fish, and lots of pretty flowers and plants along the water edge.

Finally heading in the right direction, we strolled along just soaking up the tranquility until we came across the Art Pavilion, which was showing Philip Pinchin‘s ‘Sleeping India’ exhibition. The photos are nearly all black and white and show some of the most diverse aspects of the country, as well as how it’s such common nature to take a nap right out in public. Adam found himself wanting to go back to India badly, recalling memories from his trips there, whilst I was reminded how much I want to go for the first time.

The Art Pavilion itself is a wonderful place, so bright and open, and surrounded by gorgeous ponds and gardens….

Just a little wander further and we found the Floating Market. Set up along the towpath are around a dozen narrow boats, all with something wonderful to share…. there are cafes, a hat emporium, jewellery shops, a bookshop, and artists…. in fact, plenty to while away an afternoon with. It’s been set up to coincide with the games and will move on to Little Venice in West London for the Paralympic Games. The towpath itself is an official Olympic walking and cycling route, and nearby Victoria Park is one of the official Live Sites showing highlight from the Games on big screens, so there’s quite a buzz there!

We took our ease for a while, at a little picnic table with a cute umbrella outside Rawlings cafe. With a generous mug of tea each we took on two of their wheat and dairy free cakes….. the sweet potato muffin was super gooey, and the banana loaf just divine. We also enjoyed the company of Jasper, a friendly dog who hangs out at the cafe. He was lovely.

Next we explored the floating bookshop, which was especially great because we got to go onboard! It’s filled with shelf upon shelf of second hand books of all sorts, and also has a beautiful tortoiseshell cat! There are more racks of books on the outside too, but I loved being on board and finding all the goodies stowed away so cleverly and tidily.

Further along we found the Chapeau Bateau, where there are stacks of lovely hats, as well as some ace 70s style sun glasses. After that, we found the Print Galley, where a suitcase full of old cameras caught my eye….. we ended up chatting to the shop keeper about lots of them, including a couple of awesome Super8 cameras and an incredible medium format camera. Elizabeth Hayley is a print maker and photographer, and is currently selling some of her work at the market. I immediately fell for her dreamy images, all of which have such amazing texture and luminosity.

By this time, we were practically at Victoria Park, and wanting to continue our stroll we decided to make our way to the World in London exhibition there. We entered the park via the Rose Gates, whereupon we found the most stunning roses I think either of us has ever seen. Each one seemed so perfectly formed and alike, and almost as though they were made from fine silk or tissue. Just gorgeous!

In our efforts to find the exhibition, we ended up wandering around the whole South side of the park, not realising that there is a much bigger end to the park over the road! It was gorgeous just to snoop about though, and the place smelled just amazing with all the beautiful flowers about. On our wanderings, we found the Pavilion Cafe, and got terribly excited as we learned that all the ingredients are ‘us friendly’, meaning everything is free range and organic! That was enough to remind us it was lunch time, and we chose seats overlooking the huge pond after ordering kippers with poached egg and potato cake (for me), and Eggs Benedict (for Adam). Both arrived in no time and were exceptionally good. The portions are a great size, and very good value I think (about £7 for each dish), and we enjoyed a really yummy iced coffee there too.

We will definitely be back to sample more of the menu…they have a wonderful sounding Full English Breakfast, and a yummy looking burger I want to try! It’s just such a glorious place to sit and eat when the sun is shining…there’s so much going on in the park so it’s really buzzing, but overlooking the water makes it seem tranquil at the same time.

For pudding Adam bought an ice cream from the van behind the Pavilion (I opted to steel the top off it rather than having a a whole one, having scoffed the cake earlier). It seemed that our summer had finally arrived as we walked through the balmy park with an ice cream!

Eventually we found the World in London exhibition, which is actually posted on the exterior wall to the BT London Live event which is showing parts of the games on big screens. An outdoor display of over 200 portraits blown up on large, glossy boards, it showcases a collection put together by the Photographers Gallery over the last three years. Coinciding with the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the project was created to show images of Londoners of all ages and walks of life, each originating from one of the competing nations. The photos are arranged alphabetically by country along one long wall, and are also being shown in Park House…. you can actually see all the images online too, here.

Despite having said we weren’t going to do too much over the weekend, we were having such a jolly time that we couldn’t bear to end our day of adventure. So, from the park we walked along to Bethnal Green, and on from there to Brick Lane. It was perhaps the quietest I’ve ever seen it, and at least in many years….I can’t imagine why anyone would want to be indoors on such a lush day, but I guess lots of people wanted to watch some of the Olympics events. I rather enjoyed being able to wander about in a more civilised way than usual though, and took in several of the little markets I love.

The Tea Rooms market is one of my favourites, and is filled with all kinds of lovely treasure….. there is an incredible stall selling loads and loads of beautiful vintage china and crystal decanters…. a cake stall…. loads of bric-a-brac and nick nacks…. and a wonderful collection of old cameras.

After a pootle about some of the other markets along Brick Lane, we headed to Old Spitalfields Market, although by then lots of stall holders were packing up. We zipped around though and took time to stop and take some photos of Adam with some of those crazy mascot things….

Then, pretty tired and with rather achey feet, we made our way home for cups of tea and a light (ish) supper of wholemeal penne with roasted butternut squash, pepper and broccoli. What an amazing day!

Hope you enjoyed a sunny Saturday!

Ems x

Living for the weekend…. 27th to 29th July 2012 in London

I don’t think anyone could be short of things to do this weekend….even if you don’t want to leave your sofa, there’s going to be lots to get involved in and watch on the telly for one! Still, I’m hoping to get out and about, seen as the sun is due to shine again. Here are my potential plans….
It would be silly to miss this, but you still have just a few weeks left….. To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Rolling Stones’ first gig, Somerset House has opened a free photographic exhibition, which documents  their amazing career. The Rolling Stones: 50  showcases a wealth of unseen and rare material, including over seventy prints ranging from reportage photography, live concert and studio session images and outtakes from every period of the band’s history.
East Wing Galleries, Somerset House
Free Admission
Ends 27th August 2012

And whilst we’re on the subject of legendary bands….. I am DEAD EXCITED to see the Blur 21: The Exhibition which opens today. East end venue Londonnewcastle is housing a collection of over 70 images of Blur from iconic music photographers, designers and artists. Celebrating the band’s 21 year career, the retrospective honours Blur’s era-defining music, through the lens of illustrious music photographers Pennie Smith, Kevin Cummins, Tom Sheehan and Paul Postle, and will show never before seen artwork.

Londonewcastle Project Space

Until 14th August

Free admission

From this weekend, London’s cultural hub at Exhibition Road will host nine days of celebratory art, music, science, literature and acrobatics. ROAD SHOW brings a wealth of creativity to the capital, taking inspiration from the stacks of museums and institutions resident in the area. Expect interactive games, theatrical performances, live music, nature workshops, installations (including the hand crafted particle accelerator!), and the ‘Vintage Style Ride’. It’s free to get in, and you can see lists of activities here.

Whilst you’re in the ‘hood, pop into the V&A, where you will find their exhibition of leading British fashion designers and visual artists collaborating in a ground-breaking series of works commissioned as part of the London 2012 Festival. Britain Create 2012: Fashion + Art Collusion features collaborations from the likes of Mary Katrantzou and Mark Titchner, Paul Smith and Charming Baker, and Matthew Williamson and Mat Collishaw. The pairs were given an open brief, as an opportunity to promote the acknowledged relationship between fashion and art, and encompassing sculpture, video, music and photography.
Room 17a at the V&A
Free Admission
Until 29th July 2012
 

Also part of the London 2012 Festival, The World in London is a major public art project initiated by The Photographers’ Gallery, bringing together over 200 specially commissioned photographic portraits of Londoners, each originating from one of the nations competing at the Games. The images will be mounted on huge panels and exhibited in Victoria Park in East London, as well as Park House in Camden. It’s free to get in too!

I hope everyone has a fab weekend!

Ems x

Wednesday Wants….. Still banging on about the Union Jack

London is still filled with bunting and more Union Jacks than I’ve ever seen in my life…..it seems all the decor put up for the Jubilee was a bargain really, as it’s been left up for the games too. Double whammy! And because red and blue are my current favourites, I’m still very much into all things Union Jack….. I posted a while ago about lots of Union Jack *things*, but here are my picks of Union Jack wearables…..

I wouldn’t be without my French Sole flats….they are pretty and stylish, but so easy to wear and super comfy. These Union Jack patterned ballet pumps though would make an excellent addition to the collection. They are leather and come in the Henrietta shape which has a nice low vamp (showing just a little toe cleavage). The flag also appears at the heel, so you’ll be patriotic from every angle. They are £130 though, so it’ll be worth waiting to see if they come up in the sale!


Similarly pie in the sky at £249.95 is this Barbour jacket….. I first saw it at the british pop up shop in Selfridges, and I’ve wanted it ever since. Barbour have teamed up with Swarovski Elements to bring a little patriotic sparkle to an iconic jacket. As well as the Union Jack lining, the chest pocket is emblazoned with a red, white and blue crystal flag. Considering all the rain we’ve been having this summer, I guess you could call it a sound investment though!
I also spied these amazing Union Jack gloves by Dents at the Selfridges pop-up, and was smitten right away. Stitched together in red, white and blue leather panels, the gloves are super supple and also boast a silk lining. They come gift boxed too, so a they make a wonderful gift to oneself as a treat for surviving the summer! They are £99.00.
I’m a sucker for a silk scarf as you may well already know, and this one is so very me. It has a wonderful vintage feel with the retro portrait of Her Majesty, and I love the swirling crest pattern over the flag itself. It’s £120.00 from Liberty, although thankfully for the sake of my wallet, it’s out of stock just now.
Ems x