Tag Archives: london

Boris Johnson – ‘Mad Props To The Real G’


“London is without doubt the greatest city on the planet” said Boris Johnson after figures showed that the number of foreign tourists surged by 20% last summer. July to September saw 4.9 million visitors, making it the world’s most popular destination and setting London on course to welcome a record 16 million overseas visitors in one year.

Boris Johnson - The Mayor of London.

Boris Johnson – The Mayor of London.

The charismatic mayor known for his sense of humour and public pranks such as the high wire act during the 2012 Olympics, is London’s most passionate promoter. Outspoken on petty bureaucracy, bicycle thieves, the airports commission’s plans for Heathrow, tennis with Pippa and life’s general absurdities; he has now waded into the Southpark Skateboard development debacle.

The ‘long live Southbank, you can’t remove history’ campaign was set up by supporters of London’s world famous Southbank Skatepark in defense of development plans for a Southbank Centre that will see the park moved to an alternate site 120 yards away under Hungerford Bridge.

Summer on the Southbank

Summer on the Southbank

Mr Johson said: “The skate park is the epicentre of UK skateboarding and is part of the cultural fabric of London. This much-loved community space has been used by thousands of young people over the years. It attracts tourists from across the world and undoubtedly adds to the vibrancy of the area. It helps to make London the great city it is.”

Visitors of all ages enjoy the view from the Southbank. (photo - worklondonstyle)

Visitors of all ages enjoy the view from the Southbank. (photo – worklondonstyle)

The Southbank Skateboard Park. (photo - worklondonstyle)

The Southbank Skateboard Park. (photo – worklondonstyle)

Skateboarders were delighted to receive the Mayor’s support. Tommy Wright said: “We’re stoked the Mayor is backing us. Anyone down for preservation gets mad props. Boris is a real G.”

The Urban Dictionary describes a “real G” as “a robust individual who did not change course under rough circumstances”. “Mad props” means thank you.

The Creative Director of arts organisation UpRise, involved in the Long Live Southbank campaign said: “It is great that Boris recognises the importance of the cultural heritage that exists in this space.”

Catherine Croft, Director of the 20th Century Society conservation group said: “The proposed massive extensions to the Centre will overwhelm one of the best groups of brutalist buildings in the UK, if not the world.”

A skater showing off his skills at the Southbank Skateboard Park. (photo - worklondonstyle)

A skater showing off his skills at the Southbank Skateboard Park. (photo – worklondonstyle)

Boris who writes a column for The Telegraph was one of the most popular guests on the comedy TV program “Mock the Week”.

Boris - 'A real G' promoting London.

Boris – ‘A real G’ promoting London.

Nigella Lawson – The Taste of Success.


British celebrity chef Nigella Lawson is returning to British television screens in January In ‘The Taste’. The show aired in its original format in the US on ABC in January 2013. As in previews shows, Nigella will be seen tasting and enjoying great food. She says, “At my age, being thin is not a good look. Eating is my anti-aging remedy”.

Nigella

Nigella glamorous in curve-hugging purple for the show ‘The Taste’ in the US. (photo – AP)

Her first book established her as woman with a passion for life and food.

Her first book introduced her as a woman with a passion for life and food and helped start a cupcake revolution.

'Nigella Bites' accompanied the. Channel 4 series that established her as a sensual cook adored by men and women globally.

‘Nigella Bites’ accompanied the channel four series that established her as a sensual cook adored by men and women globally.

The reality style show is described as a mix between a talent show and a cooking competition. Each of the experts coach a mixed team of amateur and professional cooks and at the end of each episode the judges sample the dishes blind without knowing who cooked it or even what the dish is.

The US version of 'The Taste' Ludo Lefebvre, Anthony Bourdain, Nigella Lawson and Marcus Samuelsson. (photo - abc)

The US version of ‘The Taste’ with Ludo Lefebvre, Anthony Bourdain, Nigella Lawson and Marcus Samuelsson. (photo – ABC)

‘The Taste’ airs on Channel 4 in the UK, on Tuesday 7 January at 9 pm.

Nigella as mentor and judge on  '. The Taste'. (photo - XPUSJP)

Nigella as mentor and judge on ‘The Taste’. (photo – XPUSJP)

Nigella doing the taste test in a scene from the new show.

Nigella doing the taste test in a scene from the new show.

Mulberry – The Delevingne Factor


British handbag and clothing brand Mulberry has set its sights on international expansion. Established by Roger Saul in Somerset in the south west of England in 1971, Mulberry has built a reputation on its dedication to craftsmanship and tradition. This balanced with a nose for high fashion and practicality has ensured it cult status when it launched the now iconic Bayswater in 2002. Named after the leafy West London neighbourhood, it was originally available in Oak, Chocolate and Black. Its success has seen new colours and finishes sent down the catwalk year on year.

The Mulberry Bayswater (photo - worklondonstyle)

The Mulberry Bayswater (photo – worklondonstyle)

With 123 stores and a market cap of £604m The Rookery, Mulberry’s original factory, could not meet demand. The second factory in Somerset has been completed and will run to full capacity by mid 2014. The Rookery has been the only leather goods factory of its size in the UK.

The Bayswater requires 12sq ft of leather. (photo -Mulberry)

The Bayswater requires 12sq ft of leather. (photo -Mulberry)

Bags are designed in the London studio. The entire process from pattern making and prototyping to fine tuning can take up to 28 weeks. Considering material qualities, it takes one skin to make one handbag. The Bayswater requires 12sq ft of leather. All off-cuts are used in smaller projects and recycled. Bags are handmade. Cutting, skiving, handle making, splitting, spraying, inking, ironing, stitching and folding are overseen by largely locally sourced and trained craftspeople.

The launch of the Alexa, named after British model, TV presenter and style icon, Alexa Chung, drew A-list stars to Mulberry’s catwalk shows. The design is derived from the Elkington, Mulberry’s Classic men’s briefcase.

Alexa Chung with the Alexa bag and the original Elkington which inspired it. (photo -Mulberry)

Alexa Chung with the Alexa bag and the original Elkington which inspired it. (photo -Mulberry)

American singer Lana Del Rey inspired the Del Rey bag featured in the 2012 Autumn/Winter campaign. Cara Delevingne, British model of the year for 2012 is the current face of the brand.

Mulberry launched the Cara Delevingne range at Claridge’s in London on 16 February 2014. It is hoping to revive it’s flagging bag sales; drawing on the model’s millions of international followers.

Cara Delevingne photographed by renowned British photographer Tim Walker (photo - Mulberry)

Cara Delevingne photographed by renowned British photographer Tim Walker (photo – Mulberry)

Chief executive Bruno Guillon has said plans to open 15 new stores were on track. A flagship store is set to open on Paris’ Rue Saint-Honore in 2014.

Guillon has repositioned Mulberry from an affordable to a luxury brand, with 36% of sales derived from bags priced over £1000 compared to 4% in 2012. Creative director, Emma Hill’s departure has left room for new direction.

Vintage Mulberry - The Roxanne. ( photo - worklondonstyle)

Vintage Mulberry – The Roxanne. ( photo – worklondonstyle)

Investment in prominent tourist destinations such as Asia and North America saw pre-tax profits down by 28% to £7.2 million, in the six months to 30 September. Revenues were up 2.1% to £78.1m with like-for-like growth of 4%. International retail sales were up 29%.

Research has shown that Asia Pacific is posed to be the biggest market for luxury goods by 2018. In readiness for the harvest, now is the time to invest. It is a costly process, but with the local market close to saturation, the promise of rich pickings may well justify investment in multinational expansion.

The Cara Delevingne backpack. (photo-Reuters)

The Cara Delevingne backpack. (photo-Reuters)

Are You Sitting Down?


Sit! This basic command to the family pet is one often exercised for extensive periods by the rest of the family at home, school or the office. “Sitting is the new smoking”, says Anup Kanodia; physician and researcher at the Centre For Personalised Health Care at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Centre.

Reading, my greatest joy, can often keep me grounded for hours at a time. (photo -  worklondonstyle)

Reading, my greatest joy, can often keep me grounded for hours at a time. (photo – worklondonstyle)

An Australian study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine in October 2012 stated that every one hour of  sitting watching TV, reduces a person’s life by 22 minutes, whilst every cigarette shortens a smoker’s life by about 11 minutes.

“The chair is out to kill us,” States James Levine, an endocrinologist at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine. In the UK physical inactivity is responsible for 17% of early deaths. It is an international epidemic, causing 6% of deaths around the world, making it one of the top four global killers. It can shorten life expectancy by three to five years.

Striding down Regent Street, London. (photo - worklondonstyle)

Striding down Regent Street, London. (photo – worklondonstyle)

The cure for physical inactivity could be as simple as walking. It costs nothing and it’s health benefits are proven. It can reduce the risk from heart disease to breast cancer. All it takes is a little self motivation and determination. With some planning it can be done anywhere in all weather.

My sister's dog, Milo, taking me for a run on a recent holiday in Cape Town.

My sister’s dog, Milo, taking me for a run on a recent holiday in Cape Town.

Sitting still burns very few calories and can pile on the pounds over time. Levine States that a person with a desk job may burn 300 calories a day at work whilst the same person might burn 2,300 per day in a job that requires considerable physical output. Sitting can lead to insulin resistance and suppress the production of lipase, which is essential for turning bad cholesterol into good. Thus the link between prolonged sitting, diabetes and heart disease.

Saturday afternoon walking along the South Bank. (photo - worklondonsyle)

Saturday afternoon walking along the South Bank. (photo – worklondonsyle)

What to do if your job calls for many hours of staying seated? A study published in Diabetes Care last year showed you can improve your glucose metabolism with a two minute walk every 20 minutes. It is recommended that people engage in 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity physical activity. This is equivalent to 30 minutes each day, 5 times per week.

Sunday afternoon in Richmond park. Sunshine and the luxury of more time calls for a faster pace and longer distance. (photo - worklondonstyle)

Sunday afternoon in Richmond park. Sunshine and the luxury of more time call for a faster pace and longer distance. (photo – worklondonstyle)

Dr Hannah Bridges, senior information officer at Breakthrough Breast Cancer says, “Any activity that raises your pulse reduces your risk – so regular brisk walks are an easy and free way to get active.”

Winelands Marathon – Making A Run For It!


It was a last minute decision to take part. It would be the 36th Winelands Marathon and the 16th Half Marathon. It would be a difficult and hilly route, undulating through the vineyards and strawberry farms of Stellenbosch, in the Western Cape of South Africa. One international phone call later my plane ticket and place were booked for the race. I am a keen walker but had not done any running in my London lifestyle in the past few years. It sounded like fun.

Winelands Marathon Stellenbosch (photo Runner's World)

Winelands Marathon Stellenbosch (photo Runner’s World)

The race serves as official qualifier for the 2014 Comrades and Two Oceans marathons. The cut off time for the marathon is 5h30 and 3h30 for the half marathon. There would be medals for all finishers.

The Langebaan West Coast team consisting of myself, my sister and her running partner Shoneen.

The Langebaan West Coast team consisting of myself, my sister and her running partner Shoneen.

The route started in rain near my old Alma Mater, Bloemhof Girls’ High and crossed the Eerste river taking us down towards the Strand and Somerset West. So far so good. Then we hit the gravel stretch. The road turned up towards the mountain, with the next 7 km a corrugated, muddy gravel road.

Happy, but exhausted medal winner. (photo-worklondonstyle)

Happy, but exhausted medal winner. (photo-worklondonstyle)

From here it was almost all down hill. I finished in a respectable well under 3 hour time, just ahead of my team mates, which enabled me to grab a West Coast Team photo finish.

Bravehearts-Hendrika and Shoneen

Bravehearts-Hendrika and Shoneen

Langebaan Running Club. West coast marathon taking place 15 March 2014. Entries open December 2013 at Weskusmaratjon.co.za. (Photo worklondonstyle)

Langebaan Running Club.
West coast marathon taking place 15 March 2014. Entries open December 2013 at Weskusmarathon.co.za. (Photo worklondonstyle)

Isabel Marant Tees Up At H&M.


French born Marant was destined for a career in fashion as her German mother was the director of Elite model agency. Originally harbouring dreams of becoming a vet, she launched her fashion career in 1990 with Twen, a knitwear collection, collaborating with her mother.

The designer Isabel Marant wearing her own tassel boot design for H&M. (photo - H&M)

The designer Isabel Marant wearing her own tassel boot design for H&M. (photo – H&M)

Having studied at Studio Bergot, the Paris fashion college, she set up her studio in 1994 in the Marais district and opened her first store in the Bastille district in 1998. Known for her star ‘i’ logo she launched a more accessibly priced line ‘Etoile’ in 1999. Her high street collection for H&M, originally showcased in Paris in September, launches in London on 14 November.

The French debut of Isabel Marant for H&M

The French debut of Isabel Marant for H&M

Marant is her own muse and of her collection for H&M she says, “I realised that the best thing to do for H&M would be the pieces that I love the most”. She says, “I always wear a t-shirt. And most of the time I wear a sweatshirt.”

Alek Wek wearing leather trousers by Isabel Marant for H&M (photo- H&M)

Alek Wek wearing leather trousers by Isabel Marant for H&M (photo- H&M)

Her rock’n’roll, relaxed handwriting is often seen on models including Kate Moss, Alexa Chung, Miranda Kerr and Elle Macpherson.

Miranda Kerr in Isabel Marant. (photo- Rex Features).

Miranda Kerr in Isabel Marant. (photo- Rex Features).

Elle Macpherson in Marant.  (photo - Rex Features).

Elle Macpherson in Marant. (photo – Rex Features).

Isabel Marant for H&M will include an exclusive menswear collection. The launch event in Paris was a sell-out and is expected to be one of the fastest-selling H&M collaborative collections since the start of the initiative in London.

Oxford Street Christmas Lights.


This year’s Oxford Street Christmas Lights Switch-On set for Tuesday, 12 November, will be hosted by the iconic Selfridges store. The lights are always spectacular and this year will be sparkling with a new ‘snow flake’ inspired theme.

Photo: New West End Company

Photo: New West End Company

Christmas lights switch on at House of  Fraser 2012. (photo worklondonstyle)

Christmas lights switch-on at House of Fraser 2012. (photo worklondonstyle)

Robbie Williams hosted the 2012  Christmas lights switch on. (photo worklondonstyle)

Robbie Williams hosted the 2012 Christmas lights switch-on. (photo worklondonstyle)

Most stores have been sparkling with Christmas cheer since October.

Warehouse Christmas window (photo worklondonstyle)

Warehouse Christmas window (photo worklondonstyle)

Singer-songwriter Jessie J will be performing some of her greatest hits before switching on this year’s ‘snow flake’ inspired Christmas lights. She will be joined by X-factor winner James Arthur and international pop star Conor Maynard.

Jessie J will be performing and switching this year's Christmas lights. (photo New West End Company)

Jessie J will be performing and switching on this year’s Christmas lights. (photo New West End Company)

The event with a specially built catwalk stage outside Selfridges’ main entrance, starts at 5pm with the ‘switch-on’ at 6.15pm. Capital FM presenters Lisa Snowdon and David Berry will be hosting the event.

Snowflakes Theme Christmas 2013

Snowflakes Theme Christmas 2013

Bobbi Brown – First UK Standalone Store At White City


Growing up in a small village with a personal preference for the natural make-up look, I first had the opportunity to purchase Bobbi’s products during a visit to the Konigsallee in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Konigsallee Dusseldorf Germany (photo Wikipedia)

Konigsallee Dusseldorf Germany (photo Wikipedia)

After graduation from Emmerson College in Boston with a degree in theatrical make up, Bobbi launched her first line with 10 natural coloured lipsticks in 1991, at Bergdorf Goodman in New York. Estee Lauder bought the company in 1995 but Bobbi retains creative control of the brand. She has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show and contributes how-to segments to The Today Show.

Her make up celebrates individuality and she believes in beauty from the inside out. Clean eating includes a regular coconut and kale smoothie, small portions of dark chocolate and coconut milk espresso.

Bobbi Brown (photo Alice Gao)

Bobbi Brown (photo Alice Gao)

Bobbi lives in New Jersey with Steven Plofker, her husband of 25 years and their three sons. She is an avid fan of Kanye, Jay-Z, Bruce Springsteen, Jagger and Flo Rida. On days out of the lime light she wears worn – in jeans, Vans, motor cycle boots and sweaters but cleans up beautifully in sky high heels, bigger jewellery and sequins for events and photo shoots.

Bobbi is the author of six books on health, beauty and lifestyle. She says, ‘Knowing what you can do at any given time to look and feel better is pretty powerful’.

Bobbi's latest book 'Pretty Powerful' followed on from 'Makeup Manual'.

Bobbi’s latest book ‘Pretty Powerful’ followed on from ‘Makeup Manual’.

Everyday essentials worklondonstyle.com

Everyday essentials worklondonstyle.com

Bobbi explains,  ‘Women still need to understand what they put in their body is as important as what they put on their face’.

Earlier publications included 'Beauty Evolution' and the inspirational 'Living Beauty'.

Earlier publications included ‘Beauty Evolution’ and the inspirational ‘Living Beauty’.

Bobbi Brown White City (photo - worklondonstyle)

Bobbi Brown White City (photo – worklondonstyle)

Bobbi Brown opened its first UK standalone store, covering 927sq ft, at Westfield London in November 2013.

The Thames Path – Europe’s Most Spectacular City Walk.


On any given day I will set out on a walk, regardless of the weather. I have done this in many cities around the world from Cape Town to Vancouver. It restores harmony with nature, clears the mind, provides aerobic excercise and puts you in touch with the local community.

The past few years my walk takes me along the Thames. I cover about 12 miles passing by historic buildings, ancient battlegrounds and breathtaking scenery; immortalised in famous paintings.

As I walk in any circumstances, I draw inspiration from the words of the great South African leader, Nelson Mandela; ‘I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom comes responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended.’

Walk with me; I walk alone.

The All Saints' Church in Isleworth dates back to the 14 th century.

Low tide on the Thames river. The All Saints’ Church in Isleworth dates back to the 14 th century.

Two famous pubs needs sidestepping if pne is to reach your destination; The London Apprentice followed shortly by  friendly greetings of the locals at The Town Wharf.

Two famous pubs need sidestepping if one is to reach your destination; The London Apprentice followed shortly by friendly greetings of the locals at The Town Wharf.

Twickenham footbridge provides beautiful vistas down the river and a panoramic view onto Richmond.

Twickenham footbridge provides beautiful vistas down the river and a panoramic view onto Richmond.

Catching up on local news from one of the regulars.

Catching up on local news from one of the regulars.

The view from Richmond Hill; the subject of many famous paintings.

The view from Richmond Hill; the subject of many famous paintings.

The Gloriana used at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, passing under Twickenham Bridge.

The Gloriana used at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, passing under Twickenham Bridge.

The return journey past The London Apprentice adjacent to Syon Hpuse and Syon Park. The Thames now at high tide.

The return journey past The London Apprentice adjacent to Syon House and Syon Park. The Thames now at high tide.

Solvitur ambulando — “it is solved by walking.” For entertaining and insightful further reading see this link to The Huffington Post:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/arianna-huffington/hemingway-thoreau-jeffers_b_3837002.html

Tea And Sympathy – Mariage Freres


In 2005 finding it hard to adjust to my newly adopted country, my friend Sandra comforted me with a cup of ‘The Sur Le Nil’ from ‘Mariage Freres’ and some of her best baking.  Somewhat later she presented us with a selection of their beautifully packaged teas as a wedding gift.

The Sur Le Nil - Fruity & Lemony Green Tea

The Sur Le Nil – Fruity & Lemony Green Tea

The Wedding Gift - A selection of tea from Mariage Freres

The Wedding Gift – A selection of tea from Mariage Freres

Around 1660, Nicolas Mariage was dispatched to Persia, the East Indies and the Moghul Empire by King Louis XIV, whilst his brother Pierre travelled to Madagascar; both on behalf of the French East India Company. A 100 years later, Jean-Francois Mariage still traded in tea and spices and taught the business to his four sons in Lille. In 1845 two of the sons Aime and Auguste, founded ‘Auguste Maraige & Company’ in Paris. Having learned the trade from their father, Aime’s sons Henri and Edouard founded the Mariage Freres tea company in Paris on June 1, 1845.

Mariage Freres sells more than 500 high quality teas grown in 35 different countries. They uphold the fine art of serving tea by design and reproduction of beautiful tea services, teapots and utensils.

'The fragrance of adventure and poetry endlessly pervades each cup of tea' Henry Mariage.

‘The fragrance of adventure and poetry endlessly pervades each cup of tea’ Henry Mariage.

Mariage Freres tea is now available in the basement of Selfridges, Oxford Street, London.

Tea: Passion, Savoir-Faire And Tradition

Tea: Passion, Savoir-Faire And Tradition