Wednesday, November 23, 2016

36 hours in Brighton

Last weekend my girlfriends and I took a little weekend trip away to Brighton. We got the train down from London on Friday evening and settled into our Airbnb - it had a resident cat, so it was just like a home-away-from-home!

Friday PM:
Once we were settled and had a whistle-stop tour of the house, we set out for fish and chips - of course, then went for a drink. By this time it was nearly, 11 and with plans for Saturday, it was time to hit the hay.

Saturday AM:
Saturday morning came around, and the first stop was most definitely a leisurely brunch at Ostea Cafe. It just happened to be somewhere we can across whilst walking through the Laines, but it was possibly the best brunch I've ever had!! Service was excellent, it was a small but perfectly formed cafe. The food was delicious, organic and piping hot. I mean, just look....

After brunch we wandered through the Laines again, looking at Christmas gifts, picking up a few wintery-treats - I went crazy over this bobble hat and got it a rust orange colour and picked up this eyemask from Zara Home. There are THE most beautiful shops in the Laines, the Little Beach Boutique, had the most beautiful handmade artworks and home interiors and Silverado caught my eye because of the beautiful jewellery and not just because it stocked my favourite, Alex Monroe!

Little Beach Boutique
Saturday PM
After lots of wandering and shopping, we headed down to the beachfront and get caught in the start of Storm Angus!! There was nowhere to head for apart from The Belle View with it's windows that looked out to sea and the old pier for a hot drink to warm up. Needless to say, the look of the desserts was too enticing and we indulged. I had a chocolate torte with salted caramel ice cream - delicious!

Tired, wet from the rain and a little to full to function, we headed back to our Airbnb to recoup and catch Strictly!! We had eaten out quite a lot over the Friday night and Saturday morning and one of the great things about Airbnb is having your own kitchen, so we cooked dinner in on Saturday night.

We had planned to go out on Saturday night and heard great things about a bar, No.32.  The music was great, no queues at the bar and all in all a good vibe. Then it was time once again to dodge the storm (get soaked in the storm) and head back to our cosy little home for some shut-eye.

Sunday AM
We had to check out of our house by 11am, so then we headed straight for another brunch spot. Mange Tout. If I'm honest, it wasn't a patch on the little cafe we went to on Saturday, food was a little cold, part of our breakfast were forgotten and added on ... there were missing sausages, coffees taken to the wrong table ... you get my drift, a bit of a shambles.

After our brunch, the weather wasn't looking up so we wandered back to the train station to catch the 1.30pm train back to reality after a weekend of laughs, food and sea!

I'm making a concious effort to see more of the UK, so expect more posts from chilled weekends awat in the UK.


Insider Interview: Founder of Lookmate socks

In our next Insider Interview we chat to Vahan Hovhannisyan founder of emerging sock brand Lookmate, about his career so far, accountancy, engineering and designing the perfect stocking filler for your Xmas loved-ones this year.

 1. What’s your usual work day like?

It starts at 5:30am with my coffee ritual. I brew a nice cup of coffee, then I move to a local coffee shop where I work for two hours. The mornings are the most productive time for me, so I focus on main projects during this time.  Then I cycle to the office. In the evenings, I spend my time with family and friends, or you can find me running somewhere along the river Thames. 

2. What was your dream job when you were younger?

When I was a kid, I wanted to become an archaeologist. I was inspired by some adventure and treasure hunt movies. Unfortunately, that did not happen, and I went and did a degree in engineering but became an accountant.  Last year I started Look Mate London with my brother Vahagn. 

3. What's the best piece of career advice you've been given?

I think it will be this one: Where you focus your energy will determine where you will end up.

4. What's your number one style tip?

Keep it simple with attention to small details. I believe style is a combination of many elements of our outfit. Sometimes the most discreet detail, like the pattern of your socks, your cufflinks or a flash of colour, can be the most important.

5. If you weren't doing the career you are in now, what do you think you would be doing?

An alternative career path for me would have been to follow the steps of my dad and become a tailor. 

6. If someone was looking for a career change into your industry, what would you say is the best way is to start?

If you do not know the rules, it is easy to break them. So do not spend time learning how the fashion industry works. An outstanding product will get you a start, and a good story will get you going. The rest will take care of itself to begin with. 

7. What's the best thing about your job?

At Look Mate we make exquisite socks in collaboration with creative people and the best part of it is that we all enjoy doing this while building a relationship with our designers. 

8. What's the toughest part of your job?

Saying no to some collaborations and business opportunities when they are not in line with our values. 

9. Most proud career moment to date?

Receiving an email from Daniel Forero  (our second designer) saying that he was wearing his first pair of Look Mate designed by Nick Rawclife (our first designer) while designing our next sock. It felt that we were passing the creative estafet from one designer to another and it was a proud moment. Both Daniel and Nick are now good friends. 

10. Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?

Doing something meaningful for sure, but I do not have a 10-year plan.  

You can find Look Mate on Instagram, Twitter, or on Facebook and read more insider interviews here and look out for the next.


Sunday, November 13, 2016

10 times Donna Paulsen was full of sass

If you watch Suits you'll know that Donna Paulsen is quite simply the Queen-of-Sass (if you don't, you should!). Here's just a few times when her sass-scale was at it's highest and a few wise things to always remember from Donna:

#1. She always knows when someone needs an ear and is equipped with ice cream.

 “Do you want to talk about it? I have ice-cream.”

#2. She completely owns who she is, and isn't afraid to let anyone know it.

 “I am not apologizing for who I am.”

#3. She won't take any nonsense. Fullstop.

“And I have better things to do with MY time than to be spoken to like that.”

#4. She's happy to let fate take its course sometimes.

“Things will turn out the way they are supposed to.”

#5. In love, much like work, she knows her worth and won't settle for second best.

 “If you were ever lucky enough to have me, you wouldn’t want to share.”

#6. She says it like it is.

“You don’t have my sympathies for being so damn stupid.”

#7. She won't be interrupted.

“Don’t interrupt me.”

#8. She knows that timing is everything

“I prefer to appear at the exact moment I’m needed.” 

#9. All about the hair flick *sass-overload*

“I’m too busy being a badass and worrying about my hair.”
#10.  She knows margaritas = a good time

“This would be so much more fun with margaritas.” 
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