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The Rise of Sustainable Mobility: Going Green Never Looked So Good

Rev up your engines because sustainable mobility is the new black! The world is buzzing with excitement about going green, and guess what? The United Kingdom is leading the charge! Last year alone saw a jaw-dropping 183% increase in EV registrations. Yep, you heard that right – we’re not just talking the talk; we’re driving the drive for a cleaner planet!

So, why the EV frenzy? It’s not just about hugging trees (although that’s pretty cool, too); it’s about embracing the future of eco-conscious transportation. With the UK government rolling out the red carpet for electric vehicle owners through incentives like grants and tax perks, we’ve got all the more reason to join the EV party.

Enter the Volkswagen ID.Buzz, our ticket to stylish, sustainable adventure on four wheels. Buckle up, ladies; it’s time to explore the world with a green twist.

Picnics and Pitstops: Unleash Your Inner Explorer

Buckle up, because I had the time of my life cruising around the UK in the ID.Buzz! With its spacious interior, this beauty transformed into our trusty road trip companion. Picture this: winding roads, panoramic sunroof, and plenty of room for picnic supplies. Spontaneous pitstops in every town? Absolutely!

One day, I found myself gazing at the serene shores of the Lake’s, enjoying a homemade meal under the open sky. The ID. Buzz’s panoramic sunroof let me soak in the beauty of nature while savouring a delicious picnic, the next day I was outside Wembley Stadium turning heads of every passer-by in the two-tone Lime Yellow van. Every stop became an opportunity to connect with the great outdoors and unwind from the pressures of a hectic work-life.

Electric Recharging Made Easy: 8 Charging Hacks for Your EV Journey

Now, I know what you’re thinking – electric recharging sounds like a hassle. But fear not because we’ve got some charging hacks that’ll make your life easier, save the stress and those hard-earned pennies:

  1. Plan Your Charging Spots: Use nifty EV apps to find charging stations along your route and time your stops accordingly. The best one I found was Zapmap. Planning ahead can save you hours of stress and time off your journey.
  2. Home Charging Convenience: If possible, set up a home charging station for maximum convenience and savings. This will save you a fortune, not to mention the daily stress and time it takes to stop somewhere and charge! Be sure to have regulated equipment; a cable cover for the floor is a must, and ensure your charger is long enough to reach the house from the vehicle!
  3. Charge at Night: Electric rates are often lower during off-peak hours, so charge up while you sleep; every penny counts, so this is a great tip!
  4. Fast-Charging Pitstops: Seek out fast-charging stations for quick boosts to your range, perfect for those on-the-go adventures. Some can be unreliable and intermittent, so check ahead on the EV charging app to ensure it’s in service and available. Instavolt was the most reliable and available; however, it is incredibly costly, so I’d recommend only using these points for emergencies.
  5. Join Charging Networks: Memberships in charging networks often come with discounts and access to a wide range of stations, so it’s worth seeking them out.
  6. Eco-Friendly Driving: Smooth acceleration and braking extend your electric range, reducing the need for frequent charges. A great feature in the ID. Buzz was the additional gear switch, effectively doing this as you drive. I always put it into this mode for the short stop-start journeys and found my charge did last longer!
  7. Cost Monitoring: Keep an eye on real-time cost estimates at charging stations to manage your expenses, and factor in when you stop at most places for longer journeys; they often are situated in services, so you also spend on refreshments unless you fill the van full of drinks/snacks to enjoy whilst you wait.
  8. Be Aware of Car Park Charging: Pay attention to restrictions of time stays at local supermarkets for EV charging. Timing is limited, and that includes when you charge. Unfortunately, more often than not, these chargers are extremely slow, and you are likely only to get a 5-10% in the maximum time limit, so use these only as a top-up option. And, most of all, be careful not to go over the time limit, as companies like Parking Eye will fine you.

Empowering Women: The Road to Freedom

Ladies, all that power definitely gave me a buzz, so it’s time to rewrite the rules of travel! From the enchanting Scottish Highlands to the cozy villages of Cornwall, women are embracing the van life with open arms. The ID.Buzz represents not just a vehicle but a symbol of freedom. We’re breaking free from conventional norms and venturing into the great outdoors. The road less travelled is where our adventure begins!

This surge in female-driven travel is about more than just exploring new places; it’s about discovering ourselves and connecting with a community of like-minded adventurers. The ID.Buzz is our trusted sidekick, offering safety, comfort, and the confidence to embark on new journeys.

A Greener, Brighter Future Awaits

As we conclude our electrifying journey with the Volkswagen ID.Buzz, remember this – sustainability and style can go hand in hand. This electric van isn’t just a mode of transportation; it’s a statement. It’s our statement that we can have it all – adventure, sustainability, and the freedom to explore the world on our terms.

Whether you’re a seasoned road warrior or a van life virgin like me, the Volkswagen ID.Buzz is here to electrify your adventures and drive you towards a greener, brighter future.

As the echoes of a demanding work week fade, the allure of a restful escape gains irresistible momentum. Nestled in the heart of Richmond, London, the Richmond Hill Hotel stands as a haven of serenity, offering a unique refuge for those seeking to unwind after a hectic work week while keeping their cherished pets close. This article explores how the Richmond Hill Hotel seamlessly blends rejuvenating experiences for the busy traveller and their furry companions, making it an optimal destination for post-work de-stressing and pet-friendly indulgence.

Stepping into the Richmond Hill Hotel is akin to stepping into a world where time slows down and relaxation takes precedence. The hotel’s rich history, dating back to the 18th century, is interwoven with contemporary luxuries, creating an ambience that embodies both elegance and comfort. Behind its historic facade, lie 144 meticulously designed rooms, each an oasis of plush furnishings, exquisite decor, and an atmosphere that envelops guests in a cocoon of calmness.

For those navigating the stressors of a busy work week or recovering from a demanding work trip, Richmond Hill Hotel is a sanctuary that caters to the need for rejuvenation. The hotel’s commitment to creating a haven of comfort and well-being is evident in every detail. The lush terrace garden offers a peaceful oasis for moments of reflection and relaxation, and we all know how much I cherish those moments of mindfulness! Adjacent to the hotel, the expansive Richmond Park provides an opportunity for leisurely walks amidst nature, allowing guests to recharge amidst verdant surroundings.

However, what sets Richmond Hill Hotel apart is its warm embrace of furry companions. The hotel’s pet-friendly ethos transforms this retreat into a paradise for two- and four-legged guests. Travellers need not part with their beloved pets when seeking solace; instead, they can create lasting memories together. Upon entering a specially designated pet-friendly room, it’s clear that every member of the family is valued. Thoughtful touches, including comfortable dog beds and water bowls, ensure that pets are pampered throughout their stay. My Angel Face was suitably impressed with the large treat perfectly positioned for him to discover as he entered our room, and by the end of our stay he was in full control of the room!

Venturing beyond the hotel’s confines, Richmond unveils a dog-friendly community that complements the inclusive ethos of the hotel. Local cafes and eateries with al fresco seating beckon guests to enjoy culinary delights while their pets lounge nearby. The iconic Richmond Park, a sprawling natural haven, becomes a playground for playful frolics and rejuvenating strolls.

Adding to the allure, Richmond Hill Hotel’s summer outdoor terrace becomes an inviting spot to bask in the British sun and savour exceptional culinary offerings of resident restaurant 144 on The Hill. This terrace, a fusion of nature and gastronomy, invites guests to indulge in delectable dishes crafted from locally sourced ingredients. From breakfast to dinner, the terrace offers a gourmet journey that resonates with the vibrancy of the season.

In conclusion, Richmond Hill Hotel emerges as a resplendent haven where the weary can find solace and pets are cherished companions. Its rich historical background, refined accommodations, and dedication to tailored experiences create an environment that transcends mere lodging. For those seeking to unwind after a hectic work week or to recharge after a demanding work trip, the hotel beckons with open arms. Moreover, the pet-friendly ethos adds an extra layer of warmth, making it a destination that resonates with all members of the family.

For those embarking on this rejuvenating journey, Richmond Hill Hotel stands as an ideal choice, offering an oasis where relaxation meets indulgence. So why wait? Embark on a revitalising escape and embrace the harmonious blend of history, modernity, and pet-friendly charm that Richmond Hill Hotel, the premier pet-friendly retreat in Richmond, offers.

Want to see us live in action during our stays? Connect with us on our socials to see our team experience our stays first hand.

A Night of Sake Sensations

As I stepped into the opulent world of The Ivy Asia in Leeds last week, I knew I was in for an extraordinary experience. This elegant establishment, renowned for its beautiful décor and exquisite food, was host tonight for launching their new menu partnership, Sake Sensations. I had the privilege of being part of a VIP evening celebrating the art of Japanese craftsmanship and the rich history of sake. The stars of the night, aside from the food, of course? The exquisite offerings from Akashi-Tai, a brand that has mastered the delicate balance between tradition and innovation.

Celebrate World Sake Day

With World Sake Day just around the corner on the 1st of October, Ivy Asia, Leeds. has crafted a menu that is nothing short of a culinary symphony. For £85 per person, guests can immerse themselves in the world of sake and savour an array of dishes from Ivy Asia’s luxurious Autumn menu. It was a chance to embark on a journey of taste, guided by the delicate flavours of Akashi-Tai sake, perfect for treating a loved one or celebrating a special occasion.

The Sake Sensations Experience

The evening began with a glass of Akashi-Tai Junmai Ginjo Sparkling Sake. This delightful, effervescent creation set the tone for the night. Paired with this sparkling sensation were smaller dishes that left an indelible mark on my palate. The Yellowtail Sashimi, adorned with fresh truffle, was a masterpiece in its simplicity. The delicate slices of fish melted in my mouth while the truffle elevated the dish to a realm of pure luxury. Alongside this, the Gochujang Glazed Fried Chicken, served by a golden monkey (that you want to take home!), added a delightful kick of flavour, making it impossible to resist.

As I savoured these exquisite dishes, I couldn’t help but be impressed by the meticulous pairing of sake and food. The Akashi-Tai Junmai Ginjo Sparkling Sake, with its notes of pear and gentle bubbles, danced harmoniously with the Yellowtail Sashimi and the spicy allure of the Gochujang Glazed Fried Chicken.

Moving on to the main course, a glass of Tokubetsu Junmai awaited me; now, this one kicks a punch, so be ready! Luckily, the infamous Ivy Asia’s Black Cod and Salt & Pepper Steak Fillet arrived at the table to balance things out, always a testament to the culinary prowess of the chefs. With its buttery tenderness, the Black Cod practically melted on my fork. It was a symphony of textures and flavours paired with the savoury Fillet. The Tokubetsu Junmai, with its balanced profile, was the perfect companion to this course, enhancing each bite.

A Sensory Journey

And then came the sweet crescendo of the evening, accompanied by a glass of Shiraume Ginjo Umeshu. The Red Dragon dessert was a visual masterpiece, with a little bit of theatre thrown into the mix to delight both the eyes and the taste buds. The Shiraume Ginjo Umeshu, a plum-infused sake, added a delightful fruity note to the dessert. It was a fitting end to a culinary journey that had taken me from sparkling beginnings to sweet conclusions.

As I reflected on the evening, I couldn’t help but appreciate the legacy of Akashi-Tai sake. It’s a brand that seamlessly blends Japanese craftsmanship, heritage, and modernity to create a symphony of flavours that lingers on the palate.

An Experience To Impress

The Sake Sensations menu at Ivy Asia is not just a dining experience for couples, families, and friends celebrating special occasions but perfect for all events, including corporate board meetings or special client lunches. The elegant surroundings of this Leeds venue leave a lasting impression, particularly the private dining area, accessible via its own lift. Who doesn’t love a little bit of private luxury?

You will leave the meal feeling super satisfied from the sensory journey that captivates every one of your senses, and the only thing left on your mind will be, who do you want to impress and when can you bring them next?!

The Sake Sensations Menu is available at The Ivy Asia, Leeds, from the 13th of September to the 5th of November, 2023. Please contact the restaurant directly for bookings.

She’s a renowned stylist and set designer, known for her impeccable taste and creative eye. Her work has been featured in countless magazines and she’s worked with some of the biggest names in the industry. But beyond her impressive portfolio, she’s also a talented author. Her latest book, Interior Design Masters is a must-read for anyone looking to spruce up their space.

In this article, we’ll be chatting with her about her secrets to creating stunning interiors, as well as discussing her new book and what readers can expect to learn from it. So, without further ado, let’s dive in!

Could you please share with us a little bit about yourself and your profession, Joanna?

Of course – I’m self employed and a specialist in the interiors sector: I work as a commercial interiors stylist for brands and magazines (creating set designs for promotional photoshoots, events and editorial features) and I also write content and editorial features for magazines and brands, too, as well as compiling monthly trend reports for global forecasting agency WGSN.

In recent years I’ve expanded my remit a little and now work as a tutor and creative consultant too, and I’ve created several workshops and talks for clients as well as teaching about interior styling at the KLC School of Design in London (with my own online workshops at planning stage, too). I offer creative strategy sessions for interiors and lifestyle brands and also offer remote styling services to homeowners and renters who are looking for help redesigning rooms to help them feel happier.

I’m also the author of four books: Interior Design Masters (in association with the BBC1 TV series of the same name, published by Quadrille), The New Mindful Home, My Bedroom is an Office (both published by Laurence King) and Home for Now (CICO Books). As a freelancer, I enjoy a bit of variation so this mix suits me well!

As an interior stylist, what does your typical day look like when you work with a client?

It depends which stage of the job I am at – though while the types of work I do can vary greatly, the process is broadly the same. I’ll start with a brief from my client (usually via Zoom these days) and then begin to research and plan ways I can achieve their objectives within their budget and timeframe. This might mean pulling together moodboard images and samples, shopping for props, visiting potential shoot locations, and organising any relevant logistics such as booking couriers and assistants and placing orders. I’ll always create some sort of spreadsheet or running order to ensure the shoot runs smoothly and get everyone on the same page.

On the shoot (or set-up day, if it’s for an event), I’ll work closely with the photographer, client or art director depending on the job to ensure we’re achieving the client’s objectives and keeping to time. Often I’ll be packing down one shot and setting up the next all while styling the one I’m currently finessing! (for bigger jobs, I’ll bring along assistants to help with this). Shoot days are often physically and mentally exhausting as there’s always so much to do in a day, but it’s always super rewarding to see all those carefully laid plans come together.

What has been your most enjoyable styling project so far?

I’ve been lucky enough to work on some really fun and varied jobs over the years – so I’d say that anything that’s a bit out of the ordinary or super OTT is always really fun, such as the time I had to create a ‘haunted grotto’ for a brand’s newly launched Hallowe’en make-up kits, or anything where I’m able to get a bit crafty and make some bespoke props is always enjoyable. I also styled Ronan Keating’s house for Hello! Magazine a couple of years back – it was for a festive shoot so we set up a ‘forest of trees’ in his hallway as well as adding other festive areas in other spots around his house. That was definitely a bit of a pinch-me moment!

Have you ever had any styling mishaps?

Plenty! From styling outdoor ‘Summer living’ set-ups in the snow (often shoots have quite long lead times, so you end up having to shoot 4-6 months in advance) to working on an outdoor makeover when it poured with rain non-stop. It’s also very common for key props to arrive broken or not turn up, no matter how many contingency plans you make.

Fabric can be a life-saver: I’ve turned boxes into ‘beds’ and ‘tabletops’ in the past by covering them with some linen so you can’t see the box base, and once I had to do a shoot showing how to style a home laundry space, centred around a washing machine, except the washing machine I ordered didn’t turn up and I wasn’t able to get an alternative in time for love nor money. We quickly created a makeshift cabinet curtain and styled the space around it with laundry accessories, so it looked like there was a washing machine hidden behind it. Being able to think on your feet is one of the key skills of being a commercial stylist!

What is your ultimate dream room or space to style, and what makes it so special to you?

I really enjoy the variety of my work and enjoy creating looks that are very different to my personal style, as it sort of allows you to decorate vicariously and play around with different looks and concepts. I’m personally really interested in how design, from the colours and materials we choose to the way we style and arrange things, can be used to enhance a certain mood or atmosphere and generally help people to feel happier in their own homes – so whenever I get the opportunity to weave these methodologies into my work, I’m very pleased to do so.

I’m similar to Banjo (Beale, from Series Three of Interior Design Masters) in that I always tend to create a character in my head based on the sort of person who might be living in the space I’m creating (if it’s for a shoot or event rather than a real-life client). From there I can flesh out what kind of home accessories they might like, what they’d be eating and drinking (so I can use them as props on the set), even down to what books they’d have on their coffee table and whether they’d be organised in a neat stack or displayed in a less structured way. It’s sort of like an actor playing a part, but with cushions and vases!

Can you share your top five tips for creating a beautiful and cohesive space?

Always think about the ‘red thread’ behind your designs: you want to have one narrative or element that’s continuous throughout, whether that’s an accent colour, or repeating a certain material in several different rooms or areas. It doesn’t need to look ‘matching’, but having something with commonality will feel more considered.

Hide things in plain sight: got an ugly boiler or radiator letting down the look of your room? See if you can cover or paint them, to either make them visually disappear or alternatively turn them into more of a considered statement piece.

– Often people make the mistake of simply ‘ignoring’ elements in their room that they can’t change, rather than trying to incorporate them into their scheme. So for example, if you’ve inherited some grotty beige carpet that you hate but can’t replace, consider decorating with complementary tones like warm pinks and sunset colours, so that the beige at least ties in with your new decor (and get a big rug, too!)

Always add more storage than you think you’ll need – nothing lets down the look of a space like piles of clutter with nowhere to go and it can cause lots of frustration, too. Whatever your style, ‘a place for everything’ is a great motto.

Badly positioned artwork is one of my pet peeves – often people hang it too high and too far apart. Aim to hang your art so its centre is roughly level with your eyeline, and hang other artworks closer to it, to make more of an impact.

Congratulations on your new book about BBC Interior Design Masters! Could you give us an overview of the book?

Thanks! So the book is designed to act as a companion to the TV series, but also work as a standalone interiors book – so if you’re a huge fan of the show you’ll find out lots more details about some of your favourite design schemes, but if you’ve never watched the show you’ll still get just as much enjoyment out of using it as a comprehensive guide to how to go about planning and designing your own dream interiors space.

It touches on many of the key aspect the show is known for, such as examining the concept of signature style and talking through lots of the common DIY and construction jobs the shows design contestants create, and it utilises quotes and tips from all the contestants, judges and on-screen trades to give extra advise and insights. There are also case studies throughout which break down how to recreate and personalise some of the most popular designs from across the series, including a few from Siobhan!

Which part of the book do you enjoy the most?

I’m just so pleased it seems to have been really well received and many people have commented on how comprehensive and informative it is – I really wanted it to offer loads of valuable advice and hold its own as a great design book in its own right, which I think it does. Sophie Robinson (one of the show’s guest judges) said it’s like an encyclopaedia of all things interiors and is basically five books in one, so you certainly get a lot of bang for your buck!

Would this book be helpful for those who want to decorate but don’t know where to begin?

Absolutely – it’s been written to make complete sense even if you’ve never watched the show, and it breaks down everything you’d ever need to know if you’re keen to tackle a redesign or renovation project, even if you’re a total novice. It starts by talking through the planning and prep you’ll need to get you started, both in terms of practical aspects to consider and how to work out your own signature style to help steer your decorative choices, before breaking it down into room layouts, colours (and the psychology behind them), different design styles and how to hone them to suit your own space, before rounding things off with a deep-dive into shopping and styling to finish things off.

The illustrations in the book are lovely. Who created them?

Thank you – we worked with a very talented illustrator called Charlotte Orr (@charlotteorrillustration on Instagram), who has illustrated numerous other books for Quadrille, the publishers. It was a potentially risky strategy to go with illustrations rather than photography, but as we were compiling design ideas we wanted to feature from three different series, the quality of available photography between them all was very inconsistent and often there weren’t shots of the clever details and makes that I wanted to share.

By going with illustrations (which are all representative of designs created for the show), we were able to show a much broader range of projects and, hopefully, it will also encourage readers to revisit the show (which is available on Netflix for Series One, and BBC iPlayer for Series Two onwards) as well as look up each design contestants’ Instagram accounts so they can see the real-deal, too.

Are you a big fan of Interior Design Masters? If so, what is your favourite week and design from the seasons?

I’ve been a huge fan of the show since the first ever episode – I love interior TV programmes and watching shows like Changing Rooms and Property Ladder growing up were what made me want to work in this field, so it was a bit of a pinch-me moment to be asked to write this book. Many moons ago I was a runner on an episode of Changing Rooms (my main task was to look after the lovely Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen) and one of my first ever freelance assisting jobs was helping Sophie Robinson with one of her Ideal Home Show room set installations, so to end up being commissioned to write a book which includes quotes from both of them is very satisfying.

Some of my favourite designs from across each series (which all feature in the book as case studies, too) are Banjo Beale’s botanical hotel bedroom from Series Three, episode two – it just looked SO considered and curated, and I loved the ‘drunk botanist’ character he created to inspire the scheme); I thought the country chalet space Nicky Bamford-Bowes and Ju De Paula co-designed for Series One, episode five was just so perfectly reflective of its setting, and Siobhan’s Art Deco barbers (created with Micaela Sharp in Series Two, episode seven) was super clever with loads of lovely details, like the striped wallpaper hung diagonally and the ingenious reupholstered sofa cushions.

I’ve been incredibly impressed with all the Series Four contestants, who really seemed to hit the ground running – unfortunately due to the timing of the book and the series, we weren’t able to include any of their designs in there (as it would have given away spoilers), but I’m glad I was at least able to interview them, so all ten of them are quoted within the book. I’m in awe of how talented Jack is for someone so young, and I loved Tom’s style too which seemed to effortlessly blend vintage and modern with a real sense of polish that somehow also felt super liveable. No mean feat! It’s always a shame not to see more from the designers who leave early doors and I think Kai and Buse, who both have architectural training, had a lot more to offer. I’m now following them all on Instagram to see where the journey takes them.

Where can people find your book?

The book is available at all the usual places such as Amazon, Bookshop.org and Waterstones, as well as stocked by Sainsbury’s and other retailers. I also offer signed and personalised copies directly, which are available to order from my website (which make a great gift!). You can also find out more about (and order) my other books there, too.

Australian-born Banjo Beale rose to fame after winning the Interior Design Masters in 2020, but his interest in interior design began when he was a child. Since his victory, Banjo has taken on various new challenges, including becoming a judge on Scotland’s Home of the Year, publishing his forthcoming book Wild Isle Style, and hosting his own show, Designing the Hebrides on BBC Two.

Banjo Beale

Banjo’s love of interior design stems from his fascination with getting to know his clients and creating schemes that go beyond their wildest dreams. His personal style incorporates deep, saturated colours mixed with relaxed rattan, faded terracotta, and time-worn antiques, all while adding a wow factor to every room.

Travel and location play a crucial role in Banjo’s designs. He finds inspiration in nature everywhere he goes, and his schemes incorporate the wild, from rural textures to botanicals. Being Australian and living in Scotland has also influenced his style, creating a mix of relaxed, coastal cool and warm, toasty tones.

Designing the Hebrides follows Banjo as he revamps amazing spaces in wild locations, such as a castle turret, lighthouse cottage, gin bar, and both. The show highlights the challenges of designing in a remote location with limited resources, wild weather, and hard-to-reach locations, making it a hilarious, anxiety-inducing rollercoaster ride.

Banjo’s most special project is the bothy on the Isle of Ulva, where he transformed the unloved building with zero budget, zero transport, and only two days during a hurricane at the start of winter.

He enjoyed it so much that his dream project was to build a faded but glamorous hotel in Kolkata, India.

Banjo Beale’s journey in interior design is proof that saying yes to everything, no matter how wild or scary it may seem, can lead to remarkable adventures and endless possibilities, Here’s what he had to say:

Banjo, it’s a pleasure to chat with you Firstly, congratulations on your victory in Interior Design Masters last year! Can you share with us what you have been up to since the show ended?

After the show, I decided to just say yes to everything, no matter how wild or scary it seemed. I went into Interior Design Masters with a dream of becoming an interior designer and it came true! Along the way, I somehow added TV judge (on Scotland’s Home of the Year on BBC Scotland), author of a forthcoming book Wild Isle Style (out in October) and host of my very own show, Designing the Hebrides on BBC Two.

Has your interest in interior design been a lifelong passion or did it develop over time?

I loved rearranging my mum’s living room when I was a wee boy. I’d do it every Sunday and I’d always have to return it to how it was at the end of the day. But I loved playing around and painting my room every season. I grew up on a race track in a very small town in the Australian outback so we didn’t really know interior design was a career path. Then I moved to a really small island in the middle of nowhere in Scotland so naturally, I applied to go on the nation’s most popular interior design show to launch a career.

What do you find most enjoyable about the art of interior design?

Getting to learn about a client, like, really learn about them, their hopes and dreams, who they are and how they want to live and create a scheme beyond their wildest dreams. I love the thrill of the hunt too, sourcing gorgeous one-of-a-kind antiques from Swedish folk cabinets to one-metre-high giant verdigris copper lanterns from the 18th century.

Does travel and location play a part in your designs and how does this inspire you?

I’m inspired by nature everywhere I go and all of my schemes incorporate the wild, from rural textures to botanicals. I also think being Australian, and living in Scotland, my wandering, wayfaring eye creates a mix of relaxed, coastal cool from the Antipodes to the warm, toasty tones of the Hebrides.

Can you describe your personal interior design style? Have your tastes changed over time?

My style is cool, calm and collected. I love saturated, deep colours like forest green velvet or masala mohair, mixed with relaxed rattan, faded terracotta and time-worn antiques. Always with a wow piece, whether it’s an oversize, reclaimed light moment or a contemporary piece of furniture that pops against the old.

We’re thrilled to hear about your new show, Designing the Hebrides. Can you provide some insight into the show’s concept?

It picks up where Interior Design Masters left off. After the final, I decided I wanted to launch my design business on Mull, an island in the inner Hebrides of Scotland. It’s a wild and remote place, perched on the edge of the Atlantic – quicker to get to Iceland than London. The show follows me as I do up amazing spaces in wild places, like a castle turret, lighthouse cottage, gin bar and a bothy, which is a refuge for trekkers and fishermen, two hours walk from the nearest road.

Designing a project in such a remote location sounds like quite a challenge. 

The entire show is one big adventure (and misadventure). Living on an island forces you to be resourceful. We have no real shops to find interior bits and one very sparse hardware store, so you have to be really organised or make it yourself. I’m not organised so that’s a recipe for disaster. Or a good TV show. Through in wild weather, hard-to-reach locations, where a small boat or two-hour walk is the only route in and straight-talking locals who don’t mind telling me what I’m doing is rubbish, and you have a hilarious, anxiety-inducing rollercoaster of a show

Of all the spaces you have designed, which one holds the most special place in your heart, and why?

The bothy, located on the Isle of Ulva, was a special experience. The island was purchased by the locals (from private ownership) and is home to only 8 people. They asked me to help regenerate the island and do up this small cabin so they could start making money and attract tourists. We had two days, zero money and no transport so we had to be really clever, use only what we could find on the island and complete the work during a hurricane at the start of winter. 3 of us working on the bothy along with two camera crew camped and built on top of each other for two days to completely transform the unloved building. I couldn’t believe the results.

If you were given the opportunity to design any room or space in the world with an unlimited budget, what would be your dream project?

I’d love to build a hotel in India. The sights, sounds and colours are beyond spectacular. My husband and I have spent a collective year living out there. It would be in Kolkata, an often forgotten and underestimated city. Fragrant Bengali food, colonial architecture, yellow cabs that look straight out of 1950’s New York and miles and miles of marigold markets would be the backdrop to a faded but glamorous hotel that would attract gangsters, grannies, rockstars and fashion designers.

We hear that you’re currently writing a book. Could you tell us a bit more about what to expect from it?

It’s called Wild Isle Style. It’s inspired by living on an island and is a roadmap to creating authentic and resourceful interiors, that don’t cost the earth – the planet and the purse. It’s about embracing reclaimed, collecting, sourcing and curating treasure and celebrating characters who make wild interiors in magical places.

You’ve accomplished so much already with your TV show, a gorgeous coffee table book, and your designs for clients. What exciting projects do you have lined up for this year?

Amongst all of the crazy telly stuff and books, I have not forgotten my dream of being an interior designer. I have been working on two gorgeous, five-story Grade I listed townhouses in Bath that look straight out of Bridgerton; a farm shop on Mull and a seven-bedroom Grade II Jacobean Manor House in Wiltshire. I’ve had to build a team and I’m working with Amy Davies, my fellow finalist and now bestie to bring some of these spaces to life.

I’m also looking for a little more balance now the book and TV show is finished, so perhaps a holiday is in order too. I’m thinking of somewhere warm and tropical to thaw out after a long winter.

Banjo’s new show Designing the Hebrides is on at 8 pm on BBC Two on Wednesdays or you can watch the entire series on BBC iPlayer, brilliant just like him and well worth a binge!

Photography by Alex Baxter

If you have been watching BBC Interior Design Masters this year you will recognise the lovely Peter Irvine, a seasoned Visual Merchandiser from Belfast with over a decade of experience under his belt.

His passion for creativity has been a driving force in his life since childhood, from crafting in summer camps to pursuing art school before eventually finding his calling as a stylist.

I caught up with Peter for a chat about his time on the show and what he has been up to since.

Peter’s talents don’t stop there – he’s also an accomplished renovator, having personally transformed his home in Belfast, Northern Ireland into a textured, calm minimalist dream space. With a natural flair for design and an eye for detail, Peter is certainly one to watch.

In this interview, we’ll dive into Peter’s background, his current work, and what inspires him to create. Get ready to be inspired by the master of minimalism himself.

When did your passion for interior design begin?

I can precisely pin it to the Summer I turned 10. I returned home from a holiday in Florida with my Dad and my Mum had redecorated my entire room with the most incredible ocean-scape design, she had spray painted huge waves that looked so realistic and I remember the ceiling being aqua green, I had only ever seen white ceilings before- this mesmerised me!

From then, every bedroom i’ve designed for myself has been a themed wonder and an escape from reality, I think that’s why I design the way I do.

Can you describe your personal interior style in a few words?

I call my design style Natural Escapism. Peaceful, Imperfect, Transportive but not totally unrealistic.

BBC Interior Design Masters

Does travel influence your designs?

Travel is a huge influence in how I decorate, I consider myself a curator of feelings as opposed to a curator of things. I like to echo times in life when people have felt at ease and that’s often on warm destination holidays. So I mimic the elements involved: Airy tones, Natural elements, Not too many things around, and Simplicity. Things may not make sense here in a UK setting but that’s ok, Interior Design is always about throwing in a little cheekiness and that’s how I do it!

As an avid fan of Interior Design Masters, what motivated you to participate?

I’ve watched every creative show there is and like so many I often wondered what it was like to be a part of it. I knew I could do it, maybe not win, but certainly try! I just thought I’m getting out of this hamster wheel and making it happen!

The application process was fun, you got to share with new faces why you love what you love and they are so eager to listen. Further on in the process, you get a mock brief which was so exciting, your first taste of what it’s like to be on the show and it only made me more excited to live in this world of Interior Design!

Which week on the show was your favourite, and what made it stand out for you?

I think my favourite was the first week. I’d finally landed in this crazy new world with all these incredibly talented designers and I felt like I truly belonged.

Don’t get me wrong I was intimidated as hell but I tried to keep my cool, I didn’t want to go home, back to my humble reality.

Then in Week two I met Sophie Robinson and she was so kind, so maybe my favourite week was that one!

Out of all the rooms you’ve designed, which one are you the most proud of, and what makes it special to you?

Shockingly, my favourite week might have been my elimination week, It was the first week I truly believed I’d nailed it, whilst I knew there was an issue with the size of my seating in the beach hut I designed, I felt like I had taken on previous feedback from the judges about putting the client at the heart of the design. I also felt that I had made a space that was super practical and a space that also had my DNA at its core with a base of natural materials and a feeling of being transported. I’m still proud, perhaps judging was just getting harsh at this stage.

Top five tips for creating a stunning and functional living space with our readers?

-Simplify. Declutter your space and only have what’s essential in the room, it makes space for beautiful decorative items.

-Don’t buy out of convenience. Everything can be beautiful, don’t buy the first whisk or tea towel you see. Take time to gather items that look good as well as function, they’re all out there. Even clothes pegs can be lovely, it all curates a more beautiful life around you.

-Go Natural. Try to eliminate as much plastic and metal as you can from your decor, these always have a manufactured feeling which is connected with the idea of work and machinery. Objects from the earth exude peace and calm.

-Tones, tones, tones. To add depth but keep the space simple, use neighbouring tones of a the same colour for things like cushions.

-Baskets. I think there’s a basket for everything in our house. They’re a great way to hide things like beauty products, documents and even the wifi router.

What projects have you been working on, and what exciting plans do you have for the future?

Since the show, I’ve gone back to normal life with the huge exception that I’m being recognised every day while I’m dressing the mannequins! People have been so lovely and so supportive now that the show has aired and I love hearing their opinions on everything. There’s also the regular occurrence of visiting my newfound friends, I’m always excited to see them. I’ve recently been working on an redesigning and apartment here in Belfast for a lovely new client who really appreciates my design style.

I would love to do more TV work now that i’ve been bitten by the bug, but who knows, hopefully, one day you’ll see me on screen again.

If you haven’t already been watching BBC Interior Design Masters you can see Peter’s designs and catch up on all the episodes on BBC iPlayer, I can’t wait to see where his passion for design takes him next.

Christopher Mills is a celebrity event stylist who has been planning experiences and parties for over 20 years, he has produced events in every formation and for the most extraordinary people. Here he tells House of Coco Magazine a bit more about the exciting and often secret world of a celebrity party planner!

Tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m a dreamer, wholeheartedly, but at the same time I’ve always struggled to accurately describe myself and what I do because I am absolutely (and proudly) a Jack n Jill of all trades and master of none, an enigma and well-rounded creator, part Willy Wonka, Walt Disney and Oscar Wilde rolled into one.

With my creative agency The Events Mill and the immersive events we design I am an architect of peoples’ dreams in that I get to create experiences for people in ways that others wouldn’t even conceive as possible. Stepping into my brain would probably look like Dorothy’s first glance into Oz. It’s this that I’ve packaged up and offer my clients, events that push the boundaries of imagination.

What does a typical day look like for you?

No two days are the same which makes for an exciting yo-yo lifestyle. I get to visit the most extraordinary places in the world and to work in inaccessible venues, palaces, private homes and off-the-beaten track locations. These kinds of places the general public rarely get access to, which I never take for granted; I guess I live a privileged life in that sense. A lot of my days are spent on site visits, client meetings and the “fun stuff” but of course I have my admin days too!

I love to surround myself with an abundance of creativity, objects and antiques, multi-sensory cacophony, food, fashion, literature, people. Anything beautiful I fill my days with.

I have my downtime too. I love to read, Shantaram is my favourite book, and I paint a lot. You can likely find wondering a gallery, having afternoon tea in one of my favourite hotels or sipping cocktails (all for educational purposes, of course!).

As an event stylist to the stars what is the most extravagant event you have designed? And what was the budget?

I hired Lake Bled in Slovenia for a client who was obsessed with Disney’s Frozen (she was in good company with me). For her 30th birthday, I reproduced a version of Frozen the Musical to serenade her and her guests, complete with giant ice sculptures and a banquette dinner and dance which took place on the ice. All of this on the frozen surface of Lake Bled itself with its stunning castle, Blejski Grad, as a backdrop. We recreated the Northern Lights using advanced projection technology and laser in the sky, with supporting drone art and mapping to bring to life the magic of Elsa’s powers. It was an enchanting, authentic step into the world of Frozen. And let’s just say that money was no issue.

I bet you have had a few strange requests in the past especially when it comes to celebrities what has been your weirdest one?

Privacy is the new form of luxury and I never kiss and tell, but I did once produce an after party in Cannes and things got a little raunchy at a champagne brand’s party. Nikki Beach is famous for its white parties and champagne showers and at this particular event a little too much champagne was showered, and everyone decided to get naked and … well … you can guess the rest.

What are you top five tips for creating a fun, boujie and extravagant event?

I get asked this A LOT. My answer is always the same – it totally depends on what kind of event you’re trying to create. I often don’t answer this question because its proscriptive and parties ought not be formulaic in my opinion.

If I had to generalise though, as an immersive events designer it’s about the senses for me, of which there are five, that’s the hint.

Invest in good candles! – good lighting creates confidence and beauty in all people and allows people to sink into the mood of the event.

Follow your nose – we all love the smell of delicious food and heady candles that allow us to relax and forget the outside world. So why is it so common to be harshly wrenched back into that world on use of the facilities. Some of the most extravagant venues have the foulest bathrooms and it has never made sense to me!

Pack a punch and a crunch – this is two in one. If you’re serving up culinary delights, they need to make their mark; experiment with different flavours and try something completely different. Risk taking is key! Simple garnishes on dishes add texture and delight people – keep it simple with croutons or go wild but don’t distract from the dish as whole.

Something to shout about – the goldilocks rule. It can’t be too loud and it can’t be too quiet; remember people come to parties to converse and meet people. The volume must match the space. For intimate soirees I find the laughter of friends, tinkle of glasses and general chatter is music enough.

If you could create an event for any celebrity in the world who would it be and what would be the theme?

I’ve been fortunate to work with many celebrities in my time and continue to push the envelope with my specialism in the immersive world of design. But there is one person who I would have loved to plan a party for and that is Oscar Wilde. To me he is the epitome of class and sophistication and someone who represented society of his time in a unique way. I imagine he was the most extraordinary person to speak to and his stories are magnificent, so I would absolutely draw out his imagination and bring to life the power of his literary world, poetry and musings. I would also celebrate him as a Queer figure and as one of my heroes.

I’ve heard you have also been involved in designing some royal parties? Can you tell us a bit more of us it all top secret?

There are some experiences throughout my time that stick out for all the right reasons, whether creatively or due to logistical challenges, or just because of them being of incredibly high profile or because they pull on your heartstrings, like the philanthropic work I do. Throughout my tenure as a party planner I’ve worked with a number of royals both privately and philanthropically, at gala openings, hosting dinners, stewarding receptions and at appearances, all of which have been so exciting. But a promise is a promise and part of my job is to always deliver events with discretion at the very heart.

With the kings coronation coming up have you got any events planned?

Yes, absolutely. We have lots of social events planned and there is a fantastic camaraderie in the air which is so wonderful to feel amongst clients. Many of the brands we work with are sharing in this spirit, too, revealing Coronation collections and hosting receptions and dinners in honour of Their Majesty’s. I also think many clients are looking forward to celebrating at home with loved ones and entertaining over dinner parties will always be a popular choice.

If people are having a party at home to celebrate the coronation, how can they create a super stylish tablescape?

Coronation is all about the coming together and everybody doing their part, so a celebration of “home” and “garden” is beautiful. A super stylish way of achieving a unique tablescape for your Coronation party is to use a mixture of objects and flora, a plethora of china and textures. For example, bring a little of the street party into your tablescape by mixing different styles together and use antiques and objects to tell a story and beautiful colour pops in vases, with beautiful cut flowers from the garden. Classic and vintage cutlery, different coloured wine glasses and don’t worry about being bold in your choice of colours for linen and napkins.

Everything from teapots, saucers, candlesticks, marbles, jugs, vintage bowls, brass, books and ornaments could help create a homely feel to give a sense of a community coming together to celebrate the Coronation.

Where are the best places to shop for cool event props and styling?

I always visit charity shops and local markets for unusual objects as well as antique shops. I also love browsing eBay and Facebook Market Place is a great place to pick up pre-loved pieces. If you’re feeling crafty then Hobbycraft has a great selection. Also, if you’re heading to the seaside there are always great trinket places to peruse. And of course, should you want bigger hire places then there are so many amazing hire stores.

We also have a huge collection of props, hire and the most amazing collection of antiques so do get in touch – everything from gold objects to vintage Disney prints.

If someone wants to book you to create their dream event how do they contact you?

Either via our website www.theeventsmill.com or socials Instagram @thechristophermills Twitter @theeventsmill

And finally what has been the most favourite event you have designed and why?

Wow, this is a difficult one as there are so many. But, I have to say that the philanthropic work I do with our charity partners is the most rewarding. I produce an event with War Child, for example, and having a role to play in that event where our contribution goes to helping children in conflict zones have a better quality of life is amazing. There is no better feeling. You can see more of our work here: https://theeventsmill.com/case-studies/

Photography by Luke Dillon and Rio Blake

As House of Coco magazine Interiors Editor Siobhan Murphy sat down with BBC Interior Design Masters finalist Jack Kinsey, she was immediately struck by his passion for art and interior design. Jack is an artist and interior designer based in Norfolk, England, and his love for both art forms is evident in everything he does.

It was fantastic seeing Jacks gorgeous designs each week, here we delve a little deeper into the creative genius and what inspires him.

Growing up, Jack was always interested in the arts. He originally trained as a fine artist, painting and sculpting, and he loved everything about it, especially anything historical. This is what inspired him to buy an older property and transform it into his home.

One day, while walking through the countryside with his partner, they came across an old chapel completely overgrown with ivy. As soon as they laid eyes on it, they knew they wanted to transform it into their home.

Inside, the chapel was a giant open-plan space with vaulted ceilings, arched windows, and original floors. It was the perfect canvas for Jack to not only restore but to really express himself with the interior.

The chapel and his style went hand in hand, and he could run wild with the idea of historical glamour, adding intricate ornate plasterwork ceilings, panelling, columns, and of course, a grand staircase.

Inspiration for the chapel’s interior actually came from the richness of what he saw on his travels to Rome and Europe. The plasterwork ceilings and craftsmanship had him lost for words, and he so wanted to bring a little bit of that back to Norfolk.

Jack’s humble countryside chapel started to take similar shape to the Sistine Chapel.

He sculpted a lot of the ceilings, hand-painted faux marble, and picked a timeless colour scheme. When applications for Interior Design Masters were open, his boyfriend pushed him to apply. He said it was the perfect program for him to showcase his style to the world, and so he applied. He really wanted to be pushed outside his comfort zone and take part in a competition he knew he could do well in. He submitted pics of the chapel, a bit about himself, and they got back to him. He was quite shocked, overwhelmed, and excited!

Jack’s favourite week on Interior Design Masters was Salon Week. He thinks it was because it was such a quick turnaround and such a big space to really go mad with. He also learned to love a new style, mixing Japanese influence with Scandi, together creating a Japandi salon interior that was so cool! He loved all the bold colours he used that week and was able to showcase his first attempt at freehand mural painting (which turned out fabulous if he does say so himself)! Inspired by his freehand mural that week, he has since been working on his own hand-painted wallpaper range, which wouldn’t have come into fruition unless he’d given it a go during Salons Week so it was meant to be.

Although Salons was his favourite week, he thinks his proudest design was episode 5 beach chalets. He was gifted with a really beautiful Art Deco chalet that week used by the NHS workers in the local area. The NHS is so close to his heart, having cystic fibrosis. They have really been there for him, and without them, he may not even be here right now talking about this. Not only are the NHS close to his heart, but Art Deco also is, tying back in with that historical glamour he loves and adores so much. He created a bespoke ornate ceiling featuring synchronised swimmers depicting the unity our NHS show and provide for us all.

Jack generously shared his top five interior design hacks with House of Coco:

My top 5 interior hacks always boil down to the basics, that being the architecture of the room you are dealing with.

  1. Has it got tall ceilings? If so take colour and wrap it right over the walls and ceilings, you can do this by using paint or wallpaper creating a cocooning cosy feeling. If you are blessed with natural light than use the opportunity to go BOLD go DARK, this achieves an immersive feeling with instant wow factor!
  2. Consider the structural architecture by adding layers and by introducing paneling to the walls and potentially ceilings too. Traditional panelling can elevate a room to feel more expensive and characterful whilst contemporary slim batten paneling can provide a calming, relaxing spa like feel especially if it wraps up and over the ceiling.
  3. Try colour blocking, you might wonder what that is but it’s very simple and incredibly effective; it is essentially using complimenting paints or wallpapers to highlight an area of a room. It’s simplest form would be to keep the walls white or a very neutral colour and then introduce a brighter or significantly darker paint colour half way up the wall thus creating an horizon line.
  4. Add TEXTURE! This hack is particularly important as it gives any room a more inviting and warm feeling. Contrasting materials will introduce a visual interest to a space which otherwise may appear quite flat, cold and boring. It can be created by using soft textiles such as boucle, a rattan pendant perhaps or even textured wall coverings. Think about using metals, wood and different glass; It is important, however, to have multiple textures in one space, with texture MORE is MORE.
  5. Have appreciation and love for the space you are designing, what is the space offering to you as a designer? Has it gifted you with symmetrical proportions, wonky walls, original floors or beams? Or is it a simple modern space asking for character to be added, always take a step back and appreciate what the space is giving you and calling out for.

Since the show ended, Jack has been busy hand painting an amazing wallpaper range with Rebel Walls and is currently working on several commercial and residential projects. With his love for history and architecture, his designs are sure to continue to amaze and inspire.

follow Jack adventures on instagram @jackkinsey

his wallpaper range can be found on www.rebelwalls.com

Home House is an iconic members club in Portman Square with an interesting history. The building was originally commissioned in the 18th century by Jamaican born Lady Home as a place to party when she was in London. The Countess, in her late 60’s, twice widowed and childless, held such lavish parties that she became known as the Queen of Hell! The club is made up of three Georgian houses, all with their unique style; one side of the house fills you with old school grandeur, it has opulently decorated drawing rooms and an Imperial staircase which leads to a large glass dome in the roof; we particularly liked spotting the the discreetly disguised doors that served as private passageways…if these walls could talk! The other side of Home has modernity, a playful party feel and of course, this was the perfect setting for the gin launch.

The evening was hosted by Home House’s General Manager, Giuseppe De Wilde and award winning luxury distillery Oro’s Head Distiller, Ray Clynick. Inspired by the Countess’ favourite drink, De Wilde approached the Lockerbie based distillery with a clear concept and goal to capture the extraordinary heritage of Home.

The exclusive tutored tasting had us holding things that looked like cloves, bits of wood and was that a rock? As Clynick, once a chemical biologist turned distiller took us through the botanicals, we smiled wherever we correctly identified something. We recognised dried orange and lemon peel but only because we were brave and ate it! This gin has taken inspiration from Lady Home’s travels; Murcian Orange and Lemons, Guatemalan Cardamom, Madagascan Cinnamon, Macedonian Juniper, the most interesting ingredient by far is the Lignum Vitae, the national flower of Jamaica. Also known as the wood of life, it is an ode to Lady Home’s Jamaican roots and a very rare ingredient to be used in spirits bringing an earthy and slightly spicy note.

We soon realised the versatility of the gin; served with plenty of ice, tonic, mango bitters and a garnish of dried mango, left you feeling fruity and yet classic. When in a Home House Negroni, it becomes punchy, full of depth and flavour and a completely different experience. The final cocktail, a White Lady, is a refreshing citrus explosion. The gin can do it can do it all and was awarded a silver medal at the World Gin Awards 2023 in the London Dry Gin category before it was even available to Members!

The bespoke nature continues to the bottle design. The team took inspiration from the Art Deco period and the House’s architectural elements but the elegance and opulence comes from the glass stopper. It feels like an ode to a crystal decanter; we can’t wait to bring out the bottle at our next party to see who notices this design touch!

The first batch has been snapped up by members and for those of us not on the list, we can enjoy the Home House London Dry Gin by either being a plus one of a member or by staying in one of the twenty-three luxurious bedrooms. With access to two restaurants, five bars, opulent dining rooms, two outdoor balconies, a boutique gym, spa and The Vaults nightclub, a staycation may be nice but perhaps a membership is in order!

Bringing along the mamas, Fiona Lockwood was invited to celebrate the launch of Slingsby Gin x Oh La La! Macarons’ Mother’s Day offerings.

What happens at a Macaron and Martini Workshop? It sounds simple but we actually did not know; the only experience I have had making macarons was a disaster and I was not hoping to do that again in front of people!

Greeted by friendly faces we were handed a baby pink rhubarb and lychee martini and told to take a seat. The first part of the evening started with an interactive baking demonstration on how to achieve the perfect French-style macaron. Without giving all the tips away, we learnt moisture is the enemy, Italians make macarons with sugar syrup and there is definitely a proper way to hold a piping bag!

Next came the cocktail lesson – dry, perfect or wet? Dirty or with a twist? Gin or vodka? Our favourite piece of knowledge to bank for pub quizzes is that apparently, the espresso martini came from a supermodel asking for a boozy pick-me-up! For those feeling brave, the stage was set to get behind the bar and try your hand at creating a cocktail!

Then the Marmalade Gin Martinis were served; we could no longer resist and tucked into our plate of macarons!! The new flavour for mothers day uses Slingsby’s award-winning Marmalade gin with cardamom & lavender. A delightful combination of lightly boozy and deliciously creamy buttercream makes the perfect filling!

Slingsby’s Marmalade Gin uses locally sourced botanicals with zesty Yorkshire marmalade, water drawn from the world-famous Harrogate aquifer and a pure single grain spirit. It makes for a smooth and delicious gin that works wonderfully with orange juice and prosecco.

Finally it was time to get creative with unlimited pre-made macarons shells to construct and decorate! Digging through our eyes were caught by the limited edition galactic macarons. Glistening gold against a celestial blue and purple background, these 24-carat edible gold leaf decorated shells are stunning and just like the night sky!

There are already decorated macarons on display and but it isn’t until you try you realise it’s a lot harder than you thought! Giggles will ensue! Turns out flowers are pretty fun to make. Anything that involves sprinkles is messy and glitter sticks to everything – you will find it for days! Tip for those going in the future – make the tiniest of snips in the icing piping bag if you want any chance of controlling it! And handle with care, the number of macarons I squished too hard and broke so I had to eat…

Taking our creations home, we walked away with giant smiles and a sugary spring in our step. Almost a week later, we have been indulging our sweet tooth every few days with a macaron and making breakfast gins at the weekend for a treat! Macaron and Martini Workshop for the win.

The limited edition Mother’s Day ‘Breakfast Martini’ Macaron box contains 18 macarons, a bottle of 50cl Marmalade Flavoured Slingsby Gin and a handwritten card, and is available via OhLaLa! https://ohlalamacarons.com The full range of Slingsby Gin can be found on their website at https://www.spiritofharrogate.co.uk/