Edinburgh Life & Style weekender 2018

Got a love for fashion? What about interiors? Health and beauty?

What if I were to tell you all of these topics and more will be covered at this year’s Life & Style event? Add some cocktails to the mix and I think that ticks all of the majors on my ‘favourite ways to spend a weekend’ list.

Here are some of the star attractions coming up at Life & Style 2018…

 

LIFESTYLE STAGE

This event is all about celebrating the luxurious things in life. So naturally, that covers hair, skin, make-up, fashion – to name but a few.

Award-winning celebrity hairdresser Jason Collier, whose scissors have graced the barnets of icons like Victoria Beckham, Eva Longoria, Laura Whitmore (a personal fave) and Sienna Miller will be taking to the stage to share his expert hair advice.

Joining him will be facialist Charlotte Connoley, whose client list boasts babes such as Meghan Markle, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Cheryl (Cole? Tweedy? Anyway you know the one) with skincare tips to help us rival our celeb counterparts.

Also appearing will be fashion director and designer Wendy Rigg, Scottish make-up artist Sara Hill aaaaaand the ever talented blogger and author Vicky Psarias (aka Honest Mum) and lifestyle blogger and STV queen Susie Bruce.

 

WORKSHOPS + POP UPS

Great as these guys are, it ain’t all about them, huns. Life & Style 2018 is also giving guests the chance to attend one of many themed workshops and expert talks – including floristry with Snapdragon, calligraphy with Laila Lettering, tea tastings with The East India Company, and lots more.

Plus, there’ll be cocktail classes from Badger & Co and Element, to help guests learn to serve the perfect tipple. Hurrahhhh.

Pop-ups from everyone’s fave Instagrammble brands such as Oliver Bonas, John Lewis, Jenners, Anthropologie and more will also be appearing throughout the weekend. Get ready to lust.

TICKET HOLDER PERKS

Included in each ticket is access to the much-loved fashion show and trend talk, which returns this year and will be hosted by Scottish fashion designer and author Lynne McCrossan.

You’ll also receive an express beauty treatment in the pop-up beauty hall, including a choice of mini makeovers, manicures or massages, along with an Edinburgh Gin cocktail on arrival, an exclusive offers booklet and goody bag.

…WHAT NOT TO LOVE??

MORE DEETS

Choose from either a Saturday or Sunday full-day ticket, priced at £10 – exclusively available from www.edinlifestyle.co.uk.  (FYI – the first 500 customers receive an exclusive goody bag so get yer skates on.)

After buying your ticket, you can select your preferred time slot for a seat at one of (many!) fashion shows, and book yourself into a workshop and Lifestyle Stage talk. These will be available on a strictly first-come-first-served basis – so keep afore-mentioned skates on.

Edinburgh Life & Style will be from 10am-6pm on Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 May 2018, with doors opening from 9.30am.

 

♥ SEE YOU THERE! ♥

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Two peas in a pod: A stay at Glencoe Riverbed Lodges

The stretch between December and March/April can seem fairly eternal. With the excitement of Christmas behind us, the next cause for celebration is the distant promise of leaves on trees, the long Easter weekend and the ability to gorge shamelessly on chocolate eggs.

SO, this is precisely why it’s the perfect time to book a getaway and give yourself a little sumpn sumpn to look forward to and ease those Q1 blues. It was in this spirit that KK and I embarked on our little road trip up north for a stay at the Riverbed Lodges in Glencoe.

Glencoe is one of those places you drive through and each time feel completely in awe of your surroundings. From Edinburgh it took us about 3 hours to get there, but the drive is often heralded as one of the most beautiful roads in the UK, making it about 50 times more enjoyable than your average 3 hour shlep.

You arrive up a little track road and see the lodges nestled among the trees, each with their own little set of steps and veranda. There are 8 of them in total, seven of them with a hot tub and one without. They’re 12 sqm so totally teeny, but so cute and cosy. The first thing we did was get into our comfies, take some photos and just chill out which was so nice and relaxing.

I’d be wholly behind getting a lodge with a hot tub because as far as I’m concerned there’s very little better than climbing into one on a cold day, armed with a bottle of chilled prosecco. It was pretty much an example of us living our best lives.

No it’s not a floating black bikini – if you look closely there is in fact a very translucent bod in it.

It got dark pretty quickly by the time we climbed in so we don’t have many photos of it from the first night, but rest assured that bad boy is just as great to relax in come morning with a cup of cawfee from the lodge’s nespresso machine (ugh can I just live there already).

We chose to spend our time there hanging around in either our pyjamas or in the hot tub, because quite frankly we were there to laze around, but if you wanted to actually branch out of your lodge there’s loads of stuff to do – including hill walking, skiing at the Glencoe range nearby, Segway tours, cycling, mountain biking and golfing. There are a few local restaurants you can check out too.

Included in the stay is breakfast, which includes granola, porridge, fresh milk, orange juice, croissants (with butter and pots of jam) and fruit. The bed frame folds into a little table you can eat it at or if it’s dry outside, you can have it out on the veranda – pre or post morning hot tub dip!

Whatever you choose to do there, you won’t be disappointed by the lodges and their surroundings. It was such a novelty staying right amongst the trees and mountains but in the safety of a warm little lodge haven. They’re a perfect weekend getaway for a group of pals or your other half.

If you’re thinking of booking a stay at the RiverBeds, make sure to use the code ‘kkland’ so you can enjoy prosecco, chocolates and bath robes included in your lodge.

 

Photos by KK Land

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Studio Emma

Every so often you stumble upon such an aesthetically pleasing Instagram page that your scrolling thumb eventually begins to stiffen in protest. This is what happened when I discovered the glorious profile of Emma McDowall – the brain child behind Edinburgh-based homeware brand Studio Emma.

KK and I went along to her studio to find out more about how Emma’s business has developed from experimenting with materials in her parents’ garden shed to shipping her concrete creations to household names around the world.

 

Humble beginnings 

Like most people of our generation, at some point post-uni Emma found herself making the obligatory move back in with her parents to figure out Life’s Next Chapter. It was during this period that she was able to exploit her spare time and lack of uni commitments to start creatively experimenting.

“I didn’t have access to all the textile equipment and materials I had at Art School which was frustrating”, she explains.”But it led me to source other materials and make new processes so I could satisfy the craving I had to just make!”

After discovering cement in her dad’s shed, she began experimenting with it, mixing together different materials and using objects she’d found to create forms.

After this of course came the introduction of her trademark bright colours. “I found the contrast of concrete as a solid, industrial material and the playful colour palettes an interesting concept, and it was something I wanted to experiment with further”, says Emma.

 

Concrete and colour

I find Emma’s designs so intriguing because they’re simple yet mysterious, with an end result that is so far removed from the mental idea most people would have of concrete (for me: ’60s architecture and road maintenance.)

One of the most popular pieces she makes are the square vessels, whose shape is quite industrial but whose sides resemble what Emma describes as “tiny abstract paintings”. Of course it’s this deviance of concepts that makes her art so eye catching and unique (…as I said before, an Instagrammer’s dream).

…how does she do it? “I mix the concrete adding vivid colour before pouring the moulds in layers”, Emma explains. Leaving them to dry, she then removes the pieces from their moulds – the part of the whole process which is Emma’s favourite. “The surface pattern and texture is unpredictable so that makes it exciting – no two pieces are ever the same.”

The colour, the texture, the sheer unpredictability of it all. Instagram is one thing, but it proved too much for me in the flesh.

And that, readers, is how I ended up buying an entire box of homewares to adorn my flat with.

 

Home and away

When we arrived at the studio and immediately began fawning over all the different shapes  and colours of some of her finished products, we found out that lots of them were on their way to Iceland for stockists there.

When prompted by two excitable fangirls masquerading as bloggers, Emma listrs in casual nonchalance some of the exclusive brands who stock her products, and it’s clear her products command a universal appeal.

But what is it about the brand that attracts both a domestic and an international following?

“I think people like the use of colour in the designs. Colour makes people happy and they find the products to be fun.” If anyone’s looking to practice better modesty as a New Year’s resolution, we’ve found your gal.

“I also think sometimes in our culture full of cheap, mass produced design people find craftsmanship refreshing. They like something which has been made with consideration and passion, it makes the product feel special and with each piece being complete unique – it is special!”

 

 

 

Find Emma’s designs online at www.emmamcdowall.co.uk and follow her excellent Instagram account at @_studioemma 

Photos by KK Land 

 

 

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There’s no place like Hemma

Sweden has always been on my visiting hit list, but it remains a country my heavy heart has not yet made it to. However, it is my good fortune that I live in Edinburgh, which has been the receptacle of a Scandi takeover for some years now.

The culprit behind Scandi-gate? Swede Anna Christophersen and her husband Mike, who together run Akva, Sofi’s, Joseph Pearce’s, Boda and Victoria. I love all of these places individually, but today’s blog post is about one I hadn’t visited until very recently…. The glorious Hemma.

Hemma – meaning ‘home’ in Swedish, is the perfect marriage of name and concept. Located at the bottom of Holyrood Road, this gorgeous venue is spread out over two spacious floors. On the bottom floor, you’ll find various cosy little corners with mismatched furniture, and huge windows the length of one side. The spiral staircase in the centre of the floor leads up to shelves filled with books, antique lights, lots of plants and vintage-style decor.

While I always appreciate a well thought-out aesthetic, myself and fellow blogger (and honourary Swede) KK, had a much more urgent mission: to see what the new brunch menu was all about.

There are quite a few options, so we sought the advice of our lovely waitress, and together decided on three things: Eggs Brando, the full vegetarian breakfast and a sweet potato and lentil salad.

Let me tell you a thing or two about each.

VEGETARIAN BREAKFAST 
Veggie haggis, poached eggs, veggie sausage, roasted tomatoes, mushrooms and hasselback potatoes and toast

Although I’m not a veggie, I’m not a humongous meat eater either and quite often choose veggie options because they look the most appealing to me.

Hemma’s veggie breakfast did not disappoint: everything tasted amazing and the veggie haggis in particular was beautiful. Traditional breakfast food can sometimes be dry and tasteless, but this was all TYdelicious and the textures worked together really well (after my second sausage, perhaps slightly too well…)

 

 

 

EGGS BRANDO

Sweet potato scone with scrambled eggs, feta, chilli and honey

This dish was something I can only describe as a palatable epiphany.  Oh my God. Seriously. One of the best brunch dishes I’ve had the fortune to consume.

A hardy Scottish food, the tattie scone normally takes on the role of the accompaniment. Kind of like the best friend in a movie, tattie scones are often only there to complement its other breakfast plate pals. So to experience it stepping up to the plate (hoho) and taking that leading role for itself was something of a revelation to me – and ooooft did it perform well.

 

I’d never think of mixing this particular combination of things together (though I’m not a hugely adventurous cook so this is probably not overly surprising) but it worked together like an absolute dream. I can say fairly certainly it’s the dish that will feature heavily in any of my future brunch visits to Hemma. Srsly. Go try it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slow roast tomato, sweet potato and lentil salad
With asparagus, toasted pine nuts, feta, chorizo, rocket and basil dressing

This is the perfect salad for any time of the day, and for any season. The sweet potato and lentil bulk it up so it doesn’t leave you feeling unsatisfied (nothing worse than salad sadness, amirite). The pine nuts and feta are a winning combo, and the chorizo gave it hemma salad 2that added spice so it wasn’t at risk of any blandness. Fab. Yoo. Luss.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And of course it wouldn’t be an indulgent brunch without a splash of alcohol… assume your positions, Bloody Bodas.

Made with the same base ingredients as a traditional Bloody Mary (tomato juice, Worcester sauce, tobasco, salt and pepper) – the Bloody Boda has a Swedish twist. Instead of vodka, the drink is made with Aquavit, Sweden’s national spirit. Although I’d been warned Aquavit is somewhat of an ‘acquired’ taste, the Bloody Boda tasted absolutely delicious, proving itself as the perfect accompaniment for our brunch medley.

 

Want to experience the brunch of dreams for yourselves?

Find them at 73 Holyrood Road, Edinburgh.

Follow them on Instagram at @hemmabar or check out their website.

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Keeping the focus: The rise and rise of Wes Kingston

With a CV boasting everything from haute couture to Highland glens, you could describe Glasgow-based photographer Wes Kingston as an artistic chameleon. I meet the man behind the lens to talk icons, passion and what’s next for the happy snapper. View Post

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