One week into our Cornwall move and we are beginning to unearth some of the house under the packing boxes. Our first guests are arriving on Friday and so I have one week to make the spare room look the most inviting room ever, whilst also multitasking as an office.

The bare bones of the room are beautiful – white walls, white wooden floorboards, an original sash window that is being refurbished currently, and a gorgeous metal bedstead. I’ve started a pinterest board to try and narrow down some ideas and pinned some lovely pieces from Quercus Living as I think a single wardrobe in the corner would look lovely and give a bit of storage, and a blanket box at the end of the bed doubles as somewhere to pop a bag, or even sit. We have an old family one at the end of ours with sheets in. I like the look of wood furniture as it is easy to match with things we already own, and doesn’t jar. I would also mix it with some scandi inspired pieces and vintage bedding and neutral curtains.

 

My inspiration for the room has come from staying at 2 places in Cornwall, both of which I will write about properly soon as recommendations, but both of which have strong personalities which come through in terms of the decor but also the bespoke wooden carpentry details, which our cottage also has. I look forward to try and create my own version.

I’ll be back with more photos next week – I’m also sharing various details from the house on Instagram using #myhouseinaugust… let me know what you think!

collaborative post

It’s been rather wet and gloomy down here in Cornwall this past week and we’re all suffering a little from feeling a bit discombobulated from moving, not really being properly unpacked and so on. We are going to have to work harder to do some more luxurious lounging at home to try and cheer ourselves up.

A couple of days before we left London I went along to a blogging event held by Currys and Sony to launch the new Sony OLED TV. They created for us an amazing #immersivenightin with everything themed around different films and it was an excellent night. I’m proposing to surprise Pip by recreating something similar themed around one of her favourite things to watch.

Whilst the evening had been beautifully executed by JoesBloggers and Currys, in actual fact the main ideas are super simple and easy to recreate. I think it would make an excellent low key hen party or winter birthday party as well as just being a lovely night in at a weekend.

Food and drink

At the event, every part was a clue forming a quiz – you could either adopt that, or just pick one thing as theme to run throughout. The afternoon tea style food was Alice in Wonderland and the cosmo cocktails were of course Sex and the city. I’m a sucker for an old school type tea with little sandwiches and sausage rolls served on vintage cake stands, so this was right up my street. To recreate this at home I would keep the vintage cake stands and finger food idea, but I think I would probably pick something My Little Pony themed which is currently Pip’s favourite and serve up something suitably pony-esque and use themed napkins.

Surroundings

At the event, a lot of trouble had been gone to with the decor, movie clues everywhere (daisies, roses) and even a smell of chocolate wafting through the air at one point. The main takeway was that everything should be cozy and if possible assembled ahead of time, so your mini (or not so mini) guests come in they are transported to somewhere else for the evening.

I’m not quite sure how I’d replicate any of the My Little Pony sets at home but I might well put out the tipi that I made and fill it with blankets and cushions so that it feels decadent and grown up… Our current TV is tiny, so I would probably put it on the floor so they could watch sitting on their cushions but that beautiful thin beveled flatscreen Sony would warrant sitting on the sofa!

Guests

At the event, it was great to catch up with bloggers that I already knew, and also make new friends. If I was doing this event for adults, I’d give some thought to making sure I had a good mix of new and old friends too, much like a dinner party, ensuring there were enough chairs or cushions. In our current house that would mean I could only invite 2 people, as we only have 2 functioning chairs, and no sofa, but I’m sure we will come to a solution soon. For the children, I’d invite a small mix of friends, crucially making sure the theme is something that they’d all enjoy.


Games

I’m not sure that just sitting and eating makes the best evening if you have guests over – I think you want something interactive as well. Something surprising perhaps, or something which gets everyone chatting. Sometimes something as simple as word games does the trick – you have to know your audience. I’ve played some excellent games of consequences, and you could have a movie theme to them (or hen party if you’re adapting the idea) and if you’re doing this with kids then a movie themed version of the body parts game could work well (draw a head, fold, next person does body etc). Or, you could go all out, and do a murder mystery for everyone, which is what happened at the event. One minute we were drinking cocktails and working out quiz questions, then next, we were knee deep in a strange love triangle A Turn for the Nurse played by the excellent Smoke & Mirrors actors. Surreal to say the least, but I haven’t laughed that much in ages!

Other things which I think would work well would be a magician, or everyone dressing up to the same theme. When we do this with Pip, we will probably get out all the ponies, and also play some board games. If I were doing this for a new year’s party though, a pre-organised themed dressing up murder mystery would work very well.

Or, you could go all out and give a massive element of surprise and awe – acrobats! (They performed to movie soundtracks. They were awesome and even more unexpected than the murder mystery…)

 

Thanks to Sony & Currys PC World for inviting me. You can find more ideas here for your own #immersivenightin.

One of the things I love most about blogging and the internet is how it connects me to people that I might never have encountered or brands I might not have discovered. Just this week we had brunch with someone I’ve known on Instagram for years and marvelled at how beautifully our kids played together and how our husbands bonded whilst we chatted away as if we’d known each other for years (which we have, I guess!).

The photos below were taken by an American blogging friend of mine from way back when before we’d even got married. I think we started following each other when we were planning our weddings and have kept in touch via Instagram. She emailed to say that she was in London for a few days and did I want to meet… We had brunch at the Modern Pantry in Clerkenwell and then I wanted to show her a couple of lovely things about London that visitors might never discover. I’ve written before about my love of London’s hidden gardens, but I think the Cloister Gardens of the Order of St John in Clerkenwell is a peaceful beauty which is well worth a visit if you are in Clerkenwell and want a break from the bustle of London.

The lavender and roses smell divine, and there is a 200 year old olive tree at the centre. We visited on rather a dull and rainy day, which meant the light was lovely for a few photographs.

The buildings are part of the Order of St John and date back to the 1140s when the Priory in Clerkenwell was set up as the English headquarters of the Order. In the eighteenth century, the Gate was briefly used as a coffee house, run by Richard Hogarth, father of the artist William Hogarth.

The modern Order of St John in England was granted a Royal Charter by Queen Victoria in 1888. Humanitarian in its aims and purpose, the modern Order recognised the need for public First Aid and ambulance transport services, as no such system existed in newly industrialised England. In addition, the Order established an eye hospital in Jerusalem, following the principles of the Order’s first hospital, treating all those in need, regardless of faith or wealth. The Order’s full title is The Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem. Its principal charitable foundations today are the St John Eye Hospital in Jerusalem, and St John Ambulance.

No summer in the UK is without rain, and it certainly feels like August is our rainiest month. The light filled drowsy heatwaves of June and July are mere memories and this damp weather combined with the evenings starting to draw in ever so slightly have given recent days a, dare I whisper it, almost autumnal feel.

Lighthouse Rayna Parka Waterproof Jacket

Years of working in the city have taught me that whilst an umbrella is handy, what you really want is a waterproof coat which doesn’t look too much like one. Lighthouse were kind enough to send me this Rayna Parka which is perfect if you live in a town and want to look reasonably smart but also visit the countryside and the beach too. I chose this one as I thought it would work well in both locations and whilst I could have taken photos of it on a beach in Cornwall (where I also wear it and it looks fab) I thought showing how it works with work clothes might be more helpful.

Whilst I am wearing it here with a shirt, it also fits a jumper underneath nicely and does up smartly with the zip giving a slim silhouette. Being mid thigh rather than hip length also adds to the smartness – the contrasting chambray lining which looks nice with the sleeves rolled back. It also has a handy cord edged hood and an inner pocket perfect for phone and cards. I chose to pair it with a blue striped shirt which played on the nautical theme but which is definitely not a standard breton top.

With a matt finish rather than shiny, it feels comfortable and not sticky, aided by the chambray lining, and whilst the features do have a nautical feel, they are not overdone so you don’t have to be on a beach to feel comfortable in it.

Fashion notes: Lighthouse Rayna Parka c/o Lighthouse in Midnight colourway | Worn with Teija high necked shirt (in white here) | J Crew trousers | Sebego flats.

Photos: Top image by @MOSJ | All others by Jenna Cole