Our much missed VM extraordinaire Laura was back in town last Friday. Her visit just happended to coincide with a window change so we put her to work. Cue lots of big laughs, much tea drinking and one beautifully decked out festive window.
We have a Christmas survival kit stashed behind the counter and it contains Haribo, Diet Coke, Berrocca and the thing we really couldn’t do without - Rosebud Salve. Hats off to Dr. Smith who developed the “all purpose family salve” in his Maryland drugstore in 1895 because we don’t think it’s ever been bettered for smell, consistency, finish and all round usefulness. Here's what to do...
1. Slather generously on cracked knuckles, parched lips, under sore noses, around tired eyes or any bit of skin starved of moisture.
2. Use instead of lipgloss or over lipstick. It gives a lovely dewy effect without being sticky.
3. Smooth over eyebrows to tame an unruly brow line while also giving sheen.
4. Apply sparingly to tresses to combat fly-away or frizzy hair.
5. Dab a small amount on cheek bones, shoulders or collar bones for a subtle accent.
6. Use as a base under eye shadow to help hold the look.
7. Work into cuticles to soften them.
Tis a special day indeed and one of our most cherished traditions (besides morning coffee and afternoon tea); the hanging of our beautiful swag by Victoria's dad completes our festive makeover and marks the start of Christmas proper.
It might seem crazy and odd, spring arriving in winter, but if you can get your head around it, then there's a lot to love about looking ahead to peeling off those layers. MiH's pre-SS13 collection is just the gentle nudge into the new season we need. Inspired by "the swimming pool blues of the sky" and "inevitable drops of rain as we peer out the window" this earlybird installment features beautiful cotton shirting, loose-fitting cotton/linen vests, boyfriend jeans (we're really excited about) plus a leather jacket and heavy knit to fill in until some warmth returns to the sun.
It's a cool vintage letter extravaganza! Sourced from a specialist French collector and just off a channel crossing, we have letters a to z, big to small, colourful uppercase to metallic disco style to country cottage cute.
Time to up the ante on the skincare front and this year we're relying on our new range of creams from Benamôr. Not just pretty in their original 1920s packaging, these three mean serious business. The face cream deep cleanses, removes blackheads, pimples and blemishes, conceals wrinkles and stretch marks and creates healthy-looking skin, the hand cream is moisturising, antiseptic and protective while Creme Gordo offers extreme moisturisation. All this, and there's not a whiff of Savlon to be had.
Maybe it's the twinkly lights outside, the dipping temperatures or the promise of shiny new things, but we're suddenly feeling more drawn than ever to Bark's beautiful jewellery. Snowflakes and shooting stars hanging on thread-delicate silver and gold chains with earrings to match. Jewellery doesn't get any more of the moment than this.
It was during the gold rush years of the late 1800s that C. C. Filson found his calling. And it wasn't digging and sieving. Setting up shop in Seattle, his was the job of kitting out the fortune hunters on route to the bitter Yukon, pioneering designs 'you can depend absolutely upon...both as to material and workmanship'. Today, Filson continue to kit out adventure seekers to the highest standard, even here in Winchester where we can't do without their excellent luggage. Crafted from the heaviest cotton canvas and genuine bridle leather, their medium duffle bag, wash bag and computer brief case are built to survive seriously adverse conditions, from packed commuter trains to the roughest and toughest budget airline queue.
We love winter for many things and candlelight comes a close second to Christmas. This season we're filling the hours of darkness with our latest flame - The Spitalfields Candle Company - a venture that started just a few Christmases ago over an old slow cooker. Friends Andrew and Philippa made some orange & clove candles as gifts and they were met with such praise that the pair took a pitch at Spitalfields Market. Fast forward two years and they've pitched up in our bath & beauty department smelling particularly fine, made from sustainably sourced 100% natural soy and aromatherapy grade essential oils.
We love a bit of winter whimsy so the new holiday creation from Paul & Joe Beaute has totally won our affections. Bambi and nibbling squirrel set the scene for glittering eyes (like fresh fallen snow, no less) and shiny (icy cold) mint lips; winter wonderland in a make up bag.