The Penhaligon's Times Mon, 23 Apr 2018 00:00:00 GMT en hourly 1 Shakespeare and the Rose Theatre Sun, 08 Apr 2018 00:00:00 GMT Guest - Emma <br/><img alt="" src="/images/blogs/blog_large_587.jpg"<br/><br/><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><span style="font-size: 16px;">Imagine walking down the steps to the old river Thames; it is dark, muddy and busy. The watermen are yelling &lsquo;oars oars&rsquo;, vying for trade to take people across. As you step into the boat to be rowed from the City to another side of London; you are leaving all that is lawful and safe (relatively) and you are entering a rather less salubrious part of town. As you step out of the boat on the Surrey side of the Thames, you have arrived at Bankside. You would have been surrounded by drunk men and a few women out to have fun in the bull and bear baiting pits, bath houses, brothels and theatres. Welcome to the Elizabethan pleasure zone!<br /> &nbsp;<br /> We can mostly attribute our knowledge of Elizabethan theatre to Shakespeare. His prolific writing filled the theatres with eager punters hoping to enjoy his next history, comedy or better yet, tragedy. The Globe is probably the most famous of the London theatres, however, there were many others before the Globe was built. Just outside the city limits to the north of the city was the Curtain theatre and The Theatre, there was another theatre just west of St Paul&rsquo;s cathedral at Blackfriars. The first playhouse to be built among Bankside&rsquo;s brothels and bear baiting pits was The Rose. It took great foresight to build a theatre in such a risky area and although theatres had a bad reputation, Bankside&rsquo;s was worse! The risk paid off as others followed making it the go-to place for entertainment.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> The Rose was a purpose-built theatre which opened in 1587 in a liberty outside the jurisdiction of the City of London. It was built in the now familiar 14 sided polygon shape and became the first of many playhouses to be built in this frolicking part of town. It even had its own rose garden and allegedly its own brothel! <u><a href="">Christopher Marlowe</a></u> became the theatre&#39;s main playwright but it was also the first to stage a production of any of Shakespeare&#39;s plays.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> The theatre was a success but outbreaks of bubonic plague meant that theatres had to close for long periods from mid 1592 to 1594. By the summer of 1594 the plague had abated and the plays resumed. Life was nearly back to normal although plague took large numbers of Londoners including many players.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> The Lord Admiral&rsquo;s Men, led by Edward Alleyn, resumed its position as the players for the theatre and performed successfully for 7 years. They were a busy bunch, perfoming 300 times incorporating 36 plays of which 20 were written especially for them. The theatre was so successful that it was enlarged making room for another suggested 500 theatre-goers. The renovation gave the theatre an ugly &lsquo;bulge&rsquo; but it proved profitable. Its success encouraged other playhouses and companies to set up in Bankside.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> The Rose hit a thorny patch when a rival group, The Lord Chamberlain&rsquo;s built the <u><a href="">Globe Theatre</a></u> in the same area in 1599. By January 1600, the number of theatres had reached such a limit that there were complaints from city officials. The Privy Council took action and decreed that only two theatres should be allowed to stage plays: The Globe and The Fortune Theatre just north of the City. All other theatres futures were in jeopardy and although the Rose struggled on, its lease ended in 1605 and In January the following year, it was demolished.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Although there isn&rsquo;t anything left to see of the original Rose theatre, it has left its mark. Look out for the modern Rose theatre that is in its place and the street names that hint at its past. The theatre may be gone but it shouldn&rsquo;t be forgotten that it also helped create the modern theatre with its innovative two level staging, particularly useful for the balcony scene in Romeo &amp; Juliet. If you are in the area look out for the blue plaque at 56 Park Street and imagine you are jostling with the hundreds of revelers eager to preview one of the many plays that we now take for granted.&nbsp;</span></span><br /> <br /> <br type="_moz" /> 0 Shakespeare and His Sayings Thurs, 05 Apr 2018 00:00:00 GMT Guest - Emma <br/><img alt="" src="/images/blogs/blog_large_586.jpg"<br/><br/><br /> <span style="font-size:16px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;">Aaaah, Shakespeare. A man who gave us star-cross&rsquo;d lovers, a crazy Scottish queen and an ass called Bottom. But Shakespeare gave us far more than brilliant characters and ingenious plots. The English language also owes an awful lot to dear old William. Many claim that he created over 1,500 of our most common words, although this is disputed by scholars &ndash; the bard, with his knack for brilliant colloquial dialogue, may well have simply been the first to write down what people were already saying in the streets of 16<sup>th</sup> century England. However, what we can be more sure of, is that he was responsible for a whole set of poetic, descriptive phrases that have remained in the language to this very day. Yes, you don&rsquo;t need to go around screaming &ldquo;Out damn&rsquo;d spot&rdquo; at your hands or yelling Italian names from balconies to be all Shakespearean, you know. Here are just a few of William&rsquo;s phrases you&rsquo;ve probably used before.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <em>Lily-livered</em><br /> &nbsp;<br /> The phrase lily-livered played on the medieval belief that the liver was the route of love and courage. Anyone with a liver the colour of a lily would be a coward, as it would not be full of crimson-coloured blood, ready to fuel their passion and bravery. First seen in 1605 when Macbeth tells a servant not to make a fuss over a few soldiers, it&rsquo;s kept its original meaning right up to the modern day. And this isn&rsquo;t even his best insult &ndash; if only we&rsquo;d kept &ldquo;you bull&rsquo;s-pizzle&rdquo; from Henry IV or &ldquo;Thou art a plague sore&rdquo; from King Lear. And did you know that Shakespeare also seems to have invented all &ldquo;Yo mama&rdquo; / &ldquo;Your mum&rdquo; jokes? Just have a read of this quote from Titus Andronicus: &ldquo;Villain, I have done thy mother.&rdquo;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <em>Wild goose chase</em><br /> &nbsp;<br /> What do you picture in your head when you think of a wild goose chase? An unplanned, disorganized and unattainable search for something? Me too. But this is probably not what Shakespeare was picturing. In the late 16<sup>th</sup> century, a wild goose chase was in fact a horse race in which horses followed one leader, all staying at a set distance, much like wild geese flying in formation.&nbsp;The metaphor of something being a fairly pointless activity was coined by Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet and has remained the same to this day. But who knew it was based on a real equine event?<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <em>What the dickens</em><br /> &nbsp;<br /> I know what you&rsquo;re thinking. What the dickens am I talking about? Dickens was way after Shakespeare. Yes, but this phrase has nothing to do with a certain Victorian novelist at all. In fact, it can be found in The Merry Wives of Windsor, written in the 1590s. An old word for the devil was &ldquo;devilkins&rdquo; and it seems that &ldquo;dickens&rdquo; is a contracted form of &ldquo;devilkins&rdquo;. So, when you use it, you&rsquo;re not saying &ldquo;What the Charles&rdquo;, you&rsquo;re saying &ldquo;What the devil&rdquo;. Sorry about that one Charles!<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Of course, there are many, many more besides these, but, alas&hellip; I wouldn&rsquo;t want to give you <em>too much of a good thing</em> by talking <em>all the live long day</em>, in case it <em>set your teeth on edge</em>, so <em>&lsquo;tis high time</em> I ended this article here. <em>It&rsquo;s all Greek to me</em> anyway.</span></span><br /> <br /> 0 Shakespeare and The Blackfrairs Theatre Tues, 03 Apr 2018 00:00:00 GMT Guest - Emma <br/><img alt="" src="/images/blogs/blog_large_588.jpg"<br/><br/><br /> <span style="font-size: 16px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;">Imagine the time. The decades following a tumultuous overhaul from Catholicism to a new religion, seemingly built on the whim of an overindulgent king. Henry VIII&rsquo;s dissolution of the monasteries was one of the greatest acts of violence seen in England but as the dust settled and a new way of life established itself, what should be done with the land once owned by the monks? In 1596, just outside the City limits in Blackfriars, James Burbage, an early theatre impresario, purchased the remains of an Old Dominican Monastery. Here, he put the once scene of religious persecution to good use, by building a theatre in the old refectory where monks had eaten for many years.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> For a time in which plays were usually staged in the open-air courtyards of galleried inns, the large indoor Blackfriars Theatre, created out of a cavernous dining hall with great ceilings, was rather unusual. And it wasn&rsquo;t an easy project to get off the ground. Aside from the location inside an old refectory being a strange one, they also met with resistance from local residents, many of whom considered the theatre lower class and evil. For many years, plays were put on in secret, lit by a few candles in the middle of the night, or only featured child actors, from a theatre group called The Children of the Chapel, which seemed to gather less protest from the locals.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> We should count ourselves lucky that those behind the Blackfriars Theatre were so persistent. It became a dramatic powerhouse, creating innovative theatre productions that pushed boundaries and broke down taboos. As well as state-of-the-art staging and some of the best musicians in town, it was well-known for housing plays that gave frank social satire and featured candid sexual scenes (a medieval 50 Shades perchance?). Eventually, due to its location in a wealthy area, it began to attract a more middle-class crowd, who wouldn&rsquo;t be seen in the theatres of Bankside or Shoreditch. Even Charles I&rsquo;s wife, Queen Henrietta Maria visited. The Blackfriars Theatre became quite the trendy place to be seen &ndash; seats in the galleries were pricey, but the most expensive seats were on the stage itself, so everyone could see you and know that you&rsquo;d attended. A medieval Instagram.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> James Burbage&rsquo;s son, Cuthbert, was a member of a rather well-known theatre company &ndash; the King&rsquo;s Men. By the early 17<sup>th</sup> century, Shakespeare himself owned shares in the theatre, had bought the theatre&rsquo;s gatehouse outright, and was regularly putting on plays there. Although less famous today, it was the winter venue for the productions he housed across the river at his summertime outdoor theatre, The Globe. The Blackfriars Theatre was the Shakespeare Company&rsquo;s only indoor venue.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> During the English Civil War, the theatre closed, and was demolished on 6<sup>th</sup> August 1655, but we have one man to thank for the closest we&rsquo;ll get to a reconstruction. Sam Wanamaker, the American actor responsible for the reconstruction of The Globe on Southbank, also wanted to make a simulacrum of the Blackfriars Theatre, just next door to The Globe. Although that was the initial intention, due to the lack of knowledge of what the original Blackfriars looked like and a concern that an authentic redesign would not be possible, those plans were abandoned. However, the indoor theatre shell had already been built on Southbank and in 2014, The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse opened its doors to an indoor theatre boasting a proud musicians&rsquo; gallery, ornate high ceilings, two galleries and candle lighting. A true replica it isn&rsquo;t, but it is inspired by the original and is a truly atmospheric place to watch Shakespeare plays and more. A fitting tribute, not only to Wanamaker, but to Shakespeare, the Burbages and even to the monks who once ate in the original monastery in Blackfriars.</span></span><br /> <br /> <br type="_moz" /> 0 Elisabethan London Fri, 16 Mar 2018 00:00:00 GMT Guest - Emma I often wonder what Henry VIII would have thought if he had watched his daughter, Elizabeth grow up and become queen. I often wonder what Henry VIII would have thought if he had watched his daughter, Elizabeth grow up and become queen.<br/><br/><img alt="" src="/images/blogs/blog_large_583.jpg"<br/><br/><br /> <span style="font-size:16px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;">I often wonder what Henry VIII would have thought if he had watched his daughter, Elizabeth grow up and become queen. I have a feeling that he would have been proud and maybe he would have reflected on all the angst, battles, head rolling and political and social upset; all this in order to have a son for his heir. It exhausts me just to think of Elizabeth&rsquo;s path to becoming queen. Maybe it was this struggle that made her one of the most famous and revered monarchs ever to have sat on the &nbsp;throne of England.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> We know a lot about the lady herself; there were many authorized portraits in order to get people to focus on her, to be delighted by her fashion, jewels and beauty. She also made sure she travelled up and down the Thames on her personal barge on both state and unofficial business. Glimpses of her and her enormous entourage were made all the more exotic as her highly decorated barge was covered in garlands of flowers. People would talk about the spectacle as they went about their work. <u><a href="">Elizabeth I</a></u> was not a retiring wallflower!<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Courtiers, explorers, foreign dignitaries and playwrights seemed hell bent on impressing her, keeping her in favour and maybe hoping for her hand in marriage. We know less about London at this time. We don&rsquo;t have the great diarists, Pepys, Evelyn and even Samuel Johnson to inform us of everyday life but we do have John Stowe who filled in some details with his 1598 Survey of London. We can also rely on the words of overseas visitors, many of whom came to learn more about English Protestantism and we also get a wonderful perspective of London from the various playwrights and writers of the time.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> So what was London like at this time? The population of the two cities that made up London &nbsp;(The City of London and the City of Westminster) grew from an estimated 120,000 to a shocking 200,000 by the end of Elizabeth&rsquo;s reign. How could they cope?! Courtiers with London houses as their second homes were encouraged to stay at their country piles but although many wanted to stop its growth, this was a boom time for building in London. Land that was owned by the church had been taken by the crown and redistributed to its supporters. Monasteries were raised to the ground and grand homes, municipal buildings, livery halls and Anglican churches sprung up in their place. There are still hints of old monasteries in the street names of London &ndash; Austin Friars (which sounds rather like a medieval secret agent!), Carmelite Street, Whitefriars Street and Carthusian Street, which is a corruption of the Chartreuse Order of Monks, to name but a few. There is even the remains of an old Carmelite inn underneath the wonderfully atmospheric Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese pub on Fleet Street.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Housing was relatively cheap and really quite beautiful. There isn&rsquo;t much left of the wonderful black and white or half-timbered buildings that we have come to know and love. They were easy to put up and easy to move &ndash; a form of Tudor prefab! Sadly, they were not flameproof and would burn easily. Londoners were terrified of fire for good reason, and although we talk of the Great Fire of 1666, there were other fires that caused more deaths but without affecting so many of the buildings. To cope with the sheer amount of open fires in homes and businesses, we instilled a curfew &ndash; not the requirement to be indoors, as we know today - this was an Anglicisation of the French <em>couvre feu</em> meaning &lsquo;cover your fire&rsquo;. Every night at 8pm, fires had to be covered or deadened in order to prevent devastating blazes.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> An image of London might be easy to conjure up if you enjoy films about Shakespeare or Elizabeth I but what about the atmosphere and the day-to-day mood? The general lot of the working poor had not changed much but although there were a few improvements, nothing could prepare them for the outbreaks of disease, especially smallpox and plague at this time. 1563 was a particularly bad year when 25% of London&rsquo;s population died of plague.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> The life of the growing merchant class would have been improved by better sanitation, food, medicine and space. They would have experienced the sense of a world opening up to them as new and exciting riches seemed to be pouring out of both the East and West Indies. Aside from the gems and jewels, it is hard to imagine the excitement caused by precious cargoes of cloves, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon and ginger. The demand for these new spices was enormous. They were expensive and everyone wanted to taste and savour them. Noble households even brought in foreign cooks and chefs to prepare new foods as local ones lacked the knowledge and talent. There was no denying that you were what you ate and serving the right food in Elizabethan society ensured the family was considered fashionable and wealthy.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Explorers came back not just with promises of new lands and laden with fancy goods but also with tales of countries far away, some of which would, one day, become part of the British Empire and whose foods and spices would become household favourites. The playwrights and the theatre used these tales and created plays about the Orient and exotic sounding places such as Bohemia, although someone should have told Shakespeare, when he mentions its rugged coastline in A Winter&rsquo;s Tale, that this part of latter day Czech Republic is very much landlocked! We even used the name Alsatia to describe an anomalous territory between the City and Temple. Although it may have sounded exotic, this little piece of London was pretty wild and ungoverned and made an interesting journey between the two affluent areas.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Playhouses and theatres flourished in the Elizabethan age and if you found this all a bit too public, you could sit at home and read the many books that were being produced at this time and imagine you are with your beloved queen in a country far, far away. I wonder what Henry VIII would have made of that!&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></span><br /> <br /> <u><a href=""><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;">Discover Elisabeth and her fragrance</span></span></a></u><br /> <br /> 0 Penhaligon's Approved - Mother's Day Outings Fri, 09 Mar 2018 00:00:00 GMT Marketing Team If you’re thinking of stepping out with mum for a memorable Mother’s day outing this Sunday we’ve found some ‘Penhaligon’s approved’ trips and treats that are sure to put a lasting smile on her face. If you’re thinking of stepping out with mum for a memorable Mother’s day outing this Sunday we’ve found some ‘Penhaligon’s approved’ trips and treats that are sure to put a lasting smile on her face.<br/><br/><img alt="" src="/images/blogs/blog_large_581.jpg"<br/><br/><br /> <span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><span style="font-size:16px;">Spring is finally here and it&rsquo;s time to celebrate the age-old British custom of Mothering Sunday!<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Traditionally, it was the day when domestic servants (at that time mainly daughters) were given one day off to visit their mother and family. Today it is the day we give thanks to our mums and their unconditional and maternal love with gifts, flowers and simple togetherness.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> If you&rsquo;re thinking of stepping out with mum for a memorable Mother&rsquo;s day outing this Sunday we&rsquo;ve found some &lsquo;Penhaligon&rsquo;s approved&rsquo; trips and treats that are sure to put a lasting smile on her face.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <strong>Osterley Park and House Middlesex</strong><br /> &nbsp;<br /> Nothing welcomes us into spring more than the humble and happy yellow daffodil. Start the day with a refreshing walk amongst a carpet of sunshine at the National Trusts Osterley Park and House. What&rsquo;s more all mothers go free to enjoy the formal gardens, or take in the beauty of Robert Adam&#39;s designs in the house. For &lsquo;elevensies&rsquo; visit to the Brewhouse Cafe and Stables Walled Garden, where you can sample some wines, jams and curds from the National Trust range.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <u><a href="">Find out more.</a></u><br /> &nbsp;<br /> <strong>Florimania at Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey</strong><br /> &nbsp;<br /> Take the tradition of flower gifting one step further with a trip to Florimania at Hampton Court Palace. The annual exhibition this year takes on the theme of exploring Flowers From Around the World. Discover the continents via the flowers of England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Spain, India, Canada, Holland and many more. There will also be several flower arranging spectacles throughout the day; a perfect inspiration for home floral displays.<br /> <br /> <u><a href="">Find out more.</a></u><br /> &nbsp;<br /> <strong>The Glade at Sketch, W1</strong><br /> &nbsp;<br /> The hip 18th-century townhouse tea-room that transforms into a cocktail lounge every evening has a spectacular space for a brunch to remember. Named The Glade, its has woodland wall-coverings teamed with opulent jewel coloured upholstery and mirrored tabletops which creates a magical ambience to enjoy the delicious delights offered on the menu. There is also the perfectly pink Parlour, glamour puss mothers might like to try.<br /> <br /> <u><a href="">Find out more.</a></u><br /> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <strong>The Charlotte Street Hotel Film Club, Fitzrovia</strong><br /> &nbsp;<br /> One of Bloomsbury and Fitzrovia&rsquo;s well-kept secrets is the intimate state of the art screening room and film club at The Charlotte Street Hotel. Why not surprise your film fanatic mum with something different. Combine lunch, Afternoon Tea or dinner with a special screening of the all-singing-and-dancing Greatest Showman at 2 pm or the award-winning Darkest Hour at 7 pm.<br /> <br /> <u><a href="">Find out more.</a></u><br /> &nbsp;<br /> <strong>The Biscuiteers Icing Caf&eacute;, Notting Hill and Clapham</strong><br /> &nbsp;<br /> Looking for Afternoon Tea that&rsquo;s a bit different? The famous and quintessentially British Biscuiteers have two colourful Icing Cafes in London. They have reinvented their Afternoon Tea for Mother&rsquo;s day focusing on floral flavours alongside their famous iced biscuits. What&rsquo;s more, you can upgrade the experience to include a DIY biscuit icing session free for you and your mother if you book before the 11th.&nbsp; Be sure to document your visit as it&rsquo;s been recently named as one of London&rsquo;s most instagramable places by Vogue!<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <a href="">Find out more.</a><br /> &nbsp;<br /> <strong>Votes for Women Exhibition at The Museum of London, EC2</strong><br /> &nbsp;<br /> Culture vulture mothers will appreciate a London exhibition and what better way to celebrate an important part of womanhood than viewing the incredible Suffragette; the struggle for female suffrage? 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the 1918 Representation of the People Act.&nbsp; The law that gave the first women the right to vote in the UK. The exhibition features stirring photographs, memorabilia and real-life stories of this gallant and historical moment in time.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <a href="">Find out more.</a><br /> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <strong>The Distillery, Notting Hill</strong><br /> &nbsp;<br /> They said it was a mother&rsquo;s ruin. Thank goodness that is no longer the case as The Distillery in Nottinghill is a fashionable gin-drinkers paradise. Not only is it a seriously swankily dressed restaurant and a bar, it&rsquo;s also is a working distillery with its own &lsquo;Ginstitute&rsquo;, where guests can learn how to make gin, a gin museum that takes people through a 300-year history of the spirit and it even has hotel rooms overlooking Portobello Road in case you have one too many of the dozens of gins on offer from the menu.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <a href="">Find out more.</a><br /> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <strong>Cahoots, Soho</strong><br /> &nbsp;<br /> Take your mum back in time for a vintage Mother&rsquo;s Day day or night out. Based in Carnaby Street, Cahoots cocktail bar will transport guests back to the 1940s, in a bid to bring the British Blitz benevolence back to life.&nbsp; An old abandoned air raid shelter from World War Two has been designed to resemble a vintage Underground station. After entering through the authentic wooden escalator style entrance you can &#39;Keep Calm and Carry On&#39; in the atmospheric post-war d&eacute;cor. Indulge in Dig for Victory-style cocktails, drinks served in Thermos flasks and milk bottles. And for Mother&rsquo;s day, there will be cocktails served in cuppas (china cups and saucers) and a selection of post-war sweet treats - all while you enjoy live swinging entertainment on the platform.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <u><a href="">Find out more.</a></u></span></span><br /> <br /> 0 Penhaligon's Approved - Romantic Spots Weds, 14 Feb 2018 00:00:00 GMT Marketing Team <br/><img alt="" src="/images/blogs/blog_large_580.jpg"<br/><br/><br /> <span style="font-size:16px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;">We have said goodbye to January and look forward into the not too distant spring, it&rsquo;s time to love and be loved as that all-important date for the romantics, Valentines Day, is upon us. And, if you&rsquo;re hoping to take your partner by the hand on a dazzling date this February 14th we&rsquo;ve found some perfect &lsquo;Penhaligon&rsquo;s approved&rsquo; iconic spots in London that are ideal for a romantic rendezvous.<br /> <br /> <strong>The Savoy</strong><br /> The Birthplace of luxury hotels in London, The Savoy Hotel will be a 5-star experience for you both. Standing proudly on the Strand since 1889 here you can enjoy a specular Valentine&#39;s Day six-course dining experience at the legendary Savoy Grill. Be sure to arrive by taxi to be taken in through the Savoy Court entrance for the full thrill. Stay the night in one of the hotels lavishly decorated rooms or suites to complete the package.<br /> <br /> <strong>Kew Gardens</strong><br /> Have you ever heard of a warm winters stroll in London? Believe it or not, there is such a place. Head west to Kew Gardens and you&rsquo;ll find the tropical paradise of the Princess of Wales Conservatory. At present, it is also the scene of Kew&#39;s annual Orchids Festival, celebrating, Thailand&rsquo;s vibrant colours, culture, and magnificent plant life. Treat yourself and your loved one to a fragrant and exotic afternoon tea whilst you are there.<br /> <br /> <strong>The Royal Observatory </strong><br /> Perched on a hill within Greenwich Park and overlooking the Thames stands an impressive stone building commissioned by King Charles II. Here, prepare to become starry-eyed and memorised with your love. Take a stroll in the vast park, visit the museum, and stand on the Prime Meridian of the world. A romantically themed planetarium show is scheduled for Valentines evening. Not many can say they took their date to the moon and back.<br /> <br /> <strong>The Victoria &amp; Albert Museum </strong><br /> Pay homage to London&rsquo;s very own royal love story and visit the V&amp;A, a leading museum in design and art. The building is a marvel and the museum holds 2.3 million permanent objects that span over 5000 years of human creativity. After all that exploring, there are plenty of places for refreshment, including the world&#39;s oldest museum restaurant with its beautiful and romantic period rooms. Perfectly positioned in London&rsquo;s West End you are a hop-and-a-skip away from whatever takes your fancy in the lively landmarks of Piccadilly and beyond.</span></span><br /> <br /> 0 The Celebration of Love Mon, 12 Feb 2018 00:00:00 GMT Marketing Team <br/><img alt="" src="/images/blogs/blog_large_579.jpg"<br/><br/><p> <br /> <span style="font-family: georgia, serif; font-size: 16px;">The celebration of love, St. Valentine&rsquo;s Day is once again upon us. Whether you are in a deep-rooted and loving relationship wrapped up in the wonderful world of courtship or are enjoying being flirtatious and free, February 14th marks a day to honour our loved ones with our signs of affection.</span></p> <p> <span style="font-size:16px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;">Let&rsquo;s take inspiration from the divine <u><a href="">Penhaligon&#39;s Portraits Family</a></u> and their Victorian era of Romanticism. Love and courtship was a highly regarded event in society and the Lords and Ladies will be busily pampering and powdering themselves for this prestigious date on the social calendar, even if it is just for appearance&#39;s sake on all accounts. And, of course, keeping company with the opposite sex is laid down with stringent rules to be followed or perhaps in their case broken. Which of our protagonists Valentine&#39;s preparations will you adhere to?</span></span><br /> &nbsp;</p> <p> <span style="font-size:16px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>Preparation for her</strong></span></span></p> <p> <span style="font-size:16px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;">Experts in the affairs of the heart, our Portraits of high society are well aware certain requirements are essential in achieving a standard of allure and appeal. And being such a hedonistic bunch what a perfect excuse to indulge themselves in a little extra decadence, don&rsquo;t you think? </span></span></p> <p> <span style="font-size:16px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><u><a href=""><strong>Lady Blanche</strong></a></u><br /> <br /> A high expectation must be met for one of the most idolised ladies of society. However, being part of a more mature marriage, Valentines Day for Lady Blanche by now is simply an ambiguous gesture to her husband. A classic deep bath with a few drops of bath oil followed by her signature scent is the perfect combination of elegance and charm for their understated affair. Spending the evening in one another&rsquo;s company in the same room at the Portraits mansion is sentiment enough. Whether or not it&rsquo;s her enticing <u><a href="">Powder Room</a></u> with scents of rice powder, make-up and eau de rose depends entirely on her mood (or scheme) as lest we not forget her true feelings for her husband are hidden well under that sharp and thorny poise.</span></span></p> <p> <span style="font-size:16px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><u><a href=""><strong>Duchess Rose</strong></a></u><br /> <br /> Valentines Day for Duchess Rose still has the essence of romance at its core. She delights in pampering and perfecting her beauty for herself as much as her hearts desire. A long-tepid soak in a bath surrounded by <u><a href="">candles</a></u> will leave her skin gentle, soft and refreshed. Make-up must be minimal, snowdrop skin, the lightest dusting of rouge to the cheeks and a touch of sweet vanilla <u><a href="">lip balm</a></u> is most ladylike. Obviously, she&rsquo;ll be dressed to the nines as her intent is to most certainly be the receiver of affections; she is &lsquo;a fresh sweet rose ready for the picking&rsquo;.&nbsp;</span></span><br /> &nbsp;</p> <p> <span style="font-size:16px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>Preparation for him</strong></span></span></p> <p> <span style="font-size:16px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;">Grooming preparations for the modern Victorian Gentleman follow a certain protocol. A full facial steam allows for the cleanest and closest shave using the finest <u><a href="">Nickel Shaving Set</a></u> and any style of facial hair must be trimmed and <u><a href="">oiled</a></u> to perfection. Finally, adorn a stiff, clean collar and finish with a generous splash of alluring <u><a href="">cologne</a></u>.</span></span></p> <p> <span style="font-size:16px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><u><a href=""><strong>Lord George</strong></a></u><br /> <br /> A man of tradition, Lord George&rsquo;s preparation for his Valentine will stray little from his every-day. As always clean-shaven with his <u><a href="">Nickle Shaving Brush</a></u>, he believes &lsquo;A light splash of scent will ensure you make a fine impression and expect a lady to be intoxicated.&rsquo; But, which lady; his darling of London Society or his provocative temptress? Lord George, you will be busy.</span></span></p> <p> <span style="font-size:16px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><u><a href=""><strong>Duke Nelson</strong></a></u><br /> <br /> This cock-sure and vigorous man will go to the extremes to make an impression. Valentine&#39;s preparation for him is, of course, a flamboyant affair. One would expect to see him hot footing to London&rsquo;s Jermyn Street for the full works; Hamman Steam Bath and Turkish Massage followed by fine <u><a href="">grooming</a></u> from Penhaligon&rsquo;s elite barbers. But are the Duke&#39;s endeavours in place to woo his good lady wife for one night or is it for yet another lone trip to the theatre, surely not tonight of all nights&hellip;</span></span></p> 0 Facts & Tips on Courtly Love Mon, 15 Jan 2018 00:00:00 GMT Guest - Emma <br/><img alt="" src="/images/blogs/blog_large_577.jpg"<br/><br/><br /> <div style="text-align: center;"> <span style="font-size:16px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;">FACTS ON COURTLY LOVE</span></span></div> <span style="font-size:16px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;">&nbsp;<br /> <span style="font-size:16px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;">1. Londoners are not typically known as the romantics of the world.<br /> Did you know that St Valentine&rsquo;s Day was the invention of a Londoner, Geoffrey Chaucer in 1343.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> The 14<sup>th</sup> February or Saint Valentine&#39;s Day honours an early Christian martyr. The day first became associated with romantic love in the royal circles in which Geoffrey Chaucer moved during the High Middle Ages. The tradition of courtly love took off and flourished and by the 15th century, it had evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by offering flowers, confectionery and by sending cards.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;&quot;For this was Saint Valentine&#39;s Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate.&quot;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> 2. On 14<sup>th</sup> February 1400, a &lsquo;High Court of Love&rsquo; was established in Paris. The court dealt with love contracts, betrayals, and violence against women.<br /> <br /> 3. In 1797, <em>The Young Man&#39;s Valentine Writer </em>was first published in the UK. It was a book of suggested sentimental verses for those unable to compose their own. It was perfect for young men who maybe became tongue-tied when trying to seduce a fair maid.<br /> <br /> 4. It was the reduction in postal rates in 19<sup>th</sup> century that saw the rise in the number of &lsquo;mechanical valentines&rsquo; being sent anonymously through the post. These were cards that had verses or pieces of prose already printed in the card. They were limited in number and certainly not as personal as previous but it has remained popular even to this day.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> 5. Why do we give red roses to our loved ones?<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Greek mythology links the red anemone to the death of the most handsome of men, Adonis. One day, Adonis was out hunting alone when he wounded a fierce boar. The boar gored him with its tusks. Aphrodite, goddess of love and a rival for his love, heard his cries and arrived to see Adonis bleeding to death. Legend has it that anemones sprang from the earth where the drops of Adonis&#39;s blood fell.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> The English usually give roses instead of anemones for many reasons. The Poppy Anemone is more associated with Remembrance Day and the red rose for lovers.<br /> Maybe it was linked with Edmund Spenser&rsquo;s Faerie Queen (1590)<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <em>She bath&#39;d with roses red, and violets blew</em>,<br /> <em>And all the sweetest flowres, that in the forrest grew</em>.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Maybe not quite so romantic but the modern Valentine&rsquo;s &lsquo;roses are red&rsquo; evolved from an English nursery rhymes &lsquo;<em>Gammer Gurton&#39;s Garland</em>&lsquo; (1784)<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <em>The rose is red, the violet&#39;s blue,</em>&nbsp;<em>The honey&#39;s sweet, and so are you.</em>&nbsp;<br /> <em>Thou art my love and I am thine;</em>&nbsp;<em>I drew thee to my Valentine:</em>&nbsp;<br /> <em>The lot was cast and then I drew,</em>&nbsp;<em>And Fortune said it shou&#39;d be you.</em><br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> 6. Did you know that we have a very romantic love story in our own royal family?<br /> &nbsp;<br /> One of our greatest royal love stories concerns a young and vivacious queen who fell in love with her cousin and lived happily ever after. The End.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> This was Victoria, Queen and Empress who married her cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha in 1840 just three years after she came to the throne. There was no doubt that they were deeply in love. Many saw that their nine children were a sign that they were rather more lusty than society would have deemed appropriate! Sadly, Albert died of typhoid in 1861. Victoria was inconsolable and mourned his death for forty years. She could not come out in public for the first three years and stayed in bed surrounded by his old clothes. Victoria never stopped mourning her beloved husband, wearing black until her death in 1901. Our most romantic of monuments, the Albert Memorial was built in his honour. It was loved by Victoria but seen as sentimental and gauche by Victorian Society.</span></span></span></span><br /> 0 Christmas Survival Guide: Christmas Traditions Thurs, 21 Dec 2017 00:00:00 GMT Guest - Emma My father would not only create and print his own Christmas cards but he also devised an alternative to the Christmas cracker. My father would not only create and print his own Christmas cards but he also devised an alternative to the Christmas cracker.<br/><br/><img alt="" src="/images/blogs/blog_large_571.jpg"<br/><br/><br /> <span style="font-size: 16px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;">I remember one Christmas when I was a young adult, I was still going home to my parents every year, still enjoying my Christmas stocking placed at the end of my bed and looking forward to our own special kind of celebration. We would spend time pulling out the wondrous items that filled the hand-knitted but very accommodating Christmas stockings and would then venture down to breakfast for our first gift of the day. As I past the sitting room door, I could hear something &ndash; the decided rustling of paper and the giggling of small children. When I opened the door, I was met with my pre-teen cousins who had found all their gifts under the tree and had opened them all. Their mother sat nearby with a coffee in one hand and a proud smile on her face. I was shocked. The first thought was what do they do next? How do they cope for the entire day with no more presents and also how do they remember who gave them? Short answer is they watched TV and didn&rsquo;t care who gave them what. They just walked around the breakfast table administering kisses thanking us all for our generosity.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Have you ever spent Christmas where your traditions were questioned or where you have experienced other people&rsquo;s Christmas rituals? Were you horrified or delighted? Are you stuck in your ways or can you be pleasantly surprised by what you see and maybe secretly adopt these into your own set of Christmas peculiarities?<br /> &nbsp;<br /> I have asked many people about strange, unusual or downright adorable traditions that they enjoy over Yule-tide. I have included a few here.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> A lovely and talented photographer friend of mine, Sebastiano, used to spend Christmas Eve with his grandmother back in Italy. She stuck a number on every gift lying under the tree. Just after midnight, she would take a bag with numbers written on pieces of paper and conducted a form tombola.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> A few years ago, I became obsessed with my neighbour Sam&rsquo;s nativity scene. She had a full cast of angels, shepherds, a little baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph and many animals. At first, I couldn&rsquo;t find the three wise men and asked her why she didn&rsquo;t have these vital pieces. She pointed to her skirting board and there in miniature were the three kings arriving from the East. She moved them every day in a Westerly direction until they arrived at the stable on Christmas Day. Each time I visit her in December, I look out for the three wise men and where they are on their journey.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> It is very useful to have an artistic parent as this made Christmas just a little bit more special. My father would not only create and print his own Christmas cards but he also devised an alternative to the Christmas cracker. In the 1980&rsquo;s, crackers just seemed full of nonsense, so he designed and created a Christmas house made out of an old box and placed a retractable (OK, removable!) roof with a chimney and a Father Christmas hanging off it. This would be placed in the middle of the dining room table. Its shiny windows, brick-look tissue paper and fake snow hid its contents. Inside, there was a wrapped gift for everyone around the table. The gift was attached to a ribbon which draped out of the house and over to your place setting. We all loved this house and especially its clever gifts. We no longer keep this tradition but the box with its tissue paper clad walls and cellophane windows is still used to store Christmas decorations. Maybe if it had a small makeover, it could adorn our table again. I think I need to find someone artistic to handle the refurbishment!<br /> &nbsp;<br /> An American friend, Kellie and her family used to put me to shame with the amount of travelling, sightseeing and fabulous adventuring they seemed to enjoy while they were here. I really liked the way they created their very own tradition for their first Christmas in London. There is no public transport on Christmas Day and because they didn&rsquo;t have a car, they would pick up Santander bikes and cycle the empty streets. They would dress up and take pictures of themselves alone in Trafalgar Square, Regent Street and even Oxford Street before peddling home to their American style family Christmas. I think this should be adopted anyone enjoying Christmas in the big smoke. You could even catch the swimmers in Hyde Park if you are going that way. Remember to wrap up; just looking at these enthusiasts can make you cold!<br /> &nbsp;</span></span><br /> <br type="_moz" /> 0 Christmas Survival Guide: The Christmas Party Weds, 20 Dec 2017 00:00:00 GMT Guest - Emma <br/><img alt="" src="/images/blogs/blog_large_570.jpg"<br/><br/><br /> <span style="font-size: 16px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;">We&nbsp;love this time of year as it&rsquo;s a chance to get really creative with the parties and soiree. Spending time and effort making sure that everything is in place helps put that all-important festive smile on guests&rsquo; faces.&nbsp;We have plenty of ideas up&nbsp;our sleeve that work just as well for a party at home as they do in a top end venue. Here are a few pointers to make sure your party pops and doesn&rsquo;t poop!<br /> &nbsp;</span></span><br /> <span style="font-size: 16px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;">Firstly, plan the party from the guest list right down to getting cab numbers for guests to stumble into at the end of the night. Next, send out invitations &ndash; you can do this by Paperless Post &ndash; and get them out to people as early as possible as this is a busy time of year. Then, take some time to think about the design, look and feel of your party, as this will set the mood for the evening as soon as your guests arrive. Soft lighting including a few candles will make your home feel warm and welcoming. Many people forget to think about how your home smells however it will be one of the first things people notice. I use <u><a href="">candles</a></u> to create a pleasant and gentle aroma. A good choice would be Penhaligon&rsquo;s &ldquo;<a href="">Christmas Is In The Air</a>&rdquo; which is warm, spicy and downright delicious!</span></span> <span style="font-size: 16px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;">When it comes to drinks, mulled wine or <a href=""><u>eggnog</u></a> are the obvious choices for Christmas. These are great options however if you want your party to stand out from the rest why not serve something a little different? How about a hot-buttered rum, sloe gin martini or a white Christmas mojito? You can have a lot of fun when choosing drinks especially at the testing phase! If you have the budget, think about bringing in specialist mixologists or rope in a very keen and proficient friend to help. Just make sure you have more glasses than you think you will need and get in plenty of ice.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Delicious, easy to eat and beautiful food is a vital part of your Christmas party. Can you create food that can be easily eaten without too much mess and fuss? If you are no Nigella in the kitchen, there are plenty of high street stores that are on hand to help you. Quality, pre-prepared festive platters can be ordered in and if you want to make them look a bit more &lsquo;home made&rsquo; why not mix them in with a few you have prepared yourself. Your guests may never know! Alternatively, if you don&rsquo;t want the hassle of preparing or even buying the food maybe think about using a caterer. Not only will the food be delicious but you won&rsquo;t be stuck in the kitchen while your guests are partying without you. A great catering company will be able to design you a delicious festive menu based on exactly what you like, and what you don&rsquo;t, which will be perfect for your party.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> One thing that divides people is music. The one thing to remember is that this is <em>your</em> party so go ahead and choose what you like &ndash; maybe avoid anything too extreme!<br /> On the night, don&rsquo;t be too busy to greet guests at the door and ensure they have a glass in their hand before introducing them to fellow guests.<br /> <br /> Perhaps one needs a little more inspiration for the drinks menu. Visit our <a href=""><u>Penhaligon&#39;s Cocktail Lounge</u></a> and be&nbsp;sure to let us know if you make any.<br /> <br /> <br /> &nbsp;</span></span><br /> <br /> <br type="_moz" /> 0 Christmas Survival Guide: Gift Wrapping Weds, 29 Nov 2017 00:00:00 GMT Guest - Emma How to wrap the Penhaligon's way. How to wrap the Penhaligon's way.<br/><br/><img alt="" src="/images/blogs/blog_large_574.jpg"<br/><br/><br /> <span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><span style="font-size:16px;">If you have ever admired the beautifully wrapped Christmas packages and parcels at a Penhaligon&rsquo;s store or have been fortunate to have received an exquisite Penhaligon&rsquo;s gift, you may like to learn a few of our gift-wrapping tips. In this piece, Dominic Collingridge, Penhaligon&rsquo;s regional trainer and the man responsible for teaching gift-wrapping techniques, will divulge his secret tricks of the trade.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> How to wrap the Penhaligon&#39;s way<br /> &nbsp;<br /> At Penhaligon&#39;s we take pride in every aspect of the customer&rsquo;s experience from the moment they walk through the door to enjoying the products at home. Here at Penhaligon&rsquo;s, we opt for wrapping products in a clean and timeless manner, using simply paper and ribbon, and importantly, no sellotape! Here is how we do it!<br /> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> 1. To wrap the box: take a sheet of paper larger than the size of the box, if it is attached to a roll, leave it attached until you have figured out the right dimensions.<br /> <br /> 2. Place the box on the paper and using the box as a template, allow the paper to loosely follow the edges of the box until the body of the box is completely covered. The paper covering the top and bottom of the box can be ignored for the moment.&nbsp;</span></span><br /> <br /> <div style="text-align: center;"> <span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><img src="/images/blogs/Penhaligon's_Wrapping_S2.jpg" style="width: 227px; height: 340px;" /><img src="/images/blogs/Penhaligon's_Wrapping_S3.jpg" style="width: 227px; height: 340px; margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px;" /></span></span></div> <br /> <span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><span style="font-size:16px;">3. Pull the paper back a little and re-align, so that the paper meets itself around the box with no excess, literally just touching.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> 4. Measure between 1-2cm from the side of the box where the paper meets and make a mark.&nbsp;Cut a clean line where you have made the mark. You now have a free piece of paper the right width to work with.<br /> <br /> 5. Place the product back onto the paper with the front of the box facing away from you, readjust the paper so the edges of the paper meet directly down the middle of the back of the box.<br /> <br /> 6. Pull the paper tightly around the edges of the box to make crease marks to ensure everything returns to the right place.</span></span> <div style="text-align: center;"> <br /> <span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><img alt="" src="/images/blogs/Penhaligon's_Wrapping_S6.jpg" style="width: 70%;" /></span></span><br /> &nbsp;</div> <span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><span style="font-size:16px;">7. Fold the paper at the top and bottom of the box into points, at the front and back of the box. Fold your points towards each other so they meet in the middle. (Cut away any excess paper covering the top and bottom of the box. The trick here is to not have too much paper, the more paper you have, the clumsier it will look.)<br /> <br /> 8. Now the paper will all come together. Stand the box upright so it is sitting on its bottom points.<br /> <br /> 9. Now onto the ribbon! From a reel of ribbon, pull enough out so that the middle of the ribbon meets the folds at the top of the box and spills over the sides of the box on to the table. Pull the two ends of the ribbon underneath the box, crossing each other. &nbsp;Bring the two sides of ribbon back up so the follow the centre of the final two sides. Pull together to tighten. Cut the ribbon so there is excess on both ends. Tie a knot where the two pieces of ribbon meet, at the top of the box.</span></span> <div style="text-align: center;"> <br /> <span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><img src="/images/blogs/Penhaligon's_Wrapping_S9.jpg" style="width: 227px; height: 340px;" /><img src="/images/blogs/Penhaligon's_Wrapping_S11.jpg" style="width: 227px; height: 340px; margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px;" /></span></span></div> <br /> <span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><span style="font-size:16px;">10. The entire box should be together now, the paper should be smooth and tight and the ribbon should be clean and tight around it on all sides.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> 11. The excess ribbon will now form the coachman&#39;s knot. A coachman&#39;s knot is a knot at the end of a length of ribbon which can be used as a handle. This is the way all packages would have been put together in the 19<sup>th</sup> and early 20<sup>th</sup> centuries. They would have then been carried by the coachman of well heeled clients.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> 12. Cut the ribbon at an angle, and hey presto the gift is wrapped.<br /> <br /> 13. Next, find a bag which is appropriately sized for the gift. Place the product inside, take some tissue paper, and matching the scent of the gift inside the bag spray the paper, stuff in the top of the bag, and there we are a gift fit for a Penhaligon&#39;s customer.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</span></span> 0 Christmas in London Sun, 26 Nov 2017 00:00:00 GMT Guest - Emma When I think of London at Christmas, I imagine everyone heading off to visit their family or jet off on holidays abroad leaving London pretty quiet When I think of London at Christmas, I imagine everyone heading off to visit their family or jet off on holidays abroad leaving London pretty quiet<br/><br/><img alt="" src="/images/blogs/blog_large_569.jpg"<br/><br/><br /> <span style="font-size:16px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;">When I think of London at Christmas, I imagine everyone heading off to visit their family or jet off on holidays abroad leaving London pretty quiet apart from a few die-hard townies who enjoy the capital all to themselves. However, did you know that these &lsquo;remainers&rsquo; can enjoy some fun and rather peculiar traditions over the festive period? See what you are missing as you enjoy your Christmas away from the madding crowds. I have included some of my favourites and I am sure there are many more to be discovered and enjoyed.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Firstly, for those of us who have forgotten to order their turkey in August, there is hope. Head off to the north-west corner of Smithfield meat market for the annual Christmas Eve meat auction hosted by Harts the Butcher. It&rsquo;s been going on for over 500 years and you can understand why as you can pick up the best cuts of meat for a fraction of the price. This is not for the fainthearted as you jostle with the throngs of carnivores to try and vie for meat. Get there early on 24<sup>th</sup> December and be in place well before the 11am start. Bring cash of the folding variety and ensure you have space in your bellies or freezer for what you are about to receive! Watch your heads as the bidding starts and small joints of beef and pork are lobbed into the crowd. Don&rsquo;t be surprised to see a turkey flying above your heads and even pigs can fly here as suckling pigs are flung with deftness and accuracy that makes you wonder whether this could become an Olympic sport. It&rsquo;s 90 minutes long and is boisterous and loud and full of rather pagan enthusiasm. I wouldn&rsquo;t miss it for the world!<br /> &nbsp;<br /> If you enjoy a carol concert, sightseeing and love a late night, then Midnight Mass is for you. Choose from St Margaret&rsquo;s, Parliament Square, St Martin&rsquo;s-in-the-Fields, St Paul&rsquo;s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey or Westminster Cathedral (Roman Catholic) and you can get special access to these amazing spaces. Welcome in Christmas Day and enjoy a tradition that has gone on for hundreds of years. Each service will start around 11pm but check before you leave. It also means that you can have a lovely lie-in on the big day itself unless you have 10 pieces of meat to cook from the above auction!<br /> &nbsp;<br /> There used to be many sporting fixtures on Christmas Day. Now there are no football matches to attend, you could take yourself off to the annual Peter Pan Cup. This event takes place every Christmas Day morning whereby hardy members of the Serpentine Swimming Club don tiny swimsuits and maybe a Santa hat and race 100 metres in cold water. Because the water is a balmy 4&ordm;C, I repeat, 4&ordm;C, only the regular members of the club take place but if you do fancy unwrapping yourself instead of presents and immersing yourself in ice cold water instead of enjoying a nice mulled wine, then join the club and get in there. Sherry anyone?<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Traditionally, Advent was a time of fasting to prepare for the over-consumption of food and drink during the twelve days of Christmas. Nowadays, the run up to Christmas is filled with parties, dinners, drinks and yet more dinners so by the time Christmas Day is here, we are all a little fed up with the big bird and all the trimmings. Help is at hand. Did you know that the majority of Chinatown&rsquo;s restaurants are open on 25<sup>th</sup> December? Perfect for those who prefer a prawn cracker to a Christmas cracker.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Twelfth Night was traditionally a big night of celebration. It is now more famous for people taking their Christmas trees down and placing them by the bins under cover of darkness in the hope that their council has a recycling programme! However, there is still an interesting London tradition that has continued for 222 years. Admittedly it is only for a small cast of people, literally, but nevertheless, it can still be enjoyed today, It is called the &lsquo;Toasting in the Theatre Royal&rsquo;. At this Drury Lane theatre, the cast of any show that is on at the time receives a glass of punch and a slice of Christmas cake. They then toast the memory of an actor, Robert Baddeley (1733-1798) who bequeathed money to help destitute actors as well as fund a twelfth night drink and nibble for those who had to work on this big night.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> I don&rsquo;t know about you but I would consider cancelling my holiday to Barbados or visiting the family in Yorkshire for just one of the above events!</span></span><br /> 0 Christmas Survival Guide: Trimming the Tree Tues, 21 Nov 2017 00:00:00 GMT Guest - Emma Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat… the nights are getting darker and the clocks just went back. Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat… the nights are getting darker and the clocks just went back.<br/><br/><img alt="" src="/images/blogs/blog_large_567.jpg"<br/><br/><br /> <span style="font-size: 16px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;">Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat&hellip; the nights are getting darker and the clocks just went back. We are certainly starting to feel that there is a nip in the air and once Guy Fawkes Night is out of the way, our thoughts naturally turn to Christmas.<br /> <br /> Never fear! Penhaligon&#39;s is on hand to help. Consider this The Penhaligon&#39;s Christmas Survival Guide. Step one is trimming the tree.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> For some people, decorating a tree is quite stressful &ndash; how do some people make it look so effortless and easy? We have called on the expertise of floral designer, Liz of Elizabeth Marsh Floral Design to share some of her tips.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Firstly, if you are getting a real tree &ndash; and let&rsquo;s face it there is nothing to compare to the smell of fresh pine at Christmas &ndash; then make sure you don&rsquo;t get it too early.&nbsp; These days, with the warmer winters, trees don&rsquo;t last the way they used to and after two weeks it will no longer be the cheery, welcoming face of Christmas but a shrivelled, bald, skeleton of its former self.&nbsp; If you would like to have a tree for the whole month, treat yourself and order two and &lsquo;refresh&rsquo; it after a couple of weeks.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Then decide what kind of Christmas look you are after &ndash; modern, minimalist and Scandinavian; classical, rich and traditionalist or natural, wholesome and scented.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> A favourite is the natural and scented: dried apple slices suspended on fine silk ribbon, with oranges and cinnamon sticks&hellip; pine cones of varying sizes add to the aroma of the tree, intensifying its perfume and filling the space with the smell of Christmas. Simple gold baubles complement the warm colouring of these natural elements whilst warm white fairy lights gently illuminate the dried fruit and cones.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> The finishing touch is fine trailing ivy, sprayed gold and draped like nature&rsquo;s tinsel across the branches of the tree.&nbsp; Left untouched, this will last throughout the period and glow gently in the tree lights.&nbsp;&nbsp; For a slightly more sumptuous display, puffed up raw silk bows create a beautiful focal point and add poise and elegance to the boughs of the Yuletide display.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Stay tuned for a rather splendid addition to your tree; a Penhaligon&#39;s limited edition bauble with an exclusive Kristjana Williams design!<br /> <br /> Of course, no tree would be complete without the presents waiting in state for the &lsquo;big day&rsquo;.&nbsp; Choose your wrapping carefully so the different colours complement each other and accentuate the materials you have used on your tree for a magnificent centre piece to your whole Christmas experience.<br /> If you like to gift the Penhaligon&#39;s way then watch this space! We&#39;ve been gift wrapping for over a hundred years and have a few tips to share.&nbsp;&nbsp;<br /> <br /> A few tips if you are using last year&rsquo;s decorations&hellip; steaming the silk bows before adding them to the tree will remove any stale odours and encourage creases to fall out, giving the bows a fresh new look; if you don&rsquo;t attach the baubles too tightly to the tree you can avoid having to re-hang the baubles each time which will save you a lot of time!&nbsp; Dried fruit might be ok for a couple of years but unfortunately it will need replacing after that as the scent won&rsquo;t last and the fruit become shrivelled and a lot less appealing over time.<br /> <br /> Why not pop into&nbsp;The Savoy to see how it&#39;s done. The Savoy and Penhaligon&rsquo;s have joined together to bring the scents of Christmas to the air of London. A classic tree will be adorned with the aforementioned Penhaligon&#39;s baubles, and red velvet ribbons. The Savoy&rsquo;s floral design team, will work tirelessly throughout the night on Saturday 25 November to transform the entire hotel. Hotel guests retiring to bed at The Savoy on Saturday night will wake up to A Savoy Christmas by Penhaligon&rsquo;s on Sunday 26 November.<br /> <br /> See you there!</span></span><br type="_moz" /> 0 An Ode to the Christmas Tree Sat, 18 Nov 2017 00:00:00 GMT Guest - Emma The tree gently dominates the square throughout the festive period until is taken away just before Twelfth Night or 6th January. The tree gently dominates the square throughout the festive period until is taken away just before Twelfth Night or 6th January.<br/><br/><img alt="" src="/images/blogs/blog_large_568.jpg"<br/><br/><div> <br /> <span style="font-size:16px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;">Trafalgar Square has always been used for celebrations, political demonstrations and marches. At Christmas, it takes on a more festive and yet poignant air as London celebrates the arrival of an enormous Christmas tree. This is no ordinary Christmas tree; this is a 25 metre Norwegian Spruce nicknamed &ldquo;The queen of the forest&rdquo;.</span></span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="font-size:16px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;">Since 1947, there has been a ceremony to light this famous tree which has become one of London&rsquo;s favourite Christmas traditions. The tree gently dominates the square throughout the festive period until is taken away just before Twelfth Night or 6th January.&nbsp;</span></span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="font-size:16px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;">The tall, elegant beauty is an annual gift from the people of Oslo, Norway; a constant thank you for the support given by the UK during World War II. In 1940, Norway was occupied by the Nazis. Their monarch, King Haakon VII fled to London where he set up a government-in-exile. The BBC World Service regularly broadcast his speeches back home and British forces helped train Norwegian commandos and supplied them with intelligence to attack key Nazi installations.&nbsp;</span></span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="font-size:16px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;">Every year for 70 years, this tradition has gone on without much thought of where the tree comes from and how it gets here.&nbsp; It originates from Oslo&rsquo;s municipal forest where its head forester selects the &lsquo;queen&rsquo; and arranges its safe transit to London. The tree is usually about 50-60 years old and chosen and nurtured as the most magnificent specimen of its kind. It is cut during November in a ceremony that is attended by the British Ambassador to Norway, the Lord Mayor of Westminster and the Mayor of Oslo. It is then shipped to the UK and placed on a lorry for the final leg of its journey to Trafalgar Square.</span></span><br /> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="font-size:16px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;">It takes time and patience to get the tree in place but once up, there is another ceremony led by the Lord Mayor of Westminster. The tree is decorated in the traditional Norwegian fashion with vertical lines of energy-efficient light bulbs. At its base, there is a plaque, with the following inscription:</span></span></div> <div> <span style="font-size:16px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;">&lsquo;This tree is given by the city of Oslo as a token of Norwegian gratitude to the people of London for their assistance during the years 1940-45.&rsquo;</span></span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="font-size:16px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;">So, what happens to the Christmas tree after it is taken down? Simply put, it is chipped, mulched and recycled; a rather unceremonious end to its short reign over Trafalgar Square and the hearts of Londoners.&nbsp;</span></span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="font-size:16px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;">The tree lighting ceremony in Trafalgar Square occurs on the first Thursday in December. Why not join the choir of St Martin-in-the-Fields on 7th December 2017 at 6pm for some carol singing and to enjoy a little piece of history.</span></span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> 0 Dandies and Devils Continued Weds, 01 Nov 2017 00:00:00 GMT Benji Walters Take the path less trodden with us as we stroll through the secret eccentricities of the capital’s most rakish street. Take the path less trodden with us as we stroll through the secret eccentricities of the capital’s most rakish street.<br/><br/><img alt="" src="/images/blogs/blog_large_543.jpg"<br/><br/><br /> <span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>Beau Brummel&nbsp;</strong><br /> He may never have&nbsp;<em>lived&nbsp;</em>on Jermyn Street, but Beau Brummel was a man so inextricably associated with the avenue&rsquo;s restrained elegance that the street saw fit to honour him with a statute. The original British dandy and a close confidante of the Prince Regent, Beau was a man of impeccable tastes and acerbic wit. Often misunderstood as a flamboyant dresser, it&rsquo;s actually Brummel who popularised the pressed trousers, gleaming white shirts and trim cut navy suit coats that still remain the cornerstones of a good tailored wardrobe. You might even say he was a minimalist&nbsp;<em>avant la lettre</em>, making it all the more tragic that he died as all good dandies do: in destitute disrepute.<br /> <br /> <strong>William Makepeace Thackeray&nbsp;</strong><br /> Widely considered one of England&rsquo;s greatest novelists, W.M. Thackeray used&nbsp;<em>Vanity Fair</em>, his sprawling satire of Regency society, to sketch and skewer the narcissism of the Victorian chattering classes. Have no doubt that his residence at No. 27 Jermyn Street afforded him plenty of material for his book, with its invaluable view of the fripperies and follies of London&rsquo;s well-heeled.<br /> <br /> <strong>Aleister Crowley&nbsp;</strong><br /> Regarded by scandalised Edwardians as &ldquo;The Wickedest Man in the World&rdquo;, legendary occultist Aleister Crowley was one of the most controversial figures of his day. A pioneering figure in Western esotericism, Crowley was also a social critic, prophet, writer, and libertine of the first order who&rsquo;s endured as a uniquely beguiling icon of British counter-culture. Being not just wicked but wickedly elegant, where else would the great magician take refuge during the turbulence of the 1940s but No. 93 Jermyn Street itself?<br /> <br /> <strong>Ian Fleming</strong><br /> Sean Connery may have immortalised his brutishly spruce Bond in crisp Jermyn Street shirts, but it&rsquo;s the spy&rsquo;s debonair creator, Ian Fleming, who truly deserves the title of Jermyn Street hero. The author shopped, socialised and swaggered around the area all his life, and legend has it that when serving as an intelligence officer in WWII, he even met with Crowley at The Cavendish Hotel to discuss the possibility of getting the magician to lure top level Nazis into danger using occult spells.&nbsp;</span></span><br /> <br /> <br type="_moz" /> 0 Portraits of the Artist - Aidan Zamiri Mon, 30 Oct 2017 00:00:00 GMT Benji Walters We might believe in doing some things the old-fashioned way, but don’t think that means we’re forgetting about the future. Modern heritage: that’s the name of our game. We might believe in doing some things the old-fashioned way, but don’t think that means we’re forgetting about the future. Modern heritage: that’s the name of our game.<br/><br/><img alt="" src="/images/blogs/blog_large_540.jpg"<br/><br/><br /> <span style="font-size: 14px;">We might believe in doing some things the old-fashioned way, but don&rsquo;t think that means we&rsquo;re forgetting about the future. Modern heritage: that&rsquo;s the name of our game. And how can the traditions of the past keep abreast with the challenges of today if there&rsquo;s nobody to push the boundaries of tomorrow? That&rsquo;s why we&rsquo;re determined to champion the best of the next generation. But if you&rsquo;re wondering where to look for them, there&rsquo;s really no contest: Central Saint Martins has produced more world-leading creative talent than you&rsquo;d care to mention. Firebrand polymath Mr Aidan Zamiri is no exception: at the tender age of 21 he&rsquo;s already making an impact in the capital&rsquo;s saturated creative scene, and that&rsquo;s no mean feat. It would be criminally churlish not to mention that he&rsquo;s also the perfect gentleman to share a few gins with.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <strong>Evening, Aidan. Talk me through what you do?</strong><br /> &nbsp;<br /> I work in a couple of creative fields. I&#39;ve worked in set design, photography and video &ndash; generally within either a fashion or music context.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <strong>And which of those fields did you begin in and how did you move from set design to filmmaking?</strong><br /> &nbsp;<br /> I really like stories and cinematic moments &ndash; spatial design was the perfect way to make really dynamic and immersive environments that could communicate an idea or a feeling in an immediate and physical way. I&#39;d always been interested in and worked with physical spaces and objects because they tell stories when you interact with them. Naturally, I moved into making videos because timing and motion became such an important part of my work. Film-making was the perfect way to realise a bigger and more intricate cinematic vision.<br /> <br /> <strong>Was CSM very valuable in your creative formation?</strong><br /> &nbsp;<br /> The time and space to explore your own practice and discover what you do/don&#39;t like is really valuable. CSM gave me the opportunity to make things that didn&#39;t have to work in a commercial or editorial context &ndash; it just gave me to time and resources to do stuff I found interesting. I also met several people at CSM who have made a huge impression on me creatively and have shaped a lot of what excites me and interests me in fashion and art.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <strong>When you begin a project, where does your inspiration usually come from? Is there a particular era or person that usually proves inspiring?</strong><br /> <br /> I always find research the most exciting part of any project and a lot of my work is the sum of references that I really love and ideas that I find exciting. Equally, storytelling is something that always filters into everything I do. When doing 3D work, I like making spaces that feel like they&#39;re part of a scene or a moment from a movie. In video, I like hinting at a larger idea, as though the film is a little peek into much a more complicated world. I&#39;m most inspired by interesting, powerful, glamorous and emotional women. I like being really romantic in my work and celebrating bad taste and exploring the ways in which people perform their identities.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <strong>How does that interest in the way we navigate identity and self-perform percolate through your work?</strong><br /> &nbsp;<br /> When people perform themselves as characters, it&#39;s like they&#39;re living their life as a movie; something that is really self-indulgent and inauthentic and I love it. Characters make movies exciting and relatable and so the projection of a persona often allows us to create stories and scenes in fashion and art that explore ideas that are larger than us.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <strong>Your personal style is clearly as bold and irreverent as your work. Is getting dressed something you give a lot of thought to as a way of &quot;performing&quot; or articulating identity or is it a chaotic/random process?</strong><br /> &nbsp;<br /> Getting dressed is just as exciting as making a video or an installation and often the clothes I wear are referencing things I love at a certain moment in time. Dressing the way I do isn&rsquo;t so much to&nbsp;<em>represent</em>&nbsp;myself, as it is to&nbsp;<em>satirise</em>&nbsp;myself: as if I&#39;m constantly trying to look like an ironic parody of myself.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <strong>Which of the Penhaligon&#39;s scents is your favourite and why?</strong><br /> <br /> I&#39;m really into Spanish stuff at the moment so I really like Castile - it&#39;s sultry and a little seductive.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <strong>Lastly, of all the Portrait&#39;s characters, who would you most like to have a cuppa with?</strong><br /> <br /> Probably Clara. She&#39;s the kind of woman that knows what she wants and gets it.&nbsp;</span><br /> <br type="_moz" /> 0 Notes on a Scandal Weds, 11 Oct 2017 00:00:00 GMT Benji Walters "The butler had the key to the wine cellar but Dorothea would have kept the key to the tea chest to herself!" "The butler had the key to the wine cellar but Dorothea would have kept the key to the tea chest to herself!"<br/><br/><img alt="" src="/images/blogs/blog_large_548.jpg"<br/><br/><br /> <span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><span style="font-size:16px;">Given that we&rsquo;re a very British perfumers, one would be really rather disappointed if we weren&rsquo;t partial to a perfectly blended cup of afternoon tea. And who better to share a pot of loose leaf Earl Grey with than Ms Henrietta Lovell? The tea expert and Rare Tea Company founder trots the globe sourcing the very finest teas for some truly discerning restaurants and customers. It was only right, then, that she blended a pair of exclusive teas for two of the latest additions to our Portraits Collection: French fancy Monsieur Beauregard and the ever so English Countess Dorothea. Over an expertly brewed cup (don&rsquo;t burn it, dear) we chatted 18<sup>th</sup>&nbsp;century &ldquo;Scandal Water&rdquo; etiquette and the artisanal tea revolution of the last decade.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <strong>Good afternoon, Henrietta. Starting at the beginning, when did you originally become involved in tea blending?</strong><br /> <br /> I got involved in tea when I was working in China, around the turn of the millennium. Remember the country was still very closed off at this point and it was only really just starting to open up. So this was the first time I&rsquo;d been able to go to these strange, wonderful places in the mountains where people had been producing tea in the same way for thousands of years. And I thought, &lsquo;I know what I&rsquo;ll do, I&rsquo;ll bring this amazing tea back to the UK and set up a tea company.&rsquo;<br /> Back then, there was no leaf tea on the market so it was quite crazy trying to sell British people leaf tea when there was only tea in bags. But little by little the chefs and sommeliers got excited about what I was doing. So I started off as a really small, online business for aficionados of tea around the world. People like Mark Hix and Heston Blumenthal were some of the first to embrace beautiful tea and then it spread from there.&nbsp;&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <strong>And talk to us about your collaboration with Penhaligon&rsquo;s?</strong><br /> <br /> For the Penhaligon&rsquo;s teas, we talked about who the characters were and what they want. Monsieur Beauregard is rather an eccentric character. He&rsquo;s not going to want anything ordinary. So he has a really crazy blend of teas: a really extraordinary, wonderful tea. It&rsquo;s about the senses: sandalwood, cinnamon, lemon, and pepper. The jasmine is a top note, but his teas are all coming from China, this is the really important thing. They&rsquo;re Chinese teas and all the tea in the world in 1830 came from China so he&rsquo;s going to have these rare, exotic things.&nbsp;<br /> To give you an example, I&rsquo;ve got an original tea bill from my distant great-grandmother. She bought 3 lb of tea from China in 1712, but it cost her four pounds and 11 shillings in June 1712. For these people, it would have been precious. It was very precious and very sought-after and it was hard to get the good stuff. What we&rsquo;ve done is we&rsquo;ve got beautiful Chinese teas and blended them together because obviously Beauregard would want the best thing but he&rsquo;d also be a little bit eccentric about how he uses it. You wouldn&rsquo;t usually blend Chinese teas, you wouldn&rsquo;t put Jasmine with oolong &ndash; it&rsquo;s a crazy combination! But he&rsquo;s a dandy, he&rsquo;s got the best things and he&rsquo;s put them together in an eccentric way.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <strong>And what about the Countess Dorothea?</strong><br /> <br /> She&rsquo;s much, much more classic. She&rsquo;s a stickler for the best. She&rsquo;s got a lovely black Chinese tea. A very pure, very beautiful one. One of the points of difference is that we put Madagascan vanilla pods in there. We wanted something richer, more beautiful and more feminine and so we put in some real vanilla. At that time you wouldn&rsquo;t have put milk in your tea, not if you were was a real stickler and a high class lady like Dorothea. People drank their tea black and they put it with rich, creamy food. The whole point was you had the sweetness of the cake which complemented the more botanic notes of the tea. I wanted a blend that would be delicious to people with or without milk and to have that real sense of creaminess even without milk. So we put vanilla in to help you understand the tea on its own.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <strong>When did tea etiquette in Britain become properly established?</strong><br /> <br /> Tea is coming into Britain at the end of the 17<sup>th</sup>&nbsp;century and in the 18<sup>th</sup>&nbsp;century it really becomes huge. By the end of the 1700s and into the early 1800s, tea is the most important thing to signify your wealth.<br /> It was really expensive stuff which only aristocrats drank, it was so precious and more expensive than brandy, champagne, pretty much anything in your house. The butler had the key to the wine cellar but Dorothea would have kept the key to the tea chest herself. She wouldn&rsquo;t have trusted anyone! It was far too valuable and expensive to trust the servants. Tea really signified your taste and your wealth so it was made very carefully. She would&rsquo;ve had this beautiful black tea and she would have made it very carefully and got the temperature right and got the leaf to water ratio right. She probably made it herself in a small teapot with her friends &ndash; it certainly wouldn&rsquo;t have been over brewed!<br /> &nbsp;<br /> You might have had a few different teas, a pinch of this or a pinch of that or you might have had a blend made to show loyalty to a shop. It was the same with your tea as with your fragrance: you might have gone to Penhaligon&rsquo;s and had your special perfume made that was exclusively yours.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <strong>Was it around that period when Afternoon Tea was established?&nbsp;</strong><br /> <br /> Everyone always drank tea in the afternoon because lunch was at one and dinner was at eight so there was this period in the middle where you get hungry. Because the servants eat at six you had no choice but wait. So in&nbsp;the 18<sup>th</sup>&nbsp;century, the slang for tea was &quot;Scandal Water&quot; because you would sit around gossiping with your afternoon tea. Men were involved as well and they were all just getting together to drink tea in the afternoon, to gossip, and to show they had leisure time and expensive tea and therefore expensive taste.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Later, the evening meal in working class families or even lower middle class families was called tea because that&rsquo;s when you drank your tea: you came home from work, you had dinner and you had tea with it. Whereas aristocrats would drink wine with their dinner and have tea as a whole separate thing in the afternoon.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> But really this idea of having scones and clotted cream as this formal meal was something that happened much later. It&rsquo;s not to say that all those dishes didn&rsquo;t exist, they just weren&rsquo;t in that formula, with cake stands and all that food in the afternoon. That kind of Afternoon Tea starts to come in at The Ritz and places like that in the 1970s, but the original Afternoon Tea was something that was supposed to get you through until dinner: to set you up for cocktails. A little caffeine, a little bite to eat. Not a huge sugar fest!<br /> &nbsp;<br /> But, traditionally, the tea was always the best you could afford. So if you were a coalminer&rsquo;s wife you had a cheaper, darker tea and you may have put milk in it because it was really bitter. But if you were an aristocrat you would&rsquo;ve bought very high quality, high end tea and you would have drunk it very carefully and looked after it. Everyone aspired to have the best tea they could, at a wedding or a special occasion, or if the vicar was coming round you would have bought a good tea and a good tea set.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <strong>When did tea drinking in England become all about the everyday builder&rsquo;s stuff?&nbsp;</strong><br /> <br /> During the war, you&rsquo;ve got U-boats all around the country, Germany&rsquo;s trying to starve the British out and the government takes over supply. You can no longer go to the grocer and buy your beautiful tea because now you have to drink standard issue government tea. That went on throughout the 1950s as rationing continued. Then the supermarkets came in and they wanted to steal the trade from the grocer, so they made tea an everyday mainstay and put pressure on the producers to do it cheaper. That&rsquo;s how you end up with builder&rsquo;s tea with its flat, industrial flavour.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <strong>And now we&rsquo;ve come full circle.</strong><br /> <br /> Exactly. The tea revolution has come back and everyone wants to have a tea programme in their hotel and every hotel and restaurant has beautiful teapots and great tea lists. All that had happened in the last 10 years and I&rsquo;d say we were chiefly responsible for it! It means that tea isn&rsquo;t feminised anymore. Young men are just as into it as women &ndash; like it was in the time of Monsieur Beauregard. Then, as now, it&rsquo;s a sign of your good taste. You have the right stuff and something made for you that&rsquo;s really extraordinary.</span></span><br /> 0 Steaming with the Remarkable Mr. Morillas Mon, 09 Oct 2017 00:00:00 GMT Benji Walters "My handwriting is my emotion and as I write the formula, I can smell the perfume." "My handwriting is my emotion and as I write the formula, I can smell the perfume."<br/><br/><img alt="" src="/images/blogs/blog_large_547.jpg"<br/><br/><br /> <span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;">Alberto Morillas is a man who needs no introduction in the well powdered circles of perfumiers. The debonair Spaniard is the Master Nose behind some of the world&rsquo;s most feted fragrances, including several iconic Penhaligon&rsquo;s favourites: from the dynamic beauty of Iris Prima and the rugged charisma of Blasted Heath, to the blue blood delights of Lord George and Monsieur Beauregard, Morillas invariably infuses his scents with a rare and precious magnetism. We got together to sample scents and talk trade with the maestro Morillas.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <strong>First off, you&rsquo;re something of a legend in the perfume business, but how did you find yourself working in the industry and did you always know you wanted to be le nez?</strong><br /> &nbsp;<br /> I grew up in Seville in Andalusia. As a child I used to dream a lot and our garden, it smells and colours, no doubt influenced my sensitivity. When we left for Geneva, I knew that I wanted to do an artistic job and I enrolled at the Fine Arts College.&nbsp;I started hearing about the craft of perfumer at that time and discovered that there was a creator behind each fragrance as I had read an article in&nbsp;<em>Vogue Magazine</em>&nbsp;where Jean Paul Guerlain explained how to create a fragrance.&nbsp;That was a revelation for me! I rapidly got fascinated by the discipline. I read and experimented with some formulas and went to libraries to feed my curiosity.&nbsp;I joined Firmenich when I was 20 and right from the start I loved arriving in the morning and being surrounded by all these fragrances.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <strong>When you first approach creating a new scent, how does your process begin?</strong><br /> &nbsp;<br /> Looking for inspiration and new ideas when I work on a new perfume project is the more exciting part of my job.&nbsp;Behind every fragrance is a unique story emerging from a lot of sources but above all from a direct dialogue with the people. As a perfumer, my inspiration comes from meeting with the brand. Their words are very important.Proximity makes all the difference when creating a perfume.&nbsp;I confess I can hardly stop working and almost all my formulas are written by hand. My handwriting is my emotion. When I write the formula, I can smell the perfume. Like a craftsman, I have an indestructible passion for creation. All my fragrances come from this devotion to creation and have consumed all my days and nights for the past 45 years. I can easily imagine the fragrance without smelling it. For me, perfumery is an emotion. The technique is intellectual, but every perfume has to have a soul, a story and be an emotion.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <strong>I&rsquo;m interested in the work you did with Penhaligon&rsquo;s for Iris Prima &ndash; how did you go about capturing the movement and dynamism of dance in a fragrance?</strong><br /> &nbsp;<br /> Iris Prima was my very first collaboration with Penhaligon&rsquo;s. The brand had set up&nbsp;a unique partnership with the English National Ballet to give me the opportunity to best capture the very essence of ballet.<br /> Perfumery and dance share a passion for emotion, creation and art. Inspired by on-stage performances and the hushed intimacy of the wings, I transcribed the remarkable artistic collaboration with the choreographer and the beauty of the ballet through a floral, woody fragrance. The perfume evokes delicate olfactive choreography, as orris embodies the&nbsp;<em>prima ballerina</em>&nbsp;performing against a backdrop of woods and balms. The rhythm is exact, the harmony flawless, and the dream begins with the nose!<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <strong>The Tragedy of Lord George is one of your new scents for the Portraits Collection. How did you embody Lord George&rsquo;s noble yet mysterious personality in the fragrance?</strong><br /> &nbsp;<br /> The olfactive portrait of the aristocratic patriarch was to be masculine and elegant in the most traditional way &ndash; yet unexpected.&nbsp; Powerful, opulent, and welcoming, the woody, ambery&nbsp;foug&egrave;re&nbsp;reminds of the barber shop atmosphere: noble woods blended with nectar liquors &ndash; like a Brandy &ndash; and I decided to wrap them in mysterious Tonka beans.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <strong>And what about the new Monsieur Beauregard: how did you go about bottling the French spirit at a very English perfume house?</strong><br /> &nbsp;<br /> Mr. Beauregard is composed of orris, the finest ingredient of classic perfumery. In both England and France, orris stands noble, rich and opulent altogether. The sandalwood is then glorified by rich and tasty warm spice, and the cinnamon delivers an addictive sensation of creaminess.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <strong>And lastly, where should a true gentleman spray his perfume?</strong><br /> &nbsp;<br /> Men mainly apply perfume on the neck. I also advise to perfume one&rsquo;s clothes to increase the power and on key points of pulsation like the chest and the wrists for more seduction!</span></span><br /> <br type="_moz" /> 0 Portraits Mansion Sun, 08 Oct 2017 00:00:00 GMT Louise Rosen All elegant homes share a sense of order and a (discrete) display of good taste. Refinement requires a certain attention to detail. All elegant homes share a sense of order and a (discrete) display of good taste. Refinement requires a certain attention to detail.<br/><br/><img alt="" src="/images/blogs/blog_large_536.jpg"<br/><br/><div style="text-align: center;"> <br /> <span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><span style="font-size: 14px;">All elegant homes share a sense of order and a (discrete) display&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14px;">of good taste. Refinement requires a certain attention to detail.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14px;">To this end, the perfume of each and every room (the more rooms&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14px;">the better) should never be overlooked.</span></span><br /> &nbsp;</div> <div> <div style="text-align: center;"> <span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><span style="font-size: 14px;">And of course, every perfume needs it&rsquo;s own room...</span></span></div> <br /> <h2> <span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><u><a href=""><span style="font-size: 18px;">Salon d&rsquo;Alexandria</span></a></u><br /> <span style="font-size: 12px;">(Empirical Decorum)</span></span></h2> <div> <span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><span style="font-size: 14px;">It is always better to give than to receive. And indeed,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14px;">when receiving (one&rsquo;s guests) it is important to give generously.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14px;">Many of the London&rsquo;s most promising introductions began in the&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14px;">drawing room, the salon. Maybe that&rsquo;s why the word is now in&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14px;">French?</span></span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><span style="font-size: 14px;">Even the most respectable families can indulge the odd late night&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14px;">peccadillo.</span></span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><span style="font-size: 14px;">Shall we withdraw?</span></span><br /> &nbsp;</div> <div> <em><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><span style="font-size: 14px;">Entertaining with elegance</span></span></em></div> </div> <br /> <h2> <span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><u><a href=""><span style="font-size: 18px;">Any one for Tea?</span></a></u><br /> <span style="font-size: 12px;">(It&rsquo;s from somewhere called Limoges)</span></span></h2> <div> <span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif;">A social event it would be an error to miss. Indeed, the&nbsp;</span></span><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; font-size: 14px;">Duke never does.</span><br /> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;">The muffled atmosphere is conducive to sleep, the furtive&nbsp;</span></span><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; font-size: 14px;">gossiping is always discreet, and the air sings with the smell of&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; font-size: 14px;">fresh cake.</span><br /> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;">The only challenge is to avoid subjects of importance. It&nbsp;</span></span><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; font-size: 14px;">might lead one to express an opinion - and that would never do.</span><br /> &nbsp;</div> <div> <em><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;">Conversation - the art of saying nothing in particular at all</span></span></em><br /> &nbsp;</div> <h2> <span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><u><a href=""><span style="font-size:18px;">The Powder Room</span></a></u><br /> <span style="font-size: 12px;">(100 brush strokes)</span></span></h2> <div> <span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;">Lady Blanche has inherited a regal allure and (how fitting)&nbsp;</span></span><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; font-size: 14px;">the most porcelain white complexion. She is also Mistress of&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; font-size: 14px;">female-friendly advice, dispensed from her Boudoir. A busy place.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; font-size: 14px;">But not for the reasons you might imagine.</span><br /> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;">Scents of rice powder, her make-up and eau de rose&nbsp;</span></span><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; font-size: 14px;">blend together and create a delicately enticing atmosphere.</span><br /> &nbsp;</div> <div> <em><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;">Not tonigh</span></span></em><br /> <br /> <h2> <u><a href=""><span style="font-size: 18px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;">Ode to my Orchids</span></span></a></u><br /> <span style="font-size: 12px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;">(Between 50 and 80 degrees)</span></span></h2> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;">That orchids represent refinement, thoughtfulness and&nbsp;</span></span><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; font-size: 14px;">beauty is a coincidence. The Countess has always harboured an&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; font-size: 14px;">enthusiasm (a weakness?) that defies reason. To her son George&rsquo;s&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; font-size: 14px;">eternal despair, it is not for her family, but for her jardin d&rsquo;hiver.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; font-size: 14px;">Everyone needs a secret garden.</span></div> <div> <br /> <span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><em>Please do not touch</em></span></span><br /> &nbsp;</div> </div> <h2> <span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><u><a href=""><span style="font-size: 18px;">Linen Cupboard</span></a></u><br /> <span style="font-size: 12px;">(Musk makes me quite mad)</span></span></h2> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;">Of course, she should not be downstairs. But sometimes&nbsp;</span></span><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; font-size: 14px;">Duchess Rose cannot resist the musky notes of the freshly laundered&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; font-size: 14px;">linen. So she will go and enquire about the weather, or the post,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; font-size: 14px;">or Tea - and on the way back get lost.</span></div> <div> <br /> <span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;">Wistful for her youthful first kisses (caught by Nanny of&nbsp;</span></span><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; font-size: 14px;">course!)... in the Linen cupboard.</span></div> <div> <br /> <span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><em>Oh gosh, I&rsquo;ve lost an earring</em></span></span><br /> <br /> <h2> <span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><u><a href=""><span style="font-size: 18px;">Members Only</span></a></u><br /> <span style="font-size: 12px;">(Gentlemen-ly pleasures)</span></span></h2> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;">Gentlemen only, of course.</span></span><br /> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;">After dinner - and sometimes before - the urban Gentlemen&nbsp;</span></span><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; font-size: 14px;">of this clan retire for a moment of respite, a game of cards, or a drop&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; font-size: 14px;">of fine brandy. The conversation is stimulating and free-flowing (just&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; font-size: 14px;">like the brandy).</span><br /> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;">At ease in an old Chesterfield, warmed by the fire, the atmosphere&nbsp;</span></span><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; font-size: 14px;">is filled with cigars and leather.</span><br /> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;">Rolled in Havana</span></span><br /> &nbsp;</div> <div> <em><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;">All the way from Cuba</span></span></em><br /> &nbsp;</div> </div> <br /> <br type="_moz" /> 0 Scents and Sensibilities Tues, 26 Sept 2017 00:00:00 GMT The Pen Times Staff To this end, the perfume of each and every room (the more rooms the better) should never be overlooked. To this end, the perfume of each and every room (the more rooms the better) should never be overlooked.<br/><br/><img alt="" src="/images/blogs/blog_large_544.jpg"<br/><br/><div style="text-align: center;"> <br /> In celebration of the upcoming launch of Penhaligon&#39;s Portraits Candle Collection we are delighted to have partnered with Man About Town to showcase the new additions in all their glory. The sets have been designed by the Right Honourable Tony Hornecker, an internationally renowned artist and set designer. His installations have been staged in institutions such as The Royal College of Art, The Royal Opera House and The Architecture Foundation in London. Photography by Edward Meadham, the Meadham Kirchhoff co-founder. All elegant homes share a sense of order and a (discrete) display of good taste. Refinement requires a certain attention to detail. To this end, the perfume of each and every room (the more rooms the better) should never be overlooked. And of course, every perfume needs its own room...</div> <div style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</div> <div style="text-align: center;"> <img alt="The Powder Room" src="/images/blogs/The_Powder_Room.jpg" style="width: 350px; height: 457px;" /><br /> &nbsp;</div> <div style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</div> <div style="text-align: center;"> In <strong>The Powder Room</strong> scents of rice powder, makeup and eau de rose blend together and create a delicately enticing atmosphere, Hidden in a drawer you will find the key to a secret garden. An <strong>Ode to my Orchids</strong>. That orchids represent refinement, thoughtfulness and beauty is a coincidence.</div> <div style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</div> <div style="text-align: center;"> <br /> <img alt="Anyone for Tea?" src="/images/blogs/Anyone_For_Tea.jpg" style="width: 350px; height: 457px;" /></div> <div style="text-align: center;"> <br /> <strong>Anyone for Tea?</strong> It&rsquo;s from somewhere called Limoges. The muffled atmosphere is conducive to sleep, the furtive gossiping is always discreet, and the air sings with the smell of fresh cake.&nbsp;</div> <div style="text-align: center;"> <br /> <br /> <img alt="Salon D'Alexandria" src="/images/blogs/Salon_D'Alexandria.jpg" style="width: 350px; height: 525px;" /><br /> &nbsp;</div> <div style="text-align: center;"> <strong>Salon d&rsquo;Alexandria</strong>. Empirical Decorum. Even the most respectable families can indulge the odd late night peccadillo. Deeper in is for <strong>Members Only</strong>. The conversation is free-flowing (just like the brandy). Warmed by the fire, the atmosphere is filled with cigars and leather.</div> <div style="text-align: center;"> <br /> <img alt="Linen_Cupboard" src="/images/blogs/Linen_Cupboard.jpg" style="width: 350px; height: 457px;" /><br /> &nbsp;</div> <div style="text-align: center;"> The <strong>Linen Cupboard</strong>. The musky notes of the freshly laundered linen. Wistful for her youthful first kisses (caught by Nanny of course!)... in the Linen cupboard.<br /> <br /> <span style="font-size: 10px;">Photography by Edward Meadham @edwardmeadham<br /> Set Design Tony Hornecker @tony_hornecker</span><br /> &nbsp;</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> 0 Portraits of the Artist - Adam Watson Tues, 26 Sept 2017 00:00:00 GMT Benji Walters Fine fragrance and fine fashion are rarely far apart. Fine fragrance and fine fashion are rarely far apart.<br/><br/><img alt="" src="/images/blogs/blog_large_541.jpg"<br/><br/><div> <span style="font-size:14px;">Fine fragrance and fine fashion are rarely far apart. That&rsquo;s why when it came to introducing a new uniform for our beloved team we wanted something elegant and cohesive, not prescriptive or mundane. How lucky we were to find 27 year old Central Saint Martins graduate and menswear maven Adam Watson, who turned out to be the perfect man for the job &ndash; and a rather affable chap to boot.</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <strong><span style="font-size:14px;">Adam, how did you end up designing menswear?</span></strong></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="font-size:14px;">Initially I wanted to study fine art at the Slade, but didn&rsquo;t get a place. I put in a last-minute application to do fashion at Central Saint Martins. To my surprise, I was accepted and I&rsquo;ve never looked back since. &nbsp;</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <strong><span style="font-size:14px;">Glad to hear it! And how did you get involved with Penhaligon&#39;s?&nbsp;</span></strong></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="font-size:14px;">I&rsquo;ve always known Penhaligon&rsquo;s, and they had been in touch with Central St Martins with the idea and it came about from that. The brand has a fantastic heritage and history. This project seemed like a unique opportunity to be a part of the brand and create uniforms that would enhance and contribute to their story and customer experience. &nbsp;</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <strong><span style="font-size:14px;">This was Penhaligon&#39;s first uniform, was it also your first foray into uniforms?</span></strong></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="font-size:14px;">I suppose menswear is in itself quite a uniform based approach to design and dressing. My approach to design is methodical and considered. My graduate collection was centred on school uniforms and workwear so it all came about quite naturally. &nbsp;</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="font-size:14px;"><strong>Talk to me about your design process for this project?</strong>&nbsp;</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="font-size:14px;">Penhaligon&rsquo;s were quite clear about what they needed, so the challenge was to come up with new creative ideas that communicated the brand story within the parameters of the brief. &nbsp;</span></div> <div> <span style="font-size:14px;">Of course they&rsquo;re a story telling brand &ndash; each of their fragrances has a story behind it. So I approached the uniforms in the same way. If you create a strong story you often find all the design inspiration is in there. &nbsp;</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="font-size:14px;"><strong>Penhaligon&rsquo;s is also British label with a history. So what does contemporary heritage mean to you?</strong> &nbsp;</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="font-size:14px;">For me, it&rsquo;s about making the heritage relevant for today. I don&rsquo;t wear suits, a lot of people my age find them formal and uncomfortable. By stripping out all the lining, padding and stiffness, and making lightweight unstructured suits you end up with something that feels contemporary and easy to wear but still retains the heritage. &nbsp;</span></div> <div> <span style="font-size:14px;">The founder of Penhaligon&rsquo;s was pioneering in his day, so it&rsquo;s important to stay true to that and always be looking ahead and not stand still. &nbsp;</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <strong><span style="font-size:14px;">You ended up in Barcelona sourcing textiles, how did you go about choosing the right fabric?&nbsp;</span></strong></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="font-size:14px;">As well as looking great aesthetically, the fabric needs to be comfortable, and feel good to wear. The heat in Barcelona was a good reminder of that! But it also needs to perform and work hard and still look great at the end of a long day on the shop floor. I weighed up all of these factors when choosing.</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="font-size:14px;"><strong>Who or what was the biggest inspiration for this project?</strong>&nbsp;</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="font-size:14px;">I started out with the royal warrant, and looked into the British royal family and the aristocracy: people like the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. We took twists from those 1920s silhouettes, and updated them in a modern way. &nbsp;&nbsp;</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <strong><span style="font-size:14px;">Now that the project is nearly finished, talk to me about the final pieces??- their cut and their little details.&nbsp;</span></strong></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="font-size:14px;">It was really important that the staff could put their own individual stamp on the uniform so we created various options for layering with knitwear and accessories. There is the potential for each of the staff to have a different look, but still be recognisably on brand. Riffing on Penhaligon&rsquo;s eccentric aristocratic heritage, the shirts are cut with pyjama collars because it was important to bring a playful element to the look. We also created scarves and pocket squares inspired by the distinctive tile design in the stores. &nbsp;&nbsp;</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <strong><span style="font-size:14px;">Which of the Penhaligon&#39;s scents is?your favourite?&nbsp;</span></strong></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="font-size:14px;">That&rsquo;s a difficult one! If I had to choose it would be between Douro or Blenheim Bouquet. &nbsp;</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="font-size:14px;"><strong>And what&rsquo;s coming up next for you?</strong>&nbsp;</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="font-size:14px;">I&rsquo;ve got a few freelance design projects on the go. Ideally, I&rsquo;d like to find another full-time role in high-end menswear. Somewhere like Stella McCartney Men&rsquo;s, or Paul Smith or Burberry would be ideal. I&rsquo;m keen to roll up my sleeves up and get stuck in again. &nbsp;</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <strong><span style="font-size:14px;">What is it that motivates you to design/drives you to do what you do?&nbsp;</span></strong></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="font-size:14px;">In other areas such as product or architecture, it is widely acknowledged that good design has the potential to enhance people&rsquo;s daily lives. I don&rsquo;t see why clothes should be any different. I always try to design garments that feel right for now but also have a functional, enduring quality to them. &nbsp;</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <strong><span style="font-size:14px;">As the part of fashion&#39;s next generation, what&#39;re your hopes for the future?</span></strong></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="font-size:14px;">These are tough times for creative young people at the moment, not just for fashion but across all areas of the arts. I really hope something is done to address the soaring costs in London that are sadly driving out young creatives from the city. &nbsp;</span></div> 0 Little Known London - Royal Opera House Mon, 25 Sept 2017 00:00:00 GMT Benji Walters Forget the tourist traps, here are the wonders to see and the spots to be seen at this season – and the scents to match them. Forget the tourist traps, here are the wonders to see and the spots to be seen at this season – and the scents to match them.<br/><br/><img alt="" src="/images/blogs/blog_large_545.jpg"<br/><br/><br /> <span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;">We&rsquo;ve been powdering and pampering London&rsquo;s good and great for a fair few years now: one hundred and forty seven of them, to be exact. And in that time we&rsquo;ve been privy to some of the capital&rsquo;s most surprising secrets and its best hidden gems. After all, following the pack has never been our style. Forget the tourist traps, here are the wonders to see and the spots to be seen at this season &ndash; and the scents to match them.<br /> <br /> <strong>The Seven Noses of Soho </strong><br /> Having baffled Soho&rsquo;s visitors for years, this olfactory surrealist stunt &ndash; which sees to-scale nose sculptures protruding from unexpected places in London&rsquo;s most hedonistic postcode &ndash; was eventually revealed to be the work of artist Rick Buckley, who purportedly installed the noses just to see if he could: while avoiding CCTV detection, that is. The urban myths which sprang up around the snouts, however, were even more intriguing than the truth. Some suggested the beak under Admiralty Arch was a spare for Nelson&rsquo;s Column, others believed that good fortune would come to the traveller who stumbled across them all. Either way, we&rsquo;re still looking for the seventh. Ensure you&rsquo;re smelling seductive while you search with a dash of perennial Penhaligon&rsquo;s favourite <a href="">Opus 1870</a>.<br /> <br /> <strong>The Royal Opera House &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</strong><br /> A society favourite since time immemorial, the Royal Opera House has played host to some of the form&rsquo;s most prodigious prima donnas, tenors and composers &ndash; not to mention scores of impeccably turned out audiences gathered to bear witness to greatness (and each other&rsquo;s frocks). But while the House&rsquo;s on-stage action is well recorded, the opportunity to peek behind the velvet curtain and be toured around the inner workings of the theatre is a relatively new and precious one. As well as hearing a few tales from the building&rsquo;s colourful history and admiring the backstage magic of one of the nation&rsquo;s best venues, you might even get the chance to see the celebrated Royal Ballet in class. Oh, and the scent? <a href="">The Duke</a> and his exquisite theatricality is worthy of even the most epic libretto.<br /> <br /> <strong>Lounge Bohemia </strong><br /> Pre-mixed Mojitos on packed rooftops might be all the rage right now, but for the drinker who prefers their bars less crowded and their booze with a double dose of wit, Lounge Bohemia is the place to go. Nestled between inauspicious Shoreditch surroundings, this subterranean haven is at the forefront of avant-garde mixology, serving foaming, fabulous and darn right surreal cocktails by appointment only &ndash; with plenty of tasty canapes to boot. The perfect place to impress, then. Especially if you&rsquo;re wearing a few spritzes of Penhaligon&rsquo;s gin-infused ode to the Roaring Twenties: the <a href="">Juniper Sling</a>.</span></span><br /> <br /> 0 Mr. Harrod Thurs, 21 Sept 2017 00:00:00 GMT Tom Rasmussen <br/><img alt="" src="/images/blogs/blog_large_554.jpg"<br/><br/><br /> <span style="font-size: 16px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>Mr. Harrod</strong><br /> &nbsp;<br /> &ldquo;I&rsquo;ve never been one to pussy-foot around a topic. I&rsquo;ve always been&nbsp;<em>very</em>&nbsp;good at what I do. And while being gentlemanly is incredibly important to many of my clients &ndash; the Royals included &ndash; people much appreciate the honest opinion of a true master.&rdquo; Mr. Harrod is society&rsquo;s finest tea merchant and, he&rsquo;s certainly not ashamed to say, the very best greengrocer in the business.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> &ldquo;You might snigger. But in these circles, having the right produce and sundries on your table is tantamount to good manners, or the size of one&rsquo;s estate. Serving the perfect cup to your guests can make you the toast of the town. A bad one can change a person&rsquo;s social standing in a matter of minutes.&rdquo; And he&rsquo;s right: if anyone remembers Lady Loretta, it&rsquo;s only because of her lackluster Oolong<br /> &nbsp;<br /> When he&rsquo;s not busy ensuring his illustrious customers are incomparably well looked after, this proudly self-made gentleman is revered for his snapping wit and his incomparable ability with women of all kinds. There&rsquo;s nothing blue blooded ladies crave more than a man who knows his way around a pantry. &ldquo;Indeed I&rsquo;ve been at the centre of many scandals. They&rsquo;re exhilarating while you&rsquo;re in the eye of the storm, but the eye swiftly moves to the next scandal within a couple of days. What can I say? I can&rsquo;t resist most women &ndash; single or married &ndash; and they can&rsquo;t resist me.&rdquo;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Although Harrod has collected an arsenal of enemies along the way, he also has a great many fans. And what&rsquo;s a life without controversy? However controversial, Mr. Harrod is the most trusted&nbsp;retailer in town, and many of his enemies return invariably for his uncompromising standards, and the incomparable confidence&nbsp;that comes with the knowledge that Mr. Harrod stocks your pantry&hellip; no matter what he did to your wife.</span></span> 0 Dandies and Devils Weds, 30 Aug 2017 00:00:00 GMT Benji Walters Having been synonymous with masculine elegance for the past three hundred years, it’s no surprise that London’s Jermyn Street also happens to be the site of the original Penhaligon’s boutique. Having been synonymous with masculine elegance for the past three hundred years, it’s no surprise that London’s Jermyn Street also happens to be the site of the original Penhaligon’s boutique.<br/><br/><img alt="" src="/images/blogs/blog_large_542.jpg"<br/><br/><br /> <span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;">Having been synonymous with masculine elegance for the past three hundred years, it&rsquo;s no surprise that London&rsquo;s Jermyn Street also happens to be the site of the original Penhaligon&rsquo;s boutique. Our founder, William Penhaligon, first opened our doors back in 1870 and we&rsquo;ve been proud to call the iconic thoroughfare home ever since. But we&rsquo;re not the only ones. A whole host of fops, artists, dandies and originators have flocked to this soign&eacute; corner of St James&rsquo;s over the years, inviting both fame and notoriety in equal measure. Take the path less trodden with us as we stroll through the secret eccentricities of the capital&rsquo;s most rakish street.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> &nbsp;<br /> <strong>William Plunkett&nbsp;</strong><br /> Along with his partner in crime James MacLaine, roguish highwayman William Plunkett terrorised Hyde Park in the mid-1700s, relieving victims as esteemed as Horace Walpole of their finery, money and pride. A gentleman crook through and through, Plunkett concealed his face behind intricate Venetian masks, moonlighted as an apothecary, and was never anything less than courteous during his stick ups. Naturally, a spacious Jermyn Street&nbsp;apartment was his bolthole of choice.<br /> <br /> <strong>Sutherland Macdonald&nbsp;</strong><br /> You&rsquo;d be forgiven if it&rsquo;s shirt collars and cuffs, not inked sleeves, that spring to mind when you think of Jermyn Street. But Sutherland Macdonald, one of Britain&rsquo;s earliest professional tattoo artist and the first with identifiable premises open to the public, set up shop in the late 1900s at none other than No. 76 Jermyn Street. Rather like the original Penhaligon&rsquo;s, the tattoo parlour was conveniently located above a Turkish Hamam bathhouse (in which Macdonald himself had a stake). Unexpected as it was, the salon was an important hub for the late Victorian period&rsquo;s surprising tattoo craze.<br /> <br /> <strong>Oscar Wilde</strong><br /> Dousing his literature with the same gilded beauty as his meticulously fashioned outfits, Oscar Wilde is perhaps the quintessential literary fop and, of course, a Jermyn Street icon. A frequent visitor to the barber in our original boutique, Wilde also favoured the street for its bachelor chambers, which proved an ideal space for writing and entertaining as well as leading the gay double life that would eventually bring about his sad demise. Indeed, beneath Jermyn Street&rsquo;s upright reputation lies a rich queer history that includes figures like Wilde&rsquo;s friend George Ives &ndash; an early campaigner for homosexual law reform.</span></span><br /> <br /> <br type="_moz" /> 0 Little Known London - Covent Garden & Iris Prima Thurs, 03 Aug 2017 00:00:00 GMT Guest - Emma As happy tourists stand on the cobbles admiring street entertainers, it is difficult to appreciate that Covent Garden ‘twas never always thus! As happy tourists stand on the cobbles admiring street entertainers, it is difficult to appreciate that Covent Garden ‘twas never always thus!<br/><br/><img alt="" src="/images/blogs/blog_large_525.jpg"<br/><br/><br /> <span style="font-size: 14px;">Covent Garden is the friendly side of London, welcoming visitors with its easy-going nature and charm. After all the grandeur that Westminster has to offer, the impressive stone forum, cobbles and the allure of boutiques and restaurants give sightseers a taste of a different London; an area that is full of life and energy. As happy tourists stand on the cobbles admiring street entertainers, it is difficult to appreciate that Covent Garden &lsquo;twas never always thus!<br /> &nbsp;<br /> The area is old. This is Lundenwic or London&rsquo;s market, a place of trade created by the Saxons in the 6<sup>th</sup> century. It then became a fruit and vegetable garden for the Benedictine monks of St Peter&rsquo;s Abbey, Westminster. It is apt that a fruit and flower market stood on this site from the mid 1600&rsquo;s until the 1970&rsquo;s. Its most famous resident is undoubtedly flower girl, Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady. The film gives a rather anodyne, cinematic view of Edwardian London. In reality, Covent Garden of the 19<sup>th</sup> and early 20<sup>th</sup> centuries was a meeting point of incongruities; it boasted beauty and danger, wealth and destitution, toil and ultimate leisure. The vestiges of a working market can still be seen but thankfully, most traces of darker times have long gone. The market and The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden seem unlikely bedfellows but they have rubbed along, just a street apart, for many years. Within the Royal Opera House, there is another little surprise &ndash; the Royal Ballet.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> In honour of the proximity of Penhaligon&rsquo;s, Wellington Street and the nearby ballet school, Penhaligon&rsquo;s created a new fragrance, Iris Prima in 2013. This was a collaboration of dancers from The English National Ballet and perfumers working together to capture the essence of this classical dance. Just as ballet tells a story through dance and movement, fragrance can bring the tale alive through releasing memories and adding new olfactory storylines.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Iris Prima jet&eacute;s on to the stage with zesty bergamot and is immediately tempered and calmed by the tenderness and strength of amber. Little flashes of pink pepper, reminiscent of a ballerina sur les pointes tiptoeing across the scene, announce the arrival of the prima ballerina for the main act. The heroine is iris, a nod to Covent Garden&rsquo;s floral past which can be seen in local street names, Floral Street and Rose Street. The powdery qualities of iris, like the talc used in the ballerina&rsquo;s shoes, meets Jasmine Sambac in a grand pas de deux. Two innovative molecules, Hedione and Paridisione add light reminiscent of old stage limelight as the fragrance lightens and glows. The work of the ballerinas is done and it is now the task of the master perfumer to bring the fragrance into the final act. The drama may be over but there is still life in the base. Musky leather of ballet slippers slips into the warm caress of sandalwood, vetiver and vanilla as the dancers retreat to rub their feet. The fragrance is over and the performance has been appreciated. As the imagined crowd disperses into the night, Covent Garden may be ready to go to sleep but its market is about to swing into action. As late night revellers and fanciers of &lsquo;flower-girls&rsquo; drift away, their sounds are replaced by shouts and clattering of the market traders. The day has started again although it never really stops.&nbsp;</span> 0 Little Known Blenheim - Bluebell Woods Fri, 28 Jul 2017 00:00:00 GMT Guest - Emma As soon as we see the arrival of bluebells, we know that spring is here; the dawning sun of summer is on the horizon! As soon as we see the arrival of bluebells, we know that spring is here; the dawning sun of summer is on the horizon!<br/><br/><img alt="" src="/images/blogs/blog_large_520.jpg"<br/><br/><br /> <span style="font-size:14px;">As soon as we see the arrival of bluebells, we know that spring is here; the dawning sun of summer is on the horizon! Bluebells start blooming in the South first in early April and can still be around in mid May as you progress further North.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Bluebells herald the lengthening of the days and the onset of warmer days. If their little bells could ring, they would be chiming in the arrival of positivity and growth. The Japanese have cherry blossom, New England has Fall and the English have bluebells. &nbsp;Kew Gardens recently stated that just under 50% of the world&rsquo;s bluebells are found in the UK. They are perfectly happy growing on the floors of woods and forests and are adapted to cover the woodland floor before other plants are even in leaf. &nbsp;There are legends and stories around the bluebell. Those who wear them are compelled to tell the truth and they are also considered a symbol of constancy. Many believe they were the original &lsquo;something blue&rsquo; for brides. There are many who also think that bluebells are linked with fairies. It is not hard to think how these legends and tales came about; there is something special, almost magical about a bluebell wood.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> The Blenheim estate is rich in bluebells; Blenheim&rsquo;s grounds are also home to the largest number of ancient oak trees in Europe. The woods and oaks date back to medieval times and beyond. One of the trees is estimated as being 1,050 years old. This habitat is perfect for the development and growth of bluebells. They thrive in the rich habitat provided by these ancient trees. A visit to Blenheim in the spring is a must.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Enjoying bluebells is like enjoying a fine wine. The best time to experience them is mid morning (not actually recommended for wine!) A little hint of mist or frost in the air adds to the ambience. Next take a long, languid look; as you gaze across the bluebells, you will notice that they really are not blue at all. They change from delphinium, deep sky, Persian blue to shades of blue-lilac. Then look at each little bell hanging delicately down, as if they are too shy to raise their heads and as you do this, drink in their aroma. The scent is green and fresh, a mix of dew and minerality and is distinctly floral. If this does not evoke childhood memories and wistfulness, you need to go and visit Blenheim and then take a wander over to the woods and spend as much time as you can to create new memories and a connection with nature at its best and most English.&nbsp;</span><br /> 0 Little Known Londoner - The Distiller Weds, 19 Jul 2017 00:00:00 GMT Guest - Emma We’ve met Emma from Coutours Walking tours and discovered her favourite haunts of London, now we move on to gin! We’ve met Emma from Coutours Walking tours and discovered her favourite haunts of London, now we move on to gin!<br/><br/><img alt="" src="/images/blogs/blog_large_529.jpg"<br/><br/><br /> <span style="font-size:14px;">We are now underway with our <a href=""><u>Little Known Londoner</u></a> series. We&rsquo;ve met <u><a href="">Emma from Coutours Walking</a></u> tours and discovered her favourite haunts of London, now we move on to gin!<br /> <br /> In 2009 two childhood friends set up the first traditional copper distillery in London since 1820. Their mission was simple: to bring London Dry Gin of truly uncompromising quality and character, back to the city where it first earned its name.<br /> <br /> We&rsquo;ve been lucky enough to talk to one of the distillers. Might I be permitted to introduce you to Kit! Normally found tending to one of the copper ladies at Sipsmith Gin Distillery, she&rsquo;s a glass half full (of gin) person&hellip;</span><br /> <br /> <span style="font-size:14px;"><strong>Name:</strong> Kit Clancy<br /> <br /> <strong>Position:</strong> Distiller<br /> <br /> <strong>Company:</strong> Sipsmith London<br /> <br /> <strong>How did you get to the position you are currently holding?</strong><br /> <br /> I came into the spirits industry the long way around, starting off working with wine where I trained my palate and gained experience in production. After becoming inspired by Sam, Fairfax and Jared&rsquo;s mission to bring the distilling of gin back to London, I joined as a trainee under the mentorship of our Head Distiller Oliver Kitson.<br /> <br /> <strong>Would you change anything on this career journey?</strong><br /> <br /> Absolutely not! I&rsquo;ve met some incredible people along the way and my previous experiences provide me with constant inspiration for pioneering new flavours.<br /> <br /> <strong>How long have you held this position?</strong><br /> <br /> It&rsquo;s very nearly my two year anniversary at Sipsmith and I&rsquo;ll be sure to celebrate it with a martini or two!<br /> <br /> <strong>Describe a typical day? (if there is such a thing!)&nbsp;</strong><br /> <br /> I&rsquo;m responsible for the daily running of the distillery and ensuring that only gin of uncompromising quality makes it into our bottles. A typical day beginning by getting our three copper stills (Prudence, Patience and Constance) up and running, with the distillation process taking around 9 hours per batch, plus maceration time. The way we make our gin is very hands on and so we have built up a strong team of distillers to ensure someone is always on hand to tweak something during the process, if required. I also assist Oliver in creating new products and liaising with suppliers, for example discussing harvest reports for the next juniper crop.<br /> <br /> <strong>What are your average hours?&nbsp;</strong><br /> <br /> On average I work a 9 hour day but the time always flies! I&rsquo;m certainly not a clock watcher.<br /> <br /> <strong>What is the favourite part of your job?</strong><br /> <br /> This a hard one&hellip; The team at Sipsmith is very strong and I&rsquo;m feel very lucky to work with such an amazing group of people. I love to work creatively with my senses and distilling is the perfect balancing act of where science meets art.<br /> Being part of crafting the first gin to be distilled in London in nearly 200 years is also a great source of pride for me. There truly is never a dull moment!<br /> <br /> <strong>When is your busiest time of year?</strong><br /> <br /> Summer and the lead up to Christmas are the busiest times for the company and require all hands to be on deck. In the distillery we try to work one step ahead and are currently developing our gins for the Christmas edition of our gin subscription service, The Sipsmith Sipping Society, which feels quite odd when it&rsquo;s 30+ degrees outside!<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <strong>Tell me something about your company that few people may know.</strong><br /> <br /> You can come and visit us and sample our gin in the very building in which it&rsquo;s made!&nbsp;<br /> <br /> <strong>What is the next exciting instalment?&nbsp;&nbsp;</strong><br /> <br /> There are always new and exciting gins being created in our Distillery Lab which people can get their hands on through our&nbsp;<u><a href="">Sipsmith Sipping Society</a></u>. Each quarter we bottle and release our favourite four recent experimental creations. A few of my favourites have included Bonfire Gin and Beekeeper Gin; the former is smoked with cherry wood, and the latter distilled with sage, orange blossom and infused with Bell Heather Honey from our friends at The London Honey Company.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> <br /> <strong>What do you do to relax in London?</strong><br /> <br /> In my free time I love to visit local farmers markets and cook with quality ingredients, an ethos which runs through from my background in wine making and distilling. I also love to get out and sip our gin in London&rsquo;s bars and restaurants.</span><br /> 0 Little Known Blenheim -The 9th Duke of Malborough Tues, 18 Jul 2017 00:00:00 GMT Guest - Emma If you wander into the grounds of the palace, there are only a few areas that are private and not accessible to the public. One such area is the Italian garden. If you wander into the grounds of the palace, there are only a few areas that are private and not accessible to the public. One such area is the Italian garden.<br/><br/><img alt="" src="/images/blogs/blog_large_518.jpg"<br/><br/><br /> <span style="font-size:14px;">If you wander into the grounds of the palace, there are only a few areas that are private and not accessible to the public. One such area is the Italian garden. While visitors can look at the order and the beauty of this space, they cannot actually walk through it. The Italian garden and the water terraces were created under the watchful eye of the 9<sup>th</sup> Duke of Blenheim, cousin and friend of Winston Churchill. In the centre of the garden is the mermaid fountain carved by American sculptor, Waldo Story. He also created the two white marble busts of the Duke and his first wife, Consuelo Vanderbilt.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> The 9<sup>th</sup> Duke of Marlborough, Charles Richard John Spencer-Churchill (1871-1934) stands out as one of the most interesting incumbent of Blenheim Palace. He was hailed as the saviour of the both the palace and the family. In 1892 when he inherited the dukedom, the estate was on the verge of bankruptcy. He was determined to restore and renovate the palace as well as keep the family from financial ruin. He had the unenviable task of repairing a dilapidated pile with the hope of returning it to a stately home once more. There were few options at this time to raise funds, so for propriety&rsquo;s sake, he chose the route of over 300 peers at the end of the 19<sup>th</sup> Century and married a wealthy American. In November 1895, he married Consuelo Vanderbilt. For those of you who are only remotely aware of notable American families, you may well have heard of the name Vanderbilt. The family was one of the wealthiest in American having made their fortunes on the building of railroads across the country. Consuelo&rsquo;s mother was desperate for Consuelo to gain the title of Duchess - the ultimate cherry on the cake, giving the family an &lsquo;old money&rsquo; connection and improved social standing.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> There was no disguising the fact that this relationship was purely transactional and financial. Consuelo&rsquo;s dowry (worth approx. &pound;62m today) was immediately set to work to pay off inheritance dues, buy back family treasures that had been sold off and start rebuilding the home. The Duke had no intention of living anywhere but Blenheim so Consuelo was dragged to the UK and lived in near isolation in her new marital home. After many years of unhappiness, Consuelo did something unimaginable; she left her husband and filed for divorce in 1921. He was now free to remarry and in the same year married the beautiful and eccentric, Gladys Deacon. Gladys was also an American and a friend of Consuelo. It was Gladys who commissioned the &lsquo;eyes&rsquo; that look down at you as you enter the portico to the house from the Great Court. She is also immortalised in the two extraordinary sphinxes between the first and second water terraces.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> The Duke&rsquo;s marriages were not successful and although he never divorced Gladys, he forced her out of Blenheim and they lived apart until the duke died in 1934.&nbsp; Taking over the responsibility of the only non-royal, secular palace in Britain was an enormous job. We might not condone his methods but if it were not for the 9<sup>th</sup> Duke, there is little doubt there would be no palace for us to enjoy today.&nbsp;</span><br /> 0 William's London: Jermyn Street & St James's Street Fri, 14 Jul 2017 00:00:00 GMT Nick The street where the Penhaligon's story began has always been a destination for Gentlemen. The street where the Penhaligon's story began has always been a destination for Gentlemen.<br/><br/><img alt="" src="/images/blogs/blog_large_285.jpg"<br/><br/><br /> <span style="font-size: 16px;">The illustrious and historic centre for Gentlemen&#39;s shopping and grooming, tucked away just behind the bustling crowds of Piccadilly, Jermyn Street &amp; St James&#39;s Street in William&#39;s day were reserved for the elite and the dandy.<br /> Around the corner from historic department store Fortnum &amp; Mason, originally founded in 1707, and the timeless Burlington Arcade.<br /> <br /> Paxton &amp; Whitfield, England&#39;s oldest Cheesmongers, has been based on Jermyn Street since 1797. Like Penhaligon&#39;s, they served the Royal Court of Victoria, and currently hold a Royal Warrant from HRH the Prince of Wales.<br /> <br /> Bespoke shirt-makers and tailors aplenty can be found on Jermyn Street today. Turnbull &amp; Asser, who also currently supply HRH the Prince of Wales, were founded in 1885, whilst T.M. Lewin, famous for creating the front fastening shirt in 1905, was founded in 1898.<br /> <br /> Footwear has also been a longstanding feature of the area - John Lobb opened his boutique in 1866 on St James&#39;s, famed for supplying the Royal Palace and Queen Victoria herself.<br /> <br /> The Hammam Baths where William Penhaligon founded his Barbershop and created his first fragrance were highly exclusive, frequented by politicians, celebrities and royalty from around the world, with Turkish masseurs from Istanbul.<br /> <br /> Penhaligon&#39;s have maintained a presence in the area, with No. 66 Jermyn Street followed by No. 33 St James&#39;s Street, before moving a road away to 25 Bury Street and Old Bond Street. Our nearest store to the area is Burlington Arcade, a short stroll away. </span> 0 Little Known Londoners Thurs, 13 Jul 2017 00:00:00 GMT Guest - Emma Over the past year, Penhaligon’s Times has brought you a series of articles called “Little Known London”, a look at some of the more unusual, forgotten and hidden buildings and places that make London unique. Over the past year, Penhaligon’s Times has brought you a series of articles called “Little Known London”, a look at some of the more unusual, forgotten and hidden buildings and places that make London unique.<br/><br/><img alt="" src="/images/blogs/blog_large_526.jpg"<br/><br/><br /> <span style="font-size:14px;">Over the past year, Penhaligon&rsquo;s Times has brought you a series of articles called &ldquo;Little Known London&rdquo;, a look at some of the more unusual, forgotten and hidden buildings and places that make London unique. For the next step, it seemed natural to look at the people behind London, those at the helm of interesting and unique businesses. Some of these are custodians of heritage who bear the responsibility of ensuring an ancient company is still relevant and viable in the crazy times in which we live. Others just serve London in the best way they can. Whilst some work behind the scenes, others are the not-so-public face of their company. Whether you have heard of them or know them by reputation, this series of blogs will give you a greater understanding of their role in London, their successes as well as the challenges that they face in this wonderful metropolis.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> We are exploring the lives of some of these people over the next few months to uncover who they are and what they do as well as find out what is special and interesting about them. Whether they run one of the most famous hotels in the world, own the oldest tea shop in London or are a seventh generation oysterman, we will tell their story and how their lives impact on our capital city.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> The series is called &ldquo;Little Known Londoners&rdquo; - those at the heart of making London great. Each piece will concentrate on a subject who has been a unique contributor to London&rsquo;s history or is helping shape our future. In turbulent times, we are delighted to bring you some pillars of London&rsquo;s society.&nbsp;</span><br /> 0 Little Known Blenheim - The Palace Weds, 28 Jun 2017 00:00:00 GMT Guest - Emma The house is a never-ending line of magnificence; grandeur is an understatement. Every vista of the house is breathless The house is a never-ending line of magnificence; grandeur is an understatement. Every vista of the house is breathless<br/><br/><img alt="" src="/images/blogs/blog_large_521.jpg"<br/><br/><br /> <span style="font-size: 14px;">As you drive through Oxford, looping around its perimeter on the dull and endless ring road, it is not easy to imagine what lies beyond. A few more roundabouts later and you leave the outskirts of the university town. You are now in the country. This is not any old countryside, this is Oxfordshire; a county of chocolate box villages and rural charm. The approach to Blenheim is imminent once you see the impressive wall that demarks the great estate. The village of Woodstock acts as an amuse bouche, a little mouthful of English quaintness before the main course of the palace. As you enter the gates, Blenheim is laid out before you like a banquet of enormous proportions. This is like no other feast you have ever enjoyed. &ldquo;This is the finest view in England&rdquo; said a rather biased but totally accurate Lord Randolph Henry Spencer-Churchill (1849 &ndash;1895).<br /> &nbsp;<br /> The setting is mouth-watering and represents the English countryside at its best. Lancelot &ldquo;Capability&rdquo; Brown took much effort to create a natural park as if it was ever thus, however all of it was designed to within an inch of its life. The whimsical bridge, the Arthurian lake, the noble gatherings of beech and oak trees with the vast baize lawn help balance and enhance the palace gracefully.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> The house is a never-ending line of magnificence; grandeur is an understatement. Every vista of the house is breathless &ndash; each Grinling Gibbons&rsquo;s carving, every dominating statue, each shimmering golden globe, clock and column creates a house of near perfection. However, it is the story of the house, the people who lived here, who were born here and their impact that makes this house more than the sum of its parts. We have to admire the vision of the 1<sup>st</sup> Duke of Marlborough (1650- 1722), who in 1705 commissioned the building of a palace to honour Queen Anne, the victory at Battle of Blindheim (Blenheim) and the shattering of the seemingly indomitable Louis XIV.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> The 9<sup>th</sup> Duke (1871- 1934) had the unenviable task of taking on a palace that was in need of a lot of renovation. He married an American heiress and her dowry helped save one of the UK&rsquo;s most important houses and helped create what we see today. It seemed a shame that she was then replaced with the beautiful and beguiling Gladys who became the duke&rsquo;s second wife. One of the most fascinating and oft overlooked delights within the palace are several eyes looking down at you as you approach the portico in the Great Court. These were commissioned by Gladys and painted in 1928 by artist, Colin Gill. The duke&rsquo;s eyes were brown and hers blue and there are six of them staring down at you. Why six? Good question; no one is really sure.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Blenheim Palace was a special place to our most famous statesman, Winston Churchill. He was born here, in his grandfather&rsquo;s home, prematurely after a rather bumpy ride from London. He also proposed to his wife, Clementine and spent some of their honeymoon at the palace as well. It was so important to Churchill that he came to be laid to rest here in 1965 at the nearby St Martin&rsquo;s church in Bladon alongside his mother, father and brother, Jack.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> The stories, the important additions and quirky details all help turn an imposing estate into a national treasure and a UNESCO World Heritage Site</span> 0 A Spot of Afternoon Tea? Tues, 27 Jun 2017 00:00:00 GMT HQ Writer… Charlotte Continuing the time honoured relationship between Penhaligon’s and Blenheim Palace, we have partnered to offer a champagne afternoon tea at The Orangery restaurant on the Blenheim Palace greounds. Continuing the time honoured relationship between Penhaligon’s and Blenheim Palace, we have partnered to offer a champagne afternoon tea at The Orangery restaurant on the Blenheim Palace greounds. <br/><br/><img alt="" src="/images/blogs/blog_default.jpg"<br/><br/><br /> <span style="font-size: 16px;">Continuing the time honoured relationship between Penhaligon&rsquo;s and Blenheim Palace, we have partnered to offer a champagne afternoon tea at The Orangery restaurant on the Blenheim Palace grounds.<br /> <br /> Treat your senses with fragrant pastries inspired by the lemon, lime and lavender notes in <a href=""><u>Blenheim Bouquet</u></a>, and a complimentary&nbsp;sample of the distinguished scent, first created in 1902.<br /> <br /> <img alt="Blenheim Bouquet Afternoon Tea at Blenheim Palace" src=" /images/blogs/B_Palace_06-min.jpg" style="width: 620px; height: 413px;" /><br /> <a href=";q=the-orangery-at-blenheim-palace-woodstock-oxfordshire"><br /> <span style="font-size: 12px;">Bookings available from 1st-31st July, at &pound;30 per person.</span></a><br /> <u><span style="font-size: 12px;"><a href=";q=the-orangery-at-blenheim-palace-woodstock-oxfordshire">Book here</a></span></u></span><br /> <br type="_moz" /> 0 Addicted to Tea Mon, 26 Jun 2017 00:00:00 GMT Guest - Emma How did tea become our nation’s favourite drink, a drink by which we are defined and parodied abroad? How did tea become our nation’s favourite drink, a drink by which we are defined and parodied abroad?<br/><br/><img alt="" src="/images/blogs/blog_large_512.jpg"<br/><br/><br /> <span style="font-size:14px;">How did tea become our nation&rsquo;s favourite drink, a drink by which we are defined and parodied abroad? We had been drinking small quantities of tea as a medicine and there is the briefest of mentions of tea by the great diarist, Samuel Pepys but it wasn&rsquo;t until the marriage of Charles II and Catherine of Braganza that tea became popular. Poor old Catherine; she took her first steps onto British soil after a rather unsettling sea voyage from Portugal to marry the King and was met with a tankard of beer. How uncouth she must have thought us! She immediately requested for her <em>chai</em> to be brought to her and without even realising, she had introduced the British to their national drink. In fact, a cup of char and charlady both come from the Chinese word for tea &ndash; chai.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Catherine&rsquo;s love of tea spread to the fashionable elite who loved the glamour and ceremony of tea. Ladies would join her in drinking the scalding Chinese elixir from charming handleless cups. These included the smoky Lapsang Souchon as well as various Pekoes, the tips of the youngest black tea plants. This certainly wasn&#39;t a cheap beverage and this new-found passion meant that we really needed to make friends with and trade with China to get our tea. The little tea that was coming into the country was incredibly expensive. Ladies, who had taken responsibility for the tea drinking habits of the household, used lockable tea caddies so that the servants didn&rsquo;t get a taste for the leaves. We had found an aristocratic drink which was so much better than the bitter coffee that had been adopted by the City coffee houses or worse still, the ale that England relied on due to bad supplies of water. &nbsp;Even when the cost of tea was dropping, we kept the price elevated through exorbitant taxes to ensure that the hoi polloi were not able to afford it. Or so we thought!<br /> &nbsp;<br /> So, how did this aristocratic drink, which cost an arm and a leg, come to be found in the teapots of ordinary folk from Lands End to York? Smuggling! Illegal tea landed all over the coastline but the rocky coasts of Devon and Cornwall were the ideal places to land contraband unnoticed by the prying eyes of the customs men or worse, the East India Company. What started as a trickle of boats with a couple of tea chests turned into huge organised crime. By the early 1780s, an estimated 50% of tea was being smuggled into this country and enjoyed at a fraction of the price of legal tea. By trying to keep tea as the national drink of the gentry, every Tom, Dick and Harry was able to get hold of tea and lower class households were affording to drink two cups of Rosie Lea a day. In 1784 the tax that had crept up to 119% was slashed to 12.5% bringing an end to much of this activity.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> I always think of the rapid adoption of tea drinking in the country was like a tea bag placed in a pot of hot water, percolating through from coast to village, village to town until it had taken hold good and proper.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> So what next? The aristos didn&#39;t want to give up their tea, so they just needed to create a way of drinking it in a refined and genteel manner. The tea ceremony took on a new importance with the expensive tea service taking centre stage. If you could afford the delightful china from such companies as Spode, Minton or Wedgwood, you would be able to pour the hot tea straight into the cup without fear of it cracking and then you could add a drop of milk if desired. If your china couldn&rsquo;t stand up to this, you could place some milk into the cup already to temper the tea and thereby saving your china from tell-tale cracks. You could tell the class of a person by when they added milk to their tea &ndash; &nbsp;some snobs would describe people as &lsquo;milk in first&rsquo; types &ndash; i.e. not people like us!<br /> &nbsp;</span><br /> 0 The Iconic Red Coats Fri, 23 Jun 2017 00:00:00 GMT Guest - Emma An urban myth perpetuates that we chose red to avoid bloodstains showing on uniforms but this is pure poppycock An urban myth perpetuates that we chose red to avoid bloodstains showing on uniforms but this is pure poppycock<br/><br/><img alt="" src="/images/blogs/blog_large_511.jpg"<br/><br/><br /> <span style="font-size:14px;">The iconic red coat, worn by the British army for centuries, is seen as a symbol of British pomp and ceremony. To many, the scarlet woollen jacket with its characteristic long tails is a symbol of the British Empire worn in battle until the end of the 19<sup>th</sup> Century. Interestingly, it was first used in the English Civil War for Oliver Cromwell&rsquo;s New Model Army (a rather unpatriotic start to this most nationalist of uniforms!) and it would be used for centuries to come, either as battle dress or ceremonial garb. The English and later British soldiers were nicknamed &ldquo;redcoats&rdquo;. Mention redcoats to an American and their high school history comes flooding back. It was George Washington who coined the phrase in the Revolutionary War; a David and Goliath moment where the Colonies united against the sea of red uniforms and won. But how did we land on this striking shade of red?<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Today, we might argue that red is our national colour, from post boxes to buses, this bright regal hue is hard to miss throughout Blighty, especially London. Nothing says London more than the number 15 Routemaster tootling past The Tower of London but surely, it was a questionable choice for soldiers? You would think that they would have stood out like the proverbial sore thumb. In fact, instead of a hindrance, the colour became a benefit. 18<sup>th</sup> and 19<sup>th</sup> Century battlefields would have been swamped with billows of thick grey smoke and jet black gunpowder, so even the freshest, cleanest, brightest redcoat would have struggled to stand out. However, its fighting chance of being noticed went a great way in helping us distinguish between friend and foe. An urban myth perpetuates that we chose red to avoid bloodstains showing on uniforms but this is pure poppycock &ndash; blood left a dark crimson, almost black, stain even on the reddest of jackets.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> The bright red pigment, called Alizarin or Turkey Red (from its Middle Eastern roots) was a much prized dye or pigment for the Egyptians as well as the British militia. Found in madder root, also known as Rose Madder, the formula was complex and the methods to create it were fussy and over complicated. By the late 18<sup>th</sup> Century, persistent European dye experts and chemists had worked out how to make cheaper versions and getting the red that we clearly loved and cherished became much more affordable.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Whilst the British redcoat lives on in the Foot Guards, the Life Guards and also as officers&rsquo; mess dress for formal occasions, it&rsquo;s no longer used in combat. As warfare has changed, so has its uniform. Invisibility is key and blending in to environments is essential in most scenarios, so the British army has used the more practical khaki since 1902. We still love the red uniforms, whether at a full military tattoo or the distant marching band on a walk through London&rsquo;s royal quarters; it is a sight that both rouses the British national psyche and delights overseas visitors.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</span><br /> 0 A Turkish Rose Weds, 31 May 2017 00:00:00 GMT Louise Rosen The most unusual was their black rose, the rarest of flowers, which originates from the nearby banks of the Euphrates. The most unusual was their black rose, the rarest of flowers, which originates from the nearby banks of the Euphrates.<br/><br/><img alt="" src="/images/blogs/blog_large_517.jpg"<br/><br/><br /> <span style="font-size:14px;">The Turkish town of Halfeti is a wonderful mix of Byzantine, Armenian, Egyptian and Ottoman heritage and a town well versed to trading with the world. The Levant Company was set up to create a relationship with the Ottoman Empire bringing exotic goods to English society.<br /> <br /> From spices to soft leathers, cloth to coffee, heavy damasks to golden currants, this trading company had control of the most desirable commodities of this region. Our relationship grew, the Ottoman Empire was intoxicating and by the 19th Century, London&rsquo;s aristocracy was in awe of this fading power. Great fortunes were to be made in the valuable raw silks and cottons that were considered more stylish than the home-grown silks of Soho and Spitalfields.<br /> <br /> Of all the commodities traded in and around the town of Halfeti, the most unusual was their black rose, the rarest of flowers, which originates from the nearby banks of the Euphrates. These roses bloom once a year and it is the combination of its terroir and the pH of the river that creates a rose of the darkest shade of red.</span><br /> <br /> <blockquote> <div style="text-align: center;"> <span style="font-size:16px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;">&quot;This red develops into a soft black in the hot suns of the summer.&quot;</span>&nbsp;</span></div> </blockquote> <br /> <span style="font-size:14px;">The Halfeti black rose was most covetable especially to the gothic Victorians. The oil extracted from the rose petals forms the mid note of Halfeti is used to dramatic and mysterious effect.</span><br /> 0 In Conversation With Perfumer, Alex Lee Mon, 29 May 2017 00:00:00 GMT Guest - Alex We spoke to Alex Lee, creator of our new Trade Routes fragrances, about his intriguing inspiration for Agarbathi & Paithani. We spoke to Alex Lee, creator of our new Trade Routes fragrances, about his intriguing inspiration for Agarbathi & Paithani.<br/><br/><img alt="" src="/images/blogs/blog_large_513.jpg"<br/><br/><br /> <span style="font-size:14px;"><strong>How did you start out in the Perfume industry?</strong><br /> &nbsp;<br /> In 2007, I left my home of California for Lyon, France, in order to study French. I knew the French language would be critical to work in the industry. The beginnings of my perfumery studies started a few months later at the Grasse Institute of Perfumery, where I fell in love with the city of Grasse and its expertise in natural ingredients. Upon graduation, I moved to Paris to study at the Institut Sup&eacute;rieur International du Parfum de la Cosm&eacute;tique et de l&#39;Aromatique Alimentaire (ISIPCA) in Versailles. In 2011, I was accepted into the internal perfumery school at MANE, the company where I currently work. Since completing my training late 2013, I have been working on fine fragrance projects in MANE&rsquo;s Parisian creative center.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <strong>What drew you to the world of fragrance? Did you always know you wanted to be a perfumer?</strong><br /> &nbsp;<br /> I was born far from the fragrance capitals in California&rsquo;s Silicon Valley, to a Taiwanese mother and Singaporean father, both with scientific backgrounds. For as long as I can remember, I was drawn to scent: I have vivid memories of chasing young girls in kindergarten to smell the shampoo in their hair. My pursuits in adolescence changed to perfume itself, and collecting and learning about perfume became a hobby.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> In America, documentaries about Grasse or perfumery were not prevalent. Not knowing the perfumer career existed, I focused on a different calling: to care for people through medicine. I pursued bioengineering in college in parallel with a pre-med course load. A series of unexpected events led me to realize that perfume could be a form of medicine&mdash;a medicine for the spirit&mdash;and a fortunate encounter with someone in the perfume industry turned my compass towards Grasse.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <strong>Describe your style. Is your personality reflected in the fragrances you create?</strong><br /> &nbsp;<br /> My ideas come from new ingredients associations combined with raw material overdoses. I try to resist external pressures to draw inspiration from or create towards existing olfactive forms that we know &lsquo;work&rsquo;. Ultimately, a brand&rsquo;s internal strategy dictates how much olfactive risk to take, which affects creativity. Personally, I am not truly satisfied with the final creation unless I have brought something new to the perfume art. With the Penhaligon&rsquo;s Trade Routes project, I was given carte blanche to create two purely creative fragrances with the only directions being the two themes: incense and spices.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <strong>How long does it take you to develop a fragrance?</strong><br /> &nbsp;<br /> The length of development time (sometimes up to a few years) depends on the deadline and the brand&rsquo;s satisfaction&mdash;most often than not, it is the deadline that dictates when the fragrance is done. Perfumery is an art and I am a perfectionist&mdash;the more time I have, the better the fragrance. But, what may be more critical than time is olfactive leadership. The Penhaligon&rsquo;s duo took only a few months; each round of reworks was efficient and moved the note forward quickly. This was pioneered by great olfactive vision and direction from Penhaligon&rsquo;s. In fact, we finished Paithani with just one round of reworks. It was pretty much the initial idea straight into the bottle! Agarbathi took a bit longer as we needed to improve its signature and power.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <strong>What are your favourite materials and scents to work with?</strong><br /> &nbsp;<br /> I have no favourites. They are all indispensable in the different contexts of perfume creation. But in this moment, I do like milky ingredients.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <strong>When did you first discover Penhaligon&rsquo;s?</strong><br /> &nbsp;<br /> When I finished high school, I discovered the niche perfumery world. It did not take me long after to find Penhaligon&rsquo;s!<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <strong>Do you have a favourite Penhaligon&rsquo;s fragrance?</strong><br /> &nbsp;<br /> My first favourite was <em>Blenheim Bouquet</em>. My most recent favourite is <em>Much Ado About The Duke</em>.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <strong>Tell us about the briefing process for Agarbathi and Paithani?</strong><br /> &nbsp;<br /> The night before I received the brief, I was so excited I could not sleep! Penhaligon&rsquo;s wanted to expand the Trade Routes collection with a new destination: India. Two fragrances needed to be created to complement the Trade Routes collection inspired from the incense and spice trade routes. At the briefing, I was reminded of the three technical values of Penhaligon&rsquo;s fragrances: the fragrances must be powerful, rich, and leave a strong sillage. Then Penhaligon&rsquo;s sent me back to the lab to play.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <strong>Where did you draw your inspiration from?</strong><br /> &nbsp;<br /> For Paithani, I drew inspiration from the Indian masala chai drink: the delicious spicy black tea of cardamom, black pepper, nutmeg, and other spices with milk. The idea was to create the smell of the spicy cocktail with an emphasis on the milky note and the leathery aspect of black tea.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Agarbathi is meant to transport one inside an Indian temple. I wanted to create the smell of sandalwood and burning incense sticks dancing with the intoxicating sillage of jasmine garlands donned by the worshippers. In the background, there is the smell of milk being offered to the Hindu Gods.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <strong>Have you ever been to India?</strong><br /> &nbsp;<br /> Sadly, not yet, but it is one of my next trips!<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <strong>Why do you use Milk in both fragrances?</strong><br /> &nbsp;<br /> When I saw the brief, I was immediately drawn to the idea of masala chai. Milk is already an ingredient in the tea recipe; the initial idea of Agarbathi did not contain milk.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> I knew milk is something very symbolic and sacred in the Hindu religion. At one point, I remembered that out of worship to their Gods, Hindus made offerings of milk. Milk was the final touch we put in Agarbathi to complete its story, ultimately linking the two fragrances together.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <strong>How is it possible to use Milk in fragrance?</strong><br /> &nbsp;<br /> Due to technical reasons, perfumers cannot use natural milk directly in perfumes. But thanks to our scientists who synthesize perfumery molecules, perfumers have a small palette of ingredients that can help create the olfactive illusion of milk. Sulfurol is my favorite milky ingredient and I used it in both creations. This molecule, which also exists in nature, is used mostly in flavourings and has more of a warm milk facet.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <strong>What does the Milk ingredient bring to a fragrance?</strong><br /> &nbsp;<br /> Sulfurol imparts creaminess, volume, and a new type of addiction to a perfume.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <strong>Is Milk the future?!</strong><br /> &nbsp;<br /> I hope so!&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <strong>When you are in London, what are your favourite places to visit?</strong><br /> &nbsp;<br /> Liberty London. I cannot seem to have enough of it.<br /> &nbsp;</span><br /> 0 Little Known London - The Sounds of Columbia Road Thurs, 25 May 2017 00:00:00 GMT Guest - Emma <br/><img alt="" src="/images/blogs/blog_large_505.jpg"<br/><br/><br /> <span style="font-size:14px;">If you&rsquo;re in Shoreditch or Bethnal Green on a Sunday morning, you&rsquo;ll be sure to spot a tote bag overflowing with tulips, a basket full of sunflowers or perhaps a yummy mummy lugging a lemon tree. You can bet they&rsquo;re all on their way home from the floral haven that is Columbia Road Flower Market.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> This lively, colourful market takes place every Sunday just off Hackney Road. It&rsquo;s crammed with locals and tourists trying to snag a bargain and market-sellers, specializing in seasonal herbs, flowers and bushes. It&#39;s the noise of the market that gets me every time. As you approach, the hustle and bustle hits you and then the yelling starts! Get there at 9am, and the market&rsquo;s not yet fully going but the traders have started with their banter &ndash; &lsquo;get your roses here, my darling!&rsquo; &lsquo;look at these hardy Chrysanths&rsquo; by 1pm, the cries are more likely to be &lsquo;three bunches for a fiver&rsquo; &nbsp;&lsquo;here&rsquo;s a box of 24 for twelve pound!&rsquo; It&#39;s a short day &ndash; it&rsquo;s all over by 3pm so everyone is trying to make the most of the small window of opportunity.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> And don&rsquo;t forget &ndash; it&rsquo;s not only a flower market. Why not pop into one of the art galleries, antique shops or caf&eacute;s that make up the community of 60 independent shops here? Pick up some collectable furniture at Two Columbia Road, peruse some vintage fashion at Glitterati, check out some Cornish art at the Columbia Road Gallery or keep the kids happy at gift and interior shop, Dandy Star. It&rsquo;s also worth a pit-stop for some calamari at Lee&rsquo;s Seafoods, serving fish here since World War II.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> If you&rsquo;re on Columbia Road this Sunday, do take a moment mid-stroll to ponder on the history of this street. It was once a walkway for sheep from the rural East End heading to the slaughterhouse at Smithfields. It gained notoriety in the 1830s as the residence of the London Burkers. This gang would dig up freshly-buried bodies to sell on for anatomical study. It transpired that they also committed some murders in their house on this street, then Novia Scotia Gardens. It was such an infamous London crime, that the police charged tourists 5 shillings a head to visit their house, where they could also purchase souvenirs.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Later, the area became a dilapidated, poverty-stricken slum, which, in the 1860s, prompted philanthropist, Angela Burdett-Coutts, to build social housing here and start a market to help the residents earn a living. She was a lady of many talents &ndash; she endowed the bishopric of British Columbia (hence the name Columbia Road in honour of her) and was the president of the British Goat Society. What an important lady indeed. By Act of Parliament, the market&rsquo;s trading day was moved from Saturday to Sunday, to help the local Jewish population. Flower traders in Spitalfields and Covent Garden saw an opportunity to sell their Saturday leftovers here and it had soon become a street synonymous with bargain flowers and also caged songbirds. The rest, as they say, is history.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Columbia Road is the perfect place to stroll off a hangover on a summery Sunday morning &ndash; if that doesn&rsquo;t work, pop into the Birdcage pub and drink yourself a new one.&nbsp;</span><br /> <br /> <br style="font-size: 14px;" /> <a href="" style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-size: 10px;">(PHOTO CREDIT JEROME YEWDALLL)</span></a><br /> <br /> 0 Little Known London - The Hampstead Pergola Weds, 24 May 2017 00:00:00 GMT Guest - Emma If you were to be dropped into a little-known place called the Hill Garden, you might look around and guess that you were on a glorious hilltop near Florence or perhaps in a quaint English country garden. But, no, this magnificent floral paradise, is, in fact, hidden away on London’s very own Hampstead Heath. If you were to be dropped into a little-known place called the Hill Garden, you might look around and guess that you were on a glorious hilltop near Florence or perhaps in a quaint English country garden. But, no, this magnificent floral paradise, is, in fact, hidden away on London’s very own Hampstead Heath.<br/><br/><img alt="" src="/images/blogs/blog_large_503.jpg"<br/><br/><br /> <span style="font-size:14px;">If you were to be dropped into a little-known place called the Hill Garden, you might look around and guess that you were on a glorious hilltop near Florence or perhaps in a quaint English country garden. But, no, this magnificent floral paradise, is, in fact, hidden away on London&rsquo;s very own Hampstead Heath.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> The highlight of the garden is undoubtedly its pergola with its imposing stone structure, adorned with spectacular flora. Green vines wind their way around its columns and in the spring, lilac wisteria nestle along its arches overhead. Indeed, the Hill Garden is a unique little spot and its secluded serenity carries with a slightly eerie atmosphere. Whilst clambering its stairs and nipping through its snickets, all alone, you might almost imagine yourself as a character in a Shakespearian romantic tragedy, or a gothic Bront&euml; melodrama.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> The garden was the vision of Lord Leverhulme, who owned the attached house. The soap tycoon started brands like Sunlight and Lux and began the organisation that has today become Unilever. More than a businessman, though, he was a philanthropist, who had many friends and enjoyed socialising with, and helping others. The garden was created in 1905-6 as a luxurious way for him to entertain his various guests. It was built just as the Hampstead Northern Line extension was being constructed &ndash; and they used much of the soil dug up for the tube tunnels in building the garden, making for easy disposal of the underground spoils &ndash; a handy Edwardian win-win.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Left to fall into disrepair during the twentieth century, its more recent renovations have made it accessible, but have left it with a certain rustic feel, which only adds to its almost otherworldly charm. It&rsquo;s certainly beautiful, but prim and proper it is not. It feels ever so slightly dilapidated and overgrown. Mary Berry might call it &lsquo;informal&rsquo;. If you stumbled upon it unawares, you might even wonder if you were the first to see it in a century, such is its secret, time-capsule-like atmosphere. It&rsquo;s as close as you could come to a real-life Secret Garden.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> The Hill Garden pergola is one of the few places in London where it&rsquo;s possible to feel transported in both place and time to somewhere quite astonishingly different to the rest of our modern bustling city. Once an extravagant Edwardian pleasure garden for parties and promenades, this rugged, mysterious paradise is easily one of London&rsquo;s most enchanting hidden gems.<br /> <br /> <br /> <a href=""><span style="font-size:10px;">(PHOTO CREDIT PETER O&#39;CONNOR)</span></a></span><br /> <br /> 0 Milk In Fragrance Thurs, 18 May 2017 00:00:00 GMT Guest - Alex <br/><img alt="" src="/images/blogs/blog_large_515.jpg"<br/><br/><div style="text-align: center;"> <br /> <em><span style="font-size:14px;">Inspired by the blend of powerful spices &amp; sweet milk in Masala Chai and the presence of milk in India ritual, milk accord is a heart note in the two new Trade Routes fragrances.<br /> Agarbathi pairs the tranquillity of the temple with the vibrancy of Life and Ritual. Paithani is inspired by soothing Chai, with notes of nutmeg, rose and milk.</span></em></div> <br /> <br /> <span style="font-size:16px;"><em>Why do you use Milk in both fragrances (Paithani &amp; Agarbathi)?</em><br /> &nbsp;<br /> When I saw the brief (for the fragrances), I was immediately drawn to the idea of masala chai. Milk is already an ingredient in the tea recipe; the initial idea of Agarbathi did not contain milk. I knew milk is something very symbolic and sacred in the Hindu religion. At one point, I remembered that out of worship to their Gods, Hindus made offerings of milk. Milk was the final touch we put in Agarbathi to complete its story, ultimately linking the two fragrances together.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <em>How is it possible to use Milk in fragrance?</em><br /> &nbsp;<br /> Due to technical reasons, perfumers cannot use natural milk directly in perfumes. But thanks to our scientists who synthesize perfumery molecules, perfumers have a small palette of ingredients that can help create the olfactive illusion of milk. Sulfurol is my favourite milky ingredient and I used it in both creations. This molecule, which also exists in nature, is used mostly in flavourings and has more of a warm milk facet.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <em>What doe s the Milk ingredient bring to a fragrance?</em><br /> &nbsp;<br /> Sulfurol imparts creaminess, volume, and a new type of addiction to a perfume.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <em>Is the idea of Milk in fragrance the future?!</em><br /> &nbsp;<br /> I hope so!</span><br /> 0 Incense Route Mon, 15 May 2017 00:00:00 GMT Guest - Emma The latest addition to Penhaligon's Trade Routes Collection, transport us to India. Agarbathi embodies the peacefulness of the temples of India, with hints of sandalwood, fir balsam and a heart note of velvety incense. The latest addition to Penhaligon's Trade Routes Collection, transport us to India. Agarbathi embodies the peacefulness of the temples of India, with hints of sandalwood, fir balsam and a heart note of velvety incense.<br/><br/><img alt="" src="/images/blogs/blog_large_508.jpg"<br/><br/><div style="text-align: center;"> <br /> <em><span style="font-size:14px;">The latest addition to Penhaligon&#39;s Trade Routes Collection, transport us to India. Agarbathi embodies the peacefulness of the temples of India, with hints of sandalwood, fir balsam and a heart note of velvety incense.</span></em><br /> &nbsp;</div> <span style="font-size:14px;">What springs to mind when you think of incense? Buddhist shrines? Catholic mass? hippies and patchouli? For most, incense conjures up images of ritualistic worship in the exotic lands of South Asia and the Far East, however, incense originated somewhere slightly closer to home. The ancient Egyptians began using incense in roughly 2400BC and, whilst they believed it helped ward off evil spirits, its main use was to overpower the wretched smells of day-to-day living and also in medicine as a cure for poisonous snakebites. As incense travelled beyond Egypt, this combination of religion and pragmatism accompanied it on its journey around the world.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> From the pharaohs and physicians of Egypt, incense spread both East and West. It arrived in Britain via the Roman Empire and the word incense comes from the Latin <em>incendere </em>meaning &lsquo;to burn&rsquo;. Whilst most of us are familiar with the Spice Route, the lesser-known Incense Route thrived between the 7<sup>th</sup> century BC and the 2<sup>nd</sup> century AD, allowing the trade of exotic fragrances, such as frankincense and myrrh on a triumphant path running from the bustling Mediterranean ports through Egypt and the Middle East and into northern India. Although religious uses were common, incense was used to a wide range of ends: to ward off the plague in Israel, to give an aura of invincibility to the helmets of samurai warriors in Japan and even to tell the time in China. Oh, how versatile those humble little sticks are!<br /> &nbsp;<br /> The pomp of incense in religious rituals and ceremonies is undoubtedly its most iconic usage. Huge clouds of smoke fill Buddhist shrines in China and Taiwan, where large incense coils swing from the ceiling and throngs of worshippers waft bundles in the air as their chants echo through the intense fragrances. A more sombre ceremony can be found in orthodox churches in Europe, where puffs of smoke billow from the swinging thurible, particularly during Eucharist. And nowhere is incense more ubiquitous than India. From Rajasthan to Kerala, incense plays a crucial role in Hindu puja and prayer rituals, not only in the temple, but also in the home. Incense sticks made of bamboo can be found in street markets across the land; their colours as vibrant as their scents. Indeed, the fragrances we most associate with incense in the UK today were all first used in India: precious frankincense, delicate sandalwood and exotic cypress. In ancient Egypt, pinewood, grasses and cinnamon would have been far more common.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> The English have had a slightly more reluctant attitude to incense. It was banned in religious worship at churches in Elizabethan England as it had come to be associated with petty superstition and sacrilegious idol worship. However, this didn&rsquo;t stop its pragmatic usage, even in churches. Cheeky churchwardens regularly used incense to perfume the church and rid it of more ominous odours. Whatever its use, its powerful and vivid scent allows incense to truly change the mood of a room in an instant. It releases tension and revitalises energy.&nbsp;</span><br /> 0 Little Known London - Secret Gardens in Bloom Tues, 09 May 2017 00:00:00 GMT HQ Writer… Alex C As the weather gets warmer and first leaves and flowers start covering the capital I feel the need to follow the sunshine. As the weather gets warmer and first leaves and flowers start covering the capital I feel the need to follow the sunshine.<br/><br/><img alt="" src="/images/blogs/blog_large_481.jpg"<br/><br/><div style="text-align: center;"> <br /> <span style="font-size:12px;">Meet the Penhaligon&rsquo;s staff, working throughout our stately home and company,<br /> with a wealth of knowledge beyond the ins and outs of the esteemed Portrait&rsquo;s Family.<br /> <br /> Allow the staff to guide you through the streets of London, delve into fragrance and instil proper Penhaligon&rsquo;s dinner party etiquette.</span><br /> &nbsp;</div> <br /> <span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;">As the weather gets warmer and first leaves and flowers start covering the capital I feel the need to follow the sunshine. Where is one to go for a stroll, read a book or parade around a new spring wardrobe<span style="font-size:12px;">?</span> I rounded up five of my favourite secret (or not so secret gardens) where you can let your mind relax and unwind and take in the scent of blooming flowers.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <strong>Isabella Plantation, South West London</strong><br /> A stunning 40 acre woodland garden set within a Victorian plantation established in 1830&#39;s in Richmond Park. It lures you in with its evergreen azaleas, which line the ponds and streams and put their beautiful flowers on display from late April.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> <img alt="" src=" /images/blogs/Isabella_Plantation.jpg" style="width: 610px; height: 402px;" /><br /> <br /> <strong>Fenton House and Garden, North London</strong><br /> A beautiful 17<sup>th</sup>century merchant&rsquo;s house in Hampstead is accompanied by a walled garden with roses as well as a 300-year old orchard which boasts thirty different types of apple trees that flourish each year. From March onwards you can simply relax in these splendid surroundings or for the more active enjoy a game of croquet.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> <img alt="" src="/images/blogs/Fenton_House_2.jpg" style="width: 610px; height: 458px;" /><br /> <br /> <strong>The Inns of Court, Central London</strong><br /> A series of squares and courtyards between Theobalds Road, High Holborn and the Embankment are home to London&rsquo;s legal profession. Head to the smaller spaces such as Staple Inn and Fountain Court to sit down and read, surrounded by medieval charm which is rare to find in London. The larger spaces like Lincoln&#39;s Inn and The Temple are vibrant and elegant, ideal for a late afternoon picnic with friends.<br /> <br /> <img alt="" src="/images/blogs/inns_courts.jpg" style="width: 610px; height: 375px;" /></span></span><br /> <br /> <p style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt; background-image: initial; background-position: initial; background-size: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial;"> <span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><b><span style="color: rgb(52, 52, 52);">Hampstead Pergola, North London</span></b></span></span></p> <p style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt; background-image: initial; background-position: initial; background-size: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial;"> <span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><span style="color: rgb(52, 52, 52);">Hampstead Pergola is a true hidden treasure of the turn of the century, which will charm you with faded opulence. This raised walkway is covered in vines and exotic flowers, dramatically nestled in splendid gardens. Take a walk through this stunning location to experience its eerie atmosphere and enjoy the spectacular views over Hampstead Heath.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> <img alt="" src=" /images/blogs/Hampstead_Pergola_2.jpg" style="float: left; width: 290px; height: 387px; margin: 1px 15px 15px 5px;" /><img alt="" src="/images/blogs/Hampstead_Pergola.jpg" style="width: 290px; height: 387px; margin: 1px 5px 15px 15px; float: right;" /> </span></span></span><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>Eltham Palace and Gardens</strong><br /> When the sun is shining at the weekend, why not make a day trip down to Eltham Palace and Gardens, an Art-Deco mansion which will transport you back to the 1930&rsquo;s as you enjoy your picnic in its glorious ornamental gardens. Afterwards inhale the sweet smell of roses in the sunken rose garden and admire the herbaceous border designed by award-winning garden designer Isabelle Van Groeningen.</span></span><br /> <br /> <img alt="" src="/images/blogs/Eltham_Palace.JPG" style="width: 610px; height: 407px;" /></p> 0 Savoy Steam Perfumer Fri, 05 May 2017 00:00:00 GMT Louise Rosen At just 13 years old, Perfumer and creator of Savoy Steam, Juliette Karagueuzoglou realised she wanted to become a perfumer. At just 13 years old, Perfumer and creator of Savoy Steam, Juliette Karagueuzoglou realised she wanted to become a perfumer.<br/><br/><img alt="" src="/images/blogs/blog_large_471.jpg"<br/><br/><div> <br /> <span style="font-size: 14px;">PERFUMER: JULIETTE KARAGUEUZOLGLOU</span><br /> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="font-size: 14px;">At just 13 years old Juliette realised she wanted to become a perfumer.</span><br /> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="font-size: 14px;">After her scientific Baccalaureate and a degree in chemistry, Juliette passed the ISIPCA entrance exam. While a student at ISIPCA, her course was combined with two year&#39;s work experience at Expressions Parfum&eacute;es in Grasse.</span></div> <div> <span style="font-size: 14px;">At the end of her studies she joined IFF in March 2002, where she continues to work to this day.</span><br /> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="font-size: 14px;">Juliette Karagueuzoglou was awarded the Fashion Group International&#39;s Rising Star Award in 2010.</span><br /> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="font-size: 14px;">Juliette has worked on fragrances for YSL (L&rsquo;Homme), Versace (Versace Pour Femme Oud Oriental), Givenchy (Very Irresistible for Men) and many more&hellip;<br /> <br /> <u><a href="">Read more about Juliette and her scent memories from&nbsp;</a></u></span><u><a href=""><span style="font-size: 14px;">childhood and parenthood.</span></a></u><span style="font-size: 14px;">&nbsp;</span></div> 0 Turkish Fouta Fri, 05 May 2017 00:00:00 GMT Louise Rosen The colours of Italian marble. A complexion of refinement and finesse. <br /><br /> But prey, is that a bow-tie or a Turkish Fouta? The colours of Italian marble. A complexion of refinement and finesse. <br /><br /> But prey, is that a bow-tie or a Turkish Fouta?<br/><br/><img alt="" src="/images/blogs/blog_large_470.jpg"<br/><br/><div style="margin:0 auto;text-align: center;"> <br /> <span style="font-size:16px;">With a custom-made and fabric gift box,<br /> we know that Saville Row is not far.<br /> With such a label, the oracle of The London Chronicle is almost be heard.</span><br /> <p> <span style="font-size:16px;">As crisp and clean as after a steam!</span></p> <p> <span style="font-size:16px;">With order, we uplift the spirit.<br /> In sobriety, we find a certain evocation of the serene.</span></p> <p> <span style="font-size:16px;">The colours of Italian marble.<br /> A complexion of refinement and finesse.</span></p> <p> <span style="font-size:16px;">But prey, is that a bow-tie or a Turkish Fouta?</span></p> </div> <br /> 0 Leighton House - Behind the Scenes Fri, 28 Apr 2017 00:00:00 GMT Alex We continue Penhaligon’s Trade Routes journey around the world in fragrance through Morocco, Turkey and the Orient, finally reaching the home of spices and ancient silks. We continue Penhaligon’s Trade Routes journey around the world in fragrance through Morocco, Turkey and the Orient, finally reaching the home of spices and ancient silks.<br/><br/><img alt="" src="/images/blogs/blog_default.jpg"<br/><br/><style type="text/css"> { display: none; } @media only screen and (max-device-width: 480px) { .img-responsive { display: none; } .desktop { display:none; } { display: block; } }</style> <br /> <span style="font-size:16px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;">We continue Penhaligon&rsquo;s Trade Routes journey around the world in fragrance through <u><a href="">Morocco</a></u>, <u><a href="">Turkey</a></u> and the <u><a href="">Caribbean</a></u>, finally reaching the home of spices and ancient silks.<br /> <br /> <img alt="Leighton House" src="/images/blogs/Leighton_Peacock.JPG" style="width: 300px; height: 400px; float: left; margin: 10px;" /><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Our Trade Routes exploration took us to Leighton House, once the home of artist Lord Frederic Leighton. Filled with tiles and ceramic artifacts Leighton collected on his travels in the Middle East, in the late 19thC, Leighton House is also the location of the most recent Trade Routes photoshoot.<br /> <br /> Here is a sneak peak, behind-the-scenes of the Trade Route Collection photoshoot.</span></span><br /> <br /> &nbsp;<br /> <div class="desktop"> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> &nbsp;</div> <img alt="" class="img-responsive" src="/images/blogs/Leighton_BTS.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 400px; float: left; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" /> <img alt="" class="img-responsive" src="/images/blogs/Leighton_Ballons.JPG" style="width: 300px; height: 400px; float: right;" /> <img alt="Leighton House Dome" class="img-responsive" src=" /images/blogs/Leighton_Dome.jpg" style="width: 620px; height: 461px; margin: 15px 10px;" /> <img alt="" class="img-responsive mobile" src="/images/blogs/Leighton_BTS.jpg" style="width: 100%;" /> <span style="font-size:14px;"><a href=""><u>Further explore Leighton House. </u> </a> </span> 0 Leighton House Fri, 28 Apr 2017 00:00:00 GMT Louise Rosen Nestled down a lazy side street, behind Holland Park, sits Leighton House. To the passer-by, this redbrick building looks like a fairly humble, nondescript Victorian townhouse Nestled down a lazy side street, behind Holland Park, sits Leighton House. To the passer-by, this redbrick building looks like a fairly humble, nondescript Victorian townhouse<br/><br/><img alt="" src="/images/blogs/blog_large_509.jpg"<br/><br/><br /> <span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;">Nestled down a lazy side street, behind Holland Park, sits Leighton House. To the passer-by, this redbrick building looks like a fairly humble, nondescript Victorian townhouse, but its exterior belies what&rsquo;s hidden inside. Staid, stuffy stately home this is not, it&rsquo;s more like wandering around a Victorian jewellery box. Leighton House is truly one of London&rsquo;s best-kept secrets. If we travelled into this gallery/museum/home through the keyhole and had to guess the owner&rsquo;s identity, we would be right in assuming that this Victorian owner was well travelled and was beguiled by the art and exoticism of the Arabian Orient.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Entering into the house, visitors uncover a treasure trove of beautiful art and stunning interiors. There&rsquo;s an almost palatial ambience to the entire building with its opulent friezes and impressive columns. Vibrant cerulean, vivid reds and shimmering golds line the walls and the ceilings in a true feast for the eyes. Particularly awe-inspiring is the Arab Hall with its Islamic tiles from Damascus, intricate mosaics and imposing golden dome. It was a privilege to be able to travel in these times, to visit and gain inspiration from not only the Europeans but further afield. To witness the scale of the Egyptian temples at Abu Simbel or Karnak or even to visit Istanbul&rsquo;s grand mosques for the first time must have been humbling and at the same time, amazing. In our Instagram society, we enjoy taking pictures for posterity, however, Victorian travellers would have brought home artefacts, tales and inspiration. The impact of this travel is clear on the owner of this house, the artist, Frederic Lord Leighton.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Leighton&rsquo;s house was built in 1866 as both a studio and private art gallery. People would have heard about this amazing home studio and wanted to visit to see his eclectic home and they did; even Queen Victoria dropped by for a viewing. Today, the walls are adorned with Leighton&rsquo;s most celebrated watercolours and oil paintings, along with work by other artists of the era, such as G.F. Watts, and also Renaissance artist and sculptor, Antonio Gamberelli.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> The house is a wonderful gallery but as a home, it gives an important glimpse into the life of Lord Leighton. Sketches and letters are displayed in his personal studio as well as some personal artefacts in the surprisingly modest and simplistic bedroom. It&rsquo;s a home that tells the story of a man with an exquisite taste and a cosmopolitan savoir-faire, yet a peculiarly eccentric and solitary life. The opulent beauty of this hidden gem has been used a filming location for TV shows, such as Spooks, films, including Nicholas Nickleby and even the music video &lsquo;Gold&rsquo; by Spandau Ballet<em>. </em>I wonder what Lord Leighton would have made of the New Ro</span></span>mantics?&nbsp;</span><br /> 0 A Modern Dinner Party Tues, 25 Apr 2017 00:00:00 GMT HQ Writer… Jillian We are living in a society where dinner parties have swept back into fashion. With this some of us find ourselves in a conundrum of how far we should follow British ‘Tradition’ We are living in a society where dinner parties have swept back into fashion. With this some of us find ourselves in a conundrum of how far we should follow British ‘Tradition’<br/><br/><img alt="" src="/images/blogs/blog_large_482.jpg"<br/><br/><div style="text-align: center;"> <br /> <span style="font-size: 12px;">Meet the Penhaligon&rsquo;s staff, working throughout our stately home and company,<br /> with a wealth of knowledge beyond the ins and outs of the esteemed Portrait&rsquo;s Family.<br /> <br /> Allow the staff to guide you through the streets of London, delve into fragrance and instil proper Penhaligon&rsquo;s dinner party etiquette.</span><br /> &nbsp;</div> <br /> <span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;">We are living in a society where dinner parties have swept back into fashion. With this some of us find ourselves in a conundrum of how far we should follow British &lsquo;Tradition&rsquo;, we frantically search the internet looking for ideas and advice, call friends and family while kicking ourselves for offering to host.<br /> <br /> When you are having a mini melt down about hosting, take a moment and think how lucky you are that we don&rsquo;t live in the Victorian era. William and Elisabeth Penhaligon would have taken etiquette very seriously. Mrs Penhaligon would have been hand writing invitations requesting the pleasure of a maximum of 12 people for a date 4-6 weeks away with guests all from the same circle of society, and sending by &lsquo;Special Messenger&rsquo;! While in the year 2017 we may casually drop a group &lsquo;WhatsApp&rsquo; or create a &lsquo;Paperless Post&rsquo; invitation advertising a Mexican fiesta with a wide range of people from all over.<br /> <br /> So, gone are the days of creating an elaborate 5 course menu, slaving for hours over the stove (or ordering your staff to), dusting off the cutlery canteen that houses pieces you are unsure what they are used for, while worrying the souffl&eacute; won&rsquo;t rise.<br /> <br /> Some tips on how to host a relaxed but memorable dinner party in 2017:<br /> <br /> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Plan ahead: Once you have a confirmed dates with your guests start to think of a theme for the menu, don&rsquo;t over stretch yourself remember this is a party. A theme makes it much easier when choosing courses and dressing the table, keep in mind if you have any guests who don&rsquo;t eat certain things<br /> <br /> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Practice: Ensure you have made the food before the event, no one needs the added stress of worrying about cooking times and taste, additionally it means as a host you can enjoy a refreshing pre-dinner drink<br /> <br /> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The Table, this is the perfect place to add a touch of tradition with you own flare:<br /> <br /> o &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Linen napkins instead of paper, as well as traditional it also adds the feeling of luxury<br /> o&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Flowers on the table, this doesn&rsquo;t need to be a display you could add multiple vases&nbsp;</span></span><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;">along the table &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;or in a circle, moss plants create warmth and add a modern touch<br /> o&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Candles are a great decoration, just ensure they are not scented, you don&rsquo;t want your&nbsp;</span></span><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;">food to taste&nbsp;</span></span><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; font-size: 14px;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;">of your favourite candle. If you want to use a scented candle it is best to&nbsp;</span></span><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;">burn before your guests&nbsp;</span></span><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; font-size: 14px;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;">arrive, maybe while having drinks<br /> o&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Charger plates can change a table instantly as well as protecting your table from the&nbsp;</span></span><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;">heat of the&nbsp;</span></span><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif;">&nbsp;</span></span><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; font-size: 14px;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;">plates<br /> o&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Set the table the night before, this means you can move things about without feeling&nbsp;</span></span><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;">rushed. I&nbsp;</span></span><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif;">&nbsp;</span></span><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; font-size: 14px;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;">change my table as much as I move about the decorations on the Christmas</span></span><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; font-size: 14px;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;">tree!<br /> <br /> &bull;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Start with a cocktail hour or two, if things go wrong will your guests notice!?<br /> <br /> <br /> Happy dining<br /> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Some of my favourite shops for table items<br /> <br /> <span style="font-size: 12px;">Brissi<br /> Great for; Candles, Candle Holders, Linen Napkins and Glassware<br /> <br /> Anthropologie<br /> Fun crockery and serving dishes<br /> <br /> Neptune<br /> Table centres, candles, linens<br /> <br /> Zara Home<br /> Table runners, Candles, Fun cutlery, Glassware, Charger Plates<br /> <br /> Your family&rsquo;s cupboards!<br /> You can usually find a bit of traditional tableware</span></span></span><br /> <br type="_moz" /> 0 Savoy Cocktail Mon, 10 Apr 2017 00:00:00 GMT Alex An elegant Martini style cocktail, created by Elon Soddu of the Beaufort Bar in The Savoy Hotel, inspired by our new fragrance Savoy Steam. An elegant Martini style cocktail, created by Elon Soddu of the Beaufort Bar in The Savoy Hotel, inspired by our new fragrance Savoy Steam.<br/><br/><img alt="" src="/images/blogs/blog_large_496.jpg"<br/><br/><div style="text-align: center;"> <br /> <span style="font-size:14px;">The Beaufort Bar, sitting within the Savoy&rsquo;s former cabaret bar, matches its theatrical setting with a drinks menu inspired by the bar&#39;s long history with burlesque &amp; cabaret and the many famous, flamboyant characters who frequented the hotel.</span><br /> &nbsp;</div> <span style="font-size:16px;">How to Make...&nbsp;The Final Touch<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Ingredients:<br /> 40 ml Bombay Gin<br /> 15 ml Briotet Rose liqueur<br /> 15 ml Cocchi Rosa<br /> 5 ml Aperol<br /> &nbsp;<br /> The cocktail should be stirred with ice and served in a Martini Glass and garnished with a lime twist.<br /> &nbsp;</span><br /> <span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="text-align: center;">The drink is a very elegant Martini style cocktail, created by Elon Soddu of the Beaufort Bar at The Savoy Hotel, inspired by our new fragrance&nbsp;</span><u style="font-size: 13px; text-align: center;"><a href="">Savoy Steam</a></u><span style="text-align: center;">.</span></span> 0 Little Known London - The American Bar Sun, 02 Apr 2017 00:00:00 GMT Guest - Emma Out of what was a defensive move to save his eponymous opera company came the wondrous idea of the Savoy hotel. It was the first London hotel to encourage the London society to visit for drinks, dinners and dances and thereby becoming the place to be seen. Out of what was a defensive move to save his eponymous opera company came the wondrous idea of the Savoy hotel. It was the first London hotel to encourage the London society to visit for drinks, dinners and dances and thereby becoming the place to be seen.<br/><br/><img alt="" src="/images/blogs/blog_large_494.jpg"<br/><br/><br /> <span style="font-size:14px;">The Savoy Hotel opened for business on 6<sup>th</sup> August 1889, the brainchild of Richard D&rsquo;Oyly Carte, the Gilbert &amp; Sullivan impresario. It was a stroke of good fortune that a hotel was built at all. The D&rsquo;Oyly Carte Society was gaining fans and followers from all over the world especially America. Richard was wary of copycats stealing his ideas in the United States, so decided to stage a D&rsquo;Oyly Carte production of the Pirates of Penzance in New York. This not only stopped others trying to muscle in on his success but also gave him first hand experience of this city&rsquo;s famous hospitality. He was impressed and delighted with the level of style, service and luxury that he experienced in New York hotels and so brought this idea back to London. This was about to shake up the London hotel scene for both Londoners and visitors alike. Out of what was a defensive move to save his eponymous opera company came the wondrous idea of the Savoy hotel. It was the first London hotel to encourage the London society to visit for drinks, dinners and dances and thereby becoming <em>the</em> place to be seen. It also became a respectable place for ladies to dine together, something that had not been possible any time before this.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> The American bar opened a few years later, offering American style drinks or cocktails. The Americans had revolutionised drinking habits; they were mixing different alcohols together in the same drink to create martinis and other cocktails. The English usually mixed alcohol with waters (soda, fresh or tonic) e.g. whisky and water or gin and tonic. In 1903, Ada Coleman or &lsquo;Coley&rsquo;, to her customers, was appointed bartender and it was during her time that the first of many famous cocktails were created. You can still ask for her &lsquo;Hanky Panky&rsquo; today (oo, matron!). Harry Craddock, Ada&rsquo;s successor, is possibly the most famous of the Savoy bartenders who gave us a fair few delicious and intoxicating cocktails but also compiled the legendary Savoy Cocktail book aka the bartender&rsquo;s bible. It hit the bookshops on 21<sup>st</sup> October 1930. The American bar came into its own during US Prohibition; it&rsquo;s amazing how many Americans needed to travel to London for business during this time!<br /> &nbsp;<br /> The American Bar at The Savoy is the longest surviving of the US-inspired bars and little has changed here since the days of glamorous movie stars enjoying a drink or two here. I like to play a Savoy version of the game &lsquo;which historical figures would you like to invite for dinner?&rdquo; I would include the following:&nbsp; Winston Churchill, Charlie Chaplin, Rock Hudson, Fred Astaire, Marilyn Monroe, Marlene Dietrich, Liza Minnelli, The Queen Mother and John Wayne. I would also get Ada and Harry back to oversee the cocktails and see if Richard D&rsquo;Oyly Carte fancied seeing how far his hotel had come. Now, how many is that? Thirteen! We need Kaspar the Cat!<br /> &nbsp;</span><br /> 0 Little Known London - Kaspar The Cat Continued... Fri, 31 Mar 2017 00:00:00 GMT Guest - Emma As you near this piece of art, you will notice a reflection in the column. As it becomes clearer, you will now see a perfect reflection of the famous Kaspar. As you near this piece of art, you will notice a reflection in the column. As it becomes clearer, you will now see a perfect reflection of the famous Kaspar.<br/><br/><img alt="" src="/images/blogs/blog_large_495.jpg"<br/><br/><br /> <span style="font-size: 13px;">The story continues&hellip;</span><br /> <span style="font-size: 14px;">&nbsp;<br /> In 2010, The Savoy re-opened after a redesign and the ultimate upgrade. It was received with a great deal of interest and anticipation. In honour of Kaspar, the riverside restaurant was named the Kaspar Seafood Bar &amp; Grill &ndash; a nod to the feline&rsquo;s favourite food! Within it sits another cat, this time in white bronze and chrome, designed by Jonty Hurwitz. You may miss it on the way into the Art Deco inspired dining space but as you leave the restaurant, look out for this piece of art comprising a mirrored column and a section of a circle almost acting as a protective barrier around it.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> As you near this piece of art, you will notice a reflection in the column. As it becomes clearer, you will now see a perfect reflection of the famous Kaspar.<br /> &nbsp;</span><br /> <br type="_moz" /> 0 Little Known London - Kaspar The Cat Fri, 24 Mar 2017 00:00:00 GMT Guest - Emma In the lobby of the Savoy is a black cat; he sits aloof observing the to-ing and fro-ing of hotel guests and front of house staff. He is unnoticed by many who come to stay but those in the know can walk over and observe his fine form. In the lobby of the Savoy is a black cat; he sits aloof observing the to-ing and fro-ing of hotel guests and front of house staff. He is unnoticed by many who come to stay but those in the know can walk over and observe his fine form.<br/><br/><img alt="" src="/images/blogs/blog_large_489.jpg"<br/><br/><br /> <span style="font-size: 14px;">In the lobby of the Savoy is a black cat; he sits aloof observing the to-ing and fro-ing of hotel guests and front of house staff. He is unnoticed by many who come to stay but those in the know can walk over and observe his fine form. He will not respond as he is made of wood, sculpted out of a piece of London Plane tree. He sits upright with a glorious tail that looks almost as if he has a handle! Very occasionally, he is moved from his front of house vantage and is taken to one of the many restaurants and private dining rooms of the hotel. He has a very important role. This dashing black cat joins diners when there is a table of 13. He will sit discreetly beside his table setting, a reminder of a rather sad and unfortunate incident that took place in 1898.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Early in that year, a guest of the Savoy, Woolf Joel, held a dinner for friends in the Pinafore Room. On the evening itself, a last minute cancellation meant that the booking was now for 13 people. This caused much discussion about the superstition associated with the unlucky number including the myth that the first person to leave a table of 13 would be the first to die. Joel, being the consummate host, and probably not superstitious, left the table ahead of his guests. On his subsequent return to Johannesburg just a few weeks later, he was shot dead.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> The Savoy and much of London society heard this shocking news - not the best PR for this new hotel! Arrangements were made for any future tables of this unlucky number to be accompanied by a fourteenth &lsquo;guest&rsquo;.&nbsp; This was a member of the Savoy staff who sat amongst the unlucky others. He must have felt like a spare part trying not to listen in to the stilted conversation of the other diners who were desperately trying to ignore him!&nbsp; A more permanent solution came about in 1926. The architect, Basil Ionides, a leading force in the Art Moderne (Art Deco) movement, sculpted a black cat named Kaspar. He became the hotel&rsquo;s mascot and amused such guests as Winston Churchill as he dined within the hotel with fellow members of &ldquo;The Other Club&rdquo;. Winston was such a big fan that when he heard that Kaspar had been &lsquo;abducted&rsquo; during a moment of high jinx during WWII, he allegedly saw to Kaspar&rsquo;s safe return.<br /> <br /> <u><a href=""><span style="font-size: 13px;">To be continued...</span></a></u></span><br /> <br /> <br type="_moz" /> 0