Luxury Travel and Lifestyle Blog

Spring Fashion: Bold Patterns From River Island

Our winter woolies have served us well over these past few months, but it's now time to give our wardrobes a bit of a spring clean and slip into something a little more colourful.

The High Street is full of beautifully bold (and totally wearable) designs at the moment that will take you all the way into high summer. So, here's a little edit of a few of my favourite pieces from River Island that I am completely in love with.


I've always had a love / hate relationship with culottes but this season's styles are so sassy I just couldn't resist! With a tie waist and loose, wide legs, their a trouser style that suits all shapes and sizes. A perfect summer alternative if you don't want to flash too much flesh.

Green Printed Culottes, £35

Stripes are back - and this season, they're all funked up! I love this hanky hem vest because it requires minimal effort but is still bold and interesting. With a V-neck front and key hole detail on the back, it's a little bit more than your average vest and can be dressed up or dressed down.

Navy Stripe Hanky Hem Vest, £28

I have the same love of florals as a 1950's housewife but this gorgeous top is more than just a pretty fabric. With a beaded string-tie waist and cut-out shoulders, it's floaty and feminine while being bang on trend. Pair it with a pair of high-waisted wet look leggings and chunky boots for an edgy twist.

Orange Floral Print T-Shirt, £32

Products available from River Island stores and

What will you be wearing this spring?

Spring Beauty Picks: Joan Collins Timeless Beauty Range

It's officially Spring and I couldn't be any happier! It's as if the whole world has suddenly woken up from its winter slumber. The days are drawing out. The sun is shining brighter. Strawberries are in season... Life is good!

With vibrant colours brightening up my days again and a glorious spring in my step, it occurred to me that my makeup bag would appreciate a new splash of colour.

Being such a beauty addict, I'm always on the lookout for new brands to try and during a recent beauty haul, I discovered the Joan Collins Timeless Beauty Range. Like a magpie, I was instantly attracted to the range by the beautiful gold art deco packaging, which simply exudes elegance and glamour. 

After testing some of the Divine Lips Lipstick shades against my skin, I admired how creamy they were and how gorgeous they looked. My favourite shades were Bella and Lara; two of the new fun, fresh and flirty shades in the collection, which are available as lipsticks or nail varnishes. There were never two colours that were this perfect for Spring. 

Left: Bella                                                  Right: Lara
No look is ever complete without a lipstick.

I'm someone who likes to have options, so I just had to have them both! Bella is a soft, natural pink shade which is perfect for those who like pale lipsticks with a difference, while Lara is a luxurious, warm coral shade that simply screams summer lovin'. Both colours are really hydrating and give my lips an irresistible shine, which is why they deserve their place in my makeup bag. 

After wearing both shades, the Lara shade is my favourite as it gives a nice warm glow to my skin (and coral lipsticks always make me feel like I'm on holiday). As I'm pretty pale with pink undertones, the Bella shade really complements my skin so this is a great lipstick for more subtle, everyday look.

Bella Divine Lips Lipstick
Lara Divine Lips Lipstick

For those times when a lady wants to go all-out glamour puss, it's only sensible that she buys the same shade nail varnish as she has lipstick. So, naturally, I bought the Bella and Lara Nail Lacquer shades too. Like the Divine Lips Lipsticks, the Nail Lacquer varnishes give fantastic, glossy colour, which looks amazing after two coats (the colours are fairly light after the first coat). They're really easy to apply and leave a smooth, streak-free finish. 

      Left: Bella                                                                   Right: Lara   

So, if you're looking for vibrant, new colours to add a bit of Spring glamour to your beauty regime, I would definitely recommend the Joan Collins Timeless Beauty Range. 

Divine Lips Lipstick £18
Nail Lacquer £13

Available at Urban Retreat, Harrods.

Body Beautiful: The May Fair Spa, London

In our busy, chaotic, London lives - time is precious.

We constantly rush around and it's not often that we stop and think about our wellbeing. We may look fine on the outside, but many of us are internally harbouring tiredness, stress and anxiety, which can impact our health.

Health is all encompassing and human evolution has taught us that there is a definitive link between physical health and psychological wellbeing. So, last week I decided that I'd take a little bit of time out of my busy schedule to work on my mind, body and soul at The May Fair Spa, London

A short walk from Green Park underground station, The May Fair Spa is located on the lower floor of The May Fair Hotel. On arrival, I was warmly greeted by the receptionist who handed over a health and safety consent form and gave me a tour of the spa. A cosy and intimate setting, the facilities include a wet spa area, several treatment rooms and a relaxation room. With plenty of time before my spa treatment, I got bikini-ready, wrapped myself in a black fluffy May Fair robe and headed into the relaxation room to find zen on the heated stone beds. 

I poured myself a glass of melon-infused water and a green tea and made myself at home. Within minutes, I could feel my body relaxing and my mind clearing. Living in a world that's always online, I was very thankful that there was no phone signal downstairs in the spa. It was so nice just to sit there peacefully, without interruptions, without having to respond to emails, without checking my social media accounts and without having to consider anything else but my own wellbeing.

After those perfect moments of undisturbed bliss, I ventured into the wet spa area. The first thing I spotted was the ice fountain, which sent shivers down my spine so naturally, I headed straight for the aromatic steam room. Steam rooms are my favourite spa rooms and this one was perfectly lovely, with a soft aroma and twinkling lights on the ceiling. I sat in a set-back archway where the steam is really dense and stayed there until all my stresses were cleansed from my pores.

With my temperature nicely raised, I stepped into the experience shower to cool down and pressed one of the buttons. For a few moments, it showered me with lovely warm water. Once it had stopped, I pressed another button and was blasted with ice-cold water - which quickly brought me back down to Earth. After that cold burst of motivation, I decided to try the bucket... Feebly pulling on the rope, I mentally prepared myself for what I was about to endure and pulled hard so that the bucket doused me with more ice-cold water. 

It's one of those experiences that make you wonder why someone would want to pour freezing water over themselves but it is so invigorating; it definitely makes you feel alive. Feeling really pleased with myself (you would've thought I'd just climbed Mount Everest or something equivalently impressive), I began to dry myself off, just as my therapist Ellie came to collect me for my spa treatment. 

She led me to my treatment room and talked me through my chosen treatment, the ESPA Detox Body Wrap. Suitably prepared for my pampering - disposable knickers and all - I lay on the heated couch as directed and waited for the treatment to begin. The ESPA Detox Body Wrap is designed to comfortably raise body temperature and induce perspiration to help speed up the elimination of toxins and improve circulation. 

The first step in the treatment is a full body exfoliation. I was scrubbed from head to toe with a detoxifying dead sea salt scrub, which contained ESPA's signature detoxifying body oil. After a quick shower, I was then covered with a warm dead sea mud, which contained more of the detoxifying body oil, and wrapped in a marine algae wrap. 

I was then cocooned with a heavier blanket to allow the detoxification process to occur. As snug as a bug in a rug (literally), Ellie ended the treatment with the most amazing scalp massage, until it was time for me to wash off the dead sea mud. Feeling silky smooth and gorgeous, I put my bikini and robe back on and returned to the relaxation room to allow the hair oils to penetrate my scalp and follicles. While waiting, I treated myself to a delicious Fruit Express detox juice and enjoyed my final moments of my May Fair Spa experience.

After a wonderful afternoon, I left my hot stone bed and headed for the changing room. I was walking on air. Even the thought of having to get the tube in rush hour didn't faze me. I was relaxed, revitalised and ready to take on the world. With such friendly and efficient staff, a beautifully intimate spa environment and a fantastic list of ESPA treatments, I would definitely recommend that you put your busy lives on hold and treat yourselves to a luxurious time at The May Fair Spa.

Your body. Your mind. Your soul.
Day Pass £30 (£15 for hotel guests)
Treatments from £60
ESPA Detox Body Wrap £105 for 60 mins

Weekend: Kesgrave Hall, Ipswich

An evening away from reality can work wonders for your inner peace.

Last weekend, my boyfriend and I left our home comforts in Essex in exchange for a Grade 2 listed boutique hotel, set in the relaxed Ipswich countryside. Part of the Milsoms group, Kesgrave Hall offers a very charming welcome - a fabulously white manor house surrounded by acres of beautiful open lawns - that encourages you to forget all your worries and surrender to the calm.

On entering Kesgrave Hall, it is evident that this is not just your average hotel. Modern and luxurious but sprinkled with colourful personality, Kesgrave Hall boasts 23 en-suite bedrooms and is perfect for those who prefer an intimate hotel setting that still has plenty of wow-factor.

After a very warm welcome in the lovely open reception area, we ascended the curving staircase and were shown to our room. We were booked into one of Kesgrave's TOP rooms and boy, was it worth it! Complete with a super-kingsize bed, matching his-and-hers sinks, a gorgeous walk-in shower and a free-standing bath tub, we were in for the perfect night in.

As soon as we stepped into the room, it was apparent that appearance is very important to Kesgrave Hall. Dotted all around the room are gorgeous contemporary fixtures, fittings and swanky lampshades and it was immaculately clean. With complimentary wifi, soft drinks, teas and biscuits, as well as a full Sky HD TV package, it was a wonder that we ever made it out of our room!

With plenty of time to spare before dinner, it was time to lather up with the Aromatherapy Associates toiletries and enjoy the impressive (and rather romantic) bathing facilities. As soon as we were polished to perfection, we headed downstairs to see what delights were on the menu tonight.

The restaurant provides a relaxed setting for drinks or dining and is open all day. Our table was located in the main dining area, where we could watch the chefs working away through the open kitchen. The service, however, is slightly odd, as there are order pads on each table for you to write down your table's order and hand it over to the waiting staff.

After perusing the menu, we opted for scallops and beef carpaccio for starters. Each dish was crafted beautifully and cooked to perfection. For mains, we were tempted by the beef feather blade and sea bass with additional portions of triple-cooked chips and seasonal vegetables. Although a little too buttery for my taste, the sea bass was delicious and the composition of the dish was delightfully interesting. To finish the show, we treated ourselves to the chocolate ganache and strawberry cream torte and croissant bread and butter pudding. The chocolate torte was perfection; not too heavy and complimented beautifully by the strawberry cream (and additional strawberry ice cream). Tastebuds tantalised and stomachs pleasantly full, we were ready for bed.

Beef carpaccio 

Sea bass with wild rice

Chocolate ganache and strawberry cream torte

The following morning, breakfast was served in the main restaurant. Guests can help themselves to a lovely continental selection of cereals, fruit, pastries and juices while hot food orders are prepared by the chefs. Our breakfast experience at Kesgrave was relaxing, filling and the perfect way to start the day.

Overall, Kesgrave Hall is a lovely boutique hotel with a contemporary and luxurious approach. Complete with friendly staff, a comfortable hotel room and delicious food, your stay will offer refreshing respite from everyday life.

Room prices start from £135 with special package deals available throughout the year. 

Kesgrave Hall
Hall Road,

Tel: 01473 333741

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