The Indulgence Gift Box | Harrods Christmas Hampers

A visit to Harrods department store in London would not be complete for me without at least ten minutes spent gazing longingly at their Christmas Hampers and Gift Boxes. As a total foodie with a taste for the finer things in life (if not always the money to back it up!) they epitomise my dream luxury gift. Gourmet treats, beautiful packaging embossed with the iconic Harrods logo and the general feeling that in being gifted one, someone is letting you know just how much you mean to them!

Well pinch me please because as the title of this post probably gives away, I felt very special indeed when Harrods themselves contacted me to ask if I’d like to receive a gift handpicked especially for me from their newly released Christmas selection.

I chose to keep the contents as a surprise to make opening it even more of a pleasure. The huge cardboard box that it came in gave nothing away, but just look what I found inside!

 

The Indulgence Gift Box | Harrods Christmas Hampers

Harrods had obviously done their research on my favourite past-time because they had chosen to send me their Indulgence Gift Box*, otherwise known as the Pamper Hamper! It’s the only hamper in their Christmas collection to feature relaxing pampering products from one of my favourites Molton Brown in addition to a selection of gourmet food and drink items – what a match made in heaven!

Let’s take a closer look shall we?

Harrods Indulgence Gift Box Christmas Hamper

Harrods Indulgence Gift Box Christmas Hamper

I was thrilled to see not one but two large boxes of luxury truffles, a truly decadent treat that I enjoy on only the rarest occassions usually! My favourite flavour Marc De Champagne features in one of the boxes but I’m equally looking forward to trying the liquid centered passion fruit caramel truffles, they sound scrumptious!

Harrods Indulgence Gift Box Christmas Hamper

There are are two mini bottles of Harrod’s own Premier Cru Champagne. Each bottle would fill a champagne glass I believe making these perfect for toasting the festive season with a loved one.

From Molton Brown there’s a full sized scented candle in Rhubarb and Rose which smells just wonderful – really sweet but fruity at the same time…

Harrods Indulgence Gift Box Christmas Hamper

…accompanied by their Rose and Rhubarb Handcream….

Harrods Indulgence Gift Box Christmas Hamper

…and a full sized bottle of Rose Body Wash. I was really pleased to see this in there as I adore Molton Brown bath and shower body washes. Not only do they foam up into a really good lather but they always smell amazing too.

Harrods Indulgence Gift Box Christmas Hamper

If I’m honest I’d have liked to see a few extra items included as it’s a huge box which gave me the impression upon opening it that I was going to keep finding more goodies as I dug through the cardboard padding. In fact, most of the items were displayed in the top layer and only the bottles of champagne were concealed underneath. However it IS a beautiful keepsake box and because of it’s generous size I think I’m going to use it as a blanket box so that I can keep it on display in my living room!

Harrods Indulgence Gift Box Christmas Hamper

You can view the full selection of Harrods Christmas Hampers here. Prices start at a very reasonable £35 for a champagne and truffles gift box and go all the way up to a mind blowing £5000 for The Ultimate Harrods Christmas Hamper, which contains everything from caviar to smoked duck, Louis Roederer Champagne and rare Malt Whiskey!

Thank you Harrods, I feel well and truly spoiled…

…and isn’t that just how you want to make someone special feel on Christmas Day?

LovedByLaura

*Disclaimer: As mentioned above Harrods very kindly gifted me the Indulgence Gift Box so that I could share my honest thoughts with you. All views are, as always, my very own.

Follow:

The team at Amara know that I love the current copper trend and invited me to pick and style some of their gorgeous homeware pieces. After scrolling their site for hours and creating a wishlist as long as my arm I finally whittled it down to a few items which I knew would add the finishing touches to my lounge. Here’s what I chose!

Cushions and Candles

My Copper Home Picks from Amara | Interiors

I have way too many cushions but couldn’t resist adding this copper and grey one* to the mix. The metallic message written across it makes me smile as I know it’s supposed to be whimsical but I can’t help reading it as “Find a place… and get lost!” Either way, it’s a snuggly squishy cushion and also makes an excellent pillow. (No YOU fall asleep on the sofa every night!)

My Copper Home Picks from Amara | Interiors

My Copper Home Picks from Amara | Interiors

Always a lover of a good scented candle or five, this one from A by Amara* smells insanely good. With notes of fig leaf, amber and wood it’s earthy and delicious. The candle is encased in a beautiful ceramic pot which, being copper and gray, perfectly fits with my colour scheme.

My Copper Home Picks from Amara | Interiors

£50 is a lot to spend on a candle but this one comes in a beautiful black presentation box and feels wonderfully luxurious, so I reckon it would make an excellent Christmas present for someone lucky. They also do a scented candle of Sicilian Lemon and Sea Salt which is encased in…wait for it…a copper and marble design. Shut up and take my money!

A Contemporary Clock

My Copper Home Picks from Amara | Interiors

I’ve been on the lookout for a wall clock for a while and when I saw this one* I knew it was the one. It’s minimalist and sleek and although I might one day attempt hanging it up (banging nails into my nice smooth walls frightens the life out of me!) for now it looks rather good just stood on a pile of books.

A Copper Wishlist

If that’s whet your appetite for the copper trend, here are my other picks from Amara’s current copper collection.

Amara Copper Trend Wishlist

 

  1. A by Amara Copper Candle Holders, Set of 2 £25
  2. Acid Burnt Cushion, £70
  3. Tank Low Ball Glasses, Set of 2 £50
  4. Palm Decorative Dish, £350 (I know, couldn’t resist including this one even though it’s SO expensive!)
  5. Copper Bird Tree Decorations, Set of 2 £10
  6. Cutipol Duna 24 Piece Cutlery Set, £269
  7. Frama E27 Table Light, £69
  8. Umbra Trigg Small Copper Wall Planters, Set of 2 £25
  9. Tom Dixon London Candle Giftset, £60

P.s. A Bit of Chemistry!

As I was compiling my wishlist I couldn’t decide whether copper and rose gold were the same thing. No. It turns out that they aren’t.

Copper is actually a metal in it’s own right and tends to have a more orange tinge to it compared to the pinker hue of rose gold, whereas rose gold is what we call an alloy metal, in this case copper and gold mixed together. That lovely rosiness is caused by the chemical reaction that takes place during the process.

So technically my copper titled post contains some items which are rose gold, but they all work so well together that I’ve left them in!

LovedByLaura

*Disclaimer: Items marked with an asterisk are PR samples, however as always rest assured that all thoughts expressed are my own unbiased opinions.

Follow:

Going ‘Out Out’ with a Queensgate AW17 Fashion Challenge

Last week I headed to my local shopping centre Queensgate Peterborough to take part in a mystery challenge. The details had been kept top secret  so all I knew beforehand was that upon arrival at Hotel Chocolat I’d receive further instructions. Verrrry intriguing!

Going ‘Out Out’ with a Queensgate AW17 Fashion Challenge

At Hotel Chocolat I found some of my blogging friends had already arrived and we were eager to find out just what Queensgate had got in store for us. We made our way to the counter where the lovely manager handed each of us a sealed envelope with our name on it and the most decadent hot chocolate that I’ve had the pleasure to drink!

Going ‘Out Out’ with a Queensgate AW17 Fashion Challenge

It’s their Halloween special edition and let me tell you, if you are a fan of the infamous Pumpkin Spiced Latte then this is going to blow your mind! Made with salted caramel, real chocolate flakes, lashings of cream and a chocolate vampire on top, nothing beats a Hotel Chocolat Hot Chocolate!

…but trust me to start a fashion post talking about food, let me reveal the challenge I’d been given!

The Queensgate Qblogger AW17 Challenge

Inside my envelope I found a £100 Gift Card redeemable at all stores in Queensgate shopping centre and the following instructions:

“Laura, you have a Christmas night out with the girls, involving dinner and cocktails. You haven’t all got together in ages so it is set to be a great night and the plan is to go “out out”. Use your gift card to buy yourself a killer outfit with the perfect amount of sparkle to dazzle when you walk in to the room!”

Going ‘Out Out’ with a Queensgate AW17 Fashion Challenge

The small print confirmed that I had just 1 hour and 15 minutes to complete my Queensgate AW17 challenge – no mean feat! I decided that for an ‘Out Out’ outfit I should look for luxurious textural fabrics such as velvet and silk with bold, sparkling accessories.

Saying a hasty goodbye and good luck to each of my friends who had all been issued with their own unique challenges I rushed off, deciding that John Lewis would be my first port of call.

John Lewis

John Lewis is one of the places I like to shop at when I’m looking for something a bit special. It’s home to some of my favourite designers including Somerset by Alice Temperley, Whistles, Coast and Ted Baker, all of whom tend to put up collections full of feminine, fabulous dresses.

I’m not very good at shopping at speed though so I was very grateful when Senna, the clothing manager at John Lewis spotted me and asked if she could help. I explained what I was looking for and my £100 budget and she straight away said she had something in mind.

“I think this would be perfect for you!” she said two minutes later brandishing a gorgeous floor length, metallic, pleated dress from Tommy Hilfiger. I am only five foot tall with a bit of a ‘short girl’ complex and thought it seemed like a total long shot, but to my amazement when I tried it on I knew straight away that my search was over – it was absolutely perfect!

Queensgate QBlogger AW17 Shopping Challenge

The only issue was that the spaghetti straps were too long but Senna used bobby pins to adjust the dress and show me how it would sit if they were shortened which was incredibly helpful. Even better, the dress was reduced from £205 to £61.50 and so sat perfectly within my budget!

Queensgate QBlogger AW17 Shopping Challenge

I’ve always shied away from accepting assistance when looking for clothes but after such a positive experience I’d be much more confident about enlisting the help of an in store personal shopper now. Not only did Senna have a great eye for what would suit me but she was also fully versed on what was in their sale and the sizes they had in stock which really helped to cut down time trying to locate something within my budget. Well done John Lewis I’m impressed!

The Perfect Biker Jacket at New Look

Queensgate QBlogger AW17 Shopping Challenge

With £48.50 left to spend I decided that I’d try and find a jacket, if possible in a biker style to soften the overall look and stop it from being too formal. I made a beeline for New Look as they have a good Petite section which actually fits me! They didn’t have any that stood out this time though and I thought I was going to have to move on to another store… until I spotted this little beauty.

Queensgate QBlogger AW17 Shopping Challenge

A buttery soft faux leather biker style jacket in a beautiful shade of green that I thought would make a nice contrast against the gun metal grey of the dress.

Queensgate QBlogger AW17 Shopping Challenge

Queensgate QBlogger AW17 Shopping ChallengeI have a slight confession. It was in 915; aka the children’s section! Sometimes when you’re petite it’s worth a look as every so often there’s a real gem to be found. Age 12-13 tends to fit me quite well in jackets and at £29.99 I still had a little bit of money left in the kitty too.

Queensgate QBlogger AW17 Shopping Challenge

Finishing touches on a budget at Claire’s Accessories!

With just £8.51 remaining I decided to finish off the outfit with some statement earrings and found these in Claire’s Accessories for just £6. I think they work rather well!

Queensgate QBlogger AW17 Shopping Challenge Queensgate QBlogger AW17 Shopping Challenge

…and with that I’d run out of time and money, but I think I did rather well! I had managed to find a versatile jacket, a stunning designer dress AND some well priced accessories for my £100 and now I can’t wait to have that “out out” evening!

In the meantime, I settled for a relaxed evening with the rest of the bloggers at Turtle Bay… watch out for more on that coming up in a post very soon!

Queensgate QBlogger AW17 Shopping Challenge

Queensgate QBlogger AW17 Shopping Challenge

Outfit Details

Tommy Hilfiger Jazz Dress | £61.50 | John Lewis (sale item)

Suedette Biker Jacket (adult size linked!) | £29.99 in 915, £39.99 adult version| New Look

Small Black Chandelier Drop Earrings | £6 | Claire’s Accessories

LovedByLaura

Many thanks go to Queensgate Shopping Centre for setting such a fun challenge for AW17 and allowing me to keep my purchases. I only wish I could have made it down some of the boutique stores in their beautiful Westgate Arcade but time got the better of me. Oh well… I’ll just have to have another shopping trip there soon, won’t I?!

Follow:

My Dream Kitchen | Nicholas Anthony Event

Recently I was invited by kitchen designers Nicholas Anthony to their flagship store in Mayfair for a relaxed evening mingling with fellow foodies and interior experts. As we chatted the night away the chefs took centre stage, using a wonderful large kitchen island (definitely one of my kitchen goals!) to give us a live cooking demonstration.

My Dream Kitchen | Nicholas Anthony Event

…of course lucky us – we then got to eat it all!

My Dream Kitchen | Nicholas Anthony Event

My Dream Kitchen | Nicholas Anthony Event

An Oyster Meister (who Oliver and I agreed had a striking resemblence to David Tenant) was also on hand.

My Dream Kitchen | Nicholas Anthony Event

He shucked oysters for us as we looked on, so they were undoubtedly the freshest I’ve ever eaten. Served with shallot vinaigrette, red and green Tabasco, black pepper and lemon juice, they were simply delicious. I was so impressed that I had a second helping later on.

My Dream Kitchen

If one thing is for certain it’s that the evening hasn’t done anything to quell my desire for a beautiful bespoke dream kitchen! As the demonstrations continued we slipped away from the crowd to take a closer look around the showroom and have a good old play with everything on display.

My Dream Kitchen | Nicholas Anthony Event

My Dream Kitchen | Nicholas Anthony Event

I’m the type of person that ‘oohs and ahhs’ at soft closing drawers and has to open every cupboard to see what clever storage solutions lie within, so I was in my element. Oliver had to show me how to open the doors on one set because I was struggling… (possibly the result of one too many glasses of champagne?!) They were touch sensitive and a gentle push was the trick! With no handles it made the kitchen look wonderfully minimalist.

My Dream Kitchen | Nicholas Anthony Event

My own kitchen, in comparison, is a typical budget MDF design with beige tiles and chipboard countertops typical of new builds from 10 years ago. There’s nothing awful about it but in an ideal world I’d love to rip it out and start again completely from scratch to create a space perfectly suited to my needs – my dream kitchen!

My budget won’t stretch to a complete refit at the moment but the kitchens at Nicholas Anthony got me thinking about what my main kitchen goals are and thus what I should focus on saving up for. Here’s what I came up with:

Hardwearing, beautiful countertops and splashbacks

I’ve started to look into whether it’s possible to keep my existing units but have the countertop and tiles replaced – I think that would give my kitchen an instant facelift and, if I choose the right materials, increase it’s longevity.

My Dream Kitchen | Nicholas Anthony Event

I fell in love with the sleek and ultra modern look of this kitchen in particular; especially the glass splashbacks. Without tiles you get a really clean look that opens up the space and helps it flow – perfect in a smaller kitchen. Plus I imagine it would be a fair bit easier to wipe down so I wouldn’t have to suffer the heart palpitations that come every time I splash bright orange bolognese sauce onto my white grouting!

My Dream Kitchen | Nicholas Anthony Event

Smart appliances

My Dream Kitchen | Nicholas Anthony Event

I have a really cheap oven which I tried to replace a year ago, only to find out that the wattage regulations have changed since my house was built and modern appliciances aren’t compatible. After seeing all of the features on the Gaggenau ovens in the Nicholas Anthony kitchens I’m thinking that it’s time to start investigating how much it would cost for an electrician to adapt my fittings so that I can freely choose a smart, modern appliance.

Why should I bother though? Isn’t an oven just an oven? Maybe this is so if all you’re going to use it for is heating things up, but I love nothing more than a good baking or cooking session. One of the ovens had a compact warming drawer perfect for proofing bread and a steam function. You can even add an integrated appliance to the mix with a fully integrated espresso machine meaning I could free up valuable space on my countertop. And who doesn’t want a perfect coffee in the morning?

My Dream Kitchen | Nicholas Anthony Event

Another great gadget I’d love? A tap which both chills and boils water – no need for a kettle! We have one at work and it’s so handy having the right temperature there instantly! The fittings that power it are all hidden under the sink.

Space saving storage

I’ve been inspired by the clever solutions for maximising shelf and cupboard storage seen at the showroom and already have some ideas on how to recreate this at home. Watch this space – if it works I’ll be sharing it with you in a future post!

A big thanks go to Nicholas Anthony for providing such wonderful hospitality and a great deal of inspiration for my dream kitchen! What would feature in YOUR dream kitchen?

LovedByLaura

Disclaimer: This post isn’t sponsored, I was just inspired to post after my visit!

Follow:

My Interior Inspiration 2017

Becoming a sole homeowner around this time last year has had a massive influence on my interior style choices for 2017. I’m now totally free to make every single design, decor and furniture decision myself and little by little (on a modest monthly budget) I am transforming my house into the cosy living space I’ve always wanted.

When I visited the Graham and Brown House of Wallpaper Pop Up recently (catch my post on it here if you missed it) we chatted about how my home revamp was going and what trends have inspired me in 2017. For me, it’s definitely been the year of copper and rose gold, used in combination with tonal shades of white, pink and grey to create cosy, luxe spaces with a soft but not too overtly feminine touch.

I’ll be giving you a peek into my home in a few posts time to show you how I’ve been embracing the trend, but for now I’ve rounded up some of my current favourite sources of interior inspiration:

Instagram/Blogs

There is so much interior inspiration to be found on Instagram. I love the accounts of @HannahFGale, @KateLaVie and @Lustliving. Each has their own instantly recognisable aesthetic and gives me plenty of ideas on ways to translate my most loved colour scheme into a realistic living space.

Hannah Gale

Blog: hannahgale.co.uk
Instagram: @hannahfgale

Interior inspiration hannah gale

Hannah is a lifestyle blogger but her instagram account often features interior shots. It has been a long time favourite of mine for her clean, fresh and fun signature style.

Not afraid of a splash of pink, she has shown me how to keep it chic by teaming it with monochrome patterns, tonal greys and lots of lush greenery.

I love that everything that Hannah styles feels accessible to me – nothing costs the earth and she shares insight into how she’s maximised modest spaces. Even better, when Hannah spots a high street bargain she’s straight onto Instagram stories to share it with us all so that we don’t miss out!

Kate La Vie

Instagram: @kate.lavie
Blog: katelavie.com

Kate La Vie has an iconic signature style that has no doubt influenced thousands. She’s the master at combining rose gold, marble and white colour schemes with typeset prints and botanics.

She favours high end designers such as West Elm, Jo Malone and Diptyque and her kitchen is the dreamiest combination of marble, rose gold and copper that I’ve ever seen. It’s the sort of kitchen I aspire to have ‘when I’m a grown up’. (Never mind that I’m 35… living on your own is expensive!)

Lust Living (Olivia Silk)

Instagram: @lustliving
Blog: lustliving.co.uk

I first came across Olivia and Lust Living whilst Googling for office decor ideas. That took me to her blog which I was then lost on for about 2 hours reading through each room makeover post in turn!

Interior inspiration Lust Living Instagram

I not only adore her flair for interior design, full of personal touches, but also the learning experiences and tips that she shares on how to renovate or decorate rooms or areas. It’s at once a feast for my eyes and a really helpful resource too.

The Little Book Of Hygge by Meik Wiking

Hygge doesn’t translate exactly into English and is more of a way of life and a feeling than a thing, but if you think of comfort, togetherness and warmth you’re on the right track.

My Interior Inspiration 2017

The book isn’t solely about interiors but features a chapter on ‘Home’ which I’ve used as inspiration for accessorising mine. The Danes love candles, natural materials, clean lines and soft textures – all of which work really well with the rose gold trend that I’ve been gravitating to.

My Interior Inspiration 2017

It’s best enjoyed just before bed time as it’s such a cosy relaxing read!

Pinterest

I can’t write a post on interior inspiration without including Pinterest which I find useful in a number of ways:

  1. To store all of the links to things I might want to purchase, saved by their images in themed boards. It helps me to visualise how pieces would work together and ensures that I never forget where I came across them!
  2. As a way to create colour palettes. When I first decided that I wanted to use rose gold as a key colour accent I tried out various colour combinations in the search bar until I came across the palette that I liked best. Now whenever I’m thinking of updating a room I just experiment with changing one of the accent colours at a time.

My Interior Inspiration 2017

…I also like to go ‘old school’ and create real life Pinterest mood boards at home too – I picked up lots of wallpaper samples from Graham and Brown at their pop up and have a wire memo board that I pin them to with pages torn from magazines and fabric samples to see how things might work together.

My Interior Inspiration 2017

I hope you enjoyed seeing my go-tos to interior inspiration this year. What are your favourite ways to get ideas for home decor?

LovedByLaura

Follow: