Paul Edmonds Salon, Battersea Power Station

I’ve often heard stylish friends mention Paul Edmonds as a hairdresser worth visiting, but it wasn’t until a few months ago when I was treated to a pre-Bafta party blow dry, that I noticed the care and attention the Paul Edmonds staff pay towards their clients.

Paul Edmonds salon

Last week I went to check out the newest branch of the Paul Edmonds empire, a super slick salon in Battersea Power Station. With a lot of building work still going on, the salon – though just a short walk from the main road – wasn’t easy to find. Eventually I reached it, and the staff were quick to welcome me, taking my heavy bags and offering me a drink.

Paul Edmonds salonPaul Edmonds salon

The salon is spacious and luxurious, with big mirrors and geometric windows. I particularly loved the fully reclining leather chairs in the hairwashing area, they were so comfortable I nearly fell asleep while having my hair washed!

Paul Edmonds salon

I was lucky to get Taylor as my colourist for the day. Taylor, though only 21, is known for her balayage skills, and won the L’Oreal Professional Star Award in 2018. Needless to say, I was in very safe hands so I let Taylor decide on a tactic to make my hair look more summery. We chatted away while Taylor painted sections of my hair with a half head of balayage.

Paul Edmonds at Battersea Power Station is the UK’s first exclusive Shu Uemura hair and beauty salon, a beauty brand I have always admired for their brilliant haircare and beauty products. After my colour, my hair was washed with the new Shu Uemura Ultimate Reset Shampoo (made of Japanese rice, and containing both proteins and moisture) – ideal for post colour washing. I also loved the Urban Moisture Conditioner which contains Moringa Oil for hydration and was indulgently massaged into my hair and scalp.

After washing, Lizzie cut and styled my hair. We decided on a minimal trim to bluntly level out the ends. Then she added a tousled wave with tongs and added texture and shine with a variety of products, including Shu Uemura Ample angora which gives volume (to prep the hair) and Shu Uemura Color Lustre dry cleaner which gives the grit you need for the beach wave effect. For additional shine I was taught that adding the Shu Uemura Essence Absolue on the mid lengths to ends of the hair, while drying the hair, is perfect.

Paul Edmonds salon

I left the salon feeling proud to show off my hair, and in the last week have had three unprompted compliments on my hair colour and shine.

This is a hairdressing brand which more than deserves its reputation as one of London’s leading hairdressers, and the new Battersea branch is a lovely location in South London to be pampered and preened at.

I was a guest of Paul Edmonds salon.

Book an appointment or buy any of the products here.

The Fife Arms, Braemar

When Hauser & Wirth announced they would be opening a hotel, everyone knew it would be momentous, exciting and imaginative, but The Fife Arms has exceeded all of our expectations. The illustrious Swiss art dealers Iwan and Manuela Wirth have had a house in the Scottish Highlands since 2011, after falling for the region’s beauty and local culture.

The area of Braemar, right in the middle of the Cairngorms National Park, has a long and rich history, and is just a few miles from the Royal Family’s Balmoral residence. Four years ago the powerhouse Wirth couple bought a mid 19th-century coaching inn with a vision of transforming it into a bold and beautiful luxury hotel paying tribute to the motifs and crafts of the area.

After a three year multi-million pound renovation the hotel has opened as a tremendous addition to the area for locals and reason alone for tourists to visit the Scottish Highlands.

Fife Arms

It was my first time in Aberdeenshire, but after spending a few days in Edinburgh it was an easy and quick journey to make by car. The landscape I witnessed from my car window was magnificent; rolling rugged hills, herds of Highland sheep and a bright rainbow in the distance. After a few hours of countryside, we reached the quaint town of Braemar, and its new focal point, The Fife Arms.

Though Scottish heritage is very much the theme of the hotel, art takes centre stage as you would expect. Many of the most prestigious Hauser and Wirth artists feature – you’ll find a Louise Bourgeois spider in a courtyard and a striking Richard Jackson chandelier.

Fogo Island Inn

The interior designer of The Fife Arms, Russell Sage, has give the rooms an outrageous Victorian opulence… think lavish decorative wallpapers and antique furniture, four poster beds and unusual taxidermy. It may not be to everyone’s taste, but I loved it, perhaps because I grew up in a Victorian House in London with eccentric artist parents who’s style is not dissimilar to the Fife fabulousness.

Fife ArmsFife Arms

I instantly fell in love with my ‘Zoology’ room, a charming and spacious bedroom on the third floor. I was wholly impressed to learn of the variety of rooms on offer, starting from the (extremely) reasonable £130 Croft Rooms, going up to the top ‘Royal’ suites which will set you back around £800.

My room was dedicated to birds with charming little artworks on the walls paying homage to this lovely creature. The giant bed was very comfortable and obviously kitted out to the highest spec, topped with a wonderful (specifically designed) Araminta Campbell tartan, which is also available to purchase in the hotel’s boutique.

The bathroom was less flamboyant, prioritising an efficiently working bath and shower over styling. Toiletries are by 100 Acres, a natural beauty range of products made in the English countryside using natural botanicals and essential oils.

Fife ArmsFife Arms

After settling into my room, I had a few hours to explore the rest of the hotel. Each space I stumbled across had a new theme or artwork to marvel at, and I can see why so many events and celebrations are already being booked in at The Fife Arms.

Fife ArmsFife Arms

The Flying Stag pub is part of the hotel and is sure to be a hit with locals and guests. The well-priced menu features comforting classics like Fish and Chips and Aberdeen Angus Beef Burger. And despite the Flying Stag being the cheaper dining option it is certainly not an afterthought – care and attention has gone into making every dish a hit, and I was really impressed by the flavours and refinement that the pub kitchen had already established here.

Fife Arms

Breakfast was an indulgent affair served in The Clunie Dining Room, where I also enjoyed dinner the night before. This elaborate dining room has a stunning mural by artist Guillermo Kuitca on the walls and deep green marble tables. In the evening the short menu showcases fine local produce and Scottish delicacies, I loved the slow cooked deer and almost-savoury almond cake for dessert.

Next door to the Clunie Dining Room is Elsa’s, the hotel’s cocktail bar inspired by fashionista Elsa Schiaparelli, who has a connection to the history of the area. The thoughtfully created menu has some brilliant concoctions, I highly recommend trying the ‘Buried Gold’ or the Scottish whisky based ‘The Fairy and the Fiann’.

Fife Arms

During my 24 hour stay at The Fife Arms I had just enough time to quickly explore the local area. It is well worth making a visit to nearby Braemar Castle to understand a bit about the local history and also stop by the newly opened Braemar Highland Games Centre, which documents the details of the Highland Games and exhibits many of the precious old outfits, medals and photographs from the past.

Everyone seems to the be talking about The Fife Arms, and for good reason; this hotel is unforgettable both in style and substance.

More information and book a stay at The Fife Arms here.

Light & Free By Artists

A few weeks ago I spent a colourful afternoon with Light & Free yoghurts learning the art of graffiti, inspired by their new special edition yogurt packs designed by artists.

Light and Free

A group of us arrived at a Shoreditch studio, and were greeted by a local graffiti artist and red overalls to put on. Once we were kitted out in the appropriate protective clothing, gloves and masks we went through to the bright white room where vibrantly coloured yoghurt pots lined every wall and blank canvases awaited our creativity!

Light and FreeLight and Free

We quickly learnt the skill of using a spray paint can… applying different pressure to different parts of the nozzle and holding the can at different angles to get varying sized lines. Shading and drip technique was next up and definitely harder to master! Eventually we were let loose on our own blank yoghurt pot stencils on the wall to design our own. My once-brilliant idea (clouds of light & Free yoghurt dripping into a spoon) immediately became an insurmountable task! Luckily there was help on hand to help me to create my challenging design!

Light and FreeLight and Free

There are 8 Light & Free flavours to choose from… simple classics like ‘Vanilla Vibe’ and exotic offerings like ‘Coconut Craze’ and ‘Lavish Lemon’. For this beautiful limited-edition collection Light & Free chose 4 innovative and unique artists to each design 2 packs. The group of artists includes illustrator and graphic artist Neil Stevens, graffiti and street artist Nerone, Morag Myerscough who is known for her neon patterns and impressive structures and South African artist Justin Poulter, an illustrator and lettering expert. Each has interpreted the yoghurts uniquely with designs ranging from abstract patterns to charming cartoons. One thing they all have in common is an expressive use of colour, which was evident when all the designs came together at the launch party!

Light and FreeLight and Free

The artists collection of Light and Free perfectly represents the vibrant and rich flavours of the yoghurts and it was so much fun to be part of the launch of this brilliant range.

More information about the collection here: http://www.lightandfree.com/products/four-pack/0

Sponsored post with Light and Free.