The Painted Lady, Redchurch Street

When I need a special hair-do or makeover there is only one place in London I head to. The Painted Lady, on Redchurch Street in Shoreditch, is a vintage emporium run by the retro queen Belinda Hay. In this small but characterful salon they will transform your hair, face and nails so you walk out feeling and looking fabulous.

Painted Lady

A few weeks ago, on a grey and rainy Saturday I paid Belinda and her team of experts a visit for a new hair colour and style and a gel manicure. The Painted Lady is a welcoming salon, fun music murmurs in the background and everyone seems to be having a good time.

The Painted Lady

I was whisked off downstairs, offered a warming cup of tea and a lovely beautician got to work straight away on my winter worn nails. Working efficiently and neatly she transformed my nails, a clean white colour with a quirky little black dot for decoration.

Painted Lady

Next it was time for my hair transformation. I flicked through Belinda’s Style me Vintage book for inspiration on eras and styles. I soon settled on stylish 1950s pin curls. Belinda used ethical products to give depth and warmth to the brown colour of my hair, before adding in a few natural lighter highlights. She then washed my hair with enriching Davines products, treated me to an extra long head massage and loosely dried my hair.

Painted Lady

Using plenty of pins and clever techniques Belinda bended my hair into ripples across my head. It was amazing to watch her work her magic so skillfully. After a generous few sprays of hairspray I was off into the modern streets of Shoreditch, feeling like a million-dollar vintage star.

Modern beauty trends change so quickly but there is something enduring about the glamorous style of bygone eras. For special occasions The Painted Lady is a rare and wonderful place to go and get dolled up like you never have done before.

More information and book an appointment at The Painted Lady here.

Things to do in Cape Town

Cape Town completely took me by surprise, a city full of culture and vibrancy. This dynamic destination is surrounded by lush green vineyards and impressive mountains, while in the urban districts you can find exceptional food, cool independent boutiques and specialists coffee shops and cocktail bars. The nearby wine regions, Stellenbosch and Constantia, boast beautiful views and fine cuisine, alongside the award-winning wines. It didn’t take me long to realise that Cape Town has everything and more, and after a week exploring this brilliant city I felt there was still so much more to see, eat and do.

The Silo Hotel

To Stay

The Silo – The Silo opened in May 2017 and already has a reputation as Cape Town’s most stylish and luxurious hotel. The spacious rooms are designed in an eclectic and fashionable way and offer impressive views of the city down below. For those not staying it is worth visiting the Silo for an evening cocktail or spa treatment.


To Eat

The Test Kitchen – If you can get a table at The Test Kitchen you won’t be disappointed. The flagship restaurant from Luke Dale-Roberts is a triumph of flavour, innovation and excitement. Diners start the evening in the bar tasting snacks and cocktails inspired by a culinary journey round the world, followed by a ten-course tasting menu in the main dining room. The food, service and atmosphere are all unforgettable.

Hallelujah – Found on the corner of Kloof Neck Road with a bright neon pink sign, this fun Asian eatery is the perfect quick and cheap dinner spot. Chef Emma Hofmans creates addictively tasty and satisfying dishes.

Foxcroft – This fun and informal eatery in Constantia works hard to offer the finest plates of food using the best local and seasonal produce. The menu changes regularly, when we visited the Springbok dish was particularly memorable.

The Pot Luck Club – The sister restaurant of the Test Kitchen, and located in the same Old Biscuit Mill complex, Pot Luck has panoramic views from its incredible 6th floor location. Order by marking your choices on the checklist menu (which is split into salty, umami, bitter, sweet and sour sections), we loved it all, but can especially vouch for the Smoked Beef Fillet, Fish sliders and Chickpea fries.

La Tête – La Tête was opened in 2016 by two Cape Town brothers, Giles and James Edwards who worked together at St John restaurant in London. This charming French bistro serves wholesome and comforting food. I loved the Roast Quail, fresh season Asparagus, and hot madeleines straight from the oven at the end our meal.

La Colombe – This celebrated restaurant in Constantia overlooks the picturesque wine valleys of the region. Named the 73rd best restaurant in the world, among other accolades, the food at La Colombe will delight and surprise in equal measure.

Chefs Warehouse & Canteen – There are three locations of this foodie restaurant. We visited the original branch in central Cape Town, which doesn’t take any bookings. Irish-born chef Liam Tomlin has created a concise menu which is particularly popular with the city’s best chefs.

The Kitchen – The ultimate destination for lunch in Woodstock. The delicious deli lunches are created by Karen Dudley, who has also written cookbooks. I loved the quirky and busy interiors.


To Shop

The Proper Store x Real + Simple – Paul van der Spuy, owner of the Proper Store, has teamed up with Real + Simple, a sustainable denim lifestyle brand, to create this effortlessly chic menswear store.

Afraid of Mice – This immaculately organised vintage emporium offers an incredible selection of carefully sourced designer treasures. Owner sisters Bianca and Simone Brandi have done all the hard work so you can just try on a few rare gems and hope they fit.

Clementina Ceramics – This store, based in the Old Biscuit Mill, showcases the ceramic work of Clementina van der Walt and other South African ceramicists. Pick up some gorgeous plates and bowls to take home.

Chapel Goods – Chapel Goods was launched in 2009, a Woodstock studio from Caleb Pedersen producing leather bags and canvas products. The bags are of an extremely high quality and look grown up and special. Visitors can have a tour of the Chapel Goods factory, and the brand have stockists across Europe and the US.

Kin Culture – These are products with a cause. This is a non-profit organisation where orphans and vulnerable children are supported by the profits of the beautiful Kin Culture ceramics and homemade South African products.


To Drink

Truth Coffee Roasting – This was my favourite coffee shop in the city. Located in the centre of town, this dark and moody industrial style cafe is filled with vintage machinery and exposed metal piping. The coffee was delicious and the brunch menu looked pretty good too.

Outrage of Modesty – This 24-seat Japanese inspired cocktail bar is sleek and modern. The welcoming staff make unusual but tasty concoctions using ingredients like bee pollen and fermented milk.

Deluxe Coffeeworks – One of Cape Town’s leading coffee roasters, Deluxe have a few locations around the city. Try the tiny Bo Kaap location for a great flat white to enjoy while you wander the colourful streets.

Publik Wine – Wine lovers should head to Publik for natural and sustainable wines. The bar is housed within Ash restaurant, but is definitely a destination in its own right.

Espresso Lab Microroasters – Found in the lively Old Biscuit Mill complex this speciality coffee roastery sources the best beans from small growers around the world. The modern minimalist cafe focusses on espresso pours but also serves up other delicious drinks.

Honest Chocolate Cafe – A charming chocolate shop with several outposts. Stop by for a Rooibos tea and a slice of chocolate cake, or visit in the evening for the secret gin bar in the Honest courtyard.

Field Office – An ideal venue for coffee and cycling enthusiasts. Stop by this cool Woodstock cafe for a caffeine break and a look round their Pedersen + Lennard design store.


To Do

Hike up Table Mountain –  This prominent landmark is visible from everywhere in Cape Town. A cable car runs up and down (and takes just 5 minutes) or you can hike up the rocky path, the more exhilarating route. We journeyed through Platteklip Gorge and it took 2 hours, at a medium pace. Take plenty of water and wear sensible shoes!

Robben Island – Robben Island is best known for its prison which held political prisoners during the Apartheid era. Tours of the prison and the island run daily and include a personal insight from a former inmate. You will see Nelson Mandela’s cell and the limestone quarry which is now recognised as an important symbolic site.

Zeitz MOCAA – The Museum of Contemporary Art Africa opened in September 2017 on the V&A Waterfront. The spectacular building was designed by Thomas Heatherwick and attracts just as many visitors as the large modern art collection.

Bo-Kaap – Formerly known as the Malay quarter this colourful neighbourhood of painted houses and cobbled streets is popular with the instagramming community. There is also a museum which explains more about the history of the area.

Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden – Nestled at the foot of Table Mountain, this UNESO World Heritage site is a wondrous garden to explore. Walk over the Boomslang Canopy Walkway for impressive 360° views.

Boulders Beach – Boulders Beach is home to Cape Town largest penguin colony. They have settled here thanks to the protection given by the granite boulders. In warmer weather many choose to swim in the sea with the aquatic birds. Nearby, St James beach is famous for its cute colourful beach huts.

Chapman’s Peak Drive – One of the world’s most scenic drives, this road runs from Hout Bay to the Cape Peninsula. There is a small toll road fee, but it’s worth it for the views.


To Escape

Babylonstoren – It is easy to spend a whole day at the beautiful Babylonstoren, there is a farm, restaurants, spa and hotel. Start the day with the free garden tour before a colourful and vibrant meal at Babel restaurant, where everything is freshly picked from the gardens. Don’t miss the healthy and photogenic red, green and yellow salads… I also loved the Chargrilled lamb cutlets served with a punchy coriander and coconut gremolata.

Maison Estate – A design-focussed winery and restaurant in the Franschhoek countryside. Visit for a wine tasting and a meal at the newly opened Chefs Warehouse eatery.

Delaire Graff Estate – This lavish winery is definitely worth a visit for wine tasting with a view. Located on the crest of the panoramic Helshoogte Mountain Pass these vineyards create world-class clarets and fresh wine wines. We sat on the terrace and tasted three of the classic wines from the collection.

More information and advice about Cape Town here.

Nikki Tibbles Wild at Heart x Bloom & Wild

As a freelancer I spend a lot of time writing and editing photos at home, making endless cups of tea and sitting in my pyjamas. The mid-morning arrival of the postman is always the highlight of the day, especially when the delivery includes a box of flowers from Bloom & Wild.

Bloom & WildBloom & Wild

Last week I joined a joined a gaggle of girls (all dressed to impress in floral outfits) for the launch of the limited edition Nikki Tibbles Wild at Heart x Bloom & Wild collection.

Nikki Tibbles is the founder and much loved florist from Wild at Heart in Westbourne Grove and the often-instagrammed Liberty flower shop. As well as adorning many top London Fashion Week runway shows with her floral artistry she has been commissioned by the V&A, the British Fashion Council and the Royal Palaces.

Bloom & Wild are the revolutionary flower delivery service, who efficiently and effectively deliver beautiful boxed bunches through your letterbox. They are often voted the UK’s top rated flower delivery company.

Together Nikki Tibbles and Bloom & Wild have created a series of limited edition bouquets, which feature the finest selections of flowers, all delivered to your doorstep.

Bloom & WildBloom & Wild

The launch event was hosted at a prestigious London members club… we sipped floral cocktails and dined on delightful canapes whilst admiring the beautiful floral displays by Nikki.

Bloom & Wild

The special edition bunches of flowers have a indulgent mix of deep Autumn hues to celebrate the new season. Pick from the vibrant ‘Autumn Mornings’, the brilliantly British ‘Woodland Walk’ or the opulent and regal hand-tied ‘Red Skies’ bouquet.

The bunches start at £38 and can be paired in the post with other special gifts such as chocolates or a birthday biscuit.

More information on the Nikki Tibbles Wild at Heart x Bloom & Wild here.

This is a sponsored blog post in collaboration with Bloom & Wild.