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Florals, always

I’ve got a huge preoccupation with florals at the moment. More so in their natural form than on a dress, and this is because this is my first ever summer with a garden. I’d like to tell you these photos are from my garden, but unfortunately I don’t live at Kenwood House where we shot these a few weekends ago. But still, even without an entire rose garden to attend to, I’m realising it’s bloody hard work!

It’s no wonder that retired people can dedicate every waking hour to pruning and planting, because at the moment I feel like that’s the amount of time it takes to keep things looking neat. I’ll spend an afternoon raking and tidying up fallen leaves and petals, only for it to rain overnight and the garden to look a mess again the day after. But it’s therapeutic nonetheless, popping on a pair of headphones, feeling the grass under your feet and seeing something that you planted thriving. I’ve got some flowers that I ordered arriving soon, so I’ll be sure to do a proper tour of my real garden once it’s looking even more full.

Until then, here are some snaps of me appreciating the colour at Kenwood. I love this spot, it’s such a gorgeous place, and still close enough to our flat that popping there for a mini-picnic doesn’t feel out of the way. If you’ve been following for a period of time you’ll know about my love for a good picnic – I’ve already managed to squeeze a few in, and with the weather looking like it’s on the up, you can expect a bit more of this in the near future.

What I Wore…

Contains affiliate links

Dress – &OtherStories (gifted) | Shoes – Mango | Bag – Loewe (gifted)

The post Summertime appeared first on WishWishWish.

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Brunching

I think when you live in a big city with its hundreds of restaurant options, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. “Where shall we go?” “not a clue…” is usually the conversation when it comes to organising a spot to eat when meeting a friend – there is always a new opening to keep on top of. Thankfully when I met up with Alisha recently, she suggested somewhere (phew) – Serata Hall. After a quick look on Instagram (tell me I’m not the only one that checks to see food snaps on IG before going somewhere?) we decided it was the perfect fit for a brunch catch-up.

This place couldn’t be any closer to Old Street station, so the location is extremely convenient for meeting. On first impressions I was totally in love with the decor – as I said in my last post, I’m on a bit of a green kick at the moment, and the velvet seating and marble tabletops were giving me serious heart-eyes.

But obviously, a restaurant isn’t all about the way it looks or it’s Instagram-factor (I actively avoid places that have flower installations as a gimmick) – how was the food? Great, in my opinion. I went for truffle scrambled eggs (because you’d be silly not to – it’s truffle!) and really enjoyed it, to the point that I tried to recreate it at home the next day with less success.

They’ve got a big pasta and pizza menu, so that’s something I’ll be ticking off next time I pass by, along with one of their doughnuts for dessert.

The post London Eats: Serata Hall appeared first on WishWishWish.

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Sunshine

With the changing of the seasons comes a new wish list from yours truly. I know it isn’t technically summer just yet, but we’re on the brink, and I can’t help but get excited about (hopefully) a few months in dresses and sandals.

As you might be able to tell from the collage above, I’m having a bit of a green kick at the moment. I think it might have been &OtherStories that started it with their amazing selection of green summer dresses (of which I have bought more than one, oops). I feel I’m now at capacity, so this serves more as inspiration than a shopping list. That being said, I have got my hands on the denim shorts pictured (gifted) and can confirm they are amazing – not too short and really flattering.

I know I love looking at other people’s shopping roundups when I’m feeling in need of inspiration, so I hope you guys like these picks. What are you excited to wear when the sun comes out? x

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The post A Summer Wish List appeared first on WishWishWish.

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Cambridge Blue

Press Trip

I’d been itching to head back to Cambridge after visiting for my birthday a couple of years ago, so when the opportunity came up to pop up for a night to experience the best of what the city has to offer coupled with a stay at the University Arms, I was in.

I’d seen pictures of the newly revamped hotel that had piqued my interest – colourful interiors, the elegant porte-cochère, and food that I couldn’t wait to taste.

The original coaching inn on this site was opened in 1834, so to say this place has some history is an understatement. They’ve kept elements of that rich history throughout, whilst maintaining a fresh feel.

My room overlooked Parkers Piece, and the first thing I was drawn to was the giant bath and its gold taps. I’m easily impressed by a good bath! There were books old and new placed around, on my bedside table and on the bar cart. It couldn’t feel more Cambridge, and of course, that’s totally on purpose. You’ll even have Winnie the Pooh (by Cambridge graduate A. A. Milne) read to you over the speakers in the downstairs bathrooms.

The desks, designed to look like the kind that students might sit at working, didn’t get a huge amount of use from me on this particular trip, but I appreciated the effort all the same.

The location on Regent Street is walking distance from anywhere you might want to visit in the city (and on a beautiful day there is absolutely no excuse). As soon as the sun was shining our group made a beeline for the river and hopped in a punt. I can’t think of a more relaxing way to spend an afternoon.

The other girls sipped on champagne, as well as plying the fella driving (what’s the correct term here?) the boat – which was potentially not the best of ideas. Don’t worry, nobody fell in.

We watched ducklings paddle by as the sun shone. Heaven.

During our 24 hours in Cambridge, we had all of our meals at the hotel’s restaurant, Parker’s Tavern. Even if you aren’t staying at the hotel, I’d urge you to come and visit for cocktails or a meal – I wasn’t at all disgruntled about getting to try more than one thing on the menu here (heads up – the spaghetti bolognese is dreamy, and just as good turned into Parker’s Poutine).

I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend University Arms for a weekend in Cambridge, or even as a stop during your day trip. As a guest, you can make use of their Cambridge blue bikes for free, and cycle around town like a local. I’ll be back next time I’m in the city, that’s for sure!

I was a guest of University Arms during this trip, but all opinions are my own

The post A Night at University Arms, Cambridge appeared first on WishWishWish.

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With Rosemood

When I was a child, one of my favourite activities was sitting with piles of images, some in old albums and other still in their envelopes from the printers, and either looking at pictures of my parents before I had come along, or at my own flash-happy snapshots from school trips or birthday parties. I’m an extremely nostalgic person, and would almost force friends to sit and do this with me, recalling the memories as I flicked through the glossy 6x4s.

At a certain point, perhaps around age 16, those printed images were replaced by Photobucket accounts and Flickr. There is almost a period of time where my images have been lost completely as printing them didn’t occur to me anymore (because of course, MySpace would always exist, right?!).

Whilst I’ve sporadically been inspired to create printed photo books full of memories (I’ve got 2009 and 2010 documented somewhere), I’ve not managed to stick to it, and this is something I’d like to change with a little help from Rosemood and their beautiful photo books. There is no telling where our favourite social networks will be in 5 or 10 years time, so having a physical copy of my favourite memories to put on my bookshelf is so important to me.

I started by creating a hardcover book of my travels from 2018. A mixture of photos I was proud of taking, and photos of myself that I’m hoping any future children would love to see. Snapshots with friends mixed in with images of the places I’d been.

The book was everything I’d hoped it would be when it arrived – a beautiful mustard fabric covering it (their other colour options are just as dreamy – I’m eyeing up the beige for the wedding album I’ve still not created three years on…) and lovely thick pages. You can pick a title you want in foil for the front and spine. The result is so luxurious, it’s now taking pride of place on my livingroom shelves.

It couldn’t have been easier to put together either, as Rosemood have their own tool for laying out each and every page, all you have to do is click, drag and drop. This one was provided to me in partnership with Rosemood, but I’ll be heading back on the site ASAP to create more, as I loved the result so much. I’m going to make it a yearly thing.

I can’t wait to leaf through this again in years to come when the memories are getting hazy to remind myself how lucky I’ve been to travel to the places I’ve been and the people that I’ve been with.

Below I’ve included some of my top tips for creating your own Rosemood photobook – I hope you’re feeling suitably inspired!

Tips for Creating Your Book…

1. Create a folder on your computer or hard drive that contains all of the images you might want to include in the book – it’s better to have too many than not enough, as you never know what you might need to complete a page. I use the same principle when uploading photos for a blog post – I like to see them all and then select which images look nice together.

2. Use hi-res images! This is really important if you want to be happy with the end result. Using pictures pulled from the internet is going to leave you with pixelation- you want to upload images in their original size for the best result.

3. If you are using snaps from your phone/web (because we all know that it’s pretty much unavoidable) make them smaller on the page as it’ll be less noticeable. I chose to create a grid page with lots of snapshots on.

4. Save your book regularly! I messed up a few times by dragging an image to the wrong place and then losing my progress, so as soon as all of your images have uploaded, save the book and keep saving as you go.

5. To create a layout that doesn’t look too busy, make use of large and full-page single images next to grids of smaller images

6. Put close-up details next to images that show more context so there isn’t any repetition. Also, use images with similar or complementary colours next to each other.

7. Create chapters using the title tool- I also used this to add in little phrases or recollections from the trips.

Create your Rosemood photo book here
and use the discount code WISHWISHWISH2905 to get £10 off!
Valid until December 31st 2019

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For Olivia & Joe

So! After posting some pictures over on Stories of the iced biscuits I made for Liv and Joe’s wedding this past weekend, I had a lot of interest in my DMs on how they were made and if there was a specific recipe I followed.

I thought rather than replying to each person individually with a big long list, I’d type it up here in a post. I do apologise for not having any pictures of the process, but as I wasn’t planning on posting about it, I didn’t shoot any – hopefully you’ll get the gist without any!

I’m one of those people that gets an idea in their head and then has to make it happen, never mind the fact that I might not know how to achieve said idea. That was the situation with these biscuits. I knew what I wanted to create, but had zero to none experience icing or baking, so took to the internet to find out how.

There were logistics at play here. I needed to do things in order. First up was to create royal icing flowers that would happily sit in an airtight box for as long as I needed them to. I created these a week before when I had some time. I used this tutorial from Emma’s Sweets to create small pink roses using a small star tip and stiff royal icing (for help with royal icing, see this tutorial or this recipe from Biscuiteers).

I also used this tutorial to create bigger roses using a petal tip – they came out far better than I was expecting, but in the end, I opted not to use them on the final biscuits as the pink I had made them was a little too garish. I let them set on my table overnight and then popped them in a box, ready to use to decorate in the future.

Next up was the ‘OJ’ initials. I created the monogram transfers a few days before I was planning on baking the biscuits. Again, royal icing will last you for ages once it’s set, so you can do this in advance.

I first thought about somehow projecting the monogram onto the biscuits so I could pipe onto them directly, but I didn’t have the equipment necessary, so thought royal icing transfers would be the best bet, as I wanted them to be as consistent as possible. This meant I could pick the best looking ones for the final biscuits rather than ruining a perfectly good bake by piping onto them and potentially making mistakes.

I took a picture of the OJ monogram that Liv and Joe had on their invites, as I wanted to use this as my guide. To do the same, you could find a font that you like and create your own design. Anybody sensible would then print it out in the size they want the monogram to be (measure it up against the cookie cutter you are planning on using) but I don’t own a printer, so instead, I opened up the design on my phone and used that to trace from like a lightbox. I used masking tape to tape small squares of baking paper onto my phone (if you printed your design, you wouldn’t need to do this) and then piped over the monogram using a tip that wasn’t too thin as I didn’t want the final product to be too fragile. For my icing, I used writing consistency royal icing.

Once they were piped out, I made sure they were on a flat surface (you need them to dry flat or they won’t sit flat on your biscuits) and left them for 24hrs to set.

Once set, the monograms are still going to be fairly fragile (especially depending on your design) so do handle them with care, and make sure to make more than you need as there will no doubt be accidents!

I wanted the letters to be gold, so initially began painting them with a mixture of edible gold lustre and rejuvenator spirit, but my paintbrush kept breaking the fragile letters, so I had to come up with another approach. Instead, I bought edible gold spray paint from Amazon, and as soon as it arrived the next day, I sprayed them all. This was a far better idea as it didn’t result in any breakage, even if the gold wasn’t quite as shiny as my initial tests.

Then it was time to bake! For the biscuits, I wanted them to retain the same size and shape as when I cut them out – so I followed this recipe, once again by Emma’s Sweets. I didn’t have any dowels to ensure I had rolled them out evenly, so they weren’t perfect, but they definitely did the job. They came out exactly as I needed them to (the thicker ones were the yummiest, and the thinner ones too crunchy) – I let them cool before getting to work icing them.

Then it was time to make even more icing. This time I needed to make stiff/writing icing consistency for my circle outlines, and flood consistency to fill them in. I kept this icing white.

Once my biscuits were cool and my icing was in a piping bag (I used the same tip I used to draw the monograms) and in my icing bottle, I was ready to go. I piped a circle on each of the biscuits, and then let them sit for a little while before using the flood icing to fill the circles. This tutorial demonstrates this process. I used a toothpick to push out my icing and fill any holes.

As soon as I’d flooded a biscuit, I would carefully drop one of my set, gold monograms into the middle of the wet icing (don’t over-ice or your transfer will sink in). I then let the icing set for a few hours before starting the next stage of decoration.

When the icing was touch dry and I felt confident enough handling the biscuits without ruining them, I got to work placing my flowers. As well as the pink flowers I’d piped myself, I used some white flowers that I’d bought online. I simply piped a dot of icing on the back before sticking them down to the biscuit. 

When the flowers were in place, I used a green stiff consistency royal icing in a piping bag with a leaf tip to create leaves around the roses, and then swapped out the tip for a small circular tip (use a coupler with your piping bag to swap between tips) to create smaller leaves and vines.

Once my flowers and leaves were set, I left them overnight to set. All that was left to do before boxing them up were some final touches – I painted gold dots in the middle of the little flowers, and added a small dusting of gold lustre in certain parts.

Then they were carefully boxed up ready for the wedding the next day! Phew.

It was a time consuming and fairly messy job if you’re not used to doing a lot of baking, but I’m so happy with how they turned out – it really wasn’t that hard to create something that looked effective!

If you have any questions on anything I’ve mentioned above, do drop me a note in the comments!

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In ’70s Style

  Complimentary Meal  

A couple of weeks ago, and just in time for Lucy’s birthday, my North London pals and I went to visit one of our favourite haunts, Bobby Fitzpatrick, to try out their new bottomless brunch. Lucy, Kristabel and I had been here a couple of times before for pizza, tropical cocktails (the frozen Pina Colada is always my order) and dancing to disco tunes, but we’d never had the chance to sit down for a meal before.

If you’ve not seen anything of Bobby’s before, it’s a cool bar in West Hampstead, set up just like a house from an era gone by. There’s more garish wallpaper and rattan furniture than you can shake a stick at. Loving a bit of ’70s retro, I’m in my element when I’m there.

As we were in the mood for celebrating, bottomless cocktails before lunchtime felt totally acceptable, and we got comfortable on the sofa for the 7 course menu…

Served in two sittings, the brunch here is a rather epic affair definitely suited well to a special occasion. The food is served in mini portions, and you receive one of everything on the menu over the course of two hours. That sounds like forever to be sat eating and drinking but it couldn’t pass by quicker as it’s the best excuse to catch up with friends.

The menu was a little fish-heavy for my liking (as I don’t eat seafood) but they were happy to switch things out for me without fuss.

It wasn’t your typical eggs and avocado kind of brunch, the menu was a little more playful and retro. We all agreed that it felt a little on the heavy side at times with lots of creaminess involved, but if it’s comfort food you’re looking for after a night out the previous evening then you’re in luck. The fried chicken was my favourite dish.

All in all, a fab experience in one of my favourite London spots!

Bobby Fitzpatrick
273 West End Ln, West Hampstead

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The Souks

 Gifted Trip 

It had been a few years since I’d last been to Marrakech (2014 was the last time I braved the souks) but the sights, smells and colours felt familiar as soon as we started walking through the narrow alleyways. I’m an extremely laid back person, but I do feel like you have to be in the right mindset to spend a day in the bustling centre of the old city. You’ll be shouted at (Spice Girls, Lady Gaga and Tesco were some of our favourites), honked at by motorcycles zooming past and have to dodge poor donkeys going about their days work. But the payoff is huge – beautiful baskets hanging from the canopy, sunlight peeking through. Spices, flowers, and more lamps and rugs than you could dream of. If your house isn’t even remotely Moroccan themed, you’ll want it to be after spending more than 10 minutes wandering the medina. Pack an extra suitcase!

As a photographer, I feel it’s a little harder than it used to be to take photos here. The locals are wary of cameras, probably tired of having them shoved in their faces as if they too are a tourist attraction. I had no intention of photographing anyone, but even pointing your camera in a general direction whilst shooting some other detail might invite finger wags or people covering their faces, so this is definitely something to be aware of, and sensitive to, if you plan on visiting yourself.

I purposely didn’t withdraw any money before we made our way into the labyrinth, knowing full well that if I had it, I’d feel the need to buy more baskets that I don’t need. Just taking it all in with my eyes was enough this time.

•••

The next day we went to visit the Majorelle Gardens, the top tourist attraction in the city. You’ll realise that as soon as you arrive; the queues seem to go on forever. I’d been before on my trip in 2014, and couldn’t believe how much busier it was this time around. There are almost queues that form inside for the top photo spots, which I find immediately off-putting. I think it’s particularly evident when you are visiting somewhere that is supposed to be so peaceful – you can’t take a few steps without feeling like you are in someone else’s Instagram photo. We escaped to the relative quiet of the YSL Museum next door – which was a delight. The gift shop was a particular highlight (make sure you find the prints, they are gorgeous and a great price!)

It amazes me how relatively close Morocco is, yet feels like a world away. I have no doubt I’ll be back again! Thanks once again to Next for having me on this trip.

What I Wore…

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Blouse – Mango | Skirt – Next (gift)  | Bag – Next (gift) | Dress (below) – Next (gift) | Sunglasses – Oliver Peoples | Shoes – Jaggar

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Morocco

 Gifted Trip 

A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to head back to the beautiful country of Morocco with my friends at Next. I’ve probably said this here before, but Next have championed bloggers for as long as blogs have existed – my first experience with them was an event in London before I had moved there, and required getting a bus up and staying in a hostel overnight to attend, as that’s all I could afford as a student. And year after year since then I’ve worked with them in one way or another (can you remember the girl’s trip to Lisbon?). After picking out some bits from the site (and trying to narrow down a list as long as my arm) it was time to pack my case and join a bunch of other blogging ladies in Marrakech.

We all gasped and ran around like children when we arrived at the villa we would be sharing. Of course, we got up to so much more than just lounging around a pool in the few days we spent in Morocco, but the villa was so beautiful I thought I’d share a separate post with the photos that I took around our temporary home. It was the perfect place to come back to after a long morning in the bustling souks, with the Atlas mountains on the horizon and lunch prepared for us by the pool. I think we were all pinching ourselves on a regular basis.

We all sat outside for a breakfast of Moroccan pancakes each morning, complimenting each other on our respective Next finds. Lazy afternoons saw us all chatting by the pool, taking the occasional dip when it got too hot. Mint tea and biscuits followed.

My favourite part of the villa was the dog that lived in its grounds. I never learnt her name but she would come over, tail wagging, to say hello whenever she saw you. I gave her as many cuddles as possible.

The place itself was a bit a like a maze – on our last afternoon, we came across the tents below and decided to set up a little afternoon tea with the mountains as our backdrop.

More from out and about in Marrakech in my next post.

What I Wore…

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Dress – Next (gift) | Bag – Next (gift) | Shoes – Castaner (similar here) | Swimsuit – Next (gift) | Dress – Next (gift) | Slides – Next (gift)

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Primrose Hill

Once upon a time, I used to apologise if I hadn’t blogged once a day (going as far as to write a post saying I’d be writing a better post later that day…), but I’m learning to only say something when I have something to say.

Although, I suppose that isn’t exactly what’s happened over my past couple weeks of silence here on WishWishWish. I’ve had things to say, but no time to say them. I’ve been diversifying a little, which has led to days editing in Premiere for clients, or time out helping Liv with things for her upcoming wedding (bridesmaid duties are taken very seriously around these parts). That coupled with traveling has left very little time to collate anything here, but the next few weeks are looking vaguely more chilled out. Phew.

Life either seems to be pootling along or zooming at 100 miles per hour. There isn’t much of an inbetween. My priorities might seem a little skewed but I’ve still found time for Game of Thrones, in spite of the ever-growing pile of clothes on my bedroom floor. Spoilers don’t care that I’ve not unpacked my suitcase yet. Everyone’s definition of busy is different. I’m certainly not gloating or trying to come across as the ultimate business woman when I say I’m rushed off my feet- things are always best when you’ve got time to work on fresh ideas or do things as simple as clear your inbox. 

The photos here are from a weekend A MONTH AGO. I just checked my calendar. I was sure that I was only a couple of weeks late…

I met up with Lucy in Primrose Hill for breakfast on a weekend and we went to Camden Vintage Flea. I was on the hunt for specific pieces of furniture but ended up leaving with a few prints that I’m still yet to frame (knowing my track record, that’ll happen in another 6 months). It was the kind of Sunday you imagine when you picture your perfect weekend. Here’s to more like that in the very near future, and posting about them in a timely manner…

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