Archive | April, 2011

Brighton. Right on.

27 Apr

Brighton seafrontYes, yes, I know, EggMag has been stocked in Brighton for about 14 months. But I’ve got to be honest, the team have been so busy we’ve never managed to get down there for more than a couple of hours at a time. So, it was with great delight that I accepted an invitation to stay in the Brighton Artist’s Residence Hotel.

I arrived early (and before the hordes from London) so had some time to mooch with my Brighton-based buddy as my guide. We did the obligatory stroll along the seafront, visited one of the many delis serving properly good food, then checked into the hotel.

You can’t fault the location – it’s one block from the beach and if you have a room on the front, you’ll have a sea view across the square. Each room in this young and quirky little hotel is unique and painted by hand by different artists. Our rooms looked very sweet, although the artwork was a bit rough round the edges (literally), which made it a little messy I thought. But the idea behind the hotel is a good one: they rent the basement studio out to up-and-coming artists who then exhibit their work in the gallery and reception area. The proprietors are also making steps to eco-up the place, so it’s all in all a happy place to stay.

Artist's Residence Hotel

There’s plenty to keep you busy in Brighton: it genuinely is like a mini-London and I can’t think of many towns this size that would have such an interesting arts, shopping and music scene. Even Proud (as in Galleries) have an amazing ballroom here, hosting a programme of brilliantly boho and vintage-inspired events. There are plenty of little independent shops – like the lovely FAIR, which stocks some EggMag fashion favourites such as Bibico, Nancy Dee, People Tree and Bourgeouis Boheme – and a plethora of pubs and bars. We had a pint in The Dorset on North Road, and later headed to the characterful and laaarge Lion and Lobster pub.

Morning came with it a bit of a hangover, but luckily, my ‘breakfast in a bag’ courtesy of the good people at hotel, sorted me out: a super-soft croissant, Innocent OJ and a pot of yog. All good.

So. Summer’s here now (hopefully) so get your cheap advanced tickets from Southwest trains and get down to the seaside.

Latest EggMag newsletter

27 Apr


Read it here!

That’s it.

Win one of five Envirosax bags

15 Apr

envirosax bag
Sign up to the EggMag newsletter and we will draw 5 winners at random (that are not already on our mailing list) to receive one of these bags from Envirosax. Just enter your email address here until Wednesday 20th April 2011. Simples.

WARNING: The new Burger King advert has seriously melted my sense of humour.

4 Apr

burger king burgerI really risk sounding like an old hippy here but I am massively wound up by the latest Burger King ad. I wonder if that was their aim; to wind up greenies? Either way, it is NOT funny that the ice caps are melting and what a horrendous stroke of irony that they are selling a BEEF burger, when cattle farming is one of the most contributing factors to climate change. See what you think, and please comment – I’m concerned that I’ve missed the point or over-reacted because surely BK can’t have that little respect for the future of our planet?

Could the backlash we’ve all been waiting for against mass-produced fashion finally be happening? Plus: the first Ethique EcoLuxe Day

2 Apr

It occurred to me today that there’s an under-current of ‘bespokeness’ rippling around the UK streets. This thought sprang to me as I left my final appointment at Ethique‘s first and fabulous EcoLuxe Day.

savile row fabricsEarlier this week I had been out shopping with The Boy for a proper suit (for him). We scoured every price range from Savile Row to Zara and what struck me was the choice that has now appeared on the high-street. To add to the personal shopping service many high-street shops have been offering for a while, it seems that some now have alterations services as well – and you can even get your own suit personally made to measure from Reiss.  This may partly down to the Mad Men craze that has swept and swept the nation, and left in its wake a load of people wanting to wear properly fitting, quality clothing, but stick with me though…

Back to Ethique (and eventually to the point). The luxury ethical concierge service is now offering relaxed days filled with consultations, talks and ethical lifestyle inspiration. Choose from personalised fashion tips, make-up advice, interiors ideas and plenty more: good, girlie, high-end fun. The event that I attended began at Tibits (a particular favourite of mine, and an EggMag stockist) where I was given a personal itinerary. This took me to The Organic Pharmacy for an efficient and effective make-over, and then to The National Geographic Store for a chat with the sustainable interior designer Elina Grigoriou who opened my eyes to how The Boy and I can maximise the use of our lovely, but really not-very-thought-out living space. Both appointments were genuinely interesting and I came away feeling that becoming a member would make my life a little easier – and a lot more luxurious.

frazer parfumThere are more and more companies now that tailor-make products for your personal style, be they cheap as chips or bucks-a-plenty. And they are on the up. Have a bespoke perfume made to excite your sense of smell at Frazer Parfum, get salads to suit you at Tossed and order your name in a necklace from Tatty Divine. Choose any object and I reckon you’ll be able to find it, somewhere, personalised for you. And, check out any fashion magazine on the news stand. The inspiration for current trends are broader than they’ve ever been. This summer be a boho babe, be pale and interesting or be nuts, angular and bright. You can be whatever you want to be.

tatty devine name necklaceSo. Here lies my proof of a gradual and building backlash against the mass-produced. People maybe still want That Dress but they want to wear it Their Way. Men want suits, but they want it tweaked to fit their individual style. Some wish to join a concierge service, like Ethique, in order to customise their life.

Maybe it’s because the public are no longer fooled by simple ‘buy this’ advertising. Maybe it’s inspired by the wonderful vintage trend that’s coloured everything from fashion to architecture over our recent years. Maybe it’s down to the recession, which highlighted the importance of buying quality products that last. I’m not saying Primark is dead (although I wish it were) and I’m not saying tailoring is the future (although that would be nice, if a little pricey) I am saying that people, now, like to be unique.

Nice, I say. And about time.

The right white stuff

1 Apr

If you were a child of the 70s or 80s, like myself, you’ll probably have similar memories of milk breaks. That Very Important time spent perched on your tiny, brightly-coloured plastic chair, nursing a mini milk bottle and sucking up watery cow-juice with all your might in order to earn a star. And, if you were well behaved, you got to clear away the empties (how did they ever fool us into thinking that was a privilege?) But the best thing that could happen in a milk break – the truly most brilliant reward for having to down the phlegm-making cow-juice like a rugby boy downs beer (but without the same enjoyment) was being given, simply, an unshaken bottle. Here, like a magnolia-coloured crown, the cream would sit. Oh, the joy of seeing that little piece of goodness resting precariously on top of the milk! The next move was to squash your straw, slip it down the inside edge of the bottle so as not to disturb your curdled prize, suck the bastard dry and savour the final, thick, sweet goodness left at the bottom and stuck to your straw. Remember?

These days, opinions on milk have changed somewhat. It is still seen as an important element in a person’s diet. It’s gone from being a national obsession to a bit of a controversial topic. Lactose intolerance is now widely acknowledged as a cause of thickened phlegm and mucus (nice), dry skin conditions like eczema – particularly in young children – and stomach complaints. The culling of male calves born into dairy farms is a serious issue, and the proposed US-style, in-humane super-dairies are a very real possibility.

Although milk is undoubtedly a good source of calcium and other nutrients, we consume so much of it, which is crazy when you think that the human digestive system is not massively efficient at breaking down lactose. The enzyme is also often hidden in processed foods as well, like soups and crisps and this is why some people react to it.

Luckily, there are plenty of other readily available options like goats milk (which naturally possesses lower levels of lactose – and is much tastier I find) and soya, rice and hemp milk too. I suppose, with all this contradictory information, the thing to do is to buy organic cow-juice where necessary, as it will most likely come from farms that are against the culling of male calves – and it’s proven to have higher nutritional value. Also, why not create your own mix-and-match milk menu? Rice milk is really good with cereal, hemp milk tastes decent in a cuppa, just as soya does in a coffee. But, all that said, there’s nothing – just nothing – like a bloody good spoon of cream. And whatever any health food bod says, that is one thing that CANNOT be replaced…