This month, our expert florist and friend Lu Diamond Flowers, shares with us her tips to add colour into our lives with the bright hues of the orchid family and her latest arrangement ideas...
I have recently fallen in love with the mesmerising orchid family. They are the highlight when visiting the markets during wet, cold mornings. My most favourite are cymbidiums, which look like bright-coloured puppy dog noses, and the golden shower orchid, which have delicate sprays of tiny flowers, shaped like yellow skirted dancing girls.
The variety of orchids on this planet is huge; there are literally thousands of these exotic beauties originating from all over Asia and Australia. I could stare at them all day investigating the detail and their otherworldly structure. Sometimes flowers with such detail are best to admire in a vase on their own, however this week I wanted to have a play and mix them together to create a bright orange colour palette. I added a bunch of blood orange ranunculus flowers (my other favourite at the moment) and my brand new vase. During winter it's nice to add a bit of colour so be brave and grab the perfect hits of bold tones such as red, burgundy and orange. It's an orange affair so I'm calling it my Frida Arrangement.
When creating your arrangement at home, it can be helpful to use a rubber band to keep stems in the right place if need be, if the vase is opaque no one will know! Another useful tip is not to cut the stems until you're confident with where you want your flowers to sit. If you do cut too short they can be placed in a left over jam jar, perfect above the kitchen sink.
Dreary winter weather has us wishing for long, hot summer days and makes the idea of escaping to a warmer climate seem all the more desirable. Talented graphic designer and blogger of Fashion Fitness Food, Isobel Masters has ensured we can all get a glimpse of a London summer by sharing with us the city's must-sees for the sunny season. So if you're visiting London or proud to call it home take these summer suggestions into consideration.....
Visit Rooftop Film Club
With classic hits like Clueless, a beautiful view of the London skyline and my very own deck chair on offer, a night at the movies has never sounded so appealing. I've only graced the Roof Gardens in Kensington here a few times, but with summer starting I can tell this will become a Friday night regular for me and the girls. Popcorn all round!
Head to Richmond Park
Whether I'm picking up a Boris Bike (hireable bikes dotted around London City) or putting on my running gear to do a couple of laps, Richmond Park is an amazing spot to embrace the summer weather. Known for it's wildlife, I always keep my eyes peeled for deer, badgers and some rather cute rabbits. Taking a 10 minute detour out of the park to enjoy the view at the top of Richmond Hill is a must do.
Explore the markets
Eating healthy is important and getting my mitts on fresh, great quality produce helps with this lifestyle choice. Farmers markets are all around London, but my favourite stop has to be Borough Markets. It has everything you could possibly want and more. I head there at least once a week to get as much of the gorgeous, organic and locally grown produce I can find. If you're after a spot that also provides lunch, I would beeline for Sloane Square where there is a street food market every Saturday from 10am to 4pm. This is a lot less 'cucumbers and carrots' and a lot more 'every flavour of cupcake that has ever existed' type food so I always go hungry. You can grab London's largest chocolate chip cookie, soak up the sun and maybe walk a few laps of the shopping district - to burn off that cookie of course! This area is known for being the Middleton girls stomping ground, so it's packed full of incredible designer shops and exclusive restaurants.
Indulge at Nama
A stones throw from the iconic Portobello Road, Nama is the hidden gem of the culinary scene in the UK. This raw food restaurant features a menu bulging with tasty and ridiculously healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner options. Not only do they hands down make the best salad I've ever eaten called the 'raw caesar salad' (pictured below) but I also get to pick from an array of milks (including almond, hazelnut and coconut) to compliment my flat white order. What's not to love?
Enjoy Social Eating House
It's popular after a long day to finish off with a night cap and I often head to this Soho sweet spot that has literally something for anyone in any mood. The cocktail menu boasts impressive concoctions and I can never look past the selection of incredible dips and chutneys served with perfectly toasted brochette on the side - the perfect end to a summer's day.
Thanks Isobel! x