California Dreaming

As far as ‘Busman’s holidays’ go, my recent sojourn to LA served up a pretty balanced combination of work and pleasure.

For those who know me and in true ‘Nadia style’ I made sure that I maximised every minute of my 10 days, as well as every opportunity I had to enjoy the blue skies.

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Having spent the first part in Downtown LA showing our Nadia Minkoff London collection at the California Market Centre I spent the latter part visiting vineyards, driving along the coast, exploring desolate beaches, collecting moonstones ( for real) and finally back to LA for some much needed retail therapy.

My chosen ‘companion’ on this journey? The Richmond midi tote in yellow and I am happy to say it didn’t disappoint.

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Going to let the photos do the talking as they are SO good. A big thank you to Director of Photography Dennis Madden for these beautiful captures.

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My travel lowdown:

I flew out from London Gatwick  to LAX  with Norwegian Air on the brand new Dreamliner, can’t recommend enough! Return trip with luggage and x 2 meals from as little as £500

Stayed at the  Millenium Biltmore Hotel, in downtown LA. This hotel has seen more glamorous days the lobby is grand but alas the rooms are in need updating, still the location is great. Rooms start at  £150 per night.

Don’t leave downtown LA without trying Pitchoun Bakery, the raspberry croissants are as tasty as they are beautiful! You will be spoilt for choice

For some of the best handmade noodles you will ever try and an impressive selection of beers to boot visit Peking Tavern

Mexican with a twist at B.S.Taqueria, so bloody good, take me back today!

The Landsby boutique Hotel in Solvang, Scaandi interiors to die for, wanted to move in. Double rooms start at US$350 per night

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Fireside Inn on Moonstone Beach, if you are after spectacular ocean views, moonstone collecting and sea lion viewing, this is the perfect location… complete with your very own in room  fire place , Doubles start at US$ 200 per night

Rock n Fish restaurant, Manhattan Beach LA, for some regional food and super fresh fish dishes, beautifully served in this gorgeous seaside corner of LA

The Griffith Observatory, immerse yourself in La La Land, watch the stars, the Hollywood Hills, the view of LA, have a dance if you want!

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From inspiration to presentation

After months of preparation the first showing of our Spring/Summer 2017 collection kicked off during Scoop & the City, held at The Old Billingsgate Market mid-July.

Having drawn our inspiration from London, from nature and from living a life of handbags & jewellery, with a clear vision and complete conviction we finalised our range, instructed and waited for the samples to arrive.

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It was a painful wait, because the bulk of the samples just didn’t turn up and as the deadline drew closer… a week closer, 5 days closer, 3 days closer we were beginning to doubt our chances.

With 2 days to go, the samples arrived, last minute is far from ideal but it’s a whole lot better than a ‘no show’.

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I often wonder, once the stand is all set and the show opens its doors to buyers and press if anyone really knows the true trials from inspiration to presentation.

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It was a great show, the new collection was much admired, new orders, new contacts, old contacts renewed. Circle closed, now we go from presentation to new inspiration.

Attenborough or Hitchcock??

This morning whilst in my kitchen I heard birds in my front garden making the most awful racket, as bad as a drunken brawl outside a pub. It got progressively worse and eventually I decided to step out the front door to see what was going on. To my disbelief there was a flock of magpies attacking a fellow Magpie who was perched on my garden gate, so enraged they didn’t even fly away when I stepped out. The bird that’d been attacked resembled a pin cushion, bleeding with a broken wing and a look of terror the likes of which I can’t describe. He fell off the gate, carrying his broken wing with him and managed to hop into the bush behind my garden shed. I washed the blood of the gate, the blood off the path and swept away his feathers that had been plucked. No movement from behind the shed, so I assumed the poor bird had died but just in case, I scattered some bread crumbs and seeds and went back indoors. Still disturb by it all I opened the back door to the garden, just in case he came out onto the lawn, but no sign of him. Whilst sipping my tea quietly (with the garden door still open), I was startled by a loud miaow, a young white male cat, who I had seen a couple of times previously had let himself into my kitchen. Although complete strangers he was a friendly, affectionate little fellow and he made me smile. I gave him a little treat to eat on the patio, locked the door and got ready for work. Walking towards my car and within the space of a couple of minutes the racket of the birds started yet again, it was so loud and before I knew it there was the friendly white cat, who shot out of my garden running as fast as he possibly could, with the injured bird in his mouth cawing for his life and followed by what I can only describe as a ‘swarm’ of angry birds. I sat in my car, closed my eyes, took a deep breath and told myself ‘Nadia, you didn’t see that’.

My conclusion? When your number is up-it’s up and that birds number was definitely up today. And also..sticking your nose into business you don’t know doesn’t necessarily have the desired results, I couldn’t help but think that if I hadn’t left food for the bird or given a treat to the friendly cat, maybe, just maybe his number wouldn’t have been up today. Sorry bird!

Weekend warrior??? yep, that’s me

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ImageYou may be wondering why I am writing about ‘weekend warriors’ smack bang in the middle of the week?? I think it’s fair to say that this is how long it has taken me to recover (and to regain the full use of my legs!) from the weekends events.  Following some gentle persuasion from a fellow runner and friend  I succumbed and booked myself a space at Green-fit ‘Weekend warrior’ session. I read the blurb on the website and had my doubts about my ability to do this but decided to go for it just the same.  More than anything the idea of spending 3.5 hours in Highgate Woods and Hampstead Heath had huge appeal and clenched the deal for me.

We were fortunate to be blessed with a glorious, sunny if somewhat blustery morning on arrival at the woods 08.30 on Saturday. The next 3.5 hours were spent running, power walking, circuit training and doing squats- just had to mention the squats…. so many squats I have never done so many squats in my life. All made completely ‘do-able’ by the wonderful coach Bridgit and the breathtaking scenery.     Hampstead Heath, apart from being gloriously green at the moment, is full of buttercups and other flowers, I know I’ve said this before but for an urban green space it doesn’t come much better. As for me becoming a warrior from now on? well, my legs did feel like they might just drop off the next day but I am certainly up for it again, even looking forward to it.

If you’re spending any time over the week outdoors, in the woods, in nature, enjoy it, such a great time of the year to appreciate nature.

A Lilac love affair

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ImageThose who know me know I love my garden.. such a ‘British’ things, but I really do. For me it’s an oasis in the middle of a sprawling megalopolis, which is 24/7 London. When I bought my little house, some years back, my budget was very small but I was happy to settle for a small house as long as it had a half decent garden, and that is exactly what I did. My house is small, and trust me when I say small but my garden is not at all bad for a city garden, it surrounds the house and is adjacent to a  green ( which for those of you not familiar is in fact an open green space for public use) which, makes it feel alot bigger, as if it extends beyond it’s walls. But what really sold it for me was the fact that my garden had a 90 year old Weeping willow and two fabulous lilac trees, a lilac one and a white one. Can’t tell you just how much I love lilac trees. My white lilac tree was unfortunately destroyed during some building work I had done and I was forced to take down my beloved Willow tree at my neighbours insistence. But my purple lilac is as lovely and sweet smelling as it ever was. It’s been so cold her for so long that blossom has come late. This week however, it’s beautifully  hot and sunny and as lilac blossom is short lived it will be all but gone by the weekend so I’ve managed to get a few quick snaps to share with you and to make the blossom ‘last’ longer. Such a shame I can’t post the delicate fragrance of these flowers too.

So what on earth happened to Spring??

ImageImageImageSo last week I thought we had turned a corner here in London, Spring sprung and with it some first signs of colour in the form of snowdrops,crocuses and the first of the cherry blossom. Also, a noticeable change in mood, smiley people as opposed to people tucked in their coats, shuffling as fast as they can out of the cold. Come the weekend, we are back to square one, worse actually. It is so cold that stepping outside the door feels like an Arctic expedition, and much of the country is under thick snow, what on earth is going on? can we have our spring back… please