ESCAPE… Amsterdam inspiration

I try and make sure that every work trip I do is also a source of inspiration. I see something that catches my eye and imagination everywhere.  What interests me I capture , save, then reference. My recent trip to Amsterdam was particularly inspirational , it’s a city I love full of colours and tucked away corners. So here we go, I am sharing my ‘inspirational highlights’ with you, will be interesting to see what of these filters down to my next collection

Amsterdam is:

Cheese & cheese newspaper

Edam

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Van Gogh:

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VGogh-museum

Flowers & Urban gardening:

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Canal side living:

main canal

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Bakeries:

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some of the best Indie shops I’ve seen ( Matter.of.material)

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Lovely Paris, The Boss!!

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Bold colours in doorways, that match my Brewer Travel bag to perfection

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ESCAPE..THAILAND’S ISLANDS-PART 2, RAILAY

Having gotten over my jet lag and effortlessly adjusted to life in Koh Samui (see Part 1, Koh Samui) I headed on down to the Andaman Coast, destination Railay.

There is 1 airport in Koh Samui, it is privately owned so flights in and out of here are not cheap like other internal Thai flights but they are quite spectacular. The airport resembles a resort with lush landscaped gardens,boutique style shopping and pretty swanky toilets!!  Passengers are ushered to the planes via the runway, in converted golf carts and the views of Koh Samui from the air are breath taking

Flight: Koh Samui to Krabi with Bangkok Air, approx 50 mins flight, £87 with in-flight snack

Krabi airport to Ao Nang by shuttle: 30 mins

Ao Nang to Railay by long boat (there is a hire booth on the beach) approx 15 mins

Railay long boats

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suitcases

Railay is accessibly only by boat and yes, you do have to climb in and out of a ‘long boat’ clutching your suitcase through the sea, but it is so worth it. Laid back, chilled and welcoming I can’t recommend it enough.  In my books it is as close to a slice of paradise as it gets. I would go there again in a heartbeat.

Railay-cove

Stayed at: Railay Bay resort and spa prices start at £150 for a double room

visited: Nang Phra beach, a beach like something out of the Jurassic period, with towering rocks, caves and stalagmites. No dinosaurs , but plenty of monkeys in the surrounding forest. It’s a busy tourist destination and at the weekends the traffic from Ao Nang to this beach is quite overwhelming, so avoid if you’re looking for solitude.

Railay stalagmites

Tham Phra Nang fertility caves, a shrine full of carved wooden phalluses

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fertility cave

walked: through The forest to Tonsai beach, welcome to the chill-out zone!

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Tonsai beach

 

Ate : fresh grilled fish at the local style restaurants between the East and West beaches

Chilled: roof top balconies of the local bars

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watched: the sunrise and the sunset

Railay sunset

indulged: in some early morning canoeing off Railay Beach and the nearby rocks. For those of you into rock climbing , this is the ultimate jungle gym

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rocks

Next: Part 3, Kamala, Phuket

TRAVEL JAPAN.. KYOTO IN AUTUMN

Photography and travel: Sawako Muraoka

(Featured image: Kiyomisu-Dera Temple in autumn)

Flights: JAL from Heathrow, around £600 return London-Tokyo/Haneda airport  (Arriving at Haneda Airport is very useful as it’s only a 15 min train ride into Tokyo, it takes a lot longer from Narita. There is also a little shopping village inside the airport – useful for last minute gift buying and your final noodle fix)

Bag: The Rena bag in Moss Green

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Stayed at:

  • Self catering apartment which was fully equipped with a little kitchen and washing machine. Would especially recommend if you’re staying for a few nights as it’s a lot cheaper than most hotels and you have your own kitchen. Most hotel rooms are also very small so apartments can be more comfortable.
  • Highland Shimabara Guest House Approx. £65/night –  but this varies a lot depending on season

Dine out: Traditional meal served at a Kyoto’Ryokan’  (including the prettiest plate of pickles you’ve ever seen )food 3

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food 1

Arashiyama Bamboo Groveso beautiful and the trees are so tall!

kyoto bamboo
“Ojizo San”  is what these little statues are called , you see them a lot round shrines, they are there to protect people.

kyoto statues

Fushimi inari – Shinto shrine with thousands of “tor-ii” gates lining pathways up a mountain. We didn’t make it all the way!

Kyoto shrine

 

 Travelling around Japan – with JR Pass: this is a train pass only available to people who are not resident in Japan. You can use it as often as you like and go anywhere as long as it’s on a JR train and you reserve a seat. (It doesn’t include the fastest Shinkansen called Nozomi fyi. The second fastest is fast enough though!) It costs from around £180/week. Definitely recommend getting this if you’re going to multiple places.

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Travel Japan.. part 2 to follow!

DINE…. lunch at The Ivy Chelsea Garden

Location :  The Ivy Chelsea Garden, 195 -197 King’s Road, London SW3 5EQ

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The Bag: The Goldbourne in Monochrome

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Photography: Brian Minkoff

Food: British brasserie & Grill

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Eaten (and recommended): Duck salad £9.25, Whole Dover sole £37.00, Rib eye £27.95,  Char grilled Banham ½ chicken £14.95, Ivy’s ‘must have’ Signature dessert- Chocolate bomb £8.50

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Drinks: Angels Share ( highly recommended!!   a fantastic take on a Mojito with kumquats, ginger,lemon grass , Kaffir lime leaves and Havana rum) £9.50, Lavender Lady £8.00

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The space: Elegant, spacious, beautiful garden and terrace

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Service: Lively & personable

Celebrity spotting: Michael Caine, Princess Beatrice, Joan Collins

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Welcome to my Geo State

‘clean lines, soft hues and functional details are key to our latest offering of bags and jewellery. Sleek and sophisticated with added zest for good measure’

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The Richmond midi in yellow

That time of year again, new season, new collection, new journey. So how did I get here?

As ever, so much thought and time goes into every detail of a new range but at the core it’s always the inspiration that dictates.

So here we go, the ‘final cut’ of my inspiration, my heartbeat which led me from the start and culminated in my very own Geo State.

distillate-iv-2008-antony-gormley

DISTILLATE-IV,-2008-Antony-Gormley

 

ceramic-glazes-slips

ceramic-glazes-slips

the-laguna-garzon-bridge-uruguay

The-Laguna-Garzon-bridge,-Uruguay

trellik-tower-london-w10Trellik tower, London W10erica-wakerly-angles-wallpaper

Erica-Wakerly-Angles-Wallpaper

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Geometric print box

 

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secretsoundsecondsun.tumblr

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Liubov-Popova-Non-Objective-Composition,-c.1920

antony-gormley-quantum-void-iii

Antony-Gormley,-Quantum-Void-III

 

And so my journey has a happy ending, a Geo state was created, from Geo basics to Geo statements. Made to punctuate and elevate each outfit, each mood and each occasion, finely crafted with a  decidedly modern edge .Come join my state!

 

New Year, new season, new workspace

Some 10 days before Christmas I decided (or should I say the impulsive side in me decided) to take the plunge and get the ground floor of my office building refurbished. I’ve been wanting to do so for ages but having never had luck with London builders, I kept putting it off.

So happens that this festive season I had a window of opportunity to get some work done when the office was closed, a 10 day break between Christmas and the New Year. On the other side of this break I knew I had a 4 week countdown to our first show of the season at London’s Scoop International. I also had a builder willing to work over the holidays who assured me the work would be completed and on time.  So I agreed, the day before Christmas Eve work commenced at 13:00, by the time I left the carpet downstairs had been taken out, as had the shelving units and cupboards, my office had morphed into a complete building site at the blink of an eye.  Next morning, Christmas Eve I was already wondering what I had let myself into with the realisation of what a big job it really was: a partition wall to take down, a floor to lift and then redo, doors to remove, windows to remove, a breakfast bar to build, a lot of painting work, shelving, re-wiring and all other ‘hidden’ pleasures that come out of the woodwork as soon as you strip the top layer.

No sooner was Boxing day over I spent my time tooing and frowing to the office, progress was on schedule but it still was a complete building site ,not to mention the state of our upstairs offices which had become a store room for the downstairs contents.

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The building work was completed on time, a day early in fact, when we returned to work on Jan 5th all was in order. And our new working space? Well it’s bright, comfortable, functional and as for the breakfast bar?  It now has a coffee machine- best thing if you ask me apart from the  fact that we are now eating too many biscuits and drinking too many coffees.

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Our new collection is inspired by our new space,  less than a week to go before the show begins, we’re on schedule!

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