... And I'm stuck in Blighty! I like to go abroad for my birthday, away from normality, laundry, plant-watering and other daily chores to make it feel properly special but this year it didn't quite happen. So I'm staying in London, getting my hair done at Daniel Galvin, having lunch at Dean Street Townhouse, champagne and presents with my BFFs, then dinner at Cucina Asellina. Still a rather good day lined up!
birthday dinner at Nikki Beach in Cannes a couple of years ago
Summer holidays are fast approaching, and with that comes the annual justification to update your wardrobe with a few new pieces for your jollies. I'll be picking up some espadrilles, new sunglasses, a chic one piece swimsuit and a versatile handbag suitable for both carry-on luggage and beach bag, to keep my suitcase nice and light.
Step up Next's Zebra Raffia Tote Bag, made from a nice summery raffia fabric in black and white zebra print, cream aztec diamond patterns andsnakeskin trim. I prefer zebra to leopard print, as it's slightly more sophisticated (as much as garish animal print can be) in monochrome and I'd always choose classic black and white over brown, to go with the majority of my wardrobe.
The size is perfect to store my magazines, purse, obligatory in-flight fruit pastilles, Caudalie's refreshing Beauty Elixir face mist, passport, sunnies, travel documents and all the other airplane essentials for the flight and Carmex, waterproof mascara, sunscreen, iPod, a good book, tennis ball, sheer sarong, water bottle and, the chicest summer accessory, goggles for the beach.
Espadrilles are a summer holiday classic. The casual rope-soled cotton canvas shoes originate from the Pyrenees where they've been made since the 14th century. Worn by men, women and kids across the years, they're a versatile, basic style staple in the warmer months.
I'm always drawn to big statement jewellery, especially outfit-making pieces from my favourite brands like Mawi and Dannijo, so Tom Binns' work has caught my eye on more than one occasion. The American jewellery designer, who worked with Vivienne Westwood in the 1980s, creates pieces with a tough, punky edge, often using spikes, studs, dark gunmetal and excessive layers of chains.
Let me introduce you to DHC, one of Japan's largest beauty brands, which has 25 years' experience in creating innovative skincare based on botanicals and is known for its olive oil-based skincare and beauty products. I hadn't heard of it until recently and it's been a pleasure to discover.