Oh I Want You, I Want You… I Want You So Bad – Mr Bob Dylan 1966
What Really Matters right now in music, fashion and chocolate! Well, that’s the hedonist in me, ethically, of course!
Take Me Beyond the Valley
If you want to be a fashion comet, not just a mere fashion bystander; then you need to go to Beyond the Valley. This season, this fertile collective of Soho designers has excelled itself with a collection that is confident and alluring, with just the right dash of fantasy and enchantment – and what more can you ask for from great fashion? There are some star pieces that will in time become well-loved heirloom treasures, and thus a clever recessionary investment. Imagine the perfect gauzy silk chiffon slip dress or slinky cape with a flight of fantasy digital print that lifts it from ordinary to extraordinary. Did I go weak with desire? Yes! Then, the jacket of the season – boxy, beautifully tailored, and trimmed with curly Steif teddy bear fur which if you know your fashion history – is a clever homage to Audrey Hepburn on the ski slopes of St Moritz.
Rococo Gold, Frankincense & Myrrh Dark Chocolate – Nectar for Mortal Gods and Goddesses
Let me put you in the mood for Christmas, but with something altogether more rare, precious and intoxicating – Chantal Coady, the Crown Princess of chocolatiers, has conjured up the ultimate, twinkling pleasure bar – Rococo’s Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh, 65% dark, artisan chocolate bar with sweet orange and subtle hints of Christmas cake.
Even the wonderful packaging is a delight, like unfolding the most precious little gift. Now to the chocolate – sampling this silken, subtle bar, shot through with gold leaf can only be compared to drinking a rare wine; you will feel as if you are feasting on nectar with the gods. When the chocolate meets melting point, there are notes of dried fruit, sweet citrus, but not too sweet, and the most pleasing, silken texture. Feeling slightly giddy, I told myself firmly that I would make it last. Then, suddenly, the whole bar was gone in no time. Very greedy I know, but oh so sublimely satisfying. More. I must have more!
I’ve been buying Rococo’s divine little artisan chocolate bars from their jewel box shop in World’s End, Chelsea, for a long as I have enjoyed a great love affair with London. Now there is the most delightful new shop and eclectic, charming tearoom in Knightsbridge to make the experience of choosing and buying chocolate even more pleasurable and intimate. This is my favourite haven to indulge in some pleasing chocolate delicacy, and to watch the glitterati at play. I’m impressed too that the tea is chosen with such care and attention to detail and origin. Try the Green Bud Tea – bright, wonderfully uplifting and perfect with a sea salt and caramel chocolate or two, or three!
Jo Hamilton – A Shooting Star on Facebook
In a sea of manufactured boy bands and plastic, over-packaged divas – Jo Hamilton’s girlish, ghost of a voice demands attention and holds you in a soft, mournful, elegiac embrace that will entice you back again and again. As a child, Jo lived a nomadic life, and spent part of her childhood on a remote Scottish island. A love of nature courses through her poetic songs, and Paradise is the best song I have heard in a long while about the sea, and its magnetic, eternal attraction. Even more noteworthy, she has created an audience of 50,000 fans on Facebook and she was recently invited to perform in front of some of the world’s great movers and shakers a the TED Global Conference. Take a listen to Gown – a shimmering pearl of a debut album.