While those of you who have read She Said Style will fully comprehend the purpose of ‘investment pieces‘, I am sure anyone who has yet to do so will have the same level of appreciation for Luxury Artisan.

This month, Luxury Artisan – a site which exclusively stocks six premium Italian brands – has launched in the UK. Brand names include Pineider, Giorgio Fedon, Cellerini, Madova, Chiarugi and Stefano Piazza; all brands of impeccable quality. With leather keyrings as low as £25 and a limited edition crocodile skin briefcase available for £8,750 – we can all indulge in a little quality.

My top five picks from Luxury Artisan (above) are detailed below!

Top to bottom and right to left:

  • Cashmere lined kid leather gloves – the contrast stitching and trim are gorgeous.
  • My dream briefcase (by Pineider) – definition of Italian elegance.
  • Crocodile-grained document bag – come on, I’m a girl who loves combining functionality with style!
  • 48-Hour Leather Travel Bag – the lilac…the quality…drool-worthy.
  • Zip-around organizer – “CityChic“…does what it says on the tin.
  • bond and brook
    When invited to dine in Fenwick Bond Street, a lady certainly does not decline. That is why I was thrilled to spend an afternoon at Bond and Brook – Fenwick’s second floor eatery and lovechild of the rhubarb family.

    Upon arrival, I felt immediately at home. Right in front of our table was an enormous version of the fifth photo in my “Best of Tumblr – Chandeliers”, which happens to be one of my favourite photos of all time.

    And the food and drink certainly matched it’s setting. Starting with a glass of champagne and some fresh apple juice, I perused through their delicious-sounding offerings (seriously, look at the menu) and settled on a three course set menu.

    My boyfriend did the same, as our starter – an intricate place which showcased carpaccio of beef – was exactly our taste. Nothing but the loveliest, simplest flavours expertly combined.

    From then on, our tastes shifted to completely different dishes. He opted for a creamy main of chicken, biscuits (the American kind… without the lackluster American flavour), and mushrooms, while I settled for a perfectly portioned – but loaded – fine fish omelette.

    Then, waistlines expanding, came dessert. For The Boy With A Taste for Cake, a generous lemon creation that had an incredible, colourful zest. For The Girl Who Believes Fruit Negates Excess, a delectable serving of poires belle helene.

    Finished with a richly crafted latte and a small serving of M&Ms (charmingly coloured in Pantone PMS 245), I believe this is probably the most delicious – and enormous! – meal I have had in over 3 months. Chic, understated quality all round.

    Enjoy the photos!
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    Most of us have some sort of snack danger zone, right? While I have no aversion to nibbling on fruit and vegetable, my danger zone comes in the form of chocolate. The second it is allowed in the house, I am running to save myself from inhaling a bar.

    For this reason, I was super excited to find a service called Graze.

    Basically, Graze delivers you healthy, natural and – most importantly – delicious snacks to keep you satisfied throughout the day. Literally any UK address that can receive post can receive one of their sumptuous boxes. For only £3.49 a box (it’s enough food to incorporate into meals)!

    One thing that really appealed to the control freak in me (who immediately thinks of tasteless seeds and nuts when told about ‘health food‘), is that Graze boxes are completely based on your personal tastes. Once you sign up, there is a control panel where you can view all available snacks and specify whether you like, love, or would like to try them (or never receive them!).

    The control panel in itself is fantastic, as you can choose which days you would like to receive snacks, specify holidays, and search through a huge list of foods that are split into helpful categories. The categories are designed to specify whether snacks are packed with omega-3s, fibre, a ‘sweet treat’ (but still super healthy!) and many more fun, enlightening categories.

    My very tasty first week went as follows (check the site for each pocket’s content):

    Jaffa Cake
    Pina Colada
    Omega booster seeds
    Toffee apple

    Sour mango tangtastic
    Eleanor’s apple crumble
    Super berry detox
    Fruity ploughmans

    Black pepperdoms
    Fruit and seed flapjack
    Fennel seed and honey peanuts
    Savoury roasted seeds

    West country cheddar, red onion and chutney focaccia
    Banoffee pie
    Honeycomb flapjack

    Natural vanilla seeds
    Little figgy went to market (Probably the most delicious thing in the world)
    Hot cross yum
    Beach bum

    If you would like a free box to try, Graze have graciously provided me with the coupon codeCBJ8XLL” which you can enter and also get your second box half-priced!

    marks and spencers accessories

    I was recently invited to preview Marks & Spencer’s Autumn/Winter 2011 accessories collection via a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. We’re talking tea, cakes, Prosecco, and a room full of shoes, jewellery, handbags, hats, and more at ridiculously affordable price points.

    With all of the accessories split into four categories – Boy Meets Girl (doctors bags galore!), Nordic Narnia (frosted yet cozy), Global Traveller (gorgeous, colourful items) and Wilderness (faux fur for all!) – you would expect there would be a category you didn’t favor as much. Not the case. All four were full of fashionable, quality items.

    Set up in homage to Alice in Wonderland‘s ‘eat me‘ tags, everything was tagged and asking you to feel it. With reason. I urge you to go to an M&S now and stroke your way through the accessories department.

    marks and spencers accessories
    Click below to see more!
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    Princess Siriwanwaree Nareerat

    Princess Siriwanwaree Nareerat

  • After living in Thailand for eight months, I pretty much consider Princess Siriwanwaree Nareerat to be ‘my’ princess as much as Kate Middleton is ‘my’ princess. That’s why I was beyond excited to see the gorgeous Princess of Thailand sitting front row at Christian Dior, Chanel, Lanvin, Balmain and Hermes during Paris Fashion Week. Princess has fashion sense for miles.

  • In a study funded by Procter & Gamble (aka P&G – cosmetics giants), a team of researchers at the Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital fond that women who conform to societal standards of beauty are perceived more positively than women who do not. The experiment was set up by the team showing participants some female faces with no makeup, “natural” style makeup, “professional” makeup, and “glamorous” makeup for varying amounts of time. Variants like race and age were controlled to keep it as precise as possible.

    The study found that a face with any makeup whatsoever is perceived as more likable, competent, and trustworthy than a face sans slap. The only time this trend went off-course was in the ‘trustworthy’ category when it came to women in the “glamourous” category (but they were still perceived to be hotter and more competent!)

    Are these results shocking to anyone? I do wonder how different societies would respond…

  • L’Oreal has just announced that they are successfully on their way to develop a pill that will prevent gray hairs from showing up. (Are we really getting so concerned with aging that our grandmothers will now all have ‘young’ hair?) The company plans to have it available for retail within the next four years.

  • Fashion Week/Month is over! What do we do with ourselves?! Well…apparently we all start to swap fashion houses. In what I consider to be some pretty shocking news, the latest unfortunate soul to lose it’s creative chief is Vionnet! After an amazing Spring/Summer 2012 show, designer Rodolfo Paglialunga has been replaced by Barbara and Lucia Croce. Thankfully, it is not a negative situation, as he is leaving to pursue “other personal and professional paths”. Hands together, and pray – solo line, solo line, solo line