Thursday, August 25, 2016

A Visit to Daylesford Organic Farm in Gloucestershire


Tucked away in the beautiful Cotswolds near Kingham lies Daylesford Organic Farm, a beautiful space with farm shops, eateries and a food hall that's to die for. 35 years in the making, Daylesford has made quite the name for itself through sustainable farming practices and organic food offerings, capturing the hearts of foodies and the health conscious across the UK. Now so much more than just a farm, Daylesford also boasts a the luxurious Bamford Haybarn Spa where visitors can relax with a wide range of treatments or purchase products from the Bamford beauty range, both named for Daylesford founder Carole Bamford. Additionally the Bamford Barn is a beautiful shop for clothing & other things. 


My first impression of Daylesford could be described in two words: Instagram Heaven. The whole place is a fine example of exquisite taste and everything you see looks like it was made for photographing. Light colors, fresh blooms and beautiful textures have been carefully curated to provide a multi-sensory experience. It truly is a gorgeous place to spend an afternoon.


I began my visit with a look around the various farm shops on the property, but first I met a chicken... It might not sound too exciting to some, but for a city dweller who grew up in the country, seeing a chicken roaming around freely is a sight for sore eyes. Browsing around the food hall, I couldn't help but admire the bright colors of the produce, the bounty of products available for various food intolerances and the many delicious smells tickling my nose. For anyone suffering from gluten intolerance or other food intolerances and allergies, Daylesford is the perfect source of delicious baked goods among other foodstuffs. Gorgeous meats and fish were on display and then there's the cheese room... A temperature controlled, closed off, carefully curated room of delicious cheese tempted me and my wallet right through its doors. It was impossible to resist picking up some lovely brie to bring home, which only made the experience last a little bit longer.


In the same area as the food hall are sections of homewares, offering beautiful, minimally designed pieces for the home and kitchen alongside other things like cookbooks, napkins and the like. Each piece is more beautiful and unique than the next - these are simply items that you won't find everywhere, investment pieces if you will. 


In another section across a beautiful courtyard is the flower shop, filled to the brim with beautiful blooms and rustic vases alongside home fragrance products that are quite tempting. I bought a candle and a lotion bar because they smelled so amazing and were so beautifully packaged that I simply couldn't resist. There are also options to stay on the property in the Cotswold Cottages, where you can relax, unwind and enjoy the farm life for a while.


Events at Daylesford Organic Farm are just part of the offering and there's even a cooking school on the property where students can learn to create delicious dishes from the lovely goods they find there. From a Harvest Festival to tasting evenings, there's always something going on, down on the farm!


Following my browsing and shopping, I joined some friends for dinner in The Old Spot Restaurant, a beautiful eatery on the property with light & bright decor and a serene, peaceful atmosphere. I would highly recommend a bottle a glass of the Daylesford Prosecco. The red wine we had, an Argentinian Malbec, was absolutely lovely and the food was just as good and fresh as you'd expect from an organic farm. In terms of prices, the restaurant is very reasonable and it's excellent value for money. All in all, the dining experience was lovely and while it wasn't very crowded when we were there, if you're planning to dine at Daylesford, booking ahead is advisable. 


I had a wonderful visit to Daylesford Organic Farm. It's so beautiful that it was almost hard to know where to look most of the time and it's a vast emporium of fine foods & swoon-worthy goods. I could've quite easily spent thousands and thousands of pounds and stayed there for a few days. If you're ever in the area, I'd definitely recommend a visit. It's advisable to check opening times for the various shops and barns you'd like to visit as some of them close earlier than others. If you're heading to Daylesford during the day, I hear the scones are amazing, so perhaps leave yourself time to enjoy tea while you're there.


Though it may not be possible to visit the farm all the time, those of us in London are lucky enough to be able to get our Daylesford fix locally with locations in Notting Hill, Pimlico and Marylebone. For those living outside London, the online farm shop on Ocado stocks a great selection of products and produce and many of the goods are available from the Daylesford website. For more information, to shop or to plan your visit to Daylesford Organic Farm in Gloucestershire, visit Daylesford.com.

Nu Skin 180° Anti-Aging Skin Therapy System

180° Anti-Aging Skin Therapy System (c/o Nu Skin)
Skincare can be a little confusing and the more people I talk to, the more I realize that it's not intuitive for many... How do you know which serum to pair with which moisturizer? Do you need toner? What kind of night cream should you be using? What's up with cleansing? Is one cleanser better than another? These are questions a lot of people have about their skincare regimes, so it's great when there's a brand that lays it all out for you with a group of products that you can use together, but also purchase together in one convenient box.

The Nu Skin 180° Anti-Aging Skin Therapy System is a set of products all created to work together for both morning and night. The boxed set contains everything you need for a comprehensive anti-aging skincare routine that includes a face wash, a skin mist, cell renewal fluid, a day cream and a night cream. The products are easy to use and the routine is simple. Here's how the products are used:

Morning
1. Face Wash
2. Skin Mist
3. Cell Renewal Fluid
4. UV Block Hydrator SPF 18

Evening
1. Face Wash
2. Skin Mist
3. Cell Renewal Fluid
4. Night Complex

I've been using these products for about a month and I really like them. They don't particularly smell although a few of them have a faint scent similar to vinegar, however after a few seconds I can't smell it at all following application. Since using these products, I've seen a noticeable difference in my skin. It's smoother, less dry and my skin tone is even. I haven't had any breakouts or irritation even though I have quite sensitive skin. That said, it's a good idea to try these products by patch test before committing to the routine to see if any redness or irritation occurs. There are several other products in the Nu Skin 180° range, which can be used in conjunction with this set, or you can simply use these products on their own. Given that they're all complementary to each other, it really takes the guess work out of skincare and makes looking after your skin easy and convenient. I find it only takes me a few minutes in the morning and at night with very little hassle.

My favorite of these products has to be the face wash. The texture is thick and rich like a cream cleanser, yet it lathers like a gel. I feel like my skin is very clean after using this face wash, no matter how grimy it gets from a day of city life. I'm also a big fan of the UV Block Hydrator SPF 18, which is a no-fuss moisturizer that stays put and doesn't feel at all greasy or heavy. The Skin Mist in place of a toner is great, however I do occasionally skip misting this on my face and instead, spray it onto a cotton pad for swiping like a toner if my skin feels particularly dirty. Either way works. The Cell Renewal Complex comes with a dropper and you can easily measure the recommended 0.5ml for use. Altogether, these products are super easy to use and make skincare a convenience rather than a chore.

The Nu Skin 180° Anti-Aging Skin Therapy System is £190.66 when you buy it online and available directly from Nu Skin. For more information visit www.nuskin.com.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Autumn Kitchen Update

1. Country Retreat Teabag Tidy / 2. Bottle Stoppers in Artichoke, Tomato & Aubergine (c/o Charles Viancin)
3. Lemon Saver (c/o Divertimenti) / 4. Stay Clean Scrubber (c/o Kuhn Rikon)  / 5. Poppy Trivet (c/o Charles Viancin)
6. Kitchen Craft Living Nostalgia Enamel Round Pie Dishes / 7. Country Retreat Spoon Rest
I find myself in the mood for some kitchen updates about this time every year... As the end of summer approaches, I start getting excited for Autumn and everything it entails... Cups of tea in cozy sweaters while reading a good book, snuggling up with a blanket to watch a film, cooking delicious dinners for friends & family, spending hours in the kitchen trying out recipes or making up new ones, long walks through the park to see the deer & the changing foliage... It's a magical time of year and I start early with my hoarding, collecting new things that get me excited for Autumn. Here are a few things I've picked up recently that I've already put to use in my kitchen and I know I'll be using all season!

1. I don't drink so much tea in the Spring & Summer unless it's herbal or fresh mint tea, but as the temperatures drop, a good old fashioned cup of English Breakfast becomes a standard in my home. One thing I always get in trouble for is dumping the teabags into the sink... Problem solved with this Country Retreat Teabag Tidy that I found at a garden center on my recent trip to the Cotswolds. It's so cute and it has a duck on it!

2. I love to upcycle bottles that sauces, liquors, oils and salad dressings come in and make something new to go in them... Salad dressings, infused alcohols like Limoncello or flavored olive oil are all on my list and they make lovely gifts! The bottle stoppers from Charles Viancin are the perfect way to top off such a gift or a treat on your own dining table... They'll also work for wine bottles and they're adorable!

3. There are so many recipes that call for 1/2 a lemon or occasionally you're slicing lemon wedges for a dish or a cocktail and you don't need the whole thing. This Lemon Saver is great for making sure you don't waste the half you haven't used yet and it's super cute.

4. If you're always looking for ideas to make your kitchen more sustainable, you'll love the Kuhn Rikon Stay Clean Scrubber, a sponge replacement that will last for ages. BPA free, long-lasting, non-porous, flexible and colorful, this scrubber is safe to use on non-stick cookware and any other kitchen surfaces. The bonus? You can say goodbye to stinky sponges!

5. I love a multi-use product in the kitchen because space isn't unlimited in London flats and the less clutter the better! The Charles Viancin Poppy Trivet also doubles as a potholder, making it twice as useful and it adds a lovely pop of color to the kitchen or the dinner table.

6. Pie is a wonderful thing during Autumn & Winter, however I often feel like it's a shame to make a whole pie for just my husband and I. I also like to occasionally bake something in two dishes to have on either end of the dinner table as a starter or side dish. With those situations in mind, I picked up two of the Kitchen Craft Living Nostalgia 18.5cm Enamel Round Pie Dishes on a recent shopping trip and I've already used them twice... I can tell they're going to become staples in my kitchen!

7. Whether for a teaspoon, a serving spoon or a cooking spoon, I love a good spoon rest for preventing unnecessary mess. What's better? A spoon rest with a pig on it! Currently obsessed with the Country Retreat Spoon Rest I found in the Cotswolds. It's just too darn cute!

What recent additions to your kitchen are you loving lately?