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You know the feeling you get when you discover something new? That sense of excitement which draws you in? It's a bit of a thrill... This was my experience last weekend when I wandered past the newly opened doors of Will Bees Bespoke on Island Street in Salcombe. 

Island street has long been associated with marine chandleries and boat houses, the rear of the premises back onto the estuary. I remember buying bait along here when I was a child but, Salcombe like so many of our traditional maritime haunts isn't immune to change. Over the years it's become well known as a prime location for serious yachties and many long time residents simply shake their heads at the number of second-home owners who dart down from London for the weekend in high season, squeezing along Fore Street in their oversized 4x4s. I suspect there is a fear that the village will loose it's unique character, that what is cherished will be replaced by corporate mediocrity as the masses move in.

You get a real sense that Will Bees understands this when you walk into the shop. In fact it was immediately clear to me that whoever had repurposed the old boat house at 1 Island Street has an affinity not just for blending the old with the new but also for preserving and appreciating the heritage contained within; there's sentiment in the layout and character in the oversized display cabinets. This is an artisanal space. Then, there's the bags themselves.

Each bag is a unique creation. The materials (after being hand picked by you) are hand cut, hand sewn and embossed by hand, if you so please.  I spoke with Will's dad while I cooed over the totes and he told me that all of the suppliers are UK-based and the bags themselves are handcrafted in England. There are over 500 fabrics to choose from including linens, tweeds, plaid, striped, checked and plain textiles as well as individually sourced Liberty prints. The choice continues with four different types of leather to coordinate with the fabric, all of it tanned using natural vegetable pigments.

The inspiration for the collection is clear; if you take the time to wander the streets or take the little ferry over to East Portlemouth you'll see candy coloured houses, soft golden beaches, light green sea, dark grey stone walls and all of it framed by rolling hillsides, fields and the tide. The business card says it's 'a concept that prides itself on being the antithesis of mass production' and I have to say that if this showcase of raw talent, clear love of British craftsmanship and heritage is the future of development in Salcombe, I'm on board. 

Discovered: Will Bees Bespoke Leather Tote Bags

You know the feeling you get when you discover something new? That sense of excitement which draws you in? It's a bit of a thrill... T...
Friday, 17 October 2014

I made these brownies with Bear last week. When I say 'made with Bear', I mean he licked the spoon and smashed eggs into a bowl while I tried to turn a blind eye to the chaos in my kitchen... we added macadamia nuts and walnuts to the mix for a little extra crunch too.

You will need:
100g Macadamia nuts (chopped)
175g unsalted butter (at room temp)
65g cocoa powder
340g caster sugar
2 medium size eggs (at room temp)
1tsp vanilla extract
100g plain flour
Pinch of salt

Grease and line a 20cm brownie tin
Pre-heat your oven to 180ÂșC

Toast the chopped macadamia nuts on a baking tray in the oven for 5 minutes, it gives them a deeper flavour. Allow to cool.

In a large saucepan melt the butter on a low heat stirring gently. When the butter is melted take it off the heat and sift in the cocoa powder, mix them together with a wooden spoon or spatula. When the mixture is smooth add the caster sugar and stir it in too.

In a separate bowl beat the eggs and vanilla extract together with a fork until it has just combined, then slowly pour it into the chocolate mixture stirring as you pour. Sift the flour and a pinch of salt into the mix and stir until smooth. Lastly add the toasted macadamia nuts and mix evenly.

Pour the mix into the prepared tin and bake for up to 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the side of the brownie tin comes out just clean. The brownies will be more squishy in the middle but they will continue to cook for about 5 minutes after they've been removed from the oven.

Allow to cool for 5 minutes in the tin then turn out onto a wire rack to cool fully. When cold chop into equally sized squares. The brownies will keep in an air tight container for up to five days.

Enjoy x

Chewy Chocolate Fudge Brownies with Toasted Macademias

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Top by Cos
Jeans by DL1961 at Feather & Stitch
Boots from Kurt Geiger
Backpack by Rutbag (on sale)
Sunglasses by Marc by Marc Jacobs
Watch by Bell & Ross
Jewelry is vintage

Most days I find myself running an errand or two after the school run. As we walk (and scoot) the ten minutes to the school gate I usually opt for flat shoes and this winter I'm investing in over the knee boots; they're a great way to bring your autumn look right up to date. I've chosen a black leather pair with stretchy fabric at the back because I don't want to worry about them gaping at the knee when I wear them with tights. Autumn is also a great time to mix up your jewel colour and deep earthy tone clothes, DO mix black with tan and browns this season too, it's a fresh look that's incredibly easy and practical to wear.

Running Errands

Monday, 6 October 2014
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