Last Thursday night I was floating around town on an Emporio Armani cloud. Seriously, Glasgow knocked it out the park for me. First off, the fitting…
If you saw this post you probably already know that I have fallen hard and fast for the new Emporio Armani flagship store on Ingram Street, so when I popped in to pick out a look for the official opening party, I was in heaven. The store is laid out like my dream closet, if my dream closet were designed by a very talented architect, and the colours right now are so on point – nudes and tans and all the warmth that Glasgow seems to be missing. My eyes found this top though and it was love – backless and yet demure with that little shirt collar and that colour, obsessed at the moment. The girls in store are the most gorgeous, helpful creatures you could hope for and brought pairing options to the fitting room for me (bonus points for being perfectly lit for Insta-moments). As soon as this skirt appeared I knew she was the one – the movement is just incredible.
It is honestly such a pleasure to welcome a beautiful store like this to our city and to have the runway pieces right at our finger tips. The opening night saw the store buzzing with Italians and a non stop presentation of new season (now crushing on those flat laced booties) and it was such an honour for me to have the chance to be a part of it all. The warmest congratulations to Emporio Armani and welcome to Glasgow.
Initially it seemed to me that a fondue review from the Alps might be a little out of context on the last day of April… but then it snowed, in Glasgow, yesterday. So here we are…
The Altapura is one of those places that you literally couldn’t make up. If you’ve ever been to the Alps and know the work of Charlie Adam and his James Bond-esque alpine dream homes, then you’re half way to understanding the Altapura. Sheepskin and wood and alpine retro – essentially my dream home. Oh and let’s not forget the indoor gondola photobooth…
So we came here, to La Laiterie, for fondue because it’s basically the law that you eat your bodyweight in cheese when you ski and let me tell you, this was, without a doubt, the best fondue we ever had, Franche Comte in case you were wondering.
We ate cheese and drank wine and came home to set about transforming our Glasgow tenement flat into a chic alpine retreat…
En route back to Geneva airport we made a pitstop in Chambéry aka the cutest* French town in the world. (*Sidenote – I have been known to say this about every French town I visit). It was 24 degrees. The off the shoulder dress got an early summer outing as did the pasty legs and can we talk about this suede tassel bag for just a minute? Credit to Next for this baby, she’s a beauty.
So, thanks to Google for the driving route, to the BBC Weather app for helping me make smart choices (every surrounding town seemed to have rain), Pinterest for helping me source the prettiest of spots (almost certain this corner of Chambéry is the original source of shabby chic) and to the husband for his good ol’ fashioned ‘wandering’ technique which had us stumble upon the most gorgeous old square where we dined on steak tartare and red wine en plein air in front of the mairie… Heaven.
Flashback to the mountains and snow and sun and the only place in the world I would ever choose to wear blue leopard print with neon trim and matching mirror sunglasses. Anyone who skis knows… there are no style rules. I teamed up with the good folks at Zalando for my kit and actually this has pretty much become my one stop shop for all off season activities – their range is so vast, Grand Canyon vast, that when you need weird things off season, they’ve got them. Every time. Thanks guys for keeping me cool.x
Aaaand breathe… High, high in the French Alps, the highest in all of Europe, lies Val Thorens and a week of bliss. We flew to Geneva, picked up a car and started the twisty drive up, up, up into the mountains, arriving in darkness at Le Hameau du Kashmir.
Waking up that first morning, sun streaming into our Kashmir style chalet apartment, it was almost hard to believe the snow out there. Peering out the floor to ceiling windows and over the balcony every surface was literally covered in the glistening white stuff. I know, I know, the highest in the Alps, but it’s April and sunny and there was just… so much. All week, so much snow. And sun. Before I tell you all about this incredible place let’s just say this – if you’re even considering going skiing this season and think you’ve missed out, go book this place right this minute (skiing till May) and I’ll just wait right here for ya to get back.
Ok, back to this dream apartment… that big fluffy cloud bed and the solid wood sliding doors… all the natural wood detailing in fact and my favourite, favouritest spot, that balcony – just hanging there, suspended by his giant chunky wooden arms, poised looking right out at those snowy Alps, all day, all night, the most perfect view. You all know I love the beach but from this balcony I decided I might be just as happy to grow old with a view of those mountains. It’s hard to put into words just how they make you feel. (Scroll down for more…).
See that terrace right there? That’s Le Yack, that’s where you’re gonna park yourself to watch sunset apres ski and that white stuff right next to it? That’s the piste. Now there’s ‘ski in ski out’ and, for anyone who’s even experieneced a 2.4km long, 1m wide, windy little stony snowy path back to the digs, this ‘ski in ski out’ is on another level – right on the actual piste. Amazing.
We spend pretty much all day up the mountain and after about 7 hours skiing your body starts to feel a little tender from time to time. Turning another year older doesn’t help, those achy, old lady knees belong to me now, oh yes. But Le Hameau du Kashmir has this spa… you slip into your robe and slippers (first thing I do when I check in anywhere is throw open the closet doors searching for robes – BIG brownie points) and toddle on down to the pool, which incidentally, is also right next to the piste so you got dem views… Ten minutes in the sauna and you can melt into one of those loungers in the Espace Détente, birdsong floating through the air, and if you’re not already asleep you’ll most certainly be nudging your snoring husband, who is…
Honestly the details throughout this place are just gorgeous – the cutwork wood panelling around the bar, the traditional Kashmir rugs and intricate silver plaques… it’s cosy and spacious both at once. It’s in the perfect spot in my favourite place in the Alps for guaranteed snow, it’s warm and beautiful and it just feels like home. Perfect.
I’m just gonna put this out there – I used to be a shoe girl but I think I might have turned into a bag lady… Can I be a shoe and bag lady? I just scored this frayed denim beauty from Zalando and I’m so in love… she’s a great size for travel too as it turns out and she came with me on the plane to Geneva for our end of season ski trip (follow the sunburn apres ski nonsense on Snapchat – username : Thankfifi). Obviously denim is always a win in my book, frayed denim even better, but the chain strap adds a little luxe and I like that even with the simplest of looks, this time jeans, cami and biker, the bag kinda makes it, know what I mean?
As you can imagine, the husband was thrilled when, right after we checked in at Glasgow, I suggested we zip the DSLR out of the carry on and nip outside to take these shots because the light was just right. Thrilled he was, thrilled. Well, he would marry a blogger. The holiday starts… after we take photos.
I was already a huge fan of Icons Mark 1, remember that Brigadier skirt, I love that guy. So now Icons Mark II comes along and we meet Margot, a spring like update still with that front split and still that awesomely awkward length but in cream and with that brocade detail. Margot rocks.
The rest of the collection is pretty special too, the shoes in particular… which I have been coveting since I spied some surreptitious snaps on social media on press day. Total winners.
As if Margot wasn’t enough, this Monday is a total winner for me because out of office is on – ‘Thankfifi is in the Alps with limited access to email’. So maybe don’t email me… but I bit the bullet and joined snapchat so come and find me there @thankfifi instead!x
Can’t get enough of the off the shoulder ruffle situation happening right now… even if it’s not really warm enough – it might be spring but it’s still Scotland after all. This little number just made it through checkout too – perfect timing as I’m leaving on a jet plane again (to the snowy Alps this time – ideal location for a naked shoulder dress non?).
And can we talk about this bag? She’s a proper grown up lady bag from the lovely folks at Armani and I am completely besotted with her. I think I’ll call her Florence… Do you guys name your favs too? Surely it’s not just me?
Happy Friday – I’m off to squeeze in as much puppy love as possible.
Because it’s totally ok to basically eat icecream for breakfast…
The final leg of our journey was the shortest and whilst I usually bemoan short legs (I am of the long body cursed clan), this one was sweet. So one day, and not even a day because there was that work thang thrown right in there in the middle of that day, but work was good and play was even better. Here’s how it went down…
Sunrise over the city from the 36th floor of the Grand Hyatt, aka the upside of jetlag, followed by breakfast at Lori’s Diner. Now I won’t proclaim this to be the best food in the city but it was a block from our hotel and this place was pretty much everything you could look for in all American diner – checkerboard floor, turquoise car parked inside, jukebox, red booths, Elvis, pancakes and chocolate malted milkshakes – that’ll be how the most major food group (ice cream) came to be my breakfast.
On lunch we took a ride to Mission where I fell big time for those rainbow painted pastel houses… And I ate one of the best cookies of my life at Dandelion Chocolate – I mean when I walked into this place and the heavenly scent of chocolate engulfed my entire head, I knew, this place is gonna have good cookies (FYI I tasted Fi’s frozen hot chocolate and it was pretty epic).
Later we Uber’d up and over those rainbow streets, wound down Lombard Street and stopped at those famous painted ladies for a photo opp. (they’re the supermodels of the rainbow houses). We zipped past the Palace of the Fine Arts and finished the night the way I had been dreaming of since we booked the trip… clam chowder bread bowls at Fisherman’s Wharf. I had one of these with the husband (back 10 years ago when he was the boyfriend) and it was sooooo good. A well fired bread roll, hollowed out and filled with the best chowder you ever tried – you eat the soup and the bowl – don’t waste a drop. It was just as good as I remembered and this time it was with the backdrop of sunset over the marina and the Golden Gate Bridge…
Of course it wasn’t no work and all play in LA… I swear. A highlight of our entire trip was the gorgeous bluebellgray lunch we hosted at Gracias Madre in West Hollywood, one of the hippest restaurants in town (not to be confused with the random elderly man with 3 followers who I tagged on Instagram… typical). The outdoor space is a dream and we transformed it into a little slice of bluebellgray heaven with floral fabrics draped over tables, jar of wildflowers and settings dotted with coloured tassels (I need these in my life). Fi hand painted pretty watercolour name cards for every guest whilst I snapped photos and enjoyed a tequila snow cone with my fav LA girl Hallie, just to be sociable, obviously. It’s work remember.
Getting into the Mexicana vibe I sported this embroidered H&M number and baked my feet in boots (because it looked better). And then, on the way to the airport, we found this wall… thirty foot of pink. If you know bluebellgray at all then you probably know that we are a design studio full of colour lovers and pink sits in poll position – so you can imagine, this is basically our nirvana. So we hustled those twelve year old tourists out the way and we got our shots with all that pink…
Check out the new season bluebellgray collection here – full disclosure, there may be pink, but I think you’ll like it.