24 Aug 2013

What Things I Bought In Venice

on holiday in Venice
Before I went on my recent trip to Venice, I read post after slightly bitter post about how impossible it is to find a bargain souvenir or gift in Venice, so I was determined to use my stealth and blogger cunning to help me seek some out and I think I succeeded. I came home with an elegant bottle of Limoni di Sicilia, which is basically a really nice lemon licqueur similar to Limoncello, that can be used to make cocktails or to pour over ice-cream and yes I know its typical to Italy not Venice, but as pretty much over half the things we buy in the UK are made in China, I'm happy to not be too picky and think out of the box a little.
Venetion culture
The local Venetian Co-op may not be oozing style, but it's a good place to find some well priced goodies that the locals consume. Using my highly tuned blogger stealth I bypassed the bland looking cereals section, dodged some very dangerous shopping trolley manoeuvres and landed slap bang in the middle of the drinks section right next to glowing yellow bottles of Limoni di Sicilia priced at just 8, score!
shop window selling confectionary
 I pounced on a few boxes of the local hot chocolate, which I have tasted before, it's like drinking a thick chocolate soup and at a couple of euro's a box it was a no brainer, but my ultimate super ninja gift seeking stroke, was spotting some beautiful triple distilled genuine Venetian rose water in apothecary style, deep blue bottles, made from plastic they were nice and light for packing in my suitcase and at just 3.50 euros a bottle I greedily took the last 4 of the shelf, rose water makes a lovely natural toner and is great to soothe any sunburn too.
Next I picked up a  black lace fan for 7 euros to help me waft myself elegantly, if your going to buy one, get one from Torcello, a serene little island which is supposedly where Venice first began and worth visiting, then it was off to my favourite place the glass blowing island of Murano, after swooning over a zillion glass chandeliers I finally treated myself to a beautiful soft aqua rose shaped glass ring, with silver leaf inside, it cost me 14 euros, but I would happily have paid much more for it.
image of Venice
 Back in Venice and down town, towards Cannaregio I found a glass seconds shop if you know Italy or Venice you will know that Murano glass is very expensive as well as stunning, for about another 12 euros I picked up a small red glass love bird and a handbag holder inlaid with a pretty glass mosaic tree, in the same area I forced myself into a t-shirt shop expecting very expensive and tacky and was chuffed to discover some cool contemporary interpretations of the symbol of Venice the lion and some kitsch Venetian t-shirt designs for about 12 euros each.
Don't forget to pack your hotel toiletries, after lovingly capturing them on film, mine are still at our hotel! We also accidentally left with one souvenir to many our very heavy brass hotel key fob. The MR was not super happy to cover the £8.00 p&p for 2nd class return postage! Do you have a favourite thing you picked up on your travels? I had fun taking photographs of my Venetian haul after my stealth shopping trip.

marzipan gift shop in Venice

poster of fashion and lifestyle brand Etro
bottle of lemonchello
roberts rose water

ring displayed on spout of tea pot

fan displayed on walnut cabinet in hotel in Venice


22 Aug 2013

Evocha Make Buying Luxury British Fashion Easy



close up of cashmere scarf label made in scotland

I was recently sent a cashmere scarf to review from newly launched online company Evocha, so this is probably going to be the quickest review ever featured here. It’s black so goes with every conceivable outfit I own, check, it’s very soft and breathable so won’t irritate my sensitive skin, check, it barely creases so no iron necessary, check! It was made in Britain, check, shall I rewind just in case you fell into a puddle while reading that on your iphone and walking down the street, yep it's actually made in Britain I was impressed too.

This little black number comes in two other very wearable shades a soft blush tone and a deep red and the goats that went into it, well their silky soft hairs to be exact, come from Scotland where the cashmere scarf was made, absolutely no animals or people were harmed along the way I promise.

Evocha are part of a brave new movement to encourage us to buy British, major on style, help support industry and create more jobs in the UK and the best bit is they are cutting out the middle man and hand picking timeless luxury pieces that can be bought at much lower prices than you would expect. Don’t expect a heaving online boutique overflowing with the latest trends; in fact they currently offer just two classic pieces for men and women. I like this daring new minimalistic approach, it makes shopping for forever pieces feel easy, very couture and guilt free.

 Evocha is all about luxury classics that you can really make your own such as a simple but beautifully cut black dress or white shirt. Oh one more thing for all those without a pet, Evocha cashmere scarves were made to be stroked, mines called Lossie. You can find them here and if you use the code MY - PASSPORT-TO - STYLE before October 1st you can get a 20% discount.           

a row of British designed tailors mannequins

19 Aug 2013

To Venice With Love

 I'm back from my short (five day's) but very sweet trip to Venice, it's my second visit to the city of luurve and being a non car driver, it's actually nice not to feel in the minority for once, as all of life pretty much happens on the water. Being a bit of dreamy person its very easy for me to get lost in the pages of Venice's fairy tale setting, twinkling blue water, bobbing boats and many palaces. If you read my previous post here, you might know I was fortunate enough to book a stay in a small but perfectly formed boutique hotel that is actually an old palace, the Palazzetto Pisani.

It was an amazing experience, I'm a bit geeky when it comes to loving opulent historical buildings and there have been more than a few moments in my life when I have wondered what it must be like to sleep in a four poster bed or to strum the harp in the music room of some VIPs stately home and now I found I really had chance to eat, sleep, bathe and dress in the rooms previously lived in by the seventeenth century 'royalty' of Venice. If I'm honest  I was a little dubious if the hotel would live up to what I had read on the website, happily for us it did.

5 Aug 2013

Destination Handbags

black shoulder bag with hand strap

Since planning to go to Venice this August, I have had a few marketing emails that relate to Venice catch my interest, one of them was from a company called Cutey, sadly my wardrobe lacks anything pink, fluffy or Cute, although I do love me a bit of cartoon kitsch I can be a bit of Tom boy and as sad as it sounds I feel a bit lost without a pair of my ankle boots on. Despite the lack of sweet outfits I seem to gravitate towards hearts and now have a variety of them punctuating my walls at home.

 Cutey have just launched a leather handbag collection, each bag is named after a city from around the globe and they all come with mark of a Cutey bag, a smooth shiny heart shaped lock in silver or gold, another nice thing is the design of their handbags, simple clean designs that are easy to wear and the colour palette includes both neutrals and more sunny tones like the red which is a tomato shade and a yellow that reminds of home made lemon curd.


red shoulder bag with hand strap and heart shaped lock

yellow small leather Cutey shoulder bag with hand strap
 I have been on the look out for a good black handbag for ages and oddly enough I like style of Cuteys small black shoulder bag the Venice, which has a wrist strap also, which I would probably use more. I like to walk and swing my handbag's brief case styley rather than wear them hooked over my arm or on my shoulder.

 So the question is which destination handbag would be next on my list, not sure if this is all becoming about the power of suggestion, since New York is the next city I hope to visit but I do really like the lines of the New York bag which has a sweeping v shaped design that I can imagine Joan from Mad Men reaching in to, to pull out her favourite red lipstick for a quick touch up.

 Oh I nearly forgot to mention that 10% of Cutey profits in their first year will go to Breast Cancer Research, if you want to take a look at their newly launched collection you can find it here.        

black leather, medium sized hard bodied Cutey handbag with heart shaped lock in gold


2 Aug 2013

Step Into A Blue Suede Shoe

Fair Trade dress - Topshop

Thanks to the birth of the royal baby boy, the colour navy blue is back on our fashion radar for A/W 13, as you know I have a bit of thing for wearing this colour a lick of it changes me from care free to blue blooded siren in minutes and works to whiten up my eye balls and perk up my skin if I OD on pizza the night before or miss out on a few hours sleep and although blue is soon to be in again, as a classic it’s never really out, like some hybrid colours I could mention, like Tango orange, I’m just saying.

 My favourite look I have spotted for winter is wearing a dark slick of petrol tones, using a combo of shiny textures in dark green, navy and black worn with a crisp white shirt. Right now I’m on the lookout for a navy pair of silk shorts and matching PJ top and a blue print Kimono to wear as a dress so if you spot either of these on your travels I would love to know, are you a navy addict like me or is the only blue worth having your denim collection?