Tag Archives: UK

Great British Blogger: That In Ink Black

5 Aug

I have a Great British Blogger for you today.

Claire from That In Ink Black is a fairly new blogger who hails from Edinburgh (a city on my list to see).  In a similar fashion to me, Claire had been reading other people’s blogs for a while and was stuck at home (trying to book festival tickets) when she decided to start her own adventure in blog land. She writes about environmental issues and life in Edinburgh as well as sharing recipes and favourite music.  So below is a bit of an introduction you can read before heading on over to her blog to get to know her better.  I look forward to reading more …

What part of Edinburgh would you most align with your own personality and why?
I grew up in a safe suburb of Edinburgh where nothing happens and you’d struggle to buy a pint of milk without getting in the car, but it’s surrounded by woodlands for dog-walking and I still call it home even though I in no way align it with my lifestyle anymore. I’ve only recently moved back to Edinburgh after six years in Glasgow, London and Oxford, and this is the first time I’ve had my own place in the city, a rented flat down a close off the Royal Mile. My flatmate feels like home (isn’t it brilliant when you find someone like that?), but the area we’re in is so central there’s no sense of community. So I’ve been thinking about where’s next and struggling to choose between two very different areas that fit different parts of my personality. Leith used to be rough (did you see ‘Trainspotting’?) but it’s on the up and there’s loads of cool bars, gig venues, Michelin star restaurants, and environmental awareness. Leith is for having fun and going out, and I want that some days. Stockbridge is the essence of Edinburgh – it’s a bit fusty, a bit snooty and absolutely gorgeous. The charity shops are unbeatable, there are second-hand bookshops, an enormous park right next to the Botanic Gardens, allotments, a farmers’ market and cafes. Stockbridge is for drinking cups of tea and going for walks with friends, and I want that some days. Our current lease ends in four weeks so I’d better get a move on deciding where I want to be…  

Who is your favourite current British designer / artist?
I have been a little bit obsessed with Alasdair Gray for about four years now. He’s a 77 year old Glaswegian polymath who wrote the most incredible novel, ‘Lanark’, and is a prolific artist. His work is full of dark lines, odd angles, colours, typography and the people and places he loves. I was given his autobiography ‘A Life in Pictures’ for Christmas and saw the first big retrospective of his art at the Tablot Rice Gallery in the spring, and both hammered home that each picture is great but it’s the sum total of his work which is so impressive. He’s stuck with the style that feels right for him for five decades, even when it was out of fashion and made him no money whatsoever.

What adventures would you have on your perfect British day?
As a treat I’d have a lie in, then put on my favourite purple tea dress (which because it’s a perfect day wouldn’t be falling apart anymore). First I’d meet my family to go to one of the many beaches in Edinburgh, maybe Cramond to the West or Portobello to the East, and have a play in the sea and a warming cup of tea. For lunch I’d grab a close friend and go to The Kitchin, a Michelin star restaurant on the Shore in Leith which offers three courses of the most incredible Scottish food for £25, plus we’d get a cracking glass of wine each. After that we’d walk for miles along the Water of Leith, spotting the Antony Gormley statues and maybe stopping off at the Botanics, until we reached the Dean and Modern Art Galleries for a quick gander. Then we’d go to the Traverse Theatre to see a new play, before meeting more friends for a late potluck dinner in someone’s flat. Everyone would drink tonnes of wine and eventually we’d all be singing into the empty bottles and dancing in the kitchen. 


Thanks for stopping by Claire, and good luck with the move.

Photo source: Louise from Simplicity Phototraphy

Great British Blogger: Anamu

21 Jul

Great British Blogger time again (I feel like it needs a theme tune, any suggestions?)

This week we have Ana Maria from Anamu (a nickname her friends call her).  I had the pleasure of meeting Ana Maria at Blognic a few weeks back and went to find her website on my arrival home to discover some gorgeous photos and great writing.  A great lifestyle blog which covers home, travel and even a bit of DIY.  A bit of a cheat, Ana Maria is actually only a visitor to these shores, hailing from LA, but she is making short work of discovering all that London and the South East has to offer and thought it would be good to share this resource.  She also uses her love of vintage shopping to find scarves that she makes in to bags – she hasn’t set up shop in London but maybe you guys can convince her she should.

Check out what she has to say about her current home and then head on over to her blog and drool over some lovely photos.

What part of London would you most align with your own personality and why?

Back in LA I spent most of my time all over the city simply because I loved and enjoyed different parts of it from nitty-gritty downtown to the charming suburbs. I think I’ve brought that outlook with me to London by being open to all of the different neighborhoods and flavors that the city has to offer. My boyfriend and I currently live in Maida Vale on the west end and I love the tree-lined streets, little cafe’s and shops, and being next to the canal in Little Venice. It suits the homebody and quiet side of me but we do leave our postal code more often than not. Though on most weekends we try to travel within South England or to another country (London is the perfect launch-pad to Europe!) I do want to explore more of the east end. I mean, I was told that I look like I live there by a shop girl at Old Spitalfields. It must have been the thick rimmed glasses I usually wear…very hipster-esque, I suppose.

Perhaps in a year or two I’ll feel extra connected to one area over another but for now, I’m kind of liking being a “mid-ender” – yep, that’s what I’m going to call it. Neither west or east, or north or south. I’ll take all of London 🙂

Who is your favourite current British designer / artist?

Soon after I arrived I learned about a sample sale for Chinti & Parker via Daily Candy London. I bought a striped dress (that I’ve already worn to death) but I’ve been drooling over their cashmere sweaters ever since. Not only are they buttery  soft and perfect for keeping warm during cold London days, but they are Fair Trade and the company’s overall philosophy of being the opposite of fast-fashion is right up my alley. I’m definitely saving my pennies to add one of their pieces to my wardrobe this fall.

What adventures would you have on your perfect British day?

I’d really love to find the perfect country-side cottage that my boyfriend and I can call home for a weekend. One that is in or close to a quaint town that has just enough cafe’s, shops, and restaurants to keep us entertained for an afternoon. Then we’d retreat back to the cottage, hang out by the fire place and cook a nice dinner. We’d also rent bikes and cycle along a little creek or fields of grass/flowers and then picnic under a beautiful [insert big country-side tree here]. I’ve only passed through the country-side via high-speed trains so if you couldn’t already tell, I’m totally making the scenario up…am I close to describing something that actually exists? Haha. Anyway…I’d love to experience the quieter side of England. Let me know if you have any good tips!


Thanks for stopping by Ana Maria.  I’ll be keeping an eye out for another Chinti and Parker sample sale.  And love the concept of a “mid-ender”.  So often we define ourselves by what part of London we are from and this is so much more inclusive.

Photo courtesy of Ana Maria

Great British Blogger: Knitting on Trains

16 Jun

This week’s Great British Blogger is Jessica from Knitting on Trains.  Jessica is attempting to live a “Good Life” while living and working in London and studying and if her vegetable garden is anything to go by she is doing a pretty amazing job.  As the blog name suggests Jessica is an enthusiastic crafter which pushes my own desire to pick up a crochet hook or knitting needle.  On top of all this Jessica posts some yummy recipes (especially some homemade lunch recipes which are great for taking to work to save a few bobs) and takes lovely photos.  These are some awesome pictures of the Great British seaside taken on her lomo camera.

Who is your favourite current British designer / artist?

This is probably a bit unoriginal but at the moment by favourite British designer /artist is probably Rob Ryan. If I were much richer I’d be lining my walls with his beautiful intricate paper-cuts, but until that day I make do with visiting Ryantown on Columbia Road and ogling all the pretty things for sale.

What adventures would you have on your perfect British day?

My perfect British day would have to start with a luxurious breakfast of scrambled eggs, seedy toast and proper coffee whilst reading the weekend papers (or, more honestly, the glossy bits) and failing at the crossword. After that I’d probably wander down to Broadway Market in London fields for a poke around and a bit of trendy dog-spotting (a pug sighting can literally make my day). If I was feeling lazy I’d stay in the East and maybe visit the animals at Hackney City Farm, but if I had the energy I’d skip across town to the V&A for a bit of culture and scones in the beautiful café.


Thanks Jessica.  I love Rob Ryan’s work too.  Papercut is an amazing art form which I wish I could do.  I think I will also need to invest in one of those lomo cameras – genius.

Photos courtesy of Jessica.

Great British Blogger: Hello Flower

9 Jun

Time for another Great British Blogger.

This week we have Siobhan from Hello Flower.  You might have briefly seen her around here before when I won this great giveaway on her blog.  Siobhan lives in London and is a super talented person who has a knack of finding the most beautiful vintage and thrift goods.  Not only that but she takes great photographs (you can buy postcards from her shop), crafts and crochets, cooks (check out her food blog), teaches the occassional cupcake decorating class.  This might give rise to some mild jealousy but she sent me tea with my giveaway in a homemade envelope.  You have to love that no?  Her blog covers all this and more so head on over and check it out.

What part of London would you most align with your own personality and why?

This is such a tough question! I’ve moved flat about 10 times in the last 6 or 7 years, so I’ve got to know most parts of the city pretty well and each new area I live in tends to become my new favourite. I’ve lived just south of the river in Elephant and Castle for almost two years now, so I’d probably have to say that as I’ve grown so fond of it and it feels part of me at the moment. It’s pretty down to earth, a melting pot of people and full of random things that feel like they’re yet to be discovered by the rest of London. It’s a place where I get to decide what I think is cool because no one else has decided it already for me. It’s full of surprises, little hidden nooks and crannies like a cafe in the crypt of a church, an amazing junk market, cheap fruit and veg and my favourite park in London, Burgess Park. It’s a little unorthodox, but it likes to do things its own way and that’s exactly why I like it so much.

Who is your favourite current British designer / artist?

I’m relatively new to having an active interest in British art and design, so I’m not as clued up on it as I’d like to be. I work at Southbank Centre so I’ve been involved in the new Tracey Emin exhibition at the Hayward Gallery for the last few months, so I’ve developed a bit of an interest in her. I didn’t know much about her before the exhibition, but after spending the past month devouring every interview and review of her Hayward show I’ve become really intrigued in her and her art. I change my mind about it and her all the time, and I can’t quite decide whether I like her or not but nevertheless I find her completely fascinating. She’s a fantastic story teller, her quilts are really striking and I’ve also found myself to be quite envious of her ability to be unashamedly and brutally honest. So, after all that rambling I guess I’d have to say that my current favourite artist is Tracey Emin!

What adventures would you have on your perfect British day?

Wow, that’s a hard question as well! There are so many perfect British days to be had… One of my perfect British days would have to start off with a jog around my local park, Burgess Park. Then I would pop out to meet some friends for coffee and brunch in Bermondsey Street before wandering down to the Tate Modern for the latest exhibition and some tea in the members room and one of the best views in London. Then I’d wander along the South Bank popping into to all the lovely design and book shops along the way, probably stopping at the Waterloo end for another coffee and a bite to eat. After that I’d trot on home to watch a movie and do some crochet, maybe have a little nap before going out to soho for dinner and then on to either The Slaughtered Lamb in Old Street or The Royal Festival Hall on the southbank to watch some music and have a glass of wine.


Thanks Siobhan

If you want to read about other Great British Bloggers click on that lovely flag on the right.

Photo courtesy Siobhan.