Toast

Shop the post: A calm, collected (last minute) gift guide



Toast Xmas gift

When it comes to gift guides, I always think about the things I’d like to receive. I’m actually very easy to buy for as I’m content with socks, books and edibles. Posh edibles are my top choice as a gift as you can just buy the person the elevated version of whatever their favourite thing is. (Pierre Marcolini chocs are my faves if anyone’s wondering, with Alain Ducasse chocolate and hazelnut spread a very close second.) Tea and biscuits are a particular no-brainer. Fortnums, Liberty and Harrods are especially good for these as the packaging is just sublime and the tins are obviously reusable. Plus, a stroll through the Harrods Food Hall or Fortnum’s biscuit room is surely an essential part of the Christmas experience, right? (more…)



Dude, where’s my mask?



Lemaire vegetable tanned molded Taco bag

The accessory of 2020 may have been the Covid mask, but a close second was the mini hands-free bag. I was very lucky to receive a Porter Yoshida & Co Force bag* (below) for Christmas; a compact crossbody bag with adjustable strap that can be worn inside or outside your jacket.

It’s what I currently use for my walks or coffee runs as it fits my mask (in a clear Ziploc), phone, earphones, keys and cash without bulking out. If I wanted to, I could fit in a mini umbrella as well. (more…)



All is calm



Niyya prayer mat and meditation blanket

How early is too early for the cliché ‘New Year, New You’ post?

In 2019 I surprised myself by getting with the meditation programme, but doing it totally at my own pace. And in truth, it’s meditation-lite; I use my Muse headband and app (yep, still using them) and fit it in 5-10 minute slots around whatever else I’m doing.

I supplement this with a relaxation download by Albert Smith that I love. This isn’t meditation, it’s more akin to having a fifteen minute nap, but it serves the purpose of clearing my head if I’ve had a hectic day, or prepping me for stress-inducing situations. For interviews, meetings, public speaking and the like, Albert’s my secret weapon. (Years ago, when I had the cassette version, this was also a life-saving pain management tool.)

In 2020, I want to try and meditate more and make it part of a regular routine. I know it shouldn’t be about ‘stuff’, but I’m flawed and can’t resist a prop or two. I love the look of these Niyya multi-functional prayer mats by Brooklyn designer Myhra Mizra (more…)



AW19 trend report: Quilting



Gabriela Hearst AW19

Here’s something new to explore if you’re a perennially cold-blooded girl but want a change from knitwear. Quilting!

Specifically, this quilted trench ensemble by Gabriela Hearst*, above. (Note: she now has a shop in Brook Street). But also the elevated quilted patchworking at Louis Vuitton (below, great for layering) and this fab Bonny fencing-style jacket from Isabel Marant*. (more…)