A sparkling collaboration

Saturday, 14 October, 2017

I am delighted to feature the stunning Diamond Dust Collection: an incredible collaboration between esteemed contemporary artist Simon Claridge and legendary English photographer Terry O’Neill whose work features at the National Portrait Gallery in London and is considered one of the great British photographers of our time. He gained renown documenting the fashions, styles, and celebrities of the 1960s, and for over six decades he has photographed the frontline of fame, from the greats of screen and stage, to presidents, prime ministers and rock stars.

I first came across Simon Claridge’s work in 2008 when the art gallery near my offices in Canary Wharf invited me to attend a preview of his debut collection and was wowed by his work. My favourite piece was ‘For your eyes only’ a limited edition print, which was so  seductive, powerful and simply stunning. It was also first piece of art I had ever bought.

Over the years, Simon and I have remained friends and I have watched as his work has become even more impressive, featuring well known iconic figures and his now signature use of diamond dust in his paintings. I also love the story of how after graduating with a degree in fine art, Simon began working at an art gallery in Windsor but each night he painted, consumed by the dream of one day having his own work hanging on the walls. One morning, he decided to replace the window display with his own pieces. By lunchtime, he’d sold all of them and never had to work in the gallery again.

In this latest collection, Simon has taken iconic images from Terry’s hallowed archives and applied his signature diamond dust style which he has applied thoughtfully, to retain the essence of the original exposures and showcase the style of both artists.

I was delighted to catch up with Simon at  the launch of the new collection at the gorgeous Castle Gallery in South Molton Street in London over the summer.

My favourite piece in the collection is the one featuring Frank Sinatra on the Boardwalk in Miami, taken in 1968, on the first day of filming ‘The Lady in Cement’, as  Frank was walking from his hotel to the film set. Terry has commented that “This was the first time I ever saw Frank and I was astonished by the mere power of his presence, mesmerizing the crowd as he walked casually past.”  The story of how the picture was taken is even more intriguing. Terry had been given a letter from Ava Gardner who he had met in London, which he delivered to Frank. The letter ensured that Terry could take pictures of Frank without being pushed away by the bouncer entourage!

The collection also features icons such as Mohammed Ali, Raquel Welch and Brigitte Bardot.

I absolutely loved the Diamond Dust collection and can’t wait to see what exciting new work Simon has in store for us in the future!

With love

Sangeeta x

Note the pieces are available on paper and canvas :  Framed Silkscreen on Paper with Diamond Dust | Edition of 150 (from £995) or Framed Silkscreen on Canvas with Diamond Dust (from £2,995) – contact Castle Galleries or Simon Claridge for more information.

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Behind The Curtain…

Monday, 4 September, 2017

Groucho Marx famously wrote in a letter …..

I Don’t Want to Belong to Any Club That Will Accept Me as a Member

I don’t think the newly opened Curtain Club in Shoreditch, East London will have the same problem. To be honest I think it will be the reverse. As the hottest new opening in the area, it is set to rival Shoreditch House and give the eclectic local residents and workers a fabulous new space to work and play in.

Having walked past the building works on my way to the offices every day over the last year, I was intrigued to see the inside of the Curtain Club and so was delighted when it finally opened and I was offered the chance to go in and have a snoop!

The wow factor clearly comes from the rooftop restaurant and bar, The Lido, set in front of a year-round heated swimming pool and sun loungers, but all the spaces have been carefully and beautifully curated, and will transport you away from the, at times, gritty city surroundings.

Interestingly, it was the area that attracted New York hotelier Michael Achenbaum (of the acclaimed Gansvoort brand) to build his club in this area. As he says : “We spent almost 10 years seeking locations throughout London, with the last 7 years specifically focused on the emerging East London area. It’s in our DNA to create hotels in neighbourhoods that are not only ahead of the curve but also in areas that are growing. The Curtain is that vision come to life in Europe.” 

In addition to The Lido, members have access to private club club spaces and bars as well as a 24 hr gym, spa and live performance space.

And foodies, both club members and the general public, can enjoy the delights of Marcus Samuelson’s iconic Red Rooster restaurant, bringing its Harlem cool to London, as well as an all-day taqueria and bar, La Tienda, which are both also on site.

Finally, the Club also offers 120 guest rooms, including five suites, but more on that next time!

Check their website for more information about the club and about applying for membership.

With love

Sangeeta x

Note : I was kindly offered to have a tour of the spaces and lunch with a friend by the Curtain Club. I am still trying to craft the perfect application form to see if they will accept me as a member 😉 x

Image credits (except pictures 3, 6 & 7 : Adrian Houston)

 

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Hello to my new look blog!

Thursday, 31 August, 2017

I am thrilled to launch my new look blog which has been a long time in the making!

 

As mentioned, recent personal transitions have meant it was time for a re-brand and new direction and so am excited to welcome you to The White Diaries –  a lifestyle blog with a mission statement inspired by the mantra coined by the incredible philosopher Joseph Campbell. 

Life is like a blank white page and I strongly believe we create our own experiences and we can only find true happiness by following our bliss.

The White Diaries is essentially a journal documenting the amazing places I am lucky to experience and the inspiring people I meet in my day to day life. For over twenty years I have worked in the city of London, predominantly as a finance (bond) lawyer. I also set up a luxury wedding accessory label with my now ex-husband. And I now spend my days marketing the skills of incredibly talented lawyers in a city law firm.

I hope The White Diaries provides inspiration and ideas of how to make each moment truly count, and that you find the Inspiring Individuals within the blog, who I will be featuring, as fascinating as I do, and that they motivate you to keep what you are passionate about at the core of what you do!  

If you would like to get in touch with me you can email me at hello@thewhitediaries.com

With love
Sangeeta x

Note:  I remember been inspired many years ago by Conde Nast Traveler’s Mission Statement that it does not accept  free or discounted trips and accommodations or even payment in exchange for editorial coverage. And so when I decided to launch my lifestyle blog I wanted to ensure that I brought the same ethic to the articles I wrote. The majority of the places I feature (hotels, restaurants etc.) have been paid for in the same way as you would without any special treatment or recognition. I hope this allows me report fairly on what I have experienced and provide inspiration and experiences that are affordable.

In some instances, I will write about places I have been invited to as part of a showcase or open evening, and where I do I will make full disclosure. The purpose of this blog is not to generate an income and so I won’t be  accepting sponsorships or paid adverts.

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The Jewel of Mauritius

Sunday, 23 July, 2017

For the final post in my honeymoon series and before I relaunch my lovely little wedding blog into a new luxury lifestyle blogzine, is a homage to one of my favourite destination hotels, The Residence on the gorgeous Indian Ocean island of Mauritius.

 On an island replete with luxury hotels, the Residence stands on its own with an old-school luxury and understated colonial-style charm. Even now, two years after my last visit, the smell of ylang ylang, which is used to generously scent the rooms and public areas, takes me back to this magical place. Inspired by plantation houses, the hotel boasts a mile-long beach and every room comes with butler service.

Situated on the east coast, which boasts the islands best beaches, I think the five star Residence would make the perfect luxury honeymoon destination. Well-appointed rooms and suites with views of either the gorgeous tropical gardens or the ocean, this hotel remains one of my firm favourites for total relaxation.

On my last visit I travelled with one of my best friends and we each stayed in ocean-view room, which was elegant and comfortable, but I think if you were staying here on honeymoon it would be worth upgrading to a suite with muslin-draped four poster beds and other thoughtful amenities including your own Nespresso machine. And as mentioned above, each room comes with your own personal butler to help with unpacking after the long flight and even running a bubble bath complete with rose petals.

We had opted for the all-inclusive basis so were able to choose between the the hotel’s three restaurants. Our favourite for lunch was definitely the beachfront Plantation restaurant for its spectacular views of the ocean and delicious fresh seafood and curries.

With plenty to see and do both in the resort and on the island, our seven night stay just flew by. And for the ultimate recharge of those city worn batteries, there is also a fantastic spa and gym in the hotel which I visited several times during my visit.

For me, the Residence retains the charm of a bygone era and although you are staying in a luxurious five star accommodation, there are no airs and graces and you truly feel like you are one of the family.

Longing to return! Maybe next time, will be on my own honeymoon!

 

With love,

Sangeeta x

 

Note: We travelled with Elegant Resorts (approx £3,500 pp on an all-inclusive basis and including single room occupancy supplement) flying on British Airways. The flight from London takes just under 12 hours. Transfer time from Mauritius airport: 50 mins. 

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A Winter Wedding

Sunday, 20 November, 2016

I always love to feature the talents of wedding planner extraordinaire Jemma Jade who has a knack for bringing together the right mix of suppliers to create some gorgeous inspiration for brides to be. Her concept for this shoot was British Heritage – getting her inspiration from a time when men and women were oh so elegant, venues were traditional and the dessert tables were overflowing.

Jemma picked Two Temple Place for the shoot venue, a beautiful late Victorian mansion built by William Waldorf Astor, the house combines the grandeur of a gothic mansion with the intimacy of a private home. It might also be familiar to Downton Abbey fans as the wedding of Lady Rose and Atticus Aldridge in series 5 finale was filmed here too! With a fabulous stained-glass roof covering the atrium and intricate wooden panelling, including statues of literary figures from Shakespeare’s works, Two Temple Place is a hidden gem in London.

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The palette of whites and natural foliage are perfect for a winter wedding and work so well with the rich hues of the interior. Classic and elegant, I loved this shoot and have picked some of my favourite shots to inspire you to plan your own perfect winter wedding.

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Until next time,

Sangeeta x

 

Credits

Styling & Coordination: Jemma-Jade Events

Photographer: Kate Neilen

Venue: Two Temple Place

Wedding Cakes & Dessert Table: Elizabeths Cake Emporium

Flowers: Elizabeth Marsh

Hair : Louise Alway

Makeup Artist: Amanda White

Table Linen: Over The Top Rentals

Bride’s Dresses: Sassi Holford London, Alfred Angelo, Ian Stuart, Madeline Isaac James, Emma Hunt

Bride’s Shoes: Aruna Seth and Freya Rose

Hair Accessories & Jewellery: Olivier Laudus

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Fabulous Fuerteventura

Friday, 29 January, 2016

In the second instalment of my new honeymoon series, I am thrilled to feature the Jandia Princess hotel in Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands. I have visited this gorgeous island and hotel several times on holiday and think it would make a fantastic mid-haul honeymoon destination. Only four hours from London, Fuerteventura boasts white sand Caribbean-esque beaches and luxury accommodation but at purse-friendly prices.

Jandia Princess Overview

The 4 star Club Jandía Princess is located in the south of Fuerteventura about an hour from the airport. It is an all inclusive hotel and has two separate areas, one for adults-only and one for families, with the adults-only section focused on privacy, relaxation and tranquillity. And as Canary Islands resorts go, it really is stunning. The perfect place to switch off and recharge your batteries: beautiful white low-rise buildings, an incredible location perched on a cliff with breath-taking views from every angle and incredible sunsets and delicious food to suit all palates; in short all the ingredients for the perfect honey or mini-moon.

My favourite spot at  the hotel was the Chill Out Bar with its cool vibe music, and white chairs to just relax and enjoy the views below.

Jandia adults pool

We also rented a Balinese bed, not once but twice, which came with fresh fruit and cava, and was our own little private cocoon for the day from which we could go for walks on the beach, swim in one of the pools or just take a nap.

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Jandia pool

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Am already dreaming about my next visit ….

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Balinese bed at Jandia P

Until next time.

Sangeeta x

Information: We travelled with First Choice, prices start from £414 for 7 days and covers flights and all-inclusive package in the hotel. 

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Show-stopping 2016 Bridal Collection from Berta Bridal

Saturday, 28 November, 2015

I am thrilled to share with you the sensational NEW collection from avant-garde design house Berta Bridal. The S/S 2016 collection takes its inspiration from  the 18th century in the aftermath of the French Revolution, and reflects a time when women started to feel more comfortable with wearing clothing to emphasize their figures.

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Israeli designer Berta has a truly artistic approach to bridal fashion and her collections are considered among the most praised and anticipated in the world, boasting luxurious fabrics and unique detailing and textures for her dresses, which are also evident in the higher price tags, with gowns retailing on average around GBP 5,000.

The signature figure-hugging gowns are however incredibly lust-worthy and sure to create the requisite wow factor on a bride’s big day. There are so many gorgeous dresses in this new collection, I am not sure how you can pick just one though. Here are some of my top-picks:

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In order to achieve a timeless regal look, Berta has combined many new elements in some of her creations, such as beaded boleros, tulle capes, beaded cathedral veils, and detachable dramatic tulle & lace trains.

For more information and a list of stockists visit the website – Berta Bridal. Happy browsing!

Sangeeta x

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Indulgent luxe inspiration

Wednesday, 22 July, 2015

At Olivier Laudus, we love getting involved in styled shoots as they are a fabulous way to work with great suppliers and together create some amazing inspiration for brides to be. And so were thrilled when luxury wedding planner Jemma Jade asked us to lend pieces for one of her styled shoots at the oh so elegant 11 Cadogan Gardens, a boutique hotel near London’s Sloane Square. The theme was stand-out luxe and glamour and the final images I think you will agree were just stunning. Here are some of our favourites from the shoot plus some ideas of what you might like to think about when creating your own luxe wedding day style. 11CG Bride shot

The colour scheme of black, white, gold and red had dramatic Gothic overtones, but was softened by the romantic silk and lace wedding dress by Emma Tindley and a loose 40s style bun, accented with our Amelia vintage inspired diamanté hairclip from our new Romance accessory collection.

Amelia hairclip

The pearl earrings and bracelet also from our new collection gave the overall a more ethereal feel, while the smokey eye-shadow tied in with the Gothic romantic theme but the rest of the make up was kept more subtle and pretty.

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The indulgent luxe feel was created with lavish attention to detail: chic black and white cakes made by the fabulous Elizabeth Solaru from Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium; floral scented candles and blooms in red and white as well as fruit displays.

CG 11 Cake table

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And the piece de resistance were the striking black bridesmaids dresses by Maids to Measure, complemented with sparkly Olivier Laudus wedding accessories, contrasting beautifully with the feminine bridal outfit. The overall effect in 11 Cadogan Garden’s mirror room was just breathtaking.

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Until next time, Sangeeta x

Credits

Venue: 11 Cadogan Gardens

Styling: Jemma Jade Events

Photography: Kate Nielen

Hair: Kasia Fortuna

Make up: Amanda White

Cakes: Elizabeths Cake Emporium

Candles: Wick & Tallow

Flowers: Larry Walshe

Bride’s Dress: Emma Tindley

Bridesmaids Dresses: Maids to Measure

Hair Accessories & Jewellery: Olivier Laudus

 

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The Barcelona Honeymoon

Sunday, 12 July, 2015

There is no longer a one size fits all for honeymoons. Gone are the days when it was just about selecting an expensive tropical destination, newly-wed couples nowadays choose to use this time to do something they have always wanted to do or which fits their respective personalities. A honeymoon is about quality time together and the world is literally your oyster!

In my new honeymoon series, I wanted to showcase three different types of holiday to cover varied interests and budgets and am starting with Barcelona which has always been a place very close to my heart. I lived in this gorgeous city almost eighteen years ago and am still wowed each time I go back, and think it would make the perfect European honeymoon destination. Offering lovely beaches, architecture and culture plus a vibrant nightlife, there is plenty to see and do in this gorgeous city and a wealth of fabulous hotels to suit all tastes and budgets. And it is just over two hours flying time from London.

Miramar terrace

A personal favourite is the Miramar Hotel up in the Montjuic hills away from the hustle and bustle of the city, but still only a ten minute taxi ride away from all the action. I stayed at the Miramar last August for a short weekend and was struck then at how perfect it would be for a European honeymoon.

Miramar lobby

Miramar bar

Luxurious, elegant and relaxing are all words that come to mind, but there is also something very special about this fabulous hotel, which was built on the site of a former palace and gives you the feeling of a private residence – a real home from home but with all the amenities of a larger hotel (gym, spa, restaurant and bar). And with just 75 bedrooms you feel like you have discovered a secret gem and able to enjoy Barcelona from your own little idyll.  I loved being able to explore the city during the day, before returning to the calm of the hotel up in the hills.

And for honeymooners, cocktails by the pool, breakfast on your own private terrace overlooking the harbour, or relaxing in the privacy of your suite in the oversized marble beds listening to classical musics. My idea of bliss and the perfect way to start your married life.

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Miramar room

Thank you to Lucia at Life in Motion Group London who helped me organise my trip to Barcelona and who suggested the Miramar Hotel. Fabulous service and a simply sensational hotel!

BCN sangria

Sangeeta x

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Coming soon – Honeymoon Inspiration Series

Saturday, 18 April, 2015

After the months (maybe even years) of planning your wedding, the honeymoon is time for the bride and groom to finally relax and celebrate their union and new life together. Mini-moons have been really popular in the last few years and I loved featuring three fantastic London hotels which would each be a wonderful way to start married life together, but what about the much anticipated honeymoon?

Over the next few weeks, I would like to share with you three hotels which I have personally visited, and the reasons why I think each would make for the perfect romantic honeymoon destination without breaking the bank.

First up the uber stylish Miramar in Barcelona, Spain (short-haul)

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Then next, is the one where you get a luxe Caribbean beach feel without the long flight and at a fraction of the price, the fabulous Club Jandia Princess in the Canary Islands (mid-haul)

Jandia Princess Overview

 

And finally, the grande dame, a personal long-time favourite The Residence in Mauritius (long-haul) where personal butlers come as standard!

Residence exterior

Get ready to dream!

Sangeeta x

 

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