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.

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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.

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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!

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Get ready to dream!

Sangeeta x

 

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The Olivier Laudus 2015 Romance Collection

Wednesday, 1 April, 2015

The new season is brimming with love – catwalks filled with opulent dresses, embellishments and lace are all the order of the day – and why not go all out, it is your wedding day after all. Our new accessory collection at Olivier Laudus for 2015 is all about romance and oh so pretty detailing.

Here is a selection of my favourite pieces:

The detailing in the sensational vintage inspired Amelia bridal hair clip (£89.99) is sure to wow with its delicate Swarovski crystal butterflies and sweet crystal flowers.

Amelia hair clip £89.99

 

A pretty pendant works perfectly with most wedding dress necklines and gives subtle sparkle. I love the gorgeous pearl taking centre stage in the vintage inspired design of the Ivana necklace (£49.99).  

 

Ivana pendant £49.99

 

Drop earrings are very in and the art deco look of these super stylish Matilda earrings (£44.99) will add a touch of glamour to your wedding day look.

Matilda simulated diamond earrings £44.99

And what could be more romantic than wearing flowers in your hair. Our Amore faux flower clip features double gardenia (£34.99) and is simply divine.Amore flower clip £34.99

We hope you love the new collection as much as we do!

Sangeeta x

Credits : Main image shot by Kate Nielen and styled by Jemma Jade Events (all other images Olivier Laudus)

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Hummingbird says ‘I do’

Sunday, 15 February, 2015

I was thrilled to learn that my favourite cupcake company also offer wedding cakes. Having been a fan of Hummingbird for many years, Olivier and I jumped at the chance of visiting their pretty Spitalfields consultation room together with a friend for a tasting and to learn all about the exquisite creations on offer.

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All the wedding cakes and cupcakes are made American-style which equates to light, moist sponges smothered in generous and yummy frosting, rather than the traditional icing or marzipan.

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The cakes also come in a selection of their famous flavours, such as the divine Red Velvet, but during the consultations couples are able to work with the designer to create the bespoke wedding cake of their dreams.

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And of course if you just want a tower of delicious cupcakes they can do that too!

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Happy Sunday!

Sangeeta x

 

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Mini-Moon in London

Monday, 28 July, 2014

As more and more couples take their honeymoon a few months after their wedding day – arise the popularity of the mini-moon! And where better than the capital itself, packed with designer shops, theatres, galleries and amazing restaurants to try. There are countless fabulous hotels to stay in but here are my top three –  each offering something unique and special.

Pure luxury – the one and only Corinthia  

The Lobby Lounge Corinthia Hotel London

The Corinthia has a special place in my heart – its one of my favourite places in London for family celebrations, and last year we were thrilled to shoot our 2014 collection there.

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This breathtaking 5 star hotel, the flagship for the Corinthia brand, combines traditional grandeur with modern freshness, and is ideally located near the Embankment, a short walk from many of the city’s major attractions, with two fantastic restaurants, Italian inspired Massimo and the Northall, plus the most gorgeous and intimate cocktail bar, Bassoon, featuring live music.

The Northall Restaurant Corinthia Hotel London

Cocktails at Bassoon Corinthia Hotel London

The hotel’s sumptuously appointed rooms, averaging 45m², are among the largest in their category in London’s luxury hotel market and the hotel also boasts a spectacular collection of exclusive two-storey penthouse hotel suites. Rooms start at £355 plus VAT.

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The Corinthia also houses award-winning ESPA Life which I was lucky enough to try recently – and can definitely verify it has the wow-factor! Set over four floors, with vitality pool, amphitheatre sauna, ice fountain, marble heated lounges and the most gorgeous private sleep pods – you are guaranteed the ultimate in relaxation.

The Pool ESPA Life at Corinthia

In short, what a perfect hotel to kick start your married life in luxury and style. Visit Corinthia London’s website for more information.

 

Hip & Cool – Sanderson 

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I recently discovered Sanderson when I had a meeting in their fabulous bar, aptly named the Long Bar.

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The unassuming exterior hides a fabulous surprise with an art lovers dream of a reception featuring the iconic Dali-esque plump red lips sofa and other surreal delights. There is also a gorgeous courtyard where I saw people partaking in their famous Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea.

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Sanderson is part of the Morgans Hotel Group which is widely credited as the creator of the first “boutique” hotel and a continuing leader of the hotel industry’s boutique sector. Sanderson’s 150 guest rooms have recently had a fabulous refurb and the new rooms have a sense of the modern, while paying tribute to the baroque era  with elaborate wood oak carvings and hand-blocked scenic wallpaper. Room start at £239 plus VAT.

Photographer Credit : Ed Reeve

The hotel’s on-site Malaysian restaurant, Suka, the Purple Bar and African inspired reception room are also destinations in their own right. Sanderson has the perfect mix of beautiful boutique hotel coupled with a cool and quirky vibe. See Sanderson for more information.

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Uber stylish and modern – ME Hotel London 

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I first discovered this stunning hotel at an event I organised in its Rooftop Radio bar. With panoramic views over London the  bar has fast become one of London’s hotspots – but I was pleasantly surprised on a later tour of the hotel how much more the ME Hotel has to offer. First – The Atrium, a reception area like no other I have ever seen – almost futuristic. Arriving guests pass through the ground floor Marconi lounge, and ascend to the dedicated hotel lobby and champagne bar on the first floor housed within a nine-storey high pyramidal space, clad entirely in white marble with impressive light shows bringing the space to life.

ME London Atrium

And the guest rooms follow the trend – cutting edge and simply stylish. The hotel has 157 rooms, including 30 rooms with private balconies, 16 suites and a duplex ME Suite with rates starting at £340 plus VAT.

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ME London is also home to one of the most fantastic steak restaurants – the world famous STK brand – the modern steakhouse and chic lounge all rolled into one. Steak is obviously the main attraction here, but don’t miss out on signature items including Parmesan Truffle Fries – beyond delicious! More information can be found at ME London.

STK Restaurant at ME London

All three hotels are perfectly situated in London’s west end, but with luxury on tap and so much to do in each one, would you even want to leave!

Sangeeta x

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The White Diaries