Design, Interiors & Lifestyle Blog
Design, Interiors & Lifestyle Blog

13 Oct

Instagram’s 5th birthday, hotels & the Fabric of India.


World-wide-Instagram-meet-up-12-photo-by-Little-Big-Bell The last 2 weeks have been busy both at work and at home.

My weekends have been running on all four cylinders but I love it!  I’m truly grateful to be able to experience, with my family, the fun and colour that London and life has to offer.

There are not enough hours in the day. Every second counts.

Instagram has not only been a window to an exciting world outside, but also for me, a crucial outlet for creativity, especially during my free time.

Social media is not just all screen time, there are true tangible connections to be made.

Instagram turned 5 years old last Tuesday.

The weekend prior, I decided to hop on a 4 hour River Thames cruise with fellow London Instagrammers, to celebrate this milestone, at the 12th World wide Instagram meetup.

It was such a fun event and I met loads of lovely like minded people.

I was rather obsessed with that clear confetti balloon above, and after battling the breeze, I managed to photograph Big Ben and Parliament through it. Colourful-street-in-London-Theed-street-photo-by-Little-Big-Bell The celebrations continued the next day, on Sunday, with another insta-meet up organised by Elle aka miss.lucifer on Instagram.

We explored some colourful streets in Southwark. blue-door-photo-by-Little-Big-Bell We discovered some beautifully painted doors. Love this blue, and look how unusual that door knocker is. red-door-London-photo-by-Little-Big-Bell I certainly couldn’t miss this very British Pillar box red door. Vespa-GT-photo-by-Little-Big-Bell We then headed to Lower Marsh street, near Waterloo station, for some coffee at Scooter Caffe.

What a characterful venue. Adorning its walls were an eclectic collection of vintage scooter memorabilia.

Outside the cafe, to be expected, were some cool scooters.

I couldn’t believe the scooter above, had my initials, GT on it, in gold too! Love the sky blue compartment box and that animal print seat.
Vespas-at-the-classic-car-boot-sale-London-photo-by-Little-Big-Bell This must surely be the male version of the one above. A classic Vespa Piaggio.

I’m already conjuring up an image of a tanned Italian beau, impeccably dressed, with mirrored shades and deck shoes, leading the dolce vita lifestyle, as he scoots effortlessly on the coastal road. Excuse me for the imagination overdrive.

Such a gorgeous dusky blue don’t you think? Volks-Wagen-camper-van-in-blue-photo-by-Little-Big-Bell Shifting swiftly from dusky blue scooters, we soon encountered this cute blue camper van at the Classic car boot sale, in King’s Cross, London. The-classic-car-boot-sale-London-photo-by-Little-Big-Bell I managed to get an interior shot to show you. Classic-car-boot-sale-photo-by-Geraldine-Tan-Little-Big-Bell Now for a classic car in that same pillar box red.  Anna-Mae's-mac-and-cheese-photo-by-Geraldine-Tan-Little-Big-Bell How cool is this? A gold coloured van serving Anna Mae’s Mac n Cheese.

Do you sense the vintage vibe in the attire of the attendees? Vintage-dresses-at-the-classic-car-boot-sale-London-photo-by-Little-Big-Bell Perhaps I would have fit in better, dressed in one of these colourful outfits for sale. Le-Touessrok-resort-and-spa-relaunch-Shangri-La-photo-by-Little-Big-Bell So, aside from the weekend Instagram walks, I have been busy attending launch parties in the late evenings after work and school runs.

Last week, I attended the party to celebrate the pre-opening of Shangri-La’s Le Touessrok Resort & spa in Mauritius.

No, I wasn’t in Mauritius, although I wished I was.

It was at one of London’s coolest landmark, the Shard, with its bird’s eye view of the city.

Mauritius came to us that evening with bespoke cocktails, food, art, singing and dancing.

Le Touessrok will open on 1st November 2015 after an extensive 6 month renovation.

After seeing the beautiful images of the resort, I’m now seriously tempted.  Great-Northern-hotel-Tribute-portfolio-Starwood-hotel-photo-and-styling-by-Little-Bigg-Bell Then, there was the amazing party to celebrate Great Northern hotel’s opening under the auspices of a Starwood Tribute portfolio hotel.

The night was filled with Champagne, cocktails and amazing food from the hotel’s renowned restaurant Plum and Spilt milk. There were photo booths, portrait drawings, my favourite macarons and a special guest appearance by the singer, Ella Henderson.

The Great Northern hotel, now a Victorian landmark, was first opened in 1854. It was designed by Lewis Cubitt, the architect behind Kings Cross railway station. It was regarded then as a status hotel during the golden age of steam with railway hotels.

I’m all for the Tribute portfolio hotel concept which was introduced in April 2015. The idea was to allow distinct hotels acquired by the Starwood hotel group, to maintain their own independent boutique branding. So you get a unique hotel with access to a powerful distribution, loyalty and sales platform.

If you are planning a visit to London, you should try this hotel out, not only for its unique Victorian railway era charm, but its amazing central location and I can seriously vouch for the delicious food.

I can’t wait to try out the other Tribute portfolio hotels. Fabric-of-India-exhibition-with-Good-Earth-at-V&A-photo-by-Little-Big-Bell You must by now think I spend most evenings drinking cocktails, but I can tell you this is not the case.

After saying that, I’m about to talk about cocktails again. Last week was London cocktail week, so I guess there was reason to celebrate.

I must say that the most delicious concoctions were to be had at the Good Earth party at the Victoria and Albert museum, to celebrate the launch of the Fabric of India exhibition.

My two favourites were the Lychee Martinis with rose and the Saffron infused orange cocktails.

It was such a fun party. The best part was when the audience of all ages burst into an impromptu Bollywood dance when music played. It was quite a colourful sight, as ladies in bright saris and a few gents danced in a coordinated routine, just like the movies.

The Fabric of India exhibition was showcasing the stunning world of handmade textiles from India that spanned the 3rd to 21st century.

Did you know the word Indigo came from the word India? I was fascinated to learn about the origins of various dyes and the techniques in dyeing, weaving and embroidery. There were even videos showing master artisans at work.

This exhibition is a definite must go if you are in London.

Good-Earth-photo-by-Little-Big-Bell I was so happy to discover Good Earth. I must admit I have never heard of this brand before but I’ve been told it is very big and the to go to homewares shop if you do visit India.

You can get an idea of the collections they sell in this beautifully illustrated book that I was given on the night. Good-Earth-India-photo-by-Little-Big-Bell This fine bone china mug featuring elephants and entwined palms is called Periyar. I enjoyed sipping tea from it whilst perusing perusing my book. Good-Earth-2015-photo-by-Little-Big-Bell Here are a few more pretty things from Good Earth. Good-Earth-coasters-photo-by-Little-Big-Bell Check out these coasters. In fact, the party that night was adorned with colourful silk umbrellas like those seen on the fabric coasters.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this post. A look into my after hours life as a blogger but taking in all that a vibrant London has to offer.

Have a great week all.

    1. littlebigbell Post author

      I love instagram too Sue. We should organise an instawalk one day soon. x

  1. Wow, Geraldine, where do you find the time and energy to go to all these fabulous things? So much inspiration though! Thanks for sharing your colourful finds!

    1. littlebigbell Post author

      Thanks Stacey and really pleased you visited me here. Not sure where the energy comes from, I ask myself that everyday. 🙂 x

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