Ladyloop August 31, 2016
All the ladies

If you’re looking for somewhere to begin your web wanderings, this is a good place to start each Wednesday…

Now that Celia has moved to Bath, she cannot wait to try the local rooftop outdoor pool

Thermae Bath Spa rooftop outdoor pool

Bella needs a serious excuse to spend a few nights at Le Sirenuse –  a cliff-hugging, jaw-dropping luxury hotel in Positano. It’s all very The Night Manager


Clementine hopes the new Kenzo perfume is as good as its Spike Jonze’s ad!

Kenzo perfume advert by Spike Jonze

Emma loved snooping around Rob Ryan’s studio on The Selby.


Margherita can’t believe she’s only discovered Present and Correct’s lovely lovely blog!



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, Spaces August 30, 2016
Celia Richardson

Recently I’ve been growing an obsession for black wall lights. I have just moved house into a very different place from my last one, and in our new home there are more period features and opportunities for picture walls. This is very exciting, but I have been looking for ways to introduce lighting on the walls alongside artwork or as a feature on itself. Plus I love floor lamps during the evenings and as focused light for reading. So my obsession with elegant, lean black wall lamps has been growing steady – they just tick all the right boxes.

Here are all my favourite finds from my research so far. They aren’t cheap, but I’m hoping that I if use the IKEA PS wall lamp I already have for a few months while I save up, I can then sneakily swap it and my other half might not notice?!


lampe gras turquiose













Top image by Jonas Ingerstedt via

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Hacks August 29, 2016
Emma Scott-Child

As a girl with flat, lanky hair, I rejoiced when dry shampoo came onto the market. It meant I no longer had to wash my hair every second day. Which, when measured in units of morning sleep, gave me a total of 45 minutes of extra sleep before work each week. Which is 39 hours each year. So since 2007 I have had nearly 12 days of extra sleep thanks to Babyliss. Brilliant.

Turns out I could have just sprinkled a little cornflour in my hair all along! Sprinkle it onto your greasy areas, leave for a minute, then brush it out as you would dry shampoo and your hair will be good as new(ish).  Apparently for darker hair you can add some cocoa to the mix  – anyone dare to try it out? Perhaps I should add some strawberry Nesquik!

Life hacks every Monday on Ladyland. Have you got a good one?

Photography & styling: Emma Scott-Child

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Food August 26, 2016
Margherita Poggiali
Raspberry Mojito

Somehow I cannot get enough of eating raspberries. Especially since I live in the U.K. – they are just incredible here. So any excuse is good and this Raspberry Mojito is another one I found last week. As if I needed this excuse!

This cocktail is delicious. Sweet and sour ­– like a traditional Mojito but with a little bit more body and a lovely combination of colours and texture, which I think adds to the taste.



LL_miniheaders_YOU WILL NEED_620

  • 35 ml white rum
  • 20 ml fresh lime juice (more or less the juice of half a lime)
  • 8 raspberries
  • 8 mint leaves
  • 3 tsps demerara sugar
  • crushed ice
  • 2 or 3 extra raspberries, a mint sprig and a whole slice of lime for garnish


With a muddler, crush well together the raspberries, the mint leaves, the sugar and the lime juice. Pour in to a short glass filled halfway with crushed ice. Add the white rum and extra whole raspberries and stir gently. Garnish with the mint spring and lime slice, serve straight away and enjoy!

Styling: Margherita Poggiali
Photography: Dee Ramadan

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, Conversation August 25, 2016
Guest post
The Label – living with Down's syndrome

A few years ago, a headline ran in a broadsheet newspaper, and it completely took me aback. The piece was about my son Seb, he had just made history as the first child with Down’s syndrome to model in a major high street retailer’s ad campaign and it was pretty big news. I read the headline with a screwed up face, confused by it and my cheeks flushing hot. The headline read:

“M&S to feature disabled boy Seb White in their TV Ad”

Disabled? I thought. Disabled boy? What? My son isn’t disabled. And even if he was, how could it be more important than his name? Silly really, when the whole point of ad inclusion is to try and “normalize” disability.

If you aren’t the parent of a disabled child then you are probably wondering what my problem was. Seb is disabled. He has Down’s syndrome, so there is no question. But the thing is, I don’t see or think of him as disabled. He is Seb. Just Seb. He is a little boy full of magic and mischief and a razor sharp wit. He is my oldest child with a tendency to run off and a strong will. When I picture him I immediately see his stunning big blue eyes and hear his infectious laugh.

But it hasn’t always been that way. 24 hours after giving birth to my first baby, we were told of concerns that he had Down’s syndrome. My world literally fell apart. My child? Disabled? Not just “different” to look at but a learning disability too. Somehow the learning disability aspect was the hardest thing to stomach of all and I can still remember a midwife giving me the contact details for Mencap. I felt sick. How could I have a disabled child?

As I frantically devoured text book after text book, desperate to take an element of control in a hopeless unchangeable situation, I would check off each physical characteristic as I looked at his precious face and body.

The sandal gap. The upslanting eyes. The tiny nose. The flat features. His broad stature…

I would look at Seb’s beautiful face, with a heavy heart, mentally photoshopping his “features” away. Imagining what he would look like if he didn’t have Down’s syndrome, it was all that I could see and I was too scared to even contemplate what the learning disability would “look” like as he got older.

Bit by bit the hurt began to lift as I fell in love with Seb. My baby, my boy. Over time the diagnosis became less and less, his personality came to the fore, and Down’s syndrome became just a very small part of who he is. That’s not to say I am in denial or pretending he is anything other than who he is. I am not ashamed at all of my son having Downs syndrome, in fact these days I am rather proud of it and how it has shaped me as a person.

So, I forget. I genuinely forget that he has Down’s syndrome. I don’t see his “features” either and I happen to think his little nose and big blue almond shaped eyes are what makes his face so beautiful.

A while ago, we went to visit some lovely friends in Surrey. Their house is something out of a dream. It backs onto acres and acres of woods. A beautiful, fresh Spring day made for the perfect opportunity to go and clear some cobwebs away. We put on our wellies and set off.

Seb loves dogs. Whatever journey we take, be it in the woods or just the humble school run, we engage with every dog we pass.

For every dog we meet, we enjoy the most wonderful interactions. I have seen such precious moments on the beach, Seb throwing balls and being taught how to get dogs to raise their paws for a treat. One of the most memorable and moving encounters was on the streets of Bath. We got talking to two homeless men, the engagement only happened because Seb asked if he could stroke their dogs. They chatted for a while and as we walked away one of the men said to me “You’ve got a diamond there. Really precious” and I set off swollen with pride and the biggest lump in my throat when I thought about how much magic Seb spreads wherever he goes.


But back in the woods that day, it was a very different story. We had seen many, many dogs. A great Dane, a few mixed breeds, black dogs, terriers – an ironic diverse cross section of dogs. Each interaction as different and as charming as the dogs.

And then we walked into a clearing in the middle of the trees. An affluent looking lady, about my age, perhaps a few years older, was walking her pedigree breed of some sort up a hill. It was a medium to large sized dog, on its lead. Brown, with shaggy fur. The lady had two boys with her too. I would guess their ages at about 10 and 12.

Seb ran up the hill towards the dog. I knew what was coming so casually followed after him.

“Exxxxcuse me” he said with his trademark stutter, something that always tugs at my heart, sweetly looking up to catch her eye.

“Please can I s-s-s-s-trrroke your dog?” he added, still eagerly looking up for eye contact.

The lady quickly glanced across him but looked away just as speedily, she ushered the dog quickly and told her kids to hurry up.

He said it again. Same response.

I hurried my pace to try and catch up with him. My heart breaking into a million pieces.

“Come on Nellie!” she sternly said to the dog and pulled it’s lead to fasten its’ pace.

“Hellooooo Nellllie” Seb said, delighted to learn the dogs name.


The woman reacted as if she was being hounded by a knife wielding maniac or someone riddled with a contagious disease, and I could feel the hurt rise and rise up inside me. My beautiful, beautiful boy, who consistently sees the best in everyone, being out and out snubbed by this stuck up woman. How difficult would it have been for her to simply say “Sorry young man, we have to be quick, we are off home” or similar?

I could not fathom a single reason why she would be so obtuse. And then it hit me. He’s disabled. She saw disability. Worse than that, a learning disability – and she was (literally) running for the hills. She was panicking that my son was going to taint her “perfect” existence – and she was uncomfortable.

She couldn’t see the boy who lays the table, or the boy who gently strokes my head when he comes into my room in the morning. She couldn’t see the grandson, or the cousin, the nephew, brother or the friend. She couldn’t see the boy working tirelessly to learn his maths, or improve his writing. She couldn’t see the boy who reads Topsy and Tim books to his little sister. She couldn’t see the little boy who is mad about football and a whizz on his scooter. She couldn’t see the child who always chooses vanilla, no matter how many flavours are on offer.

All she saw was Down’s syndrome. Yet in that 5 seconds I saw so very much of who she was and it stayed with me for a long time.

But as time has passed, I pity her and her outlook – to live such a smooth and blinkered existence.

But maybe, I could have been her, had I not been given the chance to learn.

Imagine that…

Caroline White is an ambassador for the Special Olympics, GB and a patron of Mencap’s Musicman Project. She has spoken at a TEDx event organized by King’s College London on the subject “Beyond the Genes” and is a regular contributor / writer for Mencap, The Huffington Post, and her own blog Force of NatureShe’s passionate about inclusion – in schools, in communities, in sport, in advertising – in everything and believes inclusion will breed a new generation of acceptance – people who will value every person on this planet as an individual. Her upcoming book, The Label – A Story for Families, will be published in 2017.
Above all though, she is a mum.

Top image: Courtesy of Francesca Jones for The Guardian
Portrait of Seb: Caroline White

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Ladyloop August 24, 2016
All the ladies
Screen Shot 2016-08-08 at 6.52.04 pm

If you’re looking for somewhere to begin your web wanderings, this is a good place to start each Wednesday…

Considering a mosaic interior? Celia is impressed with this colourful one by Madrid based Zooco Estudio.

mosaic house

Margherita just saw the wonderful William Eggleston exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. Absolutely brilliant portraits.

William Eggleston Portraits - National Portrait Gallery exhibition 2016

Buoyed with a sudden Olympic fever, Bella enjoyed this beautifully shot short about long distance runner, Paula Radcliffe.

Still from Run a film by Jack Weatherley


Emma is planning a visit to the Henry Moore Foundation in Hertfordshire, where you can see his studio as he left it, and frolic with sheep around his massive sculptures.

Screen Shot 2016-08-08 at 6.52.41 pm

Clementine can’t stop looking at this chocolate babka, anyone wants to bake it for her? She’ll be eternally grateful.



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, Food August 23, 2016
Clementine Larvor
DIY lollypops forest

Are your children bored now that the summer holidays are coming to an end? In this household, it’s definitively getting harder to keep them occupied! So here is a quick “recipe” that will keep most bored kids happy for quite a while: DIY lollipops!

My older kids made these lollipops with their school art teachers last year and I really wanted to have a go at making them myself. And it turns out they are the prettiest and easiest thing to do and, sure enough, children are always ready to help. Even the sugar rush you might get afterwards is worth it, honest!

Melted sweets have a mind of their own, and I did try to force shapes using cookie cutters, but it ended up disastrously. In the end it was better to embrace the unknown and try to guess what shape they would take.



  • boiled sweets, any kind, any shapes (my local supermarket didn’t have a great selection, and I wish we had found striped ones!)
  • baking sheet and baking paper, or silicon mat
  • bamboo skewers, cut in half



1. Place your bamboo skewers on a baking sheet, leaving enough space between them for the boiled sweet to spread.

2. Arrange your sweets as you wish, playing with colours and patterns.

3. You can also use crushed sweets and shards, as I did below. You will end up with a more uniform colour but with interesting textures.


4. Bake in a preheated oven at 200ºC for five minutes. Please keep an eye on them, the crushed ones will be ready in a shorter time. And if some sweets haven’t completely melted, don’t worry. They will continue doing so after you take them out of the oven.

5. Leave to cool until hardened and only then peel of the baking paper.

DIY Lollipops are so quick to make we ended up with a whole forest of them. The hardest part is to convince your children NOT to eat them all at once!

DIY lollypops

Styling: Clementine Larvor
Top and bottom images: Dee Ramadan

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Hacks August 22, 2016
Emma Scott-Child

This will halve your laundry pile over summer if you have small kids who like ice-lollies.

Cut the top half off a paper cup and pierce a hole in the bottom of the cup. Stick you lolly stick through, and viola… a slop stopper. No more sticky fingers!

Photography & styling: Emma Scott-Child

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Food August 19, 2016
Margherita Poggiali

Not everyone associates sparkling wines with art, but if you are born in Venice, you might do it by nature. So did Giovanni Cipriani, owner and founder of the famous Harry’s Bar. On creating a cocktail in the 1930s, Cipriani decided to name it after Venetian painter Giovanni Bellini, because its delicate colour reminded him of a saint’s robe in one of the artists’ works that he’d seen in a local church. And The Bellini was born – the perfect bubbly and fruity drink to enjoy at the beginning of summer, when it’s hot and sticky outside and people find refuge in cool, enchanting churches…


  • 10ml dry Prosecco (not Champagne! This is a Venetian cocktail so you make it with Prosecco, plus it needs more fizz than what a good Champagne generally offers)
  • 50ml white peach purée (avoid peach juice and yellow peaches; the juice won’t give you the dense, frothy consistency that you need and the white peaches’ more delicate taste goes better with the bubbles)
  • 2 or 3 raspberries to add to the colour – optional


Mush two white peaches until they are reduced to a liquid purée (you can use a food blender). Pour the right amount of pulp into a chilled Champagne flute and add the Prosecco very very slowly – if you do it too fast the drink bubbles up and it’s difficult to get the whole of it into the glass. Then stir really gently and add another splash of bubbly to give it a little foam at the top. And if you like your Bellini a little pinker, then mix the raspberries with the peaches before you start.

A couple of notes: If your glass is small, forget the quantities and stick to a 2 to 1 ratio in favour of Prosecco. And finally, try drinking one while nibbling on grissini and Parma Ham. It’s a great combination, just like prosciutto e melone – a little bit like heaven…

LADYLAND - San Zaccaria Altarpiece by Giovanni Bellini

San Zaccaria Altarpiece, Giovanni Bellini, 1505, oil on canvas – San Zaccaria, Venice, Italy

Photography: Dee Ramadan
Styling: Margherita Poggiali

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Conversation August 18, 2016
Margherita Poggiali
Ladyland Book Club – Novecento - A piano – Tim Gown Photography

When it was first published in Italy, Novecento produced critical controversy. Some people declared it epic, a masterpiece, the best book they had ever read; others instead were very critical, denouncing it as a meagre, hasty little story.

I only read it recently, but I found that amidst the discussions, everyone seems to loose sight of the fact that this is not a book, a novel, a story or a poem. This is a theatre monologue, and a really good one at that.

It’s an image, the fraction of a physical moment. As you read it, you can really see an actor on stage, dancing, gesticulating against the dark backdrop of an empty stage. You can hear his voice resonate in the theatre hall. And you can feel Novecento’s Jazz vibrate in the air. And you can even ignore the prescriptive stage directions that punctuate the text and imagine the scene exactly as you like it.

Baricco’s prose will still rock you the same way Novecento rocks the piano and the Ocean rocks the ship.

“He was twenty-seven, but seemed older. I barely knew him: I had played with him those four days, with the band, but that was all. I didn’t even know where he bunked. Of course the others had told me something about him. They said a peculiar thing: they said, Novecento’s never been off the ship. He was born on this ship, and has been here all his life. Always. Twenty-seven years without setting foot on terra ferma. Put like that, it sounded like a colossal bunch of bull… They also said that he played music that didn’t exist. What I knew was that every time, before we started playing, there in the ballroom, Fritz Hermann, a white guy who didn’t know anything about music but had a great face for a bandleader, went over to him and said in an undertone:

‘Please, Novecento, just the normal notes, OK?’

Novecento nodded yes and then played the normal notes, staring straight ahead, never a glance at his hands; he seemed to be somewhere else. Now I know he really was somewhere else. But at the time I didn’t know: I just thought he was a bit odd, that’s all.

That night, right smack in the middle of the storm, with that air of a fellow on vacation, he found me, lost in some corridor looking like a dead man. He glanced at me, smiled, and said, ‘Come on.’

Now, if a guy who plays the trumpet on a ship meets someone, smack in the middle of a storm, who says to him ‘Come on,’ there is just one thing that guys who plays the trumpet can do: go. I followed him. He walked. I… it was a little different, I didn’t have that composure, but still… we reached the ballroom, and then, ricocheting this way and that–I mean me, obviously, because he seemed to have tracks under his feet–we arrived at the piano. There was no one around. It was almost dark, just a few small lamps here and there. Novecento pointed out to the feet of the piano.

‘Release the brakes,’ he said. The ship was dancing like there’s no tomorrow, you had a hard time standing on your feet–it made no sense to unlock the wheels.

‘If you trust me release them.’

This is madness, I thought. And released them.

‘And now come and sit here,’ Novecento said to me.

I couldn’t understand what he was getting at, I really couldn’t understand. I stood there, holding on to the piano, because it had begun to slide like an enormous black bar of soap… It was a shifty situation, I swear, up to your neck in the storm and then that lunatic sitting on his stool–another bar of soap–with his hands on the keyboard, steady.

‘If you don’t get on now, you never will,’ said the lunatic, smiling. […] ‘OK. We’ll let it all go to hell, OK? What have I got to lose? Up I go, onto your stupid stool. Here I am. Now what?’

‘Now, don’t be afraid.’

And he began to play.


Now, you don’t have to believe this, and, to be honest, I wouldn’t believe it if somebody told me, but the truth of the matter is that that piano began to slide over the parquet of the ballroom, and took us with it, while Novecento played, never taking his eyes off the keys–he seemed to be somewhere else.

The piano followed the waves, back and forth, turned in a circle, headed straight toward the window, and when it got within a hair’s breadth stopped and slid gently back; the sea seemed to be rocking it and rocking us, and I couldn’t understand a damn thing, and Novecento was playing, he didn’t stop for a second, and it was clear he wasn’t simply playing, he was steering the piano, you see? with the keys, with notes, I don’t know, he was steering it where he wanted, it was absurd but that’s how it was. And as we spun amid the tables, grazing lamps and chairs, I realised that at that moment what we were doing, what we were really doing, was dancing with the Ocean, us and him, mad, perfect dancers, embracing in a slow waltz, on the gilded parquet of the night.
Oh yes.”

Alessandro Baricco, Novecento, Milano 1994
Oberon Books, London 2010, pp.21-24

Photography: Tim Gouw

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