Wednesday, 27 April 2016

A Little Bit of Chocolate Does You Good: Orset Lavande

I bought this packet of dark chocolate with lavender in France.
For some reason I never saw it in Switzerland.
Looks great doesn't it?
Yes, but to be honest the taste was a bit too weird for me.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Exotic Packaging: Dragon Egg Soap

Another offering that isn't very straight.
I seem to recall an egg-shaped soap in the bathroom, but I really don't remember if it glowed in the dark. 
What a shame!
I'm guessing that this may have been an Easter present?

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Exotic Packaging: Christian Dior Diorissimo

This bottle of Diorissimo Eau de Toilette was probably bought on a flight home from France some time in the early 1980s. Could be late 1970s... I can't remember but it must have been me who bought it.

In those days ordinary people didn't pop down to Boots the Chemist for their glamorous perfumes: they went away on holiday and bought them duty free. As like as not actually on the plane home.
Haven't times changed? 

This hounds tooth design is a classic.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Exotic Packaging: Culpeper Four Seaweed Baths

I remember this!

Culpeper had a shop in a little pedestrian street in Hampstead right behind the tube station. 
And we used to go quite a lot. 
They sold those lovely scented leaf geraniums and a selection of herbs. 
In those days you couldn't just pick up a basil or thyme plant at the supermarket.

These seaweed baths came in a little cloth baggie. And were quite... medicinal.

I guess whoever cut this box up to go on the A4 card didn't cut very straight.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Gardens to Visit: Hardwick Hall

 Hardwick Hall near Chesterfield in Derbyshire is famous for having more windows than the average Elizabethan could possibly imagine. Built for Elizabeth Countess of Shrewsbury, mother of the first Duke of Devonshire, it was a statement of huge wealth. Windows are expensive even these days but in the 1590s this much glazing was the equivalent of owning a super yacht or your own private 747.

Bess made sure her initials were everywhere. The carved Es and Ss on the roof are particularly fabulous.

Bess had eight children with her second husband Sir William Cavendish.
Frances, Temperance, Henry, William, Charles, Elizabeth, Mary & Lucrece.

The garden features some handsome old walls and beautifully clipped yew.

And there's a haha. You can see cricket and cows beyond the haha.

Bess's fourth husband George Talbot, 6th Earl of Shrewsbury, was jailor to Mary Queen of Scots although she never lived at Hardwick. Bess was an expert needlewoman and spent time with Queen Mary at Chatsworth House working on the Oxburgh Hangings.

In the not too distant past the view from Hardwick would have been of coal mines and industry. 
Not any more. It's all pretty landscape now.

We visited in September 2011.
This isn't a spectacular garden. The house is spectacular. 
But the garden is restful and soothing and a great setting for such an amazing house.

Friday, 8 April 2016

Exotic Packaging: Paddington Bear Soap

This is another soap that I don't remember.
I think perhaps it was available when the animated series voiced by Michael Horden was on TV.
All the characters were cardboard but Paddington who was an animated 3D bear.

The text doesn't scan very well so I have typed it out:
"On the whole Paddington wasn't very keen on washing. On his travels he collected quite a few stains. Some of them were very good value indeed, and it always seemed a pity to lose them. On the other hand, given a nice piece of soap there was nothing to equal the warm glow you were left with after a hot bath. And as Mrs Bird wisely remarked, "If the old stains weren't removed there would never be room for any new ones". " © 1977

This soap was produced by Paddington & Company Ltd and Film Fair Ltd.

Monday, 4 April 2016

Exotic Packaging: An Original Formula Seaweed & Sweet Sedge Soap

When was this? In the 1980s maybe? 
Boots the Chemist had a very nice brand - An Original Formula - which was supposed to be made from all natural products. 
Pretty revolutionary in those days.
But the packaging was quite beautiful. And this is a soap box.

Friday, 1 April 2016

Exotic Packaging: Crabtree & Evelyn South Sea Island Soaps Plumeria

This soap calls itself Plumeria. I would call it Frangipani. Which is just a lovely fragrance.
I learned to love it when I spent 6 months in Sydney. 
We had a heatwave and used to walk the dog at about 10 o'clock at night when it was almost cool.
There was a frangipani tree in a front garden which overhung the pavement. 
Oh bliss! I used to stop and drink in the fragrance.
It was worth taking a longer walk just to visit that tree