Banaue to Batad

Friday, 20 March 2015



After touching down in Manila we gave ourselves one night to recover from jet-lag, before taking a 10hour overnight bus ride (for our sins) that took us to Banaue. We arrived at 7am the next morning tired and freezing cold - bumpy bus rides are no more conducive to sleeping than trying to fall asleep standing up, and the air con on buses in the Philippines is so strong that no amount of layers keeps the cold air from creeping in. Luckily our driver was there on arrival to greet us and take us in a tricycle to Sanafe Lodge, where we slept for a few hours before setting out to explore the rice terraces in Banaue. After a ride on the roof of a jeepney (by far one of the best ways to travel in my opinion), racing around the tiny mountain roads, hanging on for dear life, we reached the rice terraces of Hungduan, which provide a lovely afternoon trekking around the terraces with a break to bathe in a hot spring, followed by a refreshing (read freezing) river in between.


Batad was another experience altogether. After the 45minute trek down to the Hillside Inn, where we stopped to refuel with a tea, we then began the walk to Tappiya falls, which involved a steep climb down, a walk along the rice terraces walls, another steep climb, followed by a tough downhill trek that played havoc on my knees. Finally we were rewarded with the waterfall - a 70m drop that thundered into a large pool below. The water was ice cold, so all I could do was dip my toes in while the others jumped right in. But it was a good break before hiking the steep steps back up the terraces and down again. This is not a trek for the faint hearted, we finished sweating and panting, but happy to have fulfilled the exercise quota for the week!  


At Home With Haleigh Walsworth

Monday, 16 February 2015


What inspired you to start Making Magique? 
I was following a few blogs in 2009 (there were a lot less back then) and I was enjoying the content so much, I decided to try my own hand at it and started photographing and writing.

What else do you do? 
I have also been blogging for Lancôme on their USA site since the beginning of 2014 and I have a column called Paris Rendez-Vous. Once a week I photograph and write articles about culture, fashion, beauty and more in Paris for the US market. It’s a fun project and I've always been a huge fan of the brand, so it’s truly a pleasure working with them. I also create photos and videos for another beauty brand in the US, as well as for their digital channels. I write and photograph outside of the digital realm too, including a book for Penguin by Angela Niles that will come out this autumn, and a guide book to Paris called The Hunt: Paris that will be released by Gatehouse this spring. Now that those are done I’m working on a book of short stories accompanied by my own photographs.

What words of advice do you have for someone wanting to forge their own career path?
I’ve been freelancing and blogging for four years now and I don’t have it all figured out yet, but I would like to think I’ve learned something. Give yourself time to blossom - sometimes things happen fast, but other things take years to bloom. Also don’t lose energy comparing yourself to others, instead spend it on trying to do your best work and being more proactive. Treasure your clients and find a finesse to managing their expectations, while still going out of your way to keep them happy. Also don’t do jobs that pay you less than what you are worth, unless you absolutely have to, it's never worth it in the end. Be original, be authentic, and strive to create real value for the people that you work for, whether it's a client or customer. Put other people forward for work you think they are suited for and you will find the favour is often returned later down the line. Be frugal and stay optimistic in the slow times, ride the wave with grace in the busy times and be thankful for the work you have. Promote yourself, but never shamelessly. Work hard, wait, stay positive, get work, work harder, be thankful, repeat.

And now onto your apartment - how long have you lived there and how did you find it? 
Four years! Time flies. It feels like I moved in yesterday. There's no multiple listing service in Paris, so I found mine the only way one can if they want to buy a flat in Paris. First identify the neighbourhoods you want to live in, and then basically spend all day walking around to individual real estate agencies looking at the listings and leaving your information about what you're looking for. Then hopefully you can start doing visits - I found my apartment fairly quickly, but I had studied the market a lot and knew what I could and wasn’t going to get. Know what you can live without in and what you can’t. And when you you do find something you like, do not hesitate as places get snapped up immediately! 

What were the biggest decorating challenges? 
In Paris, space is always a challenge and the biggest was my kitchen. The sink and some of the appliances are less than the standard width - I had to go back 12 centimetres or so, otherwise the kitchen wouldn't have fit. Second was my front door. It’s too small to get most furniture through, so I had to be really clever. That’s actually why I don’t have a proper couch. The only ones that would fit through the door were the ones from IKEA, as they assembled inside. But they are often so generic, so finally I opted for a daybed, which is actually awesome because it’s a great place to stretch out on whilst watching a movie on my laptop and it can actually sit a lot of people on it!

How would you describe your interior style? 
Quirky, modern, French.

Favourite piece(s) of furniture/treasures? 
My favourite piece of furniture is my Louis XV demi corbeille bed. I always wanted one, but they are so pricey, I wasn’t sure I could swing it. But I found one I quite liked on ebay for 200€. I just wish you could see it better in my tiny bedroom! I also love the mirror over my fire place. It was also a good buy and I think it adds so much to the main room. 

Favourite places/shops to buy for your home? 
I love the Porte de Vanves flea market and of course the Marché Saint Ouen or Clignancourt as it's also called for all things vintage and antique. For new furniture with lots of different styles, I really like Maison du Monde. You can find some lovely affordable pieces that look great when mixed with older pieces. Of course I always mix in a bit of IKEA here and there when it's practical. My favorite home shops in Paris are Fleux' in the 4th and Maison Aimable in the 11th.

Interiors/style that have inspired you? 
I love little rococo details. Erin Fetherston’s old apartment in Paris was really an inspiration as well and Bijou Boheme’s kitchen inspired the countertops in mine.

Favourite sources for inspiration?
I use Pinterest for interiors inspiration. Obviously most of those comes from magazines, including old issues of Domino. Oddly, I also really like Atlanta Homes magazine and always find great stuff in there. Also my mom’s design and decor which she posts about on her blog is always a place I go for inspiration for the small decor details and how to repurpose all sorts of objects around the house for beautiful little corners.

Favourite three social media mavens?
The scandinavian gals have definitely stolen my heart! Elsa Billgren is my number one there. On Instagram I love GypsyOne even though her style is much edgier than mine, I love the way she curates her life as a photographer. Then for all things beauty I love LisaEldridge and her youtube videos.

Favourite three lifestyle blogs? 
Park & Cube because Shini is an amazing visual designer of all things, Hjartesmil because Mariel’s pictures feel so authentic and lived in, and Natalie Joos’ Tales OfEndearment, because she has some great stories that make me laugh and she always takes dreamy trips.

Last good book you read? 
Where I Was From by Joan Didion.

What’s in your magazine pile? 
So It Goes mag is the only magazine I’m into right now. Other than that National Geographic, because it reminds me of being a kid still and being so excited to read them each month. The only fashion magazines around my house are there just for photo props for shoots I do. I really hate fashion magazines. I used to read Lula and still love the imagery, but I got a bit turned off by their exclusive It Girl club vibe and did away with all of them and my subscription. I tried to still love them because they were sooooo pretty but in the end I just didn’t identify with it. I love books but magazines are not really my thing!

What’s in your fridge? 
Tangerines, tangerines, and more tangerines. My Bkr waterbottle, and lots of gourmet mustards of different varieties.

Evening drink of choice? 
Tom Collins, preferably at Le Fumoir.

Tea or coffee? 
Coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon.

Handbag essentials? 
Fully charged iPhone and headphones (I’m always listening to music when I am out), at least one lipstick, a nail file (because it drives me insane when my nails snag on things), at least three credit cards (because I have a fear of them not working for some reason, so need at least two backups), and that’s it! I like to travel light.

What do you do to relax? 
In all seriousness, I dance alone a lot in my apartment! It’s kind of like a work out and a stress reliever. I walk a lot, like maybe at least an hour a day. It is my favorite activity and where I have all of my ideas. I watch a lot of Vice videos in my free time too, and also embarrassingly am really into those weird ASMR videos on youtube. I listen to at least one a day.



Get the look:
1. Brigitte Bardot: The Life, The Legend, The Movies
2. Glass Mug from Merci
3. Louis Chair from Maison du Monde
4. Fluffy white cushion
5. RENS sheepskin rug from Ikea
6. Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Instant film camera in pink

Notes from the Weekend

Monday, 9 February 2015


The last couple of weeks have been a bit of an emotional roller coaster. Sadly a friend in Paris passed away whilst in India for a marriage, the week before last. She was the best friend and flatmate of a very good friend of mine here....We had the memorial on the Friday at Paris College of Art where she'd worked. I'd only known her a year, but she was one of the loveliest people I've ever had the pleasure of meeting, with an infectious appetite for life. She lived life to the full, was always happy and laughing - a real inspiration. When I haven't felt like going out or being social in the last couple of weeks, I've been thinking: what would Céline do? It's also the reason I haven't felt much like blogging recently, but life goes on. If I'm to learn anything from this experience of losing a friend at the beginning of their life (she was only 26), it's that life is fleeting and to try and live it in the best way I can, especially if all I want to do some days is curl up on the sofa and watch 10 episodes of Suits (yes, I did that last weekend). It's obviously ok to do that every now and again, but I'm trying not to make it a habit - as good-looking as Harvey is. So here's a little summary of things I got up to this weekend (I only watched 3 episodes of Suits, for the record). 

+ We (I mean the boy) spent the weekend building our Ikea furniture - a much-needed wardrobe and table & bench. Who knew having your clothes in one organised space could bring so much joy. I know know what clothes I have and therefore what I need. Hello shopping. 
+ Friday was dinner and cocktails at Bespoke with Carin in the 10th - a newish cocktail bar and restaurant serving up sliders and fried chicken, with a great atmosphere and music to match.
+ Saturday, we went to a leaving dinner at la Marine on Saturday night - if you're looking for a traditional French bistro in the 10th than this is a winner - I'd suggest the tajine or boeuf bourguignon
+ Coffee at Ten Belles - I love that I live near so many great coffee shops. This place a 5mins walk from mine, just across the canal. It's usually heaving on the weekend, so get a takeaway and wander around the canal.
+ I read this interesting article on Stylist about personal branding - food for thought. Have you ever done a personal branding exercise with yourself? 
+ And finally I watched Pride - a brilliant British film set in the Thatcher era around the mining strikes. A group of gay and lesbians support a coal-mining village in Wales in their cause against a common enemy. It's funny, inspiring and tear-jerking - have tissues to hand! 

RR Recommends: Ceramicists

Wednesday, 28 January 2015




The Object Enthusiast | Paper & Clay | Helen Levi | One Suite Studio
You may have noticed from a few of my posts that I have a thing for ceramics. There's something about their unique handmade quality that I find particularly beautiful, considering the love and time that goes in to them. I've mentioned a couple of times that my mum makes pots, but what I probably didn't mention is that she has a little studio down at the bottom of the garden Poddington Peas style (you'll have to have been raised in the UK to get that one), complete with potters wheel. Over Christmas I thought I'd try my hand at it. She's been making ceramics off and on for years - in fact it helped cure her post natal depression - and every time I go back to visit, I leave laden with bowls, pots and dishes in various shapes, sizes and glazes, which are currently spread all over the apartment - some purely for decoration and others that have adopted specific uses. My new year's resolution is to learn, as I've been looking for a hobby that doesn't give me square eyes. Last year I started following quite a few ceramic artists on Instagram, so thought I'd share a few of my favourites.
Are you taking up a new hobby this year? 

Paris Apartment Update

Wednesday, 21 January 2015


It's freezing cold and grey in Paris, so since I've been back I've been spending most of my time inside, cocooning as much as possible, cosy on the sofa, bundled under throws and drinking numerous cups of herbal tea - the January health plan is currently underway. I went on a bit of a framing frenzy at the weekend, so thought I'd share a little update. (There's nothing like nosy-ing around someone's home to distract you from your current task!) 

Furnishing the apartment these past few months has become an ongoing job and pleasure (read obsession). Yet at the same time I'm apprehensive about showing more and can already see things that need improving in the photos I'm posting - such as a new bedside table and lamp for example, but for now the boy's vintage side table and old Ikea lamp do the trick. We finally have a sofa, but still need a table, chairs, rug, curtains, coffee table, wardrobe… the list goes on. You can often find me staring across the main room envisioning various pieces of furniture and trinkets – mapping them out in my mind. The boy must think I’m a nut as I change things on a daily basis – I like to call it 'curating'. I’m a perfectionist and like things just so. There are a few corners I’m (almost) happy with - namely the fireplace and free-standing shelves we bought from Muji, which I’m constantly styling and rearranging. As the apartment is in an old Haussmannian building (big plus), we can’t fix shelves to the walls just in case they crumble down (slight negative).  There are already a few cracks, which I’m a little concerned about, which might scupper my prospective art wall of framed prints in the bedroom...

Atop the shelving, the print is from the newly renovated, Picasso Museum (a must see if you come to Paris). I'm a big art fan, but more and more prefer prints with minimal colour. I would rather have a neutral palette with pops of colour in the flat, a bit like the clothes I wear. The bowls were made by my mum who has been potting for years - I love the turquoise and blue colours. (My new year's resolution is to learn.) And I currently have a thing for copper and picked up the lamp and candlestick I picked up in Amsterdam. The apartment is slowing taking shape and it's feeling a lot more like home. I'd love to know what you think?!

Scroll down for a 'get the look' with links. 

Better Living Interview: Miranda York, Editor of TOAST

Tuesday, 13 January 2015


I know Miranda from when I edited an arts and culture website back in London - she came to an event I was helping to organise and we clicked. After working as a freelance food journalist for various publications, she launched her magazine, TOAST, at the end of last year. What began as a conversation about food with a friend, quickly became a turning point and the start of a life changing project. First they launched TOAST food festival - inviting some of the UK's best food journalists, writers and chefs to talk. Off the back of that they continued to organise food events, but felt the need for something more tangible. A magazine was the best solution. It's a beautiful publication aesthetically, as well as beautifully-written, interesting, intriguing and inspiring. Instead of covering food trends, she (along with Assistant Editor, Sophie Dening), chose a carefully selected number of contributors to write what they wanted about food - there was no brief, it just had to be interesting. It's a celebration of food and ideas, and articles range from one in praise of crisps, a conversation about wine between Sager & Wilde owners, Michael and Charlotte Sager-Wilde, to a photo essay on the South West of England. It comes in the wake of a burgeoning British food revolution that is not only changing the face of food in Britain - putting fresh, locally-grown, organic products at the front of people's mind - but also altering its reputation on a global scale. I shot Miranda a couple of days after the magazine's launch, at a great French restaurant, Casse-Croute in Bermondsey, South London, just around the corner from where she lives and works. 

Scroll down to read the interview!


What inspired you to work with the food industry?
I stumbled upon the food world accidentally. After working at the BBC in current affairs I started writing for an indie food mag and became fascinated by the people I was interviewing and writing about. Everyone I met was so passionate about what they were doing, and so generous – I just wanted to be part of that world. I then worked for various travel and lifestyle magazines before going freelance and starting TOAST – which came about after of one of those crazy conversations with my good friend Sarah Chamberlain. We were longing for food events which delved deeper into food culture – and after speaking to a few people with encouraging words we decided to go for it and create our own!

How did the idea of a magazine come about?
The events we produce at TOAST are fun but fleeting. We wanted a way to gather our values, interests and ideas into something more permanent. With my background as an editor, a magazine seemed the obvious choice. Plus, after speaking to so many talented friends and colleagues frustrated with the industry, I wanted to create a space where people could write/photograph/talk about what really interested them – no restrictions, no subject off limits – if it’s a good story, we’ll print it.

They say Britain is going through a food revolution, how do you think the food landscape has changed in London in the last 5 years?
London is a really exciting city for food right now. There’s so much innovation, so many talented chefs opening restaurants and entrepreneurs starting new businesses. I’ve lost count of the number of restaurants opening each year (or each week!) but there’s no doubt London is a better city to dine out in. I love all the food markets popping up all over the city too – it’s an indication that people want to eat better at home as well as in restaurants.

The restaurant business is often fuelled by the next big trend, what made you steer away from the hype in favour of ideas?
For a long time I got caught up in the whirlwind of new openings and the latest up-and-coming chef, but after a while it became tiring. I stepped away from the hype and started to seek out genuine, talented, creative people who are striving to make something the best it can be – whether that’s a restaurant, bar, event, or a beautiful handmade ceramic bowl. Nowadays I’m much more likely to be looking around a tiny factory in Bermondsey where they’ve made stylish anodised metal trays since the 1930s, or searching for a railway arch in Peckham where they make fresh Mexican cheese, than trying to attend five launch parties in an evening. Though that’s still fun every now and then ;)

What piece of advice would you give someone wanting to start their own business or launch their own magazine?
Do it! It’s hard work and it’s a little bit crazy but if you have a great idea, then go for it. Surround yourself with people who support and believe in you and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.

What was the inspiration behind the magazine’s design/front cover?
We wanted to steer away from the perfect shots of food you see on most front covers – food is messy, fun, communal, everyday – so we asked illustrator, Lara Harwood to create something that represented a meal just eaten, a conversation shared: the leftovers. Also, as we publish independently we weren’t tied to current magazine conventions – so there are no taglines, not even a barcode or price (we hid them inside the back cover), to allow the beautiful illustration to shine. I also liked the idea of the main image being on the back cover, just creeping onto the front – a reason to pick up the magazine and feel the thick, tactile GF Smith paper and discover what’s inside.

Foodies, chefs etc.. who inspire you?
My friends. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some truly talented people while creating this magazine and they have all encouraged and inspired me.

Last cookbook you cooked from?
Made in India by Meera Sodha. I’ve always been a little apprehensive about cooking Indian food at home (so many ingredients, such a long time cooking onions!) but Meera’s recipes are wonderful and never intimidating. The Keralan fish curry is my current favourite.

Last good book you read?
Ask the Dust by John Fante. Brilliant. Read it.

What’s in your magazine pile at home?
So many! There are magazines EVERYWHERE in my flat. I’m a little obsessed. At the moment I’m loving Cherry Bombe, an American food mag focused on women. Also, Cereal, Noble Rot, Lucky Peach, Vogue, Elle Decoration, Ernest, Lagom, Alquimie…I could go on forever!

Evening drink of choice?
Champagne. Or anything with dark rum in it.

Bedside table essentials?
Kiehls Crème de Corps, Plush Balm from & Other Stories, a good book and a glass of water.

Favourite London places for coffee, lunch, dinner, drinks?
Where to start… I live in Bermondsey and my favourite locals are Jose for tapas, Casse Croute for divine French comfort food, 40 Maltby Street for wine and sharing plates, and Bar Tozino for jamon. I also love Lyle’s, Som Saa, Quo Vadis, Tonkotsu, Sager + Wilde, Gymkhana… I’m very much looking forward to Bao opening in Soho (I’m obsessed with Gua Bao) and I’ve just joined Blacks members club – the perfect place for cocktails by the fire.

And finally, what is your definition of living better?
Eating good food with the people you love.

A Cornwall New Year

Tuesday, 6 January 2015




If you're following me over on Instagram, you would have seen a few snaps taken in Cornwall, where I spent my new year with one of my oldest friends. This part of the UK is beyond beautiful and I'm glad I had the opportunity bring in 2015 there. Despite feeling predictably ropey on New Year's day, I was luckily dragged out of bed to visit Porthcurnick beach. There's a cute little cafe, called the Hidden Hut on the hill selling ice cream and hot drinks. After a stroll down the hill in the biting cold and down to the beach to watch a few crazies run in for an icy dip, we lodged ourselves on a table to warm up over a cup of hot chocolate and marshmallows. Ice-cream does of course go against said warming up attempt, but I felt that I couldn't come to Cornwall and not try Cornish ice-cream. I managed about 3 bites before my lips froze over, but it made a pleasing picture nonetheless, so obviously totally worth it.

The next day we visited Godrevy beach (the slightly sunnier photos), which has a lovely long, sandy stretch of beach and a brisk wind that helped blow away all those 2014 cobwebs. It really did me good to get some good fresh sea air, calming my mind a little before getting back into the work mode, as did the super-sized sausage, egg and bacon sandwich we had for lunch. How was your new year's? 


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