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books, Christmas, Cookery

What To Bake & How To Bake It by Jane Hornby

Baking is one of those things that I love to do, but often leave it to the experts.  I get lured in by London’s exquisite cake shops, but it can be much more rewarding to make your own baked goods and share them with family and friends.

But, what if you lack baking confidence or have missed out on learning the basics of baking?  What to Bake & How to Bake It by Jane Hornby comes to rescue with a step-by-step guide that takes the guesswork out of baking.

Not only is it a hefty hardback with cool illustrations and beautifully-shot food images, it’s actually really useful and suited to both beginners and seasoned home bakers.

Author Jane Hornby is an acclaimed food writer, editor and teacher, who originally trained as a chef.  She went on to be a Cookery Writer and Food Editor at BBC GoodFood and has also written cookery books What to Cook and How to Cook It and Fresh & Easy.  Her ethos is to get people baking and make the recipes as easy to understand as possible.

The book includes 50 easy-to-follow recipes with aerial photos for almost every step.  It’s particularly helpful for gauging whether the mixture is at the right consistency before baking.

The recipes range from classic baked treats to more inventive sweets that are sure to impress.  They are categorised into different sections including Simple Family Baking, Morning Coffee & Afternoon Tea, Special Bakes and Desserts and After Dinner.

Easy items to get started with are a classic Victoria Sandwich, Buttermilk Pound Cake, Vanilla Fruit Scones and Iced Gingerbread Cookies.

I’m particularly tempted to try out the Jaffa Marble Loaf, Red Velvet Whoopie Pies, Cherry-Almond Streusel Slice and Seriously Chocolatey Cookies.

I’m looking forward to baking up a storm over Christmas and will be packing What To Bake & How To Bake It in my suitcase (to make a mess in my mum’s kitchen).  A Chocolate Hazelnut Log for Christmas Day dessert would go down quite nicely.

What to Bake & How to Bake It is priced at £19.95 and is published by Phaidon Press.  Buy it online here.


books, Fashion, France, Paris

How To Be Parisian Wherever You Are

Ever wondered the secrets behind the life and style of Parisian women?  Their cultural DNA has been decoded by a number of books, but none do it as well as How To Be Parisian Wherever You Are.

It’s a light-hearted guide to adding a little je ne sais quois to the everyday and approaching life’s questions with ‘what would a Parisian do’?

The book is written by four successful, bohemian-cool Parisians that make you wish you were in their gang.  Audrey Diwan is a scriptwriter and film director as well as editor-at-large for Stylist magazine, while Sophie Mas is a producer with her own film company.

Author Anne Berest wrote a biography of Francoise Sagan this year and writes for television, cinema and theatre.  Then there’s model Caroline de Maigret, the epitome of Parisian cool who is not only an ambassador for Chanel and muse to Lancome, but also studied literature at the Sorbonne.

Anyone who has known a Parisian woman will attest to how awe-inspiring, captivating and stubborn they can be.  My Parisian friend Coralie has always intrigued me – she just seems to instinctively know how to live well and make it look effortless, whether it’s the right beauty regime, a chic accessory or being worldly and opinionated. I recognised so much of her in this book.

Every aspect of the Parisian mystique is uncovered in the book, from fashion and beauty to dating, sex and parenthood.

On the fashion side, we learn the essentials of a Parisian’s wardrobe, their distaste for flashy logos, that the colour navy is always chic and the virtues of a signature item that makes you feel great (as long as it’s not Uggs).

Similarly, Parisian beauty is all about au naturel (or at leasting creating the illusion), so go easy on the make-up, don’t bother blow-drying your hair and save the surgery until your forties – even then moderation is key.  Oh, and “always be fuckable: when standing in line at the bakery on a Sunday morning, buying champagne in the middle of the night or even picking the kids up from school.  You never know.”

Of course, it’s more than just a style guide – there are witty anecdotes and essays on the contradictions and snobbery of Parisian women and how they interact with men, women and the city.  There’s the internal anguish over what to eat on a date at Cafe de Flore, making every kiss cinematic and how to make him think you have a lover.

The book also takes a tongue-in-cheek approach to culture, sharing the books that line a Parisienne’s bookshelf (whether she’s actually read them or not), the feminist icons they connect with and the curious art of speaking politics with the mouth and sex with the eyes.

‘Without her girls gang, the Parisienne is incomplete’, but she also values the simple pleasures of being alone, doing exactly what she wants with stolen moments – a true flâneuse.

The book is also peppered with some useful recipes, iconic films to transport you to Paris and little black book addresses (we all agree upon Hotel Amour for a night out).

The illustrations alone are enough to make you want to move to Paris, with photos of the authors and their impossibly cool Parisian friends including Sonia Sieff, Alix Thomsen, Jeanne Damas, Mathilde Warnier and Caroline’s husband Yarol Poupaud, alongside exclusive prints by So-Me.

How To Be Parisian Wherever You Are is witty, beautifully-written book and a reminder of why we can’t help falling in love with all things Parisian.

How To Be Parisian Wherever You Are is available from 4th September (published by Ebury Press, priced £16.99). 

Accessories, Beauty, books, Designers, Fashion, Shopping

Chérie Loves: February 2013

Opening Ceremony by Carol Lim and Humberto Leon (published by Rizzoli), £25.60, Amazon
Opening Ceremony’s first hardback book is a fabulous scrapbook recording the brand’s history, collaborations and cool projects since its beginnings in 2002.  The book includes graphic stickers, Terry Richardson photography, zine inserts by friends such as Chloë Sevigny and Spike Jonze and artwork by Rodarte and Terence Koh.

Saint Laurent Paloma Striped Suede and Metallic-Leather Sandals, £730, Net-a-Porter
Hedi Slimane’s debut Saint Laurent collection was full of covetable footwear and one of my favourites are these luxurious, disco-esque heels.

Ditsy Garden Dress, £45, Oasis
Luella may be no more, but the English Eccentric brand’s spirit lives on with this adorable, flirty floral and black lace dress.

Valentina by Valentino eau de parfum, £41.50-£75, Debenhams
Valentina by Valentino is a delicate, sweet, heady floral oriental fragrance that captures la dolce vita and the refined femininity of Valentino.  Created by Olivier Cresp and Alberto Morillas, the fragrance opens with Calabrian Bergamot and Alba Truffle and leads to a white floral bouquet of Amalfi Orange Blossom, Tuberose and Jasmine with Wild Strawberry.  The base notes of Amber and Cedar give the fragrance a sensual, dusky warmth.  I also adore the round glass bottle adorned with pretty blush and white flowers.

Willow Tote Calf Ostrich Mix Navy, available mid-February, Mulberry
Mulberry’s stunning new Willow tote features a clever zip-detached envelope clutch, so you can instantly switch from daytime functionality to evening glam.  The luxurious two-in-one bag is the ultimate travel accessory, particularly if you need to streamline your luggage.  The Willow clutch can also be bought on its own and comes in black, navy, white, biscuit brown, nude, apricot and mint.

Tosha Pink Bracelet, £49, Swarovski
Summer comes early with this boho-luxe turquoise crystal and pink neon cord bracelet.  Even though it’s freezing outside, it makes me dream of sundowner cocktails at an exotic beach bar.

Yazbukey for Cire Trudon Candle, 70E, available at Colette now and at Cire Trudon, Chiltern Street, from March
A match made in heaven, accessory designer Yazbukey has created an exquisite candle for Cire Trudon, the world’s oldest candle maker.  Designed in seductive boudoir shades of black, red and pink, the scent is an alluring blend of violet and tobacco.

* Valentina by Valentino eau de parfum and Swarovski bracelet c/o brands

Accessories, Beauty, books, Designers, Fashion, Shopping

Chérie Loves…

This stunning MSGM dress is conveniently trans-seasonal and just the right length with a flattering cut.  Wear it on its own right now with sandals and round sunglasses or layer up with a leather biker jacket or blazer for autumn.  MSGM Firework-print organza dress, £370, Matches

I adore the fresh scent of wild rose and Provence meadows in the new limited Rose des Champs fragrance.  The solid perfume charm is cute with a cool floral design and is ideal for travelling.  Rose des Champs Solid Perfume Charm, £7.50, L’Occitane

With Butter London’s new Lips & Tips set, you can match your lippy and nails, or just alternative two gorgeous colours – my favourite is Snog.  The lip gloss has a highly-pigmented, glossy, non-sticky creme formula and is very long-lasting.  The nail varnish is also a winner, with a shiny opaque finish.  Lips & Tips – Snog, £21, Butter London

Roberto Cavalli eau de parfum instantly transports you to balmy, sultry evenings in the Med with warm, luscious notes of orange flower, Mirabelle plum, pink peppercorn, green mandarin, roasted tonka beans and benzoin laos.  Roberto Cavalli eau de parfum, £34.50-£61.50, The Perfume Shop

I’m always tempted to add to my collection of Mawi jewellery and this beautiful necklace   is typically bold but still quite delicate.  The purple and emerald colours are perfect for autumn and I love the sweet ribbon tie.  Dynasty Triple Cluster Set Necklace, £405, Mawi

The Handmade Marketplace is an essential guide for talented craftspeople to promote their work and start selling locally, globally and online.  The book is well-designed and easy to follow – there’s even a chapter on blogging.  The Handmade Marketplace by Kari Chapin, £8.39, Amazon

Parisian gal tweed never goes out of style, so invest in this Isabel Marant classic – no gold hardward or fancy zips, just simple and chic.  Isabel Marant Barte Tweed Jacket, £440, Matches

These are the holy grail of sneakers – wedge hi tops, Liberty pepper print and Nike – it doesn’t get much better than that!  Dunk Sky High Liberty Print Trainers, £95, Liberty 

books, Cherie Soleil, Competitions

Win A LUXE City Guides White Linen Box Set

LUXE City Guides are the ‘pocket rocket’ destination guides that give the inside scoop on the most stylish design hotels, the best restaurants in town, cool bars and those hard to find fashion and design concept stores.

The super light guides are packed with tips from local writers who know their cities inside out.  They are edited to only include the things you need to know during your visit, the rest you can research yourself.

LUXE City Guide box sets make a perfect gift for intrepid explorers and the box of the moment is the sleek, summery white linen box set.  This box has room for five city guides and you can pick and choose whichever destinations you wish.

Chérie City is offering one lucky reader the chance to win a LUXE City Guides white linen box set, worth £34, containing the following city guides:

- Miami
- Singapore
- Stockholm
- Madrid
- Venice


Follow Chérie City on Facebook and leave a comment on this page below, sharing your favourite city break destination…

The winner will be selected at random and the competition will close on 13 August at 6pm.

Terms & Conditions:

- Closing date: 13th August 2012 at 6pm.
- Entrants must become (or already be) a follower of Chérie City on Facebook, otherwise entry will be void.
- Entry is limited to one per household.
- The city guides offered may differ from those specified, subject to availability.
- The prize is non-transferable and non-redeemable.
- No cash alternatives will be offered.
– The winner must claim the prize within 48 hours of contact, or a new winner will be selected.

Accessories, Beauty, books, Designers, Fashion

Chérie Loves…

Spotted at the Handpicked Media Suite at One Aldwych during London Fashion Week, I still have my eye on this Embellished Soft Prom dress, £85, Warehouse

It always feels like summer when Marc Jacobs launches the gorgeous Splash collection.  This year’s light, tropical fragrances are possibly the most delicious yet!  Marc Jacobs Splash eau de toilettes, £28.50 (100ml), The Perfume Shop

Perfect for sundowners, Castañer takes espadrilles to the next level with these St Tropez-worthy Two-Tone Espadrille Platform Wedges, £120, Browns

Follow the tales of the Fafinettes and new character Birtak in graffiti artist Fafi’s first comic book, The Carmine Vault, £12.96, Amazon

A limited number of the divine Del Rey bag were pre-released at three Mulberry flagship stores last week.  Launched worldwide on 14 May, the Del Rey is a future classic, much like Lana herself.  I’m lusting after this one in Black Forest Soft Matte, £795, Mulberry

Luxurious, aromatic and highly effective, Vaishaly Cleansing Balm, £69, Vaishaly is the most decadent treat for your skin.  I use it when my dehydrated skin needs a bit of extra nourishment at night.  Another great discovery from the Handpicked Media LFW Suite!

books, Paris, Patisserie, Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Treats From Paris

The usual Valentine’s Day gifts have been overlooked in the Cherie City household in favour of seriously indulging on our pre-Valentine’s Day trip to our spiritual home, Paris.

But that didn’t stop me from picking up a few little romantic gifts for myself.  What can I say, I can’t resist a cute Valentine’s display…

Large Pink Praline Brioche, €5, Eric Kayser

My Little Paris, €14.95, Librairie Delamain

Monin Rose Syrup, €4.50, Galleries Lafayette

Plenty more memorable treats were had in Paris, but these are the ones that made it home on the Eurostar!

books, Christmas, Shopping

Beautiful Books For Christmas

Finding a book under the Christmas tree is an absolute delight, but the thrill of receiving a beautifully-designed book just makes the words even sweeter.

Here are a few top picks to ask Santa/grandma/boyfriend for…

Pierre Hermé released the English version of his magnificent Macarons book just a few months ago, so now we can share the secret to creating the perfect macarons (Grub Street, £17.04, Amazon).

Edited by Purple’s Olivier Zahm, Carine Roitfeld: Irreverent is a the kind of stunning coffee table book that you might not go out and buy on a whim, so why not put it on your Christmas list? (Rizzoli, €82, Colette)

Viktor & Rolf’s first work of fiction, Fairy Tales, features a lonely disco hedgehog, a magical golden dress and a little girl with flame-red hair – all charmingly illustrated by the Dutch design duo (Hardie Grant, £7.22, Amazon).

Culture To Catwalk is the second book by Kristin Knox of The Clothes Whisperer.  Read about how traditional dress and street style from around the world have influenced designers’ collections (£17.85, A&C Black, Amazon).

LUXE City Guides may be slim enough to slip into the tiniest of handbags but they are filled with enough juicy tips to have the best city break possible.  The luxurious new Black Box is hand-crafted in black linen with a crimson interior and gold logo and can be filled with five guides of your choice (£38,

Mark the 70th anniversary of the great F. Scott Fitzgerald with one of these exquisite hardback editions that are just as decadent as the novels themselves.  Tender Is The Night is a Chérie City favourite, but you might be tempted to collect the whole set! (£11.99, Penguin Classics, Waterstones)

books, Designers, Fashion, Photography

Studio Baer & Joanna Schlenzka Launch Style Calendar 2012

Even though we plan every corner of our lives on mobile phone organisers, there’s still something fun and just lovely about flicking away the months on a real calendar – my kitchen wall is usually adorned with the annual Vogue Paris calendar.

However, Emmanuelle Alt’s nude fashion goddesses could be replaced chez moi for 2012 with Style Calendar – a collaboration between Studio Baer and Mixt(e) Fashion Director Joanna Schlenzka (AnOther, 10, Lula and Ponystep).

Style Calendar is a limited edition (just 1500 copies) calendar featuring striking images by selected established photographers and rising stars in the fashion industry.

Style Calendar focuses on the concept of colour and how it plays with women’s characters to create diverse visual statements.

Beautifully packaged in a corrugated silk-screened box, Style Calendar is a future collector’s item with such exquisite photography that you won’t be able to ever part with it.

Established photographers such as Serge Le Blon, Yelena Yemchuk, Miguel Reveriego and KT Auleta and emerging talent including Daniel Sannwald, Johan Sandberg and Mark Pillai.

Style Calendar is priced at £22 and is available in selected retail outlets in London, Paris and New York.  It is also available to buy directly from the website: from October 2011.

Accessories, books, Designers, Fashion

Loewe: The Masters of Leather by Robert Clarke

Every fashion house worth its salt now has a coffee table book documenting its history, offering exclusive behind-the-scenes access or an abstract homage to the maison.

Madrid-based luxury leather goods brand Loewe joins the book club with The Masters of Leather, written and illustrated by the hand of art director and illustrator Robert Clarke.

To capture the essence of Loewe, Robert Clarke immersed himself in the culture of Madrid, and visited the Loewe store, touring the ateliers and meeting the Loewe artisans in their workshops.  He then moved up to Barcelona to see the leather being treated in the tannery, observing the process and craftsmanship that goes into each piece.

Reflecting the hand-made, craft aesthetic of the brand, Robert Clarke wrote all of the original pages by hand and illustrated them with emblems of his travels and experiences, alongside handprints of the Loewe craftsmen he met along the way.

The bold, free-spirited use of colour in the book reflects the vibrancy of Spanish life, culture and of course, fashion.  Clarke said: “the book was inspired by Miro, Picasso and the colours of Spain, and there’s a hint of Tàpies in there too for good measure.”

Loewe’s leather goods are constructed by hand in the very same way as when the first shop was opened in 1846.  With creative director Stuart Vevers at the helm, Loewe’s superior quality is matched with incredibly desirable designs – a house with heritage and a future.

The Masters of Leather is available from mid-September from all Loewe stores.  For more info, visit:

books, Designers, Fashion, London

A Very Stylish Read: Mulberry ‘The Book’

In celebration of its 40th birthday, Mulberry has released a magnificent 480-page coffee table book, chronicling the past three years at the quintessentially English leather goods company.

The beautifully-made tome is a luxury scrapbook offering an insight into the world of Mulberry, from its early beginnings in a Somerset workshop to becoming a major international fashion brand.

The concept and content of the book was headed up by Mulberry Brand Director, Georgia Fendley and shot by Somerset-born photographer and regular Mulberry collaborator, Venetia Dearden.

The book begins with an introduction telling the story of Mulberry, from its beginnings in 1971, written in consultation with and including anecdotes and memories from the brand’s founder, Roger Saul.  It pays homage to the creative people who have shaped Mulberry, including Stuart Vevers, Luella Bartley, Giles Deacon and of course, Creative Director, Emma Hill.

‘Mulberry’ is full of behind-the-scenes, candid photographs from campaign photo shoots, London Fashion Week preparation, the much-adored catwalk shows at Claridges and the many parties.

There are also more intimate, relaxed photos of Mulberry girls Florence Welch, Alexa Chung, Kelis, Lindsay Wixson, Lara Stone, Daisy Lowe, Poppy Delevigne and Anna Dello Russo all getting into the Mulberry party spirit.

The book shows just what goes on backstage to get the perfect look – frantic stylists, off-duty models caught mid-stying and last-minute fittings.

You can also delve deeper into how Mulberry bags are made with images of the toiles, dyed skins, intricate stitching, logo stamps and the hardware screwed in by hand.

There is also a behind-the-scenes peak at the whimsical Spring/Summer 2011 campaign, shot by Tim Walker and styled by Edward Enninful.

Other visual delights to expect are idyllic Somerset country scenes, carousel horses, pastel flowers, woodland creatures, decadent cakes and of course, pugs.

‘Mulberry’ the book is priced at £55 and is available to buy online at and at selected Mulberry boutiques, national book stores and international sellers.

Chérie City received a copy of ‘Mulberry’, beautifully wrapped like a ‘pass the parcel’ pressie with golden stickers galore.  Thanks Mulberry!

books, Events, London

Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration Launch Party

The launch of Amelia Gregory’s second book, Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration has been the most-talked about event of the new year, bringing a bit of loveliness back to a month filled with talk of detox and austerity (neither present at the launch).

So much was the excitement online that #ACOFI (that’s tweet-speak, folks) may now be permanently lasered onto my eyes!

Illustrators, designers, bloggers and journos all got together for a right old knees-up at Scout Hut, behind the 123 Bethnal Green Road ethical clothing super store.

We drank Vodka O and Adnams beer, flicked through copies of ACOFI, made new pals and devoured the prettiest Lily Vanilli centre piece cake.

I missed the set by the wonderful 6 Day Riot, but head over to designer Lira Leirner’s blog, The Portmanteau, and you can see her video of their performance.

A brilliant party soundtrack was spun by The Pipettes and we were even treated to a guest DJ appearance by the lovely Will of Mystery Jets.

Photos: Max Petrossi

The turn out for the party was immense with all sorts of creative people and a few familiar faces…

Photos: Matt Bramford

I caught up with Japanese fashion blogger Fuyume and met new bloggers Sarah Scribbles,  Nikki Nakki Lou and Koral of Lovely!

Now on to the serious stuff…the gift bag!  With the purchase of Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration came a printed cotton tote bag packed full of treats:

- Limited edition Tatty Devine necklace made for Amelia’s Magazine
- Limited edition Amelia’s Magazine Moleskine notebook
- Dr Hauschka organic beauty products
- Back-issue of Amelia’s Magazine
- Collection of Amelia’s Magazine postcards and bookmarks
- Tatty Devine 10% store discount
- Dr Hauschka 15% online store discount

It was amazing to come down and meet all of the people involved with Amelia’s Magazine and it’s nights like these that make living in London so much fun.

Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration is just so beautifully made and is a very relevant resource, as ethical fashion is moving forward so quickly.

There’s a lot of content to get through, so it will take you a while to read from cover to cover and it’s a real gem that you’ll keep going back to.

Having made my own zine a few years ago, I know just how much work, time and money goes into producing an independent print publication – printing costs alone can drain the budget.

So if you still love words on paper and beautiful artwork (can you tell I’m not a Kindle fan?), it’s so important to support Amelia and all of her brilliant print releases…especially so we can have more parties!

Buy Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration online for a reduced price and receive 12 unique Amelia’s Magazine postcards

You can also buy it with Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration and save £10.

For more info and a preview of ACOFI, visit