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The Ultimate Cocktail Bar.

The Ultimate Bar Cart

As summer slowly sidles off-stage in the wake of Autumn’s first flush of colour, cool drinks on the terrace and in the parks and pub gardens start to become a distant memory. But the inevitable drawing-in of September nights doesn’t mean the party has to stop there.

Instead, we at RMW towers say, bring the refreshments inside with you as you reside by the fire and revel in the ‘cocktail hour’. Be it due to the popularity of Mad Men or the influence of our cousins across the pond, we’ve seen the resurgence of cocktails and bar carts of late. And from your enthusiastic response to the lovely Lauren C’s bar tray it seems that you can’t get enough of them either.

It was William Morris that said ‘have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful‘ and the bar cart is no exception. Whilst your bar cart serves a functional purpose there’s no reason why it can’t be aesthetically pleasing or sentimental too.

Below are my top tips in styling the ultimate bar cart*

An idea packed inspiration post showing you how to make a glamorous and chic bar cart for your home and wedding.

If the budget allows it then it’s worth investing in an actual cart – preferably one that moves on wheels since this makes it so much easier to ‘take the party with you’ as and when required. I’d recommend spending as much as you can possibly afford to boot – remember folks you really do get what you pay for.

Choose a cart that has a high storage capacity (there’s nothing worse than a crammed bar cart where glassware and bottles jostle with one another for space) and a rail to hold everything in place. Better still are removable trays to allow easy transportation of drinks from cart to guest and inbuilt racks to enable wine to be stored on its side.

If space is at a premium or there’s just no way that you’re going to be able to afford the cart and that pair of shoes that you’ve had your eye on for the last two months, then consider creating a bar ‘tray’ using a vintage tray or a reclaimed side table instead. I particularly love this mother of pearl version from Zara below.

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If you want to be considered Queen of the Cocktails then make sure that you’ve got the necessary tools for the job; most cocktails utilise either a shaker, an opener, a stirrer and/or strainer at some point in their creation so it’s definitely worth adding these items to your cart’s inventory. On a side note, it’s always a good idea to invest in an savvy ice bucket and tongs too.

One of the key components of a successful bar cart is gorgeous glassware. Be it a set of priceless cut crystal wine glasses that have been handed down through your family, some kitsch babycham saucers (LOVE those!) or a collection of mismatched colourful tumblers, it’s always worth paying due care and attention to the vessels in which you serve your drinks. Alternatively pretty up plain glasses by entwining some blooms around then stem for a cheap quick fix alternative.

Speaking of glassware, try picking bottles that match the beauty of your drinking vessels when kitting out your cart – Hendricks Gin and Chambord are both examples of great design as well as taste. Alternatively if you’re a fan of a particular type of spirit but you’re not so keen on the design of its container then it’s worth dispensing it into a different vessel such as a cut glass dispenser or these etched ‘white’ and ‘red’ beauties shown here.

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Stop right there.

Whilst we’ve talked about the tools of the trade and the glassware and the booze, you don’t actually have to cram every single piece of ‘barware’ you’ve collected on the way onto the aforementioned cart. Talk about over-egging the… ummmm… eggnog.

Instead mix it up. Keep things versatile by choosing a variety of different liquor bottles, decanters and glassware as well as colours and textures too. Don’t be afraid to play with the organisation and arrangement of the cart either. Ultimately in this case, it’s all about balance – not so little that your bar cart looks as if someone’s already been at the drinks cabinet the night before nor so full that everything goes flying when you try to mix a cocktail.

One of the easiest ways of changing it up is to opt for coasters, napkins and stirrers in a particular colour scheme or theme. Etsy abounds with plenty of examples that won’t make a major dent in your pocket but if you’re feeling crafty then it really is very simple to make your own stirrers and napkins by commissioning a bespoke stamp with your initials on or even a faux crest.

Oh, fancy!

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Think outside of the box when it comes to styling your cart too; display a voluminous arrangement of sweet smelling blooms in a statement vase next to your glassware or light up your treasures with an oversized lamp instead. I particularly love to have a pot of mint (in a mercuried silver vase of course!) on my bar tray so that it’s to hand when I’m making a mojito or two.

Above all, your bar cart – like all of your interiors – should be an extension of you, of your personality, your style and your life journey so far. Wherever possible try integrating items that either reflect your personal style and tastes – as Lauren did with her glitzy and fun pineapple forks. Such ‘items’ can include anything from favourite bottles of wine, a treasured set of glasses, monogrammed shakers or even vintage metal cocktail sticks.

What will you choose?

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So have we whet your tastebuds then?

Will you be integrating a cocktail hour into your big day?

And how many of you are already the lucky owners of glamorous drinks station already? And what component can’t you live without?

And come and tell us what your favourite tipple is….I’m partial to gin and elderflower flavoured tonic water or two.

All my love Lolly xxx

*RMW takes no responsibility for any violent cases of the green-eyed monster caused as a result of following these steps.

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Ballet: The Inspiration.

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If you stopped by the blog on Friday last week folks you can’t fail to have noticed Charlotte’s sneaky peek of this week’s theme; The Ballet.

Whilst the Blog Queen herself will reveal all tomorrow afternoon – the RMW editorial shoot that is, she’s not getting her kit off – I’ll be sharing the inspiration behind said theme in this afternoon’s post where we’ll cover everything from frivolous fashion, luxurious decor, sweet treats and the most beautiful hair and make-up ideas that you’ve clapped eyes on for a long time.

As a team we often spend large amounts of time discussing wedding trends and big day inspiration…yes even Adam too. We talk about what makes you tick, the next big thing on the wedding horizon, themes we love, colour schemes that make us swoon and even those trends that may have dropped off the radar.

One such theme is the ultra romantic, pink infused ballet affair so beloved of little girls with pillowcase veils over their heads. Somehow as we’ve aged, this candy coloured dream has fallen by the wayside in favour of rustic soirees, or hip city dos and this makes us sad. Gone are the dreams of the super feminine big day, dusted in pink complete with bows and satin and voluminous dresses and all-rose bouquets.

Or so you thought.

You see folks, garnered by the RMW spirit we’re determined to bring it BACK. Just like the once out of favour peach colour schemes, we want to show you how girly pink wedding themes can be cool again.

Let’s see what you think.

Corps de Ballet

Dance Of The Sugarplum Fairy

So named…erm because it’s really blinking obvious right. Sugar, sweet treats and confectionery delights, it’s all there folks.

Granted most ballerinas are probably not indulging their sweet tooth on a daily basis but given that classical ballet has its origins in the patisserie centre of the world (France) it seemed daft not to include some cakey treats in the editorial shoot.

Dance Of The Sugarplum Fairy

And it’s all about the detail this time lovelies…detail and miniatures. Think cutesy details, ruffles, intricate piping and romantic shapes. We fell head over heels for hearts, for rose-infused flavours, for dustings of icing sugar and iced petals.

And then there was the beautiful display of such delights, on glass cakestands, within sugary coated boxes, on golden plates, all piled on top of one another. There’s something to be said for beauty in numbers…wouldn’t you agree?

A Rose By Any Other Name

If there’s any single flower that’s associated with ballet or indeed the stage then it is the beautiful Rose. Just think oodles of all those blousey blooms being thrown at beautiful ballerinas at the end of the night in appreciation of their talents.

There’s something timeless about the Rose, its unrelenting beauty, its womanly charms and sophisticated elegance. This is a bloom that will always take centre-stage.

From the get-go, we were determined to use the flower in all of our floral associated styling – from the table centrepieces to the bouquets and even the smaller prop related scenes too. Quantity was key, volume the watchword; it was less about the foliage and more about the flower itself.

A Rose By Any Other Name

Big, blousy, full-headed blooms in pinks, creams, off-whites, caramels, blushes, peaches with maybe even a splash of yellow here and there. Our preference was for roses of the older varieties with amazing scents like the O’Hara. We chose to follow two different directions when it came to our bouquets too – one that fitted with the more traditional ballet look and then another that was less structured, more ethereal. 

We can’t wait to show you the results…

See You At The Make-up Barre

Whilst I don’t want to give too much away at this point I will say that the traditional ballet bun was definitely a must have for Charlotte and I – you may even have seen our sneaky peek of our ballerina on both of our Instagram walls – see here and here. In fact we love the ballerina topknot so much that we always squeal in glee when we spot a bride that chooses an updo for her big day.

See You At The Make-up Barre

The beauty of the stage and actually for a bride on her big day is that all the normal rules can be thrown out of the window. If you want glitter on your eyelids, a metallic catflick or the longest of (fake) eyelashes, nine times out of ten you can get away with it. Perhaps not so much with the smokey tulle and net creation near the bottom here but you catch my drift.

Exquisite hair and eyes ‘looks’ were a particular focus for us in this piece of editorial and much like the classical ballet of Swan Lake there was most definitely a White Swan/ Black swan split.

Stay tuned.

Set For The Stage

Perhaps my favourite part of any editorial shoot apart from the florals (never going to give up that wannabe florist ghost) is the prop and tablescape styling. Whereas Charlotte is the fashion, hair, make-up queen, I revel in decor detail. Give me a table and some linen and some utensils and I’m as happy as a pig in mud.

I’m not going to go into detail…after all I cover the inspiration for the tablescape styling in tomorrow’s post but what I will say is that there are stripes, and lots of shimmering gold details and pink glass and cut crystal. There are blooms a-dozen and rose petals and the sweetest pieces of stationery DIY that are as easy as pie for you lovelies to download and recreate.

And yes there are pointe shoes and ribbon and so much pretty that your heart aches with the beauty of it all.

Set For The Stage

So then are you excited? Have we whetted your tastebuds?

Can you wait until tomorrow afternoon?

I’m not sure we can…

All my love Lolly xxx

P.S. You know that image of the model in the frothy delicious pink dress by the sink at the very top of the post there? Well that was the very first image I ever ripped out of a magazine for my wedding inspiration. I think I was thirteen years old…They say that it never leaves you.

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En Provence.

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You may have noticed over the last couple of months that we’ve showcased a veritable display of French Weddings. From Cecile and Kevin’s chic Parisian soiree to Olivia and Marc’s dreamy provencal do, we’ve really been a little bit spoilt with all this loveliness.

Spoilt and inspired too…

Which is why this week’s inspiration post is inspired by the chic nation that is the French.

Rather than taking the luxurious route reminiscent of Versailles fashion, the moodboards below are suggestive of a simpler, more understated provincial charm.

Les Belle Dames

Lighthearted and bright, ‘Les Belle Dames’ is all about adding a modern twist to elegant classics. Simpler silhouettes are the watchwords here with the look less about the volume and more about finely crafted materials and tailoring.

French brides prefer freer flowing fabrics with silk and crepe being the most popular materials of choice. Add a touch of lace draped softly over the shoulders and down the back and the look is pure elegance.

Les Belle Dames

One or two key accessorises are all that’s needed to compliment the look. I particularly love a knotted veil, a string of small seed pearls knotted down the back or a delicate headpiece. Beauty looks are simpler too with a soft rosy hue and neutral eyes being the order of play.

Top off the look with a soft chignon or a loosely woven fishtail plait.

Campagne Chic

Campagne chic is all about looking as if you’ve spent a lazy Sunday afternoon at a Paris flea market and picked up a a few glorious finds in the process.

From forgotten watering cans to flaking washbowls and loved, worn tables, it’s all about finding understated charm in simple everyday objects. If this is your style then it’s so easy to integrate these props into your home decor after the big day is over too making them a real investment for your married future.

Props always help to really bring a theme to life; scrawl French phrases onto decadently shaped blackboards, prop up village bikes complete with baskets full of baguettes or opt for calligraphried invitations in a style similar to French script.

Campagne Chic

Channel Marie Aintoinette by creating salon styled seating areas for your guests using elaborate chairs, French cushions and sweet love seats. Finish the look like stringing reclaimed chandeliers from the ceiling or even from nearby trees.

I particularly love the idea of gifting padlocks to coupled up guests as wedding favours inscribed with their initials and finished with a ribbon flourish. Leave them a key so they can secure their love locks somewhere close to their hearts.

Les Jolie Fleurs

Did you know that it’s a French tradition to offer sprigs of lily-of-the-valley to your loved ones on May Day. Now that’s exactly the kind of tradition I adore so I couldn’t resist including a sweet posy of this flower as part of this moodboard.

If lily-of-the-valley doesn’t float your boat or if you’re looking to inject a bit of colour into your day then Lavender just screams French provencal charm. Try adding it to your table centrepieces to add both a visual punch as well as a beautiful scent to your surroundings. Alternatively why not place a few stems at each guest’s setting for them to take away as a keepsake of the day.

Les Jolies Fleurs

Try thinking outside the flowerbox when it comes to housing your beautiful blooms. Sourcing antique milk churns, bike baskets and old planters or even wrapping plant pots in brown paper and string are all fantastic ways of achieving this look. I particularly love the idea of a ‘flower table’ pictured in the moodboard above full to bursting with a myriad of different jugs, pots and vases. You can just smell those blooms from here can’t you.

Lastly, why not wrap the ends of your bouquet in antique French velvet ribbon as a subtle nod to your ‘something old’.

Sur La Table

This concoction of pretty was influenced by an image that I’ve been cultivating in my imagination for some time. You see for me, a French wedding revolves mostly around the culinary delights offered at the reception so I wanted to recreate a scene that I feel epitomises a perfect Gallic knees-up.

Think rustic chairs and tables scattered outside under the trees adorned with mismatched plates of cheese and wine. Candles or festoon lighting providing the perfect amount of illumination and the prettiest of napkins to lay on your lap.

Sur La Table

If you’re after a more luxurious feel opt for opulent chairs, exquisite tableware and lots and lots of flowers. Leaving gifts at guests’ settings adds to the luxe look too – squares of dark French chocolate, a exquisitely wrapped mini baguette or handmade soaps all work equally well.

More than anything it’s about creating an atmosphere rather than a specific look. If you’ve got the right ambience then nothing else really matters.

La Patisserie

If there’s a nation that raise cakey treats to an art form then it’s the French.

You name it, they’ve made it – macarons, fruit tartlets, gateaus and the piece de resistance – the croquembouche. There’s literally something for everyone.

Why not serve small portions of gateau for dessert or even small fruit tartlets with a pot of lavender infused cream and a rustic napkin. If you’re looking for something that pushes your feminine buttons then choosing a sweet cake stand piled with macarons in candy shades topped with a bow is a surefire way to tick that box.

Presentation is just as much a key to this look as the savoury delights of your treats so allocate a portion of your time to styling the look. Garnishing the cakes themselves as well as their surroundings with florals in keeping with your wider theme is one way to do this; sourcing antique French cake knives and slices is another.

La Patisserie

I love the idea of sourcing vintage cake knives for each of your tables, allowing guests to serve themselves whilst engendering that community feel at the same time.

So folks, what do you think?

Does the Gallic way of doing things float your boat?

Interestingly, I read an article not so long back written by the BBC which discussed how the French were looking to the Brits for inspiration for their big day. Apparently they like the fun and light-hearted elements that British brides incorporate into their nuptials and are beginning to emulate it themselves.

Who knew? If the beeb says it’s true then who are we to disagree…

All my love Lolly xxxx

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Holiday Pop!

This year feels different.

I’m not sure why but for the first time in a long time I’m feeling the smallest butterfly stirrings of excitement about Christmas.

You know what I mean, those emotions you experienced as kids when the run up to Christmas seemed to take forever and you could barely contain your excitement as you asked your mum every single morning – ‘Is it Christmas yet?

For the past few years this festive glee has been curiously absent. Perhaps it’s been tempered by the worry about the size of January’s credit card bill or the stress of family politics. Maybe it’s a bit of everything.

But as I said this year is different. This year has been the best year of my entire life.

I landed the job of my dreams courtesy of the lovely Adam and the gorgeous Charlotte, my boy proposed and then to top it all off I went and got married too.

So right now I’m feeling enormously grateful.

And colourful. Like a rainbow kaleidoscope and somehow this seems to have spilled out into this Christmas inspiration post this week.

Rather than opting for my usually sophisticated palette of greens, whites and silvers with a dash of mauve, I seem to have chosen a rather brash colour scheme.

We’re talking pinks, reds and golds. Neon and pearlescents, rich greens and baby blues all topped off with a healthy dose of glittery kitsch.

And it looks amazing!

Proof that you don’t have to choose a traditional colour scheme for a winter wedding if you don’t want to.

Right shall we hop to it…

Peppermint And Pink

Whilst researching this post I found myself drawn time and time again to pinks and golds with a smattering of green.

A softer, more lighthearted version of the more conventional red and green palette associated with this season, this colour scheme suggests a playfulness that translates so easily to the wedding reception.

Opting for coloured table linen or golden flatware and patterned chargers are all ways of introducing colour into your decor. Alternatively embellishing tables with baubles, painted pinecones and even sweet treats keeps guests entertained whilst looking pretty too.

Finish off the look by adding tealights and dinner candles for a soft luminous glow.

Party Girls

I love shopping for clothes at this time of year. If you’re lucky then some shops will have already have started their sales but it’s the lightheartedness of clothing design that I really adore.

From Christmas jumpers to sparkly party dresses, extravagant accessories and over the top make-up looks, everything is so fun.

Perfect then for Christmastide bridesmaids.

If you’re keen to integrate holly berry reds into your colour scheme why not choose vampy dresses for your girls complete with smouldering crimson pouts. Alternatively reflect all of the colours of Christmas in sequined dresses of the same design but different colourways.

Lastly how amazing is that bauble bouquet.

I want one…

Kitsch Kit

It was the image of the miniature car with the tiny Christmas tree secured to its roof that had me clutching my sides with glee earlier this year.

Little did I know that it would result in an outpouring of gloriously clashing colours and plasticy goodness. Trust me folks, I didn’t know where to stop.

This board really is to show you lovely lot some of the colour schemes that you can use should you decide to go down this route. From your flowers through to your reception decor and even your bridesmaid dresses too.

What I will point out is that more is always more – if you’re opting for this type of theme then you have to go hell for leather and go all out. This look takes no prisoners.

If in doubt add a bit more and finish off with a generous helping of gold.

A DIY Christmas

There’s something about this time of year that awakens the DIY bug in me – I’m not sure why but you can guarantee that by mid-December there is glue on most of the surfaces in my house and an exasperated boy staring at me from the other side of the sofa.

But I digress.

There are so many wonderful DIY tutorials floating around at this time of year that a winter wedding just calls out for the home made touch.

Invoke the party season by creating a glitterific photobooth background for your wedding complete with huge gold metal sequins and party hats. I’m considering mocking one up for our New Year’s Eve house party. Plus it would look epic framed after the big event.

I’m also a particular fan of this DIY advent calendar at the bottom here. Why not use this idea as a subtle twist on the traditional table plan. Try gluing model trees onto brown boxes and placing a guest’s name in each one. Inscribe the relevant table name or number onto paper pennants and secure to each tree.

Bob’s your uncle – you’ve got a cracking table plan and festive decor all in one!

Lastly I love the idea of a reindeer inspired guestbook inspired by the more traditional tree prints that you see at weddings. Ask your nearest and dearest to create a floral fingerprinted wreath around his neck and antlers or even give him a furry coat. How sweet will he look!

So are you a sophisticated Winter Ice Queen or a childlike kitsch convert?

I can’t quite decide which theme to go for this year – but I’ve yet to be converted to the joys of tinsel. I know, I’m sorry! I’m well aware that most of you love it.

Perhaps you can convince me…

Are you a Christmas bride? What colourways have you or did you opt for?

And has anyone indulged in a bit of DIY Christmas goodness?


We want to hear all about it…

All my love Lolly xxx

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