Sunday, 28 August 2011

FINALLY, *THE* PRADA SHOES

At last Prada is manufacturing the men's spring/summer 2011 shoes as they appeared on the runway, and I bought myself a pair, bringing to an end my fashion saga of the year. Regular readers will know that this topic is something of an obsession of mine (Prada manufactured several versions of the shoe, but none quite as they were on the runway with the right rubber-to-raffia ratio), so I was delighted when I was finally able to get my hands on a pair with the THREE layers of rubber. I'm so pleased with them, they're like the most amazing shoes EVER!

Wearing with a Prada shirt, Topman trousers & Lanvin glasses:

Prada has made the shoes part of a special non-seasonal capsule collection. They sell a few styles on their website, or you can order them from Prada shops. I ordered another pair too, from the range without the raffia/rope/espadrille detail.



Tuesday, 23 August 2011

THE TREEHOTEL

Situated about 55 miles from Luleå in northern Sweden, not far south of Lapland and the Arctic Circle, The Treehotel is the most amazing place I have ever stayed. Nestling in a beautiful stretch of peaceful, untouched forest are five tree houses designed by four different Scandinavian architects, which offer luxurious, eco-friendly accommodation. The Mirror Cube is by Tham & Videgård architects, The Blue Cone (which is in fact red) is by Sandell Sandberg, The Cabin is by Mårten & Gustav Cyren and The Birds' Nest and the UFO, where I stayed, are both by InredningsGruppen. A sixth structure contains a shower, sauna and relaxation area, and further tree houses are planned. We booked the Mirrorcube and the UFO.

I am obsessed with Futuro houses, so as soon as I saw the UFO I knew it was the one I had to stay in. Lying on the bed in there, hearing nothing but rain dripping from the trees and the sounds of the forest, swaying very gently in the wind, looking out at trees and stars through the portholes was a truly incredible experience.

The Treehotel is owned by Kent and Britta Lindvall who are two of the friendliest and most welcoming people you could hope to meet. They also run Brittas Pensionat, a quaint 1950’s themed guest house a 10 minute walk from the tree houses, which is the base for the Treehotel, and where they serve breakfast and delicious home cooked meals. I love the contrast between the cutting-edge design of the tree houses, and the warm homeliness of the guest house. In a way, it’s best of both worlds: incredible design without the design hotel attitude or coldness. The level of personalised service Kent and Britta offer is brilliant. They recommended places to visit, lent us boots and outdoors clothing, and made off-menu vegetarian food when the thought of more reindeer meat became too much.

One of Britta's delicious homemade fruit cakes:
The forest was so beautiful. We kept coming across all these crazy mushrooms… it was like being in a fairy tale.

I didn't take these, they are courtesy of Treehotel:

Inside The Cabin:
Inside The Blue Cone:
The shower and sauna hut:


I want to go back already! It was such a lovely, welcoming place, with out of this world design and a deeply serene setting. Save for the glossy magazines from around the world in the guest house which feature the Treehotel, and the guest book which shows people have come from all corners of the globe, you would never guess that the place has become an international design sensation from the genuine, hospitable attitude of the staff.

www.treehotel.se