Setting Sail with Seabourn Ovation: The Shakedown Cruise

posted on: Friday, 25 May 2018

Eighteen months ago, I went on my first cruise. When I tell any fellow travel writer that news, their first question is inevitably, "which cruise line was it with?" Then there's a pause as they seem to brace themselves for my response. It's almost a nervous energy in the air. The moment I say "Seabourn," there's either a sharp intake of breath or an audible sigh of relief. Then I always here some version of, "well, if you were going to take your first cruise, you did well to start with the best." And that seems to be the industry in agreement. If you are aiming for adventure with an umbrella of luxury, Seabourn is the answer for your holiday bookings. My Seabourn first cruise was on board with a full ship of passengers, living the life of a cruiser, and taking it all in one night at a time. You can read all about it here. But, when Seabourn invited me back, it was for an altogether different experience and one that seemed all the more special. Not only did they invite me back, they also invited my mother with me. If you read about my first cruise experience, you will see that this was one of the most fabulous holidays we had taken together and I can't recommend it highly enough to any mother daughter travelers. Anyway, getting away from the point here.... they invited us both back, as, I hope I'm alright in saying, members of the Seabourn family. We were set to embark on the first voyage of the newest ship in the Seabourn fleet- The Seabourn Ovation. This was what you call a shakedown cruise.

After flying into Genoa, Italy, we made our way, along with a few other buses full of press, to a shipyard. The Seabourn Ovation was surrounded by the people who had spent months building it. This was their creation and we were there to board and wave goodbye to the artists and engineers that put everything together piece by piece. It was truly a moment I will never forget and a trip that will most definitely be written down as one of the most glorious I've had to date. It's one thing to simply board a cruise ship. It's truly another to meet the people responsible for building it, publicising it and servicing it. It gives one a whole new appreciation for the world of travel, hospitality and luxury living. It's certainly not all caviar and champagne, although any guest of a Seabourn cruise wouldn't normally know otherwise. We got the inside look and I hope you'll allow me not only to give you a tour around the new Seabourn Ovation, but also present you with a few details I learned along the way that have truly opened my eyes to why Seabourn is in a league of its own when it comes to a holiday experience. If I didn't have you booking a cruise after my first adventure onboard a Seabourn ship, I have a feeling you may finally be swayed after reading about this experience. 

Style Update: The Luck of Links and a decade to remember

posted on: Thursday, 24 May 2018

This year, I celebrate ten years of Fashion Foie Gras. Ten years, you guys. Sometimes it feels like I just jumped into this world ten minutes ago, other days it feels like I never did anything else. But, I can't tell you how lucky I feel to be doing what I love every minute of everyday. It is true what people say - entrepreneurs work an 80 hour work week to avoid a 40 hour 9-5 existence. It's been a lot of hard work but it's also been a heck of a lot of luck as well, if we're being honest here. So it seemed wonderfully appropriate when my good friends at Links of London asked me if I'd like to celebrate with their new Splendour Collection - a collection that highlights the grandeur of British Gothic Architecture (but to me also looks like a four leaf clover.... something I've always tried to wear for good luck). The collection is all about celebrating the beautiful things in life, from the little victories to the big moments. And if I could, I'd gift every girlfriend, and every one of you, a piece from this collection to remind you that luck does play a huge role in all of our lives. But, here's the big trick. Ultimately, we all make our own luck. So often I wear pendants, bracelets or rings to look down and remind myself to be grateful, present and open to whatever lies ahead. Of course it's all the nicer when it's a rich and beautiful gold from Links of London, there's no doubt about that. 

Style Update: The graphic's always greener

I have a split personality when it comes to dresses these days. While I love a simple white number, I'm also drawn to a dress that causes some real sidewalk side-glances. Give me a statement any day of the week! Here's the thing most people get wrong about statement dresses - they think you wear them once and you're done. If it's too much of a statement people remember it and the dress needs to be retired? Think again! A great statement dress purchase can make a statement a hundred different ways. Different jewellery, chunky belts, colour pop shoes or print jackets and cardigans can all help transform one statement into a whole new style conversation. So, the lesson here is not to be scared of the statement dress, but rather to challenge yourself to see how many ways you can wear it. This is just the first time you'll see this dress this summer, but it certainly won't be the last on me! It was love at first sight and I can guarantee you this is a dress that will reappear every warm weather season to come. 

Style Update: The White Broderie Dress

posted on: Tuesday, 22 May 2018

I feel the need for a little white dress edit. Let's just say it's in the works. In the meantime, I felt I had share this little number I picked up over the weekend (and pretty much put on straight out of the store). It's a cold shoulder selection, with tied straps at the top and killer broderie anglaise thrown in from top to bottom. In short, it's a dress that can just as easily be worn on its own or accessorised to add a bit of something special. I went for the western fringe vibe as I was feeling inspired. Hey, it happens. This dress is a steal and a half...in fact this retailer is killing it this season. We'll just end it there. Happy shopping. Dress edit coming soon, promise!