Category: Interview

Roger Smith: The Story of a Luxury Watch Maker


Situated in the Irish sea, the Isle of Man is a small and unassuming Crown Dependency, nestled between Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland, it’s this tiny bastion of Norse-Gaelic culture that is home to one of the finest horologists in the world – Roger Smith. He works away amid the tranquility of the countryside, in a cottage which has been converted into a miniature mechanical wonderland, designing some of the worlds most exquisite, and most expensive, watches. It’s an unusual setting for an unusual job, and I got the chance to chat with Roger about his work.

Roger made his first steps into the world of watchmaking when he took up a course at the British School of Horology in Manchester, he explains “It was a course which taught people how to repair clocks and watches. I heard about it through my father, who was interested in taking this course as a part-time hobby. It was as simple as that really, I heard about the course, found it interesting, and as someone who’s always been very practical, I took to it like a duck to water.”




In 1989, soon after completing his course in Manchester, Roger worked under the tutelage of the legendary George Daniels, a horologist who was regarded as one the world’s greatest watchmakers, up until his death in 2011. One of few men to build watches completely by hand, Daniels’ most famous invention was the coaxial escapement, which allowed watches to be built without lubricant. It was Roger’s time spent with this pioneer that sealed his destiny for a career in horology.

Now confident enough to set up shop on his own, Roger launched his company R. W. Smith Watches officially in 2001. With the Isle of Man now his home, he converted his cottage into a fully functioning workshop, and gathered together a small team. To this day Roger and his team produce just 10 watches per year, due primarily to the intricate methodology he employs in creating each design. “It starts with me designing the watch and that’s something which is very different with my company” he says “because I act as both designer and maker, which today in the industry is rarely heard of, and this was an approach which was started by George Daniels in the late 1960’s. He made his first watch by hand, and it’s a way of doing things that I found very exciting. So, I will start off with designing the dial and the hands, and then the case, which are the most important features of a watch. Once I’m happy with the balance and the aesthetics of that, then I will start to design the mechanism which provides the information for the dial. This can be a very long and drawn out process. To give an example, the new watch has to date taken four years to refine and improve, it’s a massive undertaking.”




An R. W. Smith watch is defined by its aesthetics, mechanical gems of absolute beauty, and Roger sources his inspirations from two very specific places “my inspirations come from watches I see everyday” he explains “but also, I take a look back at the great history we have in Britain. Without doubt we’ve got one the most enviable horological histories in the world, and there’s tons of inspiration to be found there. If you plan to build on anything you have to look back to see what has gone before you, so that’s a particularly special area of inspiration for me. Basically, horology is a very complex field and it involves everything from mechanics to aesthetics.”

After 15 years, R. W. Smith is coming out with a special range of watches, which will be launched in November, as Roger told me “that’s quite a big thing for such a tiny manufacturer.” Sadly he could not divulge anymore than that, so we will have to wait and see what creations he has come up with.




The distinct charms of a traditional mechanical watch show no signs of dwindling, and Roger Smith is a man leading the charge for quality and true craftsmanship in the field.

By Ben Mirza

BENMIRZATITLEBen is the Editor of the Think Shaadi blog. Aside from that he is a freelance blogger, photographer, web designer and copy-writer. He has written for numerous print and digital magazines across the world, and worked with a variety of clients in the arts and lifestyle sector. You can find out more about Ben by visiting his website




Photos of Roger courtesy of R. W. Watches, all other photos are sourced from Google and belong to their owners respectively.

In Conversation with Sarah Brock

Known as one of the UK’s leading bridal makeup artists, Sarah Brock has been creating the most exquisite makeup looks for brides for years and her skills are highly sought after for weddings, both nationally and internationally. She has been selected by top Beauty Editors, Journalists, celebrities, society brides and wedding industry experts to be the makeup artist for their wedding day and has collaborated with the biggest names in bridal fashion (Jenny Packham, Sassi Holford, Philippa Lepley, Stewart Parvin and Suzanne Neville to name a few) creating the makeup looks for their stunning campaigns.

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She has created the makeup looks for over 24 covers of Conde Nast BRIDES Magazine as well as numerous fashion/makeover shoots. Most recently Sarah has been commissioned to write a regular beauty expert’s column for British Conde Nast BRIDES Magazine, titled ‘the woman who’s styled 1,000 brides’, where she shares her knowledge in bridal makeup/ beauty, snippets from her day-to-day diary and reveals what’s hot, new and gorgeous on the bridal beauty scene. Sarah also regularly contributes quotes and articles on bridal makeup and beauty to the national press and magazines, including ELLE, Marie Claire, Top Sante, The Daily Mail to name a few and various online publications including the Harvey Nichols wedding edit.

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OK! Magazine wedding photos for website 1 (1)

Sarah working on an OK! Magazine wedding shoot

Despite her busy schedule, Sarah was kind enough to give a few moments of her time to answer some questions, of course, about all things makeup.

Hi Sarah, please tell us how you came to be a makeup artist.

I trained to be a makeup artist 25 years ago when I lived in Devon, then when I moved to Wiltshire 19 years ago I started working as a makeup artist. I’ve worked in many different areas of makeup – I worked as the Artistic Director of Makeup for Daniel Sandler and worked at London Fashion Week and toured as part of the makeup team for GHD, but it was always the bridal makeup that I had a passion for. I am lucky enough to be a makeup artist & published beauty writer in the wedding industry, which I love.

When it comes to knowing the right makeup to use, how exactly do you approach each client?

Every bride is different – not only does the makeup look I create have to work with her dress/ colour scheme and hair, it also depends on how much makeup the bride is used to wearing. Some brides love wearing a lot of makeup and some brides wear very little on a day-to-day basis – it is important that the makeup look I creates makes a bride the most beautiful she can be, without making her look like a totally different person.


Are there any rules that should be followed when it comes to wearing make-up?

Make sure that the makeup look you have compliments your dress and hair and doesn’t clash colour wise with the bridesmaids. Don’t choose a look that makes you look like someone totally different (you want your groom to recognise you when you walk down the aisle)!

Don’t use skincare products (moisturiser) that is too heavy or greasy, as it will make the foundation ‘slide’ off the skin

Make sure that you use a good primer after moisturiser and before foundation, as this will make your skin look better (so you need less foundation) and it will also fill in fine lines/ wrinkles and help your makeup last longer.

Opt for waterproof makeup formulations (especially around the eyes – mascara/ eyeliner)

A little bit of subtle ‘shimmer’ is great in makeup products for a wedding day, but don’t use anything too ‘sparkly’ or ‘glittery’ as this will ‘bounce’ off of flash photography.

It’s great to follow makeup trends, but don’t opt for a look that’s too fashion forward, as it will date and you will be looking at your wedding photographs for years to come.

Sarah working backstage at a shoot

Sarah working backstage at a shoot

Are there any recurring makeup mistakes that you see?

A big mistake is to ‘pile’ the makeup on the face in thick, heavy layers – the best makeup is applied in thin, even layers – remember, you can always apply more if needed.

The other mistake (and this is the biggest one) is to not get your foundation right. If you select the correct foundation (and apply it correctly), everything else you put on top will look better. Get the shade right – do NOT go a shade darker as this will show in photos (you can do this after your makeup with a bronzer) and not only is the colour important, the formulation is too. If you have a dry skin, you need to choose a more moisturising foundation and if you have oily/ combination skin, you need to make sure that the foundation is more of a matte texture, to keep shine at bay.

For more tips and advice from Sarah, head over to her blog Bridal Beauty Buzz or follow her on Twitter @BridalBeautyBuz

Mario Perera: The Four Seasons Master of South Asian Cuisine

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When a hotel has reached the heights of its power, just a name is enough to make peoples eyes light up. The Four Seasons is one of them, opening its first hotel in 1961, it has since gone on to expand to the four corners of the globe, and become famous for offering pure luxury to its guests. The secret behind the Four Seasons success is, aside from good old fashioned hard work, a careful eye to seek out the best talents.

The Four Seasons London at Park Lane keeping true to its mantra has Chef Mario Perrera, one of the pioneers of South Asian fine dining in London.

JPEG Image (63292)Pani Puri with Pineapple

Mario was also one the first South Asian chefs on Park Lane, initially training at St. Jospeh’s College, in Colombo, Sri Lanka; he began his career at the Taj Samudra, in Colombo, finally completing his culinary training at the Ceylon Hotel School. After that he was caught by wanderlust, so, in 1998, travelled to England, where his brother was living. He quickly found a notice that the Dorchester Hotel was looking for a chef, once hired he became the mentor of the renowned chef Henri Browsi.

Speaking exclusively to Think Shaadi, Mario explained about his long time passion for creating and experimenting with South Asian cuisine – “My passion for cooking comes from growing up in a home with two parents who were great cooks. Looking back I can remember a moment when I realised my passion for cooking. I was nine and my mother (a hairdresser) was ill so, I decided to cook a Sri Lankan meal for her, just as she had done for me. She still laughs about how at that age I managed to replicate an entire, authentic, meal for her!”


Working for the Dorchester, as one of the only South Asian chefs, was a fine achievement, as Mario says – “I saw the job advertised and after walking in I met the hiring chef and said “I’ll start tomorrow” to which he replied “sure, see you at 9am”. I was probably the only Asian in the kitchens and within a couple of years I’d risen from third commis to first commis.

Working his way up through the ranks at the Dorchester proved felicitous, as Mario caught the eye of many in the world of luxury cuisine, with his finely executed creations. Just over two years he was head hunted by the Four Seasons team, who hired him as their top sous chef, at their Park Lane hotel. Now in his new position, Mario works a little differently he told us – “At Four Seasons I am a little more hands on and like to get involved from the start where possible so we can exceed our guests’ expectations from the very beginning, to the very end.”

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Throughout his illustrious career, Mario has fed the great and the good, delighting the palates of such people as the former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, former US Presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush, pop star Michael Jackson, film star Johnny Depp, and of course H.M Queen Elizabeth II. We had to ask Mario what his routine is like cooking for such esteemed guests, to which he replied – “During my career I’ve cooked for numerous Heads of State, the Queen 6 or 7 times and been the personal chef for the King of Bahrain. However my routine never changes as I always set out to deliver the same level of excellence for every guest, which is something we aim to deliver in every aspect at Four Seasons.” And his favourite guest to cook for was of course the Queen – “Without a doubt the Queen is probably the highlight of my career and something I’m very proud of.”

As the undisputed master of South Asian cuisine, it’s safe to say Mario has placed it firmly alongside the wealth of other cuisines at the Four Seasons, with guests clamouring to indulge their taste buds. Mario says – “Our reputation for Asian cuisine has been developing hugely over the past 3 and ½ years, as shown by the increasing popularity of our venues for Asian events.”

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The Four Seasons has done something quite unique, as one of the first luxury hotels to offer guests South Asian cuisine in house, and with Mario at the helm; he knows how to cater for both the curious and the older generation. “The older generation of Asian guest typically likes traditions and follows certain cultures, whereas the younger generation tend to observe the same traditions but like to modernise them. For example the older generations might typically like a 5-course seated meal, whereas the younger generation might typically prefer a dinner based on small street-food based dishes. The skill comes in finding a balance between the two to keep our guests happy, and this is why we stress the importance of numerous tastings, with photos and tasting notes, so everything is as it should be.”

During our interview with Mario, he treated us to some of his dishes, and it’s easy to see why he gained so much popularity over the years. The dishes on offer included pani puri with pineapple, jal jeera with ginger vodka, papadi chat, dhokla with tamarind chutney, balentine of chicken tandoori with Bombay potato and mahkni sauce, each were as mouth watering as the last.

12264-2D-867 12264-2D-763Photos courtesy of Raj Takhar | Xpressions Photography

Mario has always said that to cook good South Asian food is all about the right balance of flavours. It’s something which he has always held dear to him, along with mixing the traditional with modern in regards to presentation.

Finally, we couldn’t go without asking Mario to give some advice to couples planning the perfect wedding menu, to which he replied – “I would emphasise the importance of menu tastings, so that we can make sure everything is just how the couple hoped and exactly how it will be on the day. Once everything is exactly to their tastes, we document and photograph it, which removes any surprises and avoids any unnecessary stress on the day. This allows them to fully enjoy their big day, which, after all, is why they come to us and it is our absolute pleasure to see!”

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With the success of South Asian cuisine at the Four Seasons continuing to grow, along with Mario’s stardom, he stays to his roots as a family man, with a deep passion for cooking – feeding his guests with the same love as he does at home xx

An Interview with Ashish N Soni: The Regaillia Menswear Collection


Ashish N Soni is one of the most creative innovators of contemporary Indian fashion. His imagination and talent to create designs for men and women rapidly gave his label a reputation of high calibre and unique style; Salman Khan and Anil Kapoor are just one of many celebrities who have sported his designs on the catwalk. With his label being established for over a decade, he continues to incorporate fresh fashion ideas into his pieces, as demonstrated in his latest menswear collection: The Regallia.


Earlier this month Ashish showcased a preview of The Regallia menswear collection in London. The collection was formed of luxurious Nehru jackets, sherwanis and bandgalas in a range of high quality fabrics. We had the pleasure to meet and interview the talented and humble mastermind behind the collection.


For Ashish in the conceptual stages of his collection, one of his inspirations is “driven by trend whereas now men are far more aware of trends than several years ago”. One of our favourites (although everything was our favourite!) was his velvet Nehru jackets, which he “did some testing with velvet last year and have for a while, however not in so much depth as shown in this season’s collection”. The velvet jackets were available in a vast array of colours; exploration of colour in menswear is unconventional, however Ashish wishes to break this convention where he thought, “let’s try a lot colour and see how men will react to it”. The colour palette selected for the jackets, were “driven by trends… what colours would look good on an Indian man and what colours could people wear around the world. In this collection black is almost nowhere…. in an article it was mentioned in England blue is the black from Savile Row down to John Lewis.” Ashish invests a lot of time into research to pick up market trends, which is communicated in his collection.


The other phenomenally unique pieces in his collection included 3 lace Nehru jackets (one in blue, red and black) and leather Nehru jacket also in a sleeveless form. The one thing we loved about his attire was each piece had a different lining inside; one velvet waistcoat had a collage of the profile pictures of his Facebook friends printed on the fabric inside the waistcoat. This was such a quirky and fun concept, all the other pieces had a variety of funky prints inside and different coloured stitching too.


The collection also had a range of traditional kurtas, smart shirt kurtas and sherwani short jackets; all were understated and trendy with fine stone and detailed metallic thread work. Ashish recommends his outfits work best with ” neutral coloured trousers, so the off-white, beige and charcoal…which would work with all the colours quite easily, as would ivory.”


We asked Ashish what message he wanted everyone to take away from his collection: “The quality which we take pride in, as we try and push the bar every season. Every season there is some quality change that we try to incorporate into the product… such as the quality of the interlining or where we source the shoulder pads from. One (referring to himself) is always trying to outdo one else from what one previously did. The bigger thing… is that feel good factor which is imperative”.  Following on from Ashish’s point of quality, his designs use fabrics from Marzoni and Italian fabric from Loro Piana, one of the world’s leading, ultra-fine cashmere and wool manufacturers; the fabrics felt ultra-soft. Ashish finally wanted everyone to take away knowing the depth of tailoring that had gone into each outfit from the thread and detail used all the way down to the fit.


Overall the collection was incredible, especially due to the quirky craftsmanship and bespoke quality. One of the greatest aspects of The Regaillia collection was there was something for everyone for every occasion, even so while we were present at the showcase, a lady accompanying her husband loved the look and fit of the velvet jackets; she decided to try one on for herself! To be honest we wanted to do the same.


Ashish continues to break conventions and change perceptions about Indian menswear, whilst continuing to produce high quality and tailored clothing. He has plans to open a store in Dubai and showcase his latest collection in India. We wish him all the best for his upcoming ventures and we have no shadow of a doubt that his latest collection will be showered with praise.

Written by Victoria Das

Victoria Das is a London based blogger. She has a passion for design, with a speciality in contemporary Indian fashion. Victoria runs the blog London Ki Ladki and is the latest member of the Think Shaadi blogging family. Here’s where you can find her around the web – Facebook: London Ki LadkiInstagram:  London Ki LadkiTwitter: London Ki Ladki

An Interview with Elizabeth Solaru

Elizabeth Solaru has fast become one of the most sought after cake designers in the business. Her artistry is outstanding and her attention to detail is perfect. She founded Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium in 2006, after a few years working in Biomedical Science and head hunting.

If we were to sum up Elizabeth’s cakes it would be visual splendour matched with exhilarating taste. Her splendid designs go beyond the ordinary and are simply the pinnacle of beauty. Ranging from traditional designs to those with more avant-garde motifs, such as those inspired by jewellery.

Elizabeth and her team’s talents have been recognised by many of the top publications across the world, including Conde Nast Brides, Wedding Magazine, and OK! et al.

With her business riding high on a wave of enthusiastic attention, Elizabeth is also the three times winner of The Great Cake Bake on Sky TV, a member of the international panel of Wedding Industry Experts, and competition judge and host of The Cake and Bake Show.

Think Shaadi sat down with Elizabeth to have an indepth chat about her career and current projects.

First and foremost, what was it about cake design that inspired you to pursue a career in it?
I’ve always made cakes since I was a child but as I was very good at science, and being from a family that valued academic achievement I became a scientist. Several career changes later, I started making cakes again to relieve stress when I was working as a head-hunter. One of my bosses encouraged me to do something about my cake making skills and I enrolled in a few classes in the UK and abroad. I started making cakes full time a few years later as there was such demand for what we do.

What do you think sets you apart from other cake designers?

This is an interesting question and I think the best way to answer this is to tell you what clients and other people say. At Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium, every cake is bespoke and we try not to repeat the same cake. There is a willingness to experiment with different shapes, techniques and styles (I often attract brides who want bold ‘statement cakes’ tastefully done) and another thing we get great feedback on is the taste of our cakes and our willingness to do bespoke flavours which range from traditional triple chocolate, Vanilla, Luscious Lemon to more flavours like Chocolate Bailey’s, Wasabi and White Chocolate and White Chocolate with Passion Fruit.

Where do you find inspiration?
I take my inspiration from many sources, including nature, flowers, fabrics, jewellery, stationery and I am fascinated with shapes. Clients ideas are also a great source of inspiration and it’s a real delight to see an idea become reality.

Out of everything you’ve created, what has been your most favourite design?

This is a tough one as every new cake becomes a favourite of mine! Judging by the number of likes and shares, our pearl beaded pillow cake, our radiant orchid Marie Antoinette cake and our Chandelier cake seem to be our most liked and pinned.

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If you were approached to design a cake for an Asian wedding, where would you look for inspiration?

I love, love, love making cakes for Asian weddings! The intricate designs and beading on fabrics, rich gold jewellery, vibrant colours, henna designs, scrolls, rich traditions, peacocks and Bollywood cinematography have been wonderful sources of inspiration. The cakes we’ve done for such weddings range from vintage designs, modern geometrics to highly embellished. What they tend to have in common is that they are often show stopping centrepieces.

Since launching your business, what have been the most memorable moments?

There have been so many but getting a call from royalty to make a cake has been up there. Also, seeing our cakes published in magazines such as BRIDES, Hello, OK and specialist cake magazines is always such a thrill.

Cecelina Tonberg Photography

What’s next for you?

We are expanding quite rapidly and we have a number of projects in the pipeline, some of which I can’t talk about. There are a number of collaborations due to be announced soon which is very exciting. Again, thanks for the opportunity and as one of the first supporters of Think Shaadi, I am thrilled at your success and it’s a pleasure to be featured on your blog.

All unattributed photos the property of Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium.


Community Interview: Bruce Russell

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With his ceaseless enthusiasm for creating perfect weddings, Bruce Russell has reached a place where many aspire to be, but few seldom get there, and that is at the epicentre of the wedding planning industry. For 18 years he has steadily garnered a reputation for giving his clients artistic, unique and creatively buoyant events, which are executed with fine and detailed precision.

He’s risen from a veritable unknown to work with some major clients, reaching many milestones, including tenures with The Plaza, New York and The Savoy, London. Bruce is also courted by some of the world’s most desired vendors in the industry. He truly is the man with Midas touch.

Think Shaadi had the great opportunity to chat with Bruce, who happily discussed his inspirations, career highlights and that defining moment when he became The Savoy’s resident wedding expert.

br33What inspired you to become a wedding planner?
Having worked in the hospitality industry for over 16 years in some of the most iconic hotels in the world, I wanted to do something for myself. I’ve always had a passion for entertaining, and have a sharp eye for detail. Wedding planning is all about detail, but it’s also so personal – the most important day of someone’s life, where you are involved in every aspect – from fashion, design, food, logistics, planning and detail. Each one is so different from the other.

Where do you get inspiration from?

Everywhere! First is from the bride & groom and the vision that they have for their special day. My role is ultimately to bring this vision to life, while keeping is unique, original, and most of all personal. Otherwise I love interior design, architecture, food, decor…you name it. I can be walking down the street and see something which will inspire something completely irrelevant, but be perfect for a wedding. I collect all these ideas and just wait for the perfect client – it can be a great idea, but it might not work for every wedding.

What’s the most extravagant wedding you have ever planned?

I planned a wedding for a lovely Russian couple last summer, which we put together in just over 6 weeks. We worked with over 45 different suppliers and no detail was overlooked. We had three bands flown in from Ukraine, Moscow and Israel, as well as a DJ from the south of France who was in the UK for 3 hours for the late party. Every inch of the venue was covered in white flowers – from the outdoor canopy to the personalised message stamped on orchid petals on each place setting. The wines were brought in from the family’s private cellar in Brussels, to compliment the carefully selected 7 course menu. We did have the bride’s niece perform a special song for the bride & groom – you can’t forget the personal details, such as the bespoke candles in monogrammed boxes which we gave away as favours. It was perfect!

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How did you feel about being appointed the Savoy’s resident wedding planner?

Having worked for the iconic hotel in the past, it was a natural fit, and a partnership that I am extremely proud to have achieved. The Savoy has always been a leader in the hospitality industry, and clearly realised that there was something missing when it came to looking after potential wedding couples. We worked together over 18 months to put the prefect team together who look after every single personal detail of each special day – that’s what ‘Savoy Weddings By Bruce Russell’ is all about.

Have you ever planned an Asian wedding?
I have had the privilege of planning a few Asian weddings (on a smaller scale) and Asian Engagements, which are as important as the wedding itself.

What elements of Asian weddings appeal to you?

Each aspect of an Asian wedding is steeped in culture and tradition, which can often be missing from weddings generally these days. What I love to see though, is younger couples embracing elements of tradition, and their own personal vision in order to make it very unique.




What essential piece of advice would you give to someone planning a wedding?

Keep it personal – it’s what I tell all of my couples. That’s what people will remember, and it’s what will make your wedding exactly that – your special day.

What’s next for you?

There are a few projects in the works at the moment, but the first to launch this summer will be a series of Bridal Tours & Bridal Retreats, which will give brides who may not intend to hire a wedding planner, access to me for a day or weekend. This will include consultation time, access to top suppliers, and provide each bride with a very personalised experience to help her plan her wedding.

We wish Bruce the best of luck with his future projects, of course, not that he needs it.



Community Interview: Philippa Craddock Talks Flowers

Image courtesy of

Conde Nast Brides recently described Philippa Craddock as “the new must know florist” and it’s not hard to see why. She’s mastered the art of floristry with fine precision; creating displays that quite literally burst with beauty, incorporating the seasons and all manner of concepts. Philippa and her brand were selected for Tatler’s 2014 Party Guide, which is pretty much the crowning glory for any florist.

What tips Philippa ahead of the rest is a unique work ethic, which combines careful contemplation over every project and an eye for colour that most florists would kill for. It’s these facets of Philippa and her team that have bewitched many of the world’s most discerning brands, who are It truly is the Pied Piper effect.

We recently sat down with Philippa for an in-depth Q&A, to find out about her philosophy, design ethic and increasing popularity, amongst other things.

Hi Philippa, thanks for joining us at Think Shaadi!  We are really excited to have you here with us!  

And I am delighted to be here, thank you for welcoming me!

Would you mind sharing a little bit of why you became a florist? 

Truthfully, it was a very happy accident – after the birth of my first child, I launched a unique plant gift service delivering boxes of gorgeous potted plants throughout the UK.  Soon after launching, we were asked to appear on a television programme to supply our potted plants as wedding table centres.   The producers also asked us to provide the bridal flowers.  Following on from there, we were asked to create flowers for a number of weddings and events and the floristry side of our business was born.  With its success, we recently took the decision to close the online plants and focus solely on the floristry.


How would you describe your style? What kind of floristry services do you offer? 

We are a luxury British brand and typically create elegant, classic floral designs.  From our Sussex studios we work alongside leading editors, designers, planners, stylists and luxury global brands, creating floral designs for weddings, events, product launches and photo shoots.  We have also recently opened our studio doors to host our new Flower School, with a variety of courses created specifically for enthusiastic beginners through to professional florists.


To date, what has been some of your career highlights? 

Partnering with Selfridges to launch our new online flower collection; launching the business across Europe; working with iconic luxury brands such as Christian Dior, Lancome, Jenny Packham and Jo Malone; designing flowers for Tatler, Vogue and Conde Nast Brides magazines; being selected by House & Garden magazine to present summer and Christmas workshops and having the utter joy of working with so many incredible and gorgeous brides, including a wonderfully down to earth and utterly beautiful princess last summer.

What are your thoughts on wedding floral trends for 2014? 

We are continuing to head further into the most wonderful trend for relaxed, loose and hugely romantic designs, with a mixture of varieties and colours including the ever romantic soft pinks and blushes, the classic whites and bolder designs with a fabulous combination of stronger pinks and purples.  Designs are becoming more elaborate with larger and more impressive installations to create the most breathtaking backdrops, with magnificent towering archways, ceremony pergolas and ceilings filled with flowers.

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Lastly, What is your favourite flower?

I am often asked this and it is forever changing depending on the season and my mood at the time; at the moment I love citrus green guelder rose and heavenly scented white lilac, both incredible delicate flowers, with plenty of impact on their own.

To view more of Philippa’s beautiful designs and to learn more about Philippa Craddock Floristry services, please check out their website

Credits:  Title Image: & Blog images:

Nikky Tibbles meets renowned pastry chef Peggy Porschen

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Community Member Nikky Tibbles met with renowned pastry chef Peggy Porschen earlier this month.

Peggy Porschen is a leading bespoke cake company based in Belgravia, London. Founded in 2003, the company is headed by award-winning cake designer and Creative Director Peggy Porschen and her husband Bryn Morrow, Managing Director.

Peggy’s cookies and cakes are renowned for irresistibly pretty and elegant designs that are not only visually stunning but also taste delicious. Peggy’s reputation has allowed her to be build a clientele of numerous celebrities and members of the Royal family. Her pastries are a regular feature among the A- list events, such as the 2011 wedding of Kate Moss and Jamie Hince, Elton John’s White Tie & Tiara Ball, Stella McCartney’s wedding, Sir Anthony Hopkins’ 70th birthday, Damien Hirst’s auction at Sotheby’s and parties for Sting and Trudie Styler, Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Click on the link below to read the full interview and to get some amazing insights about the great cake maker and tips on how to design your dream cake!

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I’m delighted to welcome cake-maker…”