Luxe people >>
The scientists and staff that are finding new ways of fighting and treating cancer. Having previously gone through chemotherapy and radiotherapy I know too well just what damage these treatments can do to a body and those people finding new ways to beat it really inspire me. I had the privilege of being shown around the research centre in Newcastle and its astounding what work they do so now I am always looking for ways to fundraise to help continue their work. Their funding in the majority comes from charitable donations and even a test tube costs money so every £1 helps.
Luxe places >>
For a weekend > I have visited Prague a number of times and it never disappoints. My favourite spot is the Old Town Square at night when the windows of the Church of Our Lady are lit up, it looks like something out of a fairytale.
A long holiday > We visited Umbria in Italy a few years ago and we are headed back this year as it was the best holiday we have had. We based ourselves in a villa in the hills in Montone and travelled each morning somewhere new for breakfast such as Assisi, Perugia and Gubbio. We then headed back lunchtime stopping off at a vineyard to get olives and wine to then lay by the pool all afternoon enjoying the sunshine and tranquillity. I have never felt so calm (the fact there was no mobile phone signal helped too!)
A treat > A hot stone massage is my kind of treat. The best I have had is at the new Ramside Spa it was absolute heaven, it totally relaxes me and takes away all stresses and strains.
Luxe relax >>
Best food > I spent a number of my teenage years growing up in Malta and the food is very influenced by Italy. I grew up enjoying wonderful olives, sundried tomatoes, Parma
ham etc. Nothing pleases me more than a fantastic plate of antipasti with olives, meats and gorgeous cheeses.
Best wine > My father in law introduced me to a red wine called Pilastro and I can’t get enough of it. I ordered a box at Christmas as I try to only order it on special occasions otherwise it would encourage me to drink on a school night which I really try not to do.
Favourite restaurant > My husband and I had our first date in Jesmond Dene back in 1982 and we often go back to Jesmond Dene House for dinner. The food there is beautiful and one of our favourite places to eat.
Perfect weekend > I have a large family with three sisters, parents and lots of nieces and nephews as well as my own two children and grandson. Nothing beats a weekend when we all get together for a BBQ or to celebrate a birthday.
Downtime means > I love losing myself in a good book but also decorate cakes in my spare time and get so absorbed in it that it provides a switch off button. My family tell me when I am reading or cake decorating that I totally ignore them and get so wrapped up in what I am doing that it drives them mad!
Best telly > I really enjoy a good drama series such as Homeland, Madam Secretary and Blindspot. I like to record a few and then save them up to do a marathon watching session on a lazy weekend with a nice glass or two of wine.
Best book > I like to read Jodi Picoult books but have to say my absolute favourite all time book is one I read when I was young. It is called When We Were Very Young by AA Milne, in particular the poem The King’s Breakfast, I can still recite it and can’t wait for my grandson to be old enough for me to read it to him.
Best sounds > I love the sound of the saxophone. I grew up with the sounds of saxophone and clarinet as my father plays them both so well. I am learning to play the saxophone now and my dad is teaching me (slowly!). I will never forget a moment when the sound of the saxophone reduced me to tears when I visited Las Vegas and was stood in Downtown Vegas listening to a street musician play the saxophone, it was spine tingling. I bought his CD and got him to sign it for my dad, I play it in the car regularly.
Luxe shop >>
Best shopping city > I have visited Dubai on a few occasions and am in shopping heaven. The variety is unreal from the amazing malls to the quirky and fascinating souks. Shopping in the spice souk is just so vibrant, the smells, sounds and sights are so exotic and I can spend hours there.
Favourite shop > Any craft shops and in particular Dainty Toys. Working in a creative business there is always a theme to be created and I love making props from giant teapots to movie table centres so looking at the possibilities in craft shops is fantastic. I recently made a tree costume much to my husband’s frustration as I used him as a tailor’s dummy to put it all together over a few hours, he was not amused.
Luxe retail treat > I have a shoe obsession and just seem to have to keep buying a new pair whenever I go shopping. My husband does not see the need for yet another pair but there is always a need for new shoes.
Best buy > I bought some long leather gloves three years ago in a sale for £5 and they are still going strong. They get so many comments and I recently wore them in London and a lady stopped me in Selfridges to ask where they were from as they were “exquisite”. I can’t remember where I bought them from but they look so expensive and are still going strong.
Luxe party >>
A memorable night out > My most memorable night out was in Las Vegas when we were sat for dinner and were enjoying listening to Lionel Richie music playing from an upstairs window. We were then told by the waiter it was a live Lionel performance for Janet Jackson’s birthday party. We left the restaurant walked back to our hotel and I put a dollar in a slot machine and won 190 dollars, as I was doing a mini whoop whoop Simon Cowell walked past and congratulated me, I thought then, only in Vegas!
Perfect party > I love my team at She’s Gott It! Events and they never cease to surprise me. On our 10th birthday they took over an empty building and created a party that I will never forget. Clients, friends and family came to celebrate with us at a night filled with surprises from 8ft glowing creatures to can-can dancers and alcoholic snow cones. I am celebrating my 50th this year and they have something planned so let’s see if they can top that.
Best dress > I have to say that my wedding dress was and is the best dress I ever wore. It was in 1989 and very Princess Di with lots of frills and a huge train, but that was one of the happiest days of my life and I still have the dress in the loft.
Dinner date > My favourite dinner date was with my husband, Ian, in a stunning riverside restaurant in Prague called Kampa Park. The service, location and food were all out of this world and it was so incredibly romantic looking out at the Charles Bridge.
Your luxe thing in life >>
I have to say Christmas is my thing. Being in the event industry we always try to make things as memorable as possible and creating our own family Christmas is no exception. Every detail is important and every other year 21 of us from my side of the family rent a property and go away together. It is magic from start to finish.