Now celebrating her 13th year with the organisation and planning her own wedding, things have never been busier or better. We find out her Luxe things in life…
LUXE PEOPLE >>
My incredible fiancé, Colin. Not only is he my other half in my personal life, he is a huge support to my work, a great listener and knows how to make me laugh. Obviously my family and also my team at COCO, including my board, they are a huge part of who I am (and a bit like family too).
LUXE PLACES >>
For a weekend > My mum and dad’s farm, with my sister’s family and two beautiful nieces. Weekends are made for family and when mine get together it always involves great food, conversation and quite a bit of wine!
A long holiday > It might sound like a busman’s holiday, but I just love East Africa. Colin cycled across Maasai Land in Kenya last January for COCO and we spent a weekend by Lake Victoria after the challenge. The people are great, the scenery is exquisite and then there’s the wildlife, a must visit for everyone I think.
A treat > I am a sucker for a posh hotel and a spa. I recently visited Rockliffe Hall and it was out of this world. I love to swim and the outdoor hot tub was a real treat.
LUXE RELAX >>
Best food > I love sushi and am a frequent visitor to St Sushi on Westgate Road. Their sushi is so fresh and their menu vast (and it’s only a 5 minute walk from my office).
Best wine > I am usually a red wine drinker but last year I discovered Wairau Cove Sauvignon Blanc. It is delicious, especially with fish dishes and desserts and it’s only about £6.
Favourite restaurant > This is the hardest question! As a huge advocate for the North East and a regular diner in Newcastle I have to go local. I am a bit “old school” and despite the increasing number of eateries in Newcastle I just love 21 and the Broad Chare; great quality, excellent service and great venues. Restaurants to me are more about the experience and that is down to the people. Nick at 21 and Craig at Broad Chare are attentive, funny and great at what they do.
Perfect weekend > It sounds crazy but I love a good spring clean on a Saturday (preferably listening to Radio Newcastle whilst I do it) I find it very therapeutic! Then a bike ride with Colin with a stop for a pint somewhere, dinner with friends on Saturday night and Sunday lunch with the family. Perfection!
Downtime means > Sofa, onesie, slippers, blanket, movie, popcorn and Colin in that order – just kidding!
Best telly > While I await the return of Game of Thrones, it is all about the Walking Dead, it’s a bit gruesome but definitely a guilty pleasure. I also like Orange is the New Black on Netflix although it’s a bit naughty!
Best book > I have to confess I am not a big reader, I have to do so much reading for work that I rarely make time for it. If I am on holiday I do like a good romantic fiction though, usually the one that is rated the best in WH Smith at the airport.
Best sounds > Colin’s laugh! Aside from that, anything by Nina Simone.
LUXE SHOP >>
Best shopping city > I went to Cardiff for the first time last year and loved it. I think it is great for shopping and less busy than London.
Favourite shop > The White Company. It smells amazing and the staff are always really friendly but not pushy. Their products are great too, the perfect place for gift purchases or a little treat for me.
Luxe retail treat > A big bottle of Jo Malone’s Pomegranate Noir, it is crazy expensive but I love it and use it sparingly!
Best buy > Colin’s Apple Watch, he loves it so much that I think it is still buying me favours!
LUXE PARTY >>
A memorable night out > Every time I go out with my ‘Kili Family’. A group of us climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania back in 2011 and we have been great mates ever since. The best night was at a friend’s house in Bowes when we sang around the piano, drank too much wine and stayed up to the wee small hours!
Perfect party > A dinner party with friends, they are always the best, relaxed, fun and great conversations that generally go on until the early hours of the morning by which time, you’ve kicked your heels off, your make up has smudged, hair has flopped and your friends sill love you.
Best dress > My phase eight LBD, I would be lost without it. I probably shouldn’t say this but I have had it for years because I can’t find another one and I am too attached to get rid of it (I am also a clothes hoarder)!
Dinner date > My friend Cath. We take it in turns to suggest different places in the North East to go out and one of us treats the other each time. Eating out should be a real pleasure and Cath gets that, we have been everywhere from Peace and Loaf to the Bake in Byker!
YOUR LUXE THINGS IN LIFE >>
OK I have changed my mind this is the hardest question! I think my greatest passion in life is experiencing everything this amazing world has to offer. If I had to narrow it down to one word, travel. Feeling the heat when you step off the plane in Africa, the view from the top of Kilimanjaro, cycling alongside wildebeest and swimming with Whale Sharks are all things I have experienced through travel and each experience makes me a little more grateful for life.