Featured Artist- My Dog Sighs.

Luxury lifestyle could mean many different things to different people. Here at Whim Biscuit we hope we resonate the feeling that it certainly doesn’t mean you have to be the most affluent people, and that it doesn’t mean you must have all the latest styles and trends and trinkets. To us it means filling your heart and home with richness in the ways of kindness, hope, and things of good value.
We review spaces, and places, and objects in a fair and un-biased way, and we never work in association with, are sponsored by, or advertise things that we don’t personally feel will provide our readers with quality and useful-ness.

Something Mr Biscuit and I love to enrich our homes with is art. Art can brighten the glummest of days, and lift the most basic of houses. It is this brightening and anti-glum effect that is an example of something that adds luxury to your lifestyle, even if’s home-made (actually, especially if it’s home-made).

We are lucky enough here in the South-East of England, to enjoy a fantastic arts and crafts scene and culture. There is a distinct community and passion, that is encapsulated in particular by a certain artist that is a favourite of ours- My Dog Sighs.

For ten years My Dog Sighs has literally given away his work as part of the Free Art Friday project. A project he founded, leaving art scattered around cities so people can find and cherish them, now inspiring artists from around four continents to do the same. In recent times, he has gained a well deserved loyal following, and indeed has sold-out five shows. We admire his variance in styles, from the much-coveted can-people and deep meaning full eye-paintings, to the minimalist hug-men.

The cans in particular, produced from a desire to work alongside the urban landscape, to re-purpose materials that are rejected, provide a narrative through his imparting a personality and story into the remaining tin. Their characters all call out for a new home with their often wistful expressions, all painted with such care and precision.

For years now, Mr Biscuit and I have studied hints on his Free Art Friday page, often talking time in the evenings after work to try and search for these lost and whimsical souls. We haven’t had the pleasure to meet any so far, but it’s the journey that counts and the enjoyment through the adventure it brings.

 After all, there will always be a cozy space on our shelves for a lonely can-man, he just hasn’t found us yet, that’s all.

Pics from www.mydogsighs.co.uk/

Something for the Valentines Weekend….or you know….any weekend really..

Might we just take a moment to wish you a very happy Valentines Day, or indeed, just a very splendid Friday with a great excuse to relax, and reflect upon the lovely people in our lives. So even those who don’t celebrate this pink balloon and red rose filled occasion, maybe its just a great excuse to organize with a partner, family member, or friend- 
a spontaneous holiday in our own glorious British Isles for the weekend.
With a nod to ye olde’ times, why not keep the car at home and don your vintage suit for a journey on the rail-ways. There is something quite romantic about travelling by train, packing a picnic, and choosing a good few books to roam across the country/countries with. So here is Whim Biscuit’s top couple of choices for a weekend of off the cuff frivolity, audacious adventuring, and together-ness.


Where to Stay-

The Varsity Hotel and Spa is tripadvisor’s #1 choice for a Cambridge vacation. With it’s penthouse suites, spectacular roof top terrace, and Elemis Spa, it’s certainly a wonder to behold. With its boutique style, it is famed for it’s steakhouse and drink pairing, as well as a fabulous location a stone’s throw from the Magdalene Bridge.

Where to eat-

Ill Piccolo Mondo is a well-reputed, well-recommended gem of an Italian restaurant. It exudes tradition with its homemade pastas, variety of antipasti, and range of fine wines. Based just slightly outside central Cambridge in Bottisham, you’ll get to explore the area, and relish the authentic environment.

Where to go-

Cambridge is a city of architectural, and historic wonder. It’s famed for its skyline filled with impressive collages, chapels, museums, and of course the River Cam.
Whether you are there for the chance to punt your way along the river in a straw-boater, or enhance your art-history, there is always something spectacular to do. Of particular interest is of course the famous University buildings, Kings Collage and its chapel are of note and widely described as ‘totally worth the entrance fee’, as is Queen’ Collage, and Christ’s Collage, where it is said that poet John Milton once wrote among the trees in its picturesque grounds. The Fitzwilliam Museum also houses vast realms of antiquities from ancient Greece, Rome, and Egypt. There is no entrance fee, and it is a gem of a place to while away a few hours marveling over masterpieces.


Where to stay-

The Witchery is known for is opulent grandeur and exceptional culinary experiences in the restaurants it runs, but hidden in the buildings by Edinburgh Castle, are just nine suites all equal in gothic glamour, and over the top eccentricity that they would put a West-End theatrical production to shame. We love the decadence, and having the pleasure of dining there before on a previous visit- we know its on our to-do list to go back and stay in this mysterious abode.

Where to eat-

Nothing is more quintessential than afternoon tea, so why not enjoy it to it’s fullest capacity by indulging in a fine example from The Balmoral. Be serenaded in it’s Palm Court by a harpist playing from the balcony. Enjoy its exceptional service, and savor the lovely sandwiches, melt-in-the-mouth scones, and wonderfully fragrant tea- or champagne if you prefer, there is of course a choice to enjoy some Bollinger while you relax.

Where to go-

Edinburgh is a place you could visit for a weekend full of wows, or a full week of wonder. Plan ahead though and you can get some great deals with city cards, and booking in advance. We still have a variety of amazing things that Mr Biscuit and I have to do, but we highly recommend the following. Take a half a day out and explore, climb Calton Hill and scramble up Nelson’s monument. Take a thermos and absorb the amazing views of the city. Or literature fans can venture up neighboring Arthur’s Seat as featured in David Nichols’ book ‘One Day’, followed by the famous Elephant House café where J.K. Rowling scripted Harry Potter. For thrill seekers and adventurers however, book onto a twilight tour with the Mercat team for an underground ghost tour and many a haunting tale.
Edinburgh is a favorite place of ours, and we hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Travelling by train is an easy way to organize a trip, and to travel cross country, you can literally book with CrossCountrytrains.co.uk who offer cheap tickets and an easy booking experience.

Thank you.

Competition- Win a Personalised Emma Bridgewater Mug.

It's the season of love, and what better way to celebrate than to be in with a winning chance to get your very own, exclusive, personalised Emma Bridgewater half pint mug.

These really are pieces of art, customised for you and would be the perfect present for someone special. Elegantly boxed, you are able to choose up to x15 characters of your choice on a variety of her glorious hand-painted designs- its just the loveliest keep-sake, something that will be be enjoyed with every cup of tea (and a biscuit, naturally).

To enter-
Follow us on twitter here and tweet @whimbiscuit who you would send the mug to if you won and why, with the #winwithwhimbiscuit.

The competition will run from today- 10/01/2014, until 9pm on Sunday 16/01/2014.

Terms and Conditions.
-Multiple entries will not be counted,
-The winner will be randomly chosen and contacted via their email address within a week of the the competition draw date. Whim Biscuit will not amend contact information provided. The mug can take up to a x10 working days to be personalised and sent so please be patient. 

-The competition winner must claim their prize within 7 days of being notified and emmabridgewater.co.uk reserves the right to ask Whim Biscuit to select an alternative winner should the gift not be claimed.

-Liability cannot be accepted for entries which are lost in transit or not received by Whim Biscuit due to technical difficulties.

-Whim Biscuits’ decision and any decision taken by the promoter is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

-No purchase necessary.

-Contest is open to residents of the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, and Isle of Man who are aged-18 or over only.

-Whim Biscuit reserves the right to exclude from the competition any entry that does not meet criteria set out in these Terms and Conditions. 

Carroty Goodness!

Buttery, carroty, creamy and wonder-ous, behold the Organic Pharmacy's cleanser full of grime-ridding joy. Laden with oils and natural ingredients, there's simply nothing that Whim Biscuit didn't like about this lovely product. Gently dissolving all traces of make-up, and with a soft almost exfoliating feeling, this superb cleanser is a delight to use! Labelled the "carrot butter cleanser", the main scent is more lavender like, although the texture is not dissimilar to butter- what with its luxurious delicate oil quality. Best removed with a cotton cloth, you should be left feeling fresh and clean, and very lightly moisturised somehow.
Claiming to have exciting anti-oxidant and circulation boosting properties, this really is a great daily cleanser to be used both morning and evening, from a spectacular organic line of products.

Perfect for Valentine's Day- A retreat to Cannizaro House.

Yes yes, it is that time of year again. As we loom closer to the day we celebrate togetherness, then perhaps there is a way to not only think of it as a reflection of romance, but also a time to relax, be you a couple, or indeed friends.

After receiving our invitation, Mr Biscuit and I headed to Wimbledon, a suburb of London famed for the tennis, and now, a glorious retreat in the form of Cannizaro House. Here you can rest assured that you will feel indulged, delighted, and indeed rested- for in it's own tranquil estate, its the blissful hotel you need for that perfect weekend away together.

Architecturally stunning, this beautiful house and sweeping driveway welcomes you in, and encapsulates you into its modern yet formal environment, with quirky twists of individuality. The art that lines its walls is famed for it's monthly exhibitions, where hundreds of artist's work is highlighted throughout the year, not just stunning and unique, but also available for guests to purchase.

Our room was stunning, all 46 of their bedrooms are individually decorated with their own wallpaper and furnishings, and ours suited our vintage tastes with a tranquil duck-egg blue Laura Ashley style coordination. A King size bed and lounge area fits in the spacious area, along with elegant full-size mirrors and a newly refurbished amazing bathroom, complete with bath and rain-forest shower. 

It is with the details that the room is either in some things wonderful, or slightly disappointing, as upon reflection there are some inconsistencies to the the holistic feeling of glamourous-ness, and with a review we always ensure we give as accurate reflection as possible. These disappointments were only minimal- a chandelier which was broken and sad-looking, the complimentary wi-fi not working, as well as the bathroom door being something to note, with clear glass around the frame making it rather awkward should you be friends sharing a twin room, or indeed at all shy. Then again, it must be said the good things distinctly outweigh these, with not only a seasonal tipple provided should you so wish, like sherry decanted on your coffee table included in your room-rate, magazines and luxury toiletries, an extremely comfortable bed and lounge chairs, and also a variety of teas and shortbread ready for you after the turn-down service.

On a tour of the facilities, we admire more and more art work, some rather grand occasional rooms suitable for weddings and events, but also a really genius meeting room, furnished expertly, and complete with grand table that turns into a pool table for evening entertainment.

The lounge bar area is stylish and comfortable, great in the day for a spot of afternoon tea (a speciality we're advised), but also elegant in the evening for a gathering with friends, or a night-cap before retiring to your room.

The Orangerie, is a completely renovated contemporary al fresco style dining experience. Glass walls frame the stunning backdrop of gardens, whilst relaxed Mediterranean artisan cuisine is served to admiring guests. We however, dine in the formal restaurant, an award winning á la carte venue with set menu options, that serves not only at lunch and dinner, but also for traditional Sunday Roast-
dinners. The wallpaper eccentricity continues here with a pleasing flamingo theme, accompanied by comfortable seating. We chose from the á la carte menu and after a round of home-baked bread, and opted for the pork-cheek with mushroom tea, served as a broth poured from a delightful teapot, and a lobster and scallop lasagne which was both light and delicate.
We continued with the confit sirloin of beef, and the lamb cutlet with Stichelton cheese mousse. Sourcing mostly local and organic ingredients, the mains are very well presented, and the beef dish Mr Biscuit described as sensational. The dessert is what really sung here, and again Mr Biscuit wishes to note something here, as someone distinctly more inclined to savoury foods, he specified that the pistachio mousse and bread ice-cream we both had, was simply the best dessert he'd ever had. Ever. The staff are attentive but not too engaging, and an absolute delight to be served by, our waitress not only was very friendly, but also really helpful recommending dishes when we couldn't decide.

Breakfast was an extension of the wonderful dinner the next morning, we chose for it to be served in our room as a luxurious option. We really find it makes you feel quite spoilt, lounging with fresh tea and croissants or perhaps a good english breakfast. The room service was completely on time, and very polite, and with a choice so vast from continental and cooked varieties, and a nice selection of teas an coffees, you couldn't be anything but content.

All in all we just loved our stay at Cannizaro House, and reflecting the choice of offers they had available, we have no hesitation recommending this hotel to you. Indeed, their site notes experiences of how to get bargain prices, or private dining experiences, but the offer we really wish to mention (hint hint Mr Biscuit), is that for Valentines. Enjoy champagne in your room or suite, petals on your bed, a dinner with paired wines should you wish, a late check-out, or a celebration pink themed afternoon tea, its an ideal way to spend a weekend in style.

Pics courtesy of Cannizaro House..
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