Social Media influencers; a case of the emperor’s new clothes?

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The world of PR and media is changing; we all know this. We know that print media is struggling to stay at the forefront of the industry and that social media is the future, in one form or another. It is clear that online influencers provide a great platform for generating brand awareness and driving sales. But do we really know if all of these influencers are what they say they are?

 

At Little Red Rooster we have had the chance to work with some amazing people in the acronymic world of SoMe, KoLs and IGdaily. With brands such as B&O PLAY, Smeg and Pantherella on our books we work across all the platforms to engage with an audience that has moved a long way from traditional media. Our carefully crafted social media campaigns have delivered fantastic results and we’ve really seen the power of these new tools in action, with Instagram being the main focus of our activities.

 

Social Media is not a case of the emperor’s new clothes, but we still need to tread carefully. Delve into this largely unregulated world, and you might find some surprising results.

 

The LRR office has often erupted into debate over the best ways to track the impact of activity, how to identify the right person for a campaign and – more often than not – whether the numbers we see are always what they seem? So, it is no surprise that our collective interest piqued when Mediakix published a story on fake Instagram influencers.

 

To cut a long story short, Instagram can make you money. Brands all across the world are willing to part with cold hard cash in an effort to tap into a network of seemingly engaged consumers who respect the opinions of the people they follow. To get that Insta-payday you need to have the followers and the engagement to back it up, but can’t you just buy this? That is exactly what the guys at Mediakix decided to investigate.

 

Building two fake profiles in the fashion and travel space, the website was able to invest small amounts of money to grow followers by the thousands, while generating likes and comments on their posts to back up the follower counts. Having paid in the tens of dollars for over 30,000 followers on one account and 50,000 on the other, Mediakix were able to present large engaged audiences to interested brands. This lead to them being able to secure four paid campaigns. Demonstrating just how easy it is to create and present a fake network that will generate profit from minimal investment. Simply put, its advertising fraud made easy.

 

This presents a real problem for people on both sides of the influencer paradigm. When we look at a potential partner we want to know how engaged their audience is. If they have 45,000 followers but only 2 people are liking their posts, it’s a safe bet that they’ve bought the followers. However, if 10% of their followers are liking a post and another 2% are commenting on it, suddenly they start to seem like the real deal. So with these likes and comments easily purchased it is incredibly hard to cut through the noise and find the real people that deliver authentic results. If these practices continue, brands are only going to become more sceptical of the people that approach them, making it harder for influencers to carve a path for themselves in the industry. A crying shame for the overwhelming majority of honest creatives who are trying to galvanise new tools to create a business.

 

One of the most disappointing aspects of the Mediakix story was the ease of which they were able to achieve this without Instagram sanctioning them. While they started off slowly trying not to arouse suspicions, they eventually grew confident enough to grow follower counts by up to 15,000 at a time, with no repercussions. It’s hard to see how this exceptional amount of activity could have gone unnoticed by the service. We know that it is possible to make significant gains on the platform in a short space of time – our Sam recently bagged three new followers after posting a particularly well framed picture of an umbrella – but this kind of unsustainable growth is obviously fraudulent. Instagram knows this is a problem, its own Community Guidelines are clear that they want “Help [to] stay spam-free by not artificially collecting likes, followers, or shares” so it is a shame to see how impotent they are on this on this issue.

 

So what happens next? From the PR’s perspective there is a fairly simple solution. At Little Red Rooster the one thing we’ve learnt from years of traditional press outreach is that nothing beats meeting face-to-face. This goes the same for influencers. If you make the effort to get to know the people you are dealing with in real life it is much harder for them to present themselves as something they’re not online. Intrinsic to everything that we do is the belief that authenticity is a critical currency. This is as true on social media as it is anywhere else. We believe in telling real stories, focusing on genuine personalities. This is what makes Little Red Rooster different and is what will allow us to continue to find the best people to work with for our brands.

 

For the industry as a whole, we think it’s time the sites got tougher. Social media is still media, for those who are purporting to be professionals there needs to be regulation. Instagram et al should be taking the fake profiles to task, giving the true influencers the platform they deserve to shine.

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Eat. Meet. Rave. Retreat: 10 places the LRR Twyford team can’t live without

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We would love to share with you 10 of the top local haunts we use regularly to keep our creative minds inspired and PR brains functioning. Enjoy!

 

Huzzah! Cool, day club vibes right on our doorstep at Coppa Club in Sonning; our chosen venue for our bi-annual PR Summit. Situated in a stunning riverside setting, guests can relax outside on one of the many Instagram-worthy Coppa Club deck chairs, partake in a revitalising yoga session on the lawn and sample the vast and delicious selection of unfussy European food including superfood salads, grilled fish and decadent sharing plates. You can even, after a Bellini or two, stay the night at the adjoining Great House Hotel. Coppa Club is an ideal location for meetings and remote working offering a seamless wi-fi connection, plug sockets and freshly-roasted coffee. From personal experience, may I also add that they offer one of the best Aperol Spritzes around 😉

 

 

In the Winter, we choose to congregate around the roaring open fire of the cosy Bell Inn pub in Waltham St Lawrence – our favourite place to indulge in some cracking traditional pub grub and local ale. Set in the middle of a picturesque Berkshire village, this inviting tavern has ties dating back to the 14th Century and is renowned for its immense variety of local ales and real ciders & perries. We love the Happy Daze Scrumpy Cider and the homemade Pork Scratchings are to die for.

 

With a limited choice of places to grab a quick lunch on the go in Twyford, we are very lucky to have a great branch of Waitrose right on our doorstep. They have recently undergone a redesign and now offer a fantastic fresh sushi counter, where you can see your Sashimi being sliced and a working kitchen serving delicious dishes prepared daily including Beef Chilli Hot Pot, Falafel and Avocado on Toast.

 

When venturing into Reading we love Franco Manca pizzeria at the Oracle Riverside. Quoted by The Observer as ‘the best pizza in Britain’ Franco Manca offers affordable and great tasting straightforward pizza. Launched in 2008 from a stall in Brixton’s renowned street food market, Franco Manca has taken the pizza world by storm, with restaurants all over London and the South of England, offering a mouth-watering simplistic selection of baked sourdough pizzas using fresh, authentic ingredients, each for under a tenner. They keep the rest of the menu simple too, offering a small assortment of bites and side salads that exceedingly compliment your chosen pizza and include details of how they source the fresh produce used. I would say we have at least a few pizza connoisseurs in the office and it’s a 10/10 from them!

 

 

Here at Little Red Rooster we live by the ethos work hard, play hard so after a busy week of taking over the world of PR, we love to let our hair down with a cocktail or two from this smashing addition to Reading’s nightlife; Milk Bar. They offer a diverse selection of expertly crafted delectable cocktails from skilled mixologists and the vast range of spirits on offer is one of the best you will see in the town centre and boy, they certainly know their Rum. After work on a Friday this place is buzzing with like-minded individuals looking to party into the early hours and forget their weekly woes, and with unmissable drinks deals Monday to Friday from 4pm till 8pm, weekly comedy nights and fantastic music there’s no reason not to try it out this summer. See you at the bar!

 

When it’s time to show off our best moves we head to the mothership; The Purple Turtle in Reading. This unique venue is an institution in the town-centre and has hosted many a Little Red Rooster knees up, witnessing some of the dodgiest dancing in Berkshire. Throughout the week this is a great spot to catch a local live band, play some foosball and chill on the heated shisha terrace. At the weekend, you can see some of the best DJ’s in the south and dance the night away in the dungeon style basement.

 

 

Like the masses, we rely on a steady stream of caffeine to keep the Little Red Rooster cogs proactively turning and we are fortunate enough to have the UK’s friendliest Costa Coffee as our local caffeine provider in Twyford. Alex, Carmen and the team provide fantastic service with a smile and are always prepared to go the extra mile for their customers. They also do a cracking Cortado and a Lucy P special; hot chocolate with fudge sauce.

 

A jewel in the heart of Berkshire, Nirvana Spa in Sindlesham is our favourite destination to retreat away from a world of social media and PR campaigns. Currently undergoing an incredible transformation, the brand-new Colosseum Suite promises to be truly one of a kind. Unaffected by the ongoing development, this stunning health spa offers multiple facilities including hot ceramic stone loungers, personal steam chambers and the UK’s largest celestial flotation pool, each in idyllic blissful surroundings. Throughout the warmer months we love to make the most of the spectacular Spa Garden, where you can enjoy delicious food in the fresh woodland settings and sip bubbles whilst sinking into balmy hot mini-spas.

 

How do the Little Red Rooster boys keep their hair looking so slick, I hear you ask? It’s all thanks to The Barbers by the Station – a real gem in downtown Twyford. Jen and the team offer a superb men’s grooming service in air-conditioned surroundings and a fridge stocked full of beer – all within close-proximity of Twyford Station for ultimate ease.

 

No post would be complete without a final word from our favourite furry four-legged friend Keef, and today we learn the secret behind his signature silky mane. Naughty Mutt Nice is a fantastic local dog grooming parlour and boutique based in Henley-on-Thames, where the fabulous Karole and her team provide the ultimate premium pooch pampering. Everything from full grooming to ultrasonic tooth brushing is on offer including Keef’s favourite; the Menthol and Peppermint Mud Treatment – a refreshing antiseptic stimulant, ideal for reducing inflammation and increasing circulation.

 

 

We would love to hear about the local places you can’t live without! Drop us a comment below.

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The changing face of celebrity endorsements: Are they still worthwhile?

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When scrolling through our Instagram feed, there seems to be a constant deluge of celebrity posts with #ad and #spon hashtags, promoting products left, right and centre that often bear no relation to the personality that is promoting them.

 

Whether it be a reality star advertising a teeth whitening kit or a radio star promoting their new sofa, it’s evident that celebrity endorsement is a massively employed tactic used to gain traction, engagement and popularity on social media, with the overall aim of increasing sales.

 

But just how successful is celebrity endorsement? Everyone in PR knows, the rise of the influencer means that celebrities aren’t what they used to be. With social media everyone can now be a celebrity in their own right and digital native millennials in particular are more influenced by Youtube and Insta stars than they are by traditional celebrities.

 

The rise of the ‘normal’ celeb, aka ‘influencers’ is largely down to the fact that they can reach and connect with people in a far more personal and relevant way than a traditional celebrity can. The ability for an audience to be able to relate to an influencer is key, which is why normal-every-day people who have something to say are becoming increasingly powerful in terms of influencing purchasing decisions.

 

So what is the best way for brands to navigate this celebrity 2.0 world?

 

It is still fair to say that celebrity has never mattered more than it does today, however here at LRR, we believe that genuine authentic influencers, with a visible connection to a brand are proving to be much more valuable than a famous celebrity with loads of followers who endorses a product purely for the pay check. In fact, we would go as far as to say that we think working with traditional celebrities can often be a complete waste of time.

 

To us, an authentic influencer, is a ‘normal celeb’ who genuinely cares about the product they are endorsing. This influencer must have a direct connection to the product or there is no point using them! This is key – nothing looks worse than a paid for promo that is obviously incongruous with a person’s lifestyle and ethos. Not only are they irrelevant, but they can also seriously undermine a brand’s credibility.

 

A perfect example is the project we have worked on for our client Victoria + Albert Baths with the 2 Lovely Gays. Jordan Cluroe and Russell Whitehead have a passion for interiors, running a successful interior design studio and interiors blog and they are in the midst of renovating their home. After a face to face meeting with our client the duo were supplied with a freestanding bath, basin and vanity unit from the luxury bathing brand which have been installed within their own bathroom and bedroom. This has formed the basis of a longstanding partnership in which the 2 Lovely Gays are engaged in a programme of social media activation (3 months and counting), regularly sharing images and information on the Victoria + Albert Baths products across their social channels. In addition, the design duo will be offering up their home renovation as a case study for national press, are drafting a number of national interior trends features focusing on the Victoria + Albert Baths products and will be hosting an exclusive talk at the Victoria + Albert Baths Chelsea Harbour showroom during Design Week 18.

 

Another authentic influencer is Kate Watson-Smyth, journalist and founder of the acclaimed interiors blog; Mad About The House. Kate has worked with SMEG on a number of occasions, recently joining us on a press trip to celebrate the second partnership between SMEG and Dolce&Gabbana. As part of the product launch Kate engaged with the brand across her social channels, most notably taking part in a competition to share a video of yourself making pasta using the exclusive new Smeg x Dolce&Gabbana stand mixer, and the #’s #sicilyismylove and #dgsmeg. Kate’s Instagram video proved extremely popular, gaining over 8,000 views and as such Kate won the competition. In addition to this social activation, Kate also wrote an in depth piece about Smeg and the product launch on her blog. Kate is also set to take part in SMEG’s #kitcheninspo social campaign which will be running from October this year.

 

 

Partnership’s such as these have been positive experiences for our clients and have proved very fruitful for both parties while also generating authentic, interesting and relevant branded content for our target audience to consume.

 

So, back to traditional celebrity endorsement. Another worry when undertaking this activity is the behaviour of the celebrity themselves. You can sign a contract with a celebrity, you can ask them to post as many posts as you pay for but one thing you can’t control is how that celebrity lives their lives. If you are running a campaign fronted by a scandalous celebrity and this celebrity makes a racist comment, has a social media spat or generally attracts bad press during this period, your campaign can instantly appear toxic to the media.

 

We are often contacted by celebrities (not mentioning names!) willing to work with our brands for a large wad of cash. All of these names will certainly attract media and press coverage and massive amounts of attention but – the key questions we encourage all our clients to ask when considering working with a celebrity are:

 

  • Does this celebrity resonate with my target audience?
  • Does this celebrity truly represent the brand?
  • Does this celebrity truly care about the brand?
  • Is this celebrity respected by the media?
  • Will this celebrity actually benefit my brand?
  • Will the partnership generate positive media coverage?
  • Does the ROI justify the initial investment?
  • Does this partnership have the potential to become a long term, collaboration?

If we can’t answer yes to all of these questions, its an automatic no from us.

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High tech with soul: introducing Loewe’s new bild 5 OLED

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The latest addition to luxury German brand Loewe’s range is the stunning bild 5 OLED TV. This exquisite piece has been crafted by Loewe’s creative director and renowned designer, Bodo Sperlein. Its retro Sixties inspired aesthetic means it breathes some new life into the world of television.

 

 

The confident, 1960’s geometric style that this television portrays along with the fact it has the very latest state-of-the-art OLED technology makes it truly desirable for the modern home. What makes it strikingly unique though, is the mix of high-tech and natural materials which mean it radiates warmth while still oozing luxury.

 

Combining style with substance, the TV is available in both a natural Silver Oak or a high gloss Piano Black finish, each of which shows off Loewe’s impressive display (it is slimmer than most smartphones at only 4.9mm thick!).

 

Bodo Sperlein, Loewe’s creative director, comments; “We are one of the first television manufacturers who have started using natural materials again such as wood, and in turn transformed the television set into an object. A piece of furniture that radiates a ‘welcome home’ feeling. The bild 5 OLED is warm minimalism, high-tech with soul and a touch of cosiness.”

 

The bild 5 OLED is available in both  55” and 65” sizes with optional sound bar and a choice of either wall-mounted, table-mounted or floor standing options. Prices start from £2,990.

 

For more information please feel free to get in touch with the Loewe team at loewe@littleredrooster.co.uk or take a look at the Loewe website – www.loewe.tv.

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MYZONE: Choose Your Colour

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Summer is now in full swing and, for some of us Roosters, it feels like it is slipping away too quickly. Introducing the new MYZONE Sports Bra, launching in September to keep that bright feeling running right into Autumn. The new neon line-up of aqua, pink and yellow will bring all those glowing summer memories back, but the sweat-resistance material will keep you cool without chaffing and digging – you don’t want a flashback of when you underestimated that heatwave and opted for long sleeves.

 

As with the MYZONE red and black sports bra, the best feature is the ease of simply clicking the MYZONE MZ-3 fitness tracker into place so you can record you work out information while you are making the most of the sweat resistance material to get your effort points up!

 

The new colours will be available in sizes XS-L and will be sold on Amazon for £49.99. What will your colour be?

About MYZONE

 

As the MYZONE ethos is all about effort, it analyses a personal handicap based on your maximum heart rate and creates bespoke targets just for you – evening out the playing field. You might finish behind Jessica Ennis-Hill in an endurance run for example, but if you exerted greater effort you will come out top because you’ve worked harder.
Streaming real time data including heart rate, calories and percentage of effort, it is easy to track your progress on the app via the five simple colour codes, where the harder you work, the higher up the colour scale you go, earning you highly addictive MYZONE Effort Points (MEPs).

 

And unlike many other trackers, MYZONE doesn’t discriminate between exercise styles meaning you can score MEPs for virtually any activity from ice-skating to weight-lifting, jogging to horse-riding- all of which is logged on your personal profile.
Dubbed ‘social media for physical activity’, the MYZONE app has several features including:

 

• Dedicated groups and networks for shared goals
• WhatsApp-style messaging to connect privately with friends
• Instagram-style photo uploads
• Integrated music streaming through Spotify, Apple Music and Google Play Music
• Notifications when you have reached the World Health Organisation’s recommended guidelines for exercise the only fitness tracker to do so

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Little Red Rooster wins PR activity for new British hand-wound watchmaker the Marloe Watch Company

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A fine addition to Little Red Rooster’s rapidly growing fashion division – we would like to officially welcome inspired new British timekeeping brand Marloe Watch Company to the coop!

 

Marloe Watch Company is an independent designer and creator of beautiful hand wound wrist-watches powered by manual, mechanical movements – based in Oxfordshire, England. Inspired by co-founder Oliver Goffes father’s passion for vintage timepieces, the Marloe Watch Company is reinvigorating the world of traditional hand-wound watches.

 

 

Little Red Rooster will be providing strategic planning, press office and creative campaign support, with a focus on launching the brand in the UK and rapidly increasing brand awareness.

 

Speaking of the win, Victoria commented: “2017 is proving to be an exceptional year for Little Red Rooster as our fashion division continues to expand following important wins like Pantherella and Scott-Nichol. Working with beautifully designed, inspired pieces from a young British brand gets the team terribly excited and when that is combined with a love of slow living – a desire embodied in many of our brands like B&O PLAY – we feel it’s a match made in heaven.  We are delighted to win the account and can’t wait to launch the brand in the UK”

 

 

Oliver Goffe, co-founder of Marloe Watch Company, commented: “We chose to work with Little Red Rooster as we felt they not only understood our brand, values and objectives, but also had a strategic vision for our partnership. Vic, Henry and the team bring a wealth of knowledge and experience and we look forward to seeing where this new journey takes us.”

 

Marloe Watch Company joins an impressive roster of brands managed by the agency, which currently includes Ted Baker, Smeg, B&O PLAY, Pantherella & HJ Hall, amongst others.

 

For further information on Marloe Watch Company please get in touch with the team on 07506 756914 or Marloe@littleredrooster.co.uk

 

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Do women really rule the roost on Instagram?

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According to research, women rule the roost on Instagram. The results from social scheduling company Hopper, found that female users get five times more likes on average than men. Apparently men are also 10 times more likely to like and/or comment on female users’ posts than those of other men.

 

While Instagram has always been a predominantly female platform, these findings highlight how tough it can be for brands to gain the cut through and traction they require, to drive sales, brand awareness and that all important brand love, amongst the male market.

 

The research highlights Little Red Rooster’s belief that successful social media campaigns must be targeted, precise, fully integrated and most important of all, relevant to the target audience, if they are to generate the results that brands are looking to achieve.

 

It’s not new information that women and men respond differently to marketing, whether that be adverts, PR or social media, and with Instagram becoming an ever more popular marketing tool, with over 600 million active users, it’s important for brands to know how to target each gender in the best way via the platform.

 

Here at Little Red Rooster, we believe there is no such thing as a dominant sex on Instagram – in fact, across a number of our clients we are directly challenging this notion by engaging equally with both male and female influencers.

 

While you may have to dig a little further to find them, across fitness, fashion, design, tech, music, interiors and other lifestyle sectors, there is an abundance of male influencers as well as their female counterparts. You haven’t got to look too hard for the most stylish guys on Instagram – Nickelson Wooster (721K followers) and Adam Gallagher (2 million followers), or the fittest – The Rock (82.5million followers), Kenneth Gallarzo (443K followers) and Ricky Warren (32K followers), or the most design savvy – 2 Lovely Gays (14.6K followers) and Ryan Korban (90.6K followers) to name a few.

 

The question is, what is the best way to engage with these male influencers? At Little Red Rooster we believe passionately in building authentic relationships with influencers that demonstrate a genuine passion for the brands we represent. In our opinion, expensive paid for partnerships with influencers who are not fully engaged with a product or campaign, provide very little return on investment as the content generated by these deals is often unoriginal, forced and quite clearly promotional.

 

In stark contrast are the genuine influencer relationships which Little Red Rooster works hard to build for its clients. Take model Ricki Hall for example. Ricki is an avid B&O PLAY fan with over 350K followers. As such we invited him to become part of the B&O PLAY collective, a group of like minded individuals with a mutual love for the brand, who test out all the latest products from the brand and share their musings and style the products for their instagram followers to enjoy.

 

 

Just this one post featuring the Beoplay H4 headphones from Ricki received over 6K likes and 50 comments. This post is one of many from Ricki and was not paid for or contracted in any way. A perfect example of how targeting the right influencers with a genuine love for a brand can pay off multiple times over.

 

Another example of an organic relationship that Little Red Rooster has fostered is between our client Scott-Nichol socks and Adam Katz Sinding, founder of fashion photography blog, le21eme. Adam was invited along to the Scott-Nichol stand at Pitti Uomo in January and was gifted a pair of socks. Adam has a long standing love of the brand and as such shared the following Instagram story with his 459k followers.

 

 

The brilliant facet of posts like these is the fact that as Adam states, they are not ads, but are instead organic product endorsements from influential individuals that genuinely love our brands.

 

So the next question is, how do you build genuine relationships with influencers if you are a boutique brand or a brand that your target audience isn’t aware of? Here at Little Red Rooster we pride ourselves on being consummate story tellers. We work closely with our clients to identify each unique brand story and ethos. It is this combined with a bit of Little Red Rooster magic, that we utilise to entice media and influencers alike to take a first look or in some instances a second look at a brand that they may have previously discounted.

 

Hosting face to face briefings with influencers, in much the same way as we do with traditional press is our tried and tested method of converting influencers into genuine brand advocates. In our opinion, nothing beats a face to face, personal approach. In our experience, if an influencer is prepared to take the time out to meet with you one to one, you are already halfway towards turning them into a brand ambassador.

 

So back to the original question, do women rule the roost on Instagram? Certainly brands must learn to identify and target each gender in the best way possible across the platform and this can take more time, research and knowledge of specific influencer communities when targeting the male market. However, here at LRR we believe Instagram is just as powerful a tool for reaching males as it is females, its just all about a targeted, intelligent approach. It’s not just about great photos, regular posts and the right hashtags! Instead it is about working with the right influencers, at the right times and for the right reasons.

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Worthy festivals to replace a certain farm

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With Glastonbury today throwing open it’s hallowed gates, the immense jealousy really kicks in for those unlucky individuals who didn’t manage to get themselves one of the almost mythical tickets. Alas, do not let the green-eyed monster overcome you just yet. We have put together a selection of the UK’s best festival offerings this summer, to help you get over the Worthy Farm blues.

 

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A new entry for this year, delve into the under-belly of Britain’s iconic dance music scene at this insatiably cool boutique festival. With a late license granted for sundown to sunrise partying, expect extended sets and copious spontaneous back-to-backs across the weekend. Couple these late nights with world-class sound systems thumping throughout, this one isn’t for the light hearted.  LRR tip: if you’re planning on heading down, make sure you catch Nicholas Jaar’s set, which will be nothing short of a mind-bending, goosebump inducing journey through the deep and dark depths of House and Techno.

 

 

 

Lovebox

Once again taking over Victoria Park this summer, this East London staple covers the whole spectrum of dance music ranging from the likes of Annie Mac and Jamie XX, right up to international heavy weights Frank Ocean and Solange who are on headline duties. Its central location makes Lovebox a perfect option for party hungry city dwellers who want to satisfy their festival fix without getting down and dirty in the campsites.

 

 

Bestival

After a slightly shaky 2016, Bestival is back with a vengeance in a brand new setting – the beautiful Lulworth Cove estate in Dorset. Learning from its mistakes, the festival has gone back to its roots promising a festival atmosphere full of family friendly, exuberant and over the top fun. Line-up wise, Bestival has it all, with headline sets from The XX and Pet Shop Boys, whilst the likes of David Rodigan rave it up in the Bollywood tent. In fact, a certain member of our team will be attending this one so if you see a rather tall, curly haired fella walking through the crowd, do come and say hello.

 

 

Reading Festival

Hop into the Thames that runs behind our Twyford office and bob along for a couple of miles over the Bank Holiday weekend and you will find yourselves at the gates of one of Britain’s most famous festivals, Reading. A rite of passage for locals, this festival is a large scale music festival in its simplest form. Not bothering with extracurricular activities, such as art and theatre that can be found at the others in this guide, Reading is all about the music and with a bill topped by Eminem, Kasabian and Muse that is surely entertainment enough, right? Famed for mammoth sets and raucous crowds this epic beast is a must on the festival circuit.

 

 

 

So, there we have it, a rundown of some our favourite summer festivals. With a plethora of events taking place every summer, we hope this quick guide has helped whittle down the options to find one that might just tickle your fancy.

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Wine and Food in EC2

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In our new office, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to local bars and eateries. We thought we’d give some of these places a test-run and see how they fare when put to the Little Red Rooster test. It’s worth noting that we’ve visited these places, purely for the benefit of educational discovery. We are all very, very serious here in the roost, so we can promise you that absolutely no fun was had whatsoever. Promise. Below are a few of the places which we think you should check out, if you’ve the chance to!

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 Fox Fine Wine

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This lovely little bar is a world away from the hustle & bustle of Moorgate’s busy streets. We made our way in past the mid-century charm of the 1950s shop front and then, feeling as if we’d entered somebody’s living room, we sat and couldn’t believe our eyes at the array of fine wines on offer, many by the glass. The cauldron-sized vino offerings made it a most pleasant stay. I think a return trip may be in order!

The grub was also top-notch – a proper gastro-dining experience with a smorgasbord of delectable cheeses and cured meat.

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Moshi Moshi

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Stepping into this Japanese restaurant seemed as if we were very far from its dreadful location atop of Liverpool St. station. The aesthetic of the space is impressive, with curved oak dominating the room. We were even more mesmerised when we saw the waitress bring out the sushi platter on a miniature, wooden ship.

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Now onto the food, which was incredible! The tuna sashimi would melt in your mouth as if it was butter melting in a pan. The Gyoza dumplings went down a treat, as expected. However, we were really impressed by the freshness of ingredients. It was clear from the theatrical preparation, as the chef orchestrated the dishes in a centre station, that they really valued the ingredients they were using. Some of the spicy options certainly delivered on their job, giving us a great excuse to crack open a crisp Asahi dry beer.

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The Modern Pantry

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Adjacent to our office building, we’re offered an exciting alternative to our desks, where we’re instantly greeted by the most welcoming and accommodating bar-staff who would explain their niche style of bar food; seemingly similar to a tapas style, the food was exceptionally tasty considering the size of the dishes. An honourable mention must go to the Salmon Ceviche, with pomegranate, lime and avocado, whilst also noting their selection of sourdough bread which accompanied their scrumptious selection of cured meats. All perfect accompaniments to their Gin & Tonics, using locally distilled gin from Bermondsey. The Modern Pantry is absolutely perfect for anyone looking for an archetypal London bar.

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Singer Tavern

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A stone’s throw away from our London coop, we often find ourselves enjoying the Singer Tavern. The atmosphere is vibrant, the bar being extremely popular amongst all the local office workers as evenings quickly turn into nights. With an extensive range of ales and beers on tap, there is more than enough selection for the pickiest patron. Speaking of Patrón, tequila is definitely not something that we’re proud about the next morning.

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Meet our new London PR Consultant: Rachael Bell

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With Little Red Rooster settling into its capital abode, the team is steadily expanding. We catch up with LRR London’s newest recruit, Rachael Bell, to find out what makes her tick and why she is the perfect addition to the ever-growing coop.

 

 

Rachael joins the team after completing her Journalism MA in Edinburgh and previously gaining PR experience across a range of luxury fashion brands. She is enjoying exploring the stylish side of tech, with a range of exciting clients including B&O PLAY, Exertis Unlimited and MYZONE.

 

So, Rachael…

 

Where’s your favourite holiday destination?

Cusco, Peru. Once the altitude sickness subsided I could have stayed forever.

 

Do you prefer dogs or cats?

Dogs. Don’t even have to think about it!

 

What’s the best gig you’ve been to?

The Cure at Bestival. Had so much fun during Lovecats, the vodka jelly might have helped as well.

 

Top 3 albums?

The Cure – Japanese Whispers

Red Hot Chili Peppers – I’m with You

Snow Patrol – Fallen Empires

 

Top 3 Bands?

No Doubt, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jamiroquai

 

What’s your favourite fashion designer now?

Mary Katrantzou. Always colourful and always creative. I would love a cosmo dress from her SS16 collection.

 

Best location in London for lunch?

Breddos Tacos. Constantly on all the London food blogs and well worth the hype.

 

Favourite cocktail?

Whisky sour, or anything else whisky based.

 

Who’s your most loved and most hated celebrity?

Blake Lively has become a bit of an obsession for me.

The cast of Geordie Shore. I promise it is much nicer Up North than they make it look!

 

Your desert island essential?

I’d need some reading material! Maybe some issues of SUITCASE and Cereal, or a well-stocked Kindle.

 

The brand you’d most like to work on?

SUNO. Their designs are modern and functional and their commitment to sustainability and ethical craftsmanship should be the standard for luxury fashion.

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LRR Father’s Day Gift Guide 2017

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Father’s Day is rapidly approaching and as many of you probably know, Dads are notoriously difficult to buy for. What do you buy someone who insists they don’t need anything? However, there’s no need to fear – we’ve rounded up a range of the best products which ensure that your Dad will be impressed with the seemingly huge amount of thought you’ve put into Father’s Day. We’ve got presents for the work-a-holic, the car fanatic or even the Dad who is partial to a bit of luxury now and again.

 

Do you have a Dad whose car is his baby? You know, the kind of Dad who won’t let you eat, or even drink in the car. We have the product for him. The Smart Polish Pro Waterless Wash and Wax means cleaning the car is exceptionally easy. This magic mixture does away with the need for annoyingly tangled hosepipes and will leave his car with a show-stopping shine. This innovative product doesn’t just help with the annoyances of car-washing, it will also save your Dad time. Car washing normally takes on average an hour, but Smart Polish Pro will ensure that the process is four times faster. What’s more precious than the gift of more time (and a gorgeous looking car)?

 

If you’re willing to push the boat out and invest in a quality option with a bigger price-tag, then the Ruark Audio MR1 Mk2 Bluetooth speakers are an obvious choice for the Dad that is a sucker for a post-work sing-along to The Rolling Stones. He’ll undoubtedly be amazed by the exceptional quality of sound produced by these miniature marvels. The speakers are beautifully designed to offer a remarkable sound experience without dominating your home. This means Mum can’t moan about them taking up too much room in the living room. Win-win?

 

 

Alternatively, if you’re ready to spend a little more but not quite sure about the inevitable constant playing of The Rolling Stones on full blast (but come on, who wouldn’t enjoy that?), then the Smeg ECF01 Coffee Machine is the choice for you. Not only is Smeg a brand which is well-known for being spectacularly swanky, it is also notorious for its commitment to quality products. For the busy, work-a-holic Dad, this product is invaluable. The appliance can go from nought to espresso in less than 10 seconds, and the thermoblock technology means it can seamlessly switch between brewing coffee and jetting out hot steam. He’ll never be late again! As if that isn’t enough, the stainless-steel top also functions as a passive cup warmer, so your Dad will never have to reluctantly down a lukewarm coffee ever again.

 

 

 

For Dads that seem to have everything, maybe a new pair of sunglasses is in order. The Silhouette Adventurer Aviators are stunning. These splendid specs are the obvious choice for the up-coming sunny months. Not only are these sunnies a fashionable addition to your Dad’s summer wardrobe, they are also exceptionally durable as they are crafted from lightweight titanium. So, no matter how clumsy your Dad may be, it’s unlikely that your investment will ever go to waste.

 

At a lower price tag, the Master Lock Bluetooth Smart Padlock is a brilliantly practical present. This ingenious product means that your Dad will no longer mess around with long lock combinations and ridiculously fiddly keys. The Master Lock Bluetooth Smart Padlock is operated through your Dad’s smartphone, and can be used to secure pretty much anything; from bike sheds to garages. The accompanying app offers military-grade protection and can be used to offer remote access to friends, family and even couriers so he will never miss a delivery again.

 

 

If none of these products are for your Dad, then you can’t go wrong with a classic pair of good-quality socks! Right? Why not stray from the predictable pair of cotton socks and treat your Dad’s feet? The luxurious cashmere Monogrammed Pantherella Waddington socks are not only extremely comfortable but they can also be personalised thanks to Pantherella’s bespoke monogramming service.

 

 

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At Home with Ted

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Ever wondered what Ted Baker’s pad looks like? Well, just last week we offered you the chance to have a snoop round as we threw open the doors to the penthouse suite of the London EDITION to host ‘At Home with Ted’. This exclusive event played host to Ted Baker’s wide range of AW17 homeware collections, from bedding, rugs and tiles to candles, luggage, bikes, fragrances, gifts & stationary, jewellery and accessories. This was the very first time all of its homeware and accessory ranges were displayed together and in situ.

 

The new AW17 ranges incorporate the very best of Ted – distinctive prints in a sumptuous colour palette of pinks, burgundies, teals and blues. Its intricate patterns transition throughout all products in the collection, allowing you to subtly co-ordinate your home while still injecting your own personal sense of style.

 

 

The event played out in three acts; first up, we hosted a morning session between 8-10, where guests enjoyed pastries and fresh coffee while perusing the apartment. A private lunch was then held between 1-3, where our guests could get up close and personal with the Ted team and ask anything and everything about the new ranges. Those in attendance included Katrina Burroughs (Sunday Times Home), Barbara Chandler (Homes & Property), Claudia Baillie (Elle Decoration, House & Garden), Sophie Baylis (KBB), Michela Colling (Ideal Home), Jess Hurrell (Cosmopolitan), Angela Kennedy (Good Housekeeping), Giselle Wainwright (LOOK) and Dominique Ayling (TV Life). Many of our guests were astonished to learn there were Ted employees who had worked for the business for almost 20 years! Finally, we hosted a cocktail session in the evening. Luckily, the sun came out for the end of the day so our visitors could enjoy chilled glasses of Prosecco on the balcony, taking in spectacular views over London.

 

Over 93 guests were in attendance from all corners of the media – ranging across interiors powerhouses such as Elle Decoration, House & Garden, Homes & Gardens and Livingetc to lucrative national newspapers including the Guardian, the Telegraph, the Independent and the Mail. Women’s mags like Stylist, HELLO! Fashion Monthly and Marie Claire were also represented, alongside prominent bloggers and lifestyle sites Martyn White, Kate Watson-Smyth, Shelly Vella and Discerning Gent.

 

 

While perusing the stylishly decked out apartment, many of our contacts couldn’t quite believe there was so much on offer – just goes to prove there is far more to Ted than meets the eye!

 

To find out more about the new collections or request high res imagery or further info, please contact Izzy or Emma on isabelle@littleredrooster.co.uk or emma@littleredrooster.co.uk.

 

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The courage of bold new design

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Never has the maxim ‘less is more’ been so prevalent in modern design. Thanks to quite staggering advances in technology modern products are frequently being stripped back of all unnecessary elements, often maximising performance in the process, while also letting the purity of their design shine through. These stripped back models mean bold decisions often have to be made.

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Some changes have been controversial, such as Apple removing the 3.5mm headphone jack and utilising the lightning charger port as a headphone input. This decision, and also removing the USB ports on its most recent MacBook Pro, was given a mixed bag of reviews as many felt it was simply an opportunity to monetise these functions as optional extras. However, Phil Schaffer (Apple’s senior vice president) explained the reason for the alterations was, “Courage. The courage to move on, to do something new that betters all of us. And our team has tremendous courage”. Which simply epitomises why the technology and design market forcibly needs ingenuity and experimentalism when they create something new.

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Enter the Beoplay P2, stage left. When Beoplay was thinking how to create a speaker with a truly personal aesthetic there was a complete element of courage when the Tap ‘n’ Shake function was conceived. This device has only one button, to turn the device on and off, every other function can be controlled by the touch sensitive face of the speaker and by gripping and flicking the order of the track-list with your wrist. These functions are completely customisable by the user via the Beoplay App.

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Obstacles were to be expected during its conception, as when you are nuancing a Bluetooth speaker to have gesture controls; where is the line drawn between deliberate movement and unintentional movement? So, the clever-clogs at Beoplay made the speaker’s controls only accessible when held at a 45° angle, to prevent any unwanted changing of tunes when on the move.

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The P2 is a complete anomaly in such a saturated Bluetooth speaker market, it accounts to nobody and is matched by very few for sound quality. The avant-garde nature of avoiding the status quo, as with other market-leaders, shows that the courage is completely justified. However, modern design that draws inspiration from classic themes is just as courageous as bold new statements.

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This is something that German television designers Loewe has done with their latest model, the Bild 9. Drawing inspiration from the ‘Roaring Twenties’, Bauhaus and Art Deco glamour, Loewe’s London-based creative director Bodo Sperlein has fashioned a TV that beautifully blends traditional geometric shapes and materials with state-of-the-art 21st century tech. What it shares with P2 is the bravery and boldness to let the striking styling shine through, rather than technology dominating the design.

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The fortitude shown by Loewe and Beoplay with their latest designs is one of having the bravery to leave things out. It is the confidence of not having to shout about the undisputed cutting-edge technology within. Brands which have this understated confidence in their products, they’re the true pioneers, courageously covering new ground in design.

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AW17 Interiors Trends

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Little Red Rooster has been keeping its eyes on the various interior design shows for AW17 and we are excited to share the season’s hottest trends.

 

From new colour combinations of pink and green, to marble, ‘raw’ white, bouclé and terracotta; next season’s trends are an exciting bag. That said, what all of these have in common is an air of simplicity and refinement that will elevate any living space or look.

 

So, how best to style and introduce these trends into your home?

 

Pink and Green

 

First up for AW17 is pink and green. While we may have once argued that “pink and green should never be seen,” these shades proved to be the strongest colour combination at Maison & Objet in January.

 

Blending soft pastel tones is an easy introduction to a pink and green colour palette, and for those feeling brave, go for bold, bright hues. Take it one step further by opting for jewel-like tones of emerald green and ruby red, creating a dark and dramatic impact.

 

   

Marble

 

Marble décor is another crucial trend for AW17, the key to which is simplicity. Always ensure the look is clean, crisp and minimal. It’s easy to introduce accent colours – most commonly pinks and blues – but refrain from a pastel overload to keep it looking high-end.

 


Also important is to avoid too many metallic accessories, as this can cheapen the luxurious aesthetic of the marble. Make sure you mix up patterns and textures – you can often source wallpaper and tiles in the same marble hues, mix-and-match them for variety.

 

Bouclé

 

Once the fabric of choice for country bumpkins and most commonly found on a classic Chanel jacket; bouclé is slowly emerging as an interiors trend in its own right. Found on fabrics and upholstery – curtains, sofas, chairs, bedding and blankets – bouclé was discovered on the stands of leading fashion houses at this year’s Maison show – most notably Missoni Home and Roberto Cavalli.

Try taking minor elements from a traditional bouclé pattern – intricate weaving, a minuscule hint of metallic, warm colour palettes and rich textures – and integrate them into a neutral décor.

 

Brass

 

Brass accents have long been found in kitchens and bathrooms, but have more recently been found in the home. Perfect for adding both an industrial or luxurious touch, it works particularly well with rich, dark colours for an opulent look and can be subtly paired with marble décor for something more unique and feminine.

 

 

Raw’ White

 

The ‘hygge’ trend may have been and gone but many design principles of the Danish trend remain popular. Think neutral colour palettes with elements of the natural world, such as wood or stone, with a hint of the industrial. For the best result, keep accent colours to a bare minimum and ensure you let in as much natural light as possible.  The key to this trend is mixing simplicity and ruggedness with bright and white spaces and rooms.

 

 

 

Terracotta

 

Terracotta shades make a surprising appearance in this year’s trend report; perhaps representing a yearning for a warmer climate or another example of global décor trends being introduced to the UK.

 

Opt for raw, clay-like walls with wooden or metallic accessories and simple shapes and patterns to achieve this trend. Alternatively, introduce the look in smaller forms – tiled floors, unique lampshades or small, decorative objects. One thing’s for sure, terracotta, though surprising, makes a sensual and welcomed final addition to our autumn/winter interiors trend report.

 

 

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De-geezering the TV

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Introducing the bild 9 – a glamourous art deco design from brand new client Loewe

Today we are hugely excited to launch the bild 9 TV stunning design from new client luxury German brand, Loewe. Crafted in collaboration with renowned designer, Bodo Sperlein, the bild 9 marks a new approach to the way a traditional TV is featured in the home. Such radical designs and future gazing aesthetics make Loewe a perfect new addition to the Little Red Rooster client roster.

 

The bild 9’s radical aesthetic cleverly combines the worlds of technology and design to create a television that will become the dramatic focal point of any room. London-based creative director Bodo Sperlein has beautifully blended traditional geometric shapes and materials with state-of-the-art
tech to craft a remarkably unique and sculptural television which exudes opulence.

 

 

The striking solid steel frame is available in two finishes – Amber Gold and Graphite Grey – shades which have been carefully selected to form a harmonious contrast with Loewe’s futuristic, ultra slim OLED screen. At just 7mm thick, this is slimmer than most smartphones and creates a sense of lightness with an almost ‘floating’ quality. All wires carefully feed through the bild 9’s frame while a fabric cover conceals other cables to ensure a perfect 360-degree perfection is achieved.

 

In addition to its stunning design, the bild 9’s core is integrated with state-of-the-art technology and an impressive acoustic. Alongside cutting-edge OLED technology mentioned above, the bild 9 boasts HDR and Dolby Vision for truly outstanding picture quality and detail in addition to class-leading sound.

 

Founder and joint partner at Little Red Rooster Victoria Ruffy comments,

 

“Winning a brand with such a rich history of innovation excellence and holistic design principles is a real tick for the coop. Our portfolio of clients is now rich with companies which are at the top of the game when it comes to combining luxurious design and the technological wow factor. We couldn’t be more pleased.”

 

This spectacularly minimalist but striking design is at the pinnacle of Little Red Rooster’s client portfolio; beautifully crafted products fused with the best of what technology has to offer.

 

The bild 9 will be available in-store at Harrods later this month and prices start from £6,990.

 

For more information please feel free to get in touch with the Loewe team at loewe@littleredrooster.co.uk

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Is social media more important than PR?

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There’s no denying the power of social media in today’s PR industry. Our Henry recently attended a PRCA seminar in which the trade association claimed that by 2019 PR professionals will no longer be speaking to journalists in the traditional sense; instead, opinion formers and ‘prosumers’ who operate in the digital sphere will be the main focus.

This is a rather radical statement to make, but it does open the question of how imperative social media is to a PR campaign in 2017. The media constantly provides us with examples of Instagram influencers being more impactful to product sales than a full-page review in the supplement of a national newspaper. With mobiles and tablets now accounting for more than half of all online sales made in the UK, it seems the current population is more digital-savvy than ever.

 

Aside from PR, social media allows brands to track and profile their customer – something our client Ted Baker places great importance on. Even major fashion houses are tapping into the power of the social media influencers. Just look at Dolce&Gabbana, which recently invited social stars to take to its runway as opposed to traditional models (as it turns out, most influencers are models-slash-DJs-slash-bloggers-slash-rocket scientists anyway).

 

With this in mind, research undertaken by marketing agency Five by Five and shared by PR Moment suggests the single most important channel for a PR product launch is social media. A massive 74% of senior marketers questioned for the study prioritised this over classic press and PR, email marketing and sales promotion. James Roles, marketing director at Five by Five, explains: “It is because of its ability, via the creation of shareable content and social engagement, to create a groundswell of interest in a brand before it hits the shelves, in a way that no other channel can match”.

 

Social media is certainly a platform LRR and its clients are in tune with. For digital-savvy brands such as B&O PLAY, liaising with social media influencers is a core part of our PR retainer. Even brands with a more traditional PR focus, such as Bisque, Smeg and Ruark, are aware of the power of social media for brand awareness. Over the past year, LRR has been briefed to incorporate a digital focus into its continued PR efforts. Furthermore, for smaller brands and start-ups, such as Smart Polish Pro, building an authentic and credible social media following is key. Smart Polish Pro’s Instagram account has racked up a humungous 85.5k followers, thanks to content shared by celebs such as footballer Daniel Spiller and rally-car TV presenter Alex Legioux.

 

For LRR, however, one cannot operate without the other. A good PR campaign relies on social media. Social media relies on PR strategy. A project without one or the other does not and will not work; the key is to build an integrated campaign.

 

LRR has noticed in particular how important social media is to a product launch, as the power of social relies on its immediacy. Look around you on the train or bus and its highly likely many of your fellow passengers are scrolling through Twitter or Instagram to pass the time. By tapping into a network of influencers ahead of launch day, brands guarantee this immediate consumption of a product to its target audience.

 

In fact, through it’s work with social media influencers Little Red Rooster is in the process of creating its very own ‘collective’ of VIPs (more on that in due course!) In the meantime, LRR has witnessed how successful this is for brands such as B&OPLAY, which benefitted from multiple posts from its own curated collection of social media stars upon launch day. Post-launch, social media continues to give and give through styling opportunities, competitions and those all-important links and hits back to websites.

 

On the other end of the spectrum, classic print (and even digital) media relies heavily on its audience; it knows that its readers will be interested and already engaged with its content. Fans of Livingetc, for example, have a style they favour; they believe that the products it features on its glossy news pages are the products their home needs. Tech mags such as T3, Stuff or WIRED operate similarly, as these readers are already engaged and have a loyalty to each title. They trust and value it. This is where classic PR comes into its own; PR professionals can target specific titles, however many they may be, and know they are reaching the large majority of a brand’s core demographic. This is how, and why, PR and social media are so in sync with one another. Think of it like Tom and Jerry – they just couldn’t live without each other.

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LRR and The Henley Arts Trail

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Credit: Richard Conway-Jones

 

This year, Little Red Rooster is excited to announce that it is a proud sponsor of the Henley Arts Trail. Now in its 12th year, the Henley Arts Trail is one of the biggest cultural events on the Henley-on-Thames social calendar, having developed into an exciting showcase of some of the finest artistic talent in Henley and its surrounding areas.

 

Spanning the course of three days over the bank holiday weekend, the Henley Arts Trail will consist of 32 venues across north Henley to Waltham St Lawrence in the south. Over 200 artists will be in attendance, showcasing their work and offering demonstrations of everything from bespoke handmade jewellery, clever carpentry, stunning paintings and impressive ceramic displays.

 

One of the many artists exhibiting this year is our Victoria Ruffy’s old next door neighbour – musician and artist Richard Conway-Jones. Richard first exhibited his work back in 1987 and has been a firm favourite at the Henley Arts Trail for several years. As fans of innovative, experimental art and design at Little Red Rooster, we love Richard’s collection this year – you can visit his work at his house – ‘The Most Beautiful House in the World’. Seemingly drawing influence from the impressionists, who famously experimented with colour and a unique abstract methodology, his work nostalgically reminds us of the likes of Chagall, Matisse and Picasso who pioneered and ultimately dominated this artistic style. As if we didn’t enjoy his work enough already, he loves our creative director Keef and is a massive Rolling Stones fan!

 

Credit: Richard Conway-Jones

 

Our Vic also recommends a visit to Coltman’s Farm in Waltham St Lawrence to see the work of sculptor Dick Budden. Vic particularly loves his bronze garden sculptures especially the golden pear and cherries. You can also indulge in a spot of tea and cake as the Budden’s throw a lovely spread!

 

Credit: Dick Budden

 

If cake and tea doesn’t hit the spot then a pint of cider and lunch at The Bell in the same village should do the trick. Another Rooster recommendation.

 

The Henley Arts Trail will take place this weekend from 29th April to the 1st May. A map of everywhere to visit can be found here. If you can’t make it this weekend, you can follow the event at its Instagram page here.

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Newbie PR Consultant at the LRR Twyford Nest

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Lucy brings an Essex mind to the team, and studied English Literature at the University of Reading. Having spent nearly three years working in PR across various food, drink and lifestyle clients, Lucy is hoping to expand her black book of media contacts, and is excited to be thrown in the deep end with a range of exciting clients including Silhouette, Bradshaw Luxury and Victoria + Albert Baths.

 

We dug a little deeper to find out more about Lucy with some very important questions…..

 

Where’s your favourite holiday destination?


Ibiza. I go every year, and am never one to miss out on a party, even if I am told I am too old for it now!


Cats or dogs?

 

Dogs! I think the ugliest grumpy dogs are the cutest – like Lady Di from EastEnders.


What’s the best gig you’ve been to?


Kings of Leon at Hyde Park, although I got soaked in the worst rain ever.


Top 3 albums?


James Bay – Chaos and the Calm

The Killer’s – Sam’s Town

Rihanna – Unapologetic


Top 3 Bands?


The Killers, Kings of Leon and The Spice Girls (NOT ASHAMED).


Who’s your favourite fashion designer now?

 

Victoria Beckham. I love her dresses and the way they fit. They always look so classy and sophisticated. Even the range of childrenswear she has just launched looks amazing. Plus she is a Spice Girl.


Best location in London for lunch?


I love to go to Balls Brothers Hays Galleria in the summer, because there are always musical performers outside who have an hour slot each, so it’s great to watch lots of different types of music whilst getting drunk in the sun with good vibes – plus the food is amazing.

 

Favourite cocktail?


Pornstar Martini!


Who’s your most loved and most hated celebrity?

Kate Middleton – not so much a celebrity, but everything she does is just flawless, and everything she wears sells outs in minutes. Plus she tolerated her sister stealing her thunder really well!

Kanye West –I saw him at Wireless Festival and listened to him tell the crowd that he was going to rule the world one day. It went on for about two hours.


Your desert island essential?

 

My iPhone.


The brand you’d most like to work on?

 

Mulberry. I literally adore my Mulberry and treat it like a baby, and I really want a Mulberry Bayswater in dark red.

 

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Salone del Mobile: Part II

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Last week, we talked through the team’s exploits in Milan while celebrating the launch of the latest in the series of collaboration’s between Smeg and Dolce & Gabbana, but Salone doesn’t stop there. Once the girls had said their goodbyes to our lovely guests, it was onwards to discover what the rest of the show had to offer.

 

After a quick pitstop for lunch in the prettiest restaurant imaginable, Vic & Izzy perused the famous Brera design district – the busiest quarter of Milan during Salone. Some of our favourite displays came from Seletti, Edizioni and Kirkby Design, but we also had a soft spot for an art exhibition from Melissa – the famous animal-friendly and ethical plastic used in shoes for over 35 years. This flower wall (pictured below) designed by Francesca Pasquali made us smile!

 

 

We then checked into our Air BnB – a cool loft-style apartment in the Navigli region of Milan – before heading out to the launch party of the Dezeen x Ikea Festival in the buzzing Ventura district. There we caught up with several familiar faces from the media world, before heading round the corner for our first pizza of the trip (washed down with the odd beer or two).

 

From left: Lee Broom’s Time Machine, Carl Hansen & Sons’ Milan Home, designed by Despina Curtis, and Wallpaper*s Handmade project

 

On day three, we were up bright and early to make the most of our last day in Milan. First stop was Lee Broom’s Time Machine, housed in an underground vault beneath Milan’s beautiful Centrale station. The presentation was quite like no other, and it’s no surprise Lee Broom’s name is on everyone’s lips each year. This time round, an eerie white carousel displayed a wide selection of lamps from the British designer’s latest lighting collection, and the venue’s whitewashed walls provided a blank canvas for the carousel to do all the talking.

 

We then hotfooted it back to the Brera district, where we checked out Bang & Olufsen’s ‘A New Way With Sound’ presentation. This was one of our favourite displays of the whole trip, and not just because we represent the brand’s counterpart, B&O PLAY! The new collection of speakers, while looking gorgeous, sounded absolutely incredible – and Bang & Olufsen’s presence during Salone goes to show just how much design and technology are intertwined these days.

 

With a heavy heart it was time to head home. Salone continues to be one of the most significant events in the design calendar. It’s also one of the largest and over three days it’s likely our girls only saw a tenth of what the city has to offer. With this in mind, we’re going to have to send them for a full week next year…. See you in 2018, Milano!

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St James’s Market development

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St James’s Market is undergoing a full redevelopment, with the aim to restore the site to its former glory, introducing over 260,000 ft2 of contemporary offices, shops and restaurants centered around a new public square. Set to become the new home of retail in the West End, this landmark £400 million regeneration will be home to Smeg’s flagship store, alongside a variety of likeminded luxury brands.

 

 

St James’s Market is a new landmark destination in Central London set over half an acre of revitalised public space complete with a new Pavilion and home to providing world-class dining and retail. Not only will the market be transformed, but it will celebrate its historic identity with a vibrant new destination defined by first-rate public realm and world-class architecture.

 

We are super excited to see a new retail concept store for Smeg later this year, offering the perfect setting to house a stunning collection of the brand’s iconic and state of the art appliances. Also appearing with stores are Jigsaw, ASOS and leading restaurants Salt Yard, Anzu and the double Michelin-starred Aquavit. In fact, our Victoria Ruffy recently lunched here and was blown away!

 

Stay tuned for further information when the Smeg store launches later this year!

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