Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Downton Abbey Hats!!!!

Did everyone watch the first episode of season three on Sunday?  

I have been counting down all summer and finally the long awaited season premier has come and gone.  As I am in Japan I was late to the Downton party for seasons 1&2, boo to being behind but this meant that I could get both complete seasons, settle into the couch, cup of tea in hand and watch them back to back.  The idea of having to a wait a week in between episodes is frustrating to say the least.

As expected from the Christmas special, season 3 kicked off with the wedding of Mary and Matthew, pictures of which I am sure are now flooding every vintage wedding inspired website the world over.

Mary looked the perfect 1920's bride in a simple long sleeved dressed covered in seed pearl and topped off with a floor length veil the focal point of which was her gorgeous diamond tiara.  It has been noted by fashionista historian types that her Tiara looks a lot like that made by the House of FabergĂ© in 1900 for a bride of the Grosvenor family which was a design of myrtle leaves and berries sacred to Aphrodite the Goddess of love.

Season three also saw some new faces at Downton most notably that of Shirley Maclaine who is playing Cora's American mother Martha Levinson.  I can only hope that the chemistry between Shirley and the Dowager Countess, played by Maggie Smith, will result in not only an ongoing battle of wits but also of hats.

I have to give episode one to Martha due to a wonderful array of 1920's style and ridiculously good use of feathers.

Other hats on display were those of the Crawley Ladies at the wedding...

Mary in her going away outfit...

Mrs Crawley's red coat, red hat comb...

and, one of my favourites of the episode, Cora's bi-corn admiral inspired hat which appeared briefly in the scene in Mrs Crawley's drawing room where the ladies were discussing whether or not to send money to Sybil and her husband to enable them to attend the wedding.  Unfortunately I can't find a good picture of the hat so will have to settle for a candid backstage shot and merely watch the episode again whenever I want to see the hat.

Sunday can't come soon enough!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Food Glorious Food!

Sorry for the silence guys but August was a busy month for visitors from the in-laws to old friends to my Mother.  Yep, my lovely mum came all the way to Japan to visit so we packed up the camping gear and headed off on a roadtrip around Hokkaido taking in Shiretoko National Park and its bears, Lake Akan with it's Ainu craft village, Daisetsuzan National Park with its caves, waterfalls and volcanoes and some pretty impressive fireworks all rounded off with high tea at the old British Consulate in Hakodate.

Bears at Shiretoko

Our little tent right before being battered by the strongest wind I have ever experienced.

Mum at Lake Akan Ainu Village

Ainu ladies performing a song

Mt Asahidake

Shiretoko 5 lakes

But my favourite part of the whole visit was when mum opened her suitcase and handed over all the food from home I had requested.  Proper chocolate, stock cubes, Robinson's diluting juice, Bisto gravy powder, Jammie Dodgers...the list goes on.  So having just finished a cheese sandwich smothered in proper chunky Branston pickle I thought I would dedicate this blog to food and the hats that celebrate it.

Starting of course with Lady Gaga's meat hat.

Mum can't bring meat into Japan so I am still dreaming of proper sausages and bacon that has some form of taste not to mention baked beans!

It's amazing how many of these hats were seen at Ascot, who knew it was such a food lovers haven.

These are made from real chocolate, messy buy yum!

One for Casanova (I promise to make pie next time)

and one for Rhondeen

Hungry yet?