If you find yourself in Oxford in the upcoming summer months, head down to Cherwell Boat house and go punting! Punting involves going down the river on a narrow boat (a punt) using a long pole to push the riverbed, and has been a much loved feature of Oxford life since Victorian times. In Oxford, you can travel several miles along the Cherwell River and even stop by for a meal and a pint at the The Victoria Arms (the cutest river pub) before returning your punt. A punt can fit a maximum of 6 people and makes for a great outing with friends and family! Make sure to bring some snacks, a bottle of water, and a chilled bottle of wine (but do drink and punt responsibly!). Reserve your punt prior to arrival as it is quite a popular pass-time in Oxford during spring and summer.
Dear husband doing all the heavy lifting as I sit in the passenger seat attempting to look pretty – juggling the pole, camera, and lenses while maneuvering the boat. Whoever said men can’t multi-task?
Ümran Aysan Silk Kimono Jacket (£498): I am absolutely in love with this stunning kimono jacket! This versatile jacket is woven from pure Turkish silk and features minimal hand-made needle lace trims at the loose open front. It is both sourced and made in Turkey using traditional methods of craftsmanship by local artisans. This London-based designer is the epitome of ethical luxury: slow and conscious production of beautiful and refined garments, whilst preserving traditional craftsmanship. This jacket can be worn with jeans and a t-shirt for low-key chic city look or as a beach cover up for your vacation wardrobe!
Pembe Club Tusk bracelet (£160): this stunning bracelet features Botswana agate semi-precious beads and a gold-plated spacer shaped like an elephant tusk. From each sale of this bracelet, 10% will be donated to Tusk (an organisation with 25 years experience initiating and funding anti-poaching efforts, conservation, community development and environmental education programs) to help the Mkomazi National Park Project. Pembe club want to “use the power of fashion and hand-crafted aesthetics to change the fortunes of the most magnificent, yet threatened creatures on Earth. To harness the purchasing power of the luxury goods market for the benefit of those most directly involved in the battle against poaching.” This company strives to be as transparent as possible in every aspect of their business: from designing and crafting each piece by hand, to personally selecting the organisations they support.
With summer approaching it is important to take action and prepare your skin for those warm and sunny days! Before you hit the sun-bed or go on an outing, make sure to protect your skin against sun damage. Keep your sunscreen close, moisturise, and exfoliate at least once a week. In combination with sunscreen I used the following natural products to prepare my skin for the sunny and warm punt outing:
SOVERAL is a London-based skincare brand manufacturing their products from raw and organically-produced ingredients. The ingredients used in the making of their products may vary from season to season depending on environmental conditions. Most of their products come in travel sizes, perfect for those who are constantly on the go or even for trying out their products for the first time! If you want to test their products before purchase you can pop by their lab and clinic in Maida Vale and see the products made by the company’s founder Alexandra Soveral!
SOVERAL Angel Balm (£55): Alexandra Soveral’s most popular product, this 100% organic multifunctional balm can be used as a deep pore cleanser, balancing mask, lip balm, or as a rejuvenating ointment for dry skin areas. For a perfect finish follow up with Midnight Oil. Whether you are going on holiday or strolling around on a sunny day I would keep this magical balm in your bag to moisturise on the go!
SOVERAL Midnight Oil (£41): Awarded “Best of the Best” product by Harpers Bazaar, this 100% organic face oil is absolutely lovely! This oil can be used throughout the day to maintain vibrant and glowing skin. It lifts tired skin by having a re-invigorating effect on muscular tone and decongesting effect on toxins. It soaks into the skin beautifully and does not leave it feeling oily or clogged up!
Weleda is a UK-based holistic natural cosmetic brand which manufactures their products using ingredients from Biodynamic farming methods. The company started in 1921 as a pharmaceutical laboratory in Switzerland with it’s own medicinal plant garden and since then has grown into an international company represented in over 50 countries. All of their products are made using 100% certified natural substances, are not tested on animals, and are both organic and vegan. Weleda places great emphasis on environmental commitments, social sustainability and fair trade practices, as well as economic sustainability.
Weleda Birch Body Scrub (£9.95): This vegetarian-friendly body scrub exfoliates and smoothes the skin with the use of non-polluting natural wax beads. Made from organic silver birch leaves (grown sustainably in South Bohemia, Czech Republic) in combination with organic rosemary leaf extract, Butcher’s Broom root extract, apricot kernel oil and organic sesame oil. Combined, these ingredients have valuable anti-inflammatory and toning properties, flush out toxins and nourish and moisturise the skin. This scrub is ideal to get your skin tan ready, through targeting dry, dull, or rough patches to ensure an even tan. This scrub has a lovely fresh scent and leaves the skin feeling smooth and radiant.
Weleda Berry Red Lip Balm (£6.95): One of my new favourite lip balms! New this spring, this balm leaves the lips smooth with a lovely shine and a hint of colour. This NATRUE certified natural balm uses mineral pigments and natural ingredients to provide subtle colour and shimmer. From using fair-trade organic shea butter to organic jojoba oil produced sustainably in Argentina, this product is made using ethical and eco-friendly methods. It is vegan-friendly, gluten free, and ideal for use during pregnancy as it is free from parabens and other artificial preservatives. When I first received this product I was slightly worried that the colour would be too dominant but was happy to see it subtly enhance my natural lip colour. The lip balm comes in three colours: Nude, Rose, and Berry.
All Seascape products are produced using locally-sourced ingredients from Jersey. The products are free from parabens, silicones, SLS, petroleum, artificial colours and artificial fragrances. Seascape does not test on animals and all of their products are suitable for vegetarians.
Seascape Soothe Body Butter (£18): This multiple award-wining body butter is heavenly! If you are a fan of lavender you will love this one. It contains 100% natural essential oils of lavender to relax and calm, Ylang Ylang to balance the mind, and Mandarin to rejuvenate the skin. It also contains beeswax, shea butter, cocoa butter, rosehip seed oil, grape seed oil and sweet almond oil which is rich in Omega 3, Omega 6, and Vitamin E to help repair dry skin and assist with the reduction of stretch marks. The “Soothe” range is fragranced with “pregnancy-safe” essential oils.
Seascape Peppermint Oil Lip Balm (£10): This long-lasting lip balm contains 100% natural peppermint essential oil in combination with beeswax, honey and jojoba seed oil to moisturise and protect dry and chapped lips. I applied this lip balm about two hours prior to applying the Weleda “Berry Red” and it left my lips feeling extremely soft and supple. If you like using peppermint products (as the scent can be quite strong) then it is a lip-care must!
All of the sustainable products that have been mentioned in this post have been awarded the Positive Luxury “Butterfly Mark”, a mark that helps consumers identify brands that take on social and environmental commitments.