Archive :   May   2016
POSTED May 26, 2016 5:06 pm IN:

Walk around Chelsea this week and you’ll experience the beauty of nature in abundance. One of the greatest flower shows in the world, Chelsea Flower Show, is in town and many boutiques, restaurants and hotels are embracing this annual assault on the senses.

The Bloomsbury Hotel & Dalloway Terrace is no exception. This stunning luxury hotel occupies an elegantly restored Georgian building with a beautiful central courtyard, in the upscale area of Bloomsbury. With no set brief, Nikki and her amazing team were offered the creative freedom to design and install something truly striking and impressive.

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Bright, beautiful and abundant were 3 words that sprung to mind and the team were soon on there way to creating an ‘Overgrown English Country Garden’ style flower arch which included everything you might find in a traditional English Country Garden. From lupins, foxgloves, rose plants, lavender and calceolaria gems to jasmine, hydrangea, cosmos, and of course beautiful wisteria the installation is a true show stopper.

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Don’t forgot to upload your finest photo of The Bloomsbury and Dalloway Terrace Chelsea Flower Show display to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, and be in with the chance to win a prize! Remember to use the hashtag ‘ChelseainBLOOMsbury. Follow @HotelBloomsbury and @DallowayTerrace.

 

 

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POSTED May 26, 2016 3:12 pm IN:

Last night, Wednesday 25th May, we held a special event in our Pimlico shop to celebrate the collaboration of Nikki Tibbles and Rae Feather. Nikki and Rae have teamed up together to design a beautiful basket of flowers in honour of Chelsea Flower Show.

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With the shop looking bright, beautiful and abundant, dressed with gorgeous seasonal blooms and Rae Feather bespoke baskets, our guests sipped on Cointreau Fizz cocktails (with edible flowers, of course!) and Pimm’s, while Lily Vanilli served a fabulous selection of canapes.

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With their friendship initially sparking on Instagram, not only were they fans of each others work, but both had a strong interest in dogs and animal welfare. Especially so for Nikki who is the co-founder of Wild at Heart Foundation. Their friendship quickly evolved, and both jumped at the chance to collaborate during the week of Chelsea Flower Show.

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As part of the collaboration Nikki and Rae are offering one of their fabulous followers the chance to WIN the below special edition personalised basket and a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Head over the the Wild at Heart Facebook page to enter! Good Luck!

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POSTED May 25, 2016 1:57 pm IN:

This week we installed a rather fabulous orange fish at Mayfair’s Sexy Fish restaurant. Designed in honour of the Chelsea Flower Show the striking fish sits above the restaurant’s orange canopy and with its pouting red glitter lips, fluttery eyelashes and sparkling gold scales it’s quite the head turner.

IMG_2995Once we’d been given our brief by the Sexy Fish team – to create a fun, sexy, fish! – our head of events, Alex, sketched up a vibrant glittering interpretation. The next step was to turn Alex’s vision into reality and the team worked incredibly hard to make it happen.

Processed with VSCO with hb1 presetThe fish took over ten people ten days to make and install and consists of 1,000 custom-coloured hydrangea, over 7,000 orchid heads, 200g of red glitter for those pouty lips, 12 cans of glitter spray, 40 cans of spray paint and the incredible eyelashes were crafted from foam and very liberally covered in glitter.

IMG_2994The fish will be floating above the restaurant until 2nd June, so head down and check it out for yourself – it’s really something!

 

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POSTED May 19, 2016 5:51 pm IN:

The Guardian Weekend recently interviewed Nikki at her stylish home in west London. Covering topics from running a successful business and charity to how she unwinds after a busy day and her failsafe feel-good tips, it’s an insight into Nikki’s busy day from alarm clock sounding to lights out.

Read the full article on the Guardian.

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POSTED May 19, 2016 4:18 pm IN: ,

Last weekend our events team de-camped to Osea Island for a few days – a pretty island which sits on the Blackwater Estuary– to create flowers for a beautiful wedding. Here, we follow Jess, our Events Manager, as she and the team pack up the back of their vans with flowers and set sail for Osea.

Arriving at Osea

With our vans in convoy we made the journey from Battersea to Osea full of excitement for the weekend ahead. We managed to get across the estuary in our vans during low tide and arrived at the picture-perfect island – you would never believe that you were just a stone’s throw away from London. Osea is an uninhabited private island which is available for holidays, parties and of course, weddings and we fell in love the minute we arrived.

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Everywhere you look on Osea there is an instagrammable moment, so we unloaded the flowers into The Shack – our workshop for the next few days – and did a reccy of the island. Once we were back at the shack after our explorations, we set ourselves up for the following day and got started with some essential prep.

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Preparation, Preparation

The next day was our main day for creating the big wedding displays, so we set to work on a pretty runner made up of feverfew daisies which was to run along the full length of the aisle and the luscious trees which would be used in the dining room. When it was time to take a break we enjoyed a lovely lunch around the pool and cooled down with a few well-earned cornettos.

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The Big Day

This was the big day! Our main tasks were crafting a beautiful flower arch and decorating the pagoda where the couple were tying the knot. The flowers were so gorgeous and fragrant, we used a colourful blend of lilac spray roses,  four seasons white roses, mottled lilac hydrangea, bombastic and more feverfew daisies – the results were really breathtaking and everything smelt amazing.

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After the nuptials the guests were led through a secret garden where we had decorated a picturesque swing and a huge urn with yet more beautiful flowers. Arriving at an afternoon tea party which was vintage inspired and very pretty, the room had gorgeous vintage chairs and crockery as well as teapots for decoration filled with pastel-hued flowers dotted around the tables.

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Everything at this wedding was bespoke and every element was considered. The dining room was transformed into a lush forest for the evening reception complete with custom-made trees. We draped the ceiling in ivy, ming foliage, asparagus fern and twinkly fairy lights while each of the tables had forest runners with oyster mushrooms, handmade birch decorations, moss table numbers and wild flowers sat under cloches. It looked so magical.

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Heading Home

The following day we had to de-rig and were very conscious to salvage as many of the beautiful flowers as possible by creating bouquets for each of the guests to take home with them. Before the tide was low enough for us to make our return journey, we just had time to explore the island a little more, say our goodbyes to the resident donkeys, Salt & Pepper, and even managed a spot of fishing. What a weekend.

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Stay tuned to the blog, we have another post coming soon with more beautiful pictures from this lovely wedding.

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POSTED May 19, 2016 12:09 pm IN:

You may remember that a few months ago we installed a beautiful blossom tree in Bicester Village designer shopping outlet. A big hit with shoppers who posed and snapped away beneath it, last week we gave the tree a fresh new look.

As spring makes its way for summer we have traded pretty pink blossom for hundreds of red silk roses, so be sure to stop by and take a look.

 

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POSTED May 17, 2016 3:53 pm IN:

Day 1
Bleary eyed I navigated through customs into the swarm of tourists and locals in the arrivals hall where I could only think to myself, hallelujah for Uber! I had arranged to meet Alison Standbridge, the Founder of Paws 2 Rescue, in a village one hour outside of Bucharest called Belciugatele which would be the first location of the Neutering Campaign Wild at Heart Foundation are supporting. It was instantly noticeable that there is a vast problem with the stray dog population in Romania passing strays every corner we turned.First on the list was to visit the location the Neutering Campaign was to be held. Alison pre warned me before entering that it wasn’t in the best of conditions and would be sterilized with the work carried out over the rest of the weekend in time for the first session on Saturday 12th May.

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Belciugatele, the first village we will be campaigning in is relatively dog friendly with the Mayor and Police strongly backing the first campaign. The Mayor will be joining forces with the police to enforce each dog owner to have their dog spay or neutered next weekend which isn’t the case in other villages. With threats of being fined if dog owners do not take their dog to be neutered we are hoping for at least 200-300 procedures to be carried out. Marius and Rudi will be microchipping all dogs brought in by their owners and clipping stray’s ears which will be brought in by dog catchers arranged by Marius. The dogs will also receive tick treatment and any other medical care needed whilst in the more than capable hands of our extremely devoted vets.

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A break from neutering our next task was to visit a lady called Marda who Paws 2 Rescue had been in contact with and recently rehomed a magnificent search and rescue dog that had been in her care. Marda lives in a house with 30+ cats and over 15 dogs including puppies and dogs as old as 16. Navigating the roads and supermarkets to bulk buy cat and dog food we finally found ourselves around the kitchen table with Marda, 5 dogs, 6 cats a large goat and a ‘ginormous’ bunny rabbit an interesting afternoon to say the least! With every story of each animal she told I could feel myself understanding why she had such a full house, true love and care for dogs and cats with individual needs that most people won’t put up with which is why they end up on the streets in a worse off condition.

Day 2
It’s been torrential rain for days here in Romania, it seems like I brought the English weather here for the weekend and sent the sunshine back to England! After a very late dinner, the first meal of the day for myself and Alison I headed back to the hotel for some much needed sleep. It’s now Saturday 8th May and this morning I headed to Pantelimon where Alison is staying with Marius’s lovely parents. Today was going to be a very busy day with our first stop at Cucuieti to visit Stefan and Irina who had set up a shelter with over 300+ dogs. We found Irina outside a gentleman’s shop where they had set up a small neuter campaign sponsored by two veterinary friends of theirs who had driven over from Germany.

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We arrived at Stefan’s shelter where we were greeted by a tiny puppy only a few weeks’ old who had been dumped on the doorstep with his sibling- Stefan explained that the Mayor encourages the village people to drop the unwanted dogs at his shelter which is why his dog population increases so dramatically by day. Once inside it was like a high security prison, dogs in cages upon cages everywhere you looked and 20+ roaming in the courtyard covered in mud and excited for human contact which meant I was head to toe a walking target ready to be pounced on. 10 minutes later I was COVERED in mud, faeces and had been urinated on like a tree, I could only laugh at myself, these dogs know no better. It was clear to us that Stefan and Irina received support for the Shelter and were not so much in need of help like other people we had seen.

Kola Kariola, a shelter ran by Marius and Eleonore was our next stop in Belciugatele. On our way there I had a heart leap out of my chest moment where I saw a small dog run into the middle of the road and be nearly hit by a car. We stopped and I ran out to get him swooping him up and taking him with us, he shaked in my lap the rest of the journey petrified, covered in ticks but also licking my hands and arms, the most gorgeous pup. We arrive at Kola Kariola- the worst road conditions I have ever seen, a mud track swamped with rain water which was non driveable in Alison’s small hire care. We awaited pick up in Marius’s jeep which led us down the track avoiding not to throw up at any point! Passing Bertie (newly named and available for adoption!!) over to Laurent one of Marius’s amazing workers we clambered out of the car and changed into wellies which we were definitely going to need.

Dogs, dogs, dogs, everywhere we looked, this is where Alison has most of her dogs kept where she has rescued them in ways like I had on our journey here today. We went into a few enclosures to see how her dogs were getting on and photograph them so we could get them up onto the internet and ready for adoption.

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I could see a tiny soul, bright red fur with her face pushed up against the metal bars of an enclosure, my heart melted. I entered and met ‘Red’ I instantly fell in love, she wouldn’t stop jumping up into my arms for cuddles and kisses and I broke down into a heap of tears, I was emotionally overwhelmed knowing I was walking away and there was nothing I could do, at least while I was here anyway. Words really cannot describe the feeling, I sat inside with Red for over an hour where she cried every time I tried to leave, it ate me up inside the whole journey back into Bucharest. I found it extremely difficult to sleep last night with a few tears before finally nodding off. Seeing these dogs in conditions unimaginable by the human eye is truly terrifying, I am so happy I came out to see what’s happening on the ground here because the fire in my belly is burning stronger than ever to help reduce the stray dog population.

Day 3
This morning I headed to Maxi Pet to bulk buy dog food with Alison as we were off to meet the ‘supposed’ poorest lady in Giurana. After arriving half way down a non driveable road we met Maria who told our translator it was too unsafe to leave the car on its own and someone would have to stay in it whilst they hauled the dog food across the railway track to her house. Crossing the railway track to get into Maria’s house was like approaching the secret garden, a doorway amongst a wall of greenery but sadly that magical touch soon passed when the door was opened up into dirty old mattresses on the ground with dogs scattered covered in mud.

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Maria welcomed us in to show us the conditions she was living in. Poverty stricken, a house/shack falling apart, no fridge or oven to cook or keep food, a mattress on the floor with animal faeces on, no place for anyone to live. It was clear Maria was in need of help and support and began to cry when Alison presented the food and some money to keep her and her dogs going for a little longer. Money is not something we tend to give to rescuers as we prefer to give food so we know where the money is going but Maria lives too far away from any shop to get these supplies and she must pay someone to do this route for her.

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We said our goodbyes and were on our way, talking over the situation in the car Alison explained that Maria has been beaten up by her neighbours on multiple occasions for keeping dogs, there is a rule in Romania that you cannot report anyone to the police for abuse unless you have an eye witness- hard to come by here. My heart went out to her for all she was doing for her dogs and I was happy Alison had managed to secure her for a little longer.

Sadly, I was flying back to London that evening so was running out of time to visit one more rescuer that day so we headed back to Kola Kariola to take some photos of pups Alison wanted to get up onto her website for adoption. Marius and Eleonore were out at the vets which meant we were met by horse and cart for an eventful journey across the waterlogged track to the shelter. Photos taken and kisses and cuddles for me and Red I got to say my final tearful goodbyes and headed for the airport. I am so thankful I was able to spend 3 days in this corrupt, poverty stricken country to see this issues they are facing daily first hand. This won’t be my last trip and I’ll definitely pack waterproofs and gallons of anti-bacterial gel for my next trip!

Until next time.

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Wild at Heart Foundation: We find and support animal welfare projects all over the world. In particular, we aim to reduce the world’s 600 million stray dog population. We do this by orgainsing and sponsoring rescue projects, neutering programmes, awareness campaigns and education initiatives. Click to donate.

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POSTED May 16, 2016 5:02 pm IN:

Yesterday marked a very special moment for us here at Wild at Heart, as one year ago, on 15th May 2015, the Wild at Heart Foundation was officially recognised as a charity by the UK Charity Commission. To celebrate this important  milestone, we’re looking back at the foundation’s unique story and what has been achieved by the team so far.

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The charity was set up Nikki and Nadine after meeting via Instagram when they were both adopting from the same litter of puppies from Romania. They met for a coffee and shared stories, hopes and dreams, and just six months later, the Wild at Heart Foundation was born.

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The main aim of the charity is to reduce the world’s 600 million stray dog population through neutering, education and re-homing.  They’ve achieved incredible things with a tiny team, and in just one year, the foundation has:

- Re-homed 238 dogs

- Neutered over 300 dogs

- Worked on rescue and neutering projects in Cyprus, Bosnia, Romania, Borneo, Puerto Rico, Greece and the UK

- Gained over 10,400 followers across  social media

- Created 83 articles, 329 Instagram posts, 442 Facebook posts and 773 tweets

- Became Gift Aid approved

Although most of this has happened with just four people working for the charity, the foundation has recently grown its team and is looking forward to getting even closer to their goal of reducing the world’s stray dog population in the next year.

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100% of the donations received go towards the foundation’s projects and 10% of profits from Wild at Heart also go directly to the foundation.

Wild at Heart Foundation: We find and support animal welfare projects all over the world. In particular, we aim to reduce the world’s 600 million stray dog population. We do this by orgainsing and sponsoring rescue projects, neutering programmes, awareness campaigns and education initiatives. Click to donate.

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POSTED May 12, 2016 2:52 pm IN: ,

Last weekend we created flowers for a beautiful wedding at one of our favourite places in London, the Victoria & Albert Museum.

The mood was romantic and the colour palette was soft and pretty in white, cream and nude with glamorous gold and crystal accents.

The tables were decorated with statement white blossom trees at their centres. Crafted from a natural wooden trunk the blossom branches reached up and over the table creating a lovely canopy effect.  They were accompanied by central stemmed bowls of blousy white peonies, white roses, guelder rose and spiraea as well as clusters of stylish crystal pillar candles and tea lights.

Echoing the blossom on the tables, we also filled a huge stone urn with branches of white blossom which was placed on the central bar and acted as the perfect focal point for the space.

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