Rae's Journal

  • A few weeks ago a friend came for supper. I couldn’t help notice how well she looked. Glowing, energetic, lighter, vibrant - the transformation was quite overwhelming. T shared her secret.....she had just returned from a Fasting Therapy Clinic in Germany - Buchinger Wilhelmi.

    There and then I got my diary out and  blocked 10 days in early January.

    The few weeks post Christmas, I cleared my desk to ensure I would not be stressing and off I went.

    I flew to Zurich and was taxi’d for about one hour 20  to the medieval town of Uberlingen on the shores of Lake Constance which incidentally is one of Germany’s mot popular holiday destinations during the summer months.

    Upon arrival, I checked in and was shown to my very comfortable, cosy  room which overlooked the Lake Constance. Little did I know this room was to be my cocoon for the next 10 days. I had big intentions of going on long walks and participating in each and every activity there was on offer.

    I in fact became almost reclusive for the first five days, only leaving my room to swim in the heated outdoor pool and have a treatment or two. 

    I read three books. I did a little work but mostly I rested! Totally rest!

    The actual “fast” does not start for two days. Guests are broken in gently, eating very light plant based foods. Day three I was given a very potent liquid which was to help start the cleansing  program quite dramatically and was advised not to leave my room for at least 4 hours and if I did, make sure there was a loo very nearby.

    During the stay guests are allocated a  Doctor who basically follows your progress throughout the program. The Dr and I had a half hour meeting on the first day during which time we discussed my medical history and anything which concerned me about the program. Bloods are taken and analysed to ensure there are no abnormalities.  In addition, she recommended treatments she felt would benefit me during my stay. One in particular with the Osteopath, Dr Kaiser, the man with magic hands who sorted out my jaw and shoulder. 

    I also had the most incredible under water massage which I am still thinking about daily.

    Each day from 7-9am guests check in with the on duty nurse to have blood pressure taken and weight monitored. My only real concern was that  I struggled with sleep and had a few headaches. A few Herbal sleeping pills and herbal aspirin were administered. I was assured this was completely normal  and I was  checked up on me 3 -4 times a day to make sure I was not uncomfortable. The biggest treat was being brought a hot water bottle twice a day and almost tucked in to rest. 

    Oddly, I did not feel hungry at all. So much so that when it came to the reintroduction of food on day eight I was totally disinterested.

    On day three I had a meeting with the utterly charming, quietly spoken, Dr Francoise Wilhelmi de Toledo, the wife of Raymond Wilhelmi who is the grandson of the founder of the clinic Ullrich Wilhelmi who talked me through all aspects of the theory behind the therapy:

    • Fasting mobilises the energy stored in the fatty tissue of the human body. The metabolism switches from glucose to fat and ketone consumption, causing many beneficial effects. The metabolic change was documented in the study by the permanent presence of ketone bodies in the urine.
    • Fasting leads to significant weight loss, a reduced abdominal circumference, and lower cholesterol and blood lipid levels.
    • Fasting also normalised blood pressure and improved diabetes parameters such as blood sugar and HbA1c, thus improving many factors that contribute to a healthy cardiovascular system.
    • Furthermore, in 84% of cases, serious health conditions such as arthritis, type two diabetes as well as fatty liver and hyper cholesterolemia, high blood pressure and fatigue improved through fasting.
    • 93% of the subjects did not feel hungry during fasting, which contributed to their emotional and physical well-being.
    • Medically supervised fasting had only very few side-effects, which could be treated easily and without interruptions to fasting. In individual cases, subjects experienced restless sleep, headaches, tiredness or lumbar spine complaints during the first three days.


    Evenings are spent in the quiet of your room or if you wish there is a very comfortable sitting room where many of the guests meet for evening herbal tea. There are also talks and cookery demonstration most evenings. I attended a talk on the powers of Vitamin D which was incredible - I discovered of all vits, it is the Godfather!! 

    The cookery demonstrations are really useful as they give you tips on how to improve your diet post fast.

    I could go on and on about my experience but suffice to say, it is without a doubt the best thing I have done for myself ever. I returned feeling recharged and so motivated. I am 5kg lighter in weight and I have a waist, haven’t had one of those for a very long time. Since returning my diet is much improved. I basically ditched coffee for herbal teas. I read daily and I'm much more in control of my life. I am going to do my absolute best to make this happen annually. Truly!

    Check out the full experience on Buchinger Wilhelmi.

  • Hi everyone!

    Finally February is here. We really should not wish our lives away but, really!!! January went on!

    Mornings are becoming a little lighter. Evening light drawing out a little more. Before we know it, it will be Summer.

    Our new collection is coming along nicely and I will be able to share very soon. In the meantime, stay warm and enjoy cosy evenings in!

    I've put together some favourites of mine to get you through February!


    Book Worm


    I have just finished this - the most amazing read. The New York Post described it as "Beautifully Painful" which is so true. I did not want it to end and when it did I cried so hard. Tears of genuine love for the main character whose indescribable strength to survive and grow was almost like nothing you could ever imagine.

    You can buy it from Amazon here.

    Image result for where cawdor sings


    Box Set Binge!


    I absolutely loved "This Is Us" - I'm 3 seasons in (which I steam rolled through) and I could not stop watching! Diverse and so very entertaining. Get on board!

    Starting watching Season One on Amazon Prime here.


    Image result for this is us season 1


    TV Show Obsession


    Anyone not see Jen Aniston in The Morning Show. It's Apple TV's new hit series. Well worth a watch. Reese Witherspoon and her are electric together!!!!

    Watch on Apple TV or click through the link here.

    Image result for the morning show




    Obsessed with William Prince. Incredible voice. Listen to "Breathless".

    William Prince is a Winnipeg-based Canadian folk and country singer-songwriter, who won the Juno Award for Contemporary Roots Album of the Year at the 2017 Juno Awards for his debut album Earthly Days. He performs as a solo artist and alongside Vince Fontaine and Don Amero in the band Indian City.

    Listen on Youtube here.

    Image result for william prince breathless


    Quote of the Day


    Image result for daily quote

    Big kiss
    Rae xx

  • I sit down with co-founder Arabella Preston to discuss her skincare routine, what's in store for Votary in 2020 and how to better your skin care routine.

    Tell me a little about Votary.

    Votary started out at my kitchen table when I began blending facial oils for my make-up clients - we've come a long way since those humble beginnings and have created a range of plant powered skincare that is loved by all ages, all around the world! 

    Our best-selling products are our Rose Geranium Cleansing Oil - beloved for its make-up melting efficacy and Super Seed Facial Oil, a unique blend of 22 seed oils that is fragrance free and so nourishing and comforting on the skin. 

    What is your daily cleansing routine?


    Votary cleansing oils are truly transformational. They are always the first product I hand to someone when they are starting their Votary journey.

    In the mornings I use two pumps of Rose Geranium Cleansing Oil to gently exfoliate the night away and leave a really flawless base for make-up.

    In the evening I usually use Super Seed Cleansing Oil as a cleansing mask by applying 3-4 pumps to my skin then letting it work its magic while I wallow in a hot bath.


    What is your preference; oil or cream moisturiser, and why?


    I use both, but in desert island situation I'd choose a facial oil. They are just so easy to use and never clog my skin. They are more lightweight than creams and don't require any preservatives or filler ingredients, so you are just getting the pure dose of plant oils to the skin.

    Of all the ingredients that go into your product - what is your hero ingredient?


    I am really excited about CBD and its potential uses. CBD works as an anti-inflammatory and can be really effective on sensitive skin. We've used it in our Super Boost Night Drops and the feedback from customers has been wonderful. Contrary to popular opinion, CBD has zero psychoactive properties!



    Body skin care - what are your top tips?


    Exfoliate twice a week and smooth an oil into slightly damp skin after washing. Always treat your neck and chest in the same way you do your face and never harsh scrubs on your chest.


    What's in store for Votary in 2020?


    Some really exciting new product launches. Our Super Seed Serum has just launched - it is THE serum for sensitive skin. Then we have our Super Glow Mask in the Spring and a new Intense Overnight Mask in Autumn - 2020 is the year of the mask for Votary! 

    Votary offer a personalised skincare service. For a recommendation email them on skincare@votary.co.uk


    Follow Votary on Instagram: @votarylondon


  • Hello !!!!! xx
    Often wonder when it is no longer timely to say Happy New Year, maybe end of Jan?
    Anyway I wish each and everyone of you the happiest and healthiest 2020!
    Is it just me or does 2020 have a lovely ring to it and I don’t know about you but I have felt real positivity about this new decade. I’m excited for what's ahead.
    I decided not to make any resolutions, not to participate in Dry Jan, Veganuary or January 30 day Challenge and so on. I decided to just go with the flow and so far, it feels good.
    We have so many exciting projects in work. Creative juices have been flowing. We have a lovely beach collection landing in March. Waiting on final samples and will share imagery with you when ready.
    Our trademark Monogram Baskets are being pimped and elevated - images to follow.
    New every day Rae Totes coming in bright colours.
    A new BIG towelling beach bag in a collection of vibrant summer colours.
    A very exciting new hat collection which I’m itching to share with you but do not want to tempt fate.
    Most important, all of the above with sustainability in the forefront of my mind our aim is to create timeless piece that stay in your closet for at least a decade!!
    Biggest love to you all.
    Rae xxx

  • At Rae Feather, we source baskets from all over the globe, Morocco, Portugal, Bali, France and quite recently started working with a company in Tunisia. I discovered them at a trade fair and the owner, Meriem, invited me to come and visit their factory. I'd never been to Tunisia so decided to make the most of it and explore for a few extra days.


    We flew to Carthage from Gatwick and after some research, I discovered the incredible Villa Kahina. The photos speak for themselves but it is truly unique.

    Set in a unique spot on top of a hill, overlooking the clear blue waters of Mediterranean Sea, in the classified UNESCO world patrimony village of Sidi Bou Said. The Villa emphasises on meticulous attention to every detail yet is soooo simple. White washed everything, contrasting with beautiful blue wooden shutters. The team were incredible. Friendly, relaxed and nothing was too much trouble.

    Five minutes from he hotel was the Souk. Small and intimate and a chance to stock up on herbs, spices and of course Argon oil!

    We ate so well but perhaps not very healthy. The first lunch was at Chez Franky - great fun. Delicious pizza and the perfect place to people watch.

    Tunisia may be Mediterranean, but the diet is not. Tunisians, with their penchant for oil and sugar which has led to soaring rates of heart disease, do not adhere to the almond and yoghurt-laced Mediterranean diet. The cornerstone of a Tunisian meal is bread, and the rest of the table will be groaning under the weight of additional carbohydrates: macaroni with potatoes, couscous, deep-fried potatoes and peppers mashed into a paste called Kefteji, sandwiches stuffed with French fries.

    La Villa Bleu restaurant is well worth a visit. Perhaps a little touristy and commercial but a charming place.

    Le Golfe restaurant on the beach serves delicious fish including shell fish.

    Here's what I packed to take away with me:


    Feel free to send over your questions, I'll see if I can help.

    Email info@raefeather.com

  • A few years ago, I would silently boast to myself how low maintenance I was when it came to time and money spent on beauty products. My mother wears little to no make up and her daily regime has barely changed from when I was a child. Soap, water and Ponds cold cream... well maybe not Ponds but a high street chemist offer of the day. She is very lucky and has stood the test of time with true grace and good genes.  Beautiful advertising and social media awoke my senses quite late in life... and perhaps the hope of taking a few years off my face. These are my go to pieces. Tried and tested...

    I know facial brushes have been around for a while but this one combined with the Mary Kay Facial wash are a dream team. I brush religiously every morning and night and my skin feels so squeaky clean, bright and tight. Here's a video.

    Shop Mary Kay Facial Cleaning Brush here!

    Argon Oil is something I can not live without. I use it like the Father  in Big Fat Greek Wedding used Windex... if in doubt apply Argon oil. I use it on dry skin, dry hair, my face, my feet... I bought this one from a street vendor in Tunisia but I have also used this one which I bought from Amazon.

    Shop Argan Oil here!

    Sisley skin skincare is like no other. It is outstanding... They understand the sun and they understand the importance of sun care. Their Tanning Cream, I have used it for years - it is amazing - it works... a couple of applications and you look perfectly sun kissed!

    Shop Sisley Paris here!

    We've recently partnered with Sisley Paris UK on a marketing collaboration and I got to try some amazing new products from there Super Soin range. See them below...

    Click above to shop Sisley Paris!

    I do not leave the house without foundation. I feel bare without it and I only wear one with high SPF. This one from Studio 10 is incredible. Its has formulated for the more mature skin and leaves a really flawless finish.

    Shop Studio 10 here!

    I have recently been introduced to this Chanel bronzer - it is amazing. Goes on beautifully and looks very natural.

    For eyes I always wear a waterproof mascara and to brighten my eyes up this earthy palate from Chanel.

    Click above to shop Chanel!

    Finally, I don't leave home without a little bottle of CBD oil - this is the best I have tried.


    Shop Well Double LL here!

    I used perfumes really difficult. I wore Chanel Mademoiselle forever but slightly fell out of love with it after 20 years of wearing it every day. Others I tried sometimes made me feel claustrophobic. I was in a restaurant in Paris about six years ago and the lady next to me smelt so good. I had to ask... she was wearing Molecule 01 and I ordered it the next morning and haven't looked back. I can not smell it on myself but i get stopped in the street when I wear it. For something a little more feminine I wear La Labo Bergamot - it's so unique.

    Shop Molecule here!

    Shop Le Labo here!

    I'd love to hear your thoughts - please do share...

  • About 8 years ago all my family sat around together to plan a city trip that would mix culture, shopping, eating, drinking and a little luxury. It got a little rowdy so it was decided that each of us would write the name of the city on a piece of paper and it would be drawn out of a hat.

    My choice was Istanbul and I won the draw!!

    The trip was incredible and ticked every single box. We stayed in a hotel over looking the Bosporous with delicious lunches and dinners on various pontoons watching the comings and going of super yachts, ribs, day boats and International cargo ships. Truly fascinating!!

    The Bazaar was more inspiring than I could even begin to describe. Once I got over the heckling, I found myself totally immersed in the culture. I loved the people. I found them warm, welcoming and humorous. Thus began my little love affair with Turkey.

    A few years later I attended a detox retreat in Bodrum. It was run by a gorgeous girl, Kate Marriott. Her company Revive Wellness,  was basically juicing and raw eating for 7 days... the results after just one week were astounding.

    Due to the nature of my detox trip I didn't get to explore too much so decided a few months ago to go back to Bodrum. We stayed in a new hotel, Caresse Resort. Situated 10 mins outside Bodrum and one of a few new 5 star resorts recently opened, Caresse did not disappoint. The hotel overlooks the Algean Sea with stunning views across the bay. From the minute you walk in it feels uber relaxed. Masses of comfortable seating areas and quiet corners. Wonderful friendly service, amazing Spa (you must try a Turkish Bath treatment!!) and relaxed, delicious dining - try the Fried Aubergine with Pomegranate!!!!

    At night it livens up with the recently opened Buddha Bar which attracts The Beautiful People coming in off Yachts (great for people watching if you'd rather not get involved?). Also…magnificent sunsets!!

    My room was spacious and really comfortable but to be honest because outside is so beautiful I was rarely there. Water taxis's operate and will transport you across the bay to the charming town centre for late night shopping and some beautiful traditional restaurants. One's really worth visiting are Orfoz and Mimoza - incredible!!


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    Postcards From Greece

    Our new 'Postcards From' series is a collation of this seasons social media posts. Offering us style inspiration and context of seeing your Rae Feather accessory in the world.

    Thank you for the support! Be sure to connect here.


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  • About a year into launching the monogram basket, I felt there was a need to create a monogram bag that served the same purpose as a basket but would become almost a “bag for life”. I was at a fair in Paris and met a wonderful lady who had just what I was looking for. After heavily admiring her collection, we got talking.

    canvas classic

    Sheenagh had worked for the UN. She had been sent to Bangladesh to educate and help implement means of birth control to women in remote towns and villages.

    For Sheenangh, this proved to be a major challenge in that the majority of the women she met had been brought up to believe their only job in life was to procreate. If they did not marry young, many were forced to become young sex workers.

    After much research, it was discovered that those who worked and were financially independent, followed advice regarding birth control. They felt valued and had a purpose outside that of giving birth.

    Screen Shot 2019-07-05 at 16.52.10 (2)

    She found a small group of women from rural communities who were fabric weavers. These women had little to no education. They married very young and by the age of 18 could have had 2-4 children. For many, this was the first time they had ever earned an income.

    Their salary really mattered. They could contribute to family expenditure for the first time, and their first priority when you ask them is always education, education, education of their kids and particularly their daughters, for whom they wish a life with far greater opportunities than they ever had.
    Canvas Straw Fringe

    The woven cloth was then sent to Dhaka to be tailored and produce the finished products. A number of the women making the bags used to be sex workers in the city. They were taken to a safe environment by the NGO and trained in tailoring by voluntary women groups. They are now paid, not only a fair wage, but get paid for over-time and have a regular health check offered to them on site by the NGO.

    I guess the essence of the above is to say how much it pleases me that as a brand, we can work with organisations like the above and give a little back. I should however add that most of what we do has an element of fair trade attached. Much of manufacturing for example, is done in India. When we first find factories, they are thoroughly researched. I ensure they operate in a very transparent manner. I ask for a tour. I engage with the work force and ask the necessary questions, to ensure we are working with reputable organisation.

    Support the community and shop canvas!

  • Firstly, I apologise for the fact that we lapsed in the blog department in the last months but the good news is, we're back and I want to kick off with a trip we did recently to Essaouria, Morocco.

    Essaouria Streets

    Marrakech, as we know, has been at the forefront of many people’s bucket list over the past few years. It’s perfect for a mini break. Not too long a flight and you arrive in what is culturally a very different world. On my first visit I likened it to going on to huge film set. I was blown away by the colour, the people, the food, the architecture, the noise, the atmosphere, the diversity…

    We wanted to shoot 2019 Spring Summer Collection somewhere a little raw, colourful, atmospheric and most importantly we needed strong chance of good light/sunshine. Morocco in early March ticked all the boxes and we chose the coastal city (small city) of Essaouria, 2 and half hours north of Marrakech.


    Formally known as Mogador, the name means “The Picture”  in Arabic and it is a painters dream. Lots of vibrant colours everywhere.... bright blues, whites, pinks and oranges. The Port surrounded by sand stone walls contrasting with the colourful fishing boats.

    Along the port are masses of little outdoor restaurants. Important to note, none serve alcohol and they are all fighting for business so be prepared to be bombarded however, when you do make your choice it’s very calm. I would guess all are the same standard and same price.

    We stayed in Riad Malaika. The host was charming and the staff so helpful HOWEVER, the chef was off the scale. A 24 year old girl who was so passionate about cooking that from young age watched You Tube videos of really high end French chefs and is totally self taught. I rarely have eaten so well. We were all blown away.

    Check out their website for more details and arrange a stay! : http://riad-essaouira-malaika.com/home-3/

    Follow them on Instagram: @riad.malaika


    There are many Riads in Essaouria and I would strongly recommend staying in a Riad as opposed to a hotel. Instagram is brilliant for research. We shot in one of the loveliest I have ever seen - 5 columns. Owned and restored by an English couple.


    Check out their website for more: http://www.5-columns.com

    Follow them on Instagram! @5.columns

    In short, Essaouria is well worth a visit. I might even suggest a 2 stop trip. Marrakesh and Essaouria. Hire a car but BEWARE of very corrupt traffic police. Stick to speed and signs. They do not take credit cards - say no more!!!


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