Spotlight on Aman Venice

One of eight monumental palazzos on the Grand Canal, Aman Venice is my residence of choice when visiting the Italian city.  It perfectly blends historical architecture with contemporary living.  

A boutique hotel which feels more like a residential palace – I would happily move into the Maddalena Stanza Canal Grande, with its silk-covered walls and canal view.

Wellbeing is at the core of the Aman brand, and self-care is a great excuse to try their grounding massage treatment.  I personally don’t need any encouragement!

In the city that sees almost 5 million visitors a year, my sightseeing of choice is watching the world go by whilst sipping jasmine tea from the Canal Garden. 

Canal Garden

MUST DO – The Palazzo Kitchen Table is an experience not to be missed, even if it’s just to visit the hotel’s wine cellar.


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Bruce’s Top 10 Christmas Entertaining Tips

I love to entertain, but hosting during the holidays can heighten stress levels.  I’ve mastered the art of enjoyable entertaining over the years, and my gift to you this season is a list of insider tips.

10 / Setting the scene

When setting the perfect table, look at varying shades, introduce textures, such as fabrics, crystals, and items in varying shapes and heights – it’s about creating an elegant, stunning, but equally comfortable space for your guests.

9 / Point of view

Look at the room or table from your guests point of view.  I sit at each place setting to see what each guest will experience.

8 / Timing is of the essence

When entertaining I always time everything perfectly, but in order to keep my focus on my guests I keep hidden lists everywhere.  I love a vibrating timer as you don’t want endless beeps as your guests are enjoying the festive music.

7 / Avoid clutter! 

As I decorate I tend to remove some of the everyday.   A great personal touch is replacing photos in picture frames with ones from past Christmases.

6 / Scented Candles

Be careful with scented candles as some may be overpowering.  Mix complimenting scents and go wild with scent free candles!

5 / Be prepared

Ensure that you can prepare most of the menu details ahead of time…you don’t want to spend your entire time in the kitchen.  Hire gorgeous staff to assist – it’s money well spent and costs less than hiring caterers!

4 / Always plan for excess

You may have additional people turn up or a guest may have a last minute ‘plus one’ – it’s the holidays! 

3 / Stagger Arrivals

I like to give guests different times so you can spread out the arrivals, this way you can properly greet everyone.

2 / Drinks

Unless you want to spend your evening behind the bar, stick to champagne, wines, and a signature cocktail.  A festive punch is a great idea so guests can help themselves.

1 / End on a high note

Stick to your scheduled end time, and plan ahead for taxis.  You want everyone to get home safe, and this way you’ll still have time to clear up! 


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An English Garden Elopement

There is something so personal and intimate about elopements. It’s a privilege to witness a genuine expression of love and commitment between two people.  When California residents Shanna & Paul got in contact, the brief was “an English garden setting with a background of Georgian architecture”.  The perfect choice was the Nash Conservatory at Kew Gardens.

A memorable moment for me was being asked to be a witness for their civil ceremony.  I got quite emotional!

The next day the couple left on their European holiday/honeymoon.  We organised for postcards to be sent to their families and friends, announcing their elopement just as they returned home.


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My Travel Essentials

I love to travel and luckily, it’s a regular part of my job as a destination wedding planner. The proper packing of a carry-on bag is a skill that takes time to perfect. Here are a few of my all-time fav items to take with me on a trip.

7 / Madigan Sean Cashmere Wrap

This wrap is perfect for those chilly flights or to keep warm with a blazer – I don’t like traveling with coats!

6 / Scented candle – Tuberose by Dyptique

I have scented candles everywhere in my home, and they add a personal touch to any hotel room.  Tuberose is one of my favourites.

5 / Jet fuel supplements

Move over vitamins – these supplements are great pre, during, and post-trip.  What jet lag?

4 / Patchology illuminating eye gels

Instant bright eyes in 5 minutes with these eye gels.

3 / Steamery travel steamer

I’ve stained or ruined a few shirts with hotel room irons in my time, which is why I travel with my own.  Plus in Italy you’re not allowed to have an iron in your room in case of fire hazard – this saves on the pressing/dry cleaning bill. I promise you’ll love your steamer!

2 / Tumi bag by Orlebar Brown

It goes wherever I go – sturdy, reliable, trendy and fashionable.  I’ve had many envious comments from fellow passengers while queuing for a flight.  Who can blame them when you combine Tumi, Orlebar Brown and an iconic Slim Aarons print!

1 / Bose noise cancelling earphones 

I like to tune out the world when I fly. Bose does the trick!


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