StyleOnTheCouch Travels: Big Sur

Driving along the Big Sur Coastline in my Chrysler Sebring was one of the highlights of my recent US road trip (I know, I know, there were so many!)  What had been forecast a grey and overcast afternoon for the drive between Carmel and Santa Barbara turned into blue skies and candy floss clouds that yielded perfect views across the Pacific.  The Big Sur offers plenty of places to stop and pull in to admire the views, especially around Hearst Castle, where if you are lucky you will see elephant seals asleep on the sand – at Piedras Blancas, a protected vista for the mammals.  A perfect stop off along the journey is at Carmel, on Highway 1, where you really must spend a few hours to sit and take breakfast or eat lunch in one of the many pretty restaurants in the town.

Picture above: oh so slightly overheating on a cliff top along the Big Sur.  Pictures below: al fresco dining: lunch at the delightful Carmel Food Company.

Carmel by Sea is a wonderful town, founded as a seaside resort in the 1880s and now full of pretty cottages and charming streets, quaint restaurants and delis.  (Interesting fact for you, Blog Reader: Clint Eastwood was once non-partisan mayor here).

Driving south from Carmel along Highway 1 the scenery is a stretch of craggy coastline and raw, unspoilt beauty – it reminded me of the Scottish Highlands (the Western Highlands) somewhat, albeit much much warmer.

The drive ended up at the very chic and Mediterranean style Santa Barbara.

Have you driven along the Big Sur, Blog Reader?

StyleOnTheCouch Loves: Amber Sakai

The lovely people at Amber Sakai recently got in touch with me about their designs. I was already aware of Amber’s core staple, her bodysuits, because they perfectly satisfy my love of lingerie as outerwear and are easily worn from a slouchy morning in my apartment to a late afternoon brunch with friends.  Have a look at this, one of my favourite pieces from her forthcoming Spring/Summer 12 Collection:

Amber’s designs are modern and playful.  I was thrilled to receive the drop waist lace jacket from their SS 11 collection from them and I wore it a great deal in the Big Sur. It was the perfect cover-up and I adored the satin tie around my waist that pulled into a big luxurious bow.  Many of Amber Sakai‘s designs are created from fabrics that drape for a great fit, making them comfortable and easy to wear. Below is one of my favourite looks from Amber’s AW 11 range

Not unsurprisingly, Amber has a background in lingerie design.  I think this is most clear in her gorgeous Weekend line – nine versatile and essential pieces: leggings, skirt, button down top, a light lace overcoat, lace bra, lace top, and a zip-back faux leather skirt

I love this whole outfit.  LOVE.

I covet a great deal of Amber Sakai, Blog Reader, because she so wonderfully matches my style aesthetic.  I do hope you check out her website sometime.  I’m planning to feature more of her designs on StyleOnTheCouch in the near future, including an in-depth look at her SS 2012 collection.  If you want a sneak peek in the meantime however, you can check it out here.

Wearing (top): Amber Sakai drop waist jacket; Super flare jeans from Gap; Copacabana lace bandeau bra (just seen) Belabumbum; Sunglasses, Nine West.

Red (shoes) White (dress) Blue (sea)

Two days of my recent road trip were spent on the Big Sur coastline, staying at the delightful Post Ranch Inn, an eco hotel set atop the coast with perfect views of the Pacific from both my lodging and the infinity pools dotted around the cliffs.  There was little to be done at the Post Ranch apart from the task of relaxing, with champagne in hand.  The delicious food at Sienna Mar restaurant was the main indulgence, with breakfast overlooking the ocean a favourite memory of mine…

I spent a whole day hopping in and out of this pool above, I kid you not

‘The Red Shoes’ (one of my favourite films) now on my feet! Dressing for dinner with my Suede bow pumps from Gap

Happy….

Happier…. at breakfast overlooking the Pacific Ocean.  Could life be any more perfect? What a shame I had to leave…

Wearing (picture, top) Lara dress from Reiss (old season).  Shoes from Gap.