Beacon of Lettaford

Let’s go back to The Chapel in Dartmoor, where we enjoyed a relaxing long weekend a few weeks ago…

This modest granite-stone building, our temporary abode, started its life as a schoolroom / chapel. Sometime in 1860, the door was opened to a small number of local people who were there to attend a Sunday prayer meeting. And for the occasion to take place, there were two women who made it possible – Mrs Susan Walling, the schoolmistress, whose influence must have been a catalyst to initiate the construction of the building. And Miss.Pynseat, who funded the project and became the owner of the building.

Inside of The Chapel, there was a reference on the wall to indicate who was behind the plan…

The Landmark Trust always furnishes and decorates their properties with hints of the individual history of which each building underwent originally. The maiden in the artwork must have implied one of the aforementioned women and a lamb must have been the locals who were the recipient of those women’s goodwill.

The images of the abandoned chapel before the Trust started its restoration…

The congregation of the prayer meeting was consisted of local farmers and farm labourers and the number was once over 25 in its hay day. However, the number dwindled after the agricultural depression of the late 19th century and the departure of the funding member, Mrs.Walling, from Lettaford in 1904. Apart from a thank you note address to her by the locals, there was no record which explained the reason why Mrs.Walling left the hamlet. Could she have emigrated to Australia in search of a better life as the area around Dartmoor was never wealthy?

During the 1920’s, the number of attendance must have increased significantly, and as a result, the schoolroom / chapel was extended…

A single-storey structure made of galvanised iron and wood was attached to the existing building.

In 1943, gas-lighting was installed, and then, finally, electricity came to the chapel in 1963. Despite the modernisation, however, the number of congregation continued to decrease and it became as little as four in the late 60’s. Eventually, the decision was made in 1977 that Latteford was to be incorporated into the Exeter Methodist circuit, and the entrance to the chapel was closed until the Landmark Trust started a restoration work in 1981.

The charter of young Methodism was on the wall…

It was touching to realise that, once upon a time, this place was a centre of the community, filled with the laughter of children, hymns and Christmas carol. This small chapel must have been like a lighthouse for those who inhabited the unforgiving terrain of Dartmoor which sprawling out like ocean.

Yes, you did provide us warmth and comfort…

We said good-bye to the hedges of Lettaford…

So which property of the Landmark Trust we gonna visit next? I can hardly wait…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Fei Wang Eyewear

As Bella and I hit the pavement, we bumped into my friend, Fei, and her film crew offloading a heap of bags and cases from a car. ‘Bella needs to go and spend her penny. We’ll be right back!’ They were here at my apartment to shoot video clips for her new website.

Fei is an owner / designer of a luxury eyewear brand, Fei Wang. The brand specialises in handmade bespoke sunglasses and spectacles made from vintage acetate sheets. All her high-end models are made in a small independent factory in UK by a team of highly skilled technicians.

I learnt about her brand by chance during my hunt for sunglasses which would compliment my Asian facial feature. Her designs were chic yet individual. And the testimonial of her creative philosophy was overflowing with her passion about making beautiful eyewears. They impressed me so much and I decided to meet her in person and to order a pair for myself.

Her collection is amazing and highly covetable…

I honestly can’t remember how long ago we first met but my first impression of her is still vivid and alive. She was courteous and elegant yet her easy manner put me at ease instantaneously. Her warm personality soon won me over and we chatted like we had known each other for a long time. And we became good friends ever since.

While Bella and I kept ourselves tucked away so we wouldn’t photobomb accidentally, Fei, an art director, a D.O.P (director of photography) and a stylist were busy setting up the scenes…

The stylist, checking Fei’s make-up & hair…

The atmosphere of the shoot was very chilled and happy.

Another touching up before shooting another clip…

Fei is a very hands-on kind of designer…

She oversees a whole process of manufacturing by keeping in close touch with the workshop and exercising a rigorous quality control. The result is not only amazing looking sunglasses but also they are very comfortable to wear.

Late autumn afternoon was so short and the outside was already dark at 5 pm…

Fei gets her inspiration from the glamorous world of old and new…

Those individuals express themselves without giving themselves away. The paradox is created by them not baring their souls by hiding behind their shades.  As a result they transform themselves to a beautiful enigma. How intriguing and seductive is that?

You can see more of Fei’s inspirations in her Instagram here.

This is one of my Fei Wang shades…

From the distance, the frame appears black. However, the acetate has a fine geometric pattern.

Fei sources acetate sheets from vintage stocks in Italy, and therefore, the number she can produce from them is limited…

While most of the well-known big name fashion houses use injection-moulded plastic for their eyewear lines and charge several hundreds of pound for them, her products are truly hand-made and luxurious…

I love this pair of cat’s eye because it makes me feel like Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s!

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Heavenly scent

‘Flowers for you, Kaori!’ A courier guy handed me a large cardboard box as I answered the door. It was totally unexpected and I was dying to open the box. However, I had just finished applying a coat of nail varnish on my nails, so I had to wait in excitement while flapping my hands like crazy.

The gift of flowers and chocolates were from my dear friend Fei who would be filming her promotional video in my apartment tomorrow. The flowers smelt absolutely divine and they really cheered me up.

Let’s hope the shoot will go swimmingly and we gonna have a load of fun tomorrow!

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Detonation

Another Bella bomb has exploded!

Her body may be small but the power of causing collateral damage is immense. Oh Bella, who’s gonna pick up the pieces?

She had her post operation X-ray done yesterday and the result seemed to be very positive. The vet informed me over the phone that the fracture on the joint was almost mended. Oh I can’t tell you how I relieved I was! I just want my Bella back who can run and jump as her heart wishes. It is so tempting to give in to her pleading eyes every time she begs for being let out from the pen. However, I must steel myself so we will properly observe a doctor’s note and not jeopardise her recovery.

Another 4 weeks, baby. Then, you will earn your total freedom!

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Xmas @ Somerset House

Yup, it is the time of the season again. Somerset House hosts an ice rink and pop-up shops by Fortnum & Mason. I visited the place with Bella yesterday afternoon and found the rink packed with skaters…

I must say that the Christmas shop by F&M was a bit lacklustre. Somerset House used to hold a really original and fun pop-up. You can read about it here. I know F&M is a fantastic shop, however, I can’t stand it when I have to see the same face everywhere I turn.

Anyway, it’s nearly December and that means I can dress my windows with Christmas lights. Yay!

Another thing which makes me feel Christmassy is this…

A mince pie! I’m a sure I will be sick of them by the end of Yuletide…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

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