Fiona Leahy Design

Archive for August, 2010

Shuck it!


A little tardiness on the blog front as I took myself to Ibiza (again) for the last of the summer wine. Or last of the summer hierbas as the case may be.

Sunning ourselves at El Chiringuito a vision approached our cluster of loungers. A mirage of sorts. Well for me anyway, beach mirages for other people are probably the man/woman of their fantasies wearing very little. For me a beach mirage goes a little something like this…I am hungry, a ruggedly handsome man in a Breton top accessorised by a beautiful leather holster comes toward me holding a pail of oysters on ice. Think more Hermes holster than tequila shot holster and you get the idea. Freshly shucked bliss…



Love the chainmail shucking glove with his silver bracelet. How gorgeous is the leather holster? Ah the details…

Would madam like the shallot vinaigrette? The green or red tabasco, the lemon juice? Everything?

Ibiza uncovered – Postcards from the other side.


Nasturtiums. Love the appeal of eating beautiful flowers. Raw food canapes from Zenses Ibiza.

I used to be a fan of the radical detox holiday. It was like a prescription of drastic correction that I enforced anually for having too much of a good thing (a convent school upbringing can do that to you). Detoxing in Thailand, fasting in India, bootcamp in Mexico. A masochistic set of healthy holidays. The last time I went on a fast in Thailand I persevered through two weeks of “nothing broth” while fellow holiday makers filed past me with plates of lobster further cementing my misery. Mission accomplished and bursting with rude health we finally went off to a neighbouring island where our exquiste teak villa awaited…complete with a mini bar stocked with my favourite red wine. Oh dear.

I woke up the next day and instead of glowing with post detox gorgeousness. My face was covered. IN. RED. WELTS. The shock of the alcohol on my impeccably clean bloodstream. The rest of my holiday was spent hiding behind a penguin classic, large sunglasses and a giant hat. A distinctly post op Look that in retrospect was pretty hilarious. That experience taught me the lesson of trying to achieve balance and not living in such extremes.

Now Instead of going on extreme health kick holidays I try and temper my everyday life to incorporate the positive aspects that I learned on all those holidays and I save my holidays for doing, well Holiday things. I like a trip where I wake up and can sip a Spirulina smoothie and at sunset have a glass of good red wine. Balance.


Delicious healthy lunch that Ibiza Retreats arranged at our villa.

On a recent trip to Ibiza (an island that can knock you off or put you on balance like no other) I met the lovely Larah from Ibiza Retreats. Larah runs retreats in Ibiza which run from a day to a few weeks. They serve delicious raw food, have life-coaching, yoga, massages…all the good mind, body and soul stuff. On this trip Larah was our holiday “wellness concierge,” now this is a concierge service worth having both away and in everyday life. She booked us reflexology, massages, vibrational healing (this is amazing) and liberally sprinkled healthy fairy dust on our holiday. You’ve got to love someone who adds cucumber and strawberries to your daily pitchers of water. Vitamin Water indeed, this is the original and yet another trick I took back home.

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Phone Detox. We placed our mobiles on trays of cleansing Ibizan sea salt. Mine is now switched onto another vibration (and devoid of inappropriate texts)

Larah took us on a one day multi sensory retreat which was just extraordinary. Set in a private villa we had an unforgettable afternoon of eating raw superfoods (a shot of raw cocoa we downed contains the same nutritional value as a large steak) having treatments, listening to music and engaging in wellness rituals. I loved the Multi Sensory Ritual where we were blindfolded and had scents placed under our noses, different tastes planted in our mouths. This took me out of my comfort zone and is not something I would usually do but I found it strangely liberating and left with a heightened senses of awareness. Always a good thing.

This is a wonderful mindful experience to have with friends and I highly recommend it. Of course you can also run off to Aura afterwards for more wonderful experiences. Mojitos on the terrace, Dinner in the garden, Disco indoors…it’s my favourite place to escape to this Summer. Ah The Joy of Balance…Happy Holidays!


Lunch at Cas Gasi. Incredible food that comes from…


…their garden.


Ibizan hens. We ate their eggs for breakfast every morning.

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Silk blindfolds for the multi Zensory experience. Delightful.


At the Retreat. This cat has the ultimate water/fountain bowl

The natural girls sml

The Goddess like girls from Zenses who do the Multi Zensory day retreats with Ibiza Retreats.


After a night at Aura. A smoothie at the organic juice bar on Benirras beach works wonders.

Pandora Press Day


We’ve developed a thing for playing with paper recently. It’s nice that something so practical and utilitarian can, when artfully crafted, pleated, folded and manipulated becomes something quite spectacularly sculptural. For the Pandora Press day in the Mandarin Oriental last week we decked the ballroom with thousands and thousands of paper flowers. We have yet to calculate how many hours went into creating these but it was many…many…hundreds. Paper worker elves mushroomed and multiplied in our studio, intricately folding and finessing over Frappucinos. Thank you to Anna and all our paper helpers who held the paper forte while some of us wafted around The Secret Garden Party and Port Eliot. When Vogue Blogs it. It’s worth it.

In a very glamorous act of paper recycling we are re-using each and every paper flower at Pandora’s next event in Monaco. Sure beats the recycling bin….




Anna tending to her flowers


Makeda and Pascale’s Secret Flower Party…..


Paper Pillars


We still love lace and had bespoke Pandora panels woven in Scotland for the event


A long stretch of Gold Mirror displays Pandora’s new collection of watches


We lit golden birdcages showcasing Pandora watches with beautiful antique filament bulbs and gold flex


Cocktails in the garden from our living herb bar. Herby Wallbanger anyone?