Monday, 30 April 2012

ragamuffin loves...The Isle of Skye

Ragamuffin has been on the Isle of Skye since the late 70's but we would like to think that we haven't taken this wonderful island for granted.  It's dramatic landscapes and constant change of light make the scenery appear different every time you look.

So once you've explored ragamuffin here are our top five scenic destinations to explore.

1. Kilt Rock - A 200ft cliff made of massive columns of dolerite which have been said to look like pleats on a kilt.  Kilt Rock is a popular viewpoint; looking to the west, the visitor can also enjoy views across the Sound of the Isle of Rona and of Wester Ross.

2. Loch Coruisk - A beautiful loch at the heart of the cullin. It is possible to walk but it is long so why not enjoy a boat trip out there. Boat trips available from Elgol by the Bella Jane or the Misty Isle.

3. The Fairy Glen - The Fairy Glen resembles a miniture landscape and has an otherwordly atmosphere. Just the place to enjoy some tranquility.

4.The Old Man of Storr - The area in front of the cliffs of the Storr is known as the Sanctuary. This has a number of weirdly shaped rock pinnacles, the remnants of ancient landslips. One of the most famous of these is known as the Old Man of Storr.

5. Neist Point - The most westerly point on skye, the point is regarded as the best place to see, dolphins, whales, porpoises and basking sharks, it is also one of the best places to enjoy a magnificiant sunset.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

ragamuffin deliveries!

Well, what a busy week we've had exploring the Royal Mile and all of its delights! Next week we'll be bringing you all of our insider Isle of Skye knowledge, but for now here our our top five favourite outfits from our new collections!

1. Grizas - extremely wearable pieces from Lithuania. This check story is so smart and effortless,
teamed with a beautiful hand printed scarf.

2.Terry Macey - one of our most popular designers, he even set up a pop up shop here at ragamuffin once!

3. Flax - casual summer dressing at it's best. Layer up with jersey underneath and knits on top for our cooler climate.

4. Boheme - bold, funky statement pieces from Denmark featuring textured linen and chunky zips.

5. Shepard's - when Sabine had to take some time off recently, so many people missed her beautiful linen collection...good news she's back with all of her signature details, interesting shapes and bursts of colour!

We also have a good selection of our own range of tweed jackets and waistcoats - the perfect top layer for the British spring weather!

Friday, 27 April 2012

ragamuffin loves...receiving gifts!

Well, who doesn't like to receive a lovely present from someone dear? On and around the Royal Mile you'll find plenty of inspiration...

1. Present - the name says it all really! A great shop that describes its self as "a wee bit vintage and a wee bit rock'n'roll!" You'll find a great selection of goodies including jewellery, homewares, cards & wrap along with owner Kiaz and her trusty companion, Bunty the dog! On St. Mary's Street.

2. Rene Walrus - the place to go for all things sparkly and Swarowski! Beautiful necklaces, bracelets and tiaras to delight any glam gal! On St. Mary's Street.

3. Lickety Splits - a cute little retro sweet shop where you can find old favourites from the past like Cremola Foam (now called Kakatoa Foam!) , Chelsea Woppers and Space Dust along with American delights like Tootsie Rolls! Yum! On Jeffrey Street

4. The Camera Obscura shop - a fabulous museum gift shop that sells lots of interesting scientific themed gifts and fun items for little kids and big kids! Worth a look if you need an off the wall pressie. Right by the Castle

5. Robert Graham Treasurer 1874 - selling tobacco, spirits and fine chocolates and great if you need a classy little gift for those who like the finer things in life! On the Canongate, they have a very good selection of lovely chocs in very nice packaging...we'd be delighted to receive some...

Again there are so many more places we could have recommended...Focus for great skate/ streetwear, Childhood museum shop, Pebbles jewellery, Tribal Tatoo (the very adventurous might love a gift voucher!)

We've loved sharing our favourite places on the mile - there will be one more top five tomorrow, but this time it's all about us!!!

Thursday, 26 April 2012

ragamuffin loves...something old!

As well as all of the lovely shops like us selling brand new and lovely things, the Royal Mile is well worth a look for all you vintage lovers out there. Here are our top five places to find vintage treasures...

1. Oxfam, High street. A great selection of anywhere from 1940's to 1980's vintage and retro as well as good quality accessories. Lots of wedding gowns at the moment.

2. PDSA, High street. A big vintage section at the back - great for finding geek chic knits and skirts.

3. Antiques & Curios on St. Mary's Street - a crazy little antique shop which sells lots of good costume jewellery

4. Cavanagh's for jewellery and the Frayed Hem for clothes, both on Cockburn Street.

5. Kleen Cleaners on St. Mary's Street has a small vinatge shop at the front open from 10am-4pm. Well worth a look as they have quality vintage which is all freshly laundered!

Tomorrow...our top five places for gifts...

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

ragamuffin loves...lunch!

An essential part of everyday - we are so glad there are lots of places to grab lunch in the vicinity! Here are our top five...

1. The Story Telling Centre Cafe - a lovely lunchtime menu of fresh salads, sandwiches, soups and specials as well as a tempting selection of home baking. It's licensed, so nice if you want a wine or beer with lunch.

2. The Temting Tattie - good old baked potatoes, sit in or take away, with really nice, homemade fillings and super nice service.

3. Art Cafe Morita - a cute little cafe in the Canongate run by two friendly chaps serving excellent Japanese style meals. A surprise on the mile and a bit of a best kept secret!

4. Larder - good Scottish deli style cafe serving good quality food and lovely soups and bread. It's also lisenced.

5. The White Horse bar - the oldest pub on the mile serving good bar food in gently refurbished surroundings. Very reasonable prices - we all love the nachos and the pies are scrummy!

A top five was hard as there are many other great places to eat - if one is busy you'll find somewhere else without a problem. We also like JoJo's Danish Bakery, Bar Rioja for tapas, Pancho Villas for mexican, Circus on St. Mary's Street, Le Cafe Royale for all day breakfast...
The list goes on and on!

Tomorrow we'll tell you our top five places to shop for vintage clothes...

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Ok, here is our top five Royal Mile places to...
Entertain husbands whilst their wives shop at ragamuffin!

1. Just next door is Solo Menswear, run by Peter Triton. Great for the stylish, fashion conscious man!

2. Cadenheads on the Canongate has a great selection of whiskeys and expert staff for the man who likes a wee dram!

3. Royal Mile Gallery, interesting maps, prints and books - great for a browse!

4.The Cigar Box on the High Street - Tabacconist extrodinaire - where as well as a fine selection of cigars they also sell The Chap magazine!

5. A trip to Jojo's Danish bakery on St. Mary's Street is always a treat - the only place in Edinburgh for real Danish pastries apparently! We can vouch for their yumminess! Perfect place for a cup of tea and a read at The Chap!

Of course, husbands are most welcome at ragamuffin and we do stock some rather snazzy mens sweaters, tweed waistcoats & grandad shirts!

Monday, 23 April 2012

ragamuffin loves...the royal mile!

We have had a shop on the Royal Mile for so long we sometimes take it for granted what a special place it is, full of history, interesting shops, things to do and places to eat & drink. We thought it would be fun to suggest ways to spend a day on the Mile - whether you're a local or a visitor...

1. Leave the car at home! There is a great bus service here and the number 35 stops on the Royal mile - running right through the city from the airport to Leith. Several buses stop on the North Bridge from all corners of the city, then it's only a hop and a skip to the High Street! Best of all, when you are here, there is no sign of the tram chaos blighting the rest of the city centre.

2. For a leisurely breakfast we'd suggest the Story Telling Centre on the High Street - a varied menu, excellent quality local ingredients, lovely service and super tasty food...yum!

3. Time for shopping - ignore the ubiquitous touristy places and you will find a variety of cute, individual little shops to explore. As well as the Mile itself, there are also interesting places on the cross streets - St. Mary's Street, Jeffrey Street & Cockburn Street. Some of our favourites include:

Rene Walrus and Present on St. Mary's Street
Corniche on Jeffrey Street
The Old Childrens' Bookshelf and Cadenheads on the Canongate
Barnetts & Palenque on the High Street
The Camera Obscura museum shop at the Lawn Market

There are also a couple of great charity shops on the High Street - the PDSA and Oxfam. We've had some great bargains from them over the years - you never know quite what treasures they'll turn up!

4. After all that shopping lunch might be an idea and where better than the Edinburgh Larder - a gorgeous, licensed deli cafe, who use local produce and serve "good mood food". They feature such delights as parsnip & almond or ham & potato soups of the day with fresh bread - yes please!

5. Once you're fortified, a trip to ragamuffin is an essential (of course!). You'll find a dazzling array of clothes, knits and accessories to tempt, along with lots of inspirational ideas for putting together colours and layers. We love a challenge so feel free to bring in clothes from home and we'll match them up with new things for an instant wardrobe transformation!

6. After all that shopping how about some culture? St. Giles Cathedral and Canongate Kirk often host daytime classical concerts - sometimes free! The Story Telling Centre has a full programme of events and there are interesting talks and readings at the Poetry Library just off the Canongate.

7. We are lucky in Edinburgh to have to have so many open spaces in the city and the Royal Mile has its fair share. For the energetic a hike up Arthur's Seat is always exhilarating! For a more lesuirely stroll there are some hidden garden gems to be found - ideal for a takeaway coffee and a stroll.

8. Well, by now you might be in need of a drink and whether it's soft or the hard stuff, the Mile doesn't disappoint for pubs! We prefer the bars away from the main tourist trail - try Montieths just off the High Street for a sophisticated cocktail, the White Horse on the Canongate for shabby chic and friendly service or the Waverly on St. Mary's street for old-school Edinburgh charm and a free bag of crisps (it's like stepping back in time!)

9. Dinner time! If you want to splurge, possibly the Mile's most famous restaurant is The Witchery at the Lawn Market. It is a magical resturaunt in an amazing location - until you see the gates to Edinburgh castle you forget just how majestic it is! Try and get a table in the secret garden! At the other end of the scale but equally fun is Fish & Chips from Bene's in the Canongate. Eat them out of the paper sitting on the bench in front of the Canongate Kirk - on a sunny evening it's divine!

10. Tell all your friends what a great day you've had - spread the love!

We'll be listing some Royal Mile "top fives" this week - tell us about your favourite Royal Mile places!

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

ragamuffin loves...Out of Xile!

Out of Xile has been a favourite brand at ragamuffin for many seasons - Cathy Hewlett's ridiculously pretty dresses, coats & jackets are perfect dressed up for the very smartest occasion or layered up over soft jersey pieces for everyday. The coat and dress pictured above are just exquisite - we have them in this soft pinky beige or white with ticking stripe.

This grey cotton sateen dress looks gorgeous with a soft pink ruffle coat and floral scarf...

For extra warmth add one of her linen/ cotton knits. We love the silk ties at the cuffs on this simple cardi. All of the pieces are made with love and care in the UK - we really respect Cathy for her commitment to manufacturing in Britain.

Speaking of which - we really loved channel 4's Mary's Bottom Line! As a company that prides itself on producing in Scotland, using Scottish materials, we love the idea behind Kinky Knickers! Made in the UK, using materials sourced in Britain and best of all giving people who are out of work the chance to learn a new skill - it's a great endeavour!

Thursday, 5 April 2012

ragamuffin loves...Lagenlook!

We have long been fans of layering - wearing lots of clothes in interesting textures, complimentary colours and in the right proportions - it has a massive following in mainland Europe where they call it "Lagenlook". One of the questions we get asked most often is how to get layering right. People also often wonder if the layered look is only for tall, willowy people but we think, "piff-paff!", anyone can layer up.

Here are our top tips:

1. Get the proportion right for your frame
If you are lucky enough to be tall and willowy, you can go to town and use a very long layer and lots of layers in between topped off by a little cropped cardi or shrug to pull it all together (like our model Dagmara).
If you are an apple use a leggings, narrow trousers or a bias cut skirt to show of slim legs and longer tunic with a shorter boxy jacket.
If you have an hourglass shape then (obviously) accentuate the waist - wear a pair of wide leg trousers to balance out the hips and add a belted wrap dress and finish off with cropped cardi or shrug.
If you have a pear shape go for long layers - a long skirt with a skimming tunic finished off with a 3/4 coat is good.
For petites use a calf length dress over a gauzy net skirt with a either a shrunken or boxy crop cardi or with a little fitted blazer.
If you have a boyish frame layer a bubble hem dress over a couple of t-shirt layers and a pair of leggings to add curves.

2. Play with textures and patterns. Mix fluid silks with crumpled, textured cottons; heavy hopsack linens  with silk/ linen knits. Mix patterns with plains and geometrics with abstracts - we absolutely love florals with polka dots and stripes!

3. Use accessories to create layers. If you don't want to wear lots of layered clothes try adding wristwarmers to a 3/4 sleeved jacket or wear legwarmers with a simple dress over leggings. Use a slouchy bag and tie a patterned scarf off the handles.

4. Use accent colours - buy a few vests in a range of colours and wear them underneath t-shirts, tunics and blouses. We would recommend M&S ltd collection or H&M for a good selection of colours and sizes. (If you want to splurge we do have these rather gorgeous silk, spotty vests!)

5. Own it! The layered look is all about individuality, creativity and a sense of style & fun. Wear it with confidence - you'll look great!

Come in and see us if you are unsure what to put together - we love layering!

Monday, 2 April 2012

ragamuffin knitwear!

We're delighted to have these cute cardigans back in from the quernstone, they're the perfect accompaniment to our layered linens, (and we can't seem to keep them on the shelves they sell out so fast, never mind neatly folded like this...). This season we've gone for jewel brights as well as subtler tones, so there's one for everyone; lots of different styles ranging from this classic collarless stripe to simple single coloured cardis with collars, and sweet little tanks. The yarns are light silk/ wool blends or cuddly wool with a touch of cashmere. The rest of this season's knitwear is filtering in, definitely worth a look-see, fairisle yokes, cropped cable knits, all soooo gorgeous!