Jul 29th 2014

Hip Summer Cocktails

Hip Summer Cocktails

The coolest man in the world, George Clooney, chose to toast his engagement to the stunningly  beautiful  Amal Allamuddin, with tequila cocktails.   OK so this could have something to do with him having his own award-winning brand of tequila – as does Justin Timberlake – but a blend of white tequila, cactus, lime and pomegranate juices, known as a Skinny Amiga, really does hit the spot and let’s face it, if it’s good enough for George………it’s good enough for our hip summer cocktails list!

Aperol Spritz

Firstly, travel inspires much of my creative ideas. On a recent trip to Italy, I discovered that when it comes to staying cool, the locals like to mix cocktails with Prosecco. This has led to an increasing trend in sparkling cocktails.  Aperol Spritz – a combination of Italian aperitif Aperol and Prosecco with a dash of soda, is the drink this summer.  So, when in Rome, as they say… And I wasn’t disappointed. It tastes delightfully fresh and summery – a chic and cosmopolitan alternative to Pimms and lemonade!

Hip summer cocktails

Tea Cocktails

If these all sound a little racy, perhaps the growing trend in tea based cocktails is of more interest?  Put aside any notions of a bar-tender dunking a teabag in a hi-ball. These are delicately flavoured gin-based cocktails, infused with flavours including jasmine, hibiscus or green tea. Very English and perfect for a summer afternoon with the ladies.

hip summer cocktails

Cool as a Cucumber

Continuing on a traditional theme with a twist, comes cucumber flavoured vodka.  Probably best knownas a garnish to fruity drinks such as Pimms, cucumber is now being used as a subtle base for favourites such as Vodka Martinis or Bloody Marys. When combined with other natural ingredients including lime, mint and basil, along with lots of ice, you can also create a cooling, refreshing, cleansing drink.

hip summer cocktails

Savoury Summer Delights

Finally, and, for the more daring – what about the growing trend in savoury cocktails?  Yes, you can now get vodka cocktails infused with bacon, mustard and, for a little kick, horseradish.  With names such as The Earl’s Breakfast or Big Bacon, you can forget about a fruit adornment. These unusual combinations come garnished with chorizo, a minute square of cheese on toast or even beef jerky!  Whilst these may sound a little quirky, for some, importantly they are a welcome addition to the cocktail menu. They offer an alternative to the often sweet ‘traditional’ style cocktails. I guarantee, they’ll be coming to a hip bar near you, in the not too distant future.


For more cocktail ideas, check this out our collection of strawberry cocktails

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 Jul 29th 2014

Is it Rude to Ask for Money as a Wedding Gift?

wedding gift ideasLiz chats to Claire Carter at BBC Coventry & Warwickshire about if it’s rude to ask for money as a wedding gift
Click here to listen 33mins 59second into the show

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 Jul 21st 2014

Tips on that Perfect Wedding Proposal

As one romantic groom flew 9 000 miles to proposal on the Corrie cobbles (Click PROPOSAL) it makes me wonder if other grooms are being this creative? 

Don’t worry. Hapless would-be grooms can now relax in the knowledge that the much anticipated (and often feared) dry mouthed, sweaty palmed marriage proposal will go without a hitch, thanks to ‘Queen of Hearts’ Liz Taylor.

Liz, who runs the Taylor Lynn Corporation (TLC), has recently turned her focus to affairs of the heart and is fast becoming the ‘go to’ specialist for the perfect marriage proposal.

She says: “I’d heard stories from my friends and clients about how their partners proposed, and in many cases it wasn’t what they had imagined or hoped for. I even have a friend who was proposed to while she was washing up!“It’s not necessarily about planning the most elaborate or extravagant proposal, but about the love and sincerity you show through the proposal.

”As a leading wedding and private party organiser to the stars with clients including Gary Barlow, a host of Coronation Street stars, Rugby international Nick Robinson, football stars Yaya Toure and Gary Neville and retail guru Mary Portas, Liz knows better than most how to make a moment special and memorable. 

“People have been hiring me for wedding day inspiration and organisation for over 25 years and I have often been asked for my thoughts on creating the perfect proposal, so it was a natural progression to move this year into offering a bespoke service to help people realise their proposal vision. Many brides and grooms have ideas, but just have no idea how to turn that vision into a reality – that’s where I come in,” she explains.

‘And it has been a fantastic move.  I have already staged four proposal events this year, including one which took place in a bedouin tent in the Moroccan desert, one which happened on a private beach in Hawaii and another which took place in the garden of a home in Cheshire which we dressed with a thousand candles.And we have another six proposals to create this year, so it is proving to be an exciting and fun new business opportunity.

’And Liz has some key do’s and don’ts to ensure the proposer receives an ‘I will’ rather than ‘I won’t’!

-Do make sure the proposal has an element of surprise as surveys show that almost 90% of women feel the surprise factor is very important for a proposal.

-Don’t make a public proposal unless you have very good reason to believe your partner will love it.We’ve all seen that in films and on TV, proposals at sports games, the cinema or city squares seem to work magically. But keep in mind that these are scripted! In real life, not everyone likes to have publicity during such an intimate moment.

-Do pick a memorable location. This doesn’t have to be Fiji or at the top of Mount Everest, but any place that is significant to you both.Do speak from the heart. Be honest, be direct and be sincere.

-Make it fun!

And Liz ensures each proposal event is extremely personal and unique by making certain the person doing the proposing is heavily involved in the entire process.She says: “I see myself as a bit of an ‘ambassador of love’ in that I make sure each proposal includes sincerity, surprise and symbolism. But when someone works with me to plan the proposal, I need them to be highly involved in the whole process. It’s the small details that only a partner would know that make all the difference.

“Integrating specific moments into the proposal such as what your partner ordered on your first date really is the icing on the cake and will leave your prospective bride or groom overwhelmed by your sincerity and thoughtfulness. Expressing your love from the heart is obviously the most important part, but attention to detail can make the emotional impact all the greater.”


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 Jul 20th 2014

Top Five Hottest Party Venues This Summer

If you are looking to stage a hip party over the summer, here’s TLC’s top five party destinations:

– Ibiza – is still a popular and trendy party island, with great beaches, clubs and bars to help the party along

top party destiinations

– Turkey – this country is fast becoming a real hot-spot with its breath taking scenery and wonderful coastline dotted with small private beaches

top party destiinations

– Israel – some unique venues & the mixture of town or beach venues make this county a great party place

top party destiinations

– Mykonos – stunning, hip and a welcoming destination with lots of fabulous party venues to choose from

top party destiinations

– Croatia – some amazing scenery and fabulous beaches means this country will fast become one of the top three places to party

top party destiinations

Wherever you choose, enjoy!

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 Jul 18th 2014

Keeping Party Drinks Cool

Keeping Party Drinks Cool

With a heat wave forecast, everyone is thinking about heading to the parks and beaches.  But if you’re in midst of planning a party or celebration, the heat can be a double edged sword.  Great for sitting outdoors and making the most of the sunshine, but challenging to keep your drinks cool.  For an indoor event, the heat can make your party more like a furnace.  So, here’s some tips and advice on Keeping Party Drinks Cool (especially when you don’t have industrial fridges to hand!):

-Vintage party – we used a roll-top Victorian bath or large metal bucket which we filled with ice and bottles of wine and beer.  Simple, eclectic and fun.

Keeping Party Drinks Cool

-Ice Luge – We used a giant vodka luge in the shape of an Aston Martin that kept the drinks chilled and also formed part of the décor for our ‘Bond’ night

-For a party we had individual ice buckets for each table sculpted from coloured ice and the company logo sculpted on each on

-For a Formula One party we put red lighting in the bottom of old oil drums, followed by a false Perspex ‘lid’ to seal the lighting and then filled to the top with crushed ice.  Placed bottled beers in the top and it created an amazing ice bucket with ‘coloured ice’.

-Have filled old bin lids with crushed ice and displayed mini-bottles of Champagne in them for a themed ‘Oliver’ party

-Use frozen drinks!  Popular at summer parties are frozen vodka ice lollies or maybe an ice cream van with ‘alcoholic’ ice creams and ice lollies

Keeping Party Drinks Cool

-Put a bottle of vodka into an ice bucket.  Add small seasonal flowers around the bottle and gently fill with water.  When frozen, carefully remove the ice and bottle from the bucket and you have an iced ‘sleeve’ from which to serve the vodka.  Looks amazing  too.

-You can hire some amazing ice buckets these days – I like the LED ones that mean you have an illuminated ice bucket which looks perfect at a hip house party

-I have used wine ‘sleeves’ for keeping wine cool and thermal ‘beer sleeves’ for bottled beers.  Even the inexpensive ones can help, but the better the quality the longer the chill lasts.

If our Keeping Party Drinks Cool tips are useful, you may like this summer cocktail advice too: https://www.tlc-ltd.co.uk/hip-summer-cocktails-taylor-lynn-corporatio/

-Try freezing the glasses before you serve beer – helps to keep it chilled.  Keeping Party Drinks Cool

-You can buy bottle holders for wine and Champagne sculpted from ice – the look really amazing and last all night so you can keep using them to chill wines until the party is over.  There are lots of suppliers online who will also deliver to your home.

-Try the Corkcicle Wine Chiller. It’s a plastic ‘icicle’ that you freeze, then pop into the top of your wine.  Keeps it cool for hours.


Don’t forget, ensure that outdoor parties offer shade with parasols or a canopy, or seating under a gorgeous tree.  The sun is great, but too much mixed with alcohol is a recipe for trouble!  And offer lovely sun cream – you can have these made as a bespoke gift.

For an indoor party:

-ensure the air conditioning is working and set to come on the night before your party to allow the room to cool. Monitor this as the party progresses as it’s likely to get warmer.

-Consider additional cool-air systems, which you can hire, for marquees.

-Think about switching drinks receptions to an outside space if you can & maybe start the event a little later when the sun is cooler

– consider offering iced cool flannels as the party hots-up!

-order bespoke handheld fans (they can also be purchased with a water mist sprayer attached)

Keeping Party Drinks Cool

Keeping Party Drinks Cool

However you are celebrating – make the most of the summer and en

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 Jul 17th 2014

Planning a Wedding in Just 3 Months!

Liz Talks to Vic Minett at BBC Coventry & Warwickshire about planning a wedding in
just 3 months!


Click here to listen 52mins 1second into the show

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 Jul 17th 2014

Updating Wedding Traditions

Updating Wedding Traditions 

Planning a wedding can mean navigating a minefield of rules and traditions.  Some you may love, and others may make you both cringe.  If you prefer a more relaxed affair.  A big day that doesn’t follow all the historic rules.  Our guide is just what you need.  A chance for you to consider wedding traditions that are to be avoided completely, or updating wedding traditions to reflect your personal tastes and personalities. Events director Jess Randall has all the advice:

Every wedding I plan is entirely personal to the couple, and for some the formalities of the big day are a great comfort as they know what to expect at each stage. For others, it is simply too stuffy and they are looking to include wedding traditions reinvented

says Jess Randall of the Taylor Lynn Corporation

Having planned hundreds of weddings over the last 30 years, I know that some traditions and wedding etiquette can be avoided or reinterpreted without losing the special feeling of the day.’

1- Speeches by the best man!

Firstly, a tradition that many of our couples now miss out completely. Some have the bride and groom speaking instead. Others look for something fun and creative, or have a short film shown which has lovely comments from friends and family instead.  It avoids anyone getting nervous about speaking, and all those terrible jokes. Importantly though, it fulfils the point in the wedding breakfast when a speech may traditionally be used.

2- Top table

Lots of brides and grooms choose to either have a solo table. With this format, they can spend a few moments in a hectic day together. Others choose to forget a top table idea all together and sit with their families during the meal, then change tables at each course.  This is ideal if you are dealing with step families, families with divorced parents etc. and means that nobody is offended at not receiving a top table invite.

Wedding traditions reinvented

3- Wedding breakfast

A combination of cost saving and need for something new means that many bridal couples are having just one party in the evening and missing out a small celebration after the ceremony. Some couples are choosing to be married mid-afternoon. This is followed by a vintage afternoon tea instead of a big, formal wedding breakfast.  They then spend their budget on a superb party in the evening.  It’s elegant, fun and still brings together the people that matter on the big day, so nobody feels that they have missed out. Couples updating wedding traditions to make the day more personal can also choose ideas such as personalised menus (with your favourite foods), wedding brunches, BBQs or gorgeous picnic receptions.  The ideas are endless!

4- Three tiered fruit wedding cake

Updating wedding traditions can be seen most clearly in the choice of wedding cake. Cake designers have transformed the wedding market.  Many couples now prefer towers of bright cupcakes or miniature parcels as their wedding cake.  It’s fun and quirky, often cheaper, but looks stylish!  The fruit based cake has been replaced by sponges of all flavour, with the tradition of saving layers of cake for your children’s christening being a thing of the past.  The cake is now more about a lovely photo moment and a sweet treat for guests.  Others forget a cake completely . Couples are choosing an array of lovely pudds after the meal or selections of miniature cakes and desserts being served instead.

wedding traditions reinvented

5 – Evening buffet

This is a thing of the past!  My clients are preferring a selection of food vendors positioned around the room or using outside spaces. All offering quality duck spring rolls, fish and chips, crepes, hot donuts, kebabs and Asian food.  It means that there is something to suit all palates. Plus, it avoids queuing at buffet stations.  It seems to work as the food is fresh, hot and tasty. A style that suits everyone attending.

wedding traditions reinvented

6 – Almond wedding favours

Wedding favours vary. From the bride and groom making a charitable donation instead, to offering personalised gifts such as vintage bottles filled with liqueur.  Even packets of seeds at one eco-friendly wedding!  In the modern world, people find it hard to tell you exactly what the almond favour tradition meant. Importantly, they all seem happy that the tradition is acknowledged with a modern interpretation.

Updating Wedding Traditions

7 –  Reading out telegrams!

Importantly, this used to be a key wedding tradition. It is now either missed completely, or is replaced by a screen with shows social media posts about the bride and groom, SKYPE messages from family and friends abroad and the like.  Modern technology has moved this tradition to a completely new level.  Guests can still hear and see what others feel about the big day, but in a less formal and more relevant way.  Social distancing has also introduced us to the world of Zoom.  A great way for family to connect with you on the big day and send best wishes, without being in the room.

8 – Traditional Wedding cars

All couples want to arrive at the ceremony in style but the ‘how’ has changed quite a bit.  Gone are the vintage Rolls Royces or horse and cart. My couples have used everything from replica Batmobiles to Noddy Cars, bicycle’s (made for two of course), sports cars and Hackney carriages to arrive at their big day.

9 – First Dance

This is often avoided!  When updating wedding traditions for their special day, many couples simply miss this out of the big day.  In spite of the fact that guests seem to appreciate that it can be an embarrassing moment for the couple, so don’t object, it is a tradition in desperate need of refreshment!  Now is less about the formal arrangements of the bride and groom dancing, joined by the parents etc.. It is more about fun.  Couples often go to dance class to prepare a surprise dance for guests, or have dance tutors on hand to teak the guests a specific dance that everyone can join in.  Nobody seems to mind the shift in emphasis. They are too busy enjoying themselves.

10 – Wedding List

With many couples already living together, or having homes of their own, a wedding list of household items can end up being a bit pointless.  Some brides and grooms simply say ‘no gifts’ . They would rather people just spend the money on being a part of the big day.  Likewise, some ask for a charitable donation to be made.  Many couples now ask for gift cards for specific stores, so that they can shop around for what they need. Travel vouchers towards a honeymoon break are popular.  It means that anyone can purchase a gift and you are not obliged to spend £5 on a teaspoon.  It also means that the couple receive gifts that are useful and therefore appreciated, not heading for the e-bay account!

Finally, if you enjoyed our advice for updating wedding traditions, check out this link for more: WEDDING TRADITIONS

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 Jul 16th 2014

Advice if you are Planning a Secret Wedding

Liz chats to Caroline Martin about the highs & lows of getting wed in secret!

Click here to listen 18mins 37 seconds into the show

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 Jul 15th 2014

Advice if You Are Getting Wed in Secret!

Liz chats to Caroline Martin at BBC WM 95.6 about the highs & lows of getting wed in secret!
Click here to listen 18mins 37 seconds into the show

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 Jul 15th 2014

Tips on Getting Married Abroad from our guest blogger at Sainsbury’s Bank

With the likes of Kanye West and Kim Kardashian setting the celebrity tone for foreign weddings this year, we are increasingly asked for advice on planning a big day abroad.

Well, just as George Clooney appears to be poised to tie the knot in Italy, we are delighted to welcome Suzy Drake to the TLC blog with some advice courtesy of Sainsbury’s Bank: Click FOREIGN WEDDING TIPS

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