Shoe Repair London, Handbag Repairs London - The Restory, London

Caring For Your Winter Shoes

Emily John

Tactical dressing is upon us with high necklines, long sleeves and oversized layers but what about our ankles, left out in the nippy! With current fashion offering cropped trousers, our ankles are bare, meaning we need some serious winter shoes to carry us through the season. And it can be a tough ask to keep them looking fresh with our mischievous weather. Here is the The Restory’s download on keeping the weather out of your winter wardrobe!

suede high boots

Protect on Purchase

If you want to keep that satisfying smile on your face that goes with the purchase of new shoes, don’t leave them to fend off the weather alone this winter. Instead, invest a little extra in some protection for them, which will keep them looking fresh and new. This goes for both the upper and the soles (more on this below!). For the upper, try a waterproofing spray, especially if the shoes are suede. Protecting suede on purchase can be a game-changer for tackling the great outdoors but when it comes to leather you will also need a cleaner and a conditioner for the long term. Make sure you use material-specific products i.e. only use suede spray on suede, etc. A dedicated shoe care kit in your shoe cupboard is a perfect way to ensure your shoes get regular servicing.



leather boots

Design for use

When leather soles are new they look great but can also be a hazard – they are often slippery and easily marked. To avoid this, always add a protective rubber layer to the shoes. This is the best prevention to taking a clumsy slip and protecting the leather from being damaged in wet weather. Not only will it mean your shoes will last for longer, they won’t need to be serviced as often. The Restory offer a protective rubber sole with a soft curve shape instead of the harsh line you see from many cobblers’ work. This curved shape aesthetically keeps your soles looking flush, which is especially noticeable with high heels.

Of course we also see leather heel tips as well! These can be replaced with rubber so your winter shoes are officially designed for winter use!



Have an outfit change

Translating an outfit so it’s suitable for day-to-night is an accomplishment in itself. Now to do this with for the wintery months! Whilst we’d like our commute to be levitating from taxi to plush carpet, the reality is generally quite different. Sometimes two is better than one, so do take a second pair of shoes for a savvy change over. 


Winter Heels
Pointed Boots

No added salt

Avoid at all costs leather soles coming in contact with salt when the weather becomes icy. The salt eats away at the leather and removes the moisture. It will leave your shoes with dried out, stained leather that can distort further. Be aware these stains are not exclusive to leather either; they can also affect other materials. Salt will show itself as a white tideline left behind after your shoes dry and whilst there are home remedies, we suggest a swift visit to The Restory for a professional clean to guarantee full removal.



It’s not too late

We recommend you follow some simple rules to avoid damage. Don’t polish over a stain - if there is a stain, it needs to be cleaned before. Next, never dry wet leather or suede shoes by a radiator. Although it will speed up the drying process it will lead to cracked uppers. Should the weather leave you with soaking footwear, add crunched-up newspaper inside to absorb the moisture. If you are in doubt, do send it to the experts; similar to washing a dry-clean only item at home, sometimes your DIY attempts can be irreversible. When you’re not wearing your favourite boots, pop some shoetrees inside; which will keep the shape and slow down the creasing that can appear from regular wear. If you do this, as soon as you take the shoes off, the leather is still warm, so it is even more effective.


Before Special Clean

Before Special Clean

After Special Clean

After Special Clean



If you are yet to make a seasonal wardrobe transition we recommend reading ‘Wondering About Winter, Get Organised’ for some expert tips. And when spring does decide to make an appearance make sure you give your shoes a full service before packing them away for the summer. The Restory will return your shoes clean, carefully packed with tissue paper and ready to wear for the new season! 

Inspiration For Dinner Party Planning

Emily John

With the party season approaching, we met with Blue Ribbon founder Esther Rulli, an expert on all things tabletop, and asked her for her top tips for the most fabulous party ever!

Interior Design Tableware


What is the secret ingredient for hosting the most fabulous party ever?

A great dinner needs many ingredients to come together - a great group of guests, fantastic food, beautiful table settings; but the key ingredient is an element of surprise: perhaps you are using beautiful mismatched teacups to serve champagne; perhaps you can move a very formally set table outside, to dine under the stars (British weather permitting); or perhaps something as simple as arranging your flowers not in vases but in glasses or even in a soup tureen!

What are key trends in tableware for Autumn / Winter 2017?

The key current trend is to really express yourself, make creative and bold choices that are very personal, and to infuse your settings with your personality. We see our clients picking beautifully bold patterns in dinnerware and flatware. Ca’ d’Oro by Sieger by Fuerstenberg is definitely one of the favourites, and its monochrome palette with just touches of gold works on any occasion, from relaxed dinner with friends to the most formal of settings.

The metallic trend is one of our current favourites. We are seeing a lot of gold-toned accents, both on the fashion runway, and in interiors. You can mix gold both monochrome or with bold, bright colours. For example, green and gold are key to the huge trend of all things exotic, Cuban and jungle-inspired, and we saw these themes playing out across major fashion collections. In homewares, they translate into green coloured glass, exotic animal tabletop accessories, and the use of foliage as a tabletop accent.

Gold Table
Gold candles

How would you advise a dinner host to introduce colour into a table setting if they haven’t done so before?

There are lots of fun, un-intimidating ways to introduce colour. One interesting way, and less expensive than changing your entire dinner set, is to introduce accents: you can add elegant yet colourful flatware, or glasses, or perhaps a centrepiece or a vase. If you’d like to take it a step further, I would suggest adding colourful side or presentation plates, to give that pop of colour to an otherwise plain, simple setting.

Floral Accents

How else can you evoke that luxurious, elegant vibe in your home?

Smell is a subtle yet powerful way to add a chic touch. It is an incredible medium: your guests will feel luxury yet they won’t be able to quite put their finger on how it is achieved. It is all part of creating an overall mood, orchestrating a range of subtle notes. We love these Bernardaud candles: they smell incredible and are just the epitome of all things festive: warm, inviting, chic and cosy!

Another secret to an inviting and welcoming decor is introducing interesting textures which invite touch. Whether it is a metallic, uneven rim on your serving platter, or the interplay between smooth, cool marble and warm wood in a tray, or the relief pattern on your cushions, touch is what ultimately connects us to that object, and what makes us want to hold it and to have in our homes.

Missioni Candles

And finally what are your top three tips for ensuring that your guests feel welcome and relaxed?

Prepare food that can be ready for a while before your guests arrive so you can focus on greeting, drinks and conversation once your guests are arriving rather than rushing around in the kitchen. Clear your schedule the afternoon of the dinner party so you can have an enjoyable few hours  preparing with great music and your favourite drink in a beautiful glass to get you in the mood for the evening.   Create a nice personal touch for your guests, you can even do something as simple as placing a different flower on each table setting; stay relaxed and enjoy - as the host, you set the mood for the party!

Christmas Parties, With A Difference

Emily John

Our expectations of Christmas parties are rather standard these days; whether it's a sit-down meal or drinks in a bar, we’ve all done it; on repeat! Office Christmas party planning is now in full swing so we’ve got some clever alternatives on our radar and, as always, we’ve got some nifty advice to go with them.  Read on for some rule-breaking good times.


Meringue Girls

Take a Master Class

We are never too old to learn something new and it’s always better done in fabulous company. For the ladies, try Meringue Girls, which gives you three hours of meringue making mayhem with prosecco. This may not be an essential life skill but who doesn’t like a bit of sugarlicious goodness? And you get to take the meringues home too!


Our tip: avoid wearing shoes with a “nap” like fur or velvet because it is harder to remove should you mistakenly spill the meringue mix. Instead, throw on some black leather numbers that are easy to wipe down.


Address: Meringue Girls, 1 Broadway Market Mews, London, E8 4TS



Crystal Maze
Adidas Stan Smith

Golf Sized Swarovski Crystals

For some serious group bonding and a fiery mental challenge try The Crystal Maze, an interactive live experience based on … yes, you guessed it, “The Crystal Maze”, the heart-quickening 90’s TV show where contestants competed to win crystal balls to take them through to the nemesis task "The Crystal Dome". Think “The Apprentice” but really you’re all friends, well maybe. You’ll need to book far ahead to be in with a chance of visiting but it’s worth it. Book for Christmas 2018 on your way out – they won’t bat an eyelid.


Our tip: woah! The only buzzword here is comfort, essential for adrenaline filled tactical thinking. Slick looking trainers are perfect here and Crep protect can keep them looking whiter for longer and The Restory’s in house cleaning service can bring back that new feeling, just check out this Case Study on Stan Smiths


Address: The Crystal Maze, 10-14 White Lion Street, Angel, London, N1 9PD



Namaste with Jokes

No bad-taste Christmas jumpers required here because you’ll all be laughing for a different reason, and that’s real laughter too. HasyaYoga is the practice of laughter yoga, best enjoyed in groups; you’ll be laughing with each other, not at each other. Not only is this a massive stressbuster its actually fun with health benefits: the body naturally releases endorphins (those happy hormones) and the effects last for 24 hours! Namaste Santa.


Our tip: you will be barefoot for the session, so be sure to care for your feet as much as you do for your shoes.


Address: Laughter Yoga Wellness, Hargrave Hall, Archway, London, N19 5SP (or they can come to you or hire a suitable venue of your choice)




For those who do end up keeping it classic, we are here for the recovery too! If you need someone to save you the next day, The Restory’s specialist cleaning service can make the evidence disappear but leave you with the memories from the night before. Book a collection today.

Gatineau's Guide To Skincare This Winter

Emily John

‘If one had to choose one of the most inspiring stories in the history of French cosmetics…it would certainly be that of Jeanne Gatineau’ 

Les Nouvelles Esthetiques

Heritage Collection.jpg

The temperature has dropped in the last few weeks, so as we turn on the heating and start wrapping up in our favourite winter coats, our skin is going to be suffering the consequences. Winter is a crucial time to be taking extra care of the skin – after all it’s also party season, and we all want to be looking and feeling our best.

Enter Gatineau.  Before being the name of a famous cosmetics brand, Gatineau was first and foremost the name of a woman, Jeanne Gatineau, who started her career with a small treatment room in her apartment in 1930s Paris. Word of her results-driven, innovative facial techniques spread fast, and she quickly became a famed facial therapist across the city and beyond. Responding to demand, she soon opened her own international training Institutes in Paris, Casablanca, Antwerp and Milan.

Madame Jeanne Gatineau was a true pioneer who created a high-performance brand renowned for breakthrough innovation and unrivalled skincare expertise – a philosophy that continues to this day, 85 years later, with targeted formulations and know-how that have stood the test of time. After many years treating and observing the skin, Gatineau took what she had learned, and back in 1932 worked with dermatologists and biochemists to create the skincare range of the future, pioneering breakthrough movements in the cosmetic industry.

1982 pub facial 3.JPG
1966 pub coujeune.JPG



As many of us now know our skin has a specific pH, a layer of water and oil, which acts as our “defense shield” however products containing soap or detergent will strip this shield and cause dryness, tightness and redness, and in turn premature ageing.

All the way back in 1935 Jeanne Gatineau was the first to recognise this, and pioneer the industry’s very first soap-free cleanser. To this day the Gatineau Gentle Silk Cleansing Milk, enriched with Silk, Cotton and Sweet Almond Oil proves to be one of the best-selling Gatineau products.

At the same time Jeanne Gatineau recognised the damage that was being done to the epidermis by alcohol-based toners which sucked the moisture out of the skin. So alongside her soap-free cleanser she also launched the industry’s very first alcohol-free toner, loading it with skin-replenishing and skin-restoring ingredients.

Now with a further enhanced formulation, the Gatineau Gentle Silk Toner is a crucial step in every skincare regimen, designed to put the hydration back in the skin with Silk Extract, Cotton, and Conditioning Agents.



“Applying product to un-exfoliated skin is about as effective as trying to drink a bottle of water without taking the lid off!” This is something Jeanne Gatineau discovered in 1949, and quickly introduced the industry’s first ever exfoliator – Peeling Beauté.

Ever since Gatineau has been a trailblazer in this arena! The Vitamin C-enriched balm-to-oil Radiance Enhancing Gommage has been described by customers as ‘witchcraft’ for its ability to instantly reveal fresh glowing skin.



After incredible success with facial skincare products, Jeanne Gatineau turned her focus to the body and in 1966 launched the instant best-seller, Cou Jeune, a firming and lifting gel for the neck and décolleté. A recent study found that French women over 40 look on average 3.4 years younger than us Brits – and now you know why! With further technological advances to the formula over the years, Gatineau is now proud to present the Strategie Jeunesse Firming Throat Gel, for a smooth, line-free & lifted décolleté and neck area.



With constant research and development Gatineau Laboratories continued to innovate in to the new millennium, exposing pollution as the major contributor to skin destruction.  “Urban-aging” is a buzz word of 2017, but back in 2012 Gatineau had already launched the patented Mélatogénine™ Range, designed specifically to counteract the damage pollution was having to the skin, providing a 100% physical and biological skin shield.

Instagram: @gatineauuk

If you'd like to try out their products they are offering The Restory readers £10 off orders over £40 until the 30th November 2017, just use the code Restory10