Less than a week before Christmas Day, I had the pleasure of attending the launch party of Bridal Indulgence, a service that promises to 'indulge the bride-to-be from the comfort of her own home'. If you've been following me for a while now, you'll have picked up on my affection for anything wedding related; from reading bridal magazines to having the National Wedding Show marked on my calendar (two months and counting), it's a topic that keeps rearing its tiara-adorned head. Am I getting married? Uh, no. However speaking as someone who's drawn to all that is aesthetically pleasing, there was very little chance of that standing in the way of me and the beautiful elements of the bridal world!
Tuesday, 29 December 2015
Sunday, 27 December 2015
After my annual Fortnum & Mason visit to pick up some treats, I went on to visit the Christmas at Kew illuminated trail at the beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. There's really only one word for it, magical. The trail is open during the hours of darkness from Wednesday 25th November to Saturday 2nd January - and although tickets are still available for purchase, I had the pleasure of wandering through the trail just as the excitement of Christmas' arrival was at its peak!
Wednesday, 23 December 2015
Of all the shops in London, Fortnum & Mason is undoubtedly one of my favourites to visit come Christmastime. We've already established I'm quick to form traditions, so it probably won't come as much of a surprise when I say that each year I pop in to create 'treat boxes' of delicious sweets and fudge in the Food Hall for my direct family and a couple of my closest friends to enjoy. I'm lucky most people I know have a sweet tooth, as I'm not convinced I'd be as good at selecting cubes of cheese as I am clotted cream fudge...
Monday, 21 December 2015
Picking up where I left off in Part One of my latest travel diary, we left the beautiful Markt der Engel (Angel Market) during the early hours of the evening and made our way back to the Hilton Hotel Cologne to freshen up and drop off various shopping bags before heading out again! On this final evening, we met up with some of our British relatives who were visiting the lively city at the same time. We chose to meet outside the illuminated gates of Heimat der Heinzel, an extensive Christmas market located eight minutes away from Cologne Cathedral. Why? Because it's one of the most lively markets in Cologne and come night-time, it buzzes.
Saturday, 19 December 2015
You may have noticed I dropped off the radar for a few days about a week ago, however it was for a very good reason - I was visiting the Christmas markets in Cologne! It's yet another of my festive traditions and sure, I may well now have a list of traditions as long as my arm, however I'm not at all willing to loosen my grip on the beautiful German Christmas markets! It's been a family tradition to visit them together for nearly a decade now and we usually plan the trip to coincide with when members from our extended family visit the 2,000-year-old city. It's perfect; mugs of hot chocolate with rum enjoyed in impossibly festive settings, German Christmas music playing from wooden stalls, lights all around and a refreshing mix of nationalities heard at every turn...
Thursday, 17 December 2015
Monday, 14 December 2015
At the end of October, I found myself in the audience of a fascinating talk by Simon Reeve (with Kuoni) on his 'Caribbean Journey'. The talk was held at a John Lewis store 'behind the scenes' one late evening and that alone created an unanimous sense of community for the night - it reminded me of how it feels to walk around a hospital at night time, or perhaps how I'd imagine attending a parents evening to be! Anyway, besides the pleasure of hearing Simon Reeve's enthusiastic talk and besides the small thrill of 'trespassing', a third pleasure came in the form of Acqua Di Parma. A goody bag was handed to each member of the audience and along with various items including a beautifully presented candle, were a handful of samples. One of those samples was by Acqua Di Parma and ever since that chilly October night, you could say I've transformed into a superfan...
Wednesday, 9 December 2015
Part One of my 'Christmas at Bath' travel diary ended with fudge and the theme continues here! Though first, back to the early hours of the evening where my stay in Bath seemed to get better by the hour, with our departure from the magical Christmas markets leading on to a buzzing yet calm nightlife (the combination exists!) past Bath Abbey and towards the restaurants. Quite strangely, I've always seen feelings about situations or even places in colours and although I'm finding it near impossible to explain the colours in which I saw the city that night, I can assure you they were beautiful. Very, very beautiful.
Monday, 7 December 2015
It feels as though it's been a while since I last wrote up a travel diary, though thankfully the streak has been joyfully ended now that the festive season is upon us! To welcome in the new month, I spent a couple of days with my mother in the beautiful spa town of Bath as one of our annual traditions. After a relaxed journey to the sound of an old instrumental Crabtree & Evelyn Christmas album, we arrived at the Abbey Hotel around the mid-afternoon to find the Apres Ski Bar in full swing outside and streams of people swarming through the entrance area in party hats to reach a Christmas meal/party. I've always said Bath is a city you want to be in come December and this lively welcome very much reminded me why!
Friday, 4 December 2015
As I mentioned in my Christmas Gift Guide for Women last week, I've been putting together a parallel gift guide for men in anticipation of this festive season! I think we're all in agreement when I say that shopping for men isn't the easiest task in the world. Really, I've lost count of the amount of times I've contemplated purchasing everyone socks and wiping my hands of the whole gift-hunting conundrum. With that said, I hope this guide will be able to tick at least one or two gifts off your shopping list - leaving you with more time to wrap up in a fur throw and relax in front of a Christmas film!
Tuesday, 1 December 2015
If there's anything lacking in my wardrobe, it's basics. That's not to say I don't have many, because I do - my wardrobe is packed full with groups of indistinguishably similar pairs of jeans, near-identical dark cardigans and I've been known to add four or more t-shirts in different colours to my online shopping basket in one transaction. However, I've been in the dark when it comes to finding 'basic' dresses, ones you can layer up and accessorise to your heart's content - that is, until now! The perfect opportunity to change my dress game presented itself by teaming up with House of Fraser. As part of their #MyStyleMyDress challenge, I styled their Vero Moda 3/4 Sleeve dress...