September 2013 archive

Competition: Win Charles Worthington & Confessions of a Fashionista prizes with London Grumblr

| Competitions

In celebration of London Fashion Week the hilarious London Grumblr are hosting a competition for all you gif wizards and fashion lovers, where you can win a cut and blow dry (and a glass of champagne!) with a top stylist at Charles Worthington House. Snazzy!! Runners up get their manicured mitts on a copy of Confessions of a Fashionista. You’ve got till midnight this Thursday 12th September 2013 to enter. Get to it, people! Full details on how to enter here.

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Impulse Buy: V&A William Morris Writer’s Notebooks

| Impulse Buy

William Morris Pads

Despite no longer having anything to do with an academic institution, it seems I am pre-programmed to shop for the beginning of the new school year. Well, I’m glad my education led to something worthwhile. I’ve treated myself to these three gorgeous William Morris patterned lined notepads. These notebooks are so beautiful the to-do lists I write in them will undoubtedly be monumental. This stationery will change my life. It’ll also look great on my office desk, and when I whip it out at Tesco’s to look at my shopping list. Bread. Milk. Happiness. Tick. Tick. Tick.

V&A’s William Morris 3 writer’s notebooks set costs £8.99 and is available at Waterstones.

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Visit to Stourhead Gardens, Mere, Wiltshire

| Days Out

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Contrary to the impression my oft-inappropriate footwear may give, I love a good walk. I love it even more when the sun shines, there’s Purbeck ice cream at hand and a flat-ish pathway to stroll along (ideal for pushchairs & sturdy wheelchairs. Golf buggy tours are availably for those with mobility issues). Hence a trip to the breath-taking gardens of Stourhead was in order for me, and my assorted gang of doctors, lawyers, teachers and kiddies. God love the National Trust, it knows how to keep the Waitrose set out of trouble at the weekend. Built in the 1740s, the 2,650 landscaped acres house a glamorous lake, some stunning classical designed temples, and a stone grotto (that did smell a teeny bit of wee. Don’t dip your toe in!).

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Onsite is also the puntastic Spread Eagle pub (you at the back, stop laughing!). A picturesque historic Inn, it has a restaurant with expansive windows overlooking the gardens. I had the Sea Bass, and some chips that looked suspiciously like a frozen supermarket brand. The fish was nicely seasoned, the side garnish completely forgettable. No really. I don’t remember what it was at all. It may have involved peas. In-house entertainment was provided in the form of the restaurant staff, who looked and acted like fourteen-year-old girls on work experience. They blinked wide eyed and panicked if you smiled at them or, you know, asked for some ketchup. However, everything that was ordered arrived, and everything was collected once we had finished. So they had all the basics covered. Besides everyone has to start somewhere (don’t worry, we did tip them).

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If it’s nippy out then by all means enjoy the Spread Eagle Inn’s fine decor and adequate food, but if the sun’s blazing I’d chose a picnic in what is undoubtedly the star of the show: the glorious grounds.

Further details about Stourhead Gardens can be found on The National Trust’s website.

 

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Impulse Buy: Fresh White Dutch Hydrangeas

| Impulse Buy

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It’s September. The kids have gone back to school. The sun has disappeared behind a cloud. I’m fearful summer is over. To perk my house and me up, I bought some beautiful white Dutch hydrangeas. Big blooms equals big impact, and a bit of flower power lifts my dining table and my mood.

The charming florist informed me hydrangeas are high maintenance. We have that in common. Their stalks need trimming every day or two, and if they do crumple into tissue softness, you can submerge the heads over night in cold water to revive them. Remeber: all the best things require a little bit of TLC.

My white Dutch hydrangeas cost £4.50 per stem from Flowers! Flowers! (Seasonal availability only). Link here.

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