23.01

Cider-with-Rosie-Happy-list-January

I feel like this week’s been one of those ‘just hang on in there!’ kind of weeks, what with Monday being ‘blue Monday’ and the freezing cold and the dark mornings and the darker evenings. I’m beginning to feel impatient for spring to arrive…just like at the end of summer I was impatient for autumn, and then at the end of autumn I was impatient for winter! ;) I mean, the frost is beautiful and all, but I am getting kind of tired of needing to wear three pairs of socks at once! We don’t actually have a single thing planned for this weekend, though I’m sure the days will fill up in the way they inevitably do. This afternoon I’m heading to Weybridge for a dress fitting (and maybe to pick out wedding shoes and a veil too) and then am meeting my friend for a little hot chocolate and shopping date later on this evening. And now, it’s time to go walk that spaniel! Here’s what’s made this week a lovely one…

1. Managing to get my layering juuuust right for a trip to London on Thursday. Not so many I was roasting on the tube, and not so few I wanted to cry every time the wind blew. Isn’t that the stuff dreams are made of? ;)

2. Watching the Vogue 73 question interviews. They’re kind of awkward, but I love them anyway. (SJP is the best).

3. Starting the day with natural yoghurt, granola, and fresh raspberries. Oh, and pomegranate seeds too.

4. Crabtree & Evelyn ‘La Source’ handcream. The stuff works wonders, I tell you!

5. Spinach! Chopped, wilted, creamed- I’ve eaten the best part of a 450 gram bag this week, and will be turning into PopEye any day now.

6. Watching the pond freeze over and thaw, freeze over and thaw. The patterns in the ice are too beautiful.

7. Shopping in the men’s department of H&M. Anyone else find shopping for their other half way more fun than shopping for themselves? (p.s. Our WhatsApp conversation currently is a whole lot of ‘what do you think of this shirt?’ plus photos, followed by either a ‘meh’ or a ‘yeh’ ;)

8. A sparkly dark blue manicure that lasted almost five whole days without chipping! Unheard of!

9. Listening to the songs of my teenage years, thanks to Spotify! Every Avenue circa 2008, anyone?

10. Starting to learn how to meditate! I’ve always hated the lying-on-the-floor ‘relaxation’ time at the end of my Pilates and Body Balance classes, so decided to do a bit of reading up about how to meditate and try that during the relaxation part of class instead. I’ve only done it a couple of time so far, but it feels pretty lovely! I’ll let you know if and when I become totally zen and a master-meditator, okay? ;)

Three posts I’ve loved reading this week :: Blair’s insanely amazing dungaree/overall outfit || Ellie’s fun film photos || & Izy’s sticky toffee pudding pancake recipe! (I mean, come ON!)

What’s made you happy this week? :)

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Posted in 10 THINGS, HAPPINESS

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22.01

Sunday-Boden-Cider-with-Rosie Teddy-Cider-with-Rosie Barbour-wellies-Cider-with-Rosie Sunday-fish-and-chips-Cider-with-Rosie The-Tablespoon-Sunningdale Winter-sunset  

Last weekend, when these photos were taken, marked exactly six months until Jason and I get married. I’m not usually a countdown kind of person, but now that we’re this side of January and the wedding feels so very close, it feels right to be counting down the months until the day itself.

I’ve kept the majority of our wedding planning off this space, on the whole. I didn’t really intend to do so. When we first got engaged, I thought I’d like to document the process largely on YouTube, but also via my blog too. Series were started, playlists made, Pinterest boards set up (okay okay, I’d maybe already had a wedding board up and running long before I even got engaged…). But so far, it feels as though the most of our wedding has been planned in bursts of productivity and enthusiasm- bursts that last for one or two days, and are only long enough for us to find whatever band/hotel/suits we’re looking for, and then disappear as quickly as they arrived. They don’t last long enough for me to manage any sort of documentation here, that’s for sure! I think also, part of the reason I’ve not found myself wanting to post much about the planning process here is because really, the wedding isn’t really where our focus lies. We both are so incredibly excited about the day itself, and I get butterflies in my stomach every time I think about walking down the aisle, but the larger part of me is really just looking forward to being a wife. As great as those ‘walking down the aisle’ butterflies are, the ones I get thinking about the first moment I hear Jason say the words as ‘my wife’ are even greater.

Jason and I both grew up in families that didn’t fit the conventional 2.4 mould…though whose does, really? My family has always been small and tight-knit, Jason’s large and welcoming. Our childhood experiences are vastly different in so many ways, and yet despite their differences, they’ve given us both an identical craving for stability, and routine, and the comfort of sure-footedness. A nagging desire to put down roots, and a love for home comforts. I never stop feeling surprised by how much happiness a Sunday spent walking the dog miles and miles through the mud then stopping by our favourite local restaurant for lunch can bring me.

I have a really vivid memory of sitting in a coffee shop with my Grandma about 18 months before she died, and her telling me about how, when she was a new Mum, there weren’t so many little cafes and coffee shops that made it so easy to pop out of the house with her babies. I asked her, ‘Did you ever feel bored, or frustrated being at home?’, and she replied ‘Never. You’ve got your home, and your husband, and your beautiful children- what more could you ask for?’

I made a note of that conversation at the time, in the back of an old notebook, because I knew one day it’d really mean something to me.

And now, in this six month countdown to the rest of my life, it means absolutely everything.

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Posted in FAMILY, HAPPINESS, JASON, LOVE

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20.01

Cider-with-Rosie-Selfridges-press-trip

After our whistle-stop tour of ‘Mr Selfridge’s London’ came to an end, we left our tour bus behind at Selfridges and rode up, up, up on the escalators until we reached The Corner restaurant and champagne bar on the second floor. We were in pursuit of afternoon tea, and even though breakfast hadn’t been all that many hours previous, by the time we settled down to eat I was pretty ravenous. What is it about a day in the city that makes you twice as hungry as normal?

The Corner restaurant was beautiful, in that wonderful everyday-luxury way that Selfridges has perfected. The bar was all antiqued mirrors and gold with rows and rows of spirits in the most inviting-looking glass bottles, and the huge windows the wrap around the restaurant let in this dreamy, perfect-for-photographs hazy light.

What I wore :: Trench coat || Hat || Trousers || Ballet flats || Blouse

Selfridges-restuarant-Cider-with-Rosie Cider-with-Rosie-Selfridges-bar-Netflix-trip Netflix-Selfridges-Cider-with-Rosie Cider-with-Rosie-photography

^^ This one was snapped by Doug, who Netflix had brought in to take photos during the trip. I had absolutely zero idea it was being or had been taken- apparently my ‘I’m taking a photo’ face is a serious one! ^^

Selfridges-afternoon-tea

Afternoon tea was so delicious- the scones with lemon curd especially were the firm favourite by general consensus! The caramelised banana bread was pretty immense too though, if I’m telling the truth. The conversations over tea spanned everything from the differences between the blogging and YouTube industries and communities, to what it’s like to live so far north in Norway that the sun never rises in winter, and how there’s no signature national cuisine in the Netherlands (according to Bastian, a stylist from Amsterdam!). It was a peaceful moment during the trip, that afternoon tea.

After we’d eaten our fill of finger sandwiches and scones and pastry and drunk enough tea to tide us over the rest of the afternoon, we peeled off in twos and threes for a couple of hours shopping in store. On the agenda for Miss Milly and I was a stop by the Ladieswear department (were I bought a dress that’s so light I won’t be able to wear it for months, and now makes me long for spring every time I open my wardrobe), then to the shoe section for a little wedding shoe try-on, and finally to the chocolate department, because why on earth not?!

Tea-at-Selfridges-Cider-with-Rosie Cider-with-Rosie-Netflix-trip-Rosie-Reynolds

The final part of our day was spent at The Savoy, learning about regency clothing from none other than fashion expert Caryn Franklin! The producer of Mr Selfridge and actor Tom Goodman-Hill (who plays Mr Groves, in the series) stopped by too to answer a few questions, and explained that the female actresses have been more and more happy as the series have progressed, since they’re able to shed the stiff corsets and dresses as the fashions and styles of the era move on! We had chance to try on some of the beautiful 1920s pieces of the type that feature in the series- all wide brimmed felt hats (not that I hadn’t had my fill of wide brimmed felt hats already that day! ;), and gauzy beaded wraps and thick wool jackets for the men.

Honestly and truly, Mr Selfridge is worth watching if for the beautiful outfits alone!

The-Savoy-Netflix-press-trip-Cider-with-Rosie The-Savoy-salad Savoy-chandelier

Dinner that night at The Savoy was the icing on the cake, and we journeyed back to Brown’s very happy, very sleepy, and *very* full! I’ve never been so happy to see a beautifully turned down bed, and was in my pyjamas within about thirty seconds of my bedroom door clicking closed behind me.

The hugest of ‘thank yous’ to Netflix for such a wonderful trip. It was the biggest treat! And if I wasn’t already a Netflix disciple, I totally would be now! ;)

The only problem I have now is…what to catch up on next? (Recommendations gratefully received, of course!)

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Posted in afternoon tea, DAY TRIPS, LONDON, PRESS TRIP, RESTAURANT, WINTER

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19.01

Cider-with-Rosie-Netflix-press

You know those articles that go round and round the internet, ’10 ways’ this, ’25 times’ that? The type of articles that we read on Buzzfeed, and then three weeks later pop up in our Facebook feeds via a ‘share’ from our parents? ;) Well, in my imaginary article, entitled ’15 ways in which you know your addiction to Netflix might be getting out of hand’, let me add the following as number 1 on the list- when you mention said streaming service so many times on your blog without even realising you’re doing it, Netflix themselves clock that you’re kind of a huge fan! ;) Because that, my friends, is precisely how I found myself in London on the ‘Netflix Catchup Tour’ early last week!

Netflix invited me and a few other bloggers and journalists up to London last week for a couple night’s stay at the sublime Brown’s hotel, to celebrate the release of Season Two of Mr Selfridge! The trip was a total whirlwind and full of so many exciting moments it’s hard to know where to start explaining it all!

I always find that getting the chance to learn more about companies I admire is my always very favourite thing about these wonderful press trip experiences. As a consumer, I suppose I tend not to think very often about the amount of man power and planning and technology that goes into making a service like Netflix available. I take it for granted, and forget that there was a time before we had quite *so* much content available to us at all times- seemingly endless choice, whole series at our fingertips, and intuitive suggestions of what we might like to watch or listen to or catch up on next. The freedom and control we have over our entertainment is pretty incredible, when you come to think about it! Remember when we used to have to consult the TV Times pages in the newspaper for scheduling? And when there only used to be four channels, and then, *GASP!* Channel Five arrived! I vividly remember watching my Mum tune in Channel Five on our telly when it first became available- the excitement was real, I tell you! ;)

Netflix-silent-screening-Cider-with-Rosie

The main focus of the trip was the fabulous Mr Selfridge series, and how Selfridge brought about radical changes in the way we shop that are still in play today. The weekend before the trip I thought it might be fun to sit down and watch a couple of episodes, so that I was up to date on the series. But one episode turned into two, and then three, and then by the time I got to London on Monday evening and settled into an armchair in Brown’s Kipling Room for our ‘silent screening’, I was on episode nine of ten! In fact, when the screening was finished and we were invited through to dinner, I’d just got started on the final episode of Season 1 and was, for probably the first time in my life, reluctant to go and eat! ;)

^^ Multi-tasking at the silent screening! Netflixing, and pre-Instagram editing. You know how it goes ;) ^^

Browns-hotel-Netflix-press-trip-Cider-with-Rosie Vintage-Rolls-Royce-Cider-with-Rosie-Netflix Cider-with-Rosie-Netflix-Selfridges

On Tuesday morning, after a night’s sleep in the world’s most heavenly bed and then breakfast in the hotel, we were met outside Brown’s at 9am sharp by a row of vintage cars. They were some of the most beautiful cars I’ve ever seen (the old Rolls Royce ones especially!) and totally made me rethink my ‘I really don’t want a vintage car as wedding transport’ stance! Milly and I hopped into the back of the Rolls Royce (after snapping a few photos, of course), and were whisked away over to Covent Garden to begin our tour of ‘Mr Selfridge’s London’! 

What I wore :: Hat || Blouse || Watch

Piccadilly-Circus-Cider-with-Rosue

^^ The contrast between centuries old architecture and brand new buildings and shops and innovations is one of my favourite things about London, and so looking up at the huge billboards in Piccadilly Circus from the back of a vintage car was kind of a dream! ^^

London-tour-Cider-with-Rosie Trafalgar-Square-Cider-with-Rosie Selfridges-Cider-with-Rosie Cider-with-Rosie-Netflix-press-trip

The tour took us to some of the filming locations used in the Mr Selfridge series, and Lisa, our tour guide and an expert on Regency London, was on hand to tie in the fictionalised Mr Selfridge with his real life counterpart! We visited Lady Loxley’s household, the Theatre Royal on Drury Lane (where Mr Selfridge began his affair with gaity girl Ellen Love- the scandal!), and fans of the series will recognise the building above as the Selfridge home. Sadly it was an exterior filming location only- in a dreamworld, we would’ve been able to go wandering inside and perhaps get chance to snoop round Mrs Rose Selfridge’s wardrobe! 

The tour rounded off at the famous Selfridges store itself, where we were whisked inside out of the chill for a few happy hours spent enjoying afternoon tea and a little shopping too. So you see, it was sort of the best! More photos to come tomorrow, because you didn’t think I’d mention an afternoon tea and *not* share photos, did you?

Selfridges-Cider-with-Rosie-London  

Fans of Mr Selfridge- are you as excited as I am for the release of Series 3? I’m kind of tempted to wait for it to be released on Netflix, so that I can set aside a weekend for watching the whole series in back-to-back episodes!

** Photos of me taken by Doug Peters.

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Posted in DAY TRIPS, LONDON, PRESS LAUNCH, PRESS TRIP, WINTER

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