11.11

Cider-with-Rosie-Boden-press-day

It’s not every Wednesday that’s as full of beauty as last Wednesday was. Mostly, I think of Wednesdays as being pretty mediocre. Often grey, often full of tedious jobs (the ones you’ve been putting off during Monday and Tuesday), and still too far away from the weekend to be hopeful. Last Wednesday though? It was a whole other kettle of fish.

Boden press days are always a sight to behold. Their eye for detail extends way beyond each season’s clothing collection, and encompasses every part of the world Boden create. Shoes are placed alongside potted flowers that match their shade of pink exactly. Vintage gardening books are sourced and strewn (artfully, always artfully) around a handmade neon ‘greenhouse’. Mini-workspaces are set up to create the perfect Instagram backdrops. White garden gnomes are given hats that match fabrics taken from the new season’s collection.

It blows my mind, and never fails to inspire and encourage my own eye for detail. The Spring Summer 15 collection is entitled ‘Great Boden in Bloom’, and is, as you’d imagine, horticulturally-themed. As always with Boden, there’s a pattern and a shape to suit every taste imaginable, and let me tell you, the collection suited a LOT of my tastes! A few photos from the day are below, but I’m afraid I must’ve been on a major shoe kick as the vast majority of photos are of footwear. Then again, I never need apologise for shoes, right? ;)

Boden-in-Bloom-SS15-press-day Boden-SS15-mini

^^ Mini Boden yellow boots! Aren’t they gorgeous? ^^

Vintage-horticulture-books Boden-Blogger-workspace New-season-Boden-preview

^^ Lizzie, who works at Boden, was wearing the pink pair of heels on the right on Wednesday, and they looked completely amazing on her. Already at the top of my wish list! ^^

Boden-SS15-collection

I met up with my loves Kathryn and Natasha at the press day (we hadn’t seen each other since our last Boden-related escapades in July!), and after having had our happy fill of floral prints and Diptyque candles and vintage gardening tools and being able to log in to the wifi, we kissed our friends at Boden goodbye and headed on our merry way. But the fun wasn’t over! Natasha had suggested a couple of weeks previously that we go for afternoon tea at the Berkeley after the press launch, and since I’m never one to say no to afternoon tea, to the Berkeley we went!

I’d heard such great things about the Berkeley’s ‘Pret-a-Portea’, and it definitely didn’t disappoint. Beautiful service, best afternoon tea sandwiches ever (the smoked salmon especially was delicious!), and the most flamboyant and colourful sweet selection I’ve ever seen! I will say that the sweet things (biscuits, mousses, and the like) weren’t as delicious as the ones I tasted at Ladurée or Pennyhill Park in Surrey, so I’ll deduct a star for that on my totally arbitrary and just-this-second-instated rating system ;) The English Breakfast tea was divine though, and since that really is the best tea of all time (Earl Grey, be gone!) I haven’t really got much to complain about!

It’s always so lovely to see Natasha and Kathryn, not least because it always reminds me once again how amazing the internet is. Kathryn’s based up in Yorkshire with her three gorgeous babies, Natasha lives in Oxford and works at the university, and yet we all found one another (with a little help from Boden, of course!) through the magic of blogging. It always leaves me with a serious case of the warm and fuzzies, when I think about how these little creative online spaces can help us find our kindred spirits.

Cider-with-Rosie-afternoon-tea Pretaportea-at-the-Berkeley Pretaportea Cider-with-Rosie-Berkeley- Berkeley-afternoon-tea  

And after so many hours of talking, tea drinking, photo taking, and macaron eating, it was time to leave this most beautiful of Wednesdays in London behind and head on home. I would’ve been sad, but with a mini neon lunchbox filled with sweet treats to eat on the train home, who on earth could complain? :)

What I wore :: Coat || Scarf || Jumper || Top || Jeans || Shoes || Handbag

p.s. A little heads up! Boden have a 25% off EVERYTHING sale on right now! I’ve just snapped up a couple of bits for myself, it’s too good to miss out on! Ends Thursday eve. Just click on the promo banner on the homepage to apply the discount to the entire site- go go go!

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Posted in afternoon tea, BODEN, DAY TRIPS, FRIENDS, LONDON, PRESS LAUNCH

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03.09

Late summer sunshine. Hot chocolate so thick you almost need a spoon to drink it. Salted caramel macarons. Flaky croissants. Handsome company. Drinking champagne on one of Covent Garden’s famous terraces. Ingredients for a beautiful Sunday, right?

A few weeks ago the team at TRULY, a luxury gift experience company, got in touch to ask if Jason and I might like to head into London for one of their signature dining experiences. We said yes, of course, because who in their right mind would turn down such a wonderful opportunity? The dining experience we selected was the world famous champagne afternoon tea at Ladurée, right in the centre of beautiful Covent Garden. I didn’t realise when we chose it that Ladurée’s tea room overlooks Covent Garden piazza, and that I’d get to fulfil a life-long ambition of having a meal on one of the balconies! The only drawback to this was that I spent pretty much the entire couple of hours we were having our afternoon tea trying to get Jason to tear his eyes away from whatever escapologist/magician/’comedian’ was currently performing in the square and actually talk to me instead ;)

It sort of felt as though summer was having its last hurrah on Sunday- the sunshine was warm and strong, but interrupted by a brisk autumnal breeze that already has begun to pull leaves from the trees. I put together a little film of our afternoon, so do have a little watch of that, if you’d like. It was such a fun one to put together!

Cider-with-Rosie-Laduree-afternoon-tea Laduree-afternoon-tea-Covent-Garden

The tea itself was as gorgeous (and abundant, oh my!) as you’d expect from a place as beautiful as Ladurée, with the sort of polite, attentive service that takes a dining experience from being good to excellent. We started with a couple of glasses of their own rosé champagne, then ordered a selection of hot drinks, finger sandwiches (the smoked salmon was beautiful!), viennoiseries (which apparently is the correct term for baked goods like croissants/brioche/pain au chocolat- who knew!?), pastries, and of course, macarons!

Everything we ate and drank was absolutely delicious, but the raspberry passionfruit tarts still stood out by a clean mile. They were fresh, light, sharp, and creamy all at once, with beautifully short, biscuitty pastry- quite possibly the best pastry I’ve ever, ever eaten. Those layered chocolate pastries were pretty divine too, with their combination of raspberry infused chocolate cake and dark, rich ganache. On the way over to Covent Garden Jason and I had toyed briefly with the idea of stopping into Patty & Bun on our way back home to grab burgers for dinner, but afternoon tea was so filling and indulgent that we couldn’t even think about eating anything else by the time we were finished!

Laduee-afternoon-tea

I’d not come across Give Truly before they reached out to me, and have been so impressed with their excellent service. We were so grateful for how helpful, flexible, and patient they were when getting us booked in for afternoon tea, and everything from the beautiful lavender-scented gift box containing our booking details that arrived a few days before our gift experience, to the afternoon tea itself, was outstanding. Definitely a company I’d recommend and will certainly turn to again myself, especially when choosing Christmas and birthday presents for hard-to-buy-for friends and family!

Now, let’s talk afternoon tea! Where’s your favourite place to go? :)

Give-Truly-Laduree-afternoon-tea

What I wore ::  Jigsaw cardigan (past season, similar), Boden trousers, Hobbs flats, Mulberry Bayswater.

p.s. Though our afternoon tea came c/o of the lovely team at TRULY, this post is not sponsored and my opinions are, as always, honest & unbiased.

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Posted in afternoon tea, LONDON, YOUTUBE

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04.02

Happy-Birthday-Mama!

Last week, my darling Mum turned 55!

Don’t worry, she isn’t the sort who gets funny about people knowing her age. In fact, my Mum’s ability to embrace her age for what it is (a milestone, a marker of how many years she’s lived and loved and learnt) is one of the things I admire most about her.

For her birthday, I took her out for surprise afternoon tea at Pennyhill Park. I’ve had it planned for a few weeks now. Pennyhill Park is one of the most beautiful hotels in Surrey, with an award-winning afternoon tea. I actually worked there for a few months the summer before I met Jason, and spent hours (literally *hours*) each shift hanging about in the pastry kitchen, pilfering spoonfuls of ice-cream straight from the freezer, eating all the white chocolate truffles from the petit fours plates (& filling the gaps on the plates with the horrible dark chocolate ones), and persuading the chef to make me a pistachio soufflé to enjoy at my leisure once I’d finished ‘working’. Thinking about it, I’m surprised the hotel actually paid me a salary…

But back to it! Sunday morning when I picked up Mum, we were excited! Lots of squeals were squealed. We *love* surprises in this family! We drove about 10 minutes, and when we turned into the driveway of the hotel, Mum said ‘No! No way!’. I asked what she thought we were here for. She replied ‘Afternoon tea?’, and I said ‘Yes! Surpriiiiiise!’

Mum thought the surprises were done with once we’d got to the hotel, but no! There were more to be had! I’d actually dropped my sister off at the hotel about fifteen minutes before picking up my Ma, so when we got to our table, surprise again! Francesca was there in place, looking glorious and elegant and as pleased with herself as I felt! Mum shrieked, and then cried, which is pretty much the reaction my sis and I had been banking on ;)

And after all that excitement, the tea itself was crazy delicious too! Hibiscus and berry was our especial favourite (we drank pot after pot of the stuff!). Also, those scones. Oh my. They were the size of your fist, crisp on the outside, and all fluffy-warm inside. The jam was something special too. I didn’t take too many photos over tea (was up to my elbows in jam, you see) but the few I did take are below. Some are iPhone jobbies, others are from my proper camera. I hate mixing iPhone and proper camera photos in the same post, so I’m sorry about that.

Cider-with-Rosie-Afternoon-Tea

^^ Afternoon tea get-up. Bare legs in February. Cerrazy. ^^`

Pennyhill-Park-Afternoon-Tea Pennyhill-Park-Afternoon-Tea4

^^ That choux bun was filled with gooseberry compote and vanilla cream, and is one of the most delicious pastries I’ve ever eaten. ^^

Pennyhill-Park-Afternoon-Tea1 Afternoon-tea Afternoon-Tea-Scones-and-Jam
Pennyhill-Park-Afternoon-Tea2

Happy birthday little Ma! We love you!

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Posted in afternoon tea, BIRTHDAY, FAMILY, MUM

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