I like to think that nail varnish is one of the few things we can legitimately treat ourselves to during December, a month in which buying for oneself is unoffically prohibited. Within my family anyway, we try to hold off buying ourselves the things we want most during the weeks leading up to Christmas, so as not to spoil any surprises that might be coming our way on the 25th. Not that we always manage to stick to that rule…but we try! And that rule is especially important since both my sister and I are December babies, so we’re double trouble to buy for!

Nail varnishes are just tiny enough to slip under the radar though, if you ask me. You can totally  sneak them into the house tucked away in the depths of your handbag after a Christmas gift-buying expedition, and your fiancé will never, ever realise that there’s another little bottle been added to your already somewhat silly collection. So I’ve heard, anyway…

I went through a funny phase of not wearing nail varnish for months and months (laziness got the better of me) but just recently I’ve been back on a major nail polish kick. Today, I’m sharing five of my absolute favourite nail varnish shades for wearing throughout winter, as well as the Christmas season. Oh! And whilst we’re talking of laziness- that Bourgeois 1-second nail varnish remover is witchcraft, I tell you! Honestly and truly, it removed two/three coats of even the darkest colours photographed here in a single swipe, without even a jot of staining! Well worth picking up.

Now, let’s talk colour… 


T H E   E L E G A N T   G O L D ::


Essie ‘Buy me a Cameo’ - £7.99

I love this polish for two reasons- 1. Because it’s easily the most wearable, elegant shade I’ve ever tried on. It finishes off just about any outfit imaginable (and I like to think makes you look like the sort of woman who only ever wears matching underwear, and never forgets to brush her hair), and 2. It dries quicker than a flash. On countless occasions I’ve thrown on a coat or two of this just before running out of the door in a mad panic, and found it’s dried even before I’ve reached my car. Truly the best thing to have on hand (Ha. On hand. D’ya get it?) for those ‘I can’t go to this wedding/meeting/fancy meal out with bare, unmanicured nails’ emergencies.

T H E   T R U E   R E D ::


Tanya Burr cosmetics ‘Riding Hood’ – £4.99

It’s taken me a long time to feel comfortable wearing red polish. I’d always felt that you could only pull off red if you had beautfifully long, almond shaped nails, and since I have just about the squarest nails you’ll ever come across and an extreme aversion to long nails, I thought it just wasn’t for me! But slowly slowly, as it’s become de rigueur to have shorter nails, I decided that maybe it was time to dip my toe into the scarlet-hued waters. This shade is a beauty. It applies smoothly, and is the most festive shade of red imaginable. Maybe the perfect Christmas day nail colour?

T H E   M U T E D   G R E Y ::


Essie ‘Master Plan’ – £7.99

Even though Christmas and winter are traditionally a time for bright, jewel-toned shades, I just can’t help but go muted and minimal every now and again too. A grey-toned nail varnish is go-with-everything staple, and truly, you just can’t go wrong with Essie. This one dries quickly and applies smoothly, and is the beautiful elephant-grey shade I love so much. Wear with black skinnies, a Breton and a red lip, and do your best impression of a super-chic Parisian.

T H E   I R I D E S C E N T   M I D N I G H T   B L U E ::


Max Factor Colour Effects ‘Cloudy Blue’ – £3.99

This one might just be my favourite from the whole selection. Navy nail varnish is always a winner in my book, and so one shot through with the most incredible iridescent, sky-at-night shimmer was bound to be a good’un. It sort of reminds me of those galaxy nails that were popular a couple of years ago, but without all the effort of having to mix colours! ;) Oh, and since it’s important to know these things, even though I didn’t use a top coat after applying this (I just bought a new one, and found it was smashed when I open up the packaging, sob!) it still lasted a good couple of days without chipping. With a decent top coat, I reckon it’d be a solid five day-er!

T H E   P E R F E C T   P L U M  ::


Essie ‘Bahama Mama’ – £7.99

Bahama Mama has been my favourite autumn/winter nail varnish since time immemorial. I mean, just look at it! It’s just dark enough to be classed as ‘vampy’ (but not so dark you feel like you’ve journeyed back to your pre-teen goth phase- yep, I had one…) and makes a statement that says ‘I take the winter months seriously, don’t you know’. It’s my favourite shade to wear with a simple nude trench coat and a wide-brimmed hat, for days spent wandering through Christmas markets and  drinking mulled wine that matches the colour of your nails.


What I wore :: Pyjamas by Yawn.

Which colour’s your favourite? Do you go bright and sparkly over the Christmas season, or stick to elegant, muted shades? :)


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Cider-with-Rosie-South-Bank-sunset Sunset-over-London South-Bank-Cider-with-Rosie Sunset-over-Big-Ben-Rosie-Reynolds-Cider-with-Rosue

Would you just look at that sky?

Late on Friday afternoon, my Mum and I caught the train into town with the intention of paying a visit to the South Bank Christmas market. I was fully expecting it to be dark by the time we got there, and that the South Bank would be lit up entirely by the glow from the carousel and market stands. But, by some wonderful stroke of luck, we managed to make it into town, through the crowds at Waterloo, and out to the river just as the sun was setting. It wasn’t the kind of fiery sunset you see in summertime- instead, this sunset was duskier, more muted and delicate. All soft shades of lilac and lavender and palest peach.

Once we’d got our fill of photographing the sky (which to be honest, didn’t happen until after the sun had set completely and the sky faded to dark blue), we turned our backs on the river and started exploring the Christmas market stands. The market is a beautiful one, and since it’s set right along the South Bank of the river, feels surprisingly spacious and not too claustrophobia-inducing! There are stands selling just about every festive treat you could imagine, and more besides. Though I’d had my eye on the ‘hot doughnuts and chocolate sauce!’ stand since the moment we set foot in the market, since I was with my Mum and she taught me the ‘you can have pudding after you’ve eaten your main course’ rule well as a tot, we went search of something more substantial to eat ahead of doughnuts ;)

I don’t even have a photo of what we found, because it was so delicious I demolished it quicker than you can say ‘ho ho ho’. Dinner that night came in the form of a smoked Polish sausage, topped with sweet mustard, pickles (the BEST pickles!) and a crunchy cabbage slaw, all served in a toasted and perfectly chewy bread roll. I can’t remember the name of the stall we bought them from, but if you want to go buy your own (and I definitely recommend you do) then the stall was right near the Rekorderlig cider chalet.

SouthBank-carousel-Cider-with-Rosie SouthBank-Christmas-Market-Cider-with-Rosie-1 SouthBank-Christmas-Market-string-lights

^^ The whole place is lit up with string lights, as well as all fairy lights on the Christmas trees that are dotted around. ^^


After we’d finished our ‘main’, a couple of hot toddies that couldn’t have been more welcome for my full-of-cold Ma, and had a stroll up and down the river to get our appetites back, we went in search of those doughnuts. And oh MAN, they were worth the wait. Hot, crisp on the outside and fluffy within, with just the right amount of sugar coating and a hot chocolate dipping sauce to die for- absolute heaven.

God bless my new friend at the doughnut stand, who gave us four doughnuts for the price of three and in doing so, definitely placed himself right at the top of Santa’s ‘nice’ list ;)

Cider-with-Rosie-Christmas-market-London Hot-doughnuts-and-chocolate-sauce

^^ That right there is the face of a doughnut addict in her element, ladies and gents…^^


Post-doughnuts, we decided to go and get the fix of culture that I’d intended to have the previous week, and walked over to the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square. Alright, I’lll be honest. I was 90 percent interested in the art, and 10 percent interested in finding somewhere with great central heating to get warmed up. (Maybe it was closer to 60-40…)

There’s an exhibition of Peder Balke’s work on at the National right now which was by far my favourite thing we saw there, all stormy sea scapes and moonlit waves and craggy shorelines. Mum is most fond of the Expressionist pieces…but I’d take Realism over Expressionism any day of the week! Once we’d had our fix of both warmth and culture, we wandered back through Trafalgar Square and past the Corinthia and over the river, back to Waterloo. We made it onto the next train out of the station with only two minutes to spare, which is always my favourite way of rounding off a trip into town. Well, that and have a spare doughnut left to eat on the journey home…


What I wore :: Jacket (similar) || Scarf || Jumper || Jeans || Shoes || Hat || Handbag


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King's-Road-pastel-houses Cider-with-Rosie-shopping-in-London

Last week, I had a date with the King’s Road. I’m in London all the time these days, but it’s always on a tight time schedule. Dashing from one train station to next, from one appointment to another, always with one too many or too few layers on and an undercurrent feeling of being harried and stressed.

So on Friday, I took the day off. I needed to be in London at 7pm to see my friend performing in a show over in Belsize Park, so headed up on a late morning train with the intention of visiting to a museum or gallery first, then going over to the King’s Road for a spot of Christmas shopping later on. But once I arrived in Waterloo I thought, well, maybe I should go and do my shopping first! My excuse was that I wasn’t sure what the Black Friday crowds would be like so thought it would be best to tackle them fresh in the day, but really- really and truly- I just wanted to get on with the shopping. ‘I’ll go to a gallery later!’ I told myself. Ha!

You can guess what happened. Hours, and hours, and hours of shopping and stopping for coffee breaks and lunch, and I never once made it anywhere more cultural than a quick sit down outside the Saatchi gallery. Not inside it, mind you. Just outside. All plans of spending a civilised couple of hours wandering solo through the National Gallery or the Tate, with coffee in one hand and camera in the other, were lost the minute I found King’s Road to be relatively quiet, and the sales to be generous. Coffee was bought and photos were taken though, of course…

Royal-Court-Theatre-Cider-with-Rosie   King's-Road-flower-shop-Cider-with-Rosie

Most of my time spent shopping was for other people (hand on heart, I promise!), though I couldn’t resist picking up one of the Christmas Pine scented candles in The White Company. Even if I’d intended to walk right by the shop (which I didn’t, since I needed to pick up a few other bits for gifts) the smell of the store alone would’ve tempted me in. It’s the very essence of Christmas!

I got peckish after a few hours of shopping (‘shopping is my cardio’), so stopped into an Italian cafe I’ve been wanting to visit for years now- Ca’puccino. And since I’ve always wanted to eat at that cafe AND sit outside doing a spot of people watching, that’s exactly what I did! November chill be damned! I’m eating al-fresco!

Capuccino-Kings-Road-Rosie Cider-with-Rosie-Kings-Road

The cold didn’t wasn’t able to get to me for long, thanks to the big mug of ‘cioccolata calda’ that my waiter brought over (at my request, of course, not just because he was kind like that). That hot chocolate was incredible, worthy of a place on that Buzzfeed article I mentioned last week! Ca’puccino itself is a delight- minimalist, and with a light, modern Italian menu. And they had patio heaters outside, which is always a winner in my book!

I spent my shopping lunch break reading Christmas magazines (Country Homes all the way!), watching elegant Italian couples and Mums with Bugaboos and well-groomed men with even better groomed dogs walking past the cafe, and eating a cheese and ham frittata that came served in its own (totally adorable!) mini frying pan. It was peaceful beyond belief, that mellow half hour or so lunchtime. I could’ve sat there all day long, just revelling in the quiet and watching the sun sink lower in the sky- but no! There was more shopping to be done!

Rosie-Christmas-shopping Capuccino-Kings-Road-by-Rosie-Reynolds King's-Road-Christmas-shopping

Last on my hit-list for the day was Anthropologie- not least because they had a 20% off everything sale! I found the hat of my dreams (honestly, it would’ve looked good with every single item of clothing I own), but kissed it goodbye in favour of buying Christmas gifts instead. A feat of self-control if ever there was one ;)

Call me an introvert (and you’d be right!) but it really was one of the nicest days I’ve spent in London in a long time. There’s something to be said for taking a whole day to yourself, every once in a while. Even though I’m home solo a fair bit, what with social media pinging non-stop and emails filling the gaps in between, it’s rare that I feel truly, nourishingly, soul-soothingly alone. And I hadn’t really realised that until I took a day away from it all, and didn’t say much besides ‘another hot chocolate, please’, the whole day long.



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Even in winter, there’s nothing that can beat a bunch of fresh flowers. They might not be able to compete with spring daffodils that cost a mere pound a bunch, or fat, thick-stemmed peonies in the summertime, but there’s still something so delightful about a weekend trip to pick up fresh blooms. There’s a little flower shop in Sunningdale, the village where we like to head for Sunday brunch, that I’ve been meaning to visit for ages but never quite get round to. But the pull of the Christmas wreaths and garlands and lights that decorate the shop became just too strong to resist, so Jason and I got up early on Saturday morning and made a pilgrimage to buy some flowers for the house.

The shop is beautiful- so artfully arranged and displayed, with fairy lights twinkling and dark green foliage amongst the reds and purples and yellows. After a brief flirtation with buying a Christmas wreath for the front door and a bunch of tulips that aren’t at all seasonal but were nearly too pretty to resist, I went for a few tangly stems of eucalyptus and some fluffy plum coloured flowers I don’t know the name of. The eucalyptus smells incredible, and the purpley-red flowers are now brightening up both my bedside table and the little shelf in the hallway. Next up in the house-decoration game? A Christmas tree!…

Christmas-fir Cider-with-Rosie-flowers Cider-with-Rosie-weekend Cider-with-Rosie-buying-flowers Christmas-wreaths-Cider-with-Rosi Buying-flowers French-Sole-nude-ballet-pumps- Cider-with-Rosie-winter-weekend

What I wore :: Cardigan coat {past season Jigsaw, similar here} || Shirt || Jeans || Ballet pumps (c/o)

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