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! ^^


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!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>



Would you take a look at that cute face above? That’s Sprout, and she’s pretty much the unofficial Boden mascot! Well, maybe the official mascot, since her image is appearing on the front of a few items of Boden’s beautiful Christmas collection this year! But, we’ll get on to talking about the Christmas collection a little later! First up- that walk!

Friday started in much the same way as Thursday did- with fresh coffee, and spectacular breakfasts at The Bull. Even though the day at River Cottage had been such a foodie one, I woke up ravenous and enjoyed another plate of The Bull’s amazing smoked salmon plus a bowl of granola, yoghurt, and fruit for breakfast. The rest of the day’s activities were something of a mystery to us, and our plans had been debated and guessed over at much length during the previous day or so. We’d been told to bring our wellies and that we’d be going for a walk with Johnnie (Mr Boden himself!), but didn’t even know where we’d be once we finished walking! Or actually, where the walk was going to begin, for that matter…

The cars and lovely cab drivers arrived bright and early to pick us up, and took us deep into the countryside before telling us to get out, and take a hike. Hah. I’m kidding. But seriously though, with landscapes like these all around us, how could we not want to head out on two feet and explore!…

Boden-on-the-road!   Cider-with-Rosie-Boden Boden-butterfly-walk Boden-Dorset-walk-views

Johnnie led us on a four mile walk all through the meadows and up and down hillsides, stopping to point out some of the most beautiful vistas and wildflowers, and also to tell us stories about Sprout’s penchant for squirrel-chasing. I’d not been on a walk for almost a week by the time Friday rolled around, and it felt amazing to get out and stretch my legs again after days of indulgent eating and drinking! The weather was warm and dry (we lucked out the whole trip!) and the morning was a pretty glorious one.

It turned out, the walk we were taking led us right to the beautiful Mapperton House, for an afternoon of exploring, flower-arranging, and lunching in the grounds! Mapperton is owned by Caroline and John Sandwich (descendants of the most famous Lord and Lady Sandwich!), and was voted the Nation’s most beautiful manor house a few years back! It really is stunning! After a quick coffee and a shoe change (turns out wearing wellies in 20+ degree weather is not the most pleasant of experiences) we headed over the old stables to learn a little about flower arranging with the British Flower School.

Boden-Sprout! Cider-with-Rosie-British-Flower-School

Charlie talked us through all of the flowers she had available for us to work with that day (my favourites were the roses, which smelt better than any I’ve come across since I was a child) and showed us the basics of how to arrange a simple, rustic bouquet.

Now, I’m going to level with you. I’ve always had this (entirely ridiculous) impression that flower arranging looked not too tricky. I’d thought privately to myself for years ‘Pah! How hard can it be, it’s just cutting all the flowers to the same height and bunching nicely coloured ones together! You can’t really go wrong, can you?’

Wrong. You can.

It (not surprisingly at all!) is a lot more fiddly than it looks, and requires a whole lot of skill! ‘Well of course, Rosie!’ I’m sure you’re thinking, ‘of course!’. I’ll tell you now that if this whole blogging thing fails me, I will NOT be pursuing a career in flower arranging. Despite not having any God-given flower arranging skill whatsoever, I had an absolute whale of a time putting together my bouquet outside in the sunshine, and learning more about the flowers Charlie and her team grow at Mapperton. We spent the rest of the day eating ploughman’s lunches and ice creams for dessert, exploring Mapperton’s grounds, and talking non-stop about everything from the merits of countryside vs. city living, to perfectionism, dog-owning, hen parties, and bread-making!

British-Flower-School Wild-flowers-British-Flower-School-Mapperto

Now, I’m hopping around in the timeline here, but I need to tell you all about Thursday evening! I had to keep this for a second post, you see, or else yesterday’s would’ve been about half a mile long ;)

After having spent the day at River Cottage we came back to the hotel, and, after a quick freshen up (read: removing random dried bits of dough from my hair) went up to the hotel bar for a preview of Boden’s Christmas collection! The collection is (predictably) completely stunning- all bejewelled accessories, bright Fair Isle knit jumpers, soft mohair scarves, jacquard print trousers, and vintage-inspired boxy faux-fur coats. There was so many incredible items, it made me almost start wishing away the summer! Especially amazing were a pair of metallic loafers that’ll be part of the Johnnie B Christmas collection. I fell SO hard for them, and will be picking up a pair just as soon as the collection becomes available online! No photo I’m afraid- I was too busy mentally pairing them with everything in my wardrobe to remember to take a photo…

Champagne-glasses   Boden-Christmas-knitwear

^^ How perfect are those Fair Isle jumpers? Roll on winter! ;) Also, spot the Sprout-themed knitwear above… ^^

Boden-Christmas-collection   Mini-Boden-Christmas-pyjamas

^^ Mini Boden tartan pjs! ^^

We ate dinner in The Bull’s private dining room after the collection preview, and the evening was a lovely one. I ate duck breast with a cognac and cardamom sauce on bok choi, and then the tastiest dessert I’ve had in a long time. Homemade strawberry marshmallows, with honey comb pieces, meringue, and a scoop of vanilla ice-cream. Divine! Again, no photo, partly because it was pretty dark by the time we ate dessert, and also because I’d inhaled it before even the thought ‘maybe I should’ve taken a photo of this’ had crossed my mind! ;)

Duck-cognac-sauce Boden-Christmas-in-July-press-trip

I know I said it at the end of yesterday’s post, but I really can’t thank Boden enough for taking me away on such an incredible trip. Not only was it mind-blowingly generous and the most wonderful treat, I came away feeling so inspired and full of vigour and enthusiasm for returning to work. Spending a few days talking to so many passionate, driven, like-minded people about the way they run their businesses was absolutely invaluable, and filled me with new focus and energy that I’m excited to channel into my own projects.

So a HUGE thank you to the wonderful team at Boden for inviting me along, for being the most attentive and fun hosts, for keeping us all topped up with bubbles from the moment we arrived in Dorset to the very last stretch of train journey back into Waterloo, and for an unforgettable experience! And roll on Christmas time, because I can’t wait to add those metallic loafers to my wardrobe!

* I’m wearing Breton top from Boden, dungarees from New Look, & my trusty old Hunters.

** Boden’s Autumn collection is being released in the next week…eyes peeled everyone!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


V&A-wedding-dress-exhibition-2 V&A-wedding-dress-exhibition-11

Last week an email ‘pinged’ in my inbox asking if I might like to come along to the press launch of the V&A’s new ‘Wedding Dresses 1775-2014′ exhibition, and since I’d say a good 60% of my brain capacity these days is occupied by weddings and white gowns, I sent back a reply of ‘YES, PLEASE!’ quick as a flash! The V&A is my absolute favourite museum in London (the jewellery section especially!), so it’s always lovely to have an excuse to visit. My best friend (and bridesmaid-in-chief) Jo came along with me to act as co-photographer, so at 10am we met in the South Kensingston tube station underpass and headed on into the museum for a morning of culture (and trying not to get barged out of the way by men carrying giant cameras on their shoulders).

The exhibition itself is quite small (I’d say it takes no more than an hour to see in full) and absolutely gorgeous. There are wedding dresses on display that were worn by Kate Moss, Dita von Teese, Gwen Stefani, and even the dress coat worn by the Duchess of Cornwall at her blessing ceremony with Prince Charles. Seeing the dresses in isolation (away from their traditional church/grand reception venue settings) kind of highlighted how theatrical and removed from normality a wedding actually is. It’s kind of like putting on a costume and playing a role for the day, isn’t it? It made me so excited to go shopping for my own dress!

V&A V&A-wedding-dress-exhibition

Partway through the morning we listened to a talk by the exhibition’s curator Edwina Ehrman, who explained all about the thought processes behind the exhibition, and how she and her team went about pulling the collection together. It was absolutely fascinating realising quite how much detail and thought goes into an exhibition like this one- there were so many things I’d have just skimmed right over if they hadn’t been pointed out to me! Edwina explained that she wanted to really root the exhibition in the traditions and customs of the wedding as opposed to just making it all about pretty dresses. There are line drawings of churches etched onto the glass display cases that house the dresses, and footage of famous weddings being projected onto the walls, and quotes about weddings taken from historical diaries and novels scattered around the exhibition. Even though we’d already been there for an hour before Edwina’s talk, we did another full lap of the exhibition after listening to it because we felt like there were so many things we’d missed first walk round!


^^ ‘Flower Bomb’, by Ian Stuart. ^^

V&A-wedding-dress-exhibition-Jo V&A-wedding-dress-exhibition-3

^^ Kate Moss’ wedding dress, designed by John Galliano. The beadwork and designs stitched into the gauzy top layer of the dress was absolutely stunning up-close. ^^

V&A-wedding-dress-exhibition-1   V&A-wedding-dress-exhibition-5 V&A-wedding-dress-exhibition-7

^^ This dress by Jenny Packham’s ‘Rapunzel’ gown has absolutely stolen my heart. It’s far more bohemian than my usual taste in dresses, which I think is why I love it so much. The beading is even more stunning in person, and the cut is to *die* for. All the wedding dresses I’ve looked at so far online for myself have been pretty classic in shape (I’m quite traditional in my tastes!) but having seen this dress in person I’m now keen to look at some more floaty, diaphanous gown as well… ^^


^^ Dita von Teese’ Vivienne Westwood gown. ^^

V&A-wedding-dress-exhibition-10 V&A-wedding-dress-exhibition-9 V&A-wedding-dress-exhibition-4

The exhibition will run at the V&A museum from the 3rd May ’14 to the 15th March ’15. Entry costs £12, or free to V&A members. It’s well worth a visit, if you’re in the area. I’m thinking of going back and taking my Mum with me next time we’re in the city!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Read from the beginning >