20.08.2018- London Loves: Petersham Nurseries, Richmond

Monday, 20 August 2018

One of London's hidden, if often Instagrammed gems is Petersham Nurseries in Richmond. I've been a dedicated visitor to their sister shop in Covent Garden since it opened last year, but, up until recently I'd never made it along to their original site. Accompanied by some blogging babes, we lately ventured down a narrow, almost hidden road, to discover a horticultural heaven tucked away just a stone's throw away from Richmond Park:

An oasis of calm if ever there was one! Sprawling over a series of immaculately kept glasshouses, cafe and potting sheds, it's easy to get lost here- in the most wonderful of ways. Refreshingly quiet, it offers the perfect opportunity to get back to greenery, and is an ideal oasis of calm in which to peruse a plethora of plants, as well as pick up plenty of interior inspiration. Whether you're looking for bespoke furniture, garden essentials or some beautiful plants to pot up either inside or out, it's definitely well worth a visit- and I'm already eager to make a return visit to see it as autumn unfolds.

Have you visited anywhere new recently?

(Image credit: Sarah Farrell, please do not reproduce without permission.)

17.08.2018- What I Wore Today #342

Friday, 17 August 2018

This post feels a little bit out of date given that as I type this it's absolutely tipping it down outside and the heatwave feels like an entirely distant memory! It's also totally typical that the moment I snap up some warm weather style heroes, the skies darken and the temperatures take a ten degree dip, but I'm still holding out a glimmer of hope that I'll be able to share them with you before the summer is out completely. If I'm honest, dressing for the warm weather is always something which tends to nudge me out of my comfort zone, especially as I get quite irritable when I can't cool down! Planning what to wear from one day to the next was pretty tricky when it was warm, but there was one hero piece which I dug out of my wardrobe which well and truly came to the rescue before I melted into a puddle:

Dress- Whistles 
Bag- Cath Kidston 
Sunglasses- Ray-Ban (c/o John Lewis) 
Shoes- Gap
Necklace- Olivia Burton

This dress from Whistles has been sitting in my wardrobe since 2012 or so, and it's one of those pieces which is a truly timeless summer favourite- although I've held off wearing it for the past couple of years because of not really feeling comfortable in it. Funny old thing, body confidence, isn't it?! After contending with resembling something of a beach ball up until I had my lovely cyst removed at the end of April (more on that soon, I promise), I've been determined to get some of my old confidence back, one baby step at a time- focusing less on what my body isn't and more on what it is capable of- and staying grateful for its ability to recover and get stronger every day. And so, here we are, pink dress against a pink background on one of the hottest days of the year a few weeks ago. Because sometimes we all need to be a bit more Elle Woods, don't we?! 

What have you been styling recently?

(Image credit: Hannah Hobson, please do not reproduce without permission.)

15.08.2018- Road Testing: The Duchess Gin & Tonic

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

With the arrival of summer, longer evenings and plenty of opportunities to make the most of the balmier weather, navigating a seemingly neverending series of drinks invites is one of the trickier aspects of this time of the year. For me, as a teetotaler, it can also be difficult to find non-alcoholic options which are fresh and fun- especially in terms of flavours. I’ve never really been into alcohol, and with a personality so heavily weighted towards becoming easily addicted to things, I’ve always been mindful of keeping my consumption balanced. To top it off, I’m really not a fan of how most alcohol tastes, which makes it even easier to not partake- win win really! With a firmly sober stance, I’ll often plump for a juice or lemonade, but recently I’ve encountered a new botanical blend which I’m well and truly converted to:

The Duchess is a uniquely blended virgin gin (made with re-distilled juniper berries) and tonic, created with aromatic botanic extracts including orange peel, all spice, cloves and cardamom, all of which combine to create a perfectly balanced palette pleaser. Crisp and refreshing, it’s full of flavour, and is ideal for getting experimental with too- whether that’s blending with some of your favourite fruit, cordials or flavoured molasses. For me, it’s been lovely to encounter something so versatile which doesn’t compromise on taste, and which lends itself wonderfully to any context too. Also, it probably goes without saying that I’m in love with the branding too, as well as the opportunity which it offers to get creative with my combinations- here I mixed it with lots of different fruit but can’t wait to try it with some other flavours (particularly blackberry!), as we ease into autumn. Whether you’re a teetotaler looking for a fresh fix of flavour, are the designated driver or looking for an easy all in one alternative to your regular drink of choice, I’d definitely recommend The Duchess as a fantastic, fuss-free option. 

What have you been road-testing recently?

*I was kindly provided with a product sample to review, but my opinions and impressions are 100% honest, as always. 

(Image credit: Sarah Farrell, please do not reproduce without permission.)
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