Wednesday 29 July 2015

Feeling festive with Debenhams

It feels weird to be talking about Christmas in July, but today I headed over to Debenham's Christmas press event where fair isle, gingerbread, knitwear and sparkles were left, right and centre.

 I can scarcely believe that it's less than five months until Christmas!

As ever, Debenhams had unique and interesting ways of presenting their collection

I recognised a few items from their other press event but there were plenty of new products on display too. There was certainly lots of Christmas gift inspiration

I know someone who would love these drone sets!
These glittery retro sweet cups are right up my sisters street! 
And one of my best friends would love this bunny cushion!

Debenhams also featured a personalised selection of gifts, hampers and bouquets

Seeing their festive season party dresses got me all excited for Christmas and NYE!

.... however Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without a Christmas jumper!

... or Christmas pyjamas. How cute are this gingerbread man pair?

... and let's not forget festive table decoration inspiration. I loved their silver woodland theme!

Also on the agenda for today was a Christmas cookie decorating session - the finished designs hung up as Christmas decorations, or for the less patient.... nibbled upon there and then!

I loved this next use of visual merchandising. The whole ideal of waking up on Christmas morning and finding gifts around the fireplace, feeling like a kid again. Anyone would be excited to wake up and find these particular knee high boots and bags on Christmas morning!


And the award for my favourite item goes to... I'll take these in a UK size 6 please!

Oh I do love a cape

Copper pans. Need I say more?

Imagine receiving one of these beautiful boxes tied with with a red bow on Christmas day and inside finding one of these beauties. I love the plum set and the red (bottom centre and right)

Those leather gloves though

This red dress with the beautiful lace overlay. LOVE

And more of my favourite.... lace. But this time in my favourite colour!

I was literally about to leave when a lady came over and asked if I'd like a bouquet of flowers to take home with me. The bouquet in question was composed of the most beautiful red roses and what looks like thistles. These were on display on the day so was a lovely little memento to take home.

A huge thank you to the Debenhams team for inviting me. Never did I think I could feel festive and excited for Christmas as early as July, but I've been proven wrong! Roll on Christmas!

What are your favourite items from the collection?

Wednesday 22 July 2015

OUTFIT // Mint Scallop Blazer

Doesn't matter if it's food or clothing... I love a scallop. This mint coloured scallop blazer from Primark is the latest addition to my wardrobe. As is typical of Primark, they didn't have any of the smaller sizes left... so I went a size up. But sizing up is no bad thing. The slightly over sized nature of the blazer means it looks lovely propped on your shoulders in that wanky way that you'll see all over Instagram / Pinterest / LookBook. This mint sort of hue is the perfect summer shade and looks great worn with ultra white clothing and a tan. The latter I do not have....  but even so, it still manages to brighten my skin tone up a little - so don't feel like you have to avoid mint if you're a ghost pale like me!

Just a little sneak peak of what I wore to the hotel in my last post. I wore these New Look white sliders during the day and packed a pair of heels in my bag for the hotel later. At least I thought I did... Lucy fail!

Monday 20 July 2015

Presenting #terracechapters at the Royal Horseguards Hotel

Introducing their new Wimbledon hamper, the Royal Horseguards Hotel in London invited me down for a sneaky preview to experience Terrace Chapters. I've never been to the Royal Horseguards Hotel before but what first struck me was how friendly and accommodating the staff were. It's not the usual sort of hotel I could afford to stay in, but I was instantly made to feel welcome and never at any occasion did I feel uncomfortable or like I didn't belong there. Throughout the evening, the staff were very attentive and made sure my glass was always full and that I'd had enough to eat. I really can't fault the service I received.

What first stood out were the Wimbledon hampers. These were presented in the dreamiest of wicker baskets and contained a wide variety of ingredients for the perfect afternoon tea / picnic which can enjoyed on their outdoor terrace, or even outside by the river (granted you ask the hotel permission first). In collaboration with Taittinger Champagne and Hotel Chocolat, the Royal Horseguards Hotel offers half a bottle of champagne with your hamper as well as some seriously delicious looking chocolate treats. The Wimbledon hampers are priced at £59 for two people sharing.

Alternatively their Summer Picnic Hampers are perfect for those with any special dietary requirements as you can mix and match your ingredients, choosing nine items from a predetermined list. You can find this list here. I know someone who can't have cheese or chocolate and it's so difficult finding an afternoon tea experience without either of these things - so I will definitely be back at the Royal Horseguards in the near future! Again like the Wimbledon hamper, this is priced at £59 for two people sharing and this includes half a bottle of Taittinger champagne.

The hotel also offers a champagne pairing service where one of three champagnes is paired with a miniature picnic basket. Taittinger Brut Reserve is the suggested champagne for savoury nibbles, the Taittinger Nocturne Sec a slightly sweeter variety for desserts and sweet treats, and their Taittinger Brut Prestige Rose for fruits. I tried these for myself in this very order, and these were paired with a smoked salmon bilini, macaron (we think it was rhubarb flavoured?) and some mixed berries. I was presentably surprised by the sweeter champagne as I'm not a fan of overly sweet things and thought this would be too sweet - but it wasn't.

Throughout the evening we were enjoying their outdoor terrace which is very summery with plenty of comfortable sofas and chairs to sink into, and decorative touches in the way of flowers, candles and bunting.

It was a pretty hot day so they kept us in check with plenty of Pimms and champagne cocktails. Their fruit sorbets topped with champagne were cold and refreshing - perfect for the humidity we were experiencing that evening. Both varieties - strawberry sorbet and peach sorbet with orange zest - were equally pleasing on the palette and it would be difficult to claim one winner over the other!

They also featured three cocktails - one containing rum, one with vodka and the other with gin. I'm not much of a vodka or gin drinker, but I am partial to a bit of rum ;) Their mojitos were amazing.

We were introduced to the chef who had gone above and beyond with the catering. There were plenty of picnic style treats like meats, cheeses, olives and so on, to give us a taste of the hampers.

One of the tastiest sweet treats of the evening had to be these mojito chocolates. These were really light and fresh in your mouth... and then suddenly the alcohol hits you! Absolutely beautiful and great with an accompanying mojito cocktail!

We were sent home with the loveliest of gift bags containing a bottle of champagne, chocolate from Hotel Chocolat, a tennis ball to keep us all in the Wimbledon mood and vouchers for Hotel Chocolat and a future visit to the Royal Horseguards.

A massive thanks to all the staff at the Royal Horseguards Hotel for such a lovely evening and making me feel so welcome. You can read more about Terrace Chapters and their afternoon tea / picnic options here.


* Although food and drink was complimentary, as ever, all opinions and words are my own!