Sunday, 30 August 2015

Afternoon Tea at Jesmond Dene House...

Hello lovelies!

Hope you've been well! I've had a hiatus due to an epic holiday (all to come on the blog) but I thought I'd take a break from fashion with today's post and talk about afternoon tea at Jesmond Dene House, a place I've been dying to visit forever.



Jesmond Dene House is situated in beautiful Jesmond Dene, up here in the good old North East of England, and is an independently owned four star boutique hotel.  Pulling up into the car park you are greeted with the prettiest garden, gorgeous flowers and an air of real sophistication.  I couldn't wait to see inside, but as we were early for our afternoon tea, we decided to explore Jesmond Dene first to work up an appetite for cake.











Jesmond Dene itself is huuuuge and one of the prettiest places I think I've ever visited.  An old mill, a beautiful waterfall, lots to do for the kids and even a petting zoo I imagine it's fun for all of the family.  We loved exploring it and it's so picturesque I couldn't help but take tonnes of photos!  I think the waterfall was my favourite place and reminded me so much of a hidden gem in a secret garden.

After walking around for a while we were certainly ready for some food!  At Jesmond Dene House afternoon tea is served in a number of rooms and we requested the Garden room so we could enjoy more of the lovely view.



Our waiter came and took our tea order, Rington's Decaffeinated for those that are interested and we waited impatiently for the grand arrival of the cake stand.  Luckily we didn't have to wait long and it was definitely worth it!




Starting at the bottom, the sandwiches were Smoked Salmon & Chive Crème Fraîche, Chicken with Lemon & Coriander Mayonnaise, Goats Curd with Rocket & Fig Chutney and Roast Ham with Piccalilli cut into beautiful fingers.  I have to say although the smoked salmon and chicken sandwiches were delicious, we didn't really enjoy the others but that was more to do with personal taste than there being anything wrong with them.  The other layers of the stand more than made up for it though!

The scones were diddy; a plain, a fruit and a cheese and all were equally delicious!  They were warm, freshly cooked and melted in my mouth.  They were also really light, ensuring we had more than enough room for the best layer...the cakes!



Starting with the glass in the middle, this was a raspberry and lemon balm trifle and was absolutely delicious.  Light, creamy and super refreshing, I could have eaten it over and over again!  Next on the list we chose the giant macaron, a beautiful concoction of peach and white chocolate.  More like a giant meringue in texture, it was messy to eat but absolutely taste-tactic!  Next we chose the lemon sponge with vanilla frosting; I love lemon cake and this one didn't disappoint, it was simple yet effective and really yummy.  We left the chocolate and cherry trifle until last which reminded me of black forest gateau mixed with chocolate ganache...unbelievable!

Apart from my luxurious afternoon tea at the Berkeley (here) I think this may have topped the afternoon tea list, knocking the Vermont (here) into third place!  I was so impressed with everything we received and the service was exceptional too!  I'll definitely want to visit again at some point...it was truly amazing!

 My bestie loved it too!
The face of a happy girl who's just been given cake!!!

Afternoon Tea at Jesmond Dene House starts at £20 and booking is advised.  You can find out more here.

xxx

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Happy 2nd Birthday Coco...

Hello lovelies!


Today is a very special day, as it marks two years since my very first blog post...yes Coco has reached her second birthday!!  I've just looked at how I was doing a year ago and I'm pleased to say that my bloglovin' followers have doubled since last year, so thank you if you're a regular reader or follower!  Your comments, page views and general chit chat are what the world of blogging is all about and I'm grateful to each and every one of you for stopping by!

So what has changed in a year?  Well my layout for one and I think my photography is marginally better too! I've shifted back to writing more about fashion and less about lifestyle, and most of my lifestyle stuff usually consists of the adventures I have with my bestie...so nothing's changed in that respect.  I've done a few collaborative posts which was something I wasn't doing a year ago, and I've seen my Twitter and Instagram followers go up, so thanks also for that!

My blog is a space where I love to share my love of fashion and most importantly, it's also where I get to write.  I love writing, and although for most other bloggers the aim is to get their blog to be as big as possible, my favourite part of mine is thinking that someone out there is reading my work.  So if you're a regular reader thank you so much.  Make sure you leave the odd comment if you haven't already so I can thank you personally.  There's nothing more rewarding for me than thinking my work is appreciated by others, so thanks!

Plans for the future?  Well, to be honest I'm absolutely terrible at promoting my space.  I work so many hours that I find it difficult to keep my finger on the pulse in getting my blog out there, so maybe that could be an aim for the coming year.  Also, I'd like to create my own layout now I can see a clear direction for my written work.

So in closing, I want to wish my little baby Coco a very happy 2nd birthday and to invite all of you to eat cake on her behalf, as we plot our next year of fashion and antics!!  We've got a trip to Cannes, a 30th birthday coming up, a visit to Chanel at the Saatchi Gallery, a fashion illustration course and lots of other exciting things that we'll be sharing with you in the coming months! So thanks for reading and we hope you'll still be with us to celebrate our 3rd year.


Thank you!

Kayleigh and Coco xxx


Tuesday, 11 August 2015

A fashionable amount of doodling...




Hello lovelies!

Always wanting to experiment with all things fashion, this week I've been turning my hand to a little bit of fashion illustration!  I just want to say here that I am not looking for a career change, but in the spirit of trying new things, I've enrolled myself on a day course at the Bowes Museum in September with legendary fashion illustrator Frances Moffatt.  Fashion illustration is something I have always admired and wanted to get to grips with, ever since I was a little girl and used to doodle clothes in the hope that one day I'd be an amazing designer ha!  My Mama L was offered a job as a commercial artist when she left school but had to choose a higher paid more menial job as times were hard and she was expected to contribute to the family pot, so to speak.  So nevertheless it is something that has always intrigued me!  Frances suggested I take some of my own drawings to the course so she could look at them, and as I'm a newbie I thought I'd give it a whirl (forgive the darkness of the shots, I snapped them straight from the sketch book with my iPhone!)  My favourite is the tartan suit, a homage to my fashion designer friend Kerry who owns House of Harrie Hattie.  There are amazing illustrators out there that I've found since I signed up for the course and I know I'll never be in the same league as them, but for now I'm enjoying this fashionable hobby!

Speak soon <3

Kay xxx

Thursday, 6 August 2015

A few little purchases...

Hello lovelies!

Today I thought I'd talk about a few little purchases I've made recently.  With my holiday approaching, I wouldn't say I've gone all out for holiday clothes but I had a few ideas of the sort of things I needed to top up my holiday wardrobe.  I am however still on the hunt for the perfect pair of denim cut-offs and a cute pair of dungarees so if anyone has seen any good ones, please give me a shout!  So I'll start with a couple of holiday purchases...Please note!! I am NOT  a shopaholic...these purchases were made over a few shopping sessions and not all on the same day! Please shop responsibly ;)


 Van Mildert: French Connection £33 from £65 in the sale
For those of you that may not have seen my DVF post this week, this is my DVF inspired dress I bought at the weekend in the Van Mildert sale (at a bargain price).  I wasn't sure about it on the hanger, but it just goes to show how important it is to try stuff on! This one will be kept for a swanky meal in Cannes if my Mister is feeling generous ;).  Read about it here and shop for one here.


 Sainsbury's holiday dress £9 (half price in their sale)
This was one of those, 'I came to buy food and left with a dress' moments; we've all had them, right? It just screamed 'holiday' at me!! I have to confess, it is a little big, but Mama L is a whizz at altering so I'm going to get it taken in.  At the moment, you can't buy Sainsbury's clothes online, but there were quite a few in my local store, so if you're passing one, be sure to stop by for some bargains!

My next purchase is a great little match for the dress; meet my new shoes...
 Vivienne Westwood and Melissa £43 half price in the Vivienne Westwood Sale
These were my little treat to myself when I passed my Grade 8 singing exam a few weeks back.  They are the perfect holiday staple (you may have spotted them on my instagram if you follow me!) and they are sooooo comfortable! I own quite a few pairs of VW Melissa shoes, they are so worth the money and seem to last forever.  

 Navy fitted trousers, £14.99 (half price) Mango here
I wanted the perfect pair of navy chinos for evening time on holiday.  I searched high and low, then found these amazing trousers that fit like a glove.  A perfect wardrobe staple; again they look much better on than on the hanger.  Very French too ;) I'm hoping I'll fit right in ;)

Paris t-shirt £9.99 Mango (lots of cool similar styles here)
I'm not sure I'll take this with me for holiday, but I love Paris logos and thought this was really cool.  I probably could've done with an XS, but it's a perfect lounge around t-shirt at a perfect price too!

Okay, lets move on to a few other things, not holiday related this time (although the beauty stuff will probably travel with me!!).  Here are a few repurchases of the beauty kind...

My Burberry Eau de Parfum, 30ml £45
I am a Burberry girl.  I mean I love Chanel and Vivienne Westwood, but if I could only wear one high end designer and was given unlimited choice to what I could choose, I'd always choose Burberry.  I discovered My Burberry at Christmas when I was shopping with my Mister in London.  That first spritz has stayed with me forever and it's now my all time favourite scent.  My credit card had a voucher scheme where I collected points to spend in certain stores and as the voucher scheme has ended, I had £20 in Boots Vouchers to use up...et voila a new bottle of the best! Buy yours here

 Lancome Grandiose Mascara-a repurchase with a twist...
I bought my first Lancome mascara in Paris last year.  I'm terrible at replacing makeup and literally use mascaras that I love until they are dry (I know this is bad practice beauty lovers, I apologise!).  So, whilst shopping in Fenwick, I decided to pick up a new Grandiose mascara (£23.50), and boy did I pick the best day to do it.  Two purchases meant a bag of free goodies...yay!  Okay, so usually I buy my high end makeup from Chanel...I'm very loyal and love their products and feel comfortable around their counters (makeup usually sends me into a state of panic!!) so I was kind of put on the spot when I had to choose a second product!  In the end I went for a L'absolu Rouge lipstick (similar to the Burberry Kisses and Chanel Rouge Coco Shine lipsticks in texture) and I chose shade 353, Rose Aurore, which is an amazing subtle pink colour, perfect for every day (also £23.50).

 I love the lipstick, however, the only downside is its perfume taste which I'm pleased to say becomes more subtle with each use.  The bag of goodies I got free were these...

Lancôme Visionnaire Mulit-correcting cream, Tonique Douceur Toner, Galateis Douceur face and eye cleanser and a mini Hypnose mascara (plus the cute makeup bag!).  I've not used them yet but will pass verdict once I do! 

For Lancome purchases and offers click here

Okay, my final purchase (well done if you've got this far!) is a bit of a different one.  I'm so into my fashion research at the minute that I can't get enough.  I watched the September Issue for the first time  a couple of weeks ago, I got addicted to House of DVF and an old series of The Face USA via Sky On Demand so when they were all over I wanted something else.  I was given a HMV voucher as a gift from one of my schools in the summer so I used it wisely...


...one for my VBF and I to watch on our next girlie night in.  I can't wait!

Thanks for checking out my shopping trips with me...talk soon!

xxx


Tuesday, 4 August 2015

OOTD: A tribute to DVF...

Hello lovelies!

A short post today all about a particular item of clothing.  Yes, lately I've been fully embracing my DVF scarf!  I don't know whether I am a million years behind everyone else but I have been loving 'House of DVF', a real-life documentary/competition style programme where contestants are whittled down to find a winner who would become the brand ambassador for DVF.  I won't tell you who the winner was in case I spoil it for you (find it on On Demand with Sky Plus!) but I absolutely loved the show, and the fashion is absolutely unbelievable!  Diane von Furstenberg is an absolute icon; she has a way of making women feel empowered through what they wear and her iconic wrap dresses in particular are cut beautifully and are so flattering.

The DVF contestants (Image taken from BT.com)

A DVF wrap dress is definitely an added addition to my high-fashion wishlist, but for now I tried to use my own wardrobe to create a similar look to match the DVF style.  Seeking inspiration from my beloved My Little Box DVF scarf, I threw a couple of looks together...see what you think!



Okay, starting with this Primark dress (old!) which I think has a DVF style print and quite a similar print to the scarf, I thought a pattern clash and a pop of colour would really bring this outfit to life!  I added my little DVF lips pin too, to pin the scarf and finish off the look.

Now I know in this shot, you can't really see my outfit, but I was having a casual day.  Combining the scarf with my Levi's sweater and jeans and a pair of girlie red pumps, gave my boyish look a real feminine feel.  I added my little Eiffel Tower necklace too, which was cheap as chips from Avon, but I'm rarely seen without it as it reminds me of Paris, my happy place!


Again, this was a car selfie, so the outfit isn't visible, but I was channeling a more vintage look this time, it was basically this outfit...

My big bro and I!

...with the scarf added for a pop of colour.  I love a vintage look and think the scarf helped to complete the outfit beautifully!

I've scoured eBay, Depop and the like for a vintage DVF dress but haven't found one yet that feels very 'me' for a reasonable price.  However, Van Mildert always seem to come up trumps and I managed to bag a dupe from French Connection in the sale for £33 which feels gorgeous on!  It's always more rewarding when you bag one for a bargain price too...

...coming soon to a holiday photo near you!!  I can't wait to wear it.  You can bag a bargain DVF dress here if you're a UK Size 8 like me (I love it but I have a holiday to think about!!!).  Happy shopping ;)

Which are your favourite DVF pieces?

xxx