Tag Archives: Selfridges

The London trip!!

Sorry for my unusually long absence – I normally try to keep blogging while I’m back in the UK but this year my trip is shorter and I’ve been busier! I arrived last Monday morning and then Tuesday my sister and I took my Mum out to Manchester for an early Mother’s Day shopping trip and lunch. It was fabulous fun and we had lunch at a great restaurant, The Alchemist, in Spinningfields. Lots of sharing plates and prosecco!

The Alchemist

The shopping continued though we were quite restrained! We did end up back in Selfridges for a little more prosecco before heading back home. My poor Dad was at home waiting for his supper 🙂 Apparently I led everyone astray…

Earnest Sewn jeans, TopShop bomber jacket, Gucci Soho, Golden GooseBag – Gucci Soho // Sneakers – Golden Goose // Jeans – Earnest Sewn // Top – Zara (old) // Jacket – TopShop // Scarf – Asos

Wednesday was spent pottering at home with my nephews – they grow up so fast and it was lovely to spend time with them – though they are always a tad cautious to start with – Auntie Jo is a bit mad apparently…

On Thursday it was time to head to Laaandaan town. Having lived there for about 8 years in the 90s it’s hard to explain the feeling of ‘heading home’, but at the same time feeling like a tourist! My heart was pounding with excitement when I got off the train at Euston. On Thursday night I headed out south of the river and met up with some old work friends from my graduate training days at PwC. We haven’t seen each other for years and it was so lovely to catch up. I walked across the Millennium Bridge from St. Paul’s to get there and it was simply breathtaking!

St. Paul's Cathedral The Shard, Tower Bridge

On Friday morning I popped by to see Liz, while detoxing with a run through Green Park.

Buckingham Palace

Saturday was the MAIN event! Our annual blogger meet up. I’ve made the most amazing friends from blogging and these are truly some of the most important women in my life. I always plan on taking a tonne of photos but once the prosecco starts flowing we always end up forgetting. The afternoon flies by! I can’t even begin to count the number of topics we covered – none of them fashion related! 😉 Thanks SO much to the following girls for making it such a special day!

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I’ll be back on the other side of the Atlantic tomorrow ready to place my US vote on Super Tuesday, once I’ve hugged my Husband and kids tightly!

 

My sister is 40!

So my sister had her big 4-0 yesterday and we celebrated in style.  Firstly we had an amazing day out with her and her boys at Tatton Park.  I can’t recommend it highly enough to anyone in the North West.  An amazing open space with great play areas – including zip lines, picnic areas, deer roaming, plus the kids loved the low flying planes from Manchester Airport!

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Dress – Label Lab House of Fraser (reduced to £17.50) // Shoes – Ancient Greek // Cardigan – J.Crew (Already reduced and now an extra 30% off in the US with HISUMMER)

Today Louise and I had some much needed (sort of) child free time shopping and dining in Manchester.  I love shopping in Manchester these days – it’s really cleaned up a lot and it is so easy to get there via public transport, meaning a bottle of prosecco is available to us:)  We started in AllSaints where their clearance has just started.  I found myself in love with this Lucie top.  I bought it in navy which I can’t see on the website sorry!

Lucie

Then it was off to Selfridges where I knew exactly what I was hunting.  A size 3 in this beauty – the Keepa Regency print t-shirt – it is now reduced to £32.

Keepa regency

Louise and I both came away with the scarf in the same print too – just £33 in the sale, reduced from £65.

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I had to be dragged away from these two gorgeous dresses – the prints are just divine!

The Redosie:

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The Rowzey:

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My gorgeous sister modeling scarves:

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After Mimosas at the bar in Selfridges we headed to Marks and Spencer.  If you have one locally go and check out their jewelry in the sale – Louise and I picked up some beautiful statement necklaces, but there are none left online at all!  Of course I picked up some underwear while I was there too – it just wouldn’t be a trip to Markses without some new no vpl knickers!

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Before we headed for lunch this little number worked it’s way into my hands.  I just love it – you know me and patterns!  it also just happens to be called the Holiday Poppy t-shirt🙂

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So not bad all in all – and also quite restrained for sale shopping over here where I tend to go crazy over my beloved UK brands!  Louise had a good haul too with sandals and a couple of Zara jackets in addition to her scarf.

All shopped out, we headed for lunch to Harvey Nicks where they were just lovely and Louise even got a little birthday dessert.

Of course we drank Prosecco, and I’m wearing a new M&S treasure.

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Shoes – Nine West Oslo // Jumpsuit – Zara // Denim jacket – J.Crew (30% off with HISUMMER in the US) // Bag – Boden

Happy 40th Louise!  xx

 

The Breakfast Club.

After leaving the AllWornOut girls on the Friday evening in London, I went clubbing.  On my own.  Completely safe – and I did in fact meet a companion.  A Chechnyan, who was very kind and very honorable.  We chatted about politics, the Ukraine, Chechnya etc.  as you do on a Friday evening.  I made it home about 3am-ish.

The morning after the night before I was feeling a little rough around the edges.  I knew I had to liven myself up before heading to meet the other blogging ladies at lunchtime.  At first I thought about cider and ice cubes at Langan’s, but they were closed.  As I wandered up towards Bond Street I suddenly realized that I could try and head back to Aubaine in Selfridges for a mimosa or likewise.

As I entered the handbag department I noticed several people sitting on a balcony eating – a good sign at 10am.  As I rounded the corner I discovered HIX.  A fabulous little champagne bar that happened to do a champagne breakfast – result!  It felt incredibly decadent sitting on my own eating scrambled eggs, smoked salmon and toast, and sipping a bellini (or 3).  Not the cheapest breakfast ever, but how often do I get to do it?  I even saw Charles Saatchi and Trinny Woodall wandering the store below me – I wasn’t quick enough with my camera unfortunately!

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Staying in Mayfair was a new experience for me.  Not one of my usual haunts at all.  While I was there I knew I had to have some fun.  After leaving the girls on Saturday night, and being told to head straight back to the hotel, I wandered past the private members club Annabel’s.

“Sorry Miss, private members only” said the doorman, as I explained I was on my own and just wanted somewhere for a night cap.

“Just say my name downstairs” a girl called out as she was stepping into her taxi.

A bit of liquid courage and before I knew it I was waltzing into Annabel’s like I was a regular.  As I told the front of house the girl’s name he didn’t bat an eyelid and just motioned me in.

“F*ck, f*ck I’m in” I said to myself suddenly panicking as to what to do next.  I wandered nonchalantly to a table by the dance floor.  What a sight to behold.  Not just women in designer gear, but proper, haute couture designer gear.  The dance floor was full of 100lb girls, with spray tans and waist length hair, dresses barely covering their butts.  The guys were all in suits dancing awkwardly in some bizarre mating ritual.  Large men were sitting at dining tables with magnums of champagne, eating steak and laughing loudly.  I felt like I was in some kind of Martin Amis novel.  How I was getting away with it I have no idea – I ordered a vodka and tonic.  If I got found out what more can they do but throw me out?

I left without paying for my drink – I assume the lovely kind girl who gave me her name paid for it on her account.  Sorry – I owe you one, but no one gave me a check and by that time I knew I had to get out before I saw another girl shuffling in her 10 inch Laboutins.

A great story to have, and great confirmation that I am no West End Girl.

It also appears I broke the dress code wearing ALL leather, and the Club Rules trying to take a photo.

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Great Boo’s Up.

Last Friday began with a train journey to London town.  I love the journey through the English countryside.  It always makes me think of the hymn Jerusalem that we sang at school – I used to love belting it out in morning assembly.

I stayed at the Holiday Inn in Mayfair.  What a fabulous location!  Right across the street from Green Park tube and The Ritz.  One criticism though – stop charging for in room wi-fi – £28 for 2 days – a bloody rip off if you ask me!  My heart was beating out of my chest with excitement as I came out of the tube.  Arriving in London always feels like coming home, yet still so foreign, especially staying in Mayfair.  Let’s be honest I never had the money or the inclination to head there in 90’s!

I headed straight out to meet Sue and the girls from AllWornOutBlog.com.  A little wander up the road through Berkeley Square, past Rolls Royce dealerships and haute couture boutiques, and I was at Selfridges.  After chasing Sue around the menswear and shoe salon we eventually met up – talk about amateur tourists!  We then met the lovely Eve, Gina, Belinda and Ann in Aubaine – a fabulous little eatery where we talked, giggled and drank copious amounts of wine.  Security turfed us out at 9pm – how much fun was that skipping through an empty Selfridges!?

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Double Trouble

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We went to the pub too. 

Saturday started early, with the inevitable hangover – but there’s another story behind my recovery for a later date…

I wandered North to meet the girls at the Mayfair Pizza Co – another great spot where the staff were amazing!!  They tolerated us from 12 to 12 and kindly put us in our own little room.  After 8 magnums of prosecco between us I think the other diners were quite relieved.

We talked and talked and then the beautiful Marlene (www.chocolatecookiesandcandies.com) somehow had the patience to photograph us all while we nitpicked at our images – too fat, too orange, crooked smile, wonky eyes – you can read how she put us right here.

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Marlene

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Michelle

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Donna

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Sue

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Avril

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Fiona

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Kat

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Frances

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Natalie

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 Helen

Here’s one of my outtakes that Sue took – I had a fit of the giggles!

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And here is my fabulous souvenir from Marlene.

Joanna London

An amazing weekend with amazing friends, brought together by our love of clothes and writing.  I have found an eclectic, smart, driven, funny, loyal, kind group of women who I hold dear and cherish every day.  I wish I got to see them all more often.

There were no comedy breasts you’ll be pleased to hear.

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A girls trip to the Trafford Centre.

So apart from my weekend in London – the other highlight of my trip that I had been looking forward to for some time, took place yesterday.  My sister took the day off work and left her 2 boys at daycare so we head to the Trafford Centre for a girls day out with Mum.  We try to do it every time I’m back but often there are children involved – who it has to be said – can somewhat hamper the shopping experience!

We arrived as the stores were opening and had a blast.  I relished every moment of it.  There is something really special about spending time with your family that you take for granted when they are around all the time.  Mine are not – so it was lovely watching Mum and Louise have fun and get the same thrill out of shopping as I do.

We started at M&S where Louise and I both got a couple of scarves – Mum had some 20% off vouchers so it was hard to say no:)  Plus Mum got a couple of bags that she paid all of 10GBP for what with her 20% off and various vouchers she had collected!

My scarf – the Indigo Flamingo print (I also got a fabulous bicycle print scarf which isn’t on the website):

Flamingoes

 

Louise’s scarf is a gorgeous silk Autograph scarf:

Lou blue

 

Looking at these simple images of scarves it is evident how different Louise and I are in our style.  She gravitates towards greys, taupes and neutrals – she has very elegant, sophisticated tastes and prefers simplicity to loud eccentric prints.  See the difference?:)  I think it speaks volumes about our personalities!

I then had lots of fun in Ted Baker.  Their store is amazing.  Full of great colors and the decor is very grand and decadent.  I had been wanting to try the Jupi dress since I fell in love with it in Bloomingdale’s.  It’s a lot cheaper here with the exchange rate and sales tax so I knew I had to try it.  Ted Baker do the 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 sizing which drives me nuts as I am always at the 3/4 end.  The store only had a 4 so I tried it and even though it was fine – with my top heavy frame it felt too billowy around the hips.   I put it back knowing Selfridges have a concession that I could check later.  I did, however, know that there was also a t-shirt in the same print – far more practical and versatile.  So I tried the 3 in the top and decided to get this instead of the dress.  End of.  Totally love it.  The changing rooms are a lot prettier than my photos suggest!

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One thing I didn’t get about Ted Baker is that they will only exchange items – not refund them – I think that is pretty rubbish these days.

So on to Zara – Mum got a fabulous quilted jacket (can’t see it on the website) and Louise picked up this gorgeous white coat.  Both Mum and Louise are really petite so look amazing in everything they put on!

Louise coat

 

We then headed off for lunch – there’s a huge selection at the Trafford Center.  I knew I wanted a long decadent lunch i.e. one with wine – so we chose Pizza Express.  Now I remember when they were new and lovely.  This one was fine – but PLEASE it is 2013 – can’t we figure out using laminated menus instead of grubby, greasy card?  As a customer experience ‘expert’ I realize I may be overly judgmental, but this is the first thing your customer sees in a restaurant.  Sort it out Pizza Express!  It just makes the whole restaurant feel less than clean.  Regardless, lunch was fabulous.  I love my Mum and sister:)

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So finally I had to look in Selfridges.  I love this store.  The whole shopping experience is immediately elevated.  Now yes I had already bought the t-shirt but just for curiosity’s sake I went to the Ted Baker concession to see if they had a 3 in the dress.  They did.  After a couple of glasses of wine it was a no brainer:)

Here’s what I wore for the day.

Jacket – River Island // T-shirt dress – AllSaints Venice t-shirt dress // Trousers – Dorothy Perkins coated jeggings // Boots – Rag&Bone Newbury

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See you all when I’m back in Atlanta!!  England it has been a BLAST!

 

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