Dior Velvet Eyes Backstage Eyeliners £47
I seriously need to get hold of these items, I never could master a good eyeliner flick and these seem to be the answer to my prayers....I am going to make a great looking Mortica Adams on Halloween!
It wasn't a great start on the morning of turning 40...Curly Haired Beauty was running a high temperature of 100F so she had to stay home rather than go to the childmiders (its the school break this week). But by lunchtime she had perked up (the miracle that is Calpol) and decided she wanted to come out with mum and dad . She didn't know our plans but was up for a train and taxi journey. So a few hours later D, she and me were transported to Mayfair and entered the hallowed realms of Claridges for afternoon tea.
Arrangement of white cases filled with white flowers (takeaway decor idea)
The hugest floral arrangement I have ever seen, white roses and pussy willow. We were seated right under it.
Chihuly glass artwork hanging above - there's a similar one at the V&A
Photos by Curly Haired Beauty aged nearly 5. Look how the wonderful soft lighting makes my complexion glow...what a mugshot! In the background is a pianist and cello player who knocked out Cole Porter's finest repertoire
What we drank: Lemonade for Curly Haired Beauty, Assam tea for D, Pomegranate Pekoe tea for me.
What we ate: Finger Sandwiches - Shropshire ham, egg mayo with rocket, smoked salmon, cucumber and cream cheese. We were asked if we would like more and of course we said yes please.
Cakes - the serious stuff
Chocolate ganache, fruit tart, apple and raisin scones, Champagne jelly, banana cake
Look a silver stand for your teapots and cakes to hang around in!
I would have taken more serious foodie shots, but this wasn't a restaurant review but my birthday celebration.
So far no tears about turning 40 but I have another celebration this weekend with the rest of my family.
My 29th birthday celebration was Ah-Mazing, no other party could top that experience. I think that's why subsequent birthdays have all be a bit of a let down... 30 was OK I was in Florence, got proposed to etc. But my 29th was at The Ritz Hotel; her Majesty the Queen was there! I kid you not, really she was there with her sister Princess Margaret (before she scalded her feet and got ill etc.) and Prince Philip!!!
I had a huge heap of friends old and new all show up at the hotel bar, prices for drinks were eye-watering but the plentiful freebie bar snacks helped things along. The men had to wear a tie and jacket. Bless my little mate J who was a runner at Sony was loaned a jacket by the cloakroom so he could be allowed in. I did have some friends stuck outside who couldn't get in and as they furiously tried to call me; Her security team had stopped people entering but prior to her arrival they were letting me, my rag tail friends all in with no problem at all. It was Princess Margaret's belated birthday hosted by her son. We saw Darcey Brussels the ballet dancer, Jim Davidson was part of the night's entertainment. As they walked past the bar staff started to tell us all to get up as her majesty was approaching. I thought this was part of Royal protocol, but actually they were all really excited and wanted a good look themselves. The Royals walked past chatting amongst themselves and the tallest ever security man I have ever seen stood by the door to their private function room. My Aussie mate was texting her dad down under to tell him what had happened - just how surreal was that? Her Madge at my party (well nearly but you know what I mean)
Throughout the evening we could hear pockets of laughter leaking out from the far room, my mates did lots of runs to the Ladies to see if they could 'bump into someone'. With all our funds exhausted, nuts eaten and bored but still friendly bar staff we decided to leave as we couldn't really out-party the Royals. On the way out we all got papped (flash, flash, flash) and actually got to walk on the red carpet, scurry sideways and then onto the tube. It was a brilliant night and although I am not a true blue royalist I do have a soft spot for her Majesty ever since I saw her 1977 at a Silver Jubilee Festival; My mum got a policeman to take a photo as her car went by. Its one of her treasured mementos in the family album.
It's only halfway through Autumn and retailers are already have mid-season sales. A website I have recently been trawling has some amazing bargains to be had. These Sophie Hulme designs have me salivating..just wish I had the funds to invest in these pieces as they are true wonderfully designed classics.
Contrast silk dress
Leather zip top shopper, look at those gold tone hardware details - Love it
Ho-hum only a week to go before I hit 4-0...I was feeling fine until I caught sight of by birthday card doing the rounds at the office with '40' emblazoned on the front...they mean well and I know my boss didn't want my birthday to go unacknowledged. But now everyone knows my up-coming age change. With CV's left, right and center here; there are an awful lot of people born in the 80's and that makes me feel ancient! Nivarna's Nevermind album was first relased 20 years ago! 20 years ago I was a student studying fashion without a care in the world trying to work out how to crash fashion shows and get a dinner invite to meet the Editor of The Face. Funnily enough when I was a student I used to have a facial once a month. Now I would be lucky if I could fit one in twice a year...how does that happen?
Well times have changed and although I don't feel older I am a lot wiser - I seem to be the 'go to' person for information. Tell me, am I a Miss Know it all? When did that happen? I'm not your typical mother hen either I just seem to retain a lot of information, have a memory like an elephant and can recall a lot of things in details...not that I would ever be a good spy.
So this week I will be doing my obligatory trolley dash amongst the beauty counter to scoop up the latest lotions and potions to retain my youthful complexion. I don't want to look younger, just keep what I have from sagging and bagging. A work colleague thinks I have another 10 years before my face gives up and starts to drag down my chin and create jowls (how kind - she has a way with words and was formerly Pete Waterman's PA).I think she meant well...
Anyway there is a wealth of products out at the moment and I'm intrigued to try them all. Every freebie newspaper has an advert for Nanoblur and although the before and after photos look impressive I'm not really sure how it works. But at £19.99 it can't hurt to give it a go and see. I've read some reviews that its a no go if you wear foundation as it makes it cake but as I use mineral powders as my base I should be OK. I shall report back and let you know if it works!
Another product I would love to get my hands on is Clarins Vital Light serum. It seems like a real multi-tasker, tackling anti-ageing, resurfacing, anti-dark spot, line smoother etc. Can it really be this good?
Be still my beating heart, This Pollo vase is back in stock at Vessel Gallery near Westbourne Grove. Its designed by a Finnish designer called Tapio Wirkkala for Rosenthal. D and I bought the smaller white version when we moved into our first marital home. Its amazingly tactile and very pleasing to hold. It holds a single stem flower beautifully (my maison choice du jour is an orchid*). I would forgo my coat fund to buy this larger version which is the size of a hen.
The staff at the gallery are amazingly knowledgeable, they actually get sent to visit the factories that produce these beautiful objects and come back armed with information about the techniques used, the designers history etc. So you feel very involved when you buy a work of art. Staff top tip : to keep the matt ceramic pristine a squirt of Cif on a soft cloths will remove fingermarks!
Can you believe this Teddy Bear sculpture is made of ceramic? Designed by Bodil Soderlund.
Should I invest in one of these - start the kids early in ceramic art appreciation?
I had the luck to receive a Red Letter Day voucher as a thank you present from the office :-) so I chose a spa weekend break at Champneys at their Tring site. I have been a past visitor at Henlowe Grange but I was keen to check out the re-vamped Ting location and my goodness I was not disappointed.
D and I had picked the perfect weekend, full on glorious Indian Summer first weekend of October. Due to the bad traffic we arrived late so we missed the buffet lunch but as soon as we were checked in and the porter showed us to our very spacious superior room. We changed into our swimwear and donned the obligatory fluffy white robes and slipper. We had a good soak in the outside hot sunken hot tub and it felt very surreal to be wearing sunglasses, very LA darlings! Then we braved the sauna (I survived for 10 minutes) and chickened out of the cold plunge pool! Then onto some pampering; an amazing full body massage which really sorted out the knots and kinks in my back. Later in the day I went to a Perfect Posture class and learnt something new about my body - I have really tight hamstrings and buttocks....ouch!
Part of the old Rothchild mansion, I just loved these large grand airy rooms
The view of the magnificent ground with lots of places to lounge around to admire the gardens.
In the evening there was a music soiree for guests but D and I decided to play (badly) a game of snooker in the Games Room - lots of cheating on both sides! But I think D was impressed I actually managed to pot some balls...
Mmmm the pink velvet sofa I converted; inside the Drawing a perfect place to read the Sunday papers
Part of my healthy breakfast - you don't see the stack of toast, bagels, cereals etc I scoffed as well.
The next day I did a Total Body Stretch class and my goodness I felt totally stretched out afterwards. Followed by a facial which kept my skin glowing for days. The therapist didn't do any hard sells of the product used (my pet hate) but I did go buy the collegen eye serum as it felt amazingly light and cool around my eyes. D had his feet revamped with a Deluxe pedicure - they didn't need to get the axel grinder but it was borderline on his feet. They have never felt so soft!
I will certainly be coming back here again (babysitters permitting) it was a real tonic to escape and have some real R&R for just the two of us.
This post is my honest opinion and I received no income for this review.
I made a slight omission on my last post there was another item I bought at the Question Air warehouse sale (YES I bought WAAAYY too much). It was a pair of Current/Elliot Stilletto skinny cropped jeans in pale grey or Beetle as they call it. Its fast become a wardrobe staple for my weekend's paired with a breton stripy Tee. So these jeans deserves a post devoted to it.
They are a LA based premium denim label; who I have been wanting to to purchase for ages. I could never justify the high price tag but at this sale I snapped them up for £60 rather than the normal £165 price. What a bargain and the fit is amazing, its got the right amount of stretch and the denim isn't too thick and stifling to wear unlike some other skinny fit jeans I have worn. Although cropped, they stop just past my ankles (I am vertically challenged) so another plus win for me.