Monday, 27 October 2014

Blogging & Planning for the Holiday Season...

Its the last week of October, the clocks have gone back which means officially that we are now in the winter season. However with the sun still shining, blue skies and the autumnal colours in bloom its hard to believe that Christmas is 58 days or 8 weeks away.
Last week the holiday season arrived at work and with this launch I decided it was time for a blog overhaul for the winter season..... sticking with the styling of the spring/summer palette I've opted for creams, golds & green with Kate Spade accessories!....
Its a colour palette that you will see lots of over the coming weeks...
Selfridges unveiled its Christmas Story for 2014 ... this year the big yellow store has taken inspiration from Christmas classics, magical fairy tales and enchanted stories to create a store of wonder, surprise and be the ultimate destination for Christmas in London... Its main theme of storytelling will run throughout the store, with its windows being the front cover to this magical story.
I love the fluttering pages of the Christmas story which glisten with gold down the central atrium, with words jumping of the page and lit paragraphs dancing across the escalators and ceiling.
I will be sharing the story over the coming weeks as we continue to countdown Christmas.
Here's some previous posts from Christmas hall and Foodhall.
With Christmas 8 weeks away, my planning has now stepped up!...  I have a bucket list for Christmas and my forthcoming trip to New York, along with the usual present & food planning.
I have a number of Pinterest boards for different activities including a Dear Santa wish list! and a New York 2014 bucketlist (see below)
The big yellow store also negotiated in collaboration with Starbucks to launch red cups & some exclusive christmas lines along with the store launch... so have been loving Latte's in red cups!... the holiday's are definitely coming now!......

 Follow teresa's board New York 2014 on Pinterest.
 Follow teresa's board Dear Santa ... My Christmas wish list for 2014.... holidays are coming! on Pinterest.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

A Sunday at the Savoy

This time last Sunday I had just checked into The Savoy Hotel for a day and evening of sheer indulgence. Having visited this gorgeous hotel for afternoon tea and a fabulous cake masterclass previously, I had high expectations of a stay. I was not disappointed.
Sweeping up the drive and through the revolving doors and being greeted by one of the Savoy's doorman into a world of old school glamour was everything I thought it would be. We were seated in the lounge to check in and then led into an express lift to our floor.
My friend and I were in the basic room, but even the Savoys basic room is sumptuous, with silk lined walls, murano glass chandeliers, Italian linens and marble floors from designer Pierre Yves Rochon.
I loved the desk space, complete with bespoke leather desk set designed by Bill Amberg.
We had a lazy afternoon, making the most of the room, I indulged in a very big bubble bath and book before getting ready for our evening out. The bathroom was small, but gorgeous.... complete with fluffy white Savoy bathrobes.
After a lovely relaxing afternoon, we headed out for our evening which included dinner at Simpsons on the Strand and then entertainment at the Theatre Royal with Tony Hadley (posts highlighted for each)
Our evening was fabulous, made even more so by not worrying about grabbing the last train and just walking a short walk back to the hotel for a nightcap. There is only one place for a late night nightcap at the Savoy and that is in its legendary American Bar. In the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, many American Bars opened throughout London. The American Bar at The Savoy is the longest surviving of these bars and one of the most iconic cocktail bars in the world. Having undergone a huge refurbishment the American bar oozes old school glamour, complete with baby grand piano, and photographs and memorabilia from its famous patrons of the by-gone years of old.
We had an indulgent hour sipping cocktails and people watching, I am sure if the walls of that bar could talk, then it would have a tale of two to tell! With great service and perfect ambience the American Bar really is one of the best of its kind. 
The hotel and lobby looked as inviting at night as it did during the day, with the fires lit and a feeling of cozy, the perfect place to come home to (even if for just one night).
This feeling of decadent cozy carried all its way through to the room, where housekeeping had worked their magic in our absence and turned down the bed and laid out our complimentary slippers.
The bed was a real 'princess & the pea' bed and I had to jump to get on it!... it was one of the most sumptuous beds I have ever slept in perfectly complimented by the very high thread count Mascioni bed linen. If only we could of sneaked it home with us! C had to be surgically removed from the bed, and even jumped back in when dressed to savour the luxury.
Monday dawned bright, and with notification of potential protests and disruption outside the hotel left on our TV the night before we were not surprised to disembark from the lift for breakfast and see secret agents & bodyguards in the corridor. (later found that the African investment summit was being hosted at the hotel and 3 of the African presidents were in the hotel)
We chose to take breakfast in Kaspars, which again was part of out Sunday package.
 

We opted for the 'Savoy' which was plentiful. Fresh juice, toast, coffee, pastries and a full English.... perfect way to start a Monday morning with a leisurely breakfast and a browse through the days news.
Kaspars is accessed through the Thames foyer, which is another breakfast location for the hotel and the perfect location for afternoon tea. The floral displays are beautiful and the orchids amazing.
With a last minute look at the American Bar, which is as lovely in daylight as it is in the candlelight.
 It was soon time to leave our little bubble of indulgence of The Savoy and head home. I had an amazing time at The Savoy, it was decadent but worth every penny that we paid for it. Throughout our stay we could not fault any part of it, service, standards and sumptuousness were in abundance. Now saving for a return visit........ Thankyou Savoy is was glorious. x


Simpsons on the Strand

Included within our Decadent Sunday at the Savoy was dinner at one of its restaurants (Savoy Grill excluded) ... we opted for Simpsons on the Strand, which epitomises the best of British cuisine.
Simpsons has been serving the best of british cuisine for over 170 years and some of it traditions still exist today. We had a Simpson’s-in-the-Strand, Grand Divan   ~ Fixed Price Bill of Fare
My menu choices were:
  • Starters ~ Fish cake  ~ Poached egg, baby spinach, chive butter sauce
  • Mains ~ Roast rib of Scottish beef (aged 28 days)   Roast potatoes, Savoy cabbage, Yorkshire pudding & horseradish
  • Puddings ~ Simpson's treacle sponge with Madagascan vanilla custard
The restaurant's speciality of Scottish beef on the bone that has been aged for 28 days for maximum flavour is carved at your tables all from antique silver-domed trolleys - its a practice that began over 150 years ago and for which Simpson's is world renowned.We loved it.
All 3 of our courses were sublime, the fish cake, sauce and poached egg cooked to perfection. The beef along with savoy cabbage and huge homemade Yorkshire pudding were the perfect Sunday roast dinner.... The treacle sponge was so good it was eaten before I managed to grab a photo of it, light as a feather with perfect custard.  Accompanied by a gorgeous glass of red wine, it is fabulous value for money and a must at least once in your lifetime. Simpsons sweeps you back to a bygone era, with a hint of old school gentleman's club offering amazing food and fabulous service.
gorgeous start to an evening stepped in old school glamour.

Tony at the Theatre Royal.....

Last Sundays evenings entertainment was courtesy of Tony Hadley  at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, accompanied by the South Bank Symphonia orchestra.
I saw Tony last year at the Albert Hall, and then again recently at the Spandau Ballet reunion at the Hall to watch the Soul Boys movie.
This guy just gets better as he gets older, accompanied by a great band and orchestra it was a mix of pop, rock, and old school glamour.
Tony's 1st act was a mix of covers and his own work and his 2nd act full on Spandau Ballet classics.
Here's a few of my favourites from this tour (some videos from other nights)
Act 1:
Somebody told me ~ The Killers - a vey cool version....

and a gorgeous version of Bridge Over Troubled Water, one of my favourites and always gives me goose bumps.

 
Act 2:
Tony's favourite song....

an old school classic ... round and round

a great new song Soul Boy
and a fabulous finale of Gold!

all were delivered with style, panache ... a complete showman who owns the stage... all accompanied by a great band & orchestra, a large jack daniels and plenty of old school glamour.... Tony transported me from today, back 30 years and I fell in love all over again.
 

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Sunday indulgence...

A Sunday indulgence day for me would  usually include a roast dinner, nanny nap on the sofa, a good book /box set and Sunday night TV.... I am a little excited to type that this Sundays indulgence day will have all those attributes but in more glamorous surroundings than T's terrace.
Way back in February I booked tickets for Tony Hadley's one night in London compete with orchestra, for myself and a friend as a birthday treat. It then got me thinking how lovely it would be not to rush home on a Sunday night from London and could we stay over and that I could go to work from there....all a good plan!
Well the plan has changed as yes we are staying over and this afternoon will be booking into the Savoy for the night!.... Day off has been booked tomorrow, as I am not relinquishing any of the 12pm checkout time in this gorgeous establishment in order to go to work! ... so looking forward to spending a night in this gorgeous 125 year old establishment.....
So I will have a lazy afternoon in sumptuous surroundings, followed by dinner in Simpsons on the Strand. This will be followed by entertainment from Mr Hadley at the Theatre Royal, with an evening nightcap in the American/ Beaufort Bar. Leisurely breakfast tomorrow before heading home....pop back later in week when I will share my stay at the Savoy, or follow me on Instagram where I am sure to be posting pics over the weekend.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

10 weeks today...

and it will be Christmas Day!.... working in retail Christmas is planned a year in advance, but there is always a ripple of excitement when I exit Bond street station and see that the Christmas wraps have gone up around the legendary big yellow store windows. This means that the final countdown has begun and that Christmas will land across all floors within the store over the week, culminating with the big window reveal.
This years Christmas has a story book feel with the windows being the front cover to the Selfridges story... filled with wonder, excitement, fairy-tale legends and some special guests!.... pop back over the coming weeks for a sneak peak into the Enchanted Christmas on 400 Oxford Street.
 
With the Christmas shop opening in the summer, last week it was time to launch Christmas within the Foodhall, complete with a new signature brand range.
The foodhall is now festooned with signature yellow, green and gold decorations, foliage swags dripping with baubles and 8ft trees embellished with large crackers. Large pulled crackers spill out from the ceiling, over the signature tables which are plump with puddings, mince pies, panettone, florentines and gingerbread. I saw some of these product way back in July and the press show and completely fell in love with it.....Favourites include the jar of Gingerbread boys & girls, the giant Mr Selfridge gingerbread. The mince pies are amazing along with the florentines; flavours including chocolate orange and salted chocolate caramel and the golden mini Christmas puddings are decadent and delicious... I'm sure Mr Selfridge would have loved them all......check out some of the range here....
......lots of these will be falling in stockings and gift boxes this year...a little slice of yellow in world of green & gold.... gorgeously delicious... it's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas! 

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Wednesday Words ~ October

This month Kindle and I have had an adventure whist commuting home from work (more of which I will share late in the post. I have also read 5 books which have kept me entertained as I travel through the tunnels of the London tube.
This months reads;
  • The Vineyard ~ Karen Aldous - Lizzie has created a life in Cannes with her small boy and successful beauty business. Estranged from her mother for several years she heads home to find that things have changes and moved on in her absence. Here Lizzie meets Cal who is leasing land from her mother to grow a Vineyard.  I enjoyed this book, but it took some time for me to like Lizzie, the book also deals with some difficult subjects and fluctuates between 2 styles of writing which took some time for me to get used to. However that aside I enjoyed the story and characters and it was nice to escape to the glamour of the South of France for a while.
  • Sealed with a Kiss ~ Rachel Lucas - Kate is dumped on her best friend's wedding day by the world's most boring boyfriend, Ian. She is more upset at being jobless & homeless on the back of the break-up and finds herself taking a job on the remote Scottish island of Auchenmor as an all-round Girl Friday. She is not known for her organisational skills and has a disastrous first meeting with her grouchy boss Laird of the Island - Roddy. However Kate finds herself falling in love with the island and its inhabitants. I loved this book from the start, and I along with Kate fell in love with the island of Auchenmor... I even googled highland island getaway's for next year. A fabulous first book, perfect for curling up on the sofa with a large mug of chocolate ~ delicious
  • Love Like the Movies ~ Victoria Van Tiem - Kenzi has her life all scripted, fiancé Bradley, successful career, home & kids all planned until Kenzi's ex and the boy who broke her heart enters stage left. Shane embarks on a journey to win Kenzi back by re-enacting all the rom-com movies that they used to watch together. He's just a guy, standing in front of a girl, asking her to trust him again!...this book is a must for any rom-com movie fan, perfect for an afternoon on the sofa with a bucket of popcorn and a soda. I loved it and are now working my way through some movie favourites.
  • Gone Girl ~ Gillian Flynn - late to the party on this book and have very mixed views. Amy & Nick have been married for 5 years when she disappears, this starts a huge investigation, with the biggest question being asked has he killed her?... her diary alludes to a marriage that is not what it seems. With huge twists and turns, this book absolutely keeps you on the edge of your seat and keeps you turning pages. This book had be completely gripped until the end when it turned completely and now I hate it. I absolutely loath the ending and wish I hadn't read it as I feel like its a waste of time. With how successful this book has been and the noise behind the film I am in the minority, but just feel cheated.

  • Pieces of You - Ella Harper - Lucy & Luke are soul mates and have the perfect marriage, after eight long, heart-breaking years trying to have a baby, that perfect marriage is crumbling before their eyes.When a terrible accident puts Luke into a coma, Lucy is forced to reassess everything she thought she wanted.  - I loved this book, it's a heart wrenching story which will make you ask yourself so many questions. Written under the new pen name of Ella Harper this is a huge departure from Sasha Wagstaffs normal writing, immensely enjoyable, it explores family ties, secrets and heart-ache.... my only advice is to make sure that you have a hankie handy when you read it.. you will need it. - Ella's book was also the reason for my tube adventure this month!
I was so engrossed in reading Ella's Pieces of You standing on the platform at Bond street station commuting home Friday evening, that I completely didn't see the girl rushing towards me to board the oncoming central line tube. As she barrelled into me my Kindle hurtled into the air into the path of the oncoming tube.
As I waited for the tube to leave the platform, and to witness the fate of my kindle I envisaged looking down on the tracks and seeing a  broken little tablet. To my delight my kindle was hanging precariously on the edge of a ledge, still on the page I had been reading!. The team at Bond street were fabulous and due to it being a security/safety risk to leave it there, they chose to stop the trains and rescue my Kindle from the track..... so huge apologies if you were on a delayed Central line Friday evening during rush hour, it was all my kindle & Ella's fault!
As you can see I've read a an eclectic mix this month and enjoyed most of them. Here are my previous Wednesday words posts of books read this year.
 Look forward to sharing my reads next month...what have you been reading? did you love it or did it not live up to expectation?

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

You can take the girl out of the 80's...

but not the 80's out of the girl!... this week I have had acute moments of being 44 going on 14!.... and have spent moments of the week regressing to 1984 at regular intervals. Looking at what I have planned this weekend this is likely to continue into next week, as I am off to see Tony Hadley on Sunday..
Way back in February I received notification of Tony Hadley's planned tour dates for the autumn. As a huge TH & Spandau Ballet fan I jumped at the chance to see him with a full orchestra.

I had seen Tony last year at the Royal Albert Hall and he was fabulous, so I knew it would be a great show...and booked tickets, for the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane. ( Here's my post from last year.)
I never thought way back in February that I would also be seeing Spandau Ballet on stage in the same month, as there had been no talk of another reconciliation since the reformation tour of 2009.
 Earlier this month I attended the Movie Premiere of Soul Boys of the Western World at the Royal Albert Hall and loved it. I tweeted my blog post and was thrilled to receive the attached from Gary in response.


With such a fantastic response to the event and movie it was no surprise that the Ballet boys announced a tour this week for early next year. Monday morning  8am was spent on ipad securing tickets for next March... perfect school reunion night planned with the girls!
 I have loved watching the guys PR the movie and album on TV shows over the past couple of weeks. Here's one of my favourites from This morning on Monday.
My Spandau Ballet moments continued, when shortly after the This Morning programmed aired I nearly bumped into Martin in Selfridges. I was coming down the escalator to go to the foodhall to grab some lunch and he literally was in front of me!... The shy 14 year old reared its ugly head and I regressed completely!... made my afternoon when I received this.
Sometimes its the little things that bring the biggest smiles!... thanks Tony, Martin, Gary, Steve & John for bringing much joy to my October!.... looking forward to seeing Tony on Sunday and the Band in March... but before then I have an ITV Special to watch.... Pure Gold!

Monday, 13 October 2014

Home of the Bard....

Before Summer faded and Autumn arrived I spent a beautiful Sunday morning on the South bank exploring some of the London's historic landmarks. The first being the home the theatrical London home of Shakespeare, The Globe.
This was my first trip since I was at school and appreciated it much more. Its a gorgeous building now in its 3rd build as its been a victim of fire on a couple of occasions, now restored its a great venue steeped in history.
 As well as being able to tour the stage and seating area of the Globe, you also get the opportunity to see some of the artefacts and gorgeous costumes from some of the theatre classics. I had a great time exploring this iconic building....
Here's some other Shakespeare related posts from previous adventures in London and New York.
This month my friend Ali McNamara release's her 5th novel and 3rd in her "From Notting Hill" series. This one will feature The Globe theatre which I am looking forward to immensely along with New York.... I know what I will be reading later this month!... Looking forward to catching up with Scarlett & co....Here's my From Notting hill to New York actually adventures...

Sunday, 12 October 2014

An evening at Memphis...

As a huge fan of musical theatre I jumped at the chance to grab preview tickets for the new West End show Memphis. Memphis has been a huge Broadway triumph and US national hit, it has now crossed the Pond and is in preview at the Shaftsbury Theatre.
Memphis is loosely based on Memphis disc jockey Dewey Phillips, one of the first white DJs to play black music in the 1950s.
The synopsis of the musical is of the underground club scene of the 1950's Memphis Tennessee, where blues, gospel and the first sounds of rock 'n' roll were part of the black culture. Falling in love with a beautiful club singer, one young man’s vision to bring her voice and her music out of the clubs and onto the airwaves of America flew in the face of cultural divides and sparked a music revolution that shook the world."
Here is the show launch at Ronnie Scott's this summer...
          
        
The musical stars Beverley Knight and Killian Donnelly, and they are both phenomenal.
Here is Killian Donnelly singing Memphis in me, which is stunning.


Friday was the 2nd show in its preview run into its London premiere of the 23rd October and at the end all of the audience was on their feet, standing ovation all round.  A new hit has been born in the West End of London. This show is a must see for this season, and I would thoroughly recommend it as a great night out. A fabulous show, which deals with a subject that to my generation is unimaginable but was so real back in the 50's ... Music being a medium that started to break down the race barriers.
I tweeted how much I had enjoyed the show and I got this tweet back from Beverley on Saturday morning.

Afternoon Tea ~ Mr Selfridge style

Last Friday I took 2 special older ladies for a spot of afternoon tea Mr Selfridge style followed by an evening at the theatre.
Tea was hosted in the beautiful Corner restaurant at Selfridges.
The Corner is a restaurant situated on the 2nd floor tucked in the corner overlooking Oxford Street. It has an old school art deco glamour feel about it, and is perfect for lunch, afternoon tea or dinner.
Menu for tea includes:
  • Freshly prepared finger sandwiches: Egg and mustard cress, Coronation chicken, Cucumber and cream cheese.
  • Pulled salt beef, potato bread and sauce gribiche, Rye and pumpernickel crisp bread, whipped  goats cheese and beetroot and Smoked salmon blini, lobster and caper mayonnaise.
  • Freshly baked scone topped with Cornish clotted cream, raspberry jam and lemon curd
  • Black Forest top hat,  Raspberry and rose water éclair, Toasted banana and coconut bread with caramelised banana.
  • A pot of Selfridges Selection tea. (Champagne optional extra)
The Tea was gorgeous, perfect homage to some Selfridge favourites; salt beef, and the lemon curd along with the banana bread were my favourites. The service was great and the perfect unwind for a Friday afternoon. Highly recommended, and the perfect  precursor to an evening at the theatre.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Books about Town - River Trail

Last week  the Books about Town benches in London were auctioned off for charity. They have been one of my favourite things to do whilst exploring London during the summer.... its been like a huge lending library across the London landscape. From the benches visited its created much discussion, lots of fun & laughter and spanned generations.... I hope that the British Literary showcased has seen an uplift in library lends and book sales.
Books have always been my way of escaping and from an early age always had my head in a book. This may be some of the reasons as to why I have loved the book about town trails across London this summer... it brings out the child in me
The only trail I didn't get to do was the one in Greenwich, however I am happy with all that I saw.... A few weekends ago with the sun shining I headed into town early and explored the Riverside trail.
City Hall
Sited around City Hall were a number of benches....
  • Through the Looking Glass
  • How to Train Your Dragon
  • Dr Seuss
 I loved the Dr Seuss bench with Tower Bridge in the background and the new City of London landscape to its left. Completely showcased the vibrancy of the graphics on the bench.
With a backdrop of HMS Belfast and a dancing water fountain close by the Gruffalo bench was a child's delight. As I snapped these images a couple of small children came running along the river bank full of absolute delight to find their favourite woodland creature.
A short walk away from the riverside and in the shadow of the Shard in Clarendon Place stood the beautiful War Horse bench.... Beautifully designed with the symbolic red poppies, and war horses this was a stunning piece of art depicting a heart breaking story.
Back on the Riverside and short walk from London Bridge and Borough Market stood 2 of Britain's favourites - Paddington Bear and Great Expectations. Both icons of our childhood and adult years alike.
The Great Expectations was dark and symbolic to the old masters, whereas Paddington was the perfect epitome of Michael Bond's classic.
My Book bench trail finished outside the theatre home of the world famous author / playwright Shakespeare.  The perfect place to house the bench paying homage to the Author.
I've loved the book benches across the city of the summer and look forward to Paddington appearing for the Christmas and Holiday period.
Here are my previous book bench adventures:
  • Bloomsbury Trail - featuring Hercule Poirot, James Bond, Jane Austen & Peter Pan.
  • City Trail - featuring Mary Poppins, Bridget Jones, Peter Pan, Wind in the Willows.
Last week the book benches were auctioned for charity and raised a quarter of a million £ to improve literary in disadvantaged areas. The 2 highest bids were £9,500 for the Jeeves & Wooster bench and £9,000 for the James Bond stories.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Spandau Ballet ~ Soul Boys

My final "Back to School" moment for the month came on Tuesday night when I spent the night on the red carpet with the Soul Boys of Spandau Ballet.  Its no secret on this blog that I am a fan (Spandau's reformation tour and Tony at the Albert Hall) and jumped at the chance to see the premier of their docu-movie and gig at the Royal Albert Hall. This would be the first time that the whole band would gig this stage since 1983 when True was at the top of the charts.
I arrived at one of my favourite venues in London the Royal Albert Hall just in time to see the band step onto the red carpet. All boys led the fashion stakes in legendary style and panache, something that they were known for over the last 35 years... a little older but still looking fabulous. It was cool to see.
Lauren Laverne opened the evening and welcomed the other 200 cinemas across the nation that had joined the premier of the movie. A full to the rafters Albert Hall settled in their seats, boxes and standing in the eves to watch the film reel roll for a trip back in time to the 80's.
The movie is a fabulous foray into world of the Ballet boys from the fun to the fighting all against the backdrop of the fashion, music and world of the 80's.

I thoroughly enjoyed this film, it bought back so many memories, its a film about friendship, music, politics and fashion. At times its not comfortable viewing and I would imagine the band when they saw it felt the same, as the falling out and consequent court case makes for uncomfortable viewing.
After the movie, the band sat with the director George Hencken for a Q & A, which again was screened across the cinemas and was much fun. It was evident from this that the band were back in good form and all past differences looked firmly behind them.

 With the movie and Q&A finished it now time to party.... the Ballet boys took to the stage for a set of tunes famous across the world. If any fan had any doubts that Tony & Gary still had issues, these were firmly put to bed when they took to the stage as a pair to kick off the into to Through the Barricades.

 Spandau Ballet were back in fine voice, rocking the Albert Hall is if it was a weekly occurrence instead of 30 years ago.
The band sung a set of 6 songs including To Cut a Long Story short, and the fabulous Only when you Leave,
It was soon time for the end of course the legendary school disco anthem True...
 

As the band closed the set, it was clear to see that they were completely overwhelmed by the response to the evening.
Obviously the evening wasn't completely over as the band returned to the stage for a final encore of their huge anthem Gold!....
The band and crowd rocked the rafters...
It was now officially time to say goodnight, and what an amazing night it was. I had a fabulous time. The Ballet boys are back, and long may it last!
Spandau Ballet cemented their longevity on the little slot they have in my heart on the stage Tuesday night. They took me back to my teens through their film and music and I loved it. I may have been a devout Duranie during my teens but the Ballet boys were a close 2nd for me. This evening took me back to so much, it captures the innocence of those teen years for me perfectly, of so many happy memories and friendships that remain as strong as they did 35 years ago. My life changed significantly in the mid 80's, however this band always takes me back to a happy place, something that has given many smiles over the years, and one of the reasons why I jump at the chance of seeing them whenever and however. I am now looking forward to an evening with Tony Hadley and an orchestra in October and a TV special on the 14th October of the Ballet boys along with a new single and album.... new single showcased here


Wednesday morning I did realise that I was no longer 14 again as late nights on school nights were no longer as forgiving as they used to be and being at my desk for 7 was a killer!.... however happily reliving the evening and my youth kept me going through the day.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

# Project Life ~ September

Wow I can't believe that September has closed and we enter October in a mini heat wave of summer. With the hues of glorious oranges and yellows from the autumnal sun, its no wonder that I can't believe that there are only 3 months left of 2014.
September timetable was a month filled with 'Back to School' fun, featuring Books, Bags, Games, School Disco memories and some Thursday fun, along with meeting the Queen of Bakes.
Looking at my Instagram and IPhone library is filled with late summer fun & frolics, in a back to school style.
Project Life September Timetable ~
  • Domestic Science theory....Mary Berry - I met the Queen of Bakes herself when she came to Selfridges to launch her new book. The epitomy of what the perfect Domestic Science school teacher was at school... great book and a delightful lady.
  • Domestic Science practical .....Baby Bakes ~  a little cake & cupcakes I baked for a friends baby shower... perfect de-stress day filled with icing sugar, eggs & flour - alchemy chemistry at its best.
  • High School Hearthrob.....Pants!... I have had many 'pants' days in September, but none so better than David Gandy's launch of his underwear line for M&S. This caused much fun for me during the month and one of the big hits on my blog & Instagram.
  • History & politics .... filled with Scandal ... one of my TV treats for the month was back to back box sets of Scandal.... completely back in love with Washington and its political intrigue.
  • Fun on Campus .... fun & games in and around Everyman Cinema and Selfridges for team day.
  • Photography & Art - glorious days filled with beautiful sunrises, and sunsets.... perfect for capturing on film.
  • English Language & Literature ..... a fabulous evening of books filled with three of my favourite authors, Jane Green, Lucy Diamond, Karen Swan, talking plots, romance and so much more!
  • PT & games .... a week of games at the Invictus Games, at the Queen Elizabeth Park filled with Royalty and men in uniform!...featuring Jonny Wilkinson, Prince Harry and heroes from the military.... a week which was humbling, inspiring and amazing.
  •  School Disco .... fantastic memories from School Days, School Disco's and amazing memories from a night with Spandau Ballet and their Movie Premier ( blog post to come)
What a fabulous September, so many great memories and big ticks on my bucket list....
Looking at what I have planned in October it will be as fabulous as September..... so far it features; Mr Selfridge Afternoon Tea,  A Memphis evening with Beverley Knight.  An Evening with Tony Hadley and orchestra and a night at the Savoy.  A weekend of Good Food Cakes & bakes
 

Thursday, 25 September 2014

90 days.....

and its Christmas Day!...... yes I am talking Christmas!
 The big Yellow store opened its Christmas Hall in August and held its Press Show in July.
 ...I have been in Christmas meetings since Easter and are now on the last 3 months countdown!....
I can already hear my friend Ali screaming at this post as she has a hashtag running on twitter of #keepchristmasindecember ... I wish I could only think about in December, but in retail its all about the next 3 months...  I have already received 2 Christmas brochures in the post, and I imagine that Boots will launch theirs next week.... the reality is that its 3 paydays away!

Santa arrived in his shorts and sunglasses to kick start Christmas...
Over the next 90 days I will share some of amazing Christmas treats of Selfridges during the holiday period.
Christmas is sited on the 4th floor and is phased across themes and colour palletes... there are so many lovely things... I really like this mix of Gold & Silver colourways,  it looks like the paper pompom style decorations will be on trend again this year.... the VM team does a fabulous job of styling.
Love the ice-skates styling.... will definitely be using my vintage skates as a feature for my Christmas at home. One of the most popular themes during the August period is the London range... the tourist market love it and the Selfridges Union Jack is one of the favourites.
 Santa in the Telephone box is proving to be a Selfie favourite.... the pastel range is also a big talking point and gives a completely different feel to Christmas .... really love this, but will not co-ordinate with any of my plans this year!.... yes I already have planned out theme, styling and look!
 Traditional is always a must..... really love this display and covert the chair, hat &personalised santa sack lots! Green & Gold will feature lots during the Christmas countdown...
 So with 90 days to go, I hope that you have enjoyed my start to Christmas, each week I will post a little more of Mr Selfridges Christmas 2014!.... let the countdown begin.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Blogging & Planning for the Holiday Season...

Its the last week of October, the clocks have gone back which means officially that we are now in the winter season. However with the sun still shining, blue skies and the autumnal colours in bloom its hard to believe that Christmas is 58 days or 8 weeks away.
Last week the holiday season arrived at work and with this launch I decided it was time for a blog overhaul for the winter season..... sticking with the styling of the spring/summer palette I've opted for creams, golds & green with Kate Spade accessories!....
Its a colour palette that you will see lots of over the coming weeks...
Selfridges unveiled its Christmas Story for 2014 ... this year the big yellow store has taken inspiration from Christmas classics, magical fairy tales and enchanted stories to create a store of wonder, surprise and be the ultimate destination for Christmas in London... Its main theme of storytelling will run throughout the store, with its windows being the front cover to this magical story.
I love the fluttering pages of the Christmas story which glisten with gold down the central atrium, with words jumping of the page and lit paragraphs dancing across the escalators and ceiling.
I will be sharing the story over the coming weeks as we continue to countdown Christmas.
Here's some previous posts from Christmas hall and Foodhall.
With Christmas 8 weeks away, my planning has now stepped up!...  I have a bucket list for Christmas and my forthcoming trip to New York, along with the usual present & food planning.
I have a number of Pinterest boards for different activities including a Dear Santa wish list! and a New York 2014 bucketlist (see below)
The big yellow store also negotiated in collaboration with Starbucks to launch red cups & some exclusive christmas lines along with the store launch... so have been loving Latte's in red cups!... the holiday's are definitely coming now!......

 Follow teresa's board New York 2014 on Pinterest.
 Follow teresa's board Dear Santa ... My Christmas wish list for 2014.... holidays are coming! on Pinterest.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

A Sunday at the Savoy

This time last Sunday I had just checked into The Savoy Hotel for a day and evening of sheer indulgence. Having visited this gorgeous hotel for afternoon tea and a fabulous cake masterclass previously, I had high expectations of a stay. I was not disappointed.
Sweeping up the drive and through the revolving doors and being greeted by one of the Savoy's doorman into a world of old school glamour was everything I thought it would be. We were seated in the lounge to check in and then led into an express lift to our floor.
My friend and I were in the basic room, but even the Savoys basic room is sumptuous, with silk lined walls, murano glass chandeliers, Italian linens and marble floors from designer Pierre Yves Rochon.
I loved the desk space, complete with bespoke leather desk set designed by Bill Amberg.
We had a lazy afternoon, making the most of the room, I indulged in a very big bubble bath and book before getting ready for our evening out. The bathroom was small, but gorgeous.... complete with fluffy white Savoy bathrobes.
After a lovely relaxing afternoon, we headed out for our evening which included dinner at Simpsons on the Strand and then entertainment at the Theatre Royal with Tony Hadley (posts highlighted for each)
Our evening was fabulous, made even more so by not worrying about grabbing the last train and just walking a short walk back to the hotel for a nightcap. There is only one place for a late night nightcap at the Savoy and that is in its legendary American Bar. In the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, many American Bars opened throughout London. The American Bar at The Savoy is the longest surviving of these bars and one of the most iconic cocktail bars in the world. Having undergone a huge refurbishment the American bar oozes old school glamour, complete with baby grand piano, and photographs and memorabilia from its famous patrons of the by-gone years of old.
We had an indulgent hour sipping cocktails and people watching, I am sure if the walls of that bar could talk, then it would have a tale of two to tell! With great service and perfect ambience the American Bar really is one of the best of its kind. 
The hotel and lobby looked as inviting at night as it did during the day, with the fires lit and a feeling of cozy, the perfect place to come home to (even if for just one night).
This feeling of decadent cozy carried all its way through to the room, where housekeeping had worked their magic in our absence and turned down the bed and laid out our complimentary slippers.
The bed was a real 'princess & the pea' bed and I had to jump to get on it!... it was one of the most sumptuous beds I have ever slept in perfectly complimented by the very high thread count Mascioni bed linen. If only we could of sneaked it home with us! C had to be surgically removed from the bed, and even jumped back in when dressed to savour the luxury.
Monday dawned bright, and with notification of potential protests and disruption outside the hotel left on our TV the night before we were not surprised to disembark from the lift for breakfast and see secret agents & bodyguards in the corridor. (later found that the African investment summit was being hosted at the hotel and 3 of the African presidents were in the hotel)
We chose to take breakfast in Kaspars, which again was part of out Sunday package.
 

We opted for the 'Savoy' which was plentiful. Fresh juice, toast, coffee, pastries and a full English.... perfect way to start a Monday morning with a leisurely breakfast and a browse through the days news.
Kaspars is accessed through the Thames foyer, which is another breakfast location for the hotel and the perfect location for afternoon tea. The floral displays are beautiful and the orchids amazing.
With a last minute look at the American Bar, which is as lovely in daylight as it is in the candlelight.
 It was soon time to leave our little bubble of indulgence of The Savoy and head home. I had an amazing time at The Savoy, it was decadent but worth every penny that we paid for it. Throughout our stay we could not fault any part of it, service, standards and sumptuousness were in abundance. Now saving for a return visit........ Thankyou Savoy is was glorious. x


Simpsons on the Strand

Included within our Decadent Sunday at the Savoy was dinner at one of its restaurants (Savoy Grill excluded) ... we opted for Simpsons on the Strand, which epitomises the best of British cuisine.
Simpsons has been serving the best of british cuisine for over 170 years and some of it traditions still exist today. We had a Simpson’s-in-the-Strand, Grand Divan   ~ Fixed Price Bill of Fare
My menu choices were:
  • Starters ~ Fish cake  ~ Poached egg, baby spinach, chive butter sauce
  • Mains ~ Roast rib of Scottish beef (aged 28 days)   Roast potatoes, Savoy cabbage, Yorkshire pudding & horseradish
  • Puddings ~ Simpson's treacle sponge with Madagascan vanilla custard
The restaurant's speciality of Scottish beef on the bone that has been aged for 28 days for maximum flavour is carved at your tables all from antique silver-domed trolleys - its a practice that began over 150 years ago and for which Simpson's is world renowned.We loved it.
All 3 of our courses were sublime, the fish cake, sauce and poached egg cooked to perfection. The beef along with savoy cabbage and huge homemade Yorkshire pudding were the perfect Sunday roast dinner.... The treacle sponge was so good it was eaten before I managed to grab a photo of it, light as a feather with perfect custard.  Accompanied by a gorgeous glass of red wine, it is fabulous value for money and a must at least once in your lifetime. Simpsons sweeps you back to a bygone era, with a hint of old school gentleman's club offering amazing food and fabulous service.
gorgeous start to an evening stepped in old school glamour.

Tony at the Theatre Royal.....

Last Sundays evenings entertainment was courtesy of Tony Hadley  at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, accompanied by the South Bank Symphonia orchestra.
I saw Tony last year at the Albert Hall, and then again recently at the Spandau Ballet reunion at the Hall to watch the Soul Boys movie.
This guy just gets better as he gets older, accompanied by a great band and orchestra it was a mix of pop, rock, and old school glamour.
Tony's 1st act was a mix of covers and his own work and his 2nd act full on Spandau Ballet classics.
Here's a few of my favourites from this tour (some videos from other nights)
Act 1:
Somebody told me ~ The Killers - a vey cool version....

and a gorgeous version of Bridge Over Troubled Water, one of my favourites and always gives me goose bumps.

 
Act 2:
Tony's favourite song....

an old school classic ... round and round

a great new song Soul Boy
and a fabulous finale of Gold!

all were delivered with style, panache ... a complete showman who owns the stage... all accompanied by a great band & orchestra, a large jack daniels and plenty of old school glamour.... Tony transported me from today, back 30 years and I fell in love all over again.
 

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Sunday indulgence...

A Sunday indulgence day for me would  usually include a roast dinner, nanny nap on the sofa, a good book /box set and Sunday night TV.... I am a little excited to type that this Sundays indulgence day will have all those attributes but in more glamorous surroundings than T's terrace.
Way back in February I booked tickets for Tony Hadley's one night in London compete with orchestra, for myself and a friend as a birthday treat. It then got me thinking how lovely it would be not to rush home on a Sunday night from London and could we stay over and that I could go to work from there....all a good plan!
Well the plan has changed as yes we are staying over and this afternoon will be booking into the Savoy for the night!.... Day off has been booked tomorrow, as I am not relinquishing any of the 12pm checkout time in this gorgeous establishment in order to go to work! ... so looking forward to spending a night in this gorgeous 125 year old establishment.....
So I will have a lazy afternoon in sumptuous surroundings, followed by dinner in Simpsons on the Strand. This will be followed by entertainment from Mr Hadley at the Theatre Royal, with an evening nightcap in the American/ Beaufort Bar. Leisurely breakfast tomorrow before heading home....pop back later in week when I will share my stay at the Savoy, or follow me on Instagram where I am sure to be posting pics over the weekend.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

10 weeks today...

and it will be Christmas Day!.... working in retail Christmas is planned a year in advance, but there is always a ripple of excitement when I exit Bond street station and see that the Christmas wraps have gone up around the legendary big yellow store windows. This means that the final countdown has begun and that Christmas will land across all floors within the store over the week, culminating with the big window reveal.
This years Christmas has a story book feel with the windows being the front cover to the Selfridges story... filled with wonder, excitement, fairy-tale legends and some special guests!.... pop back over the coming weeks for a sneak peak into the Enchanted Christmas on 400 Oxford Street.
 
With the Christmas shop opening in the summer, last week it was time to launch Christmas within the Foodhall, complete with a new signature brand range.
The foodhall is now festooned with signature yellow, green and gold decorations, foliage swags dripping with baubles and 8ft trees embellished with large crackers. Large pulled crackers spill out from the ceiling, over the signature tables which are plump with puddings, mince pies, panettone, florentines and gingerbread. I saw some of these product way back in July and the press show and completely fell in love with it.....Favourites include the jar of Gingerbread boys & girls, the giant Mr Selfridge gingerbread. The mince pies are amazing along with the florentines; flavours including chocolate orange and salted chocolate caramel and the golden mini Christmas puddings are decadent and delicious... I'm sure Mr Selfridge would have loved them all......check out some of the range here....
......lots of these will be falling in stockings and gift boxes this year...a little slice of yellow in world of green & gold.... gorgeously delicious... it's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas! 

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Wednesday Words ~ October

This month Kindle and I have had an adventure whist commuting home from work (more of which I will share late in the post. I have also read 5 books which have kept me entertained as I travel through the tunnels of the London tube.
This months reads;
  • The Vineyard ~ Karen Aldous - Lizzie has created a life in Cannes with her small boy and successful beauty business. Estranged from her mother for several years she heads home to find that things have changes and moved on in her absence. Here Lizzie meets Cal who is leasing land from her mother to grow a Vineyard.  I enjoyed this book, but it took some time for me to like Lizzie, the book also deals with some difficult subjects and fluctuates between 2 styles of writing which took some time for me to get used to. However that aside I enjoyed the story and characters and it was nice to escape to the glamour of the South of France for a while.
  • Sealed with a Kiss ~ Rachel Lucas - Kate is dumped on her best friend's wedding day by the world's most boring boyfriend, Ian. She is more upset at being jobless & homeless on the back of the break-up and finds herself taking a job on the remote Scottish island of Auchenmor as an all-round Girl Friday. She is not known for her organisational skills and has a disastrous first meeting with her grouchy boss Laird of the Island - Roddy. However Kate finds herself falling in love with the island and its inhabitants. I loved this book from the start, and I along with Kate fell in love with the island of Auchenmor... I even googled highland island getaway's for next year. A fabulous first book, perfect for curling up on the sofa with a large mug of chocolate ~ delicious
  • Love Like the Movies ~ Victoria Van Tiem - Kenzi has her life all scripted, fiancé Bradley, successful career, home & kids all planned until Kenzi's ex and the boy who broke her heart enters stage left. Shane embarks on a journey to win Kenzi back by re-enacting all the rom-com movies that they used to watch together. He's just a guy, standing in front of a girl, asking her to trust him again!...this book is a must for any rom-com movie fan, perfect for an afternoon on the sofa with a bucket of popcorn and a soda. I loved it and are now working my way through some movie favourites.
  • Gone Girl ~ Gillian Flynn - late to the party on this book and have very mixed views. Amy & Nick have been married for 5 years when she disappears, this starts a huge investigation, with the biggest question being asked has he killed her?... her diary alludes to a marriage that is not what it seems. With huge twists and turns, this book absolutely keeps you on the edge of your seat and keeps you turning pages. This book had be completely gripped until the end when it turned completely and now I hate it. I absolutely loath the ending and wish I hadn't read it as I feel like its a waste of time. With how successful this book has been and the noise behind the film I am in the minority, but just feel cheated.

  • Pieces of You - Ella Harper - Lucy & Luke are soul mates and have the perfect marriage, after eight long, heart-breaking years trying to have a baby, that perfect marriage is crumbling before their eyes.When a terrible accident puts Luke into a coma, Lucy is forced to reassess everything she thought she wanted.  - I loved this book, it's a heart wrenching story which will make you ask yourself so many questions. Written under the new pen name of Ella Harper this is a huge departure from Sasha Wagstaffs normal writing, immensely enjoyable, it explores family ties, secrets and heart-ache.... my only advice is to make sure that you have a hankie handy when you read it.. you will need it. - Ella's book was also the reason for my tube adventure this month!
I was so engrossed in reading Ella's Pieces of You standing on the platform at Bond street station commuting home Friday evening, that I completely didn't see the girl rushing towards me to board the oncoming central line tube. As she barrelled into me my Kindle hurtled into the air into the path of the oncoming tube.
As I waited for the tube to leave the platform, and to witness the fate of my kindle I envisaged looking down on the tracks and seeing a  broken little tablet. To my delight my kindle was hanging precariously on the edge of a ledge, still on the page I had been reading!. The team at Bond street were fabulous and due to it being a security/safety risk to leave it there, they chose to stop the trains and rescue my Kindle from the track..... so huge apologies if you were on a delayed Central line Friday evening during rush hour, it was all my kindle & Ella's fault!
As you can see I've read a an eclectic mix this month and enjoyed most of them. Here are my previous Wednesday words posts of books read this year.
 Look forward to sharing my reads next month...what have you been reading? did you love it or did it not live up to expectation?

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

You can take the girl out of the 80's...

but not the 80's out of the girl!... this week I have had acute moments of being 44 going on 14!.... and have spent moments of the week regressing to 1984 at regular intervals. Looking at what I have planned this weekend this is likely to continue into next week, as I am off to see Tony Hadley on Sunday..
Way back in February I received notification of Tony Hadley's planned tour dates for the autumn. As a huge TH & Spandau Ballet fan I jumped at the chance to see him with a full orchestra.

I had seen Tony last year at the Royal Albert Hall and he was fabulous, so I knew it would be a great show...and booked tickets, for the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane. ( Here's my post from last year.)
I never thought way back in February that I would also be seeing Spandau Ballet on stage in the same month, as there had been no talk of another reconciliation since the reformation tour of 2009.
 Earlier this month I attended the Movie Premiere of Soul Boys of the Western World at the Royal Albert Hall and loved it. I tweeted my blog post and was thrilled to receive the attached from Gary in response.


With such a fantastic response to the event and movie it was no surprise that the Ballet boys announced a tour this week for early next year. Monday morning  8am was spent on ipad securing tickets for next March... perfect school reunion night planned with the girls!
 I have loved watching the guys PR the movie and album on TV shows over the past couple of weeks. Here's one of my favourites from This morning on Monday.
My Spandau Ballet moments continued, when shortly after the This Morning programmed aired I nearly bumped into Martin in Selfridges. I was coming down the escalator to go to the foodhall to grab some lunch and he literally was in front of me!... The shy 14 year old reared its ugly head and I regressed completely!... made my afternoon when I received this.
Sometimes its the little things that bring the biggest smiles!... thanks Tony, Martin, Gary, Steve & John for bringing much joy to my October!.... looking forward to seeing Tony on Sunday and the Band in March... but before then I have an ITV Special to watch.... Pure Gold!

Monday, 13 October 2014

Home of the Bard....

Before Summer faded and Autumn arrived I spent a beautiful Sunday morning on the South bank exploring some of the London's historic landmarks. The first being the home the theatrical London home of Shakespeare, The Globe.
This was my first trip since I was at school and appreciated it much more. Its a gorgeous building now in its 3rd build as its been a victim of fire on a couple of occasions, now restored its a great venue steeped in history.
 As well as being able to tour the stage and seating area of the Globe, you also get the opportunity to see some of the artefacts and gorgeous costumes from some of the theatre classics. I had a great time exploring this iconic building....
Here's some other Shakespeare related posts from previous adventures in London and New York.
This month my friend Ali McNamara release's her 5th novel and 3rd in her "From Notting Hill" series. This one will feature The Globe theatre which I am looking forward to immensely along with New York.... I know what I will be reading later this month!... Looking forward to catching up with Scarlett & co....Here's my From Notting hill to New York actually adventures...

Sunday, 12 October 2014

An evening at Memphis...

As a huge fan of musical theatre I jumped at the chance to grab preview tickets for the new West End show Memphis. Memphis has been a huge Broadway triumph and US national hit, it has now crossed the Pond and is in preview at the Shaftsbury Theatre.
Memphis is loosely based on Memphis disc jockey Dewey Phillips, one of the first white DJs to play black music in the 1950s.
The synopsis of the musical is of the underground club scene of the 1950's Memphis Tennessee, where blues, gospel and the first sounds of rock 'n' roll were part of the black culture. Falling in love with a beautiful club singer, one young man’s vision to bring her voice and her music out of the clubs and onto the airwaves of America flew in the face of cultural divides and sparked a music revolution that shook the world."
Here is the show launch at Ronnie Scott's this summer...
          
        
The musical stars Beverley Knight and Killian Donnelly, and they are both phenomenal.
Here is Killian Donnelly singing Memphis in me, which is stunning.


Friday was the 2nd show in its preview run into its London premiere of the 23rd October and at the end all of the audience was on their feet, standing ovation all round.  A new hit has been born in the West End of London. This show is a must see for this season, and I would thoroughly recommend it as a great night out. A fabulous show, which deals with a subject that to my generation is unimaginable but was so real back in the 50's ... Music being a medium that started to break down the race barriers.
I tweeted how much I had enjoyed the show and I got this tweet back from Beverley on Saturday morning.

Afternoon Tea ~ Mr Selfridge style

Last Friday I took 2 special older ladies for a spot of afternoon tea Mr Selfridge style followed by an evening at the theatre.
Tea was hosted in the beautiful Corner restaurant at Selfridges.
The Corner is a restaurant situated on the 2nd floor tucked in the corner overlooking Oxford Street. It has an old school art deco glamour feel about it, and is perfect for lunch, afternoon tea or dinner.
Menu for tea includes:
  • Freshly prepared finger sandwiches: Egg and mustard cress, Coronation chicken, Cucumber and cream cheese.
  • Pulled salt beef, potato bread and sauce gribiche, Rye and pumpernickel crisp bread, whipped  goats cheese and beetroot and Smoked salmon blini, lobster and caper mayonnaise.
  • Freshly baked scone topped with Cornish clotted cream, raspberry jam and lemon curd
  • Black Forest top hat,  Raspberry and rose water éclair, Toasted banana and coconut bread with caramelised banana.
  • A pot of Selfridges Selection tea. (Champagne optional extra)
The Tea was gorgeous, perfect homage to some Selfridge favourites; salt beef, and the lemon curd along with the banana bread were my favourites. The service was great and the perfect unwind for a Friday afternoon. Highly recommended, and the perfect  precursor to an evening at the theatre.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Books about Town - River Trail

Last week  the Books about Town benches in London were auctioned off for charity. They have been one of my favourite things to do whilst exploring London during the summer.... its been like a huge lending library across the London landscape. From the benches visited its created much discussion, lots of fun & laughter and spanned generations.... I hope that the British Literary showcased has seen an uplift in library lends and book sales.
Books have always been my way of escaping and from an early age always had my head in a book. This may be some of the reasons as to why I have loved the book about town trails across London this summer... it brings out the child in me
The only trail I didn't get to do was the one in Greenwich, however I am happy with all that I saw.... A few weekends ago with the sun shining I headed into town early and explored the Riverside trail.
City Hall
Sited around City Hall were a number of benches....
  • Through the Looking Glass
  • How to Train Your Dragon
  • Dr Seuss
 I loved the Dr Seuss bench with Tower Bridge in the background and the new City of London landscape to its left. Completely showcased the vibrancy of the graphics on the bench.
With a backdrop of HMS Belfast and a dancing water fountain close by the Gruffalo bench was a child's delight. As I snapped these images a couple of small children came running along the river bank full of absolute delight to find their favourite woodland creature.
A short walk away from the riverside and in the shadow of the Shard in Clarendon Place stood the beautiful War Horse bench.... Beautifully designed with the symbolic red poppies, and war horses this was a stunning piece of art depicting a heart breaking story.
Back on the Riverside and short walk from London Bridge and Borough Market stood 2 of Britain's favourites - Paddington Bear and Great Expectations. Both icons of our childhood and adult years alike.
The Great Expectations was dark and symbolic to the old masters, whereas Paddington was the perfect epitome of Michael Bond's classic.
My Book bench trail finished outside the theatre home of the world famous author / playwright Shakespeare.  The perfect place to house the bench paying homage to the Author.
I've loved the book benches across the city of the summer and look forward to Paddington appearing for the Christmas and Holiday period.
Here are my previous book bench adventures:
  • Bloomsbury Trail - featuring Hercule Poirot, James Bond, Jane Austen & Peter Pan.
  • City Trail - featuring Mary Poppins, Bridget Jones, Peter Pan, Wind in the Willows.
Last week the book benches were auctioned for charity and raised a quarter of a million £ to improve literary in disadvantaged areas. The 2 highest bids were £9,500 for the Jeeves & Wooster bench and £9,000 for the James Bond stories.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Spandau Ballet ~ Soul Boys

My final "Back to School" moment for the month came on Tuesday night when I spent the night on the red carpet with the Soul Boys of Spandau Ballet.  Its no secret on this blog that I am a fan (Spandau's reformation tour and Tony at the Albert Hall) and jumped at the chance to see the premier of their docu-movie and gig at the Royal Albert Hall. This would be the first time that the whole band would gig this stage since 1983 when True was at the top of the charts.
I arrived at one of my favourite venues in London the Royal Albert Hall just in time to see the band step onto the red carpet. All boys led the fashion stakes in legendary style and panache, something that they were known for over the last 35 years... a little older but still looking fabulous. It was cool to see.
Lauren Laverne opened the evening and welcomed the other 200 cinemas across the nation that had joined the premier of the movie. A full to the rafters Albert Hall settled in their seats, boxes and standing in the eves to watch the film reel roll for a trip back in time to the 80's.
The movie is a fabulous foray into world of the Ballet boys from the fun to the fighting all against the backdrop of the fashion, music and world of the 80's.

I thoroughly enjoyed this film, it bought back so many memories, its a film about friendship, music, politics and fashion. At times its not comfortable viewing and I would imagine the band when they saw it felt the same, as the falling out and consequent court case makes for uncomfortable viewing.
After the movie, the band sat with the director George Hencken for a Q & A, which again was screened across the cinemas and was much fun. It was evident from this that the band were back in good form and all past differences looked firmly behind them.

 With the movie and Q&A finished it now time to party.... the Ballet boys took to the stage for a set of tunes famous across the world. If any fan had any doubts that Tony & Gary still had issues, these were firmly put to bed when they took to the stage as a pair to kick off the into to Through the Barricades.

 Spandau Ballet were back in fine voice, rocking the Albert Hall is if it was a weekly occurrence instead of 30 years ago.
The band sung a set of 6 songs including To Cut a Long Story short, and the fabulous Only when you Leave,
It was soon time for the end of course the legendary school disco anthem True...
 

As the band closed the set, it was clear to see that they were completely overwhelmed by the response to the evening.
Obviously the evening wasn't completely over as the band returned to the stage for a final encore of their huge anthem Gold!....
The band and crowd rocked the rafters...
It was now officially time to say goodnight, and what an amazing night it was. I had a fabulous time. The Ballet boys are back, and long may it last!
Spandau Ballet cemented their longevity on the little slot they have in my heart on the stage Tuesday night. They took me back to my teens through their film and music and I loved it. I may have been a devout Duranie during my teens but the Ballet boys were a close 2nd for me. This evening took me back to so much, it captures the innocence of those teen years for me perfectly, of so many happy memories and friendships that remain as strong as they did 35 years ago. My life changed significantly in the mid 80's, however this band always takes me back to a happy place, something that has given many smiles over the years, and one of the reasons why I jump at the chance of seeing them whenever and however. I am now looking forward to an evening with Tony Hadley and an orchestra in October and a TV special on the 14th October of the Ballet boys along with a new single and album.... new single showcased here


Wednesday morning I did realise that I was no longer 14 again as late nights on school nights were no longer as forgiving as they used to be and being at my desk for 7 was a killer!.... however happily reliving the evening and my youth kept me going through the day.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

# Project Life ~ September

Wow I can't believe that September has closed and we enter October in a mini heat wave of summer. With the hues of glorious oranges and yellows from the autumnal sun, its no wonder that I can't believe that there are only 3 months left of 2014.
September timetable was a month filled with 'Back to School' fun, featuring Books, Bags, Games, School Disco memories and some Thursday fun, along with meeting the Queen of Bakes.
Looking at my Instagram and IPhone library is filled with late summer fun & frolics, in a back to school style.
Project Life September Timetable ~
  • Domestic Science theory....Mary Berry - I met the Queen of Bakes herself when she came to Selfridges to launch her new book. The epitomy of what the perfect Domestic Science school teacher was at school... great book and a delightful lady.
  • Domestic Science practical .....Baby Bakes ~  a little cake & cupcakes I baked for a friends baby shower... perfect de-stress day filled with icing sugar, eggs & flour - alchemy chemistry at its best.
  • High School Hearthrob.....Pants!... I have had many 'pants' days in September, but none so better than David Gandy's launch of his underwear line for M&S. This caused much fun for me during the month and one of the big hits on my blog & Instagram.
  • History & politics .... filled with Scandal ... one of my TV treats for the month was back to back box sets of Scandal.... completely back in love with Washington and its political intrigue.
  • Fun on Campus .... fun & games in and around Everyman Cinema and Selfridges for team day.
  • Photography & Art - glorious days filled with beautiful sunrises, and sunsets.... perfect for capturing on film.
  • English Language & Literature ..... a fabulous evening of books filled with three of my favourite authors, Jane Green, Lucy Diamond, Karen Swan, talking plots, romance and so much more!
  • PT & games .... a week of games at the Invictus Games, at the Queen Elizabeth Park filled with Royalty and men in uniform!...featuring Jonny Wilkinson, Prince Harry and heroes from the military.... a week which was humbling, inspiring and amazing.
  •  School Disco .... fantastic memories from School Days, School Disco's and amazing memories from a night with Spandau Ballet and their Movie Premier ( blog post to come)
What a fabulous September, so many great memories and big ticks on my bucket list....
Looking at what I have planned in October it will be as fabulous as September..... so far it features; Mr Selfridge Afternoon Tea,  A Memphis evening with Beverley Knight.  An Evening with Tony Hadley and orchestra and a night at the Savoy.  A weekend of Good Food Cakes & bakes
 

Thursday, 25 September 2014

90 days.....

and its Christmas Day!...... yes I am talking Christmas!
 The big Yellow store opened its Christmas Hall in August and held its Press Show in July.
 ...I have been in Christmas meetings since Easter and are now on the last 3 months countdown!....
I can already hear my friend Ali screaming at this post as she has a hashtag running on twitter of #keepchristmasindecember ... I wish I could only think about in December, but in retail its all about the next 3 months...  I have already received 2 Christmas brochures in the post, and I imagine that Boots will launch theirs next week.... the reality is that its 3 paydays away!

Santa arrived in his shorts and sunglasses to kick start Christmas...
Over the next 90 days I will share some of amazing Christmas treats of Selfridges during the holiday period.
Christmas is sited on the 4th floor and is phased across themes and colour palletes... there are so many lovely things... I really like this mix of Gold & Silver colourways,  it looks like the paper pompom style decorations will be on trend again this year.... the VM team does a fabulous job of styling.
Love the ice-skates styling.... will definitely be using my vintage skates as a feature for my Christmas at home. One of the most popular themes during the August period is the London range... the tourist market love it and the Selfridges Union Jack is one of the favourites.
 Santa in the Telephone box is proving to be a Selfie favourite.... the pastel range is also a big talking point and gives a completely different feel to Christmas .... really love this, but will not co-ordinate with any of my plans this year!.... yes I already have planned out theme, styling and look!
 Traditional is always a must..... really love this display and covert the chair, hat &personalised santa sack lots! Green & Gold will feature lots during the Christmas countdown...
 So with 90 days to go, I hope that you have enjoyed my start to Christmas, each week I will post a little more of Mr Selfridges Christmas 2014!.... let the countdown begin.