Peggy Porschen Festive Afternoon Tea at The Lanesborough

If you’re looking for a little Christmas treat this year, look no further than the Peggy Porschen festive afternoon tea at the Lanesborough. The luxury hotel and chic London bakery have come together again for a brand new exciting menu just in time for the Christmas period and of course I had to go and try this out for myself!

Peggy Porschen, are best known for their beautiful pink cake parlours in the London Belgravia area. They always have the most incredible displays outside their stores, particularly around Christmas, Halloween and Spring. They are probably one of the most Instagrammable destinations in the city, drawing in crowds of people wanting to try out their cakes and to photograph the pretty decorations. I have featured them in a few previous blog posts including this one about the rise of Instagram famous London coffee shops.

Arriving for our tea

The Lanesborough Hotel has to be one of the most stunning hotels I’ve ever been to. We arrived to the hotel lobby and were instantly greeted by a beautiful Christmas display featuring a huge crystal tree, doorways covered in large silver baubles, a huge disco ball creating a pretty sparkling affect across the room and a shimmering crystal waterfall. The whole setting was really magical to walk through.

The afternoon tea is held in the glass-domed Michelin-starred Celeste restaurant of the hotel which is equally as luxurious. Decorated in a chic duck egg blue and white, the spacious room features stunning chandeliers, white columns, and an ornate carpet throughout. The tables were nicely spaced out and we were instantly made to feel welcome by the staff who really looked after us during our visit. We were left to look through our menus (beautifully illustrated by Megan Hess) to see what was going to be served while we sipped on a glass of champagne. A pianist arrived along with a couple of singers and the Christmas songs added such a lovely festive touch to the day.

The treats

A silver cake stand was brought out for each of us, filled with the sweetest little cakes, two deliciously warm scones, and a tier of finger sandwiches. I’m not usually a fan of the sandwiches but these were so good. Following the festive theme, there was Christmas turkey with stuffing and a roast beef with horseradish slice, along with your more traditional afternoon tea style sandwiches of smoked salmon with dill, cucumber with mint cream cheese and cave aged cheddar, beetroot with clementine chutney.

The cakes which are always the part I look forward to the most were so adorable and added a really fun element to this afternoon tea experience. We had a miniature cupcake decorated with a little gingerbread man who was almost too cute to eat (..almost!), a cranberry Christmas pavlova, a frangipane mince pie tartlet, a sweet peppermint and choc chip cupcake which was like a little Christmas tree, and a Baileys chocolate cake, topped with little snowflakes.

Overall, I think this has to be one of the best afternoon teas that I have been to and I definitely recommend booking this as soon as you can for a special treat to get you into the festive spirit. The service, the food and the beautiful surroundings of the Lanesborough hotel made it a fabulous afternoon experience.

The hotel is also a 10 minute walk to Harrods and Harvey Nichols so you have the option to add a little bit of Christmas shopping to the rest of the day.

The Peggy Porschen * Lanesborough Afternoon Tea, is £78 with a glass of champagne, and available until 4th January. Follow the link HERE To arrange a booking  

Shopping: 3 things I’m not buying any more

The fashion industry has become much more aware of sustainability over the last few years and it’s got me thinking about my own shopping habits. I can definitely see a change in how and what I spend my money on, especially in the last couple of years.  There are 3 things that really stand out to me that I’ve stopped buying which I am going to talk about in today’s blog post.

High Street Handbags

I have a real love for handbags and I would say they are probably my favourite fashion item to shop for. As well as designer bags, I used to buy pieces from the high street as well but this is something that I have moved away from over the last couple of years. No disrespect to the high street, but they just cannot compete with the quality of leathers and hardware featured on a designer handbag and I would much rather spend more money on a quality luxury piece that stands the test of time all day long.

Certain designer bags are considered an investment and you can re-sell them on the pre-loved market if you decide you no longer get the same amount of use for it. You can actually get some money back on them which you can put towards your next designer handbag purchase! This isn’t the case for all designer bags on the market, but certainly for classic pieces such as an Hermes Birkin, Hermes Kelly or a Chanel Classic flap bag for example you can always re-sell for the same price or even higher than what you paid for it originally if you’ve kept it in a decent condition.

It’s a good idea to invest into the classic carry over styles that the luxury brands continue every season. The seasonal pieces, although are often cheaper, are not always a great buy as the following year they can look really dated and very specific to the time they were launched. However these can often, in years to come, become little gems to resell and become quite covetable again. Look at the Dior saddle bag which has come back into fashion a decade later, as well as the rise of the Y2K inspired looks that are all over Instagram right now. That one seasonal piece you buy now might become very handy in 10 years time and look just as fresh as it did when you first bought it.

Seasonal trend led pieces

Now, don’t get me wrong, I do love to keep up with the latest trends as I work in the fashion industry and it’s my job. However, the last few years I have definitely taken a step back from buying into every single new trend that pops up each season. Now days I will really consider if I want to get on board with a trend led piece or not.  This is both for high-street clothing as well as designer items. For example, when Prada launched the re-edition handbag or Dior launched their canvas book tote, everyone went crazy for them and rushed out to get one. However these were not styles that I wanted to get involved with as I know in a year’s time they are going to look really dated. Look at Celine for example – they have had some major hits with their handbags in the past but then they only look good for a short period of time. If you wear it a year later or more, everyone knows what collection it was from and it just doesn’t look quite right any more.

If it’s not a classic seasonal piece or something that I can pull out year after year to wear, I’m not as keen to make that purchase any more. I would rather spend the money on something I know I will love for a longer period of time. 

Fast Fashion

Fast fashion is one of the main culprits when it comes to sustainability in the industry. For a long time I felt that I needed a new outfit every time I went out and there was such a huge explosion of online brands appearing that update their websites with new items daily. The throw away fashion culture is definitely not helped by social media which fuels this constant need for newness and having the next latest thing all the time.

The thing that I find the most disappointing about a lot of these online retailers is the quality of the clothing. I am more interested in spending that little bit more money for nicer fabrics and styles that I know I will get a lot of wear out of now days. My wardrobe is not bursting at the seems like it once was and there is something really nice about building a casual collection of pieces that you can easily mix and match and get a lot of wear out of each season. This is something I aim to be a lot better at and really want to work on.

Outfit featured in today’s blog post:

Check knitted cardigan DLSB 

Jeans and Hat: Zara (last year AW20)

Necklace: Heart Figaro chain in gold from Abbott Lyon

 

If you enjoyed this blog post, you might also like to read THIS about Parisian style and how they always get it right when it comes to shopping

5 ways to have the ultimate cosy Autumn night in

Chi Chi London Pyjamas

Autumn is well an truly here. It’s getting darker earlier, there’s a chill in the air and the leaves have started turning all gorgeous shades of orange and brown. So that means it’s the perfect time to get all cosy and have some lovely Autumn evenings at home.

I’ve put together a list of ways to make sure that you have the ultimate cosy Autumn night in.

Fresh Pyjamas

The most important way to start a cosy Autumn night in has to be by getting into a fresh set of pyjamas. I’ve been wearing this new heart print set in my collection from Chi Chi London. They have a really good nightwear selection with so many gorgeous prints.

Set the scene with candles

Candles are the perfect way to make a room feel that little bit extra cosy and a really popular choice for Autumn are pumpkin scented candles. There is something really comforting about getting out different candles and using them seasonally throughout the year. If you’re feeling bougie, treat yourself to a high end, quality candle from the likes of Jo Malone, Diptyque, Replica, Boy Smells or Overose. The majority of the large fashion houses also do candles if you really want to go all out.

Equally, you don’t need to spend a fortune if you don’t want to. You can pick up some really amazing candles from places like Homesense, Next or Zara for reasonable prices.

Watch a Halloween movie

Close the curtains, cosy up and get a Halloween movie on! It’s dark outside, it’s getting colder and October is spooky season so it’s the most perfect time of the year for it. Here are some of my favourite Halloween movies:

Hocus Pocus – such a classic. I watch this every year!

The Witches (the original early 90s version) – This film even today gives me the creeps! Considering it’s a children’s movie, there’s something really dark about it and I remember this being quite scary when it came out! I haven’t seen the new version with Anne Hathaway as I’m not sure they can top the original.

It – because there is nothing more scary than an evil clown at Halloween

Apply a face mask

There’s something about a face mask that always make you feel amazing afterwards.

Pixi Beauty have a really gorgeous selection of face masks, in particular the Milky Remedy one which is a current favourite of mine. It’s a cooling gel texture and you ccan literally feel the difference to your skin after one application. I love it. Another favourite mask of mine is the Aura Manuka Honey mask from Antipodes, available at Look Fantastic and one that I highly recommend if you like a more clay like mask consistency. It also smells like sweets and as if it is good enough to eat!

Check out a previous post HERE for tips on how to make your bathroom feel more like a spa.

 

Pyjamas featured in todays blog post: From Chi Chi London 

This post features gifted items/PR products.

Mum life – What I have learned in the first 9 months

There was 9 months of being pregnant, and I’ve now reached the stage of being a mum for 9 months so I thought it would be a good time to look back at what I have learned along the way. What things did I wish I knew beforehand? No one really tells you any of this stuff – there is no handbook with all the answers (unfortunately), and Google will just confuse you completely with different opinions. I’m going to let you know some of the things I have picked up along the way. It’s the biggest journey you will ever go on so hopefully these tips will help whether you are a new mum or about to have a baby.

It really does get easier

When people tell you it gets easier, you will literally want to punch them. FACT.

The newborn stage is intense. I wasn’t fully prepared for this – I don’t think any of us actually are. When I was pregnant people used to joke and say to get as much sleep in as you can before the baby arrives. I wish I had listened to this, although when you are heavily pregnant, sleeping becomes really difficult and just turning over is a struggle so I’m not sure when I would have put in a sleep marathon anyway realistically. Just know you are going to feel tired for a quite a long time!

As the months pass though, things do start to get easier. You get into a routine, you’re not as terrified of making a mistake, your baby starts to sleep through the night, you get used to the broken sleep pattern and what the different baby cries mean. But as things get easier, you move onto other new challenges to deal with so it really is all a constant learning curve.

Embrace the changes

I’m one of those people who doesn’t like change but since having a baby I’ve had to completely adjust my mindset on this. Just as you get settled doing things a certain way, your baby will progress and it will change into something different and it throws you off a bit. You never grow and develop as much in your life as you do when you’re a child and they have a lot going on, so I’ve learned that you need to be really open minded with this and literally just go with the flow of what your baby is doing.

Another change that I’ve had to deal with is with my own life. The freedom of just popping to the shops quickly for something, or going out with friends or going shopping is not as easy. It’s a big life adjustment when you realise that this little person is going to be attached to your hip for quite a long time and that is always going to have to come first now. I knew this was going to be the case but it didn’t actually hit me properly until he was born. It was quite hard to take in and deal with for quite a long time. As I said…I’m not the best with dealing with change! You do learn to accept this new way of life though.

Buy all of the essential items

A friend of mine recommended a machine for bottle feeding and it really has been a game changer. It was worth every penny and I’m so pleased we bought it. I will link it below as well as a few other essential items that I would definitely recommend.

Tommee Tippee perfect prep machine (if you are bottle feeding)

Tommee Tippee Electric steriliser (again for bottle feeding)

Snuz cloud – this has been amazing. It plays white noise and soothing music which helps your baby drift off to sleep.

Nuby teething dummies – these are so good – you can put them in the fridge to make them nice and cool on your babies gums when they want to chew everything in sight!

Nuby nibbler – this is great for when you start weaning. It helps your baby to learn how to chew as well as introduces them to new tastes, without the risk of choking.

Anti roll changing mat – we have this one HERE from Mumma Shack.

A baby organiser caddy like this one HERE is also really useful. You can stock it up with all of the essentials you will need for day or night from nappies, wipes, nappy bags, muslin cloths, creams etc and you will be able to carry it around the house easily.

Plan ahead

When I was pregnant we bought mainly a selection of newborn, 0-3month, 3-6 month clothes. What I hadn’t appreciated was how quickly babies grow! A top tip I will give is to buy long sleeve bodies in a variety of ages/sizes because in the Summer months its so difficult to get hold of long sleeve clothes. In England we still get really cold days during the Summer but the shops only seem to have Summer related clothes only during that time.

Getting into a routine

Getting your baby into a routine takes time but its something that babies really need and it makes a massive difference. I found it’s helped me so much and I like having a structure to my day. Without a plan for the day it can feel a bit overwhelming sometimes. We don’t do everything at the exact same time every single day – that would be impossible but we now have a routine in place which we keep to as much as possible and it really works well for us.

  • 7 – 7.30am Oscar wakes up
  • 7.30am first bottle of the day
  • 8.30am breakfast
  • 10.30 goes down for his nap which could be a around an hour, or an hour and a half long
  • 11.30 ish Oscar wakes up
  • 12pm – Lunch
  • 1pm – afternoon bottle
  • 2pm/2.30 – afternoon nap which is usually a bit longer than the morning one
  • 4pm ish Oscar wakes up
  • 5pm Dinner
  • 6pm bath and wind down time
  • 7pm last bottle of the day and off to bed

We moved Oscar into his own bedroom from 5 months old and started with weaning from 6 months. Every baby is different though and the NHS website will have all of the guidelines on roughly when babies should be doing certain things. You will naturally know what’s right for your own baby though and you should trust your own instincts.

Don’t compare your baby to others

It’s only natural to worry if you are doing things properly and if your baby is progressing, doing everything they should be at the right time. Just remember that every baby is different. Some learn to crawl really early, some never learn to crawl and just shuffle about until they can walk. Just like with social media channels such as Instagram, you will see other peoples babies doing things at their own pace and you shouldn’t ever compare your baby to theirs. Babies will do everything when it is the right time for them.

If you enjoyed reading this, check out some of my other pregnancy related posts – 

Getting the best support possible

 Styling your baby bump

Baby shower gift ideas

Are influencers being taken advantage of?

street shoot

The way brands advertise has changed massively in the last 10 years. Influencers and content creators now play a huge part in how brands promote their new products. However some brands are starting to take advantage of influencer marketing and using creators in a way which is becoming an issue in the industry.

Earning Potential

Influencers have the potential to earn a really good income through promoting brands. There are lots of ways to make money, for example – through sponsored posts, affiliate links, or becoming brand ambassadors. For the more well known influencers with a large following, they have the opportunity to be taken on all expenses paid brand press trips in return for promoting the latest products. You will also see them creating ‘edits’ with fashion brands as well as creating their own designed collections. These sort of campaigns not only give the influencer a large pay check and commissions through sales, but also generates a massive revenue for the brands.

Read all about it..

For a brand to place an advert in a magazine it can cost thousands of pounds – even tens of thousands depending on the magazine. This is a big chunk of money for any business. Brands now realise the potential that content creators, bloggers, and people with a large social media following have. Using influencers to promote their products for them not only helps them to spread the word really quickly, it also helps to encourage others to go out and buy these items. We live in a world now where reviews can make or break a business and influencers have already gained the trust of those who follow and engage with their content so they are perfect for showcasing products to everyone.

A brand has no way of easily being able to quantify how may people saw their advert in a magazine and how many sales were generated because of it. But an influencer is able to provide a brand with statistics showing exactly how many people liked their post, how many commented, liked, saved or reposted it. If the influencer shared a discount code or a link these can also give the brand an indication of how much interest the viewers have in their product. This sort of data is hugely beneficial for a brand.

street shoot

street shoot

The issue with “gifting”

There are a lot of people that want to be an influencer or a blogger as a career choice and the market has become saturated. Because of this, brands are able to have their pick of the bunch. They have a huge amount of choice and a lot of people hoping to break through and be noticed are more willing to accept free or gifted products from a brand rather than asking them for any form of payment.

Creating content is time consuming – Writing blog posts, shooting the products, filming, editing the photos or videos all takes a lot of time, work and effort. You wouldn’t go to any regular job and expect to put in hours of work without being paid so this should be no different. A free item doesn’t pay the bills at the end of the day but a lot of brands will now only offer this to influencers and where so many are willingly accepting this, it is making it more and more difficult to receive actual payment from brands.  For example, to send out a few free items of clothing is such a tiny cost for many companies and so they prefer to do this rather than actually paying the influencers.

So for any aspiring influencers/bloggers reading this blog post, always ask a brand what budget they have available if they contact you asking to collaborate on a project. A brand that tells you they don’t have a budget is not always being truthful. All marketing departments have a budget whether they are a small business right up to the large corporations. It’s time for bloggers to be given more credit for their worth. Of course it’s completely the decision of the content creator if they are happy to work on a project on a gifted basis only and agree to not accept payment for their work. I myself still do this if I love the brand and am passionate about their products. However, unless bloggers/creators in the industry stand together more on making a positive change about being paid more regularly by brands as opposed to purely working on a gifted basis, we are far off from this being resolved.

In this industry there isn’t a set standard on how much you should charge for your content and there is a massive grey area with this, adding to brands being able to take advantage for this.

Leave a comment below if this issue has affected you. I would love to hear what your experiences have been with blogging and receiving payment for your content.

Image @Pinterest

Outfit featured in today’s blog post

Love heart Jumper :  I saw it first

Denim Petite Lockett Handbag  : Jimmy Choo 

Sunglasses : ASOS

 

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