Usually I avoid London on the last weekend before Christmas – to say it gets a bit manic in the main shopping areas is putting it politely! I’m typically quite a calm person, but there’s something about crowds and narrow pavements that brings out the beast in me. But this year Callum and I thought we’d immerse ourselves in all the wonder (and mild terror) of the festivities. I’m also super excited to be bringing you guys a lifestyle post. There’s still fashion involved (don’t worry, it’s not about to become No Girl In the Lens around here!), but it’s mixed in with travel and lifestyle inspiration too to get your teeth into. Have a read on to find out what we got up to in London …
After a hectic journey through the Christmas crowds, we checked into the Amba Hotel Marble Arch, the perfect base for a weekend in London. It feels like a hidden peaceful oasis in the midst on Oxford Street, with quiet rooms, big plush beds, and a complimentary minibar with goodies to refuel after a busy day’s shopping! We were treated to a spot of afternoon tea in the cosy restaurant, just what was needed before hitting the shops. Location is definitely the hotel’s winning factor. It’s just around the corner from Selfridges (my favourite spot for a bit of window shopping) and we nipped back a few times to drop off our bags. I’m not sure whether this is the best tactic though as it freed us up for more naughty purchases!
For dinner, we walked down to Soho to one of my new favourites, Eat Tokyo. I was so hungry I forgot to take any photos, but trust me, if you love authentic Japanese food you’ll love this place! It’s unbelievable value for money – £15 will get you a bento box bursting with super fresh sushi and sashimi! When we got back to the hotel, Notting Hill was on, so of course we were obliged to stay up until 3am to finish watching it!
Sunday morning we headed out bright and early for matcha latte (my latest obsession!) at the lovely Timberyard, a great cafe for working between meetings as they have tonnes of power-points and lots of delicious teas to choose from. Afterwards we popped into the UGG store at Piccadilly Circus to pick up some last minute Christmas treats. I’m not a fan of the classic UGG boot, but their other shoes and accessories are gorgeous, so luxurious. I love how cosy these ear muffs are! I also found these beautifully thick gloves, which will make the perfect Christmas for my dad (shh, don’t tell him!). UGG have already launched their end of year sale with up to 30% off, so be sure to take a look!
With my UGG goodies in tow we headed over to Covent Garden. It felt super magical eating our Shake Shack burgers (obsessed) under the canopy of mistletoe lights! After a little wander around the shops we went to view more Christmas lights at Leicester Square, Regent Street and Carnaby Street. The Regent Street lights are by far my favourite this year – so understated and elegant. I love walking around London at night when the crowds are a little quieter and everything is lit up, and with the Christmas lights it feels even more special. A lovely end to a weekend that has left me feeling very festive indeed!
Wishing you all a most wonderful Christmas and a very happy New Year. I hope this year brought you lots of beautiful memories to cherish! I can’t wait to see what 2016 brings – I have a feeling it’s going to be a good one! x
A few weeks ago I got to shoot with the super-cool Ian Derry for Wonderbra, showing off their gorgeous new Ultimate Lace Strapless Bra and the ways it helps you style up your outfits. As I’m sure many of you ladies will know, finding a strapless bra that actually works is one of Life’s Great Mysteries. Most of my previous experiences haven’t been great – I’m talking unnatural cup shapes, chafing, lots of slip-and-slide action, you name it. Thankfully Wonderbra have not only perfected their strapless solution, but they’ve created a beautiful design too that you’ll feel just as minxy in as your lovely pair will feel safe. As they say, happy breasts, happy girl! (They do say that, right..?). Their updated version of the Ultimate Strapless keeps the patented Hand Support Technology that gives you great support and lift, as well as featuring silicone dots along the back of the bra for breathability and flexibility. Ace!
In these photos I’m wearing the lace version in black – how beautiful is the detailing on this bad boy! – and a plain nude style under my shirt. I love the sexy feeling you get from wearing a sheer shirt but it can be a struggle to get the balance right. Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t want too much on show, especially during the day. A little hint is all that’s needed. Ultimate Strapless is the perfect nude shade to be almost invisible under a sheer top, just adding a touch of subtle sexiness. And no slip-and-slide issues here. With the right fit, your bra should stay put all day – and night! – long. A few more styling tips for sheer shirts.. tuck in if you’ve got high-waisted bottoms on to accentuate your waist and make those gorgeous legs look super long, or wear untucked over leather leggings or skinny jeans for a cool, effortless look. I like to keep accessories minimal too since the sheerness is a stand-out detail in itself.
Floaty layering is something I’ve always admired but never tried, so when Braun challenged me to be brave and play with something new for their 30 Days of Switch Up Your Style this September, I knew it was time to give it a go! And with the sudden return of the sunshine this weekend (hallelujah!), it was the perfect timing to give my legs a little room to breathe. Luckily my peepers are always ready for a little showing off now I’ve switched from shaving to epilating. Recently I’ve been testing out my Silk-epil 9’s little sister, the Braun Silk-epil 5 epilator, which is perfect for little touch ups as it can remove hair as short as 0.5mm, so there’s no need to wait weeks for full regrowth. That’s a big thumbs up when you’re as impatient as me!
There’s only a few days left of the month, so why don’t you get involved in Braun’s Switch Up Your Style challenge along with me? It’s so much fun to experiment with new shapes and textures. I love how mood-lifting a new outfit can be – this little ensemble made me feel so playful and happy! Especially paired with this beautiful yellow door we found down a little side-street (though I don’t think the owners would have been happy if I’d tried to sneak it home). I also experimented with a new hairstyle thanks to the Braun SensoCare Styler. A half-knot is definitely going to be one of my go-to’s from now on, it’s such a cute look! Make sure to use the hashtags #breakfree and #Braunbeautychallenge if you take part in switching up your style. I’d love to see what sort of looks you try out. Be bold girls, be playful, and most importantly – have fun! x
If you’ve followed Girl in the Lens for a little while now you might have noticed I have a slight obsession with black ankle boots (or the BAB for short). And yes, when I say slight I mean they have their own drawer in my room. Or two. I feel as though the black bootie is one of those pieces where you’re constantly searching for the ultimate pair – and the minute you think you’ve done it, along comes another pair you just know will solve all your wardrobe dilemmas and you’ll be BFFs for life. Every design quirk is important. Each are unique. But I’ve realised that this is the beauty of the black ankle boot. We all have different moods and fashion personalities – so too must we have a range of BABs to suit our changing preferences.
With fashion week on the horizon (just one more sleep to go now!) my new favourites black booties are these biker-style pair from the Hanneli Mustaparta X Deichmann collection. They’re super comfy, super cool and super perfect for LFW. If you haven’t heard of Hanneli, your Pinterest boards certainly have – Hanneli is a model, stylist, photographer and all-round trendsetter. Her ten piece collection for Deichmann is an approachable, versatile group, with sporty slip-on’s cosying up to knee-high boots and party-ready courts. I love that Hanneli’s designs nod to her street-style reputation. These are pieces you can switch up and play around with, and that you can wear all day long – no super-high heels here, thank you. And of course, I’m extra excited about the fact there are five different boot styles to choose from. Looks like I’ll be needing that third drawer after all …
A few weeks ago Callum and I spent a weekend exploring the New Forest in a gorgeous BMW 2 Series Convertible 220d. Broad country roads, incredible views, sunshine, music on, top down … what could be better? After the daily fight over who got to drive, we’d set out with a location in mind or just allow ourselves to get lost and explore, winding along the forest roads with the wind in our hair (and bugs in our faces), enjoying the pure thrill of a car like the 220d let loose on the world. Without sounding too much like a saleswoman, let me tell you – guys, this is one beautiful car to drive. It’s like a robot’s been hiding in my brain for the last eight years taking note of all the issues I’ve had when driving and then pinged all the info over to BMW for them to create the most enjoyable, effortless driving experience ever. Plus, I love that the new TwinPower Turbo diesel engine is not only super responsive but also efficient, meaning fewer emissions and less petrol guzzling.
With all the fun we were having, it was a wonder we were able to pull over for a quick photoshoot, but somehow we managed it. Colour coordination with my car is not usually a top priority for me, but with such a beautiful car as this I had to make the effort. And of course, slinky leather trousers and metallic heels are my natural driving gear …