Weekend Food Fair

While technically it’s not summer, May seems to bring the beginning of the summer-time events. This includes, the local food festival – bigger than your average farmers market and full of the best of local.


One of Tunbridge Well’s first offering of the summer season for foodies is The Pantiles Food Festival (13th-15th May 3016).

I popped down on Saturday and the festival was in full swing, with demonstrations on the bandstand, cocktails in the (sometimes) sun, fresh produce, so much cake, oh and obviously many lunch options!

Having just moved house I told myself to be good – peruse the stalls, get lunch if I was hungry and focus on the tea towels hidden in Trevor Mortram I actually needed! Needless to say that was never going to happen.

I was good – with so many options I could have happily sampled some cocktails with lunch and bought all the local jam, veg, alcohol… but I was particularly caught by two stalls.

The Crow Kitchen & Green Apron.

Being allergic to the outdoors otherwise known as a hay fever sufferer, I am currently making my way through all allergy products. In the mean time I’m trying a new one: eating local honey. Local honey is made by your friendly local bees – the important part being local. Hailing from the same pollen you’re reacting to, eating this honey may help alleviate your symptoms – in theory desensitising you to the pollen.

Either way the raw kentish honey from Green Aprons tastes awesome!

My second purchase is so yummy – honestly my reaction. Macarons can sometimes be a bit hit and miss but The Crow Kitchen have got their recipe bang on. Not only are they soft and a little bit chewy but they also come in some great flavours – blackcurrant with star anise anyone?

I went for the box of 9 to show off with when the boyfriend’s mother comes to visit on Sunday. 3 French Vanilla, 3 Chocolate and 3 Salted Caramel.

P.S. Don’t worry if you’ve missed this food festival – they are back again in September (9th-11th).


STYLE IT: Modern Luxe

Now I’m not a major fan of Valentines. I sit in the camp that thinks romantic gestures are lovely, often thoughtful and generally sweet – however the designated day thing kind ruins the spontaneity part of all that (which is my favourite part). I’m not super duper anti all hearts and kisses, nor am I ‘single and bitter’ – the nice party you get grouped into when you’re not all dough-eyed over ostentatious bunches of roses. Don’t get me wrong I would appreciate my bunch of roses as much as the next girl, but I would rather be spontaneous at a time when it’s not crazy expensive to be so!

So this year I decided (not great at that we thing) that we would still do something nice but being the almost-broke 20-somethings we could instead save any money set aside for presents, etc.

So now my V-Day view is clear I can get back to the important bit – what will I wear for dinner and a movie?

Saturday Night Dinner Date:

Modern Luxe


I am loving THIS navy dress from ASOS at the moment so any ideas to keep that looking new are fine by me! Layering jumpers works for work, switching up tights, boots, flats, heels – even a handbag change. But for an evening dinner I think a more luxe look works best for understated glamour.

What do you think of my outfit styling? Would you style it differently? Let me know in the comments section below or via any and all social media!

P.s. The movie date is on the Sunday so an off duty jeans & a tee combo will work… it is a Sunday after all! Check out my Weekend Casual post for more ideas on this look.

Let’s get baking – for Sport Relief

Let's get baking


I’m a firm believer in giving something back to society. Whether it’s your time, money or even just a warm smile. You never know what will help – you may even make someone’s day. So whether it’s helping your parents with the dishes, volunteering some spare time or baking for Sport Relief. Try and do something to help someone else this week!

One thing you can do is pop yourself down on the sofa (with a piece of cake – ’cause it’s bake off so it’s rude not to), tune into BBC1 @ 8.00pm Wednesday 17th February 2016, enjoy the general GBBO-ishness of The Great Sport Relief Bake Off and then donate.

Text ‘BAKE’ to 70005 or 70010 to donate £5 or £10 respectively.*

If you’re willing to do more…

From Friday 18th to Sunday 20th March, you can walk, swim or cycle yourselves proud!

Find out how you can get involved here

*Texts cost either £5 or £10 plus your standard network charge. 100% of your donation will go to Sport Relief. You must be 16 or over and please ask the bill payers permission. For full terms and conditions, more information or to donate online please go to bbc.co.uk/sportrelief

Catch up on previous episodes on BBC iPlayer

Black Tie Look: Vintage


Alicia’s Black Tie 21st
@ The Bell Inn, Ticehurst, East Sussex

Black tie is a great opportunity to get dressed up and do something a little different to your normal glam evening look.

With a spate of 21st recently, surprisingly this was the only black tie event. Of course, I was ready…

I spend each New Years with my nearest and dearest – we go all out. Black tie every time, dinner, dancing and a big celebration. So I had a choice of the previous years and the pieces saved for a special occasion.


Black tie may be flamboyant occasion, but you do need to consider the practicalities of your outfit. If it’s simply canapés and dinner, you need something that can deal with the inevitable food baby, while looking good both standing and sitting, for dancing you need your legs free and ‘sensible’ shoes, or for an occasion, such as an opening event or a show where there maybe a lot of standing around, those rare bread of a comfortable but show stopper shoe and an outfit that doesn’t necessarily still need to shine when sitting down (as there won’t be much of that!)

Once you have your occasion that’s when you can get creative – I have had this 80’s silk skirt for a couple of years now, but have never had quite the right weather or occasion for it. (It also needed a new clasp fitted and I am lazy!) However, this summer event bought a chance for the skirt and a little inspiration saw me change the clasp to a velvet bow for more texture and a focus for the back of the outfit.


I kept the rest of the outfit simple and classic, with nude parisian lace up Ghillie Sandals (£85, Office UK) and a black cami (£7.99, H&M). This  was then paired with simple, clean and classic jewellery pieces (sterling silver Dominic Walsmley London acorn necklace from my girls for my 21st, pearl studs & Dominic Walmsely London Bespoke sapphire and diamond sterling silver ring from my parents for my 21st, and a sterling sliver flower pandora ring) and a red envelope bag from ASOS.com.

I kept my make-up light and clean for a summer look. See my posts ‘The Kit‘ & ‘Summer Beauty Look _ 01‘ for more on what’s in my makeup bag this summer.

My friend G went simple and elegant in a lacy black midi drew, nude clutch and black ‘barely there’ strappy heels.

Celebrating 5 years: Mary Portas’ Living and Giving Shop for Save the Children

Thursday 4th June marked five years since Mary Portas’ successful opening of the first Living and Giving Shop in aid of Save the Children.

Mary Portas // Living and Giving // Save the Children // Five Years // 2015

Mary Portas // Living and Giving // Save the Children // Five Years // 2015

To mark the occasion Grazia and the Living and Giving Islington shop combined forces for a day of celebrations.

The Grazia takeover meant lots of fantastic vintage and designer items in store, with Mary Portas book signings, DJs, free beauty treatments and styling from the Grazia fashion team.

I headed up to London Town with one of my besties: GT. A nice chance for us to grab a glass of prosecco, donate to charity, celebrate a great achievement and have a good catch up!

What to wear?!

I went with what I have dubbed ‘Fashion/Casual’ for the occasion. A nod to the trends, while still being comfy.

The look: Burgundy cami from Dorothy Perkins, H&M Jeans, Monochrome kimono also from H&M, and a new purchase: My lovely Parisian Lace Up Ghillie Sandal, in nude suede (Office // £75.00).

What to shop?!

I am currently in the process of a rather dragged out, clear out in the build up to moving house. This means I’m trying not to shop. Sob. As this was a charity event I made an exception. Obviously! So I went with a beautiful chunky chain necklace which thriftily also works as a belt. Bonus.

What is living and giving for Save the children?!

There are now a total of 17 shops which have raised millions of pounds for the Save the Children. 100% of monies made in Mary’s Living & Giving shops go to Save the Children.

Find out more about Mary’s Living and Giving shops HERE or if you can volunteer some hours or donate some swag.

Save the Children is a charity who work across the world saving children’s lives. They help tackle emergency situations, such at natural disasters, also problems with education, child poverty, health and hunger, as well as child protection.

Lets get social

Twitter: @MarysLGShop_N1 // @savechildrenuk

Facebook: @maryslivingandgivingshop // @savechildrenuk