The London festival experience

GALA Brixton

As spring is firmly underway – or so we hope… c’mon, it’s still around 13°C most days here in London!– and daylight gets one extra minute each day, we get closer and closer to the wonderful stream of festivals that sweep across the UK. However, it seems like long gone are the weekends of mud, sweat and tears…

It seems that, as years have gone by, people are less interested in what some still love to call *the festival experience*. By that they mean camping for three/four days, often braving horrible weather conditions, large quantities of mud, bad toilet facilities, with little or no possibility of freshening up, let alone having a shower.

GALA Brixton

For someone who loves freshly washed hair (although I thank the Gods every day for dry shampoo!), clean and crisp clothing and the comfort of my own bed, this reads as my description of HELL.

I was never into this idea of ‘festival experience’, and I remember going to V Festival in 2006 and saying “oh my word, I cannot BELIEVE I’m home”. Don’t get me wrong, the festival was incredible! And it was even more so because in 55 minutes I was at my door, skipping happily to my warm shower.

I’m so glad to know that I’m not alone in this. The new festival experience involves VIP bracelets, a “sweat only if you want to” attitude, gourmet food trucks, drinks from independent producers and –the best of it all – a short tube/bus/Uber ride home.

LOVEBOX

It is no wonder that inner London festivals are becoming big players in the music scene. Field Day (Victoria Park), South West Four (Clapham Common), British Summer Time (Hyde Park), Wireless (Finsbury Park), Lovebox (Victoria Park) and GALA (Brixton) are some of the main festivals happening within London this spring and summer, taking advantage of the appeal of being at home after a long day (and sometimes night) of partying.

And let’s not forget that 2017 will be the first year where we’ll be able to use the night tube during summer! This is something I’m really looking forward to, in order to reduce my late night post-partying Uber addiction…

So, if you ever thought that you wanted to experience festivals but wouldn’t be happy applying your makeup in a muddy compact mirror, after cleansing your face with just a baby wipe for the third day straight… I HEAR YOU. Have a thorough look on all events happening within London and I’m sure you’ll find something that tickles your fancy – and with travelling time possibly shorter than your daily work commute!

written by Carol

Right, you know the drill… this is a bit of a PR post.

Bliss! It’s a Bathing Under the Sky pop-up

Bathing Under the Sky is made those amazingly lush red cedar outdoor spa wood fired bath tube that have been successfully gracing festivals for quite some time and I was really lucky to try back in 2015 at the Innocent Unplugged festival.

Now, why wait for a festival to enjoy this amazing experience? You don’t have to! Bathing Under the Sky now has an amazing pop-up at the Bourn Gold Club, near Cambridge.

In the next month or so you can book your ticket to experience the 40 degree bliss.

The combination of the hot water, the wood burning, the cold weather (and even the rain) is a relaxing and re-energising antidote to rushed modern life.

Apart from the baths, they also have the amazing barrel sauna on location, a bar, changing facilities and showers.

And while the weather was truly horrible, once you get in the bath, all the miserableness is magically wiped away and all is left is relaxation.

And the feeling you can never, ever actually leave the bath.

Each ticket gives you access to the site for 3 hours and of course, to the Swedish-style wood-fired hot tubs, the dry Finnish barrel sauna with cooling shower, one complimentary drink served to your hot tub, chill out area with deck chairs, fire-pitches and blankets, hair-dryers, straighteners and mirrors, one sarong style towel, showers with toiletries and lockers for valuables. Phew.

All that for £28 per person!

Also worth noting that this a lovely family business, grown around Cambridge where all members work hard to give you the best experience. Plus they are just so adorable!

I thoroughly recommend this experience. And fear not, if you miss the pop-up, I am sure you’ll be able to catch Bathing Under the Sky in a festival near you!

They will be at Bourn Golf & Leisure, Toft Rd, Cambridge CB23 2TT on the weekends of 11-12/25-26 March, 8-9 April, 29 April – 1st May and 13-14/27-29 May. More dates will be confirmed soon for the summer and they have another location, Fanhams Hall, Ware, Herts SG12 7PZ, in the pipeline!

To book, go to bathingunderthesky.com.

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains an experience offered by PR. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Dani’s Little Book of Fashion: You shall go to the ball

peggy-hartanto-dress-the-apartment-5What’s better than a fabulous little black number for a ball? Well, not much really.

I was lucky enough to wear the stunning Peggy Hartanto Aegean dress in black, kindly lent to me by The Apartment at London Fashion Week.

peggy-hartanto-dress-the-apartment-1And yes, I went to the fabulous China Ball at the stunning Natural History Museum. I was honoured to be dancing with Dippy, the Diplodocus, which will be retired from the grand hall at the end of this year.

peggy-hartanto-dress-the-apartment-6This dress has very classic lines; a full A-line skirt with some modern twists, like the deep neckline and tied at the waist, for extra definition. The quality and finish are superb!

peggy-hartanto-dress-the-apartment-3The satin fabric is heavy and thick, making it fall perfectly but also nipping in to the right places for a structured, clean silhouette.

Peggy Hartanto is an Indonesian designer who studied fashion in Australia and her beautiful collections are indeed based on clean lines, bold colours and innovative use of fabrics and construction.

I accessorised it with my Lulu Guinness black lips clutch, Christian Louboutin Pigalle Follies Python Mika, Christian Louboutin lipstick and plenty of gold accessories.

There was downside to wearing this gorgeous dress: I had to give it back the day after. Cry.

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Dani’s Little Book of Fashion: a, well, fashion affair

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Photo by @JoinComb for The Apartment

It’s early, I’ve had little sleep, I’ve been so tired I refused champagne. Yes. That. It must be fashion week.

Honestly, I don’t even do that much for it and it is rather tiring. On my day 1 (actually day 2), I was lucky to watch Rohmir frow with Crabtree & Evelyn.

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Photo by @JoinComb for The Apartment

They were an official Fashion Scout sponsor this season and created beautifully illustrated special edition packs of their fabulously classic hand creams to celebrate; I had a divine hand scrub and massage, which all Freemason’s Hall guests could have too!

Their #HandsOnFashion hashtag was all over!

Rohmir show was entitled my English Garden and, quite appropriately to Crabtree & Evelyn, had a its share of flowers! A pretty, flowy collection and very wearable. I could certainly do with some pieces.

I also visited the fabulous The Apartment, a space I am very lucky indeed to be invited to. The atmosphere is fantastic, Abi, the founder behind the concept is a joy to be around and she gets it beyond right every season.

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Photo by @JoinCOmb for The Apartment

This season’s star had to be the concept room, full of pink balloons. In love.

I had my hair done – a small side plait and some waves and a photo shoot with the amazing guys from Comb. As I mentioned, The Apartment has some fabulous partnerships every season!

I decided to go a bit girly-goth on Saturday. Cats seem to be a recurring LFW theme for me – this season it manifested itself with a Karl Lagerfeld tee, with Choupette illustrated by Tiffany Cooper.

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Photo by @JoinComb for The Apartment

Add my little Karl phone cover to it, a dinky cat necklace from Forever 21 and voilá: a theme is re-born.

I also threw my Karl Lagerfeld for Riachuelo jacket in for good measure (it’s London after all).

lfw-5This magnificently full voile skirt, bought from Amazon, was Primed over in 24h for a ridiculous £8.95.

Little dotty socks (I freaking love little socks) are from Primark, these chunky sandals from New Look have been with me forever, handbag is my beloved Chanel, of course, which completed its first birthday with me.

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Photo by @JoinComb for The Apartment

Nails were painted grey with Essie Now and Zen, lipstick is the fabulous Di La LA from MDMflow, a cleaner eye with fierce eyeliner and the pretty Eylure Rosie Bea Kitsch lashes.

I loved this look so much! And it worked with flats too, to run around, although I was lucky enough to be ferried around in style (and comfort) by Hyundai – another great Apartment partnership!

I also visited the Pandora lounge and they had Mii makeup, Nails Inc Paint Can nails and the most amazing Pandora treats vending machine!

Lookfantastic also has a fab lounge; when I went, I had a makeup refresh and a fab lip done by Lord & Berry and I also popped to the Perrier Jouët L’Eden in London, which is a gorgeous lounge and bio-responsive garden by Bompas and Parr, part of the London Design Festival (well worth checking their activities this week).

Perrier Jouet L'Eden

I mean, anywhere you can pick your pretty flute from a tree, I am totally in. Glam and gorgeous!

And that was just Saturday…

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Dani’s Little Book of Fashion: LFW, baby!

lfw_comb - 6This season was a weird one for me. With so much going on in my personal life, I decided to skip LFW AW16 altogether.

lfw_comb - 7I didn’t apply for accreditations, I didn’t request tickets, I didn’t RSVP to the ones I received. Life had been too crazy (and sad – which also justifies the lateness in posting this; I might or not write about it at some point) to fashion week.

I was just to ignore my FOMO and skip it altogether. Enter The Apartment and fabulous blogger Banké to change my mind.

lfw_comb - 3So I picked a day. Had the best time at The LFW Apartment, the brainchild of amazing Abisola (or AbiMarvel, as she is known online), the space if just fantastic. A haven for bloggers to hang out, rest, work and meet brands and other alike.

I can never thank them enough for having me – I got a wonderful blow dry by Mark Hill, stunning nails from Elegant Touch, discovered skincare brad Skin & Tonic London, the beautiful Caravelle NY watches, stationery wonderland kikki.K, got to know more of Urban Outfitter’s home products and was fed wonders from Aubaine, Sugartables London, Starbucks, Voss water, Zeo, Krispy Kreme and Take Eat Easy (which delivered amazing food!).

lfw_comb - 2And this time they have the great guys from Comb (a super cool photo search shopping app) taking lovely street style pictures of us – just book a session and, well, the result speaks for itself.

I took the cat theme (my beloved black Persian Thomas passed away recently, so that was my way of having him round) and ran with it.

The white cat collar shirt is from Miss Patina. I added a simple salopette dress from boohoo, tights from New Look, a cat-ear bowler hat from H&M, Christian Louboutin Pigalle shoes with a satin ribbon around the ankles and topped it off with my Chanel handbag.

Hair was worn down and blue “lipstick” is in fact GloRay eyeliner in Sky Breaker. Nails from Elegant Touch (Hall of Mirrors, the prettiest thing EVER).

lfw_comb - 1For walking around, I wore my trusty Zara boy-ish shoes. I dread the day they are no longer suitable to wear!

Next season I will put all the effort into it. I hope! Until September!

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Fall for Specsavers new addition: Love Moschino

I love my Specs. Many a times I said I grew into loving them, now I see tem as a fashion accessory.

My glasses choices vary every day. Some days, I pick a sharp cat-eye to look fierce. Other times, big thick black frames to look smarter or square frames to look more serious.

When I heard about the latest designer collection at Specsavers, my heart skipped a beat. That’s Moschino for a very affordable £125, and even better, on the 2-for-1.

The Love Moschino collection, exclusive for Specsavers, counts with 12 super wearable frames for prescription, for all occasions, and 3 prescription sunglasses, but with that cute and irreverent Moschino twist.

There are little heart prints, polka dots, tasteful jewels and lettering. They are just the right mix of cool and elegant.

My favourite has to be the cat-eye: black frames with a jewelled detail on the arms.

A close second is this gorgeous larger oval-shaped frames with adorable heart on the outside and polka dots on the inside of the legs. There you have it, my 2 for £125.

I could, however, also do with this gorgeous plum number and the fabulous white-framed prescription sunglasses.

Choosing is a hard task, especially when I tried them all at the amazing Light of Soho which, incidentally, had their art exhibition themed about love.

Impossible not to feel enamoured!

Best thing? You can get hold of yours now! Browse the oh-so-adorable Love Moschino collection on the Specsavers website and pop to a store for an eye test and quirky new specs! The hard party? Pick only 2!

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#BloggersBelowZero at the ICEBAR London

icebar_rocks_barOh, how fun it is to be a blogger…. even below zero!

Well, it was indeed! I was very lucky to be invited by the lovely Lauren from Blonde Vision (who is an event organiser extraordinaire!) to attend an event at the ICEBAR London.

icebar_rocks_rock_girlI had been before, many years ago, so thought I knew it was going to be the same. What I didn’t know is that they change their theme every year.

For 2016, it’s something close to my heart: rock ‘n’ roll. Oh yeah. Think skulls, bleeding hearts and hot rock chicks.

img_7589My favourite bit is, doubtless, the huge skull, which weighs 1 tonne and you can get inside! Huge photo opportunity, right there.

All 40 tonnes of ice, sustainably sourced, come from Sweden, from the same river the famous Ice hotel is built from.

In fact, the same creative team working on the hotel makes the London ice bar! And they are already working on the ext theme, launching September 2016 (maybe for my birthday? Just saying…)

29th JulyThere are extremely detailed – and ambitious – sculptures.  Just check the original artwork from Joey Hifi and spot the hidden references, including Bowie, on the rock singer tattoos.

The walls also have a lot of detail this time, including over 260 hand carved studs.

You can get all the info on the work on the video below – it’s fascinating.

And why not see it being destroyed to give way to the new one? It takes seven days to remove and build a new one!!! Chainsaws at hand!

By the way, I am totally free at the end of August, if you need a hand at operation DESTROY!

And the ICEBAR London is an experience that will not cost you an arm and a leg (and within your allocated slot you shall not lose them to frostbite!).

BloggersbelowzeroRDA-111From only £13.50 or £16.50, you get 40 minutes at -5 degrees and a delicious cocktail (bigger than it looks!) inside an ice glass. Cool, eh?

Also, they have great events packages well worth checking! For all info, check the ICEBAR London website or call

A huge thank you to Lauren for organising and the ICEBAR London team for being so welcoming, lovely and helpful.

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This post was written based on a PR experience. Opinions are my own.

Stepping into another era in Camden, with Collectif Vintage Clothing

100 dresses. No, it is not number I go through every morning before deciding what to wear, silly. It is the number of Collectif dresses donned by lovely ladies at the Collectif Big Camden Party, which lived up to its “night of style, sass and swing” tagline wonderfully.

Choosing from seven beautiful Collectif vintage inspired dresses, we were treated to a fabulous retro hair do as well as a few glasses of prosecco and an unlimited amount of fun at the Collectif shop at Stables Market, in the heart of Camden Town.

I am a huge vintage inspired clothing fan. I don’t make it a lifestyle and don’t really stick to an era, but I pepper it around my own style; and the 50s are by far favourite time.

I love pencil skirts, cinched waists and I think that’s the best shape for my body; I feel comfortable and of course, pretty!

After squeezing myself into the gorgeous Yvonne Hanna Check Trim pencil dress and with my head suitably adorned with Victory rolls (by Lucy’s Vintage Hair) we moved on to Solomon’s Yard for the party.

And what a party it was. We were promised live bands, DJs, burlesque, magic, hoola hooping and Unicorns (yes, UNICORNS) ad boy, did they deliver that and more.

Welcomed by a vintage car and motorbikes, the stage was always filled with the most amazing acts: the Victory Sisters, an impeccable wartime vocal trio wearing pretty Collectif Maria Woodland Bloom Swing dresses.

There was beyond sassy burlesque from stunners The Folly Mixtures, with two cute and sexy acts, music spanning the eras between performances, courtesy of DJ Gem Precious and Diana Thompson.

Fabulous in orange drag queen Meth killed the comedy lip-syncing and got us all singing and laughing, and I even got some bonus spanking from the hilarious Levitating Elvis, with his boxing glove hair, an act so weird that is wonderful.

I do have to single out the not only gorgeous but super talented The Tootsie Rollers.

All five of them wore sultry siren Ingrid Fishtail evening dresses and left me smiling throughout the whole performance of pop sons with a swing twist. Extraordinary.

Finally, the unicorns. They came all the way from The Fabulus of Unicorns, a group of horn wearing, glitter-spreading people whose sole purpose is to disseminate love and happiness among humans. I mean, I just felt so happy around them that it’s not even funny.

I was of course, “kissed” by a unicorn and can still find glitter all over my house.

And there was dancing. Laughing. Such a fabulous atmosphere, fantastic happy people, all supporting a great brand with glamour that keeps giving.

My dress (and all the others I tried – sorry guys, you were fabulous and so kind trying to accommodate me) has an excellent finish and detailing, amazing cut, fits well and made me feel a million dollars.

All their clothes are amazing, the designs are obviously, vintage inspired, but very wearable. I have my eyes on a few little numbers, I tell you!

You can browse the beautiful Collectif Vintage Clothing collection on their website, I highly recommend it.

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Three at the Roundhouse – a night of music

three_at_the_roundhouse_somanylovelythings - 6I cheated. On my iPhone with a Samsung Galaxy S6. Admittedly, it was a one night stand and I have to say  the performance impressed me.

Especially the camera quality, the beauty mode (hello, pretty) and various other options. Cool.

Three UK, rated by YouGov the most reliable network presented us their  recently launched their 4G SuperVoice which has a better coverage – even in the depths of Roundhouse –  and allows us to make call via 4G.

Using a complete different handset was easier than I thought; the network didn’t fail me and I manage to social network away!

Three took me for an exclusive tour of the iconic music venue Roundhouse, in Camden, London, to find out more about their great work with young creatives, who can use the studios in the Paul Hamlyn Roundhouse studios to develop their talents, be it music, TV, radio, performing arts and much more.

Young artists can join courses, programmes or hire studios and equipment for very affordable fees.

If you are between 17 and 25, and want to develop your talents, get in touch with Roundhouse to check out their offer, they have a fab support system to help you thrive!

Three partnered up with the Joe Strummer Foundation for this event. We visited the Strummerville studio, which has some original Joe Stummer lyrics on the wall and also heard about the foundation charitable work and were invited to The Monarch for an intimate performance by two of their recently signed artist: Lyza Jane and Bless.

Lyza Jane is singer, songwriter and producer, but also a lovely bright little thing with the kind of singing voice I like: soft, almost raspy, lingering and striking. She sings from emotions, has supported Alabama 3 and has been going solo for about three years.

She also performed in Glasto at the Rabbit Hole a few times! Definitely one to watch out.

You can catch her on YouTube and Soundcloud. She also has a cute and sassy clothing range, Pantsu & Pantsu which has tees and knickers, mainly, with embroidery and pom-poms. worth checking!

The other act was a band, Bless, which has a heavier sound and I caught myself dancing(ish) along to.

The guys are great fun, we had a fab chat; it is amazing to talk about what inspires their creations, the process in a group and the sudden suggestion of shots!

They all know each other from a long time, were in different bands before and decided to do music together in January.

They’ve been touring France and will have their first London gig on the 11 December at the Monarch.  You can check out their site for dates.

Overall, a great night! Thanks Three UK for having me and for the AMAZING furry hand selfie stick I came home with.

If you want to know more about Three UK, check out their site for all available handsets and options.

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