When it comes to festival outfits, as much as I love the “classic festival look”, there is a risk that you can end up looking like everyone else. At festivals across the UK I expect we will see hordes of girls floating across the fields in a tied and tested uniform of denim shorts, hunter wellies and kimonos. The other weekend we were lucky enough to go to Live at Leeds, a city festival in Yorkshire. Whilst it was sunny, it was quite chilly and therefore there wasn’t much call for denim shorts, yet, for me this presented the perfect opportunity to try a different style of festival look.
Just a bit on the festival itself, for anyone who is UK based- Live at Leeds ..well what a peach of a day! We started at midday at the O2 Academy, an intimate venue in the city to watch the Mystery Jets, who definitely delivered. They rocked out to a medley of bouncing hits like “Two Doors Down” which had us all singing along loudly, along with the new belter that is “Bubblegum.” Welcome back boys!. If like me you enjoy getting nostalgic and like to musically revisit your *ahem* slightly younger years once in a while, you can remind yourself of some classic indie anthems here
Following this, we made our way to watch Kudu Blue at Nation of Shopkeepers, who performed a rather wonderful version of Shaun Paul’s Breathe (Somebody just try and stop me trying to twerk.. No please why didn’t somebody stop me?)
Anyway enough of the music, what about the clothes you say! Here’s my top finds for doing 70’s glam at a festival.
1. Vintage sunglasses and boho jewellery
Looking for THE perfect festival jewellery, with a touch of bohemian grunge? Look no further that Shop Dixi. I wore this pretty silver Showdown Blue Opal choker which was kindly gifted along with my everyday turquoise earrings. I love this brand sooo much, they do an awesome mandala ring which I have my beady eye on, as well as loads of pretty silver pieces with enough moonstone gems and silvery lengths for you to layer up, like a foxy thing and dance around in til midnight.
As it was a sunny day we donned our sunnies for a cheeky sunglasses selfie. Derek “borrowed” the bloceyewear glasses I was gifted for the day (Well they did much better on him than me). They looked great with his retro fur collar leather jacket, and were actually a very good substitute for his usual Ray Bans, In fact you could hardly tell them apart they are a fraction of the price! I opted for my trusty John Lennon style rounds as they suited this style of outfit. However when I need a new pair I will be snapping up these very retro look round Bloc Eyewear Paris glasses. Very retro!
2. Electric Blue Velvet Dress- Grandma Eileens Vintage
Mixing fabrics Is my favourite part of retro styling. Velvet is warm for one, so totally appropriate for UK (we’re not in Coachella ya know!) But for me velvet, along with paisley and retro bold patterns epitomises 70s style but also adds a touch of luxe to any 70s glam outfit. I wore this electric blue vintage dress circa from the (now fallen) BHS. Perhaps if they dared to do styles like this in recent times they may have survived? Like M&S and their new retro Alexa collection, being innovated on the fashion front isn’t just about an effective online presence. Alas they insisted on sticking with old lady-play-it-safe shift dresses and nightwear. *Where will we buy cheap pyjamas from now* cries the nation.. Still pretty sad though it has gone… but then I do love a good old British institution.
I purchased this dress from the wonderful, fellow Yorkshire Blogger Laura, who runs GrandmaEileens vintage online. Now there are many vintage shops online but Laura’s stands out a mile- good value, great selection and a good bit of content thrown in for good measure!
3. Gold ankle boots – Irregular Choice
I wore some gold ankle boots from irregular choice purchased a few years ago. Gold boots really ramp up the 70s glam factor. Usually heels are a definite no go, the last thing you want to do is go wondering round a a field in 6 inch heels, but as we were in the city with the different music venues so close together, it didn’t matter so much. Besides no pain no gain right?
I’d love to know what festival looks you’re going for? And whatever festival you go to this year have a peachy time! Peace xx
Celebrating its 10-year anniversary, the award winning Live At Leeds is back on the 30th April and Derek and I are lucky enough to be heading along, as part of The Blogger Programme.
Having played host to the likes of Bastille, Bombay Bicycle Club, Rudimental and The Vaccines over the years, each year Live At Leeds provides a snapshot of everything that is cutting edge in music right now.
I am a BIG 60s and 70s music fan (The Stones, Fleetwood Mac.. Bluesy rock is my thing) However, I do really enjoy discovering new music acts too.
Over the years I have gone to many of the big festivals. Doing the hippy trail at Glastonbury, in something floaty and flowery, will be very different to this inner city fest. The bands performing here are set to take over a multitude of venues across the city; a far cry from the rolling fields of the established venues but we are really excited to see what it has to offer and how it compares!
Topping the bill is chart fave Jess Glynne, along with many more. Some I have heard of some are new but actually, I am most looking forward to getting re- aquainted with some indie acts from the early 2000s!
So fill your cup with cider, pull on your skinny jeans and get ready to jump up and down like you are 18 years old again. Here’s my top 3 indie bands to look out for if you are heading to Live at Leeds.
Mystery Jets –The uplifting single Bubblegum is currently doing the rounds on the airwaves, but this lot are known for a host of classic anthems such as Two Doors Down. Bubblegum
We Are Scientists –New York City-based indie rock band were big in the early 2000s then disappeared along with the rest in recent years, in what became known as “indie Armageddon”. It’s good to see them back doing the rounds. Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt was a particularly catchy tune back in the day! Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt
Band of Skulls – Brining their signature brand of raucous rock to proceedings. The hit “The Devil Takes Care of His Own” is definitely worth a listen. The Devil Takes Care of His Own
PLUS: WIN TICKETS TO LIVE AT LEEDS FESTIVAL
The Blogger Programme is offering 10 chances to win a pair of tickets to Live at Leeds
What is Bordeaux known for? Wine? Culture? I recently came back from a 3 day break in Bordeaux, and was pleasantly surprised to discover it’s fast becoming a paradise for vintage lovers of a different kind.
Here’s a short guide to the best spots for vintage lovers and bargain hunters as well as some of the treasures I found along the way
Flea Market St-Michael
One of the better flea markets, is in the St-Michel district; a cool, bohemian area with a lively student vibe.
The flea market was one of my highlights, but there is an element of car boot sale to it. Yet, instead of your local playing field, it’s situated around a gothic church in a picturesque market square, surrounded by brasseries, where chic French women sit, cig in hand and sunglasses poised.
Search and you will find those gems. I managed to bag Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours for 8 Euros and four fringed vintage lace curtains for 6 Euros. They will make THE perfect finishing touch to the long window in our flat once washed, covering the modern metal blind a treat!
Where: Place Duburg When: Every day, from 7 am to 4 pm, except Saturdays and Mondays
Le passage St-Michael
Next up is real Aladdin’s cave of treasures and bri- a – brac, housed in an old banana warehouse. Here, you can find anything from mirrors, dresses and old record players to 6ft framed music posters. Many vendors do shipping now so you don’t have to worry if you find something you like. I was rather taken by this fur stole… but could never bring myself to wear real fur, so the little fella stayed put and we settled for a rather more ethical 20s, painted mirror.
Where: 14 place Canteloup When: Open daily, noon-6pm or later
Steack and Fripes
Tucked away down one of the side streets is this little gem. And just like the vintage shops in the UK, retro lovers can discover rows upon rows of genuine 60s, 70s and 80s clothing, all at affordable prices. I found a floral shirt. It’s long enough to wear as a jacket and I think it clashed with my psychedelic print scarf fabulously.
Where: 62 Rue du Mirail, 33800 Bordeaux
Le Centre Ville
Don’t be fooled by this shop front masquerading as a small newsagent -inside it’s something else. Upon setting inside you will feel like you are in vintage Narnia; turquoise and silver antique jewellery, coats, hats bags and scarves are stacked high and hanging low. I found this amazing scarf. But be warned, unlike the markets this is not the place for bartering, the owner, was having none of my advances. But this peach was too good to pass so I parted with cash happily. Sometimes you just have to give in!
Where 26 rue du Parlement Sainte Catherine, Bordeaux
The best of the rest
France is of course not short of good cafes. With its bamboo bar, and the most delicious chai lattes, Le Tchai Bar is ideal for when you want to escape for 20 minutes. As well as chai they serve a selection of hot drinks from around the world including Mexican hot milk and Lassi and yummy healthy snacks. Stick around long enough and you may be lucky to see some live music.
Where: 49 Rue du Mirail, 33000 Bordeaux
Photo courtesy of Tchai Bar Facebook, Jérôme Victoire
One of the best things about Bordeaux is still very heavily influenced by Moroccan and African culture. You can find bright colours and ethnic threads down many a street. We popped into Cabane Indigo where they sold imported ethnic home-wears, I bought a couple of bracelets including some Mali bracelet from made from recycled flip flops!
For more questions answered as you travel, get in touch with @visitbordeaux on twitter.
Where would you go if you wanted a real taste of Yorkshire in Leeds? Visit the market or perhaps drive out to a farm shop? Leeds city centre eateries are diverse and plentiful. As our palettes get more experimental, more and more interesting placed pop up, from Indian street food to Thai, we have it all. Yet, when it comes to locally sourced, comfort food we are somewhat limited.
Wapentake isn’t a new sushi bar, is Leeds new, deli, bakery and bar and prides itself on being as Yorkshire as the whopping great yorkie puddings it serves.
“Wapentake” literally means – “A subdivision of certain Northern Counties” and according the writing next to the bar the word itself is “Derived from an assembly or meeting place, usually at a crossroads or river where literally ones presence or a vote was taken by a show of weapons”.
Ok, history lesson over. What makes Wapentake a must visit, is that it is big on supporting independent suppliers and brewers. The menu isn’t extensive but what they do serve is quality, tasty, local and superb value for money. There’s something rather satisfying about knowing your food is fresh and hasn’t travelled a long way to get to your plate and when it tastes good too- you’re onto a winner.
On our visit I opted for a spin on the classic, a juicy cheese burger accompanied by a rustic roll, chunky wedges and crisp side salad. Sunday lunches are on the menu too, perfect for those lazy Sundays when you don’t want to get out the roasting tray. If you want something lighter you can try two yorkies and gravy, or something simple like pate or poached eggs on toast.
The team even bake their own bread, we tried their own chilli loaf- highly recommended!
The decor is relaxed yet tasteful and artfully undone, slate grey, calming cream and olive greens give it a warm and homely feel, whilst quirky miss-matched touches, including a reading spot, have created a little vintage haven just off the high street.
For the musically gifted (or even the not so much) there is a piano just asking to be played on the first floor.. Just as long as the other diners don’t mind. I passed the opportunity by- I don’t think anyone wants to hear my rendition of three blind mice!
Derek and I often walk down Kirkgate on our way home from the centre, and were saddened hear about the fire a few months ago. But with Wapektake and Fred Aldos the craft store just round the corner perhaps this is the start for what is a long overdue regeneration of this part of Leeds. Here’s hoping.
Address: 92 Kirkgate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7DJ.
Here is my finished painting of Keith Richards. There are few things that make me happier than splashing paint around on a giant canvas. With a paintbrush in hand I am restricted by nothing other than my imagination. I wanted Keith to have a head scarf and scarf and a turquoise background and that is what he has. (I have just finished a cosmic, Bob Marley; draped in tie dye colours and surrounded by moons- up soon).
Keith’s wit and wisdom never fails to inspire me, he is man who has lived a life on the edge and blessed with a career that has allowed him a level of freedom of expression that us mere mortals could only dream of. I am a huge stones fan anyway- and adore the 60s and 70s, I mean- what a time have been alive! I went to see them in concert in 2008 and feel so privileged I got the chance to do so. This is my tribute to the great man. A 5 foot canvas that takes pride of place in our font room. Well…why not?
Education and creativity
I can’t get no satisfaction ‘Cause I try and I try and I try and I try
On finishing my paining, I felt in a reflective mood.
In school we are told are all told we should be a certain way, become a certain someone. This could only be achieved by maintaining a focus on science and mathematics. And so, uninspired by my art class, and a teacher who did nothing to cultivate creative energies, I gave up painting soon after my A levels.
It is a shame that subjects like art, drama and perhaps even music itself are seen as secondary to the academic subjects. By pursuing them students are restricting their career choices, and sadly this means many students end up in a career that doesn’t make the most of their natural abilities. This is part of a bigger debate, but If creativity is the key to education why don’t schools really embed it? I am so pleased I have re- discovered my painting, but makes me sad I lost out on years of joy from it. For the record I am happy in my career choice and see painting as a hobby, but I often think – what if my education had squeezed the urge to create out of me for good?
Spend more time doing what you love
A painter’s got a canvas. The writer’s got reams of empty paper. A musician has silence.- Keith Richards
Regardless of whether you like to pick up a paintbrush or not, I am a firm believer that creativity lies in everyone and we should encourage ourselves in our own way to break free of our own creative ruts.
This may be by finding inspiration in everyday things, following fashion, starting a blog, crafting, writing or music, find an outlet where you can be you channel your thoughts and visions, without restriction. Because one day you might look back and wonder- I wish I had spend more time doing what I love.
This Christmas the pom pom has been described as “the sartorial equivalent of a Christmas bauble & the undisputed fashion smash of Christmas 2015”
Bargain retailers BonPrix have nailed the pom pom trend with this knitted winter hat.
Being a bit of a hat lover I jumped at the chance to add to my ever expanding collection, especially as the old fedora doesn’t really keep me that warm when it really gets cold. This is the first time I have worn anything from Bon Prix before and I was pleasantly surprised to find they have a stunning range of cosy knitted hats that are importantly great quality and affordable in price (Who in their right mind wants to pay over the odds for a woolly hat!)
Cara Delevingne likes a pom pom – do you?
You can win this little beauty by dropping a comment on this post that says why you want to win the hat.
Or -I will also be running it on Twitter all you have to do is RT to win, follow @BonPrixUK on Twitter and use the hashtag #bonprixadvent! Find the link here
If Marianne Faithful and Mick Jagger lived in Yorkshire this would be where they would shop.
Chinese Laundry is a brand new vintage shop in York city centre. Walking down the high street it was the shop front itself that caught my eye –by the looks of it; it is it’s in an old Tudor building.
I was on my way to what I like to call charity shop alley on Goodram Gate and I did a sharp double take… what’s this… a new shop.. This looks interesting,. and it was. Stepping inside, the interior was all low beams, glowing Chinese lanterns and psychedelic art.
Shoppers could browse the rails of colourful prints whilst listening to some rockin’ 70s music. Chinese Laundry I would say is one of the best small vintage shops I have seen in a while.
It has a fabulous selection of vintage clothing from fur coats, genuine pieces and vintage replica items from Pop boutique over in Leeds and all at very reasonable prices, perfect for retro and bargain hunters alike.
They have only been there since 27th November and talking to the owner they seem to be doing well so far. Perfect for a last minute Xmas party outfit with a difference. I got my jumpsuit (below) from there – I think it might just be my new favourite little black outfit!
Find Chinese Laundry at number 51 Goodramgate. Even if you don’t live in Yorkshire like their facebook page for some daily inspiration.
This is the only jumpsuit you will ever need
Forget the little black dress it’s all about the little black Jumpsuit. Google jumpsuits and up celebs looking like one of the following- A giant baby, A mechanic or, Ziggy Stardust (This one is not a bad thing may I add).
The jumpsuit/ playsuit can be bit of a style danger zone. It can easily be unflattering if you get it wrong yet, pick the right style and can be a fantastic alternative to a dress for the Christmas party season or daytime look.
The pinafore style is the most flattering and versatile of playsuit styles. Loose in design with, no volume in the wrong place you get with other styles which can be a nightmare if you are a bit bottom heavy like me! Can’t go wrong with this one.
We are at the end of Autumn. It’s a time when the winter chill really starts to set in and the nights get darker. I love this time of year, the cold evenings are perfect for Hot choc with Baileys or whiskey, the falling leaves tumbling like confetti in golden colours, Christmas lights and open fires, are glorious reminders that Christmas is just around the corner. Plus it’s a perfect excuse to get some cosy new winter clothes.
Out and about in Yorkshire visiting Castle Howard we were in the open countryside. Great, I thought, some fresh air away from the city. But it’s November and the UK, I should have known better. I set off sporting a vintage St Michael coat with some bright Aztec trousers (just because it’s dark doesn’t mean you have to wear black right?) It soon dawned on me as I pulled up in collar in a bid to keep warm in the cold, that this simple coat was not going to suffice. It’s time to bring out the big guns. Time to swap the camel for the sheep.
Everyone needs a warm sheepskin in the winter and mine came from the most unexpected of places. Imagine my joy when the original Queen of vintage, my Grandma, donated this original 70s sheepskin the other month.
Now in her 90s this is a woman who still has a razor sharp wit, rocks a glittery nail polish and has a pink mobile phone (though she did answer it upside down last time I visited) clearly she knows a thing or two.
I thought the depths of her closet would only be home to some lavender skirts and reams of chiffon but it proved to be a real treasure trove. She even had this great crochet blanket that will have pride of place on our chesterfield sofa. I am a big fan of thrifting and recycling clothing so this was PERFECT, plus it means I will always have a piece of her with me as I go along my travels.
So if you love granny chic, get some original. Next time you visit your nan, have a rummage in her wardrobe you never know what you might find. There’s bound to be some vintage gems just waiting to be discovered; bags, scarves, blouses, floral fancies and possibly a sheepskin coat or two.
Most seasoned travellers will have heard of AirB&B, but I am still surprised that some of the people I speak to haven’t hear d of it. Here’s how they describe it on the website:
“Whether a flat for a night, a castle for a week, or a villa for a month, Airbnb connects people to unique travel experiences, at any price point, in more than 34,000 cities and 190 countries.”
In short opens up an array of opportunities above and beyond the usual hotels and hostels you find on travel websites and if you haven’t given it a go, here’s our review to help you decide if it is for you.
Firstly downloaded the smarphone app. This makes creating wishlists, communicating with hosts and booking super easy.
I spent hours browsing. My wish list now includes a gypsy caravans in the Alps, a room in a tower in Florence and a tree top retreat somewhere unpronounceable.
We picked Lake Garda. Clearly a beautiful location but more so, this is a place we felt we could get away from it all. Our location – “San Gaudenzio” in Garagnano. Our reason – well, apart from the stunning photos on their listing, it was the many positive reviews from previous holiday makers.
We were not disappointed- our stay with this wonderful couple was simply perfect.
If you’re looking for a peaceful retreat, off the beaten track – this is for you. The view from the balcony was breathtaking in the day, and at night we enjoyed a glass of wine, (or three!) listening to music looking up at the stars- what a way to spend an evening in!
Our hosts were so kind and made us immediately feel welcome -nothing was too much trouble from making us a morning coffee in their (huge) olive garden to sharing advice to help us find the best spots to visit in our short stay.
They were happy to leave us to our privacy but when we needed them they were around and even dropped us off in the car as there were only a few buses that ran to and from the town.
The apartment was decorated with pretty vintage touches, right up my street, which made it really personal but as it was a separate area we didn’t feel like we were literally staying in someone else’s house.
Gargnano has its own stony “beach” by the lake so we had two days of pure relaxation where we did nothing but laze on the beach and look at the lake on the mountainseide. When it was time to explore we went to Venice but Verona is also only about an hour away.
One of the best places we visited was Malcesine, in the pic below- here we took a cable car to the top of Monte Blaldo the views were insane! I felt like I was ontop of the world.
Always read the reviews. Its not always easy to leave someone you have stayed with something that is anything less than more or less positive but if they are overwhelmingly positive (like where we stayed) you can’t go too far wrong
Sorry for starting the obvious but a good gauge in how your hosts will be is how they responds to your messages.
It’s not a real b&b or a hotel so treat it as it is, someone’s home and have the expectations to match (ie they aren’t a hotel owner) so your expectations match .
“The weekend is upon us we should all take the time to do the things we love with family and friends” someone wise once said.
You may have noticed that street food is having a bit of a moment. But this fast food is not a new thing; far from it. It seems to date back to ancient times when poor people visited the marketplace, soups, pitta breads and meats.
How funny that something once looked down upon is now something we desire? It’s a funny old world isn’t it.
In my home town of Leeds it’s a common sight to walk past a pop up shop or marketplace filled with street food stalls from different nationalities, creating a theatre of flavours that are hard to resist.
When you think about it, street food has all the ingredients of a perfect weekend moment, why- because its cheap, tasty and great fun!
5 reasons to enjoy street food this weekend
Great Value – At around £5 a dish, street food is convenient and good value meaning more money to spend on other things
Relaxed environment – The scene is so popular it seems to have evolved, from the streets to the food halls and canteens. All this makes for a no pressure, non pretentious environment that’s perfect for a weekend meet up. Of course you can still gather in a marketplace for a more authentic experience. StreetFood.org.uk has kindly gathered together a list of popular UK Street food to make finding a market near you easier.
Small delights. As with life it’s the little things that count. Street food often comes in little pots so you don’t have to choose just one dish, you can have 3 or 6 or however many you like. We all know new and exciting experiences make life more interesting after all.
Mango beer. Many of the street food vendors sell craft beer. Would it be wrong to say the perfect weekend moment needs alcohol? No? I agree. Look out for the mango beer, this stuff is like nectar. Hunt it out and enjoy, you haven’t tasted anything like it.
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Bundobust In Leeds Yorkshire Bloggers Lunch Meet – May
Bundobust in Leeds serves scrummy Indian vegetarian dishes from the comfort of their quirky colourful canteen. It is a collaboration between Prashad restaurant and The Sparrow Bier Cafe. After the success of sold out events, the team made Leeds Mill Hill their permanent home.
It’s the perfect venue for meeting friends, and wile away some serious hours chatting. Which is exactly why I arranged the May Yorkshire Bloggers Lunch Meet there.
The food was fantastic. My faves are Vada Pav a spicy mash potato burger and the black lentil curry all served in manageable pots (I’d recommend 3 dishes) Plus the Okre fries are so tasty. Okre is super high in fibre and vitamins. Bonus!
We all tucked in, there was barely a word was spoken the food was so tasty (that rarely happens on our lunch meets) As usual it was great to meet some new faces and once again see some familiar ones all becoming friends. And this is the very reason I started to arrange the meet ups in the first place! If you are from Yorkshire and want to join us for the next one drop me a tweet or email.