I can’t wait to show you what I got up to on my recent trip to the beautiful Swiss city of Geneva but before I let you in on all the best kept secrets, here’s what I wore on day two. Shot just around the corner from where I shot my last post, this stunning street in Geneva’s Old Town provided an incredible back drop to Carrie’s outfit (aren’t the flags beautiful?!) as well as an abundance of gigantic wooden doors and grand steps that made you feel you were in a castle.
I wrapped up my skirt and crop top combo in this cosy coat which will add a touch of back-to-school to any outfit. The super-soft fleecy lining might just be the main reason that I keep grabbing it in the morning. I could sleep in this baby.
What are you up to this weekend? What, no plans? Not to worry, I’ve got a London day out for you and I think you’re going to like it.
No.1 - It starts with burgers which is the only way I ever want to start a Saturday frankly. Bring me burgers in bed! (ok, not quite but by the time you’ve had a good lie-in, you’ll be just in time for lunch.) Make like me and get on yer bike (or a Boris will do) and cycle into the heart of London to The Old Crown pub where you can chomp a bespoke burger on a slab of cracked oak. The Ed Miliband burger anyone? Or how about the David Cameron?
After my mountainous meal, friends joined for catch ups and ginger ales, perfect. If you’re into a proper stacked burger with a brioche bun (erm, who isn’t?) then The Old Crown in Holborn is a place to add to your burger trail list!
No.2 - Lunch is followed by a jolly jaunt to an award-winning indie coffee shop. “Eww coffee” I hear the uncaffinated minority grumble. My dears, do give it a go as I did with a good quality mocha to ease you in. I’m still learning to love it too! We popped around the corner from The Old Crown to Wild & Wood coffee, voted one of the best in London where you can place your behind on lovely rustic church pews whilst nibbling pasties that look better than your Nans.
A Sing and Dance
No.3 - Fully fuelled on beans, amble into the west end to catch a matinee performance of a musical. A play I’d wanted to see for a while was Once which doesn’t bombard you with big cheesy ballads and crazed costumes. Don’t get my wrong, I love a big production but this is the perfect amount of sing-along-sass for a Saturday afternoon. I need to go and watch the film now to get another dimension on the plot but the musical certainly showed off a bunch of talented musicians and broadened my Irish vocabulary portfolio! Grab yourself some last minute tickets on Seatwave.
See the City
No.4 - Hey, guess what? It’s just light! (Just) Whilst still on a high-note high, pop into the old musical instrument shops around Cambridge Circus, even if just to gawp at the pretty, pretty guitars. SO pretty. Finish your afternoon with a cycle back through the back streets and see what you can spot. I discovered Woburn Walk near Euston – cute!
Mon Dieu! What a beautiful city Geneva is. The lake, the swans, the views of the French alps, the dramatic flags draping above footpaths, not to mention the deliciously pure air (I could go on) that all create a charmingly graceful city. And then of course the sun starts setting and I remember that Switzerland is most defs one of my favourite European countries. Everything looks even better through amber-tinted sunglasses right?! Remember when I visited Fribourg just half an hour north on the train? Take a look, you know you’re curious!
I’ll show you a sneak peek of the city with the Parc des Bastions, home to Europe’s longest bench don’t you know. Take that pub quiz. It’s a place to admire the old town far below you, take a drink in a cafe or kick about in the leaves next to the university.
I guess I must have been inspired by the nature of the trip (to discover the city with the help of a new Girls Guide to Geneva which you can pick up for free from the tourist board) so got dolled up in my most ladylike suitcase-friendly pieces. As I write this, I’m sat in this dramatic pink duster coat and fluffy snood and in Geneva I paired them with my latest love – a little flippy skirt. There’s lots more to come on Geneva so keep your notepad handy – you’ll be wanting to visit very soon!
Mention Red or Dead to me a year ago and I probably would have shrugged and mumbled something about a British 80s shoe brand for punks. I wasn’t too far off but after a visit to Red or Dead HQ, a crash course in their British heritage as well as scrolling through their newly launched website and I-want-everything new collection, I can see that they’re sooo much more than that.
I was very lucky to meet the team behind Red or Dead at their eclectic offices in North London, a place not too far away from where founders Wayne and Geraldine Hemmingway’s first stall in Camden Market in 1982. Creative Director Katie Greenyer is the most fascinating of all Creatives, chatting to me about her first job interning for Red or Dead where she meticulously hand cut motifs out of paper and photocopied them to make Red or Dead’s iconic prints like the Space Baby and Guru print. She went on to tell me that she cycles from South London to North every day, manages several other brands and even designed the HQ building from the swimming pool to the sofa furnishings!
Flicking through rails of pieces from the archive, I was excited to discover an impressive selection of skirts and tops that I would easily lust over in a shop today. 90′s pink mini skirt with applique sports balls stitched all over it? Soo 2014 varsity trend! (Come on Red or Dead, resurrect it from the archive!) Today the team have computers (bet they’re thankful for that!) but still work true to the brands heritage whilst designing some pretty exciting new pieces.
If you’re thinking of hosting a Halloween party next week then take a tick to look at my super easy party prep list! If you’re a champion faffer like me then this will ensure that you’re not spending all your night worrying about your costume or whether your nibbles menu has defaulted to 99% sugar content again.
Start by whipping up the fun decorations below then pop over to the Funkin’ Mixers blog to see the rest of my Halloween Party tips including easy food ideas and a nail art DIY that will stop you wanting to bite your nails when the bugs come out! But first, see just how easily you can create creepy cocktails and finally get some outfit ideas with my Halloween ensemble!
To make your cute pumpkin garland take some orange tissue paper and fold it length ways so that you have a long strip about 10cm in height. Concertina fold the strip to make a square shape being sure to use up all the paper equally. Set aside and make yourself a cute little template out of thick paper at the same width as the folded tissue paper.
Lay it on top and cut around the template being being sure to leave at least 1cm of uncut paper at the sides so that your evil-spirit-warding little mates can stay joined together in a line. Use a standing knife on a cutting mat for the eyes and then unravel your garland, voila!
Zombies, cats and witches (aka your guests) will soon be arriving so knock up a batch of 10 second cocktails so you can greet them with their poison as they walk through the door. Using Funkin’ mixtures, 100% natural mixers used in cocktail bars around the world, means you can simply fill a glass with ice, add your choice of spirit and Funkin’ cocktail mixer, stir and serve. Oh, and don’t forget to drop in some freaky sweeties to give your guests a Halloween surprise! You can grab yourselves a Halloween kit for extra ease, or here’s a recipe idea for you to get your creative juices flowing:
Funkin Ruined Daiquiri: 25ml gin, 25ml Campari, 100ml Funkin’ Strawberry Daiquiri. Shake all ingredients and pour over fresh ice and garnish with an orange peel. It’s as easy as ice in, spirit in, Funkin!
As for accessories, here’s where you can get your DIY on again! For an easy choker just cut a strip of fabric, lace or ribbon and thread on a charm (a moon or crucifix work best!) And knot it behind your neck. I couldn’t resist the intricate cobweb ring/bracelet but you could also go for an ear cuff or tiara too to complete your wicked good look. To find out how to recreate my Halloween nails, just pop over to the Funkin’ blog!