Ascot Hat

Bookshelf, Diary , 16 July 2014

Hats, Hair, London and Beyond…

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Isn’t it glorious out? This is the kind of sunshine that induces a sort of heady euphoria and makes the ordinary joyously fun. Not only has the weather in England been peachy, but I managed to escape to the Algarve prior to the sunny spell and am now feeling bodily and mentally renewed.

Swimming Pool in Portugal

Having been concerned prior to my holiday about the visual inadequacies of my body, I now feel sorry for the poor thing. I’m under no illusions as to it’s form (I could write a tedious list of flaws here but I’m sure you don’t need illustration…), but, having decided to focus on turning my eye outwards whilst on the beach, realised most people don’t look like Cindy Crawford when in two meagre pieces of lycra.


You might think I drew cheer from the realisation, but I instead found it quite saddening – bar a few wonderfully confident and unflappable of spirit (whilst being flappable of flab), most of those I observed on holiday seemed horribly self conscious. Turning this way to disguise this and edging nervously into the water does not a good holiday make. I’ve therefore decided to join the camp of women who forgo abstemiousness this summer and just have a jolly good time. Now where’s the Pimms?

Here’s what else I’ve been up to //

Lulu Frost

Joining… The ranks of Lulu Frost fans (Beyonce and the Palermo, as per usual, got there first). The NY-based brand fuses mixtures of vintage pieces in modern settings to make mouthwatering statement jewellery. The launch of the AW13 and SS14 at Matches No.23 hosted by Amanda Ferry was the anti-beach – a sea of beautifully clad and adorned women who, though not models, seemed to be at least a foot taller than I. The necklaces and earrings were displayed at eye-level though, so while I missed out on the conversation going on in the clouds, I got a good look. I liked what I saw.

Ascot Fashion

Donning… A hat, for Ascot. A wonderful opportunity to practise what I preach, I went big and channelled Eliza Doolittle in a monochrome affair. One must commit to the wearing of a hat, I learned. It involves a degree of amendments to ones walk and manner of eating – you cannot, for example, bow into your food in a hat. It will fall and there will be a food meets hat issue. During the day of keeping my head held high (the Queen, who was in attendance, would have been proud), I had a marvellous time. The bonhomie of the races is hard to resist and by the time her majesty’s horse won a race, we were all jolly merry (and my hat ever so slightly less straight on my head).

Catwalk by Tigi Relaunch
Applauding… The relaunch happening at Catwalk by TIGI. My hair (not to mention my nose), missed their Oatmeal and Honey shampoo something chronic. During the launch at Novikov – go if you haven’t been, the food is mouthwatering – I got the skinny on styling from the TIGI experts who said subtle tweaks are the easiest way to update hair. I have tried a low side parting today and, true to their promise, it all looks a little more modern. Should I be faced with amazonian women later, I am entirely confident that they would be bedazzled by the view from above.

Radical Skincare

Lugging… Boxes. Having moved house twice this year, you’d think I’d be a pro. Unfortunately, practice has not made a perfect mover out of me and it took some time to put together a semblance of a home. During the process I managed a record number of injuries (this place has a terrace – there is far more scope for the accident-prone to bang and scuff) and very little sleep. My skin’s relatively good shape is therefore entirely down to my beloved Radical’s Hydrating Cleanser and Antioxidant Serum. If only they made a hand cream…

Cocktails in London

Veering… Off the beaten track of my usual London haunts. In adventuring, I’ve discovered two gems: Purl London and Electric House (the private members club adjacent to the Electric Diner). The former is a wonderful underground bar in the mould of a speakeasy where drinks are delivered with a bang (quite literally in the case of the first cocktail I ordered in which a balloon covered in sugars was burst to disperse over the top of my drink). The latter is the perfect place to mooch should you have an afternoon to while away. I went for dinner and was mighty impressed by the atmosphere, not to mention the service from waiters who seemed to know every members’ name.

Victoria Hislop The Island

Reading… And reading and reading. I’ve cast my net wider and have tried to read books I’ve been recommended as well as those on my list. Victoria Hislop’s The Island and Helen Simonson’s Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand pleased me immensely while The Dice Man, in which a psychiatrist decides to make each and every decision based on the whim of cast dice, provided food for thought. Learning came courtesy of NV Perricone’s Forever Young. Those of you who read regularly will know I am a devotee of his product line and I can happily say his book did not disappoint. Espousing the all-encompassing route to healthy skin at any age, Perricone explains how lifestyle impacts the skin and how best to minimise damage. Having seen his skin, this is advice you want to take.

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