A few surprises in Soho, London

The best thing about London is that you can never really say that you’ve seen it all, even if you’ve spent your whole life exploring the city. London provides a blank canvas as each sun rises and a new day dawns. You never know what awaits around the next corner, and so I’ve written all about my latest excursion and a few surprises in Soho, London.

My favourite hotel in Soho has to be the Ham Yard Hotel, where I’ve attended many movie screenings and had some great times. It’s just a few streets down from Carnaby which is where my journey started last weekend.

The lights made the dullest of days seem bright and happy, and I was on my way to enjoy a hot chocolate at a favourite spot. But when I got there, I discovered the cafe had closed and in its place stood a sign that read ‘Choose Love’. My intrigue led me into the room once filled with chocolate, replaced by a pop up charity organisation to help refugees. I learnt so much by hearing the volunteers talk about the charity, and how they are supported by celebrities and artists around the globe.

My next stop was to the timeless location- Liberty London. I just love seeing their changing displays, perhaps even more than Selfridges!

I discovered a Christmas Market, yet another surprise from Soho, London. A lot of the stalls were local artists offering their free tools and time to help bring the community together and spread some Christmas love.

I made an apple Christmas decoration using glitter spray and stencilling while I waited to meet friends somewhere I’d been wanting to go for ages.

Here’s Leggero, a completely gluten free restaurant in the Soho area. I couldn’t wait to have some freshly made, gluten free tagliatelle.

Last stop on my wayward yet thrilling journey was to my favourite place in London- Leicester Square. This really is my go-to place for entertainment, premieres and fun, and right now the Christmas Market is on. Call me prematurely festive doing two Xmas markets in one day, but seeing as I stumbled across the first, it’s ok!

Beautiful stalls ranging from hot food, handmade decorations to glittery stocking fillers, I couldn’t wait to get a lovely personalised ornament for our family this year.

The rain broke just in time to get that all important outfit shot, then it was time to head home to put my feet up.

I had a relaxing hour train ride back to my car thanks to Greater Anglia. I wouldn’t have half as many adventures without the service they provide.

Bye bye for now London, Saharasplash x

Thanks for reading ‘A few surprises in Soho, London. Make sure you check out Alice’s birthday tea party before you go!

Train tickets gifted from Greater Anglia. Spending money gifted by Hotels.com. This post was written in collaboration with hotels.com, but all thoughts and views my own.

Dragonfly Tea celebrates 15 years

I usually am pretty good at getting to events on time as I like to think I am quite organised and a fairly good planner. On the evening of this event however, I don’t think that I could say either of these things as I ended up getting incredibly lost around Kings Cross station. I was hopelessly following my Google maps directions in circles and by this point I was starting to feel like I would never get to the event which had begun well over an hour ago. I ended up calling one of the girls who had invited me who was so great at directing me and 10 minutes later (feeling very puffed out and silly) I arrived at the DFMasterclass!

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If you haven’t seen my previous post on Dragonfly Tea, they are a family owned British company who are just so passionate about bringing the best quality teas to the British high street. This year Dragonfly Tea celebrates 15 years and to mark this they have brought out a fantastic new range of teas called the tea house collection. They were also kind enough to host a select few of us for this fabulous tea masterclass!

dragonfly-tea-celebrates-15-years-3The location (which I will now remember for the rest of my days) was at the Waitrose cooking school and I was so happy to see it when I arrived. I had missed a little bit of the tea trivia but the staff and hosts were so gracious and set me up with a Long Island green tea straight away.

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Our host Georgia Ginsberg from Dragonfly Tea talked us through what would happen next, which was a tea test! We had 10 teapots around the kitchen and we had to taste, smell and work out which one was which from the new collection. The academic in me always jumps at the chance to take a test so I was straight in there!

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Even though I missed the first part, my tastebuds did me proud and I got 7 out of 10! I do like to drink a range of teas so I think this helped a lot 🙂

We had a great time taking photos of all the teas and flowers, it was one of the most amazing blogger events I’ve been to this year!

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Dragonfly Tea celebrates 15 years in style, as not only do they have the brand new tea house collection, they have also brought out a luxury candle. This candle is super lovely and it’s definitely something everyone should have when taking a relaxing bath. The scent is homely, woody and just right for the transition into the cold season. I had the best blogger evening at the DFMasterclass and want to thank the Babushka Comms team for inviting me along!

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Saharasplash x

Head over to my latest beauty post about my 12 week trial with SmoothSkin IPL here

London Fashion Week Day Five

Woohoo we made it to day five! Or rather I did haha! I think I saved my best look till last as a lot of thought went into this outfit inspired by Harley Quinn. For those of you who have experienced fashion week you will know when I say how much hard work it is. I mean I’m still covering it and we are now in October! It’s not just about the shows, it’s about you, your friends, making new contacts and above all having a good time. So that’s why it is so important to not overdo it, to not try and go to absolutely everything because it’s just not possible. Choose smart and whatever happens, wear flats on the last day! Here is London Fashion Week Day Five for you…

My Outfit

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My outfit number five consists of a custom made Harley Quinn jacket (because I just had to!) and I ‘m wearing ripped denim shorts and a dark red bralette/choker set from Boohoo. My bag as ever is by the fantastic brand Today I’m Me. I want to thank Today I’m Me for helping make each outfit look so great and it’s always a pleasure working with my favourite bag boutique!

Little Extras

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These stunning earrings are by Roz Buehrlen, a British designer who is based in Kent. These are Gold Swallow earrings which also come in silver too. I think this adds something a little extra to the look but still manages to maintain its concept.

Catwalk Highlights

Fun Affair

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Fun Affair was such a great show. We had lots of variety and I got the best views from the front row. I would definitely use the caption ‘woke up like this’ to describe this show. It was effortless dishelvement as clothes were put on backwards with bralette on top of a crisp white shirt- I’ve actually seen this out and about recently so very on trend! It was mix and match but done very stylishly and I could see that a lot of thought had gone into each look.

David Ferreira

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These last ones came out a little dark so apologies for that. Lighting isn’t always something that can be counted on for a fashion show especially as the music and light work together to reflect the mood of the designs. David Ferreira was absolutely worth the wait and I didn’t care that I didn’t have a seat either. For me this season reminded me of the inspirational Lady Gaga so much. The powerful message to ‘break free from your stereotype’ along with some exquisite garments really stuck wth me and I think that Gaga would definitely rock any one of these looks.

Saharasplash x

Thank you so much for reading my five part fashion series, to catch up on the previous posts just click here

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London Fashion Week Day Three

I hope you’ve all been enjoying my Fashion Week adventures so far, there are three more days to come and I have lots more content to show you! Fashion Week is something very special to me ever since I started blogging. I’ve met some lovely people and discovered some great designers over the past three seasons, and today I’ll be sharing more adventures with you. Here is London Fashion Week Day Three.

Outfit Details

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I went for a monochrome vibe for day three and wore some washed out grey skinny jeans with a bodysuit from American Apparel. I stole my sister’s jacket and went for a high ponytail with a bright red lip. My bag is from Today I’m Me.

Something Unexpected

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One of the things I love about LFW is that you never quite know what is around the corner, quite literally in this case! As I was headed to a blogger lounge, my Google maps took me past Soho Square where I stumbled across an outdoor exhibition by Malone. This was something unexpected yet totally fabulous.

Catwalk Highlights

Apu Jan

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I was lucky enough to be FROW for the Apu Jan show. This was a brand new designer for me and so I went into the show pretty much clueless on what to expect. This turned out to be one of my favourite shows from the whole season. I loved the concept, the blue colours and the variety from the show. The music was so melodic which added nicely to the overall effect.

Oxford Fashion Studio

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And now we come to a golden oldie of catwalk shows (well in my experience!). This is a series of designers who showcased as a part of Oxford Fashion Studio which I always eagerly anticipate. OFS select a brilliant range of talent and this season did not disappoint. Among the designers were April Banbury (first three dresses) and Ines de Luca (last shot). I also love the location where the catwalks take place each season- Devonshire Square. It’s so different and refreshing to not be in a building for a change!

Saharasplash x

Coming soon- Day Four so stay tuned!

Missed the previous days? Catch up right here and here

 

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Confessions of a Shopper-HOLIC!

It’s certainly about time I did a post all about my confessions as a fashion blogger. Being in the industry of blogging has really helped my bad spending habits as I am now focusing more on quality over quantity. But I still have a few confessions I’d like to share with you and I’d love to know if you can relate. So here we go- this is my Confessions of a Shopper-HOLIC!

Confession 1: I’m in love with big bags

Yes, the bigger the better when it comes to my bags! I have a big bag for every occasion, and this one comes from the ever fabulous Colette Green. This dogtooth shopper bag is just perfect for all my needs when it comes to a bag. It’s stylish, affordable and it’s big enough for all my things. If I were Goldilocks, this bag would be just right, though I imagine the story would involve three bags instead of three bears! The typical thing you will find in my bag is another bag full of essential makeup products (you never know when you might need a touch up) an umbrella (as you can never count on the weather) my purse, snacks (cereal bars and chocolate) and probably a lot of other random useful things like pens, plasters and business cards. lauren-6

Confession 2: I’m in love with pattern clashes

I always have a lot of fun when it comes to pattern clashes. My favourite of all being monochrome clashing, which is what you will see in the images below. This is another shoot I did with Nicole (@NE_Moments) in Holland Park. I just love the way that the print from the bag and jumpsuit work perfectly together even though they are two completely different patterns. This pattern clash is so simple to do and really effective, so I would really recommend getting a dogtooth bag like this. Dogtooth also works really well with tartan if you want to add a bit of colour to the mix!

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Confession 3: I’m in love with outdoors photography

This is the best kind of photography! It’s quite difficult as a blogger sometimes to get help with your shots, but these are the type of shots I would love to bring to my blog a bit more. I really love getting out there, exploring new places and having a great time with photographers for the morning or afternoon as we shoot in the city. You can find some amazing scenery in London- it doesn’t have to be all about those white houses in Kensington! Find somewhere where you can change it up a bit- especially if wearing all black and white, something like a mass of green trees will just look amazing and bring your outfit to life. So yes, outdoors photography is a big win, and thanks to Nicole for choosing such a fabulous location!

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Confession 4: I’m in love with just being me

Call it narcissistic if you will, but I really do love just being myself, and I hope that this shows in my photos and in the blogging I’ve been doing these last few years. I couldn’t be happier with the family, friends and sometimes sheer luck I have had so far. I feel like I’ve done so much for someone still finding her career path and I believe that I haven’t even scratched the surface of where this road will take me. As I carry on my journey, I will leave 2016 as a married woman with hopes of starting a family in 2017. This may come as a shock to many of you who don’t know me well, but I really am not going to be settling down. If anything I’ll be upping my game even more, and with a new addition to the family I hope that the things I’m in love with won’t change, but they will simply expand even more (this includes my bag collection!).

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Shopper: Colette Green

Jumpsuit: H&M

Shoes: Primark

Saharasplash x

 

If you liked my Confessions of a Shopper-HOLIC! post, why not read about my truth behind wedding planning!

 

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That Perfect Dress from In One Clothing

One of my favourite things to do on a sunny day in London is take a gorgeous dress out and take a million photos. So recently, that’s just what happened after I got in touch with Nicole, a London based photographer. This dress is a very special dress that I have been holding onto for quite a while now as I wanted to wait for the exact moment to show this stunner off to you all. The dress is a multi-way piece from In One Clothing, and I really do think that it is the perfect dress. Not only can you wear it multiple ways according to your mood and the occasion, it comes in the most vibrant colours too. Nicole and I had such a fabulous time shooting this sassy number in Holland park and so without further ado, here are the shots and three ways to wear that perfect dress from In One Clothing.

Look One- The Sexy Halter

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Nicole managed to capture the flowing material of the dress in this first look we went for. It has a plentiful supply to wrap around your waist and criss-cross over your back. I decided to tie it up twice at the front and leave the material to hang instead of opting for the bow tie effect.

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Look Two- The Belle of the Ball

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For this look, I simply untwisted the halter neck and let it fall around my shoulders. This look would be perfect to go dancing in as you sashay across the dance floor. I was amazed at how this one simple change completely altered the look of the dress.

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Look Three- The Fairy Nymph

Lauren-28We moved to a wonderful spot for these shots. Holland Park was so quiet on a Monday morning, we had no trouble finding many hidden corners and places to take these photos which turned out great! For this look I wrapped the lengths of purple around my torso from front to back and created a beautiful sweetheart effect. The material is so versatile there are countless ways to wear the dress, and it conveniently comes with a matching bandeau too so you can wear this underneath the dress or use it to help add another dimension to your outfit. Nicole came prepared and brought this stunning flower crown with her which made me feel like taking my shoes off and so I did these shots barefoot.

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Details

I took with me a contrasting blue satchel to match my blue nails, and I wore some white heels from Primark.

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How amazing is this dress? I am so happy with it that my bridesmaids will all be wearing In One Clothing for my wedding in a lovely burgundy. I cannot wait to see how they each choose to style their dress up! I cannot recommend this brand enough, the quality is simply out of this world and the idea is a must for anyone wanting to please their bridal party! I’m so glad I found That Perfect Dress from In One Clothing and I have a feeling I’m going to need a few more of these to add to my wardrobe too!

Saharasplash x

Up for some more? Then check out this post on a fabulous foodie box here

 

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