Summer Tales, Shoreditch

Months after booking tickets, I finally went along to Summer Tales in Shoreditch on Saturday night. (Wow, that’s some sibilance…) After seeing heaps of blog posts and beautiful pictures across social networks, I couldn’t wait to finally see the venue. Turfing up around 7.30 on Saturday, we faced a mammoth queue – word to the wise, either turn up dead on 6pm when doors are opened, or buy a queue jump ticket (cocktail included.)

IMG_20141124_124753 IMG_20141124_125154Inside was the jungle paradise of my dreams – all credit to the event planners, who had plucked palm trees, sand, tree houses and neon signs to produce something beautiful AND fun. Attention to detail was excellent, from candy striped cushions in one of the upper bars, to a tiny beach with hammocks and beach chairs, to wooden swings…the whole thing felt like a playground for adults. With alcohol. In fact, alcohol from COCONUTS. Which brings me to an important point – make sure you go armed with cash. Boozy coconuts at the ever lovely Cocoface were cash only, and we were banned by the security guy from popping across the street to get cash out as he said we wouldn’t be allowed back in. So, lesson learned.

IMG_20141124_125041 IMG_20141124_125545I think London is developing an increasing intolerance for pop ups and installations and takeovers, especially those around the Shoreditch and Hackney areas. You could say…they’re starting to feel a bit HACKNEYED. HA HA. But seriously. I know these kind of things have a bit of a bad rep, but when something is brilliantly executed and an awful lot of fun, I can easily overlook the fatigue and get on board. Summer Tales pulls off a real coup, transforming a small grey patch of Shoreditch into somewhere magical. In many ways, it had the laid back festival feel that Secret Garden Party lacked at points.

IMG_20141124_125802 IMG_20141124_125810It’s somewhere that you can go for a relaxed few drinks and a delicious supper from one of the street food stands, then have a bit of a dance around on the covered dance area, surrounded by fairy lit trees. As a bit of a sad sidebar, the crowd in Shoreditch seems to have changed a lot, generally speaking. It used to be somewhere you could go out and not really care what you looked like  (something I increasingly admire in a place!) but over the last few years it seems to have turned into an extension of the West End. Girls were teetering through the woodchips and sand in five inch heels, holding mirrors up to check their fake lashes, adjusting teeny tiny dresses. It was fine, and all power to you if that’s your thing, but it felt a bit like watching the Kardashians going camping.

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All-focus

All-focus

Anyway, that aside, I strongly recommend it for making the most of the last few weeks of summer. Go for a Pin-Up Colada at the Lazy Flamingo Bar upstairs, grab a fishbowl of booze at the downstairs bar, sit and relax on a swing, and be a weirdo like me who strokes the tiny patch of sand going ‘the sand feels sooo good, I love sand!’ And most definitely have a dance. The DJ broke out a hyper-electro, instrumental version of the Human League’s ‘Things That Dreams Are Made Of’, which delighted me no end. Just be as charming as possible to the security staff and do your best to avoid the girls in the bathroom screaming ‘THAT LIPSTICK IS SOOO MY COLOUR’.

Summer Tales runs Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at Red Market in Shoreditch. Buy tickets here.

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Concrete, Pure, Chelsea & Temperley

Ciao bellas. I thought I’d do a round up of the last week and what I’ve been up to….It’s been a busy and mostly London-based week, so I’ve been torn away from my beloved fields and mud and thrown back into the Metropolis.

Concrete

Last week I went for business drinks in London, and decided to check out the fairly new ‘Concrete‘ bar at the Hayward Gallery on the Southbank. Finally! A building on the Southbank that is delightfully self-referential…By day, a cafe, by night a bar. Despite it being a Thursday night, it wasn’t particularly busy, but had a nice enough atmosphere. The service was decent, not especially chatty or engaging, but the bar was rather cool inside, and had a very fetching cement mixer outside.

On the plus side, we got two for one on our wine, and the lychee martini was absolutely delish, but I found the place to be a little soulless; not what I was expecting from the usually buzzy and cheerful venues on the Southbank. Dishoom Chowpatty Beach Bar, you are sadly missed. I wandered the Southbank afterwards to soak up some atmosphere. Oh – the other plus point was seeing Philip Glenister, aka Gene Hunt, near Waterloo. I got a bit overexcited.

 

Pure Fashion Trade Show

I went to Pure for a bit of networking, both for Lady M Presents and for my new fashion project, Jean et Jupe. I’d been there once before, when I was working in fashion buying, and found the whole thing quite an ordeal. As it’s a trade show aimed at buyers, it’s really hard to push past the initial ‘are you in buying?’ ‘no…but I do work in fashion!’ conversation. One guy literally just went back to taking a phone call the second I said ‘no, I’m not a buyer’. Rude!

I actually found it more judgemental and closed off than London Fashion Week. At Fashion Week, everyone’s actually pretty friendly, and it feels like no one has a point to prove. It’s more easy going, in my opinion! Anyway, I did speak to a few friendly people – shouldn’t give the impression it was all ghastly, but it certainly isn’t for me. The best bit by far was hearing talks on social media by Liberty London Girl and Warren Knight of Gloople. I found the tips really interesting, and the speakers were really insightful and knew their fields inside out. You can read the tips in full on our company blog for Jean et Jupe here.

Chelsea

After Pure on Monday, I went along to the Chelsea Day Spa to  a Hydropeptide Facial and New York Pedicure for Lady M Presents. Oh my goodness. I haven’t been so relaxed in…well, a very long time. Usually when I  have facials I just lie there thinking of everything I’ve got to do, and feeling even more stressed because I can’t actually get up and do them. But I’d strongly recommend the Spa, as I had a fantastic beauty therapist named Elize who really looked after me, and the whole experience was lovely. They also do heaps of really good deals, so the prices are surprisingly reasonable.

Alice Temperley for John Lewis Preview

I got to go to the preview for the very exciting new diffusion range from Alice Temperley for John Lewis, again to cover for Lady M last night. A small crowd of fashion bloggers and writers (I wonder what the collective noun for that is?!) descended on The Golden Bee in Shoreditch, really close to Old Street tube. It was a fab venue, and we quickly claimed a comfy sofa on the roof terrace, and started the cocktail drink in earnest. I know! On a school night as well…We had mojitos, Strawberry Collins, and Passionfruit Collins. I was also childishly delighted by the special goviral packs of Smarties on the tables.

I’ll be reporting on it in full for Lady M, but it was a really lovely night. The girls from the goviral team were lovely, and I also met people from Catwalk Queen and Styloko, as well as the founder of the Aussie equivalent of ASOS, Musstard. After the experience at Pure, I definitely got my networking mojo back. It’s going to be a beautiful collection, and will drop in stores from 4th September.

Haven’t really had too much time to write lately, life has got very hectic lately! Will check in again soon.