Catching up: July

I can’t believe it’s August already….it seems the summer is going by in a flash! July was just as much fun as June though, and it finally felt as though the real summer weather had arrived….

It all started with a most amazing wedding weekend up in Yorkshire. Two of our friends were getting hitched and rather than settle for just one day of frivolities, had planned an epic Wild West Weekend! We drove up on the Friday and dressed up Western style for the pre-wedding party, ate fish and chips for dinner and then went to bed in our very own Tipi!!!

Breakfast next morning was a lush barbecue, then we set about some sun bathing and a few jobs to set things up before we donned wedding attire and the lovely humanist ceremony took place. The whole thing was outside, which was made even more splendid by the astonishingly good weather. It was another barbecue for supper, as well as a bouncy castle, sumo wrestling, gladiator jousting and a live band to dance to. It has to have been one of the most thoughtful, personal and unique weddings I’ve ever been to (which is A LOT) and I just loved every minute of it.

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July was the month for DIY and gardening…..I wanted everywhere to be as pretty as I could manage in time for our Engagement Party, and built two picnic tables (which also got painted white and had chintzy covers and cushions made specially for them) as well as getting the garden as colourful as possible! The party went wonderfully and it was gorgeous to have so many friends visit us to celebrate….even if it was a whole six months on from the actual engagement!

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With the warmer weather came lots of lovely long dog walks, with lots of lovely wildlife to be found along the way too…..

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The Hitchin Duck race took place in town and we went down to see them off…..it was a slow race though so we listened to the ending from the garden some twenty minutes later!

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Above all else, July was for spending time outdoors and enjoying the lush weather……

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Hope you’ve enjoyed the summer so far too!

Ems x

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Blog Every Day in May: Compliments

“Tell us about the best compliment you have ever received.”

Although I do truly love a compliment, I’m not all that good at accepting them! I often get shy and try to brush it off with a silliness or joke, and I know lots of my friends get frustrated when I can’t accept their compliments! I do hope they don’t stop giving me compliments though, as they are rather wonderful! People have been kind enough to say lots of nice things about me, but I feel a little big headed in honesty sharing them or listing them.

There is one rather big compliment I am proud to share with you though. It’s not a usual type of compliment, such as ‘your hair looks great’ or ‘you really are very good at shopping’…..but I think it must be the biggest compliment I’ve ever been paid….

A few months ago, love of my life Adam, asked me to be his wife, and I was only too excited and delighted to accept. To me this meant that he loves me, wants to spend the rest of his life with me, and is making a commitment towards our relationship. Now I can’t think of a bigger compliment than that! It’s just a big bonus that on top of that I get to plan a splendid wedding (one of my favourite things to do!), have an excuse for a special holiday (loving thinking about honeymoons!) and got given a stunning vintage diamond ring to boot!

So yeah, this compliment stuff is rather grand!

Ems x

Something from the weekend…more Instagram snaps

It’s late, and I’m tired, but I do like to keep my little weekend diary going, so here’s the whistle stop tour….

Saturday morning….nice long dog walk, with the hound and the new hound too…back home for breakfast (poached eggs) and to get smarted up….then off to our lovely local church of St Mary’s for the wedding of Adam and Jodi….

Saturday afternoon….baked a pecan pie and prepared a dinner of Mountain Meatballs from Jamie’s America recipe book….took the dogs out for another walk, this time with our friend Hannah….back home Adam made cocktails and we chatted the evening away, as well as scoffing the afore-mentioned dinner….

Sunday morning….a very lovely long walk in the sun with the hounds….back home for breakfast, then a walk around the car boot sale….

Sunday afternoon….more gardening, whilst the hounds played and got to know each other better….ice lollies as a reward for our work….another walk, even though the hounds were shattered from playing….left overs for dinner and Super8 on Bluray whilst cuddling the hounds on the sofa before an early night.

How was your weekend?

Ems x

Something from the weekend…. A stunning wedding weekend in Austria

I bally love a good wedding. And so an entire weddingy weekend was just bliss. I was honoured to be be invited to our friends Katie and Peter’s wedding, and even more delighted that it was all taking in place in Austria! If you’ve read my last few posts you’ll know that I was lucky enough to take a holiday to Vienna in November for the Christmas markets, and I was only too happy to get back there in the sunnier weather…..

Friday started out a little stressful, as in taking a little holiday, we had to leave the pup for the first time! It was worse still because Adam’s mum, who would usually look after him for us, is away at the moment so he had to go to her friend…..she’s a long time dog owner and lover though and we got him used to her and her house over the last few weeks by going for walks together and visiting her cute little cottage. Still, I was a bit of a wreck and properly welled up as we left him, despite the fact that he was clearly very happy to be having a bit of a holiday of his own!

After dropping Cooper off, we made our way to the airport and had a nice leisurely journey to Vienna. We had a couple of hours to spare at the airport at that end, before the coach arrived to take us to the wedding venue, so we indulged in a nice big dinner….I love the food in Austria, and very happily yummed up a large helping of Wiener Schnitzel with parsley potatoes, as well as some excellent coffee…..there’s no pretence with Viennese food, but it’s all such great quality and so very tasty!

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After a few more guests had arrived on a later flight, our little coach took us south towards Graz, to the little village of Bad Waltersdorf where the wedding venue is. We made the journey fun by taking along some very sweet fizzy wine and lots of sweets, and so it didn’t seem too long a journey at all. We were taken directly to the Schloß Obermayerhofen and walked through the castle grounds up to the idyllic little chalet at the top of the hill. The Gaisrieglhof is a 250 year old farmhouse from nearby Pöllau, rebuilt here and used for the traditional pre-wedding gathering. Some guests had dressed in the traditional national dress, including the beautiful bride, and there were traditional musicians playing and wearing wonderful lederhosen! It was lovely to have a little pre-wedding catch up with everyone and drink a couple of glasses of the delicious local wine after our journey!

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After our long day prior, we enjoyed a bit of a lie in on the Saturday morning and spent most of the day getting ready for the wedding in the afternoon. It was great fun getting ready with some of Adam’s lovely old school friends, and at 2pm we all took a taxi up to the Schloß from our hotel to start the celebrations. We were greeted by lovely cold drinks and yummy nibbles as part of the Agape feast, and before long watched the stunning Katie walk down from her room. We moved through to the pretty meadow behind the castle, where a cute gazebo surrounded by chairs was set up for the civil part of the wedding….it was beautiful to be out in the open air and the weather was certainly kind! There was a Catholic ceremony after that, in the gorgeous Baroque chapel, then music and fizz out on the castle’s terrace as the couple had lots of photos taken.

The wedding breakfast took place in another of the castle’s incredible rooms, and we were treated to an exceptionally good dinner (asparagus soup with herb dumplings, wild garlic ravioli, crusted lamb and a trio of chocolate desserts!) alongside some wonderful local wines. The speeches were all very funny and touching, and after dinner the happy couple took to the floor for a very impressive tango for their first dance.

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We whiled away the night chatting, drinking and dancing, and having a lovely time in great company. There was a midnight feast of gulaschsuppe (possibly my favourite thing we ate on the whole trip and absolutely divine!) and so we were very contented indeed when we finally got to our beds.

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After breakfast and checkout on Sunday morning, another coach took us back to Vienna airport where we dropped off our bags and then made our way into the Vienna Mitte to spend a few hours before our flight home. We’d not managed to visit the popular Zanoni Eis gelateria when we were there last, so that was an obvious choice….. we were a little overwhelmed by the masses of flavours though, but did finally manage to choose six different scoops to fill a nice large tub with (nutella, melon, pistachio, strawberry, coffee and chocolate!). They were all super-yum, but the melon was a definite favourite, and the treat was very welcome in the city heat!

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We had a little mooch around the city after that, going back to the fun clock in the town and also heading back to the wonderful Cafe Pruckel next to the Stadtpark…..we yummed up very naughty iced coffees that were drowning in cream and chocolate! We walked off the treats round the sunny park, and then slowly made our way back to the airport for the flight home.

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We were lucky enough to catch a lift home with some other friends who’d taken the same flight, so our journey wasn’t too arduous. Still, we were pretty exhausted when we got back and flaked out almost immediately. The house didn’t feel like home though until our precious pup was delivered back to us on Monday morning….I’d missed him so terribly and despite having had a wonderful little holiday of his own and loving all the attention from his new friends, he seemed delighted to see us too!

Hope you had a lovely sunny weekend too!

Ems x

A few days in Vienna

This Friday I’m lucky enough to be jetting off to the beautiful Vienna. Friends of ours are getting married just south of there on Saturday, and whilst we won’t get to spend too much time in Vienna itself, preparing to go is reminding me of the wonderful holiday Adam and I had there last November.

Just in time for all the Christmas markets opening up all over the city, we spent a few days in Vienna and absolutely adored it. It’s a stunning city, with lots of open space so that you can stand back to be wowed by the wonderful architecture. We loved the palaces and museums, as well as the incredible food and amazing coffee shops. We were delighted to see dogs everywhere and welcomed into shops, cafes and restaurants.

The Christmas Markets were definitely the highlight of the trip for me, but I can’t wait to see the city again in the warmer weather.

And as I’ve been promising other wedding guests some tips on where to visit whilst there, I thought I’d share some of my favourite bits about Vienna here on my blog over the next few days…..there’ll be a post about our best food and coffee recommendations, where we most loved visiting, and some of the must-see sights. I’ll start tomorrow with food….as that was definitely a huge highlight for us both!

Enjoy,

Ems x

Some pretty big news….

So…… I got engaged!

 

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Me, my ring, a milkshake manicure and a big smile!

 

Adam asked me just over a week ago, and we’ve spent the time since telling family and close friends, in person where possible.

We hopped into town on Saturday to shop for the ring in Hatton Garden, and found the perfect one, in the only shop we went into….. it was rather different than all the others, with a window jammed full of mis-matching, jumbled up antique pieces of all kinds.

 

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My very sparkly ring!

 

I tried on LOTS, all very different (including ones with opals, peridot, and in Art Deco, Victorian and Georgian designs) but there was no real competition…. My 1950s diamond cluster ring is just the most sparkly and wonderful ring in the world, and I picked it up today after they altered it from a size S down to my tiny size H!

 

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I so prefer antique rings….they are always so pretty even from the side!

 

So now I can wear my ring proudly, there’s no stopping us from telling all and sundry! We’re not sure when we’ll actually tie the knot, but it’s likely to be next year some time…..we don’t want to leave it too long (too excited!) but we also want to be able to plan the most wonderful celebration!

I’m obviously in my element now….. I’m exceptionally excitable about weddings, even for a professional wedding planner, and we’re already well on our way to deciding what we want from our big day!

I don’t expect this to become a totally wedding-saturated blog, but I will warn you now that there will be plenty of planning and craft project posts coming up over the next year as a result of my news!….so apologies in advance as I’m likely to get even more over-excited!

Ems x

Rockrose Photography at Hannah and Jamie’s wedding

I wrote about my gorgeous weekend down in Devon for Hannah and Jamie’s wedding a couple of weeks ago… I’ve even dropped off the roll of Velvia film I took whilst there (all I need to do now is pick it up!). But whilst I wait to see if I got a couple of decent analogue shots or not, I thought I’d share the professional photos from the day.

Hannah and Jamie were lucky enough to find Rockrose Photography and secure a booking with them to take photos of the wedding. Local girls Becs and Jules came along to the tiny village of Knowstone to take photos throughout the day….at the intimate ceremony, the stunning church blessing and the village hall knees up….and Hannah has just put me onto their lovely blog post about the day….

I’m so impressed with all the photos….they so capture what a perfect day it was, with the incredible sun, the stunning couple, and lots of happy people! I even don’t mind the photos of me, which is rare! They got some great shots of the little cake topper I made too. It’s not often I’ll rave about wedding and event photographers….I’m so picky….but these guys are quite obviously brilliant at what they do.

The below picture is one of my favourites from their post and if you click on it you’ll get through to their post itself….

Ems x

Something from the weekend….. To Devon for a wedding

Early on Saturday morning we hopped on the tube to Paddington, purchased coffees, and then jumped onto a train which was taking us to sunny Devon. That afternoon, we were invited to the blessing and wedding celebrations of my very dear friends Hannah and Jamie, in a tiny village near to the stunning Devonshire moors.

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For the journey

I spent much of the journey worrying about my little part in the wedding….I was to present a reading as part of the service, which I’ve never done before. Still, snacking all the way and staring out of the window at the glorious countryside around us, it wasn’t too bad a train journey.

We arrived at a little out-of-the-way train station, which it transpired was miles away from the nearest less-out-of-the-way-place (although a jolly cab driver and a couple of horse drawn caravans made the journey very pleasant). Once in Tiverton, the nearest town to the wedding, we realised that we were yet further from our extremely-out-of-the-way destination, and so had to make an SOS call to our lovely friend Lou to come and rescue us. Our journey from Tiverton Parkway station ended up taking us longer than the journey from home *to* that station, but it did take us to the charming Sampson Barton Guest House.

It was a bit of a rush once we arrived, to get ready and head over to the wedding, but I did enjoy calming my nerves with the lovely pot of tea and plate of cake that welcomed us to the guest house. We didn’t get much chance to take in our stunning surroundings before jumping back in Lou’s car to drive to the tiny village of Knowstone, where at the little church and village hall the wedding was to take place.

I was keen to be there in plenty of time, as I’d made one of my little jam jar scenes as a wedding cake topper and wanted to ensure it got set up nicely on the cake….and I wanted to get a seat nice and close to where I was reading so that I had less of a chance of stacking it on the walk up to the lectern! I managed both in plenty of time to sit and wind myself up further whilst waiting for the wedding party to arrive…. and by the time they did, and walked down the isle to Gershwin’s “Someone To Watch Over Me”, I was a blubbing wreck!

Hannah and Jamie had already gotten married earlier in the day, with a civil ceremony attended by just their very closest friends and family. So everyone seemed wonderfully relaxed as they came into the church, and it seemed very much as though they could now all just enjoy the blessing service and the rest of the day. There was lots of beautiful singing from the choir (brought in specially, and the same choir that Hannah used to sing in, and her mum still does). Before my reading, our friend Chris read a wonderful piece by Dr Seuss, and Hannah’s Godmother ready one of my favourite Sonnets, Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116.

But after we all sang a hymn together, it was my turn to get up, and with hands shaking I read an excerpt from The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams. It was all I could do not to burst into tears whilst reading it, but I tried very hard not to rush it and to ensure I didn’t look at Hannah who I knew would be weeping too! I managed quite well until the last line (about ‘people who don’t understand’), then caught sight of Hannah and heard my voice crack as I finally succumbed to the tears.

After that came their blessing, and then it was time to leave the church again, out into the amazing sunshine. The couple looked so very happy (and stunning to boot!) as everyone took photos outside the church in the gorgeous bright light, and they continued to pose for the professional pictures as we all drank Champagne outside the village hall which is right next door.

It was great to catch up with so many people we’ve not seen for ages, and to soak up some of the sun! There was giant Jenga to entertain us also, and Jamie had made an amazing skittle run and coconut shy which were super popular too. It was no time at all though til we were heading inside for more drinks and the highly anticipated Hog Roast buffet! Inside the little village hall, Jamie had swagged white satin all the way across the ceiling, with pretty coloured lights and fairy lights inside…. it all looked so charming, and I especially liked the ribboned jam jars filled with bonbons on each table, as well as the personalised stickers holding the napkins in place.

The caterers had done a smashing job, and I devoured a plate full of absolutely delicious food…. the pork was Free Range so Adam and I had the rare joy of enjoying the full menu (and wading through all the Weight Watchers points we’d saved up for the week too!). Once we’d all filled our faces, Hannah’s Dad kicked off the speeches, and we toasted the couple lots with plenty of yummy Champagne. After that, Hannah’s Mum and Dad, along with a couple of other members of the village, got together to perform a few songs….it was so lovely to have people close to the couple as entertainment, and they got us rearing to go for the first dance!

I didn’t manage to get many good photos on my digital camera whilst inside at all, so I’m rather hoping that my analogue ones come out ok….but I was rather pleased with this rather grainy Instagram snap of Hannah and Jamie dancing their first dance…..

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First Dance

After that, we were up and dancing for most of the evening……. along with our RSVPs we’d all been asked to choose three songs to add to the playlist, and so we all took it in turns to get excited about hearing our choices come on! After a late supper of cheese, pork rolls and cake, we were rather whacked….probably a little to do with all the travelling and fresh air too! But we finished the night dancing to New York New York, swaying in a circle and kicking in time to the music as is tradition, and then made our sleepy ways back to the guest house.

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Full English

Shockingly, we were up in plenty of time to get downstairs for breakfast at a reasonable hour….. We yummed up a bowl each of fresh fruit before our Full English breakfasts were served up…. it was all super delish, especially the mushrooms and black pudding. After that, we walked off a few of the calories whilst adventuring in the guest house’s gardens….. they seem to go on forever! We met a lovely ginger cat on the walk, found a swing in a tree, and spotted stacks of gorgeous plants and flowers.

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A new friend

The Guest House itself is just delightful. The view from our room was incredible, and the house remarkable too. We received a lovely welcome from Bev and Neil, the owners, and I’d be delighted to go back again.

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The view from our room at Sampson Barton Guest House

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Pretty chintz in our room

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Outside the Guest House

By late morning though it was time to check out, so lovely Lou drove us back to Knowstone to help out at the village hall. I had a wonderful time helping Jamie take down the satin ceiling, tidying up and coiling cables and whatnot. It was great to get to spend a bit more time with everyone, especially Hannah and Jamie, and I even got a tour of Hannah’s parents cottage. The village is so very idyllic…. I can’t think that I’ve ever been somewhere where everyone really does know each other, and it’s a credit to the little community that so many people from the village were around to help with the wedding too.

Once we’d gotten nearly everything done, and the village hall restored to its former state, we spent a while relaxing in the beautiful garden at the Masons Arms. The pub actually has a Michelin star and is well known for its amazing restaurant, so it was a shame we weren’t there long enough to discover it properly. Still, it was amazing just to sit and soak up the sun with a cold drink in hand, and to natter to folk a bit longer.

Before too long though, it was time to head back to the station, and homeward. Our friend Timmy gave us company on the train journey home, and despite delays it didn’t seem any time at all before we were home and passed out in bed!

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The garden at the Masons Arms

Wednesday Wants….. From Old Spitalfields Market

I know I bang on about Old Spitalifeilds Market, but it really is the most amazing place. On Sunday, having decided to keep the weekend’s adventures pretty local and undemanding, we took the short wander along to Spitalfields to while away a couple of hours. I really do feel so lucky to have this wonderful market within walking distance, and I know it will be one of the things I miss the most when I one day move out of London.

In the mean time though, I will make the most of it, with trips to the antiques and vintage markets on Thursdays, the special markets on Saturdays and the reliable Sunday markets. And whilst I’m there, it’s inevitable that I find plenty of ‘wants’…. there are so many original designers and producers, with fantastic ideas and skills…. from clothing to jewellery, baked goodies to homewares… there is always far too much to tempt me!

Last Sunday was no exception of course…. here are my Wednesday Wants, all courtesy of some of the amazing Spitalfields traders…..

We spotted the Tina Maas Photography stand for the first time this weekend, and whilst we were initially drawn in by the high quality digital images in mounts and the little photo squares hanging on the walls, it was the amazing ‘Polaroid Lifts’ collection I really coveted. Each image is hand made from an original Polaroid photo, by separating the emulsion from the print, then stretching and crinkling it into a new image. The result is a completely original, unpredictable and beautifully low-tech piece of art…. the images remind me of a very fine patterned silk, and the translucency is just stunning.

I love that there are no sneaky Photoshop techniques involved, and that each one is so very different. They are amazing value to boot, starting at just £8 for a 5×7″ and up to £35 for a 16×20″….. you can also buy them direct from the website. I would LOVE the Union Jack, and in fact all of the wonderful London landmarks!

I’ve always had a fascination for geodes and crystals and shiny, colourful semi-precious stones. And so a stall like Decadorn’s is supremely exciting for me! Decadorn creates and sells stunningly unique statement jewellery, using crystals which are carefully sourced from all over the world. Each treasure is carefully selected and hand made into a striking and wearable piece.

I am crazy about the chunky, but elegant pendants, where the crystals seem to be growing right of the hunk of gold which secures them onto the pretty chain. And the chunkier still rings, which are hand carved around the natural shape of the stone, are straight out of a fairytale!

Pendants start at just £28, with the rings from £52, which I think is incredibly good value, considering the originality and quality of each piece (again, you can buy from their website, AND they do gift certificates). I’d love a stack of the different pendants to wear all at once!

And what with us enjoying this traditional British Summer (read ‘grumbling constantly about the unpredictable weather’, at least on my part), what better to lust after than a good Autumnal coat?! Love and Be Loved boasts a stall full of incredibly original, remarkably well tailored, and insanely covetable fashion. It was really the beautiful tweed coats that caught my eye at first….. they have lovely slanted pocket patches of various soft leathers, and the tailoring is complex and different, with a very classical edge. Their dresses too are intricately pleated, and rather reminiscent of Roland Mouret with their geometric seaming and pocketing.

At £300 + for the coats, they are not a suitable impulse buy, but I think for the quality and originality, they are very well priced and a definite treasure to save up for and keep forever.

Aptly named after Nat King Cole’s wise words in Nature Boy (“The greatest gift we’ll ever learn is to love and be loved in return”), the brand also creates incredibly stunning wedding dresses… you can contact them here for more information. Oh and check out this amazing jump suit! Want!

Something from the weekend……. a night market, a wedding, and London’s oldest Music Hall

Another amazing few days this weekend! We didn’t ram as much in as we sometimes do, but it was certainly fun filled!……

On Friday after work, Adam and I met up with our good friends Kate and Jason at the Bermondsey Square Night Market, “The StockMKT.” It’s silly that I’ve not made it to one of the markets there before as it’s so close, and we enjoyed a lovely walk over to the other side of the river from home. The whole square was filled with food stalls, bars, crafty things and vintage treasures, as well as a band tent. The latter was hosted for the evening by the fabulous Albert Ball’s Flying Aces, whose wonderfully retro sounds had us all toe tapping.

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First off though it was a visit to the first bar we spotted….. and luckily it was a bar hosted by the very wonderful Sparrow Gin from Peckham! Serving a small but perfect list of cocktails, as well as good old fashioned G&Ts, the stall was super cool with jam jars, striped straws and vintage glasses and serving things. We got chatting to the lovely Pru who told us proudly about the gin’s super grapefruityness (although rather more eloquently than me) and gave us a taster of the tipple straight up. It is a beautifully fresh and citrusy gin, and almost a little herbal with the generous number of botanicals used in its production. It’s currently on very limited availability, so we did our best to drink up the current batch and encourage the guys to brew up some more….. the Negroni and the Martini were especially good (we tried the whole list), but I think, like Pru, I would prefer to drink it straight up, nice and cold.

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With drinks in hand, we took a wander about the stalls of pretties and treasures, finding the super Ink Heart Kicks which I’ve been oggling on Etsy, BG Design from where we bought some gorgeous cards, and Kamm and Sons  from whom we bought a bottle of delicious Ginseng spirit. I also picked up some great vintage post cards from a stall of vintage treasures, and we yummed up a very large slice of Yummy Boutique’s super delicious Red Velvet Cheesecake.

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Afterwards we made our way homeward, stopping off for a curry in the award winning Empress Curry House for supper. Although I’d not had a proper meal, I was really too stuffed with gins and cheesecake to need the several dishes I yummed up, so I did rather roll home.

Saturday saw the FINAL arrival of our friends, Matthew and Siobhan’s, wedding. I’d been excited about it for aaaages, but for the last week ridiculously so! After spending the entire morning primping and packing the various bags I ended up taking (shoes, hat, cameras, confetti……) we jumped on the tube to make our way to Putney. The venue for the whole day was the beautiful Star and Garter which is right on the river. The Ballroom has a gloriously high ceiling, chandeliers and stacks of natural light.

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Matthew was looking super hot in a beautiful kilt and tweed jacket, and seemed pretty cool as we chatted before the ceremony. I’d been lucky enough to see Siobhan’s dress at her fitting at Liberty, but I still felt my jaw drop as she walked into the room looking so incredibly stunning. Both of them were glowing throughout the ceremony, and I honestly can’t think I’ve ever seen two people look more happy. It was so touching to hear them exchange their vows, as well as bridesmaid Jo’s lovely reading….. I shed plenty of tears of joy too!

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After the ceremony we drank saucers of Cham in the bar downstairs whilst the happy couple had photos taken out by the river and the Ballroom was turned around ready for the reception. It was brilliant to have time to catch up with people and have some good chat time….. as well as a chance to sample some of the bar’s wonderful cocktails!

Back upstairs, we readied ourselves for the couple’s first announcement into the room…. I had made confetti in little vintage sheet music cones, which several of us sprinkled on them from our balcony seats as they walked in. Then it was a yummy buffet dinner at large round tables dressed with gerbera in vintage IRN BRU bottles, and hand made paper stars (good work Justine!). There were lots of personal touches that reminded us of Matthew and Siobhan too…. the tables were names after Radiohead albums, and they had prepared special CDs as favours, stamped with a cut-out style image of the two of them.

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We had so much fun, chatting and throwing balloons around and dancing the night away….. Matthew and Siobhan had created their own playlist for the night packed with floor fillers, and even Adam got up to dance (first time ever!). There was cheese, fruit cake and bacon rolls as a wonderful late night snack which kept us going, and I danced my last song, rather aptly to Tiffany, I think We’re Alone Now. It was such a joy to be part of their special day, and to see them enjoy it so much. Love you guys!

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It was a traditional lie in on Sunday, as we were feeling rather worn out. So we decided to keep it local and just popped over the road to Wilton’s Music Hall for a few hours in the afternoon. It was the last day the historical venue was open, before the refurbishment of the auditorium takes place. After we’d had a wander about and taken a few snaps, Artistic Director Frances Mayhew took to the stage alongside Capital Project Patron David Suchet who talked of the importance of the refurbishment and the continued fundraising necessary to protect the music hall.

We were lucky enough to get tickets for the final tour, and so ‘Deputy Tour Guide Chris’ gave us the lowdown on the history of the local area and the beginnings of Wilton’s, before Carole told us all about the history of the building itself and some of the most notable events in its history. It was wonderful to hear some of the stories about the place and I would highly recommend taking the tour there…… the auditorium is due to open in 2013 but until then the beautiful Mahogany Bar is still open for drinks, as will be the new cocktail bar which will open soon, and even some performances taking place in the smaller rooms (I very much want to go to the Horror! Horror! Halloween show!). I’m really looking forward to seeing the auditorium again once it’s finished, although we were promised that the appearance won’t change.

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After that it was home for a pot of tea, and to finish up a pot of clotted cream we had left over from my birthday…… I made up a large helping of what I’ve named ‘French Tea’ (strawberries, clotted cream and jam on thick slices of brioche in lieu of any scones!). And after that we were only fit to slob about and watch Planet Terror….. a nicely quiet end to a super weekend!

Hope you enjoyed yours….do share!

Ems x