Bath City Break – The Wanderer Returns

Well, naughty me, I’ve not blogged in two weeks!  Time just seems to have slipped away from me with a combination of work, a trip away with hubster, having various friends over for drinks/dinner/board games, celebrating 6 months of marriage and most joyously, the sun FINALLY putting in an appearance.  This winter has just dragged on and on and the appearance of Spring has made me feel much cheerier.  We have already had our first barbecue of the year last weekend and tonight we zoomed straight home from work so that we could spend some time sitting in the garden before the sun went down.

Our trip to Bath was a joint birthday present, mine is in a couple of weeks and hubby’s was in March, so we decided to go away in the middle of both – and before the accommodation prices go even higher as we move into Summer. 

Bath is notoriously really expensive to stay in, so we decided to stay at a guest house which included parking and breakfast.  All the rooms had en-suite facilities, so it was really like a hotel but just on a much smaller scale (some guest houses/B&B’s only have shared facilities, so you need to double-check this before you book).  As well as the accommodation being expensive, so is the parking – I’d say almost the same as parking in inner London in some streets – so we were really luck that we got the parking included too.

Our base was really well placed and we only seemed to be 10 minutes walk from anything that we wanted to see.  We did so much walking that by the second afternoon we were about fit to drop and had to go back to our room for a disco nap before we headed out for dinner that evening.

I’m started to get a bit more savvy with my packing as I get older.  In days gone by, I practically took my whole wardrobe with me so that I had loads of options to choose from, where-as now I try to stick to a ‘capsule’ wardrobe where everything can be interchanged or worn with a couple of outfits.  On this trip, I decided I was only taking my brown Duo riding boots and my black Duo suede boots (I have been known to take about 5 pairs of shoes for two days away!).  From that starting point I plotted my outfits.

Day One – daytime & evening

blue dress + boots - BathMulberry dress - Bath

Daytime: dress – Dorothy Perkins; cardigan – H&M; belt – Primark; tights – M&S, boots –  Duo; necklace – Accessorize; flushed face and messy hair – crazy Bath wind.

Evening: dress – Monsoon, belt – Debenhams; necklace – Next; boots – Duo

Day Two – daytime and evening

Bath - day 2 outfitBath - evening 2 outfit

Daytime: shirt – H&M; jeggings – Dorothy Perkins; scarf – Primark; boots – Duo (same as before)

Evening: shirt – Peacocks; jeans – Dorothy Perkins; scarf – Oasis; boots – Duo (same as before)

 The Roman Bath’s were really interesting, we spent a good 2 1/2 hours there and literally listened to every word on the audio tour which comes with the price of the ticket.  We paid a bit extra and got entrance into the Fashion Museum which is located in the Assembly Rooms.  I can also recommend Bath Abbey, which is only about £2.50 to spend as long there as you wish. 

We obviously went to look at the Circus and the Royal Crescent, but sadly the museum at No. 1 Royal Crescent wasn’t open as it is being renovated.  I also took a trip (on my own – couldn’t put hubby through it) to the Jane Austen exhibit, which I found really, really interesting.  All in all, it was a fantastic few days away.

Here’s a random selection of photos from the trip away.

Bath Abbey - ceilingBath Abbey - window pic

Inside Bath Abbey was beautiful.

Bath Abbey

A strange art installation at the Abbey

Roman Baths - outside Abbey viewRoman Baths - Sulis

 

Duo shopDream boot - Duo

Look what I found!!  I also spotted the next pair of Duo boots I NEED!

Jam cocktail - Bath

Cocktail’s were flowing – even from jam jars……

Slug ladies room - Bath

Quite possibly the most glamorous ladies toilets ever……..

 

 

Wedding Outfit and Duo Boots Update

I’ll start with my boots update.  You may recall that I wrote here about the zip pull breaking on my trusty, 4-year-old Ravenna black riding boots from Duo.  I got straight onto their customer service team to ask if there was anything that I could do about fixing them.  I got a reply back from then within 24 hours asking if I could take a photo of the problem as the extent of the break determined what they’d need to send me, but basically they said they could send me two full length zips and sliders, or for a fee I could send them back to Duo to be refurbished.  On sending the picture over they determined that all I needed was the pull, which they have since sent me, free of charge, along with a video on how to fit them at home.  Needless to say, I’m VERY impressed!

Ravenna Black leather ladies-boots 2498 small

 Hubby and I went to a wedding reception on Saturday evening, and it gave me the perfect chance to breakout my latest fall-back dress.  I brought this last autumn in Debenhams from their Duo range.  I was literally walking through the store to get to the other side of the shopping centre and it just caught my eye as I was on the escalator.  My friend had arranged a quite formal party evening as part of her Hen weekend so I was thrilled when I saw that it was reduced from £100 to £50.  You can imagine my elation when I got to the till and it was reduced again to £25!  Since the Hen weekend I’ve found another 3 occasions to wear it, so when it comes to cost-per-wear, this dress is currently coming in at £6.25 per wear – pretty amazing for formal wear!Steve Lamb wedding outfit

Each time I’ve worn it I’ve changed the accessories, for example instead of the black patent belt, shoes and clutch I’ve worn it with a patent red belt and shoes, a red bangle and nude tights.  I’ve been trawling ebay trying to pick up a pair of hot pink shoes and accessories to wear with it too.  As it was from last year, it’s not on sale anymore, however many companies still use the same block or pattern year-on-year and just change the fabric or cut of the neck etc, so a dress in exactly the same shape is currently discounted on their website.

 Debenhams dress

 Do you have a fall-back dress you just couldn’t live without?

Cold has stopped play – some work outfits from last week

I’ve been suffering from the really bad cold which is going around, which means that I have been living in my p-jays since Sunday, so with little to write about and no back log of saved ideas generated yet, I thought I’d give a round-up of a couple of outfits from the end of last week

 Thursday’s work outfit

 As I haven’t ironed for what seems like a millennium, by the end of last week I was struggling to pull suitable work outfits together.  The company I work for has a dress policy, but depending on the department you work for, depends on whether it is followed or not.  Sometime the policy isn’t even followed in the same department – it’s all very wishy-washy to be honest. 

I work as a PA to a Company Director and as I regularly have to meet and greet guests from reception I always like to ensure that I dress smartly Monday to Thursday, and that sometimes extends to “dress down Friday” if we have a VIP visitor coming in.  I generally stick to dresses and skirts for work which I can dress up or down with jackets and cardigans if I’m going out afterwards.  Dresses are my favourite though as I feel that they are so easy to just pull on and go!

Anyway, due to general malaise on the ironing front, I was only left with couple of ‘dress down Friday’ style skirts and a dress which needed the button sewing back on (I always plan to do stuff like sewing on buttons at the weekend, but then Monday rolls around and it’s still not done – note to self: must get better at planning my personal time!).  I was already running late and so struck with a mild panic I turned to my Tim Gunn mantra and decided to go with a dress-down Friday skirt and “make it work”.

  Work outfit - thurs

The sweater was another outlet bargain from LK Bennett in Portsmouth (£19 from £99 if I remember rightly).  It’s a gorgeous silk mix fine knit with ¾ length sleeves.  I put a navy Primark vest on underneath for modesty/warmth (air-con battle at work anyone??).  The skirt is from White Stuff and I’ve had it for a while.  I usually wear it with funky coloured tights and my Duo brown riding boots.  This time I added my purse friendly and amazingly comfortable caramel court shoes from Marks & Spencer.  These little beaut’s are a mere £19.50, they look exactly like the LK Bennett Sledge Court, as worn by every member of the Middleton family (even the dog; it’s true, I saw it on Mail Online…..) but most importantly I can testify that they are so comfortable that they can be worn for an 8 hour-long girls night which includes about 4 hours of dancing.

Friday’s Outfit

Dress down Friday saw me wearing my Boden dark denim A-line skirt, a multicoloured vest from Next with a Gap cardigan and my brown riding boots from Duo.  The belt was a bargain from Primark for about £3!  Normally, I would have worn this outfit with the vest pulled out over the waistband of my skirt – a hangover from always trying to cover my bum!  However, I decided to tuck it in and stick the belt on and I was really pleased with how it looked.  It’s amazing how my brain tells me to dress in a certain way in an effort to hide my lumps and bumps but in doing that I can often end up looking bigger than I really am.  The sartorial equivalent of putting your head in the sand…..

Friday work outfit

 

Here’s where you can buy the items or similar:

BLENHEIM SKIRT  Product Image Product Image

Everyday A-Line Skirt  Camara Tan Leather ladies-boots list 

 

 

Date Night Outfit

My lovely hubby took me out for dinner on Saturday night and as I had my suede boots out from photographing them for my last blog I thought I’d give them a trip out (I had checked the weather report – no rain was predicted, so it was safe!). 

LK Bennett Dress

I decided to wear my bargain LK Bennett dress which I picked up for a total steal at the outlet store in Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth.  I wore a black vest from Primark underneath it along with my M&S suck it all in tights.

We had a really great evening, eating, drinking and chatting.  I hadn’t told him that I’ve been doing this blog.  I’m not sure really why, I think it’s because I was worried he might tease me I guess.  Anyway, I had to ask him to take this picture of me, which caused much head scratching but the cab turned up before he could ask more.  Unusually, he remembered and brought it up in the conversation later on in the evening and took advantage of my wine-fuzzled head, so I ‘fessed up.  Of course, my fears were totally unfounded and he was totally supportive and maybe just a touch impressed, which was pretty cool. 

During the day I took advantage of the lovely, sunny, spring weather and walked to the next local town (about a 40 minute walk), to meet a good friend of mine who is having a bit of a bad time of it lately.  I got there a bit early and popped into one of the charity shops and found an amazing, brand new weekend bag by Jasper Conran for Tripp.  Well, I think it might be a laptop bag but it’s really quite big and it zips right open and it’s plenty big enough to fit clothes for one night away.  Not bad for £7.50!  Me and hubby will be away for one night on Saturday (a night in a country manor house which was a wedding gift from my best friend since school), so it will get its first use!Weekend bag 2Weekend bag 3Weekend bag 1

 

Where you can buy a similar outfit:

Lizzie Jersey Printed Wrap Dress  Laurel Black suede ladies-boots list Bodysensor™ 60 Denier Secret Slimming™ Tummy Tuck Tights with Magicwear™ Technology Fairtrade Cotton Rich Strappy Vest with Stay New™ Mood Mini Pearl And Pink Patterned Bead Stacker Necklace