Sunday, 23 June 2013

Royal Ascot Royal Enclosure 2013.


Yesterday I went to Royal Ascot with some friends. Sadly I couldn't go during the week this year as I couldn't get the time off work (welcome to the real world eh), but others have always told me that Saturday is the best day to go anyway due to there being more people there. Sadly the day was marked with sadness when we witnessed Thomas Chippendale collapse and die in front of us after winning the Hardwicke Stakes, but we still had a lovely time.

Last year I wore black and cream, so this year I wanted something slightly more summery and with a tinsy bit of colour in it. The Royal Enclosure as usual are really strict on the dress code, the dress must be knee length or below the knee, and it must have thick straps. Naturally I couldn't wear any of the dresses I've previously worn, so I went shopping and saw this beauty in Jaeger. After trying it on I just had to have it. I love the fit and the style, I've always wanted a 50's style dress and finally I have one! The capped sleeves are so cute, I love the pattern and colours of blush pink, cream and black, and I love how it's fitted at the waist then flares out over my hips. I felt a tinsy bit like Marilyn Monroe.

Dress: Jaeger
Hat: Accessorize (past season)

We got to the racecourse and parked up for our picnic! There was a huge group of us there; we sipped on champagne, tucked into mini eggs, camembert and bread, tomato and mozzarella, homemade sausage rolls, and all sorts of other picnic goodies, before opening up the cup cakes and dancing in the rain when it arrived! 






Before we new it it was 1:50pm and we only had ten minutes to get into the enclosure, through the enclosure, out the other side, race up the stairs, through the grandstand, down the stairs, and to the best spot to see the Queen arrive in her carriage. Phewf, we made it.

After seeing Liz we thought we ought to make some bets and get settled for the first race at 3:05pm, the Hardwicke Stakes. All was going well, we were sat on the edge of our seats cheering on our horses as they raced around the racetrack. They finished and an almighty roar went up as Thomas Chippendale crossed the finish line, securing the win and his late trainer Sir Henry Cecil's legacy. 

We screamed and shouted as Sheena realized she'd bet on him, and then tragedy struck. All of a sudden we saw Thomas Chippendale collapse in front of our very eyes, people rushed onto the racetrack and black screens were brought on and placed around him as a horse ambulance raced up the track to the scene. The jockey Johnny Murtagh walked away with his head down, as journalists rushed along beside him with a camera and mic trying to get him to speak. 

The crowd murmured, Sheena, Arabella, and I looked at each other with nervous glances and teary eyes, and everyone was out of their seats standing trying to see what was going on. No one knew what had happened and we were terrified we'd hear the shot of a gun. They loaded him into the ambulance, and it was only later that we found out he had died of a heart attack, right in front of us.

I never thought I could get so emotional over a horse, but just seeing it all happen in front of me put a bit of a dampener on the rest of the day. I think it's the realization of how dangerous a sport it actually is for these horses, as despite the fact that they love to run, maybe sometimes they're just pushed too hard.



Now I've heard so much about the Bird Cage, we went to check it out to see what all the fuss was about.

It was just a bar.


After drinking too much pimms and champagne, we went to see the horses so we could decide which ones to place bets on. I chose mine on the fact it was walking around with its tongue sticking out...needless to say I lost.




It was mighty cold with showers throughout the day (hence why my lovely blow-dried hair from the first photo got destroyed by the time we had our picnic) and with no jacket or cardigan, by the end of the day I was icy cold!

Thankfully it was the end and time to leave, so I hopped in my car, turned the heating to full, and drove down the road to Sandhurst for a the Sandhurst Charity Ball!

Did you go to Ascot this year? What did you wear?


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Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Kettner's, Soho.


Claire and I have been trying to get to Soho restaurant Kettner's for months. After a couple of cancelled bookings on our part, we finally managed to get there last night, and it was well worth the wait! As soon as we walked into the restaurant our coats and large bags were taken to the cloakroom, which made a nice change from the normal mid-priced restaurants who expect you to lug everything to the table then sit there surrounded by bags of shopping. 

The atmosphere is chic, light and airy, with a boutique feel and mismatched furniture. The Brasserie is utterly charming, with the smooth sounds of a jazz pianist lulling you into the squidgy back bench. We eyed the menu and ordered; Claire went for a starter of Chicken Liver Parfait with Crispy Bread and Red Onion Marmalade, which she said was delicious! I saved myself for a dessert and stuck to the fresh bread and (slightly-too-hard-needed-10-seconds-in-the-microwave) butter. 

I'd been craving a bit fat juicy burger all day, so for main I had the Kettner's Cheeseburger with House Cut Chips, while Claire had the Crispy Gloucestershire Old Spot Pork Belly. Sadly you can only have the burger cooked medium or well done, I usually have medium-rare, so I just went for medium. When it arrived the burger was huge! It was a messy affair eating it, but I managed it eventually. The burger itself was tasty, however the patty was a bit too well-done for me rather than medium, and a little too chewy.

Kettner's Burger

Claire raved about the Pork Belly and when she was full even asked if she could take the rest home in a doggy-bag! For dessert I had my favourite - Creme Brulee. The caramelized sugar topping was perfect in every way; nicely browned and crispy, yet thick enough that I had to knock it with some force with the spoon. 

Kettner's Pork Belly

We both loved Kettner's, the food was scrumptious, and the service excellent! The staff weren't pushy and let you relax rather than rushing you between courses, but at the same time they were attentive and seemed to appear whenever you needed them. I'd recommend Kettner's to anyone for a girlie dinner out, and it's right in the heart of Soho near all of the theatres, so ideal for a pre-theatre dinner! It's not too pricey but it feels a little bit special, and they also have a fab champagne bar in the room next door to the brasserie! 



Kettner's on Urbanspoon Square Meal
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Thursday, 13 June 2013

Summer Beauty Preperations.


With summer on it's way and a holiday to Greece to look forward to, I've started scouring the Boots aisles for my summer products. My hair and skin in particular need different products during the summer, my hair needs extra conditioning from sun damage and my skin needs lighter moisturisers and make up. So, here's what I'm gonna be switching to and doing in preparation for the warmer weather!

Hair Care


My summer hair-care routine doesn't change too much to my winter one, but I do use an intensive hair mask  to try and protect it from sun damage. Tresemme Keratin Smooth is my favourite one, it's absolutely amazing and has done wonders for my hair, and it's a bargain at just £5.50 for 300ml!

I also use OSMO Berber Oil quite a lot during the summer, it prevents any frizz and makes my hair lovely and soft and smooth. You can get it on Feel Unique and other places, but it's half the price on Amazon, a bargain £9.40 for 100ml!


While we're on the subject of hair care, I also stocked up on more razors and veet while they were on special offer, as I'm hoping the weather will be nice enough soon to ditch the jeans and tights and get the legs out! A lot of people have been talking about laser hair removal lately too, and I've heard Sk:n is the best laser hair removal place to go, so along with waxing that's another option.

Skincare


Skincare is all about light moisturisers and my favourite summer product, Caudalie Vinoperfect Day Perfecting Fluid! A moisturiser that's completely natural and has no nasties, it gives you a lovely glow and brightens the skin, and doesn't leave the skin feeling oily. It's quite pricey at £35 a tube, but it lasts ages and is definitely worth the extra pennies!

Makeup


In the warmer months I change my day foundation to a light-coverage one, I've recently become a huge fan of Nude by Nature mineral cover foundation after I picked it up when I was last in Australia. I'm gonna do a full review of the products soon, as I absolutely love them!


I wear lipstick a lot during the winter when I go out, but in the Summer I like something lighter, so I just use lipbalm and then the Body Shop Lip Stain, which is perfect! I use the Rose Pink shade and it's a gorgeous summery colour and doesn't feel heavy or creamy on the lips.

Tanning



I've recently become a little addicted to the Piz Buin Tan & Protect Accelerating Oil, it's so good! When I was back in Australia I used it every day, and not only did it smell good and moisturise my skin, but it protected it no problem. I'm not sure whether it did actually accelerate my tan, but I like to think so.

Perfume


Time for the summer scents to come out of the drawer! Yay! My perfumes of choice are DKNY Red Delicious, and Victoria's Secret Pure Seduction. Both are quite sweet and fruity, I'm a bit of a sucker for sweet fruity scents over floral ones.

What's on your summer beauty prep list?



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Monday, 10 June 2013

Polo in the Park 2013.


You may remember how last year I had three days of Polo in a row (posts here and here)...this year I was sadly too busy for three days of it, so I just went to Polo in the Park on the Sunday, which happened to be the worst day for weather. Still, it was a fun day and while we spent most of the day in the Mahiki tent drinking cocktails and chatting, we managed to see one of the early Chukka's, and then the last Chukka of the final as well. Sydney won.

We started with food...obviously. It was cold and miserable so we headed to the pizza stall where they were making it completely fresh in front of you. I preferred the food court last year, it was run by Harrods and Movenpick, and the burgers were ah-mazing, whereas this year it felt more like the food court of the local country show. But the food was still good, and to be honest the pizza was just what I needed!



Then it was Mahiki time! Bring on the cocktails and socializing! A large group of us went, but I'm afraid I've been lacking in the photo-taking department lately - ever since I got my new phone (Samsung Galaxy S3) I've been so lazy with carrying my camera around with me, I've just been taking photos on my phone.



I had my favourite, a Pina Colada, in a pineapple. I'm so fussy with alcohol and I love Pina Colada's as it disguises the 'alcoholic' taste - I love my sweet drinks!


Despite the fact we still hadn't seen a match, we went onto the pitch to stomp the divots!





My day was made when I was walking to the toilets and a woman came over to me and asked me if I was Catherine Lux, a little confused and slightly scared, I said yes I was, and she announced she was a reader of my blog! It turns out she also has a golden cocker spaniel exactly like Dylan, she showed me a photo - they could be twins! I feel dreadful because I didn't get her name, I was tipsy and felt as though my bladder was going to burst, so if you were said woman, I'm so sorry, and please let me know if it was you!! 

After the match we saw the presentation of the cup, but it was so miserable and cold we wanted more food, so left early and went to the pub for a burger! I'm quite sad there wasn't a repeat of last time where I had my photo taken with Jamie Morrison and then drank champagne from his cup (photo evidence here), but the burger was damn good.

Did you go to the Polo this year?


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