Monday, 22 April 2013

Lunch at parliament...as you do!

So today I went for lunch at Parliament...as you do.  Sadly (obviously?) I wasn't there to receive any great honour; no, I was just there for a bite to eat and a good old gossip.  You see my friend Grace works there, and at some point casually mentioned that you could have guests for lunch; Emily and I have been nagging her mad to invite us down ever since.

Tourist shot!
*Note to fellow cape wearers: Carrying your bag under your cape is not fantastically flattering...as you can see.


As well as a delicious (and generously subsidised) lunch on the terrace over looking the river (enough to make me want to ditch journalism and move into politics), Grace gave us a whirlwind tour of the grounds...

Incredible stone work including some very impressive gargoyles. I do love a good gargoyle.

Westminster Hall: Built in 1027 it's the oldest part of Parliament, and the only surviving part of the original Palace of Westminster

Its awe-inspiring wooden ceiling is especially important as historians didn't previously think that carpenters were able to build self-supporting roofs until much later (13th or 14th century)

Em and I posing with some rather fantastic (in a Liberace kinda way) stone Deer. 

After Westminster Hall Grace took us through to the main building (where sadly I wasn't allowed to take pics).  We walked through St Stephen's Hall (which was home to the first Common's chamber), into the central lobby (a large hexagonal space with the House of Commons chamber to one side and House of Lords chamber to the other), and best of all into the actual House of Commons chamber itself - the highlight of the whole trip.  Being inside the chamber was insanely exciting and a little surreal.  It's much smaller than you'd think/ it looks on't telly.

I even came home with a souvenir in the form of a rather grand bottle or House of Commons sparkling water!  Who says politics isn't glamorous?

Anyway I just thought I'd share this as it really was one of the most exciting days out I've had in ages.  And don't worry if you don't have a friend with a jazzy job, Parliament is open (well bits of it) to everyone.  You can find out more about visiting, or even do a virtual tour here.

No doubt I'll be back on the leftovers in front of my laptop at the kitchen table for lunch tomorrow...

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Cath Kidston's 20th anniversary: A night of crafts and cocktails!

Quaint, comforting, homely and slightly eccentric, Cath Kidston is instantly recognisable, and one of those brands who feel like they've been around forever.  So I was more than a little surprised when I was invited to a party to celebrate their 20th birthday (only 20? Gosh that makes me feel old!).  

True to brand this wasn't just any old beers in a bar kinda shindig; instead we (myself and a gaggle of other fashiony web types) were given the chance to indulge our inner Domestic Goddesses with candle making and cake decorating (led by East London's very own Queen of Cakes Lily Vanilli)…all helped (or in my case hindered) along by some utterly delicious, dangerously potent cocktails!  

So here are some pics from the night.  Make sure you check out the animated Cath Kidston story at the bottom, it's utterly charming and uplifting, and is guaranteed to put a smile on your face!  

Nothing makes me happier than coordinating my cocktail with my outfit!

My limited edition 'Coming up Roses' mug ready to be transformed into a candle

Phoebe repping for xoJane UK!  

Carefully pouring my birthday cake scented wax (yes, it smells as good as it sounds!)


                                                                                         
Our cake decorating goodies
Lily of Lily Vanilli (yes, I was a little bit starstruck!)
My less than perfect icing rose (I blame the heat/ melting icing!)
                               
Ada with her very professional looking rose (jealous? Me? Never!)

Me looking smug...and tipsy (smipsy?) with my first cake
My quartet of cakes. Yes, I was going for 'rustic'

                                     
The #CK20 crew: Ada, Phoebe, Moi et Celeste from Exposure PR



The Cath Kidston story....

                                       video

For more information on how you can get involved in Cath Kidston's 20th birthday celebrations and their limited edition 'Coming up Roses' birthday range (everything from crockery and handbags to the 'Coming up Roses' book - the inspiring story of how Cath developed her business - Sheryl Sandberg move over!) head to the Cath Kidston website....