A day trip to Happy-Gate...

I'm a big fan of the North, and despite not getting to visit half as much as I'd like to- with a trip to Harrogate on the cards a few weeks back I was pretty excited to get my fix of tea, friendly faces (with this trip including a huge catch up with Joe's gorgeous sister Lucy) and some serious girl time at Bettys- another place I'd been desperate to try.

With a train journey to Leeds paired with a short car journey (fuelled by chatter, giggling and wedding talk)- Lucy and I pulled in to a very sunny Harrogate, before hot footing it to Betty's Imperial Rooms to sample their infamous Lady Betty tea, which was possibly one of the best I've ever had. Starting with a miniature gala pie, prawn cocktail and smoked salmon and dill roulade- and following with traditional sandwiches, lavender and sultana scones, and a tower of baby sized cakes which could rival anything Mary Berry could magic up, we were truly full (and satisfied) after indulging in strawberry macarons, meringue and delicate praline slices- mm mmm! However, no visit to Bettys is complete without a visit to the downstairs gift shop and bakery, and before our ride back we made sure to fill our boots with their signature tea, homemade shortbread and some special biscuits (because no episode of GBBO is now complete without them)!

With a couple of hours before my train home, Lucy and I made sure to do a leisurely stroll of the town and after resisting trips to Whistles and Space NK (no wonder it's the UK's happiest place)- we stumbled across a pretty special vintage shop in the shape of Space, somewhere I'm already desperate to go back to (put it this way- Biba and Marc Jacobs in one place)! Our afternoon soon came to a close, and despite it being short and (very) sweet (must've been all the sugar)- we've vowed to undertake a mini tour of the North in an excuse to head back (and visit more beautiful places)- so watch this space!

Thank you Bettys for inviting us along to review the tea, as always- all opinions are my own- but my goodness, was it special!


Day Tripping: Harrogate

If you're not braving the elements at a music festival this weekend, and have a little spare time in the capital- then I have a little idea that'll literally be music to your ears- and won't break the bank either (in fact, you won't have to spend a penny)! Sound good? Meet the #MusicCube...

Yesterday evening my gal Carrie and I headed across to Westfield Stratford City to hang out in their Music Cube (with, y'know a certain Ms Glynne)- which, if you're not familiar with the concept- sounds a little futuristic and space-age, doesn't it? The cube is Westfield Stratford's very own music festival being held across this Bank Holiday weekend (the 28th until Monday 31st August), which holds host to an array of hugely successful artists, setting up set and performing to a handful of lucky shoppers who get their mitts on tickets- and even better? The tickets are absolutely free!

Whether you fancy singing along with Saint Raymond (but not too much, everything is played through headphones- so passers by can observe your vocals), wailing with Wretch 32 or crooning with Conor Maynard- there are so many amazing artists and DJ sets over the weekend, so I seriously recommend heading by if you're over in East. On top of that, if you can't make it everything is live streamed on the Music Cube website, so have a gander over there to catch some serious shape cutting in the comfort of your own home!

Happy Bank Holiday!

Post in collaboration with Westfield, but love of live music, singing out of tune and festivals all very much my own


One way to spend your Bank Holiday...

Fortnum & Mason Afternoon Tea at The Shard:
If you want to kill two traditionally British birds with one stone, then I can't recommend this special afternoon at The Shard tea any more. You don't need me to tell you how beautiful the views from the top of this place are, but if you add scones, clotted cream and finger sandwiches into the equation, I can promise you things get a whole lot sweeter. At £85, it's not the cheapest afternoon tea for two- but with ticket prices for the view included, as well as a special seat for two overlooking the whole of London (and a Fortnum experience, which is pretty much numero uno in London)- it's certainly a memorable way to pass a few hours. On top of that, you can even now head up at 7:30 for some sunset tea- not bad, huh?

The Shard, London SE1 9SG- until Tuesday 8th September 2015

No. 32 The Old Town
It's no often I'm in the Clapham Area, so I'm a little bit of a novice- but after visiting Tart earlier this year, and now No. 32- it's safe to say this part of town is safely on my radar. Having visited No. 32 with friends in the winter for a gorgeous dinner, Joe and I headed to the restaurant to sample their delicious breakfast menu- and it without a doubt wins points for the 'HELP! I LOVE the look of everything' award. After deliberating between a brioche and caramelised red onion sausage sandwich, ricotta pancakes and a full English- I opted for the Breakfast Bruschetta (avocado, spinach, tomato and bacon)- with Joe keeping it simple with the most delicious scrambled eggs. Let's just say I know where I'll be spending many Saturday mornings in the foreseeable future...

32 The Pavement, London SW4 0JE


London Loves #4

In my opinion, one of life's little treasures is discovering the talent of an independent artist, seller or creator- and being able to make a little part of what they do your own- shopping 'indie' if you like. It feels like being let in on a really cool secret, only one you want to share and water like a little bud- until it becomes something bigger, exciting and even more likely to grow...

This deep analogy my friends, is how I describe Etsy and it's bustling online home of independent retailers and wonderfully creative people. Just over a week ago myself, and some of my favourite ladies from the blogging world (read: Carrie, Lucy, Dunya, Kbel, Amy, Kate and Hannah) paid a visit to Brighton to meet some of the cities Etsy sellers, learn a little about what they do- and give it a go for ourselves- pretty special if you ask me! After indulging in a healthy lunch at hotspot Silo- we headed to Lick HQ to set up our stations for the afternoon, and indulge in crafty classes from flower princess Georgie St Clair and Designosaur- as well as meeting some other fantastic sellers (Toby from I Like Cats- getting serious purry kudos too, and not just from his Spice Girl postcard)!

After trying our hand at some of the crafts, we managed to chat to some of the creators, watching them in their natural habitat, and creating some of the most unique and special pieces you can pick up. With playful wood, acrylic and fine jewellery from RockCakes, delicate silver pieces from Oh Someday, whimsical laser cut goodness from Cat-a-Cake- accessories were firmly covered. We also got to meet hello DODO and their amazing screen printed graphic creations (think greetings cards and totes), Ellen from B Millinery and her amazing fascinators and headpieces- as well as discover In The Making, a dyed and graphic homewares shop too.

It was so wonderful to be able to get a little behind the scenes peek of how these people work, a mini preview of what their workshops look like (think plenty of paint pots, slogan notebooks and cat pictures a plenty) and get to know a little more about one of my favourite online sites. I've linked all of the shops above, so be sure to take a little nosey at some of the amazing goodies for sale. I've also updated my Brighton guides for anyone thinking of paying a visit, so if you're planning a sleepover of your own you can see where to stay here, what to do here and more ideas here. Thank you again Etsy for the perfect couple of days!


The Importance Of Shopping Indie



Hello, you! I'm Olivia, or Liv- a 23 year old girl living in London, spending most of her time blog writing, photo taking, social media updating and occasionally cake baking.


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