PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES

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This week has been hectic, happy, sad and exciting all at once so I thought I’d take the chance to sit down with a cup of tea and bring you up to speed on what’s been going on. I started off the week in London with my Mum. As many of you know, my parents have been planning to emigrate to the Canary Islands for a while now, and after what feels like years of planning, the time has come. When I was younger we always went on theatre trips to London together – I went to dance school and grew up hooked on musicals, so we would save up and book a nice hotel, then get our fill of theatre and shopping in a busy weekend. What could have been more fitting before she jetted off than to repeat that childhood ritual? My absolute favourite film in the world is The Wizard Of Oz, and Wicked has been on my list of must-see shows for years, so I booked us a pair of tickets, and off we went.

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We booked a stay at the Grange City Hotel near Tower Bridge, which is a beautiful, yet pricy 5* number. We booked using Last Minute’s ”secret hotel” feature, which I haven’t done in a long time, but have always been happy with.  It allows you to buy hotel rooms at discounted rates but you only find out the exact hotel once you pay. I’ve done it about four times now and if you stick with 4* or 5* places you won’t be disappointed. We ended up saving a whopping £150 on the usual rate per night which in our book is money better spent on wining and dining. Our room was lovely and if you’re looking for a special weekend I would highly recommend staying there as the staff were very attentive. We even had a little balcony which was much appreciated in the heatwave! Since we were there on a weekday it was mainly filled with business guests so it was nice and quiet.

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Once we arrived we got our gladrags on and headed for dinner. My Mum had never been to Wahaca so we decided to go there, and we almost had to be rolled out! I seriously love the food there, I could survive on exclusively Mexican food quite easily and my Mum enjoyed her first experience. Once we were full of mojitos and tacos we made our way to the Apollo Victoria to see the show. Wow is all I can say! Shame on me for waiting so long to see Wicked, as a fan of the “original” story/film I think I half wanted to see it and half feared it. It was a clever, witty, dry and eventful couple of hours and I could watch it again right now. I was already familiar with the more famous songs from the show and hearing them live and in context was fantastic, but what I loved most was the obvious social and political allegory that was the story. It’s a show that will mean so much more to adults than to children but that both can appreciate and enjoy, with a fantastic set design to boot. The touring production comes to Manchester soon and I’m so tempted to go again.

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After the theatre we popped to M&S for some wine and snacks and headed back to our hotel for a relaxing night. We could have gone bar hopping with cocktail in hand, but heaven to us that night was relaxing in our snazzy hotel robes, kicking back on the huge comfy beds, chatting and catching up with Honey Boo Boo. It’s been so long since we have been on our own together, so we had a lot of catch up on and so many plans to make. The next morning we had some lazy coffee and newspaper time and then  headed to Bill’s in Covent Garden to meet Estée for breakfast. My Mum has met Estée (and Aslan) before and she loves them so much, so it was nice to have a girly breakfast and catch up. If you haven’t been to Bill’s you need to change that, they do the best breakfasts.

I had a meeting soon after so I left my Mum to browse Covent Garden and then met up with her a couple of hours after. This is when things started to get busy! I got an email from my agent saying she had a quick last minute job for me, was I free tomorrow? Well I was due to go back that evening with my Mum but I was interested in the job so I just decided to roll with the punches and go for it. I was about to book a hotel but Estée insisted that I stay with her and I did a quick dash to Zara and M&S for a new blouse and more importantly some underwear since I’d worn everything I brought with me! It all worked out in the end and once I had what I needed my Mum & I headed to the Boots store on Fleet Street for their event. We tried out the latest launches and I had my foundation matched by the lovely Debbie from No7, I can’t wait to give that a whirl.

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Before too long it was time to grab the bags and my Mum made her way to the train to go home and I headed to see Estée & Aslan. We chilled out and I got some much needed sleep before being on set in the morning. I was shooting some videos for House Of Fraser about upcoming trends and how to filter them into your wardrobe using items from the store. They were such a lovely team to work with and although it’s always a little unnerving at first being filmed by someone else and having about 15 people in the room when you’re used to setting up your own camera and just being alone in the room, I think it went well! I had a beautiful model to dress in the clothes and she was a pleasure to work with, not sure how great I will look on camera next to her though, seriously now! Funnily enough I ended up working with one of Lily’s childhood friends, Mariel. (One of these photos is stolen from her Instagram which you can find here) It just goes to show that however vast London is, it can be a small world! Mariel also has an Etsy shop which I’m in love with! I am ordering one of her pillows for the new house! I can’t wait to see the final outcome of the videos!

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Once we wrapped I dashed back up North to have a family BBQ at my Nana’s house before waving my parents off the next morning to start their new life in the sun. Huge thanks to Essie & Aslan for being the ultimate friends and giving me a ride to Euston so I made my train, I owe you one! I am so unbelievably happy for my parents and so proud that they are taking a leap of faith and doing what they have always wanted to do, but I will miss them a huge amount because we are so close. Although I will miss them being a car journey away, I’m thrilled that they have the opportunity to retire early. They’ve worked so hard all their lives and they deserve it. We already have a trip planned for January to see them and there will always be a room for them in our new house. Skype and Facetime make things like this so much easier now, but it didn’t stop me crying uncontrollably all day yesterday. I told Matt that my heart is happy for them but my eyes just haven’t got the memo yet. Matt made me a lovely dinner last night and I woke up this morning and video chatted with them, seeing how happy they are is so wonderful. So there we have my busy and slightly over-emotional week! What did you do this week?

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  • Emma

    That is an amazing place to retire to! I just got back from our honeymoon in Tenerife (I’d been there once before but my huusband hadn’t) and I’ve been to Lanzarote as well. It’s been brilliant each time I’ve been to the canaries. I know you will miss them-I would have been the same as you if my parents were doing it! But you know they’re going to a lovely place and the good thing is they’re only a shortish, cheapish flight away :-) xx

  • http://makeupfragrances.blogspot.com.es/ Kyllie

    I love so much your blue dress <3

  • http://www.hungryhealthyhappy.com Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy

    That does sound like a whirlwind. I am still yet to go to Wahaca – Mexican food is my favourite and Mexico is my favourite place in the world. Definitely next time I am in London.

  • http://www.noisy-rain.blogspot.it/ Daria

    It looks like such a lovely holiday, every picture makes me jelous! xx

  • Emma

    Looks like you had the best weekend! I love Wicked.

    I know both your Mum and Dad with love the Canary Islands, and plus, you need to go visit them right? :)

    Hmm maybe…

  • http://abigailalicex.blogspot.com abbie

    I adore Wicked! I thought it was such a great show when I saw it in London a couple of years back. I’d definitely go and see it again! Glad that you had such a lovely time in London!

    Feel free to enter my MAC Lipstick giveaway!
    http://abigailalicex.blogspot.com

  • http://www.nicola-m.blogspot.com Nicola

    Aw I really enjoyed reading this post :)

  • http://bonvoyagelauren.com Lauren Meshkin @BonVoyageLauren

    Awww, this post hits home for me. I also grew up going to the theatre with my mom and have such an appreciation for musicals. When I was living in London last year I saw at least two shows a month and it was wonderful. Wicked, Billy Elliot, and Les Mis are my favorites! Also, I’m obsessed with Wahaca. Good choice.

  • http://sarahkayblogs.blogspot.com Sarah

    So glad you enjoyed Wicked, such an amazing show. Even seeing the picture of inside the theatre got me all excited! Lots of luck to your parents on their new adventure :) x

  • Julie

    Lovely blog of our time together Gem I enjoyed every second. Can’t wait to come and see your lovely new home and for you both to come out here to the sunshine ☀☀

  • May

    I love your post! Ir makes my day. What camera is it?