Last week we met up to pay a visit to the RWA, Bristol’s finest art gallery, to check out their current colourful abstract exhibition by Albert Irvin. The large scale distinctive paintings can be seen until the 3rd March 2019.
We also had chance to check out the RWA’s gorgeous hidden gem of a cafe, The Epiphany. It’s a real delight, so we’ll definitely be back soon to sample their lunch options.
In true She and Hem style we went dressed for the occasion in the new fun stationery themed pieces, gifted to us by the wonderful Joanie Clothing, and let us tell you, they are real works of art…
We were kindly invited by SouthGate Bath to come and check out their Festive Forest Christmas installation. Now If you’ve been reading our blog for a while, you will know how much we love a little visit to Bath. It’s the most beautiful city at all times of the year but it really comes into its own at Christmas.
If you aren’t familiar with Bath at all, the SouthGate is a relatively new addition (it has been open since 2010 which makes me feel super old, I can tell you) and a lot of hard work went into making sure this newcomer blended perfectly with the Georgian architecture that makes Bath so beautiful. They totally nailed it and now, as you walk around, you’d honestly think it had always been there. As someone that grew up here, I know how much life SouthGate has injected into what was once a very tired area of Bath. There’s just so much to do with so many great restaurants and shops. Plus, there’s a fabulous brand new boutique cinema, Tivoli, that we can’t wait to visit!
So what of the Festive Forest, I hear you cry! Well, it’s really rather magical and you can see that a lot of thought has gone into making your time in SouthGate feel that little bit more special. They have gone for a Narnia inspired vibe, complete with a ‘magical wardrobe’ to walk through. Guests are greeted by a veritable winter woodland playground, with life-sized animals, twinkly trees and a giant snow globe in which to frolic. It’s rather lovely and it even snows every half an hour! We saw a lot of stunned children (and adults) who weren’t expecting a flurry.
In a complete stroke of genius, they have dotted heated cosy cabins around the plaza, complete with cushions and blankets. You don’t have to pay to use them, you can simply plonk yourself down in one, should you need a break from all that Christmas shopping! Or, if you fancy, you can do what we did and grab a hot chocolate form the Nordic Delights bar, then snuggle on down! They have proved to be really popular with a nice mix of families, students, and workers taking full advantage of the warmth!
After all that frivolity, we were spoiled for choice as to where to eat! We plumped for Thaikhun, a thai streetfood restuarant that has incredible decor. The food was excellent and we will definitely be heading back to sample some more of their dishes.
Last month we went along to one of our favourite National Trust properties (we are both members – that’s how we get our kicks now) Tyntesfield, because from now until 2nd January, they will be stepping back to Christmas past by having ‘A Very Victorian Christmas’. Now, we’ve both been to the grounds before, but we were absolutely taken aback by just how beautiful the house itself is and we were so glad we took the time to have a walk around and explore every gorgeous room. If you are in the area over the festive period, we definitely recommend collecting a ticket upon entry and enjoying the delightful decorations (including the best Christmas tree we’ve ever seen below!), storytelling, carols and a whole lot more lols. You can even ride in a horse drawn carriage, if that’s your thing.
Now, let’s tall about all of these fab festive outfits. We’ve both agreed that they are probably our favourite looks of the year. A big shout indeed. All of the items from the first three photos are from She and Hem faves, Joanie Clothing*. We seriously love Joanie (they haven’t paid us to say this!). We can always find just the right piece we need for all occasions. If you are a regular reader you may remember we both wore Joanie dresses to a friend’s wedding earlier this year. Jo’s black body and sequin skirt and Victoria’s brown corduroy skirt above are also from Joanie*, with the addition of Victoria’s black sparkly jumper from George at Asda. Our black and brown Chelsea boots are oldies but goodies from Boden* and the beautiful matching watches are from Lokken.
We definitely can’t sign off without mentioning our amazing photographer who captured our day at Tynesfield so beautifully. Thank you so much to the incredibly talented and all round lovely lady, Ello from Hunch Co. Pay her a visit for more stunning images. We cannot wait to work together again!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! See you in 2019!
We love it when an email arrives in our inbox from a brand we haven’t heard of before. It’s always so exciting discovering a new website to browse, especially when it’s full of pieces we love! So we were excited to hear from Fashion World who invited us to put together a couple of outfits featuring their winter essentials! They have SO much good stuff and there’s still time to order for Christmas, if you’re quick!
Jo was immediately smitten with the Sylvia Stripe Dress by Monsoon* and was determined to build an outfit around it! It’s such a flattering and easy to wear style, with a super stretchy jersey fabric (perfect for this indulgent season!). It’s just so flippin’ comfy and there’s zero ironing required, always a win! We always appreciate a dress than can be worn with all varieties of shoe, and we think this frock looks just as fabulous teamed with Jo’s Simply Be Patent Boots* as it would do with heels. To finish off her look, Jo added a yellow Wool Beret by Accessorize which goes perfectly with the rainbow chevrons on the dress and totally nails the colour block trend! Woo!
Victoria decided to fully embrace the Christmas spirit by wearing an actual Silver Tinsel Jumper*. It’s SO cool and an easy way to add some festive sparkle to any outfit at all. How awesome would it look with a sequin skirt? Blingtastic! For this outfit, she decided to dress it down with some Spot Side Tapered Jersey Trousers which she described as “so comfortable it’s like I’m wearing my pyjamas in public”. Is there higher praise than this? As you can tell, we are really into easy to wear fashion and these trousers, with their lovely detailing, are the perfect way to look like you’ve made an effort when really they’ve been lying on your bedroom floor. She finished off her outfit with a pair of trusty Chelsea Boots*, an absolute wardrobe staple.
Both outfits came in at under the £100 mark (Victoria actually chose a couple of tops to layer under her jumper too! ) which we think is pretty great value. Let us know if you’re a Fashion World shopper or if you’re tempted by any of the items we chose!
This post was written in collaboration with Fashion World and all items featured were gifted.
Last week we were lucky enough to receive our idea of a Golden Ticket, a ten day pass for all of Bristol’s amazing family attractions to see and sample their festive offerings, courtesy of Visit Bristol. How kind! If you follow us on Instagram you will understand exactly how exciting this was for us. We have two very active toddlers who are happiest when they are exploring, so we really went for it and used the pass as a great opportunity to discover new places to take the girls. It was so fabulous that we’re seriously considering asking Santa for membership for several of the attractions. Here are our ho ho highlights!
First Up, Tyntesfield! From now until 2nd January Tyntesfield will be stepping back to Christmas past by having ‘A Very Victorian Christmas’ indeed. Now, we’ve both been to the National Trust grounds before but we were absolutely taken aback by just how beautiful the house itself is inside. We would definitely recommend collecting a ticket at the entrance and enjoying the traditional decorations (including the best Christmas tree we’ve ever seen!), storytelling, carols and a whole lot more. You can even ride in a horse drawn carriage!
If you are in the centre of town, then head for a browse of the outdoor Christmas markets. They seem to get bigger and better every year! We like to feast on all of the festive treats on offer with our firm favourites being the chocolate fountain and the Bratwurst, but if you are more adventurous, embrace your inner Torvil and Dean and head to We The Curious for a skate around their ice rink.
We also heartily recommend hopping on board a Bristol Ferry Boat for a delightful trip around the harbour. If you really want to push the boat out (ho ho ho), for £13 a head you can join them for a Santa Cruise (why they didn’t call it that is a mystery), which promises lots of festive treats for those big and small. You can find out more about it here.
Last but not least, and slightly further a field, is Slimbridge Wetland Centre. This is our top tip for a Christmas day trip to please all generations. This was just as big a hit with the Grandparents as it is with the toddler and it well worth the drive. As well as admiring the wildlife, you can join Slimbridge for a multitude of festive activities. You can breakfast with elves (!) as well as pay a visit to Santa in his magical grotto. Other festive frivolity includes the opportunity to ice your own gingerbread man, build an elf den, toast marshmallows or send a letter to the North Pole at their post office! I think we can all agree it all sounds pretty excellent and you can find out more here
We were kindly invited along to Bristol Zoo this weekend to creep around and have some gruesome fun taking part in their Half Term Halloween activities. We followed the Mystery Trail Handbook to navigate our way around the Zoo, spotting (and impersonating) our favourite animals as we went. A was unexpectedly fond of the flamingos! So much so, we had to pop in on them on the way out to say goodbye. Oddly, she also seemed quite taken by the giant spider in the Wicked Witch’s Activity Corner…luckily for the Witch, I managed to convince A that she already has enough toys.
Other firm favourites were the (scary) seals, (petrifying) penguins and the (haunted) hippopotamus, which was lovingly referred to as ‘Pippo’ for the rest of the day. One activity I thought she may have been too old for was the Skull Spy, but she absolutely loved running around finding all of the hidden skulls lurking in bushes and down Dracula Drive. You could say, she had a really Spook-tacular time! I must give a shout out to the Zoo gardeners because, my goodness, the Zoo is looking phenomenal at the moment! The green spaces around the park all look delightfully autumnal, with pumpkins and colourful leaves for as far as the eye can see.
If you think you are brave enough to come face to face with some creepy critters this Halloween, from now until 4th November one child can go free with every paying adult when you book online. Use code ‘FREECHILD’ at the checkout to redeem. You are welcome!
Disclaimer: We were not paid for this review, we were however invited by Bristol Zoo to attend their Halloween activities and did not pay for our park entry. All words and opinions are blogger’s own and all ‘standing and looking serious by a tree’ poses are blogger’s own too.
We took our little wild thing to Wild Place Project this weekend, after they kindly invited us to come and check out their Halloween Half Term activities. For one reason or another we have never gotten around to going before so this was the perfect opportunity to check it out! Firstly, I couldn’t get over how close to The Mall (Cribbs Causeway) it is! It’s a four minute drive! (We know this as we maaaaaaaaaaaaay have popped in to John Lewis en route, cheeky). You would, however, never know this by the time you’ve parked up. You suddenly feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere and I really was not expecting such large and beautiful grounds (and a Rapunzel-esque tower in a massive field, what the heck? I’ve since learnt that this is the Hollywood Tower, which was built in 1839!). I don’t think we could have chosen a more picture perfect Autumn day to visit and it was gorgeous to just walk around admiring the trees.
There’s a lot of pretty cool family friendly stuff going on for Halloween. We particularly enjoyed watching the young wolf pack, as well as doing the pumpkin hunt through the woods – which took us past all manner of creepy characters. Poppy didn’t bat an eyelid at any of it and thought it was all rather hilarious. She kept offering the Witch drinks and snacks and spent a good five minutes blowing her kisses. She’s hard as nails, apparently. It was also an excellent way of using up energy and we ran back and forth through the woods, climbing on the many kid friendly structures Wild Place have dotted around the site. Some of the older kids were having a whale of a time climbing a big tree that had been designated for such hi-jinks.
All in all, it was a great success and, as a family, we loved it. It felt like we packed a lot in but it was all surprisingly relaxing. I thought it had the perfect mix of stuff to keep our active toddler entertained, with animals big and small, lots of space for running and a couple of really good play areas (there’s even an indoor play area for the under 5s).
She cried when we left, there’s no higher praise.
If you fancy visiting this Halloween, they are running their activities for two weeks starting on Saturday 20th October. Check out the Wild Place Project website to find out more and to book tickets
Disclaimer: We were not paid for this review, we were however invited by Wild Place Project to attend their Halloween activities and did not pay for our park entry. All words and opinions are blogger’s own and all spelling and grammatical errors are blogger’s own too.
As it’s Wimbledon time once again, we thought we’d go and cause a right old racket in the woods and serve you up some trendy tennis realness. If you are a hawk eyed reader, you may have seen these fabulous frocks on the blog before. While my (Victoria) little green number* from Emily and Fin is sadly no longer available, you can find Jo’s 1950’s inspired beauty* here, from our friends at Carousel. Strawberries and Pimms all round!
Minimal accessories looked a solid ten out of ten-is for these looks. My yellow sandals are from M&S (they are so comfortable that I have them in three colours) and my panama hat* is from Laura Ashley. It actually first featured on the blog in 2015. So much has changed around here since then, but I’m still loving that hat! Those awesome square ombre sunglasses* are an ace from She and Hem favs Joanie and have recently been reduced to £5! Finally, Jo’s super fun pencil shoes* are from Cath Kidston and her glasses were a gift. Groovy moves and sassy poses all her own.
Hope you’re all enjoying this grand slam weather! See you on the courts.
A couple of weeks ago we were both lucky enough to attend a beautiful wedding up North with our families. We had such a lovely time on the happy couple’s very special day and it was great fun getting all dressed up with the girls. We must admit, however, that we did have a slight wardrobe based panic the month beforehand as it dawned on us that we had to find not one but two wedding guest dresses that were not only all weather appropriate but also fully toddler proof! A challenge indeed! Luckily our friends at Joanie were on hand to save the day with their fabulous frocks, phew!
I (Victoria) wore the Celia Polka Dot Tea Dress*, which is now in the sale for a mere £26.60. Joanie really know how to do end of season sales! There are so many bargains on there at the moment. The sunshine yellow dress is fun, feminine and hella flattering, which means I was really able to take advantage of the vol-au-vents and gin bar.
Jo wore the Sunday Floral Stripe Sun Dress* and the Ilona Crochet Stitch Cardigan which a lot like the bride and groom, were a match made in heaven. Aww. She wore a petticoat underneath which really made the dress pop! My gold block heels were from ASOS and Jo’s awesome pink flats are Orla Kiely for Clarks. A collaboration we sorely miss!
We are happy to confirm that both dresses made it through the day without any little fingers smearing food or spilling drink on them. A true success story!
Pass us a Pimms and a bucket load of strawberries (or tulips in Jo’s case), we’re about to make a racket about these wonderful tennis print dresses from She and Hem faves Carousel. Now the eagle-eyed amongst you may notice that we’re obviously in different locations for these shots but, never fear dear reader, we aren’t consciously uncoupling! I (Victoria) have simply just been on my holibobs and we couldn’t wait any longer to feature these lovely frocks. Normal service to resume shortly.
So, whilst I’ve been sunning myself in glorious Cyprus, Jo has been skipping round the fields of Somerset picking flowers. If that doesn’t demonstrate versatility in a frock, I don’t know what does. Jo is hoping to write a post about her PYO tulips experience so you may well be treated to a lot of pretty photos soon.
I’m wearing the button-up 1940’s inspired Ingrid Tea Dress*, which I chose because I prefer to have a little something covering the tops of my arms. With the cap sleeves, cute collar and pockets, it ticks all of my dress desires. Thanks Carousel! Jo wears the equally lovely 1950’s style Brigette Dress*. I love the fit and flare shape of the Brigette, it looks excellent paired with her brown ankle boots from M&S.