Hem and Away: Seattle Day #1

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Hey there!

Those of you who follow us on Twitter will be aware that I (Jo) am currently on vacation in Seattle! I thought it might be fun to try and keep a little holiday diary of sorts, a travelog if you will. So sit back and grab a cup of coffee, She and Hem is going Stateside.

Now, first things first, I make no secret of the fact that I LOVE America. It’s my spiritual home and makes me feel oh-so-super-happy. This, however, is my first time visiting Seattle!  It is my life ambition to visit all 50 states, and with Washington being my 25th, I’m feeling pretty chuffed to have hit the half-way mark! I’m hoping that once I hit 50 I will unlock a secret bonus 51st state. I probably definitely played too many video games as a child.

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After a cheeky lie in after a long day of travel, the first thing on the agenda was a trip on the monorail! The monorail was built in 1962 for the World’s Fair and still connects the Seattle Center (where the Space Needle is) with Downtown today. It was certainty very quick, covering the mile long track in a matter of minutes, and was a lot of fun too!

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Without fail, everyone who have I discussed going to Seattle with has recommended going to Pike Place Market, and with good reason! It’s absolutely alive with activity! It was created over a century ago when the people of Seattle grew tired of paying extortionate amounts of money for food and produce, with Pike Place Market being a place where you could ‘Meet the Producer’. It covers 9 acres and although I didn’t quite manage everything today, I had a fantastic time sampling chocolate covered cherrys, watching the much lauded fish throwing and meeting a giant pig called Rachel! I’ll definitely be going back for another nose around later in the week,

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Just underneath Pike Place Market, in Post Alley, is this huge Gum Wall! It’s sort of pretty and gross all at the same time, I suppose you could say it’s pretty gross! Especially as in 2009 it was listed as one of the top germiest tourist attractions in the world! People started sticking their gum to the wall, which is next to the Market Theater,  in 1993. After a couple of attempts at scraping the gum off, they gave up and let it become the tourist attraction it has become today.

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After purchasing a City Pass, we decided that a harbour tour was in order and hopped aboard an Argosy Cruise.  The hour tour was a brilliant way to see the Seattle skyline and the on-board narrator was extremely interesting and informative. We learn’t all about the different piers, the history of some of the neighbourhoods and buildings, and had a fascinating look at the shipping terminals and container ships. I could hardly contain-er my excitement.

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After an hour of sitting in the sun (it was 29 degrees today) we decided to use another of our City Pass vouchers and visit the Aquarium.  It was excellent fun looking at all the fish! I especially enjoyed the octopus and the touching tanks – I stroked a starfish!

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It was then time for a little wander around the Olympic Sculpture Park, a free outdoor park full of permanent and visiting art works. I loved Heather Hart’s temporary installation, “The Western Oracle: We Will Tear the Roof Off the Mother”,  a rooftop construction that visitors can climb on.

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For my first day exploring the city, I wore my polka-dot shorts from Miss Selfridge, a t-shirt from Topshop and my trusty white shoes, also from Topshop. My bag is from Cath Kidston and my glasses are Red or Dead.
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I’m off to bed now! Have a wonderful Tuesday, y’all.

Jx

She and Home: Instant Vintage

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As part of a week of celebrations in honour of their 5th birthday, the boutique shop Instant Vintage kindly invited us to join them for an evening of canapés, drinks and discounts at their shop in beautiful Bath. Never ones to turn down a free glass of Pimms, we gladly accepted and hot footed it over there on the train last Thursday evening. And what a treat it was too! They had obviously been working very hard to ensure their guests had a dapper old time, even decking out a usually unused terrace area with fake grass, bunting and giant poms poms. It was a lovely space to sit and have a drink and eat delicious cupcakes! We would gladly have stayed  sat there all evening!

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When we finally wrenched ourselves away from the seating area (and the Pimms), we duly took advantage of the 20% discount on offer!

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Victoria: I am shamed to say that I’ve only visited Bath a handful of times, and I have never had the chance to visit Instant Vintage before. Boy, have I been missing out! The shop is light and airy, with plenty of space to browse. Considering how long Jo and I were browsing on Thursday, I felt no pressure from the friendly staff to buy or to hurry. In fact we were invited to stay longer for more Pimms! Instant Vintage’s ever changing line of pretty dresses, blouses and accessories will now be irresistible each time I am in Bath. Heck, I’d even make the journey to purchase something extra special from this brilliant boutique.

I kept my vintage inspired look quite simple and wore one of my favourite M&S dresses, which I cheekily picked up from a car boot sale several years ago for the outrageously low sum of £1. It’s certainly my best bargain to date. I find the peach polka dot dress to be rather  flattering, as the matching belt clinches in at the waist, creating shape to an otherwise simple dress. My tan shoes are from New Look and my amazing costume popcorn ring is from a boutique in Croatia.

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DSC_0130Jo: As a frequent visitor, and former resident, of Bath, I am a seasoned Instant Vintage shopper and was absolutely delighted at the prospect of spending an entire evening pursuing their wares. I already own quite a few of their items and find that they always draw compliments. I remember when it first opened, receiving a text from a friend to say that a new shop had appeared and that it “looked my sort of thing”. Oh how right they were! From the moment I set eyes on their window display of perfectly pretty vintage inspired offerings I knew that this was a shop I could get on board with! I was also quietly impressed with the prices as Bath boutiques, as wonderful as they are, aren’t exactly known for their affordability! This, however, was most definitely a shop which allowed me to buy something a little bit different but without having to feel guilty!

For the occasion I dug out a beautiful white Instant Vintage dress which I bought about three years ago. For me it completely embodies what I love about them. It is extremely pretty, made from great quality material and has those lovely vintage influences throughout. I wore it with polka-dot tights from M&S, Florence and Fred shoes and an Olivia Burton watch. My sunglasses (which have since been firmly packed away!) are from Red or Dead.

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Thanks for a great evening Instant Vintage and here’s to the next five years!

J&V

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