Sunday 31 May 2015

Lady Sarah goes to Downton Abbey

As a treat this week, the hubbins took me on a trip to Highclere Castle in Berkshire (aka Downton Abbey!) so that I could finally pretend to be Lady Mary.

He suffered in relative silence while I romped around singing the theme tune, acting like a fan girl, and was placated by the Egyptian Exhibition, which is currently on display there. Did you know that it was actually the former Earl of Carnarvon whose death triggered the legendary curse of Tutankhamun? He and Howard Carter discovered the famous tomb, but the earl died a couple of months later in curiously similar circumstances to the young Pharaoh. You can read more about it here.

I chose to wear the lovely Orla dress from Allium B, which I reviewed earlier this month. If you're fast you can still use the discount code and I paired it with pink pumps from Victoria Plimsolls.

Highclere is a beautifully situated stately home - and if you ever thought the design looked familiar, that's because it was designed by the same person who designed the Houses of Parliament in London. The grounds are very pretty and there's a sweet 'secret garden' encased by old walls to wander around, too. Inside you can walk around some of the rooms used by the television crew and imagine yourself as the formidable Dowager Duchess or dream of Matthew Crawley coming around the corner...

It is super busy though, and you have to get there early if, like us, you didn't buy your tickets several months ago. Make sure you visit the website for opening times. We were told that the crew were heading back on Wednesday to film the last ever scenes...and I was sorely tempted to hide in the bushes.

Sarah x

Monday 11 May 2015

Review: Allium B

Is anyone else stuck in frock limbo? After that glorious summer-in-April spell I was all ready to go with my shorts and floral dresses and linen shirts. My skin was dappled with childish freckles and the faintest hint of a tan began to appear on my almost transparent limbs.

But now that the sunshine is but a memory I’ve been stuck. 
I don’t want to wear thick dresses and dull colours any more. The romance of such items faded back in January when the long nights lost their Christmassy allure.
However, I might just have found the solution. 
I know. This is big.
I was recently asked to review a dress by one of my favourite British brands, Allium B. Many is the time that I have extolled the virtues of this design duo (sisters Mary and Clare) and you can read more about them here and here.

Choosing a dress to review was very tricky because they are all just so lovely! When you head over to their website (which you absolutely must – once you’ve finished reading, obviously) you will see what I mean.

I eventually settled on the Orla dress in Liberty’s Betsy print. This sort of pattern is a complete departure for me as I normally opt for pastel prints - if any at all, but I decided to go against my usual grain. And I am so pleased I did!

The dress is cut in a simple and classic style. The waistline creates wonderful definition (I was particularly happy because I have a very ‘athletic’ – read ‘straight up and down’ figure) and the slightly curved neckline with subtle folds is feminine and flattering. And it has pockets. Hooray for pockets!

Posing in Petworth.

I'm 5"7 and the dress falls just above my knees. To give you some sense of sizing, I'm wearing an 8. 

I opted to wear this over a sleeveless linen shirt from Uniqlo and pink suede Mary-Jane shoes from Radley when I went for an outing to a local craft fair. The cute little sheep necklace is from Joules. 
On a chillier day, I opted for Falke tights in charcoal, red ankle boots from Shoe Embassy London and white speckled jumper from Uniqlo. The necklace is from &Other Stories. 

This dress proved itself to be ideal for a summery day, as well as a transitional piece. 
If, like me, you're an investment dresser then you'll love these dresses. They are made to be worn and loved again and again, but the beautiful Liberty print gives a nod and a wink to this summer's seventies' revival, so they'll still make you look on trend. They'll carry you through a whole host of social occasions, too. I'd be just as happy in this at a wedding as I would mooching around the shops. 
I can't recommend these dresses enough. You will not be sorry with one of these in your wardrobe.
P.S. Readers of the SoManyDresses blog get 20% off until 1st June. Just quote somany at the checkout. Ta-dah!


Sarah x