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A day out with Next at Chewton Glen

Something really exciting happened to me last week. The amazing guys at Next invited me over to Hedge End, Southampton for a tour of their brand spanking new store followed by a luxurious day of eating & pampering at the swanky Chewton Glen hotel & spa.

My day started by driving over to Rosie’s house so we could drive to the store together (there’s nothing better than going to blogger events with a good blogging buddy is there?!).

The new store is pretty special. It doesn’t look like any other store I’ve seen in the UK before. There’s so much glass! It’s so lovely when you first walk in, there are big high ceilings and you barely feel like you’re indoors at all – there’s even trees inside! It’s also really eco-friendly, with bat houses in the woods next to the store and solar panels on the roof that generate crazy amounts of electricity.

Next Hedge End Southampton outside

I made a beeline for the garden section which is kind of outdoors but indoors at the same time – who even knew that Next sold plants? Amazing!

Next Hedge End SouthamptonGarden area, Next, Hedge End, SouthamptonSummerhouse at Next Hedge End

Then we headed to the in-store Costa (doesn’t it just get better & better!) to meet the PRs and other bloggers & journalists. We got chatting to Steph and after our tour had a little wander around the store together.

Next home & garden Hedge EndShoes at Next Hedge EndNext Home Hedge End SouthamptonShoes at Next Hedge End

Once we’d finished at the store we drove over to Chewton Glen for an afternoon of pampering. We were offered drinks and biscuits on arrival and the lovely Becca from Next gave a short run-down of how the day would go before we headed off to the spa for our treatments. I opted for a luxury manicure (which you can see in the picture below!)

Chewton Glen hotel & spa New Forest

The Style Box & A Rosie OutlookAfter scoffing as much as is humanly possible at the buffet and accidentally ordering enough tea for the whole hotel, Rosie & I headed off to the hydrotherapy pool for a bit of relaxing and a good old natter.

Sitting outside in the hot tub with the sun beaming on my face was the most relaxed I’ve been in a long time. It was my first full day ever without Huxley and as much as I love him and really missed him, it was nice to have some time by myself. We then moved inside to the hydrotherapy pool which was awesome but we kept laughing about it looking like a cattle shed with all the metal poles!

We decided we should get out before we became completely wrinkled and get some fresh air so we went for a little walk around the grounds and checked out the tree houses you can stay in.

Treehouse at Chewton GlenTeepee at Chewton GlenChewton Glen hotel & spaChewton Glen golf courseChewton GlenCourtyard at Chewton GlenChewton Glen bug hotelA Rosie OutlookLifestyle blogger A Rosie OutlookRosie Outlook

After a couple of drinks in the sunshine on the terrace we headed off upstairs to get ready for dinner…

UK lifestyle bloggersUK bloggers The Style Box & A Rosie Outlook

Necklace: H&M (not online) | Shirt: H&M | Jeans: Gap | Rings: H&M (not online), River Island (and this one) & Astley Clarke | Bracelet: Sainsburys (old) | Nails: Jessica ‘Juicy Melon’

Dinner was beautiful. A whole bunch of lovely people, a wonderful atmosphere and delicious food. I went for smoked salmon followed by steak and then panna cotta and it was all amazing.

Next meal at Chewton GlenForman & Son smoked salmon starter at Chewton GlenSteak at Chewton GlenVanilla panna cotta at Chewton Glen

I just want to say a massive thank you to Next for having me. I had such a wonderful day. If you’re passing by Hedge End, or even if you’re not, go and check out the new store. It’s awesome.

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Today I’m Wearing: A Mango mosaic print dress

I’ve seen a lot of bloggers wearing a lot of really good Mango clothes recently so I had a bit of a spree in their sale and picked up a couple of lovely dresses. They are all quite boho-y and I’ve had lots of fun wearing them with my big black floppy hat and pretending that I’m Kate Moss at Glastonbury or something.

UK fashion blogger in Mango mosaic print dress & black floppy hat

Hat: H&M | Dress: Mango | Shoes: Havaianas | Nails: Barry M

I’ve been really inspired by the boho look this summer. It’s always been a look that I’ve been drawn towards but have never really implemented. I love bloggers like Liv and Natalie that manage to pull it off in real life and I figured I’m not getting any younger and if I wanted to go for that look, I’d better do it sooner rather than later so I don’t end up looking like one of those crazy old hippy ladies! I’ve been going a bit boho crazy on Pinterest and even started a boho style Tumblr account to document my current obsession!

UK fashion blogger in Mango dress & wide brimmed hatUK lifestyle bloggerBarry M burgundy crush matte nail polish

I love the forgiving cut of this dress. When I first put it on I wasn’t convinced with the elasticated bit around the middle but actually it looks much better on than I thought it would. Nick wasn’t completely sold on the print because he thought it looked too faded but he said it grew on him the longer I had it on!

UK fashion blogger in boho dress

These pictures were taken in my nan & grandad’s garden using their glorious runner bean plants as a backdrop! Trying to explain what I was doing to my nan was quite amusing! It must be so crazy for them. They don’t even have a computer. There is literally an entire online world that exists that they know absolutely nothing about. I can’t even begin to imagine what crazy things will exist by the time I’m a grandparent! It’s going to be exhausting for all of us trying to keep up!

Boho summer look

This is going to sound quite patronising but I really don’t mean it to be but I’ve been so impressed with the ridiculously high quality of blogging that’s happening in the UK right now (I’m looking at you Rosie, Mel, Natasha, Liv, ShiniAmy, Kavita, Carrie & Kristabel and plenty of others!). I’ve often wondered how many bloggers have got or will get modelling jobs off the back of their blogs because I suppose all of their outfit/beauty posts put together kind of make up a portfolio. I reckon you’d totally be able to print out all your photos using a good quality printer ink* like Epson and put them all together in a nice, professional looking folder, even if it was just for your own use to show your grandchildren one day!

I’d love to know if anyone has actually done that! I’ve been creating yearbooks every year but they are more family-photo based rather than collections of my blog photos. I’ve been thinking about it for years but have never got round to it, but I quite fancy using one of these templates to make a calendar using some of our lovely travel photos.

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Playing dress up

I love Polyvore. It allows me to carry out all my outfit fantasies from the comfort of my own home without rushing around the shops like a crazy person, getting hot and sweaty in the changing rooms, feeling depressed when it doesn’t fit or look right and having to spend a ton of money. It’s like playing Barbie’s for grown-ups.

I’ve never really decided on a signature style and I don’t think I ever really will. I’m the same with music. I like motown, emo, hip-hop, dance, rock, punk, a bit of anything. I feel like my heart wants boho so I can dress like a hippy picking flowers in a field but my head is much more practical and knows that floaty white dresses and dangling tassles won’t last long in real life – especially with a baby.

When I was a bit younger, and working in an office, I went through a phase of reading a lot of fashion magazines and I wanted to wear pencil skirts and high heels and look professional. I quickly grew out of that phase though and can now be found wearing jeans and t-shirts and just gazing dreamily at blogs wishing I could look as stylish and put together as Carrie, Olivia, Rose or Amy.

This inspired me to put some dream outfits together, and I used Polyvore to play around with mixing and matching accessories and clothes I stumbled upon online. I discovered some great brands I didn’t know about previously like *Michael Hill and at the same time saw some new trends from my regular faves like Topshop.

 

Boho look with Michael Hill jewelry

Earrings: Michael Hill | Kimono: Mango | Bag: Warehouse | Top: Topshop | Shoes: Sole Society | Shorts: Levi 501 | Bracelet: Michael Hill

This is my ultimate summer boho look. Nice and simple with a white top, denim shorts & a pop of colour from the jewellery. I can just imagine chilling on the ferris wheel at Coachella in this.

 

Beach babe look with Michael Hill jewelry

Bikini bottoms: Aerie | Bag: Needsupply.com | Necklace: Michael Hill | Sandals: Sam Edelman | Ring: Michael Hill | Blanket: J Crew | Bikini top: Topshop

I couldn’t help myself! I had to include a beachy look. I’m spending so much time at the beach at the moment I can barely think of anything else! I love the nautical theme of the anchor necklace and the subtle silver ring will make your tan pop nicely!

 

The Classic Audrey look with Michael Hill

Bag: Forever New | Dress: Vero Moda | Necklace: Michael Hill | Bracelet: Michael Hill | Shoes: Carvela

Who doesn’t want to recreate that timeless classic look from Breakfast at Tiffany’s? This outfit works for any formal occasion and suits anyone. Dinner with your parents? Yep. Hot date? Yep. Night at the theatre? Yep. Covers all bases.

 

The Bombshell Marilyn look with Michael Hill Jewelry

Lipstick: Red Lizard by Nars | Dress: Herve Leger | Ring: Michael Hill | Earrings: Michael Hill | Shoes: Aldo

Now this is a look that I don’t think I’d ever be able to pull off. You’ve got to have serious balls to rock a look like this. But if you get it right, you’re guaranteed to be the centre of attention wherever you go.

Which is your favourite look?

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