A Christmas Celebration with The Polish Bakery

A bit of a belated post but I wanted to share the fantastic evening I had at The Polish Bakery Christmas Party!

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In early December on a chilly Tuesday evening I was invited to an evening filled with Christmas festivities as I attended The Polish Bakery Christmas Party at 55 Exhibition Road in South Kensington, London. The venue was stunning, with renowned Polish restaurant, Ognisko Polskie located on the ground floor. A sweeping staircase took us up to the first floor where the event was being held.

On entering the room (with prosecco in hand!) there was a beautiful grand piano and we were welcomed by a MD of The Polish Bakery. Everyone was so welcoming and friendly – the room was filled with happy faces! This was, in part, to do with the amounts of gorgeous, delicious food laid out for us to indulge. As soon as one plate was emptied it was refilled with different meats, cheeses, salads and of course, the main attraction of The Polish Bakery bread.

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There were so many breads to try from The Polish Bakery and it is the oldest Polish Bakery in the UK. They are truly traditional company using only natural ingrediants imported from Poland to create the authentic Polish flavours. Breads are hand-finished and are a sourdough which tastes absolutely delicious! They have a full range of breads available including poppy seed, rye, half-wheat, sesame seed and sunflower seed.  There are also gluten-free breads available which were wonderful to try!

Dessert was an array of beautiful looking slices of cakes alongside sumptuous doughnuts (if unlike me you weren’t already full from all of the delicious bread!) The cakes had lots of gorgeous layers filled with delicious, mouthwatering flavours. There were so many to taste!

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We ended the evening with some lovely speeches and cutting of the cake before being handed fabulous goody bags filled with breads and delicious Vienna Cheesecake that was shared amongst my colleagues the following day. A truly magical evening and a perfect way to kick off the festive season!

Becky at Pretty & Petit

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Discovering Trilogy

Trilogy are the ‘ones who know denim’ and from a first glance at their homepage, it’s pretty clear that they are true to their word!

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Trilogy is London’s premium denim specialist with one simple aim – to find every woman the perfect pair of jeans. Excellent service, a carefully edited catalogue of brands and a raft of denim knowledge means we’ve been doing just that since 2006. – Trilogystores.co.uk

Voted one of Vogue’s ‘Best Boutiques in Britain’ four years running, Trilogy aims to not only make their customers look great but through creating stunning exclusive collections and excellent customer service, aims to make them feel great too!

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With this valuable, expert knowledge you have the option to book a ‘denim experience’ – a one to one individual style consultation to find your perfect jeans or to give your wardrobe a denim overhaul.

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I love that Trilogy not only includes every type of jeans imaginable – cropped to straight, flared to skinny, but they also include complementing tops that really show off the shape of the jeans. They all look so flattering and suitable for any body shape.

I have included a couple of my favourite styles below!

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Paige – Colette Flare in White – £245

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Paige – Verdugo in Noelly – £240

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Paige – Edgemont in Black – £260

They have an amazing sale on right now so make sure you go check it out by clicking here.

Becky at Pretty & Petit 

Dubai – A Dream Come True (Part 1)

Ten years ago I came across the city of Dubai whilst creating mood boards for a school project. At this time, many of the architectural masterpieces that reside there today were dreams of what the future of this international hub of trading, business and technology could become. Today, many of these structures have been created, from skyscrapers reaching towards the stars, the city sprawling and stretching out into the desert, and fresh land being reclaimed to form spectacular man made islands.

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My fascination with this city began with the beautiful imagery that was born out of this luxurious destination. As a gateway between Europe, Africa and Asia; it is formed of a magical, multicultural combination of Arabian and international cultures to form a destination that is wealthy, prosperous and unique.

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When an opportunity arose for entering a competition to win a 3 night trip to this dream destination I had to go for it! I wrote how I would spend three days in the city, combining my interests of exploring the more traditional side of Dubai to indulging in its modern counterpart of more recent developments, along with my pure fascination in the architectural wonders it holds. You can read my post here if it is of interest! After a few days of anxiously waiting I received the most amazing news via Twitter that I had won! It took a while for the news to sink in as it truly was a dream come true.

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Travelbag, who the competition was in conjunction with, made the booking process so easy. Our trip was handled smoothly and efficiently by all involved, particularly Ashley in the Brighton office and the lovely ladies in the Kensington office who ensured that all of our flights, hotel and transfers were confirmed. I ensured an itinerary was planned, with limited time in Dubai and so much to see, I really wanted to ensure we made the most of our time there. I booked our trip up the Burj Khalifa prior to going which was so easy to do online. It also enabled you to pre-book a time slot which meant no time was wasted by queueing. Click here to book your tickets!

Although we didn’t have enough time to do any specific excursions, they are definitely worth considering when going to Dubai. For our transfers to and from the hotel to the airport we had excellent guides who talked about the area, the various buildings en-route etc. This was amazing considering it was my first time in Dubai and there was so much to see. To see the city and learn about it when first stepping off the plane was incredible and I am so pleased we had such an excellent driver. He was part of Arabian Adventures, a company that offer a whole range of fantastic excursions, from city tours through to a desert safari, definitely worth taking a look prior to heading to Dubai to see if there is anything you would like to see in particular!

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On Thursday 12th May we had an early start off to London’s Heathrow airport. We headed over to a (quiet!) Paddington station to catch our Heathrow Express train to Terminal 3. Being located in West London the trip to Heathrow would have been fairly quick by underground (the Piccadilly line goes straight to the airports terminals) however we opted for the Heathrow Express for the accessibility (most notably the lack of stairs to drag a heavy suitcase up and down!) and comfort, the leg room is excellent and there is ample room for suitcases and other luggage. If you are looking for a cheaper option, I would highly advise the underground as there are very frequent services to all terminals. The journey to Heathrow was extremely quick and we arrived at our departing terminal within 15 minutes! The terminal was easy to navigate and after finding no queue at the check in desk we were able to promptly drop off our bags and head up to departures. After experiencing the new, efficient, full body scanner, some security gates seem more sensitive over the metal plate in my foot than others! We headed through duty free into the departure lounge. I was feeling both slightly apprehensive but also fairly excited about my impending flight. It was the furthest I have ever travelled but I was so looking forward to flying with Emirates.

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It was a smooth six hour (approx.) journey which was made comfortable through the wonderful ICE entertainment system with access to film, tv shows, radio and music along with the option to view the plane’s journey with three onboard cameras! Our plane had a smooth landing in Dubai as the sun set over the city and we headed into the largest airport terminal I have ever seen in my life! To top it off there was the largest fountain to welcome us, along with a wonderful lady from Emirates to direct us to our transfer through the airport arrivals, which helped to make everything so efficient for us.

Our journey to the hotel was unforgettable. I still remember every second now. The awe of seeing the row of skyscrapers dominating Dubai’s skyline, through to the Sheikh Zayed Road – six lanes across in some places – it was a marvel in itself! The most priceless moment however, was the journey across onto the palm, turning the corner to see the fantastic Atlantis hotel standing grand against the horizon, it was stunning, an architectural wonder.

Heading onto the palm was surreal, although I had seen pictures, these were often from the air, to be actually on the island it felt as though we hadn’t really left the mainland at all. It was only when we got to the far end of the palm to our hotel, the Sofitel Palm, that we realised how far out to sea we actually were. It was pitch black, besides the lights from the hotel. When looking back to the shore it was a beautiful sight to see all the twinkling lights in the distance. We headed down to a beautiful steak dinner at the Porterhouse restaurant as part of our half board package. This was quite beneficial as there were not too many restaurants nearby on the palm so we were secluded to our hotel. It didn’t matter, there was a wonderful range of restaurants to choose from!

Stepping out onto the balcony was a bit of a shock in the morning. The warm air engulfing me as I stood looking out over the Arabian Gulf. I could only stand out for a few minutes before heading back into the fridge of the hotel room!

By 11am the pool and beach were looking super busy. Fortunately, we were able to ask the hotel staff to find us some loungers on the beach (a free service that they provide) along with an umbrella for some shade. They also provided towels too meaning we didn’t need to bring our own. It was so nice to set up camp for the morning – sipping on an ice cold frappucino from the local shop, overlooking the view of Dubai in the distance!

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Friday was family brunch day in the Porterhouse restaurant. Not sure what to expect, we took our seats overlooking the beautiful gardens of the Sofitel. We were handed two menus and explained that they would be bringing ALL the dishes on the menu so we could choose – buffet style, what we would like to eat.

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After brunch we headed over to Deira in our gleaming white, beautifully air conditioned Lexus (oh yes, we only travel in style in Dubai!) to head to the souks. Upon arrival we were immediately approached by several men all asking if we would like to buy designer handbags, watches and jewellery – although I cannot say for certain how legitimate these items were! We politely declined and headed off to the gold souk.

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We must have been spoken to by every shop owner in the souks that day – each asking if we would like to see what they had for sale and saying hello in a multitude of different languages. It was a beautiful sight to see all the beautiful gold sparking in the windows, and the spices of spice souk all piled up producing such delicious scents. Although I have visited these types of markets in previous years I felt bit overwhelmed and so did not go into any of the shops on this occasion. Now I know what to expect I would definitely go back on my next visit to try out my bartering skills and I’m sure would get some wonderful bargains!

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After heading through the spice souk we reached the sparking Dubai Creek. The fresh breeze from the water was truly welcome at this point, a soothing break from the dry heat of the city. We came across the Abra (water taxi) who explained that we could either have a trip up and down the Creek for AED 14 (£2.63) or we could make the quick trip across for AED 1 (0.18p!) We went for that option.

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After an eventful ride on the Abra, testing my balance with getting on and off the boat! We took a walk through the back streets of Dubai exploring little alleyways and witnessing everyday life. Piles of shoes outside houses and Dubai’s local community going about their daily routine. We headed past a Sikh temple before getting back to the waters edge of the Dubai Creek. Following it along we noticed the juxtaposition of the beautiful yachts moored against the bank, to the wooden abras ferrying travellers from shore to shore. We headed back inland and stumbled across the Dubai Museum, quite accidentally! It was late afternoon by this point and wanting to get out of the heat so we headed inside.

The Dubai Museum has a wealth of treasures. You start your journey in a courtyard area, there are wooden boats and examples of bedouin life. You head inside and into the fortress, following a spiral ramp down to the galleries. The galleries explored the history of Dubai, an in depth look into the rich history of the city and its culture. It looked at the importance of the sea to the city and then the recent development of the city – the desire of the city to be home to the tallest, the widest, at the forefront of architectual design. It was an extremely insightful introduction to the city.

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On leaving the Dubai Museum we took a walk through the city, a mixture of the residential and industrial parts of the city. We followed a group of young men for a while who had a kitten walking beside them, much like a dog would, after a while one of the young men scooped it up and carried it. We eventually returned to the coastline and came across an old friend, the QE2, which had reached her final destination of Dubai before being turned into a beautiful hotel. I remembered saying goodbye whilst living in Southampton from my bedroom window, watching her sail down Southampton Water and into the Channel on to her final destination.

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Heading back to the hotel we decided on dinner at the Hong Loong restaurant, a gorgeous Chinese restaurant hidden away in a corner of the hotel – you had to get a lift to find it! We had such delicious Chinese cuisine, including Beef in Black Bean Sauce with Strawberry crushed ice for dessert accompanied by the most gorgeous Oriental Cosmopolitan I have ever tasted! I am so looking forward to recreating that at home – but I’m not sure it will match up to the same standard!

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Make sure you keep an eye out for part 2 of my Dubai adventure – coming soon!!!

Becky at Pretty & Petit

 

30. Sweet Cheesus

My featured business this week is…Sweet Cheesus!

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I came across this fabulous mini cheesecake company at a bloggers event just before Christmas and they should literally come with a warning as they are probably the most delicious shop bought sweet treats that I have enjoyed in some time!

Flavours include Vanilla, Cookies & Cream, Apple Crumble, Salted Caramel & Pecan (my personal absolute fave!), White Chocolate & Summer Fruits and Salted Caramel (Gluten Free). Each are handmade and are the perfect size for a mini dessert or for a luxurious treat. I can highly recommend trying out all the different flavours. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy the Salted Caramel and Pecan and it ended up being my personal favourite! Why not get your friends over for dinner and buy a selection to share? Or snuggle down in front of a movie on a Sunday night with your favourite to indulge in?

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They are currently available in Selfridges and in various stockists around London with a view to branching into supermarket chains in the near future so keep your eyes peeled! Once customers get a taste for how good these are they will be flying off the shelves! Visit their website by clicking here and make sure you follow them on Twitter @SweetCheesusUK

If you could have any flavour cheesecake what would it be? Leave your answer in the comments!

Becky at Pretty & Petit

All images from the Sweet Cheesus website.

Christmas Box Swap with Twisted Beauty

So a little bit of a belated post but I had a bit of a break from posting over the Christmas period! I did however want to share a fabulous Christmas box swap that I did with Twisted Beauty – kind of like Secret Santa, but not so secret! We each had to give each other five general things on our wish list and purchase gifts up to a budget of £20.

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I absolutely loved buying all the cute gifts for Rachael from Twisted Beauty on her list! She had owls, tea, something mauve, Home Bargains and photographs. It was so fun trying to find the items and within the budget as well. It gave me a few fun outings out in Covent Garden and on Oxford Street.

I definitely gave Rachael a bit of a challenge! My 5 things were:

  • The Big Bang Theory
  • Yankee Candles
  • Anything Kawaii
  • Cities – London/Paris
  • Sweet Treats

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First off she got me a fabulous trivial pursuit of The Big Bang Theory. I love games so I’m so excited to play! I have been watching The Big Bang Theory lately and it’s one of my favourite TV series so I’m looking forward to testing my knowledge now!

My box had the unmistakable scent of gorgeous Yankee candles which I have become besotted with this Christmas. The beautiful scents fill the house and make it smell like a Winter wonderland! I love them! Rachael bought me some lovely wax melts which will ensure the scents will linger. Yum!

I love anything cute and kitsch so when I found this most beautiful llama bag in my box I was so delighted! I love Tofu Cute and originally had a cute little sushi bag from them. This is a perfect replacement and I can’t wait to use it as my reusable shopping bag from now on.

As you may know I am a total fan of anything handmade and unique. This cute printed mirror with all things London is the perfect addition to my make up bag. I love little compact mirrors – they’re so handy for keeping in your bag and ensuring your make up is on point throughout the day!

We met the Jewellerybox.co.uk business whilst attending the Bloggers Conference back in the Summer when I first met Rachael. I absolutely loved all their cute designs and I was so excited to open up some fabulous pink doughnut earrings! I love pink and love big bold earrings so I’m sure I will be wearing these a lot!

Want to see what I got Rachael from Twisted Beauty? Take a read of her lovely review by clicking here.

Becky at Pretty & Petit

MAC Haul – December 2015

So I know it’s that time of year when I really should be buying prezzies for other people and totally overspending on them. The truth is, I’ve been pretty organised this year – ordering most of my gifts online and wrapping weeks in advance of the big day, so as a congratulatory move I decided to head to MAC and treat myself a little!

Walking into MAC is like walking into a wonderland of make up and beauty goodies. It’s the beauty go to for any make up artist and I am literally in love with it. (I haven’t forgotten you, Benefit and Urban Decay…)

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I used to visit the branch in High Street Kensington in London which I loved. It had loads of products and it was fairly empty meaning you didn’t feel so bad for asking the staff to try product after product and they had time to spend talking you through different make up tips. They closed this branch earlier in the year which was gutting and now my nearest is in my local Westfield. On this occasion however, I decided to visit their new branch in Carnaby Street which they have recently relocated. Now it’s so much bigger with ample space for trying products and having demonstrations.

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To be honest, as always, I only knew one thing that I wanted to get and that was a lighter shade of the Studio Fix foundation which is my current go to. It provides such a fantastic coverage without being too oily and I always get such fab compliments when I wear it. A cheaper fab alternative is the foundation from W7. This is particularly great in Summer as it’s a little bit lighter, so perfect if you don’t want to have too much on your skin.

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Studio Fix Fluid in NW20 – £22

This Winter I’ve become obsessed with the colour navy. It’s such a cute Winter colour and definitely makes a change from wearing black all the time. I recently saw a Vlogger (I can’t remember who) demonstrating a fab navy eyeliner and so have been on the lookout for a navy eyeliner ever since. I found this gorgeous shade, Siahi, in the fluidliner which is a dark navy. I’ll probably use it to draw some cute winged lines to go with my bold new lashes! These will look fab over the Christmas and New Year holiday season!

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Fluidline in Siahi – £16

The last thing I purchased was of course my absolute favourite, glitter! Glitter is my must have in my make up bag and whilst in recent years I’ve been sticking to white and silver, this year I’ve decided to mix it up a bit with this gorgeous pink! I was literally drawn to it in the shop and I honestly don’t know how everyone in the shop wasn’t drawn to it like a moth to a light. It’s going to look so cute over Christmas and I can’t wait to get creative with it!

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Glitter in Pink – £17

Have you had any naughty pre-Christmas splurges lately? Let me know in the comments!

Becky at Pretty & Petit

Images are my own.

27. Impossible to Buy For

For those of you who are stuck for ideas on what to buy for loved ones for Christmas this year don’t despair! I have a fabulous business to share with you this week called Impossible to Buy For.

Impossible to Buy For is a website suited to those who are totally stuck for gift ideas for loved ones in the run up for that special occasion be it Christmas, Birthday, Valentines Day etc. Set up by blogger, Louise Croft who owns blog, Pauper to Princess. All of the gifts are supplied by Amazon to provide gifts for literally everyone in your life!

“So many of my friends and family are impossible to buy for, and I knew I couldn’t be the only one feeling this way, so I figured it was time to fix the problem.” – Louise Croft, Founder of Impossibletobuyfor.com

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What I love about Louise’s website is how easy it is to find a gift. What I often find with larger department store websites is that it can take a while to find the perfect gift but this has all the ideas in one place for any budget.

So are you looking for some gift ideas? I’ve put together a few lists for you below for the different people in your life! I hope it provides you with some inspiration!

Gifts for the lady in your life

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Kate Spade Watch – £173.50

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Pink Lemonade Candle – £12

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Bottega Gold Prosecco – £47.99

Gifts for those who love a good book

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Invisible Bookshelf – £39.90

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Dawn O’Porter Book – £14.99

Gifts for those who love to bake

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Macaron Pyramid – £22.81

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Mug Cakes Recipes – £3

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Retro Waffle Maker – £27.15

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Chocolate Brussel Sprouts – £9.95

Gifts for the creative ones

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Artistic Clutch Bag – £29.99

 

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Illustrated Map of London – £13.99

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Vogue Colouring Book – £7

and of course I have to include my total faves!

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LOVE Light – £29.99

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Dressing Table – £69.97

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Fujifilm Polaroid Camera – £76.49

Do you have any gift ideas? Share them with us in the comments!

Click here to visit the full range of products available.

Becky at Pretty & Petit

Images taken from impossibletobuyfor.com

#BloggersXmas

On Saturday 5th December 2015 I ventured over to Finch’s Pub in Moorgate to attend the Bloggers Xmas Party hosted by Soeurs De Luxe.

On arrival we were given a beautiful personalised keyring each from Aloha Lola Cards which had a fun caricature and our own Twitter handle on the back. We were also given a fabulous guide to all of the wonderful brands exhibiting on the day.

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Finch’s Pub was a beautiful setting with cosy armchairs, with twinkly Christmas lights and the smell of freshly cooked chips and mulled cider. It was the perfect location to chat with friends and the brands available on the day.

I met with a variety of brands offering everything from lashes from Lash Perfect, jewellery from Miglio Jewellery, hats from Katherine Elizabeth Millinery, through to green teas from t plus drinks, cheesecake from Sweet Cheesus and even men’s pants from Penny Dreadful! Make sure you keep your eyes peeled for the next few weeks as I will be featuring some of the fantastic brands I met on the Pretty & Petit blog! This was all accompanied by nail art, nibbles and a Christmas selfie wall.

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I also managed to get my hands on a fantastic magazine called Blogosphere Magazine. I definitely recommend it for anyone thinking of starting up a blog or looking for new blogs to follow. It’s so insightful to read other bloggers work and so inspiring!

At the end of the event we headed home with a fantastic goody bag and lots of new friends and brand contacts. Thank you @SoeursdeLuxe for a fantastic #BloggersXmas event!

Becky at Pretty & Petit

MADE LONDON 2015

MADE LONDON, the Design and Craft fair is returning to London this October, showcasing the very best original designers and craft makers from the UK and beyond. The fair will be taking place at One Marylebone, a beautiful and atmospheric venue located in close proximity to Regents Park.

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Over four levels a huge variety of designs will be showcased, perfect for a relaxed afternoon of browsing and perhaps you might even spot a Christmas gift or two!

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The event opens on Thursday 22nd October and is open until Sunday 25th October 2015. Tickets are available online or will be available on the door and cost £10. Children under 14 go free!

Click here to visit the website to find out more about the event, including who will be exhibiting this year. Let me know if you attend and I would love to hear what you think of the event!

Becky at Pretty & Petit

A View from The Shard

On a warm September evening, we travelled over to London Bridge to visit The Shard, the tallest building in Europe. Watching this gradually being constructed over the last few years, it was amazing to be able to visit this amazing building. Especially as so many of the tallest buildings in London are predominantly housing or office blocks.

The View from The Shard

               The View from The Shard

We paid for our tickets, went through some security and had our photo taken. After being provided with an audio guide we were guided over to the lift. I felt a bit apprehensive prior to going to The Shard as I am afraid of heights but once in the lift this seemed to disappear.

To get to the top you are required to get in two lifts, travelling at 6m per second. They are ultra smooth and it doesn’t feel like you are travelling anywhere at all! The first stops at floor 33 where you head to a second lift to go up to floor 68. This was definitely one of the tallest buildings I’ve ever been in. I don’t think I’ve ever been higher than 8 floors!

Stepping out on the 68th floor (and walking up the stairs to the 69th) we were absolutely mesmorised by the sight before us. Every single part of London, North, South, East and West was laid out before us in a criss-crossing pattern of multi-coloured lights and beautifully lit architecture.

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We enjoyed some champagne and took so many photos of the different views available from the floor to ceiling windows in each angle of the building. Although a sprawling city, it looked so small from that height. The railways snaked across the city like rivers and the Thames itself was adorned by bridges spanning its width as far as the eye could see. It was truly spectacular.

Champagne on the 69th floor!

Champagne on the 69th floor! (It was dark up there!)

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Looking up into the night. Towards the spire of The Shard

If you’re thinking of visiting The Shard on a trip to London it’s an absolutely amazing thing to do! Certainly you pay a price for a view like that (concessions are available for students, senior citizens etc.) and there are some wonderful packages available too. However they have an affordable boutique at the end which is good value for money so handy for souvenirs on your way home.

Some key facts about The Shard!

The Shard is approximately 309 metres high.

The Shard is the tallest building in Western Europe.

A fox was found living on the 72nd floor during construction which staff nicknamed ‘Romeo’.

The Shard is home to Shangri-La Hotel, as well as multiple bars and restaurants and office space.

It takes 3 months to clean the windows of The Shard by some very brave window cleaners!

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Becky at Pretty & Petit