Young Ladies About Town

The girls living and laughing their way around London, meeting lots of fascinating folk along the way...

The Scottish Guide to Country Dressing

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Young Ladies About Town
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on Tuesday, 24 February 2015
Last week I had the pleasure of attending a private dinner at The Punchbowl, Mayfair hosted by Archie and Karen Hume from A Hume the famous Scottish county clothing shop beloved by locals, international visitors and the Duke of Roxburghe for whom they produce his estate tweed.

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Classic country sports and associated clothing from wax jackets, green wellington and tweed is part of our national identity, and it's a look that especially the Italians, Americans and surprisingly The Swedish love to emulate. A Hume in Kelso is where they all head for bespoke tweed suiting and traditional customers service. A third generation shop run with passion for heritage, we listened to how Archie has worked with their own archives to create a new tweed to celebrate the shop's 85th anniversary.

Made up of green, blue and lavender- the green represents the Scottish country side, the blue the River Tweed and the lavender represents the Heather Moors. "I look at old designs and let them sit with me, I overlay a thread and colours and see which work, which colours speak to me". Made in local Hawick mills using water from the River Tweed, the passion with which Archie talks about his history and their customers is second to none and clearly woven into the fabric of each garment as the wool itself.

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I totally get why people travel form all over the world to go there; however recognising this can't always be possible they have embraced the digital age and developed an online presence that has just won them two coveted fashion industry award with Drapers – Independent Retailer of the Year and Best Independent Multi-Channel Operator. It's a winning mix, the clothes that we want, a good clear website and human customer service at the end of a phone who have a proper conversation with you. It's the attention to the small details that this independent shop offers that makes the big differences.

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I like that the tweed caps are named after his friend's farms in the Scottish Borders. I like that they know generations of local families by name, and I like that I can sit at my desk in London and order my favourite, and apparently EVERY woman's favourite, Dubarry Galway, tan in size 6!

Just like their tweed, A Hume is a classic company intertwined with history and love and sure to endure many more Scottish seasons with us.

www.ahume.co.uk

BREAKFAST WITH ENGLAND WOMEN AT RBS 6 NATIONS CHAMPIONSHIP

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
Fiona Hicks has not set their biography yet
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on Friday, 06 February 2015
The phrase 'I'm going to meet the England Rugby Captain for breakfast' caused much stirring last week. Grown men, women and even friend's children turned green with jealously and gave tips pass on to Chris Robshaw the 29 year old 6'2" Captain who will be leading tonight's opening match against Wales at the Millennium Stadium.

However it wasn't him I wanted to meet but Tamara Taylor the tall and beautiful blonde who is Captain of the England ladies team. It's still shameful that not many people know that there is a shadow women's 6 nations running alongside the men's championship. They follow the same format as the men playing the same opposition teams, so this weekend they women will also play Wales on Sunday, kicking off at 2.30pm at Swansea RFC.

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As the games isn't as well known as the men's it this follows that they play smaller stadiums, mores the pity it isn't covered on mainstream broadcast. But that but that doesn't mean the passion and pride of wearing the white shirt is any less. I caught up Tamara at the breakfast launch and asked her how she felt; "Nervous, proud and really excited. Wearing the kit makes me feel a huge sense of pride. I love rugby and we have a massive appetite to win and the squad has really strong players." The fact that these women also aren't full time pro but run normal lives, do the school run and then play International rugby at the weekend makes them even more impressive. I like to think their 'to do' lists include; "By Cat food, sort out 5 year birthday party, beat France 79-6"

Women's rugby is going from strength to strength with England women winning the Rugby World cup in France last year.

Not bad since as a women's game it only really got started in the late 1970's compared with the men's game which has been around since 1845. Sarah Hunter and Rochelle Clark were reach rewarded with an MBE for helping England lift the World Championship trophy last year for the first time in 20 years. For this 2015 RBS 6 Nations Championship the girls are hungry for their first championship win since 2012, with Ireland and France most recently taking the silverware home.

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I'll be cheering the men's teams for sure, but I'll also be buying tickets to see the girls play at Twickenham Stoop, home to the Harlequins on 15th Feb. At only £10 each it's a great way to introduce new players to the sport and I'll be there, as proud as the girls on the pitch, in my shirt screaming COME ON ENGLAND!

And just in case you wanted to know, I had a hug from Lewis Moody and Chris Robshaw and can categorically confirm that England Rugby players give the best bear hugs. Jealous much?

Forthcoming fixtures for women's matches – tickets can be bought directly from each stadium:
Sunday, February 8, Wales v England, KO 230pm, Swansea RFC, live stream on BBC Wales
Sunday, February 15, England v Italy, KO 2pm, the Twickenham Stoop, live on englandrugby.com
Friday, February 27, Ireland v England, KO 730pm, Asbourne RFC, live stream by IRFU
Friday, March 13, England v Scotland, KO 735pm, the Northen Echo Arena, Darlington, live on Sky Sports.
Saturday, March 21, England v France, KO 720pm, Twickenham Stadium, live on the BBC Red Button.

Kitty Buchanan-Gregory
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An evening with Hugh Grant

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
Fiona Hicks has not set their biography yet
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on Thursday, 22 January 2015
It's not often you get the opportunity to catch a world famous Hollywood actor perform in the flesh from mere feet away, but for one unique evening I was lucky enough to have that chance.

Earlier this month, I went to see Hugh Grant join a small group of disabled actors and dancers from The Baked Bean Company, as they performed live at Sadler's Wells theatre in Islington, London for two exclusive shows.

The Drama Group was co-authored by Hugh Grant, Nigel Hollins (A member of The Baked Bean Company), Baroness Sheila Hollins and the founder of The Baked Bean Company, Jade Hardrade-Grosz.

When I arrived the whole studio was buzzing with anticipation. After a wine reception for the revellers, the cast kicked off with a routine which saw more energy and excitement in one dance than most professional dance companies manage in an entire two hours. The play's storyline explored facing one's fears onstage and performing without fear of judgement. As the play developed, the acting and dancing drew many cheers, tears and laughter from the audience. Hugh was incredibly relaxed and humble throughout, and in the end the audience gave a standing ovation.

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Since their modest beginnings, The Baked Bean Company has flourished holding 22 classes a week in 3 different locations throughout Wandsworth and the surrounding Boroughs. These classes include Drama, Performing Arts, Musical Theatre, Singing, Djing, Dramatherapy and Life skills.

Jade Hardrade Grosz the founder of The Baked Bean Company and the director of The Drama Group said: "We are all so proud to be a part of something so amazing. Every day brings new challenges but it's the incredible people that we work with that make it so special. We all hope we are making positive steps towards breaking down the segregation and preconceptions of society."

To find out more about The Baked Bean Company and the services they provide in South London please call 0208 9440024 or email Lisa Glithero at lisa@acttoo.com.

Sinéad Nolan
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An evening with The Royal Danish Ballet

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
Fiona Hicks has not set their biography yet
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on Thursday, 15 January 2015
It has been ten years since The Royal Danish Ballet last visited Sadler's Wells and their performances in London in January attracted the ballet establishment and dance enthusiasts, eager to see this rare balletic jewel.

In a programme entitled Bournonville Celebrations, soloists and principals of The Royal Danish Ballet presented a programme of classical choreography by August Bournonville, the 19th century Danish choreographer who raised the standards of male dance at a time when the female ballerina dominated the stage.

For Bournonville, dance was 'essentially an expression of joy' and watching his choreography was like being transported back to a more gracious and innocent age before angular movement to pumping electronic music had even been thought of.

Excerpts from romantic ballets such as The Flower Festival in Genzano, La Sylphide and The Conservatory, among others, showed us the lightness of jump or 'ballon' that the Danes are famous for the world over. This was pure classical dance - men and women traditionally costumed with the girls in soft ballet skirts and puffed sleeves.

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A humorous interlude was the Jockey Dance from Bournonville's last ballet, From Siberia to Moscow, choreographed in 1876. Two men, dressed as jockeys, jumped and leapt across the stage in a tribute to the English love of horse racing. Sebastian Haynes sizzled with personality, aplomb and youth.

The programme ended with what has become something of a Danish institution even though it's set in Italy. The three act ballet Napoli from1842 became one of Bournonville's most popular works and has now been in the company repertoire for more than 170 years.

Its 'pas de six' from the last act was a chance for the dancers to show all the rhythm, harmony and elegance of the Bournonville style. It was a happy ending in the best of European ballet traditions and left the audience uplifted, just as the great choreographer intended.

Gillian Spickernell
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Christmas at Kew

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
Fiona Hicks has not set their biography yet
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on Friday, 28 November 2014
If - like me - you live in central London but crave a country walk to escape the Christmas crowds, then head Kew Gardens.  They’ve developed a fabulous night time light installation in the grounds to create a totally new perspective on the gardens. Like a sculpture trail with lights, the effect is quite magical: music comes out of trees and the  fountain springs up with multi-coloured water. The world-famous Palm House lights up from inside, flashing and pulsating in quite a surreal and captivating way. Turn a corner and a plume of flames gives a dramatic flash of light, turn another corner and a wisteria covered in fairy lights creates a secret den to hide in.

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I have in on good authority that small children love it. Father Christmas and his band of magical helpers whisper your Christmas wishes to a listening tree.  The carousel, marshmallows to toast on a fire pit and room to run wild makes this a really great children’s experience that all the family will love. On the last bit of the mile long trail we hung a lantern on a tree and made a wish ( I would tell you, but it won’t come true if I do). We drank mulled wine and crunched along the frosty park and the crowded shops and frantic rushing of the city fell away.

If you miss the light show head to the park on a cold frosty day, walk off those mince pies, hug a tree and escape to the country in London.

For more information click here


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