Young Ladies About Town

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

Churchill Film Celebration at the War Rooms

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
Fiona Hicks has not set their biography yet
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on Monday, 19 June 2017
by Annette Kellow

It has been 28,161 days since Churchill was in power but his strong beliefs and iconic quotes are still in full force, putting the Great in Great Britain. This week Churchill the film will be released by Lionsgate and in celebration I was invited to a pre-release talk at the War Rooms in Parliament.

My first thought was, how vintage! I love 1940s history and have always been in marvel at Chruchills defiant attitude throughout the war.

On arrrival I was ushered downstairs into the map room, the most secret of all the rooms in the building. Inside were secret decoding telephones, maps with pins to mark incoming boats and some sugar cubes which he kept in a hanky at the back of his drawer.

Surely they couldn’t be real and have lasted all this time? I was assured they were and that Churchill always used all of his sugar rations but forgot these two!

As we went through to his bedroom, we were informed that maps were his favourite. So obsessed was he that he even had one erected opposite his bed to study at a moments notice should he need to. One of the other writers on tour with us was also very keen on maps and was looking in detail. As there was a table in front he decided to kneel down to check out Australia, then he accidenly kicked Churchills bedpan- I was in fits of giggles imagining what Churchill would have said at that!

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Churchill was not only a very clever man but incredibly private and knew how to keep a secret. As we walked along another corridor we were shown a door with an ‘engaged’ sign on it. Assuming it was a lavatory we were corrected that Churchill would pretend it was but secretly take calls in there to the White House. The etiquette of someone standing outside a toilet would have been frowned upon so he would be left well alone to discuss important affairs- although people may have wondered why he was spending so much time in there!

As we entered another part of the war rooms there was a large quote on one wall-

‘We are all worms but I believe I am a glow worm.’

Although Churchill suffered from dark depression he also loved humour and after watching a pre-screening of Brian Cox taking on the role of the great leader, I realised he was also rather glamourous too.

He loved Savile Row suits, chauffeur driven limousines, gold Breguet pocket watches, Pol Roger champagne and he always smoked 8 fine cigars a day.

The only guilty pleasure he indulged in was Red label Johnny Walker, apparently a cheap and accessible drink one, whilst he loved nothing better than to get up on the roof of Parliament and watch air raids with a little tipple.

We finished off the day at the HMS Belfast, the grande ship currently docked at London Bridge which Churchill had wanted to accompany the invasion forces on D-Day, but was dissuaded by the King under the terms it was not safe. The ship now sits on the Thames with a beautiful panoramic view of the city. I enjoyed touring the captains room and control centre whilst the sheer size of the 11’000 ton ship is to marvel at. Even now after 50 years of his death, I got the feeling Churchill was a determined, strong caring individual that cared deeply about his country and as he famously loved to say, ‘Attitude is a little thing that always makes a very big difference.’

Churchill by Lionsgate is currently showing at cinemas now.
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A Day at Bicester Village

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
Fiona Hicks has not set their biography yet
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on Friday, 16 June 2017
by Katrina Schollenberger

Lady.co.uk have recently partnered up with Debrett’s and Bicester Village to bring readers a series of style tips for a variety of occasions on the social calendar. From Henley Regatta to Ascot to the RHS Flower Show, Debrett’s guide readers through dress code, while Bicester Village offers a world of discounted designer goods to select outfits from.

I was invited to Bicester Village to experience a day of luxury shopping first hand. Bicester, just North West of Oxford, is 45 minutes by train from London. Bicester Village, truly a designer brand haven, offers up to 60% on names like Gucci, Prada, Dolce and Gabana, Dior and more. Even high-end high-street brands like All Saints and Calvin Klein are featured, with some new season pieces hidden amongst the racks. 

The village is utterly pristine, with manicured hedges, modern décor and fun pop-ups around every turn. Staff in uniform are happy to help with any questions you may have about shops or train times. I had anticipated to have a browse around the shops and not spend any money, but I ended up spending a total of five hours browsing the selection of goods. I was astonished at the difference in retail price and the prices Bicester village were offering, it almost didn’t seem plausible! Each shop had everything from shoes and accessories to dresses, skirts, trousers and coats, I felt I had to truly scour every last corner.

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Just before I headed to lunch at Bicester Village’s Farm Shop, I purchased a fabulous red Gucci cross body bag, with navy and red stitching and a golden Gucci bee applique. I saved £240 on what the bag would have originally cost, and I was completely in love. I headed to Farm Shop with a big smile on my face before enjoying a roast chicken, lettuce and aioli sandwich accompanied by fries and salad.  Farm Shop offers fantastic options for lunch and dinner, and stays open until 10pm for late shoppers.

I did a little more light shopping at Calvin Klein and Kenzo before heading home. Shoppers are able to leave their bags with staff in a secure area should their purchases be a little heavier to carry around. I sat in the Bicester Village lounge with water and relaxed on a luxurious comfortable sofa before a staff member gave shoppers a 5 minute train warning. All in all, it was a day of shopping that couldn’t possibly be surpassed!
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Opera Afternoon Tea at the Royal Albert Hall

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
Fiona Hicks has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Friday, 16 June 2017
by Annette Kellow 

On a wet and rainy Saturday afternoon I couldn't think of a more perfect place to visit than the grande and prestigious Royal Albert Hall. I had been invited to the Opera Afternoon Tea, a truly unique event, which consists of a luxurious tea combined with tiers of sandwiches, sweet treats and homemade scones in the elegant surroundings of the Hall's Verdi restaurant, whilst experiencing a live performance from one of the UK's most promising operatic talents.

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I have always had a soft spot for the Royal Albert Hall as it was one of the first places I visited in London as a child and I can never get over the sheer scale and detail of the Grade I listed building, so it was an absolute joy to be back. I had brought my friend who I hadn't seen for four whole months and lets just say, we had lots to catch up on! So when we were greeted by a glass of fizzing champagne on arrival it was a welcoming surprise (and what better way to start a good conversation?)

Our lovely waitress explained the menu of teas sourced worldwide, and after deciphering which ones had the right hints for our preferable flavour, the tier arrived!
It was filled with the most scrumptious classic english sandwiches; egg cress, cucumber, salmon and cream cheese with an abundance of mouth-watering cakes, macarons and scones.

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I was excited to see the singer who would be gracing the stage (as they have a different one per event) and had looked up online that it would be the British born Soprano Alexandra Stenson. She is a graduate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and English National Opera's prestigious Opera Works training program.
She has appeared at venues such as the Royal Festival Hall, Barbican Hall and Royal Albert Hall, and has worked for companies including Opera North, British Youth Opera and Opera Holland Park. Roles performed include Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi, Fox in Cunning Little Vixen and she will also be returning to Opera Holland Park this summer to play the role of Claretta in Leoncavallos Zaza.

Alexandra looked utterly divine in her long flowing black dress, and beautiful raven hair whilst she sung so magically, we even stopped drinking our tea and nattering to stare in awe! The Royal Albert Hall is the perfect place for live opera, the acoustics and high ceilings all compliment music and song whilst everyone was besotted with Alexandra.

Afterwards a few people got to meet and chat with her, and she seemed to have quite a fan base whilst the afternoon closed with a fresh pot of tea and another glass of champagne (why not?)

It was the perfect way to wind down from the week with a quintessentially British afternoon tea and a captivating opera show within London's most iconic venue, it made you feel like you were transported into a world of relaxation- and besides where else could you find such an ideal place to hide from the pouring rain?
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Ladies Day at the Epsom Derby with Greenall’s Gin

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
Fiona Hicks has not set their biography yet
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on Friday, 09 June 2017
by Katrina Schollenberger

The races are a quintessential part of British culture. Hats, dresses and suits galore, the Epsom Derby bring people together from all over the country in spirit of horse racing.

Greenall's Gin kindly invited The Lady to enjoy Ladies Day at the Epsom Derby in their private box at the Investec grounds. Donning our most elegant dresses and fascinators, we enjoyed a beautiful three course lunch of fig, truffle and goats cheese salad, roasted guinea fowl and leek and mash puree, and a fantastic deconstructed Eton mess.

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We were introduced to Greenall's master distiller Joanne Moore who talked us through the ingredients she handpicked to achieve Greenall's smooth original flavour. This included juniper berries, dried lemon peel and cassia bark. We also sampled Greenall's Wild Berry gin, inspired by the blackberries that grow on English hedgerows. Berry notes are infused with a cinnamon-like spice to create a memorable flavour.

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We sipped on mojitos, Wild Berry Flora Dora's, Wild Berry and lemonade's, martinis, basil smashes and classic G & T's throughout the course of the day. The cocktails were refreshing and garnished beautifully according to the recipe. With seven races total, we bet on three, with 'Highland Reel' blazing into first place in race 2 and winning me a whopping £8!

Afternoon tea was also served just before the final few races commenced. We enjoyed raisin scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam, and of course, hot tea. It was swiftly back to Greenall's cocktails to finish off a delightful afternoon at Eposom Derby's Ladies Day!
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A Day at the Races- Epsom Derby

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
Fiona Hicks has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 08 June 2017
by Annette Kellow 

There are fewer pleasures in life than BST (British Summer Time) combined with race season. Top this with a huge hat, strawberries and cream with a view from the Queen's stand and life can't get much better!

This weekend I had the pleasure of visiting the Epsom Derby and with just 24 hours notice, the race was on for defining an outfit and the hugely important millinery.

When visiting the races a stunning hat is essential and choosing one can seem a daunting task. But in my mind there was an obvious winner- John Boyd of Knightsbridge who make glorious hats for every season and every occasion.

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Their showroom is located on the historic Beauchamp Place and Mr Boyd is known as the Royal Milliner, serving for over 75 years. A favourite of Princess Diana as well as other royals and high society including Kate Middleton, his beautiful designs are a confection of the classic and experimental. After spending a deliciously long time deciding on suitable colour and size, (indeed I needed a large cup of tea afterwards it was that difficult!), I eventually plumped for a rich, deep blue number with tones of purple, that filled my head like a cloud.

Now that I had the right millinery, it was time to discover all that the Epsom Derby is about!

The Epsom Derby is Englands oldest race, starting in 1821 and more recently marking the Queens 90th celebrations in 2016. Come rain or shine, every year on the first Friday of June, a multitude of ladies and gents head to Epsom Downs Racecourse to experience a day full of high octane racing, music, glamour and fashion. Across the Queen's Stand to The Hill there is an air of excitement all round and upon arrival I was very impressed by the array of beautiful dresses, suits, top hats and fine millinery.

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After spying some strawberries and cream and then a glass of fizz (of course I said yes to both) I was ready to watch the Investec sponsored races. I enjoyed listening to people's chatter about favourites and odds, hearing the roar as they won, some of the crowd went wild as their chosen horses ran first past the post! Amongst the race day characters I met a couple of lovely gentleman who go to the biggest races throughout the year. They happily gave me a wealth of betting tips which I hoped I would remember for later on that day (of course I promptly forgot them!)

In-between the races my top-hatted and tailed boyfriend and I took a wander around as we were having so much fun talking to the cavalcade of other racegoers. As we ventured outside we noticed that beside a small back entrance quite a few people were waiting, seemingly in anticipation. We wondered what for and as I got closer I heard one of them whisper 'Queen.'

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Then like a vision in canary yellow, her Majesty the Queen exited through the building! I must admit I was quite in shock but managed to get my camera out quickly enough to take a photo. She looked utterly mesmerising in her floral dress with yellow hat and matching coat, it made quite a few of us gasp in awe. Where else but the races can you flit from a glass of champagne to bumping into the queen in a matter of minutes!

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After such excitement I felt it was time to place a bet myself and as I'm not very in tune with the best racehorses I decided to pick a horse that matched my dress. What a lucky choice that the jockey's silks of Wings of Eagles matched the purple of my vintage dress, romping home in first place at 40-1! I would say it's the best pound I have ever spent and I of course promptly celebrated with another glass of champagne (hic!)
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