Sensational Baby Boomers

Friday, 24 March 2017

MOTHERS AND MOTHERS DAY

As I have mentioned before my daughter Lizzy is a full time blogger and the writer of Shot from the Street. I often take pictures for her which she features on her blog and instagram  but I don't often become a feature on her blog.  With Mother's Day approaching this weekend she was asked by the fabulous team at Pandora to collaborate on a Mother's Day post featuring their jewellery and focusing on "Lessons from my Mum".  We had the most wonderful day in Manchester with her boyfriend Harry taking pictures of us wearing our chosen pieces and we are still fighting over the droplet ring|!

These pictures show Lizzy wearing the fabulous Family Tree and Locket Necklaces and for me the Luminous Droplet Ring, Essence and Moment Bangles.   




I really loved the "You Are So Loved" Moments bangle which is the perfect gift for any Mum.



Lizzy asked me to talk about the things that my Mum had taught me, which was quite an emotional thing to do but something I really enjoyed doing.  She is following with her own post on what I have taught her.  I think the similarities in our stories and things that are passed down through the generations is really poignant. 


We were also invited down to London by Pandora to have our photo taken by a professional photographer - make up done and the works....a real treat  - and the team was so supportive and friendly it made for the most amazing day.  We met lots of other Mums and their offspring too which was fabulous.



At the end of it all we were sent a selection of our chosen shots and this is our favourite one below, which is definitely going to be framed and on display in my lounge.

A big thank you to Pandora and most of all to my amazing daughter - Love you 




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Friday, 17 March 2017

A WET WEEKEND IN PARIS


Anne H here, picking up after a trip to Paris with my daughter Lizzy who was there for Paris Fashion Week.  We had a the most amazing time, not least because we stayed with our friends who have a fabulous apartment near the Hotel de Ville, so we couldn't have been more central.  Sadly the weather was not very kind and we had some really grey and rainy days which wasn't ideal for blogging, even in Paris.


Since I did a bit of a Paris travel guide this time last year (link here) I have decided to focus more on restaurant recommendations, which I hope you will find useful should you find yourself in the city of lights.  Of course, I couldn't completely ignore shopping so I have included a recommendation for a rather lovely concept store as well.  



Naturally I will share a bit on the outfits I wore whilst there but I must confess it is a bit of a uniform for me as I tend to wear the things that I am most comfortable in and which will let me pound the streets in comfort.  That includes this camel coat that I purchased from Byondonline and is the Harmony Magda coat that they still have in the sale.  I have teamed with boots from KG, jeans from Acne and a jumper from Cos.  The handbag I borrowed from my daughter and is the Karen Millen Suede Regent chain  bag.


I'm also sharing my favourite outfit that Lizzy wore, which also happens to include a rather fab shot of the Eiffel Tower so a good scene setter.  I particularly loved this vintage Hermes jacket that she got from Vestiaire Collective, a site that is well worth visiting if you are looking for designer items that have been carefully curated and validated.  She tells more about it on her blog Shot from the Street which you can reach via this link. 


CAFE-RESTAURANT LOUIS PHILIPPE, 66 Quai de l'Hôtel de ville, 75004


We had the most amazing evening meal in this pretty little restaurant which is frequented by locals - always a good sign I think.  I had a great  Boeuf Bourguignon that just tasted like it had been slowly cooking for ages - delicious.  Lizzy had a fantastic steak which was perfectly cooked and really tender and we finished with a shared assiette of cheese. A friendly atmosphere where the food is home cooked and reasonably priced, I would definitely visit Cafe Louis Philippe again. 




DERRIERE, 69 Rue des Gravilliers, 75003


Now restaurant Derriere is a bloggers dream with loads of photo opportunities, not least of which is the table tennis table in the middle of the dining room. The idea is that it is fashioned to be a home away from home and the rooms are designed as if you are in someone's apartment.  All very clever and beautifully created.  You definitely need to reserve a table in advance to come here as it is very popular and we managed to get a table for a late Saturday lunch.  The restaurant is located in the Marais district and is tucked away with a beautiful courtyard which must be lovely on a brighter day.


We were given a table on the first floor and part of our party sat on a bed to eat, with this fabulous mirrored ceiling above them.  Really original. Sadly the food didn't quite live up to the hype.  It was fine but very plain and it felt as if so much attention had been given to the surroundings that they lost sight of the importance of the food.  It is not somewhere I would rush to go back to but definitely think it is worth seeing.  



CAFE ST REGIS, 6 Rue Jean du Bellay, 75004 



We escaped from the rain for breakfast in this lovely restaurant the St. Regis, which is on the Ille St Louis so not far from where we were staying.  We didn't go for the whole cooked breakfast, but we could see from those around us that it was fabulous.  Just the pain au chocolate and coffee were enough to set this place in our hearts.  Just look at the size of this pastry! The staff were lovely and friendly and this is 100% on my list of places to re-visit.



MARLON, 159 Rue de Grenelle, 75007

I have no excuse for having no pictures of this restaurant, I couldn't even steal any from Lizzy as she didn't have any either.  Located near the Eiffel Tower this Californian restaurant is great for brunch so was one I couldn't miss off my list.

MERCI,  111 Boulevard Beaumarchais, 75003 

A true concept store located in the centre of one of my favourite areas - Le Marais,  Merci is a cafe, restaurant, bookstore, clothing store, furniture and so much more all rolled into one. Flowers predominate and the centre piece of the store are its cherry blossom trees - so pretty, and the whole layout of the store is a treat.


 

Merci is not just an incredible store but a charitable foundation too, as its owners use proceeds from sales to fund an endowment paying for development and education in Madagascar.   Even the building has a story to tell with a full size chimney in its centre - it has variously been a wallpaper factory and was the centre for local jewellers to melt waste metals.  Definitely worth a visit but beware you could end up spending a fortune.




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Friday, 10 March 2017

NEARLY SPRING - MORE WITH SARAH LEWIS TRANSITIONAL COATS


We have previously featured winter coats by new Yorkshire designer Sarah Lewis, but being ever-hopeful, we are counting on the weather being a little warmer in the coming weeks, and are delighted to be featuring some of Sarah’s lighter weight coats.

Sarah’s items are limited edition pieces as she does not mass produce her garments – and this is reflected in the price.  All her coats are made in the UK, using luxury high-end fabrics and gorgeous linings.


We joined Sarah at her lovely Yorkshire workshop and she helped us to model her new collection.  She is wearing Anastasia in a soft raspberry pink 100% linen coat. The lining is 100 % satin acetate with a shot effect in two shades of purple. It is a very tailored coat with princess line panels and a high Bretton style collar, and optional tie belt.  In contrast to many of the other looser styles, it has a fitted body and flared skirt which follows the figure and is for those who prefer a closer fitting coat.



Anne H is wearing “Rhiannon”, a collarless blazer style edge-to-edge jacket with fitted sleeves and patch pockets in a wheat gold and black colour.  It is made from mixed fibres and has a 100% gold sating acetate lining.





Anne C is wearing “Lizzie” in stone and pale blue.  This is a straight, collarless, colour-block coat with fitted sleeves, concealed front pockets and fastenings. The stone coloured upper body is 100% linen while the pale blue lower body is 100% silk linen. The beautiful deep blue lining is 100% satin acetate. 







Anne H is wearing the same design coat, but in stone and a deeper blue, with a gold lining.




Sarah is showcasing the same design yet again, but in a different fabric – this time a grey Melange upper body in 100% Melton wool with a wine coloured lower body in 100% felted wool. The deep wine-coloured lining is 100% satin acetate.

Sarah's collection can be found here. Look out for our final blog on this collection in the coming weeks.



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Friday, 3 March 2017

LEEDS CAFE SOCIETY



We love a good afternoon tea with lashings of hot tea!  So on a miserable, windswept Monday, we decided to give the coffee chains a rain-check and instead find the best cuppas in Leeds - from proper afternoon teas to superb coffee, we managed to sample four different independent cafes (and went home pleasantly full!)


We loved "Just Grand" aptly named as it is alongside the Leeds Grand Theatre and Opera House in The Grand Arcade. Stepping back into the 1950s, it feels just like your Nanna's living room ..... starting with menus stuck to LP records from such wonderful old recording artistes as Shirley Bassey, Glen Miller, Gene Pitney, Joe Loss and Ricky Nelson.

The decor is definitely vintage, with old china, lace tablecloths, walnut cabinets displaying glassware and traditional afternoon tea fayre.  Since the cafe is undercover, but in an arcade, there are crocheted blankets and stuffed cushions to keep you cosy if you want to sit "outside".





For retro with a modern twist, we went to Mrs. Atha's which is on Central Road, immediately behind House of Fraser in the city centre. Delicious coffee is served with even more delicious cakes.  This extremely popular cafe is usually packed so we went early in the morning and managed half a ginger cake each with a coffee to perk us up.  Despite the name and the fabulous menu, the surroundings are distinctly urban, with bare brick walls and industrial-style lighting, scrubbed wooden tables and hipster serving staff, but the array of tempting delicious cakes was to die for.



And then for something completely different!  Tucked behind the old Lewis's store on the Headrow and next to St John's Church, is The Arch - run to raise funds for Age UK, so customers are contributing directly to supporting older people in Leeds. The building - the Bradbury building - is listed and is the head office of Age UK Leeds, and they also offer courses such as silver surfing for beginners and even a film-making course.  Rooms are also available to hire.





The food is deliciously home-cooked and was another popular cafe which was packed at lunchtime. They cook wonderfully traditional food on the premises (the Bakewell Tart was straight out of the oven and looked delicious, but we were too full to try any).  However, they serve a great cup of coffee and a magnificent hot chocolate complete with cream and marshmallows - and all incredibly reasonably priced. They do take-away and also corporate platters for lunchtime meetings - sadly of which we both no longer need.



Then on to one of our favourite haunts - the Tiled Hall Cafe situated between the Library and Leeds Art Gallery. This beautiful room was originally a reading room for the library and was covered over with shelving and hundreds of books before eventually falling into disuse, until in 2007 it was re-discovered and completely renovated and restored to its former glory.  They sell a good assortment of sandwiches, cakes and a tasty wholesome bowl of soup!



We still enjoy the major chains and the department store coffee shops, but the home-made cakes and scones take some beating in the independent shops.  We were also delighted that some of our Instagram followers decided to try these out themselves - we hope you enjoyed them!
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Friday, 24 February 2017

DESIGNER Vs.SUPERMARKET

Anne C here.  I have previously told you that I am a complete impulse buyer. I can go into a supermarket for a loaf of bread and a pint of milk and come out with a jacket and two pairs of shoes!

We all have a certain style of clothing which we gravitate to – and I often find that I either buy the same garment in different colours or I buy virtually the same item over and over again with only minor differences.

So looking through my wardrobe recently, it struck me how many pink sweaters I own (and I've just bought this one from Monsoon too).  In fact I have two pink jumpers which are very very similar – except that one is a beautifully soft merino wool sweater from DKNY and a silky pink version from H&M.  They certainly look very similar, but the DKNY version cost a staggering ten times the H&M version – and looking at how they have worn, I am not convinced that the designer version was the better buy - particularly since looking at the label I discovered it was made in China.

                                                                                                                        THE DKNY SWEATER

I have worn the H&M silky sweater several times and it has washed and worn very well – I have even worn it on the blog, and it looks as good now as it did when I first bought it a couple of years ago.  The DKNY version however has only been worn a couple of times and it is badly pilled on the hips and sleeves where the two have rubbed together - and if I am being really honest, the shape doesn't really do me any favours!

To note that I also have the same scarf in orange, emerald and a deeper pink!




      THE H&M VERSION 
Which brings me to another couple of items I bought which are identical in style, though different colours, but which cost vastly differing amounts!

The pink silk top was bought from TK Maxx at a cost of around £16.99 and the bright blue silk version, which is slightly longer and has a chiffon hem, but cost £75 from Phase Eight.  I wear both equally and have no complaints about the quality of either items – both have been washed and look as good as new, but I rather think it validates my claim that you don’t have to spend a fortune to look good.

For the record, my necklace is from Simply Devine Hats, I have had the pink earrings for about 20 years, and the watch is Emporio Armani, which I have also had for a while, but a similar one is available here.


                         BLUE SILK FROM PHASE EIGHT 

The above photo was taken in Santorini last year, and I have teamed the top with black cigarette pants and accessorised with a fabulous necklace I bought in Thira, blue sparkly earrings from Yuza, and bracelets from a wedding fayre!  The sandals are my holiday staples from Marks and Spencer, which were bought in the sales a couple of years ago and which I also have in taupe.

I own indigo jeggings from Marks & Spencer and similar ones from Florence & Fred at Tesco – and I can’t even tell the difference between them until I look at the labels. I also have T shirts from George at Asda which have washed and worn well, while I look at the tee I am currently wearing from M&S and have spotted seven of those pesky teeny little holes down the front that looks as if I have moths (I don’t think I do!)

A word of warning though - the fit is not always true to size.

I was lucky enough to be a guest at a wedding last year and saw a dress I really liked in Coast, but it went out of stock before I could buy it – and I had already decided which hat I would wear with it!  I spotted a pretty dress in an identical colour, although the style was quite different, but still as nice, so I bought it – cost £40 from Wallis.  Then the original dress came back in stock, so I bought that too – at a cost of £149. (It is now available again this year in beautiful shades of mint, navy and silver grey). The Wallis dress is accessorised with rose quartz earrings bought in Vietnam and watch as before, while the Coast dress is accessorised with hat and earrings from Simply Devine (as before) and bag from Dewsbury Market!

                                                                                                                            THE WALLIS DRESS



COAST DRESS 

Don’t get me wrong – if I see an item which I love and I can afford it, then I will buy it
So now I have both dresses, and I wore the more expensive one to the wedding but was it worth an extra £110? Probably not (although I do prefer it).

I also have a couple of lovely black coats which I wear equally.  My latest purchase was an unlined Joseph Ribkoff ¾ black jacket with a stylish cowl neckline which cost around £300, and another is a fully-lined satin-look black evening coat with a wider cowl collar, bought a few years ago in M&S for around £100.  Although not quite identical, both are more of a style suitable for evening wear, at vastly different prices. But perhaps my favourite piece is a beautiful black Max Mara (similar style to this one) wool coat – bought at my local charity shop for £16.95!

Anyone need a wedding guest with a pink dress??????
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