The wonderings, ponderings and other 'ings' of me. Lifestyle, review, news and opinion posts. Chic with a hint of sarcasm... hopefully!

Friday, 23 February 2018

Privileged Pastimes

Ah the trails and tribulations of a first world life.  It really can be quite tiring enjoying all the freedom bestowed on a white, cis-gendered woman, able to come and go as I please and buy things.  Sometimes it all gets a bit much and we need a break. So what better way to relax from the pains of doing whatever you please than to indulge in another privileged pastime. The Afternoon Tea.

It’s given this cute name so that we can pretend this is an elegant affair, when really it’s an excuse to all out stuff our faces with as much bread products as possible while simultaneously providing an excuse to drink in the daytime. Sure the sandwiches are cut into small sections and the sweets miniature, but it’s only ourselves we're fooling into feeling dainty as that 6th cake is consumed.  THAT SAID personally I feel its a worthy way to spend a few hours and Cambridge is a place that loves to indulge the desire. Harriet’s on Green Street, The Ivy which is due to accept guests as soon as next month and The University Arms which we have on good authority will open this summer all prove foodies are well catered* for here.

This review takes place at The Tamburlaine Hotel.  A new(ish) addition to the scene and a literal stone’s throw from the train station.  Once inside there is NO question about where you are, from the books in the library to the classification of the rooms (Fresher to Dean) The Tamburlaine embodies the essence of Cambridge. I find the lobby decorated with contemporary art particularly pleasing and the colour scheme classic yet bold, especially in the bathroom and garden room where afternoon tea is served.

Presented with a three tiered copper tray each section filled with an array of goodies, I will admit to being a little disappointed at the amount of savoury options.  However it soon became apparent it was an ‘eyes bigger than my belly’ situation as I failed to finish ANY of the cakes (small though they were).  I only managed a bite of each before seeking comfort by sitting back in the plush chairs. It’s worth noting this was not due to the flavours, while the rose macaroon was a little too intense for my taste buds** the chocolate brownie was rich and decadent and the red velvet cake red and velvety. I was just too full up to continue punishing myself. Pathetic I know, I'm heading back again shortly to give it another go!     

I particularly enjoyed the special effort made as we were celebrating a friend's birthday. And while not strictly part of the afternoon tea experience, I highly recommend trying a cocktail from the marble bar afterwards, especially the French 75! 

A perfect end to a perfectly gluttonous day!  Have you tried The Tamburlaine afternoon tea yet?

*Get it? Food, Catering, I crack myself up!
**Princess, moi?


Friday, 16 February 2018

Cambridge Indie Shops of Note - Lilac Rose

*Gifted Item post*

Have you ever been to Lilac Rose in Cambridge?
Maybe, but maybe not.

Maybe you've rushed past it on the way to the Grand Arcade, been too focused on getting a good cup of coffee to really see a little white shop in the middle of Bridge Street. But the thing is you're missing something special so I'm self appointing a big STOP sign in front of your lovely but busy face and encouraging you towards a delightfully fulfilling shopping experience. Because being a self involved sort I want you to like Lilac Rose not least because it happens to be one of my favourite places on the high street.

Take the decor. As you step in its light, white and airy and has a delicate enticing feel. You could say it was girly if you were one of those binary, labelly types, I prefer to describe it as a bright ray of retail sunshine on even the dullest of days.  Not one of those places to ram in as much product as possible, the back third of the boutique comes complete with a huge set of heart shaped dressing room lights and is reserved for trying on pretty dresses and cute cardigans by Closet, Sixton London and Louche. Its not high end, but then it's never pretended to be, If Lilac Rose was one of your classmates it would be the genuinely nice girl.  The one with no major issues or ulterior motives who's family all get along and never breaks curfew* What I'm getting at is this store doesn't make you feel like you can't afford it or shouldn't be there.  At least in my mind which admittedly is privileged, white, employed with zero dependants and a fair whack of disposable income... but still.

The jewellery ranges from the delicate and cute to the slightly out there and is generally under the £40 mark and this is where the original reason for my post comes in.  Lilac Rose kindly gifted me an item of jewellery from their range a couple of months ago**. 

I took the chance to chose something that wasn't my usual style and I really enjoyed picking out my something sparkly.  It was VERY delicate and if truth be told unfortunately the first one was faulty. Happily this seems to have been a one off and was swapped without hesitation by the wonderful Andrew*** who manages the Cambridge store. Since then long silver statement piece below has been worn to work and out for dinner and complimented both outfits splendidly****

If you're not in the market for jewellery, you might find something in the notebooks, how to's, stationary and accessories available and this is where the real magic of Lilac Rose shines through. Like going for a chat with an old friend these trinkets entertain, inform and beautify your day, many have a cheeky sense of humour and keep me coming back to browse and buy many times over. 

A shopping experience that borders on the adorable, Lilac Rose is a pretty, instagrammable, tranquil haven. Check it out when you're next in town and maybe l'll see you there?

*Is this a bit of an odd analogy? 
**Its a fair cop. In all likelihood, I'm certain they would have wanted to see this written about before now but with Christmas, getting sick, car crashes, holidays and getting sick again (long story, I'll tell you about it another time) it got pushed back a little.   - sorry guys
***This man knows his stuff and is always on hand should you need an expert opinion on the wares available. 
****If I do say so myself"
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