Summery Treat Days Out

The Best Afternoon Teas in the UK

Afternoon tea is fast becoming one of the most popular ways to while away an afternoon with your partner or friends. Years ago everyone was doing it, albeit on a somewhat smaller and probably less glamorous scale, but it’s seen a bit of a revival of late and it’s so much more than just a slice of cake and a cup of tea. So treat yourself to a new outfit, a pretty tea dress or maybe a nice new top and midi skirt (you’re guaranteed to find a lovely George shift dress or George midi skirt) and make a date of it with a friend to have afternoon tea at one of these fantastic places:


The Goring Hotel, London

The afternoon tea here is so good, the hotel has even won an award from the UK Tea Guild for the Best Afternoon Tea in London 2013. So what makes afternoon tea here so special? You’ll take your afternoon tea on the terrace overlooking the beautiful hotel gardens and enjoy the hotel’s very own blend of tea. You can choose from a variety of fine teas, finger sandwiches, scones and a selection of pastries made in house. If you want to make it even more special, why not try the Bollinger Afternoon Tea, which sees the addition of a glass of champagne and strawberries and cream.

The Lowry, Manchester

This stunning modern hotel, situated on the banks of the River Irwell in Manchester, offers a five star experience from start to finish. Enjoy your afternoon tea in the River Bar and Grill overlooking the city and choose from a wide variety of teas, finger sandwiches filled with cream cheese and cucumber, Emmenthal cheese and tomato chutney, ham and red onion marmalade and smoked salmon and crème fraiche. Follow that with a selection of pastries including simnel cake, chocolate orange mousse, lemon meringue pie, carrot cake and scones. Or perhaps enjoy the champagne afternoon tea, which not only includes champagne but savoury tartlets and chocolate truffles too.

Great Fosters, Surrey

Enjoy afternoon tea in a stunning listed building dating from 1550, which was built as a royal hunting lodge. You have a choice of venues here for your afternoon tea and can select either the cocktail bar, Anne Boleyn room or the Main Hall. There are several options for afternoon tea here including the ‘Full Afternoon Tea’, which includes a selection of teas, finger sandwiches, scones and patisseries, the Pimms Afternoon Tea, which includes a glass of Pimms along with the usual selection of sandwiches, scones and pastries and either a Champagne Afternoon Tea or a Bollinger Rose Afternoon Tea. Great Fosters is a truly romantic venue at which to enjoy an afternoon tea, why not make it even more special and stay the night with your partner? There are some amazing historic rooms in which to stay, along with more modern rooms too.

If you’re a lover of afternoon tea, or even just a lover of cake, you really have to visit one of these amazing venues and experience afternoon tea at its best. Just donÔÇÖt forget to wear your most ladylike outfit!

Guest Post

Event Invite: Bill Cunningham Street Style Film Screening and Q&A, London 12/6/13

Ultra Vie presents Bill Cunningham Private Screening, Soho Business Club, 12th June 2012 6pm-9pm

You are invited to join me at a private screening of the cult documentary film ‘Bill Cunningham, New York’ which delves into the life of the first street style photographer. After the sceening there will be a Q&A session with fashion experts and a networking reception.

The film sheds light on Bill’s life as an artist and his exploration of the way people dress through photography. The event will welcome an exclusive audience from the fashion industry, with a focus on fashion blogging, offering a unique networking experience. The Q&A will see a panel of street fashion professionals, whose specialties range from writing to photography, including Dan Stern from Street Fashion Monitor, Pearl Westwood from Fashion Pearls of Wisdom and Vogue photographer Dvora Lan from Fashionistable.

“I said many times that we all get dressed up for Bill. He has been documenting me since I was a kid, one snap, two snaps, or he ignores you… which is death.” Anna Wintour, Vogue editor-in-cheif

Guests will enjoy the screening in the heart of London in Soho, with flavoured gourmet pop-corn from Proper Corn and refreshing drinks supplied by Peroni.

Tickets are available at £25, reserve your place at

(just use your email to sign into the Ultra Vie website and receive free membership)

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Bill Cunningham Private Screening and Q&A

Wednesday 12th June 2013: 6-9pm
5.45-6pm: Arrival at Soho Business Club
6-7.20: Private Screening
7.30-8pm: Q&A
8-8.30pm: Networking Reception

Drinks sponsored by Peroni
Popcorn sponsored by Propercorn

Events: Home Sense Opening Manchester


This morning amidst a rather long queue of eager shoppers, I went down to see the opening of the brand new Home Sense store in the Manchester Arndale. The store is right next to sister brand TK Maxx and true to the company ethos packed full of gorgeous things with reasonable price tags. The loveable Coronation Street star Anthony Cotton was there to cut the ribbon and declare the store open. No need for me to ramble on, I took plenty of photo’s so you can see for yourselves. I am sure there is something for everyone from lust worthy glass wear, cheerful garden ornaments, rugs, sculptures and even doggie shampoo!

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Vivienne Westwood Conduit St Mini Exhibition

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The amazing climate revolution outfit Vivienne Westwood wore to the Paralympics closing ceremony and in her following Red Label show is now on display in the Conduit Street, London store along with two installations in the windows by artist Joe Rush. I did ask Emu san if I could try this on and run around the shop but she didn’t take me on. World’s End also has some amazing new climate revolution t-shirts on sale FYI. The rest of Vivienne’s outfit includes the Climate Revolution t-shirt, boxer shorts with tights over the top, large skeleton necklace, slouchy socks and the Clomper platform sandal shoes.

14 February 2013. Vivienne Westwood and London Born artist Joe Rush join together their talent, their indignations and their combativeness in an artistic and political process whose war cry is: Climate Revolution!

Just ahead of London Fashion Week, Vivienne WestwoodÔÇÖs 44 Conduit store window reveals an installation created by artist Joe Rush. The revolutionary sculptures made from recycled metal and found objects are featured alongside placards, alerting passersby to join the Climate Revolution.

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Chinese New Year, Manchester China Town


Happy New Year to all my Chinese friends, may it bring you luck and prosperity. We went to see the celebrations in Manchester’s China Town, such a shame it was pouring with rain but nice to get to wish everyone a happy new year. Despite the rain it was still packed full, so I didn’t get to see the dragon dance. Luckily the people from the Chinese restaurant at the end of my road always have a dragon which they dance past my house so I will be waving to him later. Due to the weather people weren’t dressed up, but I did see a few cheerful Cosplayers. A lot of the teens were wearing flat or platorm Creeper style shoes, like the girl with the tail below. There is quite a trend for them at the moment and they come in so many styles, I’ve had my eye on a velvet TUK pair. I made sure to wear my red shoes today for good luck.

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Cinderella Stories

Christian Louboutin


Two designers interpretation of the Cinderella fairy tale for the Harrods windows. Christian Louboutin used cream lace over tulle studded with sparkling Swarovski crystals and applique butterflies (top). Versace went for a modern pointed stiletto in clear PVC, accents of metallic pick used on the heel and the brand logo. Both houses choose court shoes in their design. Accompanying a shimmering full skirted strapless gown. On the street outside a huge clock face is projected, the hands almost at 12 midnight.


Walt Disney (courtesy Disney)

The Cinderella story we are all most familiar with today is likely to be the Walt Disney version, where the handsome Prince rescues Cinderella from her cruel step-mother and awful step-sisters. The presence of the glass slipper is pivotal to the story, had the girl not lost her slipper, the Prince would have had no means of finding her again. The fact that the slippers are crafted from glass makes no sense, a real pair of glass shoes could never be worn, the material would be unmoulding preventing the foot from flexing and of course it would be dangerous, at risk of shattering. Why is the the slipper being made from glass important to the story? The material itself is not at all malleable and┬á prevents the anyone but the true owner from fitting into the shoe – securing the Prince finding it’s rightful owner. The unrealistic nature of the shoe also lends further magic to the fairytale. The tale itself however can be traced back for many years and across many countries. The main theme of the lost shoe is retained however the shoe comes in the form of leather sandals, fur shoes and even gold slippers.

Maison Martin Margiela (courtesy of

Throughout my childhood I often wondered what a real pair of glass slippers would look like. Maison Martin Margiela created a beautiful glass version, purely for show of course. For all practical purposes a material such as transparent perspex would work giving a similar illusion to glass. Only trouble is when you mention a perspex shoe most people will recall the traditional stripper shoe! High fashion has created many stylish variations such as my personal favourite Prada SS10 and the recent reinvention of the Maison Martin Margiela perspex wedge for H&M. So perhaps we can all be modern day Cinderella’s.

Pole dancing shoes (courtesy

Sneaking Into Fashion Exhibition

Here are some of the images from the Sneaking into Fashion exhibition curated by Tory Turk on behalf of The pop-up exhibition looked at how the trainer has become part of our culture and featured some rare designs. I loaned a pair of my trainers to the exhibition, can you guess which pair is mine? The Vivienne Westwood ‘Tracey trainers’. The exhibition was staged in at Convent Garden, the cases set amongst the walk ways – taking the gallery outside of the museum. It was a great way to get people who wouldn’t usually visit such an exhibition interacting and learning.┬á Many famous pairs were featured including shoe designs from Nike, Adidas, Isabel Marant and Vivienne Westwood. You can take virtual tour of the highlights and find out more info on the shoes at Javari.

Events: Inside Live at Manchester Arndale

The Great British Summer trend

I mentioned the Inside Live event happening at Manchester Arndale earlier in the week and popped in today to get some shots of the action. The event brings to life the Inside magazine with huge pages showing all the latest trends and mannequins wearing the best of the collections. You can call in over the weekend to find out about all the hottest trends, have your hair and make up done. Then hit the shops with all the money off vouchers they have waiting for you. There are lots of competitions going ton too. Well worth a trip down there, they really have me in the mood for Summer now!

A customer gets a make-over from No 7

All the No 7 colours for this season

Charlotte, Fran and the style team on hand to help and showing how to work the Prints Charming Trend

Inside magazine and the discount vouchers from all your favourite stores

This Weeks Fashion Events in Manchester

For one weekend our spring/summer INSIDE magazine is coming to life!

Our team of fashion and style experts are taking over Exchange Court, outside Next with our pop-up shop 4-6 May. Bringing you all the latest looks and hottest trends straight from the pages of our INSIDE magazine.

Why not visit inside ÔÇÿLIVEÔÇÖ and get some top tips; whether it be our make-up experts giving a spring clean to your beauty bag, our style team advice on what to wear this summer, or our hair heroes transforming your hair into luscious locks, find out how you too can create the latest looks from head to toe.

As well as showing off all the sizzling summer trends, pick your favourite trend on the day, scan the QR code on the stand and youÔÇÖll be able to enter our competition and be in with a chance of winning the real thing! T&Cs apply

With lots more prizes and discounts from all your favourite retailers on offer over the three days, come down, and see whatÔÇÖs INSIDE the centre ÔÇô and youÔÇÖll find out how to look as fabulous as the models in our magazine!