Hello, before I go on I must thank you for all of the fascinating feedback on my last post – it’s been interesting to hear so many different thoughts about Boden. I will be replying but I’m having a crazy week (again) so please do bear with me. In the meantime, we’ve just had such a great weekend break that I thought I’d share it with you. Plus there’s a new drop arriving at Hush today so I’ve shortlisted some of the essential pieces.
When I left you at the end of my post on Friday we were heading out to see the middle son’s latest acting adventure. We met up with the youngest and my sister and brother-in-law first and went to a new Poke restaurant (Hawaiian) which is very novel for these parts. So, Mr MC caught me with a Friday evening smile on my face.
I’ve had this coat for years and I don’t wear it very often. I always seem to turn to it when I’m in the mood for spring but it’s still too cold to cast off layers.
Boden coat circa 2004; trousers; boots; crossbody in navy
The trousers I’m wearing are great for days when you’re sitting at your desk for a long time because they’re dressier than jeans and yet unbelievably comfortable. They’re made from this season’s slightly flowy fabric which seems to be everywhere at the moment and they have an athleisure style elasticated waist. They’re a 2018 update on a wardrobe basic.
Trousers; Jersey tie-neck blouse (gSS17); kitten heel ankle boots
So, as I mentioned it was the boy’s first performance with the local arts theatre that he has been working with since September. It’s quite well thought of in the north west and so he did well to get in. In fact when I picked him up from the auditions last August we really didn’t think he would have a place. You see he came out with a face like thunder which is very unlike him.
It was a group audition and after an introductory chat, they were briefed to choose an animal or bird that they thought they could represent. The director had gone round the circle asking each of them what they had chosen and why. Our boy had chosen a penguin because “it’s like me – it enjoys eating and it doesn’t move much!” So of course, he got his first laugh.
But then fortune turned on him because for the rest of the audition they had to perform in character. First of all he had to be 100% penguin, then 30% then 60% and so on. As you can imagine the teens that had chosen monkeys, lions and bears had a significant advantage!
However, something must have shone through because a week later a letter arrived offering him a place. The commitment required since then has been heavy and it has been a really good test. Since Christmas they have been rehearsing from 10am until 6pm every weekend and all through the school holidays. He’s had to give up his weekend job because there just hasn’t been room in his life for anything else.
This weekend they performed the Nick Dear version of Frankenstein first directed by Danny Boyle. It’s pretty dark but somehow, in a very serious, avant garde production, our son still managed to secure a comedy role as a mad Scotsman. It’s becoming clear where his strengths lie – he loves to make people laugh and he really enjoyed relieving the tension in the audience. I just want to say thank you to the family and friends who managed to come along to watch – it meant the world to both him and us.
Here we are basking in his glow when the performance ended…
… I do love a theatre that allows you to take a Friday night glass of wine into the auditorium. It was quite a long wait until they’d finished the ‘wrap’ and so we were all a bit giddy by then.
Great weekend break Saturday
Now this was a day that I’ve been looking forward to for a while. As part of Mr MC’s Christmas present, I’d booked him on a photography day in Manchester that he’d shown an interest in. He was really looking forward to exploring Manchester’s urban architecture, (I think he finds it easier to take photos of decrepit old buildings than pictures of me!)
It was going to be an early start but that was fine because I’d also booked us into a really nice hotel. My plan was that whilst he was doing his thing, I’d be free to mooch around the shops in the city centre, relax in the hotel, maybe use the gym… you get the idea.
Annoyingly a couple of weeks ago the course was suddenly cancelled with no explanation. The hotel was non-refundable so we had to go to Manchester anyway. What did we do? Well actually I’m going to tell you all about that in my next post but here’s a quick shot of what I was wearing. As you can see I’ve been shopping my own posts again!
Inès de La Fressange @ Uniqlo nehru jacket AW17; ‘Ooh la la’ sequin breton; Boden Cambridge jeans 2015; Kitten heel ankle boots; Crossbody bag
I must just mention the crossbody bag which is from the latest Midlifechic Boutique delivery. I’m trying to decide whether to continue with the bags – not because they’re going badly but because they’ve gone so well. I’m not sure whether I have time to manage the demand. So, this may (or may not) be the last collection.
You can see just how good this is for travelling – it has pockets for everything and converts into a clutch with wrist strap for the evening. It has slots for bank cards and a purse in the centre as well as the critical leather covered mirror. It took quite a while to get the design right but I’m really pleased with it.
Crossbody bag (also available in black, navy, and tan)
After a busy day, we checked into our hotel in Manchester. It was somewhere I have always wanted to stay but it is often incredibly expensive (up to £400 per night when the football’s on). This time however, because we booked so early, it was affordable. If you know Manchester you will know it as the former Palace Hotel next to the Palace Theatre on Oxford Road. It has now been fully refurbished to the tune of £25million and relaunched as The Principal and it is stunning. I will now never want to stay anywhere else and if you have ever fancied a weekend in Manchester this is where you need to go.
I should point out that this is not sponsored, we paid for our room, food and drinks ourselves and we didn’t have any special treatment. It’s just so good I want to share it with you.
The building was originally the head office of the Refuge Insurance company and it was designed by the same architect as the Natural History Museum in London. It is unbelievably beautiful. This is a part of the restaurant called The Winter Garden and you feel as though you are sitting in a Marrakech courtyard.
The food is amazing. The restaurant (Refuge) is a collaboration between the hotel and The Unabombers, who were DJs in the original 90s Manchester Britpop scene. That may sound daunting but it isn’t, it’s just incredibly cool. In fact it’s cooler than anywhere I’ve been in London because it has a mixed clientele. There are hipsters of course but it’s inclusive and everyone is made to feel welcome in a warm northern way.
What do you wear to a place like that? Well I wore this (and I know I look like a poser, I was actually just feeling very awkward because people were staring).
Finery velvet top AW16; Hush jeans(g) AW17; Finery sandals AW17; Clutch (the strap clips off the crossbody to be replaced by a wristlet).
So we enjoyed our meal…
And then went through to the stunning bar which had a really good DJ playing. Somehow he managed to get the sound level just right so that we could still chat away. Some people were dancing, most were just there relaxing with groups of friends, the whole place had a really great atmosphere. And this is what made it really special for me, the fact that we had a great evening venue in our own hotel and didn’t have to traipse around the streets of Manchester.
As always we were the last to leave – they were, quite literally, sweeping up around us. It was good just to have the chance to have a few (too many) glasses of wine and a heart to heart. Consequently I looked a little weary the following morning – especially because we’d lost an hour thanks to the clock change.
Last week I was sent a new jacket which I really love. Sometimes Chanel tribute jackets can be very stiff to wear but this one is knitted and so it feels more like a cardigan. I wore it with navy trousers for work last week too and it was great for the office.
Knitted jacket; White stuff jersey top 2015; Boden Cambridge jeans 2015; Silver loafers (gSS18); Crossbody bag
As you can see water was the order of the day!
And so that’s our great weekend break. As I mentioned, this is not sponsored I just wanted to tell you about the hotel because it was so fab. A similar package to the one we booked is available here.
A new drop at Hush arriving today
So, I have one more thing to tell you and that is that the new Hush collection goes live online today. My top pieces are:
This green Chanel style jacket. It’s such a lovely colour for spring and green will remain strong throughout summer 18. It’s lovely worn with navy or black but also red or pink too.
Green knitted jacket(also available in hibiscus pink)
I love this red dress. I suspect that I wouldn’t love it on me because I’m not very keen on my knees but it jumps out as being a good option for petites. It probably comes up very loose as Hush things often do so I’d advise ordering a couple of sizes to play with.
Staying on the easy, breezy red dress theme, this one is a little more fitted and again a great length for petites. I can’t imagine how much the eldest would have loved me to have worn this when he was little. He was (and still is) shark mad.
These aren’t new but I’ve only just spotted them. As a softer alternative to black these grey chinos would be less harsh in summer. Great with pinks, greens, soft blues and of course lilac if you’re being steered by Pantone.
Grey chinos(also available in olive)
Speaking of lilac, this is a warmer tone so kinder to most skintones. A lovely jumper to wear on days when summer doesn’t show its face.
Lilac jumper (also available in French blue and hibiscus)
Keep an eye open for these flowy skirts, they’re suddenly popping up everywhere this season. I’ve seen this one styled with white in various magazines already and it looks really fresh. It also dresses up well with heeled sandals for a more elegant look.
Green flowy skirt (also available in rose and picante orange)
The trend for the 70s style rainbow graphic shows no sign of slowing down. This rainbow jumper is a really easy way to bring your weekend jeans wardrobe bang up to date.
If, like me, you’re hoping that we won’t need jumpers for very much longer, there’s also a rainbow star tee.
Rainbow star tee (also available in a grey and pastel version)
And how lovely is this dress for summer? It’s available on pre-release and has already nearly sold out. The asymmetry of the hem makes it a really easy way to wear a midi-length and it helps you to avoid looking droopy when you’re wearing flats.
So that’s it for today. We have a mixed up Easter break because the boys’ holidays don’t coincide which is really annoying. The youngest is already off, the eldest is coming home on Wednesday and the middle one breaks up on Thursday. I am so looking forward to the long weekend but I’ll be back with a post on Thursday before I log off for a while. See you then.
Disclosure: ‘great weekend break’ is not a sponsored post
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2018 posts you may have missed
Trying on my Boden order – keepers and returns
A Spring Smorgasbord – gelato colours
Reasons to be cheerful and outfits of the week
What I’ve been wearing – and how I carved out an extra day in my week
Thoughts on Mother’s Day as your children grow older
5 things to do in the Lake District when the weather’s bad
Spotlight on Inès de La Fressange at Uniqlo
Midlife adventures – Transylvania review
Some thoughts about our midlife Valentines
How to keep your complexion glowing in midlife
Capsule packing for a winter city break
Spring 2018 trends for ageless style
Winter outfits for women over 40
The best place for a family holiday with teens
January casual wardrobe updates
How to find your purpose at midlife
Great British Boltholes – The Pentonbridge Inn
Midlife lately – winter outfits and events