First up is the most obvious one of all whenever you think of visiting Cape Town…Table Mountain! When I was last here, it was closed every day I went to visit due to bad weather, but not this time folks! It was the most beautiful, clear summer day where the view from the top seemed never ending. I opted for the cable car option due to my damaged spine but I’d loved to have climbed up…although the people who were doing it looked rather hot and sweaty! I got really lucky because it was practically empty and I had free run of the entire mountain top and I took lots of snaps as well as stopping to munch ice-cream and drink! I wore one of my favorite white Dahlia dresses which is light and cool to wear but looks so sweet and eye-catching too. I threw round a thin, black studded belt to cinch in my waist and really show off the shape of the dress. The lace detail round the sleeves and neckline sold it to me, but what I fell in love with was the Marilyn Monroe style skirt! It is…adorable and I had a few Marilyn moments myself which is when I realised why they lined the skirt; it saved my modesty! The day ended at the famous Waterfront, watching the Volvo Round the World Yachts come in and sipping some seriously satisfying Gin and Tonic!
Next up was Spier, a vineyard in the heart of the wine-land of Stellenbosch. I’d been here on my last visit as part of a wine-tasting day but missed out on one of their star attractions…the Cheetah Outreach Program! Here you get up close and personal with these majestic creatures whilst learning all about them and the programs main goals. Cheetah’s, like many of Earths most magnificent animals, are on the endangered species list. This program helps raise awareness, takes in Cheetah’s who have been abandoned or rejected by their Mother and the personal interaction they allow brings their plight for survival to life.
I met Enigma, commonly known as Iggy (exactly the same name as my pet cat!) and got to stroke him and hear him purring as well as watch him play-fight with his brother. My choice of clothes here was supposed to be practical but in the end, the lose clothing flapped in the wind making Iggy think I was a toy he could play with! Don’t worry, they got me out of there safely!
Also at Spier they have a Birds of Prey “encounter” where you can watch flight demonstrations, stroke and feed some of the tamer birds and learn all about the risk to their future. I have to admit, I have always been quite freaked out by birds and although I can appreciate how beautiful strong and smart they are…I have never wanted to “encounter” one close up. However, I am also rubbish at turning down a polite salesman so reluctantly agreed to go meet some Owls…how much damage can they do??
Well…I nearly jumped out of my skin as one landed on my head at the same time as one landing on my gloved hand. I had not expected that! The bird-man (?!) was brilliant fun though and made the whole thing so fascinating that I enjoyed in equal measure to meeting the cheetahs. I ended up “encountering” more than Owls, falling in love with Barney the old Barn Owl! Annoyingly, I cannot remember the names of any birds because I was too busy coo-ing over them! One of them even had this little hat on to cover his eyes and keep him calm before his flight…amazing!
Another day, I took a ride to the Kenilworth Races. I haven’t been to the races before and the only bets I’ve ever made was a lucky one at last years Grand National and some not so lucky ones! However, in South Africa, my luck held out and in 8 races, I won 7 times…much to my Step-dads dismay as he lost 7 out 8! By the end of the day, I was up R178…which is about £17 but I was CHUFFED! I went dressed “smart/casual” in my favorite polka-dot dress I picked up from a boutique in Manchester (Dolly Daydream) and teamed it with my baby-pink boyfriend blazer I scored in Pri-mark for £4! With my cute feather fasinator purchased just days before from Cape Towns own, The Little Hattery, I think I just about pulled off a suitable racing-ensemble!
Franschhoek, where I am staying, is as famous for its food as it is for its wine! I’ve visited a few vineyards here which all have restaurants with stunning views but I think Cellars was my favorite. The food wasn’t pretentious, over-priced nothingness which you so often get when seeking out good-views, but homey, down-to-earth food with a modern interesting twist. I sipped a glass of Graham Beck Rose Champagne (famous in these parts), looked out across the fields of grapevines and just thought to myself…”how bloody lucky am I?!” I wore a dress which arrived as a surprise from Dahlia, a gorgeous burgandy handkerchief hemmed number with lipstick to match. I felt so fortunate to be alive…and yes I realise that sounds a little lame but it’s true!
I finished off the week visiting a Township, something I was keen to do again after being so moved by the experience last time. However, that particular day deserves a whole blog post of its own…so more about that next time!
I still have a week left so let me know some good place to go eat, play and view!
Tomorrow is my 24th Birthday and I am off to see the one and only, Britney Spears at the O2. This of course calls for me to purchase a new outfit! Now this is a little sad, but the fact is October 28th is also the birthday of Dahlia, my favorite London boutique (don’t ask me how I know that!). So as a present to us both, I went in to purchase a dress.
I immediately spotted this gorgeous burnt orange dress with flower detail across the shoulders and upper chest. I loved the V-shape outline cutting the two materials together and the light brown belt finished it off casually. The colour screams autumn and reminds me of Halloween (which is easily one of my favorite days in the year)! Here I’ve teamed it with my favorite Kurt Geiger boots, cute knee high socks and added some Disney Couture accessories to keep it youthful and fun.
I’ve never been great at just purchasing one thing from Dahlia and knowing I had a trip to Chicago coming up, I also purchased a warm navy mac with gold detail. It has a really high neck to keep the wind out and looks so flattering being fitted to the waist with a nice full skirt.
This is one of my favorite pictures taken of me wearing it round Chicago!
This week I was thrilled to be presenting for The Music League at the The Shoreditch in…erm Shoreditch! The first round of the competitions has 16 acts taking part and the first night delighted us to the musical stylings of the Greenwich Tea Party, Dan Shears, Will Robert and Tape. Never heard of them?? That’s OK…you’re not supposed to as this competition is all about unsigned up-and -coming talent.
Sophie asked me to compare alongside the wonderful Jonathan Rodden who I’d had the pleasure of spending three years of drama school with. We’d figured that our improvisational skills would kick in and all would be brilliant but perhaps we should have prepared more than just our outfits as our presenting left a lot to be desired! It was a hell of a lot of fun though and I got to hear some cool music and hang out with some very nice people in the process.
I also got to debut in my new Dahlia dress which I’m madly in love with. The orange is a really playful colour and certainly reflected that side of me here! I teamed it with a cute little black cropped jacked I got in Nordstrom when I was in Florida last year and black heels to sexy it up a little. I also cinched in my waist with a black belt covered in silver studs just to show off my figure a little more. I kept accessories down to a minimum as I love the Peter Pan collar with its sweet bow detail and didn’t want to take away from it. I felt really good in this outfit and I think Jonny and I look like a great team (even if we didn’t perform like one!)
Now, what to wear next week………?!
Minding my own business on my commute into work today, I’m sat as I am every morning, reading the Metro, drinking a latte and slowly waking up! Suddenly, I hear a splash, my lap feels warm, and my brain catches up with the situation…a woman has been sick on me. Yes my friends, SICK on me…
However, she was pregnant and I felt awful for her so I just said not to worry and a woman opposite offered me a Kleenex (really like drying up a swimming pool with 1 sheet of kitchen roll) which I accepted wondering how this was going to help! I couldn’t go back and change as I’d be late to which my boss would be furious, but I did have sick on me so obviously I had no choice but to shop (!) and I went seeking a new outfit on Carnaby Street. I tend to stay away from mainstream high-street shops because I like something a little more individual and quirky. I was pretty new to London but had found some great Boutiques around here but until today, had not discovered the best of all…
Just off Carnaby Street is a little shop called, Dahlia. It is magic.
I went in very conscious of the smell of sick on me and hoped the lady behind the counter wouldn’t notice! I scanned the rails and to my relief and delight, discovered something right away to try on. I then kept looking around just in case there was something better and sure enough, there was something else I liked. In fact, everywhere I looked in this small boutique, I saw clothes I loved! Without meaning to, I began to linger and take my time eyeing up the clothes but was soon snapped out of it by the buzz of my phone and my boss shouting at me, demanding to know why I was late.
I ran into the changing room and changed into a dress I knew I was going to buy before I even tried it on (I’ve teamed it here with a fur wrap to add a little something) and then went back at lunch to snap up a few more items! Delighted to find this place as its the most reasonably priced clothing I’ve come across in London that really reflects my style.
Check them out, they also have an online store (www.dahliafashion.co.uk)
It turned a rather horrible day into a truly successful one!