I have recently been out and about a fair bit, as I was celebrating my birthday! It was great catching up with some of my close non-lolita friends in London, and I then had a separate meet last Saturday with Sammi and Shalisa. I then spent my actual birthday with my husband James and we went out on a little adventure of our own.
This was my outfit for my little meet with Sammi and Shalisa. I obtained Rose Toilette by Angelic Pretty a couple of months ago. It is such a lovely dress. I put off getting it for ages, because I have the Bodyline perfume print, but Rose Toilette was definitely worth getting! The pink colour is quite an interesting shade, so I mixed it with some peach coloured items, as they seem to compliment each other quite nicely. Shalisa has warned me that the tea barge we were visiting was small, but I vowed to take off my petticoat if need be! Luckily we actually had plenty of room, so nobody had to witness me panic undressing! I am really happy with how this outfit turned out. The only thing I wish I had done was ditch the ankle socks, as I feel they made my ankles look chunky.
We went to the Whittingtons Tea Barge on the river. It proved to be a lovely little venue, although some road works and a closed pavement meant we had a few issues walking there! We ended up all climbing over this blockade and crossing this blocked off road 5 times because the barge had changed locations to the other side of the river and we didn't realise (that is the only downside of choosing a moving venue). We all had an afternoon tea but most of us switched to elderflower cordial instead of tea. It was quite hot that day and none of us fancied tea. I was quite pleased with how much food I got for the price we paid. It was really delicious too. This barge is the top rated food venue in Reading on Tripadvisor and I can definitely see why!
We encountered this baby goose on the riverside. But despite being very cute, we had to back off as its protective mother looked like it was about to launch at us!
And here is a small group shot from the pub. As you can probably tell from the table, we indulged in some Pimm's! We tried the new strawberry version and it tasted amazing. We were all feeling very drowsy after our afternoon tea, so we ended up lazing in the pub for a few hours. It was all perfectly pleasant until we witnessed this couple doing some very, erm... 'affectionate' PDAs and this guy who kept wheezing on another table! Later on we went to Mr Chips, and instead of just getting bubble tea, we actually tried their chips! (I can confirm they were amazing chips). Eventually we parted ways with Shalisa and the rest of us endured a bunch of drunks on the train home. I am looking forward to seeing Sammi and Shalisa at the next meet!
And a few days later, it was my actual birthday. I went and had another afternoon tea! This time it was just James and I, and we went to The Manor Hotel at Weston on the Green, which is a little drive away from Oxford.
I have to say that I didn't feel the afternoon tea was worth the price we paid (I did say in a recent post that places in Oxfordshire charge extra just because of the Oxford reputation!) but the food was very yummy. I especially loved the scones which were stuffed full of jam and cream. Just look at how packed they are! The scones were warm and flaky. As somebody who is obsessed with cream, I was very pleased with the generous helping.
Here is the rest of the afternoon tea. It looks quite sparse but actually, there was more than enough food for the 2 of us (this picture doesn't include the 2 scones I had).
What I really loved about this trip was the venue. The hotel was stunning and I really want to spend a night here. James and I spent some time waking around the grounds and taking photos. We spotted a swimming pool and there is even a massive croquet lawn. We didn't feel like having a game though, seeing as we had just eaten.
And this was the outfit I wore for my birthday. I had a hard time deciding how "dressed up" I wanted to look, as there were a lot of guests walking about. I decided to go for a more sweet-classic look and I still kept a few fancier elements and a generous petticoat. This time I tried to use all of the colours in the skirt and attempted to spread them out according to how much the colour appears on the skirt (if that makes sense). I used the peach beret again but switched my white gloves for peach ones and I added lavender flowers to the shoes. I used slightly different tights and a different blouse too.
And these are the lolita-relevant presents I received! I haven't been getting as much lolita stuff recently, as I am currently having storage issues. So I ended up with plenty of new books and DVDs to keep me going instead! I like that James kept the 'royal' theme going with all his lolita purchases. The wrist cuffs are from Stocking Shock, who now let you choose which way up you want the bows. I really love the crown charms and the chains of beads. I think out of all the Stocking Shock cuffs I have, these ones are by far the best. I wasn't sure which colour I wanted, so I asked for both! The Teja Jamilla tights are perfect. The size guide seems pretty fair. I am not at the maximum size for these tights, but I could tell that the tights would stretch a fair amount more. They are pretty opaque when worn, apart from right near the top of my thighs. The tights material is thick and feels soft too. I love the screen printed emblems. They lined up really nicely on my legs when I put them on. So the quality is very good and I would definitely consider getting more tights from Teja Jamilla in the future.
So I ended up having a fantastic time. And thank you again to whoever made me the lolita valentines for my birthday and all the people who texted, messaged me, sent cards and left greetings on my Facebook wall. The messages really meant a lot!